How to Celebrate
There are many ways to celebrate Black Marriage Day 2023 on Sunday, March 26, 2023. We encourage you to exhaust your creativity and offer programs that are youth-focused and reach a range of the Black community including couples, singles and youth. Our theme this year is Count Your Marriage as Joy.
We offer the following suggestions of additional activities. You can use these ideas or come up with your own, for a very special Black Marriage Day event.
Teach by example! Celebrate your own marriage. Strengthen your own marriage. Read a book, attend a course, talk to the youth in your family. If you're not married, offer to babysit so someone else can go celebrate.
Launch a Marriage Hall of Fame for those married for 40 years or more. Post their pictures and tips for success in a prominent public place like the marriage license office, schools, library, or places of worship. Marriage Hall of Fame information is on the site. Encourage youth to nominate their parents.
Honor members of your extended family or community whose marriages have impacted your life. Write a note of appreciation for marriages that have inspired you. Or, throw a surprise party honoring them.
Create a "Ten Most Affordable Marriage Dates" (or best, most romantic, or most creative) list/contest for your community. Get these to the media - radio, TV, newspapers, and community newsletters. Ask radio stations to promote a contest - keep the focus on Marriage - not just any old date, but ideas for the best, most creative, or most affordable Marriage Date.
Organize a "Husband/Wife or Marriage of the Year" essay contest.
Encourage local television and radio stations, movie theaters, or drama companies to celebrate Black Marriage Day with appropriate programs, films, or productions. Organize a Marriage Film Festival at your community organization. Ask local stations to run Public Service Announcements about marriage.
Ask media to include a Strengthening Marriage Tip, Marriage Article, and Marriage Quiz - " Of the Day" for the full week leading up to Black Marriage Day. Send them the material! It's only seven days... Celebrate couples that have reached marriage milestones - 25, 40, 50, or more years of marriage.
Ask religious leaders to acknowledge the importance of marriage on Black Marriage Day in their sermons and services. Invite them to have a film festival for their youth.
Send a marriage-strengthening book or give a gift certificate for a class to newlyweds, new parents, or anyone whose marriage could use a boost.
Offer to speak/teach at civic groups, high schools, factories, daycare, etc. Organize a marriage-strengthening seminar in your civic or religious community.
Ask employers to hold marriage seminars or brown bag lunches. Organize a fundraiser - danceathon, walkathon, marathon, bake sale - to purchase marriage education books and tapes and donate them to the public or congregation library.
Include activities for engaged and dating couples – emphasize helping them create strong, healthy marriages for the future.
Have couples create a CD for their spouse called “Why I Love You So.” Depending on their skill level, it can include one spouse speaking to the other, or it could just have a compilation of favorite songs that express their love and devotion.
Have youth create messages to their parents about why they love having married parents.
For Book Clubs, have them read a book on the value of marriage, such as Marriage and Caste in America by Kay Hymowitz and discuss it.
Ask judges and divorce lawyers to declare a moratorium on divorce – NO Divorces filed or granted during the week leading up to Black Marriage Day. Ask them to "schedule vacation" that week if that's necessary. Get this to the media!
Adolescents and Children
The Black Marriage Day Film Festival is a great way to get youth involved in Black Marriage Day.
Hold a "Why I think this is a great Marriage" essay contest for children in the community (lessons learned, examples set, why they want a marriage like this when they grow up, etc.) Award prizes, get the media involved. Marriages described could be those of their parents, relatives, or ancestors or one of local, state, or national significance.
Organize a Tom Thumb wedding using children as the bride, groom, and attendants. Put marriage on their mind now and keep it there.
Have them write an essay on what marriage looks like to them. Expand this idea and have them make a film or PowerPoint with photos from their community on what marriage looks like to them. Make it a contest and offer prizes for the best essay, PowerPoint, or movie. If you don’t do a contest you can always have an exhibition.
Offer classes that help youth consider abstinence from sex until marriage.
Have a panel discussion for youth to talk to married couples to learn about their success in staying together and why marriage is important.
Create a museum exhibit on slave marriages to show couples' determination to stay together.
Have children nominate their parents for the Marriage Hall of Fame.
Have an opportunity for children to express why they are glad that their parents are married and the impact it has on their lives.