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For summer nuptials this year, whimsy rules all

Even in their most glamorous iterations, this summer's top trends are as breezy as the season itself

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“Years ago, when Titanic [was released], every designer came out with a Titanic dress. Now, the same is true of The Great Gatsby,” says Canadian bridal designer Justina McCaffrey, referring to Baz Luhrmann’s recent adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s classic novel, which unfolds during the summer of 1922. Among those who paraded period-evoking bias-cut dresses with fluttery sleeves, fringe and beading down the spring/summer bridal runways were Maggie Sottero, Reem Acra and Jenny Packham, one of whose gowns is shown here. Jazz Age style is also inspiring everything from birdcage veils and ornate headpieces to cake design. Allyson Bobbitt, co-owner with Sarah Bell of Toronto pastry shop Bobbette & Belle, says she is busy filling last-minute orders for bold, geometric cakes from brides who want a taste of Gatsby flair. Drawing inspiration from vintage Tiffany jewellery and the Manhattan skyline, Bobbitt decorates her 1920s confections with cool metallic embellishments such as edible silver sequins and bronzed fondants in half-moon shapes, “anything with an artdeco reference.”

Peter Michael Dills

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If there’s one key colour trend for weddings this season, it’s mint. Fresh and sprightly, the modern update to retro seafoam is showing up in everything from sartorial accents for grooms to table linens and florals. J.S. Vann, stylist at Garrison Bespoke, a custom men’s-wear shop in Toronto, has been taking orders for mint-green groom’s shirts “in a range of different cloths, from solids to ginghams to stripes,” he says. Pale-green bouquets composed of lamb’s ear, silver licorice and dusty miller are also proving popular, confirms Lisa Collins, owner of Sweet Woodruff, a flower shop in Toronto. Similarly, CC Roa, owner of Roa Floral and Event Design in Vancouver, recently equipped one wedding with a candy table featuring “mint cupcakes, mint candy pops and mint candies on white linen. It looked so fresh,” Roa says.

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Since a cloudless day and the accompanying heat can turn a heavily made-up face into a mudslide, a light, dewy look for summer brides is as practical as it is on-trend. Last month, actresses Sharon Stone and Milla Jovovich sported minimal, transparent makeup on the red carpet at Cannes, while Alexander Wang, Donna Karan and Stella McCartney were among the designers who showed fresh-looking faces on the runway at their spring/summer shows in New York. In addition to sporting a BB cream, sheer foundation and lip stain on the big day itself, Ritha Paans, an aesthetician at Toronto’s Delineation salon, recommends having a few monthly facials leading up to the wedding, as exfoliated, well-hydrated skin is what really makes a bride glow.

Katja de Bruijn-Govorushchenko

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In the two years since Pippa Middleton stepped out in an ultra form-fitting gown by Alexander McQueen at the wedding of her sister, brides have become increasingly inclined to let their maids assert some individuality – even at the risk of relinquishing the spotlight. Call it the Pippa effect – or the demise of what Catherine Lash, creative director of The Wedding Co. in Toronto, calls a “cookie-cutter look.” Instead, bridesmaids are being encouraged to purchase non-matching dresses “in any style from any store, but in the same palette,” Lash says.

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While food trucks have, over the past year or so, become a curbside staple at weddings, they aren’t just serving up midnight snacks this season, but the main meal itself. Jody Barned, owner of Jojo’s BBQ, a Calgary food truck, says she has already fully catered two weddings this year, has lined up another for July and expects two more for August. “One of them is small, rustic and outdoors, which is perfect for [serving from the truck], while the others will be buffet style,” she says. The trend is yet another example of the dialled-down, homespun reception, which has been picking up steam for several seasons, especially among couples who are marrying later in life and view weddings as whimsical parties rather than ultraformal events.

Michele Cornelius

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