|Kelly Darden and Sean Bliznik at the Celebration Hotel on March 12, 2010:
Kelly and Sean’s remarkably beautiful and personalized wedding took place at the charming and elegant Celebration Hotel in downtown Celebration, Florida.
Please read on for this couple’s real wedding story as told by the groom, Sean:
Although we battled the elements for both the rehearsal and the wedding, the end result was a perfect indoor event with a cocktail hour on the covered Lakeside Terrace. Special acknowledgments for their notable contributions go to Petals By Design (http://www.petals-bydesign.com/), Makeover Maven Heather Brinkman (http://www.makeover-maven.com/), Shutterbooth (http://shutterbooth.com/), Event Concepts, and Connie Duglin Linens (http://www.connieduglinlinen.com/). Also, a big thank you to Amy Alexander for these amazing images!
Susan: How did you meet?
Sean: We met while working for Disney Event Group planning corporate events in Fall 2002, began dating in the Spring 2003, and the rest is history.
Susan: Tell us about the proposal.
Sean: During one of our regular visits to the “happiest place” on the West Coast, we were able to arrange for a private guided tour of Walt Disney’s personal family apartment above the Main Street Fire Department in the Disneyland Park. The Disney family apartment was built during the initial construction of the park in 1955 so that Walt could personally oversee every detail of his dream coming to life.
While Kelly was gazing out the front window in search of a certain animated duck, I prepped for the big moment with Dean’s (the Disney Tour Guide’s) assistance. When Kelly turned around from her character-gazing, I was on bended knee and asked if “she would be my Lillian” and yet another dream came true.
Susan: Why did you choose your particular wedding location?
Sean: The locale was ideal since we live in Celebration. Also, we wanted a location that offered other “stuff to do” such as dining and entertainment and the “boutique” hotel feel was more intimate than a larger national chain. And we wanted a location that was going to complement the feel our second location, San Francisco.
Susan: What were your thoughts as you walked down the aisle?
Sean: Kelly was excited and very emotional and could not believe that it was (finally) happening. She was happy to be standing next to her father. Given all the planning that went into an anticipated outside wedding, we could not believe how perfect the ceremony was inside.
Susan: What was the most memorable part of the day for you and Kelly?
Sean: Seeing both of the spaces (the wedding ceremony and the wedding reception) for the first time. In addition, hearing all of the feedback about how wonderful the space looked and the attention to every little detail. It was rewarding to see our year-long planning and thinking about every last detail was noticed and appreciated (but then again perhaps it is the event side of both of us).
A major moment would have been the fact that Paisley (our dog) was able to participate in the wedding and seeing her with her wedding best on for the first time.
Susan: Were there any particular elements of your wedding day that you considered unique or personal touches?
Sean: Most of it. Most of our wedding was not “off the shelf”, but rather custom designed and really reflected our unique personalities. All of the details stemmed from the color pattern of the groom’s tie and then really became creative with the infusion of Sarah Hearts’ (http://www.sarahhearts.com/) design of all of our paper goods. From the invitations to the table place cards to the escort cards to the mad hatter cake (designed by Party Flavors: http://www.orlandocustomcakes.com/) the entire event was unique, custom, and reflective of our personalities and not traditional wedding expectations.
Susan: Based off of your experience, would you share some advice for other brides and grooms who may still be planning their weddings?
Sean: First, do not settle when you hear “no” or “we can’t do that.” You need to plan in advance so that there is ample time to visit with multiple vendors, work for the best price, and have time to change vendors if needed.
Second, research, research, research. As the bride and groom, you need to do your homework, and rely on key respected professionals for references and suggestions that keep your vision in mind and work to surpass that vision, not create a vendor’s vision of how they would plan or create your wedding. For example, Susan suggested both Petals by Design (our florist who are absolutely wonderful) and Heather Brinkman, the bride’s makeup artist. Both were professional, listened, friendly, and worked within the bride and groom’s budget and personal expectations.