Marriage, Food, and Family Life

By: Victoria Trevino, Tyler Crotty, Drew Smith & Carter M.

Elizabethan Era

In the Elizabethan era many things were different such as marriage, family life, and the food. They ate many different things in Shakespearean time and marriage was very different too.


In the Elizabethan era betrothals were common. Betrothals were engagements. At a betrothal two people holds hands. He gives her a ring to be worn on the right hand and at the wedding it is changed to the left hand.

The wife can wear any color for her wedding dress and has very little say in who her husband might be if she is noble. The lower status people got to choose but unlike the noble who got married at a young age they got married at around 26. The father of the bride pays for the festivities.

The intention to marry Is announced in the church 3 times on three consecutive Sundays if not then it is illegal

The wedding procession is generally noisy, bridesmaids help the bride prepare. the people assemble. They then move from the house or houses into the church for the wedding.

A dowry is the amount of money, goods, and property the bride brings to the marriage.

To the Elizabethans rings were not very important. Only some of the noble wore rings which were called gimmel rings and they usually have writing inside. To them all rings did was tell others they were married.


The family was different depending on what class you were. it didn't occur to many people that there was life outside it.would find a very modern-looking nuclear family—mother, father, and a few sisters and brothers. sitting on stools around the breakfast table drinking their morning beer/ale (that might be different!) and eating their bread and butter before getting on with the day's work.

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People at two meals a day. Dinner at midday 11:00 or 12 and supper at evening at 6

In the Elizabethan era chocolate wasn't used for sweets because chocolate was just used for medicine uses.

Most of the meals were made up of meats that were cooked over a spit. Breakfast was light unlike the elaborate dinners or what would have been lunch for us. Food was baked in iron boxes laid over the fire or in brick ovens next to the fire.

Verjuice A very sharp vinegar made from grapes; used for cooking or as a condiment.

Wines include malmsey, canary, rhenish, claret, sack, and sherry

Sack Sherry

Aqua vitae Any strong spirit such as brandy

Brandywine A distilled wine

Test Yourself


"Life in Elizabethan England 10: Love and Marriage." 2006. 1 Dec. 2014 <>

Life in Elizabethan England 47: More of What We Eat." 2006. 10 Dec. 2014 <>

"Life in Elizabethan England 38: What We Eat." 2006. 10 Dec. 2014 <>