Post # 1
Need your advice bees!!
Wedding is small – 30-35 people – and we are just having dinner in a nice restaurant after the ceremony. We have no local church and live in NC (Charlotte area). From my research so far, we can’t just get a JOP to come marry us in this state (PLEASE correct me if I’m wrong!). They do not travel. If we find an officant online, and this is their private business, do we really need to pay for their dinner too? It seems like they would just be a vendor.. and they charge A LOT ($375 and up). I don’t want to be rude, but I don’t want to dish out $450 either.
Post # 3
I really don’t think it’s necessary. They won’t know anyone there anyway since it’s not the pastor of a “family church” you all belong to. I think a tip would suffice, if that! I could be wrong and this could be gauche but especially in a small reception, I just don’t think inviting the officiant is something you need to worry about.
Post # 4
If it’s not someone you are close to, I say no. In fact, we just hired our officiant (a retired Reverand) and we were considering the same thing as you because we really enjoyed talking to him. The truth is, I think even he considers himself “just a vendor.” We sort of felt him out regarding how long he typically hangs around after the ceremony…he told us that after all the paperwork is signed he usually takes off. Now, if it is the priest or rabbi you’ve know all your life I think it’s polite to invite them to the wedding. I say no in your case.
Post # 5
i would extend a courtesy invite. if the officiant has no relationship to you, they almost always decline. it’s normal to pay vendor meals though.
Post # 6
I agree with @ohheavenlyday
Post # 7
Thanks everone. This is kind of what I thought, but I told someone about it and they seemed horrified that I wasn’t going to extend the invite because, well, what if they accept?? Anyway, now I’ll feel a little less guilty about it!
Post # 8
We’re having an officiant come out to our venue but we’re not inviting them to the rest of the celebrations, the officiant doesn’t know anyone there and doesn’t expect an invitation. We’ll pay them the fee and when the ceremony is over he/she will go home.
Post # 9
We found our officiant through a company, and did not invite him. I think it’s more traditional to extend the invite if it’s an officiant you know well (e.g. you attend a church and it’s your reverend). I wouldn’t worry about it!
Post # 10
I don’t recall ever seeing the officiant at a wedding reception. Ours will be invited because we’re hoping his father will officiate. 🙂
Post # 11
I agree that you do not need to extend an invite to the officiant unless they are from your church that you attend regularly. We are paying $425 for an officiant from a local Unitarian Church that we will only meet once before the wedding and I do not plan to pay extra for the plate. On the other hand, I do expect to pay for the photographer and DJ plates, but that is also because they will be working the entire day with us and I can’t let them starve! I guess it’s your call and comfort level.
Post # 12
We invited ours, and he and his wife came and danced the night away 🙂 Granted, he is a family friend, so our circumstance was different.
However in your case, I would still send him a courtesy invitation – considering you are having such an intimate wedding and he won’t know anyone, chances are very good he will just decline.
Post # 14
not unless you have a relationship with them outside of the wedidng (i.e. your pastor)