The German Wedding Cup

Traditional German Wedding Cup
Traditional German Wedding Cup

Have you ever heard of a German Wedding Cup? It’s a very special vessel that a couple drinks out of for their wedding toast, and the story behind it is sure to charm you.

The legend dates back to the 15th century, and the story behind this unique cup is as follows:

Centuries ago, in a small, southern German town called Nuernberg, there lived a wealthy nobleman. His daughter fell in love with a lowly goldsmith and the couple wanted to marry. Her father did not approve, so he threw the goldsmith into a dark dungeon and continued to offer his daughter wealthier, more “appropriate” suiters. The girl grew pale and weak as she longed for her beloved. Her father, concerned for her health, reluctantly offered a proposal: “If your goldsmith can make a chalice from which two people can drink at the same time without spilling a single drop, I will free him and you shall become his bride.”

The nobleman thought he’d proposed the impossible. However, the goldsmith was determined and inspired by love, and he skillfully created a masterpiece. The cup he created is a sculpted girl with a hollow skirt to serve as one cup. The girl’s arms hold a smaller cup that swivels in the direction of the second drinker. The nobleman’s daughter and the goldsmith could each drink from one end, without a drop spilled. The nobleman was left with no choice but to allow the couple to wed, and to this day, the chalice remains a symbol of love, faithfulness and good luck to the couples who drink from it.

Couple drinking from a German Wedding Cup

Isn’t that a great story?

Today you can find German Bridal Cups (also known as brautbecher) online or at wedding specialty shops.

German Wedding Cups
Different styles of German Wedding Cups. Photos via www.in-due-de, www.bridescup.de, and www.steincenter.com.

What will you be toasting with at your wedding?