Lydia and Dave got married aboard The Disney Wonder, creating the Cruise Wedding of their dreams! With lots of thrift store finds and DIY details they pulled off not only a dream wedding, but also tropical vacation on their budget. Enjoy this Disney Cruise Wedding for $5K!Xoxo, Jessica
Lydia + Dave
October 26-31, 2014
Disney Cruise Line | The Wonder
What was your total budget? Please provide a budget breakdown.
Cruise Faire: $1,160 using military rates
Wedding Package: $3,000 including:
- Bridal hair/makeup
- Event Coordinators
Photographer: We paid $600 for the cost of his cruise/travel, and his photography fee was gifted to us.
Bridal Attire: $110.00 (gown was from a second-hand shop, a family friend did alterations, heirloom veil, jewelry I already owned)
Grooms Attire: $0 (he wore his military dress uniform)
Bridal Party Attire: $80 (the groomsmen wore black suits they already owned, and I bought the bridesmaids black cocktail dresses from a department store clearance rack)
Invitations: $0 (a friend with an Etsy shop made them as a gift)
Bridal party accessories: $15 (my mom and I thrifted and crafted everything)
Guest gifts: $20 (my sister and I made the magnets together)
Travel/lodging to and from: $0 (we used frequent flyer miles and hotel rewards to comp those expenses)
Total Budget: $5,000
How many guests did you have?
We had 43 guests attend!
What creative or personal aspects did you include in your wedding?
Because Disney Cruise Weddings are already so unique, I didn’t focus too much on adding additional details. Our wedding felt very one-of-a-kind without me having to go to any extra effort!
We just made sure to set numerous activities and events (included in the cruise-fare) throughout the cruise so that it became more of a week-long celebration rather than a single-day event. It gave us a lot of opportunities to spend quality time with our friends and family.
Did you do any DIY projects or create any handmade items for your weddings?
My sister and I made personalized Mickey Mouse shaped magnets for our guests to hang on their stateroom doors. Magnetic door decorations are really popular on Disney cruises, so I thought it would be fun to start our guests off with some of their very own door décor. Several of our guests still have the magnets on their fridges, and a couple of guests who cruised with Disney again sent me photos of the wedding magnets hanging on their stateroom doors.
What was the biggest thing you did to save money?
Getting married on a Disney cruise was frankly the biggest and best money-saving decision we could have ever made for our wedding. It allowed us to have an amazing, high-quality wedding (and week-long luxury vacation with our loved ones) for far, far less than what we would have spent doing a more traditional “land wedding.” And we didn’t really have to make any compromises at all.
We didn’t have to limit our guest list, downgrade any features, or cut any elements that we really wanted. It allowed for a pretty ideal win/win situation.
What’s the best advice you have for planning your wedding now that you’re on the other side?
The best advice I can give is to have fun and not let yourself get burned out – all the little details driving you crazy probably won’t matter to you in the future. If you find yourself getting stressed out or exhausted, take a step back and reevaluate your priorities. Are you spreading yourself thin dealing with things that don’t really matter? Is that one project really worth the stress? In five years will you even remember the little hiccup that made you cry?
This period of your life should be one of the happiest and most exciting, so don’t let trivial things steal your joy. My wedding planning experience was fun, easy, and stress-free – and I hope the same will be true for you. Good luck!
What was your biggest splurge?
Our biggest splurge was definitely photography because it was so important for us to have high-quality images to help us remember the day for years to come. Thanks to the generosity of my husband’s family (and not needing to have a rehearsal dinner) it didn’t hurt our bank account much at all, and we ended up with an incredibly talented photographer who captured some of the most amazing pictures from our wedding.
What was your favorite detail?
I think my favorite aspect was how the wedding theming was an ultra-fun mix of the Caribbean, Disney, and Halloween. It sounds odd, but it really worked! It was a blast being able to have our wedding surrounded by stunning ocean views, participate in a Halloween costume party and ship-wide trick-or-treating, cap the night off with Disney themed fireworks, and wake up the next morning at a beautiful tropical port.
What is the most memorable moment of your day?
Ah, there are so many memories that I cherish so much!
- Our first kiss as man and wife was literally our first kiss ever – we waited until we were married! So that was completely unforgettable.
- As I was walking from my room to the venue, a group of little girls ran up to hug me because they thought I was a Disney princess.
- Later that night the day-of coordinator took us all up to a semi-private viewing area so the wedding group could see the fireworks without any obstructions.
- Just seeing the excitement on our guests' faces at all the magical things happening every day. Being able to share that week-long experience with them was definitely one of the highlights of my life.
Photography: Stanton Photos | Wedding Package: Disney Fairytale Weddings | Bridesmaid Dresses: JC Penney | Wedding Gown: St Patrick Bridal | Jewelry: The Grove nature's flowers | Hair: Brighton Collectibles | Veil/Headpiece: Family Heirloom
Editor's note: Due to the pandemic, some of the general wedding planning advice we share may not be applicable or possible due to restrictions on events. Please adhere to all current regulations and stay safe and healthy! Get more resources for planning a pandemic wedding here.