How to deal with island time in Puerto Rico
“Island Time”. It’s a phrase often used to describe an easy-going, live-in-the-moment attitude, and the word conjures up hammocks and flip flops and beach vibes. It’s also a phrase often used as an excuse for lateness or lack of responsiveness!
Yes, it’s true, time is different in the islands. Timeliness and punctuality is valued far less than living life, connecting with people and socializing while out and about. Our advice? Embrace island time like the locals and enjoy vacationing without time constraints. You can’t fight it, after all!
But island time and wedding planning don’t always go hand-in-hand. It can be stressful when guests and vendors alike are living on island time, as it can affect your best-laid plans and create a stressful wedding day experience. Here’s our insider’s guide to how to deal with island time in Puerto Rico, especially on your wedding day.
#5 Assume that every task and ‘to do’ will take at least double your anticipated time
Minimize errands you’ll need to do on the island, especially on your wedding day. If you’re driving to your venue, don’t plan on any stops on the way. Simply getting gas in Puerto Rico can take thirty minutes, as there is no pay-at-the-pump option, so one must wait in a queue both before and after filling up.
#4 If you have guests who live on island time, plan that they will be late
In Puerto Rico, if a wedding invitation says ceremony at 4 pm, guests (as well as the bride and groom and wedding party) might start showing up at 5 or 5.30. Weddings rarely start on time. If your guests live on the island, communicate with them in advance the importance of being on time. And then, be prepared to start without them, as otherwise your photos, video, and your other guests will suffer.
#3 Trust the experts who have experience working together
Wedding days are planned to the minute, so there is no room for island time from any of the professionals you are paying to help deliver your wedding day vision. Choose a package with a customized timeline for your day (read more about our Elopement & Barefoot on the Beach packages), delivered by an experienced team who have worked together extensively. While your sister’s friend might be a hair and makeup artist, this isn’t the time to add new folks to your wedding day team. Leave it to the experts with experience and local knowledge working together with hundreds of happy couples!
#2 Plan ahead to minimize complications
Keep it simple. If the plan seems complicated, it will be. One of the biggest wedding day complications we see is having your ceremony and celebration in different places. Traffic can be bad, and when people aren’t familiar with the area, they get lost, or stop on the way, without concern for timetables. Mix in island time, where everyone tends to move in slow motion, and everything can quickly get delayed, creating stress for all. Consider having both your ceremony and reception at our Hacienda222, keeping everyone and everything in one stunning place!
#1 Embrace and enjoy it!
Island time is all about living in the moment. So do just that! Keep plans loose and fluid, and be prepared for inevitable changes. Most of all, slow down a bit, and try saying “buenos dias or buenas tardes” to everyone you encounter (in Puerto Rico’s warm culture, it’s considered rude to not greet someone and inquire about them and their family). Sure, it takes longer, but you’re sure to make a new friend along the way. Maybe we can all learn a bit from dealing with island time in Puerto Rico!
If you’d like more information about getting married in Puerto Rico, please contact us. We’d love to help!
Photos:AJR Photo Studio
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