A Cause For Celebration: A Wedding, A Marathon & A 30th Birthday - January 2018 Update:12/28

Discussion in 'Pre-Trip Reports and Plans' started by fallonkendra, Feb 8, 2017.

  1. fallonkendra

    fallonkendra DIS Veteran

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    I know it's a little early to be starting this PTR, and I really wanted to be farther along with my trip report/dining report from our January 2017 trip before I started writing this, but I need a place to keep everything straight, and this seemed like the best option!​

    Let's rewind for a bit, shall we? I should probably start with introductions:​

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    My name is Fallon, I'm the female in that picture. I'm currently 29 years old, and live in Alberta, Canada (originally from New Brunswick, Canada). I'm the main planner for all of our trips, the primary photographer, and the one who will be writing this planning report.

    My favourites:
    Park: Animal Kingdom
    Ride: Expedition Everest or Hyperspace Mountain (Star Tours is a close third!)
    Table Service Restaurant: Homecoming, Le Cellier or Saana
    Character Meal: Plaza Inn at Disneyland for the characters, Tusker House for the food
    Quick Service Restaurant: Peco's Bills at Magic Kingdom
    Nighttime Show: World of Colour at DCA or Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular at DHS

    The one that isn't Chewbacca is my fiance, Luke. He's originally from Manitoba, Canada, but has lived in Alberta even longer than I have. He's the chef in our house, so he gets a lot of the say in where we eat on each trip (which I'm perfectly fine with!). He loves reading about Disney hacks, and considers himself to be very knowledgeable about Disney parks.

    Luke's favourites:
    Park: Disneyland
    Ride: Star Tours (because it has so much re-ride value)
    Table Service Restaurant:
    Character Meal: Tusker House
    Quick Service Restaurant: Earl of Sandwich
    Nighttime Show: Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular

    We share our home with our two cats, our two dogs and seven degus.

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    I love our little fur family!​
     
  2. fallonkendra

    fallonkendra DIS Veteran

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  4. fallonkendra

    fallonkendra DIS Veteran

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    So, I should probably explain the title of this report.

    Let's start with the easy one - I turn 30 next January, and where better to have a birthday than at Disney?! I look forward to starting my next decade off right :)

    Next, the marathon. Luke started running a few years before we met, but maxed out at the half marathon distance back in 2013. He was mainly running 10k's over the past few years, so we went to WDW in January 2016 so he could run the 10km there as part of race weekend. We were both impressed by runDisney, and he was so inspired by watching other runners that he decided to push himself and aim for his first ever full marathon. He decided to aim for the January 2018 race, giving himself lots of time to train properly and not push himself too hard too fast. We were supposed to head to Disneyland at some point in 2017 so he could run a half marathon there, but then we ended up back in Florida this past January for race weekend, where Luke was scheduled to run the half. As everyone knows, that ended up being cancelled due to weather, but Disney offered to allow transfer of his registration to another race - so we are heading back to California in November so he can run the Avenger's half marathon. The aim was still for a full marathon next January, so we've been planning that trip now for over a year (and it's still almost a year away!).

    On our trip to Florida last month, Luke actually proposed to me one day while we were in Animal Kingdom, my favourite park :love:. So now we are planning an extended trip in January so we can have a Disney wedding!
     
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  5. Raeven

    Raeven Happiest Haunt

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    Yay a Disney wedding! :cheer2:
     
  6. fallonkendra

    fallonkendra DIS Veteran

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    Why a Disney wedding?

    We had discussed marriage in the past, and we knew we didn't want to drag an engagement out forever, so as soon as we returned back to Canada we started planning. Our first major decision had to be location - and not just a venue, but what province would we get married in? We live together in Alberta, but are originally from New Brunswick and Manitoba - it's quite far apart. We have very few family members in Alberta, just my mom and one of my uncles, so no matter what we decided, people would be looking at traveling.

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    I threw out the idea of a Disney wedding, since I had looked into them before we got engaged. Luke was unsure about if we could afford it or not, but once we sat down and looked at the number, we realized we could make it happen. But, in order to make it happen, it would have to be one of the smaller options - either Memories or Escape. Memories only allows a max of 4 guests at your ceremony, which would have been really difficult to narrow down. Escape has a maximum of 18 guests allowed which gave us a bit more wiggle room, while still giving us an excuse to keep things small. We knew we wanted a smaller wedding, but if we had gone with a wedding in New Brunswick (really, my only other choice besides Disney), we would have ended up with over 100 guests since I have such a large extended family. No thank you! We ran the idea past our parents, and they all seemed to know we would be having a Disney wedding before we even knew ourselves. So, once they were on board with the travel, we made the rest of our guest list. It's only immediate family and our closest friends, which sounds perfect to me.

    I can't even officially book anything with Disney until April, so I won't have our actual wedding date until then. I'm so happy with our decision though, it just feels like us! Plus, I'm in a few local wedding groups on facebook, and I can't see myself planning a traditional wedding at all - I just don't care that much about tablecloths and chair covers and types of flowers. I look forward to just giving Disney my money and showing up on the day of with everything taken care of.
     
  7. fallonkendra

    fallonkendra DIS Veteran

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    Yay! You're here, and you're first!
     
  8. Raeven

    Raeven Happiest Haunt

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    A small Disney wedding sounds perfect! That's actually what I want to do too when the time comes.
     
  9. fallonkendra

    fallonkendra DIS Veteran

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    Wedding Theme and Colours

    When I graduated high school, my prom dress was actually rainbow coloured - we won it on eBay since I couldn't find what I wanted in stores, and didn't want to spend $500+ on a dress I would wear once.
    Prom dresss.PNG

    I've had just about every colour you can imagine in my hair - black, brown, blonde, pink, blue, orange, red, purple... I think you get the point that I like bright colours haha. So, naturally, I want lots of bright pops of colour at my wedding. (Don't worry, I don't plan on wearing a rainbow dress or anything).

    There's one Disney movie that actually showcases all of the colours I want:

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    And the best part? This movie is in my top 5 Disney movies! So, we're going with an Up/rainbow theme. I've asked the females in our wedding party to wear black full-length dresses (and they are open to buy whatever they'd like, as long as they are comfortable in it, and it's not a structured fabric like satin - I want it more flowy), and then I plan on bringing the colour into it with their flowers, shoes and jewelry. I figure they will be able to wear a black maxi-dress again at some point, so it won't just sit in a closet for years until they donate it (like a lot of bridesmaids dresses), and I'm paying for their jewelry and flowers.

    I'm hoping to get some different coloured Mickey balloons for the wedding to use for pictures and as reception decorations.

    For shoes, I know I won't feel comfortable in heels all day, and two of the girls have never wore heels (to my knowledge), so I decided I wanted flats. I actually love the idea of coloured Converse sneakers (or any type of canvas sneaker).

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    Coloured Converse are proving difficult to find in Canada! These are the exact colours I want too! So if anyone knows where I can get these, please let me know!

    I plan on each girl in the wedding party having her own colour for shoes, bouquet, etc - but it's proving to be tough to get everyone to tell me the colour they want. I'll probably just end up assigning the colours myself. I'm pretty sure I want blue shoes for myself, since it will cover my "something blue" for the day, and Luke mentioned black ones for himself. This is also part of the reason I asked for full-length dresses - you won't immediately see the sneakers on everyone's feet.


     
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  10. Raeven

    Raeven Happiest Haunt

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    Love the colored Converse idea!
     
  11. iheartbelle87

    iheartbelle87 DIS Veteran

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    Hi I'm joining along! I turn 30 in December, right before you do! EEEk... IDK how I feel about this but I guess there no going back, right? :rolleyes1 Your fur babies are so so cute btw!

    And a Disney wedding?! DH and I wanted to do this, but his family crushed the idea.... so anyway, we did have a really small wedding as well (43 people) and went on a Disneymoon. It was amazing and I can't wait to hear all about the details!
     
  12. fallonkendra

    fallonkendra DIS Veteran

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    Thanks! And thank you for the link for Converse! I think my maid of honor is going to order some and ship them to her mom's in the States.

    I think I'm ok with turning 30...we'll see how I actually feel as it gets closer!

    I'm so happy with our decision to have a Disney wedding! We'll probably take a separate Disneymoon later in the year, since we'll be with family during our wedding trip.
     
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  13. fallonkendra

    fallonkendra DIS Veteran

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    Marathon Weekend!

    An important part of our trip is now set - race registration opened today! Luke and I are both now registered for the 5k on January 4, 2018, and Luke is registered for his first ever full marathon on January 7, 2018! This was the entire reason for our trip in the first place (the wedding was more of a "hey, we're going to be there at that time anyway...").

     
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  14. fallonkendra

    fallonkendra DIS Veteran

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    315 days until Disney
    255 days until Fastpass
    135 days until ADR's

    Accommodations

    Our DVC Rental for our trip has finally gone through, and we have already paid in full for it! This will be the longest trip yet for Luke and I - we have a studio villa booked at Old Key West for 11 nights! We absolutely loved OKW during our 5 night stay there this past January, and are really looking forward to getting back there again. ​

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    Initially, I really wanted to stay in one of the Boardwalk area resorts, but they can be difficult to rent points for, and to book direct through Disney was out of our price range. We also wanted to be at the same resort as most of our family, and Old Key West is the most cost-effective DVC - so it just made sense to go back there. Our wedding guests already have 3 more rooms reserved at OKW besides the one Luke and I have booked (although no one else is going for as long as we are).

    So, our dates are now set - January 2-13, 2018 :)
     
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  15. fallonkendra

    fallonkendra DIS Veteran

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    The Wedding Party (and other updates)

    Despite having a very small wedding, I've asked three of my friends to stand with me on my wedding day, and so far all of them are completely in for traveling to Florida with us! I'm so excited to visit Disney with these three girls, I know we'll make so many memories on this trip :lovestruc

    First up is my maid of honor, Ashley. We met in the summer of 2007, when we were both working as summer students in the oil sands of northern Alberta. We immediately bonded over our mutual love of 90’s boy bands. We were 19, dumb and made so many memories that summer that we decided to do it all over again the next summer! We even went and got matching Industrial piercings in our ears that second summer… Eventually, I made the permanent move to Alberta in April 2010, and we were both living back in Fort McMurray again when we decided to move to Edmonton together that summer – where we’ve both been ever since. I had the privilege of standing up as Ashley’s maid of honor at her wedding in 2015, so now it’s her turn to do the same for me!
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    Next, is my bridesmaid Steph. I met Steph in our first year of university, back in 2006. We were living in the same residence – and would have had a bunch of classes together if I had actually went to class… I like to think I’m her “bad influence” friend – Steph held my hand while I got three out of four of my tattoos, and I held her hand when she got her second set of holes in her ears and her belly button pierced. We lived together (along with five guys) for eight months in 2008-2009 – and without her I would have never survived that experience…

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    And last, but certainly not least, is my other bridesmaid Lauren. I first met Lauren in my second year of university, in 2007 – except I refused to believe her name was actually Lauren, and kept insisting it was Julia. We quickly became friends, and went on our fair share of adventures (all of which have photographic evidence, and are quite enjoyable to look through). I’m never bored when she’s around – Lauren can always come up with the best party themes! It’s just too bad our days as a songwriting duo never panned out…

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    [​IMG]

    Ashley and I both live in Alberta, but Stephanie is currently living in Ontario and Lauren is living in Nova Scotia. Ashley has never even met the other two girls, and won't do so until we're all in Florida for the wedding. I haven't seen Steph since 2014, and Lauren since 2015 so I can't wait to see them again, the three of us always had hilarious times when we were together!

    Right now, Luke's side of the wedding party is not fully set, but it will be mixed gender. I believe his sister Jill is going to be his best woman, and his friend Lisa a groomsmaid (I think those are the proper terms for that?). We're still waiting to hear back if his friend Devin will be able to make it to the wedding - if he can, he will be the other groomsman.

    I decided to have all the females in the wedding party dress similar, so as I mentioned above, I asked them all to buy a full-length black flowy dress. I knew there would never be a chance to get everyone together to go dress shopping (my girls live in 3 different provinces, and Luke's sister lives in Manitoba - so that means our wedding party is spread across four different provinces...), so I've completely left it up to them to get their dress. In order to differentiate my side of the wedding party from Luke's, my plan is to have my three girls carry bouquets of flowers, while the girls on Luke's side will wear wrist corsages.

    I've asked the girls to send me a picture once they actually purchase their dress, so I can start buying their jewelry. It will be costume jewelry, and I'm leaning towards something brightly coloured and chunky (but it will depend on the neckline of their dress). I might even end up making it myself - it's been years, but I used to make my own jewelry all the time.

    In addition to a room being booked at Old Key West for Luke and I for 11 nights, my dad now has a room at OKW booked for 7 nights, and so does Luke's mom and sister (both using rented DVC points). Ashley has a room booked for 5 nights at OKW (also on rented DVC points). Everyone else is dragging their feet and can't decide where they want to stay...

    Disney offered a Canadian discount on tickets last fall, and we were able to save quite a bit of money on our park tickets for this past January. It just recently came to our attention that these tickets don't actually expire (we were under the assumption they had to be used by December 31st, 2017 same as the Disneyland discounted tickets), and the offer to purchase them was just extended out to May 20th. I've created a spreadsheet showing the cost savings, and we've been encouraging everyone to purchase their tickets before the offer expires. It's a huge savings! I purchased one of the annual passes that can be used at both Disneyland and DisneyWorld at the end of January, so I'm covered for park tickets, but we'll be buying Luke's within the next month or so (we just purchased his Disneyland ones for our upcoming trip in November).

    A few weeks back, I hit a patch of ice and slid into a ditch with my car. I wasn't going very fast, but I landed on a broken tree in the ditch which caused a lot of damage to the underside of my car and it ended up being written off. So now, I need to buy a new car and go back to having a car payment (my car that I wrote off was fully paid for, I just had to pay insurance/gas each month). So that will eventually hurt our wedding budget a bit....​
     
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2017
  16. ariane37

    ariane37 Dis veteran

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    I didn't realize you started this!! Coming back soon to catch up :surfweb:
     
  17. missjackiemcg

    missjackiemcg DIS Veteran

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    Ooooh, this is all very exciting!!! :) We just celebrated our vow renewal with the Memories package, and keeping it to only 4 guests was definitely hard, so I understand why you went up to the next level. You will LOVE working with Disney Fairytale Weddings!!! Waiting to reserve that was the hardest part!!! Once I had it booked, I LOVED all my interactions with them. They were SO accommodating and gave me lots of excellent options for flowers, music, and more. I added on Mickey balloons for our pictures, too, which turned out so beautifully (you'll see in my TR!) :) Have you considered adding on a private photo session? We didn't even know that was an option until I started talking with my coordinator. She had me all psyched up for a private Magic Kingdom session and I had even picked out our 3 locations in the park and started contacting someone to do my hair and make up when -------BAM!-------disappointment. Our dates were blocked out because it was too close to Christmas and they don't do any photo sessions in the parks during that time. Booo :( I was so sad!! BUT you might be in luck because after Christmas, I hear the dates open right back up. It would have been TOTALLY worth the expense, in my opinion!

    Can't wait to hear more about your plans :)

    AND

    I am signed up for the 5 and 10K in January, too!
     
  18. fallonkendra

    fallonkendra DIS Veteran

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    Yay! You're here!



    I know! I just want to book my date now! I can call in 2 weeks to hopefully put the date I want on hold, but I know the next two weeks will drag by....


    I need to go get caught up on your TR! How much were they, if you don't mind me asking? I've seen varying price points for them....



    I want a Magic Kingdom portrait session SO BAD, but I really don't think we can fit it into our budget at this point... We can always do an anniversary shoot in the future :)

    Yay! Hopefully I'll get to meet you!
     
  19. missjackiemcg

    missjackiemcg DIS Veteran

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    The balloons were really affordable. The play Mickey latex ones (without that clear plastic bubble around them) were only $8.50 each. To have the bubble around them was a few dollars more. I ordered three and they ended up bringing us 4. It was very easy because they were delivered with our flowers. The only tricky thing was having someone carry them around or hold onto them while we were taking pics without them.

    Yay for DisMeets! :)
     
  20. fallonkendra

    fallonkendra DIS Veteran

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    So affordable! I told Luke the cost of those, and he's excited now too! Thanks for the information!
     
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  21. fallonkendra

    fallonkendra DIS Veteran

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    260 Days until WDW
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    :eek:

    Updates and other Wedding Stuff

    So, I bought my dress back in February! I really want to post a picture of it here, but Luke does read my reports on the Disboards and he doesn't want to see it before the wedding. Boo! Maybe I'll ask him to not read this PTR :) Actually - I ended up buying 2 dresses o_O - I loved one but everyone that was with me loved another one. Luckily, I was buying them off the rack as-is, so I still managed to stay under my budget with both of them. The one I love requires zero alterations (although I do have a few planned haha), and the other one just needs a few minor things done to it. They are currently hanging in the spare closet at my mom's house, I sometimes just go up and stare at them when I'm over there haha. I plan on trying them on again next weekend to make a final decision on which one to keep, and the other one will more than likely be posted for sale.

    I've always said that one of the most important things to me on my wedding day was photography. Decades down the road, we may not remember what we ate at our reception or what songs played that day, but we will still have our pictures to look at. That said, I've known for a few years who I wanted to do my wedding pictures - and Luke was totally on board since she's awesome. Within an hour of getting engaged, we had messaged Melissa asking if she would be our photographer (we hadn't even talked about locations or dates yet, but we knew she had to be there) - she was so excited! Melissa and I actually lived together for awhile, we were both friends of a friend who was a landlord, so we were strangers when we moved in together. Now, she's going to be travelling to Florida with us to be there on our wedding day! She gave us an amazing "friends" discount on her Destination Wedding Package to lower the price a bit, and we just had to pay for her hotel for 2 nights and her flight there. It sounds like a lot, but it basically works out to about the same as hiring an Orlando local photographer for the day once you factor in the US-CAD exchange rate. So, Melissa has already secured her room by renting DVC points at Old Key West (and is staying for 5 nights, 3 of which she is paying herself because she wants to go to Disney haha), and we've paid about 40% of her fee already. I'm so excited, because instead of a typical 6 hour wedding day package, she's providing us with full day coverage (getting ready, wedding, reception, etc)! She won't be bringing all of her lenses/attachments to the parks with us each day, but she will more than likely have her awesome camera with her as well, so I'm sure she will have amazing pictures from that (I don't believe she's ever been to Disney either, so I know she's going to have a blast!). This is her website, Bespoke Photography you should definitely check her out - and if you're getting married, she will travel anywhere!

    We are going with the Escape package through Disney, which does include photography coverage for the wedding ceremony. I've already talked to them, and since we are bringing our own photographer with us, we are able to switch the Disney photographer to either coverage for our dessert party or to a resort shoot on another day. We've decided to use them for our dessert party, since they will be familiar with Illuminations and when to take the best fireworks-in-the-background pictures for us. This way, Melissa can just relax and enjoy the dessert party as one of our guests :)

    I can't officially book our Escape package with Disney until the 8 month mark, which is in May, but I was talking to a lady with Disney Fairytale Weddings and the date/time/location we want is still available and we are penciled in for it. Now to just wait another few weeks to receive confirmation of it!

    My maid of honor went and tried on dresses, and ordered one. It's beautiful, I can't wait to see it on her in person! (She went shopping with her husband, and he was sending me pictures the entire time haha). Now to get the other girls in the wedding party to buy theirs (but there's still lots of time, so I'm not worried just yet...).

    Sorry for no pictures in this post! I'll be back soon with another post about our possible ADR list...
     
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