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Include in Your Celebration: Black American Wedding Traditions

American Wedding

The majority of Black American Wedding are not aware of their precise ancestry. They are aware that they are a member of the African diaspora, but they are unsure of what tribe or location is responsible for their connection to Africa. Despite what they lost during their time as slaves, we created and have since passed down new customs that are meaningful, lovely, and deserving of celebration, especially during wedding celebrations.


We all just want to celebrate the love and our family and friends pretty much in the ways that fit and are important to us as a couple. Black weddings have a unique quality.


Before starting to plan your own special day, think about taking the time to research the origins, import, and meaning of a few common Black American Wedding customs.


  1. Broom Jumping Ceremony

Jumping the broom ceremony is the Black American wedding custom that is most well recognized by the general public. The practice originates from a time when people who were held in slavery were not permitted to marry lawfully. Jumping over a broom, which is thought to represent the washing away of the past and entering into the future as one, is something that the couple would do in order to symbolize their union to their community in preparation for their American Wedding day.


The tradition of sweeping the floor with a broom has gained equal importance to the broom itself. It is typically manufactured to order and may include artifacts from the bride’s family or other treasured objects that are exclusive to the groom and bride and their wedding decor.


  1. Tasting Ceremony

The tasting of the four elements is becoming more prevalent at Black American Wedding festivities, despite not being quite as widespread as leaping the broom. The Yoruba people of West Africa are the originators of the custom, in which four distinct flavors—sour, bitter, spicy, and sweet—are offered to newlyweds to symbolize the various facets of wedded life. The ingredients may change, but they typically include lemon (sour), vinegar or unsweetened chocolate (bitter), cayenne or chili pepper (spicy), honey or grapes, and (sweet).


As the couple shares each taste together during the wedding ceremony, the officiant speaks to the guests about the significance of each component. In the same way as the vows ‘for better or worse, for richer or poorer’ promise to love one other through good times and bad, so makes this promise. The custom serves as a reminder to the couple that, despite the ups and downs of marriage, they should endure everything together and remain devoted to one another.


  1. Knot Tying Ceremony

More than just a slang term for marriage, “tying the knot” refers to a cultural tradition with roots in Africa. The couple’s wrists would be bound together with a rope prior to their vows, and as they made their declarations of love and devotion, the officiant would make a knot to symbolize their enduring connection.


There are several modern variations of this tradition. Some couples make their own rope out of cowrie shells or kente cloth, a vibrantly patterned fabric from Ghana. Religious couples may choose to weave the chain themselves before having it fastened to their wrists. The braid’s strands would then represent the couple and God.


  1. Communion

The church and religion have traditionally been highly valued in the Black community because they give people of color purpose, hope, and a path to follow in their daily lives. Black couples still include elements of their faith or spirituality in their wedding party despite changing wedding patterns throughout time.”


One such custom is the celebration of communion, which honors Christ’s death. The officiant blesses the bread and wine (which stand in for the body and blood of Christ) before giving them to the couple. They are then either set on the altar itself or on a table next to it. The sacrament of communion gives the couple assurance that they are on the same page regarding the direction of their marriage and future while publicly declaring their commitment to Christ in front of family and friends.


  1. Money Dance

Couples should use the reception as an opportunity to openly acknowledge their background and immerse guests in ethnic traditions. The money dance is the most popular performance. It stands for the happiness the couple wishes to experience during their marriage.


Different nations and cultures have different traditions for the money dance; in the Nigerian tradition, for instance, visitors will either throw money at the newlyweds or pin cash to the couples’ clothing on the dance floor. If money is thrown in the direction of the couple, the bridesmaids will collect it after the dance. To make things simple, some couples even put out money jars for guests to place their cash in.


Frequently asked questions

What is a dollar dance at wedding receptions?

At many wedding parties, there is a custom known as the “money dance,” where visitors give the newlyweds money in exchange for dancing with them or literally shower them with cash. The tradition is meant to support the couple as they start a new life together or to express their love and appreciation.


What do you say before jumping the broom?

Jump the broomstick while holding hands and closing your eyes! With your loved ones supporting you and your celebrant at your back, take the plunge into your new life together by letting go of the old certainties and placing your faith in your love and your future together.


What are African American wedding traditions?

Wedding customs in America. The jumping of the broom, tasting the four elements, tying the knot, and libation ceremony are the four customs that couples frequently decide to incorporate into their African-American weddings.

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