There are numerous wedding traditions that are a reflections of various diverse cultures.  Most people incorporate these traditions, but many do not even know why or how these rites came into existence.  I am going to give you a brief Wedding history lesson today and share the history of  how some of these activities that we have come to love during weddings came to be.

Jumping the broom: African-American slaves were forbidden from getting married.  So couples had to come up with a discreet way of showing their union.  The couples would jump over the broom to signify jumping into matrimony.  The broom signifies “the sweeping away” of emotional and spiritual grievances to make a fresh start in marriage.  Slave women would help the groom’s family sweep the courtyard to represent her willingness to support her new family.

The breaking of the wine glass by stomping: At Jewish weddings, the second glass of wine that is consumed after the reading of the seven blessings is wrapped in a napkin and broken under the groom’s foot.  The breaking of the glass represents destruction of the Temple and demonstrates the fragility of life; for this reason the couple should cherish life more.

Crowning of couple: Traditional Greek weddings entails a ritual of crowning the couple.  Two crowns that are made of twigs, orange blossoms and ivy are joined together by a single ribbon and exchanged over the couple’s heads three times.  The ribbon represents the couple’s unity, while the crowns represent the bride and groom’s new roles as king and queen  of their dynasty (home and future children).

Lighting of sacred fire: During traditional indian weddings, the lighting of a sacred fire is lit.  It symbolizes the illumination of knowledge and the purity of marriage.  To confirm their union, the bride and groom takes seven steps together around the sacred fire.  The steps represent nourishment, strength, prosperity, happiness, progeny, long life and friendship.

I could go on for days with the history of ethnic wedding traditions.  I think that it is good to know why things are done, instead of just incorporating them into a ceremony.  There’s no rule that states that you have to be of a particular ethnic culture to incorporate these traditions.

Make It Memorable!