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Old 06-28-2008, 12:06 AM   #1
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TR: Heidi & Tom's Escape Wedding at SP

Well, I've been a "lurker" for a while now, but just had the most amazing experience with an Escape wedding, so I thought I'd share!

I'll start out with a little background. My husband and I are both in the Army. We were dating for a year before I found out I was deploying and he would be deploying a year later. So, we were trying to be so "practical" and broke up, since we would spend over two years apart. It didn't work. We missed each other, so we got back together and started planning a January 2009 Disney Wishes Wedding on his R&R.

But we wanted to be legally married before he deployed. We were going to overlap in Iraq for two months, so we were going to get married by proxy in Texas! I'm from Texas, so he was going to visit my folks, get the license (with all the paperwork required from me) and have my best friend stand in as me for the "ceremony." We were going to make it as fun and silly as possible, since it was just to do the legal thing. Our families were going to be there, but it wasn't super important to us.

Then I found out I was coming home a few months early. We would be able to take leave together!!!! I NEEDED to get to WDW anyway to plan, so I thought we could both go (he's never been) and get married while we were there. I've wanted a Sunset Point wedding, but would have more than the 20 folks you're allowed.

This is where I get to compliment all the wonderful people at Disney's Fairy Tale Weddings. We'd already been working with Kristi Davis for our Wishes wedding, so Tom contacted her as soon as he knew I'd be coming home. She put us in touch with Amy Riendeau for the Escape Wedding. They are both wonderful!

Tom told them I wanted to do it at Sunset Point, but they said they didn't allow weddings there from April through October because of the heat and bugs. I love my husband. He wouldn't take no for an answer. He told them I was in Kuwait and it was 120 degrees. He didn't think Florida got that bad. Kristi really played that card, too, and they agreed to do it for a 8:00am ceremony. Fine by me!

The Escape Weddings are so relaxed. I know everyone can't have both. I know I'm spoiled (but when you are in Iraq for a year, you don't have much opportunity to spend money, so you can blow it on Disney Weddings), but having the Escape Wedding was so much fun. We didn't tell our parents. Didn't even tell them I was home from Iraq. They knew we were getting legally married, but if I had said "hey, I'm home!" I would have heard no end to "Why don't you come do the legal ceremony in Texas." I didn't want to say my vows in front of friends and family, only to invite them to a January wedding where I say my vows in front of friends and family. Just seemed weird to us. So, we invited my best friend and her husband (and baby).

So, Tom worked with Kristi and Amy and I just had to pick the type of flowers (Island Bouquet), the cake (chocolate with amaretto mousse), the music (all Disney songs), find a dress, schedule a dress steaming, schedule hair and makeup...okay, so there was still a lot to do...especially in two weeks!

The date was basically chosen for us. Escape Weddings are M-F, and the earliest we could get there was late on the 11th (Wed). We had to get the marriage license on Thursday, so Friday the 13th it was! I thought it was neat. The coolest part is June 13th was my Best Friend's 9th wedding anniversary, and they were able to celebrate with us. As my MIL says: it was Bashert (she's Jewish).

Next Up: our stay at the Villas at Disney's Wilderness Lodge and our pre-wedding activities.
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Old 06-28-2008, 06:53 AM   #2
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Very cool! Can't wait to hear more about the big day.
DH, John ME, Amy
DS 16, Douglas DS 14, Matthew DS 14, Mark DD 9, Melissa

Up next - Off Site @ Grand Reserve April, 2015
1st Trip Dec 2002 - Holiday Inn Nicki Bird, 2nd Trip June 2004 - Fantasy World Villas, 3rd Trip Feb 2006 - Windsor Palms, 4th Trip Feb 2007 - Regal Palms, 5th Trip Feb 2008 - Solana Resort, 6th Trip Feb 2009 - Windwood Bay, 7th Trip Feb 2010 - Grand Reserve, 8th trip Feb 2011 - Grand Reserve, 9th trip Feb 2012 Grand Reserve, 10th trip April 2012 Disney Land - Castle Inn and Suites, 11th trip Feb 2013 Grand Reserve, 12th Trip Feb 2014 Grand Reserve
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Old 06-28-2008, 07:56 AM   #3
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Awww, such a wonderful story and great trip report! Amy is great, isn't she? She is my Escape planner! I completely understand about the heat issue, my brother just got back from Iraq. He is actually walking me down the aisle for our VR in a couple of weeks! He says there is NO heat that compares to Iraq!! Can't wait to hear more!!! Got any pics?
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15th Anniversary Vow Renewal

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Old 06-28-2008, 08:14 AM   #4
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What a great TR so far!! So, you are still moving forward with your Wishes wedding also?? It sounds like that is what you are saying and that is truly cool!

Thank you both for your service Can't wait to see some pictures (I like the one in your profile)
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Old 06-28-2008, 09:17 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by roozlilone View Post
Amy is great, isn't she?
Yes, she was so sweet! I'll give all the details, but she really went the extra mile to make sure everything went our way.

Originally Posted by roozlilone View Post
I completely understand about the heat issue, my brother just got back from Iraq. He is actually walking me down the aisle for our VR in a couple of weeks! He says there is NO heat that compares to Iraq!!
Yes, it does get hot there! But, I will admit two things: 1. It's a dry heat 2. Your body will adjust to all kinds of things when it has to! (Congrats on your VR!)

Originally Posted by WithDisneySpirit View Post
So, you are still moving forward with your Wishes wedding also?? It sounds like that is what you are saying and that is truly cool!
We sure are. I was so happy with the Escape Wedding and how the pictures turned out (I will get them up as soon as I can!) that I thought we should just call it a day, but DH was the one who said we should go ahead with the Wishes wedding as a thank you for our friends and family and as a great excuse to party! Being military, we have folks from ALL over, and a DFTW just makes sense to bring them all together. It is also really important to him to exchange vows in front of our loved ones. But, I also think he really caught the Disney bug when we were there and he sees how wonderful a Disney event is.

I'm going to be diligent about adding more...but first I have to unpack. My house is a disaster!
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Old 06-28-2008, 10:14 AM   #6
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What a great story. I'm glad that you were able to work with Disney to get the location you wanted Congratulations to you and your DH! And good luck planning your Wishes wedding.
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Old 06-28-2008, 10:42 AM   #7
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I have Amy too! Glad to hear she was so great for you! She's been nothing short of awesome with me too! Love her!
Dec 1, 2008
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Old 06-28-2008, 10:43 AM   #8
Had our DFTW Vow Renewal on the Wonder for our 25th!
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I can't wait to see and hear all the details. Congrats on getting married at the most magical place!
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Old 06-29-2008, 04:39 PM   #9
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Alright...the house is clean enough now. I can settle in for some details.

As I said before we had about two weeks to plan this thing. I found out I was coming home on the 26th of May and flew back to Germany (where we're stationed) on the 4th of June. We left for WDW on the 11th, so I had just under a week to get things together.

Before I came home, DH started a lot of the planning with Amy. He called to make reservations at the Poly (since the wedding was at Sunset Point), but they were booked! In fact EVERYTHING was booked. They did have a room at the Villas at the WL. DH had never been to WDW, so you have to excuse his assumptions, but he thought a Villa at the WL would be four posts with mosquito netting and a hammock! He thought I would kill him for making me put on my wedding dress and having makeup done while swatting off flies. Kinda like this:

Of course, when I got home and told him what it was like, he was okay with it.

Next order: find a dress! This was a challenge, since I'm 6'1" and I had less than a week. I wanted something "beachy" since we're doing a big wedding with family and friends in January. Add to the fact that I'm in Germany and Germans don't exactly have the same taste in clothing as I do, so I was a bit worried. But, I actually found a gown on Friday and they altered it on two hours on Saturday! It's a B2 gown by Jasmine, and it was really comfy.

While we were waiting the two hours to have it altered, I mentioned to DH that he should wear something other than a tux, since he's wearing one in January. I thought a white cotton shirt and linen pants would look great with sandals. But, I was worried we wouldn't find it in Germany and wouldn't have time to look in the States. I shouldn't have worried. We found the perfect outfit at H&M (kinda like Target or JC Penney) for 45 euro (pants and shirt!). Whaddya think?

So, I had a dress and he had clothes. I didn't even have an engagement ring yet (since I had been in Iraq) and I didn't want just any ol' ring, but we found him a Titanium ring here in Germany for 16 euro! I wanted to wait for my real ring, so we found a silver ring with the word "LOVE" and Mickey ears for the "O" at Hollywood Studios the day before the wedding. It's super cute and I actually thought about having it recast, but I think I'll just wear it on my right hand.

I chose Rev. Jack Day randomly from the list they provided (and because DH said he looked nice), but Amy said he was their best minister. We really did like him!

I scheduled Carolyn Allen's for the dress steaming and pressing of his outfit. I know a lot of people sing their praises, but I honestly thought they were a bit rude. My wedding was at 8:00 am, so they wouldn't come to the room the morning of, which was fine, but then the guy I talked to acted like I was being uncooperative because I wouldn't sit in my room all day the day before so they could come and steam it! HELLOOO!! I'm at DISNEY! I have things to do. But, we finally agreed on 8:00am the day before, which was fine. I'll tell more about what happened with that later.

Then, I booked Patricia LeJeune of for the hair and makeup. This was off of LurkyLoo's recommendation.

I had my nails and toes done before I left, and I'm really glad I did. It was one less thing to do once I got there. If you can swing that...do it!

So, for the rest of the planning, it was just plane tickets and a couple of phone conversations to Amy. We had to pick the cake flavor (went with Chocolate and Amaretto Mousse, but don't think it was the best, honestly), the flowers (Island Bouquet and Boutonniere...they were beautiful!), and the songs (we went with Disney).

Okay...that brings me up to flying to WDW. I'll end there and add the rest in another post.

Last edited by tiggerrifficheidi; 03-28-2009 at 09:00 AM.
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Old 06-29-2008, 04:56 PM   #10
Mrs. Deej696 on 12/18/08
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I am LOVING your TR so far!!! (btw...i adore H&M...i blew SO much money there when we were in Barcelona! lol) Keep posting more!! and more pics!! I'm anxious to hear about carolyn allens! i have them scheduled...so i want to know what to look out for!

this will be me until you post again....
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Old 06-29-2008, 05:01 PM   #11
Had our DFTW Vow Renewal on the Wonder for our 25th!
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Ooooh, you started your TR. Can't wait to see and read more!!!!
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Old 06-29-2008, 05:04 PM   #12
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This is a great TR! I love the urgency of it all. The few pics you've showed so far are great!!!
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Old 06-29-2008, 05:21 PM   #13
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This is so great! I can't wait to hear more!
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Old 06-29-2008, 06:19 PM   #14
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Wow - you get to have an Escape wedding AND a Wishes wedding - how fun is that?! I can't wait to read the rest of this trip report.... and then the next!

I don't understand why CA wouldn't come to you room the day of your wedding to steam your dress - they came to mine at 5am for our 9am wedding Lame!

More, please!
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Old 06-29-2008, 06:38 PM   #15
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I forgot to mention I also found the cutest sandals to wear for 9 euros! That's the benefit of buying a dress that really is too short for you! You can go totally casual.

Anywhoo...I was up till 2:00 am packing and planning (I LOVE to plan) and we had to hit the road at 4:00am to get to Frankfurt. We flew into Atlanta and then Orlando. We used the DME, which was nice and easy...but we couldn't let them get our bags for us, because it could take up to 3 hours to have them delivered to the hotel, and we had ADR at Artist's Point. So, we just carted our bags up, checked in and hopped on.

One thing I was worried about was the APs that are part of the package. We wanted to go into the parks on the 12th after we got our marriage license, so Amy told us they should give us a packet when we check in, but to ask in case the front desk wasn't on their game. Sure enough, they didn't mention anything, so I asked. They acted surprised and said yes, indeed, we did have a packet. I thought that was it, so I didn't even bother to open it. There's so much information overload when you first get to WDW, and it was DH's first time!

Lesson Learned: Open up everything they give you!

The pass vouchers weren't in there, and the next morning, when my dress was being steamed and we were trying to meet the town car to get our license, I was frantically calling Amy and DFTW to see where they were. Long story short, Amy was on her game. Apparently they were there the whole time, but he CMs at the front desk needed some appropriate prodding from a WP. Amy was ticked about them not giving it to us right away, but we got them in plenty of time. Definitely bring a cell phone if you can. It will make emergencies like this a little easier. And get cell phone #s for all your WPs and vendors, if possible, just in case.

Okay. So, the VWL are amazing! The jacuzzi tub, huge shower and all the space to spread out are great! This really came in handy when I had Carolyn Allen's there steaming the dress and for getting ready on the day of.

The next morning, as arranged, Carolyn Allen's arrived promptly. She was very professional, and I had no issues whatsoever, until she asked me to look over my dress while she was finishing up DH's outfit. There was a black spot about an inch across under the left armpit. It was VERY obvious. I about freaked, but I calmly told her that it wasn't there before. She hadn't noticed it either. She had used the door hang the dress while she steamed it, and the VWL have "rustic" looking doors. I think she steamed the front, then turned it around while she steamed the back. Well, the front of the dress was a little wet from the steam, and it probably picked up some varnish or something from the door. I really don't think she even thought it was a possibility. And she was able to almost entirely get it out. I say "almost" because there was the tiniest amount right under the armpit. It really was like a 1/2 centimeter pencil line and you couldn't see it. I don't want to sway anyone against the company, because I'm sure they do great work, but, if possible, bring something to hang the dress on or pay attention to where they hang it. With my simple dress, this wasn't disastrous, but it could have been. Just look things over carefully.

We arranged through Amy to have a town car take us to the Osceola County Courthouse. This process was really easy and quick. We got there about 9:45 am and we were done within 30 minutes. I will add that the license was about $96.

So, since we were done with the license and had the AP vouchers in hand, we had the town car driver drop us off at Hollywood Studios. The CM at the entrance was so sweet when processing our APs. She gave us the "Just Married" buttons, but since we weren't, we didn't wear them yet. We had a great day (DH LOVED ToT and RnR). When we got back, there was a signed picture from Sleeping Beauty and her prince congratulating us! Our only guests (my BFF and her hubby and baby) came in that evening and we chatted for a bit before getting to bed).

The Big Day: I woke up super early (it was a 8:00am wedding, after all). The flowers, including the hair florals (the only extra I asked for from the Escape package), arrived before 6:00am. They didn't know if the larger or smaller Cymbidium orchids were best for the hair floral, so they gave me 3 of each, done up with floral tape and wire! The flowers were beautiful!

By the way...did you know that the stems wrapped in ribbon aren't the real stems? They arrange them with some foam or something to keep the flowers moist, and then wrap fake stems! They told me this when I decided at 5:00pm on Friday to have them preserved (because they were so beautiful!), and I hadn't contacted Keepsake Floral. The ladies at DFTW divulged that secret. And if you go with traditional flowers (not super delicate, last-only-one-day types) you could easily use your bouquet one or two days later for a Portrait Session. We had calla lilies, roses and Cymbidium orchids. Our wedding was Friday, and we kept them in the fridge over the weekend. They looked perfect on Monday!

BTW...here is the link to Keepsake Floral


Back to the wedding:

Patricia LeJeune was supposed to be there at 6:00am. I LOVED Patricia. The airbrush foundation is SUPER cool. My skin was freaking out from going from 120 degree desert to 70 degree Germany to 90 degree humidity in FL, so I had some major blemishes. The airbrush foundation took care of that! And my hair was beautiful. We went with one big orchid on one side and some smaller ones on the other.

The one thing I have to caution here is that your vendors understand your resort CLEARLY. Patricia went to AKL instead of WL. Kristi Davis (our Jan WP) said they also tend to mix up CBR and BC. This made her a few minutes late (and me panicked), but it was okay. My hair is long, and straight and I wanted curls. So, it took a little long, but I really liked the effect. My DH just had to remind me that they can't start without me. Still, I will use Patricia again in January...I'll just factor more time! Two hours before is probably best.

While I was finishing up with makeup, DH ran down to let the limo (and our 3 guests) know we were running a few minutes late. BFF took pictures of us coming out of the hotel, we climbed in and we were off. It was such a cool and relaxing feeling to know that I was getting married, but the entire list of guests were in the vehicle with us!

We arrived at Poly and met Amy and our Photographer and Rev. Jack Day. It was super casual. We stood around in the lobby and Rev. Jack took our paperwork from us. Amy explained a few things and we had a few photos done. The photographer and the two guys walked out to SP, and Amy, Rev. Jack, BFF and I (with the baby!) loaded into a golf car and rode out to the point.

Next Up: Ceremony!

Last edited by tiggerrifficheidi; 03-28-2009 at 09:04 AM.
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