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Thoughts Regarding the Cost of Your Officiant **

Wedding ministers and wedding officiants everywhere, not just in the Washington or Oregon, can perform a very valuable service for you by putting your wedding together. And this includes ceremonies in all types of locations. I perform weddings all over the greater Walla Walla Valley, with most of them being in a place other than a church. And although I do a lot of work to help couples get married, the cost to have me as your wedding officiant is only about 3% of the total cost of the average wedding.

Although everyone knows that you get what you pay for, couples sometimes forget that this also applies to hiring a wedding minister or officiant. If an officiant is good, he is not cheap. If he is cheap, perhaps you should wonder why the fee is so low.

I have am amazed that many couples (not all) see no problem paying hundreds or thousands of dollars for flowers, cakes, decorations, alcohol, etc. But want to pay the absolute minimum possible to the person who actually performs the ceremony. I have attended weddings where the melting ice sculpture cost more than the officiant services.

Listed below are the costs of the average wedding according to "The Bridal Guide." Of course these costs vary from couple to couple, wedding to wedding. You must also keep in mind that these costs do not include all expenses such as the rings or honeymoon.

Reception/Catering $8,000
Photography $1,500
Videography $850
Apparel $1,175
Music $1,000
Flowers $750
Cake $400
Invitations $350
Miscellaneous Expenses $1,000
TOTAL $15,025

Almost all providers of wedding services, from the florist to the caterer, require a contract and a deposit. My contract spells out the date, time, and place for each couple's wedding, in addition to what services are included with the package requested.

Remember, all the elegant flowers and dresses; all the planning and preparing mean very little if the ceremony does not proceed as desired; if the bridal party goes the wrong way or if someone says the wrong thing. Wedding disasters do happen.

I initially spend 1-2 hours with a couple going over all the details of the ceremony. I utilize a multi-page checklist which covers many different features and options that have been put into many ceremonies. My goal is to help each couple make all the necessary decisions so their wedding will be as special as they are. Here are a few of the many aspects involved in a ceremony that take a lot of work:

  • Maid/Matron of Honor/Bridesmaids
  • Best Man/Groomsmen
  • Flower Girls
  • Ring Bearers
  • Ushers
  • Parents
  • Children
  • Musicians/Soloists
  • Readers/Readings
  • Prayers
  • Vows
  • Candle/Rose/Wine Ceremony

Besides the initial consultation, I will have several follow-up telephone calls or email conversations with each couple. I will write up the entire script for the wedding ceremony (10-14 pages) and will send it to you for their revisions. In most cases there is a rehearsal, where more details are worked out. Then at last is the actual wedding ceremony. I usually put in at least 10-12 hours of work for each ceremony I perform.

Please visit here if you are ready to book your ceremony with me.

** Adapted from: The Bridal Guide/various sites on the internet

All people should be free to follow the beliefs of their own heart, free to benefit from those beliefs
and free to share those beliefs without prejudice. ~ Debora Garner Andrews

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