Elizabethan dating and marriage courtship
First this would be verbal from the father and/or mother.
Next came the nitty-gritty of the “settlement” documents.
More often than not he said nothing up front, instead relying on group activities or casual encounters to grow more familiar and fall in love. He might first ask a father’s permission to marry, but even if the father’s permission is granted, he was required to ask the lady herself. Yet, as beneficial as this time could be for personal reasons, the true purpose of the courtship weeks were the legalities.
Romance may have entered the realm of marriage, but it was still a business transaction in many respects.
As the century turned, the idea of marrying for love gradually became a standard.
How the man and woman met, how well they came to know each other, and how they made their intentions obvious varied considerably.
Once the three Banns were called, with no objections, the couple then had ninety days to finalize the ceremony. Clergyman of the Church of England could issue a marriage license for a few shillings to a pound.