Destination Weddings: Do I Need to Pay My Pastor’s Travel Expenses?
Planning a destination wedding? If your officiant is coming with you, expect to dig deeper into your pockets
Destination weddings can be wonderful! They can also be tricky, especially when it comes to working out the big budget that often accompanies such weddings. When planning an out-of-country ceremony, always keep your finances in mind — and understand that unforeseen costs may pop up!
Dear Wedding Guru: “My fiancé and I are having our wedding in Costa Rica at an all-inclusive resort. On the recommendations of a friend, we’d like a local officiant to marry us, along with the pastor from our church in the States. Are we responsible for our pastor’s travel arrangements, airline tickets, accommodations, and a guest who’ll be coming with him? How many days of lodging we are responsible for? Do we have to pay for his guest’s tickets and accommodations, too? I’m getting really worried — our budget keeps stretching!”
(Our answer on next page)
The Wedding Guru says: You are responsible for the arrangements, airline, travel expenses, and room and board for your officiant. You should pay for the same number of nights you’re covering for your wedding attendants. At the very least, you must cover the nights of the rehearsal and wedding ceremony. Of course, if your officiant wishes to extend his stay, the expenses are up to him. As for the officiant’s plus-one, invite him or her as a guest to the rehearsal dinner and the wedding reception. You are, however, not responsible for the travel or lodging costs for the officiant’s guest.