How to Reduce the Cost of Getting Married
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- This topic has 58 replies, 26 voices, and was last updated 1 month, 1 week ago by Always_Ask_Questions.
January 29, 2023 8:59 pm at 8:59 pm #2160589SQUARE_ROOTParticipant
The Diamond Engagement Ring is part of American — not Jewish — culture, and it is only found in places where American culture is influential.
There has never been a Halachic requirement to give a Diamond Engagement Ring.
Therefore, eliminating the Diamond Engagement Ring is a great way to reduce the cost of getting married. There should be no Engagement Ring, even without a diamond.January 30, 2023 1:00 am at 1:00 am #2160657maskildoreshParticipant
Actually, the “Minhag “ to give a diamond engagement ring was invented by Jewish diamond Sochrim!
It’s a Minhag that has helped many Yiddin make Parnasa !January 30, 2023 1:00 am at 1:00 am #2160652beisyosefParticipant
There may not an inyan to get an engagement ring, but there’s an inyan to be mesamach your kallah. We find by the avos when they “proposed” they brought huge sums of money as a dowry and additionally showered their kallah with jewelry. Similarly we can say today, the jewelry of the times is a diamond ring, which is used to be mesameach ones kallah and is definitely an old Jewish tradition.January 30, 2023 1:00 am at 1:00 am #2160650Get-r-dunParticipant
Yes it will reduce costs Greatly since there probably won’t be a wedding eitherJanuary 30, 2023 1:00 am at 1:00 am #2160642AviraDeArahParticipant
There’s precedent for giving a kallah a lot of money for kiddushin, as the bnos beis shamai would only accept kiddushin from several gold dinnarim(i forgot the number).
Granted, a vort is noy kiddushin at all. Also, giving presents to one another in the yichud room, which are very expensive, is based on gemara as well.
Perhaps we can switch to lab created diamonds, which many peoole have already done; they last as long as natural ones, and have exactly the same physical, molecular properties. Only under a microscope can a jeweler with a keen eye tell by the perfect uniformity of a lab diamond that it’s not natural. They’re much cheaper than natural diamonds.
Jewelry makes a kallah feel appreciated and special to her chosson; regardless of the exact type of jewel used, it’s an important part of the formation of a zivug.
If we’re going to look to make chasunos more affordable, there are many, many things that can be done. Cheaper halls, no schmorgasboard, no 10 man band, no liqueur on every table…there are ways of making a chasuna feel just as much bakavodik, with virtually no one noticing a difference, without spending unnecessarily.January 30, 2023 1:00 am at 1:00 am #2160641
Bravo! I second the OP.January 30, 2023 9:23 am at 9:23 am #2160684
Why should the kallah be the one to suffer?
You could eliminate the solid gold watch and band for the Chassan.
BTW, why is it always the have nots trying to change the norm by trying to eliminate something the haves can afford.
My advice has always been: if you can’t afford it don’t do it, and don’t go into debt to impress others.
My daughters were married in our gardens, not some expensive wedding hall. We didn’t have 500 guests, mostly unknown by chassan and kallah.
Work out a budget you can afford and stick to it. If you can only afford a Chevrolet, you don’t buy a Bentley to impress the neighbors.January 30, 2023 9:25 am at 9:25 am #2160697fishParticipant
It is so important to show the kallah how valued she is and an expression of the great simcha in finding her! one way is to be generous regarding her jewelery gifts. A diamond has much meaning according to kabbalah as written is sefer sod hachashmal. One good idea to save money is to buy a second hand diamond from a jewelry store or dealer since the value of a natural diamond is never lost, just like no one would mind receiving an old one hundred dollar bill. It has the same value as any other 100$ bill. mazel tov!January 30, 2023 9:25 am at 9:25 am #2160709
To the OP: There is no halachic reason to capitalize “diamond engagement ring,” nor any English language rule, either.January 30, 2023 9:28 am at 9:28 am #2160733
Reb Yosef should know. He apparently DID improvidently provide a diamond ring to his first kallah but did not feel the imperative for Nos. 2 and 3 who simply kvelled in the realization that their future lives would be enriched and g’benched by being married to YWN’s troll-in-chief and globally acclaimed nuclear physicist and Trump afficianado. Diamonds are definitely not a girl’s best friend when you can have R’ Yosef instead.January 30, 2023 9:30 am at 9:30 am #2160722
The OPs point was that diamond engagement rings came directly from the goyish world. Of course give expensive presents, etc. But this particular “thing to do” is a foreign import.January 30, 2023 9:31 am at 9:31 am #2160723akupermaParticipant
The cost of getting married is minimal. You have to buy a kesubah (but you probably can find one online you can print yourself). The Kiddushin should cost much since it is a halachic inyan not to get something that a reasonable kalah would be able to evaluate (and apparently a head of lettuce will do, if you are desperate). A government license is helpful for paperwork purposes but probably not required at least states that have either “common law marriage” or who regard the “license” as a revenue measure but not something that affects validity. There are no community regulations on minimum size for a dowry.
Of course, most young people like to make the wedding fancy. And the standard of living in America is so high, they are able to do so. Our ancestors would be amazed, and probably somewhat envious. However there is no halachic requirement to spend a massive amount of money getting married.January 30, 2023 11:22 am at 11:22 am #2160751☕️coffee addictParticipant
“We find by the avos when they “proposed” they brought huge sums of money as a dowry and additionally showered their kallah with jewelry.“
We only find that Avraham did that for Yitzchak, nowhere does it say that terach did that for Avraham and certainly Yaakov didn’t do it and he still got marriedJanuary 30, 2023 11:25 am at 11:25 am #2160776
“However there is no halachic requirement to spend a massive amount of money getting married…”
As we have discussed here under multiple threads, there is no chiyuv to spend massive amounts nor is there any prohibition on such spending either IF the baalei simcha can afford it and also have contributed what they perceive as reasonable amounts to tzadakah. One can argue that the same issur should apply to the massive spending we routinely see here on the YWN news pages when the child or grandchild of some chashuvah rav is bar mitzvah or married. A poishte yid is entitled to the same benefit of the doubt. Specifically, if a yid is matzliach and fortunate to have accumulated some wealth, she is free to spend it on her son’s/daughter’s wedding and there is NO fixed percentage in terms of what a yid MUST allocate to tzadakah versus discretionary spending.January 30, 2023 11:28 am at 11:28 am #2160792Get-r-dunParticipant
Ok you start, and if it works we will followJanuary 30, 2023 1:46 pm at 1:46 pm #2160818refoelzeevParticipant
Sivlonos?January 30, 2023 10:13 pm at 10:13 pm #2160942Git MeshigeParticipant
Everyone should get married in their living room. That would eliminate about $30k right there.January 30, 2023 10:56 pm at 10:56 pm #2160957Yserbius123Participant
I believe that Vizhnitz Monsey has a takanah to only give cubic zirconium engagement rings and synthetic fur streimels, so that parents shouldn’t bankrupt themselves on trivialities.January 30, 2023 11:22 pm at 11:22 pm #2160970
Yseribus: How much does a synthetic fur streimel cost and how much does a cubic zirconium ring cost?January 31, 2023 1:46 am at 1:46 am #2161007
The main motivation behind kesuba and a large party is for the hatan to take the wedding seriously and not, h’v, be ready to change his mind and divorce first time kallah burns his porridge. So, _hatan_ spending some serious money on the process is OK. 200 zuz is an bligatory amount, at some point bnei kohanim asked for 400. Whatever the market will bear. But there no reason for kallah to do that.
On the other hand, we mentioned before about cheap medieval weddings. Turns out, in 1930 Mir yeshiva, they also had weddings 2 hours before shabbos, then close relatives having a shabbos dinner, and then whole community coming for sheva brochos (just the brochos, not food).January 31, 2023 11:19 am at 11:19 am #2161146
To AAQ: Porridge? Porridge? Really?January 31, 2023 11:19 am at 11:19 am #2161147
You can lower cost per year by marrying younger.January 31, 2023 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm #2161195
“You can lower cost per year by marrying younger…”
The chassan/kalah will have to use Uber to get home from the simcha hall since they will be too young to drive. In most cases, they will be too young to earn a parnassah so the parents will be spending more supporting them. Younger doesn’t mean cheaper.January 31, 2023 2:07 pm at 2:07 pm #2161239
Lets go back to covid chasunasJanuary 31, 2023 10:11 pm at 10:11 pm #2161380
huju, what are you questioning? Are you served gefilte fish for breakfast?
Gadol, marrying younger does not eliminate Rambam’s suggested order – work -> house (or prequalified for mortgage, I guess) -> marriage. A 17-y.o. can go get a job and earn enough to use Uber.February 1, 2023 2:07 pm at 2:07 pm #2161603takahmamashParticipant
Want to reduce the cost of a wedding? Walk through shules and ask strangers to pay for it. It must work, since so many seem to do it.February 1, 2023 2:09 pm at 2:09 pm #2161612
I am all for reducing costs for simchas but this will be a real tough one to overcome. Girls dream about this from when they are young. There are more practical ways to cut costs that would add up to a much bigger savings than a diamond. For example
1. shave down the vort to a simple lcahim in the chason or kallahs house. No catered event
2. Limit number of guests for aufruf and shabbos sheva brachos. No need need for whole extended family, friends etc. Both of these have gotten out of hand
3. Cut out the ridiculous idea of kallah telling everybody what color they need to wear. No one beyond immediate family needs a gown
4. push the idea of simchas choson vekallah for everyone outside of family.
Just some ideas. Open to hear moreFebruary 1, 2023 2:09 pm at 2:09 pm #2161614
One more thing. I know it has been discussed before, but can we please cut out out the idea of “if you can’t afford it don’t do it”. It is nice in theory but nothing to do with reality. Social pressure is is real. Very real. Anyone who creates it can just say “hey it’s not my problem. I am just doing it bec. I have the $”. If you make a simcha for $100k it puts pressure on the little guy to make a simcha for $50k. Mke one for $250k it just raises the bar for everyone.
You trying telling your kid-I am sorry but these are our values and you will need to suffer for being different than everyone else. I am not saying this specifically for a diamond engagement ring, I say this for everything.
Gvirim should even lower the costs for selfish reasons if nothing else works. Do you really want your neighbor or relative to knock on your door asking for tzedka bec. they can’t afford to make a wedding?February 1, 2023 2:40 pm at 2:40 pm #2161647
Telling your child that these are our values does not mean they have to suffer. If they have been brought up to live within means it is not suffering. They have no false expectations.
I could afford to make the most lavish resort or hotel based Chasunos for our children but it wasn’t our values and they did not suffer by having affairs scaled to our values.
I think each would rather have the thrush’s they received than memories of one outlandish overpriced evening with hundreds of guests they did not even know,February 1, 2023 5:21 pm at 5:21 pm #2161659
@CTL: I agree and disagree with you. I agree that making a lavish wedding is a waste. It would also be nice if our children would share our values with which we try to raise them. However that is not always the case.
Consider a family in which the main breadwinner decided to go into chinuch instead of a more lucrative career. The intentions were noble and idealistic. Sometimes children grow up with the same idealistic values and appreciate the life choice that their parents made but sometimes they grow up resenting it wishing they could be like their wealthy peers. It is not enough to say to them “but that is not how we raised you!”.
This does not mean that we need to spoil our children so that they don’t feel underprivileged. However it is a tricky balance.February 1, 2023 5:34 pm at 5:34 pm #2161690
Want to reduce the cost of a wedding? Walk through shules and ask strangers to pay for it??
I cannot imagine anyone walking from shul to shul begging for money to pay for his son’s/daughter’s chassanah. Perhaps some yidden have no pride and would rather degrade themselves than consider telling their kids to get by with a simple seudas mitzvah after kiddushin or defer the wedding until they can afford to help pay expensive big simcha they aspire to.February 1, 2023 5:40 pm at 5:40 pm #2161722
Autocorrect changed yerushos to thrush’s, which they did not receiveFebruary 1, 2023 6:41 pm at 6:41 pm #2161755
Dorah: If all you could afford was a wedding in your Shul’s social hall catered by the local butcher on Main Street, that’s the Chasuna you would provide for your child? If the only way you could “upgrade” from that de minimis wedding was to accept donations from other Yidden, you’d refuse it and simply have your wedding in the Shul basement?February 1, 2023 7:53 pm at 7:53 pm #2161777anonymous JewParticipant
Maybe the goyim have a better idea. Many couples pay for their own weddings.February 1, 2023 9:58 pm at 9:58 pm #2161794
All of my siblings and I were married in the social halls of our synagogues. That was the standard OOT for baby boomers. In fact most shul Rabbis refused to officiate at the Chasunah (or a Bar Mitzvah) unless the Seurat Mitzvah was held in the synagogue. That way the Katy’s was under the rabbi’s control. Often there was only one caterer in town.
Of the 5 of us siblings, two had the social hall downstairs, three had the social hall on the main floor.
Nothing wrong with a simcha in a shul.
My parents were married during WWII in NYC. Guests had to send their ration points with RSVP cards so the caterer could get the foodstuffs. No shmorg or uninvited guests during wartime rationing.February 1, 2023 10:34 pm at 10:34 pm #2161808
I don’t think that most of the people collecting for hachnosas kallah are collecting for the seudas mitzva. The biggest expense in Israel is what happens after the party. i.e. getting the couple set up with an apartment, furniture etc. That is a whole other discussion…..February 1, 2023 10:34 pm at 10:34 pm #2161819
CTL: You just solved the dilemma posed in the title of this thread. Thank you!February 2, 2023 7:39 am at 7:39 am #2161829
to reduce social pressure we ALL should act accordingly.
I know Rabonim who only come briefly and never it – even if they are in charge of kashrus. If more people will limit their attendance to dancing and mesameach hasan v’kalah, there will be food – AND DRINKS – left after every wedding, then maybe people will start scaling down. Or at least, the hasan vekallah will have enough food for a month.
As to collecting for life after the wedding – that is why we had in older times a year when the hasan was supposed to find a place to live and the kalah get her dresses in order.February 2, 2023 9:30 am at 9:30 am #2161922
My heart goes out for the people who are reduced to running for shul to shul begging, these people make very simple weddings.
PS @AAQ please stick to one style half the time you use a ch and half the time you use hFebruary 2, 2023 5:40 pm at 5:40 pm #2162043
Common saychel: They make very simple weddings but how many of them buy an apartment for their children? How common is it in America for people to go collecting from the public to buy a house for their children? Just because “everyone does it” does not make it a necessity. It seems to me it would be the same as a Jew from Beverly Hills to raise money to buy a new Lexus because that is the norm in his area.February 2, 2023 5:40 pm at 5:40 pm #2162056hashem says noParticipant
You have a heart?…………February 2, 2023 11:09 pm at 11:09 pm #2162158Sam KleinParticipant
How about we all start to make our entire lives more affordable and liveable by living with one important value when it comes to spending money on our finances.
“GET WHAT YOU NEED, NOT WHAT YOU WANT”
sure we can go out for a date to the restaurant, but to go there just to eat a steak is called crazy and is not a need….
Sure we all need a summer vacation even if we don’t work and spend our entire year learning in Kollel. But we’re all human beings and need to freshen up for the upcoming new year during the summer vacation break BUT there’s no reason or need to go all the way to Florida or Israel from the East coast you can go to Pennsylvania with your family and have a wonderful relaxing time and your children won’t even realize the difference between there and Florida.
Let’s start waking up and facing reality to our real need in life and make sure to only buy things we can afford.February 3, 2023 6:45 am at 6:45 am #2162190
@Rocky, buying an apt in Israel pretty much has gone out of style, perhaps 5-10 of the Israelis do that, for the remainder it’s for the wedding night and basic set up of the household.
Pretty much all Chasidisher Mosdos have a Keren Chasanim where the bucher gets 25K towards chasuna expenses.February 3, 2023 3:02 pm at 3:02 pm #2162282n0mesorahParticipant
Quick quote from Reb Yehudah Jacobs zatzal. If you can’t afford a chasunah, you should not be in shidduchim.February 5, 2023 1:35 am at 1:35 am #2162456
> If you can’t afford a chasunah, you should not be in shidduchim.
why not ask the question – why can’t they afford?
if parents and chatan are working and still can’t afford – then, it is the problem with the price that needs to be controlled.
if parents and hatan chose not to work, then it is the problem of whoever wants to provide chesed for them, not the community.February 5, 2023 8:58 am at 8:58 am #2162500
No, prices don’t need to be controlled because some people want what is above their means.
People need to live within their means.
In the 1950s, my eldest brother had an over the top three day Bar Mitzvah celebration on a public holiday weekend. In many ways it was a celebration of my father’s business success not my brother.
It was soon followed by business reverses for my father, and my Bar Mitzvah consisted of a kiddish and luncheon for about 100 guests in the synagogue social hall. No night affair, no orchestra. I wasn’t scarred emotionally. It was what my parents could afford at the time without going into debt.
Every time we spend money we make choices and live with the consequences. If in fact the parents and chatan are working, as you post, and can’t afford to make the chasunah then instead of controlling prices we should examine their ability to earn, low salaries or perhaps their spending history that makes them unable to afford the prices.February 5, 2023 9:52 am at 9:52 am #2162576
Rocky: It is a Halachic obligation to give tzedaka to a person so that he can live the life he’s accustomed to. A rich man who lost his fortune must be given enough tzedaka so that he can once again live in the wealthy style he is accustomed to. In Eretz Yisroel, since they’re accustomed to giving a Chasan an apartment, it is obligatory to give them tzedaka so that they can do so.February 5, 2023 4:21 pm at 4:21 pm #2162582GadolHadofiParticipant
Even if Joseph is right and that’s almost always not the case, you aren’t obligated to give more than a quarter.February 5, 2023 4:21 pm at 4:21 pm #2162584
“If you can’t afford a chasunah, you should not be in shidduchim.”
This is a purely gentile viewpoint that is the antithesis of Torah Judaism, where Halacha mandates marriage even for the poor who are unable to afford a wedding affair.February 5, 2023 4:21 pm at 4:21 pm #2162610takahmamashParticipant
“I cannot imagine anyone walking from shul to shul begging for money to pay for his son’s/daughter’s chassanah.”
We once had someone show up who announced after davening that he was there to collect money to fly family in from the U.S. for a family wedding.
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