Like many modern wedding traditions, jumping the broom has many stories about its origin and purpose, and it’s a ceremony that holds different meaning for different people who do it. The practice may have developed independently in Wales and the American South, and according to folklore the common element is that the broom was jumped by oppressed people who weren’t allowed a legal marriage: the Romani in Wales, and enslaved African Americans in the USA.

Drawing on those traditional understandings, jumping the broom is a way to honor ancestors and their struggles, or to express solidarity with others who have been oppressed.

There is also religious symbolism that can be seen in the broom. Some christians see the handle as representing their deity, and the bristles their families. In certain pagan traditions, the broom represents a blending of masculine and feminine energies. More broadly, jumping the broom is considered a blessing upon the marriage.

If you’re trying to bring together various ideas to create your wedding ceremony, you’re in the right place. Ceremony consultation is part of the officiant service at Weddings in the Gunks.