Are you dreaming of a wedding that feels straight out of a fairy tale, complete with Cinderella's castle as your backdrop and Mickey Mouse joining your celebration? Look no further than Walt Disney World for the ultimate enchanting experience. But when is the best time to say "I do" in this magical kingdom? Let's explore the seasons and unveil 10 essential tips to make your Disney-themed wedding day truly unforgettable.
1. Consider the Seasons
Walt Disney World exudes charm all year round, but each season has its unique magic. Spring brings blooming gardens, while summer offers longer days and balmy evenings. Fall boasts colorful foliage and winter sparkles with holiday decorations. Choose a season that aligns with your vision of a perfect wedding backdrop.
2. Plan Around Crowd Levels
There’s no easy answer to this one because it’s a matter of preference. Consider avoiding holidays or while school is out of session if you want to avoid long lines and overcrowded venues. Off-season times, like the last two weeks of August or September and October except the holidays of that month, can be the best times if you want to enjoy the parks when they are least busy. Lastly, keep in mind that for the final two weeks of December and the first week in January, the crowds are so large that no weddings or photos can take place in the theme park locations.
3. Check for Special Events
Disney hosts various events throughout the year, like the EPCOT Flower & Garden Festival which takes place during dates in February through July, EPCOT Food & Wine Festival which takes place during dates in July through November, Halloween at Walt Disney World takes place during dates in August through November, and Holidays at Walt Disney World which takes place during dates in November through December. In addition to these multi-month events, Disney highlights special days of the year like Valentine's Day, 4th of July, and more.
You should also plan around the four runDisney races as they often cause delays or shutdowns during the park season. Talk with your Disney Wedding Event Services Manager to find out the dates around the Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend Overview (usually the first weekend in January), Disney Princess Half Marathon Weekend (on our around February 22 - 26), Springtime Surprise Weekend (on our around April 18 - 21) and the runDisney Wine and Dine Half Marathon (on our around the first weekend in November).
These events can add an extra layer of magic or changes to your wedding celebration as the parks will be themed to the events and you can leverage that to reduce your decor costs if you’re looking to be married inside the parks.
4. Weather Matters
To say Florida's weather can be unpredictable is an understatement. Keep an eye on weather patterns to plan accordingly for potential rain or extreme temperatures. While the rainy months at Walt Disney World start in April and are heaviest during June, July, August, and September, it can rain at any time in Florida. As you get into the winter, December can swing wildly from winter-level cold to mid-summer temps within the same day. Talk with your Disney Wedding Event Services Manager about any alternate locations as a backup plan for outdoor ceremonies if the rain or weather isn’t going to work with you that day.
5. Coordinate with your Day of Coordinator and the Disney Wedding Event Services Manager
Utilize the expertise of your full team. Disney's Wedding Event Services Managers specialize in leveraging all of their available internal resources and preferred vendors to create fairy tale weddings on Disney World property and ensure that all elements of the wedding run smoothly; such as guest flow, transportation, photography, entertainment, banquets, culinary, front desk, and floral. They can assist in every aspect, from choosing the perfect venue to coordinating with vendors, provided they are through Disney and Disney preferred members directly coordinated through Disney's Wedding Event Services Managers.
If you want/need something outside of those parameters you will need to handle those yourself or leverage the experience of an outside Day of Coordinator like Fairy Tales & Wedding Bells.
An outside Day of Coordinator, with experience in how to work within Disney’s rules and requirements, will be the bridge between your outside vendors and Disney's Wedding Event Services Managers services. They will handle coordinating and leading all outside vendors and the materials you may bring on the day of and ensure all of your gifts and wedding materials are returned to your room after your events conclude.
6. Customize Your Theme
Sprinkle a dash of Disney-enchanting magic into your big day! Here are some ways to add a touch of Disney to your wedding without turning it into a full-on fairytale. Let’s dive into the magical world of Disney-inspired weddings!
Elevate your look with Disney-inspired attire and accessories like cufflinks, rings, ties, and even bridal Minnie ears! Don’t forget your Disney-themed princess-inspired wedding dress.
Get creative with your Disney-themed signage and stationery. Bring your favorite quotes, hidden Mickeys, and your favorite princess-designed elements from everything to your save-the-dates to invitations and welcome signs to menu displays.
From incorporating Disney themes to personalized Mickey Ears as favors, infuse your floral and décor with Disney elements in the dance floor, gobo projections, and table settings.
Make an entrance at your ceremony and reception to a Disney song, consider tying the knot at iconic Disney locations, and indulge in a touch of magic with Major Domo from Cinderella presenting your rings.
Surprise guests with experiences and entertainment ranging from attraction mix-ins, fireworks, exclusive park portraits, or even a character meet-and-greet. Arrive in style with Cinderella's coach and depart in a Main Street vehicle.
Delight guests with a Disney-themed menu, cakes, Mickey-shaped treats, and signature cocktails inspired by beloved Disney characters. Don't forget the iconic Dole Whip creme puffs for everyone to enjoy!
Remember, it's about sprinkling hints of Disney magic, not turning your wedding into a full theme park—unless, of course, that's your dream come true!
7. Capture the Moments
Hire a professional photographer and videographer to capture every magical moment. Only the Disney Fine Art Photography teams are allowed to photograph inside the theme parks for portrait shoots. There are specific videography vendors that have permission to shoot alongside them. That doesn’t mean you can’t hire your favorite photographer for your wedding or event. They will have to become a Disney-preferred vendor and get cleared for certain areas outside of typical wedding venue locations.
Lock in a team of photographers and videographers that work well together. They will have a shorthand with each other and maximize the time you’ve hired them for. If there is one area you do not want to miss, it's having photographers and videographers who know how to shoot a Walt Disney World Wedding. You'll cherish these memories for a lifetime.
8. Plan Your Budget Wisely
Create a comprehensive budget that includes venue costs, catering, attire, and any additional Disney-themed elements. Don't forget to account for any hidden fees. There will be hidden fees. This is where your Day of Coordinator can help plan for and find these costly line items. Don’t let your day come to find out that these added charges have crept into your budget.
9. Inform Your Guests
While you’re excited about having your destination wedding at Walt Disney World, your guests need to have time to plan this special day into their budget and calendar. Disney will need all room blocks and your main list by 30 days before the wedding date. To ensure you reach that deadline, you’ll want to mail save the dates six to nine months before your wedding date to give your guests a heads up to clear their schedule. Your invitations should go three to five months before your wedding date with a clear cut-off date of forty-five days before your wedding date to make sure that the majority of your guest list and rooms are booked before Disney Fairy Tale Weddings’ deadlines.
Between your invitation and a wedding website, be sure to provide your guests with all necessary information regarding accommodations, transportation, and the schedule of events to ensure everyone enjoys a stress-less celebration.
10. Remember to Enjoy the Magic
Amidst the planning, remember the reason for it all—to celebrate your love and commitment. Embrace the magic of the moment and cherish every second of your Disney-themed wedding day.
A wedding at Walt Disney World is a dream come true for many couples, and with careful planning and consideration of these tips, your special day will be an unforgettable fairy tale. Say "I do" surrounded by the magic that only Disney can offer, and begin your happily ever after in the most enchanting way possible.
Want to learn more about our full-service wedding planning services? Head on over to our Services page to learn how our company has evolved into a magical event-planning experience unlike any other.
Ready to start planning? SCHEDULE A CALL TODAY so we can begin walking hand-in-hand with you every step along the way and advocating on your behalf to make sure that your wedding day is everything you've ever dreamed of and more.
Whether you hire us Fairy Tales & Wedding Bells to be part of your Disney Wedding Dream team or not, we'd love to hear about it. Share your Disney Fairy Tale wedding photos and videos with us by tagging us @fairytalesandweddingbells on Facebook and Instagram or @fairytalesnweddingbells on Tiktok.