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She Said YES!

It's often said that no two days in travel are the same...never...truer...words people! It would have to be one of the things I love the most about what I do, and why the industry has kept me enthused and entertained after all these years.
One day I will never forget started with a phone call from a long standing client, not long before departure. Now believe me when I tell you, a call from a soon to be departing client can bring on a lump in the throat, and that 'concrete in my belly' feeling, and this was again the case. You see, he was a part of a group of 9 family members, some I'd never met before and had grown to really enjoy their banter. Please lord let everything be fine so close to departure...
As it turns I quickly traded my concrete belly with my client when he said the words..."I want to propose"! There were a few OMG's and gasps and I'm sure a shriek or two (all mine, not his) followed up by a quick run down of what he'd looked at and a request for help to make it happen! My answer, my pleasure!
This was all set up go down on the last night of the trip when the couple would split from the family group in Nashville.. queue our covert mission! Beginning with ambiguous Facebook message requests to contact me 'regarding his flights' in the event anyone other than the groom-to-be saw the message, and his numerous visits 'to the toilet' to speak with me, the perfect proposal began to take shape! Now I couldn't think of a better network to assist me from the other side in the world than my Virtuoso affiliates! Never heard of them you say, then you're using the wrong travel consultant! Virtuoso are an invitation only group who only deal with the best of the best, in property, experience and travel advisors. Like a little luxury...enjoy an experience truly exclusive (the overuse of that word for a later blog!) then Virtuoso is for you!
So with my clients complete trust to make his vision happen, I got in touch with The Hutton Hotel in downtown Nashville. I secured the room any agent could, but also the Virtuoso benefits most agents can't including upgrade on arrival, complimentary lunch for two, full breakfast and early check in/late check out. Wowsers!
Next was the big moment, and with the assistance of the Hutton Hotel staff, as a Virtuoso travel advisor, my clients plans received the utmost attention. The hotels first suggestion was a rose filled, candle lit moment at the Parthenon, a Nashville landmark. Although visions of The Bachelor finale sets danced through my head- this lucky lady liked horses, bling and pink, it didn't fit the bill. My client and I had spoken previously to say she loved horse drawn carriages, and we wondered how we might incorporate the historic Belle Meade Plantation. This property is a famous historic home where all triple crown race horses linage can be traced back to - perfect! It now operates historical tours and has an amazing winery on site, a must see for racing (and wine) enthusiasts when next in Nashville!
Now any joe-blow could jump online and book a Nashville horse and carriage ride in a matter of minutes, however the local advice I had was that due to an unseasonal heatwave, the reputable tour providers were not operating. Needless to say this wasn't mentioned online for any punters who actually did book online a horse drawn adventure during that time.
Then in came the amazing staff at Belle Meade Plantation to save the day! All my client had to to was get his girlfriend there for a 'plantation tour' followed by a nice dinner out for their last night away... surely she wouldn't pick it up enroute in a taxi right? RIGHT! Because they were treated to a tour on the plantation ending at the winery, before being walked back to a famous stable to look at. Said stable was every romantics dream filled with soft lighting and a huge pink rose petal heart for the question to be popped... AND SHE SAID YES! I was beside myself to see in the pictures they shared there was actually a carriage in the stable, take that unseasonal heatwave!!
The fresh fianc_es toasted with a special bottle of wine from Belle Meade in the limo back to Nashville, where they got one of the very best tables at 5th & Taylor, an amazing and well reknown restaurant. They even assisted my pink hopes by providing a pink bunch at the table for the blushing bride-to-be!
The couple were then whisked back to the hotel by limo to their room decorated with pink rose petals, strawberries and champagne for the amazing staff at The Hutton.
With that, my work was done!
Did it all go to plan, not exactly - but I'm told these things rarely do! Did I take calls from Nashville at 3am our time when an immediate decision needed to be made? Sure did! Did I charge my clients for the time spent in helping this momentous life changing event happen? Not one cent! Would it have been as easy to co-ordinate from the other side of the world without my Virtuoso affiliation? Definitely not. Would my clients receive this service in a regular travel store? I'll let you be the judge of that!

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