Many of us spend our early years toddling around tailgates, cheering in the stands of our favorite Southern college stadiums, and exploring the campus grounds where our parents fell in love. With all this in mind, we thought there was no better choice for our tenth anniversary fashion editorial than one inspired by iconic universities across Dixie. When it comes time to get married, we’re determined to honor what’s most important to us, and in the South, that often includes our beloved alma maters — be it in the flowers in our bouquets, our accessories, or our beloved gowns!
We had more than one lively conversation around the office as we narrowed down our list of schools and chatted about the attributes embodied by each. While we wish we could have represented all of the great institutions across the South, I’m betting you’ll fall in love with at least one gown here, whether or not your college is represented! (Psst: you’re allowed to covet your rival school’s gown — we won’t tell!)
We’re so grateful to Blue Ribbon Vendors Anagram Photo for these beautiful images and Teighla Norris for our gals’ hair and makeup. Anna, Graham, and Teighla were such great sports (in addition to being amazing vendors) as we drug them all around Chapel Hill to find the perfect spots for our spirited shoot!
Haven’t picked up your copy of our newest issue? You can do so in our shop and at stores across the South!
The University of Alabama: Her first words were “Roll Tide” and her daddy’s old houndstooth fedora was her favorite piece in the dress-up box. Our Alabama bride’s love of magnolias and monograms (which will play a big role in her upcoming big day) was inherited from her mama, and she makes time in her weekly schedule to grab chicken salad sandwiches with her nana and chat about plans for the upcoming home game at Bryant–Denny.
Texas A&M: Living anywhere but deep in the heart of Texas has never crossed our A&M’s bride’s mind. Her cowboy boots outnumber her heels, fitting well with her laid-back style and deep Aggie pride. From Yell Practice on Friday night through an A&M victory on Saturday afternoon, she doesn’t miss any of the football festivities. Her love for her team is only trumped by her love for her favorite Cadet, and she can’t wait to introduce all her non-Texas family to “Howdy,” the official greeting of A&M, at their rehearsal dinner.
Clemson: When she’s not cheering on her Tigers in Memorial Stadium, our Clemson bride tries to spend free fall weekends back home on her family farm. As a little girl, she spent summers frolicking in the tall grass and picking vegetables from the family garden and every fall begging her daddy to make bonfires after each Clemson victory. Her family means the world to her and she can’t imagine getting married anywhere else.
The University of Kentucky: She bleeds Kentucky blue and, from December to March, doesn’t miss a Saturday in Rupp. In her free time our UK bride can be found saddling up her family’s pony, Twirl Girl, for long Sunday afternoon rides in the rolling green hills of her favorite place on earth. If she gets her way, she’ll tuck roses into her bouquet and say her vows next to her family’s barn on the first warm Saturday in the spring.
Louisiana State University: Purple and gold have been her favorite colors since before she can remember and our LSU bride celebrates her birthday each summer with a big bash in her parents’ backyard. Although she can’t imagine living anywhere but NOLA, she considers Tiger Stadium her home away from home, and helps her mama host the best tailgates in Baton Rouge before every home game. As for her wedding day? She’s planning the most delicious crawfish boil east of the Mississippi.
The University of Mississippi: She’s always smack dab in the middle of the fun and festivities in the Grove during home football game Saturdays. Even though our Ole Miss bride misses her sideline spot cheering for the Rebs, she can still rally the crowds with her spirit and energy from the stands and has big plans for rocking a fantastic topknot and rebel-approved red lip when she says “I do” to her favorite wide receiver-turned-fiancé.
The University of Tennessee: Tailgating by the Tennessee River wearing Tennessee Orange is how our UT bride wishes she could spend every single weekend from September to December. Since the home schedule only blocks out seven Saturdays, she spends her open weekends dragging friends hiking in the Great Smoky Mountains (her picnic packing skills rival the best tailgate spreads). She’d always rather be outdoors and plans to tie the knot at one of her favorite lookout spots with a few close family and friends.
The University of Georgia: While she loves spending her fall Saturdays tailgating in Athens and has proudly adopted the most adorable bulldog in the world, our UGA bride relishes the chance to pop back to Atlanta for a night out on the town with her high school girlfriends. Her idea of a perfect evening starts with gourmet fried chicken from JCT’s Kitchen (which she plans to serve at her reception) and ends at her favorite rooftop bar in Midtown. You can take the girl out of the city, but you can’t take the city out of the girl.
The University of North Carolina: Be it fall in Kenan Stadium or any winter evening inside the Dean Dome, our Carolina bride never not rooting on her Tar Heels. As a third generation alum, she can hold her own when chatting about the chances of another national title, all while rocking her pearls and dreaming up what she’s bringing to the next neighborhood potluck. Chances are good that she’ll dance the night away with her groom to the classic James Taylor tune “Carolina in My Mind.”
The grounds of the UVA campus still take her breath away, especially when our University of Virginia bride walks past the spot where she met her future husband, back when they were first years. While studying for law school takes up most of her time, she won’t miss a chance to cheer on her Wahoos on Saturdays or explore the numerous Charlottesville vineyards on Sunday afternoons. She can’t wait to marry her first love when the leaves change in mid-October.
I’d love to hear which spirited school look is your favorite and whether we did a good job capturing your beloved alma mater!
Anagram Photo and Teighla Norris are delightful members of our Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory. Astrid and Mercedes and Heidi Elnora are wonderful Southern Weddings sponsors.