Thursday, April 21, 2011

A Disney Vow Renewal at Sea

Living the Fairytale Life With Belinda...

This week you are in for a real treat. I want to thank Belinda for sharing such a precious and personal story with all of us. Enjoy! 

For many of us Disney fans, getting married in Disney is far out of our reach. It was for Shawn and I back in 1999 when we said our wedding vows. We always knew something was missing that day, don’t get me wrong, the ceremony and the wedding was beautiful but it did lack that one little spark… the magic of Disney. We vowed this day that on our ten year anniversary, we would renew our wedding vows Disney style…. And boy did we do just that. I want to share with all of you this magical day that was filled with so much Disney magic and Disney love. I still cry when I look at the photos and think back to just how amazing Disney is in capturing romance…. It truly felt like a day in Cinderella’s shoes.

Our vow renewal took place on the Disney Magic. From the moment we arrived on the ship, the wedding magic started. I was ecstatic. Our wedding coordinator, whom kept in touch with me long before the cruise arrived, was amazing.  Before you ever leave home, you do everything from pick out your wedding songs to all the other little details of your ceremony. We chose to walk down the aisle to the “Beauty and the Beast theme” and the music that played in the background during our ceremony was from Tarzan, The Little Mermaid and The Lion King. This music is played live by an organist. It sounded so beautiful. You will also pick out the kind of cake you want, the flavor, your topper and of course, your first dance wedding song. We danced to “I don’t Want to Miss a Thing”, by Aerosmith.  Lord help me if I hear that song when I’m driving *tears*.  When we stepped on the ship, there were gifts abound waiting in our stateroom, along with what the formal invitation looks like and a sweet card from our coordinator. Ladies! You would love these gifts. We received a Disney Fairytale wedding beach bag that was super cute, a huge Mickey and Minnie wedding photo box with goodies all inside, and a double sized beach towel with the wedding logo and a picture of the Disney castle made out of sand with the ship in the background. It was like Christmas!!!

We also received many other things nightly when we came back to our room. This consisted of things like chocolate covered strawberries, little appetizer plates, petit fours and champagne.  It was wonderful. I knew from the moment we arrived on the ship, I never wanted to leave. I felt like Cinderella getting ready for the ball. I had everything from my prince to the magic... And it was all so perfect.

Getting ready for the big day, my flowers arrived that morning. They were gorgeous! You get to pick out your bouquet too. My colors were pastel pink and purple. I even brought my own petals to have placed down the aisle for the ceremony. Shawn and I decided that before the ceremony that day, we would go down and take a peek of what it looked like. I wasn’t going to, I was already was so nervous but I just couldn’t stand it, I had to go see! I never in my dreams expected what I saw. I knew of course that it would be pretty, after all this is Disney, but I never expected the backdrop of the ocean on this beautiful Disney ship to make the view so breathtaking, I was speechless… and in tears. It really overwhelmed Shawn and I when we saw it all set up. We were high school sweethearts, had been since we were 16 years old and the butterflies were there. I was like a school girl again and super nervous but never more excited than I was at that moment!

It was time to get ready! Unfortunately my family was not able to attend during this time. I was a bit saddened to not have my mom and dad there but they were close to my heart. My mother had bought me a beautiful heart locket where she placed a picture of her and my Dad on one side and my late Nana on the other. I wore it that day with my dress, so in spirit they were with me. All of my Disney friends of whom I met in a forum and we became one big cruise group attended our ceremony that day and watched and took pictures from the balcony above. The ceremony was so private and romantic, just me, my prince and a lot of Disney magic. It was a day I will never forget. They had already come to get Shawn so I could get ready without him seeing me. Our coordinator sent one of his assistants, a lady, to help me get ready. I was all set! They snapped a picture of me on the way down to meet my honey. I was ready to go!

The ceremony was perfect, everything from the vows, to the ring exchange and the, “you may kiss the bride”! Of course, I cried, my mascara ran and Shawn had to wipe my tears but it was beautiful. I never felt the movement of the vessel. All I could remember was how the sun was beaming upon us and the waves were crashing against the front of the ship. It was like being in a whole new world and it was perfect. At the end of the ceremony, all of our dear Disney friends cheered and clapped. I was so happy and so emotional. This had turned out the be the best day ever and I couldn’t wait for what was next.

It was time to cut the cake! I was in love with my cake! A Disney cake!! Yay! It was so pretty! I had bought my own topper and brought it with us to have put on. It was perfect! And the cake was huge. We had a Bavarian mousse filling. It was yummy. After we cut the cake, fed each other a piece, and exchanged a sip of champagne, it was time for our first dance. This was going to be memorable... Dancing on the Magic while sailing through the Caribbean with Mickey! What more could a girl ask for.

I think the dance is the part of the ceremony I will remember most. It was like a dream; like I needed to pinch myself to make sure I was awake. I can still remember the feeling I had as I looked up at Shawn and he had tears; Just hearing Aerosmith play as we danced all alone on the back of that ship was the best feeling in the whole world. It was like the ship was ours, and all around us Tinkerbell was spreading her magic, we were captured in a moment that was priceless... and something only Disney could do.

 The wedding ceremony ended beautifully. I will never forget this day. We stayed after for a few hours for formal pictures on the deck and was then taken inside with the photographer to capture more wedding photos throughout the ship. I purchased a large wedding photo package and it was well worth it.  At the end of the ceremony, you are presented with the certificate of affirmation Disney style. This was beautiful. I was now a happy and proud Disney princess bride and from that day forward I knew I always would be.

I cannot put in to words just how truly amazing this was for us. If any of you have ever considered a vow renewal at sea with Disney, go for it! It will be a moment in your life that you will treasure forever. I wake up every day as a Disney bride and remember that one special moment when Shawn danced with me. I can’t get it back but I have it stored in my heart forever. Disney creates and captures moments that are priceless, that no one else on this earth can do for us. I am so blessed to have been able to experience and share this moment with the most amazing man a girl could ask for. This was a true fairytale, a Cinderella story that came true and on that day…. I was the princess. Our dream was to renew our vows again on our 20th wedding anniversary with all of our family with us. Sadly, my Daddy is a much older Daddy….. If I waited that long he would nearly be 80... In my heart I’m afraid what would happen if I waited that long. So Shawn and I hope to share this dream again for possibly our 15th wedding anniversary so that with hope, my Dad can be there so that Disney can capture the magic once again only to create a memory that this little girl has longed to have with her father. There is a Disney princess in all of us, for all of you that are considering a vow renewal, you can’t go wrong with Disney. Bring out the princess in your heart and become a Disney bride, it will put magic in your heart that will truly last an eternity.

Keep Believing


  1. What a beautiful story! My husband and I couldn't do a Disney wedding when we first were married. We knew too many of our friends and family at the time(we were in college) would not have been able to afford to go to WDW for the ceremony. I have tried to convince DH we should renew our vows. I haven't had success yet, but I haven't given up! :-) You looked beautiful and looks like the perfect ceremony.

  2. Thank you Beth! We too, couldnt afford a Disney wedding when we got married, but I have to say, this is the next best thing! Don't give up my dear, you will be overwhelmed with all of the magic that they shower you with. You will completely forget the fact that its a Vow renewal wedding and be caught in the moment of the first day you were married. Thank you so much for your sweet words, it was a day I will treasure forever, and I hope you and your hubby are able to share in this same memory. After all, you too are a Disney princess and you deserve it!

  3. Thank you, thank you, thank you for posting this Belinda! I'm dreaming of a Disney Vow Renewal at Sea for our 20th wedding anniversary in 2014 and loved reading your story!! Congratulations!

  4. You are so welcome Kathy! Thank you and Congratulations to you as well :) You will not be disappointed. I have so many more pictures and so many things I could say about this special day. Please feel free to email me if you have any questions at all. I will be happy to help you in any way I can :) The planning is the best part Kathy! It was so magical working with a Disney Wedding Coordinater. I'm truly excited for you and can't wait to hear all about your special day!

  5. *tears* Belinda, what an amazing experience! You were an absolutely beautiful bride! I must say, I am sooo jealous! I hope you get to have your Daddy walk you down the aisle for your 15. Thank you for sharing your beautiful story with the rest of us.

  6. Awwww... Thank You Bird *tear* Your so welcome. I hope so too. It meant a lot to share it with all of my Disney friends out there :0) Wishing you a magical night!

  7. Very nice I have often tossed around this idea but never thought about doing it at sea. Gives me something else to think about.....

  8. Anna ~ If you love cruising, this is the perfect combination. The view is breathtaking and the magic is so sureal. You would truly love the experience!

  9. Lovely story indeed. It's so happy to hear that you guys are still loving each other so much after a years of marriage.

  10. Wow! What a cute story! Congratulations to both of you. I am also planning for wedding renewal and looking for the perfect venues for the celebration.