Fairhope Wedding Photographer & Educator | Ellison Smith Creative- Formerly Goodie & Smith Weddings

5 Southern Wedding Traditions

Planning a wedding is full of so many exciting and special moments! Some of the most fun moments wind up being the traditions we are all anticipating on the big day. Although traditions vary from family to family (and location to location!), I wanted to share a few of my favorite Southern wedding traditions with our future Ellison Smith Creative brides and grooms. I hope that you find one or two to include in your wedding day!

5 Southern wedding traditions to include in your wedding day shared by Alabama wedding photographer Ellison Smith Creative

Charm in the Cake

This tradition actually started overseas in the Victorian era but has grown in popularity in the south – particularly around New Orleans. The idea is for all of the unmarried women who are friends/family of the bride will pull a ribbon connected to the cake. The ribbon contains a charm to share about their future. Charms often include one for good luck, the next marriage, children, a happy home, and so on. It’s a great addition or replacement for the bouquet toss!

Burying the Bourbon

Another one of the great Southern wedding traditions is burying the bourbon! Lore states that if the bride and groom go bury a full bottle of bourbon upside down on the site of their wedding ceremony, it won’t rain on their wedding day! On the day you’re married, the bottle is dug up and shared with the bridal party. It’s definitely a fun tradition, whether it rains or not!

5 Southern wedding traditions to include in your wedding day shared by Alabama wedding photographer Ellison Smith Creative

Garter Retrieval & Toss

The garter toss is a tradition that many couples go back and forth on having during their reception. The groom retrieves the garter from under the bride’s dress. This can be done in a matter of ways – and it’s always funny to see how couples let this play out! Some brides choose to wear two so that they can keep one of them after the wedding day. After the groom grabs the garter, it’s then tossed to all of the eligible men in the room. Whoever catches it will be married next!

Bouquet Toss

Another exciting tradition is the bouquet toss. Many eligible women are excited for this age-old moment during the wedding reception. But, many don’t know how this started. Years ago, it was considered good luck to have a piece of the bride’s attire. This, understandably, resulted in a lot of ripped gowns!! To replace this idea, brides started to their bouquets instead. Now, many brides wind up planning to have a smaller bouquet prepped and brought to their wedding day to toss.

Penny in Your Shoe

You’ve probably heard the old rhyme that many brides follow when planning their wedding attire: “Something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue.” Originally, the rhyme also included “a sixpence in your shoe” to help bring the bride and groom more luck. Over the years, a sixpence became a penny! It’s common to see Southern brides still placing a penny in their wedding shoes for good luck!

5 Southern wedding traditions shared by AL wedding photographers Ellison Smith Creative

Whatever traditions you decide to bring your wedding day are totally up to you! It’s always fun to learn about some of the reasons these events came to be! Which are you planning to include in your wedding day? If I didn’t include a Southern wedding tradition you used (or will use!), share with me below! I’d love to learn about more fun traditions!!

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Fairhope Alabama Wedding Photographer formerly Goodie and Smith weddings

meet Jessica


Hi! I’m Jessica, owner and lead photographer at Ellison Smith Creative- the Gulf Coast’s only full service wedding photography studio. I am so glad you’re here! Please show yourself around and you’ll soon see that I believe that my clients DESERVE IT ALL! 

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