I have been contemplating this for a long time now after reading the many historical romances Madz suggested.
The notion of marriage in those books is so romantic and simple and it got me to thinking about how we are changing when it comes to planning our life with someone.
Arranged marriage has many practicalities and as opposed to the general perception, the views of the bride and groom are taken into account(ideal case). This type of arrangement is not done in a fleeting second when you are overpowered by those mind numbing, ecstatic hormones of love. Both people involved are checked for compatibility and similar backgrounds. A financially secure life eliminates many marital disputes and background compatibility is often preferred. Many issues such as the incessant male ego and the female insecurity are hushed when such an alliance forms. On a lighter note,I find the notion of getting to know the person after marriage romantic.The whole concept of newness and intimacy.There are no secrets from family and friends because even if you are not, they know exactly what's going on..;)
Love marriage on the other invokes the concept of love conquers all, stemming from the many Hollywood/Bollywood movies. The wild romance of things, the flurry of heart, the fuzziness in the stomach, that first look and the first kiss. The freedom to chose your mate and the choice to do so whenever you want. All poetic theories which become the foundation of such a marriage.But sadly, love doesn't last and when the muddled up brain wakes up from the slumber, you realise that the small quirks you liked about the person are annoying, the small beach house you bought is disgusting and you don't have security.
Arranged marriages have known to go wrong with the cases of dowry deaths and NRI weddings but so do love marriages.The problem compounds in a love marriage if the two people don't have similar lifestyle before it, adjustment is a problem but then again maybe love does conquer all.
The debate is still on...