What do you charge to perform a marriage ceremony?
That was the question posed by the Justice of the Peace Association in its anonymous survey of marriage officiants.
Most respondents have been officiating for more than eight years, and 82% are members of JPus. All of the almost 100 people who completed the survey live in New England.
The Justice of the Peace Association encourages a range of fees, depending on the circumstances of the ceremony. One third of respondents charge $100 for their low-end. On the other hand, three people indicated that $500 is their lowest rate. Eleven percent of respondents said sometimes they do not charge anything at all. We hope that this is the friends and family rate, or that these individuals are not members of JPus. This is because the JPus Code of Ethics requires that members charge a fee that reflects their time and expertise.
The high end of fees runs the gamut*. Most officiants charge between $250-$500, with 15% charging more than $750. The least experienced officiants were the seven people who said they have been doing weddings for one to three years, but they were not the only ones who undervalued their services.
* In Massachusetts, state law dictates the fees a JP may charge to perform a marriage ceremony: $100 in town and $150 out of town. But, JPs may bill couples for additional services (custom vows, consultation, etc.) Twelve people from Massachusetts responded to the survey.