I love a good fairy tale. And our bride Nicole’s wedding is the ultimate start of happily ever after. It all started when Nicole’s match, Joe, met her family. No, not like she brought him home to meet her family. Joe met her family way before meeting Nicole.
Nicole’s parents were actually coworkers with Joe at the same high school, but fate pulled them closer together when Joe began teaching Nicole’s little sister, Chelsea. Chelsea knew that “Mr. Patterson,” as she would call him was the “perfect match” for her sister.
Tired of waiting for fate to take its course, Chelsea took matters into her own hands and cornered Mr. Patterson with her sister’s number scribbled on a Post-it. Weeks later, these two met at a local bar during a happy hour event and Joe finally used the Post-it to call Nicole.
It wasn’t long before this perfect match fell in love and Joe was ready to pop the question.
“What I thought was a day going to spent with friends in Cape May, NJ, turned into a surprise engagement on the beach!” Nicole said. “Joe surprised me with having my sister capture photos of the moment.” He wasn’t done surprising her that day either. He even surprised her with an engagement party later in the day!
Quickly their fairy tale romance turned to planning a fairy tale wedding when they chose “the happiest (wedding) place on Earth, Disney!
When Nicole started looking for a wedding dress she knew she wanted something that would work for her Disney wedding, but not scream “Disney princess.” The back was a wow and the train really was spectacular!
“When I walked into Laura & Leigh Bridal, my Mom and I were instantly drawn towards a beautiful Eddy K gown on display,” she said. “I knew the moment I put on the Raven gown that it was my dress. I loved how confident I felt when I saw myself in this dress. It highlighted every proud part of my body, from my back to my zipper club scar! I was captivated by how the train was something I have never seen before. The elegant details made this dress perfectly magical for a Disney Fairytale Wedding.”
Planning a wedding is a challenge. Planning a wedding during a pandemic is an insane challenge. But for Nicole, planning a wedding during a pandemic in a theme park was a new level. She was ready to cooperate with the restrictions and knew they’d need to be flexible.
“During the year of planning, it felt like we were on a roller coaster ride of restrictions. Let alone when we booked our wedding day, Disney World only had two theme parks open!” she said. But slowly things started to turn around and things began to look up. I’m assuming someone at some point wished upon a star.
“Every month, Disney was coming out with new restrictions and guidelines,” she said. “Some restrictions were not so wedding friendly. But then other months, we learned better news, like the food and wine festival beginning in July to the return of EPCOT and Magic Kingdom’s fireworks 13 days before our wedding!”
Originally, Nicole and Joe planned to tie the knot at their dream venue Croquet Garden at Disney’s Boardwalk Resort, but masks were required and the couple decided to pivot their plans to something that would be Covid-friendly but still allow her to have the wedding she always dreamed of.
“We chose Italy [in] EPCOT as it would be a private, in park ceremony where the bride and groom could be maskless (at the time),” she said. “With every pandemic hurdle we faced, Joe and I accepted it with grace and understanding, knowing our day would be perfect no matter how it looked.”
Thankfully, right as their wedding approached things started to change for the happy couple and the park restrictions changed. When it comes to Disney, wishes do come true.
“Our day that we thought would be unique,” Nicole said. “Not only because it was a Disney wedding, but because of the covid restrictions, would now be practically perfect in every way (as Mary Poppins would say!)”
Covid aside, planning a Disney wedding is nothing short of magical. The best part for the couple was incorporating little Disney touches into their wedding day with nods to Gaston’s Tavern, famous park snacks and, of course, everyone’s favorite mouse.
There was so much to look forward to for their day that I’m sure the anticipation kept Nicole up and excited. That, and the early day with a 7:30 a.m. first look and an early morning ceremony at Italy’s Isola Bridge in EPCOT.
“LOL yes, my hair and makeup started at 3 a.m.,” Nicole said.
Her day was magic from the early morning makeup to the elegant afternoon reception at Disney’s Boardwalk Resort. The evening wrapped up with a dessert party (yes, you read that right) at the Terrace des Fleurs in France, EPCOT. Plus, it wouldn’t be Disney without fireworks or EPCOT without a stop at Soarin’.
With so much to look forward to, but Nicole was looking forward to celebrating with her family and friends, especially with the park all to themselves. Plus, the amazing food menu (did we mention the dessert party because I’m not over it) and their private fireworks display didn’t hurt either!
Nicole just remembers feeling so surprised at how much she felt like a guest at her own wedding.
“We felt like celebrities the entire day when working with the Disney Wedding Team. It was the most perfect and magical day ever!’
It was the best way to start her happily ever after.
Nicole’s Advice for Future Brides:
In a world that is ever changing (with or without covid!) be patient when working with a wedding team. Do things on your wedding day to make you and your partner happy!
Gown: Eddy K Bridal
The Vendors Who Made The Day:
Photographer: Bethany & John Tibble from BethJoy Photography
Videography: McElroy Film Company
Bridesmaids Apparel: BHLDN Caron Dress with Kendra Scott jewelry
Bridal Accessories: Loren Hope
Rings: Davidson’s Jewelry, Medford, NJ
Hair Stylist: Before the Aisle by Kristen @hers.bridal
Makeup Artist: Before the Aisle by Taylor Thomas @makeupbytaylorthomas
Stationary: Minted (invitations) & Canva (menus, brochures) & watercolor map @thepaintedmouse