Bigger and better: A top ten list of Southern wedding traditions
Posted: Wednesday, Aug. 29, 2012
Photo by: Nathan Abplanalp Photography
Alyn Wharmby is an Ohio native turned middle school teacher and graduate student, currently earning a degree in School Administration at UNC Charlotte. She is beginning her new life with fiance Erik and chihuahua Bella on July 13, 2013. Contact Alyn here.
Now, being a Midwesterner and not born in the South, I'll admit that there are a few Southern wedding traditions that mystified me before I fully jumped on and adopted them as my own. I will say, now that I am a half-Carolinian, I have fully hopped on the bandwagon in support of the big Southern wedding. Though my tone here might be a smidgen sarcastic, I promise, I jest only out of newfound love for the South and all that is bigger and better here!Given that premise, here are the top ten Southern wedding traditions that threw me for a loop as I started to plan:1. The monogram. How many items can we possible put this new moniker on? Bridesmaid gifts, clothing, decor...I find myself splaying a giant AMW all over all my belongings, just because I won't be using MY monogram again soon. I can't imagine how much worse it will be once I have to replace all my freshly monogrammed belongings with my new monogram!2. Handkerchiefs. Who knew these handy gifts were so sentimental and appropriate for every family member of the bride and groom? With the help of Etsy, I can (and will) order every relative a hanky with some cheesy phrase cross-stitched on the front. You know what? I can probably even get one with my new monogram on it!3. The parasol. What a fancy name for a completely impractical item! Yes, my future mother-in-law, though a New Yorker, had these lovely lace umbrellas at her own wedding. This is one bandwagon, however, that I simply cannot bring myself to jump on. Though I have seen a fair share of people who could probably pull it off, I am not nearly chic (or crazy) enough to try.4. Local flowers. In Ohio, it always seemed like there were no local flowers. In winter, everything died and the sun didn't shine for nine months. Here in the Carolinas? I'm throwing as many hydrangeas, peonies, and magnolias into those flowers as I can find.... Even if I have to grow them myself!5. The signature drink. This may just be an up-and-coming treat, but I am all about throwing my favorite liqueurs together and calling it a Wedded Bliss. Extra points to anyone who can incorporate both bourbon and sweet tea into the mix! Cheers to the signature drink!6. Porches, plantations, and mansions. There really are no such gorgeous places to get married in the North. You head to some the local fire hall or moose club, a church basement, or if you're really lucky, a vineyard where they never actually make wine because the grapes defy the cold. In the South? An endless selection of gorgeous venues that have quintessential Southern flair... And can't be found anywhere north of the Mason Dixon.7. The mason jar. Yes folks, you can put flowers, tea, or pretty much anything into a mason jar. I can put jam and veggies in them, then throw them into the dishwasher and onto the wedding table. Who doesn't love an all-purpose, earth-friendly, recyclable, reusable, wonderful mason jar?8. The cake-alternative. At home, you went to a wedding and knew you were having cake. I don't really think cake is a dessert superior to all others, that's just the way it is. I can proudly say that I will be the first family wedding to offer a full pie bar, complete with ice cream and fresh whipped cream toppings. Does it get more Southern than a pie bar?9. The groom's cake. Another tradition I simply adore. Since we're defying the cake tradition at the wedding, the groom's cake that will be making an appearance at our rehearsal dinner is going to be a true Southern spectacle. I have a crafty little idea in mind for my groom... One that will surely rival that of a good Southern girl!10. And the best tradition? A whole lot of love and comfort in the form of southern food. A big appeal of my venue was the Southern style buffet.... With options for shrimp and grits, barbecue, greens, biscuits, and fried chicken. Delicacies only relished in the South!As a half-Carolinian, I am so proud to share the place I now call home with our family from Ohio and New York. Though I may sound facetious, I really do find something special and unrivaled about Southern wedding traditions.Things truly are bigger and better in the South!
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