Manicure Madness!!!

A good manicure improves the health and texture of your hands and fingernails, helps prevent hangnails and snagged cuticles and the accompanying hand massage improves circulation. The word manicure itself is derived from the Latin word ‘manus’ which means hands and ‘cure’, which means …..cure. In recent years, the mani/pedi spa has been favorite of brides and bridesmaids for a bit of indulgence and relaxation. But, what about grooms?

You can’t spell manicure without  ‘MAN” so why don’t most men understand they could greatly benefit from a good manicure? Whether they want a polish, simple buff or clean up the cuticles, grooms around the globe are starting to understand that it is about looking and feeling your best from head to toe.

French Manicures are by far the most popular manicure style for weddings. It is elegant, universal, classic and goes with everything from a denim skirt to a bridal gown. Clear or nail-colored nail polish is applied on the body of the nail and pure white nail polish at the tips of nails. The nails are shaped round, oval or square as desired. This can be done with your own natural nails or with any kind of artificial nail tip or overlay.

Natural looking nails are also very popular with brides. A muted shade of peach or pink is used, whichever color matches your natural nail bed. The natural nail is polished and groomed to perfection before the polish goes on.. Your nails will not stand out but you will notice the difference in how finished they look. This kind of polish effect really only works with natural nails but, it is very organic and understated.



 Even if you decide to go with the simplest manicure, this one beauty treatment is a must for both bride and groom since your photographer will probably want to get a close-up of your hands with wedding rings.


-Penny Frulla For Bridal Expo Chicago

Making Wedding Favors Count!

Take-home favors have  been a staple at weddings for decades. A simple box of chocolates, a ribbon-tied group of Jordan almonds, a framed photo of the married couple.  The goal is to present your guests with a small token of your appreciation  with  a personal touch. Deciding on what favors to give  in a  creative manner seems to get harder all the time.

Budget – When deciding on what type of  favor to bestow upon your beloved family and friends, first you must consider your budget. Break it down by numbers.  If your budget is $800 and your confirmed guest list is 150 (add an extra 10 for overflow), you will only be able to spend $5 on each favor. It is easy to see how quickly these things add up, right?  Decide on your budget first before you get locked into a pricey favor that you cannot afford. Whenever you can, buy in bulk and do the work of assembling and gift-wrapping your wedding favors yourself.

Stay with one theme – After your budget is squarely in place, determine the style of your event. Vintage, rustic, modern or beach…. whats the overall theme of the day? It is important that your guests feel like you have put some thought into this. Mugs filled with coffee & cocoa samples would be adorable for a winter event but would make no sense at all if presented at a beachfront affair, no matter how well put together they are.

Personalize everything. Whether it is ribbon printed with your names or a simple monogram stamp, the personalized touches add a dramatic flair that definitely gives each gift some “WOW”! Imagine this : You place a candy bar next to each plate at every table…. Big Deal, right? Instead you could place a small box with three hand made truffles, tied with a personalized ribbon and a tiny, monogrammed gift tag that says “For Robin.. we love you”.  Which would you rather receive? Between boutiques, stationery stores and on-line resources, there are hundred (thousands) of places that can help you with rubber stamping and laser printing. Of course  some time, planning and effort go into this but, they are also things you can do as a couple, with your bridesmaids or your family. It can be a fun group activity, unless you are master do-it-yourself-er, then it is called therapy! It is well worth the end result.

Remember, this is a keepsake and a touchstone for you and your guests. It is intended to be a token of your appreciation and not an afterthought. Put as much planning into this as you would any other aspect of your wedding and your guests will be “WOW”-ed by your sincerity and thoughtfulness!

-Penny Frulla for Bridal Expo Chicago

Spring 2012 – What’s in Store?

As the New York Bridal market is about to begin, retailers anxiously await the unveiling of the new collections. Color, fabric, cut and style… who will be showing what and which gown will be the one that sets women’s hearts fluttering?

Since the Spring Collections will be available in Bridal Salons in January for the busy season, this is the big one. The trends for 2012 will be defined at the Spring Bridal Market.

My predictions are for more color in Bridesmaid dresses. I firmly believe that women are ready to come out of the dark ages and express themselves with a burst of color, getting away from the  little black bridesmaid dress. The most popular colors? Greens, Oranges, Yellows and Reds. White could be a big color for bridesmaids, having seen several examples of the monochromatic scheme done in spectacular fashion this year!

Continuing the hiatus from extravagant veils, I believe women will  focus more on  glamorous headpieces and more natural hairstyle with lighter veils. Accessories are big. The right necklace and earring can make or break the look  and accessories are a crucial part of the wedding ensemble.

As for Bridal gowns, I think this season is going to show us a lot of tulle. Tulle skirts, big or small will be popular. Also heavily encrusted bodices and perhaps (dare I say) a few designers will produce something other than strapless. The designs will probably first manifest  in the form of spaghetti straps but, its a start. Belts will continue to accentuate mermaid and other slim styles and corset tops will still be popular with voluminous skirts made from yards and yards of various ruffled fabrics.  I also think we will see less of the pick-up skirt which I personally think is difficult to manage, anyway so “buh-bye”.

I can’t help but wonder if any of the high-profile weddings this year have inspired copies. I will be waiting with baited breath to see how many designers will come forward with their version of Catherine Middleton’s gown! Since the Kardashian gowns are already being copied by Vera herself, there is no need for anyone else to follow suit. But this is where I think the heavy tulle influence will come in.

I am equaly sure as our fashion team gets photos they will be posting them from New York, so stay tuned to see if any of my predictions are correct- and don’t be afraid to tell me I was wrong!

– Penny Frulla for Bridal Expo Chicago

What is it with Big Box Bridal?

A long time ago when a woman became engaged she headed to a  small, local boutique and ordered her dress which was nearly made-to-order.

Her other option was to hire a local seamstress to create her dream gown. Expensive designer gowns were limited to  the mega-rich and superstars. Those small boutiques were based on one thing: customer service. Many times the owner knew the bride, sometimes her whole life and could very easily help her select her gown since they had a personal relationship.

For the most part, almost all department stores had bridal  and bridesmaids gowns but they began to fade in the 1980’s and by 1990 were almost completely gone.  The rare exception to the department store shut-down, Marshall Fields (now Macy’s) expanded the bridal department and has become a Chicago legend with their unique level of customer service and selection of gowns. I cannot speak for the other Macy’s stores but this brand has become synonymous with bridal success in Chicago.

Since late 1990’s everything is available at the click of a button on the internet and some brides are quite comfortable buying a gown they have never seen or tried on, in an undetermined size, off of a site that may or may not have any real credentials in order to save money. To me this sounds like a bad idea and I always discourage brides from buying gowns in the internet for one reason – customer service. Plus, we all know you get what you pay for.

A few years ago Target tried selling wedding gowns by Isaac Mizrahi. They were priced around $99. I had the ‘honor’ of seeing the entire collection as it  arrived in boxes at a media event. The only one I recall was made of what I would consider to be the cheapest fabric I’ve ever seen. The collection lasted about as long as this blog and I doubt if anyone even remembers that belted monstrosity or its similarly cheap counterparts. I am not sure whatever happened to Mr. Mizrahi’s failed attempt to enter into the bridal market but I would guess it had something to do with ….. (wait for it) ……customer service?

Recently select Costco stores began selling Bridal gowns at weekend trunk shows.  Don’t get me wrong –  I love everything about Costco, I’m just not sure that I would want to try on a bridal gown next to a 50 lb bag of dog food and a 15 lb bag of frozen chicken breasts. I saw the gowns and they were lovely but I couldn’t help but think something was missing. What was it? Oh, yeah – customer service.

This week when I read the news that Priscilla of Boston is closing all of it’s stores nationwide by the end of the year, my heart sank. Priscilla of Boston has been dressing brides for 65 years from every walk of life – including former first daughter Tricia Nixon who was married in the White House’s Rose Garden (it’s the only Rose Garden wedding to date) for her wedding to Edward Finch Cox. She appeared not once, but twice on the cover of Life magazine in a dress designed by Priscilla Kidder herself. I remember this very well because I was about 10 years old and was so enamored with the gown and all of the trappings, I persuaded my mother to buy the “Tricia Nixon Paper Doll” set for me. My love affair with weddings and bridal gowns began with Priscilla Kidder and Tricia Nixon.

So what’s next for Bridal? Will we be seeing bridal gowns stuffed on the clearance racks at Wal-mart next to the team apparel? Hopefully not. If my hunch is correct, this will move brides back into the direction where they came, directly to the bridal salons and boutiques who specialize in service. The same salons who hold trunk shows where you can get the ultimate in customer service by the designer him or herself. The ‘cash and dash’ of big box stores is just not suited for the bridal industry. Brides need assistance. They need ( at a minimum) someone to help them into the gown and more often than not an honest opinion.

Anyone in bridal retail will tell you that it is unlike any other form of retail sales. The level of service is so high that consultants are expected to be  encyclopedias of information. Bridal Consultants are trained to know about shipping, fit, construction, size, fabric and every single detail of the process…. especially customer service.

-Penny Frulla for Bridal Expo Chicago

So You Think You Can Dance – Can You?

I will be the first to admit I am not the best dancer in the world. I have rhythm, I have a few decent moves but, I am far from any kind of talent. I consider myself of average skill and although it seemed like the 1970’s provided me with enough disco moves to last a lifetime, I am not sure they were really moves after all…. I think more people would appreciate my dancing if they were blindfolded. In short, I could use a few lessons.

Most people are like me, they get dressed up, they put on a nice outfit and they move to the best of their ability when the time comes. Of course we all enjoy dancing but, the majority of us just don’t have the Dancing With The Stars thing going on.

It seems like people used to be better dancers. Did you ever see an older couple dancing and they looked so smooth? (I mean even older than me) Did you ever watch an old movie and notice how many couples knew how to fox trot or mambo or waltz? Maybe there is a solution….

With the popularity of  television shows that promote ballroom and other types of dancing, more and more couples are signing up for dance classes prior to their wedding so they can hoof it in style for their first dance. If  Bristol Palin can do it, so can you, right? You pick the song and the instructor will guide you through the entire thing. They will help you with posture, rhythm (if you have none) and some very eye-catching moves that are not that difficult. The best part is that you and your partner will forge and even closer bond physically and emotionally over the course of your course. Let’s face it – there is nothing more romantic than dancing cheek to cheek.

Another great idea is to have your attendants take a class with you, as couples or individuals so that they can also put their best foot forward. You can have a group dance choreographed, kind of a flash mob for your reception. A few years back it seemed like everyone was orchestrating a ‘Thriller’ remake and it made for some very  entertaining and memorable wedding videos. There are also a multitude of classes that help with rhythm and  solo moves like Zumba or even basic Aerobics. The added bonus is getting in better shape and feeling better about yourself.

Drawbacks are limited but, there are a few. Don’t be tempted to re-enact any scene from Dirty Dancing. Don’t attempt any acrobatics or stunts. Don’t expect everyone to be perfect. Don’t be  surprised of your feet hurt –  bring a change of shoes for the reception if necessary.

My favorite quote from Ginger Rogers to Fred Astaire “Remember that everything you do, I do backwards and in high heels”. For your dance classes bring lots of water, the right shoes and if you need a reminder that you will be dancing in a wedding gown, try wearing a long dress that is similar, even just a bridal slip if you have to. It will affect the way you move and trust me – the last thing you want is to be tripped by your own skirt on the dance floor at your own wedding. 

Dancing is fun, dancing is good for your heart, your soul and your relationship. Live it up, dance like there is no tomorrow, dance for yourself and no one else and ( if you can) grab a lesson or two.

-Penny Frulla for Bridal Expo Chicago

The Infinite Possibilities of Wedding Invitations

Before there were 31 flavors, chunky monkey, cookie dough and all kinds of other things added to ice cream there was just vanilla. Vanilla in all it’s glory is still the #1 ice cream choice and hard to resist if it is really good but, from time to time isn’t it nice to indulge in something unique and wonderful just to stimulate your senses?

The same holds true for wedding invitations. The simple engraved wedding invitation is still classic, it is still considered the epitome of style and good taste. But, with so many choices  that it is difficult not to want to express yourself creatively. The good news is that now you don’t have to sacrifice quality to achieve the result you are looking for.

Since the print quality and technology of home printers has become so commonplace people are tempted to print their invitations at home. I strongly advise against it. There are a dozen things that can go wrong, from a crooked layout to accidental misspellings to incorrect grammar. With a professional you have some recourse when the invitations arrive but, when you decide to handle this yourself there is no other option but to start over and the money you saved is now taking up more time and money to correct a problem you could have avoided. In all fairness, some do-it-yourselfers have gone this route sans problem.

Decide what you want to include in your invitation. A response card and pre-addressed, stamped envelope is standard but some couples also include a  map and locations of area restaurants and hotels for out of town guests. If you have a wedding website it is perfeclty acceptable to include a small ‘business’ card with the web address printed on it. Never include any information about gift registries on the invitation.

Sit down with your invitation specialist and go over wording. They should be able to guide you through some tricky situations like how to include step-parents, avoid lengthy diatribes as well as handle proper capitalization, punctuation, etc. The absolute worst wedding invitation I ever received had nonsensical ramblings about love and family and actually named who was ‘hosting’  the event… and it wasn’t the parents.  Somebody dropped the ball and it doesn’t matter who it is, it made the couple look out of touch and  narcissistic. If either set of parents is paying for the wedding, or even contributing a significant portion, their names should be printed in some manner on the invitation. Your invitation professional will guide you through all of this, another good reason you should not do it yourself!

Now for the fun part… picking the actual invitation. This is the single best way to express the theme of the wedding. Use color, texture, do something really different and unique or go old school with calligraphy and simple, chic engraved invitations.

Some hot picks for 2011 are:

– Monograms. Adding the couple’s first initials is the #1 choice for monogrammed invites. Bold or simple, the  monogram adds a personal touch and if done properly can be visually stunning.















– Texture.Foil imprinted cards, laser cut papers,  organic, textured cardstock. There are as many options to add texture as there are color options.














– Theme.  If you are going green, hosting a Renaissance wedding or headed to the beach, use that as your starting point. Starting with the invitation, guests should know exactly what kind of event you have in store for them.








– Color. Use your wedding colors! Instead of white paper with colored ink, try the reverse – it can be stunning if done properly. If you go with white or cream paper, you can use colored borders, envelope liners or inserts to punch it up.









– Font and Spacing. Nothing has to be symmetrical. You can space the words out to fit the page, have everything aligned to the left or right to accommodate the design. However, make sure the font matches the overall theme. Large scroll letters do not indicate a simple, modern event just as clean, simple letters will not adequately express the Victorian Garden you have planned at the reception. Ask your invitation specialist to help you narrow down your choices.



– Photos. Photos on save the date cards  have been commonplace for some time but couples are now starting to add a photo to the invitation itself.  Make sure you ask for photo quality cardstock or the image may wind up looking like an aged newspaper article.



 – Extras.Don’t forget to order the matching thank you notes, placecards, menus, program  and any other printed material you will need for your wedding. Ordering everything from the same place will save time and aggravation. It will also ensure everything is printed in the same  batch so the  ink color, style, font will be an exact match and everything will arrive at the same time.

Bridal Expo Chicago boasts the dream of the crop when it comes to wedding invitation specialists. At every show you will be amazed at the stunning choices out vendors bring! Call 847-428-3320 today to order tickets to a show in your area!

-Penny Frulla for Bridal Expo Chicago

Friday Fun – Bridal Things I Never Knew!

It’s Friday! It also happens to be the Friday before Memorial Day weekend so there is a buzz in the air that makes everyone feels a little less serious today. So lighten up, grab your coffee and relax while I share some  odd bridal ‘things’ with you.

Royal Lego Wedding– Nearly a month before the actual wedding of Prince William and Catherine Middleton, Legoland in California made a gigantic model mock-up of what the wedding would look like. Buckingham palace, the horses, the guests and the happy bride and groom were on display for on-lookers to marvel at the wonder we call Legos. Bravo, Lego masters… very creative. The day after the wedding, the outfits were customized to reflect the actual ensembles worn by family and friends. FYI- I could not find a copy of the famous hat worn by Princess Beatrice made in Lego fashion.

Attack of The Clones –There are two things I love in this world without question: My family and weddings. So when my kids wanted to watch Star Wars Episode II (Attack of the Clones) I made the popcorn. I can’t really tell you what this movie was about but I can tell you at the very end of the movie was a wedding. The princess or queen or senator (depending upon how I remember it) married future Darth Vader in a beautiful lace gown. The headpiece was over-sized but still  remarkable and it didn’t hurt that the completely gorgeous Natalie Portman was the bride. It is just a shame that the biggest movie franchise of all time had a secret wedding … with no reception and no guests except R2D2 and C3PO. Seriously? Note to self: If you have to keep your marriage a secret, it’s probably not a good idea to get married.

Caroline Conspiracy – Famed fashion designer and style icon Carolina Herrera’s big break  in the wedding industry was when she designed  Caroline Kennedy’s bridal gown  in 1986. Ms Herrera  had unveiled her first couture collection a  few years earlier but became an overnight sensation in the bridal industry when (Sweet) Caroline appeared, looking radiant, in this one-of-a-kind, shamrock lace gown created just for her. Carolina Herrera launched her bridal line in 1987 and was an instant success.

Trick or What? In Finland it is customary for the bride to go door to door with a pillowcase collecting wedding gifts from friends and neighbors. Her father accompanies her carrying an umbrella over her head. I call that Halloween. I wonder if she gets Snickers or the cheap stuff?

Happy Friday! Enjoy the long weekend if you have the chance.

-Penny Frulla for Bridal Expo Chicago

Let the Alterations begin!

It is that time of year when the flowers are in full bloom, pollen counts are high and brides everywhere are awaiting the arrival of their gown to begin the alterations process! I know you have all heard horror stories about half-done alterations and demanding brides. Those stories truly are the exception rather than the rule. I have personally lived through hundreds of bridal alterations and I can tell you there is one thing that will carry you through the entire process without fail,  “Always Be Prepared”. Once again the Boy Scout motto will help to guide you through a sometimes prickly process. If that seems too vague, I have some tips for stress-free alterations.

Better safe than sorry. Make sure the salon and fitting rooms are clean and that you or no one else brings food or drink of any kind to any fittings. Not even bottled water. Nothing. Ever.

Try on the gown as soon as it comes in. Call the salon, speak to your bridal consultant and make an appointment to try on the gown. You will want to make sure your consultant or an alterations expert is available to help you at least get in and out of the gown. It is critical that you have some assistance because this is the time you will be deciding on what type of undergarments to buy. Will you need a petticoat? If so, what kind? Yes, there are several types. Will you need a strapless bra, merry widow, or cups? Do they have these available or do they have recommendations where you should buy?  If the gown is tight, this is the time to decide if you are able to lose weight or if you are looking at making the dress bigger. Bring a scarf or makeup hood so you do not get foundation, lipstick or anything else on the gown. Use this every time you try on the gown. At this time the seamstress will not do any pinning but you should have a good idea of what kind of alterations lie ahead. If you have selected a headpiece or veil, try it on with the gown. If you have not – now would be a good time to do that.

Be prepared for your first fitting. Bring your shoes, undergarments and arrive on time. Schedule at least an hour  for this fitting. During the busy alteration season it may take even longer. Don’t be in a hurry and don’t rush the seamstress. It is always best to call ahead and it is also wise to schedule all fittings during a time of day when you are less stressed, not after a big meal, and not a time of the day, week or month when you are bloated (wink, wink)  if at all possible. If you can – bring a trusted friend, maid of honor or family member with you. If you are not comfortable with your seamstress at any point in time, talk to your consultant and request another seamstress.

No distractions. DO NOT schedule bridesmaids fittings at the same time as your bridal fitting. This to much to worry about at one time. You and the seamstress will need to focus on the bridal gown right now and not the needs of others. You also don’t need several varying opinions on what, when, how and why.

 Ask questions. Before you are pinned into the gown, ask about the pricing for alterations. Bridal seamstresses spend years learning their craft, they spend hours working on a single gown and are skilled professionals and therefore deserve to be paid fairly.  If you fear you cannot afford the alterations, don’t ask the seamstress to pin you. In all fairness, a good pinning is complicated and you might be charged for it or the seamstress will remove the pins if you choose to alter elsewhere.

Second fitting. At your second fitting you might be trying on the gown in the middle of the alterations. It may not be sewn shut, it may still have some pins or it may be completely finished. Speak now or forever hold your peace about any concerns you may have. The hem might have to wait until the next fitting, depending on the gown… since not all gowns are created equal.

Final fitting(s). When you arrive for the last  or even second to the last fitting, the gown should fit well and be near completion. If the hem has not been finished, this is the time to finalize that as well. Generally this is when you will also finalize any details of your headpiece, jewelry, etc.   Someone should be with you to learn how to handle the gown, especially if there is a bustle involved.

Pick up/try on. When you schedule the time to pick up your gown, you might want to try it on one last time to inspect it and make sure there are not problems. You may not need to try it on, you decide.  Either way, an appointment is required so the gown can be steamed, stuffed, bagged and ready to travel home with you. This kind of preparation  requires time and planning on the part of the salon. You will probably be escorted into a room where you can either try on or inspect the gown in private. This is your last chance to make sure everything is the way you expected. It is important to note that you should not double-park for this. This might take longer than a couple of minutes and you don’t want to be hurried…. or worried. Take your time, do this right and you will have one less stress headache. If there is a balance due, some salons do not take a check at the time of pick up.

Alterations can be the most pleasant experience of your entire wedding  process and it can also be a nightmare (from all angles) if not handled properly. Always, always, always ask for references, check with the better business bureau and communicate with your seamstress.

-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

Whats Hot in Bridal Gowns – 2011 Trends Sneak Peek

With Spring just around the corner and designers about to reveal their new  fall  lines, there is a light at the end of the tunnel for brides who are not sure they want to go strapless.

Did you notice it at the Oscars? A little sleeve here and there. Not long, puffy leg-o-mutton sleeves like the 1980’s (God forbid) or severe turtleneck dresses like the 1970’s. Just a little something  to comfort the bride who is not sure she is ready to bare her shoulders completely.

For years, the strapless bridal gown has dominated the runways and magazine pages as the ‘style choice’  for nearly every major designer for over a decade, couture and otherwise. This spring, that could all change.

Although strapless gowns are still the majority shareholders of our attention and account for most bridal gown silhouettes, I counted 10 of the top 50 Knot Picks for favorite wedding dresses as having  some sort of strap or sleeve. If you’re counting at home, that is about 10 more than this time last year.

What does this mean to the bride-to-be?  The sky’s the limit and the choice is once again, yours. The designers have heard your voices, asking  for “something on top” and they have responded by giving you exactly what you want. Maybe its a modesty issue, maybe its a matter of taste, perhaps you have a figure concern and feel strapless is not the right choice for you. We get it – and now we know that designers all over the world (from haute couture to the most affordable) will be showing you what you have begged for… a little coverage.

That’s not to say strapless has gone by the wayside – quite the contrary. The strapless gowns that we see today seem to magically camouflage some of the most common figure flaws. Built- in bras, petticoats, corsets, these things take away the guesswork and the end result is a gown that makes you look and feel like a million bucks on your wedding day. 

Each week at Bridal Expo you can see the hottest looks in bridal and attendant gowns straight from the designer’s runways to ours. If you or someone you love is getting married, please take a moment to watch our couture runway video and call 847-428-3320 to get four complimentary tickets to a show in your area.

– Penny Frulla for Bridal Expo Chicago