Product Review Story: Vivian Lou Weight Shifting Insoles & Good Feet

Finally a way to make cute shoes comfy!

I’ve been told for most of my life that I have flat feet.  I even went to a podiatrist when I was a kid to have my parents spend hundreds of dollars they didn’t have to get me these horrid, clunky, plaster of Paris molds that I had to wear in my school shoes and a rubber thing they put between my toes to prevent bunions.  Every night I was in pain, wearing that stupid thing between my toes to sleep, only to find it shot across the bedroom in the morning.  And those plaster arches?  They lasted about 6 months before they’d broken down and I would have needed new ones that just were not affordable.  I had a AAA heel and a AA foot in a size 9.5 by 8th grade.  When I was 19 I started ballroom dancing and the constant rolling on the ball of my foot in the Latin dances actually widened my foot enough that I could wear regular width shoes!  I also found that ballroom dance shoes, with their flexible leather insoles and satin fabric, were extremely comfortable to stand and dance 10 hours per day!  Ah but alas, you cannot wear ballroom dance shoes all day every day when you are no longer a ballroom dancer.  When I became a wedding planner, I started advising my brides to get ballroom shoes and break them in as their wedding shoes.  But still most woman, including myself, need a designer shoe or two in their lives and there is not one I’ve found that has a comfortable stitch on its strappy little body.

In my late thirties I finally found out how vague the statement “flat feet” actually is.  I don’t technically have “flat feet”.  I have one fallen arch (there are three!) in the ball of each foot.  Because of that, the weight distributes very unevenly through my whole body and I get, not just foot pain, but shin splints, back pain, arched shoulders and had at one point lost 85% of the curvature of my spine in my neck.  I had no idea you aren’t supposed to be able to see your feet when you walk normally until I came out of a chiropractor after being in traction.  I felt taller but also realized quickly that I had no idea what I might be stepping on!  And it felt amazing!

One Summer I was lucky enough to go on a Celebrity Alaskan Cruise.  (Side note: If you can manage to splurge on a balcony and Aqua Class, its TOTALLY worth it!)  The day excursions and rough terrain were really causing me pain by night-fall with those shin splints screaming at me when I went to bed.  Then one of those cruise ship sales pitches happened to be about Good Feet inserts.  I totally drank the Kool-Aide and bought the “discounted” insoles.  I wore them the next day as we trekked around Skagway and I had to admit I was in foot heaven!  No pain whatsoever and I was able to do this all day without changing to a different shoe! The trick is that these inserts are molded plastic that are made in the shape of what your foot should be, not shaped to your already incorrect foot.  It made total sense to me when I saw the design, with the little bump where the metatarsal arch should be and the uplift in the middle on both sides.  Not only did this shape release the pressure that was on the wrong parts of my foot, it also made my arch lift where it had fallen, so now I can actually wear a size 9 shoe!  Any woman who has tried to find half sizes over 9 will totally understand just how exciting that actually is.

As an event planner, I am on my feet for hours at a time and I would typically change the height of my heel at least three times in any given event day.  But with the Good Feet inserts, I was able to go 4-5 hours with an open-toed 3.5″ heel and even longer with a wedge.  But I still couldn’t do the closed-toe because the weight, even with the insert, still eventually and painfully pushed to my toes.

I decided to try the Vivian Lou Insolia Classic Insoles that I saw advertised on Facebook.  Yes, I drank the Kool-Aide again.  I bought the bundle two-pack.  Today I received them and tried them on in one of my favorite pairs of leopard print, closed-toed stilettos.  Go big or go home!  I didn’t follow the instructions, which very clearly tell you to try both on at the same time.  I wanted to see if I could feel a difference so I put the new insole in my left shoe and none in my right to start.  It took awhile to get the position right, but I realized quickly, walking on the hard wood floors, that my weight in my right foot was definitely more to my toes than on my left.  I could feel an instant difference in the way the shoes fit better, filling the shoe more comfortably instead of leaving spaces around my food, on the left as well.  So far so good, the Vivian Lou insole seemed to be doing the job it claimed to do, shifting my weight more to my heel and evening out the distribution.  But I still had the issue of the fallen metatarsal arch to deal wit and I knew this weight change would not really fix the whole problem.  So I add the Good Feet on top of the Vivian Lou and started to walk around, still with one shoe with no insole and now with the other having two insoles.  This really seems to do the trick!  So I bit the bullet and adhered them “permanently” into my favorite closed-toes and plan to layer the insoles whenever I wear them for real.

One note about the installation of the adhesive insoles from Vivian Lou… The instructions say that you should place the insert 3/8″ away from inside of the heel of the shoe.  Then as you stand on them, if you feel a “bump under your heel”, move it down until you don’t feel it any more.  By the time I didn’t feel it, the insert was over an inch from the heel, but it shifted the weight as expected, so I think its still ok.  Perhaps they’ll read this post and correct me if I’m wrong.  And apparently today they launched a new line called “Couture” insoles that form to the left and right feet, where the ones I bought are interchangeable.

Overall I’d say both of these products work well separately and also together.  If you’re a bride looking for a solution for your Jimmy Choo’s I’d say go with the Vivian Lou first and spend about $30 for what could be just what you need.  You can only use them in one pair of shoes, so you have to buy a set for each pair.  The Good Feet are VERY expensive, but can be moved from shoe to shoe, so you only have to buy one set.  I’d only recommend those if you’re in every-day pain, like I was.  In that case its worth every penny!

Now I just need someplace to go in my comfy leopard heels!…

All About Events and its represenatives were not compensated in any way for this review.

To learn about our wedding planning packages and pricing, visit www.allaboutevents.net/weddings!

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Top 10 Things DIY Brides and Grooms Forget

DIY Wedding Couple

We all forget things. Its perfectly understandable that with all that’s going on in your head while you’re packing for your wedding weekend, the DIY wedding couple will forget some things…even some really important things.  Here is a list of what I’ve found to be the most often forgotten items from 10+ years of wedding planning.  And then a little lagniappe list just for giggles…

  1. Marriage license
  2. Passports (for honeymoon travel)
  3. Birth Certificates (to get the marriage license)
  4. Tips (Don’t know who to tip? Check out my To Tip or Not To Tip post!)
  5. Sign in Book (or sign in item) and the pen or markers to go with it (I guess this could be considered two things, but that would make this a list of 11 items and my OCD side won’t allow that!)
  6. Cake knife set
  7. Box or container for cards
  8. Garter
  9. Toss Bouquet
  10. Rings

And a list of not-so-common but real-life moments when items you think you’d never forget were forgotten:

  • Bride or bridesmaid shoes
  • bride’s makeup
  • groom’s pants
  • bridesmaid’s skirt
  • drum sticks (this was the drummer in the band that the bride hired, not the bride, but still…)

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Last week’s Second Line Umbrella’s were a hit!

One of the fun and creative things I get to do in my job is make second line umbrellas.  I talk to each couple about their colors, any special symbols or meaningful markings, and what style they feel suits them best.  These two umbrellas are very different, as you can see!  One is for a wedding couple and one is for a corporate event.  The couple used the graphic from a favorite movie as part of their wedding photo.  I was able to take that image and print it on fabric transfers to add it to their umbrella.  The corporate client’s company colors were “blue and white with pops of teal”. I used the ribbon and accoutrements to fit in with their signature colors.

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Check out Instagram @allabouteventsnola to see more photos from these events

and let me know if I can create a custom umbrella for you!

5 STARS for our Second Line!

We had such a great time planning this lovely couple’s second line!  Looks like they had fun too!

posted 6/6/2017 (updated 6/6/2017)

“All About Events was so pleasant to work with! Carolyn was prompt to contact us and so friendly. Our requests for the second line route and hankie design was completely honored. Carolyn also made us a beautiful umbrella based on our wedding theme. The second line was the most memorable part of our celebration and All About Events made it possible!”

5 Tips for Choosing your Wedding Venue

Your wedding venue choice is a multi-layer decision.  How many people? Indoor or outdoor? Turn-key or DIY?….here’s a handy list of 5 tips to help you narrow down the prospects:

1. How many people are you inviting? Assume 80-85% of those guests will attend (applies to New Orleans weddings).

2. Do you want a chair for everyone? Most people outside of New Orleans have sit-down dinners for all or part of their reception.  Are your guests traveling to the city? Will they be lost without a seat? If so, you can have a chair for everyone but have open seating to keep the mood light.  (the NOLA tradition is to have only 60% seating and high boys for the rest).  Some venues include tables and chairs.

3. Do you want an indoor, outdoor, or combination wedding? In New Orleans you ALWAYS need a rain plain.  There is no safe month from showers.

4. Do you want amplified music? Some venues have limits on how loud and how late your music can be, so get those guidelines in advance, before you fall in love with a space.

5. How much can you afford? To figure that out, take the budget for the wedding (average $150pp in New Orleans, but it can be done for less) and multiply that by 35%.  This is the average portion of a wedding budget that’s spent on the catering and bar.  If your venue is charging a room rental fee on top of food and beverage, or if it allows outside catering and only charges for the room, you need to take the venue rental fee out of your budget and use the remaining as your bottom line. Now that you have your catering and bar number, is it enough to fit with the options your dream venue provides?

 Those are my top 5 tips for choosing your wedding venue. Happy Planning!
Our full-service planning package includes venue selection.
Check out our wedding planning packages and pricing!
http://allaboutevents.net/weddings/

 

5 Things NOT to do at an Outdoor Wedding

Outdoor weddings can be beautiful, especially in the Fall, but don’t believe everything you see on pinterest!  In the south, there are some things you have to watch out for and eliminate. Here are some lessons learned from a recent outdoor wedding we did at a Lake House in Mississippi:

1. Do NOT forget that it will most likely be daytime when your guests arrive! Have cold water available for guests as they wait for the ceremony to start. In the South, at least, it can still be very hot during the day.  Make sure you keep your guests hydrated with iced water.  If its feasible, provide shaded areas over your ceremony seating and hand fans or parasols if shade is not an option.

2. Do NOT forget to mic your officiant. No matter how loud you think he can project, wind and outdoor noises will drown out his voice…and yours when you’re saying your vows!

3. Do NOT forget to have bug spray available for guests.  You can tuck cans of it in baskets in the restrooms and in spots that photos won’t catch them in the background.

4. Do NOT assume you are immune to wind. Stay away from tall floral centerpieces if its windy outside.  They will fall over. So will pipe and drape.  Instead, if you want a tall element, use sculptures or tall, heavy cylinder glass with low floating candles and flowers.

5. Do NOT place your cake outdoors. This is the one everyone hates to hear, but just don’t do it!  If you need bug spray to keep the mosquitoes off of your guests, the cake needs protection too.  To prove this point, here is a photo, taken about an hour after it got dark at our last outdoor wedding.  Note:  this cake has butter cream icing. The Groom’s cake was fondant and bugs did not stick to it, but it did sweat.  So unless you like your cake with a side of West Nile, keep it indoors.

So gross. How did we handle this???

Most cakes have a pretty thick icing layer.  

When we cut the cake, we took the smooth edge of the knife and 

scraped off the outermost portion of icing, then served the cake bug-free.

We Were the Couple’s Choice for 2016!

The WeddingWire Couples’ Choice Awards recognize the top 5% of local wedding professionals on WeddingWire that demonstrate excellence in quality, service, responsiveness, and professionalism. Winners are selected solely based on reviews from over 1.2 million newlyweds and are determined by a combination of excellence in four factors: overall rating, total number of reviews, review performance from 2016, and consistency of reviews from year to year.

Thank you to all of our staff, vendors and amazing clients!