I met Lindsay through a Disney Bride community. I’m part of this community because every now and then I have the honor and privilege of shooting Disney Weddings. If you know me at all you already know this… but I’m a a big time Disney Fan Girl! Due to this, having the opportunity to shoot weddings at Disney is something I dreamed of when starting my business. I’ve now shot in many locations the company has to offer and cannot wait to go back in December to see the revamped Wedding Pavilion!
I’d say Lindsay and I became fast friends, it was unclear at first if she would be booking her wedding, which was ok. I’m happy to answer any questions people have about the Disney Wedding process, regardless of your booking status. Her and Ben are amazing people and I fell in love with them instantly! I hadn’t met them till that morning and you’d never be able to tell in the photographs, that speaks to how kindred our spirits truly are.
I hope you enjoy this glimpse into Lindsay and Ben’s Epcot Wedding, Lindsay has included tons of tips, info and advise for anyone planning a Disney Wedding or Wedding at home! (P.S. lets encourage her to start an Etsy store for those wedding “Oh Sh*t” bags she’s talking about! They sound like a dream!)
Before we start with the fun stuff, I’d like to gush on Disney for a moment (shocking) this company is amazing. Lindsay had to change a few details about her wedding day, including the ability to have characters. The planner working with the staff at Epcot surprised Lindsay with a private Mickey greeting. The planner knew this was a BIG deal for her, added this perk, making her day magical and special. Mikki went above and beyond getting Mickey there for Lindsay & Ben. When it comes to a fairytale wedding, there’s no place like Walt Disney World.
How did you two meet?
We met first in first grade at our grade school. We went to school together from 1st grade until graduating High School. Our lockers were directly across from each other growing up.
How did he pop the question?
He invited me over to his parents house. When I got there he said he needed help with something on the back porch. I walked out there and on the deck he had laid out rose petals and long stem roses. Each rose had a letter attached to the stem. The letters spelled out “Will You Marry me?” I turned back and he was on one knee holding the ring box open.
What was your favorite moment(s) from the wedding?
There were many many magical things about our wedding. One thing that really stood out to me was the “un-invited guests”. Disney Fairy-tale Weddings has an option to hire actors to come to your wedding and be uninvited guests. These actors completely researched our families, and where we were from. They were great with our guests, they had everyone laughing; throwing in names of towns from Wisconsin and were using our background to build their backstory. Absolutely hysterical and I am so glad we added them as part of our entertainment.
How long have you been together?
We have known each other for 25 years. We have been together for almost 5 years.
How would you describe your overall wedding experience?
What advice would you offer to other couples planning a wedding?
Even though it is hard, try not to get to wrapped up in it. It can completely consume you and really make you feel like you are going crazy. Ben was my rock through all of it and keeping me grounded and reminded of what’s important.
What photography-related advice would you offer to a couple?
Trust your gut! First make sure you like their style, I do recommend researching them and reading reviews. And then- if after your first conversation with the photographer you are like man I would love to have dinner with them, or go grab a drink sometime. They are probably the right person for you.
Tell me about your dress. Where did you find it, how did you choose it, how did you know it was the one?
I received my dress through a program called Brides Across America. It is this amazing program that offers free bridal gowns to service members or their significant others. They do have certain requirements you need to be before they will allow you into the program, but after that you get to select from used or new dresses they have at boutiques across the country. They hold this event twice a year (July and November.) I had 7 dresses to chose from that were my size or close to my size.
I ended up liking 4 of them, but the one I picked fit my personality best. It actually was the dress that right when we walked in my niece grabbed and said ” I found your dress”. It fit the type of wedding I envisioned for myself. I didn’t cry, I thought I would- I never did.
How was your experience taking photos/working with me on your wedding day?
Having Jessica as our photographer was easily one of the best decisions we made surrounding our wedding. Right away you were joking with everyone to put them at ease. It was clear you have done this a lot before because you knew exactly where you wanted us to go and how you needed us to stand. I love the candid shots you were able to get of us and of our guests. Some of those are my favorites. I felt like you did an amazing job of capturing the “feel” of my wedding in the pictures. You made the entire experience easy. Nothing seemed forced or unnatural.
Did you see each other before the wedding?
If not, did you like waiting or would you have rather done it differently? Tell me why or why not!
We did see each other before the wedding. I am so glad we did it that way so we would have time to get all of our pictures taken care of. Also, seeing Ben before the wedding really calmed my nerves. I was upset before the wedding about something that in the long run ended up being inconsequential – but seeing Ben before hand really allowed me to stop stressing, and to be able to enjoy every aspect of the day.
Any tips on how to prepare for the wedding photos?
You can prepare??? Honestly, I read the information that Jessica gave us- The Bridal Brochure I think it was. I read that a few times but I didn’t really change anything before the wedding.
Any tips that you have about preparing your wedding party for the photos? What did you tell them, how did you get them to cooperate, what did you do or what would you have done differently?
Jessica really took control of my wedding party and told us where to go and how to stand. My wedding party knew there would be lots of pictures so they were ready for that. I think the only thing I would have done differently would have been to make sure one of the groomsmen (who typically doesn’t smile) at least would smile for some pictures of just the boys, Most of those pictures he looks very serious in and I would have loved some smiling ones.
Any tips on what to bring?
I have recently been in A LOT of weddings. So I have developed an “Oh Sh*t” kit that has a little bit of everything you could possibly need to be picture perfect for a wedding. I take it to every event like this so I made sure to have it for my wedding day as well. Some of what is included is- oil blotters, lip stick/lip gloss, make up touch ups, spray deodorant, perfume, baby wipes, gum, floss, bobby pins, safety pins, hair spray, fashion tape, pain killers, antacids, nail polish, and eye drops. Basically if there was any possibility that it might be needed- I bring it. I was able to find travel sizes of everything and honestly it sounds like a lot but it all fit conveniently in a medium sized cosmetic bag.
We love to hear about vendors you love. List any vendors here and feel free to share your experience. Be sure to include the name of the vendor, their profession, city/state, site or Facebook page and how your experience was!
My hand painted Disney vans were done by Laura Rifkin – with Pixies Tiny Things (on facebook). I love those shoes – they are on my mantle at my house- and I got so many compliments. They are amazing shoes. I didn’t even know exactly what I wanted, I just told Laura what I liked and she really took the reins and created something beautiful. I loved working with Laura- she was super easy to work with and everything done with her was very easy.
My crystal shoes and my bridesmaid/mother of the bride/mother of the groom jewelry was all done by Kara Marie –KaraMarie Jewlery VIP (on facebook). She honestly is unbelievable with crystal. Her motto is “You bring it, I’ll bling it”. She can bling out anything you can think of. Her prices are super competitive for what she does. And I absolutely love how everything turned out. I have bought many pieces from her in the past also for different occasions and I will definitely be using her more.
My bouquet, the boutonnieres, and the masquerade masks were all done by UptownGirlzz (on etsy). I found her randomly while looking around- she was very easy to work with. I approached her saying I was looking for something a little off the wall (the masks) and she was more than happy to come up with something that looked amazing. She completely blew my expectations out of the water with her creations. I could not have been more thrilled with how everything turned out.
My guest book was a custom illustration done by ThePaperFairyShop (on etsy and facebook). Nicole was wonderful to work with. Due to a shipping mix up, Nicole went above and beyond and had someone deliver my guest book personally to the hotel I was staying at for my wedding to make sure I had it in time. My guests loved it. And I love how personal and unique it is. My illustration is a center piece in my living room now and I love looking at it every day. Its more than just a guest book- it is a work of art.
My invitations (not pictured) were done by JLB Papery Invitations (on facebook) . I loved them so much. They are beautiful. Jennifer was incredibly professional to work with. And she was very fast at getting back to me with changes and updates.
What were you most anxious, nervous or fearful about regarding your wedding day and what was the outcome?
I was nervous that without dancing/a DJ my reception would feel like it was lacking or was empty. I was worried that it would feel boring to my guests and that they would not have a good time. This was not the case at all. We had an amazing day with family and friends. Our reception was filled with the meal, the caricature artist, the un-invited guests, the speeches, and the ride mix in. I would not change anything. My guests still talk about how much fun the wedding was. It was not traditional at all, but we are not a traditional couple. Therefore, it was perfect for us.
What’s one piece of advice you would give to other couples for planning their wedding?
At the end of the day it is your wedding- so trust your gut and do what feels right. Of course you will always want to make people happy, but the most important thing about the whole day is that the person you love most is there next to you through the whole thing.
What kind of food was served at your reception?
We had a brunch buffet for our wedding. I was able to pick our menu. So much food. We had an egg station, bacon, salmon, beef, lobster mac and cheese, veggies, mickey waffles, mashed potatoes, dinner rolls. And then we also had appetizers- cheese trays, fresh fruit, bakery goods, yogurt parfaits. I am probably still missing some food there was seriously so much!
Of course, our cake was amazing too! We had cupcakes and a small cake with a total of 3 different flavors for our guests. The best of all, we had a special liquid nitrogen dessert too. As you chewed, you had what they called “dragon’s breath” so fun! The food was to die for- Just last night (over 4 months after our wedding) my husband looked at me and said I wish we had Disney food right now…I also wish we had left over cake.
Location of Wedding: Italy Epcot, Disney World
Location of Reception: France Epcot, Disney World
Cake Maker: Epcot Bakery
Wedding Planner: Mikki Bray through Disney Fairytale Weddings
Dress Boutique: Bucci Bridal Peawaukee, WI
Caterer: Disney Fairytale Weddings
Florist: Disney Fairytale Weddings
Limo Service: Disney Fairytale Weddings