Disney wedding planning NERVOUS

Discussion in 'Disney Weddings and Honeymoons' started by AquaticaT, Apr 18, 2017.

  1. AquaticaT

    AquaticaT Earning My Ears

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    Hello, everyone!

    I'm so happy I found this forum! Next year I am planning on getting married at Disney and Up until a few days ago, I was SO excited! Literally counting down the days until we can call Disney and start the planning process. Then I found some "helpful" planning tools online and some not so great reviews about the wedding planning process at Disney....and now I'm just nervous. Don't get me wrong...I've read a ton of amazing experiences brides have had at Disney weddings and in no way am I changing my mind about getting married at Disney. But a lot of people have said its overwhelming and very frustrating to work with the Disney planners.

    Any advice? What should I be expecting when we make the first phone call?
     
  2. fifthdimensiondweller

    fifthdimensiondweller DIS Veteran

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    I was a Disney Cruise Line bride, so I probably won't be as helpful as others, but I'll still tell you what my experience was like. I actually had a REALLY easy time planning. I basically filled out a form, sent it in, and showed up after exchanging a few emails with my planner towards the last 3 months beforehand or so. I think a lot of frustration comes from the fact that Disney really won't do much for couples until they're 6 months or less out besides booking a venue. They often come off as unconcerned to brides and grooms. I think they're just focusing on weddings that are more in the immediate future, BUT I think a lot of Disbrides get frustrated because they're spending a LOT of money for a Disney wedding and feel like they're not being treated fairly, and I see their point too! For my at home reception I was able to make so many decisions a year or nine months out that Disney wouldn't talk to me about until 3 months before! Just make sure to know going in that your planner won't be very involved until at least nine to six months out, less if you are a Memories or Cruise Line bride, since these weddings require less prep. They WILL get more involved closer to though, don't worry!

    If you listen to the Disney Wedding Podcast you'll get a lot of insight into what the planning process is going to be like and what kind of timeline you can expect. I think there might be one too that actually deals with what to expect on your first phone call! Congratulations!
     
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  4. lurkyloo

    lurkyloo The Attic was just perfect!

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  5. WDWLover75

    WDWLover75 Mouseketeer

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    Hi - I had an Escape wedding so there wasn't that much planning, though I did add a catered meal, extra floral, and a dessert party. And yeah, at times I felt like I wasn't getting enough attention. But, here is how I looked at it......I have watched a lot of friends get married and agonize about their giant to-do list including finding a florist, a baker, a caterer, a musician, a limo driver and a location and then worrying endlessly if they made the right choices. Yeah....with Disney, I didn't have to make any of those decisions or worry about quality. For my cake, we had like 5 choices, took my husband and I 5 minutes on that choice, same with floral. Our brunch, we were presented with three menus. We just picked one, no changes, substitutions, etc. I was probably on the more relaxed side of the scale when it came to being a bride. I just wanted to marry my guy and I wasn't going to stress over making sure I had thoroughly investigated every possible cake design I could beg to have upgraded (though I did stumble across one and asked my planner who said no....oh well, wasn't that serious). Also, those same friends, with the non-Disney, non-Destination wedding, they had oodles of "extra" people at their weddings like friends of their parents whom they were trying to impress. With my Escape wedding, I couldn't invite them, just the people closest to me whom I didn't have to impress - LESS Stress! AND, all of my guests were on vacation, at Disney, so we're super relaxed and just loved everything. Your wedding will be awesome. Listen to those podcasts, know that your planner knows what she is doing and everything WILL get done on time and do not forget to enjoy this awesome time in your life :daisy:
     
  6. AquaticaT

    AquaticaT Earning My Ears

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    Thank you so much everyone!! I listened to the podcast and feel so much better! @WDWLover75 you make an amazing point, I didn't even consider how hands-off the Disney weddings are compared to a do it yourself wedding.
     
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  7. Laura Polley

    Laura Polley Earning My Ears

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    I'm currently planning an Escape wedding and I've found it pretty stress free and easy so far. My planner always emails back, but there is not much more we can do now until the final forms need to be sent in :)
     
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  8. aushleyg

    aushleyg Earning My Ears

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    I have been struggling with my wedding planner. Definitely feel that because we are doing an Escape wedding they dont care. I tried to talk to the sales person to see if Wishes was a better option and got 0 help. I have emailed a manager over there but they havent gotten back. Its been 3 days! Not very impressed but the lack of having to plan too much is worth it I think... we will see!
     
  9. lorimay

    lorimay DIS Veteran

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    Congratulations!!!

    I have to tell you as a Disney mother of the bride (9 years ago), Disney made it so easy. It was pretty much one stop shop and perfect, all we had to do was basically show up and let the beautiful day play out. We had outside vendors for photography and videography ad that was it, everything else was through Disney. It was an amazing day went off perfectly!
    Now I am a Mother of the groom ( the wedding is next Friday). They are having a wedding in Ft. Lauderdale at a beautiful hotel and the venue is a pier top overlooking the city. I have been fortunate enough to be involved from the get go. This is a different experience then Disney was. You have to find all your own vendors so it takes more time and planning. It is a little more stressful for a bride this way.
    The wedding will be as perfect as my daughters day was, but more work getting it to that point.

    Disney spoils you in every way, enjoy the planning, it goes by fast!!! :love::love:
     
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  10. Traveliz

    Traveliz DIS Veteran

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    I, too, am a Disney bride mom. My Disney bride is not one who enjoys planning and has specific ideas about what she wants for only a few parts of the event so she has delegated her sister and I to head up most of the work for the day (we are loving it). We listen to what she wants and then show her things, etc. Anyway, she is having a Wishes Wedding and she and her fiancee both work for Disney. They have for awhile so I sort of understand that Disney has their way across all lines of business of doing things and they don't really part from the protocol. I think that is what makes a lot of people nervous. In a hometown wedding or other venue, you are constantly having to remind the vendors, get something to them etc.

    For Disney weddings I totally understand the planning session is 6 months in advance so once you've done your site visit and got your contract...it's just follow their directions. That doesn't mean there isn't a ton of other stuff you can be doing but it's really not going to be through Disney until your planning session 6 months out. I have sent a few emails with questions but that's it. Our planning session is next
    month so for Disney we are working on the planning kit to send back to them. On unrelated Disney note - we sent out the Save the Dates, figured out invitations (for the most part), have been working on wedding clothes for everyone, etc. There is still plenty to do!

    I will agree it can be overwhelming (but what wedding isn't!?) and sure times can be frustrating but so far we have very much liked working with all of the people we have been in contact. Our sales rep was the only person we have met in person. We had a great get to know us call with our planner and then she left on a leave and we got an interim planner. Have only dealt with her and the assistant through email but it's been fine. I really don't feel I have felt any frustration on Disney's part at all. Sure when I send an email I wish I received an answer in ten minutes but a few days is really more realistic.

    At this same time I have been helping my sister-in-law plan a local wedding and am hosting a baby shower. All of these events have resulted in overwhelming and frustrating moments.

    That said, I LOVE the attention to detail so far and we haven't even had our planning session yet! The notes the sales person took and passed on to the planner were meticulous. They really "hear" everything and take note of it. They all seem genuinely interested in making this a special day.

    What type of wedding are you having?

    Liz
     
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  11. justme0729

    justme0729 DIS Veteran

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    I'm planning a wishes and it's easy :) picking your venues is the hardest part.
     
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  12. AquaticaT

    AquaticaT Earning My Ears

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    Everyone has been so amazingly helpful!! I feel a MILLION times better. I got the Passporter's book and joined the facebook group. We have most of a guest list together, and we know where our first choice of ceremony venue is. So that's a start.

    @Traveliz we want to have a Wishes wedding because our guest count is just over 20 and we want to have a reception. Everyone is coming from New England, so this is going to be a vacation for everyone. I'm also an only child so this is the one and only wedding my mom gets to help with. I want to make sure it's everything we can squeeze out of our budget without missing possible experiences.

    And I totally agree with @justme0729 picking the reception venue is SO HARD. The ceremony site was a no brainer. We want Sea Breeze Point. It's very ocean-ie, and we got engaged at the beach. But the reception site is more difficult. At first, we were going to go with the Attic. But there's no dance floor. So we were looking at some of the more quirky locations, and we just can't pick. We want our theme to be "adventure" but in a more "fantasy adventure" type thing.

    Knowing that most of the planning happens at six months out makes me feel better. It's not that people are ignoring you, there's just a timeline that needs to be followed, and I'm totally on board for that! But we feel like we have a better understanding of the process now and a better grip on a doable budget.
     
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  13. mb187143

    mb187143 DIS Veteran

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    In my opinion, I think the best thing you can do is go in with the right expectations. Not lower them, but just be realistic. We had an AMAZING wedding in 2012. Our planner was a rock star. I say that now and I said it then. We did not talk often in the first 6 months of our planning process (from the 1 year point to our planning session.). She emailed me after she was assigned to us, we talked on the phone for 10 minutes and then most of the questions I had were sent to her and her assistant. Her assistant more often than not answered the questions in a vague sense or said let's hold this for the planning session.

    Our planning session and tasting was a great opportunity to get to know her and for her to get to know DH and I, and we clicked very well. Communication increased as our wedding drew nearer and in the final month we did talk at least once per week. Once we got to the rehearsal I was completely comfortable leaving every detail in her hands and confident our day would be perfect. It was.

    That said, I did not liken her to a wedding planner I would have had if I'd had a home wedding and hired someone up here. She did not do anything with respect to our bridal party and fittings and invitations and shoes or the other minutiae that many wedding planners here in my city get involved in. It was more like the on-site coordinators you would have for a destination wedding in the islands, but evolved. There is more to plan with a DFTW than say, on a beach in Jamaica. But setting realistic expectations was really key.

    Not every bride is going to click perfectly with their DFTW planner, unfortunately. I wish they did and that everyone could walk away feeling as we did. I think it's important to recognize service failures and remember this is, despite the emotional trappings, a business and you should certainly be getting the service you're paying for. It's a fine line.

    OP, I hope you have a wonderful wedding and a great experience planning it! Keep your expectations realistic and don't be afraid to speak up if you need to!
     
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