My Swan Wedding

Discussion in 'Planning our Happily Ever After' started by ferretxxxferret, Jul 3, 2008.

  1. ferretxxxferret

    ferretxxxferret Mouseketeer

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    I want to post about my wedding to show other brides what a swan wedding is all about. When I was planning my wedding there was not a whole lot of info on weddings at the Swan. Alot of pictures were way outdated and made the Swan look terrible. It is actually a beautiful hotel! In person it is stunning. I will try to post as much as possible, but it might take lots of installments!



    When I began my planning, we were going to have our wedding at Disney. As many other brides know, DFTW gets expensive really quickly, and there are tons of hidden costs. We were trying to budget for $10,000 because of the Disney minimum. We were getting no where with that amount of money!

    I guess I will start off with some information about the Swan. I will describe it for those who have never been there or don't remember it all that well. Here are a few pictures of the Swan and Dolphin:

    [​IMG]

    (this one is not from my wedding, but from the internet)
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    Some pictures make the color combination of the peach and green look terrible. But really in pictures taken with a good camera the Swan and Dolphin look really nice. They are not as bright and tacky looking as some photos suggest. I asked my photographer to have most pictures not highlight the peach and green. He did a great job of this!



    Why have a wedding at the Swan?

    well, as I said earlier, Disney is just too expensive for many brides. The Swan is a way of getting the Disney magic without paying the DFTW price. Now, if you have the money to go with DFTW directly, I say go for it! But if you are like me and you just could't get what you wanted with your budget, the swan could be perfect for you!

    The Swan and Dolphin are located in the middle of all that is Disney. They are located adjacent to the boardwalk and just a short walk from EPCOT. I had no idea how close it was until I went for my site visit!

    Another plus is the flexibilty. Disney has so many rules regarding their weddings. With the Swan you can get exactly what you want. You can get an easy package where you don't have to do a lot of planning, or you can customize what you want! That's what i did, and it worked our great. I will try to go into all of my vendors later in the thread.
     
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  3. lov2b@disney

    lov2b@disney DIS Veteran

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    Looking forward to hearing all about your wedding!
     
  4. DecemberBride

    DecemberBride DIS Veteran

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    as am I... I'm having a DFTW, but my dinner reception at Shula's at the Dolphin...
     
  5. ferretxxxferret

    ferretxxxferret Mouseketeer

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    Basic Swan and Dolphin Info

    I figured I would begin at the beginning and let you all know just a little bit about the Swan. When I began planning my wedding I had never even been to Disney, so lots of pictures and descriptions were super helpful. i am going to explain things as if all of you have never been there because I don't know how much you already know. I am not expert about the Swan and Dolphin, so fee free to correct me if I am wrong!

    The Swan and Dolphin are located directly across from each other and adjacent to the Boardwalk. You can walk form one hotel to the other in just a few minutes! Here is a map to help give you an idea of what i am talking about:
    [​IMG]

    The great thing about the Boardwalk being so close is that you can get pictures taken at the boardwalk! (like in my current signature!) I would just be careful to not run into another bride! I wouldn't want to steal her thunder if her wedding was at the boardwalk or anything. They have the right of way! :) But since the boardwalk area is outside of a park, you can wear your dress and get pictures there!
    [​IMG]

    now onto more wedding related stuff....

    There are several locations for a ceremony, and endless possibilities for a reception!

    Ceremony locations

    these are the locations that i know of, but there could be a few more! as always, i am just speaking from my own personal experience!

    Crescent Terrace - this is where I had my ceremony! It is located to the right of the swan if you are looking at the Swan from the front entrance. If you look up at the map of the Swan and Dolphin i posted above it is shown as a pathway that ends as a circle surrounded by trees. Here are some pics of the location:

    from above:
    [​IMG]

    My pics here begin from the back entrance of the swan, on the Dolphin side. To get there, walk out the doors of the Swan towards the Dolphin and take a right.
    You will see a pathway leading over a bridge and a path to your right.
    [​IMG]
    Take this right, and you will be on the path that becomes your "walk down the isle"
    [​IMG]
    dum dum de dum...

    [​IMG]

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    this is your view once you reach the end of the isle.
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    Behind us is the hotel:
    [​IMG]

    looking at crescent terrace from across the waterway:
    [​IMG]

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    Crescent Terrace is a beautiful area. It is right next to the waterway, and you can hear and see the boats from there. We had some go by during our ceremony! There are also lots of trees and greenery which I think showed up beautifully in our pictures! (which I will share later). It also shaded the area pretty well.
     
  6. ferretxxxferret

    ferretxxxferret Mouseketeer

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    The beach- I know that it is also possible to have your ceremony on the beach between the Swan and Dolphin. The one downside to having your reception on the beach is that they do not have seating available (last I checked they didn't). This would work for a small number of people and a short ceremony. keep in mind that there really isn't any shade!
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    East Couryard- This will work for a small wedding. I am unsure of the number of people it can fit though. There are two areas at the swan that have this fountain, and I am unsure of which one is the east courtyard, so I will post both of the pics i took. they are pretty identical.
    [​IMG]

    here is a pic i took on my site visit trip:
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    I have also seen another picture of a ceremony set up, but I don't know any of the details. It can be seen in the pics on this page:
    http://www.swandolphin.com/weddings/index.html
     
  7. ferretxxxferret

    ferretxxxferret Mouseketeer

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    Thanks 2be@disney and Decemberbride! :goodvibes I am excited to share so that others can decide if the swan is right for them. But first I want to give out all of the info that I know!
     
  8. ferretxxxferret

    ferretxxxferret Mouseketeer

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    There is a really great link that I used while researching the Swan. It gives a 360 degree view of many areas of the swan and dolphin. Maybe it will help!

    360 degree views- click here
     
  9. DecemberBride

    DecemberBride DIS Veteran

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    this is going to be soooooo helpful jennifer! a lot og s&d brides will thank you!
     
  10. traceyr13

    traceyr13 Earning My Ears

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    This is so helpful! I am really thinking of doing a vow renewal there in 2010, so I really appreciate this! :)
     
  11. Ember

    Ember <font color=blue>I've also crazy glued myself to m

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    What a great thread! You're information is great and I love that you're illustrating everything with pictures, which makes it very easy to "see" what you're talking about. It's a lot of work to type everything out, and I know there are brides out there who are going to really appreciate it! :thumbsup2
     
  12. ferretxxxferret

    ferretxxxferret Mouseketeer

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    DecemberBride- I really hope this helps some people out. I considered not really sharing our photos because it is kind of weird having them all over the internet, but I think the good outweighs the bad.

    traceyr13- i hope that some of this is useful to you! I think that the swan is a perfect place for a VR! :lovestruc

    Ember- I think the pictures really help. The swan and just marry give you a lot of info, but it's all descriptions and numbers. How are you going to know what they are really talking about without pics?? Maybe some other Swan brides will be inspired to come share their pics and info as well.



    Just Marry!
    If you would like to get married at the Swan, they will connect you with Just Marry!, a wedding planning company. Just Marry was awesome. For most of my planning I worked with Michele, but then was transfered to Aimee. Michele suffered through e-mail after e-mail and answered every single one of my crazy questions. Their website is www.justmarry.com. There really isn't any info about swan weddings on the site, but it can help you get in contact with them. i really can't say enough good things about them. So easy to work with!:thumbsup2

    Ceremony Options

    Like I said earlier, if you want to make it easy and not have to do all of the dirty work yourself Just marry will do it for you. It can be as simple as filling out a questionnaire, getting your marriage license, and showing up! i, on the other hand, wanted it customized.

    My contract included the site fee for Crescent Terrace, my wedding planner, a musician (I used a harpist and she was great!), and seating. My price for this was about $1600. Compared to the price of the wedding pavilion (which i totally love and would have chosen if I could have afforded it) that's pretty darn good!

    Their basic package typically includes Ceremony hosted at the Crescent Terrace or the East Fountain Courtyard, Officiant to perform the ceremony, Decorated brass wedding arch, Nosegay bridal bouquet and Groom's boutonniere, Single ceremony musician, Small decorated wedding
    cake and a bottle of champagne. The fee they charge for all this is $2200.00 (but that price was given to me in 2006, so it might be more now). You can customize all of this, don't be afraid to ask!

    Here is how they decorate the arch in this package... (something like this anyways. it comes with 3 bunches of flowers on the arch. it was not my style, so i customized this too, lol!):
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    On top of the basic package, you can add on a whole bunch of stuff. Someone posted a more recent list of this on the swan weddings FAQ stickied at the top of the DFTW forum.

    I chose my own officiant (Mario's uncle), photographer, hair and make-up person, tux and steaming company, etc. I told my WP what I wanted for floral and cake, and she told me which companies she uses. You can use any company you want. I researched companies in Orlando by reading threads on here, and on other forums and such.

    I will go into my personal wedding stuff later. For now, more general info....
     
  13. ferretxxxferret

    ferretxxxferret Mouseketeer

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    Reception Options

    There are soooo many options for a reception if you have your ceremony at the Swan! This depends on how many people you have at your wedding, and if you want to have it close or need transportation, etc.

    One obvious option is to have it in one of the ballrooms at the Swan/Dolphin. I cannot recommend this option because they were just terrible to work with. The person that was assigned to me never answered any of my emails and I had to have Michele at Just Marry! contact them. They were a nightmare. :mad: Maybe it was just the person that i was working with. i am not even going to go into all of the problems I had with them. Maybe someone else has had better experience and can post about it.

    There is also the option of having your wedding reception at one of the restaurants at the Swan or Dolphin.These are a great choice because they are all on-site and you don't need transportation to get to them. i will try to go over each of them at least a little. this website is helpful: http://www.swandolphin.com/dining/private.html

    Fresh Mediterranean Market - located in the Dolphin Hotel

    here is the info the swan and dolphin website gives for private dining:
    http://www.swandolphinmeetings.com/menus/privatedining/fresh.pdf

    here are some pics that WDWinfo.com posted:
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    a 360 degree view:
    http://www.swandolphin.com/360/fresh.html

    I don't really know more about this site for a wedding, but I ate here for lunch before my rehearsal. It was amazing! :thumbsup2 Seriously some of the best food EVER. My family still talks about it to this day. It is a made to order type buffet. I think it would be a great choice for a wedding reception.

    I have talked with Leo, the guy you are supposed to talk to about booking private dining here, and he was super nice.
     
  14. Keira1387

    Keira1387 Married at Disney August 2, 2008

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    great thread! I'm sure this going to help a lot of future brides.
     
  15. trudy88

    trudy88 Mouseketeer

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    Hubby and I are considering a VR at the Swan. I really appreciate the info!
    And the pics are so helpful!
    trudy <><
     
  16. rigsby25

    rigsby25 DIS Veteran

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    My daughter was just married at the Swan and Dolphin on April 23. We did not have all this information beforehand and we were so pleasantly surprised that everything went so smoothly. JustMarry did a fantastic job. All this information is right on and will be so helpful.
     
  17. XmasPixie

    XmasPixie Mouseketeer

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    Thank you so much for posting all of this information. I am just beginning to work with Just Marry for my Swan wedding this December. We are moving so fast so do not have a whole lot of luxury to make changes - the more information we can find, the better.

    I'm curious about the way you customized the arch and if the cost was significantly more than the standard. I love the arch but I would also like it done differently...

    Looking forward to your story popcorn:: .

    Thank you so much!!!!!
    MDB :santa:
     
  18. MyMelody

    MyMelody Mouseketeer

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    Yay I love to know other brides are thinking about Swan Dolphin that place is sooo pretty too :thumbsup2
     
  19. Disneyaddict1973

    Disneyaddict1973 WDW veteran

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    OMG Jennifer, this thread is a Godsend to those of us who have booked a WDW Swan wedding! Like you said, there is NOTHING out there! Even now after they have done sooooooooooooo many weddings, few Brides post pics or info anywhere about it! I have googled it over and over and that is how I found the DISboards. I am so glad I did:banana: I pledge to post all of my pics and info when we get back, I should have my pics by September:flower3: . Thanks for doing this for us!:grouphug:
     
  20. ferretxxxferret

    ferretxxxferret Mouseketeer

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    Keira- thanks! :)

    Trudy 88- hi there! I hope some of this information will help you make a decision. I think it would be a perfect place for a VR! :love:

    rigsby25- I totally agree! Everything went perfectly smooth. Jsut Marry did an awesome job. It was great that I didn't have to worry about the ceremony except for showing up! They had everything all put together and made sure it went off without a hitch. i am glad to hear you say that the info is right on, because you never know what may have changed or something!

    Xmas Pixie- you are getting married soon! Congrats! As far as the flowers, I wanted a different colored arch because I am not a big fan of gold. We had a black one. Then I had them put flowers all over instead of just a few spots. It blended in so perfectly to the location, and looked elegant and not cheesy (in my opinion). Here is a picture:
    [​IMG]

    a closer view of the flowers:
    [​IMG]

    I was really happy with how this turned out. All I went off of was a description. they exceeded my expectations.
    here is how it was described in my floral quote:

    Greenery Productions was the florist they used. I will try to go into floral more later! They have several arch options, but i think this arch was the cheapest. I just wanted to get to your question ASAP since you are getting married so soon. Hope that helps! let me know if you have any more questions.

    My Melody- great to see you here! :)

    Disneyaddict1973- i know, I tried googling for hours! There really isn't anything out there except some outdated pics. :confused: i had to ask about everything, and I felt like I was bothering my WP! She was great though and thoroughly answered all questions. Definitely post your pics! I can't wait!
     
  21. MyMelody

    MyMelody Mouseketeer

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    :lovestruc Love to see your pictures.. You are a beautiful Bride and your pictures are really pretty. Glad you are doing all these swan post.
     

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