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Old 06-11-2012, 06:55 PM   #1
Earning My Ears
ElyssaMari's Avatar
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Milwaukee, WI
Posts: 2

Exclamation "What I Wish I Would Have Known/Done": A Newbie Seeking Advice

My hubby-to-be and I have decided on a destination wedding in Walt Disney World sometime between January and March of 2013.(We called them today and they said a wedding coordinator should be getting back to us "soon") It is mid June and he is moving out east for the summer to work as an intern. I am in a panic. That's not a lot of time to plan a wedding and my closest friends live out of state...so people of the internet I NEED YOUR HELP! I would love to know what - in your opinion - was worth the time, money, stress and what was not. Here are some details of what we have nailed down and the questions that I have.

Season: Late winter/Early Spring 2013. Our ideal date would be our current anniversary March 27 which would be a Wednesday that year.

Location: Disney World. (FL)

Budget: $20,000ish.

Ceremony locations have been narrowed down to, Magic Kingdom (my pie in the sky dream), The Boardwalk (my #2 fav and way more realistic), and The Wedding Pavilion as the fall back.
Ceremony: 20-30 minutes, non-religious ceremony. Our friend is going to officiate he is a bishop in the Anglican church. We want a morning ceremony 10am or earlier. Max 50 people at the ceremony. (Wishes Wedding)

Reception: No clear direction here yet. We would like to have a brunch buffet and then later have a dessert party with a DJ, not sure if that is possible. We were also wondering if we could do an early ceremony and a late reception with a DJ if the dessert party doesn't work out. Thoughts? We will also be holding a separate reception in WI for those who could not make the trip. Has anyone here done this? Would you do it again? We just want to do dancing, appetizers, and drinks. Worth it or no?

Theame/Colours: Think Vintage Shabby Chic. Main colour is gray (for tuxes or suits and bridesmaid dresses) with pink blush and mint green being accent colours and an eggshell/ivory white for contrast. Thoughts on what venue that would look best in? Thoughts on the colours? I'm not married to it for Bridesmaid dresses yet.

Flowers: So, I have seen some price quotes for Disney flowers and holy Zeus that's a lot of cash! Has anyone used fabric flowers? I've found some gorgeous ones on etsy but I would like to hear people's experiences with that first before committing to it. What flowers look good in blush, mint green, and white? What flowers are cheaper?

Photography: Ugh. Where do I begin with my issues with photography? First I would like to know Disney's rules for outside photographers. Has anyone found a reasonably priced person? Is photography really worth spending 1/5 of your wedding budget on? And then same questions but applied to videographers.

Room Minimums - I don't understand this. I need someone to break it down for me as if I were 5. How many people need to stay at Disney and for how many nights? Is this negotiable? Is it dependent on how many people you invite? Is it the #of rooms or the # of people?

Gifts: We are having a destination wedding and will very likely be moving out of the country after we are married. We are selling almost everything we own with the exception of clothes and art work. Any guest that comes to our wedding in FL we do not expect gifts from. But what do I do about bridal showers and the reception we are having when we get back to Wisconsin? (I am my parents only daughter and my hubby to be has one sister that has no intention of ever getting married so our families very much want these parties) We cannot accept gifts because we would have to sell them in order to move. What we need is money. We will need to buy all new things once we get to where we are moving to and we need to pay for plane tickets soon after paying for a wedding. Is it just too tacky to ask for just money? I haven't thought of a good way to navigate this.

I would love to hear from people that have planned a Disney Wedding and those of you that are still in the planning phase!
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Old 06-11-2012, 07:10 PM   #2
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tric8783's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Middletown, CT
Posts: 985

Hi there!
Wow you have a lot going on
We just got married 5 weeks ago on Shipwreck Beach, with our reception in the BW. I just posted a ton of pictures if you want to take a look. Our colors were gray, light pink and white with aqua accents. Maybe somewhat similar? We were married on the beach so I tried to make ours light/beachy and romantic. We really loved the Boardwalk area for its convenience and fun!

As for ceremony and reception times, you can have a ceremony at 10AM, but if your reception is later, you will have to pay the minimums for a night time wedding. I'm not sure what the dinner minimum is per plate for a weekday wedding. I would suggest getting the Passporter Guide to Weddings to get started, it has tons of useful information. You will likely get your planner within a week or so, hopefully sooner!

As far as I know, you can't have a DJ at your DP, unless it's not in a park, ie at Sago Cay or the Marina at the GF. If you're going to be in the BW area, it would be easiest I think to have a DP in Epcot, you wouldnt need to pay for transportation to get everyone there and back but that is up to you!

There is a bride here that had succulents for her bouquet and it was absolutely gorgeous. Maybe that in March?

As long as your wedding events arent inside a park, you can use an outside photographer. We brought ours with us and we felt they were worth their price tag, but pictures are very important to us. Regina Hyman seems to be a favorite here, she is currently a Disney photographer and going on her own this fall. A lot of couples also really like David & Vicki Ardnt and Randy Chapman if you want to check them all out!

If you want to check out a Magic Kingdom wedding, look for Michelle and Manny's VR PJ. They just renewed in April in the MK and it was amazing.

I would suggest registering with a honeymoon registry, which in essence will really be cash (you register for items but then get the cash to buy the items yourselves). That way youre not explicitly asking for cash?

I'm not sure on how many rooms you have to guarantee as we had about 70 nights and used I think 67 of them. They count room nights, not number of rooms or people. So if you go to Disney for 4 nights, that is 4 room nights. Does that make sense? Looking forward to more of your plans!
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Old 06-11-2012, 08:18 PM   #3
Earning My Ears
ElyssaMari's Avatar
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: Milwaukee, WI
Posts: 2

Smile Clarity is a beautiful thing.

Thanks for the advice and good vibes it is much needed!
First off, I LOVE your wedding photos, colors, pretty much everything! You looked amazing! We are kind of going for that whimsical romantic feel as well. And I am glad to hear you loved the BW because that is the venue we are leaning towards the most.

Thanks for clearing up ceremony/reception time stuff. I looked into the costs for a brunch compared to dinner and I think we are going to stick with brunch. (Yay for making decisions!! ) I am hoping our Passporter gets here soon, I have such a "planner" personality that the uncertainty is making me batty.

And thanks for clarifying the DJ thing DP thing. In the short amount of time between your post and my reply we decided that we will forgo DJ and dancing till we have our "home reception". Whoohoo for a clearer wedding direction and vision! Now it's just down to reception venue for the brunch and picking a place for a DP for 40-50 people. Any suggestions anyone?! And how bad our these transportation costs?

I have looked at Randy Chapman and some of the other photographers you mentioned and noticed they have wedding shoots at the castle. I am still confused as to who can take photos where. We were thinking about bringing a photographer with us, but I really want pictures at the castle to fulfill my childhood dreams. Anything more you can tell me about that would be greatly appreciated!

Honeymoon registry = genius! Love that! Problem solved!

One more question, we have contemplated having our bridal party split the cost of renting a house near WDW to save them money. Has anyone done this? What are the pros and cons? We want everyone to be able to enjoy the whole day at the parks, but we don't want to force our friends to take out personal loans to attend our wedding. All advice on this matter would be greatly appreciated!

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advice, destination, wedding, wishes

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