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!


  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.


Featured Venue Fridays: Grand Floridian Ballroom

This week’s “Featured Venue Friday” post was written by Disneymooner Tiffani. Tiffani used Ballrooms C&D  at the Grand Floridian Resort for her wedding reception. Photographs are from Disney Event Photography.

It’s Disney World and there are a thousand possible locations from the exotic to the entertaining.  So why did I end up with a ballroom at the Grand Floridian?

The ballrooms may seem the most safe, and perhaps a traditional choice but when we sat down with our sales person, we went over the things that were important to us.  For us, we wanted killer food, but a plated formal affair over a buffet, which immediately nixed a lot of locations that were buffet only.  We knew that the Wedding Pavilion was our ceremony venue and we wanted something convenient, that we wouldn’t have to worry over how to transport guests to and without leaving them stranded at our location, offering them the option to come or go as they pleased, so we pretty much ruled out in park locations.  We also knew that there was no way we would hit certain guest minimums nor did we want time constraints placed by possible event locations. Although it wasn’t a concern for us at the time, but Disney’s constraints on having outside photographers only allowed at non-theme park venues would be another reason to look at the hotels.

Truthfully, for us, the ambience of the Grand Floridian, which flows of course, so well with the ambiance of the pavilion was the feeling that we were looking to extend so we chose the St. Augustine Ballrooms C&D, based on our guest count of approximately 60 people.  The elegant look of the hotel and the ballroom, while still having that old Florida feel appealed to us.  We also like the blank slate of the ballroom, allowing us to truly customize our event, without having to work around existing decor or furniture.  The ballrooms are an excellent opportunity to free a bride from any restrictions.

Want a giant candy bar that spans the length of the room? Go for it! Want a large dance floor with lots of little nooks for sitting, socializing and drinking? Not a problem!  Looking for a reception that accentuates the “blush and bashful” theme from Steel Magnolia, with pink everywhere? You have the room to do it. Bunting in rich fabrics with twinkle lights can be hung from every inch of the room, ceiling and down.  With the ballrooms, your only limit is your imagination (and, of course, your budget)

Here’s what Disneymooners  are saying about the Grand Floridian Ballrooms on our forums:

Our theme was “Happily Ever After, in blue” with Cinderella’s castle front and center, and when the dimmed lights came on and everything was bathed in blue, I couldn’t imagine anything more perfect.  Or anything more perfectly personalized to us.

– Tiffani

Featured Venue Fridays: White Hall Patio at the Grand Floridian Resort

This weeks Featured Venue post was written by Disneymooner Gina. Gina used White Hall Patio for her 2009 wedding reception. To read her recaps join the Disneymooner forums.

The White Hall Patio located at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort is a great choice for the bride and groom who want to celebrate outdoors.  The patio area is attached to the Whitehall Room which can be used for cocktail hour or as backup in case of rain.  You can comfortably host about 50 guests in the area and still have room for dancing. This area is also a popular location for pre-wedding events.

The patio is the perfect blank canvas to create the wedding decor of your dreams.  On one side you have gorgeous french doors leading to the Whitehall Room/Grand Floridian conference area and a small covered area to set up your cake, buffet if you have one, and DJ.

On the other is a short brick wall which can be decorated with flowers, candles or whatever you dream up.  In the distance is Cinderella’s Castle, reminding you that you’re in the happiest place on Earth! And up above… ohhhhhh up above is what makes this spot so special, it’s the MONORAIL! The monorail cruises through periodically adding a touch of Disney magic to your event that guests will talk about for years to come. In case you’re concerned, no, it’s not too loud, I promise!

This location lets your decor shine, so get creative with linens and centerpieces, there’s no need to match anything existing because it’s all so neutral.

My husband and I chose Whitehall because we love being outdoors.  We were married in January and the weather was exceptional.  On of the most unforgettable parts of our wedding was during out first dance when the monorail stopped and everyone on board waved to our guests.  That moment made me feel like a true Disney princess!!

If you’re looking for the elegance of the Grand Floridian but wanting to put your own spin on decor this is the venue for you!

Here’s what Disneymooners are saying about White Hall Patio on our forums:

We chose the Whitehall Room and patio for the proximity to the Magic Kingdom. We used it for our Welcome Dessert party the night before the wedding. We wanted a place with options for A/C because it’s so hot in Aug and with a view of Wishes. I definitely thought it was a nice venue but brides should be aware that it is a very obstructed view of Wishes

– Lianne

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 www.disneymooner.com forums.