June 2011 Volume 6, Issue 4
|The Wedding Issue|
|I've long wanted to take an in-depth look at regency weddings. Since June is famous as 'the' month to hold a wedding, I thought it would fit to dedicate this issue to that event.|
For a truly comprehensive foray into Regency weddings, I'm putting together an ebook that is bursting with good stuff. (The Making of A Match: A Regency Wedding Compendium) And, to help me make the book something you'd like to read, please answer a couple of questions in my short survey.
Thanks, and enjoy this preview into the weddings of the Regency!
(Who got married in the merry, cold month of December.)
Marriage Among the Ton
|During the regency, fashionable couples often got married at St. George's Church in Mayfair. Located right at the edge of Hanover Square and only steps from Bond Street, St. George's was an icon of the fashionable West End. |
St. George's Hanover Square, Parish Church
In 1816 (a banner year) there were 1,063 weddings, including nine on Christmas Day! The aristocracy often chose to forego St. George's in favor of the chapel on their own estates; or sometimes they married in their home in a small, private affair with just a few witnesses. Even Lord Byron was married in such a way.
A few infamous weddings are detailed on
of St. George's website, where, by the way, you can find contact info. to schedule your own wedding if you happen to live in London and wish to be married!
There seems to have been little protocol regarding how to celebrate a wedding during the regency, at least in the fashionable world. People might hold a breakfast, lunch or supper for their friends and family, or they might not.
The poorer classes, on the other hand, were likely to celebrate with parties before, during, and after the nuptials took place. In Scotland, the "penny wedding" could include the whole town, and at least two days of revelry.
A White Gown?
The white dress for women was not in vogue specifically for weddings, likely because white gowns had long been popular evening-wear for any formal occasion. According to
English Women's Clothing in the Nineteenth Century, "The symbolic significance of white is well known and of great antiquity; we may note, however, that while a girl's first ball gown was generally white, the bridal dress was by no means invariably so."
For the year 1816 it states,"Note: Wedding dresses appear indistinguishable from evening dresses."
Women of means would wear the fanciest fabric they could afford for their weddings, and not only in white. The custom of putting away the gown after the ceremony didn't exist, and so wedding gowns were chosen with future use in mind.
For regency men by 1820 a proper "wedding suit" would be "a blue dress coat with gilt buttons, white waistcoat, and black or dark gray breeches."*
Was There a Veil?
There was no custom of veiling the face for a wedding, although veils were popular. A short lace veil might be part of a bonnet for walking dress, for example. Likewise, trains were used for evening dress, assuredly not only the domain of weddings.
Perhaps the most telling feature of historical costume concerning weddings during this period is that while you can find multitudinous examples of
morning, walking, evening, full, promenade, half-dress, riding, carriage and even
opera, etc., one never comes across a category for wedding dress. It simply did not exist. (In
English Women's Clothing
it is found as a category by 1851.)
This ought to be good news for authors of regency romance, like me: instead we yearn to find the "right" way to portray a bride, when in fact there was no single right way.
To show how many of the ball gowns of the day look suspiciously to us like wedding dresses to our modern eyes, take a look at some of the illustrations below, for example.
NONE OF THE FOLLOWING ARE WEDDING GOWNS
Dolley Madison, Amer., same era
Above, and right, 1816
Just the same, any or all of the above could theoretically have been worn for a wedding.
The first bridal dress portrayed in
English Women's Clothing
is dated 1848 and is of white satin, very ornamental, and with a veil that falls down the back, not over the face.
Are you interested in more details on wedding costume during the regency? On actual weddings that took place, or exactly how the marriage banns were worded? If you think you might purchase my upcoming ebook, The Making of A Match: A Regency Wedding Compendium, please take this short survey and let me know! It will help me gauge interest, and know exactly what to include in the ebook. Thank you!
Reading the Banns: (What's it All About?)
|Both Catholic and Anglican law require that an upcoming marriage must be announced publicly for three consecutive weeks before the wedding can take place. These announcements are the banns of marriage, and come from a Middle English word, ban or bane, meaning a proclamation.*
Any reader of regency romance knows the requirement could be avoided if the groom is able to procure a "special license," and hurry the wedding. But the purpose of the banns was for the protection of the couple, particularly the woman.
(It was leaked information about his upcoming wedding that ruined Rochester's hopes of marrying Jane Eyre, for example. And such cases were exactly why the custom existed.)
If anyone hearing of the intended marriage knew of a reason why either party was not free to wed, they could come forth and prevent the nuptials from taking place.
Some reasons could be intended bigamy, (a previous marriage, as in Rochester's case); illness; not being a resident of the parish; a prior engagement; or marrying without parental consent.
You can still have banns read for your wedding, and unless I'm mistaken, your marriage is legal after the banns are read three times publicly, with or without an additional marriage license. At
St. Andrews in the UK,
you can apply for Banns for 37 pounds, which is likely typical for churches today.
To learn more about Banns, see actual certificates of them, and the exact wording of the banns as they were read, stay tuned for my upcoming ebook!
And remember to take this short survey and help me prepare the best ebook possible on the subject! Thank you. : )
|THE JANE CONTEST: |
Last Month's Results This Month's Contest
Last Issue's Contest:
Subscribers were asked to forward this ezine to a minimum of five people, either copying me in on the forward, or using the embedded link (above). From those who did so, one winner was chosen using random.org.
And the Winner Is:
Thank you, Ira for forwarding to five people. I'd like to recognize Jennifer Nicole for forwarding to 19 people!
(Thank you so much, Jennifer, you get the "good person" award! )
Ira, please send me your mailing address so I can get a book out to you.
And thanks to everyone else who participated. Try again this month!
"Single women have a dreadful propensity for being poor--which is one very strong argument in favor of Matrimony."
WITHOUT using the internet to help you, tell me if this quotation is from:
a) Sense and Sensibility
b) Pride and Prejudice
c) Persuasion, or,
d) a letter of Jane Austen's
You're on the honor system here. Anyone can look up the answer, but I'd prefer you take a stab at it without doing so. Send your answers to:
Linore (at) Linoreroseburkard (dot) com
In addition to the winners of the Jane Contest, each month two new subscribers are randomly chosen to win a copy of my self-published edition of Before the Season Ends.
Thanks to the 50 of you who have recently signed up and Congratulations winners! Please send me your full mailing address so I can send you a book.
Winners were generated using random.org
FICTION: New from Louise Gouge, The Wedding Season
Or, here, from CBD.com
Non-Fiction: Are you a parent? Get a free book on parenting from Focus on the Family.
Subscriber Sharon B. sent in this link for those with e-readers. It lists the latest freebies for download on your reading device.
As in months past, here's a partial list of my recently acquired Kindle ebooks.Unless stated, these were free at time of posting on Amazon.
Goal Setting: Discover What You Want in Life and Achieve it Faster than You Think Possible
One True Love
I Do...Everyday: Words of Wisdom for Newlyweds and Not So Newlyweds
The Heart of Abundance: A Simple Guide to Appreciating and Enjoying Life
There Must Be Murder (Girlebooks Contemporary) This is Jane fanfic, picking up with the Tilneys in Bath (from Northanger Abbey)
Prefer print books? Search for a title at a discounted price at CBD.com in this search box, below.
|1 The oldest newlyweds--it's never too late.|
2. FUNNY thoughts on marriage by Bob Hawkins
3. The Power of Words. A short You-tube video. The way we use words makes a difference.
The Wedding Issue Free Download is Ready and Fun, fun, fun!
Inside this month's freebie you'll find:
- pages to color
- a page for scrapbookers
- one stationery page to print out and use
- one beautiful Victorian wedding print you could print and frame
- and a few coloring pages, including some for kids or grandkids.Everything is wedding themed.
- When my Regency Weddings Ebook is finished, the free companion pdf will have lots more but click here for your download now-- this neat preview for you, my subscribers to have before I offer it elsewhere.
By the way, you can still pick up last month's free download: three word searches based on three of Jane Austen's most popular novels.
Print them out (skip the cover page to save ink) and take these with you when you need to wait in a doctor's office, or at any other time. Enjoy!
Until we meet again,
PS: You know someone who would enjoy this newsletter. Don't forget to foward it to them right now!
Did someone forward this to you? Sign up now and get Linore's Reflections right in your in-box.
When you do, you'll immediately be entered into TWO book drawings, plus you'll get the FREE ebook, "Regency Fashion in Winter."
CLICK the box, above, to join
|DO YOU DARE TO FORWARD THIS NEWSLETTER?|
| There's someone you know who would enjoy this newsletter. Just forward it to them so they can subscribe for themselves. They'll be entered in two drawings when they subscribe, and they'll enjoy the monthly historical content. |
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|A Peek at My Email: |
I don't recall the last time I read such a charming delightful book as Before the Season Ends.
Your Reflections this month is awesome! (And your work) Translation into Russian and Portuguese, no less! As we used to say as kids, "Well, let me touch you"!
Regency Romance Author
|Note: The picture seems to suggest that a baby makes the third strand in the cord of marriage. Contrary to what some may think, however, a baby is more likely to add stress to a union, not cement it. The third cord that is alluded to by the verse here is GOD. That's why weddings have traditionally been held in church to begin with! |
Will You Be Here?
4th Annual Jane Austen Festival
JULY 9 & 10, 2011
at Historic Locust Grove
(1790 National Historic Landmark)
Greater Louisville Region Jane Austen Society of North America
For details on everything this event will feature (lots of great stuff!) visit Locust Grove on the web.
General Admission $10
Ball, tea, theatrical performance and workshops additional fee.
For information re: hotels, travel, etc. please contact Bonny Wise, Regional Coordinator at:
wises4 (at) insightbb (dot) com
Don't forget the free resources available on my website
The Wedding Bells
by Kate Greenaway
The Wedding Bells were ringing,
And Monday was the day,
And all the little ladies
Were there so fresh and gay.
And up-up-up the steps they went,
The wedding fine to see;
And the Roses were all for the Bride,
So pretty-so pretty was she.
|WANTED: YOUR OPINION|
Don't Forget to Take This One-Minute Survey!
You can help me include exactly what you'd like to know more about in my upcoming ebook, Mad, Bad, Regency Weddings (And Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Getting Married During the Regency)
It will only take a minute or two, and I'd love to have YOUR feedback.
Thanks so much, and remember to get this month's free download as my small way of saying thanks!
The first diamond engagement ring was given in 1477 by Archduke Maximillian of Austria to Mary of Burgundy. During the Regency, neither engagement nor wedding rings were customary. If a ring was given, it could be of any stone that was valuable. (Remember Lydia from Pride and Prejudice, obliviously happily, showing off her wedding ring?)
Diamonds were much popularized for rings during the Victorian era, and settled upon because they were deemed "imperishable."
But did you know that diamonds can be broken quite easily? It is only their surface that is impervious to scratches!
|According to the book, Curious Customs, the word chaperon once meant "little cape," and actually referred to a hood. (14th century) It became a word for 'one who protects' in the early 18th century, since a chaperon "shelters the youthful debutante as a hood shelters the face." |
During the regency, chaperons had to be in constant attendance upon their charges. And no upper class regency miss worth her salt dared to go near the opposite sex without one, or she would risk her good name, and worse, that of her family.
What were chaperons really protecting? Why was it so important for women to be virtuous (and not men)?
In order to ensure the integrity of the blood-line of the aristocratic family she would hopefully be joining in marriage, and providing an heir for.
The nice thing about the practice of chaperonage was that it undoubtedly helped keep many a young miss, quite literally, out of the wrong hands!
Did You Know?
|The word "wedding" comes from the meaning "bride price." "In early medieval England the wed was the earnest money or pledge a bridegroom gave the girl's father."|
By the time of the regency, the meaning had been mostly turned around, as men were more concerned with the price the bride would bring with her to the wedding, than on paying a price for her. (Think of Willoughby abandoning Marianne for Miss Grey in, Sense and Sensibility.)
What did she bring with her? Her dowry.
"You May Kiss the Bride"
These words are not actually part of the traditional Anglican wedding service, although one book claims that "western brides have been kissed as part of the wedding ceremony since the days of the Roman Empire."*
But for the Church of England, the Book of Common Prayer instead directs the new husband and wife to merely "greet one another." I suspect that many a clergyman may have added the words "with a kiss," however.
At my own wedding, our pastor forgot to say "You may kiss the bride." He told us to face the audience and then presented us as Mr. and Mrs. Burkard, but we didn't get to kiss! (Don't worry--we made up for it afterwards.)
Our guests may have felt cheated, though. The same book suggests that the kiss between the bride and groom literally "seals" the ceremony for onlookers. As they say, "sealed with a kiss."
*Curious Customs:The Stories Behind 296 Popular American Rituals
My first book is in this stack, the logo for The Book Club Network. (so you know they've got good taste over there!)
Regency Weddings: The Ebook
Here's a list of some of the categories you'll find in the full ebook, expanded greatly from what is in this e-zine:
That's just the start: there's more!
- Period Wedding illustrations
- Secret Weddings
- All About the Special License
- All About Running Off to Scotland
- Detailed costume illustrations with commentary
- Historical (English)Royal Weddings
- Wedding Gifts--Were they customary? What sort of gifts were given?
Please take a short survey to help me know what you want included. Thank you.
- The complete wording of a Wedding Service of a typical Anglican (Church of England) Church
- Civil Wedding Service
- Marriage Banns--exact wording and photos of real Banns' certificates from UK churches
- Related historical Wedding customs (Quaker, Dutch, etc.)
- Free marriage-themed stationery
- Links, resources
- Lots More!
Illustration above from victoriana.com
One Imperiled Regency Wedding!
|Ariana Forsythe and the Paragon, Mr. Mornay, following a rocky courtship, are finally betrothed and have set a wedding date; but when he starts acting cold and distant, Ariana senses trouble, and when strange things begin to happen, Mr. Mornay realizes he may not know his betrothed as well as he thought. |
To make matters worse, two brothers with a grudge are determined to prevent the wedding altogether--and they will stop at nothing to succeed.
Get your copy to read about this madcap march to the altar!
Last but not Least
Join Linore and authors Donna J. Shepherd and Christy-Award nominated author Melanie Dickerson for another day of Greater Harvest Workshops for writers. Magazine and newspaper writer Teri Horsley will also be there to teach about writing for periodicals.
Set Aside the Date!
When: July 30th, 2011
Where: Far Hills Community Church, Kettering, OH
The Dayton Scribes