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African American Wedding Traditions

Throughout Black History Month, we acknowledge countless achievements and progress made by African Americans. Since this is a wedding blog, let's focus on the beautiful and rich African American wedding traditions.

Jumping the Broom

Here are 8 African American Wedding Traditions that we adore:

Jumping the Broom Originating from Ghana, this well-known tradition symbolizes sweeping away evil spirits. In American slave culture, where marriage was prohibited, slaves held secret ceremonies and jumped the broom as a symbol of commitment.

Knocking on the Door This Ghanaian tradition involves a groom seeking permission to marry his bride by knocking on her parents' door and presenting a dowry. Today, couples might adapt this tradition by having the groom knock on the door for a first look or a warm welcome.

Tasting the Four Elements The Yoruba Ritual represents the vow "for richer or for poorer, in sickness and in health." The bride and groom taste the elements of cayenne, lemon, vinegar, and honey, symbolizing spiciness, sourness, bitterness, and sweetness.

Crossing Sticks Rooted in American slave culture, crossing two wooden sticks symbolizes unity and power. Couples exchange vows after crossing the sticks.

Tying the Knot Originating from Africa, this phrase refers to the binding of the couple's wrists with kente cloth, cowrie shells, or decorated rope as they recite their vows.

Spraying Money Of Nigerian descent, this tradition involves family and friends tossing money at the newlyweds during their dance, symbolizing financial support for the couple's new life together.

Libation Ceremony This remembrance ceremony honors deceased loved ones. Newlyweds pour spirits or holy water onto the ground to connect with their ancestors and seek their wisdom.

Kola Nuts Ancient West Africa valued the Kola nut for its medicinal properties. In wedding ceremonies, couples share the nut to signify their willingness to heal each other. In Muslim African culture, it encourages fertility. African American couples might honor this tradition by sharing an actual Kola nut or a Coca Cola, which once contained Kola nut extract.

Need assistance with figuring out which of these timeless traditions is right for you? We'd love to help! That Spark Events is a wedding planner in Charleston, SC who would love to hear from you. We plan weddings in Charleston, Savannah, Charlotte, Raleigh, and Destinations Worldwide. Inquire with us today!

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