We were asked recently by a future bride about the possibility of using an African wedding traditions. While many would immediately think of ‘jumping the broom’ – this is actually a slave tradition born here in the states out of necessity, rather than a truly African tradition.
Keep in mind there are MANY African wedding traditions depending on the region of the continent – and some, like polygamy, are rather frowned upon here in the United States. But fear not, there are many, many more that can be used as a part of your wedding ceremony or reception. As with incorporating any cultural traditions into a modern event, it’s important to select someone who has the knowledge and expertise to help you pull it off. It takes more than a quick read to fully understand the traditions and the culture behind them. That being said, here’s a few traditions you may want to think about.
Tying the knot – This is one tradition that’s common across the entire African continent. Similar to hand-fasting traditions the world over, the couple are tied together at the hands, wrists, or waist using leather, cord, twine or vine to ‘bind’ them in matrimony. Talk with your officiant if you wish to incorporate this in your wedding ceremony.
Kenya – Pokot Ceremony – Once the groom has paid the full bride price, the entire village is invited to the wedding at the groom’s house. They use the tradition of tying the knot above, traditionally tying the leather ‘wedding band’ around the bride’s wrist while the guests pray for their happy marriage. During the ‘reception’ the guests sing songs that remind the couple about their duties.
Nigeria – There are many traditions in Nigeria as well. Just one amongst them is the bride selecting a white bible from amongst the wedding gifts and placing it on top of the others, showing her devotion and dedication to the spiritual over the material.
These are but a small number of traditions from Africa…
If you’re interested in finding a DJ who can help you implement these ideas into your reception, give us a call. We’d love to talk with you about your upcoming wedding!
First Day Entertainment is a wedding entertainment company providing a DJ and Master of Ceremonies for weddings throughout Pensacola, Mobile, Destin, and the Emerald Coast. They specialize in creative entertainment for discerning couples – coupling cultural, religious, and personal taste into your wedding entertainment.