9 Black Wedding Traditions You Need to Know


Tying the Knot

Tying the knot is integrated into many cultures’ weddings, including Black weddings. In other cultures, it is referred to as handfasting. During the ceremony, the couple will have their wrists tied together with Kente cloth, strings of cowrie shells, braided grass, or decorated rope.

What the couple decides to use for the ritual can have different meanings. For instance, cowrie shells represent destiny and prosperity. The Kente cloth is often a symbol of Black pride. Its colors represent ideals: black for spiritual strength and maturity; red for blood, political passion and strength; blue for peace, love and harmony; gold for wealth and royalty; green for growth, harvest, and renewal; white for purity; and purple for Mother Earth, healing and protection from evil. The couple says their vows while their wrists are being tied together and the officiant ties the knot to confirm the commitment they made.

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