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Officiant Cost


How Much Does an Officiant Cost?

 
low costLow: $50-$100average costAverage: $263high costHigh: $200-$400+
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Some churches charge a separate rental fee for the facility, while others offer packages that, for a few hundred dollars more, include the officiant's services and decorations.

Typical costs:

  • Expect to pay $50 to $100 for a simple civil ceremony by a justice of the peace, possibly at your local city hall, county courthouse or at a park. An intern minister or retired judge might charge $100 to $200. And an experienced church minister or a professional celebrant might charge $200 to $400 or more.
  • The average cost for a pastor or priest to officiate at a wedding is $263, according to The Bridal Association of America[1] .
Related articles: Wedding Chapel or Site, Wedding Ceremony Venue, Marriage License, Wedding DJ, Wedding Music Band, Wedding Planner

What should be included:
  • Many officiants include a get-to-know-you meeting with the couple, followed by two or three planning sessions. Most officiants provide several options for ceremony wording and structure, as well as a choice of readings. On the wedding day, the officiant arrives early, has the witnesses sign the marriage license, and performs the ceremony. Afterward, the officiant mails the marriage license to the county so it can be officially recorded, and mails a copy to the couple.
Additional costs:
  • Some officiants charge extra for a rehearsal, and some charge a mileage fee of 30 to 50 cents a mile to travel to the wedding location.
  • The couple must pay the wedding license fee, which ranges from $10 to $95 or more, depending on the location.
Discounts:
  • Couples on a budget might wish to have a friend or relative get ordained online for free and perform the ceremony at no charge. The Universal Life Church[2] offers ordination that is usually processed within a day or two, and the credentials are e-mailed. The ULC offers a list of regulations by state[3] , but couples who wish to go this route should check with their county clerk's office or marriage license bureau well ahead of time to make sure their marriage will be legal.
Shopping for an officiant:
  • Tip: To avoid-last-minute surprises, make sure you ask a lot of questions and work out details with your officiant -- such as whether flash photography will be permitted during the ceremony -- before you put down a deposit.
  • The Knot.com[4] has tips on finding an officiant for interfaith couples and a list of questions to ask a civil officiant[5] and to ask a religious officiant[6] .
  • Tip: Be sure to start searching early for an officiant. Many officiants require a certain number of meetings, and some require premarital counseling sessions, spread out over several weeks or months.
  • RabbiRentals.com[7] connects couples with rabbis who will perform weddings.
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What People Are Paying - Recent Comments

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On Love
Amount: $200.00
Posted by: a user in Charlotte, NC.Posted: August 5th, 2012 11:08AM
Type: Officiant
The price of our ceremony was reasonable we loved Rev. Angela Agresta, she made everything seem so right, she helped us see where we were going with our love and fully understand the step we were taking as a couple. It was a short sweet and memorable ceremony.
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It's a Wedding Ministry not a money making business for me
Amount: $0.00
Posted by: Rev. Gloria Cardenas Cudia in Rockford, IL.Posted: May 6th, 2011 10:05PM
Type: Officiant
My service fees are $150 for in-town personalized weddings plus $50 for rehearsals in the Rockford, Illinois area. See my website at www.gloriacudia.com for pre-ceremony questions to answer plus a basic ceremony outline to help you prepare for your wedding ceremony. Blessings!
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It's About Your Love
Amount: $150.00
Posted by: Rev. Marcia Hansen, Stanwood, Washington in Stanwood, WA.Posted: May 4th, 2011 10:05AM
Type: Officiant
The most important parts of the ceremony are the bride, the groom, the officiant, and two witnesses (State of Washington) everything else may be beautifully orchestrated and wonderful but its all icing. The words you will exchange are those that will ring in your heart for a lifetime. Your officiant should be committed to you as a couple, assist you in making your ceremony memorably yours, provide stability to the anticipation of the day, and when it comes time for them to speak the words, envelope you in the texture of your love made public. Select the person you most feel can deliver the message of your commitment in the most sacred manner...whether its a formal, traditional, modern, hand-fasting, religious,...whatever your preference...ceremony. The cost is secondary, often negotiable, and not a guarantee of quality. Many officiants, such as myself, purposely keep their rates low becuase it's a calling not a revnue stream. Your wedding marks a passage of growth in your lifetime, your officiant should love their role, acknowledge you as a couple, and be honored to provide their service to you. Have a GREAT wedding and life!
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Quality comes with a price
Amount: $875.00
Posted by: Irene Holmes in Napa, CA.Posted: April 4th, 2011 10:04PM
Type: Officiant
I spent $875 to hire Rev. Blane Ellsworth of Wedding Minisries in Napa.
We had heard from many that he was OUTSTANDING!
He proved to be that and more.
Besides delivering a heartfelt, personal, thoughtful ceremony that was enjoyed by all of our guests, Rev. Ellsworth coordinated our rehearsal as well as being a wealth of information regarding having a wedding in Napa Valley.
If you are having a wedding on a Saturday in high season in a popular area such as Napa Valley, you can be assured you will have to pay top dollar for a wedding officant of the calibur of Rev. Ellsworth
I can absolutely assure you, you will be GLAD you did!
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Ruskin (near Tampa) Florida
Amount: $200.00
Posted by: Katie and Lynn two hearts together forever in Tampa, FL.Posted: March 8th, 2011 10:03AM
Type: Civil
We are not religious but found this wonderful Reverend of Sprititual Humansim in Tampa that performed our lovely and simple beach wedding ceremony. Her name is Belinda Missen and I think her website is reverendbelinda.com I was not impressed with thwebsite but with her we were blown away. She is about 40 years old, cute but not a model that is going to steal away your gf or husband type, she dresses modern and fun but professional. She seems to truly belives in love and connecting others together in commitment. (We area a female couple and are not 'legally' married yet our committment to one another for life is trong). We only paid her $200.00 and we tipped her another 20 after (my mil idea, the tip). It was beautiful! We met with her once prior and had a phone conversation to confirm then the rehearsal. It was well worth it, she incorporated some of our words in some standard 'vows' and she spoke strongly, yet freindly. Though we realize she has other clients, she was as entyusiastic about our ceremony as we were, she did make us feel 'special'... and she was amazing with my pain in the butt 'inlaws" she has this way about her. We tell all our friends about her (even straight ones who are getting married)!
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Cost of Minister/JOP in Cities
Amount: $100.00
Posted by: lynn m. in nyc, NY.Posted: January 23rd, 2011 07:01AM
Type: Civil
We paid $100 for a short civil ceremony at the JOP's site in a city. Officiants in major cities usually charge $100 to $250 to get married in their office or home and $300 and up for the officiant to come to their site (non-customized ceremonies), and $400 and up for a personalized ceremony with meetings and revisions.
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high price
Amount: $650.00
Posted by: Ash in Richmond, VA.Posted: January 8th, 2011 05:01PM
My brother is engaged and the couple aren't paying for any part of the wedding, the costs are to her family and my family. Well neither family is very religious but she decided that the minister was going to be one recommended by her wedding planner. My folks are paying for it and I know my mom and I were wondering why so high but the girl is overly senstive so asking her is out of the question. Could someone give me some ideas on why it is so high? Or at least it seems high to us? Thanks
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Low Prices
Amount: $195.00
Posted by: Rev. C in kannapolis, NC.Posted: January 7th, 2011 08:01AM
Type: low price officiant
I am an officiant in North Carolina. I actually have some of the lowest prices in the area, for a reason. There are many couples that can't afford a fancy wedding that truly want to be married, but not in a court house. I am honored to help these people. I am an officiant because I love what I do. What ever I get paid is an added bonus. So think again before you say "Low Priced Losers".
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cost of officiant
Amount: $150.00
Posted by: Victoria Larson in Denver, CO.Posted: November 6th, 2010 09:11PM
Type: officiant
My husband had a co-worker of his mother marry us. He performs weddings as a second source of income. We told him exactly what we wanted and he was very professional and friendly the whole time. I couldn't be happier with how well he did. So, if any of you are in Denver he is the one to call.Message me for his info. if any want it.
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Why I officiate wedding Ceremonies
Amount: $150.00
Posted by: MGM in Orlando, FL.Posted: August 26th, 2010 08:08AM
Type: Minister
I am glad that people get married before God anywhere, because they are respecting the Lord. Our children, which are the natural result of a union between a man and woman, need their mommy and daddy to demonstrate life long love and respect. Many today are getting married because they choose to devote themselves to that one person. No matter what the charge, it is a good thing. My wife and I went through some pre-marital counseling and were married by our pastor. He received an honorarium for taking time out of his Saturday. We paid the church to use their facilities for another fee. We paid several other vendors for the reception location. Hopefully, you are getting married only once, so live it up and don't worry about the money. It comes and goes so fast anyway. Ministers, like the rest of us, have bills too.
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Always for Love, not just for money
Amount: $200.00
Posted by: Alan P in Long Beach, CA.Posted: August 17th, 2010 04:08PM
Type: Minister
We had a experience with a lovely human being who told us if we couldn't afford a $200 donation, he was happy working out a trade or barter for services. Someone who understands what love and marriage should be about. We were able to work out partial money and other love which he accepted with a big smile. Thank You Sean S. for sharing the moment with us.
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Having a friend do ceremony
Amount: $0.00
Posted by: Robert Koehler in Tanoa, FL.Posted: June 19th, 2010 06:06AM
Having a friend "ordained" on line to officiate your ceremony is a bad, bad idea. First, if you do the research you will find that courts have actually dismissed these marriages claiming they never existed because the officiant was not properly qualified. In some states a ULC minister can officiate without a problem; in other states it is prohibited.
In addition, the main quality you should look for in an officiant is someone with significant experience. The reason for that is simple. For someone performing their first wedding, or even for someone performing their third or fourth, they are going to be just as nervous as the bride and groom. The officiant needs to be your "rock" - someone who can hold his/her head up high and act in a professional manner even if the bride and groom start to break down. A friend of the couple is going to be just as emotionally involved in the ceremony as any other member of the audience.
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Pay for a Wedding Officiant?
Amount: $0.00
Posted by: Mike Jones in South, NJ.Posted: March 12th, 2010 07:03PM
Type: Church Wedding
Our Minister did not charge and would not accept any money. He felt it was God calling for people to marry through Christ for FREE. How can someone get married without mentioning GOD? I guess people will say and do anything to make money!!!
I paid the Church $100 which covered electric and someone to clean after the Wedding Ceremony.

Normally the biggest expense is the RECEPTION.

I wish you all the best on your wedding day!
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$500+$100
Amount: $600.00
Posted by: Marina in Saint helena, FL.Posted: March 10th, 2010 06:03PM
Type: Wedding
We are getting married in Saint Helena, CA and were given a price off $500 for the wedding officiant plus a fee of $100 for some sort of certificate that he will be getting afterward. Could somebody help me and advice is the extra fee is standart? Thank you ;)
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ALAN KATZ
Amount: $0.00
Posted by: Robert Sanchez in Los Angeles, CA.Posted: February 3rd, 2010 12:02AM
Type: LOW PRICE LOSERS
Just because you charge people an arm and a leg does not mean you are the best. It just means you love the money$$$$$$$$$. We had a very professional officiant at our wedding for $200.00 donation. SOmeone that loved when she was doing. Not just taking advantage of us. The real losers are jerks like you Mr. I understand that everyone has to make a living. LOL but the wedding business is a place were money hungry vultures lurk. MAYBE LIKE YOU?
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Cost of Officiant
Amount: $0.00
Posted by: Rev. Ari in Dallas, TX.Posted: December 16th, 2009 06:12PM
Type: Just a Thought
Just something to think about; most couples don't mind spending hundreds of dollars on the cake, thousands of dollars on the dress and even more on the reception, but complain that $300 is expensive for an officiant. Would you still be able to be married now if there wasn't a cake? (yes) would you still be married if there wasn't a designer dress? (yes) would you still be married if there wasn't a reception? guests? flowers? music? (yes) would you still be married if there wasn't an officiant? People have their priorities messed up
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What a Fun Wedding we had
Amount: $375.00
Posted by: Happily Married 09 in Long Beach, CA.Posted: December 15th, 2009 04:12PM
Type: Romantic
Our Officiant Alan Katz at SoCalOfficiant as the best. He made our wedding so much FUN.

It was just how we wanted it and we will never forget it.
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whats really important...
Amount: $0.00
Posted by: Reverend Larry in madison heights, MI.Posted: December 5th, 2009 02:12AM
Type: the whole point
whether you have a friend do it, or spend a fortune, the point is that it is YOUR day!!

Whomever you trust, make absolutely certain that, irregardless of compensation, YOU take the time out of your day to tell them EXACTLY what you want. If youre not sure, ask your parents. More than likely you're trying to make them happy anyway...

the point is...KNOW what you want....do your homework....if you leave it up to them...you get what you get....but not necessarily what you really wanted...had you asked they would have been more than happy to oblige...

Some may see this as a paycheck, i see this as an opportunity to make your special day as 'perfect' as humanly possible...if you dont get the same vibe from them....WALK AWAY

or just "go to Vegas"....
if its gonna be cheap, might as well have fun too!!!
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2nd official ceremony
Amount: $0.00
Posted by: Reverend Larry in madison heights, MI.Posted: December 5th, 2009 02:12AM
Type: for a friend..
i officiated my 1st wedding in Sept. for a young couple "dead set" against hearing "God" mentioned anywhere during the ceremony.....personally, that didn't sit right....but it wasn't MY wedding, so i crafted specifically what they asked for...happy couple and surprisingly, happy parents...i also dj'd the wedding so i wasn't motivated to tap them twice...

second cemerony was this last saturday and was the complete opposite and with much shorter notice: didnt find out til the night before about the sand ceremony, and that the grooms mother was catholic and wanted the whole 'sign of the cross' thing every other minute, prayers before, during, and after, etc...easily a $10,000+ wedding, with every bell and whistle thrown in (that ive ever personally seen, anyhow)


i did this for free......she is my friend, and I gave her my word, but had i known it was going to stress me out like it did, even though i rocked it, i would have charged at least 200 minimum....

Boy did I earn it too.....
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Wedding Officiant
Amount: $400.00
Posted by: Dino in Bay Area/Sac, CA.Posted: November 2nd, 2009 10:11PM
Paul Griffith was our officiant. He said he would charge me basically whatever I wanted to give. He is someone I know from work, and I know other people who used his services and were very happy. I am glad to see from other postings that I was in the ballpark with the money. He did a truely wonderful job. Calm and in control, he made everyone feel relaxed and up for the occasion.

Prior to the ceremony, there were some kids playing loud rap music across from the wedding area, he had the forethought to go over to them and asked them to turn it down, which they did. Like I said, calm and in control.
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We LOVED our professional officiant
Amount: $389.00
Posted by: Misty Tremont in Denver, CO.Posted: October 30th, 2009 04:10PM
We worked with Maureen Thomson of Lyssabeth's Wedding Officiants and we couldn't have been happier. She has a team of officiants who work for her. She respected our own beliefs, encouraged our input but gave us as much guidance as we needed. On the day of the wedding, we had a freak snowstorm and everything had to be changed at the last minute. Our wedding planner freaked out but Maureen was the picture of calmness. I felt SO much better having her there.

I agree, this is not a job you want to leave to an amateur.
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Best Officiant EVER
Amount: $375.00
Posted by: Happily Wed 09 in long beach, CA.Posted: October 21st, 2009 02:10PM
Type: Fun and Romantic
Alan Katz is the best Officiant in the So Cal area.
His team of 15 Officiants professionally perform any type of ceremony. Religious or Non religious.
They show up early and help you custom design your ceremony.
They also issue your marriage license.
Stay away from the low price losers. this is the price point you need.
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External Resources:
  1.  www.bridalassociationofamerica.com/Wedding_Statistics/
  2.  www.themonastery.org/ordination
  3.  www.themonastery.org/tools/wedding_laws/
  4.  wedding.theknot.com/real-weddings/interfaith-weddings.aspx
  5.  wedding.theknot.com/wedding-planning/wedding-ceremony/articles/10-questions-to-ask-your...
  6.  wedding.theknot.com/wedding-planning/wedding-ceremony/articles/10-questions-to-ask-your...
  7.  www.rabbirentals.com/
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