How Much Does a Church Wedding Cost?
A church wedding is the most traditional type of wedding you can have. If you are thinking about getting married in a church, you are definitely not alone. A church provides a stage where the bride and groom can stand for all to see, an altar for them to say their vows, ample seating for all of the guests, and an aisle that the bridal party can walk down. The cost of getting married in a church will depend on the size of the church, the denomination, your geographical location and other factors.
How much is it?
- Traditionally, most churches will ask for a small donation rather than charging a predetermined price. While a range is often suggested, it is completely up to the couple to decide a price. Depending on the couple’s situation, it could be nothing to as much as a few hundred dollars. Most of the time, renting a church for a wedding is going to cost $100 to $500. However, historical church sites can cost upwards of a few thousand dollars.
- In the end, by the time you factor in the officiant, organist, and wedding planner, most couples are going to be looking at spending anywhere from $450 to as much as $1,200.
- On WeddingWire.com, a few soon-to-be brides claimed that they made donations that ranged anywhere from $125 to as much as $1,500 for the building alone. This fee did not include the pastor or any additional fees.
- MoneyUnder30.com claims that the average church, along with the officiant fee, is going to cost around $500.
- Forum members on the website WeddingBee.com paid anywhere from as little as $100 to as much as $2,000.
What is going to be included?
- The average church should include a pastor (if you need one), a wedding director, and an organist. The pastor is going to be able to offer premarital counseling, run the rehearsal to make sure everything will run smoothly, and then perform the wedding. The wedding director will be able to oversee the whole wedding, making sure that everything is flowing. Lastly, an organist, while optional, is going to play the organ (or piano) during the ceremony.
- Depending on the church, some may have flower arrangements and decorations that you can use if needed.
- The fees mentioned above should include three to five hours of time, the setup fees, cleanup and a basic rehearsal the night before.
- The wedding director will work with you on a schedule which will allow you time to come in and set up the way that you want it done.
- In addition to the auditorium, the bridal party will also have access to different rooms that can be used for changing and getting ready.
- Almost all churches will have a sound system that can be used for all the music as well as the speaking. This sound system will usually be run by the same person who runs it during the regularly scheduled services.
What are the extra costs?
- As you already know, the church is only a portion of what you will have to set aside for a wedding. However, for the church, be prepared to spend money on the pastor, organist, wedding director and additional fees. All of these fees can add up to a few hundred dollars.
- If the church requires premarital counseling, the fees can be around $100 to $200.
- If no decorations are included, you will be responsible for your own.
- Before the church can be reserved, a refundable deposit of at least $100 to $200 may be needed to secure the date.
Tips to know:
- Many churches may only allow you to use their pastor if you want to get married inside their church.
- Depending on the church, it is best to reserve your spot at least 6 to 12 months ahead of time.
- Make sure that you have a cleanup crew in place. Since most weddings take place on a Saturday, all the decorations and set up will need to be taken down before the Sunday morning service.
- A church is not your only option for a church-style wedding. You can also check with local wedding chapels.
How can I save money?
- If you are not dedicated to one particular church, call around to see what kind of prices every church offers. Keep in mind that many churches will not rent their church to outsiders. When talking with the church, see what is going to be required for you in order to have a wedding there. With some churches, you may be able to negotiate on some fees.
- Most members of a church do not have to pay a fee when using their own church; however, the church may still seek a donation. If you feel you cannot afford this donation, talk with the church to see if you can volunteer your time to make up for the cost.
- Check with your local college to see if they have something on campus you can take advantage of.
Advertising Disclosure: This content may include referral links. Please read our disclosure policy for more info.