- 6 years ago
- Wedding: December 1969
When Darling Husband and I were planning the ceremony, I ran across the idea of a wine box ceremony. Basically, during the ceremony, you place a bottle of wine in a box with letters to one another commemorate the day. You open the box on a designated anniversary, read the letters, and drink the wine. You may also open the box if you’re in a bad place and considering separating…to remind you why you were married in the first place. We loved the idea.
We decided to do it, but with a bit of twist. First, the box we chose and baskets that will be important later are below behind us. We didn’t choose a box we had to hammer shut, as some suggested. I didn’t really want hardware at my wedding.
As you can see, it’s a dual box. We had wine on one side, and used the other side for our notes. From the ceremony:
“Bluewolverine and Longhorn, you have decided to conclude your wedding with a Wine Box Ceremony.
You have brought here today a strong wooden box. This box will hold a bottle of wine and hold love letters that you each have written to the other.
These letters express your thoughts on today’s wedding, they share details about the good qualities that you have found in each other, and they include the reasons that you fell in love with one another. You have kept your letters to yourselves and they are sealed in individual envelopes.”
And then our twist:
“You have also invited your guests to include a note to be sealed in the box with your letters.”
I loved this. We designed the programs (below) with a sheet of blank paper tied to the back. Guests untied the bow and wrote us a note to include in the box. We included instructions on the back page of the program. It gave the guests something to do while waiting for the ceremony to begin :-). I gave programs to my bridesmaids as part of their gifts, so they could write a note in advance if they wanted to.
The wine box ceremony was one of my favorite parts of the wedding. The pastor went on to say:
“Bluewolverine and Longhorn, I invite you open this box on your fifth anniversary. You both, as a couple, shall read the letters you wrote when you were united as a couple, as well as the well wishes of your beloved friends and family gathered here today. When you have finished, write a new letter, reflecting your love on each anniversary, place a new bottle of wine in the box, and return to the box every fifth year. Should you ever find your marriage enduring serious difficulties, you agree that before you make any irrational decisions, that you both, as a couple, will open the box, drink the bottle of wine together, and then read the letters. By reading these love letters, you will be given an opportunity to reflect upon the reasons that you fell in love with each other in the first place.”
This ceremony also allowed me to include my many nieces and nephews in the ceremony! As my sister and her daughter sang to us from a balcony above, the nieces and nephews used the baskets to gather the notes from our guests. They were adorable.
In this one, my oldest niece is gathering. I can’t believe she’s so big. I literally watched her be born. But I digress. I have that cry face going on in the background because my sister and her daughter are singing How Beautiful, which has a history for me. My sister was singing that song alone in her bedroom when we were about 19 and our amazing mom (my stepmom/second mom) had just passed away at the young age of 40. I decided that day, at age 19, that I wanted her to sing it at my wedding one day. I brought Mom to the ceremony that way, and I get a little teary just thinking about it.
The girls loved the flower wreathes that I made for them. They looked SO CUTE.
A few pictures of my sister and niece singing. Niece was so fabulous – for the first verse of the song, guests didn’t realizing they were singing from the balcony – they thought it was a recording until they turned around and looked up to see what I was looking/crying at.
Here, sister is singing the lyric, “How beautiful the radiant brideWho waits for her groom with His light in her eyes…” and gesturing to me. Both of were really struggling not to cry.
Their view from the balcony looking down:
And us looking up at them:
It was, without a doubt, one of the most special moments of a day filled with special moments. I was marrying the man of my dreams, we were surrounded by friends and family, and we managed to bring with us people who could only be there in spirit.
I highly recommend the wine box!