Do you need some help planning your African American wedding or marriage? Before and after you take the plunge, we have some fantastic tips that will be of assistance to you.
Tip of the Day: Even though I still advise having professional photographs taken of the couple on their wedding day, you can save money on the photography for the reception and provide entertainment for your guests by purchasing portable cameras (with flash) and placing one or two of them at each table. Encourage people to snap photographs wherever they are, whether they’re at the table, on the dance floor, or anywhere else! Simply remind them to bring all of the used cameras to the location that has been established for that purpose. The market for portable wedding cameras has been entered by Kodak and Polaroid, in addition to generic products.
Is it feasible to celebrate one’s African origin without having a wedding that is wholly or mostly focused on African traditions?
The nicest part about having a wedding celebration is that it may completely represent the bride and groom, as well as their background and the traditions of their families, to whatever degree is desired. Don’t be hesitant to put your own spin on the activities planned for your wedding and reception. Because the phrase “African-centered” has a distinct connotation for everyone of us, you should be sure to spend some time talking about your own ideas with everyone else who is engaged in the project. Then you should go for it!
Is it acceptable to “jump the broom” during a wedding that otherwise adheres to European traditions? When is the best time to do this—during the wedding or the reception?
The ceremonial of broom jumping is a symbolic act that is conducted in celebration of our African American, southern, and African ancestors. Brooms are jumped in respect of our ancestors. Because of this, it is possible to do it at any kind of wedding, either at the end of the wedding ceremony or as a “highlight” to the reception.
How can I include ethnic elements into my conventional wedding clothing without it becoming jarring?
Consideration should be given to the following possibilities for the bride:
- A traditional outfit from Europe that is constructed out of African cloth
- A dress in the manner of Africa created out of European textiles and worn in white.
- A white dress in the conventional European style with a trim made of African cloth
To the future groom:
A tuxedo, tie, and cummerbund or vest in an African cloth that matches the bride’s, all in the conventional European style.
Is it appropriate to throw an African-centered reception following a traditional wedding?
As was mentioned earlier, there is no limit to the ways in which a couple can express their African heritage. Whether it is through the wedding ceremony, the reception party, the flowers held or displayed, the music played, or the food served, the most important thing is for the couple to be self-expressive. It’s all about the personalised weddings these days! In our capacity as African Americans, this requires us to familiarise ourselves with African traditions, styles of dress, and other aspects of African culture in preparation for our weddings and/or receptions.
What is the correct order of the ceremony?
- PRAISE MEDLEY
- DRUM CALL
- SEATING OF THE ELDERS
- SEATING OF THE GRANDPARENTS AND PARENTS
- MUSICAL SELECTION
- ENTRANCE OF THE GROOM
- SUMMONING OF DIVINE SPIRITS
- THE BRIDAL PROCESSION
- PRAYER OF DEDICATION
- THE WEDDING CEREMONY
- LIGHTING OF UNITY CANDLE
- CALL TO DISCIPLESHIP
- NUPTIAL BLESSING
- BENEDICTION AND RECESSIONAL
- KARAMU (Wedding Feast/Reception)
What are the symbols of love in African culture?
During a wedding ceremony, the bride and groom traditionally give each other rings as a sign of their love and commitment to one another. However, many modern couples also want this symbol to represent their cultural heritage. Several different jewellers in the modern day provide a wide selection of ring designs that capture the essence and history of African culture. These rings are designed with symbols that stand for the values that are upheld in African heritage.
- GYE NYAME – Accept God. This symbol represents the omnipotence of God. Fear no one but God, and no one knows the beginning or end but God.
- SANKOFA – Go back and fetch it. This symbolized the wisdom in learning from the past in building for the future.
- COWRIE SHELL – Prosperity. This is a symbol of wealth and prosperity.
- ANKH – Life. The Ankh symbolizes love and respect of life, and the man/woman/child principle.
If you want to share your love and your heritage with your partner, consider choosing a ring that symbolizes both!
What are the 12 Symbols of Life in Africa?
In honor of African tradition, the officiant of the wedding may, over the course of the ceremony, bestow to the couple each of the twelve symbols of life. These symbols, which stand for the love and perseverance that binds two families together, are as follows:
- Wine – The mixing of the blood of the two families
- Wheat – Fertility, and the giving of life and land
- Pepper – Heated times the families will have
- Salt – Healing and preservation of marriage
- Bitter Herbs – Growing pains of married life
- Water – Purity, dissolution of bitterness
- Spoon, Pot – Healthy food that builds strong families
- Broom – Cleanliness of health and well-being
- Honey – Sweet love between a black man and woman
- Spear – Protection of the sanctity of home and community
- Shield – Honor and pride of the home
- Bible or Koran – Symbol of God’s truth and power