A Fairy Tale Focus ~ Gina & Steve

Disneymooner, Gina, and her husband, Steve, were married at Disney’s Wedding Pavilion on January 5th, 2009. They had their reception at the Whitehall Room and Dessert Party at Sago Cay Pointe at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort.

Disneymooners: Tell us a little about yourselves!

Gina: Hi! I’m Gina and I am an attorney; my husband Steve is in manufacturing management. I law school during the wedding planning. We live in Connecticut with our two cats Shooter and Deuce. Besides Disney we love hiking, biking and being outdoors in general.

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

Gina: I have been obsessed with Disney for as far back as I can remember and I took Steve along for the ride. When he proposed I just knew we had to be married at the Wedding Pavilion no matter what it took. I had always commented whenever we went by on the monorail. I’d say “How amazing would a wedding be there?” or “We’ll get married there someday”. When we got engaged and started seriously planning we realized that, hey, we could have a Disney wedding!!!!! The pricing was similar or even LESS than what a wedding would be here so why not follow our dreams and just do it?

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

Gina: We gave them PLENTY of notice, about 2 years. We knew it was a long way to travel and we knew they’d need some time to prepare. At first I think they might not have thought we were serious but as time went on they knew that we were going to do it. We told everyone that we’d understand if they couldn’t make the trip but we’d love to have them there. Everyone who mattered came and no one gave us a hard time about it. In fact, more people than we thought would make the trip made it which was heartwarming and special to us.

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

Gina: We had the wedding pavilion in mind for a while and I knew I wanted to try and host an outdoor reception. We went and looked at a few spaces and like the Whitehall Patio best for that purpose. We had a small wedding so we did not need a large space. That area just seemed to fit our small group perfectly and had sort of a blank canvas look to it which allowed us to get creative in the décor.

I knew my Disney wedding would not be complete without a fireworks dessert party. During my planning I’d seen many Disney couples’ photos of Illuminations parties and really wanted similar photos. We toured the areas available to us with such a small group and were not in love with them. On the way back to Franck’s with the planner Steve said “Is there anywhere we can watch Wishes from?” and she said “As a matter of fact there is” and took us right to Sago Cay. It was perfect. Walking distance from Whitehall with a view of our favorite fireworks show. SOLD!

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?

Gina: Overwhelmed with happiness, everything was exactly how I pictured it or BETTER. When I walked out onto the patio, before my guests went out and saw the linens, candles and floral I just smiled ear to ear. Everything was just how I wanted it Carol, my planner, and Elizabeth from floral exceeded all of my expectations. I looked around and simply couldn’t believe I was there. Was this really my Disney wedding? Had we really accomplished this dream? Were all of our loved ones really there to join us?! Surreal.

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

Gina: Steve and I were lucky enough to experience the most magical moment during our reception. As we danced our first dance on the patio below the monorail we were surprised to look up and see that the monorail had stopped and everyone on board was waving! All of our guests were laughing and smiling and waving up to the people on board it was just magic only Disney could provide. I still think of that moment often when I think of our wedding and our guests still mention it when they bring up the wedding. I like to think I am responsible for creating the dream of a Disney wedding in one little princesses mind who was on board that day.

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?

Gina: I think they loved the monorail moment mentioned above the most. I also think they really loved finishing the night off with desserts and fireworks, those seem to be the moments that people remember most. I think many did not know what to expect from a Disney wedding and lots of them expressed to me that they were so thrilled at how nice it was.

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

Gina: The dessert party. Just book one. Now! It was perfect and made for some amazing photo ops. I think desserts and fireworks are uniquely Disney. Sure, some other places can provide similar experiences by Disney does it best!

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


  1. Had my reception outside. It was a perfect day, sure, it could have gone wrong, but it worked for us
  2. Had a dessert party with fireworks.
  3. Followed our dreams. Do not worry what others think about your wedding choices just do what you want and it will all work out in the end. Everyone worth it will be there and will have fun!

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

Gina: I wish we had a character but budget just did not allow and I also sometimes wish we would have had the Cinderella carriage but again it was too expensive for us at the time. Lastly, I wish my Magic Kingdom photo was not cancelled. One week before the wedding Disney Photo called me and said they couldn’t do it for us because there was going to be construction going on and they could only reschedule 2 weeks later when we were back home. That was a bummer. I’d love to have had those photos.

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?

Gina: Not really. I didn’t ask the photographer for any particular shots. I just went with it.

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

Gina: Follow your dreams. Plan the wedding YOU want. Do not worry about anyone else’s desires. It’s your day. Stay calm, let your planner take care of you, they will make sure everything is perfect. All you need is faith, trust and pixie dust!

You can read all about Gina’s wedding here

Gina, 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


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