Unequivocally Ambiguous

Humorous Stories on Parenting, Culture and Life

Si, Señor. No Hay Problema!!

by | Mar 17, 2024 | Travel | 0 comments

The mystery of the disappearing wedding coordinators

Playa del Carmen, Mexico. May, 2023. Photo by author’s Wedding Photographer, Mallory Miya.

My wife, Justine, and I will celebrate our eleventh anniversary. In that time, I have learned that my wife might be an evil genius.

We married in Mexico, but she doesn’t speak Spanish; I do. This meant I was responsible for communicating her vision to our vendors while beating them down on pricing and ringing deals.

That’s a precarious place to be. It’s like being the mole in Whac-A-Mole; you don’t know where it is coming from, but someone is going to whack you right in the fucking noggin.

We traveled to Playa del Carmen and toured three places, but none of them felt right to us. By us, I mean my wife.

After a disappointing day, we returned to the hotel we were staying at, El Taj, to learn they were hosting a large international event for wedding coordinators.

We could see how El Taj would look decorated for a wedding reception. We were excited because this was the place we had been going to for several years. We knew the staff, and they would be working the wedding. Something about it felt right and magical.

We pulled the trigger on a wedding coordinator that we interviewed and liked, and just like that, she disappeared. We never heard from her again.

We interviewed a second person, and she disappeared, too. But, a few months later, she reappeared and demanded an advance of three times her deposit immediately. She never heard from us again.

I proceeded to start working directly with vendors until it had become clear that I needed boots on the ground. This is when we found Daymar, a Spanish ex-pat who was now a wedding coordinator in Playa.

When she came on board, we told her that for the ceremony we wanted to go to Grand Coral, an off-site property in front of the ocean, and for the reception, we would go back to El Taj, where most of our guests would be staying.

People have sayings about ‘island time.’ It exists, and there is also such a thing as ‘island customer service.’ Whenever I needed something, I was told I’d get it regardless of how ridiculous it was, but I never got it.

“Do you have mauve, not red, not orange, but mauve burlap napkins?”
“Sí, señor. No hay problema!”
“Can we do a bonfire at the rehearsal so our guests can make s’mores?”
“Sí, señor. No hay problema!”
“Can we get a flock of Toucans to deliver my wife to the altar so she doesn’t have to walk?”
“Sí, señor. No hay problema!”

We got married civilly at San Diego’s City Hall to avoid getting an international marriage license. Daymar called me that morning.

“Don’t freak out,” was her opening statement.

This is categorically the best way to get someone to freak out. There is always a reason to freak out when someone tells you not to freak out, because why else would they say, ‘Do not freak out?’

“Do not freak out, but the place where you are holding your ceremony burnt down.”
“What?!? What happened?”
“A couple was told they couldn’t use fireworks because of the wind, but they ignored it and pressured the vendor to do it anyway. And then, the fireworks landed on the palapa, and you know, palapas are basically just roofs made out of kindling. So it wasn’t surprising when it caught on fire and quickly turned into ashes.”

I don’t have to tell you the nationality of this couple for you to know they were… (drumroll) … American.

She continued, “It only burned part of the main palapa, but they are already remodeling, and everything will be complete for your wedding.”

“You are 100% positive it will be fixed by the time we get there?”
“Okay, well, then, I don’t think Justine needs to know this.”

When we bused our guests to the location, it was the first thing people could see: a big palapa covered by an even bigger black tarp.

Where there was once smoke, there was still a burnt-down palapa.

I discovered the club managers had given me their version of “Sí, señor. No hay problema!”

It didn’t really matter because the ceremony was taking place away from it with an uninterrupted view of the blue ocean in front of us — uninterrupted because I am choosing to forget the sixty-year-old woman in her bathing suit who, after walking by our ceremony, decided to come back and stand in front of us taking pictures of my wife and me doing our handfasting ceremony.

After the ceremony was over, our photographer took pictures of us with our new uninvited guest.

For a while, my wife and I were so caught up in everything that went wrong that day that we had a hard time appreciating how special it was that we were in an exotic destination with everyone we loved celebrating our commitment.

We decided to forget about everything that went into making the wedding happen and the things that didn’t happen and instead see the wedding through the eyes of our guests.

If that failed, I knew it didn’t matter because, in the end, I married the woman of my dreams. Even if I learned later that she is, indeed, an evil genius and that I would have to forever look out for my noggin.


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