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Welcome to the GT Decorations Blog!

Up to 30% After-Christmas Sale now on!

Velvet Poinsettia Wreath

It’s a new year, but Christmas is far from over. Grab a bargain for Christmas 2015 with up to 30% off our entire Christmas range.

The sale includes all our candle rings, tree decorations, wreaths and other artificial flowers, but hurry, it’ll only last for 2 weeks and ends on 18th January.

Get the offer

 

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Summer Wedding Trends 2014

The summer is the most popular season in the wedding calendar, with bride-to-be’s seeking the lighter months and best weather for their perfect day. The summer months brings colour and life, making it the perfect season to say ‘I do’. From artificial flowers to hand-made invites, this years’ wedding trends are more colourful and romantic than ever before:

Yellow is far from mellow - Yellow is the on-trend colour for summer 2014, with more brides choosing this sunny shade for their bridesmaids. Yellow is also a very popular colour when it comes to wedding flowers, with yellow roses and peonies being top choice for summer bouquets. Off white/ivory and cream shades also remain popular as ever and can easily be mixed with other flowers to add your own favourite colour if yellow isn’t quite your thing.

Yellow Rose Bouquet

Flower garlands - summer weddings call for Mediterranean inspired décor; think oranges and lemons being strung across trellises and artificial grape vines adorning marquee doorways. Summer weddings are all about natural colours and using the best of Mother Nature’s decorations. Use artificial ivy and greenery if the Mediterranean is slightly out of reach for your big day, and embrace the feel of summer.

Our tip: Mix floral and greenery garlands to give a denser, lusher coverage, but where possible augment existing (real) plants with artificial flowers to blur the lines and make your budget go further.

Festivals are best - A summer wedding screams outdoor adventure, with more wedding receptions going back to nature. From festival style stages, live bands and beer pumps to bare-foot brides, it seems the festival approach for weddings is very popular for summer 2014. If you and your husband-to-be are laid-back music lovers, why not incorporate your love for music and each other with a festival-style wedding, a la Kate Moss, with a marquee and plenty of bunting! For a more toned down familiar affair, a nice barbecue will leave your guests remembering the day!

Pretty petals on cakes – Flowers are no longer just an afterthought necessity for weddings now, they take centre stage as decorative statements on the cake. Why not opt to decorate a simple cake with bright petals and artificial flowers for that added touch of summer on a classic white cake. The more natural looking the better, to get that real earthy feel of nature that comes from long summer evenings outside.

Tip: If you’ve bought extra materials to customise your artificial flowers, cut up the left overs into petals for use around the venue if not on the cake.

Blackberry Cake

Floral crowns - Embrace your inner hippy on your wedding day and choose to rock flowers with pride. Floral head bands are all the rage for this summer, with brides opting to wear their own flower accessories on their head. If a full floral crown is too much for you, why not try a couple of smaller artificial flowers within your hair style for a touch of nature on you big day.

With all the colour and feel of nature that Summer brings, it’s no wonder summer weddings are the most popular amongst brides! Stay on-trend this summer with these suggestions and enjoy your big day in style!

 

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New Consumer Contracts Regulations: What they mean for our customers

Based on the EU Consumer Rights Directive, the Consumer Contracts Regulations came into force on 13th June 2014 and replace the previous Distance Selling Regulations (DSRs) that had governed all online purchases (and telephone orders) until then. But what’s new, and what does it mean for you, our customers – in plain English?

The Regulations apply to all consumer contracts, including things like utilities, goods bought online, digital goods such as music and video, and other goods or services bought in shops or otherwise. Most notably excluded are holiday and transport.

Because we sell artificial flowers online, we’ll only cover the purchase of physical goods via the internet. Feel free to use the link above if you’d like to read up on services, utilities, etc.

So What’s New?

14 days cooling off period instead of 7 working days, plus 14 days to return

Note the distinction between “days” and “working days”. Because working days are defined as Monday – Friday, the cooling off period has in practice been extended by 5 days. As before the period starts the day after the day of delivery, so let’s take an example:

  • Monday 1st – goods are delivered
  • Tuesday 2nd – cooling off period starts (same as before)
  • Monday 15th – cooling off period ends (previously would have been Wednesday 10th)

This cooling off period is the time within which you may let the supplier know that you wish to cancel the contract (i.e cancel the order or purchase). You do not need to state any reason and they may not normally refuse. Once you have emailed, phoned or written to cancel, you have an additional 14 days to post the item(s) back. The previous DSRs did not specify any time limit.

It is worth noting that the guidance suggests both sellers and buyers to act “without undue delay”, so it is still recommendable to get in contact as soon as possible and post back before well before the end of the return period. The above also relates mostly to “change of mind” situations and doesn’t really cover defective goods (which fall under the Sale of Goods Act).

How it affects you: We’ve been offering a no quibble 14 days returns policy since mid-2013 as we know that selecting the right artificial flowers online isn’t always easy. Having detailed photos and measurements on our website has helped us to keep return rates low.

Faster Refunds

Sellers are obliged to provide refunds within 14 days after receiving your cancellation notice, down from 30 days before. The refund may only be delayed until the returned goods have been received back by the seller. If you send proof of posting (showing both addresses), then the refund must be made within 14 days of the seller receiving that notice. Our advice therefore is to try and use a trackable delivery method and send proof of posting to the seller – of course where feasible and appropriate to the value of the goods.

How it affects you: You’ll be pleased to know that at GT Decorations we’ve always aimed to acknowledge return/cancellation requests within 24 hours, and for refunds to be processed within 7 days from receiving your return.

A clamp down on excessive fees

The regulations now stipulate against high credit fee charges and premium rate support telephone numbers. Separate regulations prohibiting “above cost” surcharges for different payment methods have been in force since early April.

How it affects you: GT Decorations have long made it a policy not to charge extra regardless of payment option used and have never applied surcharges for Paypal or certain credit cards.

No additional payments without explicit authorisation

In the past some sellers have reportedly been “pre-ticking” checkboxes for additional, payable services from which a savvy shopper would have had to opt out from by unticking. Thankfully this is now illegal and should prevent being faced with a charge that you couldn’t know about, just because it was hidden on the website.

How it affects you: We never have and never will add hidden charges or extra services “by default”. All charges are shown up front right in your shopping basket.

What’s stayed the same?

Sellers are still required to tell you about your rights and obligations before your order, such as making you aware of your cancellation and return rights, giving you access to contact details, and making sure that you are treated fairly.

Conclusions

The new regulations are not so much new, but rather a refinement of existing legislation to further clarify consumer rights in a few select areas. We’ve of course reviewed our returns policy to make sure that it meets or exceeds all the Regulations’ requirements. No matter which direction the European debate is going in the UK, it is pleasing to see that consumers benefit from adequate protection when buying online across the EU, and that the playing field between sellers continues to be levelled in a fair manner.

Notes:
Please do not rely on the above for legal advice. The link at the top of this article links to the UK government’s notes on the subject for further reading, but in the event of a dispute please exhaust the seller’s complaints procedure and seek professional guidance. If your dispute is with us, we will of course do everything in our power to put things right.

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12 Reasons to Send Flowers

For You!There are so many reasons to send flowers; birthdays, condolences, just to say ‘I love you’- pretty much anything can be said via a beautiful bunch of flowers. With endless possibilities, we have hand-picked some excellent reasons to show someone you care:

  1. Mother’s Day - Be it your granny or your mother, show the special lady in your life how much you care with a great selection of her favourite flowers. Whether the classic rose, tulips or the more unusual chrysanthemum- surprise her with the gift of blooms.
  2. Birthdays - Everyone loves receiving gifts on their special day so why not brighten your loved ones’ day by surprising them and having flowers delivered. This works for both men and women!
  3. Just to say hi - Why not surprise a friend or your partner with a pretty bunch of flowers, just to say hi. This random gesture will go a lot further than you think!
  4. Condolences - Flowers can have a sincere side to them too and can offer condolence and sympathy. Artificial flowers can sometimes be the better option here as an artificial wreath will last a lot longer, as memories of their loved ones are resembled by the lasting flowers.
  5. New Job - A new job just calls for a big bunch of flowers arriving at your loved one’s desk- it shows just how good of a partner you are and will also shame all other men for not having sent their loved ones flowers. Double points!
  6. Wedding Anniversary - This is particularly good for your parents if they’re celebrating a big milestone anniversary as flowers hold different meanings. Carnations are a gift for the first year, and for long-standing marriages the yellow rose is for 50 years! Again, try artificial ones as opposed to real as they will last and remind the happy couple of their time together. If fresh flowers were used at the wedding, some companies can offer a replication service where they will re-create the wedding bouquet in synthetic flowers as a permanent keepsake.
  7. New Home - New homes call for a fresh bunch of flowers to brighten up kitchens and hallways. Give the gift of scent and colour next time your friend moves and earn major friend points at the same time.
  8. Retirement – Send them into retirement with a smile on their faces! Club together if you work in an office, and say ‘Best wishes’ with a lovely bunch of flowers. Retirement should be entered into with joy, and flowers guarantee to spread a little magic!
  9. Get Well Soon - Flowers can say a whole manner of things, and ‘Get well soon’ is just another perfect opportunity. If the recipient is still in hospital, opt for fake rather than real flowers as hospitals don’t allow real flowers.
  10. New Baby - Congratulate your friend by giving her a bunch of flowers in the colour of her new born. Pink for girls and the more unusual blue flowers for a boy!
  11. To say ‘Sorry’ - Awfully cliché, but flowers can show a person just how sincerely sorry you are, and by sending your loved one flowers, you are proving just how much you care!
  12. When there’s a special offer on – Check out our current May promotion and remember to enter ‘MAYDAY’ at checkout for an extra 10% off. There’s no better time to send flowers than when they’re a bargain!

Whatever your reason for sending flowers, at GT Decorations we let you add a free gift message to fully personalise your flower gift. You can also upgrade to Special Delivery for a guaranteed delivery. Where the exact delivery date isn’t quite so important, we can still send by tracked post so that you’ll know when the item has arrived.

Flowers don’t cost as much as dinner or jewellery but speak volumes! Sending flowers can prove a cheaper but far more thoughtful gift than anything else you can give; so get sending!

Got another good reason to send flowers? Share your thoughts below!

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