marriage agency

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The matchmaker . Wood engraving after a painting by Edmund Herger (1860–1906) on an Upper Bavarian custom. Published in the journal Die Gartenlaube , 1890.

With a marriage agency , third parties help men and women wishing to marry to find a suitable partner ( dating agency ) for the intended marriage . In most European countries today, marriage brokerage is mostly a commercial service , and in recent years it has been increasingly on the Internet.

to form

It used to be a core competence of families to find suitable spouses for their children; In traditional communities around the world, the family still plays a central role in arranging marriage. Since intermarriage by marriage conclusion for many families can have a great importance, there have been and in many cultures, as well as in Europe, for discreet exploration and exploratory professional matchmaker / inside ( suitor , wooer , in Eastern Jewry Schadchen ). She could one a bride or a groom seeking family or on Brautschau contained young man a shame spared by failure.

Numerous institutions, such as B. balls in the nobility and bourgeoisie or Sunday promenades on the main street of the cities, of which street names (such as the Jungfernstieg in Hamburg ) testify.

With the increasing withdrawal of families from the marriage brokerage of their children, commercial marriage agencies are increasingly taking over the professional support of people who are willing to marry, who consider finding their own partner to be unpromising or too risky (e.g. because of disappointments or bad experiences); A certain cultural background can also be the reason for commissioning a correspondingly specialized marriage agency. Modern marriage brokerage has been increasingly taking place on the Internet since the turn of the millennium. Online partner agencies are increasingly targeting their services to singles willing to marry.

When it comes to finding a marriage / partner, believers also call on saints such as Saint Anthony , the Archangel Raphael , Saint Valentine or Mary untying the knot .

Differentiation from forced marriage

In an arranged marriage , trust between those willing and the matchmaker is crucial for a successful matchmaking process . The matchmaker and / or families need a lot of psychological empathy when initiating marriage. It is not only important that the bride and groom fit together in terms of character, but also a suitable social and family environment.

Arranging a marriage does not always lead to the complete satisfaction of all involved. Social pressures and excessive or false expectations can overshadow the process, which can affect the bride and / or groom's objective freedom of choice. Depending on how strong the actual or supposed pressure is, one also speaks of forced marriage . Since the motive can rarely be clearly identified, there is a gray area here. Much also depends on those willing to marry, how clearly they articulate their ideas about the spouse and confidently get involved in the mediation process. Of course, there are also clear cases where a bride or groom is forced to marry. However, the subtle difference between forced marriage and not (really) wanted marriage is often not easily recognizable. People who do not quite know what they want or who are weak at making decisions are more likely to be pressured into marriage. A border area then arises where, on the one hand, there is no clear will and, on the other hand, one cannot speak of coercion.

More detailed determination

This does not have to mean that the bride and groom are not involved in the marriage brokerage process. If the bride and groom have no objection, one can speak of an arranged marriage , otherwise it is a forced marriage, which is carried out against the will of one of the persons concerned. When one can speak of a forced marriage is controversial in individual cases, especially since it is often the case that the person concerned can choose their bride or groom himself from a certain number of suitable “candidates”, but it is mandatory applies that she will vote at some point.

The prerequisite is that celibacy - especially for girls - is hardly or not at all accepted. It often happens that the bride or groom are exposed to a certain psychological pressure or, in rare cases, are forced to (finally) make a decision so that the wedding can take place.

Arranged marriage occurs in most cultures . In the “western world”, however, it is very rare today, unlike in the past. In South Asia it is still the most common form of marriage today. Globally, the number of marriages that have been arranged has been falling steadily for years.

Arranged marriage


Arranged marriage still plays a very important role in India today, although love marriages are becoming more and more common, especially in the Indian middle class, which is more oriented towards Western customs. Usually, arranged marriages follow traditional caste practices, whereas love marriages can cross caste boundaries. In the urban middle class today it is common for the potential bride and groom to meet briefly in a family setting and thus gain a first impression. Since the meetings are very short, there is no question of getting to know each other. However, if the first impression is negative, the potential candidates have a right of veto and the parents must start looking again. In rural areas, however, a meeting is unusual, here getting to know each other is usually limited to exchanging photos and possibly short letters, through which the bride and groom learn something personal about the other (interests, hobbies, etc.).

In the tradition of Hindu wedding also plays dowry ( dowry ) a central role. It is common for the bride's father to pay the groom's family (money, jewelry, etc.). Especially if the groom comes from a higher social class, the sums involved can be enormous (in exceptional cases a multiple of the annual income of the bride family). Since the bride's family also organizes (and pays) the wedding celebration, it happens again and again that the bride's father (and his sons) ruin themselves financially at a wedding because the wedding (of the children or sister) is the most important thing for many Indians Event in life is.

Since so-called dowry murders occur again and again when the bride family cannot pay the negotiated price in full, the Indian government has banned the payment of dowries ( Dowry Prohibition Act 1961).

Paying the Dowry exists in all castes and strata of India. Particularly in the rural population and the less educated, however, the payment of a dowry (sometimes combined with the blatant demand for it) is still the rule rather than the exception.


In Ireland every year in autumn, the traditional Lisdoonvarna Matchmaking Festival instead. Originally, farmers used to come there every year to go on the edge of the large cattle market with the help of professional matchmakers to look for a bride. Today, several thousand singles visit the festival to find a partner for life. The third generation, extremely successful as a “matchmaker”, Willie Daly has been supported in the fourth generation by his daughter since 2013, who uses the Internet to combine tradition and modern technology.


The bride show in Turkey is a form of arranged marriage that is particularly widespread in rural areas.


Omiai is the Japanese tradition of marriage mediation.


According to German private law , the payment (“marriage wages”) for this service (“proof of the opportunity to enter into a marriage” according to Section 656, Paragraph 1 of the German Civil Code ) is due to the highly personal nature of traditional marriage brokerage - unlike normal services Natural obligation : Although the marriage broker cannot process your payment , the customer cannot reclaim it retrospectively either. For this reason, prepayment is the rule for these contracts.

However, it can also constitute a criminal offense of fraud if the agent had the intention from the outset not to provide the contractually agreed service and only to withhold the advance payment . A repayment claim of the customer of the husband can also arise for other legal reasons. The customer may, after a termination pursuant to § 627 BGB from Ehemäkler according to § 628 BGB demand that these reserves only the proportionate, attributable to its already completed activities pay and repay the rest. If the marriage contract is immoral within the meaning of § 138 BGB, for example because of the exploitation of a predicament or because of exorbitant prices, the customer - as the Higher Regional Court of Düsseldorf has decided - according to the principles of unjustified enrichment according to § 812 BGB. The same applies if there is a right of withdrawal according to § 355 BGB, be it because of a distance sale, be it because of door-to-door sales, or because of a consumer loan granted in the form of an installment payment.


In Germany, professional matchmakers have contract clauses that disadvantage the customer due to cases of fraud that are regularly uncovered and unilaterally to generate income - for example through excessive fees - or the pretense of contract fulfillment by arranging "partners" who work for the mediation and have no relationship from the outset looking to the customer, get a bad rap.

When mediating women from poorer sections of the population in Asian countries and Russia, the marriage brokerage can in certain cases turn into illegal trafficking in women . This makes work more difficult for serious companies. The so-called catalog marriage is not meant.

Artistic treatment

A well-known artistic adaptation of the subject in Central Europe is the opera The Bartered Bride by Bedřich Smetana .

See also

Individual evidence

  1. Single - Love - Partnership: Four Saints + Helpers for Love - Grabler, accessed on January 20, 2015.
  2. GEO Special: Ireland 2007
  3. ^ Love games in Lisdoonvarna on
  4. Düsseldorf Higher Regional Court, decision of October 11, 2007, Az. I-24 U 75/07, full text

Web links

Wiktionary: marriage brokerage  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations