Wedding Day Packing Checklist

Wedding Day Packing Checklist

With everything that’s going on leading up to your wedding, packing for your big day can feel like a monumental task.  You want to make sure you have everything, but also don’t want to overpack.  On top of that, add “stress brain.”   You know it, when you feel like you’re missing something, but not quite sure what it is.  Well, we want to help by sharing this ultimate Wedding Day Packing Checklist.   From attire to emergency fixers, we’ve got you covered.   Since you also may be packing for your honeymoon, consider asking a trusted member of your family or wedding party to make sure this list is covered for you.  That will at least take one thing off your To Do list.

Wedding_Day_Packing_Checklist_SouthWind_Events_Chicago_Wedding-Planner

While this list may cover all the common wedding day needs (and mishaps), there may be some unique scenarios that aren’t addressed.  In those cases, reach out to your wedding planner for help.  They will likely have a much more exhaustive emergency kit handy or have the means to help or advise you in other situations.

Happy planning.


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Your Wedding Day Look: How’s the View From the Back?

Your Wedding Day Look: How’s the View From the Back?

As couples prepare to walk down the aisle, they will often take a moment to face themselves in the mirror, making sure they look their best and reflecting on the new phase of life they are about to enter.  However, you need looking beyond what you see facing forward.  As you prepare to said I Do, consider your wedding day look and ask yourself “how’s the view from the back”.  You see, in a traditional American ceremony, guests will see the back of the couple more than anything.  So here are 5 easy tips to make sure you look your best, front and back, coming and going.

 

Make sure your gown fits properly.

Every lady wants to look snatched on her big day. So be sure to get a professional tailor to alter your gown.  You don’t want extra bulges of fabric around your waist indicating the dress is too big or have major back cleave between your shoulder blades because it’s too small.

 

Choose the right gown for your body type

I love you, so I’m going to be direct here….you have to know what style dress is best suited for your body type.  if you are a busty woman or are carrying a few extra pounds, a super low back dress may not be the style for you.  Not only do you risk exposing your undergarments (another no-no, let’s keep our secrets secret), but you are also risking sharing heaping servings of back fat with your guests.  Your future spouse may love all your curves and all your edges, but you don’t need to share them with your family and friends.

 

Tie up the loose ends

If you have selected a gown with a corset gown, please make sure the person tying you up keeps your lacing flat and equally spaced.  Also, remind them to tuck in the bunny ears and loose ends of the laces.  We don’t want draw attention to your bum with a big bow and long tails swinging behind you.

 

Wear an appropriate length veil (if you opt for one)

When you find the perfect gown, try on veils before your appointment ends.  Look in the mirror & see which length compliments the gown the best and hits you in just the right place.  I’m not saying you have to purchase the veil. Just check the length.  Here’s why….having a fingertip veil might look great from the front, but, if you’re blessed with curves & wearing a fitted gown, it might lay in a way in the back that will highlight all your “assets” for your guests.  The point, just make sure the length of the veil fits you as well as the shape of the gown.
Another point on the veil, on wedding day make sure your veil is pinned/clipped in your hair straight, centered & securely. You don’t want it falling out on your way down the aisle. (Yes, that actually happened!)

Check your hair

This one is a no-brainer.  Make sure you love your hair style and that it’s perfect from the front, sides & back. Ensure that any hair accessory or hair jewelry is placed securely & properly.  Oh, and can I be direct again?   Please keep in mind that it doesn’t take long for cheap weave to get tangled, messy, & matted.  So just like you’ve invested in your gown, shoes & jewelry, invest in good hair for your big day!  You don’t want folks to say that you only looked good from the neck down.

Happy planning.


For more tips, tricks & insight from your #WeddingPlanningCoach, check out our blog home page.
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Flower Girl 101

Flower Girl 101

They’re tiny.  They’re cute.  And these little ladies have even been known to steal the show!  Today we’re talking all things flower girls!   We’ve already explored the history of flower girls.  So now let’s dig a little deeper and get practical, answering those frequently asked questions about these adorable petal tossers.

 

Flower Girl Questions


Do I need a flower girl in my ceremony?

No, you don’t.  Flower girls add a great cute factor, but they aren’t necessary.  So feel free to do away with tradition if you’re not interested or don’t have a young person to fill the role.

Who should be the flower girl?

Flower girls can be daughters, nieces, cousins or even a friend’s daughter.  There’s no rule here.

How old they be?

Typically, they range in age from 3 to 8 years old.  Regardless of the age, just be sure that they will actually walk down the aisle and not clam up at the sight of all strange faces looking at them.  I’ve had to walk several flower girls down the aisle in my time.

How many flower girls can I have?

There’s no limit.  If you have a bunch of nieces or cousins, you can include them all to avoid anyone feeling left out.  Just consider having at least one older one to help the younger girls.  You can even have them hold hands to make them feel safe & comfortable walking down the aisle together, or even consider putting the smallest ones in a wagon pulled by eldest.

What should they wear?

There are no hard and fast rules here.  They can wear a dress similar to the bride’s or you can have them coordinated with the bridesmaids in color or style.  You can even put them in something completely unique.   The choice is yours!

Who pays for the dress?

Typically, the parents of the flower girl will pay for her attire.  If you want her to wear something that’s rather pricey, you may want to consider covering all, or at least a good portion, of the cost.

Do they have to throw flowers?

No, not at all.  They can carry balloons, blow bubbles, carry a small sign saying “the bride is coming,” or anything else you envision.   Again, there are no rules here.

How do they process into the ceremony?

The flower girl typically enters after the maid/matron of honor and before the bride.  They can either remain at the altar with the other bridesmaids during the ceremony or have them sit with their parent(s) to keep them from being a fidgety distraction for your guests.

Do I have to have them at the reception?

Nope, not if you don’t want to.  If you’re hosting an adult-only reception, it’s perfectly acceptable to not have your flower girls there.  However, it is imperative that you communicate this to her parents ahead of time so that they can make the necessary arrangements, especially if you’re inviting the parents to stay.

Should I send them a thank you gift?

It’s certainly a nice gesture, but let’s be honest, you’d be doing it for yourself & for her parents since it’s highly unlikely that a 5 year old will understand the concept of a thank you gift.  If you choose to get her a gift, just know that it doesn’t have to be expensive.  I cute doll or toy, or even a personalized jewelry box or other memento that she can have for years to come, is sufficient.

 

Are there alternatives to a flower girl?

Absolutely!  In the past few years, couples have swung the pendulum on flower girls.  They have shifted from using the cute little ladies to recruiting their grandmothers or even a close friend with a great personality to carry this honor.  Other couples have given the role to a well-trained pet that can respond well to cues of when & where to walk.

If you still like the idea of using young girls on your day, but don’t want them to walk down the aisle, you could use them as greeters to wave and welcome guests as they enter the ceremony; this is sure to set a fun & cute mood for your day.  If they are a little older, you can use them as ushers to hand out programs and escort guests to their seats.

The point here is that there are no rules.  This is your day.  So look outside the box and make your day personal, unique & memorable!

We hope this answers most, if not all, of your flower girl questions .  Leave us a comment if there’s anything else we can share or answer for you.

Happy Planning!


Check out our blog on the history of flower girls to learn where this adorable tradition came from.
We explore more wedding tradition history with the bridal bouquet, wedding cake and bridesmaids posts.
For even more, check out our blog home page for more tips, tricks & insight from your #WeddingPlanningCoach.
Like & follow SouthWind Events on Facebook and IG. Check out our website too to learn more about us.

History of Flower Girls

History of Flower Girls

Typically the youngest member of a wedding party, flower girls often bring that all too sweet “cute factor” to a wedding.   Whether they give a slow, nervous walk down the aisle, cry at the sight of the crowd, or sashay their way to the altar with all the flair and personality their little body can hold, these precious little ladies are sure to bring a smile to the faces of your guests.  But why do we have them as part of our wedding party?  What’s their significance? Let’s explore the history of the flower girl and answer some of your frequently asked questions.


History

Centuries ago, couples often married for political reasons rather than love. In some cultures, marriages were arranged by parents. In these arranged marriages, the bride and groom did not meet before the actual wedding. Since childbearing was the primary purpose of many of those arranged marriages, fertility was of particular concern for newlyweds. To symbolize the blessings of fertility and prosperity for the couple, flower girls carried sheaves of wheat and bouquets of herbs. Over time this evolved, and the wheat and herbs were replaced by flowers or flower petals.

Roman Empire and the Renaissance

In Ancient Rome, flower girls were young virgins who carried a sheaf of wheat during the wedding ceremony.  It was believed that this would bring prosperity to the bride and groom. During the Renaissance flower girls carried strands of garlic, based on the belief that garlic repelled evil spirits and bad luck.

Elizabethan era

In the Elizabethan era, wedding guests would scatter flower petals from the bride’s home to the church.  Flower girls followed musicians in the wedding procession, carrying a gilded rosemary branch and a silver bride’s cup adorned with ribbons. The cup was usually filled with flower petals or rosemary leaves.

Victorian era

The Victorian flower girl most resembles the modern day one. Victorian era flower girls were traditionally dressed in white, perhaps with a sash of colored satin or silk. Her dress, usually made of muslin, was intentionally simple to allow future use. The Victorian flower girl carried an ornate basket of fresh blooms or sometimes a floral hoop; its shape reflecting that of the wedding ring, symbolizing that love has no end.

Modern flower girls

Today couples still use flower girls in their weddings.  Sometimes the flower girl wears a small version of the bride’s gown.  Most often though, she wears a dress similar to that of the bridesmaids, whether it be in color, style or both. She symbolizes innocence, beauty and even good luck.

Let it be known that it is not a necessity for a wedding to have a flower girl.  So if you want an adult only celebration, or simply don’t know any little ladies who you’d want to participate, it’s perfectly ok to forego this tradition.

SouthWind Event Chicago Wedding Planner flower girl photo by J Lauryn Photography                          Photo by J Lauryn Photography

Do you have questions about flower girls for your wedding?   Wondering if you need one?  Who pays for the dress?   How old should they be?  Check out Flower Girl 101 to get all your flower girl questions answered!

Leave us a comment if there’s anything else we can share or answer to help you.

Happy Planning!


Check out our blog on the history of the wedding cake for more on the origins of wedding traditions, or check out our blog home page for more tips, tricks & insight from your #WeddingPlanningCoach.
Like & follow SouthWind Events on Facebook and IG. Check out our website too to learn more about us.

History of Bridesmaids

History of Bridesmaids

We all know that bridesmaids serve an important role – planning parties, wearing a (hopefully) beautiful dress, standing by the bride’s side, and supporting her emotionally through the entire planning process.  However, it might surprise you to find out that the history of the bridesmaids isn’t so glamorous.  In fact, the role of the bridesmaid and the bridal party has truly evolved over time.   So while the duties of modern bridesmaids might seem pretty daunting, they actually have it much easier than ‘maids of the past.

Whether you’re a new ‘maid or you’re like Katherine Heigl’s character in 27 dresses, it’s important to know the history of the bridesmaid to fully appreciate the role.

 

Bridesmaids have always “served” the bride

One of the most common references to the history of bridesmaids points to the Bible.  The book of Genesis tells the story of Jacob who married two women, sisters, Rachel and Leah.  At their weddings, both women were escorted by female servants – the bride’s maids.  During this time, bridesmaids weren’t necessarily family members or friends.  Rather, they were domestic workers who catered to the bride’s needs during the wedding day.  Obviously, bridesmaids today are selected based on their relationship to the bride, not because they work for her.

Bridesmaids were there to protect the bride

In ancient Rome, bridesmaids didn’t just attend to the needs of the bride, they also protected the bride from evil spirits.  In many cultures, a dowry of money, jewelry, furniture, or other valuables were presented on the wedding day; making the bride a target for robbers or thieves.  In other cultures, brides had to travel long distances (in a large group) in order to meet to her betrothed.   In either case, the ‘maids would all dress like the bride in order to serve as decoys and confuse rival suitors, evil spirits or anyone/anything else that had ill-intentions toward the bride.

Maid of honor was more than a title

Traditionally, the maid of honor is role held in high esteem.  They were supposed to be women who had a respectable standing in the community, someone who represented “fidelity and obedience” and upheld the qualities considered important in a wife, as a reminder to the bride of how she should carry herself.  More than just a close friend or beloved family member, this woman was a role model.  At one point in time (maybe still for some), the maid of honor was considered the bride’s favorite.  She was expected to be at the bride’s beck and call in the months and weeks leading up to the wedding.  Maids of honor were responsible for carrying the monetary portion of the bride’s dowry – also putting her at risk to thieves.

Today’s maids of honor are responsible for planning an amazing bachelorette or bridal shower and serving as the lead ‘maid for the rest of the squad; a far cry from where the role started.  Oh….and what’s the difference between a maid of honor and a matron of honor?  Not much, except the matron of honor is married, and the maid is not.   All other duties remain the same.

Bridesmaid bouquets weren’t always so pretty.

In the Middle Ages, bouquets of garlic and strong smelling herbs were carried by the bride and her ‘maids to ward off evil spirits and bad luck.  It’s also thought this was done to mask their own body odor since bathing was not a daily occurrence.  Later on, Queen Victoria carried a small bouquet of her favorite flowers on her big day.  This set the tradition we know today for brides and bridesmaids.  Oh…and while the bouquet toss might be a tradition that single ‘maids dread, you might be surprised to learn that a bride used to throw one of her shoes to the waiting crowd of bridesmaids­!!

A bridal party no longer has to be all female. 

Until recently, wedding parties were divided by gender. Women were appointed bridesmaids and men groomsmen. These days, couples are choosing wedding party members based solely on their relationships.  Wedding parties now consist of bridesmaids, bridesmen, maids of honor, men of honor, even groomsladies and best women. This progression of the wedding party makes it much personal to the couple.  So buck tradition, mix it up & do your wedding your way!

 

Fun Facts

  • The world record for most bridesmaids is held by Tina Ackles who had 168 bridesmaids in her April 2015 wedding at Safety Harbor Resort and Spa in Florida.
  • The oldest bridesmaid on record was Edith Gulliford who, at the age of 105 years and 171 days, served as a bridesmaid for the March 2007 wedding of Kyra Harwood and James Lucas of the UK

 

Happy Planning!

Check out our blog on the history of the wedding cake for more on the origins of modern wedding traditions, or check out our blog home page for more tips, tricks & insight from your #WeddingPlanningCoach.
Like & follow SouthWind Events on Facebook and IG. Check out our website too to learn more about us.

Day Of Coordination – It’s a Myth

Day Of Coordination – It’s a Myth

I know you’ve heard it.  Whether from some Facebook group or somewhere online, you’ve heard it said that you can plan your own wedding, and all you need to do is hire a Day Of Coordinator.  My friend, I’m sorry to break it to you, but there is no such thing.  It’s a myth.  It’s a lie.  Day of Coordination does not exist.

WAIT! Don’t close this window just yet.  You probably think I’m full of it since you know so many who people who hired a Day of Coordinator or who do day of coordination, but just hear me out.  Let me explain. 

The fact is, there is simply no way any decent Wedding Planner would be able to show up on the morning of your wedding & execute your day to the level of perfection that you deserve.  There’s no way they can know you, your vision, your vendors, or even have a timeline or floor plan done.   One day is simply not enough time.  But, keep reading.  I have a solution.

For years, I offered Day of Coordination to my clients, and it never really worked the way I wanted it to. As a Planner, it’s in my nature to be helpful.  I want to help you relax and enjoy your wedding day.  I want to help you be the best possible host you can be for your guests so that all of you can have an amazing experience the entire day.  I want you to be able to focus on marrying the love of your life, not thinking “wait, did we ever go back and order the linens for the tables.”  (True story…I showed up for the tent installation. The vendor had the tents, tables, and chairs…but no linens. The couple forgot, and they were never ordered!)

I eventually started asking all those detailed questions 6 weeks before the wedding, but quickly realized two things.  First, by the time I started asking questions, some clients didn’t have any more money to cover the essential things they missed, like linens and transportation (yep, one couple didn’t consider how they were getting from the hotel to the church & her dress was too big to fit in her compact car).  Second thing I realized was that it made no sense to call myself “day-of” anything, when I’m working weeks ahead of the one day.  It just wasn’t illogical.

So, I made a shift to something that better serves both you and me!  What I now offer is Wedding Management.  The most amazing benefit of Wedding Management is that you have unlimited email access to me from the day you sign your contract.  With Wedding Management, if you have a question, or you want to review a vendor order to make sure it’s thorough, you can ask me when it comes to mind…and not have to wait until 6 weeks before your wedding day, which is when most day of coordinators start communicating with you, and by then, it’s too late!

There are so many more amazing benefits to Wedding Management; I simply can’t list them all here.  However, I would love the opportunity to speak with you to tell you more!  You can check out our services package here and click here to contact me so we can schedule a time to chat.

I can’t wait to hear all about you, your wedding and how we can work together!

As you continue to plan, consider these 3 things that will affect your wedding budget and these 5 things every couple should discuss before getting married.

For more tips, tricks & insight from your #WeddingPlanningCoach, check out our blog home page.
Like & follow SouthWind Events on Facebook and IG. Check out our website too to learn more about us.