Southern Wedding Tradition: Second Line

March 7, 2014 | By | Comments (3)

With the city having the motto Laissez les bons temps rouler (“Let the good times roll!”), it’s no surprise that the “second line” tradition belongs to New Orleans, a town rich with celebration.

Second Line; Photo: Austin Gros

Second Line; Photo: Austin Gros

The line stems from African-American jazz funerals, where a brass band played and paraded to honor the life of the deceased while loved ones followed the band, dancing to add to the spirit and celebration of the procession. Weddings with a NOLA connection have flipped this tradition on its head, using a second line parade to signify the beginning of new life for the bride and groom. A second line usually takes place between the ceremony and reception, with the newly married couple leading the way and holding decorated parasols while the band and wedding party follow right behind. In a genius display of double-duty programs, we’ve seen couples print their order of service on white handkerchiefs, then encourage guests to twirl them in the air once the second line sets off. Though second lines begin with just invited guests, they often attract passerbys to join the fun–perfect for a wedding in the South, where there’s always enough joy to go around.

Thanks to Austin Gros for sharing these fabulous second line pictures with us! Be sure to follow for more Southern traditions, inspiration, and real weddings.


  1. Sue

    === this is fantastic.. Start working at home with Google! Just work for few hours and have more time with friends and family. I earn up to $500 per week. It’s a great work at home opportunity. I can’t believe how easy it was once I tried it out. Linked here http://Pow6.ℭOM

    March 10, 2014 at 10:01 am
  2. Kim

    Isn’t that what we all want to? For our special day we want everything to be perfect!
    We spend weeks and months planning every last detail, from the dress to the center pieces.
    For my wedding Colleen’s took care of all my needs for Catering wedding and it was a complete succes! They set apart from the competition with a great quality service, beautiful presentations, better food, and competitive pricing:

    March 10, 2014 at 9:10 am
  3. Jen

    My husband and I will celebrate our “One Year Anniversary” next weekend!! We had an amazing wedding in New Orleans last year where we hosted 70 of our nearest and dearest. We second lined around the French Quarter between our ceremony and reception and to this day our guests talk about how that was the most FUN they have had at any wedding they ever attended! It was the most perfect day! 🙂

    March 7, 2014 at 1:18 pm

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