We think it’s time we looked at a few more wedding traditions from around the world and today we’re concentrating on the USA’s South. Weddings here certainly have their own distinct customs- some of which I’d never come across before. Hope y’all enjoy reading about these southern belle wedding traditions as much as I did!

Southern Wedding Traditions Manor in the South

Burying the Bourbon

This is not technically an on-the-day wedding tradition but it is one that I thought we might adapt here in Ireland as it could be quite useful. Exactly one month before the ceremony, bury a bottle of bourbon on the site where the couple are to be married. The bottle must be full and also buried upside down. Now get this: according to Southern folklore, if you carry out this plan, it won’t rain on the wedding day. I will definitely be trying this (and if it doesn’t work I’ll be digging back up that bottle!)

Southern Belle Wedding Traditions Burying the Bourbon

Southern Drinks

Speaking of bourbon, Southern-style drinks are a must at any wedding here. Sweet iced tea (or just ‘tea’ as the Southerners call it), lemonade, cherry lemonade, bourbon cocktails, mint juleps-delicious on a hot day. The cupcakes below are actually mint julep cupcakes which I want very much.

Southern Belle Wedding Traditions Mint Julep

Wedding Outdoors

Southern sunshine makes a great excuse to celebrate outside, which is exactly what many Southern couples do. Of course the fact that there are beautiful mansions aplenty and lovely Spanish Moss-endowed trees in parts helps too!

Southern Belle Wedding Traditions OutdoorsSouthern Belle Wedding Traditions Outdoors

Groom’s Cake

The tradition of the groom’s cake dates from Victorian times when it was a gift from bride to groom. This charming custom has been making a comeback in recent years. It is a way for the bride to give a little attention to the groom on a day that is otherwise mostly about her. Often the bride will have the groom’s cake made to reflect an aspect of the groom’s personality or taste.

Southern Belle Wedding Traditions The Grooms Cake

Usually displayed at a separate table, the groom’s cake can sometimes (style permitting!) form one tier of the main cake. Nowadays it is often eaten at the rehearsal dinner. In older times it would be soaked in liquor and part would be wrapped up and stored to enjoy on the first anniversary. Back then pieces would be given to the single lady guests, due to the custom of bringing it home and slipping it under their pillow, whereupon they would supposedly dream of the man they would marry.

Monogrammed Linens/Handkerchiefs

Southern Belle Wedding Traditions Monogrammed Handkerchief

There is a custom in the South that the wedding party has their linen monogrammed as a way of marking the day. Handkerchiefs are often carried in case of any emotional moments, and to wave during the Second Line! (see below)

Southern Belle Wedding Traditions Embroidered Handkerchiefs


The hot Southern sun can get to a girl on her wedding day, especially if she is having her ceremony outdoors. Parasols come in handy to shade the bride and keep her cool. They also are to be twirled during the Second Line (next up).

Southern Belle Wedding Traditions Parasol


Second Line

Originating in New Orleans, the ‘second line’ is the crowd which follows a moving band to enjoy the music while dancing and twirling handkerchiefs or parasols as they go along. When this is done at a wedding- sometimes from the church to the reception- the band and all the guests follow the bride and groom instead as the whole wedding party dances along. I bet this is a sight to behold!

Southern Belle Wedding Traditions The Second Line

Cake Pull

Again dating from Victorian England, luck charms are placed inside the bottom layer of the cake with ribbons attached. The single ladies and/or bridesmaids then pull these out before the cake is cut, each receiving a charm with a different meaning.

Southern Belle Wedding Traditions Cake Pull

Here are some of the charms and what they symbolise:

Ring: next to be married; Star: dreams will come true; Rocking Chair: Longevity; Anchor: adventure; Flower: blossoming love; Heart: new love on way; Wishbone: success; Eiffel Tower: travel, Four-Leaf Clover: luck; Fleur de Lis: love and prosperity; Butterfly: eternal beauty; Claddagh: friendship and loyalty; Kite: fun on horizon; Wreath: a happy home; Scull: imminent death.

Only kidding about the last one.

Image Credits; Ulmer Studios via Green Wedding Shoes | Burying the bourbon:  Jodi Miller Photography via Southern Weddings | Drinks: A Sweet Pea ChefHostess with the MostestWhole Foods Market | Outdoors:  Paige Newton Photography via Southern WeddingsBrooke Images via Grey Likes Weddings | Groom’s cake: Laurie Carpenter Photography via Savvy Deets Bridal |Monogrammed linen:  Lindsey Cahill Photography via Style Me PrettyCali Ashton Photography via Estate Weddings and Events | Parasols:   Adeline and Grace Photography via Style Me Pretty | Second line:  Jennifer WhalenDocuvitae via Style Me Pretty | Cake pull: Destination Wedding


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