Native American weddings are a true reflection of the couple's inner spirituality and beliefs. Some couples today embrace traditions from their heritage, while others prefer a more modern approach. Either way, each ceremony is completely unique.
1. Determine those customs and traditions that have meaning to you, and make them a part of your special day.
2. Select a site to hold the ceremony. Some possibilities include chapels or other spiritual places, historical landmarks, Indian monuments, or reservations.
3. Choose a prayer that you would like to have read at the ceremony.
4. Ask someone to play an Indian Love Flute. Legend says that this flute, which is carved out of cedar wood, holds the power of attraction and was used to enhance courtship.
5. Invite everyone from the extended families of both the bride and groom, along with the community, to celebrate the marriage. Usually, an officiating elder is at the center of the group.
6. Prepare decorative baskets to hold corn, which is a symbol of fertility. This is presented to the couple during the ceremony.
7. Use woven willow baskets to hold cornmeal for blessings or prayers.
8. Direct the opening of the ceremonial baskets always to the east, since this is a sacred direction where no harm shall pass.
9. Follow a Native American Church tradition of using drums containing peyote tea. (Peyote is a type of cactus known for its mind-altering properties.) The drums are played during the ceremony, following which guests drink the tea.
The couple and wedding party often wear traditional Native American dress. For the bride, this could be knee-high moccasins and a long leather dress with beads and fringe. For the groom, it might be a hip-length native shirt with black pants and shoes.
Use a double-spouted pottery wedding vase, which is a tradition at Pueblo ceremonies. One spout signifies the bride and the other the groom. A looped handle on the vase is symbolic of the unity of marriage. The couple drinks nectar from this vase as a way to consummate the marriage.
Skill Advisory: Moderately Easy
>> 9. Follow a Native American Church tradition of using drums containing peyote tea. <<
Don't all Native American weddings use drums containing peyote tea? I'm shocked!
You gotta admit this will be a fun wedding, if nothing else. At most weddings you can only get drunk, but this one lets you ingest controlled narcotic substances.
>> The couple and wedding party often wear traditional Native American dress. For the bride, this could be knee-high moccasins and a long leather dress with beads and fringe. <<
If your tribe wore only loincloths, wear them. The guests in their tuxedos and so forth will understand. If it's cold outside, Eskimo parkas and snowshoes are an option.
Afterward you can skin a deer for the reception. A steaming buffalo carcass makes a nice centerpiece. Be sure to use all parts of it, including the eyeballs, tongue, and testicles.
Note: The picture comes from another stereotype of the month, not from the wedding guide. But from the description, this appears to be the author's idea of a traditional Native wedding dress.
Also note: This instruction guide is no longer available at eHow. I assume eHow took it down after receiving protests.
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