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Virginal bride, slutty bride. Same old. How about something really Offbeat?

Newsweek's online division recently reported on the trend of modern brides "opting for racy gowns, wild bachelorette parties and sexy Maxim-style pre-wedding photo shoots." Apparently this is due to the influence of seeing "respected actresses and role models pose seductively on the covers of the lad magazines."

Millie Martini Bratten, the editor in chief of Brides magazine, thinks that when brides-to-be do the same for their grooms, it's "the ultimate display of freedom and empowerment." Yeah - seeing Mary Louise Parker display her empowerment by posing naked on a red couch sure makes me want to throw on a see-through white lace bustier for under my chuppah.

When it comes to women and role-playing, acting slutty is not the opposite of acting virginal. In fact, a woman is just stepping neatly into one of the two stereotypes available to her, namely virgin and whore. And how economical in these recessionary times to get that magical two-fer: white lace and a plunging neckline.

If you really want a trend story, how about women who aren't interested in either of those two limited options. At Offbeat Bride, a website that asks you to 'altar your thinking,' women are busting through stereotypes and reinventing what it means to be a sexy bride. These hot, fabulous women are really embracing the "freedom and empowerment" that so inspires Ms. Bratten.

Some of the more recent posts include Gabrielle & Andres' "tattoo parlor meets tea at grandma's house" wedding, Shrie & Brett's Vintage 50's Mexican Fiesta Hitchin'! and Sarah & Jess's Scottish/Southern/Unitarian Beach Wedding

Interestingly, many of the offbeat brides are also plus-sized. Given the standard fashion and beauty norms attached to the wedding industrial complex, it's no surprise that an alternative space is the only welcoming one.