The South is steeped more heavily than sweet tea in tradition, especially when it comes to weddings. And the burying of the bourbon has long been a favorite. We looked into some modern updates that could help non-Southern couples, Southern couples who have moved away from the South, people who want to spice up their wedding, and more. Some of these might be sacrilegious to hardcore Southerners– fear not! We mean no offense. Approach this article with an open mind and you’ll walk away far happier. And hopefully, with some creative ideas for your wedding.
1. Symbolic burying
In the South, it’s easy to get married outside at just about any time of the year because it’s nice and warm. But when Southern brides move to the north, that gets a little more difficult. Or, sometimes, your venue may not be cool with you digging a hole on their grounds. If that’s you, why not try a symbolic burying? Instead of digging underground, bury your bourbon in something else.
For instance, you could take a box and fill it with items symbolic to your love and ‘bury’ your bourbon within. Or items from your wedding (including your clothes, wedding dress, linens, etc.) Or buy some soil from the hardware store and bury it in a pot.
Or, you could always just bury it in the snow. The sky’s the limit. Or the dirt, really.
2. Go with your personal tastes — literally.
We know– it’s sacrilege! But not everyone likes bourbon. If that’s you and your partner, well, no one’s perfect.
Instead, maybe bury a bottle of wine you are looking forward to savoring together. Or perhaps a beer that you and your partner brewed together. At my wedding, my husband and I used a bottle of mead that we had made together the year before, not long after getting engaged. Another friend of mine went with scotch instead of bourbon, because, hey, he’s a scotch guy. And guess what? It didn’t rain on his wedding day. And we live in Florida where it rains every day.
3. Make it a part of the ceremony.
My husband is a wedding officiant. Some friends of ours requested a mead ceremony similar to the one in the book American Gods by Neil Gaiman as part of their ceremony, so he and I wrote it together. We even wound up using it in our own ceremony, which you can read about over at AleHorn.com.
More and more people are choosing to not only have secular ceremonies but to write their own in ways that reflect themselves instead of their religion. So why not make your own bourbon ceremony with the very bottle that you buried? You can even use our mead ceremony as a template if you want. Although nine shots of bourbon might be a bit much.
4. Share the love.
Why not go all the way and share your bourbon with your guests? Granted, it will be a bit more effort to bury a barrel of bourbon instead of a bottle. But imagine how pleased everyone will be that they get to partake in the love?
And you can still save a bottle to be enjoyed on your anniversary. Simply fill it up before everyone else gets a hack at the barrel and set it aside where drunk groomsmen can’t find it.
But why stop there?
5. Include your buried bourbon in your favors.
If you don’t want to bury a whole barrel (oh my god, why would you?) why not go with a bunch of tiny bottles? It’s not uncommon to use sample bottles as favors (usually paired with a cute, personalized glass). For extra good luck and rain banishment, gift buried bourbon to all of your guests. Pro tip: keep them together in a bag or box to keep them any from escaping and make your burying job a lot easier.
During the ceremony, have your wedding planner (or a devoted friend who doesn’t mind missing the ceremony) put them in decorative boxes, or tie ribbons around them to spruce up their look. Your guests won’t forget the importance of this gift.