July 19, 2012

Celebrating Southern: Weddings and Parties

Is it really Thursday already? This week has really flown by. We are now in day 4 of the Celebrating Southern week that the lovely Leslie @ A Blonde Ambition has created as a way for all of us bloggers to link up and discover each other's traditions, and find new blogs to read. Thanks Leslie!

If you missed my other topics prior to today just click the follow topics and check them out. 
Celebrating Southern:  Hair and Make-up, Food and Drink, Game Day Fashion! Today is all about Southern Wedding and Party traditions. Again, as a Northerner, I will write from my point of view, what I love about Southern Weddings and parties! Enjoy!

Southern Weddings

I'm proud to say that even though I'm not from the South, I did have a wedding that I think any Southern girl may be a bit proud of. My theme, or plan was to throw a wedding that felt like a party in your Grandmother's garden. I wanted to be outdoors and close to nature and thus chose a wedding in October, NOT the Summer. I would never torture my maids or groomesmen in this heat. It's hard enough for me to stay fresh faced on a daily basis let alone while dressed in heels and lugging around a 20 lbs dress (not sure how much my dress weighed but it was heavy). My wedding was down home, complete with Southern food, drinks and lots of love, family and friends. I wanted everyone to feel at home and from what most tell me, they did. I used a few Southern staples in my wedding day, and thought I'd share those things and a few others I think are primarily a Southern tradition.

Whether used for decor or functionality they are the perfect Southern touch to any wedding! I used them on my tables, filled with coffee beans and small tealights. Note: Don't try this on your wedding day unless you soak the beans in water OR use a glass votive candle inside the jar, then surround it with the beans. Once the tealights reached the bottom of their wick, they started to catch the beans on fire. Yep... total faux pas at my wedding. I had a dear friend alert me and then quickly asked him to blow out all the candles. Whoopsie!
Yes, you read correctly. Oh how I wanted to do these, at least for my Save the Dates. It is a time consuming and rather expensive, all be it impressive way to get your message out. Bonus they double as a hanky you could take to the ceremony. I had also thought about doing these and using them as wedding programs.

I'm not just talking "Something Old" here, I'm taking celebrating family, tradition and history. I would have done this regardless of where I got married but I do feel like the South has a true way of holding on the past and showcasing it especially at special events. I love seeing all the weddings in magazines where brides have used their family's dishes, or collected old china and mixed and matched it for their guests. Old record players items such as these always put a smile on my face. I loved antiques before it became "trendy". I was raised in a home where Antiques decorated the walls so it wasn't unusual for me to use them in my personal decor for my wedding day.

This image makes my heart sing - SO fun, lovely and mixed and matched!
via pinterest
I can't say I've ever seen this in the North but to be fair, I haven't been to a wedding that was in the North in quite a long time. My last friend in MD to get married was married at the beach [Hi Salt!], and they don't do boots at the beach. I had contemplated having my girls wear boots, not cowboy mind you, but boots for our Fall wedding but instead figured it would be more practical to have them pick heels they really liked. I had all my girls were different dresses of the same shade, and different heels of the same shade. But I love, love, love the BOOT look. Double points if you're marrying a real cowboy, or are a real cowgirl yourself. Note: I also love the non-conventional bridesmaid dresses and the wedding at a barn, LOVE!
via pinterest
My hubby and I came up with signature cocktails for our big day. I don't know if this is especially Southern BUT I do think it was a highlight of the evening. We wanted a down home feel so I chose "Buttered Pancakes" and his was a "Peppered Stag". Very tasty and a nice little touch to our big day. Below is the actual drink menu I created for our special day!
via my crafty graphic designer ways!
To me, this is by far as Southern as it gets! When I was younger I didn't plan my wedding years in advance but I did long for the day I could get married and create a cake for my husband. I totally blame the movie Steel Magnolias. This is where I got my inspiration for the dream of having a Groom's cake. Most girls dream of their wedding cake, and yes, I was excited to create the look and feel of my cake, but Mike's cake was what made me totally excited. I decided to surprise him with his cake. I worked up a sketch for the baker and she made my creation come to life. I was SO over the moon about it I could hardly wait to see his face. He loved it and it's SO us! [Read about cake details here] I can honestly say I've never been to a Northern wedding where there was a groom's cake. Mike's brother got married and his table was fun, full of mini chocolate pies just like his mother makes every Thanksgiving. P.S. Chocolate Pie is another food I never had until I moved to the South. I think grooms really get the shaft when it comes to the wedding day. It's their day too so giving a dude a cake to me, is top shelf. Add to it their favorite cocktail (or soda if they don't drink) on their wedding day you've got a happy dude! His cake is below, the perfect rocking cake for my favorite rocking man - complete with superhero candy, SO him!

via turned up to eleven!
I will say that the South is probably more proper, and more formal vs. the North. Not saying that some Northern Brides don't relish in ordering fine stationery for their wedding day, or letterpress mind you, but on average I think more Southern ladies order the finest letterpress stationery and the loveliest invitations. Most are traditional, with very little modern flare and all Southern Belles are sure to make their cards something their elders would approve of. I for one designed my own invitations, and all printed material that went into our special day with my husband's help (we are both graphic designers). Most women would frown upon that here. I work at a printing company and we see all kinds of Brides that come into our office, 80% of these ladies order Crane invitations, or something super fancy with all the trimmings. I admire women so deeply rooted in tradition and being proper. I for one need a guide book to make sure things are just as they need to be written for these invitations. I love fine stationery and when given the chance to order it, or create it myself I always love it. I love old fonts, scripts and how lovely a Bride and Grooms names will look together. Hand in hand with formal invitations is hand written calligraphy to address your envelopes. We have a woman that we use at our company and her penmanship blows me away. It's SO lovely!!! If you can afford it, I do feel like it's an extremely wonderful touch.
via pinterest
Bottom line, your wedding day is all about you and the person of your dreams. It celebrates love, and family and the joining of two families together. I had a blast throwing my own Southern wedding, even as a Yankee. And all my Yankee friends had a blast in Alabama. That to me was the second best feeling of the day, knowing everyone from all different sides of the US had fun on our special day. The most important feeling? Marrying the man of my dreams!
me, the happiest bride on earth!

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Sara @ Russet Street Reno said...

Cool post, that groom cake is amazing!

Allyson said...

The ONLY part about my wedding that I would do differently is to conclude a groom's cake. I totally forgot. #SouthernGirlFail

wedding planning education said...

Nice Photos and Blogs I Like It

wedding planning education

Lauren said...

Love the story about the mason jar!! :)

Candice said...

Very cool. I wish I was more of a girly girl. I couldn't have cared less about planning my wedding, so I just did a simple destination wedding in lake Tahoe.

Easy and simple.

Your big day was beautiful.

Casey @ Classic with a Pop said...

I bet it was GORGEOUS. I had no idea about the coffee beans catching on fire! But I suppose it makes sense...oh well, hindsight is 20/20 :) Your signature cocktails sounds amazing. Like, I might want to recreate them this weekend amazing. My wedding (shockingly) was about as far from traditional Southern as you can get - early morning ceremony on our favorite beach here in FL, followed by a luncheon reception with light cocktails and a swing band :)

Crazy Shenanigans-JMO said...

I LOVE the necklace that you wore!

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