African Wedding Customs
What are the different customs of an African wedding? What do you need to know about how they came about? What should you expect if you're attending a wedding in Africa?
More and more couples are choosing to have African weddings. They're as colorful and diverse as the bride and groom. If you've ever seen one of these ceremonies, it likely was an experience you'll never forget.
Music is what can make or break an African wedding. Its led by percussion instruments. Rhythmic beats help set the tone for an honorable event. You'd almost believe that a king and queen were tying the knot. The music is generally majestic in tone and normally has little instruments other than percussion.
African weddings generally boast the main African colors, reds, blacks, and greens. The bride's wedding gown is especially colorful and can take any of a number of beaded and gorgeous styles. The groom is dressed powerfully. When you couple the attire of the wedding party with the African music, you completely believe and know you are witnessing quite an event.
Jumping the Broom
Jumping the broom is an African wedding tradition that carries great symbolism. In early American days, Africans were not allowed to marry, so it was tradition that a man and a woman would jump over a broom to the beat of a rhythmic drum to illustrate their love for each other. This tradition has carried over to today's African wedding traditions. This is typically done immediately before the recession of the wedding. In South Africa, a kgatla bird helped other women sweep the courtyard of the bride and groom's new place of residence. This would indicate the ladies' interest in housework until the bride and groom could move into their home.
Topping off African wedding ceremonies are cowrie shells, which are worn on the clothing of the wedding party. Cowrie shells symbolize fertility. You'll see them on jackets, lapels, headpieces and the trim of gowns. The shells were once used as money in African nations.