Since Kate and Will's royal wedding spectacle, new wedding trends have sprung up everywhere emulating the British bride and her heavenly, exorbitant nuptials. As Middleton walked down the aisle, arms and shoulders covered in that famous white lace, broke brides all over the world were watching in admiration.
The royal wedding's luxury might have contrasted with the down economy, but both have sparked new wedding trends for 2011 that will still be in style for years to come.
Nontraditional dress selection: The sexy ivory number worn by Pippa, Middleton's sister and bridesmaid, has turned on lightbulbs in the minds of brides everywhere: "My bridesmaids could wear white . . ."
Yes, they can. And if you're not ready to be that gutsy, opt for a light cream, beige or soft pink dress.
"Colors like blush are coming up in popularity" for bridesmaid dresses, said Jennifer Glatt, wedding planning manager for 1-800-Registry. "Light colors can also be worn by a range of skin tones and are universally flattering."
Choosing a light palette is also a thoughtful gesture from the bride to her dedicated ladies.
"With the economic impact, it's good to be able to have a dress with a more subdued color you could wear again," Glatt said.
And brides, a little white dress is a still-classy substitution for the long bridal gown. If you're having a casual wedding, this is a simpler, cost-cutting option.
The cupcake cake: We've all seen it: the carousel of cupcakes displayed at fiestas of all types. We can comb over each cake with our eyes before we choose. Most of the time, there's a variety of flavors so you're not stuck with some weird lemon-pucker-chocolate-lava-raspberry-explosion piece of cake that you hate.
"A step up from a birthday cupcake, wedding cupcakes are a great way for couples to personalize their dessert selection," Glatt said.
If more than one flavor is offered, guests can choose what they like, which alleviates the inevitable stress of "What if my guests don't like my cake?" For budget-conscious couples, it's also a less expensive alternative to a decadent, heavily decorated cake.
Do-it-yourself projects: Instead of dropping huge wads of cash on things like wedding invitations, make your own!
There are plenty of websites that provide detailed instructions on how to make invitations and other wedding accessories. If you don't see anything you like, come up with your own design. It'll save you money you could be putting toward your dress or caterer.
Wedding registry alternatives: Couples that have lived on their own before getting married or who are tying the knot at a later age tend to already have the necessities: the blender, the Martha Stewart bedsheets, the George Foreman grill.
Instead of signing up for a Macy's registry, couples are asking guests to contribute to their honeymoon fund, favorite charities (as Kate and William did) or a down payment on a new home, Glatt said.
Sabrina Rocco can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.