Sunday, August 3, 2008

Traditional Cree Wedding

I had the great honour of planning Lousie and Ian's wedding for this August long weekend. Ian is Cree and Louise is Cree and Italian. It was a wedding filled with symbolism where every detail had meaning. Louise and Ian were so great through the planning process and were fun to work with.

The morning started early with the traditional Cree ceremony being held in the lodge of an elder. The groom wore traditional clothing with a breast plate made by his mother. The bride wore a traditional buck skin gown.

The aboriginal wedding traditions and life teachings are very inspiring and meaningful. The ceremony began with a pipe ceremony which could not be photographed or videod in any way as it is a very sacred ceremony. It is the equivalent to western vows. In western weddings couples say their vows, in Cree tradition, they do this without saying a word at all, but by sharing a pipe and letting the smoke bless them. The rest of the ceremony was filled with very meaningful traditions, including presenting them with their moccasins that are only to be worn for sacred events and ceremonies. As well, the couple was presented with two feathers. They were tied together in a way that they can never be serperated, to represent their new union.

The legal ceremony was held outdoors later in the day. A flutist played music for the ceremony adding the perfect ambiance to such a meaningful day. Their mothers carried vases with earth from Italy as well as earth from the family reservations. The couple later poured this earth into one vase combining their families history and lives together as one. Guests then entered the dining tent for dinner.

Louise and Ian are a great couple and really respect and love their cultures and wanted their wedding to reflect their cultural pride and Cree spirituality.

Here are some photos from the day...

Louise helps Ian put on his breast plate which was made by his mother.

They were presented with their moccasins that are only to be worn on very sacred life events and ceremonies. Sage is put inside the moccasins to guide them in their journey together.

They are presented with two feathers that are tied together in a way so that they can never be seperated, representing their union.

Ian wanted the time they saw each other for the first time all dressed up to be special, so the fabulous Rebecca from Dragonfly Photography had the great idea of them touching hands first. So they drove seperately to Commonwealth Stadium, where they first met, to do their 'first seeing each other' photos.

Ian proposed to Louise on the top of Heart Mountain in Canmore, so it was only fitting to have the wedding designed with a rustic mountain theme. The centerpieces were hollowed out pieces of birch, filled with willow and mountain flowers. Rocks were painted with the table numbers.

The menu was customized to reflect both the Cree and Italian traditions, serving Bison and Blueberry Ravioli, as well as Bannock (a traditional aboriginal bread) and garlic butter.

Guests enjoyed the rest of the evening dancing and enjoying a musical performance from the bride's first cousin, an amazing singer! Before the night was over, Louise and her maid of honour who met at traditional Cree dance classes, shared an amazing dance on the dance floor to traditional Cree music.


  1. Congratulations to both of you Louise & Ian,,may the good lord bless you and keep you strong as you share all your happiness together,,,happiness for you always,,,Love Randy & Bernice Moyah & Family

  2. Jody WhiskeyjackMarch 1, 2011 at 4:56 PM

    OMG... Congrats Louise, i never even knew you got married... Im so happy for you! :D