Weddings were generally much simpler affairs in the late 1700s and early 1800s than they are now. Most brides wore dresses they would wear again and again, although many kept the color of the dress a secret until the wedding day. Weddings were often held at home, with a few friends and relatives in attendance. For a few days after the wedding, the newlyweds were expected to be in residence at home, so that friends could come to call.
Funerals were also simple events. Most people either died at home or were brought home. In the country, everyone who heard about the funeral tried to attend, since the loss was to the community as well as the family. Since corpses were not embalmed, shrouds and coffins had to be made quickly.