(Closed) Scammed by our officiant. . .?

posted 9 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 # 17
    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
    9816 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
    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
    1370 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
    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
    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. 🙂

    Post # 25
    5295 posts
    Bee Keeper
    • Wedding: January 1993

    View original reply
    @secondchances: This guy was a friend of the family though. That’s where I feel this is different. And I’m pretty sure any legit vendor isn’t going to wait until the day before to tell you his fee. Although again, when the word ‘fee’ was mentioned, the OP and her DH should have followed up on that.
    He wasn’t required to bring a gift (no guest is) but like the OP said – he’s having his cake and eating it too (literally). He’s being a vendor and a ‘friend’. Like the OP pointed out – the price for a vendor meal was much lower. I didn’t invite my florist or limo driver to the reception – their job was over by then. So was this officiant’s. But as a friend, she invited him and his wife.

    I don’t think I’d really call it a scam – but he definitely took advantage of the couple and in the future, they know where they stand.

    And many, many professions are low-pay and high demand. If he was giving up precious free time he could have spent with his child to do their wedding – he could have skipped the reception.

    Post # 26
    2155 posts
    Buzzing bee
    • Wedding: August 2014

    It sounds like he would’ve been invited to the wedding regardless of performing the ceremony based on your comments about his family being invited to all of your family functions and vice versa. So, I don’t think that they stayed and ate dinner for $200 a plate is relevant at all since he would’ve done that regardless. He did mention a fee and it was unprofessional to not discuss it at length before the day before the wedding, but you also admit you let it slide even after he said he wanted to discuss the fee with your fiance. 

    I don’t think it sounds like a scam at all, it sounds like a lack of communication. Maybe he usually charges much more and the discounted fee you got was also your “gift”.  Or maybe they didn’t bring a gift, but I don’t think that is anything to get that worked up over. It’s frustrating especailly if you assumed it would be a free service as a favor to you guys, but that definitely should have been hashed out earlier and that is a mistake on both of your parts.

    Post # 28
    822 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: January 2012

    I don’t disagree with what he did, but I don’t like the way he did it.  Everyone I have heard of pays their officiant a fee, but this guy should have been more upfront with you about it in the beginning.

    In terms of them eating, I think that is fair enough – especially considering they often come to your family events and you theirs.

    Also, I don’t think they need to give you a gift – they already gifted you by helping you to become legally married – the most important part of the day. 🙂

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