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How to Tell If You’re at a Southern Wedding
Aug 24/16

How to Tell If You’re at a Southern Wedding Posted by: Aaron Stearns | 2 Comments


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The wedding industry in America generates billions of dollars annually, and the South certainly has its share of extravagance. Whether your wedding was a formal affair with a sit-down dinner and dancing, or one a few close friends and family helped you organize, there are a few things Southern weddings have in common. Consider these:

Unity candle
This tradition is just a few decades old, but when Southerners start a tradition, we stick to it. Usually toward the beginning of the event, the mothers of the bride and groom light two taper candles and place in holders. Later in the ceremony, the bride and groom take the tapers and light one pillar candle, which symbolizes the joining of two families.

Sherbet punch
What do you get when you mix ginger ale with frozen concentrated juice and a half-gallon of sherbet? The most delicious punch young and old alike devour. The flavors are only limited by your imagination: orange, lime, raspberry, strawberry. Served in a cut-glass punch bowl or a dollar store plastic serving dish, it’s all good.

Half-up/half-down hair
Big hair will always be in style in the South. For the wedding day, brides, bridesmaids, mothers of the bride and even some flower girls will have artfully-arranged top knots with gently-curling tendrils falling around their shoulders. It’s a rule.

And lots and lots of it. Think bridal veil, décor, favors. If your wedding is a dream, tulle is the illusion that wraps it all up.

Butter mints and mixed nuts
You may have new fusion cuisine at your formal dinner reception and a five-tier cake, but you also will have a dish set aside just for pillowy butter mints and a scattering of pecans, peanuts, Brazil nuts and almonds. And, they will be gone by the time your guests are throwing rice.

Crying babies
Yes, someone will bring her baby. Yes, someone will tell you how good that baby is and how she just sleeps all the time. Yes, that baby will cry, most likely during the vows.

Collegiate mascot groom’s cake
We’re religious in the South, and that religion is collegiate sports. Whether you worship at the altar of Auburn or Arkansas, odds are the groom’s cake will be in the shape of or decorated like an elephant, razorback, longhorn or bulldog. If it’s not a collegiate mascot, rest assured it’ll be a chocolate-flavored hunting cake.

Speaking of religion, if you schedule your big day on game day, be prepared for your wedding party (and attendees) to be tuning in. While your wedding day is your priority, college sports always comes first in the hearts of die-hard Southerners.


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Judy Long on August 25 2016 at 11:24PM

Brings back my earliest wedding memories as a child through those most recent. Smiled as I read these wonderful comments because they are so true! Nuts and butter mints for every occasion.

Christina Swaney on August 24 2016 at 04:10PM

My Dad told his 5 daughter and 3 sons that there would be no weddings during the OHIO STATE BUCKEYE FOOTBALL season….OR BIRTHS OF GRANDCHILDREN… weddings…and 21 grandchildren….none born on Saturday during the Buckeye Football season!


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