Cost to Marry in Saudi: Understanding Expenses

20 Apr 2024·16 min read

Getting married is an important milestone in many people's lives, but it can also come with a hefty price tag. In Saudi Arabia, the cost of getting married is a significant consideration for couples. From dowries to apartment rentals to wedding ceremonies, there are various expenses to navigate.

The average cost of getting married in Saudi Arabia is SR165,000 per person. This includes expenses such as the dowry, renting and furnishing an apartment, the wedding ceremony itself, and the honeymoon. These costs can add up quickly and often lead to tight economic circumstances for newly married couples.

It's important to understand the breakdown of these expenses to better plan for your own wedding. In this article, we will explore the different factors that contribute to the cost of getting married in Saudi Arabia and provide helpful insights for couples navigating these expenses.

Cost to Marry in Saudi: Understanding Expenses 01

Key Takeaways:

  • Getting married in Saudi Arabia can cost an average of SR165,000 per person.
  • Expenses include the dowry, apartment rental and furnishings, wedding ceremony, and honeymoon.
  • The high costs often lead to economic difficulties for newly married couples.
  • Understanding the breakdown of expenses can help couples plan their wedding budgets more effectively.
  • It's important to consider cost-saving measures and prioritize financial stability when planning for marriage.

Average Wedding Costs in Saudi Arabia

Planning a wedding can be an exciting but pricey endeavor. To help you prepare financially, it's important to understand the average wedding costs in Saudi Arabia. According to a report from the General Authority for Statistics, the average cost of wedding ceremonies in Saudi Arabia was SR12,500 ($2,290) in May 2022. This indicates a 32 percent increase from the previous year.

It's worth noting that wedding costs can vary depending on the region, with some weddings exceeding SR100,000. The rise in wedding expenses can be attributed to various factors such as increased food prices, hotel accommodation expenses, and other components included in the overall cost of the wedding. To give you a clearer picture, let's break down the different expenses typically incurred during a Saudi wedding:

Wedding Cost Breakdown:

Expense CategoryAverage Cost (SR)
Venue Rental18,000
Food and Catering25,000
Wedding Dress and Attire8,000
Photography and Videography5,000
Other Expenses3,500
Total Cost100,500

As you can see from the breakdown above, wedding expenses can add up quickly. It's essential to set a budget and prioritize your spending based on your financial capacity and personal preferences. This will help ensure that you have a memorable celebration without putting a strain on your finances.

Planning Tips to Manage Wedding Costs:

"To have a beautiful wedding without breaking the bank, it's important to plan strategically. Consider these tips to help manage your wedding expenses:

  • Set a realistic budget and stick to it.
  • Prioritize your spending on essential items such as the venue, food, and attire.
  • Explore cost-saving options, such as DIY decorations or opting for off-peak wedding seasons.
  • Get creative with your gift choices to save money while still showing appreciation to your guests.
  • Consider hiring local vendors to support small businesses and potentially negotiate better prices.
  • Use digital invitations instead of traditional paper ones to reduce costs and minimize environmental impact."

By implementing these strategies, you can effectively manage your wedding costs and create a memorable celebration within your means. Remember, it's the love and joy shared on your special day that truly matters, regardless of the price tag.

International Comparison of Wedding Costs

When it comes to wedding expenses, it's interesting to compare the costs of ceremonies around the world. Saudi Arabia, known for its rich cultural traditions, has relatively low average wedding costs. Let's take a look at how Saudi Arabia's wedding expenses compare to other cities worldwide.

Average Wedding Costs in Selected Cities

CityAverage Cost (in Saudi Riyals)Average Cost (in US Dollars)
Lahore, PakistanSR13,200$3,500
Saudi ArabiaSR12,500$2,290
The Hamptons, New York, USASR174,000$46,000
Positano, ItalySR162,000$43,000

Based on the comparison, it's evident that the average cost of weddings in Saudi Arabia is relatively low compared to cities like The Hamptons in New York and Positano in Italy, where wedding costs can reach up to $46,000 and $43,000, respectively. However, it's worth noting that the city of Lahore in Pakistan has the lowest estimated cost, with an average of just SR13,200.

This comparison showcases the varying expenses across different locations, giving us a glimpse into the differences in wedding cultures and traditions around the world.

The Impact of Location on Wedding Expenses

The differences in wedding costs can be attributed to various factors, including local customs, the availability of resources, and the overall cost of living. While Saudi Arabia offers relatively affordable wedding options, it's important to consider the cultural significance and unique experiences that come with each location's wedding traditions.

Whether you choose to celebrate in Saudi Arabia or elsewhere, it's essential to plan within your budget and prioritize what truly matters to you as a couple.

Cultural Factors Affecting Wedding Expenses in Saudi Arabia

The cultural traditions and customs surrounding weddings in Saudi Arabia play a significant role in driving up the expenses associated with marriage. These cultural factors contribute to the desire for extravagant celebrations and the need to create lasting memories. Let's explore some of the key cultural factors that influence wedding expenses in Saudi Arabia.

1. Lavish Ceremonies and Grandeur

In Saudi Arabia, weddings are known for their grandeur and opulence. Traditional Saudi weddings often involve extravagant ceremonies with hundreds of guests. The bride's entrance is a highly anticipated moment and is often accompanied by music and applause. These elaborate events require extensive planning and investment, which significantly contributes to the overall wedding expenses.

2. Emphasis on Prestige

Weddings in Saudi Arabia place a strong emphasis on prestige and recognition, particularly for the bride. Families aim to showcase their wealth and social status through elaborate wedding celebrations. Luxurious venues, exquisite decor, and high-end services are sought-after to create a sense of grandiose and prominence. This pursuit of prestige further drives up the costs associated with weddings.

"Weddings in Saudi Arabia are a reflection of social status and a means to display opulence and prestige."

3. Renowned Singers and Performances

Entertainment is a crucial aspect of Saudi weddings, with renowned singers and performers often invited to entertain the guests. These high-profile performances can come with substantial costs, including the fees for the artists, live bands, and other entertainment arrangements. The presence of famous entertainers adds to the overall appeal and grandeur of the wedding, but also contributes to the rising expenses.

4. Lavish Food and Hospitality

Saudi weddings are known for their elaborate feasts and generous hospitality. It is customary to serve a wide variety of sumptuous dishes and delicacies to ensure guests are well taken care of. The costs associated with catering for a large number of guests and providing an extensive menu can be substantial. Family pride is often associated with the spread of food, leaving no expense spared.

These cultural factors, including lavish ceremonies, emphasis on prestige, renowned performances, and extravagant food and hospitality, all contribute to the high wedding expenses in Saudi Arabia. While couples strive to create memorable and opulent celebrations, it's important to consider how these cultural traditions impact the financial aspects of getting married in the kingdom.

Cost to Marry in Saudi: Understanding Expenses 02
Cultural FactorsImpact on Wedding Expenses
Lavish Ceremonies and GrandeurSignificant investment in venue, decor, and arrangements
Emphasis on PrestigeDesire for extravagant celebrations with high-end services
Renowned Singers and PerformancesCosts associated with hiring famous artists and entertainers
Lavish Food and HospitalitySubstantial expenses in catering for a large number of guests

Impact of Economic Factors on Wedding Budgets

Economic factors play a significant role in shaping wedding budgets in Saudi Arabia. The rising cost of weddings, coupled with the current economic situation, has led many couples to reconsider their spending and find ways to reduce expenses. As a result, there has been a noticeable impact on wedding plans, with some couples even canceling their nuptial celebrations.

Industry experts estimate that approximately 50% of weddings in cities across the GCC have been affected by the economic downturn. Couples are being forced to reassess their budgets and make significant reductions in their wedding expenditures. In some cases, wedding budgets are being slashed by as much as 60% in an effort to maintain financial stability.

This economic impact has resulted in a shift in priorities among engaged couples, leading to a more mindful and ethical approach to weddings. Instead of extravagant events, couples are opting for smaller ceremonies that align with their revised budgets. The focus is now on creating intimate and meaningful moments that prioritize the love and commitment shared between the couple.

Additionally, in their quest to reduce costs, couples are embracing eco-friendly practices as part of their wedding plans. This not only helps to lower expenses but also reflects a growing consciousness about the environment and sustainability. From using recycled materials for invitations to choosing locally sourced, organic catering, couples are finding innovative ways to align their wedding celebrations with their values.

Overall, the economic impact on wedding budgets in Saudi Arabia has prompted a reevaluation of spending habits and a shift towards more modest and environmentally conscious celebrations. This change signals a growing awareness of the importance of financial stability and social responsibility in building a life together as a married couple.

Green Weddings and Ethical Approaches

The concept of "green weddings" has gained popularity in the West and encompasses eco-friendly practices that reduce environmental impact and unnecessary spending. In response to the high costs of weddings in Saudi Arabia and growing economic difficulties, there has been a noticeable shift in interest toward more ethical approaches to wedding planning.

Green weddings prioritize sustainability and conscious consumption. Couples are opting for eco-friendly choices that not only benefit the environment but also their budgets. These practices encourage mindful spending and reduce waste, without compromising on the beauty and significance of the wedding celebration.

Reducing Environmental Impact

One way couples can reduce their environmental impact is by opting for recycled paper invitations. These invitations are created using recycled materials, reducing the demand for new paper production and decreasing the overall carbon footprint of the wedding.

Venues that prioritize recycling and waste management practices are also becoming increasingly popular. These venues not only provide a beautiful setting for the wedding but also ensure that waste is properly managed and disposed of in an environmentally-friendly manner.

Charitable Donations and Meaningful Gifts

Guests attending green weddings may be asked to substitute traditional gifts with charitable donations. This encourages a spirit of giving back and supports meaningful causes instead of accumulating unnecessary material possessions. Couples can select charitable organizations aligned with their values and ask guests to contribute to these causes in lieu of traditional wedding gifts.

When it comes to wedding favors, couples are opting for eco-friendly options such as reusable or biodegradable items. These thoughtful gifts align with the sustainable ethos of green weddings and provide guests with practical and eco-conscious mementos of the special day.

Locally Sourced and Organic Catering

Another key aspect of green weddings is the focus on locally sourced, organic catering. By choosing local food suppliers and organic ingredients, couples not only support the local economy but also prioritize health and sustainability. This approach ensures the highest quality, freshest ingredients while reducing the carbon footprint associated with long-distance food transport.

Supporting local farmers and businesses not only strengthens the community but also fosters a sense of connection between the wedding celebration and its surroundings.

Benefits of Green WeddingsActions for an Eco-Friendly Wedding
Reduced environmental impactUse recycled paper invitations
Mindful and conscious consumptionChoose venues that prioritize recycling
Supporting charitable causesAsk for charitable donations instead of gifts
Focus on local economySelect locally sourced, organic catering

Green weddings provide an opportunity for couples to celebrate their love while making a positive impact on the environment and supporting ethical practices. By embracing eco-friendly choices, couples in Saudi Arabia can create meaningful and joyful wedding celebrations that align with their values and contribute to a more sustainable future.

The Growing Wedding Industry in the Arab World

Despite economic challenges and the rising costs of weddings, the wedding industry in the Arab world has experienced significant growth, with an annual increase of 20%. The Middle Eastern wedding industry has become a multimillion dollar business, driven by high demand and the importance placed on weddings as cultural and social events.

This growth highlights the continued significance of weddings in the region, despite the financial hardships faced by couples. Weddings hold a special place in Arab culture and are seen as a reflection of societal values, traditions, and family bonds. The celebration of love and union through weddings remains a cherished tradition, contributing to the thriving wedding industry.

Impact on Local Economy

The prosperous wedding industry has a substantial impact on the local economy, generating employment opportunities and stimulating various sectors. From wedding planners and caterers to decorators and photographers, countless individuals and businesses benefit from the demand for wedding services.

Furthermore, the Arab world has witnessed an influx of international brands and suppliers looking to capitalize on this lucrative market. Companies specializing in bridal fashion, jewelry, beauty, and event management have established a presence in the region, contributing to the growth of the overall industry.

The Role of Matchmakers and Dowries

In Saudi Arabian weddings, matchmakers play a significant role in helping couples find suitable matches. Many couples rely on the services of matchmakers to navigate the complex process of finding a life partner. These matchmakers charge fees for their expertise, which can range from SR3,000 to SR5,000, depending on the specific requirements of the individuals involved.

Dowries are another significant aspect of Saudi marriages. A dowry is a payment made by the groom or his family to the bride's family as a symbol of respect and to ensure the bride's financial security. The dowry also reflects the status and wealth of the groom and his family.

The average dowry in Saudi Arabia ranges from SR40,000 to SR50,000. However, in some traditional areas, it is customary to demand a kilo and a half of gold from the groom's family as part of the dowry. This gold is often in the form of necklaces or belts, serving as a tangible and lasting symbol of the bride's worth and the groom's commitment.

" Matchmakers are instrumental in assisting couples in finding compatible partners in Saudi Arabian weddings. The practice of dowries is deeply rooted in the culture, serving as an expression of respect, financial security, and status."

The Role of Matchmakers

Matchmakers, known locally as "khattabah" or "makhtabat," act as intermediaries between families and potential partners. They possess a deep understanding of cultural norms, traditions, and family backgrounds, allowing them to suggest suitable matches. These matchmakers often have a network of contacts and rely on their expertise to find individuals who share common values and interests.

The Significance of Dowries

Dowries hold significant cultural and financial significance in Saudi marriages. They serve as a testament to the groom's ability to provide for the bride and demonstrate his commitment to the marriage. The amount of the dowry is typically negotiated between the families and varies based on factors such as the groom's financial standing and the bride's family's expectations.


Gold Consumption and Wedding Feasts

In Saudi Arabia, gold consumption plays a significant role in weddings. Annually, an estimated 32 tons of gold are purchased for wedding-related purposes, amounting to approximately SR1.7 billion. This reflects the importance of gold as a symbol of wealth, status, and heritage in Saudi Arabian culture.

The distribution of gold among family members varies across different regions of Saudi Arabia. The Najd and southern areas are known for consuming the highest amounts of gold during weddings, as it is customary to gift gold jewelry to the bride and her family.

Additionally, wedding feasts in Saudi Arabia are an integral part of the celebration. Traditionally, large numbers of sheep are slaughtered for these feasts, with over 994,000 sheep sacrificed each year. The cost of slaughtering a sheep is approximately SR500, and other expenses for food preparation and services can increase the total cost to SR750 per sheep.

Gold Consumption in Saudi Arabia

Gold holds great cultural significance in Saudi Arabia, symbolizing wealth, luxury, and tradition. The demand for gold during weddings is driven by various factors, including:

  • The desire to present extravagant gifts to the bride and her family.
  • The belief that gold is a form of long-term investment and financial security.
  • The cultural importance of gold as a status symbol and a display of social standing.

Weddings provide an ideal occasion for both givers and receivers to showcase their wealth and generosity through the exchange of gold jewelry. It is customary for the bride to receive intricate gold sets, which often include necklaces, earrings, bracelets, and rings.

Moreover, gold is not only limited to the bride and groom's immediate family but is also distributed among close relatives and guests. This act of exchanging gold among family members and friends strengthens relationships and fosters a sense of unity and generosity within the community.

Wedding Feasts in Saudi Arabia

Wedding feasts play a vital role in Saudi Arabian weddings, traditionally symbolizing abundance, hospitality, and celebration. The act of slaughtering sheep, which is known as "aqeeqah," is an essential part of the wedding feast and is deeply rooted in Islamic tradition.

Sheep are chosen for their significance in Islamic culture and are symbolic of sacrifice and generosity. They are slaughtered as an offering to express gratitude and seek blessings for the new couple. The meat is then prepared into various delicious dishes, which are served to guests attending the wedding feast.

The cost of slaughtering a sheep for a wedding feast is approximately SR500. This includes the purchase of the sheep, its transportation, and the slaughtering process. Additional expenses for food preparation, catering services, and other culinary arrangements can further increase the overall cost to approximately SR750 per sheep.

The wedding feast not only provides an opportunity to treat guests to a memorable culinary experience but also represents the couple's willingness to share their joy and abundance with their loved ones.

Gold Consumption in Saudi ArabiaWedding Feasts in Saudi Arabia
32 tons of gold purchased annuallyOver 994,000 sheep slaughtered per year
Approximately SR1.7 billion spent on goldCost of slaughtering a sheep: SR500
Distribution varies across regionsTotal cost per sheep: SR750

Please note that the data represented in the table is indicative and subject to fluctuations based on various factors such as market conditions, regional traditions, and individual preferences.

Housing and Furnishing Expenses

Renting and furnishing an apartment is a significant expense in Saudi Arabian marriages. Couples must consider the costs associated with securing a suitable living space and furnishing it to create a comfortable home. It is crucial to factor in these expenses when budgeting for a Saudi wedding.

The average annual rent for an apartment in middle-class neighborhoods is about SR15,000. This amount may vary depending on the location and size of the apartment. Additionally, couples need to allocate funds for furnishing the apartment, including furniture, appliances, and decorative items. The cost of furnishing and buying appliances can amount to approximately SR50,000, depending on individual preferences and the desired level of comfort.

In Saudi residences, it is common to have separate sitting rooms for men and women. These rooms serve as welcoming spaces for guests and are often lavishly decorated to create a luxurious atmosphere. The furniture, decor, and furnishings in these rooms, along with the rest of the apartment, contribute to the overall costs associated with preparing a home for married life.

Planning and budgeting for housing and furnishing expenses are essential aspects of preparing for married life in Saudi Arabia. It is crucial for couples to carefully consider these costs and factor them into their overall wedding budget.


The cost of getting married in Saudi Arabia can be a significant financial undertaking, with an average total expense of SR165,000 per person. This includes various expenses such as the dowry, apartment rental and furnishing, wedding ceremonies, and the honeymoon. While the average cost of weddings in Saudi Arabia is relatively low compared to other international cities, the cultural traditions and the desire for prestige contribute to the overall rise in expenses.

Economic factors and growing concerns about excessive spending have led to a shift towards more cost-conscious and ethically-minded wedding practices. Many couples are finding ways to create meaningful and joyful celebrations within their budgets, opting for smaller ceremonies or implementing eco-friendly practices. The trend of "green weddings," which promote sustainability and reduce unnecessary spending, has gained traction in Saudi Arabia as couples seek to align their wedding expenses with their values.

Despite the challenges of high costs and economic pressures, weddings continue to hold great importance in the Arab world. They are celebrated as cultural and social events, reflecting the traditions and values of the community. As couples navigate the wedding planning process, they are finding ways to strike a balance between maintaining traditions and managing expenses.

In summary, while the cost of getting married in Saudi Arabia can be substantial, there is a growing awareness and effort to approach wedding expenses more thoughtfully. By considering alternatives, embracing ethical practices, and finding creative solutions, couples are creating memorable and meaningful celebrations that align with their financial capabilities.


What factors contribute to the cost of getting married in Saudi Arabia?

The cost of getting married in Saudi Arabia includes expenses such as the dowry, apartment rental and furnishing, wedding ceremonies, and honeymoon. Cultural traditions and a desire for prestige also contribute to the overall rise in expenses.

How much does the average wedding in Saudi Arabia cost?

The average cost of wedding ceremonies in Saudi Arabia was SR12,500 ($2,290) in May 2022. However, the cost can vary depending on the region, with some weddings reaching up to SR100,000.

How does the cost of weddings in Saudi Arabia compare to other countries?

The average cost of wedding ceremonies in Saudi Arabia is relatively low compared to other international cities. It is similar to the average cost in the city of Lahore in Pakistan and lower than cities like The Hamptons in New York and Positano in Italy.

What cultural factors affect wedding expenses in Saudi Arabia?

Traditional Saudi weddings involve lavish ceremonies with hundreds of guests, luxurious food, and entertainment from renowned singers. There is a strong emphasis on prestige and recognition, particularly for the bride, which contributes to the rising costs of weddings.

How have economic factors affected wedding budgets in Saudi Arabia?

Economic challenges and rising costs have led some couples in Saudi Arabia to reduce their wedding budgets. The current economic situation has caused many weddings to be canceled, with couples seeking ways to decrease expenses by as much as 60%.

What are green weddings and ethical approaches to wedding planning?

Green weddings are eco-friendly practices that reduce environmental impact and unnecessary spending. They may involve substituting traditional gifts with charitable donations, using recycled paper invitations, and opting for locally sourced and organic catering.

How has the wedding industry grown in the Arab world?

The wedding industry in the Arab world has experienced significant growth, with an annual increase of 20%. This reflects the importance placed on weddings as cultural and social events, despite the financial hardships faced by couples.

What is the role of matchmakers and dowries in Saudi Arabian weddings?

Matchmakers play a significant role in Saudi Arabian weddings, with couples often relying on their services to find suitable matches. Matchmakers charge fees, and dowries are also a prominent aspect of Saudi marriages.

How does gold consumption and wedding feasts factor into wedding expenses?

Saudi Arabia has a significant gold consumption associated with weddings, with an estimated 32 tons of gold purchased annually. Wedding feasts traditionally involve the slaughter of large numbers of sheep, adding to the overall expense of the wedding.

What are the expenses associated with renting and furnishing an apartment in Saudi Arabian marriages?

Renting and furnishing an apartment is a significant expense in Saudi Arabian marriages. The average annual rent for an apartment in middle-class neighborhoods is about SR15,000, while the cost of furnishing and buying appliances can add up to approximately SR50,000.

What is the average cost of getting married in Saudi Arabia?

The average cost of getting married in Saudi Arabia is SR165,000 per person. This includes expenses such as the dowry, apartment rental and furnishing, wedding ceremonies, and honeymoon.