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Breaking the wine glass
during the wedding ceremony
Sharing a glass of wine and breaking the glass is a Jewish custom. Ask three rabbis what it means and you'll get three different answers. If your officiant can explain the significance of the custom, you may invite him to do so, but if the tradition is important to you, just do it!

A fragile wine glass is placed on the altar or table, filled with no more wine than the two of you can comfortably consume quickly in front of all your guests. At the very end of the ceremony, either accompanied by words of explanation or not, the officiant or Best Man hands the Groom the glass of wine. The Groom presents it to the Bride, who drinks as much of it as she wants without draining the glass. She then hands the glass back to the Groom who is required by the mechanics of the situation to finish the wine.

The empty glass is handed back to the Best Man, who wraps the glass in a linen napkin and places it on the floor in front of the Groom. The Groom stomps on it, and general hurrahs or mazel tovs erupt from the guests. Then the Bride & Groom recess.

Don't use an industrial strength, discount store wine glass. You don't want the Groom either to drive a large shard of unbroken glass through the bottom of his shoe or fail to break the glass altogether. A sneaky Best Man can substitute a linen-wrapped light bulb for the glass. The bulb gives a satisfying crunch and there's no wasted wine glass. 

Submitted by:
Dave Sugarbaker


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