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When considering how much to tip your wedding officiant the main factor to consider is the type of officiant you are using. For a civil officiant, $50-$100 is the standard, but for a clergy member, a $100-$300 donation should be made to their house of worship as they do not accept tips (judges and other government officials also may not accept tips). It is customary to tip your officiant either at the rehearsal or rehearsal dinner.

Many factors can impact the cost of a wedding officiant, the basic wedding package, often referred to as the “elopement package,” includes the exchange of vows and signing of the certificate, though religious or symbolic add-ins can increase the cost. The complexity and length of the ceremony, the ceremony location, extra requirements, how experienced the officiant is, and the amount the officiant must travel all contribute to the price. All of these factors, however, depend on your relationship with the officiant, if they are a clergy member their cost might be included in the price of the venue, and a justice of the peace at a courthouse typically only costs the price of the marriage license.

Justices of the Peace (JP) are court officers that are able to perform civil marriages, which can be ideal for secular, same-sex couples, interfaith, and many Justice of the Peace officiate outside of the courts. They are also popular choices for those who are getting married for a second time, those who want to save money, and couples who simply don’t want to wait for a big ceremony. By contacting your county clerk’s office (from whom you intend to receive your marriage license) you can find a list of justices in your area that are willing to perform ceremonies, though the type of ceremony they are willing to perform varies based on each Justice of the Peace.

An officiant, to put it simply, is the person who performs the legal role of officiating a marriage ceremony. This role can be filled by friends, family, professionals, and clergy members, the only crucial aspect is them having legal authorization to perform the ceremony and an official license in that state. The licensing process varies from state to state and in areas with more requirements for obtaining a license, a religious officiant might be easier than a secular or civil one (though civil officiants need no religious affiliation). If you are holding your ceremony in a place of worship, however, your officiant must be a part of that religion or obtain permission from the presiding religious official.