I’ve always been a stereotypical girl when it comes to getting married and my fairy-tale ending. As a huge fan of Disney, how could I not be?
And then I’m a planner, and an organiser. Together, these qualities made for the perfect wedding storm. I’ve been dreaming up the fine details of my wedding for a long time. Planning the age I’d be, the dress I’d wear, the location I’d get married in.
Finally (after what felt like a lifetime!), I became engaged in June 2015, and I was able to start formulating my plans into some kind of reality. They warped and changed, I settled on venues and firmed up plans with Liam, the anthem for the day was to be Gabriella Aplin’s the Power of Love. Part of me had always wanted a wedding in Orlando, but I knew people wouldn’t be able to afford to get there, and I wouldn’t be able to afford it full stop, so I dismissed that part of me.
A beach. It always had to be a beach. What I didn’t realise is when you actually visit a venue you thought was perfect just how opposite it could be to what you imagined. We visited an iconic hotel overlooking the beach in Cornwall. It was dated, dingy and the Events Manager turned up 15 minutes late and called me by the wrong name. Great first impression.
So that certainly sullied my dream. We thought of other options. We needed this wedding to be cheap, we couldn’t afford something extravagant and neither of us wanted that. We looked at a beach near the hotel – it would have cost us upwards of £10,000 just down to the sheer amount of food that they demanded you order.
Then we looked for off-the-wall venues. We found a cave with an underground lake. That was the one, surely, and we settled on it. It could only fit 35 people in, too, so it gave us the brilliant excuse not to invite all the people who were extensions of our life but in reality knew nothing about us or who we were as a couple.
We started budgeting and totting up what it would actually cost. It was still an insane amount. That part of me who wanted a Disney wedding came back to the surface. We talked about the possibility, and dismissed it again. How could I get married and my whole family couldn’t come?
At some point, we both realised something most engaged couples seem to forget – the wedding isn’t for anybody else, it’s for us. Neither of us could be bothered to invite a room full of strangers to watch us embarrass ourselves, neither of us wanted speeches, neither of us could be bothered with an evening of small talk and well wishes, neither of us wanted to pay for people we barely knew to eat some stiff fancy dinner. Being an introvert, the worst thing I can imagine is having distant relatives talking at me all day long.
Then we decided we were going to go to Orlando, elope, and invite no one. Believe it or not, our dream Disney wedding would be ten times cheaper than struggling to afford to get married in the UK and inviting everyone who has ever realised we exist.
We’ll be married on a sunny Monday morning, on the beach with a view of Cinderella’s Castle in the background. There will only be 4 attendees (our parents) and no fan fair. Afterwards, I’ll change out of my dress and spend the day in the Magic Kingdom. Our photographers for the day will be the many Photopass employees located up and down Main St, and the cameras installed on the most thrilling moments of each high intensity Mountain. There won’t be a wedding cake but there will be an evening feast at Ohana in the Polynesian Resort. I’ll end my day with a Happily Ever After in more ways than one – Disney’s Magic Kingdom will have unveiled their new nightly fireworks show by this point and it will be the first time I get to see it. It couldn’t be more quintessentially us.
I guess these days the wedding I want is more Ed Sheeran in Barcelona than the Power of Love.
Would you ever consider eloping?
Find me here!