I was sitting on the beach of my vacation spot when I first learned of the pending Hurricane Danny. The news hardly effected the other vacationers but my situation was different. In two days I was scheduled to play music at an outdoor wedding that was in the path of this potentially devastating weather system.
To further complicate matters, I had several obstacles between me and my event. First, I had to travel 220 miles. Without traffic, Google Maps projected a 4 hours & 4 minute drive. My wedding was also on Cape Cod which meant my trek would include a trip over the Bourne Bridge. On summer weekends, that bridge can have traffic backups of up to 15 miles, and could add an hour or more of drive-time. To make matters worse, Senator Kennedy’s funeral Mass was scheduled for Saturday. A motorcade of dignitaries, security, and funeral attendees could easily add up to hours of lost time.
My only sensible option was to leave early. So instead of traveling with the rest of my group. I packed and headed home Friday afternoon. I arrived without incident and was able to get a good night sleep. This allowed an early morning start and the end result was that I was at my event 4 hours before it started, relaxed, rested and ready for my clients event. 4 hours might sound a bit extreme, but what if I had done things differently? Any number of things could have happened that might have caused me to be late, rather than early.
You might be surprised to hear this but I have recently had conversations with 2 different wedding videographers. Both arrived to church ceremonies late. One, because he didn’t allow enough time for traffic, the other because he had the wrong address for the church. Both, in my opinion, were non-chalant about their mishaps. One thought it was sufficient to stay an extra half hour at the reception to make up for lost time.
Luckily, on Saturday, all of the vendors involved in my wedding acted responsibly. The photographer was on location extremely early. The venue, The Brookside Club of Bourne, went over and above to accommodate for the inclemate weather. They managed to find an alternate location for the ceremony which was originally set to take place in a tented area on the property. Although the tent offered protection from the rain, the grass below was saturated and had puddles of standing water. Thinking ahead, the staff moved the seating and flower arrangements to a covered, enclosed deck – possible catastrophe avoided.
Aside from some guests getting a little wet from the car to the venue, the ceremony & reception were a complete success!! And once the party started it continued with a lively dance floor, packed with dancers, right through to the very last song, and ended with big thank-yous from the bride & groom.
So what’s the message in this story, make sure you find the right vendors for your special day. Look for professionals that you think will go the extra mile, if needed. Ask for client testimonials. These will back up a willingness to help when called upon. Have your vendors detail what happens if they are unable to make your event. And ask if they have travel plans prior to your big day. Either way, get emergency contact numbers and keep them on hand.