Wrapped Couture is a Custom Gift Basket Company where every basket is "Delightfully Filled...and Especially Yours".

I'm also a seasoned event planner and designer. I love everything about weddings and I hope to provide inspiration to help plan your wedding day. Through daily tips, images that I love, or events that I have done or feature, I hope to answer questions or help along the way to your journey to getting married or helping your bride and grooms! I'm fortunate to do exactly what I love!

Feb 29, 2012

Tasting Of The Four Elements

In honor of Black History month, and since this is the last day of February, I wanted to touch on an African American ritual that's not often seen or heard of at the alter; tasting of the four elements.  We're accustomed to seeing the lighting of the unity candle or the sand ceremony, but not much else in African American cultural traditions or rituals.  Tasting of the four elements is a representation of how a marriage can have its ups and downs and the vow to love "for better or worse, for richer or poorer, and in sickness and health." 

Image courtesy of Nsdia D Photography via BetsyWhite 
The four elements are often placed in small bowls or glasses for tasting.  They are:
~Sour (Lemon)- The couple tastes a bit of lemon that represents the individual sacrifice that each have to make within the marriage to be as one, which may cause sour feelings.
~Bitter (Vinegar)- The couple tastes a bit of vinegar that represents the bitterness that may develop within the relationship.
~Heat (Cayenne Pepper)- The couple tastes a bit of cayenne pepper that represents the heated arguments that a couple may have.
~Sweet (Honey)- The couple tastes a bit of honey that represents the sweetness in a marriage.  More than that, it's a showing of how the couple can "weather the storm" of the sour, bitter, and heat of their marriage and remain in love (the sweetness).

I don't often get to see it performed myself, but I do get excited when I suggest it to my couples and they love the idea and what it represents.  I think more couples should focus on the marriage and understand it takes work.  After all, the wedding is just one day!


  1. I've never heard of this before. So interesting. Thanks for sharing!

  2. I never knew about this! Very interesting!

  3. Thanks for giving the details on this custom.

  4. I too have not heard of this custom. Very neat though! It's a little bit like the Passover plate since each item represents something. Thanks for sharing!

  5. I've also never heard of this. It's very symbolic and interesting...thinking.