In November 1776, Benjamin and Annabelle Powell of Williamsburg married their elder daughter, Hannah, to William Drew of Isle of Wight County.
The wedding was the culmination of years of planning, preparation, and effort. Courting allowed young men and women to meet and socialize largely unchaperoned, at a variety of entertainments.
Dating courtship history
However, although courtship patterns change and vary across cultures, there is quite a conservative pattern for dating and courtship among Latter-day Saints in Western nations.
It is expected that LDS youth will not begin dating until the age of sixteen.
It was also of utter importance for the man to be accepted by the woman’s parents.
If the man was rich this would have helped enormously.
But historians say the modern, mixed-up, anything-goes form of bonding that includes physical intimacy and permanent or temporary cohabitation, with children born in or out of wedlock, is not altogether different from some of the practices of segments of seventeenth- and eighteenth-century populations.
As far as chaste courtship is concerned, the good old days have been overrated, almost as mythical as the Standish-Mullins-Alden triangle that Longfellow invented.When men and women did meet, they obviously enjoyed each other’s company. After dinner we assemble in the hall where the sweet Judah favored us with a good deal of her incomparable music.” (Peter S. ] Carr, July 28, 1787.) Young white men began courting in their late teens.“After an agreeable ride we at length reached the house about two o’clock, just about the time when Miss J’s beauty was in its meridian splendor. The average man in Virginia married in his mid-twenties.Defying parental prohibitions, youths occasionally caught the quickest ride to their connubial destination.At left, a coach waits for a pair leaving by the back fence in John Collet's The Elopement, from ca. Starting a family at times leapfrogged a wedding—baby-to-be making a party of three. The anxiety is quickened by the feeling that society has been on the road to ruin since maybe Miles Standish's day and that the prospects of their offspring walking the path to the altar with a nice young man or sweet young woman have greatly diminished since John Alden and Priscilla Mullins made the trip.For most young people in the United States outside the Church, dating begins at an early age (about age thirteen during the 1980s); it has no set pattern of progression, and is often informal and unsupervised.