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Native Americans have wonderful wedding ceremony traditions. One such ceremonial tradition is the Rite of the Seven Steps. Several tribes follow this wedding ceremony tradition and its vows. The Seven Steps, as with most wedding traditions, revolves around symbolism. The bride and groom step clockwise around a fire as a symbolic gesture of  light and warmth. The clockwise (sun-wise) rotation symbolizes the light (sun) while the fire symbolizes warmth.

How The Ceremony Is Performed

The couple approach the fire. At the same time their family and friends circle the couple and hold hands forming another circle around the bride and groom. The groom takes the first step and recites a vow. Then the bride steps to him and gives her vow.  They will make seven steps each time reciting a new vow.

You can find examples of  the Rite of Seven Steps vows on some Native American web sights like Manataka American Indian Council.  From my understanding, it is better for you to write your write own vows.

In some variations of the Seven Steps ceremony, gifts are given by the bride and groom to one another.  For instance, the bride might give the groom an ear of corn. The corn symbolizes fertility and growth.  The groom may give his bride a feather, representing honesty and truth.

There are several ways in which you can incorporate the apsects of this wedding tradition into your wedding ceremony.

  • Recite seven different vows to each other during the wedding ceremony
  • Give each other a gift or gifts that symbolize what you will bring to the marriage.
  • Have your wedding attendants form a circle around you during the ceremony.

It's your ceremony, so don't be afraid to include some of the older traditions or traditions from different cultures.

This information about Native American Wedding Traditions brought to you by Wedding and Party Network, your leading resource for planning weddings and parties.