All I Really Need to Know About Wedding Planning I Learned from Disney

This blog post started off as "Dos and Don'ts of Wedding Toasts". My favorite wedding toast is from the two dad-kings in Sleeping Beauty, and I wanted to find a clip. In looking for just the right one to share, I kept stumbling across other videos that seemed particularly relevant to wedding planning. And so, with permission, I'm going to switch gears and show you how Disney's Sleeping Beauty is secretly full of great tips for having the perfect wedding day.

Courtesy invites aren't the worst things in the word.

It's unclear what kind of species Maleficent is. A dark fairy? Some kind of devil, maybe? One thing we definitely know is that, underneath that spooky black cloak, she's a person with easily hurt feelings. After all, her curse on baby Aurora was a bad reaction to being practically the only person in the kingdom not invited to the Big Christening Party. When she finds out the slight was intentional, she looks like someone slapped her in the face! This whole "death by spinning wheel" affair could have avoided if the king and queen had simply swallowed their pride and stuck her at the singles' table in the back of the room.

We've all got a Maleficent in our lives - someone who you don't much want around, but who will actually make your life MORE unpleasant if you ignore them. Maybe it's your mom's boss or your cousin's boyfriend of about five minutes. If excluding your personal Maleficent is going to turn into a whole big thing, just invite them and get on with your life. And maybe "forget" to personally greet them at the reception.

Some things are better left to the professionals.

Aunts are great. They love to help with your wedding, especially if they don't have kids of their aunt. I myself am a childless-by-choice aunt to a cute little toddler who lives in Brooklyn, and when she gets married I'll probably insert myself to an annoying degree. The one thing I won't do for Caroline's wedding is try to be a vendor.

If your aunt (or friend, or neighbor, or whomever) has never arranged flowers, don't ask her to start with your wedding. Ditto for cakes or wedding gowns. Maybe don't ask a friend who has no public speaking experience to officiate at your wedding. And your mom is probably a great cook, but catering a wedding is a whole different ball game. Let the absolute cakewreck Aunt Flora cooks up for Aurora's Sweet 16 stand as a warning.

There are rules for toasts. (See, we got back to toasts after all!)

A lot of people ask their parents to give a toast at their wedding. That's awesome - it shows that you have as much respect for your old family as you do for the new one that you create with your marriage. But to make sure they get through it without being boring, embarassing, or even offensive, you may need to lay out the rules for them.

  • Keep it short - Stefan and Hubert say just a few lines, which is maybe TOO short, but ask your folks to keep it around three minutes.
  • Have a theme or focus - "To the future!" "To the home!" Stefan and Hubert are killing it.
  • Talk about both of the newlyweds, not just your own kid - watching this video, you wouldn't know who was Aurora's dad and who was Philip's. Good job.
  • End on a high note - possibilities include "To the newlyweds!" or "L'chaim!" or "Salud!' or even a classic "Congratulations!" (Or, if you're Hubert and Stefan, "Skumps!")