ceremony is but one variation of ritual marriage which varies
among Native American peoples as it does among all the people
of the world according to nations, religions, clans, tribes or
even families. It was found while researching wedding ceremonies
to respond to an inquiry and was written for a wedding in California.
This ceremony does not include the use of a wedding vase but others
do. The sincerity or 'intention' of the people performing a ceremony
is what makes it sacred. This ceremony is a possible guide for
those wishing to marry in a traditional Native American way. When
presented to Tribal Judge Marilynn Crelier of Picuris Pueblo,
she stated that it would provide her friend with a beautiful ceremony.
out the website page or Click
Here for a copy in Adobe Acrobat
Native American Style Wedding Ceremony
Summary of the Ceremony
The Native American Wedding Ceremony is one
that takes place outdoors, with Father Sky as the roof of the
most sacred cathedral, and Mother Earth at your feet to hold
you, and the trees and plants to surround you and embrace you.
The circle will be saged by the Minister, Sacred Tobacco given
to the grandfathers & grandmothers of the plants and stone
people as gifts for allowing us to do our ceremony in their space.
the guests will be invited into the Medicine Circle - the Sacred
Medicine Wheel that is symbolic of Life and the connection and
Continuity of all living things. As they enter the Circle, they
will be saged (cleansed and purified), and symbolically enter
the womb. For when you leave the circle, you are reborn as anew:
a married person - not just to each other, but to the family and
the community, and they to you.
Wedding party & parents will be in the center of the Circle,
and will be saged. The Sisters/mothers will carry the baskets,
and will hand them to the Bride & Groom during the Basket
Exchange which symbolizes the tangibles of how the couple will
take care of each other during their marriage.
families and the guests in the Circle will be invited to come
up and give a personal Blessing to the Couple, everything from
a hug and kiss to reading a poem, or whatever. Everything is appropriate.
This allows the Community to be a part of the Ceremony as well
as symbolically welcoming them into the Community.
Wedding Blanket is carried by sisters/siblings, and the tying
of the Blanket symbolizes the Union of the two lives. It will
be folded and carried to a safe place by the Mothers after the
ceremony. It may not touch the ground until the Wedding has been
Basically, the baskets will contain whatever
is symbolically important to you.
Bride's Basket: Groom's Basket:
(both lined with cedar & covered with a red cloth)
2 ears of corn
1 Squash or gourd Hide
(Optional) Marriage Branch: Cedar branch with a fork, to be hung
over the bed.
South: Young married couples & children
East: Young men
West: Veterans & warriors
There should be chairs for the elders who cannot stand.
by Minister, Sageing of all guests, and Wedding Party.
Bride): "(NAME), what do you provide for this union
Mother of Bride will hand Bride the Bride's basket.
Bride: "I provide these things to my husband and home. They
are a symbol that I will care for you and love you always."
Groom): "(Name ), what do you provide for this union
Mother of Groom will hand Groom the Groom's basket.
Groom: "I provide these things to my wife. They are a symbol
that I will provide, love and protect our family always."
Bride & Groom): "You may exchange baskets."
Bride & Groom to set baskets in front of them, and
Reading or a Native American Blessing
1. (A Native American Blessing)
Now you will feel no rain, for you will be shelter to each other.
Now you will feel no cold, for each of you will be warmth to the
Now there is no more loneliness, for each of you will be companion
to the other.
Now you are two bodies, but there is only one life before you.
Soon you will go to your resting place, to enter into the days
of your togetherness.
May your days be good and long upon the earth.
(TO THE COUPLE) A Native American Blessing)
Above you are the stars, below you are the stones.
As time does pass, remember;
Like a star should your love be constant.
Like a stone should your love be firm.
Be close, yet not too close.
Possess one another, yet be understanding.
Have patience with the other; for storms will come, but they will
Be free in giving of affection and warmth.
Make love often, and be sensuous to one another.
Have no fear, and let not the ways of words of the unenlightened
give you unease.
For the Great Spirit is with you, now and always.
Blessings by Family and Wedding Guests
Vows (if desired)
I, (NAME,) take you (NAME,) as my (wife, husband). I do solemnly
avow my love for you. I will comfort you, keep you, love you,
defend you in sickness or in health, in riches or poverty, in
sorrow or joy, seeking only to be with you until death parts
us. All these things I pledge upon my honor. ¤
The Mothers will wrap the wedding blanket around Bride & Groom.
Circles have no beginning and has no end, and so in the long
and sacred tradition of marriage rings have come to symbolize
eternal love and endless union of body, of mind, and of the spirit.
This ring is a symbol of my love and faithfulness, and with all
that I am, and all that I have, I honor you, and pledge to you
my love and life.
of the baskets)
Father Sky and Mother Earth, creator and nurturer of all life,
we give heartfelt thanks for the moment that brought ( , ) together
in the Holy State of Marriage
.. Aho! ¤
as you (NAME ) and you (NAME ) have consented together in matrimony
and have pledged your faith to each other by the giving and the
receiving of these rings before your family and Community; according
to the powers invested in me by the State of (your state),
NOW PRONOUNCE THAT YOU ARE HUSBAND AND WIFE.
walks Bride & Groom to the blanket spread on the ground.
Minister unties the Wedding Blanket. Sisters will fold
the blanket and put it in a safe place.
(Groom): "This marriage branch is a symbol of our love for
each other, and for our lives becoming as one."
& Groom will notch the branch while Best Man gently shake
the turtle rattle.
drums will begin and guests will dance around the couple 7 times
placing gifts on the blanket before them.
Wedding Blanket is folded and tied by Bride & Groom
and taken on the honeymoon. The blanket will not touch
the ground until the marriage is consummated.