I am a non-denominational wedding minister in North
Carolina. I have a bridal couple that want to include the
wedding vase in their ceremony. Do you have the wording
that you can share for this ceremony? We would greatly
appreciate your help. Thank you.
–Submitted by Bonnie C.
The Wedding Vase Ceremony
There aren’t really any words with this ceremony. First the bride drinks from one side of the vase. Then she turns it and the Groom drinks from the opposite site. Then they both drink at the same time and it’s said if they don’t spill anything the marriage will have good luck and prosper. It’s sort of like the anglo custom of the bride and groom cutting the cake and feeding a piece to each other. They don’t necessarily need to make a speech first.
The Basket Ceremony
Usually, the Basket Ceremony is performed prior to the Wedding Vase Ceremony. Symbolic of a time when large dowries were sometimes required by the families of the bride and groom, the practice of exchanging baskets filled with meaningful gifts developed.For example, the bride’s basket to the groom may be filled with bread and corn representing her promise to nurture and support her new husband. The groom’s basket might contain meat and skins representing his promise to feed and clothe the bride.
However, as weddings are personal, you can add anything you want. Perhaps you could recite the Apache Wedding Prayer just before the Wedding Vase Ceremony. Then the bride and groom could recite a Cherokee wedding prayer. Perhaps both could say the first line, then the bride could say the next part, then the groom the next, ending with both saying the last line together.
Cherokee Wedding Prayer
We honor all you created as we pledge our hearts and lives together.We honor Mother Earth and ask for our marriage to be abundant and grow stronger through the seasons.
We honor fire – and ask that our union be warm and glowing with love in our hearts.
We honor wind – and ask we sail through life safe and calm as in our father’s arms.
We honor water – to clean and soothe our marriage– that it may never thirst for love.
As we honor all the forces of the universe you created, we pray for harmony and true happiness, as we forever grow together.
The Blanket Ceremony
Another wedding custom practiced by the Cherokee, Kiowa and several other plains tribes is the blanket ceremony. Two blue blankets are used in the ceremony, with each representing the couple’s past lives that may have been filled with loneliness, weakness, failures, sorrow and spiritual depression.
The couple are each wrapped in one of the blue blankets and their relatives follow them to the sacred fire circle. (If the ceremony is indoors, they could approach when you pronounce them husband and wife). After the spiritual leader blesses the union the couple then shed the blue blankets and are enveloped by relatives in a single white blanket representing their new ways of happiness, fulfillment and peace.
Under the white blanket, the couple then embrace and kiss. This is the end of the wedding ceremony.
The white blanket is kept by the couple and often displayed in their home. It is the same blanket that is some times split in half if the marriage goes sour.
For more suggestions for native american wedding customs and wedding prayers, see the related links below.
Related links on this site:
American Indian Wedding Prayer (Apache)
Teach Us To Walk The Soft Earth Prayer