How Do You Do 'I do'? Marti Heard Designs

Marti Heard wrote that someday, when she decides to stop snipping stems and lopping lilacs, the fragrance of the stock flower would remind her of the time she spent designing florals.


What was this flower whose fragrance so perfectly captures the span of her many remarkable and joyful years yet whose name conjures soup? Marti Heard, like her beloved stock flower, is charming, lovely and absolutely memorable. 

Nathan Peel Photography

Nathan Peel Photography


What trends or traditions are popular with your engaged couples this year?

I honestly love that the continued use of texture and LOTS of greenery is still on trend. There is just something magical and whimsical about arrangements that have no certain structure to them.

Can you offer some insight into the work that goes on behind the scenes?

I always try to remind clients that Mother Nature is not like Amazon Shopping. It would make my life so much easier if it was. Flowers are a perishable product and change weekly. Weather, border control, limited quantities and holidays are some examples that can affect flowers that are available. Be flexible with your designer. Your designer is going to know the look that you want. That one special design that you saw on Pinterest might not be a realistic design for your budget but there are other options to create a similar feel. Also, many brides get sticker shock when they receive an initial floral estimate. Just a couple of things to keep in mind are the cost of flowers and the time that is invested in your wedding. Many people do not understand the amount of time that is behind that one floral arrangement. From meetings, to emails, to prepping vases, to designing, to transport, to setting up, to breaking down. There are a lot of moving parts to that one pretty arrangement on top of the cost of the flowers alone.

Nathan Peel Photography

Marti’s stock flower goes by several names including Virginia stock and gillyflower. The scent, for which is so well known, is described as spicy – reminiscent of cinnamon and clove. Native to the mediterranean, it has many meanings including: embracing life as it comes even when it is unexpected. It also reminds couples on their wedding days that there is beauty which time cannot fade.  

Marti Heard Designs

When asked about her work she writes:

At the end of the day I love pretty flowers and seeing the joy that it brings to people. I use to be a probation officer so it has always been a nice reminder going from seeing people at their worst to seeing people at their best on their wedding day.

Our Wedding Spotlight series has featured several weddings with Marti’s floral designs. We wanted to know more about her process and passion. At the start of a very busy wedding season Marti took the time to answer our questions. 

Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky has a wonderful wedding industry scene. What sets Marti Heard Designs apart from other floral design studios in the area?

We do have a great wedding scene here in Cincinnati. So many talented vendors! I think that I approach weddings a little different. I want to get an idea of what my clients are visually drawn too. I tell people all the time that it is not the exact flowers but how it is pulled together. And that is what they are typically drawn too. It is a style and that is what is personal about it. You want your guests to walk into your wedding and think that it reflects you. I want my clients to feel comfortable with me. It is difficult for many people to hand over such an important style aspect for the most important day of their life to a complete stranger. If you do not see yourself wanting to have a drink with me at the end of the day, we are probably not a good fit. The planning process should be just as much fun as the day itself. So I guess short answer to what makes me different, is my goal to make my clients feel heard, have fun and know that we are going to pull together a look that is unique to them.

Sherry Barber Photography

Sherry Barber Photography

What do you think couples might love if they gave a try?

I think that for the most part people love texture. A mixture of perfect blooms in the right tones. I find that for the most part people just love pretty flowers! But I wish people would not be so afraid of incorporating more color. I love when we do our flower classes. You can give people the same exact ingredients, same design guidelines, and everyone will come up with something completely different. It is just like giving a person a paint brush and paint, everyone is going to have a different end result. For brides searching for the floral designer that works best for them should be thought of in the same light. You are picking the designer for their spin on artistry. A good designer is going to know the things that the client will just love given their personality.

Marti Heard Designs

What are some of your favorite local flowers to incorporate?

Spring is by far my favorite time of year for flowers. I always find myself driving through neighborhoods thinking “I wonder if that person would mind if I did a little pruning in their yard.” Blooming branches, dogwood, peonies, lily of the valley. I just love any flower with a little sweet scent and frilly texture to them. If I had to pick my favorite flower it would be stock. It is such a simple standard flower. But the smell is my favorite. When I am old and gray, the smell of that flower will always remind me of my love of this business.


Nicolette Meade