Sarah Lustberg, an intern over at Time Inc., sent me a free copy of Southern Living: Weddings Special Issue last week. Considering two of my five sisters are getting married this summer, I figured I could read up on some great ideas, Southern style of course, to share with other readers that may be brides-to-be, mother of the bride-to-be, bridesmaids or really anyone interested in wedding ideas!
My favorite article from this issue had to be the following…enjoy!
Southern brides love to change clothes during their wedding receptions. Tradition dictates that at the end of the reception, the bride emerges, transformed into a married woman, wearing a demure suit or dress before dodging a hailstorm of rice and leaving for her honeymoon. “I have noticed lately that a lot of brides will have me remake their mom’s gown into a mini to wear as a going-away dress,” says wedding gown designer Heidi Elnora.
2. Burying the Bourbon
Burying an unopened bottle of bourbon one month before the wedding, at the exact time of the wedding, at the site of the wedding, ensures good weather on the day of the event.
3. Joyful Almonds
Hundreds of years ago, five almonds or pieces of candy representing fertility, health, wealth, happiness and longevity were distributed at weddings. Jordan almonds have long been a staple of Southern weddings. In fact, there was a time when cheese straws and these candy-clad nuts comprised the entire reception menu.
4. Crowd Control
One could be forgiven for mistaking the typical Southern bridal party for a college mixer. Bridesmaids numbering more than a dozen is not uncommon at Southern weddings. The reason? The bride graduates from college with a vast collection of friends, including many sorority sisters, with whom she will remain close throughout her life. The groom, too, will have numerous fraternity brothers and favorite companions. Southerners value friendship, and it shows, especially when it comes time to line up for the photographer.
5. Shall We Dance?
A newly married couple’s first dance is a sweetly sentimental highlight of many wedding receptions across the South. Make a departure from the expected with our list of get-your-groove-on songs options, all by Southern artists. These selections were chosen by Scott Register, native of Birmingham and host of the popular radio show Reg’s Coffee House.
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After reading this article, I realized some of these rituals I had never heard of, like the bourbon one, but others are very familiar to my Southern roots. On the number of bridesmaids, I had ten, although five of them were my sisters, so it was going to be big either way. As for my wedding song, my husband and I danced to Al Green’s Let’s Stay Together, and I still LOVE it to this day! I haven’t heard of many of the songs listed above. I’ll need to check them out.
As far as Mason jars, we didn’t have them, but I think they’re a great Southern touch to any wedding! Speaking of, stay tuned for this week’s Thirsty Thursday cocktail, I’ve got a great Southern Living: Weddings recipe to share with you, a Mint Julep Sweet Tea – a sweet tea with a kick, for true Southern flavor!
How cool is the table signing idea? So original, so resourceful and one that you and your husband will love for years and years down the road.
The charms in the cake is a great idea, and I actually did it with my bridesmaids, but we didn’t do it with the wedding cake, like they did in the article. My bridesmaids actually pulled charms out of the cake at the bridesmaids luncheon, and talked about why they chose that specific charm for me. I then took all ten charms and used them for a wedding charm bracelet. A fun memento that I will always share with all of my bridesmaids.
The issue also highlights 25 real Southern weddings with wonderful photos and ideas for the big day, wedding day style tips featuring merchants based in the South, dreamy cake designs, unique bouquets, invitations for every budget and more. Grab a copy of Southern Living: Weddings ($11.99) at your local grocery store/book store, when you get a chance. Available on newsstands now, through April 6th!
To get a FREE copy, comment and let me know you want one. I’ll wait and choose the FIVE winners tomorrow night (Tuesday night), to give those that get my posts via email a chance to enter. Sarah will mail out copies, as soon as I get the winners’ addresses. Good luck! This giveaway has now ended.