Thursday, April 14, 2011

Disney Wedding: Simple or Giant Pain?

As you know, I went to WDW a few weeks ago.  Our main reason for the trip was because we are having a Disney wedding in November.  First, if you are planing on having a Disney wedding I can tell you right now, the most annoying thing about it is when EVERYONE you know asks you "Oh, is Mickey doing the ceremony?"  "Is the Beast going to be there?"  "What character are you going to dress like?"  Now, imagine 100 different versions of these questions.

So, you've decided on a Disney Wedding, what do you do next?  You send Disney a deposit to hold your date, location and time.  Once that is all set they send you a ton of paper work with venue and menu options.  Then you find time to fly to Orlando and spend an afternoon planning the entire thing.  Oh, and one more thing, Disney also sends you these:

Free (sort of) Annual Passes!

When you eventually go down to Orlando to plan the wedding you've already decided on the ceremony/reception venues and the reception menu.  You then meet with your wedding planner at Franck's Bridal Studio (named after Martin Short's character in Father of the Bride) located next to Disney's Wedding Pavilion.  Let the marathon day of wedding planning begin.  First though she takes you to the Wedding Pavilion and your reception.  Here's a few shots inside the chapel.

The planning is actually pretty easy.  I won't bore you with all the details but the planner basically just goes down a list of options and you pick what you want.  Then the person in charge of flowers comes in and goes through her list.  They bring you cake samples and you pick that as well.

After all the planing is done it's time for a break.  After an hour we met back up with the planner at the Contemporary Resort (our reception location) for a menu tasting.  I thought this was going to be a very causal thing, like walking through the kitchen with a hair net while we all take bites out of one entree.  This was not the case.  We walked into the resort and saw our names on the list of events happening at the resort that day.  

Our planner took us to one of the convention center rooms where we met the 2 chefs who would be preparing the food for the wedding.  There was a table set up for all of us to sit at, a bar with a waiter who would bring us drinks and serve the food, and another station with a chef who was making the food.  They also had a TV screen on the back wall with a congratulations Donnie and Becky animation on it.  We ate everything that was going to be served at the reception with the chefs right beside us taking notes on what he liked and what we didn't like.  It was much more than I was expecting.  After the menu tasting you are done.  All you do now is wait a few weeks for Disney to send you the budget, which is a list of everything you asked for and it's price.  From there you can add or trim away anything.

Sounds simple right, and it is, unless you want to change something.  We decided, "Hey, since our wedding is going to be small why not just scrap the reception and take everyone to Ohana instead.

This new idea had us even more excited than the original plan, until we found out that Disney will not let you have a ceremony only, they force you to have a reception.  So even though we were having one by taking our wedding party to Ohana, by Disney standards it is not a reception.  We could however move our reception at one of The Grand Floridian restaurants (not including Victoria and Alberts) or the California Grill at the Contemporary.  To do this though we would have to move the wedding to 10 am and be done eating by 3 so they can get the restaurant back in shape before it opens to the public at 5.

This also requires that we pick a new menu since this will now be a brunch reception.  So, we pick a menu and a new location (California Grill).  Turns out California grill has a different menu than the GF resorts and has a $3000 minimum food requirement, not including the cake.

So, thats where we are now.  I know what you are thinking "Why don't you just go back to the original plans that you made when you planned the wedding?"  Trust me, we can't and the explanation of why would take me pages to explain.  There you have it kids, what it's like planning a Disney wedding.


  1. Nice to hear your take on it. I never knew the planning place was called Franck's. I LOVE that. I wanted a WDW wedding, but didn't want to go thru any of the hassle, so we planned it all ourselves and got married without paying Disney a dime beyond our normal (many dimes) vacation. :)

    Congrats and I hope you'll post pics - it sounds lovely!

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