The years of your life are as a cup of wine, poured out for you to drink. The grapes when they are pressed give forth their good juice for the wine. Under the wine press of time our lives give forth their labor, honor and love. This cup contains within it the sweet wine of happiness and hope. The same cup, at times, holds the bitter wine of sorrow and despair. Those who drink deeply of life invite the full range of experience into his or her being. This cup is symbolic of the pledges you have made to one another, to share together the fullness of life. As you drink from this cup, you acknowledge that your lives, until this moment separate, have become one vessel into which all your sorrows and joys, all your hopes and fears, will be poured, and from which you will receive mutual sustenance. Many days you will sit at the same table and eat and drink together. Drink now, and may the cup of your lives be sweet and full to overflowing.
Wine and Chocolate Ceremony
There will come in your life days of great sweetness, and days of bitter sorrow. There will be celebrations and there will be tears. There will be triumphs, and there will be tragedies. Life holds indescribable happiness in store for you both – and unavoidable pain as well. And so to symbolize your acceptance of this reality, today you will share the bitter and the sweet, just as you will share them in the years to come. Both of you take and eat this bitter, dark chocolate. Taste in it the dark days, which will rock your marriage and test its strength. It represents disappointment, illness and grief. Know that these hard times will come, and with them, the opportunity to deepen your bond.
Now, take and drink this sweet red wine.
Taste in it the sweetness and light that will fill your marriage with joy. Savoir the fruits of this wine, just as you will savor every happiness that your beloved brings you. It represents shared laughter, your child’s first steps, and your golden anniversary. Delight in it, as you will delight in your beloved and your life together.
Wine sharing ceremonies have been a tradition that began well before the medieval period. During those times a bride and groom would celebrate their pledge to each other by drinking wine from a single cup which symbolized their unity. As unique as Groom and Bride are, so is the ritual they will partake in now. These two are not wine but beer connoisseurs. The beer ceremony that Bride and Groom will perform today is a visual representation of the joining of these two very special people.
These two beers, one a stout, the other a lager, represent your individual souls; all that you are, all that you have been, and all that you will become. This glass in the center is your marriage. It is the place where you are forever blending your lives together, like the whispers of sweet orange and a touch of tart lemon in the ale before you. It represents the joining of two lives, two souls.
As you pour your beer in the glass, keep in mind the pledge you made to each other today. It is the pledge of truth and friendship of your hearts. The passion of yourselves and the deepest love your souls have to give. Please drink, a toast to you and your life together from this moment forward.
Quiach Ceremony (Whiskey)
A Quaich ceremony is a Scottish traditional two handled cup. The Quaich is often referred to as the love cup as you each take a handle to take a drink, showing you trust one another to share the cup. You can fill the cup with a drink of your choice, usually whisky or you can combine two drinks symbolising the two of you becoming one. They also used the Quaich at the reception for their first toast together.
Symbolic of the sharing between the couple, it’s an ancient vessel used by two families or clans, to celebrate a bond, with each leader partaking of the offered drink.
The years of your life together are like a cup of Whisky poured out for you to drink. This Cup contains within it a Whisky that is sweet – symbolic of happiness, joy, hope, peace, love and delight. This same Whisky also has some bitter properties that are symbolic of life’s trials and tribulations. Together the sweet and the bitter represent “Love’s Journey” and all of the experiences that are a natural part of it. As you share the Whisky from this Loving Cup, so will you share all things in your life.
(Officiant pours drink into cup and raises it)
This cup of Whisky is symbolic of the cup of life. As you all share the preferred drink from the Cup, you undertake to share all that the future may bring. All the sweetness life may hold for each of you will be the sweeter because you drink it together. Whatever challenges it may contain will be less difficult because you share them. Drink now from this cup, and acknowledge to one another that your lives have now become one
(Each drinks from the cup in turn.)
San San Ku Do – Japanese Sake Ceremony
The San San Ku Do is a traditional custom at every wedding performed according to Shinto rites – Long ago in Japan, sake played an important role in tying together the gods and common people. Therefore, one would never drink alone, but always in groups. There are now many old customs which have lost their meaning or popularity, but the drinking of sake at wedding ceremonies, continues to thrive even in modern culture. San san ku do brings the gods in between humans to help them, through the sharing of sake, come closer together and create a bond of friendship. San-san-kudo is the moment that seals the marriage, symbolizing the couple’s new bond—both with each other, and with the spiritual world.
San-san-ku-do literally means “three, three, nine times.” The cup used at san-san-ku-do is a special one called “sakazuki,” which is only used to drink sake and no other beverages. The bride and groom take turns taking three sips each of three different bowls of sake, each one larger than the next. One does not drink the sake like a ‘shot’ but rather tilting the cup up very gradually and sipping lightly. Three is an indivisible number, and it is considered a sacred number in Buddhism. Nine means triple happiness. But just as the san-san-ku-do sake sips may not be altogether delicious, the couple’s married life may not always be delightful, but they will have to overcome their hardships with the co-operative spirit of the san-san-ku-do. By exchanging the nuptial sake sips—three times three—husband and wife are united.
I shall now pour three times into each of these three bowls. From the first bowl, Groom will take three small sips, then Bride will take three small sips. From the second bowl, Bride will take three small sips, then Groom. The third bowl is like the first. After they have drank from all three bowls, we will ask you gathered here to witness this union to drink likewise, and in so doing will seal your bond of friendship.