Planning a wedding with the company that also runs the #1 vacation destination in the world, clearly comes with some rules. Its like moving in to one of those upscale gated communities, you have to assume they won't let you paint your house pink. As I've begun planning my Disney wedding, I've run into rules that would've driven me insane or completely infuriated me if they had affected me. For example, only being able to use a Disney photographer if your ceremony/reception is held at certain sites. Typically this applies only to "in park" functions, but rumor has it the list seems to be expanding and including some resort areas. I can completely understand where Disney is coming from. Its just that I've heard only a small amount of great things about Disney photogs, and a fairly large amount of bad things about Disney photogs. One photographer reportedly lost all the pictures of a couple's entire Magic Kingdom photo session. Disney offered to shoot another one for no charge, but the couple would still have to pay travel expenses, making it not really worth the money. How devastating. Luckily for me, I will be using Randy Chapman for most of my event. I will only be using a Disney photographer for our dessert party which will be held in Epcot.
Floral CAN be another issue, but not so much. Again, if you are in a park you will have to use Disney services. I have never heard a bad thing about Disney floral, well... except that it can be pretty pricey. Many brides seem to opt for minimal floral anyways, since the Disney surroundings speak for themselves and not a lot of extra detail is needed!
The catering is typically pretty flexible. Obviously, the more you are willing to pay, the more flexible they'll be. :) I haven't tasted any "Disney wedding" food, but I imagine it is pretty darn good as Disney world boasts many, MANY great restaurants.
Many of the ceremony/reception locations hold very small amounts of people. For example, Frank and I were going to try to do the ceremony IN the Magic Kingdom, but we could only have 50 people. Of course, Frank and his swindling ways concocted a plan to just have a very large wedding party. No go. The 50 people include everyone, even the Bride and Groom! So, that plan was over before it really began.
My biggest issue, so far, has been the timeline. Our wedding is booked for January 8th, 2010... but I can't even plan anything yet!!! See, at 12 months out you can "tentatively" hold the space for your event... at 8 months you you get to sign a "Letter of Agreement." So what does this all mean??? My location will be reserved, and I can only begin planning my wedding and figuring out all of the details at 8 months out. As someone who prefers to have things done and checked off, this is driving me crazy. Completely... crazy... I can't stand it! What if I don't like what their florists have to offer and want someone else, only to find out the someone else I want is booked? I know, I could just book someone and cancel, but deposits and refunds are a HUGE pain in the "you know what." So I sit here... everyday wishing I knew a little of what they offer, or at least what my flowers would/could look like.
For the most part though, I've enjoyed everything I've learned so far about Disney weddings. Everyone I've worked with has been extremely helpful and fantastic. There are so many Disney Brides out there on the Internet too! They have all been so helpful in answering questions and sharing ideas.
As most brides would be, I'm just suffering from, "I guess this isn't how I thought planning a wedding would feel" syndrome. I thought it would be all magical, exciting, and fun... you know, just like in the movies. Going to tastings, floral appointments, gown hunting. I haven't even entered a bridal shop!!! Which is fine... I'll just be counting down the days to May 8th. :)