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Disney Intimate Weddings

By Lori Drury, Guest Columnist and Newlywed

I first went to Walt Disney World during the summer of 1972 as a little girl and was immediately hooked on this enchanted place. When I met my husband, I knew instantly that he was my Prince Charming. He proposed to me on St. Valentine's Day, and we couldn't wait to start planning our wedding. I had seen various television shows where couples had gotten married at the Magic Kingdom or Disney's Wedding Pavilion, and I thought it would be truly magical to do the same. After all, what little girl doesn't dream of being a princess for a day?

Why Walt Disney World? My husband had never been to Walt Disney World in Orlando before, but he was instantly intrigued when I brought up the idea of exchanging our vows there. We had both been previously married with large, traditional weddings and so agreed that we wanted something small yet elegant. With both of our families being from out of town, getting married in either place would have left someone out. 

Costs -- We knew how costly weddings could be, so our first concern was that a Disney wedding would be too expensive. While it is true that the sky is the limit when planning a Disney wedding, we were pleasantly surprised by how affordable they can be as well. We started our planning by going to and reviewing the information available on the various wedding packages. 

The Intimate Wedding package was perfect for our needs. Intimate ceremonies start at $3,500 with a minimum four-night stay. And the best part of all is that a Disney Wedding Coordinator handles all of the arrangements, which can really alleviate the stress that comes with planning a wedding. Intimate Weddings are designed for smaller parties of up to 8 guests, including the wedding party. 

Ceremony Locations -- Once we set our wedding date, the next step was to choose a location. There are five choices for Intimate Weddings - Disney's Wedding Pavilion at the Grand Floridian, Sunset Pointe at the Polynesian, the Wedding Gazebo at the Yacht Club, Sea Breeze Point at the Boardwalk, and Sunrise Terrace at the Wilderness Lodge. We chose the Wedding Gazebo at the Yacht Club for our special day. 

Details -- Once we decided when and where we wanted the ceremony, we spoke with a representative from Disney Weddings who checked to make sure our choices were available. We had to choose a resort at this time, and we picked Disney's Caribbean Beach Resort. Everything was all set once we sent in our deposit of one night's room and tax. 

Shortly thereafter I received an e-mail from our Wedding Coordinator. She made the planning a snap and was always available to answer any questions. Her first e-mail included several attachments with detailed information about the various elements of our wedding package. 

Our package included all of the basic elements of traditional weddings, but with that extra Disney touch. We were provided with the names of several officiants who were experienced in presiding over Disney wedding ceremonies. We contacted a few different officiants until we found the one who seemed like a good fit for the type of ceremony we wanted. Most of the officiants provided sample ceremonies, but since Toby and I wanted ours to be more personal, we took some extra time and wrote our own ceremony. 

For the wedding cake, we were able to choose from several different cake flavors and scrumptious fillings, and we received a keepsake Mickey and Minnie cake topper as well. A bottle of champagne was provided for our first toast as husband and wife. My bouquet and my husband's boutonniere were also included in the package, and there were again different styles and colors to choose from. Since my dress was embellished with various shades of pink Swarovski crystals, I requested a French-style bouquet with different shades of pink roses that complemented my dress quite nicely. 

A very talented violinist provided the music for our ceremony, reception and, most importantly, our first dance. Again, we were given a list of suggested selections from which we could choose. And to capture all of the special moments, Disney provides a basic photography package that includes twelve prints in an embossed wedding folio. This was the one element of our package that we chose to upgrade, and for an additional cost we received a beautiful album with forty 5X7 photographs. We also decided to splurge for Disney's videography services since our families were unable to attend our wedding. This included two video cameras that were positioned at different angles to record every magical moment and we were extremely pleased with the finished product. 

Another element of our package was a four-hour chartered limousine to take us to and from the ceremony. Since we had made a dinner reservation for later in the evening at Narcoossee's, we chose to extend the limousine to pick us up after Wishes and bring us back to our hotel in style. 

To make our special day even more stress free, our Wedding Coordinator arranged a professional hair styling and manicure with Disney's cosmetology services for an additional charge. These services were performed right in our hotel room, so I really felt pampered!

Of course, no trip to Walt Disney World would be complete without spending some time in the parks. Theme park admission is also included in the Intimate package. 

Intimate Weddings can be arranged as far in advance as 12 months or in as little as 21 days. Another component of the package is a personalized wedding website that gives your guests all of the information they need for making plans to attend your special day. And shortly after the wedding, there is a link on your website for friends and family to view and purchase photographs. 

All in all, a Disney Intimate Wedding is a great choice for a destination wedding that is stress free, all inclusive, and a great value for the price. There are options to upgrade almost every detail included in the basic package, but for the most part we found that the basic elements fit our needs. Looking back, it was everything "simple yet elegant" that we dreamed of and more, and proves that fairy tales really can come true.

This article originally appeared in our March 6, 2005 newsletter -- subscribe to our popular newsletter today for free!

Related Articles:

  • Disney Vow Renewals
  • Custom Events

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    Updated 02/10/07 

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