If you have just got engaged and starting to plan your wedding, massive congratulations! Now that the celebrations and well-wishes are coming to a close, it’s time to think about the next step – actually getting married! But how do you go about planning one of the biggest days of your life, and is it even possible to hold your beautiful celebrations at Disney World?
Can you get married at Disney World?
The short answer – yes! So for those who love Disney and dream of a real-life fairytale wedding, getting married at Disney World might just be the answer. And it’s surprisingly easy to enjoy the ultimate celebration at the ‘Happiest Place on Earth’. There are loads of different options available, from small celebrations to big, Disney-themed bashes, with plenty of customization available, so you can find something that is sure to suit both your taste and budget. So read on, and get ready to become an expert when it comes to Disney World wedding planning. But first things first, let’s cover the boring legal stuff.
Getting married in Orlando, Florida: the legal stuff
Before planning the ceremony and reception, you need to know how to obtain a marriage license in the state of Florida.
To get married anywhere in Florida, you and your partner need to be at least 18 years old. To obtain a marriage license, you will both have to go to the nearest Clerk of the Circuit Court office. You can get married anywhere in the state, independent of which county the license was issued in. You can find a list of offices here.
Whether you’re from Florida, out of state or abroad, you and your partner will need to bring with you a picture ID such as a driver’s license, state ID card or valid passport (and birth certificate if you live outside of the US), as well as provide your Social Security numbers (for US citizens only). If you or your partner have been married before, you will need to provide either a Dissolution of Marriage proof, or a death certificate of a deceased spouse.
A marriage license in Florida costs around $95 and you will need to wait three days to obtain the license. For those who have completed a licensed Florida pre-marital course, you’ll only have to pay around $61 and it will be given to you immediately.
A Florida premarital course instructs spouses in communication skills, conflict management, parenting responsibilities and financial issues relating to marriage. This is usually administered by a licensed psychologist, marriage therapist, mental health counselor, social worker, religious figure or other court-appointed individual, and it lasts at least four hours. You can either do them face-to-face or take an online course.
Be aware that the marriage license is valid for 60 days after it’s been issued, and once the wedding ceremony is officiated, the notary needs to register the marriage certificate within 10 days by mail. Once your marriage record is received, the Clerk’s Office will mail a certified copy to you.
Getting married at Disney World – the fun stuff
Now for the fun part of wedding planning – customizing your plans so you can achieve the wedding of yours and your partner’s dreams. Marriage at Disney World is nothing if not flexible, with their own wedding experts on hand to help you design your day.
Probably the most important choice you can make when it comes to planning a wedding at Disney World is your venue, or where exactly you tie the knot. Disney has a huge range of places to have your ceremony and reception, with the price varying from location to location. Have a look below at some of our top picks of venues located at Disney World
Disney’s Wedding Pavilion
Disney World’s most popular wedding venue is a breathtaking Victorian chapel in its own private island, linked to the Grand Floridian Resort & Spa at Disney’s Magic Kingdom by a stunning footbridge lined with romantic archways. You’ll exchange your vows in the most beautiful setting you’ll ever see: soaring Victorian spires, a vaulted ceiling and a wall of arched windows leading to the main window behind the altar, where it perfectly frames a view of Cinderella Castle.
Disney’s Wedding Gazebo
For a classically elegant venue, there’s no other place you would like to get married more than the Wedding Gazebo at Disney’s Yacht Club Resort. Say “I do” on a sculpted lawn surrounded by a rose garden and your loved ones.
Sea Breeze Point
Step back in time at Sea Breeze Point and get married on the shores of Crescent Lake. You’ll wander down an old-fashioned wood-planked promenade at Disney’s Boardwalk Resort and exchange your vows inside the beautiful lakeside gazebo, a perfectly tranquil and classic setting.
In the Canada section of Epcot park you’ll find Canada Terrace. If you ever wished to get married surrounded by cascading waterfalls, alpine trees and the charm of a quiet mountain town, this is the venue for you. You’ll be pledging your commitment to one another amongst beautiful scenery and serenity.
Tower of Terror
Add a touch of old Hollywood gothic glamour to your ceremony and get married in the outdoor courtyard of the infamous Hollywood Tower Hotel at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. This is the perfect location if you and your partner prefer an intimate affair to celebrate your big day.
Magic Kingdom Park
This is the ultimate fairytale wedding venue where you’ll get married in an evening ceremony in front of Cinderella Castle, enveloped by the wonder and magic of this breathtaking location.
You’ll find this fantastic venue in Epcot, where a replica of the Taoist Temple of Heaven provides the perfect backdrop for taking your vows. Your guests will enter the venue through the Gate of the Golden Sun and be among bold colors, jaw-dropping imperial architecture and beautiful lotus ponds.
Food & Beverages
At Disney World, you can choose your wedding meal to be either brunch, lunch or dinner, with varying package prices for each. Depending on the venue, you will also need a minimum amount of guests, so make sure you check this carefully when you are narrowing down your search.
There are a couple of options when it comes to food:posh sit-down meals with full table-service, or buffet style food stations, which offer a slightly smaller selection, but provide a more informal, relaxed dining experience. Your choice of dessert can be customized to suit your theme, and can treat your guests to some Disney World classics such as churros and dole whips.
For beverages, you can choose between a hosted bar package, or a cash bar. Either way, it will be completely stocked up for your event.
When it comes to cakes, you can either choose from a selection of pre-made cakes, or the bakers will work with you to design and build your dream cake, completely unique to you and your wedding day.
Photography and Videography
Along with the usual photography and videography package where an incredibly talented photographer or videographer will capture your day so you can always look back on your story, there are several special photography packages available.
Special portrait sessions
Here, you choose a special backdrop before which you and your new husband or wife can pose, for some truly incredible shots that will wow your friends and families for years to come, or choose something that is a little bit different. From posing in front of Cinderella’s castle, a photoshoot with your favorite character, snaps taken in your favorite locations around the park, to picturesque resort locations, fill your wedding album with incredible, hilarious, or emotional photos you can treasure forever.
You can also opt to have more than one photographer snapping your big day, if you don’t want a single moment to be missed. They will work in conjunction together to capture every tear, every smile, and every single magical moment.
You can have your flowers specially created by Disney’s floral designers. You can select a bouquet that reflects you or your dress, matching boutonnieres, corsages, and bridesmaid bouquets, as well as picture-perfect floral arrangements as centerpieces for your wedding meal tables.
For your reception, you can choose from classical musicians, incredible orchestras, energetic bands, or DJs that are sure to keep the adrenalin going and the party jumping. If it’s music while you’re walking down the aisle you’re dreaming of the most, ceremony soloists and duos are available. In total, you have 9 options when it comes to music throughout your wedding day.
For the little extras that can truly make your day even more magical, why not consider adding some themed entertainment? You can have private fireworks, confetti cannons, and 6 characters who will appear at your wedding. You can choose from characters that behave like guests, interacting with your friends and families throughout the day to ensure plenty of laughs and giggles, or choose an English butler to attend the wedding.
You can choose to include a special visit from one of your favourite Disney characters, with a variety to choose from, including Mickey and Minnie. These are subject to availability, but if you book this in, you get a full 30 minutes with your character interacting with you and your guests throughout the reception.
Here is your chance to truly travel in style. The most famous and recognizable method of transportation available for a Disney World wedding is the Cinderella’s Coach, which is pulled by a team of ponies, guided by a driver and two footmen in full regalia.
Other transportation options include a horse-drawn Landau carriage, complete with a single horse and a driver dressed in an authentic morning coat, motorcars, limousines, a vintage Ford model A, or a vintage rolls royce – the choice is completely yours.
If your guests are staying at a hotel on Disney property, you can also arrange for them to be brought to the Disney parks in one of the unique and stylish methods above.
How much is it to get married at Disney World?
The cost of your day is of course very important. Thankfully, the huge variety of options on offer at Disney World means the budget you need can vary widely, and a wedding at Disney World may be more possible than you think. Here are the base prices you can expect of the venues located around Disney World:
- The venues in Epcot range from $10,000 to $17,000
- The venues in Magic Kingdom range from $20,000 to $50,000
- The venues at Animal Kingdom range from $15,000 to $25,000
- Hollywood Studios offers one venue that starts at $7,500
- The Grand Floridian resort venues range from $7,500 to $35,000
- Disney’s Polynesian Resort venues range from $7,500 to $10,000
When it comes to wining and dining your friends and family, the prices are:
- $140 per person for brunch
- $175 per person for lunch
- $210 per person for dinner
This price can include any combination of pre-reception, cake, bar service, and reception, as long as guest minimums are met for each meal time. You also need to factor in an additional 6.5% of the total spend for sales tax, and a 25% gratuity charge.
Beyond these base prices, the amount of money you spend on extras is entirely down to you. Different levels of service (and therefore different package prices) are provided for your flowers, decor, photography, entertainment, and transport. It is up to you to decide what is an absolute must-have for your wedding, and decide which isn’t important to you and you therefore do not need to budget for.
Need some inspiration for your Disney World wedding?
If you are still dreaming about your Disney World wedding, but don’t know where to get started, then why not gain some inspiration by watching the weddings of other people who chose the Disney parks as their celebration location?
If you have the streaming service Disney +, you can find the movies of other people’s big days, where you can see the venues, videography, decor, flowers, and food in action, to help give you a clearer idea of what you can expect.
How to book a wedding at Disney World
When you’re ready to book your dream wedding, the team at Disney Weddings is there to help you make your dreams come to life. Their wedding coordinators are dedicated experts who will help you put together your special day from start to finish. The team also provides you with an online planning tool so you can experiment with wedding colors, flowers, dresses, hairstyles and more, and when you’re ready, they’ll help you transform your ideas into reality.
Where to stay for your wedding at Disney World
Whether you’re getting married at Disney World or spending your honeymoon in Orlando, you’ll find plenty of amazing places to stay. Top Villas offers a wide range of vacation homes in all of the top resorts near Disney World. Both you and your partner, along with all of your wedding guests, have an abundance of choice when it comes to selecting your accommodation.
Our villas and mansions at Reunion Resort and Encore Resort are perfect for group stays and special occasions. Both resorts are just a few miles from Disney World and close to Orlando’s other top attractions. Many homes have swimming pools, hot tubs, home theaters and games rooms – some even have bowling alleys and rooftop pools!
You also have the option of hiring a private chef who will come to your vacation home to cook for you and your guests, to make the days book-ending your big day that little bit more special.
Reunion Resort boasts fantastic on-site facilities including a clubhouse, a water park, 3 golf courses, a spa, sports courts and restaurants.