How To Use a Navajo Vase in a Wedding Ceremony

Native Americans have such wonderful traditions that guide their journey through life. They are always connected to the spirit of the earth and with each other. One of their great traditions is the use of Navajo wedding vases. Native American weddings in Southwestern United States and Mexico are often never without this particular object of tradition.

What is a Navajo wedding vase?

The vase features two spouts, one representing the man (groom) and the other the woman (bride). There is a looped handle that signifies the unity of the married couple. The area within the loop, slightly circular, is a representation of the circle of life. Traditionally, the tribe’s medicine man prepares nectar that is placed in the jar for the couple to drink. As the couple sips from the spouts, the merging of their lives as one begins.

How to use the Navajo wedding vase?

If you wish to incorporate a Navajo vase in your wedding ceremony, follow these steps.

  1. Select a Navajo vase according to your wedding’s theme. Navajo vases come in a myriad of colors, designs and sizes. Some are plain white while other feature fascinating designs. You can even choose an unglazed one that can be decorated with designs that hold a special meaning for the happy couple. In choosing the size, pick one that can be seen by most of the guests. This way, your guests can feel part of the actual ritual.
  2. Notify the person who will perform the wedding ceremony that you want to use a Navajo vase. If this person is unfamiliar with the ritual, explain it to him well. Show him a photograph of the vase if you don’t have one with you. Explain that the two spouts symbolize the bride and the groom’s souls. These two souls will then draw spiritual nourishment from only one source, the Navajo vase. The whole ritual symbolizes the coming together of two souls.
  3. Assign the carrying of the Navajo vase to a member of the wedding entourage. The maid-of-honor is usually given this task. Just make sure she can carry the weight since the vase should be filled with water or wine before the ceremony.
  4. Carry out the ritual. Right before the performance of the ritual, the person who is performing the wedding ceremony should explain the ritual to the guests. The bride should sip from one spout first before handing the Navajo vase to the groom. The groom in turn sips from the opposite spout. After this, the Navajo vase is passed on to a member of the wedding party who has the honor of keeping the Navajo wedding vase safe until the end of the ceremony.


  • A nice wedding favor or giveaway would be a smaller version of the Navajo vase. It is a fitting memento of your wedding day. You can also use this as table centerpieces filled with small floral arrangements.
  • Some couples have a backup Navajo wedding vase situated near the altar just in case. This should also be filled with water or wine prior to the ceremony.
  • The timing of the ritual is up to the couple. Most have it just before the wedding vows.

Incorporating the Navajo wedding vase in a wedding ceremony is a wonderful way to show the union between a man and a woman as husband and wife. It is a means of displaying a cherished tradition from longtime ago to future generations. This spiritual ritual is full of meaning and nicely shows off the Native American tradition.


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