7 wedding details we skipped that I didn’t miss

Guest post by Allison

I thought I would write a bit about the things we skipped that we didn't miss on our wedding day. This isn't what we skipped that is normally in a WIC wedding, though there are lots of those too. This is about the things we seriously considered doing/getting, but then decided not to. Here goes:

Hair Stylist

I considered having my hair done, but then realized it would be pretty pointless. I have naturally curly hair, and have yet to meet a stylist who is able to make the curls behave better than I can. I also have relatively short hair, so a complex up-do wasn't going to happen. In the end, I did my curls the way I normally do (though with a bit more patience and care); and then my cousin pinned back one side and put flowers in. I think it turned out really well.

Car Service

We knew our photographer could drive us to do our photos, and then to the reception, but we weren't sure how to get from the reception to the hotel. Limos are really NOT our style. We were asked a number of times (by our mothers) how we were planning to get to the hotel, and one of them suggested getting a car service (like a limo service, but just a nice sedan instead). We found out that it would be at least $75 and have to be booked in advance. We weren't sure when we would want to leave the reception, so that complicated things a bit. We didn't want to have to pay for the driver to wait around for us and we also didn't want to have to wait for them, if we decided we wanted to leave earlier. In the end, we decided to take public transit to the hotel. It was easy and cheap. We also ran into a very nice transit officer, who was really excited that we just got married. We took some pics with him, and when we got on the train, he leaned in and told everyone on the train we'd just gotten married. Everyone clapped and smiled, and it was way more fun than a car service! (Side note: We've run into the transit officer since then, and he remembers us and gives us hugs!)

Mad Libs

We thought it would be fun to make some Mad Libs to put at each table, but when it came down to it, we were too tired for that kind of extra project. It would have been fun to read them, but I'm glad we skipped it because the extra stress would not have been worth it. Also, having seen the flow of the reception, I'm not sure that people would've filled them out… everyone was too busy chowing down!

Wedding Cake

Originally, we were going to ask my cousin-in-law to do our cake, as she's a pastry chef. However, we really are pie people so we decided to skip the cake, even though we knew she would do a super yummy and beautiful job. Instead, we decided to ask a few family members to make pies, and we also made four pies. I also find baking calming, so this was a good activity to be doing the night before, and morning of the wedding. Everything turned out fabulous, and our desserts were SO good. The dessert buffet was very “us.”


We considered having chocolates (made by my aunt) or jellies (made by my cousin-in-law) as favors…but then we decided to have those at the dessert table instead, and make a donation to World Wildlife Federation in lieu of favors. Obviously we didn't take this route to save money (since we had chocolates and jellies anyways). We decided on the donation instead because it's important to us.


With my dress, a birdcage veil would've been really nice. But there was no way in hell I was going to pay $100 for one. I really didn't want to spend more than about $30. I bought some veiling and tried to make one, but it just wasn't happening. The prospect of trying to make a veil that looked good, and didn't feel ridiculous was looming over my head and really stressing me out. One day I just decided that I didn't need to have one, and I abandoned the project. I know my mom was disappointed, but I wasn't willing to stress about it anymore. It was absolutely worth it to ditch the project. A big stress was immediately relieved, and I think I was more comfortable without it.


When we decided to have our ceremony in our backyard, we realized we would need an in-case-of-rain plan. So, we decided it would be BYOU (Bring Your Own Umbrella). We posted that on our wedsite, and spread the word. As our wedding date got closer, we had some pretty crappy weather and we started to be less sure of our plan. There was a 30% chance of rain forecast for our date. We panicked and we looked into renting tents. Then we freaked out again when we realized how much they cost, and that we would only need them for about an hour. Plus, we really did not want to get married under a tent. We went back and forth for a few days, before deciding to stick with umbrellas. As it turns out, the weather was great and we didn't even need the umbrellas.

I think that's it….at least, that's all I can think of right now. When we were deciding what to ditch it was really a matter of deciding “is it worth this amount of money?” or, “is it worth the amount of stress that it's causing?” If the answer was NO then it was gone!

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Comments on 7 wedding details we skipped that I didn’t miss

  1. Also not needed:

    Professional photographer – Bossing people around isn’t my idea of a fun time and those who aren’t in the photos are going to be bored.

    Bridesmaid outfits – I couldn’t tell my best friend what to wear…it might not suit her, I think it’s a bit rude again and I trust in her great taste anyway! As for a whole matching group of maids…looks like a uniform, and as exciting as.

    • Seconded on the Photographer, my Aunt and my Husband’s buddy have nice cameras and did a fabulous job taking pictures for us, and we didn’t need to worry about publishing rights etc.

      We had matching bridesmaids dresses, but they were like $21 each from Forever 21, they were short, made of t-shirt material and all three bridesmaids still wear them 2 years later, so I think thats a win.

      • This might sound self-serving… but I have never heard someone say this before. (skip the photographer) In fact, I almost always hear the opposite (I wish we would have gotten one… or had spent more on it). We personally doubled our photographer budget and still think it was more than worth it.

        • Same. My father even offered to help pay for our photographer because he said he was really sad they didn’t have professional photos from their wedding. I personally think it’s worth some money to have someone there taking photos so you don’t have to worry about your guests taking the photos. Besides, not all photographers are bossy. I don’t think my photographer has a bossy bone in her sweet as pie body 😀

        • My parents have NO photos of their wedding day. They got hitched last minute on a whim and weren’t even going to invite my grandparents (but my Dad’s mom did end up coming). Since I was a child I wished they had thought things through and had some pictures of that day and I think that is why I am SO deeply passionate about documenting everything about our day. As sad as it is to say, memoried fade, photographs are forever. Thankfully, we have SO many talented friends who are photographers, I know we will have many, many wonderful photos to look back on during our life together. I guess the moral of the story is, take lots of photos, doesn’t matter who takes them, as long as you are confident that the photos will be of a standard and quality that your very special day deserves.

          • I agree, I too am very passionate about documenting memories. However if you don’t have the funds for a pro, still take photo’s even with a crappy phone camera. I have a D7100 and can take better than average photo’s. They don’t look pro (at least to me) but they are better than if you took them with a point and shoot camera. If you have family or friends who have cameras (ask everyone!) have them take photo’s. That way you can look back at this time in your life without breaking the bank. Plus it might mean a lot to see photo’s and know, grandma took this one and cousin so and so took this one.

        • We skipped the photographer and I have zero regrets. It would have eaten such a big chunk of our budget and I really had no interest in posing for any pictures.

          We set up a Flickr account where people could upload their own shots from the wedding, if they wanted to do so. We got several really great ones, including three that I framed and have up in our place.

          • Photographer was one thing I really made sure we could afford. She was the most expensive part of our wedding, and I don’t regret that.

            Also, you don’t have to get a photographer that makes you pose. Ours actually specializing in photo journalistic. So she captures the moments, but makes you look like you belong in Vanity Fair at the same time.

    • I say NO to skipping the photographer as well!

      I eloped and I am so happy that I spent money on a fantastic photographer who wasn’t the least bit bossy – we clicked right off the bat and we have fantastic photos to show for it.

      Also – as for people being bored – you can either get photos before the ceremony or make sure that there is something for your guests to do at the reception while they wait for your grand entrance!

  2. i am glad I am not the only one who ditched the dyi veil idea. Those things are a pain in the booty to make! who would have thought?

    it’s always good to hear about things that were not “perfect” according to the original plan ending up perfect once everything is said and done.

    • My mom actually made me a gorgeous veil…then we left it at home when we headed out for the wedding. There wasn’t time to go get it, so we did without. It’s waiting around for a younger cousin or somebody to use some day.

      We didn’t have a professional photographer either and didn’t miss it, but I think the point is to spend money on what really matters to you, not what someone else thinks you should have. If the fancy photos are your thing, spend your budget on that and skip something else.

      • I want to THIS! this so many times. To me, that’s what OBB is about – supporting each other so we can make individually relevant decisions on things that matter (or don’t matter) to us!

  3. More posts like this(this = hey you, planning your wedding: it’s all going to work out and there will be pie)!

  4. I’m not even married yet and already a couple of plans have falen by the wayside. Making my own dress? nope, found one cheap as a sample and was waaay less work. elaborate hanging origami sculptures? nope, again too much work for not enough reward. we’ll see if the hand-stamped table runners make the cut in the last week…

  5. I remember when Alison had a minor freakout about the rain thing, I’m glad it all turned out well! (& I think BYOU is an awesome idea!)

  6. Just a note on birdcage veils: I got one on eBay for like $30. With the fascinator I got it came to about $50, but still WAY cheaper than buying one from an actual bridal store.

    • yeah, i ended buying a birdcage veil on etsy for $30 as well. and i am happy with my dyi fascinator. at least i got that part right!

      these are the type of articles that make the obb the best wedding site out there. it’s so nice that everything is kept so down to earth. thanks again guys!

    • You can also easily DIY – I used a headband I already had, and bought an $8 piece of millinary veiling, and just bobby-pinned the veiling into my hair. Everyone complimented me on it! You could forgo the headband and pin a flower or something else in, too.

  7. I bought a DIY birdcage veil kit from Etsy for only $15. I tried both designs on the instructions and either couldn’t get ’em right or just hated the way the veil looked on me. So I turned the netting into a headband! Bought some elastic, stitched a short piece to either end of the netting, and then embellished (read: hid the messy stitching on) one side with crystals. The other side will be covered with an $8 flower clip from Claire’s that I also embellished with crystals. Cutesy headbands are more my style than veils!

  8. I think it should be said that if you *do* want those things for your wedding, then you should have them! We all have different priorities. I might not miss having my hair and makeup done, but I would miss not having some pro photos to show my future kids. There might be other brides/grooms/otherwise-identified-getting-married-people who feel exactly the opposite. 🙂

    • Dina E – Absolutely!! When I wrote this, I intended it as “I thought we needed this, but we didn’t” not as “no one needs these things”. I completely agree that we all have different priorities, and we need to keep those in mind while planning.

  9. I agree completely with most of this! We are ditching:

    – veil
    – rented cars
    – makeup artist (everyone in my area gets one. Not me!)
    – favors (no favors! no excuses! no regrets!)
    – matching attendant attire
    – a big fancy cake (got a tiramisu instead)
    – chair covers and cloth napkins (paper napkins, no covers)
    – bouquets
    – a florist
    – rented bar glasses (plastic it is, but we did rent wine and water glasses for the tables)

    I think it’s really up to the individual couple (not bride! couple!) what to get rid of, and the thing to remember is not to feel pressured into keeping any one thing by any one person! I mean, I read the above and thought “hm. I’m hiring a hair stylist”, but unlike the author, I can’t do my own hair. Like, really can’t. I am sure someone else will read my list above and think “but I WANT chair covers!” – that’s cool too.

    It’s when you get moms, aunts, random people pressuring you to get (and pay for) stuff like this that it gets awkward, and you have to stand your ground on what you’ve decided.

    (Side note: after months of hearing me say ‘no’, my Grandma was so excited to hear that I decided to hire a hair stylist. Haha).

    • I’m so happy to hear of other people ditching the cake. That seems to be such a taboo thing to do it feels like!

      We will have a few small cakes made by my mom, but we also plan on having pie, cobbler, tiramisu, and brownies as centerpieces on the tables 😀

      • Yep, I’m ditching the cake too. FH thinks it’s hilarious how adamant I am to not have a cake.

        I might have a keg though.. :p

        Or, instead of shoving cake down each other’s throats (I’ve always hated that mental image) FH and I could have shots together. That’s much more our pace anyway.

        Thank goodness OBB exists, I don’t know what I would do without the support of brides that know tradition isn’t for everyone.

    • i love that you included florist on your list. i’ve been getting so much crap about not having a bouquet/florist! it’s not important to me! why is it so important to everyone else?!

      • Yes of all the traditional wedding things that we ditched, florist and bridal party were the two that encountered the most resistance. I never regretted leaving either one out though.

      • We skipped the florist, too, and ordered flowers from our (GASP) grocery store.
        1. It saved a TON of money.
        2. The guys still had the same exact look we would have paid 4X for at a florist and the girls carried 3 long stem roses tied with ribbon.
        3. I bought a wax-dipped bouquet, a matching cake topper, and a head table vase on the net for $150 and still have all of them, in perfect condition, like they were at the wedding.
        Flowers can be done so inexpensively and still beautifully. It’s worth the little bit of extra effort, in my book.

  10. haha a friend of mine was also freaking out about rain on her wedding day as they were having an outdoor wedding with no tent. I ran into her at Target when she was buying a bunch of umbrellas “just in case.”

    The day of the wedding it rained all morning but about two hours before their wedding the skies cleared and the weather was perfect! And she had kept the receipt and tags on the umbrellas so she was able to return them after the wedding since they just stayed in her car the whole day.

  11. I’m with you on the cars, thats one thing we have decided to leave out. I bought a veil for under $50 (including postage to Australia from etsy) But so far thats my only purchase! But I do love getting my hair done, so that may be my splurge for the day

  12. huh. My birdcage veil only cost $22. I didn’t realize they were so expensive (and nope, didn’t get it on eBay or etsy or any of that… got it from David’s Bridal – it’s $24 regularly but they give you discounts when you buy the dress).
    If we have the cars it’s only because my fiance’s father works for a livery company (he’s the accountant!)
    I have no idea what will be for decorations, etc… my mom and aunt are doing it all. I said “here! I need less stress!” All I asked is (1) No poofy bows and flowers and (2) lots of twinkle lights!
    But… I want cake. I LIKE cake. I love dessert period, and so does the fiance. So, cake it is!

  13. I LOVE the idea of giving to the WWF for your favours! Really lovely. We got our two cats from a rescue group and you’ve just given me the perfect idea 🙂

  14. Oh man, wedding pie!!! I love pie, and I wanted wedding pie, but it was the one thing I was veto’ed on. My husband and everyone else wanted cake. I decided to give in, but I’m glad I’m not the only one who thinks wedding pie is superior to wedding cake XD

    • If your fiance vetoed wedding pie and you gave in because it’s his wedding too – hey, great. Because it is. And if cake is so important to him, then so be it.

      But nobody should ever, ever feel like they have to give up on something (especially something as good as pie, and especially something that doesn’t inconvenience others) because “everyone else” doesn’t like it. Unless it’s a handicapped/dietary/VIP guests can’t come (like parents) issue, nobody else has the right to veto something like that: EVEN if they are paying. (If they are paying, then telling you what kind of dessert you may have is still rather ridiculous – it’s using money to force your agenda on a couple and it’s not OK.)

  15. I love the unintentional advice this thread gives! I am definitely anticipating having to axe a lot of things because – TURNS OUT! – I like A LOT of stuff!! I want everything! And I love the idea of making everything (decorations, food, cake/PIE/cupcakes/sweeeets, dress, etc), but I at least recognize that would be CRAZY to do everything. Thanks everyone for being so real about your experiences!! I love it!

    • I feel the same way, I’ve been reading so many great blogs recently (hostess with the mostess especially) and OMG, I LOVE EVERYTHING!! lol… Today I had to talk myself out of buying a $36.00 screenprinted, personalized tote…

  16. Let’s talk trivial. I have been told repeatedly that our invitations MUST!!! have two envelopes (three if you include the RSVP). Why so many envelopes? And why does everybody care so much?

    • haha, traditionally the second, inner envelope was where you have the opportunity to include the specific names of the members of that household who are invited (can be useful if children aren’t invited) but you can do the same thing with the outer envelope, and skip the rsvp envelope (if you wish) by including a postcard instead (which is what we are doing).

    • Ah, yes the inner envelope… A long time ago when there weren’t quite so many paved streets the outer envelope would get dirty so when the mail was delivered the outer envelope would be removed leaving the pristine inner one behind.

      Nowadays it’s mostly tradition although if you are inviting plus ones and don’t have all plus ones names it is nice. My invitations didn’t include inner envelopes and it led to some annoyances. We also offered RSVPing online but most mailed them in. So on the outer envelope I would have the intended person’s name but didn’t want to write “plus one” “guest” etc. on the outer envelope.

      Online when people typed in their specific code it showed their number of guests (i.e. so if Jane Doe has a plus one it showed 2 seats reserved and listed Jane Doe’s name and a spot for the guests name with selections for attending, etc.)

      So those guests who rsvped and just wrote their name and did not indicate a number in the attending section had to be contacted to be alerted that they can bring someone. I wish my invitations had come with an inner envelope because on the outer envelope I could address invite to Jane Doe and still write Jane Doe and Guest on the inner envelope.

  17. Absolutley love this post and the thread of comments that have followed it! Now we’re at the stage of knowing what we want to do for everything, we’re just starting with the buying/making for some things (with over a year to go, but it’s gonna be DIY heavy!). It’s good to have a bit of reassurance that if something doesn’t quite work out as it should, or if we decide to scrap something, it’ll be alright anyway – especially when my relatives seem hellbent on telling me what we “have” to have!!

    • There are so many things that we left by the wayside in our planning process — some because of financial concerns, others because when push came to shove our desire for said item wasn’t strong enough to motivate us to do the work to make it come to fruition.

      My philosophy was once the big-picture items were taken care of — location, food, guest list — everything else was done on a how-much-effort-am-I-willing-to-expend basis.

      A lot of the really cool vintage tiki-style decor ideas that we’d initially had proved too time consuming for our modest patience. So in the end we bought a ton of paper lanterns and hung them up everywhere and pretty much left everything else as it was. Could we have added some more amazing touches to our venue decor? Absolutely. But in the end neither of us were invested enough to do all the searching, pricing and DIY work necessary. We were happy with our paper lantern poolside party.

      On the other hand, when it came to my accessories, I would not rest until I got everything looking just the way I wanted. But that was fun for me. I loved pouring through vintage clothing and Etsy pages trying to pull the look together.

  18. I love the picture that goes along with this piece. The girl looks fab and the pie looks delicious. mmm pie.

  19. Re: to veil or not to veil…I just bought an ivory birdcage veil attached to a giant ivory rose clip for $12 at Forever 21. I’m going to add a few feathers and sparkles, but the whole thing will end up costing less than 20 bucks. Just sayin’!

  20. I was going to go with no veil at all, but FH’s aunt loves to make them, so I had her do a small pin with veiling. Simple, and it will look super chic (and she got to make me something, which made her happy).

    We decided to skip the flowers. Entirely. When our venue coordinator asked us for our vendor names, she was quite taken aback when she asked, “Florist?” and I replied, “We’re not doing flowers.” But, really, we’re at a vineyard on a lake … the setting is beautiful without them!

  21. Would you believe that those inner envelopes are really not a huge global phenomenon?! I’m yet to get an invitation with one included… and I’m an invitation stylist!

  22. I knew from the beginning that I wanted zero flowers because they just don’t interest me at all. Others tried to convince me to get some, but I held my ground. This was probably the thing that met with the most objections, weirdly enough. Some people just can’t picture a wedding without flowers, I guess. But I was so glad I didn’t spend money on something I didn’t want and I didn’t miss them at all.

    • Totally! Thats the first thing me and my Fiance axed and that was long before we even got engaged 😀

    • Thank you! I don’t want flowers, and I’ve already had TWO fights with my mother about it. I anticipate several more. She’s certain we must have “at least some” in order for it to feel nice. Which is hilarious, because she had no flowers at her own wedding. Hmmmm…

  23. we skipped a lot. Here’s how a friend described our wedding: “you took a regular wedding and cut out all the crap”.
    Things I didn’t miss:
    -florist (i think some of my favorite parts of the whole weekend were picking flowers with my boyfriend, putting together centerpieces with my mom, my 6 y.o. niece and my 12 y.o. cousins, and having my mom tie my bouquet after i collected a flower from each guest on my way to the “altar”)
    -wedding vendors — i dont think we gave money to a single wedding vendor
    -church/separate locations for the ceremony and reception
    -the word “fiancee”
    -tossing the bouquet (but i did let my aunt pose with it so she could pretend she caught it 🙂 )
    -not seeing my husband on my wedding day (we hung out all afternoon, and sent our families to the wedding site ahead of us and showed up together about 30 minutes after all the guests should have. those 30 minutes together in private before the wedding were spectacular)
    -bridal party (really simplified the planning)
    -a white cake (i wanted chocolate frosting)
    -seating charts (everyone seated themselves better than we could have)
    -band/dj (we let the restaurant play the same music they normally play)
    -writing our own vows (we used my parent’s, which my mom sent me, as an example of something, and i didnt tell her we were using them, but i heard her say “that’s cheating” when the officiant announced we were using them)
    -toasts (we’re both pretty shy and didnt want them)

    The things we really cared about were having a legal marriage, having rings, supporting local businesses, having good food, having sustainably grown flowers, looking amazing, having all the right people there and chocolate cake. Once we had our priorities in order, it was pretty easy to cut out the crap.

  24. I am curious…where did this “umbrellas instead of tents” wedding occur? My ceremony/reception will be in my parents’ backyard in Michigan, AKA the state where if you don’t like the weather, wait 5 minutes and it will change. I love the idea of BYOU, but I am still nervous…

  25. I had so many people tell me all the things I was going to regret not having, but it’s so not true! If something doesn’t feel right concerning your wedding, don’t do it!

    Things we didn’t have –

    – Wedding cake
    – Tuxedos
    – Matching bridesmaids’ outfits
    – Centerpieces
    – Professional DJ
    – Sit down dinner
    – Bouquet/Garter toss
    – Church/Walk down aisle
    – Videographer

    I caved on getting a wedding dress and veil, which looking back was an unnecessary expense. I could have totally rocked a beautiful non-wedding dress, but it made my mommy happy. Anyway, a year later and I have no regrets over the things I “missed out on.” Do your own thing!

  26. We are skipping:
    — florist (we might not even have flowers, and if we do my FMIL wants to do them)
    — traditional cake (just lots of little cakes from a really good bakery)
    — bouquet toss (giving fun bouquet to FMIL)
    — fancy invites & STDs (DIY)
    — dancing (daytime wedding w/out dance floor)
    — Color-coordinated wedding party (our parents, my bro, and my best friend are standing up with us in whatever they feel like wearing, kids will be dressed according to their parents’ wishes)
    — White dress (wearing red, turquoise, or purple)
    — Tuxes (daytime wedding)
    — Unireligious ceremony, making all ritual items ourselves (at least 2 represented)
    — Garter toss (ick)
    — Dad walking bride (I’m an adult & both parents raised me)
    — Traditional wedding readings

    We are keeping:
    — Traditional vows minus sexism
    — Rings & garlands
    — Wedding crew
    — Processional & recessional — fun!
    — Favors, not donations (I don’t like to donate someone else’s gift to a cause of my preference)
    — Awesome offbeat readings

  27. I am trying my hardest to ‘k.i.s.s’ everything! I too made my own birdcage veil, with the material and store-bought fascinator it came to a grand total of $20. A dear friend is a professional photographer and offered her services as a gift, we know several DJs so after the dinner it’ll be open decks and my hubby-to-be has been working in the bar industry for 8 years so our venue is a pub which is being generously donated to the cause by the owner!

  28. This article is so great. I also went without cake, matching bridesmaids, stylists, etc. our wedding was totally traditional looking and not having any of that did not make a lick of difference. I bought some colorful paper parasols instead of having a tent for the ceremony, but I actually wish that I had rented a tent. I am fair and tattooed and I burn really easily which is exactly what happened. There wasn’t any natural shade available.

  29. I skipped Save-the-Dates, and emailed any family or friends who live out of state about six months ahead of time to give them the dates, in the event they wanted to start scoping out travel arrangements. I am skipping flowers for the ceremony. It’s literally twenty minutes long and the room is beautiful, so it doesn’t need any additional ornamentation. And it looks like I’ll be skipping the handmade table runners, and blinging out my shoes. We’re eight weeks away from the wedding and we’re moving this week, so that’s eating most of our time, and you know what? Meh!

  30. We are pretty much skipping all of those as well. I have a Nikon D7100 and am an aspiring photographer, so we aren’t paying for a pro, I am going to take the photo’s (using a wireless shutter release of course!) And I have worked with fondant and cake stacking systems before, so I am most likely going to make our cake as well. Since it’s a very small wedding (like 12 people including us) we are thinking of going to a bakery and getting a price together. If it’s more worth it to pay them, we will do that. There are a lot of things we are skipping, including rsvp’s, invitations and we aren’t even paying for an Officiant because my mom is going to be ordained so that she can marry us legally 🙂

  31. We are also skipping most things (i.e. no bridal party, favours, florist, wedding cake, white dress, first dance, disco etc) but adding other things instead (art installation, videos, cabaret, train rides, treasure hunt, badge maker, board games). We’ve focused on ‘what would be fun to do if lots of people are together?’ rather than ‘what happens at a wedding?’ My mum is helping me do my hair and got worried and suggested I go to a hairdressers instead in case it’s not good enough. I have tried to reassure her by saying ‘whatever my hair looks like, will I still be married at the end of it? If the answer if yes then it’s good wedding hair.’

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