America is a melting pot of multiple cultures and ethnicities. Upon arriving in America, many immigrants chose to continue their old world traditions, rather than adopting established American ones. They choose to celebrate weddings, holidays, and festivities in the same way as their ancestors used to.
There are many similarities in the wedding ceremony across the world. Most wedding ceremonies involve two people who announce their love, respect, and desire to be together in front of a crowd of family and friends. The ceremony will often involve some sort of promise between the two betrothed, music, dancing, and a reception.
An African American wedding is a special American ceremony, because so many African Americans today are the descendents of slaves. Slaves were uprooted from their native Africa and forced to abide by the rules and regulations of a new culture. Much was lost of the traditional African ways through the process of slavery. In modern times, however, there has been a strong push within the African American community to reestablish these traditions.
Many African Americans today choose to wed in a traditional African wedding. Unfortunately, many African Americans do not know to which African tribe they belong, and so cannot celebrate a wedding in exactly the same fashion as their ancestors. Fortunately, though, most African weddings share similar characteristics, and so many African Americans can devise their wedding ceremony from these similarities.
Clothes, music, and food, like most weddings, are especially important in the African American wedding. Traditional African clothes in colors, like red, black and green, are often worn. Women might wear traditional headpieces. A best man may be included in the ceremony, and it is his job to protect the union of the two families. Sometimes, an African American wedding will also include dancers. Drums are a very important part of many facets of African culture, and so drum music is very common at an African American wedding.
Another group of Americans that are attempting to regain their lost heritage are the Native Americans. Many Native Americans are choosing to wed in the tradition of their ancestors. Like an African American wedding, a Native American wedding will depend on which tribe the bride and groom belong. Nature plays an important role in all Native American tribes, as well as in the case with the Native American wedding.
Receiving an American wedding invitation may not tell you much about what to expect at the ceremony. Certainly, most American weddings are traditional Western weddings, but many Americans will celebrate their wedding in the custom of their family or religion.
Wedding plays a central role in cultures around the world, but in America, the wedding ceremony and its traditions are also like a melting pot. So, if you receive an American wedding invitation, who knows what sort of wedding it may actually be! The traditions of the families of the bride and groom, however, may give you a good clue. America is a land of diversity, as exemplified by the many different styles of wedding ceremonies held in our country.