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Weddings of the past are definitely different than those we know of today. The weddings in the 18th century were the culmination of many years of preparation and planning. Parents raised their daughters to be good housewives and respected members in society.

Men and Women Courted Differently

Once they were old enough to go out into the world, they did their best to find an eligible man to marry, the process was known as courting. Courting gave both men and women the chance to socialize and get to know one another unchaperoned.

Young boys began the process of courting in their late teens, and by their mid-twenties they were married. This was because by this age, many young men had completed their schooling and have established some financial security. Marriage was always the next step in a man’s life after establishing his career.

Young women on the other hand approached the act of courting differently. After they completed their training in the domestics of running a household and becoming a suitable wife, they enjoyed a later adolescence stage of life.

They were not yet responsible for running a household or having to raise children, so they had much more freedom to enjoy during this time. The process of courtship gave these women power. It was their decision if they wanted to accept the man’s proposal or reject it. Some new of this power they had and wielded it in a ruthless manner.

The majority of young women married in their early twenties, while others choose to act quickly, fearing there would not be anavailable selection of suitors as they aged. Their choice of a husband was an important one as death of their spouse was the only way their marriage could be undone.

The 18th Century Ceremony

The wedding ceremony of those in the 18th century was a bit different than today. The brides typically wore a range of multi-coloured dresses, not today’s traditional white. The wedding cake was commonly made with savoury meat or even a sweeter mince. A glass ring was buried inside and the woman who found it was the next to be married.

Many irregular marriages were popular in the 18th century. Men had the ability to promise to marry a woman at a date in the future, and if they consummated their relationship before then they were then considered to be legally bound. Often times they did not have a formal wedding ceremony or any witnesses.


Today’s wedding ceremony is definitely much different from the years past in the 18th century. Now formal ceremonies are held, and witnesses must be present to provide legal documentation of a marriage occurring.

If you are in the process of planning a wedding, you know this process alone is time consuming. But with the help of websites like you can learn how to save both money and time in planning one of the biggest days of your life.