Trip Report – Day 3, Part 5 – Pre-Reception and Ballroom Preview

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Budget Fairy Tale: Our Wedding Day - Pre-Reception
Once we boarded our luxury transportation (golf cart) near the Rose Court Garden, our coordinator Julie drove us across the street to the Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel and dropped us off at the lobby.  Julie went to park the golf cart while Mr. BFT and I walked through the loading area and lobby of the hotel.  It was a weird feeling … I’d walked through that lobby countless times, but never in a wedding dress.  
(Also I feel like I need to say that I’ve heard all the stories about little girls asking brides if they are a princess, or just general well wishes from guests to brides and grooms.  And that didn’t happen to me (us).  Maybe it was because I didn’t look like a traditional bride.  But I can’t help but feel like I missed out.)
(All photos by Root Photography)
Wedding Pre-Reception in Brisa Courtyard

For our Pre-Reception menu we chose the Heartland Cheese Selection. Seems like it was a big hit!

Wedding Pre-Reception in Brisa Courtyard

Wedding Pre-Reception in Brisa Courtyard


As we walked through the lobby we could see our guests enjoying the pre-reception out in the Brisa Courtyard.  I remember pausing before we stepped out the door and saying, “Do we just go out and join everyone? Like, NBD?”  I felt like there should be some kind of announcement or something – HEY, WE’RE HERE AND WE’RE SPECIAL.  But there was no one to do that, so we just walked out.  

Wedding Pre-Reception in Brisa Courtyard

Wedding Pre-Reception in Brisa Courtyard

Right about when we reached the steps a friend of mine saw us and started clapping, and slowly everyone turned and realized what was happening and there was a weird slow clap.  Followed by lots of hugging, picture taking, and me explaining how I made my veil.

Wedding Pre-Reception in Brisa Courtyard

Wedding Pre-Reception in Brisa Courtyard

Wedding Pre-Reception in Brisa Courtyard


Some of our ceremony elements were brought over and displayed at the reception.

Wedding Pre-Reception in Brisa Courtyard

Our table assignment board was also set up.

Table Assignments - Wedding Pre-Reception in Brisa Courtyard

Wedding Pre-Reception in Brisa Courtyard

Just a few minutes after we arrived at the Pre-Reception, we were told we could come in and preview the reception space in the Trillium Room.

Wedding Reception in Trillium Room, Grand Californian Hotel

(Quick peek at our sales coordinator, Traci!)

I don’t quite remember how it happened, but there was champagne in our hands very quickly!  (Thanks Disney!)  I remember trying to soak everything in … here laid out in front of me was everything I had worked so hard to put together, and it looked incredible.  There was so much to look at and I felt so rushed and scattered.  I remember just being very overwhelmed by it all.

Wedding Reception in Trillium Room, Grand Californian Hotel
Wedding Reception in Trillium Room, Grand Californian Hotel

Wedding Reception in Trillium Room, Grand Californian Hotel

Wedding Reception in Trillium Room, Grand Californian Hotel

Cootie Catcher Menus - Wedding Reception in Trillium Room, Grand Californian Hotel

Wedding Reception in Trillium Room, Grand Californian Hotel

Wedding Reception in Trillium Room, Grand Californian Hotel

My only itty bitty teeny weenie annoyance with my vision was not considering how the red napkins would clash with the bright pink in our decor.  The “rad dazzle” napkins had threads of gold running through them and are absolutely stunning in person.  In pictures it just looked like I was trying to make red and pink go together.  I know they don’t.  It doesn’t look bad, but I can’t say I am 100% thrilled with the outcome.

Our DJ, DJ Pat with Sound Prodigy, was also doing our up-lighting.  I told him during our planning meeting I was torn between amber lighting and pink lighting.  Amber was safe and I wanted something a bit more spectacular, but I also didn’t want the room to be a pink explosion.  So when we viewed the reception room, Pat set up half the room with pink lighting and half the room with amber lighting.  Well, of course I loved the pink.  Mr. BFT must have been in a loving mood that day because he let me have the pink lighting.  (<3!!!)  It didn't overpower the room like I had been worried about.  So once we settled on pink, he turned the lights off to change the amber gels to pink, which is why there's no uplighting in the pictures above (in case you were wondering!). Ooh, and then we saw the cake!

Wedding Cake - Wedding Reception in Trillium Room, Grand Californian Hotel

Cake - Wedding Reception in Trillium Room, Grand Californian Hotel

Cake - Wedding Reception in Trillium Room, Grand Californian Hotel

Disney did a FANTASTIC job with creating my vision, right down to matching my fabric flowers out of fondant (I exchanged a few emails with Chef Gracie, who was dedicated to mimicking my flowers perfectly, right down to the hidden Mickeys – thanks Gracie!!!) They even added some shimmer to the layers which I wasn’t expecting.  And our clay likenesses, crafted by my friend Marta, fit on the cake perfectly.  I like to think Walter is watching over us, approving of our union.

So once we gave everything the thumbs up, we went back out to Pre-Reception to do some more mingling and FINALLY taking those grandmother photos.  Took us long enough!

Wedding Pictures at Brisa Courtyard, Grand Californian Hotel

Dad, Paternal Grandmother, Me

Wedding Pictures at Brisa Courtyard, Grand Californian Hotel

Flanked by my Grandmothers
Wedding Pictures at Brisa Courtyard, Grand Californian Hotel

Mom, Maternal Grandmother, Me

Wedding Pictures at Brisa Courtyard, Grand Californian Hotel
I had to stop and get a picture with my fellow Disneyland Brides!  (Side note – I requested no lamps, but still got lamps.  Oh well.)
Since our morning portrait session was cut short due to my lack of time control, The Roots suggested we take a few more shots in the “back woods” behind the Brisa Courtyard.

Wedding Pictures at Brisa Courtyard, Grand Californian Hotel

Wedding Pictures at Brisa Courtyard, Grand Californian Hotel

We sat on this bench for several minutes, waiting for the Monorail to come back around!  Worth it! And I love that it was the orange one that matches our wedding colors!

Wedding Pictures at Brisa Courtyard, Grand Californian Hotel

Wedding Pictures at Brisa Courtyard, Grand Californian Hotel

Wedding Pictures at Brisa Courtyard, Grand Californian Hotel

Wedding Pictures at Brisa Courtyard, Grand Californian Hotel

Wedding Pictures at Brisa Courtyard, Grand Californian Hotel

Wedding Pictures at Brisa Courtyard, Grand Californian Hotel

Wedding Pictures at Brisa Courtyard, Grand Californian Hotel

Wedding Pictures at Brisa Courtyard, Grand Californian Hotel

Wedding Pictures at Brisa Courtyard, Grand Californian Hotel

Wedding Pictures at Brisa Courtyard, Grand Californian Hotel

Wedding Pictures at Brisa Courtyard, Grand Californian Hotel

Wedding Pictures at Brisa Courtyard, Grand Californian Hotel

I didn’t really pay attention to the Something Old, New, etc., but I didn’t have a garter so my mom suggested I wear hers!  I loved it!  You can’t tell but my mom and dad’s names are engraved on it, along with the year they were married.

Garter - Wedding Pictures at Brisa Courtyard, Grand Californian Hotel

Sorry (or not sorry?) to leave you hanging after that sweet, sweet thigh shot.  Next week we will have less thighs and the start of our reception!  Stay tuned!