During this weekend, South Carolina was declared a state of emergency. With devastating amounts of rain and flooding so high that Kiawah Island was shut down which was the location of this weekends wedding. We are based in Charleston which is approximately 50 minutes to the venue.
During this weekend, South Carolina was declared a state of emergency. With devastating amounts of rain and flooding so high that Kiawah Island was shut down which was the location of the venue. We are based in Charleston which is approximately an hour and 20 minutes to the venue.
The wedding was to occur on Saturday October 3rd. We had heard warnings of the record rainfall and experienced the inches upon inches of rain that left many unable to travel. My team arrived on the Island on Saturday October 3rd. We received a call from the wedding planner that the Caterer could not get on Kiawah Island and asked if we could all come back on Sunday October 4th in hopes that the weather would be better allowing the Caterer to safely arrive so there would be food at the wedding. This was the first time we ever had to reschedule a wedding. I was uncertain of my artists personal schedules the next day and whether childcare could be found on such short notice in such bad whether conditions. We did not have a wedding already scheduled for Sunday so I advised the team to head home through the storm and flooding in hopes for the rain to subside for the following day. It took all of us a full 5 hours to travel to and from Kiawah island on the original canceled wedding date of Saturday October 3rd. I do not have children but I do know these girls had to pay childcare for the 5 hours of time traveling. I asked if they could all let me know if the next day was even possible. I was so proud that my team all banded together, arranged for sitters to come a second day and we all crossed our fingers that when we woke we could make it out of our homes.
There was an additional 20 inches of rain on Sunday. The island of Kiawah was now closed to all traffic. The Caterer subsequently could not arrive on the island. I advised my artists to attempt the trip with safety being the number 1 concern. I felt that by my asking of this, that somehow I would feel responsible if something were to happen to their vehicles or their personal safety. I had not heard word that the wedding was canceled and so we all traveled carefully through the treacherous waters. We put our lives at risk and detoured road blocks and closures due to falling trees and water so high making it unsafe to pass. Texts from loved ones asking us to be safe and yet we prevailed. Somehow, my team arrived! We met at headquarters which was The Andell Inn at 9:15 am to meet with the wedding planner (who hugged us in surprise that we made it safely) to hear word if the wedding was still on, canceled or to devise a plan to get to the Bride. We could not safely take our vehicles onto the island. After much waiting, we all realized that our only attempt to get to the bride was to consolidate into another vendors large vehicle which was potentially tall enough to pass the three feet of standing waters. There was not enough room for more than 2 of us. We also had to deal with the fact that high tide was coming and my artists with children could not make it back to get their children if they were stranded overnight. So sending the other artists home was the right thing to do. I knew that this would leave us at a disadvantage without them but without a choice, we had to just arrive and do the best we could. (Christina and Jacqueline finally made it home on Sunday October 4th at 3:00pm. 8 hours of driving and childcare. I was happy and proud that they were such troopers. We continued on to get to the Bride. I just kept thinking that if my bride was going to have a wedding, I could not imagine her not having her hair and makeup done for her wedding day and photos and since we were in the vehicle with the photographer that was what motivated me to do whatever was possible. Myself and Renee piled in the car along with the wedding planners assistant, the photographer, her boyfriend who had the large car and their family dog who could not be left behind if they were not able to get home. We crossed our fingers. The guards denied us access through Kiawah island and we assumed all risk on our own by passing.
Through the grace of God, we arrived safely at the venue to set up not even thinking of our own safety and what we would do if we were stranded on the island. We waited for the bridesmaids and bride to arrive who were staying on the Island.
We put our thinking caps on and went right to work. We knew for pictures we had to work fast to accommodate the VIPs (bride, Mother of the Bride,) We did the best we could to accommodate the bridesmaids as they came in, writing the names down of who received services. Molly was gracious and happy we were able to get to her.