5 Southern Wedding Traditions We Love

Five Southern Wedding Traditions We Love Southern Wedding Traditions We Love The South is unique in more ways than one! And Southern weddings are no exception! North Carolina is rich in history and tradition! At Stylus Weddings, we love our Southern roots and all of the traditions that make weddings extra special.
Connecting to traditions that your parents, grandparents, or great-grandparents participated in are excellent ways to honor those who came before you and set an example for those who are yet to come. 
No day is better to make these connections than your wedding day- a day that is all about creating and celebrating love and connection. Plus, you’ll likely have wedding guests who span multiple generations, giving you a rare chance to connect the past with the present and the future in real-time. 
Here are just a few traditions that can make your wedding the stunning Southern affair you deserve!
Bridal Portraits
It’s a Southern tradition for the bride to take bridal portraits weeks before her wedding day. Traditionally, these photographs are displayed at either the bridal luncheon, reception, or both. After the wedding, the bridal portrait is often displayed in the homes of the bride’s mother or grandmother alongside their own bridal portraits.
But did you know that the first bridal portraits weren’t photographs at all? They were oil paintings! European aristocrats commissioned paintings of brides to capture their youth and innocence before marriage. When wealthy Europeans began immigrating to the United States, they brought this tradition with them. 
Advancements in photography made this tradition accessible to nearly anyone who wanted a little taste of luxury by the early 20th century. Plus, on-the-spot wedding photographers were a rarity before the 1940s, so bridal portraits were taken before the wedding to allow the happy couple and their family to record the momentous occasion. 
Today, bridal portraits remain quite popular in the South. Taking bridal portraits allows the bride to finalize her make-up, hair, and dress details before her wedding day. If a bride is worried about feeling rushed, too busy, or overwhelmed on her wedding day wedding, bridal portraits can give her some time to relax, pamper herself, and ensure she has stunning wedding photos no matter what!
If you plan to display on your wedding day, ask your Stylus Weddings DJ about lighting and display options to make sure you’re always being shown in the best light! 
The Groom’s Cake
The groom-to-be may not get his own portrait session, but many Southern grooms do get their own cakes! 
The tradition of the groom’s cake also has its roots in Europe. Likely originating in 17th century England, the tradition became more common in the Victorian era. The original groom’s cakes were baked by the grooms themselves. They featured a rich flavor profile- often chocolate infused with alcohol or fruits. Victorian groom’s cakes were typically served before the wedding. The leftover cake was packed and given to unmarried female wedding guests in hopes they would find a husband.
The modern groom’s cake is all about the groom!
Today’s groom’s cakes come in all shapes and often highlight an interest or hobby of the groom or give a nod to an inside joke. Like the groom’s cakes of earlier centuries, today’s cakes are usually smaller than the wedding cake and feature a different flavor of cake. Some couples feature the groom’s cake at the rehearsal dinner, while others make it a part of the wedding reception. Either way, groom’s cakes are an excellent opportunity to bring a little extra light-hearted fun and uniqueness to the wedding celebration!
The unveiling of the groom’s cake is a great time to show off your personality and share personal stories and memories. With the right soundtrack and introduction, the groom’s cake reveal is sure to be a moment that is talked about long after your wedding. Talk with your Stylus Weddings DJ before your big day about what makes the groom (and his cake) memorable and how they can help highlight how phenomenal he is! 
Burying the Bourbon
The original roots of this tradition are unclear, but that hasn’t stopped it from becoming a Southern staple! Tradition has it that a full unopened bottle of bourbon buried upside down exactly one month before the wedding ceremony will ensure good weather on the big day. Some folks bury the bottle at home, while some do it as close as possible to the spot where the vows will be exchanged. Just after the ceremony is complete, the bottle is dug up, opened, and passed around. No matter the burial spot or the actual wedding day weather, the reception is sure to benefit from this tradition! 
Many couples choose to keep this tradition small- reserving it for the wedding couple, wedding party, and close family. Others want to bring all their wedding guests to the party. Whether you want to pass the word to a select few or announce it to the world, Stylus Weddings DJs will get the message out to the right folks at the right time. They will take care of the details so that all you need to do is enjoy your day!
Cake Pulls
Like bridal portraits and groom’s cakes, cake pulls (also known as ribbon pulls) came to the United States from earlier European traditions. In the United States, the cake pull tradition initially took root in New Orleans and has spread to other Southern states in recent years.
In a cake pull, sterling silver charms are attached to ribbons and baked into the bottom layer of the wedding cake or a smaller cake presented at the bridal luncheon, bridal shower, or wedding reception. Single women at the event are gathered together at a set time. Each woman stands by the tip of a ribbon coming out of the cake. At the count of three, they pull out their ribbon and their charm is revealed. 
Every charm has a different meaning that is said to give a hint of what’s coming next for the woman who pulled that charm. A four-leaf clover suggests good luck is on its way. A hot air balloon points to adventure and travel. And a ring symbolizes that the puller will be the next person to get married!
Your Stylus Weddings DJ is a true master of ceremonies who can announce and build excitement for the cake pull while keeping the celebration on schedule and making sure all of the unique elements of your wedding happen just as you imagine them.
Monograms have been used for centuries- ever since the ancient Greeks and Romans put the emperors’ initials on coins. Over the centuries, the use of monograms has taken many forms for both royals and commoners alike. When it comes to weddings, monograms are a lovely way to mark pre and post-nuptial time and the merging of two lives and families.
For wedding invitations and other pre-wedding items, it’s traditional to have separate monograms for both members of the wedding couple. A traditional Southern bride might have her pre-marriage monogram- first initial to the left, middle initial to the right, and maiden surname in the center and slightly larger than the other initials- embroidered on the robe she wears when preparing for the wedding. The groom might display his personal monogram on his cufflinks.
Once the “I do”s have been said, it’s time to reveal the wedding couple’s married monogram! Many brides and grooms use their reception to show this special symbol of their union. The new monogram may appear on napkins, glasses, wedding favors, your photo booth pictures, or even in lights! 
The traditional marriage monogram displays the new wife’s first initial to the left, the new husband’s first initial to the right, and the married surname initial slightly larger in the center. 
You don’t have to be traditional, though, to include this tradition in your wedding! Many contemporary wedding couples display only their first initials both pre and post-wedding ceremony. Others choose a new hyphenated or hybrid surname when they tie the knot and a custom monogram is a lovely way to honor the creation of the new family name.
Monogrammed items are also common wedding gifts in the South. If you have a custom monogram made or if you’re going with a non-traditional monogram, make sure to let guests know as a part of your wedding gift registry!
Bringing Your Own Traditions to Your Wedding
Whether you choose one (or more) of these Southern wedding traditions or have other traditions in mind, the most important element of any wedding and wedding reception is the wedding couple! 
Stylus Wedding DJs have a passion and talent for bringing out exactly what makes you, your spouse-to-be, and your wedding exceptional. And we’d love to help you find the best ways to highlight the traditions that are meaningful to you with music, lights, and emcee skills that put you and your beloved in the center of attention- exactly where you belong! 
Tell us about the traditions that mean the most to you! The Stylus Weddings team would be honored to be a part of your one-of-a-kind wedding day love story. 

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