The week of Hurricane Sandy was one of my most professionally challenging weeks. We had worked very hard for six months on an extraordinary New York City gay wedding for two amazing men, Jason and Dimitri. We were in the home stretch, the last week of the wedding, when we all heard that Hurricane Sandy was going to be serious business.
I'm generally a pretty optimistic person so I was confident that the hurricane wouldn't impact our wedding, set to be on the 14th and 21st floor of the Chelsea Arts Tower, in a beautiful space called Glass Houses. But like many people, I was surprised by the magnitude of Sandy's impact. Glass Houses was fine, except for some flooding in the basement, but what we learned on Tuesday was that the power was out. With a wedding on Saturday we didn't know when the power was going to return.
Jason and Dimitri had many guests from out of town and also plans for a two week honeymoon in Brazil two days after the wedding. Rescheduling the wedding would have been very difficult so we agreed to explore some alternate venues. I presented some office space and a few cool raw spaces as backup options. Unfortunately one of the raw spaces was over the bridge in Long Island City and the other was cost-prohibitive. The bridge was daunting given the traffic that week and with subways in rough shape, we were looking at one option: a pretty ugly office space.
The cost of that was also quite high (about $20,000) so Jason decided to ask whether his law firm's conference floor was available...it was and I orchestrated the move from Glass Houses to a Midtown Manhattan office building.
We were very fortunate that all of the fabulous wedding vendors we'd hire were still available and committed to Jason and Dimitri. The photographer's parents lost their house and were out of town, so she was personally dealing with that, but still made it to the wedding. The DJ had no power and no gas in his car but he made it. The bartenders' bar was literally under water but they made it. The floral designer's warehouse was without power and inaccessible. And on and on...I was so impressed by the efforts of this amazing team.
And the wedding itself? It was great! We beautified an office space with tons of uplights and pipe and drape. We added a beautiful white dance floor, great lounge furniture - and you'd never know we were in an office building.
I was so impressed not only by the vendors but that most of the guests were also able to make it. We had a few drop-outs because of travel issues or hurricane damage but overall, most guests came.
What do you think?
Special thanks to the amazing team:
- Shawn Rabideau Floral
- Lisa Ross Photography
- Sonnier & Castle Catering
- Cake Alchemy
- Cocktails in Motion
- Wendy Kidd Entertainment
- PBG Event Rentals