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amcarter

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About amcarter

  1. amcarter

    Paradisus Playa Conchal

    I got married in April in Reserva Conchal; it's the condos that are linked to the Paradisus. We stayed at Reserva Conchal for 1/2 of the trip and Paradisus for the other 1/2. The food and service at teh Paradisus is not even worth it. It was almost as though we were on a different planet and I felt like they were not accomodating. One of the couples that attended our wedding did enjoy their stay at the Paradisus but that's only b/c they had all access VIP cards. We purchased a suite from them and b/c we didn't have a VIP pass they didn't feel like it was necessary to be nice to us. We asked them for an early check in afer checking out of Reserva and they declined even after we showed up w/ the top of our wedding cake and my very large wedding dress. The lady at the front desk told me to put my dress and cake on the floor and tour the property until the room is ready, which was about 3 hour later. I just found them to be very short and rude. If you want slam dunk food and superior customer service, stay at the Reserva Concha. Here are the pics from the wedding - you can see a few photos from our room at Reserva too. http://akilbennett.net/blog/2010/09/our-wedding-in-costa-rica.html
  2. amcarter

    My Costa Rica Wedding Review

    Quote:Originally Posted by ML YoungLove Congrats! I LOVE your dress that you wore for the day after shoot! Where did you get it?
  3. amcarter

    My Costa Rica Wedding Review

    Sorry for the late reply. My husband did a write up on the wedding and it was featured on several sites. http://akilbennett.net/blog/2010/09/our-wedding-in-costa-rica.html
  4. I am back from my wedding-moon in Costa Rica and have a lot to say! I cannot tell you how thankful I am to have experienced such a beautiful wedding. It was more than I could have asked for. Wedding Planner: Aimee Monihan of Tropical Occasions was instrumental in helping me for almost 10 months plan my wedding. I am a person that had a million ideas that I wanted to incorporate and she was helpful in helping me narrow down my options. She made suggestions to help keep in budget and she didn't say no too many times; when she did, she offered an alternate option. In December we found out some unfortunate news about our original wedding location and she helped us locate a new location quickly and move all of our guests to the new location. I am truly thankful for this. When I arrived in Costa Rica, we had a welcome letter from her at the front desk. She told us to settle in and call us on her cell phone so she can show us the wedding area. Afterwards, Aimee and Anahi of Tropical Occasions accompanied us and the photographer as we scouted Costa Rica for the day after shoot. Aimee and Anahi were both flexible. They knew that the photos were very important to us and with the photographers help, pin pointed the perfect spot on the beach for the ceremony. They surprised us with an ice cream bike at the wedding that arrived at the reception. They served ice cream to all the guests. Too cute! The day after, they both accompanied us on our 5 hour photo shoot. They had ice cold towels and helped with make up and hair throughout the day to insure our photo shoot was more than spectacular. I’m glad we made the decision early on to hire a wedding planner. I am not sure what we would have done without them. Here's a link about our day after shoot from the Tropical Occasions blog Behind the Scenes... Creative Photo shoot with the amazing Jose Villa - Tropical Occasions Wedding location In December we found out some unfortunate news about our original wedding location in Costa Rica. Everything happens for a reason. Our wedding planner recommended a new location - Reserva Conchal. :. Reserva Conchal .: This resort is a member of the Small Luxury Hotels. The photos in the website look EXACTLY like this in person. I am a professional trainer in customer service and I have to say this resort exceeded my expectations. Not only were the rooms very clean, the staff was extremely helpful, nice and attentive. All of my guests that stayed at the resort said the same thing. The condos were spacious and adorable. The beach club was beautiful and the food was affordable. I felt like I was a guests in someone's home even though this resort sits on several acres. They were flexible with my wedding menu and everyone loved the food options at the wedding. They even made coconuts for us to sip on the beach after the ceremony at milk and cookies at the reception. Both were not on the menu. The welcome/rehearsal dinner My wedding planner highly recommended Mar y Sol restaurant. OMG - the food at this restaurant by far was some of the best I've ever had. Chef/owner Jean Luc Taulere called me several times to plan the menu and everything was delicious! He had several recommendations and was more than accommodating. The restaurant is also beautiful as it sits at the top of the hill over looking the ocean. We were there for sunset and this restaurant has the perfect backdrop. The DJ My husband was in charge of the music but our DJ was awesome. My husband gave him a list of about 30 songs to play at the wedding. All of them were played and the DJ kept everyone on their feet and incorporated his own tunes that fit the genre of music my husband provided. He had all kinds of music to play for our international guest lists. At one point, we all got in a line and hopped around the reception floor to "Feeling Hot Hot Hot!" Airport transports J&C Tours J and C Tours Costa Rica This company had the best published rate and was nice enough to put together separate invoices for all of my guests and a spread sheet with all the names for each flight. Everyone was extremely pleased with their services. Guitarist Lyle played the guitar. Another person that my wedding planner searched for. My husband loves John Mayer and I had a list of his favorite John Mayer songs. This was a surprise at the ceremony. The guitarist didn't know how to play the songs but he learned them just for the ceremony and it was a nice surprise. Make up artist Sorry - I don't have his name but he was awesome. I didn't have a picture of my make up and didn't bring any with me. This man did a fantastic job. Not sure what kind of make up he used but he used some kind of special mineral make up. With all my tears and sweat during the wedding, you would think the make up would have come off. It stayed. I wiped my face the cloth didn't have any make up on it. It was perfect! Cake I had a very moist cake with raspberry and lemon filling. Everyone loved the cake. Two thumbs up. Florist Poor thing. I've changed my mind so many times about my flowers. She was flexible and I loved every single one of my arrangements and she did a gorgeous bouquet for the day after. Photographer Southern California Professional Photographer Southern CA Wedding Photography Fine Art Wedding Photography Jose Villa assisted by Joel Serrato. These guys were fun and I cannot wait to see my photos. They took a few shots with their iPhones and if the pics look that amazing on the iPhone the real things are going to be stunning. My husband is a professional wedding photographer and this was his only request for the wedding. This was a biggest expense but you can't cut corners when it comes to permanent memories. Jose and Joel thank you for being professional and creative at our wedding and for our day after session. Our day after session started with a boudoir session right on the beach. We did request a boudoir shoot but Jose suggest that we put the bed right on the sand in front of the ocean. WE then traveled through the coast to several different small towns for an awesome day of photos. I will have to get the names of the cake and DJ vendors. If anyone has any questions, please let me know. I will be happy to answer them.
  5. I am back from my wedding-moon in Costa Rica and have a lot to say! I cannot tell you how thankful I am to have experienced such a beautiful wedding. It was more than I could have asked for. Wedding Planner: Aimee Monihan of Tropical Occasions was instrumental in helping me for almost 10 months plan my wedding. I am a person that had a million ideas that I wanted to incorporate and she was helpful in helping me narrow down my options. She made suggestions to help keep in budget and she didn't say no too many times; when she did, she offered an alternate option. In December we found out some unfortunate news about our original wedding location and she helped us locate a new location quickly and move all of our guests to the new location. I am truly thankful for this. When I arrived in Costa Rica, we had a welcome letter from her at the front desk. She told us to settle in and call us on her cell phone so she can show us the wedding area. Afterwards, Aimee and Anahi of Tropical Occasions accompanied us and the photographer as we scouted Costa Rica for the day after shoot. Aimee and Anahi were both flexible. They knew that the photos were very important to us and with the photographers help, pin pointed the perfect spot on the beach for the ceremony. They surprised us with an ice cream bike at the wedding that arrived at the reception. They served ice cream to all the guests. Too cute! The day after, they both accompanied us on our 5 hour photo shoot. They had ice cold towels and helped with make up and hair throughout the day to insure our photo shoot was more than spectacular. I’m glad we made the decision early on to hire a wedding planner. I am not sure what we would have done without them. Here's a link about our day after shoot from the Tropical Occasions blog Behind the Scenes... Creative Photo shoot with the amazing Jose Villa - Tropical Occasions Wedding location In December we found out some unfortunate news about our original wedding location in Costa Rica. Everything happens for a reason. Our wedding planner recommended a new location - Reserva Conchal. :. Reserva Conchal .: This resort is a member of the Small Luxury Hotels. The photos in the website look EXACTLY like this in person. I am a professional trainer in customer service and I have to say this resort exceeded my expectations. Not only were the rooms very clean, the staff was extremely helpful, nice and attentive. All of my guests that stayed at the resort said the same thing. The condos were spacious and adorable. The beach club was beautiful and the food was affordable. I felt like I was a guests in someone's home even though this resort sits on several acres. They were flexible with my wedding menu and everyone loved the food options at the wedding. They even made coconuts for us to sip on the beach after the ceremony at milk and cookies at the reception. Both were not on the menu. The welcome/rehearsal dinner My wedding planner highly recommended Mar y Sol restaurant. OMG - the food at this restaurant by far was some of the best I've ever had. Chef/owner Jean Luc Taulere called me several times to plan the menu and everything was delicious! He had several recommendations and was more than accommodating. The restaurant is also beautiful as it sits at the top of the hill over looking the ocean. We were there for sunset and this restaurant has the perfect backdrop. The DJ My husband was in charge of the music but our DJ was awesome. My husband gave him a list of about 30 songs to play at the wedding. All of them were played and the DJ kept everyone on their feet and incorporated his own tunes that fit the genre of music my husband provided. He had all kinds of music to play for our international guest lists. At one point, we all got in a line and hopped around the reception floor to "Feeling Hot Hot Hot!" Airport transports J&C Tours J and C Tours Costa Rica This company had the best published rate and was nice enough to put together separate invoices for all of my guests and a spread sheet with all the names for each flight. Everyone was extremely pleased with their services. Guitarist Lyle played the guitar. Another person that my wedding planner searched for. My husband loves John Mayer and I had a list of his favorite John Mayer songs. This was a surprise at the ceremony. The guitarist didn't know how to play the songs but he learned them just for the ceremony and it was a nice surprise. Make up artist Sorry - I don't have his name but he was awesome. I didn't have a picture of my make up and didn't bring any with me. This man did a fantastic job. Not sure what kind of make up he used but he used some kind of special mineral make up. With all my tears and sweat during the wedding, you would think the make up would have come off. It stayed. I wiped my face the cloth didn't have any make up on it. It was perfect! Cake I had a very moist cake with raspberry and lemon filling. Everyone loved the cake. Two thumbs up. Florist Poor thing. I've changed my mind so many times about my flowers. She was flexible and I loved every single one of my arrangements and she did a gorgeous bouquet for the day after. Photographer www.josevilla.com Jose Villa assisted by Joel Serrato. These guys were fun and I cannot wait to see my photos. They took a few shots with their iPhones and if the pics look that amazing on the iPhone the real things are going to be stunning. My husband is a professional wedding photographer and this was his only request for the wedding. In fact, we selected our date based on Jose's availability. This was a biggest expense but you can't cut corners when it comes to permanent memories. Jose and Joel thank you for being professional and creative at our wedding and for our day after session. Our day after session started with a boudoir session right on the beach. We did request a boudoir shoot but Jose suggest that we put the bed right on the sand in front of the ocean. WE then traveled through the coast to several different small towns for an awesome day of photos. I will have to get the names of the cake and DJ vendors. If anyone has any questions, please let me know. I will be happy to answer them.
  6. Quote: Originally Posted by Jenn3878 I have been thinking about ordering these......how do they look in person are they wood or paper? Did you decorate them yet? How did they come out? I ordered these and use them to send out with my invitations. They are actually very tiny. Imagine getting maracas that are small enough for a baby to hold. They're not going to make much noise or anything. In fact, it's been suggested to use them as a kids craft project. If you want them for a tiny something, use them. Otherwise, I would recommend ordering the other ones that were mentoined. Hope this helps.
  7. amcarter

    April 2010 Brides

    Thanks everyone for the kind words. You guys are hilarious! Regarding the registry..... People normally purchase gifts on the day of the event or the day before. What will likely happen is b/c the registery takes 24 hours to update, you will end up w/ a lot of the same popular gift. Or if you did a Target, often times the things that are online are no longer in the store, which is annoying. I remember going to a wedding last year and I went to Macy's to look for the gift that I wanted to purchase. I went to 4 diff Macy locations and no one had the gift. I couldn't find it so I gave up and just purchased a gift card. Don't be surprised if people are doing that. What kinds of showers are you guys having? Couple, Bridal - if so, what's the theme? 1 more day till Friday!
  8. amcarter

    April 2010 Brides

    You guys are going to laugh at this. Well not really. It's not funny but I can't do anything but laugh when my wedding is exactly 44 days away. I love that my wedding planner is calling to check in on me. I am thankful that we decided to spend the money on a wedding planner. She reminds me that I need to be firm and keep up with my to do list. Here's the story: I sent out a mass email to EVERYONE we invited that's 44 familis to Costa Rica. This email was sent out at the 100 day mark for the wedding. Everyone rec'd their invitations in the mail in September. People knew about the wedding in May. Do you think this is enough time to reserve your trip?!! Guess not! I actually called airline companies to get group discounts for people. Sadly no one used them, but at least the discounts were there. I suggested that guests use Bill Me Later with Continental. I did so much for these guests. I'm trying to group people together so they can save money on the shuttle from the airport to the resort. I arranged discount rates for exursions for anyone interested. Out of all of the people who we sent invitations to, guess who has not purchased flight and hotel for the wedding....... Get ready for this..... THE BEST MAN Yep you heard right. WTF. How are you going to stand in the wedding and you don't have anything to wear, you and your fiance don't have a flight, you and your fiance don't have a place to stay. You haven't don't ANYTHING to contribute to the wedding. My poor fiance will likely not have a bachelor party b/c the best man is a joke. I feel so bad for him. So now what. The prices of the plane tickets are sky high now. Even if he goes, he's not staying at the resort and will have a fit when he finds out the cost to taxi back and forth to the resort for all of the events. OMG. This is just too much. I thought I would show my new accomplished list so I can feel like something is going right. Accomplished: Ordered and mailed invitations Ordered wedding dress purchased piece for my hair (no veil) created wedding website created wedding registry selected wedding party selected main location purchased airline tickets paid deposit for wedding coordinator paid deposit for photographer colors selected (orange and green) engagement photos grooms suit grooms shoes (I think he ordered these) Update wedding website with new lodging info menu selection band selection flower selection decor selection mother of the bride dress bachelorette party date/location wedding shower date/location wedding hairstyle made call to illmannered guests telling them that proper etiquette says to RSVP, I'm calling you b/c the deadline was Feb 1st TTD: (things to do) wedding shoes bridesmaid dress and shoes groomsmen attire dj music list ceremony programs menu cards seating chart (how do I do this if folks haven't turned in RSVPs) email to all guests letting them know time is running out and RSVP cards should be mailed considering I've already paid for the stamps 2nd hotel for honeymoon - this is making me nervous mother of the groom attire sign in book (we're putting our engagement photos in a book and leaving white space around all of them for signatures. Haven't ordered the book or selected pictures eventhough my fiance is a professional photographer - you would think we would have squared this away first) welcome dinner decision and selection OOT bags - might not be any! wedding party gifts drop pounds to fit into dress wedding make make up artist I was up calling people late last night. My wedding planner asked me for my spreadsheet two days ago with the names of every single guest that will be attending the wedding, hotel name and room number so she can make sure everyone makes it to the welcome dinner and wedding on time. I looked at the list (it's divided by his guests and my guests); I have 16 solid RSVP filled out with flight arrival dates/times along with hotel info. His list only had two names on it. WTF! I got on the phone last night calling people. One of his aunts told me she didn't think she needed to turn in her RSVP. I asked her if she planned to walk to the ceremony on the beach or if she planned on getting in the van with her pretty dress on. She agreed to give me the info over the phone along with a few other guests that she had airline/hotel info for. So now I have 10 confirmed on his side. Still no best man. Still no one from his dad's side of the family. His grandmother on the dads side said she still doesn't have a passport. Well you knew you had to get that in Sept. Unless you need a special security clearance and have a long record for the govt to reconsider giving you one, it shouldn't take that long. I just wish people would say they're not going or they do not have the money. I wish people would be honest and not agree to stand in the wedding when they have no intention of partipating. I can hurt the best man right now. It took everything for me not to call him last night to tell him off. In light of my frustration last night my fiance said the sweetest thing: "Wife to be, you've done more than enough; you've been more than accomodating; more than considerate; these people are adults, not children; they have had more than enough notice to make arrangements. Do what you can for the people that turned in the RSVPs; tell the wedding planner to make plated dinners for the RSVPs; order chairs for the RSVPs. Don't worry about the 11 people that are undecided or still getting their tickets. If they show up, they will have to make arrangements on their own to get to the ceremony and welcome party. If they don't make it - oh well. If they're late - oh well; and if any of my family or friends yell at you or ask you why, tell them I told you to proceed b/c they've been on notice since last summer and the RSVP deadline was Feb 1st." This was music to my ears. I feel so bad for my wedding planner because the number was 40 at first then 50 and now it's probably going to be more like 30. Less people = less money. I hope the rest do not show up b/c they've made a small wedding more stressful than it needed to be. How annoying! Anyway - I should stop venting now and make my way to work. ***Oh and if anyone knows where I can get some unfinished huge maracas (or if you know how to make some from scratch) please let me know. I thought I was going to be able to get some from Costa Rica but the price of them are not acceptable***
  9. amcarter

    April 2010 Brides

    April 2010 Brides April 3 - (hoyt75) Jenna from Fort Worth - Valentin Imperial Maya April 9 - (kimmyg) Kimmy from Cincinnati - RPRM April 9 - (Chicken764) Martine from Casselman - Grand Palladium-Punta Cana April 10 - (jerseykitten) Michele from Jersey (Central Jersey by Six Flags) – Jamaica April 10 - (taratoons) Tara from Ottawa ONT - Dreams Punta Cana April 12 - (bridej9) - ______ from MI - Dreams Puerto Aventuras April 16 - (echo2_62) Meghan from Calgary - Dreams Puerto Aventuras, Mexico April 17 - (taylorwd) Wendy from Austin - Azul Beach, Mexico April 17 - (amcarter) Alex from Houston - Reserva Conchal - Costa Rica April 19 - (Sasse75) Jill from Hamilton, ONT - Grand Sunset Princess April 22 - (taraappl) Tara from Coon Rapids MN - Isla Mujeres, MX April 24 - (jess3414) Jessica from Phoenix, AZ - Dreams Cabo San Lucas April 24 - (katie424) Katie?! from Denver, CO - Beaches Negril April 25 - (shortnsweet7675) Natasha from Atlanta, GA - Miami, FL (Carnival Glory Eastern Caribbean cruise) April 28 - (ebredhawk) Erin from Cincinnati - Dreams Punta Cana April 28 - (Melidell) Mel from NWT - Melia Las Dunas, Cuba April 29 - (SuzyQ76) Suzanne from Calgary, Grand Riviera Princess, Mexico
  10. amcarter

    April 2010 Brides

    Quote: Originally Posted by SuzyQ76 Ok here's one for the girls struggling with weight issues.... Now with clothes on, sometimes I feel like: "Damn, I'm looking pretty good!" you know with new shoes and some makeup I can be bright and shiny like a new coin! But naked, or even close to naked...well lets just say I'm soooooo not there and at this point won't be by the time I get to mexico....this makes me pretty sad. But hopefully with enough Tequila I won't really care and I'll be shakin' it as if I look just like Beyonce! (btw, I can't dance a lick, but alcohol does bring the Beyonce out in me) So and there is one other dilemma....my dress...well, I may have to get a corset put in, because right now it's not zipping up very well, or I'll have to wear spanx - that'll be nice and attractive for our wedding night, I can see it now! Not to mention extremely HOT HOT HOT, like temperature hot, not looking forward to sweating, but I may loose a few pounds, lol. SO I'm basically screwed, I have been working my ass off at the gym with NO RESULTS. at first, I had lost 11 pounds but I think it found me again!! I effing hate my thyroid and it's lack of working ability...this is what I blame it all on!!!!!!!!!!! That's my rant for the evening - now please excuse me while I go take my oatmeal cookies out of the oven, they're for the baby I swear, and they do have raisins in them....and dark choco chips ) Try the Lemonade fast. I did a lot of research on this fast and convinced one of my coworkers to do it and she actually dropped 10 pounds. if you a good enough to change your diet after cleaning it out, you might drop more. she returned to regular food after her 10 days. I promise the juice is delicious.
  11. I'm getting married in April at Reserve Conchal. My guests are complaining about the fee for the transport to and from the airport. $90/PP each way. If anyone has been to this resort or is getting married in the area, how are your guests getting to and from the airport and what is the cost. Your feedback is greatly appreciated.
  12. amcarter

    April 2010 Brides

    Quote: Originally Posted by doblauvelt Tracy- Family members are always a tricky situation. If I were in your shoes I'd talk to FI sister..or make him talk to her.. and let her in on your situation. It is def. not fair for all your other BMs to have paid for their dresses and their own way and have her slip through the cracks. $60 does go a long way, esp. in this recession. Michele- I'm so happy your MIL booked! Any other key players that need to book but haven't yet? I'm having my BD shoot tomorrow after work I can't wait. I bought all these things (well..not that much) and two cute new pair of shoes I can't wait to sport lol. I'm kind of nervous though, but that's normal right? Any suggestions to relax ladies? How did your shoot turn out? I purchased a bunch of stuff at the Vicky sale for my shoot but I don't really know the best time to take the photos. I guess I need to determine how long it will take to print the book. I'm sure your pics turned out adorable.
  13. amcarter

    April 2010 Brides

    Quote: Originally Posted by echo2_62 Yikes! What happened that you had to move to a new venue?? Have you been able to switch everything over without much trouble? Do a search of the threads here... I know there are a couple really useful spreadsheet checklists that you might be able to use. It might at least save you the trouble of having to type it all out yourself! I think sometimes people assume that since they've booked their tickets and mentioned it to someone, you will know they are coming. I directly asked all of my guests to email a copy of their itinerary to me with the confirmation numbers "to give to my wedding coordinator" which really meant me! It has worked well so far since lots of our friends booked their tickets but otherwise hadn't replied by card or on our website. And you're right, you've given them lots of time to save up for the trip so don't make yourself feel bad for it! The original venue Pacifico failed to inform that there was no beach left in front of the location. Apparently the city built a road along the strip of sand in front of Pacifico which forced me to move the ceremony to another location. My wedding coordinator found this out by accident and contacted me with a new location just for the ceremony. The reception was still supposed to take place at Pacifico. Then I find out that the manager over the condos was no longer with the company. I was getting complaints from guests saying that they couldn't get anyone to respond. Finally, my wedding coordinator just came back from Costa Rica and informed that the new property manager wants to increase my food by 70%. Are you serious?! Give me a break. 7% is one thing but 70% is crazy. She felt like they weren't making enough money off of our event so they left us no choice but to find another location. My WC has been great to find us a new location. I'm just waiting on confirmation that all of my guests that already made reservations with the old venue will get a full refund. My FI and I are working on making updates to our website and sending out an email to guests. The new venue said they cannot hold rooms unless each guest puts down 20%. At first I thought I was going to have to pay 20% for each guests but the hotel manager suggested that I tell each of the guests to put their own money down since it's so close to the event. I am very thankful that I paid for a WC. I don't know what I would have done w/o her.
  14. amcarter

    April 2010 Brides

    I am getting nervous reading this blog everyday. I am obviously so far behind. My wedding is in a little over 100 days and we just found out we have to move to a new venue. Accomplished: Ordered and mailed invitations Ordered wedding dress purchased piece for my hair (no veil) created wedding website created wedding registry selected wedding party selected main location purchased airline tickets paid deposit for wedding coordinator paid deposit for photographer colors selected (orange and green) engagement photos TTD: wedding shoes bridesmaid dress and shoes grooms attire groomsmen attire Update wedding website with new lodging info menu selection dj/band selection music list flower selection decor selection ceremony programs menu cards seating chart email to all guests letting them know time is running out and RSVP cards should be mailed considering I've already paid for the stamps 2nd hotel for honeymoon mother of the bride/groom dresses/shoes bachelorette party date/location wedding shower date/location sign in book welcome dinner decision and selection OOT bags - might not be any! wedding party gifts drop pounds to fit into dress wedding hairstyle wedding make make up artist As you can see I have a LOT to do. I think I'm going to print a large checklist and put it on the wall in my house as a daily reminder that I need to be doing something. I am really disappointed that I have only received two RSVP cards back in the mail. One was a yes and the other was a no. Yet, I keep hearing that people have booked their tickets. Well when do you plan to send your card in because I need an accurate head count. That is the thing that bothers me the most. I have 11 confirmed airline tickets so far. BTW none are from the grooms family. WTF. Some of my guests have been complaining about airline tickets. Well considering I gave notice in May and sent out formal invitations in September, you had enough time to reserve tickets and make payments.
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