Oh, hey, Candace.
Did you just wake up?
It's 1:00 p.m.. I've been up since 4:00, working.
You haven't brushed your hair yet?
Your muskrat is better groomed.
Jenny is a bunny!
Uh... Are you here to help?
Oh, nope, looking for the van keys. Ah, here they are.
Daddy said I could buy my own Christmas presents this year.
Great. Would you be able to drop these off at the Rizchecks for me?
Uh, those look really fragile.
I might drop something, and then you'd have to redo all this work all over again.
Can't argue with that logic.
You know, I would feel bad for you if you didn't just make more work for yourself.
You agonize over these sentimental details like glassware from the year so‐and‐so was born and does anyone even notice?
As event planners, it's our job to create a magical experience.
Anything that helps with that magic is worth it.
Well, it will be worth it if a rich bachelor notices me.
So don't forget to forward me that guest list.
Oh, hey, what's my dad doing for your present this year?
He told me to think about it and to let him know.
I'm going to tell him I want the event planning business.
He's been hinting at retirement and I'm going to offer to buy him out.
You can afford to do that?
I have savings and the money my parents left me.
I'm going to ask him tomorrow night at dinner, so I was hoping that... you tell him you support it.
Sure. No problem, cuz.
Candace isn't exactly one to be swayed by a quote from Emily Dickinson.
We've moved on to Oscar Wilde quotes now.
Surprisingly she took it well.
I just hope I didn't hurt her feelings.
Okay, you are way too nice.
What if she doesn't support you tomorrow?
Do you know what you'll say?
I'm hoping it won't come to that.
Okay, let's hear it.
Okay. Uncle Otto...
I'm forever grateful for you taking me in when my parents died and treating me like your own daughter.
And I know how happy it made you when Candace and I were working together.
So when she took all the credit for my work, I let her.
When she stopped coming to work, I took over.
And I changed your catering company into a respected events planning business.
I work day and night to make that company a success.
And I would love the opportunity to run this business alone.
That is what I want for Christmas.
It's my passion.
That's so nice.
You're a better person than me.
See, I would give some examples of specific injustices Candace has inflicted upon you.
Or on the positive side, you can tell him how the Christ‐Masquerade Ball is breaking the Internet.
Everyone's trying to get an invitation to something that exists solely because of you.
Well, I'm just hoping nothing has to be said.
I wouldn't be too sure.
Candace always has something up her sleeve.
Someone else's leftovers again?
Are you okay, Uncle Otto? You look really tired.
Sit down, love.
I couldn't be prouder of what you girls have done with my catering business.
You know, I've been running small businesses since I was a young man.
You girls now know first hand how much hard work that is.
You're hitting your stride just as I'm getting ready to take it easy.
So... I've decided I'm going to retire at the end of this year.
Actually, I was wanting to discuss the event planning business with you.
Oh, Candace and I discussed it already.
She convinced me that you girls can handle it.
‐Candace has convinced you‐‐ ‐I will sell everything except my three oldest, most stable small businesses, and the newest one, the event planning.
The same way you run them together now, you can run them together forever.
This is my Christmas gift to you both.
I still get to keep the presents that I already bought for myself though, right?
Of course, Pumpkin.
Uncle Otto, that is very generous of you and I am so grateful‐‐ I know, it's all so much.
The two of us working together forever.
Daddy's so excited.
Let's get some Christmas cookies and discuss our future.
What's your problem?
You wanted to own one business, now you own four.
You didn't even have to make a big pitch.
I wanted to own one by myself, and I was willing to pay for it.
I know. I was thinking about what you said about buying my dad out.
And I would prefer for you to buy me out.
You want me to give you my parent's money?
No, I want you to work it off.
‐What do you mean? ‐You work for me.
Anytime, day or night, anything and everything I need. No excuses.
For how long?
Until I get married.
Which, if I meet one of these rich bachelors at the Carmichael Ball will be very soon.
‐Can I think about it? ‐No.
You could go out on your own, compete against me and gravely upset my father... or you could just keep doing what you've already been doing.
And once I marry my rich prince, I'll be out of your hair and you get everything you want.
What do you say?
At your service.
This is the kind of place I should be living in.
And will be, once I land a man of Carmichael's caliber.
Can't believe people think you have a knack for this.
‐These ornaments are hideous. ‐Those are not ornaments.
They're hooks to hang stockings.
Not for that stupid game you were babbling about.
Tell me you didn't send that nonsense to Nicholas Carmichael.
He's probably on his way here right now to fire us.
Am I interrupting something?
No‐‐ No, Mr. Carmichael. Not at all.
Well, shouldn't I be? I mean, this party is only a day away.
And please, it's Nicholas.
What my cousin means is you could never interrupt.
Oh, I should visit my kitchen more often.
You must be the one sending me the sketches and ideas for the party.
That depends on what you thought of them.
Well, I'm insane for the Christ‐Masquerade idea.
The castle and the moat design for the pool house.
And that names are forbidden.
And this, uh, Christmas stocking game... now that, that is the real winner.
Well, you seem like a man willing to party outside of the box.
You'll be there, won't you?
As my guest?
If you insist.
I see my future and it is with Mr. Nicholas Carmichael himself.
Your dreams could be realized sooner than you think.
And on that note, I have a ton of work to do to get myself ready for the ball and I can't do it alone.
I have quite a bit of work to do here, actually.
Helping me is helping you.
What do you need?
I'll need an infrared body wrap, facial, spray tan, mani‐pedi, eyelash extensions and tint.
A full body wax, teeth whitening, make‐up and hair styling.
And a one‐of‐a‐kind dress, custom‐made, obviously. Don't forget the shoes.
I'm not getting a spray tan and a pedicure so I can wear hose.
Christmas stocking, for the game.
It's a requirement for you to attend.
Fine. And a stocking.
Oh, you have to fill it with five things that only have value to you.
Okay, whatever, you'll think of something.
Make sure I don't lose this.
I'm off to get my beauty rest.
Well, I never took you for a tabloid fan.
How else would I know what's going on in your life?
Thank you, darling.
I never would've guessed she wasn't marriage material.
You met her at Mardi Gras, pulled her onto a float, right?
You know, I keep thinking that I finally found a woman who truly enjoys my company and then I learn that she's really just after, well...
Your company, and yet, I'm the bad guy.
Mother, did you have a chance to read over my proposal?
But when a man who spends most of his time gallivanting writes a proposal on how to attract more female employees, forgive me for wondering if he's not just trying to widen his dating pool.
Actually, my goal is to make my business and personal life less connected, not more.
Now, I know that you're not against gender equality in the workplace, so you refusing my proposal could only really mean one thing.
Consider a marriage proposal and I'll consider your work proposal.
You're stonewalling my career to make me get married.
Nicholas, your father wanted your life to have meaning and so do I.
You have a huge fortune at your fingertips that you refuse to even attempt to claim.
Most men fear marriage, I know your father did.
But they still do it.
Most men don't have a trust account that requires marriage to claim their inheritance.
Most men don't have an inheritance.
I would be happy with a paycheck and some respect for the work I do.
It's easier to respect someone who's mature and stable.
Oh, so it's mature and stable to get married to someone that you don't love because you'll be punished if you wait for the real thing!
Ah, it cannot be that hard, Nicholas.
You know your soul‐mate isn't someone you've already dated.
And that eliminates a huge percentage of the population, darling.
Have fun at your party.
Hey, Candace. It's me.
You have your body wrap in 30 minutes time and tanning at the same place.
I'm gonna drop your dress off at the salon and you're going to get your hair and nails and make‐up done.
The ball starts at 8:00 p. m..
Do not be late and you need your stocking.
Man, by the way you were running, I'm guessing your mom nixed your proposal.
It's time for a change, Max.
Well, guests are going to arrive in a couple of hours.
I suggest you put on your suit and mask.
I'm not talking about my clothes.
I'm talking about these public breakups followed by an argument with my mother, followed by punishment at work.
I'm sick of this cycle.
What am I doing wrong?
Nick, I've known you since we were teenagers, man.
And you seem to date the same woman over and over again.
She looks different.
Well, she's not, man. She's not.
Do you even know what you're looking for in a woman?
I figured when I found her, I'd just know.
So why is she so hard to find.
Because you have this long line of gorgeous women who throw themselves at you and tell you what you want to hear, blocking your view.
Which is fine by me, because as your best friend and personal assistant, I do not mind being surrounded by beautiful superficial women.
But the woman of your dreams... she may be a little deeper in the crowd.
Thanks, Max. Good talk.
My Christmas gift to you.
Not a problem.
So, how's everything looking?
Of course, um, yeah‐‐ Quite perfect. You're going to love it.
I gotta go. Bye.
There you are. Finally. I was about to give up on you.
‐Are you Zelda? ‐I am.
And you're the woman who called about the custom dress.
Yes, that's right, and you have a stocking and a mask to match?
Oh, yes, I was inspired to design this dress as soon as I heard about the Christ‐Masquerade ball.
What a brilliant idea for the party.
I put this dress aside for you.
It's going to go beautifully with your coloring.
Well, it's not for me, but the person it's for has the same coloring, so it's good, I guess.
But I designed the dress especially for you.
I bet you say that to all your customers.
Not all. But when I do, it's true.
You don't know me.
I've seen you in the neighborhood.
You go to that funny international restaurant down the street.
And the cemetery. Who do you visit there?
You've really seen me?
You struck me as a woman who wears a mask.
A mask that keeps you from seeing how special you really are.
I made you a mask and a dress to do the opposite.
Oh, I really hate to give it away, but I have to.
Well, I don't let a dress leave here until it's been fitted.
So you're going to have to at least try it on.
If you insist.
I told you.
It's like wearing magic.
I've never worn anything like this before.
I look like a completely different person.
You look like the person you are on the inside.
You were meant to wear this dress.
Fits like a dream.
I just hope it fits the person that's meant to wear it.
She can be‐‐ Difficult.
To say the least.
Thank you. Thank you for being so kind to me.
God, I really best get going.
Candace, your appointment started half an hour ago.
Your stylist stayed late to fit you in.
Those butchers you sent me to ripped my skin off!
‐What do you mean? ‐I had some sort of allergic reaction to my diamond facial and I know I'm not allergic to diamonds.
So I don't know what they were using.
This is all your fault!
What‐‐ No‐‐ You gave me their number.
You have had their peels so many times before.
Sure, put it back on me, like you always do.
Now I can't go to the Christ‐Masquerade ball.
What? You can't go?
No! My face is all red!
You're going to be wearing a mask.
For my eyes, not my whole face!
I'm so sorry, but she isn't coming.
‐You're here. ‐Oh, no, I couldn't‐‐ And you did pay in advance.
Oscar Wilde did say, the only way to get rid of temptation is to yield to it.
Get in the chair.
Where are you?
‐I'm driving. ‐On your way home, I hope.
Exactly what I was afraid of.
I just realized that it might have crossed your mind to go to the Christ‐Masquerade ball yourself.
‐Well‐‐ ‐I knew it!
Don't even think about it, Angie. He gave that invite to me!
Yes, because he thought you planned the ball.
And I'm sure he actually meant to give the invite to the company.
Please. He didn't really give me the invite because he liked my ideas.
And if you go, I'm liable to think that you staged this whole facial mishap on purpose.
And that will be very hard for me to overlook.
I'm sorry, Candace, I‐‐ I don't know what I was thinking.
You weren't, and don't act like I'm being so unfair.
If the invite really was for the company that we still share 50‐50, that means we share it.
So if I can't go, you can't go!
That's not how sharing works.
If I hear that you were seen at the ball before leading clean up crew at midnight, I will be very upset. Understood?
You won't hear that anyone saw me.
Oh, wait. Wait for me.
You have your invitation and stocking?
Nicholas always throws great parties, but this‐‐ It's on another level.
This decor is stunning!
I've got to get the name of this planner.
Please make your way to the tree of stockings and choose one that is not your own.
Each stocking contains five items of no monetary value, but which have significance to the owner.
The point of the game is to find the owner of the stocking which you selected.
Now should you meet someone and find that the two of you have chosen each other's stockings, well, we have a match!
And the two of you will win a grand prize to be announced at midnight.
Let the game begin!
Can I take this one?
I chose you.
How do you know it was me?
It's hard not to notice you from across the room.
And your stocking, it matches your dress.
I chose it because it's clearly one of a kind.
Yeah, that's why I chose this one.
Looks like it's seen 30 Christmases.
Someone obviously really cherishes this.
Indeed, he does.
This is yours?
Did we just win the game?
Well, I wonder what our prize is?
I think I'm looking at her.
Would you dance with me?
Will you come with me?
These beef puffs are amazing.
I mean, I know.
This is my best party ever.
This is the best party that I've ever been to.
Not like this is my party.
Because that would make you Nicholas Carmichael.
And you're definitely not him.
Have you met him?
I've encountered him.
What did you think?
I think he has excellent taste in party planners.
I love Christmas.
The decoration, the music, it's magical.
You know, the stocking's always been my favorite part.
You never know what you'll find inside.
That's right. It could have candy, toys, jewelery.
‐Oh, you like jewelery? ‐Mmm.
No, I don't know anything about jewelry.
Not even a fantasy wedding ring?
I haven't even thought about my wedding.
Or the man I'm going to marry, let alone a ring.
I just feel like, when you know...
My mother looks at me like I've never struggled.
But what she doesn't understand is that, she is my struggle.
I know, I know I'm very lucky.
I've been in the family business my entire life.
I understand it more than anyone else.
And I don't just kick back and collect gift bags.
Your mother may not appreciate that, but I do.
‐You do? ‐Yes.
I'm in a family business with someone who is a gift bag collector.
I respect what your mother is trying to do.
She's trying to prevent her son from being one of those people.
But I can't imagine how upset I'd feel if someone thought I was like that when I wasn't.
I just want my hard work and ideas to be acknowledged.
Does that make sense?
More than you would know.
I want to know everything.
Oh, I really want you to know about me, I...
I'm just a girl who's trying to be brave.
Ah, how mysterious.
I guess tonight we can both just be ourselves.
And nobody needs to know that we're vulnerable.
It's five minutes to midnight.
If any of you have found your match this evening, please join me front and center to see what you've won.
Front and center?
That's us. We can finally take these masks off.
‐We're taking our masks off? ‐What'd you think?
We have to keep them on for the rest of our lives?
I hadn't really thought about it. I was caught up in the moment.
Then stay there.
What if I don't fit in after I take my mask off?
If you fit in, then you would've never stood out.
Now if we get to choose our prize... what will you pick?
For this moment to never end.
It's four minutes to midnight!
Everyone, please start making your way down.
I'm sorry. I'm sorry, I've gotta go.
Of course. I'll see you down there.
Oh, you made it after all.
I told you, you were meant to wear this dress.
Zelda, what are you doing here?
Have you had fun tonight?
The best night of my life.
I'm afraid if I don't leave now, my life is going to be over.
If it's your old life, how bad is that?
Are you sure you want to turn your back on the unknown?
The unknown is where everything you don't have lives.
I'm sorry, I've gotta go.
‐Hey! ‐Hey, Angie!
You're missing a heck of a party.
She knows what she's missing. She planned it.
Don't rub it in.
Oh, it's okay. You know how I love being in the kitchen cleaning up to the wee hours of the morning.
I hear Otto's retiring. Is this good news?
Yeah, the business is going to be mine.
Finally, end of an era. What a relief.
Yeah. Hey, we want to throw a "Candace isn't our boss anymore" party.
‐Could you maybe, help us plan that? ‐Yeah.
I could give you a few ideas.
I want to go see what Nicholas Carmichael considers a grand prize?
‐Okay, have fun. Bye. ‐Bye.
We have a bit of a problem here, folks.
We had a match, but we lost one half of it.
Does anyone know the woman whose dress matches this stocking?
Tidying up, as instructed.
You look terrible. Good night.
Well, Miss, I hope you're just stuck in a powder room somewhere with a broken lock, because you're depriving my anonymous friend here of his half of a prize.
And, by the looks of it...
you've broken his heart.
I met the most incredible man last night and we talked and then we danced all night.
Ooh, let's see what's in his stocking.
Maybe I just imagined how amazing he was.
Because it was my first night out.
Let's see what's in here.
A rock. So... he likes the outdoors.
He was sentimental last night.
There's got to be more into this than fresh breath.
Wait, what's this?
And funny, look!
How am I ever going to find him again?
‐Any luck? ‐No.
And I've called every single name on this list.
What did you tell 'em?
I said that something valuable was mistakenly left in one of the stockings and then I had them describe the stocking that they brought and the stocking that they picked and I told them that I was you, so they wouldn't lie to me. ‐Well, you tried, right?
She said that she wouldn't fit in.
Maybe she wasn't invited directly.
She's got to be one of the plus ones.
‐Or maybe she snuck in. ‐No.
How could someone sneak in?
An employee, maybe. Or maybe she stole an invite.
Sneaking in is one thing, but she's not a thief.
Can you get me a list of all the workers...
‐caterers, valet, band‐‐ ‐I don't have all that.
They were hired by the event planner.
Can you get me the number to the event planner?
They're downstairs right now finishing clean up.
I'm going to go look around.
See if we left anything in any other parts of the house.
Candace, people let us into their homes because they trust us to be professional.
‐Don't go snoop. ‐I didn't keep ice on my face all night then wake up at 6:00 a. m. and spend three hours in a salon on hair and make‐up just to hide in the kitchen.
We were supposed to have our moment last night.
We were meant to have it, so I'm going to get it.
I'm so sorry. Let me help you.
Have we met?
Last night at the ball.
No. I was just with the clean‐up crew after midnight.
But we have met before with my cousin.
‐The one that I invited to the ball. ‐Yeah. The one and only.
‐Is she here right now? ‐Yeah. Yeah. She's just right... through there.
‐Last night, you‐‐ ‐I abandoned you.
I apologize from the bottom of my heart, honestly.
What happened? I looked everywhere for you.
I wanted so badly to be there, but I had an allergic reaction just before‐‐ Wait, before? When?
At about 4:45 yesterday.
Where were you at midnight?
In bed icing down my face.
So you weren't even at the ball?
No, silly, that's what I've been trying to tell you.
Where are you... ...going?
‐I get that you liked her. ‐Don't use past tense.
I get that you like her but maybe it's because she ran off, so you can't have her.
Don't say "can't."
Okay, what do you plan to do if‐‐ When you find her. You're going to say, "Hey, maybe we should hang out sometime as long as you're not looking for something serious."
She doesn't sound like the type to go for that.
No, no, she's not.
But maybe I don't want that from her.
Well, what do you want?
You know, for the first time, and I might be completely crazy, but I think‐‐ No! I know that I want with her what all my exes wanted with me.
Well, how do you propose to find her, man?
"Propose to find her."
You're a genius, Max.
‐What are you doing? ‐I'm just‐‐ Wait.
Are you calling me from the living room?
If it's not watching the Nicholas Carmichael announcement, stop it and start that.
He just left us a message booking us again for Christmas Eve.
He's using us again!
That's amazing! Yes!
I knew that ball was key.
Not just a party. His wedding.
To some mystery woman.
Of all the events for me to miss, it should've been me.
What should've been you?
The mystery woman he met at the ball, obviously.
Angie‐‐ How can you run an event planning business that caters to high society when you're so out of touch?
I'm sending you the link.
His message said to bring him some ideas in the morning and as you still work for me, that means you.
I'm too upset to work.
I'm looking for the woman that brought this stocking to my Christ‐Masquerade ball.
There was to be a prize for any two guests that chose each other's stocking.
Two guests did, but one disappeared before the prize was presented.
I've decided that the prize, as host of the party and also the second half of the winning team, is to be a wedding.
On Christmas Eve to me.
I fell in love with the woman behind the mask.
And unless I'm completely crazy... you fell in love with me, Nicholas Carmichael.
How can this be the man that I spent the most magical night of my life with?
Jenny, I won't miss out on the man I met at the ball.
But if I come clean and tell Candace I was there, she's going to flip!
I'm pretty sure I can kiss any chance of me running the business goodbye.
But I won't risk losing it all, if what there magazines say about him is true.
I've got to be sure.
I may have made a huge mistake.
Are you my first candidate?
I'm Angie. I'm the‐‐
I'm here to plan your Christmas wedding.
Oh, I think there's been a mistake.
I wanted whoever did the ball. Constance or something.
Have we ever met?
Yes, several times actually.
I planned your Christ‐Masquerade ball.
I work with my cousin Candace.
Oh, okay. Well, then I misunderstood.
Well, if I liked the ball before I like it even more now that's it solely responsible for me meeting the love of my life.
The love of your life?
You think I'd just marry someone who wasn't?
I just find it difficult to believe that it's the love of your life after just spending a few hours with her.
Well, that's exactly how I know.
You see, I've met more outstanding women than most men do in their entire lives.
So for a woman to stand out to me, well... it's very rare.
Well, in my experience it's very rare for you to remember a woman at all.
Do you speak to all of your clients like this?
I must have forgotten myself, too.
I'm sorry. How can I help you, Mr. Carmichael?
I met a beautiful, confident woman who truly understands me, and I want to marry her here in my house, where we met.
Now I know that she loves Christmas.
So I was thinking, we could have a perfect classic Christmas wedding.
I had the same idea, too.
But what happens if you don't find her?
What do you mean?
Well, what if you don't recognize her when she's standing right in front of you?
Oh, I will. And also, she'll tell me.
Like all those women outside are telling you.
But they can't all be her.
How can you tell if they're fake or real?
And what happens if she doesn't want to marry you.
Who wouldn't want to marry me?
All right, well, that's one checked off the list.
Several thousand more to go.
How can you be so sure I'm not her?
Oh, I'm positive you're not.
‐How can you tell for sure? ‐Simple.
The woman I'm looking for likes me.
Why are you asking me all these prying questions?
Oh, I'm just trying to get into the mindset of the happy couple, so I can make sure you have the best wedding possible.
Hmm. Well, we both loved the ball.
‐So, I trust your judgment. ‐Thanks.
I really need to get back to these interviews.
So if you could just leave the sketches, I will approve or give notes.
And just like last time, we probably won't have to see each other, which I presume will be amenable to us both.
We definitely work better when we don't have to see each other.
How does one come to throw their own wedding without having any intention of attending it?
I'm getting to think I'm as nuts as Nicholas Carmichael.
Tabloids! Wonders never cease.
And all about Nicholas Carmichael.
Thought you couldn't stand him.
I can't. I'm just trying to get to know him without actually having to talk to him.
Hey, you were over there this morning.
What's the inside scoop? Has he found his mystery woman yet?
No, and he won't.
So I've still got a shot.
What do you mean?
I mean, if he's not going to find the real girl anyway, why couldn't it be me?
Oh! You two'd be perfect for each other.
Do you need something, Candace?
Yes! My dress from the ball. I want to return it.
It's final sale.
That's what they always say.
I've seen this dress.
Yes. I have.
It's all over the Internet.
Someone snuck a camera into the party and took a picture of the woman wearing this dress... dancing with Nicholas Carmichael.
It's from behind, but the dress‐‐ Well... this dress is very distinctive.
And it bears a striking resemblance to the mystery stocking.
Come on, Candace. Don't let your imagination run wild.
You went to the ball.
Candace, I can explain‐‐ No need to explain.
Christmas miracles don't need to be explained.
Wait. I'm confused. You're happy?
Now we can convince Nicholas that you were me.
No, I don't think so.
Not even to have your very own successful event planning business... all to yourself... free of me... forever?
And all you have to do is give Nicholas the little nudge that he needs to be mine.
You want me to trick him?
Well, you already tricked him.
It was supposed to be me in this dress and at the ball.
He invited me, not you.
He was expecting me.
And you said, we're perfect for each other.
Maybe you're right.
Maybe he was going to marry whoever was at that ball.
That's the spirit.
You can fill me in on everything while I shop for my engagement outfit for tomorrow.
Jenny, don't judge me.
If he can't see past her... maybe they are the perfect match.
So that's how they make those, huh?
This stuff smells great.
‐Oh, you don't want to touch that‐‐ ‐Oh.
‐Yup. ‐It's covered in glue.
‐Now you have glue on your hands. ‐I'm sorry.
‐Can you not touch anything? ‐I'm sorry!
Let me get that. Cool.
You've actually got a few pieces in your hair.
‐What? Oh. No. ‐Um, would you mind if I‐‐
Thank you. Silly. Thank you for that.
Can I help?
Yes, as long as you don't break anything.
I do remember you now.
‐You do? ‐Yeah.
Before, I remember talking to you.
You said you worked the ball after midnight.
Yeah, I did.
She disappeared at midnight.
Well, I thought you ruled me out because... the woman has to like you.
Oh, you like me.
I can tell.
‐Oh, I do, do I? ‐Mmm‐hmm.
Well... you don't like me, so...
I guess we're in the clear.
I like you.
Uh, Nicholas, you remember my cousin Candace, right?
Of course. Hello, Candace.
Right. Well... she's the woman you've been looking for.
What do you mean?
The stocking was hers.
I don't understand.
You told me that you didn't go to the ball.
I was scared. You were so intense, I was afraid of losing your future business with our company.
I take my work very seriously.
And of course, I had no idea it was you who I'd fall‐‐ Who I met at the ball.
So you do feel the same way.
How could I not?
Then why did you disappear that night?
I had to get back to the kitchen.
A job well done is the most valuable prize to me.
And it wasn't until later I realized I had no idea how I was going to find you.
And once I learned who you were, I was nervous to say something because‐‐ Well, you're you.
And I'm just the owner of several successful small businesses I run with my bare hands.
Grab your tissues, ladies, Nicholas Carmichael is officially off the market.
After a bizarre video call to the missing party guest he wanted to make his bride, the ultimate bachelor has finally found his Princess Charming.
Nicholas? Are you home?
Mother, what are you doing here?
I saw on the news you were getting married, and I felt for sure you were taken hostage or something.
Well, I made a video saying that I was looking for the woman that I wanted to marry, but I never told anyone that I found her.
I'm not quite sure how that got out, but good timing though, because this is her.
This is Candace Carrillo.
Victoria, it's so nice to meet you.
Please call me Mrs. Carmichael.
And she owns an event planning business that threw my Christ‐Masquerade ball.
That's me. Work, work, work.
Well, there's nothing I value more than an entrepreneurial spirit.
Perhaps we can help you expand down the road.
Oh, thank you for the offer, but I'll have to pass.
See, my underprivileged cousin has lived with my father and I since her parents died when she was six.
I think it's only fair that I share my good fortune and let her take over the businesses.
Well, I'm going to have my own new family soon, with their own business interests.
It'd be greedy of me to keep my own, depriving my cousin of a bright future.
How very generous of you.
I'm sure we'll find you a position at any one of our companies.
Thank you, but no rush on that.
I could use a break. At least a couple of years to start.
I won't have anyone to say that I was handed a job.
I'm no free‐loader.
Of course not.
Nicholas, darling, may I have a word?
I'll be just a minute.
Well, don't be too happy for me.
I needn't worry about that.
Isn't this what you wanted? I'm settling down, I'm experiencing the grand institution of marriage.
And making a mockery of it with a media circus and‐‐ Well, I won't insult your fiancée.
All I know is that after all your big talk about finding the one, you couldn't let get away.
I was expecting something different.
She is different.
‐She seems‐‐ ‐She's not herself right now.
It's a very unusual situation that she's in.
Stop trying to make me happy.
Can she make you happy?
The point isn't to get married just so you can claim your inheritance, Nicholas.
The point is to grow up!
Find someone... who makes you see what is truly... truly important in life.
I just have those sketches for the wedding reception for you to look over.
That wasn't what you think.
You don't have to explain yourself, Nicholas.
‐Okay, I'm just going to say it. ‐Candace was not at that ball.
Some poor girl is getting scammed out of a jackpot marriage and so is Nicholas Carmichael.
Is he? Maybe he has an ulterior motive for getting married.
Come on, I don't think so.
He was so sincere in that video, and he loved your ball, so he has taste.
Yeah, but if he's marrying Candace, he's clearly not the brightest bulb in the strand, right?
I'm going to send him an anonymous note.
‐No! ‐What, you want Candace to get away with this?
We had a deal, remember?
I help convince Nicholas that it was her and she gives me the business. So, yay!
Why would you be able to convince him?
The only people that know what happened between him and that woman are him and that woman.
Oh, holy night!
You are the woman! You went to the ball!
It was totally you!
You know, I always thought Candace needed to walk a mile in your shoes, Angie, but this was not what I had in mind.
Oh, come on, what's the big deal? Everyone gets what they want.
Carmichael doesn't! He's in love with you!
Shh! He's not in love with me.
He thinks Candace is me.
So you're going to let him ruin his life?
Look, the guy I met at the ball was sweet and charming and sincere.
The guy in there, he has his own agenda.
I'm not being a pawn in someone else's game.
Come on, guys, it's about time I look out for myself for once.
Yeah, but Ang, when you fall in love with someone, looking out for one of you is looking out for both of you.
How could I love Nicholas Carmichael?
I'm not even sure which him is him.
Now I know these don't look splashy, but they're all one‐of‐a‐kind pieces.
Vintage, modern, all unique.
Which I thought might make you happy.
Have you given further thought to what you might want?
I don't know.
Maybe a five‐carat pink diamond with white diamond accents and an eternity triple shank band in rose gold?
Or something like that?
I thought you didn't know much about jewelry.
Why would you think that?
Because that's what you told me at the ball.
You said that you'd never envisioned your wedding or your husband or your ring.
You said that you believed that when the time was right, you'd just... know.
See, that's what happened.
I got here and I just knew.
Do you know how you're going to propose to me yet?
Didn't I already do that in the video?
Oh, well, typically, a man makes a grand public proclamation of his love on one knee.
Right. Of course, I guess I wasn't on one knee.
How thoughtless of me.
Um, of course. I will plan something.
Tomorrow? Around sunset for the best lighting.
You've got to help me.
What is it now, Candace?
Nicholas knows some thing's wrong.
‐Oh, really? Right. ‐I think so.
What? What do you want me to do about it?
You know those little ear pieces you use at parties to communicate with the employees?
You cannot be serious.
You just have to listen in on a couple of dates.
Feed me some lines, and save me if he references something I don't know.
Candace, that's absurd. No.
I just need you to help me convince him that I'm the woman that he met at the ball, so that he'll relax and let himself fall in love with me.
He has some major trust issues.
Well, I can't imagine why.
It'll make him feel better to think that he's marrying his soul mate.
It's not like you two are soul mates.
How can you be so sure?
Simple. How can you be soul mates when you don't want him?
What about you?
Do you really want to marry someone who doesn't want to marry you, unless you have someone else's words coming out of your mouth?
Not a deal breaker.
What are we doing out here, Nicholas?
Well, it's dusk, like you said, so I thought‐‐ Do you not like restaurants?
I thought that the place where we almost shared our first kiss might be a bit more meaningful.
The front of the house.
Right... here... in the front of the house.
At the ball... when I first met you‐‐ Well, when I first saw you...
I knew you were different.
Oh, are you starting?
Is that a selfie stick?
Well, that's the price of you making this so private.
I know it's a little obtrusive, but if I don't film it, who will?
I mean, we wanna remember this forever, don't we?
Okay, I can go along with that.
He's going with it?
In a sea of masks, I only saw you.
I was drawn to you, and when I got to know you, I became even more certain that I was meant to be with you.
You're so smart, you're fun, you're beautiful... and you understand me.
I want to feel the way that I felt at that ball for the rest of my life.
I never want that moment to disappear.
I don't have to change my initials.
It's so cute when that happens. It's like it was meant to be.
Yeah, well, I was the one at the ball.
Shh. It isn't about you.
What did I miss? Did you say something?
Yeah, um, will you marry me?
Oh! Yes, of course.
My ring! Where did it go?
I think it landed in the pond.
Can we just clean that one up or do you need a whole new one?
A whole new one.
We're going to have to re‐shoot this anyway.
Such a waste.
How long till dinner's ready?
My words and memories are one thing, Candace‐‐ Actually, they're two.
But promising you'll cook him dinner?
‐You can't cook. ‐Where are the glasses?
This was his idea, believe me.
I was pushing for the rooftop Michelin star restaurant downtown, but he loves some beefy puffs you made at the ball and asked if I would make him some.
Do you need to keep an eye on the kitchen?
We can hang out in there if you want.
No! No. The beef can practically puff itself up at this point.
You make this all look so effortless.
Angie's always sweating. She's got her hair sticking out all over her head.
She's on her knees half the time.
Tell me about it, she's a disaster.
Not a good idea to insult the person cooking your food.
I kind of think it's cute how frazzled she gets.
I can't really think that she's just a pay‐check and gift bag collector.
It must've been just some sibling‐like spat that you were having that night, right?
"After a good dinner, one can forgive anybody, even one's own relations." Oscar Wilde. Say it.
"After a good dinner, one can forgive anybody.
Even one's own relations." Oscar Wilde.
It really is you.
Oh, yes. What can I say?
I just prefer other people's thoughts to my own.
Especially really old people who weren't limited to 140 characters.
No, but really, why do you have something like that memorized?
Some people know how to say things in a way that makes people listen and remember who said it.
It's a talent I wish I had.
Some people know how to say things in a way that make other people listen and remember who said it.
It's a talent I wish I had.
I remember everything you said.
I even remember when you accidentally thanked me at the ball for raving about the beef puffs.
Okay, enough about the beefy puffs.
Don't you think it's odd that we're going to be married in two weeks and we haven't even kissed yet?
Well, now that you mentioned it.
You're different in real life.
I warned you. I was trying to be brave.
I warned you. I was trying to be brave.
Yes. Yes, you certainly did.
You know, something that I think is amazing, we've never actually discussed.
No. No, the items in our stockings.
I would love to hear what you think the meaning of mine were.
The only thing I know about broken clocks is that they're right twice a day.
Broken clocks are right twice a day?
Yes! Yes, that's the closest thing I've ever gotten to a life philosophy.
We really are meant to be together.
Yes, we are.
Wow, I can't believe that you guessed that.
I looked up the world's hottest pepper online and I saw your victory picture.
Uh, online I saw your picture for the world's hottest pepper.
No one can ever say that I was handed that honor because of who my mother is.
It was a very proud moment.
Okay, well, what about the Spearhead gum?
Uh, the gum is obviously because you like to have fresh breath for kissing.
No, that's the first product that I ever got to spearhead.
That's why I called the gum Spearhead.
I got to supervise the packaging and everything.
What about the stone?
There was a stone? A gem?
Ice cold. Stop talking.
A rock. It was a rock from Greece.
It was the first trip that I ever took overseas by myself.
I never felt so free.
I was just thinking, no joke.
Greek salad for the reception.
Is there any significance to the candle?
Obviously the candle is because you're romantic?
Well, I love to travel and I get homesick.
And I found that, by lighting a candle from home, I could make any hotel room feel like home.
So I pack one, but I always forget matches.
Oh, speaking of matches.
And flames, and heat.
You need to check the kitchen?
Uh, no, I think I've got it from here.
Oh. Mmm. Mmm.
You know, if you two get married, he and I will see each other a lot over the years.
He's going to figure it out someday.
I don't think so.
‐What? ‐Nothing. Focus.
No? You want some?
Uh, yeah. Mmm.
It's good, right?
Mmm. Told you.
Oh. Like‐‐ What? I have something on my face?
Down a little.
Um, up. Up all the way.
Up a little.
Let me help you with that.
Looks like you got everything covered.
Yup. I like to be in control.
I want to make sure everything is perfect for this evening.
I noticed a lot of your sketches were from here.
How'd you know it was my favorite spot?
Good... guess, I guess.
Angie, what does Greece make you think of?
Naps in the sun.
Not that I know first hand.
I haven't been there.
I haven't been anywhere, actually. Why?
Why do you ask?
Are you okay?
Yeah, no. I'm fine.
Just jitters, I guess.
There's nothing to be jittery about.
You know about my inheritance.
How I have to be married in order to claim it.
That was a clause my parents put into my trust when I was a toddler.
I could've claimed it a long time ago, but my inheritance isn't about money for me, it's...
It's about freedom.
And I wouldn't exactly be free if I married the wrong person.
And you think Candace is the wrong person?
I don't know if I was just spell‐bound by the magic of the ball, but I certainly felt like I was in love.
We're friends, right, Angie?
Yeah. Yeah, we're friends.
So I can trust you.
What if Candace isn't the woman from the ball?
Candace has proven that she is.
Right. Yes, she has. She has.
Maybe I'm just wishing that she's not, so that the problem wouldn't be with me.
I mean, the truth is it's entirely possible that this is just my... usual commitment phobia.
I still feel like I'm in love.
Just not when I'm around Candace.
Nicholas! Where are you, my turtle dove?
Candace, there's something I have to tell you.
Is it Nicholas' favorite color, because that's come up a few times?
Candace, I care about you and Nicholas, as a friend.
I know you do, Angie, I can see that.
That's why I know how much it will hurt you to never see him again.
What do you mean?
You wanna tell the truth.
Of course, you do, because you're you.
But there's a point of no return, Angie, and we've passed it.
Do you really think that Nicholas will still consider you his friend if he found out what you've done?
He won't have anything to do with either of us romantically or platonically.
Keep our little secret and you get to keep your new friend.
And your career, and your family.
Tell the truth and... you could lose everything.
But, it's your choice.
Ho! Ho! Ho! Ho! Ho! Ho!
Who's been naughty and who's been nice?
I can wear this to a Christmas wedding, right?
Yes. It's perfect.
For the mall!
You can't walk me down the aisle in that?
This picture cannot go in a magazine.
All right. All right.
I'm just so happy that both my girls are so happy, and our family is getting bigger.
I've worked my whole life to make sure that you both have the best.
And it's all finally coming together.
You'll meet the right guy someday, too, Ang.
So you go through these great lengths to find this rare woman and now you want someone else?
I know what you're thinking.
This is just the old Nicholas Carmichael being itchy about commitment, but maybe it's not.
I can't be sure of how I'm feeling until I know for sure if it was Candace that I met at the ball or Angie.
Or someone else entirely.
How're you going to find out?
There's a line about books and covers that probably applies here.
Hmm. Not especially telling, unless we dust it for fingerprints.
Candace has quoted him.
And so has Angie.
Not entirely helpful.
For her sketches.
That again, whittles it down to Candace or Angie instead of a third party.
Do either of them have pets?
I don't know.
Your marriage is off to a great start.
The thing that I always forget to pack!
See, I'm not crazy. The girl at the ball is the girl for me.
And she's either Candace or Angie.
Now this I can work with.
Is this your first time at Ate‐y Days?
Bueno! Well, we are an international restaurant, featuring a constantly revolving menu of dishes from other countries. No American food here.
Our holiday special is Hungarian goulash, and Danish Aebleskiver for dessert. Sample?
So what did we learn from that besides Ate‐y Days is the best place in town for goulash?
I don't know. But it doesn't seem like the kind of place that Candace would ever go.
It seems like more of a place for a woman who... longs to travel.
Nicholas, where are you going?
‐Hey, Zelda. ‐Max!
‐You two know each other? ‐Yeah, we've been using her for tailoring for years. She was at the ball.
So was that dress in the window.
Could you tell me who bought it and what it's doing back here?
Long story. Why do you ask?
‐Oh. ‐Ah, well...
The woman who bought it said it wasn't for her.
But I ran into her at the ball right after midnight as she was leaving, and she was indeed wearing it.
And then she returned it?
No, a few days later a different woman returned it... claiming it didn't fit.
I gave her a full refund to stop the yelling.
And also because I do have a soft spot for this dress.
Do you know where we can find either of these two women?
Well, the one who returned it should be easy enough to find.
You're engaged to her.
I thought I might be. And the other?
Well, all I know is that she visits her parents at the cemetery, down the street.
I'd like to buy this dress from you, if I could.
Where are you going now?
To have a little chat with my fiancée.
Is this a bad time?
I do wish you would've called so I could've gotten myself ready first.
I'll bet. Can I come in?
‐I might have some left‐over beefy puffs in the fridge‐‐ ‐No thanks.
Please. Have a seat.
You never told me the meaning of the items in your stocking.
I'd love to hear.
I just remembered I have a quick phone call to make.
‐If you'll excuse me. ‐To Angie?
Why would you think that?
Just take a look inside.
Oh, of course, my ferret.
It's a bunny.
‐Is it here in the house? ‐No!
Really miss it.
Is it buried in the same cemetery that this rose came from?
From the same cemetery where Angie's parents are buried?
You mean my aunt and uncle?
I was close with them, too, you know?
For lighting candles.
You ever been to that restaurant?
Uh... I must have. Once.
Oh, could you give me a quote by Oscar Wilde?
Oh, really putting me on the spot here.
Would you give me a quote by anyone?
"Quotes are for nerds." Candace Carrillo.
I had an idea for an ice sculpture for the reception.
Would you sketch it for me?
Okay. You got me.
I was so busy getting ready for your ball that I... delegated the filling of the stocking to Angie.
So she chose these things.
I'm sorry. But it really was me that you met at the ball.
Why did you return the dress?
I... must've still been under the hazy spell of the ball because I don't even remember doing that.
Thank you so much for getting it back for me.
Would you try it on for me?
I would love to see you in it again.
Can you turn around for me?
Uh, this dress really is much better from the front.
It really is a magical ensemble.
I've been stress eating.
What about my stocking? Do you have it here?
I didn't know that we were supposed to keep those.
You threw out my childhood stocking?
As a symbol of putting childish things behind you.
Candace, isn't it time that we both admitted it was Angie that I met at the ball?
How can you say that?
Look, I know I haven't been myself lately, but I don't think you understand the amount of stress that a wedding puts on a bride.
They usually get a year to plan. I've got two weeks.
I was taking a leap of faith based on that magical night that we shared, and I thought you were doing the same for me.
But if your accusations are correct... and I'm not saying they are...
Angie is helping you plan your wedding to someone else.
She doesn't love you.
Do you think I should get married tomorrow?
Speak now or forever hold your peace.
What does it matter what I think?
I like you.
Yeah. I like you, too.
But you don't love me.
That's an odd question.
Do you love me?
I don't know if I can trust you.
I don't know whether I can trust you either.
Me? What have I ever done to you?
Not me, but the tabloids are filled with your past relationships, and they don't exactly have happy endings.
Okay, but the question is whether you think that my past relationships are based on who I am or who I was with.
If you think it's who I am, then sure, I would be the same with you, but if you think it was who I was with, well, then, my past is irrelevant.
I would be different with you because... because you're different.
But maybe you're not different.
Maybe you've been lying to me this entire time to make sure that someone in your family gets my inheritance.
Accusing me of gold‐digging isn't going to get me to open up.
Well, then what is?
‐Knowing what you want! ‐I know what I want.
If you did, you would not be standing here talking to me when you have a wedding scheduled to somebody else tomorrow.
When I lost you...
I tried to be grateful for whatever I had.
'Cause I knew how easily I could lose it.
I was so close to getting everything I thought that I wanted.
That night at the ball with Nicholas was...
so much more.
But I was too scared to accept it.
And now I've lost everything.
Regardless of what happens, I can't do this to Nicholas.
I miss you so much.
Candace, you make a lovely bride.
I know. Thank you.
It's almost time. Have you seen Nicholas?
No, but I wouldn't worry. He'll be here.
We're not allowed to see each other on our wedding day.
My son has put his heart into this. Into you.
I didn't believe it at first, but he's changed, he's becoming the man he was meant to be.
And that must be because of you.
So welcome to the family.
Well, better get back to the guests.
Where have you been?
You've, like, never ever been late before.
Get over here and help me with this stupid microphone.
I'm sorry to ruin your wedding day, but this is not right.
The ceremony's set to start in 20 minutes.
I really thought if I didn't cancel this wedding, then Angie would be forced to tell me the truth.
But she's really going to let me marry Candace.
She doesn't love me.
Well, that finally answers that.
You want me to handle it?
No, I will take care of this myself.
‐I need you to turn the mic on. ‐Hurry. Hurry.
Nobody wants Nicholas to marry an impostor.
You may have been the one at the ball, but I'm the one at the wedding.
This isn't about who he ends up with.
This is about who I am.
I'm done being the person that doesn't stick up for themselves.
I'm done being the person that doesn't say how they feel or what they really want out of fear of losing what they hold dear.
I'm hurting others, too.
Nicholas now doesn't believe in love anymore.
I have let your dad be proud thinking you're this hard‐working entrepreneur, not realizing you have bullied and blackmailed me into doing everything for you.
And what's worse, I let it be okay that you can get anything you want without deserving a thing, including marrying someone who doesn't love you or you don't love either.
Is that it?
Well, we obviously need some time apart.
You can leave now.
Sure. Right after I've spoken to Nicholas.
Get! Candace, get‐‐ Candace, no! Candace!
‐Open up! ‐Not until I marry my Nicholas!
Oh, it's bad luck for you to see me in my dress on our wedding day.
Well, didn't you just call my name?
Yes, I was practicing.
You're not dressed?
I wanted to talk to you about your wedding gift.
I've decided to decline my inheritance.
I want to prove to you and anyone else who doubts us that I'm not getting married for money.
I just can't have people thinking that of you.
You know what everyone's going to think?
That's a terrible gift.
I wouldn't want anyone thinking that of you.
My inheritance is just this estate, a few other properties, company stocks and vehicles and a whole lot of money, but I'll still have my job.
We can be normal. We can be anyone we want!
I don't want to be normal.
Can I exchange my wedding gift for something I like better?
No. I'm sorry, Candace... but, um, this wedding is off.
Good luck with your future endeavors.
Oh, Candace, sweetie.
Just popped in to tell you your microphone is on.
In fact, all of the guests outside heard your conversation.
Both your conversations.
Candace, open the door!
Where is he? Where's Nicholas?
He's already gone!
He said something about getting away.
‐What? ‐I'm sorry.
Uh, excuse me.
I still think I'm the one having the worst day here.
I thought Max might be lying for you.
But were you lying? About giving up your inheritance?
Can we please talk about this later, Mother?
I have a lot on my mind right now.
That is why I'm here, Nicholas.
I'm going to sign your inheritance over to you.
But I didn't get married.
And you don't have to.
Your decision today not to get married showed very good judgment.
And real maturity.
Your father would've been proud of you.
I know I am.
So you don't think it was just commitment phobia?
Not after learning that Candace wasn't who she said she was.
Which is a bit of a relief, actually.
And not after learning that her cousin is really the one you fell in love with at the ball.
That girl... is special.
But she didn't tell me the truth.
She doesn't love me.
Well... if you haven't told her that you love her... you haven't been honest either.
If you'll excuse me, I just want to be left alone.
Uh, Candace has something she wants to tell you.
Tell Angie what you told me.
I guess I just always felt like my dad loved you more than me because you're both such hard workers.
Sometimes I even felt like he would prefer it if you were his real daughter.
And us being equals was unfair to me.
I'm always second fiddle to you anyway.
I just wanted to achieve something for myself and I thought that becoming a Carmichael would be so big that he'd have to be proud of me.
Just be yourself, honey, and I will be.
And you will be, too.
And I'm sorry that in trying to make things equal, I made them unfair.
And I'm sorry for being a father‐figure that neither one of you feels you can confide in.
I'm so sorry, Angie.
The event planning business is yours, obviously.
You've earned it.
Come on, Candace.
Let's leave them some privacy.
Go get him.
I thought you got away.
That was a lie.
Though, in my defense, I thought you didn't want to see me.
I didn't realize that you were just locked outside.
I'm so sorry.
I was hurt.
I shouldn't have lied to you.
And I wanted to tell you the truth, but I thought you wouldn't want to see me again.
I was hoping that you'd figure it out for yourself.
Just a little late.
I was kinda hoping that you would tell the truth on your own.
I did... just a little... late.
I guess we can both work on our timing.
Oh, I'm glad somebody put those to good use.
Angie, you know, the women in those magazines only wanted my money.
And so I never had to wonder how the rest of me stacked up.
When I met someone who didn't want my money...
I wasn't sure if she'd want me.
You were insecure?
You remember that day in the study?
Well, you said it, um...
"What if she doesn't want to marry you?"
It gave me pause.
Of all the things for you to remember.
How could I forget? That was the first day that I saw the real you.
You were a business woman that day.
A scullery maid the next.
A close friend the week after.
And my show‐stopping soul mate at the ball.
I didn't know if a woman like you would have me.
I never thought a man like you would want me.
Then I guess we have more in common than we thought.
We're both kind... understanding... creative, intelligent... terribly humble.
We both love me.
I don't know if you love me, Angie...
but I love you.
Yes, I love you.
Well, then, go take a look in that stocking.
Angie, will you marry me?