We've been working more and more with our Disney Wedding Planner to try to get the site for the ceremony nailed down. We've requested something they've never done before, so we're hoping it comes through!
The whole sh-bang is still going to take place in the Animal Kingdom park, and we're looking at October 18th, 2012 as a tentative date, so save your pennies! When we have something more permanent, we'll get those "Save the Dates" mailed out.
That said, I thought I'd give ya'll a sneak peak at our Reception Venue! I think we're pretty much settled on a place in Africa called the Tamu Tamu Courtyard. Here's a short video and slide show for those interested:
A few things to keep in mind when using a Disney park venue:
All events must take place outside of park hours. So we're planning an evening ceremony, most likely around 7:30 pm with dinner and the reception kicking into gear around 8pm at the latest. This may change up to a month before the wedding depending on what the actual park hours are. If there are Extra Magic Hours that night, it might be pushed back, or moved to the day before. Whatever happens, we'll let you all know as far in advance as possible.
We will be doing a "first look" at a resort. A "first look" is a relatively new tradition where the bride and groom see each other before the wedding. (I know, I know, 'gasp', right?). It makes a lot more sense for this type of situation. We can see each other and take pictures together before the wedding, so ya'll won't be standing around wondering what to do between the ceremony and reception. I'm actually really looking forward to this moment. We might just end up inviting everyone to come along and take a peek as sort of an early cocktail hour thing, but nothing is set in stone yet. Which leads me to my next point...
We will be providing Transportation to and from the site. You CAN NOT drive yourselves to and from the location. Disney's rule - not ours. Since many people are opting to stay off property, we will probably all meet up at one resort on Disney Property so that our private bus can pick everyone up and drop everyone off at the same time. So if you choose to stay off property and rent a car, that's up to you. If you stay on Disney property, Disney will get you around by bus for free - so there are a few perks to staying on property. So if you are LATE, this could be an issue - once we announce the time, please give yourselves PLENTY of time to arrive at the designated meeting location, or you could miss out!
We're NOT doing a traditional rehearsal dinner. We do have some ideas on what we're going to do in place of it, but nothing is solid yet. We're going to be giving out a schedule of events that are completely optional if you want to hang out with us that week. Please don't feel pressured to show up at all (or even any) of the events. After all, we hope you make this your "excuse" for a great vacation too! I may ask for some RSVPs in advance of these events due to Disney's requirement to make reservations early.
Group Rates May apply and Free Dining may be going on! More about this later, but Disney is opening up a NEW Value resort during this time frame! We may be able to qualify for group rates. This resort also specializes in themed family suites, so if you have a little one and don't want to rent a car or be confined to a hotel room, these have more room, a kitchenette, and more comforts for families with little ones. If you are staying on Disney property, you may qualify for Free dining, which would include your food for something like $35/day/person (excluding alcohol). I can hook ya'll up with a travel agent if you have questions on this one, or feel free to email me (firstname.lastname@example.org). Which brings me to my next piont...
Guest list IS FIRM at 50 people. That may sound like a lot of people, but really it's 36. Oh wait, that's just including the wedding party and us. Subtract a few more for immediate family members and the spouses and kids of our wedding party - and that brings us to 24 Guests. So, while we have been blessed with large families and friends who love and support us it's not feasible to include EVERYONE, so please clear any special requests with us prior to inviting anyone via word of mouth. We will make sure those who are unable to attend get pictures and an announcement at the very least. Thanks!
We have to use Disney services for most things. Since it's taking place in their theme park, Disney wants to oversee all the quality and such for this type of event. I trust them so I'm not too worried. However, if you'd like to contribute, we will be posting registry stuff once the honeymoon is booked (probably around Feb/March of next year) or you can contact either one of us privately to discuss.
And that about covers it! Enjoy the Sneak Peek at Tamu Tamu Courtyard!