The Less Expensive Wedding


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First, let me say, I don't like talking about money. but I've been in your shoes, and I know that money is a very real question at every turn. Obviously also, "What do you charge?" is one of the most common questions any officiant is asked. Therefore, I offer up some of my thoughts on ways I can serve you for less. You'll see though, that I'm not really recommending you take this approach.

Lowering the cost to do a wedding doesn't relate to the lengh of the ceremony at all - it's mostly just about time invested with the couple. Usually I meet with a couple for at least 90 minutes on a separate planning day. At that time we get acquainted, develop important chemistry, and go over everything related to the ceremony in detail while we're face to face. The more economical approach eliminates this meeting - and the travel time that goes with it. You can easily imagine the difference in the two approaches. The dynamics in the ceremony itself and overall experience are also significantly changed when I don't meet with you ahead of time.

Even so, in some cases this is good enough for the couple, or all they can afford. When I came up with the approach, the couples I had in mind were those who were just wanting to "make it legal" - and do "nothing fancy."  If it were me getting married, I wouldn't do it this way under any circumstances. It's just too impersonal, and I would definitely want to have lots of impact into every aspect of the day. (In my opinion, it's always much better to meet ahead of time - and it's definitely the case that you get a lot more input into your ceremony and what you want on that day that way.) But ... and this is an important "but", there are circumstances where it's impossible to meet, or where for one reason or another, it's truly not as important - or where the budget just won't allow it. In such a case, I'd still rather do a very special ceremony for the couple - giving them the same TLC - than see them go to City Hall - or hire someone who gives them a really low price and then never shows up or can't be reached as the wedding day approaches! It happens.

For a "typical" catering hall wedding, I think the choice is a no brainer. The officiant will make or break the ceremony, and the ceremony sets the tone for the entire day. It's not a place to try to save a few hundred dollars, tempting as that may be. I think that doing that is almost certain to be regretted later.

In the end, only you can decide what you want and need as a couple - and in the end, I will take the cue from you, and give you my best efforts either way.



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Clergy on Call ministries was started by Reverend William Britton. Pastor Bill is an ordained minister (clergy) serving as a wedding officiant or wedding minister – helping couples to write their wedding vows and plan their wedding ceremony so that they have “no regrets” on their day of celebration - whether religious ceremonies or civil ceremonies. (Pastor Bill is also available if you’re renewing your marriage vows, or eloping or doing a destination wedding.) Pastor Bill serves couples planning a wedding in the Greater New York area including Long Island (Nassau County and Suffolk County), Queens, Brooklyn, New York City (Manhattan), and Westchester County. If you’re thinking of using a Judge for your wedding, or a Justice of the Peace – or if you’re thinking of going to city hall for your wedding – or perhaps you’re working on a last minute wedding plan –in any case, Pastor Bill would love to speak with you. (Pastor Bill is also available for families that have suffered the loss of a loved one and are planning a funeral.)


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