Part of my job as the new assistant editor of Offbeat Bride is getting to deep dive into the archives and immerse myself in the wide spectrum of weddings that have been featured on the blog over the past 15 years. There are so many different cultures represented through the featured weddings, and reading through the archives has helped me educate and expand my understanding of weddings beyond the white-washed “traditional” wedding industry. As I go back in the archives, I can even track how the language Offbeat Bride readers have used to describe their weddings has shifted. It's fascinating and I love that it's now my job to share weddings of folks who aren't typically represented in wedding media!
In honor of Native American Heritage Month, this week on social media I'll be sharing a few of my favorite Offbeat Bride real weddings featuring Native American couples, and the meaningful traditions they incorporated to celebrate their heritage. I thought I'd show you some of my favorites here too.
First, let's start with this insightful piece from a Native American couple navigating the “in-between place” of old traditions and modern ways.
We are both proud of our Native heritage. My great-great-great-great-grandfather is Red Cloud, the last of the indian chiefs to surrender and be put onto a reservation. He did great things trying to protect his people and his way of life.
However, sometimes we are not sure if that is who we are. Well… that is who we WERE, but is that who we ARE? This question has come up a lot in my wedding planning.Read the full post.
I love this multicultural punk island elopement with Lenape traditions.
Our officiants incorporated both Shamanic and Native American traditions and called the corners and asked for blessings from our ancestors and the elements.Read the full post here.
The conversation re: cultural appropriation that followed this article was hella uncomfortable but hella necessary. This was before my time but I still think this is an important conversation (with an epic mic drop from the bride herself). Read it here.
The symbolism behind this Native American vase ritual will pull at your heartstrings.
My grandfather was Native American, and the vase ceremony I learned from him was very important to me. It included a double-spouted vase filled with wine, and we each drank from our own sides and each others', then try to drink from each spout together at the same time. We both really liked what it symbolised: two individual lives, different strengths and different Nations, and the handle symbolises the union of the two lives in marriage.Read the full post here.
This traditional Ojibwa wedding ceremony taught me something new.
The nature-based Ojibwa was a very personal and spiritual experience. These traditions are something we are both trying to practice and learn together, so our ceremony brought a lot of that together.Read the full post.
This wedding combined Pagan and Native American traditions.
The rituals were a combination of Pagan and Shamanic traditions, owing to Kate's observance of Wicca and Danyael's Native American ancestry.Read the full post.
I'm obsessed with how this couple combined Navajo culture with their love of Star Wars! Especially their Native American-inspired Star Wars blanket they used at the altar.
They got married in the ever breathtaking superstition mountains at Lost Dutchman State Park. Their wedding was a celebration of their cultures (Navajo and Irish) and incorporated their love of Star Wars.Read the full post.
Don't miss this Ojibwe ceremony with vintage and Nightmare Before Christmas elements.
They incorporated many personal touches such as some traditional Ojibwe segments in ode to Selena’s Native American heritage. They chose a vintage theme in honor of Mad Men, one of their favorite TV shows. Selena wanted to include her favorite movie, Nightmare Before Christmas, into some of their details.Read the full post.
This bride had her father perform a blanket ceremony to honor their Native American heritage.
One of the highlights was my dad's speech; he did this whole bit, full of dad jokes, he made everyone laugh and cry as well. He also performed a Blanket Ceremony for Ryan and I, which is something that is part of my culture — I am Native American, and I wanted to share part of that with our guests, since that part of me is very important to me.Read the full post.
This Anishanaabe bride incorporated Salish traditions in their DIY, homegrown wedding.
As it happens, this beach has been used by Salish people for thousands of years. The resonation was unmistakable. Ken similarly let himself be moved. As we walked through willow arch, he stopped us and drummed a Salish Blessing, honouring the 4 directions. Everyone felt it.Read the full post.