“Oh they say when you marry in June
You’re a bride, all your life.
And the bridegroom who marries in June
Gets a sweetheart for a wife.”
Johnny Mercer and Gene de Paul, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers
The song isn’t exactly nineteenth century, though the setting was 1850 Oregon, but the sentiment still rings true. June is the time for weddings!
A young lady in nineteenth century England could be married as early as twelve and a young man as young as fifteen, with parental permission. Thankfully, usually only royalty married that young and then only to cement friendships between countries or ensure royal bloodlines would be kept intact. The age of consent, when you could marry without parental permission, was twenty-one for women and twenty-five for men.
Most girls married somewhere between sixteen and twenty-five. How they married differed greatly from the beginning of the century to the end. Before Marissa’s beloved Queen Vic, weddings were in the morning (before noon), and more often in the home or garden of the bride, groom, or a relative than in a church. Wedding dresses weren’t necessarily white or very fancy; they were simply stylish day dresses. And the only attendants needed to be two people in good standing in the Church of England to witness the exchange of vows.
During Queen Victoria’s reign, weddings became more elaborate affairs, with bridesmaids, groomsmen, flower girls, ring bearers, and the like parading down the aisle. The gorgeous white dresses came into fashion and never left. They too grew more bejeweled, reribboned, and bedecked with the passing years, as you can see by our progression of pictures.
And speaking of weddings, today happens to be Marissa’s wedding anniversary! Join me in wishing her and her dear one a very happy day! Blessings on you, my dears! Here’s to many, many more!
P.S. Stop by the Class of 2K8 blog where we've been interviewing YA and MG book reviewers, with an opportunity to win a book on each post (We're giving away 11 book in all!). Leave comments before June 29th to be entered.
P.S.S. If you find yourself misty eyed at the thought of June brides, check out my June release from Regency Reads, Be My Bride, a collection of three stories in which three dashing gentlemen find that it takes a small black kitten, three incorrigible boys, and a master French spy to win their lady loves.