For Your Day as Divine
"It's all about the energy, you know, the vibrations.” Not a statement you usually get from your wedding florist.
But the brides who work with the ladies at Flower Divas of Montour Falls get some extra special treatment from Lisa Kessler and her co-owner Tina Scriven. In a small, delightfully cluttered shop at 314 West Main Street in the village, Tina uses her talents to help couples plan for their big day. The Divas handle flowers, centerpieces, and bouquets, all of the normal nuptial arrangements. The store is full of the traditional, and the decidedly different, including fairy ornaments, dream catchers, and embossed wine glasses. But the essence of the special experience for the Divas’ brides lies in the headpieces Lisa creates for them. That crowning piece is important beyond the fact that it will appear in all the photos of the lady of the day.
“About 10 percent of brides go with the traditional idea of a wedding. But, every bride has a personal style, a theme,” Lisa explains, while straightening a silk flower arrangement. “She’s bohemian or romantic or eclectic. That style needs to be with her on her wedding day. It needs to be conveyed in how she looks.”
She lifts a tiara-style headpiece, adorned with pale lavender stones and crystals. “But more importantly, everything she wears needs to make her feel however she wants to feel.”
That’s where the gemstones come in. That lavender stone is amethyst and, according to Lisa and her research, it imbibes the wearer with a feeling of angelic love from others. These are genuine gemstones, custom cut for the products the Flower Divas create.
“The stones have metaphysical properties, and each type gives off different vibrations,” Lisa explains. “Once I know about a person and what she wants to feel on her wedding day, I can often craft a headpiece to channel those vibrations.”
“How she feels is even more important than how she looks,” she adds.
Moonstone speaks to the goddess within every woman. Quartz amplifies love and support from relatives who have passed on. Rose quartz speaks to unconditional love and forgiveness. The amber stones are about self-esteem and confidence. Tell Lisa how you want to feel and she will recommend the right thing to wear.
Lisa learned of the connection between natural elements and the human spirit as a kid, and the concept has always made sense to her. She felt it firsthand as an adult, stuck in a job that did not allow her to speak her mind or express herself.
“What do I wind up with? Thyroid cancer. Based right in my throat. I knew it was the negativity of my work situation.”
Once healthy again, Lisa knew she had to find the career that aligned with her spirit. In October of last year she and Tina became the owners of the Flower Divas shop.
But back to the brides.
Beyond this somewhat unique approach to the use of natural stones as energy sources, Lisa offers some other philosophies that brides have benefitted from during the high stress of wedding planning.
“You know, you put the word wedding in front of any service and the price of it doubles. It doesn’t have to be that way. We don’t believe in that,” Lisa says. “I can work with any budget and make it look great. And I have been painfully honest with my brides about what their budgets can and cannot do.”
One of the brides who appreciated that approach is Jessie Thatcher, who married wife Alexis last summer in Elmira.
“Lisa did such a good job incorporating our taste and style within our budget,” Jessie says. “She was also very thoughtful in the way that she helped us plan the wedding and reception spaces so that we were using our resources effectively. We ended up with really elegant, but eclectic, pieces that tied the whole event together. I still get comments on how great my bouquet was!”
Jessie says that Lisa picked right up on her personal style and managed to convey it. Part designer, part seamstress (she made the bridal gown for a Renaissance-themed wedding), part fairy godmother, Lisa takes her role in wedding planning to a new level.
“My brides will call when they are having a meltdown over an issue with their bridesmaids or their mother. I’ve talked a few of them through rough waters. It’s part of the deal,” Lisa laughs.
Does the fairy godmother sometimes have to use her wand to bonk someone on the head and restore her perspective?
“Absolutely!” Lisa laughs heartily.
She loves natural materials and works with things beyond flowers and stones. Seashells and feathers abound in the shop, including a bouquet bursting with autumnal colors and bird feathers. You can already see the lovely bride in a shower of golden leaves as she walks the aisle on one of the scenic hillsides around Seneca Lake.
“The Finger Lakes are a wedding destination,” Lisa says. “People who have visited or vacationed here choose it as the location for their celebration. This shop is becoming part of that destination idea.”
Even so, the local population frequents the Flower Divas as well, so Lisa and Tina work hard to keep the inventory and displays fresh to encourage repeat visits. You can find them at www.flowerdivasofmontourfalls.com or call them at (607) 535-2083.
A good florist shop is like a barometer of what happens in a community. Lisa knows that her business is a part of many major events in the life of a family.
“We celebrate the births, worry with the illnesses, and sympathize with the grieving,” she says. “No matter the occasion, there is a place for flowers and gifts, and we take it very seriously that we represent our clients to the people they love.”
Now that’s a good vibration.