What's Typically Included in Venue, Catering & Rentals > Ceremony Officiator
This category includes the cost of your officiant, such as your priest, rabbi, minister, pastor, ordained friend or family member, independent officiant and justice of the peace
Your officiant’s time and services for the length of your ceremony
Any props or wardrobe your officiant uses
Additional Cost Items to Look Out For
Travel to any planning meetings with your officiant
A charge for any planning meetings with your officiant (sometimes not included in the package)
Pre-wedding counseling required by your house of worship
Ritual items like handfasting cord or olive wreaths, or food items to include in the ceremony or dinner’s opening
Microphones for your officiant and for the two of you
Altar rentals and design items as desired
Chuppah or trellis rental or design as desired or required by your house of worship
Your officiant’s travel costs
Your officiant’s meal when invited to the reception
The cost of your loved one’s online ordainment certificate, if you’ll offer to pay for this. Some people pay for their own, with plans to perform other people’s ceremonies in the future
Fees if you cancel
Tipping you’d like to do above their package cost
Why Does It Cost This Much?
Busy, in-demand officiants in your area may charge more for their services, especially during peak wedding months and on weekends. They’re an essential part of your wedding, so you’re paying for the importance of the service they perform, as well as for pre-wedding preparations, help with your readings and music selection, your vows, and perhaps required pre-wedding counseling.
What often surprises couples is the cost of needing to invite the officiant and his or her guest to the reception, a longtime etiquette custom that is still in play today. At a $200 per-person reception, that’s $400 to feed your officiant and his or her guest (as it is also tradition to invite them with a guest.) Adding to this is the cost of lodging, if you’ll ask a friend to officiate at your far-away or destination wedding. Since you’ve asked them to ‘work’ your wedding, it’s your choice if you wish to pay for their hotel room as your thank-you to then.