As my husband and I were delivering the bride and groom’s welcome basket for a wedding this weekend to the accommodations the couple had selected, it occurred to me that my clients need to be more careful than usual when making reservations during hurricane season. I thought I’d share a few ideas about this with you in the hopes that it will save you a headache down the road.
While the odds of an actual hurricane mucking with your Caribbean destination wedding weekend are slim, regardless of what island you choose to get married on, it’s a good idea to choose accommodations for yourselves and your guests that have backup systems in place in case the hotel or guest house loses power or water, especially in the summertime. You don’t have to have a hurricane hit your island — or even come close to it — for the island to suffer a summertimes blues effect, and both electricity and water can be very finicky. That’s just how it is down here — and on every other island in the Caribbean.
Many guests houses have both a generator and a cistern, just in case they need them. As you can imagine, they don’t have and maintain these systems at considerable expense just because the big water drum on the roof looks cool (NOT!), but rather, because they actually need them. They may only have to activate them a couple of times a year, but when they do, it’s the guests staying with them that benefit. Lots of folks who have rented small houses this time of year are kicking themselves when the island loses power and/or water and the only preparation the owners have left them is a handy supply of BYOB (bring your own batteries) flashlights.
Usually, I’m an advocate of guests renting houses that wedding guests find online — they usually get great deals and are able to create a whole vacation around the wedding they’ve come to attend. But this time of year, I caution everybody to find out what the power and water situation is at the house they’re going to rent. Even if the house comes with a cistern, you have to know how to turn it on, right?
I’m struggling today because we’re having a lot of rain, for the first time in months actually. We’ve been super dry, and we’ve even had some water rationing the past week or two because of it (translates into really low water pressure). We needed this rain. But my bride and groom can’t be too excited to wake up and see pea soup outside their window when they’ve traveled all the way from Washington State to get married here. We have a Plan B, of course, but it’s not an ideal situation. None of the accommodations that the clients or their guests chose to use have any kind of covered porch we could sneak under to have a dry ceremony. That means that wherever we end up, we’re likely going to be standing under tents in the rain (unless Mother Nature is feeling kind and brings out the sunshine for just an hour).
Most of the hotels I recommend for the guests and clients of small weddings are at hotels that could accommodate a dry ceremony if we were desperate. The lobby at Hacienda Tamarindo, for example, is absolutely gorgeous. I got married on the terrace there, so I know it works, and I also know that it looks beautiful in the pictures. But this particular group of wedding guests is spread between a couple of guest house properties that are very, very cute, but don’t have a good Plan B alternative for us to use. Thank goodness Hacienda Tamarindo is willing to save my butt if necessary.
I’ll let you know next time how the wedding turned out — keep your fingers crossed for me!
Happy Wedding Planning from Weddings in Vieques!