History of Weddings

Knowing exactly where and when the first wedding occurred may be a daunting task. Prehistory experts suspect that tribal group weddings were the first type of union. History picture This type of union is particularly useful in times of hardship when loyalty to the tribe is given more importance than loyalty to the individual. As society evolved over time, the tribes eventually settled and became part of agricultural communities where they began to trade. The change allowed people to mix with other communities without creating a conflict. This led to the reduction and eventual disappearance of the need to kidnap both women and children away from other tribal groups. 

Weddings During The Middle Ages

In 1076, a law was made by the Council of Westminster which stated that marriage must have the blessings of a priest. Later in the 16th century, it stated that a marriage ceremony must be performed by a priest with the presence of witnesses. This period was also the time when contracts and legal documents started to become part of the wedding process which is akin to the current practice of making prenuptial agreements and securing marriage contracts and licenses. Brides would wear blue wedding dresses instead of the current white since blue was regarded as a symbol of purity. The bride can also wear something blue such as a ribbon if her wedding gown was not blue. Other interesting wedding traditions include the wearing of garter, the holding of great post-wedding feasts, tiered wedding cakes, and the exchanging of rings among the wealthy.

Weddings During The Elizabethan Era

In this period, weddings were mostly held in the mornings or at least before noon time which were then followed by a feast. Couples who plan to get married must perform the custom known as “Crying the Banns” which refers to an announcement of their plan to marry. This custom should be done in church for three consecutive Sundays. Other notable wedding traditions during this period include the issuance of a Marriage Bond by the bishop; the carrying of a wedding garland by the bride; the wedding costs being handled by the bride’s father; the non-practice of sending formal wedding invitations; the sustained relevance of a marriage contract; the non-popularity of engagement rings; and the presence of diamond wedding rings.

Weddings During The Regency Period

Weddings in this period were regarded as mostly private affairs. History description One place which became popular for wedding ceremonies was the St. George’s Church in Hanover Square, London. It was said that at least 1063 weddings were held in the church in 1816. White wedding gowns started to become popular during the Regency period. Reading of the Banns was still practiced although the new practice of getting a common license by the bishop or archbishop was also introduced. Flowers started to gain a bigger role in the wedding. These flowers were used as decorations in the church and as carpet fillers for the bride to walk on. Men also wore a flower in their coat’s lapel. Queen Victoria was given the credit for starting the tradition of wearing white wedding dresses when she wore a white gown for her wedding. The year 1880 saw the beginning of holding weddings as late as three in the afternoon.

Weddings In The Internet Era

Today, the new wedding practice known as “Domestic Marriage” is gaining worldwide acceptance over the years. More and more states are allowing the issuance of marriage licenses to same-gender couples who have plans to get married.  Apart from this new concept of the wedding, there is also the new practice of brides giving the men in their lives the so-called “management rings” which is the counterpart of engagement rings. Other interesting new practices include emulating the weddings of the rich and famous, doing more creative wedding photoshoots (brides on horseback, under waterfalls, etc.), and the emergence of specially designed “bridal diapers.”