6 Charming Wedding Traditions From the South

Discover wedding customs that have their origins in the American South.

The American South is known for being an especially traditional place with its own unique culture. Therefore, it should come as no surprise that the region is the home to several wedding customs. Some of these traditions are ones you may not have ever heard of, while the origin of other customs may surprise you. While some of these traditions are rooted in superstition, others are of a more practical nature due to the climate of the South. Take a look at six Southern wedding traditions below:

bridal bouquet of magnolia flowers and leaves, southern wedding traditions
Photo by Patricia Lyons Photography

- Groom’s Cake. With the main wedding cake being considered the “bride’s cake” and typically decorated to match the event décor, the bride will have a cake made that is meant to showcase the groom’s hobbies or talents. They are often elaborately decorated. See some examples here.

- Light-Colored Suits. This one is rather easy to explain. With the sun and humidity in the South, as well as the popularity of outdoor nuptials, men wear suits in lighter hues in order to beat the heat.

-  Bridal Portraits. Though almost seen as a given nowadays, the tradition of special photos of the bride in her wedding-day ensemble started in the South back when photographers covering the whole day were not commonplace. Learn more about bridal portraits here.

- Burying the Bourbon. Said to guarantee clear skies, the soon-to-be-married couple is supposed to bury a full bottle of bourbon upside down on the grounds where the wedding will be held, one month prior to the big day. Considering the summer showers seen in the southern states, it’s easy to understand why future newlyweds go for this superstition! 

- Parasols. Another way to protect against the Southern sun, the bride and her bridesmaids will often walk down the aisle carrying charming parasols. Barring that, they are also common for photos with the wedding party. 

- Cake Pull. Most popular in the New Orleans area, this tradition actually dates back to the Victorian era but has blossomed in the South. Silver charms are attached to ribbons and hidden between layers of the wedding cake. Before the cake cutting, single women or the bridesmaids select a ribbon to pull, and the charm they receive is an omen of their future. 

Do you plan to incorporate any of these wedding traditions on your big day? Let us know! Click here to discover ways to add charming details to your sweet Southern wedding, and view popular Texas wedding traditions!

Authored by: Emily Lasnier