Wedding Officiant: To Give a Gift?
If the officiant’s personalized service is a gift in itself, is she required to give an additional gift
I don’t believe that we have had an inquiry in the past from an officiant. When it comes to rules of etiquette, a wedding “corners the market.” Everyone involved understands how important the day is, so all want to do things “the right way,” even the person performing the ceremony.
A Hudson Valley officiant asks: “I’m an interfaith minister and I’m privileged to officiate many weddings. On some occasions, the couple invites me to the rehearsal dinner and/or reception. I usually attend only when I know the couple or their family really well. (In those cases, I offer a “friends and family” rate, which is very reasonable.) The ceremony I write is personalized to the couple and their uniqueness; it’s also a time-consuming, labor-intensive process. In the ceremony itself, I mention that the address is my gift to the couple. So, when I attend the reception, should I be giving a gift in addition to my personalized address?”
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The Wedding Guru says: If you compose a truly customized ceremony and offer a special rate, that is your gift. However — though another wedding gift is not expected — if you are very close to couple or to their families, you may want to give an additional gift. The fact that you’re asking this question makes me think that for “special” weddings such as these, you’re not comfortable leaving out a gift, so go with your gut and I’m sure your decision will be the correct one.