A Fairy Tale Focus ~ Sarah & Pat

Disneymooner Pixie Sarah, and her husband Pat, were married on July 15th, 2006 at Disney’s Wedding Pavilion. They hosted their reception at Living Seas Salon inside Epcot followed by an Illuminations Dessert Party at Italy Isola

Disneymooners: Tell us a little about yourselves!

Sarah:100% Disneyphiles. If it deals with Disney we need to be apart of it and know about it. As DVC members we always have a trip (or two planned.

Disneymooners: What made you decide to have a Disney wedding and why?

Sarah: We both grew up on Disney. Our families both took trips each year and so when we met we continued building on that number of trips together. I don’t think there was ever a doubt in our minds when we got engaged that we would be returning to say I do. We actually had no other locations in consideration; it was Disney wedding or bust. We knew having a wedding in Walt Disney World meant it got that Disney seal of quality and magic.

Disneymooners: How did your friends and family respond when they found out you were having a Disney wedding?

Sarah: I don’t think many people were shocked when they heard the news. We had gotten engaged there and as soon as we decided on a wedding there we began telling people to save up for a destination wedding. We were lucky and were not met with much resistance on the traveling. Our families were very supportive and they are all Disney fans themselves.

Disneymooners: Was there any particular reason why you chose your venue locations?

Sarah: The wedding and reception venues were givens for us. We were getting married in the heat of a Floridian summer so we needed an indoor location. I always dreamed of having a wedding at the Wedding Pavilion, with every monorail ride overhead. The Living Seas decision was made 2 years prior on the Behind the Scenes Tour at Epcot. Part of the tour shows you this private room in the Living Seas. As soon as our tour guide mentioned couples could have their receptions there, our eyes met and the decision was done.

Disneymooners: Planning a wedding, especially long distance, can be stressful for a couple. They wonder how it will all look in the end. How did it feel for you when you saw it all come together on your wedding day?

Sarah: Planning the wedding from a distance was a touch stressful at times, but the planning session and constant communication with my wedding planner really helped ease all the anxiety for me. I think it was a really surprise for us to see everything come together. You see it all piece by piece for so long, that it’s hard to see the grand picture of how the centerpieces will look on those tables under that lighting. We were really blown away by how well Disney took our ideas and brought them to life. I remember the biggest moment for us was seeing our reception for the first time.

Disneymooners: Was there anything that surprised you? Maybe something that you didn’t expect to have such a huge impact on the day?

Sarah: I think I was really surprised at how the adults reacted to our three characters at the reception. We had Mickey, Minnie and Stitch at our reception and the look of excitement and awe really captured us. To see these giant smiles on the faces of grown men and women dancing with Mickey was priceless.

Disneymooners: Part of the excitement for a lot of couples is to see their guests react to the magic of a Disney wedding. What aspect of your wedding do you think your guests loved the most?

Sarah: It’s really hard for me to name just one aspect that our guests loved. There are a few things that they still talk about. I think the guests were really taken back by the Dessert Party at Italy Isola and the private area for Illuminations. They really felt like they were celebrities that night being escorted back stage to a private area just for them.

Disneymooners: What was the #1 splurge you had that you couldn’t imagine not having on your wedding day?

Sarah: Our Illuminations Dessert Party. Looking back I don’t think our wedding would have been the same if we didn’t have that event after the reception. It was a final farewell to our guests who traveled so far for us. It was the perfect ending to an amazing day.

Disneymooners: Tell our members about the top 3 things that you’re glad you did for your wedding.

Sarah:

  1. Had characters at our reception. The look of pure exhilaration on the faces of the youngest to the oldest as they danced with Mickey Mouse and Stitch at our reception was priceless.
  2. Had a few group events prior to the wedding. We had our rehearsal dinner and a night out at Pleasure Island a few days before. I was so thankful for those special moments with our friends and family. I found myself wanting more of those moments during the trip.
  3. Surprised our guests twice. We hired Major Domo to play a prank on our guests during the ceremony. No one knew what was going on and really thought our best man had lost the rings. The story is still told to this day with big laughs. We also surprised everyone with the lighted slipper sorbet at our reception. Everyone thought that was the greatest addition.

Disneymooners: Was there anything that you wish you had done? Or wish you had done differently?

Sarah: Looking back in the weeks and months after the wedding there wasn’t really anything I would have done differently. We were so happy with the event from start to finish, I can’t imagine changing anything. Now that almost 6 years have passed I think there are so new trends and additions I could have added had they been an option. I think if given the chance now I would have done an Epcot photo shoot after the wedding.

Disneymooners: Photography is very important to all brides. Was there a particular shot that you knew you absolutely had to have to document your day?

Sarah: There were a ton of photos I had on my must list. I even made a detailed list of top 20 pictures that MUST be taken and handed it to my photographer. He was great and carried it around all day to make sure he got all of them. If I had to pick one…they were the fireworks shots from our dessert party. Those are still some of my favorites. However, I did find that some of my more cherished ones were the unexpected ones taken.

Disneymooners: Do you have any words of wisdom to our future brides?

Sarah: Plan the wedding you both want, not the wedding you think other people want. We really did plan the wedding we both envisioned. Sure we took others into consideration but the wedding venues, style, theming, music, ceremony, etc were all us. And for those brides ready to walk down the aisle, my advice to every bride that I have seen off over the years. Take a mental picture. At some point on your wedding day stand off to the side and look around at everything around you. Take in the sights and sounds and the people around you. The day goes by lightning fast and you will be happy you took a few precious moments to be in the moments, once its all over.

You can read all about Sarah’s wedding here

Sarah, on behalf of Disneymooners, thank you for taking the time to share a little about your wedding planning and day. You are a great member of our community and we look forward to following along in your Happily Ever After! All the best ~ the Disneymooners

A Fairy Tale Focus ~ Lesley & Tyler

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!

Lesley:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.

DFTW Update: Wedding Pavilion News

It’s that time of the year when the folks at Disney Fairytale Weddings give us notice of the Annual rehab of Disney’s Wedding Pavilion. This is important in order for the Wedding Pavilion to maintain its glory for all the upcoming Disney weddings.

The rehab will take place July 6-19, 2012.  Disney Fairytale Weddings department will therefore not be able to undertake any site visits during that time but the Planners will be doing Planning Sessions if necessary.

That Disney Wedding planning “Mecca” aka Francks will also be undergoing rehab during this time.

July can bring with it some pretty high temperatures and humidity so the timing does make sense. Here at Disneymooners we know for some, this is the only time you can make it to Walt Disney World so fingers crossed this doesn’t cause anyone too much inconvenience. 

Don’t forget to hop on over to our forums if you need any advice for your Disney Wedding Site Visit or Planning Session.

A Fairy Tale Focus ~ Sally & Scott

Disneymooner Sally, and her fiance Scott, will be having a Wishes wedding on January 7th, 2013 at Disney’s Wedding Pavilion at the Walt Disney World Resort. They will be having their reception at one of the Boardwalk ballrooms.

Disneymooners: Can you tell our new members a little about the both of you?

Sally: Scott and I met and began dating while working at our former employer.  Scott manages a team responsible for the email and collaboration system at a large University, and I’m a Sr. IT Associate at a financial services company.  We’ve been together just over 8 years, and have been engaged for a little over a year now.

Disneymooners: When did you first decide you wanted to have a Disney Fairy Tale Wedding and why?

Sally: Disney was our first vacation together, and has become a place we go back to every year.   We decided Disney would be where we marry after Scott proposed at Disney.  I thought it was a trip to celebrate my birthday and see the Holiday decorations, but Scott surprised me with a romantic proposal on our first night during dinner at Victoria & Albert’s.  I also have to add that the most special part of the engagement was when Scott told me he had asked my father for permission to marry me.  My father was ill and unfortunately he passed away a month after Scott asked him.  While I never got to share the exciting news with him personally, knowing that my Dad knew was very special to me.

Disneymooners:Did you have any concerns about having a destination wedding? If so, what were they and how did you work them out?

Sally: No concerns whatsoever.  I knew that a majority of our guests had never been to Disney, so they will use the wedding as a good reason to finally plan a vacation for our event.

Disneymooners:Any special reason why you chose these locations?

Sally: Whenever we rode the monorail, I would always look at the Pavillion and imagined how special it would be to get married there.  While we were at Disney during our engagement vacation, I was lucky to get an appointment to meet with a consultant and see the inside of the Wedding Pavillion.  I knew as soon as I walked in, that was it.  For the reception, we originally planned to have it at the Napa Room at California Grille, but it is going under refurbishment on January 1st,, 2013, so we chose the Boardwalk because we love the location and atmosphere.

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!

Sally:
1. Dessert Party 2. Photography 3. Wedding Pavillion

Disneymooners: Do you have any extra magical touches planned? Such as a dessert party or characters?

Sally: We are planning a dessert party at Italy Isola West as the welcome party the night before the wedding.  One of the advantages of being a member on the Disneymooner site is all of the good information posted by past brides – specifically Glad I Did, Wish I Had.  A consistent message I read was “glad I had a dessert party” and “it is so unique to Disney”.   I may never get another opportunity to have all of my extended family together again, so this is going to happen!

We’re also going to have an “Around the World” pub crawl at EPCOT complete with passports.  Each guest will have their passport stamped as we visit each country and sample the beverage of choice!

Disneymooners: What would you say has been your biggest challenge?

Sally: It hasn’t been too much of a challenge, but planning the wedding from a distance.  I know that will pass when I get to Florida in June and meet with my planner, plus there is plenty of information available on Disneymooner’s and the internet.

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?

Sally: Yes, I have 2 tips.  The first, if you are creative enough or have a vision and can DIY some things, do it.  I DIY’d my Save the Date’s and saved approximately $250!  My second tip would be to get the Passporter’s Disney Weddings & Honeymoon book.  It has all of the budget worksheets you need, and if you buy the ebook version, you can enter and track your expenditures in the program and how much you will owe, including what is service charged, taxed or both.

Disneymooners: Have you found it to be easy to plan a Disney Fairy Tale Wedding on your planned budget?

Sally: Yes, I compared the Disney minimums to other local and destination venues and Disney’s costs were coming out on par or better.  But, no other venue can offer all of the amenities that come built-in with a Disney wedding, so I feel it is very worth it.

Disneymooners: Do you have any fun splurges planned for your trip that you’re excited about?

Sally: Well besides the “around the world” afternoon at EPCOT, the guys are going to have a golf outing and I would love to have a bridal tea, but that has not been planned yet.  I’m going to work with my planner on coming up with a girls event.

Disneymooners: You have a Planning Journal in progress on our forums, have you found that to be helpful in your journey?

Sally: Yes, it’s been great to have a support system to give you words of encouragement, bounce off an idea and get feedback, or ooh and ahh over a choice you’ve made.   It’s clear that people come to Disneymooner to get ideas and inspirations for their wedding, but then stay on long after their wedding is over because they’ve made connections with other members.

Disneymooners: What are you most looking forward to on the big day?

Sally: Besides the obvious of finally making our relationship official?!  I’m looking forward to waking up that morning knowing that it is finally my wedding day and having that quiet time before the chaos of getting ready begins.  And selfishly, I’m also looking forward to all of the fuss with hair and makeup, and then putting on my gown and feeling like it’s my Cinderella moment!

Disneymooners: Do you have anything else you’d like to share with our new members?

Sally: I’ve learned some great tips and ideas that have helped me in my planning by joining Disneymooners.  Being long distance, I’ve also used Google to get other brides feedback on various vendors – I’ve found great feedback at weddingwire .com.  Lastly, good luck with your plans and I hope your wedding turns out to be everything you wish for!

Sally, 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 next year! All the best ~ Disneymooners.

A Fairy Tale Focus: Tara & Chris

Disneymooner, Tara and her fiance Chris, will be having a Wishes wedding at Disney’s Wedding Pavilion at the Grand Floridian on September 1st 2012. They will be holding their reception at the American Adventure Rotunda at Epcot.

Disneymooners: Can you tell our new members a little about the both of you?

Tara: Chris and I not your average couple and things have not always been so great. I currently work for Limited Brands and Chris is a sergeant for a local police department. I met Chris while working at Kohl’s and he was doing special duty there. He always talked to me and said hi while at work, but I never thought anything of because so did all the other police officers. One day I had mentioned that I was finally moving out on my own, which was close to where he lived, he gave me his number incase I needed anything and things just blossomed from there. Chris is a huge Steelers fan so I go along with him since I didn’t really watch NFL before I met him. We are both huge Disney fans and hope to move to Florida in the next couple of years.

Disneymooners: When did you first decide you wanted to have a Disney Fairy Tale Wedding and why?

Tara: I had been to Disney World many times as a child, but had not gone as an adult until I met Chris. I fell in love with Disney World even if it was during July 4th! I had always joked about wanting a Disney Fairy Tale Wedding after we went, but did not think it was going to happen. I looked at their website and told Chris that I really think we could make it work with their minimums. We looked at some places locally and I felt the prices were going to be comparable. After doing some research, we decided it was going to be a Disney Fairy Tale Wedding.

Disneymooners: Did you have any concerns about having a destination wedding? If so, what were they and how did you work them out?

Tara: Our main concern with a destination wedding is having to planning a wedding so far away. However, we have met with DFTW 3 times in the past year and will meet with our planner again in a couple weeks so it makes things a lot easier. I really do not know what we would have done if we didn’t have some many opportunities to go to Florida and meet face to face.

Disneymooners: How has the reaction of your guests been to a Disney wedding?

Tara: Most people seem to react with a little shock and most of them make the comment that it must be expensive since it is Disney, but we set them straight. Some are excited though because they have never been.

Disneymooners: Any special reason why you chose these locations?

Tara: We were limited to our locations based on our estimate of 100 people, we changed venues a couple times, but glad we settled with this

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!

Tara:

1. Illuminations
2. Chair covers
3. Quick ceremony (hopefully this holds true)

Disneymooners: Do you have any extra magical touches planned? Such as a dessert party or characters?

Tara: Our cocktail hour is going to be at Italy Isola during Illuminations and we are definitely having Mickey and Minnie there.

Disneymooners: How has your planning experience with Disney Fairy Tale Weddings been thus far?

Tara: My planning experience has had its ups and downs so far. I have had a couple planners so far which can sometimes be frustrating when getting shifted around. Also, MK bridal portraits aren’t available anytime around our wedding so it is also frustrating in that aspect when things do not go as plan… However, my current planner is doing a great job and making things go a lot smoother.

Disneymooners: What would you say has been your biggest challenge?

Tara: Our biggest challenge has been making decisions. Chris and I are both easy going, laid back people so trying to make decisions isn’t always the easiest. Decisions are also a challenge because we are just estimating our 100 head count even though we are inviting over 300 guests. Granted I would love for everyone to come, but it will also send our budget sky high.

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?

Tara: Shop around and be patient. We can’t really cut much through DFTW so we had to look at the other things we having. For example, I waited about 5 months from buying my gown and returned to the bridal salon to look for a rehearsal dinner dress and ended up finding the dress I fell in love with 5 months prior on the discontinued rack and it saved us big bucks.

Disneymooners: Have you found it to be easy to plan a Disney Fairy Tale Wedding on your planned budget?

Tara: Yes and no. Honestly I didn’t really come in with a budget, I knew what my parents would pay and anything else Chris and I had to pay for. Chris and I have kept it to the minimum and do not have very many extras so we are comfortable with what we are spending. I also had the passporter’s book which helped give me an idea of what things were going to cost before Disney sent out the BEO.

Disneymooners: Do you have any fun splurges planned for you trip that you’re excited about?

Tara: We are staying in the concierge rooms for 4 our of the 8 days we will be there. Not only that, my bridesmaids will be staying with me in the concierge room for one night and I think it will have them spoiled.

Disneymooners: You have a Planning Journal in progress here, have you found that to be helpful in your journey?

Tara: I love having a planning journal, not only does it allow me to share my ideas and experiences, but it also gives me a place to vent (only sometimes) when DFTW causes stress knowing my fellow disneymooners are there to listen. I also enjoy having a planning journal because I tend to look at the other planning journals and it gives me ideas.

Disneymooners: What are you most looking forward to on the big day?

Tara: I am looking forward to seeing everything put together and the reaction on our guests’ faces.

Disneymooners: Do you have anything else you’d like to share with our new members?

Tara: These boards are full of a lot of information so take your time and look through everything. Also, don’t be afraid to ask questions on here or to your planner.

Tara, the Disneymooners would like to thank you for sharing your experience with us. We are so happy to have you as a part of our community! We look forward to sending you off on your big day. And we can’t wait to hear all about it when you return! All the best~ the Disneymooners