Marriage Customs of the World
An Encyclopedia of Dating Customs and Wedding Traditions, 2nd Edition
by George P. Monger
April 2013, 743pp, 7x10
2 volumes, ABC-CLIO

Hardcover: 978-1-59884-663-8
$198, £153, 173€, A272
eBook Available: 978-1-59884-664-5
Please contact your preferred eBook vendor for pricing.

Marriage has likely existed for as long as human civilization: establishing when this social institution was conceived is difficult, as it predates reliable written record. Despite the vast differences in the practices and concepts of matrimony across the globe, there is surprising continuity in marriage customs and ceremonies across cultures.

This book presents a comprehensive overview of global courtship and marriage customs, from ancient history to contemporary society, demonstrating the vast differences as well as the similarities across all of human culture.

This second edition of Marriage Customs of the World examines historical context, social significance, and current trends and controversies of matrimony in the Western world as well as other cultures. Apart from detailing the ceremonies from specific countries, the book identifies specific elements of the wedding event and discusses them in a comparative manner, showcasing the similarities across cultures.

The new content in this work includes additional information on courtship and how future spouses are found in other cultures; marriage in art, cinema, theater, and poetry; wedding bands; forced marriages and shotgun weddings; New Year’s weddings; legislation regarding marriage; and engagement practices. Entries carried over from the first edition have been revised and updated as well. With its broad scope and consideration of contemporary issues alongside historical information, this work will be ideal for high school and undergraduate students; scholars of anthropology, social studies, and history; and general readers.


  • Over 300 topical entries organized in alphabetical order make this book a comprehensive, easy-to-use resource
  • "Further Reading" sections following each entry promote deeper research
  • Photographs of various elements of wedding celebrations illustrate the text
George P. Monger, BSc, MA, is a freelance heritage conservation consultant, folklorist, and writer. His published works include the first edition of ABC-CLIO's Marriage Customs of the World and Discovering the Folklore and Traditions of Marriage. He has contibuted to many other publications, journals, and magazines. Monger is a fellow of the International Institute for Conservation, fellow of the Museum Association, and an accredited conservator for the Institute for Conservation (ICON) in the United Kingdom.


"The entries are well-written and easily accessible, making this suitable for high school students . . . this set would be a good addition to public and academic libraries."—Booklist, September 15, 2013

"The readability of the book makes it appropriate for all ages above middle school. As a reference book it would be very good in academic and public libraries. It could also be used as a text for comparative marriage customs."—ARBA, July 1, 2013
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