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Old 08-10-2008, 11:44 PM   #16
nickandlarisa
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dalepool View Post
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
Oh thank you!!!
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Old 08-10-2008, 11:57 PM   #17
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Engagement Photos

So I'm very much a visual person, if you can't tell. When I scroll through other journals I love seeing photos, so hopefully you do, too.

Here are our engagement photos taken last fall at my parent's farm in Maryland.





This one is our favorite!












This one is funny to us because we don't ever actually look like this with such serious faces!




The end!
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Old 08-11-2008, 12:12 PM   #18
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What a great story! I can not wait to read all about it. You may want to consider renting Disney Vacation Club Points and staying at a deluxe resort. It ended up being cheaper for us to do this then to stay at a Moderate. We are staying at the Animal Kingdom Lodge for 6 nights for around $700 TOTAL!
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February 1982 - Off Site; June 1995 - Offsite; February 1998 - AllStar Music; February 2000 - Disney Magic; January 2002 - Carribean Beach Resort & Disney Wonder; January 2004 - Port Orleans Riverside & Disney Wonder; January 2006 - Pop Century; February 2007 - Pop Century; November 2008 - Disney Wonder Wedding & Animal Kingdom Lodge; November 2009 - All Star Movies, Treehouse Villas & Disney Wonder; December 2009 - All Star Music ; January 2011 - POFQ, BLT & Disney Magic Cruise;
September 2011, AKL & B2B - Disney Dream & Wilderness Lodge; January 2012 - Boardwalk; October 2012 - Grand Californian at Disneyland; October 2012 - Disney Wonder to Hawaii; October 2012 - Candy Cane Inn at Disneyland; February 2013 - BLT & Disney Dream & Beach Club Resort; May 2013 - Animal Kingdom Lodge; September 2013 - Polynesian & Fantasy; October 2013 - Art of Animation; December 2013 - Old Key West; February 2014 - Animal Kingdom Lodge; February - 2014 - Grand Californian; May 2014 - Animal Kingdom Lodge, Disney Magic B2B, Bay Lake Towers; May 2014 - Wilderness Lodge for Star Wars Weekend; August 2014 - Old Key West, Beach Club Villas & Disney Dream
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Old 08-11-2008, 12:39 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by Goldeelox9 View Post
What a great story! I can not wait to read all about it. You may want to consider renting Disney Vacation Club Points and staying at a deluxe resort. It ended up being cheaper for us to do this then to stay at a Moderate. We are staying at the Animal Kingdom Lodge for 6 nights for around $700 TOTAL!
Hmm, I hadn't thought of that. It seems a little intimidating though, was it easy enough to do? Any advice on how to start looking? I saw the board on DVC rent/trades but even that seems confusing! I understand the points, we went to a DVC meeting last year, didn't buy, but got all the info. TIA!
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Old 08-11-2008, 12:44 PM   #20
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First you should figure out where you want to stay and add up how many points you will nee for both legs of the trip. Then just start looking on the Rent/Trade Board (it would be good to be able to buy all your points from one seller). I found a great guy who sold me our points for only $8 a point. The going price is between $10 & $12. Then you contact the person directly, we use email alot and have called a few times. My Seller booked our room and then sent me the confirmation from Disney and I sent him a check. It is alot on the honor system, but it was smooth as can be! We got a great room we can afford and will get to stay in a hotel we never dreamed possible!
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February 1982 - Off Site; June 1995 - Offsite; February 1998 - AllStar Music; February 2000 - Disney Magic; January 2002 - Carribean Beach Resort & Disney Wonder; January 2004 - Port Orleans Riverside & Disney Wonder; January 2006 - Pop Century; February 2007 - Pop Century; November 2008 - Disney Wonder Wedding & Animal Kingdom Lodge; November 2009 - All Star Movies, Treehouse Villas & Disney Wonder; December 2009 - All Star Music ; January 2011 - POFQ, BLT & Disney Magic Cruise;
September 2011, AKL & B2B - Disney Dream & Wilderness Lodge; January 2012 - Boardwalk; October 2012 - Grand Californian at Disneyland; October 2012 - Disney Wonder to Hawaii; October 2012 - Candy Cane Inn at Disneyland; February 2013 - BLT & Disney Dream & Beach Club Resort; May 2013 - Animal Kingdom Lodge; September 2013 - Polynesian & Fantasy; October 2013 - Art of Animation; December 2013 - Old Key West; February 2014 - Animal Kingdom Lodge; February - 2014 - Grand Californian; May 2014 - Animal Kingdom Lodge, Disney Magic B2B, Bay Lake Towers; May 2014 - Wilderness Lodge for Star Wars Weekend; August 2014 - Old Key West, Beach Club Villas & Disney Dream
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Old 08-19-2008, 12:29 AM   #21
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Just wanted to stop in & say hi! I am a June 09 bride also! 6-6-09. We are having an at home wedding & a disneymoon. June 8-12.
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Old 08-19-2008, 02:05 AM   #22
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What beautiful pictures you have!! I really like your shirt that you are wearing!
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Old 09-10-2008, 05:21 PM   #23
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Love your pics!! Was reading the engagement story here at work and got a little misty. I've been married for 17 years, but I still a sucker for love.
We rented points from a DVC member for our June 08 vacy. Got a studio at SSR for around $940.00. We paid the owner through paypal, it was great.
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Old 09-10-2008, 06:57 PM   #24
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Beautiful Engagement Pictures!
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Old 09-15-2008, 01:07 AM   #25
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What beautiful engagement pictures!!1

I just love them!!! Ya'll are a beautiful couple.
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Old 09-21-2008, 03:26 PM   #26
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The joy of wedding planning and changing your date!

First I want to thank everyone for the kind comments and apologize for being MIA recently on these boards. The past few weeks have been mad chaos for our wedding plans but things have finally settled down and there is a happy ending ...

Here's what's been going on. As you probably read, we were engaged July 2007, so we started hunting for the perfection reception venue in the fall of 2007 and found a place we absolutely loved. We paid our deposit and we were quite proud of ourselves for being so far in advance of our June 20, 2009 date. All the time in the world! So we booked our church and photographer, but then took a little break with planning. Several vendors (cake, DJ, etc.) took our info but said to call back in the spring because we were so far out from our date they didn't even have their 09 calendars ready yet! So we enjoyed fiance bliss for a few months with no major planning. I did get my dress, so that was productive, and I will post some pics and tell that story later.

Almost a year had passed from when we secured our reception site. Nick's mom was planning a visit to Maryland so we wanted to show her the site while she was in town. So I contacted our on-site coordinator at our reception venue to set up a meeting. We had been in touch through sporadic emails and voicemails over the past few months, so it wasn't as if there was no communication for a year. Well a few days passed and she wasn't responding to my emails or calls. This was mid-summer of this year (08) so I gave her the benefit of the doubt that maybe she was on vacation. Another week went by and still nothing. We jokingly said around the house ... "maybe she doesn't work there anymore!" That was the last thing we hoped was going on because the woman we were working with was probably the main reason we chose the venue we did. She was wonderful and really gave the impression she would take care of us on our wedding day like we were her own children.

So finally I decided to call the general manager of the venue to see what the story was. When he asked who we were working with as our coordinator and I respond, there was the dreaded awkward silence on the other end ... "I'm sorry, so-and-so is no longer with the company." Oh no. A wave of panic overcomes me. First things first, why did no one contact us?? She was the only one we were ever really in touch with and the system in the her office of keeping track of our information was old fashion paper and file folders, not on the computer. Now I really start to sweat ... what if our folder was lost or never passed on to someone else. A year has passed, maybe they have no record of us and have already given our date away!?! The manager tells me I will be contacted by a new coordinator and I relax for a few minutes.

The new coordinator calls. She has our information ... thank God!! We plan to meet with her the following weekend with both of our mothers and things seem to be looking up. Nick's mom loves the location and the new coordinator is ok, not as warm and fuzzy as the last lady we worked with, but I'm so relieved at this point after the fear they had no record of us, I don't really mind. After taking a look at the grounds we meet in the conference room to review our contract, sign, and pay the second half of our deposit. (The first half was just to secure the date and we had not signed anything yet.) We were given a menu with prices and were informed of the site fee, so we had a ballpark figure in mind for what we would be paying. Then I noticed something unexpected on the contract ... service fee. This was not tax or gratuity, or even the absurd site fee we were already paying, this was a brand new item that was over $3,000!! Hang on a minute. What is this? We were never told about this charge before?? Wave of panic number 2.

The new coordinator says this is their policy and claims she doesn't know why our original coordinator never mentioned it. We reiterate that we were told about the site fee, (which is substantial), menu prices, tax, gratuity, but never an additional unexplainable $3,000 service charge? Worried now we can't even afford this wedding, I break down. The coordinator, who is less than sympathetic, says she will speak to her manager and see if there is something we can work out. We leave and I continue to loose it on the car ride home.

The next day the coordinator emails us with a revised contract, reflecting a reduced service charge. They are not charging gratuity because it is part of the service charge. Its still way more than just a straight gratuity charge, its not great but its a compromise I suppose. We still had a hard time figuring out their math because they were taking a percentage of the after-tax menu price and then taxing that service charge amount, so we were getting taxed twice on the same money essentially. And then there was the issue of the hors d'eouvres. There weren't set packages, you pick a la carte which passed or stationary hors d'eouvres you want. We chose several passed options, but were being charged $800 for a stationary cheese display that we didn't want. Maybe we are being picky at this point, but we are on a budget and even I who loves cheese cannot justify my 125 guests eating $800 worth of little cheese cubes. The coordinator responds that not providing the cheese display may not be within their quality standards or something to that effect, so she will have to talk to her manager about taking it off of our contract. We go back and forth for 2 or 3 days with emails and phone calls trying to get this contract to something we can all agree on. And then nothing .... we don't hear back from them for a week.

We fell in love with this place for the customer service shown by our original coordinator. And now we've come to the awful realization that maybe we should look for another location .... (to be continued.)
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Old 09-22-2008, 08:19 PM   #27
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Larissa....I am in Maryland too...can you pm me the bad location so I can have my friends and family stay away from it. What horrible service!
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February 1982 - Off Site; June 1995 - Offsite; February 1998 - AllStar Music; February 2000 - Disney Magic; January 2002 - Carribean Beach Resort & Disney Wonder; January 2004 - Port Orleans Riverside & Disney Wonder; January 2006 - Pop Century; February 2007 - Pop Century; November 2008 - Disney Wonder Wedding & Animal Kingdom Lodge; November 2009 - All Star Movies, Treehouse Villas & Disney Wonder; December 2009 - All Star Music ; January 2011 - POFQ, BLT & Disney Magic Cruise;
September 2011, AKL & B2B - Disney Dream & Wilderness Lodge; January 2012 - Boardwalk; October 2012 - Grand Californian at Disneyland; October 2012 - Disney Wonder to Hawaii; October 2012 - Candy Cane Inn at Disneyland; February 2013 - BLT & Disney Dream & Beach Club Resort; May 2013 - Animal Kingdom Lodge; September 2013 - Polynesian & Fantasy; October 2013 - Art of Animation; December 2013 - Old Key West; February 2014 - Animal Kingdom Lodge; February - 2014 - Grand Californian; May 2014 - Animal Kingdom Lodge, Disney Magic B2B, Bay Lake Towers; May 2014 - Wilderness Lodge for Star Wars Weekend; August 2014 - Old Key West, Beach Club Villas & Disney Dream
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Old 09-25-2008, 11:33 PM   #28
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Omg I feel so bad about you for all the service you've been getting!! =[

I too, and on a budget... luckily I found something out of state (destination!) that isn't too bad but my heart goes out to you!

Read your entry of the proposal at Disney... Uhh, can you say amazing?! You two are the cutest couple and I wish you all the BEST!!!!

YAY For getting married!!

I'll subscribe! I'm hooked!
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Old 09-27-2008, 11:58 AM   #29
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(the sage continues ...)

So after about a week of not hearing anything from our original venue, we start to seriously consider plan B. I should mention here that in our meeting with the coordinator she assured us that since we had yet to sign a contract, we could get back our deposit.

About a year after searching for a reception venue the first time, we are back to square one. I probably contacted every possible location in a 50 mile radius and gave new meaning to having an "open mind." My mom and I went on all of the preliminary visits (Nick is another state for Grad school so we have limited weekends for planning together.) I was going to take Nick to those that were a definite possibility on his next visit. Every time I got my hopes up about a new place, there always seemed to be some draw back.

We were still trying to contact the original venue, but after about 2 weeks, we made the decision that no matter what they came back and told us, there was no way we were going to have our wedding with them. It wasn't even about the money at this point, and the ridiculous charges, it really was more about the complete and total lack of customer service.

So after countless visits to new venues, (who knew there even so many in the area!) I was tired and desperate. My mom laughed and said, "I think you're really going to like this next one." She sounded like a cheesy real estate agent like you see on tv, but I stuck with my new mantra .... "open mind, open mind."

We pull up to the venue, a country club. We've been to several other similar locations so nothing is strikingly different at first. We go inside and meet with the manager. I like the initial look of things, the foyer area, the decor. Then we walk into the reception room. If this were a movie, this is the moment when beams of light would shine down and you would hear a choir of "Alleluia!" It was stunning and perfect in every way. The shape of the room is like a half circle, with panoramic windows along the curved side overlooking a scenic lawn and river. We had already seen a menu with pricing before our arrival, so the even better news was that not only could we afford this place, but it was actually a bit of a savings from our original location. I was elated.

Ah, but there is a catch. Our date, June 20, 2009 is already booked. Of course it is. We had already booked our church, photographer, and the cruise portion of our honeymoon, all of which pose a major dilemma in considering a date change.

Nick was on his way down to Maryland and we had planned to visit 3 or 4 of the top contenders that weekend. In my mind there was only one contender, this fabulous country club, but the date change was a major issue. Nick did not want to change the date, that is if it were even possible at this point. I had been there too, but after calling and visiting way too many venues, I was more than willing to budge on that one. There are many factors we had to work around, if we did change the date. Nick's potential graduation date from grad school in May, a cousin's wedding in August with many of the same family members traveling to both. The situation was not ideal.

The weekend before our original date was the best fit, but that was already booked with our church. The country club gave me a list of available dates May-July. The church also gave me a list of dates. Our Disney travel agent said it would be possible to change our cruise date and not loose our deposit. It came down to only 2 dates that matched up with the church and the country club. The first was memorial day weekend, which we already knew of some family conflicts, so that left July 18, 2009.

I still had to convince Nick. That weekend we went to several places, but each had there drawback. When he saw the country club he immediately fell in love with it as I had, and the decision was made. We called the church, called the travel agent, gave a deposit, and just like that, we had a new wedding date and an even better reception location that what we had before. I later called the photographer, because we decided we had to take this date even if he was booked. Fortunately he wasn't so we were able to change all aspects of our plans to the new date.

This may be cliche, but I really do believe everything does happen for a reason. We didn't even know about this country club when we set out on our originally planning. If things hadn't gone sour with our original venue, we would have never found this new wonderful place. We are just so thankful that everything transpired well enough in advance that we were able to change the date and all other details, and weren't stuck with crummy service.

We eventually did hear from the original place, and instead of offering any real information or revised contract, they just wanted to try and work things out. We politely told them there was nothing to work out and we wanted our deposit back. After about a month, they finally sent a check.

So now everything is settled and we are starting to move forward with the rest of planning. Thank goodness for two year engagements!
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Old 09-30-2008, 11:07 PM   #30
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My dress!!

So, I got my dress ...

The process actually began many months ago, shortly after we got engaged. The first place I went with my mom, it was a snooty designer little boutique that I had passed a million times and was excited to finally have a reason to go in. I was traumatized by that experience. After 3 dresses, the designer was baffled why I had not found the perfect dress. ďMost brides try on only one and it is perfect.Ē Really?? I donít think so. We couldnít even get a ballpark figure on prices so I was pretty much done with this place. I had an assistant helping me put on the dresses, but when it came time to change back into my clothes, I was startled when the designer walked in on me stark naked and proceeded to interrogate me on why I wasnít being measured to order a dress from her. I got out of there as fast as I could.

Dress experience number 2 was much better. Like many brides on these boards Iím sure, the Disney line of wedding gowns intrigued me. There was only one shop in about a 2-hour radius that carried the gowns, and they happened to have a trunk show coming up! It worked out that I was traveling in that direction for a skating competition that same weekend, so my mom and I planned a stop. I was soooo excited to see this dresses, although not super excited about the prices. I tried on all sorts of princess gowns, and they were so pretty in the magazines and online, but nothing looked ďspecialĒ on me. Slightly disappointed, we left that shop empty handed. In a way I was slightly relieved. It would have been even worse to find a dress I loved and not been able to comfortably afford it. I was glad I got to see the Disney dresses, and had no regrets that a Disney dress was not for me.

Several months later I planned a day with my mom and three of my eight bridesmaids (the 3 that are local) to hit up the local bridal shop scene. Our first stop was a medium size bridal salon with a nice assortment of gowns. It was here that I finally started to narrow down exactly what kind of dress I really wanted. All along I was certain a puffy princess ball gown was the way to go Ö an A-Line maybe, but something still very regal looking, with satin. Well, that image started to go out the window as I was drawn to a sleeker silhouette and different types of fabric. I was really liking lace, who know! At this shop there were several dresses where I liked the top, but not the bottom, or vice versa. At least I knew what to look for now, so even though I didnít find ďthe dressĒ it was still a very productive beginning to our day. Next stop, lunch at Panera Bread, mmm. Nice and stuffed itís on to Davidís Bridal.

I have to preface this next stop with the fact that I was not thrilled about going to Davidís initially. I had been there several times with friends/family looking for their gowns, and was not excited about the warehouse feel, and sometimes less than stellar service I had experienced. On this day we went to a different Davidís location than I had been to before, and almost two years had passed since my last Davidís trip. Maybe things have changed or maybe I had just been to a bad location before, but from the moment I walked in, I felt completely different and things were looking up.

Everything was clean and there was a nice layout to the store with lots of dresses on mannequins, not just on the rack. We checked in at the little concierge desk at the front of the store and were immediately greeted by the associate that would be working with us. She gave each of us a copy of the catalog and suggested we look through and mark dresses we were interested in, and she would go around and pull them for me. (When I had been to Davidís before you walked around and pulled the dresses yourself, but like with all dress shops, itís hard to tell what a dress really looks like when its on a hanger.) My maid of honor and I both flipped to the same dress at first, and told the lady this was a definite to try on. We had actually seen that particular dress in a bridal magazine the other day and I didnít realize it was a Davidís ad. My mom goes crazy marking just about every dress, and we make our way to some chairs and a fitting room. I should mention that all of the staff we encountered were friendly and super helpful.

Our dress lady brings back the first round of dresses, and the one my MOH and I had liked was there. They only had one in the store and it happened to be my size, so thatís the one I tried on first. I can hardly contain my excitement as I come fluttering out of the fitting room. I LOVE IT!!!! I scan the faces of my friends and they love it, too. But my mom, who has been quick to express her opinion on other dresses, sits there stoic and silent. My MOH and leans over and asks her what she thinks. She replies, ďItís beautiful.Ē Everyone tears up.

Yay! This is the one. I prance around for a while and donít want to take it off. I definitely donít want to try on any others, but decide to anyway, just to reaffirm my decision. Nothing else compares and I almost canít believe that I found my perfect dress. Even better its on sale and we save $200. We place the order, and leave the store all smiles. That night for a few minutes I second-guess my decision. It all happened so quickly for such an important component of the wedding day! I look at my page torn from the catalog that I have propped up on my dresser, and I reassure myself that this is ďthe dress.Ē

So throughout the dress process, I learned a couple of things.

One Ö all wedding dresses are pretty. Well, maybe 99%, there are always a few super ugly ones you see from time to time, usually the super high fashion ones that no one you actually know would ever wear. The point is, any dress is pretty in a magazine, but what I had to consider was what is going to be pretty on me. We all have different body types with certain areas we want to enhance or conceal. I discovered that a sweetheart neckline was most flattering on me to help boost my bust line (or lack thereof.) I also have the blessing and the curse of what I fondly refer to as my ďghetto booty.Ē I embraced this physical feature with the fitted trumpet silhouette.

Two Ö try on all sorts of styles, you never know what you will like until you put it on. I should have already known this one from helping friends in the past, who ended up with something completely different than what they started out looking for. This goes for fabric and silhouette. If I had a closed mind, I would have never even considered the dress I fell in love with. My mom jokingly said she was never going to listen to me again on things I wanted for the wedding because for months I said I wanted a satin ball gown and I definitely did not want lace or a mermaid/trumpet style.

So here it is, some screen shots from the Davidís website and a few of me trying on the sample at the store. This was in the summer and I had just been to the beach a few days before so I had really bad sun burn! What an idiot, I know, I will be sure to tan evenly before the big day!

Let me know what you think!





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