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A Hindu [including Sikhs, Buddhists (including Neo Buddhists) and Jains] marriage requires that, both the parties be Hindus by religion, and of minimum marriageable age, ought not to have a spouse alive at the time of the marriage and also not be Sapindas [Normally meaning a person within Seven ascending Ancestral relationship on the Father's side and Three on the Mother's side] to each other, nor they be within the prohibited relationship [basically all the lineal ascendants and close relatives, including all sorts of cousins and uncles and aunts]. They also need to be capable of giving valid consent.
Although no fixed rites are prescribed, however the marriage can be solemnised by performing any one or more of the following rites (in order of their occurrence), each performed to the chanting of appropriate mantras by the Purohits (Presiding Priests) performing the marital rites :
Father or brother or any other male (even female in Arya Samaj) member of the family of the girl giving the girl to the boy, by tying the "nuptial knot".
The offerings to holy fire.
Giving the hand of the bride to the Bridegroom for holding during the ceremony. This also includes sub-ceremonies like exchange of garlands and "Lagna".
|Feras or Agni-Parayana|
The couple taking rounds of the holy fire [Four to Seven numbers - depending on the custom and ceremony].
The couple walking seven steps together, each with one marital vow.