Wedding Traditions: Burying the Bourbon
If you’re not from the South, then the tradition of “burying the bourbon” may sound quite… odd. But down here, it’s a tradition that is known and loved by many brides and grooms.
So what exactly is the tradition, where did it come from and why?
The part that everyone agrees on is that an unopened bottle of bourbon must be buried upside down on the property where the bride and groom are to get married, exactly one month before the bride and groom say their vows. This is alleged to guarantee good weather on the day of their wedding.
Then, on your wedding day, the groom will go and dig the bottle back up, and it will be passed around by the bridal party or served to guests.
Alternatively, some couples make it part of their actual vows. The groom and his groomsmen will dig up the bourbon before the ceremony begins, and will ensure the officiant has a heads up and has written in their ceremony something about tradition, the importance of aging together, or the importance of weathering any storm, no matter how prepared you may think you are. The officiant should then open the unsealed bottle and pour a glass for the bride, and one for the groom, which they should toast and drink together.
While many couples decide to share their bourbon, it’s also a common tradition for them to keep it and share a glass together on anniversaries or big events, like big moves, new houses, new babies, raises, new jobs… you get the gist. Especially if the bourbon was expensive, super old, or made just for them.
There is a lot of dispute over where this tradition came from– some say Tennessee and Kentucky, which would make sense considering that this is bourbon country. But others trace it back to the Scotch-Irish, saying they brought the tradition with them when they came and settled in the South during the 17th century.
So why has the tradition stuck around for so long? Most historians believe that it’s because the South has the perfect weather for so many outdoor weddings and receptions, therefore, making it an alluring tradition for brides planning outdoor weddings.
Now, before you and your groom grab your shovel, you should keep in mind that not all venues will allow the burying of the bourbon. Give them a call first and find out. If they don’t, see if they’ll allow you to bring a decorative pot with your bourbon buried inside it, a month before your wedding. You can hide it in the bushes, if they request that it be hidden from site.
Not everyone has nine acres of space like we do at The Groome Inn, afterall 😉
Finally, remember where you buried your bourbon. We’re not saying it’s bad luck to forget where you buried it, but it’s probably not the best of omens.