Tag Archives: disneyland weddings

Disney Fairytale Weddings Showcase

This Monday we were lucky enough to attend the Disneyland Wedding Showcase at the Grand Californian Hotel. When I found out this event was coming up I asked my contact with the Disneyland wedding team if we would be able to come and she was very happy to provide us with an invitation. We planned the trip frugally, meaning I was able to trade a client for frequent flyer miles, and get one free park ticket from another friend. We stayed two nights at a good neighbor hotel and rented a car to get around… All in all I think we spent about $500 for the trip not including a moderately priced meal in downtown disney and a few small souvenirs. Not inexpensive but I think we had an amazing, but short trip. We gained a lot of insight into venues and we enjoyed meeting vendors and planners.

While we were in Disneyland we had a magic moment with a photo pass photographer who noticed our “I’m celebrating – We’re Engaged!” buttons and offered to take some photos for us. He did 2 different photo sets and we got a few really cute pictures.

We spent the day very efficiently traveling between the two parks utilizing the max pass and waiting no more than 30 minutes in line. We got to go on the new Guardians of the Galaxy: Mission Breakout and also another new one for both of us Grizzly River Run- which I have never done because I generally never go to the park during the summer. We didn’t get to do everything, but we got to do enough on our list that we were happy. One day is not nearly enough at Disneyland Resort.

We spent a little time on sunday visiting our venue options at both Disneyland Hotel and at the Grand Californian. Prior to this trip we had been pretty decided on our ceremony venue… now not as sure. More on that in a future post!

So Monday evening we arrived at the Grand Californian and found our way to the Sequoia Room which is the largest convention/ball room in the GCH. We checked in and got cute name tags color coded for which planner we were associated with. Currently we are just working with the sales coordinator so we had pink for the lovely Sue R. They also gave us a nice tote embroidered with the Disney Fairytale Honeymoons logo which contained info on dj’s and some new venue choices including the train station in Disneyland Park! Unfortunately an in-park wedding is not really in the budget for us but it was still cool to see. We were welcomed into the venue and several vendors had tables set up so we could see what services they provided and get to know them. There were a few photographers I had already been checking out online there and it was really nice to get to meet them in person. We also spoke with some dj’s and officiants. It was a great opportunity to see who we would click with and get contact info.

They had some lovely floral and table displays set up and it seemed like the theme of the event was Tangled. Lots of pink, purple, lanterns, and sunbursts. It was very pretty. They had four custom cakes on display and some adorable mickey mouse macaroons available at the cake table – not vegan of course… Amanda had to take one for the team and sample all the food and cake offerings. She loved the Churo cake but was less excited about the dole whip cake (which I would have loved) since she isn’t a huge pineapple person. They had some food action stations set up and were passing appetizers. One happened to be vegan, a cucumber strip rolled up with hummus, sprouts and carrots in it… Since I don’t like hummus it was kinda bland and not that great, but at least I got to try something!!

We were able to meet Sue in person and a few really nice guys who work with Disney Events but not specifically in Weddings. We also met some of the planners and really loved Michiel who came right up to us to say hi and helped us find our way to Sue. We really hope that when we are assigned a planner we get her!

Here are some of the photos from the planning session

Overall we had a great trip and I am really glad we spent the time and money to attend the planning session. Viewing the venue options in person was really the most helpful part but I think face time with the planners and vendors was also very valuable!

This week in wedding planning: I bought a dress!

Some other stuff happened too…

  • we went to the hardware store and grabbed paint swatches so we could get an idea of colors we like
  • put together some potential color sets to show our BM’s and MOH’s and get their feedback
  • we tried on a few more rings- I am falling for rose gold and starting to think I want a wedding set rather than just a band
  • I was able to give one of my bridesmaids her proposal and she said “yes!”

The big news is the dress though really. It is super surreal to know my wedding dress is in the closet in our room. Amanda and I decided we wanted to have each others opinions on our attire so I showed her my dress via photo along with the dresses I did not chose. When I told her it was now here in the closet she got excited- it was very cute… and when I got it out and showed her the top so she could see the beading and the shade/tone of white we needed to match she was suitably gushy about how beautiful it was ❤ I couldn’t have hoped for a better reaction (thanks love, if you read this). We are waiting to wear our clothes in front of each other until our wedding day but I think it was really nice to be able share the excitement via photo. I am a terrible secret keeper.

I was not planning on buying a dress so soon, and not from a store most likely. My plan was to get one used, likely online… but I had no idea what size I was or what would look nice on me. I read all these online articles that mostly convinced me that because I am short and I have a booty that nothing would look ok on me. My (confirmed) bridesmaid Shea convinced me to try some on even if I just went alone. She said when she was trying on dresses she found that most of the stuff she read online about her body type didn’t hold true.

I am a take action kind of person so I pretty much immediately made an appointment for the next day. I have big gaps of free time mid day, and other than Shea none of my party live in town, so I figured I could just go alone and try some stuff on to get some ideas- I wasn’t going to find my dress for a while…

I decided to go to Alfred Angelo because I wanted to try on the Disney collection (why not, right??) and I knew that it was possibly not going to be continued so I wanted to see it in person. I went in and they were pretty slow so all the really nice girls working helped me to pick some dresses. They were very knowledgable about what they had and helpful, which was good because I came in basically saying “dress me!”

I told them I liked the idea of a ball gown but didn’t know if I was too short to wear one and that I was open to ANYTHING that looked good on me. I was probably a pain because I wouldn’t narrow anything down… lace? sure! beading? why not? color? whatever! They set aside 4 dresses for me including the Disney Cinderella dress they had. This store sells only off the rack, but they were having a sale of 50% off all samples, so everything I tried on was half price!

The first dress was terrible- I didn’t even take a picture… it was almost a nude champaign color and it blended in with my skin too much. The next was a mermaid, which was pretty actually- would have needed some alterations around the waist and hips, but was very hard to walk in. The next was my beautiful dress! The Alfred Angelo Signature Ballgown. I knew when I stepped in front of the mirror that it was special. It just felt so good on and it made me feel like a princess, but like a sophisticated princess. I told her it would be hard for her to find something I liked better… I tried on the Cinderella dress next, which was also very pretty but just didn’t do as much for me. I learned I really like trying on fancy princess dresses.

It was really hard to leave my dress in the store that day. My MIL convinced me to sleep on it and go try on dresses somewhere else and I think she was right because it made me very certain that I was making the right decision when I went back in the next day and bought it!

On my MIL’s advice I also went to David’s Bridal to try on a few dresses and see how solid my conviction about the other dress was. I told them my budget was the same price or less than the AA dress. I tried on 4 dresses there, 3 in my budget and one Vera Wang ballgown that was a little over double. I found one $600 dress that I liked but the material just felt cheap… it fit well but it was very little girl princess-y and it felt a little scratchy. The VW dress was pretty but wasn’t any more special than my AA dress and was more expensive.

I went back to Alfred Angelo, all the girls laughed when I walked back in not more than 24 hours later. They asked if I wanted to try on my dress again and I did. It was just as beautiful as I remembered and I didn’t want to leave without it again. Upon the advice of a girl from the DISbride Facebook Group I checked all the beadwork and stitching carefully since it had been a sample. There were about 5 spots with loose beads or beads that had come off so the girls gave me a whole bunch of matching replacement beads. My mom, who is a talented tapestry beadworker, had offered to embellish a veil for me, but since I don’t want a veil she is going to fix up my dress top instead!

It will be an expensive alteration to hem it, but I just love the bottom and I think it is worth it especially considering I saved almost $700 on it! Here are some photos of the dresses I tried on.

And here is the dress I got, with a close up of the skirting. Even with 5 inch heels I will have to have about a half foot of fabric removed. Hopefully it doesn’t change the look of the layering in the skirt.

This week in wedding planning: 20 months and 2 weeks?

Since we don’t have an exact date for our wedding yet I am just going for a best guess… This week:

  • Started a Wedding Binder
  • Window shopped for rings
  • Decided on our wedding party
  • Made some priority lists
  • Created fun Bridesmaid proposal gifts

So I guess in this post I will cover how I went about creating a wedding binder. I know our wedding is a long way out but when I think of the HUGE amount of planning that needs to be done it’s hard to do nothing and wait for the “appropriate time” to start planning.

I am an over planner maybe? Or at least an enthusiastic planner, and I am excited so I need to be doing something. I thought it would be good to start a physical planner… Pinterest is great for pooling ideas but it isn’t as organized as an actual journal or book. I looked to pinterest and google for advice and found some ideas and free printables… not a ton that worked for me but I stole bits and pieces from a bunch of spots and then created my own when I couldn’t find anything I liked.

A great resource for planning a wedding at disneyland is This Fairy Tale Life. That site has some planning lists and “what you need to know”‘s specifically for a DL wedding. I grabbed the checklist from there and started making a list of the tabs I would need in my binder… Took a few revisions but I think I have the set-up the way I want it. Hopefully this is helpful for anyone making a wedding binder for a Disney wedding or any other wedding.

My categories are

General Information

  • Planning (schedules and calendars)
  • Vibes (colors, themes, atmosphere)
  • Misc

Serious Business

  • Budget
  • Vendors
  • Contracts

Guests

  • Guest List (contact info and rsvp)
  • Invitations (ideas and drafts)
  • Guest Experience (enhancement ideas, favors, etc)

Wedding

  • Venues (ideas and photos of possible venues for both ceremony and reception)
  • Ceremony (schedule, decor, rehearsal info, music)
  • Reception (decor, ideas, timeline, music)
  • Catering (food, cake, booze)

Attire

  • Clothes (for both of us)
  • Rings
  • Wedding Party Attire

 

I found that for our wedding this was the best way for me to break down and organize ideas and information in a format that was easy for my to find and utilize. Here are some photos as well…

 

Disney Wedding Obsession

*note* at the time of this blog post I am not yet engaged. Amanda and I have talked about the dream of getting married as an idea since the early months of our relationship. After two years together when her friends asked which of us would propose first she said “Probably Sara, but only because she will be able to afford the ring first.” I make light of the fact that we are not engaged in this post but I don’t want you to get the idea that I am planning our wedding without Amanda having any clue what is going on. She knows guys, I tell her gushingly everything I spent hours researching about Disney Weddings each day. She loves me anyway. Also I am not sharing this super secret blog until we are engaged at which point I will let her read my backdated posts and she can laugh at me.

You may or may not know I have been obsessed with Disneyland since my mid 20’s. Before that time I loved Disneyland, and was excited for any opportunity to visit but my love had not overflowed into what one could technically deem an obsession. As far as I can guess that corner turned about a decade ago. Since then I have gradually increased the amount of time, energy, and money (let’s not kid ourselves) I put into all things Disney.

Just over a year ago our very good friends got engaged after the Disneyland fireworks show while we were there together on a trip. What a magical and perfect moment for a proposal!

13245271_10206357059425675_1657714447588083134_n
Here is the future bride with her beautiful ring the next morning… and as you can see I am wearing my “happily ever after” pin… no I didn’t get it to celebrate, I have had it for years, lol.

We visited Disneyland for a second time that year to take my niece Madison on her very first trip. My dad grew up in Pasadena and went to the park as a 5 year old kid the first year it opened, and many times following. My sister and I went on our first trip when I was around 6, from what I remember right at this moment. Our Dad took us on a second trip a few years later. Disneyland was an important part of my childhood (and my Dads) and I wanted it to be a special memory for my niece and nephew as well. Unfortunately Brody was not able to come due to his school schedule but Amanda and I had a great trip with my Dad and Maddie.

14573046_1767852683453236_6711362745962487342_n
On the Jungle Cruise, one of my favorite rides!

On that trip I was very dedicated to keeping the magic going 24 hours a day so I ponied up for a few nights at Paradise Pier so we could stay in the Land of Disney throughout the whole trip. One day while walking through the Grand Californian lobby to get to Downtown Disney we saw a wedding being set up in the courtyard and a bride in her dress being moved from one room to another. A lightbulb went on in my head- it wasn’t as if I didn’t know you could get married at Disneyland, but I was just reminded that real people do this. My first thought was most likely that there was a REAL PRINCESS right in front of me, my second was that it was probably very expensive to get married at DL. Not too long after I saw the Free Form special “Disney Fairy Tale Weddings and Honeymoons” on TV and immediately looked up the website to see just how much a Disney wedding would cost and what options were available.

I found out that yes(!) there are Disney weddings available for most all budgets, I started searching for more information and thus began my DISNEY WEDDING OBSESSION. Since then I have logged over 43 hours of Disney Wedding Podcasts, joined 3 (maybe 4) Disney wedding Facebook groups, spent hours reading every disney bride or wedding blog I could find, followed every Disney wedding photographer-make up artist- hair stylist- etc I could find on instagram, and now have had phone calls with the Disneyland Fairy Tale Wedding Team. Sue and I talked for 45 minutes yesterday. First name basis.

Am I engaged? No, but you will hear all about it soon… shhhhh