(Photo by Jeannie Frey Rhodes Photography/Sofa by Denicola's)

Publisher’s View: Vow wow

If you happen to see the family dog, adorned in fresh flowers, trotting down the aisle behind the bridesmaids and groomsmen at the next wedding you attend, don’t be surprised. It’s a trend.

And it’s one of the hundreds of trends out there that are giving today’s brides and grooms a new way to personalize their special day. Think chandeliers hanging from oak trees, oversized inflated balloons and plenty of snappy signage that states “This way to happily ever after” or “Now that they’re together, sit wherever.”

Nothing seems off limits for weddings these days. If you can dream it, you can do it. And brides-to-be are dreaming big.

When I got married 20 years ago, there was nary a wedding trend to be found. In fact, we tried to follow tradition to the T. The ceremony rang with Pachelbel’s “Canon in D Major,” the vows were straight from the book, and the reception—while tons of fun with a great band and fantastic food—didn’t stray far from the typical south Louisiana reception of the day. The only difference between my wedding and one in the same location the following week? It was our friends and family celebrating the marriage, no one else’s.

But today’s weddings trends—thank you, Pinterest—are making a statement and fashioning unforgettable celebrations. Indoor furniture is being hauled outside for comfy seating on the lawn. Custom wedding beer, brewed just for the special day, is offered to guests. And the singular wedding cake is being supplemented by a sweets smorgasbord that includes pies, macarons and even doughnuts.

Farm-meets-glamour-meets-modern when crystal lighting illuminates rustic tables topped with contemporary flower arrangements. It all works. In fact, it all creates an ambiance worth documenting. Live artists paint the scene on site. Newlyweds create their own hashtags so guests can collect all the fun photos on Instagram (a couple of my recent favorites are #salsworththewade and #blairlovesrockandrhaoul.) And—in addition to photographers on foot—drones in the skies catch the aerial views.

Receptions have always been celebratory, but these days they are an all-out blast. Flip-flops are supplied for guests so the dancing isn’t hindered by heels. Tambourines and maracas are passed around, and party props—such as hats, shades and ’staches—make reception photos festooned with fun.

Certainly traditional elements still have their place. The cake is still cut and the bridal bouquet is still thrown. There is still a first dance as well as a newlywed send-off at the end of the reception. But the strict rules of what to serve, how to decorate, and when to call it a night have been thrown out the window with the garter. Sky’s the limit, and there just might be a drone in it. #itsatrend