Post # 1
I am in the beginning stages of planning my Catholic wedding. We found a cathedral in downtown fort worth we fell in love with as far as the service, and people and we are becoming more and more involved in the church. Although we have not registered (we just moved up here not too long ago so finding a church we felt at home at was hard for us), we decided we wanted to marry there and do our marriage prep as well. We went to talk to the marriage coordinator, we began the process and when it came down to the fee’s it turns out its 2000$ for the church wedding fee and a required extra 500$ for the organist and cantor, which they charge whether you want them or not. We found this to be really disappointing and incredibly high, as we expected a fee but not 2500$? Has anyone else had experience with such a high amount either in the area or where you are? This will force us to marry somewhere else where we can afford it and somewher we don’t feel comfortable. We are planning to have no more than 50 people for our small wedding and will be getting married on a super tight budget, so starting at 2500$ just to marry is daunting to us. We asked about the high fee/reasoning and I recieved a response stating that was the fee for everyone and they have a hard time with keeping up with the fees of running the cathedral (they have mentioned more than once that they are million dollars in debt). Does anyone know if this amount is a normal fee?
Post # 2
bzh19 : Not me but three of my friends got married in the same church. This church is very much in demand in our area and books fast. I believe they all paid about $1200. The church call it as a “donation” but honestly, I don’t see any difference of it being just a called as a fee since it’s a fixed amount.
Post # 3
We paid 450 usd, but it wasn’t a cathedral but I could understand it would be a little bit higher for cathedral, but that seems crazy. We paid additional 300 for cantor/organist (150 usd each) and I consider it pretty okay. I generally don’t like the idea of having fees for Sacrament, and that IS somewhat against canon law, and they shouldn’t require a high fixed fee. Having said that they probably feel that a lot of people spend thousands of dollars on dresses and flowers, but except the fee to be super low. I would simply say that you cannot afford such high fee and you weren’t prepared for paying a fixed fee for a sacrament, and give the the maximum amount you can pay.
With cantor/organist it’s different, they are lay people who work for money and here I wouldn’t protest much.
Post # 4
$2,500 does sound awfully high, but the fact that it’s a cathedral could be part of the reason. Our church fee was $600, which included all of the musicians, but it’s a little church in a relatively small town. If you’re in a city and essentially renting a larger space, the fee does make a little more sense, but I still think it’s pretty high.
Post # 5
I guess $2000+ is about right for a Catholic cathedral. My husband’s family just attended a wedding at a Cathedral in St. Louis and it cost them the same.
Post # 6
I refused to even pay $800+ for some of the garden type venues in our area.
Post # 7
Pretty normal. Especially if it’s a cathedral that’s in high demand. They usually have a wedding person on staff that you have to pay, and the musicians make their living from performing on weekends for weddings/funerals, so if you choose not to use those particular ones, they are losing income. If you want the big church for your ceremony and photos, you have to pay for it. If you’re only having 50 people, why do you need to get married in a cathedral?
Post # 8
- Wedding: January 2021 - City, State
My local cathedral is $1400 (from U.K. £1000)
Post # 9
Thanks so much for all your responses so far! We understand paying for the cantor and organist, we have heard them every sunday and the music is beautiful, they are professionals with university degrees or working towards one. We also expected a higher fee for a cathedral (although just because it’s a cathedral doesnt mean it is huge or anything, its a normal to smaller sized cathedral) but we didn’t expect such a high cost. We aren’t wanting to get married at the cathedral purely for aesthetics, we are making this our home parish permanently and are involved in groups with the church already, so whether we have 50 people or fill up the pews we want to be married where we plan on staying, as we moved from southern Texas recently and had to leave our parish there.
The price sheet shows:
Cathedral Fee: $2000 (due when church reservation is made)
Wedding Coordinator: $300
Altar Server: $20
Musician Rehearsal (when required for outside musicians): $75
Priest/Deacon: Stipent for the priest (arranged with the wedding coordinator)
So I am a little bit at a loss for what to do. We don’t know if it is appropriate to request they bring down the price, but we did mention it was too high for us and there was no alternative mentioned by the marriage coordinator. During the meeting the coordinator talked about how expensive weddings are and it’s crazy how many fees they charge but yet they charge a high fixed fee… My mother has been asking at our home parish (a church much larger and just as beautiful although not a cathedral) on the typical fees and the priest she spoke to was apalled at the cost of the cathedral fee, so we may end up marrying back in southern TX at our old parish. Either way it won’t stop us from getting married, we just wanted to see if we had any options and if anyone else has experienced this. Any advice helps!
Post # 10
Talk to them about if the fee stays the same after you register for the parish. There’s usually a different fee schedule for members vs. non-members.
(I say this while hoping in the back of my mind that they’ll knock the fee at my current church down a bit for me since I’m their cantor-who-shows-up-reliably. Get on their books, get involved, make close connections. Be a member of the community who is getting married, not just someone who wants to get married in their building. It does make a difference!)
Post # 11
Our fee was $1,500 plus the musicians, and we gave a gift card to the priest. But not to burst your bubble but I think may be missing the cost of the pre-cana classes from your budget. Ours were nearly another $500.
Our church doesn’t turn anyone away for hardship, but you have to talk to the priest to work that out, not the office staff.
Post # 12
Those fees seem pretty normal to me for a Catholic cathedral. When you say that you plan to make the cathedral your home parish with the move, do you know for sure if you live in parish boundaries? Usually the fee is lower for people who have been active, registered members of the parish for some length of time, but as newly registered members who just moved in, they may make an exception if you can get a letter from a priest at your old parish establishing you’ve been active there. There is usually some wiggle room, and the “suggested donation” for established parishoners can be substantially lower.
Post # 13
I forgot to mention: Catholic churches also aren’t supposed to turn down letting people marry out of inability to pay. You may be able to work out a lower fee if you discuss financial concerns, but if their fees are something they rely on for their operating budget, their alternative may be helping to arrange a wedding at a less expensive Catholic church in the area.
Post # 14
I’m voting on behalf of my friend who is getting married in a Catholic church this Friday in Fort Worth. She is paying $1,500 just to get married. No decorations, no music, just the ceremony and priest. It is a full hour mass but I thought that price was OUTRAGEOUS! That doesn’t include all the classes and pre-marital counseling they have to go through before. She is honestly so stressed and spread so thin between work, planning the wedding, attending her Catholic classes, and DIY’ing I don’t even think it’s worth it!
Edit:The church isn’t even pretty! Just a regular church!
Post # 15
it all depends where you are
CofE have a flat fee of £480 and can then add extras like heating, floor cleaning and any choir or bells etc… but since catholic is not a recognised legal marraige here they dont have a set fee so it vary church to church
a few friends from scotland have had ‘free’ weddings (they had to give legal notice at £70 I think) but the church and priest/vicor where free because they knew them well and the law is different there