“ Artificial wedding flowers website. „
One of the areas where I've tried to save money during the wedding planning has been with the flowers. Although I love beautiful fresh flowers, the venue were already supplying these for our reception tables, meaning that I only had my bouquet, my bridesmaid's bouquet (I'm only having one bridesmaid), and four buttonholes. When I researched prices for these items, I was quite shocked to discover that if I opted for fresh flowers, my bouquet alone would cost around £100! In total, for two bouquets and the buttonholes we were quoted around £180-£200. So, as with all weddings, we decided which areas were most important to us, and this was one area we were willing to compromise on.
I wasn't too worried about getting artificial flowers, as they have come a long way in design and quality since the plastic variety from years ago which conjures up images of cheap and nasty fake flowers. I'd read some good things about this website in my bridal magazines, so I had a scout round online and was really impressed with the quality of their products.
Silkblooms specialise in artificial wedding flowers, some of which look real, and some contain things like feathers and crystals to add a special touch. The products they offer are:
Mother of the Bride (corsages)
Floral arrangements (for table decorating)
Everything is made to order, so you can customise your order, and they offer to colour match to your theme. If you see something on another website that you like, they will make it for you if you supply them with a picture. Alternatively, they have examples which are priced online, and when you order you can specify if you want to change the colour. They also offer payment by instalments because even though it's cheaper than real flowers, if you were to use them for a big wedding, including the table decorations, it would still cost a fair bit.
The website is easy to navigate, everything is clearly laid out and you can search by colour or type of flower. They have testimonials to assure you of positive customer experiences, and a blog to keep you up to date with new developments. They also have the option to hire flowers, if you need lots and don't want to keep them. Personally, I think it's quite nice to have your bouquet to keep as a keepsake, but if you were ordering table flowers you'd be left with a lot of artificial flowers you're never going to use again!
I ordered my bouquet, my bridesmaid's bouquet, and our buttonholes from here, and when they arrived, the bridesmaid's bouquet and buttonholes were perfect, but I wasn't happy with my bouquet. On their website, it says if you're unhappy with your order, they will put it right for you, or refund your money. I did ponder it for a couple of days, and wondered if I was having a "Bridezilla" moment and being too fussy, but when my bridesmaid saw it she convinced me to send it back because it wasn't what I ordered. There were about five differences between the one I'd ordered, and what I received, including the colour of the flowers, the colour of the ribbon, the missing detail (it had lovely pink crystal clusters in the bouquet which I thought would look nice in the photos), and a couple of other bits which just weren't right.
I emailed customer services, and I got a reply saying not to panic, but to send the bouquet back and they would sort it for me. In fairness, I cannot fault their customer service skills. The same person was in contact with me from the beginning, so I wasn't passed from pillar to post, and she was very understanding of my complaint. I received an apology, and she agreed that what I received was completely different to what had been ordered. Within a week or so, they had created a new bouquet for me, and I was absolutely thrilled with it when I received it.
Although I had this problem with my order, it wouldn't put me off recommending them to anyone. I think the sign of a good organisation is how they handle complaints as it shows their customer service skills (or lack of). Silkblooms dealt with my problem swiftly, politely, and efficiently, and in the end I was really pleased with my order.
The only thing I would say about using this website, is that I wouldn't leave it till last minute. If you do have any problems with your order, you will need time to sort them out, so I wouldn't go ordering the week before your wedding. When you first place your order, they will ask when you need them for, so they can schedule and prioritise their orders. I would give them a date which is a little earlier than your wedding date, to allow time to sort any problems.
Price wise, these are very reasonable in comparison to the real thing. In total for my bouquet, my bridesmaid's bouquet, and four buttonholes, it was around £70. The detail on the flowers is absolutely beautiful, and they don't look like obvious artificial flowers. I have some pink crystal cluster detail in my bouquet, which makes it clear they aren't real, but doesn't detract from the overall look as they are beautiful flowers.
The ordering process was very easy, it's just a secure payment process where you enter your card details, and there's a box to put any comments, for example if you want to alter colours or any little details personal to your wedding.
I'd give this website five stars except for the issue I had which knocks them to four stars. They dealt with it really well though and their customer service was excellent. In my opinion, this is a rarity these days.