Remember When …

Have you ever heard of jumping the besom broom to sweep away the old and make way for the new? Me neither.

Well back in 1600s the Celtics had the besom broom tradition when getting married, maybe because there weren’t pastors to marry them or the authorities did not recognize the union?

The Romani gypsies from Wales started the tradition, so they say. Other European countries used this ceremony too.

Then it went to Ghana, Africa and they brought it to America in the 1800s during slave times when they got married, as a tradition.

My friend Sadonna’s wedding anniversary is the same time as some of her friends at their church. August is a very popular month for weddings, in my family too, my parents, mine and my sisters, also.

She had a broom from her mission trip to Haiti in 2003 and thought it would be a nice service for a special couple to jump the broom on their first anniversary together. So, Sadonna went to work and talked to our mutual friends Jodi and Paige that own Mary’s Bouquets and Gifts, on Fenton Road in Burton, to decorate the broom with wonderful flowers. It turned out gorgeous!

Jodi said since the pandemic a lot of people are choosing silk flowers that last longer in case of cancellations. According to Jodi the building they are in now used to be a steam house with lots of jars upstairs, there is so much history in our local buildings.

Carrying flowers in a wedding ceremony has been going on since ancient times; but it started out with herbs, spices wrapped around flowers for lots of things like; good luck, fidelity and to ward off evil.

Some countries wear flowers on their head like a crown and carry a candle, but flowers have been in weddings for centuries.

Men wear a flower over their heart to show love and the bond with his new wife. The flower girl is the one in front of the bride to put petals down, to represent happiness and new beginnings for the bride, since Victorian times. And don’t forget to toss the bouquet to a group of single women, which has been going on for 100 years. If you catch the bouquet you may be next in line. What is your wedding memory, maybe even a celebration dance?

Remember When is a weekly column in the Burton View featuring historical stories about the community from the Burton Area Historical Society. If you have some Burton history to share, email