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What is an Arranged Marriage and how does it work?

Updated: May 29

My Arranged Marriage story

I wanted my Indian cooking class to be a cultural experience for my clients. I feel food and culture intertwined. It is hard to explain the culture and heritage of a place without mentioning its cuisine and vice versa. I love sharing my culture with everyone. In my humble opinion when we get to know our neighbors and understand their culture and background our differences will start to appear to be smaller and smaller. When I tell about my culture to my cooking class clients, the topic of arranged marriage pops up. Everyone finds the idea of arranged marriage fascinating and scary at the same time. So I wanted to share my personal story about how I got married to a stranger, fell madly in love with him, and cannot imagine spending a day without him.

Before I start telling my story I want to explain how the process of arranged marriage works. I am a Hindu, in my religion when a baby is born the parents give the time, date, and place of birth of their child to an astrologer to get the horoscope written down. Astrology is the study of the influence of stars and planets on human lives. And horoscope is an astrological chart representing the positions of the planets and stars at the time of a person's birth. In Hinduism, we believe that astrologers can predict the future and personal traits of an individual by reading their horoscope. When their son or daughter reaches the marriage age (for women the marriage age is 21 and for men the marriage age is 25, the marriage age for the men is older than women because the Man has to first get a good job and prove that he can take care of his wife) the parents will give their picture and horoscope to a matchmaker. Matchmakers are people who help to connect a potential bride and groom’s family.

Now back to my story, my husband’s older brother and his wife found my picture at a Matchmakers office. They liked my picture so they took my horoscope to an astrologer. The Astrologer compared my horoscope with my husband’s horoscope. He said our Horoscopes were a perfect match. So my husband’s brother called my dad and asked if they could come over to my house and see me. And my dad agreed to the meeting. So my husband and his family (his mom, my husband’s older brother, his wife, and their baby) came over to my house to see me!! I was wearing a saree (traditional Indian attire), jewelry and tried to look my best. They arrived at our door and I was trying to get a glimpse of the stranger who might become my life partner. My mom called me to have seat in the living room. I sat next to my future mother in law and my husband was sitting right across from me and my dad was sitting next to him. I was so nervous and excited at the same time. I was feeling kind of shy to look at my husband in front of my dad. Finally, I got myself together and looked at him for the first time. When I saw his eyes I heard the following sentence in my mind “If you miss this man you will miss something very precious in your life” I have never had that kind of feeling before in my life. I wouldn’t describe it as a worldly feeling, it was something above that. I believe in God, so I trust it is a sign from God to me. My husband and his family left and they called the same day to tell my dad that they liked me and wanted to ask if my dad would like to proceed with the marriage. My parents wanted to make sure I was happy with this marriage. They did not want to force me into a marriage I didn’t like. So my mom asked me if I liked my husband and wanted to go ahead with the marriage. I felt that he was the right person and thus we got married. I couldn’t have chosen a better person to be my life partner.


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