Weddings are on a lot of folks’ minds these days as a result of last week’s historic Supreme Court decision on same-sex marriage. So now that everyone is able to legally wed his or her prince or princess, why not think about tying the knot in the most Magical Place on Earth?
Same-sex marriage was already legally recognized in Florida since the beginning of 2015, and Disney has allowed any couple to have a commitment ceremony, wedding, or vow renewal for several years. They are pros at making sure all couples can have the ceremony of their dreams.
So where to start? Well first you need a date. And, as we are smack in the middle of wedding season right now, if you don’t want to wait to marry any longer, Walt Disney World may not be able to accommodate you. How far ahead you can book depends on the wedding package you choose. And the wedding package is mostly dictated by the number of guests attending your wedding. These numbers are for Disney Fairytale Weddings in Florida – Cruise Line, Disneyland, Aulani, and Swan & Dolphin weddings have different criteria.
This is by no means a comprehensive guide, but a start to help you see if a Disney wedding might be something in your future.
|Disney Wedding Pricing and Policies|
|Package||Guests||Base Cost||Booking Window||Minimum Stay||Deposit|
|Memories||Max. 4||$2500||6 Months||2 Nights||$500|
|Escape||Max. 18||$5500||8 Months||4 Nights||$1000|
|Wishes||Min. 18||$12000||12 Months||n/a||$4000|
Escape and Wishes Collection weddings include two Walt Disney World Annual Passes for the couple, which is a nearly $1400 value at current pricing and which don’t have to be used right away (just in case anyone is looking for some reasons to tip the scale in favor of a Disney wedding). Memories ceremonies are mostly only available on weekdays, 3:00PM or earlier in the day. Guest numbers are in addition to the couple.
If any of the packages look like they’ll be a good fit for you, it’s time to contact Disney. The easiest way is through DisneyWeddings.com.
Then the fun starts.
The planners there can begin the process of quoting you everything from arriving in a horse-drawn carriage to adding a confetti cannon to your festivities. Remember the base cost is just a starting point and just like any other wedding, the cost of a Disney wedding can snowball as you’re offered option after option that you can’t live without.
Here are some things the base costs do not include: 3rd party photographers (only official Disney photographers count toward your minimum spend), attire for the wedding party, transportation and lodging (Wishes weddings can give the couple free nights if enough of their guests stay onsite – one night per 25 nights booked), welcome bags or other goodies for guests, and all the normal costs of a Walt Disney World vacation like park tickets, food (apart from your reception), and souvenirs – you know you’re not leaving without the wedding tux or veil ears, right?
Some more things you may want to consider:
- How many guests will realistically be able to attend a destination wedding if you’re not local. If sharing your day with as many friends and family as possible is your dream, a Disney wedding may not be the best idea.
- A site visit to meet with the wedding planners. You can even taste cake samples – how awesome is that?
- “Meeting” other Disney brides and grooms online to see how their weddings went. There is a thriving community on the Internet of sites and groups dedicated just to planning your Disney wedding.
- Checking out MagicalDayWeddings.com – an unbiased and independent site that covers all things Fairytale.
- Buying a guide. And, no, this time we’re not pushing our own books. If there is a Fairy Godmother of Disney brides and grooms, it’s Carrie Hayward, author of Passporter’s Disney Weddings & Honeymoons (we recommend the e-book edition for the most up date info).
Oh, and wherever you decide to get married or if you decide not to at all, congratulations to everyone who now has the option. And if, after the past few days, you never want to hear “so when are you getting married already?” again, welcome to my world. Mazel tov!