I have to confess, my memories are so fond that my “Glad I Did” list got kinda out of hand. I mean, of course I’m glad I chose the Roots for photography, picked our three locations, took a boat to the reception, bought my dress for half price on eBay, etc. So I’ve tried to get it down to mostly things that some people might be on the fence about. Also, I sneaked in a list of honeymoon pointers just because everything went so smoothly and Patrick kept remarking on how cost-effective yet fun-packed the trip was.
GLAD I DID (or DIDN’T DO)
Shipped the dress: I can’t tell you how nice it was to travel with just a few suitcases and not worry about where my dress was going to be stored on the plane. FedEx-Kinko’s was reasonably priced, and Carolyn Allen’s did all the packing/unpacking and transportation.
No welcome bags: I wanted to, really I did! I liked the idea of the project. But I was SO glad not to have to buy all the items, stuff the bags, transport the bags, distribute the bags and then agonize over who didn’t get a bag from the hotel. Plus, I’ve heard that a lot of the stuff in them gets tossed out…
No bridesmaids = no dresses, no hair and makeup, no flowers, and no gifts to pay for. And no stress over who to ask, hurt feelings, slackers, hubbub in the room on the wedding day, etc.
No newsletters: OK, we sent one two-page letter at the last minute when we decided to have a meet ‘n’ greet and wanted to explain transportation. But I’ve heard so many brides say that no one reads these and just ends up asking you questions about all the same stuff in the lovingly designed newsletter you slaved over.
Use part of the reception menu for the pre-reception: This was actually suggested by my WP, and it saved money and saved wasting food. The reception menus have way too much food on them as it is!
Ice cream with the wedding cake: I guess a lot of times people don’t eat the wedding cake, but ours disappeared quickly. It may be because the flavors were all variations on chocolate, but I think the ice cream made it.
Dessert Party: If you can swing it, do it! I’d recommend this over a rehearsal dinner, even. It is unique to a Disney wedding and the thing your guests will be talking about for years.
No family on the honeymoon: We let people know that the honeymoon was just for us, and I’m pretty sure they understood. It was so nice not to be obligated to be anywhere or meet anyone, or to have to try to coordinate a big group with a bazillion different agendas. For almost two weeks we got to do whatever we wanted whenever we wanted to—bliss!
Rent Disney Vacation Club points: I can’t recommend this enough—we stayed in two different Deluxe resorts for less than our guests paid for a Moderate with the low-season wedding discount! Plus we had a kitchenette in both places, which was great for corralling leftover desserts.
Disney’s Honeymoon Registry/Sunshine Rewards/Disney Visa Rewards: We were so surprised by how many people used our Disney Honeymoon Registry, and it allowed us to do things we never would have been able to afford, like parasailing and the Lunch With an Imagineer program. I also did a LOT of surveys and offers on Sunshine Rewards in the months before our trip and cashed out for Disney gift cards. Along with our Disney Visa Rewards, these things paid for our entire honeymoon!
WISH I’D DONE
Only offer guests 2 of the 4 blocked hotels: I loved the idea of blocking 4 hotels so that a discount would be available to us at all of them for our honeymoon stay. But if I’d known about one-way buses and the time savings of transporting guests from fewer hotels, I would only have given mine 2 choices. As it is, most of them only stayed at 2 of the 4—the Value and the Moderate.
Vintage Rolls: I hate limos; I just saw ours as Point A-to-Point B transportation, but I forgot it would be in all our pictures and our video—ugh! DISer Caryn has made me feel a lot better about this by pointing out that I am too tall for the Rolls! However, I’ve always loved the idea of creative wedding transport, and if I’d been thinking about it, I would have found something as an alternative—maybe a Vespa?
More specificity about cake colors: I was SO specific with multiple pictures of everything else at my planning session, I’m not sure why it didn’t occur to me to include multiple samples of the cake colors. Oh yeah—because I thought they do what was in the picture I gave them! Still, I can’t complain too much – the designs were all spot on.
Customize the dessert party menu: At the time, I thought that you had to pick one of the set dessert party menus Epcot offers and stick to it. Now I know that you can basically build your own menu as long as it + drinks adds up to the minimum expenditure requirement.
Wax at home before I left: Depending on the kind of bikini wax you want, you may not be able to find it inside Disney World or close by. After my horrible experience at Mandara Spa, I think I would have been much better off getting this over with before I left (and getting to eat free brownies and lemonade at Bliss!).