Southern Wedding Traditions

The South is steeped in tradition and Southern weddings are no exception. From outdoor weddings to seersucker to bridal portraits, even if you don’t live in the South or aren’t Southern-born, you can incorporate some of these traditions to make your wedding extra special.

Here are some of the top Southern wedding traditions:

  • The Charm Pull Cake.This cake can be at the wedding or at a bridal shower.

    Groom’s Cake from

    Charms tied to ribbons are baked into a layer of the cake and before the cake is cut, each bridesmaid picks a charm and pulls. The charm that the bridesmaid chooses is supposed to signify something to come in the future; for example, a bridesmaid who pulls a charm in the shape of an engagement ring is the next to get married.

  • Burying the Bourbon. Burying the bourbon is more of a superstition but a very Southern one! It involves digging a hole and burying a full bottle of bourbon upside down at the wedding ceremony site. Doing so is supposed to ward off rain on the wedding day. After the ceremony, the idea is to dig up the bottle of bourbon and share with your guests. Of course, if you’re not into bourbon, any drink will do. Just make sure it’s sealed tightly and that you don’t forget the spot where you left it!
  • Bridal Portrait Sessions. Southern brides have always donned their wedding gowns before the wedding to sit for a formal bridal portrait. The portrait is then framed and displayed at the wedding reception and later hung in the couple’s new home.
  • Groom’s Cake. Who can forget the bleeding armadillo groom’s cake in “Steel Magnolias”? While not usually quite that unique, a groom’s cake is a Southern tradition that is a gift from the bride to her groom. It’s an opportunity for the bride to get creative and present her groom with a personalized cake that represents something special to him, for example, his favorite sport or sports team, favorite hobby or film. It is usually served at the reception or at the rehearsal dinner.
  • Light-colored Menswear. With Southern weddings usually taking place in the summer and because the South is HOT, it’s no surprise that menswear for Southern weddings leans toward the lighter side. Seersucker or linen is popular, as are light grey or tan suits.
  • Pearls. A true Southern bride is not complete with out a strand of pearls!


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