Couples approach me in a variety of ways….telephone, text, thru a Wedding Website, Facebook or to my own business email. I can usually tell a lot about the couple by the first few lines of their communication, such as “are you available on June 4th?” or “my cousin recommended you” or our “venue gave us your name”. I recently answered a phone call, and the Bride to Be’s first words were “what do you charge?” For me that is a big red flag, and here’s the reason why…
How important is the ceremony to you as a couple? If it’s important to you, then hiring a good professional wedding officiant should be an investment at least equivalent to the amount you’re paying for your wedding cake or the DJ at your reception. Great talent often comes at a premium price and, while the price someone charges isn’t always a guarantee of the quality of their work, the more talent and experience an officiant has, the more they will typically charge to perform a wedding ceremony. In my humble opinion, the Officiant and the Musician (DJ, band, quartet) will set the mood for the day and one or the other could ruin the ambiance of your special day.
Amateur officiants and individuals simply looking to make a few dollars may charge a couple as little as $100-$250, while the average fees for professional officiants typically range from, with the typical range being $400 to $1000 depending on experience and the level of service and customization they provide Many clergy such as priests and rabbis can cost well over $1500, often asking couples to donate to their church or synagogue in lieu of being paid directly. Brides.com suggests that a couple should plan to spend $800 total on any ceremony fees and officiant donation.
Serenity Matrimonial Services has officiated over 300 weddings since 2014. We not only have the endorsement of many happily married couples, but also the venues and other vendors whose combined talents created the wedding of their dreams.
Our average price for officiating a wedding is $450. This includes helping the couple create the perfect, heartfelt ceremony, assisting with the rehearsal, assisting in obtaining and filing of the marriage license and helping in every way possible before, during and after the big day.
So my advise is Choose Wisely – It Does Matter. Once you have decided how important the quality of your wedding ceremony is to you as a couple, and what range of investment you’re willing or able to make for a professional wedding officiant, do your homework. Search for wedding officiants in your area and look at their websites and marketing. Read online reviews on websites like WeddingWire. Ask the other professionals you’ve hired for your wedding if they have recommendations for good officiants in your area. The best officiants will also have a great reputation and will be familiar with the vendors in your local area. Take the time to do your research and choose wisely – a fantastic wedding ceremony can be the highlight of your wedding day if it’s done well.