Thursday, September 19, 2013

Wedding Trip Recap- September 19, 2012

Wednesday we got up early to start our Wedding Party in the Park Day.  We all got ready and my wonderful maid of honor french braided my hair so it would stay out of my face all day.  The the entire wedding party met up outside of the Everything Pop store and we made our way to the Magic Kingdom via bus.  We must have looked like quite the bunch in our matching t-shirts.  But it was also a lot easier to find each other in large crowds!  

Eliot and I wanted to make sure that we got pictures with our wedding party in front of Cinderella Castle.  We were booked to have a Bridal Portrait session with the two of us, but only the bride and groom are allowed to participate in the sessions.  To make the pictures look a little more cohesive, we decided to get everyone custom designed t-shirts.  The girls had bright pink, the guys had lime green and our parents and my grandparents had teal shirts.  All of them had the same design with Tinkerbell on the front, with each of our roles in the wedding on the back along with a castle.

Once everyone got through the main gates, we gathered outside of the City Hall to make sure we had everyone and to pick a time to meet.  We decided to meet up at noon to take pictures in front of the castle.  Then we made our way down Main Street.  We were stopped about halfway down because the Move It! Shake It! Celebrate It! Street Party was making it's way down the street.  We decided to swing over to the sidewalk outside of the Emporium.  Part of our group ended up on the other side of the street, so we got some fun pictures of a few of us dancing along with the music, and the adults watching the parade.  

After the parade went by, we zipped over to the closest PhotoPass photographer on Main Street to take some photos.  We got some cute pictures of Eliot and me in our Bride and Groom t-shirts.

Next, we took a few family photos.  We wanted to get pictures of each family and of the back of our shirts.  We figured this was the best time to do it.  (And the PhotoPass photographers loved our shirts, congratulated us and were all super nice about us taking a million pictures.)

After we were satisfied with our photo shoot, we made our way over to Fantasyland to go on some of the rides.  We got some funny pictures of the girls trying to pull out the sword from the stone.  (Katie was really getting into it!)  We also went as a large group on It's a Small World and had our own boat.  (My family was on another one that was wheelchair accessible for Nana and Papa's chairs.)  Eliot and BJ sat in the back because they were singing and dancing the entire ride.  (The. Entire. Ride.)

A few minutes before noon, we made our way back over towards the castle to take our wedding party photos.  Eliot and I changed into our other outfits: a green polo shirt for him and a white cotton dress with a hot pink ribbon belt for me.  We also had a really cute felt boutonniere for him to wear and I had a felt bouquet with our wedding colors to hold for the photos.  I'd found the bouquet on Etsy from Miss Jennifer Rae and I knew that it would be perfect for our rehearsal and the photos in the park!  They definitely added the perfect touch!  

The PhotoPass photographer was great and allowed us to take multiple shots.  She became our own personal photographer for a few minutes while we took photos with our entire group and then some with just our wedding party.  I'm so glad that we got the custom t-shirts!  The photos came out great!  (Minus the stupid crane in the background working on the New Fantasyland attractions!)

After we were done with the group photos, my family headed back to the hotel to get some rest before our rehearsal in the afternoon.  Mom also had to be in the room when Carolyn Allen's Bridals came to steam my wedding dress.  We decided to take photos of smaller groups of us.

Katie, BJ, Katie, Eliot and I made sure to take a few photos as the self proclaimed Fab Five. (We were the Fab 4 and then BJ met Katie and four officially became five!)  We had been talking about going to Disney together for years so this really was the place "where dreams come true."  We also got some great photos with our other best friends Nico and Anthony. We had also all dreamed of going to Disney together.  It was a great photo op!

Somewhere in the middle of our mini photo sessions, the fire truck came along and the driver asked Eliot and I to come sit on it to take some photos.  So the next thing I know, we had our own private photo session with the fire truck!  I was pretty much in shock.  Then he asked our wedding party and our friends to join us.  It was definitely something special that I've never experienced before!  Disney always adds that extra touch of magic!  

My Dad is a volunteer fire fighter and I was sad that he didn't get to be in the pictures, but the experience was still really special.  (The funny part was that all of the other park guests wanted to get on the fire truck after we got off and the driver wouldn't let them.  He said it was only for the bride and groom.  I guess it really was pretty special!  Thank you nice fire truck driver!)

After we were done with our mini photo sessions, I changed back into my t-shirt and shorts, and we had one more photo shoot with my bridesmaids.  We also got the backs of our shirts.  I love my girls!

The sky had been getting darker and darker the entire time we were taking photos.  We decided to go over to Casey's after the photos and we barely made it before it started to pour.  Sara decided to go dancing in the rain and got completely soaked.  (Although, it had been pretty hot out so I'm sure it was a great way to cool off!)  We all went into Casey's and got something to eat while we waited out the storm.

Rain in Florida usually doesn't last too long and by the time we were finished with our food it had stopped.  After the rain, we hung out around the park for a bit longer and went on the Haunted Mansion and Pirates of the Caribbean a few times.  

Then we made our way back to the front of the park and over towards the monorail to get over to the Grand Floridian and the Wedding Pavilion for our rehearsal.  We lucked out and had a monorail section all to ourselves.  Of course it was another great photo op!  When we got to the Grand Floridian, we were still pretty early so we decided to take some pictures there.

We met up with my family and the rest of our group outside of Franck's Bridal Studio for our Wedding Rehearsal.  We also got to meet Ron, our notary wedding specialist, who was officiating our ceremony.   Christy our Disney Wedding Planner helped us all line up on the stairs of the Wedding Pavilion.  She also showed everyone where they would be standing in line and where the podium was for Katie and Ryan to read their portions of the ceremony.

After a half and hour or so of rehearsing and running through the program, we said goodbye to Christy and Ron and we stayed to take a few more photos with our families.

Katie made sure that we got a few pictures with me and my outfit.  I worked really hard to make my rehearsal outfit unique.  I had hand embroidered beads onto the hot pink ribbon belt so they looked like pearl Mickey heads.  I designed the custom Minnie Mouse shoes that I wore.  Our wedding planner Christy absolutely loved my shoes.  I also had Disney Bride earrings that I custom ordered from Hokey Donut on Etsy.  I was flattered by all of the compliments I got on the details of my outfit.

Then we all went back to Pop Century to get ready for our rehearsal dinner.  We had decided to do the dinner off property.  Eliot's a pretty picky eater and when we had gone down for our Wedding Planning Session in April we had gone to a Golden Corral.  They have a huge buffet with tons of options and Eliot loved it.  So if he liked it, I figured that everyone would find something that they would like.  The only problem was trying to figure out how to get everyone there.  It was a few miles off Disney property and we were very limited with cars.  We had our wedding party, family, and a few friends.  After a few discussions, my mother and I came to the conclusion that we could rent a charter bus.

So, we all met up outside of Pop Century and there it was, a chartered Disney Cruise Line bus with our names on it!  Wow!  When we booked the bus with Mears, I just expected some sort of random bus.  I was pretty excited that it was an actual Disney Cruise bus.  (At the time, Eliot and I had planned on going on a Disney Cruise for our honeymoon so it seemed like fate.)

We enjoyed dinner and afterwards Eliot and I gave out our wedding party and family gifts. Eliot gave all of his groomsmen engraved Swiss Army knives.  I had gotten the girls Mickey Mouse paint splatter handbags.  They loved them.  I thought that they were perfect; they had our wedding colors in them and they were fun and bright.  Perfect for using at Walt Disney World.  Eliot and I had decided to get our parents and my grandparents custom embroidered handkerchiefs from Everything Bling on Etsy.  They were really cute and had our wedding date and Mickey Mouse heads on them in our wedding colors.  (I really wish now that I'd taken a picture of all of them before handing them out.)

After dinner, we all hopped back on the bus to go to Pop.  Eliot and I took a few minutes to gather ourselves in our hotel room before he was leaving to spend the night with BJ and Katie in their hotel room.  (That's another whole story… those boys.  What are we going to do with them?)  Eliot and I had an emotional goodbye and goodnight outside of our room. And then he was off to hang out with the guys for his last evening as a bachelor.

The guys had decided that they were going to take Eliot out after they had a special activity planned.  Apparently, the guys had gone to the Everything Pop store to see if they had a few boxes they could use to "ship some stuff home."  In reality, they cut out eye holes so they could do an old pastime that they called "Box Wars."  I missed out on this, but I guess the idea is that two people wear the boxes and they run at each other and knock each other over.  I don't know.  But Eliot had fun so I guess that's all that matters?

After the Box Wars were over, the guys headed over to the Boardwalk to hang out and have a few drinks.  BJ had gotten Eliot a groom t-shirt and had painted the boutonniere on it into Mickey ears.  They also had him wear a Mickey Groom Ear Hat that they bought him.

Meanwhile, the girls and I were finishing up the rest of our last minute projects.  I had sworn that I was going to make the girls jewelry, but of course I ran out of time with everything else I was putting together.  Lucky for me, I had rockstars for bridesmaids and they dove right in designing and making jewelry.  I ran in between Katie's room (jewelry central station) and my parents room (source of a color printer).  I still had to print out a few things like the tags for the bubbles and the soap favors.  In between, I'd occasionally check in on my Nana.  She was working on doing some last minute alterations on Sara's dress while guarding my freshly steamed wedding dress with her life.  (Fairy Godmother to the rescue!)

I ran back and forth and somewhere in the middle of it, I had a breakdown when my laptop started to act funny.  (In my defense, it was an older model MacBook Pro from college and all of my classmates' computers had slowly been biting the dust.  I thought mine's time had come at the absolute worst time  possible...)  After a few minutes of tears and a few hugs from my Mom, I took a few deep breaths and went back to my laptop.  After re-starting it, I was back in business.  The tags were printed and I said goodnight to my parents.

Then the girls helped me tie the tags on the bubbles and soaps while I cut the ribbons.  We all somehow managed to get our nails done.  (Thank you Katie and Katie, master nail painters!)  The evening went by in a complete blur, but with the help of my friends, we did it.  Everything was done and good to go!

Around 12:45, Elissa and I made our way back to Eliot's and my room to get ready for bed. (She had asked if she could stay over with me instead of sharing a bed with Sara and I thought it would be nice to have a little company.)  I took a shower since I couldn't wash my hair in the morning and headed to bed.  At this point, I was going to get about 5-6 hours of sleep and then we'd be up early for wedding day!  It was time for this Disney Bride to get her Sleeping Beauty on!  °o°

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