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Marriage Customs in the Elizabethan Period
Transcript of Marriage Customs in the Elizabethan Period
Marriages would be arranged to bring prestige or wealth to the family.
This custom usually applied to nobility, wealth and riches.
Women had very rarely had the chance to choose their husbands
Most couples would meet on their wedding day
Older noble men would marry young women, due to the fact they were fertile.
With legal consent from a parent, children could marry very young. Boys at the age of 14 and girls at the age of 12. Elizabethan weddings were more of a business arrangement based on a more routine way to strengthen your social position rather then marrying for family and for love. Families would often marry off there children to increase their farm size. Dowry Elizabethan weddings also included a dowry to be given to the Groom such as a property, money, and cattle. Once the woman was married she became the property of the man and he now had full rights over her.
With the Dowry, a part was give to the husband’s family for safekeeping. In this case, if the husband died first, this guaranteed that the widow would not be penny less. Throughout the Elizabethan era of history, women were considered to be second-class citizens. Despite their social standing they were always expected to marry. In most cases single women were thought to be witches by their neighbors. Second-class citizens... Business arrangement... The wealthy men were sometimes given a small picture of the woman he was to marry to give him an idea of how she would look. Regrettably the women were given no such consideration.
Occasionally a girl was engaged the moment she was born and were not introduced to her future husband till the day of her wedding. Meet on their wedding day... Elizabethan Family Life Elizabethan Family Life was extremely close-knit. Many of the elements of Elizabethan family life were determined by the family’s social standings and whether they were poor or wealthy.
The supreme exception to this was religion. Whether the family was rich or poor, young or old, everyone member of the family attended a Protestant Church Service every Sunday.
Wedding Celebrations... Early on the morning of the wedding, bridesmaids, the groom with his attendants, musicians and friends would gather at the bride's home. The entire party would then set off for the church.
After the ceremony there was much dancing, drinking, feasting and game playing. Guests would continue to celebrate even after the bride and groom had departed. The wedding dress of the Upper Class bride was not white, as we know it to be today. It became more of a tradition later on. Instead the women would wear her best gown and kirtle, or even a new gown if she could afford it. Her wedding dress would be full length to cover most of her body. A cloak was sometimes used as an outer garment to go over the dress. The women of nobility would were cloaks of velvet, satin and corduroy. The women’s hair was most often worn loose and down to represent a sign of purity. Upper Class... Lower Class... The wedding dresses of the lower class women were generally made from flax, cotton and wool. The color of the dress came in many different shades and colors. A corset was occasionally worn but undergarments were rarely heard of. A chemise or shift would be worn beneath the dress. The bride would most often wear flowers in her hair and on her main clothing pieces. At this time, the unmarried women were allowed to let there hair loose, but once they were married it has to be hidden underneath a bonnet. On the wedding day the man would normally were a suit, which consisted of a doublet, a jerkin and a hose. He was not considered truly dressed without a cloak and a hat. Beneath it, he would were a long shirt. The men... 8 9 10 The Elizabethan Catholics thought that the Church Services and Bible should be in Latin, because it had been for 1000 years. On the other hand, the Protestants believed that the Church Services and the Bible should be in a language so that ordinary people could understand. Religions and Beliefs There was a great importance to the school’s curriculum and the Elizabethan education of children was imposed by the ruling monarch of the time. This would reflect on the religion of the King or Queen. With the battles between the two main religions of this time period, it must have been truly difficult to keep changing Elizabethan Education with the religion of the times. Education