A sparkling idea for your symbolic wedding ceremony: The cocktail ritual
Including a ritual to your symbolic wedding ceremony is an excellent way to personalise your wedding event. Depending on the chosen ritual, you can create a moment of emotion or on the contrary allow your guests to share a fun moment with you. Here is a sparkling idea for your symbolic wedding ceremony: The cocktail ritual.
The cocktail ritual is increasingly popular with our brides and grooms as it is pretty much one of the only rituals which allows all the guests to take part without them having to leave their seat. Also, the cocktail ritual is ideal to « break the ice » particularly when the bride and groom’s respective families do not know each other well.
The cocktail ritual requires some logistics prior to the ceremony but it is definitely worth it. You will need:
For the guests:
Trays (Preferably wooden or metal trays)
Bottles (for example clear glass bottles, which can be decorated to your liking)
Small glasses such as shooters (Disposable shooters will do the trick & are cheap to buy)
Ingredients for the cocktail
For the bride & groom:
A small table
A nice small-sized bottle
3 glasses (2 for the couple & 1 for the celebrant) – If you wish your witnesses to play a role in the cocktail ritual, add glasses for them too.
Here is what you need to do: Choose a cocktail with ingredients, which, for example remind you of a special occasion or reflect some of your personality traits. Prepare your cocktail prior to the ceremony, pour it in as many bottles as there are rows of chairs – For example, if you have approx. 100 guests, you will need 12 bottles (6 rows of 8 guests on each side of the aisle). Have 12 trays ready and 100 small glasses. Don’t forget to put the ingredients for your own cocktail in as many containers as there are ingredients.
Place all the bottles in the fridge. Ask someone (it can be your celebrant) to take them out of the fridge shortly before the ceremony starts, place them on the trays with the glasses and to put them on the outside of each row, preferably without telling your guests what they are for in order to keep the surprise. Finally, arrange for your cocktail ingredients, your chosen container & your glasses to be placed on a small table near where you will be sitting or standing during the ceremony.
When the ritual is about to start, your celebrant will ask all the guests sitting on the outside of each row to take the tray & serve the guests sitting on the same row.
Finally, a few tips:
Ask your celebrant when it would be suitable to include the cocktail ritual. A good & experienced celebrant should be able to advise you according to the running order of your ceremony. On the Big Day, your celebrant will announce the cocktail ritual.
Option n°1: Your celebrant invites your witnesses to join you, reminds them how important their role of witness is and asks them to prepare your cocktail. Again, a good celebrant will contact your witnesses prior to the ceremony in order to help them prepare a few words of introduction, for example, to explain the reasons behind your choice of ingredients – As a reference to a memory, to a personality trait, etc.). Your witnesses offer you the cocktail, the celebrant fills the remaining glasses and says a few chosen words to raise a toast and invites the whole congregation to drink.
Option n°2: If you do not wish to have any witnesses, your celebrant will simply pour the cocktail for you, whilst explaining why you chose the ingredients and proceeds with the toast as described above.
Use small glasses such as shooters rather than large glasses so that your guests are not tempted to help themselves to a little top up. Although the ritual cocktail allows a nice & relaxed moment during the ceremony, it is essential that your guests quickly re-focus on the ceremony and don’t start chatting, standing up, etc.
Make sure you don’t ask a loved one to give a reading straight after the ritual is completed as they may struggle to get people’s attention. A good celebrant will offer you to say a few transition words and announce the next stage of the ceremony so that your guests understand that the break is over and that their attention is required.
Do not serve strong alcohol particularly if it is a hot day. You do not want your guests to pass out whilst you exchange your vows! Also, make sure a non-alcoholic cocktail is made available to children, pregnant ladies and other guests who do not drink.