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The Minhag in Klal Yisroel is to pay a Shadchan for introducing husband and wife.

#1 - What is considered the norm to pay a Shadchan?

#2 - Suppose a Shidduch breaks. Does the Shadchan have to return the money or gift received?

#3 - Can a Shadchan demand payment?

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2 Answers 2

#1 I believe is usually $2,000.

You might take a look at Baltimore's Star-K shadchan incentive program. They're now paying $2500, which is supposed to approximately match what the shadchan would receive from the family. In fact, it's conditional on the shadchan receiving at least $1500.

The Star-K program pays the shadchan shortly after the wedding, and thus won't pay if the engagement is broken before the wedding. I don't know if traditionally a shadchan is paid upon engagement or marriage, though it would seem strange to pay someone and then demand it back (barring the shadchan hiding some serious, serious problem about the prospective bride/groom).

There seems to be some norms and standards about paying shadchanim of which I'm unaware, hopefully others will fill it in. For instance the Star K says if Mrs. Goldstein thinks of the shidduch, but then hands the idea to Mrs. Cohen who spends hours and hours on the phone making it happen, Mrs. Goldstein is paid 1/3 and Mrs. Cohen 2/3.

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USD 2000 sounds high to me. But I'm sure it's dependent on which community one's in (among other things). –  msh210 Oct 25 '10 at 2:50
USD 2000 is actually on the low side, but considered decent. 3600 is considered fair, and 5000 is pretty good. Getting a vase or a becher is worse than getting nothing (ask a shadchan to show you her silver collection sometime). $1000 is cheap skinflint slave wages. –  Barry May 16 '11 at 22:00
Barry, has it gone up ove the past few years? –  Shalom May 17 '11 at 15:17
Let me clarify that the sums I mentioned in my comment above represent the total compensation, from both sides of the shidduch. Furthermore, I also wish to add that considering that a good shadchan's success ratio might be perhaps 30:1 (obviously varies), the payments are intended to cover the complete effort that goes into nailing one shidduch. –  Barry May 17 '11 at 16:59

from Rabbi Yosef Yeshaya Braun


A shadchan, one who arranges a shidduch, match, should be paid for their work. There is a clear halachah in Shulchan Aruch that a shadchan should be paid a brokerage fee, as any other type of broker. The amount to be paid is determined by minhag hamokom, according to the going rate in that community.

If one asks a shadchan to arrange a shidduch, the shadchan acquires the halachic status of an employee and certainly has to be paid. This applies to anyone who makes a shidduch, not only a professional shadchan, but even a friend, a colleague, etc.


It is customary to pay the shadachan after the shidduch has been concluded. Even if, chas vesholom, the engagement is subsequently broken, the shadchan does not have to reimburse the parties; in case the parties have not paid the shadchan previously, they should pay now, as they have been the recipients of the shadchan’s services, despite the fact that the shidduch later fell apart.

If more than one person was involved in making a shidduch, the custom is to divide the shadchanus gelt, money, equally among them. For example, if three people were involved, the one who initiated the shidduch, the one who helped the couple during the meeting process, and the one who helped conclude the shidduch, each of them should receive a third. However, only someone who actually did work to bring the couple together should be paid, not someone who simply made a suggestion. Nonetheless, a person who came up with an idea for a shidduch that was concluded should receive something in appreciation.


i heard that $1000 from each side is the minimum asking price (and if you say you will pay more (give a $1000 tip) you will get much better service)

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