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The arrangement of marriage was done by the children's parents.In the Middle Ages children were married at a young age.Girls were as young as 12 when they married, and boys as young as 17.The arrangement of the marriage was based on monetary worth.The notice stated who was to be married, and if anyone knew any reasons the two could not marry they were to come forward with the reason.If the reason were a valid one the wedding would be prohibited (Rice).
The dowry goes with her at the time of the marriage and stays with the boy forever (Renolds).If the boy or the girl had taken a monastic or religious vow the marriage was also prohibited.Sometimes widows or widowers took vows of celibacy on the death of their spouse, and later regretted doing so when they could not remarry.In cases where the marriage was part of the family's economic and social strategy, careful planning by the whole unit was needed, for a good marriage could bring considerable economic benefits.
The prospective bride and groom also had an economic stake in a marriage contract, because it would determine not only who their life partner would be, but also how well they could expect to live.
Family and friends played a major role in arranging marriages, especially if land and other wealth accompanied the union.