Modern Cinderella – It’s All About The Shoe

If you missed it, Disney just re-released Cinderella on Blu-ray DVD.  This quintessential fairy tale originally brought to life by Walt Disney in 1950 is more popular than ever… not so much because women are looking for the perfect man to rescue them from their humdrum lives but,  because the modern Cinderella continues the quest for the perfect shoe!!!

Even better, Disney partnered with shoe design guru, Christian Louboutin to bring the famed glass slipper to life. The Louboutin version is made of netting instead of glass for obvious reasons but the sparkling Swarovski crystals remind you of the delicate and reflective nature of glass. You will have a hard time finding them since there are only 20 pair of these remarkable shoes being made and are being ‘given away’ in various Disney promotions around the globe.

As if that is not enough,  Christian Louboutin (himself) makes his acting debut in a short film entitled “The Magic of the Glass Slipper: A Cinderella Story ” which is a bonus feature on the recent re-released DVD. The story is cute, sweet, simple and very short. I won’t spoil it but, you can watch it here:

Congratulations Mr. Louboutin for a job well done, Walt Disney himself would be proud!

Feeling like Cinderella and can’t find the right sparkly shoe to fit your budget or your sole? Princess Bridal Shoes can turn just about any ordinary shoe into a show stopper!



-Penny Frulla for Bridal Expo Chicago

Blending Cultures At Your Wedding

If you think planning a wedding is hard, imagine how hard it is to plan a wedding with families from two entirely different backgrounds and customs. Even if everyone is in agreement about the specifics, there will be times when you will be worried about which traditions to use from each culture. Don’t sweat it… really. The truth is  that  the  absolute, hands-down best weddings are the ones where  couples incorporate customs from every aspect of their blended life and start their own.

There are no rules that say both couples cannot express their families’ wedding customs together. In fact, you may find that your customs are similar. This is nothing to argue about, this is a chance to open up to one another and to show your future in-laws you are willing to compromise.

Jumping the Broom is a custom that originated in Scotland or England among the Gypsy clans. It was adopted in the United States by African Americans during slavery and brought back into popular practice after several books and movies recognizing this (blended, borrowed) African American tradition. It is a symbolic gesture of togetherness. I wish it was a symbol that my husband was going to sweep the floor.

In Italy, either a roasted baby pig (porchetta) or roasted baby lamb (bacchio), depending on region, may be served, accompanied by two pasta dishes and assorted fresh fruit. As a symbol of the essence of marriage, newlyweds hand out sugared almonds representing the bitter and the sweet in life.

At a traditional Greek wedding, dishes are smashed on the floor for good luck and money is thrown at the musicians. Back to the broom – that is some cleanup!

Jewish weddings feature a lively Israeli dance called the Hora. While the couple holds on to either end of a handkerchief, they are lifted into the air on  their chairs and the dancing continues. Hold on tight so that no one drops you!

Hindu/Indian weddings are  lively affairs that can last up to four days. For a blended family you can go  traditional American for your formal wear but, consider using colorful reds, golds and deep orange for your wedding theme since they signify happiness and prosperity.

Korean weddings serve Kuk soo (noodles), which symbolize long life. To find out if someone is married, ask “Kuk soo mo-gus-soy-oh?” (“Have you eaten noodles yet?”)

Arras In the Mexican tradition, the groom gives the bride thirteen gold coins blessed by the priest. The presentation and acceptance signifies their bond and the coins are saved as a family heirloom. Have you seen the price of gold, lately? …..that is some gift!

If by some chance your family does not have any specific cultural background or no specific way they celebrate rites of passage other than traditional American customs, don’t come unglued when the other party suggests something you’ve never heard of. Open yourself up to new possibilities; the food, the music, the decorations – you may be surprised.

Start your own traditions as well; candle lighting, sand ceremony, even something as simple as writing your own vows or changing the music as you walk down tha aisle can make a huge difference.  Merging families isn’t just about sticking people in the same room and expecting them to get along. It is about making other people feel like they are important, and your actions will speak louder than words.

-Penny Frulla for Bridal Expo Chicago

Wednesday Wedding Trivia

Did you ever wonder how June became the most popular month for weddings? Why do brides carry a bouquet? Where the phrase “tie the knot” came from? Weddings are fraught with trivia that most people take for granted and never seem to even question. Wednesday seems like a good day to delve into the strange and wonderful world of wedding trivia!

June became the most popular month for weddings during the Victorian era because most people took their annual bath in May. Gross.

Brides began carrying fragrant bouquets to mask the smell of body odor. Even more gross, right? But, it explains the immense size of Victorian bridal bouquets.

The phrase ‘tie the knot’ came originated in Rome where the  corset had knots that the groom had to untie in order to undress the bride. It seems backwards, doesn’t it? But, in modern times it would seem odd to say you were “Un-tying the knot”.

In Old English, the word ‘bride’ actually means ‘cook’. I found that amusing.

Something blue? Most people think the blue item is to represent purity and fidelity. In Victorian England, the bride and groom were considered to be royalty (for the day) and the something blue was the blood of royalty. I would still wear blue shoes, it has a nice ring to it even if they aren’t suede.

Wedding veils originated in Ancient Greece and were worn to ward off evil spirits. The veil was worn over the face to protect the bride until she was safely presented to her future husband at the altar.

The tradition of bridesmaids dressing the same as each other and in similar style to the bride comes from ancient times when it was believed that evil spirits have a more difficult time distinguishing which one is the bride and putting a hex on her. In Ancient Rome a marriage required 10 witnesses in order to be legal.

The tradition of exchanging rings began in 1477 when Roman Emperor Maxmillian I gave his future bride a diamond ring. Women around the world decided “That’s a great idea – where’s mine?”

Engagements came about when Pope Innocent III  instituted a waiting period , and insisted a ring be used in the wedding ceremony.

The engagement ring and wedding band are worn on the fourth finger of the left hand  because the ancient Egyptians thought that the “vein of love’ ran from this finger directly to the heart.

When we drink to someone, we call it a “toast” because of an old French custom where a piece of bread was placed at the bottom of the wine cup for flavor. In France, partygoers would drink and pass the cup; when it reached the person being toasted, he would empty it – crouton and all.

Throwing the bouquet  dates back to Victorian England where the wedding guests would chase the bride, tearing her clothes and flowers in order to grab a piece of happiness.  The bride would toss the bouquet in order to distract the crowd long enough to make a clean getaway (hopefully with her clothes still intact).  

The custom of tiered cakes emerged from a game where the bride and groom attempted to kiss over a higher-than-ever cake without knocking it over.
Last but most interesting of all, the bride stands at the altar to the left of the groom for practical reasons. In Medieval times, the groom needed to keep his right arm free so he could use his sword to protect the bride. I am wondering if there was an accommodation made for the less than 10% of grooms who are ‘lefties’ or if they had to improvise?
If all of these customs and trivia seem too  much to remember, just be glad you don’t live in Denmark where brides and grooms cross-dress to confuse the evil spirits.  Which makes me wonder how smart those evil spirits really are since they all seem to be so easily confused.
-Penny Frulla for Bridal Expo Chicago