Over The Top Proposals – Enough or Too Much?

How far is too far when it comes to orchestrated proposals? Just ask “Hector ‘Tank’ Martinez, who proposed to Paige Hernandez in front of his family and friends,” the description on the YouTube video reads. “Big ups to the 710 Bikerz and everyone else who took part in this event.”

The California Highway Patrol said on Wednesday it is investigating the incident and that felony charges for impeding traffic could be filed.

To view first hand – click here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mWGlqmrGQ44.

Think that’s the worst? Oh, no…..

How about Ryan Thompson who pretended the tiny little plane he was piloting with his GF Carlie Kennedy as the only passenger was about to nosedive into Lake Shore Drive. There are a lot of words I would have for him, if I were her… “YES” is not one of them. She probably said yes from being nervous ( I hope). Personally,  I don’t want to be married to someone who thinks its funny to scare me to death. You can see his (awesome) sense of humor in this video. For me, it is hard to watch.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=kxTAjVGN4CE

Last but,  not least there’s the one  guy ( who wishes to remain anonymous) who decided to stage a ‘kidnapping’ to propose to his girlfriend. Well, it seems his friends who were roped into helping him got a bit carried away and police were called by a woman walking past, who saw a bunch of young men pull a young woman out of a van and into another car.

 

I get it. You want to be funny and clever, and original…women love that kind of stuff. But, eventually women want the kind of guy they can really count on. Someone who doesn’t think a practical joke is cutting their brake lines or filling our gas tank with explosives.

Gentlemen, please remember that this is not a competition, you don’t have to have the biggest, baddest,  proposal of all time. Just be sensitive, kind and if you have to do a public proposal, try your best to make sure you are not breaking the law.

-Penny Frulla for Bridal Expo Chicago

 

Viral Proposals

One of the most exhilarating, romantic and personal parts of your wedding is the proposal and subsequent engagement. The story is told, re-told, sometimes shared with thousands of people online and sometimes even televised! It is also one of the few things that the groom does entirely on his own which is why the grand gestures are so much more significant.

For some, the uber-romantic proposals seem contrived. For others, like Kim Kardashian whose fiance spelled out “Will you marry me?” in rose petals and filmed the entire episode for their reality television show, it is not only accepted but expected.  Goodyear blimps, the jumbotron at the Super Bowl or Times Square, it seems like bigger is better and less is not nearly enough when it comes to getting hitched.

Evidence this week with the “Live Lip Dub Proposal” by Isaac Lamb that went viral on youtube and every other imaginable news outlet. It is front page on Comcast, Yahoo, Huffington Post and more. In case you are not one of the 7 million hits on youtube, you can see it here:

http://player.vimeo.com/video/42828824

Its no longer enough to pop the question in a quiet, secluded romantic setting like sitting on the beach watching the sunset. You have appear on a white horse,  hire musicians and  have a candlelit dinner catered at a cloth covered table on that beach, complete with waiters and chilled champagne. God Forbid you pop the question during the seventh inning stretch without the approval and knowledge of everyone at Wrigley Field… it must be on a screen larger than your first home with throngs of people waiting for the inevitable ‘YES’ !

These types of proposals at once rare are now almost expected. They are no longer about you as a couple, they seem to be  about how you want everyone else to perceive you as a couple. They can also be  quite expensive. There are even entire websites dedicated to unique wedding proposals and how to impress ( their word, not mine) your fiance by making a grand gesture.  Interesting.

Of course no matter how you decide to propose, it is important to wait for the right moment and to make sure you know the answer before you ask. The best proposals are from the heart, they are intimate and really only involve two people. 

Proposal Dos and Don’ts

 
Don’t propose without a ring. It doesn’t matter how large or small, you must bring some ring to the proposal. There are instances where it is spontaneous and there has been no preparation but, this is rare.

Do be prepared. If you are thinking she might be the one, buy a ring (insure it) and keep it with you… just in case.

Don’t propose at another celebration. Interrupting a toast at your brother’s wedding to ask your girlfriend to marry you is in poor taste. Let them have their moment, you will have yours.

Do include the family. Getting engaged during Christmas or family holiday celebrations can bring everyone closer emotionally even if they lived thousands of miles apart. 

Whatever you decide, remember that romance is not always a grand gesture. Sometimes it is simply remembering her favorite flower, favorite color or in my case, just replacing the toilet paper every now and then.

-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

 

 

Bow Wow Weddings

After watching part 1 of Kim Kardashian’s Fairytale Wedding on E! last night, I can firmly tell you one thing: Kim and her new husband will have plenty to argue about. Whether it is her family’s business, minding their business, where to live or letting the dogs sleep on the bed – they (like most newlyweds) have their work cut out for them.

The dog issue is a big one. Big enough that not only did Kris Humphries want the dogs to sleep in bed with them he also wanted his beloved pets to be a part of the ceremony. But cooler heads prevailed and they were politely omitted from carrying the rings. I am not sure if I was more shocked that his fiance is wasn’t aware of how much he loved his dogs or the fact that a man of is physical stature had a Miniature Pinscher and Yorkshire Terrier. If I had to guess I would have said he was the Lab or  Retriever type. Lucky for Kim that he has smaller, more manageable dogs since I can’t see her handling a ‘Marley & Me” moment with mud splashing everywhere. I’ve been there and it’s not pretty, or easy to clean up.

I love dogs. I love my dogs more than is probably emotionally healthy and I allow them to sleep on my bed and share the pillow. Two of my dogs are small Japanese Chin and one is a big gorgeous lab mix. I love all three of them as much as anyone possibly could but, I didn’t see a need for them to be in my wedding. Personally I think they are happier at home barking out the window and deciding who is in charge. Here is a clue: the smallest is always in charge.

However, I see nothing wrong with people who want pets in their wedding. I have no problem with people dressing up their dogs in tuxedos and tulle – even though I don’t get it: are the dogs getting married? At the end of the day, I don’t have to get it … its not my wedding! You are entitled to invite or include anyone you want (canine, feline or human) , as long as you both agree.

 It is your wedding and if you decide you want your pet in your wedding, you can do so with great style and good taste. There are a few things you can do to reduce stress:

1) Make sure your pet does well around strangers. All you need is for your dog to bare his teeth to one guest and the party is over.

2) Hire someone to handle the dog before,  during and immediately after the ceremony since you will have other obligations and things to do. You cannot be chasing a pet around the church or picking up poo in your bridal gown.

3) Make sure the pet is groomed immediately before the event, including a good teeth cleaning. Dog breath can be pretty bad.

4) After the ceremony, make sure the pet is taken home right away. Although the ceremony may be okay, the reception is no place for any kind of animal UNLESS it is your home and your own backyard. They still might find themselves under foot so keep your eye on the cake table a backuand have a back up plan

5) Make sure you discuss the pet with all of your vendors, especially the photographer so they will know there may be extra work involved. If your pastor or officiant is allergic to dogs and you have a dog at the altar, this could be a bad thing.

Last but not least, consider your pet’s feelings. If this an animal that handles attention well, is obedient, doesn’t salivate or shed everywhere and can handle some extra responsibility, move ahead. If your pet is easily frightened, does not walk on a leash well, has too much energy, slobbers all over the place, sheds like crazy and has not had proper obedience training, you may want to leave them at home or with someone who can watch them for the entire day.

-Penny Frulla for Bridal Expo Chicago

Show Me The Sleeve!

In case you didn’t hear, there was a celebrity wedding last weekend. Not just any celebrity but, a  celebrity (?) who has 5 million twitter followers and has the rare  opportunity to change fashion. My hope was to  steer bridal fashion away from the bare shoulders which have completely dominated the first decade of the 21st century, sliding into the second decade still in first place. The Kardashian wedding had more security than a NATO conference and most of it was to ensure that no one took pictures and leaked anything in fear Mom Kardashian (Jenner) could not collect her 10% from the reported $18 million profit so, the only photo currently available  shows nothing but bare shoulders and a diamond (not swarovski) headband and veil. We’ll get back to the headband in a moment.

Maybe I missed something but, the one Vera Wang gown I saw (and the grainy photo of the bridesmaids) looked completely strapless. Wedding gown? Strapless. Bridesmaids? Strapless. Mermaid, ball gown, pencil skirt, satin, tulle or beaded –  it doesn’t really matter since what I was looking for was something with a little more style and coverage. Let me clear this up once and for all: I am not a prude. I don’t have any religious convictions that prohibit me or anyone from exposing their shoulders in church or during a religious ceremony. I don’t particularly care if someone wants to go topless, strapless or completely see-through. My (strong) opinions on this subject are strictly from a design standpoint. Strapless has been done to death and it has quite frankly become boring. Show me something with some style and class and couture detail, show me something other than your boobs! Don’t even get me started on how  few women really look good in strapless, especially larger busted or heavier women. Two words that should never enter your mind at a wedding: Backfat and Sideboob.

Last spring we witnessed Katherine Middleton become the Duchess of Cambridge in a Long sleeved lace gown. Her gown, no matter how beautiful, did not seem to make a bit of difference to designers. Last weekend Kim Kardashian had the opportunity  to  leave an indelible mark on fashion history, to send designers rushing back to the proverbial  drawing board in a  mad dash before next month’s Spring bridal market.  If the small photo I saw is any indication, I doubt if anyone is scrambling.  Maybe one of the other two gowns has some standout quality that I haven’t seen yet and I am completely wrong about the whole thing. I guess we will see when the pictures come out in People magazine.

Back to theheadband:  just like the strapless gown, the tiara seems to have run its course so it was nice to see somthing unique. The headband was unusual because it didn’t exactly frame the face – it was sitting in the middle of it. Unusual? Yes, and no. I’ve seen this before, many times but not for some time. This style was quite popular in the 1980’s and was often accented by a large teardrop shaped stone ( pearl or crystal) in the center. Of course back then it was flanked by dozens of yards of veiling with huge poufs of veiling in varying sizes scattered with sequins, crystals, pearls and everything but the kitchen sink. This was a  version of that and perhaps could inspire brides to revert back to this style. Of course most brides can’t afford $10 million dollars worth of bling. I wouldn’t place any bets on this since sometimes styles  find their place in history and stay there, like the fluorescent, bubble, lame bridesmaid gowns. They made sense in the ’80’s but not so much now and anyone who would dare to bring them back would be banished into bridesmaid hell…. for all eternity. My opinion? The headband was okay but looked costume-y and would have made perfect sense with Grecain style gown or a vintage 1920’s look. With the strapless gown (from  the limited amount I saw) it looked like a wedding scene from the early days of Dynasty. Actually Dynasty seems tame compared to the Kardashian /Jenner production.

So what does all this mean? Actually nothing. Not one thing has changed since Kate or Kim got married and even though a few designers are challenging the  strapless trend (Kudos) it will take the consumers to force the trend to change. I am excited to see what the designers have in store for the upcoming market since I have inside information that there are a few designers offering non-strapless choices. Hopefully instead of cleavage, we can talk  about sleeve-age.

-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