So… You Want Your Wedding To Be Perfect…..

We’ve been blogging now for awhile about all sorts of subjects… but I think today it’s time for something completely different!

When working with brides we two girls  have noticed a common theme. Each Bride wants her wedding to be absolutely perfect.. and of course who wouldn’t!! They seem to expect that every item they’ve chosen, every nuance of detail, will go EXACTLY as planned, without a ripple.

We are here to tell you that every wedding IS perfect… it’s just that some don’t go as smoothly as others.

The following are the 10 most ridiculous things that have happened in we two girl’s families during a wedding. (including our own).

1. The photographer for this wedding had been contracted for 4 hours for the ceremony through part of the reception and some formal photographs.  After showing up literally 5 minutes before the wedding party walked down the aisle, he took photos during the ceremony and then proceeded to spend another 1 1/2 hrs there taking pictures. The wedding party still had to get to the reception hall which was about 25 minutes away. He spent another hour taking pictures in the hall’s entryway which caused the Bride & Groom to be late to their own reception. He then threatened to leave without taking any pictures at the reception at all unless he was paid more money because his alloted time was used up. By the time the Bride and Groom actually sat down at their table to eat, most of the guests were getting ready to leave. So they begged people to stay for their first dance and cake cutting, which they ended up doing before they even ate dinner. To boot, there is not one full shot of the just the Bride & Groom in their dress & tux in all of the pictures he took.

2. Did I mention flowers? At this wedding the Bride had ordered her flowers and her future sister in law and mother in law were going to make the bridal party bouquets. An hour before the wedding when the Mother of the Bride asked the Maid of Honor where were the flowers, she remembered that the Best Man had them in his car. They were then brought  to the Mother of the Bride, in a bucket. still in their packages, not made into bouquets, with a bag of ribbon in rolls beside the bucket.  So… calmly… the Mother of the Bride took the flowers, and made all 5 wedding bouquets in less than 1/2 an hour. Amazingly, they looked great.

.white lilies and orchids

3.  One wedding ran out of food. Not sure how or why, but this caterer did not make enough food for the 150 guests that he knew would be attending. The buffet table was pretty much scraped clean by the first go around of guests. Since they had not prepared the proper amount of food in advance and saw what was happening, (and because the Mother of the Bride was throwing a screaming fit in the kitchen), the staff  were in a a bit of a tizzy. Eventually, they brought out a large platter of heated frozen fish sticks and a vegetable & cracker tray, which  I am assuming was all they could come up with on short notice.  So much for the carved roast beef and turkey they were supposed to have enough of.

4. At this particular wedding, the Bride and Groom were not in favor of serving any liquor. The Groom’s father had told some of his friends about this couple’s decision beforehand and they decided to remedy the situation. These friends brought with them in the largest car’s trunk, 3  massive sized coolers filled with beer, bourbon, scotch, an array of mixers and ice. At one point the Bride’s father asked the Groom’s father if he knew if there was any liquor to be had because in his words “What kind of Wedding has no liquor??”  He was quietly escorted down to the parking lot where he took one look at this car trunk and exclaimed that this was a great thing! So, all afternoon, whenever someone mentioned about being thirsty, or asked anyone if there was any liquor available, they were carefully whispered to, and gently escorted to the parking lot  ‘car bar’. The Bride and Groom were completely unaware of this ever happening until about 25 years later.

5. This particular event was to be held outdoors overlooking the Gulf of Mexico and then afterwards for an intimate backyard reception. That was the plan…. until the weather decided not to cooperate. We would like to say it rained, but that would not be accurate. It was a deluge… with rain sheeting sideways, coming down in buckets. After some moments of panic and disarray, family and friends came together to save the day. All the furniture was moved out of the Bride’s living room and stashed in every other room it would fit. Everything was moved inside to the living room and people were escorted from their cars to the house under beach umbrellas. Not quite the day that was planned for, but still there is something to be said for a small room filled with the people you care most about sharing your big day!

Gazebo black & white

6.  The rings are important!! The Ring Bearer had her pillow, the rings were tied and fastened to the pillow. She came down the aisle on cue.  When the officiant asked for the rings, the pillow was presented… however, there were no rings to be had!! Someone had taken them right off the pillow! So, the officiant asked for a loaner ring from the audience. Only 1 person was willing to part with their wedding ring to complete the service, but, only 1 ring was required. The service continued and the ring was returned. Though the original rings were never found and new rings were bought at a later date, still, the bride and groom are happily married to this day!

7. At one wedding the Bride’s bouquet was a long cascade of cymbidium orchids, white daisies and blue delphinium. The Bride actually wanted yellow gerbera daisies with brown centers with white daisies, but the Bride’s Mother in Law, who was paying for the flowers, didn’t like that choice and insisted that it would look chintzy. So, in an effort to not start a marriage off poorly, the Bride acquiesced to using the florist  and  the flower choices that her future Mother in Law insisted upon. The day of the wedding was a sweltering hot June afternoon…. and the a/c on the delivery truck broke down…and this was the last delivery of the day. About 10 minutes before the ceremony, 3 of the 6 orchids Mother In Law had demanded were in this bouquet, decided they didn’t like being in this bouquet anymore and promptly fell out. The Mother of the Bride, very calmly, picked the flowers up off the carpet, and carefully managed to get 2 of the 3 orchids back into the bouquet with none the wiser. Including the future Mother in Law. The daisies however, stood up quite marvelously and the Bride only stopped breathing for a few seconds.

Daisies & Orchids

8.  Note to self, always check the sound system. This wedding was progressing in a  surprisingly smooth fashion, given our families track record, until …. The Judge who was acting as officiant was about to ask the Bride and Groom the questions that have been asked through time immemorial to seal the deal. Someone, at that moment, in another room, not knowing the sound system was piped into ALL the rooms at the venue, decided to flip a particular wall switch.  Instead hearing  the Officiants voice, we heard a lively and contagiously happy commercial about traveling to the Bahama’s for a great vacation! The Maid of Honor, Bride, Groom and Best Man all looked confusedly at the judge and then raised their eyes to look at the ceiling where the disruption emanated from. Eventually someone thought to run and find the culprit to turn off the speakers in the ceremony room. The Judge then picked up without a hitch and remarked that as much as we’d love to take that vacation, there was this wedding at hand to be completed.

9. During the afternoon of this particular wedding, the Bride, Maid of Honor, Mother of the Groom and some of the Groomsmen were decorating the reception hall. The Maid of Honor and Mother of the Groom left around 2:00 pm to go to the hairdresser’s leaving the Bride at the reception hall. Supposedly the Groom was going to come and pick her up and take her there as well. Two hours later he never showed up. The Bride called her mother in tears, who quickly got one of the Groomsmen to bring her daughter home immediately. It was now 4:00 pm and the wedding was at 6:00 pm. Luckily, the Mother of the Bride had been a hairdresser at one time and managed to get her daughter’s hair, nails and makeup done in an hour.  After which she drove like a maniac to get  them both to the wedding on time, all the while hoping that the rest of the family would find their way on time as well. (There was an enormous traffic jam because of an outdoor concert being held 1 block away from the wedding venue.  Half the guests never made it to the ceremony location and the Mother of the bride actually drove on the sidewalk at one point to get past the stopped dead traffic).

10. Never give a kid a drink. At this particular wedding the kid in question was 15 but was 6′ tall and no one would have guessed he was under the legal drinking age of 18. Now this particular groomsman/15 year old swears to this day it was not the drink that made the following happen…he insists it was the wool suit he was wearing on a hot summer day and all the running around he did, doing everything his mother asked him to do. So, in the middle of the wedding ceremony… he fainted, went down sideways, like a bowling pin. Which caused him to knock into the groomsman next to him, which caused that groomsman to knock into the one next to him and so on eventually, knocking into the Father of the Bride and him into the 2 men who were standing there singing special prayers. When the Bride’s father knocked into one of the singers, he was in the middle of a note, which abruptly stopped, and you could hear him plain as day say… S**t!!

So, if during a consultation, you see either of us two girls politely smiling as the Bride To Be is describing every little planned detail, just know that inside, we two girls are quietly, alternately, laughing and praying that most of the planned things goes smoothly at this wedding.

Now go out and have yourself a PERFECT, wholesale flower-filled day.


Wedding vendors-Price vs. Service

We all have heard the adage you get what you pay for.  Have you thought about what it is you really want to pay for?

I would venture to say that in any given situation when purchasing an item, most of us base our decision on price. We can live without great service if it’s something we really want, though truthfully we really remember and enjoy the buying experience more when the service is above average.

When planning a wedding, where everything you purchase is so emotionally significant, I really believe that price should be secondary to service. You can search by price for a vendor’s services, but if they don’t show up on time, or the quality is less than you expect, that’s what you will always remember.

I believe there are three key things to remember about picking a vendor for your wedding or party:

1. Make sure your vendor really understands your vision and needs. It’s okay to have a budget, but be realistic about what your budget will get you and really trust that your vendor is committed to giving you the best services, and items your budget will afford you.

2. Get it in writing. A contract, though scary to some, is both your best friend and protection. It is a written understanding of everything your vendor will do for you, that they guarantee they will deliver the items agreed upon and you agree to the terms of the contract. No matter how many times you may need to change something, make sure it all ends up on the contract, and is noted by both you and the vendor.

3. If it seems like a deal too good to be true, it probably IS. There are unscrupulous vendors that could take your money and not deliver, or promise much bigger than what they deliver. The best ‘deal’ is a vendor with positive reviews to their credit or were referred and not necessarily the lowest cost option.

Remember that price is only part of your package. Quality and service is the one part of your package that you will remember.

Now go and have yourself a Quality wholesale fresh flower day!!!

Mother Always Said….

…Do onto others, play nice, respect people, never call someone an ugly name and treat people with common courtesy. Doesn’t seem too difficult does it? Why then does it seem we are accosted by a barrage of people treating others poorly? On any number of given days in the last few years I heard someone somewhere saying something offensive or behaving badly.

When did we become so rude?

As  business professionals we work to make sure that we treat our clients with the respect they deserve and the care that is due them. After all, they called us to provide a service!  And we are grateful for their trust. I wish that I could say that is the case with every service personnel I have come across, or with every client for that matter. Usually if someone does something rude or says something hurtful, I have to tell myself  not to get upset. Maybe that person is having a bad day? Maybe they’re not in a good place internally and that will reflect in their attitude and manner. Though I think that could be the case some of the time…. I have come to the conclusion it is not the majority of the time. Our society in general seems to have become just a little less thoughtful and a lot more impolite.

There has been a number of times either at work or during  leisure time (whatever small amount of it we might have!!), that someone was exceptionally uncivil and for no apparent reason except that it seems there is no ‘common courtesy” filter anymore.

Why do drivers never  let you in to change lanes anymore? Why when you are in a fast food place, or a store checking out, some service personnel behave like they are put out to even be talking to you, much less helping you! When did we become the society that  doesn’t hold the door for the next person? (and I’m not talking about chivalry, which I think died a violent death a while ago), I’m speaking of the simple act of caring that someone is coming in behind you, so don’t let the door close in their face!

When did we forget how to say please and thank you?

You know.. I really believe that we should re-learn how to Just Play Nice! Exactly the way our parents and teachers told us to on the playground. I think a little more courtesy and politeness would make our everyday interactions a lot more pleasant!

Children playing together in a playground,

Thank you and go out and have yourself a polite & respectful, flower-filled day!


Resolutions, or should I say Goals!

You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream





Its a New Year… that means Resolutions!!

I like to think of them more as goals. Somehow it seems easier to reach, easier to start….  and hopefully actually achieve.  That achieving part… that seems to be the sticky point. All those good intentions when you start, sometimes just seem to end up in the ‘well that was a good idea while it lasted’ bin and then you never quite get the ‘umph’ up to resume them.

I found one way to keep the momentum going on some of my goal setting; One of the things I’ve learned NOT to do, is bite off more than I can chew. Though to be honest there are times where I just whine like a child  and mutter about how not happy I am that things aren’t happening fast enough.

Goals are a good thing. Goals that are way out past what may be achievable may not be so good.

I would like to grow our business this year. Thats a goal. How much? Well, I think a reasonable goal is double. How will I do that? The 1st step, make a list, check off each step, and hold myself accountable.

How much weight would I like to lose? 20 lbs. A reasonable goal? No!! 5 lbs? 10 lbs? I think that is a more reasonable goal.

I would like to give more charity… it makes me feel good to do that. Brides N Blooms Wholesale gives flowers away on a regular basis to a local adult facility and to the company “Random Acts of Flowers”, but I would like to give more personally too!

Are there other goals/resolutions I would like to make? Sure!! But lets take things one step at a time and not to fly out of the gate so fast. I think those three goals are a good enough start for me! Now lets get crackin!

Random Acts of Flowers Thank You to Brides N Blooms, Wholesale Division

Don't forget you are what you eat...





Now go out and have yourself a flower filled, goal oriented day!

Thanks & Giving

Since next week is Thankgiving, instead of blogging we’ll be stuffing ourselves silly with all the lovely treats we’re all so fond of for this holiday’s dinner. I would like to give a shout out and some thanks to all of our friends, colleagues, clients and family who honor us with their love and support.

So… to “give” first! Dorelle & I give our highest praise to all the wonderful people that have helped us get to where we are today. Our families (who have sacrificed much for our crazy business), our collegues who continue to refer and support us. Our friends… because where would we be without them!!

Now… the ‘thanks!” In particular Corey Miller of Corey’s Bakery, Melissa Marolla Brown with Calligraphia, Lindy Long (Lindt Chocolates), Jennifer Fuller Cummins with Melt Away Message,  Beth with Honeymoons & Beyond Travel, Eric Abril & Jill Manthey from Yacht Starship, Jennifer Sanschagrin at 1930 Grande Room, Deb Kelley with The write one Creative Services, Jacob Smeaton with Music on the Move DJs, Yvette Rouse from Sarjade Jewelry, Barb Nelson-Fuqua from Barb Nelson stationary,  and too many others, to list here, that we consider friends through networking groups, professional organizations and everyday business dealings. We cannot thank you enough for being there when we need support or help, for a generous heart and listening ear and most of all for being the kind of people we know we can count on.

We are truly blessed with all that we have, the friends we share and the family we hold dear and most of all for each other!

Now go and have yourself a wholesale flower filled, fabulous Thanksgiving Day!

“Marriage doesn’t make you happy…”

Have you ever asked yourself what being married means? (Or, for the more modern and less traditional couples,  being in a committed relationship).

I always find people’s comments to a bride and groom very interesting. We always wish happiness, joy, and love. But really… they are all completely different ideas, and come from within, more than from marriage itself.  Happiness, as we all know, is fleeting. Usually a momentary event that comes and goes in between the daily grind. Joy is something that comes from within. Something that grows from contentment and peace in your life. Love… now love is a totally separate entity from those other feelings and emotions. Love is something you feel for someone else. Yes, its important to love oneself. But love in a marriage or relationship is all about giving, sharing, and doing for someone else.

Awhile back I remember reading a quote a friend gave me. It said “Marriage doesn’t make you happy. Marriage makes you married.” Marriage is a partnership, a team effort and just like with any team you have to practice. So for those of you who might be getting married soon remember a few things:

1. The more you give, the more you get back. That goes for love itself, acts of kindness, compassion and forgiveness.

2. Communication is key. Hiding or holding something back is like a little black worm in your relationship. Learn to say what you need to…even if its scary, even if its something you know your partner may not want to know or hear.

3. Learn about yourself and give your spouse space to do the same. You may grow together, but you are also separate human beings that need to realize you’re own potential and then you can value each other.

4. Patience… be patient with each other. People grow and change at different rates. People do the things they need to when they are ready. Pushing and trying to change someone will only frustrate you. Your spouse is a whole package. You cannot pick and choose the pieces you like and try to change the rest. Love who they are fully and compassionately.

5. Stay best friends. Always….

Marriage creates an environment in which you can choose happiness and you can create a wonderful home and friendship that will bring you happiness. But the institution itself—like everything, it’s what you do with it.” – See more at:
Marriage creates an environment in which you can choose happiness and you can create a wonderful home and friendship that will bring you happiness. But the institution itself—like everything, it’s what you do with it.” – See more at:

Being married should create the space for you to choose to be happy. It should create a place for you to have a wonderful home and friendship, both of which can bring you happiness. The institution of Marriage itself does not do that… You do.


Remember when you are choosing the right spouse, Don’t choose the one you think you can live with, choose the one that you can’t live without!

Now, work together and have yourself a wholesale flower filled life.

Marriage creates an environment in which you can choose happiness and you can create a wonderful home and friendship that will bring you happiness. But the institution itself—like everything, it’s what you do with it.” – See more at:

A Great Team

What does it take to make a great team? Who do you look for when putting together a great team? When you were in school, teams were usually chosen by who was the most popular, the strongest, the biggest, the scariest kids. Unless you were creating a Math team, then, those qualities didn’t matter quite so much.

Fast forward, you’re no longer in school. You are choosing a team. A team to work with, and a team to grow your success. Now who do you choose? The requirements have now changed, but, who changed the rules? We are still going to look for strong people (strong personalities, strong interpersonal skills, strong convictions) We are still looking for Big people, (big names, big followings) We are still looking for Popular people (those who have lots of friends, lots of connections, lots of personality) I do think that we have put aside the scary people, for the most part, but, we will always need an “enforcer”, someone who gets the “dirty stuff” done. When you are planning an event, you want a strong team working together to help you make your event the very best it can be, with the least amount of stress.

Below are some of our team mates, these are the folks that we know can do a great job, and play nice with others. (After all, isn’t that what life is all about anyway?)

Event planner: Brenna Taylor…
Photographer: Roger Slater…
Venue: 1930 Grande Room…  & The Yacht Starship (Channelside)
Caterer: Stone Chef Catering…
Bartending Services: Spunky Spirits…‎
DJ…(We have a few that we love)… today we will only list one,  Jacob Smeaton…
Baker: Corey Miller… www.
Linens: Custom Linens…
Stationary: Barbara Nelson-Fuqua…
And of course, Flowers…Brides N Blooms Wholesale & Designs,

Now, go, form your team, play the best game you can play, and have yourself a wholesale flower filled day!

keep calm and carry your team

Random Thoughts…

Every so often I have these thoughts…. You know the kind that makes you sit back and wonder if its you or if it’s the proverbial ‘them’. (I am still waiting to find out who exactly ‘them’ is…but that would be for another blog) Here are a few random thoughts and items that have occurred over the last few weeks:

1. If I really wish and try can I make my dog stop shedding?

2. Did someone actually ask me if I could make sure that if I order a particular flower it will be in the exact color that matches her dress and would I promise that it would not vary?

3. If I use the power of positive thinking hard enough can I make my hair stop turning grey?

4. Why is there a ‘national moldy cheese day’? Who thought that was something we needed to celebrate?

5. How is it that it takes 2 months to lose 5 lbs and 5 days to gain it back?

6. I am disappointed that I completely missed  ‘Talk Like A Pirate Day’…  I so would have answered my phone with a hearty ‘Arrggg’ that whole day!

Now, I’m well aware that we all have random thoughts that cross our minds… not sure about anyone else, but mine seem to do it at the most inopportune times. Like when I’m trying to concentrate on my work. Or when I’d really like to be falling asleep rather than having these ridiculous thoughts. I think its important to note that both Dorelle and I realize that we think a little outside the box much of the time, which comes in handy for design and flower choices… we do like to look at that as generally a positive attribute about us. I do occasionally wonder how much of that is a combination of a little bit of skill and our somewhat offbeat view of  the things. In any case… I’m okay with it and I believe our clients are too!

I recently saw this pic and I’m pretty sure that it is so for me… Dorelle’s pretty sure of it as well…








Now go out there, enjoy the humor in life’s random moments, and have a flower-filled day!


(photo courtesy of

A Bride Finds Money… Fairy Tales Can Come True

What a great headline, right? It grabs you and you want to know more, don’t you? Who was she, where was she, how did she find it, where did she find it and what did she do with it.

As all good stories do, this one starts with… Once upon a time… there was a little bride. It seems that this particular bride had gone to multiple traditional florists, one by one, with all her photos and all her ideas, but the poor little bride kept getting sadder and sadder. Not one of them could make just what she wanted, for just the right price.

sad brideFinally, a friend of the little bride asked her if she had called Brides N Blooms, Wholesale and Designs, in Tampa.  She shook her head sadly and said that she had never heard of them.  Can she book an appointment? Can she show them all her photos and all her ideas? Would they be able make her dreams come true? Where were they located so she could go and find them!

No, her friend said, you can’t find their “shop”, because they don’t have one! But, they will meet you somewhere that is convenient for you. So, the sad little bride called Bride N Blooms, Wholesale & Designs at 813-852-2052 and booked an appointment.

Ellen & Dorelle met the hopeful little bride, smiled at her sweetly, and listened to her as she sadly recounted all the huge numbers that she had been quoted. They asked her quite simply, what was the most important aspect of her floral dream? And what price would make her the most happy?

Then the girls from Brides N Blooms, Wholesale and Designs got to work on the little bride’s quote. They cut a little here, added a little there and they worked and reworked, until it was just right!

When the little bride got her quote she was amazed… how could it be? It was less than the lowest quote she had gotten from all the others.  Ellen & Dorelle had said, “Brides N Blooms, Wholesale and Designs has the word Wholesale as our middle name, so, you get to save money on your flowers!  Plus, we don’t have a “shop” so you don’t have to help us pay for our overhead and best of all, we promise your flowers will be fresh from the farms and designed to shine in your arms.”

happy brideThe little bride was no longer sad, she was very happy. She found extra money to spend on her honeymoon, got her flowers just right and had everything she wanted for her big day!

Then she lived happily ever after.

The End!

*now* go have a happy, fairy tale flower filled day!

Navigating a Bridal Show… Tips From The Blog

Navigating a Bridal Show…Tips from the Blog

Attending bridal shows are exciting, fun and exhausting all at the same time.  There are basically 3 different types of bridal shows, so, plan accordingly before attending.

The Big Ones!

These bridal shows are great for the newly engaged and very excited brides-to-be because there is LOTS of excitement, lots of energy, and lots of free stuff. At these bridal shows you will meet multiple vendors who offer the same type of service. The benefits are:

  •  You can sign up to win stuff
  •  You can see a fashion show of what is in style this season and next
  •  You can taste LOTS of different types of foods and treats
  •  You will take home a lot of freebie type of marketing paraphernalia

The following tips will help you with “the big ones”

1. Create a separate e-mail address for just your wedding and the vendors. This way, once you are married, it can be erased, saving you valuable e-mail space.
2. Create labels that include: bride’s name, groom’s name, address, phone number, e-mail address and wedding date. Print out a few sheets of these and take them with you.
3. Wear comfortable walking shoes and bring a bottle of water. These shows are BIG, so you will have to buy drinks if you don’t bring them with you.
4. Bring your calendar to know what days you are available. Many vendors offer discounts if you book a consultation appointment with them on the spot.
5. Be patient. These shows are busy.  You will have to wait on line to get in, to register, and to see the vendors you are interested in.
6. Bring a camera. With all the displays there will be certain design aspects that will catch your eye and help the vendor you choose make your dream wedding a reality. (Be sure to ask 1st if it’s OK to take photos)


Big Event Shows

The Boutique Events

These events are great for those who like more one on one time with vendors. These events are usually held in more intimate locations, off beat places, or spaces that you might not know you could consider holding an event.

These events generally have only 1 or 2 vendors per service type. They may have a small fashion show or even an area where you could try on gowns.

These events are intimate, and give you time to really speak with and hear the vendors; You might even be able to have a little one on one Q & A right in the vendor booth.

There won’t be the same type of crowds and there will be way less giveaways and freebies.

These events are great to attend after you have had your fill of THE BIG ONES, or if you just like smaller, quieter types of events.


small show

The Trunk shows or Open Houses

These shows are small, usually held within the venue that is marketing the event.  At these events you will find the following…Vendor specific push. What does this mean?:

  •  If the location is a caterer, they will be showcasing food, with a few “preferred” vendors
  •  If the host is a bridal gown house, they will have gowns on display for you to try on, and will have some of their favorite support vendors there for you to speak with.
  •  Because these shows are small, there isn’t usually a fee for entrance or an RSVP needed. You may only need 30 minutes to navigate the entire event.

These shows are great for making final decisions on specific vendor types.


trunk show

Each kind of show has it’s own value. You need to decide which one is most valuable to you!

Now…go and have yourself a wholesale fresh flower day!

Link: check out one of Brides N Blooms Wholesale & Designs “Party It Forward©” boutique shows: