Be Gracious, Be Charming, Be Stylish {Southern Protocol's Tips For the Bride to Be}

Be Gracious, Be Charming, Be Stylish {Southern Protocol's Tips For the Bride to Be}

By | July 18, 2010

I will not mince words, I am a very lucky lady. Somehow I have the great fortune of being inundated with crazy gorgeous images of the most incredible weddings. I love them all, big and small to the over the top and the DIY. I mean really…how fun? Today is the last installment of our three part series for the savvy brides to be so hold on to your hats, here we go!

This winding wedding road has offered me the opportunity to hob nob with some truly incredible people. The first time I met Lizz,  of Southern Protocol, I was hooked. Any woman who created the, “The Southern Fashionista’s Source On How to Look, Behave and Entertain With Style, Charm and Grace,” certainly had my attention. She is just one of those women that you feel as if you known for years after the first conversation. It is fair to say, I was a bit smitten. I asked Lizz to impart some Southern Protocol “how tos” for a gracious southern bride.

Southerners are famous for our charm, grace, and hospitable entertaining. This not only applies to our supper clubs and cocktail parties but the grand dame of all: Southern weddings! A Southern wedding is all about the tradition, décor, personalized details, and of course, etiquette. You have to balance modern and traditional, personalized details in the décor, and being a gracious bride.

Charleston Wedding

Let’s start with the “Do’s”

Do stick to a budget

Do wear white. And let your bridesmaids pick out a dress they can afford to wear. A dress that compliments them and that they may actually wear again. Retailers like Bella Bridesmaid and LulaKate offer options your bridesmaids will truly appreciate.

Do remember that a traditional Southern reception is not a sit down dinner, but stations or buffet style, making it more cost effective. This style alleviates the worries about place cards, seating arrangements and if everyone loved the main entrée. Stations and seating for 70% of your guests is the way to go.

Do remember that if you do not have a traditional receiving line, be sure you walk around to greet and thank all of your guests.

Do have a rehearsal party, think BBQ, oyster Roast or Lowcountry Boil as an alternative for a formal rehearsal dinner.

Do incorporate southern details into your décor. Consider flowers such as hydrangeas, peonies, magnolia leaves and gardenias to name a few. Also mason jars for your “signature drink” or for the lemonade and sweet tea {of course}; lanterns that evoke that ‘Southern Chic’ feel when used on trees, tables, barn doors and gates; designing your new monogram and incorporating it on the invitations, the cake, your favors – you can even project it on the dance floor.

Use favors that represent the region of the South where you are getting married. Or if you are from the South, select a favor that represents where you are a native.

Do have a groom’s cake. Yes this is ‘your day’ but it’s a small and sweet way to represent the man with whom you plan to spend the rest of your life.

Charleston Wedding

Alright….take special note of the “Don’ts”

Do not ever email invitations

Do not list where you are registered on your wedding invitation.

Do not specifically ask for money or gift cards {can’t you just hear your grandmother’s sister saying, “Tacky Tacky.”}

Do not offer a cash bar. If you did not budget for a full bar then opt for only beer and wine, and serve a signature drink during the cocktail hour.

Do not ask a guest to wear a specific color to the wedding.

Do not choose a scandalous wedding dress…it is not supposed to be “sexy.”

Do not make your reception so long that guests are complaining in the bathrooms that you just will not leave.

Do not say ‘no’ to help. If your ‘special aunt’ is dying to do something, assign her a duty like the hospitality bags – she will feel important and you’ll have less on your plate.

Do not send out a pre-printed thank you note! Or heaven forbid you tell someone you returned their gift, received two of it, etc.

Charleston Wedding

Above all, remember to be a gracious bride. This is your day, but when you get back from your honeymoon, as it turns out, you have to see all of these people in your life again. Don’t alienate people to the point that you have ‘family issues’ to come home to after your first blissful week as a newlywed.

{Photographs by Karyn Iserman}

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Comments
  • Allison
    Posted at 05:39h, 19 July Reply

    Thanks for the Bella mention! Great post!

  • Crissy Lavery
    Posted at 12:34h, 19 December Reply

    These are such great tips for brides, especially in South Carolina! My sister just recently got married in Charleston, SC and it’s so funny because she basically followed all of these tips for her Southern Wedding. It was beautiful and on a budget, she had SO many wonderful people and companies involved in her successful wedding. Great post! My post on her wedding may also be helpful for any brides-to-be in South Carolina. http://www.crissylavery.com/2010/11/charleston-wedding-on-budgetshh.html

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