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As wedding season gets underway, we consulted experts to find out what brides and grooms are favouring this year.

Tablemates Long and communal harvest tables are replacing round ones. “Guests sit together so no one feels left out,” says Catherine Lash, creative director of The Wedding Co., which hosts its Spring Event in Toronto on Saturday.

Flowers: Coriander Girl. Photo by Joseph + Jaime

Gold standard “All the rental companies have brought in gold flatware for this season,” says Toronto-based wedding planner Karina Lemke. “People really want to see gold on the table.”

Photo: Tara McMullen Photography.

Calligraphy On signage, menus, place cards and seating charts – it’s literally everywhere, says Lash. Couples take calligraphy workshops to DIY, or just to “understand the craft behind it,” she says.

Calligraphy: Post Calligraphy. Photo by Joseph + Jaime

Floral chandeliers Among this year’s favourite trends for Alison McGill, editor-in-chief of Weddingbells magazine, these work for both modern and vintage weddings. “A chandelier trimmed in cascading flowers creates an instant ‘wow’ factor in your wedding space and is a great way to take your flowers over the top,” she says.

Bohemian blossoms “Expensive florals that appear to be just-picked wildflowers,” is what brides want now, says Lemke. Florists are displaying local and seasonal flowers down the length of the table in mismatched antique vases, not mason jars, says Lash. Though the bride’s bouquet may look like it’s just been freshly plucked from a farm, it’s been painstakingly designed, notes Lash.

Flowers: Sweet Woodruff. Photos by Alex Lee of Young Hearts Photography

Mermaids overboard For brides, Lash sees more flattering, form-fitting wedding dresses with capped sleeves or illusion backs. McGill says gowns that show skin will dominate this year, including cropped, two-piece dresses and silhouettes with strategically placed cutouts.

Maids in white Forgoing the rule that bridesmaids can’t wear white, many are going pale with shades of ivory, grey, apricot, robin’s egg – and white, says Lemke.

Suited up Ditching the rent-a-tux, grooms are going for bespoke suits with personalized bow ties, pocket squares and socks. “Men have gotten shafted when it came to attire for years,” says Lemke. “Now he gets a fabulous suit and he will actually wear it again.”

Photo: Danijela Pruginic

Don’t let them eat cake Roughly half of Lemke’s clients bother with a wedding cake or the once-ubiquitous cupcakes. “My foodie couples do wedding cheese cakes: beautiful blocks of cheese stacked to replicate a wedding cake.”

Photo: Cheese Boutique

Sweet tooth For those who want to have their cake and eat it too, Lash says minimalist, standalone cakes are now in vogue. Naked or lightly frosted with buttercream, the cakes get a topper the couple has designed themselves, says Lash.

Cake: Yorkshire Pudding Catering. Photo by Joseph + Jaime

Around the corner Besides barns and vineyards, brides and grooms are hosting their nuptials at local restaurants. “Couples are exploring their neighbourhoods for the perfect venue,” says Lash. They’re going for craft beer and seasonal menus, guaranteeing that “no rubber chicken will be served,” says Lemke.

Entertain us Couples are also hiring local bands “that play around the corner to their house every Thursday night,” says Lash. “Even if you can’t afford a 10K wedding band, most are opting for some live music,” says Lemke, “even if that means a cool trio that a client found at their local watering hole.”

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