Jumping The Broom

Jumping the Broom

You may have heard of “jumping the broom” and “typing the knot,” but in the African American community, these are more than just expressions. It is a tradition stemming back to the days of slavery when slaves were forbidden from marrying. They created this ritual to represent the beginning of their new life together. In modern ceremonies, couples jump over a broom, often decorated with adornments of flowers, herbs, ribbon, and tulle, after they’re pronounced married. Tying the knot is a symbol to represent unity. Cloth, twine, or other forms are used to bind them together literally.


Jumping The BroomVia Tri Wedding Central

Tradition, customs, and honoring your ancestors are very big in this community. There are countless ways to honor your ancestors during your wedding ceremony and reception. You may also choose to add ethnic touches including a Libation ceremony which is held to honor elders. During the ceremony a prayer is said and an elder presents water or liquor as an offering to God and the ancestral spirits for their blessing.

Food and drink is important at all weddings, but for African American ceremonies, these are integral parts of the day. During the ceremony, there is a tradition that involves tasting the four elements: lemon for sour, vinegar for bitter, cayenne pepper for hot, and honey for sweet. The four tastes represent the different times or moods of married life.


Jumping The Broomvia Simply Elegant Brial

And, you can’t forget the beat of the drums! Music is very important to families, and when music is made…comes the dancing! You can walk down the aisle to their rich sounds or have them lead a bridal march after the ceremony. The sound of drums also has historical significance for African-Americans since drums were outlawed during slavery because they were seen as a coded means of communication between the slaves. Check with local music schools, African-American newspapers, and cultural centers to find drummers in your area.

Choosing Your Wedding Consultant

Relinquishing control of your wedding planning to an expert can certainly lower your stress levels as you prepare for your big day. While wedding planners and consultants aren’t exactly cheap (expect to spend about 10-15% of your budget on one), they are trained authorities on all things wedding related. They can coordinate your dream wedding, lighten your load, and get their hands dirty while you enjoy the magical time of being engaged. But before you run out and hire the first wedding planner you can find, here are a few things to consider:

Budget: Make sure that your chosen wedding planner or consultant is willing and able to work within the confines of your budget. Sure, there are always going to be unexpected wedding expenses that you don’t account for, but when it comes to hiring a planner, find one who is confident that he/she can make your dreams come true for the amount of cash you’re willing to spend.

Connections: Find a wedding coordinator who is well connected within your area. Make sure he or she knows the ins and outs of the city where your wedding will take place so he/she can find the best locations, caterers, florists, and so on. Also, if your wedding planner is networked enough, he/she might be able to score you some serious discounts on vendors they’ve worked with in the past.

Organization: Make sure you select a wedding planner who is organized, efficient, and on the ball. This seems like a no-brainer, but it’s a must. If you’re forking over cash to pay a professional, make sure they will handle all of the wedding planning stress from reading vendor contracts to addressing and mailing invitations to supplying your bridal party with all the knowledge they need.

Style: One of the most important criteria in selecting a wedding planner is style. It’s imperative that you view samples/photos of the planner’s previous work and contact references to find out what he/she is capable of. Before you officially hire anyone, talk through your wedding ideas, desires, and vision to determine the planner who could best bring them to fruition.

Tying the Knot is a Hinsdale based wedding coordinator. Be sure to check them out.