Real talk: Weddings are expensive.
And destination weddings can be outrageously expensive (I’m looking at you, Disney’s Fairy Tale Weddings…)
I do applaud Disney for having plenty of less expensive alternatives/enhancements with different venue, food, and package options.
So before you say “we can’t afford this…” to your dream Disney wedding – let’s do some research!
Here are 7 ways to cut down the cost of a Disney Wedding:
1) Make a list of “must haves” or a wish list:
Making a list of “must haves” will help you sort out which elements of the wedding are the most important to you – be it decor, photos, attire, etc. If you’re like me (and the majority of people in this world…), you simply can’t afford to have everything, so decide on the things that will make your day special and beautiful to YOU.
Remember that as long as you have your spouse, the other “stuff” doesn’t matter. It’s just stuff – and sometimes, it’s expensive.
2) Cut out the carriage:
I know for a lot of Disney brides, this is a big MUST-HAVE… which is fine! Having a Disney Wedding is the only way to hop on Cinderella’s coach, so I understand that appeal. But before you start going over-budget because of the horse-drawn carriage, ask yourself these questions:
- Does it go with the theme of my wedding? If you are having a “Nightmare Before Christmas” theme, then maybe not so much
- Is it worth letting go of something else? As wonderful as the carriage is, is it worth giving something else like characters? Confetti canon? Rose petal toss? Food?
- When I look back, will I regret not having it?
To be honest, I was so nervous the morning of my wedding that after the limo ride to Wedding Pavilion, I thought to myself “Wait, how the hell did I even get here…?” I don’t even remember transportation. If you can’t afford it – don’t sweat it. You may be like me and not even remember how you got from place to place due to all the nerves.
3) Disney’s Escape Collection & other Packages:
My husband and I wanted an intimate wedding with our family and closest friends. Disney has smaller packages that are less expensive and there are plenty of places to get married at Disney that won’t break the budget. Do some research, talk to a wedding planner, and reach out to other brides to find out all the different options. Don’t say no unless you’ve done all the research! Read about Disney’s Escape collection here.
4) Say No to Extra Decor:
Having wood tables, chiavari chairs, and/or up-lighting sounds super great, but if you are on a budget, these are the things that typically go unnoticed. We wanted all of these things but later found less expensive alternatives and were able to add the decor and entertainment that we decided was the most important. To be honest, we didn’t miss any of those items!
5) Tossing traditions:
Saying goodbye to some reception traditions was a good way to cut the cost of our Disney wedding. Turns out, getting a fake bouquet for the toss is really expensive! Who knew?! These things are small, but small things can really start to add up – so start sweating the small stuff!
6) Find a Pre-owned/purchased dress or veil:
There are plenty of never-been-used or pre-owned wedding gowns and veils out there. I found my veil for $60, and it was a beautiful, well-made veil. You never know what you’ll find, so if you’re looking for that perfect Alfred Angelo wedding gown.. be sure to ask your Disney Bride sisters for help to find one on sale.
7) Hire an Outside Photographer:
Disney wedding photographers are amazing – that much is true. However, there are PLENTY of talented photographers outside of Disney, many of whom have worked for Disney Weddings before. Even though Disney Wedding Photography can be part of the enhancement costs, use the enhancements to purchase things you can’t get anywhere outside of Disney such as entertainment or decor.
photos by Regina Hyman Photography