WOW! I feel so behind the 8 ball on getting our Planning Journal started even though there has already been lots of talk, lots of planning on this end and contracts signed! There's no time like the present to start, I guess... This is a second marriage for both of us. I won't go into the morbid details of my first because I've made my peace with it. Suffice it to say that I didn't HAVE a wedding last time. It was a quick & dirty non-planned affair in my ex husband's house with a notary. So this time, I'm having a wedding, gosh darn-it! Neither of us can think of any other place we want to be more for that day than Disney World. We weren't actually planning on PLANNING a wedding for a little while given that we were just engaged on October 19, 2012, but the more we talked about it, the more excited we got. We realized my dad's 70th is next October 18th and he LOVES Disney World. What better place to celebrate? Our best couple friends' anniversary is October 10th as is my brother's birthday. My sister's birthday is October 21st. My mom's birthday is November 15 and my fiance's birthday is November 3rd. My step son to be's birthday is November 7th. There's just a WHOLE lot of celebrating to do so why not? I was incredibly excited about planning a DFTW and we agreed on the Escape package mostly because it was a nice price set point for us as we have other financial goals we want to meet in the next bit. Originally, we thought we were thinking that because it was destination we wouldn't have many guests. That turns out to be so very wrong. We figured we could get away with the 18 count cap on the Escape. Unfortunately Disney does not budge and there's a $7000.00 difference between Escape and Wishes. At the time, we only really needed to include an extra 3-4 people above the cap of 18 so paying an extra $7000.00 for us was not a consideration. Luckily, I was pointed in the direction of the Swan & Dolphin, which I didn't even know was an option. I'm so glad that I was turned on to Just Marry because it's made our wish of being married at Disney with everyone who wants to attend feasible. So about us... Wendy I'm 36, (I'll turn 37 on March 30 -Yikes!) and currently my "real" job is as a health technician for an organization. I moonlight as a lighting designer for productions and that's looking like it's going to become a permanent gig for me very shortly *fingers crossed* I've been a Disney girl pretty much all of my life and I visit WDW as much as I can - usually twice a year. Here are a few of my Disney Faves: Time of Year to Visit: Food & Wine Fest/Halloween Resort: Polynesian Restaurant: 'Ohana MK Ride: Space Mountain Epcot Ride: Mission Space Studios Ride: Rockin' Roller Coaster AK Ride: Mount Everest Fireworks: Happy Hallowishes Christopher Christopher runs his own business fixing everything "i". iPhone, iPad, iPod. He also moonlights in production and has been picked up on the same show I've been working with as head carpenter/stage manager. Awesome gig! We both love it a lot! He's semi new to Disney being reintroduced by me in 2007. Now he's he biggest little kid in the world and practically vibrates when we see the Mickey shaped power line pole. Here are a few of his Disney Faves: Time of Year to Visit: Food & Wine Fest/Halloween Resort: Wilderness Lodge Restaurant: 'Ohana/Whispering Canyon MK Ride: Pirates of the Caribbean Epcot Ride: Mission Space Studios Ride: Rockin' Roller Coaster AK Ride: Mount Everest Fireworks: Happy Hallowishes So the engagement story. Here we go... Having both been married once before to other people, we often joke and say "Why couldn't we have just found one another first and avoided all of that craziness?", but we both know on a much deeper level that everything happens when it is supposed to and that obviously the universe felt we both had some lessons to learn before bringing us together. While we were engaged in October of this year, (2012), we have been together for almost 6 years slogging through messy divorces. Ever the gentleman, Christopher refused to ask a technically married woman to marry him while he himself was still married. Point taken. Finally in July of this year, we both found ourselves finally released from the bonds of our pasts and able to close those chapters of our lives. On October 19th, we visited Disney World for a few days while our best couple friends were there celebrating their 10th anniversary. When we arrived at 7:30 PM my girlfriend, Julie, pointed out that Wishes was happening at 9:00 and that she wanted to get drinks in pineapples at the bar outside of 'Ohana and take them to Luau Beach to watch the fireworks. I argued that I was really hungry and joked that we should try to sweet talk the hostess at 'Ohana into sneaking us in somewhere, ('Ohana is one of my favourite restaurants but we hadn't been able to get a reservation on such short notice). We went back and forth and finally Julie won out and we got our drinks, (minus the pineapple since they had sold out), had headed to the beach. Meanwhile, I had no idea that this had been the plan all along. Christopher and I snuggled up on a beach chair to watch Wishes across Bay Lake with a full on view of Cinderella Castle. May I just say that watching the fireworks from that vantage point gives you a whole new perspective of just how BIG they are? Wow! After Wishes ended, Christopher got up off the chair and I readied myself to get up too, but he was standing in my way. Before I knew it, he was on his knee in the sand. Needless to say, I was gobsmacked... The only thing I could think of to say was "Are you kidding me?" So I tease him that I still haven't answered technically. He says "You kissed me. You took the ring! That's a yes!" After he got up out of the sand, (after I unlatched myself from around his neck), he said "Oh, I have something else for us" and proceeded to pin a Disney 'Just Engaged' button to each of us. Everywhere we went, cast members offered their congratulations and parade characters also made a big deal. We had our photo taken with Mickey and he pointed to our buttons and cheered and kissed my cheek. I won't lie - I got a little teary. Of course that happened again when Cinderella saw my button from her float in the Dreams Come True parade at MK. She got a big happy surprised look on her face, blew me a kiss, mouthed Congratulations! and hit me with one of those incredibly radiant smiles that only a Disney Princess can pull off. I like to say that I had an engagement weekend. I didn't have a moment. It was awesome and I couldn't have asked for a better time!