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October 2013 Weddings

Church donation question - please help and give your advice! (XP to my local NJ board)

I am a member of the church where we are getting married. As a member, the usage of the church and pastor for a ceremony are "free." I do however have to pay $175 for the sexton to clean up after the ceremony is over. I do not know if this goes directly to him, or is just part of church's budget. 

I then asked the pastor about a donation for the ceremony as well as donation for himself. He was saying "you don't need to" or "if you feel so inclined, make your pledge a bit higher when you come" and vague answers that didn't really give me a solid number. (I work better with: "standard donations range from $x - $z.) 

Plus, I have now found out that there is a woman in the church who will be helping at both the rehearsal dinner and the ceremony with line up and children wrangling to ensure everyone gets down the aisle at the right moment. I didn't know she existed, but don't want to snub her if she is helping out. (And can see why having her is helpful.) Gift card to her? How much? To where? 

My questions are: Who should I give payments to and how much? (Sexton is a set fee, but then the Pastor? Pastor and donation to the church?  Sexton, donation to the church, gift to pastor and gift to helper?) Is the sexton's fee in a way a donation to the church? Or do I make a separate one as well? I don't want to look cheap, but if he really honestly means "I am your pastor and this is what we do for members" I don't want to go overboard. 

It is a Protestant church. I am a member but do not have a set yearly pledge. When I do attend, I always make a donation (as do my family members). I have also done other church donation related things such as sponsor flowers and for particular giving campaigns.

I really need help!! tia!!
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Re: Church donation question - please help and give your advice! (XP to my local NJ board)

  • You should make a donation to the church, in general.  With respect to the woman who seems to be acting as a day-of-coordinator, I would give her a small token of appreciation because she is probably prohibited from accepting money.

    My fiance and I aren't getting married in a church, but we are having a religious ceremony at an off-site location.  We gave $200 to the church, which will cover the pastor's honorarium.  I also asked the question about making a donation directly to the pastor, but I was told the check had to be written to the church.  We attend a Baptist church outside of Washington, DC.
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