The path to the altar can turn a betrothed maiden into a bridezilla faster than you can say “I do.” Fittings, tastings, and countless other details can’t be done by phone or online, and in sprawling Orange County this can mean wasted time, and ultimately, bride burn-out. We found a band of exceptional bridal services in Costa Mesa at South Coast Collection, 3321 Hyland Ave., and its mall-within-a-mall, The OC Mart Mix, 3313 Hyland Ave. The convenience of quality one-stop shopping is an outstanding proposal.
1. Christopher Garren’s Let Them Eat Cake
Brides-to-be with 75 or more guests can book a complimentary tasting at Christopher Garren’s, left, of two flavors baked to order and served in four-layer slices, as it will be for the wedding. Try the butter cake with blood orange mousse, Key lime curd, and coconut white-chocolate mousse. South Coast Collection #H&J, 714-445-0189, christophergarrens.com.
2. B Bride
Dressing like a cake topper isn’t for everyone. Summer Giaquinta will help you find a wedding dress that fits your style. Her well-curated collection, at B Bride, above, includes vintage-inspired dresses, shoes, and millinery couture. She shares a suite with Design Visage, so brides-to-be can see which hair accessories work before they buy. South Coast Collection #G2, 949-698-3525, bbridestudio.com.
3. Design Visage
Wedding-day hair and make-up artists have more demands than Hollywood stylists. Their work must be cry-proof, kissable, long-lasting, photogenic, and natural. Caren Lazarus and her staff have been styling brides since 1986. The key? Dress rehearsals, so there are no surprises. Within B Bride at South Coast Collection #G2, 800-603-1383, designvisage.com.
4. Paper Me
Evite may be king for kiddie birthday parties, but when you tie the knot, only paper will do. Chelsey Collings will handle your event with custom letterpress invitations in every hue. Her shop also has a great selection of wrapping paper, stationery, and cards. The OC Mart Mix, 949-478-2273, firstname.lastname@example.org.
5. Candee By Sandee
Sandee Creager creates gorgeous customized candy stations complete with an attendant to tidy up the loot. She also sells bulk sweets for those who want to assemble their own displays. Within B Bride at South Coast Collection #G2, 949-900-6772, candeebysandee.com.
6. Wildflower Linens
With fabric, feathers, and flounce, fashion designer and founder Youngsong Martin ensures the tables and chairs at your event are as well dressed as you. Check out a re-creation of the wedding scene she designed for the film “The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn” in the showroom. South Coast Collection #G1, 714-241-1628, wildflowerlinens.com.
7. Fleur Les Fete
What looks like a low-key flower stand is the front for Annie Morgan’s full-scale floral design, catering business, and event-planning operation. She’s got you covered, from bouquets to buffets. The OC Mart Mix, 949-903-0341, fleurlesfete.com, and tastebudsinc.com.
8. The Pantry
With cake stands in periwinkle and chartreuse, bird cage veils, and wooden stationery, The Pantry caters to the trend-spotting bride. Part wedding and party supply store, and part event concept studio, it offers services, vendors, and inspiration. The OC Mart Mix, 949-264-2134.
9. Organic to Green
Butter up bridesmaids with custom gifts from Rianna Loving’s natural bath and skin-care line, packaged in reused beer and wine bottles through a recycling program she created. Body butters, sugar scrubs, candles, and more come in coconut, lime, lavender and other scents. The OC Mart Mix, 310-577-8211, organictogreen.com.
photography by Priscilla Iezzi
This article originally appeared in the April 2012 issue of Orange Coast magazine.