Wedding Day: Ceremony

I don’t know if I can explain this, but in the weeks leading up to the wedding I had occasionally had the thought that I didn’t want the wedding day to actually come, because what if it didn’t turn out as well as I’d hoped and planned? Despite all the work we’d done and all the excitement I’d built up, I would have flashes where I wanted the wedding to remain something to imagine and anticipate. Is that weird? When the alarm went off at 4:00, I snapped wide awake and had another twinge of that feeling. I knew that I would have to control my perfectionist streak and, for once, just go with the flow, or else I might ruin the day for myself. I also really wanted to be emotionally present throughout the day – I didn’t want to later feel that everything had gone by in a big blur and I had missed my own party. So I lay there for a few minutes and thought about the true meaning of the day: expressing love for Patrick and for all our guests. I knew that if everything I did reflected that love, I couldn’t screw anything up.

I had about half an hour before Patricia Lejeune was scheduled to come do my makeup, and I enjoyed the peace of being alone as I started to get ready. Even after Patricia got there, it was very mellow because it was just the two of us – another reason I chose not to have a gaggle of bridesmaids. I didn’t even feel worried when Patricia called to say she was running late. She was scheduled to arrive at 4:30 because I’d told her I had to be ready at 6:30 so I could have 30 minutes of leeway before the photographers and videographers arrived. I knew that the moment they showed up, the gates would open and we’d be off and running.

I can’t remember exactly how late Patricia was – she couldn’t find anyone at the valet stand at 4:30am, so she had to park in the boonies and schlep all her stuff. The first thing she did was put my hair in fingerwaves, and then we talked about the makeup I’d brought. I’m very picky about color, and I wanted formulas that would last all day without reapplying. I found that Vincent Longo Pearlessence Gel Stain in Dolceaqua was a good base, and I liked the nonsticky quality of Paul & Joe Lip Gloss in 05, which is shimmery but doesn’t settle into the lines in your lips and make them look wrinkly. For my eyes I brought a Laura Mercier Eye Color Quad in grays that I’ve never been able to make look good on me, but Patricia worked wonders with them. And I brought my own mascara ‘cuz I don’t like to share (CoverGirl LashExact Waterproof). And I invested in Model in a Bottle after hearing about some of the other makeup artists using setting spray. Everything else was Patricia’s.

Initially I told her I didn’t want to use airbrush makeup because I’d heard that it doesn’t last as long as traditional makeup. She said that real airbrush makeup lasts longer than regular foundation, but that many makeup artists skimp by using regular foundation in their airbrushes because they don’t want to pay for airbrush foundation – or they tell people that it doesn’t last so that they don’t have to offer it. Interesting… Her airbrush makeup job lasted 18 hours! I started to get a little antsy when I saw that it was 6:30 and my hair was still in rollers. Patricia sensed this and picked up the pace, while doing everything she could to reassure me. When she took the finger waves down, I loved the way my hair looked just like that, but it was prolly really fake-y. She brushed through the curls and then began twisting and pinning up sections of my hair. I have a LOT of hair, so this seemed to take forever, and I was getting more and more freaked out.

When Nathan & Jensey knocked on the door, I had my Bridezilla moment for the day. I said some swears… (Patricia didn’t bat an eye). I was still in my robe, so I cracked the door and frantically told Nathan he had to wait outside but that Jensey could come in. She was so great – while I stood in front of the mirror barking out orders to ever-patient Patricia (“Pin that curl there!” “More height in front!”), Jensey quietly slipped around the room taking pictures like these:

This is all Nathan could take pictures of…

I got into my dress by myself (hooray for zippers!!!) and Patricia gently set the fragile fascinator in my hair. I fastened my necklace, stepped into my shoes, grabbed my purse full o’ crap (room card, hankie, bobby pins, chalk, Tide to Go pen, lip stain, gloss, ear plugs, blister blockers, Hollywood Fashion Tape, white plastic bag to sit on for photos [didn’t happen]), and had about 15 seconds to glance in the mirror and mutter, “Good enough!” before I dashed out the door. When I got in the elevator with Nathan & Jensey I felt overwhelmingly glad to have them there. I’d only met them a few times, but it felt like having two friends to send me off on my big adventure (or, as Nathan joked, two “paid friends”!).

It was really important to me that Patrick and I have a “first look” where the photographers and videographers captured us seeing each other for the first time. That way we could have the best of both worlds: We could take all our photos together before the ceremony and still capture that special first-look moment. Plus, this gave us a chance to actually spend time together talking when we met, instead of having to wait through the entire ceremony to share our excitement.

Sneaking up on Patrick

First look!

The waterworks…

The next thing that was really important to me was mailing our Disney Dreams Giveaway postcards. We’d been entering Disney’s Year of a Million Churros… er, Dreams contest by mail every day since it started in September 2006 (do the math on that… it’s more like the 27 Months of A Million Dreams!). We’d only missed a handful of days sending in postcards, and I thought it a testament to our dedication that we mail them on our wedding day.

We hand the clerk our postcards to mail…

…She hands us another set of Just Married buttons for the pile!

After that was the only time during the day that things seemed like a blur. I don’t know where I got this idea (trip reports?), but I thought my WP would meet us in the lobby to tell us what to do and where to go.

¿Dónde está mi WP?

Now that I think about it, that doesn’t make sense because all she’d do would be to point us in the direction of the limo and then have to get herself to Epcot. But at the time all I could think was, “Who in the %&#@! is gonna bustle this dress?” I’d asked Patricia, but she’d never done it before. I asked the Roots… nope. I asked Sage… no dice. I’m thinking, “These people work in the wedding business – they should know how to do a bustle in their sleep!!!” I’d printed (and laminated!) a little bustle diagram, which I was waving around like a stick of dynamite, apparently, because everyone was ducking it. So guess who saved the day….

I love that man! It took what seemed like an eternity, during which I realized I’d forgotten to have Patricia mist me with Model in a Bottle. Luckily she was still in the lobby, and she sweetly offered to go back up to my room and get it.

Finally I realized my WP wasn’t coming and we needed to get into the limo. Nobody seemed to mind the delay. Now here’s something I think I maybe should have done differently…. I hate the way limos look. I grew up in a hot-rod household, and I have strong opinions about what makes a good-looking car. To me a limo is something that only high school prom-goers think is the height of sophistication and is really just an ugly white box (my apologies to my high school prom-going readers). The only time Patrick and I needed transportation all day was to get from the Beach Club to backstage at Epcot, so I picked a limo because it was the cheapest thing Disney offered (well, except for the Evil Town Cars). But what I forgot was that there would be a bazillion pictures of us getting into and out of the dang thing – argh!

Now I’m going to have to try and edit the limo out of our day. I shoulda hired the Rolls Royce…. but at least I was only $69 over my minimums! (Yes, they’ll be carving that on my tombstone). Just for you, here are more contraband pictures of me ‘n’ Moby Dick: The Hideous White Limo.

About to do the Disney Brides patented sit ‘n’ spin, er… scoot!

“If you put this photo on Internets, I kill you!”

We piled into Moby D. with our entourage of paparazzi (two photogs and two videog…s?). It takes five minutes to walk from the Beach Club to Epcot, but it takes about 15 to drive there. This was good, because I needed time to put bits of Hollywood Fashion Tape on my necklace. Mme. Fortuna and I couldn’t get the crystals to stand apart the way I wanted, so I cut tiny squares of HFT and used them to stick each crystal to my chest.

Patrick spells our videographer

We get to Epcot and pull up behind Morocco. The paparazzi tumble out of Moby D. and set up to capture The Bride Exiting the Car. The limo driver shuffles around to my side of the car and unceremoniously flings the door open, blocking the shot with his back. The paparazzi shoot each other knowing looks, and someone nicely asks him to do it again. Apparently he’d never opened a limo door for a picture before (and you can be dang sure he didn’t know how to bustle a dress!). This is the best we got…

Patrick demonstrates proper limo-exiting procedure

As we walked in the back gate we were met by the WP, at whom I shrieked, “Where were you?! I needed you to bustle my dress!” I know – classy… sorry WP!!! Patrick and I had a little more than an hour to take pictures together in Morocco and Japan. The BM and Mo’H would be coming on the party bus with our guests and the pastor because I wanted time alone with Patrick where we would feel comfortable enough to be ourselves in photos – which looks something like this…

We spent half our time in Morocco and half in Japan. When we got to Japan, I was disappointed to see that the waterfall – the feature that made me pick Japan for our pictures – was behind maintenance walls. It felt like we took a lot of pictures in front of the Mitsukoshi Department Store – not exactly my idea of a Kodak Photo Spot… But of course, Nathan & Jensey knew exactly what they were doing, and the pictures turned out fabulously!

“No Segway tour better go through MY wedding!!!”



Just about the time Nathan and Jensey got tired of watching us smooch, the guests arrived and our WP radioed her assistant (who’d been shadowing us) to keep us hidden. I think it was Nathan who ran back to get shots of the ceremony set up.

My cherished aisle petals… not blowing away!

The assistant brought us water and my purse so I could touch up my lip gloss. One of the sound techs came to put Patrick’s microphone on him, and he asked me a few things about the way our ceremony music should be played. I was so grateful for that – I’d heard about problems with the ceremony songs being played wrong (or not at all), so it made me feel so much better to be able to tell him exactly what I wanted. (And it all ran perfectly!)

Finally we got the signal to move to the staging area around the corner from Morocco.

I got to see my dad and brother for the first time, all dressed up in their spiffy tuxedos. As Patrick and I approached the group, I heard our first song – the one his parents were supposed to walk in to – playing already and saw them standing there talking to the WP. I hollered, “They need to go! Go! GO! GO!!” and flapped my hands. (My WP was actually telling them exactly when to start walking, so it turned out fine.) And that was my last Bridezilla moment ever. From then on I just relaxed and had fun!

Patrick’s parents walked in to the The Wind & the Lion Main Title, which was my mom’s favorite movie. It takes place in Morocco and has a lush, sweeping score by Jerry Goldsmith. The next song was the love theme from the movie, which we played while no one walked down the aisle, as a tribute to my mom. Then the pastor, the Best Man and the Man o’ Honor walked in to 007, an alternate James Bond theme from From Russia With Love. Patrick’s song was Life’s Incredible Again from The Incredibles – the night we met our conversation started when we discovered our mutual love for the film. My song, Off to Work, is also from The Incredibles. It’s the perfect combo of Henry Mancini, John Barry and Jerry Goldsmith, and very slinky. I’d thought about walking in to a very dramatic song from Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End, but thought it might seem cheesy and regrettable in hindsight. (This didn’t stop us from using the Pirates bar-fight song Two Hornpipes (Tortuga) as our recessional!)

As we waited for our entrance, my dad recognized the music from The Wind & the Lion playing, and I told him about the locket on my necklace with my mom’s pictures. It was a very touching moment, but I don’t think we were sad. It was just nice to acknowledge her presence at the wedding.

As we were waiting, and it didn’t seem like very long, I noticed my Wedding Coordinator was there. I was so excited to see him again and flattered that he had come to see the culmination of all the work we’d done (I’m sure that’s part of his job, but I was still impressed.) He came over and helped my WP unbustle my dress for the trip down the aisle. “Off to Work” started, but my WP held us for about 30 seconds so we wouldn’t get to the altar before the end of the song. And then we were off… creeping down the aisle. I am a fast walker, so this was pretty hard, but I thought about how I could just take in the whole scene and enjoy the moment.

What I saw

What our guests saw

This is me stage-whispering to my dad, “Why are they all looking at us?!”

The ceremony was perfect. Patrick and I had taken the standard marriage ceremony that his pastor gave us and customized it so that it reflected our practice and beliefs (I am more churchy than Patrick, so I was delighted that he wanted to work on this together). Because the pastor has known Patrick’s family for many years and because we had met with him to work on the service, his homily was personal, warm, and funny. He later told us that we were one of the most “present” couples he’d married. We were both listening intently to his advice and the passages he read so we wouldn’t miss this special moment.

We show off the pastor’s stole, which he had custom made in our colors

Patrick read his vows first

When I’d handed my purse back to our WP’s assistant, I realized I had no place to keep my vows during the ceremony, so I’d improvised….

After the vows, we exchanged rings, and we got to see the secret messages we’d chosen for each other. (We chose lyrics from Muppets songs.) Patrick had inscribed my ring with “Your lifetime friend,” and his said “Until forever.”

FINALLY, we got to smooch. (I mean it had been, like, 20 whole minutes since we’d smooched.) We made it nice and long for the paparazzi!

We were pronounced husband and wife with our original names (and it didn’t sound funny at all!), and then we stood around for a while waiting for everyone to figure out the petal toss. I knew I should have laminated a cheat sheet for that too… Finally, halfway into Two Hornpipes, we walked back down the aisle.

HOORAY!

Wedding Day: Reception

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18 Responses
  • Jessie
    September 29, 2013

    This blog is amazing, your wedding was stunning, and you seem like a totally rad chick. THANK YOU for giving me something to read between spreadsheets at work and thank you for sharing your love with the internets!

    • Carrie
      September 30, 2013

      Hey, thanks for the kind words (at last I have attained radness)!

  • Cliff
    July 9, 2013

    We just arranged our site visit for next month. France is no longer an option for a ceremony, so now we are considering the UK rose garden. We just saw that it has a 25-person limit, though. I hope that isn’t the case. We have twenty-eight, excluding us and our officiant. There is a good chance that one isn’t coming due to distance, and three others are fifty-fifty whether they will come. We’re hoping they’ll let us use UK.

    We thought about doing pre-ceremony family photos (bride with her family and groom with his). Is that typically done at the ceremony site or at the resort/hotel?

    • Carrie
      July 9, 2013

      Interesting! I’ll bet your numbers won’t be a problem in the UK. You can do pre-ceremony photos wherever you want. We shot a few at Beach CLub and then had the limo drop us and our photographers at Epcot about 90 minutes before the ceremony so we could shoot in Japan and Morocco.

  • Cliff
    June 30, 2013

    We’re contemplating a ceremony in either France or the Yacht Club Wedding Gazebo and a reception at the Attic. With the French bakery open at 9, will ceremonies in France be made earlier or will they still be at 9 am? Do people then just walk by the ceremony to get to the bakery?

    We also wanted to do an Epcot bridal shoot that morning. Would that also be a 6:15 pickup time? Once the bridal shoot is over, and since we plan to use Disney photography, would we be able to stay in Epcot for pre-ceremony pictures with our families?

    Thanks!

    • Carrie
      July 1, 2013

      This is all so new, I’m not sure Disney’s even had a wedding in France since the bakery began opening early. I would imagine they’d move the ceremony an hour earlier, but I could also see them saying France is no longer an option for ceremonies. Hopefully it’s the former! You don’t need to pay for a seperate Epcot bridal shoot that morning. Just tell Disney that you want to start your wedding photography in the park X minutes before your ceremony and they’ll add the time to the wedding day photo package, if necessary. Your transportation will bring your families in at whatever time you need so they can join you for pre-ceremony photos.

  • Lyndsey
    January 14, 2012

    PERFECT! I just bought your book! Super excited! Thank you for your help!!!
    PS random question…did you happen to have any knowledge on people going from WDW wedding to Disney Paris???

    • lurkyloo
      January 14, 2012

      Yes! I remember one couple on the DIS who did this, but I’ve just spent half an hour searching the DIS and can’t turn up her trip report. If you have general questions about travel to Disneyland Paris, there’s a PassPorter for that too (and if you joined PassPorter’s Club to download my book, you can get the Paris guide for free!). 😉

  • Lyndsey
    January 14, 2012

    Thank you for your post!!! Was your ceremony in Epcot??? Do you have any pics of the reception? Also, do you happen to have your budget breakdown? We are planning our Wishes wedding for 30 people for Sept 2012 and are suuuuuper overwhelmed! Any help would be great!

    • lurkyloo
      January 14, 2012

      Hi Lyndsey! Yes, we got married in Morocco at Epcot.

      If you click on THIS LINK it will take you to a page of links to every aspect of our wedding, including my planning journal full of info on how we planned our wedding and a link to the entire wedding trip report (but here are the direct links to the RECEPTION and to the DESSERT PARTY). My budget breakdown can be found in THIS thread on the DIS Boards.

      But what you might find most helpful is the book I wrote afterward about planning a wedding at Walt Disney World. It provides a comprehensive overview of all your options, talks about the rules and minimum expenditures, gives up-to-date prices, a self-calculating budget worksheet that will tell you how much you’ll pay in tax and service charges, and a wedding organizer designed specifically for Disney weddings. Click HERE for more info on that.

      Hope this helps!

  • Katie
    November 30, 2011

    Hi Carrie! I love your blog so much (I mentioned a while ago that I’m getting married at Disneyland in December… well, it’s NEXT WEEK!!!!) I just had to tell you that today, a week before my wedding, I’ve decided to do a First Look because of your blog. I’ve been rereading some of it to kill my pre-wedding stress and today I had the realization that a First Look is probably the best thing ever. So, thank you! (and I’ll be sure to show you the pictures when I get them)

    • lurkyloo
      November 30, 2011

      Wow! Congratulations on your upcoming wedding—you must be SO excited! I think you two will be sooooo glad you did a first look. Great photos aside, it is a priceless and rare moment alone together before the wedding craziness kicks in that you’ll always cherish. Can’t wait to see pix!

  • Norma
    August 20, 2011

    Model in a Bottle for every day use… yay or nay?

    • lurkyloo
      August 20, 2011

      Let’s see… Sure! I don’t cuz I’m cheap and also kinda don’t care. But as long as you aren’t one of the people who get breakouts from it, seems like it would be a good solution.

  • alvin
    August 4, 2011

    I don’t know if you would answer this question but I am wondering if you would recommend
    Patricia Lejeune to do makeup for a bridal portrait. Do you think she did a good job? My wife and I are planning to do a bridal portrait at Epcot and would need someone to do makeup…hmm anyway, thank you and I really enjoy reading your trip report. Very informative and humorous ….

    • lurkyloo
      August 4, 2011

      Yes! Patricia is fabulous! She is very good at a more natural/less pageant-like look, but she can also do dramatic makeup. Just be sure to allow enough time so that she can really work with your wife to see what she prefers.

  • shoshanna
    May 31, 2011

    Pictures are stunning!

    • lurkyloo
      August 4, 2011

      Thank you!

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