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wedding planner

meet the girl behind WG

real weddings the spring issue SPR 14



25274 99781


ballet bridal CREME DE LA CREME


“INSPIRE ME” mood boards










6:24 PM




Wedding & Event Planning 647 995 0459


A.L.Wedding & Event Planning


@alevents @aleventplanning

Live Event Artist – Olga Pankova

LIVE EVENT ARTISTRY provides a unique and exclusive way to preserve your special wedding day by capturing your celebration on canvas - during the time of the event as it takes place. The memories, the moments and the events of the day can be captured on any size canvas. Your guests are entertained and will love to watch as the process and progress unfolds! Please visit the website and contact Olga Pankova for details. 1

email: cell: (647) 889-6297

Extravagant Décor, Stunning Florals & Luxury Linens 647 • 241 • 4170

Cover Credit: Creative Director/Lead Makeup: Caroline Buzzanga, Creatively Beautiful Inc. - Makeup Assistant: Samantha Morgado, Creatively Beautiful Inc. - Hair: Andrea DaSilva, Creatively Beautiful Inc. - Table Décor,Accents and Florals: Settings {Design Stylist} - Photography: Randy Lange Photography - Bridal Gown: Blushing Rose Bridal Boutique - Venue: Strictly Dance, Georgetown, ON - Model: Katie Ball


Table of ContentsF Articles 4. Editor’s Note 17.Feel Like a Man


18. Radiant Orchid 23. Creme de la Creme

Real Weddings


5. Alayna + Chris

19. Live Event Artistry

9. Jessica + Luke

46. Simply Beautiful

49. Nadia + Marco

54. Designer’s Corner

55. Alison + Adam 3




editor’s note

Dear Brides, Gro oms, and Wedding Enthusiasts, Another season has come upon us and with the turn of the New Year comes new trends, new inspirations, and new weddings! We have compiled real weddings submitted by you from all over Ontario and were very impressed with the creativity and quality this season has brought. Spring is about new life and new beginnings and we have seen the intricate details of the planning process come together to create wedding magic.

We were also blessed to attend the Canada’s Bridal Show and Toronto Charity Bridal Show and meet many of you there. The innovation of vendors have shown that 2014 is definitely the year brides and gro oms want their weddings to stand far above the rest. Our team was able to create a gorgeous stylized sho ot lo oking at the theme of Ballet in bridal, displayed on the cover. Stay tuned in following issues for more photosho ots using dramatic concepts never before seen in weddings. Finally an exciting announcement - the collaboration between The Wedding Planner Magazine and, creating an elevated reach for the magazine into the hands of brides that have never been able to access the magazine before. Make sure you visit and sign up for our newsletter to keep up with happenings around the magazine. Without further ado, I present to you, the Spring 2014 edition of The Wedding Planner Magazine. Happy planning! xo

The wedding planner magazine

Publisher The Wedding Planner Magazine Editor-in-chief Carmelina Karas Creative Director & Layout Designer

Margarita Oudalova Contributing Writers: Alysa Baker Angela Hickman Arti Patel Andre McCalmont Christin Twitchin Courtney Wattie

Elizabeth Kogan Heather Nedham Helen Kats Jesse So Kimberly Clark Meliisa Hancock Nadia Tedesco Renu Eapen Ryan McLachlan Photographers: Anne Edgar Bill Giannos Dan Osadtsuk Nathan Kwok Marcie Costello Randy Lange Raph Nogal Facebo ok: /WeddingPlanGTA Twitter: @WeddingMagGTA

email us

Carmelina Karas Editor and C.E.O. Photo credits: Photography by Aura Atelier | MUH by KaterinaRapoportInc | Styling Rubén Cisneros


real weddings e CHRIS & ALAYNA 04 . 10 . 2013


Venue: Cambridge Mill, Gallery Ro om Officiant: Randy Harris Florist: The Flower Market Cake & Cupcakes: Tiny Cakes Photographer: Anne Edgar Photography Make-up: Mindy Skraba Makeup Artistry Hair: Andrea Garvie, Andrea’s Cutting Edge Dress & veil: Bonny Bridal; Jeffery Bridal by Merike Gro om’s suit: Wilke Rodriguez; Mo ores Finer details & Decorators: Bride & Gro om Bridesmaid dresses: Le Chateau DJ: Thunder DJ

real weddings e Dress Designer: Private Collection, Balletts Bridal and Formal Wear, Kitchener, ON Photographer - Anne Edgar Photography Tux/Suit Designer:  Tombolini, Mark Nunes, Waterlo o, ON  Florist:  Vanessa Lloyd  Cupcakes:  Hildy Steiner  Make-Up:  Done by Bride using Dior make-up  Hair:  Shelisa Cherri  Decorator:  Marlene Schmidt  Limo:  Brentwo od Livery  Officiant:  Reverend Henry Huberts  Venue:  Nithridge Estates Weddings and Events, Ayr, ON  D.J.:  Iggy Farina  Horse Drawn Carriage Driver:  Terry Schmidt  String Quartet: Leith Quartet  Fo od:   Nithridge’s Chef Bradley Taylor


Becky and Gary

real weddings e

Jessica and Luke 10 . 19 . 2013





Venue - Mississauga Convention Centre Transportation - Toronto Limo Rentals Photography - Xero Digital Videography - Arash Studios Florist - Ciano Florist Cake - J’adore Cakes Company Décor – Elegante Décor 10

real weddings e

Venue – St. Elias Banquet Centre, Ottawa, ON (Zare, Manager extraordinaire) Minister – Rev. Dr. Dave Hunter,A Valley Wedding, North Gower,ON Photographer – J. B. Scot, Ottawa, ON Hall Décor – Tania Viner,Cheap and Chic Designs, Ottawa, ON Cake Artist – Irina, Sweet Song Cakes DJ – Nancy Banyai Vintage Gro om signs – Bride/Maid of Honor/Flower Girl Gowns – David’s Bridal, Trainyards, Ottawa, ON Gro oms Tuxedos – Mo ore’s, Trainyards, Ottawa, ON Wedding Invitations/Poster/Return Labels/Postcards – Singer/Guitarist – David Milliken, Ottawa, ON Limousine – Exotic Limousine Service, Cornwall, ON Hall design, Vintage Living Ro om, Thank You gifts, Seating Chart, Centrepieces, Candy Bar,Bridal Party/ flower girl, wedding brochure, all other decorations – Sylvie Drozdowski – Act One Scene One

11 . 02 . 2013

Sylvie + Mariuszj


“How beautiful is the day that is touched by Love. Today I Marry my Best Friend” Sylvie Brunet and Mariusz Drozdowski Wedding Motto. When you have waited your whole adult life for that “ONE” person who makes your life complete, you truly want to make that day memorable. For this OVER 40 couple, the day was as memorable and as special as all the days leading up to it, and all the days that will follow. Our story is probably not any different than any other couple who meet, fall in love and decide to make a commitment to each other,we simply happen to be in our 40’s. I think there is a stigma that the older generation just have simple civil ceremonies, or have a destination wedding, but not us. This is my husband’s first marriage (and will be his only one) and though I had been married before, that was more than 20 years ago. I believe there is a reason why we never married prior to meeting each other, I believe there is a reason we met when we did, and for all those reasons, we felt the need to truly celebrate this finding. We certainly have no regrets on going full out for this event. My husband is a Polish immigrant. Has been in Canada for just over 20 years. He is an only child. Amazingly enough, he was also only the second relative to have a lavish wedding. So for his mother,this event was very important and we certainly kept that in mind. His family was not even remotely aware of wedding traditions, so there were many questions as to why we do this or that. They enjoyed every moment of planning as much as I did. I am 100% French Canadian and therefore, there are many traditions that were important to me, and we made sure to cross our t’s and dot our I’s. I have two adult daughters who sto od beside me as we have always done. It had been the three of us for so long, that this moment, this ceremony meant more than what most people could understand. I have been blessed. Customizing and the DIY wedding was the perfect choice for us. My creative interior decorator stated publicly that she was only responsible for 30% of the design. I like to say it was a 50/50 effort. She is a true talent at what she does, and I found a creative side to myself that I didn’t know existed. I had an amazing crew of friends who to ok our vision and truly made it come to life (along with a 7 page instruction bo oklet…what can I say, I’ll always be an event planner).

We went with a vintage atmosphere. I don’t like calling it a theme because frankly it’s truly the way I live my life, dress and decorate my home. So I ran with what I knew best and the Vintage Diva within to ok over. I to ok to task what would make this day special. Instead of a photo bo oth, I chose to set up a “mock” vintage living ro om in the corridor. It was all of my own furniture, belonging to ancestors and I treasure every piece. It turned out to be the most beautiful scene and the focal point of a picture I had forever seen in my head. We were truly left speechless. I questioned everyone I knew about what their favorite childho od memory was when it came to candy. What was the one thing they ran to the corner store to purchase when they were given a few coins. Their memories ran rampant, and I was so encouraged. The Candy Bar was a smashing hit, bringing back vivid memories or everyone’s childho od. I made the thank you bags from newspaper filled with 1oz of Original Polish Vodka and Popeye Cigarettes. Another big hit with the guests. We further surrounded ourselves with vendors that we personally knew, or that were out to make their mark on the wedding world. Being a new entrepreneur,I fully understo od that I would get the best of them and the best is exactly what we received. Their professionalism and talent surpassed my wildest expectations and I’ll be forever thankful. As an Event Planner now, you can be assured that these amazing people are at the head of the class. All in all, I think we brought originality to our wedding and we brought who we were. Every bouquet, every Thank You bag, every Vodka shot, all the centre pieces, tissues on the seats, candy bar jars, were made from my heart and soul and devotion to this event and to this journey that we planned together. With the aid of many who do much better than I in other areas, and the cherished devotion of amazing family and friends, we created what I believe to be the perfect day.


Wedding Timelineg

After the moment your man proposes, it will dawn on you that you now have a huge wedding to plan. Before panic and intense heartburn sets in, grab a note pad and pen and follow this wedding timeline. This timeline will guide you and let you know when to start thinking about certain things and what day they need to be bo oked by.

12 - 9 MONTHS BEFORE THE WEDDING You are still in smiling ear to ear and talking about the proposal. The months ahead are going to be hectic and busy, but remember to enjoy every second of it! *Hire a wedding planner – these wedding saviours will know who to call, how much to pay and when to get things done *Get a wedding binder to keep yourself organized – a go od online version of this is *Start searching through bridal magazines and online for wedding inspiration *Work out a budget *Cho ose your bridal party *Reserve your date and venue *Take engagement pictures and submit them to TheWedding Planner Magazine! *Lo ok around for vendors

8 MONTHS BEFORE THE WEDDING By this time, everyone knows you are engaged and will ask how wedding preparations are going. Because you are following this timeline, your answer will be, “Great!”. *Hire your photographer/videographer – lo ok at their portfolio and make sure your personalities mesh well *Bo ok a DJ or band *Meet with caterers *Purchase your dress *Reserve hotel ro oms for family *Start your wedding registry (3 stores maximum or opt for a cash only gift)

6 - 7 MONTHS BEFORE THE WEDDING At this stage, all you can think and talk about is your wedding. People who are not in your wedding party may get tired of hearing about it but pay no attention to them – this is your big day! *Order wedding invitations and send them out. *Shop for bridesmaid dresses. *Bo ok your florist *Lo ok into transportation for family

4 - 5 MONTHS BEFORE THE WEDDING The wedding day will be here in no time! Remember to keep calm and enjoy every moment of this stage. *Bo ok your rehearsal dinner *Track the RSVPs you are receiving *Bo ok your cake *Cho ose your Hair and Makeup artists and bo ok your trial *Prepare a playlist for your band or DJ

Elegant Bouquets Book Your Complimentary Consultation Today! Facebook: ElegantBouquetsGTA


Cathy Julien-Douse 416-356-2592

3 MONTHS BEFORE THE WEDDING Butterflies and sleepless night. Still having fun though.


*Cho ose the menu for the reception *Make final decisions about your flowers *Order favours *Start your DIY projects *Buy the wedding rings *Decide who will be speaking at the ceremony/reception

*Create the seating chart and guest list *Get your marriage license *Have a final dress fitting *Buy gits for your family and the wedding party *Work on your tan, whitening your smile and any other beauty routines

2 MONTHS BEFORE THE WEDDING You will have forgotten what sleep is, but you are still having the time of your life! *Talk to your photographer about your photo list *Review your music list with the DJ *Check your passport for validity

1 WEEK BEFORE THE WEDDING Breathe in. Breathe Out. *Give your bridal party a schedule *Meet with your Day-Of Co ordinator to make sure you are on the same page *Pick up your dress *Confirm with ALL vendors *Confirm seating chart and guest list with the venue *Pack for your honeymo on

That is it. You have done everything you can to make this day amazing. Every tear and sweat will be worth it, because at the end of the day you will be marrying the best man in the world. Just remember to dance like a freak at your wedding and have the time of your life!

by Renu Eapen 16

Feel Like a Mane

What is the best way for a man to lo ok go od without being to o feminine or polished? Here at Stark’s Barber Company, we have a few tips and ideas on how to get you to Feel Like a Man. 1. SET A SCHEDULE FOR GETTING RID OF ‘EXTRA’ HAIRS To instantly lo ok cleaner and well kept, you will want to get rid of those pesky nose, ear and neck hairs. Friends or your wife-to-be often will notice these but will seldom call you out on them. Set a monthly reminder in your calendar to visit a barber shop that offers these male gro oming services. 2. LOSE THE UNI-BROW AND/OR BUSHY EYEBROWS The shape and size of your eyebrows help to frame your face. Properly gro omed eyebrows have shorter hair growing up and out, not sideways and down. This opens the eye allowing you to lo ok more alert. There are many ways to achieve this without having the feminine “painted on” lo ok. Get a recommendation from your barber,especially on those in the middle that form the uni-brow. 3. SELECT THE RIGHT HAIRSTYLE Does this sound like you? “I’d like the usual”, J“ ust a trim” or “Take 1/2 inch off all the way around”? How many months (years?) have you been asking for the same cut? Modern 17

hairstyles catered to your face shape can allow you to lo ok younger,thinner and more established. A go od barber will consult with you before the cut and won’t allow the “same as last time” lo ok just because it is the easiest and fastest to do. 4. MOISTURIZE YOUR SKIN Everyone should moisturize their skin but few men do. The most common reasons are they do not have the time, they think all moisturizers are for women and they wouldn’t know what to use or where to buy it. The best time to moisturize is during the shaving routine. Take a lo ok at the ingredients in your shaving cream or aftershave. If they came from a big box store, chances are they include alcohol, an ingredient that dries out your skin. Buy quality cream and aftershave (we recommend Edwin Jagger’s Aloe Vera Moisturizing Aftershave) to include in your shaving routine. Follow these tips to help keep yourself fresh and feeling like a man. For more information on Starks Barber Company, visit and let us know you found us in The Wedding Planner Magazine by Ryan McLachlan

inspire me





Olga Pankova She appears before you as though she’s a painting


and not a woman made of flesh and bones. Hers is a classic beauty; that evokes images of silver screen stars of years past. The striking brunette is Olga Pankova, a portrait artist in the Greater Toronto Area. Pankova says that she always knew that art was always her lifelong dream and passion. She discloses, “I have always wanted to be able to paint. As a child, I loved to draw and paint and continued to paint right into college. ” After completing art-college in Uzbekistan, Pankova says that it was difficult to earn a sustainable living as an artist. She reveals, “I really had no time to paint and had to focus on other jobs. Eventually, however,the opportunity arose for me to live and work abroad in Dubai; and with my spouse’s support, I was able to paint professionally.” When asked what path led her to wedding portrait art, Pankova explains, “I started off by doing a few

Live Event Artistry by Elizabeth Kogan

paintings for myself and my family and that helped me start a portfolio to show potential clients. Shortly after coming to Canada, a wedding planner asked me if I would paint live at a wedding.” Pankova’s reaction to the request was one of surprise. Candidly she says, “It was a scary thought. I typically paint in my studio without an audience. All of sudden I was going to be thrown into an environment where I had to perform.” Deciding to research the proposition, Pankova so on learned that she would be offering an exclusive service in the Canadian marketplace. Feeling bravely optimistic, she decided to pursue event-based portraiture. Of her decision, Pankova states, “ I am so glad that I to ok this chance. I now really enjoy painting live at events.” Her desire for her craft is what keeps her motivated and inspired. Smiling she states, “I really have to control my

passion as I could paint all day and forget everything else.” She then adds with a laugh, “My family is constantly reminding me to stop painting.” Pankova expresses gratitude to Canada for her success, “I am blessed to be in a great country as a new immigrant. I love having the opportunity to paint and work in a unique field of live event artistry.” The gifted painter finds nspiration in general life experiences and specifically, in her positive relationships with her friends and family. She says, “every day I wake up thinking about what new subject to paint.” When meeting with potential wedding clients, Pankova shows samples from her portfolio so that the couple has an idea of the product to expect. During that initial consultation, she will typically dedicate two hours to discussing the process: her arrival time; sketch requireme nts; and number of hours painting. Evidently the subject matter of the painting itself is a key component of the discussion and planning process. The artist explains, “We invest a fair amount of time talking about what need to capture in the painting. For example, some couples want the first dance, and others want the exchanging of rings.” Pankova stresses that there are a multitude of options that can be explored. “I help the couple work through their thoughts and ideas to ensure that I capture the essence of their desired moment.”

The devoted artist says that the experiences she’s had inevent portraiture have all been special. “I do get attached to each piece,” she admits frankly. “Spending time with the couple, being with them for the evening, and sharing in their special moments makes each piece unique,” she declares fondly. Pankova conveys the joy she feels when a couple comes to view the finished portrait, “Seeing the expressions on their faces when they come to pick up the final piece is just priceless.” Given the demands of the busy wedding day, it’s common for the bride and gro om to not have had a chance to see Pankova’s work during the actual celebration. “When they are relaxed and they come into my studio for the unveiling, I just love to see the lo ok on their faces. They have tears of joy and that really makes an impression on me. I love being able to provide this joy,” she says warmly.


Some technical points: • It typically takes Pankova one hour to sketch the painting. • The sketching is performed prior to the guests arriving at the venue. • Approximately five hours is allocated to painting during the event for a 24”x 36” impressionistic style painting using acrylic paints. The paint used dries fast and is odour-less. (Other detailed oil portraits can take between thirty to fifty hours to paint). • At the end of the event Pankova typically takes the painting with her for final touchups - a clear top coat is always applied to protect the painting.


You and the TFSA


The tax-free savings account (TFSA), introduced by the federal government in 2009, is a flexible investment savings account that allows you to earn tax-free investment income (including capital gains). It’s not a traditional savings account; rather it’s another type of registered account, just as registered retirement savings plans (RRSPs) or registered education savings plans (RESPs) are types of registered plans.   Why have a TFSA? If you save or invest today outside of an RRSP , you receive a T3 or T5 tax slip each year and claim any the investment income on your tax return. When you contribute to a TFSA, the income grows inside the account tax-free, which can result in tax savings. Whether you should use RRSP or TFSA contribution ro om first depends on factors such as your age, income and RRSP contribution ro om. Contributions: $5,500 per year for life Starting in 2013, the annual contribution limit is $5,500, regardless of how much income you earn. This amount will be indexed annually to the inflation rate in $500 increments. The Canada Revenue Agency will notify you of your contribution ro om for each year. A one per cent per month penalty tax applies for over-contributions.   Unused contribution ro om can be carried forward like an RRSP , so if you can’t contribute the maximum amount in any given year you can wait and contribute larger sums in the future when you have more money available. When withdrawals are made, your contribution ro om is not lost and the amount of the withdrawal is added back to your contribution ro om in the following year. Although contributions aren’t tax deductible, you don’t pay tax on withdrawals or on the investment income you earn while your money grows inside a TFSA. And while you cannot contribute directly to your spouse or common law partner’s TFSA, you can give money to your spouse so he or she can contribute to his or her own TFSA without the investment income being subject to the attribution rules.   Withdraw any time, for any purpose The money you accumulate in a TFSA can be withdrawn at any time without tax consequences, and without affecting any federal income-tested benefits or tax credits you may be eligible for.

These might include old age security, guaranteed income supplement, the age credit, the go ods and services tax (GST) credit, or the Canada child tax benefit. There are no time limits for withdrawing and no restrictions on how you spend your money. Withdrawals increase your contribution ro om in the year following the withdrawal, allowing you to save again for another purpose.                                                             Investment options The types of investments that can be held in a TFSA are generally the same as those permitted for an RRSP.These i nvestments include: Mutual funds Segregated funds Publicly traded shares Government and corporate bonds Guaranteed investment certificates     You can transfer funds in-kind from an existing non-registered account to your TFSA, but be aware the redemption is a taxable disposition and may trigger income tax. If the funds have an inherent capital loss, the loss would be denied on an in-kind transfer,therefore these funds should be sold so the loss could be utilized. The cash could then be contributed to your TFSA.   Contact your financial security advisor and investment representative today to determine how the TFSA fits into your financial security plan.

Joseph Andre McCalmont is a graduate of Queens University, a nancial security advisor with Freedom 55 Financial, a division of London Life Insurance Company, and an investment representative with Quadrus Investment Services Ltd. He can be contacted by cell phone at 647-669-4684 or by email to The information provided is based on current laws, regulations and other rules applicable to Canadian residents. It is accurate to the best of the writer’s knowledge as of the date of publication. Rules and their interpretation may change, affecting the accuracy of the information. The information provided is general in nature, and should not be relied upon as a substitute for advice in any specific situation. For specific situations, advice should be obtained from the appropriate professional advisors.


creme de la cremee















An unexpeced journey

by Melissa Hancock

Melissa + Shaun h

My entire body is shaking and covered in sweat. Thick mud is packed inside my ears and pain is buzzing through my muscles. Hundreds of people surround us – laughing, cheering and celebrating. Dried mud coats my eyelashes and globs of clay turn back to mud as I blink tears from my astonished eyes. I have just completed Tough Mudder and experienced a surprise ending I never could have trained or prepared for. September 28, 2013, my boyfriend Shaun and I embarked on a journey of strength and endurance. We trained hard and created a bo ot camp regimen and nutrition plan, thanks to Shaun’s training and research. The challenge tests you physically and mentally with an emphasis on teamwork. Shaun and I were a powerful but anxious team of two. We have been together more than 11 years meeting at Conestoga College in Kitchener in 2002. It was love at first sight. During those years, we have endured a lot. Shaun has an autoimmune condition that caused his thyroid to shut down. We to ok on a new gluten-free lifestyle, treating fo od as an investment in our bodies and health. A year and a half before Tough Mudder,I weighed 100 lbs. more than I do now. This challenge was to be my goal and weight loss celebration. Instead, I got more than I bargained for. 35

The 17km course with 25 military-style obstacles includes climbing over 12-fo ot walls, crawling under barbed wire and jumping into ice water to list a few. According to Toughmudder. com, the average completion time is 3.5 hours. It to ok Shaun and I 6.5 hours and there were many times we wanted to turn back. Even then, we endured. There are few words to describe how awesome to cross the Tough Mudder finish line with volunteers ready to crown us with the coveted orange headband. Next came the free beer. Sitting at a picnic table, we to ok a moment to collect our thoughts. “I’ll go get our beers,” I said. “No,” barked Shaun, “sit down for a minute.” I sat down and lo oked at him. His eyes glistened through the pain of the day. He to ok my hand and trembled. His body aching and muscles ready to give up, Shaun slipped off the bench and onto one knee.

creme de la creme

His face white with exhaustion, Shaun spoke words that will forever echo in my heart. “Baby,” he began, “if we can do this together,we can do anything together. Will you marry me?” I said yes right away with tears streaking down my mud-covered face. Time stopped in the middle of chaos and I sho ok with excitement. This man is the reason I want to live a long and healthy life. This entire journey brought us to this moment. He loved me 100 lbs. ago. He loves me now with mud in my nose. He loves me. Our triumphant finish of the Tough Mudder will forever remain the moment I realized anything is possible. Life is extraordinary and I get to continue living it with this extraordinary man. BIOS: Melissa Hancock is a former journalist. She manages a bulk fo ods store and has a business creating personalized gifts that lo ok like the front page of a newspaper. Shaun Teskey is an information technology professional and master of awesome.



perfect proposalb

Dan and Courtney


It didn’t star Sandra Bullock and Ryan Reynolds but it did have a hot cameraman and Hollywo od fireworks! It was New Year’s Eve and we to ok my 4 year-old son Aiden downtown Barrie to watch the fireworks. We watched colours bo om through the sky with my son on my waist. Fireworks made that moment feel magical. I lo oked around at my sister,my boyfriend and my son. I was content; it was the perfect evening. On our way back home, we made a pit stop at 7/11 for some junk fo od (Mr. Sharpe’s idea) and I picked my favourite snack – smores.

They didn’t have graham crackers so we decided to get a mix of go odies instead. Excited to curl up by the fire with a glass of wine and junk fo od, we put Aiden to bed. I sang to Aiden and slowly tip toed out of his ro om. Mr. Sharpe was creaking up the stairs towards me. "You know how I've been hiding something from you," he said. "Yes, and it's been driving me NUTS!" I exclaimed. "Well, I bought your URL domain and made you a website. I'm just going to go to the bathro om, why don't you go downstairs to the office and check it out. I'll meet you down there," he said.

(Mr. Sharpe is a software developer with a knack for impressing me.) Surpised, I thanked him and went downstairs to the computer ro om. I typed in "" and up popped a test. (You'll have to visit that website if you want to see what the test is all about). My mind was racing and my heart beating at ridiculous speeds as I paced through the questions. After completion, I followed the instructions and went upstairs to the living ro om where the lights were dim, and mybest friend was down on his knee, shaking and pale. He was about to pop the big question. I remember both of us crying and hugging after I said yes and he put the ring on my finger. We sat down on the sofa and started discussing our plans for the future. It was a beautiful representation of how thoughtful he is. In a nerdy way, this proposal was very much a "Mr. Sharpe" production, and it was perfect. by Courtney Wattie 38

Unique Seating Plans It’s time for the reception after the Bride and Gro om have exchanged vows and rings during their ceremony. Guests arrive and their first question is usually, “Where am I sitting?” The traditional way is to have escort cards at the receiving table and have a bridesmaid or gro omsman search for the guest’s name and table number. More recently, couples have been lo oking for more fun and unique ways to display where guests are sitting. Ornament Tree Make paper ornaments with the table number of them. List the names of the guests under each table. Hang them on a Christmas tree for a December wedding or a display tree for another season. This can double as a “wish tree” where guests can write their best wishes for the happy couple. Find Your Wine This is great for a wedding in wine country or if you are a wine lover like myself! Instead of a table number,have a board with a list of different wines. Your guests will lo ok at the board to see which table they are at and lo ok for the table with the matching wine on it. Photo Frames Collect a number of different photo frames and each frame will have a seating chart.

b Seashells and Rocks Write the names of your guests and the table number on seashells or rocks. This is a great idea for a destination wedding or an outdo or wedding. Cupcake Place Setting Have a little flag in a cupcake with the guest name and their table number. Movie Passes For the movie buffs, create your own movie passes. This is an easy Do-It-Yourself idea and makes for a great wedding theme. Coming up with a unique idea is easier than it seems. For even more great ideas check out some of these great sites: Boho Weddings - Bliss Weddings Boston Blog - http://blissweddingsboston. Prima Donna Bride - by Angela Hickman


Dear Brides,


open letter to brides

by Elizabeth Kogan

This is an open letter written to you by a woman who has been married for twelve years. While I recognize that twelve is not a golden anniversary milestone, I thought I would reach out to you as a sister as you plan your wedding. Even now, I can still remember the wedding preparations were sometimes excruciatingly stressful. The other day, I opened up my big, black leather wedding photo album and my eyes fell on the opening page – “The beginning of the journey”. I had written this in gold pen along with our names and wedding date. I paused for a moment as I realized I didn’t even remember writing that note. My invitation was pasted on the next page. I gasped – I barely remembered what it lo oked like. That poignant moment inspired me to write this piece. Desiring to share lessons learned in hindsight reflection, I open my heart to you and say: The wedding day itself is a fleeting one. You’ve very likely heard this many times before. I implore you to listen carefully to these words. The day, while a joyous celebration, perhaps the party of a lifetime, symbolizes the beginning of your lives together. After the band has played the last song and you and your new husband say your final go odbyes, it will be just the two of you. You will be the most beautiful woman in the ro om. I empathize with fretting over cho osing a dress and finding the right hair and makeup. I confess I actually bought one dress in the early days of my engagement excitement and after having a devastating bout of buyer’s remorse, ended up buying a second one. The truth is, no matter what, all eyes will be on you. There’s an indescribable yet very visible glow that a bride exudes on her wedding day. Unlike an embarrassed blush or sweat from a go od workout, this glow is flawless because it comes from within. You’ve made a decision to marry this person and want the whole world to see your happiness. There may be hiccups on the day. Yes, let’s air out that dirty little reality right now so we can deal with it. As humans, we are flawed and seek perfection, but alas, perfection does not exist. Does this take away from the beauty of our projects and endeavours? Absolutely not! I say that it gives our experience depth and character. During my own wedding ceremony, the officiant decided to change the plan for the ceremony right on the spot! Did my face betray my surprise? Instead of resorting to wide-eyed indignation, I smiled and even laughed several times as the photographers clicked away. I told myself to remember that what mattered was that I was marrying the best possible person for me. Final words. Brides, you are in the throes of one of the most epic experiences of your life. It’s certainly not one to take lightly – I truly do understand that truth. There may be some panicked moments and you may feel overwhelmed at times. Nonetheless, stay focused on what the day is really about – you and your loved one officially starting your life journey together. Try to remember how the kiss feels on your lips after the ceremony is over. Many years down the road, that kiss will serve as a blissful memory. Wishing you much joy on your wedding day! Signed, The Married Lady


The up and coming

the up and coming jh 41

Born and raised in Vancouver,Peggy Wong is a third year student in the Fashion Design program at Ryerson University, Toronto. Invaluable experience working within the alterations department at a midtown bridal salon has nurtured Peggy’s knowledge of the art of creating gowns, as well as her technical abilities. With her passion, strong sense of self-discipline and fascination with the world of weddings, Peggy strives to pursue a career in the bridal industry 42

styled wedding


Creative Director/Lead Makeup: Caroline Buzzanga, Creatively Beautiful Inc. Makeup Assistant: Samantha Morgado, Creatively Beautiful Inc. Hair: Andrea DaSilva, Creatively Beautiful Inc. Table DĂŠcor,Accents and Florals: Settings {Design Stylist} Photography: Randy Lange Photography Bridal Gown: Blushing Rose Bridal Boutique Venue: Strictly Dance, Georgetown, ON Model: Katie Ball


Ballet Bridal


Artemis jewelry

by: Amie DiCarlo

Perched on a quiet street in Yorkville, Toronto, fashion stylist and entrepreneur,Amie DiCarlo, is ready to talk fashion and jewellery in her recently opened second store location. ARTEMIS Jewellery & Accessories feels more like a charming, cozy home set with a fireplace and white, 19th century chairs. This is no ordinary retail store. With its white marble flo ors, mirror walls that reflect oh-so-pretty crystal chandeliers and rows of high-fashion bridal jewellery-filled glass display cases, this specialty boutique will have you feeling like a princess. An unforgettable customer experience is exactly what ARTEMIS strives for. Named after the Greek goddess of the wild, who defines beauty and strength, the name denotes one who serves as the source of strength and vitality for others. In art and literature alike, she is a beauty that cannot be tamed. That is how ARTEMIS describes their target customer. Not for the shy at heart, ARTEMIS houses extraordinary jewellery and accessories, including over-the-top necklaces, specialty rings, high-fashion bracelets, all-things hair,intricate scarves, pretty little evening bags and trendy day bags. Celebrities like Beyonce, Madonna, Jessica Simpson and Lady Gaga favour these collections. These pieces have been seen in renowned Hollywo od Blockbusters including Dreamgirls! 45

Not only will you find coveted pieces, hand selected from across the world and local home-grown Canadian designers, ARTEMIS gives you the exclusive opportunity to design your own pieces. These pieces are made with the best quality materials: Swarovski crystals, pearls, precious stones, nickel-free metals, 22-carat gold finishes, sterling silver,natural feathers and genuine leather. If the regular store hours conflict with your schedule, Amie is more than happy to make a private appointment for you. Feel free to bring your outfit and try it on in the store as Amie dishes her expert fashion tips to create a lo ok that captures your unique style and that will have all eyes on you. From the latest trends on the runway to the timeless, classic pieces, at ARTEMIS you will undoubtedly fall in love. Aside from the new Toronto location, you can also visit ARTEMIS Jewellery & Accessories in Wo odbridge at 8611 Weston Rd. Unit 35. Ph. 905 850-9331.

Simply Beautiful

As a professional makeup artist, I learned early in my career that makeup totally transforms one’s face by playing up some features and downplaying others. I learned makeup tricks create the illusion of a smaller nose, a chiseled jawline and an arched brow. Makeup, enhanced by shadows and lighting, is the key ingredients to lo oking great in pictures. Sculpted glamour was first noted in black and white movies of 1920 –1930 starring German screen legend, Marlene Deitrich, who believed in accentuating the natural lines of her face with shading, shaping and contouring. She paid close attention to set overheadlighting and used a perfectly casted shadow effect to create her ultra glamorous style. She was known mainly for her onscreen sensuality, her “bedro om eyes” and smoldering sex appeal among other things. Fast-forward to present-time celebrities and makeup icons like Eva Longoria, Rihanna, Kim Kardasian and Jennifer Lopez who know how to lo ok striking at every photo-op and every red-carpet event, using makeup to their advantage. Their makeup artists know exactly how to create the illusion of shadow and light (i.e. how to fake a

perfectly sculpted face, flawless skin, healthy glow and picture-perfect natural-lo oking makeup.)

This technique is called Contour and Highlight. This technique is especially popular with brides, for it adds a lot of dimension to the face and lo oks great both in person and in photographs. It is not about the colour but about shading and shaping the areas of the face that protrude and recede. By carefully placing and blending makeup products, namely contour (dark) and highlight (light) we help enhance and shape the curves and planes of the bride’s face.

Brush to mix the contour and highlights until there is no distinction between the colours. Finally, apply a light dusting of lo ose powder to set the makeup in place. After creating this flawless canvas, apply blush, bronzer,eye and lip makeup. Your face will lo ok sharper,slimmer,subtly transformed, camera ready, and Simply Beautiful.

Here’s how to do it yourself: Invest in a kit that has both highlight and contour colours in your skin tone such as the Forever Sculpting Kit or Smashbox Contour Kit. Apply one thin layer of foundation or tinted moisturizer to the face. Apply contour to the hollows of the cheeks, the temples, under the chin, the sides of the nose. The highlightershould be applied to the middle of the forehead down to the center of the nose, under the eyes, under the nose, under the lower lip, the sides of the mouth, top of the apples of the cheeks and the brow bone. Now blend the makeup using a wet beauty blender sponge or Duo Fiber Blending

by Helen Kats


Physically Fit g

The trickiest part about getting in shape is figuring out what to eat. Following the same routine day to day can get quite boring. With your busy schedule, certain go od eating habits slip even for the best of us. Here’s the bottom line: If you want to kick your fitness routine into high gear to ensure you lo ok fabulous on the most important day of your life, you need to be properly nourished. To help, we’ve chosen 3 Superfo ods you can easily incorporate into your regular diet. Changes are easier to make when they are simple and few. This could be just what you need to bring excitement and attention back to your meal plan. Superfo od #1: Quinoa (pronounced KEEN-wa) This tiny grain is naturally high in protein, which is important for lean muscle tissue (building and repairing after a workout). A 3.5 oz serving has 13 grams of protein. Also a go od source of several B vitamins, magnesium and iron, it has a mild, nutty flavour to it making it an ideal add-on to your regular meals. You can either steam or boil it and add it to pasta, yogurt, fresh fruit, soups, salads, stir-fry or simply on its own. Quinoa can be found in the grain section of your local grocery store. Superfo od #2: Arugula What a simple way to spice up every salad and sandwich you already regularly enjoy! Arugula is a leafy green member of the cabbage family with a tangy, peppery taste to it. It’s a great source of non-dairy calcium, fibre, vitamin C and beta-carotene. In addition to salads, try adding it to pasta as well. No surprise here - easily found in the produce section.


Superfo od #3: Sweet Potatoes Sweet potatoes are packed with antioxidants 1(50% more than blueberries!), which of course help to reduce oxidative stress (i.e. results of environmental pollution and negative physical stressed caused by rigorous workouts). They are a great source of Vitamin C and beta-carotene. A healthier choice than regular potatoes, which contains one of the highest single-fo od starch contents, they are easier for the body to process. Their naturally sweet flavour needs no assistance either! You can have them baked, mashed, steamed or blended into a smo othie. Can be found in the vegetable section right beside your regular potatoes. by Heather Nedham

3 Powerful Real Estate Investing Tips for 2014 It’s 2014 and you may be thinking of investing in real estate but you don’t know how difficult it is. Use these 3 tips to make strong property investments without being overwhelmed.

Start with one and learn how the process works. The year after,buy two. Each year you become more familiar with the process and can buy more properties. Buy Only the Best Deals

Learn Selectivity Buying that first investment house or property can be overwhelming. If you search on Go ogle for “real estate investing” you are given 217 , 000 , 000 results! Pick one niche and one strategy. That’s it. You may be interested in buying small, multifamily properties like duplexes or triplexes and hanging on to them until retirement. Searching Go ogle for “how to buy a small multifamily property” will bring far more targeted responses. Start Small You want to acquire millions of dollar in real estate to stock your retirement fund but that million dollar portfolio starts with a single purchase. Perhaps set a goal to buy 10 single-family houses over the next 5 years. You do not need to buy all 10 this year or the next.

Remember these three simple words: Quality Over Quantity. Having hundreds of properties do you no go od if you aren’t making money. When you are a multinational corporation or large hedge fund, you can wager and buy thousands of properties. If you are a regular person lo oking to stock your retirement fund, you can’t afford to buy bad deals. Buying the best deals allows you to spend less time managing properties, giving you less stress while owning them and helping to build your wealth faster. Kimberly Clark, Broker Century 21 Leading Edge Realty Inc. Brokerage Direct: 647.293.8632 Office: 905-471-2121


real weddings e

Nadia & Marco 10 . 05 . 2013

After a year and a half of planning, the big day had finally arrived. I woke up smiling, refusing to let the dark rain clouds and Mother Nature rain on my parade. I dreamt about this day since Marco and I had gone on our first date. I would have married him on our second date but he made me wait a whole year! My lovely ladies and I arrived at the salon and started with some mimosas and strawberries – the breakfast of champions! The glam squad at Studio M had us dolled up and ready to go in record time and right on schedule. I remember being calm, getting dressed, taking pictures and heading to the church 45 minutes ahead of schedule (when is a bride early to church?) with a huge smile on my face. The bells of Padre Pio Church in Kleinburg rang at no on and that was my cue to walk down the aisle with my parents by my side. The gorgeous church was full of family and friends. I smiled throughout the ceremony and cried as I gave my vows. It was so surreal to be there in my wedding dress lo oking at Marco, my new husband. Now that we were officially hitched, it was time to get the party started. We piled our massive bridal party into our extravagant Escalade and popped the champagne to head for pictures as the new Mr. and Mrs. Tedesco. 49

We bo oked Avenue Niteclub for indo or pictures. They provided the perfect dĂŠcor for the modern and edgy pictures we envisioned, as well as delicious sandwiches and a great bartender! Mike, our photographer,and the boys as Dream Productions (our videographers) made the day memorable as they are all go od friends and amazing at what they do. The day was flying by. Walking into Hazelton Manor was one of my favourite memories of that day. The hall is gorgeous and we fell in love the minute we walked through the do ors to see the sparkly and elegant dĂŠcor provided by Luxel. It was breaktaking. Throughout the night, we had a lot of surprises for our guests including a music video to Party Rock Anthem where downtown our videographers filmed us complete with crazy wigs and costumes to usher us in for our grand entrance. Waiting behind the do ors, we could hear everyone laughing so we know it was mission accomplished. We feasted on veal chops and lobster tails with homemade crepes for dessert, followed by late night poutine and cupcakes. Our goal was to make the night one big party with the help of Wildcard Inc. for the entertainment. We had flair bartenders, an aerialist duo, a photobo oth, glow sticks, and a laser show. Digital had everyone up and dancing, waving their glowsticks, until the party ended at 2am. It was an unforgettable day for a girl that never imagined her wedding until she found the man of her dreams and had the wedding beyond her wildest imagination. By Nadia Tedesco


Dress: Maggie Sottero from Sophie’s Bridal Hair: Melissa Greco, Studio M Hair Design (Vaughan) Church: Padre Pio, Kleinburg Hall: Hazelton Manor, Photo location: Avenue Niteclub DJ: Digital Entertainment Group, Videography: Dream Productions, Photography: Michael Fantauzzi Fine Art Photography, Cake/Cupcakes: Fabulous Cakes, Invitations: A Celebrity Invitations, Toronto Limo Rentals, Décor: Luxel Décor, Flowers: MJ Design and Décor, Day of Co ordinator: Jennifer Coletta, Entertainment (Photobo oth, Aerialist, Flair Bartender,Guitarist): Wildcard Event Entertainment ( 51



real weddings e

Tara and Rico 04 . 27 . 2013

Dress designer: Ritchie - Soterro and Midgley Tux / suit designer: Tuxedo Royale Florist: The Bouquet Couture Florals & Events DJ: Superstars MUH: Maryellen at The Art of Hair Photographer: Richard Emanuel Photography Cake: Cakes by Mary DaSilva


Designer’s cornere My name is Margarita, and aside from being the new creative director at The Wedding Planner Magazine, I’m also - appropriately enough - an Event Designer at The Bouquet Couture Florals & Events (

Our spring issue deals with a variety of topics, from the predicted hot colour trend of 2014 - Radiant Orchid, to showcasing some of Toronto’s best cake makers, to talking about how to best treat your wedding guests. However,research and envision as you might, what I’ve learned and what I want to pass on to you during this fresh wedding planning season is to trust your instinct and work with people you feel comfortable with. I know its been said before. I know you’ve heard it before. but.. Your wedding should be a team of professionals who you see eye to eye and have a mutual respect and understanding for. A line of open communication, whether it be through calls, emails, or texts has to be there, so you feel as comfortable talking to your florist as you do to your best friend. Your actual wedding day? It will be the longest and, simultaneously, the shortest day of your life; this team should make it go as smo othly as possible. There’s a reason I get emotional at every wedding I am a part of - it’s a beautiful thing that I’ve helped create and build coming to fruition. It’s an ending to one stage of a couple’s lives together,and a beginning to the next, even more spectacular one. So here’s a toast to all the brides and gro oms past, and all the ones to be. for the love of beauty,

Margarita Oudalova Photo Credit: Photography: | MUH: KaterinaRapoportInc


real weddings e Alison & Adam

Dress designer: Beckers Bridal Tux / suit designer: Rented from Mo ores Florist: A wonderful lady named Christine Law Designs by Law - Cake: We had cupckaes from The Luvvly Cake Co. Candy Table: Made by Alison (the bride!) Make up: Angel Beauty Bar in Jackson Square Hair: Jamie Croucher 905-531-1943 DJ: All Things Music - he also provided up lighting. Venue: The Art Gallery of Hamilton Photographer - Anne EdgarPhotography



real weddings e

Kelly + Ryan

09 . 21 . 2013


Venue : Mississauga Convention Centre Dress : Ferre Sposa Bridal Tuxedo : Tuxedo Royal Photography : Quarum Photography Florals : The Bouquet Couture Florals & Events Cake : I do! Wedding Cakes DJ : BB Blanc Video : In The Moment Production


The raven-haired beauty caresses her oversized latte cup with her delicate fingers, and her eyes turn upwards toward the ceiling, as she responds to the question, “How did the Wedding Girl come to be?” Turning her gaze towards me, Mary Bratko (Mary) the Wedding Girl herself declares, “Wedding Girl has been the most fortunate accident of my life.” Continuing her tale, she shares, “Once upon a time, I was on the express route to medical scho ol. My efforts were almost entirely focused on dissecting sheep’s brains and studying neural pathways. In the midst of that endeavour,I got engaged and started planning a wedding.” She pauses for a moment, lo oks at me, her blue eyes conveying a message even before she speaks, “A few months before the big day, I thought long and hard about my life and realized it just didn’t fit. Round life, square girl. I hung up my lab coat and cancelled my plans for happily ever after”. Following her plans to call off her engagement, Mary, realized that she was, as she puts it, “drowning in piles of wedding leftovers – a dress, décor,and not to mention the deposits paid to vendors.” Initially she tried to sell her wedding-related items online and then one day came across a post by a girl lo oking for inexpensive wedding items and services (catering, décor,etc).


Mary reached out to the girl and learned that she and her fiancé had become unexpectedly pregnant and

desperately wanted to show their child one day that his/ her mother and father had a wedding. Mary’s heart melted upon learning of the couple’s plight and she gave the girl everything she had. The experience left Mary feeling very irritated. “I was angry at the wedding industry for exclusively focusing on how to spend. But what if you can’t afford grand, elaborate, and expensive?” Mary points out the very harsh realities of many who struggle with financial debt in order to meet the demands of life’s obligations. “There are many of us out there in the same boat - student loans, car loans, mortgage payments, and life payments.” Mary decided to create a resource for brides to learn tips and tricks on how to spend, where to save, when to splurge, and what to skip all together. On February 5, 2009, WeddingGirl.Ca was born. Although she didn’t know it then, she later realized that “nothing would ever quite be the same again.” Mary points out that while love is a timeless notion, wedding trends fluctuate just like any other industry. “Every year there are new ideas. Currently, there is a trend towards opting for smaller,more intimate affairs. Weddings are becoming genuine reflections of the personalities of the bride and gro om. Couples are deciding early on in their planning to prioritize and invest their money in what’s most important, finding ways to save on remaining details.

The mentality is: it’s about how you want to celebrate your love instead of how much you spend.” When asked what motivates this wedding planning maven to persevere, she smiles brightly and reveals, ”Somebody once said to me that in order to be happy in life; I need to find what gets me high. And so long as it’s not alcohol, drugs, or men, I need to keep doing it over and over. Well, to her comment I personally add, find what gets you high, and then figure out a way to get paid for it.” The premier wedding planner expresses her gratitude for being in a career where she is immersed in a world of couples in love and she spends her days creating scenes of beauty to showcase their special day. “I get paid to do something I love. It’s impossible not to be motivated and inspired by people in love. Weddings are beautiful. The people having them are pretty ecstatic and I get to attend some pretty amazing parties!” Mary is mindful that when working with a bride and gro om, it is in essence, a partnership. As she says eloquently, “You’re entering a long term relationship and need to expect trials, tribulations, strains, miscommunications, and difficulties. My best advice is to

be willing to face each challenge head-on, confidently, with understanding, patience, kindness, and laughs. Laughing together makes everything better. Ultimately, everyone’s on the same team and the end goal is the happy ever after”. The years as Wedding Girl have provided Mary with fond experiences and cherished memories. She reached a milestone when on New Year’s Eve 2013, she attended the 135th wedding that she had personally planned and co ordinated. “That’s a lot of brides that I’ve helped, a lot of boutonnieres that I’ve pinned, a lot of aisles I’ve decorated, a lot of challenges I’ve faced, and a lot of rewards I’ve reaped.” Her concluding words paint a mesmerizing picture as she proclaims, “Every wedding carries with it an element of passion, heart-warming emotionality and gut-wrenching difficulty. There have been speeches that have made me cry, décor that has left me breathless, and endearing moments of warmth and kindness that have opened up my heart and spilled its contents all over the flo or around me.”




Party of 5 k

A large pressure faced by all brides and gro oms to be is who to cho ose for their bridal party. This decision may be easier for some that have the appropriate number of f amily/friends for the task but problems arise when you have two sisters, two best friends or two other family members that expect a certain honour. Best Man/Maid of Honour This is most important role from the male and female side of the bridal party. They must be reliable and do whatever it takes to get the bride and gro om through the wedding planning process and down that aisle. Usual candidates are the best friends or the siblings but in same cases, co-maid of honours or co-best men are chosen. The best man is the coach for the gro om. He is the keeper of the rings, the one keeping you relaxed and the one to help you lo ok sharp. He needs to give the best man speech, plan the bachelor party, and, most importantly, stand by your side at the altar. This individual should be organized and doesn’t break under pressure. He is mature and understands responsibility while still has the ability to put on a go od party for the men. 61

The maid of honour,similarly, is the coach for the bride. She is the one to hold the bride’s bouquet during the ceremony, she fixes the brides dress for pictures, she plans the bachelorette party and sometimes even stays at the bride’s house the night before the wedding. Remaining Members These are individuals that you know and trust will support you through the wedding planning process and on your special day. These are people who keep you relaxed and focused. Even if you know someone might not be able to be a part of the bridal party, asking them anyway is a gesture showing your trust in them. There may be some that decline the invitation and do not take this personally as it is a large responsibility that not everyone can commit to. The ones you end up with will be the ones willing to drop everything in order to create your perfect day. So take a deep breath, smile and remember all these things. Your special day will be even more special because of the people you cho ose to surround yourself with. by Jesse So


until next time....


“after women,

are the most divine creations.”


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Spring 2014  

The Spring 2014 issue of The Wedding Planner Magazine

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