Marriage among the Hindus was considered a sacramental union and it continued to be so throughout the entire Hindu period.
The manu smriti says I hold your hand for saubhagya (good luck) that you may grow old with your husband, you are given to me by the just, the creator, the wise and the learned people.
Hindus conceived of marriage as a union primarily meant for the performance of religious and spiritual duties. It could not take place without the performance of sacred rites and ceremonies and it was a permanent and eternal union.
However with changes in the society marriage among the Hindus which was essentially a sacrament partook the nature of a contract. The Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 covering entire India except the state of Jammu & Kashmir has reformed the Hindu law of marriage.