The Jumping Broom Wedding Tradition
If you’re looking for a way to make your wedding more meaningful, why not jump the broom in your ceremony? Once reserved for African and Middle European cultures, this elegant and intriguing wedding ritual is making a comeback in modern-day U.S. wedding ceremonies.
So, what’s the meaning behind “jumping the broom”? In African wedding ceremonies during the 1600’s, couples often jumped across sticks or imaginary lines as a symbolic representation of leaping into a new life together. Before slaves could legally marry, they created their own traditions and rituals to signify their union, and modified the African stick jumping ritual to what’s known today as “jumping the broom.” Though many cultures, including Welsh, Druid, and Celt, have similar rituals with slightly different meanings, the underlying message is unity.
Here are a few additional meanings behind this symbolic ritual:
• When jumping the broom, the bride and groom leave their individual selves behind
• Jumping together brings prosperity and fertility
• Leaping forward represents taking a place in the community as a couple
Though brooms weren’t jumped in Middle European cultures, they played an important role in wedding ceremonies as well. Here, wise women would sweep the path for the couple as they left the wedding site, removing obstacles and clearing the way for prosperity, fertility, and happiness.
Broom ceremonies have grown in popularity by leaps and bounds – so much so that you can even purchase fully decorated wedding brooms for your ceremony. Rather than purchase a pre-made broom, why not make your own? To make, simply embellish a broom with ribbon, dried or silk flowers, lace, or anything else you can think up! You could tie in the rest of your wedding by decorating miniature brooms with small flowers and other decorations to pass out as favors to commemorate your special day. Enjoy jumping the broom, and leaping into your new life together.