Disney Bride Lauren is planning a Walt Disney World “Mini Wishes” wedding at the Wedding Pavilion and The Attic for December 2016.
One of the most daunting tasks of wedding planning, in my opinion, is staying organized and on top of all of your vendors for your wedding day. Not only that but there is the constant question in the back of my mind, “Am I missing something?” For those who fear they will miss something or that their wedding day will be a stressful mess, they typically hire a wedding planner, or at the very least a day-of coordinator. One of the greatest factors of having a Disney wedding is that your package includes a wedding planner (or Event Manager, as Walt Disney World calls them) who will help you with every aspect of planning your big day. Not only do you get a wedding planner, but if you are having a Wishes or Mini Wishes event, you also have the opportunity to visit for a planning session. The planning sessions typically take place within six months of your wedding day (which is when Disney can guarantee pricing) and you meet with your planner for the whole day to discuss every aspect of your wedding day. For Walt Disney World weddings, the day is typically broken up into two sessions – the actual planning session and the menu tasting. Since the planning session is a long day with TONS of information, here are my tips for future Walt Disney World brides and grooms with an upcoming planning session.
Create a Planning Session Slideshow
Being at least a little bit prepared is key to having a successful planning session. While you don’t have to go overboard and micro-manage every detail, I thought it was important to keep my thoughts and ideas organized, so I created a PowerPoint to give to my planner to use during our planning session. I didn’t spend a lot of time creating my slideshow, I just kept it simple and included slides with our wedding colors, bridesmaids and groomsmen attire, floral inspiration, ceremony and reception décor, and cake designs. My planner and floral planner were very thankful for the time I spent in creating this slideshow (which was minimal) and we referenced it throughout the entire planning session.
Bring Color & Fabric Swatches
Going along with the slideshow, it is also really important to bring plenty of color swatches of your wedding colors to your planning session. I would highly recommend not simply emailing them the color samples or printing out color swatches from your computer, because colors can look different on different computer monitors. I recommend going to a home improvement store and getting paint chips to match your colors (get plenty of extras). This is a super simple thing to do that will result in getting the exact colors you want in your wedding décor and not being disappointed. I will always remember Carrie Hayward’s (author of [affiliate link] PassPorter’s Disney Weddings & Honeymoons) story about how disappointed she was when the color of her wedding cake didn’t turn out how she wanted because the sample she gave the caterers came from a computer print-out. If you are planning on having any additional linens in your ceremony and reception décor, it is probably a good idea to also bring along fabric swatches so that your floral planner can match those as closely as possible to your vision.
While we all have dreams and visions of what our wedding day will look like, some of the best Disney weddings I’ve ever seen are when brides loosen up a little and let Disney work their magic. Of course you should come in with a basic idea of how you want your day to look, along with some inspiration pictures and ideas, but micro-managing every aspect of your event just adds more unnecessary stress to you. Just remember why you decided to have a Disney wedding to begin with. Disney is known for their quality and customer expertise—they are not going to steer you wrong and your event will turn out amazing, even if you didn’t plan it down to the last minute yourself. Let your wedding planner do their job and throw in some ideas. When my fiancé and I were pretty adamant about adding another formal dessert option to our reception buffet, our planner suggested that we add some bill-on-consumption Mickey ice cream bars to serve while the cake is being passed around because not only would it save money, but it would also be a fun touch. We didn’t know this was an option and absolutely loved this idea — plus Mickey bars are my fiance’s favorite!
Bring a Sweater!
This might sound like a silly tip, but seriously, being a sweater or jacket because it is FREEZING inside of Franck’s. I promise I’m not exaggerating. While I typically bring a light cardigan or sweater with me everywhere I go that’s indoors, even my fiancé who only ever wears shorts (yes, even in winter), had to go to his car and grab a hoodie. I started out with just a cardigan, and about two hours into our session, put my jacket on top of that and I was still cold. Our planner says the reason they have to keep it so cold in Franck’s is because they have a bunch of their cakes displayed inside and they have to keep the temperatures cool so the fondant won’t melt off the cakes. Makes sense. Bring a sweater, you’ll thank me later!
This probably goes without saying, but make sure you come hungry to the menu tasting portion of your planning session. While I knew we would get to taste at least eight different items from our chosen menu, we were really unprepared at just exactly how much food was going to be presented to us. I had been to other menu tastings outside of Disney before and they give you small samples of everything; however, at Disney everything was full-sized! Not only that, but since we are having a buffet menu, there was literally an entire buffet’s worth of food set out for us. I couldn’t believe my eyes and I didn’t eat for the rest of the day after that. Depending on the time of your reception, your menu tasting might take place first thing in the morning or it might take place in the early afternoon, after your planning session. Since we’re having a lunch reception, we had our four hour planning session first, then a short break, then our menu tasting. If this is the case, I would recommend having a hearty breakfast to get you through the planning session (but also save room for cake, since your cake tasting is during the planning session!) and then you should be plenty hungry by the time your menu tasting comes around. I would also recommend skipping any ADRs for that day, as you’ll probably be stuffed for the rest of the night.
Don’t Be Nervous and Have Fun!
I was a little nervous going into our planning session because there was so much stuff I hadn’t planned yet (ceremony music, cake designs, etc.) and I felt a tad unprepared, but it turned out totally okay. In fact, when we left our planning session, I was so happy and really confident on how amazing our day is going to turn out! Not to mention you get to eat all the Disney food and cake! If that’s not enough reason to be excited, I don’t know what is. Your planning session is one of the coolest aspects of having a Disney wedding, so relax and have fun!