Raquel Shutt, owner of Annapolis-based Wedding Savvy Inc., notes the movement to bring the indoors outdoors — or vice versa. The operative idea is "putting things where you're not expecting them," she says.

Similarly, Tutnauer says, "Many weddings are now taking place in outdoor manors and mansions, creating a perfect backdrop for the vintage and romantic aesthetic."

Different dining

Alternatives to buffets and standard dinner service abound, including family-style dinner service, mini bites and food trucks.

Bradshaw thinks small: "Mini portions creatively displayed are very chic — for example: mini sliders, soup served in shot glasses, bite-sized morsels in spoons, or mini desserts including doughnuts, canapes."

Adds Venditto: "Late-night snacks are huge too. Couples are making them personal like having food trucks show up and make pizzas or have mini milkshakes passed out."

Focus on dessert

Dessert — long an afterthought, a sliver of a tiered cake — is getting its moment to shine.

"Dessert is really beginning to be discussed more and more often and is being considered a course," says Canale. "Mini cakes are also beginning to trend. ... Couples are opting for a small cake to cut and then serving alternative desserts such as mini Italian cookies, ice cream sundaes, lemon tarts."

Dessert bars will stick around a while longer, says Dixon. "But we'll see them becoming a bit more personalized. Couples will create these dessert bars out of desserts that they love, or they will color-coordinate them with the colors and style of the wedding."

Center of attention

Many couples are rethinking their placement in the seating arrangement. Shutt sees more long, two-sided head tables.

"People are leaning away [from] a sweetheart table and are sitting with family or the wedding party," says Canale. "They are really [trying] to connect and make the most of their time and money spent to be with their guests."

Lace reinterpreted

"With lace still the most popular fabric for bridal gowns, designers and brides are turning to new interpretations of the classic fabric," says Tutnauer, "with bigger patterns, nonfloral patterns, cotton and crochet laces."

On a related note, Mia Antalics, owner of Garnish Boutique, notes variations on bridal gown necklines: high necks like bateau, lace illusions and sheer fabric necklines with more coverage.

Photo applications

Apps that allow for the sharing of wedding photos are gaining popularity, notes Shutt, the benefit being "The bride and groom ... get to see all of the guests' photos."

Typically, brides and grooms would have access to photos uploaded to a master weddings website.

Baltimore Sun reporters John-John Williams IV and Chris Kaltenbach contributed to this article.