How to Help a Runaway Bride. One Hint: Disney World!
As a bridesmaid you will stand by your bride’s side through it all, right? You’ll help her pick out a dress, plan her shower, throw an amazing bachelorette, and of course, see her down the aisle. Well, what do you do if the bride calls off the entire wedding? When she has, in fact, become a runaway bride!
To find out, we’re talking to a group of ladies that call themselves the Mousewives. These four sisters and their mom enjoy all things Disney. So it wasn’t too surprising to hear that when one sister called off her wedding, they ran away to Disney World! Thankfully this story has a happy ending, and they have a few tips for what you can do to help a runaway bride.
Tell us more about each of you and your love for Disney.
Sarah: I was raised on the classic Disney channel and love integrating Disney into our everyday lives! I enjoy crafting and planning every Disney trip detail to a T. My husband and I have branched out from WDW and started cruising with the Disney Cruise Line!
Erin (runaway bride, RB): I am the runaway mousewife of the trip and the youngest of the group. I am a former cast member in Animal Kingdom as outdoor food and beverage.
Elysabethe: I’m a former Cast Member as a photopass photographer. Currently, I’m a freelance writer and photographer, so blogging is right in my wheelhouse!
Heather: I am a mousewife with two future mouseketeers. I’m the middle sister of the group and a former cast member at Pirates of the Caribbean.
Tammy (Mother of the Bride, MOB): I am the mom of the mousewives. I fell in love with Disney at the age of 7 when I saw Tinkerbell magically fly out of Sleeping Beauty castle in Disneyland. I introduced my four daughters to Disney magic. We read Disney books, watched videos, sang songs, and towed our trailer to Fort Wilderness for frequent Disney adventures. They grew up and did the Disney College Program. Somewhere along the line, we began to call Disney World home.
Erin, let’s talk about the wedding. How far along in the wedding process were you when it was called off?
Erin (RB): When I called my wedding off I had crossed all my T’s and dotted all of my I’s. I had sent my invitations out a week before I called everything off and just had my bridal shower. I had everything done. Right down to the porta potties which were actually delivered to my house. I forgot to cancel them! I strongly considered having the porta-potties delivered to my ex’s house, but I restrained myself.
Bridesmaids and MOB, how did you feel when it was called off?
Tammy (MOB): Relieved in that I knew something didn’t seem right and I think we all felt that. Her anxiety didn’t seem like normal wedding jitters to me. Planning a wedding always has its stressful moments, but the happiness that should have been underlying everything was missing. When she made the decision to call it off, I knew she was doing it with confidence.
Heather: We were relieved, knowing it would never be the happily ever after that we all wanted for Erin. (And besides, he was a Universal lover so we knew it wouldn’t have worked out.)
Elysabethe: Of course we were all really sad for Erin, but I was also really proud of her. I was happy that she was doing what was best for her and not what people expected of her.
Sarah: I was so proud of Erin. Of course, I would love her and support her no matter what choices she made. It was definitely not an easy decision to make, and she has stayed strong throughout the difficulties.
How did the runaway bride situation come about?
Tammy (MOB): I don’t even remember us having to make a decision. The wedding was going to have taken place at our home. We felt like we needed to get Erin away from that location on that particular weekend.
Erin (RB): I never understood the term “runaway bride” until I called off my wedding. You have an absolute need to run. I have never had a feeling like that before in my life. So in true mousewives fashion, we ran to our safe haven… Disney.
Heather: I don’t remember who said it, but someone said, “Let’s go to Disney!” This was the first time anyone smiled in this whole sad situation. We all felt a little guilty, but also some excitement about our plan! That very day we started to book our reservations. Plus we returned a lot of her favors and decorations, getting whatever money back we could. That helped us to fund the trip!
Tammy (MOB): Disney has been a place of healing for my family and has helped us to get through some difficult times. The Disney story world is a place where we feel safe and like all is right with the world. Even when we know it is just for a short time. That’s not delusional, it is a respite. Sometimes life is really painful and you just need a break. We knew what was to be the wedding weekend would be the most painful time of Erin’s life. We believed that Disney would give her relief from it, even if just for a little while.
Erin (RB): For our family planning a vacation is usually a no-brainer. It’s always Disney. Are there other places to vacation besides Disney?
Heather: It’s a place where you can forget what’s going on outside in the real world. Disney has been medicine for us in other hard times, so this seemed natural. Disney reminds us that “There’s a great big beautiful tomorrow.”
Elysabethe: We all slightly obsess over Disney! Heather, Erin, and I all used to work there. My mom and Sarah have both been there more times than I think any of us can count! We really consider Disney our home. Especially since we are all adults now and live apart from one another. It’s a place where we can all come together and just relax.
Was it a successful trip?
Tammy (MOB): I think it was because our expectations were realistic. We knew that Disney would not cure Erin’s pain completely. It helped alleviate the pain on the days when it was going to be the most intense (the planned wedding day).
Heather: Definitely. She would have been a basket case if even left alone for a little bit on that weekend. At Disney, there was constant movement and togetherness that kept Erin distracted. As an added bonus, having our little mouseketeer with us often brought spontaneous moments of fun. Seeing Disney through the eyes of our littlest mouseketeer took the focus off of the difficult circumstances that had brought us there
Sarah: I think this trip lifted all of our spirits! I couldn’t imagine myself being home on that day, so I know it was a good choice to go away. Besides, any excuse for a Disney trip right?
Erin (RB): The trip completely lifted my spirits. The whole magic of Disney is taking you out of reality. I needed to feel happy and normal, and Disney is my normal. I was in a different world where I didn’t have to think about what was going on back home. My two main focuses were family and getting on a path to healing myself.
Where did you get your t-shirts made?
Elysabethe: Erin! She’s the crafty one of the family.
Erin (RB): I made the T-shirts. I think part a big part of being a bride is being busy and very organized. I had a list for everything…..except the porta potties. I was in “work to be done mode” and handmade each of our T-shirts. Staying busy is all part of the getting over it process.
Did people stop you to ask about your shirts?
Erin (RB): Yes, people really seemed to like them. Especially the photopass cast members.
Elysabethe: We got a lot of comments on them. Unfortunately, a lot of people assumed we were a bachelorette party. They thought the “runaway” part was a joke! Nope, it was real.
Heather: Elysabethe is right. Maybe people didn’t know what to say. They saw it as too outrageous to be true. Would anyone actually call off their wedding and run away to Disney? Cast members must have gone home that day saying, “Well, now I’ve seen it all!”
How did it make you feel that your bridesmaids wanted to do this trip with you?
Erin (RB): When my bridesmaids planned this trip I was so thankful. My sisters and mom are so strong and helped me through so much. When I told them the wedding was off, their first reaction was like, “Okay. Let’s to Disney!”. The Mousewives were literally like my fairy godmothers. They planned everything and every detail.
What tips do you have for other bridesmaids to help the bride if she calls off the wedding?
Tammy (MOB): Be realistic. Whatever you may do to help the runaway bride through “the weekend” is necessary but not sufficient. Finding her new normal can take a long time. Your continued friendship and support can play a huge role in helping her get there.
Heather: Think about what makes her happy. What it is that makes her glow? Build an experience from that. Don’t rush her to be over it and done. Let her take whatever time she needs to heal. Recognize that after the experience is over, it will still be hard. Be prepared to keep a little pixie dust in your pocket for the sad days.
Elysabethe: I would say to be supportive and be present. Obviously, this is a hard decision and one she didn’t make “on the fly” so to speak. She put a lot of thought and prayer into the decision. I think it is important to just be supportive of her 100%. It’s her life, not yours.
Sarah: As Elysabethe said, be a strong support system for the bride and back the decision she has made. Making that decision is hard enough. She doesn’t need a peanut gallery of input.
How are you feeling now that it’s been a while?
Erin (RB): It has actually been almost a year. Things were really difficult in the beginning, but then I followed the wise words of Walt. “Around here, however, we don’t look backward for very long. We keep moving forward, opening up new doors and doing new things, because we’re curious…and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.”
This is one of my favorite quotes. It is so true that you just keep moving forward. Every day a new door opens, and new things come about.
Do you have any advice for other brides on what to do if they want to walk away from the wedding?
Erin (RB): If you make the choice to run away, give your heart time to heal. Don’t let yourself get so caught up in other wedding business that you forget to deal with your hurt. Let yourself be sad and cry really hard. Then get up and realize this was a choice that you made. Be confident in your choices and don’t let people second guess you. Then open new doors for yourself and make a change.
Check out Mousewives.com for more Disney adventures!
What did you think of Erin’s runaway bride story? Is Disney where you would run to, or would you go somewhere else? Share with us in the comments.