History of the Bridal Bouquet

History of the Bridal Bouquet

 

The History

Women love flowers.  They love to receive them as a gift, to decorate their home or even to wear them, but there’s nothing more special for many than to carry a bouquet of flowers on her wedding day.   A bride’s bouquet is an integral part of her wedding day “look.”  Whether the wedding itself is a lavish, opulent affair or a simple garden celebration at a family home, flowers add to the aesthetic and visual beauty of the day, but there is a deeper history behind the bridal bouquet.

A bride carrying flowers has its roots in ancient times. In ancient Rome, brides carried or wore flower garlands because they were believed to signify new beginnings, fidelity and hope of fertility.  In the Middle Ages, garlic and strong-smelling herbs and spices were thought to drive away evil spirits, bad luck, and bad health. Dill was especially popular because it was seen as the herb of lust.  So, brides and grooms would consume it during the reception with hopes that it would increase sexual desire.

During the Victorian era, flowers actually became part of the wedding bouquet as we know it today.  In these times, lovers would send different flowers as a way of expressing their love. Each flower had a different meaning, and their exchange soon became popular and was linked to romantic love. Flowers became a part of wedding ceremonies because of this association with romance and courtship. Brides would carefully choose flowers for the sentiments they represented.  Ultimately, the blooms she carried became “her flowers” for the rest of her life.

These old traditions have long since been forgotten, with brides now selecting flowers for their beauty, coordination with the wedding colors, their fragrance or even their shape. Regardless of why they’re chosen though, a bride should love what she’s carrying, even if she pulls in a little inspiration from the history of the bridal bouquet…salmon with dill anyone?  *wink*

 

Fun Fact

The largest bouquet wedding bouquet measured 197 ft 1 in long and was made of 1,500 flowers including roses and carnations. It was held by a Canadian bride at a Catholic church in September 2003.  The bouquet weighed 202.8 lb and was made up of 500 roses, 400 carnations, 60 lilies, 200 daisies and 340 baby breaths. In addition to these 1500 flowers, bear grass, Ontario Cedar and Italian Ruches were also used.  The couple also used 79 bridesmaids and 47 groomsmen.

Happy planning.

Bouquet photo taken by J Lauryn Photography.  Florist Yanni Design Studio.
Fun fact photo photographer unknown.

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.

History of the Wedding Cake

History of the Wedding Cake

 

The History

In 1840, Queen Victoria (the great-great-great grandmother of Prince William and Harry) married Prince Albert.  Their wedding featured the first modern, and extravagant, wedding cake. It was a large tiered cake with white icing, measured nine feet in circumference and weighed nearly 300 pounds!!  But the history of the wedding cake goes beyond the royal family.

The origin of the wedding cake dates back to ancient Rome.  During this time, weddings ended with the groom breaking a loaf of barley bread over the bride’s head, symbolizing fertility. Guests would scramble to pick up the crumbs in order to take home some good luck.

In medieval England, small spiced buns were organized into a huge pile, with the bride and groom expected to share a kiss over the towering pile of bread. If they could kiss without knocking the tower over, the belief was that they’d enjoy a lifetime of prosperity together.

Croquembouche tower of cream puffs

Ironically though, it was pies, not cakes, that were typically associated with weddings. The earliest recorded recipe created specifically for a wedding was described as a large, elaborately decorated pie filled with a mix of savory meats, offal (look it up if you don’t know what that is) and spices. Sometimes, a ring would be hidden in these wedding pies.  Superstition stated that the woman who found it would be the next to marry.

 

Other wedding confection superstitions include: the belief that sharing the cake with wedding guests would lead to increased prosperity and fruitfulness; fear that bad luck would befall a bride who baked her own wedding cake; a bride who tasted the wedding cake ahead of the wedding would lose her husband’s love; and every guest must eat a bit of the cake to ensure the couple would be blessed with children.  Can you see how some of these have carried over to today?

Eventually, wedding cakes out grew wedding pies in popularity. By the middle of the 16th century, sugar had become widely available, and white sugar was seen as the most prestigious because it underwent more refinement. Pure white icing on a wedding cake was considered a status symbol and a nod to purity. Queen Victoria’s wedding continued this tradition, which led to white icing being called royal icing, a term that’s still used today.

 

Today’s Cakes & Treats

Many modern couples still love an elaborate, tiered wedding cake.  Some, however, have found unique alternatives to the tradition – a naked cake, cupcakes, donut walls, even mini cakes.  Some opt for no cake at all.  So whether you’re inspired by the history of the wedding cake or choose to go a totally different route, just make sure it’s what you want & represents you and your spouse-to-be… because every detail of your day should be about you!

 

Fun Facts

  • The most expensive wedding cake was valued at $52 million, adorned with 4,000 diamonds. It was designed for a wedding show, the National Gay Wedding Show.
  • The world’s largest wedding cake stood 17 feet tall and weighed 15,032 pounds. It was created for the Mohegan Sun Hotel and Casino for a 2004 bridal showcase.
  • The most expensive slice of wedding cake was cut from the 1937 wedding of the Duke and Duchess of Windsor, which sold at auction in 1998 for $29,900.

 

Happy planning.

Featured cake photo for “The Hayes” taken by Jermaine Horton Photography.  Cake artist Panache Ganache.

Curious about the history of other wedding traditions?  Check out these posts about the history of the bridal bouquet, bridesmaids, even flower girls.
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.

4 Ways to Remember Loved Ones at Your Wedding

4 Ways to Remember Loved Ones at Your Wedding

Your wedding day is one that should be filled with great joy.  It marks the start of the beginning of a new chapter in your life and a new and exciting journey with your love.  However, for those who have lost people they love dearly, there may be lingering feelings of sadness or disappointment because that special person can’t be present.  While this can be hard emotionally, there are ways ease the burden and honor those who mean so much.   Here are 4 ways to remember loved one at your wedding:

A Memory Table

Create a special moment to honor those you’ve lost by displaying photos or other significant memorabilia.  Scale the table (cocktail table or long banquet table) based on the quantity of items you want to display.   Whatever the size, the table can be accented with candles, flowers, even signage of choice.   If you want to create something more dynamic, consider having a screen (on the table or mounted on a wall) that shows a looped slideshow of photos & videos.  Be careful, though, of noise levels if you opt for videos.  Whichever display type, just be sure to create a special moment to share with all your guests.

SouthWind-Events-Chicago-Wedding-Planner-4-Ways-to-Remember-Loved-Ones-at-Your-Wedding-Memory-Table

SouthWind-Events-Chicago-Wedding-Planner-4-Ways-to-Remember-Loved-Ones-at-Your-Wedding-Memory-Table

A Memorial Chair

Dedicate a chair to honor your loved ones.   Place flowers or other mementos in a dedicated chair as a way to “hold their seat” during the ceremony.  Not only does this indicate their significance in your life.  It also gives the feeling that they are present and able to witness you exchanging your vows.

SouthWind-Events-Chicago-Wedding-Planner-4-Ways-to-Remember-Loved-Ones-at-Your-Wedding-Flowers-on-a-chair

reserved ceremony memory chair

 

Integrate a Keepsake into Your Bouquet

As you hold your loved ones in your heart, you can also hold them in your hand as you walk down the aisle.  Adding a small photos, a family heirloom broach, even a small pendant with a special message to your bouquet is a unique way to keep those special people close to you on your wedding day.

Wedding-bouquet-pendants

 

Integrate a Photo or Keepsake into Your Shoe

Let your loved one walk with you down the aisle by adding pendants with photos or messages to your wedding shoes.  These don’t impact the comfort of your shoe or your ability to walk.  They do, however, offer the most unique and subtle way to honor your loved one.

Shoe pendants

While there are many ways to remember your loved ones at your wedding, the most important thing is to keep it genuine and heartfelt.  And, whatever way you choose to do it, make sure your photographer and videographer capture the moment.  Holding the memory of the memorial has brought may couples great peace as the years moved on.

Wishing you great peace.  Happy planning.

For details on the wedding featured in the memory table section above, head over to our blog post here.
If you’ve recently lost a loved one and your family is looking for a way to celebrate their life, especially during COVID, consider creating a memorial website or tribute video.

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.

Tips for Choosing Your Wedding Party

Tips for Choosing Your Wedding Party

Eenie, meenie, minee, moe, catch a piggy by the toe….

Maybe I’m aging myself here, but as a child, this was one of the ways we picked teams when playing outside with our friends.  It seemed to keep it fair & random, with the least chance of someone getting their feelings hurt (although there was always one person who seemed to find an issue because they didn’t get picked).

While that childhood trick worked for choosing teams, it’s not the best idea for choosing your wedding party, your team for your big day.   Instead, here are a few tips for choosing your crew of guys or gals to serve as your bridesmaids, groomsmen, or attendants and strive to reach your #SquadGoals.

Size really does matter!

Can you image attending a wedding with 50 guests and the wedding party has 10 people on each side?  That’s 22 people in the wedding party….almost half the guest list! Half the guests are seated; the other half standing upfront. Crazy visual right? You also have to consider your venue.  If you’ve chosen a small venue, you have to consider how it will look to have a large wedding party all standing across the front on your space.  As amazing as those dresses or suits might be, there will be a point when it will be too crowded to appreciate them, and you will just be another speck in the clutter, rather than the center of attention.

Start with your siblings

If you & your spouse-to-be have siblings, especially ones that you’re close to, consider allowing them to stand with you.  Chances are, these are the people who have known you the longest, and maybe, even know you the best. And, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with mixing it up. Ladies, let your brother be bridesman. Guys, let your sister be a groomslady.Chicago Wedding Planner SouthWind Events bride and bridemaids in blue robes. Photograph taken by J Lauryn Photography.                                                                                                   

Think first, ask later

You’ve known each other forever.  Been there through thick & thin.  Love each like family.   They’re a shoe-in, right?  Well….you know they desperately want to be married, like to make things about themselves and tend to be overly selfish.  They interject their opinion whether requested or not and always want to have their way.   You know they can be fickle and sometimes just don’t show up when they say they will, but when they do show up, they are a great time! The point here is, you know your friends/family.  You know their strengths and weaknesses, pain points and struggles.  Your wedding will not make these go away.  So after you’ve made your list, take some time to think it over and make sure you are ok with dealing with all their quirks during (what can be) a very stressful time.  Because once you ask and they say yes, it’s really hard to go back and undo that.

Know who/what you’re working with

Before you send out those proposal boxes, look at your list and consider each person’s personality.  How well will they get along?  Certainly, they don’t have to be besties, but if one person on your list has a much stronger, even abrasive, personality and tends to rub people the wrong way, it’s a potential set up for drama & stress – neither of which you want, and should absolutely avoid if you can.Chicago Wedding Planner SouthWind Events groom and groomsmen in blue suits. Photograph taken by J Lauryn Photography on the rooftop of the Ivy Hotel Chicago.                                                                                                

Consider what you need going in

What do you think a wedding party is supposed to do? What are they responsible for?  Do you need/expect them to provide emotional support, attend every event you plan, host huge showers/parties for you, go shopping, venue/vendor scouting, or wherever else with you, spend an undetermined amount of money?  If you’re a DIY person & want help from your squad, are they crafty?   Will you be able to pay for their attire, hair, makeup, shoes, & jewelry?  Or will they have to incur some/all of that cost?   Think about what you need & want from your party, and be sure to communicate these expectations (up front) to those you invite to stand with you – allowing them to make a fully informed decision.

Chicago Wedding Planner SouthWind Events bridal party wedding party in blue suits and gold sequin dresses. Photograph taken by J Lauryn Photography.

Remember these not hard & fast rules for choosing your wedding party. At the end of the day, you choose who takes this wedding planning journey with you, and ultimately stands who beside you on your big day.  None of these are hard and fast rules.  So be mindful, be honest, and remember….this is YOUR DAY!

Happy Planning!

All photos featured in this blog were taken by  J Lauryn Photography.

For details on the wedding featured above, check out our blog post here.

Check out our blog 5 Things to Discuss Before You Get Married for insight on how to start your marriage off right, 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.

3 Things That Will Affect Your Wedding Budget

3 Things That Will Affect Your Wedding Budget

 

Your budget is one of the first things that you should sit down and discuss when planning your wedding. It also has the potential to cause the most stress during the planning process. Below are 3 things that could significantly affect your wedding budget and add to your wedding planning stress – location, time of year, and guest count.

1. Where you wed. The location of your wedding and reception will play a huge role in the creation of your wedding budget. Well-known venues or those that are located in popular areas will generally charge more than smaller venues or those outside of major cities. Venues also have different packages and policies that you’ll need to consider. For example, some venues might require you to use their vendors, some of which might not fit into your budget. Many venues also have minimum headcount requirements for catering that may exceed your guest list. It’s important to look at the average cost of the cities and venues in your area before you make a final decision on where you want to celebrate your marriage.

2. Time of the year. Wedding seasons make a huge difference in cost. Planning to get married on a Saturday in the summer? There’s a good chances are you’re going to end up paying a lot more for your wedding. Review your budget and see how it fits within the venue and location you have in mind. Then, consider hosting your wedding in another season or on another day of the week to save on costs. Fridays & Sundays have become more popular, cost saving options. Vendors might also be able to offer you discounts for off-peak days and seasons.

3. Guest count. This is the one area that can easily get out of hand. Between both of your families, your friends, coworkers, and parents’ “suggestions”, your guest count can skyrocket before you know it. The fact is, your guest count is going to consume the largest part of your wedding budget. So it pays to be strategic about who you’re inviting. Most venues will charge you for everything from food, drinks, & cake even to the chair your guest will be sitting on. So think twice about inviting that aunt you haven’t seen in 3 years or that friend from high school you haven’t spoken to in 10. Sit down with you’re your spouse-to-be and agree on how many guests you want to invite and stick to it!

If you truly want to hold firm to your wedding budget and not be knee deep in debt when you get back from your honeymoon, carefully plan your finances before you even begin planning your wedding. Working with a wedding planner can also be an asset, as they should be able to help you find more cost effective options and keep you on track financially.

Check out our blog You’re Engaged, Now What? for more tips on what to do before you start planning your big day. For even more, check out our blog home page.

Like & follow SouthWind Events on Facebook and IG. Check out our website too to learn more about us.

 

5 Things to Discuss Before You Get Married

5 Things to Discuss Before You Get Married

If there’s one thing you should know about SouthWind Events, it’s that we care about marriage – healthy, successful, long-term marriage. Yes, the wedding is a beautiful experience where we celebrate the joining of two lives, but it’s just one day. The marriage, however, is expected to be “until death separates” you. As such, we believe that more effort should be put into planning the marriage than planning the wedding.

It’s no secret that marriage can be challenging. There will be good days & not so good days. One of the keys to success, though, is open and honest communication. This communication, though, can’t wait to start after the wedding. As a couple, it’s imperative that you talk about certain things before the wedding to make sure that you’re starting your life together on the same page, on a united front. Some choose to go to premarital counseling to address these things; others don’t. Regardless of where it happens, there are a few topics every couple should discuss before getting married. So let’s discuss a few of them (in no particular order).

MONEY

I know this is the probably the hardest of all those we will discuss, but it’s likely the most important. You & your partner should discuss income, spending habits, existing debt, and credit scores (including why your score is what it is). You should also discuss financial goals & strategies, such as budgeting, savings, and joint or separate bank accounts. This is not a time to be ashamed or to only share partial truths. This is also not a time to be judgmental, condescending, or non-supportive. Whatever financial state you’re in, you & your partner should support each other and be prepared to work to build a future together using two basic steps: (1) identify each other’s strengths and weaknesses to help maximize your financial success, and (2) establish a plan for how your bills will be paid and how you will support your plans and goals for the future. You’ve each managed your money, your way until now, but these two simple steps will set you several steps ahead of the game, even before you’ve officially been united as one.

PLANS & DESIRES

We often have goals and plans for our lives that we carry in our hearts but don’t always articulate. Not sharing these can lead to unmet expectations and resentment. But…if you never share these desires with your partner, it’s unfair to hold them accountable for not meeting them. So take some time and talk about these types of questions: Do you want children? If so, how many? Do you have any desire to live in another city, state, or country? Do want to own a home or condo or do you simply want to rent? What are your professional goals? Do you want to travel – domestically or internationally? What do you enjoy sexually? What are your fantasies (or what do you want to try)? How frequently do you want/need to have sex? Depending on your personality, some of these might make you a little uncomfortable, but if you can’t be uncomfortable & vulnerable with your future spouse, with whom else can you be?

ROLES

Gender and spousal roles are another one of those things we carry in our heart that can lead to unmet expectations…..and unnecessary conflict. Talk about who should take out the trash, who will cook most often, who will care for the kids. How do you plan to offer support to your future spouse as it relates to caring for your home & family? What do you expect your spouse to do? What seems obvious to you, or like a “given”, may be dramatically different than what your partner expects. So think about it, do some self reflection and share it with your partner.

PARENTING

How to raise children can cause almost as much conflict in a marriage as money. Everything from when & how to discipline, to food choices, to schools/education, appropriate age to start dating, and even religion… all these things (and more) are areas where parents need to be on one accord. Talk about how you were each raised and what you want to replicate or dismiss. If either of you comes into the marriage with children from a previous relationship, it is especially important for you to discuss what “permissions” your new spouse will have. Can they discipline your child? Can they reward your child? Should your child go to your spouse with issues that they would have previously come to you with? What should your child call your new spouse? How’s your relationship with the child’s other biological parent & how will that relationship extend to and impact your new spouse? What’s their relationship with each other? The decisions made in this conversation will need to be communicated to your child(ren). This way, the entire family unit has a clear understanding of the new family dynamics.

VALUES

This is a very broad topic, but it is essential to discuss those things that you hold as intrinsic beliefs, morals and values. When choosing to start a life together, it’s important to understand (and ideally agree on) those values that you & your partner hold dear. What’s your view on faith/religion? How do you view and treat people of different races, social classes, and sexual preferences? Do you generally operate with integrity? Do you treat people with compassion & respect? Do you dismiss people that are “beneath” you? What about politics? How do you react when you get angry? Stressed? Sad/depressed? The scope is broad, but necessary…and certainly not limited to this short list. There’s a quote that reads “values reflect what is important to the way you live and work.” As you begin your new journey together, make sure that your values align in such a way that you can both live & work together to build a peaceful & meaningful life.

I know there’s a lot to chew on here, and there may be some things that you will have to reflect on and evaluate individually first; other things may be easy. Either way, your marital success is directly tied to your ability to communicate – clearly, honestly, & candidly. Remember, too, that you’re two people with two different perspectives and life experiences. So as much as you much communicate, you will also need to COMPROMISE. You both can’t get your way all the time, and you both can’t be right. However, working together, you can find a middle ground that you will work for you as a couple to make your marriage a success. So, be open. Be honest. Be flexible. Be willing to compromise.

Until next time…..

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