True Cost of a Wedding Officiant

~ when planning your wedding-day budget, don’t be misled by wedding magazines ~

My niece is getting married September 3rd in a Catholic Church. I was taken aback when my brother (Father of the Bride) told me that he just wrote a check for $600 to use the place. This doesn’t include the “tip” for the priest who will be performing a rote ceremony and speaking a time-worn homily, with names of Bride and Groom inserted.

While I charge $600 to custom design and write a personalized, unique ceremony. Then see it through, traveling two days in a row to the wedding venue of your choosing (which means a lot of personal grooming and dress-up clothing) — where the day before, I will actually run the Rehearsal or else co-run it with your Wedding Coordinator. Showing up to perform your Ceremony at least an hour beforehand and liaisoning with your DJ/musicians, Coordinator, Venue Manager, Photographer, Reader, etc., starting in the weeks ahead…. And this is just the tip of the iceberg. (Click here if you’re interested in all that I provide for a flat fee.)

Yet somehow, the antiquated notion that the Wedding Officiant ought to be doing all this out of some sort of selfless service seems to persist…spread by none other than prominent wedding magazines like The Knot in their 2015 study of  “Average Wedding Budget Breakdown.” In fact, it does involve service! My husband points out that a Cleaning Lady makes more per hour than I do…and that’s one who’s cheap.

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