View Full Version : Carly and Kyle's Wedding TR!!! ~ 01/08/09 ~ WP/GF - Wedding Day!!!

01-13-2009, 06:20 AM
I can't believe I'm starting my TR!


There's so much to share, but I'm holding off a little bit before I start the big trip report because I know everyone else has a ton of pictures and it will be easier when some of them start to come in. I was bad and didn't take pictures of anything...oops! Don't worry, I'll start the trip report soon...and it will probably go on and on and on because I have so much to tell you!

In the meantime, I thought I'd do my vendor reviews while they're still fresh in my mind. I haven't done them for photography or videography, but I'm pretty sure those are going to be high...

Disney Fairytale Weddings: A+
Our wedding was so incredible and magical and all of those things that Disney claims they can do for weddings. I absolutely wouldn’t have done it any other way.

Marion Stewart and Assistants: B
First, I have to say that Marion is a very sweet woman. She’s charming and funny and quick to help when you ask her for something. I also worked a lot with her assistant, Jennifer Flores, in the weeks before the wedding and found that she was incredibly helpful and prompt. Unfortunately, they lose a full grade for wedding eve and wedding day performance, mainly because they weren’t very helpful. Marion had another wedding on top of my tea/rehearsal, so I only saw her for a second. The assistant that she sent to do the rehearsal didn’t have the right information, couldn’t remember what I was telling her for more than 30 seconds, and seemed very much like she’d never done a rehearsal by herself before.

On the wedding day itself, I only saw Marion for about 5 minutes. She sent a different assistant (I think she has a small battalion) for the morning pictures and that one was NOT very helpful or friendly. If I’d wanted a sourpuss to be present for the morning pictures I could have invited one myself. Marion popped in for the actual wedding, but then I didn’t really see her again until I did the room once-over right before the reception and then at the end when she gave us our wedding present and thanked us for being easy. All in all, I think she’s lovely and friendly but if she was being helpful it was all behind the scenes and I didn’t catch any of it. Of all the vendors, I also think that she was the only one who made our wedding feel like it was a routine thing that happens all the time instead of a special event.

Grand Floridian Hotel Staff: A
Love them, especially the ones who cooked our food because it was to DIE for! Everyone at the GF was incredibly helpful and speedy. I’d like to send a special shout out here to Terry, who Marion left in charge of the tea when she ducked out for a wedding. Terry was very patient and accommodating, particularly when we asked if we could get to-go boxes. (Apparently, to-go boxes are a no.)

Pop Century Hotel Staff: C
You get what you pay for. The people at Pop Century were nice enough, but they were also hurried and harassed. Nobody commented on our wedding (even when we checked in in our wedding regalia) and the people working the luggage desk were rude to us and everyone with us. They also managed to misplace some of our guests’ luggage and refused to have ours sent to the airport. I know its’ a value resort, but come on, people.

Root Photography: ?
I can’t send a full vendor grade out because we haven’t seen the pictures, but I’m not too worried about it. You all saw what they did with our engagement pictures…I can only imagine how our wedding will turn out! Nathan and Jensey were on time, smiling and ready. They didn’t interfere with the day at all by breaking in to make us do the shots they wanted to take and they were ready to direct the crowd when we were looking for our group photos.

George from Apex Media: ?
I can’t put out a full vendor grade for George either, because I haven’t gotten the video back, but I can tell you that he was incredibly easy to work with. After he introduced himself he just blended into the background and we didn’t have to worry about him at all. When it was time for him to go, he quietly stopped me, thanked me for letting him come to the wedding, and then shrugged off the fact that I still owed him money. The fact that I was able to come home and Paypal him the remaining balance instead of rooting around for my checkbook at the wedding reception was VERY nice and I really appreciate it. I’m looking forward to getting the raw footage!

Anna from Makeover Majic: B-
This is a tough one. I debated long and hard on that grade…trying to decide if I should make it lower or higher. Anna is very nice and she was right on time, full of energy, and incredibly sweet. She also did my makeup flawlessly and it stayed put until I scrubbed it off around 2AM. That being said…

I have two things that weren’t so awesome. One is that Anna is really, really expensive. She charges about a hundred dollars to do hair and although that includes her coming to the hotel room whenever you need her, that’s a lot of money. My hair and makeup was $140 and it didn’t include the trial in August (which was another hundred dollars). Maybe I’m just cheap, but that means that getting my hair and makeup done twice was as much as my wedding dress. Holy crap, people.

The other thing is that Anna was a little in love with the tight curls and the hairspray when she got to our room. I’m not sure exactly what was going on, but she made my mother and I look like beauty pageant contestants. Children’s beauty pageant contestants. Both of the hairstyles were fixed on request (my mom’s looked great…mine was still pretty fluffy) but it was one of those awkward and semi-terrifying moments. She loses points for not sensing the eighties-ness.

Reverend Kevin Knox and Theresa Knox: C
Rev. Knox is the one thing where I can actually say I should have gone with someone else. A lot of people have used him and he came highly recommended from both past Disney brides and the staff at DFTW for being a total “wedding pro”. Well, maybe he’s been doing them a little too long because I was not impressed.

First, he called me up the evening before the rehearsal to let me know that he wasn’t going to do my rehearsal. It turned out that he had another rehearsal to go to and he was choosing that one because it was more complicated. Complicated or not, I booked Rev. Knox in February, so I’m pretty sure I had him first. Plus, it’s just tacky to wait until the last minute like that. He ended up sending his wife, Theresa, to do the rehearsal. She showed up on time, but she was a little weird and a little pushy. She also didn’t have the right script for us and she had sort of a sharp personality. Kyle was really glad she wasn’t doing the wedding because he didn’t like her at all.

I actually wasn’t too bugged by the rehearsal thing at the time, because we had so much going on, but when we actually met Rev. Knox (5 minutes before our ceremony!) I was super disappointed. He wasn’t apologetic about missing the rehearsal, didn’t have the right script, and made a point of demanding a check immediately because we had forgotten to pay Theresa. During the ceremony he messed up one of the changes, which was kind of a big deal since the ceremony was only about 4 minutes long. He also booked it out of the ceremony when everything was said and done. One of the main things that I heard from people after the wedding was “I saw your Reverend run out of the ceremony immediately. He sure looked like he was in a hurry!” That’s such a weird last impression to make…

Carolyn Allen’s: ?
I’m not going to grade Carolyn Allen’s because they didn’t actually perform a service for me. However, I had a weird interaction with them. I originally booked them to deliver and steam my dress, but failed to send it to them on time, so I cancelled the appointment before we left. The day before the wedding I got a call from one of their agents saying that they were confirming my appointment. When I told her I didn’t have an appointment, she said “yes, you do. We’re all ready to deliver your dress so if you want it you need to be there for your appointment.” I had to be like, “um…my dress is in front of me…I’m not going to meet you so you can deliver the nothing that you’re all set to deliver…and if you have a dress you should probably figure out whose it is instead of bringing it to me…” How weird is that?

Men’s Wearhouse: A+
The Men’s Wearhouse people delivered the tux on time and called twice to confirm and make sure we got it. The tux fit perfectly and even though we returned it a bit late they didn’t bug us at all about it. It couldn’t have been easier.

JR Silva: A-
The DJ was another hard one. On the one hand, I actually had a moment where I instructed Jed to threaten the DJ with non-payment if he didn’t stop being goofy. On the other hand, the number one thing that I’ve heard from people who came to the reception is that they were so glad I had such a good DJ and they all loved him. So, there you go. I’m apparently the only one who doesn’t like goofiness at weddings.

In all honesty, DJ Silva was very good. He was a little bit cheeseball, but he kept the energy level way up for the entire reception and the dance floor was almost always packed to capacity. He was also careful not to play anything on our do not play list and double checked with me about questionable requests. I should give him a full on A+ since everyone loved him so much, but there was a moment at the reception when he came down onto the dance floor and taught everyone the cupid shuffle…which was basically exactly what I told him not to do at the reception. The fact that everyone ate it up and was out on the dance floor does not withstand the fact that I was hardcore annoyed for those full three minutes.

01-13-2009, 08:27 AM
Congratulations! Great vendor reviews! Very helpful and informative instead of all being AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA+++++++++++++++++++++++++, these actually tell me some useful information! I could tell you put alot of thought into them, thanks for the honesty! I can't wait to hear more!

01-13-2009, 09:34 AM
I love the picture ~ GORGEOUS!!!!! Thanks for doing the wedding reviews they are so helpful.

01-13-2009, 11:02 AM
Great vendor reviews!

How crazy was that Carolyn Allen phone call! Hopefully they matched up the bride with the dress that they thought was yours.

I am so glad that my BFF is acting as officiant. After your review of Rev. Knox, I thank you again for that money saving idea. :thumbsup2

Sorry about the tight curls and the not sensing of the eightiesness. I think you look great but I can sympathize. I had a different vendor do my trial run and she did exactly what I wanted but just turned out too pageanty. I am just a laid back soccor mom and then we had to have our e pics with the Roots and I am now dreading seeing them. I just want to look like me but better on the big day.

Sorry for the book but this vendor reviews rock and are soooo helpful! Plus I just needed to vent a little about dreading seeing my epics :lmao:

01-13-2009, 12:57 PM
great start! Love the pic, cant wait to read more

01-13-2009, 01:04 PM
Seriously - thank you for the excellent vendor reviews. It's really good to know all this information. I can't wait to see your Roots photos - I'm sure they'll be A+! Your engagement pictures were awesome! :goodvibes

01-13-2009, 01:54 PM
Congrats Carly!!! Thank you soooooo much for your vendor reviews! They help tremendously in the planning stages as I'm sure you know! I love the pic of you and Kyle. You look so beautiful! Can't wait to hear more! :goodvibes

01-13-2009, 03:46 PM
Wow excellent vendor reviews!!

Seriously, how could the CM at Pop NOT Congratulate someone standing in a wedding dress in front of them?? :headache:

Yeah, i'd be ticked off at my Officiant for his behavior too, i'd be so upset i'd have to write him a letter about his behavior!! If your guests are commenting on it...then it needs to be addressed! :sad2:

Can't wait to read the rest!!

01-13-2009, 06:16 PM
Thanks for all the comments! I thought the same thing when the CM at Pop didn't say anything about the fact that we were in a tux and wedding gown. Ummmm, hello?

Sorry for the book but this vendor reviews rock and are soooo helpful! Plus I just needed to vent a little about dreading seeing my epics :lmao:

I felt exactly the same way after we did our e-pics with the Roots! Anna had done my hair that morning and I felt like she made me into a 60's beauty queen. However, when the pictures came back they were GORGEOUS! Leave it to the Roots to work their magic!!!

Instead of jumping right into the trip report, I thought I'd show you some of the stuff that I was working on right before the wedding. There were a lot of things that were either last-minute or surprises, so I couldn't blog about them before we took off...

Remember when I gave you guys a sneak preview of some of the craftiness that I had been up to? I pulled together my felt, buttons, and embroidery thread and turned them into...these!


I made hoodies for all the bridesmaids, the two moms, the flower girl, and myself. I got an incredible deal on them during a black friday sale - 2 for $5. Counting all supplies, including the hoodies, I did 8 of them for around $25. Not bad, hmm?

Each of the hoodies had a Mickey and their name embroidered in our wedding colors.



On the back, each had their role in the wedding and then some sort of picture that had to do with that person.

Mine has flowers in our wedding colors.

My mom's has cupcakes because she's huge on baking and I wanted something girly and fun.

Kyle's mom has paw prints because she's really into her dogs.

Janean's has wine and champagne glasses because she throws world famous wine parties.

Michelle's has eskimos and an igloo because of an inside joke that goes back about ten years.

Katelyn's has hollywood stars because her maiden name was Hollywood and we were drama girls together.

Margi's has Wendy's frostys because they were our thing in high school.

Kaitlyn's has flowers in her favorite colors - pink and purple.

Aren't they all cute in them? It was so much fun to see everyone running around with these big labels on their back on the morning of. I'm not sure if anyone got any really good pictures of everyone in them but I'm hopeful. I was a dope and didn't even bring mine to the rehearsal when I gave all the girls theirs, so we don't have a picture of all of us in them...oops!




Petals & Pixie Dust
01-13-2009, 06:35 PM
YEAh! Love the vendor reviews! Love it! Can't wait for more!

01-13-2009, 08:37 PM
Love, love, love the reviews. I so appreciate the honesty. A lot of reviews read like ebay "A++++ LOVE!!!!!!" So this was super helpful.

Can I ask why you went with Makeover Majic in the first place? Beaute Speciale and LeJeune seem to be the most popular here and are cheaper than what you went with, so I am just curious.

01-13-2009, 10:34 PM
Can I ask why you went with Makeover Majic in the first place? Beaute Speciale and LeJeune seem to be the most popular here and are cheaper than what you went with, so I am just curious.

It was actually confusion...another bride sent me an email referring to Anna (Ana?) from Beaute Speciale and I made a note of it. When I went back later to find the contact info, I found Anna from Makeover Majic in one of the PJs and assumed that it was the same person. Like I said, she was super nice and seemed to know what she was doing, so I didn't bother fixing it once I figured out that I'd called the wrong Anna. To be fair, I'm probably grading her too harshly...I'll let you guys decide when I get to the morning-of in my trip report...

01-13-2009, 11:17 PM
Great TR so far! You two look GREAT :thumbsup2 Can't wait to hear more details--your reviews are very helpful!

OMg that sucks about the officiant! That's so awful--but at least there was a fabulous celebration right after to put the weirdness outta your mind! :banana:

01-14-2009, 07:07 AM
The hoodies are adorable! I can't imagine how long it must've taken you to make those . . .

01-14-2009, 08:01 PM
Carly, I'm so glad you started your TR! I was so excited to see your sneak peak pics during your trip. You were a beautiful bride! Great job on the hoodies! They're really cute!

CoP Luv
01-16-2009, 12:25 PM
I have been following along on your blog and cannot wait to read about your day!

01-16-2009, 12:35 PM
OMG those hoodies are too cute.

I'm looking forward to reading your TR!

01-16-2009, 02:40 PM
Great vendor reviews - so helpful! And I love the hoodies too! Can't wait for the TR...

01-16-2009, 04:34 PM
Your vendor reviews were amazing.

And I feel you about the DJ thing. Most people get confused with DJs for parties and weddings. At a wedding where I'm from, the DJ is just supposed to spin the tracks. My people can get a party started by themselves. There is a time and place for everything. And some wedding professionals forget that they are hired and are NOT guests. Silva and I might would have had an altercation because the dance floor is for guests and guests ONLY!

Sorry for the mini-rant (can you tell I hate un-professional wedding professionals?). Just wanted to let you know you aren't the only person who dislike goofiness from people you hire.

01-16-2009, 10:59 PM
We have PREVIEW PHOTOS!!!!!!!!!!!!!




















01-16-2009, 11:00 PM













I adore them!!!!!! There's even more in our slideshow at:

I can't wait to see the rest!

01-16-2009, 11:07 PM
Your pictures look beautiful!

01-16-2009, 11:09 PM
I've been following your blog for a long time and I'm coming out of lurkdom to say:


Wow! You and Kyle make such a beautiful couple and the Roots did a fantastic job capturing your day. Just beautiful.

01-16-2009, 11:19 PM
Just beautiful!!!!!! :thumbsup2

01-16-2009, 11:23 PM
GORGEOUS pictures!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! You looked like a beautiful bride!

Did one of your guests fall???

01-16-2009, 11:32 PM
Thank you!!!! It seriously is all the Roots. I don't know how they do it.

Did one of your guests fall???

Yep...although I don't know if "fall" is the right word. My out-of-control baby brother was dancing so hard that he knocked my aunt down. Her shoe actually flew off in the impact! We were lucky that she was a great sport about it and got right back up...

01-16-2009, 11:48 PM
You guys look amazing!!! I love the Root pics!!!

01-17-2009, 12:14 AM
Sorry about the short post - I was baking muffins and they started to burn. Oops! :rotfl2:

I showed your slideshow to the DF and we both agree that we made the right choice in getting the Roots. Your pictures are just so beautiful and elegant - simply awesome! :)

I see what you mean about the DJ - that dude is crossed off my list. ::yes::

CoP Luv
01-17-2009, 07:38 AM
They look awesome. Absolutely beautiful!:thumbsup2

01-17-2009, 09:25 AM
What a great slideshow! You look beautiful! (Oh, and I love the pic of your guest yawning... very cute!) ;)

01-17-2009, 09:29 AM
... and I LOVE your bouquet.

01-17-2009, 09:59 AM
Beautiful pictures Carly!!!!

01-17-2009, 10:22 AM
Wow, your pics are amazing!!

01-17-2009, 10:50 AM
Loooove your pictures Carly!!!

Can't wait for the rest of your TR! :)

Petals & Pixie Dust
01-17-2009, 11:29 AM
Beautiful pictures!!! Can't wait to read more!
Can you post the link to your blog? I never got to it... :rolleyes:

01-17-2009, 12:09 PM
Love, love, love the pictures! Absolutely amazing! For the ring picture; did you have those crystals there and they just ran with the idea?

01-17-2009, 12:25 PM
Beauftiful pictures !

Linz xxx :)

01-17-2009, 12:36 PM
Thank you!!!! It seriously is all the Roots. I don't know how they do it.

Yep...although I don't know if "fall" is the right word. My out-of-control baby brother was dancing so hard that he knocked my aunt down. Her shoe actually flew off in the impact! We were lucky that she was a great sport about it and got right back up...

aww well I am glad she was ok!! :thumbsup2

01-17-2009, 03:37 PM
Subbing! Your pictures are beautiful and those hoodies you made are awesome. Can't wait to hear and see the rest.

01-17-2009, 04:17 PM
Your photos are stunning! LOVE the bouquet :-)

01-17-2009, 05:58 PM
Beautiful pictures, love your bouquet.

01-18-2009, 10:56 AM
Hey, I have been quietly stalking your blog and posts for a while. Congratulations. Just wanted to let you know that I used your Roots pics and slide show to convince my FDH that we have to have the Roots. :flower3: Thanks so much for the blog and PJ!

01-18-2009, 11:28 AM
Great reviews! And so exciting! That picture in your avatar of the rings is simple stunning! I am in love!!! Can't wait to read more!

01-18-2009, 11:46 AM
Beautiful pictures!!! Can't wait to read more!
Can you post the link to your blog? I never got to it... :rolleyes:

No prob - http://budgetdisneywedding.blogspot.com :)

Love, love, love the pictures! Absolutely amazing! For the ring picture; did you have those crystals there and they just ran with the idea?

Yeah, they just scooped up a handful of crystals from the centerpieces and went out into the hall to play. The gorgeous dress shot is another thing they set up without any of us noticing. I can't wait to see what they did with our other "props"!

Thanks, everyone, for the sweet comments...I keep checking but so far they haven't finished the rest of our pictures. I told Kyle that if they don't finish them until Tuesday I'm taking the day off from work so that I can comb through them! ;) I need to get back to my TR before this thread becomes nothing but a declaration of my undying love for Nathan and Jensey Root.

Before then, though, I've been debating changing my review of Anna, my makeup person. On the one hand, I still think I don't really look the way I wanted to, but on the other hand the makeup and everything looks nice in the pictures. Plus, a lot of brides have been reporting in that they paid much more for their makeup and hair, so it looks like I got a deal? I'm thinking maybe I was too hard on her...

01-18-2009, 12:24 PM
Ok, back to the trip report...at least until I get more Root photos!

So continuing the story of everything that happened in the days before we left, we'll look at my favorite last minute project. And when I say last minute, I really mean last minute! On the afternoon of the day before we left, I realized that we didn't have any programs for the ceremony. It was one of those things that I had assumed would happen, but that never had. We could have sneaked by without programs, but I actually really like getting wedding programs. I like trying to figure out which attendant is which and keeping track of how much longer I'm going to have to sit there. So, I really wanted us to have programs. Of course, since it was 3 P.M. and our plane left the next day at 6 A.M., I had sort of run out of time.

A little bit of back story - also simmering on the back burner was a spool of ribbon that I picked up at an after-christmas sale. It was perfect for our wedding colors, so I bought it and then realized I had no idea what to do with it. It was really wide, wire-edged ribbon...not the kind that you can wrap gifts with or use to tie to anything. I tried to incorporate it into the centerpieces, but failed miserably. So, the ribbon lay neglected on the kitchen table, topping off a large pile that I like to call "what the hell did I buy that for, anyway?"

In a flash of last-minute inspiration, I went home that night and designed a one-sided, one-page program that could be printed on cardstock, folded up, and wrapped with the ribbon. I unabashedly cruised other Disney Brides' trip reports and copied their designs for their programs. I then added in a little bit of artwork from the early days of wedding plan and voila!

I must say, I'm pretty proud of them, myself!






01-18-2009, 12:57 PM
I totally DIG the programs!!! How cute is that?!

01-18-2009, 08:13 PM
The programs are awesome! The ribbon was perfect for that!

01-19-2009, 02:14 PM

Ah, the lurkyloo special! Isn't she the best? I plan on using the same one!! pirate: Come to think of it, my whole wedding is almost the same as Carrie's... I hope she doesn't mind!! :flower3: I think she may have to copyright her PJ... :rotfl:

01-19-2009, 02:43 PM
I know! I looked all over, but hers was the best by far so we went with it...and it was a huge hit!!

01-19-2009, 02:53 PM
your pictures are absolutely stunning!

01-19-2009, 05:08 PM

Oh my goodness, your photos are so beautiful! I'm off to check out some more. I've been to your blog several times, but boy have I missed a lot. Your programs are adorable. I love the ribbon. Can't wait to read and see more.

01-19-2009, 05:11 PM
Carly your pics are amazing hun!!!! SO beautiful!!!!!!

01-19-2009, 06:13 PM
Gorgeous pictures!!!!! The programs came out wonderful!!!!

01-19-2009, 08:08 PM
Here are more things that I ended up putting together the night before we left...

Attendant Gifts

We were totally and completely stumped when it came to attendant gifts. Some of the things that we thought of were:

* Books for each with commemorative wedding bookmarks (couldn't think of a book)
* Flasks for boys and bracelets for girls (didn't work so well for my little brother not all of my girls are the bracelet type)
* Disney gift cards (seemed really...like we were paying them to be there)
* Disney pins (at least half would have gone unappreciated...if not all...)
* Mickey hats with their names stitched on the back (Kyle voted it down...boo!!!...)

So after everything was said and done (and our budget had been stretched to the max) we did different gifts for the boys and the girls. Our boys (the groomsmen and bridesmen) all got the white tie that they wore in the wedding and these little bags.



I admit that they are totally random. I was at Target, quietly panicking about finding 10 groomsmen gifts, when I saw these toys in the birthday party aisle. I don't know, it's just one of those things. When in doubt, reach out to those inner children with some cheap plastic items. I picked them up, tossed in some candy, put them in a pastry bag (50 for $4!) and voila - groomsman gifts. Kyle wrote out a nice note to each and stuck it in the bag. I admit, we did a budget-stupid thing by buying printed Thank You bags from the Target wedding aisle. $10 for 12! If I had thought ahead, I could have made 12 for about $4. C'est la vie...I suppose I can't really pay off my student debt $6 at a time...

The girls got more randomness. I had been aquiring stuff from the Target $1 bins for a long time. If you time it right, you can go when the $1 stuff is all 75% and since it's usually a bunch of Disney stuff for a quarter I tend to clean up! I had saved a really random selection of things, so that's what the girls got. Each got a small metal lunchbox with either Dumbo or Bambi on it and inside I gave them a bunch of Sephora beauty samples, a Knot.com nail file (scored at one of those wedding shows), a couple of chocolates, a wedding fortune cookie key chain (the whole I'm-Chinese thing), and some Go Smile brightener for the wedding. They also got little feet brushes, glass slipper lip gloss, a packet of Kleenex, and their hoodie.




I also stuck in a note thanking each for being at the wedding. It was a nice little package, but each cost me less than $5! It might be tacky to be happy about not spending much on a gift, but I swear that a lot of thought went into it between collecting specific samples for each and making all those hoodies. I suppose I can't say the same thing for the boys, but they know I love them!

Flower Girl Gift

Kaitlyn got a special gift. In addition to her little lunchbox full of candy, her kleenex, her lip gloss, and her foot brush, she got a real lunchbox and a special present. The lunchbox was actually something that my mom had picked up for a couple of bucks at some sale and it was the perfect size.



The special gift was bought at an after-christmas sale. It was Belle in her wedding gown and unfortunately it was the only one or I would have bought one for myself.


My favorite part is little Chip as the ring bearer. How cute is that?


Girl Gifts

At some point when I was little I went to a baby shower and the hostess had made me a special little package with small toys and candy. I remember LOVING that I had gotten a special treat, so I made three little packages for the three little girls who were coming to our reception and filled them with more of those 25 cent Target bargain bin finds. We gave them out at the reception and they were a big hit!



Vendor Gifts

I also wanted to do something for the vendors, so I wrote each of them a note and put together little bags of Buckeyes with a card explaning about them. For those who aren't from Ohio, Buckeyes are (in addition to being the OSU mascot) little chocolate peanut butter candies and they're famous around here. I thought it would be a nice local touch.



Cute, aren't they? Well, they were a big freakin' waste because somehow they got LOST with the cards I'd written out sometime between the morning of the wedding and the reception. They were returned to me when the wedding was pretty much over, so Kyle and I brought them home and are in the process of eating them ourselves. We almost mailed them out, but since they got kind of melty and squashed on the way home, they would have sent a funny message. Oh well...a tip from me to you: keep track of those vendor gifts and don't let anyone check them at the valet along with your day clothes and hair straightener!

The real trip report begins tomorrow!

01-19-2009, 09:28 PM
I LOVE the artwork!!!! I was considering using one of df pictures hes drawn of mickey for our grooms cake!!

What wonderful Ideas I am loving reading your PJ!!

01-19-2009, 09:52 PM
Aww what cute thoughtful gifts for the vendors!

01-20-2009, 06:56 PM
Yay! It's time to actually start talking about the trip. I warn you now...I have a tendency to go on and on and on...but I'll try to add in lots of pretty pictures where I can...

Day One (Saturday) – Part One

We woke up at 4:30AM on Saturday morning. I had printed out our itinerary the night before and had a general sense that our plane left around 6:30, but being completely neurotic I always like to arrive at the airport really early. Our friend Grey, who is our official drive-us-to-the-airport friend, showed up at 4:45 (bless his heart) and we ran around like headless chickens trying to get everything into the car.

We had woken up a little by the time we got to the airport (10 min drive) but apparently we hadn’t woken up enough because when we got to the check-in kiosk we realized two things: 1) I had left my wallet attached to the keys in the ignition of the car Grey was driving back to our apt and 2) We had forgotten one of our bags. This really just points to my insane state of mind. I usually check, re-check, and triple-check EVERYTHING before we fly anywhere. I don’t think I’ve forgotten a bag for anything in my life and here we were, with Kyle and Grey doing 80 MPH back to our place and me chewing my nails to stubs in front of the Delta check-in desk.

By the time Kyle came back with the lost bag and my wallet, it was 5:45. I wasn’t worried about it because that left us almost an hour before our flight and the Columbus airport isn’t exactly LAX. However, when we went to check in, we were denied. It turns out that I had printed out the itinerary for our February trip to Napa (for which our flight leaves at 6:45 AM) whereas our flight to WDW was leaving at 6:00 AM. Delta has a strict “check in 30 min prior to the flight” policy…something about luggage or some other inconvenient crap.

The total cow behind the kiosk shrugged and told us to get in the GIANT we-have-issues line. Luckily, we were saved by two things. One was that I started to get that whole trembling lip thing that signals tears. The other is that my sweet husband-to-be had his Mickey groom ears on and so we were attracting positive attention. One of the Delta agents, who will be now referred to as our Delta Guardian Angel (DGA), came over and quickly rebooked us on a flight that was leaving at 7:30 AM. It meant a difference of only an hour from when we would have gotten there originally. After thanking her profusely, we made our way to the gate.

Of course, the drama did not end there. We sat at the gate for about ten minutes before they made an announcement that something was wrong with the plane. Then, ten minutes after that, they made another announcement. Apparently, the Columbus airport has one mechanic…and they keep him on call…but for some reason they couldn’t find him at home…at 6:10 in the morning…


So, we sat and sat and sat. The captain kept coming back on to let us know that they still couldn’t find him. Kyle stood in line with his Mickey ears on, but since there were about 40 other people in line, there wasn’t much that the guy at the podium could do. So, Kyle went off in search of Starbucks and I sat and left angry blogs about how much I hate Delta. Then, suddenly, DGA appeared out of nowehere. Apparently they had called her up to help with all the chaos and she spotted me in the crowd. She called me up to the podium and then grabbed one of my bags and took off! I scurried after her and she rapidly walked me to another gate while slipping me new boarding passes and whispering that I needed to keep hushed about our new arrangements because everyone else would be irritated if they knew we’d been rebooked. Not only did she rebook us magically (for the second time!), she put us in first class on a flight that was leaving in ten minutes. Kyle booked it back from Starbucks and off we went to Atlanta!


The flight from Atlanta to Orlando found us back in coach, but at least we were in an exit row. It was actually pretty nice because it was a big plane and it was mostly empty, except for the occasional rowdy family. One such family was behind me and the stewardess did the cutest thing. She took all the boys up to meet the pilot in the cockpit. I thought they stopped doing that sort of stuff in the eighties, but off they went, following her like the Lost Boys.

The cuteness factor was taken down a notch when there was an incessant dinging that started after they went up front and rang throughout the entire plane. At first we laughed about how they must be having fun up there with all the buttons, but after what was seriously about ten minutes of dinging we were starting to curse under our breath. Suddenly, another stewardess came and started fidgeting with my armrest. I wasn’t touching it at all, but when she fidgeted with it the dinging stopped. When she walked away I turned to Kyle and said “that was weird”. It was at that point that he confessed that he had accidentally had his elbow on the attendant-call-button for that whole time and had only realized it when she came over to see why our seats were dinging. Yeah…

Since we were in an exit row, we ended up sitting across from the stewardess who was in the jump seat. She turned out to be really chatty and she just kept talking and talking for the whole flight, which was sort of nice because she made it fly by. At the end of the flight, she snuck us a bottle of red wine, warning us not to show any other passengers. (Apparently, Delta employees can only be nice to passengers as long as they don’t tell anyone)…

We made it from the airport to Pop Century with absolutely no drama whatsoever. I love that we don’t have to pick up our luggage anymore. We were just whisked off to WDW for our fairytale…

Petals & Pixie Dust
01-20-2009, 08:20 PM
Loving it! popcorn::

01-20-2009, 08:34 PM
OMG!!!! What a day!!!! Thank goodness for your DGA!!! That was so sweet of all of them. I am lovng your TR so far...

01-20-2009, 09:52 PM
Well it started off touch and go but then turned out awesome! The Disney Magic was already around you guys. Can't wait for the rest.

01-20-2009, 10:24 PM
Your wedding photos are wonderful, you look so beautiful! I love your TR so far and the dinging story was great! I can't wait to hear more!

01-20-2009, 11:35 PM
Just caught up and everything is BEAUTIFUL! Your pics are just stunning- I think even though your hair and make-up wasn't what you had in mind I think it photographed beautifully:thumbsup2 I love your stories about the experiences on the flight down! I can't wait to hear more... and see more pics!

01-21-2009, 07:31 AM
Loving the TR so far! Thank god for your DGA!

CoP Luv
01-21-2009, 10:54 AM
Wow! I would have had the same trembling lip thing going if I had been in that situation. Four days before my wedding, I just came home from work and cried. For no reason at all...If anything had set me off, I would have been a crying baby.

Can't wait to keep reading!

01-21-2009, 10:17 PM
Day One (Saturday) – Part Two


Pop Century is a fun hotel. That being said, it’s not the nicest of Disney resorts. You don’t get quite the service and attention at the Pop that you do at other resorts on property. When we checked in we didn’t get a congratulations or anything, despite being listed as a Disney Bride and Groom and we had to wait more than two hours for our room with absolutely no estimate on when it would be ready. Like I said, not the worst service but sort of annoying.


While we waited for our room, we amused ourselves by grabbing some lunch and walking around the resort grounds. Pop’s whole thing is oversized relics from days gone by and there’s a nice bridge out in the back that is supposed to lead to another resort. They’ve stopped construction on that one for the time being, but I’m excited to see it completed because the theming will be early decades in the last century…20s and 30s and all that. The bridge is a very peaceful spot, so we went back there and chatted. After some pleading I was able to get Kyle to practice our first dance with me out over the water, using our little iPod boombox. We had been practicing our dance for about a month, but there were still some kinks…(more on that later).

We got our room after a couple of hours, but our luggage was a little slower. I admit that I started to enter a slow panic. See, we had a little bit of trouble with our luggage. To be more specific, I forgot to ship what needed to be shipped and the result was that we had to stuff everything into our bags. No, everything. What is everything, you may ask? Well, everything includes:

• wedding dress
• shoes, veil, purse, jewelry
• tea outfit complete with hat, dress, and vintage heels
• 8 adult size hoodies
• 15 attendant gifts, 7 vendor gifts, 5 parent gifts, 3 child-at-wedding gifts, and one flower girl gift
• 5 bouquets, 7 boutonnières, one flower basket, 5 bags of petals, and one flower wand
• one week’s worth of clothes for each of us
• 2 cameras, one camcorder, one laptop, one iPod boombox, and two iPods
• one copy of every scrap of paper relevant to the wedding
• hair straightener, hair curler, hair dryer, hair products (I have lots of hair)
• bride and groom mickey ears
• Matching Mickey Mouse rain jackets (never worn)
• a partridge in a pear tree

All of this (except for that last one) went into 4 checked bags, 2 carry-ons, and 2 personal items. Kyle and I each had a hat on. He wore his Mickey ears and I wore my tea hat. I knew that we could only carry on so much and the cameras/camcorder/laptop sure as hell weren’t going to survive being checked, so in the end I had to choose between my flowers and my wedding dress. I came damn close to just wearing the wedding dress to make sure that nothing happened to it, but in the end it got checked.

So, when it wasn’t arriving magically via Magic Express, I started to panic a little. Luckily, our luggage got there about a half hour after we did. Both of my suitcases had been broken (one handle and one strap) but the contents were 99% unharmed. The only thing that got dinged was Katelyn’s mini-lunchbox. Don’t ask me how, but it had a giant dent in it when I gave it to her. She loved it anyway.

We finally unpacked, freshened up, and hit the Magic Kingdom. We’d heard (falsely) that it was the last day that Splash Mountain would be open for the week, so we went straight there and stood in line for an HOUR, which is the longest I’ve ever waited for that ride. We did notice a couple of little things when we were floating through on our flume…eyelids that were stuck, parts that weren’t moving…it’s funny to realize that we’ve been through so many times that we know every nod and turn and whistle. Maybe we’ve been over magic-ed.


We wandered out after Splash Mountain. We’ve never been huge on the fireworks and we were feeling pretty beat after our late night/early morning. We did pop over the Grand Floridian on the monorail so that we could take a look at the wedding pavilion. They were cleaning up, so we were able to actually look in for the first time. We also hung out and listened to the band at the GF, dreaming about the fact that we’d be staying there in just a few days. I’ve walked into the Floridian a hundred times, but every single time it just takes my breath away. So completely beautiful…just breathtaking…

It was late by the time we made it back to Pop Century, but sweet Kyle ran down to the food court and got me my end-of-the-night hot chocolate like he always does. We watched a bit of resort tv, got a phone call from my family that they had arrived at the Polynesian, and then drifted off to sleep in our two queen beds, happily wrapped up in hotel sheets.

Petals & Pixie Dust
01-21-2009, 10:24 PM

01-23-2009, 08:53 AM
Day Two (Sunday) – Part One

We usually wake up super early on our first full day of a WDW vacation, but this time we let ourselves sleep in since my family hadn’t gotten in until late and we were spending the day with them. We actually did wake up pretty early, but we stayed in bed and watched TV so that we could let my family sleep. Of course, by the time I actually did call them, I found out that they were all up, that my aunt and cousin staying at the Pop had left without us, and that they were all getting ready to have breakfast. We were left in the Disney dust! I grabbed the duffle bag that had our flowers in it and we caught the bus/monorail over to Poly. We probably could have taken more, since the plan was to slowly move all the wedding stuff over there, but since we had a couple of days to go we figured the flowers would be enough.



We made it over to the Polynesian quickly and met everyone for breakfast at the Kona Café. I love seeing my family, especially when I haven’t seen them for a long time. To give you the full count, it was my mom, my stepdad, my little brother, my aunt, my uncle, my other aunt, my cousin, and my two grandparents. Kona was a ton of fun. I have to admit that I had never been there before. In fact, the only thing that I knew about it was that Van likes to go there for tonga toast and coffee. It’s funny the things you retain about people you’ve never met, isn’t it? Kyle got the tonga toast and mmmmm did it smell good. I was a good girl, though, since I was still on a diet. I admit that I was tempted by the free creampuffs that they sent us, but in the end I only had a nibble.


After everyone had enjoyed breakfast (except for the crash-dieting bride who enjoyed a Lara bar), we went to check out their hotel rooms. It’s amazing the difference between a value resort room and a deluxe resort room. I won’t go into all the details, but I can tell you that we went home that night and just shook our heads at our 70’s themed wallpaper trim.




After we took a couple of moments to enjoy the resort we couldn’t afford, the whole group headed over to the Magic Kingdom. It was quite the journey since we were traveling in a big group and we had two wheelchairs. My mom was also struggling a bit to keep up because she’s getting over a pretty serious knee injury. It took us longer to get over there than it should have because we went the wrong way and ended up walking (and wheeling) to the TTC instead of going up to get on the monorail. It’s so embarrassing to be the Disney experts and start out a week’s vacation with “uh…we don’t know where…wait, how did we…ok, I think if we go this way…screw it, let’s just get on this boat…”

Everyone got through the bag check and in the gates with no real trouble. I collected tickets and Kyle took off right away to get everyone fastpasses for the Pooh ride. (My grandma has a bear thing.) We were sort of a slow-moving bunch, especially by Kyle and my standards, but we were able to keep a good pace and hit a respectable list of rides.





Randomly, we had a little bit of a snag in the Haunted Mansion. I was worried about my grandma getting onto the moving walkway and into the doom buggy, since she has a little bit of trouble, so I dispatched Kyle to walk in front of her and help her in before getting into his own. Somehow, we forgot to save one for him, so Kyle, my mom, and I all rode through the ride smashed into one of those tiny cars. We were cozy to say the least, but somehow we got back out!


Random funny story – so we had worked out this system where Kyle went off to get Fastpasses while the rest of us made our way from point A to point B with the wheelchairs and such, which ended up being a fabulous plan. We’d gotten fastpasses for the Jungle Cruise (turns out you don’t need them if you have wheelchairs) and we were waiting around in the front of the ride for our fastpass time when suddenly two cast members came up. It turns out that one of them reads my blog and recognized us, which was just too funny! I wish I had thought to get a picture with her, but I was so surprised I let her slip off without even catching her name…

Tomorrow - Day Two, Part Two! A tiny video recap of today's post is available at: http://vimeo.com/2928157?pg=transcoded_embed&sec=2928157

01-27-2009, 11:29 AM
Day Two – Part Two


At some point in the afternoon, everyone got hungry so we headed over to Pecos Bill’s for fries and burgers. Call me tacky and insane, but I freakin’ love Pecos Bill’s…mainly because I love to load my fries up on cheese and mushrooms from the condiment bar. Yes, I know it’s weird to eat a meal that is 90% condiments, but I don’t care. I love it.


While we were there, we caught up with some family friends that I’ve known since birth. It really started to sink in that we were bringing people from all over the country and all different parts of our lives together. I mean, I guess that’s what the point of any wedding is, but the fact that we were sitting in the Magic Kingdom with 12 of the people who are central to my life was pretty incredible. I also started to get the sinking suspicion that no matter what happened on the wedding day, the fact that everyone was going to be there meant that it was going to be awesome…(but more on that later, of course)…


My grandparents were done with rides after we finished eating, so we took them over to see the stage show and to nab good seats for the parade and fireworks. After they were situated, the rest of us ran back to ride Splash Mountain, which was not closed like we thought it was going to be. We filled up the log with our party (and weighed it down a considerable amount) so we ended up getting soaked. There’s nothing like the sun setting down on the MK while you walk around wringing out your t-shirt.


Kyle’s brother and his girlfriend caught up to us after we got off the ride and we all caught the light parade from the wooden sidewalks of Frontierland. Once the parade was over, everyone started to head towards the castle. And by everyone, I don’t mean just our party…I mean EVERYONE in the whole park started to head to the castle. So, when my aunt called and said that they were saving us a spot down front, my initial thought was “yeah, right.” Luckily, my uncle is really tall and he was waving a pair of those light-up ears like there was no tomorrow, so we actually made it to the impressively large spot that they had saved. I will say this about my family – when it comes to saving stuff, you really can’t beat them. They’ll be all polite and sweet one minute and then the next minute you’ve got lots of tiny, angry Chinese people who are telling you off. It’s pretty scary.


I’ve never seen the fireworks from right in front of the castle. Part of that may be because you can’t actually see the fireworks from right in front of the castle. See, the fireworks are actually set off in Fantasyland, so when you’re right up in front, the fireworks are behind the castle and you only catch a bit of one every so often. The view of the castle was incredible, though. It was still done up in the holiday lights and it was simply stunning. Kyle filmed the whole thing so I could sneak peeks back at my fam. I loved watching their faces every time a really big one went off. I wish I’d gotten some pics, but it would have ruined the moment. :fireworks:

It was extra magic hours so we headed over to Tomorrowland after that. My cute grandparents just kept going and going! We thought for sure that they would tire out after a while, but they were having a ball.


As it got later and later Kyle and I decided to split off from everyone and go ride rides with his brother, his brother’s girlfriend, Craig, and his wife, who had all met up with us at the park. The six of us did the late night rides thing, got thoroughly soaked on Splash Mountain, and didn’t get back to the resort until after midnight. That’s ok, who sleeps at WDW, anyway?

Highlight reel available here: http://www.vimeo.com/2962360

01-27-2009, 12:12 PM
wow I feel like I have missed so much here! 1st of all I am beyond impressed by your spur of the moment programs, they look beautiful!

Your pics are so elegent and fun, the roots did a great job and your and your DH look amazing, your dress is such a great princess dress!

I love your TR so far, the pics of your fam at the MK are so much fun, it's so great to have important people together like that, you had me tearing up:blush: !

Your DGA was a lifesaver! Could you imagine what woudl have happened had she not been there omg!
Cant wait to keep reading, it looks like a great wedding and trip :yay:

Petals & Pixie Dust
01-27-2009, 09:11 PM
We dont sleep at WDW either! No time for sleep...I love the pic of your DH holding onto his ears! Too funny

01-29-2009, 01:54 AM
Day Three – Part One (Monday)


On Monday morning we opened Disney’s Hollywood Studios. The initial plan was to meet at DHS as a big group, but when push came to shove only Aunt Carole, J.W., Kyle, and I made it to the park opening. The rest of the group caught up with us after breakfast. To be fair, I’m not a huge fan of opening parks in groups of 6+ because people are always so pushy and rushed in the morning. My family doesn’t really do well in pushy and rushed (wheelchairs and all) so that early morning bottleneck run through DHS’s main street would have been really annoying.


As soon as we got inside the gates, Kyle took our four tickets and ran back to Toy Story Mania to get fastpasses. We learned our lesson during our honeymoon when we tried to get fastpasses for Toy Story at 10 AM, only to learn that they had sold out for the day. In the meantime, J.W., Aunt Carole, and I were able to walk onto Tower of Terror with only a ten minute wait. I adore TOT. It might be my favorite ride ever, although I have to admit that a lot depends on the people you get stuck with…like teenagers who yell just to yell or screaming/hysterical children who have been drug onto the ride by parents insisting that they’re “going to have a lot of fun.”

This ride in particular was really good. They change up the drop patterns on the ride all the time and since I’ve ridden it easily more than 50 times, I’ve kind of been through it all. This one sucked my breath out, though, when it went straight up instead of dropping, paused, went straight up some more, and then sucked us all the way down. I was easily in the air for 30 seconds, butt off the seat, floating up against the pull of the seat belt. Heaven.

By the time we got off TOT (love it!), Kyle had almost made it back and he had his brother (Justin) and brother’s girlfriend (Tracy) in tow, so we waited for them to ride Rockin’ Roller Coaster. I have to admit, it’s actually my favorite first-ride-of-the-day ride. I can think of four or five times when I went to MGM by myself as a CP so that I could start the day by riding RRC before I had to go to work. Kyle doesn’t share my enthusiasm for the coaster as a substitute for morning coffee, but since it doesn’t make him sick like teacups or Mission Space, he humors me. Aunt Carole and J.W. were all up for it and loved it…until Aunt Carole about toppled over while getting out of the ride. Flipping upside-down before 9:30 AM tends to play tricks on your inner balance.


The rest of my family finally got there and were waiting for us when we got off the ride. My grandparents and my Aunt Darlene and Uncle Denis don’t do coasters or rides that spin or rides that drop (or really anything that involves motion) so the group split up with part of the fam going off to watch the Beauty and the Beast stage show and the rest of us going to ride Tower of Terror and the Rockin’ Roller Coaster. I had been talking these rides up to my little brother and my mom ever since we’d worked at WDW in 2002, so I was beyond excited to get them on. As I thought, they loved both of them. Photo op!



After we got off the rides, my mom decided that her knee was really giving her a lot of trouble, so the boys went to get her a wheelchair…which made the fourth wheelchair in the group. It was also the last wheelchair, which was fortunate because we were running out of people who could push!



After we got everyone back together, I gave my mom, my grandma, and my two aunts pin lanyards, so that they could start pin trading. They like collecting things like that so I figured it would be a fun little distraction. Little did I know, it was to become a whirlwind obsession…(more on that later)…


We split off from everyone at that point. We still hadn’t ridden Toy Story Mania, but we had lunch reservations with Justin and Tracy at the Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater and we didn’t want to be late. As we wandered away, we realized that it was really the first time we’d had alone together where we weren’t sleeping. I’d like to say that we did something wildly romantic and talked deeply about our thoughts on marriage, but in reality we went and saw Muppet Vision 3D and then tried on all the hats at the gift shop. Good times.


Lunch at the Sci-Fi Dine-In Theater was AWESOME. I had never been there before and I was completely blown away when I walked in. The inside of the restaurant is just a big room with a tall ceiling and it’s done up to look like you’re walking around outside at a 50’s drive-in theater at night. There’s a big movie screen playing clips and commercials of campy B movies and the tables are actually little cars that you sit in, 2 by 2. There are actual tables that you can get, but we hopped into a car, with Tracy and Justin sitting in the front and Kyle and I sitting in the back. It was sort of nice, actually, because we were able to chat and visit with them, but at the same time it was like being on a date with just the two of us.


I got a turkey sandwich and a cherry coke (and officially started to fall of the diet wagon) and Kyle got a Reuben (like he always does) and an alcoholic milkshake with a glowing ice cube in it. We had the give-us-free-stuff-bride-and-groom-hats on, so the waitress made a big deal and brought us a free sundae, which we couldn’t even finish. I don’t remember what Tracy and Justin got, but I know that everyone was happy and everything was delicious. Ah, it’s a rough life at WDW…


Highlight reel available here: http://www.vimeo.com/3000917

02-02-2009, 01:33 PM
Day Three – Part Two

We left the Sci-Fi Dine-In with super full stomachs and an empty day ahead of us. Justin and Tracy took off to do their thing, since Tracy had never been to WDW before and they were taking the do-as-much-as-you-can approach. Kyle and I were more on the we-own-this-town approach, so we were content to wander around slowly and chill. We ended up wandering back to my family, who were at the pin trading kiosks.


Yes, I had unleashed a monster. Not only were my four female relatives taking full advantage of the lanyards I had gotten them, my grandfather also got in on the action and started his own set. Even Kyle couldn’t resist. He bought himself an Ireland flag Mickey and got a Germany flag for my stepfather. I figured this was a sign that we should hit Epcot, so we decided to park hop and catch the boat over.

Unfortunately, we picked the WORST time in the history of the world to try to leave Epcot. We were down to only three wheelchairs because part of our party split off to stay at DHS, but we ended up having to take those three wheelchairs down the sidewalks of main street during the Block Party Bash, which in retrospect was a really stupid idea. Once we saw that it was going on, we should have just stayed put. Kyle and I wanted to beat the rush, though, so the boat wouldn’t be too crowded, so we ended up struggling past people all the way down and, holy crap, it gave me a new appreciation for how rude people are to people who are in wheelchairs. Nobody would move or step to the side or wait for us to go by. People actually climbed over the chairs in order to get around us as we were moving and other people would step right into the path between the wheelchairs once we had made room for them to go through, just so they could stand a little closer to the show.


After a thoroughly frustrating trip from one end of main street to the other, we got organized and got on the boat. I noticed that Kyle and I had sort of taken to just shouting and pointing at everyone. “Left! We’re going left! To the ramp…over there over there over there…LEFT!!! What are you doing? No, no ice cream…no time for that…let’s go let’s go let’s go…” We weren’t so much “good tour guides” as we were “bossy relatives on a mission”. Oh well, at least we got where we were going.


The boat ride to Epcot was nice, like it always is. I really like how quiet that cruise is in comparison to the busses and the ins and outs of the park gates. The only bad thing about it is that I had forgotten that this was everyone’s first trip to Epcot, so they missed out on seeing the ball looming over the park gates. I always thought that that part was pretty cool and I would have taken them around the front if I’d thought about it. Instead, we eased into the park via the International Gateway, which is lovely but pretty understated.


As soon as we got in, Kyle was dispatched to get fastpasses for Soarin’ and the rest of us started to wander around the pavilions, starting with France. Let me just say here, I heart Epcot. I heart Epcot so hard. If Kyle and I were banned from all Disney parks but one for the rest of our lives, it would be Epcot without hesitation for both of us. There’s something about the pace and all the little details that just really gets me. Plus, I’m sort of in it for the food. Mmmm, internationalness.




My family really took to Epcot. Everyone loved all the little shops and the street performers and that whole different-alcoholic-beverage-in-every-country thing. We just wandered and stopped and wandered and stopped as the sun started to set and all of those pretty lights came on over the water. Kyle made it back to us once we hit Germany. It turned out that the Soarin’ fastpasses had been long sold out, so he got a bunch of passes for Test Track. Unfortunately, the vast majority of my family, including me, doesn’t do Test Track so the boys ended up with about three passes each.

We had brats in Germany for dinner and I was having a grand old time, but I started to notice that Kyle was looking a little worn down. The thing about Kyle (good or bad?) is that he is such a trooper. When things are going on, Kyle never complains about anything. He just keeps going, keeps running around, keeps up with the group…on the one hand I’m really lucky because it is so nice to not have to have one more person to worry about, but at the same time it’s hard when Kyle gets worn out because usually you can’t tell until he’s really, really worn out.

So, when we stopped for dinner and he sort of collapsed on the curb and said he couldn’t eat anything, I really should have heard a little alarm bell going off…but, being the terrible person I am, I just believed him when he said he just a little headache and was totally fine otherwise. See, that’s the other thing about Kyle. He’ll lie until he turns blue if it means he can avoid inconveniencing people. He claims that at the time he really did think he was fine, but looking back I definitely think we should have split off from the group and gone back to rest at the resort.

But, we didn’t. We followed the countries around and down and then went over to The Land so everyone else could eat. I had forgotten that most of my family is either diabetic or on really strict sodium limitations, so most of the international food didn’t work for them. Luckily, we were able to get some great things at Seasons and we had another yummy meal, while the boys popped over to Test Track to use up their fastpasses. Grandpa had had his face painted so he looked like a tiger (he loves them) and he was so cute because he proceeded to growl and snarl at everyone for the rest of the night. My grandpa tiger-snarling is the best…


Now, I know that these last couple of paragraphs only consist of us entering the park, eating bratwurst, and then going to The Land pavilion…which makes it sound like we just zipped from one place to another. Oh no. This entrance to bratwurst to Land journey took us about FIVE HOURS. Like I said before, my family is slow. So, once we were finished with dinner #2, it was pretty late and the boys had already ridden Test Track three times.

Justin and Tracy had caught up with us by then and my family was engrossed in yet another pin trading kiosk, so Kyle and I split off from them and went off with his brother to ride a couple of rides because it was Extra Magic Hours that night. Kyle was feeling a lot better at this point and I was excited because we hadn’t really ridden anything, so even though we were exhausted we stayed out late against our better judgment. We did Nemo and Spaceship Earth and wandered around a bit…nothing too exciting but still enough to leave us totally worn out by the time we got back to Pop Century. The no sleeping was starting to get to us a little, but on the whole we were still feeling pretty good. Little did we know…

Petals & Pixie Dust
02-02-2009, 01:56 PM
I love how you tell a story! Thanks for the update!

02-02-2009, 03:59 PM
The picture of your tiger grandad is the cutest thing ever!!! And the wheelchair sword fights, your family really rocks in my book!

By the way I can totally relate to the 5 hours to change parks and eat thing... on our E-trip we went with DF's entire family (9 of us) and it took forever to do things... the family's D.A.D.D (Disney Attention Deficit Disorder) kicked in majorly and we were constantly stopping for food, bathroom breaks, pictures etc...

02-02-2009, 04:24 PM
Dum dum dummmm,

I hope it doesnt turn out too badly, poor kyle, i hope a good nights sleep made him better!

02-02-2009, 04:37 PM
I'm having fun!! :cool1:

02-03-2009, 01:29 PM
Day Four – Part One

On Tuesday morning we woke up early to open Animal Kingdom with my family. Already, the red flags were flying. Usually when we wake up at WDW we’re up and about really early, bouncing around the room and grabbing hot chocolate and singing along to the resort television commercials. Tuesday morning found us dragging ourselves out of bed, bleary eyed and bleh. We both took a packet of Emergen-C and a multivitamin, but the reality is that we weren’t getting enough rest. We were opening parks with the people in our group that opened parks and then when those people went back to the resort to rest we were busy closing the parks with the people who had slept in. It had only been a couple of days, but all the stress involved in getting ready for the trip had really left us without much of a cushion as far as not wearing ourselves out.

Most of the time, I’m the whiner. I get sick all the time because I have the immune system of a newborn and I’m the one who gets tired/hot/hungry. Kyle is the one who pushes through without complaint, especially when we’re at WDW. So when we were sitting on the bus to Animal Kingdom and he put his head on my shoulder and said that he was only going to stay at the park a little while, I knew we had overdone it. There we were on the bus at 8 AM, with our matching t-shirts and our wedding ears, completely wiped out.


We made it to the park and caught up with my family, most of whom were wearing 6 pounds of pins around their neck. I sent Kyle with all the tickets to get fastpasses for Expedition Everest and the rest of us made a beeline for Kilimanjaro Safaris. My grandma had been wanting to ride that ride more than any other, so everyone was pretty excited. Even at our slow pace we made it to the Safari before Kyle came back. Honestly, I probably shouldn’t have had him run back to Asia, but I was still thinking that we were doing all right. He made it back to us, fastpasses in hand, and we made our way up the line to the Safari. Apparently if you’re in a wheelchair you don’t really have to wait because there’s a whole other car just for special needs vehicles so we walked right on. It was a good safari…no giraffes (bah!) but pleasant with a non-annoying tour guide.




After the safari there wasn’t much to do but make our way over to Everest. I like Animal Kingdom, but honesty there isn’t a lot there. We never go to Rafiki’s planet watch, we rarely hang out with the characters in North America, we hate the whole midway/dinosaur thing they put up in Dinoland U.S.A., and we think that Kali River Rapids gets you way too wet. Oh, and I don’t do Bug’s Life because I don’t like getting poked in the back and I’ve never been able to keep my eyes open for Dinosaur because I’m a complete coward and I’m pretty sure that dinosaur at the end will actually try to bite me.

So, once everything on that list was crossed off, all that was left was the trails, Everest, and the shows. I think my family was a little confused by the fact that Kyle and I were meandering slowly towards Asia instead of marching firmly on with purpose, but between the exhaustion and the fact that we needed to wait for our fastpasses, we weren’t in any hurry. We were able to spot at one of the picture spots and get group picture with the Tree of Life in the background, which was really nice.


One of the Photo Pass photographers did it with both his camera and mine and he did a really nice job, especially since we were backlit. I hate it when the PP photographers intentionally take crap photos with your camera so you have to buy the nice ones they take on theirs. C’mon, Disney. I’m sure you’re doing ok without needing to have your photographer take a shot that includes only my chin and my husband’s elbow.


We made it up to Asia and the group decided to split up into Everest riders and non-Everest riders. Kyle and I went with the Everest riders, but I’m not sure why. I know this is sacrilegious, especially since it’s Stacy’s Number One Must See Attraction at Walt Disney World, but we’re not huge fans of Everest. In fact, I would say that we’re bigger fans of the line for Everest than we are of Everest itself, but being idiots we always fastpass it, thereby missing the line and the best part of the ride.

The thing about Everest, if you’ve never ridden it, is that Disney did a very nice job. It’s a smooth ride that doesn’t jerk your head around or use cheap props to simulate being on Mt. Everest. Everything is very detailed and smooth. That being said, it’s not an easy ride to go on. Not only are there lots of tall drops and swirling around in the dark – the ride also goes forward and then backward and then forward again, which is probably the easiest way in the world to make someone nauseous for a very long time. We’re also pretty disappointed with that Yeti that everyone talks about. Yeah, he’s in there, but he doesn’t move much and I’ve never seen him because he’s right at the end in the dark and my eyes can’t adjust that fast. I hear there’s a Yeti in there and not just a strobe light, but you couldn’t prove it by me.

We got off Everest and the rest of the group went back to ride it again, since we had extra passes, while Kyle and I grabbed some hot tea and sat people watching. We’re so ready to be elderly, you don’t even know. After a while, I dispatched Kyle to go back to the resort. He was really starting to look a little bad and since he’s done Animal Kingdom so many times, he didn’t feel like he was missing out. Plus, everyone and their dog was showing up on property throughout the day and he wanted to be back to welcome people when they got there.

After he left, I sat and people watched a little bit more and I realized something. When there are two of you in wedding ears, people congratulate you. When there’s just one of you and you’re in wedding ears and you’re sitting on a rock drinking hot tea by yourself, people glance around for a stray pair of groom ears and then avert their eyes when they realize there are none in a 30 ft radius.

Once everyone else had ridden Everest again, we met up with my family for the Festival of the Lion King, which is probably my favorite thing at Animal Kingdom. Again, all of the wheelchairs came in handy as we were the first group in and the first group seated. I was a little worried about the show, actually, because I didn’t know how many people in the group had seen the Lion King and I wasn’t sure if they would be into it. Well, I was silly to worry! My family LOVED it. In fact, I think it might have been their favorite thing from the whole trip!


After the show (and a couple of pit stops for cast member pin trading), we made our way over to Pizzafari. I was a little concerned about Kyle so after a quick kid’s pizza lunch, I left everyone with a couple tips on what to do for the rest of the day and then went back to the resort. The bus ride back was the first time I’ve ridden around WDW alone in a long time and it was sort of like when you’re at a really loud concert and then go out into the parking lot only to discover that you’re completely deaf. It wasn’t until I was sitting on the bus, looking out the window, that I realized how tired I really was, how many people from my life were all going to be on property in a few hours, and how Kyle and I were going to be married in just two days time.

02-04-2009, 10:20 AM
Carly, I have to admit I found your blog online in September of last year and have been following it ever since! I got my mom hooked on it too! You are the reason why my fiance and I are getting married at Disney! You write beautifully and have such a great sense of humor! I'm hooked! So glad things went well and you are happily married! Best of luck to you and Kyle!

02-04-2009, 07:57 PM

Day Four – Part Two


Kyle was at the resort when I got back and we had some more us time. I thought he’d be sleeping, but we took a walk around the resort and stopped in at the arcade for a little while. We also loaded the iPod into the mini-boombox and did a couple run-throughs of our first dance back behind one of the buildings. We had been working on our first dance for a couple of months, but it still wasn’t quite right. I started to get really frustrated with the whole thing – more because I was tired than for any other reason – but Kyle was really sweet and was trying really hard. We ended up having a wonderful time waltzing around between the laundry carts while the maintenance people smiled at us and said things to each other in Haitian.

Honestly, it’s this sort of stuff that I think I’ll remember about our wedding trip. Obviously I have a lot of pictures and video from the ceremony and the reception and being out at the parks and all that, but what I really remember without any help from photos are things like my grandpa doing tiger growls, my little brother cracking up out of sheer joy during Mickey’s Philharmagic, and Kyle sweeping me around in circles at the Pop Century resort.

By the time we were all danced out, Kyle had gotten calls from people who had just gotten to Orlando and who wanted to meet up at the parks. Since he hadn’t seen any of his people, I felt sort of bad that I had worn him out by hanging out with my family so early, but he took some more zinc and cheerfully headed out on the MK bus. I stayed behind, partially to finish wrapping the attendants gifts, etc., and partially to collapse on the bed and watch resort TV for a while. About ten minutes after he left, I got a phone call from a local number. Thinking it was Marion calling to go over things, since I hadn’t talked to her in months, I picked up. But it wasn’t Marion. It was Rev. Kevin Knox, calling to cancel on our wedding rehearsal.

Canceling on someone’s wedding rehearsal without giving them at least 24 hours notice is pretty bad form. It’s even more bad form if they’ve had you booked for a full year. But it’s SUPER bad form if you actually tell them that you’re canceling because you got another wedding booked and you would rather go to their rehearsal since the one you’re canceling sounds pretty “boring”. Um, bite me. He did say that he was sending his wife to do the rehearsal, so he didn’t leave me completely in the dust. I actually got the impression that he wanted me to be happy that he had thought all of this out, but throwing your wife in at the last minute isn’t exactly saving the day. I said it was fine (what else could I do?) but internally I began to have second thoughts about our officiant…


I cheered up when Kate, one of my bridesmaids, showed up. I never ever get to see Kate because we haven’t lived in the same city for about ten years now and she’s in the Army at the moment, which makes it a little bit harder to just pop in for a visit. Not including my brother, I’ve known Kate the longest out of all of my attendants. We bonded in the 8th grade over a general rejection of teacher authority and an affinity for Marissa Tomei movies.


We were still in the process of catching up when Michelle knocked on the door. Michelle and I have been friends since high school and we went to Europe together for a couple of months after I graduated from college. She’s pretty much my travel buddy…we’ve been all over the place together. This was the first time we’d been together in Orlando, though, since she was studying in Essox while I was on the college program. I wanted to hang out with my girls and visit, but Kyle and I had reservations to go to the luau with my family that night, so I had Kate and Michelle come with me to the Polynesian to help me take some stuff over.

Kyle was there when we got there, which was great since he and Kate had never met, and we were able to visit with them for a minute while they caught some food at the café. He seemed to be doing a little bit better, but when we were walking over to the luau I noticed that he was really warm and kind of quieter than usual. Kyle generally produces a low level of noise at all times, either through singing or humming or talking or just general random sounds, so the fact that he was just totally silent didn’t bode well, especially since I knew he was excited about the luau.


I had never been and didn’t know what to expect, but it was all pretty lovely. The tiki torches were lit and we hung out and looked out over the lake before going in to our table near the stage. I was a little nervous about the food, since I’m allergic to tropical fruit in general, but there were a lot of delicious things that I could eat. I love themed food…especially when they come with themed drinks in coconut monkey heads!



After dinner, the stage show started. The first part was heavy on audience interaction, which was a bummer because I ended up going up to hula with the January birthdays (I’m awkward and terrible at hula-ing) and then Kyle and I ended up going on stage to slow dance alone in front of everyone since we had our ears on (we’re awkward and terrible at slow-dancing on stage during luaus).


I survived the spotlight, though, and thoroughly enjoyed the rest of the show. The things that those people can do are completely incredible and it was a lot of fun to see the show with my brother since he’s Samoan and was really, really into it.

Kyle held up really well during the luau. I could tell that he was still feeling a little off because he didn’t drink much and he used up all of our Kleenex, but he had a really good time and didn’t seem too bad. He sort of deteriorated on the way home, though, since it took us an hour and a half to get back to Pop Century. Apparently there are busses that leave for the resorts right after the luau, but we were dawdling with my family and we missed them, so we had to take the bus from the Polynesian to Downtown Disney and then switch over to the DD bus back to Pop Century. Bleh.

When we got back to the hotel, we told ourselves that we were going to go straight upstairs and go to bed. It was after midnight at this point and we had to check out the next morning to make the move over to the Grand Floridian for our free night’s stay. However, when we walked through the food court to get some hot coca, we ran into two of Kyle’s groomsmen and another friend who had just gotten into Orlando that night. We visited with them for a while and then ran into Neaner and Nate hanging out at the pool. Kyle ended up chatting with his friends out on the landing in front of our room and I took Neaner, Nate, and Michelle on a walk around the Pop Century grounds.


One of the things that I noticed during our trip is that I have awesome friends. Most of my bridal attendants didn’t really know each other, since they were from different parts of my life or hadn’t seen each other in a long time, but when they got together they all had a lot of fun. Neaner and Nate just picked right up with all of my friends from high school and they all ended up hanging out together without me. I can’t even tell you how much easier it made it not to have to divide my attention up into hanging out with each individual person.


Kyle and I went to bed around 1:00 or 1:30. We hadn’t packed or anything at all, so we told ourselves that we didn’t have to get up to open any of the parks. In our heads this meant that we would have lots of time to do everything that we needed to do and get all the rest that we could ever want. Because that’s how bright we are…

02-04-2009, 08:52 PM
great installment can't wait to read more.

02-05-2009, 12:09 PM
Day Five – Part One

I woke up at 6:30 in the morning. I don’t mean that I rolled over and fluttered my eyes open and lazily stretched out. I sat up at 6:30, wide-awake, with one single thought in my head: Holy Effin’ Shiznit, I’m getting married tomorrow.

Waking up in a Disney resort hotel room is disorienting because if you have those drapes closed there’s pretty much no way to tell what time it is. I could see a little bit of light coming through, but I couldn’t tell if it was early morning light or late morning light or afternoon light. Since I had startled myself awake, I immediately defaulted to an unshakeable belief that we were late for our day and proceeded to bark at Kyle to wake up before it occurred to me to look at the clock. The poor kid jumped up, took one look at the clock, gave me a look that would have withered flowers, and rolled over.

Any rational person would have felt bad and gone back to sleep in the proper apologetic fashion, but I was running on pure adrenaline and I jumped out of bed and did a couple mini-laps around the room, before deciding that Kyle and I should just get up anyway. I turned on the light and started poking at Kyle, who was in his own bed (we let ourselves have our own queen size beds at Disney) and who had pulled the covers up over his head. I knew he didn’t want to get up, but in my bridal panic I gave getting-things-done priority over his sleep time and assumed that he’d understand later.

When I took the covers off of his head, however, I was started by how he looked. He was totally pale, totally sweaty, and quite obviously deathly ill. In fact, I’m not sure if I’ve ever seen Kyle look so sick. I ran around the room turning off all the lights and then sat on my own bed for a while, watching him sleep with that little wheezy breath that people get when they are sick, and all I could think was “Oh my god, I broke him. I broke Kyle. I stressed him out and made him run around all week and kept him out too late and now I’ve broken him. We’re getting married tomorrow and I’ve probably killed him. He’s going to lay right there and die and we aren’t even at a nice resort.”

The whole not-disturbing-those-who-are-deathly-ill thing really limited the amount of stuff that I could do now that I was up. I knew that the breakfast was being served, but I didn’t want to go without Kyle. I did go down and get him some tea so he could take some medicine, but after that there was nothing to do but let him sleep in the dark, so I gathered up the few notes I had left to write to the bridal party and snuck out to the balcony to write them. Tracy came over after a while and said that Justin was also deathly ill and grabbed some medicine for him. I don’t know where Kyle and his brother were or what they managed to inhale, but it was freaking deadly and they were both severely out of commission. After a while, Kyle did manage to wake up and I went and got us breakfast, but he was in really bad shape. He just stayed in bed, all glassy-eyed, staring at Stacy and her stupid top 7 list run over and over again.


As the clock ticked closer to 11 AM, I started to panic. Our room looked like a bomb had gone off, with clothes and crap everywhere and I didn’t have any of the attendant gifts wrapped for the rehearsal that night. I ended up grabbing Kate, Nate, and Neaner,who were passing by our window and they helped me get everything wrapped, bagged, and labeled. They also let me drag our unneeded luggage into their room, since we’d be coming back to Pop Century for our wedding night, and helped us carry everything downstairs.

Kate saved our sorry butts by having a rental car. Instead of dragging poor sick Kyle onto the bus with all of our luggage, which was the original plan, we were able to load everything into Kate’s car and just drive over to the Grand Floridian. We also were able to stop at Publix on the way, so Kyle could drop $50 on cold remedies. I think we actually bought everything that a person with a cold could ever possibly use, which is lucky since he proceeded to take an entire box of Advil Cold and Sinus. By then, he was doing a lot better than he had been doing that morning, but I could tell he still didn’t feel good. I wasn’t doing too hot myself, but since I was only slightly tired and sniffly (whereas Kyle had the plague) I felt pretty lucky.


By the time we got to the Floridian, it was around 1:00. Check-in is usually around 3, but I was hopeful that we could get in early, especially because the GF is a deluxe resort. Kate and Kyle dealt with the luggage people while I went in to check-in. I totally should have taken Kyle with me, though, because I was wildly intimidated by the whole process. The person I thought was going to check me in actually called someone else to walk me over to some other person who called some other person to come and get me. By the time I actually got to the person I needed to talk to, I was completely weirded out and more than a little tired of being shuffled around.


The man I needed to talk to walked briskly up to me, put his hand to his headset, quietly said “we are go”, and then escorted me back out to the car where Kate and Kyle were waiting. I don’t know who he was talking to, because I didn’t see anyone else who was…going, or whatever…so a little part of me thinks that he was just talking into his headset to intimidate me. Kate left to park the car and Kyle and I were taken up to the third floor to the actual check-in desk, an elevator ride which required a key card. Apparently that was this man’s function…to walk up to me, intimidate me, swipe his card, and drop us off. I don’t know how much he makes, but I think I would be really good at that.

The woman who checked us in was very nice and we were really starting to feel all posh and refined up there in the concierge level check-in, when suddenly one of the bellmen brought up another guest and asked a question about luggage. Apparently the guest was checking out and she needed to ship something but she had waited until the last minute and for whatever reason they wouldn’t be able to ship the thing from the resort. I guess she had to go somewhere else and she was worried about missing her connection? I’m sorry I’m so vague on details, but I wasn’t able to understand much that the guest was saying because about 4 seconds after they walked up behind us she burst into tears, put her face in her hands, and started moaning, “I don’t need this right now! I don’t need this right now!”

That was awkward.

I got the impression that that sort of thing doesn’t happen very often on the concierge level because the woman who was helping us just sort of sat there stunned for a second and then said, “I’m sorry, ma’am, but I will help you as soon as I finish helping these people.” Then she sort of motioned for the bellman to take the guest over to the side, but when he asked her to have a seat, she started wailing louder and fanning herself wildly as though she was afraid she was going to have a total breakdown. They tried to convince her to sit down for a second, but she just stood there and shook her head. I told the check-in woman that we would just wait, but she wasn’t having it and since we hadn’t gotten our key or any information, there wasn’t a lot we could do.

As all of this was going on, the man whose job it is to intimidate people and then bring them upstairs brought another couple up in the elevator. As they stepped out, the man hesitated and I think he thought seriously about taking them back down to the lobby, either because it was pretty noisy up there in concierge or because he’s supposed to space guests out enough that they don’t run into each other. Now here we all were, me and Kyle, the check-in lady and the bellman, the bewildered couple who had just gotten off the elevator, and the man with the headset...all watching this poor woman weep.

There was a horrible moment where I thought that we were just going to wait until the woman cried herself out, but then the man with the headset took the woman’s package from the bellman, instructed the bewildered couple to have a seat, and swept the woman off into the elevator, never to be seen again. The woman helping us rushed through the rest of her shpeal on our stay at the resort, told us that our room wasn’t ready, and then dismissed us. The bellman rode down with us in the elevator and said something about how he would have been happy to help us carry our things to our room but since we didn’t have things (they were at the luggage desk) and we didn’t have a room, he was just going to make sure we got back ok. I had the weird suspicion that he wanted some sort of tip, but since his only function was to bring crying women into our lives and then make sure we didn’t get lost getting on and off of an elevator that only travels three stories, I didn’t try to find some cash.

Honestly, Kyle and I were terrible about tipping at GF because we’re bad about tipping in general. By the time that bellman left us standing in the lobby, we had dealt with seven individual GF employees. I’m sure one of those employees at some point was supposed to get a tip, but since we didn’t know who are when, we didn’t tip anyone. In fact, I think the only person who got tipped the whole time we were there were the people who brought us room service because Kyle and I do have the basic understanding that when someone brings you something to eat, you’re supposed to tip them. Beyond that, we were pretty clueless.

We caught up with Kate downstairs and we all drove over to the Polynesian to hang out a little bit until the room was ready. My bridal tea was scheduled for 3:30, so we were cutting it a little close by not having a room at 1:30. I busied myself with other things and put Kate to work ironing out the pashminas. My mom and I attempted to steam my wedding dress, which still bore signs of having been stuffed into my checked luggage, but there was so much dress (!) that we just didn’t have the time. I started to get more and more antsy as the clock moved closer to 3:00, but luckily we got the call that our room was ready around 2:15 and we headed over.
Kate dropped us off so she could go home and get ready for the tea and we made our way up through the maze of keycard-only elevators to our room on the concierge level.

I know I’m a total brat, but when I first walked into our room I was disappointed. I kept hearing about concierge level this and that and I had seen pictures of other people’s GF rooms, so I was expecting a great big room with plenty of space for people who wanted to hang out. Our room was the same size as our room in Pop Century, though, with the difference being that we had a Jacuzzi tub and a king-sized bed. Since I was expecting a huge suite, I was pretty let down. And then I walked over to the balcony and saw the view. Oh, the view!


Gorgeous. Incredible. Our balcony looked out over the water and right across the way to Cinderella’s castle. It was positively lovely and it totally redeemed the room in my eyes. When I walked back in I started to see all of the little details – the fine furniture with Disney accents, the patterns in the wallpaper, the fresh flowers tucked into carefully folded towels, the GF seal on the folded edge of the toilet paper…What the room lacked in size it made up in personal attention.


Unfortunately, I didn’t have long to enjoy it. We got in to the room at 2:30 and at 3:00 we still didn’t have our luggage. Since I needed to be at the Whitehall Room at 3:30 for the bridal tea, I had a mild panic attack in which I may or may not have unleashed a torrent of unladylike words. Luckily, the luggage showed up around 3:10 and I was able to dash around and get ready. I had planned on curling my hair and doing my nails and putting on jewelry and all sorts of things before the tea, but the day had been so crazy and I was so short on time that I just tossed the dress on, grabbed my hat, fastened my heels and took off for downstairs, leaving Kyle to rest and enjoy the room without me.

02-05-2009, 01:02 PM
Oh Carly, I love reading your updates! They make my work day so much more pleasant! :lmao: Sorry to hear Kyle got so ill the day before your wedding.:guilty: Also, I'm glad you got your room and luggage in time for you to make it to your bridal tea! The view from your room is breathtaking, absolutely gorgeous! Can't wait for the next update! The big day is coming up!!!!!:cheer2: :flower3:

02-10-2009, 01:10 PM
Day Five – Part Two

I was really excited about the bridal tea. The whole idea to have a bridal tea started when I saw Vanessa’s bridal tea and was wildly jealous. My mom decided that a bridal tea was the perfect thing for her to host as a wedding event and so she worked with Marion to create a nice little ladies-only party. She also suggested that people dress appropriately for the tea…although appropriate for tea was sort of left open to interpretation…






…as you can see, some of our guests really ran with it! I love that people dressed up and really got into it because it added a whole other element of fun to the party. Mom had gone all out with the decorations and had made beautiful little favors for everyone. She had also gathered quotes and messages from the guests and then put them into a basket for me to keep.






The food spread was to die for. In addition to tea, we had a whole range of finger sandwiches and crudités and desserts and so on. I was actually ravenous when I got down there so after quickly saying hello to everyone, I pounced on the food. It might be slightly tacky for a bride to go to town on a buffet the day before her wedding, but I was so over my diet that it was time to party.




It was really nice and relaxing to hang out in this space with all of these ladies and just be generally happy about the wedding happening the next day. There were some people there that I hadn’t seen in years and years and a couple of people that I hadn’t met before, so I was happy that I had time to chat with them at the tea instead of trying to fit everyone in to the reception. I did sort of feel like I didn’t spend quite enough time talking to anyone, which is a feeling that would continue throughout the rest of the trip, but I tried really hard to cover my bases.


As the tea started to wind down, mom and I noticed that there was a ton of food left. As it turned out, there was a miscommunication about who needed to tell who how many people were going to the tea and they had set out enough food (and charged us) for seven or eight extra guests. It seemed such a shame to waste it all, so mom and I decided to ask if we could take any back with us.


Marion actually wasn’t available during the tea because she was doing another wedding, but she had left us in the hands of one of the GF servers, so my mom walked up to him and, in the most refined voice possible, inquired about doggy bags. There was something so ridiculous about asking for a takeout container in such a nice place that as soon as he left to “look into it”, my mom and I dissolved into a total giggle fit and almost didn’t recover. Needless to say, he did not bring us doggy bags. He did let us bring in some extra people, however, so all of the guys who were out in the hallway waiting for the rehearsal to start were able to come in and polish off the rest of the food.


While everyone was finishing up, I went out into the hall to meet Theresa, our officiant’s wife. She was nice enough and waited patiently for us to herd everyone from one room to the other for the rehearsal, but the whole thing ended up being pretty weird. I will say, it wasn’t all Theresa’s fault. There were three independent things which contributed to the weirdness of our rehearsal:

• our officiant wasn’t there,
• our wedding coordinator wasn’t there, and
• we weren’t in the place where the ceremony would actually happen.

All of these things were things that made no sense to me. After all, it’s not like we didn’t all understand the general gist of what was going to happen. Parents go down the aisle, Kyle and his men go down the aisle, my attendants go down the aisle, flower girl goes down the aisle, father + bride go down the aisle, we get married, everyone leaves in the reverse order of how they came in. And we’re done.


So, I’m not totally sure what the rehearsal was for. I suppose it was helpful to have everyone line up so they knew what order they were going down the aisle in, but honestly it complicated it to have the non-coordinator and non-officiant there because they were giving everyone the wrong directions. We wanted to have them seated, but they stood them up. We wanted them to go down one by one, they had them walk together. We knew who was there, they were calling out names from lists that had been abandoned in February. It was just chaotic.


And then the Theresa factor kind of kicked in. She was nice enough, but she was sort of sharp and she kept snapping at people and then raising her eyebrows at us like she was saying, “boy, all of these people are out of control. You’re damn lucky I’m raining them in.” I wanted to flick her on the nose and tell her to stop yelling at our friends, but instead we just tried to get the whole thing over with. As it turned out, she didn’t have the vows we had written and sent in and then she actually argued with Kyle about whether or not things should be included. Hi, is it your ceremony? Are you even going to be there? No? Then shut up.

We also hadn’t practiced the kiss, which was fine by us, but she made us do it a couple of times as though we were idiots who didn’t understand the process instead of two annoyed customers who were hardcore fed up with her little snide remarks. All in all, the whole thing was kind of a wash. The people running the show couldn’t remember anything we told them for more than 3 minutes and it didn’t really matter to them because they weren’t even going to be at the wedding. I sort of felt bad for pulling people out of the parks to come to it, actually, because it was not that necessary. We were able to give everyone their gifts and ties and pashminas, though, so that sort of redeemed the moment.


I had been worried that people would be upset about the fact that there was no rehearsal dinner, but nobody seemed to think twice about it. I think everyone was ready to do their own thing anyway, so most of Kyle’s friends dispersed quickly. My friends hadn’t seen our hotel room, so we all went upstairs and hung out for a little bit.


I love my friends. I knew that they were all going out and from the looks of the pictures they must have had a good time, but there was no way I could go with them. It was 7PM and it was the night before the wedding. My dress wasn’t steamed or bustled. The centerpieces were sitting around in various boxes and shopping bags. I hadn’t even started thinking about place cards. My nails weren’t done, my hair wasn’t washed, I hadn’t talked to any of the vendors, and my fiancé was downing more cold medication than is probably legal in the continental United States. Yeah, I wasn’t going anywhere…

02-10-2009, 05:48 PM
Your bridal tea looks like it was fun! Cute pictures!:goodvibes

02-11-2009, 01:13 PM
Day Five - Part Three

After my friends all took off to go to Raglan Road, I sat on the balcony of our beautiful hotel room and started to feel sorry for myself. It wasn’t a full-blown-woe-is-me type of sorry, just a gee-this-isn’t-how-I-pictured-this sorry. I felt bad for Kyle because he was sick and I knew he’d probably be sick for the wedding. This was the one night we’d have in this $1000+ hotel room and we was going to be sick for it. I also felt bad about not going with my friends because I don’t get to see most of them very often and they had flown all the way down here to celebrate with me, only to be kicked out because I hadn’t finished all the wedding stuff. And, of course, I felt sorry for myself because I wanted to fill up the tub, order room service, and enjoy the luxury of our accommodations, but I had wedding chores that I couldn’t get out of. So I sat for a little bit and just let myself be kind of blue.

Kyle was supposed to be laying down during all of this, but after a while he came out. I gave him a hard time about being on the balcony, since I’m sure it didn’t help his cold, but he stayed out with me for a while and chilled out. He asked me if I needed help with anything and I told him not to worry about it. Then he asked me if I wanted my mom to come over. To be honest, I totally did. I wanted both of our moms and I wanted them in our room fixing everything and I wanted them now. But, on the eve of your wedding, you’re not supposed to want mom to fix it all. Plus, my mom was headed down to Downtown Disney for the first time and I didn’t want to rain on her fun. So, I said no, that I was just fine. And then Kyle told me that I was a terrible liar and that he had already talked to my mom and that she was on her way over. And that’s why he’s my favorite human.

I felt a lot better after mom got there. I don’t mind being sulky and stressed out around my mom because she’s seen it all, so I complained about bustling the dress and about not wanting to steam it and about feeling like I was way too fat to be wearing something strapless. She said all the mom things about how I looked fine and it was all in my head and nobody would notice that it wasn’t steamed and bustling it would only take a minute. Then we ordered a really nice dinner from room service and watched the fireworks from the balcony while I walked around in my dress and tried to feel like a real bride.


As a side note, I read a ton of articles that talk about what you’re supposed to eat before your wedding. You’re supposed to stay away from fats (obviously), salts, things with a lot of fiber, sugars, and meat. You’re also supposed to drink a lot of ice water and eat very small meals every hour or so. For the record, I read all of these articles and cut them out and kept them and memorized them. And on the eve of my wedding, I sat in my hotel room in my wedding dress with my mom and my fiancé and I ate penne pasta with grilled shrimp that was completely doused in the richest alfredo sauce and topped with a cup of shredded asiago cheese. And it rocked my world.


It took longer than a minute to bustle the dress. Mom worked on it for an hour while I called vendors and organized payments and did lots of last minute things. Kyle snuck out a couple of times to the concierge lounge and brought us back things like sparkling water and chocolate covered strawberries.



It wasn’t as exciting as being out at Raglan Road, but it was really, really nice. In fact, I think it’s my favorite time that I’ve ever spent with my mom because it was just so calm and happy and quietly exciting.

After mom left around midnight, we stayed up for a little bit and just hung out. Kyle was doped up on a lot of cold medicine and he was singing me Disney songs while I plucked my eyebrows and did all the other things that girls have to do when they’re being photographed 5000 times the next day. Then we turned off all the lights and sat up in bed for a little while, watching the colors change on Cinderella’s castle. I know most people don’t spend the night before their wedding together, since it’s traditional for the bride and groom not to see each other before the ceremony, but it was really nice to have a little spot of quiet where we could look forward to the next day without having anything left to stress about. If we had to do it again, I wouldn’t change a single thing about that night…

Petals & Pixie Dust
02-11-2009, 08:57 PM
I so look forward to your installments...You have a great writing style and tell a story so well! Keep them coming!

02-11-2009, 09:09 PM
I'm loving this...so Kyle saw you in your dress before, am I correct in assuming that?

02-12-2009, 11:07 AM
I am a little weepy right now... thats a great pre-wedding night if you ask me (minus Kyle being sick) but it sounds like you were very peacful and relaxed. Cant wait for the next update :)

02-12-2009, 05:00 PM
Oh Carly I am just loving your TR. I am so sorry that Kyle got sick, but it sounds like he was a real trooper through it all. Soooo sweet that he knew you needed your mom there and I love that you ate alfredo pasta with shrimp (one of my favorite dishes) in your wedding dress with your mom and kyle the night before your wedding! I sounds just perfect! Can't wait for more!

SueM in MN
02-14-2009, 02:19 PM
So sorry to hear about the illness around your wedding.
A wedding is stressful enough without worrying about not feeling well.
The pictures so far are beautiful (I love the one in your wedding dress looking out the balcony). If it was me eating in my wedding dress, the next sentence would probably have been..."and then I spilled my dinner plate all over the front of my dress."
[i]I sent Kyle with all the tickets to get fastpasses for Expedition Everest and the rest of us made a beeline for Kilimanjaro Safaris. My grandma had been wanting to ride that ride more than any other, so everyone was pretty excited. Even at our slow pace we made it to the Safari before Kyle came back. Honestly, I probably shouldn’t have had him run back to Asia, but I was still thinking that we were doing all right. He made it back to us, fastpasses in hand, and we made our way up the line to the Safari. Apparently if you’re in a wheelchair you don’t really have to wait because there’s a whole other car just for special needs vehicles so we walked right on.
There is a wheelchair accessible ride tram.
People with wheelchairs wait in the regular line until just after the stroller drop off area. Just after that, people using wheelchairs or ECVs are sent to a different boarding area. The trams that stop at that boarding area come back to the same place for unloading, so wheelchairs and ECVs left there at boarding will be waiting for the guests to get them when the ride ends. That area is also set up with a permanent ramp for loading wheelchairs (only one wheelchair per ride tram).
Using a wheelchair doesn't mean no wait though; people have waited in the regular line until that point. After the line splits off, the wait depends on how many people are waiting at the accessible spot and how many trams are running. We have already waited at the accessible boarding spot for 40 minutes, when people were just walking on to the regular trams, pretty much as fast as they could walk. Trams were even being sent out partially filled because people were not coming fast enough.
People were basically asking if they could go back in line to leave their wheelchairs in the stroller parking area because they had waited so long.
Once everyone else had ridden Everest again, we met up with my family for the Festival of the Lion King, which is probably my favorite thing at Animal Kingdom. Again, all of the wheelchairs came in handy as we were the first group in and the first group seated.
At Festival of the Lionn King, they seat people in wheelchairs first because there are a limited number wheelchair spots. If they did not seat the wheelchair parties first, other people would take those spots and there would be no room for the wheelchairs.
Because there are limited numbers of wheelchair spots, the CMs need to separate out the wheelchairs before the show they can keep a count and not bring more wheelchair into the waiting area than there is space for inside the building. We have come to that show and not been able to go in because all the wheelchair spots were already taken.

02-16-2009, 01:00 PM
Finally back from our CA trip and ready to start in on the wedding day!

I'm loving this...so Kyle saw you in your dress before, am I correct in assuming that?

Yep, he had actually seen me in it from day one. He was the one that helped me when I was doing all of my fittings. Not traditional, but there's no way I would have been able to hide it in our tiny apartment anyway...

02-16-2009, 01:30 PM
Wedding Day – Part One

Some days are just good.

We slept so well in that GF king sized bed that I could have just slept and slept and slept. But, at around 6:30, I realized that it was my wedding day. And *BAM* I was up. We had ordered room service for 7 AM, so I got out of bed and brushed my teeth and threw on my Bride hoodie and started getting all jazzed up for the day. I threw open the curtains and took in the most beautiful view.



The lake had mist over it, so all I could see was Cinderella’s castle coming up out of the clouds. Not a bad way to wake up, eh? Room service came and delivered eggs benedict, corned beef hash, a fruit plate, and a grapefruit. I steeped some tea and set our little coffee table and stuck Ratatouille in the DVD player and got all ready to have a happy little breakfast party with Kyle.

But Kyle didn’t want to play.

I had to draaaaaag the boy out of bed and then when I did he was still mopey, with no reaction to the view or the food or anything. I knew he didn’t feel good, so I didn’t give him a hard time, but it was weird to be so euphoric when he was being so flatline. Like I said, Kyle is usually the trooper, so I don’t have a lot of experience bucking him up. I tried to cheer him up a little, but after a bit I decided it would be easier to just let him be a lump and I devoured my breakfast and got ready for everyone to show up.


Mom showed up soon after breakfast was delivered and we rushed around the room trying to get everything together. In addition to gathering the wedding stuff, we knew that we needed to get everything ready for the bellmen, since we were checking out at eleven.

Our room was a mess and the stuff I needed for the wedding was all mixed in with things that I didn’t need, so it was very chaotic. Kyle was still sitting around being a lump and I started to get a little irritated. I know that sounds terrible since he was pretty sick, but I couldn’t get him to help us with anything and we were running out of time before the hair stylist arrived. I finally paused the DVD and demanded that he put his stuff into his suitcase...a demand that promptly bit me in the butt when he reached into his suitcase and sliced his finger open on his razor.

His ring finger. On his left hand.

Granted, it was an impressive slice and it was bleeding like there was no tomorrow…but honestly to hear Kyle go on about it, you would have thought that he had cut his finger off. He ran it under water and then looked at it and ran it under water and walked around clutching it and then asked me if I thought he needed stitches. I bit my tongue since I felt bad about making him slice open his finger when he already didn’t feel good, but I swear to God nobody in the world has ever been such a hypochondriac. We finally got him Neosporin-ed and bandaged up right before Anna called to tell us that she was waiting for us in the lobby. Kyle was supposed to go and get her, so I offered to go with him. He and I needed to have a chat.

On the way down to the lobby, I vented. I told him that he was killing my mood and wasn’t being helpful and that he either needed to suck it up or go away because he was making me cranky. Isn’t that just the sweetest thing you’ve ever heard anyone say on their wedding day? Honestly, with him sulking about his bandaged finger and me pouting about him not being cheerful enough, we were the perfect picture of a couple of kindergartners who needed a time out. By the time we got down there I’d apologized for pushing him to get all of his stuff together and he’d apologized for being cranky because he was tired and we were both over it, but it just goes to show that even the most perfect of days isn’t without its potholes.

We met Anna in the lobby and took her up to our room. The last time I’d had a run through with Anna I had been struck by how warm and friendly she is. To be honest, that’s not completely a compliment. It’s not really a bad thing either, it’s just…something you notice. Anna is warm and friendly in that way that hairdressers get sometimes when they don’t know you at all. She has lots of pet names for everyone and she says things like, “oh, that’s so you, baby doll” and “you’re lucky I love you so much”. I think that sort of stuff really works for some people…just, not for me. My favorite hairdresser in the world never said anything to me besides “What are we doing?” and “Ok, you’re done. You can pay up front.”


So we got Anna upstairs and got everything pushed off to one side and I sat down so that she could work on me. Kyle started getting into his tux and calling his groomsmen. He was actually a lot more cheerful when we went back up and whether he actually felt better or was just putting on to make me happy, I’ll never know, but either way it was really nice to see him joking and laughing. I dispatched Mom to fill out the place cards, which still hadn’t been done. I know, worst bride in the world. I had a general idea that I was just going to fold squares of cardstock, punch them with a Mickey hole punch, and write people’s names and table info on them, so I let mom do it. I think they turned out ok. They’re only place cards, after all.


After a while, Anna announced that my hair was finished and I could go look at it. My first clue that things were not well was that Mom looked at me and kind of cocked her head to side like "huh...that's...interesting..." It was actually good that I caught her expression because it prepared me for what I saw when I looked in the mirror. If I hadn't been prepared I might have...I don't know...I don't think I would have shrieked, but I probably would have yelped a little.

My hair was HUGE. Like HUGE HUGE HUGE. Priscilla-Presley-enters-a-children's-beauty-pageant HUGE. It was supposed to be pulled back and hanging down, but the pulled back part was literally about six inches tall and she had used little tiny curlers to turn my hair into the biggest pile of ringlets I've ever seen. I had been growing my hair out for the wedding for at least two years, so I had an unreasonable amount of hair anyway. The combination of lots of hair with lots of curling resulted in a virtual pyramid of curls that started six inches above my head and then fanned out to a foot-wide blanket of solid ringlets. It was shocking.

I was not happy.

I wanted to be polite, though, which is hard when you're really stressed and not happy, so I bit my lip and said something about how it wasn't exactly how I pictured it. I explained that it was a little too big and she pointed out that the weight of everything would pull it down after a while, which was all fine and good except that the Roots were supposed to be showing up at any minute. I finally got her to comb out the top of it and put a part down the middle, which she was very opposed to but which made a big difference.


In the end, I started to feel better about it, but ultimately it wasn't what I wanted. Anna is a sweetheart, but I really should have followed my gut in August and gone with someone else.


Anna started in on my mom's hair and I got on the phone. None of my attendants had shown up and I was desperate to see them, especially Jed who has a knack for calming me down. He doesn't exactly say the right things, but he's really good at acting like a conduit for all of my stress so that it isn't building up or being directed at other people. I had told Kyle that I needed to see Jed and was trying to get a hold of everyone else, when I got a call that Kate, Michelle, Margi, and Neaner had arrived and were walking into the lobby. I love my girls!!! My happiness level went up at least 30% and I bounded out the door to collect my ladies...

02-16-2009, 02:28 PM
I know your hair isn't what you wanted, but it ended up looking beautiful!

Petals & Pixie Dust
02-16-2009, 03:50 PM
I take a study break for your journal posts! :surfweb:
I know what you mean about that hair stylist thing...I like it better when they don't talk! The view was beautiful!
Loved the placecards...I might have to steal that idea! Love it!

02-16-2009, 07:34 PM
I love your TR so far! I just spend the last 40 minutes reading it all! Your pics are gorgeous. Can't wait to read more!

02-17-2009, 05:20 AM
I know your hair isn't what you wanted, but it ended up looking beautiful!

I agree, but still wish you could have got what you wanted. I'm not having a hair trial and this is what I'm worried about too. Love that view by the way!

02-17-2009, 05:40 AM
Same - i wear make up every day- i always have, i have pretty bad skin that i have to cover up (i wish i didnt have to, but it makes me more confident), so i am scared of someone else doing my make up!

And my hair.. i hate having to tell someone they have done something wrong, and i wouldnt be able to face the hair stylist if she didnt do it right- i'd probably just nod and run and cry somewhere!!

I think your hair looked lovely toooo- you looked beautiful! That view of MK in the mist is amazing. More piccyssss!!!!!

02-17-2009, 12:48 PM
Wedding Day – Part Two

I went down to the lobby of the Grand Floridian with my veil and my Bride hoodie and my super-curly hair, fully realizing that I was one of those spectacles that people point out on their vacation. The man I rode down with in the elevator congratulated me, asked if it was my first marriage, and then told me that he had been married four times and each time he had a big wedding, only to regret it later. Thanks for sharing, dude. That information is just the kind of thing you want to hear on the morning of your wedding.

My girls were waiting by the main doors so I went in for a round of hugs and then swept them upstairs through all of our keycard-only, super-complicated elevators. They were all business, with makeup bags and hair tools in hand, ready to get to work. Unfortunately for them, I had to put them to work almost immediately. Marion had called up to the room to let us know that the reception area was open and ready to be decorated, which gave us just about an hour before we were supposed to be taking pictures down in the lobby. We have a funny video of me giving the bridesmaids a VERY detailed description of exactly what needed to happen on the tables. I would post it, but it makes me look like a super bridezilla. I actually wasn’t too worried, to be fair. I’m mainly friends with people who are very good at that sort of thing.

The girls called a bellman and took the decorations down to the ballrooms while Anna started in on my makeup. I was a little nervous about the makeup application since the hair thing hadn’t gone very well, but she did a really nice job.


The only thing that I wasn’t completely keen on was actually my own fault. When I did the trial in August, I told her that I wanted a sheer, pink, shimmery lipstick that was halfway between “girly” and “natural”. To her credit, she brought me exactly that and gave me a little tube of it to take home. I liked it, but then when I was a Weddingbee for about a minute last summer, they posted the pics from the trial and people totally nixed the lipstick color. One memorable comment implored me not to try to pull off the “Lindsay Lohan lips”. Needless to say, I’ve shied away from both pink and shiny ever since.


So, Neaner and I went shopping for wedding day lipstick a couple of months ago. We went to Sephora, which might have been a mistake because I was immediately overwhelmed, and I panicked until I found two colors. One was a color that was only slightly darker than my natural lip color and the other was a deep purple that was pretty striking when I put it on. I don’t wear striking lipstick ever, but Neaner was a huge fan so I bought them both. I took them both to Florida and when I tried them on for people the unanimous vote went to the darker one. So, that’s what I wore. I suppose it looked ok, but in all the photos that were taken before it wore off, I think I look a little garish. I probably just should have gone with the natural one.

As Anna was finishing up my makeup, the Roots showed up. It was nice that we were able to spend some time with them in August because seeing them on the wedding day was like seeing old friends. After the meet and greet they slipped into the background and took a lot of amazing shots of the room without getting in the way or bothering us at all.






Anna left (awkward I-love-you-girl goodbye hug) and the boys arrived (the boys being two of Kyle’s groomsmen and my three guys). I escaped with Jed to the balcony for a second so that he could siphon off some of the stress-energy and then I showed Nate how to send pictures to the blog via my cell phone. He took his role very seriously, which I thoroughly appreciated because there was no way I was going to be able to do it. I just wish he had been with me in Napa last weekend to photo blog that one!


The girls came back and ran around finishing their makeup. We were supposed to be in the lobby to take pictures around ten or ten thirty, so as the clock ticked closer to our eleven o’clock check out time, I got more and more anxious and there was something of a mad scramble to get all of our bags together and get them out the door (which unfortunately resulted in the misplacement of EVERYTHING…more on that later…) and we didn’t head out of the room until around 10:50.


Everyone really wanted me to be calm and happy and not have to do anything, but hands-off isn’t really my style, so I was pretty much ordering people around and being incredibly bossy. I apologized to my attendants later for being such a wedding dictator, but everyone seemed to take it in stride. I guess that’s the one day that you get a free pass to be really annoying and not have people hold it against you later. As we walked down to the lobby (with me leading the way, of course) it really started to sink in that my wedding prep time was over. Everything that hadn’t been finished – manicure, favors, gifts, emergency playlist, embroidered commemorative handkerchiefs – was never, ever going to happen. Our wedding had reached the come-as-you-are stage and whether we liked it or not, this was as good as it was going to get.


I admit that as I walked up to the large group of friends and family waiting for us in the lobby, and all of their happy faces turned to see the bride and groom, I sent up a short prayer. I try not to pray about things unless I really feel like they are serious matters, just in case I’m stealing time from people in war-ravaged nations, etc., but on my wedding day I just couldn’t help but think “Please, God, let us have a beautiful wedding where everyone is happy, everyone is healthy, and I don’t pop the seams on this stupid, giant dress. Amen.”

02-18-2009, 09:45 AM
Wedding Day – Part Three

It was weird, meeting everyone down in the lobby. I was coming off of an energy high, created by two solid hours of bossing people around and trying to get things done. The people in the lobby were coming off of waiting for the rest of us for thirty minutes, which meant a lot of sitting around and doing nothing. Adding into the general uneasiness of being formally dressed with nothing to do was the fact that a lot of the people waiting didn’t know each other since our two sides of the family hadn’t really had a chance to meet. So the group we walked into was pretty quiet and excited about the day in that shy way that middle school students are excited when they stand around in huddled groups during friday afternoon dances.

There were so many people to see that I didn’t know where to start. I hadn’t seen Kyle’s mom at all but I didn’t have any time to visit with her because I was worried about my dad. Dad gets nervous about life in general and he isn’t a huge fan of things that involve lots of social interaction. He also gets nervous about unfamiliar situations in which he’s in the spotlight, so the Father of the Bride role wasn’t sitting well with him. He seemed happy enough, waiting downstairs with his girlfriend, Chris, but he definitely had that tense smile that signals an undercurrent of unbelievable panic.


While I was saying hi to Dad, one of Marion’s assistants introduced herself. I hadn’t realized that Marion wouldn’t actually be in the lobby, but it wasn’t the end of the world. The only reason her absence was a problem was that the assistant who met us in the lobby was soooo unpleasant. She faced the wedding party with the same grim determination that is needed to face a really difficult and taxing situation. It’s funny, because I would absolutely love to join Disney’s team of wedding people and apparently this woman hates her job. She couldn’t even get the introduction out without showcasing her general irritation. What she said was, “Hello, I’m _____ and I’ll be helping with your photos” but it was said in the same tone a person would use when saying “I’ve been waiting in line for two hours at the DMV and they just told me that it will be another four.”

Ignoring Ms. Unpleasant, we got started in on the photos. We wanted a bunch of posed group pictures, so I tried to wrangle everyone together over by the grand staircase. The Roots don’t specialize in that kind of wedding photography. If you look at their portfolio, you really don’t see a whole lot of standard-issue group photos. They did a really nice job, but in the end I have to admit that the group photos aren’t my favorite of the day. There’s just no way to not look stiff and vaguely uncomfortable when you’re standing there like a Disney Park Character and different groups are gathering around you for their keepsake snapshot.





I have to take a sidestep here and just mention our flower girl, who was so incredibly good all day. Kaitlyn approached her role in the wedding with all the seriousness of Chief Justice Roberts swearing in the new President of the United States. During the rehearsal she asked very good questions and was completely focused and on the wedding day she kept her attention on what was going on and was right by my side to hold the bouquet, snap a picture, or trail along with Kyle and I. For a six year old in a fancy dress with an important role at a Disney wedding, I think she did remarkably well.




After we did posed shots with the family, we went outside for individual shots with each of our bridal attendants. Originally I thought we were going to do these after the ceremony, but we flew through taking those family pictures. I don’t know if it was the Roots, or our families, or the fact that I was still barking orders at everyone, but we had those portraits done in about twenty minutes. We flew through the individual portraits with the bridal attendants at the same speed. It was still a little uncomfortable because it was just us standing there while the person next to us was swapped out, but the fact that these were our best friends made the process a little bit more relaxed and silly.








While Kyle was doing pictures with his groomsmen, Jensey stole me away and took a couple of bridal portraits on the porch of the Floridian.





We actually hadn’t considered doing any separate pictures of just me or just Kyle, which I actually sort of regret now because I loved the ones that Jensey took of me and I would have liked some portraits of Kyle’s cute face by himself. Jensey made me look awesome (and thin!) although looking at a couple of the photos makes me giggle because behind the scenes I’m crouching on the porch of the hotel so that Jensey (who is at least a half foot shorter than I am) can get the shots.



After Kyle finished up with his groomsmen, we “released” everyone to go hang out for the next half hour before it was time to go to the chapel, since the chapel didn’t open until it was nearly time for the wedding. I felt bad that there was a space of time in which our families and attendants weren’t really doing anything, but there are worse places to kill a half hour than at the Grand Floridian. Plus, it was hard to feel too bad because Kyle and I now had plenty of time to sneak off with Nathan and Jensey (and Jed, official-wedding-dress-train-carrier-extraordinaire) to take some sweet wedding portraits…


02-19-2009, 09:36 AM
Wedding Day – Part Four

There are perks to being a Disney weddings groupie. One is that you get insider information. Another is that you get to share stories with other people who are in your same bridal boat. But one of the coolest is that you can walk around and recognize spots at WDW that played a significant role in someone else’s engagement or wedding day photos.

For me, one such spot is the fountain at the Grand Floridian. Because I internet stalk the Roots and their clients, I had seen many couples take beautiful pictures at this fountain, but I had never actually see the fountain. In my head, I couldn’t even place where the fountain was. So, when the first stop on our photographic tour of GF was the fountain, I was pretty thrilled. It was funny because when we got there, Jensey actually sort of apologized for the fact that we were taking pictures there, saying “I know we use this spot all the time, but I just love it.” Um, yeah, me too!!!






After we got a ton of pictures at the fountain, we made our way over to the beach. I had actually never walked on the beach at the GF and I have to report back on two things. One is that the beach isn’t the cleanest and is in fact pock marked with lots of piles of bird droppings. The second is that the beach is not that large and doesn’t have the greatest backgrounds. I was thinking that you could see the castle and all that, but you really can’t see much of anything from the beach. It’s too low and there’s that island behind it that isn’t particularly attractive. Adding into all this is the fact that we were on the beach right before noon, so it was really bright and the sun was pretty much overhead.



Therefore, when we got out there, I thought the beach photos were already a wash. Well, you know how I thought the engagement pics were a wash because we were all hot and sweaty and it was too crowded? The Roots worked their magic again!








After the beach, we headed over to the wedding chapel. It was sort of funny, because I could tell people didn’t know where to look when we were approaching. I guess it’s unusual for the bride to be wandering around with the guests before the wedding, since I’m supposed to be unveiled or whatever, but we just sauntered up and started chatting with everyone. We did get over to the dock to take a couple of pictures and managed to hit the “picture spot” behind the chapel, but those pictures aren’t my favorite. I think the fact that people were watching us take them kind of killed the sweetness that I feel from the other photos.





Random funny story: when we walked over from the dock to the picture spot, we were momentarily distracted by the fact that there were tons of little lizards running all through the big archway of a bush, making the whole thing shake and rustle. It was cool but it was also a little bit icky as I stood there and thought about those tiny lizards jumping out or falling down on us from above. When we got ourselves into position and turned around, Jensey and Nathan were nowhere to be found…or so we thought. We suddenly realized that they had each crept into the bushes on the sides of the walkway and were crouched down, shooting us from the shrubbery, while some of our wedding guests milled around and looked down at them from the sidewalk. I cannot for the life of me tell you how funny that was during that moment, but I was trying so hard not to laugh because I didn’t want to ruin the pictures. So all of those pictures with us in the picture spot just make me think about how I was standing there with my hand on my hip, pressing my tongue against the back of my teeth so that I wouldn’t burst out laughing.

I realize at this point, that I haven’t even mentioned our videographer. Oh yes, we had a videographer and his name was George and he was from Apex Media. This archway of greenery is not the first time that we saw George. No, George was waiting in the lobby when we walked down from our room and he was with us through family pictures and bridal attendant pictures and everything. So how come I never mentioned George before now? Well, it’s because George was completely unobtrusive. After quickly introducing himself, George slipped into the background and just filmed quietly. He didn’t get in anyone’s way, he didn’t ask anyone for a quick soundbite, he didn’t interfere by asking us to do anything special. He just slipped into the background…which was very awesome.


The reason George comes to mind now is that he actually filmed us while the Roots were taking our pictures, so I can prove to you that the Roots made us look a lot better than we actually looked. I apparently make a lot of faces and look peeved a lot of the time and laugh way too much and way too loudly. However, if you were to judge me simply on the photography, you would think that I was quite serious and demure and under control. Ha ha, fooled you!

Link to the video clip of us working with the Roots: http://vimeo.com/3281862

02-22-2009, 11:50 PM
Wedding Day – Part Five

When the portraits were done, Kyle, Jensey, Nathan, and I all sort of wandered away from each other. I started to head back over to the bride’s room so that I could catch up with my attendants (and see it for the first time!) when I noticed my dad out on the dock. I told you before about my dad’s general uneasiness with these sorts of things, so I figured his nerves were skyrocketing. He actually seemed to be holding up pretty well, so we took a spin around the dock in preparation for the father/daughter dance. It’s sort of funny, actually, how miserable he was about having to do the dance. He wanted to do it, but at the same time he was so incredibly nervous about it that I think he was ready to jump off the dock and swim away, alligators be damned!



Following the short waltz, I made my way over to the chapel where Kyle was chatting with people and then realized that we still hadn’t met our officiant, Rev. Knox. I found him in the chapel talking to one of Marion’s assistants and he was very warm and happy. He ushered us into a little room near the chapel so that we could go over the vows. I was so happy that he was there, and not Theresa, that I actually wasn’t harboring any negative feelings about the fact that he had missed our rehearsal. However, as we got started, we realized that he didn’t have our vows. You know, the vows that we had written out, divided into clear sections, and emailed to him in both DOC and PDF file format. All he had was a little piece of note paper with general directions on what he was supposed to say.

It was just…bleh.

At this point it was 11:50. The ceremony was supposed to start at noon and I hadn’t really spent much time with my attendants and still hadn’t been inside the bride’s room. I wanted to be tucked away, getting excited, giggling with my girls, instead of slowly going over vows and a ceremony that should have been taken care of weeks before. He didn’t know when he was supposed to say certain things, didn’t know the order people were coming in, didn’t know where everyone was sitting/standing, and at one point referred to us as “The Lanes”. The worst was that we got to some parts that we had taken out and he started to argue with us about taking them out, pointing out that they were very popular and moving. That’s great, dude. Use them in the next wedding.


The cherry on top was the fact that he asked us to pay him (we were supposed to pay at the rehearsal and forgot) and then when I had to send Kyle out to find whoever had my purse with my checkbook, he had the nerve to point out that if he didn’t get paid he wasn’t going to do the ceremony. From where I stand, if you didn’t show up at the rehearsal to collect payment, you don’t have a leg to stand on when making snide remarks about a couple trying to get out of paying you.

Once he was paid and dealt with, I finally made it over to the Bride’s Room. It was pretty, but smaller than I thought it was going to be. The girls and boys on my side had split up, so I didn’t actually see Nate or Jed that much right before the wedding. My ladies were in high spirits, though, and we had a good time giggling and laughing and playing around.





Then, before I knew it, it was noon. I can’t even tell you how weird that realization was. Marion had appeared and was there to let my mom know it was time to go and then she took my attendants, lined them up, and swept them away. It was 12:03 according to the clock in the Bride’s Room and I was all by myself. That thing happened where you aren’t really nervous about something and then all of a sudden you break out into a cold sweat and your fingers feel like they have ice water running down into them.


Marion came back to check on me and I had her get my dad, who was sitting outside on a bench, looking a little miserable. Between dad’s discomfort at being in the spotlight and my sudden and immediate feeling of oh-my-god-I’m-not-ready, I think we were both ready to hail a cab. In fact, my dad actually offered as we made our way from the bride’s room to the chapel doors…

“Are you ready for this? Or should I go get a cab?”
“Shut up. I think I’m going to pass out.”
“I told you to just elope. Now look at us.”
“Oh God, I think I’m losing feeling in my fingers and toes.”
“If you pass out, I’m catching a cab.”
“Shut up. Enh…I’m going to puke.”
“Good luck puking in that dress. That will make this better…you walking into the room with puke all over the front of you. If we do that, I won’t have to worry about anyone looking at me.”

And that’s the piece of wisdom that my father passed to me right before the doors opened and we walked into the chapel.


02-23-2009, 01:53 AM
Awww, haha, Carly you write so well!

I hope it all was fine and puke free once the doors opened!

Sorry Rev. Knox wasn't the best. Hope he pulled it out the bag for the actual ceremony!

Your photos are just gorgeous!!

02-23-2009, 08:32 AM
I am supposed to be teaching and instead I am reading your wedding day!
I loved your hair, even though it wasnt what you wanted you looked stunning...
I also think your lipgloss was great...what was the color? I am searching myself...

Keep it comming! Ilove the details!

02-23-2009, 09:42 AM
Maybe I'm wrong, but I thought that with ministers, you paid them with a donation and it was more of a gift thing, but does this guy have like a set rate? That seems strange to me...Or am I totally off here?

02-23-2009, 01:22 PM
I am so loving your Wedding Journal Carly! Your pics and quips are priceless...and I have to say, you look rather "aggravated" talking with Rev. Knox. :rotfl: That's the last thing you need to deal with at the last minute!

I'm so glad you made it down the isle okay...at least I'm assuming so, we haven't gotten to that part yet!!

More, more!!

02-23-2009, 01:30 PM

I would have totally FREAKED in that situation with Rev. Knox! :furious: Completely unprofessional from beginning to end. I must say that even though you look a little peeved, you seemed to take it in much better stride than I would have.

Btw, your pictures are gorgeous! I love the work of Root Photography...but, then again, they had a lot to work with in your case!! :thumbsup2



02-23-2009, 07:36 PM
I'm loving your report!
Man that Reverend Knox makes me mad! But what can you do when it's your wedding day right?
Your pictures are fabulous :love:

02-23-2009, 07:54 PM
Your pictures look fantastic!
That is really awful of Rev. Knox!! Glad to see that it didn't ruin your spirit!

And sorry about your hair, I think we both had similar problems working out what we really wanted and what we got for the hair! BUT I love how yours turned out. Mine would never hold such a pretty curl for more than 5 minutes!

Great pictures! The roots did an awesome job!

02-23-2009, 10:44 PM

Whomever this baby belongs to needs to blow up this picture, frame, and display it right now. One of the best pics I've seen on these boards.

02-23-2009, 10:50 PM
Thanks everyone!!! :goodvibes

Maybe I'm wrong, but I thought that with ministers, you paid them with a donation and it was more of a gift thing, but does this guy have like a set rate? That seems strange to me...Or am I totally off here?

I think it's more of a donation thing when you have a church and you're asking an officiant you know to do it. Rev. Knox seems to just do this kind of thing all the time...I don't actually think he has a congregation? He was $300...which is about $250 too much, if you ask me! (don't worry, he pulled it together for the ceremony...mostly...)

02-24-2009, 08:20 AM
I think it's more of a donation thing when you have a church and you're asking an officiant you know to do it. Rev. Knox seems to just do this kind of thing all the time...I don't actually think he has a congregation? He was $300...which is about $250 too much, if you ask me! (don't worry, he pulled it together for the ceremony...mostly...)


02-24-2009, 10:02 AM
Wedding Day - Part Six


























02-24-2009, 10:03 AM



02-24-2009, 11:13 AM
Aww - all awesome photos!

Can't wait for the ones with you in!! :)

02-24-2009, 11:54 AM
oo i love your TR so far i cant believe the trouble you had with your REV. I cant wait for the rest and the view from your window on the morning of your wedding is breath taking

02-24-2009, 02:00 PM
great pics!! Cant wait for the recap of the ceremony, did Rev Knox pull it together and act like an adult finally?

02-25-2009, 02:42 PM
He did...almost. (can't give away the end or I'd spoil it! you'll just have to stay tuned...) ;)

Wedding Day – Part Seven


The one thing that everyone said to me before I got married was that I wasn’t going to remember my wedding day. “It just whirls by! It will be over before you know it!” In one sense, this was true. Our wedding was a rush of happy faces and things to do and congratulations and lots and lots of pictures. When it was all done, I think I literally had to stop and catch my breath. But, in another sense, because I was trying so hard to take it all in, I remember more details about that day than I do any other day in my life…and, like a bad Lifetime movie, at least half of those memories are in slow-mo.

Walking down the aisle was one of them. Marion and her assistant opened the doors and it was completely and utterly bizarre to see everyone standing there waiting for me, including Kyle at the front of the chapel, . I remember when Craig and Kristen got married and I saw her walk down the aisle for the first time. It was actually at their rehearsal, and not their wedding, so she was walking down the aisle with a big bouquet of ribbons gathered at her bridal shower and we were all standing around in jeans, watching her. As she practiced going down the aisle, I distinctly remember tearing up and being embarrassed about it because I barely even knew them. A couple summers after that, when Justin and Jenna got married, she and her dad had the whole audience going when they both cried as they walked down the aisle. So, I was actually prepared to get a little watery-eyed on the walk.


Oddly enough, I don’t think I’ve ever been more dry-eyed and calm. It's funny, because I was in a complete panic right before the doors opened, but when they opened I suddenly felt very focused and clear. I can honestly say that it was the most relaxed I had been all day. I wish I could say the same for dad, who approached walking down the aisle with the idea that the faster we got there, the faster he could sit down. We booked it about a fourth of the way until I dug my heels in and made him walk more slowly. As we walked, I looked at all the little piles of flowers that Kaitlyn had dropped, at all the people watching me through the digital screens on their cameras, and at Kyle who looked exactly as calm as I felt...and then the calm went away again.

I’ve heard brides say that locking eyes with their groom while walking down the aisle was the single most important part of their wedding…that at that second they could see all the happiness and love that the couple has between them…that their entire life had been leading up to that moment. That didn't happen to me. I actually sort of wanted to lock eyes with Kyle (beautiful, tear-filled bride eyes) and realize that everything in life was absolutely perfect...but instead I looked into his eyes and started to feel ridiculously ecstatic to the point of being out of control. I just kept thinking to myself "Girl, you have got to calm down. You are a half step away from squealing with glee and that's going to be very very inappropriate right now."


I am a little disappointed that I wasn't all tears-of-love coming down the aisle, but one of the nicer things I remember about the whole ceremony is having my father put my hand in Kyle's, because as soon as we were holding hands, I felt complete relief. If I could have, I would have turned to him and said, "Friend, it's a good thing you're here because I was about 30 seconds away from freaking out just now. Ok, let's do this..."





02-25-2009, 02:50 PM
Carly that is so beautiful! You have me in tears now! :)

I love you photos and yours and kyles faces say it all.

I think its wonderful you felt so ecstatic to see Kyle, i'm going to be a blubbering mess (seeing as I couldnt read your pst without crying!) and can only wish I'll be as calm and composed and beautiful as you!!

Wonderful photos again too!! :)

02-25-2009, 06:12 PM
i completly agree with your comment about remembering parts of the day. and most being in slo mo. most of my memories were that same but i think they are the best memories and i hope you can keep them always!!

02-25-2009, 06:25 PM
I actually sort of wanted to lock eyes with Kyle (beautiful, tear-filled bride eyes) and realize that everything in life was absolutely perfect...but instead I looked into his eyes and started to feel ridiculously ecstatic to the point of being out of control. I just kept thinking to myself "Girl, you have got to calm down. You are a half step away from squealing with glee and that's going to be very very inappropriate right now."

I love it!! One of my biggest fears is laughing during my vows. Some people cry, shake, whatever, when they are mega-nervous, scared, or upset....I laugh. (I refuse to go to funerals!)

You looked beautiful, and "appropriately" in love. :lovestruc :rotfl:

02-25-2009, 06:48 PM
I love it!! One of my biggest fears is laughing during my vows. Some people cry, shake, whatever, when they are mega-nervous, scared, or upset....I laugh. (I refuse to go to funerals!)

I laugh at funerals too! It's horrifying...

02-25-2009, 11:08 PM
I laugh at funerals too! It's horrifying...

Me too!!! I laugh at everything and it is horrifying....

I hadn't even thought about this and now I am worried about doing this during my ceremony :scared1:

Your pics are gorgeous and I am throughly enjoying this TR!

02-26-2009, 12:32 AM
laugh at funerals too! It's horrifying...

Me too!!! I laugh at everything and it is horrifying....I hadn't even thought about this and now I am worried about doing this during my ceremony

Listen to us! We'd be a hoot at a funeral together! :rotfl: We'd get a lot of this :sad2:

Seriously though, Carley, I don't see anything wrong with squeeling with glee...it shows your spontanious and honest.

02-26-2009, 12:37 PM
Wedding Day - Our Ceremony





Dearly beloved, we are gathered here in the sight of God and in the presence of these witnesses, to join together Kyle and Carly in holy matrimony; this is an honorable estate, instituted by God. It is therefore not to be entered into unadvisedly, but reverently, discreetly, and with the approval of God. It is into this holy estate these two persons come now to be joined.


I require and charge you both, as you stand in the presence of God, before whom the secrets of all hearts are disclosed, that, having duly considered the holy covenant you are about to make, you do now declare before this company your pledge of faith, each to the other. Be well assured that if these solemn vows are kept, as God’s Word demands, and if steadfastly you endeavor to do the will of your heavenly Father, God will bless your marriage, will grant you fulfillment in it, and will establish your home in peace.

Do you, Kyle, knowing of this woman’s love for you and returning it, realizing her strengths and learning from them, recognizing her weaknesses and accepting them, take Carly, to be your lawfully wedded wife?

I do.


Do you, Carly, knowing of this man’s love for you and returning it, realizing his strengths and learning from them, recognizing his weaknesses and accepting them, take Kyle, to be your lawfully wedded husband?

I do.

Would the parents of the couple please stand?


Kyle and Carly have asked me to publicly express their love and appreciation to you, their parents, for all the love and guidance you have given them. It is through you, they have learned the meaning of the words “respect,” love” and “honor”. These gifts that you have bestowed upon them - they will now come to share and exchange with each other. It is a tribute to you that they now stand here before us. For your support that has brought them this far in their lives they say thank you...and I say thank you.


Carly and Kyle, you are now taking into your care and keeping the happiness of the one person you love the most. You are agreeing to share strengths, responsibilities, and love. As husband and wife you will be each other’s best friend, confidant, lover, teacher, listener and protector. As your relationship grows it will deepen and enrich every facet of your life. Your happiness is fuller, your memories fresher, and your commitments will be stronger.


You will indeed experience marriage to be one of life’s greatest commitments, one of life’s greatest blessings, but also one of life’s greatest challenges. So, be mindful of this; every effort to preserve love with one another by demonstrating patience, by holding each other gently, and by lifting each other up, will go a long, long way in guaranteeing a wonderful and happy life together.


I, Kyle, take you, Carly, to be my wedded wife, to have and to hold from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, as long as we both shall live, this is my promise to you.


I, Carly, take you, Kyle, to be my wedded husband, to have and to hold from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, as long as we both shall live, this is my promise to you.


May I have the rings?


May God bless these rings and the two of you who wear them. May you always abide in His peace and continue in His favor. Amen


With this ring I thee wed
So the world may know my love for you
I pledge to honor you with all that I have
And all that I will become.


Kyle and Carly have asked me to share the traditional Apache Wedding Blessing.


"Now you will feel no rain, for each of you will be shelter for the other. Now you will feel no cold, for each of you will be warmth to the other. Now there will be no loneliness, for each of you will be companion to the other. Now you are two persons, but there is only one life before you. May beauty surround you both in the journey ahead and through all the years. May happiness be your companion and your days together be good and long upon the earth."

Heavenly Father, Thank you for Carly and Kyle as they begin this, their journey through life together. Walk with them each step of the way giving them the faith, and the wisdom, to face together whatever the future may hold. In your name we pray, Amen.


Forasmuch as Kyle and Carly have consented together in holy wedlock, and have witnessed the same before God and this company, and thereto have pledged their faith each to the other, and have declared the same by joining hands and by giving and receiving rings, I pronounce that they are husband and wife together, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Those whom God hath joined together, let not man put asunder. Amen.

You may kiss your beautiful bride.


Ladies and Gentlemen, it is with the greatest of pleasure I present to you for the very first time, as husband and wife, Mr. and Mrs. Morgan.




02-26-2009, 03:04 PM
Awww, I'm crying again!! :)

02-26-2009, 03:22 PM
awesome update, beautiful ceremony Carly.:goodvibes You both look so happy and relaxed...

02-26-2009, 05:58 PM
Beautiful! Thank you for sharing your vows with us!

02-26-2009, 06:10 PM
Awww, I'm crying again!! :)

Me too!! BAH!! :sad1: +:banana: = (happy tears!!)

03-01-2009, 06:31 PM

03-03-2009, 10:27 AM
Wedding Day - Part 8


My memory of the thirty seconds directly following the ceremony is incredibly choppy…I don’t remember if people clapped as we exited the chapel. I suppose they must have, since they all had to stand up. It would be weird if we just ran down between a punch of people who were standing around, looking at us. I think there were also fake bells being played, even though Kyle didn’t hear them, because you can hear them on the video. What I do remember is Marion opening the doors for us and then telling us to go into the bridal room across from the chapel. We ducked into the tiny little salon and were silent for about five seconds before there was a complete explosion of talking…

“Oh my GOD, how weird was that?”
“So weird, so weird…did you even see my face?
“Did you even see my eye? It was twitching like crazy!”
“I can’t even believe that, that was so weird.”
“It just started twitching and I was, like, glad it’s on this side and not the other because of all the pictures.”
“I don’t even know if he said everything. Did he say everything?”
“I think so, but it felt like everything was out of order. Do we both still have our rings?”
“I’ve got mine.”
“Mine, too. Oh, did you see that seagull? It was freaking out!”
“No, but did you see our parents? I thought everyone was going to cry and I was, like, we totally should have gotten those little packets of Kleenex.”
“There wasn’t time to cry.”
“Do you think anyone is crying now?”
“Oh, like, because it just caught up to them?”

The door burst open suddenly and Marion popped her head in. She smiled at us and told us that they were lining everyone up outside…and then she said, “So have your special moment” in her cute little Scottish accent and then she was gone.

Kyle and I looked at each other. It had just dawned on us that we were supposed to be having an amazingly romantic moment, instead of a caffeine-fueled friendly chat. There was a little bit of silence while we both tried to think of something to say. Finally, Kyle smiled and…

Marion came back in and ushered us out into the rows and rows of bubble-wielding wedding guests. It’s bugged me ever since! I have no idea what Kyle was about to say, but I have the feeling that it would have been sweet and wonderful...


03-03-2009, 10:44 AM
Carly, what wonderful updates! once again, everything looked gorgeous (especially the bride of course)! Congrats again!

03-03-2009, 10:57 AM
I was laughing my socks off at your little chat and the way you explained it .... so funny

03-03-2009, 11:49 AM
awww So I am crying now sitting at my desk... what beautiful pictures, how exciting! Dd you ask him what he was going to say?? I want to know! lol

03-03-2009, 04:58 PM
I want to know too! He says he doesn't remember...:mad:

03-03-2009, 05:20 PM
I want to know what he was gonna say too! This is like getting into a really good show only to have the network cancel it on you, never to find out the ending....

Yes, I am throughly sucked into your TR...:thumbsup2

03-03-2009, 08:36 PM
Oh my gosh, i got so far behind on your TR. 30 minutes later and several tears (yes I'm a crier) I have finally caught up. Everything looks beautiful so far. I love your TR, lots of pictures and you're an awesome writer! I'm ready for more!!!

03-04-2009, 11:55 AM
Wedding Day – Part Ten

Our staged exit from the wedding pavilion was well-planned out. I had given Marion and all of her assistants detailed instructions on what was to happen. I even sent Nathan and Jensey a little blurb about how the exit was to go down. That’s how into this exit I was.

The game plan:
1. Everyone lines up outside.
2. We come down the walkway amidst a shower of well wishes.
3. We lead the whole wedding party to the beach in a happy procession.
4. We get a big group picture on the beach with the castle in the background.

How awesome does that sound? Yes, well, like many things that I planned out, the exit probably needed to be a bit more thought through…

Problem Number One:

Bubbles. I really didn’t think the bubbles through. See, a few weeks before we went down to Florida, it occurred to me that “come down the walkway amidst a shower of well wishes” needed to be a little more concrete. Were people going to clap? Were they going to throw rice? Wave ribbon? Release butterflies? I was at a total loss…everything seemed both cheesy and overpriced. Then, in a stroke of luck, I found a box of 50 bottles of wedding bubbles on clearance at Michael’s Arts and Crafts for only $2.50. It’s true that they had little plastic butterflies on the top, which I wasn’t overly thrilled with, but I figured most people weren’t going to notice what was on top anyway and if I bought them I wouldn’t have to think about them again. Done and done.

Well, I should have thought about them harder.


As Kyle and I walked out of the bridal suite, we could see all of our guests lined up on the pathway leaving the pavilion. For those of you who haven’t been there, the path is pretty long. It’s actually a long bridge and then a long sidewalk, so Kyle and I had a bit of ground to cover before we got to anyone. It was sort of odd, because I feel like we should have been running or something, but we just walked hand in hand toward everyone, stopping underneath the wedding archway to steal a kiss. (awwww)


As we moved into the crowd, I felt a ton of love and happiness surrounding us. And then I felt something else. Bubbles. Millions of really, really cheap bubbles.


The bubbles might have been on clearance for a reason, because they were the stickiest, slimiest bubbles I’ve ever come in contact with. The bubble-blowing increased in intensity as we were enveloped by a throng of well-wishers. The only thing slightly worse than having a bucket of gooey bubbles dumped on you is when the bubbles are interspersed with the spray of someone who is overenthusiastic about the bubble-blowing and therefore is simply blowing the syrup at full force right through the butterfly-shaped hole in their bubble-blowing wand.


As we reached the halfway point, we started to really come unglued. Kyle grabbed my hand and I tried to duck behind him for cover. In the wedding video, you can actually hear Kyle say, “Enh, this is unpleasant!” while I simply utter a high pitched whine. We made our way quickly to the end of the pathway as our guests blissfully continued to shower us with soap, where I paused to silently reevaluate my love of clearance items.


Problem Number Two:

Despite being slightly sticky, we were still surfing the we-just-got-married-high as we moved away from the wedding pavilion. The weather was gorgeous, our guests were in high spirits, and it was almost time to party. My high quickly dissipated, however, when I realized that everyone was following us and we had only the vaguest of ideas as to where we were going.

Either Nathan or Jensey had said something to me about how you couldn’t really see the castle from the beach and we’d have to do the group picture somewhere else, but I admit that I wasn’t really listening…I know, I’m a bad bride. I was very much in the que syrah syrah mindset while we were taking pictures. You know, getting zen and all. I wasn’t really thinking about silly things like “details” and “gameplan”.


So as Kyle and I started to lead our procession of 60, we both realized that we didn’t know exactly where we were going. In my head, the pavilion was surrounded by a beach that was easily accessible from the walkway. In reality, the beach is removed from the walkway by large, rolling, grassy hills. Kyle was not worried about this, because his job for the day was done. Marriage? Done. Wedding celebration details? Wife. I, on the other hand, started to panic. I knew that everyone would follow us for as long as we walked, but at some point we were going to have to stop and take a group picture. I racked my brain for whatever it was that the Roots had suggested and came up totally empty. So I stopped and went right.




Yes, I made all of my wedding guests climb those grassy hills to get to the beach, including the four guests who were in wheelchairs. Off we went like the Von Trapp family, holding each other up, struggling to make it to the other side…and we were successful!



However, success only meant that we were on the beach, not that we had made it to any recognizable, designated Kodak Picture Spot. The Roots were right about not being able to see the castle from the beach. In fact, there isn’t a lot you can see at that beach, except for trees and more beach. With the sun directly overhead us and the fact that everyone was walking around in sand wearing their dress shoes, it was sort of a bust. But, we had made the climb, so we got the pictures.



I actually love the pictures, even if we’re shadowed and tiny in them. The best thing about them is that there are two different backgrounds, even though the group didn’t move. I don’t know how they did it. Photographer magic. So, I suppose the photos were worth all the trouble of getting everyone on (and off) of that beach, but if I was to do it again, I’d probably pick a better spot…

03-04-2009, 12:10 PM
Ok, I had that exact box of bubbles in my hand on Saturday and put them back at the last minute thinking "do I really want people blowing soap on me?" Sorry you got covered in soap on your wedding day... your pics came out incredible though, gotta love a good group shot!

03-04-2009, 12:29 PM
Love the group photos!! Shame the bubbles were slimy but they sure looked good in the pictures! :)

03-05-2009, 02:57 PM
Wedding Day - Part Eleven


After the group picture, the vast majority of the people headed over to the Whitehall room at the Grand Floridian to enjoy the pre-reception cocktail hour. The wedding party stayed behind to do our pictures, which somehow ended up being just a giant line of people in black standing around on the beach.


Since there were 17 of us (18 counting the baby), it was about as hard to direct everyone as it was to direct the giant group...



...so we split the party down the middle, with me taking my people off to the side to get photos and Kyle keeping his people to take photos…a process that included all of my people scaring the birds off of the beach…









I love the photos that I took with my people, but Kyle’s photos came out a little bit awkward. Honestly, my husband is awkward and uncomfortable about 25% of the time, but I think it’s adorable. It just doesn’t photograph that well…





After we got our pictures finished, we headed back over the grassy hills to make our way towards the Grand Floridian. Some of my dad’s family, who I hadn’t had time to catch up with, were waiting around for us, so it was nice to sneak in a few overdue hugs.



We all made our way to the GF, with Kaitlyn and I leading the procession…



03-05-2009, 05:52 PM
That is why I decided against bubbles. I was always scared they would ruin my dress. And I definately don't want to be covered in soap. And have you ever had it blown in your eye??....OUCH!

I love your group shots! How fun!

03-05-2009, 08:53 PM
Carly, you've done me a great service! I'm going for rose petals after hearing what you said about bubbles. I too am a clearance queen, and my bubbles were on the cheap! Thanks for the info. I'm sorry you had to suffer, but the pictures are awesome! :goodvibes

Pirate's Princess
03-05-2009, 10:59 PM
So I was so intrigued by your writing style, and awesome memory, I've stayed up to almost midnight and I have to be at 5:30 tomorrow. You look gorgeous!! I love it and I'm subscribing! I'm glad no one got "too" sick before the wedding. I love how you guys did the "nontraditional" Don't see the bride before the wedding bit. I don't want to spend the night before my wedding with my honey. (Although he'll probably pick this to be the one traditional thing he does :-D )

Can't wait for more!!!

03-06-2009, 08:38 AM
Carly, I just found your TR like two days ago, and I've been hooked ever since! You have such beautiful pictures, and I love the way you tell the story of such fun and exciting events! It looks like your families had a blast at WDW. Sorry that Kyle got sick early in the trip, I hope that he felt much better quickly. I look forward to the next installments! And congratulations on your marriage! :yay:

03-09-2009, 11:01 AM
Thanks!!! :goodvibes

Wedding Day - Part Twelve


When we got back to the Floridian, everyone else took off for the pre-reception while Kyle and I stayed behind with the photographers and videographer to get some more shots around the resort. While our photographers were changing lenses, etc., Kyle and I made the mistake of sitting down and realized that we were exhausted.


The veil had come off and the bouquet had been thrown to the ground about 20 times by that point...and honestly if we had had the option of changing into t-shirts and jeans, our reception photos might have been very different. Everyone was nice enough to give us a second to collect ourselves, which was handy because as we relaxed we realized that we had forgotten to tell Kyle's Aunt Evelyn that we wanted her to give a blessing. Oops! Thank heavens she had her cell phone on her...




I'd had this vision of one particular shot that I really wanted: me on the grand staircase with my dress going down the stairs. It's actually kind of a hokey shot, when you think about it, because it just screams for that "fuzzy" treatment they give mall glamour shots, but I really wanted a picture that would let me remember my dress. Honestly, now that I've seen the photos, I would have been fine with the chapel pictures, since you can see my dress very well, but I still think these are sort of fun.



After the shots on the staircase, we snuck over to another staircase that's just off the lobby. I actually couldn't tell you exactly where it is, because I'd never been there before, but it had really nice light.







We took a couple more in the lobby...


...and went outside after that to get some pictures right by the water, underneath where our room had been the night before. Kyle really wanted these shots with the castle in the background, but they aren't my favorite...mainly because I had started to wiggle out of my dress a bit and I had that annoying strapless bulge going on. We did get a couple of sweet ones, though.



The last of the outdoor shots was taken near some hedges that I believe conceal the trash area? I thought it was a weird place to snag some shots, but I love these. We blew one of them up and have it hanging in our hallway.



Photos, photos, everywhere, but not a drop to drink...so off we went to the pre-reception, the open bar, and happy crowd that was waiting for us...


03-09-2009, 11:23 AM
Carly, all your pics came out so beautiful! You were such a beautiful bride! I don't think the pics of Kyle and his peeps are awkward at all! I think they look very nice! :goodvibes

03-10-2009, 11:13 AM
Wedding Day - Part Thirteen


In the 20 or so minutes that Kyle and I were getting our post-ceremony portraits done with Nathan and Jensey, we really had a chance to catch our breath and touch base with each other. Kyle was holding up, but he was kind of flushed (he was still pretty sick, remember!) and he probably needed a nap. I had been manic all morning, so I was actually feeling a bit under the weather myself and I felt like I was coming down from an intense high. We actually talked about taking a little bit more time before going into the pre-reception, but I was really concerned about people being bored while they waited for us to get back. I've been stuck at weddings in the in-between part where the bride and groom are nowhere to be found and there's nothing to do but chat with people and drink...and honestly, it sucks. So, we headed straight to the Whitehall Room...

We were actually intercepted by Marion and her assistant on the way in and they took us over to the ballrooms so that we could get a sneak peek at the reception. Let me just say...wow.






My attendants had done an amazing job with the centerpieces and the place just looked stunning. Literally stunning. It's amazing what having most of the lights off will do, especially with that castle illuminated on the wall and all those candles lit up. I had actually heard that my attendants had had some sort of problem with the table arrangement and the fire codes for the room. (I'm not exactly sure what happened, but I believe it stemmed from me threatening their lives if the tables weren't exactly as I had drawn them in the seating chart.) I'm not sure how it all get resolved, but the room looked perfect...and if you'll notice, we had chair covers! No, we didn't pay for them. Marion said that another wedding had had them and they had left them behind, so we got them for free. Yay! (Thank you, other wedding!!!!)


We also had a chance to meet the DJ, JR Silva, who we had heard great things about but whom we had not met. He seemed nice enough (ok, overenthusiastic people tend to freak me out, but that's a me thing) and we were able to practice walking in and starting our first dance right at our entrance. While we were dancing, Nathan and Jensey were sneaking around the room, grabbing shots of the food.








After seeing the room, I felt really relieved. I had been so worried that the centerpieces weren't enough, that things wouldn't be set up right, that the lighting would look cheap, that the dance floor would be too big, that we should have done more with decor...but our room was perfect. All of those different decorations that Disney offers are totally unnecessary if you ask me. All the room needed was just a little bit of pixie dust...


03-10-2009, 11:45 AM
Wow Carly! I love your little centre piece trees! Really stunning! Everything looked wonderful.

Food is making me hungry too! :teeth:

03-10-2009, 01:14 PM
Thanks! It's making me hungry as well...those desserts were to die for!

03-10-2009, 03:32 PM

I have read your whole wedding TR so far and you are amazing. I love the way you write. I feel like I was there witnessing the whole ceremony!

The Roots photos are breathtaking. Now if I could only come up with the money to fly them to MA for my wedding!

Keep up the great work, I love reading this! :goodvibes

Pirate's Princess
03-10-2009, 04:04 PM
I love the crystals and candles as the centerpieces, along with the tree. Where did you get the crystals?

PS I love the food Porn!

03-10-2009, 07:46 PM
Thanks! :goodvibes

I love the crystals and candles as the centerpieces, along with the tree. Where did you get the crystals?

I got the crystals at a store called The Flower Factory and they were really cheap. We used them again at both of our home receptions. I know you can get them on eBay as well in a bunch of colors. (That's where ours is going when I get organized!) Just search for "diamond confetti"...

03-11-2009, 04:07 PM


Walking in to the pre-reception was totally weird.

Everyone clapped and smiled, but then they were all quiet, staring at us. So, rather than say something profound or kiss my husband or do anything of that sort, I made a sharp right to the bar and ordered a white wine (white dress and all).




Kyle got a beer and then wandered off somewhere so I kind of walked around the tables and said hi to people. Everyone seemed to be waiting for me to do something...after I said hi, they would all say "hi" and "congratulations" and then just sit there and beam at me. I should have taken in some card tricks or something.


People were sitting around the tables inside the Whitehall room and standing around on the patio, enjoying the weather. I noticed that there were red roses in white vases on each of the tables. I guess that Disney provides those for the lame brides who don't order flowers or provide decorations...


As I moved from group to group, people said that I looked beautiful and all that, but I just couldn't think of anything to say other than "thank you" and "having a good time?" I finally switched over to "Did you enjoy the ceremony?" which, when you think about it, is still kind of a dumb question. I mean, what are they going to say? "No, your ceremony was awful. Worst two minutes of my life."






People did say that they really enjoyed how short it was. Then, almost everyone followed that up with, "Hey, I saw your preacher take off like he was on fire after the thing. Do you know where he was going in such a hurry?" Running out of the wedding pavilion as soon as our backs were turned...that's a nice move, Rev. Knox. Way to leave a cherry on top of what was already an impressive failure to earn that $300.

I'll admit, after I hit most of the tables, I took refuge in the bridal party. I had told myself to make sure that I was social with everyone for an equal amount of time, but the silent smiling and repetitive conversation was freaking me out and the bridal party was pretty much over me (open bar, etc.) so when I walked up, they had no problem pretending that I wasn't standing there in a white dress on my wedding day. In fact, I'm pretty sure they were knee-deep in an alcohol-fueled debate, but I can't remember what the topic was.




As I walked around and talked to people, our flower girl stayed pretty glued to my side. She had sprung up like a daisy almost as soon as we walked in and was following me from table to table, eventually swinging my arm around and trying to get some attention. As she yanked on me so hard that I almost fell over, I realized that I hadn't actually paid that much attention to her all day. Yes, she had been there for most of the picture taking and the preparation, but really she had just been following us around, holding things for us and bossing other people to help us out. We hadn't actually been interacting with her. I think it was at this moment that I realized just how well-behaved she had really been all morning, so I took her out on the patio for a little one-on-one time with my new niece.


So there we were, sitting on the ledge, her with her white shoes and me with my white wine. I was asking her about her new kitty, when I realized that about thirty people were taking our picture. This will probably be my only taste of what being a celebrity must feel like. Kaitlyn and I were staring at each other, trying not to notice all the flashbulbs going off, and she was very carefully telling me a ton of random facts about her new kitten...all of which were stated in a loud, clear voice that was obviously intended to let everyone know that no camera on earth was going to interrupt our conversation.

My dad, however, proved more formidable than mere camera flashes and we weren't outside very long before he came over to chat with us. Being a lady, Kaitlyn graciously allowed him to step in on our conversation, although she compensated not having my full attention by climbing up into my lap. Dad had unwound a little bit, now that the ceremony was over. He was still complaining about the father-daughter dance, but at least he didn't look like he was about to bolt from Disney property.


Kyle wandered over while we were chatting and we were snagged by people who wanted to make sure they got pictures with us. I was actually really grateful whenever people grabbed me, because I was having a terrible time keeping track of who I had and hadn't said hello to.


While we were getting photographed, Marion's assistant started moving people from the pre-reception to the reception. It's funny, but I actually saw both Kyle and my father's stress levels go up about ten notches. I'm starting to think that those required wedding reception dances were designed solely to make all men involved feel truly miserable.

It took a little bit of maneuvering to get everyone from point A to point B, but eventually they all made it. We walked behind everyone, slowing down so that we could make our "grand entrance". Marion's assistant actually pointed out that we weren't supposed to go to the pre-reception. We were supposed to stay hidden somewhere and then reappear magically at the reception. Kyle and I, drinks in hand, walking ten feet behind our guests, were apparently not following the DFTW protocol for magical entrances. Oops...and now we know...

As the last of the guests filed into the ballroom, they closed the doors and motioned for us to come up for our big entrance. It was actually pretty silly, since we'd just seen everyone and been chatting with them, but the fact that Marion and her people were making such a thing about our entrance to the reception kind of those butterflies of excitement going for me. I will say this...Disney does a really good job of making you constantly feel like something wonderful is about to happen. Out in the hallway, we heard the DJ asking everyone if they were ready to celebrate with us and we heard our guests clap and whistle and make general joyful noise as Marion and her assistants swept open the doors for our grand entrance...

03-11-2009, 11:58 PM
I'm loving your updates Carly! I almost don't want it to end :thumbsup2

03-12-2009, 10:17 AM
You guys are just soooo cute. I love your updates.

I love that you went to the prereception.

I gotta question, did you do the MK bridal session?

03-12-2009, 01:23 PM
Thanks! :goodvibes

I gotta question, did you do the MK bridal session?

Nope, we didn't get any pictures in the park in our wedding gear...I heard too many horror stories about lost pictures and photo shoots that didn't go well. Our engagement pics were at MK, though...

03-16-2009, 02:42 PM
Wedding Day - Part Fifteen (Continued)

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When we walked into the ballroom and everyone was clapping for us, I still hadn’t quite gotten over how silly our entrance was. As I mentioned before, we had just seen all of these people at the pre-reception and we’d talked to many of them before the ceremony, so the fact that they were clapping and hollering as though they had never seen us before was enough to give me the giggles a bit. Kyle and I honestly strolled in like it was no big thing…and in retrospect I wish we had come in with a bit more energy. It is fun to see brides and grooms come in like “Oh, yeah!” whereas we came in like “Oh, you guys. You’re so funny.”

When we had rehearsed our entrance before, the music started to play right when we walked into the room and by the time we got to the dance floor, it was time to start dancing. When we walked in to the actual reception, there was some sort of celebratory track playing…which was a lot of fun, but which left us doing the whole “what is this?” thing on the way to the dance floor. Again, that sort of ran down the energy of our entrance because we weren’t sure if our song was going to be there for us when we got to the dance floor. We shouldn’t have worried. The song switched over right as we started to walk onto the floor and we were able to start dancing almost immediately. It’s just funny to see our faces in the video because you can tell that we were totally thrown off.

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The Story of Our First Dance

Our first dance is one of those things that I obsessed about in the beginning. Kyle and I like music and like to dance (we actually slow dance together all the time) but we aren’t what I would call “dancers”. You know that couple that always warms up the dance floor with their hip, graceful moves…the ones that are so good at dancing that you end up having a great time at the party just watching them? Sooooo not us. We’re the couple equivalent of the “Elaine dance”, with the weird faces and all.

So, when the fact that we were going to be having a first dance occurred to me, I went into a bit of a panic. Yes, we know how to slow dance. Yes, we could have done the middle-school shuffle to pretty much any slow song that we wanted to pick. However, I wanted the dance to be special because I wanted the whole wedding to be special. This is what happens when you have 6 months or longer until the wedding…you actually believe that you have the ability to make every element of the wedding unique, memorable, and perfect. Since we had about a year until the wedding when I first started thinking about our first dance, I had no problem deciding that we would learn a choreographed number and blow everyone away. Dance lessons? Sure! Instant YouTube celebrities for having the greatest first dance ever? Naturally!

Fast forward about seven months…I had lost my ample amounts of free time and definitely lost my desire to recreate the final scene in Dirty Dancing. We had also done some serious tightening of the budget as our guest list grew and our savings account dwindled. Suddenly, dance lessons were a luxury that probably weren’t going to happen. They aren’t that expensive, actually, but every little bit counts when you’re working with a wedding budget like the one we had. So, I did the next best thing. I hit YouTube.

I watched so many first dances. I watched people tango and shuffle and swing and twirl. I would say that I watched a combined six hours of first dances on YouTube…and I learned some valuable lessons. First, first dances are naturally boring events. It’s hard to watch people dance around and look lovingly at each other for a full four minutes. The idea that you can make your first dance something that people will want to watch again and again and again is really a pipe dream. It’s probably not going to happen. Second, it does make a difference if you pick a bad song. You can have a great dance set to a terrible song and you’ll remember it as a terrible first dance, or vice versa. Third, funny first dances are a bad idea. They aren’t likely to be funny and, unless you’re that one couple that managed to pull it off, they come across as embarrassing and a little desperate. So, basically a “no”.

Finally, in my searching, I found a first dance that I just loved. It’s obvious that the couple had either training or a background in dance, but the dance wasn’t so ridiculous that it looked difficult to pull off. It was also set to a Disney song remix and it was a remix that was classy, fun, and perfect for the occasion. Other than the obnoxiousness of the woman who filmed it, it was the perfect first dance video clip…

So, Kyle and I decided that we would try to recreate it. We figured we could copy the people in the video and then make up whatever parts were missing. I tracked the song down on a Disneymania CD and got it from Half.com, so that we could practice. And then…we didn’t. I don’t really have an explanation. We just didn’t ever set aside time to learn the steps or put anything together. We both liked the song, but we weren’t that enthusiastic about our first dance when we really thought about it. It was an abstract “oh, I guess that will be nice” instead of something that really felt like “us”. Of course, the problem was that there was no first dance that felt like “us”…so it was either this dance or the middle school shuffle.

About a month passed with us debating between the YouTube dance or just doing the middle-school shuffle to our song, which is “Over the Rainbow” by Israel Kamakawiwo’ole. Then, one day, we were dancing around our living room just for kicks and giggles and I was making Kyle sing songs for us to dance to. He’s notorious for not knowing the words to anything, so we don’t usually get very far. I love his singing voice, but his renditions are usually things like, “You…are…so beautiful…to me…something something something…everything I hoped for…something something need…” I was giving him a hard time and threatening to not dance until he could make it through a song, so he switched over to his Kermit voice (so good, btw) and sang me The Rainbow Connection, which is one of our favorite songs ever. It’s also one of the only songs that he actually knows all the words to. I noted that it was really easy to dance to and joked that we should just dance to that on our wedding day…

Fast forward two more months. We were now in crunch time and we were sans first dance or even a first dance song. I was alternating between being completely pleasant and being completely irrational, so in one of my irrational moments I announced that we were just going to have to skip the first dance completely because we hadn’t done anything about it. (For all you rational folks out there, this is bridal code for “I am upset that you didn’t make our first dance a priority and push me to get off my butt, which would have resulted in us having a perfectly choreographed dance. For this reason, I am holding our ruined wedding against you as it is your fault entirely.”)

Kyle looked up at me totally confused and said, “I thought we were doing the Rainbow Connection?” My husband was apparently completely satisfied with Kermit’s voice coming out over the dance floor as we did the middle-school shuffle. For him, that dance would be the epitome of “us” and we had naturally realized this and therefore we needed to think on it no longer. For me, this was not an ideal solution. However, since we were floundering in the first dance category, I was open to ideas. I pulled up a different version of The Rainbow Connection, which we had gotten as part of a charity CD purchased solely for Cake’s rendition of “Mahna Mahna”. Sarah MacLaughin had done this really beautiful version of the song and it was set perfectly to a waltz tempo. As soon as I heard it, I knew we had found a winner. Of course, there was that little detail about not knowing how to waltz.

Enter YouTube. I already knew the basic box step and YouTube provided a couple of flourishes that we were able to teach ourselves in the last couple of months. We actually had to practice in the hallway of our apartment building because our living room does not have enough space for us to flourish, so I’m sure our apartment building enjoyed our nightly routine of listening to The Rainbow Connection twenty times in a row between the hours of eight and nine. Jed provided a couple of pointers when he came out to visit and that was pretty much it. Well, almost…

I’ll admit, I was really frustrated with Kyle when we were learning to waltz. I’m not a great dancer, but I had the advantage of knowing the box step and expecting to be lead around the dance floor. Kyle didn’t have any experience either waltzing or leading, so there were a lot of headaches in the beginning. Right up until a couple of days before the wedding, I was close to just pitching it out and doing the middle-school shuffle. It’s only due to Kyle’s unending patience and his determination to practice until perfect that we even waltzed at all…and he was so right. It was fun and we had such a good time on that dance floor, even when he forgot to turn me and I had to twirl myself around. Yes, we felt awkward and off-beat. Yes, I tripped all over my dress and he had to catch me from falling. Yes, we were nervous and giggly and counting out loud. But it was so, so wonderful and somehow, inexplicably, it ended up being exactly “us”.

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03-16-2009, 03:22 PM
I was wondering why Jensey had picked Rainbow Connection for your Roots slideshow - how excellent!! I'm totally loving your TR!

BTW - I had DF blow the bubbles we bought at me as I came out of my office and they were just like yours! Sticky and blecch.. thank you so much for the info on the bubbles!!! :goodvibes

03-17-2009, 08:54 PM
Wedding Day - Part Sixteen


Our reception was arranged in the following manner: the dance floor was in the center with three tables on either side, the DJ at one end, and the sweetheart table on a riser at the other end. We were a little iffy about the sweetheart table when the idea was first presented. The idea of sitting at a lonely little table, away from everyone else, was very reminiscent of that scene from The Parent Trap where Hayley Mills and Hayley Mills are being punished at camp and have to eat in isolation. However, we were at a loss as to which table we would sit at if we sat with other people, since our three sets of parents had three different tables and our sides of the bridal party were at different tables. The sweetheart table ended up being the easiest thing.

Honestly, the whole sweetheart table thing is a little weird.


I don’t mean to say that it was bad, but it definitely isn’t one of those things that I would want to do all the time. We moved off the dance floor and went over to the sweetheart table, which was propped up on a riser and backed against a wall. I thought it would be more of a lone-table-yet-with-other-tables, but it was very much like being on stage. We even had special lights on us and the big castle gobo in the background behind us, so the whole thing was completely high school drama club production. There’s nothing to really drive home the fact that everyone is looking at you like a teeny tiny stage lit up at the end of a dark ballroom.

We had called Kyle’s Aunt Evelyn about an hour before and asked her to do the blessing (surprise!) so she made her way up onto our teeny tiny stage.


Following the blessing, it was time to eat. Yay! We were having the most delicious buffet of green salad, red skin potato salad with dill, seafood pasta salad, steamed vegetables, bread rolls with butter, pecan rice pilaf, grilled chicken breast with mandarin oranges, slow-roasted striploin of beef with a plum tomato demi. Mmmm…I hadn’t had eaten since 6AM (it was around 2PM by this point) and I’d burnt up a lot of calories on that dance floor, so I was actually pretty hungry. Again, I’ve heard that there are brides who couldn’t eat on their wedding day, but that wasn’t me!


Unfortunately, there was a catch to the whole having-a-buffet thing and I have a feeling it was supposed to be a touch of Disney magic, but instead it was total crap. When it was time to eat, two Grand Floridian staff members came up and escorted us to the buffet. They held our plates and we were supposed to walk along with them and indicate which foods we wanted. In theory, I understand that this is supposed to be white glove service. In practice, it keeps you from being able to do what you’re supposed to do at a buffet, which is to fill up your plate as though it is the last time you will ever eat on this green earth. I shouldn’t be putting this out here, since it’s embarrassing when chubby chicks say things like this, but I freakin’ load up at buffets. I’ve even been known to double plate it if everything doesn’t fit.

You just can’t do that when someone else is helping you…especially if you’re in a wedding gown. True, nobody else could see my plate, but I didn’t want the waiter to be thinking, “Holy crap. This heifer wants a lot of food. She is going to burst out of that dress.” So, I followed the waiter and didn’t say anything when I got a half spoonful of rice, a half spoonful of seafood salad, part of a chicken breast, one roll, and the thinnest slice of striploin that you’ve ever seen in your life. I shouldn’t hold it against the guy, who kept bowing to me every time I was gracious enough to indicate that I wanted a side dish…but come on now. I paid $130 for that lunch and I’m pretty sure it qualified as a Lean Cuisine meal.

Kyle wasn’t phased by the whole waiter-gets-your-food thing because he doesn’t have a chubby chick mentality and he thought it was all a reasonable amount of everything. In the meantime, I was pretty sulky about it and, I admit, I ended up stealing my new husband’s striploin. I could have gotten up and gone back through, but I would have had to take that waiter with me because he was off to the side with his eye on me. Besides, I didn’t really want to be that bride who went back for seconds. In retrospect, though, I totally should have because I don’t think anyone went back for seconds and that food was gooooood. We paid for it all, so it would have been nice to have a ballroom of people stuffed to the gills.



After everyone started getting their food, people began to come up to the sweetheart table. Most people just wanted pictures of us eating (nice) but there were a handful of others who were sneaking in their first “hellos” of the day. I also had to grab a quick hug from Kate, who had to catch a plane back to Kansas. It was really bittersweet to see her go because I was happy that she had been able to come at all but she had been such a huge help that as soon as she left I really missed her. I cheered myself up by getting dessert, which is the greatest way to cheer yourself up ever, especially if you’re at GF. I managed to elude the waiter (woohoo!) so I was able to serve myself. I probably shouldn’t have, but I totally took one of each and told everyone at the dessert table that I was getting one for Kyle. Then, when I got back to the sweetheart table, Kyle attempted to take a bite out of one and I almost stabbed him with my fork. Never try to take food from a hungry bride!


One of the nice things that I’ve heard about the wedding is that people were really happy that we did two of our favorite desserts instead of doing wedding cake. To be honest, the wedding cake was nixed mainly because we couldn’t afford it, rather than because we wanted to make a statement about cake, but the truth is that we aren’t huge fans of wedding cake. I’m starting to think now that almost nobody is a huge fan of wedding cake. It really doesn’t taste good that often (although I’ve heard Disney cakes are amazing) and you don’t get a very big piece (very important in chubby girl world). We went with angel food cake with berries (for Kyle) and a double chocolate torte with rum balls (for me) and they were amazing.


People were just crazy about them and everyone said that they were a vast improvement over the traditional wedding cake routine. It’s true that we have pictures of demolished desserts rather than pictures of us cutting the cake, but it was totally worth it…and economical! Disney cakes set you back thousands and thousands of dollars on top of the food fees, but we were able to build our two desserts into the $125/person minimum for lunch.

Soon, the eating portion was over and I was happily satisfied with a belly full of desserts. The DJ (who had been playing all of our requested songs, god bless him) came up and checked in so I gave him the go ahead for the father daughter dance. As he announced it and I made my way down to the dance floor to meet my dad, I have to admit that I was already a little tickled. There’s something kind of funny about taking a deep breath and facing the longest 4 minutes of your dad’s life…


03-17-2009, 09:10 PM
you are such a great writer--and chubby girl? WHAT THE HECK ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT?? :confused3

03-17-2009, 09:52 PM
you are such a great writer--and chubby girl? WHAT THE HECK ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT?? :confused3

Yea seriously. You mentioned it a million times in that post. You looked beautiful, truly. No one was thinking "chubby girl" I assure you. :goodvibes

03-17-2009, 10:43 PM
I love your honesty. And you bring up some good things. I really don't want a server at my buffet or pics of me eating.....:scared1:

03-18-2009, 02:58 AM
Hahaha, you cracked me up with the buffet!!! I'm so the same!!!!! Also I second that no one would have thought you were chubby!!

Can't wait to hear how your Dad got on!

03-18-2009, 09:16 AM
Yea seriously. You mentioned it a million times in that post. You looked beautiful, truly. No one was thinking "chubby girl" I assure you. :goodvibes

COMPLETELY agree! You silly woman, you looked fantastic! :bride: :goodvibes

03-18-2009, 03:02 PM
thanks! :goodvibes

Wedding Day - Part Seventeen


I wasn’t sure what to expect for the father-daughter dance. As I’ve told you many times before, my father does not enjoy being in the spotlight. Additionally, to the best of my recollection, we’ve never danced together (at least not since I became too big to stand on his shoes). My father seems to avoid events at which dancing would be expected, in fact. So, the father daughter dance was a big open-ended question.

In fact, we almost didn’t have one. When we initially started planning the wedding, I asked him if he wanted to walk me down the aisle. To be fair, it wouldn’t have surprised me if he had said no, given his reluctance to do things like that. To my surprise, he agreed, but immediately conditioned his agreement on the fact that he was not agreeing to dance in public. This was the last we said on it until we were only four or five months out from the wedding, so I was surprised when he brought it up. As it turned out, he had been planning on dancing and had even been practicing!

We don’t have a standout song or anything, so I mailed my father a cd with potential songs to pick from. He’s a Deadhead who is into rock music and we’re both really into folk music, so I included a lot of those sorts of songs (an acoustic version of “In My Life”, Simon and Garfunkel, Carole King) and I threw in four or five really sappy songs just to round it out. This included Butterfly Kisses (I hate that song), I Loved Her First (which I have always thought was really inappropriate), and Cinderella by Steven Curtis Chapman.

I posted about Cinderella earlier in the year, right after I heard it for the first time, and noted that it was perfect for a Disney wedding, but probably not something that my father would want to dance to. Well, to my complete surprise, that ended up being the winner. He acknowledged the cheesiness, but thought it would be the easiest to dance to. Plus, he thought most of the other songs were either too romantic or too bizarre. (I suppose he had a point with “Angel From Montgomery”…). Honestly, there is a real lack of good father/daughter wedding songs out there if you aren’t going for the whole Butterfly Kisses effect.

As I walked to the dance floor to meet my dad, the music started to play and I realized that I was really happy with his choice. The songs is just so perfect for a Disney wedding and I think it really sums up the father/daughter relationship without turning it into something that belongs on WE Television for Women. Dad was waiting for me on the dance floor…smiling, but looking a little miserable…and as we started to dance he said, “ok, let’s get this over with.”



My dad is the 2nd funniest person on the planet. He loses out by a small margin to my little brother, who is the funniest person who has ever lived (If you’re wondering about Kyle, he comes in 4th). As we started to dance, Dad started to just toss out little quips about how miserable the situation was and, as a result, we had a hard time staying on beat because I was laughing so much. You can hear me making very unbridelike snorting sounds in the wedding video and saying really sentimental things like, “for real, shut up, I’m concentrating here.”





Poor Dad, who hadn’t even eaten because he was so nervous about the dance, totally lost focus about halfway through and tried to give me a hug and exit the dance floor. Not wanting to finish the dance up by myself, I ended up holding him in a death grip to prevent his exit. He almost physically dragged me off the dance floor, but ultimately he must have decided it would just be easier to finish up the dance. Luckily, the death-grip-exit-attempt-threat-exchange wasn’t accurately captured in the wedding video and it just looks like we stopped for a second in the middle to give each other a hug and then kept on dancing.






It was a long, long song, but we made it through and Dad was finally able to give me the first genuine, non-pained smile that I had gotten all day. I suppose that some of our guests might have thought that Dad’s periodic scowls were the pangs of losing a daughter, but in reality I think he was just really sweating that dance. I shouldn’t have gotten so much glee from making him go through it, but it’s just such a good memory now.


As I exited the dance floor, passing Kyle, who was making his way up for the mother/son dance, I really began to feel a deep sense of satisfaction that so many lovely things had already happened that day. All of those little things that were supposed to go wrong hadn’t and the little things that had gone wrong didn’t matter. It started to sink in that we just might have pulled it all off…

Cinderella, by Steven Curtis Chapman

She spins and she sways
To whatever song plays
Without a care in the world
And I'm sitting here wearing
The weight of the world on my shoulders

It's been a long day
And there's still work to do
She's pulling at me
Saying "Dad, I need you

There's a ball at the castle
And I've been invited
And I need to practice my dancing
Oh, please, Daddy, please?"

So I will dance with Cinderella
While she is here in my arms
'Cause I know something the prince never knew
Oh, I will dance with Cinderella
I don't want to miss even one song
'Cause all too soon the clock will strike midnight
And she'll be gone...

She says he's a nice guy and I'd be impressed
She wants to know if I approve of the dress
She says, "Dad, the prom is just one week away
And I need to practice my dancing
Oh, please, Daddy, please?"

So I will dance with Cinderella
While she is here in my arms
'Cause I know something the prince never knew
Oh, I will dance with Cinderella
I don't want to miss even one song
'Cause all too soon the clock will strike midnight
And she'll be gone

She will be gone

Well, she came home today with a ring on her hand
Just glowing and telling us all they had planned
She says, "Dad, the wedding's still six months away
But I need to practice my dancing
Oh, please, Daddy, please?"

So I will dance with Cinderella
While she is here in my arms
'Cause I know something the prince never knew
Oh, I will dance with Cinderella
I don't want to miss even one song
'Cause all too soon the clock will strike midnight
And she'll be gone

03-18-2009, 08:21 PM
I'm glad to see that I'm not the only person who hates "Butterfly Kisses"!

And your TR is still providing tons of wonderful entertainment! Your desserts looked so yummy, I can see why your guests raved about them. And I agree with previous statements in saying that you definitely don't look chubby at all!!

03-18-2009, 08:37 PM
Yea, I'm not into Butterfly Kisses...LOVE Cinderella-good choice! And all the quirks with your dad made for really cute pictures!

03-19-2009, 02:32 PM
Wedding Day - Part Eighteen


When Kyle and his mom were sharing the dance floor, I had a few minutes alone for the first time that day (freaking out by myself right before the ceremony doesn’t count). My job during the mother/son dance was to sit and watch and not be talked to and not talk to anyone and not do anything or worry about anything. That was a really, really nice feeling.


All throughout the day, I had been working hard to not expect perfection. I’d heard way too many horror stories about brides who fell apart when the tiniest things went wrong and I also knew that the surest way to ensure a bad wedding is to be a negative bride. Guests always take their cue from the host and hostess and if you make bad things into a big deal, they will be a big deal. So I was mentally prepared for everything to go wrong. Everything.

What I wasn’t prepared for was for everything to go right. Yes, we had problems with our officiant, but at the end of the day they didn’t really affect us at all. He was annoying, but ultimately he got things done and, you have to admit, the man photographs well. We also had that tiny hiccup about my hair looking like I was ready for the Little Miss Sunshine competition and the bubbles that were the equivalent of getting slimed, but seriously. These are blips that didn’t even make us blink. I was waiting for the big bad thing to happen…

Honestly, I think I wasn’t letting myself even hope that the day could go smoothly because I didn’t want to be disappointed. I was counting on people messing up or flaking out or getting lost. I thought for sure that there would be some big emotional drama or health emergency. It wasn’t until I was sitting at the sweetheart table alone, watching Kyle and his mom dance to “Return to Pooh Corner” that I really started to let a little bit of hope creep in. It was almost a scary sensation, because I had been so adamant about the fact that there is no such thing as a “perfect wedding day”.

As I sat there, I admit that I got a little choked up for the first time. I was looking at all the tables and everyone was smiling and taking pictures and talking and eating cake. People were catching up with siblings they hadn’t seen in months or hugging old friends they hadn’t seen in years. My friends who hadn’t known each other two days before were chatting and showing each other pictures and laughing at inside jokes. Everything was sparkly and candlelit and beautiful. And best of all, on the dance floor, my husband was dancing with his mom and it really started to hit me that not only was I married to my absolute favorite person in the entire universe, but I had this whole new family now and all of these other people to share our lives with.











I probably can’t even type it out authentically, but the sheer joy and hope and love of the moment was overwhelming. I think it was exactly the emotion that people try to capture in their weddings and I just happened to be lucky enough to fall backwards into it because I finally had a minute to sit down and take it all in!


Return to Pooh Corner - by: Kenny Loggins

Christopher Robin and I walked along
Under branches lit up by the moon
Posing our questions to Owl and Eeyore
As our days disappeared all too soon
But I've wandered much further today than I should
And I can't seem to find my way back to the Wood

So help me if you can
I've got to get back
To the House at Pooh Corner by one
You'd be surprised
There's so much to be done
Count all the bees in the hive
Chase all the clouds from the sky
Back to the days of Christopher Robin and Pooh


Winnie the Pooh doesn't know what to do
Got a honey jar stuck on his nose
He came to me asking help and advice
And from here no one knows where he goes
So I sent him to ask of the Owl if he's there
How to loosen a jar from the nose of a bear

It's hard to explain how a few precious things
Seem to follow throughout all our lives
After all's said and done I was watching my son
Sleeping there with my bear by his side
So I tucked him in, I kissed him and as I was going
I swear that the old bear whispered
"Boy welcome home"


Believe me if you can
I've finally come back
To the House at Pooh Corner by one
What do you know
There's so much to be done
Count all the bees in the hive
Chase all the clouds from the sky
Back to the days of Christopher Robin
Back to the ways of Christopher Robin
Back to the days of Pooh


***As a side note, I just want to point out that the fact that our three dances ended up being related to Kermit, Cinderella, and Winnie the Pooh was completely accidental. That's just proof that we really are total geeks...

03-19-2009, 07:02 PM
I love your updates! You are hilarious! Very entertaining. However, I admit, the last one had me in tears! Good ones though! Very sweet!!!

03-23-2009, 07:54 PM
Wedding Day - Part Nineteen


After Kyle and his mother had finished their dance, the DJ gave us some cheesy commentary on how he wanted to see who the first table up on their feet and dancing would be. I think he might have even thrown in the suggestion of a contest…like “Who’s going to be up to the dance floor? Is it Table 3? Table 5 is looking ready? Oh, I think Table Two is going to give them a run for their money! C’mon, you don’t want to be a part of the losing table, do you?” That sort of behavior might work for prom and bar mitzvahs, but wedding guests know what’s up. There was no prize for getting on the dance floor and the losing table who didn’t make it to the dance floor was going to be the table who got to eat their cake the longest, so…

At least, this was my experience at wedding receptions. The dance floor either warmed up slowly with the help of a few slow songs and some brave people or one small group of rowdy (and incredibly talented) dancers rush the floor and effectively block out everyone else. So, I was prepared to see people refuse to dance. I was even willing to go from table to table, imploring people to join us on the dance floor.

That’s not how it went down.

Kyle walked out from the dance floor and I walked down from our mini-stage while the DJ was giving his cheesy schpeal. We stole a quick kiss, locked hands, and turned to face the difficult task of populating the dance floor with wedding guests who were still sober. I really, really wish that Nathan or Jensey had been behind us with a camera for this moment, because we would have gotten the best picture ever. A bride and groom, hand in hand, facing a tiny dance floor that was so packed with people there actually, physically, was not any room left for us. You know those cartoons where suddenly a crowd of people moves from one spot to another and all that’s left is a cloud of dust and a spinning plate? Yeah.

I don’t know if it’s our people or if it was the DJ’s cheesiness or what, but that dance floor was PACKED. Packity-packed. Packed like tuna.












Kyle and I hesitantly edged towards the floor, unsure of what to do. The guests had formed a perfect square of dancing humans, which made it difficult to dance on the perimeter and pretend you’re part of the masses. (Imagine two people dancing next to an aquarium and trying to act like they’re fish) Luckily, the crowd parted a little bit and we were quickly sucked into a group of happy party people…



03-27-2009, 11:00 AM
Wedding Day - Part Twenty

There were a lot of options for different services that the DJ offered us when we were filling out our request form. From money dances to chicken dances, the guy honestly had the ability to turn the reception into a three-ring circus. We elected to skip most of that stuff because we wanted to let people just dance and visit and eat and not feel like they were constantly being forced on and off the dance floor.

The only special request that we made was that I wanted to have a special dance for my grandparents. They're celebrating their 60th wedding anniversary this year (!!!!) and I wanted to make sure we recognized them for doing something that amazing. After a couple of songs, I let the DJ know that I wanted to have their dance. I think he was surprised, because the dance floor was just heating up, but my grandparents get kinda sleepy sometimes and I wasn't sure how they were holding up...


The DJ announced the dance and everyone sat down so my grandparents could take the dance floor. I was actually a little concerned about whether or not they would be able to dance through the whole song. In addition to sleepiness, my grandparents often tip over and the fact that they were holding each other up wasn't the most reassuring thing. We could have picked a short song for them, but I wanted to choose one that had a special meaning for them, so we had the DJ play "Always" by Patsy Cline, which is "their song". I actually thought they might dance for a little while and sit down, but when they got on the dance floor, they looked completely comfortable...






It was a really lovely moment and they made it through the whole song. I've been to weddings where everyone gets on the dance floor and then the DJ tells people to stay on the floor if they've been married for five years, ten years, etc...until the couple who has been married the longest is left on the dance floor. I always thought that was nice, but watching my grandparents dance slowly to their song really drove home how sweet and touching and amazing it is to spend sixty years with the same person.

03-28-2009, 04:22 PM
I am in tears - thanks for sharing your beautiful day day!

Your wedding, your writing style, your humour are wonderful!

03-31-2009, 12:07 PM
Wedding Day - Part Twenty-One

I’ve hit a funny point in my wedding day recaps…we’ve been crawling along over the tiniest details of the day and now we’ve entered into a part of the day that could be summed up in one sentence: we danced and it was fun.

There were a lot of things that happened during the reception that were special, but if I were to go through each remembered moment and each favorite photograph, I would be blogging about our wedding day until our first anniversary!
Instead, I’m going to organize the rest of our reception as the top ten things that I learned during the reception, since most of the people reading are brides-in-training and I would have loved to have known this stuff before our wedding day. Sounds good? K. Let’s do it.

Number 10: Songs that are only special to a minority of guests aren’t needed.

Early on in the reception, the DJ came up to me and said that since we were from Ohio, he thought it would be a good idea to play Hang On Sloopy, which is the semi-official song of OSU. At the time, I kind of thought it was a weird request, but there was a decent number of buckeye fans in the house and we are both OSU alumni, so I told him to go ahead. Well, honestly, it was fun to hear the song, but it sort of cleared the dance floor because the majority of the people at the wedding weren’t in on the whole O-H-I-O fever and half of the people that would have normally been doing it were too sober to get up on the dance floor. It wasn’t a big deal, but ultimately I think it would have fine to just skip it and keep everyone dancing.


Number 9: Songs that you can sing at the top of your lungs are very needed.

Later in the reception, after people had been enjoying the open bar, the DJ put on some of the 80’s hits we’d requested, starting with “Don’t Stop Believing” by Journey…need I say more?



Number 8: Kids make their own fun.

I was so worried about the kids at the reception being bored that I bought them all bags of toys and games and little treats so that they would have something to do. I completely forgot that, as a child, the most interesting things to do include things like dancing on people’s shoes, hiding under the tables, and eating the decorative candles.





Number 7: Sometimes the DJ might know more than you do.

I specifically, specifically, said no line dances besides the cha-cha slide (kyle’s fave). What does the DJ do right after the bouquet and garter toss? He gets down on the dance floor and teaches everyone the cupid shuffle…and you know what? They loved it!




Number 6: If you don’t want to do the bouquet/garter toss…don’t.

We were really not enthusiastic about the bouquet and garter toss, but we didn’t want to disappoint people since we already weren’t having toasts or a wedding cake. So we did them…and you know what happened? First I threw the bouquet and smacked my six year old cousin right in the face…



Then Kyle quickly got my garter off while nobody was paying attention and our guests booed us for not making a big thing out of it…


…but at least we got great pictures!




Stay tuned for the rest of the list!

04-01-2009, 10:05 AM
Wedding Day - Part Twenty-Two (cont.)

Number 5: Just dance.

I’m not a great dancer. Kyle’s not a great dancer. But if we stayed on the floor, so did a lot of our guests, and in the end I think we all did ok…








Number 4: The bride is allowed to get behind the camera.

Some of my favorite captured moments from the reception are things that I filmed myself when I was taking a break from dancing. It hadn’t occurred to me that I was allowed to grab the camcorder until way late in the reception and I wish I had done it sooner, since I knew just what I wanted filmed (like my sweet husband really enjoying the cha cha slide).

Video clip here: http://vimeo.com/3950142

Number 3: Get everything together that you’ll need and have someone put it under the sweetheart table.


You know the little gifts that I put together for our wedding vendors, along with the personalized cards for each of them? I spent 15 minutes looking for them at the reception before I gave up. As it turned out, someone had mistakenly taken them to the GF coat check, thinking that I didn’t need that bag for the reception. Other things that would have been good to have included lotion, my camera, and clothes to change into after the reception (more on that later)…

Number 2: Party animals are very welcome.

Easiest way to get people jazzed up on the dance floor? Invite my little brother…er, I mean, whoever you know who can liven up a party. There’s something about watching someone else make a total fool of himself that just gets the fun going like none other.





Number 1: There’s always time for a slow dance.

Kyle and I didn’t stick together like glue during the reception, but we tried to check in with each other when we could. Towards the end of the reception, I was actually thinking that it was too bad that there weren’t more slow dances playing, since I wanted to sneak one in with my new husband…and then I realized, “hey, I’m paying the DJ!” He was more than happy to accommodate me…



04-01-2009, 11:56 AM
Great idea about the top 20 list for the reception, I love it! :goodvibes

04-02-2009, 10:14 AM
Wedding Day - Part Twenty-Three

We had an incredible time at the reception, but MAN that thing just kept going and going. As the reception went from hour one to hour two to hour three, I started to notice two things. One was that I really tired and wanted to be out of that giant dress. The other was that nobody was leaving. Usually at wedding receptions, people take off after a while, leaving behind a few close family members and the die hard party animals, but at our wedding nobody left unless they had a plane to catch. I actually started to worry that they thought they couldn’t leave, but since I figured it would be rude to go around and say, “you can leave, you know” to everyone, I let it go.

Finally, the DJ let us know that the last song was coming up. We had debated about which song to use as the last song for a long time. I was leaning towards a romantic slow dance, since that would be a relaxing and sweet way to end a wedding. Plus, I figured most people would be gone, so my vision was me and Kyle dancing in an empty room that was all lit up with our wedding decorations. Kyle, on the other hand, wanted something that would really pull everyone together, like the cha cha slide, since he was thinking our wedding reception would segue directly into going out to bars/dancing.

Ultimately, we agreed on Piano Man by Billy Joel. Yes, it’s not weddingish at all, but we both love the song and honestly, I figured nobody would be around to hear it. So, when the DJ let us know that we were about to do the last song, I panicked because we still had a room full of dancing guests. I grabbed Kyle and tried to talk him into a slow dance…the best is yet to come, or something…but the boy stuck to his guns and demanded Billy Joel. I have to admit, I was cringing a little, but what could I do?

Then, the weirdest thing happened…the weirdest thing! The song started and there was a general murmur of approval and then people started singing along and seriously, before I even knew what was happening, all of our guests got on the dance floor and put their arms around each other and started singing along while swaying back and forth in a giant circle. It was so weird and so incredible!

Sweet Neaner, who was drunkety drunk, grabbed my little handheld camera and started videotaping everyone. It’s one of my favorite videos from the wedding, but it is a little unsteady…I think the best part is where you can tell that she was stamping her feet along to the music and twirling around. The video ends with a nice shot of the ceiling if anyone was interested…

Link to the video: http://vimeo.com/3971326

04-06-2009, 10:56 PM

04-07-2009, 02:21 AM
Your reception went so amazing Carly! It sounds like you had the most amazing time and all the photos are wonderful!!

04-08-2009, 01:01 PM
I have a question about your programs - OK, a few, LOL - where did you get the clip art? I am looking for something similar but with purple/lavender as the accent color. Also, how do you get the print to go sideways? Do you have a special computer program? Your programs came out so nice! Thanks!


I drew the clip art, actually, and it definitely wasn't a tough masterpiece, so I'm sure you could recreate it. As far as the rest of the programs, I used Microsoft Word. To do the sideways text I just did a text box and changed the orientation of the text. Easy-peasy...

04-08-2009, 01:01 PM
Wedding Day - Part Twenty-Three

Usually when a wedding ends, the bride and groom are long gone. I don’t know if you guys have seen as many 80’s wedding movies as I have, but in the end the bride and groom are supposed to get into a car with “just married” scribbled across the back window. They take off, waving, with a trail of string and tin cans behind them, while all of the guests watch them drive off into the sunset. That’s how weddings end in the movies.

We didn’t do that, which is pretty unusual from what I could tell. After the last dance, Marion mentioned to me that it was time for the reception to end and I told her “ok”. We just looked at each other for a second and I could tell she was waiting for me to do something, so I turned to the guests within arms reach and said, “ok, party’s over. Let’s all get our stuff together. Where are the boxes for the decorations?” Apparently, the correct response is that Kyle and I were supposed to make a grand exit and take off for the honeymoon hotel, because Marion just shook her head at me and motioned for the staff to turn on the lights.

The cute thing was none of the guests followed the correct leaving procedure either. We all ended up milling about on the dance floor, giving each other hugs, talking about how great it had all been, and making plans to meet up later…all 60 of us! Now that the music had stopped, I was able to listen in on conversations between people who hadn’t seen each other in a long time, etc., and it was so nice to hear how happy everyone was.

Marion let us linger for a good 20 minutes before she really started to impress the fact that another wedding was coming in behind us. My incredible moms and bridespeople had made boxes appear out of nowhere and were busily scooping up the decorations and repacking them. I swear, every single piece of diamond confetti was picked up. That room was spotless when we left it!

By the time Kyle and I actually shuffled out, most of the people had left and we were joined by my parents and a handful of the wedding party members staying at the Pop Century. Most of us were carrying a bag or box stuffed with wedding things. As we left the ballroom, I asked the general mass for the bag that had our clothes in it, so Kyle and I could change.

No such luck.

As it turned out, we only had the stuff that we needed for the ceremony/reception. Everything else had already been taken from the Grand Floridian to Pop Century by the bell service, which would have been incredibly handy if I hadn’t been in a giant white dress. As it was, we were stuck in our finest for the ride home.


We hadn’t made any kind of transportation arrangement because…well, we just didn’t want to spend the money. It probably would have been worth the limo ride home since we had a bunch of people with us, but we just hadn’t really thought that part out. So, we all walked up to the monorail station, wedding clothes and all.

As we walked, I had a really great talk with my stepdad. I love him. He’s pretty quiet and doesn’t talk unless he actually has something to say, but he was completely full of conversation on the walk to the monorail. He said all of the things that I really wanted to hear after the wedding…things about how everyone had such a good time and he’d never seen anything like it. We did a replay of our favorite moments from the wedding and all the little funny things that had happened. It was such a perfect continuation of that happy wedding buzz and I was just eating it up with a spoon.

Up at the monorail station, people were staring and taking pictures, but we were in a pretty big group so I didn’t feel too awkward in the big dress. We did get pulled up to ride in the front of the monorail, however, which was disappointing. I’ve actually ridden up there at least five times and I never thought it was that cool. I know, I lose points as a Disney fan, but honestly that car is really little and those windows are pretty hard to see through and who really needs to see where they are going when they’re on a monorail? Plus, riding up in front meant that we were separated from everyone else, who were all back in the normal cars with our bags and boxes, which was a bummer because mom, Lonnie, and Randy were all getting off at a different spot than we were.

At the Magic Kingdom, Kyle and I got off the monorail and took the wedding party with us. Well, we almost took the wedding party with us…we ended up losing Janean, who had left her purse at the Grand Floridian and went back by herself to get it. It was around 6:30 at this point, so not really a crowded time outside of the park, but there were still plenty of people to gawk at us. Our people were still happy and tipsy, so picture taking and general merriment continued down to the busses. I wish we had a shot of us standing in line for the Pop Century bus in all of our wedding gear, but alas…


We took up the back of the bus, as people who have enjoyed an open bar should, and survived the ride back to the resort without anything terrible happening. At the resort, the looks on the faces of the people waiting to go to the park were pretty priceless. I think they get a lot of brides traipsing about in their wedding gear at the Grand Floridian, but at Pop Century it still seems to be a pretty rare event.


Everyone went back to their rooms and Jed and Steve waited with us while we got checked in to the Pop Century. I was pretty disappointed with the guy that checked us in, since we were all decked out and he didn’t mention the wedding or even say congratulations. I’m pretty sure that Disney training covers going bezerk when people check in wearing a tux and a wedding gown, so this guy wasn’t doing the greatest job earning his ears.

We ended up in the same room that we had had before, which wasn’t a huge surprise since all the rooms around us were wedding guests and it wasn’t like they were going to rent out that room for only one night. It did feel kind of like coming home, since we’d already spend four nights in that room and we were able to throw our stuff on the floor and get out of our wedding clothes.

It’s terrible, but in the last three hours I had forgotten that Kyle was sick, so when we made it back to the room and he practically toppled over, I had to do a little reality check. We had made plans to meet up with everyone at Raglan Road, so we did need to get going, but first we pumped Kyle full of every cold medicine we had in our artillery. Poor guy was really trying to hold it together, but his fever was totally spiking. You could actually feel heat radiating off of him, but you’d never know it because he was such a good sport. So, packing Kleenex and Cold-eeze, we tossed on jeans and sweatshirts and split up to collect our people so we could head to Downtown Disney…

04-08-2009, 01:03 PM
Wedding Day - Part Twenty-Three

Usually when a wedding ends, the bride and groom are long gone. I don’t know if you guys have seen as many 80’s wedding movies as I have, but in the end the bride and groom are supposed to get into a car with “just married” scribbled across the back window. They take off, waving, with a trail of string and tin cans behind them, while all of the guests watch them drive off into the sunset. That’s how weddings end in the movies.

We didn’t do that, which is pretty unusual from what I could tell. After the last dance, Marion mentioned to me that it was time for the reception to end and I told her “ok”. We just looked at each other for a second and I could tell she was waiting for me to do something, so I turned to the guests within arms reach and said, “ok, party’s over. Let’s all get our stuff together. Where are the boxes for the decorations?” Apparently, the correct response is that Kyle and I were supposed to make a grand exit and take off for the honeymoon hotel, because Marion just shook her head at me and motioned for the staff to turn on the lights.

The cute thing was none of the guests followed the correct leaving procedure either. We all ended up milling about on the dance floor, giving each other hugs, talking about how great it had all been, and making plans to meet up later…all 60 of us! Now that the music had stopped, I was able to listen in on conversations between people who hadn’t seen each other in a long time, etc., and it was so nice to hear how happy everyone was.

Marion let us linger for a good 20 minutes before she really started to impress the fact that another wedding was coming in behind us. My incredible moms and bridespeople had made boxes appear out of nowhere and were busily scooping up the decorations and repacking them. I swear, every single piece of diamond confetti was picked up. That room was spotless when we left it!

By the time Kyle and I actually shuffled out, most of the people had left and we were joined by my parents and a handful of the wedding party members staying at the Pop Century. Most of us were carrying a bag or box stuffed with wedding things. As we left the ballroom, I asked the general mass for the bag that had our clothes in it, so Kyle and I could change.

No such luck.

As it turned out, we only had the stuff that we needed for the ceremony/reception. Everything else had already been taken from the Grand Floridian to Pop Century by the bell service, which would have been incredibly handy if I hadn’t been in a giant white dress. As it was, we were stuck in our finest for the ride home.


We hadn’t made any kind of transportation arrangement because…well, we just didn’t want to spend the money. It probably would have been worth the limo ride home since we had a bunch of people with us, but we just hadn’t really thought that part out. So, we all walked up to the monorail station, wedding clothes and all.

As we walked, I had a really great talk with my stepdad. I love him. He’s pretty quiet and doesn’t talk unless he actually has something to say, but he was completely full of conversation on the walk to the monorail. He said all of the things that I really wanted to hear after the wedding…things about how everyone had such a good time and he’d never seen anything like it. We did a replay of our favorite moments from the wedding and all the little funny things that had happened. It was such a perfect continuation of that happy wedding buzz and I was just eating it up with a spoon.

Up at the monorail station, people were staring and taking pictures, but we were in a pretty big group so I didn’t feel too awkward in the big dress. We did get pulled up to ride in the front of the monorail, however, which was disappointing. I’ve actually ridden up there at least five times and I never thought it was that cool. I know, I lose points as a Disney fan, but honestly that car is really little and those windows are pretty hard to see through and who really needs to see where they are going when they’re on a monorail? Plus, riding up in front meant that we were separated from everyone else, who were all back in the normal cars with our bags and boxes, which was a bummer because mom, Lonnie, and Randy were all getting off at a different spot than we were.

At the Magic Kingdom, Kyle and I got off the monorail and took the wedding party with us. Well, we almost took the wedding party with us…we ended up losing Janean, who had left her purse at the Grand Floridian and went back by herself to get it. It was around 6:30 at this point, so not really a crowded time outside of the park, but there were still plenty of people to gawk at us. Our people were still happy and tipsy, so picture taking and general merriment continued down to the busses. I wish we had a shot of us standing in line for the Pop Century bus in all of our wedding gear, but alas…


We took up the back of the bus, as people who have enjoyed an open bar should, and survived the ride back to the resort without anything terrible happening. At the resort, the looks on the faces of the people waiting to go to the park were pretty priceless. I think they get a lot of brides traipsing about in their wedding gear at the Grand Floridian, but at Pop Century it still seems to be a pretty rare event.


Everyone went back to their rooms and Jed and Steve waited with us while we got checked in to the Pop Century. I was pretty disappointed with the guy that checked us in, since we were all decked out and he didn’t mention the wedding or even say congratulations. I’m pretty sure that Disney training covers going bezerk when people check in wearing a tux and a wedding gown, so this guy wasn’t doing the greatest job earning his ears.

We ended up in the same room that we had had before, which wasn’t a huge surprise since all the rooms around us were wedding guests and it wasn’t like they were going to rent out that room for only one night. It did feel kind of like coming home, since we’d already spend four nights in that room and we were able to throw our stuff on the floor and get out of our wedding clothes.

It’s terrible, but in the last three hours I had forgotten that Kyle was sick, so when we made it back to the room and he practically toppled over, I had to do a little reality check. We had made plans to meet up with everyone at Raglan Road, so we did need to get going, but first we pumped Kyle full of every cold medicine we had in our artillery. Poor guy was really trying to hold it together, but his fever was totally spiking. You could actually feel heat radiating off of him, but you’d never know it because he was such a good sport. So, packing Kleenex and Cold-eeze, we tossed on jeans and sweatshirts and split up to collect our people so we could head to Downtown Disney…

04-09-2009, 08:37 PM
Wedding Day - Part Twenty-Four

I found most of my bridal party and assorted friends enjoying a pizza and a bottle of wine poolside. Janean had made it back with her purse, despite having sprained her ankle at the reception. Apparently, as the alcohol wore off, the ankle got worse, so a bottle of wine was prescribed as a anti-ankle-pain remedy. I did not know this, however, because Janean didn’t want to bother me on my wedding day.

This brings me to one of the big drawbacks of being the bride…a drawback that I had not heard about at all during the wedding planning phase. When you’re the bride, people don’t want to burden you. This means that they will intentionally leave you out of the loop. How out of the loop, you may ask? Well, here’s the top three things that nobody told me because I was the bride:

My bridesmaid, Margi, was newly pregnant with her second child.
My bridesmaid, Michelle, had just gotten engaged to be married.
My bridesmaid, Janean, sprained her ankle at the reception during the Love Shack, which is ironic because she hates that song.

Additionally, I found out later that one person was sick during the reception, two others had gone way overboard with the open bar, and my brother had body checked my great-aunt on the dance floor.



(She popped right back up.) Bah…I hate being out of the loop…

My people were all pretty worn out, so I headed over to the bus stop with Kyle’s brother and some of Kyle’s friends to meet up with Kyle and catch the bus to Downtown Disney. We missed one bus while waiting for him, but he was having trouble wrangling everyone else together, so we ended up hopping on the next bus without him. I don’t spend a whole lot of time with Kyle’s friends without Kyle, especially his brother, so it was fun to hang out with them for a little while. I still haven’t totally wrapped my head around the fact that I have a brother-in-law. That’s such a grown up concept. I feel like anyone younger than forty is too young to have a brother-in-law.


My mom, stepdad, and little brother were all there when we got to the bar. We had to wait about twenty minutes for a table, so we milled around and checked out the gift shop. Kyle got there not long after we did and slowly people started to roll in and join us.


In the end, we had about 20 people meet up with us at Raglan Road, which is a decent amount considering we only had 55 guests. I would have thought everyone would have been too exhausted to show up, but that’s probably because I was projecting my exhausted-ness on everyone else. We got some snacks and what not, but mostly we just hung out and chatted. I caught up with a cousin that I hadn’t seen in years and finally had a chance to talk to Kyle’s cousins and his parents, who I had pretty much missed all day. I think some people went out after the rest of us decided we were ready to hit the hay, but Kyle and I just couldn’t get it together to keep the party going. Between being sick and being exhausted, I think we’ve never been more done with life in our lives.

By the time we got back to Pop Century, I was dragging Kyle along with me. He actually fell onto his bed, on top of all our wedding stuff, and was asleep immediately. I was close to following his example, but my hair was still full of puffy curls, with little bits of glitter tossed in for good measure, so I took a shower and finally un-bride-ed myself. I loved being a bride, but one of the best parts of the whole day was combing out my wet hair, sitting on the bed in Kyle’s pajamas (hey, he wasn’t using them!), and watching the Disney channel at 1:00 AM.

I was still sort of jittery with excitement when I turned out the light and it took me a while to go to sleep. I just kept replaying the day in my head, still incredulous that nothing had gone wrong. An entire year’s worth of planning and it had actually all come together, been wonderful, and passed. We’d had our dream wedding and now, I would never, ever, ever, have to plan a wedding again.

04-09-2009, 09:10 PM
What a great read Carly! :goodvibes Please don't tell me the TR is over!!!:sad1:

04-10-2009, 10:06 AM
Carly you are such an awesome writer. Do you do that for a living? I can completely feel all of your emotions when you write. The final hours of your wedding were awesome! I can only hope for such a great time at mine.

I hope its not over yet! :thumbsup2

04-10-2009, 03:38 PM
I just read your whole TR and it's AMAZING!! You had such a wonderful day! And what an AWESOME party you had!! Everyone looked like they had great time!

04-10-2009, 06:21 PM
Thank you, everyone!

More trip report to come...plus the other two wedding receptions...it's the TR that never ends! :rotfl:

04-13-2009, 04:18 PM
Is there life after a Disney wedding?...

Day Seven – Part One

I woke up early on the morning after the wedding. Did I want to wake up early? No. I swear, I woke up about as tired as I had felt when I had gone to sleep the night before. As it turns out, six hours is not long enough to recover from an 18 hour event. However, we had made plans to take a group of our friends on a whirlwind tour around the parks, since this was their only day in the parks and (honestly) if you’re going to do it all in one day, you have to make sure you’re doing it right.

I woke Kyle up, but the boy was in really bad shape. He had spent the whole night laying on top of our stuff, not moving, and his fever still hadn’t broken. At this point (Friday morning), Kyle had had a low to mid-grade fever since Tuesday night. He had taken a ton of fever reducers, but that thing just wouldn’t leave. He was on board for hitting the parks, but he was moving a lot slower than I was. My friends were up and dressed and in the food court getting breakfast, so I ended up leaving without Kyle. I know, morning after the wedding and all that…I probably should have stayed to make sure he was ok. I didn’t want him to feel rushed, though, and he wasn’t sure when his friends would be ready to go to the parks, or who was going, so it made sense to split up.

I found Schovy, Jed, Steve, Kristen, and Chris down in the food court. Pretty much everyone else was gone by this point…a lot of people caught flights out the morning after the reception, to avoid needing any more nights at the hotel. Margi and the baby were still at the hotel, but they weren’t up to doing the park thing. I would have loved to have gotten Nate and Neaner and Kate all in the park at the same time with us so we could have run around in a big group, but alas…$85/day park tickets were not conducive to my strong desire for fabulous group pictures…

The group was totally open and up for anything, parkwise, so we started off at Hollywood Studios. As I’ve mentioned before, I like to start my days with a little Rollercoaster/Tower combo action, so we headed in the direction of Old Hollywood.




As luck would have it, Kyle and Jeff showed up not too long after we got into the park and Kyle was able to take all of our tickets and get us fastpasses for Toy Story Mania, which we hadn’t been able to ride yet. Toy Story Mania is amazing, but the line is long and the fastpasses sell out early. If I could, though, I would just spend a day riding that one over and over again…those virtual pies are my ultimate nemesis!

After we rode Tower and Rollercoaster, we met up with Kyle and Jeff (and our fastpasses) and started to do the Hollywood Studios wander. The wander is what happens when you’re in fastpass limbo…you’re basically waiting to get on something great and you don’t really care what you do in the meantime, but you care enough to not want to waste it hanging out in gift shops and snack shacks.

We finally made the decision to ride Space Tours, which I always forget is at DHS. Space Tours is just so classic that I could honestly never ride it again and be completely content. I love it, but the number of times that I’ve ridden that thing over the course of my life is well into the three digits area and after a while it’s more of a good memory than a good ride. The peoples had fun on it, though, and the boys did the usual 20 minute close examination of every Star Wars product in the gift shop.

We still had a little over an hour before the fastpasses were good and we were lightly bumping up against the lunchtime hour, so we made the decision to go into the Sci-Fi Dine-In. If you remember that far back, Kyle and I had already eaten at this restaurant with Justin and Tracy a few days before the wedding, but nobody else had ever been there and we figured we might as well take advantage of the fact that there were walk-in spaces available. To be fair, that restaurant almost constitutes a ride in itself because it’s so much fun…






Following lunch, our fastpasses were only about fifteen minutes away from becoming active, so we headed over to the Pixar Studios area. It’s so much fun over there, but it’s so congested! It’s really hard to enjoy something when the elbows of strangers are attacking you from all sides. We found a spot to group together, though, and killed the next five minutes by taking completely unnecessary pictures.





I don’t remember who did the best on the ride, but I do remember that we kicked Michelle’s butt soundly by quite a large margin. Again, such a genius ride! We were still talking about that ride for the rest of the day because the competition element had been thrown in. You really just have to bow down to the genius of Disney sometimes.





After Toy Story Mania, we rode The Great Movie Ride…which is easily in my top five favorite rides at DHS. It’s not that thrilling, but it’s such an interesting ride and it’s done well for what it is. I had been dying to get Michelle on this ride for years, because she’s a huge movie buff and she has a deep and unquestioning love for everything Gene Kelley. To be fair, it’s probably the worst animatronic figure in the whole ride, but hey…he’s still singing in the rain!



Kristen and Chris had left us to hit up The Magic Kingdom, so after the Great Movie Ride we decided to follow in their example. Kyle and Jeff stayed behind to hang out at Studios for a while longer, since Kyle still wasn’t feeling well and they had both spent a lot of time at MK in the days before the wedding.

As we left the park, we decided to make a pit stop and hit the bathrooms. When Schovy and I came out, Jed and Steve were deep in conversation with some of the Streetmosphere characters, who had fallen in love with Steve’s bright orange shoes…



I can’t even cram in what happened in the next 20 minutes. You’ll just have to watch the (shortened) video. I can spoil the surprise, however, by telling you that it ends with Schovy, Jed, and Steve driving away in one of the classic Hollywood cars…

(video clip to follow...it's trapped on my home computer...)

Pirate's Princess
04-13-2009, 08:38 PM
Your wedding sounds so incredibly fun and beautiful! What a day! I was shocked that you had straight hair in your DHS pictures! I've only seen the curls from your wedding day.

PS Those shoes are awesome

04-14-2009, 08:05 AM
I was shocked that you had straight hair in your DHS pictures! I've only seen the curls from your wedding day.

That's too funny! Yep, my hair is straight straight straight...I can't believe she got it to curl that much!

04-14-2009, 11:00 AM
I am really glad you posted a list of what to do after the wedding is over... I think that part is usually not discussed lol.

How did you handle the news that was kept from you at the wedding btw? Engagement, Preggo, sprained ankle! Thats crazy no one told you lol!

The pic of your brother body checking your aunt is classic, you can totally use it against him some day... all you see is a little set of feet that used to be your great aunt until he knocked her out:scared1:

04-14-2009, 02:47 PM
Day Seven – Part Two

Schovy, Jed, Steve, and I took the monorail to the TTC and then caught the boat over to the Magic Kingdom. The monorail to MK is much faster, but Michelle had been desperate to get herself on a boat for her whole trip and the ferry across the lake made her very, very happy.


At MK, we met up with Kristen and Chris and ran around for a while, riding whatever we wanted. My big feat of the day was managing to get Schovy on the Haunted Mansion ride. The girl has a serious phobia of anything that may or may not be scary and the last time we rode the Haunted Mansion (Disneyland), the ride broke down right when we were in the middle of the graveyard area. I thought she was actually going to hop out of the doom buggy and take off on a blind run. Luckily, we made it through this time without incident (if you don’t count the half-moon gouges her fingernails put into my arm).

I can’t even give you a run through of everything we did because we flew through it, but we hit a whole lot of rides in a really short amount of time. Around the time that we hit up Pirates and the Jungle Cruise, Schovy and I split off from the rest of the group. This was the fourth time that I’d been at MK during the trip and Schovy used to go to Disneyland all the time when she lived in California last year, so we didn’t feel like we were missing out by leaving early. The other four were still getting their fix, though, so we made plans to meet up with them later…


Schovy and I took the monorail over to Epcot to meet up with my family. Friday was their last day in the parks since they were leaving Saturday morning, so they were getting in their last round of pin trading and German beer. We met up with them at China, where my grandparents were happily engaging the sales staff in speaking Chinese. My uncle offered to buy me a dress for our Napa reception, so I ended up with the first authentic Chinese dress of my adult life…which you don’t get to see until I blog about the Napa reception.

After we finished shopping, Kyle showed up. He and Jeff had split up and Kyle had gone back to the resort to pick up Kaitlyn, who hadn’t spent any time in the parks with us. She’d had her face painted at some point, so when she showed up she was a niece of many colors…


Our caravan of wheelchairs, pin traders, and painted nieces slowly our way from pavilion to pavilion. Kaitlyn isn’t very shy so after only about ten minutes of hiding, she started to warm up to my family and once they started giving her candy and Disney pins, she forgot about Kyle and I completely. Kyle was holding up a little bit better, it seemed. He was still pretty warm, but he’d had the chance to rest for a minute before he and Kaitlyn met up with us and he’d caught his second wind. Plus, since my family moves at the pace of a glacier, he didn’t have to run around anymore.


Eventually, we all made our way to The Land pavilion, since they have the most diabetic and low-sodium friendly menu items. At this point, Kaitlyn had received a sucker and a smoothie from my mother, who was practicing the whole grandma thing, and I wasn’t sure about her eating dinner. She’s not the best eater in the world…when she’s hungry she’ll eat a ton, but if she doesn’t feel like eating it turns into a major battle of wills.

When we hit the food court, she gravitated immediately to cookies and ice cream, which my mom probably would have indulged her with if I hadn’t been there to be the bad, mean aunt. We got her one of those PB&J snack boxes instead, even though I was 99% sure there was no way we were going to get her to eat it. (I think the exact quote was “I don’t WANT that…I HATE THAT”)


Luckily, the rest of us had gotten noodles and there was an abundance of chop sticks on the table when we sat down. Kaitlyn was pretty intrigued with the fact that we were all eating with sticks (Kyle and Schovy are quite good at chopsticks, actually) and it wasn’t too long before she wanted to try. I’m not even sure how she did it, buy my mom managed to talk Kaitlyn into eating her entire box dinner with chopsticks. That kid happily snapped up piece after piece of that PB&J sandwich until there was absolutely nothing left. It’s true we practically had to give her a standing ovation after she managed to get each piece to her mouth, but still…




The plan had been to get to a place where we could see the fireworks before all the good spots were gone, but we left The Land with only ten minutes to go before Illuminations. My family just doesn’t rush very well. There were lots of bathroom breaks, lots of wheelchair organization, lots of double-checking…by the time we got back to the show we only had a couple minutes left and the thing was PACKED. We ended up watching the show from a pretty bad spot and the people in the wheelchairs couldn’t see much, which was really too bad. My grandfather was so impressed with the show, even though he couldn’t see much of it…I really feel like he would have been blown away if he could have seen the whole thing.

After Illuminations, we started wandering up the other side of the pavilion, stopping in at the United Kingdom so Schovy could get her fill of British. I was worried that Kaitlyn would start to crash and get really whiny, because it was late and she’d been at the parks for almost the entire day, but she was pretty content to just ride around on my mom’s lap on the wheelchair.


Eventually the group ended up at Japan because there was something my cousin wanted to buy. Kyle’s parents met up with us to pick up Kaitlyn, which was lucky because she was starting to lose it over the fact that I wasn’t buying her one of those oysters to crack open for the pearl inside. What can I say? I’m a mean, mean aunt. Don’t feel too bad for her thought…before she left, my stepdad bought Kaitlyn a pair of her own chopsticks, so that she could go home and practice.


The park was really winding down at this point. Kyle and Schovy were both dragging along, but they were being troopers. We made it out of the world showcase slowly, stopping at each pin trading station and sampling the foods that hadn’t been tried. Eventually we ended up back at The Land pavilion (we just couldn’t get enough!) My family hadn’t been able to ride Soarin’ yet, since it was always so crowded, so we had really left it to the last minute. I think my family was actually pretty done at this point, but I was desperate to get them on that ride since they know all the places that are showcased.

A few of Kyle’s friends met up with us, so we ended up being the group with 15 or 16 people. I was a little worried about my grandparents falling out of those little seats, but they were fine. Randy and Michelle took extra precautions when they buckled themselves in with the safety strap.


In the end, it was great that we stayed late to do it because my grandparents really liked it and were talking about it the whole way back. I know some people are iffy about Soarin’ because it’s not that thrilling and it does really depend on which seat you end up in, but I really like it. I just wish those lines weren’t so long…

We made plans to meet my family for breakfast before their flight out and left them at the bus station. The rest of us hopped on the bus to Pop Century and ended up back at the resort right around 1 AM. What can I say? Kyle and I were pretty incapable of getting to bed before midnight for the whole week…and so, it was another super-round of antibiotics and fever reducers and then we collapsed into bed with only one more day to go…

04-15-2009, 12:14 AM
I just read through you're entire TR (took me two hours! :laughing:).

Just wanted to say that you looked absolutely gorgeous in all of those photos. Your wedding sounds amazing. And your brother definitely appears to be the life of the party (I admit... I cracked up at the picture where he knocked auntie down on the floor!). Looks like so much fun!

And the wedding attire on the monorail and bus is a great idea! LOVE your wedding! And congratulations! :goodvibes

04-15-2009, 10:34 AM
Thank you!!!!

Day Eight

When we woke up on Saturday morning, a week after getting to WDW, Kyle was done. He was so done. I've never seen him so done in my life.

His fever was raging and he was so congested that none of the medicine was working. He'd gone through an entire box of Advil Cold and Sinus since Wed morning and he was still totally miserable. Our plans for the day included going to breakfast at Kona with my mom's family before they all flew out and then going to Epcot to spend time with my dad and his family, because we hadn't really had the chance to see them at all during the trip. I told Kyle to skip breakfast and meet up with us later, but he was bound and determined to come along. I think part of it was that he didn't want to let me down by staying behind, but I think the other part of it was that he just didn't want to miss anything while we were still on vacation.

Unfortunately, we got caught in the mess that was the half-marathon day traffic. If you'll recall, Kyle and I signed up to do the half-marathon. We paid about $250 and never even made it over to pick up our t-shirts and commemorative pins. I honestly don't know what I was thinking when I signed us up to run. Not only had we not trained at all, but we were so tired from the wedding and the week that we couldn't have done the race if we'd actually been running from wild animals. As the bus went by the runners, I did feel pretty jealous, though. I had such a good time when I did it in 2005. Oh well...2010?

We finally made it to Kona about 45 minutes after we left Pop Century. My fam was already all down there and everyone was in pretty good spirits, considering it was the end of the trip. To be fair, they had done a WHOLE LOT for a group of people who had never been to property before and, other than my brother, I think everyone felt like they had really done enough.




Our meal was amazing. I don't remember what everyone else got, but I got some kind of eggs benedict thing that was spectacular. No, I don't remember what it was called or what it had in it, but it rocked my world like you wouldn't believe.


After breakfast, it was time for us all to say goodbye. They all had to catch the next Magical Express to the airport and we needed to get over to Epcot to meet up with my family. As we got up from the table, though, my grandfather fell down. Actually, he sort of fell into my Uncle Denis, who helped him lay down. I don't know if you'll recall, but right before Christmas, my grandpa had all sorts of trouble with his heart and we weren't actually sure if he was going to be able to come. So, when he went down, we were panicking but at least we had a good idea of what was going on.

The staff at the restaurant were really good about calling paramedics immediately and keeping everyone around us from freaking out. There was a doctor (or something?) at the restaurant who was from some foreign country and he was right there from the beginning, but it only took about five more minutes for a whole team of people with a stretcher to show up. My grandfather was conscious, but he was disoriented and he didn't remember what had happened, so they ended up taking him to Celebration Hospital with my Aunt Carole, who help my grandparents with all of their medical stuff. The rest of us went back to their rooms to wait.

Things were sort of a mess for a while. We were trying to figure out what was going on and the hotel staff was working to extend the rooms, since check-out was in an hour. My mom managed to get everyone's flights changed, but because she didn't know when they'd all be able to leave, they were changed to really weird flights that were sort of theoretical. I called my dad to let him know that we were hung up for a while and then we were all just sitting around, looking at each other, not knowing if someone should go to the hospital or what.

While all of this was going on, Kyle had sat down in one of the chairs in my mom's room and fallen asleep. To be more honest, the boy had basically passed out. I tried to wake him up, because I was afraid that if he stopped too long he'd have a harder time getting up later, but since we weren't going anywhere, there wasn't any real reason to bug him. I don't know if I could have woken up if I had really tried...he was out like a light, all wrapped up in a blanket and twitching with fever.

We waited for about an hour and when nothing had changed, it became clear that nobody was going anywhere for a while. Kyle woke up because he'd gotten a call from one of his groomsmen, who was hanging out at AK by himself as it turned out. Kyle left to go meet up with him for a while (such a trooper) and I grabbed Randy and J.W. and headed to Epcot.


The boys still had a day left on their park passes because they had one of those length-of-stay passes, so I figured it would be better for them to come to the park with me than it would have been for them to mope around at the hotel while we waited for news. This was actually not the brightest idea, because they could have saved the passes for the next day and spent the whole day at the park, but at the time we still thought they were leaving on Sunday.

We found my dad and his family in Germany, eating at the restaurant. Randy and J.W. took off to ride Mission Space and I walked around with everyone else for a while.



At some point around America, Chris took the little kids and let them lay down on benches so that they could take a little rest and everyone sort of split up. Dad and his sister went to ride Test Track, which I don't ride, and I think my Aunt, Uncle, and Cousin had lunch reservations. So, with almost my entire family on Disney property, I somehow ended up alone at Epcot for about a half hour, wandering through the shops. I won't lie...it was a little bit awesome. I haven't been alone at WDW since I worked there and it was nice to just look at stuff and grab an ice cream and do my thing for a bit.

I caught up with my brother and J.W. and we did the future world thing for a while. We also got in to the Disney Visa character thing and I got some great pictures...


While the boys were riding segues, Kyle caught up with us. We had made plans to meet Craig and Kristen for lunch, so we left the boys at Journey Into Imagination and headed over to Canada for cheese soup and pretzel bread.


Craig and Kristen had done the half-marathon and they were celebrating their three year wedding anniversary, so it was pretty much a big party. We got special desserts and all that from our nice canadian waiter and whatever it was that we had for lunch was amazing...I wish I could remember, but the deliciousness of the pretzel bread just drowns everything out...



After lunch (late lunch), we went over to Morocco to meet up with my dad again. Through some sort of miscommunication, I thought that they were still wandering the pavilion, but as it turned out they were just eating dinner at the restaurant, so we couldn't really visit with them for very long. We said our goodbyes there, since they were leaving early in the morning, and then Kyle and I made our way out of Epcot. We had been checking in with my mom's family all day, but nothing had changed. They were heading to MK to use their park passes, but it was going to take them a while to get there, so we had some time before we needed to get over to meet them.

That night in Epcot was the last night that we were going to be in a Disney park for a while and we both knew it. Between the week spent there for the wedding and the "honeymoon" that we had taken in August, we'd actually racked up a lot of park time. Still, it's always so sad to know that we're going to be going home. We got a hot mint tea to go, sat in Japan for a while watching people, ended up buying a couple of plastic knickknacks, and talked about how nice the week had been.



As we were leaving the park, walking under Spaceship Earth, I couldn't help but think about how many times Kyle and I had walked under that ball together. The first time I ever went to Epcot was with Kyle in 2002, while my boyfriend was at work, and he had taken me straight to the ball because it's his favorite ride at Epcot. When it was time for us to fly home from the college program, Epcot was the last park we went to and I took a picture of Kyle under the ball so that I'd always remember him there. Three years later, when we were there for the half-marathon, Epcot was the first park we hit and as we were walking under the ball, Kyle took my hand and held it for the first time in a Disney park. On our honeymoon, we ran to Spaceship Earth after overindulging on our attempt to Drink Around the World and I have lots of happy, blurry pictures of us playing and dancing around in the line for the ride. And now, with our wedding week behind us, we walked under the ball with our arms around each other (mainly me holding him up because he was still so sick) and I absolutely could not have been happier.

We took the monorail to MK and met up with Randy and J.W., who had been riding the adventureland rides. It turned out that everyone else had wised up and decided not to waste their park passes on what was left of the night, so it was just the four of us. The great thing about Randy and J.W. is that they're totally easy-going and fun, so they were up for anything. The first thing we hit was Mickey's Philharmagic, which I had really wanted my brother to see. It was TOTALLY worth it. My brother has the greatest sense of humor and gets a real kick out of things like that, so he laughed through the whole thing and completely loved it.

After Philharmagic we hit teacups, Toontown, Snow White, and snuck in a one-minute-before-closing It's a Small World. It's really the greatest ride to end the night with because it takes soooo long that you end up being in the park a half hour later than you normally would have. We shopped around a little bit, but there wasn't anything that we really needed, so we took the monorail to the Polynesian with the boys. Everyone was just hanging out, so we traded stories, snacked on the bits of food that had been collected over the course of the trip, and laughed at how many pins my aunt had managed to collect since I gave her that lanyard.



There was still no update on grandpa, but we knew that he was probably going to be there for a little while. As it got later and later (and Kyle got sicker and sicker), we debated on whether or not to go back to Pop Century. We had to check out and grab our flight the next morning and the room was a complete mess with all the wedding stuff thrown every which way. Ultimately, we ended up spending the night at the Polynesian in the extra bed because we were just so tired and it takes so long to get back to Pop Century from there.

I'll tell you, there's nothing like spending your second night as a married couple in a hotel room that you're sharing with your parents and little brother while your new husband positively burns up with fever. Good times.

04-15-2009, 10:58 AM
Oh goodness, I am so sorry to hear taht Kyle's fever didn't break! And I am hoping your grandfather is ok, the picture of him with his face painted earlier was classic, so I hope he is on the mend.

04-15-2009, 06:18 PM
Did you have your honeymoon before the wedding? Or did I misread?

And I LOVE this trip report :cool1:

04-15-2009, 10:24 PM
Grandpa is ok now...he was in FL for a lot longer than we thought he'd be, though...(more on that later)...

Yep, we took our honeymoon in August, so about 5 months before our wedding. We couldn't afford to take more than a week off of work at any given time, so we spaced everything out and ended up going in August to celebrate both our dating anniversary and my finishing law school/taking the bar. It was perfect because it was the only time we could go when we wouldn't have family and friends tagging along with us. We also did our engagement session with the Roots then and had our planning session with Marion as well.

Petals & Pixie Dust
04-15-2009, 10:59 PM
Grandpa is ok now...he was in FL for a lot longer than we thought he'd be, though...(more on that later)...

Yep, we took our honeymoon in August, so about 5 months before our wedding. We couldn't afford to take more than a week off of work at any given time, so we spaced everything out and ended up going in August to celebrate both our dating anniversary and my finishing law school/taking the bar. It was perfect because it was the only time we could go when we wouldn't have family and friends tagging along with us. We also did our engagement session with the Roots then and had our planning session with Marion as well.

Now that is a cool idea! I never thought about doing it before. DF has mentioned doing the honeymoon after the wedding..and my only reply is as long as we actually get one...I'll keep this in mind!

04-15-2009, 11:16 PM
Grandpa is ok now...he was in FL for a lot longer than we thought he'd be, though...(more on that later)...

Yep, we took our honeymoon in August, so about 5 months before our wedding. We couldn't afford to take more than a week off of work at any given time, so we spaced everything out and ended up going in August to celebrate both our dating anniversary and my finishing law school/taking the bar. It was perfect because it was the only time we could go when we wouldn't have family and friends tagging along with us. We also did our engagement session with the Roots then and had our planning session with Marion as well.

great idea

04-20-2009, 03:42 PM
Wedding Trip - The End

Kyle and I woke up early Sunday morning at the Polynesian Resort. We had to get back to our hotel, pack up our stuff, and catch the Magical Express at 10:30, so we walked over to the TTC and caught one of the marathon busses. Goodbyes with my family were short, sweet, and uncertain. I still didn't feel comfortable leaving with grandpa in the hospital and the rest of my family stranded in Orlando, but we were working on a tight timetable, so I headed back to the hotel to help Kyle pack up.

Kyle had moved from "getting sick" to "really sick" to "been sick for too long" by this point and he had absolutely no energy. We packed up our things on time, but it was a really rotten morning. Between my stress over grandpa, Kyle's illness, and the fact that we were leaving Orlando, we were both in bad spirits. I ended up calling my mom to let her know that I was going home to Ohio. I felt terrible about leaving everyone to take care of grandpa, but there was nobody else to take care of Kyle and I didn't want to send him home alone, him being as sick as he was.

The flight home was uneventful and instead of being carried over the threshold, I helped my new husband drag our stuff in so he could collapse into bed. Thus, with our beautiful Disney wedding behind us, we were home.

Epilogue: My grandfather wasn't discharged from Celebration hospital until the following Tuesday, so my family was in Orlando for four days longer than they thought they would have been. Luckily, the Polynesian staff worked with them and kept them in their rooms, which was wonderful. My grandfather is doing fine now, having changed up some medications, etc., but we're still keeping an eye on him. Kyle's fever broke the night we got home, finally, and with about 48 hours of sleep, he was back to normal.

04-20-2009, 03:54 PM
I'm not a disney bride, but I like coming on these boards and reading about other peoples happy endings (i'm a bit of a romantic!) and I've LOVED your report, you both look so happy together, and thank you for posting everything!

04-21-2009, 04:45 PM
aww so sad its over! I enjoyed your report tremendously. So glad to see both your Grandfather and Kyle are doing well now.

Thank you very much for sharing! :goodvibes

05-31-2009, 04:28 PM

I said I was going to post my trip reports from the two home receptions, but I forgot about it because they weren't at Disney...I'm not going to bother re-posting the whole reports now, but I will share some pictures. (To be honest, I mostly just look at the pictures on this site anyway, so I completely understand if this is a fly-by reception viewing)...

And sorry for the delay! I'm a dope. :p

Our Reception in Napa















Our Reception in Ohio










05-31-2009, 07:40 PM
oh wow - 3 receptions! lucky girl! everything looked wonderful :goodvibes

10-24-2009, 11:28 PM
I know, this thread happened a while ago, but I just came across it! I love your writing Carly, and I loved reading about your wedding!

I'm so sorry about Rev. Knox. So unprofessional! I'm sure he's sorry he did that to a Disbride, since now hundreds of girls know not to use him!

I love your Root's pictures....I may have to look into them! They look awesome and fun to work with. Anyone who puts a smiley face in the welcome message on their home webpage looks good to me!

I loved your last minute programs as well, they didn't lose last minute at all! What font did you use? It worked great, not too over the top!

10-30-2009, 03:10 AM
I know, this thread happened a while ago, but I just came across it! I love your writing Carly, and I loved reading about your wedding!

I'm so sorry about Rev. Knox. So unprofessional! I'm sure he's sorry he did that to a Disbride, since now hundreds of girls know not to use him!

I love your Root's pictures....I may have to look into them! They look awesome and fun to work with. Anyone who puts a smiley face in the welcome message on their home webpage looks good to me!

I loved your last minute programs as well, they didn't lose last minute at all! What font did you use? It worked great, not too over the top!

:goodvibes That's so nice! Thank you! You must have really dug deep to find this one!!!

Yep, it was too bad about Rev. Knox. He's had a lot of good reviews from Disney brides, too, so I'm sure it evens out. I suppose everyone has their bad days...maybe his just happened to be the two days around my wedding!

The Roots are awesome. You can't go wrong with them. They worked magic with our wedding.

01-08-2010, 12:49 PM
It's our one year anniversary today!!!!

I can't believe the time has gone by so fast! It seems like only yesterday that I was searching for wedding newsletter templates...

01-08-2010, 01:09 PM
Happy anniversary!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1

01-08-2010, 05:46 PM
It's our one year anniversary today!!!!

I can't believe the time has gone by so fast! It seems like only yesterday that I was searching for wedding newsletter templates...

Aw! Happy Anniversary!! :goodvibes

06-28-2010, 01:09 PM
Carly I am not a Disney bride but I hope to be a Disney vow renewal bride in a couple of years. I loved your programs as well. I agree with the Rev Knox not cool in my book. I understand people have off days but he was way off in my book. But I am glad everything turned out great. I love reading and looking at the all of Disney brides PJ and weddings. Gives me lots of ideas. I loved your place cards too even though they were simple. Where did you get that punch?