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How to organise the hen night party



How to organise the hen night party successfully

I previously wrote about the wedding party and the role of the bride of honour. One of the things that is under the bride of honour’s ‘to do list’ is organising the hen night party.

Firstly, is there going to be a theme dress code for everyone involved? It is a very good way to spot your party in a crowded place.

 

Organising the hen night party should be discussed with the bride to be. She will be able to tell if there are people on the list that may not get along with one another. Depending on the size of the party and the type of people you invite you will be able to decide what sort of party will suite most. You might even want to consider splitting the party. After all not every mum and auntie would enjoy a hen night party that has a naughty side to it. So you could start the party with an activity suitable to all and continue in a smaller scale party into the night.

Most popular activities are:

Recreational – you can start your day with a recreational activity you can all enjoy. That could be anything from cycling together as a group, horse riding, mountain climbing, a yoga class or any other activity you know most if not all the attendees will enjoy. It doesn’t matter if it is their first time ever giving it a go. In fact it can be really funny and there is nothing wrong with having a bit of a laugh at the hen night party.

Pampering – most people will enjoy a bit of pampering and that can be arrange at any local or other city of choice SPA. You can also have a make party, massage party. Some companies will be happy to let you try their cosmetics at a home party and that could also be a pampering idea.

Before you continue into your night away and also as a way of having some quality time together there is nothing that gets people together better than food.

You can either book a place and have everyone sitting together before some of the party will depart to their daily life while you continue with the closest friends of the bride to be for the rest of the day. Alternatively you can organise a cooking party where you get a professional coming to teach you how to cook a favourite dish or dishes the groom to be likes. This can be a fun activity for all and you get to eat at the end of it.

As most hen night parties involve drinking alcohol it will be a good idea to eat something before you start your night away. Speaking of which, make sure you organise the hen night party date to be at least a week before the big day so hangover will spoil it.

Once you said good bye to some of the party and stayed with the core that will either spend the rest of the evening with you or go away with you for the rest of the weekend move on to you next activity. That can be a show you booked in advance or a cocktail party served by minimal dressed waiters. It is really down to your preferences and what you think will be fun for the bride to be or her friends.

It is important however to keep some things in order to make this a successful hen night party. If you are booking shows or any other activities for the day that require payment in advance, and most do, make sure everyone paid before the day. Don’t count on promises to pay after the event as these promises can leave a bad taste.

Bare in mind who is invited and make sure the activities you choose will not stretch their budget beyond their means. You can even share your thoughts with the people involved and get an idea of their thoughts.

Plan the event well in advance and make sure all the guests can make it for the day. As you are going to be in more than one place and some attendees may not stay for the whole party make sure you have an itinerary and that everyone knows where to be and what is the meeting point. It will not be a nice experience to try and look for anyone in a room full of people.

A present to the bride to be is always nice. This could be something that the people involved have created like a scrap book with fun times to remember from the pre marriage days.

Lastly, but not least in importance, if you are planning an alcoholic night make sure you pace the day and drink plenty of fluid. You want the night to be remembered as a fun night.

Giving Away the Bride



Giving away the bride – Tradition Vs. modern lives

Giving away the bride is a tradition from the times when daughters were considered as part of the ‘property’ of the father or owned by him. On the wedding day the father would be giving the bride, his daughter, to the groom who would be the new owner. The bride was given in return for a bride price or dowry.

Some brides to be will be happy to follow the tradition. Have their father giving them away will be respectful towards the dad’s years of raising them up. Some fathers would like to take the opportunity to show his love to his daughter just like this father did in this YouTube video

Many brides to be, however, do not feel very comfortable with the idea behind this tradition for various reasons. If this is how you feel here are a few options you may consider in reply for the officiant question: Who gives this women to be married to this man?

Today, many couples in relationships are sharing a home together before the marriage day. An independent women may feel odd or even belittled by the idea that she is being considered as one or another’s property. If this is you and you do not wish to be given away by your father you could answer: She gives herself with the whole family’s support.

You could also ask the officiant to change the question and instead of asking about giving away the bride ask one of the parents or both if they gave their blessing for the marriage.

Some couple prefer to sway away from the tradition of giving away the bride by the father but like to share the appreciation to both parents of bride and groom. When that is the case the officiant may include in his initial speech that the couple standing there are part of a greater family tree. A tree that has gave them love, support, traditions and knowledge throughout their lives. This will follow by approaching both parents of the bride and groom in tern and asking them, as the representative of the whole family, if they will take the bride or the groom to their family and hearts. This way you achieve equality between the bride, the groom and both their parents. It also respect the families of each other and their importance in getting their ofsprings to this very special day in their life.

Some people, especially when marrying at an older age, feel they have not been shaped to whoever they are just by their family but also by their circle of friends who they chose to share their celebration with. You can include them all by slightly changing the official’s question and asking who has the honour of presenting this women to be married to this man?’. A question that can be answered by the person who is giving away the bride on behalf of the family and her friends.

Choosing any of the non traditional versions of giving away the bride is a way to include your family, your partner’s family and may be even your friends.

You can talk to the official about your wishes in the ceremony and he or she should accommodate accordingly.

If you haven’t purchased your wedding bands there is no better time than the present. Contact us through the website or by calling 0345 600 5557 to order.

 

How to lose weight for the wedding day



Lose weight for the wedding day – Simple lifestyle changes 

 

 

Many brides to be I meet are struggling with balancing the pre-wedding celebrations and weight management, not to mention the general stress they go through that sends them to ‘comfort food’. So how can you be expected to lose weight for the wedding day?

I may know a lot about diamonds but I am not a dietitian nor a fitness instruction.  My friend Rob Brennan however, is a personal trainer with a vast knowledge about healthy life changes. I like Rob’s style as he is not pushing you to the levels you would give up on the whole thing and go for a big pizza instead. He is very relaxed about dieting as well as sport activities. Most important is that what he says makes sense and you can choose the level you go for.  More than than, it can become your new lifestyle with just a few changes to your routine. So I asked Rob to share his experience with brides. Rob not only agreed to share from his immense experience but was also kind enough to give a special offer for you ladies…..

Over you to you Rob….

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Rob Brennan

It seems to be the eternal quest of every bride (and many grooms!) to look great on their wedding day. But there is so much conflicting advice out there, it is hard to know where to start in ensuring you achieve your ultimate goal.

In an ideal world, we would all be perfectly healthy all of the time, and not need to make a special effort to prepare for life’s big events. But, in reality, we know that this isn’t the case. 

So, I have cut through the rubbish and laid out some simple things which you can do to optimise how you look and feel when the big day comes along.

If your wedding is 6 months or so away, then breathe a sigh of relief, as this is plenty of time to make lifestyle changes which will steadily get you in shape without having to feel like you’re on a bridal bootcamp. However, if you haven’t got time on your side, then don’t panic! There are a whole host of things you can do to lose weight for the wedding, and I’ll come on to these later in this blog.

So, for those of you who are still in the relatively calm stages of wedding planning, here are the key things that you need to do, and why they work:

1) Cut out sugar, reduce carbohydrates and eat more fat and protein! 

This is the most simple, and by far, most effective way to lose body fat.

Forget traditional diet dogma about cutting calories and fat from your diet, it doesn’t work. It is simply about keeping your insulin level low and eating the right way to achieve this.

You need to follow a low ‘Glycemic Index’ (GI) lifestyle and eat fresh, natural, unprocessed food including lots of vegetables and some fruit too. Cut ALL added sugar from your diet, as well as any processed and refined carbs such as cakes, doughnuts, even pasta, and also natural carbs that are very easy for your body to turn into sugar like potatoes, sweet potatoes and swedes.

This isn’t a diet, it’s just how we are meant to eat. It is how our bodies work best and countless client testimonials can confirm that it works, as well as a huge amount of research, whether it is in the mainstream yet or not. 

Additional benefits to eating in this way include improved energy levels, improved sleep, better skin, hair and nails and better concentration and focus. There are many other advantages associated with this lifestyle change but we don’t have time to cover them in this post. If you want to lose weight for the wedding day and feel better, you just need to follow this guideline and see the transformation.  

2) Drink more water

We must drink at least 2 litres of water each day, as we lose almost this much through daily bodily function like sweating, breathing and going to the bathroom. If it is not replaced, we become dehydrated. I would go for nearer 2.5-3 litres per day, especially if you are active. 

If you remain consistently hydrated on a daily basis the benefits to your internal health, skin and memory function are incredible; particularly useful if you’re likely to forget Aunt Milda when drawing up the seating plan! Your cellular function will be far more efficient, your body will be able to cleanse and detoxify more easily and you can burn fat faster. Your skin cells will literally be fuller and wrinkles, lines and dark circles under the eyes can all be helped just by drinking lots. Drinking water will not only help you lose weight for the wedding day it will also act as a natural facial.

3) Walk and Relax

The stress response, rooted in our evolutionary past, stops the fat burning process and prevents sleep, which has a further impact on weight and body composition. To look and feel your best, managing stress must be taken seriously. 

I group walking and stress together, because a daily walk of 30 minutes has been shown to greatly relax the mind as well as the body. 

Walking MUST become a daily habit. Humans evolved undergoing around 12 hours of mild to moderate physical activity each day, and now we do next to nothing! It is not surprising that health problems and obesity are rising, and daily walking can make a huge positive difference. 

If you walk daily for 30 minutes, particularly if you include a couple of hills, you will gently but progressively tone your calves, thighs and buttocks and you will shift inches from your waist and boost your metabolism; all useful things for fitting into that dress or suit.  

In terms of mindset, walking helps to boost your mood and allows your mind to process the many thoughts it is bombarded with each day; especially beneficial when you are planning a wedding. In many ways, walking can be likened to meditation and is much more accessible to all.

4) Sleep

Despite the fact that sleep balances, heals, restores and recharges all aspects of our body and mind, sleep is something that people often fail to prioritise. This is perhaps because, like other components of health, an immediate lack of it may not seem to be too damaging. You may feel tired, but otherwise fine, and in this way you can slowly go down the path of reducing sleep to ‘fit everything else in’. However, the problem with sleep is that you can’t ‘catch up’ as we often think we can. 

Studies have shown that poor sleep can actually damage your brain over time, most commonly manifested in short term memory loss, lack of basic cognition and poor concentration. If you subsequently sleep better for a while, you will feel better and function better, but the damage does not get fully reversed. The damage caused by months or even years of poor sleep could be far greater than we realise, and we must make every effort to tackle it.  

Poor sleep doesn’t just affect your brain, it slowly erodes your appearance. Strain around the eyes, frowning and tight jaw muscles all take their toll and, no matter how much sleep you get on holiday, or the days before your big day (realistically less than usual!), you can’t reverse it. 

So, start now and sleep properly, no excuses. 

5) Exercise

Not the most important factor, which may be a surprise to many. This is because exercising alone is almost pointless. If you exercise hard whilst highly stressed, eating badly, not drinking water and not sleeping, you will do more damage than good. 

In the right context and at the right intensity however, it is fabulous, and is certainly something I recommend everyone does at least once daily. 

Your daily walk counts of course, but ensuring you also do 2 or 3 more vigorous sessions per week will boost muscle tone, cardiovascular fitness and burn fat. The more you exercise, the more energy you will have on the whole too; counterintuitive, but true.  

If you are wondering what you should try, then boxing is an incredible way to burn fat, tone your middle and your arms, and it’s fun! Spinning is also an amazing lower body and cardiovascular workout, so if you want to try classes, I’d seek out these two. 

Then I’d recommend weights, working each major muscle group moderately hard a couple of times, either in the gym or using your own body weight at home. There are vast arrays of exercises you can do at home or in the gym on YouTube, or you can of course get in touch with me and I will guide you accordingly. 

6) Alkalise

An acidic body environment has been linked to many diseases, accelerated ageing and fatigue.

Adding an acidic fruit to your diet may sound like the last thing you should do to achieve an alkalised body, but selected citrus fruits will actually help to achieve this. Popping half a lemon or lime into your water once or twice per day provides crucial electrolytes, vitamins and alkalising minerals. For a double boost, try putting your lemon or lime into a glass of soda water, as the bicarbonate in that is useful for boosting alkalinity.  

Other ways to swing from acidic to neutral / slightly alkaline are by eating plenty of green leafy vegetables, and following rules 1, 2 and 3! Sugar and processed rubbish, dehydration and stress are all big contributors to acidity. 

7) Cut alcohol 

Not necessarily completely, but remember that whilst a great source of pleasure for many and in moderation not a critical problem, it certainly doesn’t improve your health. 

Alcohol is burnt first by your body, ahead of even sugar, so its presence in your blood prevents fat being burnt. It also forces your liver and kidneys, which you need for general detoxification, to work overtime, so your body becomes more toxic.  

On top of all that, it is FULL of sugar and is highly calorific. 

So, if you must drink, do so in moderation. If you can do without it, or vastly reduce it, you will reach your goals far quicker.

So there you have it, if your wedding is around 6 months away, or even longer, start to implement the above. You will soon see some pretty fast results, such as a reduction in body fat, more energy, better sleep, and a better appearance generally.

If your wedding is less than six months away, then read on…

You have half less time to prepare so you need to be a little more aggressive if you have some ambitious goals in mind. In fact, you may want to give these a go even if your wedding is 6 or more months away, as it will accelerate your progress, it is up to you.

1) Intermittent fasting 

Without going into the science of intermittent fasting too deeply, this works by reducing your insulin level for enough time to allow you to burn significant body fat. It also improves your insulin sensitivity over time, so you are more efficient at storing carbohydrates and therefore maintain a lower overall insulin level, which is critical to weight loss.

If you want to know more about the fascinating science behind intermittent fasting, then please get in touch, but all you need to know to give it a try is that you need to fast for 16 hours once or twice a week, and that’s it. For example, you eat your evening meal at 8pm, then you next eat at 12pm the following day. Simple. Drink plenty of water in that window and I would strongly suggest that when you do eat after the fast, you don’t gorge on unhealthy foods!

I recommend that my clients who are practicing intermittent fasting eat only 500-600 calories of low GI food for the rest of the day following a fast. This compounds the effectiveness of the fast and maximises fat burn. Please note that if you find you are uncomfortably starving at any point then you must eat, but eat nuts, seeds, meat or veg so that you take the edge off of your appetite without ruining the fasting process.

2) High intensity Interval Training (HIIT)

Some love it, some hate it, but it works for everybody. You workout at a level close to your maximum heart rate for a few minutes, then you have a short rest. You repeat this process several times with different exercises in order to target all of your body, then you lie down for a while!

Ignore outdated theories about working at a lower intensity to burn more body fat, it is just plain wrong. Yes, you may burn a higher PERCENTAGE of body fat working at a moderate intensity, but you will burn a whole lot more calories in total working at a higher intensity. This means that the total fat burnt will be greater, which is all that matters when you want to lose weight for the wedding day. On top of that, you will have worked your muscles so hard that you will be repairing and healing them for days, further boosting your metabolism.

If you want to burn a lot of fat, and you are fit enough, a 30 minute HIIT session will be exponentially better for you than a 30 minute jog.

3) Walk even more

This is an easy one. I recommend that everyone walks for 30 minutes each day to relax and boost their metabolism. If you have limited time until your big day, then walk even more. Get a Fitbit or a Jawbone and monitor your steps, but rather than the 10,000 steps widely recommended, try setting it to 15,000. If you have not made the cut by the end of the day, and I know many determined brides-to-be who do this, go out for a walk, or walk the stairs in your home until you get to 15,000. That way you also get toned legs, thighs and bum for your efforts.

4) Evolution

Evolution in weight loss for brides

There are many ‘cleanses’ or ‘detoxes’ around these days, most of which involve drinking your bodyweight in broccoli juice three times a day for a week and then celebrating a good few lbs of weight loss, before realising it was 95% muscle mass and you have now devastated your metabolism. Your glorious return to food will usually lead to a good few lbs of extra weight gain within a few weeks.

In you want to lose weight for the wedding day – don’t do them.

What you can do, however, is Evolution . This is my food delivery service, which consists of delicious, healthy food made by a chef from all natural and locally sourced ingredients, and delivered directly to your door.

I offer a number of different food packages from short and simple detoxes to ongoing full meal provisions, all of which include carefully selected gentle and natural supplements which aid your body’s ability to burn fat, and which cleanse your gut, blood and liver. The food and supplements can be delivered anywhere in the UK.

My Evolution Detox clients lose an average of 8 lbs in 10 days, without going hungry. They often, in fact, call me half way through and ask why there is so much to eat! They eat clean, lose weight and enjoy it. It is perfect for this situation and can either be the boost you need to get your journey started or to bring it home.

And speaking of bringing it home, that draws me to the end of this blog. You now have all of the tools you need to make sure that you don’t just look and feel amazing on your wedding day, but that you build sustainable and healthy lifestyles that will keep you looking and feeling great for years afterwards.

If you need more support implementing anything you have read, or if you want to know more, then please do get in touch with me. It would be my pleasure to assist you and I can help you out wherever you are in the UK.

An offer for you!!

As most brides are having to budget every pound towards their big day Rob offers 15% discount off any of the services you would like to purchase of him and you do not have to be a bride to be for that offer.

If you still haven’t sorted your wedding rings than contact me on 0345 600 5557 or click on the image below and I will be happy to help you.

Dressing the wedding table



Tips for dressing the wedding table

The most important thing in dressing the wedding table is get the balance right. The meaning of that is make sure all the elements involved dressing the wedding table complement one another as oppose to compete on attention with each other.

When we look at the component that helps dressing the wedding table we include the table’s centre piece, the table decoration, the chair covers and sometimes hanging decoration.

You can find a lot of the decoration on a website such as Amazon and you can get family members to help out with some home made decoration.

The key in dressing the wedding table right is in the planning. You may have an idea of your table’s look but if you didn’t try it before, put the items and the material next to one another it may not look quite right as everything is in the details.

If you already have an idea of the colour theme of your wedding it makes everything a lot easier.

Starting with the centre piece, there are many styles to choose from. You might like the wishing tree centrepiece.

 

 

 

In 2015 there is a trend of going transparent and this can include a glass bowl as a centerpiece on a glass mirror plate. This can be filled with flowers, crystals, candles or a combination of them. 

 

 

 

The Shabby Chic bird cage centerpiece is also very popular and timeless.

 

 

 

 

In any case, you want to make sure the centrepiece is not too high and blocking the eye line of the guests sitting on the other side of the table or too low and unnoticeable.

Flowers can make a beautiful centre piece and using different colour scheme can make the centre piece either vibrant and eye catching, or stylish and classy. Ideally you want to communicate the tone you wish to have as a centre piece to the floweriest. The floweriest can match the flowers from the wedding ceremony to the wedding reception so it will all flow and lead to the centre piece.

An incrementally talented floweriest from Cheshire, which I will be happy to recommend, is Emma Fawcett – Eustace.

Candles are also a popular choice when it comes to the centrepiece. Candle light gives a romantic glow and an intimate atmosphere. They can be part for the overall decoration of the venue and will set the right tone for the speech or the cutting of the cake.

 

 

 

 

The centrepiece will look bare without finishing touch of confetti, in white or cream colour for a classic effect or in silver for a sparkly effect. Similarly diamonds like decoration will sparkle brightly especially around candles. In some wedding the table will be decorated with petals.

 

 

Wedding favours used to be handed out to guests when they were leaving however I have seen some people putting it on the table as part of the decoration. With this in mind you have just one more thing to add to matching it with the rest of the table.

For help with your wedding bands please call 0345 600 5557 and I will be happy to help you. Alternatively click on the image below and leave me a message.

 

 

 

Summer or Winter Wedding?



Would you rather a winter or summer wedding?

You’ve just got engaged, summer is here now and it seems that would be the perfect timing to have your wedding. Or is it the cosy atmosphere that naturally comes with a winter wedding and the Christmas atmosphere you are after?

There are of course pros and cons to both weddings so I thought the best way is to look at all the options to help you make up your mind.

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Starting with the venue of course the options are greater when it comes to a summer wedding as you can choose for an outdoor wedding. However, you can never be sure of the British weather and it can rain even in the middle of summer. This is where a marquee can help.

If you are after a white wedding with snow, a Christmas tree for decoration then of course winter wedding should be your choice. Just like you cannot count on a summer wedding to be sunny there is no guarantee for snow on a winter wedding day. One way top create the magic is using artificial snow flakes. You can always choose a venue with open fire and a conservatory to bring the light in. However if it is a dark day than candle lights as part of the decoration the general white wedding theme would help.

Making the most of your budget is also a point of consideration when deciding whether you are going to have a summer or winter wedding. With summer being most popular season for wedding the prices of venues are higher than in winter, especially on Saturdays. If you rather have a summer wedding you might want to consider a mid-week wedding to cut costs.

If we are looking at your guest’s budget than winter, especially close to Christmas, might be a difficult time for their finances.

Another thing to consider in summer is the availability of your guests in summer time, which is usually where most people are on holiday and some of your guests may not be around to celebrate your day. Winter, on the other hand, is a time when people get closer to their family and a gathering such as on a winter wedding day will stand out since most weddings are done in summer. As winter weddings are not as popular you may also be able to strike a deal with the venue who will be keen to book the place.

wedding photographer in South Manchester

Image: credit to Folio Photography

Summer is when most flowers bloom so you will find the flower arrangement cheaper on a summer wedding compared with the deals you will get on your winter wedding.

Food wise you are looking at totally two different menus. Summer menu is usually light and refreshing while in a winter reception you could use traditional for the season mulled wine, mince pies, sausages, soup and other warming and rich type of food.

One of my clients who recently bought their engagement and wedding rings told me about her wedding plans which fits her budget. Her plan was to travel to Greece is September with the photographer and some close members of the family for the wedding ceremony. By September England is no longer a place for an outdoor wedding however, the flights to Greece are at off-pick prices and the Greek weather will be just perfect for a summer wedding. When back home the plan is to throw a party for all their friends. I thought I’ll this was an idea worth sharing.

If you are planning your winter wedding or your next spring/summer wedding for your wedding ring. Alternatively, click on the image below and leave a message and I will get back to you.

Spring Wedding Tips



Spring wedding tips from a professional event planner

Spring wedding tips from a professional event planner

Spring is such a beautiful time of the year for a wedding. Flowers are in bloom and the weather is usually at its best in the UK, with longer days and lighter evenings.

I have asked my friend Kate of Kate Park Events to share from her experience and help out with tips for a spring wedding.

Kate Park Events

Let me first introduce you to Kate and her event business. Kate Park Events offers bespoke wedding planning services. She is that angel who comes in the middle of what looks like a storm and lifts the stress off you so you can concentrate on planning your wedding and enjoy the Big Day without the hassle.

Kate has extensive connections by recommendations to source the perfect venue to suite each couple’s requirements. Kate and her team create beautiful décor and bridal flowers, she works with first class entertainment to suit different budgets and is very meticulous when it comes to executing the event.

Kate is very personable and has the ability to take the customers dream and realise it within their budget limitations. As Kate explained to me, not always do you need to splash out a lot of money to get something beautiful. She guides clients to the areas they are best spending their money on to get the most effect. A client recently thought they needed to hire a marquee to accommodate their increasing number of guests. Kate managed to design a room layout that seated all the guests inside the venue which in turn saved the client money. Not only were the Bride and Groom delighted they could still have their wedding inside their dream venue but their guests were impressed by the transformation of the room.

Here are Kate Park Events five top tips for a spring wedding;

  1. Choose a venue with beautiful gardens or an outdoor terrace area, so if you’re lucky enough to have beautiful weather on your Wedding Day you are able to make the most of it. If this is something you struggle to find, then make sure your venue has large windows so you have plenty of natural daylight.

  2. Pastel colours work perfectly in spring with beautiful flowers in season like peonies or tulips. Whether you want a vintage style wedding or contemporary, it’s all in the design of the table centres and style of vases/containers used. We always like to custom make each design to incorporate the style of the client and to create a wow factor.

  3. In spring choosing a lighter menu is a must. Spring lamb makes a nice change to chicken and you can have another main course at the ready for any guests who would prefer an alternative.

  4. Lighting is key for a wedding. When your spring day turns to evening, you need to create the perfect party atmosphere so people will stay until the early hours.

  5. Make the most of a Spring Bank Holiday date so for every wedding anniversary you’ll be able to celebrate with a long weekend away!

Kate 2nd

Here is a testimonial from a Kate Park Event client Mrs Sarah Clark, whose wedding was in October 2014;

Our wedding was “seamless” from the start of planning to finish. I was basically stress free the entire time thanks to this amazing woman!! Thanks so much Kate, you’re worth your weight in gold!!”

If you are planning your wedding and starting to feel the stress why not get in touch with Kate who will be able to help you change the situation and make your wedding memorable for all the right reasons.

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