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Need an officiant

So, why do officiants charge so much?! 

I have looked at several officiants and they are all $400+.  I mean, I guess if you have a big wedding with religious ceremony and all, I could see spending that, however... I am having a simple ceremony (no religion involved), more than anything I'm just looking to have someone read the vows and call it a day.  Does anyone know an officiant that doesn't charge an arm & a leg?

P.S. I suggested to my FI that we should have someone in the fam do it for free, and he says it would be "weird".  I don't think so, but I have to look for other options.

-Frustrated and Confused

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Re: Need an officiant

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    edited December 2011
    We are working with Anothy Zecca right now.
    We really like how he personalizes the ceremony for you.
    He seems super nice so far, and we have a meeting with him Saturday to possibly firm things up.
    Can't say I would rec him 100% just yet, but am more than happy to share the info I do have so far.... http://www.tonyzecca.com/
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    edited December 2011
    I'm using Fr. George Lucey... Catholic... but not part of the ROMAN Catholic church which means he'll marry FI and me even though 1) I'm not Catholic and 2) we're not getting married in a church.

    Not sure about officiants who marry you in a church, but Fr. George suggests that you pay around $350 IF YOU CAN just to go toward upkeep of the parish.  However, he did explicitly tell us that if, for whatever reason, we couldn't pay that amount it's not like he would frown upon us.  We're going to give the suggested amount, but if you are really strongly against it, then just pay what you can!  :-)
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    edited December 2011
    We are also using one of Fr Lucey's priests, he has been great so far but charges $400 because he'll be coming up from MD.
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    edited December 2011
    Thanks for the suggestions! 

    I'm actually getting married at the venue, i'm jewish and the FI is christian but not religious.  I've realized it's hard to find someone that is not affiliated with a religion.  I might just end up finding a rabbi if I can get one cheap.
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    edited December 2011
    I'll also second Father Lucey.  My father's family is Jewish, my mother's and my fiance's Roman Catholic, and we're not religious at all.  He's more than willing to work in traditions from the religions and also make some thing more about faith in general than any specific religion for us.
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    edited December 2011
    I'm using a Father George Hintz...a priest who left the church to get married.  He charges $600.
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    edited December 2011
    My uncle offered to marry us. I think it will be great!  It cost $120 I think but that was the top package with a book and all types of other things.  I know your FI thinks it's weird but I think it gives such a personal touch to it.  At most weddings I think that people generally don't pay attention to what the officiant is saying, but if it were a family member or friend there wouldn't be a dry eye in the place.  NJ is really easy to get certified.  You just have to send away for the paperwork.
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    bliubird23bliubird23 member
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    edited December 2011
    I had the same problem when I was looking for an officiant.  I was looking for a short and sweet wedding with no readings or songs, just one prayer - it ran 15 minutes long and we did not think that we should pay hundreds and hundreds of dollars for 15 minutes of speaking, especially since I was writing our own ceremony script.

    I found a majority of officiants do charge $3,4, or 500.  However, Dreams made real are under $200 I believe.  I didn't use them because they were not available for my date.  They referred me to Pattie and Kenny Manuel, who cost me under $200 last September and were lovely to work with.  I'm not sure if their rates have changed but they really believed that a beautiful wedding shouldn't cost an arm and a leg, so I would be very surprised if they are charging much more now.  Email me at bliubird23 at gmail.com if you would like their email address.
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