With the wedding of the decade only weeks away, Fairfield County brides and bridal stores are abuzz with anticipation. The royal nuptials for Prince William and Catherine Middleton, scheduled for Friday, April 29, are generating almost as much excitement as the wedding of the prince’s mother, Lady Diana (neé Spencer) to his father, Prince Charles, on July 29, 1981.

“People are definitely asking about it,” says Alison Fischer, bridal gown expert and owner of The Plumed Serpent, an elegant Westport bridal boutique she has operated for a decade. "They want to know if I know what she'll be wearing. But I remember when Princess Diana got married and what a huge deal that was. My mom got up at five o'clock in the morning just to watch. I don't know that I've seen that level of excitement about this wedding."

Alison anticipates she'll hear more about the wedding once it's over. "She'll definitely wear sleeves," Alison says of the royal bride. "You don't get married in Westminster Abbey in a strapless gown. And for the last few years, every wedding you go to, the bride is in a strapless gown. So, I think after the wedding, you'll see a lot of designers creating gowns with straps and even sleeves."

Whether people on this side of the pond are planning on waking up early or not, this generation’s fairytale wedding is poised to bring the event to its global audience. Unlike the previous royal wedding, this event is fully equipped for the 21st century with a Website, a boasting more than 28,000 followers and a Royal Wedding app for your smart phone.

“Of course I'll watch,” Alison smiles. "It's an occupational requirement." But, she doesn't think she'll follow in her mother's early bird footsteps. "We'll be able to watch it on YouTube four hours after it happens. We couldn't do that when we were kids."

The Plumed Serpent is located at 295 Post Road East in Westport.

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