Those of you who have been reading here for a long time know that I'm completely and totally ever so slightly obsessed with all things Disney. Nick and I make it a point to get down to Walt Disney World at least a few times a year, in spite of living in Connecticut. I dragged him to see Toy Story 3 this weekend. There may or may not be Disney songs on my Ipod. We even got engaged in Disney World last September.
It came as absolutely no surprise to anyone who knows me at all that Nick and I decided to get married in Walt Disney World.
When Nick first jokingly threw out the idea of a Disney wedding, I immediately rejected the idea. I mean, yes I'm obsessed with The Mouse and I fully embrace that, but did I really want a theme park wedding? Wouldn't it be over the top tacky and unoriginal? Wouldn't I have to listen to an endless stream of complaints and jeers from our guests, especially once they showed up and saw Mickey plastered all over everything? Wouldn't a destination mean sharing our honeymoon with all our guests? As much as I loved Disney, I felt strongly that a Disney wedding was just not for me.
The problem was, I couldn't find a wedding that was for me. In spite of countless hours spent online researching possible wedding venues, I couldn't seem to find anything I could get really excited about. I set wedding planning to the side because I was frustrated that nothing felt exactly right for us.
Then the Wedding Channel aired a special on Disney World weddings, and it was all over.
I had no idea that Disney World weddings could be so elegant and understated. I watched the special, and I recorded it and watched it again with Nick. Something just clicked for me watching that show, and from that point forward nothing but Disney ever felt quite right for our wedding. We were both blown away by the beautiful, meaningful, and yes - even original - weddings that so many Disney brides had planned. We talked about it and we realized that a lot of our great memories as a couple came from Disney vacations. We loved the idea of reciting our vows in the same place that we first made our committment to each other official. We were excited by the prospect of celebrating our marriage in our favorite place and sharing that place with our favorite people. We decided right then and there that Disney was the only place for our wedding.
After deciding we wanted to have a Disney World wedding, I found and joined the DIS, a great online Disney community. I started frequenting the Disney Weddings & Honeymoons board to get inspiration from past and present Disney brides. And I realized that yes - you can hold your Disney weddings inside one of the theme parks. Disney characters can join you for cake cutting and first dances. You can arrive at your ceremony in Cinderella's horse drawn carriage, and you can have a replica of her castle on your cake.
You can also have a perfectly lovely wedding in or around one of the Disney hotels, with no overtly "Disney" elements at all.
In the end, the more time we spent planning our wedding, the more Disney touches Nick and I decided to include in our day. We didn't choose to have our wedding ceremony at Epcot or the Magic Kingdom, and we likely won't spend the money to have a visit from Mickey and Minnie. I have zero interest in taking a ride in Cinerella's coach, and I doubt if her castle will appear on my cake. But somewhere along the way I stopped caring if our wedding came across as "themey" or "childish" or even tacky. The people who know us best will see our choices and know that we planned a wedding that truly represents us as a couple. Nick and I will look back on our wedding pictures and be thrilled that we stuck to our guns and planned something truly meaningful to us. We're both kids at heart, and I think that's one of the greatest things about our relationship - we always, always have fun together.
Last week our save the dates went out, along with a welcome newsletter that my maid of honor Jen helped me design. So far the response from our guests has been great, and a lot of people are already excitedly planning their trip. We've had a few visitors to the wedding website we set up to help our less DIsney savvy guests plan their trips, and I've received a few excited messages on Facebook.
Oh, and we're heading to Florida three days early so we can hit the parks with friends and family before the wedding, and have a true honeymoon after.