Stay up to date with the latest wedding ceremony trends, script writing inspiration, tips and advice for first-time officiants, and news that matters to couples and wedding ministers.

Pro Wedding Officiants Give Advice on What to Charge & When to Raise Your Rates

Published Wednesday, Mar. 20th, 2024

A panel of wedding industry experts answer questions during the Officiant Accelerator DC event. They are sitting in wooden chairs on a stage at the front of an ornate historic church building.
Photo: Jessica Levey / Officiant Accelerator DC speakers answer questions during a lively Q&A session. From left to right, Cherise Klosner, Lori Prashker-Thomas, Bethel Nathan, Jimmie Berguin, and Laura C Cannon

Great advice from Officiant Accelerator DC:

5 experts tell us what to charge as a professional wedding officiant & how to tell it’s time to raise your rates



Choosing what to charge as a professional wedding officiant can be a daunting and confusing process. If you’ve chosen this path of service, you still need to pay the rent and put food on the table and officiating is serious work that deserves compensation.


You don’t want to undercharge and get taken advantage of, and you don’t want to overcharge and lose clients. You want to find the ‘sweet spot’ for the type of wedding services you provide so that your practice thrives. 


We’ve written a few in-depth articles on how to choose your rates as a professional wedding officiant, which you’ll find linked below... 


But nothing beats expert advice straight from the source, right?


Our guest speakers at this month’s Officiant Accelerator training event offered some great pricing advice during the exciting Q&A portion of the day.



These experts fielded a variety of questions, including whether or not first-time officiants should officiate a wedding for free, how to know if you’re charging enough (or too much), when to raise your rates, how to combat imposter syndrome when pricing your wedding services, and more. 


Here’s what they had to say!



Panelists sit in chairs at the front of an ornate church to answer questions about officiating weddings

Photo: Jessica Levey

Officiant Accelerator DC panelists answer questions during a lively Q&A session. Lefft to right, Cherise Klosner, Lori Prashker-Thomas, Bethel Nathan, Jimmie Berguin, & Laura C Cannon





On officiating for free…


“Don’t start for free unless you’re officiating for a friend,” expert Bethel Nathan says. “They won’t value it and will take you for granted.” 


On charging ‘too much’...


Never apologize for your fee, Bethel Nathan says, even if it’s too high for some couples to afford. Bethel advertises her prices by saying, “I only charge” this much, to emphasize that couples are getting a good deal on her services for the price they pay. 


“If it’s too much for them, ask what their budget is and refer them to someone” you trust in their price range, she says.


On ‘imposter syndrome’ and pricing for new officiants… 


Officiant Jimmie Berguin often asked himself, “Am I really worth the price tag?” when he was first starting out and setting his rates. 


He quickly realized it was important to fight against imposter syndrome and to charge more for providing a high level of service. “Just like mental health,” he says, “take care of you, and take care of your business” by charging a fee that reflects the work you do. 


“The amount of time you put into something should be reflected in how much you’re getting paid,” he adds, including rehearsals, driving, and planning time that happens behind the scenes.


Officiant Lori Prashker-Thomas agrees: “This isn’t let’s make a deal,” she says. “Charge what you're worth.”



Officiant Jimmie Berguin and Bethel Nathan present during the DC Officiant Accelerator networking and training seminar, standing in front of a crowd. Guests sit in the pews of the church building. Behind them are stained glass windows.

Photo: Jessica Levey

Officiant Jimmie and Bethel Nathan give a joint presentation during the Officiant Accelerator DC March 2024 event. In the background, AMM's CEO Lewis King listens in, and in the foreground, Officiants Cherise Klosner and Laura Cannon wait in the pews for their turn to present.


On when to raise your rates as a new officiant…


“If people aren’t hesitating to pay what you’re asking – raise your rate,” Bethel Nathan says. 


Officiant Cherise Klosner adds a tangible benchmark to measure by: “Any time you’re featured on something,” like a news article, online feature, or television show, “bump it up $75.” 


Cherise adds that when you do take the leap and raise your fees, “don’t freak out” if you don’t book up immediately afterward. “Wait,” she says, “the bookings will come.”


On establishing your fees as a new officiant…


“It’s really important that you understand the cost of your business,” expert Laura Cannon says. Knowing how much you spend on expenses is essential to establishing fair fees for your services, she says. This includes things like mileage, unity ceremony supplies, and other ‘extras’ that set you apart from the competition. 


On talking with other vendors about pricing…


“Don’t ‘secret shop’ other officiants” Laura Cannon says. “Call them on the telephone and form a relationship.” 


Want more in-depth advice on what to charge as a professional wedding officiant? Check out the articles below! 






Meet the Experts


Headshot of Bethel Nathan, she is smiling toward the camera and wearing a purple shirtBethel Nathan
Business Elevation Coach, Officiant, Speaker, Educator

Bethel is a successful business owner, award-winning officiant, and WeddingPro Educator, and she knows how to build and run a successful wedding industry business. She’s married over 1200 couples during the past 14 years, and has earned over 450 5-star reviews as Ceremonies by Bethel. Combining her background in both large Wall Street investment banks and small businesses with her experience building her own wedding officiant business, Bethel also enjoys helping other wedding industry businesses grow and prosper as a business coach, industry speaker, and educator under Elevate by Bethel. 


Take Elevate by Bethel's Business of Officiating Course

Find Bethel online: Instagram / Facebook / WeddingWire / The Knot



Officiant Jimmie Berguin poses outside wearing all black and looking stylish as he smiles toward the cameraJimmie Berguin
Officiant, Educator, Hype Man

Jimmie has made a name for himself in the wedding industry and on social media (Officiant Jimmie) by officiating visually compelling wedding ceremonies that resonate with couples who want something exciting and different. He’s also become the face of AMM's Professional Wedding Officiant Certification course, raising the profile of wedding officiants across the country and promoting officiant best practices. 


Find Jimmie online: Instagram / Facebook / Adventure Elopement Officiant Spotlight



Officiant Lori poses for the camera, wearing a black jacket and close-cut purple hairLori Prashker-Thomas
Officiant, Business Owner, Photographer

Lori isn't just an event professional -- she's a storyteller of love. As the creative force behind Ceremonies by Lori, she transforms wedding ceremonies into unforgettable experiences. With a passion for curating celebrations that reflect the unique essence of each couple, Lori has become a trusted name in the event industry. Lori became ordained in 2011 and continued her education to become an ordained “Rabbi” in June 2013 with the American Marriage Ministries. She is also a Certificated Wedding Officiant through the Wedding Merchant Business Academy.


Find Lori online: FacebookInstagramWebsite

Read more about Lori: A Photographer’s Path to Becoming a Wedding Officiant & Advocate



Officiant Cherise Klosner smiles and poses for the camera, wearing a light blue jumpsuit and standing next to a potted fig treeCherise Klosner 
Officiant, Business Owner, Storyteller

Cherise is the passionate owner and lead officiant of Another One Ties The Knot. Cherise discovered her calling in the world of wedding officiating in 2018 when she officiated her very first ceremony. From that moment on, she fell in love with the art of storytelling and its power to unite couples in love.


Find Cherise online: Instagram / Facebook / Website / WeddingWire / The Knot



Headshot of Laura C. Cannon, she is posing smiling with a light colored sweater onLaura C. Cannon
President of IAPWO, Entrepreneur, Author, Officiant

Laura is the president of the International Association of Professional Wedding Officiants (IAPWO), a global membership organization with hundreds of members across 6 continents. As a professional public speaker and member of the prestigious National Speakers Association, Laura frequently travels across the country speaking on topics of business, psychology, and mindfulness related to her recent book, The Conscious Entrepreneur. As the owner of Ceremony Officiants, Laura has performed more than 1,000 wedding ceremonies over a more than 20-year career as a professional officiant.


Find Laura online: WeddingWireWebsiteInstagram, IAPWO



You might also like: 






promotional photo for AMM and IAPWO's Officiant Accelerator program

AMM’s wedding officiant education and networking seminar goes national with a new website and event dates! Read the full article here.



Jessica Levey
Jessica Levey

Lead Staff Writer & Illustrator

Jessica loves exploring the history and magic of ritual, the connections between people and places, and sharing true stories about love and commitment. She's an advocate for marriage equality, LGBTQ+ rights, and individuality, and is an ordained Minister with AMM. When she’s not writing or illustrating for AMM, she enjoys city hikes, fantasy novels, comics, and traveling.

How To Officiate By State

Will You Marry Us? Gift Package

Who Will Officiate Your Wedding?

Choose Your Officiant with our "Will You Marry Us?" Gift Package.

Signature Wedding Officiant Package

Signature Wedding Officiant Package

Our premiere package contains everyting you need to officiate like a pro.

The Book of Wedding Vows and Ceremonies

The Book of Wedding Vows and Ceremonies

It's finally here! Timeless scripts and heartfelt vow inspiration to bring life to your ceremony.

Professional Wedding Officiant Certification Course

Learn from the Pros to Officiate with Confidence!

Wedding Officiant Training

Wedding Officiant Training

Everything you need to know to officiate.

Read our sample wedding ceremony scripts online

Sample Wedding Ceremony Scripts

Need inspiration? Check out our free ceremony scripts!

Subscribe To Our Newsletter!


Become a Wedding Officiant with Our Free Online Ordination!