Waldy
Devoted October 2020

Why are officiants so expensive? (virginia wedding)

Waldy, on June 11, 2019 at 7:47 PM Posted in Planning 3 93
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More of a rant than asking for advice.

We wanted to have our friend officiate for us, but in Virginia, that person is not allowed to be ordained online. But they can get a one-day temporary pass from the courthouse, which is risky because if that person don't properly file the paperwork, then your marriage is invalid.

This isn't something we budgeted for and figured it would only be like $100-$200. We haven't officially started our search for an officiant, but I've been poking around, and OH MY GOD. The officiants that I've clicked on so far are $450 or $750 for a wedding and under $250 for elopements. We only plan on having a 15 minute ceremony. That amount of money for that short of a time just seems OBSCENE to me. Smiley cry Smiley cry Smiley cry

Are officiants in other states this pricey?

93 Comments

  • Annick
    Beginner June 2021
    Annick ·
    • Flag
    I’m totally with you. Seems super pricey for such a short amount of time.
    I live in Puerto Rico and I’ve received offers from two different officiants and they both are $300 which I think is okay. But $750 is definitely too much money.
    Hope you find someone nice that fits in your budget.🙏🏼💙
    • Reply
  • Trista
    VIP September 2019
    Trista ·
    • Flag
    That seems like an insane price! I'm in Wa where anyone can get ordained, so we have my brother doing our ceremony! I would keep looking! There has to be someone cheaper. Have you tried looking in Thumbtack?
    • Reply
  • Janarda
    Devoted February 2020
    Janarda ·
    • Flag
    NYC here🙋‍♀️... my officiant is $550😕
    • Reply
  • Kelly
    Champion October 2018
    Kelly ·
    • Flag
    There’s a lot that goes into a 15 minute ceremony. Prep work getting to know you and customizing the ceremony, expenses related to owning a business, travel to rehearsal and ceremony, rehearsal time, bringing equipment etc. At the end of the day it’s a profession and they need to make a profit. We used someone who was ordained online so we didn’t run into this issue but I understand why their rates are what they are.
    • Reply
  • Sandy Yoga
    Dedicated January 2007
    Sandy Yoga ·
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    And the legal responsibility - so the legal procedural know-how to make your marriage legal. I also don't know, but they probably have to pay professional licences etc.
    • Reply
  • Waldy
    Devoted October 2020
    Waldy ·
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    Right - I totally understand there's a huge legal responsibility and that the officiants need to make a living. But including the rehearsal fee, that's can be up to $1000 total that we hadn't budgeted for. $1000 that can be used for other more important things.
    • Reply
  • Anna
    Rockstar June 2020
    Anna ·
    • Flag
    Luckily ours was included in the price of the venue.
    Most churches take a donation for using their minister, if you are a member.
    I'm Methodist...thats how we do it. No set price on the donation. Most do $100-200
    • Reply
  • Future Mrs.kimbro
    Dedicated June 2020
    Future Mrs.kimbro ·
    • Flag
    I agree we're getting married in DC I haven't seen any under $250, I'm so bothered by this
    • Reply
  • Waldy
    Devoted October 2020
    Waldy ·
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    I have not tried Thumbtack! What is it?
    • Reply
  • Waldy
    Devoted October 2020
    Waldy ·
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    We're not religious people, so we wouldn't be able to do it through a church. We also wouldn't feel right joining for the next year and a half, just to leave after we get married
    • Reply
  • Trista
    VIP September 2019
    Trista ·
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    It's an app for finding vendors for basically anything! You set what you're looking for, how long and when you need them, and what you want to pay, and it will generate options for you!
    • Reply
  • Waldy
    Devoted October 2020
    Waldy ·
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    Right? And I've only seen that low for elopements, which those officiants are considering 10 people or less 🙄
    • Reply
  • Future Mrs.kimbro
    Dedicated June 2020
    Future Mrs.kimbro ·
    • Flag
    Thumbtack is good I agree
    • Reply
  • Yoice
    VIP March 2019
    Yoice ·
    • Flag
    I had a minister and the price was $450 for mine. This cover our 30 minute ceremony and an hour rehearsal the day before the wedding. I personally didn’t find it pricey. My friends have pay a lot more for their minister and pastor at a church wedding.
    • Reply
  • Waldy
    Devoted October 2020
    Waldy ·
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    Ah, that's so interesting! I'll definitely look into it. Thank you
    • Reply
  • H
    Devoted November 2019
    Heather ·
    • Flag
    I'm paying 160 for a simple pop up ceremony in downtown St Louis, MO where we just meet her in a pretty place (like the old courthouse, restaurant, etc). If you dont need a venue for the ceremony, it shouldn't be that much but I haven't tried other states. Jamaica was going to charge us 300 for the legal ceremony. We decided to do a small legal ceremony with the kids before we have our big event in Jamaica.
    • Reply
  • Waldy
    Devoted October 2020
    Waldy ·
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    Thank you!! I hope so too ♥️
    • Reply
  • Christina
    Savvy September 2020
    Christina ·
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    We lucked out, my fiance's friend is an officiant and he gave us a great price. we just have to pay for his licencing in the state we are getting married in.

    • Reply
  • Waldy
    Devoted October 2020
    Waldy ·
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    That's rough 😭
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  • Waldy
    Devoted October 2020
    Waldy ·
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    Virginia allows one-time licenses, but the person has to pay a $500 bond. They would get it back IF they return the paperwork properly. That's a lot to ask of our friend out of pocket and a lot of pressure of responsibility on them
    • Reply

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