For a chic outdoor wedding in South Carolina, a tent is lined with sheer blue chiffon and features luxe details like a carpet, chandeliers and curtains to catch the evening breeze.
Taste of the South: refereshing lemonade with mint, decorated with sweet baby mums.
Southern hospitality: wedding wands of pretty satin ribbon make for a stylish send-off.
Photography: Liz Banfield.
“Over the top” says it all for brides down South, says Deborah Elias of Houston’s Elias Events. Whether it’s a 20-foot-tall wrought-iron wall of flickering candles, gold cutlery to match gold-rimmed china or outrageous invites, Texas brides go all out.
Speaking of big, the guest lists for Southern weddings regularly top 200, according to Elias. Family plays an enormous part in these weddings. A family member’s traditional side dish or dessert recipe may be incorporated into the menu, and you’ll usually see a display of photographs of relatives’ weddings.
The invitations get a lot of attention, says Elias. “My brides are choosing thick, beautiful paper stock and pretty ribbons. One bride did an invitation with bronze shimmer paper paired with both pearl and copper shimmer papers, with a big copper ribbon to tie it all together. ”
“Food is huge!” says Tara Guérard of Soirée in Charleston. “Our tomatoes are to die for, so we do little tomato pies, or fried-green tomatoes served on mashed potatoes with fried chicken. We do deviled eggs topped with caviar and miniature ham biscuits.”
Southern brides want banks of blooms, absolutely everywhere. “We use flowers for more than just centerpieces. I might put the cake on Plexiglas and have a solid blanket of flowers beneath it,” Elias says.
The outdoor wedding rules, says Guérard. “We’re doing a lot of tented receptions and receptions under big oak trees with chandeliers suspended from the branches.”
Elias’s brides ask for crystals on their cakes—as toppers, or hanging over the cake’s tiers. “I put a pin spotlight on the cake so it really sparkles,” she says.
“Grooms’ cakes are very Southern,” says Guérard. “We’ve done everything from a fly-fishing basket to a Florida gator, because the groom went to the University of Florida. We almost always have a groom’s cake.”