Wedding Planning Made Easy

I am sure you’ve heard that sometimes the truth hurts. The fact is – sometimes it doesn’t hurt at all. Sometimes the truth is easy and painless. I can give you one perfect example: The BEST first step you can take to planning your wedding is to make plans to attend a Bridal Expo Chicago/Milwaukee Luxury Event. That’s the truth.

However, there are some ways to make it easier and even more painless than you could imagine. I am thrilled to pass along these tips to you so you can save time and money and have a great time.

1) Make a day of it! Don’t plan to come to a show when you are in a hurry. Make this one day very special, plan a fantastic breakfast or brunch beforehand and stay for the entire show. You will not be sorry. You will save more time visiting our vendors in that one day than driving to and from every single vendor we have at our shows. How much time and money would you like to save?

2) Plan ahead. Before attending, bring a checklist of what services you need.  This will avoid confusion and save time. You won’t need to spend time shopping for vendors that you have already booked.

3) Bring your support team. Only bring those who offers you the best advice and gives you the most support.  Bring those people with you to keep you on task and focused on your needs.  You don’t want to bring ‘Debbie Downer’ with you and ruin an otherwise awesome event.

4) Bring contact labels. At each of our shows, you will have the eopportunity to sign up for amazing prizes and special deals from Bridal Expo and each of  our vendors. It saves so much time (not to mention writer’s cramp) if you have address labesl pre-printed with your contact information. Dont forget your email address! Make sure all the information is current.

5) Bring a digital camera. Yes, we not only allow but, encourage our brides to take pictures. A picture is worth a thousand words. There will be flowers, cakes, gowns,  and all kinds of other things that you will want to remember. This is the best way to document your preferences. Later you can print those pictures and place them in your wedding planner for quick referencing.

6) Leave the kids at home. If you have small children, this is the best time to cash in a favor from a good friend and ask them to watch the kids for the day. Small children will be overwhelmed by the crowds and you will want to be able to stay focused. Plus, there are no strollers allowed in the vendor area. The kids will thank you!

7) Arrive Early. This will give you time to register, and after you have visited every vendor you will be able to find a great seat for the Couture Runway Fashion show. No where else can you see this many luxurious designer  bridal fashions on one stage.

8) Come for the show, stay for the prizes.  At each and every Bridal Expo there are fabulous prizes given away on stage before, during and after our luxurious runway fashion show. Large prizes (fabulous getaways, diamond earrings, photogrpahy packages) and smaller prizes (countertop appliances and gift certificates). Either way, you will not win the prizes if you are not there to claim them. If the bride is not present when called, our Fashion Director and show commentator, Carol Tardi, will call another name. Don’t be the one that got away!

9) Be ready to save money. Many of our vendors  offer booking specials. Dont be afraid to save money. If you are not ready to make a decision,  ask for their information so you can contact them later. They will be happy to oblige. 

10) Relax. The wedding planning process should be fun and Bridal Expo will help make it easier.  Organization is the key to staying stress-free and focused.

 

-Penny Frulla For Bridal Expo Chicago

 

Cover Photo

Photo: Here is a photo taken during the finale of one of our recent luxury bridal shows.  Special thanks to Just Love Me { Photography + Design } and Tamara Makeup + Hair Artistry.To see more from our runway, click here: http://www.bridalshowexpo.com/video_gallery.html

Spice Up Your Invitations!

Wedding invitations have evolved into something so personal and unique that you can actually get a feel for the wedding itself just by seeing (and touching) the invitation. Whether you choose parchment, custom engraving or print the invitations yourself, there are dozens of things you can do to spice up your invitations without breaking the bank.

Photos – Consider incorporating your engagement photo into the invitation or save the date to make an impact.

Words – Using your own words, maybe some sort of prose, will add an artistic flair.

Be Creative – Use touches of your culture with color and font.

Sparkle – A little sparkle never hurt anyone, right? A touch of glitter, a rhinestone or iridescent ink is very exciting.

DO NOT  add confetti – no one likes opening an envelope with confetti in it.

Consider calligraphy instead of printed address labels, it really makes an impact.

Postage – Using a stamp with a specific theme is a nice idea. Take it a step further by using  custom photo stamps for all of your wedding postage. Also making sure you have the correct postage will save a ton of headaches. Can you  imagine having 150 invitations returned?

The most important thing to keep in mind when selecting your wedding invitations is that you don’t forget your personal style. Keep the event and location in mind and let that dictate the style of the paper, ink, font and wording.  With literally hundreds of choices, it can get very confusing but, don’t despair – there is a style out there just right for you. 

-Penny Frulla for Bridal Expo Chicago

 

 

 

 

Blush Pink – A Year-Round Choice!

There are some colors that are timeless, colors that transcend theme and season, that magically work in almost any venue and seem like the decor was planned around the event instead of vice verse. Blush is one of those colors.

Blush is defined as a warm, delicate, rosy color. Definitely one of the most diverse colors in the pink family, blush can be worn by almost every skin tone from Olive to fair to African American to Asian.

 

Designers have been showing bridal gowns in blush for years!

Blush goes perfectly with a Victorian or Vintage themed event.

Sumptuous flowers with crystal accents create a French Art Deco mood.

Belts, table accents, shoes, jewelry and  other wedding accessories make a beautiful and delicate statement when featured in blush. This includes  desserts and cakes.

The greatest benefit of blush is the versatility. You will never find another color that is as easy to match or blend as blush, and with blush as your main color, you won’t have to worry about an accent color, since everything goes with Blush!

-Penny Frulla for Bridal Expo Chicago

Choosing The Right Photographer

Your wedding pictures are the most important thing you will have to remember your day.  Choosing the right photographer is as important as having the right gown, or venue, or (dare I say) spouse! When making your selection, price shopping is the worst mistake you can make. There are many factors that go into the cost of your photography package; experience, skill, training, overall quality of the product and the overall style of pictures you want to express your wedding.  

First, you should define the style of photos you prefer:

Photojournalism is a style of photography that captures the events of the day   truly candid style.  Very few, if any, of the shots are posed. This is by far the most popular style of photography according to market trends. There are some drawbacks involved – especially if your photographer is inexperienced in this field. Make sure  the photographer has ample references and photos for you to check before you even consider wedding Photojournalism. In addition, without some of the posed shots you may wind up with a wedding album where  quite a few people are missing.

Traditional Wedding photography is exactly what it sounds like. All of the shots are posed, there is very little creativity involved with various settings and events. There is usually a ‘shot list’ and every detail must be mapped out in advance; lighting, background, placement of flowers, etc.You will have an album that your parents will love: filled with photos of your entire bridal party, family and guests but, you might not have that one beautiful photo that is found so often in a candid moment.

Artistic Photography (also illustrative Photography) is a great mesh of the two other styles. Some candid shots, some posed. Many of the shots are ‘staged’ in various places to look candid – but, are in fact posed. The Artistic Photographer will not be cheap since you are paying for an artistic vision which requires more time and work than snapping photos.

Before booking your  wedding photographer:

-Make sure the photographer you hire is the one who will be at your event.

-Do not accept a substitute unless you have seen examples of his/her work.

-Always remember to get everything in writing!

Bridal Expo Chicago is home to dozens of the finest photographers of all styles. For 4 complimentary  tickets to a show  in your area where you can see example of their finest work ,  log on to www.bridalshowexpo.com or call our office @ 847-428-3320 today!

-Penny Frulla for Bridal Expo Chicago

Timothy Whaley photography

Carasco Photography

Angela Swan Photography

A Color For All Seasons – Chartreuse!

Few colors can transcend seasons  like Chartreuse. Bold, Bright, Chic, Lively and Elegant, this is one of the most overlooked and misunderstood wedding colors!

 

Chartreuse  can freshen up any room and goes well with most interior decor. Bonus: It is a great color for a signature cocktail, even if your cocktail is simply Chartreuse.

 

 

 Chartreuse and Teal make a bright, bold statement when paired together.

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Chartreuse and Platinum make a sophisticated and more serene combination.

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Chartreuse and Honeysuckle is light, whimsical and well suited for a summer wedding. 

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Chartreuse and Ivory is elegant and chic.

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Chartreuse and Fuchsia is hot for spring.

Chartreuse and Plum make a luscious combination for a winter wedding.

Black and White with Chartreuse accents is the perfect choice for any season!

 

How do you feel about chartreuse?

-Penny Frulla for Bridal Expo Chicago

Color Of The Day: Thoroughly Modern Mint!

 If you haven’t already selected the color for your wedding, consider Mint! Perfectly accented with gold or pink, mint green offers a refreshing alternative to bolder hues. By nature, green is a color of resurrection, abundance, hope, love and joy which makes perfect sense that any couple would want to use this color to begin their lives together.

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Mouthwatering treats of mint hues to delight your guests.

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Mint Tin Favor Wrapper and Lining Template

 

Meaningful keepsakes for your guests to enjoy.

Forever Photo Coasters Favors

Modern accessories to accentuate your color choice!

Are we in love with mint yet? Badgley Mischka shoes

Mint Green Bridal EarringsMint Green Bracelet for Bride or Wedding Party

 

Tantalizing tablescapes of mint and white will be sure to delight

Yellow and Mint Green Wedding Table Decor

Pastel bouquets of mint and peach

Mint Green Wedding Flowers

Ethereal gowns for your bridesmaids

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Even this beautiful birdcage for collecting cards is more than modern in mint!

Customized Cathedral French Birdcage Wedding Card Holder

Don’t forget to let the men get in on the fun. Pastel ties are hot, hip  and give your groom a youthful glow. 

Mint Green Wedding Tie for Groom Men's Wedding Tuxedo Tie in Mint Green for Groom

Whether your wedding is in a garden,  or an upscale hotel;  mint can transform nearly any space into an ethereal masterpiece of calm, cool and serene. You will hardly find a better choice than mint to  begin your lives together.

-Penny Frulla for Bridal Expo Chicago

Whats Hot in 2013- Trend Alert!

If you are  having your wedding in 2013… do we have good news for you: there is a lot to look forward to, A LOT!  No matter what your budget, the top trends reporting for this coming year have something to offer for everyone! 

2013 is all about putting on the glitz!

“It’s a move towards sophistication,” says Alyssa Brown of Alison Events in San Francisco, the planners behind Seth Rogen’s recent nuptials. “For example, we’re planning an outdoor event right now, but there’s crystal on the table, and gold silverware and chargers,” Alyssa explains. “And black tie is playing a huge role right now. It’s full-length gowns for everybody!”

Along those same lines, couples will be opting for formality and sophistication in their tablescapes; crystal, chandeliers, chargers, gold silverware combined with eclectic elements to give a homespun feel.

 

2013 Flower of the year: The Peony. Soft, lush and romantic, the peony is the most requested wedding flower for two years running now, according to Sayles Livingston of Sayles Livingston Design in Newport, Rhode Island. But with the bloom available for only two months out of the year, brides need a backup. Sayles recommends the garden rose, which has the same delicate petal feeling but is much more readily available.

Eye- Popping Cakes. The cake style that dominates right now is clean and modern with  eye- popping color or all-over appliqués. Is it vintage or is it modern? Who knows, who cares – it is chic and adorable so go with it!.

 

“Less is More” Color. Neutral color palettes; Blush, grey, champagne will continue to trend among all brides whether formal, semi-formal or casual. Softer fabrics,laces, softer colors are one of the must-haves for a glamorous 2013 wedding. The look is surprisingly versatile and wears well on almost all skin tones.

 

Foil stamping is in! Look for glints of metallic gold, silver and bronzes stamped directly on the wedding invitation. Imagine your names, or calligraphy scrollwork looking modern in gold. It adds a very fun pop without being too glitzy.

 

Those with a sweet tooth, take heart.  Dessert bars are here to stay, but now they have a formal twist.Look for requests for dessert bars by color. For a white one; do merengues, French macaroons, fudge brownies topped with powdered sugar, and lots of desserts with vanilla-bean frosting.

wedding dessert table

 No matter what you are looking for in 2013, you will find everything you need at one of Bridal Expo Chicago’s Luxury Events. Please call our office at 847-428-3320 or visit our website www.bridalshowexpo.com to get tickets to a show in your area.

-Penny Frulla for Bridal Expo Chicago

Say “Yes!” To Holiday Engagements

With twinkling  lights, jingling  bells and chestnuts roasting on open fires,  it’s no wonder December reigns as the most popular month to pop the question. Thirteen percent of marriage proposals happen in December, while February, despite Valentine’s Day, accounts for just 8 percent, according to the Conde Nast American Wedding Study.

Holiday proposals can be among the most romantic because there are so many creative ways to pop the question. Whether it is Christmas or New Year’s Eve or another celebration, these are my top five favorite  Holiday Proposals.

1) Spell out “Will you Marry me?” with Christmas lights. There are actually companies that will orchestrate the whole thing for you including setting up the lights or you can spend an afternoon (like Clark Griswold) toying with lights and extension cords – it’s up to you.

2) Wrap the ring box inside a large box and then successively smaller boxes so that your sweetheart will initially think the gift is quite large. Nesting boxes are great for this and often come in sets. As each layer is opened, the laughs will grow. Get down on one knee right as the last box is opened.

3) Decorating the Christmas tree together, you hand her an ornament which has the ring tied to the top of it. Make sure she is not standing on anything or she might fall off!

4) Organize a scavenger hunt. Start off with a simple clue to someplace nearby, then get more complicated as the scavenger hunt progresses, and have the final location be a place where you can hide and then pop out and get down on one knee.

5) Buy a scrabble game, spell out the words “Will you marry me” and glue the tiles onto the game board. When she opens the gift, make sure she opens the whole thing so she can see the tiles, and then present her with the real gift – the ring!

Whatever method you choose, this is a spectacular time to get engaged, since the holidays are all about family and celebrating with the people you love the most.

-Penny Frulla for Bridal Expo Chicago

 

 

Giving Away The Bride – Who’s In, Who’s Out?

It is a well known fact that it is the responsibility (and honor) of the bride’s father to walk the bride down the aisle, presenting her at the altar to her future husband, and then later sharing a dance.   In some cases, both parents walk the bride down the aisle and in other cases she walks alone and rare cases where two grown men come together and share this responsibility equally, and of course cases where the mother walks the bride solo. In 2012 you have all sorts of combinations and none of them is right or wrong.  This is one of those ever-changing customs that seems to get more complicated every day. 

To offer a little help if you are trying to decide who should do the honor, ask yourself the following questions:

Who is paying for the wedding? If your stepfather is paying for the wedding 100%, he should be given the place of honor at your side, right? Maybe.  That is unless, of course, he had absolutely no hand in raising you, barely knows you, recently married your mother and you never lived under the same roof with you, he is not exactly a parental figure – yet.

Who raised you? If your father raised you, cared for you, packed your school lunches and drove carpool to dance class, he should be given the place of honor at your side even if he doesn’t have one dime to contribute toward your dream wedding, right? Maybe.  Blood is thicker than water and family is more important than money. However, your stepfather ( and mother)  may have some trouble swallowing the idea of paying for everything and receiving no end credit.

Is there even a father  figure in your life? If your father is deceased or absent from your life and your mother raised you single-handedly, she has every right to be at your side… just the two of you. If she declines (and she might) , ask a favorite uncle or a brother.  

Does everyone get along? If so, have this conversation in a group and include his family as well. Keeping the lines of communication open will make planning much easier. For instance; your parents are divorced and both remarried. If everyone gets along swimmingly and you want to have an honest discussion about who is paying for what and who has what role in the wedding this – do it. It will save tons of time and drama later. Even if you are all on great terms this might be a touchy subject and hurt feelings could turn into a huge family debacle if left unchecked. Always be respectful of the role your parents have played in your life up to this point – it is not all about the wedding. The point is to be inclusive and not exclusive.

Can anyone even be in the same room?If you have the unfortunate circumstance of having suffered through a bitter divorce, subsequent re-marriages of your parents to other people and extremely hostile family relations – buckle up…this is going to be a bumpy ride! Hold on tight to your fiance’s hand and get through this however you can. My advice is to  delegate the dad responsibilities with whomever you feel is the most deserving and responsible and be prepared for the repercussions.  Of course this is more complicated than a simple decision but go back to questions #1 and#2 and decide who played the most important role in your life. Do not let anyone hold you hostage by threatening to boycott the nuptials if they don’t get their way, this is your decision (as a couple) and there is no going back once the decision is made.

It is important to make this decision early since the wording on the invitation can be complicated with fractured and blended families. If  parents and stepparents are all assisting financially with the wedding, their names should be on the invitation.  This is can be tricky so ask your invitation specialist to help you with the wording before you make a costly mistake.

For the Father/Daughter dance you can dance with both dads during the course of the song, changing partners after an allotted time, you can dance with one father ‘figure’ or you can omit this routine entirely. No one says it has to be a part of your wedding. Discuss this with your DJ.

The absolute worst thing that can happen at your wedding is to let any of these small situations get out of control. Unless you are one of the rare families that get along famously and never argue, you will have some sort of struggle on your hands. Close your eyes, envision the outcome you desire and  when you open your eyes take whatever steps necessary to make that happen without hurting anyone’s feelings or stepping on anyone’s toes. That means at no point in the conversation are you allowed to say “It’s my day”  since that expression is a tad over-used and completely self-induglent. You have to be respectful and make your point without becoming  a martyr or spoiled brat.

Remember that if you have the luxury of having parents or multiple parents, count your blessings, even if they don’t love each other as much as you would like, they most certainly love you and will most likely do whatver it takes to ensure your wedding is a joyous occasion.

-Penny Frulla for Bridal Expo Chicago