The North Fork of Long Island is filled with small vineyards, which have become a favorite choice for get-away weddings for the New York City set. Last weekend, at the end of the peak fall foliage season, I officiated a ceremony at the Raphael Vineyard, a beautiful spot tended lovingly by the Petrocelli family. Now several decades old, Raphael is a working vineyard that also boasts a beautiful space for a wedding ceremony and reception.
An open air balcony is perfect for a seasonal wedding in the outdoors.
Marrying at a vineyard offers a natural opportunity to include a wine sharing ritual in the ceremony, a custom connected to many traditions including the Jewish and Greek Orthodox religions and far ranging cultures including those associated with Africa, Portugal, Scotland, and Poland, to name a few.
For the wedding of Jennifer and Christopher, the ritual had two portions, if you will. In the beginning, the bride and groom held individual glasses filled with wine, representing all that they brought to this marriage—their unique histories, sensibilities, and personalities. They combined their cups into a single goblet from which they both sipped….an expression of their desire to share all that life would bring their way, the bitter and the sweet. A wine ceremony yields many options for a couple to express their own unique personalities and flair, from the selection of the wine, to the inclusion of family members in the ritual, to using an artistic or heirloom cup as the featured vessel. The wine sharing can be accompanied by lyrical music and appropriate words of poetry or scripture.
Interested in learning more about weddings at the Raphael Vineyard? Contact Julie Petrocelli Vergari or Lisa Cheek, [email protected]. In the meantime, enjoy a few of my shots at their special place: