Part of the reason that I started this blog was because I was so frustrated with the “etiquette” blogs out there that are out dated and completely pretentious. The truth is, there really is no true piece of sound advice that works for everyone. Each family has their own set of traditions and “etiquette” and that is essentially what sets the tone for what is “right” and “wrong” in each individual’s situation. The idea that everyone is different is what started me thinking about a new voice for the etiquette of the future, but what is most important to me is to speak for an entirely different group of brides – The New Orleans Brides.
Nothing frustrates me more than reading a book or blog from a writer who classifies New Orleans brides as “Southern” brides. We are not Southern brides; we are New Orleans brides and unless you’re from here, you just don’t get it!
Sit down dinners are not traditional for us, an 80’s cover band will do just fine and we can just as easily have Abita beer in our toasting glass as champagne and no one gives it a second thought. Most of the time, the second line only happens at the reception, around the venue, but when we do venture out, we don’t mind second lining down Bourbon because we’re smart enough to hold our dress in such a way to avoid what might be growing on the streets. We think that cake pulls are a part of every wedding no matter where you are from and we firmly believe that the Groom’s cake is the only chance the guy gets to take part in the wedding. And speaking of cake, New Orleans is the only place where “wedding cake” is an actual flavor and the only acceptable flavor for our wedding cakes.
We have a formula for the wedding day and it typically does not include seeing our groom prior to the ceremony, which will inevitably take place in a Catholic Church. We use police escorts even if we are only going down the street and the local drivers know better than to interrupt a wedding procession. We’re all about a buffet, carving stations and an open bar and the thought of a dry reception is actually confusing to us.
Even the suburban New Orleanians (Metairie and Kenner citizens) who have the tradition of a Catholic Church paired with an all inclusive reception hall because the parents feel it’s rude to ask their friends to pay for downtown parking, follow these traditions as this New Orleans community as a whole is its own breed. Our breed has bridal parties filled with friends they’ve been with since grammar school and each of our guests will surely run into at least 2 sets of people they’ve known their whole life, yet did not realize were connected to the bride and groom.
For the New Orleans bride, it’s all about family, friends you’ve known your whole life and celebrating everything! We’re more about bloody mary’s on the balcony, than iced tea on the porch. And we’re more likely to drink past the heat than to fan ourselves. Because of our saucy twist on Southern traditions, we are not like Southerners at all and that’s why so many people travel to our city every year for their big day! After all, no one does anything quite like we do things here in New Orleans. We do have that Southern charm, but it’s got a kick that translates to anyone who comes to visit and that’s why everyone loves it here – in New Orleans proper – not just the SOUTH!