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When it comes to Southern traditions, I love them all. Yes, even the crazy ones! But, when we scheduled this feature, I didn’t even have to search for images, because I have a a whole folder on my computer filled with brides, grooms and wedding parties praying. It’s one of my VERY favorite wedding moments ever.

After much research, I found that there isn’t usually a specific prayer being prayed, just a sweet moment to pause and give thanks and ask for blessings. Usually this takes place in the last few moments before the ceremony, when everyone is just buzzing with nervous excitement. You might notice that in most of the images the group is placing their hands upon the bride or groom. In Christian churches, the practice of placing your hands on the bride or groom is used as both a symbolic and formal method of invoking the Holy Spirit. If you’ve experienced this yourself, I’m sure you know how calming and emotional it can be.

I haven’t been able to find where the moment of prayer tradition originated, but it is rooted in faith, a spirit of thanksgiving, and love.

Image credit from left to right and top to bottom: Brooke Courtney, Millie Holloman, Our Labor of Love, Studio A Photography, and J. Malahy.

One beautiful way to incorporate a friend or loved one who isn’t in your bridal party is to ask them to lead the prayer. This would be a perfect request for a godparent or another close relative, and I’m sure they would be touched to be asked.

Did you or will you pray before your ceremony? Do you know where this tradition came from? If you do, leave comment in the section below.

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P.S. Three years ago today, I married the love of my life. Happy anniversary BDK! xx

marissa Written with love by Marissa
  1. avatar Emily reply

    Beautiful post, Marissa! I’m going to ask one of my best friends (who is not in my bridal party, but whose faith I very much admire) to lead us in prayer right before the ceremony. It’s one of the parts of our wedding day I’m most looking forward to!

  2. avatar Nancy Ray reply

    LOVE this post. So much. Beautiful images!

  3. avatar RachelC reply

    I follow you in twitter – rchamberlin7

  4. avatar RachelC reply

    I have 6 wonderful bridesmaids: my sister, my fiance’s sister, my fiance’s sister-in-law, two of my sorority sisters, and my best friend who I’ve known since 1st grade

  5. avatar Madelynne Miller reply

    This brought tears to my eyes! I can’t wait for this special intimate moment at my own wedding. What a sweet and wonderful tradition – it never even occurred to me to call it such. It is SO ingrained in our culture!

  6. avatar Amanda Noel reply

    Happy Anniversary Marissa! that was a BEAUTIFUL post. This tradition will definitely be included in my wedding :)

  7. avatar Havens reply

    I wish people in the UK would adopt more of these “Southern” traditions. These pictures have captured those few moments of silence and contemplation brilliantly, you can see how it pulled everyone together and calmed the atmosphere.

  8. avatar Desiree reply

    ahhh ~ totally a favorite moment of mine! I had a moment of prayer with my mother and father before our ceremony and I asked my uncle (a former minister) to give the dinner blessing. His dinner blessing was above and beyond what I ever expected. Sort of like the ‘laying on of hands’ that Marissa described, but he requested that ALL of our guests reach our their hands towards us, and they shouted “Bless Them! Bless Them!”. I literally felt my world shake and I knew that I had an entire community’s support in my marriage. THANK YOU for reminding me of this, Marissa! xo

  9. avatar Southern Weddings Weekly Round-Up « Southern Weddings Magazine reply

    […] told us about her very favorite Southern tradition this week: a moment of prayer. This tradition is rooted in faith, a spirit of thanksgiving, and […]

  10. avatar Lisa reply

    Always such a special, touching moment, and these pictures are breathtaking. I definitely want to do this someday!

  11. avatar Tradition! | The Budget Savvy Bride reply

    […] Photo courtesy of: Brooke Courtney via Southern Weddings […]

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