Expert April 2012

Help.....How much should I pay my officiant?

Tara, on September 27, 2011 at 6:46 PM Posted in Planning 0 24
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My officiant is a family friend who I attended school with and he agreed to do our wedding - my issue is that I don't want to offend him by giving him too little. He said, "Just give me what you want." I live in CA if that helps. Thanks.


  • Sabrina
    Master November 2014
    Sabrina ·

    OH IDK, if my pastor doesnt TELL Me how much, I plan on donating money to our CHURCH and then giving him a montary gift as well, for him! But for HIM, i was going to do like $50 or $75 only cause i am inviting him to dinner as well...so there is food....so its a gift for HIM, for Church and IDK! but since its a friend..maybe 100???

    VIP June 2014

    The minister we are looking at using charges $175. (I am in Florida)

    We still have to shop around a little bit, but $175 isn't too bad. We are having our ceremony on the beach and she provides a PA system if needed and she also provides the little table with tablecloth for the sand unity stuff.

  • SnowAngel
    Super April 2012
    SnowAngel ·

    Our pastor has a $100 fee. We're in the DC area.

  • Tara
    Expert April 2012
    Tara ·

    Thank you all for your input. My friend is not a minister and our wedding will be held at a theater, not a church, so we've decided that $100 would be our offering. Also, he was going to be invited anyway.

  • Celia Milton
    September 2019
    Celia Milton ·

    If he's not a pro, 100.00 is plenty.

  • D
    Dedicated October 2011
    dinerlove ·

    We are paying ours $750.00 fh has been going to his church 18yrs since youth group he also did our before wedding counceling and rehearsal diner he great we are located in new jersey

  • Olivia
    Super April 2014
    Olivia ·

    I'm in PA and our friend is doing ours for free. HE OFFERED, BUT he NORMALLY charges $50

  • Jouselle
    Super October 2011
    Jouselle ·

    My officiant was $425. Don't care, he's worth it!

  • Andrea
    Expert July 2011
    Andrea ·

    Ours was our home church pastor so he did it for free. We gave him and his wife a $30 gift certificate and donated $100 to the church. This was in Santa Barbara, CA.

  • Mrs. J-Mo
    Super July 2012
    Mrs. J-Mo ·

    Ours is $300, and I am in DC!

  • Mrs. Reid
    Master May 2011
    Mrs. Reid ·

    Give it to him in a card expressing your thanks and call it a love gift and you do what your heart tells you. My Bishop who is my Godfather did my wedding and we gave him a love gift for $100

  • Rae
    Master October 2012
    Rae ·

    We're having a Catholic legal ceremony in DC before the wedding---we've had 1 marriage prep class already but I totally forgot to ask---and he hasn't mentioned charging us. But my uncle is going to officiate in PR when we go a few days later for the "big" wedding.

    Should I give $100 to each of them? Good question Tara!

    (maybe I should make a separate post about this?)

  • Tara
    Expert April 2012
    Tara ·

    Thank you everyone and Mrs. Reid, keep them coming. Never thought about putting it in a card, but will surely use that idea.

  • Julie B
    Master May 2012
    Julie B ·

    We had to give our church a deposit of $100, and we will pay them small fees for candles, aisle runner, videographer, sound person etc. 35-50 each. Small potatoes. We will invite our pastor and his wife to the rehearsal dinner and reception. We will give him a thank you card with $100 in it. The church's wedding book says the gift to the officiant is totally up to us.

  • Mrs. Fornasty
    VIP May 2012
    Mrs. Fornasty ·

    Mine is 150.00 plus 20.00 for the rehearsal.. CLeveland Ohio

  • Reina
    VIP April 2012
    Reina ·

    @dinerlove. Is that the discounted church rate for being a church member? Thats WOW high. (but then again every church is different)

    We are are in Jersey. And when we called around to some churches who we werent members too the highest I heard was $500.

    We settled on one in Elizabeth, its an extremely old church and the church fee is $200.00 and includes cleanup and everything.

    I would ask if their is a discount, (in case you havent already)

  • Reina
    VIP April 2012
    Reina ·

    @Tara. I would say a donation of $100 is good especially since you are inviting him to the reception.

    That is what my FSIL did for her wedding.

  • D
    Dedicated October 2011
    dinerlove ·

    @reina j. he also did our counseling and rehearsal my fh also went to the church since he was a kid so no he didnt charge us that price we gave it to him because he did an excellent job and we would of gave him more if we could of my thoughts on it was we paid alot for everything else hes the one making it come together so yes it was worth it

  • Sarah Martin
    September 2019
    Sarah Martin ·

    A kindly written card definitely would be good. I've had friends pay in various way (travel costs, gifts of jewelry). It sounds like $100 is plenty since he's a family friend. However, if your wedding is going to be quite elaborate or if you're hoping to have a lot of meeting and work from his end to put together the ceremony, consider upping it a little.

  • T
    Just Said Yes September 2013
    Tiara ·

    If your wedding is in Virginia, be aware that Virginia does not accept online ordination. Couples' try this for a friend all the time, but it won't work. If your officiant is not authorized, you can contact HLAM Ministries right away to get one of their churches to take care of the paperwork. That's what we did, and gave our friend $200. If you don't get your friend authorized, you will be paying over $500 for an authorized minister to come to the ceremony and rehearsal, since Virginia no longer has Justices' of the Peace.

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