What's the etiquette when the officiant doesn't show up on time?
1) Make sure that your planner can perform ceremonies in an emergency.
2) Make sure that your planner has his cell number (Of course, this is Wedding 101)
3) Make sure that your planner has back up officiants.
4) Make sure that ceremony start time is confirmed. If you've signed a contract early on, double check to make sure that your officiant has the correct start time and that he/she will arrive at least 30 minutes prior to ceremony.
I had an Officiant who was late a few weeks ago... a first for Swellegant.
He was 10 minutes late and I was calm, cool, and collected on the outside. Inside, I was on to Plan B. We had planned an elegant wedding, with incredible vendors in place. The ONLY vendor who wasn't on my preferred list was the Officiant, of course. So, thankfully, Plan B was in place and my team handled it well, even though we didn't have to implement it.
Special thanks to my wedding coordinator friends (KJ, GM, and JK ) who answered my 411 calls from the wedding location. Even though I'm actually "Legal" to perform ceremonies in California, I have ZERO interest in doing so.... your officiant is personally YOURS.
The wedding ceremony went beautifully, and no one, including the Bride and Groom, family, and guests even knew that he was late. I did have a quiet conversation with that officiant after the ceremony was complete. I know that telling him I wanted to pinch his ear HARD because he didn't call me to let me know he was going to be late was bad etiquette. I didn't care.
After that wedding, I consulted Emily Post 1957 and Peggy Post 2006 again, to see what they had to say about hiring vendors. (Although, when the Officiant wasn't there as scheduled, Emily and Peggy weren't standing next to me, but I thought of their grace) Sorry, I digress.
Here's what Peggy and Emily Post have to say about the folks you hire:
LOVE love love what Emily says about employees. "It stands to reason that one may expect more nearly perfect service from a Specialist than from one whose functions are multiple. There is an inexplicable tendency, in this country certainly, for working people in general to look upon ....service as an unworthy ...degrading vocation. However, it is the highest form of service."
Peggy Post, in her 2006 Wedding Etiquette book, comments about different vendors and offers checklists for choosing your vendors... super helpful!
Natalie's thoughts? Hire the very best vendors that you can afford, and let your Planner be the Director of the show.