OFFICIANT FEES
Hello ladies!
I was just wondering how much everyone is paying for your officiant or minister/priest? We spoke to one officiant and he's charging $500... is that average? Our ceremony will only be 30mins... it seems like a lot for only 30mins. What do you think?

M.J
Married: 08/28/2009
Posted On: Jun 1, 2009 at 4:55 PM • Vendors are allowed • Add to My WatchlistFlag As Inappropriate1 like

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Married: 05/16/2009
Reviews: 10
Jun 01, 2009 at 4:56 PM • Flag As Inappropriate
WOW! That is way high. Our officiant was only $200. $100 for the ceremony and we paid her $100 to be there for our rehearsal but wasn't necessary. That seems way too high! Our ceremony was 30 minutes.

Shell
Married: 06/27/2009
Reviews: 1
Jun 01, 2009 at 5:11 PM • Flag As Inappropriate
ours is free, he's our pastor and we've known him for years. i woul dnever pay 500 bucks for 30 minuets of anything! LOL.
we will probably give him a gift, maybe a gift card for dinner for him and his wife...

JulyBride
Married: 07/25/2009
Reviews: 5
Jun 01, 2009 at 5:37 PM • 
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M.J
Married: 08/28/2009
Jun 01, 2009 at 5:44 PM • Flag As Inappropriate
Thanks Ladies... yes it seems really expensive. I really like him but the price is outrages... I guess he charges that much because he personalizes the entire ceremony including the vows and he gives us 2 keepsake books. It also includes the rehersal. I think I'm going to keep shopping around... =)

M.J
Married: 08/28/2009
Jun 01, 2009 at 5:56 PM • Flag As Inappropriate
@ Julybride: That's a great idea but my Dad is actually a pastor... He can do it for us but I don't want him to... first because I think it would be weird for him to walk me down the aisle and then walk up to the alter to marry us... =) Another reason is because my dad's english isn't perfect and we need to have the ceremony in english because FH doesn't speak spanish. Everyone my dad knows that can marry us only do ceremonies in spanish. =( Also we're getting married 2 hours away from home so that makes it a little harder to find someone...

$150-300 does seem more reasonalble then $500!

Married: 07/25/2009
Jun 01, 2009 at 6:00 PM • Flag As Inappropriate
We are paying $150 for 20min
Jun 01, 2009 at 6:42 PM • Flag As Inappropriate
Even if the ceremony is only 30 mins there is MUCH more too it (or should be if they are a professional). IMHO: For someone to just show up and marry you $500 might be a little steep, but if the Officiant is going to meet with you several times, write or create a ceremony specifically for you, give you complete creative control over it, run your rehearsal, coordinate the ceremony with all your vendors...plus all the travel to and from meetings and your venue...considering gas is now almost $3.00 here $500 could be quite reasonable for that level of personalized service.

No, matter who you choose you should be 100% comfortable with them and the ceremony that will be performed for you so don't let price be the only deciding factor. In my area $500 is the going rate for professional providing a very customized ceremony with a rehearsal (in Chicago the average is $800 for this) You can absolutely find Officiant's who will do it for less money but often times you do get what you pay for.

CelticChick831
Married: 10/17/2009
Reviews: 7
Jun 01, 2009 at 7:53 PM • Flag As Inappropriate
I found in my searching that if you go with a officiant that belongs to a church, the price is about $250-$300. But when I found those who strictly did weddings and were titled as just and "Officiant" the price was closer to $500. now this is in Maryland and I dont understand why that is but it seem very hi for such little work. But you do what cha gotta do. LOL

Happy Crew Productions - DJ Company Specializing in Fun!
Jun 01, 2009 at 8:13 PM • Flag As Inappropriate
I highly recommend One-Of-A-Kind Weddings (Don). He's located in San Diego and is always very reasonable! Here's a link to his Wedding Wire Storefront: http://www.weddingwire.com/biz/one-of-kind-ceremonies-san-diego/1b8b4bd631a1d941.html

Gershelda
Married: 10/10/2009
Jun 01, 2009 at 8:13 PM • Flag As Inappropriate
My brother is marrying me and FH, but wasn't sure what to do as far as gifts/money/fees go. The gift card is a good idea....

Teems
Married: 10/11/2009
Reviews: 12
Jun 01, 2009 at 8:44 PM • Flag As Inappropriate
I feel you girl. I still haven't found anyone to marry us and my wedding is 4mo away. We meet with two people....both 375 plus 75 for rehersal and one wanted 100 security deposit in case the wedding was over 30min behind schedule.

Even that was too much for me. All that "personalization" is really minimal because they have like 3-10 formats and the couple makes any alterations. As far as church, the fiance and I started going to this one church but its closer to our home than the site. (which is about 45 away). We haven't become members and don't want to rush membership to get married. I was told to check with the local circuit court for a reference list of celebrants in your area. They should be cheaper. We may try doing that tomorrow.

Married: 07/11/2009
Reviews: 2
Jun 01, 2009 at 10:36 PM • Flag As Inappropriate
that is a ton! I am paying 275 which I thought was outrageous but he is driving 40 minutes, filling out and mailing the paperwork, and we are not members of a chuirch. I think you should price compare with a few others first!

Married: 07/11/2009
Reviews: 2
Jun 01, 2009 at 10:38 PM • Flag As Inappropriate
and we were able to do the ceremony the way we want
Jun 02, 2009 at 11:13 PM • Flag As Inappropriate
I am a wedding officiant and I will try to explain why the fee's are the way they are.

1 First it is much much more than 30 minutes of work if you hire a professional wedding officiant.

2. I personally have never officiated two weddings the same. Every ceremony is designed for the couple.

3. You can incorporate so many things into a ceremony. From a hand blessing, hand fasting, roses for mothers, sand ceremony, unity candle ceremony, wine ceremony and tons more including couples with children and special mentions for couples with deceased parents.

4. Your family, friends, co-workers are all watching this entire ceremony. Do you want a 5 min. ceremony they offer at the courthouse or a beautiful ceremony with memories?

5. Your officiant spends hours behind the scenes writing ceremonies, spends travel time, gas, wear and tear on the vehicle, and don't forget they have license fee's, taxes, and all related business fee's. Just like any other business.

(con't)
Jun 02, 2009 at 11:23 PM • Flag As Inappropriate
(con't)

Your Officiant arrives early, makes sure everything is ready and your ceremony runs smoothly and then another trip to file your license

Your Officiant must have a good public speaking voice and keep your guests interested and involved.

The ceremony is the beginning of your wedding celebration. It honestly sets the tone for the entire day. If it doesn't go well your guests will carry it right into the reception and it will be the topic of conversation for quite some time trust me.

Have you ever gotten all dressed up, all excited about going to see a movie or play it was a big disappointment? You remember it for a long time.

That is exactly how your guests feel when they go to a dog and pony show. Is that what you want for a memory of your most special, beautiful day? The ceremony is the reason for the gown, the flowers, the reception. Don't be penny wise and dollar foolish

Married: 10/03/2009
Jun 03, 2009 at 7:19 AM • Flag As Inappropriate
ours broke fees down to this for this and this much for that. My friend got married in the same place wasnt a member and only paid 100 but we looked at price list and it comes to 375 or 400 for 30 minutes.I almost fell over.I guess they figure you want it you will pay.

Event Wedding Planning

Event Wedding Planning
Jun 03, 2009 at 1:46 PM • Flag As Inappropriate
One thing to rememebr- "It's about where you live!" Southern California is always going to be more than a small town from Arkansas. Southern California has the highest priced weddings in the US and is in a race with New York, so if you are looking at pricing, just remember what city you are getting married in as well. Newport Coast is number 1 for expensive weddings, so you will pay for that.
Good Luck on your seach - you will be a beautiful San Diego Bride!
~EWP~

Married: 07/05/2009
Reviews: 6
Jun 03, 2009 at 1:53 PM • Flag As Inappropriate
I'm paying $500 for mine too. But it includes use of the church, the organist, the pastor, the church wedding coordinator, and they print off our wedding bulletins. Its $1000 if you are not a member of the church and $500 if you are. So, no, I don't think $500 is ridiculous if you get all that stuff with it

Married: 10/03/2009
Jun 03, 2009 at 2:40 PM • Flag As Inappropriate
I have to pay $500 too for my ceremony. Its for 45 minutes and it includes the preist, altar servers, organist and singer.
Jun 03, 2009 at 3:48 PM • Flag As Inappropriate
If your officiant is hand writing your ceremony, after having consulted and met with you, your ceremony didn't take 30 minutes. It took hours, plus the time and experience that the officiant brings to the table. Your ceremony is the most important part of the day, and it should be a very well crafted, well written, well delivered piece of the wedding experience, not just a gateway to the party.
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