Slow Down!!

Planning a wedding can take a lot out of you. Add work, family, holidays, pets, family,  household chores, errands, financial stress, (did I mention family) and you have what could turn into a complete meltdown. I mentioned family more than once because family causes not only a great deal of happiness, and a lot of stress. It is easy to get caught up in constantly going from one project to another at such a fast pace that you sometimes forget what you are doing.

As a couple, you need to remember what is important that made you want to be married. Not the wedding, not the flowers, not the dress but, each other! Take one day in the middle of all of the fuss and stress and drama to just SLOW DOWN and enjoy life.

To fully enjoy a ‘slow down’ day here are some tips:

-Unplug your cell phone, put away your laptops, take a time out from technology. No facebook, no skype.

-Visit a local tourist attraction that you have always wanted to see but never had time.

– Do something outside your comfort zone. Ziplining, paintball, bowling, go for PBX electric skateboards, whatever it is that you don’t usually do, do it. Segway through the city?

– Turn the day into a movie marathon. Rent a bunch of movies you have been longing to see but, never have time. Popcorn, snacks, cuddle up on the sofa and enjoy!

– A day of relaxation and pampering for both of you. Get a massage facial, manicure and pedicure.

-Spend the day in the garden, if you have one. If you don’t – find an Arboretum near you and plan your future garden or just enjoy the beauty of nature.

There are dozens of things you can do to slow down. The important thing is to make a commitment to taking this day to yourself and don’t let anything interrupt you. The wedding planning and decision making can wait one day.

-Penny Frulla



Wedding Insurance 101

I have seen my share of wedding disasters. From power outages to outrageous storms to personal injury, there is always the likelihood that something may go terribly wrong  just days before the wedding, leaving both the bride and groom wondering how they can possibly continue under these adverse circumstances. Even more unfortunate is the possibility of cold feet. It seems logical that wedding insurance would enter into the picture.

Although this may seem like a relatively new concept, wedding insurance has been around for some time. Also known as ‘Event Insurance” it became popular in the late 1970’s  when large weddings started to become the norm. Today’s wedding insurance has evolved into a comprehensive policy designed to protect you from the unthinkable.

Wedding Insurance policies typically cover the following:

Weather– postponement of the wedding due to in-climate conditions. Does February1, 2011 ring a bell with anyone? 22 inches of snow can make it hard fro anyone to get to a reception.

Illness or Injury of a significant member of the wedding party. This includes mother and father of the bride or groom.

No-Show vendors – having to book a last minute limo to replace a missing driver may cost double or even triple your original expense.

Location – whether it is fire, weather damage or even going out of business days before your scheduled event,  having the right policy may offer you the opportunity to re-coup almost all of your loss AND re-book another location immediately.

Additional coverage than you may want to consider:
Military Service– Being called to duty just days before the wedding can bring things to a screeching halt.

Gown and Tuxedo damage or loss.

Gifts – protects against loss, theft or damage.

Liability – in case someone gets injured through no fault of their own.

Honeymoon – in case you have to postpone your travel plans due to any of  the conditions listed above; bad weather, illness, injury or worse.

Cold Feet – some policies carry a rider for this  and some don’t. Even if you think you don’t need this , it never hurts to ask!

Unfortunately, all policies are not created equal. Some policies may offer coverage for a lost, stolen or destroyed bridal gown but not offer any compensation for bridesmaid gowns. Imagine the bridal salon closes it’s doors just days before your wedding and you have no way to get your garments – the bridal salon may or may not have insurance to cover this and you are stuck purchasing new garments the day before your wedding…. paying rush charges for alterations and interrupting your already over-booked schedule.

You should ask each and every vendor what type of insurance they have and make sure you get it in writing. I know it may seem ridiculous to ask a photographer what type of insurance they have but, ask anway. It will start a very beneficial conversation and you can move forward from there. What if you find out they do not cover your loss if the photographs, negatives and equipment are somehow lost or destroyed?  Have the conversation now so you can sleep later.

If you decide to purchase wedding insurance, ask questions before you sign anything. Insurance policies are filled with a lot of legal mumbo jumbo that can make it hard to read. Take the time to have everything explained to you properly so that you will not walk away with any questions remaining.

If you ask me –  having insurance of any kind is never a bad idea, especially when there is this much at stake.

-Penny Frulla for Bridal Expo Chicago.

Wedding Day disasters – being prepared will save the day

You have planned your wedding and reception down to every detail; the flowers, the centerpieces, the guest book. Everyone is prepared …are you?
There are very few times that even a mild disaster will strike you on your wedding day since, like lightning, it is not a common occurrence. In reality a disaster on your wedding day may not be a disaster any other day of your life. It is only because you have orchestrated every detail to perfection that one minor hiccup seems to throw you off kilter.

Just like the Boys Scout credo says, you must always be prepared, this goes for the groom as well. If he was a boy scout at one time – he will already know this!

Four things you need to do to be prepared in case of a minor mishap on your wedding day:

1) Have all of the emergency contact numbers for all of your vendors stored on both of your cell phones … just in case. If something does go wrong, call them immediately. If you cannot reach them, institute a backup plan.

2) Bring a small sewing kit. In this kit should be the following: two sewing needles, white thread, black thread, thread the color of your bridesmaids gowns, medium sized safety pins, small piece of white or clear bar soap, scissors, hooks and a seam ripper. I was once at a wedding where the zipper on the wedding gown  was stuck halfway down before the bride could even put it on. Crisis? No. We used a small piece of hand soap to coat the zipper and it opened easily after a short time. And believe me – the safety pins can save your entire night if  the  bustle comes un-sewn.

3) Bring an emergency kit that includes the following: a few feminine hygiene products, benadryl, stain remover, double sided tape, static guard, more safety pins, super glue, hair pins, band aids, neosporin, visine,  hair spray or styling gel, hair clips, small razor, dental floss and breath mints. Benadryl? Perhaps one of the attendants has an allergic reaction to her bouquet, or a guest gets a mosquito bite at an outdoor wedding. Trust me, it has happened before and will happen again. It makes sense to put the  maid of honor in charge of this most of the items are small enough that you won’t have to carry a large suitcase, just a small bag that can be left at the head table. You will be pleased to know that there are emergency wedding kits available for sale. I have seen them in person at Bridal Expo so I know they are out there.

4) Just say NO. Make sure that someone is in charge of knowing when guests have had enough to drink. If you have an open bar, be aware that some people don’t know their limit. Best Man, bride’s father, anyone can do this but it is better to have someone delegated specifically for this task.

5) The morning of your wedding is not the day to starve yourself. Eat a good breakfast with lots of protein, avoid energy drinks and drink lots of water. Same for everyone is the bridal party. This will prevent fatigue, dizziness, possible fainting and reduce stress. No one needs to pass out at the altar.

For those of us who foresee mini-diasters everywhere we go and are often labeled neurotic, don’t sweat it. One day your neuroses will pay off and you can hold your head high knowing that your planning helped save the day.

Here’s hoping your wedding day is disaster-free!

-Penny Frulla for Bridal Expo Chicago