It has been a little while since our last Real Wedding feature so I’m so excited to bring you not one but THREE great features from Wendy and Greg’s Walt Disney World wedding celebration! Wendy and I were planning our weddings during the same time period so it was great to finally see all her brilliant ideas come to life. She should totally be an event planner! All her hard work really paid off, as you’ll see in the photos this week.
First up, a double feature Rehearsal Dinner in Animal Kingdom and Welcome Party in Epcot the day before the wedding. These locations are awesome! Big thanks to Wendy and Greg for sharing their events with us.
Photography: Disney Event Photography (all catering was through Disney and we didn’t add any additional decor – anything you see was provided by Disney and included in the basic package)
Hair & makeup: Laine from Beaute Speciale
Venue: Private “sunset safari” on Kilimanjaro Safaris with dinner at Tamu Tamu Courtyard in Animal Kingdom
For our wedding, I desperately wanted an event in Animal Kingdom. At the time of my wedding, outside vendors were not allowed to photograph in the theme parks, and I had my heart set on using Studio222 Photography, so an in-park wedding was out. When I heard about the Safari & Karibu dinner in Animal Kingdom from my Disney Sales Consultant, I knew it was the perfect place for our rehearsal dinner.
This was one of my favorite events. We were transported backstage via motorcoach and we had no less than 10 escorts with us at all times – we really felt like VIPs. They took us to the safari via the exit and we boarded or own vehicle and got to see the safari at sunset. After we disembarked, we walked through Harambe Village to our buffet dinner in Tamu Tamu Courtyard. Our photographer, Rick, took Greg and I aside for some pictures in the park (which was clearing out at this point). We then did speeches and handed out gifts to our bridal party, and then ate dinner. Everything was amazing and it was so cool to be in a park after closing.
Venue: Illuminations Dessert Party at UK Lower in Epcot
We thought about inviting all of our guests to our event in Animal Kingdom to save some money and avoid having back-to-back events, but ultimately decided we wanted the rehearsal dinner to be more intimate (and I really wanted a dessert party – which didn’t work with the timing of our reception on our wedding day). We departed Animal Kingdom in the motorcoach and stopped by the three hotels in our room block to pick up the remainder of our guests. I had made a pocket size transportation schedule and a larger “times guide” that went into welcome bags that our guests received at check-in so they knew when and where to be throughout the weekend. We were brought backstage and escorted to our venue. Epcot was very crowded that night since it was a Saturday night during Food & Wine Festival and there was a lot of effort made to “part the sea” of people to get us to the venue. We had some delicious desserts including creme brûlée, flambeed crepes, ice cream treats, and bread pudding. All of our guests were blown away with the event, and I’m happy we did it because the dessert party is truly something unique and magical about having your wedding at Walt Disney World.