How much should I gift my officiant?

posted 2 years ago in Etiquette
Post # 2
Member
47434 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

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ShaunaNicole :  How much do other officiants in your area charge?

I would cover his travel and accommodations at a minimum.

Post # 4
Member
1683 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2019

 Travel,  accommodation and a small local gift… if y’all are close and he considers this his wedding gift to you. If not then also pray him 100.

Post # 5
Member
207 posts
Helper bee

We’re having s chapel wedding in Vegas and one of the options was to pre pay this so you aren’t worrying about cash etc on the day, they added $70 to the bill if that helps as a reference. 

Post # 6
Member
2209 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: March 2019

I agree that you should be paying for travel and accomodations. I would also put in a small fee, or a nice gift if he wants to do this as a gift to you. 

Post # 7
Member
948 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: May 2019

I agree with PP’s, I’d pay for his travel expenses, as well throw in some extra cash or a small gift. Our officiant isn’t traveling for our wedding, but we plan on gifting him $200.

Post # 9
Member
786 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2018

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ShaunaNicole :  We asked our high school youth minister to officiate and he did not expect a payment. We are paying for accommodations and my parents are giving him a homemade blanket and $500. We are giving his family (3 kids) a punch pass at a local rock climbing gym.

Talk to your parents (if they are involved) and see if they can’t pitch in some cash to cover the officiant’s travel. Officiants/ministers do not make a lot of money, so expecting him to travel on his own dime is a tall order.

If you really can’t scrape up the funds, please talk to him soon. “Hey, this is really awkward, but we haven’t talked about your travel plans and I’m not sure what you’re expecting here…” and offer a sincere apology and explanation (it’s ok to be ignorant of etiquette). See what comes of that conversation. Can you cover half?

Post # 11
Member
786 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2018

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ShaunaNicole :  If that were the case, is he married? Something meaningful celebrating his marriage. Something engraved with him and his wife’s name (or kids names). Probably $100. Or a $50 gift and a $50 contribution to his church. Or an experience (gift card to a nice restaurant for a date, kayaking adventure in his town, hot air balloon ride, etc)

This is the guy that is marrying y’all, so I wouldn’t settle for a magnet and a postcard 🙂

You mention travel… is he flying?

Post # 12
Member
1581 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: April 2018

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ShaunaNicole :  I understand you are on a budget – we were too.  But there’s a difference between tightening your own budget and short changing others.  

My officiant was a family member who travelled from interstate.  She drove with several other family members so we paid for 2 nights accomodation for her and her daughter, and gave her $100 + some tea and a beautiful handmade scarf.  And she’s family. 

You ask what people would gift if he was local but he isn’t local.  He’s travelling to officiate your wedding.  

If you aren’t willing to do that, then the least you can do is talk to him ASAP, and let him know the situation.  If he would have travelled anyway to attend your wedding he may not see it like a big deal.  I would gift cash or visa gift card of about $100 in a card with a heartfelt message inside.  

Post # 13
Member
786 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2018

But there’s a difference between tightening your own budget and short changing others. 

Yes!! Please be mindful of this if you have to explain that your budget is the reason you’re not able to help him out! It will sit very poorly with him if you’re popping champagne under a crystal chandelier in a ballgown after eating a four course meal, etc. I can’t speak for your situation, but he is offering a wonderful service that needs to be appreciated as much as possible.

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