It is necessary to keep in mind that as a rule all
marriages have to be compulsorily registered.
Those who undertake a civil marriage (No formal marriage
ceremony) marry under the Special Marriage Act, 1954,
do not need to take any further steps because in their
case registration is itself the marriage ceremony.
But in the case of all religious/ceremonial marriages,
and they are the majority in India, the additional
step of getting the marriage registered with the registrar
of marriages is compulsory.
However, the non-registration of a marriage does not
affect its legality and validity. Couples who do not
register their marriages can be fined and any one
giving false information to the authorities can be
penalised with a short jail term. Even then it is
always advisable to register a religious/ceremonial
marriage because there is then proof of its legality
In matrimonial disputes it is not uncommon for one
of the spouses to claim that no valid marriage took
place. Religious authorities that solemnize marriages
rarely maintain proper records. Once a marriage is
registered with the authorities there is an assumption
in law that a valid marriage took place.
Click here to know more about the wedding legalities
of different religions