A box, a bottle of wine, and love letters are all you need to assemble. I have seen professional kits that also include the glasses and a corkscrew. Some boxes are sealed with a key while others use hammer and nails. Non-drinkers can modify this ritual with a non-alcoholic beverage or use just the letters and perhaps a cherished item reminding them of their courtship. The beverage should be something that can hold up after a number of years of storage and the couple should take care to store the box well. Otherwise we could be looking at the Vinegar & Letter Box ritual.
The most common version is as a ritual of reconciliation.
Officiant: (Bride and Groom) have a view of marriage as realistic as it is romantic and have chosen to demonstrate the strength of their commitment and dedication within the context of their wedding ceremony. This box contains a bottle of wine and a love letter from each to the other. The letters describe the good qualities they find in one another, the reasons they fell in love, and their reasons for choosing to marry. The letters are sealed in individual envelopes and they have not seen what the other has written. (Bride and Groom), should you ever find your marriage enduring serious hardships, you are to open this box, sit and drink the wine together, then separate and read the letters you wrote to one another when you were first united as a couple. By reading these love letters you will reflect upon the reasons you fell in love and chose to marry each other this day. Our hope is, however, you will never have reason to open this box. If this is the case, you are to open this box to share and enjoy on your tenth anniversary. Please seal the box.
<Bride and Groom seal the box>
Our prayer for you today, is you shall have no cause to open it until (tenth anniversary date)!
Officiant: (Bride and Groom's) wine and letter box serve as a beautiful reminder that the love between a husband and wife always has a past, a present and a future. At this time, I invite (Bride and Groom) to place their envelopes in the box. They have each written a letter to one another. Neither has seen what the other has written although they know they speak of their shared hopes and dreams. May they see their dreams fulfilled when next they read these words. I now ask that they seal the box.
<Bride and Groom seal the box.>
(Bride and Groom), you seal this box as two individuals. When you open this box in ten years, you will have grown both as individuals and as a couple committed to one another’s happiness and well-being as husband and wife. May the memories remind you of a beautiful past, the fun of opening the box together bring you a joyful present, and the anticipation of sharing call to mind the potential that is your future together.
Either way, this ritual is a beautiful addition to the wedding ceremony. Guests love it and the box makes a fantastic keepsake... and heirloom. How lovely it would be to see your own child begin his or her marriage with your Wine and Letter Box. Gives you goosebumps, doesn't it?
Above left: Barbara Sheridan of Luv Luv Photography
Right: Amber Ryan Photography