I’ve had couples in the past ask if they could have a ceremony start at the 1/4 hour or 3/4 hour rather than the hour or 1/2 hour. And some have asked if they could start at the 5 minutes past the hour time because they wanted a few more minutes to makes sure everything ran smoothly.
Why does 15 minutes makes a difference in the start time? Start time in the contract is defined as follows:
“Start Time of Wedding” is defined as the time the minister and wedding party are all “in place and up front” including the couple.
There’s already a 12 minute built in window of time in the contract to make sure everyone is down the aisle.
If the wedding and/or rehearsal hasn’t started 12 minutes after the contractual start time, the wedding officiant reserves the right to cancel this agreement, without any recourse. It is very unfortunate that I have to have this section added, yet some recent weddings/rehearsals have started nearly an hour late.
Couples who don’t have ceremonies start on the hour or half hour take up two wedding time slots.
For example: If you put down 6:15pm on the contract, you contractually have till 6:27 to have me start the “dearly beloved, etc.) portion. Worse case scenario is that it ends 15-20 minutes later, say at 6:45pm. That will make me late to a 7pm wedding. Therefore your ceremony could potentially take up two wedding times, hence the additional fee. That is the reason for the time having to start on the hour or half-hour. I have to do worse case scenarios 😦
Unfortunately, as much as I love doing weddings, I still have to support my family and with this economy every dollar counts. I’ve struggled with this over the years and still do struggle with it. My contract has evolved over the years. At first, I never addressed people starting late. Then it used to say that for every minute the ceremony starts late there is a $25 fee which had to be paid prior to me signing the license. However, I could never get anyone to pay that. So instead, I replaced that with the 12 minute window of start time.
This is probably way to much information to you, and I apologize. I just wanted you to know the reasons for the $200 fee.
Let me know your thoughts!