There were three phases to the Wooing part of courtship.
The unattached young folks gathered in a local barn or cottage. Each lass brought her rock and reel (that’s distaff and spindle) for spinning yarn ~ thus they called the meeting a rocking.
While the lasses spun wool and flax, the lads would visit. Everyone sang and made merry. When it was time to go home, the lads gallantly carried the lass’s rocks home. The lads and lasses were discovering who they liked. They were learning who warranted a more serious relationship.
As the lads and lasses paired off and began getting serious, he would come to her home in the evening after the day‘s work was done.
Nighttime was the only time available for courting and the only privacy within the home was the lass’s bedchamber ~ or the great outdoors, where there was no parental supervision.
To protect her daughter’s chastity, the mother would bind her daughter’s legs securely. The lad was then allowed to join her in bed …where they visited and became better acquainted.
An example of this wedding tradition can be seen in the movie, The Patriot.
Speerin’ and Beukin’
Asking For the Ladies Hand
If the lass agreed to marry a lad, her father had to give his permission. This led to a somewhat humorous wedding tradition. Upon being asked, the father would feign displeasure, causing the lad to sweat it out, while he awaited the father’s answer.