After careful consideration, Ben and I decided that a wedding in Disney World wasn’t the right choice for us. The proposal in the Wilderness Lodge was perfect (read about that here), and we love Disney and know they’d orchestrate a gorgeous wedding, but it just wasn’t quite the right fit. Since Disney is something we both love, and something we love to enjoy together, we decided the day wouldn’t feel right if it was completely without Disney. Here’s how we worked with the Mouse to bring Disney to our Rhode Island wedding.
Over the years, composers have created some absolutely incredible pieces of music for Disney films and parks. When I’m not in Disney, one of the ways I keep the magic alive is to listen to Disney soundtracks. We brought that music to the wedding as background music while our guests arrived at our ceremony. To be a little sneaky about it, I asked our DJ to only play instrumental versions of songs. Because I was kept safely hidden away, this is actually something I didn’t get to hear at all, but I hope it was as magical as I imagined.
One piece of music was particularly special to me and Ben — Married Life from Up. I know people often say that the opening sequence of Up is one of the most heartbreaking parts of a Disney movie, and while I cry every single time I watch it, I don’t find it heartbreaking at all. Ellie and Carl had a full life together and knew a love more powerful than anything else. Their story and their partnership is beautiful. When Ben and I discussed what we would dance to for our first dance as husband and wife, we both independently picked Married Life (but only the first minute and a half because that is a really long song), and I’m so glad that we did.
We were pretty early in the planning process when I decided that I wanted to make each table at our Disney wedding reception a different Disney theme. I didn’t want anything too ostentatious, so non-Disney fans wouldn’t feel like they were written into a cartoon, but I wanted Disney fans to know what table they were at.
I tried to do the “Disneybounding” version of centerpieces. I wanted the theme to come through, but I didn’t want to have small toys of the characters sitting at each place setting — cute in its own right, but not what I had in mind. Can you identify the movie each of these tables is themed for?
I spent a lot of time thinking over what favor to give to guests at our wedding. I wanted it to be something useful, rather than something merely decorative and I wanted it to be really personal, but I didn’t want anybody to feel excluded if they didn’t “get it.”
I hardly remember not being a fan of Nicole’s Circa 1955 candle collection since these incredible scents have become such a staple in my life. The sense of smell is one of the most powerful when it comes to recalling memories and her spot-on candles whisk me right back to Disney with every flicker of a flame.
Circa 1955’s Timberland Retreat candle perfectly captures the rustic, wild scent of the Wilderness Lodge, my home away from home, and where Ben asked me to spend the rest of our lives together. Wilderness Lodge scented candles were the perfect favor. Once I got the thought in my mind, there was no other choice. Nicole worked with me to choose the right number and size of candles and she even designed an Up-themed personalized sticker to top each one! They were everything I’d hoped for and my guests loved them!
I wasn’t too strict with any kind of theme for the wedding. If I had to title it, I’d probably call it “Stuff Ben and I like.” I didn’t have a grand plan in mind for the rest of our Disney touches, but picked things up when they crossed my path (some things, like my gorgeous custom @imaginexears Mickey ears, I just brought from my Disney collection at home and gave to my amazing photographers to play with) and prayed the whole Disney wedding picture would work out in the end.
One very special extra was the set of Donald and Daisy cake toppers that I asked Ellie at LittleLoveBuggyLLC to craft for me. I’d been admiring Ellie’s impressive clay work for months before I reached out to her about my wedding Donald and Daisy. Ben and I have always related more to the rambunctious ducks than to Mickey and Minnie, and I couldn’t find any cake toppers that I really loved online. So, I messaged Ellie to see if we could work something out.
She was an absolute pleasure to work with from day one. I gave her free reign to follow her creativity (only asking for Donald and Daisy, ready for a wedding), and was left slack-jawed when she sent me photos of my perfect little ducks. When I held them in my hands, I actually cried. The level of detail they showed (do you see Daisy’s makeup?? Donald’s boutonnière leaf has veins in it!) was unbelievable. I will cherish these guys forever.
We also had a “My Adventure Book” guestbook, a hidden Mickey in my bouquet, hidden Mickeys on tier 2 of the cake, and more! My tiara was even from the Arribas Brothers stand outside of Pirates in Adventureland!
Last, but certainly not least, Ben and I vowed, before family and friends, to keep going to Disney together. (That’s how you really lock in Disney for life… :D)
Ben even politely kept with the Disney wedding vibe and sent me a text right before the ceremony started: “See ya real soon!”
All of these stunning photos were taken by Kate and Finn from Kate Michaud Photography. I cannot be more grateful for the both of them, their gorgeous work, and their friendship. Check out their website here or look them up on IG @katemichaudphoto!