Bring up the subject of weddings and just watch people’s reactions depending on their age, gender, and marital status. You’ll catch glimpses of fear, happiness, complete panic, bliss…you’ll hear giggles, sighs of contentment, murmurs of apprehension. Ring fingers will be wiggled at you. Eyes will grow wide with anticipation or will suddenly find a spot on the ground to stare at intently.

Your married friends will have advice. Your soon-to-be-married friends will have questions. You’re newly engaged friends will be so excited that you’ll barely be able to stand them. And your completely single friends might just give you the finger.

Pulse decided to pick the brains of some of its readers, folks who just tied the knot, just gotten engaged, or are right in between ~ engaged for a while and about to take the plunge. You’ll notice that the interviewees remain anonymous and no two members of a real life couple were interviewed ~ we wanted honest answers and didn’t want to be responsible for any pre or post wedding fights! Chances are you’ll nod your head at some of the answers, make a mental note of some of the others, disagree with some, and crack up at others.

And along with getting a peek into what guys and girls really have on their minds when it comes to weddings, we’ll be showing you some of the latest wedding trends ~ like the “Trash the Dress” trend and a big increase in gifts of boudoir photography. Keep an eye out for what’s new in rings and dresses, too ~ not to mention wedding destinations, cakes, and the “green factor.”

Welcome to Pulse’s annual Wedding Issue!
Interviews by Leeanne Griffin and Emily Kopec

Just Engaged Male

One morning in November 2009, DM, 31, woke his fiancée up before work on her birthday and proposed right there in bed. It was just them, the dogs…and the ring! Although they’re in the early stages when there are a lot of details to figure out, DM does have his mind made up about certain things…

Did you live together before being engaged? “We’ve been dating for five years and have lived together most of that time. We also own a house together that we bought three years ago.”

Who picked out your engagement ring? “I picked out the ring with help from her good friend.”

What part of the wedding is causing you the most anxiety? “It’s so early in the planning that it’s still pretty rosy and fresh. We’ll see if that lasts.”

How long will you be engaged? “One year is the plan.”

Do the two of you talk about kids? “Sometimes.”

Did you use any websites to plan your wedding? “Of course. The Internet has been a great resource for us. It’s helpful to pick out venues and for us to look at outfit options. Who goes to store anymore anyway?”

Will you ban any songs from your wedding? “[Yes]. I have very specific taste.”

Was it easy to choose your best man? “It will be my brother as it’s traditional. Plus I was his best man so he can return the favor now.”

Will you do a limo? “NO LIMO, cheesy as hell. I’m thinking 1963 Lincoln Town Car.”

What will you have your groomsmen wear? “Everyone in a tux. You only get married once (you hope), so might as well make everyone dress up.”

Which part of your wedding are you most looking forward to? “Just having all our friends and family there to celebrate with us will be special.”

Just Engaged Female

Bride-to-be H.C.G., 29, stayed home sick from work one Friday in late October. When her boyfriend came home, they sat in the living room for a relaxing takeout-and-sweatpants night. He told her that he heard her phone ringing upstairs, and she ran to get it. When she returned to the living room, there was an open ring box on the couch, and he appeared, getting down on one knee. “I was in shock, crying and yelling,” she said. “It was perfect and extremely unexpected.” Their wedding is planned for October 23, 2010.

Have you always known what you wanted your wedding to look like? “I have known for a long time that I wanted a fall wedding, but that is about it.”

Biggest surprise about the planning? “Our guest list is huge right now. I knew it would be big, but when I got the lists back and saw close to 300 [guests], I was definitely surprised.”

What part of the wedding is causing you the most anxiety? “At this point, I think the actual wedding ceremony is causing the most stress. I am Catholic; he is not, so we are going back and forth with the whole church or no church thing.”

Talk to us about the all-important dress. “Currently the only thing that I know is what I don’t want. I do not want strapless. I am pulling pictures off the Internet and out of my many wedding magazines…My goal right now is to not get fixated on one set style or type of dress…”

How big is your bridal party? “Nine groomsmen, seven bridesmaids.”

Are both your and your fiancé’s parents contributing financially? “Right now we’re planning this wedding as if we’re paying for it ourselves. No announcements have been made by the families in terms of contributions…”

Where will you go on your honeymoon? “…We aren’t sure yet. Our only criteria: warm and tropical!”

How do you think marriage will change your relationship? “I don’t think that being married will change much about our relationship, we already own a home and a dog together, so I think for now, only my last name will change. But I think that once we start a family, then things will definitely change.”

What makes you want to spend the rest of your life with your fiancé? “…He is my best friend and I couldn’t imagine my life without him in it.”

About-to-be-Married Male

DV, 32, is a self-admitted procrastinator. When you mix that trait with wedding planning, it almost always equals stress (and, lucky for us, some very humorous observations). And that’s no exception here. In fact, the part of his wedding DV is looking forward to most is the after party when he can just “hang out and contemplate what he’s gotten himself into.” But don’t worry, he said it with a grin!

How did you propose? “I told her I would never do something as goofy or predictable as proposing on Christmas…So that’s exactly what I did. She cried a lot and then hit me. I’m guessing that’s pretty much how the rest of my married life will be.”

Did you live together before being engaged? “Hell yes! I think it’s crazy not to. It’s like buying a car without driving it first. You need to know what you’re getting into…so to speak.”

Who picked out your engagement ring? “My sister. She loves diamonds and knows quite a bit about them so it worked out perfectly.”

How long will you be engaged? “By the time the deed is done it will be around a year and a half. I really thought I could milk it for longer, but that was not the case.”

Have you always known what you’d want your wedding to be like? “Yup, since I was a little…girl. Does that make me seem less masculine?”

How did you choose the venue? “My future mother-in-law said, ‘This one.’”

What’s the one part of the wedding the two of you disagreed upon most? “Whether or not to invite children. I wanted it to be less chaotic and just have adults. She cried. There will be children there.”

Did you use any websites to plan your wedding? “Not really. We went old school on this one.”

Where are you going to spend your honeymoon? “It’s looking like the homeless shelter might be the only thing we can afford by then.”

Most fun part of the wedding to plan? “Next question, please.”

Did you go with a band or a DJ? “A DJ. I’ve been to enough weddings with bands and all they try to do is score with any single, drunken chick in the place.

Have you and your fiancée talked about kids? “Yes. I don’t like them.”

Talk to us about her dress. “It really is quite the undertaking, isn’t it. I’m still confused by the whole process. My small male brain just can’t wrap itself around the magnitude.

Are you banning any songs from your wedding? “We have compiled quite the list of songs that will not be played. No line dance songs, no stupid chicken song and no ‘Wind Beneath My Wings’ type of crap. Unfortunately, country music is not on the list.

What is “your song?” “’Colorful’ by The Verve Pipe. You don’t hear it a lot as a wedding song.”

Will you have groomsmen? “No thank you. They’re just extra bodies that you have to worry about. We went simple with just a maid of honor and best man.”

Was it easy to choose your best man? “It was for me. He was picked 20 years ago. Whether he likes it or not.”

Will you do a limo? “A stretch Ford Pinto. Classy. Why are you laughing?”

Biggest surprise about planning a wedding? “It takes effort. Sounds stupid but we thought it would be easier than it has been.”

Are you starting to panic yet? “Not yet. But give me an hour or so…now that you’ve made me think about everything we still need to do!!

Ever want to just forget it all and elope? “It’s still a possibility. Don’t tell my future mother-in-law. She hits even harder.”


About-to-be-Married Female

Bride-to-be BLS, 28, had been dating her boyfriend for seven years when he took her for a sunset walk on a Cape Cod beach in July 2008, “…where most of our first year of dating took place,” she explained.

They had the beach virtually to themselves as he got down on one knee and popped the question with a classic solitaire ring. “The proposal was a complete surprise,” she said. “I was the one years ago that said, ‘I’m not ready yet.’” After a 25-month engagement, they’ll marry on August 28.

Biggest surprise about planning a wedding? “…Trying to visualize the floral concepts at the reception hall. It’s been difficult to explain what you envision, try to piece elements and photos from others weddings and then hope and pray that when it’s all together you will like it. “

What’s the one part of the wedding the two of you disagreed upon most? “The decision to hire a videographer, and the budget.”

Was it easy to choose your best man/maid of honor? “NO! …I have no sisters and many great friends. All my friends have different attributes that [would] make them a great candidate to be my maid of honor. Now my maid of honor will become a matron of honor a month before my wedding. The best man was an easy choice, however. My fiancé has only one brother.”

What did you do to say thank you to your wedding party-to-be? “We had a ‘One Year Countdown’ on Aug. 28, 2009 and hosted everyone so they could meet. We are currently deciding on the gifts and what to do to say thank you at the rehearsal dinner.”

Talk to us about your dress. “I found a simple but elegant dress. I did not want to break the bank… It was actually double my size when I tried it on, but when the lady pulled the extra material back, my mom had tears and I said ‘Cha-Ching,’ meaning ring it up on the credit card!”

Where will you honeymoon? “Not sure. I had requested for my fiancé to keep that secret and surprise me at the reception, but now there is a decision on the table to be made. My bridesmaid who is also getting married this year (three weeks after me) is thinking of a destination wedding in Jamaica. So that may have to be our honeymoon…”

Who has tried to give you the most advice? “People that don’t even know me!”

Have you always known what you wanted your wedding to look like? “No. When I was younger I dreamed of a beach wedding at night with tiki torches. But now I can’t imagine not getting married in my church.”

Just Married Male

Just-married C.C., 25, had always envisioned doing something “extravagant and romantic” to ask his wife to marry him, but keeping her down-to-earth style in mind, he went with something simpler. One winter day, he and their daughter, now 19 months, got down on their knees and proposed.

After a seven month engagement, they wed on September 12, 2009 at the picturesque Jordan’s Dairy Farm in Rutland. Keeping the “country theme” going, they served barbecue chicken, plenty of side dishes, and apple pie and ice cream for dessert instead of cake. In lieu of a limousine, the bride arrived in her father’s ’64 Impala. Post-wedding, they spent a relaxing honeymoon week at the bride’s parents’ beach house in Gloucester.

What part of the wedding caused the most anxiety? “We had an extremely tight budget and my wife was trying to do way too much by herself. To save money she thought she would grow the flowers for the wedding, but the lilies bloomed a month too early. Our daughter turned one in July, and since our wedding was in September, it seemed as though our entire summer was dominated by wedding planning. There was no time to enjoy the process.”

Which part of your wedding did you most look forward to? “I looked forward to our first dance, mainly because we had taken a couple of swing lessons from a friend. We kept it a secret from everyone, so it was definitely quite the surprise.”

Most fun part of the wedding to plan? “I actually enjoyed picking out what the groomsmen and I wore. I wasn’t a fan of the colors that were available from all the rental places so we actually bought the guys’ clothes. We were in Target and I found exactly the vest and pants I was looking for.”

And the bride’s dress? “Beautiful. She got it at David’s Bridal in Natick. Low-cut in the back. Short train. It was perfect. She looked amazing.”

Did you use a wedding planner? “Our ‘wedding planner’ was the owner of the dairy farm where we had the wedding. He’s about 6’4”, 300 lbs and wears beat-up boots covered in cow manure. Needless to say, he got the job done.”

Was it easy to choose your best man? “For me, it was very easy. My older brother has always been there for me and I couldn’t imagine getting married without him by my side.”

Ever want to just forget it all and elope? “YES. There were times in the planning process where we joked about it but I think there was some truth in jest. We were both so stressed with everything going on, but in the end it all worked out great.”

Who tried to give you the most advice? “My mom. She was my rock.”

Just-Married Female

LG, 28, tied the knot on September 26, 2009 at a venue overlooking Long Island Sound in Westbrook, CT. Although she’d been worried about the tricky New England weather, she and her hubby were blessed with a perfect, sunny, 65 degree fall day. And as if that weren’t enough, they capped it off with a honeymoon to Santorini, Greece!

How did he propose? Was it a surprise? “My husband proposed to me during a spa weekend in Norwich, CT on Memorial Day. It was a big surprise to me but apparently he had asked my parents for their blessing the weekend before. How they kept that secret, I’ll never know.”

Who picked out your engagement ring? “He did, but asked for input and photos from me first. I didn’t want anything too ostentatious, and it ended up being perfect, a princess-cut center stone set in white gold with round diamonds on the band. I found a wedding band that matched it almost exactly.”

Did you live together before being engaged? “Yes, for a few years. By the time we got married, we had dated each other for close to 10 years.”

Did you and your fiancé make the decisions 50/50 or did one of you take the lead? “My mom and I did most of the planning but he definitely wanted to be involved and informed. He also arranged all of the honeymoon travel details.”

Did you use any websites to plan your wedding? “Yes. The Knot, Wedding Channel, Etsy, assorted others. I never got into The Knot’s ‘community’ section (message boards, polls, etc), but it was a great resource for looking at pictures of flowers, dresses, cakes and décor.”

How did you choose the venue? “We only looked at two venues, actually. We had decided we wanted a water-view ceremony and since we were becoming more familiar with Connecticut, we narrowed our search to the shoreline there. The first venue we looked at was very nautical-themed, with a marina, and that wasn’t our style. We saw our venue for the first time on a spectacular June day and just fell in love with it.”

Talk to us about your dress. “I really didn’t know what I wanted, except I knew I likely wouldn’t end up with a strapless gown. I looked at David’s Bridal briefly…Then my mom found a beautiful dress online at a boutique in Newton. We made an appointment and brought my aunt along. The dress we found online was the first one I tried on. I loved it, but made sure to try on 10-15 others. I narrowed it down to three, tried on the original dress, fell in love with it. My mom and aunt cried!”

What did your bridesmaids wear? “Having been through bridesmaid hell myself ~ and seeing my maid of honor go through it several times ~ I was adamant that my girls have the easiest experience possible. Since we were having a black-and-white color scheme, I asked them to pick out short black cocktail dresses that they would wear again. My MOH and my bridesmaid…both dresses were beautiful and non-bridesmaid-y. The groomsmen wore perfect, classic black tuxes.

What kind of food did you serve? “We had a sit-down meal with our guests’ choice of filet mignon with lobster meat, stuffed shrimp or Statler chicken. Waiters passed hors d’ouevres and our ‘signature cocktail’ ~ the ‘Santorini Sunset’ ~ during cocktail hour. We concocted it ourselves with a mixture of rums, fruit juices and white wine. The meal started with a plated pesto ravioli appetizer and an iceberg wedge salad. Dessert was our fabulous wedding cake and chocolate covered strawberries.”

Did you ban any songs from your wedding? “OH YES. I gave our DJ a ‘Do Not Play or The Bride Will Walk Out’ list that included most participatory-type songs (‘Electric Slide,’ ‘Chicken Dance,’ ‘Macarena,’ etc. etc.) Although by the end of the night he did play Kanye West’s ‘Golddigger’ ~ to my horror and my drunken aunts’ glee.”

Who paid for what in terms of parental contributions? “My parents took on the brunt of the reception costs. His parents gave us a considerable amount of money for the honeymoon. We were incredibly appreciative of all contributions.”

Any advice for couples planning a wedding? “Have fun with it. It’s a really exciting time and it’s so not worth getting stressed about stupid details. The wedding day will be the best day of your life even if stupid things go wrong. Also, treat your bridal party with honor, kindness and respect, and they’ll return the favor. Trust me.”


Photo by The Imagery Studio
Photo by The Imagery Studio

Boudoir Photography:
The Perfect Gift for Your Groom
By Annette Trossello

There are a lot of gifts you could give your groom on your wedding day: cologne, cuff links, or a watch. Or, if you are looking for something more exciting, there’s a photo album with sexy pictures of you taken during a boudoir photography session.

Boudoir comes from the French bouder, “to pout,” and means “a woman’s dressing room, bedroom, or private sitting room.” Alice Pepplow, a Worcester photographer, describes boudoir as “a type of photography that you would do for yourself or for a significant other that would be a little more risqué and on the sexy side.” Some women wear lingerie (bras and panties or sexy nightgowns) while others choose to go nude or draped in a bed sheet. These suggestive photos are not in any way vulgar, but are “tasteful and modern.”

Boudoir photography has been around a long time, but has become more popular in recent years. Though photographers sometimes shoot photos of couples, Pepplow has always shot women alone. She has been shooting boudoir for about two years and has noticed an increase in interest this past year. She gets a lot of inquiries from women who then say, “I’m not in shape yet” or “I’m not ready.”

Pepplow encourages women not to let those concerns get in the way and reminds us that “beauty is not just on the outside…it’s how you present yourself. Sex appeal is not just your body, it’s your face too.” Her clients feel beautiful after they see their pictures: “So what if I have a little extra weight somewhere, I’m gorgeous the way I am.”

A boudoir photograph session with Pepplow begins with a consultation. She helps you figure out what look you want and what you are comfortable with. The actual photos are taken in her studio, where she has pillows, couches, and an ottoman to use. She is also working on building a headboard to use for a background. She sometimes uses a black background for increased drama and shadows in the photographs.

She starts by asking her client what her favorite features are, so she can focus on that first and make her client comfortable. As the session goes on, she may take shots from angles that the woman was wary about at first, but is now willing to try. The session takes between an hour and a half and two hours and she encourages women to bring a variety of different outfits to choose from, though she typically shoots about three outfits. Pepplow also reminds her clients to bring shoes, jewelry, a garter, hat, or any other fun accessories. Package prices start at about $600 (which includes the session and an album) and can range up or down depending on what the client wants.

So do something special for your groom and visit to check out Alice Pepplow’s boudoir photography ~ and maybe book a fantasy session of your own!

Editor’s note: Alice only uses images of clients for advertising purposes if they have signed a model release.



Newly Married? Time to Trash the Dress!
By Annette Trossello

The average cost of a wedding gown is between $1,000 and $1,800. And as anyone who has ever watched “Say Yes to the Dress” knows, designer dresses can easily go for thousands more. It’s not just money that goes into the dress either ~ there’s blood, sweat, and tears…Just ask any bride who has gone with her mother and best friend to try on dress after dress and narrow it down to that right one. Ball gown or mermaid? White or ivory? Strapless or halter? Lace or beads?

In the end, of course, it is all worth it. But when the big day is over, what happens to that stunning gown? You can box it and display it. You can save it for your daughter to wear someday (assuming she has the same style and is the same size as you). You can leave it hanging in the back of your closet. Or…you can trash the dress!

Trash the Dress is one of the newest trends in wedding photography. After the wedding, brides get a chance to don their wedding dresses again and have a photo session in a location of their choosing. The dress doesn’t necessarily get ruined, just a bit dirty or wet from taking stunning photographs in unusual locations, places where you don’t normally see a woman in her wedding gown.

Scott Erb (, a local photographer who has done two group Trash the Dress sessions with other photographers through the Worcester Photography Meet Up Group, says that the trashing the dress trend is “thinking outside the box.” He adds that, “Everyone has wedding photos, but not everyone has these amazing images with the dress.” From one of his group sessions came a picture of a bride in a dress shredded by a lynx that had just attacked her! Well, at least that’s the image that the talented photographer was able to create with a model who was great actress and a realistic stuffed lynx.

Paxton photographer Lisa Davenock ( has also shot a couple of Trash the Dress sessions, including the one through the same Worcester Photography Meet Up Group. Both were on a beach, a common location chosen by brides. In this type of setting, she notes that, “It’s almost a misnomer to say ‘Ttrash the Dress;’ they really just need a good dry cleaning!” Other names for Trash the Dress photography are “Fearless Bridal” and “Rock the Dress.” The name “Trash the Dress” tends to “…scare people away,” but Lisa really encourages brides to consider the trend. They’ll get “…different images that you just aren’t going to get on your wedding day!” If Lisa could shoot her dream Trash the Dress session, “It would include the snow and a horse!”

Worcester photographer Alice Pepplow ( has also noticed that New Englanders seem a little scared of the trend, especially more traditional brides. She worries that “…people are not as open because they don’t know about it,” but hopes that once word gets out, more people will be up for these amazing shots. One of her brides, Ana Thompson, “…felt like a model out of a magazine” as she had photos taken “lying on the ground…and climbing a tree!” Ana “…still can’t get over how beautiful the images look. The dress wasn’t trashed after all.” She recommends that every fearless bride dig out her dress and trash it!

Will you be brave enough to give it a try?


The Top 15 Wedding Trends for 2010
By Ashley Galicia

1. Back to Basics Weddings will focus on attention to the details, the foundation of the event, not the drama or grandeur of the evening. Consider spending more on the lasting memories than on the showmanship of the event. Spend a bit more than the average budget allotment on photography mediums rather than over-the-top floral arrangements. Or consider a bit of a longer stay on your honeymoon and a little less of a party at the reception and you’ll be grateful for your decision in the end.

2. Home is Where the…Wedding Is Intimate and personal affairs in the backyard (even if it’s not your backyard) are more popular than ever. Using a home (and again, even if you ask to use the larger home/yard of a good friend ~ maybe even making that their wedding gift to you) incorporates the continued trend of personalizing the wedding day experience with smaller guest lists, more intimate settings, detail driven design, and a sense that what’s important to you is not how fancy the table linens are, but rather having your friends and family share in your happiness.

4 tier buttercream wedding cake
4 tier buttercream wedding cake

3. Buttercream Yes, Fondant, No Fondant is falling behind in popularity as buttercream corners the market. Tools and techniques now allow for buttercream to look as smooth as fondant when applied by a skilled artist. You have the options of better flavor, more natural ingredients, and less costly cakes that no longer suffer from lack of design.

4. Favor Comeback Personalized appreciation is back. The effect that an event has on the guests is more noticeable than ever before ~ so it’s important that your wedding favors show sincere appreciation. Be sure those in attendance, your nearest and dearest who are helping you celebrate your special day, can tell that the favors weren’t just an afterthought and aren’t simply a generic item purchased at the last minute. Think local artisans, locally grown products, personal mementos, and on-the-spot print outs. A perfect way to introduce some eco-friendly style into your wedding is with plantable wedding favors; they are not only the perfect contribution to the environmentally friendly campaign, but are also so beautiful and unique; they will certainly get your guests talking.

5. Nearby Destinations Nearby destination weddings are taking flight over the exotic and far off locales. The ever popular destination wedding will remain, but guests will get out of town by car (within comfortable driving distance) so couples can create a weekend, guests get an escape, but no one breaks the bank. You also get to spend within your own local economies, create a greener effect, experience undiscovered backyards, and stay sensible about cost while you’re away ~ and you won’t be automatically excluding guests who couldn’t afford either the time or money to join you in a faraway place.

6. Colors Monochromatic palettes are the way to go ~ now, this doesn’t mean you should feel restricted to muted colors, just stick with single color bunches. Vibrant colors: orange, green, yellow, and pink. Metallics: gold, silver, copper, and pewter. And black is, well, definitely the new black. Break the rules and show off the darker side of your event.

7. Greener Conscience Emerging will be the newest phase of eco-conscience, a trend that was starting to take hold even in last year’s weddings: a better understanding of the gray shades of green. You will see more emphasis on the smaller changes that are less recognizable to your guests (i.e. cleaning green, composting, solar and LED lighting, no more oasis in floral arrangements, less catering waste). It’s no longer about making the event appear “organic” ~ it’s about understanding how things are made, disposed of, and where/when events take place. Learning to make better choices that are unseen by the guest is just as important as those tree-free invitations everyone is talking about.

8. Further Integrating Video into your Event We’ve all seen the photo montages of your childhoods during dinner (eek!), but the next phase in video at your wedding comes in several different forms. Video DJs are emerging, allowing your dance party to dance to the visuals of the music videos. Ceremonies are being broadcast on screens for better viewing from the back; and time lapse photography is being shot and integrated into video for current day montages of you and your fiancé/fianceé. Love to party? Set up crane camera and project the event as it unfolds on screens around the dance floor (budget permitting of course).

9. HD Video Some videographers have already gone hi-def. But this year all or most will make the transition, making HD and even Blu Ray the norm in wedding videography. Upgrade now and appreciate the quality later. Doing so also means smaller cameras on site and less intrusion into your event, all around a better (though more costly) option on the big day.

10. Visual Combinations Professional grade still photo cameras like the Canon 5D Mark II DSLR are being released with HD video capabilities included. It is recommended to have both a videographer and a photographer at your wedding to capture every moment of the big day. Tech-savvy couples looking for a new experience may like to experiment with a visual professional (videographer or photographer) who has this technology. In the future, you will begin to see an emergence of two-in-one companies.

11. Wedding Flowers The calla lily and rose will never go out of style, and will always lend a sense of tradition to your wedding. However, with the vibrant colors predicted, bouquets and centerpieces will incorporate splashes of color. Don’t be afraid to include some exotic and vivacious flowers to create stunning flower displays ~ but remember, “stunning” doesn’t have to mean over-the-top or scene-stealing.

12. Wedding Dresses in 2010 are showing a strong tie-in with recent months’ most popular fashion trends. The wedding dress is set to be very romantic and princess-like in style, with net and tulle cascading over the whole skirt or even the whole dress. Sheer fabrics such as net and tulle add great texture and a fairytale look to any dress.

13. Bridal Jewelry is again drawing from recent fashion trends. The bridal industry is taking inspiration from the mainstream fashion world and introducing statement jewelry that includes long strings of pearls, large necklaces and flowing, stylish earrings.

14. Hair accessories and Bird Cage Veils are going to be big in 2010. From elegant headbands and intricate fascinators, we’ll see them coming down all the aisles. Take inspiration for 2009’s celebrity brides Suzanne Shaw and Carly Zucker.

15. Individual cakes and decorated cupcakes are still growing in popularity, taking the place of the traditional wedding cake. They allow couples to introduce a unique and fun element to this part of their day ~ and c’mon, who can resist a cupcake!