After researching our options for well over a year we were finally able to book our Disney Memories Wedding last week. The Memories package is the cheapest package Disney’s Fairy Tale Wedding’s offer and it’s for this reason it’s often overlooked on planning sites.
Most brides getting ready to say ‘I Do’ at the Happiest Place on Earth are looking for something extravagant, and you’d be forgiven for thinking a wedding at Walt Disney World would be totally out of your price range – but it’s not. After researching the cost of a wedding in the UK, the practicalities involved and the politics, we decided that for us, eloping was the way to go.
The Memories package allowed us to do that. The cost of the ceremony is a flat rate – $3,500 and it includes pretty much everything you would want at your ceremony if you’re looking to elope.
Here are some of the finer overlooked details you might want to know before making your wedding choice:
The $3,500 fee INCLUDES taxes
Because tax is applicable to most things in the United States, I had wrongly assumed the $3,500 fee did not include tax. I was bracing myself for an extra 6%-8% on top of what I already knew we’d be paying, so to find out we wouldn’t have to pay anymore was great. On top of that, Disney had announced a pricing structure change for weddings just before we booked and this shaved $1,000 off the cost.
Only SIX people (including the bride and groom) can attend a Memories Wedding
Only six people, including the bride and groom, can officially attend the wedding. However, all of the venues offered are totally public and there’s nothing to stop extra guests standing a way away and watching from afar. Personally, I’m not conformable with that, but I’ve also come across at least one Memories bride who was able to twist her planners arm and get an extra guest free of charge.
You can book the ceremony at EXACTLY ten months out (unless there’s a public holiday in the US)
I was under the impression I’d be able to enquire and book at ten months before the month of my wedding. Since my wedding date was during September 2018, I thought I could secure it as soon as we hit November 2017. Wrong. You literally have to wait until ten months to the day – my official booking date was 24th November 2017, but as this was during the Thanksgiving holiday, Disney allowed me to book two days early.
There’s actually FOUR possible ceremony locations
When I initially made my ‘official’ enquiry in November 2017, I was actually offered the choice of four venues despite Disney’s Fairytale Weddings only offering three online. The extra venue is Luau Cove at the Polynesian Resort and it nearly swayed me. It’s a beautiful area covered in magnificent trees but I just couldn’t forfeit my castle view no matter how much my ginger skin hates the sun. Luckily, you can have photos taken there even if you’re not getting married in that location.
You CAN add extras
There are a range of extras you can add to a Memories Wedding. Of course, they aren’t as huge as they would be for the pricier packages. You can add extra flowers, photography, decorations and more. Disney don’t officially publish the prices of the extras online but I’d be happy to share my planning kit if you’re interested – just let me know in the comments!
You have to pay a REFUNDABLE extra $250
This was one I wasn’t prepared for. I knew we’d be paying a $1,000 deposit up front but when you get your Letter of Agreement to sign your life away it actually states in total you end up paying $3,750 but $250 of it is refundable. This $250 is held, and if you book any extras it comes out of this amount – you then receive a refund of whatever you didn’t spend.
You MUST stay on-site at Disney World
You must be staying on-site at a Disney Hotel for atleast four consecutive nights. In the UK, free Disney Dining offers are released around April time and being prepared for this stipulation we booked a five night stay at Animal Kingdom Lodge. Luckily, free dining means we also won’t spend any extra unnecessary money on food on the day of the wedding or any of the following days.
You have to FAX your credit card authorisation
Ok, this was one stumbling block I never imagined. Everyone pays for everything online these days, right? Wrong – Disney don’t. I had assumed my planner would send me a link to pay my initial deposit online but you have to sign an agreement and send your credit card details back. Fine, I thought, until I read the small print and realised they will not accept it via email. So I was faced with the prospect of either sending it recorded delivery and waiting or frantically finding someone with a fax machine. Luckily I managed to find a machine and faxed it over.
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