Ethel Raim-Zinser, Martin Koenig
As late as the 1920's, the custom of using a marriage broker was preserved in Banat. The broker was usually a relative or close friend of the prospective bridegroom.
In the late fall, when the harvest was in, the broker called on the prospective bride's parents. Since the visit had been announced in advance, the girl's parents prepared a formal welcome for the broker, with plum brandy, a special flat bread, and cheese. They first discuss everyday topics, and tell jokes to establish a cordial atmosphere. Gradually the broker leads the conversation around to the bridegroom and his family, praises them, and announces the real purpose of his visit. At this time the girl is out of the room, although she has greeted the broker on his arrival, and helped serve the guests. Sometimes negotiations take place without the knowledge of the young couple, and often even against their will.
The broker's role is to arrange for a visit by the young man's parents to conclude agreement on the wedding-date, the amount of the bride's dowry, the number of witnesses, etc.