Michell é brant Celebrant

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Press Release from John O’Meara of the ABIA



One of Queensland’s finest wedding suppliers, Michell e brant Celebrant was honoured at the 16th Queensland Annual Bridal Industry Awards on Tuesday the 22nd of July 2014. The Chairman of the ABIA, Mr John O’ Meara congratulated Michell e brant Celebrant on her achievement as a finalist in her category.

Mr O’ Meara said that Michell e brant Celebrant should be extremely proud of the achievement considering that each celebrant must receive a customer satisfaction of at least 98%.  Her result was 99.55%.

Mr O’ Meara went onto say that it was business’s like Michell e brant Celebrant which complimented and elevated the wedding industry with their attention to detail and the pride, passion and professional manner in which they delivered their wedding product to the bridal customer.

The Abia’s are a much sought-after Award for Australian wedding suppliers as they are determined by the votes of past brides. Each year over 30,000 brides are registered to vote for their most outstanding wedding suppliers. Michell e brant Celebrant was nominated for an ABIA based on the quality of product, quality of service, value for money and the attitude of the staff who serviced the bride’s needs, before, during and after their wedding day.
A total of 35 wedding categories were represented at the Awards including, Limousine Hire, Marriage Celebrants, Wedding Cake Designers, Decorators, Photographers, Disc Jockeys, Video Producers, Make-Up Artists, Reception Centres, Wedding Florists, Wedding Stationery and Special Wedding Services. A total 273 Finalists competed for the 35 different wedding categories which were awarded on the night.

The attendees received an opening address from the Chairman of the ABIA, Mr John O’ Meara who congratulated the Finalists on their achievement. Mr O’ Meara said that the wedding supplier was unique; as they had just one unrepeatable day to deliver excellence in their products and services. O’ Meara went on to say that the quality of the work reflected in the newlywed’s votes was something that each and every one of the attendees could be proud of.

For more information on the Australian Bridal Industry Academy visit www.abia.com.au

For more information about Michelle, visit http://idocelebrant.com/

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Check it out… ABIA’s Bride-to-Be Competition is on!


The prizes are simply overwhelming!
Click here to enter

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It is a sad day for Gay Marriage Rites today :(

two_rings175Although expected to a degree, it’s still hard to face the harsh reality of our times.  A time when the “leaders” of our land do not listen to their so called democratic society.  In the brief time I had as Authorised Same Sex Marriage Celebrant, I would like to thank all of those who shared the optimism.  May there be better days ahead for gay rites, the symblism of marriage and the wedding industry as a whole.

On a brighter note, I don’t see why this stops anyone from celebrating LOVE!  I’m about to do several Same Sex Commitment Ceremonies and they are going to be a BLAST. 


THE High Court has unanimously struck down the ACT’s gay marriage laws.

The decision will mean that about two dozen week-old marriages have no legal effect.

The ACT Marriage Equality (Same Sex) laws passed the territory’s legislative assembly in October, but only came into effect last month and couples were required to provide four weeks’ notice before conducting wedding ceremonies.

As of today, about 20 couples have been married to date under the ACT’s laws, with the first ceremonies conducted on Saturday.

Had the nation’s top court upheld the ACT’s gay marriage legislation it would have opened the door to similar laws being passed across the country, pressuring the government to make it legal at a national level.

The commonwealth government sought an expedited hearing in the High Court arguing the national capital’s laws were inconsistent with federal legislation and unconstitutional.

Federal government lawyers argued in the High Court that the commonwealth marriage act was intended to ensure that state and territories did not operate as different countries when it came to determining whether a couple was married.

The High Court determined that the federal parliament has the power under the Australian constitution to legislate on same-sex marriage, and that whether or not same-sex marriages are legalised is a matter for the federal parliament.

“The Court held that the object of the ACT Act is to provide for marriage equality for same sex couples and not for some form of legally recognised relationship which is relevantly different from the relationship of marriage which federal law provides for and recognises,” the summary judgment said.

“Accordingly, the ACT Act cannot operate concurrently with the federal Act.”

It said because the ACT does not validly provide for the formation of same sex marriages, the whole of the ACT’s Marriage Equality (Same Sex) Act 2013 has no effect.

Supporters of gay marriage were dismayed at the ruling.

“This is devastating for those couples who married this week and for their families,” Australian Marriage Equality national director Rodney Croome said shortly after the decision was handed down in Canberra.

However, he said the ruling was just “a temporary defeat”.

Australian Marriage Equality spokesman Ivan Hinton was one person who took advantage of the ACT laws, marrying his partner Chris Teoh in Canberra last weekend.

“I don’t want to be unmarried this afternoon,” he told reporters outside the High Court.

The Australian Christian Lobby said the ruling upheld the uniformity of marriage laws across the country.

“Marriage between a man and a woman is good for society and beneficial for governments to uphold in legislation,” managing director Lyle Shelton said in a statement.

“It’s about providing a future for the next generation where they can be raised by their biological parents, wherever possible.” Mr Shelton was concerned for same-sex couples who thought they were married under the ACT legislation.

“Understandably they will be disappointed at the decision handed down today and it is unfortunate they were put in this position,” he said.

Human Rights Law Centre spokeswoman Anna Brown said the ruling was a blow to the same-sex couples who had tied the knot in the ACT.

“The outcome has laid responsibility for advancing marriage equality squarely at the feet of the federal parliament,” she said.

ACT Chief Minister Katy Gallagher said her government had no regrets about pursuing marriage equality.

“We have no apologies for pursuing what we said we would go before the election,” Ms Gallagher told the ABC before the judgment was handed down.

“We are supporting our Act, it was passed through our parliament, strongly supported by the community,” she said.

“We are anxious but I think we need the judgment before we decide what our next steps are, or if indeed we need to take any next steps.”

Ms Gallagher said the focus on same sex marriage over the last few months had “continued to push the debate forward” and give it momentum.

Additional reporting: AAP

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Now an Authorised Same-Sex Marriage Celebrant in the ACT!

commitment ceremonies_D3_8498aIn October, the  ACT Marriage Equality Same-Sex Bill was passed and the first Same Sex Marriages will be held as of the 7th December 2013 in the Australian Capital Territory.

Not just any old Celebrant can get in on the action – no sirs!  But I have managed to secure a place on the very exclusive “Marriage Equality Authorised Celebrant Register” – a place I am humbled to hold.

(For the purpose of this blog, I am going to ignore the possibility of the Bill being overturned and concentrate on HOW FREAKIN’ EXCITED I AM!!!)

I am one of only 90 Celebrants who are registered to perform ceremonies of this type.  Most of us are interstate celebrants and will obviously be required to fly into the ACT for the event.  But, for an occasion like this, I’d happily sail to the moon.

If you are a couple wanting to travel to the ACT and PARTY ON after an amazing and special ceremony, call me on 0400 207 913 or email michelle@idocelebrant.com to discuss the logistics.

Check out my website – http://idocelebrant.com/

If you believe in LOVE – are straight, single, married, divorced, bi, metro, or just plain fabulous on all accounts, perhaps you would like to vote for this Bill to stay in place… http://www.australianmarriageequality.com/wp/tag/petition/

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– For idocelebrant.com – By Nina Elliott-bu​llen   (ninaelliott06@gmail.com)

ImageLet’s be honest ladies, we’re not all going to be able to afford that million-dollar dream wedding we’ve been scrap booking since we were nine. But does that mean we have to skimp on fabulousness? Absolutely not! DIY crafts have made a roaring comeback this past decade and there are easy, creative and CHEAP ideas out there to make any wedding look and feel more wonderful, fancy and more meaningful than any of those magazine celeb weddings.


Be it mason, pickle, jam or anything jar, with the right decorations they can make any wedding ceremony and reception sparkle with glamour and sentimentality! To really save on the money with this one, you can call around your friends, colleagues and family for the empty jars in their cupboards before you go out and buy them! They can be used as general decorations, lighting decorations, table pieces, treat/stationary holders – Just to name a few, it’s up to you! It’s time to whip out your paper and sewing scrap box and get to work!

Here are some ideas for inspiration!


Flowered jars on the aisle-side chairs work especially well for outdoor ceremonies. They are a humble way of creating a welcoming and thematic atmosphere to the guests as they take their seats. It’s easy to dress the jars up or down with a bit of ribbon here and a bit of lace there – whatever look you want to go with, jars are so versatile with their look abilities!



Jars as hanging or candle lights can work for a wedding ceremony and reception no matter what location, but again, they really do work well for the outdoors. They are a perfect way to set the mood and tone, but can also show guests where to go in a romantically whimsical way!


These in particular are a perfect way to light up the ceremony area where you take your vowels, particularly if the ceremony is in a dark area or nearing dusk hours – just be sure you have enough light in the area so that your marriage celebrant can see what they are reading!


Jars as table decorations are a wonderful way to embellish your reception style using little cost and without looking tacky. And again, they become versatile here in their use, such as holding flowers, candles, treats and anything else you require!



The ideas for jars don’t just stop here, there’s an infinite amount of ideas on the internet that also include step by step methods to get the ideal look you want. Here are just SOME of the links to get you going:






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Top tips for taking the hassle out of changing your name

ImageBy Carolyn Raaff, for idocelebrant.com

It’s still generally assumed that a bride will change her name once married. While approximately 80% of Australian brides continue to change their name each year, it isn’t the law.

If you’ve grown attached to your maiden name and would like to hold on to it after you’re married, you could:

  • combine your surname with your husband’s – with or without a hyphen between your surnames
  • continue to use your maiden name at work but use your married name to update your passport, driver’s licence, joint accounts etc
  • make your maiden name your new middle name and take your husband’s name as your surname
  • make up a new last name that is a combination of your maiden name and married name
  • leave your name as it is.

Or your husband could change his name to yours!

For some, especially brides who’ve been trying out new surnames since their first boyfriend, changing your name is exciting. For others, saying goodbye to your maiden name can be harder than expected.

Whatever the case, there’s no denying it – changing your name is a hassle!

This explains why so many women live in dual-name limbo for so many months, and sometimes years, after their wedding.

The process to legally change your name on your identification documents is simple. All you need is your marriage certificate issued by your state or territory’s Registry of Birth, Deaths and Marriages. The hard part is trying to remember which organisations you need to tell about your change of name, and motivating yourself to complete all the necessary paperwork.

But the good news is: if you plan ahead you can streamline the process. Here’s what to do:

  • Add getting your name changed to your wedding planning to do list.
  • Talk to your marriage celebrant. He or she might have some handy hints.
  • Find out from your state or territory’s registering authority what forms and other documentation you need to apply for a marriage certificate. Start filling in the application form and pulling together the necessary proof of identity documents. Photocopy these and get them certified by a justice of the peace etc as required to save time later on.
  • Make a list of all the organisations you’ll need to notify about your name change after the wedding. Think driver’s licence, passport, Medicare, banks, superannuation, doctors, dentists, retail store cards etc.
  • Contact the organisations to find out what forms and other documentation they need from you. Get copies of the forms and start filling them in.
  • As soon as possible (at least 14 days) after your wedding, apply for your marriage certificate. – you can download the form you need here…
  • Make photocopies of your marriage certificate and get them signed by a justice of the peace.
  • Complete all the forms you prepared earlier and send them to the relevant organisations with the required documentation.

There’s no denying changing your name is time consuming but if you plan for it and get on to it straight way after your wedding, it’ll be less of a headache.

Good luck!

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How Pinterest can help you plan your wedding

By Carolyn Raaff, for idocelebrant.com

A disclaimer before we begin – if you know how to use Pinterest this blog isn’t for you. Stop reading now and start doing something else (someImagepinning for your wedding?) instead.

On the other hand if you’ve never experienced the joys of pinning or you’re asking yourself “pin what?” read on. But be warned pinning can be extremely addictive!

According to Pinterest.com, itself:

  • Pinterest is a tool for collecting and organising things you love.
  • Pinterest can be used to make a wish list, plan a trip, organise an event, start a collection, plan a project.
  • Millions of people use Pinterest in their lives and work.

Pinterest is easy to use and, best of all, joining is free.

How does it work?

Basically, Pinterest is a modern day pin board or scrapbook. You create a “board” (like a notice board) on which you “pin” images or videos you see and like. You can do this by searching for images within Pinterest by subject and “repinning” these from someone else’s noticeboard to your own or by searching for ideas on the internet and pinning the images to your board. Any pin can be repinned and all pins link back to where they came from.

You can make your board secret so no one else can see it, you can make your board public so everyone can view it or you can invite other people to pin with you on any of your boards. You can also follow other people’s boards.

Great, but what does this have to do with my wedding?

When it comes to planning a wedding, Pinterest is an amazing resource. It’s a one stop shop for wedding ideas and inspiration from all over the place.

Here are some suggestions on how you could use Pinterest to help plan your wedding:

  1. Create a board for each aspect of your wedding. This could be ideas for your gift list, wedding dress, bridesmaid dresses, hair and make-up, flowers, invitations, cake, photos, wedding venue, honeymoon destinations etc.
  2. Use secret boards to save pictures of things you like but aren’t ready to share. For example, wedding dress designs.
  3. Share your boards, ideas and inspirations with your fiancé, family, bridal party, and friends.
  4. Share your boards with your marriage celebrant or wedding suppliers to give them an idea of what you like and don’t like.  For example, flowers, cake designs, hair styles, make up etc.
  5. 5.       Follow the boards of wedding suppliers to check out what they’ve done for other clients.

Convinced? Go on give it a try. You won’t regret it.

Happy pinning!

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Amelia Hammond’s naming day

WG9A4959-1What a great day celebrating the life of Amelia Hammond. She was welcomed to the community and everyone shared a wish for her on a wishing tree. Beautiful.

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How to make your wedding more ‘Hollywood’

By Nina Harvey, for idocelebrant.com


If you could choose any celebrity to be a party of your wedding day, who would you pick?Image


Personally I would want Morgan Freeman or James Earl Jones as the marriage celebrants? Because let’s face it, anything said in either of those two voices sounds pretty epic, and just think – if you went with James Earl Jones you could say that you were married by the voice of ‘Lord Vader’.


How about Kristen Wiig (SNL / Bridesmaids) as Maid of Honour and Zach Galifianakis (The Hangover / Due Date) as Best Man. They would provide some great comic relief, and are certainly a better choice than Bradley Cooper (The Hangover) who might distract the bride from her groom, and Pippa Middleton, who is famous for diverting attention off the bride and on to her right royal bottom.


The reality is that whether your dream is to have Bruno Mars serenade you down the aisle, or Patrick Swayze to give your partner dancing lessons before the reception, very few of us will ever have anyone famous involved with our wedding day.


Instead we get to indulge ourselves by being amused, entertained, moved, and perhaps even inspired by those famous Hollywood wedding moments captured on film and planted in our memories forever.


Here is my Top Ten list of moments that every wedding needs in order to make it more “Hollywood”


1. The Catfight


Who can resist a good old-fashioned catfight? A couple of usually poised women getting out their claws and fighting it out is pure movie magic on its own, but if you add to it that the participants are dressed in designer wedding dresses, you just can’t go wrong. Kate Hudson and Anne Hathaway not only provided comic relief in Bride Wars (2009) as two friends turned deranged brides, but also portrayed just how ruthless and crazy brides can be on their big day if they don’t learn to just relax.


2. The Tacky Bridesmaid’s DressImage


This is something that any girl who has ever been asked to be a bridesmaid fears. But when it comes to Hollywood movie weddings, none would be complete without the bridesmaid who looks like a cross between a cupcake and your grandmother’s doily collection. If you grew up in the 80’s you would have witnessed this in overdrive – although in those days the bridesmaid’s dress was only as tacky as the bride’s own oversized, frill covered, bow-adorned dress. These days it’s just out of pure malice that some brides torture their bridesmaids with ghastly dress choices. 

That is why we all loved Katherine Heigl’s ultimate revenge in the movie, 27 Dresses (2009), when she called in a favour from every bride she had ever played maid to, to stand by her when her own day came – and wear the dresses they had forced her to wear. Brilliant!


3. The Wedding Planner with ‘je ne sais quoi’


If there is anyone who can bring a bit of fab to any wedding, it has to be Franck Eggelhoffer from the 1991 remake of Father of the Bride. Most of the time no one could understand him, but his sheer fabulousness needs no interpretation. Whether he is putting swans in your bathtub to stop them from freezing, or reminding the father of the bride that Armani doesn’t make polyester tuxedos, Franck found his way into our hearts and if Hollywood style crazy is what you are after, he is just the man you need to plan your wedding.

“Get out of town!”



4. The Sentimental Daddy


Sticking with Father of the Bride (1991), Steve Martin not only showed how stressful a big wedding can be when everyone is reaching into your pocket to pay for it, but his portrayal of a father struggling to cope with the fact that his little baby girl is all grown up, melted our hearts and made many of us wonder if our own fathers were hiding a sentimental soul underneath those tough exteriors.


5. The SingersImage


That Boy George impersonating, boozy lounge singing, 80’s fashionista that is the wedding singer, is an absolute must for any Hollywood wedding. Adam Sandler and his band of failed musicians brought all the cheese they could to the stage to portray this image in 1998 hit The Wedding Singer. Why hire a DJ or a fancy swing band, when you can get mullet hairdos and cheap suits, a medley of bad 80s music and, if you are lucky, a drunken speech about how the singer’s life all went wrong. Now that is entertainment right there.


6. The Matriarch


What would the Hollywood wedding be without a bit of drama, advice and meddling from the family matriarch (usually self appointed). In Nia Vardalos’ brilliant My Big Fat Greek Wedding (2002) about the rollercoaster ride that ensues with a Greek wedding, she cast the superb Lainie Kazan as Maria – the ultimate matriarch who could sway every person and situation with the simple raise of her eyebrows and wag of her finger. If you don’t have someone like Maria meddling at every point of your wedding – it just ain’t Hollywood.


7. The Gate Crashers


Its hard not to think of Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson when you think of gate crashing a wedding, and that is because they are the guys every wedding needs to liven things up and cause a bit of trouble.  The Wedding Crashers (2005) saw this pair going through an awful lot of trouble just to gain access to all the good food, free drinks and beautiful women that a wedding can provide. In reality they may not be welcome guests at a wedding, but as far as Hollywood goes, why wouldn’t you want them there? Even if all it means is that you get to watch Vince Vaughn tear up the dance floor… it would be well worth it.



8. The Show Stopper


Even if you have never seen it, you have seen some version of it. The scene made famous by a young Dustin Hoffman as Benjamin Braddock, the recent graduate seduced by the ultimate older women, Mrs Robinson, portrayed by Katherine Ross, in the controversial 1967 movie The Graduate. Totally in love and determined to stop her wedding at all costs, Braddock rushes into the back of the church. Fearing he is too late he bangs on the glass, screaming “Elaine!” over and over. Ultimately she runs away with him, much to the horror of all of the guests. Now no truly in love wedding couple wants a crazed man banging on the window, stopping the ceremony. But for dramatic effect, this would be a classic!


9. The Dirty Money


It may not sound appealing to have every single mob boss and gangster in the area on your guest list, but if you can look past the rap sheets, the stench of cologne and overuse of the name Tony… you may find their presence rather valuable. When Henry (Ray Liotta) married Karen (Lorraine Bracco) in Goodfellas (1990), the happy couple are given gift envelopes, each containing thousands of dollars in cash. Okay so its dirty money, but if someone like Don Corleone (Marlon Brando The Godfather 1972) approaches your wedding table and offers you money and his blessings… its probably safe to say its “an offer you can’t refuse”.


And finally…


10. The Nervous PriestImage


He sweats, he stutters, he is nervous and he messes up his lines. But no Hollywood wedding would be complete without priest of Rowan Atkinson’s calibre, as seen in Four Weddings and Funeral (1994). But unless you are okay with mistakes like, “In the name of The Father, The Son, and The Holy Goat… er, Ghost,” – then it may be best to consider a more experienced, less nervous, and hopefully better looking, marriage celebrant.




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The Wedding Speech: how to know when you may have a problem

By Nina Harvey, for idocelebrant.com


 “As far as I’m concerned, my daughter could not have chosen a more delightful, charming, witty, responsible, wealthy, let’s not deny it, well-placed, good-looking and fertile young man than Martin as her husband. And I therefore ask the question “Why the hell did she marry Gerald instead?”

This, thankfully, is not an excerpt from an actual wedding speech, but rather a quote from ‘Rowan Atkinson Live’, a stage show the actor – better known to most as Mr Bean – performed in Boston in 1991. 


But while it may be a work of fiction, Rowan’s performance of the skit, ‘The Wedding from Hell’, does bring to mind the risk one takes when asking someone to make a speech at their wedding. 

There are a few questions you should ask yourself:


1. Does this person know me well enough?


You need to know that the person who stands up and honours you on your wedding day actually knows enough about you to make a heartfelt, honest speech. 


If they can barely pronounce your name correctly … you may have a problem!


2. Do they know a little too much?


At the same time, if you the groom, for example, decide to get your best mate of 20 years to do a speech because he knows you better than anyone else, you need to remember that HE KNOWS YOU BETTER THAN ANYONE ELSE! This guy knows things about you that your parents don’t even know, and usually for good reason.  


If you don’t lay down some laws and limitations … you may have a problem!


3.  What type of drunk are they?


This question directly links to the answer to question 2; because we all know sometimes our best intentions can be replaced by next day, hangover regrets.


If the best man is the guy who always gets kicked out of bars before 9pm for disorderly conduct … you may have a problem!


If your dad – proudly wearing his father-of-the bride cap today – takes embarrassing his little girl to a whole new level after a few beers … you may have a problem!


4. Do they have any reason to object to your union?


This is a pretty big one. For instance:


If your best man has at some stage confessed that he: 

a) may be in love with your fiancé;   

b) dislikes your choice in women entirely;

or c) may be in love with you  … you may have a problem!


If the father-of-the-bride has expressed in the past that he:

a) dislikes his daughter’s choice for a mate;

b) may be bitter about having to pay for the wedding;

or c) may be in love with the groom … you definitely have a problem!


5. Lastly, have you ever done a speech for them?


Think carefully about this one. Have you ever publically ridiculed or embarrassed this person – the one who is, as we speak, preparing the ‘perfect’ speech for your wedding? You may think they have forgiven you already, but remember revenge is dish best served cold.


If you saw fit to include the story about the stag night stripper and the Ping-Pong balls in your best man’s speech … you may have a problem!


If you found yourself surprised when the bride did not approve of your presentation, which you proudly titled: ‘The Brides Most Embarrassing Moments Ever Captured on Film’, then (yes you guessed it) … you may have a problem!



So now that we have ascertained that you have a problem, how do you fix it?

After all you can’t change who the bride’s father is, and it’s too late to go out and make a new best mate.


Ÿ As mentioned before, set limits and lay down the law. Practice your game face and let them know you are serious.


Ÿ If the best man isn’t married yet, remind him that you will be taking note of his conduct and remember it when it’s his turn.


Ÿ Turn on your daddy’s-little-girl charm and kindly ask him to remember that you are his daughter and he needs to be kind or else.


Ÿ You could even attempt to get someone with a bit of weight behind them – i.e.: the mothers or perhaps even the wedding celebrant – to do the dirty work for you and gently nudge them in the right direction.

But if you prefer the idea of a more delicate approach, why not try putting a new spin on the old tradition of giving gifts to the bridesmaids.


A couple of months before the wedding, find yourself a gift bag and stuff it with chocolates; a six pack of beers or a bottle of wine; and any other knick knack you think will be appropriate.


Then make a visit to your local book store, or log on to sites like amazon.com or barnesandnoble.com, and take your pick from the host of wedding speech etiquette related books there are available – for example Philip Calvert’s, ‘Make a Great Wedding Speech’ or Dominic Bliss’ less subtle, ‘Being the Best Man for Dummies’.


Once you have made your selection take the book home; throw it into the gift bag; attach a card saying, “Just a little something to say thank you”; and head over to the best man’s / father-of-the-bride’s house to present your gift.


The recipient will either think you are acting really strange or be genuinely touched by your gesture, but either way the book is in their hands and with any luck the message will be received.


Problem solved … hopefully!

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