2012 Celebrity Wedding Favorites

 This year was great for celebrity weddings; from big screen stars to television icons and everywhere in between, 2012 was the year of Hollywood Nuptials!   

June

Alec Baldwin wed Hilaria Thomas in a low key ceremony at Old St. Patrick’s cathedral in Manhattan. Hilaria chose a simple, breathtaking gown by Amsale and the result was bliss!

 

Drew Barrymore wearing Chanel for her simple backyard ceremony to Will Kopelman . Not one of my favorite gown of the year.

August
 
Natalie Portman and Benjamin Millipied wed under a moonlit sky. Her Rodarte gown was simple and sweet, just like this A-list actress… but, a bit underwhelming.
 
September
 
Anne Hathaway wore a stunning Valentino Couture gown when she wed Adam Shulman. The headpiece, however, had mixed reviews.
 

October

Justin Timberlake and Jessica Biel tied the knot in magnificent style! He serenaded her with a signature love song and she (obviously) knocked him off his feet in a stunning petal pink Giambattista Valli Haute Couture gown.

 

  
Of course, these are just a few of our favorite weddings from 2012, there are dozens more… not that we are counting!
 
-Penny Frulla for Bridal Expo Chicago 
 
 
 
 

Awards Season Heats Up – 2012 SAG Awards

It’s January and you know what that means: the Hollywood Awards Season is in full swing! Aside from the occasional censored part of an acceptance speech or a wardrobe malfunction, my favorite part is the red carpet arrivals. Many years ago you used to have to watch the entire show to see what everyone was wearing. Now (like magic) there are half a dozen entertainment reporters stationed outside the venue, stopping every entertainer,  giving us a play by play of who is wearing what.  Sunday evening’s Screen Actor’s Guild Awards was a  star-studded evening filled with surprises, disappointments and more of the same.

Surprise: Michelle Williams redeemed herself from her last awards show appearance in a gorgeous red asymmetrical Valentino gown. Everything about this dress is right; the fit, the color and the design. Although demure , this look is also completely glamorous and stunning on her.

 

 

More of the same – Remember how great Meryl Streep looked in ‘The Devil Wears Prada’? She needs to put the costumer from that movie on speed dial because this Vivienne Westwood gown was completely unflattering in every single way possible. Sorry, I can’t find one good thing to say about this…. the worst part:  that gigantic leather (?) belt that looks like it belongs to a construction worker.

 

 

Even more of the same -Lea Michele showed up in her signature color (grey-ish) wearing an uber-sexy Versace gown.  The gown was beautiful but I would loved to have seen it in a more exciting color.

Disappointing  – Funny lady Jane Krakowski in a gown by Antonio Berardi that flops. If the center portion was beaded on sheer black instead of nude, it would make more sense.  It is a nice fit, though.

 

The Worst gown of the night belonged to Busy Phillips. I can’t even begin to imagine why she thought a boho-caftan was worthy of the red carpet. This belongs at a backyard barbeque. Busy? You bet!

 

The Best – Emily Blunt’s choice of  a jade-hued Oscar de La Renta gown was a refreshing change. Everything about this gown reeked class from the  slit (which was just the right height) to  the fit of the asymmetrical bodice. This gown was spectacular and the color really brought out the vibrant green in her eyes.

Of course this is just a sampling of the 70+ red carpet arrivals, the ones that really stuck out in my mind.  What were your favorites?

-Penny Frulla for Bridal Expo Chicago

Here comes the Bride, again – Simply Second Weddings

Lets take a look at some numbers for a moment. If 50% of marriages end in divorce, and roughly 25% of the population is getting married for the second time, that means that for every two weddings at least one-half of the couple is having their second wedding. Make sense? If not – think of it this way: If you attended two weddings this year, statistically one of the people in one of those weddings should be enjoying their second trip down the proverbial aisle. Depending upon the age of the participants, it will be more or less.

In the old days,  the second wedding was a toned-down affair, small ceremony ( or none at all) and casual  location for the reception. Many times there are children involved and back then no one wanted to make a big deal of the second wedding particularly if the first ended in divorce.

Second time brides and grooms are generally a little older and wiser and as a result make different ( no one said better) choices as how to spend their money. The first wedding is uncharted territory; priorities are different and the budget is probably being managed by one or both sets of  parents.

Women who are about to become a bride for the second time used to wear a less formal, more toned-down look. Not true anymore. Although the choices are different, they are many times less than toned-down. You are definitely older and more than likely paying for this gown yourself. Kim Kardashian will take the plunge for the second time later this year and her second wedding will out-do her first by a long shot. A $2 million wedding outshines Vegas given any odds.

If the bride is considerably older she will probably want to take that into consideration when trying on gowns. Strapless, corset style dresses might just be a little too youthful for an older bride and lets face it –  after 40 you are no longer considered the sexy ingenue. I suggest that brides 40 and over to ask for a consultant that is closer to your age so she will be able to better understand your needs both emotionally and physically.
Color of the gown is not really important. The concept of only a virgin-bride wearing white is outdated and unrealistic. It is almost medieval! At any age, good taste should prevail. Recent celebrity bride Reese Witherspoon opted for a pale pink gown by famed bridal designer Monique Lhullier, which was the epitome of good taste for her casual affair. The late Elizabeth Taylor, undoubtedly the queen of matrimony ( she was married 8 times)  had the good sense to wear a canary yellow Valentino gown for her last marriage. Yes, it was a lace ball-gown, yes it cost over $25,000 and yes it had a sweep train but, it was also a highly publicized affair at Michael Jackson’s ranch and it was Elizabeth Taylor. Take everything into consideration when shopping for your gown. Designers are taking all of theses statistics into consideration and it shows in the style of their gowns.  If you shop for a gown during a trunk show you will most likely meet the designer and be able to discuss changes and color options.

Even if your first attempt at marital bliss ended eons ago, there are some things that are considered faux pas such as hosting a large wedding shower for yourself for a second or third wedding or wearing full bride regalia over the age of 50. You also  don’t need daddy to walk you down the aisle for the fourth time, and half a dozen bridesmaids are not necessarily in order. Walk yourself down the aisle and have one attendant to sign the marriage license. Your daughter or son (if they are of age) or a close friend or family member will suffice.

There is no need to be shy about having a large second wedding, always ask for advice from trusted professionals and don’t be afraid to have a grand affair. The best way to avoid criticism from others is not to ask for their opinions. “What do you think of this?” can lead you down a path you may not want to go.

My best advice is  go to www.bridalshowexpo.com and get tickets to one of our shows There you can meet with our seasoned professionals and  help answer questions for your first or second trip to the altar.

-Penny Frulla for Bridal Expo Chicago

The Oscars 2011 – Best Dressed

No, it wasn’t just you, the Oscars were little odd this year. It was as if there was a huge inside joke that everyone knew and as everyone waited for the punch line with great anticipation ……. it never came. However, this years fashions did not disappoint. 

 I loved seeing Tim Gunn on the red carpet. This is exactly where he belongs. He asks all the right questions  and he saves the acting talk for the interviewers with bigger chops.  I have been tuning in since I was a small girl merely to see what the stars will be wearing so,  the red carpet is my favorite part of the show!

Penny’s Picks for  best dressed:

Mila Kunis – The biggest shocker of the night for me was how much I loved this Elie Saab couture gown. The only reason so many design elements (lace, ruffles, draped chiffon, blouson top) work on this gown is because it was constructed impeccably, like a work of art. Every fold, every drape, every small lace ruffle is sewn to perfection.  Mila made every one’s top ten list in this designer gown, and the top of my top ten list. Surprised? Me, too!

Natalie Portman – Although I feel she lost it in the accessory department (hello, beaded tassels?), the purple Rodarte gown looked magnificent and comfortable enough for the mom-to-be to carry home a  small statuette and a  bun in the oven. 

Anne Hathaway – Most critics were all over her red Valentino gown, accusing the star of wearing her window treatments, etc. I disagree for two reasons – the fit was perfect and it was pure Valentino couture.  In addition, each and every gown that she wore during her multiple costume changes was A+ with the exception of the midnight blue Versace. I thought it fell flat.

Gyyneth Paltrow – Again, I disagree with most critics. Her gown was sleek, cool and totally retro. She was not nominated and was there to look good. She did!

Sharon Stone – Carried off  the Black Swan theme to perfection in this one-shouldered Christian Dior gown, regardless off how the critics slammed her smoky eyes. I thought she looked magnificent for a woman of any age.

Jennifer Hudson -Was a vision in Versace. The tangerine color looked marvelous with her skintone and the fit was unbelievable. The side drape and fitted bodice showed off her stunning slim physique.  In all fairness, she was stunning when she won her own Oscar and was much heavier. *Memo to her stylist – “make sure the cleavage is the same color as the chest.”

Mandy Moore – Her Monique Lhullier gown was breathtaking. The fit and the detail  of this champagne/nude gown reminds us that this little girl is all grown up and also that Monique Lhullier can do no wrong. Her bridal gowns are equally as impressive.

Hailee Stanfield – Also wow’d the crowd in her champagne/ nude creation by Marchesa. She opted for a fuller, ballerina-length skirt which is extremely flattering and appropriate for a young woman at the age of 14.

Sandra Bullock – America’s sweetheart proves once again that she can  look red hot on the red carpet with this  amazing red Vera Wang gown. But, we already knew that. Her makeup and accessories were  toned down leading me to believe that she and her stylist agreed -when you look this good in this gown, you don’t need any extra help.

 Hilary Swank – This Gucci Premiere couture gown is pure Hollywood glamour. Hand sewn crystals,  ostrich feathers – who knew this much detail could be so sexy?  Grey is not an easy color to wear but,  Ms. Swank pulls it off effortlessly.

Celine Dion – She had twins? In this simple, fitted Armani Prive gown it is hard to imagine she has given birth to one child, much less three.  The slim fitting gown had an absolutely perfect fit for her, the horizontal darts accentuated her toned physique and the only detail on the gown (other than the silk shantung fabric) was a small band that seemed to help the gown curve perfectly over her bust-line.  Was it just me or did this necklace remind anyone else of the gargantuan blue diamond stunner she wore when she sang the theme from Titanic?

Tune in tomorrow for my picks for the Worst Dressed at the 2011 Oscars. In the mean time, you can click  on this link  to view Bridal Expo’s very own red carpet couture runway show!  http://www.bridalshowexpo.com/fos_video_bride.html?PHPSESSID=c2893cac5707631701337f218a200fd2

 – Penny Frulla for Bridal Expo Chicago