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what to give as a "donation" to the officiant

Hello.  We are having a non denominational wedding in October and I found an officiant to handle this.  When I asked how much he charges, he suggested a " donation".  This will be a very short ceremony and I am asking him to join us for dinner.  Any ideas?   thanks!!


Re: what to give as a "donation" to the officiant

  • Hello.  We are having a non denominational wedding in October and I found an officiant to handle this.  When I asked how much he charges, he suggested a " donation".  This will be a very short ceremony and I am asking him to join us for dinner.  Any ideas?   thanks!!


    Ask other officiants in the area what they charge.  Ask other newlyweds in the area what they were charged.  If still in doubt, I'd probably donate $200.
  • Our officiant was about $450, I think. I would find out what the going rate is in your area and donate that amount.
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    MesmrEwe
  • That's going to vary a lot by location; I'd start off googling other officiants in your area since some of them will list their fees online, and asking other couples. I'd say $100 is the bare minimum for most places.

    For reference, our officiant charges $150 including the premarital counseling (which includes about $50 worth of materials on top of his time). We're also inviting him to our RD and reception, and we're likely to give him a thank you gift.
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  • A donation to what?
    httpiimgurcomTCCjW0wjpg
  • Hello.  We are having a non denominational wedding in October and I found an officiant to handle this.  When I asked how much he charges, he suggested a " donation".  This will be a very short ceremony and I am asking him to join us for dinner.  Any ideas?   thanks!!


    Even if your officiant only talks for 15 minutes remember that there is much more that goes in to it... There's the time that he'll be meeting with you ahead of time, the time that he'll be at your wedding ahead of time and after (time for a few pictures together), etc. etc. Easily, he's going to have at least 10 hours of time or more invested in to your "15 minute Ceremony", and depending on laws for your state, possibly a pretty penny for licensure.  IMO, as others have mentioned, I'd do some checking around to find out what the going rate is for an officiant in your area and make a cash "donation" in that range. 
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  • OP, what do you mean by a "non-denominational wedding"?  Non-denominational usually implies a religious service that is not specific to any one church.  Is this what you meant, or are you really having a civil service (non-religious)?
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  • the officiant is a minister, so I would say that it is " religious" My fiance' is Jewish, and I am Catholic, although neither of us go to any church or synagogue...we do believe in God though  :)



  • I assume, the church that he is affiliated with.  He is a minister...He was not specific in his answer, when I asked him how much....all he said was " a donation would be enough"


  • The officiant 'fee' for our wedding was $125/minister, and we have two that will be co-officiating the ceremony. This fee included the premarital counseling as well. I'm assuming this may vary by location; FI and I are getting married in NW IL. 

    Both ministers were also invited to the rehearsal dinner and reception. I think the monetary donation as well as extending an invite to both dinners shows them your appreciation. 
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    Knottie1428327589
  • kvrunskvruns member
    2500 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its First Answer
    Ours was $150 in Indiana. Some others were priced more like $200+. Quite frankly she did such a kickass job it would have been worth more than what we paid even though I thought it was a lot of $$ before hand.
  • luckystrawluckystraw member
    25 Love Its 10 Comments First Anniversary
    edited June 2015
    Follow up question so that I don't start another conversation; my fiance and I are both nonreligious, and his aunt is officiating the wedding. Would a Thank You gift be enough or would it be more proper for us to pay her for her service as well? We were thinking maybe $100, she is invited to the reception of course, and giving her a thank you gift as well. 

    Edit: I agree with above posts about looking into local norms on what you should pay, OP. Also, I apologize for jumping in, I just have the same question with a little special circumstance and didn't want to start a whole new thread! x.x
  • Follow up question so that I don't start another conversation; my fiance and I are both nonreligious, and his aunt is officiating the wedding. Would a Thank You gift be enough or would it be more proper for us to pay her for her service as well? We were thinking maybe $100, she is invited to the reception of course, and giving her a thank you gift as well. 

    Edit: I agree with above posts about looking into local norms on what you should pay, OP. Also, I apologize for jumping in, I just have the same question with a little special circumstance and didn't want to start a whole new thread! x.x
    I officiated my sister's wedding.  I got ordained online to do so.  She and her husband gave me a $300 gift card to a B&B in a cute nearby town.  She discussed the possible locations with my boyfriend and made the selection with him.
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