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How much costs a wedding celebrant in France?

How much costs a wedding celebrant in France?

Dear Bride & Groom,

You are planning to organise a destination wedding in France and wish to mark your union with a secular wedding ceremony. You would like to use the services of an English/French speaking professional wedding celebrant based in France but you have no idea how much it will cost you.

You have surfed on the net to find out more about going rates but offers and packages are so varied that you are still unsure how much you need to spend to get a good quality, professional celebrant service.

Secular wedding ceremonies are still a rather recent concept in France. As a consequence, no rules or regulations in terms of training, methodology, service levels and rates have been put in place to this day. For this reason, in addition to the distance and language barrier, the current lack of financial benchmarks makes it difficult for couples to make an informed decision.

Offers vary significantly from one vendor to the next as you can find rates going from 300€ to over 3000€!

The lowest propositions often come from wedding planners who offer their planning service and throw in the wedding ceremony at an extremely low rate, more as a commercial gesture than a truly professional service. I have no doubt that some of them do a fairly good job, however may I point out the fact that planning a wedding and taking care of a wedding ceremony are two radically separate jobs requiring different skills therefore a good planner is not necessarily a good celebrant and vice-versa!

Besides, a secular wedding ceremony is neither a show nor a mockery. In fact, it is quite the contrary: As wedding celebrants since 2009, couples who come to us feel strongly about expressing their sincere wish to commit to each other. Although it is merely symbolic, they consider their secular wedding ceremony as their REAL wedding. For that reason, your wedding celebrant ought to display charisma, authority and professionalism. If he or she is seen running around like a headless chicken to sort out logistics issues minutes before celebrating your wedding ceremony, the credibility of the service will undoubtedly be diminished.

Let’s go back to the price: Some celebrants offer very low prices simply because they lack experience and underestimate the sheer amount of work and time that the preparation of a truly personalised wedding ceremony requires.

At the other end of the financial spectrum, you find vendors who charge high rates, sometimes very high (over 2,500€). May I suggest that you ask these vendors very precisely what their offer includes: Travel costs, PA system, decoration, rehearsal, minimum number of face-to-face meetings, unlimited email/tel. correspondence, etc. Also, some vendors act more as entertaining masters of ceremony rather than traditional celebrants and come with the full band, dancers, comedians, etc. Tempted by the idea? Why not? I am sure this concept is very entertaining however I believe that a secular wedding ceremony should be a privileged moment filled with emotions, love and humour to share with your loved ones in a fun but respectful manner.

Finally, some vendors charge high rates simply because they see in secular wedding ceremonies a “quick & easy way” to make money and take advantage of an international clientele dreaming of a French wedding but please do not panic, they only represent a minority.

There are good celebrants out there who will only be too happy to offer you a professional, respectful and friendly service. You should allow a budget ranging between 800€ and 1,000€ for an English/French-speaking professional celebrant, not including travel costs depending on where the vendor is based.

I hear you say: 1,000€! I was not expecting that much! Please bear in mind that a good professional & experienced celebrant should spend a minimum of 20 hours preparing your ceremony. In order to guarantee a truly personalised service, your celebrant will take the time necessary to get to know you, send you personalised tools to identify your requirements, contact some of your loved ones, write a personalised ceremony scenario from scratch, regularly liaise with you and of course celebrate your ceremony on the Big Day ! Think about it: How much are you prepared to pay your photographer? Your DJ? Your florist? Very much like all these wedding professionals, if not more so, your celebrant will have a huge influence on the success of your wedding day!

To conclude, here is my main advice: When it comes to choosing your wedding celebrant, go with your heart: If, from initial contact, the celebrant shows a sincere interest, enthusiasm, is friendly and able to answer accurately to all your questions, go for it!

I hope this helps. For more information, do not hesitate to send me an email

Magali

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