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FROM eye-catching, decorative banners to new takes on the classic cake table, pretty, personalized wedding products help couples celebrate their big day in style.


Anthony Yu, co-owner of Fantastik Trading in Mississauga, Ontario, says he is seeing a trend toward “bridal customers spending more on larger decor pieces that enhance the visual effect.” The company offers wedding equipment such as candelabras, arches, backdrops and gazebos, and also manufactures its own line of ornate wrought-iron products for dressing up ceremony and reception venues.

Fantastik Trading recently introduced the Piccadilly, an ornate 16-light candelabra designed to stand on the floor, which makes an impact when used at the altar or behind the head table at the reception, Yu notes. Another popular choice for framing the head table is the company's deluxe backdrop system, which when assembled measures 8 feet tall by 20 feet long. The backdrop can be swagged with fabric and draped in lights to create a glowing, fairy-tale effect. “Simple and elegant design that embraces modern concepts is playing an important role in terms of the preference of brides,” Yu explains. “White, silver and pewter colors continue to dominate bridal decorations.”


White is also the color of choice for Wedding Feather Banners from Alburg, Vt.-based Lodge Enterprises, says president Peter Foy. “As time progresses, we will continue to add an array of colors, designs and materials appropriate for weddings.” The company is now testing a glittery silver-and-gold laminate adhered to one side of a strip of black ripstop nylon, which creates a “very cool look for black-tie events,” he notes. The feather banners are made from high-tenacity nylon attached to 20-foot fiberglass poles; the banners flutter in the breeze, creating an eye-catching effect. The nylon can be imprinted with text and images, such as love poems or flowers, to create a custom design; attaching streamers that match the colors of the wedding to the top of the poles is another way to personalize the look.

Foy notes that for maximum visual effect, the banners can be used to line the sides of a walkway leading up to a gazebo or altar, while “using a piece of monofilament to pull the tops of the poles together creates a stunning and elegant archway.” Using lighting to spotlight the banners for evening receptions is another way to make the banners stand out. “People are drawn to the elegance and visual impact the banners create when set up in multiples,” he says. “We always emphasize the huge impact versus the relatively small expense.”


Bringing new flair to traditional cake tables is the line of decorative display stands from Chico, Calif.-based Boss Manufacturing. The company makes cakes stands and risers for artful food presentation at weddings and other events.

For weddings, “In general our customers either want everything white for a clean, fresh look, or finishes that create interest, like rust, copper, bronze and verdigris,” co-owner Julie Boss says. She notes that the company's “Party Tree” style is a top choice for garden weddings because it has a detailed leaf and branch design that adds style, while the height of the piece means it takes up minimal space on a buffet or table. “It is so functional that it allows guests to congregate around it for easy access,” Boss explains. The “Carrie Marie” cupcake tree is another best-seller, reflecting the trend of couples selecting individual wedding cakes or cupcakes in place of traditional multi-tiered cakes.

The popularity of personalized wedding elements has been big business at Atlanta-based You Top the Cake, which creates customized cake toppers in the image of the bride and groom. “Clients like to show their true selves, not just a typical bride and groom on top of the cake,” co-owner Michelle Sharon explains. Before the wedding, the couple can send in photographs of themselves in their wedding attire; the company then re-creates elements such as the dress, tuxedo and flowers. “The only thing that is not exact are the faces — that is why our toppers remain very affordable,” she says.

Clients also can have the toppers — which are hand-sculpted from colored polymer clay that is durable once baked — designed to reflect their interests. “Sports-themed toppers are very popular — often the bride and groom like opposing teams and want to reflect that,” Sharon notes. So are “second-time around” toppers, which include the couple's children from previous marriages. “Our clients are thrilled to be able to include their children in this way on their wedding day,” she says. “We've also recently started to get a lot of interest from wedding and event planners, who are interested in making the toppers into larger {versions} for centerpieces.”


Boss Manufacturing, 800/832-4941; Fantastik Trading, 905/670-1636; Lodge Enterprises, 802/233-0853; You Top the Cake, 404/312-6405

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