BY ELIZABETH SCRUGGS
Nothing is more reminiscent of home and family than a southern wedding. In the south, we look for a reason to celebrate. When it comes to a wedding, everyone is invited.
As the infamous Julia Sugarbaker of “Designing Women” said, “I’m saying this is the South. And we’re proud of our crazy people. We don’t hide them up in the attic. We bring ‘em right down to the living room and show ‘em off. See, no one in the South ever asks if you have crazy people in your family. They just ask what side they’re on.”
That just about sums it up!
But be it large or small, one thing remains a constant in our weddings and that’s tradition. We’ve all heard the saying: Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue, and a silver sixpence in her shoe. Well, maybe we’ve all heard most of that saying. The last line was new to me; but if you’ve ever heard of the bride putting a penny in her left shoe, this is where it came from. It represents prosperity.
“Something old” signifies the past moving into the future. A monogrammed handkerchief, heirloom jewelry worn by the bride, or photographs of parents or grandparents would be perfect additions to represent something old.
“Something new” signifies the future and new life the couple will share together.
“Something borrowed” signifies happiness. An item is borrowed from a happily married friend to bestow happiness on the newly married couple.
“Something blue” signifies fidelity and love.
Another part of southern tradition is passing things down. Grandmother’s silver, antique linens and even furniture is handed down from generation to generation.
There is always a story attached to these things and we southerners do love our stories.
Monograms, pearls, mason jars, and signature drinks all find a place in today’s southern weddings. But the most important tradition to keep in mind when planning any wedding in the south is this: SEC football! You better get the schedules of the teams and plan around the games, or you may have some very disgruntled attendees.
Following tradition after the ceremony is equally as important. Although this really shouldn’t fall under tradition but good habit, a thank you must always be sent in a timely manner. The top of the wedding cake should be frozen to be eaten on the first wedding anniversary, and one of the oldest traditions of all is for the groom to carry his bride over the threshold.
Tradition honors memories and bonds family. It grounds us and it gives us a sense of comfort and belonging. The Southern wedding embodies tradition, grace, and elegance. If you don’t believe me, just ask your grandmother.