- 6 years ago
- Wedding: May 2012
My Fiance is born and raised in Southern Mississippi, while I am from New York. We’re about 5 months away from the wedding and we are struggling with finding a balance between the “culture” of Northern v. Southern weddings. I’m not sure if it’s a geographic difference, religious difference, cultural difference, economic difference, generational, or something else? We’re doing a good job of finding compromises and envisioning our day, but I’m wondering if some of my laissez-faire vendor trouble, seemingly OCD bride projects, etc. are just a disconnect between the ways weddings are done where each of us come from, for whatever reason.
He hasn’t been to a whole lot of weddings, but his take on them is that they usually involve a Baptist ceremony at the church, followed by a reception that is usually in the church hall. They are usually during the day. Food is buffet style, meal preferences are not included on RSVPs, and Save the Dates are rare. Family is often responsible for some/all of the food. Decorations usually involve floral centerpieces and crepe paper streamers. There is usually no cocktail hour, no alcohol, no band/dj, and no dancing. Photos are taken quickly between the ceremony and reception. Gifts are given at the shower *or* wedding, not both. The budget is usuall ~$2,000-$3,000. Linen and china rentals, lighting, coordinators, etc. are all uncommon and it is a very casual, family-oriented affair. The idea of telling people where to sit via escort cards, seating cards, and table numbers was completely foreign to him. I’d describe the overall ambiance as “Sunday Best.”
I haven’t been to a ton of weddings either, but my experience is very different. The ceremony is at a church (usually Catholic), followed by a reception that is usually at a catering hall or golf course/country club. The ceremony is usually in the day, while the reception is in the evening. Receptions are seated dinners with multi-course menus and Floral centerpieces, table numbers, escort cards, place cards, etc. are all the norm. Decor will extend beyond this and often involves crystal drops, trellises, etc. The “My Fair Wedding” type decor is not really that foreign. There is *always* a cocktail hour, and usually a band/dj (often both), open bar, and a series of very scripted events, such as entrance, father/daughter dance, mother/son dance, wedding party dance, cake cutting, bouquet toss, garter toss, etc. Photos are an all day affair, with many photos taken before the ceremony, many taken in between the ceremony and reception (at least an hour), and then more still throughout the reception. Chivari chairs, chargers, assorted china, custom linens, etc. are all normal and it is a pretty extravagant event. I’d describe the overall ambiance as “Black Tie Optional.”
I think my wedding expectations fall somewhere between the two, but it’s hard for me to even anticipate some of the differences. For example, when I was preparing our Save the Dates, he thought it was weird but I just assumed it was because he is a guy. I later find out that many of his family members thought they were the actual invite. So there are definitely some differences here! He’s worried about coming across as ostentatious/showy and I’m worried about having an event that lacks the detail and aesthetic that I feel like a wedding should have. Ultimately, the most important thing for both of us is that *all* of our guests feel as comfortable as possible. Our budget is about $15,000-$25,000, which he thinks his family would find appalling (not that we’re broadcasting it). So I know I can’t do a really extravagant wedding (I wouldn’t want to), but I still want it to be really beautiful and special.
Does anyone else have experience with this? What are some differences that you’ve run into? How did you handle them? *Any* feedback would be much appreciated!
Edit: I know there is a certain amount of “stereotype” reflected in what I said above, but it’s based on both of our past experiences. I also know that there are plenty of Northern weddings that would fit my Southern description, and vice versa. I’m just highlighting some of the issues/differences that have come up in our specific planning and have no intentions of being culturally insensitive or judging one type of wedding over another. A hybrid is best for us, but finding out way to that hybrid is what is a little bit challenging.