Friday, November 25, 2011

Regency Weddings

I hope all of the US readers of Romancing the Past had a lovely Thanksgiving yesterday! Hopefully, you aren't too full and still lying on the couch...

What are you thankful for? I'm thankful for my family, friends, my health, my career, and of course that my Regency romance, LADY SEDUCTRESS'S BALL releases next month with Carina Press--right in time for the holidays! December 19th is the day!

In LADY SEDUCTRESS'S BALL, my heroine, Olivia is married... but *gasp* not to the hero! Unfortunately, for the lovely Olivia, her parents forced her into marriage to a MUCH MUCH MUCH older man, and she has fallen for the dashing, rogue, Tristan Knightley... but as in all romance, there must be a happy ending right? A wedding perhaps? Well, I can't tell you that! You'll have to read it to find out how Olivia gets her happy ending (double entendre intended *winks*)

Regency Weddings
During the Regency, weddings became mostly private affairs, and  if held at church (and not in the family drawin room) was not attended by that many. The lovely bride would be attended by her younger unmarried sisters or cousins, perhaps a dear family friend. The groom would also have a best man--brother, dear friend, cousin. There was also the required witnesses, who on occaision were those very same attendents.

A very popular place to have a wedding in London was at St. George’s Church in Hanover Square. In fact, in 1816 there were 1063 weddings held that year in the church. According to the Hibiscus Sinesis website, with that many weddings in the year, it was a rival with a Las Vegas wedding chapel.

It was during the Regency-era that white wedding gowns began to stick. Wearing white was popular during that time anyway, as it showcased innocence and virtue, and most women were expected to exude these qualities.

Reading of the banns (the announcement of the wedding read in the couple's local church for three weeks in a row, and objections could be made, if none made, the wedding was a go) was still done in the Regency-era but there were also a couple of other ways you could go about it. There was the common license, which was obtained by a bishop or archbishop. The couple had to be married in a church or chapel where either the bride or groom had lived for four weeks. The third way was a special license, which was issued by the Archbishop of Canterbury or the Doctors Commons in London. The special license allowed the couple to marry anytime, anyplace.

Weddings were still done in the mornings, (majority from the Church of England Book of Common Prayer) and could be followed by a breakfast feast. The wedding itself would be announced in the papers (something many still do today).

After the breakfast, the couple would either go about their business as usual or leave for a honeymoon period abroad, perhaps to Bath in England or the countryside.  To be considered legit, the marriage must still be consummated.

Poor Olivia's first marriage was consummated, however ill-suited and dour her husband was for her, so annullment wasn't an option.
24 days until the release of LADY SEDUCTRESS'S BALL!!!

Don't forget to visit Romancing the Past starting in December for our special round-robin Christmas tale and prizes!


Invitation to Pleasure

As the wife of the elderly Earl of March, Olivia Covington has never known the intimacies of the bedroom. Though her curiosity is piqued by the shocking whispers of society ladies, she is too wary of causing scandal to indulge in an affair. But Tristan Knightley, Earl of Newcastle, tempts her to throw off propriety.

Tristan wants Olivia for his own, and has sworn off all others until he can rid himself of the obsession. He is sure once he has a taste, he will tire of her, and can return to his rakish existence. Unable to wait to have her in his bed, he invites her for a tryst at Lady Seductress's Ball...

Releasing December 19th!!!

24,000 words


Claire Robyns said...

Sounds scrumptious :) With so many social politic weddings in that era, there must have been a great proportion that didn't end up in the happy-ever-after that most of our arranged marriage romances do!! Looking forward to reading this and, oh yes, love the cover

Wendy Soliman said...

Intriguing! I wrote one a while back in which the heroine was stuck in an unhappy marriage, not to the hero, obviously. I shall be interested to see how your lady escapes hers.

Good luck with the book.

Karen Erickson said...

Eliza I can't wait to read your book. You had me at the title and the cover is swoon-worthy. :)