Hey guys. Quick story, my fiancé and got engaged 4.14.18 we announced to the world in FEBRUARY 2020 we’re getting married AUGUST 8th 2020. MARCH 2020 comes and so does COVID-19. We had to put our plans on pause (we didn’t know what to do or how to move forward) the end of April comes and we announce that we’re going down from 250 people to 25 (intimate) then things started to look a little better June’ish so we moved it 50 People MAX. In MAY of this year we contacted my moms pastor at her church (originally we were going to get married at my fiancé‘s church being as though he’s Catholic but the priest closed the church down due to COVID-19 so we had to move to Plan B) so my mom pastor agreed to do our wedding, we talked several times from the month of May until today which is July 23. Rewind one week maybe two weeks ago I was trying to contact him to ask him about rehearsal and I had to end up calling his wife because I wasn’t getting through to him with the conversation being held his wife mentioned if her husband had gave us a price?? I explain to her that he never gave us a price since we’ve been talking for May and it’s now the end of July going into August she said OK. I got a phone call today with the pastor telling me that his prices .... to book him to be the officiant it’s $350 and it’s a book his sanctuary it’s going to be $600, $950 total. At this point I am very very very upset I want to cry because this pastor never gave me a price from the beginning of the conversation OR the whole time we’ve been talking back-and-forth and I’m guessing because his wife mentioned it he is now giving us a price he also does not want to do a payment plan and he wants the payment within two weeks of our wedding. Might I add I attended this church from when I was i was 10 to my mid 20s and it’s still my mom’s current church he also said that the price that he gave me is very cheap compared to if I was just a random person asking him to use his church. I explained the situation to my fiancé and my mom and all of us feel the exact same way I just wanna know from you guys how much have you spent on a church hall or an officiant to marry you guys during this Covid pandemic because that’s a bit much Especially with him telling us two weeks before our wedding?!
I don’t think that price is unreasonable. My officiant was $600. Some churches will book for free but some can be thousands of dollars. I do think it sucks that he wasn’t up front with you from the beginning.
I don’t really think the price is unreasonable either. However I do think it is unfortunate that pricing wasn’t spoken about earlier on. What are you gonna do? I am a part of a church and if we wanted the whole chapel and everything it was about I think 700 or $800. But we used the outdoor area which was only $50 surprisingly
My church was $750, no payment plan option but could waive for financial hardship
My Brother got married in our church, and there was no fee to book the church. There was also no set fee for the Officiant- it is just an unspoken thing that you make a donation of your choosing to the church for their services.
My officiant is $300 because he's an associate minister. The head minister would've been $400. Payment due two weeks before the wedding. The chapel is over $1,000.
As much as we hate to think about it, churches are essentially businesses. They still have to pay for electricity, water, rent/mortgage, maintanance, etc., and the staff (pastors, seceretaries) take time out of their day to attend, and they have to pay bills at home. There are some churches that can afford to host weddings free of charge or on a donation basis, but many can't. It is awful that this wasn't mentioned to you sooner, and I'm sorry you didn't have a signed contract in place with payment info. I hope you're able to find something that works!
I agree with all of you but the price wouldn’t be a problem if he would have told me head on... coming up with $950 AFTER invitations were sent out is really stressing me out. We’re hoping he can bring it down and work with us. I don’t wanna have a outdoor ceremony being as though it’s in August but we may have too.
To echo the PPs, the cost itself is not unreasonable. Officiants can be expensive--we had to pay our Rabbi $1000 for officiating our ceremony, which was not held in a religious institution, but was the same venue as our reception (this fee did include pre-marital counseling sessions though). What is not okay is that you were not informed about the fees ahead of time.
The cost itself isn't exactly unreasonable (as some churches do charge fees to use their buildings+pastors), but it does seem a bit greedy to just now mention pricing after all this time. If he actually had a set fee then that would have come up in the conversation ages ago when you wanted to use his services then you could make a better decision. I'd go in there and talk to him because that part isn't right and you can't suddenly decide to charge after not giving your prices in the beginning.
The price is reasonable. I kind of think it was up to you to discuss price. Did he give you the impression it was free? Because if not, I think you needed to bring that up. For the brides reading, rule 101, always ask price upfront.
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Nope he definitely gave me that impression, especially with me asking him multiple time “is there anything else you need from us?”. It wasn’t until his wife asked he then gave me a price .
When we have our church wedding, it would be around $500-600 for the musicians, priest, and servers. But for our small ceremony we’re having on our original date, our officiant charged us $450 for a 15 min ceremony. I thought that was kind of expensive considering there will only be 5 of us total including me and and my fiancé at our wedding and it’s at a public park. He even said he usually charges that much for a ceremony with 65 guests. But at this point we were desperate and just went with it. I still hate how expensive it was, but I guess it’ll be worth it.