Not my circus, not my monkeys. From the Polish proverb "Nie mój cyrk, nie moje malpy," it basically means " whatever emergency has come up, it is not my problem."
Last summer I got a call from a couple who wanted a quick weekday wedding on their lunch hour in two weeks. They did not want to do a justice of the peace wedding in the courthouse. Since I was not far away I told them I would be happy to do this in a lovely nearby park, and my fee was $150.
Cue record scratching. And the sound of crickets at the other end of the line.
"That is so expensive, the justices of the peace only charge $75 or $80." They tried to bargain me down to the JOP pricing but I declined. I said that was why they did it in the courthouse. I told them they were certainly welcome to use their services anyways to save money, thanked them for their interest, and bid them good day.
Two weeks later, frantic text. JOP is a no-show at their wedding that day, and $150 is a fair price. Can you do this today?
Had they called a day before, the price would have been $150 plus a $25 "last minute" fee. However, this was within an hour. I had to explain that my emergency stand-in price was $500, not $150. This is clearly on my website.
Big record scratch. Of course I did not get the gig. I am not sure if they ever got married.
Yes, I do charge a lot for an emergency wedding. I am basically coming in last minute, dropping everything I have on my plate, flying blind to pick up someone else's job. I literally have no idea who you are as a couple, other than you need to get married and have no one to do it. Additionally, my time is valuable. I have plans, pets and a full time job. I have other obligations, including other couples getting married.
It may sound harsh, but a no-show officiant is not my emergency. Choose your officiant (and all other vendors) wisely.
I'm busy working on my blog posts. Watch this space!