By Jenny Tiegs | This article first appeared on

These days, weddings have taken on a competitive edge. Blowing bubbles and throwing birdseed at the happy couple just doesn't cut it anymore.

Today's weddings are more than a celebration of the newly minted Mr. and Mrs. -- they are also spectacular pull-out-all-the-stops extravaganzas. Here are some of the hottest trends in weddings right now.

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  • Magic

    It used to be that the couple's first dance together served as wedding entertainment -- but modern couples have kicked it up a notch by hiring REAL entertainers, such as magicians. <br></br> <a href="">Nash Fung</a>, voted <a href="">The Knot</a>'s "Best of Weddings" pick in 2012, is a magician at the forefront of this trend. Known for his classy and interactive acts, there is no fear that your guests will feel like children as they watch Fung pull scarves from his hat. The magician starts his act by walking around and socializing with guests during cocktail hour. According to Fung, "Weddings are unique in that it will most likely be the first time people from different sides of the family meet each other." He adds, "Most wedding guests will only interact with people they know. So, I work as an ice-breaker among them. When I get a reaction or roaring laughter from one group, it will catch the eyes of another. That’s when I invite them over and introduce them to a new group.” Tada! Now guests know more people and it’s the magic that brought them together. “My magic is all about bringing strangers together,” explains Fung. <br></br> Related: <a href="">Favorite Pinterest Pages for Weddings</a>

  • Late Night Snacks

    At a traditional wedding, guests arrive, watch the exchange of vows and make their way to the reception for cocktails, dinner and toasts. Then the evening concludes with dancing and perhaps drinking. Weddings used to end there... but with the new trend of food trucks and caterers bringing post-drinking and dancing snacks, guests are revived and ready for some more dancing and fun! Brenna Profit, a bride from Seattle, first heard the idea of serving her guests fresh wood-fire pizza from her <a href="">Deer Harbor</a> caterer. “Everybody thought it was an amazing idea,” Profit recalls. “It was devoured!” Why not extend the excitement over an evening snack? <a href="">Nadia Digilov</a>, a New York wedding expert and author of "<a href="">Getting Married in New York,</a>" says this is a great way to catch guests off guard. “This trend is somewhat correlated with another trend of converting a part of the reception to a club-like atmosphere and as a result, offering less “serious” options to munch on.” It’s also a great way to end the evening and send your guests off into the night with a happy heart and full tummy.

  • Brooch Bouquets

    Want a beautiful and special way to combine something old, new, borrowed, and blue? A brooch bouquet is the perfect way to do this and add some bling to any ceremony. You can even do the project yourself. After DeAnn Jahnke, author of the blog titled <a href="">Diary of a Middle Aged Me</a>, made her first brooch bouquet for a bride, she received rave reviews. Her process was simple -- Jahnke and the bride collected gorgeous rhinestone pieces such as earrings, pendants, shoe clips, rings, and brooches from flea markets and local craft stores. They also had great success asking guests of the wedding shower to bring jewelry to donate to the bouquet. “We ended up with approximately 70 total pieces in her bouquet, which weighed close to three pounds!” This crafty project will catch the eye of every guest and make for a stunning display for wedding photographs. If you would rather order a brooch bouquet, <a href=""></a> has a great selection. <a href="">Noaki</a> from Los Angeles makes customized bouquets and allows brides to match wedding colors for head turning creations. <br></br> Related: <a href="">Planning Your Wedding: 6 Questions To Ask Your Florist</a>

  • Signature Cocktails

    It is usually the job of the maid of honor and the best man to point out the bride and groom’s personality traits and what makes them a perfect couple, but what if you had a drink that did the same thing? Signature cocktails have been a big hit this wedding season. Nadia Digilov suggests offering a signature cocktail to guests as it “really adds a personal touch to the wedding day.” You can either have one drink that symbolizes and represents the bride and the groom, or feature one drink for the bride and one for the groom. If the bride is bubbly with a sweet side, think of adding some fruit to a champagne. For the groom’s drink, he might be a strong man with a softy side, so why not keep it simple with a nice Crown Royal, Coke and a manly garnish like a lime? Don’t forget to name your drinks (think childhood or college nickname, maybe?). And do not worry; you don’t have to be a mixologist to come up with drink ideas. A quick Internet search for “signature drinks” will give you plenty of ideas. Cheers to the new couple and a new drink creation!

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