How did people get married in the Middle Ages – well, very differently from now.
A royal marriage in the medieval ages often looked a little more like a business contract or bargain, involving land, money, goods, gifts, and dowry. the most important goal of marriage between nobles was continued success and the acquisition of wealth. According to writings of the day, the marriage of Bulgarian Princess Maria and Latin Emperor Henry involved garments, jewellery, luxuries and fineries, among other riches, carted into Constantinople on 60 animals covered with red velvet “long enough to sweep up the dusty roads between the two capitals.” The feasts and rituals for this wedding lasted 8 days (www.omda.bg, “Dynastic Marriages”).
Because marriages were arranged, there was a lot of heartbreak. Torn from love, or forced into a marriage absent of love–was a huge problem in the medieval ages. Though separation of couples was tolerated, there was no legal divorce; however, marriages between those too closely related could be annulled.
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