Love is truly magical! It definitely was for Margaret and Brandon, so much so that they wanted to encompass it with a combination of the “Happiest Place on Earth” and the “Most Magical Place on Earth”, Disney World! CM Event Design brought out their magical fairy wands to create an enchanting, luxurious, and glamorous wedding day for Margaret and Brandon. For their wedding day, the ceremony was held at Disney’s Wedding Pavilion and the reception was at The Grand Floridian. The ceremony aisle was paved with beautiful pedestals of blue and pink pastel hydrangea bouquets and white pews for guest seating. To keep with a cohesive design, the reception tables were tastefully designed with hints of blue, pink, and silver as an ode to Margaret’s favorite Disney fairytale; and ultimately the inspiration of the overall theme, Cinderella. As if Margaret and Brandon’s ceremony and reception was not magical enough, Mickey, Minnie, and a few other favorite Disney characters made their debut on the dance floor with the newlyweds! Prepare to be in amazement with all the enchanting details!
Margaret Fortunato + Brandon Sipe
Guests ~ 180
Budget ~ $80,000
How did you guys meet?
Margaret: We met online over 5 years ago. Brandon asked me to meet him a local place in between both of our offices. On our first date we discovered that we lived in the same neighborhood and the rest is history.
Tell us about your engagement!
Brandon: “I took her to a rooftop overlooking the Brooklyn waterfront with our corgi in tow and her parents hiding in the garden. I popped the question with total surprise. It was important to me to have our furbaby and her parents there. The rooftop view made a beautiful picture and we loved being able to see our home of Manhattan. After I proposed, two bystanders visiting from Belgium offered to take our photos and we toasted champagne with them at sunset.”
What was the vision for your wedding?
Margaret: Our wedding vision is to have that fairytale experience while celebrating with our family and friends. We have family coming from both parts of the country and we cannot wait to see them and celebrate. It means so much to us that people chose to come to our special day, so we want our guests to have a great party!
What was your theme and what inspired it?
Margaret: Since we are getting married in Disney World, I was inspired by so many of the princesses of Disney. Fairytale is the overall theme but the princess I ended up being most inspired by is of course the No.1 Disney princess, Cinderella. Even my dress is inspired by Cinderella!
What details were used to create your theme?
Margaret: Since I was inspired by Cinderella, I very early on landed on the soft pinks and light blues for my color scheme. Once I had my colors, I was able to build on what I wanted for my florals and decor. I knew I wanted pearls to be a big accent so we built that into the floral. We used silver accents for a lot of the tablescapes. My wedding planner helped me build in subtle touches of Cinderella such as glass pumpkins on the head table. She also helped us in designing our tables signs to have subtle nods to different Disney characters while not going too over the top. It is very easy when planning a Disney wedding to go overboard on the theming but I was careful to not do that. I did not want the wedding to feel like a birthday party.
Where did you splurge? Where did you save/DIY?
Margaret: We splurged the most on all of the Disney details. Disney is such a unique place to get married and we wanted to have those special Disney moments that are unique to Disney wedding couples. We thought they were worth it since they not only make great memories for us but also for our guests. Special elements specific to Disney include riding in Cinderella’s carriage, character visits, and the Major Domo character who interacts with guests at the ceremony. We also wanted our guests to have a great experience so we opted for an Open Bar and longer cocktail hour. Where we saved was on outside rentals and vendors. Disney is specific in what you are allowed to use as an outside vendor but wherever we could we did. Our outside vendors included photography, videography, pipe and drape rentals, dance floor, etc. We had large cost savings on our invitation suite by going with a wonderful vendor Art Paper Scissors. They were also able to match our theme for all our paper goods including menus, escort cards, place cards, etc. Many people were surprised we did not have Disney do all of this but we found the cost savings to be worth it. Another big cost savings for us was our engagement and wedding bands. We used local NYC based Frank Darling for Margaret’s engagement ring and loved them so much that we returned for our wedding bands. Frank Darling specializes in lab diamonds which cut down the costs dramatically.
What words of advice do you have for couples in the midst of their planning?
Margaret: The things that you are most stressed about will seem inconsequential next week. Wedding planning is such an emotional process with many variables that change day by day. Cut yourself some slack and remember that at the end of the day, nobody else knows your plans but you, so nobody will know all those things that you may think are “wrong.” Also, do not be afraid to hire the wedding planner! So many other couples we talked to felt they had to “do it all” themselves. We were so happy we decided early on to hire CM Event Design. Having the expertise to help us set the timeline, stay on the timeline, source and vet vendors took a big mental and emotional load off of our backs. Our wedding planner even helped us a lot with cost savings as she was able to source high quality vendors with lower rates than what our venue was charging.
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