Surprise! I got married!
Mr. B and I finally tied the knot, but our day sure came with some surprises!
We didn’t tell our plans to a soul outside of our immediate family and planned to elope September 12th, 2017. For those that don’t know, we live in central Florida. You know, Orlando. And if you put two and two together, you’ll realize that this was right when Hurricane Irma and her aftermath decided to descend upon our state.
As with all hurricanes, we knew the storm was coming and had time to prepare. We also knew there was a likelihood that the wedding wouldn’t happen. You see, we made plans to elope in St. Augustine, Florida, our nation’s oldest city, in a castle just north of the historic district right smack on the coast. To access it, you have to cross a bridge and anyone that knows anything about storms in Florida knows that bridges get shut down pretty quickly when a storm is coming; not to mention the potential for flooding in an area like St. Augustine!
Mr. B got a call from Jacksonville the Friday before, asking him to pick up his tux early, as the storm was coming, the store was closing, and no one knew what lied ahead. Unless you’re from Florida, you won’t really understand what it’s like to try to get anywhere when there is panic and evacuations are happening. There is gridlock. There is no gas. There was no way he could get from Orlando to Jacksonville in time and could quite possibly not be able to find gas to return.
We knew there was a chance of no wedding, but we also knew that it would be better to be with a tux than without in case we could reschedule for later that same week.
In a last-ditch effort, I messaged our photographer who lived in Jacksonville. I’m going to tell you right now, Alondra Vega Photography knows customer service, because Alondra went the extra mile and picked up the tux herself! And you better believe I made sure she knew how much we appreciated it and gifted her one of her most favorite things - MACARONS. In my eyes, she deserved an entire bakery-full!
So, we waited for the storm to come. It came through in the middle of the night as we slept squished together in the hallway on our couch cushions for 3 hours during its worst, afraid of the danger of possible window breakage from flying debris.
It was a couple of days before we could use our phone and get in touch with others to see what damage had occurred. Surprisingly, St. Augustine had no flooding, and everyone involved was so amazing at being flexible about rescheduling the wedding 3 days later than originally planned.
Little did we know that most of St. Augustine was without power. When we arrived, there was no wifi and little food. When we got to town, our first meal happened late at night in a McDonald’s drive through, because what few stores and restaurants were open either had no food or or were running out! We were thrilled to find anything to eat!
Luckily, by the time our wedding day came to be, the historic district was up and running. We were able to have a beautiful ceremony on September 15th at the amazing Castle Otttis, and enjoyed a fantastic celebration dinner at Collage in the historic district (by the way, I highly recommend this place. Trust me - it’s worth the price!). And after all that happened, you can bet wine was involved at dinner!
After everything had settled, we were just so thankful that we and everyone we love were safe and we were still able to have our special day. It was very stressful at the time, but Mr. B and I both know we’ll always have a good story to tell about our wedding day!