Rav Chaim zatzal on Wedding Costs

HaGaon HaRav Chaim Kanievsky giving a bracha to the heads of Mercaz Liba, an organization that strives to strengthen the Jewish identity of the state of Israel, and encouraging them to continue their mission to guard the kedushah of the Kosel from the influence of Reform and Conservative groups.

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It is well-known that wedding expenses are one of the most enormous costs that parents can have. Reb Naftali Weinberger shlita (printed in his new Sefer, “Rav Chaim Kanievsky on Shidduchim” posed a number of questions on wedding expenses to Rav Chaim. Below are a number of those questions:

At what point should parents start saving money for their child’s wedding?

Rav Chaim zatzal answered from the Bar Mitzvah. [Presumably for a daughter one should at least begin before she is 12 and perhaps before then as well.]

If a young man does not have any funds to assist in the wedding, at what point should he inform the young lady? Rav Chaim answered that it should be done before matters conclude.

Is there an obligation to sell one’s possessions in order to marry one’s child off to a suitable person? Rav Chaim answered that, in practice, one is not obligated to sell anything. But one must make every effort to obtain the funds.

The author can be reached at [email protected]

To read more of Rav Chaim zatzal’s Torah, go to orchotyosher.com


  1. A printed “fill in the blank” kesubah is not expensive. You can probably find one online to print yourself or at a local library. The ring isn’t allowed to be very expensive and in any event, it’s the bridegroom’s responsibility under halacha.
    You need ten men for the seudah (and to avoid getting people mad at you, you can invite the women and children); they need to wash. The shul and the Rav expect some compensation. The mikva has to charge a fee to stay in business.

    The rest consists of us rich post-holocaust descendants of survivors (with limited historical memory, and a lot of deliberate forgetting) showing off how well off we are, and then complaining that’s its expensive to show off our affluence.