Most of the time, when people think about food and weddings, their mind goes to elaborate spreads at cocktail receptions and fine dinners. However, food can play a part in the actual ceremony. In many cultures food is drawn into the ceremony as a symbol of some concept. For example, in certain African cultures, there is a “spice ceremony” with elements representing sour, bitterness, sweetness and passion. Likewise, the sharing of cake is a familiar custom in most American weddings. To my mind, the ritual symbolizes the desire of the bride and groom to nurture and sustenance to the other. As such, when I have elopement ceremonies, I bring cupcakes to allow the couple to partake in this custom, even if it is a private affair.
Just yesterday, however, I was able to weave the notion of daily food sharing into the ceremony script. Among my New York bride and grooms, a good number delightfully consider themselves “foodies.” To the uninitiated, foodies embrace culinary delights and fine dining as an avocation. Experiment with new restaurants and cooking becomes a favorite past time activity. For Wes and Kristin, this was the case. Indeed, many of the important moments, including their first date and proposal of marriage, were associated with special food experiences.
For their wedding script I invited them to focus on daily food sharing as one means of sustaining intimacy in their marriage. The wording went something like this:
“Throughout the ceremony, we have made reference to your fondness of exploring innovative culinary traditions and your love of fine wine and dining. And while this may strike some of frivolity, I disagree. The partaking of food can be a most profound exercise in sharing with each other and nourishing the relationship, while also sustaining the body. Regardless of your hectic lives, strive to share meals together, simple or elaborate. Let those times remind you of your gratitude for life and each other. And perhaps from time-to-time, those moments will call you back to this brilliant celebration.”
For those looking for some assistance in expressing gratitude during meals, consider the book: A Grateful Heart: Daily Blessings for the Evening Meal from Buddha to the Beatles.