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A Hurricane Forced Them to Cancel Their Wedding….and Plan a New One in Just FOUR Days // Tampa Wedding Photographer

February 15, 2021

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Zach and Sara originally planned their wedding for Charleston in September. Fast forward to the week of their wedding and Hurricane Florence was expected to hit Charleston the day of their wedding.

Sara called me the Monday before their wedding and said, “We’re cancelling Charleston. I think we’re going to replan for Tampa. Can you be in Tampa on Saturday?”

Yes, you heard me right. Sara planned a brand new wedding in just four days. Almost all new vendors. And it came together perfectly, by the way. It looked like she had spent a year planning it!

From Sara: “Our wedding was originally planned to take place in Charleston, South Carolina on September 15, 2018. After spending our first Memorial Day Weekend as an engaged couple in Charleston, we fell in love with the city and the culture. We thought it would be the best place for our destination “north meets south” wedding to take place. We had planned it for the better part of a year and all of our guests would be traveling in from New England and Florida to spend a long weekend exploring Charleston and celebrating our wedding together. 

We were planning to spend our entire wedding week in Charleston together and showing our friends and family around the city while they were in town. We had plans for a welcome dinner and a Sunday brunch for all of our guests. We were so excited to show off our favorite restaurants and spots in the city to all of our loved ones!

When we booked our wedding date we knew it was hurricane season. We were new homeowners in southwest Florida for Hurricane Irma the year prior so we were well aware of the dangers, but we thought September would be the perfect time of year in Charleston, so we went for it! Fast forward to the month of the wedding, I was watching the tropics closely and I saw Hurricane Florence starting to form. I tried to stay calm as it approached, but as we got closer to the big day and Florence neared the Carolinas, we started to get serious. We were contacting our venues, vendors, and hotels to see if they planned on still being open and most of them told us yes! They weren’t concerned so neither were we! We were planning to pack our hurricane supplies from Irma just in case, but we weren’t going to let the hurricane affect us. Our wedding was on a Saturday, so we planned to leave Tuesday morning and the first guests were arriving Tuesday night. On Monday I spent the day running last minute errands, packing our decor, and getting everything in order. The storm was worsening and I was in contact with our wedding planner and the venue as we listened to the hourly forecasts. We were all very optimistic until the city of Charleston declared a state of emergency and mandatory evacuations were set into place. Government offices would closed for the week and all the roads were being reversed for the evacuation. This was the nail in the coffin. We probably wouldn’t even be able to get to Charleston, and if we did, we couldn’t get a marriage license, and we couldn’t get married. I immediately called Zach crying and we decided that we had two options: relocate the wedding to Tampa where we live or reschedule for Charleston. We had 75 people traveling from out of state to Charleston for that weekend. For us, the decision was easy because our whole goal for the weekend was to get married – it didn’t really matter where we were, what it looked like, as long as we got married on September 15th. So we made the decision on Monday night to relocate our wedding, which would take place on Saturday, to Tampa, Florida and reroute all of our guests.

I accepted the challenge of planning another wedding on four days notice. I started contacting friends telling them what was going on to see if anyone knew of a venue with availability. We ended up finding out that our perfect Tampa venue was available, and we had friends who introduced us to the caterers we ended up using. We were so thankful for our tribe that rallied around us and put together the most perfect wedding in four days!”

Venue: The Orlo

Stylist/Planner/Designer: Replex Events

Dress: Amsale from L’elite

Cake: Elise’s Pieces

Makeup: Ciara Rene

Hair: Style and Hair

Suit: The Black Tux

Accessories/Decor: Mollie Paperie and Sas-e-ink

See more of Zach and Sara’s wedding featured on The White Wren.

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I'm Jessica and I'm so happy you're here. This blog a journal about our lives, travels, fashion, and style. Stay a while and say hello!

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The Clover club Wedding guide

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