Ten Trends We Loved in 2011

From luxury shoes to cultural influences, 2011 brought us some of the best trends in wedding and reception styles that we have seen in a long time. Many people this year have been booking their venues with Tradewinds Hotel. Brides and grooms channeling their own personal style, incorporating pop culture and following the advice of well-known wedding stylists have embraced these styles above all others.

1) Two Gowns. Having a gown for the wedding and a separate, less formal gown for the reception is not only acceptable, it has become extremely popular since Kate Middleton embraced this trend last  April.












2) Aisle Runners. Custom aisle runners have become the latest must-have. Available in an array of colors, monograms, styles, this is a trend that is going to explode in 2012.



3) Flash Mob. Having the entire wedding party take part in a choreographed but, seemingly impromptu dance is a big hit and makes a great wedding video.


4) Headbands.  Smooth, sleek, spectacular and sparkly, the headband was the headpiece of choice. The number one reason is that a great headband will look good with any hairstyle.
















5) Going Green. Couples have taken note of environmental concerns and continue to place the future of our planet among their top priorities and are willing to pay more for green, eco-friendly products.


6) Culture. Couples are infusing their cultural heritage into the entire event from start to finish. Blending cultures, food, dance, music makes a warm welcome to all members of the family.












7) Luxury. Couples are cutting back on non-essentials to spend more on luxury items. Figure out what is important to you and spend the money there, whether it is food, top shelf liquor from https://www.bullfrogwineandspirits.com, an exceptional cake, Bvlgari cufflinks or a couture gown – you will never regret treating yourself to something fabulous and tasteful.





8 )  Shoes. The bridal shoe has gone from ordinary to extraordinary, explaining why brides everywhere are so excited about their shoe; wearing color, over-the-top sparkly platforms and opting for fabulous designer shoes for their wedding.











9) Less is more. Classic Black & white photography,  monochromatic decor, engraved invitations. The classics never die and and ‘”Simple”  is a style statement that needs no explanation. You won’t see any leopard prints here.

















10) Seating. One of the best trends in receptions is the ‘conversation area’.  Beautiful furniture to match your decor, arranged  in the bar area to give the appearance of a lounge. The benefits are endless; in addition to adding an element of style, you provide an area other than the table for guests to meet and mingle.

-Penny Frulla for Bridal Expo Chicago


Interfaith Ceremonies – Coming Together

I have always thought that relationships are a spiritual bond and marriages are a legal bond. To me, the marriage license is a  signed contract to be adhered to in  accordance with the laws of your state and an excellent way to get benefits from a dynamite health insurance policy.  For others the wedding is a deeply religious statement,  the marriage being a contract  recognized by God. Leaving religion completely out of the wedding ceremony is fine for some but not all and  for every person on one side of the argument, there is an equally compelling stand for the other side. There is no reason to leave your beliefs at the altar. Instead, try bringing them together, celebrating each of your individual beliefs and their cultural significance!

For couples from different cultures and  different religious faiths, a wedding ceremony can pose some sticky problems for their respective families and prove to be an argument-starter at every family function.  When you fall in love with someone you don’t think about the resentment your future in-laws might feel if you celebrate holidays they do not recognize. In most cases, these things can be ironed out but, remember that someday there might be children involved and addressing the problem sooner rather than  later is better than sweeping it under the carpet. Instead of choosing one belief system over the other, decide on what is important to you (as a couple) and make your own rules.

Long gone are the days when there is a stigma attached to marrying outside the faith, where someone had to give up their beliefs in order to take their vows. now, interfaith ceremonies are abundant and  the message is clear: compromise and patience are the key to a successful merge of two different cultures.

#1) Write your own vows. This will give you a chance to express yourself in terms of how you feel about the other person and the commitment you are making. You can use as much religion and culture as you want.

#2) Have two officiants.  If you both agree, having two officiants will ease a lot of stress from your families. You will merge the two faiths to form your own unique ceremony.

#3) Eliminate the religious portion completely.If you do not want to have a relgious ceremony and a civil ceremony suits you, then do not be afraid to elminate religion altogether. This doesn’t mean it has to be dull!

#4) Incorporate both religions and cultures equally. This is a celebration and you shoud find an officiant or clergy who will embrace both of your cultures! Your families will be pleased that you have put so much effort into incorporating BOTH cultures! As for the reception, do some research into how each of your cultures celebrate marriage and you as much or as little as you would like.

This is your wedding, your life and your future. The last thing you want to do is argue over a few words spoken during a ceremony. Compromise is the key as long as your cultural customs do not offend anyone, you are safe. Make this your day and everyone will rejoice in the union you have created for one another. 

-Penny Frulla for Bridal Expo Chicago