Extra Wedding Activities - Free Range Guests vs. Guided Entertainment

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Kristen K.'s picture
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Extra Wedding Activities - Free Range Guests vs. Guided Entertainment

If you were having a Disney wedding, what sort of extra activities would you plan for your guests? Would you schedule group events for all of your guests to participate in? -or- Would you just happen to be having a wedding in the middle of their vacation?

Other than the actual ceremony & reception - do you feel that a Bride & Groom have a responsibility to provide guided entertainment for all of the guests? At what point should they be able to go free range?

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I think this would depend on how much money I was spending on my wedding. If I didn't have a budget and could spend whatever I wanted, I would have more planned out activities for my guests, but I would also provide 4 day park tickets and pay for their hotels for at least 4 days. Other than a welcome brunch, lunch, or dinner I would let them go free until the wedding. I think when you ask people to go that far for a wedding and they are just friends, they should be allowed to do some things on their own. I don't think people need or want "guided" entertainment, but I guess it depends on your family and friends. No one knows them better than the bride and groom!

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I would probably have a Welcome brunch/dinner and maybe a couple other group meals that anyone could join in on, and maybe give them a copy of our itinerary and invite them to join us while we were at the parks a few days prior, but other than that let them do their own thing Smile

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Kristen K.'s picture
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Eeyore wrote:
I don't think people need or want "guided" entertainment, but I guess it depends on your family and friends. No one knows them better than the bride and groom!

Truth.

And I probably owe Becks an apology for not "getting" that before. bighug

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( Kristien - No apologies needed! You really have to have first hand experience with that one to get it - particularly with the person in question.)

We did all of those things - planned a group welcome dinner the night before the wedding, hosted a wedding lunch, gave out copies of the itinerary in their welcome bags, made suggestions and so on. Some of it stuck, some of it no one payed attention to. Really, I think it might just be the hidden "curse" of having a Disney wedding; it's absolutely wonderful but it's still your guests vacation.

We had a wide gamut of expectations from our guests. My sister and her family were doing commando-style days on their own, my mother and grandmother wanted us to lead them around and my husband's family was surprised that we weren't doing everything with them. My brother-in-law (Carlos' brother) seemed genuinely confused that we weren't willing to swing by Epcot, pick them up and take them to lunch at an off-site buffet the day after our wedding. I wish I was kidding about that. On the other hand, my husband's best friend had a very short amount of time to be in the parks and we had a great time showing him and his daughter Mia around the MK on the night of our wedding. Mia is the type of little girl that made me text my husband "Are we sure we don't want to try for a baby?" She was an absolute delight, up for everything, sweet, even-tempered, etc. She laughed her way through all three mountains and closed down the MK without batting an eye.

I'm not going to lie - I had a few moments of "This sucks. I'm having a horrible time at my own wedding. I just want to go home." I love my sister very much but she made several situations very difficult, including one in the Wedding Pavilion about 10 minutes after the ceremony. Seriously, I had to excuse myself from taking pictures at my own wedding or I was going to beat her to death with my bouquet. mad I hate to say it but I was relieved that she and her family were off doing their own thing after that. My family loves Epcot and her two boys nicknamed it Extremely Pointless Chunk Of Time (points for creativity anyway!). Obviously, we have very different styles of how to do Disney and that's OK! My biggest frustration? The fact that most of our guests (with certain obvious exceptions!) did next to no advance planning or research despite my pointing them to every single resource I could think of and then griping to me about not being able to get a reservation for dinner that night or how were they supposed to get from point A to point B. waiting

I am very happy we did a welcome dinner the night before the wedding. It was the first time we had all our guests together and it turned out so much better than I was expecting. Honestly, the day before had sucked rocks and it helped get me back to a joyous frame of mind.

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Oh Becks I am so sorry that you had to experience that however everything looked beautiful. Shame on those who expected you to plan everything for them and lead them by the hand. This was yours and Carlos wedding not theirs. The next time you go it will only be you, Carlos and your son (maybe). But like everyone has said the pictures that were taken showed a very happy Bride and Groom. (And you made a beautiful bride.)

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Becks534 wrote:
Really, I think it might just be the hidden "curse" of having a Disney wedding; it's absolutely wonderful but it's still your guests vacation.

I think that being with your families really hit home how "jaded" and "matter of fact" I've become when it comes to Disney Vacations. I have been going for so long, I can't really remember not knowing how to get around or how much travel time to allow. I was happy that you knew we could take care of ourselves, it was one less thing you had to worry about. I figured your families would keep you busy. I just don't think that I realized that it would be a stressed & putting out fires (that to me were not fires) sort of busy.

I think that this is one of those things that more Disney Brides need to talk about more. It's fantastic that Disney has the Wedding under control, but having all of those different schedules and personalities to manage when they are each having their own travel experience. Wow -- someone needs to write a book just about that. LoL... it could be called "What to do when no body listens." I'm honestly not sure that you could have done much more for them as far as advanced planning goes, at some point they just had to take some personal responsibility.

I could not have been happier when Gloria made a comment about how organized and under control I had my parts, and then when Randy (wedding photographer) took pictures of my spreadsheet and made jokes about it being posted in the lobby too! I know - I'm a dork - but I found it to be high praise from someone who gets a small peek into many family vacations.

After observing all the goings on, G and I decided that when we do our vow renewal, we may not actually be inviting any of the extended family. Even though I've always dreamed of having the big event with everyone there for our vow renewal (vs. my no guest courthouse wedding) I'm not sure that I want to invite people who won't a) take my advise or b) be okay on their own at times.

Becks534 wrote:
I am very happy we did a welcome dinner the night before the wedding. It was the first time we had all our guests together and it turned out so much better than I was expecting.

I thought it went great too! We all had fun!

I loved the casual pool party atmosphere, it was structure and yet still very free form as far as time and what to do. It was perfect because when your sisters family and the boys were ready to go back to the parks, they could just go. The other kids were happy swimming. It was really nice. I thought the location would be awesome, but it turned out to be so much better than I had hoped. Happily the rain stayed away for both the welcome dinner and the wedding... Mother Nature was smiling on you for the big events.

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PirateGirl wrote:
The next time you go it will only be you, Carlos and your son (maybe).

I registered her today for the Princess Weekend 10K! My daughter and I will be stealing her for that in February, and I guess Calros can come to... since they rebooked for our post-race cruise!
yeah yeah yeah

PirateGirl wrote:
But like everyone has said the pictures that were taken showed a very happy Bride and Groom. (And you made a beautiful bride.)

She was RADIANT!!!! One of the most beautiful Brides I had ever seen. Everything was so lovely.
Even her mother made a comment that Disney knows how to do weddings right. muchlove

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Becks534 wrote:
We did all of those things - planned a group welcome dinner the night before the wedding, hosted a wedding lunch, gave out copies of the itinerary in their welcome bags, made suggestions and so on. Some of it stuck, some of it no one payed attention to. Really, I think it might just be the hidden "curse" of having a Disney wedding; it's absolutely wonderful but it's still your guests vacation.

This exactly. I think it's great to organize a few activities/meals and make suggestions, but if I was going to a Disney wedding and I showed up expecting to be able to make my own plans for the majority of the trip and then it turns out everything was planned out for me, I'd be pretty disappointed. Different people like to do Disney different ways and, you're right, in addition to your wedding it is also a vacation for most of the guests.

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Becks534 wrote:


I'm not going to lie - I had a few moments of "This sucks. I'm having a horrible time at my own wedding. I just want to go home." I love my sister very much but she made several situations very difficult, including one in the Wedding Pavilion about 10 minutes after the ceremony. Seriously, I had to excuse myself from taking pictures at my own wedding or I was going to beat her to death with my bouquet. mad

Becks - this made me laugh b/c I can so totally relate! I'm glad you had a lovely wedding, even if some times were a little stressful.

Having been to several destination weddings, I like the idea of planned activities to a certain point. A dinner, maybe an evening activity like Jelly Rolls or something, and then an itinerary of where I will be, join if you like, but I'm having fun. But then again, I'm pretty self sufficient, I know there are people who would expect you to play tour guide the whole time!!

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Kristen K. wrote:

I think that this is one of those things that more Disney Brides need to talk about more. It's fantastic that Disney has the Wedding under control, but having all of those different schedules and personalities to manage when they are each having their own travel experience. Wow -- someone needs to write a book just about that. LoL... it could be called "What to do when no body listens." I'm honestly not sure that you could have done much more for them as far as advanced planning goes, at some point they just had to take some personal responsibility.

This was honestly one of the hardest parts of the whole experience. Early on in the wedding planning process, I ran across an article for newly engaged brides and the thing that stuck out to me was "No one cares as much about your wedding as you do. No one. Not your mother, not your best friend, absolutely no one. Don't go insane with the wedding talk. It's just one day" I tried not to inundate people with bride brain but the flip side to that coin was that I don't think my California family really "got it" that Disney takes some work to go smoothly.

Quote:
After observing all the goings on, G and I decided that when we do our vow renewal, we may not actually be inviting any of the extended family. Even though I've always dreamed of having the big event with everyone there for our vow renewal (vs. my no guest courthouse wedding) I'm not sure that I want to invite people who won't a) take my advise or b) be okay on their own at times.

Well, I'm not extended family, I DO take your advice and I'm just fine doing my own thing at Disney so I'm still coming. Neaner, neaner.

Becks534 wrote:
I am very happy we did a welcome dinner the night before the wedding. It was the first time we had all our guests together and it turned out so much better than I was expecting.

Quote:
I thought it went great too! We all had fun!

I loved the casual pool party atmosphere, it was structure and yet still very free form as far as time and what to do. It was perfect because when your sisters family and the boys were ready to go back to the parks, they could just go. The other kids were happy swimming. It was really nice. I thought the location would be awesome, but it turned out to be so much better than I had hoped. Happily the rain stayed away for both the welcome dinner and the wedding... Mother Nature was smiling on you for the big events

It was really great! I loved giving you and Catey your presents! Honestly, I think one of my favorite parts was when Rick went to buy Mia a swimsuit so she could go swimming. A little later on, she was taking her Minnie Mouse pixie and granting wishes by binging you on the nose with her wand. I could have died, she was just so precious!

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Well all I got from all the pics was a gorgeous bride and handsome groom having the best day of their lives! Though a very dark side of me kinda would like to see a good whack across the head with a bouquet... silly

I'm of the do-your-own-thing stock. If I were invited I would really want to enjoy the none-wedding time on vacation doing my thing and seeing what I wanted to see. If I were panning though I'd probably make it clear that you were on your own. I might, though, consider recommending a few group activities that people could sign up for. But shame on anyone for not researching and being able to take care of yourself, especially after being pointed in the right direction.

I say hooray for Becks and Carlos and to Kristen for all the effort that went into everything!

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I don't think Kristen got a good picture of Ms. Mia so I thought I'd post one. I might just have to steal her one of these days. In case anyone is keeping score, she persuaded the Dadster that she desperately needed another Minnie Mouse. Impressive work! muchlove This was in Pecos Bill's after we'd ridden BTMRR and Splash Mountain at about 11:00. She was a total trooper.

http://www.wdwforgrownups.com/sites/default/files/021.jpg

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Oh Becks she's a cutie and a keeper.

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Becks534 wrote:
"No one cares as much about your wedding as you do. No one. Not your mother, not your best friend, absolutely no one.

Written by someone who never met you best friend. wink I tried to care lots and be involved!

Becks534 wrote:
Well, I'm not extended family ... I'm still coming. Neaner, neaner.

LoL! I totally consider you immediate family girl... Only 5 more years to plan! rolling

Becks534 wrote:
It was really great! I loved giving you and Catey your presents! Honestly, I think one of my favorite parts was when Rick went to buy Mia a swimsuit so she could go swimming. A little later on, she was taking her Minnie Mouse pixie and granting wishes by binging you on the nose with her wand. I could have died, she was just so precious!

I could not believe you gave us those purses! It is awesome and I'm using it already. The leather is so soft, just to die for. The fact that we were wearing outfits that matched the bags was a riot.

It was so awesome that he bought her an impromptu swimsuit, and how the heck did Mia finagle a second Minnie Mouse! She was adorable, Tori just loved spending time with her.

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JeffC wrote:
If I were panning though I'd probably make it clear that you were on your own.

I think making "on your own time" very clear from the start of the planning a good idea. One of the problems with Becks' family is they really weren't interested until a couple months in advance. She tried to feed them information for three years and they just simply not interested. Then when they finally were, it was in the vacation aspect, not in the wedding.

Becks made great welcome bags with itineraries in them that included directions and times to be places. They were great, but to glean the information one would actually have to read them instead of just picking up the phone and assuming Becks and Carlos would be their personal tour guides.

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Here's my two cents.

I got married last year we had some pretty high maintenance personalities in the mix! Here's how we remained sane and ENJOYED our special day!

A.) There is not one gameplan in the world that will please everyone. PERIOD! It's impossible.

B.) I think brides & grooms worry WAY to much about their guests/families. This is ALL about you and your spouse. It's the one day of your lives where it's 100% ok to be 100% selfish!

C.) Selfish friends and family will find a way to get offended, hurt, etc by your plans and/or the details of the event. Their immaturity warrents no concern. Expect it, but try not to care about it.

D.) Do what makes YOU happy. If you wish to be alone for the remainder of the trip then do it! If you want to hang with a smaller exclusive group of guests, then do that! Don't give a second thought or worry about what your guests want. You choose. Your choices should always be the final word for this event.

E.) Don't drive yourself nuts attempting to plan your guest's trips. Refer them to a fee-free disney travel agency who can handle those headaches for you. Small World Vacations is great agency for that... and they won't charge anyone a dime.

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awesome awesome awesome
Fantastic advise, all!