- Aug 2, 2014
Glad I Did (or Didn’t) Do
- Didn’t provide favors at the wedding. I really wanted to do favors at first, but when I got prices of the cute chocolate Mickey heads and chocolate slippers, I quickly cut that idea. I think they were close to $8 each, and then you have to add the floral fee on top of that. There was so much food and things going on at the reception in general that I don’t think anyone realized there wasn't a wedding favor. Plus, we did Fastpass escort cards, so that kind of served as a favor itself.
- Had an Epcot Illuminations Dessert Party. It was always a must have for me, but I know a lot of brides are on the fence about it. I can’t imagine my wedding day without that extra “hoorah” at the end of the day. It was great getting back together with everyone in a casual setting, and I loved that many of my guests got to see Illuminations for the first time. Plus, the nacho station and apple pie moonshine cronut station were both huge hits.
- Added a ride mix-in on Test Track. At first I was worried that this would extend the night too long, but it really only took maybe 20 extra minutes. We provided motor coach transportation for our dessert party, so we also used it to take us to Test Track from UK Lochside right after the fireworks, which saved a lot of time and walking. Then we went in a side entrance to Test Track and the ride was already completely cleared out so we were able to get right on. I hadn’t done Test Track at night in forever and it was the perfect way to end the day. Plus, it was one of the cheapest elements of my wedding (around $500) and totally made my guests feel like VIPs
- The Hoop Dee Doo Revue for our “rehearsal dinner.” We didn’t have a rehearsal, but we still wanted to do something with our parents and my grandparents the night before the wedding. My first choice was a Fantasmic party with a ToT ride mix-in, but I waited until the last minute and both patios were already gone. I didn’t want to do a ballroom event and the other venues were out of my budget, so I felt like I was “stuck” with the Hoop Dee Doo. I hadn’t been to the HDDR since I was maybe 8 years old, and I had no idea what to expect. Let me tell you… I haven’t laughed that hard in a VERY long time. I still smile thinking about all of us sitting at that table laughing until we cried. They aren’t kidding when they say the HDDR is for ALL AGES.. we had a 7 year old and a 75 year old and everyone had an amazing time. Plus we only spent $900 for 14 people which included all the food, unlimited alcohol, entertainment, tax and tip!
- Spent a good chunk of my budget on floral and decor. I know this is an unpopular opinion, but I’m glad I didn’t skimp on my floral and decor. Mostly because the GM Lounge is completely bare.. like white walls and brown floors and that’s it. I brought in farmhouse tables, chairs, a loveseat for our sweetheart table, lighted topiaries, tulle table skirts, and floral garland and I still felt like I could’ve done more with floral and decor. I feel like the GM lounge is one of those places where you can’t do the bare minimum for floral, which can be a good and a bad thing.
- Had the 9:30 AM ceremony time. When I first started planning my wedding, the morning ceremony wasn’t something I had even thought about considering. My first choice was the 2:30 pm ceremony time, but I lost the lottery and ended up with the morning ceremony at the Wedding Pavilion. At first I was disappointed, but realized it might be good to have a relatively long break between the reception and dessert party. This ended up working out amazingly for us because we switched hotels during the break - from the Grand to the Yacht Club. Then we were able to walk to the International Gateway for our dessert party. We met the Roots in the YC lobby around 7 pm and we got some of my favorite shots from our day during this time. I think this also satisfied the part of me that worried I would regret not having a Boardwalk area ceremony or reception - after all, the Beach Club has been my family’s “home” resort for as long as I can remember. Plus, we fell under the brunch reception minimums even though our food was served at 12 pm, which saved us a good bit of money on food and beverage. Our cocktail hour and brunch buffet were only $72/person, which is relatively cheap for Disney food. We had a fruit and cheese display at our cocktail hour and chicken parmesan marsala, braised beef, manchego cheese grits, vegetables, potato au gratin, a mac and cheese bar, brioche french toast, and a Mickey waffle action station for the reception.
- Splurged on our speciality cocktails for the reception. I knew from the beginning that I wanted to incorporate our dogs in a unique way, so we picked our favorite Epcot cocktails and renamed them after our Australian Shepherds. Well, I didn’t realize that the La Vie en Rose slush would be so expensive ($13.50), but I really wanted to keep it and I am so glad I did. Our guests LOVED the speciality cocktails, by the end of the reception everyone had either a Chip or Milo at their seat! We even took some of our guests to Epcot the next day and showed them where to get the La Vie en Rose slush.
- Had two wedding dresses. I was being so stubborn about changing out of my ceremony dress at first because I LOVE it, but I finally listened to my mom when she told me there was no way I would be able to move around in it at the reception. I’m so glad I listened to her because there is no way I would’ve been able to dance in that long sleeved, 12 layer dress! I found my second dress pre-owned so I could still get the look I wanted without breaking the bank, and I was super lucky that it pretty much looked like it was made for me. I didn’t have to have any alterations done to it. It also allowed me to have two completely different looks, and I think my first dress matched the Grand perfectly while my second dress looked like it was made for Yacht Club pictures.
Wish I Did (or Didn’t) Do
- Had a site visit. When I first started planning my wedding I didn’t think I needed a site visit because I had been to Disney so many times and there were a bunch of pictures online of all the venues. Plus, my sales consultant never mentioned it being an option, even with all the trouble I went through trying to find a reception venue. I was really happy with my venues in the end, but if I had been able to tour the GM Lounge beforehand, I probably would’ve went with California Grill just because I didn’t realize how bare the GM Lounge would be. Cali Grill offers the same wow factor with the view, but you don’t need nearly as much floral and decor there as you do in the GM Lounge. Honestly my wedding probably would been at least $10k cheaper at Cali Grill and probably would've looked like it cost more
- Thought about my ceremony and reception locations more. This is sort of a “hindsight is 20/20” thing, but when I signed my contract I had the 9:30 am ceremony at the Wedding Pavilion and a Contemporary ballroom reception. I wasn’t thrilled with the reception location, but went with the Contemporary because it was close to the Wedding Pavilion. Well, when the GM Lounge became available I jumped at that opportunity, but didn’t realize how much of a ding the required backstage transportation would put in my budget. Even though I loved how everything turned out at the Wedding Pavilion, I kind of wish I would’ve reconsidered having a World Showcase ceremony, which would’ve made the reception transportation easier.
- I wish I didn’t do welcome bags!!! They were sooo much time, money, and effort and no one even cared! I should’ve listened to all of the past brides who regretted doing the welcome bags.
- Set up to have my bouquet preserved before the wedding. I was on the fence about this before the wedding, but once I saw my bouquet I knew I wanted it preserved. By the time I got in contact with the company that picks them up from the Disney resorts, it was already wilting and turning black. I called and left a message the night after the wedding, and got a call back the next day, but I missed the call because we were doing the Wild Africa Trek. I called and left another message, and then realized it was too late when we got back to the room and saw the bouquet.
- Took Advil the morning after the wedding for our park shoot. My feet were hurting so bad by the time we got done with MK that I was almost in tears. I spent most of the Epcot shoot wishing that it was over. Me and high heeled shoes do not get along.
- I wish I would've practiced walking in my veil and dress and shoes. My veil had a ton of beading and it was SO heavy that I felt like it was going to pull my head off especially walking across concrete. The veil was a last minute purchase- I was supposed to wear a plain tulle one, but it felt too plain
I just realized I never wrote the post about our wedding day so that's up next, with pictures included along the way!!