Post # 1
Helloo! I was hoping you guys could help me out with some officiant etiquette. I am asking my former boss to officiate our wedding. He is a GREAT guy, and an elected official who has officiated a few weddings for his staff before (which he LOVES doing!). I’m just not sure how to handle situations where the officiant is not someone you necessarily "hire" — there is more of a friendly relationship, but still very professional. I’m pretty sure that he won’t accept any kind of fee or payment from us (and I would feel weird offering in that way), but I’m thinking of offering to pay for his hotel accommodations, if he chooses to stay over, or maybe his flight? He is of course invited to attend the reception, but I’m not sure what else I can do/need to do/should do. I definitely want to make him feel very appreciated and I do want to compensate him in some way, but I’m not sure what is appropriate and not awkward. Any thoughts? Thank you!!
Post # 3
Be up front when you ask him. Say, "It would be such an honor for you to officiate at our wedding – of course, we’d cover your travel expenses, and we want you to come to the reception!" Being very clear that you’re going to offer him up front, and then, possibly giving a small gift or card before or after the ceremony.
Post # 4
I agree with Gilneas. A small gift would be nice if he doesnt accept travel or a room.
Post # 5
I think Gilneas has it right. Let him know up front you would like to pay for his travel & accomodations, and give him a modest but thoughtful gift after. If he insists on covering his own expenses, I would make his gift more generous – maybe $100 to a nice restaurant for him & his wife.
Post # 6
Definitely offer to cover travel costs if it works in your budget. Some elected officials are prevented from accepting gifts or compensation of certain types, so he may not be able to accept.
Post # 7
- Wedding: August 2009 - Bernardo Winery
I agree we/ the others… We’re having a friend (who is a pastor) officiate our ceremony and I wish I had said from the get go what we would do b/c now we’re in the awkward position of figuring out w/ a month to go.
Post # 8
Thank you guys!! I feel like sometimes I ask kind of stupid wedding-related questions, but it’s all so new to me so it’s nice to have feedback and input. 🙂 I actually don’t think our budget will stretch to cover all of his airfare (DC to California), but I definitely want to offer to pay for his hotel, if he wants to stay. Do you think it’s tacky to offer to chip in for some of his airfare (I feel kind of weird about that, and I think regulations would probably prohibit him from accepting either way), or should I just get him a heftier gift?
Miss French Bulldog — good luck! I think a nice gift would suffice (like daniellemybelle suggested — a gift card for a nice restaurant for him and his wife! I LOVE that idea!).
Post # 9
I would say, inviting him to the reception is sufficient and then maybe an envelope with like $100-200 in it. Also, if he is travelling more than 50 miles you should pay for his flight and hotel; but at that rate it maybe better for you to hire someone local?