I am getting married in October and we recently asked a family friend of mine to officiate the ceremony. He is a former pastor, and he has been a close friend of my family (like, comes to Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners kind of close) since before I was born. He officiated my parents' ceremony, as well as my cousin's, and he seemed very happy and touched when I asked him to officiate our wedding.
After I asked him, however, I realized that I have absolutely no idea what I should pay him! My fiance and I live and are getting married in New York, and he is in California. He had said before I was engaged that he and his wife would fly to New York in a heartbeat to be at my wedding. I wish that I could be like, "I'll pay for your plane ticket and hotel, and here's a generous gift!", but we honestly do not have the money for that.
What do you think is appropriate? Do I need to pay for his hotel and airfare, even though he would have come anyways? Or should I simply get him a nice gift? And if so, what amount would be appropriate to spend? I am at a loss here. Thoughts?
Be totally upfront. Tell the guy "I wish I could offer to pay for your travel, but it's just not in our budget." And ask him if there's a standard honorarium he's accustomed to receiving.
Chances are he'll pooh pooh all that, but you'll feel better if there's no ambiguity.
And then, yeah, buy him a present. Something more fancy than a candle but less spendy than a car.
(Image courtesy of Harper's Bazaar via Laurel Thompson via Fashionising.com)