Friday, July 9, 2010

Wedding Officiants - About our Fees -

Hello and welcome to my first blog post!
As a wedding officiant / minister, so many wonderful, funny, sometimes unusual, crazy and down right irritating things happen before, during and after a wedding ceremony.
I often have been told by friends and family with whom I share my 'experiences' that I should keep a log and  write a, here we first 'blog' with those stories...amusing, sad, happy...all rolled into one...come along for the ride...
I meet many wonderful people that invite me to beautiful places and... everyone is in a good mood because after all, it's a celebration!!!
Thank you to each and every one that I have met and have invited me to be a part of your 'special day'. I have enjoyed each and every one!
But, for my first post I think I will be more serious than I will be later and address the fee that a wedding officiant charges. Many couples call and ask, "how much"? 
   Well, it depends. Let me explain just a little of what is involved.

Are you coming to me to elope or do you want me to travel to your ceremony location?  If travel, how far?  Will you have a rehearsal?  If so, do you want me to attend?  Do you want me to be the point person and 'run the show', (so to speak) ? - I do charge an additional fee for time and travel to attend is more work than the wedding!   
I often meet with 'my couple' to discuss their 'wedding vision'. I do not charge for the meeting, some officiants do.

A LOT of time spent with emails and phone give ideas, suggestions, console, re-assure.. about the ceremony location, content, optional ceremony or tradition (I do not charge extra for this, most officiants do - up to $100 more!) ...etc.   I am happy to add an optional ceremony or tradition (Unity Sand, tree planting, wine, hand fasting, etc) at no additional charge.  See my website, the 'ceremony options' page for a complete list.  If yours is not there, send it to me!
 Sometimes I have to email and call to get the couple numerous times to get the info needed to write their ceremony.   Reading...which one and who will read it?
You want to write your own vows?  That's wonderful and it customizes your ceremony but, send 'em to me - plez so I can include them in your 'keepsake' copy of your ceremony!

   Once I have all the info, I write the ceremony (about a month before the wedding) and send the opening remarks to the couple to approve.  

If I am booked for rehearsal I must get a list, by name of everyone participating in the wedding processional/ recessional and their relationship to the bride and/or groom.
I must drive to the rehearsal location and be the 'point person' to people that have not seen each other for awhile and want to 'catch up' - oh my! 

Day of wedding I will get dressed for a wedding and I do try to look my best and 'very professional'!  I drive to the wedding location, 'track down' the couple (who by the way don't want to see each other before the wedding so they are in separate places) to get the paperwork signed.... I also take care of many intricate details that the couple is never aware of.   I always speak with the photographer/s to tell them how the ceremony will unfold and photo ops.  I also speak with the DJ or whomever will be taking care of the ceremony music to coordinate what song will be played when, etc. and I signal them when we are ready to start.
Then I wait for the start time...get everyone lined up...lights, cameras, action! ...perform a wonderful, heart-felt wedding ceremony ...sometimes in the freezing cold or in stifling heat with the my face or standing on HOT rocks (I'll tell you about this on a future post! ... I mean, Hello?! am I supposed to read with the sun in my face, for goodness sake?!?!  (couples do like to get married outside!)
  After the wedding I email any photos that I took to the couple or post them on Facebook, email the bride a name change info package. I personally take the marriage license to the post office and mail it (certified) to probate court (GA/ SC) or Register of Deeds (NC). Whew! makes me tired just thinking of it all... Yep, worth every penny we charge and often-times I think, not enough.
Thanks for stopping by and please, ''stay tuned"! ~ Brenda~  -