Southern wedding traditions may have a long history for Southern brides but that doesn’t mean they aren’t great for every couple. Whether you are getting married in Alabama or Arizona, Connecticut or Colorado, these wedding traditions from the south are the perfect addition to your special day. We're giving you (almost) a full A through Z list of southern wedding traditions to try.
A-Z of Southern Wedding Traditions
- Attire. Bowties, seersucker, and matching bridesmaid dresses all make up key parts of the attire for a southern wedding.
- Bridal portraits. These are incredible for everyone! Such a good time to try out your dress, hair/makeup look and bridal bouquet. Plus, it’s just fun! These pictures take place weeks before the wedding and are perfect for building a relationship with your wedding photographer.
- Cake pulls. Especially popular in certain areas of the south, cake pulls are ribbons that are baked right into the bottom layer of the cake. The ribbons are tied to hidden charms. The single women pull the ribbon of their choice to help tell their future.
- Diamond rings. Diamonds have always signified opulence and luxury. In the south, many couples still opt for diamond rings rather than alternatives.
- Embroidered monograms. When it comes to wedding traditions in the south, embroidered monograms are found just about everywhere from the pocket squares and handkerchiefs to the aisle runner and tablecloths.
- Father of the groom as the best man. Many grooms choose their father as their best man in the South. While it’s certainly not required, it can be a great pick if groom and dad are super close.
- Groom’s cake. These fun cakes showcase the groom a bit on wedding day. Make it something that he loves: favorite football team, favorite food, favorite pastime. The list goes on and on so have some fun with it!
- Here comes the bride. The Bridal Chorus by Richard Wagner, commonly known as Here Comes the Bride, is still a traditional choice for brides in the south.
- Iced tea. We’re talking sweet-as-pie iced tea, and plenty to go around!
- June weddings. June is still the most popular wedding month in the south, followed closely by May. Couples often avoid July due to the heat, so for many in the south, June is the last month before fall to comfortably wed outdoors.
- Khaki. Or tan, or beige, whatever you want to call it, the groom is probably wearing it. Light-colored wedding suits, often made of seersucker, are perfect for southern grooms and groomsmen.
- Luncheon for bridesmaids. A good way to thank your ‘maids and your female family members for everything they did during your engagement. The luncheon is typically hosted the Friday before your wedding.
- Maid and matron of honor. Southern wedding parties are big and it’s amazing! By having a maid and matron (or even two maids) of honor, you get a chance to honor two important ladies to you instead of just one.
- No first look. While couples in many regions are embracing the “first look,” those in the south often tend to keep the wedding dress a surprise until the bride walks down the aisle.
- Outdoor weddings. Southern couples often take advantage of the warm weather and host outdoor weddings year-round.
- Parasols for the ladies. Summer in the south is hot, and with outdoor weddings, it’s vital to catch some shade wherever you can. Often the bride, bridesmaids, mothers, and grandmothers will carry decorative parasols.
- Quaint decorations. Often southern couples will tie in casual fabrics and textures such as burlap or plaid to create a quaint yet elegant event.
- Rice throwing. Some places throw confetti, others birdseed. In the south, it’s common to throw rice at the newlyweds.
- Southern comfort food. Shrimp and grits, BBQ ribs, and a low-country boil all make the cut for appropriate southern wedding food.
- Tiered cakes. The bigger the better. Multiple tiers of delicious wedding cake always make a southern wedding special.
- Upside down bourbon bottle. Ever heard of burying the bourbon? In southern folklore, you can guarantee good weather on your wedding day by burying a full bottle of bourbon, upside down, at your wedding venue a month before the wedding.
- Very large wedding parties. It’s not uncommon for southern couples to include not only best friends in the wedding party, but also siblings, cousins, and other relatives. You might even see junior bridesmaids – typically a younger cousin who is a little too old to be a flower girl, but not quite old enough to qualify as a bridesmaid.
- Wedding shower. You’re probably thinking wedding parties don’t just happen in the south! But what about a pounding party? A pounding party is a traditional southern wedding shower where the bride is gifted with a pound of pantry staples: flour, rice, sugar, butter – you name it!
- X, Y, and Z: Alright, these ones were a little hard to come up with! Maybe this is where you can make your own southern wedding traditions! Xylophone player, Yodelers, and of course, the Zebra and carriage entrance could all be contenders.
Plan your Wedding with Bustld
Bustld is based in the south, so we know a thing or two about southern wedding traditions. Be sure to book your wedding planner through our site so they can help you incorporate all of the special traditions into your big day!
**Photo and cake from Nona's Sweets Bakery Cafe