The exact history of the first wedding is not known, but we can conclude that it a tense affair between tribes, and more so an exchange rather than a union that the couple agreed upon. However, it is probably not as barbaric as if often shown in movies depicting ancient times, such as a Stone Age wedding in which a caveman uses force and violence over its female counterpart. Kidnapping women away from other tribes was quite common

Experts have stated that group weddings were the first form of union among two or more tribes, for the purpose of protection against wild animals such as the wolves, where a fertile woman was given in exchange for a strong warrior. Group weddings were also conducted for the purpose of loyalty, since for an individual a tribe was considered more important as a whole as opposed to one other individual.

Eventually, as societal norms expanded and changed, tribes changed their nomadic ways too, and settled down wherever they found a place of convenience. They formed agricultural communities and began to barter and trade. This allowed people from different tribes to interact with each other without the frequent possibly of conflict arising, since people were far less conscious of their territory, and so the need for men to kidnap women belonging to other tribes decreased gradually.

The first account we have of a civilization that recognized the idea of marriage in their law is the ancient Egyptian civilization. Here, the concept of incest was not perceived to be wrong, since many pharaohs and rulers took their own daughters and sisters as their wives, so that the heirs produced would remain of noble and royal blood, and would not be tainted by the mixing of common blood. Here, the wives had more rights such as the right to divorce, than the women in western era of the same time.

The concept of engagement was also initiated by the ancient Egyptians, in order to see whether the couple would be compatible with each other or not. There was also a marriage contract drawn up which stated all the rights of the bride and groom, as well as their duties so that they already knew what was to be expected of them, and that the marriage was conducted in a smooth and orderly manner.

The dowry was not to be given by the bride’s side. It was the groom and his parents who would go to the bride’s house and pay her parents a substantial sum of money in order to prove to them that he was financially stable enough to take care of their daughter. He would also buy a gift for her, such as jewelry item, made of precious metal such as gold, and of gemstones.

The wedding celebration was comprised of feasting, singing, and dancing, and only after that would the newly wedded couple retired to their private quarters. A tradition was for the guests to throw wheat in the air to symbolize fertility.

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