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Church fee

Hi Everyone,
Make someone can shed some light on this for me...we are looking to get married in the catholic church and we were told that the church no longer accepts donations but in place are charging a fee...any one else getting this?
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Re: Church fee

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    mcda04mcda04 member
    First Anniversary 5 Love Its Name Dropper First Comment

    Hello,
    Catholic Church "Donations" have always had an amount. for example, when i had my 15anera ceremony; the donation was $200. now they are actually calling it a fee and our wedding ceremony will cost $350. I think it varies by church but the range is typically between $300 - $500. GL

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    A church in my town wanted 5k so it varies church to church.
     
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    Yup, it's a fee for me as well. They don't even call it a donation in the 24 page wedding contract I have to sign with them. Mine's $500 for parishioners and $1000 for non-parishioners. That doesn't cover use of their music director (whom I have to use) or their wedding co-ordinator (ditto). 
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    Its crazy! they are asking for $300 fee let alone the music director hasnt gotten back to me so i dont know what she is charging and im pretty sure the altar servers get paid too...at another church it was $20 each!!!

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    I've heard of fees up to $1,000 for large, beautiful, city parishes.

    Marriage is a sacrament, however, and the Church cannot charge for the sacrament. If you wish to get married in your home parish and cannot afford the fee, tell the right person at the parish, and they should be able to work something out. Note that "cannot afford" does not mean, "did not plan on this in our $27,000 budget" (and similar variations). IMO, the Church is within her rights to say, "We don't care that you have $0 budget for the wedding. We think it's important that you can save $1,100 before you marry." ($1,000 for the church and $100 for the license.)
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    edited July 2012

    It sort of is a bargain but idk I think some of the fees out there are crazy!!! just venting! Innocent

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    mcda04mcda04 member
    First Anniversary 5 Love Its Name Dropper First Comment
    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_customs-traditions_church-fee?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding BoardsForum:36Discussion:1d287068-6534-4e99-b501-649449408b2fPost:37eac979-207b-45f1-9dbc-26d7d8882147">Re: Church fee</a>:
    [QUOTE]I've heard of fees up to $1,000 for large, beautiful, city parishes. Marriage is a sacrament, however, and the Church cannot charge for the sacrament. If you wish to get married in your home parish and cannot afford the fee, tell the right person at the parish, and they should be able to work something out. Note that "cannot afford" does not mean, "did not plan on this in our $27,000 budget" (and similar variations). IMO, the Church is within her rights to say, "We don't care that you have $0 budget for the wedding. We think it's important that you can save $1,100 before you marry." ($1,000 for the church and $100 for the license.)
    Posted by ElisabethJoanne[/QUOTE]
    I believe this information is correct. the $350 i am paying is not for the sacrament. The music is an additional charge as well. We are paying less because this is our Home Parish.
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    Tami87Tami87 member
    First Anniversary 5 Love Its Name Dropper First Comment
    The Catholic church we got married in was $1500 (this included the organist). Cantor was another $150. It is a historic church that is not funded by the diocese, so all their running costs come from donations and weddings. To me the ceremony was the most important part of the day, so I did not mind spending accordingly. So to me $300 doesn't sound unreasonable at all! I also planned to give $20 to the altar server (the church was supposed to provide one but they didn't show up) and gave a $100 gift to the priest that officiated our wedding. This seems to be the going rate in our area.

    As previous posters mentioned if you truly can't afford it, they will work with you but I look at it this way. If I am willing to spend that amount of money on a dress or flowers or whatever, why would I not be willing to spend that much money on the church? I think it is all about what your priorities are. Also if you were to get married at another location besides a church, $300 would probably be very cheap in comparison. I think that many brides just have this unrealistic expectation that churches should be free, when in reality they have a lot of running costs and expenses. I think this may be why we are seeing more set fees instead of suggested donations.
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    Our church fee is $150, plus $250 for the organist (I think is is an extra $100 for non-members).  The cantor would have been $150 but my aunt is going to sing (we will still get her a gift card or something).  I was getting $20 wedding tips as an alter server 15 years ago, so we plan to give ours closer to $40 each.  We plan to tip the priest $300-400 (4-5 pre-cana sessions, plus driving across town for rehearsal and across town again for the wedding).

    I second everything Tami said.
    We Do - Since November 3, 2012
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    Its not that we cant afford it...because we can I just think its crazy how everyone in my family when they got married only gave a donation to the church! and now you have to pay fee, plus organist etc...and im sorry paying the altar servers is BS! they do that for service hours. Whatever thanks for everyones replies! I see things alot clearly now.
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    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_customs-traditions_church-fee?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding BoardsForum:36Discussion:1d287068-6534-4e99-b501-649449408b2fPost:fa1b0670-1af4-415f-ae41-4096f79aff8c">Re: Church fee</a>:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re: Church fee : OMG!!!  They're expecting you to pay people to work at your wedding???  You're right, that IS crazy!
    Posted by StageManager14[/QUOTE]

    Go figure!
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    I mean, I get it, and $1000 is a hell of a lot of money, but I know it's worth it. I got more than a little cheesed off because my mom was a very active member of the parish that I'm getting married in for over 30 years and we're paying the non-parishioner rate. It's the church I went through every sacrament at and attend whenever I'm in my hometown. I've never actually become a member of another parish because I've moved around a lot since I moved out of my hometown. My mom moved to Utah about 4 years ago, so I get that we're no longer really parishioners, but, for 30 years of being super-involved, I felt like they could have given us the parishioner price. They didn't, I'm (mostly) over it, and we're paying and it's going to be beautiful. And it's worth it. We'll also pay the organist and probably a cantor, I'm hoping some of my younger cousins can altar serve for us (I don't think $20 is too much, but they want us to give them $50 a piece and I find that excessive). I'm less than thrilled about having to pay their coordinator, because she's impossible to get in touch with, but, we have to do it. They told us they'd work with us on the payment, but, there are people who legitimately can't afford it, and I'd hate to cry poor just to save a couple hundred dollars when we can pay it. 

    So, I get the frustration, but, you have to look at all it takes to open up the church for your wedding. I'd love to be paying $300 for mine. 
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    We're paying $200 for the church and $200 for the organist. I think it's pretty reasonable, especially because we're getting married on a weekday in the summer when they normally don't have Mass.
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    Lisa50Lisa50 member
    5 Love Its Combo Breaker First Comment

    Every parish is different.  Ask your priest.

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    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_customs-traditions_church-fee?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:36Discussion:1d287068-6534-4e99-b501-649449408b2fPost:832e120c-3c4b-4db3-8387-6b1f0dcf8a44">Re: Church fee</a>:
    [QUOTE]Its not that we cant afford it...because we can I just think its crazy how everyone in my family when they got married only gave a donation to the church! and now you have to pay fee, plus organist etc...and im sorry paying the altar servers is BS! they do that for service hours. Whatever thanks for everyones replies! I see things alot clearly now.
    Posted by nm02155[/QUOTE]

    <div>The old school "just give a donation" system only worked when the weddings were only for members and everyone was tithing 10%.  If you donate 10% of your gross to the church, you might be in your rights to complain about this.</div><div>
    </div><div>Otherwise, realize that it would cost you at least twice as much to rent anything else for a ceremony and be appreciative of the good deal.</div><div>
    </div><div>And tip the alter servers.  Complaining about a tip for a couple of teenagers giving up their Saturday afternoon to work your wedding is pathetic.  </div>
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    Welcome to the Catholic Church, OP.  They never miss a chance to shake folks down. =) 

    Seriously though, you won't get anything any cheaper at a secular venue. 
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    edited July 2012
    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_customs-traditions_church-fee?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:36Discussion:1d287068-6534-4e99-b501-649449408b2fPost:832e120c-3c4b-4db3-8387-6b1f0dcf8a44">Re: Church fee</a>:
    [QUOTE]Its not that we cant afford it...because we can I just think its crazy how everyone in my family when they got married only gave a donation to the church! and now you have to pay fee, plus organist etc...<strong>and im sorry paying the altar servers is BS! they do that for service hours.</strong> Whatever thanks for everyones replies! I see things alot clearly now.
    Posted by nm02155[/QUOTE]

    My daughter was an altar server. She served at the weekly Mass that we attended as a family. And often times, she served at 2 or more Masses in a weekend. This was the way she chose to worship. She did it as a special favor to God.

    You are not God. Some kid, who doesn't know you, will give up 1 or 2 hours of his/her Friday or Saturday to assist at your wedding. Back then, the church didn't charge for the altar servers. If a couple 'forgot' to tip the kids, the priest would reach into his pocket for the $10 or $20 to give to each server.

    Your $300fee is a real bargain, considering what goes into the upkeep of a church. The priest, music director and maintenance staff all have to put in 'overtime' for your wedding. Why shouldn't they get paid?
                       
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    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_customs-traditions_church-fee?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:36Discussion:1d287068-6534-4e99-b501-649449408b2fPost:fa1b0670-1af4-415f-ae41-4096f79aff8c">Re: Church fee</a>:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re: Church fee : OMG!!!  They're expecting you to pay people to work at your wedding???  You're right, that IS crazy!
    Posted by StageManager14[/QUOTE]

    Since when do priests work for $1000/hour?
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    MobKazMobKaz member
    First Anniversary First Comment First Answer 5 Love Its
    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_customs-traditions_church-fee?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:36Discussion:1d287068-6534-4e99-b501-649449408b2fPost:7b0c2b92-451d-4b13-823a-59010ecd83b9">Re: Church fee</a>:
    [QUOTE]Welcome to the Catholic Church, OP.  They never miss a chance to shake folks down. =)  Seriously though, you won't get anything any cheaper at a secular venue. 
    Posted by NOLAbridealmost[/QUOTE]

    Could your gross generalization be any more disrespectful, or judgmental?
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    I'm paying 500 dollars for my outdoor secular venue, plus over 800 to rent chairs. 300 bucks sounds like a bargain to me! And please don't think I'm complaining about my costs. Those are decisions my FI and I made knowing full well the costs and we budgeted for them. I'm just trying to point out that non church venues can run high as well.
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    OtterJOtterJ member
    First Anniversary 5 Love Its First Comment
    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_customs-traditions_church-fee?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:36Discussion:1d287068-6534-4e99-b501-649449408b2fPost:b429fe54-992c-4470-ad0f-c6340d294881">Re: Church fee</a>:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re: Church fee : Since when do priests work for $1000/hour?
    Posted by utterrandomness[/QUOTE]

    *eye roll*

     The $1000 doesn't go to the priest, that's normally a seperate fee/donation of around $100.  And they don't work for just the hour, they are also at your rehersal, they often do pre-marriage counseling (I'm having 4 sessions of it), and they generally have at least one meeting with you to plan out what type of vows you want.  The church usage fee is the fee for the CHURCH.  for the building,  the lights, air conditioning, for the custodial staff to open and prepare the room, and to clean up after you.  The fee for the church that I'm paying for also covers the wedding planner.  Other fees (organist/soloist/pianist/sound support/audio and visual set up fees, etc.) normally go straight to the person that is doing htat job.  Sometimes it is done by staff members, sometimes they bring in someone, and you are just paying them like you would pay for any regular service that you are requesting.  The churches often pick the people to do certain jobs instead of allowing you to hire your own person, because they don't want your cousin, Bob, to permanitely damage their sound equipment.  Your short comment was not thought out, and really showed off your short sighted view of reality.  Sorry if this seems harsh, but I just wanted to make sure that you didn't REALLY believe your own words.  Sorry, I'm off my soap box now, but i really don't like misunderstandings, and you had a big one. 
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    I don't think $300 is at all unreasonable, for all the reasons others already gave.

    H and I were really blessed: between the two churches which hosted our rehearsal dinner and our ceremony, neither one asked us for a fee!  The minister who officiated is a dear friend who has known both of us for years, and was the reason we were getting married in New Haven rather than at our home church 45 minutes away. 

    Still, H and I understand that churches can certainly lose money on weddings, and we weren't willing for them to lose money on our behalf because the leadership at both churches were kind and generous enough to offer us the use of their space and utliites for free. We ended up cutting a check for $200 to the church which hosted our rehearsal dinner and a $300 to the church where we had our ceremony.  We felt it was the least we could do, and we also realized we would have paid potentially much more had we used non-church venues, and so it was in the budget. 
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    OP, I have heard of churches charging fees which, as you can see, vary greatly. I am of a faith where our place of worship does not charge any fees for use, so I had no idea this was common until I came here. I was shocked! Everything is voluntary donation of whatever amount you can afford. There are no guidelines. Obviously everywhere is different. 
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    $800 for us but that includes everything.  We'll also make a $200 donation to our college as we're being married by a priest from there.
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    We are paying just under 300 for the church and the pastor. We can pay an extra 80 for the organist if we so choose (she is optional). I found out that that is an amazing deal for our area and we live in a semi cheap area, all country, small home town feel. I don't know if its different between different churches as this is a Baptist church we are getting married in. And this is the non-parishers fee too, FYI. Long term parishers are waviered. It states that on our contract. I love my pastor that is marrying us and even though she is not "my" pastor due to us not having a home church, she has been amazingly helpful to us.
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    We paid $2,000 for our chapel, so that seems like a bargain to me.  Ours did include both the organist and the carilloneur however.  It was important to me to have a gorgeous and meaningful church and a huge pipe organ, so we spent our money on what was important to us.
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    Lisa50Lisa50 member
    5 Love Its Combo Breaker First Comment
    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_customs-traditions_church-fee?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding BoardsForum:36Discussion:1d287068-6534-4e99-b501-649449408b2fPost:ce0f610c-e023-4186-b393-e6c2f2d1bc2c">Re: Church fee</a>:
    [QUOTE]I mean, I get it, and $1000 is a hell of a lot of money, but I know it's worth it.<strong><font color="#0000ff"> I got more than a little cheesed off because my mom was a very active member of the parish that I'm getting married in for over 30 years and we're paying the non-parishioner rate.</font></strong> It's the church I went through every sacrament at and attend whenever I'm in my hometown. I've never actually become a member of another parish because I've moved around a lot since I moved out of my hometown. My mom moved to Utah about 4 years ago, so I get that we're no longer really parishioners, but, for 30 years of being super-involved, I felt like they could have given us the parishioner price. They didn't, I'm (mostly) over it, and we're paying and it's going to be beautiful. And it's worth it. We'll also pay the organist and probably a cantor, I'm hoping some of my younger cousins can altar serve for us (I don't think $20 is too much, but they want us to give them $50 a piece and I find that excessive). I'm less than thrilled about having to pay their coordinator, because she's impossible to get in touch with, but, we have to do it. They told us they'd work with us on the payment, but, there are people who legitimately can't afford it, and I'd hate to cry poor just to save a couple hundred dollars when we can pay it.  So, I get the frustration, but, you have to look at all it takes to open up the church for your wedding. I'd love to be paying $300 for mine. 
    Posted by divinemsbee[/QUOTE]

    Really?? You are <u>not</u> a parishioner yet you expect to pay the parishioner's rate?   Why not marry in your own parish? You could receive the parishioner's rate there.

    Sorry to hijack your post, OP!
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    MobKazMobKaz member
    First Anniversary First Comment First Answer 5 Love Its
    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_customs-traditions_church-fee?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:36Discussion:1d287068-6534-4e99-b501-649449408b2fPost:4cf4d822-aa56-40b7-9f19-75608268a0cb">Re: Church fee</a>:
    [QUOTE]We paid $2,000 for our chapel, so that seems like a bargain to me.  Ours did include both the organist and the carilloneur however.  It was important to me to have a gorgeous and meaningful church and a huge pipe organ, so we spent our money on what was important to us.
    Posted by amyb140[/QUOTE]

    Did you marry in Rockefeller Chapel?  I love that chapel!  My son married outside in the courtyard last weekend :-)
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    I think the issue I have with this is that the Catholic Church makes it mandatory for you to get married (or if you don't gett married, to be... oh crap, what's it called? When it's blessed later on?) in the church, and then charges you for it.
    I totally get that people need to be paid and expenses need to be covered and I'm not arguing that, but I feel like they're charging too much for something they're saying you need to do.



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    MobKazMobKaz member
    First Anniversary First Comment First Answer 5 Love Its
    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_customs-traditions_church-fee?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:36Discussion:1d287068-6534-4e99-b501-649449408b2fPost:daceeee7-450a-4327-aa98-6a70abf8d6c4">Re: Church fee</a>:
    [QUOTE]I think the issue I have with this is that the Catholic Church makes it mandatory for you to get married (or if you don't gett married, to be... oh crap, what's it called? When it's blessed later on?) in the church, and then charges you for it. I totally get that people need to be paid and expenses need to be covered and I'm not arguing that, but I feel like they're charging too much for something they're saying you need to do.
    Posted by Simply Fated[/QUOTE]

    Actually, the only agency that <em>mandates</em> marriage is the government.  And, they most definitely charge a fee.  People of faith <em>choose </em>to marry within their church.

    I find it interesting, and sad, that so many brides look upon a church as a venue/vendor, as opposed to a house of worship.  They really are, and should be, separate entities.  However, when a church is indeed looked upon as <em>a venue, </em>I don't understand why you <em>wouldn't </em>expect to pay for that "service" just as you would any other within your wedding planning.
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