Average Wedding Cost for Ceremony Officiator

  • $213 is the average wedding cost for Venue, Catering & Rentals Ceremony Officiator in United States
  • Roughly 69% - 79% of couples purchase this

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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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
  • Sound system
  • Microphones for your officiant and for the two of you
  • Stage rental
  • 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.