Dating and wedding customs in england
Many couples would meet for the very first time on their wedding day!
This particular Elizabethan custom usually applied to the nobility - two famous examples of the tradition of arranged marriage were between the tragic Lady Jane Grey and Guildford Dudley and King Henry VIII and his fourth wife Anne of Cleves.
Just as today a woman's wedding was one of the most important days of her life.
The major difference to Elizabethan wedding customs to a modern day Western marriage is that the woman had very little, if any, choice in who her husband might be.
The gown would cover most of the body and would be full length. Velvet, Satins and Corduroy were costly and therefore worn by the nobility.
The wedding garments belonging to the majority of brides were generally made from Flax, Cotton and wool.
Instead she would wear her best gown and kirtle , or even a new gown if the money was available.
An Elizabethan Wedding Custom for the wealthy was to present a miniature picture to the man to give some indication of what his prospective wife might look like.
This custom was followed prior to the betrothal of King Henry and Anne of Cleves.
A shift, or chemise, would also be worn beneath the gown.
Although the vast majority of the body was covered it was permissible for dresses to have plunging necklines.
This allowed time for any objections to be raised or pre-contracts to be discovered.