The Southern Wedding Tradition Of Burying A Bottle Of Bourbon

Bourbon bottle on barrel
Bourbon bottle on barrel - Karandaev/Getty Images

Rain on your wedding day may be considered a sign of good luck, but really, who doesn't want nice weather for their nuptials? You spent time and money planning the celebration, you may have dreamed of the big day for a long time, friends and family have traveled from near and far to join you, and you want to savor one of the best days of your life. Of course, no one can control the whims of nature, but there's one tradition Southern couples use to try to ward off those rain clouds.

A month before they say, "I do," Southern couples bury a bottle of bourbon. This ritual has a few very specific rules. When they bury the bourbon, they have to time it right down to the minute. Getting married on May 15 at 5 o'clock in the evening? Be sure to bury that liquor on April 15 at 5 o'clock sharp. Couples should also bury their bottle on the site where their vows will take place (or as close as possible, since you can't exactly go digging up church property). The bottle must still be sealed and unopened, and it must be placed in the ground upside down. It also has to be bourbon, not whiskey. The difference between bourbon and whiskey is that the former is a type of whiskey; it has to be made in America from at least 51% corn and aged at least two years in charred oak barrels.

Read more: The 27 Best Bourbon Brands, Ranked

Where Did The Tradition Of Burying Bourbon Come From?

Holding hands with wedding bands
Holding hands with wedding bands - Funda Demirkaya/Shutterstock

Interestingly, no one knows the exact origins of the bourbon-burying tradition. Some suspect that it all started in Kentucky or Tennessee, but it's unclear when — or even why. Similarly, there's no firm data recording just how successful this practice is. Whether or not burying bourbon actually keeps the rain at bay, though, it's a sweet tradition for couples to partake in together — it may even be something their parents and grandparents did before them. Plus, the second part of the ritual is enjoying the bourbon, so that's a win-win.

The couple unearths the bourbon immediately following the ceremony, and it's shared by all present. For that reason, some couples bury two bottles, especially if they're planning a large reception. Furthermore, many couples (or even their parents or friends) looking to give a gift before a wedding may want to research the best bourbon brands. Knowing the tastiest and best-made bourbons for the year only helps further upgrade the post-vow festivities with a special treat for both the couple and guests. As an alternative (or an addition if multiple bottles are buried), couples may save the bourbon to enjoy on an anniversary. Whatever bourbon gets buried, and whatever weather appears on the wedding day, this is a fun custom for everyone involved, right alongside other Southern nuptial practices like groom's cake and cake pulls.

Read the original article on Tasting Table.