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Main PageFamilyMarriage → Matchmaking

Matchmaking is a service by wishing to marry men and women find a suitable partner for the intended marriage. In a closed mediation through marriage is called arranged marriage.


It used to be a core competency of families for their children to find suitable marriage partners. In traditional communities, the family still plays a central role in matchmaking. Since intermarriage through marriage date for many families can have a great importance, there have been and in many cultures, as well as in Europe, the discrete sensing and exploratory professional matchmaker. You could a bride or a groom or a family looking out for a possible mate save a young man located by shaming failure.

The matchmaking were also targeted numerous institutions, such as balls[wp] in nobility[wp] and bourgeoisie or Sunday promenades on the main street of cities, which have street names (such as the Jungfernstieg[wp] in Hamburg) testify.

Increasing with the withdrawal of the families of their children from the marriage bureau marriage bureaux commercial take the professional support marriageable people keep their own partner search for little or promising (eg because of disappointments or bad experiences) to be too risky.

Definition for forced marriage

In an arranged marriage trust between those willing to marry and matrimonial agencies is crucial for a successful matchmaking. The matchmaker or family need a lot of psychological skills in matchmaking. It is not only a Royal character matching the bride and groom but also a suitable social and family environment.

Arranging a marriage does not always lead to the complete satisfaction of all concerned. Social pressure and exaggerated or false expectations can overshadow the process, which may affect the objective freedom of choice of the bride and/or groom. Depending on how much is the actual or perceived pressure, also referred to as forced marriage. Since the subject position is clearly detectable in the rarest of cases, there is a gray area here. Much also depends on the willing to marry, as they clearly articulate their ideas about the spouse and confidently bring to the mediation process. Of course, there are also clear cases where a bride or groom to be forced into a marriage. However, the subtle difference between forced marriage or not (so real) intentional marriage is often not readily apparent. People who do not quite know what they want or are indecisive, rather run the risk of being forced into a marriage. It then creates a border area, where on the one hand, no clear there is a will, on the other hand one can not speak of coercion.


This does not meant that the bride and groom are not included in the process of matchmaking. If the spouses have no objection to expect from an arranged marriage talk, otherwise it is a forced marriage, which is carried out against the will of the person concerned. From when we can speak of a forced marriage is in some cases controversial, especially since it is often the case that the person concerned, their bride and her groom can indeed choose among a certain number of suitable "candidates" itself, however, it is considered mandatory that she chooses sometime.

Requirement is that celibacy - especially for maiden - is hardly or not accepted. Thus, it often means that the bride or groom are exposed to a certain psychological pressure or are even forced in rare cases, be (finally) decide that the marriage can take place.

The arranged marriage is found in most cultures before. In the "western world" but it is today, unlike in the past, very rare. In many South Asian countries, it is still the most common form of marriage, particularly in India , Bangladesh, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. In global terms is the number of marriages that were arranged are declining for several years.[1]

Arranged Marriage in the current context


In India, the arranged marriage still plays a huge role, though love marriages, particularly in the Indian middle class, which is based more on Western customs are becoming increasingly common. Usually follow traditional arranged marriages caste[wp]-customs, whereas love marriages across caste lines may go away. In the urban middle class, it is now common that meet potential spouses within the family shortly and can get a first impression. Since the meetings are very short may never be spoken of acquaintance here. The first impression is negative, however, the potential candidates have a right of veto and the parents have to go on the search. In rural areas, a meeting is unusual, however, here the acquaintance usually limited to the exchange of photos and possibly short letters about the bride and groom something personal about each other learn (interests, hobbies, etc.).

In the tradition of Indian wedding also plays the dowry[wp] play a central role. Is common that the father of the bride the groom's family paid (money, jewelry, etc.); Especially when the groom comes from a higher social layer, this may be involve huge sums of money (in exceptional cases a multiple of the annual income of the bride's family). Since the bride's family also hosting the wedding (and paid for), it is also often the case that the bride's father (and his sons) financial ruin at a wedding, because the wedding (of children or the sisters) for many Indians the most important event in life.

Since it constantly to so-called "dowry murders"[wp] was (when the bride's family to the negotiated price was not paid in full), the Indian government has prohibited the paying of dowry (Dowry Prohibition Act[wp] 1961). The numbers of dowry exists in all castes and classes of India. Especially in the rural population and the less educated, however, the payment of a dowry (sometimes connected to the blatant call them) still the rule rather than the exception.[2]


In Ireland, every year the traditional autumn Lisdoonvarna Matchmaking Festival[wp] takes place. Originally found there every year farmers have to go on the edge of the large cattle market with the help of a professional matchmaker for a wife. Today thousands of singles attend the festival, there to find a partner for life.[3]

The third generation as a "matchmaker" extremely successful Willie Dally is supported since 2013 by the fourth generation of his daughter, who combines tradition with the help of the internet and modern technology.[4]


See Wikipedia: Miai.


The German private law, the payment of this service, the "Ehemäklerlohn", because of the highly personal nature of traditional matchmakers not the normally due and enforceable charges for services, but much like the game and betting debts: This one does not have to pay by law, so a marriage broker may do not even enforce the payment. But anyone looking for a spouse, but the Ehemäklerlohn already paid, therefore they may not call back because no debt had passed, so can not complain for a refund. So here is advance the rule.

However, it can also be the offense of fraud is where an agent from the outset was not going to provide the contracted power, but is only retained the advance.


Have professional matchmaker in Germany due to regularly uncovered cases of fraud and one side to generate income - for example, by excessive fees - the customer discriminatory clauses or pretense of a contract through the agency of "partners" who work for the agency and from the outset no relationship to search the customer a bad reputation.

In the mediation of women from poorer strata of the population of Asian countries, Russia and Ukraine marriage agency may, in certain cases, illegal trafficking of women go through. This make it for legitimate enterprise complicated work. The so-called mail-order bride[wp] is not meant.

Artistic treatment

A well-known artistic treatment of the subject is in Central Europe, the opera "The Bartered Bride"[wp] by Bedřich Smetana[wp].


  1. proof required
  2. See also Wikipedia: Marriage in Hinduism
  3. GEO Special Irland 2007
  4. Elke Sturmhoebel: Matchmaking: Liebesspiele in Lisdoonvarna, Hamburger Abendblatt am 28. August 2010