Weddings in the South are rife with distinctively deep-rooted traditions. From burying bottles of bourbon at the ceremony site to layering ribboned charms into the bottom of the wedding cake—there are no shortages of charming rituals to choose from. Generations have handed down these time-honored traditions that do everything from protect against rain on the wedding day to predicting the future of the bridal party. What Southern customs will you incorporate into your Big Day?
1. BURY THE BOURBON
Hoping to the keep rain away on your wedding day? Then it is time to bury the bourbon. As the folklore goes, the key to a rain-free wedding day lies in this well placed bottle of spirits. Take note, the bottle must be full and buried upside down at the ceremony site exactly one month prior to tying the knot.
2. SECOND LINE
This Southern custom has its roots stemming from the Big Easy. The New Orleans based tradition involves the bride, groom, wedding party and guests parading, brass band style, from the ceremony to the reception in celebration of the “I do’s.”
3. CAKE PULLS
If you are ready to foretell the future of your bridesmaids, cake pulls will do the trick. The ribbon laden charms are placed in the wedding cake for each member of the bridal party to pull out. Each darling prophetic charm has a separate meaning and is believed to reveal the fate for each member of the bride tribe.
- Ring: Soon to be Engaged
- Airplane: Exotic Travel is in the Near Future
- Highchair: Blessed with Children
- Four Leaf Clover: Always Lucky
- Owl: Full of Wisdom and Intuition
- Rocker: Blessed with a Long Life
- Heart: Lucky in Love
- Ballet Shoes: Dances Through Life
- Tiara: Forever the Princess
If this tradition tickles your fancy, find these sweet pulls at Croghan’s Jewel Box.
4. BRIDAL BRUNCH
This pre-wedding luncheon practice gives the bride time to spend with her bridesmaids, family and friends before all of the Big Day festivities commence. Often, brides choose this time to bestow gifts to each of member of their bridal party as a token of appreciation. Inspired to find the the perfect bridesmaid gift? Look to Gold Creations, Spartina 449 or these other local spots.
5. BRIDAL PORTRAIT
What bride wants to miss the opportunity to wear her wedding dress twice? Traditionally, brides in the South will have a “run-though” with their hair and makeup, so why not also don the gown and capture some solo pictures? Most brides choose to use the bridal portraits as part of their wedding reception décor.
6. BRING ON THE SEERSUCKER
It is no secret that summers in the South can be toasty. Seersucker clad grooms and groomsmen can beat the heat and be dapper too! This lightweight and stylish look is a perfect way to stay cool for any summertime Southern soirée. Ready to outfit your groom? Stop at Charleston Formal Wear at Berlins for Men, M.Dumas and Sons or Ben Silver, and don’t forget the Brackish bowtie.
7. POUNDING PARTY
This housewarming party can literally be measured by the pound! Friends and families gather to shower the soon-to-be wed couple with staples for their new pantry such as flour, sugar, butter and eggs.
Charleston Wedding Guide Preferred Vendors
Images by Ava Moore Photography (bridesmaid brunch & Seersucker ) | Dana Cubbage (bridal portrait) | Venues: Charleston City Market (feature image) | Legare Waring House (cake) | Boone Hall Plantation (bridesmaids & bride) | Cannon Green (pounding party) | Croghan’s Jewel Box | Gold Creations | Spartina 449 | Charleston Formal Wear at Berlins for Men | M.Dumas and Sons | Ben Silver | Brackish
For More Charleston Wedding Inspiration Follow Along
Images by Evan Laettner (Charleston City Market) | Anne Rhett Photography (bourbon) | Sean and Elizabeth Money (parade) | Eric Kelley (pounding party)
Ready to plan your Lowcountry wedding? Request your free Charleston Wedding Guide and start planning your Big Day in Condé Nast Traveler‘s #1 “Friendliest City in America”