We were planning a destination wedding in Charleston (we live in the UK) so tried to communicate with our vendors through email rather than costly international calls. Most of them were fine with this, but we should have realized earlier it wou...
ld be troublesome with Charleston Florist, as the person we worked with, Stephanie, does not check email often. We had trouble at first figuring out what we wanted with our flowers (it was our first wedding, after all!), and could have benefited from more frequent and open communication. At one point, price quotes were getting above the budget we'd discussed initially, so we tried to re-think the arrangements and come to a reasonable compromise. She then called us "most inconsiderate" for trying to cut back on things. Not something you like to hear when you're paying a lot of money for a service! Though we finally agreed on a proposal and budget that worked for all of us, we felt Stephanie could have been more constructive and less combative during the process. Finally, as to the wedding day itself, she had initially told us she planned to arrive around noon. Unknown to us, she subsequently arranged with the onsite coordinator to arrive two hours later, but didn't tell us that was the plan. So we got to the venue expecting to see all the flowers getting set up, only to find nothing. She hadn't provided a cell phone either -- although we specifically asked for one -- instead saying someone would be at the office all day. Yet it kept going straight to the "We're closed" automated message when we called to find out where they were. Again, not nice to have a moment of fear like that on your wedding day, and it could have been avoided with better communication.
When they did arrive though, the bouquets and boutonnieres were all beautiful, and Stephanie was very good about using the flowers and colors we agreed on, even adding jasmine from her own garden. Centerpieces were pretty but seemed small for the price -- even though we had reduced our number of tables by two and Stephanie said she would make the rest of the centerpieces bigger using the same amount of flowers. However, she specifically and helpfully used vases we could keep, so we didn't have to return them the next day.
Bottom line: we recognize that flowers for a wedding are expensive anywhere and that florists get busy, especially in May. We just think it would help justify Charleston Florist's price if the customer service came up a level.