I grew up in New Orleans and the only thing from that I absolutely had to have at my wedding was a Second Line. A Second Line is a New Orleans tradition. The first line is the brass band parading down the street, originally for a jazz funeral but now just because it’s Tuesday. I made second line wedding umbrellas for our guests to enjoy as we celebrated our marriage with a second line!
The people following the band were called the second line and they would dance to the music waving handkerchiefs in the air and twirling umbrellas. This tradition evolved into more dancing and highly decorated umbrellas. It also merged with wedding traditions of the area.
So I got a hold of 50 white umbrellas about 2 feet in diameter from Craigslist. They were left over from another wedding in Seattle and were purchased to act as rain shields for guests as they went to and from their cars. It didn’t rain, so they were brand new and never used.
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I used fabrics, lace, trim, ribbon, beads, and spray paint to decorate each umbrella, adding feathers and sequins as needed. Most things were attached with hot glue, but some parts were hand stitched in place.
No two umbrellas are the same, though I did make sure to have enough of the white/off-white ones for the wedding party. I made one specifically for my mother and another to match my mother-in-law’s dress. The rest were laid out on a table for anyone to grab to participate.
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