The Balmikis or Valmikis are an endogamous group and as a clan it is exogamous. The women apply vermilion in the hair parting, a red dot (bindi) on the forehead and toe-rings symbolize the married women. They believe in monogamy and have a preference for adult marriages. The custom of dowry, cash and goods, is prevalent given by the bride's family. Marriages are arranged by parents and elders. Valmiki marriages are known as Vedi marriage (fire in the center of 4 pots. Often marriages are arranged by the parents. During an engagement ceremony, both families gather and gifts are exchanged like cloth, gold, jewelry, money, coconuts, or sugar. The wedding ceremony may take place in the Ashram or the temple under a special canopy. The rituals and marriage vows are read by a Pujari (Preist) including four special verses from the Ramayana and at the end of each verse the bride and the groom go around the sacred fire-Agni Havan to seek blessings for their marriage. Valmiki weddings can take place wherever the Ramayana is present. Pre wedding rituals take place wherein the bride sits on the wood while friends and relatives hold a red dupta over her head, followed by the chanting of traditional marriage songs. Relatives apply some oil and haldi on her hair. After this ceremony the mother makes five handprints on the wall, with the belief that this willbring good luck to the marriage. Traditionally, the brides hand and feet are decorated with henna patterns. The Valmiki brides wear red sari or a shalwar, Kameez and dupata. She adorns gold jewelry, henna on her hands and legs. The groom can wear Western or tradition Indian dress.