Why Southern Couples Bury a Bottle of Bourbon One Month Before Their Wedding

Cheers to good weather!
Cheers to good weather! / Wojciech Boruch/500px/Getty Images (bourbon); Gokcemim/DigitalVision Vectors/Getty Images (background)

From cake pulls and parasols to bridal luncheons and outdoor settings, tradition and culture have always played a deep role in Southern weddings. There’s another regional wedding tradition that has withstood the test of time—burying a bottle of bourbon. 

The bourbon-burying tradition is part of the lead-up to most Southern weddings. It’s believed the ritual will bless the soon-to-be-wed couple with sunny weather on their wedding day. But, for the tradition to be effective, some rules must be followed. 

First, the couple can’t settle for a bottle of cheap whiskey, and should instead splurge for a good bottle of real bourbon. They must then bring that expensive whiskey to the location of their wedding exactly one month before the date they’ll get married. At the precise time they’ll tie the knot—down to the minute—they should bury the bourbon. Miss this short window of time, and legend says the ritual won’t work. 

Don’t forget how to bury the bourbon: The bottle needs to be unopened and buried upside down. 

After the actual wedding ceremony, the couple removes the bottle from the ground. It definitely makes for an interesting, albeit dirty, photo opportunity, and a great memory for family and friends.

At the reception, the newlyweds will share the unearthed bottle of bourbon with their guests. Some big weddings may require burying multiple bottles of bourbon to ensure that all guests can have a drink in honor of the couple; some people may even choose to bury an extra bottle to keep for a special milestone in the future.