Saturday, April 17, 2010

Live Wedding Blog: Allie & Jason - The Best Laid Plans...

** I wrote this blog entry on April 8, right after Allie & Jason's wedding in Key West. I couldn't get any internet service, so I saved it in a Word document, and am just able to post it today. Thanks for being so patient!

Isn’t there a saying that goes something like, “The best laid plans…” I think it must end in “get shattered to pieces in the blink of an eye.” I honestly can’t remember what the remainder of the saying is, but I’m sure it has to end like that.

I made it to Key West in record time. I literally walked off the plane at 11:15. Considering we took of at 10:50, it was a super fast flight. I didn’t have any luggage, so I head over to the rental car companies. Unfortunately, Enterprise Rent-A-Car is not located on airport property. Of course, I figured I would be able to catch a shuttle. So, I walked outside and called Allie to let her know that I arrived. I went to the ticketing counter to check in for my later flight, then walked back to the rental car area. I saw locations for Budget and Thrifty, but no Enterprise. So, I asked a police officer where Enterprise was, and he explained to me that I had to call them to pick me up.
So, I found the phone and called. A lovely woman told me that she would “be right there” to get me. My boxes had not yet arrived, so I just sat in the small arrival area near the baggage claim and waited for Enterprise to pick me up.

And waited…

And waited…

And waited some more.

The woman finally arrived at 12:10. I was panicking a bit, since I told Allie that I would pick her up at 12:30 to bring her to get her hair done at Infinity Salon. I hop in the car, and it takes us another ten minutes to get to the Enterprise location where I would fill out all of my paperwork. I could have kicked myself for not making sure that the Key West Enterprise was an airport location. I shot Allie a text, letting her know that I was running late. Sally, my right hand woman, called Infinity to let them know that Allie was going to be late.

At Enterprise, I discovered the hard way that $250 must be authorized when using a debit card in order to rent a car. I had changed the daily limit to all of my debit cards literally the night before, since one of my accounts that had the cards associated with it was hacked. After making several phone calls, I ended up using my “emergency” card for the rental. I didn’t leave Enterprise until 12:45.

Another important tip I need to point out to perspective car rental customers is to make certain that the location actually carried GPS units. It is easy to assume that they do, which is exactly what I did. I figured I would rent the unit with the car. Nope—They didn’t have any at all. Fortunately, I had my cell phone with me. I paid the $2.99 charge to Verizon to use their Verizon Navigator as my GPS. Boy, did that come in handy.

Enterprise was nice enough to upgrade me to a convertible. Unfortunately, I didn’t have the opportunity to use it. (And, believe me, I wanted to!) It was a great car- A Chrysler Seabring. I’ve always wanted one of those. It was nice driving it for the day.

By the time I picked up Allie from the Dewey House, it was already 1:10. Allie was on the computer in the lobby and Jason was in their room. It was the first time I met Allie, but I spoke with her so often that I felt like I knew her for years. I gave her a big hug, then introduced myself to Jason. Allie finished up, then we jumped in the car and headed to the salon.

Fortunately, the salon was a straight shot up from the hotel. It was a quick drive, and we walked in for Allie’s appointment at about 1:20. The women at Infinity Hair Salon were so wonderful. It’s a beautiful salon, right off Simonton in the heart of Key West. I introduced myself to the owner Julie, as I have another wedding with the entire bridal party having their hair done at Infinity.

When I returned to my car so that I could grab a bite to eat, head to the florist, and go pick up my boxes from the airport, I found that I was blocked in by three sightseeing trollies. There were no drivers in them, either. I saw a guy standing near the middle trolley and asked him when they were going to move. He said that he didn’t know; the drivers had stopped for lunch.

So, I called Sally again and had her get the address of the florist. I headed out on foot to the florist—which was about ¾ of a mile away. About halfway through my walk, I wished I had worn short sleeves and Capri pants instead of the long sleeve wrap shirt and long pants I wore. What was I thinking when I had gotten dressed??

I walked in to Mama Flowers, where I had pre-paid for a bag of petals that Allie wanted strewn on the beach, around the tiki torches. I also picked up a spray of dendrobium orchids for her hair, as she forgot her veil at home. I then walked all the way back to Infinity and gave Beth (Allie’s stylist) the orchids to place in her hair. I couldn’t believe that Allie was already almost completely done. I went to the car and turned on the air conditioning, waiting for Allie.

Allie walked out five minutes later, and we were back off to the Dewey House. On the way, I received a phone call from American Airlines at the Key West Airport, letting me know that my boxes had arrived. I dropped Allie off and headed back to the airport to retrieve the boxes.

Once at the airport, there were no boxes anywhere. The baggage claim was empty. I called the guy that called me, and let him know that I was their. Ten minutes later, the belt started up and my boxes came through. I ran them back to my car and decided that I would try to go to the Hard Rock for lunch. It was 2:15. I figured I could get a quick lunch and do a little sightseeing of my own before having to set up for the wedding.

Well, I got lost. I don’t know how, but I did. I missed a turn that the GPS indicated, and then it took me all the way around Key West again. To tell you the truth, I didn’t even pass the Hard Rock or Duval Street. At 2:45, I decided to just head to Smathers Beach, where the wedding ceremony was to take place.

Fortunately, there were several hotdog vendors along the beach. I parked the car, fed the meter and made a ravenous sprint to one of the vendors. I wolfed down two hotdogs with sauerkraut and a root beer float (hey, gotta eat healthy when working, right?), then began the set up on the beach.

As I was setting up, there were three other weddings taking place around me. I selected a spot that was relatively in the shade of four palm trees with a beautiful view of the ocean. I set up the tiki torches, made an aisle with blue and purple sand, and placed the petals exactly as Allie and I discussed. I was very proud of the décor. I knew that Allie and Jason would be thrilled, too.

Once I began closing up the empty boxes, Kay the violinist walked in, violin in hand. She started to set up as I tossed the boxes in my car. Before Kay was even set up, Allie and Jason arrived in the Key West Weddings van that I had arranged. The minister and photographer were with them.

I snapped some photos of Allie and Jason while they were waiting for everything to be ready. The violinist began playing and Allie made her entrance. I couldn’t believe how smoothly everything ended up with setting the ceremony location. Even though I was rushed, everything was perfect and on time. I couldn’t have been happier. Judging from the looks on Allie and Jason’s faces, neither could they.

Yes, it was a beautiful day for a wedding indeed.


Candice Cain is the owner of the Candy Cain Travel Co. She is a Certified Sandals Specialist and a Destination Wedding Expert. Please feel free to email her for help with your destination wedding!

Friday, April 9, 2010

Live Wedding Blog: Allie & Jason – Murphy’s Law Strikes Again!

** I wrote this blog yesterday and kept it in Word, since I was not able to access the internet at all throughout the day.

What a morning! After dealing with a whole lot of nonsense on FaceBook, I finally went to bed at 11:30 last night. I “woke up” (if you can call it that—I was barely asleep) at 2:00am, with a phone call from my husband. I jumped in the shower, got dressed, grabbed my stuff, hopped in the car and headed to JFK airport. I left my house at 3:10am, and arrived at JFK at 4:20. Considering my flight was at 5:30, I had plenty of time, right? WRONG.
Once I took the AirTrain and got to terminal eight for American Airlines, it was already 4:45am. I was sent over to a desk just to check my bags—Two boxes containing the décor for Allie and Jason’s beach wedding in Key West. I had already checked in for my flight the night before and had my boarding passes, so I figured I was good to go.

Well, apparently I'm either on the terrorist watch list or I resemble a drug runner. I walked up to the front and gave the two boxes that I had... Lo and behold, the woman wanted me to open them to show her what was inside. So, I did. The agent waved a security guard over. He took my boxes, then led me to a small room, where I sat and waited by myself. The boxes were gone. Some dude came in and started asking me about my profession, where I am going and, of course, my boxes. I answered all of his questions as patiently as I could, knowing full well that I was going to miss my flight to Miami. All I could think about was Allie and Jason standing on a beach, Allie with no bouquet, and no pretty décor for the photos. He left the room, returned with my boxes, clearly opened and held back together with white security tape, and told me not to pack my items in boxes anymore. Then, he let me go. By the time everything was all done, it was 5:17 and I could not get onto the flight.

I was able to get on the 7:00am flight. I was NOT confirmed on the flight from Miami to Key West, and I was told that it was a full flight. THAT flight left at 12:50pm and would have gotten me into Key West at 1:43. Allie had a hair appointment at 1:00 that I was supposed to drive her to. I figured that I would be able to drive from Miami to Key West in three hours and be there in time to pick her up for her appointment, if there wasn’t an earlier flight.

Fortunately, the travel fairy was smiling down on me. The flight I was on arrived 45 minutes early! I raced across Miami International Airport, trying to tell my mom what was going on. I got to the ticket counter and was able to get on the 10:30am flight to Key West, which would get me in at 11:23. PHEW! Now I might even be able to have lunch with Allie and Jason before bringing her to get her hair done. Unfortunately, I have to go back to the airport in order to pick up the décor at 1:43. However, I saw that the flight was actually leaving at 12:30. So, that means that I can pick up the décor while Allie is having her hair done. In theory.

So, here I sit on a “puddle jumper”, getting ready for a beautiful beach wedding by two people madly in love. It is an absolutely gorgeous day. Someone saw me carrying Allie’s bouquet and said, “Today is a beautiful day for a wedding!” I couldn’t agree more.

Candice Cain is the owner of the Candy Cain Travel Co. She is a Certified Sandals Specialist and a Destination Wedding Expert. Please feel free to email her for help with your destination wedding!