My Final Words To You

Professional Services

I am a Chicago Wedding Officiant
How to Obtain Your Marriage License

Your Wedding Ceremony
Elopement Ceremonies in Chicago
Chicago Justice of the Peace

Pricing and Fees

Contact Me (by email)

(708) 490-8860

See My Weddings

See the Images of My
Wedding Ceremonies

All About My Services

About Thomas Witham
How My Ceremonies Are Different
The Couples I Work For
Wedding Venues Where I've Performed
Religious & Philosophical Expression
Your Greatest Advocate
Letters of Appreciation
For Those Previously Married

Designing Your Ceremony

Facing Your Guests (Modern Format)
Backs Turned (Traditional Format)
Examples of Wedding Vows
Effective Seating
Aisle Runner or Petals
Children in Wedding Ceremonies
The Escorting of a Bride
Taking Parental Vows
The Use of Music
Using a Pedestal
Using a Wedding Carriage
A New Role For Grandparents
Wedding Ceremony Readings
In Memoriam

Ceremonies in Special Places
Ceremonies in Theme
Taking Your Ceremony to Others
Staying in Character
What Name Should I Use?
What if it Rains?
Fibbing Your Start Time
Ceremonies in Candlelight
The Reception Line

The Order of Events

Primary Options:
Read this First
The Unity Candle
Champagne Sharing
The Sand Ceremony
The Blessing Tree
Tying the Knot
Tasting the Elements
Using a Photomontage
The Giving of Roses

Options In Finale:
Butterfly Release
Dove Release
Balloon Release
Tossing Petals
Bubbles in a Wedding Ceremony
Applause Walk

The Five Rules:
Rule One
Rule Two
Rule Three
Rule Four
Rule Five

Advice on Photography
Advice on Wedding Coordinators
Death by Venue
An Invitation To Journalists

Resources and Links

For Those Considering Plagiarism

Home Page

Site Map


Learn how to use Tasting The Elements in you wedding ceremony.
Tasting The Elements
Hugo and Stefani Taste The Elements during their ceremony at The Grove County Club - Long Grove, Illinois.
Tasting the Elements is a wedding ceremony tradition taken from the Yoruba culture whereby a bride and groom are asked to taste four elements. As a primary option, it is used after the exchanges of vows and rings. As the couple tastes each item, a commentary is read as to how the taste of that element relates to marriage. The couple animates as they taste each item. Ranging from bitter to sweet, these elements are: a lemon wedge, vinegar, cayenne pepper and honey. The commentaries read appear below. A youtube video of one of my couples, Hugo and Stefani, using this opton appears below as well. In my 25 plus years of officiating wedding ceremonies, Tasting the Elements is easily one of the most entertaining of all wedding ceremony options. Audiences are enrapt watching this. The animation of the bride and groom, as they taste each element, are what bring this option to life. Therefore, couples who possess showmanship, and who are comfortable with giving a performance with the skill of a lead actor and actress, should consider this option. You will hold the audience in your hands as you perform. Those guests will respond with sustained applause at the ceremony's conclusion.
Commentary for Tasting the Elements.
Wedding ceremonies have a lot of beautiful symbolism, not just exchanging vows and rings. Many wedding ceremonies I officiated used Unity Candles to show the joining of lives and the meaning of marriage.

Hugo and Stefani are a little more cutting edge than that.
Their wedding ceremony will uses a beautiful African tradition - The Tasting of the Elements.
Hugo and Stefani will taste four flavors that represent the emotions within a relationship.
To begin, I would like to ask Adam to bring us the four Elements...

And so now Stefani and Hugo, I ask you to taste the first Element..
Ah,.... you have tasted the lemon, and have found it to be SOUR.
How wise they were to have let you taste this first. For marriage, indeed all marriages, have their moments. Periods of unhappiness that may last for a significant time as well.
In marriage, the nights can be colder, and longer, and more lonely than anything you have experienced as single people.
But the wisdom of the four elements has it that this time is to be endured! For you will never progress to the other elements if you cannot endure this one.
They did not have you taste from a bowl of cherries, they had you taste the sourness of the lemon and they are telling you to endure it.
For just as surely as it comes, and it will, any unhappiness in your marriage will leave as well.
It is momentary, you need only endure it...


Now I ask you both, to taste the second Element...
Ah... You have found it to be bitter! You have tasted Vinegar.
Not quite as as bad as the sourness of the Lemon though was it?
Hugo, on some upcoming evening, will be the night of the BIG GAME, maybe even the Super bowl??
But Stefani points out that WGN is running a six hour marathon of old reruns of FRIENDS.
Trust me Hugo! Get the remote and punch in WGN.
You’ll be a happier man for it!!!!
This element, SOURNESS, tells us to take the smaller bumps in life in stride.
Now that you have shown that you can endure the smaller bumps in marriage, we proceed to the finer aspects of married life..


I ask you to taste the third Elements..
You have tasted Cayenne, - and Cayenne because it is Hot -REPRESENTS PASSION.
Yes, passion in a wonderful physical sense YOU BET.
But passion also in an intellectual and spiritual sense as well.
Passion is the fuel of your marriage and you both are so well in tune with each other on so many levels.
I know that this expression gets a bit overworked these days, but they are the words that best expresses - to me anyway - the quality of your relationship - you are soul mates.
Passion will come easy to you, but take time to re-stoke it.
Go places, and do things that renew and rekindle your passion.
Though it may come natural to you, do not neglect your passion.
Take the time from your busy lives and renew all that you are to each other.
Renew the feelings of that courtship, that would one day bring you to this place and time before us.


And now,... Please taste the Fourth Element..
You have tasted something very sweet, this Element has been saved for the very last.
They chose Honey to represent all that is desirable about marriage.
For you each now have a most special partner in life to share all of life's experiences with.
New successes and achievements in your business careers lie before you as well.
And most importantly, will be the fun - and life giving times - that you will experience with all of these wonderful people Hugo and Stefani, your loving families and friends.
Those times, - with these people - will be among your marriage’s sweetest moments.
Your marriage, - will play host to all of this.
Hugo and Stefani had several wedding ceremony options they could have chosen from.
They chose The Tasting of the Elements.
But they also wanted to add to it, to personalize it, and have one final element be their own.


And so Adam, if you would take away the four Elements and bring the Fifth.
Hugo and Stefani have chosen Be-A-Cart Champaign as their final Element.
It represents what they feel for each other.
It’s an element tasted only on special occasions.
We associate it with Elegance and Class.
And maybe, if we could talk to some of your guests here, those that have been married for 20 or 30 or more years, they might tell you that you have chosen very well indeed.
Champaign does well to represent all the best of married life.
You tasted it 15 years ago when you met, on this very day, the 23rd of May.
Take a moment now, and sip your final element, and think about what your lover means to you, and let us relive with you, your first date.