My emails to Emily regarding this post could not have had more exclamation points or capital letters. If they did, it would appear I was screaming at her! (I’m so not apologizing either!) We’re all clearly very excited to be chatting about Mardi Gras traditions today, and happy to provide inspiration for a Mardi Gras wedding!
My Southern heart literally skipped a beat when we starting talking about Mardi Gras! (!!!) I’m not going to say that Mobile, Alabama does Mardi Gras better than NOLA (we do do football better though! ; ), because that would just be a plain lie. I am going to say that we do it some kind of awesome! I mean, when I was a little girl, I ROCKED multiple gigantic hair bows made by my mama that were that gorgeous combo of green, purple and gold! My favorite one involved ribbon with “throw me somethin’ mister!” printed on it. That’s right, that bow was bigger than my head!
One thing missing from Mobile’s Mardi Gras celebration would have to be the French Quarter. The French Quarter is the cultural hub for NOLA, and boasts streets and streets of these gorgeous wrought iron covered balconies.
Credit: Austin Gros via Green Wedding Shoes
Historically, Mardi Gras masks allowed people to mix without regard for race, gender, or economic status. Krewe members (those who put on the Mardi Gras parades) wore masks on the floats to hide their identities. These masks wore also originally worn on stage in theaters to convey exaggerated emotions (hence why some are slightly frightening!).
Credits: Masked couple photo by A Bryan Photo; colorful masks photo by Rachel Thurston; sparkly mask photo by Amelia Lyon via 100 Layer Cake;
Mardi Gras masks are traditionally purple, green and gold, and often are decorated with feathers, jewels and glitter. Even the colors have meaning: purple symbolizes justice, green, faith, and gold, power.
Credits: Feather shoes photo by Crystal George Studios via Rock n Roll Bride; purple mask and beads photos by Belathee Photography via Green Wedding Shoes
Tossing beads is a tradition born in the 1920s when the Rex Krewe parade threw inexpensive handmade glass necklaces to bystanders. Nowadays, krewe members seek out innovative trinkets to toss to the crowds, such as candy, frisbees, plastic cups, and even doubloons all marked with the specific parade’s name and logo. But believe me, nothing flies as far as some good ol’ Mardi Gras beads!
Credits: Mask and shoes photo by Crystal George Studios; black mask photo by Belathee; beads and cake photos by Crystal George Studios; mask menu photos by Colson Griffith via Brenda’s Wedding Blog
Now the fleur-de-lis doesn’t have much to do with Mardi Gras specifically, but how could be do a NOLA post without including the official symbol of the state of Louisiana? I love that following Hurricane Katrina, the fleur-de-lis has been widely used in New Orleans as a symbol of grassroots support for New Orleans’ recovery. Now that is what the South is about!
Credits: Docuvitae via Style Me Pretty and Austin Gros
Carriages (or buggies as we Southerners call them!) and rickshaws are great for transportation on those fabulous (and bumpy) cobblestone streets of the French Quarter! I’m kind of crushing hard on this buggy covered with feathers – so regal!
Credits: Mardi Gras pedicab photo by Kate Byars via Every Last Detail, traditional carriage photo by A Bryan Photo, and pedicab photo by Rachel Thurston
Y’all! I literally squealed out loud when we received these images of the second line! The “second line” is a tradition for brass band parades. It’s made up of those who follow the band just to enjoy the music, and traditionally twirl a parasol or handkerchief in the air. This “dance” is called “second lining.” How much fun does that sound?! The second line also has routes in jazz funerals, where the jazz band plays and parades to honor the life of the deceased, and friends and family follow the band dancing or walking to add to the spirit of the procession.
Credits: Dancing couple photo by Docuvitae via Style Me Pretty, couple with umbrellas by Rachel Thurston, couple with balloons by Austin Gros via Green Wedding Shoes, band and hanky waving photos by Docuvitae, umbrella and sign photos by A Bryan Photo
So y’all, who’s up for a road trip to NOLA? After this post, I am SO in!
Have you been to Mardi Gras? What’s your favorite Mardi Gras tradition?