In many Irish traditions, a marriage is considered scarcely legal unless the bride attempts to escape and the bridegroom overtakes and "captures" her.A custom in Wales requires the relatives of the bride to grab her as she reaches the church door and run off with her, forcing the bridegroom and his party to follow in pursuit.The screams, tears, and struggles of the bride among various peoples are known to be merely a part of the marriage routine; yet they are considered absolutely essential to show her bashfulness and modesty.
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Even after the establishment of Christianity had abolished marriage by capture throughout all of Europe, the Anglo-Saxons persisted in simulating the capture of the bride.
Among the Arabs of the Sinai peninsula, a girl acquires a permanent reputation of chastity and modesty in proportion to her tears and her struggles of resistance on her marriage day.
Before humankind began to gather in clans and tribes, what passed for courtship was likely a raid on a distant group of humans that resulted in the capture of a woman who was forced to participate against her will in an instant marriage.
True courtship practices between the sexes did not exist to any great extent, and feelings of fondness or affection, if they entered into the equation at all, resulted from compatibility extended over a period of time.
Regardless of the reasons for the disproportion between the sexes, they would lead to monogamy, the marriage of one man to one woman—marriage as it most commonly exists in modern civilized societies.
In communities where men were scarce, a woman would try to hold the affections of one man to be assured of his protection and a constant supply of food.
The occasion is seen as a dress rehearsal for a girl's wedding day.
However, when she arrives at church, it soon becomes apparent she is sharing the communion with her non-gypsy schoolfriends, who are bemused by her over-the-top dress - inspired by Lisa Dowell's wedding dress in Eigthies movie Coming To America.
The transition from marriage by capture was much more peaceful a manner to gain a bride for a young man.