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Trip Report Our Fairytale Wedding

Hello! Several months have passed since we said "I do" at the most magical place on earth, but we are just finally wrapping up all of our post-wedding tasks and have gotten all the photos and videos back etc so I think it's finally time I put it to a trip report!

When: December 9-18, 2021
Where: Walt Disney World
Why: Wedding!!
Resorts: Saratoga Springs, Bay Lake Tower, Contemporary Resort and Beach Club Villas
Main Characters: Maci & Jimmy (bride and groom to be!)
Supporting Cast: Our four kids, Jimmy's family, Maci's family, Wedding Party, childhood friends, distant relatives - it's a big wedding y'all!

I'll start with some backstory. We got engaged on my 30th birthday trip to WDW back in 2019. It was a picture perfect moment, just the two of us in a near empty Epcot. My now-hubby always knew how important Disney was to me and that we'd be getting married there, but other than that I was open to most of the other details. After enjoying the rest of our trip for my birthday with our friends (there were 12 of us in total, it was great!), we looked at calendars and planned a date of 2/12/21, giving us over a year to save and plan for our perfect day. As you all well know, 2020 threw the world for a loop and Disney got hit hard, in October of 2020 we had to make the tough call to postpone our wedding due to all the intense restrictions on weddings through Disney Fairytale Weddings and social distancing protocols. Our new date was 12/12/21 - a new month, a new season, but thankfully, not a new year!

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Our initial plan was to get married at the Yacht Club Wedding Gazebo since I used to work at Yacht Club it was special to me, and then we'd move to a ballroom there for the reception. But with December weather potentially being cold, we wanted an indoor ceremony location and with more time to save, we upgraded our reception location as well! So our wedding in December 2021 was honestly nothing like we planned and pictured for the first year of our engagement. We changed just about everything :)

My hubby has four kids and quite a large family, so around our wedding events we also made a little Disney vacation for them and did our best to split time between wedding stuff and family vacation stuff, so there will be a bit of both throughout this TR.

Welcome along, and I look forward to sharing it with you all!
 
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MagicalMaci

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
In the Parks
Yes
Congrats and following along - great pics!
First of all - Congratulations!! Beautiful family 😊

Such a fun report, and I‘m sure lots more fun to come! Can’t wait to read more about the wedding as well.
This is exciting! Congrats!!
Congratulations this is an exciting trip report!
Congratulations and such a fun report to read so far.

Thank you all! :)
 

MagicalMaci

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
In the Parks
Yes
Our Fairytale Wedding Day 2 Part 4- Cookie Time!

We headed back to the room and were very surprised to find our family there. We thought they’d be in the park still to watch the fireworks up close. But the kids got tired and gave up, so we found everyone on our balconies watching the fireworks! My friend Erik came all the way from Australia for our wedding (we met doing the Disney College Progra
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m in 2010) and asked if he could stop by on Friday and say hi to us so we had invited him over to watch the fireworks as well, so it was a little party in our room all of a sudden! It was so great to get to catch up with him and meet his boyfriend in a smaller setting with such a busy weekend ahead since I hadn't seen him in several years. (Spoiler alert, he asked him to marry him later in the trip! I wasn't there so it's not a part of the TR, but it makes me SO HAPPY to know that my wedding trip was a part of their fairytale too!)

After the fireworks I Immediately switched gears to cookie mode. So this is where everyone told me I was crazy but I really wanted to do the "Pittsburgh Cookie Table" since I am from PA originally and am known for my cookies, I wanted to be able to make my “famous” cookies! We couldn't actually bring in our own food to the reception, but I had worked it out to bring them for our welcome party since it wasn't through Disney. I had brought four things of frozen dough to bake and got stuff to make two recipes in the villa as well. I also brought cooling racks and my spatula along with a few other random things for baking. There were no cookie sheets in the villa but I had housekeeping bring some up before we headed out to dinner so I was ready to go.

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My friend made this shirt for me and it felt perfect for the occasion. Also RIP that pink spatula, it didn't make it back to Texas with us. It was my most favorite cookie spatula!​

My aunt stopped by to drop off the random wedding stuff I had shipped to her house which included things for the welcome event the next day and then my uncle and cousin also showed up so we all ended up hanging out while I made cookies. They were also staying at Bay Lake Tower so not a big task for them to pop over. Erik’s boyfriend Roel volunteered to help me bake which was awesome to get to know him a bit and teach him the ways of the cookie baker.

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It was a Friday night so we had a second viewing of fireworks from the after hour event which everyone enjoyed getting to see as well!
We kept the wine flowing and had great conversations all hanging out and bonding. I was up baking until about 12am but I got it all done! I made chocolate chip, peanut butter, shortbread, cranberry ginger, chocolate M&M and lemon. I ordered some paper charger plates and chalkboard signs for the occasion and brought Press and Seal to keep the cookies fresh. I photographed them all for my food blog on some dishes from the villa and then we plated them all up for the welcome event tomorrow and finally called it a night!

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My famous chocolate chip cookies
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Lemon snowflake cookies
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Double chocolate m&m cookies
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Funfetti shortbread bites
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Classic peanut butter cookies
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Cranberry ginger sugar cookies
 

fractal

Premium Member
Our Fairytale Wedding Day 2 Part 4- Cookie Time!

We headed back to the room and were very surprised to find our family there. We thought they’d be in the park still to watch the fireworks up close. But the kids got tired and gave up, so we found everyone on our balconies watching the fireworks! My friend Erik came all the way from Australia for our wedding (we met doing the Disney College PrograView attachment 656120m in 2010) and asked if he could stop by on Friday and say hi to us so we had invited him over to watch the fireworks as well, so it was a little party in our room all of a sudden! It was so great to get to catch up with him and meet his boyfriend in a smaller setting with such a busy weekend ahead since I hadn't seen him in several years. (Spoiler alert, he asked him to marry him later in the trip! I wasn't there so it's not a part of the TR, but it makes me SO HAPPY to know that my wedding trip was a part of their fairytale too!)

After the fireworks I Immediately switched gears to cookie mode. So this is where everyone told me I was crazy but I really wanted to do the "Pittsburgh Cookie Table" since I am from PA originally and am known for my cookies, I wanted to be able to make my “famous” cookies! We couldn't actually bring in our own food to the reception, but I had worked it out to bring them for our welcome party since it wasn't through Disney. I had brought four things of frozen dough to bake and got stuff to make two recipes in the villa as well. I also brought cooling racks and my spatula along with a few other random things for baking. There were no cookie sheets in the villa but I had housekeeping bring some up before we headed out to dinner so I was ready to go.

View attachment 656121
My friend made this shirt for me and it felt perfect for the occasion. Also RIP that pink spatula, it didn't make it back to Texas with us. It was my most favorite cookie spatula!​

My aunt stopped by to drop off the random wedding stuff I had shipped to her house which included things for the welcome event the next day and then my uncle and cousin also showed up so we all ended up hanging out while I made cookies. They were also staying at Bay Lake Tower so not a big task for them to pop over. Erik’s boyfriend Roel volunteered to help me bake which was awesome to get to know him a bit and teach him the ways of the cookie baker.


It was a Friday night so we had a second viewing of fireworks from the after hour event which everyone enjoyed getting to see as well!
We kept the wine flowing and had great conversations all hanging out and bonding. I was up baking until about 12am but I got it all done! I made chocolate chip, peanut butter, shortbread, cranberry ginger, chocolate M&M and lemon. I ordered some paper charger plates and chalkboard signs for the occasion and brought Press and Seal to keep the cookies fresh. I photographed them all for my food blog on some dishes from the villa and then we plated them all up for the welcome event tomorrow and finally called it a night!

View attachment 656122
My famous chocolate chip cookies
View attachment 656123
Lemon snowflake cookies
View attachment 656127
Double chocolate m&m cookies
View attachment 656125
Funfetti shortbread bites
View attachment 656126
Classic peanut butter cookies
View attachment 656128
Cranberry ginger sugar cookies

Baking cookies while on your Disney/Wedding Trip is an amazing thing.
 

MagicalMaci

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
In the Parks
Yes
Our Fairytale Wedding Day 3 Part 1: Picture Time!

As a thank you to Jimmy’s family I wanted to have a separate photo shoot outside of wedding attire. After some griping and grumbling (and me missing a Black Friday deal with the photographer due to their griping and grumbling) they finally agreed to a 8:15am photo shoot at the Contemporary before our wedding rehearsal.

Jimmy and I were up early getting ready but it still took us a while since we had a long day ahead. The kids were moving slow but eventually got up and moving as well. Jimmy had originally wanted to do photos at the Polynesian because it is prettier but I knew we weren’t going to get everyone up and ready enough to hop a monorail over there and boy was I right. We were a few minutes late and Jimmy's sisters family was a few minutes behind us.

But our photographer was early of course and we ended up really liking her. She was great with the littles and got all the family combinations quickly and efficiently. Her name was Jess Collins and I’d highly recommend for family shoots! We wrapped up just in time for our 9am rehearsal in the Contemporary Convention center and headed that way.

Jess actually got our family photos back to us THE NEXT DAY which was incredible! They turned out awesome.

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I love this photo, it's the cover of our 2021 photobook on my shelf so I see it every day :)
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My fave pic of Jimmy and his siblings
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Our Kids
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The whole clan - so close to all the littles smiling at the same time, but my one niece was having NONE OF IT :)

Most of the bridal party was already there at the rehearsal by the time we arrived and we were able to meet our reverend and one of the DFTW coordinators and both were just lovely. We walked through where everyone stands and the order everyone goes in and just confirmed a few small ceremony details with "RevKev". We got the flower girls all lined up to practice as well and told them all how important their role was and they were excited to be a part of it all.

From there it was time to head to Disney Springs for the start of the wedding weekend festivities! My aunt was grabbing all the cookies for us to drop off at our afternoon event but couldn’t find everything so I ran back over to our room to grab the last things and then rode over with my Uncle who drove. (They live in Tampa which is why they got the honor of hoarding all my deliveries and have a car for the wedding! :)) Everyone else hopped on a bus and we were on our way!
 

MagicalMaci

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
In the Parks
Yes
Our Fairytale Wedding Day 3 Part 2: Brunch!

The best part of doing a rehearsal is getting to have an awesome meal all together for everyone to meet and mingle. Before we postponed we had this scheduled for Wine Bar George because it would have been a Thursday, but their event minimum doubled for a Saturday and we weren’t going to be able to meet the minimum with our party size and lack of drinking people (small kids, pregnant people and several of Jimmy's family members just don't drink). So unfortunately we had to cancel that and wound up going with Homecoming instead. We did brunch to keep costs down but also because I love brunch and that gave everyone the rest of the day free to do with what they please since they were in the most magical place of course.

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Picture-perfect Florida day!​

Jimmy and co had arrived before me and got settled in, despite getting lost along the way. We were put on the patio which isn't a private space but we knew that we didn't have an enclosed room or anything. We had almost the whole patio and it was a perfect day outside (sorry to the three other tables out there
🤣
) There was a little drama right after I arrived with Jimmy's sister being late but his parents holding seats for them and not letting my family sit down because there actually weren't enough seats set up. Jimmy's parents had added two people the week prior and while our event planner said that was okay, it was never communicated to the restaurant so we were short seats (but more than two, I swear). But it all ended up being fixed after some quick thinking and rearranging since there were some more open tables out there that weren't being used.

Also: Homecoming is not arranged through Disney Fairytale Weddings. It is significantly cheaper than doing a rehearsal meal through Disney and honestly I’m so glad we made that choice! Our planners were great and responsive and they were all so accommodating at the restaurant.

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Mimosas "the bride's way" aka mostly bubbles, barely OJ and moonshine flights to go around​

Anyway. The first round of drinks took a while to come out but after that everything was basically flawless. Our server was so much fun and took great care of us. They brought SO MUCH food. When one table asked for extra of something they brought it to every. Single. Table. I think we had 4 big ones? I had asked for grits because they were supposed to change one of our sides to it since the French Toast had already come with bacon we didn't need an additional side of it, but that also apparently got lost with the extra seats and I really wanted them and then mom asked for extra scrambled eggs because she just wanted some plain eggs without the bells and whistles. The food and drinks were flowing and everyone was having a great time. Even with the last minute changes and add ons, we still came in under budget (it was bill on consumption drinks, so it was just an estimate going in.)

Right before the main course was enjoyed, Jimmy's dad stood up to give a toast and it was surprisingly beautiful. We were worried he was going to make everyone say grace before eating which is fine for their family but not all of our guests would have appreciated it but he kept it very secular for us and got a little emotional. It was really very sweet and everyone loved it. But since we were outside it was a little hard for everyone to hear which was a bummer.

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If there was a good pic of this moment, it was not shared with me lol.​

Our menu consisted of:
first course, biscuits with gravy and jam.
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Main course: the signature chicken and donuts, short rib hash with eggs, and French toast,.
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Sides: bacon (not pictured), fruit, and then grits.

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The chicken and donuts and French toast were my favorite but Jimmy loved the hash and everyone loved the biscuits so I think we made the right choices. The French toast doesn't sound like much on the menu, but it's just amazingly good classic French toast, no fancy bells and whistles needed. Also the cheesy grits were SO SO good, I'm glad I had them bring them out.

Due to little kids not eating much and our one groomsman’s daughter getting sick and them leaving early we had SO MUCH food leftover. The staff was once again great and brought us to go boxes to take all the goodies home so that went back to the villa with the family for leftover breakfasts. I couldn’t believe how much food we had!!

The general manager of Homecoming was there as well and came over to ask how everything was and we told him how wonderful of course. He gave us a gift to come back for dinner for two on him
🥰
it was so thoughtful and sweet of him so we will definitely be dining there for dinner on a future trip.
 

MickeyCB

Well-Known Member
After the fireworks I Immediately switched gears to cookie mode. So this is where everyone told me I was crazy but I really wanted to do the "Pittsburgh Cookie Table" since I am from PA originally and am known for my cookies,
Had to comment on the World Famous Pittsburgh Cookie Table!!!
We're from Pittsburgh and it's hilarious. Don't even talk about a wedding without talking about the cookie table!
My daughter got married in Sacramento and they asked about this wedding custom even out there!! 🤣
 
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cgersic

Well-Known Member
The family photos turned out amazing and your dress is just beautiful!! This is such a great report!! Lovin' it!
Dance Party GIF by Minions
 

MagicalMaci

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
In the Parks
Yes
Baking cookies while on your Disney/Wedding Trip is an amazing thing.
It was stressful yet so calming at the same time! Baking is my happy place!
I love your dress in the family photo shoot!
Thank you, it's def one of my favorites!
I love this @MagicalMaci !!! I am still so sad that I had to miss it

Pam
You were so missed Pam!
Had to comment on the World Famous Pittsburgh Cookie Table!!!
We're from Pittsburgh and it's hilarious. Don't even talk about a wedding without talking about the cookie table!
My daughter got married in Sacramento and they asked about this wedding custom even out there!! 🤣
RIGHT? I had to have it somehow!
The family photos turned out amazing and your dress is just beautiful!! This is such a great report!! Lovin' it!
Dance Party GIF by Minions
I was so happy with them! And thank you :)
 

MagicalMaci

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
In the Parks
Yes
Our Fairytale Wedding Day 3 Part 3: Disney Springs Exploring

After brunch we had 90 minutes to kill before our next event. I wanted to use this time to explore the Christmas tree trail at Disney Springs so off we went! A lot of our guests from the rehearsal brunch decided to go to the parks for the rest of the day (mostly other people who live in Dallas so we see a lot) and some of my family members went back to the hotel to rest and change, so there were just a few of us for this little adventure through Disney Springs. My mom and two of my bridesmaids and their hubs stayed with us.

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My favorite tree was the Moana tree and my least favorite was the Disney+ tree. We definitely didn’t make it to them all but it was still lots of fun.

Everyone was tired so we made a pit stop at Starbucks and got caffeine all around. We found a table and just enjoyed the AC for a bit. We were all dressed nice from brunch and the sun was hot so it was great to take a break. We also had a to-go moonshine from Homecoming and I was able to whip out one of my cute cozies for my drink!

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We saw some more trees after our break on our way over to Splitsville for our welcome event!

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MagicalMaci

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
In the Parks
Yes
Our Fairytale Wedding Day 3 Part 4: Bowling Party!

Our original welcome event was supposed to be a Fantasmic dessert party, but with the show not returning last year we had to come up with something else with relatively short notice. We went back and forth with several ideas before deciding on bowling at Splitsville for the cost aspect but also it’s the same company as Homecoming so it was really easy to set up a second event with them!

We had six lanes reserved and ordered salad, fruit, sushi and pizza for everyone. They were also awesome to let us bring in our own cookies which Disney wouldn’t let us do, so this is where I got my cookie table. We arrived a few minutes early and in no time were brought to our area upstairs. There was a bank of six lanes together for us with the buffet behind them and then some reserved tables on the other side as well. It was a great set up! We did a 2 hour timeslot for bowling which seemed perfect.

They asked when I wanted the food brought out and since most of our guests had not come from our giant brunch I said they could put it out whenever. The welcome party was open to all of our guests, not just family and wedding party so there were a whole new group of people here now! Jimmy thought sushi at a bowling alley would be weird but it was the biggest hit!

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I ended up not bowling because I was trying to make my rounds and say hi to everyone and was just enjoying socializing too much. Jimmy joined a few games though as did our guests and the rest of my family (Jimmy's family all went to Hollywood studios after brunch instead) about half our guest list showed up for the welcome party so it was a great opportunity to see everyone in a smaller setting.

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Everyone had a blast and I got a lot of compliments on the event for having bowling to break the ice with fellow guests. (I moved a lot and have a lot of friends/family from different parts of my life, so very few guests actually knew each other prior to this.) We ended up ordering a bit more sushi because it was basically gone by the time I got around to eating
🤣
the food was all delicious and everyone loved my Pittsburgh cookie table. I had the 6 types of cookies I made plus my aunt and cousin both made a batch and my friend Elizabeth made 3 batches and I had ordered a few from Ear For Each Other in case I couldn’t bake on Friday, so there was a plethora!

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They forgot to put out my cookie to go bags for everyone but did bring out lots of Styrofoam to go containers at the end so everyone who was left took a lot of cookies and we ended up with some leftovers as well. We also had leftover salad and pizza that we took back to the family at Bay Lake Tower so they suddenly had a LOT of food when combined with the brunch leftovers
🤣
We were so impressed with this event for the price value, it was perfect!
 

MagicalMaci

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
In the Parks
Yes
Our Fairytale Wedding Day 3 Part 5: Bar “Hopping”

Our plan for after the event was to hop around the bars in Disney Springs with anyone who wanted to continue to hang out with us, but they were all completely packed (it was a beautiful Saturday)! We decided to head back to the Contemporary and monorail bar hop instead.

We started at the Outer Rim Lounge and gathered some tables together to hang out. Our server was slowwwww but we still had a great time catching up. Only my family and my friends from middle school ended up coming with us so it was a nice little group and I loved getting some special time with some of my oldest friends.

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People were somehow getting hungry again so suddenly my uncle came back with pizzas from Contempo Cafe for everyone to share which was very sweet but I was not hungry. It smelled good so I ate some anyway
🤣


With the slow service and time for food we didn’t end up bar hopping at all and just spent a chunk of time at Outer Rim.

But, I almost forgot the most memorable moment! There was a large group clearly doing a monorail crawl. They were loud and enjoying themselves and at some point my uncle offered to take their picture on the way out. It came up that we were getting married tomorrow and they surrounded us and serenaded us with a song! It was so fun and special
🥰


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My friends had a dinner reservation to get to so we wrapped up. I also had two papers to write for my MBA classes that ended on 12/12 (great timing, right?). I had meant to do them before we left but I was sick the week prior and just didn’t have the energy and then it was all wedding stuff leading up to it!

So I retreated back to our room, which tonight was a one bedroom villa so the girls could get ready separate from the boys the next day. This one I had booked a Theme Park View because I wanted to spoil my bridal party and have pretty views while we got ready. My friend/coworker Elizabeth stopped by to drop off a beautiful charcuterie board for me so we’d have lots of snacks for getting ready. She stayed and watched the fireworks with me from our balcony and we had a great view. She helped me set up my bridesmaids gifts and just generally helped me calm down a bit. She was exactly what I needed the night before my wedding and I'm so lucky to have her as a friend <3 I also had a steamer come and steam my dresses at this time so lots of wedding stuff happening.

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I had actually ordered another charcuterie board for Saturday night because I had planned a slumber party for my bridal party but they decided they didn’t want to. Eventually Jimmy came to hang out with me instead, but we never got hungry enough to eat it. I think we were finally starting to have a little nerves/stress. Whoopsie!

Here are their gifts, I tried to do really practical things - I used their names/monograms instead of "bridesmaid" etc so they could continue to use them. The tumblers were from Ear For Each Other and I still use mine all the time! The PJs were from Etsy. I had 4 bridesmaids and then I got my daughters tumblers and necklaces which are the smaller two things in the front.

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I settled in to write my papers finally, eventually getting some focus. Jimmy had gone off bar hopping with my family which is why I was able to get some solo time and they hung out at Enchanted Rose. More expensive than Outer Rim, but much better drinks! They also had some sliders. When he finally came back I was still writing my second paper but wrapped it up pretty quickly. We settled in for bed and enjoyed the peace and quiet from our family for a little bit. We had a BIG day ahead
🥰
 

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