It’s wedding season as I record this and did you know you can make extra money performing weddings? Thanks to Refinery29 where I originally saw this “make more” idea. Think about it: this is a great option if you are good at public speaking, if you were a drama geek in high school, if you’re a romantic. Or if you look the part of the wise wedding officiant.
AND In many places, you do not have to be a minister or a judge to be a wedding officiant.
One option is to get ordained online as an officiant or a celebrant. The latter is a bit higher, more involved level. This can be a low or no cost process. Just google it and lots of options pop up. Then be sure to cross reference these online certifications with the state where you want to perform weddings to make sure everything is in order legally. A handful of states do not recognize online ordination.
Another possibility, in some places, like California and the District of Columbia —the cool place where I grew up and the cool place where I now live— is to pay $25 to $35 to the state for permission to perform weddings for a single day. If you did multiple weddings a day —or expensive weddings— this fee could be worth it. However you make it official, it’s important that you’ve dotted i’s and crossed t’s because if the marriage isn’t legal, the couple’s home ownership, health insurance and even future possible divorce could all hang in the balance. EEK!
People who have tried performing weddings quickly wised up to additional services you can add that are helpful to the couple and money-makers for you.
•If you meet with the couple and/or their family to plan the ceremony, you can charge for your time.
*The more you personalize or customize the ceremony for them, you can charge for upgrades that take additional prep time on your part.
•You can provide marital advice, just like a minister often does. If you’ve been married a long time yourself OR if you’re a good researcher, you can come up with legitimate, well-founded words of wisdom to share.
•You can also give guidance or even help write people’s personalized wedding vows. OR at least help them choose among the standard vows that are out there.
•Another service that comes to mind: helping couples find great, meaningful readings for their wedding. There are so many bad or overdone ones out there.
•You can also charge for travel time and mileage, if you have to go to a remote wedding location.
So, what kind of money can you make performing wedding ceremonies? Wedding officiants I researched made between $300 and $500 per basic ceremony, If you do 2 weddings a weekend, that’s as much as $4000 a month, $50,000 a year. Plus
additional fees for the add-ons I mentioned. Not bad for a “workplace” where everybody’s in a good mood!