It's summer time, which means it's also wedding season. No brides have captured the public's attention more this summer than the royal brides in England, from Kate Middleton to Prince William's cousin, Zara Phillips, just this weekend.
Nearly 3 billion people tuned in to watch Kate and William's royal wedding in April, and it seems many brides-to-be were watching as much for inspiration for their own wedding as for the romance between William and Kate.
Brides magazine says so many brides-to-be were taking notes on the ceremony and style of the royal wedding that they're now seeing what they call the "Kate Effect" in the United States, as brides copy Kate to put their royal touches on their own day.
The magazine's editor-in-chief, Millie Martini Bratten, visited "Good Morning America" today with six tips for easy ways everyday brides can turn their weddings into a royal affair even they'll never forget.
InvitationsNothing sets the tone more for the wedding day than the invitation, the first indication of a bride's wedding style. While the trend in recent years had been homespun invitations with an arts-and-crafts style, the "Kate Effect" has sparked a return to formality and pomp in invitations for many engaged couples, with an emphasis on embracing a modern, clean and sophisticated look.
William and Kate's invitation featured a family crest, a very British tradition, and something every royal family has that goes back thousands of centuries.
American brides, however, don't have to trace their family history back hundreds of years to weave their crest into their wedding day. For a small fee, or even free, brides can go online to have an artist create their own family crest, and then incorporate it into the wedding program or wedding napkins.
A crest is something personal and unique to a couple, and it's something that cannot only introduce you on your wedding day but be used later on, too, on towels and decorations at home and even holiday cards.
Horse and CarriageEvery bride likes to make a big splash when she arrives at her wedding. What better way to do it than, like Kate, on a horse and carriage?
Brides magazine found a 200 percent increase in inquiries about horse-and-carriage rentals since April at one retailer, Noland's Horse Drawn Carriages in San Luis Obispo, Calif.
Search online to find a retailer near you, and make sure to ask your church or wedding venue about any restrictions or guidelines for using a horse and carriage on the streets.
Lace SleevesKate's fashion sense is impeccable, and nothing stole the show on her wedding day more than her wedding gown, a long-sleeved lace and ivory satin design by Sarah Burton, the creative director for the late Alexander McQueen.
Kate went against the trend by choosing lace sleeves for her gown, as well as a detailed back with a long train and buttons. The lace sleeves favored by Kate are, in particular, now having a rebirth, even across the pond here in the United States. Both the lace and the sleeves add an air of romance and formality to the gown. Nationwide wedding retailer David's Bridal offers similar gowns for around $999.
TiaraA princess demands a tiara and the one worn by Kate added shine, glamour and sparkle to her wedding ensemble. Tiaras had largely fallen out of favor for U.S. brides, but not anymore.
Kate donned Queen Elizabeth's Cartier "Halo" tiara at her own "I do's," but the regal look is not out of reach for brides who don't have access to the family jewels. Check your local bridal store, major retailers such as David's Bridal and online retailers for the perfect tiara for you.