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Southern Weddings

Author: Emily

The when, where, and look of a wedding seem to get all the attention, but don’t overlook the impact you can make with your song selections! Have you ever heard of those couples who make a pact to start swaying together whenever they hear their first dance song, even if it’s the grocery store? I have, and they always make me smile :)

At the same time, don’t despair if you and your fiance don’t have an obvious special song choice for your first dance — many of the Southern Weddings gals didn’t, either, but you can bet the songs we chose are special to us and our husbands now! Incorporating meaningful details from your relationship so far is one of the best ways to celebrate your love story, but your wedding day is also a great opportunity to make new memories.

If you’re looking for a totally fresh idea on the song front, we love the vintage warmth of Eamon’s new single, “Be My Girl” for a fun, upbeat option! Eamon was inspired by newlywed life with his new wife to write it – so sweet! “This is the kind of song that I’ve always wanted to write,” he says, “but it’s never come out of me. I think a lot of that has to do with being newly married and having my best friend as the love of my life.”

Photo by Rebekah Senter Photography from Rose Hill Mansion Wedding by Eventi Floral and Events

We’ve asked so many real brides to share their song selections over the years, and unsurprisingly, their inspiration has run the gamut: maybe it was playing during a pivotal moment in their relationship, it was popular when they were falling in love, or it’s the song they love to sing along to together most often.

Still others have chosen a new song they’ve fallen in love with specifically for their first dance to cement that memory in their minds (in that case, “Be My Girl” would be a perfect pick!). I also love the idea of borrowing a traditional song from your parents’ or grandparents’ first dances!


Photo by The Ganeys from Colorful New Year’s Eve Wedding by Ashton Events

Thanks to the great responses on this #SWFrontPorch post and a little brainstorming from our team, we put together this Spotify playlist for you to sashay around the kitchen to as you try out options with your beau! Here’s a cheat sheet of the tunes in store:

I’d love to hear: What first dance song are you leaning toward, or did you choose? I went with “Beyond the Sea” by Bobby Darin (a classic choice for our seaside wedding!), but “I Won’t Give Up” by Jason Mraz was a close second!

This post is sponsored by Red Music. Thank you for your support of the brands who make Southern Weddings possible!

emily Written with love by Emily
7 Comments
  1. avatar Kyla Fetzner reply

    Dillon and I chose ‘The Wedding Song’ by Matt Maher… The words were everything to us and our story!

  2. avatar Jessica Allendorf reply

    My husband Tucker (best friend of 26 years) picked me up from my college the first weekend of freshmen year (his sophomore year) and brought me up to his alma mater Clemson. Riding in the truck, windows down, he played Groovin’ Slowly by John Butler Trio. We’ve been dancing to that song for 8 years now, including our first dance 2 months ago today! 5/27/17

  3. avatar Lisa reply

    “She’s Like Texas” would be a PRECIOUS first dance song!!

  4. avatar Lauren reply

    We are going to dance to “I Cross My Heart” by George Strait for our first dance. We love George and we dance to that song in our living room all the time.

  5. avatar Meghann Richardson reply

    We actually chose “I Don’t Dance” by Lee Brice. My husband does not like to be the center of attention, but chose to dance in front of 200 because he knew it was important to me. I smile every time it comes on the radio.

  6. avatar Morgan Cox reply

    We danced to “In Case You Didn’t Know” by Brett Young… it said everything that we want to say to each other!

  7. avatar Brooke Foley reply

    My husband and I danced to From the ground up by Dan and Shay. It was absolutely perfect! We loved how it incorporated wedding vows and spoke of not only the hard work marriage takes but also the heritage and legacy it builds!

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You have a lot of choices for information and inspiration while wedding planning, but we believe one of the reasons you come to us is for a regular dose of what we like to call “the magic of the South.” Not only can this magical place we call home inspire your wedding day details, but it can provide a healthy dose of perspective and calm during a sometimes stressful season.

What, exactly, is the magic of the South? Well, it’s different for everyone, but here are the things our team finds most magical about life beneath the Mason-Dixon Line…

All photos from our hashtag #SWMagicoftheSouth!

AMBER, our Marketing Director: I find the way community is so natural here to be magical: everyone on their porch chatting about the day, how well we know our neighbors and wouldn’t hesitate to ask them for any kind of help — whether it be an egg or cup of sugar, or helping you track down a missing cat. I also appreciate the gardens, florals, and nature of the South. It was completely new to me when I arrived ten years ago, and I’m constantly learning something new even now.

EMILY, our Creative Director: My favorite thing about the South is the history and community of historic neighborhoods: beautiful old houses, big front porches, gracious old trees, and neighbors who know each other. Think downtown Beaufort, SC; downtown Laurel, MS; 12 South in Nashville; or Oakwood in Raleigh!

LARA, our Founder: I love how the South colored and shaped my grandfather’s personality and legacy. I love driving through small Alabama towns, hot boiled peanuts, the sound of crickets, Peach Park, humble homes, and the distinct smell of magnolias. I grew up going to a place called Hopkin’s Boarding House for Sunday supper where the entire porch was lined in rockers and we’d collect rolly pollies while we waited on a table in the family-style dining area. The food was classic: mashed potatoes, fried chicken, banana pudding, white rice, rolls, and super sweet tea. Overall, I love how the people reflect the history and landscape, creating a unique heritage.

NICOLE, our Art Director: I love the hometown feel that happens in Southern cities. There’s so much pride in local — local businesses, local farms, local history (that’s the funniest!) — and it makes everyone feel connected to the past and involved in the future.

Photo by Jessica Burke with styling by Blue Ribbon Vendor Jacin Fitzgerald from Southern Weddings Volume 6

JESS, our Chief Encourager: My favorite part of the South is knowing that the people here embody true hospitality, willing to jump in and help on the hardest days and thrilled to stand by your side to celebrate the milestones in your life. No one is ever too busy to stop for a hello or hang out for a glass of sweet tea.

MARISSA, our Ad Director: Heaven above, I simply cannot just pick one thing to love about the South! I love the personalities that have never met a stranger, the architecture that is so carefully preserved and restored, the way honeysuckle smells in the spring, how Saturdays in the fall are reserved for college football, how baby girls wear big bows and baby boys wear jon jons, the food (especially biscuits, banana pudding, and cheese grits!) and how it is used as a love language to bring people together. I love the sound of a thick Southern drawl, the pride Southerners have for their t-tiny hometowns (and the South as a whole for that matter!), and the traditions that helps shape every aspect of life in the South from naming babies to the color of your porch ceiling. But, most importantly, I love the feeling of ‘home’ that the combination of these things represent.

KRISTIN, our Editor-in-Chief: Admittedly, it’s hard to pick a favorite part about the South, but if I had to pick just one, it would be the traditions. I love how so many Southern experiences are based on long-honored traditions: pimento cheese sandwiches on Master’s weekend, watermelon and potato salad on the Fourth of July, college football kick-off and tailgating, handwritten thank you notes, seersucker and pearls, eating ‘supper’ instead of dinner. I could go on and on…

How about y’all? Did our favorites immediately bring to mind your own favorite memories, sights, smells, and sounds? Hold them close while wedding planning and long into married life! And as you enjoy them this summer and beyond, do share with us using the hashtag #SWMagicoftheSouth on Instagram – we’d love to see, and we’ll repost our favorites on the Southern Weddings account!

emily Written with love by Emily
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We’ve had the joy of sharing a few different premarital prep resources over the last few weeks, which I love! Different resources will speak to different couples at different times, so I think it’s wise to have a variety of perspectives on your bookshelf, don’t you?

Today’s tried and true resource, Love & Respect by Dr. Emerson Eggerichs, hinges on a very simple finding: that in general, love best motivates a woman and respect most powerfully motivates a man.

Unfortunately, research reveals that during marital conflict a husband most often reacts unlovingly when feeling disrespected, and a wife reacts disrespectfully when feeling unloved. Yikes – that’s a recipe for a circle of hurt!

“We asked 7,000 people the question, ‘When you are in a conflict with your spouse or significant other, do you feel unloved or disrespected?’ says the author. “83% of the men said ‘disrespected’ and 72% of the women said ‘unloved.’ Though we all need love and respect equally, the felt need differs during conflict.”

Love & Respect builds on this concept to offer a new way of relating through three cycles, each centered on, well, love and respect:

— The Crazy Cycle: Couples will learn how to resolve conflict through dealing with negative reactions.
— The Energizing Cycle: They will also learn how to motivate each other by meeting each other’s needs.
— The Rewarded Cycle: Those who feel hopeless in their relationships will gain understanding on how to handle an indifferent or unresponsive partner.

If you’ve ever felt like you and your beloved aren’t speaking the same language, lean on Eggerichs’ 30+ years of counseling experience to crack the code and change the way you talk to, think about, and treat your significant other in order to make your marriage even more joy-filled.

Sound intriguing? The New York Times Bestseller Love & Respect is available wherever books are sold in physical, audio, and e-book form. Buy it here on Amazon, and grab a few accompanying freebies right here!

I’d love to hear: What’s the best relationship book you’ve ever read?

This post is sponsored by Harper Collins. Thank you for your support of the brands who make Southern Weddings possible!

emily Written with love by Emily
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Southern Weddings reserves the right to delete comments which contain profanity or personal attacks or seek to promote a business unrelated to the post.  And remember: a good attitude is like kudzu – it spreads.  We love hearing your kind thoughts!

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