Post # 1
So my DH says we just got played by our officiant. What do you think?
Here’s the story (kinda long):
Our officiant is a close friend of my parents. My father introduced him to his wife. We get invited to all of their family functions and they get invited to ours. It was suggested that we ask him to officiate. I sent him an email in June before the invites went out to ask if he would be so kind as to officiate.
Our initial meeting happened in September after we sent invitations out. During the meeting he asked if his child was also invited. I said no and he was okay with that. Sometime in October he asked for DH’s email to discuss his fee. I thought that was strange but gave him the email and didn’t ask questions. He’s a little funny so I thought maybe it was him talking to DH about going out for a beer or something so he could get to know him better. There was no mention of the fee from either of them after that.
The day before the rehearsal I get an email that says he’s sorry about not following up about the fee for his services but he charges a minimum of $200 to officiate. This was the first time a number was mentioned.
There was no discussion of a fee when I first asked by email. There was no discussion of a fee at the intial meeting. He and his wife attended the ceremony, stayed for the cocktail hour, ate dinner at the reception and danced the night away. Dinner was a four course meal including dessert.
There was no gift from them. Also, he was over an hour late to the initial meeting and screwed up my name during the ceremony.
Sooo…I’m kinda ticked.
Post # 3
We paid $214.70 at the time of booking and another $170 at our planning meeting for the officiant. He will not however, be staying for dinner.
Post # 4
@katsupgirl: I don’t know what you do about it, but I’d be pissed too. Your DH obviously should have followed up on that email – but that seems extremely unprofessional to not mention a fee until the day before the wedding.
I should add that we used the priest at DH’s church and he did not officially charge anything, but we did make a donation to the church.
Post # 5
Wow not gonna lie, you got duped hardcore. Honestly, that was one hell of a douche move. I would be LIVID. And I would have had anyone but that dude officiate. Ugh, the nerve of some people!
Post # 6
If I may play devil’s advocate though, I don’t think it was right to assume that the service would be provided for FREE, either.
Post # 7
Our officiant was $300 and DID NOT EVEN SHOW UP. Yeah. He sent his Dad? And I we did not find out until we showed up at the wedding. Yeah. The whole thing was odd, and then the Dad married us and then did not sign the certificate. I don’t really want to say anything because I do not want to risk some trouble with the license. It was really rotten. He was in Vegas. And, I am just hoping his Dad was legally able to perform the ceremony… ? Weird!
So, your officiant sounds a little odd, but I think $200 is reasonable, and actually a deal (?) It sounds like someone should have asked about the fee upfront/ discussed it. That is rude however that they did not give a gift if they are friends, and it is rude he was late (but it happens) and that is too bad about your name.
Post # 9
Ouch! That sucks!
I’m not squabbling about the fee but if you are a professional you mention your rates at the outset to avoid any confusion. If it’s business treat it like it’s business and show up on time, be upfront about your fee and don’t you and your wife eat a $200+ meal at the wedding.
Given our family friend relationship I think my assumption wasn’t too out of line but I get the point about making assumptions. That’s on me.
Post # 10
what does DH stand for? and i wouldve been upset too!
Post # 11
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 # 12
It stands for Dear Hubby. It didn’t ruin my wedding at all but the friendship might be dead.
Post # 13
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
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 # 15
Yeah but the kid thing was more like “are kids invited to the wedding?”. The invitation was addressed to him and his wife. True I didn’t follow up when he first mentioned the fee but neither did he. I just don’t think he can have it both ways. You can’t be a vendor and a guest at the wedding. You can’t treat this halfway like we’re friends and then charge me.
Post # 16
- Wedding: September 2011 - Bent Creek Winery (Livermore, California); Reception: Family Residence (San Ramon, California)
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.