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Etiquette

Inviting Officiant to Reception / Rehearsal

kkcaper14kkcaper14 member
10 Comments Name Dropper 5 Love Its
edited October 2013 in Etiquette
My fiance and I are getting married several hours from where we live.  He (his family) is Roman Catholic and I grew up Protestant - neither of us attend church.  We're having our ceremony and reception at the same location (not being married at a church).  I started researching officiants and found one that kind of a good compromise - he is a priest in good standing in the Ecumenical Catholic Church.  We have no previous relationship with him outside the wedding - we will be meeting with him 2x before the wedding (probably once on phone/skype and once in person). 

I've read mixed things on this board - should he be invited to the reception?  From what I read it is a courtesy but not required?  I am not sure if he is married but that can add a decent amount to the overall cost of the officiant for 2 additional people.  For those of you who have extended invitations to your officiants that you didn't have personal relationships with - did they attend?  I would have no idea who I would have him or him and his wife sit with!  

His fee is $650 + an additional $75 to attend the rehearsal dinner (not sure if this is normal price or not for the New England area).  Do you think it is necessary for him to attend the rehearsal?  I guess I can ask my coordinator what people usually do but it seems silly to spend $75 + dinner for him to stand around for 15 minutes but obviously I want to make sure things run smoothly!

Re: Inviting Officiant to Reception / Rehearsal

  • kkcaper14 said:
    My fiance and I are getting married several hours from where we live.  He (his family) is Roman Catholic and I grew up Protestant - neither of us attend church.  We're having our ceremony and reception at the same location (not being married at a church).  I started researching officiants and found one that kind of a good compromise - he is a priest in good standing in the Ecumenical Catholic Church.  We have no previous relationship with him outside the wedding - we will be meeting with him 2x before the wedding (probably once on phone/skype and once in person). 

    I've read mixed things on this board - should he be invited to the reception?  From what I read it is a courtesy but not required?  I am not sure if he is married but that can add a decent amount to the overall cost of the officiant for 2 additional people.  For those of you who have extended invitations to your officiants that you didn't have personal relationships with - did they attend?  I would have no idea who I would have him or him and his wife sit with!  

    His fee is $650 + an additional $75 to attend the rehearsal dinner (not sure if this is normal price or not for the New England area).  Do you think it is necessary for him to attend the rehearsal?  I guess I can ask my coordinator what people usually do but it seems silly to spend $75 + dinner for him to stand around for 15 minutes but obviously I want to make sure things run smoothly!
    To attend the dinner or the rehearsal?  Those are 2 different things.  In your situation I would not feel obligated to invite him to the rehearsal dinner or reception.  Our officiant was a military chaplain who served aboard the same ship as my husband, my husband did seek spiritual guidance from him.  He did attend our rehearsal and we ran through the ceremony several times.  While we invited him to the rehearsal dinner and reception he declined both invites. 
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    doeydomelbelleup
  • NYCMercedesNYCMercedes BOS, NYC, DC. Forever a city girl member
    Sixth Anniversary 2500 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    kkcaper14 said:
    My fiance and I are getting married several hours from where we live.  He (his family) is Roman Catholic and I grew up Protestant - neither of us attend church.  We're having our ceremony and reception at the same location (not being married at a church).  I started researching officiants and found one that kind of a good compromise - he is a priest in good standing in the Ecumenical Catholic Church.  We have no previous relationship with him outside the wedding - we will be meeting with him 2x before the wedding (probably once on phone/skype and once in person). 

    I've read mixed things on this board - should he be invited to the reception?  From what I read it is a courtesy but not required?  I am not sure if he is married but that can add a decent amount to the overall cost of the officiant for 2 additional people.  For those of you who have extended invitations to your officiants that you didn't have personal relationships with - did they attend?  I would have no idea who I would have him or him and his wife sit with!  

    His fee is $650 + an additional $75 to attend the rehearsal dinner (not sure if this is normal price or not for the New England area).  Do you think it is necessary for him to attend the rehearsal?  I guess I can ask my coordinator what people usually do but it seems silly to spend $75 + dinner for him to stand around for 15 minutes but obviously I want to make sure things run smoothly!

    To me, he's clearly a vendor so need not be invited to the reception or RD. I would, however, definitely have him at the rehearsal.
    doeydomelbelleupIloveshanej
  • If I have him at the rehearsal I assume he would be invited to the rehearsal dinner?  Sorry I am asking about rehearsal/RD and reception (2 separate questions).
  • NYCMercedesNYCMercedes BOS, NYC, DC. Forever a city girl member
    Sixth Anniversary 2500 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    No, you need not entertain vendors at the rehearsal dinner or at the reception. Both social events are to thank your guests. His thank you is $$$.
    doeydoJoanE2012melbelleup
  • kkcaper14 said:
    If I have him at the rehearsal I assume he would be invited to the rehearsal dinner?  Sorry I am asking about rehearsal/RD and reception (2 separate questions). 

    stuck in the box

    In your situation, no.  He is a vendor who is being paid for a service.  Since you have no prior relationship with him you do not need to treat him like a guest.  My view is people usually invite a clergy member to the rehearsal dinner and reception when they have a relationship with them that predates the wedding.  
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    doeydo
  • Thanks for the clarification :)
  • huskypuppy14huskypuppy14 Boston Suburbs member
    2500 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its First Answer
    That sounds very high for a member of the clergy.  We have a JOP that we are paying (not as much as you are though), and I asked if she wanted to come to the reception and she declined, but thanked me for asking. 
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  • JoanE2012JoanE2012 Exit 21 (Jersey!) member
    5000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 5 Answers
    No, you need not entertain vendors at the rehearsal dinner or at the reception. Both social events are to thank your guests. His thank you is $$$.
    This!
    melbelleup
  • laurynm84 said:
    That sounds very high for a member of the clergy.  We have a JOP that we are paying (not as much as you are though), and I asked if she wanted to come to the reception and she declined, but thanked me for asking. 
    I'm getting married in a church in New England and I think it's going to be around $700 or $800. But a lot of that money goes to the church for using their facility and to the musicians. I guess it seems a little high if you're using your own ceremony venue and it doesn't include any sort of musician, but it's not that out of line with the cost of a religious ceremony. 
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  • ashleyep said:
    laurynm84 said:
    That sounds very high for a member of the clergy.  We have a JOP that we are paying (not as much as you are though), and I asked if she wanted to come to the reception and she declined, but thanked me for asking. 
    I'm getting married in a church in New England and I think it's going to be around $700 or $800. But a lot of that money goes to the church for using their facility and to the musicians. I guess it seems a little high if you're using your own ceremony venue and it doesn't include any sort of musician, but it's not that out of line with the cost of a religious ceremony. 

    But that's really different. You are getting a church, musicians, and the officiant. She is paying all that for just the officiant. Does seem very high, and if he is saying it's extra just to attend the rehearsal.... I don't know. Maybe you get what you pay for and he will be amazing!
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  • Yes it is extra if he brings his own sound system as well!   We are having a ceremony at our reception site so that fee is just for the 2 sessions ahead of time and him on the day of the wedding.  I'll reach out to a few others for cost as well.  It seems high to me too but I have no basis really for comparison as he is the first person we've e-mailed.  My fiance is Catholic and I think his family/parents would think this is a good compromise instead of having a Catholic ceremony.  He said "the standard ceremony I use consists of some readings from scripture, a brief homily (sermon), the vows and exchange of rings, and a final blessing" - is this pretty standard?  If we have a non-denominational ceremony we were planning on inviting a Deacon (BIL of a friend) and his wife to the reception for a Catholic blessing which will be an extra couple hundred dollars.  I need to have my FI talk to his parents to figure out what would make them happy.
  • huskypuppy14huskypuppy14 Boston Suburbs member
    2500 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its First Answer
    Also, I thought Catholic priests couldn't marry couples outside of a church. Someone correct me if I'm wrong. It sounds like you're getting ripped off OP.
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  • laurynm84 said:
    Also, I thought Catholic priests couldn't marry couples outside of a church. Someone correct me if I'm wrong. It sounds like you're getting ripped off OP.
    Yeah, the Catholic church will not recognize your marriage unless it is in a Catholic church performed by a Catholic priest. If you stick with your current plan, you will not be married in the eyes of the Catholic church, no matter the blessing. 

    If your fiance is not a practicing Catholic, I think he needs to just stand up to his family and say that a Catholic ceremony is not what you two want. 
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  • He's not a Roman Catholic and it's technically not a Catholic ceremony.  I know since we aren't getting married in the Catholic church that FI's family would at least like to have some Catholic/religious aspects of a ceremony.  This is what it says on his site:
    Rev. was ordained a Roman Catholic Priest.  He resigned from the Roman Catholic clerical order to continue to work for reform in the church. He continues his ministry as a priest in good standing in the Ecumenical Catholic Church.  He is authorized to perform ministerial functions including officiating in marriage ceremonies.  In addition to faculties (authority) from the Catholic Ecumenical Church, he is a commissioned officiant by the Federation of Christian Ministries.
    I'm not Catholic so I'm not sure exactly what I'm looking for...just trying to make the in-laws happy :)

  • That is pricey!

    We have hired an officiant, who is a minister (United), but he also officiates weddings "on the side" from his minister duties. We are having a non-denominational ceremony, but he told us we could include as much or as little religion into the ceremony as we want. 

    He is an extended friend of the family. We are getting an excellent price- I'm not sure if it's because he's a family referral or if that's what he charges everyone, but it's no where near what you are being charged. 

    I'd look around a bit more if I were you, see if you can find an officiant who can include some religious elements, if that's what is meaningful to you and your fiancee. 

    As for invites- we invited the officiant and his wife (though he technically is a vendor) to both the reception and rehearsal dinner. So far he and his wife have declined the reception. I think it is a nice gesture. 
  • kkcaper14 said:
    He's not a Roman Catholic and it's technically not a Catholic ceremony.  I know since we aren't getting married in the Catholic church that FI's family would at least like to have some Catholic/religious aspects of a ceremony.  This is what it says on his site:
    Rev. was ordained a Roman Catholic Priest.  He resigned from the Roman Catholic clerical order to continue to work for reform in the church. He continues his ministry as a priest in good standing in the Ecumenical Catholic Church.  He is authorized to perform ministerial functions including officiating in marriage ceremonies.  In addition to faculties (authority) from the Catholic Ecumenical Church, he is a commissioned officiant by the Federation of Christian Ministries.
    I'm not Catholic so I'm not sure exactly what I'm looking for...just trying to make the in-laws happy :)

    Have you talked to them about this?  I looked the church up online and I'm not sure it would make them happy.  
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  • I keep asking my FI to talk to them about it.  We are definitely not having a ceremony in a Catholic church so I'm trying to incorporate religious aspects into the ceremony.  I'll keep bugging him to talk to them about what exactly they want.  
  • You are paying A LOT. Our officiant was $50 +mileage. About $100 total. The fee is regulated by the state of VA. She was a civil celebrant, not a JOP (similar though). And not a minister, but I'm an atheist. You could always hire a JOP/civil celebrant and ask them to do a ceremony that focuses on some bible passage/religious readings you like.

    We did the rehearsal ourselves but her fee would have been the same to attend that. She mingled for a bit at cocktail hour to do the license and had a glass of wine and then left. We did not include her in our guest count (but did include our photographer and assistant and DJ and assistant so they could eat)
  • if you want him at the rehearsal then yes extend the invitation to attend the dinner. I doubt he will go to the dinner but you never know.  I have never seen an extra fee to go to the rehearsal, I always thought it was included in the fee itself, but it looks like he has it optional.

     We hired someone similar to yours and while we invited him to the rehearsal & dinner he declined. (there was not an extra charge though if he came to the rehearsal).  We did a phone conference with him and my DOC 2 days before the wedding to go over the details as to what we would rehearse, which my DOC orchestrated.
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