OUR DISNEY FAIRYTALE WEDDING!

OUR DISNEY FAIRYTALE WEDDING!

After over two years of waiting, our day was FINALLY here! Wedding weekend was beyond what I imagined it would be. But, today we’re here JUST to talk about our wedding, which was nothing short of beautiful. Here’s the story of our fairytale!

The morning of the wedding, we woke up on two different sides of WDW resort. My bridesmaids and I all stayed in our honeymoon suite, at Animal Kingdom Lodge. My husband and his groomsmen, however, stayed at the Polynesian – which was where our ceremony was taking place. This is where the fairytale begins…

The Ceremony

6:30 a.m.: Me, Megan, and Emily wake up. We order room service, change into our robes, make some coffee, and pop a bottle of champagne for mimosas. At around 7:00, my hairdresser and makeup artist arrive and we start getting ready for the day.

9:30 a.m.: We’re finally done getting ready, and start taking “getting ready” photos. Surrounded by my family, I am on cloud nine. Most brides talk about how nervous they are the day of their wedding, but I was just so ready to walk down that aisle and see my groom!

10:30 a.m.: By this time, I’m completely freaking out. You’d think I was worried about getting married in less than an hour, but no – I was terrified to walk through the lobby in my dress. I’m beyond an introvert, so people staring at me while I walk by makes me very uncomfortable and I knew the white, sparkly dress I was wearing would attract eyes from all around. I walked through that lobby with my head completely down, just thinking about what was to come.

10:45 a.m.: The limo drops us off at the Poly. We walk in and we are greeted by our wedding coordinator. She shows us our bouquets, and lets us know of a few minor issues that needed solved before we could walk down the aisle. No big deal, we sat in the lobby and waited. This waiting, though, took about 45 minutes and this is where my anxiety fully set in. Again, I don’t think I was nervous about getting married, but the waiting was what was getting to me. My legs wouldn’t stop shaking, and my heart was pounding. Every minute felt like an eternity!

11:20 a.m.: Everything was situated and it was finally time to walk down the aisle. As we walked to the ceremony space, I heard the violinist and saw the backs of the heads of all of our guests. My anxiety went away, and was replaced with a swarm of butterflies. It was finally time! One of my favorite moments of the day was at this time, when I saw my dad standing off to the side, waiting for me with the biggest smile on his face. I swore I wasn’t going to cry before the wedding, but I immediately started crying. Just thinking about this simple but wholesome moment puts a smile on my face, and I’m so sad I don’t have a picture to capture that moment.

11:30(ish) a.m.: The ceremony began. All of the bridesmaids walked out one by one, and eventually there was no one left besides my dad and I. By this point, my shoes were killing me (as beautiful as they were), and I couldn’t walk very fast. But then, I saw Dee. With tears in his eyes (and all over his face), he was smiling and there at the end of the aisle. It was the moment I had been waiting for, for over two years. My tears immediately went away, and I couldn’t help but laugh and smile. This is the moment it really hit me. Also during this time, because I am the most socially awkward person alive, I literally said the word “hey” to Daron when stopping with my dad at the end of the aisle. This is still something he laughs at me about to this day.

11:50 a.m.: The ceremony was over, and we walked back up the aisle to cheers and the violinist playing in the background. It was now time to head over to take photos, do the champagne toasts, cut the cake, and have our first dance. The first thing I did, though, was immediately take off my shoes. I had a pair of sandals in my purse to throw on in case of this exact situation, but I left my purse in the limo. So, I spent the rest of the ceremony bare foot. Oh well, lol.

11:55 a.m.: The champagne toasts begin. First, Megan gave a speech that had me beyond tears. Megan is not too much of a sentimental person, but man, her speech killed it. Then followed Emily, who’s speech had me in tears but also cracking up. Of course, she had to throw in how much we hated each other when we first met – but that’s how the best friendships start right? Last was Dee’s brother, Anthony, who was told (by my own husband) that he wouldn’t have to give a speech at the ceremony. He didn’t find out until we were on our way to the ceremony itself that Dee was wrong and that he would, in fact, be giving a speech. So, he “wung it” and it was great.

12:15 p.m.: We cut our cake and our guests enjoyed a slice. Dee tried to feed me only icing, which is only the worst part of the cake itself. Dee also tried to make it as messy as possible, but I made sure that didn’t happen!

12:20 p.m.: While our guests were enjoying their cake, they also got to enjoy our first dance. We asked our violinist [prior to the ceremony] to play Perfect by Ed Sheeran, and it was just that – perfect. Dee made fun of me just about the entire dance for not having shoes on and for saying “hey” at the end of the aisle, but I mean I really didn’t expect anything else.

12:25 p.m.: It was time for pictures! A few dramatic shots of Dee and I, followed by group pictures of the families, the bridal party, etc. Before the pictures, though, we had our “bubble exit” from the ceremony space to where we would be taking the pictures, which was fun! Are you really at Disney World if you don’t walk through a cloud of bubbles?

12:45 p.m.: We took just a few more pictures on the beach, and it was time to head back to the lobby. We had a few drinks, then all parted ways to rest, hang by the pool, and get ready before the dinner show/reception in the evening.

1:00 p.m.: The limo picked up the bridal party and took “the long way” back to AK. We had some champagne, listened to some music, and really took a step back to celebrate and enjoy everyone’s company. The limo ride was about an hour, and it was definitely a highlight of the day!

Now, you might be looking at the times in the timeline thinking “wow, all of that in an hour?” Well, you weren’t the only one thinking that – so were we. You see, you pay for two hours time to have all of these experiences. However, due to a few situations out of our control, our ceremony time was cut in half. It felt very rushed, family members missed certain events happening, and we really didn’t have a moment to step back and take it all in – but it was still beautiful. It is absolutely a story to tell, and I am so grateful to have even had the chance to get married in Disney World and have such a magical experience.

The Dinner 

For our dinner/reception, we chose to head back to the Polynesian and watch The Spirit of Aloha dinner show. All of our bridal party and guests, about 30 of us, made reservations for the show when booking the wedding. The dinner show is a base ticket that you are supposed to purchase ahead of time. However, since we were with the wedding, they just “reserved” our space and we didn’t have to pay until before the show itself. So, we showed up about an hour early and waited in a painfully long line to purchase each ticket.

The dinner show was nothing short of amazing. This was my second experience at the show itself, and neither time did it disappoint. Each adult paid about $75 for their ticket, which included an all-you-can-eat family style meal, unlimited beer and wine, tax, and gratuity. Combine all of that with an amazing show, and it’s absolutely one of the best deals you’ll find in Disney.

The cast members at the show went out of their way to really make the night special for us as well. They gave me a lei made of beautiful live flowers, and dee got a seashell necklace that he fell in love with. Throughout the show, they had different times where our guests and I were invited up (along with other guests at the show) to dance and become included in the show itself. They even called Dee up to dance on stage, competing with some other guy in the audience! Knowing how shy Dee is, I still can’t believe he got up there – but he did, and he forsure gave everyone a show! Lol

To end the night, a few members of the bridal party as well as Dee and myself stayed after the dinner show to talk, laugh, and enjoy each other’s company on the beach. It was the perfect end to a long, special day!

Looking back, I think about the saying that I believe everyone told me to expect – Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong. This proved to be true, but it still didn’t take away from the fact that it was our special day. Of course, there are things that we wish we could have changed about the day – but that’s with everything, right? I can’t help but look back on the day and smile, knowing that I got to marry my best friend surrounded but the people I love in the happiest place on earth.

Well, there you have it – our Disney Fairytale Wedding! I know this was super basic, but I didn’t want to go into great detail and make a never ending post. However, be on the lookout for upcoming posts and major announcements, where you’ll get to hear all of the magical details!

Thanks for reading! Below are some pictures that were shot by my family and friends, as well as a few we got in our sneak peak book from Disney! We should be getting more photos soon, and we are also headed to the Magic Kingdom to do a wedding photo shoot there – so be sure to follow our Facebook and Instagram pages so you can see all of the beautiful pics when we receive them! Also, don’t forget to subscribe to our blog so you’re notified when we post next! See ya real soon 🙂

PLANNING OUR DISNEY FAIRYTALE WEDDING: PART II

PLANNING OUR DISNEY FAIRYTALE WEDDING: PART II

Welcome back to part two of this series! If you haven’t already, be sure to check out part 1 of Planning Our Disney Fairytale Wedding here: PLANNING OUR DISNEY FAIRYTALE WEDDING: PART I! I cannot believe our wedding is 68 short days away! Time is seriously flying by. My bridal shower is this upcoming Saturday, I have all of my hair, makeup, nail, etc appointments booked for the big day, and now we are just trying to get all of the small things together!

But anyway, you’re here to read about the next steps we’ve taken toward planning our dream wedding. A lot has happened within the month that I’ve written the first part of this series! We are now into planning all of the fine details and have had a few magical surprises along the way.


Part II: Planning our Fairytale Wedding 

Transitioning from Joe (sales representative) to our Coordinating Team

In the last blog, you saw that I worked hand-in-hand with Joe De Matei to learn more about the package we chose for our wedding as well as book our special day. After the Letter of Agreement was signed on all ends and completed, Joe introduced us to our new coordinating team. We were assigned an overall wedding coordinator as well as a room specialist and a photography specialist, which I will discuss in further detail down below.

The experience we had while working with Joe was exceptional. He was readily available whenever needed to answer any questions we had during the booking process. As his final gesture after introducing us to our team, we received a surprise package from him in the mail! In beautiful packaging, it included a card of well wishes, a Prince Charming coin charm, a Cinderella shoe bag, and a few cards with the items for ideas on how to incorporate the items into our special day.

Although I am positive this is something all sales rep’s send their couples after introducing them to their coordinating team, it was a surprise that brought me to tears of joy! Some pictures of the package can be found below 🙂


The Planning Kit

A few days after Joe introduced us to our coordinating team, we received an e-mail from our Wedding Coordinator, Steffane Christian. She briefly introduced herself, and then outlined the next several steps we would be taking leading up to our big day. The first few steps were to review the planning resources she attached, and then complete a planning kit.

This planning kit was no joke! It is a 22 page kit which basically outlines in fine detail every detail for you to specify for your big day. You start by putting in your personal information (both the bride and groom), and from there outline every little detail. The details we had to choose and specify for our big day included:

  • Floral. There were several bouquet and boutonniere pairings for us to choose from. We were also able to choose the flower colors within the style that we chose! Those two things were included in the package already, and after choosing those we were given the option to choose additional add-on floral.
    • The add on’s included bridesmaids bouquets, boutonniere’s for the bridal party and father of the bride and groom, corsages for the mother of the bride and groom, and floral decorations for the ceremony space. For each additional add-on, there were several options and styles to choose from ranging in price.
  • Enhancements. These items are all things that are not included in the base price of the package. Items that you could add on for the ceremony include flower girl baskets and ring bearer pillows, a sand ceremony set, charms for bouquets, a unity candle set, and more.
  • Photography. As I mentioned in part 1, two hours worth of photography is included in the package. However, couples have the option of adding on additional hours of photography as well as additional albums and prints. Couples also have the option of adding an in-park or additional resort photo shoot, which can be chosen on this page as well.
  • Cake. There were about five different cake styles that we were able to choose from, with about 5 more “enhanced” cakes that we could also choose with an up charge. After choosing the style we wanted, we were able to choose the cake flavor and filling. There were a ton of options for this part and it was definitely hard to choose!
  • Beverages. With the package, two bottles of champagne are included. We had the option here to add on additional bottles of champagne, sparking cider for underage guests, and treats to give out as favors.
  • Transportation. A four-hour, 8 passenger limousine is included in our package for transportation to and from the ceremony space. At this part in the kit, we had to outline the first two stops and last two stops for the limo driver. We also had the option of upgrading our limousine to Cinderella’s Coach or a variety of other style vehicles.
  • Music and Entertainment. This was probably my favorite part of the entire kit. Here, we were able to outline every song choice we wanted for our ceremony including the wedding party entrance, the bride’s entrance, the sand ceremony song, the recessional, the cake cutting ceremony, and the first dance.
    • They do provide you with a list of songs to choose from. However, at no additional cost you are able to personally request any song as long as you provide your coordinator with the sheet music!
    • In your package, a violinist is included. In this section, however, you can choose to upgrade or add on additional musicians or even pay to have characters come to the ceremony.

I would say that this planning kit was really the only downfall of planning a Disney wedding, if you could even call it that. Part of a traditional wedding planning experience is to taste test cake, go to a florist and see the bouquets and flowers firsthand to design your wedding floral, and meet with a photographer in person. However, the planning kit does have photo’s of everything, but it’s all digital. I found myself quite often thinking “I wish I could see this/try this in person”.

On the other hand, this planning kit outlined literally everything and made all of the details a one-stop-shop. It was very simple to navigate and really takes the stress away from having to go to different vendors to plan it all yourself.

I did have to speak with Steffane a few times while going through the planning kit with various questions. We exchanged emails but also spoke over the phone. She was very informative and helpful, and always answered emails promptly.

After submitting the planning kit to Steffane, she informed us that she received it and would review it over the next several days. We were then told that we would be expecting a Banquet Event Order – Rough Draft in our email within the next two weeks!


Room Blocks and Photography

Aside from our wedding coordinator, our room specialist and photography specialist both reached out to us around the same time Steffane did.

  • Photography Specialist – Karen Chandler. Karen’s email started just like Steffane’s did, introducing herself and telling us what her role in our wedding would be. Basically, she provided us with a website where we could go see all of the Disney Wedding photographer’s personal albums. She told us to check all of them out, as they all have different styles, and recommended we choose a “top three” that fit our aesthetic. Karen told us to put their names in the Planning Kit (which we did) to let our coordinator know who we would prefer. We were informed that there was no guarantee we would be assigned one of the three we chose, but that they would try their best to accommodate!
  • Room Specialist – Janet Moore. Janet started her email introducing herself like the other members of her team did. She then gave us a timeline regarding the room block including when she recommended people book by, when the block would close, how many nights we can reduce out of the total we reserved, and more. Janet also provided me with a link to share with my guests so they can book rooms directly in the block. Lastly, we were provided with our own unique link to track our guests bookings and other additional information.

I really didn’t have to reach out to Karen during this stage in the process, as it was all self explanatory. However, I did have a few questions for Janet and she was very prompt in returning my call as well as extremely kind and easy to work with. She has been in this business for over 20 years and you can tell she still loves what she does!


Banquet Event Order

It took less than a week from the time I sent the completed planning kit to Steffane for her to send the first draft of our Banquet Event Order. This is basically a detailed receipt of all of the choices we made as well as any additional add-on’s we chose. She instructed us to print the BEO out and review it. If we have any changes, we simply mark them on the page and initial at the bottom of the page to confirm.

With the BEO, she gave us our estimated budget and the due-date. Steffane instructed us to send in the edited and complete BEO with the remaining balance no later than one month before our wedding so she can finalize all of the details.

About a week after sending the BEO, my fiance and I got another surprise package from Disney Fairytale Weddings in the mail, this time from Steffane! This package was in the same beautiful packaging as the other, and included a well wishes card, a Pixie Dust charm for my bouquet, and a set of Prince Charming collar stays/tie holders for Daron. They are absolutely beautiful, and of course brought tears to my eyes – again! Below are some pictures of this lovely package 🙂


And, that brings us to the end of Part II of our Disney Fairytale Wedding series! Part III in our series will be all about the time period between submitting our BEO and final payment to our big day, so be on the look-out!

Thanks for reading! I hope you are enjoying this series! We are so excited for our special day, adn cannot wait to share it with all of you. Be sure to subscribe to our blog so you’re notified when we post next! Thanks for reading, see ya real soon 🙂