The Indian Marriage Story by Saumya Mittal

In India, love and marriage are deeply intertwined with cultural and societal norms.
For centuries, arranged marriages have been the norm, with families playing a central role in choosing partners for their children. The decision to marry is often seen as a family matter rather than an individual one, with considerations such as caste, religion, and socioeconomic status heavily influencing the selection process.


Despite the prevalence of arranged marriages, the idea of romantic love has gained significant popularity in India in recent years, especially among the younger generation. However, the traditional views on marriage still hold sway, with many young Indians seeking to reconcile their desire for love with their families' expectations.


In a 2018 survey of more than 160,000 households, 93% of married Indians reported that their marriage had been arranged. Only 3% of respondents indicated they had experienced a “love marriage”, while an additional 2% described their marriage as “love-cum-arranged”, meaning their families initiated the match but they mutually agreed to marry.


Interestingly, the prevalence of arranged marriages has remained relatively consistent over time. Even among individuals in their 80s, 94% reported having an arranged marriage, while the figure remained above 90% for young couples in their 20s. This booklet explores marriage trends in India and examines the evolving concept of "love" in the context of marriages.