This note is to clarify my services for elopements and intimate weddings.
I’ve done my best to tailor my wedding minister services to hold true to the spirit of elopements. Indeed, of the 240-300 weddings over which I officiate each year, at least a third are genuine civil ceremonies for elopements. When contrasted to other *professional* celebrants, my honorarium is actually very competitive.
It is $250 for ceremonies performed in most areas of Manhattan, Queens, and Brooklyn. It is $150 if the couple comes to North Forest Park in Kew Gardens, Queens. This honorarium covers a standard/non-customized ceremony, but the couple may opt to exchange personal vows. Naturally, it also automatically includes the filing of the marriage license.
On very rare occasions, when the couple marries on weekdays in the middle of the day and specifically requests a discount, I do lower my honorarium a bit. But, again, generally, the levels are steady and make sense when all the factors come together (i.e. taxes, advertising, offices supplies, practice and writing time, etc). I’ve kept my rate steady for three years (plus) now, which is remarkable given inflation and an ever-growing amount of experience.
And, yes, the honorarium holds whether you are marrying for the first time or planning a vow renewal and whether you are straight, gay, lesbian, or queer.