It is a payment for the bride's price. The pair will not marry if the bride fee is not paid. The custom, according to anthropologists and cultural historians, extends back more than 2,500 years. It is made in two parts: one part is given at their first meeting in order to show respect for each other's families; the other part is paid several months later.
In some cultures the bride price is very large. In some cases it can be the entire wealth of the family. However, in many cases it is much less. A common practice is that the husband gives his wife a gift of equal value before they are married. This is called a "pre-nuptial agreement".
After giving this first gift, a man will often wait until he can pay the second portion of the bride price. This is known as the "bridging loan". The reason for this arrangement is so that if the woman leaves him before the marriage, he will still be able to pay off the bridge loan.
Some scholars believe that this practice begins as a way for men to ensure that they are not tricked into marrying someone who is not willing to leave her family home. This practice also shows that the man is providing financial support for his wife even after they are married.
A "bride price" is the amount paid by the groom's family to their prospective in-laws at the commencement of their marriage. Money, gifts, or a combination of the two can be used to make the payment. It is occasionally paid all at once, although payments are rather commonplace. It's also popular in Thailand, China, and Papua New Guinea.
The bride price serves three main purposes: it shows your family that you are able to support someone else for life; it gives your family time to save enough money to be able to afford a wedding; and finally, it allows your family to negotiate a lower marriage price. If your family cannot afford to pay a high price, they will try to negotiate a deal with the husband's family.
In many parts of the world, the bride price only needs to cover the cost of the wedding ceremony and food. If anything else is desired by the couple, such as a new house, then both parties would need to come up with the cash. In other words, "paying cash right away for a wedding costs too much," according to human rights activist Radha Kumar.
Kumar goes on to say that in many cases, this practice creates an environment where women are forced into marriages because they cannot afford to refuse their husbands.
In some societies, the bride price can be very large. For example, in parts of Africa, it is common for a man to give his wife a car as her dowry.
The term comes from an ancient practice of paying a dowry to the husband's parents before they married. If the woman had no money or property of her own, she would work alongside her husband's first wife until she could afford a wedding gift.
In modern times, the bride price is usually paid by the groom's family to the bride's parents in exchange for their permission to marry their daughter. If the girl has no inheritance, then the couple will need to save enough money to pay for a wedding ceremony and reception.
In some cultures, the groom does not have a choice about who will pay the bride price; it is required that he pay something. In other cultures, especially in Africa, Asia, and Latin America, it is common for the groom to pay a large sum of money as a gift to the bride's family. This is often done so that the couple can have enough money to start off their marriage with.
In some cases, such as when the bride's family is very poor and cannot afford a gift, then the man may pay for the wedding directly with his own funds.
A bride price, bridewealth, or bride token is money, property, or other type of wealth paid by a groom or his family to the woman or family of the lady he is going to marry. Some civilizations practice both dowry and bride price at the same time. The word "bridal" comes from the term bride price.
In many countries where divorce is difficult or impossible, the bride price ensures that the wife's family will not be financially ruined if the marriage fails. It also protects the husband against having to pay if she dies before the marriage can be consummated.
The groom's family pays the bride price so that the couple can get married without any financial worries. The husband then supports his new wife by providing her with food, shelter, and clothing. If the marriage works out, he may eventually give her some property of her own. But most usually, he doesn't have to give her anything because she brings something else into the marriage: her family name and reputation.
In ancient times, when a man had many children, they would all work for their father after his death. This way, the family wouldn't die out. So the bride price represents what the husband will provide in order to have these children. He provides genes which will help his offspring survive and thrive.
Nowadays, this tradition is still present in some parts of Asia (especially in India).
A bride price is required. It demonstrates a man's regard for a lady and his gratitude to her parents for training her. However, some people mistake it and believe it is a sort of purchasing someone, which is not the case. The bride price serves as security for the marriage; if she were to break off the engagement or refuse to marry him, her family would be able to seek compensation from his.
In some cultures, the bride price also acts as a way for families to settle disputes. If two men are seen walking together, people will assume that there is no reason for conflict between them because they are close friends. If one of them tries to walk away without saying goodbye, this would show that he does not want to commit to marrying the woman he is with. Her family could then claim that he offered little to no resistance when she wanted to leave and so he should pay a large sum of money as compensation.
In other cultures, this practice still exists but instead of using money, a partner may give another member of the couple a gift such as a house, an animal, or even land. By doing this, he is showing her family that he is willing to help their son or daughter in order to secure a marriage contract.
The bride price also ensures that any children from the marriage are taken care of financially.