Arranged marriages were very common, everywhere in the world, until the 18th century. Typically, marriages everywhere were arranged by parents, grandparents or other relatives. Some historical exceptions are known, such as courtship and betrothal rituals during Renaissance period of Italy and Gandharva marriages in Vedic period of India.
In China, arranged marriages (baoban hunyin, 包辦婚姻) - sometimes called blind marriages (manghun, 盲婚) - were the norm before mid 20th century. A marriage was a negotiation and decision between parents and other older members of two families. The boy and girl, were typically told to get married, without a right to consent, even if they had never met with each other until the wedding day.
Similarly, until first half of 20th century, arranged marriages were common in migrant families in the United States. They were sometimes called picture-bride marriages among Japanese American immigrants because the bride and groom knew each other only through the exchange of photographs before the day of their marriage. These marriages among immigrants were typically arranged by parents, or relatives from the country of their origin. As immigrants settled in and melted into a new culture, arranged marriages shifted first to quasi-arranged marriages where parents or friends made introductions and the couple met before the marriage; over time, the marriages among the descendants of these immigrants shifted to autonomous marriages driven by individual's choice, dating and courtship preferences, along with an increase in interracial marriages. Similar historical dynamics are claimed in other parts of the world.
Arranged marriages have declined in prosperous countries with social mobility, ascendancy of individualism and nuclear family; nevertheless, arranged marriages remain visible in countries of Europe and North America, among royal families, aristocrats and minority religious groups such as in placement...