Lurkyloo's PJ: Morocco/Attic/UK Lower - Greetings from WDW!!!

Discussion in 'Completed trip reports and planning journals' started by lurkyloo, Nov 5, 2007.

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  1. lurkyloo

    lurkyloo The Attic was just perfect!

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    Hi!

    I was dragging my feet on doing a planning journal, but I found them so helpful when I began considering a DFTW that I thought maybe all the things I've learned could help other brides!

    Locations:Morocco/The Attic/UK Lower (because that #@$! convention finally cancelled!)

    Date: 2/4/08

    # of Guests: Invited 50, hoping for 35

    No Rehearsal Dinner, no Farewell Brunch, no Bachelor/Bachelorette Party

    Photography: Nathan & Jensey Root (www.rootography.com)

    Video: Star Fruit Productions (www.starfruitproductions.com)

    Floral: Disney, but only 'cuz we have to...

    Hair & Makeup: Patricia LeJeune

    Honeymoon Resorts: BCV/CR/AKV/GF
     
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  3. lurkyloo

    lurkyloo The Attic was just perfect!

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    We met because of Disneyland...

    I was in line at Big Thunder Mountain and made a wish on a nickel at the pond. I wished to meet a guy who liked Disneyland and was straight. That night I got talked into going to the birthday party of a childhood friend I hadn't seen in a while, and I met his cousin.

    On our first date, as the lights were about to go down on our second movie of the night, The Cousin casually mentioned that he had a Disneyland Annual Pass. I was like, "Wait - wha...?!!" and then had to wait 2 hours to talk about it!

    ...Next time I go on Big Thunder Mountain, I'm wishing for a Ferrari!
     
  4. BaBeeCee14

    BaBeeCee14 DIS Veteran

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    Hi Lurkyloo!

    I'm glad you decided to start a PJ! Can't wait to hear more! :goodvibes
     
  5. caryndisneydiva

    caryndisneydiva DIS Veteran

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    i'm so glad you started a pj! sage from starfruit has been great! thanks for recommending him!
     
  6. lurkyloo

    lurkyloo The Attic was just perfect!

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    We started talking about marriage after about a year of dating, with the understanding (I think!) that after two years would probably be a good time. DF knew I'd always wanted to be proposed to in Disneyland, in my favorite spot, the Court des Anges in New Orleans Square.

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    The problem was that we go to Disneyland a LOT! So every time we passed through New Orleans Square my tummy would do a little flip-flop and I'd wonder if this was the moment! I began to regret being so specific in my proposal fantasy. :rotfl:

    But DF still surprised me. We were in Disneyland for a marathon opening-to-closing trip, which started and ended with a 2-hour wait in line to ride the just-opened Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage. We had a really late reservation at the Blue Bayou for dinner, so we collapsed on the bench in the Court des Anges to wait.

    Finally DF stands up, so I start to stand up, but then he kneels down and says, "Will you marry me?" I was totally in shock - the moment finally came and I was thinking "Wait - what? Now?! It's too soon!" etc. (yes, after hoping for a proposal on every trip to Disneyland for a year, the first thought I had was "It's too soon!" :upsidedow )

    I plopped back down on the bench and said yes, DF started crying, we decided he'd probably better get off the ground, and as the other group of people in the courtyard started to leave, the mother said to me, "Congratulations!" (Apparently he'd been waiting for them to leave but finally gave up and went for it). We had a lovely meal at the Blue Bayou and DF told me how had just decided to propose without a ring because we'd had such a great day and he wanted to have many other great days together for the rest of our lives. What a sweetie!

    Here's the ring we eventually got. It's a new ring I found on a fashion jewelry site called Fragments.com, but it looks old fashioned, which I love. I don't usually wear jewelry, and I thought a solitaire just didn't feel like me, so I started looking at right-hand rings (a lovely diamond-industry ploy to sell rings to single women ;) ). The first couple people who saw my ring thought it was just a setting for a stone :headache: but lately more people get what I was going for - hee hee!

    [​IMG]
     
  7. lurkyloo

    lurkyloo The Attic was just perfect!

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    Hi caryndisneydiva and BaBeeCee14! :wave2: Buckle yer seatbelts - I just looooove to write about this stuff! :cutie:
     
  8. Lisella

    Lisella Mouseketeer

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    I'm so glad you started a journal! I love your proposal story and what a beautiful ring.

    Can't wait to read more popcorn::
     
  9. lurkyloo

    lurkyloo The Attic was just perfect!

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    OK, maybe this part won't be too interesting to most of you because, hey, who wouldn't choose a Disney wedding? But we really agonized over it, so it might be helpful for anyone on the fence...

    We knew we wanted to be married sooner rather than later, and we thought February would be great for getting off-season prices no matter where we were married. Of course, I had been thinking about a Disney wedding since I discovered this board last year, but I didn't want to force it if there were a more suitable option.

    So we investigated possibilities in Los Angeles and in my tiny hometown in Northern California. At first we were really leaning toward using the Jim Henson Studios in Hollywood, where DF teaches puppetering classes. They are located in Charlie Chaplin's old studios, a neat Tudor-style collection of buildings.

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    But I started to become overwhelmed by all the stuff we'd need to bring in: tables, chairs, dishes, heat lamps, waitstaff, catering - everything! Plus, for even a modest gathering of 50 people with paper plates and box lunches plus cupcakes, we were looking at more than $15,000. The site fee alone would have paid for an entire Escape wedding!

    I started stressing out. DF asked me what I really wanted. I said I wanted to get married in the Court d' Anges at Disneyland, but when I'd called a year ago to ask, I was told Disneyland weddings cost $60,000. He told me to call again. This time when the snarky receptionist at Disneyland's weddings department said, "You do know that a Disneyland wedding costs $60,000, right?" I said, "Yes - please connect me with a wedding planner."

    I explained to the planner that I didn't want a 150-person spectacle in the shadow of Sleeping Beauty Castle, I just wanted a simple ceremony in the Court D' Anges before the park opened and a reception at the Blue Bayou. She said, "Well, they won't let us use the Blue Bayou, but we are developing a range of lower-priced in-park weddings and you could have your reception on a balcony at the Grand Californian."

    I was ecstatic. She said I had to wait a few weeks because they were only starting to figure this all out. Well, when I finally heard back from her, it turned out these "lower-priced" weddings are going to have a $25,000 minimum for just the ceremony portion, and they top out at 25 guests! At least in Florida you can have 50 guests at a Magic Kingdom wedding for that price! I was devastated - it was so far out of our price range. I called DF from work sobbing about how now some other bride was going to get to be married in Court d' Anges when I was the one who'd thought it up, etc., etc.

    So we went back to the drawing board, and I tentatively began pitching the idea of a WDW wedding. He liked the idea that we could get so much service and so many cool options for a third of the price of a Los Angeles wedding. He didn't like the fact that it was so far away - many of my relatives live in the Midwest and Back East, but almost all of his are in Northern California.

    But the more we looked at the alternatives - and their attendant hassles - the more we both began to think that a WDW wedding might actually work. We knew we didn't want the usual cookie-cutter hotel wedding, but we didn't want to elope. (Well, *he* didn't want to elope :rolleyes1 ).

    We started looking at an Escape wedding. I wanted to be married at Sunrise Terrace at Wilderness Lodge, but there's a 10-person limit (including bride and groom), and DF's immediate family is seven people, so that was out. Then we ran into all the hassles of fitting a meal into the rigid and inconvenient Escape Wedding timeslots. 5:30 and 9pm are the only times you can make large-group reservations at nearly all Disney restaurants, and neither works great with the ceremony times. Plus, we wanted to have a dessert party. On top of all that, DF really felt strongly that if we were going all the way out to Florida to be married, we should at least be getting married in one of the parks.

    We really liked the idea of Epcot - reasonable minimums (on weekdays...in winter...) and a wide variety of ceremony locations. Our favorites were Japan and Morocco, but neither of us had been to WDW in 14 years, so we needed to go back out there to decide.

    Next step...Planning Session!
     
  10. mla1977

    mla1977 I dream of living in Bay Lake Tower for the rest o

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    This all sounds so exciting!
     
  11. lurkyloo

    lurkyloo The Attic was just perfect!

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    While most of my family and friends seem to think that 6 months is plenty of time to plan a wedding, you all know that the bridal magazine timelines start at 12 months, and many people begin planning even farther out than that! When we finally decided to go for a DFTW, I felt like I'd been plunged into the process midway. I also stopped reading bridal magazine timelines because they made me hyperventilate. :rotfl:

    We set up a planning session about 3 weeks after we signed the contract. We were tentatively planning for a Japan ceremony, and I was pretty sure I wanted the Attic for the reception, just from pictures I’d seen. This is where I wished we’d had more time to research, because I feel like there are probably a lot of cool and unusual places you can have a reception and ceremony at Walt Disney World, but DFTW is not forthcoming at ALL about alternatives. When I asked for nonstandard reception sites, they sent me info on Whitehall and the lawn at the BoardWalk. :rolleyes: Later I heard about a girl who was doing a reception in the bird area at Animal Kingdom, but it was like pulling teeth to get any info on those options, and they flat-out refused to show us any AK sites at our Planning Session when I asked three weeks before.

    Having seen them, I love the sites we picked, but for a long time there was this little nagging doubt at the back of my mind, like “Maybe there’s someplace even cooler…”

    All the gory details of the Planning Session are in this thread:

    http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=1580678

    When we saw Japan and Morocco in person, we instantly fell in love with Morocco. At first I really wanted to use the interior courtyard with the balcony above it. I loved the wall fountain as an altar, and I thought it would be really cool if when we exited there were people up above showering us with petals. DF and our WC looked at me like I was crazy… DF said the place felt claustrophobic.

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    We also considered this area, but it would have been a weird setup with seating, and our walk to the altar would have been about 20 seconds (this is a big deal to me because, as you’ll hear later, I have very specific music I want for each portion of the processional, and it’s way longer than 20 seconds :cutie: )

    [​IMG]

    DF and our planner convinced me that the main courtyard would be best. I really wanted to have the seats face the archway but use the fountain as our altar.

    [​IMG]

    However, this would have put the guests out on the walkway. And as I know now, the #$@%! Epcot Segway Tour runs along the walkway. Even with the seats between the fountain and the archway, the tour will still be coming awfully close. Here’s what it will look like when the Segway Tour ruins my wedding :rotfl:

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    This is as close as we got to seeing our Dessert Party site, Upper UK, since the BoardWalk Inn chef moved up our tasting by 30 minutes. I’m hoping the high wall and permanent umbrellas don’t spoil our photos.

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    I always liked the Attic in pictures (mostly because it looks like it needs NO decorations), but I fell in love with it when I saw it in person.

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    First of all, the floors are SO shiny! I suppose that’s a silly reason, but…. MAN, are they shiny! And I love all the windows (though they may be murder for picture-taking) and the view.

    [​IMG]

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    This is where we want to put our sweetheart table – our WP just about had an apoplexy but finally agreed we could sit there. I guess they usually put you on the deck or something? :confused:

    [​IMG]

    I think our iPod will be set up in the far corner on the little side table, under the stained glass window hanging.
    [​IMG]
     
  12. DLR2WDW

    DLR2WDW Earning My Ears

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    Your locations look beautiful! I was thinking the other day...It must be difficult for the planners to go through all of the location options with every couple since each couple has different numbers of people, different budgets and certain locations are available only at certain times. I think they must narrow down the options based on their knowledge of the couple and all of the other factors. I think you have chosen GREAT spots and it sounds like you have everything well planned!
     
  13. mla1977

    mla1977 I dream of living in Bay Lake Tower for the rest o

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    I'm so excited that you put the pictures of the Epcot view up. I've been wondering what it looked like from there.
     
  14. PrincessBrideKatie

    PrincessBrideKatie Sleeping Beauty

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    I love your PJ so far!
     
  15. M&M126

    M&M126 <font color=deeppink>A wish is a powerful thing, e

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    I'm so glad you started a PJ. I love your story about meeting your DF. That is too cute! I cant wait to hear all the detailed planning in the weeks/months to come! :)
     
  16. TamTab

    TamTab Mouseketeer

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    Love your pj so far. looking forward to reading more!
     
  17. caryndisneydiva

    caryndisneydiva DIS Veteran

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    i felt the same way you did about meeting a disney loving straight man!!! great pj so far!!!
     
  18. Kristen14

    Kristen14 DIS Veteran

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    Yay! I'm glad you started a PJ!
     
  19. BayouPrincess

    BayouPrincess Mickey is my Boyfriend!

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    I'm loving the PJ so far! :love: The proposal part is sooooooo cute. He was trying to be all smooth. How sweet. You're a lucky couple. It seems as though you are meant for each other. I wish you a lifetime of happiness!
     
  20. shasess

    shasess My Disney Princess!!!

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    Great PJ, so far!!!!:thumbsup2
     
  21. lurkyloo

    lurkyloo The Attic was just perfect!

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    Thanks for your sweet comments everyone! I hope there's something helpful to be found among my numerous opinions.... :rotfl:

    The Dress

    I thought dress shopping would be easy, since I love dressing up and I thought I had a good idea what kind of dress I wanted. Basically, I wanted something slinky and sexy and modern, not pouffy and lacy and princessy. I wanted Casablanca 1831!

    (Not THE dress)
    [​IMG]

    However, when I tried it on, it made me look kinda dumpy and short - and I'm 5'11"! It took me three or four shopping trips just to stop feeling weird in a big formal gown, and all I could think was "Why does it have to be white?" This is partly cuz I'm super-pale and look bad in white (and worse in ivory!) and partly because I was getting tired of the Wedding Industrial Complex's notions of what a wedding dress should be (white, cheaply made, exorbitantly priced).

    Also, at less than 6 months out, I was running out of time to order dresses from certain manufacturers. I think I tried on about 70 or 80 dresses over two weeks. I found lots that looked OK, but nothing that screamed “The One!”

    This one was nice, but I decided the skirt would look dated when I looked back at my wedding pictures:

    (Also not THE dress)
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    I loved this one, but it didn’t love me (clingy 100% silk + love handles = yikes!)

    (I WISH this were THE dress)
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    Finally, I decided just to get the one that made my waist look the smallest. Ta-da! (Please excuse Missy Poutypants – she probably hasn't eaten in days!)

    (The Dress!)
    [​IMG]

    It is, of course, very princessy and pouffy, but it wins the smallest-looking waist award hands down. I found it at the biggest and one of the most expensive bridal shops in Southern California. I tried on a sample that they’d marked down from $1,350 to $700, and it fit like a glove. However, it was the wrong color for me (café), and it had a ballpoint pen mark on the front, snags in the bodice, makeup stains inside, a broken zipper pull and a missing brooch at the hip. The shop would not budge on the price, but they said they’d put a ribbon on the zipper pull and assured me they could get the stains out. Oh, and they would gladly sell me a new brooch for the hip.

    I read Bridal Bargains, and I felt like I was being taken for a ride. So I started looking for the dress online. The salon wouldn’t let me take a picture, but I did know it was an Allure gown. As it turns out, it was one of those gowns that manufacturers don’t advertise so that you can’t find out how much they’re worth. They sell them to bridal salons for $300-$500 and then the salons mark them way up – in this case, to $1300! I was lucky enough to find a picture on a British dress shop’s website, and then I found an eBay seller who was selling the dress through her shop in the Midwest. She sold me the dress brand new, in Diamond White, for $500, including shipping!

    It was supposed to come in the first week of December, but she called me Saturday and said it had arrived! I should get it within the week. Here are some gratuitous pictures of the dress in her shop.

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