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XxsmortzxX 07-31-2012 06:33 AM

An & Courtney's DCL Fantasy Wedding October 2013
Hey! After lurking around in the shadows of this forum and learning from all these magical experiences, I have decided to put up our planning journal. I hope it could be of some use to someone else.

I guess I should give a little background to our relationship, as it definitely shows our personalities. An and I met on a video game - yes, I am serious :rotfl:. We both enjoy playing video games in our off time and happened to end up in the same lobby where we stayed up all night having fun and well... shooting other players. A month of this went by and we exchanged phone numbers followed by video chatting on Skype. A year later he flew across the country to meet my parents and spend the Christmas holiday with us all. As a Disney family, we instantly took him there - he had never been there before. It was like seeing a small kid. By the end of the day, he was worn out and slept like a baby on the drive back. Now, three years later, we happily live together - still just a forty minute drive to Disneyland - and are planning our wedding. Yay!

---> Us:

My fiance and I thought long and hard on where we wanted to get married. We have been thinking about it for almost half a year. We went from autumn color venues and wineries to sandy beaches and backdoor-type venues, but decided we wanted something a bit more meaningful than visual appearances. After a spur of the moment session with my parents, we decided to do a Disney Cruise Line wedding. As soon as I told my fiance about the idea, he was a bit worried about the cost, but psyched about doing it. The location is perfect. His family is in New York and mine is here in CA, and we would love to fly to a spot we can all enjoy and spend a bit more time together. The cruise gives us seven days of this!

As of now, we are booked for the Oct. 12 Fantasy cruise and eagerly counting the months and days until it takes off! I have done all of this through Lisa R. of http://www.*******************************/. She has been a HUGE help with her experience as both a vacation planner and DCL bride. She seems to know exactly what I am thinking and different ways to make planning a wedding easier! I am still waiting to hear from the wedding coordinator and can’t wait to continue making plans and reservations.

We are still in the process of brainstorming different ways to do things, but an important concern of ours is the wedding photography. We have read mixed reviews on the disboards when it came to whether to bring a photographer along or go with the Cruise photographer. I would love to hear some experiences (good or bad) from either side. :D

Wow, I didn’t think this post would be so long! :eek:

Plum85 07-31-2012 02:03 PM

Congrats on your upcoming journey! Count me in!

XxsmortzxX 08-02-2012 04:55 PM

Wedding Contact
Thanks Plum!

I just received an email from DFTW. My wedding coordinator will be Meredith G. She has been super nice so far, but I have yet to ask her my questions, as I have a lot of them. We are contacting outside photographers to take with us. I do not want to risk being stuck with wedding photos we are unhappy with. I am so excited though! We are flying to New York in two months to see his family and talk to them about how many of them want a stateroom on the cruise. I feel almost strange for planning this far out in advance, but I guess because it's a cruise wedding it needs that year planning... :scratchin

Freckledginger 08-21-2012 02:19 PM

Hi Courtney!! :goodvibes
Very excited to find your PJ! I had initially wanted to have a Fantasy wedding, but DF was concerned 7 days would be too long for guests to take off from work (saddness...), so it'll be great to live vicariously through yours!

You and your fiance are such a cute couple! Would love to hear your proposal story!

Lisa is an amazing vacation planner! She has also helped me with booking our wedding, and I cannot say enough good things about her. You're in very good hands! :)

Best of luck with your external photographer search! It can be a bit trying at times, but in my opinion, is very worth the effort. Wedding photography is also very important to me, so I knew that I wouldn't be happy with leaving it up to chance.

I'm subscribing to this thread, and look forward to reading more about your plans!!

XxsmortzxX 08-21-2012 04:11 PM

Hello! Yes, we are learning about now that there are a bit more difficulties with the 7 day than with the 3 or 4 day. We do not really have to worry about friends needing time off. We are only bringing our two families, both our parents are retired, so no work there. ;) We invited a maid of honor and best man ... and that's about it...

However! I am learning that outside photographers would much rather turn down a 7 day cruise and take on two separate 3 day cruises, or just charge a ridiculous price that is so far out of the budget.

We were very close to choosing the Disney photographers when I sort of questioned Meredith(wedding coordinator) about them. I was under the impression that Disney Event Photography worked the Disney Cruise Line as well. Even with that, there are so many mixed reviews about the quality of the pictures and the lack of knowing who will be assigned to you.

Meredith corrected me on this. Disney Cruise goes to a third party called Image (you can find photos on their website: We clicked on it and came to two tabs.. 'Shipboard event photography' and 'Wedding Photography'.
The Wedding Photography page is non existent and leads you to a 'Coming Soon' page.
The Shipboard Event photography brings you to a bunch of pictures that look as if they were taken at one of those mall stores. :/

It is safe to say we are still on a search for a reasonable, outside photographer. We tried Jennifer W. and the Arndts but both were already booked for October 2013.

I would love it if any one can shout off names of any other photographers who have done Disney Cruises.

Freckledginger 08-22-2012 12:28 AM

Yeah, the whole lack of professional photography is a serious minus about the DCL weddings... Some brides do end up having positive experiences with the cruise photographers, but from what I understand, you just have to be uber organized and have all your shots pretty much planned. I agree with you though. If photography is very important to you, it's worth trying to find an external photographer.

Besides Jennifer Werneth, the photographers I've come across that have done DCL weddings are:
-The Roots (they actually did a WDW and then DCL honeymoon)
-Mikkel Paige
-Erica Ann Photography
-Katherine Birkbeck
-Divine Light Photography
-Lifelong Studios
-Christina Ann Photography

I actually have saved a lot of DCL wedding photos (I was a little obsessed about collecting them for a while, haha), so if you're interested in seeing a bunch of photos, just let me know and I can pass them along :goodvibes

Other photographers that I'm aware future DCL brides have booked include: Jessica Cumbie Photography (my photographer) and Randy Chapman Photography. Jillian (JBeanBunny) also is bringing an external photographer, but I can't recall who....

In addition to checking out photographers who have done/are getting ready to do DCL weddings, my recommendation would be to check with out of town/your local photographers and/or photographers who have never done a DCL wedding. In my search, I found that photographers in those demographics were much more flexible/willing to negotiate on price than those who had previously done cruise weddings. Also check out, Katie Keller Photography and Sarah Bray Photography. They were really nice to me during my search a year ago.

Hope this helps, and best of luck!

XxsmortzxX 08-30-2012 12:46 PM

Delayed Reply... :/
Wow, a lot has happened in just a week. As far as wedding planning goes, my DF is going to town on making the invitations. (He does pro-photography as a hobby and is a wizard at Photoshop). I will post pictures of the invitations and envelopes that he is making when they are finished.

We decided to skip Save the Dates, since we are sending the invitations out 1 year in advance due to it being a Disney Cruise wedding. When it comes closer to the date, we will send out a newsletter/brochure type thing with more information.

I am working with Lisa to book a group of rooms at a hotel around Orlando Int'l airport, but looks like I cannot get a fixed room rate until Oct. 1. :( I am one of those people that love planning ahead, so waiting to plan is not my forte. :confused3 However, we are having a hilarious time planning. My mother seems to think that because we are getting married means that she is closer to getting 'Asian grandbabies'. :rotfl2: She is constantly calling me with ideas, so I feel as if I only have to sign the paperwork!

Ginger, your photography tips were such a big help! They definitely came in handy. I could not look locally for a photographer because either way they would charge me airfare, so what I did was go to a wedding venue site. In this case, I used the knot(wedding magazine). They have venues listed by state, so I looked around Florida for reputable photographers.

We were able to find Ashley Jane, who does wonderful wedding photos and loves to do boudoir shoots. I have not done a boudoir, so am I bit nervous. However, I think it will be a good after-wedding gift ;). She has agreed to photograph the wedding for the cruise fare as long as she could use the pictures for the portfolio, which is something I figured. We are paying for her and an assistant to go, so two photographers is definitely worth it to me! We are also talking about doing some shoots at some of the ports we are getting off at. I am looking forward to it!

On a side note, my older sister was able to get a cast member discount for one of the Pixar Pacific coast cruises. So for the last week, I have done last minute things to speedily get ready for the September 23rd Wonder cruise along California. I feel kind of silly going on it since we live in San Diego (which is one of the ports), but am really hoping they are going to have exclusive Pixar merchandise. I will pray to the Disney gods! :worship:

Freckledginger 09-01-2012 12:12 AM

Hi Courtney!
Wow, you've accomplished a lot this week! :)

That's so fantastic that your fiancé is going to make the invitations! I really prefer custom invitations; they're unique and tell a specific story about the couple. We also did custom invites, but I'm not as talented as your fiancé, so I worked with a graphics designer on them. I'm sure your guests will love them, and you'll be really happy you went that route.

I think your plan to skip Save The Dates is smart. We sent them out via email, and most of our guests booked their cruises at that point. So when we sent out invites two months ago, they mainly seemed to serve as a reminder to those guests to finalize their cruise payments :laughing: Invitations and a newsletter will probably work much better.

Sorry to hear you can't book your hotel block right away. I know waiting to plan something is always a bummer. Is it October 1 of this year or next?

I'm so glad to hear that I was able to provide a little assistance with your photographer search :goodvibes There's not nearly as much info circulating regarding DCL weddings as WDW weddings, so I think it's really important we all support each other. I've had help from past DCL brides, so I'm excited to be able to return the favor.

That's so great about Ashley Jane! I'm sure she'll do a beautiful job on your wedding :) You should totally do a Boudoir shoot! I did one with my photographer, and I cannot recommend the experience enough. It's fun, makes a great Groom's gift, and really helps you become super comfortable around your photographer.

The Pixar cruise sounds so wicked! You'll have an amazing time, I'm sure. Please take lots of photos so we can live vicariously through you ;)

XxsmortzxX 09-12-2012 05:55 PM

I am becoming aware that this thread may be out of place, as it is not in the planning journal sub-category. I will try to message an admin and see if I can have it moved over and out of the way! I feel so guilty for having it out of place.

An went to Michael's and bought a really nice style of cardstock to print the invitations out on. It's not bleached white, and a bit textured, so I am sure it will come out all good. It has been a learning experience, as he bought way too many paper, forgetting that there will be 2 invitations printed out on each one. He came up with a little fun idea to do 'special' things with the extra to stick with the maid of honor and best man invitations. We are also designing prints for our envelopes. We are hoping to come up with a silhouette of the cruise ship and then just print the address directly on each envelope.

On a side note, while waiting for October 1, 2012 to roll around so I can make more reservations for hotels, I completed Phase 2 of being hired by the Long Beach Fire or Police department for an emergency dispatcher. I am hoping this will go through, as I have tried with other departments before and made it to the end but it just hasn't worked out yet. :( Hopefully, this time it will be successful.

I am so excited for our Pixar Cruise too! An could not get the last minute days off work, but is going to meet us at the San Diego port and hang with us for that day on the cruise! I am definitely packing both a camera and video camera so there will be a ton of things to post afterwards!

Freckledginger 09-13-2012 09:37 AM

Yay for getting started on your invitations! The cardstock sounds lovely. I really like more natural looking papers/cardstock...has a nice feel to it, in my opinion. That's also great that you're doing a special insert for your bridal party. I'm sure they will love that extra gesture :) Can't wait to see the finished product!

Congratulations on the job progression! That's really fantastic! I hope that things continue to go well and you get hired! I'm in the middle of the job search process as well, so I know how stressful that can be. Will send good thoughts you way that everything works out :goodvibes

XxsmortzxX 10-01-2012 12:45 PM

Wow Ginger, only three weeks until your wedding! You must be so excited!

We just got back from the Pixar/Pacific Cruise yesterday. An was extremely bummed he couldn't go on it because of the iPhone 5 release at Sprint. It was hard to get days off of work with that phone selling. I just finished uploading the photos though. My parents booked their room for next October on this cruise though so they can get the 10% discount. Woo hoo!

The cruise itself was amazing. The Wonder is such a nice boat, and it was the last ship I was on so it was neat to see the changes. However, I was sort of shocked at the service. The worker at the pool knocked over my book, key, cover up when he took the cushions off the chairs at night, which resulted in the key and the shirt being blown away in the wind. :(
Our first set of servers were both extremely knew, and upon learning of my allergies to tomato and other things he kept asking me if I wanted Ketchup. We also didn't get to order drinks until after our dinner was served. We requested a server change and got put with Rakesh, Sedat, and Adela, in the late seating, who were simply amazing!

I will start the photos off with the main focus of the cruise - MY NEPHEW(who spent most of his time eating his foot.)

This is the New Outlook they built for the Alaskan cruises. It was incredibly small compared to the Fantasy and Dream Outlook pictures... Excuse my dad, who decided not to wait for me to take these pictures to sit down. :rotfl:

Okay, back to fun Pixar pictures!!! All the baby ones are with my parents... which I will still for later... :P

But I do have to add this last one... My mother spilled her coke and did the mature thing... blame the innocent lil guy!

These are our excellent servers... We requested them to be on our next Wonder sailing in November...

Freckledginger 10-08-2012 12:40 PM

Hi Courtney!
Thanks for the shout out! It's crazy how quickly time is flying! Still got tons to do, but it's exciting that things are getting so close! :goodvibes

Yay for posting photos of your Pixar cruise!
Firstly, your nephew is too cute for words! I'm sorry to hear there were some service issues, but I'm glad that Disney rectified those. Did you have special shows on the cruise due to the Pixar theme?? The character photos were great! Oh, and I love your blue dress in the last photo! Looks fantastic on you!! :)

Not sure why your PJ hasn't had more followers... It's a great PJ!! Maybe you should post on the DCL brides thread again, and just note that you had a PJ going for those who'd like to follow. I'm sure there are a lot of DCL brides that would like to hear about your plans!

XxsmortzxX 10-12-2012 09:10 PM

Yes, they had a talk from Pixar's Roger Gould who coordinated the creation of Cars Land at DCA, the Finding Nemo ride and Toy Story Mania as well as Buzz Lightyear's Shooting ride. I know that's not the name but I can't think of it right now. :/ There was also a hilarious Toy Story musical. The aliens were hysterical, we couldn't stop laughing!

So, I realized I did not put the proposal story on here. It was definitely a unique one. For a little bit of back story, we both met online video games. We spend most of our days off or nightly breaks playing online video games with our coworkers and friends. It's a nice way to cool off and get away from reality.
Anyways, he had asked me to join a private lobby, (which I was a jerk about because I was already in a game) but I began to receive a dozen invites from other people. I decided to pop in and figure out what was going on.

This is what I came into...

There were 20 of our friends in there, and the setting was a church(I thought this part was funny). Then he virtually crouched in front of me and asked. I was completely shocked and laughing when he walked out into the living room and gave me this...

I was freaking out! I still had my headset on too so everyone was laughing!!! he had the ring and remote both custom made and I was shaking so bad he had to put it on. :P One of our friends in there recorded the audio but I have yet to remind him to send it to me.

Fivepin 10-13-2012 07:00 AM

Hi Courtney-

Congratulations looking forward to following your journey.

I'm doing a VR in the Outlook on the Dream November 19th.

Good luck with everything.

parshi 10-25-2012 01:34 AM

Happy to see this post... Nice pic....
Show here more please...So many congratulates...

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