Disney Bride Nicole W is having a Walt Disney World wedding at the Wedding Pavilion and American Adventure Rotunda in November 2018.
When Chuck and I first got engaged in Walt Disney World, we immediately thought about having a Disney Fairy Tale Wedding … for about two minutes! It seemed totally impractical and something that would put stress on us and our guests. We began wedding planning in New Jersey, went on six venue tours, and even ended up choosing a location and a date!
In the days following, I had a pit in my stomach. The wedding venue we chose was beautiful and everything I had hoped for, but something was missing. We finally decided to more seriously consider our dream of a Disney Fairy Tale Wedding, although we still had some major concerns.
Our Top Five Concerns About Choosing a Disney Wedding
The first MAJOR concern we had when dreams of a Disney wedding would pass through our thoughts was – of course – cost! We had watched the Disney Fairy Tale Wedding TV specials on Freeform and were pretty certain a wedding in Disney was way out of our price range. I always thought the only option for a Disney Wedding was to have your wedding after hours, in front of the castle, which starts at $180,000! Needless to say this was totally unrealistic for our budget.
But after a couple of months of venue searching in New Jersey we decided to follow our hearts to Walt Disney World! We began to do our research, read blog posts written by Disney brides about their wedding experiences, and even reached out to a few of them who were beyond helpful. What we found was that Disney weddings are possible for brides and grooms with almost any budget! Walt Disney World offers three different types of wedding packages: Memories, Escape, and Wishes. The packages are meant to fit the needs of brides and grooms with different budgets, wedding sizes, and visions! Once we realized we would be able to customize our own wedding to fit our vision as well as our budget we were one step closer to making our dream Disney wedding a reality!
Another concern we had was how difficult it would be to plan a wedding from 1,000 miles away. There are so many factors to consider! How would we get my wedding dress there? How about the wedding party ensembles? Guest gift bags? Wedding favors? Who would officiate? Who would do hair and makeup? Would I be able to get hair and makeup trials? How would we find and select an officiant, photographer, videographer, or a DJ? We couldn’t possibly make trips down to Walt Disney World every time we wanted to make a decision or a change something. Little did we know, Disney’s Fairy Tale Weddings makes planning your dream wedding so incredibly easy. After getting some advice from other Disney brides and speaking with a Disney Wedding Coordinator (the person who helps you before you book your wedding), we felt much more at ease.
Disney’s Fairy Tale Weddings has lists and lists of recommend vendors, including officiants, videographers, cosmetologists, DJs, and more! They help you to make selections that are perfect for you. We should have known they would also have thought of everything to help you with the logistics of your big day! They provided me with helpful information like how to transport my wedding dress and even gave me the name of someone who would steam it and have it hanging in my getting ready room when I arrive! Planning a Disney wedding is basically a one-stop-shop! For most weddings you will spend months choosing your vendors and meeting many times to discuss your venue, florist, music, hair and makeup, photographer, videographer, transportation etc. When we went to Franck’s Studio for our planning session we had all of these meetings, and were able to make all of these decisions, in just one day! Disney’s Fairy Tale Weddings really makes the whole planning process easy and magical.
- Family Members
Something that was also very important to us was how our family, specifically our elderly family members, would feel about making a trip to Florida for our wedding. We have some elderly family members with medical issues that we were concerned about, as well as others that don’t like flying or traveling. We were worried there would be objections to our dream destination wedding that we were so excited to begin planning. We decided together that it was very important to us to have our family attending our wedding, so before we would made any definite decisions we would discuss it with them. We sat our family members down and had conversations with each of them about our Disney wedding dream, and after listening to us and how excited we were, and asking some logistic questions, we were so happy to hear they were on board! We found that everyone in our families just wanted us to be happy and would be willing to travel to be there for us! Now, as our wedding gets closer, our family is getting more and more excited for the big day!
- Cost for Guests
Along with any destination wedding obviously comes extra costs for the guests attending. We knew that our guests would have a number of extra expenses such as flights, hotel stay, etc., they would need to consider when deciding whether or not they could attend the wedding. For our reception venue, American Adventure Rotunda, there is a required minimum guest count of 85 people, and we were a little nervous we would not have enough guests willing to make the trip to meet that number. As it turns out we had no reason to be concerned; our Disney Wedding Coordinator let us know that on average 80% of guests invited to a destination Disney wedding will attend! So far, that percentage has been true for us! So many of our guests are not only willing to make the trip for our wedding, even with the extra expenses, but they are extending their trip and making a vacation out of it! Disney makes it as affordable as possible for all guests to attend. When you book your wedding, Disney has you choose resorts to block off rooms for your guests. Chuck and I decided to choose a value resort, Disney’s Pop Century Resort, a moderate resort, Disney’s Port Orleans Riverside Resort, and a deluxe resort, Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge, for our room block. We blocked off these resorts so our guests could decide which of them fits best in their budget. When guests stay in room block resorts, they also receive a discount on their accommodations which helps everyone financially. In addition, Disney gives wedding guests discounts on park tickets so it’s more affordable for those who would like to extend their stay and plan a vacation of their own!
- Guests that Dislike Disney
Even though Chuck and I are Disney fanatics, we have some friends and family that are not as enthusiastic. When we first chose Disney, we were worried some guests would be hesitant to attend thinking it would be childish, lack sophistication or elegance, and not take it seriously. It turns out many of our guests are thrilled to be invited to a Disney wedding, and some have even called it a “once in a life time experience,” which is exactly how we feel! To some of the more hesitant guests, we have made it our mission to show them some of the venues for the wedding and explain our vision, which has made many of them more open to our Disney wedding. We are positive that when our guests see the wedding we have dreamed up, they will love it! We can’t wait to turn our friends and family into Disney fanatics, just like us!