Indigenous Wedding: Traditions by the water

I've been fortunate enough to do weddings for a few years now but this wedding has been one of the most memorial for me. Not only was it for one of my close friends mother and it was a nice way to meet the rest of his family and get to know everyone better, but because it was one of the first indigenous weddings I've been to.

There was a few things that stood out to me during the ceremony, one of which was that it was by the water where the couple lives. Normally, couples will find a cool location, preferably closer to where they live, however, instead of an arch and chairs, it was done traditionally with purpose. The couple had cedar leaves laid out under their feet and the family crowded around in a semi circle to all be close to the couple near the place they will live and pass on their own traditions. I thought this to be more natural, friendly, and emotional as everyone got to be where they felt comfortable during the ceremony.

Secondly, during the ceremony, the couple gave each other strawberries to symbolize that they will feed one another when one cannot. They helped each other drink water to show each other that they will provide them hydration when one is unable to. These small parts of the wedding really showed the acts that they were committing to entering a marriage and how they are going to take care of each other. I thought this was a powerful representation of providing for each other for sickness and in health and will forever be remembered by not only me but for the couple and families who took part of the ceremony.

The last thing that was different during the ceremony was the fact that the two families of the couples also showed their support in the bonding of their families by both bringing handmade gifts for each other. One gift was a made knitted blanket and another was a hand crafted miniature canoe. Both amazing presents and ways to show that the families are from here on out bonded by the love of their son and daughter.

Throughout this entire wedding I could feel the love and comfort of the entire family being both excited and willing to move forward with blending two families into one. There was a lot of emotions from both families and made the after party that much sweeter. The traditions that were displayed in this wedding will forever stick with me and I am so glad I got to be a part of their big day.

I wish you both an amazing marriage!