Honorarium | Professional Gratuity | Service Payment
H O M E

J. Douglas Prendergast
Professional Traveling Celebrant

Authorized Officiant       Licensed & Certified




Determining an Honorarium
Guidance for Gratuity

There are many variables as to how an Honorarium is determined and I have prepared some information for your consideration. It's best to contact your Officiant or prospective Officiant and discuss your wedding plans before asking for a quote. Consideration of time commitments are the largest part of an Honorarium. Whatever it ends up being, the Honorarium (price), should be considered a very small part of the overall expense of the occasion.

Before you contact any Officiant the first thing the two of you need to decide is the kind of ceremony you want. Civil ceremonies can sometimes be made very basic. In a civil ceremony the Officiant is usually a judge, justice of the peace, county clerk, or an independent clergy person. The length of a basic ceremony is usually a half hour or less and requires the least amount of preparation of all the ceremonies.

Are you are having an interfaith ceremony and want a clergy representative from both traditions? Now you have two people giving their time and talent. More sophisticated wedding ceremonies usually involve a tremendous amount of time for the Officiant to prepare for and carry out all of the assigned duties time to care for the couple throughout the planning process.

Another factor to consider is whether an Officant is an employee of their respective organization. Judges, court officials, congregational clergy, etc., supplement their income as an Officiant and it's customary to give a donation to these types of Officiants. However, independent clergy and civil celebrants receive their salary per ceremonial service. Your Honorarium should be appropriate to the particular situation of each Officant.

The best way to figure out the Honorarium is based upon how you feel after you speak with and meet your Officiant, as well as, when you begin to visualize how your Officiant will conduct your wedding ceremony.

When you decide on an Officiant, a deposit reserves your wedding date on the Officiant's calendar and offers peace of mind to the couple that they have indeed reserved their Wedding Day Official.


Life's events are not difficult to plan when you can find the information you seek. Please contact me for information, guidance, and assistance. If you don't find what you are seeking on this site please do not hesitate to ask me.  




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