Disney Cruise Intimate Wedding: Alison + Thomas

When I selected this tiny wedding a couple months ago I had no way to know that I’d be publishing it in a time in which all cruises are cancelled, travel is very limited and the world is in crisis.

Rather than focus on the bad, I’m choosing to feature the good. And maybe, just maybe this post will allow you escape from what’s going on and dream of the day that all will be back to normal and we can explore and adventure freely once again.

Enjoy this gorgeous wedding and some Q&A from the couple below!

Photography: Everlasting Photography

Venue: Disney Cruise Line

Wedding Gown : Bridal and Formal

How did you meet?

We met in college. While we technically met the first weekend of college at the first party of the semester we didn’t actually talk or get to know each other. We ended up joining the same business fraternity and starting hanging out through mutual friends. Friends turned into more than friends and we moved in together after college. We got a cute dog (our pride and joy) and the rest is history!

How did you decide to have a tiny wedding and what challenges did you face?

I work in the events industry and I have had my fair share of weddings as a venue coordinator. While I enjoy seeing people’s visions come to life, they always seemed so stressed the day of and so exhausted by the end of it. About a year into working events I realized I did not want to have a traditional wedding. I loved Disney Cruises and started researching their wedding packages (shamelessly before we got engaged….). It ended up being a great choice because we could limit the guest count which automatically reduced stress for me. It also limited my choices. I am extremely indecisive so only have six bouquet options was really appealing to me.

The biggest challenge was also the biggest blessing: the limited choices. While Disney only offers six bouquet choices you are always welcome to bring along your own options. You can create your own silk bouquet, purchase your own sola wood flowers from Etsy, rent arrangements from so many online stores. For a while, I considered forgoing the options offered by Disney and learning how to make my own arrangement but remembered, this is why I chose a DCL wedding. I wanted to be less overwhelmed. There are so many other options outside the standard package they offer. We ended up upgrading or DIYing only a few things for this reason.

How did you decide on the location?

We chose the Disney Dream based on the itinerary. The Dream offers shorter cruises, one of which is a Friday-Monday sailing. We didn’t want people attending to take a full week off work so it was a no brainer for us. We also had a few teachers in the group and knew more than a few days off would be nearly impossible for them.

When getting married on a Disney Cruise you can book a few different venue options. You can get married on their private island, Castaway Cay or on board the ship. Within those categories there are a few upgraded options to pick from. I knew right off the bat I wanted to get married on board for a few reasons. One, getting married outside honestly sounded like a terrible time to me. The heat of the Bahamas in September while I’m wearing a full length gown, the potential wind, the sunburn. I just wasn’t really interested in the elements. Second, the weddings on the island take place pretty early in the morning. A 5:00am wake up call and a 6:00am hair appointment was not my idea of a relaxing day. Lastly, their main location option on the island was not all that picturesque in my opinion. It’s super close to the main family beach and chances of those people being in your photos seemed likely. Also, it’s not all that private.

This lead me to the on board options. When booking an on board wedding you have the option of booking the main Atrium or you can be assigned a space 45 days prior. I was not interested in the Atrium at all. While it is BEAUTIFUL I just wasn’t into the idea of strangers looking over the balcony watching me cry. Also, it seems like a less controlled environment than a private room, what if a child was crying uncontrollably in the background? I was comfortable picking the standard on board option knowing we would probably be assigned the Outlook Lounge. This is exactly what happened and I could not have loved it more! It is a private room on the fourteenth deck with a large wall of windows. This is the perfect sized space for anyone will roughly 20 attendees. It had the perfect neutral setting and seem so far away from the other 3,000 people on the ship.

How did you tell your guests and/or everyone else that you were planning something intimate?

While our wedding was a true destination wedding it was less of a traditional elopement. We planned for a small group of people to attend and since there was such extensive travel required we wanted to make sure there was ample time for them to plan. This absolutely did not change the fact we had a lot of explaining to do to everyone that… well…. didn’t get invited. Once we announced our engagement on Facebook we got tons of the typical questions. It was really hard to tell people, especially family we were close to, that we were only going to have immediate family and a few close friends present for the wedding. We ended up having a traditional dinner reception about a month later. This really helped alleviate any awkwardness because we could follow up by saying “but you’re invited to the reception and it’s going to be so much fun!”. Luckily, my event coworkers were more than willing to help me plan it – they’re really skilled in event design!

What was your favorite part of the day and why?

My favorite part of the day was, by far, our personal vows. We opted to only do traditional vows during the ceremony and then take some time after the wedding to read out written vows to each other. After some photos we found a secluded deck and read each other these vows. It was so nice read each other such special words while sailing through the sunset. Stephanie, our photographer, was there to take photos and they ended up being some of our favorite photos from the day! I would totally recommend any couples that be anxious about reading vows to do this on their own after the fact. A close second favorite part was when we went to the club venue on the ship that night in our wedding attire and danced the rest of the night. We got so many congratulatory wishes from random people on the ship, it was so nice of them!

Do you have any advice for other couples currently planning their weddings?

You should have the type of wedding you want to have. If you have dreamed of having a 300 person, six course meal, princess dress wedding… do it! If you want to get married on the beach with just your children…. do it! EVERYONE will have an opinion about your choices whether you ask for it or not. Don’t take these opinions to heart. Make sure you have the type of wedding you and your partner want. The planning process is much longer than the wedding, don’t spend time stressing over the planning of a wedding you don’t want.