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 III

PLANNING OUR DISNEY FAIRYTALE WEDDING: PART III

Welcome back to part three of this series! If you haven’t already, be sure to check out parts one and two herePLANNING OUR DISNEY FAIRYTALE WEDDING: PART I and PLANNING OUR DISNEY FAIRYTALE WEDDING: PART II.

As of today, our wedding is only 26 short days away. All of the fine details have been ironed out, final payments have been made, and now we are just enjoying our last few weeks being engaged!

But anyway, let’s move on to part three of this series. In part two, I promised this post would be all about the period between submitting our Banquet Event Order and making our final payment. That time has past, and there’s really not much to report!

What I have loved most about planning a wedding through Disney is that they take care of all of the little details. Other than making a few choices discussed in part two, finding an officiant, hair and makeup artists, and getting our dress and tux – there really hasn’t been much for us to do!

After submitting our BEO, really all there was to do was wait until the final payment was made. During this time, our guests were able to make their hotel accommodations in our room block. My fiance and I had to complete a form for our Disney photographer listing our photography styles, who was in our bridal party, and a few other details. And that was pretty much it.

Once the final payment was made, I had to once again look over the BEO to make sure everything looked good. Once it was finalized and all payments had been approved, we moved into the final stage – waiting for the big day!

The week final payments were made, my fiance and I got a third surprise package from Disney in the mail. The package was once again in the same beautiful Cinderella blue packaging, but enclosed were handkerchiefs for my groom and I. There were cards enclosed as well, giving us several ideas on how we could incorporate them into our special day! Unfortunately, I don’t have any pictures of this package, but it was truly just as beautiful as the last two.

Now, we simply wait. Our coordinator through DFTW, Steffane, is now finalizing all of the details to make sure everything is ready for our big day. The next step will be the wedding and we are so beyond excited for that day to come – all we have to do now is show up!

That brings us to the end of Part III of our Disney Fairytale Wedding series! Sorry there wasn’t much detail, but there really wasn’t much to report! Part IIII will be all about our big day, so definitely be on the look out!

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

PLANNING OUR DISNEY FAIRYTALE WEDDING: PART I

PLANNING OUR DISNEY FAIRYTALE WEDDING: PART I

In honor of my wedding being less than 100 days away (yay!), I thought it would be fun to create a series where I document the planning process of our Disney Fairytale wedding! In this series, I’ll take you along the planning process with me in anticipation of our big day.

But first, let’s backtrack a bit. Up until about January, we had an entire destination wedding planned. The wedding was set to be at Bilmar Beach Resort in St. Petersburg, Florida for all of our family and friends on May 25, 2019. We were looking at 150-200 guests, and it was going to be beautiful.

The closer and closer the wedding got the more stress that was added on. Our family and friends began stressing about getting time off of work and if they could afford it, it was hard finding vendors due to the wedding being Memorial Day weekend, and the list could go on and on. So, finally, my fiance and I decided we would cancel our “big” wedding and elope. That is what leads us to the start of Part I of our Disney Fairytale Wedding series…

Part I: Booking our Fairytale Wedding 

Choosing Our Package

When considering and brainstorming places to elope, one of the major factors we were considering was what would be easily accessible while still fitting into our lifestyle. We didn’t want to just head to a courthouse – we wanted something that would compliment who we were. I started googling “Places to elope in Orlando, Florida”, and Disney Fairytale weddings popped up. We knew then that we would be having a Disney Fairytale wedding.

There are three tiers to choose from for a Disney wedding, and this is where the planning began. The three options are:

  • Wishes: Starting at $12,000 with a minimum of 18 guests.
  • Escape: Starting at $7,000 with a maximum of 18 guests.
  • Memories: Starting at $3,500 with a maximum of 4 guests.

Initially, we thought that the Memories package would fit best for us since we wanted to do a simple elopement. However, the more we discussed the idea of our “special day”, we couldn’t picture saying I Do without our parents and siblings with us. We decided that the Escape package was the best fit for us, and this is where the fun began.

Disney’s Escape Wedding Package

Now that we chose which package would best fit our vision and our guest list, we then contacted a Sales Representative to get further information on how the package works and what is included. Our representative, Joe De Matei, was outstanding and a big help in this first stage of the planning process! During about an hour-long consultation on the phone, I was given the following information on what would be included in our special day:

  • A one-hour ceremony. Within this hour-long time frame, we would have the traditional wedding ceremony including a processional and a recessional. The hour also includes champagne toasts, a cake cutting ceremony, and a first dance.
    • There were several venues to choose from, which I will get more into a little later.
  • A two-tier cake and two bottles of champagne. These two items, as part of the ceremony, are included in the package cost.
  • A solo violinist. The violinist is included for the ceremony, and the song choices for the sand ceremony, processional, recessional, first dance, cake cutting, and more would be decided upon by my fiance and I. We were informed that they have pre-set songs we could choose from, or we could make special  requests ahead of time!
  • A bouquet and boutonniere. For the bride and groom only. There are several options to choose from!
  • A four-hour limousine charter. This can be used for our bridal party or any special guests.
  • 2-hour service of a Disney photographer. The photographer would be there to capture all moments during the ceremony, as well as photos of the bridal party and family after the ceremony has ended.
    • Included with the photographer is a 20-photo personalized album as well as a USB of all photo’s taken on the special day with printing rights.
  • An on-site wedding coordinator, room specialist, and photography coordinator. This team is assigned to you after booking the package.

A few other things that I took note of in regard to the package are…

  • There are several enhancement options that can be added on to customize the special day including floral decor for the ceremony space, additional hours for photography, videography, floral for the bridal party, and more.
  • We were able to set up a room block with special rates for rooms and tickets for our guests. If our guests reserve 10 room nights in total, we are provided with a complimentary nights stay at the resort of our choice.
  • We are required to have a four-night stay booked as the couple, and the reservation has to be linked to our package.

Lastly, some things that are necessary (or, that I found necessary) for our special day and are not included in the package are:

  • An officiant. We are provided with a list to choose from, but the officiant must be paid for and booked seperately.
  • Floral for our bridal party. We have the option of ordering floral through the Disney floral department or bringing in our own.
  • A reserved space to get ready for the bridal party. This one is fine, as we are able to get ready in our hotel rooms and be escorted in the limo to the ceremony space.

After speaking with Joe, we decided that this package was perfect for our elopement and fit our dream very nicely. This moves us into the next part of the process, which is deciding on a venue and putting a “soft hold” on our package!

Choosing our Venue

With the Escape package, we had five different venues to choose from:

  • Disney’s Wedding Pavilion at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort
  • Canada Terrace at the Canada Pavilion in EPCOT
  • Sea Breeze Point at Disney’s Boardwalk Resort
  • Wedding Gazebo at Disney’s Yacht Club Resort 
  • Luau Pointe at Disney’s Polynesian Resort

Our first choice was the Canada Terrace in EPCOT. We love that park, and the backdrop of the ceremony space is the waterfall in the back of the Canada pavilion. However, even though the date we wanted was open (May 24), the only time slot available was 9:00am, as they only do ceremonies before park opening which – to us – was entirely too early!

Our second choice was Luau Pointe. We absolutely love the Polynesian, and this ceremony space is beautiful. It’s very tropical and surrounded by beautiful greenery with the backdrop being Seven Seas Lagoon. Since we initially were supposed to get married on the beach, we figured this was perfect! After deciding on this ceremony spot, we were informed that the 1:00pm slot was already reserved, but a 9:00am and an 11:00am ceremony was open and available. As I mentioned above, 9:00am was too early for our taste, so we decided on the 11:00 slot!

Soft-Hold of our Date and Venue

The next and final step of the booking experience was to put a “soft hold” on our ceremony venue, date, and time. What this basically meant was that everything was reserved in our name for about a month’s time span while the Letter of Agreement was being drawn up and until the deposit was set.

To draw up the Letter of Agreement, I had about two weeks to fill out a form from Joe. On the form, I had to choose up to three resorts for our our room block (one value, one moderate, and one deluxe) as well as a resort for our complimentary room. I also had to provide him with basic information including our contact information and our parents’. Since it was easy information, that part of the process only took about three days.

After sending in that information, it took about another two weeks for Joe and his team to draw up a Letter of Agreement. I had to review that all of the information was correct, and my fiance and I had to sign the document. We then had about two more weeks to get the deposit of $1,000 over to them. Once everything was signed and they received the deposit, Joe and his team took about another week to sign the document on their end as well as assign us our wedding coordinator team.

And, that brings us to the end of Part I of our Disney Fairytale Wedding series! Part II in our series will be information on how we planned every detail of our wedding with our coordinating team, so be on the look-out!

Thanks for reading! I hope you enjoy this series! We are so excited for our special day, adn cannot wait to share it with all of you! Below are some photo’s of the venue we chose (Luau Pointe)! Be sure to subscribe to our blog so you’re notified when we post next! See ya real soon 😉