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The Celtic Loving Cup

The third in a series of marriage rituals

The Loving Cup ceremony seals the union of a couple just married.

The use of the wine cup or Loving Cup at a wedding is an ancient tradition. By the 15th century it was common for Celtic people to toast each other with a ceremonial Loving Cup. In Scotland this cup is known as a quaich, which comes from the Celtic word 'cuach', meaning cup. The Loving Cup ceremony also has its roots in Irish, French and Jewish cultures.

A Loving Cup or Unity Cup comes in many shapes and forms. A traditional quaich could be passed down through generations ensuring happiness and good fortune to all who drink from it. This is a special moment for the couple to toast their love, devotion, and friendship.Today many couples are choosing to use a wine glass that's etched with their names and the date of their wedding.

The cup itself has two handles and originally the minister or priest would prepare it during the marriage ceremony. Today a couple’s families - often their mothers - prepare the Loving Cup by separately pouring wine into the vessel.

After the couple has been married and signed legal documents, they return with the celebrant to face guests.

The celebrant invites them to seal their union and the coming together of the two families by drinking from the Loving Cup. The celebrant invites them each to drink from the cup three times – to love shared in the past, the present and the future.

The Celtic Loving Cup is a truly unique ritual within a marriage ceremony. It doesn't take long, is inclusive of family and adds a seal to the just wed couple.

Wishing you a loving and memorable wedding ceremony.

Jo xx

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