Post # 1
I could be way off base here and I welcome any and all feedback. It is important to both of us to marry in the church. We joined our current Anglican church about 3 yrs ago. Based on what I had heard from friends who had married at other churches I was shocked to receive the wedding packet with the charge of $900 for the ceremony. While we will meet the pastor doing our service a few times prior, they also require at least 3 premarital counseling sessions with an outside counselor on their list. We would pay these additional costs on top of the $900.
Is this typical? I had always heard it is common for a church ceremony to be a couple hundred or maybe even a suggested donation amount. I haven’t said anything to our pastor but this really bothers me. It just seems to conflict with what the church is all about.
My Future Mother-In-Law thinks we should look at having it at another church. We are on a fairly tight budget (5-6k) for a small wedding (40-50 attendees). I never expected the ceremony to be 20% of our budget!
Please share any insights, suggestions or experience. I am really upset and kind of at a loss of what to do next. thanks!
Post # 3
That does seem like a lot, but not way, way over what is usual. And you’re members there? What is included? Does that cover officiant, organist, clean-up?
We’re choosing not to marry in my church (presbyterian), but if we had, it would have been:
Officiating Minister: $150
Security deposit: $100
Janitorial fees: by contract with the church’s janitorial service, and dependent on clean-up requirements (but I think it runs around $150).
So, a total of about $550. The officiant cost at my church is a lot less than what I’ve seen for other places, where it can run up to $300, so that may be where some of that extra cost is coming from. I’ve been to high-church Anglican weddings where there were multiple officiants and acolytes, etc.
Post # 4
How big is your church?
The cost to use my church as a venue is $1500, but as you can see, it’s a little bit more elaborate than a small chapel:
If you go to a bigger church, they may charge more because the cleanup/maintenance costs are extra, the building construction itself was expensive, etc etc.
Post # 5
Our church was $300 to book. That doesn’t include the cost of the minister and the cost of the pianist. I thought ours was somewhat expensive due to friends claiming they got to use their churches for free. But at the same time this is a church that Fiance and I dearly dearly love and we couldn’t imagine getting married anywhere else. It is where we met and fell in love so its where we want our friends and family to see us start our lives together!
Post # 6
Professorgirl: We are both members at the church. While the main santuary is large and quite ornate, we will be using the small chapel. They seldom allow the sanctuary to be used unless you are having a large wedding, over 200 guests.
It incudes venue, organist, clean up and officiant. As I mentioned, it includes meetings with the pastor but not the additional required counseling.
Post # 7
Wowza. I agree that that is pretty pricy for a church you attend. If it isn’t in your budget, explain to the pastor. Perhaps there is some charitable program that can lessen the price. Otherwise, a budget is a budget. I’d look elsewhere for a venue.
Post # 8
I’ve been disgusted in the past about what family members have paid. I’m not trying to preach but I am one of Jehovah’s Witnesses, there is never a charge for an officiant, counseling sessions or to have your wedding or funeral in a kingdom hall (our name for a place of worship) There is also no collection plate passed ever, it’s something that is done in private from your heart. I could see them maybe charging you if your not a member but as a member don’t you already pay money to the church something?
Post # 9
Our charge at our church is $300 and that basically only covers the janitor. It’s another $300 if you want to use something other than the sanctuary (i.e. having your reception onsite).
Sound guy, musicians, pastor are all extra (And these are not “provided”…meaning the church organist is not obligated to play for you).
Another church in our area charges $1000 for it’s members. To me, membership is irrelevant because there is a HUGE difference in members that actually attend church regularly and tithe and those whose names are on the roll only. Know what I mean?
$900 is relatively cheap when you think about the cost of utilities, clean up, and wear/tear on the facilities and blocking off the church calendar for you for that day(s).
I think our church should charge $1000 also and it should be double for non-members. (We’ve been “abused” by non-members in the past because our rate is so low. Had a couple of weddings where they had the gall to drink alcohol IN the church!)
Churches in our area charge extra for moving things in the sanctuary also.
I think you’d be hard pressed to find a venue for less than that that would basically block off 2 days for you for your wedding and rehearsal.
Just my 0.02 cents.
Post # 10
We are getting married n my church. It’s $250 for the use of the space, sound technicians and the janitor. We’re paying another $100 for our counseling sessions with my pastor. So $350 total.
Post # 11
Ours was a $1,000 donation and this did not include organist, servers, coordinator lady and so forth.
However they did say in the packet they were uncomfortable charging a fee and asked couples to pray about it and make the maximum donation possible, keeping in mind all the other money spent on a wedding. I read that as saying, if 1,000 isn’t possible, don’t sweat it.
This was a downtown RC Cathedral. Catholics have certain legal rights within the church and one of them is that you have the right to access the sacraments at the parish you are a member of. So if you are registered, supporting the parish financially and going to mass, they can’t turn you away ultimately. Anglicans are similar in a lot of ways to Catholics, are there any rules like that you could work off of?
Or is there any way you could speak with the pastor/one of the staff? If they realize you are having a smaller budget perhaps they would be willing to work with you.
Post # 12
My church is $830, including minister, organist, caretaker and administration fees. They recommend that we take pre-marital counselling that’s like a friday evening and all day saturday thing that’s like $190. Oh and if we want we can add a soloist for $80…
Post # 13
- Wedding: July 2012 - Baltimore Museum of Industry
My hometown church charges members $600, non-members $2,000. The $600 covers janitor, organist, and coordinator. Add the officiant “tip”, and it would be probably be close to $800.
Post # 14
Our church is free to book. We don’t pay janitors, we have church volunteers clean and stuff. Usually family helps decorate the pews etc for the ceremony. Our pastor just asks for a small donation (usually about $100) to do the ceremony and he always gives it to a charity our church is working with after. Premarital counceling sessions are free.
Post # 15
Our church is free. We can even have our rehearsal dinner there if we want. We have to have someone from our wedding party clean up, but that’s it. The counseling is free too. We’re pretty lucky I guess. We’re not even actual members yet. And our budget is so tight right now we haven’t even been able to put anything in the plate. But we did take down 3 large oak trees for free, and we’re going to paint the pews and the steeple .
Post # 16
When I was checking churches they were charging $800-$1,000 and only offered like 50 or 100 dollars off if you were a member. They weren’t fancy like @rachelmichelle: showed either. You didn’t get anything with it… no decorations, no music, etc. that was all extra. I found a small cute church that charges absolutely nothing and will let us host the reception there free too but I’ll be giving a donation. They also provide the counseling (like 3 classes) free as well.