Weddings that splash

The rows and rows of displays by photographers, cake decorators, floral designers and everything else you could possibly want for a wedding nearly overwhelmed Rana Mansour of Sterling Heights, Mich., and her fiancé, Rashad Saleh of Dearborn, Mich.

Fortunately, they knew exactly what they’d come to check out at the Brides-to-Be Expo in Dearborn – photo booths.

The couple, who plan to marry on May 30, stepped behind the curtain of ShutterBooth, owned by Nolan and Kimberly Gottschalk of Royal Oak, Mich. Out popped a print of Saleh as he planted a kiss on Mansour’s cheek, a keepsake that looks like a book mark.

Photo booths will be big at weddings in 2010, says Cyd LaChiusa, producer of the Brides-To-Be Shows, one of several presenters of bridal expos that get going in January.

Other trends sure to be popular, according to wedding planners and couples: Cupcakes, lighting that shines the couples’ names or initials around the reception hall, live entertainment and dancing to or from the altar.

Expect brighter, richer colors too, a reflection of the brighter economic forecast expected in 2010, says Tom Schoenith, owner of the Roostertail, on Detroit’s riverfront.

Brides are requesting jewel tones, Tiffany blue and other brighter colors – a marked contrast to the more subdued browns and beiges popular last year, says Schoenith, whose establishment has hosted weddings and reception for 52 years.

Julie Raimondi, editor of Brides Michigan magazine and, says gray will be popular. “Higher-end grays and neutrals can be incredibly elegant,” she says. “I think you’ll also see patterned and printed bridesmaids’ dresses.”

Expect to see brightly colored shoes, she says – red and bright blue with the white and ivory gowns.

Couples still want beautiful weddings on a budget, but they’re going for special touches that reflect who they are and offer lots of fun and memorable moments.

That’s why Mansour, 29, and Saleh, 31, plan to have a photo booth.

“It’s a great way for everybody who comes to enjoy themselves and get a keepsake from the wedding,” says Mansour, a doctor, who met Saleh, a chiropractor, at a get-together with friends about a year and a half ago.

Shayna Goodman, 24, of Livonia, Mich., is also excited about having a photo booth at her wedding to Brandon Kummer, 25, though it won’t be until January 15, 2011.

“The photo booths are really awesome and they make a great party favor as well,” says Goodman, who won a battle of the bouquet toss at the Brides-to-Be Show and won a three-hour ride from Luxury Limousine of Dearborn.

Generally, guests enter the booth under the direction of a host at the reception. Two photos pop out – one for the guest and another that the company compiles into a scrapbook for the bride and groom.

Renting a photo booth and the use of a Web site for posting photos that can be ordered costs about $800.

At lots of weddings this year, look for cupcakes, once seen primarily at kiddie birthday parties.

Donna Anderson, who operates Celebrate with Cupcakes out of her Flat Rock, Mich., home, started baking cupcakes for weddings last year and has done four. She does cupcake trees, cupcake bouquets and cupcake keepsakes, all decorated and filled based on each couple’s request.

“Couples like them because they’re fun, different and unique,” she says.

Cupcakes are under consideration by Katie Zack, 23, of Highland, and Mike Keeler, 25, of Rochester, Mich., for their Oct. 9 wedding.

“Since we’re on a budget,” Zack says, “I like that cupcakes can be made in our wedding colors and double as centerpieces.”