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CostHelper > Weddings  > Officiant

Officiant Cost

How Much Does an Officiant Cost?

low costLow: $50-$100average costAverage: $263high costHigh: $200-$400+

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.
  • 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[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.
  •[7] connects couples with rabbis who will perform weddings.
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What People Are Paying - Recent Comments

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Officiating for 10 years
Amount: $100.00
Posted by: Ardene in RICHMOND, IN.Posted: November 24th, 2020 02:11PM
Type: Elopment
I own a historic church building that we use as a wedding venue. As a service for the venue I decided to become a licensed officiate. I act as a ceremony coordinator in the venue, when a couple brings their own pastor. In the last 10 years I've probably done more weddings in my town than anyone else. I love what I do! I'm available 7 days a week.
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Amount: $150.00
Posted by: Jerald Fales in Cincinnati, OH.Posted: October 31st, 2019 01:10PM
Type: Civil county Judge
We got married bu a county Judge no fee,accepted a donation from us he refused at first we insisted!
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Get married asap
Amount: $150.00
Posted by: Anna Martin in Dallas, TX.Posted: February 15th, 2019 03:02PM
Type: Just a couple and at my house
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wedding officiant
Amount: $275.00
Posted by: Jay Antener in petaluma, CA.Posted: September 17th, 2018 04:09PM
Type: ordained minister
Her name was Patricia and she was just perfect. She was professional and did anything I asked of her which made my wedding day stress free and wonderful. When she spoke she was clear, she was just so kind and understanding, kinda makes me want to do it again I would recommend her to anyone find her on facebook Patricia Riley
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Wedding Officiate Fees
Amount: $100.00
Posted by: Steve Wayne in Horn Lake, MS.Posted: July 13th, 2018 01:07PM
Type: Wedding
My wife and I chose our pastor to officiate our wedding. Complete traditional, Christian ceremony with a rehearsal.Lovely service.
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Cost for an Officient
Amount: $150.00
Posted by: Justice Rick Burtt in Boston, MA.Posted: May 18th, 2018 08:05AM
Type: Justice of the Peace
The price for an Officiant is set by law through the State, and is $150 if service in in the Town where the Officiant resides. It is $200 if done outside the Town where the Officiant is appointed.
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Wedding Officiant
Amount: $50.00
Posted by: Minister Mary L Graves in Ashtabula, OH.Posted: August 26th, 2017 10:08AM
I recently started officiating weddings and didn't want to charge any couple more than necessary, especially if they were getting married in the county I also live in where travel wouldn't be an issue. I am performing my second marriage later today and find the bringing of a couple together more important than money!
I do not have any issue if a couple doesn't want a god mentioned. I will also marry a same sex couple because LOVE IS LOVE!!
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Cost of Officiant
Amount: $200.00
Posted by: REVs Wife in Gainesville, GA.Posted: January 27th, 2017 01:01PM
My husband is a full time wedding officiant that offers flat pricing based strictly on mileage to venue. He doesn't charge more for number in attendance, venue or day of the week. He is on call 7/24 and is available for his couples everyday, all day .
Unlike clergy in churches or officiants who do this on the side, it's his only income and for the 4-6 hours he puts in on each wedding meeting, creating and performing, he is totally worth far more, but he keeps it fair so all couples can have a beautiful wedding!.
Top Wedding Officiant 4 years in a row! REV HEINZ is worth talking to make your dream wedding come true!
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Consider the officiant\'s needs
Amount: $0.00
Posted by: jlhl in Minneapolis, MN.Posted: December 7th, 2016 02:12PM
Let's say you're working with a person whose profession is one of service purely to the sacrament of marriage. They have no other career bringing them income.
How many weddings will this person need to perform to pay their rent, utilities, food, and other expenses? You can pay this person $200, and know they'll have to do 15 other weddings that month to make $36,000 gross before expenses, or you can pay this person $500 and know you're the only couple they tend to on this day, 8 weddings a month for a $50,000 gross before expenses.
The person asking $500 for a wedding is not trying to soak you. They are trying to devote their complete professional time to your wedding, and not sandwich it between other obligations. With that $500 you pay for a full day of their time on the weekend, plus their writing services, preparation time, dry cleaning bills, and materials/space maintenance. I have a good number of friends whose career is wedding officiant - none are wealthy fat cats.
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Bilingual Wedding Officiant
Amount: $175.00
Posted by: Lesley Acevedo in Indianapolis, IN.Posted: September 17th, 2016 10:09PM
I am a wedding officiant based in Indiana. I charge couples either $125 for a Ceremony without rehearsal or $175 With the Rehearsal. Pricing will vary with officiants. I like to keep things as cheap as I can for the couple, considering that everything is so expensive when it comes to weddings. Besides, I love what I do :)
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Amount: $0.00
Posted by: Hiw much for the cake? in Santa Cruz, CA.Posted: April 10th, 2016 07:04AM
Type: Officiant in training
I was asked to officiate a small "easy" wedding and enjoyed it. One of the attendees asked me to officiate their wedding. I'll be doing it next week. This second wedding is more elaborate, in a popular venue with a moderate cost and families flying in from all over the country - some have quite exquisite taste I hear, and a few are religious. We've upped the anty! I agree, after these two weddings, I'd enjoy doing this again and I will have a reasonable sliding scale fee depding on the overall cost of the wedding, size and the couples expectations, writing the ceremony, , overseeing legalities, facilitating a joyful "blending of families" event. meeting in advance with the couple and delivering the license after. Officiating is a skill and requires (my) full focus and intention to do it well. Yes, if you'll pay $300 for a cake, why wouldn't you pay that or more for the master of the ceremony?
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Low Price Losers?
Amount: $150.00
Posted by: Rev. Rob Hanks in Havre de Grace, MD.Posted: April 5th, 2016 03:04PM
Type: Civil, Tradition or Custom
I have been an Ordained Minister /Wedding Officiate going on seven years now. I am humored when I hear what some people have to say about low cost wedding officiates! Just because some of us do not charge an arm and a leg, does not mean that we are not professional. Yes, I admit, some charge high amounts, but maybe that's their only source of income, or they just have a love of the almighty dollar. Officiates like myself however, are not in it to make a living. I personally only charge a flat rate of $150. For a local ceremony (within 20 miles of my home) for the simple reason that I know the economy is not in a stable condition, there are many other expenses that go along with having and planning a wedding, and the couple that is getting married (in my opinion) should not have the added stress of paying one or two car payments for a 10 - 15 minute ceremony. I feel honored each and every time I bring a couple together in matrimony. I offer Customized services also, all for same rate
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Amount: $200.00
Posted by: GA Officiant in Gainesville, GA.Posted: February 10th, 2016 04:02PM
Most officiants do this ceremonies as a side business, overcharge and just aren't available for couples. Find someone who does this as their full time job. Generally they are available 7 days a week and long hours. Some may charge a bit more for convenience and totally understandable. However, officiants who upcharge for every little thing like number of people in attendance and location of wedding are generally only interested in money. A true professional will quote you one price for a ceremony whether only the couple is there or many guests in attendance. The place will not matter as well as the same ceremony will be done at a waterfall or at a high price resort. Finding an officiant who is straight forward with pricing is difficult but not impossible. Some do weddings for lower prices simply to land lots of weddings and that's fine as long as they are good at what they do. Look for "verified reviews" as they are real couples who have been married.
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Amount: $300.00
Posted by: Deborah Olson in Westlake village, CA.Posted: October 21st, 2015 10:10AM
Type: Any setting so. cal.
I legally perform wedding ceremonies for all types of unions in the setting of your choice. My base fee is $300. I am able to provide a venue as well as a photo booth for additional fees. I live in the santa monica mountains in a beautiful, tranquil place and can also travel to the venue of your choice. I own the photo booth; it is portable and reliable, plus your photos (as many as you wish to pose for!) Are given to you within minutes! It's a great solution for a low cost, yet memorable, touching wedding.
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Our Wedding Officiant
Amount: $200.00
Posted by: Julia R in Phoenix, AZ.Posted: October 7th, 2015 07:10AM
Type: Our Wedding
We used Minister Karen Tribby, Phoenix, AZ. and she had a wonderful way of bringing out the feeling of love and a presence of God. She went above and beyond what we expected. When I was feeling stressed out, she reminded me of who I was and gave me the motivation to carry on. I even called her late one night crying because I was feeling confused. Yes, I paid her because I understand they have expenses too, It costs people money to buy professional clothing and for the literature and assistance they provide. To me, I received a bargain. I cant believe people willingly spend thousands on a dress, but complain about paying for the most important person at your wedding.
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Costs of wedding officiants
Amount: $50.00
Posted by: Rev. Lisa Sistare-Harkins in north augusta, SC.Posted: January 19th, 2015 06:01AM
Type: officiant
I am new to the wedding officiating arena and have only performed a couple of them. I agree that you want someone that your connect with as a couple and someone that you feel comfortable with. In my opinion, a good officiant is one who will craft and mold the entire ceremony around the couple that is marrying since it is their ceremony. With that being said, I also do not feel that an officiant should charge astronomical fees to perform this ceremony. In the beginning, I was not sure what to charge so I did my research online and went from there. I am getting ready to perform a ceremony for a couple that just want a quick and simple ceremony to satisfy some requirements and then they will have their formal wedding 6 months later. In this case, I would not charge them a high amount, maybe 50.00. But, if a couple wants a more detailed and formal type wedding done, then obviously a higher fee would be charged, like 100.00-200.00 depending on what is involved.
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These Numbers May Be Outdated?
Amount: $600.00
Posted by: Newlyweds in 2014 in Towson, MD.Posted: January 14th, 2015 07:01AM
Type: Professional Officiant
We were married in August, and none of the officiants we considered quoted us less than $400. The prices here may be outdated, or just off based on the fact that some people pay nothing and have a friend do their wedding. I just searched and saw that gives an average of $550 which is more in line with what we experienced. I'm sure we could have hired someone off craigslist for next to nothing, but it seems like the reputable professionals all charge several hundred dollars.
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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 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 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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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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