A Traditional Navajo Dine Marriage Ceremony
The theme of our wedding was Native American/American Indian and the American West/Cowboy. Both Kotah and I are members of the Navajo (Dine) tribe and we wanted our wedding to reflect this unique and shared heritage. By incorporating elements of the Navajo culture and Pan-Indian symbols, such as the Dream Catcher, with rustic Western elements, we felt this would create a wedding that would showcase a wonderful blend of all the cultural traditions that will play a significant role in shaping our new family unit.
Our wedding ceremony was a traditional Navajo (Dine) wedding ceremony. This was unique in that the ceremony was officiated by a traditional Navajo healer, Kotah and I wore traditional Navajo clothing, and the overall ceremony adhered to as many of the traditional requirements as could be accommodated in a non-traditional setting, with some modern changes. For example, in the Navajo way, a gift is typically supplied in advance to the healer who will perform the ceremony. Traditionally, this gift takes the form of a woven blanket, animal hides, or other items the healer could use in his profession. In this case, our traditional Navajo healer was delighted to receive an i-Pad!
Mike and Vicki Robinson of The Bungalow catered the food for the wedding reception. They created a delicious and light summer menu of savory crepes, fruit, salad, and heavenly lemonade. For dessert, there was wedding cake and Sno Cones by Tim Garlick of Hawaiian Shaved Ice. The wedding ceremony was catered by Utah Celebrations Catering. They prepared steak and chicken fajitas. This was perfect for the end of an outdoor ceremony, as we wanted to create a casual luncheon feel on that day. There were also many of the Garrett family members who traveled from the Navajo reservation in Arizona to make sure there were also Navajo food items available. The mutton stew and fry bread added an extra dimension not available via caterer and were a nice menu choice for those looking to expand their palates. We felt this would all yield a good mix of food choices for all guests.
The florist was Kotah’s mother, Milli Garrett of Flowers by Milli. In addition to being a wonderful mother and mother-in-law to her children, she is a professional floral designer and wedding decorator, so she was naturally our choice for the florist. As the bride, I had no previous experience or preference for certain flower types. I was only hoping to have our flowers match the colors of the wedding. Milli did all this and much more, designing gorgeous centerpieces and arrangements that beautifully fit the color scheme. Only she could locate and incorporate paper turquoise flowers to create such a flawless and polished look!
Kotah and I loved working with our photographer, Amber of Amber DeHaas Photography. Looking at her blog before our first shoot, we felt her work allows her subjects to showcase their personalities, while still creating an image that is both flattering and visually pleasing. We love her adept utilization of light and focus to capture a moment and turn it into a piece of art. She was such a blast to work with! Everyone had so much fun at each shoot and we loved the end results. There were so many great pictures that it was super hard to just chose one for our invitation, so we decided on our favorite three instead. We felt that the pictures were so wonderful that we tried to use them as much as possible when decorating for the wedding reception. The pictures of the actual wedding and reception are gorgeous and really capture the beauty and spirit of that day.
Our biggest piece of advice is to start putting together the wedding well ahead of time. As you begin to book things and purchase items for the wedding, you may find that your plans may need to be flexible. Having this extra time will alleviate stress and make certain your day will be as close to perfect as possible!
Photographer: Amber DeHaas Photography
Flowers: Flowers by Milli
Wedding Cake: Special Moments Cakes
Ceremony Caterer: Utah Celebrations Catering
Reception Caterer: The Bungalow
Stationery: DeCoro Design
Beauty: Isaac Meyers