As seen earlier, according to Hindu Law, a marriage is both a sacrament as well as a contract. The religious ceremony consists of:
(a) Invocation before the sacred fire (vivah homa or laja homa), which consists of recitation of Vedic Mantras and the formal giving away and acceptance of the bride; and
(b) The saptapadi, i.e., the taking of the seven steps by the bride and bridegroom jointly before the sacred fire.
Where it is proved that a marriage was in fact performed, the Court will presume that it is a valid marriage. (Fakirgauda v. Gangi, 2 Bom. at page 277.) Where it is shown to the Court that a marriage has in fact taken place, this gives rise to a dual presumption, viz., that all the legal formalities of the marriage have been complied with, and also that all the necessary ceremonies have been performed. It would be for the persons who challenge the validity of such a marriage to rebut these presumptions. (Sitabai v. Vithabai, 1958 Nagpur Law Journal 10)