Carrie & Patrick’s Aulani Vow Renewal - 2/4/13 - Patrick's Outfit! New 6/13

Discussion in 'Planning our Happily Ever After' started by lurkyloo, Feb 21, 2013.

  1. lurkyloo

    lurkyloo The Attic was just perfect!

    Aug 24, 2006
    I never started a planning journal for our Memories Collection vow renewal at Aulani because I kept almost cancelling the darn thing after they started a huge renovation project late last year. (Pretty much every time Disney announced a new phase of renovation, I shot my poor planner another panicked email and started mentally calculating how much money wed lose if we canceled or postponed.)

    So instead, Im going to post all the planning info NOW while I wait for our photos to be finished and then do a recap when I have those....

    And You Are...?


    Lurkyloo & Mr. Lurkyloo, a Disney bride-turned-Disney-wedding-obsessive and her puppeteer husband, who are wringing every last penny from their Disney Parks Premier Passes for trips around Disneys world.

    For the complete story of our anniversary trip to Aulani and Walt Disney Worldwhich started with our vow renewal and six days in Hawaii and ended in Orlando for Disneys Fairy Tales Weddings Bridal Showcase plus a dessert-less anniversary dessert party in Epcots Italy Pavilioncheck out my trip report on the DIS' main trip reports board or on my blog!

    If you get bored waiting for the next installment, here are links to my past trip reports and various other online time-wasters...

    Some Light Reading: Past Reports
    All my past reports are available on the DIS via the links in my signature, but its much easier to find and read them on my blog.

    Wedding: Morocco Pavilion/The Attic/UK Lochside Dessert Party

    Haunted Mansion at WDW and Disneyland on the Same Day - Plus Free Dining!

    Return to the Scene of the Crime: 1st Anniversary at WDW

    Wedding Crasher: 4 Parties in 3 Nights with 2 Cameras and 1 Fabulous Hat!

    A Very Lurky Christmas: Holiday at Bay Lake Tower& of TERROR!

    Tokyo Disney on Two Weeks Notice: A Photo-Packed Account of 17 Days in Japan

    Trick or Tweet! Halloween at Disney World & Disneyland

    Epcot 30: Lurkylooking Back on Tomorrow!

    Assorted Other Ways To OD on The Lurkyloos

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  3. lurkyloo

    lurkyloo The Attic was just perfect!

    Aug 24, 2006
    Why Aulani?

    When Aulani debuted, I was desperate to get out there. But then I started reading reports of overpriced, underwhelming food; a location in the boonies that meant commuting to see any of Oahu’s tourist sites; and crowded pool and beach areas overrun with locals and tourists who had nothing else to do out there. The only thing that might tempt me, the availability of Disney’s Fairy Tale Weddings' Wishes Collection, was similarly unappealing due to its $4,000 overall minimum expenditure, 10-night room requirement, and $100/$125 per-person food and beverage minimums that made it unfeasible for a small vow renewal.

    Then Disney introduced its Memories Collection at Aulani, and suddenly I was interested again. Every other year we do something at Disney to celebrate the anniversary of our Disney wedding, and if our Tower of Terror 3rd anniversary dinner party topped our IllumiNations 1st anniversary dinner party, I knew our 5th anniversary was going to have to be pretty spectacular to top that! I started talking with the Roots, who became our friends after shooting our wedding and have since made guest appearances in several of our Disney trip reports. We’ve loved spending previous anniversaries with them, but it’s gotten harder to connect since they moved to Nashville and their schedule has filled up with weddings around the globe. So the idea of getting to take a whole trip with them was very appealing (to us, anyway!).

    Memories Collection Basics

    Price: $2,500 + tax ($1,995 when we booked)
    No. of Guests: 13 + Bride & Groom
    What’s Included:
    • Ceremony site
    • Officiant
    • 1 hour of photography + proofing website
    • Ukulele or guitar player
    • Seasonal Hawaiian leis for the bride and the groom
    • Wedding Coordinator
    • Aulani Commemorative Wedding Certificate (we never got this, maybe because it was a vow renewal?)
    • Signature Aulani amenity for the bride & groom (didn’t get this either... not sure what it is...)

    Getting the Ball Rolling

    When I first called Aulani to book last summer, their Disney’s Fairy Tale Wedding department was still going through a lot of changes. One of the planners from Walt Disney World was temporarily working at Aulani to help them get started, and she was the one I worked with at first. Over the course of about one month, I was shuttled among five different people and given all sorts of conflicting information. Initially I’d been told that the deposit for Memories was $500, but when it came time to pay, they told me it was in fact $1,000—and then they charged my card $2,000!

    After I detailed my experience in a survey Disney sent, I got a call from the director of catering sales, who apologized for the mixup, refunded me the extra $1,000, and told me I’d been assigned to my really-for-real contact person and would no longer be playing planner roulette. Hooray!

    Planning Experience

    My planner, Elena, was fantastic! I was continually impressed by how much attention our tiny Memories event got compared to my experiences planning six different private events at Walt Disney World over the last five years. Granted, Aulani only does about 10 weddings a month right now, whereas WDW might do 10 in a day. But it was more than just the fact that she had plenty of time to help me—it was the level of interest and enthusiasm she expressed that really impressed me.

    Not only did Elena anticipate my needs, she was the one prodding me for information and not the other way around, as it usually is. She also volunteered to send me progress photos of the construction and sent lots of shots of the sites, the photographer’s work and the work of the cosmetologist who works at Laniwai spa. She responded to my emails in a timely manner, and if she didn’t have an answer, she researched it for me.

    I figured most of the planning would be done in the last two months or so, but I had a lot of communication with Elena for the full 8 months that I was planning. In fact, I was the one dragging my feet on a lot of the planning aspects, for a number of reasons: Not getting my dress til about 3 weeks out put a big crimp in a lot of plans. Also, having the holidays so close to our event meant losing about a month of planning time to celebrating. And I had almost no vision of what I wanted for our vow renewal because I wasn’t trying to improve upon or top our wedding.

    Pretty much the only thing I knew I wanted for the event was that the ukulele player NOT play the “Somewhere Over the Rainbow/What a Wonderful World” medley that you hear all the time. Elena, bless her heart, put this in our BEO in all caps!

    Up Next: Ceremony Locations!
  4. NoOrdinaryPrincess

    NoOrdinaryPrincess DIS Veteran

    Mar 16, 2011
    YIPEEEE A LURKYLOO TR :banana::banana::banana::banana::banana:
  5. bradleyjess

    bradleyjess Mouseketeer

    Oct 26, 2012
    Yay! I wanna read moreeee!
  6. Linda67

    Linda67 Has a Masters in Margaritas

    Aug 18, 2009
    Really looking forward to reading along with this one :banana:
  7. pkdang

    pkdang Earning My Ears

    Sep 28, 2011
    eeek! I can't wait to hear more about it!
  8. blearbear4

    blearbear4 Choose Wisely

    Aug 11, 2012
    I can't wait to read more! I've been going through your trip reports on your blog and they're always so much fun and hilarious!
  9. lurkyloo

    lurkyloo The Attic was just perfect!

    Aug 24, 2006
    Yay! Thanks for following along! I hope to be able to share all the details of my planning at Aulani, since there's so little info online right now. It's such a great place for an elopement or a vow renewal!
  10. 2012DisneyWorldBride

    2012DisneyWorldBride <font color=royalblue>I was a Disney Bride on 12.8

    Dec 7, 2011
    Hey Carrie!!!! Yay I am following along... This is great to read about this vow renewal because I have officially gotten Jeff to agree to a 5 year vow renewal at Disney somewhere. Cant wait to hear all about it!!
  11. pjstevens

    pjstevens Had our DFTW Vow Renewal on the Wonder

    Feb 22, 2005
    cannot wait to read this! I love each of your reports and have been off the dis for a while so I completely missed that you were planning this!
  12. lurkyloo

    lurkyloo The Attic was just perfect!

    Aug 24, 2006
    :banana: Way to go! My vote's for Aulani... :gteeth:

    Great to see you here again! :goodvibes
  13. disneydania

    disneydania Disney-obsessed & Proud of It

    Feb 3, 2013
    Oh:hyper: A vow renewal in Hawaii sounds divine. Definitely following along. Can't wait to read all the details. It's good of you to share your experience with everyone in case other brides are considering a vow renewal there. Just think of yourself as a pioneering trailblazer.:lmao:
  14. stenogoddess

    stenogoddess DIS Veteran

    Aug 11, 2005
    Happy to see this Carrie! You get to write some of this off on your taxes, right? I mean isn't getting married in various Disney venues your job!? If you need an affidavit stating how essential this work is let us know! :thumbsup2
  15. NeverlandClub23

    NeverlandClub23 DIS Veteran

    Jan 20, 2005
    Woo hoo! I'm definitely in (even though I still have a ton more to write for my own TR... :rolleyes1).
  16. asunnysideup

    asunnysideup Mouseketeer

    Jan 20, 2011
    So excited to read more!! :)
  17. 1EvilQueenfan

    1EvilQueenfan Mouseketeer

    Apr 4, 2008
    Hey Carrie!! That's awesome, congrats. I've been thinking about you lately and was wondering how your trip to Aulani was! Now to learn that you did a vow renewal, amazing! I can't wait to hear all about it! I know I told you that Raphael and I were thinking about getting married at Aulani but now we are doing at DCL wedding aboard the Disney Dream sailing January 19, 2014!

    I loved Aulani and a can't wait to go back. I'm really excited to hear about your experience and what you thought of the resort!

  18. Lorelei528

    Lorelei528 DIS Veteran

    Mar 29, 2006
    YAY!!! The nitty gritty!! It's my favorite part!! LOL....

    I can't wait to hear about the Italy dessert-less dessert party!

    I'm already trying to think of what to do for our 10 year VR! LOL.... ;)

    Following along on both this and the TR. Twice the Carrie and Patrick is twice as nice.

  19. Bewitch324

    Bewitch324 DIS Veteran

    May 12, 2009
    Really looking forward to this; I saw the pics that were on the Roots both looked AMAZING!

    I'm so happy that you love writing because I sure love reading your reports!!!

  20. quandrea

    quandrea DIS Veteran

    Jun 24, 2010
    Looking forward to this. We did a VR in 2011 at the Swan. Loved it. An Aulani renewal would be great. Don't think hubby will go for it though--maybe for 25 years? Also want to hear about the dessert party. Would love to do one of these at some point.
  21. lurkyloo

    lurkyloo The Attic was just perfect!

    Aug 24, 2006
    It's a dirty job, but SOMEbody's gotta do it... :rotfl:

    Thanks for the offer! I'll be sure to send the tax man your way... :teeth:

    Hey, no judgements here! I know how much work it takes to get a trip report installment posted.

    Thanks for joining in!

    Awesome! I can't wait to hear all about it!

    Oooh! Whatever it is, you can be sure I'll try to crash it! :rotfl2:

    Hey, thanks for the kind words!

    I'll bet you could get him to at least go for a dessert party. Who doesn't like dessert? :teeth:

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