Sheila Malenovitch and Michael Brandon were united in marriage on Aug. 18, 2012, in Sweet Valley, Pa. The Native American ceremony was officiated by Chief Russell Standing Wolf Dawson, escorted by his wife Rhoda Dreaming Wolf Dawson.
The bride is the daughter of the late Mima Cadwalader. She is the granddaughter of the late Helen Cromley and Theodore Cadwalader.
The groom is the son of Leroy Brandon, Cement, Okla. Michael is the seventh great-grandson of Nanye-hi (Nancy Ward) of the Wolf Clan. She was known as the Beloved Woman of the Cherokee Nation.
The couple chose to honor their Native American heritage in a beautiful garden wedding, witnessed by Mother Earth, Father Sky, Grandfather Sun and Grandmother Moon. The grounds were blessed for seven consecutive days.
The bride was given away by eldest brother, Donald Malenovitch Jr., and escorted by sister, Nancy Arruzzo, following native traditions. The groom was escorted by Walter Howell Jr. and wife Joann Lost Deer Howell.
The couple chose Walter Little Hawk Howell III as Fire-Keeper and officiant of the Smudging Ceremony. The ceremony consisted of a blanket ceremony, a basket exchange, a wedding vase ceremony during which the couple drank to the four directions from a two-sided vase. The couple then drank together simultaneously, the vase handed to Chief Dawson who drank to Father Sky, Mother Earth and then to the couple. The vase was then thrown down and broken and the pieces were gathered by sisters, Nancy Arruzzo and Joann Howell. The couple buried the pieces at a later date, returning them to Mother Earth.
The couple then exchanged vows and rings. Native American prayers were given by the officiant. At the conclusion, the couple was wrapped in their wedding blanket signifying the beginning of their new life together. All guests were smudged and welcomed into the circle to give their tobacco offering. Then they gave their wishes to the couple and received a gift from the bride and groom. Special gifts were presented to Walter and Joann Howell, Walter Howell III and Russell and Rhoda Dawson.
A celebration followed the ceremony, including music, dance and a feast. A woman's traditional dance was led by head dancer Joann Howell, Rhoda Dawson, Sheila Brandon (bride), Ruth Wheeler, Caressa Snyder and Nancy Arruzzo. A candy dance was held for all the children in attendance. Guests also participated in the two-step dance.
The bride is a graduate of Wyoming Area High School Class of 1987 and the Empire Beauty School, Wilkes-Barre campus.
The groom is a 1977 graduate of Lake-Lehman High School. He is a retiree of Proctor and Gamble, having worked there for 27 years. He is employed by American Asphalt.
The couple resides in Sweet Valley, Pa.