My Wife Mother Runner blog is primarily a diary about my running, but it is also about my love for Disney. And one of the major events in my life took place at Disney. My husband and I got married in Disney World on May 16, 2002. We had our wedding ceremony at the chapel and the reception was at the Terrace des Fleurs in France with Fireworks after dinner. It was amazing to say the least!
It all began like this…. My husband and I had been going to Disney at least twice a year since August of 1998. In May of 2001 we went and made an appointment to meet with the wedding coordinators to gather information about a Disney wedding. While meeting with our coordinator, Michelle, we discussed what we would like to do for a wedding, where it will be, possible dates and most of the major details in regard to locations and holding spaces. Now at that time we weren’t even engaged!
When we came home my husband secretly contact Michelle and solidified everything to make it official. He also purchased a diamond and was getting everything in place for my ring. Now mind you, it was only June. He kept this all a secret until he proposed to me…. Christmas Eve of 2001! He had to keep it all a secret for over 7 months! Now as a girl, I had been hoping he’d ask me every trip we took, every special occasion, but nothing happened. We had been friends for many many years, but our families never really knew if we were an “item”. On Christmas Eve we always have our families over. Most years his brother couldn’t come because he was with the other side of his family, well this year he was dropping by, so it raised some suspicions. All during the day I was anxious, I was hoping that I would get a ring for Christmas.
The proposal went like this… my niece was around 10 at the time and played the violin, so she did a little song for us. Well Kevin said it felt like the song would never end! Then Kevin told everyone he had a special gift he wanted me to open. I was getting excited. He brought out a large box (I knew it was probably a decoy). I opened the box to find another box, and another – you know how that goes. Well I got to the last box and was excited because it was a small box. Well I open that up and find this!
Yup a pin! So my aunt yells out, “All that for a pin?!” Then Kevin looks over at me and reaches in to his pocket and said, “why were you expecting this?” I instantly cried and everyone yelled! Then he announced that he had another gift for me and returned with a blue envelope. I opened it and in it were the plans for a Disney wedding. He told all of us that we are getting married May 16, 2002 and that the date was set and location booked! You should have heard all the buzz going on in the house. Everyone talking about going on diets, booking flights, hotels, etc. He had it all figured out. We had a group rate for select hotels and discounts on park passes. We were also all going to go to Cirque du Soleil to see the show one night. Over the months from Christmas to May Kevin and I ordered invitations and planned the wedding with our Disney Wedding Planner via a few phone calls to go over details and selections we wanted for the ceremony, flowers, music, food, cake, etc.
Now again in the un-traditional sense, I had already purchased a wedding dress in August of that summer. I had wanted to go dress shopping once with my mother and Kevin saw something nice in a Bride magazine I had so I asked the shop if they had it and they did. We went and tried it on an I fell in love with it instantly and ordered it!
We flew down to Florida with my parents and Kevin’s parents on Tuesday, May 14. We had a limo to drive us from the airport to the Grand Floridian. We had lunch and then we met with our wedding coordinator to go over the final details. The rest of our families were flying in on Wednesday. So Tuesday night we had dinner with our parents at Wolfgang Puck’s in downtown.
The next day our families arrived and we had a day by the pool. The men had their final tuxedo fittings and that night was our rehearsal at the Floridian and the rehearsal dinner which was at 1900 Park Fare. After that we hung out by the hot tub and pool.
The Wedding Day
The day of the ceremony we all met for breakfast and hung out by the pool. Everyone was so relaxed and had a great time. It’s so hard to believe that it was wedding day and we are all hanging out as a family before the wedding!
After lunch the girls and I had to go to the conference center at the Floridian to have our hair and make up done. That’s when my nerves were really starting to kick in! We spent a few hours there getting all made up and then we got dressed and my brother-in-law met me to take some pre-ceremony pictures (he is a photographer but couldn’t shoot our wedding for obvious reasons). It helped to have him there to settle me down a little.
After our pictures, he had to go meet up with Kevin and his family to do their family photos in the Grand Floridian. Then it was my turn to do family photos with the girls at the Grand Floridian. I was so excited to finally be a “Disney bride” and to be standing on the Grand Floridian staircase having my picture taken in my wedding gown! However, I have to say I had butterflies something fierce! I think in some pictures you can see it in my eyes! I don’t know why I was so nervous, this was my dream come true!
It was time to hop in the limo with my family and head over to the chapel. My sister, dad, Martha and I got over to the chapel and then we waited in the bridal area. Then it was time to line up to walk in. When I was standing there with my dad at the doors I could see Kevin through the cracks in the doors and that’s when I really relaxed and got very excited.
The ceremony was beautiful. Reverend Day performed the ceremony and the view of the castle from the alter was spectacular! After the ceremony we walked across the bridge to our receiving line and saw our guests off onto their bus to head over to Epcot. We hung around at the chapel for pictures and then Kevin and I went off in a limo to meet up with everyone at the Terrace des Fleurs in France in Epcot. On the way there our limo driver got lost! We drove into the backstage area of France in Epcot where my train was pinned up to my dress and then we walked in with our wedding planner through the crowds who were starting to line up for the parade and the fireworks. We felt like celebrities being escorted privately through a back entrance to our private reception area. It was incredible!
Because it was so warm out, we had to cut our cake right away so that it wouldn’t start to melt outside. That was the best bite of cake we EVER had! It was so delicious! After that we said hello to our guests, then sat at our sweetheart table and had toasts and then began our dinner. The meal was fantastic and then we had our cake for dessert and fireworks at 9:00. I had tears in my eyes when the fireworks were going off because this was yet another part of my dream coming true! It was awesome. Words can’t describe how happy I was.
After the fireworks show Epcot was emptying out and we had the entire park to ourselves! But we had to stay in our area where we had dancing and drinks until midnight. It was so much fun and everyone danced to just about every song the DJ played!
When the night was over we all climbed into a tour bus and drove over to the Floridian where we took candid pictures with friends staying there and then went to our room where Kevin had a dozen roses waiting for me. It was a magical night and one that I will never forget.
The rest of the weekend
The next day we met everyone after breakfast to spend the day at the Magic Kingdom. That night we were going to have dinner at Wolfgang Pucks and then went to Cirque du Soleil. It was such a blast! On Saturday we went to the Animal Kingdom and did the safari ride, the rapid ride and the Dinosaur ride. Then we all hung out at the pool for the night. Sunday we had breakfast at the Floridian Cafe and then everyone had to pack up to leave. It was a drizzly morning and Kevin and I went to each room to visit everyone. Then we all waited in the lobby for the shuttle to pick everyone up. When they all said their goodbyes and drove away I cried like a baby. Both of us were very sad to see everyone leaving. We had SUCH a GREAT time that we felt like all the fun was leaving us! On our way back to the pool area there was a guy playing a guitar to the reggae song “everything is going to be all right”. Kevin and I had reservations for Narcoossee’s that night. So we chilled out for the afternoon then got ready for our dinner. We were scheduled to fly home on Thursday but changed our flights to come home sooner so we could help prepare for our reception back in CT the following weekend.
Disney did a spectacular job planning out wedding the way we wanted it and we felt like stars. We really enjoyed having our families there to make a vacation out of the event. We spent a lot of time with them before, during and after our ceremony which made it so much more special. Having a wedding planner for our wedding made the event so much easier to manage. Michelle took care of everything for us! There was no stress involved in this event AT ALL! I highly recommend having a Disney wedding. They do different prices for different events and you can select any venue, accessories (Cinderella’s coach with horses), music options, floral arrangements, invitations and more. Visit www.disneyweddings.com for more information.