Historically, and across cultures, marriage is considered to be the socially recognized bonding of a man and woman. As these terms are culturally variable, marriage manifests differently around the world and over time. Broadly defined, marriage is a means of creating kinship that typically involves a social union or legal contract between individuals, and in many instances families as well.

Despite the diversity of marriage practices across cultures, marriage is typically formalized by a wedding to indicate the beginning of a marriage and is recognized by the state, a religious authority, or both. All of the major world religions have strong views relating to marriage, usually decreeing that marriage is a duty, gift, sacrament, responsibility, or requirement. The legal, political, economic, and social consequences of marriage ...

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