Chapter 1 – Destination Wedding in Puerto Rico
Even before we knew we wanted a destination wedding, Puerto Rico always had a special place in my heart.
Many years ago, as young college graduates who just started flying more, Puerto Rico was the destination where we were upgraded both ways to the first class as a lowly Silver Medallion (or Flying Orchids depending on your generation).
During our first visit to the Island of Enchantment, we cleared our upgrades prior to check-in (wow!) and, after asking the hotel nicely over Twitter (it was new back then), we were upgraded to the Ocean View Penthouse Suite on our Priceline Name Your Price reservation. Quite special, isn’t it?
During my booking process, I found that American Airlines ran a daily 767 to San Juan from Philadelphia with flat bed business class seats. Taking a regional jet at 5:50AM right before your wedding…. hmmmm…. it will be worth it, with that 3 hour flat bed flight, I thought (big mistake).
They say you should sleep separately the night before the wedding…. but who has money to book two separate hotel rooms? So I spaced us a bit apart so that we could each write our vows on our flight down.
(that smile disappears from my face about 25 minutes after this picture…)
On our LGA -> PHL flight, everyone gave us a big smile as we boarded.
Congratulations, they said.
Some of our fellow passengers voluntarily moved their coats to the overhead bin so that the flight attendant could hang our dresses in almost-non-existent hanger space in E…170? I think?
OK. This is it, I thought.
OK. 15 minute delay. That’s not so bad. We still have enough time to make our connection in PHL.
10 minutes passed
20 minutes passed.
buzz buzz buzz buzz buzz.
No one knows what’s going on.
I tell my wife-to-be
MAKE SURE TO BRING BACK OUR DRESSES
and I dash out the plane.
As I get to the gate agent, he starts to realize that the flight isn’t taking off for another 8 hours or so.
While I am chatting with the gate agent to make sure we are not late for our own wedding, a long line forms behind us.
He rebooks us to a LGA -> MIA -> SJU flight that’s leaving in 40 mins (boarding already started) in a different terminal.
We dash for it, and make our flight.
Praise the lord.
I don’t care that we are not going in a flat bed at this point. I am just thankful that we will make it to our own wedding on time.
Even during the hectic process of
1) flight cancellation
2) running in LGA to make it to a flight that already started boarding
3) running in MIA to not miss our flight
4) cramming our dresses in the overhead bin due to the last minute seat change
Our dresses make it in one piece. Ok that’s a good sigh for the marriage. We check in to San Juan Marriott Resort – because (1) that’s where our wedding is and (2) I need five more nights to make it to Platinum this year.
We booked a suite because a lot is going to happen here in the next few days.
Six hours fast forward, boom welcome bags assembled.
Another two hours fast forward, boom place cards printed and cut.
Our suite at the Marriott smells like a factory at this point with papers flying around and different parts of welcome bag assembly lying around… but hey that’s why we booked the suite right?
I wish I took a better picture of the room, but hey, it’s two days before my wedding, so taking pictures for a trip report is not my priority at this point.
I must confess, it was quite amusing to see your name up on the hotel board.
On the morning of our wedding day, the weather forecast was partly cloudy with spots of rain. At this point, I am just hoping that the rain gods spare our wedding from their fury.
It’s quite amazing what wedding photographers could do with their camera work… like making a place where people wait for their elevators to look like a museum.
It’s go time. We leave our room 2121 and walk towards where our family and friends are waiting.
We had 65 people at our wedding, but what we didn’t realize was that we were going to have a lot more guests than we had realized….
… between 25 – 30 people who were watching from their balconies and screaming their lungs out as we said I do…
… or everyone on the beach who watched the entire ceremony standing…
…break the glass… and it’s a wrap.
and before I notice, I am being thrown around in a chair!
Oh and did I mention that I made it to Marriott Platinum?
Our flight back was a typical delta flight, what more can I say?
FAs were nice. Food was good. IFE was good. And my SkyPesos are still useless.