Bridal Myths Busted ….. the truth comes out!

For the almost thirty years I have been working in the wedding industry I have heard the same mistruths over and over. Most of the time I sit quietly and listen as people express their various opinions since I realize that I am probably never going to change their mind. Sometimes I try to convince them of the truth in a quiet voice knowing that an argument is inevitable when your become confrontational. Today, I would like to address a few “Bridal Urban Legends” and hopefully begin to dispel those rumors once and for all. 

Do you need to order your bridal/bridesmaid gowns early? TRUE!  Having worked in a bridal gown manufacturing facility I can explain to you the production process. The designer and manufacturer work from a schedule that is usually at least 6 months from the delivery date. The ‘cutter’ stacks up to 10 layers of the fabric, rolls the paper pattern over it and uses a sort of fabric  jigsaw to cut through all layers simultaneously then stacks the pieces for production. This is done for every size of that gown. The pieces are handled separately and sewn together in segments by different seamstresses to make each gown. So, depending upon the size of the company, there can be dozens of gowns  being produced at the same time. When a special order comes in, the production line is interrupted for that special order. Whether it is extra length, extra size or a rush order, the manufacturer has to cut, assemble and finish this one gown by itself which takes extra time, money and sets production back by a period of time. Ordering as early as 6 months before your wedding ensure you will fit into the production schedule and your gown will arrive in plenty of time.

The Bridal Salon makes tons of money on special orders. FALSE! The charges for rush orders and special sizes are imposed by the designers, not the salons. If this were true, salons would charge hundreds of dollars for these changes, not a standard percent. In reality it costs the salon extra to take these orders. Special orders require a lot more attention, phone calls, alterations, overnight shipping and TLC. If the salon is able to get a gown for you in 10 weeks even at an extra charge, they will be working twice as hard to make sure that gown arrives on time and in one piece.

You get better deals at a Trunk Show. TRUE! At a trunk show, the designer or an authorized representative will be on hand to help you. They know everything about the gown you are trying on and they are familiar with the production schedule  and the designer’s ability to make changes to that particular gown. In addition there are trunks how specials and incentives to buy. The best part is that they will have the opportunity to meet you and instead of an order number, you will become an actual person who they have a vested interest in pleasing.

Cats are hazardous to  your bridal veil. TRUE! I have seen this one first-hand.  When  I took my first bridal job ever I was trained to ask the brides as they were picking up their gowns “Do you have a cat?” If the answer was affirmative I then launched into my speech about how you must keep the gown and veil away from cats. I never questioned it, I just accepted it as the truth. Fast forward 10 years when I was helping a headpiece designer  pack his veils for a show. FYI – he had two cats. When we began to pack the veils, I was in total disbelief when I realized there were holes all over the veiling. Seriously? It seems that cat saliva dissolves veiling. Netting, illusion,tulle, whatever you call it… cat saliva will destroy it and cats love nothing more than to get their paws and jaws on a tantalizing veil. Keep your cats away from your gown and veil.

Salons order gowns big so they can make money on alterations. FALSE!  I saved the best for last. I cannot tell you how many times I have heard this and I can’t believe this one is still around. With Designers measurement charts posted clearly on the internet, after seeing hundreds of too-tight disasters, brides and bridesmaids are still repeating this as if it were true. Here is the absolute 100% truth that you can bank on: Part 1) Salons are obligated to measure and order the gown in the size determined by the manufacturer’s measurement chart. The measurements are not flattering or easy to stomach since an average size 8 woman will more than likely measure into a 12  bridal or bridesmaid. If the gown is too tight, there is a problem. If you sign off on a smaller size due to vanity or mistrust of the person measuring you and your gown comes in too small – you are looking to spend up to double the price of the gown to have it made bigger. If the gown comes in too big, you can have it taken in. Have your measurements taken by the salon and order the gown that the salon recommends based on which will fit the largest of  your bust, wait or hip measurement.  Part 2)Alterations is a big expense for the salon and rarely a money-maker. Somehow people over the years have this impression that the alteratins department has a profit margin akin to  Wall Street. The alterations department is the place where miracles happen but, it takes time and talent. Seamstresses work their fingers to the bone (literally), hand sewing and beading complicated gowns that take not just hours but sometimes several days to complete. They do not want to rip open a $7,000 gown but they can and they will if they have to. Your job is to be as calm as possible  so they can get their work done to absolute perfection.

Order your dress as early as you can, order the recommended size, keep your cats away from the gown and veil and you will have a glorious day!

– Penny Frulla for Bridal Expo Chicago

Is Your Luck Good or Bad?

There are so many symbolic things about weddings that if you go culture by culture, every single thing from the ring to the gown can be interpreted as either good luck or bad luck. Take for instance wearing pearls: Said to be bad luck in some cultures since each pearl represents the tears the bride will she during their marriage. Of course another culture sees pearls as good luck since each pearl replaces the tears of the bride leaving her care-free and happy forever. Seriously?  Pearls represent  the beauty of nature and nothing else.

More about  tears – if it rains on your wedding day it is good luck since it washes away all the tears. If it rains on your wedding day it is bad luck, dooming your entire marriage to a deluge of tears. Actually if it rains on your wedding day it is because there is a large amount of condensation in the clouds.

It is bad luck for the bride to make her own wedding gown because every stitch represents a tear (again with the tears). The truth is that it is bad luck for a bride to make her gown because there are a million other wedding  things to do. Plus, sewing, if done properly, is hard work and the fittings are next to impossible on yourself without a dress form that is a perfect match to your body. Making your own dress is a recipe for stress, nothing else.

If the bride or groom drops the wedding ring it is good luck since it shakes off evil spirits. However, if it is dropped by anyone else, they will be the first among you to die.  This is probably why modern ring bearer pillows have long ribbon ties since this is too big a sacrifice for a wedding.

Allegedly, if the mother of the groom throws a shoe at the bride as the couple leaves for their reception, the bride and mother in law will forever be best of friends.  I would have been thrilled if all my mother in law ever threw at me was a shoe! My guess is that if she hits the bride, all bets are off.

The time of day that the couple exchanges vows should be when the clock is moving upward so you are ascending toward heaven. Attention Brides: Move the time of your wedding  from 2 pm  to 2:30 pm. If you only have digital clocks, disregard.

Sharing the same last initial is bad luck. This omen comes with a handy rhyme  “To change the name and not the letter is a change for the worse and not the better.” I personally think it makes things a lot easier; monogrammed towels, stationery, luggage tags,etc.

Last but not least it is considered bad luck for the bride to sign her married name before the wedding. But why would she? Unless you are 12 years old and you are marrying Justin Beiber, scribbling your married name on a binder  “Mrs. Justin Beiber”….nobody does this.

Society is fraught with rules and omens  that no longer have any relevance to modern society. I would bet that 300 years ago  when someone handed the groom a wedding ring, they dropped it was because they were coughing so hard  from the black plague  – of course they were the next to die! OMG nobody touch the ring – you’re all going to die!

I am sure that these explanations and theories made sense at one time but not any more. Get married at 2 pm on a sunny day, drop the ring, make your dress and sign your married name the day before the wedding….just make sure you duck if you see your  mother in law removing her shoe. 

-Penny Frulla for Bridal Expo Chicago