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

Chandelier Wedding Cakes!

In the ever-changing world of weddings, there is always something new on the horizon. Someone with ample creativity and talent takes a traditional item ( in this cakes the wedding cake) and literally turns it upside down. For those of you who have not seen the Chandelier Wedding Cake, here it is:

Beautiful, delicious, and suspended from above, Chandelier Cakes take artistry and imagination to a new level. It seems to defy the laws of gravity and common sense but, it hangs with great stability. The cake is decorated in stages and then put together using a special cake ‘stand’ that inverts the order of the stacking from smallest on bottom to largest on top.

3 tier chandelier cake stand image












Chandelier Cakes are just starting to get some notoriety but, look out for them to become very popular, thanks to Pinterest and other sites that encourage creative expression. According to Judy of Judy’s Cakes, they are easily dismantled, layer by layer from the bottom, for cutting.

I’ll have to trust Judy on this one because this sounds very complicated to me. But, this one really takes my breath away and I am looking forward to seeing more Chandelier Cakes in the future!


chandelier cake supports image


















-Penny Frulla for Bridal Expo Chicago

Somewhere Over The Wedding

First, and foremost, I have never been a fan of the rainbow themed wedding. To me, seeing 6 women in different rainbow colored dresses reminds me of Skittles or “My Little Pony” and I have never been able to get past those feelings. Until now.

I began my day like any other; reading news stories, studying wedding trends and browsing photos of real weddings on the internet. To my surprise, I came across an article about Rainbow Weddings, being curious I clicked on the article to find some interesting tips, absolutely adorable photos and I was hooked. I now have to admit that (if done properly) a wedding using this theme could be as tasteful and elegant as any other theme imaginable. 

In addition to that, I give you this quote, according to Pinterest:  “Early predictions are calling Rainbow one of the biggest wedding trends of 2013.”
There it is, put a pin in it. The prediction is also backed up by some credible photos. And while I still think this theme isn’t for everyone, here are some tips that would make even Dorothy proud:

Rather than focusing on the gown, give each bridesmaid  different color shoes and matching bouquet.

Pinned Image

Add a touch of rainbow colors to the cake, however possible.

Pinned Image

Use the same flower in various colors of the rainbow or different flowers for arrangements.

Pinned Image

Pinned Image

Don’t forget to include the mens’ attire and boutonniere!

The most important thing when working with a vibrant theme like this is to be aware of the point of no return. The theme should be prevalent enough for everyone to see it but, no one should feel overwhelmed by it. When the toilet paper is in rainbow colors, you might have gone too far.

-Penny Frulla for Bridal Expo Chicago

Inspiration Boards … YES!

Wedding Inspiration Boards can be found everywhere from Pinterest to The Knot! They come in all sizes, shapes, colors and vary in inspiration. AND… they are fabulous! In case you have been living on a remote island for the past year, an inspiration board is a collage of images you put together that represent the colors/styles/themes/vibe you want your wedding to have. You can refer to the inspiration board throughout the planning process to stay on track and make sure everything fits together perfectly. By using the ‘big picture’ mentality you will find the planning a lot easier and have a better visual than  with a “TO DO ” list.

You can plan your inspiration board on a website or  print pictures from websites and tack them onto a bulletin board or  cut photos from magazines and paste them on poster board. The best part about doing it online is that you can click and drag photos until you achieve the overall feeling you desire! Then, print the final version to keep with you when you are out and see something you love!

 Be careful because inspiration boards make wedding planning so much fun you will be tempted to try out dozens of different ideas! Wait… that is a good thing – even better!! Try out several different color palettes to see which one suits your taste. Try different themes to see which one is the most suited to your personality. The sky is the limit – so, don’t hold back.

Wherever you can, whenever you can – create at least one inspiration board! It will change the way you view wedding planning …. forever!

-Penny Frulla for Bridal Expo Chicago