Brittany & Francisco's Planning Journal - June 20, 2021 WP/II/AAR

Brittany Fata

Jul 13, 2018
Hi everyone!

I've always loved reading everyone's planning journals and after being in a funk of wedding planning (thanks covid 🙄), I thought creating a planning journal might be a nice way to get excited about planning again.

Quick background on us, Francisco and I met about 6 years ago when we did the DCP and got engaged on August 16, 2019 at Beaches & Cream (one of our first and favorite date spots).


We were originally set to be married on November 29, 2020 at the Wedding Pavilion; however, we made the decision about a month ago to postpone to June 20, 2021. When we originally postponed things were slowly starting to look better in our home state (New York) and Florida still seemed to be doing okay. With the increasing cases in Florida, I'm definitely starting to getting worried that our June date still might not be in the clear. A Disney wedding is something I've dreamed about for awhile and we both agreed that if we have to postpone again to make sure we get the full experience we will. My confidence in our new date changes almost daily and lately I haven't had much inspiration to plan. However, with this planning journal I hope to stay focused on the fun and exciting things about planning a wedding and keep the covid talk to a minimum.

Excited to share with you all!!
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Brittany Fata

Jul 13, 2018
Guest List, Budget and Venues:

Before I get into the fun details of wedding planning, I wanted to go back to beginning.

Since the beginning of our relationship, we always knew we wanted to get married at Disney. Having met Francisco at Disney, I just couldn't picture us getting married anywhere else. We also felt that Florida was a nice middle ground for our families. Francisco's family is from Puerto Rico and mine is from New York. Having our wedding at Disney made it so that both families had to travel instead of just one.

There was a time I was not sure if we could realistically afford a DFTW wedding, especially with our large families. I think everyone knows that the easiest way to save money on a wedding is limiting your guest list, but that was a very difficult task for us. If we invited everyone our parents wanted us to we could have easily been at 250 plus guests. After purchasing Carrie's Fairytale Wedding Guide and playing around with her budget sheet in the back, we knew realistically we could afford 150 max (and even that is kind of pushing it 🤫). To avoid any conflict or hurt feelings amongst our parents we split our guest list in half and luckily we were able to create a list that everyone was happy and comfortable with 🥳!

Even harder than the guest list was deciding our time of day and our venues. After reading Carrie's book, browsing the venues on her website and listening to her podcast, I probably had like 10 different dream weddings in my mind. Our large guest list narrowed those options down pretty fast. I think finding a venue was one of the most discouraging parts at first because all of the venues I originally loved could not accommodate our group size.

The easiest venue to decide was for our ceremony. While I always dreamt of getting married at SeaBreeze Point since the Boardwalk area is so special to us, the uncertainty of the weather and our guest size eliminated that pretty quickly. Also you just can't go wrong with the Wedding Pavilion. Every picture I've seen of it is stunning. I can't wait to walk down the aisle and see the castle in the background.

I'm the type of person who checks the weather daily (and sometimes hourly) before a trip, so I knew that having my entire reception outdoors was just not good a idea for my sanity. With our guest count the that left the following reception venues to choose from:
  • Pretty much any of the ballrooms
  • Atlantic Dance Hall
  • California Grill (Main Dining Room)
  • American Adventure Rotunda
I was pretty obsessed with AAR after seeing pictures of so many beautiful weddings there, I also loved how the cocktail hour is held at Italy Isola during fireworks. I knew I definitely wanted to incorporate fireworks into my day somehow. I was a little nervous budget wise it might be out of reach so for awhile I was planning to do a brunch reception and a dessert party later in the evening. If we did brunch we would have used the GF ballrooms as while I loved the view at California Grill, it just didn't give me a traditional wedding vibe.

A HUGE concern of mine was and continues to be the food. I come from a very traditional Italian family from NY where the food, specifically cocktail hour is usually the highlight of the wedding. While the cost of a plate in NY/NJ is comparable to the price at Disney, the amount of food you get is significantly less. For this reason, I was leaning towards brunch. I thought with it being something totally different my family wouldn't have anything to compare the food too. I also liked the idea of being able to create two menus (one for brunch and one for the DP).

If I am being honest, I still feel that doing a Brunch/DP is the best bang for your buck. When I would dream up my menu, I also got most excited for the brunch food. At the end of the day though, I just didn't love the idea of my reception being in a ballroom and I kept staring at pictures of the AAR. Every time I pictured my first dance or surprising my guests with Mickey & Minnie, I always envisioned it happening in the AAR. After going back and forth daily for a month and annoying the crap out of my family, we ultimately chose the AAR for the unique experience of it. Although don't be surprised if I change my mind again before the wedding actually happens :laughing:.

Up next...the dress and a peak into my Up inspired engagement party (which took place pre covid)

Brittany Fata

Jul 13, 2018
The Dress

Wedding dress shopping was one of the things I was most excited for, it also happened to be a really quick process! When I first created my dream board I knew I wanted a ball gown and something that sparkled. I had pinned several dresses by Maggie Sottero, Eve of Milady & Randy Fenoli.

I had grown up watching Say Yes to the Dress so I always wanted to go to Kleinfelds. However I had heard from some friends that the experience could be overwhelming. I decided to make an appointment at a smaller bridal salon first so that I had some experience trying on dresses. It was a lovely shop called Paisley Bridal in Queens and I tried on about 5 or so dresses. This really helped me narrow down my silhouette and they had some great options.

The next day we went to Kleinfelds. There was a specific Randy Fenoli design that I had been eyeing and was convinced would be my dress. I had even called Kleinfelds in advance of my visit to make sure they had it available to try on. I recommend doing this for any dress you may want as sometimes the inventory in stores is not the same as online.
My consultant Judith, who was amazing, had me try on a few other gowns before putting me in Randy's (the idea was to save the best for last). When I finally put on Randy's dress I was extremely disappointed, it was not flattering on me at all. I started to feel defeated as I felt everything I tried on either was not what I enviosioned or was not sparkly enough. Judith said she had a dress in mind and left the room to get it. When she came back she joked she did not want to hear me say it didn't sparkle enough! To top it off it had the most gorgeous bow on the back. It was MY dress. I also got to meet the designer, Pnina Tornai, where she told me I was the first real bride to ever try on this dress!! It was absolutely magical.

I apologize for the sideways pictures...I can't for the life of me figure out how to rotate them...

If you haven't gone dress shopping yet I really recommend you listen to your consultant. They do this for a living and know their stuff. So many dresses I thought I would love ended up not being right for me and a dress I didn't even have on my radar ended up being perfect.
  • Eeyore daily

    DIS Veteran
    Feb 26, 2019
    Congratulations! The wedding seems lovely. I love your dress by the way. The sparkles are perfect for a Disney wedding :love:


    Earning My Ears
    Feb 27, 2019
    Wow, that dress is STUNNING! To me, it's the dress the Fairy Godmother would conjure for Cinderella if she were getting married this century.
  • Brittany Fata

    Jul 13, 2018
    Our Up Inspired Engagement Party

    After we got engaged my lovely parents wanted to throw us an engagement party. I am a really detail oriented person and I actually love to plan parties. I'm all about the tiny details, so I knew I wanted the party to have a theme.

    Up is one of our favorite movies and after browsing Pinterest, I felt there was so much we could do with this theme. We chose a local Italian restaurant near the water to host the party. It has great big windows, so I liked that the restaurant would have a lot of natural light.

    I wanted to share some of our Up inspired touches as I feel it is a great theme for a wedding or engagement party!

    For the centerpieces, Francisco and I purchased bird houses from Michaels and painted them in similar colors to the Up house. On the day of the event, we tied balloons to each house. We also used these houses on the cake table and the entry table. We purchased clear glass soda bottles from Michaels and had a personalized grape soda label created from an Etsy shop. We used these bottles to add some colorful flowers throughout the event.


    For our guest book (and also to have something fun for the guests) we purchased an Adventure Book. Using polaroid cameras our guests were able to take pictures and place them in our guest book with some lovely notes for us. Everyone seemed to enjoy this, especially the little ones who kept going around taking pictures of everyone.


    Another place I incorporated the theme was our cake. I had seen a similar cake on Pinterest (the couple had a used sprinkles to bring in the colors from the balloons). I thought it was such a nice idea and to add my own touch, we asked the baker to mimic the hand prints of Carl and Ellie's mail box. The cake topper was also purchased on Etsy.

    For our cake flavors we chose chocolate chip pancake for the bottom tier and coquito for the top tier. For those who do not know coquito is a traditional Christmas drink from Puerto Rico (where DF is from). When Francisco saw this flavor on the bakery's list he insisted we have it. Turns out the bakery only makes this flavor seasonally as the coquito they use to infuse the cake with is only available to purchase from their supplier during the holidays. With our engagement party being in October they said they wouldn't be able to make the cake. Francisco, determined to have this flavor, made his own coquito and dropped it off at the bakery a few days before for them to use.


    Other touches we added were our initials in Disney font, a picture board and our original Disney name tags.


    For the favors my mom had purchased Mickey and Minnie luggage tags!


    It was a really beautiful day and balloons make a really fun photo prop!


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