A priest escorts the groom to one end of the open space in the council
Another priest escorts the bride to the opposite end.
The couple meet in the center of the council house, near the sacred fire.
The priest stands facing to the east - toward the door of the council house.
The groom's mother stands by the groom. She holds his gifts of venison
and a blanket (sometime leather & fur were also offered) .
The bride's mother
stands beside the bride.She holds the bride's gifts of corn and a blanket (sometime leather & fur were also offered) .
The bride's brother stands beside the mother.
The brother, by his presence, accepts his role in being responsible for
his sister and her children.
The bride and groom wear blue blankets representing their old life and
The officiating priests says a prayer blessing the sacred fire and the
union of the two.
As he prays he asks for a long and happy life for the couple.
The bride gives the groom a red and black belt that she has made herself,
and he puts it on.
The mothers give the gifts to their children who exchange gifts with each
They join together their blankets symbolizing their mutual support within the marriage.
They each drink a corn drink from adouble-sided wedding vase.
They drink from east to west, then from north to south giving their blessings
to all the earth.
The vase is thrown down and broken to seal their wedding vows as now being
united as one .
The broken fragments are returned to mother earth.
A white blanket is placed around their shoulders symbolizing their union.
A wedding feast is held by the entire town.
The couple walk silently and alone to their dwelling place among the clan
of the bride's mother.
"Cherokee Marriage Ceremony"
is distilled from a variety of historical references.