This wasn’t their fault. The chap who was meant to deliver the message saying Juliet was still alive was quarantined overnight due to the plague. Could get there on time. This seems to have been overlooked by many. It’s not a romance, it’s a cautionary tale about how teenagers who think with their hormones always fuck things up for everyone around them.
If Romeo and Juliet taught me anything, it’s that the key to a successful relationship is communication. If you are going to fake your fucking death, you better make sure they know beforehand. The friar was just so totally inept the entirety of the play. “Romeo has to run away to a neighboring town but Juliet must stick around overnight.