Sarah Carrillo and James Riswick

It was a long three-year buildup to the first kiss for Sarah Carrillo and James Riswick. Then, one night near the Magic Kingdom, their lips met and love took off like a Tomorrowland rocket.

Carrillo and Riswick met on their first day as journalism students at Pepperdine University in 2001. Working on the school paper, the Graphic, they grew close but told themselves they were just good friends.

And they believed it until spring break 2004, when their class took a trip to Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Fla. Being 3,000 miles from school changed everything. “It was a whole week of flirting and sexual tension,” Carrillo said. Then, after a night of dancing at Pleasure Island in Downtown Disney, the kiss “just happened,” and the whole just-good-friends idea went up in smoke.

In keeping with this relationship’s slow pace, it was five years before the proposal took place in 2009. That Christmas, one of Carrillo’s presents was an enormous box that Riswick made her open last. When she finally unwrapped it, the box was filled with packing peanuts — and nothing else. “Omigosh,” Riswick said, “I think I just forgot to put it in there.” He told her to close her eyes while he got the gift — and when she opened her eyes, he was down on one knee holding out a ring and asking her to marry him. Carrillo got all choked up. “I kind of squeaked out a yes,” she said, “so he had to ask again.”

In all, it was almost 10 years from this Los Angeles couple’s first meeting to their wedding day. Carrillo, 27, senior associate editor of, and Riswick, 27, the automotive editor of, were married March 6 at Shade, a chic boutique hotel in Manhattan Beach.

Their officiant was Michael Jordan, the professor who introduced them on their first day at Pepperdine. And the wedding, attended by 105 guests, was all about personal touches.

The groom is a huge James Bond fan, and during the ceremony and cocktail hour several instrumentals from Bond movies were played. Among them was “We Have All the Time in the World” from “On Her Majesty’s Secret Service,” a film in which 007 takes a bride.

Carrillo was more princess than Bond girl in an Alfred Angelo silk gown with a beaded belt and tulle skirt. And the dance music theme was “1999 prom” — Aqua, the Proclaimers and Backstreet Boys — with some ’70s hits thrown in for the older generation.

Finally, for this couple who are so good at waiting, it was time for some instant gratification — a glorious honeymoon in Hawaii.

Maxine Nunes, Custom Publishing Writer

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