Google+ Southern Wedding Tradition :: Burying the Bourbon - Southern Weddings

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Like I’ve said, I love Southern traditions. A lot! I’m also rather proud that I know a whole dang lot of them. Well, y’all, I was officially stumped when it came to today’s Southern tradition – burying the bourbon.

Image credit: Photo Lady Love

I think this one falls under the heading of “crazy traditions,” but I am still a bit disappointed in my Southerness that I hadn’t even heard of it. My research was inconclusive as to where this tradition began, though some sources said Virginia, and some Tennessee. Regardless of the location, Southern folklore says that if you bury a bottle of bourbon at the site where the bride and groom are to be married, then it won’t rain on their wedding day. According to many believers, this must be done exactly one month before the wedding, the bottle must be completely full and it must be buried upside down in order for it to keep the rain away.

Image credit: Jodi Miller (see more images from this super Southern wedding here).

Did you bury bourbon prior to your wedding? Did it keep the rain at bay? Have any more details about this tradition? Leave us a comment below!

P.S. Looking to learn more about Southern traditions?
A Moment of Prayer
Sorority Sing
The Handkerchief

marissa Written with love by Marissa
42 Comments
  1. avatar madelynne miller reply

    That is so funny and neat – but I can’t very easily bury a bottle of bourbon in a church sanctuary!

  2. avatar AmandaR reply

    My future sister-in-law told me of this tradition and I have since insisted that we do it for our June 9th wedding! Our reception is being held outdoors, on my mom’s Tennessee farm, so I need all the help I can get, superstitious or not. We also plan on drinking a bourbon and coke cocktail after we’ve dug up the bottle in our monogrammed Mason jars! And our party favors for our guests will include mini Jack Daniel’s bottles in the Mason jars, it’s all about a theme, right?

    • avatar Christina S. reply

      Hello,

      Did you have your wedding yet? Did the Bury the Bourbon work? Also, did you bury it 1 calendar month before or 4 weeks before?

      Thanks!

  3. avatar AmandaR reply

    One other thing: According to Wikipedia :) Although Jack Daniel’s whiskey generally meets the regulatory criteria for classification as a straight bourbon, the company disavows this classification and markets it simply as Tennessee whiskey rather than as Tennessee bourbon. So we are going with Wikipedia’s classification for our Tennessee wedding and burying the bourbon – Jack Daniel’s!

  4. avatar Melissa reply

    Wish I had known about this on my wedding day! It rained cats and dogs! Probably would have had to “bury” (read: under a bush and not in dirt) it at the country club reception, as the church did not allow any alcohol on site ;-)

    Rest assured, plenty of bourbon was enjoyed that evening!

  5. avatar Sarah O reply

    This is such a cute idea! I’m going to try the reception site option too since I don’t feel right burying bourbon on the church grounds. Hopefully it will still work for a South Carolina wedding! ;)

  6. avatar Julia C reply

    We did this for my sisters wedding though our understanding was that you should chose a day that you want the weather to be like and then we buried the bourbon. The hardest part was deciding which day was the best weather and thankfully it worked!

    Being that the reception was in my parent’s backyard there weren’t any issues with being allowed to do it. However, we never dug it back up! In all the craziness it is still in the garden.

    Love the idea of photographing the event as well as digging up the bottle and drinking it in celebration!

  7. avatar Caitlin reply

    I love this website! My fiance and I are both southern, as well our whole families live below the Mason Dixon. We are going to do this for our September 1st wedding!

  8. avatar Katherine reply

    We are having an outdoor ceremony on June 9th and I am so nervous that it is going to rain. When I read about this tradition, I just knew we had to do it! Just last weekend my fiancee and I went to our ceremony site in Charleston, SC and buried a bottle of bourbon. Now let’s just keep our fingers crossed that it works!!

    • avatar Marissa reply

      Oh how fun! You’ll have to let us know if it works! Fingers crossed for you!! xx

    • avatar Katherine reply

      Our wedding was June 9th and thanks to the bottle of bourbon we had fantastic weather!! Bright and sunny skies with a little breeze and cooler than normal in Charleston for June. We were esctatic and had a wonderful wedding day!

      And then the next day it was overcast and raining off and on So in my opionion, the tradition works :)

  9. avatar Wedding Traditions ✈ Southern Belle | Fly Away Bride reply

    […] Ulmer Studios via Green Wedding Shoes | Burying the bourbon:  Jodi Miller Photography via Southern Weddings | Drinks: A Sweet Pea Chef | Hostess with the Mostest | Whole Foods Market | Outdoors:  Paige […]

  10. avatar Abby @ Belle & Beau Antiquarian reply

    We love your post and we have included it in a roundup of Southern traditions. We linked it back to your post. ;) Check it out here: http://belleandbeauantiquarian.blogspot.com/2012/11/10-southern-traditions-that-yall-should.html

  11. avatar Burying Bourbon | A Tasty Life reply

    […] Southern folklore says that if you bury a bottle of bourbon at the site where the bride and groom are to be married, then it won’t rain on their wedding day. According to many believers, this must be done exactly one month before the wedding, the bottle must be completely full and it must be buried upside down in order for it to keep the rain away. […]

  12. avatar Rebecca reply

    Please help. We are supposed to be burying the bottle today. Today is 31days before our wedding. But it’s raining :-( can we do it tomorrow since it technically will still be one month away?

    • avatar Emily reply

      Hi sweet Rebecca! My vote would be to do it tomorrow! :)

    • avatar Heidi DeBoet reply

      My daughter Chessie is burying a bottle of bourbon today for her April 12 wedding…its rainy and windy today will let you know how it worked in a month…

  13. avatar Brenda Buchanan reply

    There is a poem that accompanies the tradition of burying the bottle. Have you heard of it? I’m searching for it.

  14. avatar Julia reply

    It worked for us in Virginia this past August!

  15. avatar Southern Traditions: Cotillion – Southern Weddings Magazine reply

    […] y’all know, I normally talk about Southern wedding traditions – from the sweet to the kind of wacky! Well, today’s tradition is not necessarily associated with weddings, but it still features a […]

  16. avatar Rainy Tennessee Wedding by Kristin Sweeting – Southern Weddings Magazine reply

    […] to wedding weather woes–whether it stormed on your big day or you’re getting ready to bury the bourbon, unpredictable weather is a nerve-wracking factor that every outdoor bride has to endure at some […]

  17. avatar Pink Beach Wedding by Vue Photography – Southern Weddings Magazine reply

    […] We buried a bottle of Woodford upside down at the ceremony site, and the boys dug it up just before the ceremony. They toasted the occasion with the bourbon they had just retrieved–the bottle ended up empty, so I’m glad I didn’t bury a bigger bottle! New to this Southern tradition? Read our post on it here! […]

  18. avatar Angie reply

    I was the photographer at a wedding where they buried the bourbon and… it worked! The rain was horrible leading up to the wedding! That whole week seemed like it would lead up to a site that was water logged or we would be boating in! On Friday, the rain finally stopped around noon but it was calling for more the next day. When we showed up for the rehearsal, everyone was in rain boots and the bride had full confidence that the 3 inch deep puddles would be dry on Saturday. When we arrived on Saturday, it was dry! I will never doubt this southern tradition and plan to do this when my daughters marry!

  19. avatar Christina S. reply

    Hello,

    I am wondering how specific do you have to be regarding the ONE MONTH rule.

    Example: Our wedding is Saturday Oct 4th. Does that mean we bury September 4th (Which is a Thursday) or 4 weeks before (would be September 6th a Saturday like our wedding)

    -Christina

    • avatar Robyn reply

      My wedding is October 4th as well and we will be burying ours tomorrow, September 4th. Our venue has had 26 weddings and it only rained once. That was because they didn’t bury their bourbon!

  20. avatar rachel vetter reply

    We do not have a wedding at Walnut Way without burying the Bourbon! We are at 100% sunshine since we began having weddings. Our couples have fun with the tradition by having a picnic. If the couple is from out of town I bury it for them and send photos. It is frequently the first photo in their wedding album and digging it up is the last. We have had weddings that couldn’t have their rehearsal due to rain and the next morning the sun came out. Other weddings have had the rain begin the following day. Walnut Way

  21. avatar Potato Hill Farm Kentucky Wedding Photography reply

    […] The ceremony was held at St. James Church in Dover KY and the tented reception was held at Potato Hill Farm. The Farm is actually owned by Brian’s family and provides a Rustic and Farm style accommodations. I also experiences a Sourthern Wedding Tradition of Burying the Bourbon […]

  22. avatar Susan Harrington reply

    When I was a kid in west Texas, a family friend found a bottle of bourbon buried on their property. It was over 100 years old. Nobody had a clue why anyone would bury bourbon underground. As an adult when I moved to the Carolina’s I learned it was a tradition. Looking back, most of the settlers that came out west were from the Southern states. So as far as I can say, the tradition has been around for over 100 years.

  23. avatar Lauren reply

    We’re having a destination NYE wedding in Hilton Head and of course they’re predicting ‘storms to end the year’ down there. We still may bury the bottle on a nice sunny day where we live just for the heck of it and see what happens. Anyone else try this for their destination wedding?

  24. avatar Van reply

    Do you dig up the bourbon bottle and drink it after the wedding?

  25. avatar Bev reply

    Yes Van! Drink and toast!

  26. avatar Anna reply

    We did this a month before our wedding (9/19/15) we buried a new bottle of Jim Beam upside down at our wedding ceremony site. It looked like it was going to rain ALL day up until I walked down the aisle at 4:30. The skies opened up with the sun shining down on us. The reception was tented and we had perfect “fall”cool (low of 65) weather for the rest of the evening/night. We’re convinced it was due to our dirty bourbon that we dug up before we went to join our guests at the reception.

    • avatar Anna reply

      The only thing we did different and I forgot to mention is that we saved it for our anniversaries. We’re gonna have a drink with it for big anniversaries: 1,5,15,20,25,30,35, etc

  27. avatar Laine reply

    My husband and I buried our bourbon exactly one month to the minute from the start of our ceremony and it worked like charm! For our summer wedding this month, we had unseasonably cool temperatures and clear, beautiful skies! This is definitely a tradition to hold tightly to!

  28. avatar Spring Wedding at Magnolia Plantation reply

    […] they buried a bottle of bourbon at the ceremony site one month before their wedding. According to Southern Weddings, “Southern folklore says that if you bury a bottle of bourbon at the site where the bride and […]

  29. avatar North Carolina Wedding Photographer and Wedding Invitations reply

    […] the bride, Ashley tells me get ready for diggin’ up the bourbon, I was stumped. Come to find out it’s an old Southern tradition and I think this one falls […]

  30. avatar Megan reply

    We are planning on doing this, but cannot gain access to the venue until a few days after the day that would be one mom. Hopefully, it still works! We have had issues with rain or our engagement photos and my bridal photos already, so keeping the rain away on wedding day is huge!

  31. avatar Chelsea + Cory :: Shawano, WI Wedding Photography » Marshfield and Wisconsin Wedding Photography reply

    […] to the lone oak, it was a photography dream. After Chelsea + Cory’s intimate ceremony and digging up the bourbon, (which worked because the sky was cloudless and blue)  we headed to the Shawano Park Pavillion to […]

  32. avatar Morgan reply

    We are planning to do this tradition, however we hit a road block! We knew we couldn’t bury the bottle at our ceremony site, as we are getting married at a church, but our reception venue has said that we can not bring outside alcohol onto the property. Does anyone have any suggestions on how we might be able to alter the tradition (read: get around this rule) and still participate?

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