Here's what happens at a traditional African-American wedding ceremony.
The bride's attire will reflect the area of origin. The wedding dress typically consists of a significant design in bold colours. To commemorate their ancestors, some traditional ceremonies include a Libation where holy water or alcohol is poured to honour the deceased. In some African tribes, the couple have their wrists tied with a piece of cloth or a strand of cowrie shells to symbolize their marriage. Cowrie shells symbolize success and fertility.
An important custom at many African-American weddings is jumping the broom. This is when the bride and groom take each other's hand and together they jump over a broom, which is placed on the floor. The broom represents the couple's new residence and how they are brushing away the old to welcome their new union. It may also be seen as an acknowledgement to ancestors when it was against the law for slaves to marry.
The sharing of the kola nut is often used during ceremonies. It represents the couple's readiness to heal each other as the kola nut is used for therapeutic use. In the Yoruba ritual, the couple are presented with four flavours they must try. The four flavours are sour, bitter, hot and sweet and with this ritual, they learn to take on the challenges of life and take pleasure in the sweetness of marriage.