365 Days of Shakespeare

That's right – the Bard in a year.

19. Now join your hands, and with your hands your hearts.

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My best friend just got engaged! She and I have been best friends since we were five years old, and we have stood by each other through thick and thin. The man she is going to marry is a great guy and I know they will be very happy together!

Now, as a bridesmaid and as a Shakespeare fanatic, I of course think it is only appropriate to do an entry about marriage and weddings. Nowadays, brides wear pretty white dresses and marriages are about joining in love and partnership. Planned for months, sometimes years, in advance, weddings are lavish and fun, often incorporating both tradition and much more modern customs.

Of course, in Shakespeare’s time, this wasn’t quite the case. Elizabethan weddings were generally about convenience and uniting families for purposes of wealth and business. No lacy white dresses for these brides – that tradition came later – who instead wore their best dress (or, if they had the money, had a new one made for the occasion). Weddings weren’t invite-only, either: if you knew about it, you’d probably attend. Meeting for the first time on your wedding day? Not even almost unheard of. There was also the Crying of the Banns – an announcement of a wedding three times on three consecutive Sundays to allow for any objections to be raised. Marriages that were not announced by the Banns were not considered legal. Of course, there were exceptions, such as Shakespeare’s own marriage to Anne Hathaway!

The times, they have changed.

Want some more information about Elizabethan weddings? Check out this site, where I found the snippets from above.

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Written by Caroline Mincks

October 19, 2009 at 2:52 PM

Posted in Uncategorized

Tagged with , , , , , ,

One Response

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  1. Hi, I found this blog post while was searching for shopping related information on msn and found it very good article, thanks for sharing, best regards and cheers!

    Salena Phlegm

    March 16, 2010 at 8:27 PM


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