I had really high hopes for working with Aria and their main designer, John Gardner, because I attended floral design school with John in 2001 and had seen his business flourish over the years. He has a great designer eye and style and I really respected his work in school. Unfortunately, he didn't deliver what we expected nor what our contract detailed. He made questionable decisions regarding flower replacements which seriously affected the style and look of the arrangements.
Further, we were charged for arrangements which were not executed properly; for one of the instances he had to be called back to our venue to fix the problem (hair flowers that were supposed to be individually wired were put on a comb and the flowers that were supposed to be on a comb were individually wired - in the end, neither of us were able to wear our hair flowers). We were charged $40 for a small arrangement to be wired to the flower girl's basket, but, instead we got several short and broken stems of leftover flowers stuck in a water tube resting inside the basket.
All of the boutonnières were tiny - only the 11 year old ring bearer looked in proper proportion to the boutonnière. We provided John with a story board of inspiration for our floral arrangements, including fabric swatches of the bridal dresses and bridesmaids' attire. We even gave him a picture of a bouquet and asked him to copy it; what we got was a bouquet of the right shape with all the wrong colors. His color palette was completely wrong; we asked for a French garden look in pale pinks to crimson, with touches of cream. My bouquet was supposed to have just a hint of blue. Instead, there was blue throughout the arrangements, along with a garish pink lisianthus (one of my favorite flowers, but not in this color) and hydrangea, blue hydrangea, yellow roses, etc.
The flowers themselves looked pretty - not a single guest knew that we were unhappy with the flowers - but they weren't what we asked for. Plus, we asked to stay within a 3K budget, that was already 1K more than we wanted to spend; but the total came in closer to 4K and no adjustments were suggested to accommodate us.
The saving grace in this whole experience was John's officer manager, Crystal. She is a delight to work with and extremely responsive to questions via the telephone and email. Still, the experience was bad enough that I simply cannot recommend John's services.
Update: Upon notifying the Office Manager of our feedback, we were offered what amounted to a 15% refund on their services.
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