The Reality Of Wedding Costs

If you ever wondered what determines the cost of weddings… wonder no more! Here are the answers, broken down in a way that is easy for anyone to understand.

For a wedding and reception with 150 guests

The cost of an extravagant wedding in Cook County, IL is $72,000

The cost of the average wedding in Cook County, IL is $33,000

The cost of a simple, pared down wedding in Cook County, IL is $22,000

Want to save some money and have your wedding in Naperville? The location won’t make that much of a difference, which is a big shock to me since I always thought that having a wedding in the city had to be more expensive than in the suburbs. Using several zip codes with varying demographics, the cost of any of these three weddings is within a thousand dollars of the average given the same number of guests and style of wedding.

What does that mean? An extravagant wedding in Schaumburg costs about as much as an extravagant wedding in Chicago or Lake Forest or Oak Park or Burr Ridge. You will have to travel more than 75 miles from the city for the location to make any noticeable difference in price.

What makes the biggest difference in the price? The extras; wedding planners, couture gowns and tuxedos, exceptional video, location photography, custom wedding rings, artistic cakes, extraordinary flowers, top notch musicians, anything that goes above and beyond. Oddly enough, one of the biggest factors that will affect your total cost is wedding favors!

Thanks (in part) to Pinterest, DIY wedding are very popular. But, that’s not going to save you nearly as much as you think. Why? Because the same flowers that a florist could provide for $6,000 will cost you nearly as much in materials alone and if you add your time ( if your time is as valuable as mine) you have spent nearly double the amount. You will never get the same discount or special rate as a professional florist and you will never be able to do the same arrangements for the same cost. The same formula goes for musicians, photographers, invitations, bakeries, bridal ensemble accessories and so on.

For the best DIY wedding, do only the simple things yourself; the add-ons, the small touches, table numbers, favors, etc. Tackling the big projects will leave you breathless and broke.

In the end, the only real way to save money is to have a smaller affair. Inviting 75 guests rather than 150 will allow you to spend more on the things that are important to you and less on the overall (per person) package.

If you have a few minutes and would like to play around with some numbers, here is a link to a simple, fun and fairly accurate wedding cost calculator that will  give you an idea of what to expect in your area.

 http://www.costofwedding.com/index.cfm/action/costest.index

-Penn Frulla for Bridal Expo Chicago

Registering For Gifts – What’s In, What’s Out!

Ask any bride and they will tell you that registering for gifts is one of the most fun parts of planning the wedding. You can shop ’til you drop without spending a dime! Plus, you can let all of your guests know what you need, want or wish for and everyone is happy! So, whats in for 2012?

Pricier items that you would never buy for yourself; expensive cookware, unique serving pieces, designer china, crystal and flatware.

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Group gifts are also very popular. Co-workers, siblings and other groups of friends and family are pooling their resources to buy big ticket items like Kitchenaid Mixers,  Electrolux vacuums and other trusted name brand products.

Luggage is hotter than ever. Good luggage will last a long time and a cheap suitcase is a waste of money. Register for all the pieces you want in various sizes allowing for short trips, long tips, business trips and family vacations.

Bedding  – Luxurious sheets, luscious comforters, and fluffy pillows are the another thing newlyweds can never get enough of. When it is time to go to sleep, everyone should feel like they are in a 5 star hotel!

 

The most important thing to remember is to have a wide range of gifts in every price range. Don’t forget that not everyone will be able or willing to spend hundreds of dollars on one vase. But, don’t be afraid to step outside your comfort zone –  this is the one time you can register for something extravagant without feeling guilty!

Happy Shopping!

 

-Penny Frulla for Bridal Expo Chicago

Inspiration Boards … YES!

Wedding Inspiration Boards can be found everywhere from Pinterest to The Knot! They come in all sizes, shapes, colors and vary in inspiration. AND… they are fabulous! In case you have been living on a remote island for the past year, an inspiration board is a collage of images you put together that represent the colors/styles/themes/vibe you want your wedding to have. You can refer to the inspiration board throughout the planning process to stay on track and make sure everything fits together perfectly. By using the ‘big picture’ mentality you will find the planning a lot easier and have a better visual than  with a “TO DO ” list.

You can plan your inspiration board on a website or  print pictures from websites and tack them onto a bulletin board or  cut photos from magazines and paste them on poster board. The best part about doing it online is that you can click and drag photos until you achieve the overall feeling you desire! Then, print the final version to keep with you when you are out and see something you love!

 Be careful because inspiration boards make wedding planning so much fun you will be tempted to try out dozens of different ideas! Wait… that is a good thing – even better!! Try out several different color palettes to see which one suits your taste. Try different themes to see which one is the most suited to your personality. The sky is the limit – so, don’t hold back.

Wherever you can, whenever you can – create at least one inspiration board! It will change the way you view wedding planning …. forever!

-Penny Frulla for Bridal Expo Chicago

The Gloves Are Off… Or Are They?

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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