Wedding: A touch of magic for dream Disney day
It's not every day you get to meet Donald Duck - and certainly not as a guest to your wedding.
But for Fleetwood couple Max Pendlebury and Amy Campbell, the Disney character was VIP on their big day and he dressed for the occasion too.
Complete with top hat and tails, Donald made their day when they tied the knot at the Wedding Pavilion at Walt Disney World in Florida.
Amy, senior marketing executive at Rossall School, is a huge Disney fan and when Max got down on one knee at the Magic Kingdom to propose, there was only one place for the wedding.
So they flew out there in October with 34 of their close family and friends for the wedding of their dreams.
Amy and Max, who is a teacher at Rossall School, met in 2011 when Amy was working as a barmaid at the former Jenx nightclub in Blackpool.
She said: “He came in one night and his friends had quite a reputation at the time, so I did my best to avoid serving him all night.
“However, towards the end of the evening, he asked another barmaid if I could serve him and I had no choice. We started talking and the rest is history.
They became engaged in 2012 on their first Disney World holiday. Max had planned everything, even down to a photographer to capture the proposal.
They were engaged for five years before deciding to set a date, one of the main reasons was Amy’s dad was diagnosed with skin cancer and they wanted to do it soon.
“The reason we wanted to get married at Disney was because we both share a love for it,” said Amy, who is 30.
“Max’s dad died in 2008 and it was always one of his favourite places - Max has a tattoo of one of the Disney restaurants, ‘Casey’s Corner’ on his arm, as a tribute to his dad.
“To say I am slightly obsessed with Disney would be an understatement. It’s our favourite place - so it made sense that we should get married there.”
They opted for a Disney Fairytale Wishes Wedding and after seeing some of their friends marry at the Wedding Pavilion they knew that was the place for the ceremony. The reception was held at Disney’s Grand Floridian Hotel.
“After breaking the news to our family and friends, we paid our deposit and spent the next year planning the day,” said Amy.
“Our mothers flew out with us to Florida in February for a planning session, where we decided on the cake, meal, decor and shape of the day. We decided on a Beauty and the Beast film, as it’s my favourite ever Disney film (we even have a Daschund called Gaston). “We got to sample all of the food and meet the head chef which was absolutely incredible. I’m a vegetarian, so didn’t sample the steak but I was assured by Max, his mum and my mum that it was out of this world.”
The day went like clockwork. They married at 5pm which meant they had a day to relax and get ready. Despite Orlando being notorious for its rain, they were lucky that it held off all day.
They opted for a short ceremony and Amy asked a guest to live stream it on Facebook so that friend and family who couldn’t be there, were able to watch it.
Afterwards they made the short journey to the reception venue - where they met their special guest.
“It was a stipulation of mine that if we were getting married at Disney, that Donald Duck had to be there,” said Amy.
“We paid an astronomical amount for him and everyone thought we were absolutely insane. However, the next day, everyone commented on how he made the night and he most definitely did.
“We had a free bar, a caricature artist and I flew local photographer, Anthony Farran, out to capture the day. Anthony covers a lot of the events at Rossall and I am a massive fan of his work, so it was fantastic for him to agree to capture our wedding.”
One of the highlights was Amy’s maid of honour speech. Best friend Laura, who she met at St Wulstan’s School nursery at four years old, gave a speech, including her singing her own rendition of Be My Guest from Beauty and the Beast.
Max, 28, said: “It was the best day of my life. Being in my favourite place with my friends and family was amazing and I would give anything to do it again.”
Amy added: “As cheesy as it sounds, it was absolutely magical. Will we live happily ever after? Fingers crossed!”
Photos: Anthony Farran 07738 826775 http://www.anthonyfarran.co.uk