Disney: the word itself evokes pure joy. Many of us have fond memories of our favorite princes and princesses falling in love and living happily ever after. The ALEX AND ANI Disney Collection captures these sentiments in a variety of styles. Adorned with iconic characters, famous Disney quotes and more, these pieces are perfect for Disney dreamers.
We recently had the pleasure of meeting Brianna, an enthusiastic ALEX AND ANI and Disney fan. After chatting for a bit, she shared her story of finding Prince Charming that can only be described as “magical.” Check it out below!
28 years ago, my mom gave her two weeks notice at a hair salon in Las Vegas. She was ready to head back to her hometown in New York until a firefighter with dark auburn hair came in for a haircut. He warned her he was not going to let her go and after three days of asking for her number, she gave in. They went out dancing and fell completely in love. The next week, he learned that she had never been to Disneyland nor seen a Disney movie. He decided to take her to Disneyland for the day and open her world to fairytales, a place where dreams came true. Seven weeks later, my mom did not move back to New York and my dad proposed while on a date seeing Lady and the Tramp. Needless to say, Disney magic runs through our veins!
Fast forward to April 11, 2013. I booked a last minute flight to Nashville for work. I am an executive recruiter (think Mila Kunis in Friends with Benefits) so my schedule is always a little crazy! While some people dislike the open seating policy on some airlines, I have that to thank for meeting my own Prince Charming. Since I only booked my flight the day before and forgot to sign up for priority seating, I was left only with middle seats to choose from when we boarded. I sat down in the first one I found near the wing where I always try to sit (every manual says it’s the safest!) I also chose that seat because I saw a cute guy sitting by the window. As soon as the pilot gave us the green light to use electronic devices, I was focused on my computer working. It wasn’t until I put it away during our descent that this very good-looking man next to my left started talking to me. He asked me if I liked my MacBook Air – not your average pick-up line. I told him it was great for travel and for my job because I’m constantly on the go and was in the middle of traveling from Las Vegas to Nashville and then to Disney World, which led to us talking about not only our jobs, but Disney.
He said his parents were going to be in Disney World the following week and that they all loved it. I couldn’t even imagine what my face looked like. My heart went to my stomach and I asked him to elaborate. He told me his parents were Disney Vacation Club members and that their house was decorated with Disney collectibles from cookie jars to figurines to limited edition artwork. I could not believe it because even though my family is not part of the Disney Vacation Club, my mom works at the Disney Store. Our house is fully decorated in Disney and for Christmas we have a nine-foot, rotating Christmas tree with over 500 Disney ornaments. He saw my cell phone case, recognized it was the enchanted rose from Beauty & the Beast, and said that Belle was his mom’s favorite character. That was the moment I started looking around for hidden cameras because Belle is my favorite character – there was no way this was happening. We sort of started battling over who loved Disney more! I couldn’t believe this attractive, Italian man was talking about Disney with me! As if we already didn’t have enough connections, we shared countless more. I learned he went to Lehigh University and I went to Penn State, just a few hours away. We both interned for the Philadelphia Phillies farm teams (myself with the Lakewood Blueclaws and he with the Lehigh Iron Pigs). My birthday was coming up on April 26, his was on April 29. It was such an amazing connection, or should I say a “magical” one. Again, this conversation was only about 10 minutes long as it occurred while we were landing!
I had to get to my first meeting, so once we landed, I headed for a cab and we both exchanged business cards and shook hands. The second I got into the cab, I called my mom. I was ecstatic and she assumed that since I was coming from the Nashville airport, I had just met Luke Bryan or Kenny Chesney. I told her it was better; I had just met the most amazing Prince Charming, Dan, and if I don’t marry this man, there is no one for me in the world.
I was in a meeting when I heard my phone buzz and thought it was just emails. To my surprise, I had a text message from Dan which read,
“I know this might be weird to ask someone I just met but it is rare to meet someone who shares my views on Disney, along with other things. That being said, if you haven’t already left by Saturday night and don’t have clients to meet, I have an unused plus one to the wedding if you want to join. Again, I know it’s a weird thing to ask but I enjoyed talking to you and thought it could be fun. Plus, even if you say no, I got the awkward first text after meeting someone out of the way so it’s a win-win.”
My face hurt from smiling so much after reading that text. I was in a boutique in-between my meetings in Nashville and showed the associates the text. We were all in complete shock! I texted him back telling him I was just as crazy as him, and I would love to go. He left out the slight detail that it was black tie, and I am not sure what type of executive recruiter he thought I was, but I definitely did not travel with a gown. After my meetings, one of my good family friends in Nashville took me to the mall and we spent the night shopping for a dress, shoes, and everything else, which felt like a scene from Pretty Woman. Every time someone asked what we were shopping for, they would say, “This is crazy, like a fairytale!”
The next day, Friday, I had a full schedule of meetings with a colleague and then we went out in downtown Nashville to celebrate a great workday. She and I ended up running into Dan and all of his friends who were in town for the wedding. They were all wonderful and we danced to live country music all night. I LOVE country music so to meet this incredible man and sing along all night couldn’t have felt more like a dream.
The wedding was that Saturday evening at the Hermitage Hotel, a beautiful hotel in downtown Nashville where I had previously met Rascal Flatts and Kellie Pickler. It was already a place full of unbelievable memories for me! He was there waiting for me in a tux and when our eyes locked my heart dropped in my stomach again. I was just so happy to see him and be there with him.
Since this was his best friend’s wedding, his parents were also there. They were incredibly nice and we conversed all night about our love for Disney. It was so much fun to be with such a welcoming group of people I had JUST MET. We danced all night and rounded out the evening downtown singing along with a crowd at a piano bar. I left with a permanent smile on!
As fate would have it, the next day we shared the same flight home to LaGuardia. We got to sit next to each other again and even watched Disney/Pixar’s Wreck It Ralph on my MacBook Air, which started it all. We landed and I headed back to Stamford and he to Queens, but I am happy to say the fairytale did not end there. In less than two years, we were engaged. He proposed in front of the beautiful stained glass mural at the Be Our Guest restaurant in Disney World, which is, of course, inspired by Beauty & the Beast. You guessed it, our wedding will also have a Disney theme! When you open up and believe in fairytales, magical things truly do happen.