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rachael osborn




Inside Real Weddings: A Walt Disney World EPCOT wedding in Orlando

January 4, 2023

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An interview with a Disney bride who planned an Italian-inspired magenta and blue wedding with lush florals

This year, I am so excited to launch into a new way of presenting my real weddings with you all on the blog by interviewing the couples about their wedding days. The interview format is perfect because it allows me to get real insight into how these brides and grooms went about planning their day – as well as share some practical advice from couples.

This week, I wanted to talk with Amy, who recently said “I do” to her husband Mike at one of the happiest places on earth – Walt Disney World. Let’s dive in and chat with Amy about what it is actually like to plan a wedding at Walt Disney World, and how she used florals and tiles to tie her beautiful Italian-inspired vision together! But before we dive in, we have to get one thing out of the way: Rachael Osborn Photography does not claim to represent the Walt Disney Company or Disney Fine Art Weddings in any way and is not employed by or affiliated with The Walt Disney Company, Walt Disney World, or Disney Fine Art Weddings. Got it? Great!

Let’s chat with Amy about the process of planning her beautiful wedding!

magenta and blue floral wedding invitation flat lay styled with peonies

How long have you and your spouse been together?

2 years, 2 months

How did you meet your spouse?

We were set up by mutual friends during Covid – dinner at their place. But our first actual date was planned to be dinner at Disney Springs. We just both happened to be in Central Florida at the same time. But, I ended up highjacking his solo day at Disney Studios the day prior to our planned date.

How did they pop the question?

On the beach at Disney’s Polynesian Resort, complete with a Ferry full of guests and our family watching.

magenta shoes and blue wedding details styled with blue and white tiles

What was your wedding style? (for example: Romantic, Whimsical, Modern, Rustic, Bohemian,Elegant)

We were trying to go for Amalfi Coast since we were supposed to have our ceremony at the Disney’s Polynesian Resort and Reception in Italy at Epcot. Merging the Italian terrazzo tiles with lots of color and bits of tropical elements. But after our ceremony had to be moved to the Disney wedding Pavilion, we dropped the tropical aspect.

terrazzo blue and white tiles and magenta peonies frame an image of wedding rings

When it came to planning your wedding, what was most important to you?

1. That our guests had a memorable time. With everyone coming in from out of state we wanted to make sure it was worth it for them. We definitely pulled that off! (Rachael says: They absolutely did! From a surprise appearance of Mickey and Minnie – who danced the night away with guests – to a special wedding-guests only ride on Soarin Around the World – to the amazing fireworks at Epcot, this was one seriously fun wedding.)

  2. For me personally – that we had a lot of color.  (Check! Just look at these florals and tiles!)

3. Mike says making sure I was happy. (The sweetest!!!!)

blue and white tile and Mickey cufflinks at at Disney World wedding
Can you spy the not-so-hidden Mickey? We love the tiny details that Amy & Mike put into their day!

What made you choose to work with Rachael?

We were referred to Rachael by the friend that set us up, actually. Her and I work in the floral industry in Chicago and both have extremely high standards for photography. So after reviewing Rachael’s website, it was a no brainer. Her style matched what we liked. She doesn’t put the warm filters over her photos that completely skew the colors of the flowers. That was extremely important to me since I wanted to the colors in my photos to be as exact as possible. I mean, that is why you pick the colors you do, right? But Rachael was the best vendor decision we made!

bride and groom with the Disney monorail
bride and groom at Walt Disney world with magenta and blue florals
magenta bridal bouquet
bridesmaids and groomsmen pose at Disney's Polynesian Resort with lush greenery at this teal and magenta color wedding
bride and groom kiss at Disney Polynesian Resort. Bride carries a magenta bouquet of peonies.

What was the best part of your wedding day?

Obviously the ceremony, and getting married with all our people beside us! But, the whole day was unbelievable. Rachael was unbelievable and helpful, and our reception was just killer and so memorable! Fireworks, a ride on Soarin’, Mickey and Minnie, an amazing DJ… the list just goes on!

If you could provide a tip to another couple planning their wedding, what would it be?

Use Rachael!!  But coming from the floral/wedding industry, this list could take a while. I think Mike and I would both agree that it’s your day. Choose the things you like and what will make you happy.  A few other things as someone who has done floral for 75+ weddings and freelanced for years: choose colors you both like, don’t follow trends just because they are “the” trend. Be unique, be you. I always say to brides, picture what you want the big wedding photos on on you wall to look like in 1, 5, 10 years from now. Start from there!  And if anyone out there wants to talk Disney wedding, let Rachael know, we’d be glad to answer any questions.

Disney's Grand Floridian Hotel
Disney wedding chapel interior
flower girl spreads petals at the disney world wedding chapel
Disney wedding pavilion ceremony
Walt Disney World Wedding Pavilion wedding
bride and groom kiss in the aisle of Disney's wedding pavilion

When it came to your venue selection, why did you choose to get married there?

We weren’t dead set on Disney at the beginning. But we did know that we wanted unique and I needed foliage in my wedding photos. We did reach out to a couple other places but they never responded. I think deep down we knew it would be Walt Disney World, but wanted to keep our options open. Ultimately, since we are such Disney fans, and our relationship had already been so rooted in Disney,  it really was the right choice. We were supposed to have our ceremony at Luau Point at the Polynesian Resort, but about a month into planning, they told us that was no longer an option due to construction. This was a little bit of a sting for me, but they gave us the wedding pavilion for the same price. This is the reason photos at Poly were so important for me, I needed those greenery shots for our wall! The choice for Italy as easy really. Mike and I had actually seen a wedding reception going on there the same week he proposed and just loved the uniqueness of it. EPCOT is our favorite park, with all the festivals, so it was an easy choice.

candid wedding photos of the bride and groom dancing at Disney Grand Floridian Resort
bride and groom grand exit with bubbles and magenta florals at Walt Disney World Wedding pavilion

Are there any things you would change about your wedding day? (This doesn’t have to be a big thing – for example: I wish we would have scheduled 30 minutes of downtown, or I wish I had opted for comfy shoes over heels!)

I wish I would have told the handler of all the DIY stuff to make sure it gets on the bus to the reception, lol! I wish I could have snuck someone over to the American Pavilion to see if Mark McGrath wanted to to come hang out (Sugar Ray was performing for the Epcot Food and Wine Festival that same day). But honestly, nothing comes to mind, it was a fantastic and memorable day.

Rachael says: These are great tips – Setting up a plan in place for any DIY elements, such as assigning clear responsibilities, a timeline, and who is responsible for getting things done, is such a great tip and one that any bride considering adding a DIY element would want to remember!

blue and magenta wedding details at EPCOT Italy
bride and groom cut an Italian tile inspired wedding cake at their Epcot Italy reception at Disney World

Anything else you would like to share with other couples? (Tell us as much as you would like!)

Planning a Disney wedding comes with challenges, but at the end it was a fantastic wedding. I would definitely recommend an outside photographer to make sure your photos are exactly what you want. It definitely helps when she (Rachael) is a huge Disney fan herself!!  Also just a wedding note in general- something WILL go wrong. It always does. But chances are no one but you will notice. When that thing that goes wrong does happen, how you both react will make or break how the next couple hours go.

Do you have a social media, website, Etsy, etc. online presence? For example, if you run a small business, we would love to support you!

Aim Studio Design: Amy designed her beautiful invitations, featured above, herself. You can follow her floral and design work, as well as illustration work here @aimstudiosdesign on Instagram!

Main Street Couture: All the Disney accessories you *need* for your next trip to the Happiest Place on Earth – || follow @mainstreetcouture on Instagram!

Aim Studio Vintage: gorgeous, curated vintage finds for your home or wedding decor-

bride and groom kiss at the Epcot fireworks at their Disney wedding
bride and groom first dance at Epcot Italy at Disney World

Want to know who Amy and Mike worked with for their wedding day? Here are a list of vendors they used for you to check out!

Venue: Walt Disney World, various locations – Portrait locations: Polynesian Hotel and Grand Floridian Hotel / Ceremony: Disney Wedding Pavilion / Reception: EPCOT Italy Pavilion || Planning: Disney Fine Art Weddings, @disneyweddings || Photographer: Rachael Osborn, @rachaelosbornphoto with special thanks to Danielle Marie, @daniellemarieimages, for assistance || Bride, bridesmaid, and other personal florals: Kio Kreations, @kiokreations || Reception florals: Disney Fine Art Weddings || Paper goods and signs: Aim Studio Design, @aimstudiosdesign || Hair & Makeup: Laura Reynold Artistry, @laurareynoldsartistry || Bridal gown: @wolsfeltsbridal c/o @jasmine_galleria

bride and groom candid laugh in front of the Epcot fireworks at their Disney wedding

If you’re interested in learning more about working with Rachael for your Disney wedding, simply get in touch with us using our contact form, linked here! Or, if you just want to hang our and learn more – head on over to our instagram and say hi! We would love to connect with you there, and it’s also where we share even more tips for crafting a picture-perfect wedding day. See you there!

Rachael Osborn Photography does not claim to represent the Walt Disney Company or Disney Fine Art Weddings in any way and is not employed by or affiliated with The Walt Disney Company, Walt Disney World, or Disney Fine Art Weddings.

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I'm Rachael and I'm so happy you're here. This blog a journal about our lives, travels, fashion, and style. Stay a while and say hello!

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