DIY: Rhinestone Cake Topper

Our first DIY tip is written by Disneymooner Laura, who just had a fabulous vow renewal aboard a Disney Alaskan Cruise. To read more about her wedding, vow renewal and read her recaps, please join our private forums.

Whether you are looking to save money, want a custom design, or are just really crafty, making your own monogram cake topper is probably easier than you think.

The first step is to choose or create a design.  It’s best if you can create it as an image file, but even a drawing might be doable.  Try to minimize really thin lines or small holes, as these will be hard to cut.  This was the design we created for our vow renewal cake topper:

Once you have your design, you need to decide what material you want your topper to be made of.  We went with stainless steel, but you can use other metals or even acrylic.  You’ll have to choose the thickness you want (1/8”, 3/16” and 1/4” are standard for metals) and whether you want the rods to be welded to the bottom or inserted into pre-drilled holes.  You’ll also have to figure out how big you want it to be.  It’s a good idea to check with your baker beforehand to get any necessary dimensions and weight limits.

With all these decisions made, it’s time to contact a metal cutter.  I started with a web search and looked for companies who made cake toppers or had examples of their work online.  After talking with and getting quotes from a few different people, I went with the one I felt most comfortable with.  About a week later we received our metal topper.

If your topper came with pre-drilled holes but no rods, you can purchase metal rods online or at a home improvement store.  You can also use wooden dowels or skewers.

You have a few options for decorating your topper: leave it as is, paint it, or add crystals.  If you’re going to use crystals, decide what color(s) and size(s) you want.  The more sizes you have, the better the coverage will be.  Crystals can be purchased online or at a craft store.  You’ll also have to decide how to attach them.  If you purchase hotfix crystals, you can try using a hotfix applicator.  With both flat back and hotfix crystals you can use an adhesive.  If you have trouble getting them to stick to metal, try scuffing up the surface.

Lastly, plan out your crystal pattern and attach them. I found it easiest to plan a small section and then glue it down.  It’s best to start at a corner or edge and work your way across, as it can be hard to make the crystals fit in a way you like when two sections meet.  However, you can pull the crystals back up if you need to redo an area.

Make sure you have extra crystals and glue with you (especially if you’re travelling to your wedding) just in case anything happens.

Here is our finished topper:


Celebrating an Anniversary in Disney World

By Sarah “Living Seas Bride”

My husband and I knew that we wanted to celebrate our fifth anniversary in Disney and knew we wanted to do something different.  We had celebrated the event in other ways over the years but wanted to mark this occasion differently.   We were discussing our various options for dessert parties, private dining, and cruises when a very “Grand” idea popped into our heads.   As Disney Vacation Club Members at Bay Lake Tower, we had always wanted a reason to stay in a villa with a Magic Kingdom view.  We thought what better reason than our anniversary to book a Three Bedroom Grand Villa and invite our friends and family to join us.

The real planning began with a phone call to conventions at The Contemporary Resort and I was met with very helpful cast member who quickly directed me to Randy Ramos at Contemporary Private Dining. Randy was extremely helpful and a pleasure to work with while planning our anniversary.   We emailed and spoke for several months leading up to our July trip.  He would often email me late at night when I had questions regarding the menu.

 I explained that we wanted private dining to cater an event in our room, for around 20 guests. We would be inviting our guests to our room to watch Wishes, as a sort of in house fireworks viewing. Randy emailed menus back and forth to me and in the end we created a customized menu based on what we wanted to serve and what was in our budget. It was very easy to plan and the catering team was very accommodating.

Our Menu :
Hamburger sliders
Cheeseburger sliders
Hot wings
Chicken fingers
Cesar salad
French fries
Sweet potato fries
Onion rings
Cookie Platter

On the day of our event, Randy and his team met us in the room, to discuss set up of the food.  It was all together very professional and they really made us feel like our event was special.  An hour before our guests arrived, catering came to set-up the villa.  We were shocked by the level, to which they set up the space.  We had only expected the food to be delivered to the room.  The catering team brought in a buffet table, special linens, serving platters and utensils, candles and other decorative elements.  The food was delivered and set up and at the end of the evening the team arrived again to clean up for us.

We were really pleased with the private event team and highly recommend them. The pricing and food were reasonable and the quality of the food was excellent.

Hosting our event in our villa meant that we saved a great deal of money.  Having planned other anniversary events in the past, this was by far the cheapest alternative. We had no viewing fees, site fees, or special delivery fees that are often associated with in park events.  Most importantly we were under no time restraint. It was our room and we could hang out and relax for as long as we wanted with our guests. It was really nice to sit back and watch Wishes from our living room, with our friends and family, and not have to fight any crowds to leave a park at the end of the night.

For a detailed budget and more images please check out the Disneymooners Forums. I’ve also planned several other events with reviews as well.

Momental Designs: A Disney Bride’s Review

By Justine


I am a practical person. I know that wedding invitations get thrown away. Normally my practical side would kick in and say “Justine, you don’t need fancy, customized invitations, just get that print at home kit from Wally World and get on with your life.” But it turns out that invitations were something that was really important to me. I saw them almost like advertisements for our wedding. The cooler they were, the more people would want to make the long haul to the “Most Magical Place on Earth” to see us get married.
So, I started poking around the internet looking for custom invitations. I wanted something that really depicted “us” as a family—myself, Adam and our furkids (3 dogs, 1 cat). I found one company but they were really slow getting back to me and even with being comfortable spending a higher amount; they were still pushing my budget. So, I googled some more (key words: custom hand drawn invitations) and combed Etsy and one day I stumbled across Momental Designs. I loved the way their website was laid out. It has lots of example of their works and I really clicked with their “Sketched” collection. I also appreciated that they provided a price range for each collection. There’s nothing worse than finding the perfect item only to find out later it is out of your price range.
I sent an email and within a day I had a phone conference set up with their main designer/artist, Kristy Rice. She asked me some basic questions about what I was envisioning and I told her about our wedding vibe. At this point we paid a deposit fee of $200 for their time in creating our invitation artwork. This is a flat fee and does not go towards your purchase. We also signed a basic contract and I sent her a link to an online photo album that had a few pictures of myself, Adam and the furkids. She said she would work on a first draft and have it posted on the blog in about a week. At this point we were a little under a year out, so although I wasn’t in a hurry, I appreciated their promptness. After the initial contact with Kristy, the rest of my communication was with Kelley her assistant. I always received a reply to my emails within 24 hours unless it was the weekend.
We received our first draft on time along with a brief questionnaire about what we liked and what we didn’t. There were a few things that needed to be fixed (Adam look like Zack Morris and not himself) and I wanted more color on the outside folder and darker purple flowers on the inside. Other than that we were happy. They made those changes quickly and then we were kind of in a holding pattern until after our planning session. Once we were back from the PS and we had all of our events finalized, we worked with Momental to do our enclosures. They were really great about making sure all of the pertinent info was included. When we were finally ready to order, we paid an extra fee to have them ship us a hardcopy. They offer a digital proof option for free. We had three different people read over it; we initialed each page and then it back to Momental. They had to receive this back before they would move forward on our printing. We paid the rest of our balance; they printed out all the pieces and shipped them to us. They arrived all nicely packaged and waiting for us. They do offer addressing services, but Adam has really nice handwriting so he did that himself.




Overall I had an excellent experience with Momental Designs. I loved how prompt they were and their prices, while somewhat high, were worth it to me because they provided everything I wanted: an invitation that was all about us.

The Grand Floridian: A Disney Bride’s Review

By Sarah

For as long as I’ve visited Walt Disney World growing up, I always gazed longingly at the Victorian- themed gem nestled on the shores of Bay Lake.  I dreamed of staying there one day and thought about how magical it would be to be a guest at Disney’s “Flagship Resort”.  When we decided to have our wedding in Disney World, the planning often focused on where we would stay for our two weeks there.  We immediately knew we wanted to experience what this resort had to offer.  Our decision was based on several factors: the ambiance, amenities, location and value.  Wait, did she just say value and Grand Floridian in the same sentence? Let me explain.

As part of the wedding planning process, brides and grooms must face the room block decision.  A special perk of this is discounted rooms, which allows the possibilities of staying at a deluxe resort for a significantly discounted rate.  We took full advantage of the perk and booked a concierge level room for a price we will never see again.  The location of this resort for us was another plus.  Not only is it  right next to the Magic Kingdom with  great transportation services but it was also near two of our wedding event venues.  Our rehearsal dinner was at 1900 Park Fare and our ceremony at the Wedding Pavilion.  It was a nice touch to be able to see our venue every time we went outside.

The ambiance and atmosphere at the Grand Floridian is next to none.  The cast members were there to help with everything we needed during our stay including helping with delivering welcome bags and carrying all our wedding gear upstairs.
The luxurious amenities of this resort are endless. From the rooms and suites, dining experiences, views of the Magic Kingdom, shops, a spa and a salon, it makes for a relaxing experience.  I used the Spa in the week before the wedding, several guests used the salon to get their hair perfect, and one guest even had to purchase dress socks that he left home in NY.
Staying at the Grand Floridian was a decision we would make over again. I highly recommend it if you are looking to spoil yourself a little for your wedding or honeymoon.  The high level of quality is evident in every aspect of the resort from the pools, to stores and even the grand lobby.

For a more pictures and reviews of the Grand Floridian and other resorts visit forums.

A Disney Bride’s Favorite Wedding Moment

By Sarah

I, of course, think everything about a Disney Wedding is just amazing. I couldn’t possibly pick just one part.

The most intensely emotional moment was the walk from the bride’s vestibule to the Wedding Pavilion doors. I had heard the stories before and seen so many past brides’ pictures. Nothing prepared me for the build-up. I heard the music inside and as I stood there with my Dad, just waiting, it was incredible. The moment those doors woooshed opened and the cool breeze hit me…I started crying.

It was powerful.