Photograph: Miss Beryl Goode, the well-known golfer, at her wedding to Mr W. J. G. Purnell, July 1913. 

Source: Getty

When Statutory Rape Laws Led to Forced Marriages

In early 20th-century New York, men accused of "ruining" women under eighteen could avoid prosecution by marrying them.
An image of Native Americans swapping wives

Polygamy, Native Societies, and Spanish Colonists

Having more than one wife was an established part of life for some Native peoples before Europeans tried to end the practice.
A Little White Wedding Chapel, Las Vegas

The Decline of the Vegas Wedding

The Little White Wedding Chapel's changing fortunes are emblematic of the state of matrimony and romance.
The Miscegenation Troll

The “Miscegenation” Troll

The term “miscegenation” was coined in an 1864 pamphlet by an anonymous author.
Wedding rings on an American flag

How Love Transformed American Immigration Law

Love was a deciding factor in the expansion of Asian immigration to the United States, via laws that emerged from Congress in the 1960s.
Signing the marriage contract by George Sheridan Knowles, 1905

Why Covenant Marriage Failed to Take Off

Three states have legalized covenant marriage, which makes divorce difficult. Why didn't it stick among communities preoccupied with family values?
Cousin marriage Queen Victoria

The Genetics of Cousin Marriage

It's conventional wisdom that procreation between first cousins is unhealthy. But what are the actual genetic risks?
couple with wedding gifts

When Weddings Went Commercial

The rise of industrial production and commercial marketing transformed the way that well-to-do Americans celebrate weddings.
Oklahoma City bombing first responders

The Unexpected Effects of the Oklahoma City Bombing

Divorce rates declined considerably in Oklahoma City during the immediate aftermath of the 1995 bombing there. Social scientists have a few theories as to why.
Mr and Mrs William Lindow

How 17th Century Unmarried Women Helped Shape Capitalism

Under coverture, married English women had no rights to their property, even though unmarried women did, making for a unique system in Europe.