You’re Engaged!!

So CONGRATULATIONS to all of you newly engaged couples – I do love a good engagement story – so do pop yours in the comments below 🙂
Image via Harpers Bazaar
So you’re probably still on Cloud Nine, but you’ve got a wedding to plan! Here are my top tips on where to start…

1. Write a guest list

It will give you a good starting point, and will be really helpful when you come to discuss budgets. Even the difference between 150 guests and 120 guests, can have a big impact, so this will really make you think about what (and who) is important.

2. Create a budget

This can be a bit boring, but it is essential – and needs to be done early on. It is easy to get carried away with things (I mean, who doesn’t need an 11 tier naked cake sprinkled with edible gold….) – but being able to go back to your budget will  help you to stay grounded. It will also help you decide what you do and don’t want to spend money on. Do you want a videographer? Do you need to provide wedding favours? Can you do an electronic ‘Save the Date’?

If you would like a totally FREE budget planner – email me on hello@alexandriaevents.co.uk and I will pop one over to you.

3. Enjoy!!

This is the time to be celebrating with friends and family, drinking lots of champagne, and staring at your engagement ring every five minutes. Weddings are amazing, and marriages even better, but there is nothing like being engaged, and it will be over before you know it, so make the most of this time!

I hope you’ve found this useful – and if you have any more questions please do drop me a line – hello@alexandriaevents.co.uk
A xx

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Top Tips for a Stress Free Wedding Day

Photo of all of the wedding guests at Alexandria and Tyrone Schiefner's wedding

Firstly, ever bride gets stressed (sometimes grooms do too….), so if you’re stressing about stressing, don’t! It is totally normal, planning the biggest party of your life, is a big deal, you’re spending a lot of money, you’re hosting more guests than you probably have done before, and you’re marrying the love of your life. But the stress shouldn’t take over, and you certainly shouldn’t feel stressed on the day itself. Here are my top tips for a stress free wedding day.. Happy Planning!

1. Get organised beforehand

The best way to enjoy your wedding day (or any other big event) is to get super-organised before hand. And, yes, I do mean write schedules, plan things down to the minute, and even if things don’t happen exactly according to your plan, having this to guide you, will make sure that everything runs smoothly.

A good example of this was my own wedding, perhaps I am the extreme, being a wedding planner myself, but I had my day mapped out with military precision, I even had the number of second between each flower girl, page boy, and bridesmaid, walking down the aisle, written down on my day schedule. Now considering most of these were little people, under the age of 10, I knew deep down that they were not going to stick to my precise timings (and of course they didn’t) but just having it planned out, and knowing what to expect on the day, made me feel much more relaxed.

No matter what anyone tells you, amazing events don’t just fall into place, and the best ones are those that are well planned. The beauty of being well organised is that you can then pass all of this information on to all of your suppliers ahead of the day, and this helps them to understand exactly what you want, and when. Of course, if you do decide to work with a wedding planner, we take over this planning side for you, and liaise with your other suppliers, to ensure everything happens as it should. If you don’t have a wedding planner, number 2 (below) is crucial….

2. Dish Out Responsibility 

A bit like I said before, delegation is key, and whether this is to a wedding planner, other suppliers, or family and friends, you have to let people help you. In the lead up to a wedding, When you are planning your day, think about what you think you will need on the day, assign people to hand out orders of service, and showing people to their seats, have someone handing out confetti, or choose a bridesmaid to keep hold of your perfume and lipstick and help you wrestle your wedding dress when you need to pop to the loo.

There might be all sorts of other ‘issues’ that you might not want to deal with on a wedding day, if certain family members don’t get on, choose someone sensible to keep an eye on things, similarly, there’s always someone who has a few too many drinks at a wedding, if you think this is going to worry you, just ask someone that you trust to keep an eye on the situation, and if you really think you need to, ask your caterers/bar staff, to slow down on their topping up with that particular person.

3. Take a few days off work in the lead-up

I know you probably want to save all of your holiday for your honeymoon, but you don’t want to be scrambling to finish all of your work the day before your wedding day. If you can, take a day or two off beforehand so that you can really leave the office behind you and wind down.

4. Have some time to yourself

In the lead up to your wedding day, everyone is going to want a piece of you. People may be arriving from abroad, family and friends might be checking into local hotels and wanting to pop in and say hello. This is lovely, and can really build up the excitement but don’t stretch yourself and commit to doing too much.

If you want to bring everyone together for a dinner/drinks before the big day, try and do it ‘the day before the day before’ so if you’re getting married on a Saturday, organise something on the Thursday, as opposed to the Friday night. This means you will still have all of the excitement, but none of the tiredness or the hangover on your big day!

5. Lastly, just enjoy yourself

Little things might go wrong on the day, or at least, not exactly how you imagined it, but I bet you don’t even notice.

A x

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Wedding Colour Palettes // Rose Gold Wedding

// Rose Gold //

I really enjoy creating these colour palette posts, medicine mostly because I just LOVE Pinterest and can spend countless hours browsing for the perfect shades. This instalment is all about Rose Gold. This colour is so on trend at the moment, viagra 100mg but it is also a really beautiful hue, store and can look gorgeous in winter, paired with a cool grey, or adding a bit of glitter to the equation. It is equally as soft and pretty, to be used in a Spring or Summer wedding, and looks amazing with white and green flowers. It is also a really easy colour to carry through your whole wedding journey, from stationery, to candles, to makeup, you can luxe it up, or dress it down for a more rustic feel. A rose gold wedding is a real beauty.

 

Collage of rose gold images, an Alexandria Events Colour Palette

As ever, I hope you like these colour palette posts, and if there is any particular shade that you’d like to see featured, leave me a message in the comments below. If you’re planning to have a rose gold wedding, I’d love to hear about your plans! For the photo credits, and more rose gold-inspired images – please take a look at my Pinterest board or follow me on Pinterest for more colourful inspo @alexandriaev

A x

Becoming a member of the UKAWP

Quote saying 'Your Dream Job Does Not Exist, You Have To Create It'

Image: The Patriotic Peacock

Earlier this year, I became a member of the UK Alliance of Wedding Planners, so I thought I would write a little post about my experiences so far.

The alliance works in a number of ways, but the most useful part for brides and grooms, is that it is essentially a directory of wedding planners (and some other suppliers too). The best part about this for these potential clients, is that each member has to sign up to a code of ethics, which can give them piece of mind that we all conduct ourselves and our businesses, a certain way. Because we all hold the same values, this also makes it easy for us to refer work to each other, if we are unable to help a client on a certain date.

Here is the Code of Ethics:

  1. Respond to enquiries within 48 hours
  2. Respect client confidentiality

  3. Disclose all suppliers that you have a vested interest in

  4. Always pass discounts and/ or commission onto the client

  5. Ensure your Public Liability Insurance is up to date

  6. Never give client details to any third party unless for the sole purpose of the wedding

  7. Respect copyright of all planners, co-ordinators and related suppliers

  8. Represent each client fairly and honestly

You may think that some of these are obvious, or a ‘given’, but you might be surprised at the number of planners that will happily take commission from suppliers, or share their details with other suppliers before being given express permission.

The second way in which the alliance works, is providing a support network for the members themselves. Lots of people who own businesses in the wedding industry, work for small businesses, and often, ‘one man bands’ , so it is lovely to know that there is a group of likeminded business woman, and men, who we can go to for advice, ideas, and sometimes just to let off steam! The way that I find this most useful, is through the Facebook page as it is quick, easy, and convenient, but there are various events throughout the year, which allow us to meet up face-to-face, and it is always lovely to meet new people, and put faces to names!

The third way, is access to PR opportunities, which is wonderful for small businesses like mine, where having a ‘PR budget” is not always possible. Since joining in March, I have had bits and pieces published in leading wedding magazines like Brides, and You and Your Wedding, and while I don’t think that this is the main route that my clients contact me through, it is all part and parcel of building  your brand and reputation, so every little bit helps.

Ultimately, I think choosing to become part of the UKAWP is one of the smartest business decisions I have made since starting Alexandria Events. Not only have I gained some wonderful clients since joining, but I have also made some great friends, that I have learned a lot from.

Are you a member of an organisation connected to your business? If so I’d love to hear about your experiences too!

A xx

Wedding Colour Palettes // Orange

// Orange //

Well here we are, back again with another instalment in the wedding colour palettes series. For October, I have chosen Orange, as it is a great choice for either Summer or Autumn, and of course, is synonymous with Halloween. It is warm and inviting, and used the right way, can be ultra stylish. The key to using orange is to add hints of it here and there, rather than make it the main event. An autumnal bouquet can be enhanced with the addition of a few rusty burnt orange florals, or a coral orange lipstick or nail varnish can complement a summery bridal look beautifully. It also works well with grey, turquoise, or even a midnight purply blue as well, so if you’re thinking of using any of these colours on your big day, think about adding a pop of orange to brighten things up.

An orange colour palette moodboard to help couples choose their wedding day colours

I hope you like these colour palette posts, and if there is any particular shade that you’d like to see featured, leave me a message in the comments below. For the photo credits, and more orange-inspired images – please take a look at my Pinterest board here or follow me on Pinterest for more colourful inspo @alexandriaev

 

Thanks!

A xx

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My top 5 ‘liked’ Instagram photos

 

I am absolutely in love with Instagram, I adore sharing images, and even more, ‘liking’ other people’s posts too. Being a small business, social media is a crucial tool, perhaps even more so, when you do such a visually creative job as wedding planning and styling. So I thought it would be interesting to go onto Iconosquare and check out what my top five most ‘liked’ Instagram posts ever are. Some of them seem obvious to me, others not so much, let me take you through them, and let me know what you think too.

 

5. A beautiful Afternoon Tea Wedding, by At Home Catering at Fetcham Park

Beautiful venue, beautiful table full of delicious afternoon tea goodies – it’s not hard to see why this image was popular, what wasn’t particularly great, was the quality of the image as I just took it on my iPhone and then played around with the brightness before posting. This is one of the reasons why I love Instagram, it is accessible for everyone and you don’t need to have professional photos all of the time, sometimes the content of the image just speaks for itself.

 

4. Roses hanging from the tree in our front garden

Flowers hanging from ribbons on a tree at Alexandria Event's own wedding in Hampshire

This is an image from my own wedding, the reason I am surprised that this one is up there, is because, although the image is lovely, they just looked even more beautiful in real life. I suppose to me, the photo doesn’t quite do justice to the reality. These particular roses are the handiwork of the fabulous Paula Rooney, and were the first thing that I saw when we pulled up to the house after our ceremony, seeing this image really transports me back to that day.

 

3. A beautiful bouquet by Nikki Tibbles

Beautiful Nikki Tibbles Wild at Heart bouquet, with pink and cream peonies and peach roses

So…if there is a pattern here, it has to be flowers, and no wonder, everyone loves a good flower photo, and people definitely liked this one. Nikki very kindly gave this to me as a gift after a meeting that we had a couple of months ago, and without a doubt, it is one of the most beautiful bouquets I have ever received. The colours are amazing, there is a lovely variety of textures, and shapes, it was just an absolute beaut. So kind of her, and I am so glad that the people of Instagram loved it as much as I did.

 

2. The confetti shot

Alexandria Events, UK based wedding planner, gets married in her local church. Confetti shot outside the church with bridesmaids and flower girls

This is one of my all time favourite photos. It is from mine and Ty’s wedding, and was just a candid shot taken by one of our friends outside the church. The reason I love it so much is that it is just such a natural and happy photograph full of all of my favourite people. Those of you that are already married will recognise the feeling of absolute elation that you feel just after your ceremony and I think this photo really captures this perfectly.

 

1. Mini eggs!

Cadbury's mini eggs in a china bowl, and edible flowers, designed by Alexandria Events, UK based wedding planner , for a styled shoot at Oakley Hall Hotel

So this one did baffle me a bit, it is a pretty shot that I took behind-the-scenes of a styled shoot that I organised earlier this year, but it certainly isn’t anything special. I love mini eggs and I love pastel colours, and pretty mini flowers, so I decided to take a little snap, and I guess other people do too! You can see the proper images from this shoot, by the fantastic Jacques from Real Simple Photography, here or on the English Wedding Blog

 

I’d love to see your favourite Instagram pics – or the most popular ones on  your feed too! If you want to see what I’m up to on Instagram – I’m @alexandriaevents
A x

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Spring Styled Shoot at Oakley Hall

Hello everyone!

I am really excited to share this shoot with you. It was such a fun project to work on, and I met some great suppliers, not only because of their talent (which there is buckets of!) but were also lovely, friendly, and professional to work with. We held the shoot at Oakley Hall , a beautiful wedding venue and hotel, in Hampshire. Their grounds are fabulous and our photographer Jacques was spoilt for choice with shoot locations.

I wanted to create a fresh, floral, and floaty overall look for the day. Originally I was thinking of all pastel and ice cream colours, but when Paul, our florist, said he could get bold blue hydrangeas – I knew that we needed to incorporate them somehow, and they really became the focal point in terms of flowers. This is one of the reasons it is sooo important to talk to your florist about what you would like for your big day. They truly are experts, and can help you choose the perfect blooms for your colour scheme, and the time of the year.

Here are some of my favourite images from the day, and check out my Portfolio page for more, as well as a list of all of the suppliers involved:
You can see more images on my Portfolio page as well as a list of all of the suppliers involved and links to their website. We were also lucky enough to get it featured on the English Wedding Blog – click here to see more:

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Back to School…The Life of a Wedding Planner

Cute Pencils with hearts, <a href= viagra 100mg Back to School Blog, visit this Alexandria Events Luxury Bespoke Wedding Planner” width=”900″ height=”900″ />

When I decided to set up my own wedding business, I knew the best way to learn more and improve, was to spend time with the experts – people who had already established successful careers in the industry. 

I have been doing this in a variety of ways, from assisting top wedding planner, Andri Benson, from Always Andri, to developing relationships with other wonderful wedding suppliers and coming together to plan a very special styled shoot (we will reveal all soon….)

But as well as hands on experience and learning by example, I do love to sit in a classroom and learn. I’ve always been this way, my husband actually calls me a nerd, and even though he says it to tease me, I actually quite like it!

So off the back of that, I started researching the different courses and opportunities out there for Wedding Planners, and the first thing that I realised is that there are A LOT! I’m sure all of them have their own merits, but the one the appealed to me was ‘The Life of a Wedding Planner’ Course, run by Dominique Douglas, owner of Stylish Events. This was because:

a) it seemed excellent value for money (£99 for a whole day’s workshop!) 

b) I liked how it was described – ‘the life of a wedding planner’ seemed to be exactly what I wanted to know about, all of the ins and outs

c) after looking at the Stylish Events website, it looked like the kind of successful company that I wanted to know more about and learn from. 

So I hopped on the train to Canary Wharf, with my notebook and pencils, ready to absorb every snippet of information that I possibly could. I was not disappointed…It was such a valuable day from start to finish. There were only five of us in the group, which made it really friendly and intimate, and the way that Dominique had formatted the day meant that we spent a good chunk of the morning getting to know each other, finding out everyone’s motivations for being there, and where they were up to in their wedding career ‘journey’. We then went on to discuss all aspects of wedding planning, from how and where to get clients, to how create useful spreadsheets, invoices, and contracts. Everything was covered, and if it wasn’t Dominique was more than happy to answer any of our questions, and made us comfortable to ask them (even the silly ones!).

Overall it was a great experience, and I would recommend it to anyone who is thinking about becoming a planner, whatever stage you are at, it’s worth it! I left feeling really inspired and confident that I am capable of achieving my dreams! 

Audrey Hepburn quote, Back to School, Life of a Wedding Planner, Alexandria Events Luxury Bespoke Wedding Planner

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Snap Happy – A guide to finding the perfect wedding photographer, by Alexandria Events

Choosing a wedding photographer can be tricky business. On top of the fact that you’re trusting someone to capture one of the most special days of your life, viagra you also have to spend a significant amount of time with them throughout your wedding day, information pills so you need to get it right. Making the right choice is a deeply personal decision, sick and most of the time you do just get a ‘feeling’ about someone, the same way that you do with people in your personal or professional life.

Here are some top tips, on what we think is important when making your choice:

1. Start searching early! Make choosing your photographer a priority (once you have secured your date of course). Give yourselves ample time to shop around, trawl the websites, and check out all of their online galleries, shortlist your favourites, and then start contacting them! Here at Alexandria Events we know some incredible photographers and would love to help you with your shortlisting – contact us here

Lorraine Clare Photography, wedding photographer, wedding photography, Alexandria Events Luxury Bespoke Wedding Planner

2. Meet face-to-face, unless they live at the other end of the country, there is no reason why they can’t do this. If they say that they are too busy – do you really want a wedding photographer who can’t find the time to meet you? Skype and Facetime can work too, but it is  important to build a rapport with your photographer. They should be willing to meet at a time and place that is convenient for you.

Snap Happy - A guide to finding the perfect wedding photographer, by Alexandria Events

 

3. Word of Mouth –  ask friends and family who they have used and if they would recommend them. It is far more reassuring to get this information from someone you know and trust, than any ‘kind words’ on suppliers websites.

Lorraine Clare Lorraine Clare Photography, wedding photographer, wedding photography, Alexandria Events Luxury Bespoke Wedding Planner

4. Ask lots of questions – when you meet up, come armed with a list of things that you want to know. This will tell you a lot about their professionalism and flexibility, whether they are willing to work around what you want, and whether you ‘get’ each other.

Lorraine Clare Lorraine Clare Photography, wedding photographer, wedding photography, Alexandria Events Luxury Bespoke Wedding Planner

5. Ask to see their previous work – this seems obvious, but if they are showing you picture after picture of the same wedding, ask to see something else. Even if they have only shot a handful of weddings, a keen photographer will have plenty of other material (portraits/landscapes/reportage) that they should be able to show you. Everyone has to start somewhere – I know that from personal experience! But do you really want to risk being their ‘guinea pig’? Which leads me onto my next point…

Lorraine Clare Lorraine Clare Photography, wedding photographer, wedding photography, Alexandria Events Luxury Bespoke Wedding Planner

6. Have an engagement shoot! When these first started to become popular, I was a bit dubious myself, and thought the idea was a bit ‘cheesy’ but having had one myself, and talking to other brides – I think that they are crucial. Not many of us are totally relaxed in front of a camera, so an engagement shoot allows you to get used to it before the big day. It also helps you to see how  your photographer works, and gives them the opportunity to get to know you better too. Let them know what you do and don’t like, and learn about posing, and what looks good from them. It is their job to make you feel comfortable and relaxed, and most of the brilliant photographers that I know are experts at this.

 

All images by Lorraine Claire – a talented photographer and very good friend. Lorraine and I are in the process organising a very special styled shoot this winter, along with our team of fantastic suppliers – watch this space for more details!

 

A x

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Say Yes to the (Right) Dress – A Guide to Wedding Dress Shopping by Alexandria Events

 

Last week I met the lovely Rebecca, physician one of the designers at The Farnham Boutique, and it got me thinking about ‘the dress’…

  

         Say Yes to the (Right) Dress - A Guide to Wedding Dress Shopping by Alexandria Events                  Say Yes to the (Right) Dress - A Guide to Wedding Dress Shopping by Alexandria Events

                       Image by Esther Sun Photography                                                     Image by Anna Campbell

When you think about it, the concept of a wedding dress is utter lunacy.  Most of us spend more on this dress, that we’ll only wear ONCE in our lives, than any other item of clothing in our  wardrobes, and on top of that, they are typically white (ish), the most impractical colour in the world – all it takes is one drunken uncle and a glass of red wine and it is game over. So why do we do it? 

Some women (myself included) have dreamt about wedding dresses since childhood, I even went to a fancy dress party as a bride when I was six….I’ll dig that photo out some time so you can have a good laugh at me! Others only begin to get excited about the prospect of them once they are engaged, and planning the big day. And for some, the dress search is just something else to tick off the list.  But one thing that we all have in common though, we want to look, and feel, amazing when we’re walking down that aisle.

So this got me thinking of the process, and having gone through it fairly recently myself, here are my ‘top tips’ on making it as enjoyable as possible…

1. An obvious one here, but BE OPEN MINDED, most brides will tell you that they had an image of their dream dress, and then chose something completely different!  Even though you might think you’re a  ‘Kate Middleton’ you might be a ‘Kate Moss’. You never know until you try it on. Be brave! 

              Kate Middleton Royal Wedding Say Yes To The Right Dress - Alexandria Events Luxury Bespoke Wedding Planner Say Yes to the (Right) Dress - A Guide to Wedding Dress Shopping by Alexandria Events - Kate Moss Wedding Dress

                                      Image by Vogue                                                                             Image by Full Time Fab 

2. Don’t get upset if you don’t find ‘the dress’ straight away. It can be tempting to start panicking when you start hating each dress that you try on more than the one before. THIS IS NORMAL, we are all different shapes and sizes and what suits you might look bloomin’ awful on the next girl. You WILL find something that you look gorgeous in. Don’t panic buy, don’t cry (in public anyway), just keep looking, keep trying on, and keep smiling.

   Say Yes to the (Right) Dress - A Guide to Wedding Dress Shopping by Alexandria Events Say Yes to the (Right) Dress - A Guide to Wedding Dress Shopping by Alexandria Events

                           Image by Phillipa Lepley                                                                                Image by Pronovias  

3. Decide on the kind of wedding vibe you are going for before you start looking for dresses. Think about the kind of wedding you are planning, if you’re having a low-key, festival-style day, you might not want an enormous ball gown with a long train. Similarly, if you’re getting married in a posh hotel, your barefoot,  bohemian, floaty number might look out of place.  Having said that, if you fall in love with a particular style – go for it! It is your day, do what you want!  

                Say Yes to the (Right) Dress - A Guide to Wedding Dress Shopping by Alexandria Events Say Yes to the (Right) Dress - A Guide to Wedding Dress Shopping by Alexandria Events

               Image by Grace Loves Lace                                                   Image by Style Me Pretty  

4. Wear the right undies. Wedding dress shopping not the time to get your sexy lingerie out, (even though you’ll  probably have more seeing you in your knickers than any other time in your life!) It is all about the flesh coloured, seamless, no VLP pants, and a really well fitted, strapless, nude bra – trust me, you will look so much better on the outside, if you are well supported underneath. Once you have more of an idea of the style of dress that you want, you can start thinking about the need for basques/shapewear etc. but for now – get out the granny pants! 

             Say Yes to the (Right) Dress - A Guide to Wedding Dress Shopping by Alexandria Events Say Yes to the (Right) Dress- A Guide to Wedding Dress Shopping by Alexandria Events

                                     Image by Lauren Conrad                                                                    Image by Style Me Pretty  

5. Think LOCAL, there are probably a number of fabulous bridal shops on your doorstep that you just haven’t noticed before because you haven’t needed to. In my area I love The Farnham Boutique and The White House, in Alresford, what they both have  in common is a truly personal feel and excellent customer service (as well as gorgeous gowns!). From when you walk in the door, you are made to feel a million dollars, and this makes a difference to your whole experience By all means, check out the big names as well. but give your local high street some love too. 

                  Say Yes to the (Right) Dress - A Guide to Wedding Dress Shopping by Alexandria Events, The White House, Alresford, Hampshire Say Yes to the (Right) Dress - A Guide to Wedding Dress Shopping by Alexandria Events, The Farnham Boutique, Farnham, Surrey

                              Image by White House Brides                                              Image by The Farnham Boutique 

6. Do take your time, don’t let yourself be put under pressure to make any decisions or part with any money if you’re unsure. Most bridal shops are wonderful and far too professional to do this, but some can be pushy, so stand your ground, and tell them that you want to think about it. It is your decision, your money, and your wedding – take control!   

                  Say Yes to the (Right) Dress - A Guide to Wedding Dress Shopping by Alexandria Events Say Yes to the (Right) Dress - A Guide to Wedding Dress Shopping by Alexandria Events

                                    Image by The Fuller View                                                        Image by Grace Loves Lace  

7. Enjoy yourself! Take your loveliest friends or family, people that will be honest with you, and who want to find the dress of your dreams as much as you do. Try not to take TOO many people to your first appointment, it can be overwhelming to have all of the different opinions in one go, and you really need to concentrate on yourself and what YOU think, at least while you are narrowing down styles. Once you have got a general idea, invite more people along, have fun, and crack open the champagne! 

Hope this helps! 

A xx

 

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