Throughout Western history, marriage has existed as an important social contract and cultural event.
A wedding ceremony in the classical period might have included these elements: Prior to the Medieval period, marriage was more of an informal agreement, and there was rarely any contract or document that legalized the ceremony.
Women had no choice about whether they would marry or who would become their husband, and they may not even have laid eyes on the groom before the wedding day.
Typically, Ancient Roman and Greek grooms were in their late twenties or early thirties at the time of marriage, but brides were much younger, usually only teenagers.
In fact, the earliest weddings barely resemble those celebrated by today's brides and grooms.
Western marriage traditions date back to Ancient Greece and Rome, where marriage was much more of a legal contract than a romantic endeavor.
The Society for Ancient Hellenic Studies reports that marriage was an important part of Ancient Greek and Roman culture, possibly dating back to 8,000 BCE.Instead of taking place between a man and woman, the marriage was actually a contract between two men: the groom and the bride's father.If a couple wanted to get married, a priestly blessing was required first.It was also illegal for secret wedding ceremonies to be held.However, according to History Undressed, that began to change around 1076 CE when laws began to affect how a marriage was performed.These laws meant that women were no longer allowed to be bartered, sold, or exchanged for goods of any kind.