July 8, 1995 "A picture of love" Gown omitted on purpose

I had a beautiful wedding.  It took place in a stone Amphitheatre during a North Carolina summer.  It had rained every day for a month that July, so when the sun shone on my wedding day, an emerald shimmer reflected back.  The graceful rise of the arena was dotted with simple white chairs, which exquisitely complimented the white roses.  My bridesmaids looked like sapphire jewels nestled amongst the grey stone steps.  The groom and his men, handsome in well-tailored tuxedos, were a stunning contrast.  Then I, the bride, walked down the aisle in an ill-fitting, too short, too baggy prom dress, complete with a too long veil that didn’t match.  No joke, I was a sight, and not a good one either.

I have regretted this choice ever since.  I’ve never been one to “dote” on myself.  Never let anyone spend money on me.  I wasn’t worth all that, I thought.  A prom dress was all I required.  After all, it was white.  I had my chance to be the center of it all.  My one day to spoil myself.  My one day to feel like Cinderella.  And I blew it.

Or so I thought.

My husband is well aware of my regrets.  I try to hide it, but he knows I have pity parties in front of the TV, watching Say Yes to the Dress and consuming too much ice cream in one sitting.  He knows I have Alfred Angelo bookmarked on my computer.  So, after a couple of stressful years when the kids and I lived in Virginia while my husband worked in Arizona, he came home one Friday and asked me if I wanted a gown.…and to renew our vows in Disney World.

I surprised myself at how instantly I became engulfed in tears.

It’s true, these years have been hard.  We’ve faced many hurdles.  Our family, our marriage, our health–all have been challenged and stretched to the limits.  I have a brand new respect and appreciation for single mothers…and for prayer.  Our situation is not likely to soon change, but this re-commitment is a way of letting me know he realizes just how difficult these years have been on me and that he doesn’t take it for granted.

So this is Part One.  I can’t exactly call it an engagement, but for lack of a better term, I will.  Periodically, I will write on the experiences I encounter in working with Disney Weddings and the whole process.  I hope you will stay tuned!  I am especially excited for my visit to an Alfred Angelo boutique, coming soon to a Disney Driven Life near you!

Contributed by: Ami B. (NDM#381) Ami is the DDL Ethics and Marriage Blogger. She is also the creator of Disney Park Goddess.


  1. How exciting!! I so want to do a Disney vow renewal but the lack of information I’ve been able to find (and the cost I associate with it) have kept me from it. My wedding was also less than perfect and I’ve been to three weddings since (all family) and skipped any others we were invited to. It hurts to see other people have a “perfect” day when I have so many “do overs” from mine. I am sending tons of pixie dust your way for your “perfect” day.

  2. Ami,

    Wow a girl after my own heart. I was married young and at the courthouse, thats all we could afford since boths parents were not supportive of us getting married. Now 22 yrs later I dream of the day my hubby would say lets go to WDW and renew our wedding vows, but I think right now it has not crossed his mind even after the hints I have dropped, so I keep wishing on that star.

  3. This is so wonderful, Ami! Brings tears to my eyes! I can’t wait to hear more about your planning! My husband and I just celebrated 18 years and I wouldn’t change a thing about our wedding. I would, however; LOVE to have a big 20th anniversary party at WDW!

  4. Ami, OMG, i am SO excited for you! I can’t wait to read about this in upcoming articles! I hope we can see the first gown and new gown side by side! lol When will this be? July?

  5. Thank you, Donna! That’s a good idea about the dresses! Also, we don’t know a lot at this point, but we do know this will not be in July. Summer in NC is one thing…summer in WDW is another, haha. We are thinking early October.

  6. Hi Lynn! Right now, Disney is launching a special rate in honor of their 20th anniversary. It is for the Memories Collection (Part of Escape) and only $1991 for the ceremony (you know, it’s all relative). It is a bare bones kind of deal, but perfect for vow renewals. Very intimate! We did the wedding for friends and family; this one is just for us. If you google “disney weddings memories collection” it will come right up. The week after next, my article will have a bunch of info on it. A wedding should bring back wonderful emotions…not regret. I know exactly what you are feeling. Thanks for the Pixie Dust! Sending some right back to you!

  7. I thought you looked beautiful on your wedding day. Being clothed in LOVE is the best outfit. I knew your dress was 2nd hand, my first I sewed (and sewing is not my forte) and my 2nd was from the JC Penney catalog. It’s not the dress, but if you have the chance to live the fantasy, go for it. I remember sitting at the piano singing “Someday My Prince Will Come” with tears in my eyes, while you and Lorien were sleeping. I know the challenges of being a single mom and the uncertainty of the future. We both got our prince and we are living Happily Ever After with a few challenges that Cinderella didn’t think about, but we also have our faith in God to carry us through whatever the future holds..

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