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A PeoplemoverTTA Disney Wedding Planning Report - 7/15/2014

PeoplemoverTTA

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
#1
Well, who ever thought this day would come? If you've ever read any of my TRs, you may know that my life was supposed to be very different right now...I'll give a brief recap.

Life was going pretty well two and a half years ago when very suddenly, my mom passed away of a rare heart condition on June 30, 2011. My life was totally shattered, and within the following few months I planned on making some changes in my life: I was going to fulfill my career dream of working for myself, I was going to move to Orlando, and I was going to get healthy and lose excess weight I had been carrying since I was 20.

In November 2011, I parted ways with my employer and took the scary step of starting my own business (I am a copywriter and social media manager). Within the next 6 months, my business was thriving and I started planning on my move to Orlando, but there was one big thing before that...

I had all the details of my move (including where I was moving) set in stone by the time my sister's wedding rolled around on May 26, 2012. My sister was marrying the love of her life, who she had dated 15 years prior. They broke up and went their separate ways, only to reconnect in 2011 and fall in love all over again. I was (of course) serving as maid of honor. I made a point of introducing myself to the best man during the rehearsal dinner. He was my brother-in-law's best friend, and while we had known each other casually when Janet and Eric first dated, we didn't know each other that well.

Sparks kind of flew...too bad I was heading to Orlando to sign a lease on June 7!

The bridal party went out for drinks after the rehearsal dinner and, of course, more sparks. They continued to the wedding, and I was pretty surprised when the best man (Todd - there's his name, finally!) asked me out. I figured there was no harm in it, so I said yes.

We really hit it off, and with that June 7 Orlando date looming, I had this gnawing feeling in my stomach. One of the reasons I was moving to Orlando was that I just never felt I would meet anyone here in Buffalo. Was I turning away the possibility of that by moving? I had the ultimate flexibility because of being self-employed, so I didn't have to move. When family asked me to stay on top of it, I decided to stay a little while. If this new dating thing didn't work out, I could always move in 6 months. But at least I would know that I gave it a shot.

Well, giving it a shot turned into an engagement 17 months later :D

Here we are, 2 days after he proposed, when we realized everyone kept asking for a picture of us "engaged" and we didn't have one, lol:


I'll share the proposal story in the next post, then onto the wedding details!
 

PeoplemoverTTA

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
#2
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Leading Up to the Proposal

So, before I get into the proposal, I'll set it up a bit. I am, of course, the Disney geek in the family. Todd isn't "into" Disney, but he has his own geeky favorite things (like Knight Rider and classic cars...actually, those aren't geeky at all!). He appreciates my love for Disney (and classic TV), though, and definitely enjoys Disney movies. So when I asked him if we could to to WDW for our first anniversary, he of course said yes :)

We had a great time, and Todd loved being in WDW for the first time since 1990. Todd was especially excited to come back when we could bring his son (we'll refer to his as DS moving forward, because he's only 9). Here's my favorite picture from that trip:



Oh, and as an update on the last part of my goals, I had lost about 75 lbs by that trip (I'm down another 25 since then, though).

We had a really busy summer, and in July we moved in together. Things were humming along nicely as fall began. We had been discussing marriage since before the WDW trip, and we knew it was in the cards for us...so basically I knew a proposal was coming, but I had no idea when or where!

The Proposal

The weekend of Oct. 11 was a busy one, with family coming over on the 12th to celebrate October birthdays (me, my twin brother who came in from Boston, and my sister, who's birthday was on the 10th), and on the 13th, my sister had her son's baptism. So we were jam-packed! On Saturday afternoon, though, Todd and I planned on visiting a gorgeous state park that's about a 30-minute drive from where we live. We visited on the same weekend last year and had an awesome time, and the weather forecast was good, so we planning on squeezing it in between family festivities.

It really was a gorgeous day - 78 degrees and sunny on October 12! It's usually (if we're lucky) maybe 60 degrees around that time. It was so beautiful! We drove around and stopped to get out and explore different areas as they piqued our interest. We also searched for different "landmarks" we found last year. We finally found these "hidden" steps that feel like something out of The Goonies and snapped a pic:



I have no idea where he's looking, lol.

We took a ton of pictures, played in the leaves (seriously!) and ended the afternoon at the top of a huge hill. We could literally see the skyline of Buffalo, Niagara Falls and Batavia (a small town between Buffalo and Rochester) all from that spot. It was busy, but luckily we snagged a cool rocking bench and sat down before heading home to get ready for the party.

Last year I took a few panoramas with my iPhone 5, and because he moved in one of them it looked like he was transporting between dimensions (he's all pixelated and broken, lol). So of course we experimented with more panoramas this year. We each took a couple, then Todd suggested I stand up and take one. He moved me so I was facing 180 degrees from the hill and said, "Why don't you start here?" This was odd, because it was just an ugly building, but I didn't think anything of it. I moved slowly with the phone to take the panorama, and as I came to a finish, I stopped right on Todd...holding a ring :inlove:

I was frozen at this point, and finally looked up from the phone, lol. He got down on one knee and said a few things that I don't remember because I was in such shock (even though I knew it would happen, I was still so shocked!), then he asked me to marry him...and of course, I said yes :D

It was such an amazing moment on an amazing day - it couldn't have been any more perfect!

After enjoying the moment for a bit, we headed back home and told my family the good news - he had good timing, since my brother was in from out of town and my whole family was at our house less than an hour after we got home.

Next up, I'll get into the wedding details (finally - sorry!).
 

PeoplemoverTTA

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
#3
Okay, so Todd and I were already planning on taking DS to WDW sometime in the spring or summer (we can't take him out of school and he lives with Todd's ex-wife, so it's hard to work out the days), and Todd wanted to go back to WDW for our honeymoon, so the only logical choice for a wedding was WDW, right?

When I added up the costs, it actually saved us money versus having a huge wedding in Buffalo, taking a trip to WDW with DS, then taking a honeymoon. Like $5-$6k savings! So in every way, it just made sense.

Because DS is in school until the end of June (plus Todd's mom and my sister are both teachers), we knew it had to be in the summer, and we knew we didn't want to wait until 2015, so we looked at what we had going on next summer to identify target dates.

I immediately called Disney Fairy Tale Weddings to get the ball rolling, as our target dates were July 15, 16 and 17. It was 9 months out at this point and you can't book until 8 months, but I wanted to get everything in motion. I also started doing a ton of research, because I know nothing about getting married, other than how I helped my sister! I gave them my information on the phone, and they said someone would get back to me within 48 hours. Five days later, I got an email with basic information and a note that she would follow up.

We decided to do an Escape wedding, and to have a party here at home after to celebrate with our extended family. We were nervous about the 18-person limit, though, because it's just so restricting.

Then, two weeks ago, my grandmother passed away. She had been ill since May 1, but we had hoped she would improve after moving into a nursing home. I'm glad she's at peace and not suffering anymore, but it's hard :cry:

Talking to family at the wake and funeral (from both my dad's and mom's sides of the family) made Todd realize he wanted to have more than 18 people at our wedding in WDW, we took advantage of some research I'd done and looked into a Swan & Dolphin Wedding.

Basically, Swan & Dolphin Weddings offer the magic of a Disney wedding at a cost savings and without the restrictions. Disney is pretty strict in what you can and cannot do, and how much you spend, but it's way more flexible at the Swan & Dolphin. I am working with a wedding coordinator with a site called Just Marry, who works with the SD to coordinate weddings there. Coming up, I'll post an update of what's booked, what we're thinking, and more.
 

PeoplemoverTTA

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
#8
The Details
Hm, okay, so where do I begin? Well first of all, I want to give a big thanks to @PartOfYourWorld and @Sweet Melissa (who got married today at the Swan & Dolphin!) for their help as we've undertaken planning a wedding that is less than 9 months away!

I know that Todd and I could have gotten married in 2015, but life has shown me that in some cases doing things sooner is the right call. Life is short, and compared to some couples we're a little older (he's 39, I'm 33), so I want to start the rest of our lives as soon as possible. With that, we're moving full steam ahead :)

That meant, though, that we had our work cut out for us with research. Todd knows I'm the resident Disney "expert," so I did all the research then brought him in to compare/debate which is the best fit for both of us. We've done that for everything...although many of our big decisions are made, we still have plenty left!

The Venue
You guys all know the Walt Disney World Swan & Dolphin, but if you're like me, you had no idea that they performed wedding ceremonies there. There are a few options for location, specifically

White Sand Beach:


West Courtyard:

and Crescent Terrace:


Oops, apparently there's Lake Terrace too. Didn't read about that one much in my research:


Each has its own perks, but since I was a teenager (although I was never the type of kid who sat around dreaming about her future wedding), I always thought it would be cool to get married on the beach. I'm a very low key sort of gal when it comes to planning, and White Sand Beach just fit my ideal notion for a relaxed wedding.

Date & Time
As we all know, July is ridiculously hot and humid in Orlando. But, with DS in school and my sister (plus Todd's mom) working in schools, we really didn't have much choice. The other challenge that presents is rain. So to minimize the impact of heavy afternoon showers, we chose a 10:30am wedding time. That means we will be up ridiculously early that morning to get ready, but such is life! It also saves us a little bit of money on the "reception" meal - serving brunch instead of dinner is much more affordable.

That's a trend here - we have about 6 months, really, to save for the wedding, and I've broken down costs to include literally every aspect - the trip beforehand with DS, spending money, wedding, meals, clothes, etc. I have tried to identify any potential cost so that we can know how much we need to save exactly. This should prevent unnecessary stress as the date approaches.

July 15 is 252 days away, btw :D I have already updated my WDW Countdown app, lol. I could have done it to July 11, which is the day we'll arrive, but I thought it would be better to countdown to the wedding...after all, that's the big day!
 

PeoplemoverTTA

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
#9
Accommodations

Some of you guys may have noticed that I have been asking questions lately about the Swan & Dolphin. I realize it would obviously be easier for us to stay there, since that's where our wedding will be! It's somewhat more reasonable than a WDW Deluxe hotel, but with the $20 hotel fee for each night, the cost of an Epcot-view room is only about $50 less per night...and honestly, for that price I'd rather stay at the Boardwalk.

So, we're on the fence about where to stay. We stayed at POR for our anniversary trip, but I'll be honest - I want to splurge. You only get married once, and I would really like to stay at a Deluxe resort...especially one within walking distance of DHS and Epcot. I think we'll spend a lot of time at both those parks, and I just love the ambience and convenience. Plus we love the nightlife and watercraft...just the whole feeling of being over there. I stayed at the Yacht Club in 2005 for $169 a night with a passholder discount. Suffice it to say that rack rate is now 3x that amount...yup, crazy. You can barely get a moderate for $169 a night anymore with a passholder discount.

Special thanks to @Disneyfalcon for help getting rates and suggestions for our accommodations. Everyone should go to Tammy for help with their WDW vacations!

Anyway, so we were considering doing POP during our family trip, then switching to the Swan/Dolphin or Boardwalk (or POR), but it seems like such a hassle. Plus, the night before our wedding will be pretty hectic, I think. So now I think we should just choose one hotel and stay there..we wouldn't be able to get a king bed or anything, since DS would be staying with us for the first few nights, but that's a small price to pay.

What do you guys think about the hotel? I'm kind of on the fence about the whole thing...
 

Sweet Melissa

Well-Known Member
#10
We stayed at the Dolphin the night before and after the wedding. Other than some disappointments with the Mandara Spa, I really enjoyed everything about the hotel. We were given an upgrade to a park view because it was our wedding, which I'm given to understand is standard if there is a room with a view available. The beds are quite comfortable, and the linens were way softer than anything I've ever experienced at a Disney hotel. I will say, though, that I do prefer the Boardwalk. Also, whatever you do, staying within walking distance of your events and staying in one room for the whole trip is definitely the way to go. The $15/day parking fee at the Swan and Dolphin made it a little inconvenient for some of our guests who weren't already staying at the hotel. I think if you can use one of the brokers like David's or the DVC rental store (and if there's still availability), renting points for the Boardwalk or Beach Club would probably be the way to go.
 

PeoplemoverTTA

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
#11
We stayed at the Dolphin the night before and after the wedding. Other than some disappointments with the Mandara Spa, I really enjoyed everything about the hotel. We were given an upgrade to a park view because it was our wedding, which I'm given to understand is standard if there is a room with a view available. The beds are quite comfortable, and the linens were way softer than anything I've ever experienced at a Disney hotel. I will say, though, that I do prefer the Boardwalk. Also, whatever you do, staying within walking distance of your events and staying in one room for the whole trip is definitely the way to go. The $15/day parking fee at the Swan and Dolphin made it a little inconvenient for some of our guests who weren't already staying at the hotel. I think if you can use one of the brokers like David's or the DVC rental store (and if there's still availability), renting points for the Boardwalk or Beach Club would probably be the way to go.
Yay...I can't wait to read about your wedding! :)

What happened with the Mandarin Spa? I was thinking about doing a manicure and pedicure there...maybe I'll just go to the Yacht Club instead. I booked a room at the Swan today for my sister and I the night before the wedding. That way if the hospitality suite isn't available, we're set and won't have to walk over from the Boardwalk.

We're just too nervous about renting points (especially DF)...I'm glad it worked out for you!

Getting ready for an update now - I know it's only 8 months away, but I am cruising through this planning, lol!
 

PeoplemoverTTA

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
#12
I have been so busy with planning!

Plus with work - I have a lot on my plate, lol. I'm getting DF involved in decision-making, but I feel badly because I know all the ins and outs of everything, so I can't really "delegate" tasks to him. I'm trying really hard to make sure he's involved, though. I feel badly, because it's stressful doing this planning (and realizing how much it'll all cost!), which makes him feel bad.

But it's good stress! And I'll feel SO much better once everything is set in stone and then we just have to save $$ and get excited :D

Accommodations
We decided officially to stay at the Boardwalk for the entire stay. We don't want to mess with switching rooms (thanks for the tips, guys!), and the Boardwalk is my dream WDW hotel. DS will love the pool (and how easy it is to get to DHS, where I suspect this then-10-year old Star Wars fan will want to spend most of his time), and I'll love the ambience, room, and ability to walk to Epcot and DHS (or take the boat...I'm a big walker, though, so I don't mind a 15-minute walk to DHS). HUGE thanks to @Disneyfalcon for answering all my questions and being so patient and helpful to book our room!

Tickets
We may change this to an AP for me eventually, but for now we're going with 8-day park hoppers. I realize that with DS, we're going to be doing some hopping (He'll probably want to do 2 things at Epcot. He has never been anywhere like WDW before and has patience/attention issues, so we're taking it slow with really immersing him in the WDW experience for his first trip...we're not going to "force" him to do Epcot, so we'll just check it out and let him decide most of the things we do for those first few days.

Dining Plan
I've only done the dining plan once, while it was free on a big family trip in 2011 (here's the TR, if you're interested). It was okay, but I personally don't feel that we saved money, and I hated being tied down to a specific place and time so far in advance.

I really didn't think we'd do it this time, since DS is a fairly picky eater, and Todd is a picky eater too (he actually likes chicken fingers, pizza and hamburgers at every meal, lol). But, we really want to relax as much as possible this trip and not worry about anything, so I looked into the quick service dining plan. Although we're probably spending a little more in the long run, I think the peace of mind of only needing money for souvenirs will really help. I just want all the little details settled so we don't have to think about anything while we're there - except having fun! So we went ahead and added it.

Plus, since DS is leaving after the wedding, the extra meals for him will go on our room, and we'll literally have every meal covered - it really works out!
 

PeoplemoverTTA

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
#13
Entertainment
My brother is actually paying for the violinist for our wedding as a gift (so nice of him! he paid for the harpist at my sister's wedding, so he wanted to stay with the trend, I guess). We will probably use Jennie Rudberg, who was recommended by my wedding planner and has been very nice so far in conversation.

Videography
I debated about videography, but realized that for the cost ($325 for the ceremony only, with 2 copies of the DVD), I think we'd be more likely to regret not doing it. Based on recommendations online, we went with PD Videography (Paul Duhon), who has been just wonderful to work with. We were waiting on confirmation of our date and time, and Paul was great about touching base and following up, without being pushy. I think we're really going to like working with him!

Photography
We went with Randy Chapman for photography. He does a TON of Disney weddings and comes very highly recommended. Plus, his rate was very reasonable. $600 for four hours and a DVD of all images. Randy has also been great to work with so far!

Marriage License
You can get your marriage license through the mail in Brevard County, so we got that process started last night. We send a form via email, and 60 days before the wedding, they'll send us the official application. We fill it out and send it back and voila, we get our wedding certificate before the wedding, without having to leave and go to the clerk's office during our trip. And it doesn't cost any more than doing it in person!

Officiant
We're really struggling on picking an officiant. That's one detail that is still lingering...I welcome and appreciate any recommendations!

I'm really hoping to get all the details we can settled before Christmas - then it's just a matter of saving the rest of the $$. I keep telling Todd - whatever happens before that wedding, as long as the wedding and trip are paid for, I'm good! I am just really looking forward to starting the rest of my life with an amazing man in my favorite place, surrounded by our closes family and friends :inlove:
 

Sweet Melissa

Well-Known Member
#14
Yay! We hired Jennie for our ceremony music, and she was wonderful. She also works with a guitarist whom we hired as well, and together the sound was great. Danny heard more of the ceremony music than I did since I was the last one to walk in, and he was raving about what a great job they did with our selections.

I posted a little about my troubles with Mandara on the Facebook group. There were two attempts at a Shellac manicure, and I walked away with nails that I hope my photographer can photoshop, and lasting nail damage that will take me months to grow out. Between my experience there with nails and Faith's with hair, I don't think I would ever recommend them for anything. Which is sad, really, because the spa is beautiful and very relaxing.

My brother got ordained to officiate our wedding, but if we were to hire a local, I probably would have picked Ron Rosenzweig. I don't know what denomination you are, but Ron does secular ceremonies, which is what we really wanted.
 

PeoplemoverTTA

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
#15
Yay! We hired Jennie for our ceremony music, and she was wonderful. She also works with a guitarist whom we hired as well, and together the sound was great. Danny heard more of the ceremony music than I did since I was the last one to walk in, and he was raving about what a great job they did with our selections.

I posted a little about my troubles with Mandara on the Facebook group. There were two attempts at a Shellac manicure, and I walked away with nails that I hope my photographer can photoshop, and lasting nail damage that will take me months to grow out. Between my experience there with nails and Faith's with hair, I don't think I would ever recommend them for anything. Which is sad, really, because the spa is beautiful and very relaxing.

My brother got ordained to officiate our wedding, but if we were to hire a local, I probably would have picked Ron Rosenzweig. I don't know what denomination you are, but Ron does secular ceremonies, which is what we really wanted.
That is horrible about the spa - wow! :eek:

I went with Beaute Speciale for hair and makeup. My hairdresser has been doing my hair for over 10 years, and he offered to do a full walk through, taking pictures and documenting everything fully so it can be recreated by BS. He is amazing and a good friend, so I appreciate that even if he can't do my hair, he can sort of do it, lol! I think I might do the same for makeup, and bring pictures/colors/products with me.

Yay - awesome about Jennie! I reached out to the other violinist Diana at JM recommended, but he never responded to my email, so Jennie wins by default. Her rate is very reasonable too. I'm waiting to hear back, but do you know if she does any Disney songs? I kind of want to walk down the aisle to "I See the Light" from Tangled.

I didn't hear the harpist at all at my sister's wedding, since I was second last, lol. She didn't get a videographer, so I still have no idea how it sounded! it's ironic about stuff like that - the bride misses out!

Thanks for the recommendation of Ron - I just sent him an email.
 

Sweet Melissa

Well-Known Member
#16
Jennie definitely knows Disney songs, and even if she doesn't, she's willing to learn them provided you give her enough notice (and you have plenty of time). She didn't know "our song", a jazz standard we wanted for the recessional, but she and the guitarist, Stephen, both played it beautifully on our day. And I agree about her rate; it's very reasonable.

I really liked everything Beaute Speciale did for us. All I did was show them an inspiration photo for my hair, and they interpreted it really well. Similarly, I told the makeup artist how I normally wear my makeup, and she whipped up a more dramatic, camera-ready version of that. It was the perfect blend of special but still me.

As for Beaute, I know there's a lot of talk on the Facebook groups about requesting or avoiding certain stylists, but don't worry about that. They're all consummate professionals. The stylist who did my makeup had a rash of complaints from the Disbrides recently, but everything she did for me and the rest of my group was spot on. Maybe the key is trusting them and not trying to control too much, I don't know.
 

PeoplemoverTTA

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
#17
Wow, I have really been awful at updating this report. The good news is, just about every detail of our wedding has been solidified (yes, I am an uber-planner, at least when it comes to this wedding!). I'll work on the updated information now :)
 

PeoplemoverTTA

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
#18
Jennie definitely knows Disney songs, and even if she doesn't, she's willing to learn them provided you give her enough notice (and you have plenty of time). She didn't know "our song", a jazz standard we wanted for the recessional, but she and the guitarist, Stephen, both played it beautifully on our day. And I agree about her rate; it's very reasonable.
I feel badly, but my brother actually booked Sacha Phelps, so we're not using Jennie anymore. Luckily we never booked anything - my brother didn't say anything at first!

I really liked everything Beaute Speciale did for us. All I did was show them an inspiration photo for my hair, and they interpreted it really well. Similarly, I told the makeup artist how I normally wear my makeup, and she whipped up a more dramatic, camera-ready version of that. It was the perfect blend of special but still me.

As for Beaute, I know there's a lot of talk on the Facebook groups about requesting or avoiding certain stylists, but don't worry about that. They're all consummate professionals. The stylist who did my makeup had a rash of complaints from the Disbrides recently, but everything she did for me and the rest of my group was spot on. Maybe the key is trusting them and not trying to control too much, I don't know.
Sounds perfect about Beaute - I've read all the reviews, and I have to think that because I am so low-key when it comes to some of the wedding details people freak about, I will be happy whatever happens.

For Todd and I, the number one thing is obviously getting married, lol. We want the ceremony and day to be the perfect way to start our lives together (that sounds selfish, but oh well - at the end of the day, as several relatives keep reminding me, it's really about us first).

Then, we want people to have fun. That seriously is the biggest part outside of the whole marriage thing ;) We don't know how many people will be coming yet, but whoever does come is going to be investing a lot of money and time to share this day with us, so we want to be sure people have an amazing time, and that they talk about our wedding (in a good way) for a long time! Hopefully we're successful in that :)
 

PeoplemoverTTA

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
#19
Okay, so how to catch up! I had to re-read my original posts to see what the details were “way back” in November :)

Here’s what we have done for the wedding:

Save the Dates
I tried making homemade Save the Dates…it totally did not work. I am just not crafty. Luckily I only spent about $10 on materials, after returning some of them. I just wasn’t really feeling any of the ones I was finding online, and I didn’t want to spend a ridiculous sum of money. So I finally found some on etsy that were Disney-specific, but they had the wedding pavilion on them. I reached out to the seller and asked if she had any Swan images and she totally did - here’s the finished result:



My brother said he cried when he got it in the mail, it was so magical for him :) The total for 24 Save the Dates was $42, including envelopes. They were $.66 each to mail, which I didn't think was too bad…it’s just annoying that square cards are more to mail!

Invitations
I purchased do-it-yourself invitations on Amazon. I’ll post a picture once they’re done. We’re mailing them out in January, so it won’t be too long.

Wedding Rings
Yup, we even did those already! My engagement ring is a white gold solitaire (which is SO perfect for my style, which is very classic and minimalist), and my wedding band matches - white gold with two smaller diamonds that sort of “surround” the engagement diamond. You can see the separate band, so they look made for each other (because I guess they were!), but it also really complements the look. I am totally in love with the look! We went to Jared and some other big name jewelry stores, but I just didn’t really love any of the ones they had, plus the sales people were pushy. We ended up going to a small neighborhood jeweler, which I love. I really try to support small businesses whenever I can (which is somewhat of a thread throughout my wedding planning!).

Todd picked out a tungsten ring from another local jeweler (he works on his cars a lot and wanted something more durable than gold), so we both picked out our rings pretty easily! Although, the first one he picked out was no longer available so we had a little hassle there, it ended up working out perfectly.

Floral
I purchased boutonnieres and a bouquet for both myself and my sister at AFloral.com based on a recommendation I found on the Disbrides Facebook group. For the length of time we’ll be using them, plus the fact that it’ll be 8,000 degrees and that flowers wilt, etc, plus the incredible cost savings (for both bouquets plus boutonnieres for 5 people, it came to $52 with shipping!), it was a no-brainer. Here’s my bouquet and here’s my sister’s (we'll have to do something to wrap it with ribbon). Also, here are the boutonnieres. They all look fantastic in person!

Venue & Time
The venue is the same - the Swan & Dolphin beach. I am super excited for the location! And we’re still getting married at 10:30am on Tuesday, July 15, 2014 (7 months from yesterday!)

Accommodations
We’re still staying at the Boardwalk, but my dad actually paid for us to rent DVC points from DVC Rental Store. I have never rented points before, but I’ve been emailing Lauren from DVC Rental Store to ask questions, and I feel really good about it! BIG thanks to my dad for his help (the cost savings to rent was $2500 - insane!). We’ll have a Boardwalk view room, with a request for an Epcot view.

I also booked a room at the Swan the night before our wedding. The Swan provides a room for getting ready, but only when available. I’ve heard of some brides not having rooms to get ready, and I don't want to walk (however short!) from the Boardwalk that morning, so my sister and I will stay in the Swan that night, while Todd and Eric (my brother in law and his best friend/best man) will get ready with DS over at the Boardwalk (they can walk!).
 
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PeoplemoverTTA

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
#20
(continued)

Dining Plan

We were going to do the quick service dining plan, but we decided to use cash. It was really only going to be for convenience and not having to worry about cash on the trip, but I never eat sides, and I just think that we’ll save $100 or so (at least) by paying out of pocket, which will be worth it if it helps us do more fun things on our honeymoon!

Entertainment
We actually switched violinists (as I mentioned in another post) to Sacha Phelps, who is the violinist for many Disney Weddings. My brother purchased the violinist for our wedding gift, which was very generous of him!

Officiant
Based on @Sweet Melissa 's recommendation (I also saw that @wdwmagic had him as his wedding officiant), we went with Ron Rosenzweig. In all our conversations with Ron, he has been fantastic. He also sent over several options for our ceremony, which we already read and selected. I got misty while reading the options - I just can’t wait until the day comes where he actually says those words! I know that Ron is going to be fantastic - Todd and I both had a really good feeling in talking to him. Todd especially took this very seriously - we watched YouTube videos at length of different officiants to see if we liked the “feeling” of their ceremonies! Ron is great and we’re really excited :)

Travel
Well, we were going to book Jetblue when they first released the dates but we waited too long and the price went up, so we’re going to see if Southwest is reasonable when they release those dates (according to their website, they’ll open up our dates on January 27).

Unfortunately, Todd is going to have to leave the day after our wedding (I know, I know) to take Brandon back to his mom’s. It’s going to be so hard being away from my husband (!) the day after our wedding, but it is what it is. Brandon will only be 10 and we’re certainly not going to have him fly by himself! Todd will leave late Wednesday afternoon on the 16th and will come back the morning of the 17th, so it won’t be too long…still, it’ll be hard.

Welcome Party
We have debated SO many options here! Since our wedding is small, we decided that we have to do a wedding party for everyone, but we are on a budget so a lot of things are out of our reach. We thought about doing a dinner just for our parents and the wedding party, but it just wouldn’t feel right with people (we’re guessing 25) coming in.

So, instead of a rehearsal dinner we’re doing a welcome party. And we just finalized what we’re doing yesterday, in fact. Based on an idea from the Passporter book on Disney weddings, we’re going to do a mini-golf welcome party at Winter Summerland. They have picnic tables and a snack bar, so everyone will play a round of golf (on either of the two courses), then we’ll treat to drinks and snacks while mingling at the picnic tables they have set up there (based on what I’ve read, there are like 6 picnic tables where we can mingle - can anyone confirm this?) This fulfills our cardinal rule of everyone having fun, but also stays within our budget. Plus it includes everyone. We’re going to have 4 or 5 kids besides DS, so we want everyone to have fun. This really is in our spirit as well - we’re fun people (if I do say so myself!).

That night, we’ll take our parents to ESPN Club for dinner, though - just to thank them. We’re all big sports fans, so nothing fancy - just a nice meal at ESPN Club :)

Reception
There are two parts to our reception. Immediately following our ceremony, we’ll have cake and a sparkling cider toast on the beach. Then, and this is the part I am SO excited about, we have booked a private Illuminations Dessert Party at UK Lochside that evening.

I am SOOOOO excited for this! I really think this will be the “thing” that everyone talks about from our wedding. And it’s surprisingly affordable! For 25 people, with a range of desserts and tea/coffee/juice (I think), it comes to $1192.

We were going to do brunch right after, but I gave them a $1500 budget (that’s $60 per person for 25 people…for brunch), and the restaurant said they couldn’t do it. I figured this is way more memorable anyway, plus it actually saves us a little bit!

Now there are a lot of rules and stuff about wearing your wedding dress in the parks. If I booked a Disney wedding officially, I could do it, but remember - I’m a low-key bride. I could probably try to wear my dress in at the dessert party but it would require extra steps and stress and I’m just not interested. So I’m going to buy a pretty white dress somewhere before the trip and wear it that night. Honestly, I don’t want to be sweltering in that dress longer than I have to! Between getting ready, the wedding, cake and photos after, I’ll be in that thing for like 5 hours - I don’t need to wear it that night!

Dress
Did I share the dress? Oops! Why not - Todd won't see it :) It’s a tea length (extreme heat and sand mean that tea length was definitely the way to go for me) Oleg Cassini from David’s Bridal. Here's a link.

Okay, I think that should do it for now…am I missing anything?

We’re working on special stuff to do on our honeymoon, plus other little things, so I’ll pop by to update more often. It’s been fun planning this wedding so far…I just hope the next 7 months go by quickly!
 
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