Marriages are Made at the Registrar’s

Not to burst your pre-wedding bubble, but truer words were never spoken. As the wedding bells ring closer and closer, our to-be-wed belles and beaus get so busy with their vibrant religious and cultural jubilations that they often tend to brush off, or altogether avoid, the oh-so-boring legal formality that comes with it. Here’s why it shouldn’t be given the step treatment.

Marriage Registration

It’s important!

Just like temple, mosque and church ceremonies, the marriage certificate is a very important document that establishes the marital status of newlyweds. And as of 2006, it has been made clear by the Indian Supreme Court that you need to get one irrespective of your caste and religion (if you want to legally own His & Hers bath towels), so there’s no escaping it.

It’s a wedding cakewalk

The procedure to register is surprisingly simple, even for all the legal dummies out there. There are two ways to seal the deal in India, depending on your religion: the Hindu Marriage Act and the Special Marriage Act.

The Hindu Marriage Act

The Special Marriage Act

As the names suggests, both partners have to be Hindus in order to register under the Hindu Marriage Act. This Act, however, is a bit old school; it only allows you to register your marriage and not solemnize it.

It sets a minimum age limit of 21 years for the groom and 18 years for the bride (so much for the cocktail party… sigh).

Firstly, you need to apply to the sub-registrar under whose jurisdiction you tied the knot. You can also apply to the registrar of the place where either you or your spouse have stayed for at least six months before marriage. You will also have to submit the priest’s certificate who solemnized the marriage. And that’s it! Once you submit the required documents (that I will get to in a moment) and they’re verified, all you have to do is wait for your certificate to arrive.

This Act is more secular. It allows couples from any caste and creed to join in legal union; and, as an added bonus, it solemnizes the marriage along with registering it.

It sets a minimum age limit of 21 years for both partners.
You and your spouse have to give a 30-day notice to the sub-registrar in whose jurisdiction at least one of you is residing. If you are marrying under this Act, you won’t need to submit the priest’s certificate, and the registration will take place after the wedding. Mission accomplished!


You’ve got to proof it

Now let’s get down to business.

The documents you require to get hitched are… *drum roll*:

  • An application form (with the necessary signatures of course)
  • Proof of birth
  • Proof of residence
  • An affidavit by both parties stating the place and date of marriage, date of birth, marital status at the time of marriage , and nationalities
  • Photograph proof (two passport-sized ones of the couple, and wedding pictures for good luck!)
  • Your wedding invitation card (is preferred)
  • A certificate from the priest who solemnized the marriage (mandatory only for the HMA)
  • A certificate of conversion (if either party has converted) from the priest who solemnized the marriage (again, for the HMA)

The documents needed may vary based on the situation, but once you have all the necessary documents in place, registering for a marriage certificate will be smoother than the Crème Brule served at your wedding reception.

Finally, make sure you have your three musketeers accompany you as witnesses to certify your marriage.

The perks of being married

While the procedure leading to it may be painstaking, a marriage certificate sure has its perks. It not only proves that you are, in fact, married (to shut those cynics up), but also makes it convenient for your better half to accompany you on international trips. That’s right. You can easily acquire a visa for your spouse if you wish for them to travel with you.

So go that extra mile, get registered, and band baaja baaraat!


The After (Wedding) Life

Mouse = mice… so spouse = spice?! Well (heh), no. Relationships are hard work. While the seemingly obvious equation may hold true at times, it’s important to try and spice things up with your spouse once in a while and not take them for granted. Especially, make sure to not let your friendships take a front seat over your romantic relationship. Sound simple enough? The key is to strike a subtle balance between the two.

Don’t let the “J” set in

Friends are extremely important. Extremely. So it’s natural for your beloved to feel a little insecure of people who’ve been around. Your spouse may need reassurance of their place in your life once in a while. Give them that. Go out of your way to do the little things that let them know they have a special place in your life.

Three’s a crowd.

This especially holds true for all those haddi friends with their “more-the-merrier” attitude. I agree that there is nothing more perfect than seeing your spouse and friends get along. But, don’t push the boundaries with this one. It will not be appreciated if your buddies accompany you on dinner and movie dates. At the end of the day, it’s just as important to get that quality time in with your better half.

Practice what you preach

Relationships aren’t a one-way street. If you expect your spouse to get to know your friends, you need to make an effort to get to know their besties too. This will convey to them that there is a general importance that friendships hold in your life—even when they aren’t your own.

Let them mark their territory

Like I said before, insecurities tend to set in, usually with a pal of the opposite sex. It’s best to nip such feelings in the bud before they get blown out of proportion. So if your spouse is subconsciously behaving like a wounded animal trying to protect it’s prize, let them get it out of their system. They will realize soon enough that there was no need to protect you from a friendship that was harmless to begin with.

Put two and two together

It’s a good idea to have a gargantuan gathering with your spouse’s friends and yours together once in a while. At least try it out. If all goes well and everyone gets along, meeting friends will be fun and a stress buster and something you could do together. It may also help you save on that one extra engagement a month, which means you’ll have more time available to spend with your spouse.

Finally, step back, take a breath, and remember why you married in the first place. You obviously share such a comfort level that you could resolve most issues simply by communicating with each other. So follow the mantra that suits you best and live happily ever after!

How to be a Good Wedding Guest

There are some unspoken rules to follow when you find yourself on the guest list of somebody’s special day. What are the do’s and don’ts of a wedding guest? We’ve got the answers! Here’s a quick list to help you act the part of a gracious, respectful guest; and guarantee an invite to weddings beyond the one you are already attending.


Wedding invitations are usually sent 4-6 weeks in advance. Pay attention to the deadline and rsvp as soon as humanly possible. It saves a lot of stress for the bride and groom, as there is a lot of expense on planning; and most of that expense is dictated by the numbers on that list.


Arrive on Time

Plan to be at the venue at least 20-30 minutes prior to the main ceremony. Also, never assume that it’s okay for you to miss the main part of the day, as long as you get to attend the reception. Show the couple how much they mean to you by being present for their special moments. They invited you for the same reason.

Don’t be disrespectful to the couple’s religions/traditions

When some ritual you do not understand is going on, which might require you to maintain silence or even join in, pay attention.

Minimize your cell phone usage

Be present at the wedding – avoid being on the phone the whole time, reporting the wedding to somebody else through messages or calls. Mingling with the other guests present is a good option.


Do not play paparazzi – unless instructed

It’s great that everybody has a smartphone these days, but it’s really a nuisance when every one pops up in front of the couple to click “candid moments” and immediately shares them on all social networking sites. Unless the couple has asked you to be their photographer, refrain from random clicking and respect their privacy.


Pay attention to the dress code

Weddings are formal occasions. Dress smart. Keep your clothing simple – even though you just got into shape or splurged on an extravagant outfit, do not steal the bride/groom’s thunder on their big day.

Congratulate the family

Giving the couple your best compliments/congratulatory messages is obvious; seek out to their family, introduce yourself (if you’ve never met them before) and tell them how much you enjoyed the wedding.

colorful-indian-wedding-new-york-wedding-photography__fullDrink Responsibly

Everybody loves an open bar – but keep yourself at an average pace to save some embarrassing moments for you and the others around.


Congrats, you just made it to the list of the most favorite people to be invited to all formal soirees.