Disney Trips and Weddings and Etsy Store - Oh my!

It’s been a number of months since I wrote and that’s truly inexcusable but I thought it was time to get back into it because there has been A LOT going on – Disney and craft related!

First, the Christmas projects I mentioned before my hiatus were a huge success. So much so in fact that my husband and I have been inundated with requests from our daughter’s friends’ parents to make American Girl houses / accessories for them. We decided it was time to think about opening up an Etsy store--- and we did ---and we were quickly inundated with requests. So we’re backing off of that a little bit for the moment because we don’t want to take on more than we can realistically complete and that’s where we were headed. A good problem, to be sure, but a problem nonetheless because I have a full time job and we have some other major projects going on.

What major projects, you ask?  Why, a DISNEY WEDDING!  We initially were engaged waaaaay back in 2007 but with the economy melting down and lots of financial insecurity at the time we never officially did the wedding thing, which has always been a regret of ours. So we’re doing it now. And, hindsight being 20/20, I’m glad it worked out this way. We get to share our special day with our two daughters and include them in the process. Last night I was working on the invitation booklets with our almost-8yr old and we were chatting about how her father and I met, the dates we went on and life we had before she was born. It’s been really wonderful to share this all with her.

We decided to do a Disney Wedding at the behest of some of our good friends who did a Disney Wedding back in 2014. When we started getting serious about planning a wedding I was quickly overwhelmed by the amount of work it was going to take---- as I mentioned above, I have a full time career and a family and there’s a reason why most folks do this before they have those kinds of time obligations. Our friends kept insisting that we should look into Disney Weddings because they are virtually effortless. We were extremely skeptical because as much as we love Disney as a family vacation destination, we don’t necessarily want The Mouse all up in our wedding day. But at their urging we included Disney in our list of venues that we were cost-comparing.

Shockingly, Disney turned out to be really competitively priced to the venues we were looking at in Michigan. And as we got further and further into our research I began feeling a crisis of trust in the Michigan venues --- they were asking us to manage a lot of the details (finding and organizing a variety of vendors) and if we cost-consciously went for the most inexpensive vendors we realized that that directly increased the risk we were taking on that something would go wrong. I know that there is a whole movement of DIY wedding cost-savings but we really don’t have the bandwidth for that. When we looked at the final numbers it was pretty much the same cost for the wedding between Michigan venues and Disney--- but Disney offered so much more peace of mind and handled all aspects on our behalf for that price, whereas the local venues put that all on us. The final straw in our decision, however, was that for our out-of-state guests (of which about 50% of our invite list are out of state) it was considerably less expensive to fly to Orlando than to Detroit, and with the wedding discount the hotels at Disney were less expensive than the ones near us in Michigan ($90/night for All Star Movies, vs. $130/night for local ‘budget’ hotels with no pool and seedy locations).

So in December, we made the jump and booked a Disney wedding for next November! We went down in the fall without the girls for a ‘site visit’ to select the venues. We went again this past week as a family for the ‘planning visit’ where we select flowers, music, food., etc and meet with the staff who will be handling all of that. We expanded this trip into a ‘normal’ Disney trip so that the girls could get their vacation ya-ya’s out, since they won’t be able to do a lot of the activities they’re accustomed to when we are down for our wedding trip in November and I expect that to be hard for them to grapple with.

I will be writing about this recent trip in the next few weeks, like I always do. We had a great time and got to experience a lot of new things (it’s amazing to me that even though we travel to Disney regularly we still manage to find entirely new things on each trip that we’ve never done before!)

I will also be writing about the experience of planning a Disney wedding as a guest contributor to one of my favorite blogs.

We are just wrapping up our invites and once that’s done I should have a bit of breathing room to get back into posting about our Christmas crafts. Those posts are coming, I promise!!

Oh! And did I mention that we also threw an American Girl Grace / Paris / Bakery party for Eva this past February? And an award-winning office window display a-la Macy's for my new employer for the holidays? So there's that as well! 

Just to recap: here's a sneak peak of the projects that have been keeping me too busy to write:

1. Christmas American Girl Craft Projects 

2. Christmas Windows Display

3. Disney Wedding preparations

4. American Girl Grace / Paris / Bakery birthday party

5. Disney trip 2016

Please check back as I promise there will be lots of posts and images coming in the next few days!