Monday, September 23, 2013

Wedding Trip Recap- September 20, 2012 (Wedding Day!)

The first thing that pops in my head "IT'S OUR WEDDING DAY!  AHHH!!!"

The next thing that pops in my head, "crap I really should get moving, but I want to post my Facebook status before I forget to do it."  So I took a few minutes to post the message that I'd worked on the night before.  I thought that it was the best way to sum up all of the feelings flowing through me on our wedding day.

After that, I got up and took a quick shower with a plastic bag over my hair so it wouldn't get wet.  I took the extra few minutes in the shower to try to calm myself down and to mentally prepare myself for the day.  Then I put my special Disney PJ's on (that were our wedding colors!) and woke Elissa up so we could get ready for our hair and make up appointment.  

We had rented another hotel room for the morning of the wedding.  No one slept in it the night before so it was clean and ready to be used.  We'd left a few of our wedding things over there like the girls dresses and some of our jewelry.  Elissa and I met up with Katie and headed over there to meet up with Sara, Katie and Kaitlin.  (On a quick side note, my entire bridal party was Katie's/Cady's to it's a little confusing.  My maid of honor, Katie.  BJ's wife also Katie.  My cousin Kaitlin who we also sometime call Katie.  And Eliot's sisters Sara and Elissa Cady which sounds just like Katie.  And I was becoming Mrs. Cady.  Just a little bit confusing right?)

Once the Cady/Katie clan assembled, we were quickly introduced to our hair and make up team.  Of course, Jessica was back to do my hair and make up and she brought another one of her Beauté Spécialé team members to help.  My Mom had bought me a children's Princess Book so I read that aloud while I was having my hair done.  Jessica worked skillfully on my hair and while we all joked around.  The girls all had their hair done and then helped each other with their make up.  After a few hours, we were all beautified and ready to go.

Meanwhile, Eliot had gone over to Hollywood Studios with his parents for a few hours before he had to get ready.  The one thing he really wanted to do was ride the Rockin' Rollercoaster the day of his wedding.  So he was doing that when he saw my message on Facebook.  (He later confessed that he was in line for the ride when he read it and that he got a little choked up.  Awww!)

At this point, I was trying to stay calm.  My parents had gotten me a tray of food from Everything Pop so I munched on that here and there.  I had my veil in so it was difficult to do basically everything.  I was paranoid that I'd mess my hair up.  I had to flip the veil over my head just to use the bathroom.  At least it made me laugh and lightened the mood.  The closer we got to the photographers arriving, the more nervous I got and I'm not even sure why.

At 11:30, our Disney Photography team arrived and Stephanie and Daryn introduced themselves.  They took the girls dresses and all of my accessories into my parents' hotel room where it was more quiet.  Meanwhile, I stayed in the next room over and tried to stay calm.  

A few minutes later, they told the girls to get into their dresses and then to help me into my Alfred Angelo Ariel wedding gown.  We got some pictures of them attempting to tie my dress up.  My Mom was the only person who attended my final fittings with me so no one knew how to tie my dress.  Thank goodness Stephanie knew how to do it and she ended up tying it for us!  Afterwards, Katie and my Mom helped me into my accessories and we waited in the room until it was time to walk up to the front of Pop Century.

At 12:30, the guys, Eliot's family, Sara and Elissa took a motor coach to the Grand Floridian Resort so they could do the Groom's photo session.  The photographers made enough time to take pictures of Eliot with his family and his groomsmen.

Once we were sure that they guys were out of the Pop Century lobby, we grabbed all of the wedding items and made our way to the front of the hotel.  It was quite interesting to walk from the 50's end of the hotel to the main lobby in a wedding gown!  I got a lot of looks, but a lot of other guest gave me congratulations.  The entire row of cast members at the front desk stopped what they were doing to yell out congratulations as I passed by.  I sat on one of the benches and took deep breaths to stay calm.  At 1:00, the motor coach was back at Pop Century to pick us up for our photo session.

On the bus, I kept telling myself to stay calm and to focus.  This was the moment that we'd been waiting years for.  It was actually happening.  And I didn't want to miss a single minute of it.  I am not a quiet person, and I think that my focus was throwing a few of my bridesmaids and Mom off.  I told them I was fine as I sat in the front seat behind the bus driver.  As we passed the "Lost and Found" at the transportation center, I jokingly asked if we could stop long enough to make sure that my groom wasn't there.  I think that set everyone at ease.  

Shortly after, we were at the Grand Floridian Resort and we filed out with all of our stuff.  I focused on keeping one foot in front of the other and not tripping over my dress.

We took my bridal portraits in the lobby of the Grand Floridian Resort.  My photos were taken on the grand staircase.  I love how they came out with the skirt of my dress sweeping around.  Stephanie had me stand in a few awkward positions, but the photos are beautiful.  

Afterwards, we took a few family photos near the large windows.

Meanwhile, at 1:30 pm the motor coach picked our guests up at the main lobby of the Pop Century Resort to shuttle them over to the Wedding Pavilion.  They were greeted with custom designed Mickey Mouse fan programs done by Shelley at Impressions.

Our photography team had the girls and I go outside on the porch to take a few group photos.  We took so many photos of me and my family that we only got one chance at the group bridesmaid photo.  (This is my second biggest regret of our wedding day.)  Thank goodness one of the photos came out really good!  

Next, I quickly got individual photos with each of the girls before they had to be whisked away in the motor coach to meet me at the ceremony.

At 2:15, Cinderella's Coach arrived to take me over to Wedding Pavilion.  This was when it all really started to hit me.  We watched as the horses pulled it up beside the Grand Floridian.  A small group of other guests staying at the resort stopped to take pictures of the coach.  Then they actually all watched as Katie and my Dad helped me down the stairs and into the coach.  (Thus, the beginning of me being in A LOT of random peoples' vacation photos!)  I waved to them as we began our journey over to the Wedding Pavilion.

Katie and my Dad sat across from me on the ride over.  We had to stop traffic to pull the carriage out of the resort, and I waved to all of the smiling and waving people on the Disney Transportation bus.  All of the Cast Members who saw me waved at me as well.  After getting over the initial shock of it, I really did feel like royalty.  One little girl on a bus was jumping up and down and pointing at me.  I could almost picture her telling her parents that it was Cinderella in the coach.  Who knows, maybe someday she'll get married at Walt Disney World?

What I wasn't expecting, was how hot it was in the carriage.  The sky was overcast and the sun wasn't shining directly down on us.  But Cinderella's Coach was boiling like a sauna.  It was like the glass around us was creating some sort of heat chamber.  As much fun as it was, it was a toasty ride!

We arrived outside of Franck's Bridal Studio and the coachmen (and coach woman) helped Dad, Katie and then me out of the coach.  We took a few more pictures in front of it before it was time to walk over to the Pavilion.  Walking over to the Pavilion is a little fuzzy.  I know that I was with the girls for a few minutes, but then I wanted to use the bathroom one more time before showtime.  Katie helped me into one of the Bridal Suites in the Brides Vestibule.  The air conditioning had broken so they were having us wait outside, but it kicked in while I was in there so Katie, Dad and I stayed in there until Katie had to go line up with the other girls.  

I took a few more deep breaths and small sips of water from the bubbler in there.  Dad and I could listen to the ceremony through a speaker system in the ceiling that was tapped into the Wedding Pavilion.  Around 2:30, the ceremony started and I cracked a smile as the Fantasmic music started and I knew that my Groom was walking down the aisle with his groomsmen.  Next came "You'll Be in My Heart" and I knew that Eliot's parents and my Mom were being escorted down the aisle.  Shortly after, someone came to get me and my Dad.  We made our way out to the entrance of the Wedding Pavilion.  It's showtime!  

Almost… I stood there for quite a few minutes.  Apparently, it felt like forever to everyone inside of the Pavilion.  The only thing we can think is that they played the entire song "When You Wish Upon A Star" that the girls walked into.  I took the opportunity to ask for a small cup of water.  Christy quickly had one of her helpers get me a cold glass.  (It's fabulous to be the bride.)  A few minutes later, she was asking me if I was ready, I said yes and then the doors were opening.

I walked down the aisle to "I See the Light" from Tangled, but I don't remember hearing it at all.  I held on tightly to Daddy so I wouldn't fall.  I was so deathly afraid of falling that at the last minute, I totally copped out and wore my tall flip flops instead of my awesome hot pink wedding shoes.  (This is my biggest wedding day regret, since you can, in fact, see the awful black shoes in some of the photos!  Oie!)  I didn't have my glasses on so I had to be pretty close to people before their faces were totally in focus, but everyone was all smiles. And I knew that the black blur at the other end of the aisle was my Prince Charming.

Before I knew it, Daddy and I were at the front, Eliot's hand was in mine and we were walking up the stairs together to the altar.  Ron greeted everyone and thanked them for coming.  Then we did the exchange of our vows, followed by our ring ceremony.  

We decided to have Major Domo in our ceremony.  He brings the rings down the aisle in Cinderella's glass slipper.   Of course, all of our guests thought Ryan had the rings.  Ron had told Ryan to act as if he'd lost or forgotten them when he asked for the rings.  Ryan did exactly that and the guys all played it off perfectly as they "checked their pockets" frantically.  The with a flourish of music, Major Domo appeared from behind the doors with the slipper sitting on top of a pillow.

He walked down the aisle to "When You Wish Upon a Star."  I was alright until he was about halfway down, and then I had my first moment of getting a little choked up.  (I couldn't even count the number of stars I'd wished on that someday we might actually pull a Disney Wedding off.)  I quickly pulled it together to watch him to give our rings to Ron. Ron thanked him for saving the day yet again.

Katie and Ryan followed with Katie reading Corinthians and Ryan The Seven Blessings. (Eliot and I wanted to make sure that we had something from both of our faiths in our ceremony and we thought that this would be the best way to do that.)

While Ron was talking, I tried to take it all in.  It's a lot to try to focus on.  I made sure that I took a few glances behind him at Cinderella Castle off in the distance.  It was a lot to soak in, and it's all kind of a blur now.  Thankfully, we had it video taped, as well as shown via livestream to friends and family who would not make it to Florida.  I'll admit that watching our wedding video is pretty amusing.  Eliot gets really stony faced when he's nervous, and I apparently laugh… a lot.  I was so giddy and overjoyed that I'm giggling basically the entire ceremony.  (That goodness for pictures!  They make us look less ridiculous!  Ha ha!)

Next, we added a few more elements to make the ceremony "ours".  Ron had a Rose Ceremony in the outline that he'd sent for us to select what we wanted.  The idea of it is that the bride and groom each exchange a rose and that's the first gift of our marriage.  The rose is supposed to symbolize our love and each anniversary we are to place a rose somewhere special to remember the gift of true love and devotion of marriage.  After he finished explaining it, we each walked down to give the roses to our mothers.  (We had worked this out secretly the night before at our rehearsal.  Ron explained that part when everyone else was busy.)

Next, we did the sand ceremony.  I had found a picture frame from Say Anything Design on Etsy to use instead of a vase and thought that it might be a better idea and easier to transport back home.  We had wanted to put a picture of us in it for the ceremony, but I'm glad that we didn't because you can see the sand better!  Eliot and I shared a few laughs over how long it was taking to fill the frame.  (I still don't think that we filled it all up so some kind person must have helped after the ceremony.)

We ended the ceremony with the Breaking of the Glass, which was really the breaking of an old light bulb that travelled all the way down from Massachusetts.

Then Ron said the magic words, "by virtue of the authority vested in me under the laws of the state of Florida, I now pronounce you husband and wife.  You may kiss the bride."

And "It is with great pleasure that I present for the very first time as husband and wife, Melissa and Eliot Cady!"

Going through my head as we walked back down the aisle: "Ahh, we made it through the ceremony!  Now it's party time!!!"  Eliot also seemed relieved and finally smiled!  I could tell how nervous he was.  We were escorted to the back of the island where Picture Point is located.  We took a few pictures there with our wedding party under the ivy trellis arch.  

We also got a few pictures of us with Cinderella Castle in the background!

Next, we were escorted back across the footbridge for our staged exit.  We chose bubbles to walk through.  I'd originally thought about using rose petals, but the bubbles and the transition from Cinderella to Ariel and "under the sea" seemed to fit our themes better. Major Domo led the way and then our guests showered us in bubbles.

We got into Cinderella's Coach for a quick ride around the circle at Franck's Bridal Studio for photos.

After that, our guests were transported to the Living Seas Salon in Epcot for our 3:30 pm to 4:30 pm Cocktail Hour while our wedding party and family walked back over to the Wedding Pavilion for photos.  We took a ton of photos with our wedding party.

And our families.

And our siblings.

And with our wonderful maid of honor and best man!

And of course we couldn't forget the Fab Five!

We also got some awesome photos of the two of us.  (There's no way that I can post them all, but I promise that I'll add some more to my blog here and there!)

Finally, our wedding party and families were brought over to the Grand Floridian on the motor coach and Eliot and I got to ride in the coach over the Grand Floridian.  Eliot didn't realize how many people were going to wave to us.  It was fun to stop traffic and wave at the buses all over again.  I didn't think the heat was as bad in the carriage this time around.

All too soon, it was time for us to join our wedding party and family to take the motor coach over to the Living Seas.  It was fun to go behind the scenes of Epcot and to see the backstage areas.  Eliot and I had enjoyed it when we went with my parents for our site visit and we were excited for our guests to experience it as well.  Test Track was closed during both our visits, but our guests could see the back part of it where the car races you around outside.  We also got to see the back side of the countries of the World Showcase.  From the back, all of the countries look pretty much the same since the architecture is cleverly designed to only be built where necessary for guests to see from the park.

We arrived at the back of the Living Seas Pavilion and were met by our escort.  (Disney has to provide someone to make sure that guests stay where they are supposed to.)  She took us into Epcot via a side entrance and we walked over to the Private Entrance to the Living Seas Salon.

We had a few minutes to get settled in before they were going to announce us.  Christy greeted Eliot and I at the top of the elevator with cold waters on our custom napkins, also designed by Impressions.  I was so excited with how the napkins came out that I couldn't wait to see everything else!  Eliot disappeared long enough to help push Nana and Papa into the reception.  There were obviously numerous people to do it, but he insisted that he help out.  (Meanwhile, I was sitting on my butt in entryway sipping water!)

Christy had us line up again so our parents, wedding party and Eliot and I could get announced.  I had requested the theme music from Pirates of the Caribbean to play while they did our introductions.  I'm glad I did; it was upbeat and kind of funny.  (We were joking while in line: Arr, it be Katie and Ryan our first mates and BJ and Katie our second mates…anyways.)  Major Domo joined us to read out the names of our bridal party.

Finally, Eliot and I were announced and we made our way into the reception.  This was my first chance to get a quick glance and it looked great!  We had a quick, somewhat impromptu dance with our wedding party at the end of our entrance before Major Domo announced our first dance.

Eliot and I chose to dance to "Promise" the song that's played directly after Epcot's "IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth." I've always thought that the song was pretty and the lyrics were perfect.  I think that most people overlook it, but being the Disney nut that I am, I'd discovered it on the IllumiNations 2000 CD I bought years ago.  I'd suggested it when we first started talking about wedding songs, and it ended up being our first and only choice!

So we had our first dance and towards the end we sang along with part of it.

Next, we had our toasts from Katie and then from Ryan.  Katie wrote hers down and they were amazing.  She made it Disney themed with references to different Disney songs throughout.  Katie had even let BJ in on the secret, and being the Disney lover he is, he knew the exact parts that needed a response.  "In high school Melissa and I both wished that someday our prince would come, preferably in the form of Brian Littrell, the Backstreet Boy with the baby blues. Since that day many years ago we became the best of friends. We have so much fun together and even when we are not aware, we are such a funny pair, because that's what happens when you're the best of friends.  Fast forward… I could see it happening… (What?) and they didn’t have a clue! (Who?) They’d fall in love and here’s the bottom line- our duo was up to three... (Oh.)"

Ryan's speech was from the heart.  It was really touching.  He talked about how Eliot was one of his best friends as far back as he could remember.  Eliot teared up during it, and it was hard for me not to cry seeing him cry.  (There's one picture where you can see my face and I'm like "He's crying!  What do I do now?  You're going to make me cry!  There, there Eliot… it's ok.")

After the incredible toasts from our friends, it was time for the food!  (Insert incredible amount of excitement!)  It's good to be the Bride and Groom and we were first in line.  I wanted to try a little of everything.  We'd custom selected our buffet items to things that we thought our guest would enjoy.  None of the "standard" buffet menus fit what we wanted. And I'm so glad that we designed a custom buffet.  (The food was incredible!)  We had a salad, Orrecchiette Pasta Salad, New York Strip Steak, Parmesan-Crusted Chicken Breast, Yukon Gold Potatoes, Sourdough Rolls and Rustic Breads, Sweet Potato, and Grown-Up Truffle Macaroni and Cheese.  

A lot of people say that the Bride and Groom don't have time to eat: I made time.  Not only was I starving, but this is Disney cuisine we're talking about!  (Thou shall not shun food from Disney!)  I stuffed myself.  The Macaroni and Cheese was probably my favorite.  It had pieces of lobster meat in it and it was served in a martini glass.  (I could eat that for days.)  The pasta salad, chicken and steak were also just as good as our menu tasting and I wanted to have seconds, thirds, fourths… alas, I only got one serving.  So, I made it count while everyone else was serving themselves and sitting down to eat.

The best part of our meal, was when Chef Jeffrey brought Eliot a plate of tater tots.  I've mentioned that Eliot's a picky eater.  While we were at our menu tasting, Mom, Dad and I were tasting everything and Eliot only tried the steak.  Christy asked him what he would eat if he were home and answered that he was more of a pizza, burger and tater tot guy.  A chef named Jeffrey brought him out a plate of tater tots a few minutes later.  Disney must have written it down to remember, because out of nowhere came Chef Jeffrey with a plate of tater tots made especially for Eliot.  It was pretty magical.  (Thank you to Chef Jeffrey and the absolutely amazing Epcot cooking staff!)

A while after things settled in, Christy came to let me know that it was almost time for our Father Daughter dance.  I had picked "Stealing Cinderella" by Chuck Wicks because I thought it would be appropriate.  Also, I wanted something that was a little bit different than the usual songs brides select.  Daddy was a champ and didn't cry.  I think he might have gotten teary eyed at the end, but I yapped his ear off most of the dance to prevent both of us from thinking about it too much.  (It's amazing what one will do when there are cameras filming their every move… I might have had a few moments of temporary insanity.)

Afterwards, Eliot had his Mother Son dance.  Eliot's Mom, Nori, had picked "My Wish" by Rascall Flatts for their song.

A few minutes later, some very special guests were announced, and out walked Mickey and Minnie!  Eliot and I ran down to the dance floor to greet them.

Our DJ invited everyone to join us on the dance floor and we jumped into doing the "Mickey Shuffle."  (The Mickey Shuffle is basically the "Cupid Shuffle" but with Mickey and Minnie helping to lead the dance.)  Our DJ helped all of our guests along by leading the dance and calling out the steps.  It was so much fun.  Most of our 40 guests were on the dance floor along with us.

Afterwards, we danced to a few more songs.  Emery our ring bearer was beside himself with happiness.  He was only 20 months old at the time of our wedding and we were a little worried that he'd be scared of the characters.  But he loved it!  He grabbed both Minnie and Mickeys noses and was all grins.

Next, we had our cake cutting.  Our cake was phenomenal.  I had found a sandcastle cake picture online from another Disney Wedding and we fell in love with it.  It was different than the usual wedding cake, and it fit the Living Seas and Under the Sea theme perfectly. Plus, our Save the Dates done by Malibelle on Etsy where sand themed.  It was a match made in heaven.  

Christy wasn't even sure that Disney could still make the sandcastle design since the chef who used to make it left Disney.  Thank goodness, a wonderful genius at the Grand Floridian Bakery had a way to do it!  And it turned out amazing!  (Thank you GF bakery team!)  I loved the shells and the seahorses on it.  And of course there was a hidden Mickey right on the front!  The pearls were an awesome addition and the entire cake sparkled like it had been sprinkled in glitter.

Mickey and Minnie assisted us with our cake cutting.  I love the pictures with them!  The DJ played "Be Our Guest" during it, which was totally appropriate of course.  Eliot and I needed a little help with the actual cutting.  The entire cake was encased in a thick chocolate for the sandcastle structure and it wasn't exactly easy to cut through!  

Finally, we got a small piece loose and fed it to each other.  (Nicely.)  Mickey and Minnie held out napkins for us to use afterwards.  The cake was absolutely amazing.  Sadly, we each were left a piece at our seats at the head table, but we were so busy that we never got a chance to go back to eat them!

Once the cake cutting was over, we took photos with Mickey and Minnie, our parents and our wedding party.

Before Mickey and Minnie's 30 minutes to visit were up, Eliot and I got our special dance with them.  One of the most important things we wanted on our wedding day was to dance with Mickey and Minnie to "Remember When" by LeAnn Rimes.  The song was the theme song for the 50th Anniversary of Disneyland.  It's another one that I don't think many people know of, but that I'd found on one of my Disney parks cds.  The lyrics urge you to remember your imagination, when Neverland was a real place and to remember that your magical journey isn't over yet.

While dancing with Mickey, a big dose of "this is really happening" hit me and I felt a few tears slide down my cheek.  Leading up to the wedding, I'd gotten emotional a few times dreaming about actually getting married at Disney, dancing with Mickey and having this dream come true.  I don't think that anything could have ever prepared me for the moment when it did.  It was truly magical and a moment that both Eliot and I will never forget.

Near the end of the song, Mickey and Minnie brought Eliot and I back together and we got to dance next to them.  

Afterwards, they gave us each a giant hug before they left.  (Later, I found out that they had actually signed our guest book.  I am not ashamed to say that I bawled like a little baby when I noticed it.  How many people can say that Mickey and Minnie signed their guestbook?!?)

We were sad to see Mickey and Minnie go, but everything was such a whirlwind that we didn't have too much time to be upset.  Eliot's sisters dragged him over to the PhotoMingle photobooth that we had set up.  They took a picture together and then Jeremy and I took one.  Of course, we also had to get one with the Fab Five.  

We danced with a few of our friends to Duck Tales.  We hung out with our guests and I attempted to go over to each table to thank everyone for coming.  The reception went by so fast I don't even know how I did it, but somehow I made it through all 5 guest tables.

DJ Scott announced another special guest.  This one was the one that we hadn't told many people about.  Christy sat Eliot and I down in front of the glass of the aquarium so our photographers could get a great picture when Scuba Mickey arrived!  (If you're going to have a reception at the Living Seas… it's a must right?)  Scuba Mickey had a special sign that said "Congratulations Melissa and Eliot" on it.

Emery was so excited to see Mickey that he ran over and jumped up onto the ledge to wave to him.  We got some really cute pictures of him trying to touch Mickey through the glass.

While Mickey waved at us, we took a ton of photos with as many guests as possible in the short time he was there.  Everyone was completely surprised and excited to see him.

Mickey was a really good sport.  Katie made her hands into a heart shape and Mickey motioned with his hand for her to call him.  It was too funny.

After Scuba Mickey left, things were starting to wind down.  Eliot got my garter and did the garter toss to the guys.  He actually shot it straight to the floor the first time, so we had a take #2.  Our best man Ryan ended up catching it.

I was next up with the bouquet toss.  We took a few photos of me awkwardly holding the toss bouquet over my head before I could throw it.  Before it left my hands, I yelled "Katie go long!"  She did and Katie caught the bouquet.  I thought it was kind of amusing that both our maid of honor and best man caught them.

We had one more special song that we wanted to play before we left.  To my surprise, DJ Scott handed me the microphone and I thanked our guests for coming and our parents for everything that they did to make our wedding possible.  Then he played "Through the Years" by Kenny Rogers and Eliot and I danced with my Nana and Papa.

After that, it was time to get ready to head over to IllumiNations.  We had our final dance to "Glad You Came" the Glee version.  Eliot and I had already danced together quite a bit, so I randomly decided to run around the circle giving our guests high fives.  Then we went around another round to hug them and tell them that we were glad that they came.

Christy and the wait staff helped pick up all of our extra menus, Cinderella slipper place holders and everything else.  While everyone was rushing around our DJ came over to me and Katie to make sure that everything was great.  I told him that it was amazing and that we had a blast at the reception.  He then told me that he'd tried to get ahold of Howie from the Backstreet Boys.  I'd totally forgotten that he was friends with him and that he'd been the DJ at his wedding too!  He couldn't get in touch with Howie, but Howie's wife did send him back a text message wishing us well and saying congratulations.  DJ Scott even showed Katie and I the text message.  I was floored.  (I wish now that I'd taken a picture of the message!)  He was an amazing DJ and went above and beyond to make our reception magical.

Eventually, it was time to leave the Living Seas Salon and we had to say goodbye to Christy.  I was pretty upset to say goodbye to her.  She had been a steady rock during the whole wedding planning process.  She was so nice and helpful and a complete pleasure to work with.  I couldn't have asked for a better wedding planner.

At 7:30, our motor coach took us and our guests over to the France Pavilion for our Dessert Party.  There wasn't a drop off place in France so we were dropped off in the United Kingdom section of the park and our Disney escort took us through one of the large gateways.

Walking through World Showcase in our full wedding attire was a little bit awkward.  But at this point, I was used to the other guests noticing us and waving as we walked by.  Many more little girls asked who I was as their parents told them that I was the bride and we'd just gotten married.  

Around 8:00, we finally arrived in the France section of the World Showcase and were taken to the Terrace des Fleurs where we were having our private IllumiNations viewing. On the lower half, they had tables set up with black tablecloths and chairs.  The upper half had tables with cookies, brownies and cake pops as well as a few drinks.  There were also places to sit along the landscaping where the flower beds were.  

It was a great location minus the trees on the island that blocked a little bit of our view.  We had originally wanted to have the Dessert Party in Italy which is my favorite place to watch the show.  But we didn't have enough guests to book that location.

While we waited the hour or so for the show to begin, Eliot and I finally had a chance to mix and mingle with more of our guests.  I tried to make my way around the terrace greeting everyone.

I had asked Stephanie to take a photograph of everyone at our wedding.  We had decided that the Terrace des Fleurs would be the easiest location to do it.  Before it got too dark, we gathered everyone so she could stand on one of the flower beds to take the picture.

Then Eliot and I settled in along the railing so we could get some photographs with the show (and fireworks!) in the background.  Stephanie and Daryn had set up a tripod with the camera so they could get some long exposure shots.  Eliot and I were instructed to stand really still when Stephanie told us to.  They were really great photographers and so much fun to work with!

At 9:00 pm, the lights around the World Showcase went out and the show was starting. Stephanie knew the show well, and she knew exactly when to prepare for the fireworks. Eliot and I stood really still multiple times to have photos taken.  Therefore, we didn't really get to see much of the show itself.  We did get to watch the middle part of the show with the globe since there wasn't enough light to take pictures.  At the grand finale, we got a ton of photos that came out awesome.

After the show, Promise started playing over the loud speaker and Eliot and I had our second "first" dance.  Then our guests were all gathered and our Disney escort took us back over to our motor coach.  It started sprinkling on the way over to the bus.  Christy had been telling me that there was a slight chance our dessert part might get rained out but it literally held off until we were done.

The motor coach took everyone to their hotel.  We stopped at Port Orleans for my cousin and her husband.  It started to downpour right about the same time we pilled into the French Quarter.  Then we took Nico and Anthony back to Caribbean Beach.  Finally, the rest of us all got out at Pop Century.  We kind of took over the front entrance way and said good byes and good nights to everyone.  It stopped raining so we took that chance to quickly walk over to our hotel rooms.  

There Eliot and I said good night to our parents and our wedding party.  We were completely exhausted from the day, but it was a good completely exhausted.  We had final surprise on our wedding day with a few things left for us in our room.  Our floral designer Heather had sent flowers to our room that were the same as the ones at our reception. Mousekeeping had also made a towel display with two hearts and the word "Love" along with leaving two Happily Ever After buttons.

All in all, it was the perfect day.  It was everything that we'd hoped it would be, so much more and a definitely a dream come true.  °o°

Note:  I'm sorry to have kept you all waiting for this post!  I worked tirelessly on it last week but I didn't have it quite finished to post on our anniversary (Friday).  Then we had a whirlwind weekend and were away most of it.  Now we're back home and I'll be back on track!

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