Testimonials Weddings What to Pay
Should I Pay?
Serving a diverse community since 2004
with over 500 satisfied couples
it's raining money, people want to know; just how much they should be
paying a wedding minister to officiate their wedding ceremony.
Some ministers provide services outside of their church as a way of
earning a living and may only serve their church voluntarily.
Therefore, do not expect their fee to be the same as those on payroll at
I have seen websites
that advocate that a minister who charges the average fee will provide
average services, while a minister whose fees are higher will offer
better services for the money. More bang for the buck sought of
speak, going the extra mile. What are average services?
Rev. K who trained me
and many other Spiritual Science ministers in the Washington and
Baltimore Metropolitan areas (for weddings), fee in 2004 was $350 within
the Baltimore area. This included parts of Baltimore City and
Baltimore County. Her fee was within average, and she went beyond
the call of duty. Every minister she trained, she planted this
seed of thought "do more than what is required."
- Have a get
acquainted meeting (at no charge),
- Create a brochure
for couples (mailing option),
- Create a wedding
workbook for the couple's use which offers a selection of readings,
- When meeting the
couple, dress professionally, but causally when appropriate,
- Write and revised
the wedding ceremony according to the couples wishes,
- Coordinate and
direct the rehearsal including working with the DJ,
- Be flexible and
understanding of the couple's desires,
- Discuss your
ministerial attire for the wedding, so they can decide what you should
- Know when to step
aside and when to take charge,
- Arrive early for the
- Arrive on time for
- Take the wedding
license in your possession as soon as possible to avoid not having it
at the ceremony site (for non-home weddings),
- Practice the
ceremony before arrival and read it again prior to the ceremony,
- Prepare the space
for the marriage ritual with prayer and purification,
- Give the couple a
bound copy of the ceremony along with a keepsake marriage certificate,
- Bring a minister's
emergenc kit to the wedding,
- Know the marriage
laws for the jurisdiction in which you're performing a ceremony,
- Sign the marriage
license, give the couple their copy, and mail the official copy to the
appropriate court clerk, on time.
Help the couple when
asked: suggesting venue, marriage licensing procedures,
ceremony program format and contents, wedding music, supplies
(see link below), etc.
An affiliate of the knot.
If the above services
are average, then what is higher quality service? When you have
the answer to that, please email me at the link below.
What I have outlined
does not make the minister a wedding planner; it just makes that person
open, friendly, flexible, and helpful. Quality should not be
determined by how much you pay for something, but it should be gauged by
the personalized respectful services you receive.
I have created a
spreadsheet that shows the wedding officiant cost of living increase
from 4 percent (average) to 7 percent (high). The based wedding
officiant cost was taken from my wedding in 1992. Rev. M offered
me a sliding scale of $200 to $300. I chose to pay $200, and I was
not offered an opportunity to customize my ceremony. His travel
distance was less than 4 miles from Washington, DC to Silver Spring. In
addition, he did not offer counseling, but gave us an opportunity to
discuss with him any issues that arrived from the premarital take home
questionnaire. His services in my opinion, was the minimum, even
if I had opted to pay $300.
After I became a
wedding officiant, I looked over the documents I received from him and
found that he offered customized ceremonies, but neglected to offer it
to me, as well as, the ceremony selections. Now that I am a
wedding minister, I do not make this mistake based on affordability or
other criteria. Customized services are offered to everyone I
serve, including those who want a quick wedding.
to Pay" spreadsheet will allow you the opportunity to see
the salary trend for officiants in the Greater Washington DC area from
1992 - 2005. When you select a minister or officiant, please keep
in mind that each person will have his or her own fee structure, and
those fees may not be based on a cost of living increase, but on
popularity, experience, investment, or work load.
I did not create this
site to compete with my colleagues. It was created to answer a
call from those who tugged at my heart string.
I hope the "What to
Pay" spreadsheet for wedding officiants helps you understand the
ministerial cost for weddings. My fees are located below.
"Quality lies in a person's willingness to do the best job he or she
can do. This does not mean that an unnoticeable mistake will not
I am, Reverend
Starlene Joyner Burns a nondenominational - interfaith minister of
healing, wedding minister, wedding celebrant, wedding officiant, artist,
and the founder of SJB Ministries LLC and God's Center for
Divine Healing. The center is dedicated to providing distant healing
to those outside the Washington Metropolitan area.
In addition, I am a minister in good standing at the
National Spiritual Science Center (NSSC) of Washington, DC. And
after four consecutive years of ministerial study (and as part of my program), I became an ordained minister of Spiritual
Science. Prior to that I was ordained in the Christian
With more than six years of experience, I am prepared for the
responsibility of an interfaith - nondenominational wedding minister.
I received further training in the administration of the holy sacraments,
under the direction of a well known master administrator of the rites of
passage. In addition, I am compassionate, ethical, and
professional. So, I will work hard with you to ensure that your
wedding ceremony is memorable.
My office of services include, weddings,
commitment ceremonies, healings, funerals (including pets), baby
blessings, baptisms, premarital and marriage coaching, spiritual
counseling, house blessings, and other rites of passage.
The territory in which I will be offering my
services as a wedding minister, wedding officiant, funeral minister,
marriage coach, and premarital counselor are: parts of Southern
Maryland that includes; Prince Georges County, Calvert County, St.
Mary's County, and Charles County.
In addition, I will extend my services to;
Montgomery County, Howard County, Anne Arundel County, Frederick County,
Carroll County, Baltimore County, Baltimore City, Northern Virginia:
City of Alexandria, Arlington County, Fairfax County, and Washington, DC.
Wedding Minister and Wedding Officiant
Small or Large Weddings
Monday - Sunday
1o:00 am - 9:00 pm
$385 to $625
(Within the DC Metropolitan
$385 to $795
(Outside the DC Metro Area)
Please call or email
me to book your ceremony time.
The wedding officiants' cost and wedding
ministers' fee, is a page
that I thought would help couples to
understand the fee structure for ministers.
It was also my goal to demystify the thought
of ministers working for free or a little
above minimum wage.
Kindly keep in mind that ministers deserve to
be paid fairly for their time and services.
Preparing and officiating a wedding
ceremony can be a 7 - 12 hour investment.
Rev. Starlene Joyner Burns, MSS
Maryland Wedding Minister,
Wedding Officiant, Clergy,
Wedding Coach, and Minister of Healing
The above data was created by Starlene Joyner Burns.
Please ask permission before using it.
Copyright 2005 Chapel of Love Ceremonies.
All rights reserved.
Washington DC Weddings,