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Category Archives: Wedding Theme

Fun Wedding Ideas That You’ll Love


Two brides holding hands on a beach

Several years ago I went to a wedding I was really excited about. I mean, I’m always excited about my friends getting married, but this wedding in particular sounded like it was going to be awesome. The location was super cool, everyone involved was laid back, and all their plans sounded amazing. In short, it felt like a recipe for an awesome party full of fun wedding ideas. But halfway through the reception, after we’d toasted our friends and gotten all the emotional goodness out of the way, I realized I was… sort of bored. While the couple getting married normally threw pretty fun parties, this party was actually not all that fun.

And then I had a realization: while about half of the weddings I’ve attended have been a blast, the other half have been not really fun at all. So I started racking my brain to figure out why that is.

The first thing I realized is that the wedding industry is built on selling you a pretty wedding. The dress, the tux, the flowers, the invitations, the decor—all of it paints a pretty picture, but very little of it contributes to the actual experience of the day. Because, as my husband wisely pointed out to me a month before our wedding, pretty isn’t an emotion. And how your wedding looks and how your wedding feels are two very different (and nearly unrelated) things. Trust me, I don’t say this to talk you out of getting a kick-ass outfit, or investing time into decorations that make you happy, because I love all of those things. I say this so you can spend some time planning the kind of experience you want at your wedding—something that has nothing to do with pretty.A happy couple dancing and using many fun wedding ideas at their wedding

So if you do want a wedding that goes down as a super fun party, it’s worth being intentional about it from the get-go. Since that wedding, I’ve slowly compiled a list of fun wedding ideas, and things to plan for, if you want to make your wedding a blast.

  1. Think of your reception as a party. Chances are really good that you know how to throw a party that’s fun for you and your people. I can’t tell you what your perfect entertainment recipe is, since ideas of fun are not universal. (I, personally, want to dance to hip-hop till my feet fall off, but that might not be your vibe.) The trick is to figure out what makes you love a party, and then try to incorporate that into your wedding.
  2. The people. The single most important element of your wedding—no contest—is the people. But your guest list also happens to be the thing that the wedding industry tells you to cut first. After hearing the message that you should cut the guest list a thousand times, it’s hard to not get that into your head. But when you walk away from a wedding, you think about the conversations you had, the people you caught up with, and the vibe of all those awesome folks in one room. Chances are, it’s not the decorations that you’re talking about a week later. So no matter how big or how small your wedding, think of the people first, and make everything else secondary.
  3. Make your guests feel taken care of. There is something a little vulnerable about showing up at a wedding where you don’t know many people, and putting the next six hours of your life in the hosts’ hands. You hope they’ll feed you well and sit you next to nice people, but you never quite know. There are as many ways you can take care of your guests as there are weddings, such as providing welcome notes at the hotel, a way for guests to get to know each other (like name tags with a note about how you know the couple at a welcome dinner), and a seating chart. (The wedding mentioned above? There was no seating chart, and we didn’t know very many people. So we ended up sitting at a table talking only to each other… for hours on end.)
  4. Balance what you love with what your guests love. I talked above about knowing what makes a party fun for you (and probably your friends). When putting together your wedding, the goal is to balance your what you love, as well as what your multi-generational guest list will like. That may mean mixing some Motown into your indie rock playlist of wedding reception songs, or it may mean having board games and a cocktail hour.
  5. Let people know what to expect. Guests are surprisingly good at rolling with the (non-traditional wedding) punches, as long as they know what they’re getting into up front. If you’re having a reception where you’re only serving cake and punch, let people know on the invite. They’ll come with full stomachs, ready to have a good time. (Or they’ll decide they’re not into it, and won’t come at all. Guests are grownups like that.) Use your invitation, a wedding website if you have one, and word of mouth to let people know what kind of party they’re in for.
  6. Feed people on time. If I had to pick the number one rule for all weddings ever, it would be this: Feed people. At mealtimes. With enough food. If you’re not serving food, then don’t have a wedding at a mealtime. Hangry guests are not happy guests.

And finally, the most important rule. If you want other people to have fun at your wedding, you need to let loose and have a good time. Guests are paying careful attention to you and your partner, and they’ll take their cues from your vibes. However, even with all of these fun wedding ideas, the single best thing you can do to make your wedding fun for everyone is just to relax and enjoy it. If you’re relaxed, they’ll relax. If you’re dancing, they’ll dance. If you’re having the time of your life, they will too.

Meg Keene

Founder & Editor-In-Chief

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Real Weddings, Real Wedding Photos

One of the best ways to gather beautiful ideas, discover your dream venue, or find talented vendors for your own nuptials is to source inspiration from couples who are just like you. That’s where our Real Weddings come into play! Filter Real Wedding photos by venue type, season, style, color palette, and location below to find exactly what you need.

Featured today

Marc and Wilmlie’s wedding in Pocomoke City, Delaware

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100 Ideas for Summer Weddings


X 100 Ideas for Summer Weddings From color palettes to centerpieces to cakes, get tons of inspiration for a summer wedding. Having a beach wedding? Check out 50 more ideas just for you! By: Kristen O’Gorman Klein Enter Slideshow Bouquets Bouquets -139182 A simple bouquet of sunflowers makes a bold impact. Photo Credit: Wren Photography BouquetsBring a beachy vibe to a landlocked wedding with this coral-inspired wildflower bouquet. Photo Credit: Kathleen Hertel Photography BoutonnièresA boutonnière of spray garden roses and dusty miller gives off a vintage feel. Photo Credit: Dixie Pixel Photography BoutonnièresChoose hardy flowers for your boutonnière so that it won’t wilt as the day progresses. Photo Credit: Figlewicz Photography Bridesmaids’ DressesYellow is a cheerful choice for summer. Let your ‘maids each choose their own dress in this happy color. Photo Credit: Daniel Kim Photography Bridesmaids’ DressesPatterned bridesmaids’ dresses are fresh and fun for summer. Photo Credit: Wren Photography Bridesmaids’ DressesSunflower-printed bridesmaids dresses are a delightful pick for summer weddings. Photo Credit: Orange Photographie Bridesmaids’ DressesWe love how these bridesmaids’ bouquets coordinate perfectly with their printed dresses. Photo Credit: Vitalic Photo Bridesmaids’ DressesWe love this bright shade paired with natural-hued wedges. Bonus: with wedges, your girls won’t have to worry about their stilettos sinking into the grass as they walk down the aisle. Photo Credit: JoPhoto Bridesmaids’ AccessoriesJazz up inexpensive flip flops with sweet bows in your wedding colors. Photo Credit: Snappy Shots by Bev Attire for GroomsmenBright blue ties and yellow boutonnières pop against tan suits. Photo Credit: Casey Durgin Photography Attire for GroomsmenDress your men in easy-breezy shorts and lightweight button-downs. Have the groomsmen wear shorts that match the bridesmaids’ dresses, and let the groom stand out in white! Photo Credit: Daniel Kim Photography Attire for GroomsmenFor a lightened-up yet still formal look, try white or ivory tux jackets. Photo Credit: Rich Kessler Photography Ring BearersYour ring bearer will be a lot happier if you don’t force him into a hot suit. Photo Credit: Photo Love Ring BearersIncorporate your favorite summer activity, like this baseball-inspired ring pillow. Photo Credit: Nashville Wedding Photographer Derek Lee Ceremony IdeasAttach programs that double as fans to each seat — that way, you can ensure that no guest will be without a cooling device. Photo Credit: Sherman Chu Ceremony IdeasProvide chilled bottled water for your guests at the ceremony. Photo Credit: Brett and Jessica Ceremony IdeasProvide parasols for your guests to shade themselves during the ceremony. Photo Credit: Orange Photographie Ceremony IdeasWant an outdoor ceremony but don’t want to sacrifice the dramatic moment when the doors are thrown open and everyone sees you for the first time in your gown? Bring the doors outside! Photo Credit: Wren Photography Ceremony IdeasOversized umbrellas will keep your guests out of the sun’s harsh rays. Photo Credit: Memoire Studio Ceremony IdeasHave your guests blow bubbles as you leave the ceremony. Photo Credit: Poem84 Ceremony DécorDress up the area above your aisle for even more eye candy. Photo Credit: John Labbe / Wedding Planner: Preston Bailey TransportationRelax in open-air transportation, like a trolley. Photo Credit: Azelle Photography Food & DrinksCotton candy will have your guests feeling nostalgic for summer carnivals. Photo Credit: Heather Fitch Photography Food & DrinksAlcohol-infused popsicles are a fun choice for your cocktail hour. Photo Credit: Mr. Haack Food & DrinksIce cream isn’t the only thing that can be served in a cone — pass trays of tuna tartar in waffle cones. Photo Credit: Shoreshotz Weddings Food & DrinksServe up filet mignon sliders for an upscale take on classic barbecue fare. Photo Credit: Craig Paulson Photography Food & DrinksIt’s your wedding day – enjoy an ice cream cone! Photo Credit: J. Larose Studios Food & DrinksA layered dessert inspired by push-up popsicles, a childhood favorite. Photo Credit: Shoreshotz Weddings Reception IdeasString lanterns from the trees — they’ll help keep the bugs away from your guests. Photo Credit: Santana Photography Reception IdeasA clear tent gives you the best of both worlds — you’re protected from the elements while still dining and dancing under the stars. Photo Credit: Annie X Photographie Reception IdeasWhen the sun goes down, light up some fire pits to create a rustic backyard vibe. Photo Credit: Christian Oth Studio Escort CardsMake your escort cards work double duty by also providing a refreshing treat. Photo Credit: Ira Lippke Studios CenterpiecesMini arrangements of sunflowers in mason jars, accented with burlap, create the perfect rustic table setting. Photo Credit: Wren Photography CenterpiecesUse contrasting colors in your centerpiece to really make it pop. Photo Credit: Diane Askew Photography CenterpiecesAdd a nautical touch with rope-wrapped centerpieces. Photo Credit: Jack Deutsch © The Stonesong Press, LLC. CenterpiecesPlace your flowers in upcycled wine crates for a lovely vintage vibe. Photo Credit: Ken Kienow CenterpiecesInstead of oversized floral arrangements, place a mini cake on each table. Photo Credit: Lola Rose Photography CenterpiecesWorried about your flowers wilting? Use floating candles for your centerpieces instead. Photo Credit: Inspired By This via Lover.ly Reception DécorThe black and white dance floor transforms a backyard into an elegant, glamorous location for a wedding reception. Photo Credit: Abby Jiu Photography Reception DécorLight up the night with strands of café lights. Photo Credit: Jessamyn Harris Reception DécorGarden-glam centerpieces with family photos displayed in reclaimed windows. Photo Credit: Rochelle Mort Photography Reception DécorString chandeliers and twinkle lights above the dance floor. Photo Credit: Picotte Photography Reception DécorHang small arrangements of cheery flowers, like sunflowers, behind the head table. Photo Credit: Wren Photography Reception DécorMake a beautiful outdoor space look more luxurious with elegant chandeliers hanging from the trees. Photo Credit: Aaron Delesie Reception DécorAdd a beachy vibe with this soft color palette and laid-back furniture. Photo Credit: Liz Banfield Photography Wedding CakesAccent a simple cake with tropical flowers. Photo Credit: Life’s Highlights Wedding CakesA chocolate cake accented with sunflower and topped with lovebirds. Photo Credit: Wren Photography Wedding CakesWith a naked wedding cake, you don’t have to worry about the frosting melting during an outdoor reception. Photo Credit: Alea Lovely Fine Art Photographer Wedding CakesA sweet strawberry-themed cake, complete with a basket of strawberries on the top, trimmed with rich white-chocolate strawberries and delicate strawberry blossoms. Photo Credit: Choco Studio Wedding CakesNot a fan of cake? Serve a tier of pies instead featuring the season’s best fruit. Photo Credit: Jose Villa Wedding CakesA tower of cake pops will stand up to the heat on even the hottest of days. Photo Credit: Sweet Lauren Cakes FavorsGive out sunglasses personalized with your names and wedding date in your wedding colors. Photo Credit: William Walker Photography FavorsYour guests will recall happy memories of your wedding every time they use these beer koozies, customized with a beautiful photo of your favorite beach. Photo Credit: Life’s Highlights FavorsSend your guests home with a delicious, personalized frozen treat. Photo courtesy of eCreamery Must-Have PhotosOr take it up a notch with this fiery idea, accomplished with flaming steel wool! Photo Credit: Nathan Desch Must-Have PhotosTake advantage of the warm weather to gather all of your loved ones in a fun group photo. Photo Credit: Inspire Photography Sendoff IdeasFor a dramatic sendoff, release lanterns into the night sky. Photo Credit: JoPhoto

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The Sweetest Bridal Shower Cakes


These confections are almost as pretty as the woman of the hour. There’s just nothing like being engaged. After all, the time between “yes” and “I do” is filled with plenty of pre-wedding parties that celebrate the couple and their future as husband and wife. For the bride, the bridal shower is often a stand-out experience. She gets to spend a morning or afternoon with her sisters and best friends—the people who have seen her grow into the bride-to-be she is today. After the girls have all caught up, the bridal shower games have been played, and the gifts have been opened, the only thing left to do is end on a sweet note.Enter the following bridal shower wedding cakes. Pretty, petite, and perfect for your girls-only party, they’re sure to delight your bride. From a pale blue three-tiered confection topped with a dainty crown (of course!) to personal-sized cakes covered in buttercream roses, there’s a confection here your bride-to-be is sure to love. We kept all of your favorite cake trends in mind when curating this special list, too. You’ll find subtle ombré, naked, and gold-foiled treats that pass the ultimate test—every guest will try to snap a photo for Instagram.Of course, deciding on a bridal shower cake comes down to the bride’s personal taste. Is she a free-spirited bohemian planning a shabby-chic fête? Opt for a petite treat covered in fabric-inspired florals. Is she the classiest girl you know? An all-white confection, adorned with creamy sugar flowers, might be her dessert match. No one knows the bride as well as you do—that’s probably why you’re planning her shower!—which means you’ll know which of these cakes would be her favorite. No worries if it’s a little tricky, though. All of these beauties are incredibly inspired. 1 of 24 Advertisement Advertisement Pink and Red Why not serve the bride-to-be a confection frosted in love’s signature colors? If your bride is a romantic at heart, she’ll go crazy for this sweet treat. 2 of 24 Gold-Flecked Edible gold leaf brings a bit of sparkle to a mini cake. Serve one to each guest, or purchase slightly larger single-tiered cakes to place on each table. 3 of 24 Advertisement Cloche and Confettis Serve each bridal shower guest a personal naked confetti cake in a dainty cloche—fresh florals add a botanical element. 4 of 24 Seasonal Blooms A spray of ranunculus and thistle brings texture and color to this barely-frosted cake. 5 of 24 Monogram Juniper Cakery Dress up the bride’s personal dessert with hand-painted flowers and a monogrammed crest. 6 of 24 Advertisement Advertisement Pink Ombré This petite creation fades from blush to true pink. 7 of 24 Modern Gray and inky smudges make this masterpiece feel like a work of abstract art. Your contemporary bride will go crazy for it. 8 of 24 Naked Cake Peanut butter icing is the only thing this on-trend naked cake needs to shine. 9 of 24 Advertisement Fit for a Royal We’re not sure what we love most about this pastel creation—the pale-blue icing, the gold detailing, and the regal crown topper are all stunning. 10 of 24 Flamingos Throwing a tropical-themed bridal shower? Skip the two-tier and opt for flamingo-inspired cupcakes instead. 11 of 24 Romance Cover a nearly-naked confection with fresh blooms and greens for a romantic touch. 12 of 24 Advertisement Cocoa If the bride is a chocolate lover, a cocoa cake—enhanced with sugar flowers and copper embellishments—will make her day. 13 of 24 Confetti Top a simple dessert with confetti to make it bridal shower-ready. 14 of 24 Subtle Ombré This white cake, by Pretty Sweet, has an evergreen ombré and gold foil base that makes it a trendsetter’s ultimate dessert. 15 of 24 Advertisement Hand-Painted This tile-inspired single-tier feels decidedly Mediterranean (perfect for the bride who’s planning a destination wedding in Greece!). 16 of 24 Fabric-Inspired Rose gold floral details make this beauty look more like a dress than a cake. If your bride is the fashionista of the crew, you can’t go wrong with this treat. 17 of 24 In Bloom The bridal shower cake isn’t just about the cake—it’s about presentation, too. Top a simple white cake with plenty of fresh flowers, then set the confection on a bloom-covered stand. 18 of 24 Advertisement All-White An all-white confection adorned with creamy sugar flowers is the perfect choice for a traditional bride-to-be. 19 of 24 Gold Braid If you’re throwing a big shower, go for a full size confection. This one is the prettiest shade of pale blue, but it’s the braided detail that will surely catch your traditionalist bride’s eye. 20 of 24 Roses Rose-piped buttercream makes this petite right at home during a garden-themed fête. 21 of 24 Advertisement Cake Bouquet A halo of blush blooms, greens, and berries gives this one-tier major presence. 22 of 24 Floral Crest An ornate gold crest gives this watercolor flower illustration a vintage look. 23 of 24 Trendy If your bride’s an innovator, opt for a cake of the moment. We love this blue-washed confection’s icing drip and fresh flower adornments—both are super trendy right now. 24 of 24 Advertisement

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Tropical Shirts aren’t Just for Party Animals Anymore

    It’s about style as much as comfort.

    6 hours agoHawaiian shirtHomer Simpson was wrong about Hawaiian shirts. They’re for everyone.Shutterstock

    When you’re on vacation, wearing a bright tropical shirt is practically expected. But it’s not just because earth tones are for the office. Tropical shirts were created to be comfortable in day-to-day island life, where the heat and humidity can make even the most languid schedule feel arduous. Here’s what to look for, when you want to be comfortable on your getaway.

    You’re Here to Party

    Digital Palms ShirtTommy Bahama Men’s Digital Palms ShirtAmazon

    Breathable material, like silk or cotton, should be at the top of your list. By letting heat and moisture out, a tropical shirt makes it more comfortable to be active and to be in the sun without needing a hydration backpack. It also feels good on your skin, which is a nice bonus.

    From the Bag to the Beach

    Air TropicalVan Heusen Men’s Air Tropical Short Sleeve Button DownAmazon

    Also important is care. You probably don’t want to spend much time on a long vacation doing laundry, let alone caring for a delicate garment or sending out dry cleaning. Wash-and-wear and non-iron design will let you just take your shirt off the hanger and get down to the far more important business of relaxing.

    A Look of Your Own

    28 Palms28 Palms Men’s Standard-Fit Tropical Hawaiian ShirtAmazon

    But don’t ignore style and fit, either. While the classic tropical shirt has tended to fit loosely, and stuck to classic patterns, there’s a whole host of shirts that fit in different ways in patterns that fit your individual style. After all, when you go on vacation, it’s about relaxing and dressing the way you want.

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    Wedding Planner & Wedding Coordinator

    Finding a Wedding Planner

    Let us be the first to admit that wedding planning is no walk in the park. After a couple has gotten engaged and the excitement of that special moment dies down, the reality sets in. And many couples have no idea where to start when planning their wedding, or what sort of undertaking it will be. That’s when it’s time to consider talking to a professional. Wedding planners, also know as wedding coordinators or wedding consultants, have the knowledge, organizational skills, and experience from previous events to help make your special day the best it can possibly be.

    Committing to your significant other was a no brainer, but finding and booking the right wedding planner for your big day can be a little more tricky. Here are some thing to consider when beginning your wedding planner search.

    Types of Wedding Planners

    First things first. This may come as a bit of a shock but there is more than one type of planner. In fact, there are about seven types of wedding coordinators. Knowing the difference between these wedding professionals can make the selection process all that much easier.

    Starting with a full service or all-inclusive planner. This type of wedding coordinator will be with you every step of the way during the planning process and on your big day. These planners are best for couples who may not have a lot of free time to plan a wedding or need help with small decisions like incorporating the color palette with linens and flowers. A full service wedding planner will help with everything from selecting vendors, to optimizing your budget.

    You can also have a month-of-planner. As the name suggests, these consultants will come into the picture in the last few weeks or days before the wedding. They exist to be an extra set of hands during crunch time. These planners can help with any last-minute issues that pop up unexpectedly, as well as working with vendors to finalize contracts and set up for deliveries.

    Another option would be a weekend wedding coordinator. This type of wedding planner is going to be a major component of making your wedding day run as smoothly as possible. However, they are not solely there for the big day, they can also help with organizing and welcoming guests as they arrive and planning wedding related events like the rehearsal dinner and morning-after brunch.

    Similar to a weekend wedding coordinator, a day-of coordinator is there to make sure your wedding takes place with minimal hiccups. Many couples wish they had hired a day-of coordinator after the fact. They ease the stress of having to focus on the tiny details so your special day can be enjoyed to the fullest.

    If you are planning an out of state, or out of country wedding. A destination wedding coordinator may be the best choice for you. If you and your fiancé(e) can’t physically be there for planning, a professional consultant may be the way to go. These wedding planners meet with vendors, scout for venues, and understand specific regional information like weather, since that can be a huge aspect of planning any wedding.

    There are also planners who work specifically with scouting venues and giving referrals. This type of planner will be able to go with you to look at venues and negotiate vendor contracts. These planners are often very well connected and can help you meet with vendors that are considered the best in the business.

    If none of these options seem like the best fit for you, consider looking for wedding planners that have services à la carte. Planners are aware that not everyone wants or needs every service they provide. Creating a custom planning package can be easier on the budget and still allow for professional help.

    Wedding Planner Prices

    The cost of hiring a wedding planner will vary from state to state, region to region, and country to country. Full service coordinators are going to be more expensive than day-of planners. Planners in less populated areas are also likely to be less expensive and so will the cost of the entire wedding.

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    Wedding Officiant & Wedding Ceremony Officiants

    How to Pick a Great Wedding Officiant

    While browsing through wedding officiants may not be the most talked about or glamorous decision to make during the wedding planning process, it’s crucial to the ceremony. Let’s be honest, there’s no ceremony without an officiant. Unless you’re absolutely certain about your officiant, finding the best person to perform the ceremony can be difficult, especially if you’re getting married in an unfamiliar area where you may not have a strong connection with a religious leader or judge. If you’re having trouble finding someone, don’t worry! We’re here to help.

    First and foremost, check the laws! Find out if the state (or country) you’re getting married in has any restrictions on who can and can’t marry you. Check out our marriage laws by state to see what your state requires. From there, your officiant search can begin. For non-religious couples, here are some tips for choosing a non-religious officiant!

    Ask for Officiant Advice

    When you’re finally ready to start your search, ask around. People are always willing to give wedding planning advice. You can even chat with other couples in our wedding forums. To find local officiants using WeddingWire, just select ‘officiant’ from the middle column in the drop down menu on the homepage and enter your wedding destination city and state OR zip code. You can read reviews from real couples who have used the officiant before.

    When looking at wedding officiants, whether they are a religious figure or not, it is paramount to meet them in person before booking. It’s important that you and your fiancé(e) feel comfortable around them, and for them to get a sense of the two of you as a couple. It’s not uncommon for a wedding officiant to have several “counseling” sessions to get to know the couple better before the ceremony.

    Questions to Ask Your Wedding Officiant

    It’s during this face-to-face time we suggest asking any and all questions you have concerning their part in your wedding. Here are a couple of our suggestions: Are you available for our wedding day and location? What is the best way to contact you and how soon should I expect a response? What do you charge and how is that price broken down? Is there any kind of flexibility with the format of the ceremony? Can other people (family and friends) speak during the ceremony? Can you work within our theme? Will you be attending the rehearsal? How will you be dressed during the ceremony? Do you have a traditional template for each ceremony or can we add our own personality? You can also ask if they have any video from weddings they have officiated before. This would also be a good time to ask about their history and experience. Wedding officiants aren’t just there to preside over the ceremony, they can give advice on how and when to apply for your marriage license, suggest readings for the ceremony, and help answer any questions you might have about the process.

    Whether you’re looking for someone to talk at length about the commitment you are making, or someone who will keep their speeches short and sweet, the ceremony is the whole reason everyone has come together. While planning the reception holds a great deal of excitement, finding the right wedding officiant will make the most important part of the wedding, your ceremony, all the more special.

    Last but not least, don’t forget to have your officiant sign your marriage license at the end of the day!

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