What do you think of when you hear the word ‘marriage’? You might declare that it is a union of two people deeply in love, who want to take their relationship to the new level. However, did you know that no such thing, as love marriage, existed in the ancient times? The concept of love marriage was unheard of and the marriages were usually arranged in nature. The parents of the prospective bride and groom would decide the wedding. Most of the times, the future bride and the groom would not even know the name of the person he/she was getting married to. Though it might sound strange, it was a reality. Such was the case with the weddings taking place in medieval age as well - an era known for supreme romance. To get detailed information about the customs and traditions followed in a medieval wedding ceremony, browse through the following lines.
Medieval Wedding Traditions & Customs
With chivalry and romance at its very best, medieval weddings are often considered to be one of the most romantic ways of getting two people united. On the contrary, in olden days, medieval weddings were more practical. A boy and a girl were promised to each other at the age of nine or ten and were not allowed to meet until the time of marriage. The wedding ceremony was filled with feasting, dancing and a variety of entertainment options. Apart from this, there are many customs and traditions, which were followed during the medieval period wedding.
As told earlier, betrothal was an important medieval tradition. The bride and the groom were presented before a priest to take solemn vows. After this, the couple exchanged rings and kisses. Subsequently, they waited for 40 days, when the wedding ceremony finally took place. At the time of the betrothal, grooms paid a deposit. In case the groom backed out, he was penalized with a sum four times the betrothal price. Usually medieval brides wore blue attire, as blue color traditionally signified purity.
In a medieval wedding ceremony, the bride and groom would sit on a raised dais, facing the guests with other important members of the bridal party. The guests were made to sit in a banquet style. All the rituals and customs were performed on the dais. A distinctive ritual practiced in medieval wedding was the presence of a jongleur or minstrel. The main purpose of having a jongleur was to keep the guests entertained. The jongleur would wander through the crowd, singing love songs and reciting love poems.
The tradition of Maid of Honor started in England, wherein she has the task of attending to the bride's every need. She took care of preparing the bouquet and other wedding decorations. She also helped the bride with her dress on the wedding day. The wedding was followed by the feast, wherein the couple drank spiced wine from a fine chalice called the Wedding Cup. At midnight, the guests tried to get into the newlywed's bedchamber to give them an invigorating portion called 'Bride's Broth'.
Bridal veil and flowers also formed a vital part of medieval weddings. The former was used to protect the bride from 'the evil's eye'. A crown of orange blossoms was donned by some brides, which could only be afforded by nobles. Another popular custom was the presence of garter in medieval bride's wardrobe. While the couple hurried to their room after marriage, guests often tried to tear a piece of bride's garter. It was believed that any man who gave his beloved the bride's garter piece would be guaranteed loyalty.