Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Disney's Fairy Tale Weddings - The Miracle Workers

Disney's Fairy Tale Weddings offers couples a choice of three masterfully designed collections and over thirty-five venues with panache to host their big day. Those two accolades alone should be reason enough to recite your vows at Walt Disney World, right? Perhaps, but fabulous affairs aren't created by themselves. Behind every stunning affair, are a team of experts that have devoted an astronomical amount of time and energy to bring a person's dream to fruition.

Disney's Fairy Tale Weddings has assembled a team of  individuals who are masters of their craft. They take seriously the fact that couples are entrusting them day-after-day, to create flawless weddings with no room for error. The second day of my visit, I had the pleasure of watching a few of these dynamos in action as they prepared for a wedding reception in a ballroom at the Grand Floridan Resort and Spa. Inside the ballroom, Korri, Meredith and I perused childhood pictures of the bride and groom as Michelle Wenzler, Senior Wedding Planner meticulously placed the finishing touches on each guest table, while calmly delegating jobs to various team members. Stopping briefly to greet us, she explained that the wedding reception we were watching come together had been designed by the Disney's Fairy Tale Weddings team in less than four weeks.

Rose Dizon, Floral Event Designer, was the visionary for the opulent floral designs that embellished the room. You could tell she took great pride in her efforts as she scrutinized over each centerpiece to ensure every flower had been perfectly placed. Gazing around the room, I was in awe of these amazing people and their determination to organize a wedding of this magnitude in such a short period of time. From a customized seating chart, personalized menu cards, wedding programs, a monogrammed cake topper, elaborate floral designs, beautiful linens...the room was ravishing!   

As I cruised down I-4 towards Tampa that night, I realized I not only had debunked the myth of a "Disney" wedding, but become their number one fan! Style, talent, dedication...Disney's Fairy Tale Weddings has it all!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Disney's Fairy Tale Weddings - Collections That Share Your Love Story

As you stare at the dazzling diamond upon your finger, sparks of excitement ignite're getting married! It's time to embark on a journey that will kick off the next chapter of your life. Whether you are planning to say your vows in an intimate ceremony for two or in the presence of five hundred family and friends, Disney's Fairy Tale Weddings offers three dazzling collections (Escape, Wishes and Couture) that can be easily customized to fit a couple's artistic vision, as well as, their budget.

Escape Collection
This package is designed for the couple planning an intimate affair for up to twenty of their closest  family and friends.

(Monday - Friday) Starting at $4,750.000***
(Saturday - Sunday) Starting at $7,500.00***
*21% Service Charge Applied To All Food and Beverage
**6.5% Sales Tax To Be Applied

Wishes Collection
Created for weddings of twenty-one guests or more. Couples choose from a variety of floral, decor, linens, lighting, entertainment, photography packages, etc. for a personalized wedding that embraces their love and spirit. Pricing for the Wishes Collection is based upon a customized wedding event.

Functions After 2 PM (Monday - Thursday) Starting at $12,000.00***
                                        (Friday - Sunday) Starting at $15,000.00***

Functions Before 2 PM (Monday - Sunday) Starting at $10,000.00***

*21% Service Charge Applied To All Food and Beverage
**6.5% Sales Tax To Be Applied

Couture Collection
 David Tutera, the charismatic, celebrity event designer, best-selling author, star of WE channel's, My Fair Weddings and a man whose talents inspire my own creativity (Can you tell I am a huge fan?), has married his exquisite sense of style with the gifted talents of Disney's Fairy Tale Weddings. The result...gorgeous, one-of-a-kind weddings fit for royalty! Couples choosing the Couture Collection have the opportunity to meet with David Tutera at his studio in New York, making this a true VIP experience.

Pricing begins at $65,000.00 plus 21% service charge and 6.5% sales tax.

Disney's Fairy Tale Weddings is excited to be celebrating its 20th anniversary! To commemorate the occasion, they are offering for a limited time, the Memories Collection at a special price of $1,991.00. It's perfect  for couples renewing their wedding vows.  This package includes: a solo violin musician, three consecutive hours of transportation, a bouquet of your choice and one hour of professional photography coverage.

Did You Know...?

  • All Wishes Collection minimums can be met through a variety of means, including food and beverage, decor, floral, entertainment, photography, videography, additional transportation and venue rental provided by Disney's Fairy Tale Weddings. 
  • Space can be tentatively held for your Wishes Collection wedding at Walt Disney World 18 months prior to your wedding date. Escape and Memories Collections have different booking guidelines. To learn more, contact Disney's Fairy Tale Weddings (407)566-2313.
  • All prices provided for this post were provided by Disney's Fairy Tale Weddings and are subject to change without notice.
  • Disney's Fairy Tale Weddings offers a one-stop-shop for all your planning needs! Walt Disney World Resort offers culinary, floral, photo, video, transportation and entertainment that bring to fruition the wedding of your dreams. For more information, speak with a Disney Wedding Coordinator - (407) 566-2313. 
  • October and November are popular months for Disney weddings.
  • The Disney Difference
  • New Custom Wedding Website for couple's saying "I do" at Walt Disney World!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Disney's Fairy Tale Weddings - Magical Venues That Bring Your Event To Life

Close your eyes and imagine the wedding of your dreams. What do you see?  Are you marrying your beloved on a gondola in Venice? Or saying your vows under the stars with an incredible view of the Eiffel Tower in Paris? Perhaps your surrounded by your loved ones in a castle centuries old? With help from the cast of Disney's Fairy Tale Weddings, your dreams can come true!

Korri, Meredith and I spent weeks discussing my visit to Walt Disney World and what I wished to accomplish while there. With a background in event  planning and design, my questions and requests weren't  typical of press. They were ones asked by a peer with an appreciation for the effort it takes to transform the ordinary to the extraordinary. One of the elements that sets Walt Disney World a part from other destination wedding locations is its vast portfolio of unique venues, capable of hosting wedding ceremonies and receptions from intimate to grand.

It was hot and humid the morning I walked into Franck's Bridal Studio to meet Korri and Meredith for the first time. I was happy to find myself in the presence of two upbeat, talented and engaging ladies. After acquainting me with Franck's newly redesigned bridal studio, we jumped in a car and took off for the American Adventure at EPCOT.

Before I go on, let me fill you in on something...

I am a big fan of Walt Disney World! No, my house is not decorated with Disney decor, but I grew up with parents who loved taking my brother and I to the Magic Kingdom. I can still remember an afternoon in 1980, when my family and I rode the monorail to a cement platform that is now the monorail station for EPCOT. We gazed in amazement at a large silver ball being erected in the middle of a vast sea of dirt. In 1982, a week before it's opening to the public, I experienced Spaceship Earth for the very first time.

As we entered the rotunda of the American Adventure, again my mind flooded with memories. I'd strolled around the ornate room many times while listening to patriotic songs performed by the Voices of Liberty. Candles, rich colored linens, china, crystal, decoratively folded napkins elegantly displayed in the center of each guest's plate, floral arrangements...this place had such possibilities! The American Adventure can be utilized for parties of 100 guests or more. It seats up to 230 guests comfortably with a dance floor, when occupying the first and second floors of the rotunda.

Stepping out into the sunshine, we walked to Italy Isola, an outdoor space offering exceptional views of EPCOT's nighttime fireworks spectacular, IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth. The area is full of character and is perfect for a cocktail or dessert party for 100-150 people or an ambrosial buffet  for 50-60 guests.

Back in the car, we headed to Disney's Boardwalk for a peak inside the Atlantic Dance Hall. Couples looking for a non-traditional atmosphere, with a high energy feel and enough room to dance the night away, will adore this venue! The Atlantic Dance Hall has a seating capacity for 130 and is available for buffet style service only.

The tour continued at Disney's Wedding Pavilion located next to Franck's Bridal Studio. This non-denominational pavilion was designed to comfortably seat up to 300 guests, showcases picturesque views of Cinderella's Castle, has a state of the art sound system, organ and video cameras discreetly placed throughout the room, allowing videographers to capture every angle of a ceremony.

A short walk from the Wedding Pavilion brings us to the doors of  Disney's Grand Floridian Resort and Spa. It's ballrooms are designed with the same understated Victorian grace and charm the adorn the resort. Couples seeking a polished, romantic, atmosphere with antique accents will fall in love with this gem of a space!

With over 35 venues, each gushing with it's own distinctive's no wonder over 30,000 couples have celebrated their happily-ever-after with the help of Disney's Fairy Tale Weddings.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Vision, Trust and a Little Bit of Pixie Dust...That's What Disney's Fairy Tale Weddings Are Made Of!

Back in 1991, the Walt Disney World Company launched Disney's Fairy Tale Weddings. It brought to life the posh French provincial bridal studio owned by Franck Eggelhoffer, the foreign, eccentric, fun-loving wedding planner from the remake of the Spencer Tracy classic, Father of the Bride. Now, almost twenty years later with over 30,000 magical weddings performed, the Disney Imagineers have transformed Franck's studio from beautiful to breath-taking! The sun-filled, redesigned studio oozes with happy vibes and gives couples a first-class, multi-sensory experience unlike any other. Ornate furnishings, luxurious draperies, state-of-the-art technology...and more! Everything a couple needs to plan the wedding of their dreams has been incorporated into the design and functionality of the space.

For years, I have tried to convince client's that Walt Disney World is a perfect venue for a wedding. However, many people have a misperception of a "Disney" wedding. Their image is limited to a ceremony at Cinderella's castle and a reception attended by Mickey and Minnie Mouse. While driving one morning, a billboard for Disney caught my eye and it occurred to me how to debunk the myth my clients had, while at the same time showcase the "true" Disney wedding experience.

Weeks later, with camera and questions in hand,  I ventured to Orlando to meet with Korri McFann, Worldwide Marketing and Business Director and Meredith Filip, Marketing Manager for the Walt Disney World Company. I spent two memorable days at Disney's Fairy Tale Weddings. During that time, I had the pleasure of meeting remarkable people and touring a few of the amazing venues couples can choose for their reception. Before traveling back to Tampa, I witnessed Disney magic come to life as Ashley and Richard said, "I do" at a candle lit ceremony in front of family and friends at Disney's Wedding Pavilion. It was the perfect ending to a magnificent adventure!

Over the next week, I'll be taking you behind-the-scenes for a unique look into the captivating world of  Disney's Fairy Tale Weddings. It's a chance to let go of preconceived notions and discover the reasons why couples from all over the world have chosen Walt Disney World for their destination wedding!

Friday, September 10, 2010

Delectable Dessert Stations: Big On Taste...Sweet On The Budget

Photo Courtesy of Weddingbycolor

 Dessert Parties are a dynamic, budget savvy idea for corporate holiday gatherings, bar/bat mitzvah celebrations, adult birthday parties and non-profit fundraising events.Combining sassy, self-serve areas with a few playful interactive stations, promotes a  multi-dimensional soiree everyone will love!

Ice Cream Cookie Sandwich Bar
A chef attended station that would excite Willy Wonka!  Guests create their own ice cream cookie sandwich from an embellished presentation of rich ice creams, heavenly cookies and tantalizing toppings.

Suggestions For An Ice Cream Cookie Sandwich Bar:
Ice Cream Flavors (Choose Two or Three): Vanilla Bean, Chocolate, Chocolate Chip, Mint Chip or Coffee
Cookies (Choose One or Two): Chocolate Chip, Peanut Butter or Sugar
Toppings: Mini Semi Sweet Chocolate Chips, Rainbow Sprinkles, Coconut Flakes, Crushed Almonds, Mini M and M's, Chocolate Sprinkles, Mini White Chocolate Chips

Photo Courtesy of Happy Tiers Events
 Gourmet S'mores Station - Fun for kids of all ages! Attendees are invited to rekindle their camping spirit, by toasting marshmallows over stone covered flames. After toasting their marshmallow to the perfect color they proceed to concoct their version of this sugary, gooey treat.

Suggestions For A Gourmet S'mores Station:
Graham Crackers: Chocolate and Honey
Chocolate Bars: Milk Chocolate, Dark Chocolate or White Chocolate
Other Toppings: Creamy Peanut Butter, Carmel Sauce, Raspberry Sauce, Nutella Spread

Trifle Station - A trifle is a dessert that is layered in a glass bowl. At this station, guests delight in assembling custom trifles in mini parfait dishes. A chef flambeing bananas and cherries, becomes the focal point and the interactive aspect of this sinful experience.

Suggestions For A Trifle Station:
Custard Flavors: Vanilla or Chocolate
Layer Choices: Lady Fingers, Brownie Bites, Crushed Oreos, Twix Bar Bits, Whipped Cream, Crushed Graham Crackers, Bananas Flambe, Brandied Cherries

Photo Courtesy of WPIC

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Enjoy Four Star Hotels On A Budget

Photo Courtesy of Exquisite Hotels Design
Comfy beds, designer toiletries, first-class service, soaking tubs, chenille bathrobes...the list goes on. I can't remember the first time I stayed at a luxurious hotel, but I know once I did, I was hooked! Perhaps you're thinking I was one of those spoiled rich kids who grew up with a silver spoon in my mouth? Well, I can assure you that wasn't the case. So, where did my lust for the finer things in life begin? I'm fairly certain I can blame Dynasty, Dallas, Falcon Crest and Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous...the TV shows I religiously watched throughout my  childhood, for my lavish taste.
Photo Courtesy of Pacifica Chamber of Commerce

With the birth of the Internet, my prayers to be able to afford opulent getaways were answered! Excursion websites are everywhere touting posh travel for less. In order to indulge my jet-setting urges without upsetting the C.P.A. chefy hubby and our family budget, I've spent months surfing the Internet for sites that "walk the walk and talk the talk." If you've been stifling your inner travel diva...squelch it no more! I'm divulging the websites I utilize to book champagne adventures on a beer budget!
Photo Courtesy of - I highly recommend the "Name Your Own Price" section of this site. 90% of the time, I utilize it to reserve four star accommodations. Why? It allows the bidder the chance to select the area of town they want to stay, the star level of the hotel and the price they are willing to pay. The bidder's credit card is charged only if their offer is accepted. For the years I have been using, I've never bid higher than $110.00 a night for a resort level hotel. Most of the time, my submissions between $78 -$90 are accepted for a four star or resort hotel. The same hotel is usually listed on other websites at a nightly rate between $179.00 - $250.00. 

Photo Courtesy of - Take a look at the vacation packages on this site. When purchasing airfare and hotel together...major savings can be found! Be sure to read the reviews left by former guests before purchasing travel. They are extremely helpful and I always make it a point to read them.  when looking for new places to stay, with or without children.
Photo Courtesy of Maui Beach Guide - Check out the "Mystery" hotels this site offers. "Mystery" hotels are ones provides the star rating, reviews from former guests, the area the hotel is located and a room rate at least 50% off the published rate. They call it a "Mystery" hotel, because the buyer only finds out the name of the hotel after they've booked it. I've purchased several times the "4.5 Star Mystery Hotel" in the Orlando area and have never been disappointed. The accommodations have always been superior. - This is a phenomenal website for Disney enthusiasts and for anyone planning a trip to the parks in Florida and/or California. Sign up on to receive their monthly newsletter, which includes exclusive offers for lodgings around Walt Disney World and Disneyland. 
Photo Courtesy of,,, - Sometimes the best deals can be found on a hotel's own website. Especially if you are a member of their frequent guest program . There's no charge to sign up and most of the time you're immediately eligible for discounts that can include "free night stays." 

The next time you're aching for an adventure, try booking through one of my favorite sites. After all,  Robin Leach shouldn't be the only one enjoying "champagne wishes and caviar dreams."
Photo Courtesy of

*Disclaimer - Diva With A Fork was not compensated by any of the companies included in this article. They are businesses Diva With A Fork has and continues to purchase travel. Rates noted above are from previous travel. For current room and vacation package rates, visit the websites suggested above or one you frequent.*