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The Designer Wedding Show
Date: October 29, 2005 • Author: Emily • Filed Under: Attire & Dresses & Hair & Beauty & Shopping & Shows & Themes & Unique Ideas

Planning a wedding is all about exposing yourself to as many ideas as possible in the beginning.

For those in the UK I highly recommend "The Designer Wedding Show", at Battersea Park, London on November 4, 5 and 6 where you will be able to see the latest designer bridal collections from more than 24 of the world's top bridal designers.

For more information, see DesignerWeddingShow.co.uk

Key Facts:

Box Office - 0870 190 9098.

Tickets cost £15 in advance or £16.50 on the door.

The Designer Wedding Show
British Genius Site
North Carriage Drive
Battersea Park
SW11 4NJ

Enter by Chelsea Bridge Gate on Queenstown Road


2 for 1 Offer: Quote "The Daily Telegraph" when booking and you will receive two tickets for the price of one. Offer closes on November 2.

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78 Free Wedding Tips And Book

As you plan your wedding you will receive advice from just about everyone. Friends and family have a million and one tips to pass on, in fact here at Wedaholic I have been offering tips galore. For example tips on wedding djs, getting guests to mingle, giving a great speech and tipping wedding suppliers to name just a few!

To give you a flavour of what to expect I have copied the types of wedding tips you will receive below:

Sample Tip 1 :

At the reception hall, fill baskets in the bathroom with miniature hand lotions, breath mints, hair sprays, and hair gels for emergency touch-ups. You may also want to put out a basket with a few inexpensive pairs of pantyhose and
some clear nail polish.

"Thanks for all the tips..and for making them genuinely "free".... the tips I found most helpful of your's were about etiquette ... it helps to remind brides of other people's feelings when they are getting caught up in their own! And that idea about giving framed pictures to the parents is one I will definately do! Blessings!" - Suzanne, US

Sample Tip 2 :

Don’t forget grandparents and other relatives who may feel “left out” during the preparations before the wedding. Take a camera along when you are shopping for your dress or looking at flowers.

Send pictures with a quick note that says, “Here’s me rubbing my feet after trying on shoes that were murder!” Or “Aunt Joan, the flowers were beautiful, but I wish you could have been there.”

"Just wanted to thank you for all of the wonderful tips! I enjoy reading them every week!! I will use you're advice throughout the planning of my wedding and on the big day! Thanks again" - Dan

Sample Tip 3 :

For bridesmaids' dresses, consider separates, especially if you have attendants whose sizes and shapes vary widely. Skip the bridal stores and check out department stores for evening skirts and separate tops that are made of luxurious fabrics and trimmed with beading or embroidered details.

"Dear Emily your tips have been very helpful to me in planning for my wedding thank you for all of your help, looking forward to receiving other tips from you. Best Regards" - Cornelia, US


How To Avoid Wedding Chaos - Maybe!
Date: October 28, 2005 • Author: Emily • Filed Under: Checklists & Miscellaneous & Planning & Stress & Unique Ideas

I came across the following today that could certainly help out some brides when it comes to avoiding total wedding chaos...

Just imagine for a second a place where:

♥ Bridesmaids can find out their latest color selections and shoe styles.

♥ Groomsmen can find where and when to show up for their fittings.

♥ Guests can easily download maps to rehearsals and wedding showers.

♥ You as the bride can quickly find phone numbers to all of your suppliers.

♥ Where you can share pictures taken throughout the build up, during the wedding and after.

♥ Where family members can be introduced to the members of the other family all before running into them at a reception, shower or fitting.

♥ Where family and friends living out of town can get the latest information and feel connected to the wedding. Where also they can be directed to any lodging arrangements made for their visit.

Well all this and a lot more can be possible if you invest in "The Wedding Web Book". This ia a place for engaged couples offering them a single location for everyone involved to stay coordinated.

Outstanding features include:

♥ The ability to save on printing and postage costs by letting your guests R.S.V.P.

♥ To make menu selections online.

♥ To ability to enable guests to sign the guestbook and leave a personal message to the soon to be bride and groom.

Even after the wedding:

♥ This product can change as happy couple blossoms and grows.

♥ It evens allows you to have a joint database for holiday, birthday, anniversary and special occasion greetings as a couple.

So what exactly is "The Wedding Wed Book", I hear you ask?

In a nutshell it's:

♥ your very own wedding website,

with the following benefits:

♥ registration of your chosen domain name,

♥ a press release,

♥ email addresses for the wedding party,

♥ web-based email access,

♥ 24x7 helpdesk,

♥ updates throughout the ramp-up to the wedding,

♥ and the posting of digital photos before and after the nuptials.

Well for the techie ones amoungst you this could be the perfect vehicle for planning your wedding, certainly worth a look at Engraft.net. It could just be the answer to wedding chaos as we know it!

Would love to hear from anyone that uses this service and particularly if it really did save you time and effort.

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Four Beach Wedding Mistakes To Avoid
Date: October 23, 2005 • Author: Emily • Filed Under: Destination Weddings

When you've decided a beach wedding is the perfect romantic choice for you and your fiancé, it's easy to jump in and start planning with abandon, forgetting about the many minor details that change when your impending nuptials are going to be along a stretch of sandy shoreline.

Your beach wedding will be unique and beautiful, but there are several elements that are often overlooked that can put a damper on the mood of your ceremony.

Here are 4 key things to bear in mind:

1. Forgetting that the sun is hot even when there's a breeze.

Most people take into account that there will be a nice breeze on the beach to cool everyone off a bit, which is generally the case. But just as many people don't take into account that the ocean breezes won't keep the sun from beating down on your guests and glaring in their eyes and possibly causing sunburns.

Take into account that older guests, especially, can feel the effects of the sun pretty quickly and consider providing thoughtful touches like paper parasols or canvas tents to shade them from the glare. Baskets of inexpensive sunglasses and mini tubes of sunscreen will also be appreciated.

2. Neglecting the footwear.

Many brides picture flowing, floaty dresses and gorgeous flowers and a casual atmosphere for the bridal party, but don't put as much thought into the footwear. They worry about coordinating with their gown, but forget how different walking on the beach is.

You have several viable options for yourself and the wedding party, including simply going barefoot or wearing flat sandals, but take into consideration the guests as well. Don't expect your female guests to wear high heels (imagine those sinking into the soft sand!) or the men to show up wearing wing tips. Instead, be sure to note on your invitations that this is "dress casual" and that barefoot or sandals is fine.

3. Not thinking about the restroom facilities.

You're sure to think of everything right before you leave the hotel in that great limousine, but lots of your guests will arrive early to be sure they don't miss a thing. If there are young children invited, you will definitely want to make sure restrooms are available.

If your wedding is located near a hotel where you are staying, you should be allowed access to those facilities for a small wedding, but you should always check. This isn't always the case, and if you are any distance down the beach this can be a problem.

If you are located where there aren't permanent facilities, you will need to rent temporary, portable toilets. Most planners suggest one for every 40 to 50 guests to prevent fidgeting and mad dashes up the beach.

4. Inadequate alternatives for bad weather. Rain? High winds?

Have you taken all of these into consideration just in case? Don't just pray for sunny skies and balmy breezes and hope for the best. One of the most important plans to make is adequate alternatives for your beach wedding in case of stormy conditions.

Many brides will try to cut corners in this area, choosing a flimsy "just in case" tent as an afterthought and not investing much in it, reasoning that it probably won't be used. This is a mistake that you'll really regret if you do end up needing it. Take the time to choose a quality tent or select an alternative location such as a local restaurant or hall.

Even if chances are slim that it rains, you'll be glad you invested the extra money when the rains come and your guests are comfortably protected with space to move freely and you and your new husband sheltered beneath a roomy canopy.

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Christina Aguilera's Wedding Gift to Hurricane Funds
Date: October 21, 2005 • Author: Emily • Filed Under: Celebrity Weddings

Generous celebrity Christina Aguilera has asked that guests invited to her upcoming wedding to Jordan Bratman donate money to charity rather than buy the newlyweds wedding gifts. Her preferred charities are those which help New Orleans residents who have suffered at the hands of hurricanes Rita and Katrina.

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Ashton and Demi's New Marriage Sitcom
Date: October 20, 2005 • Author: Emily • Filed Under: Celebrity Weddings

Ashton Kutcher is producing a new television show for the Fox TV network which is loosely based on the his relationship with Demi, his new wife. The show is about a younger man who marries an older woman and becomes stepfather to her children - sounds familiar! To read more about this click here.

Ashton, 27, and Demi, 42, married last month after dating for two years and their wedding was one of Hollywood's best kept secrets. The couple decided to tie the knot in early September and it took them just a couple of weeks to organise their wedding day. They treated it like a top-secret operation and enlisted the help of their most trusted friends and a crack team of experts.

They married on 24 September 2005 in a traditional Kabbalah evening ceremony at their Beverly Hills Estate in California. The ceremony began with first Ashton and his father walking down the aisle of their living room, closely followed at approximately 9pm by Demi and her 3 daughters. The couple chose a delicate blend of ivory, cream and white for their wedding's colour scheme.

The guests in attendance were 45 of their close family and friends and included Demi's 3 daughters and ex-husband Bruce Willis. Their guest list included celebrities Lucy Liu, James Van Der Beek, Wilmer Valderrama and Danny Masterson. The guests enjoyed a mixture of soft jazz piano music and classical guiter music during Ashton and Demi's fairy tale wedding.

After the formalities were over the newlyweds and their guests enjoyed a romantic celebratory dinner party in their magically decorated backyard which was transformed with candlelit glass votives, ivory dahlias, white cymbidium orchids hanging from birch branches and small bags filled with water and wrapped in silver thread.

The catering was courtesy of a Beverly Hills firm who provided mouth-watering appetisers including spicy tuna tartar served on wontons, wasabi caviar with creme fraiche on purple potatoes and seared beef and quince paste with mint served on crostini. The menu for the sit-down dinner included rib-eye roast with red wine shallot sauce, grilled halibut and chicken curry, yukon and sweet potato mash, grilled white and green asparagus, roasted broccoli rabe, sauteed corn and arugula with olive oil, lemon and sea salt. After dinner the guests gathered to watch as Demi and Ashton cut into their huge vanilla cream gateau decorated with chocolate painted circles.

Their low-key intimate and truly elegant wedding went without a hitch.

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Wedding Ring Not A Boxing Ring!
Date: October 19, 2005 • Author: Emily • Filed Under: Funny & Photography & Planning

When it comes to planning a wedding you should try to consider everything in your life that might make your choosen date unsuitable.

This is clearly something tough fighter Andrew Facey clearly forgot to do.

It so happened that his chance to compete for a world title was scheduled for six days before his wedding!

This was one fight he clearly wasn't going to win. Tina his fiance was pulling no punches.

"She looked at me and replied instantly: 'No chance'!

Can you imagine how he might have looked for the wedding photographs with black eyes and other post-match injuries - people would think that there had been a brawl at the wedding!

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Timings: Wedding Breakfasts v. Buffets
Date: October 17, 2005 • Author: Emily • Filed Under: Catering & Planning & Reception

This is my third and final part to the question on comparing wedding breakfasts to buffets.

Firstly I compared both in the context of budget, you can read this earlier post here. Secondly I compared both from the view point of catering, what exactly will you and your guests be eating during the day. You can read my comments on this by clicking here.

This third post on the subject focuses on the actual timings of wedding breakfasts and buffets:

♥ You need to consider the time of the day of your reception. General meal times for weddings are:

o Wedding Breakfast or Buffet served sometime between 12.00 p.m. to 6.00 p.m.

o Canapés/ hors d’ouvres/finger foods served sometime between 8.00 p.m. to 10.00 p.m.

o Dessert and coffees served sometime between 9.00 p.m. to 10.30 p.m.

♥ When considering what time to commence your reception you should bear in mind that some wedding guests, and attendants for that matter, really appreciate an early start to the wedding day as opposed to having to wait around for the celebration to commence.

♥ However, if you have a large amount of guests who have decided not to arrive in town the night before your wedding then a later start to the wedding ceremony and reception will allow them more travel time.

♥ The advantage of choosing a wedding breakfast followed by an evening reception it that it allows your guests a chance for a break in between the festivities.

o Although the wedding reception can seem to go quickly for the bride and groom, the overall day can be a long one for your guests, particularly those who have traveled a considerable distance to attend your wedding.

o Typically a wedding reception should rarely last longer than 4 hours at a time. Guests usually need a breather after this from all of the celebrating to recharge their batteries. A couple of hours break after the wedding breakfast also gives the catering staff time to clear away and prepare the venue room for the evening reception (allowing the DJ to set up, setting up the evening buffet, re-arranging tables and chairs, re-stocking the bar in the venue room, setting up the dance floor if necessary). A couple of hours break between the wedding breakfast and the evening reception can be beneficial to you and your fiancé too. You could arrange to take some formal photographs, freshen up, mingle with your guests or just chill out and enjoy some downtime before the evening reception.

o It might be an idea to provide a hospitality suite at the reception venue so that your guests can enjoy a drink, freshen up and wait for the evening reception to begin. If your budget allows for it an idea is to provide a tea reception for your guests in the interim period, serving them pastries, cakes, tea and coffee.

o If you do have a break between the wedding breakfast and the evening reception this allows you the option of inviting some guests solely to the evening reception if budget constraints are tight and you can’t afford for them to come to the sit-down wedding breakfast.

o You should consider also that guests will be more prone to dance and party at an evening reception if they have had a chance to re-energize after the wedding breakfast.

♥ Alternatively you might choose to have a buffet reception which continues straight into an evening reception without a break in between.

o An advantage of this is that it gives continuity without breaking up the party atmosphere. Continuity in a wedding reception is a major factor. If you have a large number of out-of-town guests who are not staying the night locally perhaps you would prefer to go for this option to save them having to spend a lot of time waiting for the evening celebration to begin.

o If you choose to have your buffet meal continue straight into the evening reception you will save money with setting up costs for venue staff to move furniture around before dancing can commence.

♥ The common format of a traditional wedding reception after the meal is the toasts, the cake cutting, the first dance, bouquet and garter toss, dancing and then the bride and groom leave in a car decorated by their friends and family for their honeymoon. If you decide to choose a wedding breakfast with a break and then an evening reception then it is usual for you and your new husband to cut the cake at the evening reception rather than during the wedding breakfast. However with a buffet continuing straight into an evening reception it would be more common for you to cut the cake after the toasts and before the first dance.

♥ Whichever option you choose, ensure that you have chosen music as this is a prime tool for setting the mood for your reception. Provide music in different styles and varying moods to complement your reception. You could have background music whilst eating and then more upbeat music such as a DJ or band for the evening dancing. Whether you have an evening reception following a wedding breakfast or a buffet a major part of the reception celebration is the dancing. If your guests are dancing then they are having a good time.

Whether you choose an evening reception after a wedding breakfast or choose to have a buffet which continues into an evening reception remember not to lose sight of the reason for your celebration. Your guests will enjoy all of the food you serve, but they are there first and foremost, to celebrate your wedding.

Good luck and enjoy yourself

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Comparing The Foods You Can Have At A Wedding Breakfast Or A Buffet
Date: October 13, 2005 • Author: Emily • Filed Under: Budgeting & Catering & Planning & Reception

Following on from my post about the financial implications of whether to have a wedding breakfast followed by an evening reception or a buffet continuing through to the evening, I would like to discuss the actual catering implications of each scenario.

Here are eight key points to bear in mind before you make your mind up on this important decision.

♥ To help you reach your decision you should determine what type of food you wish to be served at your reception. Will you have a wedding theme which might dictate or suggest specific food types?

♥ Do you favour a particular serving style (e.g. would you prefer to have staff serve your food whilst your guests remain seated or have them stand in line for a buffet?).

♥ A lot of brides feel that if guests are traveling great distances to their weddings that they deserve a sit-down meal. There is no rule which dictates that you must serve your guests a hot meal. The most important thing is that your guests do not go hungry! So long as you are providing them with food every 4 hours of the reception then there should be no complaints from your guests.

♥ Undoubtedly you will be inviting a variety of guests of varied ages to your wedding and with this broad gamut comes a variety of tastes. Choosing a reception style and menu choices which please everyone’s tastes is a daunting prospect. However if you choose to have a buffet the food can be simple yet tasteful and elegant without being costly and you can provide a wider variety of food choices for your guests than you could with a sit-down meal. Buffets can provide a more creative and fun presentation of the food, a larger variety of food options and you can be more relaxed with timing and the amounts which guests eat.

♥ Whether you have a wedding breakfast or an afternoon buffet it is a good idea to consider what type of food you will serve your guests in the evening. Most wedding venues will supply you with evening reception food packages including canapés, passed or stationary hors d'oeuvres or hot or cold finger foods. Light finger foods are a popular choice including chips and dips, fruit and vegetable platters, cheeses, and crackers or more substantial finger foods which are more filling such as meat and cheese trays, shrimp cocktails, sausage pastries, egg rolls or chicken wings.

♥ Ideas for desserts to be served in the evening can range from cheesecakes, tarts, tortes, cookies, pies, cakes, pastries, cobblers, biscotti, ice cream, sundaes and wedding cake.

♥ It is very important to remember if you are inviting guests to an evening reception only that you write “canapés/hors d’ouvres/finger foods served at evening reception” in the invitations so that they know what to expect. There is nothing worse than being a hungry guest at a wedding function!

♥ The time of your reception plays an important role in the type of menu that you are planning. Your guests will expect different types and amounts of food depending on the time of the day of your reception.

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Charlize Theron Says No To Marriage
Date: October 12, 2005 • Author: Emily • Filed Under: Celebrity Gossip

For those who like their gossip it will be interesting to see if Charlize Theron ever gets married after she was quoted as saying that marriage is not her thing during the syndicated TV show Access Hollywood.

Charlize has been happily dating Stuart Townsend for four years.

Read more at News24.com

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Budgeting Wedding Breakfasts v. Buffets
Date: October 12, 2005 • Author: Emily • Filed Under: Budgeting & Catering & Planning & Reception

Are you in the process of deciding whether or not to have a wedding breakfast followed by an evening reception or a buffet continuing through to the evening. If so this is totally a matter of what suits both you and your fiancé’s taste, your budget and satisfies whatever romantic visions you have of your wedding day. The choices for wedding reception packages are abundant and sometimes making a decision on them can be overwhelming for you and your fiancé. There are both advantages and disadvantages for both choices.

Let me try to help you compare both options from a budget point of view. I will use my next two posts to compare the two from a "catering" and "timing" point of view.

Budget:

♥ Budget plays a large part in making this decision. If you have a limitless wedding budget (lucky you!) then you don’t have to factor cost into this decision but if you are on a tight budget I assure you that both types of reception can be done on a shoestring.

o Wedding Breakfast - The wedding breakfast is the more traditional option and allows for a more formal celebration. Guests are served hot, elegant dishes by waiting staff at the reception venue. Usually this is the most expensive option. However, if you choose to have a wedding breakfast you can cut back on costs by simply inviting a few select members of your family and close friends to the sit-down meal and then invite your other guests to an evening reception where hot and/or cold finger foods are served. The cost per head of the sit-down meal will be greatly reduced, therefore saving you money.

o Buffet - Many people cannot afford a lavish four-course sit-down dinner so you might prefer to invite all of your guests to an afternoon buffet and then serve hot and/or cold finger foods later in the evening. Buffets usually prove to be more laid back with free and easy seating and less formality than a traditional sit-down meal. There is a widespread belief that buffets are always a less expensive option. This can be the case depending on which menu choices you and your fiancé select but bear in mind that often there can be a lot of food leftover with buffets if the caterers have overestimated the amount of food which your guests will eat. This will mean that you and your fiancé will be paying for the excess if your guests do not feel very hungry! With a sit-down wedding breakfast it is easier for the catering staff to calculate accurately the exact cost per head for your wedding reception meal.

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15 Tips For Delivering A Bride's Speech!
Date: October 11, 2005 • Author: Emily • Filed Under: Etiquette & Speeches & Traditions & Customs & Unique Ideas

The bride often asks herself - should she or shouldn't she make a speech?

The answer is that you definitely should consider making your own wedding speech. It will give you a perfect to opportunity to give particular thanks to your in-laws for welcoming you into their family, your husband for loving you and most importantly your parents for all that they have done for you and for helping you reach this special milestone in your life.

Bride's wedding speeches are becoming increasingly popular with more and more brides welcoming the chance to express their feelings on the most special day of their life.

The usual format for wedding speeches is that the bride's speech is the last speech of the day after the Father of the Bride, Best Man and Groom. As a bride you should definitely take this opportunity to make a speech, after all its probably the only time for the remainder of the wedding day that you will be able to hold every person's attention before the celebrating really begins! As the last speaker I personally think that the bride's speech has an immense impact on the assembled guests.

If you or your husband are nervous public speakers you might decide to opt for speaking together as a double-act. You might also want to consider that if your father or husband gives a highly emotional speech are you the type of person who will not be able to pull it together after their speeches? The last thing you want on your wedding day is to be struggling with tears and feeling that you can't enjoy the emotive moment of hearing the other speeches but instead have to concentrate on stopping your bottom lip from wobbling in preparation for your own speech immediately afterwards. If that is a likely scenario then perhaps you should opt for breaking with tradition and making your speech first. All I would say is that you should remember to tell the master of ceremonies beforehand where you would like to be featured in the line-up of speakers so that he can announce you at the appropriate moment.

The unique thing about a bride's speech is that there is no formal etiquette about the format of the speech, who you must mention, who you should remember to thank etc. Whereas the other speakers have to abide by traditions attached to their role (e.g. father of the bride describes first occasion he met groom and goes on to give tear-jerking reminisces about his daughter, best man has to humiliate the groom and comment on the bridesmaids beauty etc) you have no such obligations or restrictions. Your assembled guests and husband will have no expectations of your speech so you have free range over the content of your speech. You can have real fun incorporating funny stories or special memories into your speech as well as giving specific mentions to friends, family and your new husband - there are no hard and fast rules to follow and you can be totally flexible.

Although there is no formal structure to bride’s wedding speeches as a guide I would recommend incorporating some of the following into it:

♥ Thank your guests for coming and give special thanks particularly to guests who have traveled a long way or made an extra-special effort to attend your wedding.

♥ Mention anyone of importance to you who would like to have attended but was unable to come due to extenuating circumstances.

♥ If any guest has made a unique contribution to the wedding (e.g. home-made wedding cake, hand-made floral displays or played music, sung a song or given a reading during the ceremony) then ensure that you give them a special mention.

♥ Try to jot down over the weeks leading up to your wedding any special words that you would like to say.

♥ Tell an amusing story about the groom or about the run-up to the wedding. Stories your guests may find particularly amusing are those which involve some of them. This might include appropriate stories from the engagement party, bridal shower/hen or stag party.

♥ Possibly tell the story of how you met the groom, your first impressions, happy and funny memories of how the relationship developed from then up to your wedding day.

♥ The majority of brides (myself included) give a personal message to their husband expressing how you feel about him and leaving the guests in no doubt that you are totally in love!

♥ You might wish to tell your guests what your wedding day means to you, your thoughts on love and marriage and how it feels to be a wife.

♥ Thank your parents for their roles in the wedding and for their love, support and encouragement over the years.

♥ Mention your new in-laws and offer a few kind words and thank them for welcoming you into their family. Assure your mother-in-law that you will look after her little boy!

♥ Give some thanks to the people who've supported you through the stress of preparing for the wedding. A cute idea (if appropriate) is to apologise to your co-workers if they are attending for being wedding obsessed and talking about wedding consistently at work for the past few months!

♥ Thank your guests for their generosity and all their gifts.

♥ You will undoubtedly have spent all day receiving compliments on how great you look so do make sure you include in your speech a reciprocal comment to you all your guests who have inevitably gone to a lot of effort with their appearance for your wedding day. This ensures that every guest feels special. You might want to finish your speech with a toast to the guests.

♥ It goes without saying that you should try not to repeat any comments which have already been made in the previous speeches. If you want to reiterate a specific thank you to someone at the wedding perhaps you could so this personally during the afternoon/evening reception.

♥ For sample wedding speeches which will give you some further ideas try www.frugalbride.com/bridespeeches.html

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Lessons On How Not to Give A Groom's Wedding Speech!


Pork Pie Wedding Cakes!
Date: October 11, 2005 • Author: Emily • Filed Under: Cakes & Unique Ideas

pork-pie-wedding-cake.jpg


Why not try something different when it comes to your wedding cake. You could follow the example of Charlie Adie and Nicola Bell who ordered a 3 tier pork pie cake for their wedding day. This option for an innovative savoury wedding cake is becoming increasingly popular and it certainly solves the fruit or sponge decision you and your fiance will have to make!!

Back in March, Joanne Robinson also asked her local butcher to create a massive pork pie cake (22.6kg) for her fiance Stuart Booth.

Butcher Simon Haigh was certainly new to this latest wedding trend, though the picture shows he didn't do too badly!

"We've never heard of one before - certainly not a three-tier. The mammoth pie was baked and assembled over a 24-hour period at Hinchliffe's farm shop in Netherton, near Huddersfield. Mr Haigh, the shop's owner said: "It has been very much a labour of love - a real team effort. We started making the pork pie on Thursday morning and there was two or three of us working on it for 24 hours. I think it is the strangest request anyone has ever had. We've never heard of one before - certainly not a three-tier."


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Is Your Dad's Girlfriend A Problem?
Date: October 10, 2005 • Author: Emily • Filed Under: Extended Family & Guests & Reception & Stress

Sometimes planning a wedding can be one of the most difficult things can ever do in their life, especially when your parents are separated.

This was a recent question I was asked about this subject:

"My parents are separated but they still get on reasonably well. My dad has got a girlfriend but my mum has remained single. Neither my fiance or myself particulary want the girlfriend to sit at the top table as this would make the numbers uneven and I don't really get on with her. Where would be the best place to sit my dads girlfriend instead of the top table?"

This is the reply I sent with my suggestions for resolving this dilemma:

Do you have any brothers or sisters who will not be seated on the top table with you? If so, and if they enjoy a good relationship with your Dad’s girlfriend, perhaps they could sit on the same table as her.

Alternatively, does your Dad have any siblings himself who will be attending the wedding (e.g. your Aunts and Uncles from his side of the family)? Perhaps your Dad’s girlfriend could be seated with them as they have your Dad in common and I imagine your Dad’s family will make an effort to include his girlfriend in the celebrations.

I realize that this is a tricky situation. I would suggest that you explain to your Dad (and his girlfriend if you feel comfortable doing so) that with your Mum on the top table too it would be too awkward for her to have your Dad’s girlfriend seated nearby and, more importantly, that you yourself would feel uncomfortable with the situation. I am sure that with it being your special day your Dad and his girlfriend will be sensitive to your feelings.

I attended a wedding of a close friend recently with a similar situation and the outcome was that the new girlfriend was seated on the table with the family of her boyfriend (my friend’s Dad) and she actually had a great time.

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Stuck For A Wedding Dress Idea?
Date: October 09, 2005 • Author: Emily • Filed Under: Attire & Books & Dresses

Get some ideas with this free ebook

The Internet provides a wonderful way to explore the possibilities of wedding dress styles. There are hundreds, if not thousands, of websites that offer you endless possibilities. It’s enough to make you feel completely overwhelmed so I suggest that you pace yourself and take several sessions to peruse the possibilities. The first link I’ve listed within my free downloaded "Wedding Dress Ideas eBook" is a great place to start. It gives you dozens of starting points. You can just click through and follow your whims. Be sure to bookmark or print the dress or designer’s page so you can return to your favourites. After a while all the dresses begin to look the same, so it’s important that you give yourself a way to review and organize the information you’ve collected.

The bridal dress websites I’ve listed offer a variety of styles (classical, traditional, designer – and more) to give you lots of ideas of what might be possible for you. Once you’ve started defining your preferences, you can conduct special searches for the designer or style that you’ve picked.

I’ve also provided a selection of websites to help you with exploring the possibility of buying your dress online. Many of the articles give you step-by-step instructions so that you can avoid any disappointments and pitfalls.

Have a wonderful time exploring the possibilities for your perfect wedding dress and may you fulfil all your picture perfect wedding dreams.

Enjoy!

~ ~

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Dealing With The Touchy Subject of "Money"!
Date: October 06, 2005 • Author: Emily • Filed Under: Bridal Party & Budgeting & Planning & Relationships & Stress

A few weeks ago a bride emailed me to say that as soon as she had announced the wedding date both families seemed keen to give input emotionally and fiancially towards it, which was welcomed with open arms. Her family insisted on covering the cost of the wedding reception and the dress as they are quite traditional in that respect. The grooms family also wanted to help cover the cost of the reception and asked to share the cost. Without meaning to be rude, the bride's parents turned down this offer as they had saved for it since she was born and graceously reminded the groom's parents that their help would be needed for many other aspects of the wedding.

This bride then went on to say that since, the groom's family have become increasingly distant from the wedding plans. They have tried to involve them in each new plan and ask advice but they seem to busy. She added that she had savings to pay for the wedding themselves but accepted her parents help because there are aspects of the wedding are now more than first estimated and consequently the funds don't seem to be stretching as far as they first thought.

Specificially this bride wanted advice on what help the groom's family can give as the wedding gets near and nearer. As outlined money has always been a difficult issue and they are not sure how to ask them without sounding as if they expect them to help fiancially as this is not the case. She understands that they may feel excluded and rejected from the wedding but this was not done spitefully. She would really love for them to get involved but doesn't want them to think it comes at a price which is completely untrue!

So I was asked what is the safest way to go about this issue without treading on any toes but making sure that the bride and groom have enough savings for the wedding of their dreams?

In my reply I started by saying I could sympathise with the difficult situation she and her fiance were in and continued my advice as follows:

It sounds like you enjoy a good relationship with your fiance's parents so do try to talk to them about the wedding. As with all dealings with future in-laws you must be sensitive to their feelings. From your e-mail it sounds like they have felt left out of the wedding arrangements so perhaps have opted to take a back-seat rather than have their offers of emotional and financial support turned down.

If your fiance's parents are financially able to contribute to the wedding then I am sure this will help them to feel included in the whole wedding planning process. Indeed during the months leading up to my own wedding, when I was making arrangements and delegating arrangements to my husband, his parents, my parents and other members of the bridal party, was really enjoyable for me. It would be a shame for this special time to be spoiled for you due to your worrying about your fiance's parents' lack of interest in the run-up to the wedding.

Is there any one aspect of the organisation of the wedding which you can delegate to the Groom's parents to both organise and contribute towards(e.g. organising and paying for flowers for the church/wedding venue and buttonholes/bouquets or the wedding transport)? These are just two examples of the costs which you are likely to incur which are traditional to the reception costs which your parents will be covering.

I would suggest also that you both make a concerted effort to include them in the details of the wedding reception. Despite the fact that they are not paying for this event I am sure that they will be very interested to know what to expect at the reception. For example, you could arrange for them to visit the wedding reception venue and show them around, describe menu plans to them or even, if its not treading on your own parent's toes, to ask for suggestions about music, table flowers, seating arrangements, wine choices etc. Just ensure that they feel included.

Does your fiance maintain a close relationship with his parents? If so, then perhaps it would be helpful to all parties concerned if he could discuss these issues with them and reassure them that they play an important and unique role in your wedding plans. Of course you don't want them to feel like they are being treated like a walking cheque book but on the other hand contributing financially might well help them to feel involved in your wedding. Another suggestion is that perhaps you and/or your fiance speak to his parents about making a contribution towards the honeymoon. That is a substantial cost which I am sure you could use some financial help with.

I understand that you don't want to alienate his parents and it is essential that they too feel included in your special day. Just as your parents have been waiting since you were a little girl for this day, so too have his parents been waiting to proudly stand by and see their son get married.

Good luck on your wedding day

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How To Decide Who Cuts A Hand-made Wedding Cake
Date: October 05, 2005 • Author: Emily • Filed Under: Cakes & Etiquette

I was recently asked the question of whose responsibility it is to cut the wedding cake if a cake was being hand-made as a gift to the bride and groom.

My response to this is that, regardless of whether or not the wedding reception is catered, the decision of who cuts and serves the wedding cake is the Bride and Groom’s. It is important that both of you feel comfortable and happy on your special day.

It is not unusual for the guest who has made the cake to assist with its cutting and/or serving. The catering staff will usually offer this service if required as part of their package but if you prefer them not to then this should be confirmed with them well in advance so as to avoid confusion on the day.

After you both make the first cut of the cake it is usually taken away by a family member, friend or the catering staff to be cut. The cutting is not usually done in front of the guests. The usual wedding protocol is to have catering staff serve the cut cake to guests but again it is your decision. I would advise that the friend or family member who you designate to cut the wedding cake has a trial run with a knife and cake in advance. A lot of wedding cakes are usually decorated with intricate designs and they might need assistance to remove tiers etc.

You should ensure that the person who is making the cake for you feels comfortable with cutting and serving the cake. If you have a large number of guests at your wedding this might well be quite a time consuming task and they may not want to spend time doing both slicing and serving. Discuss this with the person involved in making your cake and offer the option of cutting the cake and/or serving it. If you are afraid that they might not get recognition for their efforts in making the cake if they are not involved with the cutting and serving, perhaps you or your fiancé could make a point of mentioning them in your pre-cake cutting speech so that they will be sure to receive compliments directly from your guests.

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I Reveal The Secrets To Successfully Controlling Pre Wedding Stress!
Date: October 03, 2005 • Author: Emily • Filed Under: Planning & Stress

It is totally normal to feel anxious and nervous as your wedding day approaches. Planning a wedding is one of the most stressful things in life that you will have to deal with but I assure you it will be well worth the effort. With all of the organizing which needs to be done in the run-up to your wedding including sticking to a budget, maintaining good relationships with family, friends and very importantly your fiancé and prospective in-laws, a never-ending wedding to-do list, dealing with uncooperative wedding suppliers and there not being enough hours in a day to deal with it all, it is no wonder you, like many other brides, are beginning to feel overwhelmed.

Whilst it is great that your pre-wedding stress will help you to stay motivated and keep you on top of finalizing all of those minute details of wedding planning it is also important to remember that this should be a special time for you – perhaps something that you have been dreaming about since you were a little girl!

I have set out below my top tips for reducing your wedding stress:

♥ Take care of yourself: My first most important tip is to cut back on the amount of hours you are taking care of wedding plans and spend them taking care of yourself.

♥ You should ensure that you are eating a balanced healthy diet including plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables. Known stimulants which will cause chemical reactions to your nervous system by making you jumpy, nervous and high-strung are caffeine, sugar and alcohol. Try to cut back on these and aim to start drinking more water instead.

♥ Ensure that you are maintaining a regular sleep pattern. Cutting back on caffeine should ensure that your body relaxes more and you are able to achieve this better. If you are getting a minimum of 8 hours sleep a night you will reduce chances of you getting tired and irritable. Wedding problems are much more difficult to deal with after a night of tossing and turning. Try not to read wedding to-do lists before going to bed at night. If you are having trouble sleeping try some relaxation techniques such as gentle music, ask your fiancé to give you a massage, try a relaxing bath with a few drops of lavender essential oil, a lavender bubble bath or light a lavender scented candle. Breathing deeply, in a rhythmic fashion and then exhaling slowly is a guaranteed way to relax your mind, body and nervous system and it slows down your adrenaline flow and should lull you into a sleepy state. Try the deep breathing exercises too when you are confronted with a stressful or frustrating situation during your wedding planning.

♥ Your body will have lots of nervous energy in the run-up to your wedding day and even if you may feel mentally tired sometimes you need to find an outlet for this energy. Any form of exercise will not only raise your fitness levels before your wedding day but will also relax tense muscles in your body and will trigger the release of endorphins in your body which help you to feel relaxed and happy. Exercise will make you feel better, look better and you will in turn be able to handle stress better. Even if pounding the treadmill or stairmaster at your local gym is not for you alternatives you could try are walking, running, swimming, walking a dog or even dancing. Learn some new dance moves to wow your guests with at your wedding reception. You could take an energetic dance class such as body jam where you are learning dance moves to music ranging from hip hop, funk, groove, Latin disco and jazz in a friendly atmosphere. The more energy which you use up, the more stress you rid yourself of.

♥ Try alternative therapies to help you relax such as aromatherapy, herbal remedies, massage and Reiki. My wife discovered Reiki massage when she was planning our wedding a few years ago. By lying still for an hour session you receive Reiki healing which allows blockages in your body to be removed so that positive energy can flow freely. My wife said that after a Reiki session she felt re-energized and experienced a general sense of wellbeing and calm which left her better equipped to deal with the wedding plans. For more information on Reiki I would recommend you visit Sensethesense.com.

Take time out:

♥ Ensure that you take time out from your wedding plans to devote to yourself. Pampering yourself will help you to relax and unwind. You could try treating yourself to a manicure, pedicure, massage treatment or a day at a spa.

♥ Take a mini-vacation away from the stress of organizing your wedding. You will return to your wedding plans feeling refreshed and calm. You could try an activity which is either stimulating or relaxing and calm. You could even get away from it all for a couple of hours or a day – try a trip to a park, a beach, the countryside, shopping, trip to the cinema (not to see wedding related films though!) or arrange to go and visit a friend. Another tip would be to do something exciting which will completely take your mind off wedding plans, such as a theme park visit, handgliding lesson, watersports activity etc.

♥ Enjoy doing some non-wedding related activities with friends or your fiancé. Make sure that everyone knows in advance that all wedding talk is banned for one night! By taking a break from wedding planning for a day or night out it will leave you feeling refreshed, physically relaxed and ready to return to your wedding plans the following day with renewed enthusiasm and verve.

Be organized:

♥ By remaining organized you will alleviate your stress as you will be secure in the knowledge that nothing has been forgotten with regarding to your wedding day.

♥ Try not to be overwhelmed. You should break your tasks into lots of smaller tasks so that they are easier to tackle and also easier to delegate.

♥ Don’t turn down offers of help which you are given. If there are things to do delegate these tasks to your partner, family and friends. I am sure that you are surrounded by family and friends who you trust who would be more than happy to play a small part in helping you organize your wedding day. Do not shoulder the responsibility for every decision with respect to the wedding day. Share the responsibility with your fiancé or, if he himself is too busy, then share the burden with your family and friends. If you have bridesmaids and ushers then do ask them for help because having tasks delegated to them prior to and on the day of your wedding is in their job description as attendants at your wedding!

♥ My advice is to delegate as much of the planning as you can so that you can concentrate on the most important part of your wedding which is you being a calm, serene bride! Draw up a list of tasks ready to delegate when your friends and family ask.

♥ Make sure that you plan well ahead. Keep a close eye on your wedding calendar to help you keep track of appointments, when suppliers and vendors need deposit checks or payment, when you need to make confirmation phone calls, deadlines for making decisions on flowers, cars etc. You should not leave things until the last minute. If you are organized and plan ahead with your wedding deadlines this will greatly reduce your stress.

Keep everything in perspective:

♥ Wedding planning always throws out challenges but its how you deal with them which will avoid stress. Don’t be overwhelmed. It is not going to be the end of the world if one of your bridesmaids goes down with the flu on the morning of your wedding or the cake is dropped in a muddy puddle! On the morning of my own wedding day my wife and I discovered that there was no church organist and therefore no music for us to walk up the aisle to. A few frantic phone calls later and I had organized a friend of a friend and everyone was none the wiser! This is just my personal example of how unexpected things can happen during the run up to a wedding but the important thing is don’t let things get on top of you.

♥ Try not to get caught up with every minute detail of your wedding day. I’m not recommending that you leave anything to chance but I do suggest that you set reasonable expectations for your wedding day. The higher your expectations are of your wedding day the greater your disappointments might well be and this will lead to more frustration and stress. Anticipate what might go wrong and plan accordingly as much as possible. Have back-up plans wherever possible and this will lessen the stress you will feel on the actual day if something goes wrong with an aspect of your wedding. Remember that sometimes when things do go wrong with a wedding it can prove to be memorable in a good way for your wedding guests and in years to come they will reminisce about your wedding for that reason. The most important thing is that your guests look back on your wedding day with memories of a happy relaxed bride not of what flowers you choose for the church or which table linen color scheme you have chosen for the wedding breakfast.

Stand firm:

♥ Avoid stress by sticking by your decisions and do not allow yourself to be swayed by other people’s opinions of how your wedding day should run. Everyone has an opinion. You have to learn to smile sweetly thank someone for their advice and make your own decision. It is not your job to try to please everyone else. Assert your authority as this is your day not theirs (even if sometimes they are contributing financially towards it). Don’t compromise on issues which are really important to you and your fiancé.

♥ Be assertive and honest whilst also being diplomatic. Try to avoid alienating anyone by being sensitive to their feelings and point of views whilst standing your ground over your own wedding choices.

♥ If there is any conflict with family and friends over the wedding plans try to explain how you feel when you and they are both calm rather than in a highly emotional state. Be assertive rather than aggressive.

Have fun:

♥ Try not to take everything too seriously. Laughing is a great way to reduce the stress you will be experiencing in the run-up to your wedding day. It is essential that you have a good laugh every now and then to relieve tension and to remember how it feels to be happy and stress-free! Think positive thoughts and remind yourself that you are doing a great job.

Take time with your fiancé:

♥ Try to remember why you are doing all of this planning in the first place. Ensure that you don’t neglect each other and that you spend time together without the wedding to-do list hovering in the background!

♥ Make time for conversations both about the wedding plans and about other things. It is all too easy to get so wrapped up in the wedding day preparations that you lose sight of why you are actually doing it. Communicate with your fiancé about how you feel and try to share any wedding worries with him – he might well be able to find solutions to problems which you had not thought of.

♥ Remember that the most important thing is for you to enjoy the time leading up to your wedding as well as the wedding day itself. At the end of the day even if you walk up the aisle without music and with a hastily made up bouquet of garden flowers, the most important part is that you will be marrying the man you love so don’t lose focus of that.

Finally I would recommend that you relax and enjoy this period of your wedding planning. You and your fiancé will have a unique wedding day, the memories of which will stay with you forever.

Good luck and enjoy yourself!

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How Much Notice Should I Give A Wedding Venue?
Date: October 02, 2005 • Author: Emily • Filed Under: Budgeting & Church Weddings & Destination Weddings & Planners & Planning & Venues

As a guide most venues require at least 6 months notice with deposits having to be paid immediately and then the balance 2 months before the wedding. However, it is not unusual for some wedding venues to take bookings up to a year in advance. If your preferred venue is popular you might have difficulty securing your desired dates. It is advisable to book as early as possible to ensure that your chosen venue is available for your wedding date.

There is less notice time required for weddings abroad such as Thailand, Bali or the Caribbean. There is usually only a one month advance booking period for these types of wedding destinations but obviously the earlier you book the better deals you will get and also the wider your choice of available dates will be.

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How To Easily Brainstorm Wedding Venue Ideas
Date: October 02, 2005 • Author: Emily • Filed Under: Bridal Party & Budgeting & Church Weddings & Planning & Reception & Venues

Choosing a wedding venue is a matter of what suits your taste, your budget and satisfies whatever romantic visions you have of your wedding day. The wedding venue is one of the most important aspects of your wedding day so consider very carefully what will make yours special.

My advice to you is that if you are unsure of what type of wedding venue suits both of your ideas then you should concentrate on deciding on an ideal location.

Before you start looking, you should brainstorm with your fiancé and draw up a budget, an estimated list of how many guests you would like to invite and decide whether there will be a daytime ceremony and afternoon and/or evening celebration.

The first place to start when deciding on a traditional wedding venue is to have a tour around your local area making a list of those venues which you like the look of and which look like they will suit your budget and your needs. Researching your wedding venue is one of the most important decisions you will make, the first important decision being agreeing to marry your fiancé!

Have you attended any weddings recently which you thought were held in the ideal setting? If there are certain aspects of a wedding that you have attended and enjoyed greatly you can reproduce these to meet your own needs. You should ask your family, friends and acquaintances for recommendations and attend local bridal fairs and shows. These can provide you with a variety of venue choices and give you a chance to have a chat with staff members from the venue without having to enter into a formal relationship with them. Another idea is to check the internet for local wedding venues and go to their websites to have an initial look.

You should go with your fiancé or with your parents or friends on field trips to different types of wedding venue. By visiting different types of venue such as churches, hotels with outdoor facilities etc you will be able to come to an informed decision.

Perhaps you and your fiancé could reach a compromise whereby you have the marriage ceremony in a church and then the wedding reception could take place at an outdoor venue, such as in the grounds of a hotel, stately home, castle etc. Additional outdoor venues include a local beach, park (bear in mind because most beaches and parks are public property you may well need a permit or license), gardens or country club. If you contact local hotels and other licensed wedding venues in your chosen area they can usually let you visit on a day when a wedding is taking place so that you can witness yourself how your own wedding would look in their grounds, by the river, in a garden marquee, under their ornate gazebo etc. Only by visiting venues will you be able to visualise how your wedding will look. I have attended many outdoor weddings and I felt that being outdoors added an extra dimension to the whole wedding experience. For the bride and groom I think that outdoor weddings offer the opportunity to express yourselves in an unconfined atmosphere.

When you have drawn up a list of suitable venues either call or visit the facility and request a brochure specific to weddings which sets out what is offered and any exclusions, rules, regulations and options and also an estimate. You can then compare prices, arrangements and the range of services supplied. Some hotels offer a "package deal" with wedding venue, reception, toastmaster, wedding cake stand, florists and other services included. Decide whether you would prefer a full service wedding venue where they take care of every little detail regarding your ceremony and reception. Perhaps you would prefer one of the rental based venues where you simply rent the property, tables and chairs and then you will have to organise everything else from table linens, tableware, flatware and glassware through to catering, decoration and attendant staff. There are also rental based sites that have a working relationship with selected caterers and are familiar with other wedding service providers and vendors.

When you have short-listed a few venues, call and make appointments to visit the wedding venue. Most wedding venues need to be booked up to a minimum of one year in advance so if one of your choices of venue is hugely popular you should visit sooner rather than later. Most wedding venues and licensed venues can become booked very early due to the fact they can only accommodate one wedding a day. The earlier you book the greater the chance you have of obtaining your first choice of dates.

Initial questions to ask staff at your short-listed venues:-

♥ Do you have an in-house wedding coordinator?

♥ What are your rates for the different packages and what are the options available?

♥ Do you offer a wedding package and/or discounts for small or large wedding party, accommodation booked at the venue etc?

♥ What additional expenses may be charged?

♥ If you are intending to invite young children to your wedding are you looking for a venue which can provide an insured and bonded babysitting service?

♥ How much and by when will we need to put down a deposit to secure the venue for your chosen date?

♥ What is the latest time frame for making changes to your wedding plans?

♥ Will the venue provide you with a written contract? Will this include a 3 day cancellation clause?

Ensure that when you meet with the wedding planner at the venues you visit that you feel comfortable with them and feel able to be open and honest. If you feel that they are trying to force their opinions on you then I would anticipate that you are going to have communication problems with them in the important months leading up to your wedding day. Always carry a notepad and pen to write down important information and questions that may arise during your interview. Ask for a tour of the facility so that you can check their amenities. Usually if you will be providing accommodation at the venue you will be given the opportunity to have a look at the guest rooms and (if applicable) the bridal suite and/or bridal changing room. The staff at your wedding venue should have good attention to detail, should be willing and able to accommodate your wishes and above all else should be there to listen and tailor your wedding requirements around your budget and your vision of your perfect day.

Finally I would recommend that you relax and enjoy this period of your wedding planning. No matter what venue you ultimately decide on you and your fiancé will have a unique wedding day, the memories of which will stay with you forever.

Good luck and enjoy yourself!

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As you plan your wedding you will receive advice from just about everyone. Friends and family have a million and one tips to pass on, in fact here at Wedaholic I have been offering tips galore.
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