Thursday, June 19, 2008

Wedding Tip of the Week: Jumping the Broom

The title, "Jumping the Broom", is really not what you think is the name for a blog about someone planning her wedding. To bring everyone reading up to speed about what " Jumping the Broom" actually is, I decided to share a few facts behind the title.

Jumping the broom was always done before witnesses in order for members of the slave community to know a couple was married. No form of marriage was recognized for African-Americans during slavery, therefore jumping the broom solidified this ceremony within the slave community.

Placing the broom on the ground symbolizes the couples new home together. Jumping the broom symbolizes the sweeping away of the past and the jumping into a new beginning.

Jumping the broom fell out of practice due to the stigma it carried, and in some cases still carries, among African-Americans wishing to forget the horrors of slavery. Once slavery had ended and African-Americans were able to have European style weddings, many African-Americans wanted nothing to do with anything associated with that era and discarded the broom jumping practice altogether.

Today many African-American couples add this practice to their ceremony once they are pronounced as husband and wife or when the couple first enters their reception. African-American couples do this today to honor their past and ancestors and to look forward to their future.

Here is a picture of what a broom would look like that would be used in a ceremony today. I did not want you to think that it was just an ordinary broom that you use for sweeping the floor. You can decorate the broom to reflect your wedding colors or theme.

I will be having this custom as a part of my wedding ceremony. I think that I want to do it right after we are pronounced Mr. and Mrs. Jumping the Broom. Are you having any special customs or traditions in your wedding ceremony? Like to share. Respond to this post.
(information from Wikipedia)


Jenna said...

Oh I love that you are incorporating this! An old Polish custom that we will be incorporating is the sharing of bread and salt. I am constantly researching other options to incorporate as well.

Blablover5 said...

I've never actually seen a "jumping the broom," but I'd known about it for quite a while.

We're not really having any specific customs though I always thought it'd be fun to do the ancient greek thing of carrying wheat and salt.

Anonymous said...

What do you call the person who brings in the broom on the wedding program .... "broom carrier" ... any suggestions ???

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