Randy To The Rescue – Tonight!

I can think of no two things that have less in common than Randy Fenoli and a Semi Tractor /Trailer. Nothing about bridal gowns, nothing about a bridal makeover, nothing about brides at all reminds me of an 18 wheeler. Until now. Tonight is the premiere of a brand new reality show on TLC,  “Randy to the Rescue” and things are about to change. 

  “Say Yes to the Dress” opened the door for all of America to meet Randy Fenoli and it  parlayed his years of experience into his very own reality show featuring a semi tractor/trailer fully stocked with everything a bride could want to be beautiful on her wedding day including a consultation/ makeover with Mr. Fenoli .

 

There will probably not be any brides throwing things or having meltdowns, the premise of the show is to give three lucky brides the opportunity of a lifetime, to get advice and support from a seasoned wedding professional. The opportunity to look and feel as beautiful as possible, as every bride should.

 

The idea is genius, bringing the game to the fans instead of asking them to come to you. How many brides from Minneapolis are actually going to travel to New York to buy a gown? Probably very few. So, when the Mobile Makeover unit with Mr. Bridal Fashion pulled into their city to film, brides lined up in droves. All the while,  Randy  performs makeovers (in the truck?) and dispenses some valuable advice.

My favorite of  ‘Randy’s Rules’ :

You Should Always Purchase the Gown That Makes You Feel the Most Beautiful

“I personally feel that every woman is beautiful. And on your wedding day, you should FEEL beautiful. The perfect wedding gown will make you feel like you never have before. You should be able to look in the mirror with the confidence of the beautiful woman that you already are.  Don’t buy a dress because when you look in the mirror you say, “This dress is beautiful;” buy the dress that makes you look in the mirror and say, “I am beautiful.”

Tune in tonight,. Friday June 15 at 9 pm on TLC. I know I will be watching!!!

-Penny Frulla for Bridal Expo Chicago

Bringing Sexy Back – What designers have in store for 2012

The music begins and the bride starts to walk down the aisle, bouquet in hand, escort on arm. Most of what the wedding guests see is from the waist up and what they remember is the look on the bride’s face as she begins her journey to the end of the aisle where her future husband waits.

However, once she reaches the end of the aisle there is plenty of time for the guests to focus on the gown. So, it is no surprise that designers have begun to put so much emphasis on the back of the gown.

Last week, Twilight fans were delighted with the wedding of Bella and Edward. Bella’s Carolina Herrera gown featured a simple silk princess cut, A-line  gown with a dramatic deep-V back edged in scalloped lace. For devout Twilight fans (Twihards) an exact replica of the gown is already  available by Alfred Angelo under the “Twilight Bridal” label.

Pnina Tornai, the famed Israeli designer whose creations are featured on “Say Yes to The Dress” showed several stunning gowns with intricate details in the back.

Designers from ‘Haute Couture’ to ‘entirely affordable’ are embracing this style.

 

 

If you are not comfortable with the extremely low back and all that skin being exposed, you can find a gown with buttons, lacing or another equally interesting detail. You can also opt for a modest keyhole back.

The best news of all is that brides have more choices than ever. Just make sure you have the correct undergarments so the gown is what people are talking about – not pantylines!

-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

Weddings and Television- a Marriage Made in Hollywood Heaven

The romance between viewers and television weddings  started with a bang in 1981. In July of that year over 750 million people watched as Lady Diana Spencer married Prince Charles. Later that same year the fictional characters of Luke Spencer (no relation to the former) and Laura Webber were married in a lavish ceremony with Elizabeth Taylor as a surprise guest. This is still the highest rated hour in daytime soap opera  history with 30 million+ viewers.

Since then we were riveted while movies, seriesm specials and reality television took over the wedding venue. Of course reality tv is a guilty pleasure many watcha nd few admit.  There are currently 20+ wedding-related reality shows on various channels ranging from extremely popular to struggling viewership. This doesn’t even include cake and decor related shows and specials, or The Knot on demand. 

The hunger for these shows is never-ending and based on two things: trainwrecks and fairytales. We watch the trainwrecks to feel better about ourselves and we watch the  fairytales hoping that could be us one day. Using that basic formula  the networks know that if they build it – we will come.  The highest rated shows tease us with the hope that there may be a trainwreck within a fairytale or vice versa. Sometimes it happens, and when it does……. it is a hit!

Say Yes to the Dress has a simple plot:  Find your dream gown in a 35,000 square foot iconic Bridal Salon in Manhattan. Brides from around the world have flocked to Kleinfeld’s Bridal for generations in hopes of locating the gown of their dreams. The best part of the show is the interaction between brides, their family and the staff. Sometimes you get to see the happy ending and sometimes you get to see a near-catfight among the salon guests. Catfight? $25,00 gown? Happy ending? Where do I sign up?
This is a perfect mix of good and bad and I always walk away feeling satisfied. Not so much with the Altanta version.

Bridezilla is not as easy to watch. Maybe it is the years I spent in bridal retail, maybe it is my mother’s  upbringing … I dont know. But there is something about this show that give me  heart palpitations. If I have to listen as one more bride demands to have things “her way or the highway”, I think I might throw something at the tv. These women exist in real life as well as on tv and my advice is to  avoid them at all costs. Watch if you must.

Amazing Wedding Cakes has only one down-side. Yes, it is exhilarating to watch as these talented pros create art from flour and suger. The problem is that they also give the illusion that baking and delivering a 5 tiered cake is not  as hard as it looks. What I love most is watching the chefs and bakers work with their creations, how quickly their nimble fingers make a blob of icing look like an actual tea rose. They way they move their hands is hypnotic. This show should come with a disclaimer-” Warning: watching this show might give you the temporary impression that the tasks you are about to watch are easy. Do Not Try This At Home!”

Platinum weddings allows us to experience the wedding of the uber-wealthy. With colossal budgets come colossal demands and this show is a real tribute to the wedding planners and how well they are able to organize and execute these demands. You will not see any Bridezillas here. These women pay someone to get mad for them and it is usually the wedding planner.  Watch as each planner delivers all of the couple’s request, whether it is  the hand-monogrammed table linens or  600 flower centerpieces. This show delivers the goods every time and although there are rarely any nail-biters, the drama is still there. It’s in the details.

David Tutera  made a name for himself as a highly sought-after wedding planner many years before his reality show  began broadcasting into our homes. What this show accomplishes is genius. It takes one  part trainwreck and sprinkles it with magic dust to turn it into a fairytale.  Mr. Tutera can turn a swamp  into something magical and he does this everyt ime. The lucky brides are so thrilled to have him on board and they trust his style so there is smooth sailing – usually. When you hear the crickets something is not right.

No re-cap of wedding shows would be complete without the ultimate trainwreck of all time; My Big Redneck Wedding. I dont think this needs much explanation. I can’t explain it anyway since over-all clad grooms andbrides in hunting gear makes no sense to me. Honestly I am not sure if this has any elements that I would recommendnd except one – it is a trainwreck every time.  If you like trainwrecks, knock yourself out.

Don’t miss Fabulous Cakes tonight at 8 pm on TLC featuring Chicago’s very own fabulous bakers including Amy Beck who we are very proud to have as one of our preferred vendors. Best Wishes, Amy and to all of you who sacrifice to make our wedding viewing more enjoyable! 

-Penny Frulla for Bridal Expo Chicago