Bride dies during wedding, so groom marries her younger sister instead

An Indian man wasted no time finding a new bride when his first choice died at the altar, marrying her sister instead - right there and then. 

The bizarre scene played out last week in the village of Samapura, north of New Delhi, the Times of India reports, during the nuptials for groom Manjesh Kumar and Surbhi (no last name given). 

The wedding rituals were already underway on Thursday night at the bride's house when she complained of feeling uneasy and collapsed. She was rushed to hospital but pronounced dead on arrival, having suffered a heart attack.

According to local tradition, the family took the body back home prior to cremation. But then things took a strange turn - the groom asked his deceased bride's parents if her younger sister could take her place - and they agreed, the Times reports. 

The marriage went ahead while the new bride's sister lay dead in an adjacent room.

"It was a bizarre situation as the wedding of my younger sister took place while the dead body of my other sister was lying in another room," the bride's brother Saurabh said, local news outlet TV9 reported

"We did not know what to do at that time. Someone who had come to the wedding suggested that my younger sister Nisha should marry the groom. Both the families discussed and agreed to it."

Surbhi's last rites were performed after the wedding. One of her uncles said it was a day of "mixed emotions" for the family.

"The grief over the death of Surbhi and the happiness of Surbhi’s wedding is yet to sink in," said Ajab Singh. 

The majority of marriages in India are still arranged, though they are increasingly being classified as 'semi-arranged', Indian media reports, with the potential partners typically having much greater say in the matter than in the past.