The Kate Effect

On April 29 2011, nearly 3 billion people tuned in to watch a girl from Bucklebury marry a prince born to Buckingham. But the question remained: Would a day full of British pomp and tradition change how Americans choose to wed? Here, we examine how the royal wedding is impacting our nation's nuptial script—and what it means for you.

The Dress

For years, strapless wedding gowns have ruled the salon scene. No longer. Almost as soon as Kate debuted her Sarah Burton for Alexander McQueen gown, says Dan Rentillo, fashion director for David's Bridal, dresses in a similar style began rocketing off the racks. "Women have really respon­ded to the coverage," says Rentillo. "They're asking for ladylike gowns with clean, simple lines." Some brides are taking it even further by requesting a replica of The Dress: By midsummer, several houses, including Justin Alexander, Mori Lee, Theia, and David's Bridal, were selling lacy look-alikes.

Browse 17 Kate Middleton-inspired dresses here.

Photo: Getty Images