Artful floral decoration and exquisite wedding flowers for your bespoke wedding on the Costa del Sol…
If you’re looking for beautiful floral designs inspired by nature then read on as today we are delighted to chat with floral designer guru Martin Dodge, who, with over two decades of stunning venue styling experience can deliver the floral flourishes you need to make your special day beautiful.
Thank you for joining us today, Martin, especially knowing how busy you are launching your new company “Mil Tallos”, please tell us a little bit about yourself, where are you from, where your interest in floral design stem (excuse the pun) from and the meaning behind “Mil Tallos”?
My name is Martin Dodge, I’ll be 43 years young this October. I am from a small mountain town in upstate New York, called East Poestenkill.
After the Covid pandemic, I decided it was time for a change. My wife, two beautiful toddler girls and I decided to move here to the Costa del Sol, in southern spain. We are launching our new company called “Mil Tallos” which means a (thousands stems).
I have always been drawn to art, in all its forms. By fate, I arrived in the wedding and event industry, it was the summer of 1998.
When I was 18 years old I decided to move away from my little mountain town. I wasn’t sure what my path would be but knew that Los Angeles, California was full of opportunities and great weather.
So I saved up and bought an old station wagon for $1500 and made the long cross country road trip to LA. It took sometime to settle in but eventually I started going to college in Santa Monica for economics. I needed a part time job to help pay rent and bills while I was in college. Eventually I found a job from an online post, making flower deliveries for a small flower design studio in Venice Beach, California.
This flower studio wasn’t your typical mom and pop “flower shop”. It was a group of young, hip, artsy kids making beautiful art with flowers and branches. They’d listen to cool music and on occasion drink wine at the end of the day.
Being a young 18 year old from a little mountain town, I was really drawn into their world. On days where there weren’t many deliveries I would help prep containers and process flowers.
It wasn’t until we had a very busy week of back to back events, which also saw a designer quit right in the middle of production that I got my opportunity. The owner and design team were nervous that they wouldn’t be able to complete all the florals on time and were calling on other freelance designers to come and help, but no one was available at such short notice. That’s when the shy 18 year old from upstate New York spoke up and said: ” I can help design”.
And from that instant they took me under their wing. I fell in love with floral design and became a full time floral designer. Eventually, I left that shop and became a freelance designer, which gave me the opportunity to learn from many great designers from many different companies. I was taught to design in various methods and styles.
I find inspiration in nearly everything. From Art to Architecture and especially in nature. Even just the abstract way a certain branch is growing on a tree is inspiring, with the way it twists and flows.
What I love most about my job is the creativity. Creativity is true magic. To be able to take an intangible idea or vision and bring it into reality is magical.
I’ve designed in many of the major cities back in the United States, (New York, Los Angeles, Portland and Miami ) but designing and creating here in Spain is something special, the history, culture and way of life here adds another layer of experience.
During my younger years I built up strong floral design skills, learning from and working alongside many great designers. However, I felt a creative desire to do more.
My father was a carpenter and jack of all trades, and as kid he had me always at his side, passing tools, carrying materials and learning. Having this early training from my father made it a natural transition for me to carry this knowledge into the wedding and event world. I started with building simple wedding ceremony structures and small flower boxes and over the years, little by little , the projects grew in scale, as well as my skill level.
I now design and build all types of large scale floral arrangements, custom props and structural elements for weddings and events.
Ah! That’s a difficult question. There have been so many great projects I’ve had the opportunity to work on.
About 10 years ago , while working for a company in New York, I was asked to be a lead designer for 4 consecutive years, to design elaborate holiday parties for well known GOOGLE and 3000 of its employees. We transformed multiple massive ballrooms (in venues like the Waldorf Astoria, Midtown Hilton Hotel, Natural History Museum). It was really amazing to be a part of.
And then……….., I had the opportunity to create a table setting design for the luxurious floral magazine Grace Ormonde. Having a design in this magazine was truly a dream come true.
And another one of my favourites…. (haha! I think I have too many favourites) I was asked to build amazing props for an event that was held on the INTREPID aircraft carrier. An enormous aircraft carrier docked on the westside of Manhattan. It was amazing!
Martin Dodge designs flowers for those who love flowers. He is a structural floral designer and event prop builder and can custom build structures for your weddings, working with nearly all materials, from natural branches, wood, fabrics to plexiglass and acrylics. Martin has over two decades experience making entire themed set backdrops to wedding ceremony structures, from ultra modern to rustic barn theme and everywhere in between.