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A marriage is perhaps the most important social occasion for any family as for the individual. Marriages in India reflect all the regional colors overlaying the basic religious rites. Literally "taking the girl away in a special way or for a special purpose", marriage is a focal point for a family gathering, with people traveling long distances to participate in it.

A Hindu marriage follows the rituals which started in the Vedic times. First a "muhurat" (a special time according to the position of the stars) is chosen, an auspicious time of the year.

The wedding is usually conducted at the bride’s place. Entire families gather and the evening is spent singing, dancing and eating.

Most marriages in India are arranged. First of all - what is an arranged marriage? Arranged marriages for the previous generation was arranged solely by the parents. The boy or girl probably wouldn't even see each other before the wedding. The parents, by word of mouth from a friend or relative, would hear of so and so's daughter or son and then they would approach the family if they were of a good respectable backround and ask if they would be willing to fix their daughter or son up with theirs. If an agreement was made then they would marry the kids off without them ever meeting each other before marriage.

Today though in modern times for our generation, the concept of arranged marriages is totally different, although some may still do what they used to do in the past. Today the parents give a choice. The boy or girl is allowed to see and talk to the possible partner before the wedding to see if they are compatible. However, there are still certain rules that are followed and various methods to find a suitable partner, many are to do with religion and culture.