January 2014 will go down in history as one of the coldest months the East Coast had ever experienced in over 116 years. Fortunately the four of us (me, Karis, Nancy and Rick) had the good sense of leaving the frozen tundras of Central Park for the relative warmth of Miami two weeks before their wedding (the former for business, the latter for pleasure). While 76° was freezing cold by Miami standards, we were simply elated that we didn’t have to suffer the brunt of Winter Storm Hercules (or its twin brother Ion, who arrived shortly thereafter). It wasn’t until that following Sunday when reality finally set in: the four of us were stranded in Miami, with NO FLIGHTS BACK TO NYC FOR THE VERY FORESEEABLE FUTURE. All the airports from Boston to Philadelphia had effectively shut down for the week, with no recourse for the hundreds of thousands of stranded passengers like us who needed to be in NYC for some very important matters (a wedding, to be exact!)
While unveiling my legendary zen-like composure, I reassured everyone that there was no reason to panic. We calmly researched our alternatives, and this was what we came up with:
Train option: $1500…PER PERSON, getting us into the city within 48 hours.
Car rental option: $900, getting us into the city within 24-36 hours with non-stop driving.
We were I was seriously considering driving the full length of the trip between Miami and NYC. So we slept on it…for about 12 hours. Nancy and Rick then called the following morning, and generously offered to split the driving time and cost of the car rental. After all, we had a wedding to plan/shoot, people! But the prospect of being stranded somewhere along the Southern Atlantic was too credible a risk, due to the massive amount of snow we were getting. As it turned out, we made the right call: our friendly southern neighbors aren’t exactly well-suited for these kinds of driving conditions :). While this would’ve made for the most AWESOME STORY EVER in the history of client-wedding photographer adventures, we needed to make sure these two stranded lovebirds didn’t hate us two weeks before their wedding day. I mean seriously, can you imagine being stuck in a car with me for 36 hours?
Long story short, Karis & I decided to wait out the storm while Nancy & Rick decided to brave the elements and made the hellacious drive back up to the Big Apple. And through some divine providence (and a bit of elbow grease, charm and persistence), flights magically opened up for us mid-week and we were able get back home to NYC early. Best of all, none of us had to drive through this crazy weather!
Two weeks later, Nancy and Rick held their wedding at the historical Essex House, located on the southern tip of Central Park. Karis and I were also there, with bells on and with plenty of time to spare.