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Falling Into Wedding Flowers

For a little over a decade, Marty Moore has been providing her friends and acquaintances with an alternative to florists, arranging the flowers for their weddings.

“About 12 years ago, a friend came to me about her daughter’s wedding,” said Moore, a long-time member of the Garden Club of Alexandria and the Garden Club of America. “She said that the florist just didn’t understand their vision for the type of mood they wanted to create at the wedding. She asked me if I would consider doing the flowers and I agreed. That’s really how I got into doing flowers for weddings.”

Her love of and knowledge of flowers is supplemented with a background in art and an eye for color. “I like to talk to them about the type of wedding they want: do they want it to be casual or formal? Do they want light and airy or bold and vibrant?” she said. “Also, it is important to talk to them about budget. It’s impossible for me to tell you a price range for flowers because it just depends on what is in season. Availability is the key.”

Her involvement has produced many unusual bouquets and centerpieces, including one wedding where every plant and flower in the ceremony were herbs.

“We used herbs and flowering herbs for all of the bouquets, the boutonnières and the centerpieces,” said Moore. “It was interesting to plan because you had to consider color and smell, because you didn’t want the bride or the groom to sneeze as they walked down the aisle.”

Another wedding used only wildflowers. “Some of them I picked from my own garden,” she said. “The colors were wonderful.”

ROSES, EVER POPULAR for romance, do not necessarily do well for weddings, since they can’t stand up to extreme heat, Moore said. “They will either bloom or wilt, which can be a problem.”

Gardenias, too, are delicate. “They are lovely but there are those who are allergic to the perfume,” she said.

Orchids are easy to work with and not terribly expensive. “There are all types of orchids,” Moore said. “It just depends on what the bride wants and what is in season.”

Moore made the bouquet for Allison Ariail’s September 2001 wedding. “Hers was a bit unusual because she asked me to design two bouquets to look like one,” Moore said. “I did that and did the ribbons, so that, at the appropriate time, Alison could undo them and give each of her attendants a bouquet from her bouquet. It was a lovely idea and worked beautifully.”

Moore doesn’t go looking for wedding business; it comes looking for her. “I keep trying to retire,” she said.

“I guess I do about one a month now. A friend’s daughter told me that she was getting married in 2004 and that she wouldn’t have her wedding unless I agreed to do the flowers. I guess that means I’m in business for at least that long.”