Best Wedding Trends From 2012

Can you believe 2012 is almost over?!  It’s time to look back on 2012 and some of the fabulous wedding trends that sprouted from the imagination an creativity of seasoned professionals. Of course some may be passing fads … but,  some are definitely worth keeping! In no particular order, here are the ones we would like to stick around for at least another year:

Inspiration Boards

Thanks in large part to Pinterest, this trend has enabled brides to see the big picture when it comes to their wedding story.

Unique Venues

Less than 5% of couples have their ceremony in a house of worship. Finding just the right place to celebrate your love is a charming way to spend time and express your individuality.

Colored Wedding Dresses

Jessica Biel and Reese Witherspoon both tied the knot in subtle shades of pink. Color is hot and you are guaranteed to see a lot more of it in 2013.

Mix It Up

Bridesmaids wearing different (but matching) gowns, making every single groomsmen’s boutonniere slightly different, brides wearing cowboy boots, having homespun touches at the reception. Breaking tradition is the new tradition!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Delaying the Honeymoon

According to Theknot.com about 25% of all couples delay their honeymoon by  more than a week. It gives you time to unwind and prepare for the journey without feeling rushed.

 

Excited to see what 2013 has in store for weddings? Tune in tomorrow when I explore some 2013 wedding predictions!

-Penny Frulla for Bridal Expo Chicago

Engagement Announcements

A long time ago in a galaxy far, far, away people used to read the newspaper every day. Then, along came home computers and now everyone communicates online. If you have been asleep for the past few years, the big thing in wedding announcements in 2012 is social media.

Five things to remember about announcing your engagement:
1) Tell closest family and friends first. this should be a phone call from both of you. Not a text, not an email. Think about who might get their feelings hurt by not hearing it first!  After that,  you will want to tell siblings, future attendants, cousins and other people close to you. You can do this solo and text is okay if you absolutely cannot get through to them on the phone and want them to know before they hear it from someone else.

2) Send out postcards or formal announcements. Traditionally these are only sent to people who will be invited to the wedding. But, in modern times there are ways to get your point across without being tacky. Check with your wedding consultant or stationer for appropriate wording.

3) As soon as you are ready, you can announce it on facebook, set up a website and begin the cadence to matrimony with a countdown calendar for all to see. It could be as simple as a relationship status change or as major as a shared video of the actual proposal…or anything in between.  That part is up to you.

4) If you are socially connected to people who still prefer paper media, putting an announcement in the local paper is classy and timeless. You will want to start off finding out  if they have any guidelines, deadlines, fees, or regulations.

5) Last, but not least you can host an engagement party and make the announcement to everyone there. Engagement parties have become more rare for several reasons; they are costly, time consuming and they are more a thing of the past. Of course they still proliferate in certain social circles where that kind of thing is (basically) required.

No matter how you decide to do it, announcing your engagement is an exciting event. It will the first of many exciting events leading up to your wedding and one of the pinnacles of your own personal love story so, make sure you are both in total agreement before you say anything to anyone. You only have one chance to do this right…. make the most of it!

-Penny Frulla for Bridal Expo Chicago

 

Planning A Balloon Release? Think Twice

I remember when I was a kid and I got a  helium balloon, I thought it was  the coolest thing ever. Then, mylar balloons came out in the late 1970’s and that was definitely the coolest thing…. ever! In the 1980’s people were doing massive balloon releases at weddings  and it looked so cool- all of those balloons going up at the same time! But, the 90’s hit with a eco-fervor (for me) and I started to ask “What happens to all this stuff after they land?” The answer is not  good. Maybe this is why balloon releases are out of fashion –  for good reason.

1) Bad for the environment. Although it is true that latex is a natural resource coming from rubber trees, it takes a long time to break down into the environment and can cause a lot of damage ( to various species) during that time.

2) Mylar is metalicized polyester and even worse- it conducts electricity. No real good reason to take part in this debacle.

3) Helium shortage – True. There is only a limited supply of helium on this planet and once it’s gone…it’s gone. Unless you want to go to Pluto.

4) Allergies. In case you haven’t heard of this;  there are people allergic to latex….. there are a lot of people allergic to latex. So many, that schools have signs stating that balloons are not permitted.

5) Chinese lanterns have the same impact, maybe worse.

In lieu of releasing dozens ( or hundreds) of toxic balloons into the environment, try these more organic alternatives:

Release trained doves– There are reputable facilities around the country that offer the release of doves. These birds are trained to return to the facility; no matter where the birds are released they will fly back home. No harm is done to the birds or their wild relatives.

Blowing bubbles– Blowing bubbles is always fun; watching them bounce around towards the sky and twist with the wind. It also requires you to exhale and breathe.

Although it is still perfectly legal and somewhat socially acceptable to release balloons, lanterns and other non-organic components into the environment in some areas, there are some cities and states that have already banned this activity.  Think about it, do some research and decide if it is really worth it for you before you sign up for a balloon release.

 

-Penny Frulla for Bridal Expo Chicago

 

Fashionably Warm Brides – Winter Is Coming

Winters in Chicago can be brutal and most wedding gowns are bare on top. Even if there is a lace bodice and sleeve, there is no way to stay warm unless you wear a coat. Instead of ruining a  beautiful wedding gown look with a down parka, this is an opportunity to make a really bold fashion statement with a Bridal Coat, Cape or Jacket. Oddly enough, most salons don’t carry bridal coats and most designers focus on the gown so much, they forget the shivering masses.

If you can’t find a wedding coat that suits you, don’t despair – there are options available. The reality is that your legs will probably stay warm with petticoats, stockings and the gown over all of it. Focus on your arms and chest area and remember that the fabric will play an important role in your warmth. Satin gloves and capes are beautiful in photos but, do little to keep you warm. Wool, velvet, cashmere, angora, and faux fur will be comfortable, warm and stylish!

Consider a faux fur jacket like this one from DKNY

Or if the weather is not severely cold, maybe a bolero will work. Remember Kate Middleton? Her simple Angora bolero kept her warm and fuzzy in chilly ( but not freezing) temperatures.

Capes are good, if you can find one. Unfortunately they are few and far between.  A good place to start would be Etsy, where there are some very stylish capes available.

1940s Hollywood Glamour White Cape w/ Fur Mink Tails

 Don’t forget the gloves. Fuzzy, knit gloves in many colors can also help the bridesmaids look and feel great!   

It has been said that ‘Beauty is Pain’. However, the truth is that pain is unnecessary and beauty actually is “In the eye of the beholder”. Find something that you love, that keeps you warm and you will be able to enjoy your wedding day in style.

-Penny Frulla for Bridal Expo Chicago

Modern Cinderella – It’s All About The Shoe

If you missed it, Disney just re-released Cinderella on Blu-ray DVD.  This quintessential fairy tale originally brought to life by Walt Disney in 1950 is more popular than ever… not so much because women are looking for the perfect man to rescue them from their humdrum lives but,  because the modern Cinderella continues the quest for the perfect shoe!!!

Even better, Disney partnered with shoe design guru, Christian Louboutin to bring the famed glass slipper to life. The Louboutin version is made of netting instead of glass for obvious reasons but the sparkling Swarovski crystals remind you of the delicate and reflective nature of glass. You will have a hard time finding them since there are only 20 pair of these remarkable shoes being made and are being ‘given away’ in various Disney promotions around the globe.

As if that is not enough,  Christian Louboutin (himself) makes his acting debut in a short film entitled “The Magic of the Glass Slipper: A Cinderella Story ” which is a bonus feature on the recent re-released DVD. The story is cute, sweet, simple and very short. I won’t spoil it but, you can watch it here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LRbsTwBHMTo

Congratulations Mr. Louboutin for a job well done, Walt Disney himself would be proud!

Feeling like Cinderella and can’t find the right sparkly shoe to fit your budget or your sole? Princess Bridal Shoes can turn just about any ordinary shoe into a show stopper!

 

 

-Penny Frulla for Bridal Expo Chicago

Weddings That WOW!

There is a lot of talk lately about personal touches for your wedding,  the way you bring together the style and theme to express your personality. Some people use color, others use  flowers, food, signature cocktail, interesting videography, wild place cards, guest books, etc. There are literally thousands  combinations and choices to make your event stand out and be noticed. In the end, the best way to show your guests that you have planned an event made for you and no one else is to use your imagination and break some rules.

Invitations: The invitation is one of the most important parts of the entire event. It gives information, shows color and gives insight into what type of affair you are having (formal, casual, etc). Oddly enough, making sure the font on the invitations, place cards, programs and all written material is all the same will have an impact. If you use several different fonts, do the same! Also with invitations, think about the look of the venue, the color of the flowers, the style of your centerpieces… all of those things can be expressed with a colorful, imaginative invitation that compliment the reception in every way.

Matching Everything: is a No-No. It makes the event look too cookie-cutter and typical. For a more memorable effect, use shades of the same color in an ombre fashion or choose complimentary colors of completely different families.

Pinned Image

Holidays: A great excuse to tailor your theme to a beloved family gathering. Be careful of giving in to the ‘been there, done that’ details and use your imagination. Consider purple for Halloween instead of the traditional orange and black, or white for a Christmas wedding in lieu of poinsettias and greenery.

 

 

 

In the end, it s every small detail added up that will give your event that finished look. The tiniest table adornment that mirrors something they have already seen expressed somewhere else in your decor will truly create a lasting impression, even if it is subliminal… it’s there. Remember, there is a very fine line between OCD and attention to detail!

-Penny Frulla for Bridal Expo Chicago

Top Five Wedding Trends for 2012

Although 2012 is far from over, it’s fun to look back over the last 9 months and see what trends really took hold and which ones are just about  to hit, and hit big!

Metallic Details – Adding a ‘Midas Touch’ to just about anything makes it look more elegant and special. Candles, Cakes, Flowers, gowns… you name it and I can find a photo of something with a spark of silver or a glimmer of gold.

Metallic detailsOld Hollywood-inspired wedding details

Pops of Metallic

Mini Pies –The perfect combination of crust and filling in a slightly larger than bite-sized portion will have your guests drooling, and asking one another “How cute is that?”

Mini pies are this year's cupcakes  (Photography by crissiemcdowell.com)Adorable mini tartsMini Fall wedding desserts

Mini- Everything! – Not just the pies but, just about everything can be mini-sized, from the cocktails to the appetizers!

Mini Patrón + Mini Tacos = Mini Perfection.Tiny BitesMini wedding cakesMini = amazing! Individual champagne servings

Personal Touches –   Whether it is a cake that looks like a Gustav Klimt painting, hand detailed table numbers or unique place card holders, couples are making their wedding more personal by incorporating their taste instead of opting for ‘cookie cutter’ weddings. Its all in the details…

Gold! This opulent caramel cake was inspired by Gustav Kimt's paintings. The gilded look was made by pressing edible gold leaf onto fondant.Table Number detailsIncorporating family or cultural traditions, such as a black-eyed pea tossLocal Wedding Favors

Lighting – Statement lighting at the wedding and reception, using various forms of light to create the right mood. Flickering rope lights, overhead lanterns, candles, all forms of lighting can be used in addition to the lighting already offered by the venue to transform a space from casual to cozy or vice versa.

Statement lighting

Although very cute, the ‘mini-sized’ trend will probably come and go but, the personal touches are definitely going to be around for a very long time.

-Penny Frulla for Bridal Expo Chicago

 

The Great Pantyhose Debate

Is it just me or does anyone else think the pantyhose industry is hanging on by a very thin lycra thread?? Pantyhose were all but abandoned by women in the mid-1990’s when Princess Diana showed up to an event (mid-divorce) in a  knee-length cocktail dress with a bare leg. Her fans went wild! The queen frowned, Prince Charles hardly noticed and women around the world breathed a collective sigh of relief.

I will admit, I love pantyhose. But, every situation is unique and I can tell you that there are many occasions when I am adamantly opposed to stockings of any kind…hint:  Summer 2012 was a HOT ONE!! Therefore, I can take either side of the pantyhose debate.

Situations where pantyhose or tights or stockings might be preferred : many job interviews, some offices, probably in court, maybe a funeral,possibly to meet the Queen and always if it is very cold outside.

Situations where they are not neccessary: Some job interviews, with a longer skirt, in the summer months, with open toe sandals, to meet the first lady (who rarely wears them) and never when it is 100 degrees outside.

Although there are those of us  who swear the pantyhose days’ are numbered, some say that sales are up nearly 40% from last year. This is due  (in large part) to the current Princess, Catherine, who wouldn’t be caught dead without her super sheer, nude stockings.

Kate Middleton's sheer tights

The only rule for weddings is this: If one bridesmaid wears them, everyone must wear them. For guests, it is up to each individual to decide. Iron this out early and decide if you are comfortable without, go without. But, make sure your shoes are comfortable enough to avoid blistering. On the other hand, if you feel under-dressed, wear them. To avoid looking outdated,  look for something as close to the color of your skin as possible to achieve the perfect ‘nude’  look and whatever you do – avoid suntan pantyhose at all costs (or you may be mistaken for a Hooters waitress)!

-Penny Frulla for Bridal Expo Chicago

 

 
 
 

 
 
 
   
   
 
 
    
 
 

 

 

Ready to Renew Your Vows?

Whether you have been married 10 or 50 years, couples are deciding that renewing their vows is something that not only re-energizes their relationship but, also provides an opportunity to have a second wedding… this time hold the stress!

The best reasons to renew your vows, in no particular order:

1- You can have the wedding you want. Maybe your parents planned everything, maybe you eloped, either way this time it is all about you as a couple and what you want. Make it as low-key or grand as you like.

2-You have recently gone through a life-changing experience. Especially when one partner or another has survived a serious illness or a life threatening experience, renewing your vows is a way to express your thanks to one another for keeping the vows in the first place.

3- A Milestone! 25th anniversary is a big deal. 50th anniversary is a huge deal. Allowing your family and friends to share in your celebration is a gift in itself.

4- You wish to recite the vows in a house of worship. Whether your faith has changed or you eloped the first time, reciting your vows in a religious environment would be a terrific way to renew your vows!
If you decide to renew your vows, remember that it doesn’t have to be anything other than a stress-free celebration of your commitment and love for one another.

-Penny Frulla for Bridal Expo Chicago

 

Unique Guest Book Ideas

If you find the idea of a traditional guest book slightly boring, there are plenty of fun, new ideas that keep the spirit of the guest book alive but, add a new twist and a little excitement! These fresh ideas allow you to express your creativity and still have the the sentiments of your loved ones to look back on many years from now.

1) Retro – A vintage typewriter will remind your guests of the ‘old days’, and will probably spark a few conversations and definitely a few chuckles. Remember when we used to do our homework on typewriters……with correction tape? Armed with a few sheets of long, white paper, your guests will pluck out a few sentiments and have fun doing it! The best part – you won’t have to break the bank to find an old typewriter at a flea market, garage sale or thrift shop!

2) File This – Talk about organized…. your guests can sign their well wishes in this  file card guest book set and then place their name in the appropriate slot – in alphabetical order! For those of us with OCD – an adorable dream come true. Inexpensive to purchase but, definitely something an avid crafter could DIY!

3) Calendar – Seriously, what could be better than  a sweet note written on a calendar to remind you of your friend’s  birthday?  Another great DIY project, any calendar can be converted into a guest book or you can buy one pre-made especially for your big day.

4) Postcards – Pre-printed with the couples address and adequately stamped, have the guests sign fun postcards and slip them in the mailbox. The best man or maid of honor will drop them in the mail the next day and when you return from your honeymoon, your mailbox will be brimming with well wishes…. which you can file or scrapbook as keepsakes.

However you decide to go, the importance of the guest book should not be overlooked. It is a reminder of your loved ones and how they felt about you on this day. Making it simple for them to sign is the key since you really want your guests to spend the evening with you and not looking for hidden notes or filling out lengthy forms or folding envelops or origami birds. Although some of the more complicated ideas seem like fun, they will get stale (for your guests) really quickly.

Whats’ your favorite guest book idea?

-Penny Frulla for Bridal Expo Chicago