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Honoring Black Love & Wedding Traditions


February 14, 2022
Words by Kianna Patterson
Photos courtesy of Alina Kolot

As we reflect on Black history month, there’s a lot to unpack, from the traditions our ancestors set forth for us, the history that was made, and the love that encompasses the two. Black love is all about combining families, embracing culture, and most of all, sharing joy. Love is part of Black history because it represents a unique life-long experience shared by two people.

Here, we celebrate that love with India and Hope who honor their pasts through their futures together. 

A Story of Black Love in Paris

After sharing a 40-minute shared-ride India and Hope knew that their love was just beginning. What better way to kick off their month-long celebration of Black love than in the city of love Paris, France. The couple decided on their destination wedding to be in Paris due to how beautiful and romantic the city is. 

“Paris was the perfect way to celebrate our love,” Hope says. 

When it came to planning their destination wedding, the couple did not have an easy time arranging their celebration in a foreign country. With the help of wedding planner Katerina Meyvial, India and Hope were able to see their vision of their history come alive within their wedding. 

“Katerina was a godsend,” says India. “The process was definitely overwhelming at times, but it was all worth it.” 

During their ceremony, the couple shared an intimate moment with a group of eight guests. For India and Hope showcasing their love and sticking to traditions were important to them. Being Black and in love was not permitted for past ancestors, so India and Hope used traditions from their ancestors. The couple wanted to embrace every aspect of their roots. 

At the wedding, the couple included a hand-beaded broom, photos of their loved ones, cherished keepsakes on display, and an altar made of crystals. Jumping the broom had to be a part of the pair’s celebration of love.

Traditions like jumping the broom originated to ward off spirits by waving brooms over the heads of couples while marrying, and over time the meaning of jumping the broom changed. Now jumping the broom includes actually jumping over the broom, it also symbolizes a new beginning, and sweeping the past away. India felt it was important to have her culture present at her ceremony. Photos of loved ones are an important tradition to Black history as well. Having pictures of loved ones at a wedding is a sign of respect. All the traditions that were showcased at their wedding spoke volumes and respected the couple’s love for their history. 

“Every aspect of the ceremony spoke to our values and partnership,” India says.

As a Black queer couple, having traditions and their history be a part of their wedding made them realize just how much Black history means to them. Embracing Black love during their special month was essential to Hope and India.

Vendors: Photography: Alina Kolot; Wedding Planner: Katerina Meyvial; Ceremony/Reception Site: Hôtel Marignan Champs-Élysées; Florist: Poème Fleuriste; Makeup Artist: Jessica Crater

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