WEDDINGS! A Celebration of Love!
Traditional or Non-Traditional...it is YOUR wedding.
Rev. Cait's Advice About Officiant Fees.
There are some things you should know when you are thinking about your wedding ceremony.
Budgeting your celebration includes the budget for your officiant.
BUT DON'T GO NUTS!
Officiants will set fees based on various things. Distance from the wedding ceremony is one thing. Whether she or he needs to be present at the rehearsal (by the way that is NOT necessary--unless it helps the couple be more stress-free!). Whether the officiant needs to stay in a hotel the night before or the night of the wedding. Whether the officiant works directly with the couple to personalize the ceremony to say exactly what you want expressed--that includes help with your vows, adding ceremonial rites like unity candles, or sand ceremonies, etc.
Rehearsals are not necessary. They are not! Every officiant has plenty of experience and does not need practice. Unless the ceremony takes place in a Church service which requires specific actions (standing, kneeling, sitting, etc.) all the bridal party does is enter and leave! That does not take a great deal of practice/rehearsal, and if done, can be done without paying an officiant to stand there.
All that can and should be explained honestly to the couple, in fairness to them. It's the ethical thing to do!
Keep in mind, if you are using a Church building, the pastors must keep that building going, available, lighted and heated or air conditioned, and any fees set by such pastors is not to line his or her pockets -- they are paid by their Church communities. A Church fee is used to keep that building open for weddings like yours, and other services to the communities. A Church wedding is a different story, and has its own requirements and fees--if any. The priest does not get more pay if he officiates your wedding. It is not inappropriate to tip your priest or minister if you are able.
I share all this because I know what it costs to officiate a wedding. It takes the time for preparation, the personal time with the couple as needed or wanted, the travel time to and from the venue, including gas and mileage to car, the cost of hotels if required, and the just compensation of all that time beyond the outlay to cover those expenses. The laborer is worth his hire! Officiants are not usually paid by Churches if they are working outside their congregations. So just compensation is normal.
JUST DON'T GET FLEECED!
Rev. Cait Finnegan
Bishop, Celtic Christian Church
For more info on weddings: www.celticchristianchurch.org/weddings.htm
For more info on Rev Cait Finnegan: www.celticchristianchurch.org/revcaitfinnegan.htm
Planning an OUTDOOR WEDDING?
They are beautiful! I think of it has having a wedding ceremony in God's Own cathedral--in the beauty of nature. Still, there are things to consider.