10 Interesting Facts About Marriage


Getting married is something most of us end up doing once or twice in our lives and it is certainly one of the biggest decisions we will ever make. Below we look at ten facts about marriage.

1. The origins of marriage are unclear. Men and women have been pairing up in monogamous relationships since the days of the Caveman, where the hunter/gatherer provided for the family and his partner cared raised their young and cared for the dwelling. In later days, the concept of legal marriage was created as a social institution.

2. In days of old and indeed in some parts of the world today, the concept of dowry in marriage still exists. Dowry is the payment of cash or kind to the family of the bride in exchange for the “loss” of their daughter. This system is most common among Islamic traditions. In Hindu traditions, in India, dowry is paid to the family of the groom.

3. Marriage is binding for the most part, but each religion and the law of the land tend to differ on the grounds for dissolving the union. In Roman Catholic marriages, the marriage is binding and can only be dissolved through the lengthy process of annulment. In other Christian marriages, divorce is acceptable under various conditions. In Islamic tradition, a marriage is considered dissolved if one partner declares the word “talak” three times to the spouse in the presence of witnesses. In the United States, the law concerning divorce statutes differs across each of the states. While it may be possible to dissolve a union within one day in Las Vegas, Nevada, it may be several months before the same is possible in the state of California.

4. Gay marriage has long been considered taboo and still is in many parts of the world. However, there are a number of places, such as California and Massachusetts in the United States as well as Spain, the Netherlands, Belgium,Canada, South Africa, and Norway.

5. Many couples who wish to elope think about exchanging their vows in a foreign country. However, they often find their romantic dreams falling through when residency requirements arise. Few countries around the world, such as Canada and Thailand, don’t require the couple to be a resident in order to receive a marriage certificate.

6. A British couple, Percy and Florence Arrowsmith held the record for the longest lasting marriage in the Guinness Book of World Records. The marriage lasted 80 years before the death of Percy Arrowsmith, aged 105, in mid 2005.

7. Celebrity marriages are known to be short, but some of them surprise us all with their brief tenures. The shortest celebrity marriage has to be Robin Givens short-lived marriage bliss to Svetozar Marinkovic, who separated on the same day as the wedding. Closely following them is Britney Spears and her 55 hour marriage to childhood friend Jason Alexander.

8. The age of consent to marriage differs around the world according to local customs. Even in the United States, each state has its own law on the legal age of consent. Those under the legal age may still be eligible for marriage so long as they are given signed parental consent. In other parts of the world, marriages can be arranged or individuals betrothed from birth. Oftentimes, these marriages are only legalized and the bride moves into the groom’s home after they both reach the age of consent. In tribal situations, however, it is common for children to be married young, and there are some Islamic traditions that allow for a girl to be married as soon as she has her menses.

9. Although Christian tradition, and in some cases, the law of the land, insists upon monogamy in a marriage, a number of customs and practices prevail that permit a man to have more than one wife. For example, in Hindu customs, it is permissible for a man to take a second wife, while in Islamic tradition, a man may take as many as four wives, so long as he provides for each of them equally. The concept of polygamy has increased in popularity in developed countries recently.

10. As cross cultural borders have been squashed by the advent of the Internet, there has been increasing interest in online relationships, adding yet another dimension to the concept of mail order brides. Prior to the Internet, women from developing countries would advertise their availability for marriage in special catalogues or through international marriage agencies. The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services has acknowledged that marriages that result from these services tend to have a lower divorce rate than the rest of the nation

Do you agree? Or Disagree?

Aug 04, 2011 @ 01:25 pm

10 Replies


Correction on # 2

In Islamic tradition, Dowry is NOT paid to the bride's family for the "loss" of the daughter. It is a gift the groom gives to the bride.
Aug 04, 2011 @ 02:12 pm


This actually intrigues me a lot. I never thought to think about the difference between and annulment and divorce. Or whether or not gay marriage was legalized in Canada! I'm glad to know we're still accepting of all cultures though :).
Aug 04, 2011 @ 02:22 pm

makes me think...

We actually know so little about other cultures though. For example I never knew what Mormons were or how their communities functioned (numerous wives, the 'elders' determining who gets married and who gets divorced, etc) until I saw it on a talk show (I know! I live in a cave!). One thing I love about Toronto, because it's so diverse, just by living here we learn to have an open mind.

And as for # 5, hell ya girl I found out the hard way that not everywhere in the world is as simple to marry in as Canada! The government is totally involved in the union and actually play a hand at giving permission on whether the couple can marry or not! Boggles the mind...
Aug 04, 2011 @ 02:26 pm

government "help"

If I'm not mistaken, in some countries you have to submit your new baby's name for approval before you can name your child. It's an attempt to make sure that the name is not derogatory to the child (either in that language or even in another common language), but I think it's also been applied in the case of children getting names that will probably cause them to be beat up on the schoolyard. I can think of a number of celeb children who are probably wishing their names had been submitted for approval too!
Aug 04, 2011 @ 02:37 pm


Thats pretty cool... I never knew a bunch of those things before. :-)

The gay marriage being legal here is one of the things Im most proud of for being Canadian! :-) Probably even more than free health care to be honest. :-) lol
Aug 05, 2011 @ 12:56 am

Michael Kors and Boyfriend to Wed!

On the subject of marriage, designer Michael Kors and his boyfriend Lance LePere are getting married! Gay marriage recently became legal in NYC where they live. They met in 1990 when Lance was an intern with Michael Kors- how cute!
(image via
Aug 05, 2011 @ 09:12 am


I just wanted to respectfully mention that it's not "Mormons" (Latter Day Saints/LDS) who have multiple wives or are told who they can marry/divorce. It's actually a break off of the Mormon church (FLDS, Fundamentalist Latter Day Saints I think they're called). Let me assure you, as a strong, educated, independent LDS woman there is no way I would ever allow someone else to make those types of decisions for me. Not to mention if my husband wanted another wife divorce papers would be signed that day!
Thanks for letting me clarify :)
Jul 20, 2012 @ 09:15 pm

It's true Mamaluv!

@mamaluv - it's true! I was born in Portugal and my parents had to submit my name to the government for approval, and because my name wasn't a "registered" name, they weren't allowing them to name me Veronica. However, since my name is catholic and comes from a saint, they allowed it to be registered! Weird stuff! Didn't think my name was that uncommon!
Sep 06, 2012 @ 03:06 pm

regional names

@vlicious - "Veronica" is probably uncommon for Portugal. I have a very common French name (though I'm not french), but my German in-law relatives and Canadian friends (growing up) always had problems with it and called me by my German translated equivalent. When I had kids, we tried very hard to choose names that were beautiful but common enough - no weird spellings or pronounciations - yet when we moved to southern USA some people thought the names were strange.
Sep 06, 2012 @ 03:17 pm
Ali de Bold


There's some really interesting stuff in there. Thanks for putting that together, casslemon!
Sep 06, 2012 @ 04:04 pm

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