I think I need some help...

Discussion in 'Disney Weddings and Honeymoons' started by Kimmers127, Dec 7, 2010.

  1. Kimmers127

    Kimmers127 DIS Veteran

    Dec 1, 2008
    DF and I are getting down to the wire - the wedding is in 5 months! And it is suddenly hitting us that maybe our budget has gotten a little out of control. We've both looked it over and thought of a few places to make changes, but we chose our day and time because the minimum to Disney is 10K and we were hoping to stay close to that. Well, we are at 18K AFTER making tons of cuts, and we have no idea what else to tweak! We both are starting to panic and I think I'm so stressed it's keeping me from seeing solutions here. I would greatly appreciate any suggestions!!

    Here is our BEO:

    Ceremony Usage $775 and $1304
    Violinist $575
    Major Domo $675
    Floral for ceremony $2176
    Floral Fees $50
    Ceremony total: $5697

    Bar $773
    Gourmet Olives $322
    International Cheese Display $644
    Bartender $100
    Pre-reception total: $1846

    Mad Hatter Cake: $1043

    Bar $1546
    Champagne Toast $381
    Sparkling Cider Toast $31
    Room Delivery $10
    2 Chef's Meals $60
    50 lunch buffet @ 65.50 each $4220
    Cake handling fee $219
    DJ $1150
    Mickey & Minnie $1200
    Caricature Artists $1560
    Reception total: $10635

    Dessert Party
    Viewing Fees $662
    Venue Fee $266
    Menu @ $32/guest $2061
    Catering Fee $91
    Disney Photographer $300
    Car Transportation for us $50
    Dessert Party total: $3430

    MK Photo Shoot $1400

    TOTAL BEO $24,053
    These are non Disney expenses we still have to pay:
    Balance on photography $1200
    Videography $1500
    Beaute Special $1000
    Dress steaming $120
    Rehearsal Dinner at 'Ohana's for all guests $2000
    Bridesmaid outing 2 days before: unk, not planned yet
    Groomsmen Golfing 2 days before: $400
    Groomsmen Gifts: no idea
    (We already bought gifts for my bridesmaids)
    DF Tux: not chosen yet, is $200 average?
    Gifts for Parents: not chosen yet
    Meal Plan for our 2 week Disney honeymoon, plus spending money $1120+
    (we paid for the room and airfare already)

    We are thinking of cutting:
    the bar
    olives at pre-reception
    the bridesmaid/groomsmen outings
    extending the RD to all guests - maybe just bridal party + parents instead
    Major Domo
    Mickey & Minnie (sob!)
    caricature artists (this makes me angry because I was quoted only $500 at my PS, not $1500!)

    What else can I do???
  2. loganpaulsmom

    loganpaulsmom DIS Veteran

    Jan 12, 2010
    How much do you need to cut?? IMO.. keep the things that are going to make this your dream wedding.. Minnie and Mckey.. Letme look over your list again..
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  4. morozco5

    morozco5 Mouseketeer

    Feb 8, 2010
    all the things you are cutting are good... i think they are quoting you on 3 caricature artist because of the amount of guests (50?). cut it down to 2 if you want them. its still an expense closer to $1000 or just completely cut them. the dining plan is a lot of food and is worth it (in my opinion) if you are fine dining. otherwise you can probably cut that? whys is your cake so expensive? i guess it's becuase of the design?
    where are you having your ceremony and reception?
  5. twiu

    twiu DIS Veteran

    Oct 26, 2007
    Let's see... easy ones.

    1 cut your champagne toast / sparkling wine. You already have a bar, let them toast to whatever is in their hands. That's $500 you can cut right there. (dont cut the bar, everyone loves a free bar :) You can also get rid of 1 hour of your bar. You can have bar for pre reception, shut it down for an hour during lunch, then open it up again. This will save you whatever you're paying times how many guests you have.

    2. your buffet seems high to me. $65.50 per person? Cut that down. You don't need that much fod.. mostly for lunch!

    3 Gourmet olives, yeah.. no one will notice they're gone.

    4 Major Domo. Its sad but it's better to lose him than the mice.

    5 is the caricature artist that important to you? You have open bar.. you don't need more distractions! :rotfl:

    6. I would try to find a cheaper alternative to your rehearsal dinner

    That's my suggestions for now... I know it's hard but remember that the little details are not that important. Also, food is a great way to cut stuff. I remember people raved about the food at our wedding and I went the super cheapest route. It's Disney, they can't screw up food!
  6. pixie921

    pixie921 DIS Veteran

    Dec 12, 2008
    The Major Domo and olives are the first things I thought of to cut, and I see those are on your list. :thumbsup2 I also agree that the rehearsal dinner could just be for parents and the bridal party, traditionally those are the only ones invited anyway.

    You could consider using recorded music at your ceremony so you don't have to pay the violinist.

    I wonder if you can get a caricature artist on your own vs. having to go through Disney? I know Disney charges $1500 for a silhouette artist, but if you hire the woman who several brides here have used directly, it's only $500. So if you really want one, maybe look into that?

    Also, if it comes down to cutting characters, maybe only have Mickey come instead of him and Minnie? That would save $450 right there.

    I hope you're able to get things to a total you're comfortable with!
  7. irishwishes

    irishwishes Mouseketeer

    Jun 16, 2010
    You could do a 2 tier cake and use sheet cakes to supply pieces to all of the guests. The guests won't see the sheet cakes but they will cut pieces to make sure there is enough for everyone. I think that cuts off about $500.

    You could cut the champagne toast and let everyone toast with the drinks they have.

    Rehearsal dinner for bridal party and immediate family only. You could have an informal gathering pool side at your resort for everyone else coming to town.

    Get a Tables in Wonderland card at a discount with your AP's and use that instead of a dining plan. The card gets you 20% off of all food AND alcohol.
  8. Kimmers127

    Kimmers127 DIS Veteran

    Dec 1, 2008
    Thanks for the replies... to answer a few questions:

    The ceremony is at Sea Breeze Point, and the reception is at Ariel's. Our Dessert Party is in Italy.

    At our Planning Session, we were told we would only need one caricature artist for our group size - which did surprise me - and that the cost would be about $500. Then we get the BEO and it's two artists and the cost is $1560! I'm sure Amy was just mistaken at the PS but it was a big disappointment because we were really excited about having them. At $1560 it's way too pricey when originally we had planned to skip favors altogether.

    As far as how much we need to cut... I think we would both be a lot more comfortable if we were closer to 10K rather than 20K. I think getting the Disney portion down a few more thousand from 18K, and making a few more cuts elsewhere, would help us feel less overextended.

    The videographer is not actually booked yet, but is something we both really want... so we could cut that but we really don't want to.

    The dining plan does actually save us money so I plan to keep that... plus we both like not having to determine how much money we need for meals.

    It kills me to cut Mickey & Minnie but DF's suggestion was to choose one iconic "Disney" thing, either the characters or the MK photo shoot. The shoot is something I'm really excited about and it just seems like a really cool experience. It also kills me that you only get the characters for such a short amount of time.
  9. loganpaulsmom

    loganpaulsmom DIS Veteran

    Jan 12, 2010
    Ok So.. here is what I would do..
    Cut out some of the flowers. Honestly, you are going to be in Disney, and that alone people are going to ooh and ahhh about, you don't need to go crazy with the arrangements.. I would keep the one that you want and maybe do a less elaborate or less expensive kind.. cut the budget by $600 and don't pay more than $1500 for flowers..
    Major Domo.. $675
    Do you really need the whole pre-reception? If you do, I would at the very least get rid of the gourmet olives. $322..

    About the open bar.. You will get many opionions about it.. This is how I feel.. if you do a 1 hour open bar.. wine on the tables and champagne toast its almost like your guests won't be paying for drinks at all. .Especially if its lunch time.. You don't want an open bar to go unused either? KWIM..
    So, that could save you like over $2000..
    I know the dessert party sounds great but its almost $3500.. Do you really need to have it?
    I definitely think keep Mickey and Minnie.. However maybe get rid of the characters because its so expensive.. $1500..
    The bridal party excursion sounds good.. but.. maybe do something that doesn't cost a lot of money to do, or everyone pays their own way?

    This is your wedding.. So dont skimp on what you and your hubby want or need.. those little extras those are what you should be cutting out.. To save..
    Just what I have written down here would save you over $8500..
  10. Firefly09

    Firefly09 going through Disney withdrawals

    Jun 9, 2010
    Are you having more than 1 caricature artist? I'm pretty sure someone else just had it at their wedding and they said it was more like $500. Hopefully i'll remember who it is and pull up their budget.

    I would cut the olives from the pre-reception. Also, I thought the bartender fee was only if you didn't sell at least $500 of alcohol? With the pre-reception and reception you should be well over that! Are they at the location?

    Can you make the rehearsal dinner optional? We're going to make it a join us for drinks/dinner if you want to sort of deal, but everyone will be expected to pay for themselves. Unfortunately we're not going while free dining is offered, but with a full day's events the next day I think the guests will understand.

    I think either Major Domo or Mickey and Minnie will have to go unfortunately. Personally I'd go for just Mickey (which I know might see weird of him to attend a wedding without Minnie) if I was really trying to trim the budget.
  11. pezaddict231

    pezaddict231 DIS Veteran

    Jan 25, 2009
    My comments are in purple. I think given your guestlist, with the events you want to have and the time, it's going to be hard to be close to 10k. But that doesn't mean you can't save some money still. ;) We had to cut a lot too, but in the end I just thought of things that would really add to the day for our guests, and tried to cut things that they wouldn't expect anyway or notice if those things were gone. That's why I'd keep the bar and cut the caricature artists, most people expect a bar at weddings. The BOC actually saved us a lot of money over the packages, so you may get money back from that.

    I know it's depressing to cut things, but really most of your guests will never even know those things were an option before and you'll still have a magical day. :goodvibes

  12. ChocoKat

    ChocoKat Is there a 12 step program for Disney Addicts?

    Sep 9, 2006
    I agree with the above suggestions.

    Def. cut the caricature artist, major domo, champagne/cider toast and try to keep it to one character. I agree with the rehearsal dinner being cut to just the closest family.

    I am only taking my parents and my FIL. Everybody else is getting very well stocked welcome bags though that we have been slowly gathering things for over sales for a whole year. This also allows them to come in at their own leisure instead of having to be there earlier or budget time for another wedding related activity.

    The DP menu seems high, we have cookies, chocolate covered strawberries, pastries, coffee, cocoa, tea, truffles because we will be having this right after dinner plus cake, and I don't want a bunch of food to go to waste.

    We did a small exhibition cake and a sheet cake and it really saved money since we wanted a custom design.

    Revise your floral carefully, did you have expensive flowers? Did you ask to use seasonal ones? I asked for seasonal flowers on my palette and it really helped my budget. I also asked to stay away from expensive flowers and use look-alikes instead, truly, your guests won't care whether it is a tea rose or a peonies.
  13. sambycat

    sambycat DIS Veteran

    Mar 24, 2007
    here's my 2 cents!
    • cut the domo
    • reexamine the flower arrangements or consider doing outside DFTW to lower that cost (which of course takes that out of your minimum, but doesn't seem like you will have a problem meeting the minimum!)
    • cut the champagne and cider toast. we are just toasting with drinks as well.
    • keep mickey and minnie - just curious though, 2 characters i think we were quoted a little more than that....
    • get one artist if you want it that bad and just go with it. it is neat, but will everyone be lining up for it? like every single person would go get it? i think it would be neat, but i wouldn't go get one. not sure i am making sense here!
    • keep the buffet as you have it, skinny down the pre-reception a bit
    • slim down the dessert party alot - everyone talks about gobs of food left over!
    • keep your dining plan, but really, tables in wonderland saves us more $$ (due to the alcohol!!)
    • how come the beauty charge is so high? have you told everyone you are paying for their hair and what not? its tough but that is reallllly expensive - maybe offer make up OR hair if you want that to be your gift as well?
    • slim down the pre-activity costs

    you are doing great!

    oh yeah -either do Ohana for bridal party and parents only, or something musch more affordable for everyone
  14. jtanddolly

    jtanddolly DIS Veteran

    Oct 21, 2008
    1. I have noticed a lot of DISBrides are taking Ipods and playing their own music instead of having a DJ. Had you considered this? Not having to pay the DJ would save you a lot of money. Check with your planner to see what the options are for that.

    2. Do you really need the desert party? If you absolutely have to have it...trim down the cost per person. See what Pezzadict had to say on their response...she wished she had a smaller menu as there was a lot left over. You have to remember that they have already had your wedding cake.

    3. Definitely only have family and wedding party at your rehearsal dinner. If you were getting married at home you wouldn't invite everyone.

    4. Had you considered just having an open bar during the pre-reception? And just offering the champagne toast during the reception...


    only offering an open bar during part of the reception


    what time of day is your wedding? Can you cut the open bar during the pre-reception and maybe offer a specialty non-acoholic drink. If it is early enough in the day...it won't be missed. And cut the bar for part of your reception. If they are eating they won't be getting up and down to go to the bar. You could offer it starting at a certain time during your reception.


    consider what others said about letting them toast with what they have and not offering the champagne toast. You can still have it for just you and your husband

    5. Definitely cut Major Domo

    6. Trim your flower budget for the wedding by either checking in with outside vendors and see if you can cut they budget but get the same amount of flowers or scaling back what you have already ordered.

    7. Cut Gormet Olives

    8. Is there any way to get the per person cost for lunch down to $50 or even $55?

    9. Cut Mickey or Minnie...have just one

    10. Beaute Special - have this only for yourself. Unless you just have to have your bridesmaids hair all in an updo (sp?) or the same...they will be fine with doing their own hair and makeup. Unless you have a bm that wears too much makeup or outlandish colors, but I doubt you do.

    11. Find out how many caricature artists you are paying for and cut back on the number if they are charging you for 3...I also liked what they others said...look for outside vendors for this and see if you can find a better rate

    12. for the bridesmaids outing...find something free to do. If they are purchasing park passes...enjoy some time with them at one of the parks.


    Go to downtown Disney, wonder around the stores and just enjoy being together and window shopping.


    Here is something fun you could do and it is free!!! You can bring a pre-made smore kit for each bridesmaid, and it could be lots of fun! One DISBride had this as an event for all of her guests and she made a smore kit for each guest. She said it was lots of fun.

    Free Camp Fire Sing-A-Long with Chip and Dale at the Walt Disney World Fort Wilderness Campground

    There is a free Campfire Sing-Along with Chip & Dale at the WDW Fort Wilderness Campground. It generally begins around 7 p.m. during the fall/winter season and 8 p.m. beginning sometime in April through the summer. It is held near the Meadow Trading Post in the campfire area. The program begins with a sing-along led by a Disney cast member - if you've seen "Barney", you know these songs - and a marshmallow roast around two campfire rings. While this is going on, Chip and Dale make an appearance to visit with guests and sign autographs. The sing-along lasts about 40 minutes.

    After the sing-along , aDisney movie is shown on a large outdoor screen.Seating is available in bleachers or on benches. There is also plenty of room to lay out a blanket or set up your own camp chairs. We try to post all of the resort movie schedules on our website at the beginning of the month. The current movie schedule is posted at all comfort stations. In the event of rain, the sing-along is still held on the porch of the Meadow Trading Post.

    You may bring your own marshmallows or buy them at the Chuckwagon Snack Bar (roasting sticks - $0.49 each, Marshmallow Bag -$3.99, Hershey's Chocolate Bars - $1.99 each, or a whole s'mores kit is around $8.99; prices accurate as of May 2010). You may also buy pizza, hot dogs, candy, nachos, juice, popcorn, sodas, coffee, beer and other refreshments at the Chuckwagon Snack Bar.

    The campground also has a free petting zoo and pony rides (about $5 each) that close earlier in the afternoon. These are in the "Settlement Trading Post" area - take the Ft. Wilderness internal bus. The Trail's End Restaurant is considered one of WDW's best buffet values. The Trail's End also has a carry-out window called “Trails-To-Go” 16-inch pizzas and fried chicken meals – both individually sized and family sized. If you have a free day (or your arrival day), you can go early and see the petting zoo, have a nice dinner, and then head over to the Sing-Along.

    We recommend this to every one going to Disneyworld with young kids because we enjoy it so much. It is one of Disney's least expensive Character Meet and Greet experiences and a great low-key activity when you find yourself a little over-stimulated from the theme parks.

    Other Activities at Disney's Fort Wilderness Campground:

    You can also rent boats or kayaks from the Fort Wilderness Marina. (Extra Cost)
    The Electric Water Pageant can be seen from the Ft Wilderness Marina.
    Pony Rides ($5 each; for children age 2 - children weighing 80 pounds or less / 10:00AM - 5:00PM)
    Nightly Wagon Rides (Extra Cost)
    Cane Pole Fishing ($10 - 10:00AM - 2:00PM)


    Do you have to stay at the Campground to go to Chip and Dale's Campfire Sing-A-Long?

    No, the campfire sing-along and outdoor movie are available to all Disney Guests.

    How do I get to the Campground?

    You can take a bus from your resort to the nearest Disney theme park, water park, or Downtown Disney. Then catch the bus there to the Fort Wilderness Resort and Campground. You can also take a boat from the Disney's Magic Kingdom theme park. The campground has its own internal bus system. You need to take the Yellow Loop bus to the camp loop 1500 Bus Stop. This is the stop for the "Meadow Trading Post" Recreation Area. If you are unsure, just ask the bus drivers; they are very friendly and helpful. Across the street from the bus stop, you'll see a wooden foot bridge and a sign for the Meadow Recreation Area clearly directing you to the Camp Fire Program. You'll pass the volleyball court. When you arrive at the swimming pool, take the path right around the pool and behind the pool building. At this point you will cross over to the Chip and Dale's Campfire Sing-A-Long area. You will see the sign, stage, seating area, screen and the conastoga wagon snackbar. It sounds like a lot of steps, but it is actually a fairly short walk.

    What if I'm driving?

    Take I-4 to Exit 64B. Take the right guest lane to the Magic Kingdom theme park and tell the gate guard that you are going to Fort Wilderness. Follow the signs to the campground. You will have to present photo ID at the gate. You will park at the "outpost". The campground has its own internal bus system. You need to take the Yellow Loop bus to the camp loop 1500 Bus Stop. This is the stop for the "Meadow Trading Post" Recreation Area. If you are unsure, just ask the bus drivers; they are very friendly and helpful. Across the street from the bus stop, you'll see a wooden foot bridge and a sign for the Meadow Recreation Area clearly directing you to the Camp Fire Program. You'll pass the volleyball court. When you arrive at the swimming pool, take the path right around the pool and behind the pool building. At this point you will cross over to the Chip and Dale's Campfire Sing-A-Long area. You will see the sign, stage, seating area, screen and the conastoga wagon snackbar. It sounds like a lot of steps, but it is actually a fairly short walk.
    Is there a charge or admission fee?

    The Sing-Along and Movie are free – you can purchase S'mores kits or other refreshments
    What if it rains?

    There is a covered porch area that they might move the Sing-Along to if a full evening of rain is expected - the movie will be cancelled. For brief rain showers, they may pause and let you take cover until it passes.
    Are there restrooms?

    Yes, there are nice restrooms behind the snack bar area.
    What movies are being shown?

    See this month's Resort and Hotels Outdoor Movie Schedule

    Take your own smore packet by getting a sandwich ziploc baggy and sticking grahamcrackers, chocolate and marshmallows in them...then you can purchase a roasting stick for 49 cents when you are there.
  15. morozco5

    morozco5 Mouseketeer

    Feb 8, 2010
    i just checked my BEO and its $1170 for 2 caricature artist so make sure you look in that!
  16. Disney-Chick

    Disney-Chick A Canadian who loves Disney eh!

    Aug 24, 2010
    I am going to post my response even though you had quite a bit already. Mine you may not like so much, as im sure I was the cheapest wedding here. I had the escape package and ours maybe hit $7000 (not including driving/hotel etc). I am bad for money, but DF is great!!! And we never wanted to go into debt just to be married. Plus all the money we saved, were going back within a month of arriving home of our first trip.

    I would cut the following:

    -Major Domo $675
    -Floral for ceremony $2176 (not all but downsize, who needs that many flowers that will end up dying!??!!?!)
    - Why even have a dessert party?! Your $1300 cake should be enough
    -Videography - How much will you watch this? I am having two camcorders that I am bringing myself...price FREE.
    - As other's mentioned, let your guests toast with their own drinks.
    - DJ $1150 - Bring your own music
    - Mickey & Minnie $1200 - There only there for what 30 minutes...I think there a waste of money myself.
    Caricature Artists $1560 - If you only have one then your guests will spend all their time in line and no time at the bar. Again, IMO a waste of money.
    - MK Shoot - if you don't do this now, you can later down the road. I looked into this as well. When you do it in the future you can either wear your wedding attire or formal clothing.
    - Gourmet Olives $322 - Yep cut this, don't even know what it is, so im sure if you mentioned it to others they wouldn't know or even miss it
    - International Cheese Display $644 - Why do you need this? IMO you have way to much food going on, especially if they are going to be drinking...that could end badly for the ones who drink way to fast
    - Beaute Special $1000 - I am paying for all my girls (3 total along with myself)
    Bridesmaid outing 2 days before: unk, not planned yet - I am not doing an outing, I am going to a spa the day before and the girls have to pay.
    - Groomsmen Golfing 2 days before: $400 - I am surprising DF with a trip to NASA the day before and all the men bought their own tickets.
    DF Tux: not chosen yet, is $200 average? - DF paid just over $300 and that was a suit, not a tux.

    Good luck with planning. Im sure whatever you choose will make you both happy.
  17. tinkerbell 766

    tinkerbell 766 <font color=purple>If I can't fly, let me sing. Or

    Sep 12, 2007
    I agree with what has already been said!!
    I would cut the following if this tough decision was mine to make!!
    - Major Demo would go
    - I would look into getting an outside florist for personal floral and maybe cutting some floral decor.
    - Olives (but I hate them anyway, so I am biased!!)
    - The mice (reluctantly)
    - Cut the caricture artist to one and arrange for her to do couples or groups which may save her a bit of time.
    - Rehersal dinner - make it an option for guests, saying you would love them to come but your budget will not allow you to host it. We are having both an optional welcome dinner and morning after brunch and all our guests are joining us - none have objected.
    - Scale down the bridesmaid's outing to a pool-side drinks party or some nibbles in your room followed by 'Drinking around the World', maybe you pay for their first drink, and then they are on their own (moneywise)
    - MK shoot would go, but again, I am probably biased as I think them very expensive for what you get (especially with some of the quality and timing concerns raised recently). As, somebody said, you can always do this at a later date - say an anniversary.
    Just my thoughts anyway. I wish you good luck with these tough decisions!!!
  18. DVC Bride 2011

    DVC Bride 2011 Mouseketeer

    Mar 10, 2010
    I didnt read everyone else's suggestions but here's what I would cut:

    Have you already invited all your guests? The only other thing I can think of is to cut your guest list. I hope I didnt offend you with any of my suggestions. We had to stick to a very strict budget too - we at about $13K before and $15K after all the fees. It sucks cutting. Good luck!
  19. DVC Bride 2011

    DVC Bride 2011 Mouseketeer

    Mar 10, 2010
    I also forgot to say that we are doing a rehearsal brunch instead of dinner to save money. For 20 people it'll be about $600 at the GF Cafe.
  20. morozco5

    morozco5 Mouseketeer

    Feb 8, 2010
    we found ourselves having to cut down too... i might have to post my BEO as well!!
  21. girli565

    girli565 A Miami kind of girl

    Mar 27, 2007
    I'd cut:
    • Major Domo
    • cut back the ceremony floral, does this include personal floral too?(are you having it moved to the reception?)
    • The bartender fee may be waived if you spend over $500 on the bar (are you doing a BOC?)
    • Olives (what kind of olives cost that much?!)
    • Champagne/cider toast, they can toast with what they are already drinking.
    • The chef's meals seem pricey, mine was $21 with tax.
    • Caricature artist (you can book an outside one for $500)
    • Make the RD only for bridal party or change it to a DP the night before for all guests and you'd still get a DP and cut the RD.
    • The bridal party outings, they only need a gift.
    • Videography (I didn't have a video and really don't miss it. There are companies that do a ceremony only package for $450-500, maybe do that)
    • Beaute Special - Are you paying for everyone's hair/makeup? I did my own hair for a friend's wedding (I was a bridesmaid) and we all looked great, just ask them to wear their hair down, I'm sure they'll look amazing. Sometimes having everyone with the same updo is a bit severe looking.

    Maybe just Mickey alone. We had only Mickey and he was wonderful! He did the electric slide with us! I know 30 min seems like nothing but really it's more than enough. He came out, interacted with all the kids, danced with us, took individual and group shots with every single guest and still had 5-10 minutes to kill at the end.

    Also, I think a DJ is a must. He keeps the party going and does things an iPod setup just can't do.

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