Southerners are known to have a more carefree, uninhibited and unapologetic approach to life. We love fun & know how to have some! From holidays to meals to family gatherings, there are certain traditions celebrated down here that northerners may not even know about! As a wedding photographer, I’ve seen a lot of great southern wedding traditions in Lowcountry, SC that I’d love to share. This could give you ideas for your big day as a southern belle bride!
Bury the Bourbon
If you haven’t heard of this one, you’re not alone. It’s a special gem of a tradition but it is one of my favorites. (I’ve even written a post for an engagement shoot about it here.) So what’s the idea? If you’re supposed to have an outdoor wedding ceremony in the South, you bury a bottle of bourbon upside-down in the ground. On your wedding day, you dig it up and it’s said to ward off rain. Personally I have seen this method work, seriously! Now, you can’t hold it against me if it doesn’t 😉
This is a fun tradition and certainly all of your Lowcountry, SC wedding guests will appreciate a nice glass of bourbon and the mythos behind it all!
Of course one of the biggest traditions for a wedding nationally is the wedding cake. There isn’t too much room for something special or creative for something that’s normally a white, tall, tiered fancy display. Since the wedding is often considered to be mostly “about” the bride, it’s understandable the cake is usually what she wants. In the South, we “allow” the groom his own cake! With this tradition, the groom gets a different cake either at the rehearsal dinner or at the reception on the wedding day. Usually these cakes are more unique: they can be crazy designs (I’ve seen a four-wheeler “mudding” cake, an R2D2 cake and many more) with any kind of flavor (because Funfetti is not the most traditional flavor!)
This tradition gives a nod to the man who loves his bride so very much.
This tradition is great for several reasons. Getting a bridal portrait done is a great way for the bride to get all dressed and done up to get in front of the camera. A bride-to-be does this about a month or two before the wedding, but when you take those photos it will all start to sink in (“I’m getting married… oh my gosh!”) While that’s always a blast, it also makes it so you have a great and creative present for parents and in-laws.
Often times, people will blow up a very large bridal portrait and display it at the wedding for everyone to see. After all: down here in the South, we like everything bigger!
A couple of days before the wedding, you and all your girls may be running around like chickens with your heads cut off. This is the perfect time to pause, take a deep breath and have a glass of champagne over a sunny brunch on the patio of your favorite restaurant. Traditionally, the bride will treat her girls to this lunch as a “thank you” and a way to slow down and really enjoy the women that have helped out so much through the whole process. I mean, they were chosen as your bridesmaids for a reason, right? Remember that in all the hectic business the girlfriends who were there for you since before the wedding was being planned. This is also a great time to distribute your bridesmaids’ gifts. So put on your big, southern cowgirl hats and meet your girls for a rustic-themed lunch with sweet tea! Be sure to tell them you love ‘em.
Cake Ribbon Pull
In addition to the bridesmaids’ luncheon, this is a special southern tradition aimed at your bridal party. Very popular in New Orleans, it originated with an old Victorian tradition called “ribbon pulling”. Basically, cake ribbon pulling tradition entails placing specialized sterling silver charms inside the bottom layer of the wedding cake. Each charm is different and unique to each bridesmaid and is a sign of good luck and good fortune. Before the cake is cut, the girls literally pull the ribboned charms out of the bottom of the cake. It is just one more way to thank those wonderful ladies for all the hard work they put into your special day.
While many of you might have been expecting something crazy on this list (no, whiskey-drinking contests or horseback riding aren’t typical southern wedding traditions,) I hope you read this and it sparked some ideas for your own Lowcountry, SC wedding day!
If you’re still in need of a photographer for the big day, for a bridal portrait or your engagement photos, I would love it if you gave me a call: contact me here!