Who Pays for A Muslim Wedding? The Tradition Explained

Muslim bride and groom outside mosque

Wedding ceremonies have various expenses that the couple or their families pay for, such as, officiant fees or venue booking fees. Different cultures and religions have different approaches on who has to pay for the wedding ceremony. A Muslim wedding has various expenses, and certain parties to the wedding ceremony must pay for them.

So, who pays for a Muslim wedding? The groom traditionally has been expected to pay for the wedding ceremony. Even though there is no Islamic law that requires the groom to pay for the wedding, most men take up the responsibility when they decide to get married. The groom usually pays for everything if he is capable of doing so. Sometimes the groom and his father or family will split the wedding ceremony expenses. Even if the groom is not financially stable, he will find a way to pay for the wedding without involving the bride or her family.

Religious wedding ceremonies are not cheap; they require proper planning and budgeting. In the Islamic religion, grooms have taken the role of paying for the wedding ceremony and ensuring everything is in place. Read on to find out more about who pays for a Muslim wedding, who pays for walima in a Muslim wedding, and how much a Muslim wedding costs.

The Tradition of Paying for A Muslim Wedding

Traditionally, the groom has been responsible for paying for the wedding ceremony. After getting engaged, the groom will arrange a wedding ceremony within his budget. Some men do not accept help from the bride or her family regarding the wedding’s budget, as they believe it is not appropriate for a man to receive financial help from a woman. However, some will allow the bride to pay for the wedding reception.

Sometimes, the person that pays for the Muslim wedding will depend on the region the couple comes from. According to geography, some Islamic traditions differ; hence, one practice in America will vary from other Saudi Arabia practices.

In some countries, the men will have the responsibility of paying for the wedding ceremony. In other countries, the bride and groom’s families might decide to share the wedding costs.

There is no Islamic law that directs a specific person to pay for the wedding ceremony. The groom taking the responsibility of paying for the wedding comes from the tradition that men should take care of their families.

When the groom pays for the wedding ceremony, it shows that he can take care of his future family. The groom will go all out to pay for a lavish wedding to show his fellow men that he has the financial strength to take care of his family.

Also, the families might decide to share the costs incurred in arranging the wedding ceremony. The bride and groom’s families can agree on what they will pay for at the wedding ceremony. Sharing wedding costs between families ensures that the marriage starts on a positive note by establishing strong bonds between the families at the start of the marriage.

In a Muslim marriage, there is a contract known as a mahr. Mahr is a formal statement that specifies the amount of money the groom shall give the bride. The payment is in two parts; the first part is a fixed amount the groom shall pay before the marriage is consummated.

The second part is the amount the groom will be given to the bride throughout the marriage. The mahr has to come from the groom and can take other forms other than money like jewelry, land, cars, tuition fees as long as the bride benefits from it directly.

Sometimes, wedding ceremonies come with the pressure of pleasing your families and friends by having a fancy ceremony. You should develop a budget that does not put a financial strain on you or your family. Islam teachings encourage grooms to plan for ceremonies that they can afford.

There is no need to go above and beyond by holding a lavish wedding ceremony then languish in debt for the rest of the marriage. Arrange a wedding that will be satisfying for you and your bride; what other people will think about your wedding should not affect your budgeting decisions.

If the groom decides to share the wedding ceremony’s costs with the bride’s family, there are certain events that the bride’s family cannot pay for. The bride’s family cannot pay for the mahr and walima. Mahr and walima are the responsibility of the groom and his family.

Even if they do not have enough money to pay for them, they cannot accept financial assistance from the bride or her family to pay for the walima or mahr.

Who Pays for Walima in a Muslim Wedding?

It is the sole responsibility of the groom and his family to organize for the walima. The groom will pay for all the food and drinks that the guests will take after the signing of the marriage contract. Sometimes, the groom will pay for the food and beverages, and the bride or her family will pay for the venue. The key part of the walima is that the food and drinks should come from the groom or his family.

Walima is the marriage banquet performed after signing the marriage contract. The bride and groom will host their guests to a meal after the wedding ceremony. Walima is a symbol of domestic happiness that will be present throughout the marriage. After the couple has signed the marriage contract, it is time to feast as a guest get ready to sample some of the best Muslim cuisines out there.

Walima includes foods that are believed to be symbols of fertility. You will find food such as fish, chicken, rice, and almonds, among others. In some Muslim cultures, walima can last for two days, depending on the groom’s financial capability. Walima is very important in every wedding ceremony, and many grooms take time to prepare for the walima making sure their guests enjoy the meal.

Walima does not have to be grand or lavish. A simple feast is enough as long as some of the guests from the wedding enjoy the food. The groom will invite the number of guests he knows he can cater for during the walima. However, if you are financially stable and feel like feeding your entire wedding guest list, you can arrange for a lavish walima.

If you are on a tight budget, you can reduce the number of persons attending the walima. You and your family can host the bride and her family together with the officiating person at your home for a simple walima. There is no need to go into debt because you want to feed a crowd of people. It will be pointless to go broke and lack food in the future while you spent a lot of money feeding guests at your wedding.

Walima is not obligatory, but it is highly recommended. The Islamic laws do not expect a groom to have a walima, but many of them prefer to have it as a tradition. Family members will also expect the walima and will talk you into it if you had doubts.

When the groom has spent most of his money on arranging the wedding, the family usually takes the role of paying for the walima. Only the groom’s family can invite guests for the walima; the bride and her family cannot have a walima.

As a non-Muslim guest, you should know that there will not be any alcohol present during the walima. The Muslim faith forbids alcohol consumption; hence, there will not be any alcoholic drinks at the walima. You will not be allowed to bring your own alcohol; hence, if you have a toast to give, you will have to say it over a glass of juice or milk.

How Much Does a Muslim Wedding Cost?

There are no fixed costs of a Muslim wedding; it can range from costing nothing to having costs as high as the couple wants it to be. However, a Muslim wedding ceremony’s cost depends on several issues, such as the groom’s financial capability.

The groom usually takes the role of paying for the wedding ceremony, and his financial capability will dictate how much the wedding will cost. If the groom is a wealthy billionaire, then the wedding budget is likely to be in the millions. If the groom is a casual laborer, then the wedding costs will not be very high.

The groom might be financially stable but may want a simple wedding. The type of wedding the bride and groom want shall dictate the cost of the ceremony. The bride and groom’s choices will determine the costs of the wedding.

If the groom invites very few people to the walima, the cost of food and drinks shall be cheaper. If the groom decides to have a grand walima and invite thousands of people, then the wedding’s cost shall be very high.

In the Muslim culture, the couple belongs to might also influence the costs of the wedding ceremony. In some cultures, the bigger the wedding, the better. The couple and their families take pride in how big the wedding will be, how many people have been invited, and how long it will take.

The longer the guest list, the higher the wedding costs. In the united states, Muslim weddings have short guest lists and take a short time, hence reducing costs compared to Muslim weddings in Saudi Arabia. 

Family pressure plays a key role in determining how much the wedding will cost. Some families will want a big lavish wedding that they can boast to against other families. If your family wants an elegant wedding ceremony, you may bow to pressure and have one.

Sometimes, if the groom does not have enough money, his family and that of the bride might help pay for some of the costs of the wedding. To control overzealous family members, inform them that if they want something added to your current budget, then they have to pay for it.

Ways To Cut Down Your Muslim Wedding Costs

One of the ways that you can cut down on costs is by booking the correct venue. Muslims are not required to have their wedding in a mosque; other appropriate locations are allowed. Also, the other venues can be expensive, increasing the costs of the wedding.

Booking the mosque for the wedding is not that cheap either. Hence, extra money is directed to something else like the walima. In addition to saving money, a mosque wedding allows you to work closely with the Imam when planning for the wedding.

You should also ensure that you and the bride only make all the key decisions about the wedding. Family members can help prepare the wedding ceremony, but they cannot decide what is needed and what is not needed at the wedding.

Listening to all family members may turn your wedding ceremony into theirs. Some of their ideas might be very expensive and saying no to some of their ideas might save you some money.

Take the option of renting rather than buying certain items. The bride wears a lot of jewelry at a Muslim wedding, and those do not come cheap. You can save a lot of money by asking her to rent some of the jewelry she will wear at the wedding.

You might not wear all that jewelry again; hence there is no need to pay for it and use it for a few hours only. Renting jewelry is also an innovative way of wearing the most expensive jewelry that you might not otherwise afford if it was a purchase.

Do not invite everyone you know to the wedding ceremony. Keep the guest list as short as possible, preferably, with family members and close friends only. During the walima, a short guest list ensures that every one of them gets enough food.

The food prepared will be of good quality and deserving of your wedding ceremony. You can share the costs of entertaining the guests; the groom can pay for the food and drink, and the bride can pay for the venue.

Refrain from taking huge loans to pay for wedding costs. Loans are meant for emergencies and transactions that will generate income in the future. A wedding ceremony is not an emergency hence can be postponed to another time if there are no sufficient funds. You can use some of your savings or current earnings to pay for the wedding. A loan to pay for the wedding can disrupt your future financial plans as a new family.

Avoid unnecessary expenses at the wedding ceremony. It is important to have photos and videos of your wedding ceremony as a way of preserving happy memories. However, you do not need to hire a professional photographer for your wedding; you can use one of your relatives or family as a photographer. If you want professional photos, you can hire small-time photographers whose services are cheap and affordable.

You should properly plan your wedding to ensure that it is a complete success. You have to keep in mind the basic things that will make or break the wedding ceremony. Having a budget and sticking by it is very important; it will ensure that there are no unnecessary purchases and every aspect of the wedding will be well catered for by your budget. As long as you maintain your budget, you will not have any problems regarding your wedding costs.

It is important to cut back on costs but do not overdo it. It is one thing being frugal, and it is another being cheap. Cut costs where necessary, not everywhere you feel like cutting costs. You might end up with a ceremony so cheap it will be difficult for guests to celebrate and have a good time. Find the right balance between saving some money and buying the best wedding ring for the bride.


In the Muslim community, it is common for men to assume the role of provider for the family. Grooms tend to use this ideology to pay for the wedding ceremony to show that they can take care of their families. There is no Islamic law that requires men to pay for the wedding ceremony, but most of them prefer to do so.

Some men will share wedding costs with their families. In some cases, the bride’s family will pay for the wedding ceremony, and the groom will pay for the walima.

It is the responsibility of the groom to pay for the walima. The groom shall pay for the wedding feast, or his family can pay for it if he cannot afford it. You don’t have to have a walima during the ceremony, but it is highly recommended, and many grooms do not skip it.

The costs of Muslim weddings depend on several things such as the groom’s financial capabilities, the country of residence, the couple’s taste among others. Islamic teachings request people to be humble but if you have enough money for a lavish wedding ceremony, you can go ahead and have it.

Recent Posts