@perianjay where did you get your table numbers and gold frames? I still can't decide what I want for table numbers... I've looked for gold frames but haven't been able to find pretty ones that weren't $10 each!
Posted 20 January 2016 - 07:51 AM
My review- Revamped (because @snswedding2016 inspired me)
I feel like I need to re-write my review and also go into a little more detail. I was originally going to write something a bit lengthier, but with the holidays right after my wedding and the post wedding blues, I wasn't totally in the mood to go into to much detail.
I'm doing this because i've spent so much time this past year going through my journey on this planning thread and I want to leave it with a really detailed review for anyone who ever stumbles upon it.
Prior to departure..
Unfortunately we had two guests back out the week before we departed. My Aunt and Uncle had a few unfortunate events occur just before we left (multiple deaths- his dad, their dog) which led to my uncle having a small stroke.
They had to back out of coming and we completely understood and sympathized with the situation.
Our guest count went from 29 to 27 (phew.. still within our room nights)
The airport was a breeze and having option plus with Air Transat was extremely helpful. With bringing a lot of our own decor with us, having the additional luggage allowance was really really helpful. Even with us spreading some of our decor out to friends, we still hit our maximum weight allowance.
The flight itself was really great. We were served champagne for being the bride and groom. Our flight attendant that day was feeling extra generous and she decided to give out bottles to our whole wedding group on the plane.
(the middle picture is a little off in colour- thanks to Air Transat's super groovy mood lighting in their new re-designed cabin)
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Once we arrived at the Cancun airport it was NUTS! It honestly took us close to two hours to get out of there because so many flights had arrived at once. If any future brides are planning to have a welcome dinner the night you arrive, be mindful of when your flight arrives and give yourself some extra time because it's definitely needed.
Our first day at the resort was really relaxed since we ended up arriving around 4pm (Our plane landed at 1:30!! - That's how busy the airport was). Beach Palace is a 10-15 min drive from the airport.
I was so happy to see that we had gotten an upgraded room (Ocean view). We were dead in the centre of the resort and I just loved waking up to our view every morning. I have to say that Cancun has some of the nicest beach i've ever seen.. almost as nice as Bahamas!
(enjoying a nice glass of Red on our balcony lounger bed)
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I was feeling pretty good by about 5pm.. when me and my best friend went to the sports bar and grabbed a massive plate of hot wings and mojitos (they were really really good) hahah. It was really nice to spend some time with her before we all grouped up. I haven't seen my best friend in about 4 years (she was living all over the place, but most recently New Zealand).
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I think one of my favourite memories was the first day was when her and I went to go 'test the ocean'. I was wearing shorts and regular attire.. we decided to 'dip our legs in' and didn't really realize how strong the ocean waves were (I've seriously been to Cancun 4 times and it's never been the way it was when we were there) and we both got pulled into the ocean and soaked. I tried to save my mojito, but it wasn't happening.. I could barely save myself.
The second night was the night of our welcome dinner. I figured it would be best since I wanted everyone to have a day to settle in and also I needed time to put the bags together. The welcome dinner went really well and my sweet wedding coordinator even threw in some coloured napkins at no cost (since I didn't go crazy with decor for the welcome/rehearsal dinner). We had our Welcome dinner and our rehearsal dinner at the infinity terrace. I didn't realize how perfect of a space it was during the day because during the day they have all the loungers there and some showers in the area etc.. but at night they move everything and clean it all up and it's beautiful. It's more intimate and you have a perfect view of the beach and water (the location is extremely close to the beach).
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The welcome dinner went really well and everyone LOVED the OOT bags. I actually heard about it the entire week. How thoughtful they were, how there are such useful things in there etc etc. They were a huge hit and if I ever did this all over again, I would definitely go with the OOT bags again and the same contents.
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The rest of the week went really well. We had created a Whatsapp group for everyone to communicate in and that's how we all met up. Some people wandered off a bit and did their own thing (a few of the couples), but for the most part we spent a lot of time together. We decided to all book an excursion together (some of the younger crowd) and we had a BLAST. We did the jungle tour excursion.
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I'd definitely recommend it to anyone looking for a fun excursion. We were able to use our Palace credits which was great!!
We also had a group night out to Lorenzillo's (on the Cancun strip) - It's a really really nice lobster restaurant right on the Lagoon. The food was amazing and it was fun to see their resident crocodile just floating in the lagoon outside of the restaurant.
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Group shot with my parents, hubby, brother and his gf and my aunt.
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This is my parents walking back from the restaurant. My inspiration.
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We followed this up with a lot more drinking at the resort, some karaoke.. and maybe some wedding crashing. Who knows.
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All I know is that we had too much fun this entire week and new bonds and relationships were formed. Destination weddings have a magical way of bringing people together. Chester's cousin texts my mom everyday now and they didn't know each other before this.
Posted 20 January 2016 - 08:34 AM
Unfortunately the start of the rehearsal dinner didn't go too well. I will never forget this day and the reason is because 5 minutes before the dinner my mom came down to my room bawling her eyes out. She had lost her bracelet (pure rose gold - family heirloom - worth an absolute fortune). It was silly of her to be wearing it during the day at the beach, but she thought it wouldn't fall off because it has a clasp.. oh mom.
She was really upset and I was rushing around trying to get ready to go down.. I feel so bad because I wasn't as sympathetic as I wanted to be. It's over and done with now, but it does still eat me up inside. I love my mom a lot, we have a very close relationship and I know that she needed me and I wasn't there as much as I should've been. I think that's the only thing I would have changed on this trip if I could go back again. I would've been more supportive to my mother. She cried for most of my rehearsal dinner.. I had mixed emotions. I felt really really bad, but I was also getting upset because it was our rehearsal dinner and at that very moment there was nothing we could do to get the bracelet back.
Side note: I plan to look for a new bracelet for her in Italy when I go. I want to find her something beautiful, just like her.
And no, the bracelet never turned up. I honestly didn't think it would with it being a really big rose gold bracelet.
Hugs for my mama - she needed them.
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Once my mom finally got over it a bit, and I had about 10 drinks because I was stressing (no, literally.. I did.. I don't even think I ate dinner) we were able to have some fun together and move on from it. This was the night that we met our all time favourite bartender, Luis Alfonso.. or as I called him "LA". He got everyone in a good mood and started feeding us some "$hit in the grass" shots haha.
We made the best of this night before the wedding and we headed up to the sports bar. Beach Palace doesn't have a club, but we really didn't miss it. They always had some kind of entertainment at the sports bars each night and it was better that way. We would all meet up there and socialize. The older crowd was up playing cards til 3am.. younger crowd was.. well.. drunk the entire time so who knows. I honestly don't remember much hahaha.
This was the night I rocked my freakum dress (aka Beyonce dress). I quickly earned myself the nickname 'beyonce legs' and it started becoming a thing that whole week. Even the guys partook in the Beyonce Leg pose. (Pretty sure we even did it in the professional shots on the wedding day).
My beautiful maids. Laura, Courtney, myself and Chelsey.
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The wedding day
(luckiest girl ever.. look at this view.. I think I cried when I woke up and saw how beautiful the day was. not even lying)
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Honestly, this day was so beautiful from the start.. I could tell it was going to be the perfect day.
The day started with a walk on the beach early morning with Chester. We had a nice talk and things got a little emotional.. it was honestly the perfect start to the day. Soon after we went our separate ways. The girls came to my room and he went to his boys' room.
Just a little tip: Order the cleaning service early morning (the night before) so that they can come clean up the room and make it pretty for you! We ordered it for both rooms the night before.
Getting ready with my girls
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I love that Palace has free room service 24 hours. It was one of the most talked about things the entire week.. haha.
The day of the wedding we ordered 2 jugs of coffee, two jugs of OJ and 3 bottles of champage (mimosas). We asked for champagne flutes. They brought everything. We also ordered about 30 croissants haha.
Pretty sure a bit later on we ordered 5 trays of mozzarella sticks and we all binge ate those as we got ready. It was such a classy site.
My mom came to help me with my hair.. but there was no saving my hair in this humidity. I'd suggest to any brides who are going to wear their hair down.. please please realize that your dreams of having beautiful curls will die the minute you step outside. My hair holds a curl really well.. I don't even wear hairspray ever when I do my hair. I did for the wedding..and no matter what I did the weather defied all odds.
My hair was flat within 20 minutes.. I had to go back to my room a few times to add a few curls into it.
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In hindsight, I would have definitely done something different with my hair. I love wearing my hair down and I feel somewhat self conscious when I wear it up.. I know i'm weird, but I honestly would have worn if up if I knew it was going to flatten and the curl was going to fall out that quickly.
Nothing will ever explain what it feels like when you're about to walk down the aisle. My ceremony was running a bit late and my groom almost saw me when I got there. As the elevator reached the sky deck and the doors opened, all of the bridal party was waiting in the elevator lobby for their cue. I still remember my videographer and dad jumping in front of me and telling everyone to go the other way hahah.
I'd also like to note prior to the ceremony my dad and I had some time in my room alone once everyone went upstairs. It was one of my most memorable moments from my entire wedding day. My dad had been holding it all together until all my gf's left and he just burst into tears and told me "I'm so sad". I said.. "dad this is a happy day!.. don't be sad!" as I was crying at this point. He said to me "I'm happy you are getting married, but i'm so sad because you're my little girl. I just can't believe my little girl is a woman now and getting married". (omg i'm tearing up just writing and reliving this). I think that I lost half of my makeup before the ceremony even started. This was a very special moment for me because my dad and I are very very close. I'm a big daddy's girl and it was both hard and special to see my dad this way.. he's usually not the 'sappy' type and he puts on a very tough exterior. Like I said in my speech to my dad .. "there's something about a father and daughter's relationship that defies all explanation". I truly can't put into words what this meant to me. He will always be the first man that I loved.
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So back to the ceremony..
Once it was finally time to walk down the aisle I had butterflies like no other.. I honestly can't even explain how much my adrenaline was pumping. I don't think i've ever felt so nervous in my life and i'm really not a shy or nervous person by any means. It's just that us girls know how special this moment is and the anticipation is a lot. I honestly thought I was going to be sick.
Once I got up the stairs (WOW there's a ton of stairs up to that sky deck) I saw Chester and his face was full of tears (WHY DO THE MEN IN MY LIFE DO THIS TO ME?! haha).
It was a beautiful and very very hot ceremony, but mostly beautiful. My brother was our officiant and he did a great job.
My one complaint would have been the guy doing our AV. He honestly wasn't paying attention and I had to actually say "CUE THE MUSIC" after we kissed lol. It was funny and we all laughed, but seriously guy.. you had one job.
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our friend took this one..
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After the ceremony we made our way down to the beach for some pictures..
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I have a lot more pictures and will eventually post the link to both of my albums (I have to upload my second album on Facebook).
Our reception was beautiful and perfect. The only small hiccup was my disappearing table cloth. For some reason we were missing one table cloth for our head table and I still have no idea where it is. I do think that the resort has it and lost it because I brought all of the tablecloths with me. They said they don't have it.. oh well.
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We went straight into the first dance, father daughter dance and then I also had a special dance with my mom.
We had a sparkler lit first dance. My photographer got the sparklers for me and he actually gave them to me complimentary (he's the sweetest ever). The sparkler lit first dance was everything I wanted. It did take a while to light them, but that's ok because it looked beautiful in pictures.
We danced our first dance to Beyonce's version of At Last.
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More to come...
(i'm going to give a more detailed review on the vendors as well)
Posted 20 January 2016 - 09:18 AM
@perianjay Yay!! I'm so glad I inspired a more detailed review - love reading about your entire journey!
I feel your pain about the Cancun airport! It took us about the same amount of time to get out...unfortunately we landed at 4:30pm and we had to drive to playa del carmen so by the time we got to Azul Fives it was around 7:30pm. Glad I didn't plan a welcome dinner! I had a feeling this would happen as it's crazy every time I fly into Cancun. Did your dress get squished when you put it through the conveyer belt (right before the red/green light)?? Mine did!! Gah! I actually didn't have to freak out because Sean did that for me...he was like "hey! hey! wedding dress in there!!!!!" lol he was anticipating my reaction!
My planning thread - http://www.bestdesti...016-azul-fives/
Posted 20 January 2016 - 09:22 AM
@perianjay thank you so much for the review! Your pictures and review made me SO excited!! It looks like it is truly beautiful!
I'm sure you've mentioned this before... but did Beach Palace steam your dress for you? Also, what time did the cleaning service come on your wedding day? I want our room to look nice for getting ready with the girls! How early did you order the room service (mimosas and croissants) on teh day of the wedding in order for it to get there in time? I'm guessing that much room service may take awhile! I want to be sure we have plenty of drinks and food while getting ready!
- pjay likes this
Posted 20 January 2016 - 10:49 AM
Our cocktail hour was from 5-6 and to be honest I have no idea how it went. We only showed up for about 5-10 minutes since we had been taking all our photos down at the beach. We had our cocktail hour at the Palenque Terrace and I probably would only recommend it for anyone with a really big wedding group. The space was MASSIVE so our group was too small for the space. That's alright though, we weren't there very long.
We had our reception from 6-11pm at the Sky Bar South. It was such a beautiful location and the photos couldn't ever do it justice. Panoramic views through the glass of the lagoon on one side and the ocean on the other. Once 6pm came it was perfect because the sun had started going down and it was no longer sweltering.. there was even a nice light breeze to keep us cool.
I was happy with the flow of the reception. Due to the fact that we had only hired the videographer for 4 hours, we wanted to get all of the important stuff captured and we didn't really care all too much about the videographer capturing the dancing portion of the night (i'm honestly glad he didn't because by that point my bridal look was melting away haha).
First dance/father daughter/mother dance
Sat down and dove right into speeches
Grabbed our meals and ate
Cut the cake
I think by around 8 we were ready to dance and that's when the videographer wrapped up. Our photographer stuck around until about 9:30 or so and then I relieved him (he was working so hard and he didn't even say he was ready to leave, but he had already stayed longer than I had paid him for).
8-11pm - Danced the night away and had a blast.
11-3am Partied in the rooftop pool with the 'youngins'.
We used the Wedding DJ app instead of hiring a DJ. I rented the sound system from PSAV and it was perfect. They actually have someone to sit at the table with the 'switchboard' and he turned the music down for speeches and controlled everything. If a good song was on i'd ask him to turn it up and he would do it for us.. It was kind of like having a DJ in a way haha. We saved ourselves a lot of money there and it was honestly no different than if we were to have hired someone except I kind of liked it better because I picked my entire playlist. For any brides who are on the fence about this option.. I will say that it was a good decision for us. The wedding DJ app is pretty user friendly and you can use it for the entire day. We had our ceremony music on there as well and it categorizes everything for you.
We also didn't miss a light up dancefloor. Personally it's not my style, although I do see some and think it looks so good!! For the price though we really didn't need it. We were on solid ground on the rooftop so it wasn't really necessary. I also rented these bamboo poles that have hanging lanterns on them - we used those to frame off an area that looked like a distinctive dance floor area. It worked out perfectly and photographed really nice.
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Overall the reception space was just beautiful. We got SO many compliments. I'm also glad that I didn't have any other private events up there. I did it purposely because I really wanted to save all of that for the day of the wedding. The rooftop is much more of a wow factor than the other locations so I felt like the only day deserving of it was the actual wedding day. It definitely worked out because everyone was so floored by it.
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Review of vendors
Photography - Lancelotti Photography
Overall I only have great things to stay about Juan Carlos. I know that he isn't very well known on these forums, but my honest opinion is that he should be and for his price and quality of work, he deserves to be more well known.
This man worked tirelessly the entire time and he brought 2 assistants with him. When he arrived at 3:30pm he showed up at my room and his assistant went to the boy's room. The only complaint that I do have about that was that I didn't find the quality of his assistants work to be up to par with his quality, so I did notice that the boy's shots weren't as good as ours in the girl's room. Overall they were still good pictures and i'm probably being overly critical because I got nothing but compliments on our photos.
Juan Carlos did me a big favour by getting me sparklers so that I could have them for our first dance. Unfortunately I couldn't bring any myself due to the travel regulations. I also looked into getting them myself in Mexico, but I had heard that they were roughly $2-4 USD Per sparkler. That's terrible.
He ordered them for me and on the day of he told me not to worry about paying him for the sparklers and that they were a wedding gift - SO sweet.
Juan Carlos was also great at making everyone feel comfortable. He told me that he will have no problem getting beautiful pictures and that everyone was a natural! It made us all feel comfortable because having a professional photographer around can add some pressure. The nice thing was that his presence wasn't always felt. I knew he was there, but it didn't feel like he was so it was nice.
His pricing is ridiculously reasonable compared to some and I personally appreciated his styling much more than some of the 'big name' photographers that charge much more. His photos are so much more natural and he uses the lighting to capture the moment as opposed to some that just over contrast photos.
I'm no photography expert, but I know that anything that is overedited is a no-no.
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Videographer - Indigo Wedding
Matias was such a joy to do business with. I am so happy that I chose him as our videographer. His work is flawless and he has such an eye for creative videography without making it look too cheesy. I loved his cinematic styling and I think that man has a real gift, he's honestly so good at what he does. Chester and I are beyond excited to see the video, in fact, I think that's the part we have been anticipating the most. It's been about 5 weeks and he told me roughly 6 weeks.. we will see!
Matias was amazing on the day of the wedding. He showed up an hour early and he wasn't an obtrusive videographer - he took video without us noticing he was. He has a great personality, he's very smiley and nice (haha.. and he's a looker).
I'm really happy that we went with a videographer. Best decision yet.
Here's a photo that Juan Carlos took of the videographer while he was recording us on the beach.
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Decor - Zuniga
Nothing bad to say here. Everything was great, the lighting was perfect. No issues with timing at all and everything we rented was in good condition as well. My correspondence with Lily was always prompt and she was always really helpful. I'd definitely recommend Zuniga. I was able to talk them down on some items that LatinAsia had for less and it worked out well for me because Zuniga had those bamboo structures that I liked and LatinAsia didn't.
Wedding Coordinator (On-Site) - Zaray
I think i've already said this a few times on the forum, but Zaray is just amazing and was an absolute dream of a coordinator. She was really busy during our week because she had conferences at Moon Palace too, but she was still unbelievably helpful. We honestly brought her three suitcases full of decor etc and she sat down with me as I explained my entire vision to her. She followed everything perfectly and made no mistakes at all. She completely understood my whole vision and did a great job executing it. There was also a helper with her the night of my wedding named Jorge and he was just a doll. He was so helpful the entire night, he was the one who packed all of my decor up and he packed everything up so nicely.
They did a great job - no complaints at all!!
I loved my wedding week at Beach Palace. It was a fabulous week and if I could do it all over again, I would and I wouldn't have chosen any other resort to have my wedding. It was the perfect resort for us and our group loved how central it was to everything. The beach was stunning!
I daydream about my wedding everyday and I wish that I could go back and re-live it over and over. It truly was the best day of my life so far.
Just a few more random shots..
elevator down from the sky deck after the ceremony.
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Our ring bearers (Chester's nephews)
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This is me.. praying that my dress zips after 5 days of binge eating and drinking. LOL
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The polaroids were a huge hit. I have about 50 polaroids from the reception and I just love them.
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My last day just before we had to catch our transfer home. Enjoying the sand in my toes and the waves.
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@snswedding2016 I know! The airport was definitely the worst part. I've never been to Cancun in really high season. I went once in February when I was younger and it wasn't too bad, but this time was the absolute worst. I couldn't believe how busy it was.. The entire baggage claim area was stuffed to the walls. No one could even walk through and the airport attendants weren't even trying to organize it or start a line. It was utter chaos lol..
And yes, they tried to stuff my dress through.. I quickly stopped that lol.
Definitely a smart idea not to do a welcome dinner on the first day.. I was honestly so exhausted after the airport and I think everyone was actually. Most people just wanted to go back to their room when we got back and shower and relax for a little bit.
I'm so glad that my review is making you excited because you definitely should be! You're going to have an awesome wedding at BP.
Beach Palace didn't steam my dress, but I didn't even ask. I brought a hand steamer with me and then when that wasn't cutting it we actually shoved my dress inside the bathroom, closed the door and left the shower on super hot. That seemed to help! haha. My bathroom looked like a rainforest after though.. whoops.
I called them the night before about cleaning our room and asked for them to come at 9:30-10 It worked out well. They didn't take too long and we told them it's for a wedding and that we needed the room in time to get ready at 11. If you need it any earlier than that then just let them know. They will definitely accommodate it for a wedding.
Room service took about 20 minutes or so. We ordered coffee and croissants first around 11 or so. We called a few times and it didn't take too long! It's definitely a good idea though, they took all of our special requests (like the jug of OJ and bottles of champagne).
Edited by perianjay, 20 January 2016 - 10:50 AM.
Posted 20 January 2016 - 11:32 AM
HEHEHE (i'm honestly glad he didn't because by that point my bridal look was melting away haha). I know that feeling!!! Some of my pics by the end of the night were a little sweaty! Ok a lot sweaty and my hair had started to fall out.
I love your photos and I agree with your comments on what types of photos you love!
Everything looked beautiful as did you and I am sooooo glad you had the wedding and week of your life!
Maybe we should all plan a BDW trip because travelling solo after travelling with a group just isn't the same (I just learned this hahah)....
Married on 2015/01/21 at the Grand Sirenis Riviera Maya with 43 guests in attendance
Planning Thread - http://www.bestdesti...s-riviera-maya/
Wedding Pictures http://www.bestdesti...ra-maya/page-36
Wedding Review http://www.bestdesti...31#entry1885600
Posted 20 January 2016 - 11:57 AM
@calgarybride2015 I was just thinking this the other day! A BDW trip would be so fun!!! Don't get me wrong I was happy to have alone time on my honeymoon but it would be nice to travel in a big group when you don't have to worry about a wedding that week or at the very least your own.
My planning thread - http://www.bestdesti...016-azul-fives/
Posted 20 January 2016 - 12:36 PM
@calgarybride2015 Thank you! It was a lot of fun. Omg.. my bridal look was so bad by like 8:30pm lol. My hair was flat.. my face was underwhelming..lol
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