Wedding Vows & Ceremony Discussions

HOW MUCH for an officiant??

Just feel like ranting for a moment. A good friend of mine put my FI and I in touch with a rabbi who she raved about, and thought would be a good match for us and our wedding. We don't have a spiritual home or belong to a synagogue. We met with the rabbi, who really does match us and has some good ideas and whatnot. The fee would include 3 meetings before the wedding. The fee was $1,500. I kid you not. Seriously??

I'm not going crazy. That's a really high amount for an officiant, right??

Re: HOW MUCH for an officiant??

  • Yeah, I feel like that's really high. The suggested stipend for the priest in our parish is $250-$300 and he does meet with couples several times before the wedding.
  • lyndausvilyndausvi Western Slope, Colorado mod
    Moderator Knottie Warrior 10000 Comments 500 Love Its
    8 years ago I paid $600 + a $300+ hotel room for one night. 

    I met him at the rehearsal.   

    3 sessions + the ceremony seems high, but not unheard of either.

    What differentiates an average host and a great host is anticipating unexpressed needs and wants of their guests.  Just because the want/need is not expressed, doesn't mean it wouldn't be appreciated. 
  • Ours is around £500, but at the end of the day if you want this particular celebrant then you will have to pay the going rate.  If you have other options you would consider then you have the opportunity to save a little.  
  • And if you think about it, it will be the most important part of the day to you and FI
  • We have a Rabbi we hired to marry us in New Jersey, we're paying about $800, maybe a little more.  My brother also paid around that 3 years ago.  Unfortunately, when you hire these "traveling" Rabbi's to marry you, for them it is a business, so they charge a lot.
  • For 3 meetings, pianist, church, rehearsal, programs, and the officiants time we paid $1000 in Buffalo, NY. We aren't members of the church (my godparents are) but wanted to get married there, and it was in our budget so we were fine with it. 
  • Thanks for the feedback guys! We're still deciding what to do. We did meet with another rabbi who came off as a bit more traditional than we'd like. He would require membership at the synagogue, which is actually less than $1500. I think we'll go with the first one since we liked him, too.
  • CharmedPamCharmedPam Chicagoburbs member
    2500 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its First Answer
    Seems high for me too, but it looks like you're getting counseling or meetings in?  When pricing a non denominational reverend we got quotes back ranging from $400.00-$1,200.00.  This is both Chicagoland (where we're from and were going to have a wedding) and the state of New York.

  • I live in Indiana but I am having a rabbi marry us for our Pennsylvania wedding. He will be $650 and it includes meetings, all but one of ours will be on Skype due to distance.
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  • We're giving our priest $1,000 plus tickets to join us at a football game (my fiance and I are huge fans of our home team and he is a huge fan of our rivals)

    We've known him for 20 years (he was the priest at both of our first communions), worked with him (we both work within the archdiocese), and he's great friends with our families so it's not weird for us to attend a sports game with him and we just want to thank him for doing this since he's not a priest within a church anymore and now holds a higher position within the diocese and had to pull a lot of strings to be able to do this for us. 

    We meet with him every other week for counseling (from yesterday until we get married next year) and he has guided us through all of the classes we need to take and hooked us up with an amazing "host" couple for the meetings we have to go to. 
  • My officiate is charging $100. This includes all emails, phone calls, texts, rehearsal and taking our marriage license to the court house the week after the wedding.

    After reading what you all paid, I feel like this is a steal.

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  • I think there are different things that go into the fee. For the church we got married in there was $150.00 fee for the use of the church, $75.00 janitorial fee. We gave the pastor a cash gift since he didn't charge us a fee for providing the service. The church we got married at, my father has known the pastor for a long time and been friends with him, so I think that is why we got a good deal. We provided our own organist. I have heard that if you get married in a church that you will get charged different prices based on if you and/or your family are members. Also that if there is premarriage counseling you can pay more, which makes sense because you are taking up more of the individuals time. Then you have officiants that aren't tied to any church and their prices can vary depending on how far they have to travel and how much time they have to meet with you and work on your ceremony.

  • I live in Indiana but I am having a rabbi marry us for our Pennsylvania wedding. He will be $650 and it includes meetings, all but one of ours will be on Skype due to distance.
    I know I'm quoting myself and I don't know if that's weird, but I think the cost of plane tickets to travel to PA (between $550-600) for the two of us, to have the one meeting with this officiant in person should be considered when considering what we're paying. We would not have made the extra trip to PA if not for his request because we don't really have the time or money to just go on trips just because. So I like this officiant but when I think of it that way, it's actually a lot more than I ever intended to spend. :/ Oh well. Hopefully it's worth it!
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