How Much Do You Pay a Minister for a Wedding?

My daughter is getting married in 3 weeks in a very simple, immediate family only, ceremony which will be held on the porch of an old renovated beautiful home. The minister performing the ceremony will be traveling approximately 30 miles to conduct it. My question is: Who pays the minister…the brides father or the grooms father?? And how much is appropriate for the distance he is traveling? This minister is the ex-youth director from at our church. My daughter has known him all her life.


Reverend Frye

Who pays the minister? Most resources indicate it is the responsibility of the groom to pay the minister’s or rabbi’s fee or donation and any transportation or lodging expenses of the officiant. However, many couples do not follow this tradition. My experience has shown most of my honorarium comes from the bride’s side of the aisle.

Regarding typical fee… This is all over the map. Asking your officiant for a “range” of typical fees in your area is the best way to decide what you are going to feel comfortable with.

Reverend Susanna Stefanachi Macomb
Author of Wedding Celebrations, A Practical Guide for Couples

My experience also indicates that it is typically (though not always) the bride’s family who pays for the minister’s fees, particularly if it is their church affliation. Fees can range dramatically. It would be best to ask your minister or the church what the range is. Absolutely ADD for travel time and expenses. It is wonderful that he is willing to go out of his way…


Rev. Susanna Stefanachi Macomb

Reverend Susanna Stefanachi Macomb
Author of Wedding Celebrations, A Practical Guide for Couples

By “also”, I meant that my own personal experience coincides with Rev. Frye in that typically the bride’s family has paid for my services…contrary to what most books say. Blessings! Rev. Susanna Stefanachi Macomb

The Bridal Expert

What is an appropriate amount to pay a wedding officiant is a questions that comes up a lot. In my experience, the minister or officiant’s fees are typically seen as a donation to the congregation. If you’re marrying in a church or temple you can just ask them how much is appropriate, they will definitely know. If your officiant is a civil official, simply call their office and ask what the going rate is, again this is easy to ask directly. Professional officiant fees range anywhere from $500-800. Keep in mind you’re paying for the added reliability and insurance of a celebrant who comes with experience.