Dating and marriage during the middle ages
Marriage is a serious commitment, one that isn't taken lightly for most people.One wouldn't likely marry a stranger they just met for instance.
Family and friends played a major role in arranging marriages, especially if land and other wealth accompanied the union.
The parents and siblings in the families had a concern in the marriage, and the lord also wished to keep some accounting of village marrieages.
In cases where the marriage was part of the family's economic and social strategy, careful planning by the whole unit was needed, for a good marriage could bring considerable economic benefits.
The prospective bride and groom also had an economic stake in a marriage contract, because it would determine not only who their life partner would be, but also how well they could expect to live.
To marry for love without land or chattels could assure nothing but a life of penury. Not all young people, however, had marriages arranged for them.
Some were from poor families who had nothing to negotiate and hence would either not marry or marry whom they pleased.
It was even possible that in times of land shortage, family interference in marriage was less common because they had nothing to bargain with.
When someone says the word marriage today we think about two people who are in love and who want to spend the rest of their lives with each other.
Most of the time they didn't even know the man before they were married.
Marriage was different in other ways back then too.
There were many reasons a marriage could not take place, and strict rules for whether or not a divorce was allowed.