An African-American Wedding is rich in culture and traditions. Here are 12 traditions that bring out the unity between the couple and their families, too.
- Purple and Gold
These are popular African-American wedding colors. In African culture, purple and gold are colors of royalty.
- The Gele
This traditional headpiece replaces the bride’s wedding veil.
- Jumping the Broom
The bride and groom jump over an intricately decorated broom to publicly announce their union. The broom is often hanged in the couple’s home as a reminder of their wedding day.
- Taste of the Four Elements
These 4 flavors are often incorporated in cupcakes and they are cayenne (hot), vinegar (bitter), lemon (sour) and honey (sweet). The couple take a bite of each of the cupcakes to which represent the 4 emotions of married life.
- Feeding the Family
After the couple has taken a bite of each of the four elements, they offer each other’s family members with unleavened bread with the 4 elements.
- Kola Nut
The Kola Nut has medicinal use. In a wedding the bride, groom and both their parents eat a kola nut. This is a symbol of that both families now have connected lives and will help heal each other spiritually and physically.
- Crossing Sticks
Each holding a long stick, the bride and broom would cross the stick to symbolize that their new life together will be strong just like the tree where the branches were taken.
During the ceremony, alcohol is poured on the north, south, east and west as names of family members who have just passed away are called and a prayer is recited. This is done by the oldest member of the family.
- Tying the Knot
The person officiating the ceremony ties a knot on the wrist of the bride and the groom with a of kente cloth to symbolize the bond between them. This is done before the vows.
- Cutting the Cord
The newlyweds cut the cord to symbolize that they are breaking ties with their families to start a new life committed to each other.
- Cowrie Shells
They used to represent money and are now used as decoration on either the headpiece of the bride or on anything else.
- The Electric Slide
This is the ceremony dance participated by the couple and all wedding guests. The elders will appreciate including this dance in the ceremony.