Disneymooner Lesley, and her fiance Tyler, will be having a Wishes wedding on September 2, 2012 at Disney’s Wedding Pavilion at the Walt Disney World Resort. They will be having their reception at the Grand Floridian Salons.
You can follow Lesley’s Planning Journal here
Disneymooners: Can you tell our new members a little about the both of you?
Lesley: Tyler & I are high school sweethearts we have been together for 8 years. Our first trip together was to Disney with multiple trips between then and now which have increased our love for Disney. I am finishing up my second bachelor’s degree in nursing (yes it is possible to plan your dream wedding in nursing school!!); Tyler has a great job with a Cement company right out of college as a logistics analysis.
Disneymooners:When did you first decide you wanted to have a Disney Fairy Tale Wedding and why?
Lesley: When I was little and traveling to Disney with my family (growing up we went 2-3 times a year) I always said I would get married at Disney. In 2006 Tyler and I took a picture outside the wedding pavilion, at that time having little meaning he knew that was where I wanted to get married. In 2011 he proposed to my at Narcoossee’s and while walking around the park the next day with our just engaged pins on we saw multiple just married pins. We stayed on the boardwalk and as we were on our balcony we saw a couple who had just got married walking in their wedding attire, we yelled “congratulations” to them. It was at that point I think we both though why not, lets finish our happily ever after and get to have that moment where everyone is going to be looking at us!!
Disneymooners: Did you have any concerns about having a destination wedding? If so, what were they and how did you work them out?
Lesley: Our biggest concern at the start was getting his family down there. My family and extended family use to take trips together to Disney for graduations/birthdays and it has been awhile since our last family trip so we knew my side would not be a problem. His family has never even been to Disney so I thought this was a perfect opportunity for them to join us in our happily ever after while enjoying a family vacation. I am finishing up nursing school, so I didn’t want to be doing a lot of planning so we knew a destination wedding was the right choice for us. Here towards the end, we are still working out a lot of the kinks to get family members down there but I know our day will be perfect and in the end our love ones will be there!
Disneymooners: Any special reason why you chose these locations?
Lesley: I always wanted to get married in a church so the wedding pavilion just fit our personalities and look. At first we wanted our reception at the Wilderness Lodge or Boardwalk. After finding out the WL didn’t have a reception location we looked at both boardwalk and GF at our site visit and to me it was an easy decision. The Grand Floridian to me has always been so appealing to the eye so it was a no brainer once I saw the reception locations and the convenience of the location in regards to the WP (No, offense to anyone having a reception at BW – I still love it there and would have it there if the WP was closer).
Disneymooners: Many brides pick a Top 3. These are components that are a non-negotiable. Chiavari chairs, lots of floral, lobster, etc. Tell us about your Top 3!
Wedding Pavilion – like I mentioned above we knew if we were having a DFTW it was going to be at the pavilion. The construction did throw me off but past brides have reassured me that guest will not solely be focused on the outside aspect.
Dessert Party – we thought this would be a perfect “favor” for our guest. We are having our DP at Fantasmic! A little different then the typical illuminations but it has always been one of our favorite shows.
Minnie & Mickey – we want to surprise our guest with some honoree guest. I think deep down people think they will be at the ceremony so they aren’t coming into the reception until later.
Potato Martini Action Station – I love mashed potatoes so when I saw a past bride describe her upcoming wedding menu items I knew that I would also have to include this on mine!!
Disneymooners: Do you have any extra magical touches planned? Such as a dessert party or characters?
Lesley: Yes both (mentioned above)
Disneymooners: What would you say has been your biggest challenge?
Lesley: Trying to get everyone down there. We recently found out a group of our friends are coming which we are very excited about but then a few of our family members we thought for sure would be there have declined. Another challenge for me is transportation, even though Disney offers park-resort transportation Disney’s options does not seem to fit our budget, timeframe or guest count.
Disneymooners: Budgets are very important to all of us. Do you have a favorite budget tip that you’ve used and can you tell how it’s helped you?
Lesley: Don’t be afraid to look outside of Disney. We are going outside to get Floral and Transportation. In the end we are still saving money. I used these boards as a way to gain knowledge from past brides experience’s with outside vendors. Also, don’t be afraid to ask questions to past brides, we all know the stress involved with planning a wedding and sometimes a question you think is “silly” will help you in the long run of planning. Also, be persistent with your budget and let your planner know if you think something is too expensive. For example, my cake came back at $17pp and I told my planner “no we were not going to have it cost that much for cake”. In the end I think it’s now down to $9pp using a 2-tiered cake (instead of 3) and sheet cake (after we cut it – we were told they are taking it all to the back anyways to cut, so our guest will never know).
Disneymooners: Have you found it to be easy to plan a Disney Fairy Tale Wedding on your planned budget?
Lesley: Yes, we have everything we want for our wedding on our BEO and we are just over minimum. It was important for us to stay around minimum as we are lucky enough to have someone pay for it. We know that it is costing a lot for our friends and family to come down so we kept that in mind too and have tried coordinating a lot of “free” activities for them such as a welcome party (rehearsal dinner) instead of limiting it to our wedding party only.
Disneymooners: Do you have any fun splurges planned for your trip that you’re excited about?
Lesley: I think Tyler & I are both excited about not having plans for the few days before the wedding. We are just going to go with the flow and since we have the AP’s we can go to the parks with the guest if we want to our just relax. I am really looking forward to going to maybe one park with his family because they have never been there before and I can’t wait to see the look on their faces!! We received an early present from a friend of mine and are staying at the Dolphin the night of our wedding (easy walk from Jellyrolls). We have never stayed there before as we use my family’s DVC points. We also have a going-away dinner planned for Ohana’s Monday evening (as most guest leave Tuesday, including Tyler & I who will be heading to JAMACIA!!!)
Disneymooners: You have a Planning Journal in progress here, have you found that to be helpful in your journey?
Lesley: Yes, the planning journal is the best choice I made as it helps answer a lot of my questions that I have instead of bothering my planner. It also helps me gain insight as to what other brides are doing/have done which leads me to look into it for my big day.
Disneymooners:What are you most looking forward to on the big day?
Lesley: Marrying my best friend of course. I can’t wait to see his reaction as I walk down the aisle and celebrating the whole day with our friends and family (it is an all day affair). Also, I can’t wait to have the moment where guest are congratulating us (like we remember from our previous trips).
Disneymooners: Do you have anything else you’d like to share with our new members?
Lesley: Take a deep breath and enjoy planning it will fly by. Try not to stress on the little things because the day of I know I’m going to look back and think I was crazy for fretting over it. Feel free to ask questions because my experience with past brides is where I get the best information and ideas!!
Lesley, on behalf of all of us, I’d like to thank you for taking the time to share your experiences so far. We are so happy you have joined Disneymooners and we are so excited to follow your planning. Wishing you a wonderful planning journey and a beautiful wedding! All the best ~ Disneymooners.