Marriage is one of the universal social institutions established to control and regulate the life of mankind. It is closely associated with the institution of family. Infact both the institutions are complementary to each other. It is an institution with different implications in different cultures. Its purposes, functions and forms may differ from society to society but it is present everywhere as an institution.
Westermarck in 'History of Human marriage' defines marriage as the more or less durable connection between male and female lasting beyond the mere act of propagation till after the birth of offspring. According to Malinowski marriage is a contract for the production and maintenance of children. Robert Lowie describes marriage as a relatively permanent bond between permissible mates. For Horton and Hunt marriage is the approved social pattern whereby two or more persons establish a family.