Broke-Ass Tag: Disney Wedding


Here we go...

I had a great weekend. For one thing, Pam got married. Beautiful wedding. And the next day, I got to go to Disneyland. I have an annual passport, so I go whenever I can.  I love Disneyland for many reasons, not the least of which is the people-watching. I was strolling up Main Street, looking at everyone, checking out all the lines, and it occurred to me: going to Disneyland is a lot like planning a wedding.

Stay with me for a minute.

For starters, unlike me,  it’s not something that you do all the time – it’s a special event, an entirely different world, and unfamiliar territory. And it’s going to take a while to plan. Picking a weekend when everyone is available, Figuring out how much it’s going to cost – admission ($100 per person), transportation (who’s driving? And parking is $15 per car), eating when you get there (starting at $30 per person), favors and decorations (mickey ears and a t-shirt will run you another $40).

Disneyland is not cheap, plus there are  complications everywhere once you get into the park. What to do first? What if your first vendor ride choice is unavailable when you get there? I hit the Star Tours line, only to find a two and a half hour line. “Come back early tomorrow and grab a fastpass”, a friendly cast member told me. Hmm, not going to be here tomorrow.  Let’s try Thunder Mountain instead. Of course, this can get frustrating – you have a limited amount of time until you have to go home, and your options seem to be dwindling. You’ve been there for 3 hours and you haven’t been on anything yet! Be patient – You will finally get on a ride. It might take a while, but it’s going to happen.

All that's missing for you is the glass coach. (Courtesy of Askeland Photography)

I always say that Disneyland is the Happiest Place on Earth…but you can bring a designated pocket of unhappiness with you. The person that complains about everythin: They’re too hot, they’re too cold, they don’t like standing in line for so long. They don’t like your plan, “why are we going to It’s a Small World, this is stupid, I want to go on Pirates of the Caribbean instead. $5 for a corn dog? Why are you paying $5 for a corn dog?” Does this sound familiar? At some point, you know that small child (or your inner child) you’re carrying is going to emotionally implode. Do what I’ve seen countless parents do and be kind, firm in your stance and keep moving.

It’s a lot of pressure. You’re paying a lot of money to be there. It’s the Happiest Place on Earth, you should be having a fantastic time, right? So, why is this so hard? Well, weddings and Disneyland are also lot like life. Anything that’s worth it takes work, and sometimes that sucks. But perspective is a big part of the game. At the end of the aisle, and the end of the maze-like line to the spinning tea cups, is a fantastic time with the people you love. I never remember the lines, I only remember laughing hysterically with everyone over the dumbest stuff in the world. I remember my friend’s 4 year old nephew shrieking with happiness when he saw Mickey Mouse. And another friend who spent all day getting into the background of other people’s pictures, especially if I was the one that volunteered to take them. Happy Hour at the Grand Californian Hotel. And just having a great time. Recognize when you’re having a great time along the way, okay? This, too, will happen.

And, yes, you can get alcohol at Disneyland. The drinks are pretty good, too.

So, what other ways do you think wedding planning is like a trip to Disneyland? What other analogies can you think of? Let me know in the comments below!

See you at the end of the line,

  • 5/9

    Whenever I had heard of Disney Weddings. I always imagined it was a wedding in which someone was attempting to chase the childish thrills of their youth. Surely a Disney Wedding was only for someone who still loved the idea of Mickey Mouse greeting guests at the chapel. Boy Was I Wrong! We had the honor of being invited to Disney Weddings 20th Anniversary and while there we had all of our preconceptions dashed.  Disney is not about re-creating magical memories of your youth, its about making new ones. No matter your age, no matter your desires, Disney has the rare ability to to make that dream come true.

    Before heading into the wedding pavilion we were met by tables and tables of colorful candy. It was buffet of beautiful cavity conjurers.

    Comment if you find me in this pic. (Hint: I can’t see you)

    We enjoyed a glass of champagne as we made a whole bunch of new friends! The ladies rocked bridal ears as I was pimping the mousy but manly top hat. I have to say that Mickey’s got style.

    The Disney flare really started to show when we were greeted by our “hosts” of the evening. Two  bundles of energy burst out of the crowd and started hollering about how happy they were that Dana and I had arrived. I am great with faces but for the life of me I couldn’t figure out how I knew these two. But they seemed so affable, entertaining and warm AND they knew my name. I later realized they were a couple of the hundreds of performers you can have be a part of your Disney Wedding. Today we were treated to Franck from Father of the Bride, and Sona from the Incredibles.  But how did they know my name?!

    These two were so smooth, I didn’t realize they were reading my name tag. (DOH!)

    We then headed into the wedding pavilion and were greeted by our real host Disney Wedding’s Development Director Korri McFann. She told us a little about Disney’s newest weddings and honeymoons location in Hawaii. In the immortal words of Liz Lemon, “I want to go to there!”

    We all drooled a bit and then she introduced us to a former couple who had the pleasure of being married at Disney World one year ago. And… wait for it… Were having a surprise wedding vow renewal AND WE WE’RE THE GUESTS! Dang, it was like an Oprah moment up in there.

    While the re-bride-to-be was getting ready we were introduced to one of the newest dresses in the Disney Dress collection from Alfred Angelo.

    Yowsers! Did they bring in an actual princess?

    And get ready for another Oprah moment cause here comes Disney’s Celebrity Expert (and tv reality star) DAVID TUTERA! David has designed several wedding themes and styles that couples can choose from, or be inspired by, when planning their Disney Wedding. But enough talk, lets get this re-wedding on the road…

    Everyone knows the best way to start a wedding is with the wedding party and… wait wha…. are those… PROFESSIONAL DANCERS dancing down the aisle! Wow, that’s a cool idea. And they were just warming up the crowd because they raced back up the aisle to reveal…

    Our blushing bride! There was a sense of fun in the room the entire time and boy could you see it on our bride’s face when she appeared.

    She met her groom under the grand arch of the pavilion with the famous Disney Castle in the background. They exchanged vows and the crowd cheered. And to turn it up a notch…

    They exited to daytime fireworks! My mom always said when it was sunny but raining, it’s “a monkeys wedding”. So when it’s sunny and there are fireworks you know it’s a Disney Wedding.
    Our couple left the pavilion and was greated by their magical Cinderella chariot.

    A Cinderella carriage pulled by tiny horses!

    And they were off! A magical chariot surely must take them somewhere amazing…

    Italy?!?! Well almost, we were whisked away to the world of Epcot. Little did I know the celebration had just begun.

    With a lakeside dinner we had a view of the entire world. If felt as if we were in the heart of Venice but with Mexico, Germany and Epcot Center on the horizon. The party was in full swing and with all this world travel the two of us were thirsty…

    I really did not think it could get more, awe inspiring, romantic and just plain fun. But Disney had one more trick up their sleeve. A front row seat to one of the most amazing firework displays I have ever seen!

    Our amazing friends at Disney Weddings enjoy their job almost as much as we enjoy being their guests.

    You might say, “Hunter, that looks awesome but there is no way that that kind of luxury can be Broke-Ass.” Well, Disney Weddings start at $10,000. Since the national average is way over twice that, your dreams becoming a reality suddenly became a little more realistic.

    Thanks again to the entire Disney Weddings cast! The enthusiasm, kindness and hospitality you showed us was contagious to everyone we met and everything we did. We can’t wait to come back!