Life Advice



Ask Amy: Officiant feels demoted from being a groomsman

Amy Dickinson, Tribune Content Agency on

Dear Amy: My husband and I were just involved in the wedding of our two dear friends – I as a bridesmaid and my husband as the officiant.

Originally, they'd asked my husband to be a groomsman. They later asked if he'd be willing to officiate instead.

Although this is not his profession, he happily put his heart into preparing for their day.

At the wedding rehearsal, we learned that he'd been left out of the bachelor party, held the previous night.

He didn't receive any gift (each bridesmaid and groomsmen received a small gift), and was left out of groomsmen photos – until he specifically asked for at least one photo with the couple.

He had never discussed any compensation with them.


For our wedding, we paid our officiant (also non-clergy) for his time, as well as for travel and lodging.

We thought this was customary. Our friends' wedding was also a few hours away, so we thought at least they might give him a small gift for his time.

I don’t think this was intended to be a slight; the couple was obviously happy to have us both there on their special day.

Are we wrong to have expected something different?


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