Once Upon A Dream.
Before we start, we want to make it absolutely clear that although this may well be a fairytale wedding, this story won’t be containing any trite old clichés about fulfilling the dreams you had about weddings when you were growing up; after all, this wedding certainly doesn’t display the sense of style of a five-year-old. But it is a fantasy wedding of pure, unadulterated romance, and you may want to get your hankies at the ready.
From: Kent, UK
Nearest Airport: Orlando International
“It was while we were on holiday at Orlando’s Walt Disney World, a place we really love, that we saw the Wedding Pavilion and commented on what an idyllic venue it would be for a wedding”, Russel told us. “That was the defining moment when we realised just how ideal it would be: a place we love with all the magic around us”.Having settled on a foreign destination primarily to avoid any potential problems within the family, it was only natural for the bride and groom to be drawn to such a peaceful and magical location where they could be assured that their six chosen guests would be well looked after.
Of course, as is so often the way with anything involving Disney, the service was flawless and the couple couldn’t have been more delighted with the excellent standards upheld by the Disney Wedding Planner who, in the words of Russel, “runs everything with military precision”. In fact the couple felt that they couldn’t have done a better job if they’d organised it themselves: “The wedding package was booked through the tour operator, but we were able to direct all our queries straight to the Disney Planner.
Regardless of how trivial we felt our query may have been, she dealt with it in the most professional manner”, commented Russel. “The wedding documentation was completed thoroughly and absolutely nothing was missed. once you are in the hands of the Disney Fairytale Weddings department, you are as safe as you’re ever likely to be”. Even better when you consider all this is included in the price of the wedding package.
A Cinderella Carriage
The day that dawned on the fairytale wedding was a gloriously hot 97 degrees. Breaking with tradition slightly, the couple spent the night before together in five-star luxury, before going their separate ways on the morning of the wedding. The Bride, her father and her bridesmaids stopped at the Grand Floridian Hotel on the way to the Wedding Pavilion for the first set of photographs after which, in true fairytale style, a dazzling Cinderella Coach arrived drawn by six white horses and accompanied by two dashing footmen, to take them to the waiting groom.
The ceremony was quite traditional in style and was held inside the Wedding Pavilion, a white-washed American Colonial-style building prettily situated on an island on a lake, overlooking the Magic Kingdom and designed to invoke feelings of pure fairy-tale romanticism. Asked how his wedding day made him feel, Russel was touchingly succinct: “Before – very nervous. During – emotional. After – proud, delighted, emotional, ecstatic. exhausted!”
A Celebrity Appearance
The photo shoot after the ceremony produced some spellbinding images, despite nearly leaving the bride without an essential part of her regalia: “During the photo shoot Leeann almost lost the bouquet to one of the white ponies who tried to have a little nibble on the leaves!” Fortunately peace was restored and the Cinderella Coach transported the newlyweds back to the Grand Floridian Hotel where a small, intimate champagne and cake reception was held on the Commanders Terrace.
Overlooking the wide, calm lake to the Magic Kingdom beyond, a violinist played while the couple cut the sumptuously decorated cake, and their guests sipped champagne to the accompaniment of a violist. It wasn’t all calm, understated elegance though, as Russel was quick to tell us: “The reception erupted with joy as Mickey and Minnie Mouse arrived and waltzed with us to the first dance! It provided loads of interaction and some great photo opportunities.”
After all the excitement of the celebrity appearance, the couple and their guests were treated to a very formal, personalised, seven-course meal at Grand Floridian’s Victoria & Albert restaurant, a lavish, Victorian-styled setting complete with butler service, individual personalised menus and AAA Five-Diamond Award-winning food. Russel added: “the restaurant presented us with a very regal, glossy brochure about the place in which we had just had our finest ever dining experience. The beautiful document was personally dedicated and signed by the world-famous resident chef”.
The Wedding We Dreamed Of
“Our wedding was precisely the wedding that we wanted, and not the type of wedding we were expected to have”, commented Russel. Echoing the sentiments of many a Wedding Abroad bride & groom, he continued: “rather than having the mad rush of one day at home, we had three weeks’ worth of celebrations – a week’s holiday; the wedding day; a week’s honeymoon and then a week at home before the full wedding reception we’d arranged at a golf club in the UK”.
Russel’s advice to any couple thinking of getting married abroad is: “choose your destination wisely, and look for a location that you will both love”. It’s advice that certainly seems to have served the couple in question very well indeed, not to mention their guests, who “were simply amazed”. As for the couple themselves: “We were able to live the wedding that we dreamed of, and we will always smile about the decision we made”.
Story: Callie Copeman-Bryant
The Perfect Partners
Tour Operator: Virgin Weddings // Wedding Planner: Disney Fairytale Weddings // Ceremony: Disney Wedding Pavilion // Reception: Commanders Terrace, Grand Floridian Hotel // Wedding Photographer: Chapman Photography // Videographer: STVS Video // Bridal Gown: Fatal Attraction, Kent // Bridal Shoes: BHS // Grooms’s Attire: Young’s Hire // Bridal Accommodation: Animal Kingdom Lodge // Guest Accommodation: Quality Inn International