Maureen and Chris' Land and Sea May 2014 Honeymoon!!
Hello and welcome to my Honeymoon PTR and wedding planning journal!!
This is my second PTR to write on the boards. To be honest, I had every intention to write an actual trip report after our last WDW visit, but life got it the way! :confused3
I realize this trip is really far off, but we're already starting our planning... so I figured, why not!!
I am brand new to this forum and hope that I'm in the right place. We are actually getting married where we live and will only be honeymooning with Disney. I am very envious of those actually getting married there! I just have too big of a family to have them all travel and they would be SO upset to miss it!
Up next: Our story!
Table of Contents
Our Story (Part 1)
Chris and I met almost seven years ago. We were both 25 years old. I had just graduated from college about 6 months before. Right after graduation, I was hired at a marketing firm and off to a new career... or so I thought. The job turned out to be one of those pyramid companies where you only make money if you have people below you. I stayed on for only a few weeks and then ended up taking a job as a cocktail waitress for Dave & Busters just to get out of there and earn some income. I continued working at D & B for a few months while looking for a job. No bites, unfortunately. When one of my coworkers told me she knew a manager at The Cheesecake Factory and we could get jobs there, I jumped at it. It wasn't exactly the job I was looking for, but it was better money and closer to home.
So I got the job and on my first day on the floor my friend was being trained by Chris. She told me that first day that she thought he liked me. But, there was a problem... I already had a boyfriend... who I lived with.... she told Chris this and life went on.
But here's the thing: the boyfriend I lived with (we'll call him the ex for clarity since his name is Chris too) was not a nice guy. He liked to yell and throw things. A lot. And I was one of those girls who thought I could fix this... So here I am, living with this guy who was treating me horribly. I loved going to work because it got me out and socializing with other people. It was a break from my horrible home life!
After about six months, I was promoted to the bar... where Chris worked! So on the night of my bar certification, I was out very late. After the bar closed, I had to sit with Chris and go over the night and complete the paperwork. When I finally got home, the ex was livid. He thought I had been with another guy. He ended up getting so upset with me that he threw a plate at me. It broke and hit me, tearing open my arm and my leg. Here I am gushing blood and the ex tells me to find my keys so we can go to the hospital. You may be wondering why we couldn't take his car? Oh, because he didn't want me to get blood in it!!
So to make a long story short, I left him that night. I moved in with my parents for a few weeks to have surgery and heal, and then I was off on my own again. At work, Chris was very supportive. We really became good friends in the next couple months. He made it very clear that he wanted more but was willing to wait until I was ready. So we hung out...
and hung out...
and hung out some more...
Poor guy had to wait a long time for me...
Finally, when I was ready, we started casually dating.
We made it official on July 3rd, 2007 and never looked back.
Welcome! Can't wait to read your plans!
Our Story (Part 2)
So I really got two for the price of one in starting a relationship with Chris. Along with him, came his then four year old son, Ashton!
At that point, Chris only had Ashton three days a week because of his work schedule. Ashton's mom would watch him two days a week and Chris' mom would watch him each weekend. As soon as we were serious, we worked it out so we could keep him most of the week. It was a lot of swapping Ashton at work and very little time together, but oh so worth it!
Before I knew it, my guest room had been redecorated for Ashton and my closet was being shared with Chris. We were "living together" but he still had his own place too.
Then, in January of 2010, my world changed...
I found out I was pregnant!!! :goodvibes
Nine months later, Aidan was born!
By now, Ashton's mom had pretty much faded out of his live and he was with us full time. Chris and Ashton officially gave up their other house before the baby was born and we all lived happily together in my tiny duplex.
The next summer, we bought a house to better fit our needs.
So now we had the house, the kids, and the love... all that was missing was tying the knot!
For the love of Disney
My obsession with Disney really started about five years ago.
I did visit the World twice when I was younger: I first went to Disney World when I was in the 4th grade. I don't remember many specifics of that trip (heck, I was only nine!). I can remember visiting with Mickey and that's about it. What I do remember is how much fun I had and how much I loved it! Then in high school, I had the opportunity to go to Disney World with the band. This trip is much more memorable. I loved Tower of Terror (and can remember standing in that queue FOREVER!). I hated Epcot. Magic Kingdom was my favorite park at that point.
After that trip, though, I never really thought about going back. That was until one day when Chris and I were watching TV and saw one of those visit Disney commercials. I started talking about how much fun I had on the trips I went on and how much Ashton would love it. This was in early 2008, so Ashton was 5 years old. And here begins my obsession We saved our money and headed for the World in July of that year. We had such a great time!! I had read the Unofficial Guide beforehand, so I felt pretty well prepared for the crowds.
I love this picture of Asthon:
As soon as we got back, I started planning how we could go back. I joined the boards and began reading as much as I could about the best time to go and how to get the most our of a trip. I convinced Chris to take Ashton out of school for a couple days (it was only kindergarten and he's very smart!) and we were able to go back in December of 2009. We went early in the month, so it was slow and mild temperature. We were able to see everything we wanted to see and had a much more relaxed vacation than the previous one!
I can't find any of my other pics from this trip... I think they're on a different computer. :(
After this trip, we had to put Disney on hold with having a baby and buying a house. Last year, we were able to save up some money and decided to go back. This time we went all out: 10 days, a moderate for the first time, a trip to Universal... and a big surprise!
We were having the trip of a lifetime. We had already spent five days at Disney and two days at Universal. This was the second to last day of our trip and the last visit to Magic Kingdom. We got there bright and early for EMH. As we walked down Main Street, we stopped for a PhotoPass employee to take our picture.
There was nothing unusual about this. I had purchased the CD in advance, so we had been taking as many pictures as we could. On this occasion, after we got our family pic, Chris suggested we take a pic of just the two of us.
Notice how nervous he looks and how his hand is hiding behind his back?
Next thing I knew, he was down on one knee proposing! Right there on Main Street! It was like a dream!!
I think I said, "Are you kidding me?" and freaked out a bit, but I said yes, of course!
The PhotoPass employee sent us to City Hall to get "Just Engaged" pins and those employees sent us over to get a copy of one of the pictures framed. Disney is so fantastic!
So now I have a wedding to plan... and, of course, a Disneymoon!
I love your story! So cute!
Picking out a Date!
For those of you who don't know me, I am a type A planner. I live to plan! I love the pre-trip portion of Disney vacations almost as much as I love the trip itself. And now I get to plan a wedding AND a vacation???
I think I waited all the way to the plane ride home to ask Chris if I could actually start planning the wedding!
So first things first, I had to figure out when the wedding would be. I figured if I could narrow down the time of year, I could start looking into venue information. Living in Texas, I immediately vetoed a summer wedding. WAY too hot. I also eliminated winter... Just not the wedding I envisioned. So that left us with fall and spring.
Next, I made a list of pros and cons for each. Since the weather here would be about the same for either, I focused more on the honeymoon aspect. I knew we would most likely be spending some time in Disney World, so I looked at rain levels and the crowd calendars for those seasons. This narrowed me down to late April, May, late September, and October. I also knew we were most likely going on a cruise so I eliminated September because of hurricane season. Next, I eliminated October. The first week is Aidan's birthday (the 3rd) and the last is my birthday (the 31st... as in Halloween Baby!!). I really don't want to have an anniversary in there too! I also eliminated the second, third and forth weekend of May since it is Mother's Day, my dad's birthday, and Memorial weekend. So that left me with the last week or two of April and the first weekend in May.
So from here, I started venue shopping. With my type A personality, I wanted to visit a lot to know for sure it was the right decision. Chris decided he would wait to check anything out until after I narrowed it down some. So I looked at several... some were alright, some were terrible... and then I came to the one. I think I knew it was right as I walked up.
The venue is The Tribute Golf Club. It is beautiful...
The ceremony location:
The reception location:
My pictures are from my crappy old phone and just don't do the place justice.
So I sat down with the coordinator and she explained to me that there is a huge difference in price between April and May... as in a $6000 difference. Well that makes it easy. That left us with the last two weeks of April to decide from.
Before Chris and I went back for him to see the place, I researched the cruises a bit. I saw, historically, that the last weekend of April is usually the Western 7 day cruise and the first weekend of May is the Eastern 7 day cruise. I preferred the Eastern because I have seen some of the current port locations on the Western.
When we went for our appointment, Chris loved it too. We settled on April 27th of 2014 and booked!! The venue does the catering too, so there was a big chuck of the planning done already! Up next to figure out: the DJ, the photographer (and maybe a videographer), and the cruise!!
The Honeymoon Plan
Our decision to go on a cruise was an easy one. Neither of us have ever been on a cruise but we've always wanted to do it. I think the honeymoon is the perfect opportunity! We decided we want to go on a 7 day cruise to really experience it right! But that left us with a large amount of time between the wedding and the honeymoon. Some might see this as a problem, but I saw it as an opportunity to go to the World for a few days!! I have always wanted to go to the Flower & Garden Festival at Epcot and this seemed to be the perfect opportunity!
With our wedding being on a Sunday and the cruise leaving on a Saturday, we would have Monday through Friday to get there and enjoy ourselves. Our ultimate plan as of right now (if we can save enough!) is:
Monday: fly to MCO in the early afternoon; ADR that evening; check into the Poly??
Tuesday: Go to the Parks
Wednesday: Go to the Parks
Thursday: Go to the Parks
Friday: Check out; Maybe go to the parks in the morning; Drive to the Port and check a hotel out there.
I'd like to try some things at the World that we've never done... maybe some new ADRs, maybe a tour or two? We want to travel to the port early to have a more relaxed day that Saturday. This is contingent on a good priced one-way rental car though. Not sure what parks we'll visit besides Epcot... maybe Magic Kingdom since that's where we got engaged.
I am also wondering about doing a split stay at two hotels while at WDW. I have always wanted to stay at the Poly. I thought we'd stay there for the entire WDW part of our trip, but I'm wondering about maybe doing a couple nights there and a couple nights at AKL with a balcony savannah view??
Decisions, decisions... at least I have plenty of time!!
At the end we may stay a night too somewhere instead of going straight to the airport after arriving back from the cruise. We're thinking we may rent a car again, and drive someplace nearby that we haven't visited before. I'm not really sure where that may be but there's so much in this area, I'm sure we can figure out something!
Everything looks amazing so far. Can't wait to read more! :)
So when I ended last, I stated that my next steps are to find a DJ, find a photographer and maybe a videographer, and figure out the cruise.
First, I began researching DJs. True to form, I emailed MANY different DJs. Mostly I was interested in finding a professional person who could get the crowd involved without being cheesy and (VERY IMPORTANT) is affordable! I heard back from a lot of them and they wanted over $1000 dollars!! Chris and I are not made of money and, truth be told, I'd rather put money towards the honeymoon! We are paying for the wedding mostly on our own and I really need it to stay reasonable. I also heard from one guy who said he could do the whole thing for $600. This included both the ceremony and reception, an assistant, and lighting. It sounded too good to be true! We decided we'd meet with him. Before we did though, I did some research on him: he rated 5 stars on both weddingwire and projectwedding!! So when we met him, he had a whole book explaining each stage of the wedding and the music that can be used, choices for us, and CDs to help us choose. I love his organization and thoroughness. We booked on the spot. Done with another big step!!
As for the photographer, we actually have a friend who does it. He says he'll give us a really good deal. We planned to meet up this week to see his portfolio, but Chris ended up having to work... We'll need to reschedule sometime soon.
Most important: the cruise! I contacted Mouse Fan Travel and enlisted the help of an agent. I've never gone through an agency before. I LOVE to plan the details of the trip. But with the wedding, I'm afraid I'll be going nuts with too much to do the weeks leading up to it. We were assigned to Stephanie, who has been really helpful so far. The dates aren't out yet so we can't actually book anything. But she helped us understand the different room options and the last posted price for them. We're just waiting on the dates to get released now!
And that's where we're at so far. I'm very excited about this week: on Friday, I'm going dress shopping!! I'm taking my mom, my sister, and my best friend. Both of the girls are my MOHs. I didn't want to have to choose between them and thought they'd be great sharing the responsibility. They really liked the idea and it took the pressure out of the situation for who I was going to choose. I really didn't want any animosity because of a decision I made! So we're going to Alfred Angelo to check out dresses! Maybe I'll find the one!!!
On my last post, I said I was going to look at dresses the week of Thanksgiving. We had some puppy issues happen at home that have been keeping me occupied... I've had time for the wedding stuff, but no time to report it! My one pup, Izza, got a mysterious gash on her face (still no clue how she got it). We took her in to get a couple stitches and the vet found a lump... she took some of the fluids out of the inside and says its a mast tumor. When she gets her stitches out, we'll have to get her checked out more thoroughly and schedule her surgery. That same week we had to take our new pup, Tucker in for his heart worms procedure. He's fine but he has to stay in his cage almost all of the time. Not a good week to be a dog in my house!
Anyways, I went with my mom, my sister, and my best friend to Alfred Angelo the day after Thanksgiving to look at dresses. We showed up at 10 am and no one was there! Turns out they don't even open until 11! Pretty soon the regional manager showed up... I told her what happened and she said she'd be happy to help us out until the other girls showed up. They definitely took good care of us! I probably tried on ten dresses in all. I didn't get that "feeling" like some brides do... I think I'm just too picky to find a dress that has everything I want. But the one I chose I do like a lot! It's below my budget, which I did on purpose, so I can make alterations to turn it into my dream dress. Here are the pictures:
This is the dress on it's own... no nothing added to it, no petticoat underneath it.
The back.. in this pic, they had added some bling to dress it up a bit.
This is how I liked the middle the best. The dress comes with a sash in any color option... I got it in the same color as the dress (Diamond White?? What exactly is Diamond White?). They put a band of bling on the top and bottom of the sash to add a bit to it. I like this look because it makes my torso look longer.
I plan on taking the dress to a local seamstress who is known for working magic. I am going to have her dress it up a bit, adding a sweetheart neckline and something similar to the last picture for middle part.
I stalked Craigslist for a petticoat and ended up getting one for 20 bucks! I got a full one to really add to the roundness of the dress. So now I'm set until February when it comes in. I just need to find my shoes between now and then!
My cruise is officially booked and 1/3 of the way paid for! :cool1:
Here's the scoop:
We're booked on the Fantasy for the May 3, 2014 7 day Eastern Caribbean cruise! We're going to St. Maarten, St. Thomas/St. John, and Castaway Cay! Our TA got us room 10158, an aft room on the 10th floor with an oversized balcony. SO EXCITED!
This weekend, I went to Target and used several spend $50, get a $10 gift card coupons. Not just on the gift cards, but also on the groceries and Christmas shopping I had left to do. In all, I spent $730 dollars towards Disney gift cards and got $1050! What a deal! Now I just need to give my TA all of the card numbers!! :goodvibes
So with that, I'm about a year and four months away from the wedding and have the venue, the DJ, the dress, and the honeymoon! I feel like I'm staying on track. We're taking a break from wedding stuff until after the holidays, but then I'll pick up on getting a cake, a photographer, a videographer, and an officiant!
HAPPY HOLIDAYS EVERYONE!! :)
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