Of all the Southern wedding traditions still observed today, like seersucker suits, pound parties and cake pulls, burying the bourbon might be the most beloved. This gesture is rumored to ward off rainy weather on the big day.
While some superstitions are carried out throughout the country, this one is uniquely Southern. The origins are unknown, but legend has it that if you bury an upside-down bottle of bourbon one month before you say “I do,” you’ll have sunny skies on your wedding day.
However, there are very specific rules that must be followed for it to “work.”
What To Know
Now here’s the hitch: It has to be exactly one month before your wedding, down to the minute. That’s right. If you’re getting married on April 10 at 5 p.m., you need to be burying it on March 10 at 5 p.m.
The legend also requires you to place an unopened bottle of bourbon upside down on or near where you’ll recite your vows. Be sure to ask your wedding venue first for permission. Some welcome this ritual, but others may not. If you need to make adjustments to the exact spot, that’s said to be OK. One bride told Southern Living that since her ceremony was at a church and the reception was in her parent’s yard, they buried it near their tent location instead.
Another rule: It must be bourbon, not whiskey. This can be confusing if you don’t drink spirits. Here’s the rundown on the difference between the two: all bourbons are whiskeys but not all whiskeys are bourbon. Bourbon is an American whiskey made with at least 51% corn and aged in charred-oak barrels. Whiskey is produced around the world and is distilled from a mix of grains, including corn, barley, rye and wheat. Check the label before purchasing.
Oh, and one more rule: Don’t open the bottle before you bury it. (We know how tempting it might be to take a swig.) After the ceremony, you and your partner should dig up the bottle and share it with your guests.
Make It Extra Special
This is a great opportunity to splurge on the good stuff. If you have a large number of guests, you might want to bury two bottles. Some couples choose to bury two so they have one to share and one to save for their anniversary.
Unearthing the bourbon makes for a great photo opportunity, but it can get messy. Wrap it in a bag and have a packet of wet wipes ready for easy cleanup. Even with the mud, it’ll still be a romantic moment.
Does It Keep The Rain At Bay?
Wedding planning can feel hectic and overwhelming, even for the most relaxed, organized couple. So whether or not you believe in the superstition, it’s, at the very least, about taking a moment to connect a month before you tie the knot.
It’s anyone’s guess whether or not it works, but hey, it’s worth a shot, especially since the South is known for its humidity and thunderstorms. Regardless, there’s no harm in honoring an age-old tradition. Just don’t forget where you’ve stashed it!