Weddings – How do you split the costs

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    My son is rapidly approaching marriage age and I was wondering, how are the costs of weddings split between families these days? I have heard that each “side” has certain areas they cover (photographers, flowers, etc) while the other “side” covers the rest. Is this the prevailing custom or is it now just a 50/50 split?



    Primarily I would say its either 50/50, or FLOP (flowers, liquor, orchestra, photography) or FLOPS (s = sheitel)

    But then again every family comes along with their own unique situation.

    What if your Son married a girl from NY, and they wanted to do 50/50? Would you want to pay for most of their half of their guests while you only have family there and a couple close friends?

    I think its something to worry about/ and work out when the time comes… 🙂


    Ben Torah

    Typically the girls family pays for the wedding hall.


    Obviously, everyone’s situation and mechutan’s situation are different, and should be worked out together BEFORE the engagement so there is no sticky situation while preparing for the simcha. I can only speak from my own experience: Usually the boy’s side does FLOP, as mentioned above, (sometimes FLOPS, with “S” being the boy’s mother pays for one sheitel). The best way to figure out if FLOP or 50/50 is more fair is by figuring out the guest list. If the guest list is very close to 50/50 then that would probably work better. If not, then FLOP works well, and usually comes out to about half anyway (minus the cost of the wedding hall which the girl’s side pays for). I am referring to NY weddings by the way, out of town things maybe work differently and out of town-NY shidduch definitely works differently. Hatzlacha with your son in shidduchim- what’s he looking for?


    All of this preferably should be decided between the future machetonim BEFORE the engagement, in fact it might not be a bad idea if the shadchan can find out what each side is thinking along these lines, before the shidduch goes through.

    We did 50-50 in both our weddings – one son and one daughter – at the machetonims’ suggestions, and so far it seems that the idea is accepted as such as the FLOP(S) idea. When we cheshboned it out, it came to approximately the same expenses whether we had split the costs or done FLOPS.

    it used to be that the girl’s side paid exclusively for the hall, but that is no longer the only option.


    There are no set rules written in stone and everyone should discuss and work out their own details when they meet before the l’chaim. Don’t cry and whine after you shake hands and then say “had I known they weren’t going to pay….” it doesn’t work like that. Lay everything on the table before you agree to the shidduch.

    In addition, NO MATTER WHAT, keep the children out of the finances. NEVER, EVER send messages back and forth with the kids. Use phone, emails, texts if you have to but know that you have to communicate with your mechutanim on your own. If you experience issues ask your Rav to assist but keep the kids out of it.


    If it is 50/50 at the wedding expenses, it should be 50/50 after the wedding too. What is important is to be specific of what your likes or dislikes are. One of my friends ended up footing the whole bill even though it was discussed as 50/50. The girls parents claimed that for them a cheaper hall would have been good enough. After the first child they(boys) side was still footing most of the bill.But guess where the couple spent most of Yom Tov family time, yes at the girls side. This happens very often. The money side may work out but family time is “busting time” for many from the boys side. Yes, when you confront your son he will say “for the sake of Shalom Bayis”. So whatever the arrangements, be specific of what type of hall, flowers, photos, etc. Don’t go for “we’ll work it out” which sounds good when finalizing the shidduch but may spell aggravation afterwards.


    Can a guy refuse to date unless the girls side agrees to pay all the costs?

    That would solve this problem.


    If it is 50/50 when does that include the ring candlesticks, shas sheitel etc? When my sons got engaged, the mechutan tried 50/50. Once I said let’s deduct the cost of the dates and the ring he backed down.


    LA Guy –

    Much in the way some CR members have their pet project/ threads they always try to hijack, I think I’m going to make this mine:

    Does your son work, or is he in school on the path to a carear? Not that you / he can’t choose to follow a different path, its just that I feel its important to raise the topic. You / mechutan are about to spend anywhere between $15-20m and I just wonder what sort (if any) expectation you are placing in your son (And yes, I’m in a posittion to talk, as I have only boys, black-hatters at that)

    Nu? Where do you stand?


    A friend of ours ( a widow ) was marrying off her daughter. Her problem? she had limited means and the mechutin ” had ” 400 guests to invite and wanted a 50/50 split. Our friend followed our advise.

    She had a cordial meeting with her mechutin at which time she said all I can pay is cccc and I will not go into debt.

    The mechutin agreed.

    Another friend had mechutin who said, don’t worry, we’ll work things out bu, as the wedding date neared, the mecutin kept inviting more people but wouldn’t pay. Mt friend figured that after the wedding, he would no longer have ant leverage. 2 weeks before the wedding, he informed his mechutin that they would only be permitted 20 couples, including themselves. Any couple not on the list would not be permitted entry. Ultimately, the mechutin paid


    Shouldnt the ring be separate, since the chosen has to own it himself?

    Ben Torah

    mosherose, that would only be applicable to the less expensive Chupa ring. The far more expensive “engagement ring”, doesn’t have that problem.


    Ben Torah,

    Why would a young couple,presuming headed for kolel life and support for the husband to learn, need to spend ( waste ) mpney on ” The far more expensive “engagement ring”, ?


    A fair way (not the only one) to split the cost: All fixed expenses that essentially do not change according to the guest list such as photographer, band and flowers are split 50-50. As for the guests, each side pays for its own invitees. Want to invite more people? No problem, pay for them. Need to cut costs? Invite fewer.

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