by Vanessa Snyder
Ingrid Sturgis was planning her wedding eight years ago,
she wanted to add a touch of African-American culture and history
to her ceremony.
While a shortage
of time prevented her from including such touches in her own wedding,
her research into wedding rituals and customs within African-American
culture and history continued.
Nubian Wedding Book" (Crown Publishers, $25) is the result
of her years-long project. The book, part planner and part history,
takes apart every aspect of the wedding and offers suggestions and
historical background for those who want their wedding to reflect
an African- American heritage.
started asking people what their ceremonies were like and what vows
they used, and no one could remember, " says Sturgis. "Even
some people who had written their vows couldn't remember them. Something
that deals with words that commit you to another person should be
remembered, so I looked for words of wisdom and love and devotion.
Some I created myself."
instead of the traditional wording recited when exchanging rings,
Sturgis offers this possibility: "Take this ring as a symbol
of my sweet embrace."
African's Yoruba tribe, Kwanzaa principles, the Bible and even the
words of Martin Luther King, she offers brides a wealth of ideas
and options for creating a unique wedding ceremony.
on implementing libations, special prayers, broom jumping ceremonies,
unique bridal showers and recipes for a Black Wedding Cake and more
The book is
filled with an assortment of black and white photos of weddings
from the 1920s through the 1990s. Sturgis also intersperses poetry
and real-life romantic stories throughout the chapters, which cover
everything from courtship and bridal showers, to toasts and vows
for second marriages.
book romantic was her goal. "I wanted stories about being in
love and staying in love," says Sturgis. "We don't hear
about those who stay together through thick and thin."
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