These Disney LGBTQ+ weddings are pure magic
Disney is home to magic, joy and fairy tales. So is it any wonder it’s also popular for LGBTQ+ weddings as well? We’ve long admired how LGBTQ+ inclusive Disney is, and we wondered what it’s like having an LGBTQ+ wedding at Disney. So naturally, we went straight to the Mouse himself. Or rather, herself, as it turns out: Korri McFann is the marketing and sales strategy director for Disney’s Fairy Tale Weddings and Honeymoons, in Orlando, Florida, and oversees all the wedding departments of the entire company.
She sat down with me to discuss what makes a wedding a Disney wedding. “Disney weddings are a really immersive experience,” says McFann, whose been working with Disney Fairytale Weddings for 22 years. At every wedding service, McFann says the goal is to “honor the couple’s dream.” Sometimes that can mean coming up with cuisine offerings for a couple in touch with their heritage, planning a shopping trip for the wedding party to Disney Springs, surprise character meet-and-greets at wedding receptions, fireworks, illuminations or a movie set backdrop.
“It’s all part our ‘Be Our Guest’ strategy,” McFann explains. “We allow you to be a guest at your own wedding. We want you to be relaxed and enjoy yourself. We believe in celebrating love!”
If you can dream it, they can—and will—build it. “Fairy tale is synonymous with dreams,” she says.
And indeed, Disney is ready to bring those dreams to life with its seemingly endless amount of places to get married. The company offers dozens of wedding venues from Florida and California to Hawaii and its cruise lines.
Disney is all about the details so couples can expect a high level of customer service, as well as the latest in technology and truly dedicated team at Disney Weddings from custom logos to illuminations.
Getting married at Disney is accessible and affordable. “There are multiple price points for different families,” McFann says. Each park offers a variety of lodging at which your guests can stay, and then there are myriad options at each space as well.
We spoke to two couples who married at Disney, and we were in awe of their magical moments.
Alexis and Miranda Aldamuy married at Disney’s Wedding Pavilion at Disney’s Grand Floridian Resort & Spa at Walt Disney World Resort
For each couple, Disney is packed with meaning. For Alexis and Miranda, it began with a childhood fascination with Disney. “Ever since I was little, I have been obsessed with Disney,” says Alexis. “All the movies, going to the parks, dressing like a princess—all of it. I doesn’t remember when the Disney wedding dream started, but it’s been the goal for as long as I can remember. I never wanted a wedding that screamed Disney, but more of a romantic fairy tale. I wanted to be Cinderella with the whole dress and ball.”
Luckily for Alexis, Miranda loves Disney almost as much, and understood how much getting married at Disney meant to Alexis.
The couple’s wedding theme was soft, romantic fairy tale. “The Disney Wedding Pavilion is THE perfect fairy tale ceremony venue with its footbridge and arches, giant chandelier, and view of Cinderella Castle from the alter,” say Alexis and Miranda. “We opted for an in-park reception venue in the American Adventure Rotunda in Epcot, which features a domed soaring ceiling, white columns and a terrazzo floor in a circular ballroom—perfect for our fairy tale ball. We had pink uplighting, candelabra centerpieces, champagne accent tablecloths and twinkle light gobos on the dome ceiling that added to the romance. Our wedding was the most magical day!”
The brides got ready separately at at The Grand Floridian DVC Villas, each of them attended by three bridesmaids, respectively, as well as Alexis’ mother. (Their full wedding party consisted of them each having a best man—their brothers, a maid of honor, and two bridesmaids.) “The morning was filled with sisterly-bonding, mimosa sipping, and some overall girls-just-wanna-have-fun energy,” they share. Alexis and Miranda had their hair and makeup done together but then got dressed separately to preserve the magic of their first look., which they did in front of their ceremony venue.
“Our first look was very intimate,” the couple shares, “which really helped with wedding nerves. We also reserved Cinderella’s Coach to escort us to our ceremony. Our ceremony was perfect and 100 percent customized for us.”
“We started off with a reading of the 2015 Supreme Court ruling for gay marriage, which meant the world to us. And as an alternative unity ceremony, we opted to have a love lock where the lock has no key symbolizing a forever love. During cocktail hour, we finished taking portraits and were bussed to our reception venue to see it before the rest of our guests. Walking into our reception for the first time and getting a private first dance was one of our favorite parts of the whole day.
“I think our favorite element of our reception was our cake,” says Alexis. “It was a four-tier almond cake with churro filling. The outside of the cake was decorated with gold detailing which included our dog’s name, Charlie, with her paw print on the back. Since Charlie couldn’t be present on our special day, we had to include her somehow. The cake was topped with a white chocolate Cinderella’s Castle, which was the perfect Disney touch. During our reception, we also had some very special guests make a surprise appearance. Mickey and Minnie surprised our guests and spent time dancing and taking pictures with everyone. They also helped us cut our cake!”
“While our guests were finishing up dinner, we snuck outside to take some pictures during the Illuminations fireworks with a private viewing on the Italy pavilion bridge. We ended the night with our last dance to Magic Kingdom’s Happily Ever After firework soundtrack and a confetti blast finish, which was the most perfect and magical ending to the most perfect and magical day.”
“Three months after our wedding, we got back into our bridal attire for our private park portrait session. As Disney brides, we were able to opt into a portrait session in Magic Kingdom before it opened, and we added on Epcot as well. We chose to wait 3 months because of the hustle and bustle of the holiday season and we wanted the Christmas decorations to be fully removed, so there wasn’t any construction or blackout dates for us. So in February, we got our hair and makeup done again, this time at 4 a.m. to be ready for our 6 a.m. pickup from our hotel. Being escorted into the park before opening, getting to see the morning park operations, and getting pictures in a guest-free theme park was the most amazing experience!”
Intentional inclusivity was shared by all Disney’s staff. The wedding team provided the couple with LGBTQ+ friendly vendors to choose from, and once the wedding was over, the venue gifted the brides with two Minnie chocolates.
Alex Schroer and Bobby Asplint married at Disney’s Private Island, Castaway Cay, Bahamas, via a Disney Dream Cruise Ship. The men fell in love while living and working in Orlando, Florida. “Some of our best memories as a couple involve Disney,” says Alex. “We love traveling to Disneyland in California, and we trusted the name and quality of the Disney brand to deliver something truly special. We chose Disney Cruise Line because we wanted a destination wedding that was charming, unique, and fun for all involved. We wanted a stress-free planning process and a stress-free wedding experience. We started planning a traditional wedding on our own and it became too overwhelming. A friend of ours suggested a cruise wedding, and it seemed like a no-brainer to us.”
Alex describes his and his husband’s wedding style as peaceful, serene and casual beach wedding. “We used hues of gray and Tiffany blue; they are our favorite colors and we knew they would complement the tropical backgrounds. The ceremony was held on a quaint corner of the family beach on Disney’s private island, Castaway Cay. Our reception was held in an exclusive venue at the top of the ship, giving gorgeous views of the island and surrounding ocean. Our wedding was intimate and purely magical!”
Having a Disney wedding doesn’t have to mean having Disney in every element of your wedding. Alex says “We didn’t want our wedding to scream over-the-top Disney, but we fell in love with our cake design that featured Mickey Mouse anchors. We felt that it was just enough to acknowledge our love for the brand but also to truly represent us. We incorporated the Mickey Mouse anchors into our wedding invitations to promote the whimsical and nautical theme.”
“The grooms felt Disney’s customer service throughout. “From our arrival at the port, every moment of our experience was stress-free and magical,” says Alex. “Our entire party received expedited check-in, which really helped as the ship was completely full. Any time we had a request, we went through our incredible onboard coordinator, Malisa, who would go above and beyond to get what we needed. We discovered that during the stress-free planning process, the sky was truly the limit. Our on-shore coordinator, Faith, was like a fairy godmother.”
“We planned for a private reception for our entire wedding party, all 24 of us, in one of their sleek and upscale lounges. There were welcome drinks, and a bar full of any possible concoction our guests could want. This was the perfect opportunity for all of our friends and family to meet, and for us to hand deliver our beach-themed wedding bags. Additionally, we were able to reserve a private room in their adult-only Italian restaurant, PALO, for our family members on the evening of our wedding. We could have even had characters greet during our reception; there was so much we could customize or upgrade. Upon arrival to our room, we were greeted with multiple “fairytale wedding” keepsakes, as well as two dozen roses and a gorgeous fruit basket. The gifts didn’t stop there, both for ourselves and all of our guests!
“Our most magical moment was on the night of our wedding, where we returned to our room to see our floral and other wedding elements all over our bed. The remainder of our delicious cake was delivered with a chilled bottle of their exclusive champagne. It was so special, that we called our family members to come check it out with their own eyes. Overall, there were hidden surprises and warm wishes everywhere; it was as if the entire crew knew we were there to celebrate our wedding. We even had a brief mishap where Alex was labeled as the “female” on our spa invitation for a couple’s massage. We spoke up as it was only a little bit frustrating for us, to which they went above and beyond to apologize and recover the situation. We appreciated the ownership of the mistake, and that they understood why it could be perceived as offensive. It was a truly magical experience from the moment we left Port Canaveral until we returned to shore.”
The couple worried about how they’d be perceived on the beach where onlookers would be present, but those fears were abated. “In such a turbulent political climate, we were so worried about hecklers or encountering people who were challenged by our marriage,” says Alex. “It was one of our biggest fears; that someone would protest or display unwarranted hate on our special day. We expressed this to our wedding coordinator in advance, and she reassured us we would have nothing to worry about. We were so surprised that our experience was completely the opposite. People were applauding and screaming “congratulations!” left and right as we drove out to the beach. We remembered a dad screaming and cheering at us, and getting his two daughters to wave and smile. It meant so much to us to have an environment of love and acceptance. As we took pictures on the boat or beach, the love and cheers continued. We really thought a gentleman was going to give us a problem, to which he stood up and screamed “YOU GUYS LOOK AMAZING! OH MY GOD CONGRATS!” We just weren’t sure what to expect on a confined vessel with 4,000+ mixed clientele, and we were above and beyond humbled by the love received from guests and crew members.”
That experience was vastly different than their suit shopping experience where “we kept getting passed around with different sales representatives that acted like they couldn’t even be bothered,” says Alex. “At the same location, not a single person wished us well with a ‘congratulations,’ which we became accustomed to. Other locations were warm, friendly, and didn’t blink an eye. Our experience with Disney was so open and welcoming.”
VENDORS // ALEXIS AND MIRANDA
Photographer: Root Photography
Ceremony: Disney’s Wedding Pavilion
Reception: Epcot’s American Adventure Rotunda
Florist: Disney Floral
Planner: Sara Parkinson, Disney Weddings
DJ: Charles Miles
Invitations: Themes Come True
Attire for both: Alfred Angelo
Jewelry: Rings: Gold Smith Jewelry ; Alexis’ Jewelry: Pandora; Miranda’s earrings: USA Bride
Bridesmaids Dresses: David’s Bridal
Men’s Suits: Men’s Wearhouse
Videographer: Trinity Cinema
Officiant: Renee Silverman, A Lovely Ceremony
Alterations and Dress Steaming: Sue at Carolyn Allen’s Bridals
Hair and Makeup: Lejeune Artistry
Veil: Bel Aire Bridal via Carolyn Allen’s Bridals
VENDORS // ALEX + BOBBY
Jewelers: Tiffany & Co. (Bobby), Zales (Alex)
Cake: Disney Cruise Line
Officiant: Disney Cruise Line
Photographer: Disney Cruise Line
Ceremony Venue: Wedding Beach, Castaway Cay, Bahamas
Wedding Reception Venue: Outlook, Disney Dream
Florist: Disney Cruise Line
Planners/coordinators: Faith Somu (on-shore coordinator) – Disney Fairytale Weddings and Malisa (onboard coordinator) from Disney Cruise Line (Disney Dream).
Invitation Designer: Michael Gigliello (private/personal work)
Attire for both partners: Perry Ellis
Kirsten Ott Palladino
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