WE DID IT!
Chris and I (finally) got married! This has been a very big year for us. We both turned 30, we (officially) got engaged, we moved out of state AND we bought a house. We figured we would keep that train going and go ahead and get married as well. Neither of us really had any desire to do the whole “wedding” thing, it’s not our style. I’ve definitely lost the urge to be a “bride” and go through all the motions and traditions many still do. I’m not knocking it, I think it’s beautiful and I love looking at other’s pictures… It’s just not me.
Despite what pressures you may feel otherwise… it is YOUR day. Celebrate it how you and your partner want to!
Our plan started as an off the cuff remark about running away to get married. However, we wanted Bug there and still wanted family there. Then came the moment of clarity: LET’S GET MARRIED AT OUR DISNEY TRIP. LET’S ALSO KEEP IT A SURPRISE. Fifteen minutes later we had planned the whole damn thing. No joke. It was that easy.
We participate in the Didi Hirsch Alive and Running 5k down in Los Angeles every year for the last few years now, and now that we have our Bug, we decided to morph it into our annual family Disneyland trip while we’re down there. Last year was so much fun, but we kept the trip to just us and were definitely missing (and were missed by) the rest of the family (grandparents, aunts, etc.). My family has always done annual Disney trips, but since being pregnant and having a baby, our regular schedule got a little wonky.
The end of September/beginning of October in Southern California is still pretty warm, but there’s a nice cool off in the evenings and the likelihood of rain is pretty minimal. Disneyland is relatively quiet during the week that time of year as well. The rising popularity of Mickey’s Halloween Party has started to throw a small wrench in that, but we’re still loving our middle of the week plan.
Disney’s wedding services are beautiful, but pricey (we had enough people for the intimate package they do, but it was still a full wedding thing and costs a big, shiny penny). We just wanted to do a quickie ceremony and then just play at Disneyland for our trip. Since there were no à la carte services on their packages, I started to research the closest courthouse to the park. This led me to the gorgeous Old Orange County Courthouse that was 10 minutes away. The services were exactly what we wanted and, most importantly, we could still have room for family to watch us exchange vows. It also cost us just over $100 to get married there.
While researching and seeing photos of the courthouse, I discovered Sheryl Bale Photography and contacted her. She was incredibly friendly and very fairly priced. She even had a special elopement package. We talked about the idea of hiring a photographer so that we had professional photos of our day. This was going to be the most expensive part of our wedding (aside from Disneyland itself, but we already budgeted for that). We hired her several months in advance and (in addition to being in contact on Instagram) she would periodically reach out to me and see how the planning was going and if I needed any resources for makeup, flowers, etc. It was such a nice touch and I am so happy to have connected with her. She was worth every penny and I cannot recommend her enough.
Upon ironing out the details of the wedding, we decided to start working on the family. Getting them in on a Disney trip is not a strange request, so I knew we were safe there. The trouble would be getting my little brother and dad to come, because they have opted out of the Disneyland experience for the last 15 years (it’s not their thing). This meant spilling the beans to three specific people: My sister (who will help with any planning or ideas I may need), my brother (because the only way that kid would say yes is if it were for my wedding), and my Uncle (who would also only say yes because it is my wedding). My brother and Uncle were also the key players of getting my dad to agree… they were not against a kidnapping if need be.
My Aunt (+ her kids) and my Grandparents were easy. We just told them it was coming, we were planning on the first week of October and they said just tell us the specific dates. Gotta love that.
My parents would be a little tougher. The Alive and Running 5k always overlapped with their annual Reno trip to Street Vibrations. I looked up the dates and it was only overlapping by ONE DAY. This meant getting dad to agree to leave their trip one day early. My argument was set. I told my dad that we were planning on a big, family trip and it would mean a lot for them to go and experience Bug in Disneyland. I told him I already knew their trip dates and they’d have to leave a day early. Surprisingly, he said that was fine, but that he didn’t want to tell my mom. THE MAN WANTED TO SURPRISE HER WITH A TRIP TO DISNEYLAND.
I immediately texted the whole family that they were in, but to keep it a secret from mom. This was in May, and the trip was in October… this was going to be rough. We kept dodging conversations about a Disney trip with her, changing the topic, you name it. When we announced that we would be moving, we assured everyone that the trip was still on, we would just be flying in versus driving in. Chris accepted the job up here with the condition we got to take our trip off. When Bug and I left for Oregon, there would only be six short weeks before we saw everyone again, but couldn’t say anything about it.
Tune in tomorrow for the next stop in this story, Wedding: The Reveal.