How Much to Tip Wedding Officiant

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MarkerFM
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How Much to Tip Wedding Officiant

Post by MarkerFM » Sat Apr 27, 2019 9:22 am

Our son is getting married in a small ceremony on the beach. A good friend of his and his fiancé will officiate. He is not a true ordained minister, but has some kind of certification he got online. The ceremony will be short. He will travel some distance from his home, and spend three days away. We are paying his travel expenses. The time away from home might actually be a vacation for him because he has two rambunctious toddlers and is coming from a place that had a pretty raw winter, and they are having a late spring. So we are wondering how much to tip him?

jhwkr542
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Re: How Much to Tip Wedding Officiant

Post by jhwkr542 » Sat Apr 27, 2019 9:25 am

We did not tip our wedding officiant.

stan1
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Re: How Much to Tip Wedding Officiant

Post by stan1 » Sat Apr 27, 2019 9:27 am

I'd consult your son. He may feel strongly one way or the other. I'd think three $100 bills would be appreciated.

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dm200
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Re: How Much to Tip Wedding Officiant

Post by dm200 » Sat Apr 27, 2019 9:28 am

MarkerFM wrote:
Sat Apr 27, 2019 9:22 am
Our son is getting married in a small ceremony on the beach. A good friend of his and his fiancé will officiate. He is not a true ordained minister, but has some kind of certification he got online. The ceremony will be short. He will travel some distance from his home, and spend three days away. We are paying his travel expenses. The time away from home might actually be a vacation for him because he has two rambunctious toddlers and is coming from a place that had a pretty raw winter, and they are having a late spring. So we are wondering how much to tip him?
Really depends on all details - but perhaps $100-$200

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dm200
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Re: How Much to Tip Wedding Officiant

Post by dm200 » Sat Apr 27, 2019 9:30 am

jhwkr542 wrote:
Sat Apr 27, 2019 9:25 am
We did not tip our wedding officiant.
When you consider how much folks spend on just about all other aspects of a wedding (our son got married last year), why be cheap with the person officiating? Our son and his wife, for example, spent $1,000 on the wedding cake!

dknightd
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Re: How Much to Tip Wedding Officiant

Post by dknightd » Sat Apr 27, 2019 9:33 am

MarkerFM wrote:
Sat Apr 27, 2019 9:22 am
Our son is getting married in a small ceremony on the beach. A good friend of his and his fiancé will officiate. He is not a true ordained minister, but has some kind of certification he got online. The ceremony will be short. He will travel some distance from his home, and spend three days away. We are paying his travel expenses. The time away from home might actually be a vacation for him because he has two rambunctious toddlers and is coming from a place that had a pretty raw winter, and they are having a late spring. So we are wondering how much to tip him?
Honestly I'd never consider tipping a friend. Especially after paying travel expenses. But social skills have never been my strong point . . .
Edit: maybe let your son decide. Will you be giving him a cash wedding gift? He could perhaps share it as he sees fit.
Edit2: Perhaps if he has to pay for child care while he was away, also offer to pay for that ???
edit3: If I was your son's friend I be happy just to be able to perform the ceremony for them. At no expense to me would be a welcome surprise.
Last edited by dknightd on Sat Apr 27, 2019 9:43 am, edited 1 time in total.

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lthenderson
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Re: How Much to Tip Wedding Officiant

Post by lthenderson » Sat Apr 27, 2019 9:41 am

I don't know about tipping a friend that doesn't do this sort of thing very often but when we got married, I simply asked the officiant how much people typically tipped him for his services. He gave me the answer happily and we gave it to him later.

DrGoogle2017
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Re: How Much to Tip Wedding Officiant

Post by DrGoogle2017 » Sat Apr 27, 2019 9:46 am

You might annoy the guy by tipping. It could be considered an insult. Like tipping your bridesmaid. Who would do that.
But I remember we did gave our priest $100, that was 30 years ago.
Last edited by DrGoogle2017 on Sat Apr 27, 2019 9:47 am, edited 1 time in total.

Atilla
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Re: How Much to Tip Wedding Officiant

Post by Atilla » Sat Apr 27, 2019 9:47 am

If the father does the tipping you get around all that "tipping a friend" stuff. Gotta think a couple-three crisp hundreds from the groom's old man would be gratefully accepted.
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dm200
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Re: How Much to Tip Wedding Officiant

Post by dm200 » Sat Apr 27, 2019 9:51 am

DrGoogle2017 wrote:
Sat Apr 27, 2019 9:46 am
You might annoy the guy by tipping. It could be considered an insult. Like tipping your bridesmaid. Who would do that.
But I remember we did gave our priest $100, that was 30 years ago.
We gave our priest $200 - and that was 40 years ago!

I attended the wedding of a college roommate many years ago. In his religion, the process was simple - the two key officiants (in that religion there were two) required a certain amount (cannot remember now, but it was significant) of cash in an envelope before the wedding would proceed.

dknightd
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Re: How Much to Tip Wedding Officiant

Post by dknightd » Sat Apr 27, 2019 9:51 am

Atilla wrote:
Sat Apr 27, 2019 9:47 am
If the father does the tipping you get around all that "tipping a friend" stuff. Gotta think a couple-three crisp hundreds from the groom's old man would be gratefully accepted.
ten crisp hundreds would probably also be gratefully accepted.

3feetpete
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Re: How Much to Tip Wedding Officiant

Post by 3feetpete » Sat Apr 27, 2019 9:55 am

Since it’s a friend take he and wife out to an expensive dinner and or donate to his favorite charity

dknightd
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Re: How Much to Tip Wedding Officiant

Post by dknightd » Sat Apr 27, 2019 10:02 am

I don't know you, or your son, or his friend. But if I did I'd perform the ceremony for an expense paid trip to a beach ;) And I'd smile and be happy :) Bonus if you also paid for my SO to be there as well !

miles monroe
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Re: How Much to Tip Wedding Officiant

Post by miles monroe » Sat Apr 27, 2019 10:10 am

i wouldn't "tip" a friend.

i agree that one should adequately tip their preacher/priest.

greenflamingo
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Re: How Much to Tip Wedding Officiant

Post by greenflamingo » Sat Apr 27, 2019 10:12 am

I’ve officiated several weddings. After the first I’ve chosen to communicate in advance a charity to which they can chose to make a donation in lieu of a tip to me. I’m not vocationally a minister.

I think if a vocational minister you should Tip a few hundred. If a lay person I think the right thing is to make sure you’ve covered costs. Maybe even initiate the conversation that way. “We want to make sure we cover any financial costs you have as you play this role in the wedding. Is there anything else we can cover?”

mrc
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Re: How Much to Tip Wedding Officiant

Post by mrc » Sat Apr 27, 2019 10:13 am

If this friend would be there even if not officiating, I wouldn't 'tip' anything. If not, there are better ways to show gratitude besides palm-to-palm cash: prepaid hotel, airfare, etc.
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Re: How Much to Tip Wedding Officiant

Post by spectec » Sat Apr 27, 2019 10:20 am

lthenderson wrote:
Sat Apr 27, 2019 9:41 am
I don't know about tipping a friend that doesn't do this sort of thing very often but when we got married, I simply asked the officiant how much people typically tipped him for his services. He gave me the answer happily and we gave it to him later.
When someone would ask my former pastor what the "average" honorarium was, he would usually reply "Well, the average is about $150, but almost nobody does the average." :)
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Carson
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Re: How Much to Tip Wedding Officiant

Post by Carson » Sat Apr 27, 2019 10:30 am

MarkerFM wrote:
Sat Apr 27, 2019 9:22 am
The time away from home might actually be a vacation for him because he has two rambunctious toddlers
Maybe send a gift to his partner who is staying home in the raw winter taking care of two rambunctious toddlers. I would have appreciated the acknowledgement and maybe something like a gift certificate for takeaway / hello fresh type of delivery.
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runner3081
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Re: How Much to Tip Wedding Officiant

Post by runner3081 » Sat Apr 27, 2019 11:00 am

jhwkr542 wrote:
Sat Apr 27, 2019 9:25 am
We did not tip our wedding officiant.
We did not either, but we paid for a judge.

DrGoogle2017
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Re: How Much to Tip Wedding Officiant

Post by DrGoogle2017 » Sat Apr 27, 2019 11:10 am

Carson wrote:
Sat Apr 27, 2019 10:30 am
MarkerFM wrote:
Sat Apr 27, 2019 9:22 am
The time away from home might actually be a vacation for him because he has two rambunctious toddlers
Maybe send a gift to his partner who is staying home in the raw winter taking care of two rambunctious toddlers. I would have appreciated the acknowledgement and maybe something like a gift certificate for takeaway / hello fresh type of delivery.
That’s a very good idea.

jhwkr542
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Re: How Much to Tip Wedding Officiant

Post by jhwkr542 » Sat Apr 27, 2019 11:13 am

dm200 wrote:
Sat Apr 27, 2019 9:30 am
jhwkr542 wrote:
Sat Apr 27, 2019 9:25 am
We did not tip our wedding officiant.
When you consider how much folks spend on just about all other aspects of a wedding (our son got married last year), why be cheap with the person officiating? Our son and his wife, for example, spent $1,000 on the wedding cake!
Because we paid them to be there. If we were being cheap with them, then it was their own fault for underpricing themselves and somehow expecting that we'd pay them extra. We didn't tip the officiant, the photographer, the DJ, the caterers, the wedding planner, etc. Their compensation was built into their price.

DrGoogle2017
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Re: How Much to Tip Wedding Officiant

Post by DrGoogle2017 » Sat Apr 27, 2019 11:19 am

dm200 wrote:
Sat Apr 27, 2019 9:51 am
DrGoogle2017 wrote:
Sat Apr 27, 2019 9:46 am
You might annoy the guy by tipping. It could be considered an insult. Like tipping your bridesmaid. Who would do that.
But I remember we did gave our priest $100, that was 30 years ago.
We gave our priest $200 - and that was 40 years ago!

I attended the wedding of a college roommate many years ago. In his religion, the process was simple - the two key officiants (in that religion there were two) required a certain amount (cannot remember now, but it was significant) of cash in an envelope before the wedding would proceed.
It depends on how long. Ours was less than 1 hour, not a very large crowd either. Today we may tip $200.

cherijoh
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Re: How Much to Tip Wedding Officiant

Post by cherijoh » Sat Apr 27, 2019 11:29 am

Carson wrote:
Sat Apr 27, 2019 10:30 am
MarkerFM wrote:
Sat Apr 27, 2019 9:22 am
The time away from home might actually be a vacation for him because he has two rambunctious toddlers
Maybe send a gift to his partner who is staying home in the raw winter taking care of two rambunctious toddlers. I would have appreciated the acknowledgement and maybe something like a gift certificate for takeaway / hello fresh type of delivery.
The fiance of the friend who is officiating is attending the wedding based on the original post.

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dm200
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Re: How Much to Tip Wedding Officiant

Post by dm200 » Sat Apr 27, 2019 12:15 pm

DrGoogle2017 wrote:
Sat Apr 27, 2019 11:19 am
dm200 wrote:
Sat Apr 27, 2019 9:51 am
DrGoogle2017 wrote:
Sat Apr 27, 2019 9:46 am
You might annoy the guy by tipping. It could be considered an insult. Like tipping your bridesmaid. Who would do that.
But I remember we did gave our priest $100, that was 30 years ago.
We gave our priest $200 - and that was 40 years ago!
I attended the wedding of a college roommate many years ago. In his religion, the process was simple - the two key officiants (in that religion there were two) required a certain amount (cannot remember now, but it was significant) of cash in an envelope before the wedding would proceed.
It depends on how long. Ours was less than 1 hour, not a very large crowd either. Today we may tip $200.
In most cases, there is a wedding rehearsal - these often take 1-2 hours of the priest/minister's time as well.

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Stinky
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Re: How Much to Tip Wedding Officiant

Post by Stinky » Sat Apr 27, 2019 12:20 pm

stan1 wrote:
Sat Apr 27, 2019 9:27 am
I'd consult your son. He may feel strongly one way or the other. I'd think three $100 bills would be appreciated.
I like this answer.

And I don’t see this as a “tip”. Rather, it’s payment for a service rendered.
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DrGoogle2017
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Re: How Much to Tip Wedding Officiant

Post by DrGoogle2017 » Sat Apr 27, 2019 12:58 pm

dm200 wrote:
Sat Apr 27, 2019 12:15 pm
DrGoogle2017 wrote:
Sat Apr 27, 2019 11:19 am
dm200 wrote:
Sat Apr 27, 2019 9:51 am
DrGoogle2017 wrote:
Sat Apr 27, 2019 9:46 am
You might annoy the guy by tipping. It could be considered an insult. Like tipping your bridesmaid. Who would do that.
But I remember we did gave our priest $100, that was 30 years ago.
We gave our priest $200 - and that was 40 years ago!
I attended the wedding of a college roommate many years ago. In his religion, the process was simple - the two key officiants (in that religion there were two) required a certain amount (cannot remember now, but it was significant) of cash in an envelope before the wedding would proceed.
It depends on how long. Ours was less than 1 hour, not a very large crowd either. Today we may tip $200.
In most cases, there is a wedding rehearsal - these often take 1-2 hours of the priest/minister's time as well.
We never had wedding rehearsal, maybe that’s why. But she did some sort of premarriage counseling, and to this day. I’m forever greateful for that wisdom.

shell921
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Re: How Much to Tip Wedding Officiant

Post by shell921 » Sat Apr 27, 2019 3:49 pm

Married my beloved late husband 44 years ago. We were married by a judge we admired in my mom's back
yard. 40 people attended. We tipped the judge $50.
Last edited by shell921 on Mon Apr 29, 2019 4:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Topic Author
MarkerFM
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Re: How Much to Tip Wedding Officiant

Post by MarkerFM » Sat Apr 27, 2019 4:01 pm

Thanks for all the interesting replies. I should have checked with son and his fiancé before posting here. They both feel strongly that we should not give the friend anything and we should not send anything to his wife who is staying home with the kids. The friend did say when we reimbursed travel expenses of $1,200 that he was surprised and grateful we would do that. We also annually give a generous gift to the non-profit run by the friend so I was probably being too spendy in hindsight.

aerosurfer
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Re: How Much to Tip Wedding Officiant

Post by aerosurfer » Sat Apr 27, 2019 4:11 pm

I got ordained awhile back. I have done 7 wedding since, all close friends or family. Had a hotel covered in 2 of them, but otherwise would never have expected any compensation. I was so happy to have been asked to write their ceremonies, I never considered it a service rendered that would deserve it. It has always been amazing to be that part of a wedding. The friend we had do our wedding 9 years ago, we also covered his hotel but nothing more.

SrGrumpy
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Re: How Much to Tip Wedding Officiant

Post by SrGrumpy » Sat Apr 27, 2019 4:51 pm

jhwkr542 wrote:
Sat Apr 27, 2019 9:25 am
We did not tip our wedding officiant.
Neither did I. Never occurred to me. Sorry, Mr. Dong. He charged a fee.

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bottlecap
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Re: How Much to Tip Wedding Officiant

Post by bottlecap » Sat Apr 27, 2019 6:29 pm

I don't know the answer. We donated $400 to the church.

I will say that being a away from your family and kids is never a welcome thing for me or my wife, even when they are being rambunctious. It is always a minus, not a plus. Being away for a few hours is sometimes nice, but that’s about it.

I don’t know whether paying his way is sufficient. On the one hand, it’s something. On the other, a destination wedding is purely for the pleasure of the bride and groom, so paying the friend's way is just a way of paying for that pleasure.

Maybe the thing to do is ask and/or offer. The friend will either refuse it or, if he or she thinks it appropriate, accept it. At most, you’re out maybe $200 or $300 bucks. Better that than slight a friend.

JT

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leeks
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Re: How Much to Tip Wedding Officiant

Post by leeks » Sat Apr 27, 2019 8:03 pm

Nothing if it is a good friend.

A good friend also served as our officiant. He certainly invested lots of his own time and some money on our behalf. He and his lawyer wife spent a lot of time doing the legal legwork to set up everything to be legit (he was out-of-state so the "have a friend marry you option" was not simple). He spent several long phone calls with us sorting out logistics and talking through ideas for the ceremony. He traveled from another state with his family for a long weekend (missing two days of work I think). We did pay for his room at the inn we rented.

If we had tried to give him any money, I am sure he would have been incredibly insulted. I can't even imagine this between friends. My husband had been the officiant's best man several years prior. My husband was not tipped for being best man!

Trader Joe
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Re: How Much to Tip Wedding Officiant

Post by Trader Joe » Sat Apr 27, 2019 8:16 pm

MarkerFM wrote:
Sat Apr 27, 2019 9:22 am
Our son is getting married in a small ceremony on the beach. A good friend of his and his fiancé will officiate. He is not a true ordained minister, but has some kind of certification he got online. The ceremony will be short. He will travel some distance from his home, and spend three days away. We are paying his travel expenses. The time away from home might actually be a vacation for him because he has two rambunctious toddlers and is coming from a place that had a pretty raw winter, and they are having a late spring. So we are wondering how much to tip him?
I never tipped, but your son should make the call.

InMyDreams
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Re: How Much to Tip Wedding Officiant

Post by InMyDreams » Sat Apr 27, 2019 8:31 pm

A retired pastor that I knew said that occasionally a couple would ask him what they should pay him (please note: he was retired at the time, and I believe he was talking about people outside the congregation).
He said he would tell them it was up to them, but suggested that they consider an amount equivalent to what they made per hour for the hours that he spent with them. A great way to scale the cost to the couple's ability to pay.
He was quite surprised one time - and took his wife out to eat at a very upscale restaurant.

I agree - the wedding couple need to have input on this, too.

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dm200
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Re: How Much to Tip Wedding Officiant

Post by dm200 » Sun Apr 28, 2019 3:15 pm

InMyDreams wrote:
Sat Apr 27, 2019 8:31 pm
A retired pastor that I knew said that occasionally a couple would ask him what they should pay him (please note: he was retired at the time, and I believe he was talking about people outside the congregation).
He said he would tell them it was up to them, but suggested that they consider an amount equivalent to what they made per hour for the hours that he spent with them. A great way to scale the cost to the couple's ability to pay.
He was quite surprised one time - and took his wife out to eat at a very upscale restaurant.

I agree - the wedding couple need to have input on this, too.
Yes - I like that.

Or, perhaps the "hourly rate" for some other services purchased for the wedding, etc. - photographers, videographers, DJs, etc.

Pax
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Re: How Much to Tip Wedding Officiant

Post by Pax » Mon Apr 29, 2019 2:32 pm

Given that this is a friend and "true ordained minister, but has some kind of certification he got online", I would not tip at all.

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dm200
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Re: How Much to Tip Wedding Officiant

Post by dm200 » Mon Apr 29, 2019 2:44 pm

dm200 wrote:
Sat Apr 27, 2019 9:51 am
DrGoogle2017 wrote:
Sat Apr 27, 2019 9:46 am
You might annoy the guy by tipping. It could be considered an insult. Like tipping your bridesmaid. Who would do that.
But I remember we did gave our priest $100, that was 30 years ago.
I attended the wedding of a college roommate many years ago. In his religion, the process was simple - the two key officiants (in that religion there were two) required a certain amount (cannot remember now, but it was significant) of cash in an envelope before the wedding would proceed.
Anyone here familiar with this kind of "high priced" fees for TWO ordained folks?

If so, what is the "going rate" being charged these days?

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Re: How Much to Tip Wedding Officiant

Post by Texanbybirth » Mon Apr 29, 2019 3:02 pm

I think we paid our priest $250 in 2012, but in our religion (RC) we couldn't have had the wedding without him (or another clergy). :beer

I believe it also depends on the minister. A friend was married by a cardinal is a NE city, and he didn't even let them pay him! He just requested a donation to a ministry of the diocese instead.

(We are probably one of the rare couples that had money leftover in our wedding budget.)
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Random Musings
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Re: How Much to Tip Wedding Officiant

Post by Random Musings » Mon Apr 29, 2019 6:19 pm

Our friend officiated our wedding. He made it clear that we would not pay for travel expenses as they were spending the remainder of the week visiting family in the area since they just moved away a few years before that. However, we donated to their church to thank them.

RM
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