Secular Native American Theme Wedding Ceremony

This is our Pre-Written Secular Native American Wedding Ceremony. Text in italics are words spoken by the Bride & Groom or Ceremony participants other than the Celebrant. Text in { } are words spoken by the Celebrant to the guests, and generally explain what is happening or about to happen in the Ceremony. Text in [ ] are actions by the Bride & Groom, Celebrant, or other Ceremony participants. All other text are words spoken by the Celebrant directly addressing the Bride & Groom, and/or the guests.


Processional

Opening Words
Welcome to the marriage ceremony of Bride's Full Name and Groom's Full Name
We are assembled here today because love gathers us, and especially because love has found Groom and Bride and woven them together into the great web of life.

Expression of Intent
{Now, Groom & Bride will make public their intention to marry.}
Do you Groom choose Bride to be your honored and cherished wife? Do you pledge to endure all of the joys and sorrows which life may offer, and be true to her forevermore?
Groom: I do!

Do you Bride choose Groom to be your honored and cherished husband? Do you pledge to endure all of the joys and sorrows which life may offer, and be true to him forevermore?
Bride: I do!

Vows
{Now, Groom & Bride will recite their wedding vows. These vows were taken from a Native American Ritual.}
Groom, please repeat after me...
Bride, you have brought favor and inspiration into my life. Our love and friendship have become inseparable and firm. My devotion to you is pure and you are my joy. This is my commitment to you... I will love you and you alone as my wife. I will share both in your joys and sorrows. I will fill your heart with strength and courage. In your happiness I shall rejoice. I shall never deceive you, nor will I let you down. I offer my total self to you. I pledge that I will always be with you, and I shall love you forever. I speak these promises with a pure heart.

Bride, please repeat after me...
Groom, you have brought favor and inspiration into my life. Our love and friendship have become inseparable and firm. My devotion to you is pure and you are my joy. This is my commitment to you... I will love you and you alone as my husband. I will share both in your joys and sorrows. I will fill your heart with strength and courage. In your happiness I shall rejoice. I shall never deceive you, nor will I let you down. I offer my total self to you. I pledge that I will always be with you, and I shall love you forever. I speak these promises with a pure heart.

Blessing of the Rings
A circle is the symbol of the sun, the moon, the earth, and the universe. It is a symbol of wholeness, and of perfection, and of peace. In these rings it is the symbol of unity. Today, your lives are joined in one unbroken circle. Wherever you go, and whatever life brings, may the seamless circle of these rings remind you of your endless love.

Exchange Of The Rings
{And now, Groom & Bride will exchange their wedding rings}
Groom, please repeat after me...
Just as this circle is without end, my love for you has no end. Just as the ring endures, my commitment to you will never fail. With this ring, I take you as my wife.

Bride, please repeat after me...
Just as this circle is without end, my love for you has no end. Just as the ring endures, my commitment to you will never fail. With this ring, I take you to be my husband.

Native American Smudging (Ritual)
[Celebrant takes Smudge Sticks]
We will now perform the Native American Ritual of Smudging as we light these sage smudge sticks. This is an act of purification and cleansing. Sage is considered a sacred plant, and fire is a great purifier. It will be offered to the four corners of the earth as we say a Blackfoot Indian incantation to the four directions. As this is done, all thoughts, all energies are purified and transformed, from the negative to the positive, from darkness to light, from disharmony to peace, and from fear to love.

[Celebrant holds the smudge sticks as Bride and Groom light them]

[Celebrant faces to the West]
Over to the West are the mountains. May you see them as long as you live, for from them you receive sweet pine for incense.

[Celebrant faces to the North]
Strength will come form the North. May you look for many years upon the star that never moves.

[Celebrant faces to the East]
Old age will come from below in the East, from where comes the light of the sun.

[Celebrant faces to the South]
May the warm winds of the South bring you food, and nourish your union with light, harmony, and love.

In honor of and gratitude for the women who gave Bride and Groom life, we now invite their mothers to complete this ancient ritual by bathing the couple in the purifying smoke - waving the sticks before, behind, and around them. As they do this, we ask you to offer your silent wishes for Groom and Bride.

[Mothers take turns waving the smudge sticks around couple]

[Celebrant takes sticks back and places them in a safe place]

Reading
The following Native American Reading is a Navajo song combined with an Apache incantation.
May you walk in beauty. Beauty before you. Beauty behind you. Beauty above and below you. May you have the strength of eagle's wings, the faith and courage to fly to new heights, and the wisdom of the universe to carry you there. May the sun bring you energy by day. May the moon softly restore you at night. May the rain wash away your worries, and the breeze blow new strength into your being. And all the days of your life, may you walk gently through the world and know its beauty.

Pronouncement of Marriage
{At this time we come to the Pronouncement of Marriage. The Pronouncement is my public, and legal, proclamation that Bride and Groom are married. It is the exact moment of Marriage...}
Groom and Bride, in so much as the two of you have agreed to live together in Matrimony, have promised your love for each other by your vows, and the giving of your rings, I now declare you to be husband and wife.

Permission to Kiss
Congratulations, you may kiss!

Good Wishes
Now you will feel no rain...
For each of you will be shelter to the other.
Now you will feel no cold...
For each of you will be warmth to the other.
Now there is no more loneliness...
For each of you will be companion to the other.
Now you are two bodies...
But there is only one life before you.
Go now to your dwelling place
to enter into the days of your togetherness...
And may your days be good and long upon the earth!

Presentation of the New Couple
Ladies and gentlemen, It is my pleasure to present to you...
Mr. & Mrs. _________________________

Recessional


NATIVE AMERICAN ELEMENTS: FROM AROUND THE WEB
American Indian Wedding Traditions
Native American Wedding Ceremonies
Native American Wedding Vows and American Indian Prayers