Wedding Officiant Fee – What You Need to Know
Because this definition is so broad, it’s important first to decide what kind of wedding officiant you are interested in hiring for your wedding. If your marriage ceremony isn’t particularly important to you, or if you are simply interested in getting legally married and won’t be having any type of ceremony, then perhaps hiring an amateur officiant is appropriate. However, if you are planning to have a ceremony, especially one with invited guests, then hiring a professional officiant or an experienced clergyman is definitely the best course of action. Professional wedding officiants set their own rates depending on the types of services they provide, their level of experience, and where they live. Often, their rates include indirect services that couples aren’t aware of, such as ceremony research and script writing, attending a rehearsal ceremony, coordinating with other professionals, returning the marriage license and travel time to and from the venue. In general, hiring someone for a quick ‘sign and go’ marriage license signing ceremony will cost less than hiring someone to perform a small backyard wedding, which will cost less than an elaborate wedding ceremony with a full bridal party and custom unity ceremony. A ‘sign and go’ ceremony might cost $100-$300, for example, compared with $200-$700 for a micro wedding, or $400-$1,600 or more for a large ceremony. It all depends! When hiring a professional wedding officiant, budget at least a few hundred dollars for a simple ceremony. If you’d like to have an elaborate wedding that includes a custom wedding ceremony script or unique unity ritual, prepare to pay more for your officiant’s additional effort. And be sure to ask about ‘add-on’ services they offer, such as mileage fees, premarital coaching, and attending a rehearsal ceremony.
What is a Professional Officiant?
- While “officiant” is a general term describing any person who is able to legally sign a marriage license, a professional wedding officiant is someone who solicits business from the general public to perform marriage ceremonies for a fee.
- This distinction is important, because when couples are searching for an officiant for their wedding ceremony, they are typically only looking for clergy, which can be priests, ministers, pastors, rabbis, cantors, and other persons ordained by their religious tradition (who typically do not solicit business from the public), or they are looking for an experienced, professional wedding officiant that they can hire.
- Professional officiants also differ greatly from amateurs, since professionals maintain high standards of quality because they rely on their experience and reputation among other wedding professionals to garner more business. Amateurs typically solicit their business from websites with little or no quality checks such as Craigslist.