You would be surprised at how different a Southern wedding is compared to, say, a northern wedding. Despite the fact that the weddings take place in the United States, there are plenty of significant differences in etiquette and tradition when it comes to different regions of our nation. Here are some of the most prominent in each region:


Big wedding: Those getting married in the northern part of the U.S. often have larger weddings at spacious venues with plenty of groomsmen and bridesmaids.

Gifts: In the north, guests are expected to give a gift both for the shower and the wedding itself, while in the south, it’s traditional to choose either the shower or wedding for a gift.

In the south, you’ll find that Southern hospitality that you can’t find anywhere else, but here are the main differences in wedding traditions:

Food: Couples most often serve their guests comfort food, like BBQ pork, fried chicken, macaroni & cheese, baked potatoes, baked beans and more. It’s also common to get friends and family involved in the cuisine, having them whip up your favorite Southern dish or mix some sweet tea to bring.

Ceremony: Southern brides are more traditional in the sense that they often tie the knot in a church, an old historic mansion or home. The churches will have old-fashioned pews, stained glass windows and high wood ceilings which evoke charm and romance.

Groom’s cake: It’s very common to see a groom’s cake served alongside the traditional wedding cake at Southern nuptials. It’s intended to be a gift from the bride to her groom. It can take on a variety of forms and most often reflects the groom’s personality or interests.


Cookie table: While it’s traditional to have a tiered cake at your wedding, bride and grooms in the eastern portion of the United States, especially Philadelphia, love their cookie tables. Some have five to 10 cookies per person attending the reception, equating to about 4,000 cookies.

Rustic venues: It’s popular for brides of the New England region to opt for outdoor rustic venues like a garden, a winery or an old barn.


Lounge seating: Brides on the West Coast often opt for a more casual setting when it comes to seating at their reception or ceremony. Lounge seating can be dressed up or down to fit any style.

Eco-friendly: Being environmentally conscious is a big trend among California weddings. Brides use organic flowers, foods and gowns made from fair-trade fabrics.

Which regional traditions are included in your big day? Share your thoughts with us!

Photo credit: Laura Leslie Photography