The Engagement Complex

Cele C. Otnes

in Cinderella Dreams

Published by University of California Press

Published in print October 2003 | ISBN: 9780520236615
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520937505 | DOI:
The Engagement Complex

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This chapter determines what it means to be engaged, defining an engagement as an open declaration of the intention of two romantic partners to marry in the near future. The official beginning of the engagement is the proposal, which then leads to a set of ever-evolving rituals. The chapter traces the history of the engagement down to the fifteenth- and sixteenth centuries, where an engagement became official when the couple participated in “handfasting.” It then examines the changes in the engagement process over the years, before finally studying the importance of the diamond engagement ring. The chapter also covers two after-proposal events, namely the bridal showers and the bridal registry.

Keywords: engagement; proposal; handfasting; diamond engagement ring; bridal showers; bridal registry

Chapter.  9917 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Anthropology

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