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Category: Traditions

Y’all, my mom can sew anything. Amazing quilts and intricate Halloween costumes are among the many awesome things she makes, but according to my brother in law, the best thing she’s ever produced are the custom (read: manly!) bean bags for his cornhole game.

Cornhole, bean bag toss, baggo, or — for my northern friends — bags is a lawn game in which players take turns throwing bean bags at a raised platform with a hole in the far end. But y’all already knew that, I’m sure! A corn bag in the hole scores three points, while one on the platform scores one point. The object of the game is to be the first player to reach 21 points.

There’s actually very little information on this Southern staple’s history, but there’s LOTS of debate over its origin. One story claims that the game was created in the Kentucky farmlands, and another that it originated in the 14th century in Germany.

Top to bottom: Our Labor of Love via Once Wed, Virgil Bunao via Southern Weddings, Jodi Miller via Southern Weddings, Elyse Hall via Style Me Pretty, Ashton Events, and A Bryan Photo via Calder Clark Designs

No matter where it was invented, I’m happy to see it taking root in the South, and especially at weddings! I mean, come on! A custom monogrammed cornhole platform? Can it get any better? Besides debuting your married monogram (which is a good enough reason for me!), a cornhole “court” is the perfect place for guests to mingle during cocktail hour or the reception! You’ll definitely find out who the competitive ones are :)

What’s your favorite lawn game? Cornhole? Bocce ball? Will guests be playing lawn games at your wedding?

P.S. Check out our cornhole Pinterest collection for even more lawn game goodness!

marissa Written with love by Marissa
  1. avatar Megan reply

    I love cornhole! I gave my fiance a set of boards for Christmas last year and we’re always inviting people over to play! I’m hoping to have two sets at our wedding reception for our guests to play.

  2. avatar Emily reply

    LOVE cornhole! Whenever we get together my whole family plays tournaments. At my wedding there will for sure be some rounds of cornhole! The monogrammed boards are so cute!

  3. avatar Brandy reply

    Here’s the one we are using at our reception!

    • avatar Marissa reply

      Oh, Brandy!! I love that board – and the monogram is so perfect! Can’t wait to see how much fun guests have!

    • avatar gail reply

      If you could send details of where you had got your cornhole board I would be thrilled – what a great idea for a wedding with a green area !

      Thank you,

    • avatar Marissa reply

      Hey Gail! It looks like Brandy made them herself. She has a great blog post on it here: Best of luck!

    • avatar Jeremy Staples reply

      gail: My wife and I design and make wedding cornhole sets and sell them through our Etsy shop. :) We have several stock designs, some personalized sets, as well as a listing fully customizable boards. Apparently we haven’t been doing a good enough job marketing our sets, we haven’t even made it onto Marissa’s Pinterest board yet. :(

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  5. avatar Kelly reply

    Do you guys make custom corn hole for weddings?

    • avatar Marissa reply

      Hi Kelly! We don’t make custom cornhole boards, but this is a great place that does. Best of luck! xx

  6. avatar Summer Wedding Inspiration – Crafty Pie Press reply

    […] Bride and groom playing croquet via Snippet & Ink | Cornhole board at wedding via Southern Weddings Magazine […]

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As y’all know, I normally talk about Southern wedding traditions – from the sweet to the kind of wacky! Well, today’s tradition is not necessarily associated with weddings, but it still features a lovely lady (ies) in a gorgeous white gown, so we thought y’all might be interested!

Photos by Beatrice de Gea for the New York Times

That’s right, today we’re discussing the Debutante Cotillion. Also known as the Deb Ball, this Southern tradition is a formal presentation of young ladies – debutantes – to society. During the ball, the young ladies are to be wearing white gowns with satin gloves. Each is formally introduced individually to the audience in standard way: her full name is announced, she is walked around the stage by her father for the official presentation, and then her younger male escort joins her and escorts her away.

Recognize that gorgeous redhead? That’s our Editor in Chief Ms. Lara Casey at her own Debutante Cotillion! Isn’t she stunning?

Back to business! A debutante is a young lady, traditionally from an aristocratic family, who has reached the age of maturity. Now that she is an adult, she is introduced to society at a formal “debut” presentation. Interesting to note, while doing my homework, I found that Wikipedia offers Southern Belle as the synonym for a debutante!  In another fun fact, the Christmas Cotillion in Savannah, Georgia, is the oldest debutante ball in the United States, beginning in 1817.

Photos by Beatrice de Gea for the New York Times

I’m a bit partial to cotillions, not because I was a debutante (I’m still sad I was never able to be an Azalea Trail Maid!), but because my sister in law’s debutante ball was my husband’s and my first official outing as a couple! And yes, my husband rocked a pink bow tie and cummerbund set!

Were you a debutante? Did you have a cotillion, or have you ever attended one? 

P.S. Looking for a laugh? Take a gander at what my beloved Azalea Trail Maids wear! Yes, they wear those to this day! SO awesome! :)

marissa Written with love by Marissa
  1. avatar molly stillman reply

    LOVE it. i was never a debutante, sadly… but kinda always dreamed of being one (my 17-year-old self would not have admitted that at the time…)

    but OH MYLANTA those Azalea Trail Maids are out. of. control. hahahaha i want that dress. to wear. all over town.

    just kidding.

    sort of.

  2. avatar Katie O’Keefe reply

    I was born in Mobile and as I little girl I always wanted to be an Azalea Trail Maid. However, due to my father’s military service we moved out of the country when I was eight. Such a shame…I always wanted the “Gone with the Wind” gown!

  3. avatar Andi reply

    Marissa~ Are you from Mobile?? I am from Fairhope and always wanted to be a Dogwood Trail Maid but didn’t quite make it! I was in the Nutcracker Charity Deb Ball in Mobile a few years back! Great fun!

    • avatar Marissa reply

      Hi Andi! Yes, I am from Mobile!! I moved before I was old enough to be an ATM! SO sad! I was actually one for Halloween for like 3 years in a row! I never went to the Nutcracker Ball, but I WAS in the Nutcracker for the Mobile Ballet!! xx

  4. avatar Patti reply

    I’m sorry you were never an Azalea Trail Maid, Marissa – but I do remember you rocking an Azalea Trail Maid costume for Halloween one year!

    • avatar Marissa reply

      It’s okay, Mom! I’ve come to terms with it! : ) I loved that costume – such a great thrift store find! I love you!

  5. avatar Lara reply

    Oh my! HAHA! Yes, that is me in a wedding gown at the age of 17 (I think). It was fun!

  6. avatar Ashley reply

    My best friend’s little sister was an Azalea Trail Maid a couple years ago…so adorable!

  7. avatar Courtney {pizzazzerie} reply

    So cool! I was a deb in North Carolina during sophomore year of college. Very hilarious to put on a wedding dress then. Excited to wear my real one in a few months, but at least the days of “debbing” got me prepared! haha

  8. avatar Desiree reply

    True Story – I was kicked out of debs!! And I later came to find out that my mother was kicked out as well when she was a teenager! Completely different reasons but it’s still our own “family tradition” :) The secret’s in the sauce y’all! wink wink LOL

  9. avatar Holly Gardner reply

    Oh, dear heavens this made me laugh. I have to confess that I was an Azalea Trail girl! It was horrible, but I’ll probably make my daughter do it when she gets to that age too. Hilarious! :)

  10. avatar Ashley Daniell {Ashley Daniell Photography} reply

    OMG, how embarrassing is this picture?!? I’m mortified it’s on the world wide web! Hahaha Ahh, memories Lara!

  11. avatar Wendy Robinson reply

    Ah…the memories! I was a deb in 19**…ahem…and I remember my dress was exquisite! My mother took me to the best bridal shop in town and let me choose my favorite. I’ll always remember the look on the salon owners face when I told her how old I was. When I told her that I was 17, her jaw dropped! She looked quite shocked that we were there for a wedding gown! Mom explained that it was for my cotillion, but I couldn’t resist a good laugh! LOL

  12. avatar Wendy Robinson reply

    Oh and practicing that curtsy for so many weeks prior!! Yeesh!!

  13. avatar Sierra reply

    You would never guess it, but I was in Cotillion until we moved from Tennessee to rural Ohio in middle school. I remember my mom taking me to Hallmark to pick out the nicest formal stationery they had to learn the etiquette of writing thank you letters and addressing envelopes (this was in third or fourth grade!). We also had timed place-setting competitions, a topic in which I need a refresher course for sure. In high school, I was often other people’s date for the Cotillion dances, but I never officially rejoined. Being a Deb is certainly an important Southern tradition for many girls I’m friends with. Thanks, M!

  14. avatar Kelly Cummings reply

    Oh my, those dresses for the Azalea Trail Maids make me thing of Rainbow Row in Charleston! Also, how gorgeous is Lara?!

  15. avatar Kim Ross reply

    Yes, I was a deb back in 19??! It was a great experience!

  16. avatar Kacey Hanslik reply

    So why do debs sometime referred to as “duchess”? I just had a friend post something about her being a duchess now?

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Love Southern wedding traditions and want to include them in your wedding? We wrote our e-book just for you!

When I got married (a little over three years ago), most people weren’t even considering doing a “first look.” My how things change so quickly! While I am a fan of the stunning, emotional images that a first look can help achieve, I am an old soul, and pretty traditional when it comes to weddings. Unsurprisingly, BDK and I opted not to see each other before our ceremony. For us, this was definitely the right decision.

As y’all may know, most Southerners are “Daddy’s girls,” so this sweet tradition that we’ve been seeing is a perfect solution! Want those emotional “first look” photos without actually seeing your beau before the wedding day? Let your daddy step in!

Jason Mize, next two Ray Anthony, Dixie Pixel, Julie A. Whitlock

Y’all, these images could bring a tear to the driest eye!

Emily and I are both huge fans of this sweet twist! The moment when a father first sees his daughter in her wedding gown can be a very emotional and memorable moment. Especially when, as in the photo by Dixie Pixel above, his daughter chooses to wear his wife’s wedding gown! Though a wedding day is focused on the bride and groom, we love when a bride takes a few minutes to spend with just her father.

Special thanks to Moment Junkie, where we found several of these images! Check out their blog for many more moving wedding photographs.

Will you be having a “first look” or did you do a “first look” with your groom — or your Dad? What do you think of this new twist on the tradition?

Dixie Pixel is a fabulous member of our Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory!

marissa Written with love by Marissa
  1. avatar Megan reply

    I am definitely planning on doing a first look with my Daddy before the ceremony..with lots of tissues in hand! Just looking at those pictures above made me grab for a kleenex!

    • avatar Marissa reply

      Hi Megan! I’m so glad to hear that! I am sure the photos will be amazing, but most important it will be an incredibly special moment for you two! xx, MAK

  2. avatar NatalieG reply

    Thank you for sharing this wonderful idea!!! I had not heard of doing this….I am so excited to surprise my Daddy!!! <3

  3. avatar Erin reply

    AAAAAANd I started crying just LOOKING at these pictures! You guys!!!!

  4. avatar Lisa reply

    Oh my goodness, this is the sweetest thing!! These pictures are so beautiful!

  5. avatar Annie reply

    Oh my lord, this is the sweetest thing ever! When my husband and I were planning the wedding, my dad couldn’t even talk about the father-daughter dance song (“My Girl” by the Temptations) without having to excuse himself because he was so emotional. On the actual day he got teary several times but held it together well, too.

    • avatar Marissa reply

      Aw! That is so sweet, Annie! It’s such a proud, and emotional moment for fathers! I’m sure yours was so happy!

    • avatar Emily reply

      Annie, this is so going to be my Dad. I’m a little nervous just thinking about it!!

  6. avatar Latrice reply

    this is so precious & I think more brides will definitely do this!! LOVE LOVE LOVE!

  7. avatar Madelynne Miller reply

    OMYGOSH. Heart just melted. My dad looks at me that way every time I model my gown for him :)

  8. avatar Michelle reply

    My first look with my dad was one of my favorite memories of my wedding day.

    When I walked down the staircase he started to lose it! Fearing I would lose it too, I started singing his favorite song, 2011- The USC Gamecocks fight song (yes, I sang it). Being that he is a former football coach, I told him it was “game time” for both of us and we were getting ready for a big win :)

    He smiled, laughed, and cried all at the same time. It was perfect.


    PS: We got married on the day of the Carolina vs. Clemson game – so there were two big wins that day!

    • avatar Marissa reply

      What a great memory, Michelle! As a big football fan myself, I bet this was awesome! And, wow def a big football day to get married! xx, MAK

  9. avatar Lindsay{LCVintage} reply

    Aww, I love those! I did a first look with my Dad and it was so cute.

  10. avatar Katie reply

    My eyes are brimming with tears! I sure hope nobody comes into my office to ask me anything. My fiance and I are totally against doing a first look ourselves–call me old fashioned but that’s how I’ve felt since I was about five years old. I definitely plan on doing a first look with my dad. Considering that he seemed more excited than I was to show off my engagement ring the following morning at church (and trust me, that had to be A LOT of excitement), his emotions on the actual Big Day will probably be out of control, so I know it will be incredibly special and memorable.

    • avatar Marissa reply

      Hi Katie! I agree, I was a very traditional bride, but this is such a sweet solution. And I bet your dad will be so happy you are taking the time to spend with him during such a special day! xx, MAK

  11. avatar Nancy Ray reply

    Oh my word, I’m tearing up over here! That last one is just precious!
    I have a Daddy First Look photo from my wedding day and it’s one of my favorites. Such sweetness!

  12. avatar Emily reply

    My mom says dad can’t even talk to her about my wedding without getting choked up, so I know he’ll make this a great photo. No matter how old I get he’ll still be my Daddy!

    A comprimise on the first look with the groom though is the photos I’ve seen of the bride and groom each on a side of a solid door holding hands and not looking at each other. I love them.

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  15. avatar joy reply

    Love the twist on this. I would also like to mention that it’s not only southern girls that are “Daddys’ Girls.” =) The photos are precious……………great way to capture those special, emotional, happy moments.

    • avatar Emily reply

      Hi Joy! Of course! I’m not technically a Southern girl myself, but I do love my Dad :)

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  20. avatar Amanda reply

    These pictures are beautiful and really capture the emotions! We haven’t decided if we are doing a first look with my fiancé. I wish I could get these pictures. My dad passed 10 years ago and this aspect is the hardest part. Thank you for sharing the pictures! Beautiful!

    • avatar Marissa reply

      Hi Amanda! I’m sorry to hear about your dad – I know that must be very difficult for you. I’m sure he would be so proud to know you now, and I’m sure he will be looking down on you smiling on your wedding day. xx

  21. avatar Ayako reply

    Amazing pictures! Brought tears into my eyes. I so wish I had picture like that with my dad. My photographer was no show on my wedding. What a memory right? ;..(

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  32. avatar Erica reply

    I LOVE all of these pictures!! I have started taking pictures and my first wedding shoot is next weekend. The Bride-to-be wants a lot of pictures of her and her daddy. This Is a great idea of taking a picture of the first time the dad sees his dauhter, My daddy passed away seven months ago and I know just how special my picturesof me and my daddy are and will always be from my wedding.

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