Investment or Expense?
I often am asked what do I charge for officiating at a wedding or providing other services. Let me preface my answer with this, so if it applies, we can save each other some time:
I am not the cheapest officiant, nor do I wish to be. If price is your only consideration, I'm probably not the person you are seeking!
What my fees are and the value I provide for them are directly related to how you view them. If you see my portion as an investment into your marriage or as providing a personalized religious or spiritual connection for your service, especially considering that I will put an significant amount of time in the background editing and personalizing your ceremony, that my portion will probably be the most memorable part of it, and that my part lasts as long as your marriage does, then you understand my point of view that one invests to gain the best value.
If my services are just one of many expenses in your to do list, then you are price shopping, and should leave this page. I do not price match, as I honestly believe that I provide a unique service.
That said, I am happy to discount my fees in certain areas, especially for those in the military - Active, Guard AND Reserve, firefighters and LEOs, other first responders, and public school teachers. For what these folks provide, society pays them too little.
Are you looking for the cheapest way to get married or are you looking for a minister who will work with you to develop a ceremony that reflects your values and values your input?
Is the cost for a meal the same at Morgan's Tavern & Grill the same as IHOP? Nope. Each place has it's patrons, and they go there based on the value they perceive for what they receive. I eat at both places. I also have a realistic understanding of the difference between the two.
For some ceremonies, there is no rehearsal, no travel, and the ceremony is pretty much a traditional one with exchange of vows and rings.
The fee for this wedding ceremony will, of course, be less than the fees for a wedding where out of town travel is required, a rehearsal, and a ceremony on which we will have collaborated at length will be conducted.
While I do have a fee range, I do not quote a price before meeting with a couple and least speaking with them at length. I do this, because, frankly the chemistry between us determines whether or not the ceremony will be fulfilling and vibrant, and that it will be a celebration of an affirming event.
The contribution I provide to your wedding is different than pictures, cake, reception, horse drawn carriage. No other person has the legal obligations and parameters for your wedding that I do. No other person will enter into an emotional plane with you as I do. While it might be easy to confuse me with your other vendors, this does not present an accurate portrayal of what I provide you, versus what you expect from them.
I am more than happy to discuss other fees and arrangements. If you've read this far, and still believe, as I do, that you'll get more than you invest, please feel free to contact me.