What is a wine box ceremony?

Like a tipple together? The good news is that there are lots of ideas of how to include your favourite drink at your wedding ceremony. If you’re wine lovers, you might want wine ceremony – wine blending, wine drinking or a wine box ceremony perhaps. Of course, you can adapt the ceremony and use whatever drink you most like if you prefer something a bit harder (or softer).

The wine box ceremony

The basic idea of this is simple. You get a bottle (or two!) of your favourite wine and a wooden box to put it in. During the ceremony, we place the wine into the box along with a letter that each of you has written to the other the night before the wedding. These letters might include how you’re feeling about saying your vows, or what you’re looking forward to about married life with your new spouse.

The box is sealed (normally by nailing it shut, which can be fun to do in the ceremony) and the intention is that you open it again on your first anniversary. On that day, you drink the wine together and read each other’s letters. You can buy more wine and write more letters and seal the box again for the next year, creating a fabulous anniversary tradition.

There’s lots of symbolism to do with wine that could be included in the wording of the wine box ceremony too. After all, wines are often made from a blend of grapes that harmonise with one another, much like you and your spouse. And a good relationship, like a good wine, mellows and improves with age… there’s lots to play with.

Of course, there are lots of twists and tweaks on this idea:

  • replace the wine with gin, rum or your favourite beer if you want to
  • decorate the wine box as part of the hen/stag festivities, or just together before the wedding. Or you can get personalised wine boxes on sites like Etsy.
  • swap the traditional wine box for a treasure chest with rum in it, as Liisa and Gareth did. They didn’t nail the box shut either, as they had a heart-shaped lock for the chest. Be careful you don’t lose the key though… that would be awkward.
  • you can also seal the box with wax, elaborate knots, chains and padlocks… whatever floats your boat!
  • If you’re looking for a way to involve children in your ceremony, in a way that doesn’t put them under too much pressure, bringing up the letters is an ideal option
  • Some couples like to wait 5 or even 10 years to open their wine box. Others say they’re going to wait until their first big row to go for it. Guess what? You’re the boss so you decide!
Wine box at Jess & Dan's wedding with Sussex wedding celebrant Claire Bradford of Creating Ceremony
Photos by Annamarie Stepney Photography

Want to include something a bit different in your wedding or vow renewal ceremony? Let’s chat!

Other ceremonies involving alcohol: