Every bride-to-be in East Tennessee has dreamed of their own southern-style wedding. When people think of the South, the things that come to mind are food, family and tradition! Isn’t that what a wedding is all about? Although it’s easy to tip your hat to southern tradition on your wedding day, it also can be easy to take it over the top. If you’re looking to have a southern-inspired wedding without the scream of, “hillbilly,” then here are some sneaky ways to make an elegant ode to the culture without going too overboard.
On your wedding day you want your guests’ hearts and stomachs to be full. By incorporating favorite southern foods into your menu, your guests won’t leave any other way. With customizable menus, you can choose just a few of your favorite Southern comforts or go for a full down-home spread.
For a lighter touch of Southern flair, highlight the produce of the season in a variety of salads or sides. For a fall or winter wedding, sweet potato casserole, twice baked potatoes and green bean casserole are great ways to fill guests’ bellies and leave a smile on their face. With a spring or summer ceremony, show off the delicious flavors of the warmer months with corn pudding, summer squash casserole and mixed green salad with a variety of berries.
For brides that want the food to take center stage, serve delicious, Southern-filled show stoppers like a fried green tomato station. With this option, a personal chef will be at your reception pan-frying the breaded green tomatoes in front of guests. A number of toppings and condiments will be available for customization. Other ideas are having a low country shrimp boil or a mashed potato bar. By the time the reception is over, guests will realize why in the South, we say, “the quickest way to a person’s heart is though their stomach.”
Keep the party alive by incorporating a bit of East Tennessee liquor into your reception. From Lynchburg to the foothills of the Smoky Mountains, East Tennessee is home to some of the warmest spirits in the world. One wedding trend that has recently become quite popular is to have a signature cocktail for the reception. Signature cocktails give your bar a personal and fun touch, while giving guests a taste of Southern Comfort through a delicious drink!
Try classic cocktails like Jack and Coke or a whiskey sour. Dress it up a bit by having the bartenders create signature cocktails like moonshine mules or a seasonal mint julep. Put the fruits of the season on display by offering different options like blackberries or mint to be muddled into any drink. If you’re feeling adventurous try a root beer float station; this can be done with alcoholic or non-alcoholic root beer, so everyone can take part in the fun.
What’s a good party without some dancing, and what is dancing without good music? Tennessee is home to country music and bluegrass which isn’t always the best crowd pleaser. Even if you aren’t a fan of bluegrass, music can be a great way to add in a personal flair to the wedding. The South has a tradition of beautiful hymns for the ceremony and heartfelt love songs for the first dance. If you hire a local band, there’s a good chance they’ll incorporate the sounds of the South for you. Some schools, especially SEC schools, have memorable fight songs that always get the crowd going. No matter what music you play, just be sure it gets your guests on their feet and dancing!
No matter the time of year, the South is sure to display some beautiful foliage. Whether it’s the magnolias of the summer, dogwoods of the spring or the changing leaves of the fall, East Tennessee has an abundance of gorgeous greenery that can “spruce” up any venue.
One current trend that’s been seen at many weddings is hanging greenery. Having the floral centerpieces in the middle of the table, makes it difficult to see guests across the table. Brides have been hanging their centerpieces from the ceiling of the venue, making the room look bigger. Another way to highlight the colors of the season is to sprinkle the tables with foliage, like large magnolia leaves or colorful fall leaves, if they match your color scheme of course. Incorporate greenery in your wedding through the bouquet. Talk to a florist about flowers that are in-season and local to add a personal touch to the bouquet.
Adding touches of southern charm to your wedding is a great way to bring comfort and fun. No matter what though, be sure to put you and your partner’s love on display. Bradford Catered Events has years of experience catering weddings of every size and puts the couple first. They have customizable menus and bartending services to make any event into a party. Let BCE make your wedding go off without a “hitch.” To book Bradford Catered Events for your wedding, visit us online or give us a call at (865) 522-5552.