Like most Disney fans, I grew up watching Disney movies and I never stopped. Ever since I can remember, Disney movies made me feel safe and gave me a sense of hope for my future. I knew my whole life that I wanted a Disney wedding. When I was in middle school, I found out there were Disney Princess-inspired wedding gowns and a website where you can plan your dream Disney wedding. I spent all my free time using that site to plan my dream Disney wedding. Back then, the price tag attached to a Disney wedding didn’t mean anything to me. I was dreaming. The point is that I’ve always wanted Disney to be incorporated into my wedding day.
Planning a Disney-inspired wedding off Disney property has been, I can’t say easy, but I can say fun. It has been worth it, though. It’s also way cheaper. This is a great way to save money if you want to have a long honeymoon or save for a house. The great thing about many hotels near and around Walt Disney World is that they have high service standards. After all, this is a hospitality hotspot. There’s even a nearby college that specializes in Hospitality management.
When we got engaged in the Spring of 2020, we knew we wanted a venue near Disney since we couldn’t get married on Disney property. After we came to terms with that, we then had to figure out our “theme.” We landed on a Beauty and the Beast-inspired wedding, but in our case, we are calling it Beauty and the Beauty. This gave us the foundation for the color scheme and ambiance. Obviously, when planning a Disney wedding outside of Walt Disney World, it means you don’t get the top-of-the-line Disney wedding planners who can give you the whole world if you asked for it. All this means is that it’s up to you to make this happen, obviously within budget. Of course, with our theme, we picked our main colors to be red and gold.
Due to not having Disney wedding planners, we spent a lot of time at craft stores buying roses and rose petals. We have family members all over searching at different thrift shops looking for antique-looking frames to decorate our tables. It truly does take a village. We had agreed from day one that we wanted this to feel like an antique castle filled with enchantment, and we knew we had to make it happen. I enjoyed finding décor and making décor to match the vibes that we want. One of my favorite things so far has been being able to pick small businesses as our vendors to help support local businesses. This was very important to us because we have been planning this wedding throughout the pandemic, which has been a rough time for these small businesses. There are so many talented vendors throughout Orlando; you just have to do your research.
One of the biggest perks of doing an off-property wedding, other than the price, is that you are not too far from Disney, which makes buying Disney Parks merchandise for your wedding easier. If you aren’t nearby, you can always download the shopDisney app. At World of Disney at Disney Springs, we found a small Lumiere figurine that lights up for our sweetheart table. Over at Hollywood Studios, we found a Beauty and the Beast stained glass notebook that will be used as our guest book. Shopping around Disney for these small hints of the movie was super fun and I’m sure it will bring more of that whimsical feel to the wedding.
Planning a Disney-themed wedding off Disney property is so much fun because it allows you to be creative. I also feel on the day of the wedding you get to look around and say “Wow, we made this happen.” Not only does this allow for creativity, but it also allows others to help because it truly takes a village to make magic happen. I have enjoyed every single second of the planning process from figuring out the theme, the color scheme, and the invitations, to choosing the food. I love knowing that we did this together and put work into this wedding. I also love knowing that we will only be minutes away from Walt Disney World. All in all, planning a Disney-themed wedding off Disney property might take some extra work and require extra creativity, but it also helps save you money. The best part is that it all leads to you marrying your best friend.
If you were to have a Disney-themed wedding, what theme would it be? If you had a Disney wedding, what was your favorite part of the planning process?
Hi, I'm Erica, and I write about all things Disney. Before working for The DIS, I was a theme park performer at SeaWorld, but I also performed at Disney. I have such an immense love for theme parks to the point I studied them in college.