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Indigenous Gay Wedding Inspiration Editorial Shoot

Mohawk Nation Wedding Welcome Sign

The theme for our Indigenous gay wedding inspiration styled shoot was Lovingly Handcrafted. We focus on localized sourcing and artisanal collaborations with regional Indigenous patterns to create authentic character. We chose this theme to suit the couple for a few reasons. Firstly, there is a trend towards less is more. In a society where we throw away fashion and consume information at record speeds, a slowing down is on the horizon. The shift in focus will be towards craftsmanship and quality. We thought that would be interesting to interpret in a styled wedding shoot as well. 

Secondly, many Indigenous traditions include handmade items from sage and tobacco bundles to baskets and accessories. Lovingly Handcrafted seemed to be the perfect overarching theme to connect the dots.

Josie + Karla

Karla and Josie are two Indigenous women (from the Navajo and Mohawk Nations) who met and fell in love in 2013. Josie, who is Navajo, works as a research project coordinator for a cancer institute. Karla is Mohawk and an attorney for a Haudenosaunee (Six Nations) Nation. Both are very active in their Indigenous communities.  They met while dancing on a couch at A Tribe Called Red show, an electric pow-wow deejay group! 

Their identities as Navajo and Mohawk people are undoubtedly one of the most important parts of their lives. So, when they decided to tie the knot after proposing to each other in 2016, they knew they were going to learn and incorporate traditional elements from each of their tribal nations. Some of the indigenous traditions they taught us are:

  1. Washing of Hands using Navajo Wedding Vase

  2. Blanket wrapping symbolizes the couples new life as one and honors their ancestors

  3. Basket and blanket exchanging from one family to another as a token of what will be shared to support each other

Upstate Indie Vendors

CONCEPT DESIGN – Upstate Indie Weddings

VENUE – Marygold Manor

SIGNAGE / INVITES – Graphic Poetry Invitations

DESSERTS – Village Bake Shoppe


Watkwanonweraton means “Welcome” in Mohawk, shown here as a wedding sign


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