(Closed) Help – Our Officiant was 45 minutes late to the wedding. How to handle?

posted 8 years ago in Ceremony
Post # 3
64 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: December 2010

umm..i’m sorry to hear that your wedding day wasn’t as perfect as you wanted it to be because of this officiant, but was there a contract signed or any document stating the specific time the officiant was suppose to be there? I doubt without any documentation of timing and joint signatures, (i’m not sure bc I’m not a lawyer), but I don’t know if there is anything you can do about this…

It may not have been exactly how you wanted your wedding to be, but I would say let it go…and I mean this in the kindest sense…i hope everything works out of ya…

Post # 4
1927 posts
Buzzing bee

It was her responsibility to know in advance how to get to the ceremony site and to leave PLENTY of time for error to make sure she was on time.  Before taking legal action have you spoken to her directly and let her know that because she essentially didn’t meet her obligations that she should refund some or all of your money?

Post # 5
6661 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: May 2010

That’s a really good question and I don’t know what the answer is. My first thought is that since she actually performed the service, you can’t demand all of your $ back, but maybe you can ask for something. Look at the contract and any email correspondence you had regarding the timing and it might be worthwhile to speak to a lawyer. Obviously when you work in the wedding industry, the most important part of your job is showing up on time so she should make a habit to have backup directions or at least be familiar with the route before the actual wedding day. If she really did cost you a lot of $ then it might be worthwhile pursuing at least a discussion with a lawyer.

Post # 7
10366 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: September 2010

Legal fees and time away from work to get this money back will probably cost you way more than you would get back from this person. If there is a way to leave a negative review online for them, i’d go that route. If not….you’re probably going to have to just let it slide. Sorry!

Post # 9
420 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: July 2012

Wow. She sounds terrible and unprofessional. I would find a way to get your money back for her, ahem, late “Services” and the money she cost you in the long run. She did provide the service HOWEVER, “time was of the essence.” If you decided to pursue this, legally, you could. She was late to the CEREMONY!!! It’s a wedding. Weddings run on a very organized schedule. So organized that most brides/couples, plan this event months to years in advance. She owes you the money back for HER fee, the money for the venue AND for arrgravation. I don’t know how much it would cost you for a lawyer or how much you will get, but I’d make some noise for sure.

Sorry this happened… this has to top all wedding nightmares, come on! She was hosting the ceremony and she was late!!

Post # 10
2866 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: September 2010

I think other than negative reviews you’re pretty much stuck. Sure she cost you $300 in venue fees and can’t get your wedding day back but I think taking legal action would end up costing you alot more than it’s worth. I’d just make sure everyone knew how horrible she was.

Did you not have a rehersal? Wouldn’t she have known where the venue was from that?

Post # 11
103 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: February 2011

Taking legal action might cost you more than it’s worth, but if you have a case (and I guess that depends on the contract), defending a legal action will probably cost her more than just paying you for the damage.  Maybe you could try to negotiate an in-between so you both come out ahead?

Post # 12
19 posts
  • Wedding: November 2012

You shouldn’t have to get a lawyer, can’t you just take her to small claims court? I think you look into it at least. 

Post # 14
7975 posts
Bumble Beekeeper


Is it possible she put the address wrong into Rand McNally or something? Like, not that the system had an error, but that she had user error using the system?

45 minutes is a LONG time to be late. Not cool.

I have no helpful advice, just wanted to say I feel for you!

Post # 15
1288 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2010 - Indiana Memorial Union

Small claims court doesn’t allow for lawyers and has very minimal filing fees. This is the type of situation where it’s ideal.

Post # 16
3762 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: May 2010

I would document the fees that she caused and the extra expense for her daughter (meal and beverage). 

I don’t know if you can ask for damages for the emotional aspect of her being late, but she should have to refund you for the actual costs.  I would not ask her to reimburse her meal because I think its common to feed your vendors.  Unless you had specifically told her she’s not invited to the reception then I think it was a safe assumption on her part to partake in the meal/wine.  However, bringing her daughter is a whole different story.  They should pay you for her costs. 

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