A vicar who got fed up of brides turning up late to their own weddings has imposed a £100 fine for those who can not stick to their allotted time slot.
Canon John Corbyn has imposed the charge to couples who arrive more than 20 minutes late to their service at Holy Cross Church in Bearsted, Kent.
The fee, which is built into the cost of the ceremony, is then handed back to the couples in a cheque along with their marriage certificate if they successfully make it to church on time.
The Canon has also implemented the system at nearby St Mary’s Church. So far he is yet to fine anyone. He said: “I’m not calling it a fine, but if you want to hire the venue for one hour or two hours, you pay different amounts.
“The money goes to the 20 or so volunteers who give up their time to assist at a wedding, including the verger, organist, choir and bell ringers.
“These people give an hour or so out of their day – generally at a weekend – which can turn into 90 minutes or more if the ceremony runs late. It seems reasonable to me.”
If the service starts within 10 minutes of the allotted time, the £100 is refunded.
The new system doesn’t seem to be putting brides off either.
Clara Hubbard, who married on September 9, said: “I was totally okay with the ‘fine’ I understand particularly as they often have more than one wedding in a day and would affect them as well if it all doesn’t stick to time.
“Though I was a minute or two over the ten minutes, I still got the cheque.
“My husband and l loved the service and the whole day was just great.”