These Four Black Wedding Traditions Honor Our Heritage

Black couple in a car on their wedding day
Briona Lamback
April 27, 2023

Black love has carried us through centuries of anti-Blackness in such a profound way. We’ve always been joyful people who love celebrations, so it’s no wonder these four wedding traditions have stuck around for so long.

#1: Jumping The Broom 

One of the most well-known traditions is when newlyweds’ jump the broom’ after exchanging vows. This ritual was often practiced during enslavement when we took love into our own hands despite being banned from legalized marriage. 

Many believe it has West African origins, as brooms are known throughout the diaspora to ward off evil spirits.

#2: Tasting The Elements 

Originating from Yorubaland, this ceremony takes the couple through tasting four flavors: sour, bitter, spicy, and sweet, using foods like lemons, chocolate, cayenne pepper, and honey. 

These elements are a nod to ‘for better or worse,’ a reminder that all relationships go through different stages.

#3: Pouring Libations 

Honoring our ancestors has always been tradition, and pouring libations at a wedding is the perfect way to show our reverence for those who came before us, invite their energy into the ceremony, and provide ancestral guidance into the couples’ lives.

#4: Greek Strolls 

If either partner is a member of a Black Greek fraternity or sorority, they perform their organization’s stroll or serenade with their line brothers or sisters. The beauty of this is it’s often intergenerational for families with multiple generations of members of the same organization.

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