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Trip Report – Day 2, Part 2 – Our Welcome Dinner

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After our wedding rehearsal, we had an hour or so to get ready for our Welcome Dinner at Naples Ristorante at Downtown Disney.  I showered and tried to curl my hair a bit before changing into the dress I rented from Rent the Runway.  I actually had two backup Welcome Dinner dresses with me in case the dress from Rent the Runway didn’t fit (I had them shipped to the hotel).  When I tried on the dress Friday morning, I was worried it was a bit too revealing up top, so I modeled it for my mother-in-law and sister-in-law and they both gave it the thumbs up.  Whew!  If mom-in-law thinks it’s okay, then it must be okay.

Mr. BFT and I were actually ready with time to spare so we relaxed on our balcony and took a few pictures to kill time.

Eventually it was time to make our way over to the dinner.  As we walked through the lobby of the Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel, I put my sweater on because it was a bit chilly – and then I forgot to take it off!  I’m pretty bummed I’m wearing my sweater in most of the Welcome Dinner pictures; if I would have known I was going to do that I would have brought a prettier sweater!

We hired our photographers, Root Photography, to shoot one hour at our Welcome Dinner, and we are so happy we did!  They captured some great moments, which means a lot to me because the whole night turned into a blur as more and more guests arrived (and the wine kept flowing!).




Since Mr. BFT was so lax about my wedding decor ideas, we decided to make the Welcome Dinner all about him, which is why we chose an Italian restaurant, and we also made the event baseball-themed!  His mom really embraced the idea and bought all the Red Sox decor.  My parents helped by buying some Cracker Jacks and Big League Chew as favors.  Our families did a really great job at setting up and displaying all the decor.  It was nice to not be in charge of something, for once that weekend!



Father-in-law did the important job of babysitting!






Naples was a really great sport about using the plastic cups we brought to serve water.

We used one of Mr. BFT’s old baseball bats as a guest book.


As soon as we arrived at the dinner, I spotted my 95-year-old grandmother who flew all the way to Anaheim from Michigan, with my aunt and uncle and cousin.  I hadn’t seen any of my Michigan relatives in over 15 years!  I was so touched they made the long journey.  I hope I’m half as tough and spunky as my grandma when I’m 95!



After giving my grandma some hugs and introducing her to Mr. BFT, she said she had a gift for me.  My uncle took a necklace off my grandma and placed it on me.  My grandma explained the necklace contained the wedding bands of her parents, melted into a heart.  She had been saving it to give me on my wedding day and she “has been waiting several years!”  Sigh, sorry, grandma.  She also gave me some pretty vintage handkerchiefs that I believe belonged to her mother (there was a lot happening at once, forgive me).

(Here’s the point in this post where I realize my necklace clasp is showing in every stinkin’ picture.  SMH.  It’s a major pet peeve of mine and I’m so embarrassed.)  But isn’t the necklace gorgeous?!  The little heart has five diamonds on the top which is kind of difficult to see.

After an hour or so of mingling, it was time to be seated for dinner.  Our menu started with a Cesar salad and fresh bread.  Our main course was pizza! We chose two kinds: Margherita and sausage.  They seemed to go over well.



(Personal photo)

At this point it was time to say good-bye to The Roots.  We were so grateful they could come and shoot some great photos of this special event for us!  (The remainder of the photos in this post are personal photos.)

Before we knew it, it was time for cake!  I surprised Mr. BFT with a baseball themed Groom’s cake.  Even though it was a baseball themed event, I had to throw in a small ode to my favorite sport, NASCAR.


The cake was carrot cake, which is Mr. BFT’s favorite.  The restaurant added a hint of hazelnut which made the flavor unique but still recognizable as carrot cake.  It was very good.

Everyone mingled and hung out until our designated end time, and then a few of us headed back to the Disneyland Hotel where we ended up at Trader Sam’s.  The place was packed and pretty much half the patrons were our wedding guests, which was pretty cool!  Mr. BFT and I got a table with our friends Christian and Heather and my brother Matthew.

Christian treated us to a round of Ka-BLUE-ies and I was feeling pretty good.  But, after a couple sips of my Ka-BLUE-ie, I suddenly felt very sick.  Nerves crept up on me and crept up HARD.  All of a sudden the room was spinning and it was way too loud, and I had to get out.  I told Mr. BFT I suddenly didn’t feel good and had to go back to the room.  He offered to come with me but I wanted him to stay out and have a good time.  He promised to finish my Ka-BLUE-ie for me.

A man of his word.

I announced to everyone that I had hit a wall and needed to get my bridal beauty sleep.  I made my way up to the hotel room, changed into my pajamas, and basically spaced out in silence.  This wasn’t really how I pictured it – spending my final night as a single lady alone in my hotel room.  I wanted to be out celebrating with our guests.  Isn’t this what I spent 18 months planning?  Isn’t that why we were having our wedding here and why people traveled so far and were spending so much money – so they could spend time with us?  But this was what my body was telling me I needed.  I was pretty bummed about it but I had too much on my mind to dwell on it.  I was getting married tomorrow!  I couldn’t believe it was actually here.  Months and months of planning leading up to this one day.  Would all of my ideas come together?  Will all of our vendors get here okay?  How will the florals look?  How will the reception room look?  Will the vision in my head translate to the room?  Little did I know that these questions would continue to swirl in my head all. night. long.

That’s it for Day 2.  Stay tuned for Day 3: Wedding Day!  AKA the best day of my life that I can barely remember because I got no sleep the night before because I am an idiot.

About Mindy

Mindy Marzec is a life-long Disney fan who grew up in Los Angeles. She started This Fairy Tale Life to share Disneyland travel tips for adults. When not at Disneyland, you can find Mindy at home snuggling with her cats and re-watching Thor: Ragnarok for the billionth time.