The Gloves Are Off… Or Are They?

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Has anyone else noticed that no one seems to wear gloves anymore? I’m not talking about the First Lady, the Queen of England or debutantes, since women of that social stature always seem to be appropriately gloved.  I’m talking about bridal and semi-formal attire, Sunday best and special occasions. I know gloves are old school and seem kind of prissy to some but,  I couldn’t agree less! I think the right glove with the right outfit is a spectacular fashion statement.

Women have been wearing gloves for about 400 years. During Victorian times it was considered ‘improperly alluring’ for a woman to remove her gloves in public. In fact, it is completely impossible to overemphasize the importance of gloves in fashion prior to the middle of the 20th century. Which is why it is so surprising that they have been absent in mainstream fashion for so long.

In the 1980′s bridal gowns were almost always featured with gloves and bridesmaids often wore gloves that were dyed to match… just like the dye-able shoes. I can recall countless conversations with concerned brides about how to handle the ring portion of the ceremony when gloves are involved.  Now only the most formal weddings would require gloves and brides have almost forgotten that they were once a wedding wardrobe staple. So imagine my surprise yesterday when I was browsing through  several photos from  acclaimed bridal and formal wear designer, Yumi Katsura, and there they were…. the gloves! Of course she matched the short, organza gloves and the full length satin opera gloves to the appropriate gowns so they perfectly accented  the overall look of the ensemble. I was stunned at how perfect they looked and excited that maybe gloves are making a comeback. If you want to give gloves a try, there are some things to remember:

Short, wrist length gloves work best with tea-length or informal gowns

Opera Length gloves are designed for gowns with exposed arms; halter, strapless, one shoulder. They should not fit so tightly around the upper arm that they cause skin to roll over and look flabby. The glove should be fitted tightly up to the elbow and looser at the top.

Gauntlets are fingerless gloves. They can be straight around the wrist or come to a ‘V’ pointing to the ring finger, attached by a  loop of elastic to keep them in place.

Gloves are not recommended for gowns with long sleeves.

If you decide to go ‘Old School Glamorous” for your wedding and wear gloves, remember that you do NOT have to keep them on the entire night; definitely remove them before eating and at this point you can leave them off if you want.  Of course you might want to slip them back on for the first dance, for some truly romantic  photos.

-Penny Frulla for Bridal Expo Chicago

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Awards Season Heats Up – 2012 SAG Awards

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It’s January and you know what that means: the Hollywood Awards Season is in full swing! Aside from the occasional censored part of an acceptance speech or a wardrobe malfunction, my favorite part is the red carpet arrivals. Many years ago you used to have to watch the entire show to see what everyone was wearing. Now (like magic) there are half a dozen entertainment reporters stationed outside the venue, stopping every entertainer,  giving us a play by play of who is wearing what.  Sunday evening’s Screen Actor’s Guild Awards was a  star-studded evening filled with surprises, disappointments and more of the same.

Surprise: Michelle Williams redeemed herself from her last awards show appearance in a gorgeous red asymmetrical Valentino gown. Everything about this dress is right; the fit, the color and the design. Although demure , this look is also completely glamorous and stunning on her.

 

 

More of the same – Remember how great Meryl Streep looked in ‘The Devil Wears Prada’? She needs to put the costumer from that movie on speed dial because this Vivienne Westwood gown was completely unflattering in every single way possible. Sorry, I can’t find one good thing to say about this…. the worst part:  that gigantic leather (?) belt that looks like it belongs to a construction worker.

 

 

Even more of the same -Lea Michele showed up in her signature color (grey-ish) wearing an uber-sexy Versace gown.  The gown was beautiful but I would loved to have seen it in a more exciting color.

Disappointing  – Funny lady Jane Krakowski in a gown by Antonio Berardi that flops. If the center portion was beaded on sheer black instead of nude, it would make more sense.  It is a nice fit, though.

 

The Worst gown of the night belonged to Busy Phillips. I can’t even begin to imagine why she thought a boho-caftan was worthy of the red carpet. This belongs at a backyard barbeque. Busy? You bet!

 

The Best – Emily Blunt’s choice of  a jade-hued Oscar de La Renta gown was a refreshing change. Everything about this gown reeked class from the  slit (which was just the right height) to  the fit of the asymmetrical bodice. This gown was spectacular and the color really brought out the vibrant green in her eyes.

Of course this is just a sampling of the 70+ red carpet arrivals, the ones that really stuck out in my mind.  What were your favorites?

-Penny Frulla for Bridal Expo Chicago

Friend vs.Fiance

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My husband is the greatest person in the world and still not everyone likes him. Hard to believe, right? Fortunately for me, all of my friends recognize his positive qualities and vice verse. Although that seems rather inconsequential, it is actually quite monumental and something I do not take lightly. I am blessed.

 

Oddly enough, this happens more often than you can imagine. Even more odd is the fact that it is usually the maid of honor or the best man,  so it is not just a friend it is your best friend, your BFF, your childhood chum or the keeper of your secrets  that cannot seem to be in the same room with your betrothed without a fight breaking out.

 

So what do you do when your friend and fiance do not get along? Can you ask her (or him) to be a part of a wedding they do not endorse? How do you avoid getting in the middle of their seemingly endless arguments about nothing? More importantly how do you avoid having  mugshots as your weddings photos?

 

1) Talk it out. Find a time when you can sit down with each of them apart and ask point blank if there is any reason for the disharmony. Be prepared to get an answer you don’t want to hear. Worst case scenario – she thinks he is cheating or he thinks she is stealing from your bank account…. I said worst-case didn’t I? Imagine the worst and hope for the best. If there is no concrete reason, ask each one to give the other a second chance. They may have gotten off to a rocky start but the fence can sometimes be mended.

 

2) Work it out. Find an activity that you like to do and invite each of them. Movie, sporting event, anything where you can avoid the tension…. how about a game of laser tag? Getting them to have fun together might just make them see  how wrong they have been and they might be willing to make a fresh start.

 

3) Be sensitive. Perhaps your friend is simply tired of being the third wheel and has no interest in attending all sorts of couples functions with you (as a couple). Try to keep your friend from feeling the pangs of jealousy by spending alone time and not insisting that they always be in tow. If that friend is in a relationship, work on a group relationship. Be prepared if your fiance and his or her partner don’t become besties …you are just looking for an occasional double date and a way to take the edge off.

 

If you have tried and tried but they continue to put you in the middle, you will have to make a difficult decision. The fact is that if you fully intend to marry the person of whom your friend so strongly disapproves, you will be fighting this battle for the rest of your life. The polite thing to do is to to explain to the friend that he/she cannot be in your wedding because there is too much turmoil  between her and your fiance. “While you are my best friend, I cannot endure any more tug of war between you & ______. So I am asking you to remain my  friend in life and  a guest at my wedding.” The other option is to bury your head in the sand through the entire wedding process and ignore the squabbles.

 

If your friend is offended by the mere suggestion that he or she opt out of standing up for your wedding, gently remind them that attendants are supposed to serve not only as witnesses, but uphold and support this marriage. If you are the friend in this case, why would you even want to be a part of something you don’t condone?

 

This entire discussion could quite possible put an early end to your friendship but it will also ease a lot of suffering for everyone. Realistically,  as time passes and your marriage grows stronger, your friendship will dissolve on it’s own.

 

On the other hand, as time does pass, people change. It is not a bad idea to keep an open mind but, for God’s sake -don’t torture yourself by putting yourself in the middle for too long.  NEVER complain to an unsupportive friend about a  future spouse that they don’t like to begin with – it is a recipe for disaster and confrontation.

 

-Penny Frulla for Bridal Expo Chicago

 

Reviewing the Reviews – How to Really Pick Your Wedding Professionals

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As hard as it may seem to believe,  a lot of companies get their online reviews from within. If you have read this blog before, you know that I am the ultimate skeptic and that an online review to me means about as much to me as the paper on which I will never print it. In this case, my skepticism pays off.  A September report by the Pew Research Institute indicates that 58% of consumers purchase goods and services from the internet based in their online reviews. This was right about the same time the New York Times uncovered the truth about online reviews, exposing several companies who admitted to reviewing themselves repeatedly. Oddly enough one such company actual gave their company scathing reviews in order to improve their Google search results, and it worked.

As hard as it seems,  fake online reviews have gotten so out of control that the government is about to step in and figure out how to handle this growing problem. Until then, here are some guidelines to help you figure out how to spot a fake review when selecting professionals to service your wedding:

Name – Including the first and last name of the reviewer are not a guarantee that it is an actual person but, it greatly increases the odds. Generally online names like Bob234 are either automated programs or insiders trying to hide their identity. More information about the reviewer means more credibility.  Also check to see if this one name has several reviews on the same site or on other sites. Multiple postings is a sign that something is not right.

Date and Number – Check to see if there are swarms of reviews around the same date and for the same product or service. Clever marketers hire people to do product reviews based on a number of things like seasonal purchasing and promotional dates. 

Description – A description that sounds too good to be true probably is. Glowing recommendations are fine but, sometimes they go a bit too far and seem (what’s the word?) … phony. Also be careful of descriptions that are too technical to be from an average consumer point of view, they are probably not.

Links – If there is a link in the review, it is a fake. It is being used to drive you back to the original site.

Negative – Be careful of a negative review even if it seems legitimate since disgruntled ex-employees are notorious for going online; ranting and raving within the confines of a pseudonym. You could be passing up the best bridal salon in Chicago based on a sketchy review you read online.

When in doubt, check it out. The best and only reliable way to ensure that your wedding vendors are A+ or D- is to do your own research. Meet face-to-face  with each and every vendor and when you do, ask them for referrals. Ask for samples or examples of their work. Call previous customers who have used this service and find out firsthand about their experience. If you want to take it a step further, ask if you can attend one of their events and then you can decide for yourself.  When it comes to your wedding, you only have one shot to make it right and leaving your decision-making to reviews posted online is risky, at best.

-Penny Frulla for Bridal Expo Chicago

Announcing Your Engagement Tastefully

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In today’s world of 24/7 media where everyone is plugged in, connected and online,  it seems like announcing your engagement would be a snap. However, there is some protocol involved and some surprisingly easy ways to breech etiquette.  In fact it is harder now than it was 50 years ago when the only outlet, other than word of mouth, was a formal engagement announcement in the newspaper. You know, those papers that show up on your door every day that have stories … just like the internet.

The first people you should tell are those closest to you ; your parents, siblings, grandparents and children if either of you have them. Telling them in person is nice if you’re able, otherwise a phone call is perfectly acceptable. but, it should be soon and very personal. Emailing is not personal, neither is having them find out by seeing your relationship status has changed on facebook. Make a list and keep track of who you have spoken to. Leave a message like, “I’ve got some great news” so they know that you called.

The next tier of communication goes to close friends and (non-immediate family) relatives. It is best to to call them if you can but, this may not be practical. It is perfectly acceptable to text or email but it must be a personal message and not a bulk one delivered to multiple addresses. Take the time to write each person a polite note letting them know you are engaged and you will keep them informed of further details if they wish.

After you have let all of the above people know, you are finally ready to announce to the world that you are engaged! 

Newspaper- Everyone is welcome to submit an engagement announcement in the newspaper. Generally, though, this type of announcement is used when the couple is of a certain social, celebrity, economic or  political status. Your newspaper should have guidelines to follow and you can also include the (formal) engagement photo.

Party - Having an engagement party is the most fun way to let a large group of people know at the same time. There are only a couple of points to ponder: do not invite anyone to the party that will not be invited to the wedding and try not to do it at another event,  (wedding, birthday, baby shower, etc) so you will not upstage someone else.

Internet- Posting a relationship status change on facebook will definitely garner some congratulations and other well wishes. You can also create a wedding website which can include stories from loved ones, photos and even a blog. Invited guests can use this site to get updates on the wedding.

Mail- Sending formal engagement announcements through the postal mail is the most traditional way of announcing an engagement but, keep in mind that no one (NO ONE) should get an engagement announcement unless they will definitely be invited to the wedding.  You can include the wedding date on the announcement which will serve as a save-the-date card. You can NOT include any information about where you are registered for gifts.

Whether you go high-tech or old school is entirely up to you, just remember no matter how great the temptation to run in the streets screaming or shout it from the rooftops, take your time and do things right - you won’t regret it.

 

-Penny Frulla for Bridal Expo Chicago

 

 

 

 

Defining Marriage – Confusing? You Bet!

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 Nearly 80% of all weddings take place in a church, synagogue or other place of religious worship. I found this shocking. Mainly because, I thought that it would be the opposite, that  more weddings were civil ceremonies held at reception sites, officiated by individuals licensed by the state rather than performed by ordained members of various religious institutions in a house of worship.  In fact, ‘church’ weddings are on the rise. However,  it is technically not the signature of the priest or rabbi  that makes your marriage legally binding, it is the stamp by the state. So, the thing that  makes the marriage legal has nothing to do with religious affiliation or lack thereof.  If you are keeping score, this means that technically ALL marriages are ‘civil unions’ but, not all ‘civil unions’ are marriages.

Of course that takes us into the whole same sex marriage debate.  Miriam Webster defines civil unions as: “the legal status that ensures to same-sex couples specified rights and responsibilities of married couples“. However, aboutcivilliberties.com states: “Civil unions are legal contracts between partners that are recognized by a state or government as conferring all or some of the rights conferred by marriage, but without the implicit historical and religious meaning associated with the word ‘marriage’.” No mention of same or opposite sex. I was married in the Cook County Courthouse in a civil ceremony… no priest, no rabbi, no minister. Therefore, although I am legally ‘married’ to my husband, by definition it is still a civil union. However, technically it is referred to as a ‘civil marriage’ . You see, because we have different chromosomal makeup, we are allowed to be legally married.  Are you still with me?

If you are confused, welcome to my world. But, lets get back to the church for just a second.  Centuries ago, people who wanted to be joined together for life simply set up house together (mutual consent), no questions asked. No ceremony, no gown, no DJ or flowers. Somewhere around the middle ages, things got confusing. Some countries required the government to sanction marriage, some required sanctioning by the ‘church’. Realistically, this was done to document, track and control marriages and probably to make a profit somehow.  To this day, some states still recognize common-law marriage which is based on  length of co-habitation and mutual consent.

Without getting into a detailed  history of marriage , let’s fast forward to the year 1999.  Bombarded by requests for marriage licenses by same sex couples, Vermont lawmakers took matters into their own hands and decided to create a parallel license (equal to marriage in everything except name) to issue to same sex couples wishing to be afforded marital rights. Thanks a lot, Vermont…. Whiskey Tango Foxtrot! If I understand this properly  (please correct  me if I don’t), “Civil Union” licenses were created to appease some voters  without offending the other voters along the way. In order to be completely politically correct, perhaps it should be called a “Duplicate  Chromosome Union” license. This way individuals with gender re-assignment wouldn’t have to have an additional parallel license.

This brings us to 2012 where  you can have a civil ceremony and civil marriaige  but, it isn’t considered a civil union.  You can have a civil ceremony which can be a civil union but not a civil marriage. Fortunately more churches are accepting of all kinds of marriage, unions and cermonies and are willing to accept the religious and cultural differences of couples everywhere. Perhaps that is why ‘church’ weddings are on the rise. Stilil shocking to me but, then again, I’m still trying to figure out who came up with the idea of a  ‘parallel’  license.

-Penny Frulla for Bridal Expo Chicago

A Unique and Special Wedding Dilemma

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In the back of your mind you know he is going to propose any day. Maybe he is waiting for a special event, maybe he is waiting for a certain holiday or maybe he is still picking out the ring. You have merged your lives already and perhaps bought a home or moved in together. It is all happening, and it’s all good. Then, unexpectedly you get the news that you are not only going to be husband and wife, you will also be ‘Mom & Dad”. SURPRISE! Now, what?  Basically you have two choices, get married ASAP or wait until after the baby is born to tie the knot. Either option has a multitude of pros and cons.

Option #1) Get married right away -

Pro – You can have a smaller, more intimate gathering with just your closest friends and family. This way you don’t have to worry about who to invite and who to cut from the list,  the list is your nearest and dearest only.

Con- Most couples begin planning their wedding well in advance and can still experience difficulty getting vendors and booking a reception venue. Booking even a small venue at short notice can be tricky. Be willing to compromise and consider a Sunday or Friday event.

Pro- You can find a beautiful gown now that designers have recognized that a lot more women are getting married while they are expecting and not hiding it from anyone.

Con - You may not be feeling your best and trying on clothes is the last thing you want to do. (This goes away in the 4th month and euphoria kicks in)

 

Pro – If you plan quickly, you can get married before most people even know you are pregnant and avoid answering a lot of pesky questions. 

Con-  Who cares what other people think? This is your life, not theirs! 

 

Option #2)  Wait until after the baby is born.

Pro – Your child can be a part of the ceremony and weddings are about family, after all.

Con – Children can be unpredictable, even tiny ones.

 

Pro - You will have plenty of time to plan your dream wedding and spare no expense.

Con – Babies are expensive and your priorities change after giving birth , you may not want to spend a lot of money on a wedding.

 

Pro -You can wear that strapless mermaid dress after you’ve lost the baby weight.

Con – You can’t predict how your body will change and how you will feel about those changes, especially if you are breastfeeding.

 

For some women, getting pregnant before they are married is a source of shame and embarrassment, even in 2012. For some, it is a statement of fact and nothing to hide. Speaking from experience, I had no reservations about being 6 months pregnant at our (casual) wedding, I have no shame that one of the great loves of my life was born 3 months after his father and I tied the knot, I don’t think my son cares or even wonders if this is normal or not. This is our family – there is no normal. How you handle the news is a personal decision and one that should not be made without a great deal of thought and consideration but, don’t wait too long or you won’t have a choice. If you are pregnant with twins, may the force be with you – you will need it!

-Penny Frulla for Bridal Expo Chicago

 

 

Reply Card Roulette

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 Unlike some future grooms, my husband helped with a lot of the wedding planning. He picked the menu, the cake, the venue and he singelhandedly documented receipt of the reply cards. Every day he hurried to he mailbox to collect the replies and took great delight in making the necessary notations on the master list. I could tell when the cards began to dwindle because he started to walk a little slower to the mailbox. For us, the reply cards were an exhilarating experience, and eventually an exhausting one, since not everyone replied in a timely manner, replied appropriately or replied at all. Believe it or not, the reply card is fraught with  places for guests to make errors and faux pas and for some reason, this is where guests make the majority of blunders. Your part is simple: You address the invitation to the person(s) you are inviting and make sure that you have a place on the reply card for the number of invited guests. So, what do you do when it all goes awry despite your best plans and intentions?

-When you sent a reply card that is obviously intended for the invited guest +1 and the invited guest returns the card, adding +2 or more without having previously discussed this with you, including adding their own children without your approval or acceptance of the idea, it is time to pick up the phone. Simply tell the guest that their invitation is intended for them and one guest only and leave it at that. There are exceptions but, those exceptions are totally up to you. What if they show up with the +2 or more, anyway…? You have to be prepared how to handle this, just in case.

-When you have received no reply card and it’s one week before the wedding? Time to pick up the phone and make a call to this guest and ask if they will be attending. Be specific about the reason you are calling; so you can ensure all of your guests have a place to sit and a proper meal.

As for those who reply, “YES” and then don’t show, there must be a very good reason. Of course you don’t expect  someone with a serious illness or broken leg to jump out of a hospital bed to attend your wedding but, wait until after the wedding to then call and see if they are doing better. Don’t wait for them to call you, they won’t.  They will probably feel you are too busy to talk and will wait for action on your part. This is not a snub or lack of concern, and this is one of those tiny little things that can ruin a lifelong friendship. Pick up the phone, call and see what happened. You are the only person who can decide if their reason for being a no-show was adequate.

-What if the reply is “NO” and they show up anyway? This is tricky. Speak to someone at the venue and see if there is a place they can be seated (there is usually some wiggle room) Of course they won’t have an assigned table or a place card or a favor but, they will be able to sit and that is all that matters. If there really is no room, you will have to be the one to deliver the news as gently as possible. I know firsthand how difficult this can be, I actually had a couple show up after having replied “NO” and there were no additional seats available anywhere in the room. Our solution was to ask them to sit at the bar and we paid  ‘a la carte’ for two additional meals. Tricky but not unmanageable.

There may be no single solution that works for everyone but, planning ahead will avoid hurt feelings and possible blowups. Consider posting information regarding seating on your wedding website if you have one, emailing people who you think may be having trouble with the reply card concept and possibly having specific instructions printed on the reply card. Some couples have resorted to adding “We have reserved ___ seats for you”  (or similar text) to the reply card. In my opinion, keep it simple and limit the possiblities of error. Although going above and beyond is a nice gesture,  I doubt if some people will even notice.

-Penny Frulla for Bridal Expo Chicago

 

 

 

What’s The Worst That Can Happen? – Preparing For The Unexpected

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No one begins the wedding planning process worrying about every single detail that could go wrong. Correction, most people don’t plan this way, I’m sure that there are those rare exceptions.  At the risk of frightening potential brides and grooms, there are about a million things that can go wrong on any given day much less the day or week of your wedding. Being prepared for a disaster is different than planning for one or even expecting something bad to happen, being on top of every detail is not Obsessive-Compulsive, it is responsible and requires clear thinking and adult decision making.

A disaster is defined a  sudden event, such as an accident or a natural catastrophe, that causes great damage or loss of life.

Just so we are clear; a disaster is not when it rains on your wedding day, when the color of the napkins doesn’t exactly match the bridesmaid’s gowns or when you have a head cold the day before your wedding. These are minor inconveniences. Of course a sudden illness ( however short term or curable)  can be a disaster; speaking from recent experience, a disaster can be a burst appendix, or adult chicken pox. A disaster can be a blizzard that closes airports and roads for travel, stranding  invited guests wherever they may be for days. A disaster can be the reception hall burning to the ground three days before your event.

Although there is no way to prepare for these sudden and completely inconceivable forces that could turn your life upside down at a moment’s notice, there is a way to make them less devastating.

Take care of your health – Without over-reacting, pay attention to any changes in your body. See your doctor and ask him or her to update your vaccines and if you have never had chicken pox, mumps, rubella or measles – get the necessary vaccine(s)  far in advance of your wedding date.  This also might be a good time to think about multivitamins. If you are taking any prescription medications, you must be diligent about dosage and watch for possible side effects.

Travel Plans – If you are having a destination wedding, are traveling any distance or expect out-of town guests, check weather reports in the area where the wedding is planned and if there are any severe weather alerts (blizzard, tornado, hurricane) begin to think about alternative plans.  Remind everyone who is traveling by air to book their flights well in advance, purchase the traveler’s insurance and pay the small amount extra to book a flight they can cancel or alter at a moment’s notice, it will pay for itself if needed.

Overall Insurance – Many companies offer wedding insurance; comprehensive insurance that covers the entire cost of the wedding in case of disaster or emergency. Be careful, though,  and make sure you use a reputable  and reliable carrier. Always read the fine print and make sure you are covered for specific situations indigenous to your area.

Without obsessing, without spending every waking minute worrying and driving everyone (including yourself) nuts –  simply remember the Boy Scout credo: Always be prepared.

-Penny Frulla for Bridal Expo Chicago

 

Cake Toppers – Creative Trends

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Like a gorgeous ribbon tied beautifully around a package, the cake topper is the finishing touch that makes the entire package come together.  Let’s face it, even the most beautiful cake needs a little something on top to complete the look. Wedding cake toppers are traditionally a representation of a bride and groom in formal wedding attire sitting atop the cake.  This custom was dominant in US weddings in the 1950s where it represented the concept of togetherness. It is important to note that cake toppers have advanced a long way since your parents or grandparent’s wedding. Seldom do couples even look for the standard  cake toppers where the only decision is to try to find one of the little plastic couples  that resemble you in hair or skin color. Couples today can use the cake topper to signify the silly, irreverent or romantic spirit of their relationship. Don’t be too worried if your fiance is not jazzed about cake toppers just yet. Wait until he sees the options (now) available, then you can sit back and enjoy as he delves into the wonderful world of wedding details…. and this one can be downright fun! What’s hot in cake toppers for 2012?

Romantic – Choices to express romance include Lladro figurines, doves, or hearts  made of various materials. It isn’t about cost since there are options made for every budget. Although a beautiful Lladro could set you back  hundreds of dollars,  a simple  plastic sculpture of intertwined hearts can cost less than lunch.

Fun- Bobble head likenesses, a cute Lego or cartoon couple, a whimsical wire sculpture. Maybe a  couple doing something you both enjoy like surfing or fishing. Perhaps you want to focus on your profession;  firefighters, police and military cake toppers are very popular and easy to find.

Monograms – Monograms are HOT! You can do the traditional monogram with your first initials on either side and your shared last initial in the middle, you can do just the last initial or  just your first two initials intertwined. Rhine-stoned cake toppers gained so much popularity last year that some companies have begun offering them with colored stones so you can match your wedding colors! WOW!

Same Sex - With a handful of states passing legislation that same sex marriages are legal (and hopefully more to follow), it is now easier than ever to find a variety of cake toppers depicting same sex couples. Bravo.

Ethnic – Cake toppers are also widely available in a variety of traditional ethnic wedding attire so you can mix your Asian, African, Hispanic or Middle Eastern heritage with a traditional American wedding cake.

Today’s couples have limitless styles to choose from since so many companies offer custom cake toppers. My only advice to to future brides and grooms is to get something  you love, something you can afford and something you will want to keep forever, it is a wonderful keepsake  and would look great on top of your future anniversary cake.

-Penny Frulla for Bridal Expo Chicago