Becoming a Wedding Officiant – How Much Do I Charge?
Has a friend or family member asked you to serve as the minister for their wedding? If you aren’t shy around large groups, are organized and aren’t afraid to delve into a few state and local laws, becoming a wedding officiant might be your answer.
All wedding officiants must be recognized in the city/state/county that you plan to do the wedding. If you aren’t familiar with your city and state regulations, you will need to some research. Don’t worry, this post can help.
Become an Official “Officiant”
Before you can marry a couple, you’ll need to be ordained. Becoming ordained is simple. “It takes about five minutes ,” through places like Minister Now! and costs only $25. They can email you the docs within 24-48 hours if you are in a rush, or mail you beautiful hard copies to keep on hand.
How Much Can You Earn?
Many couples can spend more time on the frills of the wedding and forget that the officiant is the most important part of the ceremony. You make the marriage legal. In some cases, you file the paperwork with the municipality to ensure that the couple is legally married.
So, how much should you charge?
Prices vary from minister to minister, and officiant to officiant. Some do the service for free and may charge only for travel, or for a donation.
Yet, others list a cost for the service, rehearsal, travel and for special keepsake marriage documents. What you charge should be based upon the cost of your time, gas and availability.
Depending on the size of the wedding, fees can range between $100 for a simple service to $500 or more for a custom ceremony.
Also, meeting with the couple before hand for pre-marital counseling can also be a fee. Most of the ministers that we spoke with, roll the counseling into their fee. For example, if the ceremony is $200 and the counseling is $30 per session for 3 sessions ($90), the entire fee would be $290.
With the example above, your verbiage would be:
“My fee is $290. This includes the ceremony and 3 pre-marital counseling sessions. While I suggest that you partake in the counseling, if you choose not to, they will still be reflected in my fee.”
The key is to think of all of these things beforehand. Set pricing and have a formal price list available. You can always make allowances at your discretion.
Go for it! Still need backup? Here are a great guide to add to your ministry library!