We’ve got a few we photos of our Swan wedding back from the fabulous Jocelyn McGregor Photography, and we thought we would share them with you along with a brief recap. Vendor reviews and advice will be coming soon as well.
Our wedding day started early for me, at 7:30 AM. I quickly made my way from our room at the Dolphin to the lobby of the Swan, where I gave my name and ID to the front desk and received keys to the Sandpiper Room, our hospitality suite for the day. Moments later, I spotted a very familiar pink garment bag in the lobby. Sue and Keith from Carolyn Allen’s Bridals were dropping off my gown and Danny’s suit. Carolyn Allen’s has a great steaming and pressing service for out-of-town weddings that we’ll review in depth in our vendor reviews post soon.
Keith and I made our way to the Sandpiper room while Sue parked the car. When she walked in, she got to work right away steaming and pressing my gown. Danny’s suit had already been pressed at the bridal salon, and after giving it a once-over, I confirmed that we were good to go. After they left, I had a little time to myself in the hospitality suite before the other ladies in our group started arriving for styling services.
The first of our friends and family started arriving around 9:00, and the room started bustling soon after. At 9:30, a manicurist arrived to do my nails, and a deliveryman from Panera came to set up a fantastic breakfast spread for everyone. Huge thanks to Danny for ordering breakfast for all the girls! We loved the selection of coffee, juice, muffins, bagels, hot breakfast sandwiches, fruit and parfaits. We were all well-fed and watered for a really reasonable price, and I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend them to anybody needing morning catering for an event at a Walt Disney World resort.
The nail tech wrapped up quickly, and at 10:00 AM on the dot, the stylists from Beaute Speciale arrived to begin hair and makeup services. Between parents, bridal party, and other guests receiving styling services, there were 7 women in all to get hair and makeup done by Beaute, and the stylists had allotted 4 hours in which to do it. They came in under time and with fantastic results. We had a lot of fun gabbing with the stylists and primping while we enjoyed our brunch and the mimosas that my wonderful matron of honor provided.
Beaute Speciale, in their streamlined professionalism, wrapped up services before their 2:00 PM deadline, and Jocelyn departed to meet the guys over at the Boardwalk Inn for some shots at the Belle Vue Lounge and the resort lobby and courtyard. The ladies got dressed while she took photos with the gents, and soon she was coming back to collect us for a walk over to the Boardwalk and more pictures. Jocelyn admitted that the guys were frustrating her with their inability to take directions while she was shooting, but she still managed to get some great photos of them. I enjoyed the one above. Fans of the television series Bones will recognize Danny’s brother’s “cocky” belt buckle.
It was then that Danny and I had our “first look”, which is a pre-arranged moment before the ceremony during which the bride and groom see each other for the first time. Detractors of the first look dislike that it breaks tradition of seeing each other for the first time as the bride walks down the aisle, but I’m really glad we did it. It allowed us a private moment to talk together, which we wouldn’t have if we were meeting at the dais as our ceremony was about to begin. It also let me shed a tear or two, which made me only slightly more composed for the ceremony later. After that lovely moment and a few more pictures, we headed back to the Swan to meet Diana, our coordinator from Just Marry, who was finishing up ceremony prep and got everybody in place for the walk down the aisle.
Our ceremony began at 4:00 PM at the Crescent Terrace at the Swan, and it was beautiful and simple. My brother Joshua officiated, and violinist Jennie Rudberg and guitarist Stephen Luciano played while the guests assembled and as the wedding party walked down the aisle. Danny and I exchanged vows in which we promised to love each other and enjoy the adventures of life together always. When the ceremony ended, we signed our names to a secluar version of the Jewish ketubah, and then invited our guests to sign as witnesses as Jennie and Stephen played our song, “More”, the theme from Mondo Cane.
After the ceremony, Jocelyn quickly snapped some family portraits then sent the guests off to Todd English’s bluezoo for cocktails in the lounge while Danny and I took more photos on the Boardwalk. We got some of the best light of the day while taking portraits at the Boardwalk’s Sea Breeze Point, and then, in a bit of Disney magic, the sky smiled upon us as a double rainbow appeared overhead. Just as our reception dinner at bluezoo was about to begin, a light rain began to fall, so we headed back to the Dolphin to toast with our guests and enjoy a celebratory dinner.
When we arrived at bluezoo, Liz, the restaurant’s event manager, was there to greet us. Liz had been a huge help in the year leading up to this reception, so we were happy to see and thank her in person. The room was beautiful, and we enjoyed some amazing food and drink thanks to Chef Ryan and his team (and thanks to the pastry artists at It’s Tasty Too, who made our wedding cake).
After dinner, we said our thanks to Chad, bluezoo’s manager and an outstanding sommelier, Chef Ryan, and the servers who had made our night a success, then we headed over to Jellyrolls to continue the party. Everybody had a blast singing and dancing along with the dueling pianos, and to our delight a number of our group’s requests were played. If you’ve never seen Scotty do “Rainbow Connection”, definitely request it on your next visit. We left the bar around 1:00 AM after a very long and joyous day. All in all, we couldn’t be happier with the Swan and Dolphin, Just Marry, our ceremony vendors, bluezoo and Jellyrolls.