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PERSONALIZATION continues to be the top trend for weddings today, with couples seeking customized decor and accessories for their big day. Designers of wedding equipment are creating new products — and making over classics — that appeal to modern brides and grooms.


There's no questioning the customization craze at New York-based The Original Runner Co., Which manufactures non-slip aisle runners for weddings, graduations and other events. “Monograms are still huge, and many brides do want their aisle runners monogrammed,” notes executive director Julie Goldman. “Some brides come to us with a wedding logo that is also being used on their invitations, programs or the cake; other brides may not be using the monogram anyplace else in the wedding, but they love the idea of having their new [combined] monogram be the first thing they see after saying ‘I do.’”

The company's collection of fabric runners includes 17 solid colors and four patterns, as well as custom hand-painted designs. As for color trends, in recent months the company has seen a passion for pink runners, from solid pink hues to the “Bed of Pink Roses” print to custom designs that include hand-painted pink flowers.


Cake stands may be a traditional wedding accessory, but The Knock Shoppe in Westfield, Wis., supplies its illuminated cake stands to rental companies and wedding and event planners looking for a twist on this bridal basic. The company's ornate cake display systems include elements such as pillars, mirrored skirts and votive holders. The design of the system means that after the cake is removed, the lighted display “can serve as part of the decor and atmosphere of the reception for the remainder of the evening,” notes The Knock Shoppe co-owner Joanne Knoch.

Also lighting up weddings is the line of “Never Burn Down” candles from Albuquerque, N.M.-based Chace Candles. The candles, which look like traditional wax tapers, are made from aluminum and filled with drip-free wax refills. While white candles were best-sellers in past years, “We're seeing [people] break with tradition and select candles in pastels and even rich, vivid colors,” says company president Sandra Butler. “Today's brides are older and more confident, and they are comfortable making their weddings unique and more personal with colors other than white.” Silk and fresh flowers or ribbons can be hot-glued to the surface of the candles to match the decor. “After the event, the hot glue will peel right off without damaging the candle,” Butler explains.


Clients are also looking for items that can perform basic tasks without sacrificing style. “With our erasable ceramic pieces, clients can create elegant table or buffet stations,” explains Kristin Bowen, owner of PlaceTile Designs in Atlanta. Brides can use the company's ceramic menu boards — which can be written on with dry-erase markers — to describe the food being served. Bowen also designs a line of erasable ceramic place cards, which are a hit for both their style and flexibility. “They serve as memorable party and wedding favors too,” she adds.

At Louisville, Ky.-based Welded Bliss, where designs include brushed-metal table centerpieces, cake pedestals and cake toppers, wedding products are designed to multitask — a selling point for clients looking for products that will continue to delight after the wedding day. “All of our cake toppers are functional and can be used after the wedding as votive holders, bud vases or picture frames,” explains co-president Ted Bressoud. “We don't think that people should have to put their wedding cake topper in a shoebox on the top shelf of the closet.”


Chace Candles, 800/225-2250; PlaceTile Designs, 404/875-4426; The Knock Shoppe, 608/296-2300; The Original Runner Co., 212/246-6600; Welded Bliss 502/899-9680

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