Going through samples again today, combing through all our favorites for the new website (coming soon), when I stumbled across this photo from one of our weddings a couple of years back. This was the first time I witnessed this cultural tradition used in a wedding, and i though it was very intriguing. Here is a little bit about what the Tasting of Four Elements ceremony involves…
Adapted from the Yoruba tradition, it is said to represent the promise to love your partner “for better or worse, for richer or poorer, in sickness and in health.” Vinegar, lemon, cayenne pepper, and honey are traditional choices used to represent the bitter, sour, hot, and, of course, sweet parts of life and a new marriage. Here is an example of how the ceremony is spoken…
Taste now the sour, for surely every life of integrity admits to its share of times which
are less than perfect. As “bride and groom” experience life’s disappointments as well as
successes, will we offer our love and support, without measure and without limit? If so, let us all taste and say “we will.”
Taste now the bitter, for surely every life of depth will know it moments of denial and
rejection when we feel turned away by life. As the “bride and groom” encounter times when bitterness might take hold of their hearts, will we offer our guidance and wisdom,without measure and without limit? If so, let us all say “we will.”
Taste now the hot, for surely there is spice and passion in every enduring relationship.
As “the bride and groom” find and express their hearts’ deepest longings, will we offer them our respect and encouragement without measure and without limit?
If so, let us all taste and say “we will.”
And finally, taste now the sweet, for the abundance of life which has brought these two lovers here to be joined in marriage will continue to pour itself out for their enjoyment. As “the bride and groom” know the sweetness of married life in all of its ages and stages, will we offer our congratulations and benedictions without measure and without limit? If so, let us all taste and say “we will.”
Pretty neat, huh?