Some of these factors in some order of priority may be taken into account for the purpose of matchmaking:
* Reputation of the family
* Vocation: For a groom, the profession of doctor, accountant, lawyer, engineer, or scientist are traditionally valued as excellent spouse material. More recently, any profession commanding relatively high income is also given preference. Vocation is less important for a bride but it is not uncommon for two people of the same vocation to be matched. Some preferred vocations for a bride include the profession of teacher, doctor, or lawyer. * Wealth: Families holding substantial assets may prefer to marry to another wealthy family. * Appearance: There may be a preference that beauty and weight be comparable. In India there is a bias in favor of fair-skinned brides. * Religion: The religious and spiritual beliefs can play a large role in finding a suitable spouse. * Pre-existing medical conditions: Two persons with a physical deformity or disability who are otherwise marriageable may be matched. * Horoscope: Numerology and the positions of stars at birth is often used in Indian culture to predict the success of a particular match. This is sometimes expressed as a percentage, for example, a 70% match. Horoscope becomes a determining factor is one of the partners is Mângalik (lit., negatively influenced by Mars). * Dietary preference: Vegetarian or omnivore (often automatically determined by the caste among Hindus) * Height: Typically the groom should be taller than the bride. * Age difference: Typically the groom should be older than the bride. * Other factors: City of residence, education level, etc. * Language: Language also is deemed to be an important criteria. The groom and the bride should have the same mother tongue.
Among most Indian Hindus, the hereditary system of caste (Hindi: jâti) is an extremely important factor in arranged marriage. Arranged marriages, and parents, almost always require that the married persons should be of the same caste. Sometimes inter-caste marriage is one of the principal reasons of familial rejection or anger with the marriage. The proof can be seen by the numerous Indian marriage websites on the internet, most of which are by caste. Even within the caste, there is obligation, followed strictly by many communities, to marry (their son/daughter) outside the gotra (sub-caste or clan). For example, most Vaishyas (the business/merchant caste) prohibit marriage within the same gotra because, being of the same lineage, the spouses would be though of (almost) as brother and sister. It must however be noted that modern India, being a secular democracy, does not prohibit inter-caste or intra-gotra marriage (by the Hindu Marriage Act), but neither does it prohibit the caste system completely (only caste discrimination is prohibited). Caste Associations are still very much legal (sometimes they call themselves by more acceptable names, like samâj, lit., society). Recently, one of such caste associations fined its member (a state legislator) for permitting his son's inter-caste marriage.
Many Indian families who consider the caste system an artificial excuse for social inequity have the opposite preference. They prefer to marry persons of differing caste and tend to avoid matches within the same caste. It is believed that intercaste marriages weaken the caste system and thus reduce social inequality caused by the caste stratification. Such families are also often open to marriages across national borders. But even among them are some families who, if of the upper castes, will not accept marriage with the so-called low castes (like dalits).
In few arranged marriages, one potential spouse may reside in a wealthy country and the other in a poorer country. For example, the man may be an American of Indian ancestry and the woman may be an Indian living in India who will move to America after the marriage. Alternately, the man or woman may be a citizen of the United States of America and the other person is in Russia or another country and is willing to move to the USA after the marriage. The arrangement may be accomplished by a business created for such a purpose.
* The parents of the bride or groom hope that their daughter or son will enjoy a higher standard of living. * Couples and their parents may have more similar cultural and social backgrounds rather than that of their host country's culture.
* Couples may be incompatible due to cultural differences. One spouse may retain traditional values while the other spouse has accepted practices of the host country. * The time window available for the entire process is narrow. Prospective brides or grooms must be lined up for a series of meetings when the man or woman is able to take leave to travel to his or her home country. The decision must be finalized and the marriage registered before he or she leaves so that visa formalities for his wife or her husband can commence immediately. Sometimes two or three visits (over as many years) are required to sort out all the legal details. * The two parties cannot directly meet without traveling to the other country. The upfront cost increases the pressure to make a decision yet less is known about the prospective mate because of the great distance separating the two. * Limited choice: In some cases, the parents may mandate that the bride or groom must originate from their son's or daughter's home country.