Post # 1
So, FH and I are getting married at the church we attend. The church is free for the ceremony, which is excellent, we just have to tip the pastor. I am reviewing my budget and I would like to include this but I am unclear how much is expected. Can anyone shed any light? Or is it inappropriate to ask the pastor?
Post # 3
All you do is make an offer for the church never give the money to the pastor or preist. It has to be an offer for the church. A donation of any amount is correct.
Post # 4
@jb20: Is there someone who has the role of a church secretary? If so, I would ask that person what is customary.
My husband is senior pastor of a church, and his involvement with weddings is pretty extensive. He meets with couples at least six times prior to the wedding for at least an hour each — usually longer, to provide premarital counseling, and these meetings always occur in the evening or on a weekend. When the ceremony is somewhere other than our church, he has to travel to and from the venue on the day of the rehearsal as well as the wedding. He has no set “fee,” and people give him varying amounts of money. It’s most often $100. One couple gave him a gift card for $50. We also have always been invited to the rehearsal dinner and the wedding reception.
I will add that, when WE were married by one of MY pastors from my now-former church, my DH insisted that we give the pastor at least $300.
Post # 5
Someone suggested $150 which I feel isn’t enough, as you said, he is going to do some pre-marriage classes with us, rehearsal, and all that. So I thought a larger amount would be best.
Post # 6
My church’s guideline is $300 for the pastor’s involvement in planning, pre-marital counseling, and day-of services. Since FI and I are not having counseling with her, we gave slightly less.
Post # 7
@BooRadley: Our was the same. $300 was customary.
Post # 8
I think it depends on how much trouble the pastor is going to.
I think $150 or $200 would be a sufficient gesture of gratitude for the ceremony and pre-marital counseling. But add a little more if budget allows, or they are doing something special. Example: my pastor has the worlds most beautiful singing voice and I may ask if he would grace us with a song before the ceremony starts or in lieu of a reading.
Then consider his/her expenses. Is your childhood pastor from PA taking a flight down to South Carolina for the big day? If so consider a travelocity/kayak.priceline gift card in the amount they will need for flights and accomodations. At the minimum, insist that you pay for their hotel room.
If you are still worried it might not seem like enough, do what you can afford and then a nice add on might include a bottle of wine (if your fatih permits church officiants to drink) and a gift bag of goodies: local snacks, a box of chocolate, a photo of you and the groom – just something to show more effort than signing a check.
Also you should always ALWAYS send a hand written thank-you note and invite the pastor to the reception. Include their spouse as a kind gesture.
Post # 9
An honorarium for a pastor, from what I’ve seen, is usually around $200. I’d say that’s about what the church/pastor would expect from you because that’s about what non-members are charged to have a pastor of the church officiate their wedding. 🙂
Post # 10
He’s giving up his afternoon with his family and he took time to walk you through your rehersal too. Keep that in mind. (I speak as a former pastor’s kid).
It’s your wedding budget, but it’s his family’s weekend 🙂