Vendor Reveal: Jess Cumbie Photography

Continuing our series of “Vendor Reveals”.  Through our Disneymooner forums we’ve found our members have used a number and variety of Vendors for their Disney Wedding and we’ve been asking those Vendors to reveal just a little more about their business……. and themselves!

What is the name of your business/service and what is your offering?
Jess Cumbie Photography/Photography

What is your name, seems obvious I know but maybe it’s different from your business name?
Jess Cumbie

What do you believe makes your business/service unique? Me

How did you get started and how long have you been doing this?
Officially started in January of 2007

When not working a wedding at Walt Disney World (or another venue for that matter) what are you doing?
Tending to one of my many doggies, spending time with my hubby when he’s here (he’s Navy)… I spend a lot of time with my family, I have a large family… Movies, catching up on favorite TV show, friends… the usual stuff… Ironically my clients tend to take me to the best places for weddings and other shoots so sometimes some of the most fun I have is with them!!

What is your favorite part about your job?
The fact that it’s rewarding.

What types of wedding packages do you offer Disney brides?
All my wedding packages start with 4hrs of coverage then the bride can choose from there. I like for my sessions to be as customizable as possible for the client.

What is your favorite wedding trend right now in relation to your business/service?
The First Look

What’s your favorite thing about doing Disney weddings?
It’s Disney… Does there need any more explanation?

Happily Ever After

What was your strangest request when working a Disney Wedding?
Nothing too out of the ordinary… I JUST got off the phone with one of my brides who asked me if I would want to come to their desert party inside the park after the wedding, even though they know I can’t shoot… just to come and enjoy… I told her that it was her call but I’m FOR SURE not going to say no to fireworks and sweets!!!


What’s your most memorable moment that you have taken away from a Disney wedding?
Each one is so different and so special. I had a couple actually surprise their guests with Mickey and Minnie at their reception… I was MORE thrilled than the kids were to see them… I think I got a little misty eyed like some people do over Justin Bieber… I know I’m a dork, and I’m ok with it 😉

Mickey and Minnie Mouse

If you were getting married at WDW where would you have your ceremony and reception and why?
oh my… I think if I were to be getting married… I’d do it… ummm…. well….. uhhhhhhhh….. sigh… I have no idea… I don’t know how people choose!!!!

Who is your favorite Disney character and why?
I have to answer this very question for one of my Disney brides and I simply can’t… can I get more direction, like which movie, which era etc etc…. Ariel, Baloo, Maleficent, Genie, Flora, Fauna & Maryweather… Gus…

Which is your favorite Disney attraction and why?
Epcot… cause I’m a foodie! 🙂

Why should a Disneymooner choose your service?
To quote myself, from my Disney Wedding info packet……..
“Why Choose Jess Cumbie?
Why Choose Jess Cumbie as your Disney Wedding photographer? I’m sure it’s a question you’ve asked. As a Disney bride you’re spending quite a bit of time planning your wedding online……you’re relying on others who’ve had Disney weddings before and the Disney wedding planners. It’s hard to plan a complete wedding long distance. Many express that they want to have a non-Disney photographer at their wedding, which is fully understandable. It’s your wedding and the photographer is one of the most important aspects of the wedding. So, why choose me? I grew up Disney, my parents bought my sister and I annual passes, we also had the vacation club growing up. We’d go down on weekends 4-5 times a year. I use the term “Disney brat” same as people call themselves an “Army brat”. I love Disney, being there in the parks or just Downtown Disney and Disney’s Boardwalk. I spent my own honeymoon at Disney, and most all my vacations not because it’s close, easy or convenient but because I love it. I believe that’s what makes me a great Disney Wedding photographer.”

Jess Cumbie Photography

Thanks to Jess Cumbie for answering our questions as part of our Vendor Reveal series, if you would like your work revealed to our readers please contact


Entertainment: Major Domo

Disney World  and Disneyland offer a world of entertainment options for both your wedding ceremony or reception.  While entertainment is not necessary for your event, many couples decide to add a special touch to their event.  One of the fun entertainment options for the bride and groom is Major Domo.

Disney Fairytale Weddings website describes Major Domo as:

A Renaissance-costumed Major Domo will act as your ring bearer and carry your rings down the aisle in a glass slipper.

Please consult your wedding planner for current pricing. The last pricing we had started at $675 for a WDW wedding appearance. Major Domo is classified as a themed entertainer and is offered at both Walt Disney World and Disneyland events.

Major Domo can be used for a number of duties at your wedding.  He can serve as ring bearer during your ceremony and carry the rings in on a pillow and glass slipper.  Major Domo can announce you as Mr and Mrs for the first time at both your ceremony and reception.  Some couples use him as master of ceremonies at their receptions and have Major Domo announce the bridal party with paper scroll and all. He can add a formal flair to your event.

However, Major Domo is not all formal elegance, and may couples have him serve as a jokester at their event.  Couples have played a prank on their guests and made them think the rings were lost.  We have had brides at both parks use Major Domo at their event.

I used Major Domo at my 2006 wedding and it’s an addition that was well worth the money.  Our guests still talk about this moment to this day and it really added a funny spin on our wedding ceremony.  My husband and I, love playing jokes on people…all in good fun.  When we were planning and heard we could add a special prank on our family and friends, we had to.  Our lips were sealed for months on this and no one knew the secret.  During the ceremony, the officiant turned to our best man and asked for the rings……he looked concerned….I don’t have the rings!.  The look on our family and friends faces was absolutely priceless. we heard gasps, awkward giggles, and even had several offers from married couples to just use their rings. After a moment of panic the trumpets blasted on the Wedding Pavilion and opened the doors.  Major Domo came in in full regala….pillow in hand, glass slipper on top and rings in place.  Our guests smiled, clapped and stood for the moment.  They couldn’t believe what we had done.  Looking back, we just couldn’t be happier.  Major Domo also announced us outside the Wedding Pavilion and into our reception. I loved when he announced our first dance at our reception, as it really set the stage for the event.

– Sarah, 2006 bride

He is great for the “flow” of things…and a special Disney touch.  Things I liked-the surprised look on people’s faces when he came in at the ceremony. That he orchestrated things into the “first dance.”  Things I didn’t like-since Narcoossee’s doesn’t have that “you are now entering the reception” thing, we came into Narcoossee’s and then later were announced. Which was fine. But, I was bummed he didn’t also announce our wedding party. I should have worked that out with Michelle, but I just assumed she would have them all come to the front of the restaurant and be announced.

– Heidi

The following pictures are from the Major Domo from Disneyland and the experience of Disneymooner Debbie.

We didn’t have a ring bearer in our wedding party so we thought it would be fun to add a little bit of whimsy to our ceremony by having the Major Domo bring us our rings. As our guests arrived at the Rose Court Garden he stood at the entrance and greeted them. He was in character the entire time. When the time in the ceremony came for the ring exchange, he burst onto the scene! We had asked for a regal “serious” Major Domo, but apparently the message didn’t get passed along to him because we got the “comical” Major Domo in all his glory. He was sort of weaving down the aisle trying to ensure the glass slipper (with the rings in it) stayed on his pillow and was making all kinds of funny exclamations. My husband and I looked at each other and he muttered “what is he doing?” We both kinda laughed and shrugged it off. After delivering the rings to the best man with a flourish, the Major Domo walked back down the aisle. He fake cried the whole way and said something about “I can’t believe those crazy kids are all grown up and getting married.” Our guests thought the whole thing was great and no-one but the wedding party knew he was supposed to be serious and not funny. It was kind of a nice break in the ceremony and it got everyone laughing. We didn’t want the Major Domo to seem hokey, but if this was on the one major glitch of the day, it was no big deal!

Before we were announced into our reception, the Major Domo talked with our wedding party to learn how to pronounce their last names. He stood inside the doors of the Sequoia Ballroom and in a nice clear “royal” voice announced the members of our wedding party and then us. Our DJ could have done this but we thought it would be a nice touch to carry on our fairy tale theme. (It didn’t cost extra.)

We were pleasantly surprised when we received our wedding video and found that he had recorded a very cute (and funny) message for us. Including the Major Domo in our wedding day was definitely a bit of a splurge but it was fun and added to the ambiance we were trying to achieve.

Stay tuned for more entertainment features to come.  We would love to hear about the special touches you added to your wedding festivities.  Join us on The Disneymooner Forums

Disneyland Vendor Reveal: Your Harpist

Continuing our series of “Vendor Reveals”.  Through our Disneymooner forums we’ve found our members have used a number and variety of Vendors for their Disney Wedding and we’ve been asking those Vendors to reveal just a little more about their business……. and themselves!

Another Vendor Reveal from the West coast servicing Disneyland Fairytale Weddings.

What is the name of your business/service and what is your offering?
– Your Harpist provides harp music for all of Southern California – Los Angeles and Surrounding Areas

What is your name, seems obvious I know but maybe it’s different from your business name?
– Ted Nichelson

What do you believe makes your business/service unique?
– The magic of live harp music adds so much to the finesse of a wedding ceremony. Not only is the instrument beautiful to look at but the sound is as well.

How did you get started and how long have you been doing this?
– I began taking harp lessons in my hometown growing up, and have been a professional harpist for more than 10 years now. I’ve played for more than 1000 weddings in Illinois, Michigan, Indiana, and California.

When not working a wedding at Disneyland (or another venue for that matter) what are you doing?
– I am a property manager in Los Angeles when not working as a harpist

What is your favorite part about your job?
– Most of all, I enjoy getting to travel around the area and perform at many interesting resorts, hotels, and natural settings.

What types of wedding packages do you offer Disney brides? (please feel free to add a link for Brides to get more information if applicable)
– I offer a standard wedding package, which includes consultations, a prelude of music to set the mood as guests are seated, the processional music, the recessional, and a short postlude as guests exit. On occasion, brides elect to have me also play for the cocktail hour.

What is your favorite wedding trend right now in relation to your business/service?
– I have really enjoyed the personal touches that brides and grooms add by selecting music that is meaningful to them in one way or another. I believe it makes their special day that much more memorable. I’ve been very willing to work with special requests to make this possible.

What’s your favorite thing about doing Disney weddings?
– The wedding staff at Disney is very organized, friendly, and wonderful to work with. I have never had any problems.

What was your strangest request when working a Disney wedding?
– I haven’t had a strange request, but one time a bride came riding in on the Disney Main Street fire engine, which I thought was amazing.

What’s your most memorable moment that you have taken away from a Disney wedding?
– One time Goofy walked up to me and really got exited about my harp, and did a pantomime to communicate how much he loved my music. I really enjoyed the extra attention, Goofy certainly is a comedian.

If you were getting married at Disneyland where would you have your ceremony and reception and why?
– The Rose Court Garden is a lovely setting, there is plenty of room for guest seating, it is quiet, and very intimate. A good place for the reception is the Sleeping Pavilion which has windows overlooking the beautiful Disney Hotel property.

Who is your favorite Disney character and why?
– I’ve always liked Goofy, mostly because Goofy’s Kitchen is nearby where most wedding receptions take place and he always waves at me.

Which is your favorite Disney attraction and why?
– I’ve always loved the Haunted Mansion – it never gets old no matter how many times you visit.

Why should a Disneymooner choose your service?
– I really do care about my clients, and do everything possible so that they will be happy and satisfied with the music for their special day. I feel that I am professional, reliable, and also confident of my performing skills. Anyone booking Your Harpist can be sure they will be very pleased with my services.

Theodore Nichelson – Your Harpist

Thanks to Ted, Your Harpist for answering our questions as part of our Vendor Reveal series, if you would like your work revealed to our readers please contact

Featured Venue Fridays: Rose Court Garden at The Disneyland Hotel

This week’s Featured Venue post was written by Disneymooner Debbie. To read more about Debbie’s wedding please visit our Disneymooner Forums and read her recaps.

Ever dream of having a garden wedding in sunny Southern California?

If so, the Rose Court Garden is the perfect venue! It is located between the Adventure and Frontier towers at the Disneyland Hotel. Although the swimming area and water slide are a little behind it, the tall greenery around the garden and waterfalls behind it muffle the sound of families having fun in the pools. We didn’t hear a peep during our midday weekend wedding!

One thing I love about the Rose Court Garden is that it’s open and airy, but still private. It will work for a wedding with 25 guests or over 200! The large gazebo is the perfect backdrop for a ceremony. It’s so pretty that it doesn’t really need any decoration. Some brides opt to add some floral in their wedding colors to help tie in their overall theme. The garden itself isbeautiful all year long, whether or not the roses are in bloom. The bushes are very green and always expertly trimmed. The flowers in the bed at the back of the garden (the entrance) change seasonally but usually contain a bright pop of color. The only concern we had with this location was the possibility of rain. Fortunately Southern California doesn’t tend to have a lot of rainy days so this isn’t a huge issue unless you are planning a wedding in the winter months. Be sure to talk to your planner about backup locations just in case.

Logistically, the Rose Court Garden gazebo worked out really well for our ceremony vendors. Our harpist was able to set up on the pathway to the left of the gazebo. He was out of the way for photos but in the perfect spot for our music. And the pathway that runs around the gazebo was ideal for our photographer to run around and take pictures, but still be hidden from our guests. She got some great shots from different angles and most people didn’t even notice her!

There are several neighboring lawns nearby that are ideal for an outdoor cocktail reception. The garden is also close enough to the available reception locations that you will not have to worry about transporting guests from one location to another. Our guests loved the Cast member escorted stroll through Downtown Disney as they walked from the Rose Court Garden to our cocktail reception at the Grand Californian. (Note that if any of your guests are disabled and cannot make the walk, Disney will work with you to find a solution for them.)

I will never forget the feeling I had when my Dad walked me to the back of the garden and I got my first glimpse of all my loved ones gathered in that beautiful location. It was absolutely breathtaking. As my Dad walked me down the long aisle to my handsome prince it was just like being transported to our own special place. Talk about magical!!

For more information on Disneyland weddings visit the Disneymooner Forums.

A Fairy Tale Focus ~ Debbie and John

Disneymooner Debbie, and her husband John, were married on November 8th, 2009 at the Disneyland Hotel’s Rose Court Garden. They held their reception at Disney’s Grand Californian’s Sequoia Ballroom.

Disneymooners: Tell us a little about yourselves!

Debbie: John and I met at work and dated for 3 years before getting engaged. In fact, we also work with my Dad and he interviewed John before he was hired. If only he knew he was interviewing his future son-in-law! After 3 years of dating, John proposed to me in our backyard by carving “Will you marry me?” into the trunk of our tree. I’ve always been a total Disney fan. John was somewhat indifferent to it but over time he’s “caught the fever” and now he’s a total Disney fan too. We’re now both longtime Disneyland annual passholders and love living about 20 minutes away so we can make quick trips whenever the mood strikes us.

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

Debbie: I was totally stumped when it came time to decide on wedding and reception locations. I had absolutely no idea what I wanted or where to even start looking. It was stressful. Then a friend of mine told me she’d looked up Disney weddings online since she knows I’m such a big fan. She was surprised at how affordable it seemed and told me check it out. Knowing we would probably have about 215 guests I highly doubted it would be anything close to affordable so I didn’t really jump on calling. My mom eventually set up an appointment with DFTW for me, John, and my parents. The sales consultant was showing us the possibilities and I could barely sit still in my seat. Everything she was telling us sounded perfect! Then my Dad asked how much it would all cost …. I was a nervous wreck as she was number crunching. She gave us an estimate and my Dad said “sounds good to me”. I seriously just about passed out. Getting married at Disneyland was one of those “wildest dream” kind of ideas and there we were talking about making it happen. John hadn’t been converted to a total Disney fan yet but he was into it because (1) he knew how much I wanted to do it, (2) everything we saw seemed really nice, and (3) it was something totally different. We both ended up loving everything about it!

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

Debbie: They were all really excited about it! When I told my family we were getting married at Disneyland they said “of course you are”. They know me pretty well. Since the majority of our family and friends all live in Southern California our wedding wasn’t a destination wedding. We didn’t get the comments about the expense of traveling like many Disney brides seem to. However, since everyone lives here we also had a ginormous guest list!!

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

Debbie: We were a bit limited in our location choices due to our large number of guests. (It actually made the decision process a little easier.) I had always been adamant that I wasn’t going to get married outside because I didn’t want to worry about the weather. Well wouldn’t you know it, DL has a beautiful garden and gazebo that we knew was perfect as soon as we saw it. Seeing how our wedding was in November, we were a little worried about rain but I knew we’d figure it out. I have always loved the Grand Californian Hotel. It’s just so beautiful and I love the atmosphere. Not knowing how the pricing worked, I assumed it would cost more to have our reception there than at one of the other hotels. When I found out it was the same price no matter which hotel we chose, I was ecstatic! (That sales meeting with DFTW left me on a serious high!!!) At first we thought about using one of the ballrooms at the DL hotel since the Rose Garden was there, but once we walked into the GC I literally got chills. I knew it was the right choice for us. For the both the ceremony and reception we knew our locations as soon as we stepped foot in them. They just made sense.

Side note – We chose not to have a Disneyland castle wedding because my Dad just about had a heart attack when we were told the starting price.

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?

Debbie: I remember being so relieved that it all looked just as I’d envisioned. All the hours and hours of research and work were totally worth it. The comments from our guests just put me over the moon – it wasn’t just that John and I liked how it turned out, all the people we loved thought it was wonderful too. Talk about a big payoff! I do remember thinking that the ballroom kinda looked like a big box and I wished we’d paid the ridiculous fee to have lighted trees around the walls to soften it up, but that’s the only thing that I remember being a little disappointed about. Overall, seeing it all come together felt great!!

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

Debbie: I can’t really think of anything other than how calm I was and how smoothly things seemed to go. There were a few little hiccups here and there but none of our guests knew any different and I just didn’t care that much. I feared I’d be a nervous wreck about everything but I was able to pass all the coordination off to very capable people and they took care of it. I was totally in the moment and having a blast.

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?

Debbie: Two things come to mind – the food and Mickey & Minnie. The food at our reception was absolutely delicious. Our main course was lemon chicken – not that exciting – but dangit if that wasn’t the best darn piece of chicken I’ve ever had. We have several profession chefs in our family and they all raved about it. It didn’t taste like typical “wedding food”, it was a gourmet meal. The big thing that people still talk about was when Mickey and Minnie made an appearance at the reception. It was so fun to watch a roomful of adults turn into screaming 6 year olds. The cameras were snapping pictures like CRAZY! At one point we talked about not having them because we were afraid our guests would think it was kinda hokey …. not an issue! I loved being able to look around the room and see so many people that we care about wrapped up in the Disney magic.

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

Debbie: Oddly enough, besides Mickey and Minnie, I would say our photographer. She was pricey (and is even pricier now) but our pictures are just as wonderful as we’d hoped. She was able to capture so much of our day in such a beautiful way. She was great to work with, really knew her stuff, and kept us on schedule. She even posted about 20 sneak peaks to her blog early the next morning!! We got to see pics from the wedding before we hopped on the plan for our WDW Disneymoon. Definitely worth every penny.

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

Debbie: In addition to Mickey and Minnie and our photographer:
We hired Brian Bosch to handle all our decor. He worked in the Disney floral/decor department but was part of the huge layoff that occurred just as I started planning. He was wonderful!! He handled all the floral, linens, etc. He set up all the decor and even handled our “dancing on the clouds” effect during our first dance. We bought or made a lot of items ourselves and he put them all out for us and truly made my vision come alive. We probably paid a little more for floral than I could have found elsewhere but his expertise and help was totally worth it. Plus, he was friends with the whole DFTW team and knew how Disney weddings worked so it was like have an insider working for us without the Disney markup.

I asked to have a mock up of my bouquet made about a week or so before the wedding. I was having a hard time picturing it in my mind and got worried about the colors. I was kind of freaking out about it so I asked how much it would cost. Seeing that bouquet got me so excited for the wedding and put my mind at ease that the floral would be beautiful.

Allowed my father-in-law to pay for chair covers at the last minute. I cut them in a cost savings move but a few days before the wedding he told me he really wanted to make a contribution so I called and had them added. They added so much to the decor. It really helped it all come together.

I’m adding a 4th because I just thought of a big one – I’m glad we hired a videographer!!! This was one of those things that some of my family thought was unnecessary but it’s one of the best decisions we made. The day is so filled with emotion and goes by so quickly. Without our videos I wouldn’t remember half of it! I honestly only had minimal recollection of the ceremony before we got the video back. Even if your videographer is just your cousin sitting in the second row, get a video!!!!

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

Debbie: I wish I had scraped together enough money to have those lighted trees around the ballroom walls. I wish I’d thought to ask if we could do an in-park photo shoot. (I saw another Disneyland bride had negotiated one a few months after our wedding. I was kicking myself for not even thinking to ask!) I wish we’d stayed at the Grand Californian one more night before rushing off on our Disneymoon – we were exhausted the next morning. Really, that stuff is kind of minor though … our wedding was so wonderful! Disney and our amazing vendors helped us pull off the wedding we were dreaming of. We have such great memories of it all.

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?

Debbie: You would think there would be, but I can’t think of one at the moment. I just wanted pictures of it all! Pictures with our families were important so we made a must-have list.

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

Debbie: Get started early with planning and doing any DIY projects. It gets crazy stressful in the end and you don’t want to turn into Bridezilla. Be patient with your planner (especially if you’re a far way off from your date) but at the same time don’t hesitate to speak up if you don’t feel you’re getting an appropriate amount of attention from them. You are paying them after all. Have faith that it will all come together in the end and be wonderful. It may not seem like it sometimes, but it really will. Oh, and be sure to visit the Disneymooners regularly for inspiration, advice, and support! I don’t know what I would have done without this site.

You can read Debbie’s Planning Journal here and enjoy her Wedding Recaps here

Debbie, 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