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Late Brides


nfortin
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I'm sure I'm not the only one who gets really annoyed when brides turn up late at weddings. As far as I'm concerned if the service is booked for 1pm, for example, then the processional should start at 1pm. So many brides seem to assume that being 10 minutes late is perfectly OK, and that 15 minutes is quite reasonable.

 

To me such behaviour is completely selfish and very rude. I feel, once we reach the 10 minute mark, that I should be entitled to lock up, go home and keep the fee on the basis of a "no show - and not my fault". Failing that, I'd like to insist upon a very hefty deposit which will be refunded if, and only if, the signal light on the console flashes within 5 minutes of the appointed start time.

 

What is other peoples' experience, does anyone have a successful strategy, possibly contractual, to counter this problem?

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As bad perhaps - at a small village church where I had to play a for a wedding a year or so ago all went well till the end. I finished the 'out music', turned everything off etc. but found that nobody (bride and groom included) had left the building. It turned out there was a full blown thunder storm going on outside complete with near horizontal rain and as the church was a couple of hundred yards up an unsheltered path everyone decided to stay - for about 3/4 hour - me included. I never thought of asking for overtime and mercifully they were all quite a civilised lot!

 

AJJ

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After the specified starting time, I play five minutes of prepared music, followed by a further five minutes of improvising/sightreading Kevin Mayhew lift music.  Then it's blower off 'till the light flashes.

 

Its not the extra playing I object to, its the extra time. I may well have a concert rehearsal to get to, or perhaps another wedding booked and yet the bride seems to assume that - like her - I've nothing else to do all day.

 

Alastair - you didn't make it clear whether you did the extra 45 minutes out of a sense of duty to keep everyone entertained, or to avoid getting wet. I'd certainly have no compunction about switching off at the end of the recessional.

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It has, of course, always been regarded as the bride's prerogative to be late for her wedding. That prerogative seems to have become transmuted into a "tradition" that she must be late - so it's now part of the ceremonial, like having your photos taken outside the church, getting paralytic on your stag/hen night, sniggering all through the service, throwing up over the registers while signing them (well, maybe not the last one).

 

All fair and good, but unfortunately the ISM only quotes flat rate fees for weddings: http://www.ism.org/info/02_9.html I think there's a strong case for (a) asking the bride how late she intends to be (for music planning purposes) and (b ) charging an extra £1.00 for every minute she's late. It's not much, I know, but even my garage doesn't charge £60 per hour...

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I think a certain tolerance to indulge the bride on her big day is quite appropriate but agree there are limits. Really, anything over 15 minutes is very bad form - the guests/congregation are getting restless, the vicar is getting worried, the verger is getting irate, the choir are bored, the organist is loving every minute improvising increasingly unsubtly on "she'll be coming round the mountain" and "why are we waiting" waiting for someone to twig. But, seriously, anything after 15-20 minutes, we've had enough and give her a phone call.

 

If I get to talk to the bride beforehand, I'll usually ask, in a light hearted manner, how late she intends to be and will regale them with a list of really inappropriate pieces of music I might start to play if she's too late for my liking. If they are really late, threaten to play the march of Darth Vader as they walk down the aisle. They laugh at the time but never arrive no later than 10 minutes. It works - and if they get to see you afterwards, you get a hug and kiss from the bride if you play well - but you have to ooze charm.

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Saturday just gone, at quarter past the hour, I decided to do a lovely little set of variations on a scale of G major. Very fine they sounded too. At twenty past we had the same thing again, but descending. At twenty five past I started joining in with the bells and using them as a cantus firmus, in a variety of styles from Purcell to Wesley to Mathias and finishing up with a parody of Transports de joie - that was very good fun indeed but anyone unable to hear both me and the bells might well have wondered what the hell was going on. The procession (first and last eight seconds of Pachelbel canon) was something of a pale beige anticlimax, if I say so myself.

 

I hope nothing terrible has happened because when I drove past the same church earlier, they were changing the locks on the organ.

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Guest Andrew Butler

An older lady in my choir got married a few years ago. She hates "The Old Rugged Cross" and i threatened her that if we were more more than 5 minutes late

starting, that would be the basis for an improvisation.

 

Sure enough, the allotted 5 minutes past, and I did the deed - poor woman; it wasn't her fault. the priest hadn't turned up. He was our ex PP, now retired, coming a distance and had got the time wrong!

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Its not the extra playing I object to, its the extra time. I may well have a concert rehearsal to get to, or perhaps another wedding booked and yet the bride seems to assume that - like her - I've nothing else to do all day.

 

Alastair - you didn't make it clear whether you did the extra 45 minutes out of a sense of duty to keep everyone entertained, or to avoid getting wet. I'd certainly have no compunction about switching off at the end of the recessional.

 

To avoid the storm - I don't do entertainment - well not at weddings anyway!!

 

AJJ

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I play in a multi-cultural urban area and have, several times, been to churches where not even the congregation are there at start time. The wedding may be 45 - 60 minutes late starting. One vicar used to charge a deposit which was non-refundable if start time was delayed more than 30 mins - I got two double fees from him which made it a lot less painful.

I tend to go out for a cigarette after 20 mins.

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play if she's too late for my liking.  If they are really late, threaten to play the march of Darth Vader as they walk down the aisle. They laugh at the time but never arrive no later than 10 minutes. It works - and if they get to see you afterwards, you get a hug and kiss from the bride if you play well - but you have to ooze charm.

 

 

Euuugh. Time for a hot shower - thinking about you oozing charm wasn't good :D.

 

I quite often get requests for the Imperial March from Star Wars - I've played it at least 3 times this year already! It is around the time for the star wars generation to get married, I suppose. Myself included.

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Guest Andrew Butler
Euuugh. Time for a hot shower - thinking about you oozing charm wasn't good :D.

 

 

I prefer to think about the hug and the kiss from the bride :D

 

Last summer, on holiday in France, I was asked by the local priest to take a keyboard along to the village church (no organ) and play for a wedding at 5pm, followed by a special mass for a 5oth wedding anniversary at 6, followed by a baptism at 7!

 

The 5pm bride arrived at 5.45, and the priest proceeded through the service in a leisurely way. The 6pm mass started about 6.40, and when it finished at nearly 8, there was no sign of the baptism party. they showed up around 8.15!! And no, i never got paid for any of it!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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you get a hug and kiss from the bride if you play well - but you have to ooze charm.
A lost cause for me, I'm afraid - I don't do charm. Fortunately it doesn't matter much since, somehow, even the most succulent brides invariably manage to make themselves look hideous on their wedding day. :D
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I prefer to think about the hug and the kiss from the bride :lol: 

 

Last summer, on holiday in France, I was asked by the local priest to take a keyboard along to the village church (no organ) and play for a wedding at 5pm, followed by a special mass for a 5oth wedding anniversary at 6, followed by a baptism at 7!

 

The 5pm bride arrived at 5.45, and the priest proceeded through the service in a leisurely way. The 6pm mass started about 6.40, and when it finished at nearly 8, there was no sign of the baptism party. they showed up around 8.15!! And no, i never got paid for any of it!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

That's very good of you, there's no way I'd have done that.

 

When I got married I told the wife (jokingly) not to be late, as I’d give her ten min then take the choir and organist (all good friends) down the pub. She turned up on time but unfortunately forgot her bouquet, so the service started 20 min late whilst it was fetched. Hmmm :D

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Guest Roffensis
oops...wrong button again...itsh late innit.

 

to compensate for your disappointment:  http://www.weebl.jolt.co.uk/anywhere.htm

 

try and get it out of your head in a fortnight...

 

 

Charming! I think we can safely rely on our heritage of tacky modern publishers to find a modern Artiste (sic) to write a tacky Canticle setting based on this. It just oozes potential.....

 

R :lol:

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