The Traditional Native American Wedding Ceremony
This story about the Traditional Native American Wedding Ceremony was once told to Palms Trading Company owner Guy Berger by Margaret Gutierrez, a famous potter from Santa Clara Pueblo, New Mexico.
A week or two before a couple is married by a Catholic priest, the future husband’s parents make a Wedding Vase. When the vase has been made, the husband, along with his parents and relatives, go to the bride’s house. The bride brings out everything she will need to establish the couple’s new home together: clothing, utensils, mattress, moccasins, corn and any other homemaking essentials, including her white manta wedding dress.
Both the bride’s and groom’s parents give the young couple advice to help them have a happy and successful marriage. Indian holy water is placed in the Wedding Vase and the vase is turned and given to the bride. She drinks from one side of the vase, turns it around again and gives it to the groom, who then drinks from the opposite side. This ceremony unites them as one.
The couple will treasure the vase throughout their married life. Should one of them outlive the other, the remaining spouse gives the vase to a couple known to be living a happily married life. The Wedding Vase is treasured and protected always; it is never broken or destroyed.