Have I got a treat for you today! We’re getting front row seats to one of the Inland Northwest’s top wedding vendor’s weddings! Carissa, owner of the famous The Art of Flower, and her fiance Simon had a destination wedding at the INCREDIBLE Farimont Banff Springs last winter. Carissa was kind enough to write us some background about her and Simon and fill us in on how she pulled together a destination wedding from Coeur d’ Alene with a little help from her friends in the industry.
“Simon and I have been friends for ages… sometimes feels like forever! At some point when we were both single, we just realized that we belonged together. There wasn’t really any definitive moment or big proposal. It just fit, and we started planning our life, and part of that was to get married.
Our decisions for the wedding were affected by so many things! Simon and his daughters are Australian residents from England. I am from the U.S., and we have friends and family all over the world. I am in the wedding business as a florist, and this was a second marriage for us both. We really wanted to do something small and intimate but still very lovely. To help keep it small, we thought a destination would be best, and we were between the beach in California, where I am from, and Banff, Canada, which is totally random. Naturally, random won out (probably because it seemed pretty cool to get married in a castle), and we chose the absolutely beautiful Fairmont Banff Springs in the Canadian Rockies. It was easy driving distance from our current residence in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho and a very desirable place for the traveling loved ones to come.
So we sent out a super fancy invite on Facebook, and booked tickets for Simon’s two teenage daughters to come out and be our wedding party, along with our dogs, and away we go. Since I didn’t have the classic, best friend bride’s maids, all my sweet lady bff’s decided to wear blue and fake it, which I thought was a brilliant plan.
We chose some of the vendors, like the DJ and hair and make-up artist up in Banff, but I did drag up one of my very favorite photographers, Quicksilver Studios and got some assistance from my amazingly talented friends at Jaime Johnson Events for set up and some “day of” co-ordination. Cute Shelly Croswhite, of Crowberry Designs, gifted me with place card menus, which we glued pretty buttons on to tell the servers who was eating what, and our dear friend Melissa got ordained to perform the ceremony.
Planning is a little tricky from a distance, and I HIGHLY recommend hiring a wedding planner! Of course, I didn’t because being up to my eyeballs in the wedding industry, my favorites are also my very good friends, and I really wanted them to just be part of the wedding as guests and enjoy themselves. Naturally, they ended up with a little work on their plates because they love me, and I couldn’t get what I was after by myself.
Even though I knew I was signing up for a little extra stress, and I always swore I would never do it, I had to do my own flowers! There was no way I could entrust this to somebody else, as it is too much of a passion for me. My clients have often asked me what my favorite flower is or what I would do for myself if I was getting married, and I’ve always said I have no idea! I like too many things! But it turns out, I love classic white the best, and ultimately most of the styling and décor was completely planned around the feel of the venue. You have to have some formal glamour in a castle! Had we been at the beach, it would have been totally different.
Sometimes in the wedding business, everything starts to blend together and look the same. I see and get to participate in so many beautiful events that it was hard to figure out how to make ours stand out, even in my own mind. Hence, I did a little color flip flop and put myself in gray and the girls in ivory, we picked a ring that was not a classic, clear diamond, and did a few fun things in the snow with the dogs, and a big, white carnation muff (which, I must say, I think is freakin’ AWESOME! Carnations are highly under-rated…).
My favorite part of the day was how small and intimate it was. We only had 34 guests, including ourselves, and this was such a perfect amount of really close friends and family that we all got to genuinely interact. Oh, and my other favorite part was when all the women, unbeknownst to their men, burst out singing “Love Will Keep Us Together” after the kiss!
Anyway, we loved the final product and had the best, most amazing day ever! And I dearly hope you enjoy the photos, and maybe even get a little winter inspiration…”
Photographer – Quicksilver Studios
Floral Design– The Art of Flower
Event Design – The Art of Flower
Set Up & Co-ordination– Jaime Johnson Events with Jodi Heinen
Venue – Fairmont Banff Springs
Bride’s Gown – Tadashi Shoji via Nordstrom
All Shoes – Zappos
Bride’s Maids’ Dresses – J. Crew
Hair and Make-up – Complexions
Bride’s Wrap – Storybook Bridal
Garter – Stella’s Design
Rings – Cheryl Burchell Goldsmiths
Tuxedo – Tuxedo Gallery
Menu Place Cards – Crowberry Designs
DJ – NRG Music
Linens & Chair Covers – Your Chair Covers