Photo credit: RossJames.net
Texas is the only state in
the Union permitted to fly its state flag at the same height as the United
States flag. That’s simply because Texas is the only state in the union that
was once its own country. Because it was once its own country, it has a culture
of its own. The culture blends the influence of the Deep South, Mexico and
ranching. Weddings are just one more place Texans do things a little
The house party is a southern
tradition in which brides enlist the assistance of friends to perform various
tasks not delegated to bridesmaids. These attendants are different than
bridesmaids, so they are not expected to travel to all bridal showers or wear a
specific dress. Often they greet guests and encourage them to sign the guest book,
pass out programs or help serve cake at the reception. The house party is to
the bride what ushers are to the groom.
Another southern tradition is
the groom’s cake. When you think of wedding cakes, more often than not, you
think of tiered, white cake with intricate detail. In Texas, there is also a
groom’s cake. More often than not it is chocolate and is decorated to represent
some aspect of the groom’s personality. It could be a family coat of arms, a
fraternity emblem or a favorite sport.
Both the rehearsal dinner and
the reception offer times to serve guests Texas cuisine. Such dining options
range from steak and potatoes to barbecued brisket or Tex-Mex dishes like
In many states, etiquette
dictates that gentlemen remove their hats while inside a building. At Texas
weddings, cowboy hats may be the exception. Additionally, Texans are known to
wear one pair of boots to work cattle while keeping aside another pair for
dress occasions. Both groomsmen and bridesmaids in Texas have donned boots for
ceremonies and receptions. As long as they’re polished, nobody bats an eye.
Favorite music styles are as
eclectic as Texans themselves. In San Antonio, you could hear everything from
mariachi bands to hip hop played by Texas DJs. San Antonio weddings also showcase the Mexican
tradition of the dollar dance. At the reception, guests pay a dollar (often
placed in a boot held by the best man) to dance with the bride or the groom.
The dance only lasts until the next guest pays. This provides some extra
spending money for the couple and an opportunity for guests to speak with the
bride and groom on the dance floor.
If a San Antonio karaoke show
featuring Garth Brooks’ I’ve Got Friends
in Low Places doesn’t infuse energy into a country music crowd, the
Cotton-Eyed Joe will. Pre-dating the Civil War, the song is occasionally
referred to as “The South Texas National Anthem.” It elicits both partner
dancing and line dancing on one dance floor.
Whether it’s the Pearl
Brewery Grounds or the Riverwalk for the setting or pictures taken in front of
the Alamo or San Antonio Missions, outdoor venues show off Texas culture in a
unique way. Aside from buildings and history, some couple choose the family
ranch for both the ceremony or the reception, dressing up hay bales and
tractors for the celebration.