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
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
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.
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.