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Old 07-31-2012, 05:33 AM   #1
XxsmortzxX
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Smile 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 . 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 canít 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 didnít think this post would be so long!
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Old 07-31-2012, 01:03 PM   #2
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Congrats on your upcoming journey! Count me in!
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Old 08-02-2012, 03:55 PM   #3
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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...
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Old 08-21-2012, 01:19 PM   #4
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Hi Courtney!!
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!!
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Old 08-21-2012, 03:11 PM   #5
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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: image.com)... 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.
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Old 08-21-2012, 11:28 PM   #6
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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

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!
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Old 10-25-2012, 12:34 AM   #7
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Happy to see this post... Nice pic....
Show here more please...So many congratulates...
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Old 10-25-2012, 05:21 PM   #8
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Thanks Fivepin and congratulations on your vow renewal! You must be so excited with less than a month away!!!

Thank you Parshi! We should have pictures of the custom invitations and envelopes.

(We plan on sending them on Monday, so we will be getting them together on Sunday when I will snap a few pictures!!!)
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Old 11-29-2012, 04:57 PM   #9
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I talked to Meredith about dietary needs. I am celiac and was concerned about wedding cakes. She said disney could provide a gluten free cake, but other guests probably would not like it as gluten free is a bit blander. The alternative choice was to have a special gluten free dessert made for me and I went this route.

On the last two cruises I had asked for gluten free menus instead of tip-toeing around everything. Here are two pictures of my favorite desserts:
These are from Palo's brunch. White chocolate dipped strawberries, mango panna cotta, and a chocolate pudding with coffee jello pieces on top. The last two were amazing!


This one was my overall favorite. I am pretty sure they called it the gluten free lava cake. It was super moist! They also gave me a bowl of raspberries to enjoy it with because they knew those were my favorites!


Onto wedding! I sent out the invitations yesterday. My fiance did a cute job on them. The invite itself looks a bit like a Fastpass, so I will post a picture of that when I get the chance. The envelope was made with a small little silhouette of the cruise ship it the corner, and we printed everyone's address onto it. The post office did not have anything to say about it.. So Victory!

I also asked Meredith about ceremony readings. My side of the family is not really religious, and his family is Buddhist/Catholic, so we did not want to have anything in the reading that may offend anyone. She sent me over what the officiant would say. If we are unhappy with it, we can have a family or friend do the reading, but they cannot change what their officiant says. I was actually quite happy with the reading she sent me, so I will leave it at that. I am not sure if we are going to recite our own vows or not thought.

On a side note, on Black Friday I tried to look for wedding favors. I am a huge online shopper and was shocked at how great The Knot - the wedding magazine - store was. They have wonderful sale on bulk wedding favors that can be personalized, and great gifts and ideas. I have since then been glued to their site.
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Old 12-15-2012, 11:50 AM   #10
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Hi Courtney!
Good to catch up with your PJ again!
That's fantastic that DCL is able to accomodate your dietary needs. All the desserts you posted looked yummy Our wedding cake turned out to be very tasty, so I know your guests will enjoy that.

Yay for sending out invitations!! It's so exciting when people start RSVPing and you start to see their names and room numbers on the website Lisa has for your group It was one of my favorite parts of the whole wedding process. Do you expect a good sized group??

I know it's a hard decision to make on whether or not to do your own vows. We decided to, and I'm so glad we did. It was a bit stressful coming up with what we would say to each other on the day (we wanted to surprise each other), but I cannot express how emotional and meaningful it was to make our own unique promises to each other. No matter what you decide though I'm sure it'll be a lovely ceremony!

Can't wait to hear more of your plans!
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Old 12-15-2012, 10:24 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by XxsmortzxX View Post
I talked to Meredith about dietary needs. I am celiac and was concerned about wedding cakes. She said disney could provide a gluten free cake, but other guests probably would not like it as gluten free is a bit blander. The alternative choice was to have a special gluten free dessert made for me and I went this route.

On the last two cruises I had asked for gluten free menus instead of tip-toeing around everything. Here are two pictures of my favorite desserts:
These are from Palo's brunch. White chocolate dipped strawberries, mango panna cotta, and a chocolate pudding with coffee jello pieces on top. The last two were amazing!


This one was my overall favorite. I am pretty sure they called it the gluten free lava cake. It was super moist! They also gave me a bowl of raspberries to enjoy it with because they knew those were my favorites!


Onto wedding! I sent out the invitations yesterday. My fiance did a cute job on them. The invite itself looks a bit like a Fastpass, so I will post a picture of that when I get the chance. The envelope was made with a small little silhouette of the cruise ship it the corner, and we printed everyone's address onto it. The post office did not have anything to say about it.. So Victory!

I also asked Meredith about ceremony readings. My side of the family is not really religious, and his family is Buddhist/Catholic, so we did not want to have anything in the reading that may offend anyone. She sent me over what the officiant would say. If we are unhappy with it, we can have a family or friend do the reading, but they cannot change what their officiant says. I was actually quite happy with the reading she sent me, so I will leave it at that. I am not sure if we are going to recite our own vows or not thought.

On a side note, on Black Friday I tried to look for wedding favors. I am a huge online shopper and was shocked at how great The Knot - the wedding magazine - store was. They have wonderful sale on bulk wedding favors that can be personalized, and great gifts and ideas. I have since then been glued to their site.

Wow, they sure do look yummy!
Congrats on sending out invitations - that was the fun part for me. I would love to see a picture of them, they sound great!
What are you doing for favors? Have you thought about if you are doing a guest book? I'm on the fence on what I want to do about that ...
Look forward to your updates!
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Old 01-15-2013, 09:01 PM   #12
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Hooray for gluten free!

Thanks for posting all these celiac friendly pictures. I am looking forward to getting back on the cruise line and tasting these delicious treats.
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Old 12-17-2012, 01:44 PM   #13
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Hi I haven't had a chance to read your thread yet apart from where your getting married and wanted to say I will be on the same cruise and getting married the week before you!
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Old 12-28-2012, 08:45 PM   #14
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Wow, sorry for the delay! We are in between moving from an apartment to a house (which happens to be in a different state) and have been busy trying to work out this process all while dealing with Christmas and New Years.

I hope every one is enjoying the holidays!!! We've been enjoying the numerous Christmas dinners.
Now... Onwards to the wedding!

Quote:
Originally Posted by clarabella View Post
Hi I haven't had a chance to read your thread yet apart from where your getting married and wanted to say I will be on the same cruise and getting married the week before you!
Congratulations on your wedding!!! I will be honest, after the hurricane scare this October I was a bit nervous that some guests would not want to go (we have gotten a few questions). However, I went on a 7-day Magic cruise back in 2005 for Halloween and I don't remember worrying about it in the least bit. Have you been on the new ship before? We are so excited to see it!

Quote:
Originally Posted by lescal79 View Post
Wow, they sure do look yummy!
Congrats on sending out invitations - that was the fun part for me. I would love to see a picture of them, they sound great!
What are you doing for favors? Have you thought about if you are doing a guest book? I'm on the fence on what I want to do about that ...
Look forward to your updates!
I will work on getting a picture of the invitations and envelopes out this week. Freckledginger had an amazing Fastpass invitation for her welcome party, and I had asked if I could use that as an idea for our wedding invitations. I just thought to actually have the date in the Fastpass time area would be hilarious! Also, most of our guests are big-time Disney fans so we knew they would love a Disney-inspired invitation!
As for favors, I will be making the magnets for the stateroom doors. I will try to engineer a photo. I kind of want to do the Up photo of when they got married at the church, because it will probably resemble mine. His family is traditional Vietnamese and mine is more rowdy and into the poolside partying. I'm sure it would look funny! I also subscribed to theknot.com (wedding website and bridal magazine). They have a really great store where you could get personalized favors, and if you get on their newsletters you will constantly get 20%-75% off coupons. An and I did sit down and decide what we wanted to put in each bag. We are going to go for small sunscreens, lip balms, a DCL pin(maybe personalized), and also a pair of chopsticks that will be personalized with (a perfect pair) on them. :D We also want to do those cups(not sure what they are called) so people can take advantage of the beverage station without needing to worry about too many refills. Those cups are so tiny there!
An also had a brilliant idea for the guestbook. Because we are not having a very large party(just about 30 of us), he didn't want to have a large guestbook. We had thought about that whole postcard scrapbook of places we have gone or plan on going and having people sign the back of them, but it didn't seem really wedding-themed. He wants to do a photograph mat, that we can place on the outside of one of our wedding photos and then frame it in our home. I thought this was a lovely idea so we will go with it. I have a picture of something like it that we did on the 2007 DVC cruise, I will also link that picture if what I said made no sense. I do that some times...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Freckledginger View Post
Hi Courtney!
Good to catch up with your PJ again!
That's fantastic that DCL is able to accomodate your dietary needs. All the desserts you posted looked yummy Our wedding cake turned out to be very tasty, so I know your guests will enjoy that.

Yay for sending out invitations!! It's so exciting when people start RSVPing and you start to see their names and room numbers on the website Lisa has for your group It was one of my favorite parts of the whole wedding process. Do you expect a good sized group??

I know it's a hard decision to make on whether or not to do your own vows. We decided to, and I'm so glad we did. It was a bit stressful coming up with what we would say to each other on the day (we wanted to surprise each other), but I cannot express how emotional and meaningful it was to make our own unique promises to each other. No matter what you decide though I'm sure it'll be a lovely ceremony!

Can't wait to hear more of your plans!
DCL was great with my dietary needs. I am sending the picture of the yummy dessert to Meredith to see if she could find out if I could get that chocolatey goodness served beside my dangerous wedding cake. Lol! I am sure the guests+An will enjoy the cake though, all the flavors look so delicious!

It was so exciting to get the emails from Lisa telling us another guest booked their stateroom! I check up on the wedding site and still grin when I see the cabin listing. We sent out more invites(more like announcements that we were engaged) with some in mind that they would not be able to go. We are hoping for a party of around 30. Meredith said they can only do a few more unless I want the venue to be changed to one of the lounges downstairs, which I do not want!!! We want to have that ocean surrounding us out the windows!! So far we have about 8 reserved, and a few have called to tell us they plan on booking but are waiting for the military/cast member discount rates to come out.


I have started my dress shopping. My final appointment is on January 2nd. After that I will need to make my decision on which one to buy. I have picked a favorite from each bridal store I have gone to and will probably post those pictures along with the one I picked out. So far, only my mom has gone with me to pick out the dresses. My maid of honor is flying in from UK with her fiance. I was able to Skype her at one of the appointments, but it was a bit of a technical hassle. Lol.

Thank you so much for the support and hopefully I will have some photos of the invites, envelopes, favors, and dresses up after the second!
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Last edited by XxsmortzxX; 12-28-2012 at 08:59 PM.
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Old 01-09-2013, 01:58 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by XxsmortzxX
Wow, sorry for the delay! We are in between moving from an apartment to a house (which happens to be in a different state) and have been busy trying to work out this process all while dealing with Christmas and New Years.

I hope every one is enjoying the holidays!!! We've been enjoying the numerous Christmas dinners.
Now... Onwards to the wedding!

Congratulations on your wedding!!! I will be honest, after the hurricane scare this October I was a bit nervous that some guests would not want to go (we have gotten a few questions). However, I went on a 7-day Magic cruise back in 2005 for Halloween and I don't remember worrying about it in the least bit. Have you been on the new ship before? We are so excited to see it!
I did not even know it was hurricane season until after I booked it OPS! I'm a little concerned but I'm sure lots of cruises apart that time of year and have no problems.
I am new to cruising so super excited .... Can't wait to hear all your plans.
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