Wedding Etiquette Forum
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Church donations - priest or parish?

Hi ladies,

First, I'm on my way out the door so this is a P&R.

Hoping I can get another perspective on this.  FI and I are getting married in my hometown church (Catholic), but we are using a priest from his old high school to marry us.   We are doing it this way so that we each have a sense of familiarity while the ceremony is happening.

The church has a small facility fee, which we have already paid.  However, the priest has not asked us for payment, which is unsurprising.  As I understand it, we should make a donation in lieu of paying the priest, but my question is whether we should donate to my church or to FI's old school (where the priest is in residence)?  The priest is part of the Marist order, and so he does not have his own possessions anyway - the order provides for them, and in turn they do work for the order.  So we are pretty sure that paying him directly would be inappropriate.

We have a budget for it and of course could always split between the two, but the gift would be larger if it went to one or the other in its entirety.  We sort of think it should go to the high school, but we aren't sure.  I know we could ask the priest but that's a rather awkward conversation to have.

Thoughts?  TIA
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Re: Church donations - priest or parish?

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    I would write him a kind thank you note after and send him a check for a donation to the school where he works. I don't think any preist would accept a money. 
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    If you are doing a donation I would do it for the school. I know some couples also do gift cards to the priest's favorite restaurant, a bottle of wine, his favorite chocolates etc so he has something that he will be more likely to use for himself. You could also give him cash or a check and he will likely donate the money to where he thinks it should go.
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    We had the same basic situation. We paid church fee and then gave the Msgr. who married us cash 200 to do with as he pleased.
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    I'd pay the church fee and donate to the school.
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    Thanks, ladies.  We will probably donate to the school and let him know in the thank you note that we donated.  His order takes a vow of poverty so giving him cash or a gift outright would probably not be appropriate in this case.  Thanks for the thoughts!
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