Choosing The Right Photographer

Your wedding pictures are the most important thing you will have to remember your day.  Choosing the right photographer is as important as having the right gown, or venue, or (dare I say) spouse! When making your selection, price shopping is the worst mistake you can make. There are many factors that go into the cost of your photography package; experience, skill, training, overall quality of the product and the overall style of pictures you want to express your wedding.  

First, you should define the style of photos you prefer:

Photojournalism is a style of photography that captures the events of the day   truly candid style.  Very few, if any, of the shots are posed. This is by far the most popular style of photography according to market trends. There are some drawbacks involved – especially if your photographer is inexperienced in this field. Make sure  the photographer has ample references and photos for you to check before you even consider wedding Photojournalism. In addition, without some of the posed shots you may wind up with a wedding album where  quite a few people are missing.

Traditional Wedding photography is exactly what it sounds like. All of the shots are posed, there is very little creativity involved with various settings and events. There is usually a ‘shot list’ and every detail must be mapped out in advance; lighting, background, placement of flowers, etc.You will have an album that your parents will love: filled with photos of your entire bridal party, family and guests but, you might not have that one beautiful photo that is found so often in a candid moment.

Artistic Photography (also illustrative Photography) is a great mesh of the two other styles. Some candid shots, some posed. Many of the shots are ‘staged’ in various places to look candid – but, are in fact posed. The Artistic Photographer will not be cheap since you are paying for an artistic vision which requires more time and work than snapping photos.

Before booking your  wedding photographer:

-Make sure the photographer you hire is the one who will be at your event.

-Do not accept a substitute unless you have seen examples of his/her work.

-Always remember to get everything in writing!

Bridal Expo Chicago is home to dozens of the finest photographers of all styles. For 4 complimentary  tickets to a show  in your area where you can see example of their finest work ,  log on to or call our office @ 847-428-3320 today!

-Penny Frulla for Bridal Expo Chicago

Timothy Whaley photography

Carasco Photography

Angela Swan Photography

Celebrity Weddings – Summer 2012

This season, we have seen a slew of celebrity weddings and summer isn’t over yet! Still awaiting my save-the-date for Angelina and Brad’s nuptials but, for now I’ll re-cap what we’ve seen so far. The most interesting trend in celebrity nuptials is the private ceremony in a remote location, usually a friend’s home far away form paparazzi, far from the helicopters and the multi-million dollar fiasco reminiscent of the Kardashian debacle of 2011, these power couples opted for quiet, romantic, heartfelt nuptials.

Natalie Portman wore Rodarte for her simple candlelight ceremony to Benjamin Millipied.

Natalie Portman Wedding Dress

Ellie Kemper in NYC headed to the altar wearing Judd Waddell.

Mrs. Alec Baldwin, Hilaria Thomas, wearing Amsale for her early summer nuptials also in NYC.











 Priscilla Chen chose this stunning  Claire Pettibone gown under an assumed name, assuming marrying MArk Zuckerberg might raise a few eyebrows… and alert the media.








Drew Barrymore opted for an unusual design by Chanel. This is a love or hate gown, for sure.

Camila Alves  wore a delicate beaded lace wedding gown handmade by Brazilian dress designer Ducarmo Castelo Branco. Alright, alright, alright!

Best Wishes to all of the happy couples of Summer 2012!

-Penny Frulla for Bridal Expo Chicago


Pass The Fruit & Vegetables, Please.

Using vegetables and fruit with (or without)  various flowers to adorn the center of a dining table has been around since Julius Caesar first asked, “Who hid  the grapes?” It only seems like a new idea when it shows up on the cover of a magazine or when it is done in such a dramatic, interesting way that you have to stand up and take notice. ZFor best results,  use them in conjunction with your particular theme or food choices.

Rustic Italian – Entice your guests with an abundance of ripe fruits or vegetables to symbolize fertility. Shown on a crisp white linen tablecloth to make the colors pop!

Earthy –  Group colorful fruits and vegetables with candles, clay pots and wrought iron candlesticks to please mother nature.

Summer Splash – Adding brightly colored citrus fruit to a simple centerpiece will  add a touch of whimsy and color!

Why Stop at the centerpiece? If you are using fruit or vegetables ( or both) why not carry the theme to other parts of the wedding, like the cake…

Remember when your mother told you not to play with your food? This is a good reminder to not get too carried away! Plus, food belongs on or near the table.

-Penny Frulla for Bridal Expo Chicago

Worst Wedding Photos… EVER!

Although a picture may be worth a thousand words, these example of bad wedding photography left me speechless. I am not talking about photos of the worst weddings or gowns or bad examples of themes…. I am talking about the actual photography. The pictures where a trained, professional photographer should never dare to go.

Why is the bride superimposed in the center of a rose? It may sound quaint and possibly romantic when described but, the end result is tacky and forced.

Perfectly posed looking out the window and yet, the photographer failed to notice the workmen in the background. Lets hope there was a re-take. Even still, the lighting is all wrong, along with just about everything else

One more time,  pay attention to what is going on in the background.

I’m not sure I understand the significance of the tiny groom in the shoe.Maybe someone was trying to be clever. Trying to be clever and unique is a bad idea unless you are a skilled professional.

How about a tiny little bride sitting in the groom’s hand. Even worse, there is water squirting up into her nether regions….. I don’t get it.

This man has the choice of two brides, a tiny bride and a regular sized one. Why are there two brides?

Adding ethereal backgrounds is lazy… and weird.

and why are there a bunch of roses in between the bride and groom?


and the winner is…………….. (drumroll, please)

A bride, superimposed on a bunch of roses, looking at herself in various poses. Is this narcissism at it’s worst (look at me) or perhaps a bad photographer who talked this woman into a photo she didn’t quite understand. I’m with her, I have no idea what this is about.

Okay, just one more…. seriously?

When you book your wedding photographer, make sure you have a clear understanding of what to expect and  their specialty.  Talk to their past clients, look through their photo albums, and if any of these photos show up, run as fast as you can!

-Penny Frulla for Bridal Expo Chicago

Announcing Your Engagement Tastefully


In today’s world of 24/7 media where everyone is plugged in, connected and online,  it seems like announcing your engagement would be a snap. However, there is some protocol involved and some surprisingly easy ways to breech etiquette.  In fact it is harder now than it was 50 years ago when the only outlet, other than word of mouth, was a formal engagement announcement in the newspaper. You know, those papers that show up on your door every day that have stories … just like the internet.

The first people you should tell are those closest to you ; your parents, siblings, grandparents and children if either of you have them. Telling them in person is nice if you’re able, otherwise a phone call is perfectly acceptable. but, it should be soon and very personal. Emailing is not personal, neither is having them find out by seeing your relationship status has changed on facebook. Make a list and keep track of who you have spoken to. Leave a message like, “I’ve got some great news” so they know that you called.

The next tier of communication goes to close friends and (non-immediate family) relatives. It is best to to call them if you can but, this may not be practical. It is perfectly acceptable to text or email but it must be a personal message and not a bulk one delivered to multiple addresses. Take the time to write each person a polite note letting them know you are engaged and you will keep them informed of further details if they wish.

After you have let all of the above people know, you are finally ready to announce to the world that you are engaged! 

Newspaper- Everyone is welcome to submit an engagement announcement in the newspaper. Generally, though, this type of announcement is used when the couple is of a certain social, celebrity, economic or  political status. Your newspaper should have guidelines to follow and you can also include the (formal) engagement photo.

Party – Having an engagement party is the most fun way to let a large group of people know at the same time. There are only a couple of points to ponder: do not invite anyone to the party that will not be invited to the wedding and try not to do it at another event,  (wedding, birthday, baby shower, etc) so you will not upstage someone else.

Internet- Posting a relationship status change on facebook will definitely garner some congratulations and other well wishes. You can also create a wedding website which can include stories from loved ones, photos and even a blog. Invited guests can use this site to get updates on the wedding.

Mail- Sending formal engagement announcements through the postal mail is the most traditional way of announcing an engagement but, keep in mind that no one (NO ONE) should get an engagement announcement unless they will definitely be invited to the wedding.  You can include the wedding date on the announcement which will serve as a save-the-date card. You can NOT include any information about where you are registered for gifts.

Whether you go high-tech or old school is entirely up to you, just remember no matter how great the temptation to run in the streets screaming or shout it from the rooftops, take your time and do things right – you won’t regret it.


-Penny Frulla for Bridal Expo Chicago