Whether it's donning a blue wedding dress instead of a white one or opting for a dessert table over a 3-tiered cake, more and more couples are choosing the trendy over the traditional when it comes to their Big Day details.
Because we know you might be among them, we approached our favorite wedding trend experts to share more of the daring ideas they're seeing this summer. From tweet-engraved rings to chic suits, the following 12 trends might not be right for every couple, but they're certainly creative. As you prepare for your own wedding this summer, or get ready to watch friends and family walk down the aisle, take a look at the slideshow below and let us know: Are these trends cool or crazy?
Shelby Walsh, a <a href="http://www.TrendHunter.com" target="_hplink">TrendHunter.com</a> exec, says that while engraving wedding rings is nothing new, couples are <a href="http://www.trendhunter.com/trends/tweet-rings" target="_hplink">now doing so with tweets</a> rather than traditional messages. Some people are even making their own rings entirely -- like the man who <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/05/29/meteorite-ring_n_1553425.html" target="_hplink">forged his wedding band from a meteorite</a>. "From personal tweets to fingerprints on wedding rings, people don't just want to customize their wedding bands, they want to personalize them," Walsh says.
Another trend, Walsh says, are super-creative invitations. "The first impression a wedding makes is with its invitations," she says. "Those planning weddings are coming up with all <a href="http://www.trendhunter.com/trends/top-secret-wedding-invitation" target="_hplink">sorts of eccentric ways</a> to make their wedding invites standout from the crowd -- from wedding invite boxes to interactive cards."
Emily Bidwell, an <a href="http://www.Etsy.com" target="_hplink">Etsy</a> style expert, says that couples are creating more playful Save-the-Date notices. She told HuffPost Weddings, "What used to be a simple postcard has become a way to express a lot of personality." She says that <a href="http://FreshPaperStudios.etsy.com http://www.FreshPaperStudios.etsy.com " target="_hplink">lottery-style scratch cards</a> (like the ones shown here) and personalized map invitations are some of Etsy's favorites for summer.
Xochitl Gonzalez, <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/xochitl-gonzalez" target="_hplink">HuffPost blogger</a> and co-founder of Always a Bridesmaid/AAB Creates, a New York City event design and planning firm, says that couples are ditching low-quality decor in favor of high-end designer furniture. "We're seeing couples move away from the traditional 'cane' ballroom chair and bring in metal chairs, Eames chairs and even bentwood bistro chairs," she says. The result is a chicer feel to the event, however it could put quite the dent in a couple's reception budget. Metal chairs typically cost $20 each per day, according to YeahRentals.com.
Prop It Up
Another unusual trend that's hot right now is "propping" reception tables "with cool and unique details like figurines, statues or books," Gonzalez says. For one wedding, her team used books and magnifying glasses to style tables, and for another, (shown here) they incorporated fruits and animal figurines. Bidwell also suggests mixing "vintage milk glass vases, silver spoons, and mismatched china on tabletops for a rustic whimsical feel."
Gonzalez is also seeing couples ditch traditional tablecloths for more atypical linens. "The solid tablecloth is kind of a thing of the past. Linens have become a great way to add more personality to the table," she says. Some of what she's seeing includes "men's suiting fabrics, to Liberty prints to more 'Mad Men'-style, mid-century modern-inspired prints." Jillian Quint, editor of <a href="http://www.PureWow.com" target="_hplink">PureWow.com</a>, a digital lifestyle publication focusing on trends, adds: "I've even seen maps as place settings and tablecloths. I think that some of it is Etsy-related -- it's easier than ever to get a local map made that looks crafty and cool."
When it comes to incorporating a pop of color, orange is in -- which should come as little surprise given that tangerine was <a href="http://www.pantone.com/pages/pantone/category.aspx?ca=88" target="_hplink">selected as Pantone's color of the year</a> for 2012. "Orange is huge right now," says Quint, who is currently planning her own wedding. However, she says, we're starting to see it featured in new ways: "Brides are not just carrying orange-hued bouquets, they are incorporating the color into their Big Day make-up looks and sporting bright orange nails." Sharon Sacks, <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/sharon-sacks/" target="_hplink">HuffPost Blogger</a>, event planner and president of Sacks Productions, adds that while brighter is better, brides don't have to go to extremes (think: neon) to capitalize on this trend. "Colors like tangerine or coral are a nice addition [to the color palette]," she says, without being too bold.
Summer Florals & Flavors
Sacks says that watermelon, cucumber, lavender and mint are the flavors of the summer and can be used as accents for decor and in food. "Add these to your cocktails to awaken the senses in your guests. They will love the smell of these aromas." However, she also encourages brides to be daring by incorporating these flavors in unique ways. "Why not create a lavender honey ice cream dessert? It will not only hit the spot, but it is also delicious," she says.
While you may not trust every guest to wield a tub of frosting, decorating-your-own dessert tables are an up-and-coming trend. Guests can personalize their desserts with frosting, sprinkles and other topping, similar to how they would at an ice cream sundae bar. "From decorate your own cookies, to frosted brownies -- anything goes!" says Jessica Deckinger, senior brand manager of The Promotion In Motion Companies, Inc, which manufactures various candy products.
Lindsey Robers, apparel buyer at <a href="http://www.bhldn.com/" target="_hplink">BHLDN</a> says that bolder brides are trading traditional gowns for sleeker wedding day apparel. "I'm really loving the two-piece suit for this season, it's such a nod to the tailored, feminine feel of 50's but with a modern twist," she says. "These two-piece suits remain feminine and sophisticated yet also becomes youthful and flirty, the ultimate pairing!" She particularly likes suits that have some flair to them, like cut out back details, textured fabrics or unique beading and embellishments.
Bidwell says that cool cufflinks and boutonnieres are this summer's hot trend for grooms. Instead of traditional silver cufflinks or flower boutonnieres, she suggests that grooms "get personalized cufflinks, and look for boutonnieres with 'manly' materials like guitar picks, fish hooks and bottle caps." (Pictured here: Custom Vintage Map Cufflinks from <a href="http://www.whitetruffle.etsy.com" target="_hplink">White Ruffle</a> and Fly Fishing Pin from <a href="http://www.fireflysilver.etsy.com" target="_hplink">Firefly Silver</a>.)
Brooch bouquets lit up Pinterest last year and Bidwell says that flower alternatives are here to stay this summer for brides who want to make a statement. "These keepsake bouquets are one of our favorite trends," she says. "On Etsy, we are seeing exquisite flower alternatives, such as fabric rosettes and sheet music paper blooms. We've also seen felt, pinwheel and button bouquets." (Pictured here: Felt Rose Bouquet from <a href="http://www.handmadecolectibles.etsy.com" target="_hplink">Handmade Collectibles</a> and Vintage Book Page Bouquet from <a href="http://www.JaymaMalme.etsy.com" target="_hplink">Jayma Malme</a>.)