Usually a week or two before a couple is married, the future husband’s parents make the Wedding Vase.

When the vase has been made, the husband, along with his parents and all his relatives go to the bride’s house. The bride brings out everything she will need to establish their new home together: clothing, utensils, mattress, moccasins, corn and any other homemaking essentials, including her white manta wedding dress.

The parents of both the bride and the groom give the young couple advice to help them have a happy and successful marriage.

Indian holy water is placed in the wedding vase, and the vase is turned around and given to the bride. She drinks from one side of the vase, turns it around again, and gives it to the groom, who then drinks from the opposite side. This ceremony unites them as one.

The couple will treasure the vase throughout their married life. Should one of them outlive the other, the remaining person will give the vase to a couple known to be living a happily married life.

The wedding vase is treasured and protected always. It is never broken, discarded or destroyed.

—As told by Margaret Gutierrez, Santa Clara Pueblo, New Mexico.


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