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Burying the Bourbon for a Southern Wedding Ceremony Toast

Published Tuesday, Oct. 19th, 2021

Planning or officiating a Southern wedding? Learn about Burying the Bourbon, and how to create a modern unity ceremony around this fun tradition.



Traditional Southern weddings have a unique custom that brings a little luck and a lot of laughs to the wedding day, and it’s one you probably won’t find anywhere else... Burying the Bourbon.  




Here’s how it goes:


A month before the wedding day, couples grab their shovels and trowels and head off to the ceremony site, with a sealed bottle of their favorite bourbon in hand. 


Then they dig a hole, give each other a kiss, and bury the bottle upside down. (Yep, this tradition is literally burying a bottle of bourbon!) We recommend placing it next to a favorite tree or landmark, so you don’t forget where you’ve put it.




Why bury it? 


Superstition says this unusual trick will prevent it from raining on the wedding day. And if you’re at all familiar with summers and falls in the south, you know blue skies during an afternoon wedding is just about the best wedding gift a couple can get.   


Now you might be thinking, Ok… That’s adorable, but we get to drink the whiskey later, right? 


Yes, don’t worry, you definitely do. 


The day of the wedding, couples dig the bottle back up, crack it open, pass it around to friends and family, and celebrate with a quick sip or a high-spirited toast.


An added bonus to this lucky Southern tradition? You can still drink the bourbon, even if it ends up raining… It’s a 100-proof way to brighten up any ceremony. 


Add a bourbon toast to your wedding ceremony:


For a modern twist on this charming tradition, use the lucky bourbon in a ‘whiskey toast’ unity ritual during the wedding ceremony. 


After the exchange of vows, have your wedding officiant pour you and your sweetheart a shot of the bourbon you buried. Say something sweet and sincere, then drink to lasting love and a happy future!



Image is photograph, a close up of a man and a woman holding shot glasses filled with whiskey that are labeled 'bride' and 'groom' as they toast as part of the wedding ceremony


For more tips on what to say during a unity ceremony toast, read:  





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Jessica Levey
Jessica Levey

Lead Staff Writer & Illustrator

Jessica loves exploring the history and magic of ritual, the connections between people and places, and sharing true stories about love and commitment. She's an advocate for marriage equality, LGBTQ+ rights, and individuality, and is an ordained Minister with AMM. When she’s not writing or illustrating for AMM, she enjoys city hikes, fantasy novels, comics, and traveling.

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