Some years ago as an alternative to the Unity Candle ceremony I wrote the ‘Wine Ceremony” for weddings. Based on research I did of some older weddings in wine country it symbolized the joining of two vineyards through marriage. A lot of couples ask for the Unity Candle not realizing the things that may go wrong. The candles are difficult to light, or blow out, people forget matches or lighters, and in small closed places candles are dangerous. Wine is safe, in moderation. I always suggest considering the “Wine Ceremony” I prepared for a couple in 1999. I have reproduced it below too.
Written by Chaplain JK Schwehm
A small amount of red wine and white wine in a small carafe is placed next to an empty carafe with a wineglass on a small table near the couple. The center carafe, called the “Marriage Carafe” is sometimes a bit larger than the two outside “individual” carafes. Alternatively there would be two carafes and one empty glass. If the individual carafes are carried in the Wedding Processional the Marriage Carafe or Wine Glass is already sitting on the table and only the two individual filled carafes are carried forth.
During the Wine Ceremony music can be played if desired.
The Wine Ceremony can be divided into two parts. The presenting of the two individual carafes filled with red and white wine to be placed on the table near the larger empty carafe during the processional. Then part two the pouring of the two separate wines into the empty carafe and drinking the combined wine by the wedding couple. Part two follows the exchange of vows. The ceremony can be one part with the wine already sitting on the table and the couple just combining the wines before drinking them.
Part One can take place during the Wedding Processional with one of the attendants on both sides carrying the red or white carafe and placing it on the table. Or a bit earlier the parents of the couples come forward with a bottle of wine and fill the smaller carafes already on the table just before they are seated and then the wedding processional starts.
After the vows the Officiant announces ” We Now Shall Perform the Wine Ceremony” The couple goes to the table and each takes the individual carafe and pours some wine into the larger carafe. The groom then takes the larger filled carafe with the combined wine and pours some in a glass for the bride. The bride then takes the Larger Carafe with the combined wines and pours some into a glass for the Groom. He may now toast his bride with, ” Now Our Lives Are One” and drinks from the glass she responds the same.
They place the wineglass back and face back to the officiant. Who states.
“This Ceremony represents the two individual lives are now combined like the two wines into one single life. The drinking of the combined wine signifies the commitment you now make to live your lives as one family. May you remember this day of commitment you have sealed with drinking of the new wine joining your lives as one.”
He may also announce that immediately after the service others may drink the new wine of their commitment to one life if they so desire. Or Rose wine served at the reception to mark this ceremony.
Personalized wine glasses and labels are sold at this link Wine Glasses. Those items make the Wine Ceremony more personal. The labels are easy to paste over existing wine labels.