1) Tailored Maids
We know how this story goes: Well-meaning bride vows to find re-wearable bridesmaid dresses, yadda yadda yadda, said garments clog up closets for years to come. Still, Cynthia Rowley’s debut collection of flirty wedding party frocks ($175-$220) might put an end to the vicious cycle. The cocktail-worthy dresses, from sleek halters to frothy-skirted styles, could easily pass for pieces from Rowley’s quirky-pretty fashion line — all the more reason to don them again.

2) Giving the Nod
Vanilla is just so … vanilla. When it comes to cakes, couples are opting for inventive flavor combos, such as chocolate-mint or pumpkin-caramel. (Find such tasty options at the new Fluffy Thoughts Cakes, 1320 Old Chain Bridge Road, McLean, Va.; 703-942-5538.) And what goes on top has become equally creative: A search on Etsy.com’s wedding section turns up toppers for Zombie or Lego enthusiasts, though our pick is the so-kitschy-they’re-cool custom-made bobblehead dolls (shown, $238).

3) The Best Man(icure)
We think mom would agree: Those fuchsia toes look a little, ahem, tacky poking out of your satin peep-toes. Skip the trendy hues (and the lecture from Ma) and opt for simple nail shades on the big day, like the colors included in Essie’s new wedding collection ($8 each). For Mom’s sake, you may want to dole out bottles from the fail-safe palette — including the lavender “Main Squeeze” and the ivory “A Walk Down the Aisle” — to your bridal party, too.

4) Tie Him Down
If your hip groom (and his equally dapper groomsmen) chafe at the thought of getting gussied up in traditional penguin suits, consider an alternative. (No, not force.) The natty new line of ties ($100-$120) and pocket squares ($30) from D.C.-based Derringer Friday come in funky fabrics — mustard wool, salmon-striped linen, cotton madras (shown) — that boast stylish swagger. Pairing them with plucky gingham is just one option: They look equally cool with a slim, dark suit.

5) Beautiful Services
Brides-to-be raid Anthropologie for church-apropos accessories (like the Shimmering Nectar necklace, shown, $78). So, it’s no surprise the line’s designers are lending their pretty touch to a new wedding line, to debut in February. Other fresh options: White House Black Market’s limited-edition gown ($495), and Ann Taylor, which now offers bridesmaid and bridal dresses.

Written by Express’ Jennifer Barger and Betsy Lowther