Arranged marriages are the norm, usually between men and women of the same ethnic group, caste and economic status.
Most families consult matchmakers and astrologers when deciding who and when is an ‘auspicious’ time to marry off their children.
Dowries are given, especially in the Terai, though they are less important in mountain communities.
While child marriages are no longer legal, in the countryside, the average age of marriage is still low. Typical family sizes are large, with can maybe 6-8 children in rural areas, though in the towns and Kathmandu, the family size is now becoming much smaller.
Having children is central to family life, especially having sons who will look after their parents in their old age. There are also many religious rites that can only be performed by the eldest son.