**Ashley & Brian's 10/26/13 Swan Wedding**
SO we have been actively planning our wedding since we got engaged on 01.15.12. We pretty much knew from the start that we wanted a Disney Wedding, but we have been through alot and our wedding is still 10 months away. So i'd figured now is a good time to start our PJ, if i plan on having one!
I am 22 years old and is a claim adjuster for an insurance company. I plan on retiring waaay early so I can move to WDW and live a magical life :rotfl:
Character: Donald & Stitch
Princess: Jasmine & Ariel & Merida
WDW Resort: Polynesian
WDW Park: Magic Kingdom
WDW Restaurant: Ohana
Band: Hanson - and it annoys me when people ask if they are still around. And even though I usually go to WDW during the food and wine festival, I have somehow managed to have missed Hanson at the Eat to the Beat music festival by 1 or 2 weeks for the past few years.. GRRR.
Ride at MK: Pirates of the Caribbean
at Epcot: The Three Cabeneros in the Mexican Pavilion
HS: Toy Story Mania
He is 26 years old and also works in the insurance industry. In fact this is how we met ! Brian also shares my love in Disney and looks forward to our early retirement plan. I told him I will work as a ride operator, a gift shop worker, or a princess :wizard: and he can drive the boat around the world showcase :drive:
His Disney Favorites:
Character: Donald, DarkWing Duck & Duffy
WDW Resort: Also, the Poly
Park: Hollywood Studios
Restaurant: Via Napoli
Band: Blink 182 (yes they are still around too)
Ride at MK: Buzz Lightyear Space Ranger Spin
HS: Toy Story Mania
AK: Mt. Everest
the third part to our wedding, Julia
Julia is 4 and the love of our lives. When I first met Brian, she had just turned 2. The two of them have bonded so well and she couldn't be more excited to have Brian as her new step dad and get married with us at Disney.
Julia's Disney Favorites:
Character: Daisy & Minnie
Princess: Ariel & Rapunzel
WDW Resort: Art of Animation
WDW Park: HS & MK
WDW Restaurant: Pinocchio's Haus & Askershus
Band: One Direction
Ride at MK: Haunted Mansion
Epcot: Spaceship Earth
HS: Toy Story Mania
AK: Kilimanjaro Safari
:hippie: <-- Julia wanted to pick a smiley to go with her post. lol
Brian did a really nice job with both the element of surprise and incorporating Julia into our engagement. He waited until I had just gotten out of the shower (not even dressed yet):crazy2:
and had Julia come running in to give me flowers. When I walked into our livingroom he had rose pedals scattered and my favorite Hanson songs playing on a play list. He pulled our a Rapunzel ring for Julia and started to tell us all of the things he loved about us. And then he pulled out my ring and asked me to marry him. :goodvibes
He did a really nice job on the ring- I couldnt have asked for a better proposal, ring, or a better guy.
I always joke about how I dreamed about getting engaged in front of Cinderella's Castle- and always tease him about it, since we were in WDW 3 months before we got engaged. So I always tell him for our vow renewal, he needs to "re-propose" in Disney. haha
Up Next: The Start of the Wedding Plans and the Wedding Party
Such a cute story! Congrats, and I can't wait to read more!
Hi saw u'd started ur planning journal on facebook so thought i'd come have a peek an follow along popcorn:: :thumbsup2
ur early retirement plans sound perfect, i'd love to go work in WDW somewhere :banana:
:scared1: just noticed ur the exact same age as me an brian is the same age as my fiance! no kids for us yet tho :(
:goodvibes ur daughter is adorable :hug: i love how she wanted u 2 include a smiley on her bio an how Brian included her in the proposal!
I'd also hoped of a proposal infront of cinderellas castle(i'm sure many of us have had that dream) sadly fiance isnt as enthusiastic as me bout disney so he never considered it instead he proposed on xmas day :santa: 6months b4 his first WDW trip, i was jus so happy he proposed tho :yay:
look forward to reading more an following along :D
yay ! Debra, thanks for following along
I wasnt sure if my link on Swalphins worked lol.
too funny about our ages all being the same !!
Your wedding is three weeks before mine, so I'm definitely in! Your daughter is beautiful! I love how your df included her!
Will be reading.
I love your hat in the first pic!
I love your proposal, it was so sweet. And your daughter is adorable!!! I look forward to following along with your plans :)
Thanks for following. Hopefully I'll have more updated today. I had a whole post typed up yesterday but I timed out and lost it all
The Wedding Party and Initial Wedding Plans
The Wedding Party
I have 3 bridesmaids: my best friend Laura, as my MOH;
My other best friend Natalie and my cousin Tara
1 junior bridesmaid- Brianís cousin, Mary Rose
And 2 flower girls- Julia, and my sister Adriana, who is 5.
Brian has two groomsmen: his brother, Devin and our good friend Dave
I have to work on getting a good group photo of all of us to post.
Onto the initial wedding plans..
After the engagement in January we were pretty excited about planning a Disney Wedding. It was what I always wanted !! Brian had only been to Disney once as a child- and me and him had gone to Universal Studios for a weekend that past fall with one night at MK. He shares my love in Disney movies and characters, but we are still working on getting him accustom to the parks. However, being the amazing man that he is- he is willing to do whatever makes me happy. (**update**to date, Brian, Julia and I had our first family vacation at WDW this October, and Brian is also now a WDW fanatic*)
So I started by looking into a WISHES wedding. I was sold. I had my heart set on having my ceremony and reception at the Italy Isola in Epcot. I LOVED everything about it. I had this amazing wedding thought up in my head and couldnít wait to call and start the planning. And thatís when everything kind of went down hill. DFTW was horrible with their customer service. They werenít willing to give out any information until I would pay a $2k deposit and give them confirmation of my Disney Vacation Package,.. so annoying.
Then I discovered the DIS and started lurking on the boards. I picked up a copy of Carrieís book and it pretty much answered all of my questions. I faced a harsh reality at this point- that if I wanted an in park wedding I would have to adhere to DFTW strict guidelines- (i.e having my ceremony before or after park hours, not using an outside photographer- etc.) I thought It would be reasonable at first because after all this would be my dream wedding. But then I read somewhere how Disney can add or change their EMH up until the day of my wedding. That wasnít cool, at all. I have MAJOR OCD when it comes to planning- so going through the next year and a half not knowing if all of my plans would change last minute- would drive me nuts.
That left option two- falling in love with an out of park venue. At first I started looking into Sea Breeze Pointe and Arielís, which was nice. But then realizing I was spending a WISHES minimum on something that wasnít inpark- seemed a little expensive to me. So then I looked into an ESCAPE wedding. I didnít like the guest max and again all of the strict DFTW rules. But I was trying to convince myself I could make it work.
I changed my mind 101 times between WISHES and ESCAPE before I came across the DCL thread on DIS. That gave me the best of both worlds. And my wedding/honeymoon in one package deal. I called DFTW back to try and get some more information on this option- they were a little bit more accommodating but still really wouldnít give me any information until I booked my DCL Vacation. The other thing I didnít like about this option was that I wouldnít know which day was my actual wedding day until the cruise itinerary was finalized and we knew which was our ďat seaĒ day. Not knowing which day I would be getting married on- messed up my whole plan. We had our heart set on 10.19.13 and thatís the day I wanted !
I found a PJ on a Swan and Dolphin wedding and had contacted Just Marry for some info. They were really accommodating and super helpful. So I had planned on maybe doing a Swan and Dolphin wedding with a dessert party at Epcot. I went back and forth between Swan and Dolphin vs. ESCAPE for a while. The only thing I didnít like about the Swan and Dolphin was the indoor back up locations. I had read a couple bad stories about those and that was really holding me back. So I decided to dis-count the Swan. I started talking to Brian and our friends and family about an ESCAPE vs WISHES wedding. My parents thought we should just go all out and do WISHES- and im not going to lie, it seemed really exciting !
I failed to mention- that in the beginning. I had a total of 5 bridesmaids and my 1 junior bridesmaid. 2 of my bridesmaids are no longer in the wedding because of some planning drama Ėwhich is now why I have 3 and 1 jr. We will refer to these girls as Thing 1 and Thing 2. During the planning process Thing 1 was very opinionated, telling me how I will regret a destination wedding and that im making a huge mistake my going this route. Essentially she guilted me into thinking that my wedding was an inconvenience to my family and friends and that if I didnít have a huge traditional reception up here, I would regret it later on.
So Brian and I started looking into venues up here. We decided we could have a big wedding/reception up here- honeymoon in Disney and have a 1 year vow renewal in Disney. By this time it was March- and we had finally found a fabulous country club in PA that we loved. We booked it- we booked our DJ, our photobooth, and our photographer. We had well over $2,000.00 in deposits out. I felt so relieved that I finally had everything set in stone and could really start moving forward with the wedding planning. The more I got into planning though, the sadder I felt. This wasnít Disney- - I donít want to be married on a golf course. I want to be married with my Mickey Ears !
My friends and family were really comforting, they helped me find cool ways I could incorporate Disney into my at home wedding and Brian kept pointing out fun stuff we could do on our DisneyMoon.
By June- I had officially given up on my wedding up here. I refused to not have my dream wedding. So we were down $2,000.00 in our wedding planning budget, and back to square one with planning. . . .
Up Next: The Downfall of Thing 1 and Thing 2, and the Disney Wedding Planning begins, again.
The Downfall of Thing 1 and Thing 2, and the Disney Wedding Planning begins, again.
The downfall of thing 1 and thing 2...
So once we started telling everyone about the switch back to Disney they were actually supportive, well mostly. My parents knew this is what I had always wanted so they were glad we were going the disney route. My dad wanted me to have it in park at tower of terror. It's his favorite ride. But once I told him the price, he understood why that wasn't an option.
Thing 1 and Thing 2 were pretty annoyed that I had changed my mind.. Again. And decided they no longer wanted to be apart of our wedding. When we were originally starting to plan a disney wedding I had prepared myself that some people would not be able to come to our wedding or be apart of due to the cost and travel etc. it just annoyed me that these two said yes up front when they knew about it- convinced me to change my mind- and then bailed out 6 months later. Needless to say they are no longer in my wedding and no longer invited.
Onto more Disney planning ...
Brian and I contacted both DFTW and Just Marry again. We gathered as much information as we could and decided to weigh out the pros and cons of both choices. If we went DFTW it would need to be ESCAPE. We are saving for a house and I refuse to spend $12+k on a wedding when we can have something smaller and more affordable. The final decision boiled down to these key points :
DFTW: would allow us to have a MK photoshoot, annual passes included with the ESCAPE wedding which would lower out travel costs, and the indoor backup locations seemed a lot nicer than the Swan, they also offer the WP which would have been a guaranteed indoor location
Swan: MUCH cheaper, more flexible, better customer service, can use outside photography/floral, no guest minimum
I also realized I probably wouldn't need the photography services and limo included with an ESCAPE wedding. So I liked that the Swan let me customize a package that fit my needs.
Plus by the time I added in annual pass costs to the swan wedding that I was customizing it was STILL cheaper than ESCAPE!
So that was it. I emailed Erin at Just Marry (she was my initial contact back in January after we had gotten engaged and I emailed for info) and we went to work on deciding on a date and location. I was set on crescent terrace, even though I loved the beach location-just not the lack of privacy ! And we wanted our date 10.19.13, which was available.
At this point we were getting ready to leave for our family vacation to WDW that September/October and were going to try and meet with Erin and check out some possible reception ideas. I told Erin we would wait and handle the deposit and contract after our vacation.
I had pretty much narrowed down reception choice to Fultons or Il Mulino. We had been in contact with Fultons and their pricing was very reasonable. I liked that we would even have a private area and could have a DJ, photobooth, etc. so we made arrangements to go check it out during our trip.
Oh! I also forgot to mention. We read amazing reviews about Randy Chapman and booked him for our engagement photos during our trip. We had initially booked through Disney Events and Photography for an in park Epcot shoot. But I had read some horrible reviews and was nervous about spending so much money if I wasn't sure of the quality. Randy's photos were exactly what we were looking for and half the price !
Up next: our trip to the World, engagement photos, and a visit to Fultons ..
Hey Ashley! What a cute family you have! I was so excited to see that you and I are getting married at Disney on the same day!!! :hyper: I will definitely be following your plans! We can keep each other in check :thumbsup2 this will be a little long and I apologize, but some of the things you've said have really hit home with me
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