Jumping the Broom
(An African American tradition)
(Can be done just before presenting as husband/wife and husband/wife)
Broom Jumping has become one of the most popular African traditions at weddings
It is said that it was started because slaves could not legally marry, so they created their own rituals to honor their unions.
Some say broom jumping comes from an African tribal marriage ritual of placing sticks on the ground representing the couple's new home.
The jumping of the broom is a symbol of sweeping away of the old and welcoming the new, or a symbol of a new beginning.
It’s a time for their friends, family and community to support the couple by forming a circle of support.
(Have guests or bridal party form a circle around the couple as they stand in front of the broom on the floor….
Meanwhile have the couple hold the broom handle together and sweep around in a circle until the host or designated person is finished talking
The groom/bride should then place the broom on the floor and hold the groom's/bride's hand).
Have everyone count 1, 2, 3... Jump!
A fully decorated broom can be purchased at ethnic stores, or a regular household broom will suffice. Broom sizes will vary, but it doesn't matter which you choose. If you decide to use your own broom and decorate it yourself, be sure it coordinates with your wedding colors. Using your own broom can also be a great bonding activity for the bridesmaids, perhaps the night, or week before the wedding.
Feel free to use bows, flowers (artificial or real), or other trinkets to make it unique. But don't overdo it. You'll probably want this for a keepsake in your home. Another idea is to have a basket full of ribbon pieces at the wedding or reception and allow guests to tie ribbons around the broom before you begin the ceremony. This allows the audience to participate, which is in keeping with the African tradition of community involvement