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Southern Wedding Traditions: Pearls, Sleeves and Emeralds

We live for traditions here in the South. Nothing is more important in traditions than a and her wedding day. One of our favorite sources for inspiration,  Town & Country   has released their annual T&C Weddings Guide  and there are traditions abound. This edition features three classic trends that are making a HUGE comeback: pearls (these are always on trend in the South), the growing popularity of long-sleeved wedding dresses (Everyone who has every shopped for a dress with a traditional debutante grandma knows this to be true), and the return of the emerald engagement ring (Diamonds are a girls best friends but Emeralds are a wedding tradition we can’t overlook).

Here are some of the trends from Town & Country and how any Black Southern Belle can incorporate them into her wedding:

Classic jewelry making a comeback: Pearls.   In the south, pearls are a tradition, we can let go of for any event, especially our wedding. From the sorority girl to the church mother, there is a place for pearls for everyone attending a wedding. We especially love when brides wear pearls that have been passed down. I, myself wore my mother’s wedding veil which included a pearl tiara and it was one of my favorite memories from that day.  Pearls are being paired with diamonds in earrings, appearing as the center stone on rings, and with the comeback of the pearl comes the brooch. Not to mention you can wear them to any alumni association meeting, sorority event or grocery trip your heart desires 🙂 Send us some of your images of wearing pearls on your big day and we will be sure to share!

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The long-sleeved wedding gown: This trend dates way back and is always in style in the south. With many southern churches almost requiring sleeves, a southern bride loves a long-sleeved gown. It is a southern classic that will be sure to make the most traditional mom or grandmother happy. There are also so many options with this dress, between beading, lace, full ball gown skirt or long trains, you can make this dress your own by adding modern touches to a traditional silhouette.

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The emerald engagement ringEngagement rings are something we cherish long after the wedding is over. Although diamonds have their place, many southern brides are opting for more colorful classics and the emerald ring is where it is at. This royal color is perfect for the bride who wants tradition and to stand out, or the bride who may love being an AKA  or Norfolk State Alum more than life. Here are a few of our favorite styles of emerald engagement rings and we are so hoping this tradition becomes more popular.

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By آیناز تدین (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

Emerald_Ring Southern Wedding Traditions: Pearls, Sleeves and Emeralds

By Sujit kumar (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 ( or GFDL (], via Wikimedia Commons

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Michiel Perry

Michiel is a Black Southern Belle living a lowcountry life. I love all things fashion, home decor and southern! When I am not running around doing fun stuff for Black Southern Belle, I live in antique stores and have a minor obsession with historic homes 🙂

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1 Comment

  1. November 3, 2015 / 9:17 pm

    I absolutely LOVE long sleeve gowns. So happy this is making a comeback! Though skin can be sexy there is nothing more alluring and romantic than being covered in lace!

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