bursting with color
by Shelley Murphy
Dec 07, 2010 | 2808 views | 0 0 comments | 37 37 recommendations | email to a friend | print
McCool Flowers. Photo: Murer Image Photography
McCool Flowers. Photo: Murer Image Photography
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An initial step in the planning process involves picking the perfect florist to create a dream wedding. From classic to contemporary, these five florists create arrangements so beautiful that brides may choose to skip the traditional tossing of their bouquets at the end of their special day.

McCool Flowers, Inc.

“Who doesn’t like flowers?” asked Cathy McCool, owner and president of McCool Flowers, Inc.

For the past 15 years, McCool has shared her expertise with countless couples in her Dana Point shop. “Brides have a tendency to leave the flowers for last and don’t save enough of their budget for the look that they see in the magazines,” she said. Thankfully, McCool offers a solution: “We’re open seven days a week and brides can come in any time and sit in our wedding area and look through our photo books to get ideas before scheduling a consultation.”

McCool’s friendly and knowledgeable staff takes extra time with brides-to-be. “We really listen to the brides’ ideas, and we want to make them happy. We also work with any budget and everything is custom,” said McCool.

While McCool enjoys the planning process, it’s the end result that she looks forward to, saying, “I love the wedding-day delivery to the bride and the moment I hand her the bouquet and she smiles and says, ‘It’s perfect!’”

32585 Golden Lantern, Dana Point, 949.488.7988, www.mccoolflowers.com

Downtown Flowers

“My best advice to brides when choosing flowers for their wedding is to look at lots of pictures; this is the best way to figure out your likes and dislikes, and also a good way for your florist to see your vision,” said Krista Jon Levandofsky, lead designer and owner of Downtown Flowers.

As an experienced floral designer, with more than 100 weddings to her credit, Levandofsky said she recently started to see some inspiring new trends at weddings. “One of the trends I am most excited about and I strive to guide my brides toward is the idea of being green,” she said. “I love to draw inspiration from my brides and excite them with unique ideas that complement their style and taste.”

Levandofsky’s been in the business for 11 years and for the past six she’s owned Downtown Flowers. “We continually offer our brides the best we have in ideas, inspiration, quality and service,” she said.

“Working with brides during the creative process of designing and planning is my favorite part of my business,” said Levandofsky. “We love what we do, we have a great time doing it. It shows in our work.”

111 Avenida Del Mar, San Clemente, 949.492.7062, www.downtownflowersoc.com

Salt Creek Flowers & Gifts

“The most important thing to consider when choosing wedding flowers is the mood or atmosphere you want to create,” said Loree Gass, co-owner of Salt Creek Flowers and Gifts.

Gass, together with her best friend of 20 years and co-owner Dianne Murdoch, brings 15 years of floral experience to brides. “My advice considering wedding flowers is to choose what you like, choose flowers that reflect your taste and personality. Go with your heart and you can’t go wrong, this is your day,” said Gass.

Gass also has some savvy cost-saving tips. “Creativity is the best way to save on costs so you can have the wedding you want on a reasonable budget,” she said. “The sky’s the limit when it comes to the bride and groom’s imagination—have fun!”

Murdoch and Gass take pride in the personal attention they provide. “Planning wedding florals is an honor for us. Our clients become our friends and family,” said Gass. “Our favorite part of this business is being able to share in millions of smiles. Flowers are the soul of life.”

2 Ritz Carlton Drive, Suite 104, Monarch Beach, 949.276.7644, www.saltcreekflower.vpweb.com

Iva Bloom Signature Florist

“If a bride can dream it, we can create it,” said Shawn Symes, designer and owner of Iva Bloom Signature Florist. “I am committed to providing each bride with wonderful service, gorgeous flowers and excellent value.”

Acknowledging that planning a wedding is a huge undertaking Symes said, “A bride needs a floral designer who will understand the vision she has for her wedding. That kind of service is precisely what we provide to a bride for her special day.”

Symes’s biggest suggestion is to be creative when planning floral arrangements. “Choose flowers that you love, but don’t be afraid to consider using those flowers in original and imaginative ways,” she said. “I encourage brides to think outside the flower box. I find that a bride will often love something exotic that I create in a style she had not even considered, such as Japanese Ikebana.”

Symes said Iva Bloom is different from other florists. “We are willing to devote the time and attention necessary to ensure that a bride has signature floral designs that truly reflects her dream for her day. We will work to make her dream a reality,” she said. “We provide dedicated and highly personalized service.”

24691 Del Prado, Dana Point, 949.248.5200, www.ivabloom.com

Mother Earth Flowers

“We work closely with our brides and cover everything from A to Z,” said Shay Esmaili, designer and manager at Mother Earth Flowers. “I like to talk with the bride to find out what she really wants so that she feels completely comfortable and happy. We understand that every wedding is unique and special.”

Since 1986, Mother Earth has been helping couples choose flowers for their wedding. Esmaili encourages brides to go with their dreams. “This is your big day, go for what you want, make the fairytale come alive,” she said. “This one day will provide you with a lifetime of memories.”

Esmaili aims to make each bride’s bouquet one of a kind. “I like to suggest to the bride that she tuck something personal in her bouquet like a locket containing a photo that is dear to her, or a hair ribbon that her mother has been saving since she was a baby, or any item that holds a sentimental value to her to really make her bridal bouquet unique,” said Esmaili. “I get sentimental and I really love that I get to be a part in helping make that day memorable.”

32158 Camino Capistrano, Suite 105, San Juan Capistrano, 949.493.4400, www.motherearthflorist.com

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