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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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    Are y’all on Instagram? The Southern Weddings ladies are! We love how easy it makes sharing photos! Lately, we’ve been breaking out our phone to share everything from the cool packages we get in the mail to what we made for dinner. Here’s a little peek into what’s been going on behind the scenes with the Southern Weddings ladies, in and out of the office.

    1. Memorial Day makes us so grateful, especially Lara whose husband, father and grandfather all served our country.

    2. We finally got around to decorating our office with beautiful images from our past issues.

    3. Warmer weather meant the perfect conditions for Lara’s church to hold an outdoor service.

    4. I love my friends who sport vintage truckers hat from rural Kentucky to our rooftop brunch.

    5. Stacks and stacks of boxes came in full of V5 goodies!

    6. I brushed up on my cornhole game at a friend’s backyard graduation party.

    7. Emily’s wedding bracelet. “I found it in my Mom’s stash when I was home last week!”

    8. Emily donned her press pass as she headed into her third National Stationery Show! (She brought back tons of paper goodies, y’all.)

    9. We gushed over these sparklers that our reader models will be donning for some V5 shoots!

    10. Marissa was running late to a baseball game and rocked giant velcro rollers in the car. “I’m sure Southern girls understand the importance of big hair!”

    11. Marissa’s ring was at the jeweler because a diamond fell out, so she tried on her grandmother’s vintage for size. Um, we love it!

    12. The fair came to town and Marissa and a few of the baseball boys went to the petting zoo. “Don’t tell my husband I think the baby goats are adorable! He wants to buy one!!”

    We hope you had an great month, y’all! What were some of your highlights?

    nicoleyang Written with love by Nicole
    1 Comment
    1. avatar Madelynne Moulton reply

      Biggest highlight was having my wedding published on y’alls site! I also loved putting together some dining furniture with the hubs, spending money on the Webster Miami for Target line, going to Destin with some of my best buddies, visiting Corey’s best friend in Dallas (for a Dave Matthews concert), AND going to an M83 concert! Whew!

    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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    Welcome to the third installment of our Southern Hospitality feature! Each month, we pick a Southern city and an expert host. Our host shares their favorite items custom to that city that would be perfect packed into a welcome bag for family and friends at a weekend wedding. Just one more perk of attending a destination wedding!

    Pack your bags, y’all, because this month, we’re headed to Austin, Texas! Courtney Caplan and Sarah Miller of Caplan Miller Events were our guides, and together with the whole Caplan Miller team, they did a fantastic job of assembling a goodie bag as big (and beautiful!) as the Texas sky!

    Do we have any Longhorns that love Southern Weddings?

    A. Whole Foods Gift Card for lunch at the store. Whole Foods started in Austin, and their flagship store located downtown is the perfect place for guests to grab a bite to eat!

    B. El Milagro Tortilla Chips. They’re made right here in Austin! ($1.95)

    C. Guero’s Salsa. Guero’s Taco Bar is an Austin favorite for great food and live music. Their famous salsa makes the perfect addition to any Austin bag! ($2.69)

    D. Tito’s Vodka Mini Bottle (50 ml). Tito’s Vodka is made right here and is a staple at all local bars and restaurants. ($7.59)

    E. Austin Nuts Deluxe Nut Mix in the Texas Container. Austin Nuts is known for their unique dry roasting process and has a wide variety of delicious options! ($22.99)

    F. Austin TX Button. An Austin button or magnet would be an easy add to a city-themed tote. ($1.00)

    G. University of Texas H2Orange Water Bottles. A portion of all sales of this water go to scholarship programs at The University of Texas. ($12.99 for a pack of 12)

    H. Texas Bluebonnet Seeds. Visitors to Austin can take a little piece of Texas with them! The bluebonnet is the Texas state flower, and a wonderful and lasting gift. ($1.44)

    I. Sweet Leaf Tea. Sweet Leaf Tea is brewed right here in Austin, where the company began!
    ($19.44 for 12-pack)

    J. Tiff’s Treats Two Cookie Box. This cookie delivery service started in Austin and is a favorite of locals and visitors! ($3.00)

    K. Keep Austin Weird Tie Dye T-shirt. The Keep Austin Weird campaign supports local businesses and has become an Austin staple. ($19.99)

    L. Tickets to Antone’s Nightclub. The first club that opened on famous 6th street in Austin still hosts a variety of live music acts. ($10.00)

    M. Kerby Lane Pancake Mix. Kerby Lane Café is one of Austin’s most popular restaurants. Open 24-hours, they serve breakfast around the clock and are famous for their pancakes! ($4.99)

    N. LiveStrong Wristbands. Austin is home to Lance Armstrong and his Livestrong foundation. All proceeds from the sales of this bracelet go to support Livestrong programs and services for cancer survivors. ($1.00)

    O. Legends of Texas Barbecue Cookbook. No trip to Texas is complete without a little education in Bar-B-Q! This is one of our favorite cookbooks on the subject. ($12.97)

    P. Longhorns from Lammes Candy Co. Local candy company Lammes makes these appropriately named Longhorns, a local favorite. ($29.65 for 12 oz. box)

    Q. Salt Lick Original Bar-B-Q Sauce 12oz jar. Sauce from one of Austin’s most famous Bar-B-Q restaurants! ($19.95 case of 3 bottles dry rub and sauce)

    The girls at Caplan Miller joined forces with the talented Lauren Cunningham of The Creative Parasol, who designed this adorable Austin tote for us! Simply download the overlay here and take it to your local screen-printer. Thank you, Lauren!

    From the Austin area and have additional suggestions to add to our tote? What did you love about Austin if you’ve visited before? Have a city in mind for future posts? Comment below and let us know!

    Check out past totes:
    Nashville
    Atlanta

    Written with love by Sierra
    14 Comments
    1. avatar Whitney reply

      I know you already did Nashville… but how about Memphis? I would love some creative ideas beyond Elvis and Graceland!

      • avatar Sierra reply

        Whitney, thanks for the suggestion! We’ll add it to our list. Visiting Graceland is on my bucket list though. Tennessee is a wonderful state!

    2. avatar Kelsey reply

      I really hope y’all do this for a North Carolina city (like Raleigh!)!

      • avatar Sierra reply

        Since we’re based in the area, there is a VERY good chance that we’ll be featuring a city from the Triangle. Might know a few good experts!

    3. avatar Emily Leach @ Bird Dog Wedding reply

      Go, Austin! Love the tote bag design – super cute!

    4. avatar Lisa reply

      OH MY GOSH!!! I love this so much!!! SO perfect for Austin and any of my fellow Longhorns! Amazing job, y’all! HOOK ‘EM! :)

    5. avatar Shannon reply

      I love this feature! Would love to see a South Carolina city to get some ideas for my Greenville, SC wedding gift bags!

    6. avatar Amanda reply

      I’m an Austin girl, born and raised! Every one of those items is truly “Austin”! Way to go! :)

    7. avatar Southern Hospitality :: Richmond Tote « Southern Weddings Magazine reply

      […] in mind for future posts? Comment below and let us know! Check out past totes: Nashville Atlanta Austin xo Sierra December 12, 2011 | view Sierra's blog 0 viewcomments hidecomments What […]

      • avatar Courtney reply

        Love the Austin tote… New Braunfels, TX would be a great one too! It’s at the heart of the Texas hill country! Gruene, TX is close by with antique shopping, the Gristmill (restaurant) and Gruene Hall (country dance hall). Also, tubing down the Guadalupe or Comal River are popular activities here!

      • avatar Sierra reply

        Courtney, thanks for all of the suggestions! Tubing sounds too fun!

    8. avatar Longhorns in Love – reply

      […] Eyes of Texas” cake: Carlea J Photography via Style Me Pretty| Austin welcome tote: via Southern Weddings| Ginger Basil Grapefruit Spritzer: via Joylicious| Peach flowers: source unknown–please tell […]

    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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