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.
All that adds to what an officiant will ask as a fee.
Still, don't go nuts! We all know a professional's time and effort is worthy of hire, and we know the cost of gas, and hotels (if needed).
Rehearsals add to the fee (or if no rehearsal it should subtract from the fee), because the officiant needs to travel twice, or stay in a hotel and designate two separate scheduled times to serve you--and perhaps a night away from his or her family as well. That is a consideration.
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.
YES--sometimes it is a great help to have a rehearsal. If you are adding people to come up and read, or sing, or perform music, or if you are having a unity candle or any other such addition, it's important to know when that happens. HOWEVER, it is the officiant's job to call those people forward at the appropriate moment during the wedding ceremony. She or he does not need to practice that--if she or he is an experienced officiant, minister, or priest. Really!
All that can and should be explained honestly to the couple, in fairness to them. It's the ethical thing to do!
Also, be aware that some officiants set their fees according to the number of guests you are inviting, and the venue you use. In other words, CAN YOU AFFORD MORE? That, in my opinion, is unethical behavior. The size of your guest list does not affect the officiant's job. The venue plays no part in his or her service and should not affect the fee. If it does you are being fleeced and deserve to know that.
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!
We have priests in various area of the country too. I serve the tri-state area of PA, NJ & NY,
but we have others in CA, WA, KY, VA, and FL.
I hope to hear from you, and wish you great joy as you prepare your wedding day!
Rev. Cait Finnegan
Bishop, Celtic Christian Church
For more info on weddings: www.celticchristianchurch.org/weddings.htm
For more info on Bishop Cait Finnegan: www.celticchristianchurch.org/revcaitfinnegan
I've been officiating weddings for 25 years. I've done them in so many locations and venues but am still amazed with what some couples come up with as meaningful locations! There really is no "right place" because it is a personal decision and often is about what is meaningful to the couple. For many, obviously, it is with their Church family in a local church building, with all the spiritual meaning associated with that. But that is not always the case!
Many couples in my area of the country, especially since it is rural, choose catering halls, a lake or ocean side, the woods, family farms or commercial venues which are converted farms. I've officiated by local brooks, in parks and in private homes and backyards. Financial considerations and simplicity seem to be a major factor in deciding upon location, but individual spirituality also influences choices made. As a Celtic Christian priest, I honor the choice to exchange vows in the beauty of nature, but if that is not possible or desirable, remember it is the Love that creates the sacred space where you commit to one another. God is Love. What you exchange is a reflection of that divine Love wherever it is done.
Tying the Knot
Handfasting is an ancient rite used for symbolic purposes when professing marriage vows. In Pagan rituals it was done with a vine or with ribbons or cloth, and is still done today. In Christian marriages those same items can be used representing the natural union, or a priest's stole can be used representing the union in Christ which is the foundation of Christian marriages.
The officiant actually ties the symbol around the hands of the couple
reciting a blessing on their love and marriage, and the nature of the union
as intended for life.
You can find some lovely Celtic knotwork ribbons by clicking here
on this picture, if you are interested (site not associated with this one):
They come in various colors as well.
The choices are entirely yours!
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.
PLAN B! Always have a PLAN B so your day goes smoothly. None of us can truly predict, much less control, the weather. The Irish have an expression: "Happy the bride the rain falls on!" That might be true, but not usually during the ceremony.
When possible look for a location that also offers shelter, a gazebo or somewhere you and your guests can gather if Plan A gets a shower of blessings.
My hope is to help you plan the exact ceremony
you want, the one you will remember forever
because it expresses what is in your heart...
the love you share.
Call me and let's talk about your wedding.
Rev. Cait 570-242-8756
If you have questions about this contact me. I have been officiating at weddings for 25 years. Now, as a retired widow, I am doing more weddings than before! If you need help planning a meaningful personalized ceremony which will be as memorable as your reception, contact me.
Very professional helped to write up service with couple would highly recommend Rev Finnegan
Reverend Cait is wonderful. She arrived early, was well prepared and very kind. I would HIGHLY recommend her services. You will not be disappointed.
Laurie Horton · married on 07/01/2018
Bishop Cait believes in YOU
Our style is casual as was our outdoor wedding venue so we sought from Cait a ceremony befitting of our nature erstwhile providing form, structure, pronouncements befitting a holy sacrament. Cait has many templates to choose from to help a couple create their niche but above all, it is Cait's very presence, her gracious sincerity, that is grounding, charming and memorable. Cait has a keen sense of order and pace, she'll keep everything on track - but most of all she believes in YOU. Everyone at your wedding will feel that channel of devotion and tune in!
At our ceremony it was 100 degrees - hot July & high noon - yet somehow Cait kept us all cool and light - just long enough to get us married! An awesome feat in such oppressive weather!