A very common term in the African American community when a couple gets married is… “Jumping the Broom”.
Although the exact meaning has been distorted over the years (a long with a lot of African American historical cultural traditions), it has been used to signify the union of an African American Bride and Groom.
It has been said that during slavery when African American couples could not legally get married (because they were considered property), the antebellum south incorporated “jumping the broom” in front of witnesses to signify their eternal love for each other and their vow of a “married” life together.
Typically placed on the floor before walking down the aisle, as husband and wife, and exiting the wedding ceremony. Someone (usually a very honored woman) will place the broom on the floor and give an explanation of what the broom and jumping over the broom signifies. The audience is typically asked to give a 1-2-3 count off and then the couple leaps over the handle of the broom… followed by a roaring applause.
Every couple makes jumping the broom unique to them and the flow of their day. Some brides and grooms will wait until they enter the reception to allow all their wedding guests to attach personally autographed ribbons to the broom that the bride and groom can read later and keep as beautiful decoration and a source of inspiration and guidance in their new home together.
It is a beautiful tradition that seems to often be incorporated in African American weddings still today.