Wedding Planning 101: Tips & Tricks - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 07-02-2009, 12:05 PM
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I've started planning the wedding. So far, I have a date picked out and possibly a venue. Here's my list of things I need to get done and if anyone has any tips please let me know.



We want a simple, low-cost wedding. It will be on the lake so there won't be any charge for that.



Reception Venue-- We're getting married in a REALLY small town in Northern Minnesota and our choices are pretty slim for reception venues. If we do it at a hotel it will be SUPER expensive so I called the VFW today which provides a kitchen (we won't be catering), dishes, tables, chairs and plenty of dance space!! The venues only $100 but then we'd have to figure out how much open bar would be.



Flowers-- Since we'll be at the lake I figure the natural setting will be SO gorgeous all we'll need are the boquets and my flower halo.



Dress--I'm looking at one right now that's VERY reasonable.



Photographer-- This looks SUPER expensive but my mom has a good friend who is a photographer and may cut us a deal.



Cake-- Still have to look into that. Any tips??



DJ-- Found a DJ. Prices range from 350-650....how does that sound??



Okay, gotta go. Any ideas about anything let me know.
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#2 Old 07-02-2009, 01:08 PM
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Wow, you're getting a lot done!



We rented a sound system from the DJ. I think it was about $100. Then my husband made playlists on his laptop and we just played them on the sound system. It worked out great. He had music for cocktail hour, dinner, all the special dances, bouquet tossing, etc. We're not very into all the silly typical wedding songs that DJ usually play, so this worked out really well for us as well as saving some money.
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#3 Old 07-02-2009, 01:22 PM
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I'm So excited for you! Ok so this book was one of my bestfriends during my wedding process last year..lol



http://www.amazon.com/Bridal-Bargain...562282&sr=8-17



has AMAZING to it yourself tips, ways to make sure your getting a good deal from venders, budget dress hunting tips and more.



Also in terms of saving money on open bar.. the venue you looked at, does it let you bring your own drinks? if so you could start now slowly purchasing beer & alcohol as it goes on sale at your local grocery stores and then have a friend "run" the bar.



Flowers: How many bridesmaids are you thinking about having? you could always instead of doing bouquets for each lady.. have them hold a beautiful fold out fan (think Japanese) as they walk down the aisle?



Cake: a trick I learned from that book I posted above, always order a smaller "tear" cake and then order a 1/2 sheet cake to keep in the kitchen. We saved about $100 dollars this way and the guests NEVER noticed the difference of having a much smaller 3 tear cake on display. Plus this gave us the ability to have 4 flavors instead of 3.



I'll keep brain storming for you and let you know as I think of more tips...
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#4 Old 07-02-2009, 01:27 PM
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ok i thought of more!! lol



Photographer: to save money when we booked the photographer we only paid for them to take the pics and then give them to us on disks instead of them making prints for us. I researched ALL the online photo printing websites, costco, kodak, shutterfly.. etc. and Shutterfly was the winner, there prints were the best quality AND i signed up for $30 for a YEAR subscription and it gave me 20% ALL photo orders for a whole year and a free leather bond 24 page album I got to design (a $39.00) value, so I made my own album and saved thousands of dollars by ordering our own prints. PLUS they give you the ability to create your own public site with all your pics for family and friends to view and order prints from. heres mine so you can see how they look...



http://calebandjenny.shutterfly.com/
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#5 Old 07-02-2009, 01:40 PM
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Awesome ideas guys!! Thank you!!



3LB-- I'll definitely have to check into the sound equipment idea if we don't find a good deal on a DJ.



Jenny-- I just ordered the book!! I asked the venue about bringing our own liquor and they said no. They have a bar there and supply us with a bartender for free but we have to pay for the booze They are only charging $100.00 for the use of the facility though so I get it.



My fiancee (Hee Hee) is only having two groomsmen so I'll only have two bridesmaids and my aunt runs a flower shop so I'm pretty sure we'll be able to get hooked up with a good price!! All we really need is a few boquets, my halo, flowers for the moms and we'll see about the guys.
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#6 Old 07-02-2009, 01:47 PM
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...Sorry. Had to log off the other computer. I LOVE the cake idea. Jack and I were talking about that last night and when I was on the phone with my mom today I remembered that one of my best friends moms used to design cakes so if I'm LUCKY I'll be able to talk her into doing our wedding cake



Wow!! The solution you had to the photographer costs is SO great!! I'll have to check with the local photographers and see what we can work out.



Did you guys do engagement photos? I don't think it's really that big of a deal but it sounds SO fun and we do need a cute picture for our wedding announcement in the paper!!
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#7 Old 07-02-2009, 01:52 PM
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I second the photographer idea, we did the same thing! And shutterfly is great! I made adorable little photo albums for my mom, mother-in-law and grandparents. They carry them around everywhere and show them off. You just have to find a photographer that's willing to give you the rights to the pictures. We used an artistic photographer who just does weddings on the side. He was great! He was training another girl so he brought her along to take pictures, but didn't charge us for the second person.
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#8 Old 07-02-2009, 01:54 PM
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I second the photographer idea, we did the same thing! And shutterfly is great! I made adorable little photo albums for my mom, mother-in-law and grandparents. They carry them around everywhere and show them off. You just have to find a photographer that's willing to give you the rights to the pictures. We used an artistic photographer who just does weddings on the side. He was great! He was training another girl so he brought her along to take pictures, but didn't charge us for the second person.



Where'd you find an *on-the-side* good photographer?? I'm just a little worried because it's such a small town where we'll be getting married. Not much to choose from, ya know?
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#9 Old 07-02-2009, 01:58 PM
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He was a friend of a friend. They met in art school. You could check any local arts colleges. Just make sure you ask to see their book or website of other weddings they've done. Also don't feel confined by your location. I'm from Philly and we got married by Cayuga Lake in upstate NY (a 5-6 hour drive). Our photographer was so happy to travel for us. He and the other photographer actually spent a couple days in the area doing nature shots after the wedding.
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#10 Old 07-02-2009, 01:59 PM
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Another thing we did with photos was buy disposable cameras and have them dotted around so people could could take photos through the day and evening and we got lots of really unusual pics that were very special.



I had a friend of a friend who decorates cakes and my friend organised that as her wedding present to me.



I got my dress from India it was absolutely beautiful - sent them my measurements and it was a perfect fit. Cost £85 (about $140) including shipping. That can be risky though but it worked out fine for me.



Hope you have a wonderful wedding day. Ours was perfect.
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#11 Old 07-02-2009, 02:10 PM
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Oh...what about invitations?? Did you guys do Save The Dates and if so were you able to find any inexpensive ones??



How many guests did you guys have? So far, I have 164 on my list not including Jack's family or a list from his mom or mine.
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#12 Old 07-02-2009, 02:16 PM
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I didn't do Save the Dates but we only had a small wedding and everyone knew the date well in advance anyway.



I made my own invitations which was not difficult and I thought they were really pretty. Depends how crafty you are
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#13 Old 07-02-2009, 02:17 PM
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...Sorry. Had to log off the other computer. I LOVE the cake idea. Jack and I were talking about that last night and when I was on the phone with my mom today I remembered that one of my best friends moms used to design cakes so if I'm LUCKY I'll be able to talk her into doing our wedding cake



Wow!! The solution you had to the photographer costs is SO great!! I'll have to check with the local photographers and see what we can work out.



Did you guys do engagement photos? I don't think it's really that big of a deal but it sounds SO fun and we do need a cute picture for our wedding announcement in the paper!!



Yes we had engagement pics, that was part of the package we ended up getting. It was nice because it gave us the pic we used for our save the dates and we had a big picture blown up and put on a sign in board/frame instead of a guest book. It now hangs on our living room wall and its neat to have all the well wishes messages from our family and friends.



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I second the photographer idea, we did the same thing! And shutterfly is great! I made adorable little photo albums for my mom, mother-in-law and grandparents. They carry them around everywhere and show them off. You just have to find a photographer that's willing to give you the rights to the pictures. We used an artistic photographer who just does weddings on the side. He was great! He was training another girl so he brought her along to take pictures, but didn't charge us for the second person.



YES! I have already ordered 3 copies of the album I made and plan to give them as xmas presents this year to the parents.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Nickle00 View Post

Where'd you find an *on-the-side* good photographer?? I'm just a little worried because it's such a small town where we'll be getting married. Not much to choose from, ya know?



have you tried looking on craigslist.com? We found our videographer that way and they were fantastic, they were an up and coming company that was still very low priced but did amazing work.



Quote:
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Oh...what about invitations?? Did you guys do Save The Dates and if so were you able to find any inexpensive ones??



How many guests did you guys have? So far, I have 164 on my list not including Jack's family or a list from his mom or mine.



Do you have a Michaels craft store out there? or a Joann's Fabric? We got our invitations at Michaels, do it yourself, printing ones.. they send out weekly 20% off coupons in the mail/online and I used those ALOT for all the wedding stuff I needed. So I did all the invitations myself. For the save the dates I did magnets, they came out super cute, I found the website online and it gost about 90 bucks for 150 of them... I'll see if I can find the website link when I get home tonight..



We invited 150 and had 125 attend
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#14 Old 07-02-2009, 02:30 PM
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Yes we had engagement pics, that was part of the package we ended up getting. It was nice because it gave us the pic we used for our save the dates and we had a big picture blown up and put on a sign in board/frame instead of a guest book. It now hangs on our living room wall and its neat to have all the well wishes messages from our family and friends.

Dang it!! Our wedding is going to be in Minnesota and we live in Illinois. We're going up there tomorrow so I don't have enough time to find a photographer before then. We're going to have to get ours done seperately from our wedding pictures.







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have you tried looking on craigslist.com? We found our videographer that way and they were fantastic, they were an up and coming company that was still very low priced but did amazing work.



No but I'll start looking. It's going to be tough planning a wedding in another state.





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Do you have a Michaels craft store out there? or a Joann's Fabric? We got our invitations at Michaels, do it yourself, printing ones.. they send out weekly 20% off coupons in the mail/online and I used those ALOT for all the wedding stuff I needed. So I did all the invitations myself. For the save the dates I did magnets, they came out super cute, I found the website online and it gost about 90 bucks for 150 of them... I'll see if I can find the website link when I get home tonight..



We invited 150 and had 125 attend



Yep we have Michaels!! Love, love, LOVE that store!! I'll check that out and if you could find that website that would be GREAT!!
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#15 Old 07-02-2009, 02:35 PM
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It's going to be tough planning a wedding in another state.





It is a little tough, but it's not too bad. Don't forget to look into the policies for getting your marriage license in the state that you're getting married in. Sometimes there's certain requirements in different states.
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#16 Old 07-02-2009, 02:38 PM
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Yep we have Michaels!! Love, love, LOVE that store!! I'll check that out and if you could find that website that would be GREAT!!





I will work on finding it for you tonight



Planning an out of state is a little challenging but I know you can do it! Try checking out theknot.com... they have "local" message boards for different city and states, maybe you can find some brides on there that are "local" to your wedding city/state? and I'm sure they will have great vender reqs and tips too
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#17 Old 07-02-2009, 02:39 PM
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here you go! maybe this will help...



http://www.theknot.com/kl_MINNEAPOLIS-ST._PAUL.shtml
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#18 Old 07-02-2009, 02:40 PM
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I will work on finding it for you tonight



Planning an out of state is a little challenging but I know you can do it! Try checking out theknot.com... they have "local" message boards for different city and states, maybe you can find some brides on there that are "local" to your wedding city/state? and I'm sure they will have great vender reqs and tips too



Already set up a profile and started going through my checklist and guest list. Thanks though. I didn't know about the message boards.
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#19 Old 07-02-2009, 02:41 PM
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theknot.com is wonderful! I used it to keep track of my guest list and who had responded and which meal they wanted. I also did my seating plan, kept track of what gifts were given and when I sent thank you cards.
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#20 Old 07-02-2009, 02:42 PM
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oo good i'm glad your already signed up on there I LOVED having the check list on that site, I used it down to the very last day before the wedding checking things off as I did them
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#21 Old 07-02-2009, 05:17 PM
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I did the same as others with my photographer. That way, I could pick and choose which prints to get (and where). Plus, I will always have a DVD with hundreds of wedding pictures. We did not bother with an engagement picture.



Cake: The smaller-tiered cake with a sheet cake in the back is a great idea (and economical). We were lucky in that my aunt and uncle bought our cake as a wedding gift. So, I was able to get a beautiful and huge cake with no cost to me.



Invitations/favors/centerpieces: I made all of these myself. I bought materials from Michael's, Walmart, and even the dollar store. You would be amazed at the fortune you can save by doing things yourself (or recruiting Jack and/or friends to help you, of course). I even made my veil because those things are expensive!



TheKnot.Com: I loved this site! It is indeed great for keeping track of things. It also had nifty online RSVP that people loved. It helped keep track of the count, budget, etc.
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#22 Old 07-02-2009, 05:30 PM
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Yay for wedding plans!!! You seem to have a good grip on everything and you've gotten great suggestions. The only thing I can add off the top of my head is a blog. We did an engagement/ wedding blog which was a ton of fun. That way extended family (like out of state mother in laws, lol) can feel included in the plans and prep.
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#23 Old 07-02-2009, 06:08 PM
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Ooh, I just thought of something else. It's not really wedding planning, but still related nonetheless. Since Mike and I already lived together we didn't need too much housewares-type stuff. So we did a regular registry for those things and then also a honeymoon registry where people could put money towards different excursions and other fun things on our honeymoon. People loved it because it's more fun than just giving money and we got to go on a great honeymoon. The site we used was: http://www.honeymoonwishes.com/
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#24 Old 07-02-2009, 06:13 PM
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So when's the date?



How about cupcakes around a small wedding cake?



I have a friend whose daughter used pies instead of cake. She had a pie as the centerpiece on every table. The pies were raised up and surrounded by little pots of herbs and flowers which had ribbons in the wedding colors. The herbs were then given away to all the guests and the pies were served for dessert. It was very homey and beautiful.



My son and finance did an email "save the date" - they used a beautiful picture of themselves and made a very nice e-card.

It is our choices that show what we truly are far more than our abilities. ~A. Dumbledore
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#25 Old 07-02-2009, 06:23 PM
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^^Cupcake wedding cakes are so cute! I know some people who had a really neat one. I'm attempting to attach a photo. We'll see how well that works!
LL
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#26 Old 07-02-2009, 10:28 PM
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my wife and I had a vegan wedding that was reasonable. We planned it ourselves which helped a lot.



A few tips:

Shannon's dress: Off the rack. It retailed for 2400.00 and she got it for 600.00. It's a good deal and sell them off the rack at all wedding shops.



Photographer: I would recommend not skimping on that one. We've had friends try and use friends, etc. and they didn't turn out very well. Maybe if you can see a portfolio. Remember that this is a once in a lifetime deal. Our photographer wasn't cheap, but the pics were absolutely amazing. If you'd like, i can show you some and you can see how a professional artistic wedding looks like.



Cake: I don't know if you're vegan or not. If not, that's easy. If you are, find a reputable baker and talk to them. We had to call around and some folks didn't even want to try 2 vegan cakes. We found this lady who was reputable and she agreed to do it. The main cake was Italian Creme Cake and the groom's was a chocolate cake. Couldn't even tell the difference. The guests had no idea they were vegan and the baker hadn't done it before.



Do you know someone who can perform the ceremony? We used a friend's father for a spiritual wedding and got him a very nice gift as payment.



Hopefully these might help you out.

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#27 Old 07-03-2009, 01:04 AM
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I haven't read all of the comments but I did want to let you know what we did to lessen the cost of the cake. A wedding cake is a LOT more expensive than sheet cakes. We got a tiny wedding cake (for the effect) did the whole bit where you cut into it and all that. Then we brought out two sheet cakes that were decorated like the wedding cake.



Using 2 sheet cakes + small wedding cake was WAY cheaper than there being enough tiers on the wedding cake to feed that many people
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#28 Old 07-14-2009, 12:15 AM
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Hi,



You have made a good planning for the wedding.



Don't forget about the wedding rings, catering, wedding songs, reception decorations, punch, food, and of course, the wedding cake. These are all crucial parts of wedding planning and have to be taken care of early on to minimize stress.



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#29 Old 07-14-2009, 10:06 PM
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Update



Wedding Location-- My aunt's cabin on Lake Vermillion



Reception Venue-- We're getting married in Northern Minnesota in a town with a population under 600 so venues are few and far between. We decided on the American Legion because it's the only place we can make our own food , it's close to the hotel accommodations, it's perfect AND it's VERY inexpensive!!



Colors-- Soft green and yellow



Photographer-- We decided to go with a pro. Pictures are EXTREMELY important to me and will be the ONE thing I won't skimp on. I'm hoping I can find a professional that will sell me the rights, I love the idea of everyone being able to order the prints they want online.



Dress
-- The one I want is from David's Bridal and it's $400.00 and PERFECT!! Still really damn expensive IMO but WAY cheaper than most. Here's "the one"...I think. http://www.davidsbridal.com/webapp/w...ntryId=1000045



Bridesmaid Dress
-- http://www.davidsbridal.com/webapp/w...d=1000254&sort



Groom/Groomsmen Attire
-- Loose fitting, *hopefully* organic cotton, tailored pants, white button down shirts and sandals. Something *sort of* like this

Attachment 14758



Centerpieces
-- One of these.....I think....Attachment 14756 or Attachment 14757



Cake-- Haven't decided if it will be square or circle shaped and I'm still deciding on how many tiers but it will be a pale green cake with yellow cherry blossoms. One of my best friend's mom's is a cake designer and will do our cake for us as a wedding present



Flowers-- Cascading lillie boquet for me, still deciding on the bridesmaids, a flower halo and petals for the flower girls. Aunt runs a flower shop so we'll get a SWEET deal



Food-- All my aunts and cousins will be doing the cooking. Aunt and 3 cousins used to be veg*n but are now pescetarian. We ran a family owned restaraunt for over 20 years so cooking is in our blood and I wouldn't trust a caterer in Northern Minnesota anyways.



D.J.-- Still looking



Invitations
-- Still looking. I checked into eco-friendly, recycled ones but they're SUPER expensive!!



Save the Dates-- Probably going to have the scrapbook store I use do them. I'm sure they'll give me a deal. If not, I have a few other options. We'll see



Wedding Website-- It's a work in progress but here's the address if you wanna take a look. The About Us section is completely blank. I'm having mine and Jack's mom's write about us. They're going to describe us from the time we were born up until adulthood. How we changed, our likes, dislikes, hobbies and how they see us. I just thought it'd be kinda cool to look at ourselves through our mother's eyes. http://weddings.theknot.com/pwp/pwp2...91821237195357

That's about it for now.
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#30 Old 07-14-2009, 10:19 PM
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I just found this and I'm REALLY leaning towards a square shaped cake now. LOVE this!!!



Attachment 14759
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