Note: Average Cost is based on the spending of couples recently married not wedding vendor prices. This includes all types of weddings, event locations, purchases of both new and pre-owned items and purchases of services from professionals, someone that simply provides the service, or a hired family member or friend. Spending and prices can vary widely.
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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
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.