If you are a regular reader, you know how much I love chocolate. When New Jersey Wedding Ceremony Officiant and Minister Celia Milton suggested that chocolate could be a part of a wedding ceremony, I asked her to share more details. Thanks, Celia, for these great ideas!
Many couples include unity rituals in their wedding ceremonies to signify the joining of each partner into a relationship that brings them to fullness, allowing them to grow as a couple even as they grow as individuals.
Elements like unity candles and sand ceremonies are fairly well known. But if you’re designing your ceremony to reflect your personal histories and future, why not include something that is especially significant to your relationship. That’s where the fun begins! I’ve had couples who shared Tequila; couples who’ve braided colored cords, couples who have planted tree saplings together, and couples who have fed each other sushi, but my favorite new unity ritual is a chocolate sharing.
I first created a chocolate sharing ceremony for a couple I married last year. The groom is a chocolate sommelier who creates tastings and walking tours throughout New York City. The bride met him at an event she attended with several of her friends. Since chocolate figured so prominently in their first encounter, and then became a star player in their reception, (of course, they had a chocolate wedding cake…) it only made delicious sense that we include it in the ceremony itself!
I asked the groom to supply two of the same truffles they tasted during their first meeting, They were displayed on a crystal platter for the ceremony. During the “love story” part of their wedding ceremony, I talked about how they met, and made were several other references to chocolate. Then they fed each other.
The actual chocolate sharing was placed after the vows and the ring ceremony. (My idea here is that the “formal” vows should come before any informal, “common law” promises like handfastings, wine sharings, or the chocolate.) It created a nice contrast and made it easy for their photographer to capture each other.
I began with a reading before the actual “sharing”. Here are two for you to consider.
1. “Chocolate has long been considered the food of the gods; been used as a metaphor of life. A simple box of chocolates is the perfect representation of what life is like as a married couple. Sometimes you are given sweet moments, so perfect they overwhelm your senses, your emotions. Other times you are given dark and bitter moments, a start contrast to the sweet ones. There will be times that one of you will need to be strong for the other, to nourish the others spirit, and at other times, you will both share joys that will take you above the clouds. Now, you will use the sweetness of chocolate to nourish each other, for chocolate is one of the few foods that feeds, not only the body, but the heart and soul.” (This is courtesy of my colleague Kelly Hunt, from Heartfelt Wedding Ceremonies in Wisconsin.)
Chocolate Ceremony #2 “Now, sometimes, at this point in a wedding ceremony, we might light a unity candle, or pour different colors of sand into a family vessel, but since John and Alicia are such a unique couple, we wanted to celebrate this moment of sharing in a completely unique way. With two delightful pieces of dark chocolate from the rain forests of Brazil.
Chocolate is a delightful metaphor for love and life! The possible flavors and textures of chocolate are endless. Each truffle, each sliver, or kiss promises the discovery of new treat for the palette. For a chocolate lover, navigating the world of chocolate is as exciting as a lone explorer discovering new and uncharted territory. So too, should be your relationship with each other. Your uncharted territory is the coming years that lie ahead, years that will present so many opportunities to learn and grow, to challenge each other and comfort each other, to revel in the new and find comfort in your history, a history you create every minute of every day.
Your life together will certainly mirror the experience of tasting chocolate. There will be times that are sweet, filled with cream and honey, and times that are dark and bittersweet. And probably some times that are really nutty! But every experience will nourish your body, heart and soul. By sharing this chocolate with each other, you promise to always be present for each other, in darkness and light, in sweet and bitter, in dismal and delicious.”
I encourage all my couples to think outside the box (even if it is a heart shaped, satin covered one!), and work with their officiant to wedding ceremonies that reflect their personalities and tastes! And if you love chocolate (is there anyone who doesn’t?) , this may be just the perfect sweet note for you. . You could even have all your guests share in the moment! (But no milk chocolate please; we don’t want any fingerprints on the wedding gown!)
For more words of wisdom, check our Celia’s blog.