Here’s the Low-Down on Disney Weddings


Some people have their heart set on a wedding with a few Disney touches, whether that means glass slippers on the ring bearer pillow, pumpkin coaches in the corner, or a magnificent Magic Kingdom ice sculpture. But for others, the little touches aren’t enough. Their heart’s set on holding their wedding at Disney itself … the “Happiest Place on Earth.”

The only catch, of course — and for the true Disneyphile this isn’t too big a burden — is the expense. A Disney wedding isn’t for the faint of budget. If you’re planning to have anything but the smallest bash, be prepared to shell out significant bucks.

Still, if you have them, you can often look forward to a flawlessly-managed, white glove affair where your coordinator handles everything, leaving you free to savor every detail.

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Large Wedding, Small Budget

You won’t have even a small Disney wedding for less than $3500, but that doesn’t mean you can’t grab some fairy dust anyway. Hold your reception nearby, then pile into the Magic Kingdom for a mad Hatter tea party brunch or a festive evening taking in the Electrical Parade.

Two for Tea — at Sea

Why not try a romantic “I do” for two aboard the Disney Cruise line? Pricing is attractive, with a 7-night cruise and all-inclusive wedding averaging about $5000. Officiant, pianist, some flowers and a wedding-night dinner is included, and you can bump up the guest list at additional cost. Disney Cruise weddings typically get two big thumbs up from brides.

The Knot

Small Wedding, Middling Budget

Disney also offers a four-night, five-day “Intimate Wedding” package for $3500 and up, a cost that’s comparable to a Sandals 7-day wedding package, and much less than you’d pay for most at-home affairs.Goofy can probably grace
your reception — for about $800

Depending on where you hold it, you can invite from 8 to 20 guests. (Don’t be tempted to try and sneak in even one more — you could find your Big Day unceremoniously canceled.)

Ideally, your “Intimate Wedding” will be almost stress-free. The larger packages take time to plan, but you can set up this one as little as 10 weeks in advance. Your planner does almost all the work for you. All you need to do is choose your cake and fillings, your preferred bridal bouquet, your ceremony and reception spots, and decide what you’d like to do with your four-hour limo service.

Amenities like cake, flowers, and music are included. So is a unique marriage certificate signed by The Mouse himself. (The officiant used to be included, but it’s something you’ll need to book separately now. Expect to pay about $150. Also, Disney has recently updated their package terms, and now requires a four-night stay from bride & groom that is not included in the Intimate Wedding price.)

Also, the photographer and a wedding web site is currently provided, although you’ll probably want an add-on package to fill out your photo album.

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Bigger Budget, Generous Guest List

For larger weddings, Disney offers a Custom Wedding package that’s a whole different animal. This one’s more like a typical wedding with lots to plan, and less like a destination wedding.

disneyweddings

A custom wedding is the full-service deal, with elegant linens, candlelight, white-gloved service staff, floral arrangements, a decorated head table, cake table and cake-cutting service, placecards, rose petals, centerpieces, programs and favors.

There aren’t any size limits to your custom package, but there are minimum spending requirements. For example, you’ll need to spend at least $10,000 (not including hotel and park tickets) for a Monday-through-Thursday affair, and if you want a coveted Saturday date, you’ll need to set aside at least $20,000. You’ll need to start your planning about a year in advance.

“Money’s No Object, Dahling”

Having a custom wedding? Here are some popular add-ons, and approximately how many clams they’ll cost you:

  • Dove release: $250
  • Bagpiper: $500
  • Horse and coach: $1750
  • 30 minutes of Micky & Minnie: $1200
  • Cinderella’s coach, with six Welsh ponies and two footmen: $2750
  • 7-Piece Orchestra: $6500

Just be sure to check typical weather for the dates you have in mind at your destination. California is temperate almost all year-round, but Florida — where most wedding couples go — can get pretty steamy during the hot season.

Disney Weddings
And yes, you can have trumpeters announce your arrival and Major Domo (you know — the guy that hands Cinderella that fateful slipper) serve as your personal ring bearer (about $2000). You can serve up a groom’s cake fashioned after Mickey’s sorcerer’s hat, or top your tiered cake with a white chocolate castle. You can hand out customized mouse ears to all your guests, or add the White Rabbit, Donald, Chip & Dale or Mickey and Minnie to your nuptial proceedings … sometimes in formal attire, no less. You can even rent out the entire Magic Kingdom ($45,000, venue only) and run custom messages over the park’s video screens — all for price, of course.

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Learn More About Disney Weddings

Disney has an official wedding site, but you won’t learn much there until you’re ready to book. Instead, start by hanging with savvy brides at the DIS Discussion Forums, and go on a scavenger hunt for savings at MouseSavers.