Typically the very first question a couple asks me when they call or email me about my Officiant services is….”how much do you charge”?
Fair question but let me share some information with you that will help you look at the bigger picture.
Hopefully, by the time you’re done reading you will understand how important it is to look at ALL the factors in choosing your Officiant and why the “value” of the services needs to be your goal and not how cheaply you can hire an Officiant.
When you begin your search based on price, you skip the most important issue…that being quality of services. Don’t waste your money on “cheap” because that is exactly what you will get and no matter what you do, you can’t make “cheap” services great!
Throughout the United States, Professional Wedding Officiant (an individual who is legally able to marry a couple) fee’s run anywhere from $40.00 to $1,800.00. Within the Central Texas area the range will fall anywhere from a cheap Officiant at $250.00 to $1,000.00 for a Professional Officiant.
How do you know what the “real value’ is for the individual you are considering to perform your wedding ceremony and who would be the best fit for the two of you?
First, I really recommend that you interview the individual in person whenever possible. Officiants are no different than any of your other vendors. Do you like their personality? Did they make your feel comfortable and did he or she listen to your love story. Did they have a good understanding of the wedding ceremony industry? Do they have lots of Ceremony options like Ring Vows, Hand Binding, Tree Panting, Unity Candle, Ring Warming, etc? Is the individual multicultural? How was the “sound” of the Officiants voice? Was it monotone, lacking in emotion, or was it pleasant and easy on the ears? Was the person of a “happy” effect or “flat” and uncongenial? Did they talk too fast or too slow (it matters…trust me)?
Second, all Officiants are NOT created equal. Some Officiants are simply doing a “job” while others are passionate about the whole planning, creating and performing of the wedding experience. Some Officiants are well prepared and organized and offer a great many services while others do not.
Cheaper Officiants v.s. the top 5% in the industry are not always…cheaper. Many Officiants have what are called “add on”. You get a quote of a base rate but then…you want the Unity Candle ceremony or Wine Ceremony, etc., it will cost you for each Ceremony. Before you’re done, your now up to the price of the top end Officiants who typically DO NOT charge for each item but are all inclusive and with NO surprise billing the day after your wedding.
Be aware that you get what you pay for.
I sat years ago, at my Nephew's wedding (before I got into this wonderful business) in Martindale, Texas with all our family and friends for two hours in the summer heat waiting on the (Cheap) Minister to show up. Two hours later she answered her phone and realized she had FORGOTTEN ABOUT MY NEPHEW’S WEDDING! I’ll never forget, her coming down the hill with her gown flying in the breeze as she ran to try and make amends to a very angry groom and bride and very wilted guest.
So what is the most important factor in choosing your Officiant?
Like-ability and quickly feeling at ease with the Officiant.
If you don’t like the individual…then it won’t matter how much they charge.
Cynthia Black Officiant Services Fee Information
First…My Promise To You
I offer you an elegant, personally meaningful wedding ceremony that you will cherish for the rest of your life.
I offer you my time and friendship. While I do not require premarital counseling, I would be honored to meet with you before your ceremony to get to know the two of you better and provide you with helpful advice for a lifetime together.
So what do you get when you hire the best?
With every Couple being unique and different, so is every wedding so please email or call for a quote and feel comfortable in knowing that all services and feels will be discussed openly and agreed upon prior to contracting my services.
Here is a general breakdown and explanation of planning for a typical ceremony:
One (1) hour complimentary consultation (in person or by phone) to determine if there is a “goodness of fit” for both of us.
One (1) hour meeting to develop the ceremony, assistance and guidance over any family concerns, rules and guidelines for obtaining your Marriage License as well as “name change” guidance and then unlimited emails, visits and phone calls if needed.
Two (2) hours writing and crafting of your ceremony to prepare a couple-centered ceremony that reflects your love, dreams, beliefs and cultural traditions.
Assistance in choosing your vows.
Assistance with your Program.
Couple may decide to contract the Officiant to perform a professional organized and coordinated Rehearsal.
If the Officiant’s services are Contracted for the Rehearsal, the couple will receive the following services:
Cynthia Blacks, “Rehearsal Itinerary and Etiquette Wedding Planning Workbook“
A one (1) hour pre-rehearsal planning session with the Officiant to assure a smooth run through of the
Rehearsal itself one week prior to the ceremony.
A one (1) hour, professionally coordinated and executed ceremony Reversal.
AND OF COURSE…THE CEREMONY
Perform your Wedding Ceremony. I arrive thirty minutes prior to your wedding, perform a twenty-six to thirty minute ceremony and then stay about thirty minutes following your ceremony to see to any of your needs. Travel time is also included and varies from thirty minutes to two hours depending on the location of the event.
One (1) hour to prepare, file and certify mail, to the appropriate County Clerk’s office, your marriage license within the States time requirements. Email to you a “unrecorded” copy of your Marriage License to you, for you to print and take on your Honeymoon. You might get some “upgrades” if you’ll present it to your hotel or restaurant.
Total of six (6) to (9) nine hours of professional services not including travel to the venue.
Fees are structured to support time dedicated to writing and designing your ceremony. This is usually about ten to eighteen hours of my time. Factors include meeting time, billing, bookkeeping, travel time as well as time to write and officiate your ceremony.
A non-refundable retainer of one half of the total is required to hold your special date with the remainder due no later than ten days of the wedding date.