Sponsalia was the general name in the early Church for espousals or betrothing, consisting of a mutual contract between the parties concerning the future marriage. When the contract was made, it was customary for the man to bestow certain gifts upon the woman as earnests or pledges. The contract was usually confirmed also by a ring, a kiss, a dowry, a writing or instrument of dowry, and a sufficient number of witnesses to attest it. See Bingham, Christ. Antiq. bk. 22, ch. 3, § 1 sq.