Crafting the Ceremony: Wine Blending

It seems like the ring exchange is usually the last part of a ceremony before the presentation of the newlywed couple. We’ve chosen to structure our ceremony a little differently, owing to some of the other rituals we want to include. The first of these is the unity ritual.

Unity candles and sand ceremonies are still probably the two main unity ritual options of today’s wedding ceremonies. But, like a lot of brides, I was looking for something a little different and more appropriate to our theme. I briefly considered a wine box, but that didn’t really suit my idea of the perfect unity ritual. (While some use locks, most of them involve hammering the box closed and that’s just way too jarring for me.)

Then I remembered something I’d read in passing, several years ago, on the Adventures in Vineyard Land blog (now Schram Vineyards). They did a wine-blending ceremony: The Unity Wine Pour. I loved that idea, and decided it would be perfect for our ceremony unity ritual.

Of course, how to do it was the big question.

I mean, the mechanics are simple enough—pour two wines together and each drink from it, right?

But what wines, what do we pour into, who drinks first, do we drink together, etc. etc. etc.?

Ideally I’d love to have a wine from each of our home states to blend together, but Florida has pesky import laws that prevent individual wineries from shipping into the state without being part of an approved distributor network or some such. And, of course, the one Nebraska wine that I’ve tasted cannot ship here. Bother. That said, I still plan on stopping by the liquor store I frequent to see what they can get in and maybe even if we can do a sample tasting before committing. And if all else fails we’ll just go with a red and a white that’ll work—I just want to avoid blending something harsh. Not only would that be distasteful in practicality, it also wouldn’t be a great way to start off as husband and wife, right?

To blend the wine we’ll be pouring whatever wines we choose into a decanter. This decanter, in fact:

Susquehanna Glass Sonoma Pattern 64-ounce Classic Round Carafe | image via Overstock

Susquehanna Glass Sonoma Pattern 64-ounce Classic Round Carafe | Image via Overstock

After a bit of a swirl together we’ll each pour the other a glass of the blended wine and we’ll toast each other.

Hand-cut Sonoma Grape Balloon Red Wine Glasses | image via Overstock

Hand-cut Sonoma Grape Balloon Red Wine Glasses | Image via Overstock

My main concern with this ritual is the potential for getting red or rose wine on my dress. It’s almost enough to make me spray down my ensemble with Scotch Guard beforehand but, hey, I’ll live dangerously and skip that step. Probably.

Aside from which wines we’re using, we also still have to decide on a song to play for this part of the ceremony. I considered writing something for Friend-ficiant L to read while we do our thing, but figured it might be nice to give her a breather too after the vows, so a musical interlude it is. And to give our guests a clue at what’s going on, I’ve been looking up quotes and such that use grapes and vines as a metaphor for love, life, and relationships to include in the program. So far this one by Rumi is in the lead:

When grapes turn
to wine, they long for our ability to change

When stars wheel
around the North Pole,
they are longing for our growing consciousness

Wine got drunk with us
not the other way.
The body developed out of us not we from it.

We are bees,
and our body is a honeycomb.
We made
the body, cell by cell we made it.”

– Rumi translated by Robert Bly

After that we’ll return to our positions in front of Friend-ficiant L (the wine blending set-up will be at a separate table either off to the side or up at the top of the steps) for the last portion of our ceremony.


Mrs. Road Trip

Wedding Date:
November 2013
Love Is a Mix Tape: Choosing the Ceremony Music
DIY: Wedding Ceremony
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  1. Member
    iadornyou 494 posts, Helper bee @ 11:59 am

    That is so cute! I love the idea!

  2. Guest Icon Guest
    Samantha, Guest @ 1:25 pm

    I like this idea. I too am looking for something different from sand or candles for our ceremony and we are crazy about wine. So much so that I’m thinking there’s no way two wines poured together is going to taste good… and isn’t that important? Or would they? I’m curious.

  3. Member
    Gemstone 21881 posts, Honey Beekeeper @ 1:53 pm

    I loooove this idea. We did the unity candle. Even though it’s not unique, it fit us. But I so love when a couple finds something that fits them so well and incorporates it! And I agree – music during this part sounds great…then the focus can be on the ritual. :)

  4. Member
    aziraphale542 6 posts, Newbee @ 2:46 pm

    My cousins did this at their wedding, and I have one caution for you – be careful how much wine you pour in there! They were clearly having trouble finishing it, and it went on a little longer than I think anyone expected. The urge to shout ‘chug! chug!’ was very hard to resist.

    For bonus points, they had somehow hand blown the glass vessel that they used, together. I’m not sure how they were able to do that though.

  5. mswaterfall Member
    Mrs. Waterfall 1403 posts, Bumble bee @ 4:25 pm

    This is such an original idea! I would do a practice “blend” before the ceremony to make sure both wines go together though!

  6. mspony Member
    mspony 9265 posts, Buzzing Beekeeper @ 6:24 pm

    So cool and unique, and I love that the reading mentions bees :)

  7. Member
    missredneck 81 posts, Worker bee @ 7:14 pm

    I officiate at weddings and this is the one that is used the most at weddings. I read the verse below, pour the wine into one glass, offer it to the bride, she drinks, and then offer to the groom and he drinks. All you would have to do is each of you pour the different wine in to the carafe and then your officiant would do the rest.

    “Life is a series of contradictions. It is said that all things end and yet all things continue. All things change and yet all things remain the same.
    Wine has been called the symbol of life. It’s like the blood flowing within our bodies. By MrRT and MissRT sharing this glass, the two become one, the parts become whole, two paths intertwined, each separate, yet united in love. ”

    Hopes this help you. :)

  8. gondola Member
    gondola 1046 posts, Bumble bee @ 4:26 am

    I love it! Anything with wine is awesome!

  9. Guest Icon Guest
    js, Guest @ 5:30 am

    So I’m sure you have used the power of Google to scout out songs with wine in the title, lyrics, etc., but I was curious, so I checked it out for myself. I was amazed to find out how many songs I have always loved that made some mention of wine in them. I’m including this link for your amusement. My favorites are “Killer Queen” by Queen and “Red, Red Wine” by UB40. Perhaps an instrumental version of a song everybody knows would be a great light-hearted ceremony moment? Also, the first song I thought of was “Italian Restaurant” by Billy Joel. I love this idea so much! I agree anything with wine is awesome and something so reflective of the couple is also great. We did the sand ceremony because we had a beach wedding and it was the obvious choice. I was surprised how many people hadn’t heard of it since not everyone hangs out on wedding blogs like me! It was also a bit different as we included my daughter in the ceremony. It was a great way to blend out families.

  10. roadtrip Member
    roadtrip 803 posts, Busy bee @ 5:50 am

    @iadornyou: Thank you!

    @Samantha: Actually, one of the 3 ways of making a rose wine is to blend compatible red and whites. And so many wines are blends already that, yes, it can definitely work.

    @Gemstone: I’m thinking something soft and strummy to accompany it, but if it has lyrics it has to be just right.

    @aziraphale542: Good point! We’ll keep the individual pours on the small side. (No one says we have to finish the glass, anyway!)

    @Mrs. Waterfall: Definitely!

    @Mrs. Pony: I admit, that does tip the scales in its favor a bit.

    @MissRedneck: That’s certainly another way to go (just not the direction we want).

    @Miss Gondola: Truth!

    @js:I do like the beginning of Italian Restaurant–and it certainly fits!–but I think it’s a bit more jaunty than we’re looking for. I’ll check out that link for other ideas–thanks!

  11. msbicycle Member
    msbicycle 718 posts, Busy bee @ 5:48 am

    I love this idea!

  12. roadtrip Member
    roadtrip 803 posts, Busy bee @ 8:58 am

    @Miss Bicycle: Thank you :)

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