Jewelry For The Groom

When you think of jewelry for the groom, you usually think of cuff links,  and a wedding band. But, for modern men there is so much more to offer …..

Nearly 40% of all men have at least one pierced ear and 28% have both ears pierced. Although they may not be interested in a pair of dangling sparklers, your wedding is the perfect occasion for a nice diamond stud.

A handsome watch does more than just tell time. It tells people you have style and class and that you care about being on time.

As with any piece of jewelry, a bracelet is a form of self expression. Large sturdy links of gold or platinum or a cuff  with clean, masculine lines, bracelets are not just for women anymore!

Looking for something a little more expressive than standard studs on your tuxedo shirt? Consider button covers. Available in many shapes, sizes, monogrammed, precious and  semi-precious stones, there is something for everyone.

-Penny Frulla for Bridal Expo Chicago

Chairs – Not Just For Covering!

For some time, chairs have been a vital part of the wedding and reception decor. Now, more than ever, brides are opting to rent beautiful chairs rather than cover up old ones with fabric, ribbon, bows, etc. Yes, you can use chair covers quite effectively and dramatically, the point is that there are so many less-fussy, original and creative chair choices in 2012, you can get just about anything you want!

Chiavari Chairs – Pronounced “kee-ah’-vah-ree” , these chairs are named after the coastal Italian town of Chiavari from which the design of the chair originates. Designed in 1807 by craftsman Giuseppe Gaetano Descalzi, these chairs have become a staple at special events all over the world. What makes it so special? Design, construction and comfort. The famous chair has even been re-imagined by modern designer, Gio Ponti. Available in several colors including gold, silver, black, white and even clear lucite, these chairs are used everywhere from weddings to the White House, Grandma’s kitchen to the Grammy Awards. With this chair you will need no tulle, bows or covers, just make sure you rent the pads, too or your guests might not be as comfortable as they would like.

Wooden Folding Chairs – A beautiful white, black or wooden folding chair will make an outdoor ceremony look even better with just a touch of color. The simple fact that there is uniformity and clean lines give the overall look impact and style.

Aluminum Chairs – Having your reception in a loft or art gallery requires a special kind of chair. You will want something that speaks to the venue; chic, modern and  stylish. Consider brushed aluminum chairs, there are even some very nice options in the folding chair family that offer a casual, elegant look.


If you decide to rent chairs for the wedding and/or reception – always make sure you know what you are renting before you sign anything. Go to the company and touch the chairs, look at the quality, make sure it is not a copy or substitute. Cutting corners on something as simple as the chairs may seem like a good idea at first, until your guests are faced with looking at one of these:

-Penny Frulla for Bridal Expo Chicago


Weddings for Super Fans!

At every sporting event there are the people who paint their faces, color their hair, run on the field and probably have at least one room in their house completely decorated in their favorite team colors, complete with memorabilia. If your toilet paper has the logo of an opposing team- you are what we (on the outside) call a “Super Fan”. So, how does that translate to your wedding? It’s totally up to you.

Over The Top- Too much for some people is not nearly enough for others. If you want to get married on the football field and serve nachos at a tailgate reception, it is up to you. Don’t expect everyone to think  it is adorable or clever. If you are a Super Fan, do what you do best and don’t worry about what others will say.

groom's cake!

Less is More– Adding touches of your team’s colors, interesting elements of the sport itself or even posing for pictures can be quite fun without going crazy. Choose a team jersey for ‘autographs’ in lieu of a guest book, have a Chicago Bears Grooms cake, or a even cute little cake topper that shows your team spirit. Pinned Image


As we all know, it is easy to get carried away in a theme. It starts out fine and then after you stand back and look at your inspiration board, it looks more like a kids birthday party than a wedding. To avoid going overboard, stay away from anything too matchy-matchy, keep sports themed accessories to a minimum and don’t wear anything with a logo!

-Penny Frulla for Bridal Expo Chicago

Wedding Movies – What’s your Favorite?

I love movies, comedy, drama, suspense, action – all kinds of movies, even CGI cartoons! The reason I love movies is because they take me to a place that doesn’t exist, except in someone’s imagination, whether it is romance, laughter or thrills. It doesn’t have to be technically possible or factually correct (unless it is a documentary) and as a result, I get lost in someone else’s dream and I love it!

In no particular order, I have compiled a list of my favorite wedding or wedding-related movies.

The Other Sister. Love comes in all forms. This super sweet romance is also packed with a touch of laugh out loud comedy and drama. Unfortunately, you kind of hate the mom at the end of the movie.

In & Out. Comedy, comedy, comedy. There are no less than ten parts of this movie where I actually laugh out loud every time. The  Barbra Streisand references are some of the best lines in the movie and Kevin Kline really sells himself in the dance scene halfway through the movie.

Wedding Crashers. The only thing I love more than a super-elegant, East Coast, society wedding is some really raunchy and inappropriate humor. This movie has both…. and a touch of Will Ferrell.

Monster-In-Law. I can relate to this mother’s plight, “There is no one good enough for my son”. But, the levels she goes to embarrass and provoke this poor unsuspecting bride are above and beyond even Norman Bates’ mother.  Ridiculous? Yes! Loved it? Absolutely!

Mamma Mia! Bad singing, some outrageous outfits, unbelievable scenery and ABBA. I forgive you, Pierce Brosnan. This movie was cute, funny, and has a happy ending,  AWWWWW.

My Best Friend’s Wedding. Although the story line bugged me a little (a woman chasing after a man the day before his wedding), the entire movie was saved by Rupert Everett. Rehearsal Dinner scene still one of my all time favorites in any movie, wedding or not.

  What are your favorite wedding movies ?

-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


Wedding Tattoos – Tired or Tasteful?

Like it or not, tattoos are on the rise!  Once reserved for the few who dared, tattoos have become the latest must have for everyone from proud parents to teachers.  Although this is hardly  surprising news, it is surprising that  there are so many people opting to display their tattoos proudly where they were once frowned upon.

Couples Tattoos – Having a tattoo of one another’s name is hardly enough. Couples are having wedding bands, portraits, or half of a verse tattooed, with the other half of the verse  tattooed on the other person. They are being labeled adorable by some, reckless by others. Of course they can always be modified…. just ask Angelina Jolie.

White Ink Tattoos – For those who prefer a more subtle approach you can select a white ink tattoo. Rather than pure white, the tattoo shows up translucent so on lighter skin it is not as visible but on darker skin is quite striking. You can thank Lindsay Lohan for starting this trend!



It takes a minimum of two weeks for a tattoo to heal completely and some sources suggest a month as an appropriate healing period. If you plan to have a  tattoo before your wedding, make sure you do it well in advance of the wedding.

-Penny Frulla for Bridal Expo Chicago

What’s In Your Purse?

Carrying a purse or clutch on your wedding day may seem like an inconvenience but, many brides will regret  not carrying one for two simple reasons : Breath mints and touch-ups. You don’t need to carry a backpack or a large shoulder sling but, a small handbag is a must, allowing you to carry the most *essential items- the things that you will truly miss if they are not readily available.  *Not to be confused with an emergency kit which includes band-aids, static guard, hosiery, aspirin, etc.

What to carry in your wedding purse:

Mints – Not gum. Something to freshen your breath before the receiving line and after dinner. Your guests will thank you.

Lips – Lipstick, liner or gloss to perk up your pucker after so much cheek kissing. Not all lipsticks or gloss will last all night, and after dinner you will still need to look good for pictures.

Mascara – A must for your  eyes after shedding a few tears during the ceremony. Adding a few strokes of mascara will do wonders to brighten your appearance.

Visine – Another must-have for a very emotional event, or if you have allergies. 

Compact – With a mirror and a little pressed powder to a) see your face if you can’t run to the bathroom for touch-ups and b) blot your face so you won’t be shiny in photos.

Tissue – Kleenex or handkerchief, you will need something to dab your eyes at some point….or ( God forbid) blow your nose.

Body Mist – Nothing too overpowering, just something to add a nice scent when you hug or dance. The only people who should smell this are the ones you are embracing.

Who should carry your purse has been a subject of debate for a long time. Whether it is your  mother or maid of honor, you need to put someone in charge of making sure ‘no purse gets left behind’, especially since most brides don’t carry a purse during the ceremony, receiving line, pictures, or dancing. Place it next to your plate and forget about it… until you need it. Rest assured, no matter what your needs are, there is a purse out there that is just right for you.

-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

Wedding Time Capsules – How To

Time capsules have been around for a long time and have consistently offered a fun and mysterious way to capture memories and remember major milestones. As a result, it seems only natural that couples are putting together wedding time capsules in order to succinctly remember specific moments from their wedding day. If you are planning to ‘bury’ a time capsule to commemorate your wedding, here are a few tips to get you started:

1) You don’t need a kit. Although a kit may simplify things, it is not necessary.

2) A picture is worth a thousand words. Make sure you enclose pictures from the wedding, whether it is a photobooth strip, polaroid or another form of instant snapshot. Don’t wait for the formal photos, the point of a time capsule is for it to be sealed on that specific day. Keep the pictures in airtight plastic storage bags. Be prepared, the images of  loved ones (especially those who are no longer with you) on your happy day may bring some emotional memories rushing back and you may have to take a moment to compose yourself upon opening.

3) It doesn’t have to be buried. Digging a hole in the yard may sound like a good idea but, only if you know exactly where you put it, don’t disturb it during a backyard renovation or plan to move from your current residence. It can be kept in an airtight container on the mantle, in the back of the closet or in a safety deposit box if you desire.  If you do bury it, make sure you have the location documented accurately and remove it if you move to another home.

4) Include personal notes from each other and close family/friends. You can also have a ‘Time Capsule’ station at your wedding, a place where family and friends can write notes or answer a few pre-determined questions about your future. The smaller, the better – no one is going to feel like filling out a 2 page survey during the reception. Pick one or two questions like “Where do you think the couple will live in ten years?”  or “How many children do you think they will have?”

5) Paper goods . Enclose a copy of all printed material; Save the Date, Wedding Invitation, Menu Cards, Place cards for the Bride and Groom, Engagement or Wedding announcements, and a copy of the current newspaper in the city where you live for that day.

6) Decide on a date to open. If you plan to have children, you might want to make it at a date late enough for them to help you, maybe 15 or 20 years.

7) Pick a secure container. The actual container does not have to be made of any particular material but, you might want to stay away from glass jars. Metal shipping tubes, vintage leather suitcases or a wooden boxes all make great time capsules. Keep in mind where it will be stored and for how long.

The only thing more fun than putting together a times capsule is opening one. If you plan to have a time capsule to commemorate your wedding, a little planning goes a long way and you will be surprised at how much fun you will  have, especially if you do it together!

-Penny Frulla for Bridal Expo Chicago

Celebrity Weddings – Summer 2012

This season, we have seen a slew of celebrity weddings and summer isn’t over yet! Still awaiting my save-the-date for Angelina and Brad’s nuptials but, for now I’ll re-cap what we’ve seen so far. The most interesting trend in celebrity nuptials is the private ceremony in a remote location, usually a friend’s home far away form paparazzi, far from the helicopters and the multi-million dollar fiasco reminiscent of the Kardashian debacle of 2011, these power couples opted for quiet, romantic, heartfelt nuptials.

Natalie Portman wore Rodarte for her simple candlelight ceremony to Benjamin Millipied.

Natalie Portman Wedding Dress

Ellie Kemper in NYC headed to the altar wearing Judd Waddell.

Mrs. Alec Baldwin, Hilaria Thomas, wearing Amsale for her early summer nuptials also in NYC.











 Priscilla Chen chose this stunning  Claire Pettibone gown under an assumed name, assuming marrying MArk Zuckerberg might raise a few eyebrows… and alert the media.








Drew Barrymore opted for an unusual design by Chanel. This is a love or hate gown, for sure.

Camila Alves  wore a delicate beaded lace wedding gown handmade by Brazilian dress designer Ducarmo Castelo Branco. Alright, alright, alright!

Best Wishes to all of the happy couples of Summer 2012!

-Penny Frulla for Bridal Expo Chicago