No traditional Hindu wedding is complete without taking an astrologer into consideration. His role is of tremendous importance among families where horoscope matching and auspicious timings are important, or his role may be restricted to that of a person who can specify the auspicious dates, though nowadays with time constraints, dates are chosen on a convenience basis rather than traditional factors
Choosing an astrologer:
Most families have an astrologer who has been a part of their family for many years. These pundits and astrologers know all the traditions and genealogy of the family very well, and they are consulted on every occasion, and they make the horoscopes for each new child born in the family. There are many astrologers who advertise on the net, and if you do not know an astrologer through your family and friends you can contact these people. Take care to check all references, and do not let them influence you too much, by dictating all times and partner choices. If you are only planning to match horoscopes, then there are many types of software available on the net – which can help you bypass the local astrologer!
Role of an astrologer:
As we have said in the earlier paragraph, the role of an astrologer is dependent on how much you believe in horoscopes and timings. Among Tamil Brahmin weddings the marriage is arranged only after the astrologer matches the horoscopes and finds them compatible. Among Arya Samaji’s in Punjab, horoscope matching is frowned upon, hence astrologers have a minimal role here. Astrologers also inform the families of the correct time when the wedding ceremony should be held, and often also about when the bride should enter her new home and other such occasions.
As time passes on, the role of the astrologers is decreasing, since time constraints have begun to dictate the auspicious timings. As arranged marriages are also decreasing in number, horoscope matching is also becoming redundant. But among traditional families, the words of the astrologers still have a major influence on the matchmaking process.