Fast-forward to the reception. Fireworks explode over the turrets. Champagne corks pop. An army of waiters appear. And Julie, John, and guests gasp as they enter a tent transformed into an opulent garden with gilded candelabras and a profusion of flowers. The feast is served; guests make toast after toast. Finally, everyone heads to a dessert lounge, where Ultrasuede sofas create a clubby backdrop for Andy Kushner and his SoundConnection band.

At the stroke of twelve, Julie and John retreated to the Castle Dream Suite to count their blessings. Happily, we presume, ever after.


Even a massive site like Disney World can be customized – here, David Tutera’s palette of orange, gold, and chartreuse did the trick.

Talk to your caterer about incorporating dishes from your ethnic background in new ways – like Tyler Florence’s dish of short ribs, crab wonton, and coconut salad, a modern spin on Thai cuisine.

If you’ll be tenting the reception area, opt for clear walls and ceiling, which look enchanting and let guests gaze out at the scenery, whether it’s fireworks or moonlit waves.

The more personal the favor, the more it will be treasured. A place card done in elegant calligraphy is almost guaranteed to become a keepsake.

Shifting guests from space to space creates excitement; just as you move from cocktails to the meal, think about staging a separate dessert area or dance lounge.

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