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A Dream Is A Wish Your Heart Makes: A March 2011 Disney Wedding/Honeymoon Trip Report

It’s official! Brett and I are finally married and I couldn’t be more excited. We had the most perfect wedding day ever, at our most favorite place in the whole entire world. And of course, as expected, it went by all too quickly. I’m not going to lie, coming down off the high that was our Disney wedding/cruise/honeymoon has been tough. In fact, I'm hoping that writing up/posting this trip report will help me work through some of that. However, I’ve spent much of my spare time in the last few weeks staring at a blank word document... writer’s block? Never heard of it! :lol:

For the first time ever, in all my trip report writing, I did a pre-trip report. It lays out most of the wedding-related details, but for those of you out there who are like me and rarely read pre-trip reports, here’s a quick rundown of events:

Wednesday, March 16, 2011: Drive down, check in offsite for the night
Thursday, March 17, 2011: Check-in, Disney’s Polynesian Resort
Friday, March 18, 2011: Wedding Day, Sunset Pointe
Sunday, March 20, 2011: Board Disney Dream for a 4 night Bahamas cruise
Thursday, March 24, 2011: Check-in, Disney’s Wilderness Lodge
Sunday, March 27, 2011: Check out and head home

We kind of saw this trip as having three legs: Wedding/Cruise/Disney!

A look back at our Disney trip reports: September 2008 (Contemporary), December 2008 (Old Key West), January 2009 (Port Orleans Riverside & Disney Marathon), July 2009 (Wilderness Lodge Villas/Animal Kingdom Lodge), December 2009 (Beach Club Villas), March 2010 (Pop Century & Princess Half), June 2010 (Coronado Springs), August 2010 (Polynesian & Engagement), December 2010 (Kidani Village)

This was our first time on DCL, however, we’ve cruised a handful of times before. So if anyone is interested, those trip reports can be found here: May 2009 (Carnival Liberty), December 2009 (Royal Caribbean Monarch of the Seas), May 2010 (Emerald Princess), June 2010 (Norwegian Sky)

Oh dear. I feel like I’m embarking on what will be the longest trip report EVER (and I’ve written some long ones). My apologies in advance, as it will likely take awhile to get this report up in its entirety. The good news though, is that I’ve completed the text all the way up through the wedding, so we’ll get to that part fairly quickly!

With all that said, let the memories begin...



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Original Poster
My apologies for the delay. We had a blast at Pixar Weekend and even added an extra day to our trip so we didn't end up getting home until late last night. Hopefully, I'm back on track now though. Now where were we? Oh yes...

Portraits, pictures, and photographs

I had set aside just under two hours for pictures of the two of us. Two hours might seem like a lot of time, but it really wasn’t, especially not when we had plans to hop resorts. On top of that, there were a bazillion different locations I wanted at the Polynesian. Poor Jason, I had a list! And now I say, poor you, because there’s lots more of us coming your way. :lol:

It's faint, but if you squint you may just be able to spy a castle:



The ferry boat totally blew it’s horn while we were down below Sunset Pointe… I like to think it was for us. :sohappy:



Looking at the pictures from before and after my mom took the veil out of my hair, I prefer the look without the veil. I’m definitely glad I wore it for the ceremony though, because really, when else does one ever get the chance to wear a veil? Also, it was amazing how much cooler I felt without it. It’s like the temperature dropped 10 degrees once I took it off. Who knew tulle could be so stifling?



Todd L

Well-Known Member
Hope youre Happy you made a 44 year old man cry today!!! I was honestly touched by your Trip report and found myself in tears reading about the wonderful gesture your mom made in honor of your sister...God bless you all and best wishes for an amazing life together!!


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Original Poster
Pictures on the beach were on my must have list, so we made our way down there. By this point, I think Karen and her small crew had cleaned up and peaced out. Now that I think about it, I don’t even remember saying goodbye to her. Although, I very well may have and it just didn’t register. Derek had taken off with our cake and Danny had disappeared too. My parents and Kathy were the only ones left standing.

Hello, Handsome!



I love, love, love these two pictures of us walking out across the beach. It’s like you can just see the relaxation seeping into us as we set foot in the sand. Plus, this is what I had envisioned with regards to the palm trees of Sunset Pointe looking so grand in photos. This is probably my favorite individual picture of me from the entire day. I also think it’s kinda funny that I was holding my dress up at this point… as if I was trying to protect it from getting dirty. Oh you just wait… within the hour the bottom of it will be all kinds of grey.



This next one is another one of my favorites, for two reasons. First, I feel like you can almost feel the softness of my dress in it. On some levels I don’t think the pictures do the dress justice in that regard. Second though, and most importantly, that’s my mom in the background. And yes, she is totally asking a man to get out of the hammock in the interest of preventing a bridezilla meltdown! :ROFLOL: Soooo glad we have a picture of this moment, even if no one can tell what is transpiring without an explanation.


Success! What was that I was saying about relaxing?!




Getting in and out of the hammock was a feat all its own. After we managed to do so, we walked back up to the walkway and I slipped on my flip flops. YAY for cute, personalized, flip flops! By this point, I think we had lost Kathy as well; I’m assuming she went back to the room for a bit. Something else that was nice about having such a small wedding is that we didn’t have to worry about whether or not our guests were being put out during that span of time between the ceremony and dinner.


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Original Poster
I wanted some pictures out on the boat dock so we started to make our way over there. Up to this point, we hadn’t really come into contact with anyone, outside of people affiliated with the wedding in some way. Sure, there were people lying around on the beach and stuff, but we weren’t really that close to them. The shortest route to the boat dock was to cut across the Nanea Volcano Pool right between the zero entry and the beach. Oh my goodness, this was one of my absolute favorite moments of the entire day. I’m still sad I don’t have a candid shot of it (my parents were walking behind us so I know my mom would’ve been snapping away if she’d had her camera), but as we came up to the pool area EVERYONE surrounding the pool started clapping and cheering. Well wishes were being shouted out at us from all directions... from the beach, the lounge chairs, and even from the pool. It was a moment of realization that our special little day was just another fabulous day at Disney World. It made me feel so special. People are so incredibly kind.

One particular shout out, timed perfectly and directed at my parents as they followed along behind us, was, “Congratulations, you paid for it!” coming from a man sipping on his pineapple lapu lapu. :lol: It was followed by a round of applause and standing ovation. :ROFLOL: He was so right... they really did make it all possible. And honestly, I can never thank my parents enough for this. They made it possible for Brett and I to have our dream wedding, and I hope they realize how appreciative we both are for their generosity.

Okay, back on track... this next shot is a favorite of mine. I LOVE that you can see “our hill,” as Brett likes to refer to it, in the background:


One of my favorite details of this dress was the bustle and the way it just made the dress swoosh around me as I walked. It had so much movement and life. This totally met one of my main criteria for the dress; I didn’t want to have to constantly fix it before each picture was taken, and you know what... I don’t think we fixed it even once. She just did her own thing. So dreamy! Can you tell I still have the biggest school girl crush ever on my dress?!






Well-Known Member
Oh my! Your pictures are toooootally killing me!!! So gorgeous! So sweet! Love love love it all! Oh please don't stop...mooooooore.............


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Original Poster
We headed back towards the marina, where my parents met us with bottles of water. One for Jason, and one for Brett and I to share. I reminded them that we’d meet in the upstairs lobby at 5:15pm for dinner at Ohana and then we were off to take more pictures. Jason spotted Moana Mickey’s and asked if we’d be up for playing in the arcade! Why, certainly! We had a blast just playing around.

Married all of an hour and already we’re having a knockdown, drag out, fight!



I have a mean upper cut, if ever you choose to cross me...


Air hockey?!


You better watch it hubby, or I'll smash those fingers with the puck! I love Brett's reflection in the polished table!


After a friendly little game of air hockey we noticed the “car” games. It was too good not to pass up. Jason started to direct us when someone, I think it was Brett, mentioned that old Charlie Sheen movie, “The Chase.” And we all started cracking up laughing. Jason was like, “yeah do something like that.” :eek: Jason, need I remind you this is Disney!?!


Yeah, Brett is totally checking out the leader board in this next shot… I wonder if he even knows I’m there. :ROFLOL:


I had to work hard for this...


I don't know if I've mentioned it yet, but Jason was a blast to run around taking pictures with. From the moment I met him that morning, I felt instantly comfortable. Brett reiterated this after we left the arcade. The two hours we spent taking pictures were so much fun and much of that can be attributed to Jason and his laidback personality.


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Original Poster
We were already in the Great Ceremonial House so I suggested a quick stop to give thanks to the tiki gods for blessing us with such a drop dead gorgeous day…


I’ve read quite a few wedding day accounts where brides mentioned that some little girl commented on how they were a princess. To be honest, I thought “yeah right, that didn’t really happen.” Well, it happened to me, so I guess I’ll be eating my words now. It was so funny because a handful of people must’ve walked into the lobby from the back entrance while Jason was taking that last picture. I couldn’t see any of these people, but all of a sudden I heard a little girl say in awe, “Mommy, look, a princess!” Mom’s loud and curt reply, “Honey, she’s not a princess.” True. And yet, how dare that woman?! :lol: :lol: :lol: What was even funnier is after she said it, she paused and likely thought about how harsh it sounded, then quickly followed up with, “But she does look like one.” Much better, lady, much better! No need to have a bridezilla on your hands. :ROFLOL:

We started making our way up the stairs and onto the monorail platform before I realized we missed a lot of my “must have” locations at the Polynesian. Time truly did fly by and it just wasn’t possible to get everything in. I guess I could’ve sacrificed getting shots at the Grand Floridian for more time at the Poly, but that wasn’t even a consideration for me at the time. I had an agenda.




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Original Poster
We hopped off at the Grand Floridian… for the first time ever, I think I felt dressed appropriately for the place. :D




I knew I wanted shots right at the monorail entrance where the grandeur of the Grand is at its best.


Brett’s favorite:




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Original Poster
Jason suggested we go in Basin to play. Inside we got Brett in an apron and then had some fun with the make-your-own soaps section.



I love how Jason shot it from outside the window.




Back out on the monorail platform, we milled about waiting for one to come along. This definitely ate into our time; you can never really tell how long a monorail will take these days. Quite a bit of people were waiting to board and Jason was waiting to get that perfect shot with the monorail going by. He told me, rather loudly I might add, to grab Brett’s lapel and really go at it. “It’s a good thing I’m not shy, Jason!” There was a wave of applause as the express monorail came cruising by. I think I even started to turn red.


Keeping a straight face was hard with all the people around…



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We boarded the monorail, standing room only this time, and took off for our next stop… the Magic Kingdom! Woohoo. Okay, so all throughout my planning I knew you couldn’t go into the parks in wedding attire (except in the case of a paid dessert party or actual wedding inside the park), but I hadn’t seen anything saying you couldn’t stand in front of the park. Uh-huh... you see where I’m going with this. The rules said nothing about the space in front of a park. So, during the little cake and champagne celebration, I asked Karen if we were allowed to stop in front of the Magic Kingdom for a quick picture. She radioed someone to ask the question and then told me yes. I wasn’t expecting a yes… I was so excited!!!

So when the monorail stopped at the MK we got off with the rest of the crowd, and the feeling of walking down the ramp in our wedding clothes, while everyone else was gearing up for an evening in the parks was completely surreal. It was so much fun. When we got there I kindly asked the security guard in front of the “no bags” entrance if we could just walk right up there and take a picture. He looked at us skeptically, but said yes anyway and sent Jason through the bag check with his gear.

So we were standing there attracting quite the crowd and Jason wanted us to get up on the ledge in the center that lines up with the turnstiles. Brett and I are big Disney rule followers and we were both a little hesitant about it. Jason was like, “What’re they gonna do? Kick us out?” Ummm… that doesn’t really allay our fears, Jason. :lookaroun :lol: He “bullied” us with something along the lines of “Well, you don’t have to get up on the ledge, but it’d be soooooo much cooler if you did.” I think I was more willing to do it than Brett at first, but then again all I was thinking about was getting THE SHOT. Once we decided to do it, the next question was how the hell are we going to get me up there in this dress?! If you haven’t noticed, it doesn’t have a lot of “bend” in the waist. But we managed. I kicked off my flip flops and Brett and Jason lifted me up.

Hello, Happiest Place on Earth…



I kinda love that there are random park goers in the background!




You’re absolutely killing me Kodak Picture Spot. Unobtrusive, those signs are not. :lol:


Active Member
why will they not let you go into the parks in wedding attire? I totally have a picture of people in wedding garb getting their pictures taken at Epcot. That's a dumb rule. What if that is your normal everyday attire? :lookaroun


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Original Poster
Getting back off the ledge was as interesting as getting up there. We took a few more pictures over towards the bus stop before making our way back to the monorail station. I LOVE the black and whites…




The bottom of my dress is not trying to deceive you here. She is indeed, turning a nice shade of grey, possibly charcoal. :lookaroun

What’s that they say you can do, a “Trash the Dress” session? I think I managed to take care of that all on my own on our wedding day. But, hey, we had fun! Surprisingly enough, I wasn’t concerned at all with it... sure, I noticed her changing colors, but you’d be proud, because this control freak didn’t have a meltdown, not even a minor one! :lol: Told you I was floating along all day.


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Original Poster
Back on the monorail, we ALMOST managed to get our own car, but it didn’t quite happen. We had plans to do a garter shot if we got our own car. We settled for these instead…





I love them all… and I think it’s simply because you can see our eyes; we aren’t squinting. There are too few pictures of us just looking directly at the camera due to the bright afternoon sun.

Luckily when we got there, the family on Jason’s side of the car got out at the Contemporary. The doors were just about to close when a group of four teenagers (two boys/two girls) came flying onto the cart at the last minute. It was hilarious because they were moving so fast you could tell they were just relieved to have gotten on and then one of the girls let out the loudest squeal of delight when she saw us. She and her girlfriend were oohing and aahhing and congratulating us. It was more fun than having a five year old call me a princess. :lol: :D We decided, what the hell, and went for the garter shots anyway. It was so funny when one of the girls exclaimed, “What happens on the monorail, stays on the monorail!” Does it ever! In fact, I’m not really comfortable posting the pictures, so the story alone is going to have to suffice.

When we got off at the Polynesian, Jason took one last picture… his signature UWA shot. I think it's such a cool picture for him to take with all his couples. I can’t thank Jason enough for capturing the moments of our wedding day. Both he and his wife, Lucia (who I believe does most of the editing), were exceptional to work with. And incredibly quick... they had our online gallery up two weeks after the big day!

Meet, Jason!


And then we rounded the corner, where our families were waiting. They started cheering loudly, which in turn encouraged everyone at the Polynesian to do the same. I guess you could say it was our grand entrance into the reception hall. :D And what’s even better… mom had her camera (and mine) around her neck. YAY! Love this shot, mostly because Jason is in it with us. And Brett appears to be warding off the paparazzi, which consisted solely of our mothers.


That's all for tonight... I'll be back tomorrow with the finale of our fairytale wedding day!


Premium Member
Oh my God Holly! you had me bawling once again at your report.... The story of walking by the pool area really got me!!! :cry: The pictures are amazing and I can not wait to read the rest of your report!


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OMG! You know I thought ok this couldn't get any better. The pictures couldn't get any better and you couldn't get any more gorgeous.

And guess what??

I was so wrong, it does, they were. And you did!

The photos are breathtaking. How cool is the shots at MK. I had no idea you couldn't wear wedding attire. Fascinating. It makes sense. I just never really thought about it really.

I am trying to find one favorite and I can't just pick one. They are just amazing. All of them. How does one choose??


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Wow! I agree! Your pictures are just breathtaking! I love the monorail shots and I'm so glad you waited for one to go by, because the one of you guys kissing with the monorail whizzing by may be my favorite picture ever!


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There are gorgeous.. gotta say that those black and whites are STUNNING (love black and white for some reason?) but "Brett's fav" at the Grand Floridian is my favourite. You're a beaut, guuuurl, whut up?

I've got all these chills, silly silly. Me and my wedding fever..

PS: Erica (re: Vorld and Vonder trip) tweeted me last week and I copy:
erica_reynolds: im loving the wedding TR @kbmacdowell, you know what im talking about.. pleaseee make a preTR so i can creeepp?? hahaa

You're famous, even in the Cape!


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Yaaaaaayyyy!!!! Killer shots! Y'all looked like you were having soooo much fun! That's my favorite part. What can be more awesome than Disney memories??? Thanks for posting all those! You could've posted twice as many and I don't think it would've been enough. All us girls are totally soakin' this up...every little drop! :slurp: :lol:

why will they not let you go into the parks in wedding attire? I totally have a picture of people in wedding garb getting their pictures taken at Epcot. That's a dumb rule. What if that is your normal everyday attire? :lookaroun

To go in the parks with wedding attire you are supposed to be escorted by DFTW staff and have a scheduled event such as a catered dessert party or one of the portrait sessions (generally held before park opening). Oftentimes beautiful wedding gowns can be misconstrued (by other un-Disney-educated guests) as a "princess". Notice how little girls say, "Oooohh...a real princess!!!!" To them, that really is a princess. It's to keep the bride & groom in a controlled area for their safety as well as the guests. Ya know? :wave:

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