How fitting that since our last blog posted on WDW Radio about Disney weddings, my best friend got engaged. When I told her I was actually writing a blog series on Walt Disney World weddings, she was intrigued. I thought we legitimately might have a Disney Wedding in the works! I was all excited and was ready to tell her about it when she told me that her preliminary guest list was about 450 people!!! Say what?? She would need a convention center at one of the resorts to hold that many people. I kindly told her she (and her wallet) might want to consider someplace else…
On that note, I am really excited to continue with this series and tell you more about Disney weddings through our very own Fran Cassano, who is herself, a Disney bride.
So, last time we introduced you to Fran, told you why she chose to have a Disney wedding, and explained what package she chose to begin her happily ever after. Today, we’re going to take a deeper look into the finer details of the planning.
You’ve booked. Now what? That was the daunting question Sean and I had. I said “Yes!”, and we had no idea where to start after that. When we got our bearings and actually started booking vendors and our venue, that was, possibly, the most stressful part because we had so many moving parts, and everyone had to be free on the same day at the same time. It was like buying concert tickets…you had to get to them before they were gone.
Luckily for Fran, the leg work was pretty much done for her. When you book a wedding at WDW, Disney Fairytale Weddings provides you with a list of vetted preferred vendors to choose from. For Fran and her husband, they chose Epcot Central Kitchen and Grand Floridian Bakery, Disney Fine Art Photography, Disney Floral and Gifts and Disney Musicians. For hair and makeup, they used the former Niki Bryan Spas on property. For guest transportation, they selected Mears. Even their officiant was Disney recommended, and they loved working with him.
One of the many great things Disney Fairytale Weddings provides is a wedding consultant. For many couples planning a wedding in their hometown, this may or may not be someone you decide to hire. However, if you plan on taking your wedding on the road for a destination wedding, hiring one is a must. They are your eyes and ears when you can’t be there. For Fran and her husband, not only did they use these fantastic folks, but they also incorporated a site visit, to see first-hand where their wedding would be held, and to meet their coordinator and see, meet, and taste, everything that they had worked hard to plan.
“We chose to do the ‘Planning Session’ trip”, Fran said. “This is where you select the floral, taste the cake and taste the menu…After that, our planner was always in contact and kept track of our timelines for us. At times she even checked in just to say hello. I personally didn’t feel any real stress during the planning process. Our site coordinator, wedding planner and assistant planner did SO much for us. They set the bar pretty high by constantly going above and beyond expectation, even as Disney goes. They definitely made Disney Magic.”
Are you surprised? – That’s part of what makes Disney so great. Now, even though Fran and her husband decided to do their own save-the-dates, invites and favors, Disney does provide you with options for those as well, if you should decide to use them.
In the midst of all this planning, you also need to remember your guests. Chances are 99% – 100% of them will be traveling into Orlando for your big day and will need a place to stay. Just like with all weddings, hotel room-blocks are a great way to provide your guests with accommodations, so they don’t have to do the work to find them themselves. The Wishes Collection that Fran chose required a room block at at least one Disney resort. They always had someone to assist them, and throughout the planning process, Disney even sent over spreadsheets of their guests’ room so they could keep track of everyone. How cool is that?
So, are you convinced on having a Disney wedding yet? Stay tuned for part three next month when we actually talk about the best part of planning your wedding…your wedding day!!
Once again, a big shout-out goes to Fran for sharing her story and her experience as a Disney bride. For more information, you can visit www.disneyweddings.com to start planning your own fairytale.
(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.