Vendor Spotlight: The Art of Flower

It’s an honor to be showcasing one of Spokane/Coeur d’ Alene’s top wedding florists, Carissa Vera of The Art of Flower, this morning. Chances are, if you’ve been around local weddings at all, you’ve heard all about Carissa’s amazing reputation for creating truly artistic and stunning floral creations. She is a master at taking a bride’s vision and turning it into reality. When you book Carissa, you’re getting a whole lot more than just a florist, she will setup all the flowers, stay through the ceremony to make sure they stay perfect, she delivers, she has a TON of rentals and she is an excellent designer.

Here’s an interview with Carissa…

Spokane wedding florist, Art of Flower

What would you say makes the florals you design different than other florists?

Floral design is an art, and every designer’s work is different and unique to their own style. I think what makes my work stand out is also what makes it my own style. I pay very careful attention to detail. I have a crazy set of guidelines of types of flowers that work together and how to use color, as well as paying attention to the overall style of the event and venue. I also have an openness to working with the flowers as they work with me. Floral design is a dark art. You never know exactly what you’re going to get or exactly what you will do with it until it’s in front of you. A lot of my work is done “on the fly” – working with what I have according to the style the bride is after, versus working from a photo or specific design.

Spokane wedding flowers

Photos by Sean Watson Photography.

What makes your service unique?

My service is unique in several ways. Firstly, I am specifically a wedding and event florist. My time is completely devoted in that direction, and I have 20 years of floral experience with 10 focused solely on weddings. Wedding work is different from daily design, and set up, timing, and even knowledge of floral availability requires experience to be sure your event rolls seamlessly. I also don’t have basic, daily design that distracts me from wedding work.

My service is also unique in that I am totally full service. I don’t have a regular store front, so my hours are flexible for meeting times and wedding day deliveries. I will come set up every detail, stay through the ceremony to move things around, and return to pick up any rental items.

Finally, I am unique in that I look at the big picture. Florals are a large portion of the decor and a healthy bit of what sets the style tone of an event, but they do not work alone! I want to know about linens, cake, venue, photography, etc. to create a cohesive event from start to finish.

art of flower coeur d alene
What inspires you as a florist?

Everything! I find inspiration in almost everything I see, all the time! There’s the obvious stuff like bridal blogs and magazines and the amazing work of so many other florists out there. But then there is the random stuff like a garden I walk by with my dogs, a pattern on carpet in a restaurant, watching two people together and noticing what they are wearing or how they do their hair, traveling and different natural environments. The list could go on forever…

spokane wedding flowers, art of flower

Photos by Quicksilver Photography.

What other services do you offer?

Beyond floral design, I am happy to help with overall decor of your entire wedding. I have the largest selection of any florist in the area of containers, arbors, lanterns, fabrics, etc. During your consultation, I discuss linens, table placement, timing, venue set up and much more to determine how I can give you the best look, including flowers, as well as other props to enhance your experience.

spokane wedding blog

Photos by Sean Watson Photography.

What is your advice for brides when it comes to their wedding flowers?

LOL, I have loads! I know it’s hard, as most are doing this for the first time, but try to have some idea of a budget. Standard seems to be about 10-15% of your overall budget, more or less according to your wedding day priorities. If you have a number in your head, please tell us. We aren’t trying to max you out. We are just trying to give you ideas that are cost appropriate. Nobody benefits if we quote you on your fairy tale dream that costs three times more than you can actually afford.

I also recommend doing some homework before meeting with florists. Be aware of your venue, and have some concept of a color scheme and style. Look at LOTS of photos. This has become easier and easier with all the local and national bridal blogs and websites. Email or print these photos to show your potential florists. It’s ok if it feels like you’re all over the place with style. Bringing all the looks together is what creates the style unique to you :) Also, bring any fabric swatches or dress photos to your floral consultations.

While budget is extremely important, it shouldn’t necessarily be your primary focus. When you’re meeting with designers, pay attention to who you feel relates with you and understands your vision the best. While one person might give you a lower quote, it still isn’t worth it if it isn’t going to be what you want. If the designer you like best comes in with a quote you can’t afford, ask them how they can work with you to bring it down a bit. On one of the biggest days of your life, your florals should reflect your style. Great style is possible in any budget, and the most important factor in choosing your florist is that you are comfortable that you will LOVE what they do, not that they give you the lowest bid.

Be open. Flowers are from nature, and nature is fickle. Color isn’t always consistent, and availability (even according to season) isn’t always reliable – especially in an area like ours where almost everything is imported from other areas. This makes it even more important to work with someone you trust to give you your vision regardless of how the flowers might be a little tricky! It is certainly necessary to set parameters in style and color and your favorite flower choices. However, you will always get more for your money if you are open in this and give your designer the freedom to do what they do best according to the look you are after.

Lastly, HAVE FUN! Don’t get too caught up in the little stuff. Let your trusted vendors do their jobs, so you can enjoy this experience. The important thing is that you’re getting married, not that your bouquet has peonies in the middle of August (which is so not happening…). Work with quality people you trust, and the wedding will take care of itself. Definitely consider hiring a planner. While it may seem like an additional expense at first, planners can actually cover their cost with the discounts they get and their experience in not making unnecessary expenditures, while making your experience smoother and less stressful :)

Photos by Quicksilver Photography.

For more info call 208-704-3891 or check out The Art of Flower website!

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