Southern Ceremony Traditions

By Christine Winder

We’ve all heard the age old saying “something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue.” According to tradition, incorporating these elements into your wedding day ensures good luck in the marriage. If these four tokens don’t seem like quite enough there are four other Southern traditions that will bring good luck on the big day.

Bury the Bourbon

No bride wants the threat of rain to ruin her day, especially since many Southern weddings are held outdoors. Tradition says that burying an unopened bottle of bourbon upside down exactly one month before the day of the ceremony brings the promise of good weather. Not only does this make for beautiful pictures, but it also adds a fun touch to the ceremony when the bride and groom dig the bottle back up to share with family and friends. The only catch? Don’t forget where you buried the bottle!

Charm Pull Cake

The cake pull, a lesser-known practice, is a unique twist on the bride throwing her bouquet. During this event, the bride gathers her bridesmaids around the cake prior to cutting it with the groom. Each girlfriend chooses a ribbon attached to a charm baked inside the cake, and then all at once they pull to reveal their assorted charms. Each one has a different meaning. For example, a butterfly symbolizes eternal beauty and a hot air balloon means adventure awaits. Much like catching the bouquet, the bridesmaid who receives a ring charm is meant to be the next bride. This tradition can even be incorporated into the wedding party gifts by giving each girl a charm bracelet to show off her new charm.

Unity Candle

In this popular tradition, the bride and groom’s respective families take turns lighting a candle. The bride and groom each take one candle to then light the center candle to represent their new union and family in one another separate from their parents. Many brides now choose to take a more unique approach.  For example, some brides use colored sand to pour into a vase to symbolize unity and match their beach themed décor. More nautical themed weddings could feature a knot tying ceremony.

Tree Planting

Another unique way to blend the new families is through a tree planting ceremony. Couples can incorporate family members into their personalized versions where their mothers bring a pot of dirt from each of their gardens that the couple uses to plant a tree or flowers. Often times, the bride and groom will gather dirt from their childhood or current home; once blended, they’ll take the dirt and/or trees to plant in their new home they’ll have together!