Arranged marriages have been an integral part of the Indian tradition since ages. In India, family values and expectations take precedence over individual preferences even in matters like marriage. A marriage is termed as arranged when family members select a boy or a girl for their child, and the child is expected to marry their choice without any question. In an ideal arranged marriage, courtship period is not allowed. Selection of a partner is based upon similarities between culture, values, and financial strength of the two families trying to strike a new relationship.

image

The other people involved in this match-making activity can be marriage agents, priests, matrimonial sites or trusted family members or friends. The compatibility between the boy and the girl is gauged by matching their horoscopes and other credentials.

In ancient times, the bride and the groom met each other for the first time only on the day of their wedding. They were neither informed about their partner nor were they allowed to chat before marriage. However, over a period of time, the institution of arranged marriage has undergone a change. Now, parents look for a suitable match and seek consent of their child. After a formal engagement ceremony, the boy and the girl can chat on phones and meet often before their wedding. This makes it easier for them to open up and develop bonding and understanding.

The marriage ceremony is solemnized as per the rites and rituals of the families. The protocol for entertaining the guest is extremely formal. Utmost care is taken by the girl’s side to show extreme hospitality to the boy’s family to avoid any discontentment.

Arranged marriages are preferred because both the families come together to save the marriage when problems arise between spouses. The onus of a successful marriage falls on the parents and not on their children. Secondly, it is believed that compatibility between families makes it easier for children to quickly adjust to a new environment. They are protected from adjustment problems that arise due to caste, status, financial, and cultural differences.

Such type of marriages also has flaws. The partners may not know each other well before marriage. They are influenced by their family members to remain formal during the courtship period. Opinion conflicts and ego clashes may arise when they start living together forcing them to part ways. Dowry is another evil integral to this marriage system.