(Closed) Church “Fee”

posted 9 years ago in Catholic
Post # 17
1876 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: October 2014

@SandyThePoet: I understand church’s have very high operating expenses. But at the same time, the Catholic Church is one of the world’s richest organized religions – if not THE richest. So while I understand collecting some sort of fee for use of the facility, I don’t think it’s fair to gauge parishoners for wanted to get married in their home church/Cathedral.

Post # 18
2188 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: June 2011

I’m getting married at a Cathedral too–where I’m a member and tithe weekly. It’s $2200 for non-members and $700 for members plus the stipend for the priest, wedding coordinator and organist.

Post # 19
542 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2011

We are not members at the church where we’ll be married, but it has symbolism for FI’s family.  The fee is $3000.  It has gorgeous views of Lake Tahoe, but I’m really trying not to break down in my head how much that is per minute that we’ll be there.

Post # 20
1309 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: December 2011

@JrzyGurl: Actually the Catholic Church doesn’t do too well in terms of balancing the checkbook… the Vatican is usually in the red every year. They get a lot of money in, but more goes out. Sometimes people think the Church is rich because of all the big buildings and art, etc, but they don’t realize that those historic buildings and the Pieta and so on aren’t really “owned” by the Church, they are owned by everybody (social patrimony) and therefore can’t be sold to a private owner…

ETA: I get where you’re coming from with the fees being tough to swallow, though. One thing you can do is compare that fee to the fee you would pay at any other downtown venue. Most of the Cathedral fees I’ve come across are steep but still rather cheaper than say downtown hotels or even most downtown Protestant churches. That makes me feel better about it 🙂

(Ours is $1,000, “suggested donation”)

Post # 21
447 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2014 - Ranch

@SandyThePoet: You said it perfectly. My parents and my sister are also involved in church and they deal with their expenses, and people really cannot imagine how high those bills get.

Couples hear the high cost and are appalled that a church would charge that much, but we have to understand that it costs money to keep it up.  A cathedral will always be in those higher ranges of cost. I see it this way, it is totally worth it to pay that much if it is going towards the house of God. Smile

Post # 22
34 posts
  • Wedding: November 2010

@HisBride2Bee: We paid about $1000 for our church fees (organist and cantor included).  It was a lot more than I expected, but in the end was worth it.  If you are in a situation of financial hardship, definitely bring it up with the priest.  I bet you could delay payments or get a discount.  But, ultimately if that $1000 is only a fraction of what you are spending on the reception and the rest of the celebration, it’s a worthwhile cost.  The church is, afterall, the most important part of the day (legally speaking, that’s how you get married!)

Post # 23
288 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: July 2012

Whoa! $1100 and $1500 that is outrageous. i thought I had it bad becasue they are CHARGING us $800! I know the chirches my sisters go married in only asked for a donation. So what gives? Are they allowed to CHARGE or are they supposed to ask for donations?

Post # 24
609 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: January 2009

wow! our parish is charging us $150 dollars and the organist is donating his time because we are members of the church. You really need to sit down and make sure that they arent overcharging you. that seems really high especially because you are members and have been for over 10 years! good luck!

Post # 25
1025 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2010

@tinarenee77: It’s complicated. 

Let’s say your home parish (where you are registered) “charges” $1000 for the wedding and that’s way out of your price range. The church can’t charge you for a sacrament, so they will probably help you out, wave the fee, ask what you can give, etc.

That doesn’t apply if you decide to get married somewhere else for a reason like “it’s prettier” or “it’s closer to my reception site.” Then if its out of your price range, well, it’s hard to say “I just can’t afford it.” 

The cases where you aren’t getting married in your home parish, you are essentially renting a space, and so then yes, it is okay to be charged for that.

If you are dropping $1000 on flowers and $2000 on a dress, then the church isn’t really out of your price range, you’ve just chose to spend that money somewhere else.

That doesn’t mean churches can just charge whatever they want though. Here’s the answer from the USCCB:

How much does it cost to get married in the Catholic Church? 

Dioceses often regulate the stipend, or offering to the church, that is customary on the occasion of a wedding. Depending on different areas, this might also include the fee for the organist and vocalist. In a situation of true financial difficulty, couples can come to an agreement with their pastors so that true financial hardship will never prevent a Catholic marriage from taking place.

Post # 26
6474 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: June 2011 - Sydney, Australia

It depends on the church, too. We’re getting married in one that is quite popular for wedding ceremonies, so they’ve started using that as their main income for refurbishments & activities. We’re paying $600 for the church hire + any extras if we used their music, organ or priest. We’re probably bringing our own in & we’ll be giving our personal priest a donation too.

Post # 27
198 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: July 2011

It totally just depends on the church and the location, I’ve heard of churches in Atlanta being $1,000 +. We are getting married at the church I grew up attending in MI and the cost is $525 which includes the organist, cantor, wedding coordinator and helps pay for the flowers on the alter- they contact you the month before the wedding to find out your colors and flower choices so they can coordinate. Honestly I was totally ok with it since otherwise we would have to pay for these things seperately!

Post # 28
245 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: March 2011

@jaguar: We’re getting married at a similar church.  It’s not a cathedral, but it’s a smaller parish in a poorer part of town.  They’re very flexible for weddings as far as time, decor, etc, so in our opinion, it was worth the $1000 non-member fee + donation to priest + musician fee. 

Post # 29
1551 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2010

@jedeve:  Very well said.

I’m not yet to the planning the wedding stage, but I’ve already found that if you are a regular, contributing member of a parish, they will definitely work with you.   When I first approached my priest about getting an annulment, he told me more than once that if it was too expensive for me, the parish would cover the cost (I declined).  I am guessing it will be the similar when we do book the wedding.

However, had we booked the beautiful downtown church were my Brother-In-Law and SIL were married (not a cathedral, but looks like one), the suggested donation is $1,500.

Post # 31
3165 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: October 2011

@HisBride2Bee: damn. i mean, if you can’t afford it you can’t afford it – did you tell them that? i can’t believe that they would turn you away, there has to be some option. i’m sorry for all the trouble and that your FH is questioning his faith. :[

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