“I married my childhood sweetheart in Disneyworld in November 2016 wearing my dream Sophia Tolli Ida dress in Tea Rose, which I purchased from Bridal Couture by Josephine in Cheadle, Staffordshire. It was the first dress I ever tried on. Josephine was everything you could want in a retailer; she was approachable, friendly and honest without being harsh. It was Josephine who selected the Ida dress for me to try.
Matthew and I have been friends since we were 11 years old. We have been together for 10 years and 3 years ago he asked me to be his wife. He proposed in Sleeping Beauty’s Castle at Disneyland Paris on New Year’s Eve 2012 and we instantly agreed on a Walt Disney World Wedding in Florida.
Travelling to Orlando with my dream Sophia Tolli princess dress is no easy task. The dress would not fit into a travel box, so I took the dress onto the flight in a bag. Josephine double bagged the dress to protect it but the dress was still as tall as I am and wider, so it was difficult to carry. As the dress bag would not fit though airport scanners it was searched and swabbed at both airports, a nerve-wracking experience when you don’t want anyone to see the top secret dress. The kind Virgin Atlantic staff hung the dress in the aeroplane wardrobe so that I could relax for the flight. The cabin crew also stored the suits, the centre piece and my custom made ceramic hair accessories in the wardrobe so I can’t thank them enough. We had so much stuff in the wardrobe that it was jokingly referred to as Katy’s Wardrobe. I travelled from the airport to the hotel by Disney’s Magical Express bus and I was assisted by my best friend. The groom and his best man had hired sports cars, not fit for the purpose of transporting the dress and luggage from the airport, but his only request for the whole wedding so I felt it too harsh to veto them. Despite all these challenges there was nothing that would have persuaded me to put my dress in the hold or to have got married anywhere else. It was a huge relief to arrive and have the dress, the flowers and the suits at the hotel -we honestly could not have managed the journey without the best man and his wife who travelled with us.
We landed in Orlando on the Sunday evening and with only one full day before our wedding there was plenty to do. Dress steaming, shirt pressing, obtain a marriage licence, meet with the planner, greet our guests, wedding rehearsal… I had to do all of this whilst dodging the beautiful sunshine as I was terrified of sunburn and strap marks!
Our ceremony was scheduled for 5pm Tuesday 8th November, allowing for a breakfast date with my mum, my hairdresser, my bridesmaids and a couple of very famous mice. Our breakfast and the time spent getting ready to put on “the dress” were some of my favourite memories of the day. We got ready at the Grand Floridian Hotel, a place I have dreamed of staying at my whole life. It was truly beautiful and exceeded my expectations. My sisters had put together a play list of my favourite songs and my hairdresser, Amelia, had a schedule which ensured we were all ready for our photographs which began at 1:45. Amelia travelled with us from Staffordshire as I could not imagine anyone else styling my hair on such a special day. Amelia actually styled my hair twice, as I couldn’t decide between up and down- we did both!!
Photography was a massively important element of our day and since so many of our friends and family were not able to make the trip to Orlando, we wanted something to allow them to share the day with us. Disney Fine Art Photography organized for Stephanie Cauldwell, Jaime Rivera and Courtney Shapiro to capture our memories. Portraits were taken in the Grand Floridian, Wedding Pavilion, The Magic Kingdom and EPCOT as well as candid shots throughout the whole day.
After three years of planning it was finally time. The iconic double doors opened. 24 pairs of eyes on me and my dad as we walked down the aisle to “Let Me Feel Your Love” by Bob Dylan. The track was instrumental and played on an organ. We couldn’t imagine anywhere more perfect to get married. The pavilion is whimsical and romantic, reminiscent of a Victorian era. It sits on a lake with spectacular views of Cinderella’s castle, everything we could ever want. Our ceremony included a unity candle lighting and a beautiful poem which was written and read by my best friend.
Following the ceremony guests were transported to Rue De Paris, an outdoor lakeside terrace within the EPCOT theme park. The blush pink colour of our bridesmaids dress was carried though into the reception styling with pink rose petals on the tables and pink roses on the naked lemon drizzle cake. I wanted favours to be something the guests would enjoy, so we decided on personalized mouse ears to act as place settings and favours. The mouse ears were enjoyed on the night and also recycled throughout the holiday as people explored the theme parks after our wedding. They featured in a lot of selfies! Our reception concluded with fireworks! The most spectacular fireworks, the perfect end to our perfect day.”
Dress: Sophia Tolli Ida – Style Y21434 / Bridal Boutique: Bridal Couture by Josephine / Venue: Disney Fairytale Weddings / Dress Steaming: Loftis Productions / Florals: Peony / Photography: Disney Fine Art Photography, Jaime Rivera & Stephanie Caldwell / Hair: Amelia Bridal and Event Hairstyling / Dress Alterations: Victoria Anthony / Marriage License & Notary: License to Wed / Officiant & Notary: Ron Rosenweig / Flights: Virgin Atlantic