Interest in African-American theme weddings has been growing in the last two to three years. It is inspired by a combination of the African heritage, the African-American culture, and a Western-style ceremony. What’s unique about an African-American wedding? It is truly a celebration of the marriage and the couple’s roots. Its symbolism can be expressed in different ways: in the selection of the music (such as a gospel choir), in colorful attire for the wedding party, in the display of the table decorations, and by providing an ethnic feast, including the cake decorations. The wedding party can wear tunic gowns, ethnic jewelry and head wraps with colorful patterns symbolizing the African heritage. The popular colors are red, yellow, orange and green.
A popular African-American tradition is known as “jumping the broom” signifying that after the couple exchanges their wedding vows, they jump over, or step into their new life together, and it usually takes place at the end of the ceremony.
Wedding Customs & Traditions
As African-Americans are descended from slaves who were forcibly removed from their homelands, their customs were not able to develop naturally. They had to be re-created. They had lost their homeland, their community structure and their freedom all at once. While they were not allowed to marry under the law, they had to find inventive rituals and traditions.
Â Some other traditions
Ankole was a most important lake kingdom in esteem and population. The king owned all the cattle and theoretically owned all its women. Hilariously fathers were anxious to call attention to their daughters because the king gave generous wedding gifts. Should she marry her husband would be a future king and that meant her family would share the glory.
Along the Nile, if a man wishes to see his sons well married, he must have numerous sheep, goats and donkeys. When marriage negotiations are underway, the father of the bride will insist that each of her close relatives be given livestock. Each day for a series of wedding days there is a special event. On the first day, or the wedding day, the groom arrives at the bride’s homestead wearing a handsome leopard skin draped over his cowhide cape.Â
Some important symbols which play an important role in African American wedding.
The Ankh Cross represents life (immortality) and death, male and female, balance. It can also represent enthusiasm, joy of life, and energy. It’s closely related to the looped cross that can mean fertility and life.
An African woven cloth serves the function of reflecting personal, societal, religious and political culture. Kente cloth is the primary woven fabric produced by the people of the old Ashanti Kingdom of Ghana. The traditional red, gold and green repeated in the design are liberation colors recognized by children of African descent all over the world.
“Calla” means “Beautiful” sharing this meaning with the Artemis nymph Callisto, who became the Great Bear of Heaven. We may recall the calla lily as a symbol of sophisticated beauty in the art deco era, with lamps shaped like calla lilies being especially common. Since white calla lilies were traditionally symbolic of purity, marriage, & wisdom.
Â Tribal symbols
Today, tattoos are present in nearly every culture, including American, European, and African cultures. Tribal tattoos have been present since the Native American culture evolved. Though the tattoos have changed form throughout the years, their influence can be seen today all over the world. Tribal tattoos represent loyalty in marriage.
African-American weddings often include vivid colors, elaborate costumes and meaningful rituals. And best of all, brides are considered the cultural universe in Africa since they represent the link between ancestors and unborn generations. American African wedding, a tradition that all cultures should embrace! An African-American theme wedding is very stimulating! The colors, music, food and history all mix into a unique celebration of both marriage and the African heritage.