Wedding Shivaree Definition - facts, Summary and Information

Old Wives Tales Legends North Carolina facts Mountains Weddings Wedding Receptions Shivaree Tradition

Traditional Mountain Wedding Celebration

The definition of a Shivaree is a mock serenade that is typically performed at a wedding ceremony but it evolved into a wedding reception for the newlyweds in mountain tradition.

When Mountain folk married, they returned to one of their parents homes. As soon as the couple goes to bed, Neighbors, friends, and relatives arrive for the wedding reception or shivaree. Everyone enters the newlyweds bedroom. The newlyweds were then lifted out of bed by the men guests and "rode on a pole." Four men put a rail on their shoulders and then the groom is put astride of the rail and carried throughout the area with much whooping and carrying on. Meanwhile, the women folk would tie cow bells under the wedding bed.

In Western North Carolina around the turn of the 20th century, when a couple got married everyone in the community baked a layer of cake and covered the top with applesauce. Then they would bring the layer of cake to the wedding. The layers would go into a stack of cake hence the layered wedding cake. A couples popularity was measured on how high their wedding cake was.

Unsmiling wedding pictures were tradition in early 1900's.

see also Country Cooking Traditional Methods

Applesauce Cake Recipes