The Breaking of the Glass Ceremony

Part 7 of The Elements Series - A Wedding Celebrant's Perspective
Wedding Celebrant  - Destination Wedding in St Ives

Part 7  – The Breaking of the Glass Ceremony

In this ‘Elements’ series, I take a look  at how my brides and grooms have incorporated additional elements into their ceremony, to really personalise  their wedding  and make it a  truly unique and memorable day.

The Breaking of the Glass Ceremony is a Jewish wedding tradition that dates back to the writing of the Talmud and has been interpreted in many ways.

Morgan and Max chose to have a Breaking of the Glass Ceremony as they wanted to include an element in their wedding that reflected Max’s Jewish heritage, but without including any overtly religious symbolism or wording.



Wedding Celebrant - Destination Wedding  Ceremony

A Cornish Destination Wedding

Morgan and Max came from Atlanta in Georgia, for their destination wedding at Tregenna Castle in St Ives.  It was chosen because Morgan’s family are English and originally came from Cornwall. Also, it was her childhood dream to be married in a castle.

Their guests came from all around the globe and so I learned a tiny bit of Hebrew, to ensure that everyone was welcomed!!

שלום לכֶ לם
Shalom le koo lam  – Translation: Hello Everyone
.תּוֹדָה לְכֻלְּכֶם עַל נוכחותכם בָּאֵרוּעַ מְשַׂמֵּחַ זֶה
todah lekchu lechem ‘al novkotkchem baeru’a messameakh zeh. – Translation: Thank you for being here on this happy occasion.

Somerset Celebrant - Smashing the Glass Ceremony

 The Tradition of the Breaking of The Glass

Traditionally, the breaking of the glass marks the end of the wedding ceremony and the start of the celebrations.

It was a beautiful and joyous ceremony. Their vows were tender and loving.  Unscripted, they came straight from their hearts. Everyone was moved to tears by the emotion of their words!

After the vows,  I picked up the bag containing the beautiful, lead crystal champagne glass and placed it on the ground in front of Morgan and Max.

The wedding guests were thrilled and excited when they realised what was about to happen, for we’d kept it a secret to  surprise and delight them.

I addressed their guests using words that expressed the symbolic meaning of the smashing of the glass for Morgan and Max.

‘This glass reminds us of the frailty of human relationships. The way something so beautiful, perfect and precious can be so easily broken.

Morgan and Max, cherish, respect and love one other and protect your marriage.

May your bond be as difficult to break as it would be to put back these pieces of glass.’



Morgan and Max, like your marriage, this glass is a beautiful thing.

It’s clean and clear, allowing sunshine to flow through it.

If cared for properly, it can last a lifetime.

Like a marriage though, it can also be quite frail.

We stomp the glass at the end of a wedding ceremony to remind you that just as your foot can shatter this glass, so too a single thoughtless act cause irreparable harm to your marriage.

Wedding Celebrant - Unity Candle  Ceremony

He Smashed It !!

If you look carefully you’ll notice that Max wasn’t wearing any socks. However, I felt quite confident that no shards of glass would fly out of the bag and cut him!

This was because I try to make all the materials for the elements myself, to ensure they are bespoke and unique. So, I knew how strong it was !

I’d made the bag in double thickness, and, although it looks like a drawstring bag with the  pale blue velvet ribbon ( for luck), threaded through broderie anglais, I’d machined the top and sealed in the glass. 

I invited everyone to be ready to shout the Hebrew words, Mazel Tov,” meaning Good Luck” and “Congratulations,” as soon as Max smashed the glass.

The guests were laughing, clapping, cheering him on and offering him words of encouragement as he lined himself up, lifted his leg and brought his foot down to a resounding ‘Smash’

מזל טוב
Mazel Tov



Wedding Celebrant - Cornish Destination Wedding

 Uniting their Families

As you can see, by choosing Cornwall  for their beautiful UK destination wedding and incorporating a Breaking of the Glass Element in their ceremony, Morgan and Max were able to have a truly unique, personal and memorable wedding.

It was a ceremony that clearly reflected who they are as a couple and delighted and united both their families.

Many Thanks

I’d like to thank Morgan and Max  for letting me share with you a part of their incredibly special day.

I’d like to also thank Nick from Nick Pumphrey Photography for the amazingly atmospheric pics .

Brian M for the last two lovely pics and for capturing Godrevy Lighthouse in the distance in the group pic.

For a look at Part Six of this Elements Series – A Unity Candle  Ceremony – Click Here !!

For a look at Part Five  of this Elements Series  – The Arras Money Ceremony – Click Here !!

For a look at Part Four of this Elements Series  – A Handfasting Ceremony – Click here !!

For a look at Part Three of this Elements Series  – A Unity Sand Ceremony – Click here !!

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 !!


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