Wedding officiants are ordained members of a religious organization or civil officiants authorized by the court or, increasingly, by an online source to legally marry a couple. Wedding officiants can be found from a wide range of backgrounds including Christian, Catholic, Jewish, Muslim, Buddhist, nondenominational, interfaith or nonreligious.
Type of ceremony
Costs vary greatly depending on the type of ceremony. A simpler event, such as an elopement, will cost less than a larger wedding ceremony. Officiants frequently perform these types of weddings:
At its simplest, a wedding ceremony includes the signing of the marriage certificate as well as an exchange of vows. Many officiants refer to this as an elopement or a basic package. Expanding the ceremony to include religious or symbolic rituals, readings or other elements may affect the cost of the service.
Many wedding officiants, such as Reverend Dawn Camacho, offer premarital counseling to couples and recommend it particularly when the couple being married is interfaith. This service adds to the overall costs, but it offers an opportunity to save when purchased from the person conducting the ceremony and bundled into one cost.
Attendance at the wedding rehearsal is not always included in the cost of the officiation fees. Ask the officiant whether their participation in the wedding rehearsal will incur additional charges.
Larger weddings often mean higher fees. Smaller, more intimate weddings may reduce the cost of the officiant’s services.
Customization can increase costs. Many officiants offer a standard ceremony template. At the pre-wedding meeting, the officiant will ask whether the couple plans to write their own vows and how much input they have about the rest of the wording and flow of the ceremony. Additional planning meetings and extra communication can add up to a higher overall cost.
Travel to and from rehearsal and ceremony sites may affect the cost of the service. Finding an officiant in the same city or town may eliminate any applicable travel costs.
Length of ceremony
Ceremonies can be short and sweet or expansive and all-encompassing. Typically, the longer the ceremony, the higher the officiant fee.
Sound systems, wireless microphones and videography services are add-ons that some officiants offer. If you want these extras, it will also increase the overall cost.