Ancient Egyptian wedding customs were very unique for an ancient society. Family life was very important to ancient Egyptians.
Marrying the right person helped ancient Egyptians keep stability within their society. Sometimes marriages were to secure wealth or power and other times marriages took place for love.
Ancient Egyptians believed marriage continued after death. Some ancient Egyptian wedding customs are similar to wedding customs of today.
Appropriate age to marry in ancient Egypt
Ancient Egyptians got married at young ages. Ancient Egyptian girls married around 12 years of age or just after puberty.
Ancient Egyptian boys married after the age of 15 years old when they had sufficient money or a job to provide for a family.
Ancient Egyptian wedding customs included arranged marriages. This type of marriage was approved by both families of the boy and girl.
Many times arranged marriages were to increase the wealth of a family. Ancient Egyptians did not arrange marriages between different wealth classes.
Poor people married poor people and rich people married rich people.
An important aspect of marriage was that the couple was compatible. Factors such as personal integrity, habits and lineage of the family played an important role in ancient Egyptian marriage.
Ancient Egyptian wedding customs
Ancient Egyptian wedding customs included several items unique to ancient societies. Ancient Egyptian women had the same legal rights as men.
Ancient Egyptian wedding customs included giving gifts to the girl and her family. Gifts ranged from money and gold to land and houses. The gifts were the girls to keep forever.
Ancient Egyptian wedding customs also involved a prenuptial agreement between the couple. One aspect of the agreement made the transfer of valuable property forbidden without the wife’s consent.
The prenuptial agreement assured the wife and any children would be well taken care of in case of divorce. Although divorce was not common, it was allowed in ancient Egypt.
Marriage for life
Since the ancient Egyptians believed in life after death, marriage were viewed to be forever. Ancient Egyptian wedding customs outlined marriage between one man and one woman.
There were strict punishments for a woman that committed adultery. The same rules did not always apply to the husband.
The punishments helped married couples believe in each other. An ancient Egyptian husband’s job was to provide for his family. An ancient Egyptian wife’s job was to take care of the household duties and children.
Only ancient Egyptian pharaohs were allowed to have more than one wife. A pharaoh’s first wife was known as the Great Royal Wife.
Other wives of the pharaoh were mainly for politically reasons. It was not uncommon for the male heir of the pharaoh to marry the oldest daughter of the Great Royal Wife.
This type of marriage assured that the kingdom stayed within the royal family.
Life after marriage
Ancient Egyptian wedding customs were to provide more happiness for the wife. Ancient Egyptian men were expected to provide for their families. This included making the wife happy.
Ancient Egyptian husbands rarely criticized their wives. They knew that their wife would teach their children respect, honesty and to do the right thing in life. Wives also kept the children and household clean.
An ancient Egyptian husband was content, even without love, knowing his family was well taken care of by his wife.
Important facts about ancient Egyptian wedding customs
- Girls were around the age of 12 years old when they were married.
- Boys were 15 years of age or older and had a job or way to provide for a family.
- Ancient Egyptian wedding customs included a prenuptial agreement.
- The male was expected to give gifts to the female and her parents.
- Ancient Egyptian wedding customs included marriage for life.
- Some but not all marriage were arranged by parents.
- Divorce was not common but could be obtained by both the husband and wife.
- Ancient Egyptian wedding customs forbade husbands to give away valuable property without the consent of his wife.
- Most females got married at what age?
12 years old
- Ancient Egyptian wedding customs included what type of protection for wives?
A prenuptial agreement
- Marriage in ancient Egypt was considered to be for length of time period?
For life and after death
- Who were the only males allowed to have more than one wife?
- Back to – Ancient Egypt