Regular readers know I’m big on ritual. But I always stress that any ritual chosen for the ceremony (outside of required religious ones) should be chosen for carefully. What connects you to it? It can be religion, culture, history, interests, whether work or play, but a wedding ritual must resonate because it is coming from a real place.
I’d like to share a few details from some recent weddings that really worked well for the couple. All are a variations on one theme: love letters.
You may have heard about the Wine Box Ceremony. It consists of putting a bottle of wine, sometimes two glasses, and letters into a box to be opened at a later date. The letters are written before the wedding, the night or week before, to express what you are feeling at this big moment. The intent is to open the box, share the wine and read the letters sometime in the future. It could be on an anniversary or if, your relationship has hit a rough patch, it would be a good reminder of what brought you together and help you find your way through the crisis. Whatever the couple decides, this ritual can be spun in so many ways!
One couple I worked with didn’t really like wine but loved the writing idea, especially because they had written many letters when the groom was deployed. Letters felt perfect for them. So their ‘box ceremony’ was just for letters, but to fill the box they put some keepsakes from their wedding in as well. They decided they would open it on their anniversary and continue the tradition of writing and putting the letters into the box, returning to it over and over again throughout the years to come.
Another couple used the box idea but put a bottle of fine whiskey into it, to age to perfection, along with letters.
A few grooms I’ve worked with have built boxes themselves, which was made it all the better.
And continuing to build on the letter idea, there was a couple that asked their parents to also write to them, to include in their special keepsake box along with their own letters.
So as you can see – one good idea can become another. It’s all about making it personal and making it work for you. Rituals can help us go deeper into the meaning of the moment, as well as create traditions to build upon in the years to come.
above photo credit: Wesley Works