Review: Southern Living Weddings Guide

I’m going to admit something to y’all and promise you won’t disown me.

I didn’t have a big, fancy southern style wedding. I eloped and got married next to a waterfall on the Havasupai Indian Reservation inside the Grand Canyon. That’s right- in lieu of a guest list as long as the train on a wedding gown it was just us and a friend, the officiant and her son plus a random rez dog that came for the ceremony then promptly left when it was over. Instead of being met with a shower of rice out the chapel we got a blessing of cool water from Navajo Falls*



That’s not to say that I didn’t buy tons of bridal magazines or pine for wedding dresses before the big day. I poured over magazines looking for suggestions but nothing ever seemed quite right. We did end up having an intimate reception (under 100 people, intimate by southern standards) when we came back that was the perfect size and didn’t cost as much as a brand new car. Even though I’m already married I’ve been thinking about renewing my vows for our 10th anniversary which is a short 3.5 years away aka a great excuse to buy a fancy dress.

So when Southern Living Magazine contacted me to review their new wedding guide I was thrilled to see how things have changed since 2004 when I said those simple words that mean so much-  “I do.”

Ceremony Venue

At first I was a little skeptical that the book could offer up anything of interest to me since after all I’m not exactly your standard southern belle. I’ve got big ol’ tattoos, I didn’t change my last name and up until two years ago we didn’t even have a joint bank account. So much to my delight when the guide arrived on my doorstep I couldn’t be more pleased with the contents. There is everything that a young, modern and (dare I say it) hip couple could need in this guide. If I had a copy of it back when I was planning my reception I would have been much better off. From tips on dessert tables to the proper way to do a toast everything that piques your interest is here.

There are plenty of clever, fresh decorating tips and easy and fun ways to personalize everything from the flower arrangements to the place cards. However my favorite part of the guidebook were the 24 couples that chose to let the magazine share their special day. I was impressed with the range of styles showcased within the guide’s pages. From the traditional church wedding to a Balkan gypsy band leading guests to the reception site there is a little something for every bride no matter what your taste is. Southern style is so much more than pearls and “Yes ma’ams” and I am glad that Southern Living Weddings mirrored that. So no matter if you are planning on honoring your alma mater or having your French Bulldog walk the aisle with you there is a little bit of inspiration for every southern gal here. Pick up your own copy before April 22nd. The wedding guide will be re-released on May 13th if you don’t get a chance to pick one up before then.

Bridal Party

*Note that Navajo Falls is no longer in existence due to a flood that destroyed the waterfall a few years ago.

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