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Elizabethan Marriage Customs. Arranged Marriages. Women had little, if any say, in who they married. Most marriages were arranged so both families would benefit. Marriages were arranged to bring prestige and wealth to the family.

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arranged marriages
Arranged Marriages
  • Women had little, if any say, in who they married.
  • Most marriages were arranged so both families would benefit.
  • Marriages were arranged to bring prestige and wealth to the family.
  • Children of landowners would be expected to marry to increase the size of acreage.
  • Many couples met for the first time on their wedding day. This usually applied to nobility.
  • They would present a miniature picture to the man to give some indication of what his prospective wife might look like.
social standings and laws
Social Standings and Laws
  • Women were “second class citizens” regardless of their social standing. They were expected to marry.
  • Single women were thought tot be witches by their neighbors.
  • With parental permission it was legal to marry at the age of 14 for boys, and 12 for girls.
  • This wasn’t usual or traditional for marriage at such young ages.
  • Most boys married at the age of 21.
wedding customs
Wedding Customs
  • A dowry was a custom that benefited the husband. It was an amount of money, goods, and property that the bride would bring to the marriage.
  • It was also referred to as her marriage portion.
  • The law gave a husband full rights over his wife, she became his property.
  • Arranged weddings were held at local churches and were very religious.
  • First stage- Crying of the Banns, announcement of the intention to marry.
  • Wedding invitations weren't issued because everyone in a small town knew everything.
wedding customs cont
Wedding Customs(cont.)
  • They had wedding feasts and they were carefully planned.
  • Some of the food consisted of exotic dishes, like peacock, breads, and sweetmeats.
  • The drinks were usually ale, which is unclean water and some wine.
bride clothing
Bride Clothing
  • The bride did not wear white.
  • She would wear her best gown and kirtle, or even bought a new one if they had the money.
  • The dress covered most of the body and a cloak was used as an outer garment.
  • Colors: red, blue, greens, yellow, white, grey, black, orange and tan.
  • Although most of the body was covered, it was permissible for dresses to have plunging necklines.
  • A necklace was often worn.
bridesmaid and bridegroom clothing
Bridesmaid and Bridegroom Clothing
  • They dressed in similar attire.
  • Had flowers throughout the dress and a bouquet.
  • Bridegrooms, which are groomsmen, wore their best clothes.
  • It consisted of a doublet, breeches, hose, box, pleated neck ruff, an cloak might be worn, and a pair of boots.
wedding ceremony
Wedding Ceremony
  • A bridal procession would go from the brides house to the church and was often accompanied by musicians.
  • In the ceremony, everyone would stand because there were no pews.
  • When the ceremony was over, the wedding procession would return to their homes.
  • The families of the couple would sometimes throw a great and enjoyable feast and the couple was wished a long and happy life.