Have you heard of this before? I hadn’t till I read an article on pre-matrimonial detectives in India. Yes, pre-matrimonial investigation that was used to be done by parents, family members or friends is nowadays done by professional wedding detectives. The profession is on rise in India because parents want to foolproof everything before marrying their kids. Major push to this industry is from the increasing online friendship that is turning into nuptial knot and less involvement of parents. Moreover fake profiles, background check are also some of the reasons why people have started hiring wedding detectives.
There is an incident when a friend of mine got engaged to an NRI. But few days before marriage, she got a hint during a conversation between them that something was seriously wrong. Later on it was found out that the boy had major health issues. She was lucky enough to know the details before marriage could happen. But there are many cases that go unattended and later result in either divorce or one keeps carrying on just for the sake of it. So I think wedding detectives actually play a role of saviours.
Also earlier, marriages were arranged by parents and families in India. So need of wedding detective agencies was not felt. But with an increase in online matrimony sites in India relationships are now born in cyber space. Bride and groom chat with each other but hardly meet because of distance, etc. In such cases there are more chances of fraud leading to unfortunate cases of divorce. Therefore, seeing a rise in wedding detective business in India is not shocking. Parents now need someone to check the financial status of the family, education of boy or girl, any previous marriage or kids.
Most of the families hire wedding detectives to know about the character of the groom that includes personal habits, lifestyle, affairs, drug addiction, etc. But the sort of check depends upon the family traditions and values. For traditional families, smoking and drinking are important concerns, whereas to know about the business status is crucial for modern families. Premarital investigation includes investigation of character, social status, financial status, employment, background check, daily behaviour, past relationships, past or broken marriage, family reputation, etc.
For the purpose of detection, wedding detective agencies assign the work to two to three detectives who through online searches, discreet enquires through social circle and on-the spot surveillance complete the task. Enough evidences are collected by using gadgets and then shown to the concerned family. So you may never know as detectives might be judging you in the form of beggar, watchman or drivers. Interestingly, behaviour of mother-in-law is also studied for marriage because it is given equal importance by the parents of a bride.
On an average it takes 15-20 days to solve a case. Charge for one case in India is between Rs 25,000 to 40,000. 5 years back, these agencies used to get 3-5 cases in a week but now getting 3-5 cases in a day. As the trend of pre-matrimonial investigations is pacing up so does the number of these agencies in India. At present there are about 5,000 wedding detective agencies in India conducting about 50-100 investigations in a month (during peak season). This industry has seen a growth of 300% in the last five years. Middle class families are at the top of the list as far as hiring wedding detective agency is concerned.
Presently, there are no guidelines for wedding detective business in India thus it is still unregulated. Getting data of this kind may be regarded as spying. But in India it is generally considered a way to get information, as marriage is still regarded as a lifelong bond not only between bride and groom but between families too. On the other hand, many believe that such sort of unknown investigation might harm the relationship right from the beginning by creating mistrust.
Though wedding detective agencies can investigate about the groom, bride and their families but they cannot predict whether the nuptial alliance will be successful or not. It ultimately depends upon the boy and girl and their families. Moreover pre-martial investigations are much easier and make sense than post martial investigations.