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DIY Dowries: 5 ways to personalize the tradition

Whilst fruits, dates, and money traditionally compose a marriage dowry; in this day and age there are a lot of cute, fun, and productive uses for marriage dowries. And, regardless of whether or not you’re actually engaged, I know you’re planning your special day, so take a look at these fun dowry ideas!

1. Choose a Charity

If you’re looking to balance your own personality with a somewhat traditional dowry practice, this is a great choice! Pick your favorite charity – one that’s close to your heart or one that you’ve talked to your partner about previously – and set an amount for your future husband to donate in y’all’s name. This is a wonderful way to start off a marriage – doing something good for others and investing in your future with each other.

2. Household Appliances

So this one is actually based on a fun fact! Way back when, before DeBeers Diamond’s great marketing campaigns, many women would forgo a traditional diamond engagement ring for large household appliances (washing machine, etc.) Try using your dowry to purchase some basic essentials for your future home together – that way the money goes to good use and helps prepare you two for life together. Plus, this means lots of research and shopping together which can be quite the bonding experience! Not to mention, this will allow you two to understand and explore each other financially and learn to compromise.

 3. Specific Support

Whether you’re getting married at 22 or 52, there will always be goals and milestones to look forward to. Sometimes in the transition and honeymoon phase large life goals can get lost in the day to day. So officially asking for constant support in reaching those specific goals is a great way to make sure that they aren’t lost in all of the other transitions. Asking your husband to support you in reaching X or Y goal even when you get tired or complain or question yourself ensures that while you can still pave your own path and choose your own future, your husband will be the wind beneath your wings and facilitate your success. For example, establish that your husband should support you emotionally and financially while you pursue a Masters in ___________ or if you choose to switch Masters programs that he should support you in that new endeavor. The more specific the easier for the both of you.

4. Intimate Jokes

A lot of people have begun performing mut’ahs (temporary marriages) during their courting or engagement period and these temporary marriages come with their own dowry. Because these are not long lasting – it might be a nice opportunity to have some fun and create a memory you’ll want to share with your kids! Maybe it’s an inside joke about fleece socks or a tradition you two started regarding stuffed crust pizza – regardless of what it is, picking something that is special and intimate for the both of you is a wonderful way to strengthen an already beautiful bond.

5. All of your husband’s good deeds on the Day of Judgment

Couldn’t hurt to ask.


These are just a few ideas but truthfully everyone’s needs are different. Just know that tailoring your dowry to meet your needs is a wonderful way to start a marriage off strong.

P.S. Just had to share this, if you do research on the Internet (as I did for this article) do not be surprised if you find people with Pinterest boards for their ideal dowry. I literally came across a board entitled “Wedding Dowry Inshallah” with pictures of diamond watches and bedazzled Manolo Blahniks.

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