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11 Types Of Marriages You Shoud Know About

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  • 2021-04-23
  • By: Jane

In this modern time, you will often hear people saying that finding the right man or woman is an uphill task. But this is not always the case; traditionally, marriages had less to do with the bride or groom's choice but more with the family who went out of their way to identify a bride for their son.  Many people find this tradition less appealing, and that is why social cultures have changed.

Today both men and women have the free will to choose the person they want to marry depending on what they feel pulls them closer to their partner. People get married for various reasons: financial gain, love, status, genetics, necessity, family influence, and support.

Thus, the shift in social approval has led to the existence of different social institutions. How many marriage types do you know? To date, there are over ten marriage types to choose from. Below are some marriage types that you might know and some that you might not know about.

Different Marriage Types

1.      Civil Marriage

Civil marriages make one of the broad classifications of marriages. Since marriage is a socially approved institution, recognition needs to be given. Thus, civil marriage is a union between two lovers recognized and licensed by a state or country.

2.      Religious Marriages

Religious marriages form the second spectrum of the widely known classification of marriages. Similar to civil marriage, religious marriages also have a recognition factor. In this case, a union of two partners is recognized by a religious group. The association often occurs in the husband's local church, and there is a document signed to officiate the union.

3.      Typical Marriages

Typical marriages employ both civil and religious unions where the bride and groom are recognized by the state/country and the religious group they belong two. Two documents are signed, in this case, the state marriage license and the church marriage ledger.

4.      Polygamous marriage

Polygamous marriages are defined by the number of wives or husbands a spouse has; this form of marriage was more common traditionally. However, the trend is still present in current society. It is important to note that this kind of marriage goes against the law. The marriage classification under this bracket include:

·         Polygyny is a marriage type that has seen one man get engaged to more than one woman. It is custom that the wives refer to each other as sisters rather than co-wives.

Sororal polygyny is when the wives call each other sisters, while non-sororal polygyny is where the wives are not related as sisters. 

·         Polyandry – this type of marriage is the opposite of polygyny in that, in this case, one woman is married to several men. This tradition is often unseen when reserved for the people in the Marquesan Islands of Polynesia and tribes in Samoa. This marriage has two branches, the Fraternal polyandry, and non-fraternal polyandry.

In Fraternal polyandry, several brothers share the same wife. This practice is shared among the Todas tribe in India.

Non-Fraternal polyandry does not require the husbands to have and pre-existing or strong relationship. The wife shares her time with the husband.

5.      Interfaith Marriage

This type of marriage sees two people of different faith getting married. The couple has the liberty of choosing whether to retain their loyalties hence creating the interfaith marriage type. In other cases, one of the spouses has to undergo marital conversion to give up their faith and convert other partners' faith.

6.      Common-Law  Marriage

In a common-law marriage, the husband and wife agree that they will be life partners without formally having a civil or religious marriage. In this type of marriage, the couple often lives together in a state where they assume to be husband and wife. Still, their union lacks any marriage certificate or religious ceremony.

7.      Monogamous Marriage

Monogamous marriages form the most common type of union. In this case, one man and one woman get engaged to each other. This engagement is meant to last a lifetime with words of dedication such as " till death do us part. "

8.      Morganatic marriages

Morganatic marriages, also called left-handed marriages, are marriage unions between two people of unequal social ranking.  This kind of marriage that is not banked on the couple's social status exists out of love. The two individuals of different social classes choose to get married out of the love they share. This marriage proves to be challenging, with compromises having to be made since their parents raised the two differently.

9.      Secret Marriages

These are marriages that are done and hidden away from family members and friends. The couple adopts this type of marriage when they are having issues of acceptance from their parents. In this marriage, the couple usually has a sit-in with the attorney general who officiates their wedding. It is a requirement that two witnesses are present during the signing.

10.  Shotgun Marriages

people who marry do it often because they love their partner. There is nothing that speaks out love, like protecting the reputation of a partner. In a shotgun marriage, a wedding is planned because the bride and the groom are unexpectedly having a child. The ceremony is done to preserve the reputation of the couple, especially the woman, and at times it is not done out of romance or love.

11.  Arranged marriages

Are you having trouble finding the right person? If this is the case, then this type of marriage is perfect for you. In an arranged marriage, a wedding is planned between the family of the bride and groom. The bride and groom have known prior knowledge of their partners, and they have no say in their marriage. It is important to note that this marriage type is not the same as a forced union.


Parting shot

Choosing the proper marriage is just as crucial as getting the right partner. With this information, you can make an informed decision and remember every wedding has its unique qualities, and no two stories are the same.

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