New Jersey - South

Wedding Officiant Price!?!?

Hey Ladies!

My fiance and I are getting married at a Unitarian Universalist Church in South Jersey. We are paying to use the space $1000, and for the music $200, and the minister of the UUCH is wanting to charge us $600 to do our ceremony on site, including a rehearsal, the day before. My fiance and I feel this is wildly overprice! How can we go about 'negotiating' his rate down? 

Also, what are other people paying for their officiant?!?!

Thanks for the help!

Re: Wedding Officiant Price!?!?

  • edited December 2011
    We're not paying anything because it is the church that I attended as a child and my parents and grandparents are still active members of the church. Howver, we will make a nice donation to the church.

    When you say you are paying $1k to 'use the space' are you having your reception there as well? If not, then that price is out of control. Charging you for the space, then to do the ceremony and for the music is a bit much.

    You probably won't be able to negotiate, but I would definitely look for other options.
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  • reliartreliart member
    100 Comments
    edited December 2011
    our friend is marrying us, so it's free :) well, $30 to get her official, but that works for us!
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  • artsysunriseartsysunrise member
    First Comment
    edited December 2011
    Ok, so where do I get my friend official to marry us?? Online, is online ok, or do we need to go through the state?? 

  • edited December 2011
    We paid $400 for our Priest but that was including his travel to do it at our reception venue and we also did 3 pre-cana classes.
    Tiffersj87
  • edited December 2011
    I had an officiant charge around that much - and we aren't religious so the ceremony will only be around 20 minutes.  $700 for 20 minutes of reading a script I wrote wasn't going to fly.

    My cousin said she would marry us, so she went online, got ordained for free from the Universal Life Church, and she's doing the ceremony.  Luckily, in NJ (according to my county's health dept.) anyone from any organization can do the ceremony - online ordination or not.
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  • Musicheals71Musicheals71 member
    Knottie Warrior 5000 Comments Combo Breaker
    edited December 2011
    The rabbi who married us charged $500, and synagogue rental for the ceremony and reception was $400.
  • ValDBrooklynValDBrooklyn member
    Fifth Anniversary First Comment
    edited December 2011
    We used Rev. Jill Dillner and we were complimented over and over again.  She was affable, fun, spiritual and serious all within the same ceremony.  I can't say I remember her fee but it was way less than $500 I'm sure.  I'd google her - her brides all stay in touch after their weddings.
  • edited December 2011
    The Rev who married us charged $175.  He did anything and everything we wanted and was simply lovely.  I wouldn't pay those prices.
  • jroxxjroxx member
    10 Comments
    edited December 2011
    Ask if the fee is considered a donation.  In that case, you can use it as a tax deduction! At least you'd get something more out of it.  If it's not a donation, then I would think it's a little over-priced...
  • foxxfire90foxxfire90 member
    Eighth Anniversary 10 Comments
    edited December 2011
    It really depends on what you're looking for....most independent officiants (those who are not supported by churches or temples) charge 400-900. for a handwritten ceremony. Something simpler that is prewritten with a touch of personalization would be 300-500.

    It seems like the other costs associated with the church are kind of high; the ceremony script and delivery is really the most important part, but I doubt that anyone who is associated with a church can negotiate; those rates are usually set by the board of directors or deacons....


    I know Rev. Jill, and she is a wonderful choice, at whatever price she charges, but call her ASAP; she is very, very popular.
  • foxxfire90foxxfire90 member
    Eighth Anniversary 10 Comments
    edited December 2011
    And honestly, I'd really think about getting someone ordained and trusting a rank beginner with your wedding ceremony. Writing, performing, commanding a room; these are skills that not everyone has. Every officiant I know has done last minute weddings to replace people who got cold feet. That is a stressor you  can't put a price on.

  • A wedding officiant  that advertises on the knot pays a good amount.  That is not the only place they advertise.   Wedding officiant  generally talk to brides and grooms a few times before they write a contract.  So lets say that adds up to an hour.  Then you meet over the phone or in person lets say an hour.  Then the officiant who cares will write your ceremony to fit you both and personalize it.   A good officiate knows how to command the room so the attention is on you both.  They should  be able to handle anything that comes up even a dad who says" I don't want to give my daughter away!"
    A good Wedding Officiant can handle crabby parent or guest. 
    A wedding officiant sets the tone for your ceremony and your ceremony sets the tone for the day.   When someone books a wedding with me I spend generally 8 hours and driving time.    When you look at the price of your dress and the price per   plate  and then you look at the amount you are paid for your job think about the other people who are going to do a good job for you.  Everyone deserves to be paid for the job they do.  Good officiants  work at continuing education like attending the Wedding MBA Convention.   Where the Knot.com and Wedding Wire teaches.
    So you see it is not just someone reading a few words for 20 min.  Also when you look at prices in Chicago, Los Angeles compared to IN the prices will differ.
    Bless you as you look, may you find your perfect officiant !


  • OliveOilsMomOliveOilsMom South Jersey member
    Tenth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    @KnotPorscha - we have an advertiser and I'm stuck in a quote box!
  • @OliveOilsMom thank you!... not sure why you couldn't get out of the quote box but it reminded me of this:

    image
  • OliveOilsMomOliveOilsMom South Jersey member
    Tenth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    LOL KP!  Thanks!  And this was another zombie thread!
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