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Saying "I Do" At Disney

by Kathryn Lemmon, Wedding Zone Staff Writer

More and more couples are saying "I Do" at Disney World in Florida. In the early days, most of the weddings took place in the larger hotels, such as The Grand Floridian Resort, The Yacht Club and the Polynesian Resort. Now there are more on-site options for both the ceremony and the reception.

There are advantages to a Disney wedding, besides the obvious. It's a sure fire way to keep the guest list reasonable, since many of your more distant relatives/friends won't make the trip. In addition, you won't have to travel any further to enjoy your honeymoon. Finally, Disney has a vast number (hundreds according to their literature) of theme settings and customized services which can make your fantasy wedding come true. Examples include an English garden, a beach front setting, or at the foot of Cinderella's Castle and the list goes on.

But, what will a Disney wedding cost? If you live in a larger city such as Los Angeles or New York, you'll find Disney's prices very competitive. However, if you live in a rural region or small town, the prices will probably be higher than if you stayed at home.

To simplify the process, Disney's wedding coordinators are trained to ask the right questions, determine what you want and make it happen. Your level of involvement is entirely up to you.

Custom Wedding Packages, are for couples who wish to have larger guest lists, thus making them the most expensive. The custom package allows for the most flexibility. You can expect to spend in the neighborhood of at least $13,000 and often more. Disney sets a minimum expenditure for custom weddings, including a minimum number of room nights, so call for specific details. There is no limit to the number of guests you can invite, keeping in mind if you want your ceremony in the Wedding Pavilion, it can only hold 250 people. If you wish to take the fantasy a step further, you can arrive in a glass coach, pulled by six white horses!

The Pavilion was opened in June of 1995, as an additional ceremony location and has become the most popular spot for wedding ceremonies. The Pavilion is a glass enclosed structure, reminiscent of a Victorian summer house. Sitting on a private island in the Seven Seas Lagoon, it has a stunning view of Cinderella's Castle and is a Non-Denominational chapel.

Items which are included in the Custom Weddings amount include food, beverages, music, flowers, decorations, special transportation, favors, Wedding Pavilion or other wedding ceremony site fees. Together with your Disney wedding Coordinator, you can design a special menu. Some of the items which must be paid for separately are formal ware, photographers, and the officiant.

If, due to budget or just personal choice, you prefer a smaller wedding, Disney offers Intimate Wedding Packages. These packages are in the $3500 to $4500 range and can accommodate up to six guests. Among other things, the Intimate Weddings include four nights accommodations, park admissions, the ceremony, two dinners, some flowers, a cake and the officiant.

Somewhere in the middle are Destination Weddings, with the maximum number of guests set at twenty. Destination weddings will be in the $8000 to $10,000 price range.

Summer in Florida can be brutally hot and humid, so most couples opt for Disney weddings in Spring or Fall. The theme parks are also less crowded during these off-season times. If you are planning a large wedding, the best advice is to make at least one pre-trip visit, to concentrate on site selections. A second visit might be necessary to handle logistics such as flowers, menus, etc.

To find out more, begin by calling Disney Fairy Tale Weddings at (407) 828-3400.


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