How to be their guests

The Washington Post Sunday - - ON LOVE - — Me­gan McDonough

In­ter­ested in get­ting hitched at a Disney prop­erty? Here’s more about what you and your in­tended can ex­pect. And on Sunday at 8 p.m., the FreeForm chan­nel is air­ing a 90-minute spe­cial, hosted by “Bach­e­lor” alums Ben Hig­gins and Lau­ren Bush­nell, high­light­ing four cou­ples’ Disney ex­pe­ri­ences. You needn’t have Cruella de Vil’s bud­get to af­ford it. The parks of­fer a range of prices. A small-scale cer­e­mony, with up to four guests, is $2,500 to $4,500; a cer­e­mony-only oc­ca­sion for up to 18 guests is $5,000 to $9,000; and cus­tom­ized cer­e­monies for more than 18 guests start at $12,500. Op­tions in­clude in­ti­mate elope­ments in se­cret pock­ets of the parks and ex­trav­a­gant, 300per­son, after-hours cel­e­bra­tions in front of the Cin­derella Cas­tle ($180,000 min­i­mum). You may need a fairy god­mother, or three, for that one. Early-morn­ing and week­day cer­e­monies are typ­i­cal. In-park cer­e­monies are lim­ited be­cause of op­er­at­ing hours, and can start as early as 7:30 a.m. and as late as 11 p.m. Want to cus­tom­ize your wed­ding? Dis­neyphiles can wave their magic wands and hand­pick an ar­ray of ex­tras, in­clud­ing a white dove fly­over ($250), a pri­vate fire­works dis­play and dessert party ($2,500), and, yes, a spin in Cin­derella’s coach ($2,950). Want Cap­tain Jack Spar­row to dab on the dance floor? That’ll be $5,000 to $6,500. Had some last­minute can­cel­la­tions? Disney will hire a pair of “un­in­vited guests” — ac­tors pos­ing as Disney-ob­sessed tourists — to “crash” your party and en­ter­tain for three hours ($1,800). Ob­sessed with the Lit­tle Mer­maid? Throw an “Un­der the Sea”-themed fete in an un­der­ground aquar­ium, sur­rounded by more than 6,000 sea crea­tures in Ep­cot’s Liv­ing Seas Salon ($1,500 to $4,500). There are non­nego­tiables. Disney char­ac­ters are not al­lowed to of­fi­ci­ate (sorry, Mickey) or at­tend the cer­e­mony (al­though they can come to the re­cep­tion). “It’s def­i­nitely an adult event, and they make it an adult event,” says Anne Chertoff, a Wed­dingWire trend ex­pert. “They don’t want it to be like you’re just play­ing dress-up.” That be­ing said, you can hire a ma­jor-domo or an English but­ler to de­liver your wed­ding bands in Cin­derella’s glass slip­per or on a sil­ver plat­ter (about $800). Also, all food and bev­er­ages must be pro­vided by the park, so if you have your heart set on In-N-Out Burger, you’re out of luck. And brides can’t wear their gowns dur­ing theme-park hours un­less they’re will­ing to pay a pretty penny ($75,000 min­i­mum).

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