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Old 11-14-2012, 07:01 AM   #1
BarelyBalancedBelle
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Brand New, Not Sure How to Start, Any help appreciated!

I'm not a girl who ever dreamed of a wedding. I've never even worn a formal gown. I don't have a family who has ever attended/held a big event. I RSVP'd "no" to dozens of wedding invites over the years so I don't have a wide fan base waiting on me to get married. Basically, I'm the girl LEAST likely to know how to plan a wedding.

So, that's me... and, of course, the universe paired me up with a sweet fella who is the precise opposite of everything written above... and that brought me here. After a year of talking, we FINALLY agreed that we could both see ourselves getting married at Walt Disney World and that it's possible both of our families/friends could enjoy this location.

I'm so nervous. I don't know what to do... I don't have this skill set. I don't understand this language. Every time I think about it, it sends my head spinning. Anyone have advice on where to start? I thought about just calling Disney and putting down a deposit, but truth be told, I don't think I understand enough about my options to do that just yet.

Has anyone else been in the same situation? Any tips on where to start? Sorry that I don't have better words... when I say I don't know what I'm doing, it goes pretty deep... I don't even know enough about it to talk about it. I just know he's eyes sparkled a little when he mentioned Disney -- I'd like to be able to do this for him even though it's hard for me.

Thanks in advance. ANY advisement you can offer is appreciated.
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Old 11-14-2012, 08:10 AM   #2
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Hi! I think when it comes to Disney weddings EVERYONE starts off confused so don't worry about it! I would say if you are definitely going to do a Disney wedding then the best place to start is Carrie Hayward's book Passporter's Disney Weddings and Honeymoons. It has all the Disney specific info you need and lots of general wedding info as well. I think you will feel MUCH better after reading through that.

From there, check out all the Planning Journals on this board (the link to the sub board is at the top of the Weddings and Honeymoons board). The planning journals will show what it's REALLY like to plan a wedding and everything that planning a Disney wedding entails.

Don't get overwhelmed, it's a lot of information at first but it's so worth it. I really don't think there is a better place you could have your wedding!
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Old 11-14-2012, 01:12 PM   #3
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Welcome!

What she said! I think that by reading about others' weddings and planning, you will start to get a sense of what you want and don't want for your own. The cool thing about Disney is that you can do as much or as little planning as you want. If you want, you can hand the whole thing off to your planner, or you can work with him or her to plan the vision in your head down to the last detail.

The other thing to know is you can have ANY kind of wedding you want—from super-fairytale princessy to simple and chic. It doesn't have to be Disney Princess-y unless that's what you want. We didn't have any Disney references except that our ceremony was in Epcot's Morocco Pavilion and we gave personalized mouse ears as favors. Oh, and some of our songs were from "The Incredibles." People who saw our photos later thought we got married in Italy oreven real Morocco! Now maybe it's silly to have gone all the way to WDW for a non-Disneyfied wedding, but we loved the combination of unique venues and experiences (like fireworks dessert parties!) plus full service at a fraction of what we would have paid in LA.

If you're interested, you can read the story of our wedding and its planning HERE.

Congratulations, and happy planning!
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Old 11-14-2012, 02:13 PM   #4
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I'm also going to chime in and say listen to the Disney Wedding Podcast on iTunes. If you have an Android phone (like I do) you can get an app called "BeyondPod" and download them there. They are also by Carrie Hayward (she is our Disney Wedding Guru) but you can hear everything you could possibly want to hear! We found our officiant thanks to her podcast.

If you buy Carrie's ebook, you get free updates. So as the prices change, you can have the latest info. Very useful! A lot of us call it our "wedding bible". I've used it to give me a whole budget sheet down to service charges and taxes (because it goes into that level of detail!) which was another 5k that I didn't account for originally! I love the book .

Welcome to the wedding boards, poke around and stay a while .
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Old 11-14-2012, 05:44 PM   #5
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Welcome! What they all said!
The ebook can be downloaded immediately and outlines all the different types of Disney weddings that are possible.

The other thing I would recommend is some sort of notes system. I use one note, excel and pinterest for my wedding ideas.

It helps me remember when something sparks my interest how to get back to it!

All the stuff to read can be a little overwhelming, but hang in there.

Maybe your DF (dear fiance') would like to help in the planning?
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Old 11-15-2012, 02:53 AM   #6
BarelyBalancedBelle
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Thanks guys! Thank you so much. Well, a LOT has advanced since my post this morning. I came clean to the fella about my lack of planning ability (in this area, I'm great at most planning) and told him I needed help from him ASAP. He jumped right in and we narrowed down dates, locations, who's who in guests/invites, he sought the opinion of his mother and his best friend, and I made progress in asking my sis to be the MOH and telling my two best girlfriends!

This has been a whirlwind day. It's going so fast that we (I) will actually be calling Disney tomorrow to start the process. We don't know much about timelines and I'm still nervous about that area of planning. Ideally, we would want to secure a date ASAP b/c my parents are both disabled and one has a terminal diagnosis. We don't know if that's possible or not and are tossing around ideas that might make it more feasible. I've googled all day and read a dozen posts on here... and the ideas are starting to form.

The budget is a hard one for me to swallow. We are fortunate to be able to afford it... but, can we really? I mean, this is a LOT of cash money that could go toward a home or helping our families (we both have relatives who are hurting financially right now). I think that will be the biggest hurdle for me to overcome mentally... even more than worrying if any of my friends will show up given that I RSVP'd no to their events for years. I think people will be excited for us... we first found "love" with one another 15 years ago but only got together as a committed couple last year.

Ok, this is rambling. Thank you for all of your tips, podcasts, books, organizing!! I will do... especially since we don't have a timeline idea just yet. We know if we do six months out that's a Save the Date that needs to go out, like tomorrow...yikes. The Passport book sounds really interesting. I (like most of you it looks like) have been a lifelong Disney fan and I remember buying the Passport book as long ago as a decade ago... and even have the most recent one (2012) in my collection!! They are really good for building up the excitement about a trip. Thank you, again, for your help... this is a big emotional deal for me and even though you're strangers, I appreciate you reaching out to me in this way!
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Old 11-15-2012, 04:59 AM   #7
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Welcome sweetie!!
I am glad that ideas are starting to form!!
If budget is a consideration (to your conscience at least - bless you), it may be worth checking out weddings at the Swan and Dolphin. These events take place right there in WDW, but can work out considerably cheaper than a similar event would be going through DFTW.
Good luck and happy planning!!
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Old 11-15-2012, 07:46 AM   #8
BarelyBalancedBelle
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tinkerbell 766 View Post
Welcome sweetie!!
I am glad that ideas are starting to form!!
If budget is a consideration (to your conscience at least - bless you), it may be worth checking out weddings at the Swan and Dolphin. These events take place right there in WDW, but can work out considerably cheaper than a similar event would be going through DFTW.
Good luck and happy planning!!
Thank you so much! That is exceptionally helpful... I had seen that mentioned in a few posts but I'm not yet familiar enough with terminology to have understood that was an off-site way to still be married at Disney. I just reviewed the site and the thread (here) for Swan and Dolphin weddings and it looks great to me! Literally about 1/2 the cost we were anticipating... that could pay the way for a few more beloved family members to make the trip who would have otherwise had to stay home!!

I am sort of surprised that I am getting into this the way I am... if ya'll knew me, you'd be surprised too... I am the last person on earth I would ever picture excited over wedding planning. However, the more I get into it, the more I can see what a wonderful opportunity this will be to provide a vacation for our families! It may be the last time (only time) we all gather together and it's just heart warming to think about being able to make that happen. I suck at being the center of attention and so I'm very thankful that my planning has taken a turn toward realizing how it can really be about the gathering of all of us together!

Also, to prove my insanity, I spent no fewer than 4 hours designing our Save the Dates (to completion minus the actual date). The fella (fiance) has already approved the design. Yay. Now, mind you, I have a ton of homework to do (grad student) so I should probably shift back to that... but knowing that these Save the Dates need to go out first and they now only lack the date-part gives my mind some comfort and organization it lacked 24 hours ago when I started this process. Thanks again for your help. I'm so sorry to ramble so much... Only a few hours sleep and a head cold.

Thank you again for being so kind! I feel very lucky to have found support here.
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Old 11-15-2012, 10:52 AM   #9
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Another vote for a Swan and Dolphin wedding! We're having about 50 people and have a budget of $10k for an evening wedding with a buffet dinner.

No matter which company you go with, you will find plenty of support from us! Please come join our DISbrides Facebook group and if you want to join the Swan and Dolphin one, I'll add you. Let me know! Link is in my signature.

Don't stress- it is overwhelming at first but it all comes together. Congrats and welcome!
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Old 11-15-2012, 06:45 PM   #10
BarelyBalancedBelle
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Thanks again! Today's progress was less than y-day but still some. I've emailed about the Swan and Dolphin wedding and I did place a call to Disney Fairy Tale Weddings too. We had discussed something involving the Mexico pavilion at Epcot and I wanted to ask a cast member for more information. They recommended the Wishes package - which I'd already assumed we'd need to go for based on our particular needs/desires.

I'm still really balancing all of this in my brain. Do we want the ultimate, once in a life time, super personalized smaller wedding with only a handful of family and a couple of a friends? Or, do we want a simple (but elegant) affair where we can invite more people AND help cover the costs of getting some down there who might not otherwise be able to attend. Earlier this year, I'd planned on paying for an Orlando vacation home rental for a week so my college aged-cousins could join us with minimal costs. I suppose I could offer "a crash house" for the wedding too! Ha.

Ok, sorry, I promise this will be my last post in this thread. I hope it hasn't been too much. I want to respond to all of your posts that I've been reading but I'm afraid I have nothing useful to offer... just a lot of "congratulations" and "that looks amazing." So, please know, again, I appreciate the support I've found here. My real life friends are about 2600 miles away... so getting to "interact" with like minded folks is precious to me these days.

Take care! Thanks again.
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Old 11-19-2012, 05:24 AM   #11
Jousey
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The Disney planers make it easy to plan a wedding with minnimual effort, as the date neared everyone kept asking DW if she was nervous and stressed and she kept looking at me to ask if it was normal not to be. the process is easy and there is a planner with you the whole way and on the day of the ceremony as well so all is takken care of. This was my second and DW first so i had done some planning on a Non-Disney wedding and found the Disney planners great to deal with. DW got everything she wanted and still stayed in budget.
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