Making the decision to get married is absolutely exciting, but the process of actually going through the ceremony of committing to your betrothed can be a logistics nightmare. If you live in a rural area and have a large extended family, you might be able to pull-off a do-it-yourself (DIY) wedding, but for many of us that just isn't an option.
Which leaves one of two options: Renting a venue, handling vendors, and orchestrating the wedding with a very hands-on approach; or hiring a "turn key" venue or wedding planner that handles all of the details for you. The idea of negotiating with about eight different companies and trying to make sure that we avoided unnecessary hidden fees or bloated packaged options was a nightmare, and we simply couldn't afford to pay someone to take care of it for us.
Luckily, Disney came to the rescue. Well, more specifically, the US Department of Defense resort, Shades of Green, came to our rescue.
Going to Disney, arguably one of the more magical places on the planet, is somewhere in the middle. A destination wedding may seem like a good way to waste money, but compared to the Arkansas average ($14,000) or the U.S. average of $25,000, the $12,000 wedding at Shades of Green was a steal. The wedding packages offered by Disney are fairly expensive, but if you or your fiance are veterans, then you may be eligible for a wedding at Shades of Green, the military resort at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida.
Just being eligible doesn't mean that a Shades of Green wedding is right for you, however. To help you make that decision, I took some pretty good notes while planning our $4,000 wedding and $4,800 honeymoon (for you math wizards: $8,800 for both the wedding and honeymoon is well average in Arkansas for the wedding alone) to help you understand what's involved with a Shades of Green wedding.