FINALLY! I’ve been waiting until we got our engagement photos back to post this month’s blog post, so I appreciate everyone’s patience.
This month has been such a wild ride! The plans are only beginning to cement themselves into place, and much of our journey has been a “hurry up and wait” situation so far.
The very first thing we did was celebrate with an engagement photo shoot! Our photographer, Ryleigh, was incredibly personable and friendly, and was able to get two of the locations of some of our very first dates: Forest and Tower Grove Parks! I put a couple of our favorites down below, but I’ll include the full gallery on a different page!
While I’m not really one for professional pictures (I think the only decent school picture I’ve ever taken was during my senior year of high school), I’m really, really happy with how these turned out!
As most people know by now, we’re working with our Disney’s Fairytale Weddings coordinator, Pam, and her assistant, Donna, for a date in October 2023. Eric’s mom was so sweet and offered us a lift to the airport, and after a quick dinner, we were on our way!
We wound up booking a couple of days at the Embassy Suites in Kissimmee, Florida. I think we’ve both stayed there before, so we knew exactly what to expect when checking into our room. The suites there are absolutely lovely, with a separate bedroom and a living room area, and plenty of counter space if we need it! I think Eric and I were most happy about the fact that it had the same showerhead that we had in our resort during our Universal trip last year. Since we landed at around 11pm Florida time, we figured the best thing to do was get some shut-eye for the next day!
I think we were both excited and nervous for the next morning to arrive. There’s something to be said about waking up on vacation, though–we were up two hours before we needed to be awake, and seeing either of these gates will never get old!
While we were waiting for the gates of the famous wedding pavilion to open, we decided to wander around for a little bit, taking pictures of every detail we possibly could. Finally, at 9am, we were welcomed in! Eric loved watching the monorails going by.
When you watch the show on Disney+, it doesn’t quite capture the beauty of this venue as much as when you take your first steps inside. When you cross through the gates, you follow a bridge down to the building. On your right, you have the bridal suite, and on the left, the doors are open to where you can see not only the interior of the venue but also the beautiful glass window with a picturesque view of Cinderella’s castle!
As we were walking in, we met a Cast Member who talked with us briefly about our stay and congratulated us on our engagement. She also gave us the general layout of the tour. When she asked why we were considering Disney for our wedding, we told her that we heard nothing but great things about the venue and planning services, and when I mentioned that Mom was “friends with” Cinderella and Belle, she got so excited! We got into a long conversation about how Disney Quest shouldn’t have ever changed, and how Disney in the 1990s was the best place to be (Thanks, Mom–LOL)!
I wish I would’ve taken more video during our time in the Pavillion–while we were walking around, the organist was playing hits from different Disney songs. When we asked him to play “He’s a Pirate” from the Pirates of the Caribbean film series, he didn’t disappoint! (Click the link below to watch!)
After taking a look at the venue a little bit more and venturing about Picture Point, it was time to make our way to Franck’s Bridal Studio, which is where the planning magic happens! They had samples of different cakes, dresses, place settings, and wedding albums from previous ceremonies and receptions out, and everything looked beautiful!
This was where we met and talked with Pam! She took down our names and my email and promised to get back to me so that we could get all the details in order.
After we said our temporary farewell to the bridal studio, it was time to have some fun! Despite the fact that we flew down to Disney in peak season, we had a blast! Our first stop was to the Magic Kingdom, where we managed to get in a total of 13 rides in that day (that’s counting doing Pirates 3 times and Haunted Mansion twice).
We had plenty to eat and more that day, with more than one Dole Whip, a stop at Gaston’s Tavern for lunch (the ham sandwich and Lefou’s Brew we both got pictured above), and our dinner reservation at Be Our Guest. We even got to visit a few characters in between, like our friends Buzz Lightyear and the Beast himself! Considering that Beauty and the Beast is one of my all-time favorites, I was beyond excited.
Dinner was so wonderful; it was a fixed menu with plenty of options to choose from! I settled on the lobster bisque while Eric got the French onion soup to start (“The best onion soup I’ve ever had in my life.”–his words!). Our main course was a fillet mignon with asparagus, and they had a trio of desserts for each of us–each included a macaron, a truffle, and the infamous grey stuff (and yes, it was delicious!). What made it extra delicious, however, was that they gave us extra grey stuff to celebrate the engagement. 😉
The icing on the cake was the fact that the Beast had heard of our engagement and sent us a card with his autograph to congratulate us after he had stopped by to say hello! We were both really touched. Looking back, this day was absolutely magical!
As sad as we were to leave the Magic Kingdom, we had a very exciting day at EPCOT on our final day in Florida. We began the day by riding Spaceship: Earth and The Seas with Nemo and Friends (one that we weren’t able to do last time), then stopped to take some snapshots with the topiaries that are put up during the Flower and Garden Festival each year. We also got to make some friends with a couple of manatees!
We had a couple of character sightings, too! When we went to ride Journey Into Imagination, we heard some children shout “IT’S POOH BEAR!” and we rushed right over. When Pooh saw us in our wedding ears, he dropped his butterfly net and drew a heart and told us he loved us! It was so cute! After paying Figment a visit, we saw that Vannelope was having a meet and greet, and we both got a big hug!
We then began our journey through the World Showcase. We had a wonderful lunch in the Biergarten, which is our favorite place to eat in EPCOT, and we were even treated to a show featuring traditional German music.
We made various stops around the Showcase, and it was in Mexico that Eric underwent another Disney rite of passage–a ride on the Gran Fiesta Tour! Below are some snapshots of this and our other adventures that day:
The last thing we did before we left was hitch a ride on Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind, and let me tell you–IT’S WORTH IT! Due to the fact that the ride is still pretty fresh and new to some, I won’t spoil the storyline, but I will leave a slideshow of pictures here:
I still can’t believe that we were able to do so much in such a short period of time, and the best part is that this is only the beginning. We can’t wait to see where are planning takes us next! We’ll see you in next month’s update!