We are contracting a pastor (found him on the internet) to be our wedding officiant. We’ve met up with him once before and he is really a very pleasant man and is making a lot of effort to make sure the 1/2h ceremony are exactly the way we want it.
1) Is it considered “good manners” to send him a wedding invitation? (Our ceremony and reception are at the same location, so this will then invite him to the reception too.) We’re definitely not looking for extra guests, but I don’t want to offend him.
2) Should we pay him a tip? We will be paying tips to all the other service providers (DJ, photographer, etc.), but do you tip the minister? His fee alone is in excess of $500, so I almost feel that even though he’s making great effort, for that amount he should be making extra effort without being tipped too! Do you agree?
Deacon Bob Tousey
I am a wedding officiant and I never expect a tip. The fee I charge is all I expect. About twice a year someone will tip but it is very rare. As far as the reception, some couples invite me and others don’t. Officiants for the most part do not expect an invitation. Sometimes if I am saying the blessing I will stay for the reception or it I have gotten to know the couple real well. Do not feel obligated to invite the officiant unless you really would want him there. God Bless and best wishes.
Donna, Wedding Queen, President; Top Wedding Sites, Inc®, a wedding planning guide, and Recent Mother of the Groom –
Tipping is always optional. You do not have to tip any wedding professional, no matter what their fee, unless they provide outstanding service (or you can make a statement by giving less of a tip to those offering substandard service too).
FYI: With proper tipping etiquette, the percentages of your tips do not change because of the cost of the service — so somewhere between 10 – 20% is standard.
Rebecca Black, Etiquette By Rebecca
I completely agree with everything that has been said.
It has been considered good manners in the past to send an invitation and invite the officiant to the wedding and reception. However, this is because we would usually have a relationship with this person.
Inviting him is optional.
Reverend Susanna Stefanachi Macomb
Author of Wedding Celebrations, A Practical Guide for Couples
There is no need to invite your pastor if you do not feel connected to him. Many couples invite me to their receptions. However, I always tell them that they should in no way feel obligated to do so. Often I stay for the cocktail hour. In this way, I am not “running out” and there is no extra expense incurred. With regard to a tip, it is not expected. If he does a superb job, then you may feel it in your heart to give him a tip. You can make that judgment call after the ceremony.