According to van Mander (Bruegel's first biographer, writing 35 years after the artist's death) Bruegel enjoyed going out with a friend to "village fairs or weddings, wearing peasant garb. They came to the wedding bearing gifts like everyone else and claiming to be members of the family of the bride or groom. Bruegel took pleasure in studying the appearance of the peasants . . . He also knew how to represent these peasant men and women most exactly".