21 total reviews
Sadly, the floral and event design services from Bells & Whistles at the Flower Field were very disappointing. Unreturned phone calls, week-long email response times, and an argumentative tone when we tried to rein in a proposal that nearly doubled our budget were among the many challenges we faced in the months leading up to our wedding. Working with owner Dorothy proved to be the most stressful part of our wedding planning process.
Unfortunately, we also had several issues with the quality and safety of Bells & Whistle's work.
1) While the wedding bouquets were beautiful, they didn't match what we had requested - the main type of flowers that were supposed to make up the bouquets were simply not there. Our contract indicated that they reserved the right to adjust the bouquets based on flower availability. This would have made sense except for the fact that the missing flowers were plentiful in the arrangements at the reception.
2) The corsages for the mothers arrived wilted and one of them started to fall apart during the cocktail hour.
3) Several elements of the reception ceiling decor were poorly installed (taped with duck tape) and fell during the evening. This was particularly dangerous as the tables were filled with candles.
4) Many of the design elements of our wedding (e.g., altar decor, cocktail hour furniture arrangement) were not installed as described and sketched during the planning process.
5) Dorothy's team was still installing some of the cocktail hour decor as guests walked by on their way to the ceremony.
6) On the day of our wedding we were surprised that we never saw Dorothy. This didn't match the months of "the best part of my job is seeing the excitement on your face when you see the pavilion for the first time" that we had heard from her repeatedly for many months.
Just before our final payment... when we only stood to lose $500 we discussed terminating our work with Dorothy and scrambling to work with another designer. To avoid craziness in the month before our big day, we decided not to do this. This was a mistake.
We had a wonderful, joyous day celebrating with family and friends. EVERY other Outer Banks vendor exceeded our expectations which made working with Dorothy and Bells & Whistle's all the more difficult and disappointing.
Dorothy at Bells and Whistles did an amazing job for the flowers and décor at our wedding. I had some pictures in my head of the colors I wanted and what I wanted the centerpieces to look like. We discussed them during a phone consultation and I sent a few small Pinterest pictures – she created centerpieces and bouquets that exactly matched what I envisioned (but probably didn’t do the best job describing). The flowers were absolutely beautiful, and the tables looked amazing. I couldn’t have asked for anything better! Thanks Bells and Whistles!
They were wonderful. I just sent her pictures of things that I liked and she nailed it! I know very little about flowers, and she took care of it all.
Communication was an on-going problem. The contracts were constantly being sent with errors made on them. The boutineers looked like weeds, and my husband's white rose fell off after the ceremony. The bridesmaid's bouqets didn't looked arranged so much as just thrown together (with the wrong color ribbon). My bridal bouqet was gorgeous though, no complaints there. The lights and lanterns they hung in our venue were beautiful. Overall, the flowers didn't impress me, I'm glad I didn't waste money on flower centerpieces.
I have to say, I was a little nervous about the flowers and decorations going in to my wedding. Dorothy and I had had a number of conversations but she seemed so laid back that I wasn't sure how everything was going to shake out. But when I walked down the gazebo at my ceremony and saw the incredible driftwood arch and then in to the reception and saw the tent decor with hanging chandeliers and fabric and each table with its individualized, creative, gorgeous centerpieces, I realized what pros Dorothy and her team are. And the flowers! I asked Dorothy to use a lot of succulents and blues with a beach-y, natural vibe. I almost started crying when I saw my bouquet. Even better than what I had imagined despite me only giving Dorothy some vague direction! She really took my vision and ran with it. Could not have been happier with the outcome.
My only negative is that it was difficult to stay in budget. I wish Dorothy had been a bit more upfront with costs when we were throwing around ideas. (She had suggested extra lighting and tent decorations that I only found out after our conversation would add $1000 extra dollars. I had to then cut back). In the end, though, I was thrilled with the results and felt the prices were generally fair.
We stumbled upon Bells and Whistles on a planning trip to the OBX and went in without an appt. Dorothy sat with us for an hour trying to help build a vision and design and we had not even hired her yet! Needless to say we did and were so happy with the result. She did funky centerpieces for our rehearsal dinner and gorgeous flowers and decor for the wedding ceremony and reception. We probably met with her 3-4 times more after the initial meeting to iron out all the details. She has a great vision and is able to see it through to the end.
Oh my gosh, I cannot say enough about how wonderful they were!! Dorothy and her team took my random ideas and put them to life in a whole new way. Guests and myself were amazed at their decor, ideas, flowers, centerpieces, you name it! Some ideas didnt seem like what I would have thought, but putting my trust in her and going with her word was the best decision.
Once we had our first convo, I knew to search no further. After just a few pictures and key words, she totally knew what we wanted and how to do it.
From the guys flowers to the table centerpieces and the details on the boquets for the bridesmaids, she made flowers look more than picture perfect. Specialty linens were found and a chandelier hung, she truly made the night unforgettable!!
Bells & Whistles provided my bridal bouquet, the corsages and the boutonnieres. They were beautiful! I was very happy with the quality, service and giving me exactly what I asked for!
Our experience with Dorothy was superb! After choosing out color scheme, and showing her a few photos of floral arrangements she started to put our vision together. We met twice prior to the wedding to go over details and add finishing touches. I was so excited to see the final results. When we walked into our reception it was beautiful. Couldn't have asked for more- Dorothy and her team were great and I would highly recommend them!
I changed what I wanted a couple of times during the course of the wedding planning. Dorothy was accommodating and supportive throughout. She is really a pleasure to work with.
On the day of the wedding she couldn't be there, but her awesome team showed up. They put together the most amazing centerpieces of flowers, shells and candles. The centerpieces were soft and beautiful which is exactly what I wanted. The bouquets were extremely pretty and exceeded my expectations.
Dorothy and her team helped make my dream a reality.
My experience with Bells & Whistles was wonderful and I would recommend Dorothy and her team to any bride!
I ordered flowers from Bells & Whistles for DIY bouquets and reception decor. They were delivered in perfect condition and were absolutely lovely! I also hired them to install some lighting at the reception space, and it created to perfect romantic ambiance. Dorothy and her husband were helpful and professional! Thanks for everything!
We used the flowers that they grew on OBX and the design studio to put together our centerpieces, which was amazing! It was great to have a local, low environmental impact option for flowers and I love the memories of working with my mother, MIL, and sisters in law to create the centerpieces for our wedding!
Dorothy made the boutineer for the groom and it was 100% perfect! We had a few pictures of things we liked, and then gave her a few descriptors of what we were looking for and we had the most perfect flowers ever!
She is definitely a creative mind and not a business major! I had to make sure I called and emailed and confirmed and reconfirmed as there were a few lapses in communication, but everything happened as discussed and promised!
This team was amazing to work with and my flowers came out perfect! Everything was exactly as I envisioned.
Bells & Whistles was a wonderful team to work with. They helped me figure out my alter, center pieces, and bouquets. Everything looked amazing and beyond my expectations.
Bells & Whistles did such a great job on the bouquets! When I seen them I was soo happy! I had no idea what they would actually look like. You took what I told you i liked and made the most perfect bouquets! Everyone loved them and your work is amazing!
I contracted with Bells & Whistles for our ceremony and reception flowers. Everyone I spoke with before signing the contract was really sweet. Our contract included bouquets, corsages, bouts, two small arrangements for the church altar, & fourteen centerpieces of varying composition.
As my local wedding planner had planned, I contracted with the florist fifteen days before the wedding as she had assured me that was standard for the outer banks. Upon signing the contract, I paid Bells & Whistles in full and therefore had not had a "deposit."
Three days before the wedding the mandatory evacuation was announced because of Hurricane Irene and our wedding was cancelled. Our wedding planner contacted all our vendors on our behalf.
A week later, I contacted Bells & Whistles to find out what refund we would be getting from our contract. Our contract I signed noted "the contract is automatically void in case of ... Hurricanes.. and mandatory evacuations... Deposits will not be refunded." so I was hopeful that everything except a "deposit" would be returned. When I asked, I was told in writing that, "In reference to our contract you will note "deposits" is plural and refers to all deposits made to bring your balance paid in full." I was told we would not be getting a dime. So, I don't know if it was the fact that we didn't contract with them early enough to have a "deposit" or if they should just amend the contract to saying "whatever you've paid us you won't be getting back" but I was told I was out of luck.
I understand the costs involved and that Bells & Whistles had bought the flowers and rented items, they had put in some time and should be paid for their work; I was not expecting anything close to a full refund. But I received nothing. No centerpieces were made, no bouts made, no corsages, and I received no refund; I wasn't refunded the $50 delivery charge, or the $180 "set up and breakdown" charge. They kept my money and I didn't have a single stem of a flower to show for it.
When contracting for wedding flowers, it isn't a time you want to necessarily be pinching pennies, but if I ever have to deal with Bells & Whistles again, you can be sure I will have a much tighter hold on all my pennies.
They were absolutely awesome!!!
Dorothy at Bells & Whistles was FABULOUS to work with. She really understood what I wanted for our wedding day, and brought my vision to life! Her creativity made my wedding day!
Flowers were wonderful- wouldn't think of using anyone else. Dorothy did a wonderful job and flowers were outstanding!
The boutennieres were pretty but only 2 of them came with pins so we couldn't use three of them. The corsages both fell apart after about an hour. They were pretty but not worth the money.
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awards and affiliations
- The Knot Best Of Weddings 2013