Friday 13th – Fear of Fiction

Today is the first of the three “Friday the 13th’ days in 2012 so, if you’re feeling lucky today it may last the whole year. On the other hand if you are a victim of  friggatriskaidekaphobia, this is only the beginning. The origins of the fear of the number 13 and this day falling on a Friday are very sketchy and this phenomenon has only been around for about a hundred years. For me, the only thing  to fear is fear itself, as I don’t personally believe in luck (either good or bad) and this day to me is like any other with one exception; a chance to move around a little easier.

According to the Stress Management Center and Phobia Institute in Asheville, North Carolina,  an estimated 17 to 21 million people in the United States are affected by a fear of this day. Some people are so paralyzed by fear that they avoid their normal routines in doing business, taking flights or even getting out of bed. “It’s been estimated that  $800 or $900 million is lost in business on this day”. 

Oddly enough, even wedding advice boards are inundated with posts warning couples that Friday the 13th is a bad day to get married. As a result, a lot of venues offer specials to those who dare to mark this as their anniversary date. FYI if you get married on Friday the 13, you will celebrate your anniversary on Friday every 7 years.

Statistically, there has never been a major weather catastrophe, a terrorist attack, an assassination attempt or anything comparable on Friday the 13th in my lifetime. I have personally never seen any remarkable occurrences or suffered any particularly unlucky events which all lead me to believe that any and all fear of Friday the 13th is completely unfounded. Unless it rains on your wedding day which is extremely good luck (wink, wink).

If you are setting your wedding date for 2012 and you are not superstitious, you can still have two chances to reverse the curse (April and July) as well as September and December in 2013. Don’t forget to ask if there is a discount for non-believers!


-Penny Frulla for Bridal Expo Chicago













Wedding Day disasters – being prepared will save the day

You have planned your wedding and reception down to every detail; the flowers, the centerpieces, the guest book. Everyone is prepared …are you?
There are very few times that even a mild disaster will strike you on your wedding day since, like lightning, it is not a common occurrence. In reality a disaster on your wedding day may not be a disaster any other day of your life. It is only because you have orchestrated every detail to perfection that one minor hiccup seems to throw you off kilter.

Just like the Boys Scout credo says, you must always be prepared, this goes for the groom as well. If he was a boy scout at one time – he will already know this!

Four things you need to do to be prepared in case of a minor mishap on your wedding day:

1) Have all of the emergency contact numbers for all of your vendors stored on both of your cell phones … just in case. If something does go wrong, call them immediately. If you cannot reach them, institute a backup plan.

2) Bring a small sewing kit. In this kit should be the following: two sewing needles, white thread, black thread, thread the color of your bridesmaids gowns, medium sized safety pins, small piece of white or clear bar soap, scissors, hooks and a seam ripper. I was once at a wedding where the zipper on the wedding gown  was stuck halfway down before the bride could even put it on. Crisis? No. We used a small piece of hand soap to coat the zipper and it opened easily after a short time. And believe me – the safety pins can save your entire night if  the  bustle comes un-sewn.

3) Bring an emergency kit that includes the following: a few feminine hygiene products, benadryl, stain remover, double sided tape, static guard, more safety pins, super glue, hair pins, band aids, neosporin, visine,  hair spray or styling gel, hair clips, small razor, dental floss and breath mints. Benadryl? Perhaps one of the attendants has an allergic reaction to her bouquet, or a guest gets a mosquito bite at an outdoor wedding. Trust me, it has happened before and will happen again. It makes sense to put the  maid of honor in charge of this most of the items are small enough that you won’t have to carry a large suitcase, just a small bag that can be left at the head table. You will be pleased to know that there are emergency wedding kits available for sale. I have seen them in person at Bridal Expo so I know they are out there.

4) Just say NO. Make sure that someone is in charge of knowing when guests have had enough to drink. If you have an open bar, be aware that some people don’t know their limit. Best Man, bride’s father, anyone can do this but it is better to have someone delegated specifically for this task.

5) The morning of your wedding is not the day to starve yourself. Eat a good breakfast with lots of protein, avoid energy drinks and drink lots of water. Same for everyone is the bridal party. This will prevent fatigue, dizziness, possible fainting and reduce stress. No one needs to pass out at the altar.

For those of us who foresee mini-diasters everywhere we go and are often labeled neurotic, don’t sweat it. One day your neuroses will pay off and you can hold your head high knowing that your planning helped save the day.

Here’s hoping your wedding day is disaster-free!

-Penny Frulla for Bridal Expo Chicago

Pets and Peeves – Unusual weddings

Your wedding day is just that …YOUR wedding day. There will always be disagreements about seating, food, and who pays for what. But, when you decide to have truly unusual wedding you can just about bet that you will be defending this decision for a long time.

Weddings have become less about staunch traditions and more about couples’ expressing their love and commitment in their own unique way. At one time, only the ultra-wealthy could afford personalized items such as match book covers, napkins, wine bottles and favors. Now these items are readily available to the masses and are quite affordable no matter what your budget is. It seems that isn’t good enough for some couples and they need to go a step further.  Exchanging vows in the air, on horseback, while skiing or underwater, these are some of the ways that  modern couples choose to exchange vows. I respect their individuality and creativity but, I have to admit I think it is a colossal mistake. Mostly because there are so many other ways to incorporate your love of a particular sport or venue or pet than to make them part of the actual wedding but also because there is nothing more romantic than declaring your love for one another in a beautiful, quiet setting whether alone or with your closest family and friends. It is a humbling experience and (for me) doesn’t need to be a side show.

Worst wedding peeves:

Pets in weddings-  Maybe you met  while walking your dogs in Grant Park and feel like they are the sole reason you are together so you want them to share your big day. Newsflash: Your dog would rather stay at home and watch squirrels. Experienced dog handlers will tell you that your pet is most comfortable in his or her surroundings, not overcome by rules and regulations in an unfamiliar setting. Does the venue allow pets? What will happen to the pet after the ceremony? Have you hired a handler or trainer in case there is a mishap? Do you need the added stress of worrying about all this? God forbid it rains and you have to worry about muddy paws on your designer gown….and the list goes on.  My advice : leave your pets at home and hire someone to take care of them for the long day ahead. Dont even get me started on exotic animals …. or cats. Where does it end?

Over the top themes- Having a hobby or a favorite tv show or movie is fun. Having a Star Wars wedding is just plain weird. Do you really want grandma to have to dress up as wookie? Save this for your future child’s second grade  birthday party and then do it up right, for people who appreciate it – 8 year olds. Ditto  for Goth, vampire, renaissance and all other movie trends.

Bizarre locations – If you get married underwater and no one can hear you exchange vows, are you really married? Getting married on horseback looks great in movies but in reality there can be logistical problems. Horses are notorious for relieving themselves at any time, anywhere. Will the officiant have to speak loudly so you can hear him over a horse urinating ? Are you an experienced enough rider to handle a horse that gets spooked by yards of veiling? Getting married at a baseball field, retail store, public bus, in a tree, elevator or the Grand Canyon is not going to make your wedding more memorable or special. What makes it special is you and your love for one another.

Just for a moment think about how a compromise might stir it up without over-stirring:

Incorporate these things into your engagement photos, table decor or favors. You met while scuba diving in Aruba? How about turning your reception into a tropical paradise and incorporating the scuba theme  throughout? How about showing your love for your pet by having his or her picture on the guest book cover, or emblazoned on cookies at the sweet table?

Ultimately it is up to the bride and groom to decide what suits them. But, if you decide that your bridesmaids will all wear camouflage dresses and army boots, expect a rebuttal from me and some very odd stares.

-Penny Frulla for Bridal Expo Chicago