Anne & Robert's Wishes Wedding - May 2020 SBP/France Pavilion

Anne W.

Earning My Ears
Mar 25, 2019
Hi everyone!! I have been looking at other people's planning journals for months now and I have loved reading about everyone's experiences, plans, and unique ideas :yay: I know it's a little bit late to begin a planning journal, but I hope you all enjoy this anyway!!

About Us - How We Met, Going to WDW, and Getting Engaged!
First things first - a little bit about me and my fiance, Robert. We both lived at the same apartment complex two years ago and met one day in the pool. Robert was home for just one day between work trips and I was taking a break from studying for the bar exam. We went on our first date that night, and the rest was history!

We went on our first Disney World trip together in September 2018. Robert hadn't been since he was 7 or 8, while I am a big Disney World fan (this is a significant understatement - I may or may not have a slightly unhealthy obsession with all things Disney). We stayed at Bay Lake Tower at the Contemporary Resort for 2 nights, and by the end of our stay, Robert was trying to figure out how to extend it by a few more days. If I hadn't already been in love with him at this point, I think I would this would have sent me over the edge!! :love:

A few months (and WDW trips later), we went to the Disney Fairytale Weddings Showcase in March 2019. I have always wanted a Disney World wedding and just wanted to find out some more information, so we went (with my Disney-obsessed parents) on a mission to get as much information about Disney weddings as we possible could.

Side note - if you haven't been to the Showcase yet, do yourself a HUGE favor and GO!!!!!!! It is a blast, food is great, decor is amazing, etc.

All of this occurred before we were "officially" engaged, on May 4, 2019. Robert picked the diamond out himself, designed the ring, and had it made. We went to Magnolia Plantation in Charleston, SC, and he popped the questions by one of the bridges! We were alone, it was quiet, and perfect. My only regret was nobody was around to capture the moment, but it made it super special just keeping the moment between us!

DFTW Coordinator Planning, Venues, and Site Visit
As soon as we got engaged, we contacted Diane, a DFTW Coordinator (who is excellent, by the way) we met at the Showcase, and asked about our desired locations, dates, times, etc. Our ideal date was May 9, 2020, our ideal ceremony location was Sea Breeze Point (after seeing it at the Showcase with the chiavari chairs and candles along the aisle, we were hooked), and our ideal reception location was somewhere in World Showcase. We wanted a 5 pm ceremony with a 6 pm cocktail hour and reception that ended up ending around 10 pm, after fireworks!

We had our site visit the WEEKEND AFTER we got engaged, so we were moving very, very quickly! We met up with Diane at the Boardwalk and she took us to SBP and then to backstage Epcot, where we toured around venues before WS was open!! Such a cool experience. Diane showed us Italy Isola, Terrace des Fleurs, Eau de France, and the Living Seas as our rain back-up location. We preferred the France Pavilion to Italy, although Italy is gorgeous, plus we found out we could get both Terrace and Eau for under $800!! Then we checked out the Attic (which is adorable) for our rehearsal dinner.

We also asked for a theme park portrait session to be schedule 2 days after our wedding. Our preferred date was May 11, and our preferred theme park was Epcot! Diane said we would be confirmed for the theme park portrait session around the same time as our date confirmation, so we would be good on that.

That same day, Diane put in our date/location/portrait session requests, and we were confirmed as of May 14, 2019 :cool1:

Italy Isola (during our Jan 2020 trip)
Terrace des Fleurs/partial view of Eau de France

We also went to a Magic Kingdom After Hours event during this quick trip!! Worth the hard ticket price for sure. Robert hadn't ever met Rapunzel before, so we got some marital advice from her before riding everything and picking up our free Mickey's Premium bars!

Letter of Agreement, (Dreaded) Room Block, and Meeting Our Planning Team
We were sad to leave Diane behind, but she had some exciting legal contracts to send our way, so we weren't finished with her just yet! We received our Letter of Agreement and Planning Session Information forms on May 29. Our October 29, 2019 planning session was confirmed, which was super exciting, and we had out LOI sent out about an hour after receiving it.

We put down our $4,000 down payment (ouch) and we were given information for... THE ROOM BLOCK. Y'all, the room block is a complicated mess of planning. We ended up with 3 resorts: Boardwalk, Coronado Springs, and Pop Century, since CS and PC were being refurbished and would be completed by May 2020. Both hotels look AMAZING now, so we're super happy with our initial decision!! We ended up dropping Boardwalk because we decided that maybe only 2 of our guests would end up staying there, and we didn't want to be held liable for outstanding room nights ($400-$500 per night, no thanks!!)

SO my advice for the room block situation - don't fill everything out too quickly, and really think about where people might stay. Remember that YOU get stuck with the bill if you don't meet your minimum or have too many rooms left over! HOWEVER, I feel like I should add that if some of your guests end up staying on Disney property outside of your room block, those rooms do count towards your minimum, but not your free nights. The same goes for DVC rooms - we have quite a few family members staying on points at Animal Kingdom Lodge, so we were able to receive "credit" for those rooms for purposes of the room block. Our minimum was 44, we're at 36 within our room block, but including those DVC rooms, we are at 51, so we're good!!

The room block excitement took about a week (and we ended up adding more rooms about 2 months ago) and then Diane handed us over to our planning team! We have Pamela as our Planner, and cannot say enough good things about her. She is super responsive, loves Disney (she was a Disney bride a few years ago), and just wants to make our day as perfect as possible!! Diane let us know she highly recommended Pamela when we met at the Showcase, so we ended up requesting her when we first spoke with Diane. Just a tip for anyone who is in the beginning stages of planning!!

Next up... the gown, our planning session, and some BEO info!
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Anne W.

Earning My Ears
Mar 25, 2019
Saying Yes to the Dress!
My mom surprised me with an appointment at Kleinfeld in August to start looking for the perfect wedding dress! My bridesmaids joined us and we made the trek from North Carolina to NYC. Kleinfeld was amazing and exactly how it looks on the show! My consultant was Dianne and she ended up finding my dress for me after I tried on 5 or 6. It's definitely the perfect dress for a Disney wedding! I won't post a picture on here just in case, but will post plenty after the wedding! :blush:

Pamela sent us a whole checklist/planning packet to complete before our Planning Session. Robert and I had discussed everything we wanted ahead of time, so we were well prepared to tackle the planning packet, make our tasting selections, and decide what we definitely wanted and what was just nice to have.

In October, we made our way back down to WDW for our Planning Session and menu tasting!! Robert was definitely most excited for our menu tasting, and my parents, who came along with us, were most excited for the cake tasting (and wine tasting that we ended up having during our menu tasting!)

We met Pamela at Franck's, which is the most beautiful little planning studio, and we went into one of the rooms where she gave us some coffee and we sat down to go over EVERYTHING. We discussed number of guests, our venues, how the day would go, and set up a whole schedule. Karen, our floral consultant/planner, came in to discuss decor, chairs, and other elements. We decided on all white flowers (I know, a little boring, but we both love a clean, simple look) with lots of greenery and metallic accents. Here are a few of the things we chose:
  • Bouquets: mine will be all white with peonies, hydrangeas, and garden roses with some lush greenery. Robert will have a single white peony, the guys will have small clusters of babies breath, and the bridesmaids/MOH will have large bouquets of babies breath.
  • Mahogany chiavari chairs in SBP
  • Aisle decor to include clear vases with candles, white peonies, white hydrangea, white garden roses, and a lot of lush greenery
  • Two large bronze vases with white flowers and lots of greens as our altar decor
  • Regular round tables with white table cloths and black napkins at the reception (cocktail hour on Terrace with some high-tops and small round tables and dinner on Eau)
  • Gold vineyard chairs for Terrace/Eau
  • Clear bubble bowls with white hydrangea bouquets and greenery on all tables, with some candles scattered around table (not real candles!)
  • Fairy lights in the planters on Terrace
Once we were finished with floral and decor, Pamela discussed what some of our additional options could be (before moving on to cake!!!) Here are some extra things we included:
  • Vintage car (we wanted the old white Cadillac outside of GF, but it no longer runs, so we went with the white Rolls Royce)
  • 8-hour photography package
  • Keyboardist upgrade at ceremony
  • Mickey's Premium Bars during the reception
  • Mickey Rice Krispy treats as little favors
  • Soarin' ride mix-in after fireworks!!
  • Epcot portrait session extended time (an extra hour than the normal 1-1.5 hours)
I included only the things we ended up keeping, but our list was short anyway so we luckily didn't have to leave anything out that we really wanted!! We were moving along pretty quickly, and before we knew it, it was time for CAKE! Since everything else is turning into a list, here are our cake tasting selections below!
  • Churro cake
  • Almond cake
  • Marble cake
  • Chocolate cake
  • Vanilla cake
  • Buttercream
  • Raspberry mousse
  • Milk chocolate mousse
  • Caramel mousse
  • Dark chocolate mousse

We chose two flavors: churro cake with vanilla buttercream & almond cake with caramel mousse. Our cake will just be three tiers, smooth white buttercream with some fresh flowers scattered all over the cake!

So after we made our selections, Pamela gave us a little (much needed) break until we had to meet her back at Franck's to go to the Epcot kitchen for our menu tasting at 2:30 pm!! Since everyone needed a drink, we walked over to GF and went to Enchanted Rose. If you haven't been there yet, it is so worth going out of your way to have a drink or snack!!

THE MENU!!! :cool1: So this was probably my favorite part of the whole experience. We tried EVERYTHING that ended up on our menu, and everyone was super nice and accommodating even though we were there in the middle of Food & Wine. Pamela drove us to backstage Epcot and we walked into the main WS kitchen, where there was a table waiting for us with different napkin folds. We were greeted by Chef Eggie who took the time to really get to know us and ask about our tastes, what we liked, what we didn't like, etc. Our waiter/bartender, Warren, was really attentive and hilarious, and we ended up requesting him to work our rehearsal dinner and reception!!

So before I get to the menu, my mom asked Warren if there was any way we could get some wine or champagne with our meal and he said that while they don't typically offer that with tastings, he could make an exception. He brought out TWO bottles of Prosecco, which was delicious, and we ended up asking to have that Prosecco as our toasting "champagne" before our cake cutting!!! Okay, now back to the menu... here's what we selected (first 3 are for our cocktail hour):
  • Bacon wrapped scallops with Thai sweet chili sugar glaze
  • Pimento cheese deviled egg-filled mini cone with bacon, red pepper jam, candied jalapeño, and parmesan frico
  • Cheeseburger spring rolls with curry tomato cream
  • Caprese salad (so we tried a basic one BUT we are going to have it put in plastic cones so it's a little more unique and fun)
  • Baby carrots, tri-color cauliflower and broccoli
  • Roasted French-cut chicken breast stuffed with prosciutto, spinach, and fontina cheese with fire roasted tomato coulis
  • Smoked pork loin medallions with toasted hazelnut and fig relish with lavender honey jus
  • Pan-seared beef striploin with caramelized onion demi (this we chose to be a carving station to add some action to the buffet!!)
  • The thing I was MOST EXCITED FOR: "martini" action station with a choice of Yukon gold potatoes, champagne parmesan risotto, or "grown up" truffle Mac and cheese with a toppings bar to include aged cheddar, chive sour cream, crisp prosciutto, crab gremolata, and lobster meat :worship:

YUMMMM. I am so excited for our reception!!! We also added a package bar throughout the cocktail hour and the reception. We originally chose the medium-tier bar package and wanted to drop it down to the "call brands" but we were told the medium-tier was now the only option other than the premium tier, which we didn't think was necessary to upgrade to!

I'm sure I left some things out, so I will add new things whenever I remember!! Please let me know if y'all have any questions about pricing. I'll include some BEO info in my next post since I wrote too much here already!


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