Sand ceremonies, candle lights, wine pouring… I’ve seen it all. It was hard for us to pick what was right for us, I knew I wanted to a unity ceremony that was unique for our Milwaukee ceremony. That’s why we chose to do the Native American tradition of a blanket ceremony.
We did do a sand ceremony, honestly, because I wanted to incorporate my son into our ceremony. I do LOVE sand ceremonies. They’re a good way to have something tangible that you can take with you, unlike wine or a candle lighting. They’re also cheap, and easy to put on a shelf. Although, yes, a good percentage of my couples do sand ceremonies, their symbolism isn’t lost even if you consider them overdone.
My (now) husband is Native America. That’s a huge part of his identity and culture, so I wanted to find a way to include that part of him in our ceremony. So, naturally, I went to Pinterest! Where else do I look for wedding inspiration?
I found a few poems and things but there wasn’t too much that fit us. Then I came across a gorgeous picture of a blanket ceremony.
A blanket Ceremony is an ancient Native American tradition. A couple is wrapped in a blanket and then kiss while wrapped up. We had our siblings, my sister (maid of honor) and his brother (best man) grab the blanket and then wrap us in it.
So, let me say that first, we didn’t do everything exactly as the tradition is (modified for cost and simplification). Traditionally, both bride and groom are wrapped in separate, blue blankets by the officiant. Then the officiant gives his blessing and then removes the blankets. The couple is then wrapped in a single white blanket. The blue represents their past, single live, and the white represents their new life which will be filled with peace and happiness. The white blanket is kept by the couple and displayed in their home.
We used one single blanket, more to symbolize becoming one together, wrapped up to become one. The blanket was found at a Pow Wow, a Native American event, which I felt was important. I also didn’t feel having a white or blue blanket was necessary but getting it from a Pow Wow supported local Native vendors.
Different things are being thought of each year. I had a couple do a combination of 4 unity ceremonies, one for earth, wind, water, and fire. We thought this was perfect since it was part of his culture, but you don’t necessarily have to be Native American to do a blanket ceremony. Modify it, like we did, to fit you. No wedding has to be by the book, traditions are changing. Your wedding is about you! This tradition was perfect for us (and it kept us warm on a windy day)!
Note: All of the beautiful images of our wedding were done by Samantha Irene Photography. She is crazy talented and I couldn’t be happier with our wedding pictures. Please check her out at http://samanthaharmonsmith.tumblr.com/
March 25, 2018