Thursday, September 14, 2006

What Time Is it in Heaven?

Have you ever wondered what time zone Jesus is in and whether it’s the same time in Heaven as it is where you are? For instance, let’s say you’re in the Eastern time zone and you go to sleep at 10 p.m., but before climbing into your comfy bed, you get down on your knees and pray. Well, if Jesus resides directly over the Middle East, it would be about 4 a.m. where he is. Would your voice be waking him up?

Or, suppose Jesus likes to hang out “over” sunny California. That would put him in the Pacific time zone. If you pray at 10 Eastern, would you be interrupting his dinner?

Perhaps Jesus has a recording system that sends all prayer requests to voicemail so he can choose not to be disturbed if he doesn’t want to and can pick his messages up later. Of course, there would have to be an automatic alert mechanism for emergency requests.

If he sits at the tippy top of the universe, where all time zones converge into one, could it always be all times at one time in heaven? Or would they cancel each other out to become no times at all?

Hmmm. I wonder….

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Tips on Planning a Destination Wedding

I’d never even heard the term “destination wedding” until I had one. So for those of you who don’t know what it means, it’s having a wedding outside your local geographic area.

On May 20th of this year, I got married in Nassau, Bahamas. I live in New England and had to plan everything via phone and email. Fortunately, things went really smoothly and our wedding was absolutely beautiful. But it helps to work with a hotel that has experience with people coming in from out of town (and outside the country) to get married.

For anyone who might be planning a destination wedding, or would at least like to consider the possibility, here are a few tips from my own personal experience to help you get started.

1. Look on the Internet for a hotel that advertises wedding packages. If they don’t advertise a wedding package, chances are they’re not well versed in putting a wedding together, so stay away from hotels that don’t have it listed as a core competency—something they specialize in. We were married at the British Colonial Hilton in Nassau. They did an absolutely supurb job and the catering sales staff was fabulous to work with. I really have to say we had zero complaints.

2. Let them do as much as you’re willing to pay for. It just so happens that my husband is from Nassau, so we knew people who knew people. Even so, we let the Hilton do almost everything. We did just three things on our own:

- Got our own minister: saved $100
- Got our own DJ: saved $400
- Got our own wedding cake: saved $400

They handled the entire menu, all the drinks, the serving, the outdoor ceremony set-up, and the flowers.

We wanted a buffet meal to provide our guests with a multitude of flexibility. We started with a menu package that the Hilton gave us and customized it from there, and they worked with us.

3. Make sure you understand the marital laws of the country or, if it’s within the continental U.S., the state you are going to. We first wanted to get our marriage license in our home state and just have the official ceremony down there, so that we would have an American marriage license. No go. Our state didn't allow that, but some other states might.

Also, the Bahamas has a law that says you have to “live” in the country in order to obtain a marriage license. Their definition of living in the country was just 48 hours, so you will need to arrive in the country 48 hours prior to applying for a marriage license.

4. If you are divorced, bring an original certified copy of your divorce papers with you. They won’t marry you unless you can prove you are legally unmarried and able to get married. They are very sensitive to people thinking they can jump ship from their own country and go tie the knot somewhere else where they can sneak under the rules. Not happening in the Bahamas!

5. Call ahead to see what kind of other paperwork or meetings might be needed. We had to go down there a monthly early to file some additional paperwork and to book an interview with the Registrar (again to ensure that it is not a marriage of convenience).

6. No blood tests are needed, but then, I’ve heard that they’ve eliminated those here in the U.S., as well.

7. I don’t know how the other islands work, but when calling the Bahamas, you don’t need to dial an international code. Simply dial 1, 242 (the area code), and the number.

8. Regarding cell phones, the only cell phone that works in the Bahamas is Cingular, and I think you have to have a certain brand of phone that works worldwide. Check with your carrier. Verizon, T-Mobile and AT&T all purposely block their signals down there because the Bahamas still suffers from too much signal theft. Although I heard a rumor that BahamaTel was going private within the next two years, and that when it does, that will pave the way for service for all.

9. Note that, in the Bahamas business community, they don't have the capability to keep their email up and running 24/7. They tend to check it once a day. So don't expect the catering staff to get your message in 3 seconds. If you need a quick response, I recommend you call down there and alert them to the fact that you have sent them an email and you are looking for a quick response. Otherwise, they'll respond about once every 24 to 48 hours, but even that takes some prodding because, like us in America, they're overworked.

One final word of advice: If you’re allergic to nuts, make sure you tell your cake baker! The islands use a lot of nuts in everything, particularly cake!

Happy nuptuals!

Please check out my novel, In Fashion's Web on Amazon.