A Reservation Wedding

Going home to get married is a common event among people of many cultures, and Native Americans are no different than anyone else. For some couples it is a chance to reconnect with their tribe's original beliefs, but others are more interested in celebrating their joy with family and friends. Native American religions do have ceremonies to join these couples, and they are recognized by the government. Not all Native Americans are interested in their tribe's religious beliefs, and some have remained staunchly Christian.

While there are still many reservations where the standard of living is poor, a number of reservations have used their unique status to acquire wealth. Gambling has been one of the major innovations on reservations over the last few decades, and this has made many reservations a good place to live. Modern couples can now return home to marry, and they have many good options for their celebration.

When the wedding day arrives, a modern bride on the reservation has the same services available as mainstream brides. She can have her own wedding makeup artist for herself as well as her attendants. Walking down the aisle of a modern church is no longer done to the sound of drums, and the bride has a choice of musical accompaniment. She can choose the smooth tones of a wedding saxophonist or organ music. Brides who want emotionally laden but soft tones may choose to hire a string quartet, or they might choose to use only a wedding violinist. Similarly, hiring a wedding photographer to capture the special event is normal.

Celebrating the new couple after the religious ceremony is much the same as mainstream wedding receptions. The bride and groom may include some of their tribe's original traditions, or they can choose to have a modern reception with music, dancing and the traditional cake cutting done at many modern weddings. Many of them choose to combine tradition with modern amenities as a way to show they live in both worlds.