How Much Does a Wedding Officiant Cost in 2024?

wedding officiant cost

When you are busy making exciting decisions for your wedding day, like flowers, venue, menu, guest list, wedding party, music, and the photographer, finding a wedding officiant is always at the bottom of the list.

The wedding officiant is an essential part of the wedding because the officiant leads your wedding ceremony and also goes through all the legal formalities. You can even have a family member or friend become ordained online to go through your ceremony or hire a professional officiant.

In this article, we will answer the question, how much does a wedding officiant cost.

What is the cost of wedding officiant?

In the big cities, the wedding officiant fee will be high. But, the fantastic thing is that there are numerous wedding officiants as it’s a competitive area. So, the average cost of wedding officiant that just shows up and reads is $200 – $250, and a proficient wedding officiant ranges from $400- $800, 

Don’t forget that this is the wedding officiant’s average cost, and the prices may differ from officiant to officiant and city to city. They can also charge for traveling fees and rehearsal time.

What does a wedding officiant do at a wedding? 

A wedding officiant has a significant role on your wedding day, performing your ceremony and ensuring that you are officially married to your partner. A wedding officiant is like a religious figure, for example, a rabbi, a priest, a secular officiant like a judge, or a professional officiant who is allowed by law to perform weddings.

The most prominent role of the officiant is to prepare and perform the wedding ceremony. Whether you opt for a secular or a religious officiant, and you are looking for a traditional or modern ceremony, it’s the officiant’s responsibility to make it a memorable and meaningful experience for you, your partner, and the guests. 

The officiant takes care of all the legal formalities, so you need not worry about your marriage license, as the wedding officiant’s costs include all the official charges. Your wedding officiant can also provide pre marital counseling to make sure that everything goes nicely on your big day.

What is a professional wedding officiant?

Officiant‘ describes any individual who can legally sign a marriage license. A professional wedding officiant is an individual who gets business from the general public to perform wedding ceremonies for a fee.

Professional officiants differ from amateur ones, as they depend on high quality and standards for more business.

Amateurs usually get their business from websites with just a bit of quality check, and obviously, their services are below par compared to the professional officiant.

How to find a wedding officiant?

Selecting a wedding officiant is one of the numerous influential decisions you must make while arranging your wedding ceremony. A professional officiant sets the tone for everything else that follows and has a lasting impression on the guests.

How to find a wedding officiant

A boring ceremony may leave your guests dreading your boring reception that is following, and even worse, an amateur officiant may produce cringe-worthy moments at the beginning of your wedding day. 

Instead, a well-organized ceremony can form an enchanted experience for you and your guests, which can go through the rest of your wedding day.

You will most likely be disappointed when your wedding officiant is inexperienced and amateur. However, there are many simple ways to find a professional officiant, celebrant, or minister in your locality with talent, poise, and experience.

Free Classified Sites

Free classified Sites like Craigslist are filled with people who provide all types of services for your wedding, like officiants, DJs, photographers, and all the other requirements for your marriage. But professional and experienced officiants stay away from the sites like this as free sites don’t differentiate between amateur and professional officiants.

Also See: Tips for Hiring a Wedding Officiant

Wedding Magazines

Regional and nationwide wedding journals were the sole way wedding corporations could publicize their assistance, but the internet has transformed it all.

Many leading wedding businesses went out of work in the first decade of 2000. As a result, big wedding companies with enormous budgets dominate wedding magazines, and smaller companies rely on the internet for business. 

Wedding magazines can be good for finding the latest trends for wedding outfits and inspiring your wedding decor. Wedding magazines can be fun, but you should know that only a handful of vendors have a huge budget to pay thousands of dollars regularly every year.

Referrals from other wedding professionals 

If you have hired a high quality professional photographer or any other professional vendor, they can always suggest a good wedding officiant. 

Top wedding professionals work together many times a year and usually recommend another professional with the same level of quality. Nevertheless, you will be required to analyze and interview anyone you may consider for hire thoroughly.

There are many more ways to find a wedding officiant that suits you, like wedding directory sites, online wedding message boards, or lead referral services.

What is the recommended amount of time in advance for booking an officiant?

We suggest you research and book your wedding officiant at least six to seven months before your wedding date. First, read online reviews about the officiant closest to the wedding venue and then schedule interviews with the officiants of your choice.

How much do you need to pay a rabbi, minister, or other religious officiants to get married?

A lot of religious officiants are affiliated with a house of worship and don”t have any fixed amount they may charge. Therefore, it may not be obvious to figure out the exact amount of the wedding officiant’s price.

If your wedding ceremony is at a house of worship, the wedding officiant cost can be included in the venue fee. However, if that is not the case, you will be expected to donate some as a wedding officiant fee, ranging from $100 to $300. If you are not sure about the cost of wedding officiant, you can always ask the house of worship with your officiant is affiliated, and they will suggest the amount to be paid.

Do you require a donation at a certain time?

A donation is usually made when a ministerial management officiates the wedding, and the venue does not matter. In such cases, the donation can be made to the officiant’s corresponding community. 

What is incorporated in the expense of the wedding officiant?

Regarding your wedding officiant cost, it goes beyond performing your wedding ceremony.

A wedding officiant cost includes also includes the following.

  1. Equipment: many officiants bring their speakers and wireless microphones, which cost money and require maintenance.
  2. Rehearsal time; If your officiant is attending the rehearsal, it’s apparent that it may cost you something extra.
  3. License Handling: Your officiant has to ensure that the license is appropriately filled, sighed, and sent within the required time.
  4. Travel and event time: You pay for the officiant’s presence and time at your wedding. And if they travel quite a long distance for your big day, you may have to pay for the added travel charges.
  5. Preparation Work: There is a lot of preparation to make your wedding ceremony successful. Your officiant will meet you before the ceremony to know all the details, like family traditions, religious elements, the readings you want, and much more. Designing a ceremony may take four to five hours, and if you are writing your wedding vows like many couples are doing nowadays, your officiant can help you with that as well.
  6. Business expenses: Your wedding officiant’s cost may also include marketing, internet, phone service, etc., to make sure they can work smoothly.

How much should you tip your wedding officiant?

Include the tipping factor when determining the average cost of a wedding officiant. Religious officiants don’t generally accept suggestions, but donating to the house of worship they are associated with is a custom.

If you go for a civil officiant, they should get an extra $50 to $100 for outstanding service.

What should you ask your officiant before your wedding?

It’s crucial to meet your officiant before booking them. After booking, you are likely to meet the officiant many times so they can know your requirements regarding the ceremony. For example, the officiant needs to be informed about the time, date, and venue of your wedding.

What should you ask your officiant before your wedding

There are some important to ask your wedding officiant like

  • How will you be dressed up?
  • How long will it take to complete the ceremony?
  • What is the easiest and the best time to contact you?
  • What are your charges? Are there any additional costs?
  • Will you attend the rehearsals? 
  • Can I write my vows with my partner?
  • Can we get premarital counseling from you?
  • Can family members and friends participate in the ceremony? 

Also Read: How to Write a Perfect Wedding Vows


A wedding is the most important occasion of your life, and a good wedding officiant ensures that your wedding ceremony goes smoothly. Therefore, it can be a great idea to figure out the wedding officiant average cost so you can manage your wedding budget properly. We hope this article on how much does a wedding officiant cost is helpful for the readers.