The social status of women in Armenia was altered significantly during the Soviet period. It was in this era, that the regime promoted equality for women in both work and education, and had a major impact on their domestic lives too.
Before the Soviet period, women were forced into marriage, whereas it became a union only considered upon mutual consent of both the bride and groom. There was then an increase in the age at which women were married. The average age for marriage was increased to between twenty-one and twenty-three, whereas before, women were expected to marry while still in their teen years. As a result, women could first concentrate on their education and a career before getting married.
Today, youngsters prefer not to marry at such a young age, as they would like to focus on their education so that they can have a successful career later in life. Furthermore, many of them also feel that the likelihood of divorce could be greater if they marry too young. Families, on the other, still remind them of certain traditions and values which are important to them, and also insist that marrying too late could lead to other problems in future, such as difficulty in conceiving, being set in their ways, or not being able to find a suitable mate.
For a single Armenian woman in her mid- twenties, she will at some point experience close friends and relatives trying to get her acquainted with a young Armenian guy to marry as soon as possible. Dating shouldn't continue for too long either, or parents and family, and even the neighbors will begin questioning why the couple has not tied the knot.
Furthermore, once a couple is married, the family feel that they should have children soon, and they are constantly reminded that their parents would like to enjoy the opportunity of raising their grandchildren before they get too old.
When it comes to the time of tying the knot, the parents of the groom are not always the ones to choose a bride for him. Many young couples make these decisions on their own now, with only some requesting their parent's approval on their union.
Armenian weddings today are still just like a fairy-tale, as they were many years ago. The families hold the most elaborate ceremonies for the couple. It is an occasion which parents plan from the moment their children are born, and there are always plenty of guests invited to enjoy the feasts and celebrations with the bride and groom and their families. A dowry is required for the bride from the groom's family, and when it comes to gifts and decorations, they put out all the stops to have the most glamorous evening.