Vanessa- figmentfan814 ~ Happily Ever Wedding & 10th Anniversary VR Brunch #1 Added 8-10


Future Disney FTW Bride
Apr 26, 2017
I did not follow in 2008, but I read your planning journal/trip report for your wedding when I found disboards. You were one of my favorite brides, and I was excited to see your update! beautiful photos.

Your bouquet is actually one of my inspirations for floral. <3


DIS Veteran
Mar 12, 2007
@starrzone and @meryll83 so great to see you both here still :bride: @MermaidFantasia thank you so much. I know how much fun I had following other brides during my planning too. I loved my bouquet so much and even had it preserved, so I get a chance to look at it every day :flower1: @Woth2982 @AbbyPan @ALegrande @Jennifer48 - I'm excited to share my story. I printed off my old journal and it was so helpful when I was putting together my scrapbooks over the years because you quickly forget the little details if they're not written down!


DIS Veteran
Mar 12, 2007
The Basics
  • Planner: Carol Mickles
  • Floral Designer: Laura Kidd
  • Photography: Chapman Photography
  • Videography: STVS Video, Stan Severance
  • Ceremony Location: Italy
  • Brunch Location: Canada
  • Dessert Party: Germany Promenade (food ended up being moved inside to Norway because of cool temperatures)
  • Extras: Mickey and Soarin’ ride mix-in
  • Theme: Travel - playing off the idea of “our journey together over the last decade.” We also love to travel and have a goal of visiting all 50 states by the age of 40. I currently have 46 and he has 47.
  • Welcome Party: Splitsville
  • Additional Activities: Group dinners at the Wave, Crystal Palace, Ohana, Tusker House & 50s Primetime Cafe. Scavenger hunt at the Magic Kingdom.

Prep Work

In the months leading up to our vow renewal we worked on several big projects for our big day. Since we were doing a travel theme for our event many of these projects connected to this idea. First we worked on making flowers out of old maps of places where we had traveled. These aren’t that difficult, but take almost 10 minutes per flower. We had to make almost twenty flowers for what our florist had planned, so my mom and I made several before we went for our planning session in November. Then we didn’t end up finishing until a few weeks before we left. Thankfully my good friend Amanda came over and helped us finish up the remaining ones to have enough for our florist at Disney.




Maps of places we have visited together over the years.

Another big project were our programs. Since we were going to be outside for our ceremony I was concerned it would be warm, so we decided to make programs that were also fans. I remembered how a lot of Disney couples made Mickey-shaped fans. When we did our wedding programs, which were also Mickey-shaped, we had to hand cut each one using a template my dad made for us. Thankfully now you can use a Cricut to cut the Mickey heads out. However, none of my local friends had the Disney plates, so my friend in California agreed to cut them out for me. I ordered colored paper from Michaels and had it shipped to her. She cut out the blue Mickey heads and mailed them to me.

In the meantime, I printed the circles at home. Another friend Kelli, who lives near us, brought over her Cricut one night and we cut out the circles for the center of the Mickey heads. The next step was for them to be assembled. I spent an afternoon at Amanda’s house where we assembled them and added the ribbons to them.






My dad spent quite a bit of time putting together the directional sign. It was such a hit and looked super awesome next to our cake. It featured the hometowns from where all of our guests were traveling from for the vow renewal.


We also completed a lot of paper projects including placecards, FastPass favor cards, labels and tags for our welcome bags; a menu board; table numbers and my dress was handmade by a local seamstress using my mom’s original wedding dress. More about my dress and custom hat/fastener later.




The 47 representatives the number of states Kris has visited, 10 for the number of years we have been married, 50 for our goal of all 50 states and 46 for the number of states I have visited.

Unfortunately I accidentally left the #hashtag signs at home in Michigan, but I still think they turned out cute.



Our around the World Showcase menu was awesome!

Friday, March 9

Our flight wasn’t leaving until 5:30 p.m., so I was able to spend the day catching up on some work for clients and doing final beauty stuff. We had to have my parents’ friend drive them to the airport separately since we wouldn’t fit in any of our cars with all of our bags. Just as they were leaving Kris arrived home from work and we also headed out. We were on Southwest for our flight and it will probably be our last time flying with them since they are leaving our airport in June. We arrived really early to the airport and had plenty of time to relax and catch up on some work before boarding our plane.


Our flight was pretty uneventful and short since we had a layover in Chicago. Unfortunately we had a very long layover at Midway. I was able to pick up some famous Chicago mix popcorn before we grabbed dinner in the food court. I had a delicious Caesar salad. Our flight didn’t leave Chicago until around 9:30 p.m. By the time we arrived in Orlando it was almost midnight. After gathering all of our bags, seven large bags and four carry-ons, we headed to get our car. We had prepaid our car rental to ensure we would get a minivan.... boy were we wrong! Since we have FastBreak we went straight to the parking garage where you pick up the cars. The window was closed!!! So, Kris and I left my parents with all the luggage and we went inside to the Budget counter.

We ended up having to stand in line and then they told us our car had been given away. By this time it was 1 a.m. and we were not in a good mood. They tried to get me to take a 12 passenger van. I said to them we weren’t transporting a youth group and that we wanted a mini-van. After some back and forth they finally “found” us a Denali to take. The catch was that we had to go to the other terminal to be able to get the car. That meant we had to go get my parents and the luggage from the parking garage then trudge to the other side of the airport which including going up and down several elevators and walking through the terminal. Finally we hit the road to our hotel. We were staying at a Springhill Suites only a few miles from the airport. Thankfully we had checked in using the app and it only took a few minutes to get up to our room where we crashed.


Jan 18, 2017
I love love love your travel theme! We are big travellers too, and I partly wish I would have went this route for the theme of our wedding. I think if we do a vow renewal, we will definitely use it then! The map flowers are gorgeous and that sign your dad made is AMAZING and such a cool idea- I may have to steal that one! ;) lol everything looks great so far and I can't wait to read more! Sorry your trip down was such an exhausting one, but hopefully the next couple of days made up for it!


DIS Veteran
Mar 12, 2007
I love love love your travel theme! We are big travellers too, and I partly wish I would have went this route for the theme of our wedding. I think if we do a vow renewal, we will definitely use it then! The map flowers are gorgeous and that sign your dad made is AMAZING and such a cool idea- I may have to steal that one! ;) lol everything looks great so far and I can't wait to read more! Sorry your trip down was such an exhausting one, but hopefully the next couple of days made up for it!
For our wedding we didn't have much of a theme either, so it was fun to go all out this time. ✈️ You should definitely think about having a vow renewal down the road. It always seemed like a dream after we first got married. It was so exciting to have it actually happen! I was so happy that our guests actually noticed the little details. The sign in particular was a huge hit and I really appreciated all the work he did to put it together. I saw the idea on Pinterest, so steal away :earsgirl:


DIS Veteran
Mar 12, 2007
Saturday, March 10
Today proved to be a very busy day. We slept in a little bit then began the daunting task of sorting all of the items for Disney. I had to drop off things to Disney Floral that evening, so we decided to sort things that morning. My planner had mentioned it was sometimes easier to leave items in a suitcase, so that’s what we did for our floral designer and for our wedding planner. We didn’t end up leaving the hotel until around noon and then grabbed fast food on our way to get the tuxes.
We had to pick up the tuxes the Men’s Warehouse on West Colonial in Winter Park before our nail appointment. They were amazing! This is the location that delivers to the resorts and picks up from there too. We decided to go in person just in case we needed something swapped out and planned to have pickup from our resort after the vow renewal to avoid a second trip.



We opted for gray with the blue vest and tie for Kris to match my suit.
The good news was that we loved the suits, the bad news was that my dad had lost so much weight his jacket was huge. Since he also had a gray suit they didn’t have anything in the attached warehouse that would fit him. The store manager agreed to see what he could do since the next truck would arrive at 5 am the morning of our ceremony. He promised to call the next day to see what he had found out.
At this point we had to rush because my mom and I had a nail appointment. I had made an error when scheduling because I looked for a place near Men’s Warehouse off Colonial. I didn’t realize there are two Men’s Warehouse locations off Colonial. Needless to say the nail salon was a lot further away than anticipated. We went to A Royal Pampering salon off E. Colonial. We ended up being a little late, but they were amazing. They are a little ways off property, but they were great. My dad and Kris just waited for us in the car.
After we finished on our way to Disney property we also had to drop off my dress for steaming. I had originally scheduled Carolyn Allen’s for in-room steaming, but the price has a set minimum. After sending pictures of my dress via email they quoted me a price of only $65 to steam if I dropped it off. To have them come to Disney property there is a $200 minimum on the order. They were conveniently located and we were able to pick it back up the day before the ceremony.


  • After leaving Carolyn Allen’s we headed to Disney. We checked in to our room at Port Orleans-Riverside before heading to our dinner reservation at Homecomin’ in Disney Springs. We ended up with a Royal Room when Disney released some offers for POR. We had stayed in one for our 5th anniversary and I’m glad we had one again. It ended up being great for photos the morning of our VR.


This was our first time here and the food was amazing! We were on the dining plan since it makes things so much easier for budgeting.





After dinner we headed back to the room to work on Welcome Bags and to finish up the directional sign that needed to be dropped off for Disney Floral. My dad made the sign and it was amazing. We included the hometowns for all of guests.


We had fairly elaborate Welcome Bags for our wedding. I loved doing them, but to save cost wasn’t going to do them this time around. After going to an out of state wedding where nothing was given to anyone when they arrived I realized I wanted to do something small for our guests. I realized what a nice touch it is to recognize guests for traveling such a long distance to celebrate. I kept it simple this time and cost effective spending less than $80 for all 18 bags.
This trip most guests were on the Dining Plan, so I skipped snacks this time around. We included hand sanitizer (Black Friday special) with custom labels I ordered from Etsy, water bottles with custom labels, a travel size sunblock (Target clearance), a Walt Disney World magnet (marked down from Disney Shopping), a Shutterfly customized luggage tag with a picture of the castle on it (one per family), Mickey shaped pencils and small personalized sewing kits leftover from our wedding stash and Shout wipes.



The front of the sanitizer labels were designed by an Etsy shop and she coordinated them with our invitations.


Our invitations with the STD magnets and RSVP cards.


My mom works for Hallmark and was able to get the bags on clearance after Christmas. I made the customized labels and my friend had made the Mickey tags.



Here are the Times Guides I created. These were in the folders.



I really overbought folders at our wedding during back-to-school sales, so these have been in a closet for the last decade. I was glad they were finally getting used!


We only added special event maps and times guides along with Disney Springs.

Here are the labels I made for the front of the bags.


After my dad finished up the directional sign Kris and I headed to drop off the materials to Disney Floral which is housed fairly close to POR. We were told there are people there from 5 a.m. to 11 p.m. We arrived around 9:45 p.m. and no one answered the door! We tried all the doors around the building and headed back to the car to leave when we saw someone through a window. Kris knocked on the window and the gentleman came to the door. It turned out the floral crew was at one of the hotels for an event, so he let us come in around back to drop everything off. It was pretty neat being in the space where the designers create so many beautiful things.



We headed back to the room and crashed for the night :-)


DIS Veteran
Mar 12, 2007
Sunday, March 11
Welcome Party - 1st Day at Parks

The night before we had ordered a few items through Shipt that was supposed to be delivered from Target. Well, we use this service all the time in Michigan for our regular grocery shopping and we got a notice from Shipt during our delivery window stating the shopper had failed to get our order. They requested to chain our delivery to the next morning and they provided us a credit. I couldn’t believe we had a problem down there compared to at home where the service is always amazing! Anyway, we had to go to the park the next morning a little later because we were waiting for our delivery a little after 9 am. Thankfully the new shopper was awesome and she delivered right to the bellhop area at the resort. We also used the Amazon Now feature the day before to get a new knee brace delivered for my dad. We didn’t get charged the $5 delivery fee so many people mention at other resorts. My friend was charged $5 for Amazon Prime Delivery at Pop Century during our trip that week.

Once we took everything back to our room from the Shipt order, we headed to the Magic Kingdom. Our custom MagicBand covers while we were riding the bus to the park.


We met one of my lifelong best friends and her grandma there. It was so great to see her again, we haven’t saw each other in person in over three years. The two of them had arrived several days of us, so they had already been experiencing the Disney magic for a few days. We went to the Enchanted Tales with Belle meet and greet for the first time ever and enjoyed that experience then we had an early lunch reservation at Jungle Skipper Canteen. This is our second time eating there and the food did not disappoint!



After lunch we had a few FastPasses for Peter Pan and the Haunted Mansion. We also went to see the Hall of Presidents since we haven’t been in several years.





We did a few more things in the park and then we headed back to our room to pick up things for the Welcome Party at Splitsville that evening. We do a lot of social media accounts for bowling alleys, so it was a nice tie-in for us having the party there. We checked out the facility during our planning session trip in November. When we got to the room we had to add the custom labels to the water bottles which had been delivered that morning. The plan was to take most of the Welcome Bags with us to Splitsville.



So much easier than 10 years ago!!!! Back then I had to buy special waterproof Xerox paper to do our labels that had to be cut to size once printed then taped on. Now they have custom labels that are the exact size of a label that you just peel and stick. The only downside was we bought water that was in 16 oz bottles, so the labels were too long and we had to cut and improvise some to make them fit.
Bags all ready to go.


I saw this cute idea for travel themed parties to have the bags in a “Baggage Claim” area, so that’s what I did at Splitsville. We took a carry-on suitcase to wheel them over there and used it for the display.



My friend who cut out our programs also sent this cute banner which we used to decorate the space.

We were on the second floor, so it was fairly private. We had reserved two lanes and one pool table for 1.5 hours. I used our Disney Rewards Visa Dollars to pay for everything. We paid for the lanes and bought pizza. Anyone who bowled we asked to chip in a little, but we covered the majority of the cost for bowling.






Some of our fellow DisBride friends.

So happy to see friends we hadn’t gotten to visit with in so long. We had guests attend from 9 different states!





We had such an amazing time and everyone told us how much fun they had at the party. I highly recommend Splitsville for a private event.
After we finished here we decided to make a run for the Character Warehouse at the outlets. It was around 9 p.m., so we still had time to shop. My good friend and her grandma rode along with Kris and I to go shopping. We found some nice deals and closed out the stores. My friend also had to look for a pair of shoes for our VR day. We made it back to our room at almost midnight again.


DIS Veteran
Oct 11, 2008
All caught up! Love your welcome bags! They are super cute! I agree it is a nice touch for out of town guests. Having the itinerary is super helpful as well. The welcome party looks like a lot of fun! I cant wait to read more!


DIS Veteran
Mar 12, 2007
All caught up! Love your welcome bags! They are super cute! I agree it is a nice touch for out of town guests. Having the itinerary is super helpful as well. The welcome party looks like a lot of fun! I cant wait to read more!
Thank you so much! They definitely weren't as elaborate as the ones for our wedding where we included a lot more things including snacks, but now with so many guests having the dining plan I didn't see the need to do as much this time around. Next installment coming up in just a few minutes!


DIS Veteran
Mar 12, 2007
Monday, March 12
We split up this morning because we had to take some items to Franck’s to leave for our planner Carol. My mom rode with us and my dad headed to the park with some of the guests. When we arrived no one was answering even though we had been told someone would be there after 9 a.m.

I ended up calling our planner’s assistant and was told that she had changed jobs!!! (Side note - it turned out she had received a promotion and was now an Escape Planner. However, despite this changed she still came with our planner on our vow renewal day to make sure things went as planned.) The person who answered the main line at DFTW said they would try calling Franck’s. Finally after about 10 minutes someone came to open the door. Apparently they were in a planning session in one of the side rooms and couldn’t hear us knocking!


We then drove to Animal Kingdom since we had a FastPass in Pandora. Kris and I knew we were going to need to leave in the early afternoon to pick my dress up from steaming, so it made sense to go ahead and drive. We met our friends from Michigan along with my parents in Pandora where we rode Na'vi River Journey. This was our first time in Pandora since it opened just after our visit in 2017 and while it was beautiful I hate to say I wasn’t completely wowed. I’m glad we did this ride first because it allowed us to really enjoy Flight of Passage when we returned later in the week.



After finishing up this ride we had a FastPass for Expedition Everest before we met back up with the group for lunch at Flametree.


We used the Mobile App to order lunch, but a major disadvantage I found is that you can do special orders for people with dietary restrictions. This meant that my one friend always had to wait in the regular line when the rest of us were able to get our food right away.
During lunch Randy Chapman called and we went over a bunch of final details for the next time. Kris and I decided to head out after lunch because we needed to arrive at Carolyn Allen’s around 3:30 p.m. We picked up my dress then headed back to the hotel to get ready for a group dinner at the Wave. In the meantime my parents checked into our second room we had for that evening. We knew one room wouldn’t be big enough for getting ready the next day.

Kris’ mom had arrived early that morning after taking an overnight flight from Vegas where she has been wintering. She didn’t get into her room at Pop Century until early afternoon, so she was only able to grab a few hours of sleep. We went over to pick her up and also picked up my good friend who had arrived from Chicago along with my friend who had been with us in the park earlier that day. Having the Denali rental was a huge help when chauffeuring people back and forth.


We arrived at the Wave a few minutes after some of our group and checked in at the podium. Like most of our group reservations I had to make them under two different reservations because of our size. We ended up with 16 that night, but I had called in advance to speak to a manager so we didn’t have too much trouble. We were seated at two tables in the side room.



Dinner here was amazing as usual. I honestly think they have one of the best steaks on property! Our server was great and everyone seemed to enjoy the meal. This was our first time catching up with some of our guests, so it was great connecting with people who we weren’t able to see at the Welcome Party the day before.


Once back at POR. I grabbed a few welcome bags for guests who had arrived that day and met a group up in the lobby. After visiting for awhile I went back to start getting all of our items organized for the next day. I laid out all my jewelry and accessories on the table. I packed a bag with photo prop items and then did some beauty things like applying my self-tanner, lol. During this time I also wrote the speech I would be reading to thank our guests for attending the next day. I then took a quick shower and it was finally time to get ready for bed. As much as we wanted to go to bed at a decent time, it was almost 1 a.m. We then both proceeded to toss and turn before my alarm went off at 4:45 a.m. for the big day!


DIS Veteran
Mar 12, 2007
Following along! I love all of your details! I’m excited to see how your vow renewal comes together!
Thank you for following along on my report. I will be working on the vow renewal day next and I hope to have an update in the next few days. All of my pictures are uploaded which makes it so much easier now to do the updates :flower:


DIS Veteran
Oct 11, 2008
Looks like you had a nice day! Always fun when everyone can get together for dinner. 3 hours of sleep does NOT sound fun before a vow renewal! Im sure the adrenaline kicked in at some point though! Cannot wait to read about the vow renewal!


DIS Veteran
Mar 12, 2007
Looks like you had a nice day! Always fun when everyone can get together for dinner. 3 hours of sleep does NOT sound fun before a vow renewal! Im sure the adrenaline kicked in at some point though! Cannot wait to read about the vow renewal!
I thought I would get more sleep than I did the night before our wedding, but that definitely didn't happen, lol. Coming up next is the first installment from the vow renewal day and there will be more group dinners later in the week.


DIS Veteran
Mar 12, 2007
Vow Renewal - March 13, 2018
I took a quick shower when I got up and was ready by the time Jenn from Fairy Tale Hair and Makeup. Here is the decoration I put on the door in honor of the day. I was glad we had upgraded to a Royal Room at Port Orleans-Riverside because I love how it added to the photos that morning.


A funny side note, for our wedding I totally forgot pajamas that buttoned up for my hair, so I had to wear a zip-up hoodie. This time around I remembered to bring something to wear for getting ready pictures. I was doing my hair off to the side because I had a custom fastener made by an amazing milliner in our area.




I had my dress custom designed by a local seamstress who took the lace and appliques from my mom’s wedding dress to create a totally custom design for me. I was inspired by the old TLC Show “Something Borrowed, Something New” from a few years ago. Plus, I had a really hard time finding a wedding dress. I tried on over 100 dresses and while I really liked mine I never had the crying, this is the one moment.


Here are some photos of her dress and my dress in progress.


My dress was completely covered using the lace from around the bottom of the dress.


The designer created several designs and allowed me to pick the one I liked the best. I also wanted blue on my wedding dress the first time, so we were able to include it this time around.


This year will be my parent’s 40th anniversary, so it was extra special that the dress represented over 50 years of marriage between all of us.


I reused a lot of accessories from our wedding including my earrings, garter and his cufflinks. I splurged and bought a custom hanger and we had custom buttons made for the week.



I love all the little accessory photos done by Randy.



Here’s my watch from our wedding. This used to be a gift from DFTW.


We decided to just do a blessing of the rings and didn’t get anything new. It’s hard to tell in this photo, but I have a really deep blue sapphire. Also, the weird gold balls on the inside are because I had a spider bite a few years ago that left scar tissue on the knuckle of my ring finger, so those ensure my ring stays on at all times!


While we were engaged I had a serious car accident and I still suffer some back and hip problems related to my injuries, so I don’t do heels anymore. I found these super cute princess shoes the summer before at Target and added a pair of clip-on earrings from my late great-aunt to add some bling.


Here are the handkerchiefs Disney sends you in advance too.


Going along with our travel theme I had map inserts for my shoes from our hometown near Flint, Michigan. These were more photo props and I didn’t keep them in my shoe all day.


Here were Kris’ cute Mickey socks he had bought a few months earlier at TJ Max.


It was fun getting ready together although Kris didn’t want to see the dress until that day, so he left right before I got dressed.




We sent him outside to wait for us and my cousin who was going to be singing at our ceremony helped zip me up into my dress.


We didn’t do a first look for our wedding, so it was a fun twist to do it this time. It really didn’t shock me when Kris hadn’t wanted to see the dress ahead of time.



To be honest I didn’t think he would be very surprised, so I was pleasantly surprised at his reaction.


Here he is asking questions about which parts were from my mom’s dress and which parts were new.



Then the three of us along with Randy were taken by one of the vans to Epcot. My cousin was going early to practice with the guitarist in advance of the ceremony. Transportation costs were a big negotiation point for me with my planner, so I’ll go into more detail with all of that in a later post. Up next photos in the World Showcase and at our wedding location (American Adventure Rotunda) before heading to Italy for our ceremony.


DIS Veteran
Oct 11, 2008
You look so pretty! I love how you incorporated your mom's dress into your renewal dress! I love the blue! Very Cinderella! I love Kris's reaction! It is almost like the first wedding never happened and he was seeing you as a bride for the very first time! Cannot wait to read more!


DIS Veteran
Mar 12, 2007
You look so pretty! I love how you incorporated your mom's dress into your renewal dress! I love the blue! Very Cinderella! I love Kris's reaction! It is almost like the first wedding never happened and he was seeing you as a bride for the very first time! Cannot wait to read more!
Thank you so much :love: The dress turned out better than I could've ever imagined. I loved how it included both my mom while being uniquely me too. I was so surprised by his reaction when he saw me that morning. I didn't expect it at all :-)