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MOH Following A Dream

Since I was a kid, I've always loved flowers. I was surrounded by them for a good portion of my childhood, as my mother worked at a flower shop for about a decade. Often times I'd tag along to work with her, and I adored my time there exploring the greenhouses. After her time there, she continued her artistic endeavors (she's also a painter among other things) while she had a few odd jobs. I grew up and went to college, and after trying so hard not to be just like my mother (why do we avoid the inevitable?), I too went on to study art in college. These days both of us are in the food and hospitality industry, and from time to time we'll design for a friend's wedding- usually at cost as a wedding gift. Sometimes we'll even cover the flowers too if it's not too much.

Fast forward to 2010 when I met the future bride, Dakota. We both helped open a fancy bowling alley in Portland, Maine as bartenders and servers. She was 18 and I was 24 at the time, and now after 8.5 years working together we've watched each other grow up, enter and leave relationships both good and absolutely terrible, all the while being there for each other. We were both in not-so-great relationships when Greg showed up as the new bowling mechanic, it wasn't long before everyone could tell something was between them- after all he was doing a lot of her side work for her! Eventually, they took a leap, followed there hearts, and chose each other- and by that, I mean they snuck off to city hall and got married in secret with a plan to throw the party at a later date! Not long after that, a new chef named Peter showed up at work who caught my eye. Apparently I caught his too, and after a few months of patience and decision, we chose each other too. The double dates ensued. Not long after, so did the planning!

Earlier this year, after realizing how badly I needed creativity in my life, I decided to dive into this dream my mother and I had always just sort of joked about. I made a website and an instagram account, and I've slowly started to market our business with the help of a very talented graphic designer friend of mine. We've done a couple of small weddings here and there, but I knew that Dakota and Gregs wedding would be the highlight of the year. For giving my mother and I artistic freedom, we worked labor free for four days to help create their dream wedding.

Like myself, Dakota and Greg are nature lovers. Dakota and I frequent our local nurseries to find pretty new house plants, or things to plant in gardens during our short growing season here in Maine. Some of our double dates include camping trips, or trips to outdoor nature and animal parks. When we were planning the wedding, we decided we wanted the venue to just be DRIPPING in flowers. We ordered about $3000 in flowers from Fifty Flowers, I picked up some zinnias and dahlias from a local farmer, and Peter (after cooking the amazing rehearsal dinner) foraged for a variety of large branches to install in the wedding barn and at the ceremony site. Transformed, the barn looked as if nature were growing right through it. We added floral pieces and some of my personal house plants (ferns, fiddle fig leaf, and monstera) in many of the indoor and outdoor nooks and crannies. My mother found some rusted barrel rings we turned into floral hoops, as well as some old wooden pitchforks we adorned with flowers to hang at one of the barn entrances (picture shown of this was not taken by photographer but on an iPhone). We found an empty three tiered planter on site that we filled with flowers for the dessert table (photog missed that one- understandable since there was so much to capture). At the ceremony site, maple buckets filled with the foraged branches lined the aisle to lead up to the arbour. Pinks, yellows, and golds mixed with the slightly changing foliage still had a romantic summery feel with hints of the season yet to come. All and all, everything was a success, and on a weekly basis, Dakota says she wants to do it all again!

It's been a few months now. My mother and I designed for a couple of small autumn weddings, and designed a room at a historical mansion/museum here in Portland for their annual Christmas season. We have a couple of small weddings in the books for next year. Looking toward the future, even if I'm just working part time at a restaurant (hopefully Peter's), I'd love for us to have a small shop or flower farm in the country, or even a venue space where my mother and I can design and Peter can cook. Maybe Dakota can run the bar, and Greg will do maintenance... who knows! A girl can dream.

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