Post # 1
My fiance and I paid our officiant $200, plus a $75 travel fee, which seems to be on the low end overall. However, we were wondering if we should then provide a gratuity as well? I’m not sure what the norm is for tipping your officiant. If so, what is a good amount?
Also, if you don’t know the officiant well (as in, ours isn’t a family friend or involved with family churches or anything since we’re not religious), do you invite them and their SO to the reception? It sounds awful but we’d really rather not to save the space (and money) since our venue is very small, but I’ve heard from others that they sometimes expect an invitation. How does that work? Our officiant has been great to work with us to get a ceremony that we love, and we’re very happy with her, but we’re not close by any means. Would she have a right to be upset if we didn’t invite her? Some people say that she won’t come anyways, but we’d rather not risk an extra seven people if possible. What to do!?
Post # 3
I think you should invite the officiant if they are close to you and you grew up in the church with them. But from what you’re saying above, it looks like you just needed a person to take on the role as a minister. In that case, you should be okay with not inviting him as a guest to the reception. Just thank him for his services and provide him with a tip of 10%. I think that should be good.
Post # 4
I get invited to about 75% of the weddings I do (with my fiance getting invited maybe 25% of the time), and though I appreciate the invitation, I don’t often go. If you’re strapped for money, it’s not unheard of to not invite your officiant – if they’re at all insulted (which would be strange), just explain about your budget.
Tips are always nice and appreciated, but not necessary. A small gift or card may work well, too, if you don’t want to spend $50 – $100 for a tip.
Post # 5
jessieblum, thanks for the info. I don’t want to hijack the thread, but I think this question might fit with teh first. As for tipping, I actually feel that it’s kind of weird/insulting to tip my officiant b/c she’s performing such an important milestone in our lives. We don’t know ehr, but have sent an invite. Would you still think it’s preferable to tip on top of her fee and the reception invitation?
Post # 6
jessieblum – Thanks so much for the insight! I’ve decided to not invite her, and provide a generous tip/gift of some sort instead to make sure she knows we appreciate her efforts.
Post # 7
actually tipping is the norm, in other places its called donation
Post # 8
@ilovenycmissie – It depends on the officiant – some officiants, especially ones affiliated with churches, who are not being paid at all will accept a tip or "donation" in lieu of an actual fee.
@sminerva21 – I think that is a great solution!
@fizicsgirl – I have been performing weddings for a bit over a year, and of the 30 I have done, I have received a tip on top of my fee once – and a giftcard and gift once (both of those brides invited me to the reception as well, but I declined). I think either way shows that they understand how much hard work and time goes into planning and officiating their ceremony, and I wasn’t insulted at all.
I met with a couple once, and during the meeting she said, "I really hope you don’t take this the wrong way, but I have to ask you something," and I was terrified! What was she going to ask me? And then she simply told me that it was not in her budget to invite me to the reception, and I breathed a huge sigh of relief – she scared me! So I’m never insulted if I don’t get invited, especially with an explanation.