Here is the breakdown of how much a wedding officiant will cost:
- For a simple civil ceremony officiated by a juice of the peace at a local city hall or county courthouse, you can expect to pay $50-$100. For an intern minister or retired judge, you may be charged up to $100-$200.
- Expect to pay $200 to $500 or more for an experienced church minister or a professional officiant.
- The national average cost for a pastor or priest to officiate a wedding in 2016 is $278 according to The Knot.
What is Included
- Typically, officiants will include a get-to-know you meeting with the couple, followed up with two to three planning sessions.
- Most officiants will present several options for ceremony structure, ceremony wording, and the choice of readings.
- On the wedding day, the officiant will arrive early, have the witnesses sign the marriage license, and then perform the ceremony. After the ceremony, the officiant will mail the marriage license to the county so it can be officially recorded, and mail a copy to the couple.
- Officiants may charge an additional fee for a rehearsal.
- The couple is required to pay for the wedding license fee, which can range from $10 to $95 or more, which varies by location.
Money Saving Tips
- A great way to save on costs is to ask a friend or relative to get ordained online for free, and perform the ceremony.
Finding the Right Wedding Officiant
- To avoid any last-minute surprises or mishaps, be sure to ask a lot of questions and discuss the little details before you put down the deposit.
- Begin your search for an officiant early. Many require a certain number of meetings and/or premarital counseling sessions, which may be spread out over the span of several weeks or months.
Find a civil servant or ceremony officiant in your area here.
Featured Cover Image: Lori Paladino Photography