Did you know the following six marriage facts?
- For centuries, marriage was considered a means for improving your wealth or status. A well-chosen marriage could preserve your power, gain you land and produce heirs for you. Love had nothing to do with it (until around the 17th century). In fact, love was often seen as an obstacle to an “advantageous” marriage. It only became at all common for people to marry for love from the late 18th That was because, after the Industrial Revolution, people could earn enough money to afford to go against their parents’ choice of spouse.
- The first known marriages (as in documented events) date back to around 2,000 BC, in Mesopotamia (modern-day Iraq).
- Wearing a white dress on your wedding day only became popular in the West in the mid-1800s, after Queen Victoria wore white to marry Prince Albert. This tradition is not universal, however, as it is common for the bride to wear red in countries such as India and China, because that is considered to be a lucky colour.
- Some 5,000 weddings a year take place in Gretna Green. This is a Scottish village, just over the border from England, which became popular for runaway weddings after a 1753 Act made marriage in England and Wales more regulated. Consequently, people started to go north, where the rules were much freer.Nowadays, Gretna Green is more of a romantic notion, but still highly popular.
- The longest marriage on record is that between Daniel and Susan Bakeman, who were married in New York City in 1772, and stayed together over 91 years.
- Apparently, more than a third of marriages these days begin online. Studies suggest that online couples tend to have longer, arguably happier, marriages.
Who’d have thought it?