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Officiants

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akw94

Brilliant_Rock
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Feb 10, 2006
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I am having a hard time finding a reasonably priced officiant.... ok, what I think is reasonable! Do they all really cost $250-$500? That just seems crazy to me. Where did you find yours? How much was he/she (if you don''t mind sharing)? I would prefer someone non-denominational, willing to incorporate customs from two traditions. I really should become an officiant b/c they sure seem to make great money for 20 minutes of talking!!
 

robbie3982

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Jun 28, 2006
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FI and I are using a family friend who''s a judge. I''m pretty sure she''s doing it as a favor to my dad, but I''m sure he''ll try to pay her or give her some type of gift in return. We were originally looking into having a priest and a rabbi since FI is Catholic and I''m Jewish, but the rabbis alone wanted at least $1000. We looked into non-denominational ministers too, and I think the cheapest we found was about $250. In the end, it just wasn''t worth it to us to spend that to have someone we''d never met before and had nothing to do with either of our religions marry us. I really wanted to have a friend get ordained (a la Joey on Friends) and do the ceremony, but FI didn''t like that idea, hence the judge.
 

akw94

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Robbie, good idea about using a judge. I think I will ask around and see if I can find someone.
ETA: I really like having a friend become ordained too but my problem is, I can't think of anyone that would work.
Do you invite the officiant to the reception (if they're not already on the invite list)?
 

robbie3982

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I would think so, but I''m not sure.
 

KimberlyH

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Jun 15, 2006
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We paid $500 for our officiant. He was a Catholic priest who was disgusted by the church scandal so left the church and ended up getting married. He was a kick.

My DH''s mom passed away about 3 weeks ago and we contacted him to perform the annointing of the sick. He arrived within 30 minutes of my calling and was such a comfort to us. MIL had no clue he wasn''t a "real" priest (she had Alzheimer''s) and his beliefs are perfectly aligned with ours. I''m glad we spent the money, even though it seemed excessive at the time.
 

FireGoddess

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Jan 25, 2005
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Girl, mine was $250, a universal life minister, and the CHEAPEST I could find. ULMs are great for an interfaith, multicultural wedding. Some other officiants I found ran upwards of more than $1000! I know, crazy!
 

zoebartlett

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Dec 29, 2006
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My sister got married this past summer and her and her husband wanted a friend from college to do the ceremony. The ceremony was spiritual but not religious, and family from both sides spoke and read poems selected by my sister and (now) husband. The only thing was that their friend wasn't ordained, so they had to go to town hall or a JP the day before (or a week before?) and get it done "legally." Technically, they were already married at their ceremony but it was the ceremony itself that meant more and felt more real. At the time of the ceremony, no one knew that the girl "officiating" wasn't a JP. She did a beautiful job and since she's a close friend from college, she knew the couple well and was able to speak to them from the heart.

ETA: To answer your original question, my sister's friend did it for free, as a wedding gift to her and her husband.
 

E B

Ideal_Rock
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Aug 31, 2005
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Mine is $250 too. $500 if we have him at the rehearsal. Needless to say, we won''t be having him at the rehearsal.
 

akw94

Brilliant_Rock
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Feb 10, 2006
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1,937
Geez! I know I shouldn''t consider paying the person who''s marrying me a rip-off but come on! That being said... I have found one judge who charges $200. I sent an email to the county clerk''s office who gave me the number of "Marriage Court". Who knew there was marriage ct?? Anyway, that person then gave me three other judge''s names which I will call. I''m hoping the retired judge thing works out and is a minimal cost. In IL, you can''t have a current judge perform the ceremony so there goes my hopes of talking to a judge I know now.

FG, I have seen some ranging up to $1000 to and I just can''t imagine spending that much. Not to mention that''s an enormous part of my budget...

EBree, I understand and mine wouldn''t be at my reh. dinner either for an extra $250. Really, what are they thinking??!!

Thanks Kimberly and Zoe for your responses!! It sounds like in both situations, it worked out for the best!

So, for those of you who did not know your officiant, did you invite him/her to the reception?

And do you have to also tip this unknown officiant? I had no idea this was even done until I read some older threads.
 

FireGoddess

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Jan 25, 2005
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I did tip. I can''t remember if I gave her $275 or $300 instead of the $250 she charged.
 

TCBug

Rough_Rock
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Nov 12, 2006
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58
Well, folks -- this is news to me! When I was married in 1986, my church invited a guest pastor of my choice to marry us. (Long story, but I didn''t want my own minister to marry us.) He didn''t "charge" for weddings. He insisted on (unpaid) counseling before we got married. Soooo. . . we gave him a nice "thank you" card with $100 in it.

But a "charge" for an officiant? OH MY LAND! I''ve never heard of such a thing!
 
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