Most of my couples are not dove/butterfly/ferret releasing kind of people.
Many are a bit uncomfortable being in the limelight on their wedding day and don't want over-the-top, grand gestures or anything said that's too soppy. That's when I tell them about the wine box ritual. I like to think of it as a time capsule with interest.
Let me explain..
The idea is that you buy a bottle of red wine or vintage champagne and a wooden bottle box from an art and craft store, your local bottle-o or (if you're feeling super handy) make one yourself.
On the morning of your wedding, you and your fiancé take 5 minutes to write on a card or in a letter what you love about each other and why you have chosen to get married.
Then, during your wedding ceremony, most commonly after the vows and exchange of rings, we perform the wine box ritual.
Here is an example of the wording for a short and simple wine box ritual:
"Name and Name have chosen to include a wine box ritual as part of their wedding ceremony. Name and Name considered that, given their mutual interest and enjoyment of good wine, the wine box seemed to be a fitting and romantic time capsule for them.
The wooden box they have selected contains a bottle of wine and a love letter from each to the other. The letters are sealed in separate envelopes and they have not seen what the other has written. The letters describe the reasons they first fell in love and for choosing to marry each other today.
Name and Name, this box is to be opened on the occasion of your 5th wedding anniversary, the wine enjoyed together, your letters shared and read together. Display this box in a prominent place in your home as a constant reminder of the vows you’ve taken today and your commitment to each other.
However, should you find your marriage enduring insurmountable hardships, then open this box together, drink the wine together and read the letters you wrote to one another when you were first united as a couple in marriage.
Name and Name, you may now seal the wine box."
I have seen some examples of wine boxes being sealed by literally nailing them shut, but for me, I don't think the symbolism is appropriate. ;)
I prefer to use sticks of wax and a seal and find the teamwork that the couple have to employ to light the stick of wax, drip it onto the box and press the seal into it, adds more inclusion, weight and grace to the ritual.
All photos by Mink Studio
If you have any other rituals or readings etc. that you'd like me to explain, please let me know in the comments below.
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