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When one Utah couple got on Disneyland's Pirates of the Caribbean ride, it really was the most important ride of their lives.
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Tory Elegante, 33, an Apple store manager, and his bride, Nikki Elegante, 22, a waitress, said “I do” two minutes and 30 seconds after boarding the five-minute ride with 21 family members and friends. The ceremony was officiated by a friend, and the couple kept a low profile so that they wouldn’t disrupt the ride for others (they didn’t even disclose their plans to the conductor). Tory wore a tuxedo T-shirt and Nikki donned a Minnie Mouse tee.
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The couple are just now talking about their stealthy ceremony, after keeping it under wraps for the last month. The couple’s former neighbor, who works for Utah local news station KSL, knew the two had been planning to marry at Disney and recently checked in to see if they'd gone through with it. After getting the details, the station ran a story about the nuptials on Friday.
The couple, who met through Tory’s sister, got engaged in Lake Tahoe in July after nine months of dating. They share a mutual love of Disney. Nikki has visited the theme park only three times, but Tory’s self-described “obsession” with all things Disney began when he was 15 years old and spent a week at the park with a friend and his parents. Since then, he’s returned a whopping 58 times and keeps detailed journals of his experience on each visit. “I knew from a young age that I wanted to get married at Disneyland,” Tory tells Yahoo Shine. “It’s a magical escape. The sights, smells, and sounds are how I retreat from the stress of daily life.”
It’s an atmosphere Tory has also re-created in his personal life. His children from a previous marriage even have Disney-themed name: Ariel ("The Little Mermaid"), 12; Belle ("Beauty and the Beast"), 10; and Orlando (the location of Disney World in Florida), 8. He’s also customized his home in a Disney theme: The walls are lined with framed posters of the famous attractions along with photos of him and his family participating in each one. There’s also a Pirates of the Caribbean themed-hallway, complete with lantern lights, a custom-built wooden bridge, and a porcelain fountain. The couple also owns wrought-iron mirrors and candles shaped like Mickey Mouse, and the mouse’s head is stamped repeatedly into the sheetrock in the walls. There’s even a mini-Monorail on the second floor.
It doesn't stop there. The couple’s master bathroom is decorated in an Adventureland theme, painted in the same rustic yellow as the park, and is outfitted with a waterfall shower head, tiki posters, and Disney towels. The kitchen has Disney-themed utensils and the couple is saving up for matching plate sets. Tory even decorated Nikki's 4-year-old son Kaiden’s room in a “Buzz Lightyear” theme.
Tory owns 15 Disney watches and has a large tattoo on his back of Cinderella’s castle under exploding fireworks, entwined with three of his children’s names. The couple drives cars with personalized Disney-themed license plates.
“I thought he was crazy when we first met, but now I'm used to it and love him for it,” Nikki tells Yahoo Shine. That’s a good thing, because the couple visits Disneyland, located in Anaheim, California, 670 miles away their home in Sandy, Utah, during every vacation. “But if we don’t make it there for the majority of the trip, we try to squeeze in a day or two on the way home,” says Tory, who adds that Disneyland Paris is a dream trip.
After tying the knot, the couple spent a few days in the theme park with their wedding guests, vacationed in Maui, Hawaii, then swung back around to Disney for the last leg of the trip. “It was fate we met because Nikki’s real name is Anastasia, which is also the name of one of Cinderella’s evil stepsisters,” jokes Tory.
The couple are hoping to expand their family next year and already have Disney-themed names selected: for a girl, Wendy Jo (named after the little girl Wendy in "Peter Pan"), and for a boy, Sawyer (after Tom Sawyer Island in the Magic Kingdom).
They’re not the only couple to incorporate Disney into their nuptials. In September, Holly Madison, former “Girls Next Door” star wed the father of her now-7-month-old daughter, Rainbow Aurora (the main character in "Sleeping Beauty" is named Aurora), at Disneyland. The couple swapped vows in front of Cinderella’s castle after taking a ride in a glass pumpkin coach. And in 2011, after getting engaged at Disney World, a couple from Missouri threw an meticulously detailed “Under the Sea”-themed wedding, with the bride dressed as Ariel from “The Little Mermaid” and her groom as Prince Eric. Their bridal party dressed as characters from "Aladdin," "Alice in Wonderland," and "Beauty and the Beast." Talk about a fairy-tale ending!
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