What is a jumping the broom or besom ceremony?
Congratulations! You have already decided that choosing a celebrant to deliver your wedding ceremony gives you a whole range of options that a registrar just can’t.
A favourite option with many couples is ‘jumping the broom’ – a ritual that is full of fun and theatre, that is a great way to involve your guests and looks amazing on your photos and video – what more could you want?!
Read on for more ideas about how you can incorporate a ‘jumping the broom’ ritual into your ceremony.
Where did the tradition of jumping the broom come from?
‘Jumping the broom’ seems to have started originally in Wales where the idea of living together was well established as a practical option in rural communities.
Couples who wanted to declare their commitment to each other would place a broom stick in the doorway of their house, hold hands and jump over the broom into their new home and new life together!
By jumping the broomstick, the couple were agreeing to live as man and wife for a year and a day – literally swept off their feet!
Whilst jumping over a broomstick together gave couples a relatively straightforward way of formalising their union, it was also just as easy to undo the union. If the couple chose to jump back over the broomstick and out of their house, their commitment to each other was undone. – so be careful not to leave your broomstick lying around in any doorways!
The symbolism of jumping the broom
There is a lot of symbolism associated with the broomstick – did you know that a broomstick is a symbol of fertility for instance? It used to be thought that if the couple jumped over the broom in a field, however high they jumped that was the height the crops would grow that year.
It is also said that when a couple jumps together over a broomstick, the partner who jumps the highest will be the decision maker in the relationship – so start practicing your jumping!
Decorating a wedding besom
If you choose to include a broom jumping within your wedding ceremony your celebrant will help you with this. Like many of the rituals that are an option for you, you can make this one entirely your own!
Some celebrants may have a broomstick they are happy to lend you to use during the ceremony or may be able to help you track one down via a local supplier. Wherever you find your broom, the options for decorating are endless.
Most couples will choose to decorate the handle of the broom with ribbons, winding them round the handle to create different patterns and you can make this as simple or as colourful as you like.
Colourful feathers tied together with a thin strand of ribbon and hanging from the head of the broom can look stunning and you can also add special charms or beads that perhaps have a special significance to the two of you.
To complete the decoration of your broom, adding a (well secured!) bunch of dried or silk flowers to the base of the handle can look gorgeous and add scent as well as colour.
When to jump the broomstick
You will usually ‘jump your broomstick’ right at the end of your ceremony, once you have made your vows and promises to each other and formalised your commitment. Your celebrant will explain to you and your guests what is about to happen and perhaps talk a little about the symbolism connected with jumping the broom and share some of the personal touches you have included when decorating your broomstick.
This is also a lovely way to involve your family, friends and loved ones. They will all be cheering you on as jump together into your new life together but why not ask them to each tie a ribbon onto the broomstick before you jump? In this way each person can come up to the front and share their good wishes for you both as they tie their ribbon to your broom.
This can be a very moving part of the ceremony as each of your loved ones gets a moment to be close to you both – and you also end up with the most beautiful broom stick!
Now it is finally time to get jumping! Your celebrant will need someone to help them hold the broom and will position the two of you so that you are ready to jump as the broom is held in front of you. Close your eyes, hold hands and jump the broomstick!
Take the leap into your new life together, leaving behind the old certainties and trusting in your love and your future together; loved ones cheering you on and your celebrant at your back!
The perfect way to start your new life together – swept off your feet!