Disney Roots!

Last year, Nate and I got the incredible privilege of joining Carrie and Patrick for their five year vow renewal at Disney’s Aulani Resort. Total dream come true! While Nate and I had a couple days to enjoy and play, our final day on the island had to be spent working; we were already so behind editing for the month and were headed to Orlando the next day for 9 sessions and a wedding!

I assumed we’d be spending the day in their business center, but it was so cold and quiet that I couldn’t get any work done. We immediately moved next door to a common area, put in ear phones, and got to work. The cast members were beyond friendly and never made us feel weird for working there all day. It got to be around 4pm and I was about to cry and throw an epic pity party- Who wants to be working on their last day at Aulani?!

As soon as the tears started coming, in walked Goofy. He saw my laptop and grabbed the seat next to me. It was the most magical Disney moment of my life at the most unexpected time. This is why I’m a Disney girl for life. <3

Disney Aulani Resort Goofy

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“Aw, Mickey! When you play your harmonica, my heart sings!” -Minnie Mouse

Mickey and Minnie Hold Hands Skipping Wedding WDW

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While we loooooooove photographing Epcot weddings and they’re our favorite favorite, we often receive well-meaning inquiries to photograph a family or engagement session inside one of the four Walt Disney World parks, which makes me sort of feel like Dani in the photo below:

Disney Wedding Mickey Minnie Cake Cutting

I’m 99.9% sure Nate and I won’t photograph in-park sessions whether they’re allowed someday or not, and I kinda feel like we should talk about that.

Here’s the thing: I’ve been a Disney nerd since I was born. I mean… I literally took my first steps in Disneyland!

Disneyland and Walt Disney World are my happy places. One of the things I love most about photographing Disney weddings is that even though I miss being a cast member sometimes, I still get to work closely with the company. Working with the familiar faces at Disney’s Fairy Tale Weddings is as close as we come to having a “normal” 9-5 job with coworkers!

That being said, I can’t walk into Disney’s Grand Floridian without thinking of the awesome couples we’ve gotten to photograph there. It’s become a work venue for me because we’ve spent so many hours there, cameras in hand. I can’t walk through the lobby without peeking next to the grand staircase and looking for a DFTW wedding planner, or look at “my fountain” by the pool without noticing the sunlight and which angle I’d be shooting from if we were working. The buildings on the ground are no longer grand vacation rooms, but “getting ready rooms” for our brides. I’m not at all saying it’s a bad thing, just… Different.

I hope you can understand why we won’t be booking sessions inside the Magic Kingdom. The other parks someday, maybe– But not the Magic Kingdom. See- When I walk down Main Street, I don’t want to have to have a camera in hand. I don’t want to look around the park for the best light, or hunt for hidden corridors to pose couples. I want to sit at a bench on Main Street and think of all the times I’ve sat there with my Mom during the years “people watching.” I wanna ride Thunder Mountain and remember how I’d “accidentally” bump into Nate on every turn when we first started dating. I want to walk through Fantasyland and remember meeting my best friend Casi for the first time, and how AMAZINGLY efficient Nick and I were at Dumbo “short walk” and “long walk.” I want to walk by the entrance to Philharmagic and remind Nate for the 100th time that’s where A WOMAN SPIT ON ME.

If I’m gonna do a “shoot” in the parks, it’ll be of our nephew Hall getting his hair cut on Main Street. Or my niece Kinley meeting Mickey Mouse for the first time. Or follow the tradition set by my Mom nearly 20 years ago and always be the last guests out of the park on our last night of every Disney vacation. :)

BUT- If you’re getting married in Epcot, we’re allllllll over that! :)

Walt Disney World at Christmas - Uptown Jewelers on Main Street

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The Flying Dutchman at Disney Castaway Cay

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