North Carolina-Outer Banks

Bells and Whistles - Dorothy Heath Morris

Sorry this is so long.  I wasn’t going to post a review about Bells and Whistles, even though I was fairly upset about some of the work that was done.  I got my wedding pictures back today (they are amazing), which changed my mind.  The pictures of the flowers that were wrong, reminded that I really was upset about them.  Take this how you want to but it needs to be said.

Dorothy is very sweet and really listened to me during our two meetings.  She really seemed to understand my vision and got excited during the planning.  The flowers at the wedding were mostly beautiful and a lot of her work was great.  Overall I think I would give Bells and Whistles a 2.5 out of 5.  I would not use them again due to the issues. 


Dorothy's communications are less than timely.  She would rarely get back to me without my planner contacting her first.  Out of all my vendors, Dorothy was always the last person to return quotes, updates and emails. 

The flowers:

Let’s start with the positives regarding the flowers.   My bouquet was absolutely beautiful.  The colors in it were just perfect.  Two of my bridesmaid’s bouquets were also beautiful and exactly what I wanted.  The third bridesmaids bouquet unfortunately was wilted and falling apart before the ceremony even started.  The centerpieces at the reception and hanging arrangements at the ceremony were beautiful, and like my bouquet, exactly what I wanted.   

I wanted the flowers for the wedding to be soft and romantic, so during our initial meeting, Dorothy suggested using peonies.  I knew they were going to be out of season and also very pricy, but she said she could do.  During the ceremony and reception, I noticed there were no peonies anywhere.  All the arrangements, bouquets, bud vases etc. had roses instead of peonies.  Dorothy later told me that she was not able to get peonies.  I didn’t mind the change; the roses were very pretty.  I would however, have liked to know that they peonies were being replaced with roses because of the significant monetary difference. Dorothy gave us a $60 refund for the difference in price between the two flowers.

The men’s boutonnieres were made with one ranunculus, which was wilted before the ceremony even started.  They were also tied with this horribly ugly brown and pink ribbon that did not match anything.  I wasn’t going to have boutonnieres on the groomsmen to save on cost, but we added them in the end.  I should have saved the money.

At the reception almost everything was great except the arrangement on our gift table and the flowers in the bud vases.  The entry arrangement was supposed to be an arrangement of peonies and we were charge $95 for it.  The arrangement was about 10 roses, bright pinkish orangeish in color, which did not match at all with our color theme.  The arrangement was not pretty at all and actually looked like it was made at the last minute.  You wouldn’t have even noticed it if you weren’t actually looking for it.  We also had about 30+ bud vases throughout the reception again a lot of the flowers in those were that bright color. 

 I think what I was MOST upset about were the ceremony flowers.  I asked Dorothy to put flower petals down both sides of the aisle.  I had seen a picture and loved the look.  The pictures I sent Dorothy were of light pink and cream flowers.  When I got to the ceremony I was shocked to see an ombre style layout that went from cream, light pink and peach (which is what I wanted) to bright pink and bright orange.  This was a splurge for me ($250) and I was so disappointed that it was wrong.  I now have to see the bright colored flowers in every picture of the ceremony.  The pedals completely took away from the hanging flower arrangements lining the aisle (which were perfect) and really the overall theme of the ceremony.  Even my husband mentioned that they didn’t match and that is saying a lot for him to notice.

All in all, my bouquet, reception centerpieces and hanging arrangements at the ceremony were beautiful.  However, Dorothy’s communication needs to be a lot better and there were a lot of things that were not right at the wedding and the reception.  We spent $2100 after all was said and done; she refunded us $60 for the peonies.  Overall I think I would give Bells and Whistles a 2.5 out of 5.  Because of all the things that were wrong, I would NOT use Bells and Whistles again.


Re: Bells and Whistles - Dorothy Heath Morris

  • Agreed. Bells & Whistles (Dorothy, really) was almost a joke. During my initial conversation with her, she was spacey and unfocused. She didn't include items we had discussed in the paperwork and then later claimed we hadn't agreed to such and such (we did agree). Eventually, my planner interfered and took care of the "miscommunication" -- but seriously, she needs to get her head out of the clouds.

    To be honest, flowers were on the absolute bottom of my list, so I wasn't exactly expecting (or willing to pay for) any masterpieces. My bouquet was fine - colorful; what I wanted - the ribbon was pretty and I liked how she included the small memory charm of my Dad. The flowers lasted approximately a day though. Seriously -- $350 and the entire bouquet wilts after 1 day?? Boo on that mess. I definitely would not recommend her (or.. ahem.. Bells & Whistles).

  • I had the same problem with Dorothy! I was strongly considering using her for our wedding next week, but she constantly left items off the contract that we had discussed or added things that we had said we did not want. She would take days to respond to my emails or calls, and she would occasionally dismiss my ideas and say she didn't think so and so would fit with my theme/feel. Don't I know my "theme" better than anyone?? We ended up going with Renee Landry, and I was completely honest with Dorothy about why we chose not to use her. You'd think she would get her act together at some point!
    Wedding Countdown Ticker
  • I agree.  I did not feel comfortable after my initial meeting with Dorothy.  She was way off-base from my vision and seemed very spacey.  I went with Renee Landry as well and was happy that I did.  
    image June 22, 2012
  • I agree with you all too!  After my initial meeting with Dorothy she made me feel like an idiot that I didn't know names of flowers and things of that nature.  However, when I met with Renee Landry she just ran with it!  Definitely happy with my decision!
  • I went with Dorothy for my wedding which was in May. She did a great job! Mind you, my wedding was small.. about 50 people total and we didn't get a lot. I didn't want to spend a lot on flowers. I figured the beach is a beautiful enough backdrop. We did our own centerpieces for reception. We got my bouquet, bridesmaids' bouquets, Mom & Mother-in Laws corsages, bouts and a ribbon archway which is just gorgeous in the pics. We communicated mostly through email, I sent her pinterest pics, made sure our final spreadsheet was correct and she came through! We had gerber daisies and another type of flower, I forget which kind (it was one Dorothy suggested) Our flower colors were white, purple and teal. We did starfish bouts. Overall, I loved Dorothy!
  • I had a good experiance with Dorothy as well in November. I had to keep on her though up until the day before to make sure everything was it was supposed to be. I didn't get a contract until the the week before and had to go back and forth with her a couple of times to get it right. Overall the wedding was exactly what I had wanted, the only negative I had with her was the my table seating chart wasn't done exactly how I wanted, but don't sweat the small stuff.
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