The Issue of Bride Price

Dear Auntie Abena,

This is an opinion and at the same time a question. Raising money to fund weddings has become such a daunting task to guys nowadays. Getting married has become so expensive that most parents intentionally put their daughters on auction for the highest bidder.

A lady friend told me that a serious guy will not spend less than GHS25,000 on the marriage ceremony. And even when I tried to dispute it by citing somebody who I believe spent about GHS10,000, she quickly interjected and disputed it on the basis that even the bride price (dowry) and attires for wedding will even exceed that. I was so perplexed and shocked to hear that. It will take a lot of guys more than 9years to save such an amount.

There was this one time I saw the list that was provided to one guy who intended to marry somebody’s daughter, I was just short of words. And the abysmal thing is some of these ladies don’t really care about that. A lady told me that she was never going to negotiate with her parents to reduce her bride price because they have sacrificed a lot for her hence they deserve whatever they demand.

These are my questions:

  • Will a lady feel ok if her husband to be, virtually spends or his life savings on their wedding?
  • Is there any law that prohibits ladies from contributing financially to their wedding?
  • Is the bride price even relevant considering the fact that marriage is a union not an auction or a mere ceremony?
  • How will a lady feel if the guy she is supposed to get married to leaves apparently because of his inability to raise enough money for the wedding?
  • Should the bride price be considered a red flag when planning to get married to someone?

Written by Abena Magis


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