Monday, June 3, 2013

A Southern Series: A Southern Wedding

Y'all, I went to my first wedding since moving Below the Mason Dixon Line a few weeks back.  It was... not quite what I expected. In talking to a few people, it doesn't sound like a traditional southern wedding... it sounds like maybe they were looking for a fancy northern wedding and missed the mark a tad. Of course, now I'm turning all y'all for opinions.

First, let me say it was lovely.  I'm sure the bride, bless her heart, got what she wanted, which is how it should be, but it was not exactly "user friendly."

For starters, it was a full Catholic Nuptial Mass, which for me, growing up in a town that was 75% Catholic, was old hat, but I'm pretty sure most of the people in the church had no clue. For example everyone went up for Communion... EVERYONE. In the Catholic Church, that's a huge No No!

I mentioned in a previous post that the invitation said "Black Tie Optional" but that's kind of hard to swing when the service starts at 4:30 on a Friday. Most people didn't even make it to the service. At the reception, which immediately followed, most of the men managed suits, but the women were largely under-dressed. I was in a black cocktail dress that I'd worn as a bridesmaid in my sister's wedding and I was close to being overdressed.  There were ladies there in cotton sundresses, a maxi dress from Target, and white cotton pants. Oh, and LAWD 'A Mercy! the bride's mother was in head-to-toe white!

There was a cocktail hour with beer, wine, and soda when we first arrived at the reception venue. After an hour, we were ushered into the hall, which was gorgeous but really large for the number of guests, so we were really spread out.  There was a HUGE dance floor in the middle. They also didn't assign seats and LB and I didn't know anyone, but fortunately had "made friends" with a few members of the groom's family and were able to sit with them.

The bridal party was announced and the happy couple had their first dance and family dances. Then they called everyone up for the buffet and had piano music playing.  The beer and wine table closed down, but there was sweet tea and water on the table. Following dinner there were champagne toasts and then the family moved through the room to greet guest.

Five hours later, not one person had danced. ~Did I mention the HUGE dance floor?~  It looked like perhaps they were going to open the beer and wine table and get things started, but by that time, LB looked at me, I looked at him and we made a gracious exit.  FIVE HOURS!  Y'all, I've never been to a wedding where guests were made to wait more than five hours to dance!

So my bloggy friends... faux pas?  Bad form? Or welcome to the south, this is how we do it in these here parts?


18 comments:

The Dose of Reality said...

WOW. That is insane!! Making people wait to dance is nuts...and the bride's mother wearing white is just too much!! Good God!-Ashley

Bev Feldman said...

I've only been to one Southern wedding once, and it didn't sound anything like this. But, alas, I'm from the North, so I really have nothing to compare it to (though it was a lovely wedding).

The most interesting wedding, though, by far (and quite the cultural experience) was with my now-husband and his family. It was a Russian wedding on Long Island, and though it said black tie my mother-in-law and I looked quite overdressed in our long dresses, as most of the guests looked like they were going clubbing (and with the techno music blaring through the entire dinner, it made it feel like I was indeed at a club).

Sorta Southern Single Mom said...

Oh Bev, I had one other dress that I could have worn... It was from a Friday night wedding on Long Island a few years back and we all agreed it was too flashy for The South

Leiah said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Leiah said...

Doesn't sound like any wedding I've ever been to and I've lived my whole life here in the South. For starters, the wedding program should have included the notation about Communion & how if you're not Catholic, you can still go up to receive a blessing. And the mother wearing white? Huge faux pas! I hate to even mention it (and I'm still very old fashioned about these things) but wearing black or red to a wedding is a no-no, too. Oops. But it sounds like with everything else that went on, you definitely get a free pass on that one...lol! Hope your Summer is off to a good start!

Sorta Southern Single Mom said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sorta Southern Single Mom said...

Oh I knew I was "in the wrong" in black, but Im releived because anything I would have bought would have been grossly over the top given the rest if the crowd!

Ilene Evans said...

I have never been to a Southern wedding but had heart that they were much more casual than what we Yankees to, so the black tie optional thing has really stumped me!

Leah said...

Have never been to anything close to a southern wedding coming from Canada:) but it sounds a little odd...mother of bride in white? Sounds like someone was trying to steal the show!! 5 hours for dancing? Yikes! But wearing black up here to a wedding is perfectly acceptable and I've done many times. I'm sure you looked beautiful!!

Stephanie said...

I can't speak to Southern Weddings but I think that it is giant no no everywhere for ANYONE but the Bride to be in white!

Maureen Hitipeuw said...

You made me smile right off the bat with the 'bless her heart'! I used to live in Dothan, AL while I never been to a wedding there. This post reminded me of well Alabama :D

Cyndy Newsome said...

No. Just, no no no. I have never been to a wedding that was NOT Southern and I have never been to a wedding like that. Even us Southerners who are NOT Catholic know that everyone does not take communion. There is just so much wrong with this whole thing!

Leigh Powell Hines said...

I love to talk about weddings. I could talk about them all day. :)

Every wedding is different in the South based on religion, socio-economic status, etc so it's truly hard to put a label on any wedding, especially now that life is such a melting pot and blending off families.

I have been to weddings of all shapes and sizes. One time I directed a wedding a picnic park in the afternoon. One time I was in a wedding where everything was in the church fellowship hall with mints, little sandwiches, and a cake. I've been to some basic mid-line hotel weddings where there were buffets and a DJs, and certainly no waiting five hours to dance.

My favorite to attend though are the debuntate-type weddings in the south. I've been to a garden party with butlers to country clubs with full-bands. They would probably be more like what you may be used to seeing in the North, but people still probably toned down in attire, and some men unless it's full-out wealthy crowd,..may still be in a dark suit rather than a tux. I also attended a country club wedding that was beautiful, but as dry as a bone. Not one drop of alcohol.

Most of those weddings are Episcopal and Presbyterian so communion is rarely part of the ceremony.

But, like with anything, I think it may be what people are exposed to, what they read, and what their dreams are for a wedding.

Fun post! I'm sure you looked lovely.

Sorta Southern Single Mom said...

Except you are "no-reply@blogger" so I can't talk back! :-) I love them too, which is probably why I was so disappointed in this one! My wedding days are numbered now that most of my friends are married!

Charlotte Klein said...

I went to a Southern wedding in Macon, GA once which was different... but not like this. To wait that long to dance seems ridiculous. Also, personally, I really can't stand "black tie optional" affairs. They instantly cause me to panic because it's hard to find a balance and know what is/isn't appropriate until you see what everyone else is wearing.

I have a wedding coming up in a few weeks (my cousin is getting married) and it'll be first family wedding in nearly 20 years. I'll come back with notes and compare :) I'm told it will be a rather grand event. XOXO

Mimi B said...

I've never been to a southern wedding so I'm entirely clueless. I was at a Catholic service several years ago and the priest had open communion for all believers. I actually liked that. Can't believe the mother wore white! Wow. I wonder if I'll ever get to one of these shindigs!

Leigh Powell Hines said...

That's odd about the "no reply"...something must have changed when my site was redesigned. Thanks for telling me that. I've now got to remember how to take that off. I've also had my e-mail attached to things. Things are always changing, and I cannot technically keep up.

Leigh Powell Hines said...

I just realized that I've been with Google Plus so my dashboard is different now. I am going to check...the box below my comment to get follow-up comments.