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10 Fun wedding trends for 2011

Weddings expert Cara Davis is the author of Cheap Ways to Tie the Knot and blogs from her home in Orlando, FL, about cheap ways to spend and save at CheapWaysTo.com.

Plan a wedding to remember

No need to excuse or explain nontraditional wedding plans – they've never been more in style. When planning for your big day, don't be afraid to have fun with out of the ordinary everything, from outfits to hor d’oeuvres. So throw that bouquet in the air and while you're at it, caution to the wind. Want to plan a modern, memorable wedding but aren't sure where to begin? Here's a look at ten playful wedding trends to get you started.

1Fun with color

From black accents to bold color blocks, color is king this year. And it's not limited to the bride. Non-matching bridesmaids are coordinating in patterns or complementary color combinations like this crafty DIY wedding of mega-blogger Elsie Larson. In addition to bold color palettes, shades of gray and stripes continue to be big color trends for the year.

Fun with color

Visit Elsie Larson's blog here.

2Goodbye church

As more couples say "I do" in locations outside of a traditional church, rules and traditions fly out the window as well. Without the pressure of stained glass windows and choir lofts, couples feel as free as an open field (where they might be having the ceremony) to adapt, change and modernize their wedding.

Goodbye church

 

3Alternative gift registries

Many couples are registering for gifts that will help them in a practical way. Travel agencies are starting to offer honeymoon gift certificates and some auto dealers are offering gift certificates toward the purchase of a new vehicle. CardAvenue.com allows couples to create a gift card registry for national retailers. Couples can get as creative as they want and can request gift cards to home improvement stores to offset costs of home renovation or register for local restaurants so they can continue dating as newlyweds on a budget.

Alternative gift registries

4Punchy personalization

While the structure of the wedding remains the same (you've got a couple, an officiant, a group of family and friends, a ceremony and reception), the look is anything but. The time may be different (think brunch), the seating may be smarter (seated at tables & staying put for the reception), the furniture may be funky (varying size and shape or non-traditional choices), and forget the wedding favors – today's couples are giving personalized takeaways, like souvenir photo booth picture strips.

Punchy personalization

Seen here: Sectional Showcase Bar by Lounge Appeal Event Furniture Rentals

5Eco-friendly finds

Outdoor spaces, reclaimed furniture, flea market finds and even wooden rings are helping eco-conscious brides and grooms celebrate in a big way without the environmental impact. Green weddings can feature locally grown food and seed-lined wedding invitations for planting.

CarbonFund and Terrapass offer wedding carbon footprint calculators, where air travel is most likely the biggest offender. Couples can purchase carbon offsets to lessen the impact or request contributions as gifts.

Eco-friendly finds

Seen here: Tree Branch placecard holders by Dream Green Weddings - $2 each

Up next: More fun wedding trends >>

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