Our beach wedding in Mexico, another casualty of the swine flu
Every little girl dreams of her perfect wedding day, complete with white doves and a horse-drawn carriage. Well, maybe not every little girl… I’ve never been enamored with the idea of walking down the aisle in front of hundreds of people. Add in the time, energy, stress and costs associated with putting on this once-in-a-lifetime production, and it was clear I would be destined for a destination wedding.
So when Rick, my boyfriend of two and half years, proposed in December, I already had everything planned in my head. And truth be told, my wedding dress was already hiding in my sister’s closet. My ideal wedding has always revolved around a white sandy beach, turquoise water and few people, and fortunately, my now-fiancé was right on board with my vision.
Playa del Carmen, Mexico, situated on the Mexican Riviera, was where I immediately knew we would exchange our vows and ride off into the sunset together. Within a few weeks of our engagement, we were set for a weeklong “weddingmoon” in an oceanfront bungalow at a resort where we’d also have our beachside wedding. As we began sharing the exciting news with our friends and family, we extended invitations to a few close friends to witness our union.
Everything was going as planned and our wedding was just three weeks away when “swine flu” entered the world’s vocabulary. I didn’t pay much attention at first, especially with border town violence already in the news, and which I viewed as peripheral to our travel plans. But I underestimated how quickly a health warning could escalate into a pandemic.
As the week bore on, I was struck by the reality that we were now “playing chicken” with the swine flu. Would it all blow over in time for our May 19th wedding or would we find ourselves out of luck and without a back-up plan? It wasn’t the fear of the flu that made me uneasy, it was the reality that airlines could cancel flights, borders could be closed, and services infrastructure could be non-existent if the ban on public gatherings continued in Mexico.
We knew full well that that changing our wedding location would mean that several of our friends would likely not be able to adjust their travel plans. I didn’t know what to do. Everything had been invested in having our wedding in Playa del Carmen, and I knew nothing about other destinations. I quickly needed a “Plan B,” and so I started analyzing flight schedules, narrowing down the options to a few accessible destinations in the Caribbean. The airlines were now waiving the change fees for our travel dates, but Rick and I had booked our tickets with frequent flier miles, and so I was really nervous about the availability of seats to our new destination of choice. I couldn’t just “sit and wait” another day, and so with one phone call I learned that there were two more frequent flier seats available. The decision was made on the spot, in two weeks we would now be getting married Puerto Rico!
Fortunately several of our friends have confirmed their new itineraries, while a few more friends are still assessing whether they can make it to Puerto Rico. In the end, Rick and I are excited that we can still get married on May 19th on a beautiful-Caribbean–beach. It’s definitely going to take more than the swine flu to ruffle these wedding feathers.