Imagine all your friends and family are gathered and the music starts playing when Cinderella’s carriage suddenly appears and steps out…She. Isn’t that the stuff dreams are made of? Disney Fairytale Weddings & Honeymoons can make that dream a reality!
When Disney fans think of their wedding, a Disney wedding is one of the first things that comes to mind. Many (like me) are quick to dismiss the idea, assuming it would be astronomically expensive. However, you will be surprised how affordable it can be! Honestly, if you’d asked me before I started researching this piece, I would have guessed that you can’t get married at Walt Disney World for less than $50,000, and even then, that would be the easiest of all weddings. I was very, very wrong (and may now regret my decision not to get married at Disney). So what’s planning a Disney wedding? Yes, really how?
Let’s talk about the big right away. How much is it? Korri McCann, marketing director for Disney’s Fairy Tale Weddings & Honeymoons, says, “The minimum amount for an event at a Disney park starts at $10,000. This includes a couple’s ceremony location, chairs, water station, a musician and of course a dedicated wedding planning team, as well as a selection of other wedding elements that are important to the couple such as flowers and decorations, transportation and more.”
You pay for every component of a Disney wedding and you can make it as simple or extravagant as you like. The cheapest wedding venue starts at $3,500. That would be for an outdoor location away from the parks (think resort hotel pavilions and waterfront lawns).
Not surprisingly, getting married at the Magic Kingdom in front of Cinderella Castle is the most expensive spot at $30,000 (this price doesn’t include food, transportation, decorations, photography or any extras). However, most venues (including some locations in the park) typically cost between $5,000 and $7,500.
Note, however, that the event minimum increases as venue costs increase. For example, if you choose Cinderella Castle, a $50,000 minimum applies instead of the $10,000 minimum. A $10,000 Disney wedding isn’t impossible, but it’s hard to achieve. Adding special items like horse-drawn carriages increases the price. Holding the wedding outside of the theme parks cuts costs. McCann said, “The average wedding in the United States costs $28,000. We’re right in that wheelhouse.”
As with all things Disney does everything for its guests. It doesn’t stop with planning a wedding. Disney takes care of all the details from start to finish. Stephanie Burman and her husband Antonio Santiago said they could have planned their entire wedding in about three hours, allowing them to spend the next day at the Magic Kingdom. “It was the greatest experience,” he said.
“Planning was super easy,” Burman said. “They sent you a planning pack and you just went through and marked all the things that you really wanted and what you had in mind for your day. … The planner really just takes whatever you want and just walks with it.”
Disney wants to bring storytelling into its weddings. “They come with very creative ideas, and it’s our job here to help them be their storytellers and use their imaginations to really make what comes to mind,” McCann said. Everything is handled in-house, which means Disney provides the catering, flower arrangements, decorations, photographer and every other detail. Outside professionals are not allowed (your father, the great photographer, cannot take your official wedding photos, a Disney photographer has to do it).
What options are available?Credit: The Knot
Disney Imagineer Tom Fitzgerald coined the phrase “If you can dream it, you can do it” while working on EPCOT’s Horizons. This idea is at the heart of Disney weddings. You are only limited by your wallet. Would you like to arrive in Cinderella’s carriage while the Dapper Dans sing “Here Comes the Bride”? You can do it. Would you like Mickey to appear at your reception? You have it.
Would you like your entire wedding party to ride your favorite ride before or after the ceremony? Coming! Your first dance can have pyrotechnics (venue permitting), custom lighting, and a live performance by some of the park’s most amazing performers, as long as you’re willing to pay the elevated prices that come with these options.
The cost of these extras cannot be quantified. The website doesn’t list them because honestly the sky is the limit. Learn more about extras and addons here. One couple wanted Mickey and Minnie to show up at their wedding so badly that they decided not to have food at their reception to help cover the costs.
Speaking of food, You and your guests can enjoy food from across the resort (and beyond) during your reception. You are not limited to choosing from a catered menu. Every restaurant in the resort is at your disposal and you don’t have to stick to just one. If you love Risotto from Tutto Italia Ristorante, Ooey Gooey Toffee Cake from Liberty Tree Tavern, and Cheddar Cheese Soup from Le Cellier, you can have them! You can even have a special family recipe made if you’d like. Meal prices start at $140/person for breakfast, $175/person for lunch, and $210/person for dinner.
Of course, a Disney wedding doesn’t come cheap, but it’s also not as expensive as you might have thought. $10,000 is well below the national average, and as mentioned above, it’s entirely possible to get married at Disney World for that amount. The more you add, the more it costs, but since we’ve kept it simple, we were surprised to learn how affordable it could be. It definitely seems worth celebrating one of the most important milestones in someone’s life in this unique way.
What do you think? Would you ever consider a Disney wedding? Let us know in the comments.