Not Your Mother’s, Mother’s Dress – Find a Gown That Is Right For You

I am 50. Yes, I’m 50! I have two sons who are 10 & 12 years old. Mathematically they could be my grandchildren. It is difficult enough right now for me to find a dress to wear to a wedding or other function and I cannot imagine how hard it will be for me when they reach the age they are ready to get married. Why is it so hard for women my age to find just the right dress? How much time do you have?

Most women my age who are not 100% comfortable with their bodies hide behind their clothing. They wear baggy sweaters, mom jeans and/or frumpy clothing most of the time. When it does come time to find a dress for the wedding of their child, they panic and all wind up wearing a long dress with a jacket. Here is a tip: THEY ALL LOOK THE SAME!. Satin jacket with crepe dress or crepe jacket with satin dress – it is nearly a uniform of the wedding mother who just can’t find anything else. There is also a double standard: we are told we can’t wear short dresses anymore no matter how great the legs but, designers consistently show strapless gowns for women who shouldn’t have worn them when they were 20 , much less when they become AARP members. Hardly fair, is it?

As a woman over 50 I can tell you that there are other options. Here are a few things to remember before you buy anything for your adult child’s wedding:

#1) Forget everything you read or see on TV. If you have great, shapely legs and want to wear a shorter dress, wear it! 4″ above the knee is about the limit for a host of reasons but, short skirts are not limited to the X or Y or Z generation.

#2) Accessorize. Find a dress you love in your size and forget about being perfect or looking like a supermodel. Make the most of a simple, elegant dress by accessorizing to the max! Great necklace and earrings, beaded scarf, or even a hat will draw the eyes to your face and away from the mid-section where you may be a little thicker than you used to be. A great pair of heels will also do a lot for your self -image.

#3) Wrap it up. Consider a wrap dress if your tummy isn’t as flat as it used to be. A wrap (around) dress can hide 10-15 lbs easily. If the fabric is right and you accessorize properly, you will look stunning. Diane Von Furstenberg gave us the quintessential wrap dress in the 1970’s and it has evolved into a garment that can literally be worn for any occasion depending upon the fabric.

#4) Who are you? Don’t forget your personal style. If you have always liked a certain type of dress, don’t shy away from it because you are older. Underneath the laugh lines, next  to the spanx, lies the same woman who ran cross-country, captained the cheerleading squad, pledged a sorority and later attended every PTA meeting. You are what you are and what you are needs needs no excuses.

#5) Undergarments are everything. You don’t need to wear a girdle or a corset, you don’t need to wear extra tight super control top pantyhose.  But, wearing the right panties and bra will make any gown look better.

I know how you feel. Every day someone tells you that you don’t look your age, in fact you don’t really feel your age.  You walk confidently down the street in shorts in the summer, you play tennis, ride horses, swim, or run. You feel like you get better each and every day until you are confronted with that hideous mirror in the dressing room and the fluorescent lights! Let me tell you – those lights are lying. You are better! You don’t need a face lift  butt lift or liposuction….. all you need is the right dress, just ask Helen Mirren!

-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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

New Year’s Eve – A Time To Celebrate!

In the many years I have been involved in the wedding business I have never heard anyone regret having their wedding on New Year’s Eve.  Most couples insist that it gives them a reason to go out on December 31st for years to come, in celebration of their anniversary. In addition to that, there are dozens of other reasons to consider New Year’s for your nuptials. 

-Some locations have fireworks at midnight, which makes great pictures as well as being exciting, colorful and entertaining for everyone!

-You can be very creative with centerpieces; timepieces, glittery disco balls, horns, hats, masks, feathers. Work with your florist and don’ be afraid to be creative.

-Literally everyone is assured someone to kiss at  midnight.

-If you keep the Champagne flowing all night, it  may cut down on liquor costs. Either way, Champagne gives any affair a little more class.

-Most people look for a reason to go out on New Year’s Eve but not everyone has a party to attend. This will give some of your guests a reason to get a sitter and celebrate, something they may not have been able to do for some time.

-Everyone is still in “Holiday Mode”, the decorations are still up in most houses of worship, hotels and reception sites. If you can incorporate your choices into the venue’s existing holiday decor you will get double the ambience!

-Your family can celebrate all of the holidays at once and stay home during the heavy traffic times like Christmas Eve. 

-Aside from all of the above, you have so many fun and interesting options with the invitations, cake, flowers, favors, and who can overlook the confetti? Who doesnt love confetti?

-If you plan a New Year’s Eve wedding, please encourage group transportation (limos, party bus), designated drivers,  or reserving  rooms at a nearby hotel for guests who become inebriated. Remind your guests that certain Taxi companies give discounted or free rides for folks who celebrated a little too much. In certain states AAA offers a ‘Tipsy Tow” program where they will tow your car for free from 6pm NYE to 6am New Year’s Day. 

Wishing each of you a safe and happy celebration this New Year’s Eve!

-Penny Frulla for Bridal Expo Chicago

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Crimes of Fashion – 2011 Red Carpet Faux Pas

The E! Fashion Police headed by the always irreverent Joan Rivers have released their top ‘Fashion Felons of  2011’ and I have to say I can’t agree more. For crimes of fashion so severe it will take a  phone call  from the governor to be pardoned, these  women have 12 months to reclaim their fashion status and endless walks down the red carpet to erase the memory of their 2011 faux pas.  Without further adieu, the envelope please:

7. Jennifer Lopez consistently makes the best dressed list but, not in this white beaded cape getup. The problem is that there is no reason for this cape. The beads make the sheer fabric look heavy and begs the question, “Why would anyone would wear a sheer tablecloth with heavy beading?”

6. Rihanna choice for the Grammys this year was Jean Paul Gaultier. Gaultier is best known for his bustier look and outfitting Madonna so, I’m not sure at what point this gown seemed like a good idea. I sincerely doubt if event he Material Girl herself would attempt to pull off this ruffled tragedy. But, I’m talking about it so I guess that is the whole point.

 

 

5. Nicole Kidman  wore a gown to the Oscars that was out of this world… and not in a good way. Futuristic, yet reminiscent of a bad 1980’s  gown, this Christian Dior peplum gown was not red carpet worthy. Someone please explain to me why she wore red shoes.

4. Cierra Wilson wore an Emilio Pucci to the VMAs. In addition to wearing the wrong shoes, this gown is probably the worst representation of an iconic design house that I have ever seen.

3. Nicki Minaj showed up to the Grammys in a head-to-toe leopard outfit she described as “a masterpiece by Givenchy, a miraculous piece of lioness meets her cub meets fierce-ocity meets fabulosity meets fashionista meets everything.” She was dead wrong.

2.  Helena Bonham Carter loves to dress up, or is it play dress up? Her appearance at the Golden Globes in a Vivenne Westwood tulle, print, draped bodice monstrosity was nothing compared to her mismatched shoes. Interestingly enough she has another pair at home just like them.

1. Princess Beatrice wore a fairly ordinary outfit to her cousin, Prince William’s wedding to Kate Middleton last April. What was not ordinary was her fascinator (hat) created by milliner-to the stars Phillip Treacy.  Compared to everything from a part of the female anatomy to an octopus, this hat even launched it’s own facebook page. The outcome- someone paid $131,648  when the hat was auctioned on eBay, all proceeds going to UNICEF. It seems she redeemed herself in the end.

Who were your choices for the worst offenders of 2011?

-Penny Frulla for Bridal Expo Chicago

 

Wednesday Wedding Trivia

Did you ever wonder how June became the most popular month for weddings? Why do brides carry a bouquet? Where the phrase “tie the knot” came from? Weddings are fraught with trivia that most people take for granted and never seem to even question. Wednesday seems like a good day to delve into the strange and wonderful world of wedding trivia!

June became the most popular month for weddings during the Victorian era because most people took their annual bath in May. Gross.

Brides began carrying fragrant bouquets to mask the smell of body odor. Even more gross, right? But, it explains the immense size of Victorian bridal bouquets.

The phrase ‘tie the knot’ came originated in Rome where the  corset had knots that the groom had to untie in order to undress the bride. It seems backwards, doesn’t it? But, in modern times it would seem odd to say you were “Un-tying the knot”.

In Old English, the word ‘bride’ actually means ‘cook’. I found that amusing.

Something blue? Most people think the blue item is to represent purity and fidelity. In Victorian England, the bride and groom were considered to be royalty (for the day) and the something blue was the blood of royalty. I would still wear blue shoes, it has a nice ring to it even if they aren’t suede.

Wedding veils originated in Ancient Greece and were worn to ward off evil spirits. The veil was worn over the face to protect the bride until she was safely presented to her future husband at the altar.

The tradition of bridesmaids dressing the same as each other and in similar style to the bride comes from ancient times when it was believed that evil spirits have a more difficult time distinguishing which one is the bride and putting a hex on her. In Ancient Rome a marriage required 10 witnesses in order to be legal.

The tradition of exchanging rings began in 1477 when Roman Emperor Maxmillian I gave his future bride a diamond ring. Women around the world decided “That’s a great idea – where’s mine?”

Engagements came about when Pope Innocent III  instituted a waiting period , and insisted a ring be used in the wedding ceremony.

The engagement ring and wedding band are worn on the fourth finger of the left hand  because the ancient Egyptians thought that the “vein of love’ ran from this finger directly to the heart.

When we drink to someone, we call it a “toast” because of an old French custom where a piece of bread was placed at the bottom of the wine cup for flavor. In France, partygoers would drink and pass the cup; when it reached the person being toasted, he would empty it – crouton and all.

Throwing the bouquet  dates back to Victorian England where the wedding guests would chase the bride, tearing her clothes and flowers in order to grab a piece of happiness.  The bride would toss the bouquet in order to distract the crowd long enough to make a clean getaway (hopefully with her clothes still intact).  

The custom of tiered cakes emerged from a game where the bride and groom attempted to kiss over a higher-than-ever cake without knocking it over.
Last but most interesting of all, the bride stands at the altar to the left of the groom for practical reasons. In Medieval times, the groom needed to keep his right arm free so he could use his sword to protect the bride. I am wondering if there was an accommodation made for the less than 10% of grooms who are ‘lefties’ or if they had to improvise?
If all of these customs and trivia seem too  much to remember, just be glad you don’t live in Denmark where brides and grooms cross-dress to confuse the evil spirits.  Which makes me wonder how smart those evil spirits really are since they all seem to be so easily confused.
-Penny Frulla for Bridal Expo Chicago