12/12/12 It’s All In The Numbers

As everyone probably knows by now, December12, 2012 was the last consecutive date  for 89 years, until 01/01/2101. Which makes it special and for some couples, quite lucky. According to most published reports, approximately 7,200 couples got married yesterday on December 12, 2012 which is about a 1400% increase from the exact same date last year.

Couples came out in droves to have  12/12/12 as their wedding anniversary date. In Los Angeles, they were lined up as judges performed back-to-back city hall marriages for the entire day. Las Vegas was jammed with couples wanting to be a part of the 12/12/12 phenomenon and even in Chicago, wedding numbers surged with couples who hoped to be a part of something bigger than just any other day.

For now, the hype is over,  but, the next big lucky day according to numerologists is less than a year away… you got it:  11/12/13!! It is my guess that someone will always think of a way to spin certain dates so that they appear ‘LUCKY’  or interesting or numerically fascinating. For most of us, the only luck was finding the right person to marry, the date being much less of a factor.


Penny Frulla for Bridal Expo

Engagement Announcements

A long time ago in a galaxy far, far, away people used to read the newspaper every day. Then, along came home computers and now everyone communicates online. If you have been asleep for the past few years, the big thing in wedding announcements in 2012 is social media.

Five things to remember about announcing your engagement:
1) Tell closest family and friends first. this should be a phone call from both of you. Not a text, not an email. Think about who might get their feelings hurt by not hearing it first!  After that,  you will want to tell siblings, future attendants, cousins and other people close to you. You can do this solo and text is okay if you absolutely cannot get through to them on the phone and want them to know before they hear it from someone else.

2) Send out postcards or formal announcements. Traditionally these are only sent to people who will be invited to the wedding. But, in modern times there are ways to get your point across without being tacky. Check with your wedding consultant or stationer for appropriate wording.

3) As soon as you are ready, you can announce it on facebook, set up a website and begin the cadence to matrimony with a countdown calendar for all to see. It could be as simple as a relationship status change or as major as a shared video of the actual proposal…or anything in between.  That part is up to you.

4) If you are socially connected to people who still prefer paper media, putting an announcement in the local paper is classy and timeless. You will want to start off finding out  if they have any guidelines, deadlines, fees, or regulations.

5) Last, but not least you can host an engagement party and make the announcement to everyone there. Engagement parties have become more rare for several reasons; they are costly, time consuming and they are more a thing of the past. Of course they still proliferate in certain social circles where that kind of thing is (basically) required.

No matter how you decide to do it, announcing your engagement is an exciting event. It will the first of many exciting events leading up to your wedding and one of the pinnacles of your own personal love story so, make sure you are both in total agreement before you say anything to anyone. You only have one chance to do this right…. make the most of it!

-Penny Frulla for Bridal Expo Chicago


Rehearsal Dinner – Who’s In , Who’s Out?

The rehearsal dinner is a pre-wedding ceremony in North American tradition, usually held after the wedding rehearsal and the night before the wedding ceremony.

Who do you invite? According to tradition, only the immediate family and wedding party are invited to the rehearsal dinner. Basically, only the actual participants in the wedding.

However, there are out of town attendants, their dates or spouses, out of town guests, extended family and all kinds of significant people you want to include in your pre-wedding event. So, where do you draw line to keep your rehearsal dinner from being as big as the wedding?

If you want to have a less formal affair, plan a late afternoon supper,  at a restaurant that is located close to where most of the out of town guests are staying and the wedding venue. To this event, you will invite only the wedding party and immediate family. After the early supper, you can invite others to join you for cocktails and mingling. Make sure to have a definite cut-off time to avoid accidental over-indulging. Come on, we all know there’s one in every crowd!


Consider a fun, festive restaurant for the smaller crowd, complete with a patio for expanding the fun outdoors in the summer months.

Some couples cut corners by having a larger party at a less expensive restaurant and others do the opposite; a smaller affair at a posh venue. The choice is up to you.

The fact is that most out of town guests will not expect to be invited if they are not a member of the wedding party. Most out of town guests will be happy to spend the evening before your wedding getting much needed rest from their travel and perhaps even unwind. And they will not be upset or offended by a lack of invitation to the rehearsal dinner of any kind at any venue!

-Penny Frulla for Bridal Expo Chicago


Keeping the Romance Alive During Wedding Planning

You’ve had it with his mother wanting to be consulted on every detail, he’s had it with the million questions related to centerpieces and it seems like all you have to talk about is budgets or boutonnieres. If this sounds familiar, it might be time to put a little romance back into your….romance.

Romance is one of those things that means different things to different people. To some it means being whisked away to exotic locations sprinkled with rose petals and being showered with lavish gifts. In reality, romance doesn’t have to be expensive, it can be as simple as leaving a note that says “Thank You for (whatever)”  or picking up their favorite beverage instead of yours. Being romantic is more akin to being considerate, it is remembering the little things that the other person  loves and putting their wants or needs above yours. Unfortuntely romance can often take a back seat to wedding planning.

Here are  7 things you can do to light a romantic fire under your partner without breaking the bank:

1) Make – A card, a personalized playlist for the iPod,  or a special dinner complete with their favorite dishes. Giving of your time is showing the other person that you care. No credit card required.

2) Write – Do something  that says you are thinking of them during the day. Text him on the way home or shoot her an email after a work meeting or call and leave a message on the house voice mail so she will get it when she gets home before you.  Say, “I’m thinking of you”, thats all.

3) Support – When your significant other is upset about something, listen and offer your support. Sometimes they may be wrong but, your job is to support and not judge. You can offer advice later, when the emotions aren’t as raw. Just listen.

4) Clean Up – Offer to put away the dishes or do laundry when its not your turn.  Better yet – just do it. When you see the other person is struggling, step up to the plate. Cleaning off her windshield when she can’t find her gloves will most definitely show her how much you care. Trust me, there is nothing sexier than a man vacuuming or cleaning the toilet.

5) Nurture – Similar to support but nurturing goes the extra mile.  If your fiance is sick, it’s the perfect time to let him stay in bed while you pamper him with 7up and cold medicine. Maybe he doesn’t need to be completely taken care of but, he will appreciate the gesture.

6) Surprise – You know he loves Star Trek, he knows you hate it. Surprise him by setting the DVR to record the whole series to watch together later (it wouldn’t hurt if you wore a ‘Uhura’ costume)… and no complaining. Sharing something the other person likes shows that you are willing to compromise your happiness momentarily and enjoy something together.

7) Remember – Remembering important things like Birthdays and anniversaries is a must but, rememebering the inconsequential things like the right toilet paper or coffee goes above and beyond.

We’ve all heard it is the little things that make people happy. Whether it is giving up your Saturday Golf game to stay home and address envelopes or skipping Girls Night Out to have dinner with his parents, showing the other person you care about their feelings is the one  thing you can do to keep the romance alive…. forever.

-Penny Frulla for Bridal Expo Chicago




Weddings & Numerology

 Your wedding should be the most special and wonderful day of your life. Unfortunately for some, getting bogged down with details, family drama, and stress can  possibly bring you to tears. Numerologists suggest that there is more to it than being overwhelmed. They say it is all in the numbers. They also suggest that picking a date that suits your personality will give you a better chance for success on your wedding day.

Numerology is based on the belief that there is a special relationship between mathematical measurements and specific dates. Although there is no concrete evidence to suggest this is entirely true, many spiritualists and numerologsist insist that numbers are the key to happiness.

Although picking  your wedding day  based on numbers will not ensure a perfectly happy marriage, why not line up a date that is aligned properly to give yourself a better chance? According to international numerologist Michelle Buchanan, you have nothing to lose and everything to gain.

  There are dozens of ways that numerology is used to select important dates,  and none of them guarantee a perfect wedding day but, it can’t hurt – so why not give it a try ….and see how it adds up!

-Penny Frulla for Bridal Expo Chicago


Bored With Bridesmaid Gowns? How About a Jumpsuit!

I know…  jumpsuits are for old ladies and congresswomen! Ladies with cankles and ugly legs who want to cover up as much as they can, right? Wrong. The latest, hottest trend in evening wear is hip, stylish  jumpsuits that are more flattering and comfortable than most bridesmaid gowns, long or short.

Designers have  picked up on this  trend and are offering stunning options for bridesmaids who are joining the pants party!

Still not convinced?  Cameron Diaz was sizzling in this evening  jumpsuit at the premier of he new movie.

Of course the jumpsuit is not for everyone. But, for women who are tired of bridesmaid gowns and all that entails, the jumpsuit can be hot, hot, HOT!

Be careful, though going to the ladies room is kind of difficult and requires some advance notice.

-Penny Frulla for Bridal Expo Chicago

Thinking of a Thursday Wedding?

I know what you’re thinking. Who (on Earth) would want to have their wedding on a Thursday? People have to get up and go to work the next day not to mention travel for out of town guests… this is the idea of an insane person. Wrong, this is true and it is all based on statistics. Of all of the most recent trends in decor, fashion and menu, the Thursday wedding tops them all, barely beating out the second most popular trend… the Monday wedding. What?

Over the course of the past few years, couples have opted for a more lavish wedding and a postponed honeymoon. As a result,  weddings are  becoming three-day weekends.  Before you make any snap judgements, remember that Thursdays and Mondays are going to be considerably cheaper, they are not going to be booked a year in advance and  you can get the vendors you want.  You can use the savings for the extra special touches you would probably never afford otherwise.  Then, the party doesn’t have to end at the end of the night  – you have the rest of the weekend to do  BBQ, brunches, after-parties, sporting events, or sightseeing with your family and friends.

If saving money doesn’t appeal to you, it might appeal to your loved ones; consider that airfare and all other travel accommodations will be less expensive as long as there is a Saturday stay-over.
Maybe our society is not yet ready for Thursday or Monday weddings but, I think a 3 day wedding weekend sounds like a great way to spend time with all of your guests and not be so completely stressed out on one day. Of course it also means shopping …to ensure you have just the right outfit for every event and that is always a good thing!
-Penny Frulla for Bridal Expo Chicago

Pet Friendly Weddings

Are you considering having your pet in your wedding? Let me reassure you, there is nothing with having pets involved in your wedding. Dressing  dogs in tuxedos and tulle is completely adorable – even though I’m not sure I get it. Are the dogs getting married, too? Having cats and or dogs part of the ceremony is not a brand new concept but it is one that  sparks controversy and rolling eyes everywhere. Just remember; you are entitled to invite or include anyone you want (canine, feline or human) , as long as you both agree.

This is your wedding, if you both decide you want your pet in your wedding, you can do so with great style and good taste. There are a few things you can do to reduce stress:

1) Make sure your pet does well around strangers. All you need is for your dog to bare his teeth to one guest and the party is over.

2) Hire someone to handle the dog before,  during and immediately after the ceremony since you will have other obligations and things to do. You cannot be chasing a pet around the church or picking up poo in your bridal gown.

3) Make sure the pet is groomed immediately before the event, including a good teeth cleaning. Dog breath can be pretty bad.

4) After the ceremony, make sure the pet is taken home right away. Although the ceremony may be okay, the reception is no place for any kind of animal UNLESS it is your home and your own backyard. They still might find themselves under foot so keep your eye on the cake table and always have a back up plan.

5) Make sure you discuss the pet with all of your vendors, especially the photographer so they will know there may be extra work involved. If your pastor or officiant is allergic to dogs and you have a dog at the altar, this could be a bad thing.

Last but not least, consider your pet’s feelings. If this an animal that handles attention well, is obedient, and can handle some extra responsibility, move ahead. If your pet is easily frightened, does not walk on a leash well, has too much energy, slobbers all over the place, sheds like crazy or has not had proper obedience training, you may want to leave them at home or with someone who can watch them for the entire day.

-Penny Frulla for Bridal Expo Chicago


What Is Your Aisle Style?

The music begins, the bride enters the venue, everyone rises as she begins the trip down the aisle. Everyone turns to face the back of the venue, and all simultaneously turn as she passes their seating area. All eyes follow her as she makes the trip down the aisle to until she reaches the point where she will meet her future husband to recite their vows.   Not much has changed for the journey down the aisle in hundreds of years. That is all about to change.  You’re asking, “So, what’a new in wedding aisles?”. Everything. As weding become less about what s expected and more about what best expresses each couple, someone very clever came up with some innovative and groundbreaking aisle ideas.

Spiral Seating – Best for (but, not limited to) outdoor venues.Arranging th seating in a spiral fashion allows more movement throughout the crowd so everyone can get a close-up look ot the bride. It is a more informal, casual approach and definitely one that will hold your guests attention. Not to mention, everyone gets a front row seat!









Center Stage – Arranging the chairs in a thater-in-the-round fashion will give everyone the same exact vantage point. This is also best for outdoor venues and can seat dozens of people in a manner where there is no overcrowding and no one has to overextend their neck too far to see what is going on. Topped off with a canopy in the center, this is  fantastic opportunity to show off your lavish or simple decorating touches.








Standard– Of course the classics never die! You can’t go wrong with the traditional aisle where seats are neatly arranged in rows, this will undoubtedly never go out of fashion.  When choosing pew or chair decor, remember that people will need to be able to enter the rows easily. Candles may seem like a good idea but, only if they are inside of  lanterns or some other protective covering. Consider artificial candles that silmulate the real thing to perfection, compete with flickering light. The worst thing would be to have exposed flame in a confined area with yards of silk and tulle.

Couples today are using every avenue available to them to express their individuality and to figure out the best way to make their wedding suit ther persnalities. Sometimes changeing things this ingrained in history and tradition causes arguments and criticism among concerned family members. This is code for some people (parents) don’t like change. If you are one of the pioneers of a Spiral Aisle then, be prepared for some heated discussion and/or criticism. Remind them gently that this is your choice and “Change is good.”

-Penny Frulla for Bridal Expo Chicago

Wedding Planning 101 – Attending Bridal Expo

I am sure you’ve often heard that sometimes the truth hurts. The fact is – sometimes it doesn’t hurt at all. Sometimes the truth is easy and painless. I can give you one perfect example: The BEST first step you can take to planning your wedding is to make plans to attend a Bridal Expo Luxury Event. That’s the truth.

However, there are some ways to make it easier and even more painless than you could imagine. I am thrilled to pass along these tips to you so you can save time and money and have a great time.

1) Make a day of it! Don’t plan to come to a show when you are in a hurry. Make this one day very special, plan a fantastic breakfast or brunch beforehand and stay for the entire show. You will not be sorry. You will save more time visiting our vendors in that one day than driving to and from every single vendor we have at our shows. How much time and money would you like to save?

2) Plan ahead. Before attending, bring a checklist of what services you need.  This will avoid confusion and save time. You won’t need to spend time shopping for vendors that you have already booked.

3) Bring your support team. Only bring those who offers you the best advice and gives you the most support.  Bring those people with you to keep you on task and focused on your needs.  You don’t want to bring ‘Debbie Downer’ with you and ruin an otherwise awesome event.

4) Bring contact labels. At each of our shows, you will have the eopportunity to sign up for amazing prizes and special deals from Bridal Expo and each of  our vendors. It saves so much time (not to mention writer’s cramp) if you have address labesl pre-printed with your contact information. Dont forget your email address! Make sure all the information is current.

5) Bring a digital camera. Yes, we not only allow but, encourage our brides to take pictures. A picture is worth a thousand words. There will be flowers, cakes, gowns,  and all kinds of other things that you will want to remember. This is the best way to document your preferences. Later you can print those pictures and place them in your wedding planner for quick referencing.

6) Leave the kids at home. If you have small children, this is the best time to cash in a favor from a good friend and ask them to watch the kids for the day. Small children will be overwhelmed by the crowds and you will want to be able to stay focused. Plus, there are no strollers allowed in the vendor area. The kids will thank you!

7) Arrive Early. This will give you time to register, and after you have visited every vendor you will be able to find a great seat for the Couture Runway Fashion show. No where else can you see this many luxurious designer  bridal fashions on one stage.

8) Come for the show, stay for the prizes.  At each and every Bridal Expo there are fabulous prizes given away on stage before, during and after our luxurious runway fashion show. Large prizes (fabulous getaways, diamond earrings, photogrpahy packages) and smaller prizes (countertop appliances and gift certificates). Either way, you will not win the prizes if you are not there to claim them. If the bride is not present when called, our Fashion Director and show commentator, Carol Tardi, will call another name. Don’t be the one that got away!

9) Be ready to save money. Many of our vendors  offer booking specials. Dont be afraid to save money. If you are not ready to make a decision,  ask for their information so you can contact them later. They will be happy to oblige. 

10) Relax. The wedding planning process should be fun and Bridal Expo will help make it easier.  Organization is the key to staying stress-free and focused.


-Penny Frulla For Bridal Expo Chicago