Elizabethan marriage customs

  The reign of Queen Elizabeth I (reigned 1558-1603) is historically known as the Elizabethan period. At this time, Britain’s domestic economic strength was enhanced, its foreign trade was developed, its overseas power expanded, and it entered the ranks of European powers. After the defeat of Spain’s “Invincible Fleet” in 1588, Britain gradually established its maritime supremacy. The English Renaissance mainly took place during this period, manifested as a boom in literature, with literary giants such as Shakespeare and Marlowe creating many classic works. Therefore, the Elizabethan period is the “golden age” in British history. In such an era that the British are proud of, do marriage customs also have their own characteristics? At first glance, there are many similarities between the marriage customs of the Elizabethan period and the present, such as vows, wedding rings, wedding banquets and wedding cakes all originated in this period , but the marriage customs at that time were still different from those of today.
  Marriage is like a deal
  Now people think marriage out of love is a natural thing, but then people thought marriage out of love was stupid and marriage was more like a deal. From the royal family to the nobles to the commoners, people first consider what benefits marriage can bring to both families. Take Queen Elizabeth I as an example. When she was in her prime, she was constantly negotiating marriage. As the monarch of a country, she was surrounded by people she liked, but she could not marry these people because she had to marry a member of the European royal family. For the nobles, marriage is an important means of uniting two families. Through marriage, the economic strength, sphere of influence and social influence of both parties will be strengthened. In the aristocracy and the upper classes, the two parties who intend to marry do not meet before marriage. If the man is lucky, he can see the portrait of his future wife. Sometimes people instruct the painter to highlight the advantages of the girl in order to facilitate a marriage. As a result, the gap between the portrait and the person is too large, resulting in a marriage tragedy. Since women are considered second-class citizens, their opinions are not taken seriously, so there is no chance to even see a portrait of a future husband. On the other hand, people in the middle and lower classes of society often have more say in their marriage issues, and parents pay special attention to their children’s personal feelings.
  low status of women
  Elizabeth I herself was a brilliant statesman, incomparable to that of the women of her contemporaries. At that time, few women were literate, and there were not many women in the aristocracy who could read and write, because people thought that it was useless for women to read and write, and they would only waste their time on appreciating love poems. help. From birth, girls have been instilled with the idea that women have a lower status than men. They have to rely on their fathers and elders since they were young, obey their husbands after marriage, and cannot have their own independent thoughts. Their duty is to get married and inherit the lineage for their husband’s family; women who are late to marry or never get married will be suspected and despised by others, and they are also a burden on their parents’ family. Regardless of social class, parents prepare a dowry for their daughter, which may be property, jewelry, goods, and so on. The dowry, like the wife, is the husband’s property. A wife’s job is to keep the house and bear children, and she has no right to intervene in other matters. Nobles and high-society mistresses command many servants to keep the house in good order, while ordinary people do everything by themselves, and the
  marriage age is small. The
  legal minimum marriage age is 14 for men and 12 for women. In fact, very few men get married at the age of 14. Their actual age of marriage is usually 21. If a man marries before the age of 21, parental consent is required. For example, the great writer Shakespeare impregnated 26-year-old Ann Hathaway at the age of 18, and they had to get married immediately. This expedited marriage requires not only the approval of Shakespeare’s parents, but also the special approval of the bishop, because it is usually announced in the local church. It took three weeks for a marriage to be legal, and it didn’t take that long for the bishop to approve it, and they couldn’t wait that long. For example, Anne Hathaway is too old to marry at the age of 26. Before marrying Shakespeare, she was already a “leftover girl”.
  wedding features
  At that time, people only took a bath once a year, and the wedding was usually held in April after the annual bath, so that the people attending the wedding were more fresh and bright. The venue, as it is now, was in the church, when there were no stools and all the wedding attendees had to stand. The bride does not wear the white wedding dress that people are familiar with, and just wears her best clothes. The wedding banquet is also different from now. Those who attend the wedding banquet are uninvited and do not necessarily have to bring gifts to the newlyweds. The dishes of the wedding banquet are rather peculiar. One dish is actually a peacock. The peacock meat is the food on the plate, and the colorful feathers are also used to decorate the plate. Common beverages were malt wine and wine, and the water at that time was unclean and should not be consumed directly.
  The extensive use of vanilla in weddings was an important feature of Elizabethan weddings. Flowers made a big splash in Victorian weddings, and vanilla was an integral part of Elizabethan weddings. Not only are the brides wearing herbs on their headdresses, but thyme, lavender, rosemary, sage, marjoram, etc. can be seen everywhere on both sides of the aisle and near the dining table at the wedding venue. People can enjoy delicious food in the refreshing fragrance. After the wedding ceremony, the newlyweds also decorate the new house and living room with herbs.
  The Elizabethan period was a golden age that the British were very proud of. Some important elements of the Iraqi wedding customs, such as vows, wedding rings, wedding banquets and wedding cakes, have been passed down to this day. Now there are some wedding agencies in Britain and the United States that undertake Elizabethan weddings. The main content services include vanilla decoration, wedding recipes from more than 400 years ago, and bridal styling with Elizabethan characteristics.

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