A Whole New World
A fairy tale wedding complete with Jimmy Choo slippers
As Maggie and David Abrego-Bellis stepped onto the pavement lining Disneyland’s Main Street, U.S.A. they were delighted that something was missing. On most days, the asphalt-lined thoroughfare that leads guests into the park is notoriously clogged with visitors. As the sun rose over Anaheim on this brisk June morning, the couple experienced a vacant amusement park. “Walking into an empty Disneyland is a completely surreal experience,” says Maggie, the bride. “And for Dave, getting to see the back service roads and behind-the-scenes activity was fantastic.”
Just the day before, Maggie and David had exchanged vows at the Disneyland Hotel. Now they continued the celebration with the rare experience of having an empty Disneyland as the backdrop to their wedding photos. “Disneyland infused our lives with magic and fun,” says Maggie. “When it came time to choose a venue for our wedding, we considered many options, in three different states.” Maggie grew up in Queens, New York. David is from St. Paul, Minnesota. And the couple resides in Beverly Hills. “We kept coming back to Disneyland; as beautiful as the other venues were, nothing could quite compare to the significance of Disneyland in our relationship.” Over the years they celebrated birthdays, anniversaries and random Sunday nights at the park. “Our love really blossomed there,” says Maggie. “We had one of our first dates there, actually, a very important date.” That is when Maggie and David decided to take their relationship to the next level. They would exclusively date each other.
The couple and their photographer, Jenna Henderson of White Rabbit Photo Boutique, met at Disneyland’s gates at 5:30 a.m. Maggie and David knew that this photo shoot was special. They danced the foxtrot and twirled in front of the iconic Sleeping Beauty Castle. Then they meandered through the park’s nooks and crannies. Maggie even posed for pictures with Goofy.
The wedding was a mix of contemporary and classic – one part princess fairy tale, one part Disney dance party. On June 28, under a secluded gazebo, they exchanged their first kiss as husband and wife. The Rose Court Garden was in full bloom during their summer nuptials.
The bride’s fit-and-flair gown speckled with pearl and crystal appliqués gave her a dramatic allure without having to don a traditional ball gown. Her Jimmy Choo peep-toe heels gave Maggie a little extra unexpected sparkle. After all, footwear is important – especially at a fairy tale wedding. “Cinderella is proof that a new pair of shoes can change your life,” read a sign given to the bride. Her “slippers” were carefully posed next to it.
Knowing that their guests would take advantage of the dance floor, the couple kept their tired feet in mind. A note posted in front of a wicker basket filled with navy and white sandals read: “Glass slippers hurting your feet? Grab a pair of flip-flops!”
While the wedding was illuminated with crystals and silver flourishes, the couple’s whimsical style was revealed during the reception in Disneyland Hotel’s Sleeping Beauty Pavilion. Tables themed with Disneyland and California Adventure attractions were dubbed “The Enchanted Tiki Room,” “Soarin’ Over California” and “Big Thunder Railroad.” The guests received chocolate chip cookies as favors.
The event was filled with touches of glamour: Elevated candelabra centerpieces with mirrored mosaics held votive candles topped with lush bouquets of white hydrangeas, blush pink roses and miniature rosebuds. The gilded splendor intertwined with Disney flair seamlessly flowed through the reception hall. The three-tiered vegan wedding cake was decorated with silver-dusted fleur de lys and a monogram of the couple’s initials.
While the magic continued throughout the evening, Maggie and David did save one surprise for after the wedding. On the day of the photo shoot, the bride and groom exchanged gifts – a Judith Ripka blue corundum necklace for her and an Image3D viewfinder for him. On the slides in his viewfinder David saw a reel of their most memorable moments created by Maggie. “There is one photo for each year we have been together. Plus the final image was a message to say a lifetime of adventurous experiences is to come.”