Valerie and Hahots Shebala tied (and roped) the knot in June 2020. Photo courtesy Lex C. Imagery via…

This past June Valerie and Hahots Shebala tied the knot and every aspect of their nuptials paid homage to the couple. The beautiful wedding including pieces from their families and the unique touch of both bride and groom. 

We caught up with the bride, Valerie Shebala, to ask her about her family, her new husband and what made her special day so special.

Tell us a little about you, your husband and your families:

Hello my name is Valerie Shebala, I am Coeur D’Alene and Oglala Lakota. I reside on the Coeur d’alene Reservation with my handsome husband. I currently work at the Boys and Girls Club for the Coeur d’alene Tribe as a Coordinator. I’d have to say that my main passion in life is to help families and the youth around my Reservation. On my spare time I love to dance at powwows, hunt, ride horses and go to rodeos with my husband.

As for my Husband, he goes by the name of Hahots Shebala (Hahots means grizzly bear in Nez Perce). His tribal affiliation includes Nez Perce, Dine’ and Oglala Lakota. He was raised in beautiful Kooskia,ID and is self employed as a full time farrier. On his spare time he enjoys saddle bronc riding, hunting, fishing, and traveling to powwows and rodeos.

What are some of the most personal aspects of your recent June nuptials? 

One of the most personal aspects of our wedding would have to be the eagle feathers that were given to me from my husband and his family. When I dance I usually would only wear one feather in my hair since I wasn’t married. But once Hahots and I got married he gave me two feathers for me to start wearing which resembles me being married. 

What inspired some of the elements of your wedding, including the roping, the altar and the location?

Our own wedding was one of our first weddings we’ve ever been to. Because of that we didn’t really know what to exactly incorporate in our wedding so we just made it our own. Our alter has two hand made horse shoes that my husband made which represents luck and our lifestyle. We added roping into our wedding because it’s always a fun activity for us to compete against each other. To make our wedding even more meaningful we decided to have it on a private piece of property that we plan on building our own house and horse arena on. 

Tell us a little about your (absolutely stunning) bridal attire, including those boots!

My wedding dress came from a store called Bridal Collections located in Spokane,WA. The brand is Maggie Sottero Style # 6MG222. When I came across choosing what type of shoes I was going to wear I knew I just couldn’t wear heels because there would be a great chance my heels would get stuck in the dirt as I’m walking down the aisle. So I just had to get myself some white Corral wedding boots! 

What was your favorite part of your big day?

My favorite part would have to be seeing all of our family and friends that chose to be with us during our special day.  

Is there anything else you would like our readers to know about you your husband or your wedding?

I’m honestly very thankful that we both grew up with a great part of our culture such as powwows. Without the powwow trail and the love for our culture, we wouldn’t have known each other and we wouldn’t be as blessed as we are today.

Photographer: Lex C. Imagery

All about personal western touches on your big day? Check out The Pendleton Wedding Dress of Dreams and How To Have A Western Style Wedding.