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

Have Your Cake and Enjoy It!

Deciding on your wedding cake sounds easy, right? WRONG!  Between the look, the taste and of course – what type of frosting… you will want to pull your hair out!  There are dozens of choices and endless combinations, not to mention that the cake and the frosting you choose will depend on a lot of factors; the location of the wedding, the outdoor temperature, what style of cake you want… and (of course) your taste. Having a great looking cake that tastes bad is  just as much of a disaster as a delicious cake that looks awful.

For me , the most important part of the cake is the frosting so I have broken it down into three main types:

Buttercream frosting is made from butter or margarine combined with powdered sugar, flavorings, and liquid. This is by far the most popular frosting because it is easy to work with and very adaptable, plus it holds up well to humidity and temperature variations. These characteristics are especially important in the case of an outdoor wedding where there is an uncontrolled environment. If you love the look of fondant but can’t live without  buttercream frosting, relax…. a skilled baker can replicate the look of fondant with buttercream.

Whipped Cream frostings are made from powdered sugar, flavorings, and whipped cream – what could be simpler? Unfortunately the whipped cream is sometimes a problem since this type of frosting requires refrigeration and does not hold up well to heat or high humidity. However, this is the sweetest and fluffiest of all frostings and is a real treat  if the conditions are right. As far as the design is concerned, the possibilities are endless with a talented baker.

Fondant creates a very smooth and elegant cake covering but is less sweet and more dense than other frosting types which have lighter whipped textures. The main benefit of fondant is that, unlike buttercream frosting, in a fairly short amount of time you can have a silky, perfect-looking cake. In just a matter of minutes you can roll out your fondant, cover your cake, and smooth. You can also use fondant to create interesting shapes and figures for your cake that you wouldn’t be able to do with plain frosting. Accomplishing the same thing with buttercream frosting can be nearly impossible, even for the most dedicated cake decorator. However, fondant doesn’t always taste as good as buttercream.

There are no clear-cut rules  but, consider the taste and temperature to be the deal breakers. You absolutely cannot have a cake with whipped cream frosting in the middle of July in Louisiana and you will never get the same texture and taste of buttercream frosting using rolled fondant. Figure out what is the most important thing to you and use your baker’s expertise and advice to  accomplish your main goal – having a beautiful cake that holds up at least until it is cut.

Last but certainly not least – arrange to taste cake samples together. Finding a cake you both love will be a lovely memory.  This is definitely the best part of wedding planning!

-Penny Frulla for Bridal Expo Chicago

 

 

 Tipsycake, Chicago,IL

 

Leeson’s Cakes, Tinley Park, IL

Sharon’s Custom Cakes, Crete, IL

Oak Mill Bakery Chicago, IL

 

 

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

Adding Up The Add-ons: The Dangers of Hidden Fees

When you plan your wedding budget there are dozens of factors that can increase your costs and before you know it, your $30,000 budget is now $10,000 over.  Not planning for extras and add-ons can put you into a deficit quicker than you think.

1) Remember to take your time into consideration. For instance, if you will have to take time off from work to handle fittings, tastings or sign contracts and will not get paid for the time off; you have just ‘spent’ money by not earning it.

2) When looking online at pricing, the numbers can be deceiving. $35 per person sounds like a great price for a reception until you realize that doesn’t include an entree, a napkin or a fork. Make sure the price is for a complete meal.

3) One of the biggest costs is for alcohol, so some couples try to sidestep this  and be thrifty by providing their own alcohol and bartender (an option at some reception venues). This will save you very little money. Between corkage fees and the retail costs of alcohol, you would be wiser to offer an open bar and not use top shelf  liquor… or limit it to just wine and beer.

4) When buying your wedding gown, ask about the cost of alterations up front. Just as the salon will make you sign a contract agreeing  to purchase the gown, pay the 1/2 deposit and the balance when the gown arrives – you should require the salon to give you an alterations quote in writing. A good place for this is on your receipt.  Expert alterations can cost hundreds of dollars.

5) The cake is another quagmire. Having a wedding cake large enough to slice off a piece for 200 guests is costly and can be difficult to maneuver. Consider having a smaller (more manageable) wedding cake for the cake cutting and having your baker make sheet cakes of the same exact cake and frosting  to serve to guests.

6) Speaking of cake, check  this out: Cake cutting fees can be as much as $3.50 per slice.  This is just the fee that the reception site charges to cut your cake, put it on a plate and serve it. Add this onto the cost of the cake and you could increase the cake budget by 50% or more. Consider the options of mini cakes or cupcakes to serve to guests. Cupcake bakeries are super chic right now so why not get in on the fun?

7) Service professionals often rely on tips. If it is not added into your total automatically,  make sure you allow for this at the end of the event.

Overall it is estimated that individual wedding costs increase by 25% from the original quote. In order to avoid this happeneing to you… don’t forget to factor tax, tips, add-ons and fees into your budget and make sure you get everything in writing!

-Penny Frulla for Bridal Expo Chicago

 

 

 

 

 

The Reality Of Wedding Costs

If you ever wondered what determines the cost of weddings… wonder no more! Here are the answers, broken down in a way that is easy for anyone to understand.

For a wedding and reception with 150 guests

The cost of an extravagant wedding in Cook County, IL is $72,000

The cost of the average wedding in Cook County, IL is $33,000

The cost of a simple, pared down wedding in Cook County, IL is $22,000

Want to save some money and have your wedding in Naperville? The location won’t make that much of a difference, which is a big shock to me since I always thought that having a wedding in the city had to be more expensive than in the suburbs. Using several zip codes with varying demographics, the cost of any of these three weddings is within a thousand dollars of the average given the same number of guests and style of wedding.

What does that mean? An extravagant wedding in Schaumburg costs about as much as an extravagant wedding in Chicago or Lake Forest or Oak Park or Burr Ridge. You will have to travel more than 75 miles from the city for the location to make any noticeable difference in price.

What makes the biggest difference in the price? The extras; wedding planners, couture gowns and tuxedos, exceptional video, location photography, custom wedding rings, artistic cakes, extraordinary flowers, top notch musicians, anything that goes above and beyond. Oddly enough, one of the biggest factors that will affect your total cost is wedding favors!

Thanks (in part) to Pinterest, DIY wedding are very popular. But, that’s not going to save you nearly as much as you think. Why? Because the same flowers that a florist could provide for $6,000 will cost you nearly as much in materials alone and if you add your time ( if your time is as valuable as mine) you have spent nearly double the amount. You will never get the same discount or special rate as a professional florist and you will never be able to do the same arrangements for the same cost. The same formula goes for musicians, photographers, invitations, bakeries, bridal ensemble accessories and so on.

For the best DIY wedding, do only the simple things yourself; the add-ons, the small touches, table numbers, favors, etc. Tackling the big projects will leave you breathless and broke.

In the end, the only real way to save money is to have a smaller affair. Inviting 75 guests rather than 150 will allow you to spend more on the things that are important to you and less on the overall (per person) package.

If you have a few minutes and would like to play around with some numbers, here is a link to a simple, fun and fairly accurate wedding cost calculator that will  give you an idea of what to expect in your area.

 http://www.costofwedding.com/index.cfm/action/costest.index

-Penn Frulla for Bridal Expo Chicago

Chandelier Wedding Cakes!

In the ever-changing world of weddings, there is always something new on the horizon. Someone with ample creativity and talent takes a traditional item ( in this cakes the wedding cake) and literally turns it upside down. For those of you who have not seen the Chandelier Wedding Cake, here it is:

Beautiful, delicious, and suspended from above, Chandelier Cakes take artistry and imagination to a new level. It seems to defy the laws of gravity and common sense but, it hangs with great stability. The cake is decorated in stages and then put together using a special cake ‘stand’ that inverts the order of the stacking from smallest on bottom to largest on top.

3 tier chandelier cake stand image

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chandelier Cakes are just starting to get some notoriety but, look out for them to become very popular, thanks to Pinterest and other sites that encourage creative expression. According to Judy of Judy’s Cakes, they are easily dismantled, layer by layer from the bottom, for cutting.

I’ll have to trust Judy on this one because this sounds very complicated to me. But, this one really takes my breath away and I am looking forward to seeing more Chandelier Cakes in the future!

 

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-Penny Frulla for Bridal Expo Chicago

Cake Toppers – Creative Trends

Like a gorgeous ribbon tied beautifully around a package, the cake topper is the finishing touch that makes the entire package come together.  Let’s face it, even the most beautiful cake needs a little something on top to complete the look. Wedding cake toppers are traditionally a representation of a bride and groom in formal wedding attire sitting atop the cake.  This custom was dominant in US weddings in the 1950s where it represented the concept of togetherness. It is important to note that cake toppers have advanced a long way since your parents or grandparent’s wedding. Seldom do couples even look for the standard  cake toppers where the only decision is to try to find one of the little plastic couples  that resemble you in hair or skin color. Couples today can use the cake topper to signify the silly, irreverent or romantic spirit of their relationship. Don’t be too worried if your fiance is not jazzed about cake toppers just yet. Wait until he sees the options (now) available, then you can sit back and enjoy as he delves into the wonderful world of wedding details…. and this one can be downright fun! What’s hot in cake toppers for 2012?

Romantic – Choices to express romance include Lladro figurines, doves, or hearts  made of various materials. It isn’t about cost since there are options made for every budget. Although a beautiful Lladro could set you back  hundreds of dollars,  a simple  plastic sculpture of intertwined hearts can cost less than lunch.

Fun- Bobble head likenesses, a cute Lego or cartoon couple, a whimsical wire sculpture. Maybe a  couple doing something you both enjoy like surfing or fishing. Perhaps you want to focus on your profession;  firefighters, police and military cake toppers are very popular and easy to find.

Monograms – Monograms are HOT! You can do the traditional monogram with your first initials on either side and your shared last initial in the middle, you can do just the last initial or  just your first two initials intertwined. Rhine-stoned cake toppers gained so much popularity last year that some companies have begun offering them with colored stones so you can match your wedding colors! WOW!

Same Sex – With a handful of states passing legislation that same sex marriages are legal (and hopefully more to follow), it is now easier than ever to find a variety of cake toppers depicting same sex couples. Bravo.

Ethnic – Cake toppers are also widely available in a variety of traditional ethnic wedding attire so you can mix your Asian, African, Hispanic or Middle Eastern heritage with a traditional American wedding cake.

Today’s couples have limitless styles to choose from since so many companies offer custom cake toppers. My only advice to to future brides and grooms is to get something  you love, something you can afford and something you will want to keep forever, it is a wonderful keepsake  and would look great on top of your future anniversary cake.

-Penny Frulla for Bridal Expo Chicago