The Betrothal During the Renaissance
This ceremony brought the prospective bride and groom in front of a priest to make solemn promises. After rings and kisses were exchanged, the couple would wait for a period of roughly 40 days before the actual wedding ceremony took place. Marriages were not allowed to to be performed during certain times of the year such as Christmas, Easter, and Pentecost.
Grooms had to pay a "deposit" at the time of the betrothal, and if he tried to back out of the agreement it would cost him four times that price. Husbands usually promised one-third to one-half of their estate on his bride to ensure her livelihood in case they passed away.