Friday, September 30, 2011

Overdue Trip Recap, pt 1: The Site Visit!

Franck's Bridal Salon, home of Disney Fairy Tale Weddings
It's over a month since our trip to Disney World and our site visit with DFTW.

How'd it go?  Hmm.  That's tough to answer.  We were in Florida for almost a week and our appointment at Franck's was the last morning of our trip.  While we were in Disney we did not have email access and my phone was destroyed on the first day in the parks by a sudden rainstorm.  At one point I checked my voicemail from Prince Charming's phone and there was a slightly frantic message from a guy at DFTW saying that someone else wanted our appointment time and would we be okay giving it up and he needed us to call back immediately.

Um, hello?  What?  I made that appointment a month prior and settled it with the DFTW staff person I'd been in contact with for months.  I was REALLY TICKED OFF by the message.  How completely ballsy!  I called back and got voicemail and left a curt message that we are on vacation from Pennsylvania, my appointment was made months ago and that we intended to keep it and that I was upset and angered by the message that was left for me.

OOOH! Sparkly!
When we arrived for our appointment on Monday, August 22, there was no apology nor mention made of the message or the couple that wanted to usurp my appointment. 

So we sat in one of the planning rooms and discussed the locations we were interested in and asked if he had any further site suggestions based on our theme and our plans.  He showed us some pictures on his computer and then stood in front of the laptop and checked several spreadsheets without talking to us.  Prince Charming and I sat there looking at each other.  It was like the end of Willie Wonka where Charlie is waiting to give back his Everlasting Gobstopper and just doesn't know what to say or do.

We found out that our first choice for a reception site is not possible because the Epcot Food and Wine Festival is using it.  So much for the Wonders Lounge!

Our second choice is/was the Living Seas Salon but we couldn't see that either because there was a corporate event there that day.

Stick out your pinkie, it's the
Grand Floridian!
Our third choice is/was the Nutcracker Ballroom at the Contemporary and we discussed what it is that we like about it and he said that it's boring and needs a lot of decor and suggested we look at the Whitehall Room and Patio at the Grand Floridian.

Prince Charming and I are not huge fans of the Grand Floridian.  We had a meal there some time ago and felt like there is this strange atmosphere of snobbishness, for lack of a better word, that doesn't really fit with our feelings about the Walt Disney World Resort.  It's beautiful but it doesn't feel like "us".

First we walked over to the Wedding Pavilion and we were completely in love with it from the second we walked through the door.  It's more beautiful in person than in pictures and I'm getting all teary-eyed just remembering walking up the aisle.

We looked at the Bride's Vestibule waiting area and the new stained glass windows and that was it for me and Prince Charning.  This was where we are getting married.  Okay, on to the reception sites.

We went back to Franck's and were loaded into a very nice SUV and driven across the parking lot to the Grand Floridian Convention Center.  It's beautiful.  We walked to the end of the hallway to the Whitehall Patio.  It's beautiful.  It's a large covered patio with gingerbread trim work that opens to a large outdoor space that's bordered with a low, red brick wall.  You can see the castle and the monorail passes overhead just beyond the courtyard.  It's absolutely perfect.  We're getting married in November.  Will we be able to have the reception outdoors?

Then we looked at the Whitehall Room.  It's a small, octagonal room with french doors.  The wallpaper was a green trellis pattern on white and the drapes were a gray-green stripe.  It's not what I'd pick out for my house but it was okay and would work with the feel we want to create.  

But then there's this giant, hideous mirror with huge Floridian birds on it.  It's just ugly.  We were told that they often cover the mirror for weddings.  The carpet is also over-the-top with ugliness but that the large medallion in the center is often covered by a dance floor. On our way out, it was mentioned that they are re-doing the wallpaper and the drapes. 

Ugly bird mirror.

You can see part of the big ugly carpet here.  I didn't snap a photo of it
because I was afraid it would break my camera.

I figured we'd be off to one of the other sites next.   At this point, we hadn't been told there was an event at the LSS.  Even still, I figured we'd go see the Nutcracker over at the Contemporary.  Nope, we drove back to Franck's and that was it.  

We reconvened in the little planning room and discussed other things like our anticipated number of guests and that was it.  We were  given a folder and it was graciously indicated that the meeting was over.  I felt really cheated.  

I've read other recaps of site visits from other DFTW brides on the Dis Boards and Disney Brides and they were dragged all over Lake Buena Vista looking at rooms and we got to see one measly room at our least liked resort and then we're sent on our way?  I'm getting riled up just remembering. 

Prince Charming and I focused on the chapel and how much we loved it. 

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