Despite the movie's title, Sweet Home Alabama, the house Melanie pretends is her home is really at Berry College in Mt. Berry, Georgia. This house, called Oak Hill, is a Georgia historic landmark and was the original home of the college founder, Martha Berry. The downtown scenes were filmed in Crawfordville (pop 572), seat of Taliaferro County (pronounced "Tolliver"), the least populated county in Georgia.
Keni Thomas, lead singer of the band Cornbread that plays in the fair scene is a real-life survivor of Task Force Ranger and is portrayed in the film Black Hawk Down (2001) (the trooper with the inhaler).
The glass featured as "Deep South Glass" is actually hand-blown glass, made by a company named Simon Pearce. Simon Pearce is based in Vermont, and was started by an actual Simon Pearce who emigrated to the US from Waterford, Ireland.
An entire character (along with a subplot about her) was deleted from the film, when test audiences consistently misunderstood her relationship with Andrew. Erin Vanderbilt (played by Katharine Towne) survives in the finished movie only in a newspaper wedding announcement shown to Melanie during the closing credits.
Producer Stokely Chaffin was the one who developed the movie's concept and brought it to screenwriter C. Jay Cox to write. Chaffin, now the Senior Vice President of Productions at New Line Cinema, was raised in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, and like Reese Witherspoon's character, she changed her name after she left the South (during her childhood, her friends and family called her by her first name, Caroline; Stokley is her middle name). Chaffin insisted that Cox visit Alabama before writing the screenplay.
The coon dog cemetery featured in the film is a real place in Tuscumbia, Alabama (a north Alabama town just south of Florence and childhood home of Helen Keller whose story was told in The Miracle Worker (1962).
Oak Hill, the real name of the house Melanie pretends belongs to her family, is difficult to get to, as the interstate is approximately 45 minutes away. To direct cast and crew members to the site, yellow signs simply saying "SWA" with arrows pointed out the correct route. Some Berry College students stole these signs as movie mementos.
Earl asks Pearl to pull the bologna cake out of the freezer when Melanie announces her engagement. This tasty item came to the film as a dish served to one of the (many) script re-writers by his fiancée, who was from Indiana. It is bologna, cream cheese and horseradish.
Jake's glassblowing shop was filmed in Fayette County Georgia at an old mill called Starr's Mill. The exterior was repainted and the porch was rebuilt for the movie. The bridges were later washed away in a flood.
In the deleted original ending (included on the DVD), the jazz band at the reception is 'The Clock Tower Jazz Ensemble' (from Rome, GA) directed by Sam Baltzer. The singer is Lillie Huddleston from Atlanta.