The father has a mitzvah to marry off his daughter at the right time for her. It is therefore a mitzvah for him to increase his daughter’s dowry to the extent he can afford in order to attract an appropriate match for her. Our Sages said that, “A man should sell all that he has in order to marry off his daughter to a Torah scholar” (Pesachim 49a). Even someone who is poor should do everything within his power and “jump over mountains” to marry her off to a Torah scholar. And if despite it all the father does not have the ability to marry her to a Torah scholar, he should at least choose a fine young man, who knows how to learn and is God-fearing. The father should investigate the man thoroughly until he clearly knows his nature and is satisfied that he is a good person – then he should give his daughter to him.
Now, it is true that Hashem is the One who makes matches between people, but nevertheless there are situations where a match is dependant on the person’s effort, and if he does not exert the proper effort, it is possible to forfeit one’s soul-mate (zivug), [as will be discussed at length under ‘Mate-zivug’].
Therefore, it is the obligation of every man to have mercy on his own soul and the soul of his daughter, to energetically strive to find her a fitting match that will be good for her in this world and the next. From time to time a man should pour out his soul before Hashem, entreating Him to provide a worthy spouse for his sons and daughters.
The daughter herself should also cry, fast, and pour out her soul before Hashem with heartfelt words and pray that He arrange for her a match with a God-fearing, Torah scholar. And she should pray that their union be successful. Great is prayer in this regard! This can be learned from our matriarch Leah, who was intended for Eisav, but through her extraordinary crying, which caused her eyes to become tender, her lot fell to Yaakov, and she merited giving birth to six tribes from which emerged the grandeur of Israel—dynasties of priesthood, Levites, and monarchy.