Disney has always been a huge part of my Husband’s and my life because it is what brought us together. We both not only grew up with Disney but we met at Disney as Cast Members, so choosing a Disney Resort for our wedding was a no-brainer. We both decided that Aulani in Hawaii was where we wanted to tie the knot; not only was it Disney, we both had never been to Hawaii and wanted to have a very small and intimate destination wedding. I am not exaggerating when I say there are not enough words to explain how magical our wedding day was! From the planning to the actual wedding day, it was seamless for us and if I could relive it over and over again I would and I wouldn’t change a thing! With that being said, when people I meet find out about our Disney Wedding, a lot of times they ask me how it was or, “was it worth the price tag?” OR “did Mickey walk you down the aisle?” I thought it would be fitting to reflect on some of the questions that I get and give some tips! These tips are for anyone currently (or prospectively) planning their wedding and contemplating a Disney Resort for an option. After all, your wedding day is supposed to be one of the most important days of your life… why not also make it the most magical!
5 Things to Know Before Planning your Disney Wedding!
- Your Disney Wedding Planner is truly your Fairy Godmother!
- Our Wedding Planner at Aulani, Nicole was wonderful! From the moment we inquired about getting married at Aulani she was so patient and kind. She answered every single question that we had, no matter how large or small it was. Nicole eased my bridal, stressed-out mind and made my wedding day beautiful, stress-free and practically perfect in every way! There was a particular moment that happened with Nicole that stuck out to me and truly defines her as a wedding planner, in my opinion. Since our ceremony was in the evening at the Kula Wai Spa, my Husband and I opted in to taking our wedding photos prior to the ceremony. We had decided to get our “first look” photos out of the way and, in doing so, also wanted to capture that gorgeous Aulani sunset. We had chosen that I would have both a bouquet and floral crown for the wedding; Ryan would wear a Maile Lei. Our floral pieces were scheduled to be delivered right before the ceremony, which meant that we would not receive them until after our wedding photos. To my surprise, the flowers ended up arriving early and Nicole called the photographer to let him know. She then proceeded to come down to the beach, TAKE HER SHOES OFF and run them down to us on the sand to make sure we had them for sunset! Nicole truly was something else and went above and beyond when it came to making our wedding day special!
- 2. Plan and book your wedding as far out as possible!
- Even though we started planning our wedding 6 months out, we found that availability was limited. Disney venues in Hawaii, California or Florida are all popular locations, so it is key to book and contract as soon as you can. It also helps for budgeting, once we had our contract solidified and I went over the details with Nicole our wedding planner, I was then able to put myself on a savings plan for our wedding. My Husband and I brought lunch to work and NEVER went out during our wedding planning to save money and I am proud to say we paid CASH for our wedding.
- 3. You can make it as Disney or as non-Disney as you want!
- There’s a very common misconception amongst people that if they choose to get married at a Disney property, that they need to have Disney splashed everywhere! This is definitely not the case! No matter which Disney property you choose as your destination there are going to be touches of Disney everywhere (i.e. in the carpet or wallpaper) But, if your significant other is NOT a huge Disney fan, you can still have your wedding at Disney and keep a moderate, classic Disney touch to it. If you are like my Husband and I and LOVE Disney, then you can sprinkle that pixie dust everywhere!
- 4. Trust and utilize the vendors that they recommend!
- When we started planning our wedding, Nicole our wedding planner gave us a vendor list to look through. This included recommended photographers, floral, DJ/Musicians, etc. Personally, unless you have a family photographer that you have dreamed of having shoot your wedding your whole life, then I would HIGHLY recommend utilizing the Disney recommended vendor list. The reason I stress this is because these vendors know the property and its nuances, both positive and negative; your wedding is not their first rodeo. They know the perfect locations to photograph to capture the right light and angles, they know which flowers look good and will compliment each venue; they were CHOSEN by Disney so trust them! Below are the vendors that we utilized for our wedding and I cannot say enough good things about them all!
- 5. Enjoy the venue and utilize the property!
- Whether you choose Aulani in Hawaii like us, Disneyland in California or Disney World in Florida, the venues are amazing and the properties are magical. When planning your wedding, don’t forget that you are either attached to a gorgeous resort OR to the happiest places on earth! Think about your honeymoon and your Guests! We ended up extending our stay and honeymooning at Aulani!! There are so many restaurants for rehearsal dinners, and I am sure your Guest wont mind a Hawaiian vacation OR a trip to the parks!
As I mentioned before, I always look back at my wedding and wish I could relive it all over again! As an unexpected magical treat, were also lucky enough to be featured on the Disney Weddings Blog where we were able to share our story. You can check it out here, see more photos and learn about our engagement story. There is not ONE thing I would change and we cannot wait to go back for an Anniversary Trip! If you have any questions or want to know more about our wedding, please comment below and I would be happy to answer!
“So this is love, so this is what makes life divine.” – Cinderella