ALL ABOARD! Our Disney Cruise Wedding
We officially have two weeks before we set sail on the Eastern Caribbean Disney Cruise to get MARRIED! I can’t believe it’s been almost 6 months since we got engaged. If you’ve ever wondered about Disney Cruise Wedding or Vow Renewal, I’d love to share our personal experience and details about the process of planning and weighing the pros and cons.
I Don’t Want to Plan A Wedding… Now What?
After our recent engagement, my fiance and I spent a good bit of time talking about what we were envisioning for our wedding.
We started looking…. at venues… at caterers… at colors and light fixtures…. table arrangements…. flowers.
While the Pinterest perfect wedding with gorgeous center pieces and a colorful overflowing candybar is beautiful, it just wasn’t us. Our heads began to spin and we quickly became overwhelmed. Thereafter, we ultimately decided we wanted to stay low-key and laid back because, after all, that’s who we are.
So, then what?
Our solution was the Cruise Wedding; 7 days and nights floating around in the Eastern Caribbean with our families.
When I took my first Disney Cruise last year with Rob and his family, I was completely blown away. With the extreme attention to detail, breathtaking interior and beautiful scenery it seemed a perfect choice.
The total time from engagement to wedding with have been about 6 months. If you’re planning your own Disney wedding or vow renewal package this might give you an idea of the process.
Preparing for a Disney Cruise Wedding
I’m sure it’s not for everyone, but we loved the lack of planning involved with setting up the Disney Cruise Wedding. Here’s a walk-through of what the process was like for us…
Disney has an amazing website that will walk you through all the available options. Whether you want your wedding in a Disney Park, a cruise or their Hawai’i resort it their options give you a feel for what your day will be like.
It’s easy to use and navigate through. Breaking each available option down from flowers to cake, you can choose to “begin designing” or you can choose talk with a consultant.
After you’ve made your selections (no obligation/commitment required), you can choose to have a Disney wedding consultant contact you to answer any further questions you may have.
If you’ve never spoken to a Disney representative on the phone you’re in for a treat! Everyone I spoke with was super cheery AND helpful!
Choose A Venue / Make a Downpayment
If you’re ready to commit, you can make a down payment (depending on what package you choose). We chose to have our ceremony on board and our wedding package was $3000.
Here’s what that money is paying for…
All Disney Cruise Line ceremonies include:
On-site ceremony coordinator to coordinate your ceremony day events
Choice of personal fresh floral for the couple (You may also opt to include floral for your bridal party, available at an additional cost)
Solo musician (pianist) for the Ceremony and Cake & Champagne Celebration
Officiant to perform the ceremony
Cake & Champagne Celebration onboard the ship which includes an elegant 2-tier wedding cake, keepsake Mickey & Minnie figurine, one bottle of champagne and one bottle of sparkling cider (non-alcoholic) for the toast, served by host or hostess
Dinner for the couple at Palo on night of ceremony
Disney Cruise Line Commemorative Ceremony Certificate
Steaming for the couple’s ceremony attire
The special couple will also receive a $100.00 onboard stateroom credit that may be used towards merchandise, spa treatments, port adventures, and other onboard activities . (Any unused portions are non-refundable and non-transferable.)
Photography packages with Event Photographer, available for an additional cost
Wedding Planning Guide
Shortly after our payment was received, we were contacted by our personal Disney wedding planner. Meredith, our wedding planner, was always available to us to answer any questions or help with any decisions we might have needed. She set up a “Wedding Planning Guide” which was a 15 page document where we made our final decisions on cake, flowers, song choices, etc. With Cinderella’s carriage at the top and whimsical, fairytale blue lettering, even the planning guide had a great level of Disney detail.
After we filled out the planning guide accordingly, we talked to Meredith and sent to planning guide back for her to make the final arrangements. Three months before we set sail, we received an official confirmation about when/where our wedding would take place on the ship.
Pros and Cons of the Disney Cruise Wedding
We have two weeks until our wedding day! We’ve been through the process and now we’re excited to see how everything pans out. If you’re thinking about having a Disney wedding, here’s a little insight our thoughts about the process
- The Consultants: Everyone we talked to was super helpful and cheerful. Even when I thought our questions were silly, someone happily found answers for us.
- The Wedding Planner: I love having a personal “Wedding Planner.” After we made our decision to do the Disney Cruise wedding it was nice to be able to talk to the same person who remembered us and the details of our wedding. It was also convenient to have her direct contact information, including phone and email.
- Easy Planning: Basically we had about 5 major decisions to make, each carefully outlined with multiple options. We had to desire to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of wedding planning. This helped us plan a wedding within 6 months of engagement! Honestly, we might only have a couple hours total wrapped up planning. That left us tons of other time to focus on our daily lives and we’re grateful for that.
- It’s Intimate: While we would have invited all 300 people who were on our initial guest list when we started planning, we’re happy with our wedding party of 12 people. We’re both blessed to have wonderful families who love and support our decision and we can’t think of a better way to kick off this marriage than to celebrate it with these amazing people! Instead of having one wedding day, we’re going to be enjoying 7 days and nights in paradise with our closest loved ones… yay!
- We’re Getting Married… Twice. : Legally, you cannot wed in international waters. Therefore, we technically have to get married BEFORE we board the ship.
- If you’re getting married on the boat: On the day we board, before we set sail, we have a meeting set up with a notary to officialize the marriage. Our actual wedding ceremony is not until the 2nd day at sea, March 10th. We’ve been struggling to find meaning in both ceremonies and to make each one special. Nonetheless, I’m not losing any sleep about having to get married to the man of my dreams twice
- If you’re getting married on Castaway Cay: With this option you actually get married on the island during the ceremony. Honestly, we just couldn’t wait for the last day of the cruise to be married.
- When’s our Wedding Date?: We didn’t know the date of our on board ceremony until three months before we set sail. The ship doesn’t finalize plans with everything else on board until then so we had to play a waiting game for a month or two.
- Guests Under 18: We were planning on having dinner onboard the ships premium dining restaurant, Palo, on the night of our wedding. However, our son is 5 and the restaurant does not allow anyone under the age of 18. Obviously not having our son with us is not an option, so we will be dining at our regular dining accommodations. My fingers are crossed we’ll be at the Animator’s Palate.
- Wedding Day Options: There were a couple details we were underwhelmed by. For example, the cake options seem a little lack luster. The jury is still out on the venue and the music. We’ll see!
BUT… At the end of the day I’m going to be married to my best friend and surrounded by people I love. It’s a win-win.
I hope this helps anyone looking to make plans for a Disney Wedding Cruise or Vow Renewal. I look forward to updating with lots of stories, pictures and details in a few weeks!