Post # 1
Ok hive, a few questions for you about our Catholic Ceremony!
1. Did you send your priest an invitation to your wedding reception? We want to invite him to the reception and will need his food selection (hence why we’d send one), but obviously do not expect a gift? Various places online have said ask him in person (well before the wedding), which is fine… just trying to do the right thing here!
2. Our church has a fee to get married – we are paying $400, $100 of which is a deposit. Do we still need to “pay the priest?” No other monetary contributions have been discussed, and I can’t find info on this anywhere?
Thank you, lifesavers 🙂
Post # 3
Hi – we’re inviting our priest to our reception and sending a formal invitation to the parish’s house. I don’t expect that he’ll but its expected that he should at least be invited. And personally, I think if you invite someone you should send them a formal invitation, otherwise he might think it was a last-minute kind of thing.
Does your church have a parish secretary? Most do, that’s who we’ve worked through to set up our meetings with the priest, reserve our date, etc. She’s also the one who collects the “donation” (really your fee to get married). Our church gave us a booklet with all of this information when we had our first meeting with the priest (which also had helpful information about how they handle music/photos/video/etc.). Did you not have your first meeting with the priest yet? I wouldn’t be surprised if he gives it to you at that point.
Post # 4
Our priest is also a personal friend of mine. So yes it was a no brainer for us to send him an invitation. I also did not expect a gift from him. Priests make poverty level salary! However, he was nice to give us a framed papal blessing as a wedding gift to us.
I also donated to him (a couple of hundreds). I think church fee is for the church and donation to the priest is a donation to the priest. The two are not connected, I believe.
Ditto Aprilbride10, your parish chaplain can probably advise you if you ask him/her these questions.
Post # 5
We are also in the planning phase but I have spoken to several other past brides and my wedding coordinator about what is customary for our cathedral.
1. We will send him a formal invitation on top of asking in person just as a show of courtesy.
2. Our church fee is $500. We were informed by the secretary that we should tip each alter server $25. Based on that and speaking to some other brides, we will be giving an additional tip/donation of $175 to the priest. My understanding is that this is in line with what others have done.
As an aside, you should also anticipate tipping any musicians/the music coordinator (or at least that is what I have been told).
Post # 6
Katie – just wanted to say lucky you that you’re having altar servers! Our church is so underattended these days I had to recruit my 12 year old cousin from out of town to be an altar server. So sad!
Post # 7
wow thanks for the advice ladies! I’ll definitely put in a call to the parish to see about the priest fees. We have met with our priest multiple times and we’ve discussed the marriage fee (or church fee, I guess), but obviously he hasn’t said “oh and by the way you have to pay me too.” I had originally planned to send an invite, but my mom was worried that it may be too formal (as in he might think he needed to get us a gift??). I’ll let her know what you guys said!
Post # 8
Our church has an official church fee, additional fees for music, and an “optional priest donation.” From what I’ve heard, people usually give the priest $100-200 for performing the ceremony.
And an invite to the reception is probably correct etiquette, but he may or may not actually come. Hope that helps!