Italian dating and marriage
That did not mean, however, that weddings lacked elaborate ritual.
Nor did it imply that couples chose their partners themselves.
Some husbands later sold their wives’ wedding dresses; elaborate and colorful clothing would have become unsuitable after a few years of marriage, at which point women were expected to adopt more sober dress.
As the date of his wedding approached, a Florentine groom dined at the bride’s home and presented gifts.
Before 1563, when reforms enacted by the systematized and formalized the process, the only requirement for marriage was the mutual consent of a man and woman not already married to someone else.
Priests, ceremonies, and even witnesses were unnecessary.
Gifts, which served as much to advertise the groom’s status as to please his new wife (and her family), remained his property.
At this juncture, the bride herself was finally, albeit briefly, involved.
During the ring ceremony (anellamento), which took place at her home, male and female relatives from both families looked on as she received a ring from her husband to be.
Marriage not only reflected order, it was a civilizing influence on which the whole of society depended.
Brides, especially in Florence, were typically much younger than grooms.