Engagement Ring Etiquette

The most recent celebrity dispute over engagement ring ownership stems an old debate: “Who keeps the ring if the engagement is broken off?” Clearly Jesse James and Kat Von D were madly, desperately in love when he popped the question with a $50,ooo  Neil Lane engagement ring. Now, the wedding is off and apparently so are the gloves. He said she needs to return the ring, she said he cheated, he said it was intended for her to keep only if they got married, she said “No way!”  Much like  the Kardashian/ Humphries debacle (although the wedding clearly took place in the latter example) this is another example of bad judgement and bad manners. To Kim K’s credit, she has offered to buy back the $2 million ring from her husband of 2 months…. it turns out she made arrangements for this in the pre-nup.

Etiquette dictates  the rule as follows: If the man breaks off the engagement, the woman keeps the ring. If the woman stops short of the altar, the groom-NOT-to-be keeps the rock.  Size doesn’t matter, whether  it is a 20 carat ring or a diamond chip, the rules still apply. There is only one exception to this rule: family heirlooms. If  he hands you his grandmother’s ring (the one she wore while your grandfather was stationed overseas in WWII, anxiously awaiting his return so they could being their lives together) you are obligated by the laws of morality and kindness to give it back to him.

However, the legal system doesnt always agree with the rules of etiquette. There are a mutitude of cases where the courts have ruled in favor of one party or another, whether they were they were at fault or not. This begs the question, “Why would you want to keep a reminder of a soured relationship?” Because legally, acceptance of the ring represents a binding contract according to legal experts specializing in these type of pre-matrimonial disputes.  Another legal twist occurs when ring was given as a present for a birthday or Christmas. In this case the law in most states declare the ring to be a gift and treated as such.

For me, spending this kind of negative energy and paying lawyers to settle things is a waste of time. However, if I found myself in a relationship where the groom-to-be was  repeater cheater, abuser or basic jackass and it had to be ended (mid-engagement) … I would probably keep the ring and defend myself in court if need be, sans lawyer.

What do you think?

-Penny Frulla for Bridal Expo Chicago

 

Kim’s Fairytale Wedding – The Party’s Over

There is always that moment after the wedding is over when you wish you could do the whole thing again. The dress, the party, the dancing and seeing all of your friends/family in one place – everything and everyone looking so wonderful. Then you start addressing the Thank You Notes and settling into married life and realize how much work went into the whole thing, thinking maybe you can wait until your 10th anniversary to plan another event of this magnitude. After about six months, when all of the excitement has died down all you want to do is have one nice quiet evening at home with no tasks or ‘to-do’ lists.

Then there are those cases when the wedding lasts longer than the marriage. Whether it is finances, place of residence, children, or infidelity, the realization that you married the wrong person has to be painful.  Yesterday’s announcement of Kim Kardashian’s probable divorce did not come as a shock to as many people as she would have suspected. While I would like to say that Kim Kardashian deserves some time to work this out in private, I can’t for several reasons:

-With all the debate over gay marriage – also known as civil unions or in my house, just plain “marriage”, I wonder why people can’t let this go. Another example of two heterosexual people who have all the rights afforded to them by the state and federal government (and the approval of conservative marriage activists) to marry whomever they want and have it televised to the tune of $18 million +, to stay married for 2 or 3 months and divorce for no reason, to marry multiple times to whomever for whatever reason and treat the process in a disposable manner…. yet two men or two women who are truly in love and have already shared more life experiences than most couples cannot legally ‘marry’ in their state. AND even when they are afforded the rights, they walk away with a certificate that says “Civil Union”. This is completely unjust and I feel a public explanation is due.

-When you are married in front of television cameras for ratings and profit, when the entire romance and proposal and engagement are televised for ratings and profit, when you live every moment of your life for ratings and profit, you should have to answer every single question from every single person who contributed to your ratings and profit.

– If you are able to turn a  self-indulgent lifestyle into a career, you should have enough sense to ask your future husband or wife a few simple questions: “Where will we live after we are married?” and “How will we support ourselves… will we both be working?” or “Where will we raise our children”.

In my opinion, Kim Kardashian should have to answer every question, return every gift and donate every dollar made  to a charity … one that fights for equal marriage rights for all. 

-Penny Frulla for Bridal Expo Chicago

 

 

Reality Royalty – Kardashian Wedding Tomorrow!

I have stated repeatedly how much I adore weddings. I love them all! Casual, Destination, City Hall, Black Tie. So, it is no surprise that tomorrow I will be checking the news and most likely the E! Channel for details about the  Kardashian wedding extravaganza.

I have seen bits of all of the Kardashian reality shows. I have formed opinions about people I don’t know at all firsthand and my overall take is that of all the Kardashian women (and there are plenty), Kim is the most likely to appease her high-maintenance mom by doing  whatever it takes to turn this multi-million dollar wedding into a profit and not a loss. You’ve gotta love that!  Make no mistake, actually ‘keeping up’ with the Kardashian’s will be impossible after this.

The good news is that in an injured economy, this young bride has had the good fortune to be able to energize the wedding industry in America. Kate who? Kim Kardashian sees herself as America’s Princess and is not only having her cake, she will most likely be eating it on camera and getting paid to do so. Kudos Kim. The wedding industry will most likely see a surge in copycat products and I wouldn’t be surprised if someone hasn’t already approached her to endorse one of the products she has chosen for the big day.

More good news is that after seeing the wax likeness of Miss K that was unveiled yesterday in wedding attire, the gown on the display was not strapless. Not to say that KK does not look good in just about everything she wears, because she does. I am just looking forward to seeing a fresh new style emerge and hopefully a little less ‘sideboob’. Designers have been chipping away at the all strapless collections since Miss Middleton became the Duchess of Cambridge in her Sarah Burton gown last Spring and this could push them even further away from the cleavage chasm. Vera Wang, who epitomized the style for Brides in the 1990’s could once again define what an entire generation of brides will pay anything to have.

It is reported that Kim K has three gowns, each Vera Wang and each costing a whopping $25,000 but, has not decided which one she will wear. It is also not entirely unlikely that she will wear one for the ceremony and one for the reception which seems to be a popular trend. Personally, I would like to see her wear all three. Why not? This entire wedding is being filmed for a two hour special and I think she has every right to wear all three gowns. There is some speculation she will wear a bold color since all guests have strict instructions to wear black or white. Wearing white to a wedding is usually a no-no since you don’t want to take away from the bride. I think the speculation is correct and my  guess is she will wear a pink gown, not too pale but, not too bold. The color we used to call ‘Rum Pink’  in the 1980’s when pink bridal gowns first became a popular choice for creative fashionistas. Or perhaps a lighter shade of the same color known as ‘Blush Pink’.

The cake is a copy (exact?) of Will & Kate’s 10 layer confection made by Hansen’s Bakery topped with chocolate chip frosting. The Hansen family has been making cakes since  1520 and offers everything from Old World to High Tech. After visiting their website, I could almost taste the cakes. No offense to the royal couple, I hope (for the guest’s sake) this one is not a fruitcake.

Make no mistake; although this is a wedding and family event, it is also a highly profitable television franchise. There is not one thing that has not been handled expertly; the invitations, the  security, no cell phones or cameras or electronic devices allowed, including the 50+ person crew that will be filming. No tweeting, posting or leaking information unless it is accidentally (intentionally) leaked by a member of the family.  And also – no wire hangers!

The best part of the entire show (wedding) for me will be Bruce Jenner’s actions and reactions to all of this Pomp and the ensuing circumstances. If my prediction is correct there will be a lot of sticker shock for the former Olympian who was raised in a much more humble environment but also a great deal of pride as he walks her down the aisle and watches his entire family come together for a celebration of  love. And ultimatley, that is what it is all about!

-Penny Frulla for Bridal Expo Chicago

Celebrity Wedding Roundup

Didn’t it seem like last year there were hardly any celebrity weddings? With the exception of the spectacular union of Chelsea Clinton and Marc Mezvinky which had all the right elements including two Vera Wang gowns, secret service and Hollywood guest list.

This year getting married seems to be the new black in Hollywood, even Hugh Hefner is jumping on the bandwagon (again) after bachelor-ing it up on reality TV for several seasons. Probably most notable and most recent (and most interesting)  is the engagement of Kim Kardashian to her basketball playing fiance, Kris Humphries.  

I love celebrity weddings for a million reasons and I am often disappointed by them. I love seeing what they come up with given their seemingly limitless budgets and star-studded guestlists. I loved Celine Dion’s over-the-top wedding, except her hideous head gear. Seriously, what was that? I loved Mariah Carey’s fairy princess look at her first wedding even though in retrospect  it seems gaudy. And trust me, I was sore when I picked up a people magazine with a photo of Julia Roberts with Lyle Lovett in basically a nightgown with bare feet. I still don’t get it but, I eventually forgave her. :)

So as I await details of the  second trip down the aisle for Kim Kardashian, the Reality A-lister, I would expect to see a lot of pomp …. under the circumstances.  And, of course the speculation begins as to what (who) she will wear.

What will Kim wear? With a 20 carat, 2 million dollar engagement ring, the stakes are high. Vera Wang is very possible since her sister wore a Vera Wang for her wedding not so long ago and Vera Wang has the kind of name recognition that the Kardashian Klan adores. Of course there are dozens of suitable high end designers;  Amsale, Ines Di Santo, Rivini, Monique Lhullier… the list goes on. However, looking at pictures of Kim K and her flair for wearing body-hugging styles, my guess is Pnina Tornai or Stephen Yearick.  Furthermore, since Kleinfelds of  “Say Yes to The Dress” fame is the exclusive distributor for the Pnina Tornai collection, I think a reality  mega-merger is in store. Perhaps a  one hour special “Kim Takes Klenifeld’s”! I am quite often wrong when I speculate so don’t hold me to that. One thing is for sure, don’t look for her to be following the understated look worn recently by Catherine Middleton. In Hollywood less is never more and not enough is worse than nothing at all. Fortunately,  the Kardashian’s never disappoint when it comes to glitz and glamour. 

Here are my picks for the Kardashian bridal party:

Bridal Gown  – Tight fitting corset bodice with a tremendous, detailed skirt! I personally love this one-shoulder gown with the draped bodice. It is unique and fabulously couture!

Bridal Party – Something slim and flowing, something feminine and chic. For instance the pleated metallic halter  gown by Carmen Marc Valvo or a pastel gown executed flawlessly by the  Enzoani Love Collection. For something more vibrant, there is always a Redux Charles Chang-Lima silk gown in bright red.  These would look great on any of them or the Mother of the Bride.

Stay tuned as details of the big day unfold! Until then, you can see all of the latest designer gowns at each and every Bridal Expo. Or take a minute now to watch our couture runway show which (unlike some celebrity weddings) never disappoints. http://www.bridalshowexpo.com/fos_video_bride.html?PHPSESSID=c7dbb4fca519180d63d86a3f15f36209

-Penny Frulla for Bridal Expo Chicago