First comes love, then comes marriage? Not always. Arranged marriage is a widely misunderstood concept all around the world. Today’s arranged marriage places emphasis on free choice – which may have been different in your grandparents’ time. Whether you choose to spend your life with your lifelong sweetheart or someone your family or friend’s have set you up with – it’s a journey.
Here are some steps of the modern day arranged marriage process:
Step 1: Resisting Peer Pressure
You’ll know your time has come when your parents start bringing up marriage at every possible moment. It is important for YOU to be ready to get married. Don’t give in just because it’s what your family wants. Even if your answer is no – they’ll totally try to convince you that you are ready. Hold your ground.
Step 2: Announce To The World That You’re On The Shaadi Market
The arranged marriage process starts with parents and relatives making it known that they are looking for suitors for their son or daughter. Shit gets real when your khalas and phuphos start bombarding you with options and pictures.
Step 3: Enter ~Rishta Aunties~
Now that knowledge is circulating throughout your community, social circle, or your mom’s kitty party’s the options start rolling in. Your mother will probably secretly invite a rishta aunty to your house for tea (you thought she was just a nosy neighbor). You will be brought up at parties and events, until it becomes common knowledge that a family has a girl or a boy who is also ready to marry.
Step 4: Finding That Perfect Rishta Pic
Even though you know exactly what they’re doing, your parents will try to be sly and ask you to send them pictures of yourself. “Beta Whatsapp me that picture of you from that mehndi last week……..just want to get it framed.” They’re gathering your rishta pictures FYI.
Step 5: The Exchanging of Profiles
After someone specific is proposed as a suitor, the next step is to exchange personal and family profiles. Some call this “biodata.” This information can include things such as family names, birthdays, education, siblings, social security numbers, your bank account balance, phone passcode, and more. However, this is only exchanged if your parents reallllyyy liked someone.
Step 6: Approvals, Rejections, and Pictures!!!
If both of the profiles are approved by the families, pictures are exchanged. Take out your magnifying glass. If they liked what they saw the boy’s family gives a formal proposal to the girl’s family.
Step 7: Meeting With The Fam
Now the boy’s family will meet the girl’s family – usually without the boy present (but he can totally be there if he wants to be). The is ideally where the infamous “chai/trolley” situation occurs, but it’s not necessary that the girl will serve anyone anything.
Step 8: Meeting Your Potential Future Spouse
Once the families have approved of each other, the guy and the girl finally meet face to face. Another meeting is arranged with the boy present. This meeting will consist of shy glances and awkward silence. They both must pretend like they haven’t already stalked each other on every social media platform possible. If the boy and the girl end up liking each other – numbers are usually exchanged.
Step 9: The Final Verdict
If you have gotten to this step, good work. You’ve gotten through one of the most stressful processes ever. Now this is the step where the girl and boy can get to know each other – they can meet face to face, discuss their interests, talk about their life goals, etc. If they find that they’re not compatible or a good match, they have the freedom to say no (back to step 4 you go).
After all this, if you think you have found your soulmate..woohoo! You can get married now.
No matter how cliché it sounds, both arranged and love marriages require constant understanding and nurturing. The good thing that comes out of all marriages is the lifelong companionship of someone you (hopefully) love and understand. No matter how long and complicated these steps may be – at the end of the day they make the journey enriching and worthwhile.
Cover image via: jodiphoto.blogspot.com