Tiffany and Jimmy: Maitland Art Center
Boy do I have a treat for you today! My adorable cousin Tiffany and her now husband Jimmy recently got married at the Maitland Art Center in Florida. As Virginian natives they wanted a destination wedding at the happiest place on earth Disney World with all their family and friends. This was perfect setting for these high school sweethearts who just love making each other laugh and being silly together. Their wedding ceremony had so many personal touches and guests were treated to food trucks plus a full weekend in the theme park. They were gracious to share their heartwarming video slideshow from Root Photography. And I also thought it would be fun for Tiffany to share what it was like to plan a destination wedding and give any advice for those of you who might be thinking of doing the same. Check out our full interview below:
1) Why did you decide to have a destination wedding?
After attending my friend’s wedding in Mexico a few years ago I knew I wanted to do a destination wedding. It provided a unique opportunity for friends and family of the bride and groom to get to know and spend quality time with each other. In planning our own wedding it also became evident to us that the cost could be astronomical! So the idea of bringing our closest and dearest together for an entire weekend, while spending the money on something amazing like Disney was the perfect solution. Looking back, it was absolutely amazing to be able to actually have conversations and hang out with all of our guests.
2) What were some of the challenges in planning a destination wedding?
A few challenges included distance (not being able to meet vendors face-to face), lack of familiarity with the area (important as far as transportation arrangements) and the ability to troubleshoot (like when one of your vendors back out at the last minute).
3) What did you find most helpful in overcoming these challenges?
To overcome the challenges we did two key things. We hired a local wedding coordinator who was key in helping us network with local vendors, negotiate contracts, troubleshoot and pick up items for our welcome bags. We also planned a mini trip at the start of our wedding planning process to book and meet some vendors. I got a make-up trial, sampled a ton of food trucks and visited wedding venues. It was great because we quickly realized that websites don’t always tell the truth. It was also great for us to drive around the area to figure out possible issues with transportation and conceptualize the logistics for the weekend, which was key for our guests. We included important information on our website and in our welcome letter based on what we learned as visitors (i.e. toll roads, local attractions, etc).
4) What was your favorite part about the wedding weekend?
We LOVED spending time with our friends and family. It was amazing to start our lives together as husband and wife with the literal joining of our two families throughout the weekend. Everyone got along wonderfully, and enjoyed spending time with each other. At one point Jimmy’s dad was holding hands with my cousin’s dad-bonding over their love of cooking and technology!
5) What would you suggest to couples who are considering a destination wedding?
– Plan a visit beforehand, early in your engagement to visit your venue, do research and negotiate/sign contracts.
– Provide guests with extensive travel information and include a detailed weekend itinerary with a wedding website. Guests will have lots of questions, especially if they’ve never visited the area before.
– Be courteous to your guests- say thank you with welcome bags, transportation (at least on the wedding day) and bid them farewell with post-wedding brunch.
– Arrive at least two days before the wedding to get situated, prepare welcome bags and troubleshoot any problems that might arise. I recommend staying at least a day after guests leave as well to give you time to decompress with your new husband and enjoy each others’ company before getting back to “real life”.
– Avoid scheduling your honeymoon right after the wedding (unless you’ll be staying put for your honeymoon). It’s already enough stress packing for a a destination wedding, along with wedding items and the dress.
Thank you for all the great advice Tiffany and Jimmy! Congratulations!!! So happy for you two!
Photography: Root Photography
Ceremony/Reception Venue: Maitland Art & History Museum’s Mayan Chapel
Wedding Coordination: Shel Marks PR and Events
Florist: Freshly Picked Flowers
Videography: Riant Films
Make/Up/Hairstylist: M3 Beauty