Burying the Bourbon – A Southern Wedding Tradition

Brides and grooms below the Mason-Dixon have been burying bottles of bourbon before their outdoor nuptials for decades. If done properly, this age-old tale is said to keep the rain away on the wedding day. The keyword here is “properly.” Who knows exactly where this southern wedding tradition originated, but some claim the tradition possibly began in Tennessee or Kentucky because of their plethora of distilleries. 



Scientifically, there is zero correlation between burying bourbon and the weather patterns. From our experience, we have had countless couples that buried the bourbon at Hamilton Place and did not have a drop of precipitation. 


How to bury the bourbon

This fun southern wedding tradition requires that you follow four key steps to ensure a rain-free wedding.

  1. The Time. Perhaps the most crucial piece of the burying tradition, the day and time of your bourbon burial ceremony is everything. The legend states the bride and groom must bury the bottle exactly one month to the day of the wedding at the exact hour of the ceremony. If you are getting married on June 23 at 6:00 in the evening, that bottle of bourbon needs to be in the ground on May 23 at 6:00 in the evening. Don’t cheat this step.
  2. The Bourbon. All bourbon is whiskey, but not all whiskey is bourbon. A common mistake when selecting a bottle to bury. By law, bourbon must be made in the United States, contain 51% corn mash, aged in oak-charred barrels, bottled at no less than 80 proof, and cannot contain any added flavors. Keep this in mind as you reach for that emerald-green bottle of Jameson. That’s an Irish whiskey, not bourbon.
  3. The Burial. Now that you have the time/date set and your carefully-selected bourbon in hand, it’s time to dig and bury. The bottle must be unopened (no quick swigs beforehand) and buried upside with the neck of the bottle down. Not on its side. Not standing straight up. Upside down. 
  4. The Post-Ceremony Celebration. Now that your rain-free wedding ceremony has ended, it’s time to dig up the bottle and partake. The bottle must be shared with the wedding party to celebrate!

If the bourbon burial happens to backfire and rains on your wedding day, make the best of the situation and enjoy your special day. After all, some say rain on your wedding day is good luck but that is another old wives’ tale for another day.

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