Precisely where and when the first wedding was held will never be known, but it was an important turning point in human society. The tribes of prehistory were nomadic in nature, grouping together for protection against predators like saber-toothed cats, wolves and bears, and also to make it easier to secure water and their own hunting territories against rival groups.
So contact between tribes was often probably a very tense affair, with deaths amongst the males, and often kidnappings of females and children. Although we now know early peoples were not as barbaric as is often stated.
Wars were not that frequent, archeologists know this because when finding ancient human skeletons from the stone age, only a relatively low number show indications of damage from flint axes or arrowheads, as would be the case in those who died in battle. Also, near some of these graves, especially those of children, the remains of flowers have been found. This, along with artifacts like flutes made of wood, horn or bone; show that the early representatives of mankind lived in a more sensitive world than is often portrayed.
The idea of a caveman bashing a cavewoman over the head before getting hold of her by the hair, which has been popularized by early movies as a Stone Age wedding, seems to be far from the truth.
Although little is known about our social history at this time, many experts suspect that group weddings were the first form of union, with a loyalty to the tribe being more important than the individual in times of hardship. Although recently, some doubt has been cast upon this, with the finding of a set of three footprints in clay from the very distant past. The first was of a man, and he was walking with a woman and a child, who both were following very closely behind him.
Although of course it is possible that this man and woman might have been a brother and sister, there is also the prospect of this pointing to individual identities and therefore personal relationships that were developing at an earlier stage than previously suspected. This might have been as a guard against incest, which although not known for sure, would most probably have been avoided.
As society grew and changed, tribes settled and formed agricultural communities, and began to trade. This advancement allowed for a mixing of peoples without conflict, so the necessity to kidnap women and children away from other tribes diminished and eventually disappeared.