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As many of y’all know, I’m lucky to be married to my college sweetheart, so I always feel so akin to fellow college sweethearts! Madison and Brady’s story not only started at their alma mater, but their sweet proposal also took place right in front of the building where they first met! Gah, so romantic! And, can we talk more about romance for just a sec? Madison and Brady’s stunning ceremony backdrop at Mint Springs Farm makes my heart skip a beat! I can absolutely see why Madison couldn’t believe she got to marry the man of her dreams there!

Hugs to Kristin Sweeting for sharing this lovely day with us!

What is the one detail or vendor that you were so happy to have as a part of your wedding? I was so thankful for all of them! But specifically, Mrs. Jan, the mother of one of my dearest friends and bridesmaids, Elizabeth, does incredible calligraphy and designed our wedding invitations and hand-addressed them, as well as designed our programs. They were absolutely stunning, and having her design them made them that much more special.

Tell us about finding your wedding dress. I went to a little local bridal shop with my mom and my dad. Since my fiancé and I wanted a quick engagement, I was very afraid that I wasn’t going to be able to find my dream dress and have it be ready in time for the wedding. Amazingly, I found not one, but two perfect dresses. The ladies at the bridal shop were so sweet and offered me the sample of either dress! I picked my dress and had my first fitting that afternoon!

Describe your wedding flowers. They were so dreamy! We used lots of whites with delicate touches of pink and lots of greenery. I wanted the arrangements to look like traditional wedding flowers, but also to reflect our personalities. They turned out more incredibly than I could have ever imagined!

We loved the altar where the ceremony took place. The stunning flower arrangements that surrounded us, the white curtains billowing in the wind, and the wooden cross behind us were all so idyllic. The first time I saw it, I was so overcome with emotion and I kept thinking “I cannot believe I get to marry the man of my dreams here.”

My dad is the lead singer of Sawyer Brown. I joked with him since I was first engaged that he should write a song for our first dance. He claimed he didn’t write songs anymore, so my godfather, who is another member of the band wrote one for us instead. I was so touched. My dad also recorded the song “Down the Road” by Mac McCanally for the daddy/daughter and mother/son dance. He used to play it around the house when I was little, and it was always one of my favorites. However, after dinner, my dad was handed the microphone and said that he had lied to us and played us the song he had written for us. It was truly the highlight of the entire wedding.

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. Brady and I met our very first day of classes at Vanderbilt. I was walking to class behind a group of very tall boys and one of them turned around, asked if I was going to ethics class, and proceeded to introduce me to his friend, Brady. We sat next to each other every day in class and started dating around Christmastime. The rest is history!
Tell us all about the proposal! While I was at home in Nashville, Brady had one of my best friends (who still attends Vandy) invite me to visit with her one afternoon at our sorority house. She then tricked me into walking across campus “to meet a friend at her class.” Before I realized where we were, I was in front of the building where Brady and I had had that ethics class all those years ago. He (not our friend) walked out of the building and the rest was a complete blur. I was so surprised!
When did y’all get married? June 29, 2014
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 150
What made you choose your ceremony and reception venues? Did they have any special significance to you? We were married at Mint Springs Farm. The first time I saw the venue was in a picture on Instagram, and I knew that it was exactly where I wanted to be married. It was so beautiful and matched our personalities perfectly.
Describe your wedding cake or dessert. It was a four-tiered cake with three different flavors: white chocolate almond, caramel butterscotch, and key lime. It was an all-white cake with a lace pattern that matched the lace on my wedding dress. And of course, it had a big monogrammed “B” on it!
What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? I feel that what made our wedding Southern was the importance we placed on our friends and family. We wanted to make sure that our friends and families felt how much we loved and appreciated them being with us on the best day of our lives. After that, all of the other details became added bonuses.
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? Do not sweat the small things! It was raining (pouring, really) the entire day of my wedding, but that didn’t matter. No matter how much rain there was, I was still going to be married to Brady at the end of that day. If you can keep laughing instead of worrying, the little things (like a massive bug crawling up the lace of your dress while taking pictures) become something to laugh at and remember instead of something to cry about.
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you most looking forward to about married life? We cannot wait to be in our first home in Florida!

Photographer: Kristin Sweeting / Venue, Planning, and Florals: Mint Springs Farm / Cake Baker: Signature Cakes by Vicki / Caterer: Chef Penelope / DJ: Snyder Entertainment / Paper Products: Jan Pruitt at Annabelle’s / Bride’s Gown: Pronovias / Hair and Makeup: Amanda Gros / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: “Morgan” in Petal by Donna Morgan / Men’s Attire: Black by Vera Wang

marissa Written with love by Marissa
11 Comments
  1. avatar Elaine {EventsbyElaine} reply

    Everything about this wedding is so sweet and charming. Of course, the venue is a wonderful backdrop for this love story.

  2. avatar Stacy {Woodsy Weddings} reply

    Love the color palette, really sweet combination. The reception with the large beams and balcony is beautiful (love the black and white shot with everyone watching their first dance).

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One of our favorite things about weddings in the South is the community they bring together–not only on the day of the wedding, but also in the months leading up to it. Every piece of Hannah and Jacob’s wedding was lovingly touched by a family member or friend–from the wood reception tables that their dads built together, to the cakes made by the same lady who made Jacob’s birthday cakes each year, to the music at the ceremony and reception performed by talented loved ones. The result was an intimate, joyful wedding that was as meaningful as it was beautiful!

Thanks so much to Rachel Moore for sharing Hannah and Jacob’s wedding with us!

We were married at Jacob’s parents’ house, so it was very personal and family-centered. Growing up, Jacob was an adventurous boy who loved his family’s open farmland and the creek that ran along one side of their property. It was a great way for him to seal his childhood and connection to home while planting the seed for his new family. We held the ceremony on a rock jutting out into the middle of the creek and held the reception in his family’s barn.

Did you write your own vows? If so, what was your favorite phrase, verse or line? Being an English academic, I actually wrote the entire wedding script, vows and all. Our “official” quote for the day was one by Robert Fulghum: “We’re all a little weird. And life is a little weird. And when we find someone whose weirdness is compatible with ours, we join up with them and fall into mutually satisfying weirdness—and call it love.” But my favorite quote was one by a favorite author of mine, Kurt Vonnegut: “And I asked myself about the present: how wide it was, how deep it was, how much was mine to keep.” I loved this because it captures the immense feeling you sense on your wedding day when you want to freeze time so badly. What you must remember, and what this quote reminded me, is that the happiness and wholeness you experience on the big day is something that you will carry with you forever.

What was your most memorable moment about your wedding day? The most memorable moment of our wedding was definitely standing on our wedding rock and listening to my brother, who read as lector, and Jacob’s father, who served as the officiant, read the words we wrote together. Holding our hands up triumphantly after our kiss and seeing all of our loved ones cheering was also a phenomenal moment.

Jacob, his father, and my father built all the wooden tables for the reception with wood cut from Jacob’s parents’ land. Jacob’s father and his best friend built the barn that we held the reception in, including a bar that was built into one corner. They also built the dance floor from scratch, and my father set up the entire lighting system. The only major thing we had to rent were the chairs. Jacob’s mother made the salad dressing, herbed butter for the bread, and all the vegetarian dishes. I made my own homemade limoncello for the toast and bought thrift store coffee mugs to fill with Starbucks instant coffee and biscotti for the favors.

What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? We were married on a Southern Tennessee farm, held the ceremony on the banks of a creek, and had the reception in and outside the family barn. Another Southern touch was that we had family and friends helping out in every way. Even our reception dinner was quintessentially Southern, with family-style servings. We also had a Budweiser trailer with beer taps, and our custom cocktails were a spiked blueberry lemonade and a Lynchburg Lemonade. Our musical guests sang country classics like “Ring of Fire” and “Rocky Top.” The most Southern thing of all, though, was when Jacob’s family’s neighbor rode over on his tractor to hand deliver our wedding gift of homemade wine and join in on the celebration!

Our favorite detail of the wedding was the family-centered nature of it all. Having family and friends sing through the ceremony and the reception made the day so personal and touching. During the reception, my father, brother, and cousin joined Kevin and Lucas, our vocalist and guitarist for the ceremony, and they played music like nobody’s business. My cousin, Cody Huber, performed mind-blowing Johnny Cash covers that astounded our wedding guests. Jacob and I are University of Tennessee alumni, along with many of our wedding guests, so when my dad, also an alumni, performed the song “Rocky Top,” the entire crowd went wild!

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. I attended a Greek date party with an abysmal blind date and was about to head home when I saw the most beautiful man’s face beaming above the crowd. Jacob was surrounded by women that he was a good foot taller than, making his smiling face readily apparent. I then saw that it was my own sorority little sister dancing with him. Since they were on the complete other side of the bar, I decided to call it a night and go home. A few weeks later, I was introduced to Jacob at a party, and learned that he was only a platonic friend of my sorority little sister, as well as a best friend of her older brother. Jacob was, apparently, as smitten with my smile as I had been with his weeks prior. We dated, fell in love, and the rest is history!
Tell us all about the proposal! A week before New Year’s Eve, Jacob told me he was planning the night for me, since I am usually the planner. It wasn’t until we pulled up to the Gaylord Opryland hotel in Nashville that I found out where we would be celebrating the holiday. I asked Jacob how he could afford a night in such a lavish hotel, and he replied, “With what I had left.” He quickly added, nervously, “of my Christmas money.” This response was odd because I knew what he had gotten for Christmas and none of it was money. It dawned on me that he may have actually meant that the money was leftover after purchasing an engagement ring. I was excited, but I reminded myself that I had no idea if this was true. Getting ready for our evening, Jacob came to the bathroom where I was fixing my hair and, with the most grave expression, said, “I forgot something VERY important.” I immediately assumed he meant the engagement ring. Well, apparently a black belt for a formal event was just as important. He had forgotten his and took off on a mission to buy one at one of the hotel’s clothing stores. When he returned, he seemed surprised that I wasn’t ready yet, but my hands had been shaking from nerves and anticipation and I could barely apply my makeup. After another thirty minutes of primping, I was finally ready. When I heard the song, “You and Me” by the Dave Matthews Band coming from the other room, I knew my intuition had been correct. Jacob, a beautiful writer, had written something breathtaking that he read aloud. He got down on one knee, and before he could even finish the question, I excitedly said “Yes!” After a bottle of bubbly and a lovely Italian meal, we were joined by our best friends, who had just gotten engaged days before. We celebrated in the Opryland ballroom with a midnight countdown and late night dancing!
When did y’all get married? May 24, 2014
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 150
Describe your wedding cake or dessert. Our wedding cakes came from a sweet lady who lives just down the road from Jacob’s parent’s home. She is largely retired from her business, but was happy to provide her services for Jacob’s mom, who has been ordering her cakes for Jacob’s birthday for over a decade! I handcrafted monogram-style letters to go on each cake and had Jess add some lovely floral touches. Words cannot describe how delicious and lovely they were in their sweet simplicity!
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? Be realistic about your wedding budget. When beginning the planning process, you think that it will be so easy to cut things that you may want. However, when it comes down to it, you may end up splurging on a few things. Also, don’t take on all the responsibilities yourself. I thought I could get away with planning everything, but ended up hiring a coordinator a few months out and was so thankful for her!
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you most looking forward to about married life? Since the wedding, Jacob and I moved to Jacksonville, Florida, where Jacob started his radiology residency at the Mayo Clinic. I will be starting my PhD program studying American literature at the University of South Carolina in Columbia. Jacob’s work schedule is crazy, so we just like to savor our beach days and hiking adventures when we can!

Photographer: Rachel Moore Photography / Videographer: That’s Classic Media / Planner: Porsche Kristina / Venue: Private residence / Florist, Lighting, and Bridal Party Wreathes: Jessica Fell Davis of SOULflowers / Caterer: Gondola Pizza and Steakhouse Restaurant, River Cafe, and Family / Rentals: Christopher Equipment and Southern Events Party Rental Company / DJ: Josh Hearing / Beer Trailer: Budweiser / Paper Products: Beth of All Trades / Bride’s Gown: “MB3491” by Galina / Bridal Salon: David’s Bridal / Jewelry: Kristen Stancher / Hair and Makeup: Jessica Steingard / Bride’s Shoes: Toms Burlap Wedges / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Free People, Flying Tomato, Express, and Altar’d State / Groom’s Attire: ASOS

lisa Written with love by Lisa
6 Comments
  1. avatar Jessica reply

    I love the character in each of these photos! Rachel absolutely captured the joy in this special day. Beautiful!

  2. avatar Breanna reply

    I have never seen such a beautiful ceremony site! The wedding rock was amazing. Completely took my breath away. I love the little meaning behind everything in the entire wedding. There was such sentiment in every piece of this celebration and the photography caught the love in every shot. Gorgeous!

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  4. avatar Dana reply

    their ceremony venue is breathtakingly beautiful!

  5. avatar Dana Stevens reply

    Hi my name is Dana Stevens and my sister is getting married in August of this year. We happened to come across a picture of one of the bridesmaids in the Tennessee county wedding by Rachel Moore and was wondering what the brand of the dress is? It’s the dress that’s high- low, mushroom color with spagetti straps and lace on the chest part. Let me know if you have any idea where the dress is from! Thank you!
    Dana Stevens

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Y’all know all about the Sweet Tea Society, but you may be slightly less familiar with the Southern Weddings mission statement. It’s posted all over our office, so it’s something that’s always at the forefront of our minds. It goes like this: “Our mission is to inspire brides to cultivate a life full of love–celebrating their families, the culture of the South, and what matters most to them–and then to draw from that rich well to create a meaningful beginning to married life.” Reading through Toree and Forrest’s interview, I could hardly believe how much they brought this exact mission to life. From the farm-turned-venue that has been in Torree’s family for generations, to the “call to community” Forrest’s father made during their ceremony, to the oh-so-Southern “front porch” of their reception tent, and more, every moment and detail celebrated their families and overflowed with love.

Thank you so much to Mary Rosenbaum for sharing Toree and Forrest’s beautiful wedding with us!

When I started looking for wedding dresses, I wanted lace, a keyhole back, and straps or sleeves. We went to several different shops and found a few dresses that I liked, but none that screamed “That’s it!” My mom and I made a couple more appointments for the next weekend, and in the meantime I tried on her wedding dress. I loved the lace bolero she wore! We wound up going back to Olia Zavozina, where I had tried on a simple dress. I fell in love with it when I learned they would be able to incorporate the lace from my mom’s wedding dress onto mine.

Did you decide to do a “first look”? Why or why not? Yes, we did! Forrest and I wanted to have some time alone together before the ceremony. It was a sweet time to calm our nerves and reflect on what the whole day was about. Also, seeing each other first allowed us to take most of the pictures before the ceremony. We wanted to make sure we didn’t miss any part of the reception we had been planning for so long.

We got married on my family’s farm, so it was very special to us! I grew up going to the farm, and in the recent years, I had often thought about how pretty it would be to get married out there. The part of the farm where we got married came through my dad’s paternal grandmother. She was born there and the ceremony took place in the orchard where she played as a little girl. My grandfather was the only child of four who stayed and carried on the farming tradition. My grandfather passed away in 1987 and the farm was rented out because no one lived there at that time. My dad purchased the farm back in 2011, in less than pristine condition. I didn’t know if it would be a possible venue, because the only structures on the farm were a century-old barn and my great-grandmother’s house that had not been occupied since 1940, but my parents embraced the idea of a farm wedding, and from then on, it was a team effort. The countless weekends and hours my parents, brothers, and friends spent working on the farm made the idea possible. Being married on the family farm embodied the ideas of legacy and community that we wanted to emphasize on our wedding day.

We didn’t have a specific Scripture reading, but Forrest’s dad led a charge to community. He explained the importance of community and how each guest at the wedding played a part in shaping who each of us is. He made statements such as “If you were at the hospital when Toree or Forrest was born, please stand up” or “If you went to school with Toree or Forrest, please stand up.” By the end of the statements, every guest was was standing and we sang a congregational hymn, “In Christ Alone.” It was a beautiful testimony to how blessed we are by the people in our lives.

Oh y’all…the next two pictures make my heart leap! So beautiful.

What Southern details or traditions did you include in your celebration? What was Southern about your wedding? I think the whole wedding was Southern! The wedding took place on the family farm. Our love story was written (in short) on barn wood leading up to the wedding site. The guests were brought up to the ceremony site by hay trailers covered in quilts and pulled by my dad’s antique Ford tractor. The drink bar was made out of barn wood and we served lavender lemonade and sweet tea. Passed hors d’oeuvres included mini BLTs and sweet potato biscuits with country ham. There was a “front porch” on the tent. Dinner was a buffet of Southern fare, including squash casserole, farmer’s green salad, homegrown tomato and mozzarella, fresh seasonal fruits and berries, an assortment of homemade breads, and more. At each place setting, there was a monogrammed napkin in a burlap and lace silverware holder. The tablescapes included linen, burlap, lanterns, and family silver.

The wedding cake was white with buttercream icing. It was a round three-tiered cake, and each tier had a different pattern in the icing. We had to consider the weather when making cake decisions, and although fondant might have been the best option for the warm temperatures, I was not a fan, so the cake was the very last thing set up before the wedding began! The groom’s cake was a square, two-tiered chocolate cake with chocolate icing, covered in chocolate-covered strawberries, and it was placed on an American flag table. We also had cookies and milk as a post-dancing snack, which guests could also take them home as a favor.

What is the one detail or vendor that you were so happy to have as a part of your wedding? We loved having a live band. They played a variety of music that kept all of the guests entertained on and off the dance floor. From easy listening music during dinner to songs that had our college friends and grandparents on the dance floor, the band really made the party.

Our favorite detail of the wedding was: The Chinese wish lanterns! After dinner and cake, all of the guests came out into the field to light the wish lanterns. Guests worked together to light and send off the lanterns into the night sky. We watched them float up and across the farm until they blended in with the stars. It was a beautiful sight!

How did y’all meet? Tell us your love story. We met in middle school and even “dated” for a week in eighth grade! We went to different high schools, but remained friends and kept in touch. We eventually wound up at the University of Tennessee-Knoxville together, and during November of our sophomore year, we officially became a couple. I left to study abroad that January (2010), and we were not able to talk, or even email, that often, so we kept journals. When I got home in May, we read the journals to each other, and it was amazing how similar our thoughts and entries to each other were! In the fall of 2010, Forrest and I found ourselves talking about getting married. A year later, I left for Memphis to begin pharmacy school while Forrest stayed in Knoxville. It was a hard year apart, but enduring the long distance proved our commitment to one another. In May 2012, the week after I got back from Memphis, we took a trip to the beach and he proposed!
Tell us all about the proposal! We were headed to Florida with friends for our annual May beach trip. Forrest and I got there before the other couple arrived and he asked if I wanted to go for a walk on the beach. While we were walking, I noticed he was being extra sweet. Right as I realized what was happening, he turned to me and told me how much he loved me. The next thing I knew, he was down on one knee asking me to marry him! I said “YES!!” Then, he told me to look up at the boardwalk and wave to the photographer (little did I know, it was one of my best friends), because we were going to meet him at the sailboat to take pictures. We went back to the house and got dressed for “engagement pictures,” and when we returned to the beach, both of our parents were at the sailboat! I had no clue they were in Florida! We went to the house Forrest’s parents were staying at to celebrate, and there on the porch were a dozen of our college friends and the rest of our families. I will never forget that day and week with our closest friends at the beach celebrating our engagement!
When did y’all get married? June 8, 2013
How many friends, family members, and loved ones attended your wedding? 300
Did you write your own vows? If so, what was your favorite phrase, verse or line? Yes, we wrote our own vows. Our favorite phrase was “I will pursue you with a love that bears all things, believes all things, and hopes all things until we return to the garden in Christ’s promised covenant.” Christ is the foundation of our lives and marriage. Our prayer is to fiercely pursue one another with love that endures the hardships of marriage. Until the day that we walk with God, Forrest and I will strive to put one another before ourselves.
Tell us about some of the songs you used throughout your wedding and why you chose them. It was very important to us that our entire ceremony was Christ-centered, so all of the songs were instrumental hymns. The moms and grandmother were seated to “Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing.” “How Deep the Father’s Love for Us” was played while the bridal party walked down the aisle. I walked down the aisle to “Before the Throne of God Above.” “Be Thou My Vision” was played after we exchanged rings and while the congregation prayed silently for us. We walked out to “I’m Yours” by Jason Mraz. We felt like it was a good transition song from the seriousness of the ceremony to the party of the reception.
Did you have something borrowed, blue, old, and new? If so, do tell! Yes! I had my monogram and wedding date in blue on a patch inside my dress. My Jimmy Choo shoes were new. My grandmother’s rings were tied to my bouquet as my something borrowed, and the lace on my dress from my mom’s dress was my something old.
What was the biggest challenge you had to overcome while planning your wedding? The biggest challenge was our venue. While it had lots of character and meaning to us, there were so many basic things that had to be meticulously planned to make it all work. From bathrooms to lighting to power to parking to food preparation, every detail had to be thought out.
What was one way you saved money or cut costs at your wedding? We made several things ourselves and called in help from our friends! We made the silverware holders, the flower boxes for the aisles, and the favors, and we took old Starbucks Frappaccino bottles and turned them into personalized milk bottles. A friend monogrammed all of the dinner napkins. One friend made the chocolate chip cookies. Another friend split buying the table cloths with us so that we had enough for our wedding and then theirs. A church friend let us borrow mercury glass and another friend let us borrow burlap table toppers she had made. Many of my mom’s friends were there to help set up and decorate on the morning of the wedding.
What advice do you have for folks currently planning a wedding? Remember that at the end of the wedding, you will be married, and that is the most important part of the entire event!
What’s next for you as a couple? What are you most looking forward to about married life? We look forward to writing our own story through shared hobbies, outdoor adventures, and having out best friend as our roommate! Forrest is looking to start his career as an intern architect and I will be finishing my last year of pharmacy school at the University of Tennessee.

Photographer: Mary Rosenbaum / Videographer: Bryant Bural / Planner: Marcia Husband / Venue: Private residence / Florist: Cathy Miller and Jimm Wright of Spring Hill Florist and Gift Shop / Cake Baker: Barbara Owen / Cookies: Sandy’s Cookies / Caterer: Kristen Winston Catering / Rentals: Stewart’s Special Events / Lighting: Tech Works Decorative Lighting / Band: The Craig Duncan Band / Bride’s Gown: “Elegant Dream” by Olia Zavozina / Paper Products Printing: Coleman’s Printing / Hair Stylist: Premier Haircuts Cool Springs / Makeup Artist: Fern Lawson / Bride’s Shoes: Jimmy Choo / Bridesmaids’ Dresses: “Rhea” in Grey Ridge by Donna Morgan / Men’s Attire: “Traveler’s Suit” in Navy by Jos A. Bank / Ties: The Tie Bar / Bathrooms: Royal Restrooms

lisa Written with love by Lisa
12 Comments
  1. avatar Lindsay Colvin reply

    Oh my GOODNESS those purple bridesmaid dresses, swoon swoon swoon! Also, such a sweet line she shared from their vows, so touching!

  2. avatar Rachael reply

    Wow my heart is melting – the photography i just gorgeous – way to go mary! Each photo is so intimate you really captured the emotion behind this day!

  3. avatar Catherine Grace reply

    Oh My Heart !!! That Bolero is gorgeous.

  4. avatar Emily reply

    There are so many lovely details, but the groom’s cake table might be my favorite – so perfectly Americana! And I love the late night cookies and milk :)

  5. avatar Rachel Nordgren reply

    Those lanterns! That lace bolero! The vintage tub for the drinks! Marvelous details, and that line from their vows is richly beautiful.

  6. avatar Joyce reply

    This is one of the best thought out weddings I have seen in SW. If I ever get married again I want a beautiful lace bolero like the one this bride borrowed from her mother. Getting married on the family farm…wonderful….and the music they chose! Just right! And I so liked how the family and friends worked together to prepare. May they have just as lovely life together.

  7. avatar Steph reply

    That’s my best friend!!!! You chose the most beautiful couple and wedding to feature. Just perfect :)

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