Top Southern Wedding Traditions

We love all things southern here at Grand Ol Barn. Being located in New Smyrna Beach, FL may not feel like the south to some, but for those of us who live here, we know the truth- our tea is just as sweet as anywhere else in the south and we say y'all more than we can count in a day.

So, of course, we fully support Southern Style weddings of every kind! If you've been wondering how you can honor the south at your wedding, read on!

Wedding Prep 

Here are the southern wedding traditions that happen during the wedding prep stage. 

Large Wedding Parties 

Invite all your friends! Go big or go home! The more the merrier!  Having loads of friends involved on the wedding day means you have plenty of people to lend a hand, celebrate & support you. Having a large wedding party is a

Bridal Luncheon 

Aka a bridesmaids luncheon! This tradition is a gathering of the gals that allows you to celebrate & reminisce. Keep in mind, this isn’t for receiving gifts- this is hosted by the bride for her ladies as a thank you.  The guest list is limited to the members of your wedding party. Not sure when to host? It’s best done the week of the wedding, but we know the planning schedule can be hectic! It could also work well around your bachelorette festivities, a few weeks following your bridal shower or the morning of the big day! 

Cake Pulls

If you’ve never heard of this tradition, it may be one of the most fun! The cake pull is a fortune-telling game of sorts, there are ribbons buried in the cake that members of the bridal party pull out of the cake with a prediction for the future. 

Burying the Bourbon 

Bourbon Bottle

Rain, rain go away! One month before the big day, bury an unopened, bottle of bourbon, upside down, at your wedding venue.  Dig it up on the wedding day and enjoy with your bridal party. 

Bridal Portrait Session

Get yourself gussied up and get your picture made (as our grandma would say).  This is an opportunity to soak up the bridal feeling. Get your hair + makeup done as you would on the wedding day (trail day is perfect), slip into your dress and have solo photos taken. These portraits will be in your family for years to come and you’ll look upon them fondly in your later years. 

Pounding Party

Okay, we’ll admit. This one might raise an eyebrow or two if you haven’t heard of it. But if you have a southern family member that is over the age of 50, we can almost guarantee that they have! The pounding party is similar to stock-the-bar, where guests bring pounds of staple pantry ingredients, such as butter, flour, sugar, etc. 

Part of the Ceremony 

It’s time for your vows! These wedding ceremony traditions are quintessentially southern. But they’re also wonderful celebrations of love!

Jumping the broom

Literally! Although this tradition has become more popular among the African American community over the last 40 years, it’s said that jumping the broom brings more validity to your marriage. We think it’s fun and adds an extra layer of personality to vows

Foot washing

This is more popular in Christian wedding ceremonies, as Jesus cleansed the feet of his disciples. In short,  this ceremony is meant to put you both on “even footing” and allows you to begin fresh.  

Ring warming

In the ring warming ceremony, each guest briefly holds your wedding band before or during your ceremony, bestowing their blessings and good luck to your marriage.  We love the simplicity of this ceremony! Having a strong support system is key to a successful marriage and this ceremony allows your guests to show you that they are there for you & care deeply about your love. 

Unity Candle

The symbolism of the unity candle ceremony is two becoming one. One flame does not die by lighting another, but together, you shine brighter.  Many couples will have their parents partake, as a way to recognize that you’re joining two lives (and families) together. 

 Food Related 

Ever heard that silly phrase, put the south in your mouth?  Well, it’s because southern fare is some of the finest out there! Nothing says comfort quite like food. 

Southern Menus are often requested because it’s hard to say no to comfort food! From BBQ to biscuits, a hearty meal is 100% a southern tradition. Nobody leaves mamas house hungry! Not sure you’re up for pulled pork, baked beans and cornbread? How about chicken and waffles? Or Mac n Cheese? There are so many caters that can work miracles & complete makeovers with just an idea. So if you want southern fare that doesn’t feel heavy, but is filling and fun, use your love of fried chicken as inspiration and then let your caterer create something utterly delicious! Chocolate Groom's Cake

Don’t forget the Groom’s Cake. Often decorated in a more “masculine” style or served in an unusual or rich flavor (chocolate, red velvet), the groom’s cake is an alternative dessert selection that pays respects to a groom’s personality or favorite hobby or sports team. They work great for the super popular dessert displays too! 

Decor/Design Related

Cascading Bouquet

  • Oversized Flower Bouquets (YES! Cascading bouquets all day, every day)

  • Parasols for the Bridal Party

  • Seersucker

  • Bowtie 

  • Feminine Details, such as pearls & lace

  • Monograms

When it’s all said and done 

Bride and groom Thank You Photo

Say Thank You

Thank you notes aren’t just good etiquette. It’s what any southern couple would do because of the love & affection they have for their friends and family. 

We hope that you’ve loved reading through these southern wedding traditions! Whatever you choose to incorporate in your day, we know it’s going to be perfect for you! 

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