March 23 2015 | Planning Tips

From Second Lines to Cake Pulls, wedding traditions are something we hold close to our hearts in New Orleans.

Second Line New OrleansThe Second Line

One of the most popular is the Second Line, which celebrates the beginning of a new life for the bride and groom. The Second Line Band leads the bridal party and guests from the ceremony to the reception or may be part of the reception itself.  

The Second Line actually has two parts: the band and bride and groom (the first line) holding a decorative parasol and umbrella followed by their guests who dance and strut to live music as they wave handkerchiefs and cocktail napkins behind the happy couple!

While the umbrella did provide shade for the bride, it also represents Southern style and femininity and was once used as an indicator of societal class.

The Cake Pull

The Cake Pull dates back to the Victorian tradition of ribbon pulling. The charms are placed into the wedding cake and all of the single ladies are given an opportunity to pull a charm for good luck just before the cutting of the cake.  

Each charm has a special meaning:

  • Hot Air Balloon or Eiffel Tower – A life full of adventure and travel
  • Claddagh – Friendship, Love, & Loyalty
  • Butterfly – Eternal Beauty
  • Star – Your wish will come true!
  • Anchor – Adventure is around the corner.
  • Four Leaf Clover – Good luck!
  • Flower – Blossoming love.
  • Heart – New Love!
  • Fleur-de-Lis – Love and Prosperity.
  • Kite- Something fun is about to happen.
  • Wishbone – Success!
  • Ring (similar to catching the bouquet)- Next to get married!

If you’re planning on tying the knot in New Orleans, be sure to add some of our favorite traditions to your special day.


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