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If you're planning to highlight your African American heritage in your upcoming wedding, we have plenty of tips to get you started. First, learn the history of a few African American wedding traditions. The tradition of "knocking on the door" comes from Ghana and involves the groom visiting his potential in-laws with his family to ask permission to marry his love. If his "knock" is accepted, the wedding planning begins. Another popular African American wedding tradition is "jumping the broom." During slavery, African Americans were not allowed to marry, so couples who wanted to be married created this tradition as a public declaration of their commitment to each other. The broom, which is often handmade, can later be displayed in the couple's home as a symbol of their love. Another popular African American wedding custom is the "tasting of the four elements." This is when the couple tastes four flavors that represent different emotions within their relationship. Lemon is usually used to represent sour, vinegar for bitter, cayenne for hot, and honey for sweet. Tasting the flavors represents how the couple will be able to get through the hard times of life and enjoy the sweetness of marriage. Our African American weddings guide can help you incorporate these and other traditions into your wedding ceremony.
From jumping the broom to incorporating Africantextiles, fabrics, and food, here's your guide to planning an African-American wedding.
Photo: Paul Sunday
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Sacha & Curtis in Chelan, WA
Racquel & Elvin in Taneytown, MD
Ndidi & Vincent in Brooklyn, NY
Chandra & Carl in Atlanta, GA
Kenna & Marcus in LaGrange, GA
Nkechi & Kevin in Savannah, GA
Tiffany & Sean in Malibu, CA
Danielle & Kyle in Leipers Fork, TN
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Find out how to become a Real Wedding on TheKnot.com and in our magazines.
Planning an Afrocentric wedding? Learn about the basics here.
Our African-American Weddings Editor, Anja W.