Larry James' CelebrateIntimateWeddings BLOG

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

PLEASE Be on Time! (for your own wedding!)

Filed under: Wedding Disasters,Wedding Tips — Larry James @ 6:00 am
Tags: , , , ,

This is a TRUE Story!

On occasion something will happen that causes a wedding to start a few minutes late. Sometimes it’s unavoidable. That’s understandable and can be forgiven.

lateBut NOT 1 hour and 50 minutes late!! This was not fashionably late. This was just plain RUDE and inconsiderate to the guests and especially the groom!

Recently I booked a last-minute wedding with a bride and groom. Every day that she asked for was already booked, so she finally asked me when it was convenient for me. I gave her the only time I had available on the weekend she wanted and we booked the wedding.

The wedding was scheduled for noon on a Sunday. I told her that I had another appointment at 2:30 p.m. that same day so we would need to begin the ceremony on time. She was agreeable.

Since I always arrive at the ceremony site at least 30 minutes before the ceremony start time, I arrived at 11:30 a.m., in spite of several detours and backtracking I had to do because of unexpected road construction. I was on time.

Others in the wedding party including the groom arrived to help set things up at 10:00 a.m. They were on time.

Guests began arriving at about 11:15 to 11:45 a.m. They were on time.

At 11:55 a.m., I spoke briefly with the groom and he said he just found out that the bride would be arriving about 15 minutes late. 15 minutes. . . no problem.

At 12:10 p.m. No bride.

At 12:25 p.m. No bride.

This was a problem! I reminded the groom that I had another engagement at 2:30 p.m. about 35 minutes away from the wedding site. He called the bride and was told that she was getting her hair done and it would be about another 20 minutes.

At 1:05 p.m. No bride. In the meantime, the groom told the catering company to open the bar. Great idea.

Several guests left, choosing to miss the ceremony, rather than be late for things they had on their schedule for the afternoon.

At 1:35 p.m. No bride. The guests were getting restless. The groom asked the catering company to begin serving hor d’ourves. Another great idea.

I asked the groom to call again and tell her that I had to leave in 30 minutes and the ceremony was about 25 minutes so we really needed to get started. The groom and I agreed to cut about 5 minutes from the ceremony.

Your tolerance of a situation is the same as your endorsement of that situation. If you aren’t willing to speak up or step up, then you must be okay with it. Think about this when people are rude or give bad service or mistreat you or others. – Larry Winget

At 1:50 p.m. the bride and her 2 bridesmaids showed up as if nothing had happened. I felt embarrassed for the groom.

I smiled as I performed my “romantic” ceremony as if the wedding was right on schedule.

Okay. . . so here’s the deal. Even if you plan a last-minute wedding with only about 2 1/2 weeks to book the vendors and get everything ready for your big day. . . at least be on time for your own wedding!

The bride seemed completely clueless as to her punctuality issue, or did she just not care? These types of people tend to constantly be flustered or stressed out with their lives. There is virtue in being prompt.

Suggestion: Hire a wedding consultant to do what must be done to make it go smoothly. Money well spent! (Note: Dream about what you would like, but let a trained professional from Association of Bridal Consultants help your wedding dreams come true – and also on time and under budget!)

Give the Disc Jockey the music list ahead of time. . . not the evening before the wedding. Their DJ was frustrated too. He had to keep the music going while everyone waited for the bride to show up.

Rude. Inconsiderate. Selfish. Thoughtless. Disrespectful. Arrogant. Those are just a few words that come to mind in situations like this. Being late tells others that you do not value their time, and that other things are more important to you than them. Being late can be a symptom of mild or even more serious psychological problems. I realize that this is “her” day but being late for your own wedding is flat out rude and disrespectful to everyone, especially to those who arrived on time. It’s simply that some people no longer even pretend that they think your time is as important as theirs. And technology makes it worse. It seems texting or e-mailing that you are going to be late somehow means you are no longer late. Rubbish. You are rude. And inconsiderate. (I know. Why don’t you tell us how you really feel”).

Blaming the hairdresser and poor lighting in the brides room is no excuse. Think ahead. Begin getting ready earlier than you normally would for a dinner date with your sweetie. Blaming others is a serious emotional disorder everyone can live without. The bride was the only one who showed up late. If this “chronic” issue is not addressed it could – and most likely will – eventually cause problems in the relationship.

“In the realm of social psychology and psychodynamics, when we discuss chronic lateness, we typically do so in reference to passive-aggression and control. An individual who is passive-aggressive is, by definition, arrogant… and arrogance is bred, not by a sense of personal power, but, rather, through fear and insecurity.

The chronically tardy, in large measure, have a perception that others do not feel them to be important, so they operate in a way so as to impose themselves on a situation – exerting control to feel in control – while in reality they are silently validating their own sense of unworthiness, whether consciously or unconsciously.” – Michael J. Formica

It is very important for a person dealing with chronic tardiness to work with a psychiatrist, therapist or coach to determine if the person is unknowingly provoking the problem. If the person is unknowingly tempting tardiness, a psychological dysfunction most likely exists behind that behavior and requires some form of treatment.

The rumor during the pre-wedding chatter among the guests was that she was having medical issues and was on medication. Okay. I can understand that, AND this is your wedding day! Do what you need to do – knowing what you know about your own medical condition – and plan far in advance. Ask a friend to keep you on schedule. Do whatever it takes to be on time!

Perhaps someone was thoughtful enough to have wrapped an alarm clock and left it on the gift table. They had enough time to go get one while waiting on the bride! 😉

smileyclockIf you’re bearing the brunt of someone’s chronic lateness, visit, which lets you send a free, anonymous citation from the “National Department of Punctuality and Attendance,” by e-mail, urging offenders to get their act together.

Note: Okay. . . I feel better now! 😉

BONUS Article: No, You Are Not ‘Running Late’, You Are Rude and Selfish!

Copyright © 2010 – Larry James. This idea is adapted from Larry’s Wedding Website. Larry James is a non-denominational minister and performs the most “Romantic” wedding ceremony you will find anywhere! Every wedding ceremony is customized to your complete satisfaction. Call to check availability: 480-998-9411 or 800-725-9223. You will find more than 445 pages of Wedding ideas, tips (95 tips and growing), ceremonies, and more at: Check Larry’s availability.

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