(Closed) officiant questions

posted 4 years ago in Etiquette
Post # 3
1755 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: October 2014

@swisea01:  If the officiant is someone you know, such as your minister, it’s usual to inivite them; however if it’s someone you really don’t know, I don’t think they would expect you to invite them.  Many officiants have a note on their website that they don’t expect to be invited to your reception.

Post # 4
7587 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: December 2010

@swisea01:  have the best man give her a card, he can give it while you do your recessional or after the ceremony if she plants ostrich around.  It is no longer necessary to invite your officiant 

Post # 5
9956 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: December 2012

Etiquette Snob here… lol

IF the Officiant is someone you know… your regular Pastor, the one your Parent’s use etc., then YES it is most polite to include them and their SO (if they have one) at the Reception Meal.

They are usually seated with one of the sets of Parents… and it is also appropriate to ask them to say Grace.

Typically the Clergy will take their leave after Dinner, as they don’t wish to overstay their welcome, so much as to cut into the festivities (people do like to let loose at a Wedding)

As Cappugcino: has said if this is a “hired Officiant” and not someone you know personally, then this Rule of Etiquette is a bit more relaxed.  And usually “their fee” for service is sufficient.

As for Tipping…

Officiants for the Ceremony… be they Clergy or not, usually have a Fee that they charge, so a tip is not required.

Same for the Site Fee, Organist, Soloist etc.

Altho these are not people who are tipped, their Fee is typically paid the day of the Ceremony immediately afterwards… so their fee is put into an sealed envelope (with their name on the front) and handed to them in the same way that one would deliver a tip.  It is appropriate to include a note of thanks inside, or a card.

Because Fees for these services can vary so greatly from Congregation to Congregation (and also by location) it is always best to check for the preferred payment options when you make the arrangements to engage these people’s services.

Hope this helps,


Post # 6
974 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2012

We hired an officiant online and she was awesome.  We paid her before with a check in the mail, she sent us a contract, we signed it and sent it back, then she sent it to us with both signatures.

We did custom vows and she ok-ed the final draft by email (even sent us about 30 pages of “here’s stuff you could do”).  She showed up about 20 minutes before the ceremony (with the ceremony text), blended in, did her job awesomely, got witness signatures after (we were a little chaotic before the ceremony, tho she suggested doing it before lol).  Then she just smiled, wished us well, and poof she was gone.  I was going to offer a meal, but she made it nicely happily clear that she had done her job and was excusing herself without even saying it or giving me a chance to offer a meal!

She was so good I feel like we SHOULD have tipped her!  I did email her to thank her for the wonderful job she did making our day special.

Post # 7
2361 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

I invited mine to the reception and I tipped.   He was just a JP we hadn’t known before.   But we are laid back like that.  We had a meeting a couple weeks before the wedding…… It turned out to be a 7 hour meeting getting drunk at a bar lol.    He was awesome!

Post # 8
402 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2015

We are inviting ours, only because he is my pastor and he and his wife have become our friends.  He doesn’t have a set fee for members of the congregation; a donation to the church is sufficient.  However, the sexton and organist have fees, which I don’t mind, I love them both!

Post # 9
3244 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2011

@swisea01:  I agree with what  @This Time Round: said.  If you don’t know the officiant well, you don’t have to invite them.

Although I also had a DW wedding, we didn’t know the officiant, but we did invite him to the reception because we liked him based on the phone conversations and one in person meeting we had with him before the wedding.

Typically you don’t tip the officiant, but if the officiant has their own church/congregation, it is ok to make a donation to their church.

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