The ritual itself is very simple. Yet it’s significance and meaning run very deep. After the priest marries the couple, the bride and groom jump over a broom. It would be more accurate to say “jumping the besom,” the besom being a type of broom that is made with twigs tied together against a strong pole.
This is a ceremony dates back to centuries of tradition. Jumping the broom together has been part of weddings for couples who want to honor that tradition. It has its roots in the Celtic culture and including but not limited to Welsh, Celtics, Druids, Africans, and Gypsies and some aboriginal or shamanistic cultures.
Some couples choose to incorporate it into traditional and non-traditional ceremonies. Broom jumping is a brief ceremony usually within the wedding ceremony toward the end. The jumping of the broom is symbolic of binding a couple in marriage and also can be used to symbolize fertility and prosperity of the couple.
The earliest mention seems to come from the early 18th century though Romani have been in Wales since at least the 16th century. Regardless of origin, jumping the broom has been embraced by the Welsh as a sort of common-law marriage symbolic act. The symbolic role of the broom or besom in the home is rich and varied in Celtic culture.
The “Jumping the Broom” is a ceremony in which the bride and groom, either at the ceremony or at the reception, signify their entrance into a new life and their creation of a new family by symbolically “sweeping away” their former single lives, former problems and concerns, and jumping over the broom to enter upon a new adventure as wife and husband. Perhaps its greatest role is that of setting the boundary between the home and the wild. The act of sweeping the floor was not only a way of cleaning, but also demarcated the boundaries of the home. In ancient times, dirt floors were common and often to keep them clean enough to live on they had to be swept several times every day. This has the effect of creating a boundary for the home, just by sheer repetition. So, often the broom was considered one of the first lines of defense for cleaning a home.
This “leap” into a new life (marriage as wife and husband is performed in the presence of families and friends. You can be as creative as you want when planning for this special ceremony.
The straws of the broom represent family; the handle represents the Almighty; the ribbon represents the tie that binds the couple together.
At the conclusion of the ceremony, after the kiss and presentation of the couple to their guests, one of the attendants produces the broom or a special person from the audience brings the broom and places it in the path of the wedding couple. They then jump over the broom on their way to the recessional.
The broom used in the wedding ceremony has often been a beautifully hand made broom containing objects meaningful to the couple that they then keep as a momento of their wedding day and to grace the newlyweds hearth or hallway.
Couples celebrate this rich cultural heritage, irrespective of race, religion, and nationality. The most important thing is it’s significance;
- Honoring and respect of your ancestors, their legacy, and your rich family heritage.
- Coming together of both families, and commitment to each other as wife and husband.
- It represents strength, love, togetherness, loyalty, and respect which is essential for a successful marriage.
This ceremony can also be performed at an anniversary or a renewing of vows ceremony.
Note: Each special wedding has a fee of $100 for the Officiant’s costume and specific ceremony and is paid at the time of booking.