Balancing Act: Disney Wedding Planning When One of You Isn’t a Disney Person

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Balancing Act: Disney Wedding Planning When One of You Isn't a Disney Person
Illustration by Asia Ellington

Disney Bride Bianca is planning a Disneyland wedding at Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel for 2019

The title of this post might be scarier than intended and this article might not be for all of those who are currently Disney wedding planning. Some couples are both die hard Disney fans (or “Disnerds” as they’re often called online). There are also many couples who aren’t on the same wavelength Disney-wise and this post is for you.

I didn’t dream of a Disney wedding as a little girl. In fact, I’ve been to Disneyland as an adult way more than I did as a child. I also had no idea you could get married at Disneyland as a kid and when I found out, I wasn’t sure I wanted to even get married when I was younger.

But, I have always loved Disney on the whole — it was all magic, whimsy and a little bit of a wonderful mystery. I dreamed of becoming a Disney animator. Most of my Halloween costumes my mom painstakingly made me were Disney princesses. If I remember correctly, I saw The Little Mermaid in theaters eight times. Trips to the mall always meant a stop in the Disney Store (they still do!). As you can see, my affinity for Disney started young and it stuck.

As I got older, Disneyland became a huge part of my life. My family and I started going to Disneyland every year for the holidays as part of our Christmas tradition. It’s gone on ten years or so now and it never gets old. Last year I was at Disneyland living my best life on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. There is nothing more magical. It’s something I’ve gotten to share with my parents, sister, aunt, and later my daughter. These are memories I treasure.

I got engaged at Disneyland to a wonderful man who when we first met admitted to me he’d only been to Disneyland twice, and the first time he didn’t even go on any rides. He still hasn’t been on the Monorail, even after our many visits together!

My fiancé is not a die hard Disney fan and that’s okay. When we go on trips to Disneyland and Southern California I try to incorporate other things that are more tailored to his interests, or we give each other the time and space to enjoy The Happiest Place on Earth in ways we both get what we need. I may always be an Annual Passholder and he might not be, but it works for us and that’s what counts.

With all that being said, you might be wondering how someone like me and someone like my fiancé could have made the decision to get married at Disneyland. I can say with confidence that it was a decision we made together, that was a gift to one another.

When we got engaged at Disneyland I knew I wanted a Disneyland wedding. My fiancé had more abstract ideas, and when I tried to find venues or put his dreams into reality it wasn’t possible. The places he wanted either were no longer in operation (a tiny church a distant relative had helped build) or just didn’t exist at all.

Looking into Disneyland weddings made sense and felt good after hitting dead ends and seeing how expensive weddings in the Bay Area (where we live) can be. It was exciting and after lots of discussion and brainstorming, the idea of a Disneyland wedding started to just feel right, to both of us.

A wedding is two people becoming one in the sense that their lives, hearts, and goals become “us” and “we” instead of “me” and “you.” It’s give and take; it’s compromise. This is how we got to the point on agreeing to a Disneyland wedding.

During our planning I’ve included him on everything and made sure he feels like he has a say, because it is our day, not just mine. I have tried hard to make sure we go over the big and the small things and both agree, unless he explicitly asks that I handle something on my own. Together we make a good team, and a good team not only compromises but also looks out for each other. We have found a venue and a package that really feels like us, even though it’s taken a little longer than we originally planned and some of our expectations have evolved and changed.

I sum it up by saying I want to marry my favorite person in my favorite place surrounded by the people who I love the most, but I’d marry him in the middle of a park on a Wednesday in blue jeans, too. Disney is the icing on the cake, and I feel lucky that my person can understand how much it means to me.

If you are a duo that has a dynamic like this, my advice is to be willing to compromise, enjoy yourselves on your own time at the parks, and be open minded. No matter who in your relationship isn’t the bigger fan, just know that your love is big enough to include a little bit of Disney magic and that’s huge.

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