How Much to Donate to Wedding Ceremony Site

In some cases, a couple may have access to a wedding ceremony site where they won’t be charged to use the property (such as a public space, park, beach, private residence/grounds, etc), although some kind of donation is generally required. However, some couples aren’t entirely sure about the etiquette associated with this topic. More specifically, although couples can find out how much others have spent on their officiant, they aren’t sure about the amount that they should donate to the wedding ceremony site. We’ll answer this question in the following sections of this article.

Live near a rural area? There will be plenty of scenic locations available.

Live near a rural area? There will be plenty of scenic locations available.

What You Should Consider

First and foremost, the fact that you are essentially having a wedding ceremony for free (or close to free) should make you feel all warm and fuzzy, because you COULD be spending several hundred to several thousand dollars on a ceremony site. With this in mind, it would be appropriate to donate a healthy amount to the owners of the site. Along with your fiancé, take a look at your finances and pick a number that works best for you.

How much would you have been willing to spend on a ceremony site should you have been forced to pay? Now, simply subtract as much as you think would be appropriate from that number (if any) and donate it.  Your donation will show your appreciation to the owners of the site for their generosity and allow them to maintain it for others.

Deciding on a Wedding Ceremony Site

With that being said, there is a lot that goes into choosing the perfect wedding ceremony site. First of all, you’ll need to choose a site that is available during the time of your wedding. Also take note of whether or not there are other services of weddings occurring on the same day as yours.

Beach weddings are a popular alternative, and many are free.

Beach weddings are a popular alternative, and many are free.

Next, is the wedding ceremony site large enough to accommodate your guest list? You should also be taking parking into consideration when making this decision as well. Here are a few more questions that you should be asking when trying to pick the perfect wedding ceremony site:

  • Is the location ideal for a photographer? If you’re hiring a professional photographer then you’ll want to ensure that this is a location that is going to receive an adequate amount of lighting and color contrast to take amazing and unforgettable photos.
  • Does the wedding ceremony site provide any additional services? More specifically, can they help you regarding any decorations or extras? Make sure that you find this out beforehand before going with any specific wedding ceremony site.
  • What are the costs involved? Since you’re going to be providing a donation, try to determine what that number is going to be. Also try to get in the knowing about any additional service charges that come associated with the site you’re looking at.
Live in a city or urban area? Consider a rooftop wedding location.

Live in a city or urban area? Consider a rooftop wedding location.

If you’d like, speak with your florist and ask them their opinion on the location. The reason why is because you want to ensure that your flower arrangements match the location of the wedding ceremony. And if possible, try to speak with the owners of the wedding ceremony site to see if you can acquire a timeframe in which to do your practice run-through for the wedding.

Overall, think very carefully about the location that you choose. For example, you wouldn’t choose an outdoor spot that does not have air conditioning in the middle of August in Texas or Florida.  Above all, make sure the process fun and consult with your fiancé about everything…two minds are better than one!


Considering the variety of possible locations for you to choose from in your area, there is no standard dollar amount when donating to a wedding ceremony site.  Although there is a lot of legwork that goes into choosing the perfect ceremony location, the time investment is more than worth the dollar savings. Once you’ve found one that you and your fiancé truly love, lock it up but still keep your options open. Lastly, always discuss your wedding budget beforehand so that you know how much you’ll be able to donate to the ceremony site of your choice.