(Closed) Scammed by our officiant. . .?

posted 10 years ago in Ceremony
  • poll: Scammed?

    Girl, he got you good!

    Nah, you're crazy! Officiants gotta eat too!

    Ummm... what was the question??

    I Love Bacon!!!

  • Post # 11
    Member
    9814 posts
    Buzzing Beekeeper

    Well… he did mention the fee before, and you assumed he wouldn’t charge you. So you admit, you kind of let that one slide. He asked if he could bring his child, you said no. So he probably figured “Ok, since we’re not doing favors….”

    It’s a little odd yes, but not really a scam. He mentioned a fee, then he collected.

    Post # 13
    Member
    391 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: November 2011

    I think you got scammed. Not saying that your officiant didn’t deserve to be offered some competency for his services. But if this was never discussed before hand and then “out of the blue” sends a “bill” I would be peeved. I would have tipped him, but that would have been based on the amount you and your husband wanted to pay him.

    Post # 14
    Member
    3456 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: May 2012

    I’m going to have to pay an officiant donation to my parent’s pastor and then pay for their dinners as well because they are close enough of a relationship (mom is president at the church) that they will come.  Sadly that’s apparently par for the course.

    Post # 16
    Member
    1474 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: September 2011 - Bent Creek Winery (Livermore, California); Reception: Family Residence (San Ramon, California)

    View original reply
    @katsupgirl: Just out of curiosity, but did you not feed your photographers? Because we paid them for their service and provided meals for them. It just didn’t phase me that some vendors needed to be paid and fed. 

    Post # 17
    Member
    2450 posts
    Buzzing bee
    • Wedding: October 2012

    he should have told his fee much earlier than the DAY BEFORE.

    but you should not have assumed it would be free.

    BUT he should not have stayed for the reception if he was being paid. If he got paid, he was NOT to assume that he was a guest UNLESS you actually invited him.

    Post # 18
    Member
    9814 posts
    Buzzing Beekeeper

    View original reply
    @katsupgirl: Yeah it sucks, I’m with you there. If it were me (and I realize it’s not my money in question, so feel free to ignore), I would pay him and then make a mental note “Ok, now I know where I stand with this guy.” No reason it should affect your parent’s relationship with him, but in the future when you and your husband have parties and events, feel free not to invite him. It’s no fun feeling like a friend took advantage of you. He probably should have officiated as a courtesy to his friend’s daughter, especially after he enjoyed food and drink on your dime, but some people just don’t have fine tuned social graces haha. It’s not like it was a “working wedding” for him and he was grabbing a quick bite to eat before getting back to work. So yeah it would have been nice of him to officiate for free, but certainly not required. Now you know!

    Post # 21
    Member
    637 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: April 2012

    Can you negotiate his rate down? I mean, if it were any other vendor and not a friend of your parents, you would probably ask for a discount for screwing up your name at the very least and being late to the meeting. At the very least if you’re going to pay him, add a discount with a note explaining why!

    I do think you got duped. I mean seriously, he brought his wife, enjoyed your party, ate your food, brought no gift, and still asked to get paid? That’s balls right there.

    Post # 22
    Member
    1368 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: April 2012

    $200 sounds reasonable. I’m sorry it was sprung on you at the last minute, but it could be worse. My cousin was charged almost $600. A year or so later it came out that he was overhcarging. The church charges $100 and he was being investiated for stealing from the church. Yeah, they got scammed.

    Post # 23
    Member
    246 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: July 2012

    I could understand if he did bring and gift and didnt charge you as their gift to you. But did charge you and didnt bring a gift, is just plain crappy! We havent found an officiant yet (and we should get on that soon) i just hope it doesnt go down like this…

    Post # 24
    Member
    2889 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: July 2013

    A look at this from the other side…..Pastor’s are asked to officiate around 30 weddings a year. Etiquette dictates that you invite the officiant and his wife to the reception so they thought nothing of that. Everyone invites them. Sometimes their children are invited too out of courteousy. They are a vendor so they aren’t expected to bring a gift. Realistically they couldn’t afford to bring a gift to every wedding they attend. Though they should have given you a card but like all wedding guests they still have time. I know what most pastor’s make and believe me it isn’t much many make less than 20k a year. You are on call 24/7. You are called out in the middle of the night to referee marital disputes, sit with sick/dying parishioners, comfort greiving family members, be there for every church function which might have you hopping over to the church twice a day, call on parishioners/ community members, manage a church budget, get repair made, prepare a sermon or two for Sunday and then a Bible study for Wednesday, make time for your wife and kids, make it to all the kids games/plays, etc. 80+ hour work weeks are the norm. Yes he was late to the meeting and from any other vendor this would be unacceptable but if this man is a pastor? he may have had a true emergency which he might not be able to disclose. He is very human and the fee might have slipped his mind, though it seems he did mention it. I know you expected him to do this for free but he has a family to support to. Who knows what financial hardship he may be facing? Maybe their car needs repair.  He did give up time he could have spent with his child. I would chalk it up to a misunderstanding, pay him as soon as you can and move on. I honestly don’t think he is trying to scam you. 🙂

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