06/16/2009
Purple Ask a Question Wedding Traditions
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Wedding Traditions

My fiance and I both have strong Native American lineage. He is 1/2 Sioux and I have Cherokee on both my mother and father's side (my great-great-great grandmother on my paternal grandmother's side was the daughter of a chief). I've always felt that I didn't know enough about Native American traditions and I really do not want that history to be forgotten in my family. I hope to teach my children to appreciate their backgrounds a little bit more than my family did for me. So, I would really like to somehow incorporate a Native American tradition into our wedding and/or reception.

One tradition that I love is the wedding vase:

"A wedding vase is traditionally used by Native American couples in the Southwest but it is being used increasingly by couples everywhere drawn to the culture's spirituality and reverence for nature, the earth, and the environment.

During the ceremony each person drinks from a spout to symbolize both individuality and unity. It is important to know that these vases are made to hold liquid for a very short period of time. The vase should be emptied and dried promptly after the ceremony and should never be used as a vessel for liquid which will destroy the vase."

I've also found a Native American blessing that's to be read in place of vows, but I don't know if it has any actual historical ties. I have, however, found the Rite of Seven Steps which is where the bride and groom take seven steps clockwise and recite a vow with each step. There is also what is called a "Basket Ceremony" where the bride and groom exchange baskets of goods (usually food) and then the baskets are tied together.

I would LOVE LOVE LOVE to find someone who would be willing to perform the Rite of Seven Steps in place of a courthouse ceremony. I actually found a place in AZ that does Native American elopement packages. That would PERFECT.

What traditions are you bringing in to your wedding?
futuresmrst's Black wedding
 |  USA  |  06/16/2009  | 
Not meaning this in any insulting way what so ever but Cherokee's do not have princesses.

"Princess" may be a very poor translation for the daughter of a chief. Cherokee chiefs were not kings. They were chosen by the community, and there were always multiple chiefs, both peace chiefs and war chiefs, at the same time. The daughter of a chief was more like the daughter of a mayor or a governor than a princess.

Just want to forwarn you if, don't actually say that on a reservation. You will have a lot of people laughing at you behind your back.

And seriously, this is only ment to educate since you said you didn't know a lot about the Native American traditions and ways.
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Nocturnius
 |  Merritt island, FL, USA  |  06/16/2009  | 
Agreeing with Future Mrs T.

My mother is full-blooded Cherokee, born on a reservation. My dad is half. The traditions in our family have always been very important.

My grandmother wrote a prayer for us, which my mother read in Tsalagi at the ceremony. It was a total surprise... since my grandmother couldn't attend the wedding, she sent that to us, so she could be with us in spirit.

We also did a butterfly release. Butterflies in Cherokee culture are messengers of the Great One, and it is said that if you whisper your heart's wish to one and release it, it will bring that wish to the Great One to be granted. We only released one, symbolizing our unity as one heart and soul.
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spring09bride
 |  Red deer, AB, Canada  |  06/16/2009  | 
That must have been very special for your Grandma to write for you Nocturnius! Mommybride, have you considered having someone read a native prayer or blessing?  Could someone in one of your families do that for you?
mommybride's Purple wedding
 |  Pacific, MO, USA  |  06/16/2009  | 
futuresmrst.. ya know.. I remember someone else telling me that before! lol You can tell I don't know much about the culture, though I would love to learn.

spring09bride, unfortunately my side of the family knows NOTHING about the traditions (which is why I don't either!) and my FH's family has made very few attempts to educate themselves. His grandmother is the only one he remembers practicing any kind of Sioux lifestyle and she passed away when he was younger. :(
nevaeh's Black wedding
 |  Brick, NJ, USA  |  06/19/2009  | 
Native American culture is one of the most sacred and protected cultures out there.  It seems that it's not that previlant in either of your families. Nonetheless, if it's something you wish to incorporate then go for it and do something like spring09bride said.  But hed futuresmrst advice and do alittle research 1st.  You don't want to look like someone trying to be something they're not.

Where I live, the Lenni Lenape, an Algonquian group of Native Americans once inhabited the area.  My family is the oldest family in the area (father's side) and have strong ties to this tribe. Native American culture is no joke.
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