Although the Bishop of London ordered that weddings be held in churches, traveling to them could be difficult for rural families and parishioners.Hannah Powell may have been married at Bruton Parish due to its proximity to her home.Whatever the location or time, however, the ceremony was the same.
Couples made many preparations for their wedding day. Women’s dowries consisted of linens and household goods they had accumulated and any money or property their fathers could afford to give to the couple.
The groom’s father also was expected to contribute something.
We found her doing the honors of the table with ineffable sweetness and grace. When he began courting Hannah Powell, William Drew was in his twenties and already established as the Berkeley County clerk of the court.
In doing so, he was similar to most men of his time who waited until they had completed their education and attained some financial security before proposing marriage.
Those who disliked their children’s choices might withhold permission or, if the children were of age, leave them out of a will. Young people rarely courted far from their social class, and respected parental opinions most of the time. W[illiam] C[olston] came here and Communicated his intention of waiting on my daughter Lucy.
I told him I had long entertained such a Suspicion and really with Pleasure for his Virture and unexceptionable behaviour had long attached my good wishes to him.Marriage was the next logical step in life as they sought marriage partners who could support their economic efforts while running their households and raising their children.Young white women approached courtship and marriage differently.While parents expected to be consulted and offered advice or criticism freely, men and women chose their own marriage partners, and parents usually accepted their children’s choices.Parents could control their children’s ability to marry before the age of twenty-one.Courting gave women power; it was their decision whether to accept or reject a suitor. “You know I have never with all my faults betrayed one symptom of vanity, but now if you should discover a little spice of it can you Wonder—just at this moment are at my entire disposal two of the Very Smartest Beaux this country can boast of—what think you of G & B both at my feet at one. The choice of a husband was very important since, once made, only death could undo a marriage. It meant leaving childhood behind, taking on adult responsibilities, and forming a new family.