Disney Fairytale Wedding aboard Disney Cruise Line! Interview with Castle Coach Kristina!
Welcome! Today we bring you a special look at what it is like being a Disney Bride and more specifically, having a wedding on a Disney Cruise. Meet Kristina Fuqua. Kristina is an amazing concierge planner with Castle Coaches Travel, our social media manager, but more importantly...we are proud to call her a friend. Kristina was a Disney bride and got married in December 2022 aboard the Disney Fantasy. She has been kind enough to share some thoughts about her journey. Read on for an interview of her magical Disney Wedding.
1. First, tell us all about your Disney proposal! Has Disney played an important part in your relationship?
Disney has always been my happy place and my now husband, Ryan, had only been once when he was younger. Ryan and I went on our first of many Disneyland trips together after dating for only four months. In 2020 Ryan started planning a proposal, but he waited months hoping Disneyland would reopen so he could propose there like he had always planned. Finally, in October on our four year anniversary, he surprised me with a road trip to Downtown Disney and he proposed outside the main gates of Disneyland.
2. What made you choose a Disney cruise wedding? Is this something you always knew you wanted to do?
A Disney wedding has been something I've dreamed of forever. I remember an evening shift at POP Century when I was in the Disney College Program, a Disney Bride was at my register telling me that she was about to leave for her Disney Cruise Wedding. She was so excited about how her whole family was about to sail together and that really stuck with me. Disney Cruises are my favorite type of vacation and I was excited to do one for the most special day with close friends and family. After learning more about DCL weddings, it was a huge bonus to learn how affordable and elegant they are.
3. Talk about the planning process. How does one even begin with a Disney wedding?
The first step is deciding which sailing you want to get married on. Typically Disney Cruise Itineraries are announced 15 - 18 months out. We knew we wanted to have a DCL wedding in December 2022 and we sent out save the dates 4 months before itineraries had even been released that way our friends and family had an extended about of time to start saving. In June 2021, Itineraries were released and I put 2 sailings on hold and immediately called to add the wedding package. Because there is a limited amount of weddings per sailing, you have to be quick to get the sailing and venue that you want. You can not add a wedding package until a cruise is booked. When you book your wedding you are also choosing the ceremony venue: On board, Castaway Cay, or Atrium. There is a 20% deposit due 3 days after booking. Once the deposit is paid, Disney Fairytale Weddings will give you the date and time options to choose from. Atrium weddings can only be on port days, I specifically chose the first port, which was Tortuga. Disney will choose the specific time for you. If an Atrium location isn't important or your top pick, weddings can take place on sea days. Once those details were figured out, it was time to let friends and family know that they should book their cruise. Part of the wedding package includes a land wedding planner and they work with you on getting all of your requests in and really walk through the easy planning process. Overall the planning process is a breeze. You receive a planning packet filled with choices and you circle what you want! Disney really does it all for you!
4. What is it like working with Disney Weddings? How much say and control did you have over all the planning as the bride-to-be? Overall it was an amazing experience working with Disney Weddings during the planning process. As someone who has been dreaming about having a beautiful wedding my whole life, I knew a more traditional wedding would have stressed me out. Each couple is given a land wedding planner that you work with leading up to your wedding, as well as a sea wedding coordinator once on the cruise. When having a Disney Cruise wedding, you receive a package and you circle and fill in what you want for your wedding. For example, for the cake there are 6 design options and about 10 flavors. You select the design and flavor you want. It is a very simple process. If you are looking to have more of a customizable Disney Wedding then I would say a Disney Cruise wedding isn’t for you. If you want more of a stress free, but still elegant wedding that it could be for you!
5.What is included with a Disney Wedding?
On-site ceremony coordinator
Choice of personal fresh floral for the couple
Officiant and solo musician (pianist)
Cake & Champagne Celebration onboard the ship
Dinner for the couple at Palo
Steaming for the couple’s ceremony attire
Keepsake engraved Cake Knife and Server set
Commemorative Disney Cruise Line Wedding Certificate
A $100.00 onboard stateroom credit for the couple (Any unused portions are non-refundable and non-transferable) **For Castaway Cay ceremonies, round trip island transportation provided to and from wedding venue.
6. Tell us about your wedding cruise and The Big Day!
Christmas has always been my favorite holiday and time of year person and everyone knows Disney does Christmas the best! We chose a 7 night Very Merrytime Eastern Caribbean Sailing on the Disney Fantasy out of Port Canaveral. Living in California, we said if we were having all of our friends and family fly such a far distance, than we wanted them to have a long vacation to make it even more memorable. We had our wedding ceremony in the atrium on December 13th, 2022. The ship was decorated so magically for the sailing, which made for a beautiful backdrop. We had an extended reception that was held in The Tube, on of several adult-only nightclubs/lounges on the Disney Fantasy. This one in particular is inspired by the London subway where you be transported into a nightclub in the midst of Piccadilly Circus in swinging 1970s-era London nightclub. There we had hors devours, an open bar, cake, our first dance and danced the afternoon away.
7. Overall- how was your experience as a Disney bride?
There are so many memories I will cherish forever. For me, I grew on Disney princess movies, Ariel and The Little Mermaid being my favorite, and have always dreamed of my wedding. The feeling of walking with my wedding coordinator from my stateroom to the atrium stairs was a real core memory. So many little girls called me a princess and their faces were mesmerized. It was such a surreal feeling knowing I was going to walk down the aisle and have my dream wedding.
8. Did you have a honeymoon?
Yes! Since our sailing was out of Port Canaveral, FL having a Walt Disney World honeymoon was a no brainer!
9. Tell us about your honeymoon itinerary
We did a split stay at Disney’s Yacht Club and Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort. We wanted to splurge and enjoy Disney’s best resorts to really make it feel like a special vacation. We did 3 park days and Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party. In between our park days we had 2 rest days to enjoy the deluxe resort amenities. Finally, on our last park day at Magic Kingdom, we did a Capture Your Moment Photo session to have forever keepsakes of our honeymoon!
8. What advice would you give to a couple considering a Disney wedding?
I can not stress this enough, use an experienced travel agent! As the couple, you have so many decisions to make and things to think about. It would’ve been so nice to have a travel agent be there for my guests’ questions and help them choose and book their staterooms. There is also so much research I had to do to plan my wedding. The Disney World portion also required tons of research, plus I had to book all of our dining reservations and magical extras starting 60 days out at 6am EST. There is so much to navigate and checkpoints to stay on top of, so having an expert and another set of eyes and ears makes a huge difference. Now that I have gone through the entire experience, I am fortunate to be able to help other couples plan and book their DCL wedding! As a travel agent specializing in Disney, I book and handle EVERY detail and work with you EVERY step of the way to make for a stress-free planning experience. I work hard for my clients, and that work doesn’t stop till you return home. All of my concierge planning services are 100% complimentary when you book through myself and Castle Coaches Travel!
Want to experience Kristina's big day ? Watch Kristina and Ryan’s Wedding Blog Below!
If you are considering having your own happily ever after on a Disney Cruise, click Kristina's link to learn more! 💍 Already booked your cruise, but under 30 days and not paid in full? You can transfer your reservation to Kristina and take advantage of her complimentary planing services.