Ask the Expert | Flowers by Marla Courtney Wood


How long have you been in the industry and what attracted you to it in the first place?

This year marks my 25th year in the floral industry! When I first started in the shops I was the delivery driver and the sheer joy and excitement of customers when they received their flowers was the highlight of my day. To bring a person so much joy even if itʼs only for a single moment is the true reason why florists exist in my opinion. Itʼs a specialized service designed to add beauty to a space and make someoneʼs day very bright. Thereʼs a lot to love about my job.

What is your favorite part of being a floral designer?

Itʼs the only way I know how to create magic. To take a bucket of flowers and transform them into someoneʼs vision for their special day is a magic act in itself but the true magic is between the clients. There is an infectious energy between couples that are planning their wedding, and I canʼt help but get pulled into the excitement every single time. What I really get a kick out of is the thought that 20 years down the road, as my clients are browsing their wedding photographs theyʼll say, “Do you remember Marla?”

I view that as part of my legacy and I love it!

How do you go about translating a bride's vision to the finished product...what is your process?

Whenever possible I like to meet with my clients face to face, but thatʼs not always the case as most of my clients are not from the area. Itʼs all about communication between the florist and the client whether it be a phone consultation or email correspondence. There are many factors that I take into consideration such as the season, location of ceremony and reception, color schemes but most importantly personality. If the floral design does not reflect who you are, they are simply not your flowers.

What are some helpful tips you could give to engaged couples when hiring a florist?

Before you meet with a florist itʼs always helpful to have a few inspiration photos to share your vision. If you donʼt thatʼs fine, as a good florist is there to help guide you along the process but knowing the basics will make meetings go smoother and you will get more accomplished in a short time. Trust your gut, if you have a great meeting and feel like you have complete trust in the vendor that youʼve just met then I believe youʼve found your florist.

If you could give one piece of advice to engaged couples as they move through the planning process, what would it be?

The best advice I can give a couple is to make sure to take breaks when you need them. Wedding planning can be very stressful so if you feel like youʼve had enough for the day, stop, close your planner notebook, grab your fiancee and head for the door. Try to make it a point to not discuss any wedding plans just enjoy each other after all the two of you are what itʼs all about.