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polynesianbride
10-16-2008, 02:19 AM
I'm new to this so bear with me... I'm recently engaged and we're starting to plan our dream of a Disney Escape Wedding in December 2010 at the Polynesian Resort Sunset Pointe. I've done about all the research I can on the Disney wedding website but still have ?'s and it's too soon to talk with a wedding planner! Can anyone help? Specific questions I have are...

I've been reading some planners are better than others... can you pick your planner? Any recommendations?

Are people using the photographer included in the package or booking their own? If using your own any recommendations?

Looking for recomendations on people to do hair... especially if we plan on doing the Magic Kingdom photo shoot- will any one do your hair that early or do you have to do it yourself?

I have it narrowed down to 10 guests but my fiance's grandma is deaf so will need an interpreter... so we wanted to have his aunt come and interpret- so that would make 11 technically- how set on 10 are they?

Will the planner help with planning any post-wedding celebration/ reception or are you best to contact the manager of the restaurant directly or through Magical Gatherings?

Any help and thoughts are welcomed! Thanks so much, this is going to be an exciting but drawn out planning process but I know it will be here before I know it!

Adelia

arwood82
10-16-2008, 10:14 AM
We are also in the early planning stages of an escape wedding right now. I am almost positive that it is for 18 guests now rathe than 10. you might want to double check the wedding website to make sure.

lurkyloo
10-16-2008, 10:41 AM
Welcome! You'll find lots of info on the board, especially recommendations for vendors. I'll just list who I used, but there are tons of makeup artists and photographers to choose from. :goodvibes



I've been reading some planners are better than others... can you pick your planner? Any recommendations?

Disney assigns you a planner based on availability - you don't get to pick.


Are people using the photographer included in the package or booking their own? If using your own any recommendations?

Lots of people use the included photography and lots of people get outside photography. I'd say it depends on how important photography is to you. If you want a lot of images or photojournalistic/artistic images, you might want to consider an outside photographer.

Disney has started offering Escape couples all their images on disc if they give up the albums, proof book and website of their images. It's $395 extra.

I used Root Photography (http://www.rootweddings.com).


Looking for recomendations on people to do hair... especially if we plan on doing the Magic Kingdom photo shoot- will any one do your hair that early or do you have to do it yourself?

Some of the Orlando-area cosmetologists will come out early, some charge a fee for coming out early, and some won't do it at all. I used Patricia Lejeune (http://www.lejeune-pca.com). She doesn't charge a fee for coming out early, but she does charge a $50 travel fee for *any* job.

I have it narrowed down to 10 guests but my fiance's grandma is deaf so will need an interpreter... so we wanted to have his aunt come and interpret- so that would make 11 technically- how set on 10 are they?

Disney is VERY strict about the 10-person max at Sunset Pointe and Sunrise Terrace. However, I'm sure they would help you find a local interpreter for your grandma.

Will the planner help with planning any post-wedding celebration/ reception or are you best to contact the manager of the restaurant directly or through Magical Gatherings?

Yes, your planner can help you, although using Magical Gatherings on your own is a great idea b/c it lets you do some experiences not available to the general public. :thumbsup2 Also, you may still want to work with the restaurant manager on things like personalized menus.

Caribbean_Chrissy
10-16-2008, 10:44 AM
Congratulations! Oh, gosh, I'm in the same boat as you :thumbsup2 . The disney weddings website does not include details and I don't feel like calling a wedding planner quite yet. I just joined the DIS yesterday to try to gain some insight.

Sunset Point is my first choice, but I heard that the back-up location for the sunset point is currently under construction, so now the back-up location is a convention center on WDW property??? Yuck! I guess as a result, guests can only book sunset point 8 months in advance, not 12? Idk if this is true- just read it on the forums here- I hope the post was current, now that I think about it.

Does anyone know how long this Polynesian construction is interfering with Sunset Point weddings? Hopefully our weddings are so far into the future so that they will not be affected.

Anyways, thanks for starting this thread, and I will look forward to seeing what we can come up with! I've been browsing the wedding cakes sticky thread all morning! :surfweb:

osxgirl
10-16-2008, 11:19 AM
We had an Escape wedding a year ago - October 29th! I won't be able to answer quite everything, as we used the wedding pavilion, but I'll answer what I can.

"Can you pick your planner":
I believe the answer is no. You will just get assigned one. If you have problems with your planner, it is possible to get switched. I remember back when I was planning my wedding that a few other people had that problem, complained, and did get a switch. But generally, I don't think they let you pick for that. Also, I know in our case, our planner got switched out on us at the last minute - I think it was within the last 2 - 3 weeks before the wedding. Our original planner got moved to custom weddings, and we were given a new planner. I actually found out here on the boards that I would be getting a new planner at least a week or so before Disney ever let me know.

All that being said... don't worry about it. It's an area where Disney does its job well. I've seen very few people have problems with their planners. And I think, from what I've seen, those that have, Disney does try to get it resolved quickly. As long as the planner you get is responsive to your questions, is doing what he/she is supposed to do... things should go well. Even though we got switched at the last minute, everything went extremely smoothly. My mom commented several times on how amazed she was at how well organized Disney seemed to have it all.


"Using the provided photographer or booking their own?":
We booked an outside photographer. The options and costs on the packages from Disney photography have changed now, so I don't know for sure if our decision would have been the same. Originally, we wanted to use Disney photography for everything, figuring it would be easier to let them do it all. The deciding factor for us was the cost of getting the digital images. We were going to end up having to pay for extra hours of photography, and then an additional $750 to get the cd with all the digital images. And we were going to get prints and an album we could have cared less about. We tried to negotiate with them to get them to keep all the prints and the album and just give us the digital images instead, but they wouldn't, and wouldn't even give us any kind of discount on the digital images.

We found for only slightly more than that, we could get 6 hours of photography with an outside photographer that included all of the digital images. So, in the end, to get what we wanted, it was cheaper to go with someone outside.

In hindsight, it's probably what we would have wanted anyway. We decided to do a moving photo shoot after the wedding where we got shots at GF, in front of Epcot, at the monorail, on the ferry, in front of MK, at the Poly, and at WL. I doubt we could have done that with Disney photographers.

"Recommendations for outside photographers?":
We used Misty Miotto, and I can't say enough good things about her. You can check out some of her work at mistymiotto.com. I have only gotten a very few of the over 1000 shots she took up on my web site, but you can see a few from our wedding at kims-world.net. Just navigate down to the wedding page, and look for the professional wedding shots.

Another name you'll see a lot on the site is Randy Chapman. He was the other photographer we were considering - it was basically between him and Misty for us. It was just a personal decision on style and what packages they offered that made us decide on Misty, but we would have happily taken Randy as well, based on his website, on the wedding pictures that others have posted on here that he took, and on the wonderful things anyone on here who used him has to say about him.

If you do go with Disney photography (and I've seen examples that show there are some really good Disney photographers as well), search the boards to get info about the different experiences, and to ask people about the different photographers. And don't be afraid to request a specific photographer or photographers. Or to say you don't want one in particular. We had a VERY bad experience with our MK portrait shoot. But many people's turned out beautifully. There are others who also had bad experiences, and it seems at least a few of them had the same photographer as we did. But others have had this photographer and loved him. So.... you just have to judge for yourself what you want.

"Recommendations on hair?" - When you actually get your date for your wedding and get access to your planning website, part of what's on there is a set of resources. There is a list of recommended providers for hair and makeup. Almost all, if not all of them, will do the early hours for the MKPS, for an extra fee. They come to your hotel room. I used anna at makeovermajic.com, and I was very pleased with the results. Again, people on the boards all have their favorites, and if you do a search, you'll get a number of different names.

"Will the planner help with any post/celebration gathering...?":
The answer on that is very mixed. Some have had good luck getting the planner to help out. For most, the answer is no - they seem to just give you a few ideas about where you can go, and the rest is up to you. Anything more, and they really expect you to be doing a custom wedding. I didn't try to do a Magical Gathering, and don't recall seeing people doing Escape weddings talking about that, so you might have more luck with that. But generally, you have to do any of this yourself, unless you are adding on one of the "sanctioned" add-on events, like a desert party or something. And most people doing an Escape wedding don't, because the cost of that for that small of a number of people is worse (per person) than doing it for a larger number.


All of this is either my experience or what I remember of other people posting. Things may have changed some since last year though, so maybe others will step in and correct some of this or add to it.

lurkyloo
10-16-2008, 11:47 AM
Sunset Point is my first choice, but I heard that the back-up location for the sunset point is currently under construction, so now the back-up location is a convention center on WDW property??? Yuck! I guess as a result, guests can only book sunset point 8 months in advance, not 12? Idk if this is true- just read it on the forums here- I hope the post was current, now that I think about it.

Here's a thread about the temporary backup locations for Sunset Pointe:

http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=1881394&referrerid=93883

However, it's been a while since that post - I wonder if the construction is finished...

Chilly
10-16-2008, 01:55 PM
Here's a thread about the temporary backup locations for Sunset Pointe:

http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=1881394&referrerid=93883

However, it's been a while since that post - I wonder if the construction is finished...

Thats my post. I wrote to my contact at Disney last week but didn't hear back before I went on leave so hopefully I will be able to update it next week when I'm back at work.

Lorelei528
10-16-2008, 04:20 PM
Hi! Just want to chime in that your Escape Planner should be able to help you with setting up any meal/reception for the day of your wedding. My planner is Tanis (well, John now that Tanis is out on Maternity leave) and he is booking my dinner reception at Jiko. Basically what I was told is they can help you book anything for THE day of the wedding. And when it came time to booking my DP, she even mentioned something to me at one point that she could book it for me the night before my wedding.
However, the breakfast the next day and the meet and greet dinner the night before, I am handling myself...

Hope that helps somewhat!

Lori

osxgirl
10-16-2008, 04:38 PM
And that's what I meant by the answer being mixed. When we did it, we asked for help, and we got a list (a very SHORT list, mind you) of places that our planner thought MIGHT be able to accomodate a wedding lunch.

None of them were acceptable to us.

We asked for more help, didn't really get any. The only real answer we got was to contact the various Disney restaurants directly, that they would be better able to tell us what they would be able to do for us.

I finally just figured it out on my own by bringing up the Disney restaurant planner on the Disneyworld web site, finding out which restaurants on Disney property actually had a lunch menu or were open for lunch, and then started looking at the lunch menus to try and get an idea about price. From there, we decided what we thought would both fit our price range and both ours and our guests' tastes.

To be honest, I have a feeling we might have had more variety to choose from if we had had more help, because it sounds like, from what some people have said on the boards, that some of the places that aren't open at lunch will do an Escape wedding lunch, and there are special arrangements that can be made some places.

But, in the end, I think we were just as happy with what we came up with, and I'm sure it was cheaper than if we had had a special luncheon set up for us. Well - actually, it was sort of a special luncheon set up for us, but at a restaurant that is open for lunch, using their normal menu. We just had a special area set aside, and used their dinner menu rather than the lunch menu.

We ate at Whispering Canyon Cafe, and everyone loved it!

I know I'm not the only one that had this experience when we were getting married. A lot of Escape brides back then were struggling, trying to figure out meals on their own.

It sounds like it's something Disney may have fixed, hopefully. That's good. I know it's something we gave feedback on, and that others certainly had complaints about too. Not just because figuring it out on our own was frustrating (it wasn't that bad, I guess, though it would have been nice to have help), but because Disney was just so darn inconsistant with it. Some people got help with it all, anything and everything they needed, and some got nothing at all. Some were told they weren't allowed to have anything that even resembled a reception on Disney property (lest they be bumped up to a custom wedding), and some got help planning huge dinner parties. Just a lot of lack of consistency in the policies.

If that has now changed, then that's great! One less stress for all the new FTBs coming in.

polynesianbride
10-16-2008, 05:56 PM
We are also in the early planning stages of an escape wedding right now. I am almost positive that it is for 18 guests now rathe than 10. you might want to double check the wedding website to make sure.
I think for some sites it's 18 guests (20 people total) but for polynesian it's 8 guests (or 10 total people). I would love to have 18 but I love Sunset Pointe more I think!

polynesianbride
10-16-2008, 06:42 PM
Thanks for all the help and info everyone! I'm feeling better about the whole process already. All of your pictures are beautiful! I'm wondering how much on average people spent to hire an outside photographer... from threads I'm reading it looks like there are 3 main ones people use (Misty, Randy, and Roots) and all the photos look amazing but I'm hoping it's affordable! As an Escape Wedding what do you do with your Disney photographer? Keep them too since they're included in the package or can you exchange it out for something like a credit towards an MK shoot? Probably wishful thinking! Thanks again!

rumrunnergirl
10-17-2008, 07:55 AM
We ate at Whispering Canyon Cafe, and everyone loved it!



Awesome! That is where we want to have our reception lunch in May.

osxgirl
10-17-2008, 02:45 PM
I don't know if it's the same now, but a year ago, if you weren't using your wedding photography, you had the option of having a honeymoon photo shoot instead.

Maybe someone who's had a wedding more recently can chime in and tell if that's still the only option, or if they've changed the options, or how it works.

And RumRunnerGirl -

I think you'll be very pleased. They put us in an area that was separated off from the dining room. We were actually sort of open out into part of the lobby, but kind of a secluded part, and it was really nice. It made it almost a private dining area for us.

We paid a little more, and had the dinner menu instead of the lunch menu, because there were items on the dinner menu we wanted to have even though we were eating during "lunch" time (2:00). They were very accomodating.

And we didn't buy dessert - we took our cake to serve as dessert. Even so, when our nephew decided he didn't like the cake, one of the waiters noticed and brought him something else - some ice cream, I think. And there was SOOO much food.

I'll admit - I was a little nervous about having barbeque for our wedding lunch. But I managed not to get any on me, and it was the best choice we could have made. I HIGHLY recommend it. :thumbsup2

p.s. - we took aprons to wear over our wedding clothes! After all, it IS barbeque!

disneypolybride2008
10-18-2008, 10:32 AM
Hi. We're having our Escape there also. The total is 10 guests, but that does include you and your DF, so actually only 8 guests. If you have outside photographers/videographers, they dont count towards your guest total.

We are having Randy Chapman and Stan do our photo/video, Stan offers HD at a great price plus you can have a webcast of your wedding so anyone can watch it. Randy does AMAZING photos from what i've seen here and on his website. Since we're not using the included Disney photo, they let us get a photoshoot, it's a 1/2 hr, in any of the parks, and you get 2 5x7's (maybe it's 8x10 but i think 5x7, but for sure they only let you pick 2 of them, you can pay for more if you want to).

Not sure of the back up location.

Book the first second you can, i did that and i only got one time that was available.

Congratulations! Good luck!

disneypolybride2008
10-18-2008, 10:35 AM
sorry i forgot to say that we booked our own reception lunch. With such a small party size, you're pretty much on your own for it. We booked it ourselves. Oh, and Disney picked our planner for us.

They are strict on the guest count also. The other locations for escape can have 18 guests.

Chilly
10-20-2008, 10:40 AM
Thanks for all the help and info everyone! I'm feeling better about the whole process already. All of your pictures are beautiful! I'm wondering how much on average people spent to hire an outside photographer... from threads I'm reading it looks like there are 3 main ones people use (Misty, Randy, and Roots) and all the photos look amazing but I'm hoping it's affordable! As an Escape Wedding what do you do with your Disney photographer? Keep them too since they're included in the package or can you exchange it out for something like a credit towards an MK shoot? Probably wishful thinking! Thanks again!

No they won't give it you as credit against the MK shoot (I asked) but you can have a honeymoon shoot in one of the theme parks or one of the resorts for 30 minutes. You would receive two (2) 5x7 prints from this session.

Not heard back about the 8 months yet but should have an update tomorrow.

KtBetz09
10-20-2008, 08:33 PM
How is it working with Planner John? I'm getting married at the Sunset Terrace (Wilderness Lodge) on May 8 and was assigned John after another woman went on Maternity Leave. It's been a bit difficult to get in touch or hear back from him. I'm not really worried because we're six months out, but I do have a few questions and aside from paying the deposit and securing the date and time, we haven't had the opportunity to chat with anyone.
Has anyone had an experience working with John previously?

Chilly
10-21-2008, 02:51 AM
We unfortunately do not currently have an end date for the refurbishment. I believe the current booking policy will stay in effect for all of 2009.

padisneyfour
10-22-2008, 05:39 AM
just wanted to say welcome, congrats and good luck with all your plans.... a december wedding at wdw will be beautiful!:goodvibes

ITmickey
10-22-2008, 09:31 PM
Has anyone had an experience working with John previously?

Hi,
we are currently working with John, who is covering for Tanis. I though that would be hard (Tanis is great) but John surely has been great too. Prompt, polite and helpfull. We have received answers even in the same day, but we are only 45 days off. So I don't think you should worry.

Caribbean_Chrissy
10-24-2008, 07:34 AM
We unfortunately do not currently have an end date for the refurbishment. I believe the current booking policy will stay in effect for all of 2009.

Thanks for the update.... does anyone have pics of what this backup site looked like before the refurb?