Monday Manners: Southern Living: Weddings 2012 Giveaway!

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!

Pride of Place
Southern Living: Weddings 2012
“A Southern wedding incorporates time-honored cultural traditions but continually evolves,
as modern couples bring fresh perspectives to the rituals of matrimony.”

1.  Going-Away Dress

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.

Sinking Wishes by Matthew Perryman Jones
No One Has To Know by Eliot Morris
Now That I Found You by Paul McDonald
Sweeter Than This by Katie Herzig
Lover’s Waltz by A.A. Bondy
Wedding Day by Alejandro Escovedo
Such Great Heights by Iron and Wine
My Love is With You All the Time by Jon Black
The Friend Song by Drivin’ N’ Cryin’
You Dance by eastmountainsouth

6.  Drinking in Mason Jars
Libations served in Mason jars are the must-have detail of the modern Southern wedding.  They add a touch of rustic charm, are inexpensive, and readily available.  Check out, where brides offload extra supplies, such as Mason jars, at huge discounts.
7. Gospel Choir
The inspiring sound of a gospel choir ringing out during your wedding contributes a hefty does of the sacred to the ceremony.  Visit local churches to find a dynamic ensemble, and prepare to watch grown men tear up.  Can I get an “Amen”?

8.  Shoe In

And the winner of Favorite Men’s Wedding Attire goes to…the saddle oxford.  This old-school footwear is simultaneously nostalgic and cool.  Paired with a poplin suit, the look is the current favored Southern wedding uniform.  The saddle oxford’s close cousin, the white buck, is another approved choice.  An added bonus: These shoes make every man look like a Southerner.
9.  Table Talk
Kathy and Brian Best of Front Porch Farms, a wedding venue in Tennessee, have come up with the ultimate wedding day souvenir.  Brian will construct a farm table from reclaimed barn wood.  At the reception, guests sign the surface with their well wishes for the newlyweds.  Post wedding, it can take center state in your family pitches and offer up those wedding day memories on a daily basis for decades to come.
10.  Tech Speak
The Web offers a plethora of inspiration for the modern bride.  Wedding blogs, such as and, can get your creative juices flowing and can be a great resource for vendors from paper goods designers to wedding planners.  Just keep local traditions in mind, and avoid falling in love with a theme that doesn’t suit your environment.  Facebook and Twitter can be valuable tools, allowing you to share pictures from the engagement session and pre-wedding parties.  But don’t forgo the proper paper invitation – there’s still no substitute for a heavy, hand-addressed envelope delivered by the postman.

11.  Baked Goods

Southern brides have embraced the Victorian tradition of baking silver charms into the wedding cake and having their single friends each pull one out before the cake cutting.  Each design symbolizes a fortune: the four leave clover means “lucky you,” and the ring signifies “next to marry.”

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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.

Did y’all perform, or are going to perform, any of these traditions at your wedding?
Did you and your spouse have a Southern ritual that they left out?

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.

Note: Photos used, aside from the magazine cover image, were my own, found from the web, NOT from Southern Living: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6

35 thoughts on “Monday Manners: Southern Living: Weddings 2012 Giveaway!

  1. Perfect timing for this post, since I posted pictures from my wedding today! We buried the bourbon and it's a good thing we did. There was a freak snowstorm the night before our wedding, but by the next morning, we had blue skies and sunshine!

  2. Love the magazine, SL is my fave, unfortunately all of my friends are now married-it was such a fun period though! On another note, I see you're reading A Paris Wife-how is it? It's on my list. I want to read A Moveable Feast first though since that's written through Hemingway's eyes. Just been stuck on chick lit for a while…reading Jane Green's new book, Piece of My Heart.

  3. Pick me please! I absolutely love weddings and Sputhern Living, so this issue is a match made in heaven for me! Thanks for the great giveaway!!

  4. Based off of that post, I have a feeling that I would LOVE this Southern Living Wedding Issue. I would love to see all of the ideas inside 🙂


  5. I'd love a copy of their wedding issue! I'm currently planning my wedding in Charleston for next March…and I DO plan on burying a bottle of bourbon! 🙂

  6. Aaaah, now I can't tell if my last comment went through! I forgot to mention in my previous comment that I would love to receive a copy. I just got so excited about burying the bourbon 🙂 (Feel free to delete this comment if it's a duplicate).

  7. I cannot think of a better way to avoid studying than reading Southern Living: Wedding issue and sharing them with all the girls on my sorority hall!

  8. I would love a copy, I recently got engaged in December to a Southern boy, and I am a Northern girl so we are trying to plan a Southern wedding up North in Boston but some of the Southern traditions are unfamiliar to me, so a copy would be quite helpful!

    xx JoJo

  9. I would love a copy, in December I got engaged to a Southern boy, so we are planning a Southern style wedding in Boston, where I am from, so the magazine would be so helpful-I feel so lost planning this wedding, I am not familiar with many of these traditions!

    xx JoJo

    not sure why my Google account is saying "Unknown"-Joanna Reilly,

    1. Glad you are still calling them 'finishing touches' – and not 'nagging details' 🙂 If you need any goodies for arriving guests (hotel rooms, guest rooms, etc.) we have delicious gourmet and allergy friendly boxes at We can custom design the boxes to coordinate with your colors and theme 🙂

      All the best!

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