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Old 08-01-2008, 07:41 PM   #1
nickandlarisa
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Larisa & Nick 7/18/09 - invitation voted best of 2009!!

Hello Everyone!

I'm completely new to this, but wanted to share my story and get some advice, so this seemed the place to start. Nick and I met as college freshman and started dating the following year. Last summer (July 07) we spent 7 days in WDW just the two of us, we stayed at PO-Riverside. On the second night of our trip we dined at Cinderella Royal Table where Nick proposed, glass slipper and all! We're planning our July 2009 wedding after a nearly 10 year courtship. The wedding will be near my home in Maryland, but the honeymoon will be a 2 week extravaganza in WDW!

What we have figure out so far ...

Part One - 6 nights at a Moderate resort - probably POR
Part Two - 4 night DCL Bahamian cruise - Wonder (already booked)
Part Three - 4 nights at a Moderate resort

We are definitely going to stay at POR for one of our land stays, we just loved the landscaping and romantic setting. We are up to changing it up and trying a different moderate for the second land stay, and are considering the CBR but are open to suggestions or recommendations. We want to do deluxe dining. We both have the Disney Visa and AAA and are all about discounts and rewards. The bottom line is we absolutely fell in love with Disney during our engagement vacation, even though we had both been twice before, its even more magical for us now. We want to be able to go for as long as we can and do as much as we can but also get the most bang for our buck because we are on a budget.

I'm sure I'll have more specific questions, details to share, etc. in the future but I just wanted to get started and see what this board is all about.

Thanks in advance!

Larisa (and Nick)

Last edited by nickandlarisa; 10-21-2010 at 11:03 PM.
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Old 08-01-2008, 08:19 PM   #2
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welcome

congrats and welcome... looking forward to hearing more of your plans. dh and I were together about 9 years before we got married( we have been married 18 years last month. we are planning a VR for our 20th anniversary in 2010). we met in college too and then HM ed at wdw for our first visit ever... good luck with all your plans and congrats
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Old 08-01-2008, 10:04 PM   #3
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Hi! Congrats! I love the sound of a lengthy Disney honeymoon. :D

I stayed at the CBR several years ago (2000 I think) and I thought it was very nice. Have you considered Coronado Springs? It's the only moderate I haven't stayed at, but I visited some friends last year who were staying there and I loved the theming!
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Old 08-02-2008, 07:45 AM   #4
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Congrats!

We're planning a June 2009 Disneymoon as well.
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Old 08-02-2008, 10:09 PM   #5
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Thanks for the warm welcome!

padisneyfour - congrats on your upcoming 20th anniversary!

tiffanova - I'm definitely open CSR, my only concern was that I've heard its a conference center resort, so I wasn't sure if it would feel too business-like? Did you get that vibe?

rachaelA - congrats to you, too! Our wedding is June 20th when is yours?
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Old 08-02-2008, 10:13 PM   #6
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Our Proposal Story

(Nick wrote this for our wedding website so I thought I would share.)

The Larisa and Nicholas Story: A Proposal at Cinderella Castle

Once upon a time, in a beautiful land many miles away ... actually it was July 26, 2007 and it was in Disney World on the gorgeous Florida peninsula and this is the story of our fairy tale. This is the story leading us to happily ever after.

Before the specific moment that will take Larisa and Nicholas to happily ever after, there was much planning just for the trip itself in the months leading up. The decision to go to Disney World as a couple was made back in very late April. Initially, the couple had plans to take a long weekend type trip, perhaps two or three nights. As costs were considered and as a proposal and engagement was discussed, a longer trip was decidedly the way to go. Once Nicholas became certain he wanted to spend the rest of his life with Larisa, what better place to propose than at Disney World? Actually, without all of the details of the couples' relationship history, deep down, Nicholas must have known all along he would spend the rest of his life with Larisa. It just took Nicholas some time to mature and realize the decision on his own terms, and it was that decision that spawned this trip. So the months of May, June and July brought planning and discussion dealing with everything from where the couple would stay, to what they would eat each day, to what park they would be in each day, even to what they would wear each day. Spreadsheets were the norm to plan this vacation.

Travel to Disney World commenced on July 25th at about 8:00 a.m. when Larisa's mother graciously drove the couple to the airport in Baltimore, MD. The trip went smoothly and the soon-to-be fiances were immediately engulfed by the Disney spirit with the Magical Express shuttle service taking them to the Port Orleans Riverside resort. After a brief check-in, Larisa and Nicholas departed for the Magic Kingdom and dinner with Winnie the Pooh characters at the Crystal Palace. Entering the Magic Kingdom and seeing Main Street and Cinderella castle for the first time together brought tears to Larisa's eyes and joy to Nicholas' heart. On the second day in Disney World together Magic Kingdom was the plan for the day, with a break in the afternoon to return to the Port Orleans Riverside resort to shower and change. From there an evening back at the Magic Kingdom would bring dinner at Cinderella's Royal Table at Cinderella Castle. The weather was seasonal and typical for a July day in Florida. Both enjoyed a productive and enjoyable day of rides and attractions in the Magic Kingdom, from Space Mountain to It's a Small World. Unbeknownst to Larisa, a lunch time stroll by Cinderella's Royal table for Nicholas to inspect the check-in procedure for reservations was an attempt to firm up the proposal plan. The beginnings of the proposal plan occurred when Nicholas made the phone call to Disney Dining for reservations at Cinderella's Royal Table at Cinderella Castle for July 26th. With the setting for the moment in place, the finishing touches were provided with a few calls to Disney Florist.

Larisa knew that a proposal would occur at some point during the trip, since Nicholas allowed that to be discussed in planning the trip. However, Larisa did not know the exact moment, place or means with which the proposal would occur. Nicholas had to leave some element of surprise. With Larisa aware of all of the dinner reservations the couple had planned during their trip, surely she would expect a dinner at Cinderella Castle to be the moment. Determined to surprise her in some way, Nicholas pretended to be feeling ill during the afternoon of the day they would dine at Cinderella's Royal Table. Stomach problems were to blame and the better to have a good excuse to step away from the table when it was time to propose. Surely saying he had to use the restroom, while not feeling well, would provide ample time to put the aforementioned finishing touches on the proposal plan. In addition, as part of his strategy, as the couple was getting ready at their resort to depart for dinner, in a serious tone, Nicholas told Larisa the moment would not be tonight. He explained that the couple would still have a wonderful time at dinner tonight, but that he had something else planned during the trip and the proposal would not be tonight. Disappointed, Larisa questioned are you sure it will not be tonight, definitely not? Nicholas allowed he could not say definitely, and that if the moment was right it could be a possibility. But Nicholas also explained that he was uncertain what the environment would be like inside the Castle, that there was too much unknown so he had something else in mind later in the trip. Satisfied that Nicholas had convinced Larisa the proposal would not be tonight, the young lovers left the resort for the evening to travel back to the Magic Kingdom for the second time that day.

As the time for the dinner reservation approached, Larisa insisted the couple had time for one more ride. Mickey's Philharmagic, a 3-D cartoon montage of Disney movies was the pre-dinner chosen attraction. Already nervous about the evening's events going just right, Nicholas now waited in line for the Mickey show worrying about the time. Nicholas and Larisa emerged from the show with plenty of time to check in for the reservation. Now it was time for Nicholas to put the plan to action. A stroll to the bathroom allowed some much necessary time to contemplate the first step. Nicholas had to check in for dinner without Larisa hearing the dialogue with the hostess. A gift shop called Sir Mickey's afforded the perfect diversion. Casually, Nicholas suggested that Larisa check out the gift shop Sir Mickey's, just across from the front desk of Cinderella's Royal Table.

With heart racing, but still in control, Nicholas meandered through a few people to arrive at the front desk. Explaining the situation, the hostess was unfortunately not able to help as Nicholas had hoped and the manager would need to be called. Nicholas was then asked to step inside the Castle, actually right where Cinderella was taking pictures with dinner guests, to wait for the manager. As the hostess led him in, Nicholas asked but what if my girlfriend comes to look for me? The hostess replied, I will tell her you went to the men's room. That is as good an idea as any Nicholas allowed, thinking to himself. The likely three minute wait for the manager seemed like an eternity and when she arrived, Nicholas stumbled all over his words trying to explain the situation. Good news, the manager explained. The secondary piece to the proposal, the arrangement from Disney Florist was at the restaurant and had arrived. The primary piece was of course the ring, and that had been secured in Nicholas' pocket all trip. After the manger explained what the Castle could have arranged as a proposal package, had they been notified prior to checking in for dinner, Nicholas opted to stick with his plan. The manager's options did sound appealing, either having the wait staff deliver the arrangement or conjuring up a plan that would bring Larisa and Nicholas into the main room, with just Cinderella. This latter option involved an employee telling the couple at dinner that their complimentary picture included with dinner had some problems. Thus they were needed downstairs, which resulted in them being in the same room as Cinderella. Larisa would then somehow be distracted and when she turned around, Nicholas would be down on one knee. Sounds nice and it would have been. However, Nicholas had a plan and as nervous as he was, it was not time to venture into ideas not already calculated. In amongst his confused rambling to the manager, Nicholas explained the couple was shy, and something to the effect of they did not want a great deal of attention.

As Nicholas left the Castle, he was relieved to find Larisa still in Sir Mickey's and seemingly unsuspecting of anything out of the normal. With the hostess notifying him to check back in ten minutes or so, the couple decided to take a stroll around the Castle. For Nicholas, it was getting next to impossible to concentrate on anything but wondering how this was all going to work out. As they arrived back at the Castle, the young lovers waited patiently in line pondering what to eat, and finally they entered the Castle, seeing Cinderella and the main room for what Larisa thought was the first time for both of them. More waiting brought more nervousness to the future groom. Eventually it was their turn to have photos with Cinderella, with Larisa and Nicholas on each side as pictures were taken. To follow the pictures, more waiting ensued. Now Nicholas was wondering if sticking to his plan was the best course. Perhaps this restaurant was family style seating, and everyone around them would hear what he was doing. Possibly there was only a small room with a handful of tables and the entire room would know what was going on. The uncertainty made time crawl. In hindsight, the fact that people could be watching Nicholas propose was not a big deal. But at the time, the idea of an audience did not seem to calm the nerves. Finally, the couple was called to climb the stairs up to the dining area. To Disney's credit, the actual wait to eat was reasonable. Just the circumstances made it seem difficult to handle, at least for the soon to be fianc.

At the top of the stairs, the first table in sight looked to be a long family style table, or possibly two large tables close together. Upon first glance, the environment was not what Nicholas had hoped. How quickly things improved. As the couple was led into the dining area, the atmosphere gave the feeling of a castle in a fairy tale, from the windows, to the high ceiling and the overall architecture of the dining area. To both of their surprise, Nicholas and Larisa were seated at easily the best table in the restaurant. The table was small, for two, right in front of a large stained glass window peering out into the park. As an added bonus, the table had ample space between the surrounding tables, to at least ensure some privacy. Nicholas thought to himself how perfect this was and there was no doubt this spot would be where he would propose. Larisa's surprise was more evident, as she questioned whether or not her hopeful fiance had arranged for this. Not wanting to give anything away, Nicholas explained that he was not going to tell her just yet, even though this table had not in fact specifically been arranged for the couple. Perhaps when calling to make reservations, when Nicholas mentioned he was planning to propose, Disney made note and certainly made a perfect setting for the occasion.

To start off dinner, appetizers were ordered and Nicholas opted for a salad, with Larisa trying a soup. For the main entree, Larisa chose prime rib and for Nicholas it was lamb chops. The waitress seemed nice and friendly, despite the hustle and bustle of the restaurant. In a discussion with the couple about how great a deal it is to eat at Cinderella's Royal Table, in explaining the benefits, the waitress casually remarked you get to see a show. A show, Nicholas thought to himself, somewhat alarmed. Maybe she made a mistake and there really wasn't a show. A show, now that could be trouble. What if the moment Nicholas chooses to propose, Disney characters are prancing all around the restaurant? Things could get interesting, and as if Nicholas wasn't nervous enough. So when dinner arrived, Larisa slowly enjoyed her entre, savoring every bite. On the other hand, Nicholas was on a mission, finish this meal so he could propose before this so-called show may or may not begin.

After satisfactorily finishing his meal, Nicholas decided it was now time. Further waiting would only add to the nervousness. So he told Larisa he had to use the restroom and he politely insisted that she not leave the table, lest the waitress think the two had left for the evening. To add to the plan, Nicholas had been telling Larisa for the majority of the afternoon that his stomach had not been feeling well. So a lengthy trip to the bathroom after dinner would not have been all that alarming, and a lengthy trip it would be, although for different reasons of course. As Nicholas approached the stairwell leading downstairs to the main room where Cinderella was, he made sure he was out of sight of Larisa and motioned the nearest waitress. Puzzled, the closest waitress tried to understand what Nicholas was explaining. Tensely, Nicholas attempted to explain he had an arrangement here and needed the manager. Once Nicholas mentioned he was going to propose to his girlfriend immediately the waitress understood what was taking place and made some comment that she loved when you guys do that, so she went off to fetch the manager. Now waiting in the stairway, with time crawling by ever so slowly, Nicholas realized he had a piece of food, likely part of the lamb chops, stuck right in the center of his front teeth. Wonderful, and of course there was not a toothpick in sight, nor dental floss. After all, the stair way would be an odd place to keep that sort of thing anyway. To add to the food being stuck, now Nicholas' stomach really was beginning to bother him, but he brushed that off as nerves and it was likely all part of the experience.

As the manager appeared, she explained to Nicholas that she wanted him to wait right there and that she would be back. Excellent opportunity for Nicholas to head to the bathroom and remedy the teeth situation, so he told the manager he would head to the bathroom and be right back here. Once in the bathroom and in a desperate situation to dislodge what was in his teeth, Nicholas turned to the towel dispenser. He clicked out a few inches of paper towel, folded it to a sturdy crease and removed the piece of food in between his teeth. This trip to the restroom also gave Nicholas time to prepare the ring for the proposal, since he had been keeping it in a box. He opened the box and the jewelry box inside just to make sure the ring was still there. How embarrassing would that be? With the ring ready to present in its jewelry box and with the small teeth dilemma under control, it was now really time to focus and he headed back up to the top of the stairway, awaiting the manager. The wait was reasonable, especially given the circumstances, and the manager appears with a tray covered by a cloth, explaining she wanted to hide it just in case it happened to be seen in transport. With a peek under the cloth, Nicholas was seeing the arrangement for the first time and was in awe. It was just perfect. Expensive, but it was perfect. Besides, you can't really put a price on this one of a kind, once in a life time event anyway. Clumsily asking how best to proceed from there, the manager essentially told Nicholas it was his show and away he went carrying the platter, uncovered now of course. Not even ten feet into the trip toward the table where Larisa was, a close call and collision with someone else in the restaurant was averted.

The remainder of the short walk to the table, with the platter secured, went smoothly as Nicholas approached the table and Larisa from a behind and diagonal angle. As Nicholas was about five feet away, Larisa's peripheral vision told her to turn and look. The second she saw Nicholas with the tray of pink rose pedals and glass slipper in the center, she began to cry hysterically, covering her face. The image of Larisa in tears, hands over her lower half of her face is one that Nicholas will never forget. Nicholas searched for an area on the table to put the platter down and luckily their waitress was nearby and helped to clear a spot to place the platter, which seemed to take up almost half the table it was so beautiful. With the platter down and the waitress stepping away it was time for the magical moment. Nicholas placed his hand on Larisa's shoulder and gave his pre-planned speech. To the best of his memory and trying to stay as close to plan as the moment and excitement would allow, Nicholas said: Larisa, you are my everything, and I love you unconditionally and with all of my heart and it would make my dreams come true if we could spend the rest of our lives together and live happily ever after. With that, he pulled the ring out of his pocket and in a relatively calm motion for the circumstances, got down on one knee with the jewelry box open, exposing the exquisite and breathtaking ring, and Nicholas said: Larisa, will you marry me? With a resounding yes, Nicholas stood joyfully and the couple embraced, as tears of joy streamed from Larisa's face. Nicholas was obviously thrilled to hear the response from Larisa, but also relieved that everything had went so well.

It took the couple a few seconds to realize what was going on around them. At this point the entire restaurant was acknowledging their moment, with everyone clapping, cheering and on their feet. The sound of the cheers was so pleasant and heartwarming. This was certainly not expected, and Nicholas thought to himself how nice this was and since his back was turned he needed to acknowledge these people in return. So he turned to face them and gave a courteous wave, his face surely beat red with embarrassment. What a site, Larisa's face filled with tears of joy and Nicholas blushing. If that doesn't sound like a successful proposal, I'm not sure what does. Now what happened from here was understandably a blur. After a moment or two the newly engaged couple's waitress came back to the table to offer to take some photos, including a reenactment photo. This photo session would turn out to be just the beginning of all the attention the couple would receive.

Moments after the waitress asked to see the ring, and promptly proclaimed 'he was a keeper', the manager also came over to the table and asked to see the ring. In amongst the commotion the couple was asked to order dessert, and attempt to eat it during all of the excitement. Larisa ordered a poached pear entre, which would end up scarcely being touched, and Nicholas ordered a chocolate type of cake entre, which he ate but was hard pressed to remember anything about it after the night. Complimentary champagne glasses were also given to the fiances. The waitress also notified Nicholas and Larisa not to go anywhere because more gifts were on there way. Still in the excitement of the moment, both Nicholas and Larisa were pleasingly baffled to be receiving more gifts. After a series of congratulatory remarks from guests of the restaurant at surrounding tables, a professional photographer, one of the photographers taking pictures with Cinderella, came by to take pictures of the newly engaged couple. Upon developing this picture, it would later be brought back to the table as a gorgeous 8 x 10 inch photograph, compliments of the Castle. This picture was not the only additional gift brought to the table, as a Royal Engagement Certificate, signed by Cinderella herself was also given to Nicholas and Larisa. Overwhelmed by the unexpected attention and gifts, the fiances scarcely noticed a character show had begun in the restaurant. The Fairy Godmother was there, along with the mice from Cinderella. These mice periodically came around to the new fiances' table, looking at the ring, jumping up and down, and shaking Nicholas' hand in approval. It was quite entertaining. It was embarrassing, but entertaining as well. During the show, the Fairy Godmother asked the restaurant if anyone was celebrating anything special this evening. She went through the standard list of celebrations, asking if anyone there was celebrating anniversaries or birthdays. There were a few birthdays, which Nicholas reasoned that these kids celebrating their birthdays must be disgusted with all of the commotion caused by the proposal. After all, they just want their cake and presents. So when the Fairy Godmother asked if anyone had recently been engaged, one gentleman across the room started to enthusiastically point in the direction of Nicholas and Larisa's table. As the Fairy Godmother made her way to the fiances' table, she examined the ring and proclaimed that he was a keeper. She also held a brief conversation with the couple and then concluded by telling the restaurant they all needed to leave their names and addresses because they were all invited to the wedding!

As it came time to leave the restaurant, Nicholas left the waitress an extra tip, even though gratuity had already been included in the prepaid price of this meal. Upon leaving, the waitress gave a hug to both Nicholas and Larisa and wished them well. Glowing all the way through their walk to leave the restaurant, the fiances received many warm smiles from complete strangers. Even upon exited the Castle itself, one of the Disney Cast Members working at the reception desk remarked to Nicholas and Larisa how they were such a beautiful couple. Also after leaving the Castle, it was as if Larisa and Nicholas were both in some magical dream. Here they both were, newly engaged, in the happiest place on earth, during the happiest moment of their young lives. Everything in the park was lit up, people were lining the streets awaiting the magnificent fire works display which would begin in a short while behind the Castle. Nearing 9:30 in the evening, it was now time to call Larisa's parents to tell them of the wonderful news. Not surprised in the least, both of Larisa's parents were still excited to hear the news as Nicholas and Larisa both proclaimed "We're getting married!" After a few minutes of excited dialogue between Larisa and her parents, it was now time to call Nicholas' mom and spread the good news. Of course, Nicholas' mom had known all along that the moment would be tonight, and had actually already left Nicholas a message about 45 minutes ago offering her congratulations. Still, it was nice for Nicholas to tell his mom after it actually happened, as the couple proclaimed "We're getting married!"

After the phone calls were made, the fiances wandered aimlessly around the park, still in awe of the magic of the moment and of the evening. Eventually, a plan was set forth to leave the park and head out to Pleasure Island to celebrate. Actually the couple had been planning all along to go to Pleasure Island tonight, but now they really had an excellent reason to.
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Old 08-03-2008, 06:22 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nickandlarisa View Post
tiffanova - I'm definitely open CSR, my only concern was that I've heard its a conference center resort, so I wasn't sure if it would feel too business-like? Did you get that vibe?
I didn't feel that way at all. I was there for a few hours and it didn't feel any different than any other Disney resort.
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Old 08-03-2008, 06:58 PM   #8
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Loved the proposal story!

We're getting married May 30. We'll be at Disney May 31-June 9th.

2009 rates are released and we booked today so you can definitely do some price checking. Good luck!
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Old 08-03-2008, 07:11 PM   #9
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Beautiful story...

congrats. what a beautiful story ! congrats....best wishes and have fun planning everything! Our first trip to disney was on our HM
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Old 08-10-2008, 03:53 PM   #10
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So I think I finally can post an image, here goes ....
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Old 08-10-2008, 03:56 PM   #11
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Proposal Pics

Starting from leaving POR on our way to dinner through a reenactment of the actual event.











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Old 08-10-2008, 04:10 PM   #12
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The Ring

My photos don't do justice to the ring, so this is from the designers website. The little gold heart on the bottom holds a very small diamond that is laser engraved "love you forever" you have to look under a microscope to see it, and I have, its very cool.

I love love love my ring!!!

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Old 08-10-2008, 04:36 PM   #13
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AWWWW...

You guys are both gorgeous! What a beautiful story, and I love getting it from the groom's perspective...

I am excited to share this journey with you, and can't wait to read more!

Congratulations, and I am subscribing!
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Old 08-10-2008, 09:01 PM   #14
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Engagement Announcement

Here is our announcement which I designed and handcrafted. Before you think I am completely insane, I should mention that I'm a graphic designer and this is what I do for a living. We were engaged in July, but the announcements took a little longer than anticipated to create, so it morphed into a Christmas card combo. I always make my own Christmas cards, so this actually worked out to kill two birds with one stone.

Most of the papers, including the envelopes I used have a metallic shimmer, which doesn't translate well on screen, but definitely adds a magical quality in person.

Outside Envelope


Inside Package (Three parts bundled with a gold thread.)


Part 1 - The Christmas Card
Featuring aqua satin ribbon and Swarovski crystals.


Part 2 - The Book (Our Storybook Announcement)
Note the photostrips, from each year of our courtship.

Outside Cover. Gorgeous metallic gold embossed paper. The book is hand sewn together with gold thread.



Open it up and ...






Part 3 - Wedding Website Info Card
(contained in little aquamarine envelope)
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Old 08-10-2008, 10:30 PM   #15
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Oh MY, Your work is just beautiful. I see you own your own business-- hummmm-- I am saving your Dis Information for possible future use . What a beautiful couple. I love stories where the Bride and Groom started out as friends.

Patty
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