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New Orleans Second Line

By Eden Gallery

I’ve written about Southern Wedding traditions before like the cake pull.  However, there’s one very fun custom I haven’t shared with you yet.  The Second Line!  The jazzy song for this dance goes something like this:

The history of this event is linked with the Jazz Funeral which is a celebration of a person’s life and is the most fun anyone can have at a somber occasion.  This tradition somehow evolved into a dance that is performed at more festive occasions such as weddings.

Usually near the end of the wedding the second line song begins.  Then, the bride and the groom grab a particularly festive set of umbrellas.  They begin their dance around the reception area and one by one the wedding guests join in.  Usually guests are offered white handkerchiefs to swing in time to the music.  Personalized or monogrammed cotton handkerchiefs make a great wedding favor.  My friends Katy and Nick have let me borrow some of their wedding pictures so we can show you how it’s done down here!

The dance continues until the song ends.  Apparently, if you perform the dance correctly you’ll be pregnant within the year!  Just kidding!  That is how it worked out for my friends though.  Many thanks to Katy, Nick and their new addition Christine for sharing their New Orleans wedding with us!

Below I’ve created a small collection of items to help you in your search if you would like to incorporate this very fun custom into your own wedding!

Eden Gallery

The 80/20 Rule of Weddings

Whenever you are dealing with any sizable crowd you can expect only 20% of people to get involved.  Only 20% are going to shake it on the dance floor.  Only 20% are going to get silly with the photo props.  Only 20% will stick around to the very end.  The other 80% will sit quietly on the sidelines absorbing the atmosphere.


I don’t know about you but these numbers have never sat well with me.  I’m always a part of the 20% doers and really appreciate it when others get involved too.  So what are you supposed to do to get the reception hopping?? 


Hire excellent event entertainers first!  If your entertainers are mild mannered or not super qualified for weddings, expect a ho-hum response from your guests.  There is nothing worse that an event where there is no chemistry between the entertainers and the crowd.  I would even go so far as to hire one or two professional crowd pleasers.  You know the people that walk around getting everybody hyped (think cruise ship director).  If you need to save some cash ask an outgoing friend or relative to take on this task, just make sure to have them introduced to the crowd first.


Activities are a great way to inspire people to get off of there rears.  The typical guest book can be transformed into more elaborate spectacles.  Right now there are a ton of new options for unusual guest books.  Fingerprint trees get everyone excited about the visual outcome.  Receipt box guest books invite people to write more than their signature. Have you heard of a cootie catcher?  These area really fun interactive way to educate your guests on your quirky habits and tid bits.

Wedding Guest Book (Medium) Birds of a Feather Fingerprint Tree Canvas THE KIT (guestbook, ink pads, pens) Wedding Word Search Cootie Catcher (PDF - DESIGN ONLY)Prompted Message Guest Book - Hitched & Happy - Set of 200

Remember that no matter what, this day will be amazing because a couple has decided to become one.  Even if no one jumps up to the Electric Slide or shoots off finger pistols with the photo props this is going to be one of the very best days EVER!


Make Believe’N