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Old 08-20-2010, 07:53 PM   #1
disfan melissa
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Johnny and Melissa’s Wedding Trip Report WP/Napa Room 8/9/10

Even though I used these boards to answer pretty much all of my questions during my planning phase, I never started a planning journal or posted much. Since we just got back from our wedding, I figured I should post some information on our wedding which hopefully will help future brides and grooms. Before getting into any background, let me just say – Disney was amazing and since our wedding, we can’t stop talking about how magical the day was and how we would love to re-live it over and over again!

Some quick background:
Johnny and I have been dating for ELEVEN years (we were really young when we started dating!), live in Brooklyn, NY and got engaged last May after nearly 10 years of dating. During those years, I went to Boston for college, Johnny moved to Boston to join me, then Johnny moved back to NY and I did eventually too.



I have known for a few years that what I really wanted was a destination wedding. I have a small family and personally don’t usually enjoy cookie cutter catering hall weddings. Every now and then (usually after going to someone else’s wedding), I would look into different destinations for my future wedding and these of course, including Disney. But I pretty much thought it would be way more expensive and a little bit cheesier than other destinations.

After Johnny and I got engaged one Friday night in our apartment, I started seriously looking at destinations. We were thinking of different Caribbean islands, maybe a cruise, somewhere in the Florida Keys, the Carolinas and suggested by my Dad -- Disney. I started searching these boards for pictures of Disney weddings and I fell in love with Disney Weddings.

My family had been Disney fanatics and we always went for our summer vacation when I was growing up. When I was 8 I was diagnosed with leukemia and my wish through the Make a Wish Foundation was to go to Disney World with my family. I cannot even begin to explain how kind and generous Disney was to me and my family. We returned a few more times when I was on chemo and a few year later when I had surgery and walked with crutches or sat in a wheelchair. Disney was unbelievably amazing once again. So I have always had a place in my heart for Disney World and know the level at which they can operate.

Back to the wedding, we did some comparisons of price for us and for our guests and what we actually get for the money. With Disney, we could actually customize different aspects of the wedding. I knew this was where we would be getting married. Of course, outside of my immediate family, we were met with the usual question of “Why Disney?” by family, friends, coworkers and random people. I’m sure all Disney brides deal with this question and the strange glares or comments of “I went there when I was a kid but haven’t thought of it since” or “Are you getting married in the castle?” or just a little bit of laughter. I personally never saw the point of explaining how beautiful my wedding will be. Spoiler alert: even some of my family that thought a Disney wedding would be lame or cheesy were amazed after the wedding with how elegant and fabulous Disney weddings actually are.

I always wanted an outdoor destination wedding on a beach but once we realized our wedding was going to be in August, Johnny pretty much ruled out any ceremony location other than the Wedding Pavilion. We debated between the Whitehall Room and the Napa Room but ultimately, choose the Napa Room for the amazing California Grill food and view of the fireworks. After much debate, we chose to do a welcome dessert party at UK Lochside the night before our wedding immediately after Drinking Around the World (stay tuned for some Epcot craziness!)

Up next: Trip report begins and reviews!

Last edited by disfan melissa; 08-20-2010 at 08:59 PM.
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Old 08-20-2010, 08:18 PM   #2
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Reviews

I’m not going to give grades because they’re all off the charts (everything exceeded my expectations!) but I’ll just write about our experiences which hopefully will help future brides.

DFTW: In a word: amazing! Leading up to the wedding, all my questions were answered. Our planning session was fabulous. During the wedding and the weekend leading up to the wedding, I felt like a princess and like I was the only wedding they were working on. My wedding day was the best day of my life and Johnny and I have said since that we wish we could relive the day over and over. I don’t think a wedding can get much better than that! 

Planner - Michelle Wenzler Dorr:
Michelle is what singlehandedly made our wedding amazing. Michelle provided advice and suggestions throughout the planning stages, all which were amazingly useful and great. Michelle was there to help us stay within budget but still have the wedding of our dreams. We also made last minute changes to limo and bus pick ups and Michelle made sure everything went smoothly. If you get her as a planner, feel fortunate, she will put on an amazing event!

Floral - Elizabeth Sutton: She totally got what vibe I wanted for our event. Originally, I had planned one bouquet and a look and about 6 weeks before the event switched the bouquets and started freaking out. She was totally sweet about it and worked with me to find the bouquets and centerpieces I wanted. She also provided suggestions and was willing to work within our budget. Let me say, I could not have been happier with my floral from the second I saw my bouquet, the chuppah floral and the centerpieces. It was all exactly what I wanted, even though at times, I provided horrible direction.







Disney Photography: I know they are not popular on these boards but they were great! One of the things I loved about doing a Disney wedding was that we would not have to deal with a million vendors. We had Chris Wierdo as our photographer and I would recommend him to anyone. We chatted before the wedding and he totally followed through on the day. He gave a ton of guidance to us (“chin up!”, “shoulders back!”) but we definitely felt comfortable with him.

Jazz Trio: We weren’t sure what to do for entertainment. I had never been to a small wedding and never to a wedding without dancing. I’m not organized enough to do my own iPod playlist and I didn’t want to assign anyone to it since I knew we would all want to enjoy our meal and drinks. The jazz trio was fabulous! They set the tone for our event and made the room lively and upbeat.



Patricia LeJeune: Any praise I give will not possibly be enough. Patricia and her team are absolutely amazing. They are a lot of fun to have as you’re getting ready, (we were cracking Snooki jokes all over the place) they showed up on time, etc. For me the biggest is that they transformed my hair into something it is not. My hair is the John Freida “before” ad but somehow they created something totally fab, soft and straight. My matron of honor, bridesmaid and myself provided little direction. I had one photo for inspiration and otherwise we said stuff like “whimsical bun” and Patricia got us and everyone’s hair and make up was perfect. My mom had not planned to have her hair done (she usually like the way she does it herself) but while we were getting ready, she changed her mind. Patricia was cool as could be about the additional hair and my mom loved it, even admitting it was way better than anything she could do herself. Patricia gets my highest recommendation and endorsement.




Reverend Timothy Herring/Rabbi Robert Lefkowtiz:
I am Jewish and DH is Catholic. It was important for both of us to combine our traditions for our ceremony. Rev. Tim and Rabbi Lefkowitz got this and did an amazing job! Both are very easy to reach before the wedding and are highly recommended by us. Our guests complimented the blending of our interfaith ceremony. We had a chuppah, ketubah signing and unity candle.

Carolyn Allen's: Carolyn Allen's was a breeze to work with. They steamed our dresses and the best man's tux and my dad's tux. They showed up on time and did a great job. DH rented his tux from Carolyn Allen's, they came the day before the wedding to our hotel room for his fitting and it was easy as could be. We also decided to rent shirts for the best man and my dad in ivory about a week before the wedding. They were very helpful and accommodating.

Last edited by disfan melissa; 08-21-2010 at 06:41 PM.
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Old 08-20-2010, 08:46 PM   #3
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Thanks for the reviews so far...Ill keep reading as long as you keep posting...and congratulations on the nupitals...
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Old 08-20-2010, 08:46 PM   #4
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I'm anxious to read more!
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Old 08-21-2010, 05:50 PM   #5
disfan melissa
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Thanks for reading, Nikisha and Pixie!
I will be posting more soon with lots of pictures.
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Old 08-21-2010, 07:08 PM   #6
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I look forward to reading more and seeing photos.
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Old 08-21-2010, 08:51 PM   #7
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Congrats!

Cannot wait to read everything! Elizabeth is my florist too!
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Old 08-22-2010, 02:30 AM   #8
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Fantastic reviews, looking forward to seeing more pictures x
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Old 08-27-2010, 07:52 PM   #9
disfan melissa
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jules~Marie View Post
I look forward to reading more and seeing photos.
Thanks, I've got lots of photos so be careful what you wish for

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Originally Posted by DisneyDiva84 View Post
Congrats!

Cannot wait to read everything! Elizabeth is my florist too!
Elizabeth is great, I loved working with her! I'm sure she will do an amazing job for you too

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Fantastic reviews, looking forward to seeing more pictures x
Like I said, lots more photos and I haven't even gotten my professional photos yet
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Old 08-27-2010, 09:31 PM   #10
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I’m going to start our TR with the night before our wedding when we kicked off wedding festivities and will give a photo tour of the drinks leading up to what we called “Celebrate Around the World” We checked into the Contemporary Resort on Friday, August 6.

Although I have been to Disney more times than I can count, I have never been to the Contemporary. At first I was annoyed we were in the Garden Wing and had to walk all the way to the main tower (because of our room block discount) but it actually ended up being an amazing place to be. We loved the rooms and of course, the location. The hotel is amazing and all the food choices are great. We held an informal meet and greet at the Outer Rim Lounge and consistently ended up at the Wave for drinks, where they make delicious (and strong) drinks and stay open until midnight. Many of the drinks below are also from bluezoo at the Dolphin. I highly recommend for drinks and appetizers. They were really good!









Me at bluezoo:

Celebrate Around the World

After spending a few days at the parks and seeing a lot of our guests we had to get ready for our wedding festivities to begin!



We decided to kick off our “celebrate around the world” event at Mexico at 4pm. The plan was for other guests to meet us throughout the night until we meet at the UK for the dessert party. We met with some friends at Cava del Tequila at 4pm for some delicious cucumber margaritas. Yum! This was my first time here and I cannot wait to go back.


Me and my bff/bridesmaid at Cava del Tequila with Cucumber Margaritas...very refreshing.

We quickly realized we will need some sort of guide. My bridesmaid Nicole found an app for that on her phone and we were off to drink around the world. Next up: plum wine in China.

Two drinks in and I’m knocking on fake doors….


As guests continued to meet us, we decided to try the Wine Walk starting in Germany (after using the lovely bathrooms at the Biergarten).



I highly recommend the Wine Walk – tons of fun! For anyone who has not done this before, for $20, you get a passport to use in Germany, Italy and France. At each wine shop, you get 2 samples (2 oz?) It’s a great way to sample a few different wines and worked really well for our group.



Next wine walk stop: Italy!






Up next: France!









Sake in Japan!






checking licenses..thank goodness we're all nearly thirty...



We now noticed that Disney was setting up for my dessert party at UK Lochside. This was very surreal for me but also very exciting.

But as we continued to drink and chat, I suddenly thought (and probably shouted) Uh-oh, we better hurry to the UK. I can’t be late for my own party!

Up next: Dessert party!

Last edited by disfan melissa; 09-03-2010 at 06:48 PM.
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Old 08-28-2010, 04:20 PM   #11
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It looks like you had a really fun time!!
Can't wait to read more!!
Bring on as many pictues as you like!! We all really love them!!!
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Old 09-01-2010, 12:05 AM   #12
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Great TR!!! I am really excited because I am also a WP/CG bride and I didn't do a PJ either!

I love your Celebrate Around the World idea lol, hope everyone felt ok after all that! The pics at bluezoo are great, what a gorgeous place! Can't wait to hear more!
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Old 09-01-2010, 03:48 PM   #13
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Looking forward to reading more and seeing more pics!
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Old 09-01-2010, 05:01 PM   #14
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Don't stop now! Love seeing lots of pics so please keep them coming!

Your vendor reviews were really helpful, particulary your Patricia review as I am still in two minds about hair and make up.
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Old 09-02-2010, 10:05 AM   #15
disfan melissa
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tinkerbell 766 View Post
It looks like you had a really fun time!!
Can't wait to read more!!
Bring on as many pictues as you like!! We all really love them!!!
We had so much fun and it went by so fast! I wish we could re-live the trip again.

Quote:
Originally Posted by LuluLovesDisney View Post
Great TR!!! I am really excited because I am also a WP/CG bride and I didn't do a PJ either!

I love your Celebrate Around the World idea lol, hope everyone felt ok after all that! The pics at bluezoo are great, what a gorgeous place! Can't wait to hear more!
Thanks! Amazingly, we were fine (very tired the next day though) but I think it's thanks to the wine walk which let us make 3 stops without overdoing it.

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Originally Posted by geek+nerd View Post
Looking forward to reading more and seeing more pics!
Thanks, I'll be updating soon!

Quote:
Originally Posted by brer rabbit 28 View Post
Don't stop now! Love seeing lots of pics so please keep them coming!

Your vendor reviews were really helpful, particulary your Patricia review as I am still in two minds about hair and make up.
I'm glad the reviews were helpful, I think I would have been lost planning without these boards.
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