How Much to Pay Your Wedding Officiant


In 2023, on average, the standard rate to pay for an officiant costs $250, not including the marriage license. Just like other wedding vendors, the price range is anywhere from no cost to $5,000 or more depending on factors such as the couple’s wedding budget, wedding costs, whether counseling is included, type of ceremony, whether it is a destination wedding, and how professional the wedding officiant is.

The wedding officiant cost also depends upon the type of officiant; the average price for Religious Wedding Officiant is $200 – $500, Civil Officiant is $50 – $200, and a Professional Officiant is $250 – $800. Some officiants also charge for extras like custom ceremony scripts, wedding rehearsal, travel expenses, level of service, and premarital counseling, where you can do in-person meetings before the wedding day.

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Related Resource: Wedding Photography to Inspire your Beautiful Destination Wedding

Getting Ready to Pay Your Wedding Officiant

First, if you can pay the pastor, you should. Like your wedding planner and vendors, your wedding officiant is performing a service, and you should also pay your wedding officiant a fee for his service. But it should not be assumed how much you should pay your officiant. It would help if you asked how much this service will cost the couple and the officiant’s responsibility to communicate how much to pay them. But don’t assume you should not have to pay them unless they ask. In the same way you pay for your wedding venue, you would also pay for the officiant wedding venue and the officiant.

This may be simpler to determine if you decide to get married in a church sanctuary. The wedding ceremony officiant could be bundled with the cost of having the wedding at the church. But if you ask a pastor to officiate your wedding in a different space, such as outdoors or in a statehouse, know that you may want to ask ahead of time to ensure that you are on the same page.

Communicating with Your Officiant

Speaking from experience as a pastor, your officiant may or may not have included a written sheet with the cost of officiating your wedding. You should, however, make sure that you have this cost in writing to ensure that communication is clear and that you pay them what is expected in addition to the church fee for hosting the wedding unless these costs are included.

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How Much do you Pay a Pastor for a Wedding Ceremony?

The average range of how much you should pay a pastor for an actual wedding ceremony fee is from $250 to $1000; however, it could be anywhere from nothing, $100, or $5,000 depending on factors such as the budget of the couple getting married, whether marriage counseling was included and how many sessions, and the location of the wedding can have additional costs. For destination weddings, you should expect to pay just a little more.

A good amount to pay a pastor for a wedding in 2023 is $250.

Read more: Best destination wedding locations for 2023

How Much Do You Give a Pastor for a Wedding in 2023

The going rate to pay your pastor for an average wedding in 2022 is $250. This is for the basic standard service of appearing and performing at your ceremony. You should ask your officiant if counseling sessions are included in this rate. Most likely, the rate will be higher if counseling sessions are formed or the pastor assists with creating the wedding ceremony.

How Much to Pay Officiant Friend

Communication will be essential if you ask a friend to officiate your wedding. Again, do not assume your friend will officiate your wedding for free. In this case, asking them what you should pay is better. them and let them tell you whether there will be a cost for the ceremony. But your friend will probably officiate for free as a wedding gift in most cases.

Contacting the Wedding Officiant After the Wedding

It’s always a good gesture to thank your officiant for performing your wedding ceremony, which created a meaningful experience in your life. Even when it’s a shorter ceremony, it’s much more complicated than it looks. And often, the tradition is just the tip of the iceberg that goes along with the preparation, planning, and counseling long before the wedding. Even if you pay your wedding officiant to perform the ceremony, sending them a thank you note for participating in your extraordinary day will be much appreciated.

author avatar
Aaron Smith
Hi, my name is Aaron! I’m glad to be the founder of Wedistry, a collection of tools and tips to prepare couples for their wedding day. I am currently the manager of the Wedistry Blog and Wedistry for Wedding Parties on the App Store. Thanks for stopping by and I hope that you find this content helpful during your wedding planning process.

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