A dowry is the money or goods a woman brought to marriage. Without a dowry, usually provided by a bride's family, she could not get wed. In unregulated areas, dowries could be so expensive that families couldn't afford to pay it. Lower-class girls usually had to work as household servants to get money so they could become wives. If they're not married by twenty-one, they're rejected by society.
The modern engagement wedding set is unknown, although diamonds are popular. Mary Queen of Scots sent a diamond ring to Thomas duke of Norfolk as a symbol of her willingness to marry him. And Queen Elizabeth gave the duc d'Alencon a diamond ring with a pledge of her hand in marriage.The ring goes on the third finger of the left hand (ring finger) as it does today. The common belief was that women have a vein in that finger that leads directly to the heart. Even people who know that can't be true believe it at weddings.
(marriage custom) - With parental permission it was legal for boys to marry at 14 and girls at 12 although it was not usual or traditional for marriages at such young ages. The age of consent was 21 and boys would generally not marry until this age. "Elizabethan Wedding Customs." Elizabethan Wedding Customs. N.p., n.d. Web. 10 Mar. 2017.
(marriage custom) - Once married, the wife came almost totally under the legal and social sway of her husband. Wives had little or no control over their property, nor could they inherit property or title (except in the royal succession), which would pass to their brothers. They were expected to show obedience to their husbands and, indeed, to all their male relatives. Disobedience might be punished by whipping or beatings. While a husband was supposed to show respect for his wife, his mistreatment of her was not uncommon. Men considered women to be weak in mind and body, and so, of necessity, they had to be guided by their husbands. Husbands were masters and rulers of their wives. Medici, Anthony G. "Society and Culture in Shakespeare’s Day." The Facts On File Companion to Shakespeare. William Baker and Kenneth Womack. Vol. 1. New York: Facts on File, 2012. 24-45. Facts On File Library of World Literature. Gale Virtual Reference Library. Web. 10 Mar. 2017.
(marriage custom) - A bride is not expected to wear a white dress. It can be any fashionable or current color and cut. White as a color for brides does not become entrenched until the 19th century."More Wedding Customs." Life in Elizabethan England 62: More Wedding Customs. N.p., n.d. Web. 10 Mar. 2017.
Work Cited: Netzley, Patricia D. Life during the Renaissance. San Diego, CA: Lucent, 1998. Print.
"The Marriage Ring." Life in Elizabethan England 76: The Marriage Ring. N.p., n.d. Web. 10 Mar. 2017.
"More Wedding Customs." Life in Elizabethan England 62: More Wedding Customs. N.p., n.d. Web. 10 Mar. 2017.