It's wedding season and many brides and grooms are ignoring tradition to put their personal signatures on the big day.
In The Early Show's "Christy's Corner," Christy Ferer has the details on happy couples who are doing things differently.
With many guys and gals getting hitched at an older age and footing the bill themselves, it's not surprising to find them choosing salsa over Sinatra or flipping over waffles, rather than filet mignon.
Whatever your preference, party vendors say the buzz word in weddings isn't "I do" it's "Hey, why not?"
Always a bridesmaid, but never a good dress?
Well, alternative boutiques are tossing out taffeta and offering cocktail-inspired numbers with serious wear-again potential.
"If you want polka dots, you can have polka dots; if you want bright orange, you can have bright orange; if you want mini dresses, you can have mini dresses, there's no book of rules anymore," says Beth Blake, co-owner of Threads.
Bold color combos and subtle patterns like floral or window-pane-check are all the rage with wedding parties.
To keep with the fun-and-fresh theme, many brides are looking to re-invent traditional pearls, so they're custom designing jewelry for their attendants.
"If they want something really sexy and bold or something delicate and feminine, I can help them take their visualization and make it real. And then the jewelry becomes a great gift to give to your bridesmaids afterwards," says Fem-gems designer, Lindsay Cain.
Brides are requesting everything from aquamarine to turquoise, she adds.
"Red was more traditionally for winter or late autumn season. And the new trend is definitely, fresh bright reds. Instead of using red roses exclusively, you might nestle it in with parrot tulips or peonies," says Christina Pfeufer of Distinctive Floral Designs.
And the bouquets are getting carried right through spring and summer.
But if you sneeze at floral centerpieces, not to worry, there's a light at the end of the aisle!
"Candles are definitely a big focus. A lot of things with water interpreted, floating candles," Pfeufer says.
Of course, brides who are really serious about lighting up the night are hiring specialists who say, the sky's the limit, even under a tent!
"A lot of people are doing go-bo projections, patterns that you put into the lighting units, you can do stars, you can do realistic night sky, you can do realistic clouds," says Kurt Nelson, vice president of Stortz Lighting.
The "I-do dare to be different" mantra also applies to the menu. Brides are gobbling up the idea of grazing stations, that offer a kind of exotic honeymoon for the taste buds.
"We are dealing with 'fusion cuisines.' We are dealing with a variety of foods from a variety of countries," says Stephen Canard from Canard, Inc.
An Indonesian rice table is one way to impress a guest.
Want to get Aunt Gerta to stop gabbing? Give her some chopsticks, and noodles. Soon she'll be sipping Asian soup, instead of chewing your ear! Or cozy up to the waffle station, comfort food is tres chic.
And what better way to sip your coffee with than a bite of the wedding donuts.
Krispy Kremes are towering over the wedding cake tradition. Un-calorie conscious couples are even sneaking take-home, two- and four-packs into guest's hotel rooms. But not to worry, chocoholics, brownies are also big crowd pleasers.
"Although some wedding cakes are very good, some aren't and a lot of people call us and say, 'I want something that people are going to eat,'" says Patricia from Fat Witch Brownies.
Another personalization trend is to use custom rubber stamps; mark invitations, seating cards, you name it.
Finally, there's no better way to put your personal stamp on the day than to indulge in a new breed of bridal gowns.
Leave it to Lacroix, Christian, that is. The god of fashion as un-usual has been the inspiration for everything from embroidery to ruffles.
Copyright 2002 CBS. All rights reserved.