Modern Cinderella – It’s All About The Shoe

If you missed it, Disney just re-released Cinderella on Blu-ray DVD.  This quintessential fairy tale originally brought to life by Walt Disney in 1950 is more popular than ever… not so much because women are looking for the perfect man to rescue them from their humdrum lives but,  because the modern Cinderella continues the quest for the perfect shoe!!!

Even better, Disney partnered with shoe design guru, Christian Louboutin to bring the famed glass slipper to life. The Louboutin version is made of netting instead of glass for obvious reasons but the sparkling Swarovski crystals remind you of the delicate and reflective nature of glass. You will have a hard time finding them since there are only 20 pair of these remarkable shoes being made and are being ‘given away’ in various Disney promotions around the globe.

As if that is not enough,  Christian Louboutin (himself) makes his acting debut in a short film entitled “The Magic of the Glass Slipper: A Cinderella Story ” which is a bonus feature on the recent re-released DVD. The story is cute, sweet, simple and very short. I won’t spoil it but, you can watch it here:

Congratulations Mr. Louboutin for a job well done, Walt Disney himself would be proud!

Feeling like Cinderella and can’t find the right sparkly shoe to fit your budget or your sole? Princess Bridal Shoes can turn just about any ordinary shoe into a show stopper!



-Penny Frulla for Bridal Expo Chicago

Blending Cultures At Your Wedding

If you think planning a wedding is hard, imagine how hard it is to plan a wedding with families from two entirely different backgrounds and customs. Even if everyone is in agreement about the specifics, there will be times when you will be worried about which traditions to use from each culture. Don’t sweat it… really. The truth is  that  the  absolute, hands-down best weddings are the ones where  couples incorporate customs from every aspect of their blended life and start their own.

There are no rules that say both couples cannot express their families’ wedding customs together. In fact, you may find that your customs are similar. This is nothing to argue about, this is a chance to open up to one another and to show your future in-laws you are willing to compromise.

Jumping the Broom is a custom that originated in Scotland or England among the Gypsy clans. It was adopted in the United States by African Americans during slavery and brought back into popular practice after several books and movies recognizing this (blended, borrowed) African American tradition. It is a symbolic gesture of togetherness. I wish it was a symbol that my husband was going to sweep the floor.

In Italy, either a roasted baby pig (porchetta) or roasted baby lamb (bacchio), depending on region, may be served, accompanied by two pasta dishes and assorted fresh fruit. As a symbol of the essence of marriage, newlyweds hand out sugared almonds representing the bitter and the sweet in life.

At a traditional Greek wedding, dishes are smashed on the floor for good luck and money is thrown at the musicians. Back to the broom – that is some cleanup!

Jewish weddings feature a lively Israeli dance called the Hora. While the couple holds on to either end of a handkerchief, they are lifted into the air on  their chairs and the dancing continues. Hold on tight so that no one drops you!

Hindu/Indian weddings are  lively affairs that can last up to four days. For a blended family you can go  traditional American for your formal wear but, consider using colorful reds, golds and deep orange for your wedding theme since they signify happiness and prosperity.

Korean weddings serve Kuk soo (noodles), which symbolize long life. To find out if someone is married, ask “Kuk soo mo-gus-soy-oh?” (“Have you eaten noodles yet?”)

Arras In the Mexican tradition, the groom gives the bride thirteen gold coins blessed by the priest. The presentation and acceptance signifies their bond and the coins are saved as a family heirloom. Have you seen the price of gold, lately? …..that is some gift!

If by some chance your family does not have any specific cultural background or no specific way they celebrate rites of passage other than traditional American customs, don’t come unglued when the other party suggests something you’ve never heard of. Open yourself up to new possibilities; the food, the music, the decorations – you may be surprised.

Start your own traditions as well; candle lighting, sand ceremony, even something as simple as writing your own vows or changing the music as you walk down tha aisle can make a huge difference.  Merging families isn’t just about sticking people in the same room and expecting them to get along. It is about making other people feel like they are important, and your actions will speak louder than words.

-Penny Frulla for Bridal Expo Chicago

Who Makes The Cut? How To Trim Your Guest List

Once the budget  is determined for your wedding it is time to start planning! Of course it sounds like fun but, the devil is in the details and when it comes to whittling down a  guest list – be prepared to feel some stress.

If you are planning a large wedding with a limitless budget and an over-sized guest  list this can be even harder since everyone you have ever known (even peripherally) will expect to be invited. Look at all of the media attention devoted to the supposed ‘snub’ of the Obamas at the recent royal nuptials in April.

So how does one go about keeping their guest list under control without offending ?

1) Keeping your budget in mind, decide how many guests you will be able to invite.

2) Make a  list of everyone you would like to invite and see how close you are to that number. Remember that roughly 25% will be unable to attend so factor that into the equation. There are several ‘guest list’ templates available for computer use.

3) To begin eliminating immediately, use the one year rule for friends and extended family. If you have not seem or spoken to them in over a year, you are not obligated to invite them to your wedding.

4) Eliminate children. Address the invitation to the parents only and spell out very clearly that it is an adults only reception. You can do this in many ways but the easiest is through the save the date cards.

5) Ask both sets of parents to help you  reduce your list.

6) You do not have to invite co-workers unless you have a close friendship outside of work. Also if you invite one co-worker that you are very close to, you do not have to invite everyone. You shouldn’t have to defend your decision so if someone mentions the fact that they weren’t invited and another co-worker was, look them squarely in the eye and say “I am close friends with Sandra, of course she is invited!” If they are too thick to understand your implication, just walk away.

7) Unless you are of some political or social stature, every one of your parents’ friends and co-workers do not have to be invited. Keep the ones with whom you have a special relationship and move on. Of course it is good manners to allow the parents to invite a few guests.

8) You do not have to reciprocate. If you were invited to some one’s wedding fifteen years ago, this does not mean you have to invite them to your wedding. Things change and they know this as well as you do.

9) Don’t worry about inviting the same amount of people from both sides of the family. If he is from a large family and you are an only child there will be a difference in numbers.

At the end of the process, you should have a guest list that is within your budget and everyone is satisfied. Use this list as a master list and make changes as they occur. Never invite anyone to a shower or send ‘save the date’ cards unless they are invited to the actual wedding. Remember, an open dialogue will solve everything and you do not have to feel bad if you cannot invite every single one of your ‘facebook friends’. The most important people are your immediate family and closest friends and the two of you.

-Penny Frulla for Bridal Expo Chicago