Navajo Meets Modern Southwestern Wedding

Crystal Cousin Photo

January 3, 2022

Victoria and Sean, who live and met in New Mexico, wanted a multicultural wedding which celebrated both of their backgrounds; the groom’s Navajo (Native American) heritage and the bride’s Scots/ Irish/ French/ German ancestry. The colours they used were inspired by the colours of the Southwest/ New Mexico.

“We incorporated the silver, turquoise and coral elements of the southwest”, Victoria began. “The terracotta/sienna colour of my gown was the colour of the soil and the sunsets on the Navajo Nation. Lavender is for the abundant lavender found in the Southwest and the colour of ripe prickly pear cactus. Marigold yellow is for the colour of the sun and the Spanish broom that grows in the region. The deep turquoise is for the colour of the native turquoise stone and the rivers. The Ganado red is for the red soil that produces the rich red in the Navajo wedding basket and the wool yarn of the traditional woven blankets. Emerald green for the pine trees in the high desert.”

The ceremony arch was constructed by their officiant, the groom’s cousin, using Ponderosa pine trees. These trees are native to where the groom’s family grew up and had their sheep camp. “The tapestry used has been in my family for five generations”, she explained. “Due to the age, the tapestry was damaged in multiple areas and the Sean’s grandmother repaired it with her style of crochet restoring it to its original beauty. Truly epitomising the weaving of two cultures, two families and two people together.”

They had a traditional Navajo wedding ceremony but incorporated modern elements. “Our backdrop was the Sangre de Cristo mountains which are closest to Mount Blanca. Mount Blanca is sacred to the Navajo people in relation to the creation story as it is one of four mountains representing the four cardinal directions that encompass the Navajo Nation.”

“We incorporated modern and we played Vitamin String Quartet’s covers of Wake Me Up by Aviici and Head Over Heels by Tears for Fears, A Sky Full of Stars by Coldplay, Duomo’s cover of Wildest Dreams by Taylor Swift, Simply There’s cover of Somewhere Only We Know by Keane and Viola Kid’s cover of Sunflower by Post Malone/Swae Lee. Everyone LOVED the music at the ceremony and to end we opted for The Cure’s Just Like Heaven. We had waited three years, been through a pandemic, lost many family members along the way and faced many challenges, but in that moment, we were in heaven.”

“After the ceremony, we saw multiple hawks flying over the ceremony area and us. This was a blessing as Hawks symbolise the connection to the spirit world and remind us that our spirit guides, and those that have passed on, are there with us. This made our hearts full knowing that our family on the other side, in the spirit world, were there with us on the most important day of our lives.”

The bride’s Rue De Seine dress fit their earth toned colour scheme perfectly, and she accessorised it with a veil from Etsy and Navajo jewellery by Griswold’s Inc. Her engagement ring was made by her step-father.

For the décor they did a lot of DIY projects including a rustic chalkboard with colourful magnetic agate stones for the table plan. They wanted to incorporate the agates as a symbol of the many gems, stones and crystals which are native to the Southwest. The table numbers were created with the help of Etsy to show the many native cacti and flowers of the Southwest and for centrepieces they collected mini native textile rugs to incorporate Texas and add colour to the tables.

“Do not feel like you must have a traditional wedding to meet the expectations of your family, friends, and/or what society views as a wedding”, Victoria advises. “Your wedding should be a representation of you as a couple. Yes, sometimes styles clash, but make it a fusion. Fuse two styles together and do not be afraid to do something different. It takes time to plan a wedding, make it a representation of yourselves and the love you have for each other. Surround yourself with as much love as possible because your attendees will truly love being there and being a part of your celebration. Our wedding would not be possible nor worth it without the support of our friends and family.”