Pamirians traditionally married their first or second cross or parallel cousins, of either the father's or mother's lineage. Polygyny was practiced on a very limited scale. The mother's brother was considered more closely related than the father's; he continues to play a major role in the arrangement of marriages between his nephews and nieces and he protects and helps them in their everyday social and economic dealings.
Marriages today take place in accordance with Quranic law and are also registered with civil authorities. There was never a bride-price ( kalym ), but today various members of the patrilineal group spend a considerable amount to guarantee that the young family has all the necessities. In the past girls married at age 15, sometimes at 11 or 12; young men married later. Today the age of marriage has been raised. Women get married at 18 or older, often after having completed their higher education (the majority study at pedagogical and medical schools or universities, usually becoming teachers or doctors). Men prefer to marry after finishing their military service or their secondary or higher education.