A Lithuanian Bread, Salt and Wine CeremonyPart 10 of The Elements Series - A Wedding Celebrant's Perspective
‘Part 10 – A Lithuanian Bread, Salt and Wine Ceremony.
In this ‘Elements’ series, I take a look at how my couples have incorporated additional elements to really personalise their wedding ceremony and make it a truly unique and memorable day.
It is a Lithuanian wedding custom for the parents of the couple getting married, to present them with some dark rye bread and salt, washed down with either vodka, water or wine .
Traditionally, the dark rye bread represents wealth, health and generosity, as it is almost a sacred thing in Lithuanian culture.
The salt represents some challenges in life that are bound to happen, and it is a must to face and embrace them.
Water symbolises purity and life, a fresh start, whilst wine or vodka is used to toast and celebrate the couple’s marriage.
Grazina and Matt wanted to include an element in their wedding ceremony that reflected Grazina’s Lithuanian heritage.
They chose to include a Bread, Salt and Wine ceremony to acknowledge Grazina’s family, and to include her parents in their ceremony, in a beautiful and meaningful way.
At the beginning of our ceremony, I welcomed everyone in both English and Lithuanian, with the words,
‘Dėkojame, kad esate čia šia laiminga proga – Thank you for being here on this happy occasion’
Although Grazina helped me with the pronunciation several times beforehand, I’m not sure that I got it right, or was even understood.
It made me reflect later on the importance of enabling all wedding guests to have an inclusive experience of a wedding ceremony.
Grazina and Matthew, please sprinkle some salt on the bread, take a bite and drink the wine.
While you are doing this, we invite your parents to share some words of wisdom with you.
Just before the vows, we invited Grazina’s parents, Sandra and Agnius, to come forward and present the bread, salt and wine.
Sandra had prepared everything beforehand and had placed it on a tray. The bread was traditional Lithuanian dark rye bread, next to it was the dish of salt and two glasses, full of red wine, decorated as a bride and groom.
Agnius held the tray during the ceremony.
It is a very special and touching moment in the wedding when the parents give these gifts of their wisdom to their children.
By each breaking a piece of the bread, putting salt on it and eating it, Grazina and Matt showed that together, they would enjoy the good things in life and also accept its bitter moments. The drinking of the wine, symbolised how they would remember to celebrate their marriage through the years.
Sandra then read the advice she had to give Grazina and Matt, to ensure they had a long and happy marriage.
Although Sandra’s words were in Lithuanian, we could feel how kind, touching and important they were to the couple.
Our Lithuanian Wedding tradition element finished with hugs and kisses and a few tears of love.
Personalising Your Wedding Ceremony
As you can see, including a wedding tradition from your culture element adds a deep, personal and meaningful touch to your wedding.
It can make your ceremony truly reflect who you are as a couple. It will delight and surprise your guests and ensure your special day is a truly memorable occasion.
I’d like to thank Grazina and Matt and their family for letting me share with you a part of their incredibly special day.
I’d like to also thank Sandra Par for the amazing pics.
Look out for the eleventh part of this series – A Broom Jumping Ceremony!
For a look at Part Two of this Elements Series – A Parchment Signing Ceremony – Click here !!
For a look at Part One of this Elements Series – A Beautiful Ring Warming Ceremony – Click here !!