The Wedding Night: A Popular History

The Wedding Night: A Popular History

The Wedding Night: A Popular History

The Wedding Night: A Popular History


Emergency managers and officials have seen a tremendous increase in the planning responsibilities placed on their shoulders over the last decade. Crisis Management and Emergency Planning: Preparing for Today's Challenges supplies time-tested insights to help communities and organizations become better prepared to cope with natural and manmade disasters and their impacts on the areas they serve.

Author and editor Michael J. Fagel, PhD, CEM has more than three decades of experience in emergency management and emergency operations. He has been an on-site responder to such disaster events as the Oklahoma City Bombing and the site of the World Trade Center in the aftermath of 9/11. He is an experienced professor, trainer, professional, and consultant and has pretty much seen it all.

The book delves into this experience to present advanced emergency management and response concepts to disasters not often covered in other publications. It includes coverage of planning and preparedness, public health considerations, vulnerability and impact assessments, hospital management and planning, sporting venue emergency planning, and community preparedness including volunteer management.

Contributions from leading professionals in the field focus on broad responses across the spectrum of public health, emergency management, and mass casualty situations. The book provides detailed, must-read planning and response instruction on a variety of events, identifying long-term solutions for situations where a community or organization must operate outside its normal daily operational windows.


Le sort d’un mariage dépend de la première nuit.
(The fate of a marriage depends on the first night.)

—Honoré de Balzac

A kaleidoscopic array of cultural expressions constitutes the history of intimacy. in this book we summarize a large literature in order to bring attention to an elusive yet identifiable moment—the couple’s traditional first night. What follows the ritual party? What leads to the honeymoon? the wedding night is not the icing on the cake but the jam that holds together the layers of the wedding experience.

Each thing that the bride or groom is told or thinks of doing or that wedding guests or members of the community think of doing with regard to the wedding night has more tradition than anyone may imagine at first blink. For instance, men have been carrying their brides over the threshold at least since ancient Greece. Finnish philosopher and sociologist Edward Westermarck’s massive study of marriage customs, The History of Human Marriage, finds the practice all over the world. the sill on the ground, which separates the outside from the inside of a house and over which people pass daily without a thought, on the wedding night takes on a magical quality. One of Westermarck’s examples comes from Wales, where “it was very unlucky for a bride to place her feet on or near the threshold,” and “trouble was in store for the maiden who preferred walking into the house.” From this example, we sense evil spirits lurking at . . .

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