While Voorhees-based wedding planner Caitlin Boshnack of Just Be the Bride was busy at Target on Saturday, October 27th, crossing items off her pre-Sandy shopping list (Halloween candy included), she received a frantic phone call from her client, Mercedes Kraus.
Kraus and her fiancé David Fonorow had been planning for months to tie the knot at the Tuckerton Seaport Museum on November 3rd, about half an hour away from Long Beach Island, an area projected expected to be hit hard by the imminent storm. Boshnack assured Kraus there was still time—a week, to be exact—until the Big Day, and that the more worst-case scenario planning they did, the better.
And so plan they did. Boshnack immediately started reaching out to vendors she worked with in the past and contacted everyone she knew—venue representatives, caterers, bakers, videographers—to create Plan B for the wedding. She knew that should the wrath of Sandy be as bad as projected, there was a high chance that all of the couple’s vendors—all located along the shore except the photographer and rental company—could be wiped out by the storm.
Kate Frey, executive director of the Duportail House in Chesterbrook, suggested the couple hold their ceremony and reception—catered by Drexelbrooke—at the historic stone farmhouse dating to 1740. Kraus and Fonorow, both residents of Hoboken, New Jersey, drove just six days before the ceremony with Boshnack and the bride’s parents out to Chesterbrook to approve the venue.
Next up: cue Hurricane Sandy. While Boshnack was working Sunday and Monday to keep the couple’s nuptials as on track as possible, Sandy got to work on the East coast and did, indeed, leave Tuckerton without gas, power or sewage. The bride and groom-to-be lost power in Hoboken, and their vendors along the shore were no longer be able to provide for their Big Day.
By Wednesday, however, just four days before the wedding, an alternate team of vendors mostly from the Philadelphia area and southern New Jersey were booked and ready for the approval of the bride and groom, and the mother-of-the-bride had contacted all 110 guests to inform them of the location change. And other than the irony of a beach wedding held at a historic farmhouse in Pennsylvania—lighthouse centerpieces, shell embellishments throughout the décor, life preserver used as a guestbook, and all—Mercedes and David were wed at the original scheduled time, and the celebration of their new life together went smoothly. (Not to mention, for a lot of guests, their weekend stay in Chesterbrooke meant escaping areas that had not had power or running water for days.) While Sandy may have done some serious damage, she didn’t do much to put a damper on the spirits of the family and friends celebrating Mercedes and David’s Big Day.
A big congrats from all of us here at PW to both the vendors for pulling it all off, and to the couple for rolling with the punches and joyously becoming husband and wife, no matter what was thrown at them. — Anne Ulizio
Have you heard of any other post-Sandy wedding success stories in the area?