Betrothals in Somerset
Betrothal is just part of the modern wedding ceremony but in the medieval and later periods it was a separate social and legal contract. It played a part in royal family politics in the 15th and 16th centuries but was a fact of everyday life for all couples at the time.
Unlike marriages, betrothals were conducted by lay people often in private homes and gardens. We only find out about these practices when something went wrong and the church courts were called on to decide whether or not the parties were bound to each other.