This never crossed my mind to ask until now. Our DD is getting married tomorrow afternoon at our towns city hall by the mayor, and his wife says a few pr*yers. I need to know if we should pay him or is this considered part of our taxes at work? TIA
It's not clear and the practice of tipping the marriage officiant may vary from state to state. Sometimes a donation is made for a charity or small gift of cookies is appropriate.
In your shoes, I would call the City Hall clerk's office in the state in which your DD is getting married and ask them.
In Texas, this is not part of an elected offical's salary.
The county judge I work for has started referring couples to the justices of the peace - mainly because their annual salary is less than the judge's and this is a way to supplement their income.
I remember my dad's story - he said he asked the JP what he owed. The JP said, "Whatever it's worth to you." Daddy said he emptied his pockets.
You should call the mayor's office.
mountainbeach, The answer is YES, Yes and Yes - the marriage officiant should absolutely receive compensation for his services - it is NOT part of his duties as mayor and, therefore, the taxpayers have not paid for this service.
Why? There are a number of things "behind the scene" that the officiant does that the wedding party never sees. That wedding license? Who do you think sees that it is properly filled out and recorded? The words of the ceremony - unless the bride and groom have prepared the entire ceremony themselves - has taken the officiant a great deal of time to perfect.
A plate of cookies or a contribution to a charity??? No, not acceptable although both would be nice in addition to a reasonable fee for the services provided - $100 is the bare minimum - delivered to the officiant in a discreet envelope after the ceremony by the best man, if there was one, or the groom himself or the grooms/brides' father or mother ...
PS. "Tipping" implies offering something over and beyond payment for services rendered. In this case, you are only talking about paying for the service itself - no "tipping" involved.This message has been edited. Last edited by: Idaho Resident,
Where we come from the officiant always gets paid -- even when it is a minister. Weddings are not part of their regular duties. And I agree that $100 would be the bare minimum. If you want to "tip" on top of that, you could. And when I read the title of the thread that is what I thought it was going to be about -- how much "extra" should you put in the envelope for the minister as a "tip"! Not whether you pay him or not!
View my blog:
In our area YES the Groom & Bride pays what they believe it means to them,(100.00 usally).Even at local small wedding venues it is custom to tip the official whether it is a notery,Preacher,Judge or Mayor.
Texas county judges can sign up for a "list serve" in which they can ask questions of all the judges AND TAC (Texas Association of Counties). They discuss all sorts of issues. This too came up.
Some county judges do not perform marriage ceremonies - at all. They do as my judge does and refer the couple on to the JPs.
Some have a set fee for in office, in town, out of town, way out of town.
Some pocket the money.
One quotes his price, receives his payment, then shakes the hand of the groom, gives the money back with instructions to take his new wife to a nice place for dinner first chance they get.
Another donates the fee to a local children's charity.
Others had different responses.
The ceremonies that my judge performed in the first year - year and a half of her tenure, she did for free. (Hence the reason she decided to refer future couples to the JPs offices.
(PS Texas notaries are not permitted to perform marriage ceremonies.
I am glad Stitches weighed in on what Texas does. Each state is different.
Here's an article on tipping etiquette from the Martha Stewart website. Scroll down to read about tipping officiants: http://www.marthastewartweddin...ping-wedding-vendors
I'll save you the time. Here it is:
"If your wedding is performed by a civil employee such as a judge, clerk, or other nonreligious official, then forgo a gratuity. Such officiants are paid a flat rate and are usually not permitted to accept tips or donations -- local law may actually prohibit it. A thoughtful card, however, is always appreciated."This message has been edited. Last edited by: aychihuahua,
Well she got married and here's what happened. If she went to the county court house and got married by the JP, there was a fee. Our town mayor does it as a courtsey to his residents and does not expect payment or tip. All info was given to me by his wife. I know it's always nice receive, but where does it stop? Our society expects payment for every little thing. I feel it's a good gesture on his part to provide these services and I will send him & his wife a thank-you card with some kind of gift basket.
I think 3 congratulations are in order...no, make that 4.
1 to the mayor for being kind and being a true public servant . 1 goes to you for calling his wife and asking instead of just wondering. Another goes to you for sending a thank you note and gift basket. And lastly 1 to the couple. May they have a long and happy marriage.
What Aychihuahua quoted from Martha Stewart is correct. My StepD is clerk of the probate court where she lives and she does many weddings every week and she is prohibited from accepting payment for her services - it is part of her job description.
I don't quite understand what the OP meant in her 2nd post. As far as I know the JP is doing his job and the locality has a fee structure for his services.This message has been edited. Last edited by: Charming,
DD called the county courthouse and they told her she needed to purchase her marriage license and then there was a $25 fee for the JP to officiate. Maybe the $25 was for the paperwork? Anyhow it all worked out and I think it is kind of our mayor to do this w/o expecting any compensation.
Well, I'm confused. Did they get married twice?...once by the JP and another time by the Mayor?
Ours you get married by the Probate Judge and no fee can be accepted...part of their job!
"The soil is the source of life, creativity, culture and real independence." David Ben-Gurion
First, mountainbeach, I am glad your DD and her intended were married - may the union last a lifetime!
Next, I completely disagree with the excerpts from Martha Stewart - I wonder when the last time was that Martha actually attended a wedding where the price of compensating the wedding officiant was less than the bottle of wine the couple pops to celebrate the occasion?
Here in Idaho, the marriage license has a set fee, an in-house court marriage has a set fee, and an out of the courthouse ceremony has a minimum set fee - BUT that is where is becomes complicated. To be honest, I was disappointed that "mountainbeaches" DD and her newly wed husband did not compensate their officiant for his services...
Just MHO -
LOL, no they got married once. When she was researching her options, her choices were either JP at the county courthouse or sometimes your towns mayor can officiate. It ended up that our mayor does do it, and just for a 10 minute ceremony, it was better than the 45 minute travel time to the county courthouse for the JP to do it. We live in a small town and our city hall is less than a 5 minute drive. Thanks for all the comments.
I agree with IR. Martha Stewart is no Emily Post. Nor does she know the laws/rules/regulations of all 50 states.
The 'offer' to pay the services of an officiant at a wedding (or funeral) should always be made. Then let the officiant tell whether or not and/or how much he/she charges.
Idaho resident sent you a PM
She doesn't have to know the regulations of all 50 states and the District of Columbia. That burden falls on the bride and groom for checking their local laws.
Martha Stewart is merely offering cautionary advice to prevent embarrassment for all concerned.This message has been edited. Last edited by: aychihuahua,
aychihuahua, You are correct. But she should preface what she writes with in the state of ______. She should not make a blanket statement that covers all.
And, yes. It is the responsibility of the bride and groom...
I just read over it again and she did not make a blanket statement. Civil employees are paid by the local jurisdiction. As far as I know localities ethics rules prohibit civil employees from accepting payment for services they are already paid to perform. In the quote it is prefaced with "USUALLY" that allows for the few jurisdictions that have no problem with graft and other misdeeds by employees.
In some localities even a thank you gift if over a certain value is questionable. Same rules of preventing graft.
Elected officials have somewhat different rules - thus the mayor performing the ceremony gratis - I'm sure the ethics laws prevent him from accepting money or a large gift where the courthouse has a requiredd fee.
Replace the word wedding with - building permit - and you will see the problems it can cause.This message has been edited. Last edited by: Charming,
Good point, Charming, but here is where I differ with your interpretation: I have NEVER seen the job description of any elected official to include performing a wedding so it is NOT within the work for which they have already been compensated. It is, instead, an authority which they have been granted should they choose to utilize it.
Replacing the words "wedding" with "building permit" is a bit deceptive - building permits have obvious economical factors whereas I doubt very much that a "wedding" carries any.
Bottom line, in my opinion, any officiant performing a wedding should be offered a fee for their services - not a gratuity - and it is then up to them to accept it as compensation for time and effort involved, donate it or decline as the mayor did in "mountainbeaches" case who started this thread..
Unless you are a judge, it probably is not in their job description of an elected official. It is especially problematic to offer an elected official a cash compensation for performing any act. It is all about ethics. Once you are in an elected position or government job - You do not accept cash from constituents for any reason.
Depending on the position, it is part of the job description. As I mentioned one of the duties of my StepD's job is to officiate marriages. In her official capacity at the courthouse she is not allowed to accept cash or equivalents. When officiating off site I'm not sure, but I think cash and cash equivalents are frowned on if outright not allowed - I could be wrong on the off site.This message has been edited. Last edited by: Charming,
mountainbeach handled this correctly. She called to find out what to do.
Not knowing - it's better to ask/offer and be told "No charge - it's part of the job"...than not to ask at all.
|Powered by Social Strata|