Top 10 Wedding Trends For 2012

Congratulations on your engagement! Now that you are about to begin wedding planning in 2012, take a deep breath, we are  here to help you.  After scouring the internet, news sources and consulting multiple event planners; we have compiled a list of the top 10 wedding trends for 2012:

1) Bridal Gowns – What you will see in 2012 are  more flirty, high fashion dresses that are shorter in length,  also gowns with layers of texture and (finally) a  little something on top. Inspired by Kate Middleton, designers have incorporated sheer laces and illusion on top to offer brides an alternative to strapless.

2) A great way to add interest to an otherwise simple gown is with an embellished belt. Look for these belts to explode in 2012.

3) Feathers continue to be the most popular accent for shoes, bouquets and hair. Peacock and ostrich top the list.

4)  For 2012 you will see couples continue to take a more active part in the ceremony rather than simply standing at the altar, repeating the words that someone else has written.  Writing your own vows is meaningful, personal and helps the couple to express their love for one another in their own unique way without hesitation.

5) Couples are opting for smaller, more intimate affairs with 100 of their closest friends rather than 1,000 people who they may not know very well. Spending less per head allows couples to have a celebration that is more lavish and yet controlled, it’s quality versus quantity.

6) Standard wedding videos are out, movies are in. Imagine if  you could have Steven Spielberg edit your video footage into a ten minute movie with a plot, climax and happy ending! You can still keep all the footage but, you will have a mini-masterpiece to share with your family and friends that won’t put them to sleep or bore them to tears. Find the right videographer and this dream can be your reality.

7) High-profile event planner Bryan Rafanelli says party favors and accessories are becoming more and more customized to the individual couples to reflect their interests and tastes.  For the music lover, using cleft note place-card holders and musical note candle as gifts will tie everything together.

8) The vintage trend continues as couples embrace the look and feel of antique table settings, flowers and attire. Old Hollywood, Victorian Vintage, and 1940’s Big Band themes are a popular and all have a comfortable, relaxed charm.

9) Color is everywhere. For those brides who find picking a particular color a daunting task, rest easy – the current trend is multiple colors. Color can be the only theme you need if you find the right combination; dusty rose and silver for a vintage feel or turquoise and purple for a more modern look. Either way, color can leave a lasting impression and create impact.

10) Grooms have more choices than ever with tuxedos but nothing will ever beat a classic notched-lapel tuxedo with a bow tie. For men who want to shake it up a bit, experiment with  studs that express your personality or try a classic white bow tie and vest.

Planning your dream wedding is easier than ever. Call 847-428-3320 to get tickets to a Bridal Expo Luxury Event so you can experience all of the most exciting trends in bridal attire and wedding planning.

-Penny Frulla for Bridal Expo Chicago

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Must-Have Color for 2012? …… Tangerine Tango!

The Pantone Institute has issued their trend report for 2012 and the must-have color for all things beautiful is Tangerine Tango. Pantone is an American company that has been producing standardized color matching systems since 1963 for fashion, art, graphic design and commercial use. If you are wondering how this is relevant, think of it like this; you go to a store to buy a blouse and the ‘blue’ one really pops out at you. You are afraid to buy it because you will never find anything to match and you will be stuck wearing this blouse with a black skirt until you tire of it. Not to worry, since Pantone’s inception, they have provided color matching to designers who refer to this system to create their new lines. So, that ‘blue’ blouse is really ‘ocean blue’ and you will literally be in a sea of it at every department store. Each color and even multi-colored prints are matched, jewelry is matched and every designer has consulted Pantone to create their collection based on this color  which is found on a fan-out card system just like the ones at the paint store.  Before the Pantone system, grey was grey and blue was blue, you had to match it yourself and Good Luck! You carried a blouse around looking for a print that had even the lightest hint of that color and the search could last longer than the blouse.

Now, thanks to Pantone, every floral designer will have access to Tangerine Tango Ribbon, bridesmaid designers  have Tangerine Tango fabric, accessories will be created to compliment Tangerine Tango. Invitation desingers using Adobe have access to the same Tangerine Tango  in their palette and if you opt for dyed to match shoes, all you have to do is tell the shoe professional “Tangerine Tango” and you will almost certainly be assured a match. Although you may not want to be in Tangerine up to your eyeballs, you will have the option.

So why Tangerine Tango #17-1463?  Tangerine Tango is a spirited reddish orange, which provides the boost needed to recharge and move forward in Spring. Traditionally an Autumnal hue, tangerine has become a year round winner since it is both exotic and friendly, sophisticated and seductive. According to  Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute. “ Reminiscent of the radiant shadings of a sunset, Tangerine Tango marries the vivaciousness and adrenaline rush of red with the friendliness and warmth of yellow, to form a high-visibility, magnetic hue that emanates heat and energy.” The bonus is that Tangerine compliments so many colors; hot pink, lime, yellow, brown! It is hard not to get excited about a color this dynamic.

 

Without further adieu, we present Tangerine Tango in all it’s glory:

-Penny Frulla for Bridal Expo Chicago

Photobooth Fun – Candids that count!

 A few years ago at one of our Bridal Expos,  I discovered this new trend in weddings where (in addition to the official photographer)couples were hiring photo-booth companies to bring a portable booth to the reception to allow their guests to take fun snapshots in the privacy of a cloaked ‘room’. I immediately had to try it out. I was surprised at how quickly it produced the photos, the quality of the photo itself and how there seemed to be some magical quality about the experience. I was sold.

The benefits of the photo-booth are many:

1) Get the guests up out of their seats, moving around the room and interacting with people outside of the table. You might  run into someone you haven’t seen in a long time and you might meet a new friend and discover you share a common bond with the bride and groom. At the very least you will be able to have a richer experience of the wedding.

2) See a side of your guests that may have previously gone unnoticed. By getting everyone involved in this, table by table or as individuals, they will lighten up a bit. Maybe, just maybe, they will let their hair down a little and loosen up the tie long enough to have fun and (dare I say it) even bust a move on the dance floor a little later. The door is open.

3) Get your guests talking. This will be a conversation piece as well as a functional method of preserving memories. People will be buzzing about the photo-booth, keep that in mind when booking your photo-booth professional. 

Once you have decided to book a photobooth for your wedding always remember to check references and their work. Just like photographers, they are not all created equal.

 -Some offer different options like a photobooth album or additional prints.

-Some offer different backdrops customized to your wedding colors.        

– Ask if they offer customized photo strips. 

– Make sure there is a professional attendant on hand to oversee any shenanigans or technical problems.

As with any contract, make sure you have everything in writing!

Recently I came across the photos I had captured  in that first photobooth I saw at Bridal Expo in OakBrook, IL and it reminded me of being a kid and slipping into a photobooth at Woolworth with my friend. Then, miraculously, it all came together: the Photobooth experience is not just about the photos. You will get hundreds of photos taken at your event; staged, portraits, group shots, candids, and more. This is something more, it  is something to bring everyone together to one place in time. A time where something as simple as slipping into the photobooth is guaranteed to put a smile on everyone’s face…. like time travel without the flux capacator and all the other complications involved. Rabbit Ears are welcome.

-Penny Frulla for Bridal Expo Chicago

Wedding Website Do’s and Dont’s

Technology is a wonderful thing. Engaged couples can not only design their own unique website telling their story but, also share wedding news, photos, updates, blog about the details, etc. It is also a great way to alert guests of any last minute changes and to clue them in to pertinent information. Over 30% of today’s couple are using wedding websites to share information and that figure increases faster than Charlie Sheen can ‘tweet’.  However, there are some pitfalls to having access to this much information and  to having so much information about you available on the internet.

DO research on the site itself and how long it has been around. Free sites are available but are literally a dime a dozen. They can be loaded with  pop-ups. UGH! You don’t have this much time to waste on putting together a website only to have problems later. Use a reputable server to host your wedding webpage.

DO NOT list your gift registry information on your website. It is perfectly acceptable to provide a link to the website, but do not list gift preferences here. It is in poor taste.

DO put tons of photos on your website. Friends and family will love to see your photos as a couple, they tell a story. Of course they will want the official engagement photo but, the snapshots from vacation, from your childhood, with friends and family will also be a big hit.

DO NOT go on a 2 page rant about something wedding-related or it might come back to bite you. Maybe the florist was not as nice as she could have been, maybe the photographer put you on hold too long the last time you called or even worse, you and one of your guests got into a disagreement.  Its best not to blog about these things on your website. The internet is a really easy place to get yourself into hot water so keep those things to private conversations and emails. If you must blog, blog about the positive aspects of your engagement period (period). Keep the private stuff to yourself.

DO make it a family affair. Put your parents’ wedding photos, photos of the attendants, your sisters, brothers, and your beloved pets. It is all about getting to know your story.

DO NOT share  incriminating photos of drunken attendants at  bachelor/ bachelorette parties. These things are private and as much as you shouldn’t share them, no one really wants to see them. Everyone lets loose sometimes but this is not the place to expose wild antics. Unless you’re going for a ‘Brides Gone Wild’ theme.

DO make it your own. Be as unique as you want to and let your friends/family/guests see your individuality. Romantic, eccentric, conservative, whatever your personal style is – don’t be afraid to let it shine.

DON’T Allow comments without your approval. The last thing you need is someone making some kind of comment that ruins your day and has you scrambling to figure out how to delete. 

DO encourage your guests to comment. Reading words of encouragement is uplifting and can make your entire affair become more close-knit.

 Done properly, your wedding website will be memorable and bring you closer to your loved ones. Your guests will have an opportunity to get to know you better and get a glimpse into your relationship. Working on a website together is a great way to bond even closer to your betrothed and to  pay tribute to your parents and other special guests.

-Penny Frulla for Bridal Expo Chicago

Bringing Sexy Back – What designers have in store for 2012

The music begins and the bride starts to walk down the aisle, bouquet in hand, escort on arm. Most of what the wedding guests see is from the waist up and what they remember is the look on the bride’s face as she begins her journey to the end of the aisle where her future husband waits.

However, once she reaches the end of the aisle there is plenty of time for the guests to focus on the gown. So, it is no surprise that designers have begun to put so much emphasis on the back of the gown.

Last week, Twilight fans were delighted with the wedding of Bella and Edward. Bella’s Carolina Herrera gown featured a simple silk princess cut, A-line  gown with a dramatic deep-V back edged in scalloped lace. For devout Twilight fans (Twihards) an exact replica of the gown is already  available by Alfred Angelo under the “Twilight Bridal” label.

Pnina Tornai, the famed Israeli designer whose creations are featured on “Say Yes to The Dress” showed several stunning gowns with intricate details in the back.

Designers from ‘Haute Couture’ to ‘entirely affordable’ are embracing this style.

 

 

If you are not comfortable with the extremely low back and all that skin being exposed, you can find a gown with buttons, lacing or another equally interesting detail. You can also opt for a modest keyhole back.

The best news of all is that brides have more choices than ever. Just make sure you have the correct undergarments so the gown is what people are talking about – not pantylines!

-Penny Frulla for Bridal Expo Chicago

 

 

 

 

 

The Ralph Lauren Bridal Collection

Sorry, there is no Ralph Lauren Bridal Collection but, can you  imagine how phenomenal it would be? Actually, you don’t have to imagine at all. Ralph Lauren’s daughter Dylan was married last July and his Son David in September and as luck would have it, he designed both gowns for both brides and hit a home run both times! You can see a complete pictorial in this month’s Vogue magazine. Here are the highlights:

Dylan’s  gown for her July nuptials was  modern  with romantic silk tulle ruffles, a duchess satin  bodice delicately draped across the bodice and shoulders with light touches of silk tulle. I loved Dylan’s dress, it is perfect;  urban and sleek, yet romantic and sexy at the same time.

 

Ralph’s son David married Lauren Bush (activist, model and neice to former President G.W. Bush) in September in an Old West themed wedding at papa Ralph’s 17,00 acre Double RL ranch located outside Telluride, Colorado.  Lauren Bush-Lauren wore the most perfect gown I have seen in many years. I know it does bear some similarities to Princess Catherine’s  gown but, with all due respect I have to say that Ralph nailed it and Sarah Burton missed her mark on some key design points.

Lauren wore a  Victorian-inspired  gown with a high neck  and a bit of a pouf sleeve, opting for an open back to show a modern edge. The gown, which took 3000 hours to make, was made of silk tulle that was completely embroidered by hand. Look at eachof those scroll designs – that was embroidered by hand. It was elegant, timeless and unbelievably breathtaking. On her head was a simple crystal headband and a long silk veil. To complete the look,  she opted to wear cowboy boots under her gown. Not a bad choice since the reception was held in a 200 year old barn. Of course they  had  decorated in abundance with fragrant flowers in whites, creams and pale blues.

To complete the Western theme, the groom wore an old timey suit complete with gold vest pocket chains and pinstriped pants. In the pictures, you can see how well the entire look came together. The black and white wedding photo is a nice touch, adding to the antique feel.

According to Mr. Lauren,  he consulted his long time friend and one time assistant, Vera Wang for advice on both gowns. Now, thats’ what I call expert advice.

Penny Frulla for Bridal Expo Chicago.

 

Fall Weddings /Fall Colors?

There is no rule that says your wedding colors have to be based on the seasons. Of course in the Spring we are all excited by the vibrant pinks and purples, just as we are calmed by the relaxing hues of  fall but, this does not dictate your color choice and there are no limits to what you can or should do.

 Your options in the fall are as gorgeous and stylish as ever and here are some tips to incorporate fall colors without losing the vibrancy of spring and summer bouquets.

Go White.Nothing is more classic or elegant than all white flowers, centerpieces and bouquets,  just ask Kim Kardashian. By using a variety of flowers, textures and shapes you can have a monochromatic theme with a “WOW” factor.

Go Green. Shades of green from Emerald to Lime will make your guests feel like they are in an enchanted forest.

Be Unique. Mixing flowers and plants that are not traditionally associated with wedding bouquets and adding feathers and herbs or a touch of sparkle will make your wedding flowers stand out no matter what season. Peacock is still a big theme and the feathers look amazing in floral arrangements.

Also hot for fall weddings: Deep colors like crimson, purple and orange all mixed together with some foliage, twigs or antique hydrangeas.

One important tip to remember is that flowers are more economical when they are in season, always ask your florist if you are unsure of what that might be. You may get some quizzical looks if you use daisies for a winter wedding but, take it in stride. Your job, as a bride, is to make yourself  happy, not everyone else.

-Penny Frulla for Bridal Expo Chicago

A Very Twilight Wedding

This Friday (Thursday at midnight) fans of the Twilight series of books and movies will not only be moviegoers, they will be guests at the wedding of Edward and Bella.

I will share a secret with you: I am not a Twilight fan. Sorry, folks I just don’t get the whole vampire thing or the cult following. However, I love weddings. ALL weddings… even a Vampire wedding. I would go to a werewolf wedding, a trailer park wedding, a dog wedding – any wedding. Invite me and I’ll be there. You will recognize me immediately because I will be the one smiling from ear to ear, hopping up and down, ooh-ing and ahh-ing over every detail.. Why? Because I love weddings. So here I am.. in a pickle, deciding whether or not to go to the wedding. Oops… I meant movie! I’ll keep you posted on that.

I am very excited to report that Bella Swan’s  gown was designed by famed fashion icon Carolina Herrera and (according to her) took six months to design. She immersed herself in the books to get a feel for the character and what she would wear. Her goal was to make it reminiscent of the early 1900’s to mirror the engagement ring.  Breaking news: the gown will actually be  available in salons after the first of the year so loyal fans planning their own wedding can immerse themselves in the Twilight experience.

Will this be a huge influence in the bridal fashion? Only time will tell. I thought Kate Middleton’s gown was going to change the face of bridal fashion, I thought at least one of Kim Kardashian’s gowns would be  a showstopper. I was wrong on both counts but, I still wouldn’t bet against this one. Carolina Herrera was designing clothing when I was still in diapers and  mastered the art of  effortless style long before that. She is one of the most sought after and talented designers in the bridal industry to date and if you add to this the unbelievable dedication of the Twilight fans – you might just have a breakout style influence for 2012. One can only hope!

-Penny Frulla for Bridal Expo Chicago

 

 

Wedding Shoe Blues

No matter what you do, no matter what shoes you buy for your wedding day, your feet will be sore by the end of the night. Unless, of course, you are used to standing ( in heels) for at least 10 hours. According to the Wedding Report, brides spend an average of $94 on shoes for their wedding. Consider this: Kim Kardashian had 3 pair of Guiseppe Zanotti shoes at roughly $900 each.  How much you spend is not nearly as important as the style, fit and comfort.

There are several ways to avoid the wedding shoe blues and I have compiled the these tips to guide you through the process.

1) Buy shoes in the height you are used to wearing. Buy them in the most comfortable size. If you wear a 7.5 – 8, go with the bigger size to allow for swollen feet. Not so big that your feet are falling out.

2) Do not take your shoes off after the wedding – your gown will be dragging and your feet will expand, rendering your shoes unwearable.

3) Buy a second ( even more comfortable) pair of shoes to wear for the reception. This will ensure that your feet do not fall victim to blisters.

4) Break them in. Wear them for at least one hour per day for a week, more if it is feasible. Wear them around the house while vacuuming, to the mailbox to check the mail. Breaking them in will alleviate the pressure points and also scuff the soles a little so you won’t slip and fall.

5) Wedges have more supprot and are less likely to cause foot pain. 

6) If your toes are cramped, pinched or there is even one spot where the shoe rubs your foot the wrong way, buy something else. 

7) Wedding shoes do not have to be white. Pick a color, any color. My favorite is to use the shoe as “something blue”.

8) You do not have to spend a fortune to find beautiful shoes. But if you decide to spend a little more money to get shoes made of natural materials, the shoes will be more comfortable. Leather beats plastic every time.

What are brides choosing in 2012? Metallics are big and so are studded shoes but, brides will always be looking for something that is comfortable enough to wear all night.

-Penny Frulla for Bridal Expo Chicago

All Bridesmaid Gowns Are Not Created Equal

Interestingly, the strapless  trend  (you know, the one that has been lingering around bridal gowns a bit too long) has not had much affect on bridesmaid gowns. Bridesmaid gowns have gone from bad (in the 1970’s) to horrible (1980’s) and then slowly back to good. The early years of the last decade of the 20th century (1991 & 1992) seemed to bring us what we had been searching for… tasteful dresses that look good, made of nice fabrics that can be (dare I say?) worn again. It seemed to happen overnight, designers began producing bridesmaid gowns that were flattering and affordable and since then, bridesmaids everywhere breathed a collective sigh of relief.

That doesn’t solve all the problems since all women are not created equal, some are created ample and some gowns just don’t look good on everyone. So how do you decide on which gown for your nearest and dearest friends when you want them all to look good? When it comes to selecting bridesmaid gowns you only have a couple of choices:

All the same. Same color, same style no matter what.  Best friend is a size 4 and sister is a size 22? Same dress. You have your style laid out and this dress is perfect. You  can make it work. Best bet: Only look at gowns that come in a wide range of sizes and avoid anyting too exposing if you have a larger bridesmaid. 

Same Color, different dress. Give your bridesmaids a choice of which gown to choose as long as they are the same color. T his works well only when you limit the choices to those offered by the same company. Otherwise the color may vary and the fabric may be incompatible, causing it to show up completely different in photos.

There are pros and cons of either but,  haven been given the option of both at various points in my life, the latter option seems to work the best and is also the most popular among brides and their maids. Everyone is happy and comfortable and gets to select a gown she looks good in and feels good wearing. It also takes into account that a larger women will not be comfortable wearing the same thing as a smaller woman. Most importantly it gives everyone the opportunity to have a gown they love and if the planets are aligned properly….wear again.

-Penny Frulla for Bridal Expo Chicago