QUERY: Plantation Weddings

Edward H. Sebesta's picture

I am interested in critical analysis of plantation weddings. 

I have looked on JSTOR and found nothing. I have found online one article about plantation weddings in Louisiana literature, but otherwise nothing. 

So I would greatly appreciate referrals to academic writings on both plantation weddings and also writings on the participation of religious staff in these weddings. There well maybe other relevant writing. 

This is not restricted to Christian denominations or weddings, but all weddings regardless of religion and including non-religious weddings. 

As in "jumping over the broom" weddings?


I am inquiring about the current practice of Americans having plantation weddings. This has been reported and criticized in the press, but I haven't found anything in the academic press.

I must admit I assumed you were talking about weddings on plantations during slavery. Interesting. I had no idea there was a current practice of plantation weddings. A little google search informs that apparently this is a thing. For those as unaware as I, here's a 2014 article in Salon and A 2017 article on attn.com. Startling stuff. Hope you find some stuff, or write it!


Yes, there are a lot of articles on it, in particular after the Paula Deen scandal.

I re-read my posting and I realize I should have used the word "contemporary."

I think the topic involves, race, place, religion, architecture, identity, and historical memory and would be a topic to explore.

I've never seen scholarship, but Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds' plantation wedding got a lot of press, not all of it negative. The bad press was exacerbated, however, by her following move: to romanticize the Antebellum era on her now-defunct website, Preserve. Might make an interesting case study at least. Apparently this plantation was/is a popular site in SC for weddings. http://www.boonehallplantation.com/. Also, The Notebook was filmed there. So you're on to something; there's a link between the slave era and white romance.

Thanks for this link to Boone Hall Plantation. It really is ghastly.

Ok...thanks for clarification....interested in the followup material too.
BTW, some contemporary weddings do incorporate the bridal broom tradition as acknowledgement to African-American heritage.

Not sure any of THOSE are on plantations though. That would be an interesting thing to find out...

I would recommend checking out this book if you haven't already: Reconstructing Dixie: Race, Gender, and Nostalgia in the Imagined South by Tara McPherson. Good luck!

I wonder if it might also be useful to think about this in terms of the Historic Natchez Tableaux, which features a performance of the wedding of Jefferson Davis and Varina Howell.

Excellent! Thank you.