Modern Wedding Essay

1301 Words6 Pages
Ancient Greco-Roman weddings, both pagan and Jewish, were immensely different from our modern weddings today. In fact, it is unlikely that the ancient ceremony resembles the modern one at all. In ancient times, most women were not given the opportunity to make decisions (specifically regarding marriage) by themselves. It was up to a woman’s parents (commonly her father) to arrange the marriage. Lynn Cohick, professor of New Testament at Wheaton College, explained that a woman became valuable once she was married (64). A woman’s worth was built upon her marital status, not on her accomplishments as an individual (though she had many). Her sole purpose in society was to support her husband and birth his children. The reality of a woman’s role…show more content…
The ancient Greco-Roman society was honor/shame-based, and therefore vastly different from modern Western society. These cultural differences account for much of the variation in the planning of both ancient and modern wedding ceremonies. The planning that goes into a modern wedding ceremony is quite extensive (Weaver-Zercher 30). Ancient wedding ceremonies were more simplistic but no less significant. As previously stated, the ancient marriage was a business agreement between two families to secure inheritance and family names. Thus, the planning that went into the ancient wedding ceremony had more to do with the marriage than the ceremony itself. Contrary to the modern wedding, in the Roman world, the bride’s father made all the arrangements for his daughter’s wedding. After conducting a case study on modern wedding labor, Tamara Sniezek concluded that the tasks of planning a wedding are divided unevenly and the bride-to-be finds herself performing the majority of the work (232). Furthermore, while there is no social vacuum for weddings then or now, it is common for the bride’s father (or family) to pay for the wedding ceremony today. As can be observed in both weddings, modern and ancient, the father is involved; however, his specific role differs. This is important to note because scholars have debated if the practice of the woman’s family paying for the wedding originated with dowries. As of current study, this can neither be confirmed nor
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