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Old 02-21-2013, 12:45 AM   #1
lurkyloo
The Attic was just perfect
OK, apparently I've been living under a rock
 
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Carrie & Patrick’s Aulani Vow Renewal - 2/4/13 - Patrick's Outfit! New 6/13

I never started a planning journal for our Memories Collection vow renewal at Aulani because I kept almost cancelling the darn thing after they started a huge renovation project late last year. (Pretty much every time Disney announced a new phase of renovation, I shot my poor planner another panicked email and started mentally calculating how much money wed lose if we canceled or postponed.)

So instead, Im going to post all the planning info NOW while I wait for our photos to be finished and then do a recap when I have those....

And You Are...?



Lurkyloo & Mr. Lurkyloo, a Disney bride-turned-Disney-wedding-obsessive and her puppeteer husband, who are wringing every last penny from their Disney Parks Premier Passes for trips around Disneys world.

For the complete story of our anniversary trip to Aulani and Walt Disney Worldwhich started with our vow renewal and six days in Hawaii and ended in Orlando for Disneys Fairy Tales Weddings Bridal Showcase plus a dessert-less anniversary dessert party in Epcots Italy Pavilioncheck out my trip report on the DIS' main trip reports board or on my blog!

If you get bored waiting for the next installment, here are links to my past trip reports and various other online time-wasters...


Some Light Reading: Past Reports
All my past reports are available on the DIS via the links in my signature, but its much easier to find and read them on my blog.

Wedding: Morocco Pavilion/The Attic/UK Lochside Dessert Party


Haunted Mansion at WDW and Disneyland on the Same Day - Plus Free Dining!


Return to the Scene of the Crime: 1st Anniversary at WDW


Wedding Crasher: 4 Parties in 3 Nights with 2 Cameras and 1 Fabulous Hat!


A Very Lurky Christmas: Holiday at Bay Lake Tower& of TERROR!


Tokyo Disney on Two Weeks Notice: A Photo-Packed Account of 17 Days in Japan


Trick or Tweet! Halloween at Disney World & Disneyland


Epcot 30: Lurkylooking Back on Tomorrow!



Assorted Other Ways To OD on The Lurkyloos

Last edited by lurkyloo; 06-13-2013 at 06:37 PM.
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Old 02-21-2013, 12:49 AM   #2
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Why Aulani?

When Aulani debuted, I was desperate to get out there. But then I started reading reports of overpriced, underwhelming food; a location in the boonies that meant commuting to see any of Oahu’s tourist sites; and crowded pool and beach areas overrun with locals and tourists who had nothing else to do out there. The only thing that might tempt me, the availability of Disney’s Fairy Tale Weddings' Wishes Collection, was similarly unappealing due to its $4,000 overall minimum expenditure, 10-night room requirement, and $100/$125 per-person food and beverage minimums that made it unfeasible for a small vow renewal.

Then Disney introduced its Memories Collection at Aulani, and suddenly I was interested again. Every other year we do something at Disney to celebrate the anniversary of our Disney wedding, and if our Tower of Terror 3rd anniversary dinner party topped our IllumiNations 1st anniversary dinner party, I knew our 5th anniversary was going to have to be pretty spectacular to top that! I started talking with the Roots, who became our friends after shooting our wedding and have since made guest appearances in several of our Disney trip reports. We’ve loved spending previous anniversaries with them, but it’s gotten harder to connect since they moved to Nashville and their schedule has filled up with weddings around the globe. So the idea of getting to take a whole trip with them was very appealing (to us, anyway!).


Memories Collection Basics

Price: $2,500 + tax ($1,995 when we booked)
No. of Guests: 13 + Bride & Groom
What’s Included:
  • Ceremony site
  • Officiant
  • 1 hour of photography + proofing website
  • Ukulele or guitar player
  • Seasonal Hawaiian leis for the bride and the groom
  • Wedding Coordinator
  • Aulani Commemorative Wedding Certificate (we never got this, maybe because it was a vow renewal?)
  • Signature Aulani amenity for the bride & groom (didn’t get this either... not sure what it is...)


Getting the Ball Rolling

When I first called Aulani to book last summer, their Disney’s Fairy Tale Wedding department was still going through a lot of changes. One of the planners from Walt Disney World was temporarily working at Aulani to help them get started, and she was the one I worked with at first. Over the course of about one month, I was shuttled among five different people and given all sorts of conflicting information. Initially I’d been told that the deposit for Memories was $500, but when it came time to pay, they told me it was in fact $1,000—and then they charged my card $2,000!

After I detailed my experience in a survey Disney sent, I got a call from the director of catering sales, who apologized for the mixup, refunded me the extra $1,000, and told me I’d been assigned to my really-for-real contact person and would no longer be playing planner roulette. Hooray!


Planning Experience

My planner, Elena, was fantastic! I was continually impressed by how much attention our tiny Memories event got compared to my experiences planning six different private events at Walt Disney World over the last five years. Granted, Aulani only does about 10 weddings a month right now, whereas WDW might do 10 in a day. But it was more than just the fact that she had plenty of time to help me—it was the level of interest and enthusiasm she expressed that really impressed me.

Not only did Elena anticipate my needs, she was the one prodding me for information and not the other way around, as it usually is. She also volunteered to send me progress photos of the construction and sent lots of shots of the sites, the photographer’s work and the work of the cosmetologist who works at Laniwai spa. She responded to my emails in a timely manner, and if she didn’t have an answer, she researched it for me.

I figured most of the planning would be done in the last two months or so, but I had a lot of communication with Elena for the full 8 months that I was planning. In fact, I was the one dragging my feet on a lot of the planning aspects, for a number of reasons: Not getting my dress til about 3 weeks out put a big crimp in a lot of plans. Also, having the holidays so close to our event meant losing about a month of planning time to celebrating. And I had almost no vision of what I wanted for our vow renewal because I wasn’t trying to improve upon or top our wedding.

Pretty much the only thing I knew I wanted for the event was that the ukulele player NOT play the “Somewhere Over the Rainbow/What a Wonderful World” medley that you hear all the time. Elena, bless her heart, put this in our BEO in all caps!


Up Next: Ceremony Locations!
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Old 02-21-2013, 03:11 AM   #3
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YIPEEEE A LURKYLOO TR
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Old 02-21-2013, 04:59 AM   #4
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Yay! I wanna read moreeee!
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Old 02-21-2013, 08:21 AM   #6
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eeek! I can't wait to hear more about it!
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Old 02-21-2013, 09:56 AM   #7
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I can't wait to read more! I've been going through your trip reports on your blog and they're always so much fun and hilarious!
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Old 02-21-2013, 11:17 AM   #8
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Yay! Thanks for following along! I hope to be able to share all the details of my planning at Aulani, since there's so little info online right now. It's such a great place for an elopement or a vow renewal!
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Old 02-21-2013, 12:44 PM   #9
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Hey Carrie!!!! Yay I am following along... This is great to read about this vow renewal because I have officially gotten Jeff to agree to a 5 year vow renewal at Disney somewhere. Cant wait to hear all about it!!
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Old 02-21-2013, 01:50 PM   #10
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cannot wait to read this! I love each of your reports and have been off the dis for a while so I completely missed that you were planning this!
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Old 02-21-2013, 02:14 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2012DisneyWorldBride View Post
Hey Carrie!!!! Yay I am following along... This is great to read about this vow renewal because I have officially gotten Jeff to agree to a 5 year vow renewal at Disney somewhere. Cant wait to hear all about it!!
Way to go! My vote's for Aulani... :gteeth:

Quote:
Originally Posted by pjstevens View Post
cannot wait to read this! I love each of your reports and have been off the dis for a while so I completely missed that you were planning this!
Great to see you here again!
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Old 02-21-2013, 02:40 PM   #12
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Oh A vow renewal in Hawaii sounds divine. Definitely following along. Can't wait to read all the details. It's good of you to share your experience with everyone in case other brides are considering a vow renewal there. Just think of yourself as a pioneering trailblazer.
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Old 02-21-2013, 03:16 PM   #13
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Happy to see this Carrie! You get to write some of this off on your taxes, right? I mean isn't getting married in various Disney venues your job!? If you need an affidavit stating how essential this work is let us know!
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Old 02-21-2013, 03:34 PM   #14
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Woo hoo! I'm definitely in (even though I still have a ton more to write for my own TR... ).
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Old 02-21-2013, 08:48 PM   #15
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So excited to read more!!
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