In ancient Rome you married for
life. There were no divorces. So the Romans took great care
in selecting a partner for marriage. The Paterfamilias was responsible for
making sure all the family's children made good marriages. They
would look around and try to find a good match for their children.
The families of both children would enter into negotiations as to which
family would provide for the young couple.
In Rome, you could not
be married to more than one person at a time, and both parties had to be
consenting adults. Many marriages were set up for political
reasons. In ancient Rome, the marriage of two children was also the
joining of two families. Marriage also had to be outside the
family. You couldn't marry any relative, not even third or fourth
woman brought a dowry into her new husbands family.
Many of the customs that the Romans used
for engagement and marriage have carried down to today. For
If you could afford it an
engagement ring was given. This was to signify that the people
involved were to be married. The engagement ring was worn on the
third finger of the left hand. The Roans believed that there was a
nerve that ran straight from this finger to the heart so the ring would
women wore a special dress to get married in. They put a belt
around the dress with a special knot (the knot of Hercules) that only
the husband could undo.
Bride wore a veil and wove flowers into her hair.
the wedding there would be a dinner for the bride and groom usually held
at the brides house.
bride was picked up and carried into her new family's house by her
were many other rituals and details that went into a Roman wedding, such
as a young girl would give her bulla to her father and never wear it
again. She would also give away all her dolls and toys as she
would no longer be a child but a woman. Roman women and girls had
to state aloud their consent to being married. They usually got
the blessing of a priest of one of the major temples.