When it comes to how much you should pay a minister, don’t be afraid to ask an appropriate amount when you call the church to schedule your wedding.
“There are just so many variables,” said Wilmington resident Judy Bradley, who has been a wedding coordinator and designer for 17 years. Bradley, owner of a wedding planning business called Eventz!, said, in her experience, fees can range from $75 to $375.
“It’s different if somebody says, ‘Hey, we just want to get married on the beach and we’ve got our two witnesses.’” said Bradley, who is also officiates at weddings. “But if it’s going to be a big wedding with a lot of attendants on each side, it gets to be more involved.”
Some churches have fees for non-members. For example, a couple that wants to get married at First Baptist Church at 411 Market St., Wilmington [Map this], but is not a part of the congregation is charged a fee of $250, said Judy Brown, church secretary.
For church members, it’s up to the couple.
“If someone in my congregation asks me to do their wedding, I figure I’m already paid for that,” said the Rev. Dr. Michael Queen, senior pastor at First Baptist. “That’s a part of my work. Ninety percent of the weddings I do are my church members, so I don’t ever expect to be paid for a wedding. Having said that, most of the time you do get something for doing the wedding even if it is a church member. People feel some sense of obligation to pay the minister something.”
Queen’s advice for couples is to take their cues from the rates they pay other people involved in the wedding, such as photographers, caterers, directors and musicians.
“If you do the wedding, the rehearsal and counseling a time or two, you’ve invested several hours,” he said. “And I think then they can look at what they pay everybody else in that context and they can figure out what they need to do.”
For more help, the website WeddingOfficiants.com takes a detailed look at this issue.
Date posted: September 2, 2010
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