Earlier this week was May 4th, generally known as Star Wars Day because “May the Fourth” sounds a lot like “May the Force”. Yes, it’s a thing.
May 4th is also my wedding anniversary. Yes, that date was chosen specifically because of that whole Star Wars connection.
This got me thinking about the wedding (and, of course, Star Wars, but that’s less relevant for this post). See, both my wife and I are big Disney fans. We wanted to incorporate Disney into the wedding, but at the same time we didn’t want to turn it into something cheesy, so this meant a lot of planning in order to find a good balance and not go too far. We wanted a way to include our fandom in the ceremony and reception, but not have it turn into something resembling a child’s birthday party (we saved that for the Disney princess party I had for my 40th birthday last year). We also didn’t have a big budget (if we had tons of money we would have just done the whole thing at Walt Disney World), so this meant doing a lot of things ourselves. This did make everything more special in the end, though, as it was something created by us and our friends.
I’ve actually been meaning to write about it for a while now, because maybe others out there want their love of Disney to be reflected in their own wedding. This post is going to be all about the little bit of pixie dust that we incorporated into our own nuptials, to maybe give readers some ideas of their own.
It started with the invitations. We’re both active in theatre–I’m a technician by trade and she sometimes performs–so we wanted that reflected in the design by evoking a similar ‘classic theatre poster’ aesthetic found around Main Street USA.
I proposed on stage after a show we had worked together, while Grim Grinning Ghosts played in the background. I wanted to incorporate my obsession with that attraction into the wedding somehow, which led to the creation of a vest custom made from fabric of the ‘wallpaper’ pattern and matching ties for my wedding party.
Rather than just number the tables, each one was named after a Disney couple (Aladdin and Jasmine, Ariel and Eric, etc).
The reception was an ‘afternoon tea’ buffet-style affair with salads, sandwiches, and snacks rather than a sit-down meal. The labels for the drink dispensers didn’t necessarily have a specific Disney connotation, but (like with the invitations) we worked within the sensibility of the classic Main Street USA style.
For the ceremony we wanted different pieces of Disney music to be playing when each part of the wedding party walked down the aisle, finding instrumental versions of different songs that would work for each group.
As this was a Jewish ceremony we had the traditional chuppah (a canopy thing that all the getting married action happens under) and the first group of friends were the four chuppah bearers, tasked with standing at the four corners and holding the poles to insure that a strong wind didn’t suddenly come through the room and knock the canopy over. For them we chose “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious” because it was upbeat and happy. Next came my groomsquad, followed by my parents, and they all came in to “Prince Ali”. That was originally going to be my entrance music, but since it’s meant as more of a song heralding his arrival we changed it to the ones coming in before me. I entered to “Colonel Hathi’s March” because it’s fun and march-y and I couldn’t find a good upbeat version of “Grim Grinning Ghosts” that I liked for this. Believe me, I looked. Next came my wife’s entourage (which included males and females, so the term bridesmaids wouldn’t be appropriate. They were therefore dubbed the brides peeps) who entered to “Friend Like Me”. Finally, my soon-to-be-wife entered with her parents, walking down the aisle to “When You Wish Upon a Star”.
Once the ceremony was completed, and we walked off the stage together, “Zip-a-Dee-Doo-Dah” played. Seemed fitting enough.
In Jewish wedding ceremonies, there’s a tradition called the ‘yihud’ in which the new bride and groom escape to a private room for several minutes. Mostly it’s a great opportunity for the couple to actually eat, as once the reception starts it’s surprisingly tough to do that. The room is “guarded” to prevent anybody from disturbing the couple’s seclusion, and I had to outfit our guards appropriately.
Another Jewish wedding thing is the ‘ketubah’, basically a marriage contract. There’s no traditional design for the ketubah, so we opted for a fun and colorful look. Of course, one of the polka-dots is also a ‘hidden’ Mickey head.
After the ceremony there was some mingling and eating. We had put together a list of Disney music, ranging from the movies to park attractions, which played in the background during all of this. After that was the partying and dancing, at which point a DJ took over and played music more suited for partying and dancing. Just because I’ll dance around a room to the Main Street Electrical Parade theme doesn’t necessarily mean that everybody would want to…
When it was all said and done (and we could look back at it all without the stress of actually planning and putting it all together) we were pretty happy with how it all turned out. We definitely showed off our love of Disney, but didn’t go too over the top with any of the elements. It just had a bit of pixie dust sprinkled on top.
We also, naturally, went on a magical Walt Disney World honeymoon. You can check that out here.
Note: All design elements–invitations, table things, drink dispenser signs, ketubah, etc–were designed by Rosenthol Design.