As we mentioned in our last post, the most “couple-y” thing to do in Walt Disney World is to get married. I remember my senior year in high school, we were assigned a project in Sociology class where we had to “marry” a classmate and create a binder full of what our dream wedding/life would be like. I got a pretty decent grade on it, but sadly, my “hubby” and I never saw each other again after graduation. Thankfully, though, I have a mom who kept all my school projects, and so when Sean and I were planning our wedding, she pulled out that binder. Boy did we LAUGH!!
As my mom and I were flipping through the pages, all I kept saying was “What was I thinking?” and gagging at almost every page. Until, that is, we came across the page that showcased our wedding venue, which of course, I chose Walt Disney World. I had ripped out a page from a bridal magazine, circa 1997, advertising Disney Weddings, and I had a full-circle moment. In high school, going to WDW was only a dream, which now, has become reality over and over again. Never did I imagine I would not only get engaged there, but honeymoon there as well.
Sean and I thought about a Disney Wedding for about 5 minutes, then quickly realized that it wasn’t going to work very well for us or our guests. However, for hundreds of couples a year, saying “I do” in the most magical place on earth is truly where there “happily ever after” dreams come true. With three different Disney Wedding packages to choose from, brides and grooms can truly have the day they’ve always dreamed of. Couples can either choose from the Memories, Escape or Wishes packages, each with their own wedding options, budgets, and guest requirements (as in number of guests allowed). Depending on your budget and how large you want your wedding to be, you can have a Disney wedding for as little as $2,500. I won’t bog you down with the fine print, but if you are interested in learning more about the nitty-gritty of Disney World’s wedding packages, I highly recommend you going to www.disneyweddings.com
Now, since we are not a Disney Wedding couple, I thought it would be great to learn more about Disney Weddings from an actual Disney bride. And, therefore, ladies and gentlemen, meet Fran Cassano! You might remember her from her days as a WDW Radio blogger. Kendall Foreman introduced us, and it turns out we’re both fellow New Yorkers (Fran and her husband live in Long Island), both of us got engaged in WDW (Fran said “yes!” on Epcot’s Italy Isola, while on a family trip celebrating her father’s birthday), and we both got married in 2012 (Fran in winter, and Sean and I in autumn.). How cool is that??
As life-long Disney fans, a WDW wedding had to be part of their story, though they originally thought of having a destination wedding in Italy, as Fran said:
“We live in an area where the cost of even the simplest wedding event is pretty high. And while my husband’s family is nearby or in Italy, a majority of my family and friends are spread out all over. They would have to make a long trip no matter what.”
“As we began planning, we wanted to capture Italy, Florida and other places/themes that meant something to us and those we could share with our guests. My husband … was actually the one to turn to me and say we should just go with Walt Disney World for the wedding and asked if I would mind because he had proposed there as well. How could I say no? Disney would know exactly how to capture all of our places/themes perfectly.”
“And in making that decision, our hope was that our guests would make their trip into the kind of memorable vacation stay that we had through the years. Since now they all had to travel to Walt Disney World, we really wanted to make our wedding about our guests, too.”
Fran chose the Wishes Collection which allowed them to have a ceremony in the Sommerfest Courtyard at the Germany Pavilion in Epcot and brunch reception on Italy Isola, right where their fairytale started. According to Fran, the Wishes Collection was “…the perfect option with gorgeous Disney venues and event design schemes in a very customizable budget.”
And so, I’ll end this post here before it gets any longer. Stay tuned for Part 2 next month, where Fran and I discuss what happens after you decide on and book a Disney Wedding.
(Photo from the personal collection of Fran Cassano.)
“New Yorkas” Felicia and Sean are avid Disney fans. Their first vacation as a couple was in Walt Disney World. They were engaged there, and also honeymooned there. After a combined 30 trips to the World, they are self-professed Disney travel agents and enjoy helping family and friends plan magical Disney vacations.