DISCLAIMER: THIS POST IS IN NO WAY SHAPE OR FORM MEANT TO BASH THE WALT DISNEY COMPANY, DISNEY FAIRYTALE WEDDINGS, OR DISCOUNT THE SERIOUSNESS OF COVID-19. THIS IS PURELY AN OUTLET FOR ME TO SHARE WHAT I AM GOING THROUGH RIGHT NOW AND SHARE MY STORY.
Today’s blog post has definitely not been easy to write. And the topic I am covering is definitely still fresh and new, so please bear with me. If you follow me on Instagram you may have already heard, and if you are a close friend or family member and just finding out via this blog post, I am sorry.
There is no question 2020 has been chaotic, and the last few months have brought numerous challenges for me in my personal life. But last week we reached the cherry on top of the cake that is 2020 – we made the decision to cancel our Disney wedding.
I am not going to say the decision wasn’t easy to make, because it honestly was. However, it was/is incredibly painful. With 2020 being a complete nightmare in so many ways, our Disney wedding was the one thing keeping us excited throughout the year. But after approximately 5-6 months of little to no contact with Disney Fairytale Weddings, we finally got in touch and got the scoop on where weddings at Disney currently stand.
In an almost one hour phone call Grant was overloaded with information – including a 10 page pdf filled with covid-19 wedding restrictions. Before this discussion happened Grant and I had already discussed where we thought we were going to go with things depending on certain restrictions. But nothing could have prepared us for what we were going to be told.
Now, if I were to tell you every single restriction we would be here all day. However, I will share with you some of the basic ones and some more “out there” restrictions that are currently in place. Please note that these may change at any time – but according to our contact they are thinking these restrictions will be in place through Fall 2021. Additionally, some of these rules may have been specific to venues we had rented.
- Masks are required by all guests and the wedding party, the bride and groom are only permitted to remove masks for the ceremony.
- Buffets are not permitted at receptions.
- Attendees are limited – for our reception that was to take place at California Grill we were told 26 people would be allowed.
- Live DJs are still allowed – but songs such as Sweet Caroline are prohibited since people tend to sing the lyrics (yes, this is literally what we were told).
- Dancing is permitted, but circles will be socially distanced on the floor – each household gets a circle to dance in.
- Characters are still permitted to attend, but foliage will be placed in front of them so people can not come in contact with them.
- All photographs that include more than 1 household need to be socially distanced. For example, pictures with our wedding party would need to be socially distanced – they would have to stand 6ft away from us.
- Masks are required to be worn by everyone in photographs – with the exception of pictures of the bride and groom taken inside of the wedding pavilion.
- Temperatures will not be taken at the wedding pavilion, but they will be taken at California Grill.
- All guests are required to sign a contract stating Disney will not be held responsible if they contract coronavirus.
- Receptions are suggested to end an hour early due to dancing being limited and restricted.
- Cinderella’s Carriage is still permitted, but the bride is required to wear a mask when coming to the wedding pavilion and Cast Members would not be permitted to help them in/out of the carriage.
- Reception seating will be organized by household, and only households are permitted to sit together at both the ceremony and reception.
- Disney will have extra CMs monitoring all portions of the wedding in order to make sure guidelines are followed.
This is just a microscopic bit of some of the restrictions Disney has implemented as of right now. While some of these things were not surprising to us – such as required masks, contracts, temperature checks, and no buffets – others were extremely disheartening.
It was a quick conversation for Grant and me. We decided with restrictions like not being able to dance with friends and family, and us not even being allowed to get pictures next to our loved ones were the deal breakers for us. Additionally, we certainly did not want all of our pictures, other than us at the alter, to remind us of coronavirus by having to wear masks in them. While it is a possibility that all of these restrictions could be gone or changed by the time May rolls around, we were not willing to take that risk. We did not want to risk having a wedding that would not even be enjoyable for us and so many others.
We explored the option of pushing our wedding back a year. However, if we did this we would be put back into the lottery system for our venues, date, and time, etc. So essentially, we were not promised anything we had reserved for 2021. Once again, this was not a risk we wanted to take.
While we definitely understand why Disney had to implement these techniques, it is not what we imagined for our day. Many people have said, “Well all that matters is that you are marrying the person you love.” While this is true, Grant and I have been together for going on 5 years together and we have lived together for the vast majority of those years. We have both worked and done school from home for the past 2.5 years, so we see each other 24/7. That being said, while of course we are excited to get married our daily lives will not change at all. Part of the excitement of getting married of us is from the idea of traveling with our friends and family and having a fun party so we can make memories together. Without that, we would not be getting what we desire from our special day. And if we can’t celebrate how we’d like, we figure we may as well get married at the courthouse.
However, Disney was/is not the end all be all for our wedding day – so no, we are not eloping. We are not so desperate for a Disney wedding that we are going to wait it out or have a day that we do not even enjoy. We were so excited for our Disney wedding because of the Disney touches like the pictures, the carriage, and characters – which would not look how we wanted, therefore it is not worth it for us to stick around. Now we are completely “reimagining” our wedding – less than 6 months before our original wedding date.
As if 2020 could not be stressful enough God said, “Hold my beer.” But seriously, we are now getting excited to plan a completely different day than what we were originally planning. We are planning to keep our wedding within the same week as our original date (which was May the 4th), we also plan to still have a destination wedding, AND we are still planning to celebrate part of our wedding week at Walt Disney World.
The past 7 days have consisted of a lot of phone calls & emails, a lot of tears, and a lot of chaos. However, the wheels are turning and we are getting some exciting news and information. I am hoping to share more with y’all very soon! But for now, I have to figure out how I am going to tell countless people the wedding is not happening in its original form.
P.S. If you were wondering – yes, we did get our money back from Disney! 😉