Stephanie's Secret Garden Reviews

55 | Poolesville, MD
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55 Reviews for Stephanie's Secret Garden

Recommended by 96%

55
WeddingWire Couples' Choice Awards 2019 Winner
WeddingWire Couples' Choice Awards 2018 Winner
WeddingWire Couples' Choice Awards 2017 Winner
WeddingWire Couples' Choice Awards 2016 Winner
WeddingWire Couples' Choice Awards 2014 Winner
WeddingWire Couples' Choice Awards 2013 Winner

4.8 out of 5.0
  • Quality of service 4.8
  • Professionalism 4.8
  • Flexibility 4.8
  • Value 4.7
  • Average response time 4.8

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  • S

    Shanan · Married on 09/24/2016

    4.6
    • Quality of service:
      5.0
    • Responsiveness:
      4.0
    • Value:
      5.0
    • Flexibility:
      5.0
    • Professionalism:
      4.0

    Stephanie came recommended to me via another florist who had my day booked. I really liked her whimsical and artsy design aesthetic. Even though she was a little far away for me (her in Poolesville, MD me in Springfield, VA) it was worth it. I had two requests.... no pastels and no carnations. I know nothing about flower types but she had lots of ideas and was able to stay within my budget. As a previous reviewer mentioned, Stephanie doesn't use a formal contract.... communication is done in person or via email. If you are a Type A personality, this may bother you. But I assure you she is flexible and not out to nickel and dime you. It definitely was not something I was used to being a meeting planner myself but I just made sure to clarify everything we discussed and kept things organized. My wedding flowers were absolutely gorgeous. She certainly captured my vision and details that I dreamed of. And, I purchased all of my floral containers (my choice) and she used them all beautifully. Thank you Stephanie!

    Sent on 10/15/2016
  • S

    scotia · Married on 07/27/2013

    4.6
    • Quality of service:
      5.0
    • Responsiveness:
      4.5
    • Value:
      4.0
    • Flexibility:
      5.0
    • Professionalism:
      4.5

    everything was done so well and turned out beautifully : )

    Sent on 08/29/2013
  • K

    Kara · Married on 06/17/2017

    2.8
    • Quality of service:
      2.0
    • Responsiveness:
      3.0
    • Value:
      3.0
    • Flexibility:
      3.0
    • Professionalism:
      3.0

    Thanks to Stephanie's impulsiveness, my flowers were the most disappointing part of my day. Truly I mean that, and my church a/c broke before the ceremony. Even after going to Poolesville to a dingy, cramped studio for samples, my bouquet was not what was agreed upon. I wanted RIBBONS. I was never a "must-have-blush-peonies" kind of girl; all I ever wanted was big dramatic streamers! They were the focal point of every inspo photo I shared with Stephanie. I went to JoAnn and bought $100+ ribbon for the bouqs, bouts, etc. I handed all supplies over in April (at samples meeting) for a June wedding. I had one old handkerchief that I wanted folded up and tucked in, for the sake of having "something old." Stephanie convinced me to wrap it, but we decided it could be hidden with my desired ribbon look. Sample photo actually shows that. I did not get that at all. I got a full wrap with the old, non-modern yellowing piece of cloth front and center and just a few little ribbons. YUCK. (I had it cleaned at Parkway, but old is old). It looked worse than DIY. I was disappointed when the bouquet came to the hotel, but it was too late. My ladies tried to help, but we didn't think we'd need sharp scissors on wedding day and there was not time. Thanks to their efforts, there are no group photos of us getting ready together. To be fair, my contract - which is in Comic Sans font or something artsy-fartsy and unprofessional, has it is as wrapped, but most people will also agree that an in-person sample is a de facto contract, or at least worth considering. I try to overlook such things with people who are artists, and I try to trust their judgement. Shame on me. Although Stephanie apologized, she still defends her choice to not support my wishes. My 1st choice florist was Meg Owen. She recommended Stephanie. I noticed another bride had problems with Steph's whimsy in 2016. It seems like Stephanie picks at least 1 bride per year to screw over. Photos/evidence in my profile!

    Sent on 09/07/2017

    Stephanie's Secret Garden's reply:

    I am so very sorry that Kara feels this way. There are so many issues mentioned in her review, but I'll start at her first one. My shop is located on my family's farm in the MoCo Ag Zone, and most every bride I have worked with enjoys coming here for samples. The shop is well lit and filled with flowers and floral decor....most folks find it welcoming and relaxing to visit. The samples I do are complimentary samples, of the bride and maid's bouquets, as well as table centerpieces. They are costly and time consuming to do, and most florists do not offer them, but I don't want wedding day surprises so I do them. When Kara brought me all her ribbon I pointed out that the color and type of ribbons she had purchased was not becoming to the bouquet. She wanted at least 25+ streamers, in addition to her vintage handkerchief which was lovely and needed to be seen, and a vintage rhinestone pin. A lot going on in a not very large bouquet, which I did point out several times. The day of the wedding we did not, as she complains, use all her ribbon, because to be honest I couldn't send a bridal bouquet out of my shop knowing that it didn't look lovely.
    A bridal bouquet should most definitely reflect a bride's taste and style, as well as the florist's artistry. I used as many of the ribbons as I could without making it look tacky and overdone, and frankly I couldn't send it out of my shop, with my name on it , adding any more. It's unfortunate that I cannot share pics of the finished bouquet here, but suffice it to say her wedding flowers were fresh and summery, there were ribbon streamers, the rhinestone pin, and the vintage handkerchief wrap--all totally lovely. I won't do a bouquet that I wouldn't be proud to send down the aisle with one of my own daughters. And more than that cannot be expected from any florist.
  • S

    Silje · Married on 07/30/2016

    2.2
    • Quality of service:
      2.5
    • Responsiveness:
      3.0
    • Value:
      2.0
    • Flexibility:
      2.0
    • Professionalism:
      1.5

    I ended up ordering the bridal bouquet, 5 bridesmaids bouquets, and 2 boutonnieres from Stephanie. She makes beautiful whimsical arrangements, unfortunately, working with her is just as whimsical as her arrangements.
    When I shared our wedding budget and the styles we wanted with Stephanie prior to committing to using her services for our wedding, she said she was able to work with it, which is why we decided to book her as our florist. Our first consultation was great; we met at her farm and she created complimentary samples of the bridal bouquet, bridesmaids bouquets and centerpieces. When I received her proposal (written in an email, no official contract) following the consultation, the estimated cost was within our budget but it wouldn't give us all the flowers we needed after all. I asked for suggestions for cheaper flowers so that we could add more but she said she couldn't make the bouquets any smaller or change any flowers because then I wouldn't get the look I wanted. She straight out said some of my flower suggestions would look ugly (i.e. using carnations in mason jars at that particular venue. Which I ended up doing, and it looked beautiful). There was a lot of emails back and forth trying to figure out how we could get all the flowers arrangements we need within our budget, which she had originally said was doable. 2 weeks prior to our wedding the bouquets had increased in price as prices from her vendors had increased (I guess if she had provided an actual contract we could have avoided this issue), there were some additional administrative costs added as well. because we didn't have time to find another florist this close to our wedding we ended up ordering the 6 bouquets and 2 boutonnieres. For our centerpieces, ceremony flowers and other arrangements, we ordered fresh flowers from Blooms By the Box and arranged them ourselves - it looked beautiful!
    If you decide to work with this vendor make sure you get everything in writing and have her sign it!

    Sent on 08/28/2016

    Stephanie's Secret Garden's reply:

    It is unfortunate that this bride kept changing her mind and her budget. Two weeks prior to her wedding we were still making flower decisions which should have been finalized a month earlier. She reduced her flower budget by 2/3 two weeks before the wedding and I was sent centerpiece photos from an online flower service to copy. I suggested those might not be becoming at her venue. They looked like something that might have been purchased at a grocery store. She never received a contract because the wedding flowers were constantly being altered. I responded quickly to every email and phone call, despite the fact that she was frequently unreachable and unresponsive. She received exactly what was finally agreed upon, and due to her own last minute budget changes she purchased her centerpiece flowers online, only because she was not willing to spend what the flowers would cost.
    Meanwhile, her photographer and pastry chef have posted beautiful and complimentary photos of my bouquets. Possibly this bride should have requested DIY wedding flowers, something that I mentioned at the very beginning, as It's not possible to have garden roses on a carnation budget.
  • User4354602 · 2+ years ago

    2.0
    • Quality of service:
      2.5
    • Responsiveness:
      4.0
    • Value:
      1.0
    • Flexibility:
      2.0
    • Professionalism:
      1.0

    Stephanie's bouquets, corsages, and boutineers were beautiful from the start, and you can tell she knows the flower industry and has skill.

    The centerpieces went through a couple revisions - the final centerpieces on the day of were beautiful, but the 2 drafts had my mom and I wondering if we should forfeit our deposit, or decide to do the centerpieces ourselves. The first ones were a few little flowers haphazardly put into vases and a bowl. The second was some hydrangea stuffed into a bowl. Once she quoted about $2,000 for flowers, I suggested switching the orchids in the long glass vases with a cheap flower - she used stock flower in her sample, and somehow still quoted $45 each! She kept hedging about the price, and didn't give us a final estimate until weeks later, and sent it in typed in an email, and even had an error in it ($30x5 is $150, not $155). The other vendors I had all sent official looking contracts. She kept arguing with me about a flower I wanted being blue - to my eye it was a bluish-purple.

    Meetings with her were 3 hours long and inefficient. Both meetings at her flower shop she had computer problems and we had to sit and wait while she tried to fix it. Rather than having bouquets or samples ready for us, we had to sit and watch her prepare them. When my mom, MIL, and I met with her at the church and at the reception (10 minute drive from the church), it was a long meeting from 6 to 9. Stephanie ignored my MIL completely - it's like she wasn't even there. And just when I thought we had talked over something to death, resolved it, and moved on, she brought it up again.

    She messed up the church flower pews - we paid her to do 10 bunches of baby's breath, spaced every other pew (it was 10 pews on each side of the aisle). Instead she did one bunch every pew, going back 5 rows, making the flowers look all bunched up in front and the rest look sparse. Very uneven and not what we discussed.

    Not sure how she won a Wedding Wire award.

    Sent on 08/27/2014

    Stephanie's Secret Garden's reply:

    This negative review is based on a great deal of erroneous information. It should first be noted that the bride thought her wedding flowers were beautiful though, which is really the bottom line. Everyone wants their wedding to be beautiful, and the florists in this case worked very hard and with a great deal of patience to accomplish this on a very minimal budget allocation for the flowers. All the meetings which were thought to be a waste of time were done at no charge for flowers, supplies or time-which was considerable. Only one meeting at the shop (along with an on site meeting) would have been necessary if the bride hadn't changed her mind several times along the way, and requested new samples to be made..all done graciously and at no charge, neither for the bouquets or the centerpiece samples. She had a budget of less than $25.00 per table for most of her centerpieces, which even the most resourceful florist would be hard pressed to work with...yet we did it and did it beautifully as she herself said. Samples were not done ahead of time because most brides like to have input and watch the process. She had sent numerous emails of ideas she had and pictures she had found...all of which took much time to respond to. Besides the 3 meetings, we were asked to do new samples and email the pictures to the bride and her mother for review. Only 4/5 of the centerpieces were done at $45.00, and those used were a very specific variety of purple orchid that was special ordered. The balance of the centerpieces were less than $15.00 each which was a challenge but was accomplished. Church flowers were discussed and changed many times-- the pew flowers that were done at the wedding were EXACTLY as had been requested. This bride was treated respectfully and with utmost patience, which was not reciprocated; Any bride would be hard pressed to find a more talented florist to work this hard for so little in return, most notably, courtesy.

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