Tag Archives: wedding location

Tamara and Daniel

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I was lucky enough to conduct the wedding of Tamara and Daniel on a windy, but lovely, day in September. They were married at the Seawinds Gardens in Arthurs Seat. If you haven’t been to the Gardens or up to Arthurs Seat, it is a beautiful and breathtaking part of the world. It is somewhere that I have driven past so many times and had only been when I was much younger. It is an amazing place. And what better place for a wedding! The views are spectacular and it is a place that has been very special to Tamara and Daniel so it was very fitting for them to have their ceremony there. They were married at the outlook in front of about 70 of their family and friends.

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Daniel and Tamara have been together for 7 years, meeting through some mutual friends. As a couple, Tamara and Daniel have spent a lot of time enjoying each others company. They love running, kayaking, hiking and cycling. If that isn’t enough hard work in itself, they spend a lot of time renovating their house too! So they obviously know that they can work together and through tough situations. When you still want to live with the other person after having lived out of one end of a house with only half a bathroom, it must be love.

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Daniel and Tamara have a beautiful proposal story. While in America, they were walking in a back section of Disneyland behind the castle when Dan asked if one of the staff would take his and Tamara’s photo.  Dan isn’t really one for having his photo taken, but they were away on holiday so Tamara thought nothing of it. The first photo was just of the two of them standing there nicely, then Dan got down on one knee in front of the disney castle and asked Tamara to marry him. Tamara didn’t say yes straight away, first she asked if he was serious, then gave him a hug. It wasn’t until about an hour later that she told him yes!! It was pretty much a given though she already had the ring on and was crying like a baby!

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One thing that made it obvious to me just how in love they are is when I asked Tamara and Daniel to describe their relationship to me in 3 words. There answer was really beautiful! They said natural, enduring and supportive. It doesn’t get much lovelier than that. Natural because they know that they can always be themselves. Enduring, as they face situations head on and always work through things together. And supportive, that no matter what life throws at them, that they always talk through things, and support the other to get over every hurdle they face. This has made for a wonderful foundation for their love, and they have always supported each other and pulled the other through any tough times.

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I especially loved that I got to see people that I have conducted weddings for in the past. I was lucky enough to conduct the wedding of Daniel’s sister Candice, and also the wedding of his friends Philip and Judy. I love seeing these people that I have spent a bit of time getting to know but rarely see again.

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It was a stunning day, everyone looked wonderful and it was a beautiful part of the world.  What a day at the office!! It doesn’t get much better than that, getting to see such amazing parts of the world, with wonderful people. I’m pretty lucky to do what I do.

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A really big thank you to Chris Cooper for the use of his photos on the blog this weekend. You can look at some of his other work by clicking here. Also if you are down the Mornington Peninsula, check out the Seawinds Gardens. Click here to check out the website.

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Getting ready for your wedding together

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For a long time now tradition has been that the Bride and Groom don’t see each other until they reach the ceremony site and are about to be married. Over the years there have been a few new ideas implying that this isn’t the way that it has to be. For example there are ‘first look’ photo shoots. Some people now choose to have their formal portraits done before the ceremony so that they don’t have to go off and have their photos taken between the ceremony and the reception. Sometimes Love letters before the ceremony also have the couple seeing each other before the ceremony takes place.

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Some couples are now deciding that they will get ready together, not worry about tradition, and just get ready at the same venue. Alternatively getting ready where they will be staying that night, so there is no dragging bags from one place to another.
There are good and bad points for this, I think. One of the bad things would be that you miss out on that lovely time that you get to spend with the bridesmaids and groomsmen if you are having them. Some of the weddings that I have been involved in, where I have been a part of the bridal party or spending time with the bride before hand when she is getting ready, is always a lovely and fun experience. Getting make up done, eating fruit platters and generally enjoying each others company until the ceremony.

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Maybe getting ready in your family home was important, you could always both get ready there and have photos taken around your family home especially if your partners family were not close by.
Another popular idea is having a house near or at the wedding location so that all of the bridesmaids and groomsmen can all get ready with you. This way you get the best of both worlds. It could be a great way to have all of the photos done before the wedding ceremony so that you don’t have to have all the between time where you go off and be photographed. You can just have fun and socialise with your guests.

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Some people also feel that it is just such a big day, they know they will feel really nervous and overwhelmed that they just want to get ready with their partner. They know that they are going to be spending a large portion of the day with other people they just want some relaxing quality time with the person that the day is really all about.

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A huge thank you to Love Journal Photography for the brilliant photos on the blog this week. Check out more of their work here. Or check out their facebook page here.

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Having no children invited to your wedding

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Having a ‘no children’ policy at your wedding. It’s always a hot topic and usually there is someone offended. I’m always hearing or reading about people who have very strong opinions on this topic. I have touched on it a little bit when I blogged about Keeping children entertained at your wedding, but what do you think? Don’t the bride and groom have the right to request that there be no children at the wedding?

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I have been talking about this with numerous people. Couples getting married and parents also. The opinions are varied and I can see it from different angles. I can see it from the celebrants point of view, from the couples point of view and as a parent.

From the celebrants point of view, children are lovely and can add a really beautiful element to the wedding ceremony, especially when they are the couples children or a big part in the lives of the couple. They are super cute attendants, but don’t always do what people want them or expect them to do in the wedding. I love an extra cute child in a little suit and tie or a sweet little dress and I love promises being made to children in the wedding and helping join families not just couples together.

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As a parent, things are totally different. For me there are two sides to this ‘coin’. On one side, If I’m off to a wedding, I think about my son. Can he sit still and keep quiet for the wedding? Will it be his nap time? Will he be a maniac on the day and run around like a little wild man? Will I actually be able to listen to what is going on or will I miss out on a lot of it, attending to my child? I know that there are many parents out there that are actually offended that their child isn’t invited to the wedding and if their child isn’t invited then they wont be attending. I don’t really understand that, sure I might have felt this way if I was invited to a wedding when my son was an infant, a sleeping little gorgeous grub, that really only woke to be fed and for a small window at a time. I think it is silly to think that a guest with a tiny weany baby should have to leave their child, (which is some cases is still being breastfed). Lets not cause any undue stress to baby or Mum having to leave her small little person behind for the wedding. Toddlers and small kids are totally different. They get into things, they touch things, fall off things and fall into things. You need 40 eyes and boundless energy to keep up with them. To me I don’t think it is unreasonable to have these children not invited to the wedding.

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What do the couple think? I know that couples don’t say ‘no kids’ just to be nasty or make things more difficult for the parents, but there are so many variables to take into consideration. How child safe is the venue? What time is the wedding? There are so many reasons that there may be that the couple have made this decision. I believe that 99 times out of 100, (or maybe even more) they are not doing this because they don’t like your children, so don’t take it personally. One of my friends is having a wedding at a winery and we have spoken about their no children under 10 rule. I completely understand why they are doing it, but they are still worried about how some people may react. Their reason that they don’t want children there is there is a lake there and they don’t want to worry about what could possibly happen if someone’s child decides that they want to go and explore the water. They don’t want to be worried about other people’s children and let’s be real, crazier things have happened.

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Should it be up to the parents to choose? What about those people who are coming to town from interstate? I can see it from all sides, I’m not sure how I would feel if I travelled interstate or overseas and all the people that I trusted were going to be at the wedding too? Not so bad if you are local, but for me it isn’t even that easy anymore. I can’t just leave my child with anyone now. I can’t just get a baby sitter and hope for the best. For me they have to know how to deal with a type 1 diabetic child. So I can see why some people may make this argument too.

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Another thing to consider is not all parents are equal. There are some parents who do all the right things and make sure that their children are supervised, but there are some parents who like their children to be a lot more ‘free range’ than that and I think that sometimes that is what worries brides and grooms. I think these are the parents that just don’t watch their kids and think that everyone else at the wedding should be keeping an eye out for their children.

What do you think? Are you offended if your children are not invited to a wedding? Did you have or are you having a no child rule at your wedding?

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Thanks to Vision House Photography for the use of their beautiful images. Check out more of their work on their website or like them on Facebook.

 

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Things that guests hate at a wedding

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I know that I am always saying that your wedding is all about you and it should reflect what you want. It’s true it is your day and it should be what you want it to be. Just for a moment though I am going to chat about the things that guests hate at a wedding. It’s not to say that you can’t do what you want and have these things as part of your day but just they are just some things that I have heard or read about people complaining and therefore something to consider.

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Not knowing where they are going

I know with this day and age people have GPS and they have their google maps and their phone, but even then sometimes these things can be unclear. If you are having your reception in a building this doesn’t apply so much. Even so, if a guest can quite easily find where they are supposed to be, lack of signage or anything to direct them can cause panic. If you are getting married in a garden or somewhere that is open to the public, provide a map or have someone near the entrance so that your guests know where to go. It is a great way to stop people becoming part of the processional too, you can have someone who can tell people to wait if the bride has already arrived. This is a great job for a wedding planner if you are having one too.

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Going home hungry

This is a big one. Now not for one moment am I saying that you need to feed people until they are sick and if you are choosing to have just a cake and champagne affair there is nothing wrong with that, but don’t do it at dinner or lunch time. If you are planning just to have snacks or cheese and crackers, make sure that it is timed appropriately. Most people wont eat lunch or dinner before going to a wedding function if it is expected to go over lunch or dinner. If someone has their company requested for an afternoon tea, they will not be expecting a main meal. It’s then their own issue if they don’t eat lunch before they arrive. It’s just sad to hear that people say that they went to the McDonalds drive through after a wedding dinner as they were still hungry, especially when you know that the couple have spent a fortune on their venue and the meal for all of their guests. I know that I attended a wedding about 3 years ago at a beautiful function centre. I don’t remember what my meal was, but I remember it was lovely and I left feeling full and content. It isn’t that often that you remember exactly what you ate a bit down the track, but you do remember the wedding where the food was terrible and you had to make yourself some toast when you got home because you were so ravenous. Unless it is something that is really original and something that was brilliant. (see the blog about Courtney and Tim’s wedding, now that was some memorable food!)

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A badly spent budget

This ties in with the last one I guess. If you have spent thousands of dollars on the centrepieces for the tables that people are sitting at, but they only have 3 small portions of finger food. They may feel that the decorations were lovely but that they went home hungry. People won’t remember what they ate but they will remember if the food was good and filling. People will only remember that it was good, maybe skip some of the more expensive things that are overlooked and make sure people have enough to eat.  It isn’t always about the expensive sit down meal, but thinking of ways to get the best amount of quality for your budget.  When I had my wedding I decided that I wanted a sit down meal over finger food. That meant that money had to come from somewhere. We could have invited double the amount of people to our wedding if we had a finger food option, but I wanted better food for less people.  Some of the loveliest weddings that I have been to have had some outside the box options for catering. Marika and Joel had some amazing tapas served at their wedding and then had people come in and cook up huge delicious serves of paella.

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A reception that takes place HOURS after the ceremony

Again, I’m always one for using a professional photography, in the end that is one of the only things that you have left of your day, but a good photographer shouldn’t need numerous hours between the ceremony and the reception, if you want all kinds of fancy photography, in different locations maybe think about a first look photo shoot or talk to your photographer about the options on what you can fit into the time frame. One wedding that I attended had 3-4 hours in between the wedding and the ceremony. It is just very difficult to expect people to hang around or spend their time drinking at a pub close by, especially if they are from out of town and not too sure where to go or what to do.  A lot of the time your guests are dressed up and not really wanting to go and do a spot of shopping between.

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Being forced or pressured to dancing

This is something that I personally hate. I love watching the couple do their first dance together and understand that there are a lot of people who love to dance. That is wonderful. It’s when the MC or other guests at the wedding try to make you dance that it really makes me cross. I’m not against dancing and sometimes will love to get up and have a dance, but when the music is pumped so loud that you can’t speak to any of the other guests, this is really annoying as a guest.

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Having no place to sit

When it comes to your reception, even if you are having a finger food type affair, most people want to be able to sit so they can chat and enjoy other peoples company, it is difficult if there are a very limited number of chairs as most people will do the right thing and leave them for elderly guests or guests with special needs. The only other thing than having no where to sit is having to sit near people that you don’t get along with and that is a topic for a whole different blog post.

What is something that you really hate when attending a wedding?

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A very big thank you to Kirralee for the use of her stunning photos on the blog this week. Check out more of her work on her blog here and you can find her on facebook here.

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Website for your big day

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A wonderful idea that I saw done brilliantly recently is having a website for your big day. I have seen some couples do this and it provides great information on all kinds of things that your guests may need and want to know.  Recently I conducted the wedding of Nell and Glenn, and they had the best website. I only got to see it close to the day, but was absolutely blown away by what they, (or mainly Glenn, who is a website developer) had done.

It had everything that any guest could ever need to know, it had so much information and photos and quotes. I have seen other websites that compared to this, just seemed just thrown together. Rather than putting 12 different pages of information in with the invites, why not just direct your guests to a site that has everything they could need there?

Information about the venue.
What a great way to have some background on the venue itself, maps and anything else guests could want to know.

Information for the day.
This would be a great way to tell guests that confetti is not permitted at the venue or that you want an unplugged wedding. Its also a great time to share if you are using a wedding app, have some #hashtags, or if you want your wedding kept off social media.

Accommodation in the area.
This is such a great idea. Having all the information on accommodation that is close to the wedding is so that all guests, no matter if they were travelling from overseas or from an hour down the road, have links to the appropriate ones.

Getting to the venue.
Nell and Glenn had buses pick up some of their guests. Their site even had the timetable of when the buses would pick people up at specific locations. Maps, Melways references and all other helpful information.

Who to contact on the day should they need any assistance.
The last thing a bride or groom really want on the wedding day is people phoning them or texting them with all kinds of questions. Even if you don’t have a wedding planner, pick someone who can be that go to person.

RSVP options.
Have an option for them to RSVP online, people have good intentions but they don’t always get to the post office in time.

Added information about other events.
Are you having a brunch the next day or having people meet up for a coffee? This is a great way to supply all the guests with the information and with plenty of time for them to plan their weekend accordingly. Maybe you could put any hens day or bucks day information on their too. Really you could have anything on there!

Glenn said the things that worked well for them with their wedding website were:

  • the simple single page design made it all easy to see and find information
  • we added ‘getting there’ info to the top of the website a few weeks before the wedding
  • we ran an RSVP through the site and after experimenting with a fancy google forms solution I found the best way to record RSVPs was simply through providing an email address.
  • we got to re-use the wedding invite artwork in the site and included some of our engagement shoot photos

There are so many things that you could add to this, and so many ways to make this your own and match it all to the theme of your wedding. It is private too. If you are just giving the information to your guests, it isn’t like you are making a facebook event. It would be really hard to stumble onto the website by accident.

Check out the site that Nell and Glenn had here. And feel free to get in touch with Glenn by contacting him at glennnicoll@gmail.com if you have any questions or you are interested in having your own website made for your day.

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Ella and Lucas

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Ella and Lucas were married on a fantastic Sunday in April, at Jacobs Reserve in Brunswick West.  What a great little park with an awesome playground area to keep the kids amused. They had their reception in the Scout Hall that is at the back of Jacobs Reserve.

Lucas and Ella’s love story began around a decade ago when they met at  a party through a wonderful friend to them and to me, Vix.  Ella thought that Lucas was a mega dork with his post modernism talk, but they got past that, and managed to laugh and flirt and laugh some more. Lucas’ first impression of Ella was that she was a total babe. He thought she was funny, flirty and he loved her red hair.

They have spent the last 10 years making some wonderful memories and making a beautiful family. They spent the first half of their relationship having fun with their friends and travelling around the world. To India, Thailand, and on a yacht trip in the Whitsunday’s. They have some sketchy and some wonderful memories of great festivals. More recently they have very cherished memories of the times that they welcomed their children into the world.

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Ella arrived to the wedding in an amazing red charger. When she stepped out of the car, Lucas said “OH, WOW” and then told me how Ella had a dress for the wedding but had seen another outfit that she thought would be perfect. She looked at this outfit for 5 days in a row. Lucas hadn’t seen it and was blown away. She looked stunning, in a wonderful sparkly dress and little sparkly top over it.

Ella and Lucas get on each others nerves and make each other laugh. They both don’t like being told what to do, which can make life interesting.  Lucas laughs when Ella tells a great story and she has a good joke with everyone, sometimes mocking them, but mostly mocking Lucas. Lucas make Ella laugh with the fact that he is able to laugh at himself. It became obvious to me just how in love they are when I asked them about the stand qualities that the other has. Ella said that Lucas has resilience and drive, and lots of love to give. She said that Lucas has an ability to always see her potential, even when she can’t see it herself, and it really counts after all these years. Lucas said that Ella has an amazing ability to get people talking and telling stories. Lucas loves the way that she cares so much for all of those that she loves.

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Lucas had proposed to Ella at least 5 times over the last 10 years, usually Ella would tell him to ask her again when he was sober. This year, while Lucas was away on a work conference, he sent Ella an engagement card with a question mark in it. When he got back from the trip, he got down on one knee in the street where they live and asked Ella to be his wife.

What a wonderful wedding!! Ella and Lucas had their kids be part of their ceremony and before the wedding Miss F introduced me to her friends saying “This is my friend Deb, and she is the boss of the wedding” super cute.  All the kids looked fantastic and had a part in the ceremony. We had a moment near the ring exchange where we asked “Who has the ring for Ella?” and Miss F yelled loudly “I do”, and before we even had a chance to ask who had Lucas’ ring, Little Mr R was yelling out his “I do’s” it was really lovely for them to be a part of the ceremony. There was an amazing atmosphere when they exchanged their vows, it is always a special moment when any couple exchange their vows, but there was just something really special about standing there while Ella and Lucas made promises to one another.  I love that everything for this wedding was done in a matter of weeks and they decided that they wanted to do it all. Everything just evolved. People all pitched in to help and it truly was a wonderful experience.  They had ‘The Burnt Sausages’ all set up and ready to play their live music.

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Ella and Lucas are some of the loveliest and real people that you could ever wish to meet. They are some of those people that you think that you are lucky that you met them. Each time that I have met with them or spent time with them I’ve gone away thinking, ‘Aren’t they just the loveliest people’. Yep, again I feel lucky that I get to help these people exchange their vows, and make them married.

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Ceremony only wedding

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I have read a little bit about ‘Ceremony Only’ weddings recently. This is different to having a guest list for those coming to both the reception and ceremony and then invitations for ceremony only. (Blog about this coming soon) Ceremony Only weddings are where a couple have just the ceremony and then everything is over. There is no reception. Nothing else afterwards. I haven’t actually conducted one of these myself but am really interested in some of the reasoning behind why people do it. I understand that weddings are expensive and I totally understand that it should be about the actual promises made to one another. I think that this is really what the whole thing is about. I’m not sure how I would feel about a ceremony only wedding myself. I think it depends on the reasoning why you are choosing to have just a ceremony only. I also wonder if some guests might think that you are having some sort of reception later but they are just not invited.

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Weddings can cost a lot of money. This isn’t news to anyone. I’m not sure, however, if having a ceremony only wedding is the answer to the cost issue. Some people believe that you ‘owe’ it to your guests to feed them after they witness you exchange your vows. What nonsense. How terrible, and what sort of friends do you have if they feel you owe them something for attending? Receptions can get totally out of control and some people are not interested in a big sit down meal event. It’s totally up to the individual. As a guest I wouldn’t be upset if a couple didn’t have a reception, though I think after all the excitement and the emotion of it all it’s nice to celebrate. I think this is the part of the whole ceremony only wedding that I can’t get past. I love a wedding and love the love that people feel for the couple. It just seems odd to me to have the ceremony and not have some time with all these people afterwards.

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I’m not saying that people shouldn’t do this if that is what they really want. I’m all for your day, your way, but I’ve been to some truly amazing weddings. My friends got married in their back yard, in their jeans, with some caterers brought in to cater some dinner and it was a lovely, intimate, beautiful wedding. No one there for a moment thought that it should have been done any other way.  I think the idea of a sunset wedding with champagne and cheese could be a perfect wedding for the right people too.

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Celebrating can cost as little or as much as you want. What is to stop people having just some cheese, crackers and champagne at the park or the beach where the ceremony is held. Alternatively you could book a restaurant and ask your guests to pay for their own meal instead of bringing a gift. You could have a coffee and cake affair. I think that anyone who comes to your wedding should be happy to witness you saying your vows and be happy with whatever you decide to do as far as a celebration goes. If you decided to have a bring your own picnic in the park type affair and people didn’t like it, I would suggest that maybe it is for the best if they didn’t come to the wedding anyway.

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What do you think about a ceremony only wedding? Have you been to one? Would you consider one?

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A huge shout out to the guys at Vision House Photography for the use of their photos on this weeks blog. Check out their facebook page by clicking here. Also head over to their website to see more about them.

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