PHOTO BY Adornment Photo
BY LAUREN SEPHTON
From generation to generation, there are wedding traditions that have been handed down over the years that you’ll only find in the south. These tiny details that spotlight the more important moments make all the difference. Cultivating a timeless, heartwarming, meaningful and priceless wedding day ahead.
- Outdoor Wedding Ceremony
From floral gardens to a canopy of Spanish moss-covered oaks to the front lawn of beautiful estates, the south’s greenery has long captured the hearts and eyes of southern belles. Outdoor wedding ceremonies are a champion of all southern wedding traditions. However, the south is never shy to bring a little chaos to the planning. Your wedding in April may be trying to hold off the rain, while your wedding in August may be fighting back the heat.
- Southern Comfort
The south lacks comfort foods in no manner of speaking, especially when it comes to gathering friends and family together in celebration. Traditional southern cooking that is oh-so mouth-watering often includes quail with a blackberry sauce, pulled pork, bread pudding, oyster roast, baked chicken, fried green tomatoes, collard greens, peach cobblers, shrimp and grits, and jambalaya.
- Late-Night Dancing
Dancing is in the heart, soul and DNA of true southerners. From impromptu dancing in the streets to light-hearted fun at home, you’ll often find the south bold with dance moves. Southern weddings often include some swing dancing, square dancing, line dancing, two-step, contra dancing and/or the waltz. Of course, there is always a little freestyling to bring out the laughter in the room.
- Precious Heirlooms
“Something new, something old, something borrowed, something blue.” This saying stretches far beyond the south; however, southern brides often incorporate generation-old family heirlooms that bring heritage to their weddings. For instance, southern brides often wrap their floral bouquet in a sentimental family bracelet or necklace. One southern bride used her dear grandmother’s antique velvet chairs, which had been in the family for more than 100 years, for her bridal portraits. Later, the whole family joyfully gathered around the venue’s fireplace as they filled the room with laughter and enjoyed the 1800s seating that brought back fond memories.
- Stylish Groomsmen
It is no surprise that summers in the south can get pretty toasty. Outside of the heat, southern weddings traditionally feature their groomsmen in light-colored or seersucker suits. The lightweight material keeps the groomsmen cool.
- Grandma’s Pearls
Southern brides often know how to keep their appearance timeless and beautiful, incorporating their own style with hints of tradition. Ranging from a bride’s wedding dress, jewelry, wedding cake and groomsmen attire, the heart of Dixie has no limit when it comes to a southern belle’s pearls. Plus, pearls are always on-trend in the south. The secret beauty behind pearls is that the bride can wear them whenever her heart desires for the rest of her life, a little bit of timeless memoir. Similarly, if you go wedding dress shopping with Grandma, you may find yourself in the lacey, long-sleeve department.
- Pig Roast & Toast
Although a pig pickin’ is always a good time year-round, you’ll most often find them at a southern rehearsal dinner as they gather the whole crowd together around the barbecuing of a whole hog. To complement the savory, you may find yourself indulging in a cake slice of sweet mandarin orange goodness.
- Hidden Meanings Behind Mason Jars
From drinking glasses to filling them with twinkling lights or bright florals, Mason jars can be easily spotted at most southern weddings. This southern wedding tradition often comes with hidden meanings that bring the bride and/or groom happy thoughts on their special day. For instance, a bride grew up with her father making homemade blackberry and lemon jam during the summer months. For her wedding, the bride placed a Mason jar filled with summer wildflowers on each reception table. As she walked around the room that evening, she was filled with joy that there was history not only in the making but also incorporated in the planning.
Southern weddings are infused with little touches of family history and heritage that bring a new sense of life to these traditions. Planning not only with their eyes, but with their heart and soul, as well.