Arranged marriage implies that the consent of each party is conditional on outside influences, usually parental. In arranging marriages, parents usually take the status and financial position of the other family into account in order to make it a 'suitable match'. Arranged marriages also include the selling of women and girls of poor families into marriage.
Arranged marriages occur most frequently in Asia and Africa, although they may occur in more subtle form in developed countries.
The fundamental reason for the requirement of consent of the family, and thus for arranged marriage, is the underlying belief that marriage is not simply a union between the couple but a union between their two families as well. It is due to this underlying belief that even the 'modern' civil code in some countries such as Ethiopia does not make the consent of the couple final but subordinates it to a mechanism known as 'opposition', by which representatives of the family can submit their opposition to the marriage.