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













July 4th Weddings – Something Red, White and Blue!

Independence Day is approaching and this year there is a rare opportunity for an additional 3 day weekend on our calendars. Memorial Day and Labor Day are always on a Monday but, July 4th (when it falls on a Monday) is an added bonus.  What that means for brides and grooms is that those who decided to combine their wedding with the glorious celebration of our nation’s independence are able to have a Sunday event, possibly save some money and more importantly  incorporate a major American Historic Celebration  into their event.

Experts have been telling us for years that having a Friday or Sunday event means saving money on most of the wedding costs but, with that Sunday being on a holiday weekend, you may have to negotiate the savings a little. Holiday weekends book fast so plan in advance! 

If you are interested in incorporating this momentous occasion in American History into your wedding, there are several ways to do it without being super tacky and having your wedding look like an Americana craft fair.


– Add some sparkle to the correspondences. Bursts of color on the save the date cards will remind your guests of the dual importance of the celebratory date.

-Navy blue bridesmaids gowns  are classic and you can get the desired effect instantly without going overboard. Add some simple red or white bouquets and you have the sizzle!

– Consider serving traditional American cuisine. Your guests will not be disappointed when they are presented with the perfect steak and potato.  A beautifully presented tray of garnishes  will make  guests think they have stepped up to a gourmet baked potato bar.

-Table decor is the perfect place to incorporate some sparkle and color. All white table linens will never look more crisp than when they are accented with a touch of navy or red.

– Add  Martha Stewart’s perfect parfait and some patriotic colored candy treats to the sweet table for a tasty trip down memory lane.

BONUS: With the July 4th celebration comes fireworks – usually lots of fireworks. Find a location that has access to a  fireworks display and your guests will be treated to their own personal light show.


-Give sparklers to guests. Fire + Party = trip to the emergency room.

– Think your bridal gown has to have any color at all. The red sash and accents have been done to death.  Even worse, draping yourself in a modified flag will make you look like you are the Grand Marshall of the local parade.

-Insist on centerpieces in red, white and blue. I have yet to see any centerpiece with this color combination that does not look cheap. Blue carnations are suspect, at best. I don’t even want to talk about carnations.

– Get too carried away with the theme. Accents are great but, walking into a room that looks like it was decorated by Betsy Ross (on crack) is called ‘sensory overload”.

My husband and I celebrate one of our wedding anniversaries on this special holiday so it is a very sentimental occasion for me. To all couples getting married this July 4th weekend I wish you a heartfelt congratulation and a lifetime of happiness.

-Penny Frulla for Bridal Expo Chicago