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Hurricanes, Storms and Weddings

It has been a couple of months since Hurricane Irma visited the Caribbean and Florida. Somethings have gotten a lot better and other things are still a work in progress. Key West is up and running. Slowly, Puerto Rico and St. Thomas are mending and will come back better than before.

So, what do you do when a storm is pending and your destination wedding is in jeopardy?

Hopefully, the lines of communication are open with your coordinator to see actually what is going on. Make sure that you can communicate in different medias rather than just by phone or email. Become Facebook friends so that you can see what is going on and you can communicate through messenger if that is all that is available.

The other thing is to figure out what and where you are going to do. If you are getting married while on a cruise, chances are that the ship will not be going in the path of the storm. The ship never wants to put you or their ship and staff in harms way. So, you can put that out of your thoughts.

If the ship is going to another location, it is possible that your wedding could be moved to the new location. However, there are a few things that might not move with it such as the marriage license and perishables that have to remain at the original location. But, please rest assured that the coordinator will do everything they can to make your wedding day happen.

In some instances, there are other fees that will not be refunded. For this reason, it is very important to have travel insurance. Make sure that you have enough coverage to account for everything...not just the air and hotel/cruise but the wedding as well.

I hope that I have not scared you if you have not planned your trip yet. There are certain times of the year that you need to be willing to go with the flow. If you are planning to do your wedding between July and the end of October in Florida or the Caribbean, be prepared to punt. It DOES NOT always happen but there is no way to predict if it will. I have been asked over the years what I think about a certain month during hurricane season and if I had concrete answers, it would be like winning the lottery! But seriously, there is no way to know what is going to happen.

By the same token, you could be getting married in April in the Caribbean and a winter storm traps you up north. There is no way to say that there might not be issues.

You need to resign yourself to the fact that what happens is not in your hands and cannot be prepared for. The only thing thing that I will say is that you need to keep the lines of communication open with your coordinator/vendor. Be mindful that they might be going through preparations for a storm but honestly, they will always have you in the back of their minds and will do everything they can to communicate with you. If there is a storm, please give them a few days to get back on their feet. In some cases, they might not have lost communication with the outside world. But, in cases like San Juan, please be patient.

Remember the lesson here: Communication, insurance, planning and patience!!!

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