Thursday, March 31, 2011

Customizing the Catering Package

I realized that I haven't talked much about the reception details at our venue other than telling you how awesome and gorgeous we think the place is, so I'm gonna remedy that today.  Besides all that obvious awesomeness and the gorgeousness, there was another critically important factor that sold us on the Parc 55: the price per person of their packages.  But lest you think we simply chose a package level and breezily signed a contract (you wouldn't think that of me, would you?), you better believe we first customized the crap out of that thing!

When you're looking at package deals, aways keep in mind three key words:  everything is negotiable! 

The folder of information we received when we toured the venue said that wedding packages at the Parc 55 included: room rental, hors d'oeuvres (display station and passed apps), dinner, one hour of hosted bar service, house wines during dinner, champagne toast, cake cutting fee, tablecloths and chair covers, and a suite the night of the wedding. 

Because these were included with all wedding packages, I at first assumed they were non-negotiable.  But with a little bit of extensive question-asking (and remembering the three key words), I uncovered some pretty sweet information.  First, the display station included in the hors d'oeuvres package could be brought out later in the evening (for a late night snack) or it could be removed altogether for a savings of $5/person.  If you're having 100 people, that's a $500 savings right there - all because you didn't include a cheese station! 

By no means do we want our guests to go hungry, though, so I asked about our options for late night snacks.  The hotel could provide some snacky foods on a per person basis (like $6/person for sliders - what?!), but I was greeted with a resounding "No!" when I asked about having pizza delivered to the ballroom.  HOWEVER with some creative questioning on my part I learned that there are limited exceptions to their "no outside food and drink" policy, and those exceptions are wedding cakes and wedding favors.  Thinking creatively (and economically), we decided to go with a cake buffet in lieu of a traditional wedding cake so that we can let them eat [more] cake!

As for the favors, well...  I'm a fairly good liar, if I do say so myself, yet I was pretty skeptical about my ability to pass off pizza delivery as our wedding favor.  But a candy buffet is another story.  They're a common favor these days and a good option if you wanna give your guests a little more food, either to take with them or to enjoy right then.  Now of course, when I've been drinking and dancing all night I want carb-heavy and greasy, not pretty and sugary.  But I also wouldn't be choosy if pretty and sugary was the only option.  I'm hoping that between passed apps, dinner, the cake buffet and the candy buffet, our guests will stay full and satisfied enough to party with us all night long.

Another "No" I got was to my question about reducing the package cost by removing the tablecloths and chair covers from the package (since we'll be bringing in our own), but I did find out that the champagne toast could be optional, which is great for us since neither of us drink champagne.  I'm sure the toasts will be no less merry or meaningful if accompanied by wine or cocktails rather than some bubbly.  And at a savings of $3/person, I actually might be more merry this way!

Now on to that behemoth of wedding reception costs...  everyone's frenemy the bar package.  For us, alcohol options (call brand, premium brand, wine/beer only) were priced at 4 hours each.  At first we considered serving only wine and beer, since that would please most of our guests.  But speaking as someone who only drinks cocktails, I prefer events where there's a full bar option.  At first that left us unsure of how we could save money on the alcohol, but when I went back and read what's included in our wedding package, I knew there was a way! 

The hotel was giving us one hour of hosted bar FREE, plus they were serving house wines at dinner FREE.  Basically that meant cocktail hour and dinner hour were already taken care of, leaving only 3.5 hours of our reception to cover.  I don't know about you, but it's not that important to us that people be able to order a drink right as they're leaving our reception.  So if we shut down the bar for the last half hour, then we only needed 3 hours of hosted bar service.  With a little heavy requesting on my part, we were able to reduce the bar package to 3 hours rather than 4, and the savings for that was $6/person.  Yes!!

Also, just because I asked, I convinced them not to charge a beverage cost for children or vendors.  I'm gonna take a risk here and state openly that I don't believe children or vendors should be drinking alcohol at our reception, mmkay?  Thanks. 

Turns out there wasn't much negotiating room when it came to the price per person of dinner, and that IS the most expensive part of the overall cost.  But we weren't looking to nickel and dime our way into an almost-free reception, nor did we want to remove so many things from the package that it would diminish the overall experience of our guests.  We want everyone to have a *fabulous* time ~ and if we can save some money in the process, so much the fabulouser!

Oh, and one more thing.  NEVER be lured in by the posted prices without being d*mn sure that you're including the service charge and sales tax in that price.  Our venue requires a 21% service charge and San Francisco sales tax is 9.5%.  Those numbers increased our price per person by a whopping $32/person.  You could very quickly go way over budget just by forgetting to add in these extra charges.

The total price per person is still pretty steep by almost any standard, but with the changes we made it comes in really close to or even below all the other venue quotes we got.  Awesome venue + reasonable cost = a Win/Win situation in my book. 

Moral(s) of the story:  First, always be nice.  (It's that whole "catching more flies with honey" thing.).  Second, don't be afraid to ask about *anything* but know that you will have to withstand some "No" responses in order to find the "Yes" ones.  And lasty, stay flexible and creative in the questions you ask and the suggestions you make.  

Now it's your turn.  Share your best cost-saving negotiation, wedding-related or otherwise.  It's okay to gloat a little!  :-)

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Dressing the Party, Round 2

Saturday I went with Party Person N to a bridal salon hoping to see some of the Alfred Angelo and Alfred Sung dresses I'd been looking at online.  As soon as we got there, I felt uncomfortable and out of place but I just chalked it up to lack of familiarity with this kind of store.  Oh, if only I'd been aware of the 2.5 star rating on Yelp perhaps I would've moderated my expectations a bit.  Ms. M's Bridal Salon Tip #1:  Check the reviews before you choose.

You remember me talking about how principled I am when it comes to dress shopping, yeah?  Well let's just say that a huge store that has all of twelve "plus-size" (meaning larger than 14) bridesmaid dress options and a consultant who refused to acknowledge the store's limited plus-size inventory (until I brought it up), was honestly just never going to work for me.  Ms. M's Bridal Salon Tip #2:  Call and ask questions, then shop with discretion.

I'm not proud of it, but I'll admit that I was feeling pretty Over It from very early on.  Party Person N was wonderfully cheerful and optimistic to counteract my Eeyore-esque attitude, though.  You'll notice that there aren't dress pictures to accompany this post, and that's because there really wasn't much worth remembering.  Even though the consultant offered to order dresses for us if I chose them online, I think I'll pass.  I mean, at least for me, the whole point of going to a store is so you can try before you buy.  Otherwise I'd prefer to just order them from an online retailer that carries more plus-size stock.  Ms. M's Bridal Salon Tip #3:  Spending money isn't sensible when your experience is reprehensible, so remember to stick to your principle! 

This experience seriously made me want to crawl into a little bride cave and just disappear for a while.  But Party Person N says I should get back on the horse, and I think she's right.  Serendipitously I happened to find out last night that Alfred Angelo apparently has these "signature stores" where they supposedly carry all their styles in the full range of sizes.  And lucky for me, there's a signature store relatively close by.  So this Sunday, back on the horse I go!  Because they offer all of their dresses in a gray color called Charcoal, I'm super hopeful we're going to make a decision this weekend.  Cross your fingers for me that we find something because I seriously can't take much more of this.  I just wanna get back to the wedding plans that excite me - designing and crafting and buying stuff!

What bridal salon tips would you add to my list?  And did you ever have an uncomfortable bridal salon experience? 

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Well-Dressed Guests

There was a bit of a tiff in our household yesterday morning over something pretty ridiculous (umm... that's new and different).  I was telling Mr. NM that Party Person E loved the infinity dress I sent her to try on, but she had concerns that it wouldn't be "fancy enough" for our wedding.  This sparked an interesting, and at times heated, conversation between us about what we assumed people (wedding party and wedding guests) would wear at our wedding.  Mr. NM is okay with a pretty wide range of attire, but it's just important to him that women not feel "forced" into wearing dresses.  I have a more limited scope of what I think would be appropriate (not red carpet at the Oscars fancy, not afternoon at the beach casual), but what's most important to me is that our wedding guests not be more fancified than our wedding party

                     {over-fancified guests - source}                               {under fancified guests- source}

Because we have to get to dress the wedding party the question really is how, or if, we communicate a dress code to our guests.  Mr. NM at first thought we should just include the statement "business casual attire suggested," but I didn't really know what that meant plus I didn't like the idea of mentioning "business" when I think of our wedding more as a par-tay.  So Mr.NM did some research about what the code words are for suggested attire.  To save you from having to research this yourself here's the bare bones basics of what we found (in order of formality)*.
  • White Tie:  The highest formality of attire, and not as common in the US.  Men are expected to wear a tuxedo, coat with tails, white vest, and a white bowtie.  Women should wear a formal floor-length ballgown, usually in a dark color.  
  • Black Tie / Formal:  Generally the dressiest category in the US.  Men would wear a single or double-breased dinner jacket (a.k.a. tuxedo) and black tie.  Women would wear a long gown, dressy evening separates, or possibly a cocktail dress depending on the time and location of the event.
  • Black Tie Optional:  Primarily provides more options to men.  Men have a choice of tuxedo or dark suit and an evening tie.  Women can wear a long gown, evening suit, or cocktail dress in a dark color.
  • Creative Black Tie:  For both men and women, this wording allows for a more festive, trendy, or unique take on black tie attire.  This can be achieved through clothing and/or accessories.  
  • Semi-Formal / After Five / Informal:  Tuxes and long gowns are not required.  Men should wear a suit and tie with a white shirt, and the color of the suit depends on the time of day of the event.  Women should wear a cocktail dress, a more elegant afternoon dress, or a dressy pant look depending on the time of day and location.

  • Cocktail:  More dressy than you would be for work, but not too formal.  Men wear dark suits or dark jackets with light pants, and ties are usually optional.  Women wear short, elegant dresses or dressy evening separates.
  • Business Formal:  This language is not generally used in reference to social occasions.  It refers to tailored suits, light shirts with French cuffs, and silk ties for men.  For women, it means conservative business suits (skirts or slacks). 

  • Beach Formal:  Suggests an elegant affair but you should be prepared for the elements.  Men can wear a summer suit, no ties required.  Women can wear a sundress.  Both can wear sandals.  
  • Business Casual:  Also not a term generally used for social events.  For men it refers to sports coats and slacks with loafers and optional tie, or a similar combination of formal and casual elements.  For women it suggests casual pants or skirts paired with tailored and professional blouses or sweater sets.  
  • Dressy Casual:  This calls for more dressed up versions of casual looks.  Men might wear casual trousers and a sport coat.  Women might pair a casual top with dressy pants.

And, just for the record, I realize how completely gendered these descriptions are.  So if you're a queer couple, you get to play around a little with issues of formality and how the rules do or don't apply to you.

Now, I'm assuming that most people suggest attire to their guests so that people don't underdress.  I have the exact opposite concern, though.  As I've said before, I'm afraid people will take note of the location (downtown San Francisco), the venue (Parc 55 Hotel), and the time of day (6:00 ceremony), and show up dressed in more fancy attire than I even own.  So if I'm gonna offer some apparel guidelines to our guests, it's because I don't want them to upstage me, Mr. NM, or our wedding party!  We're not yet convinced we need to suggest attire to our guests somewhere in the invitation suite.  If we did, I would prefer something cheeky like "Come dressed for dancing!" or "Black tie highly discouraged," whereas Mr. NM prefers more straightforward language like "Cocktail attire suggested." 

While researching this post I came upon this quote on a wedding invitation etiquette site, which just confirmed all my forementioned fears:

"Usually, making any suggestion about how your guests should dress up is considered socially impolite but if a wedding has a theme and you would like to maintain that atmosphere, it is preferably to make that suggestion. “Black tie” is not traditionally mentioned on the wedding invitation and your guest must assume that this is necessary especially if the event takes place after six o’clock in the evening. Though if you find it necessary you can add as a footnote of the reception card the expression “Black tie”, with the “B” capitalized and the “t” not."

So... if we don't say something then people will definitely be over-dressed for the kind of affair we're envisioning.  But if we do say something that we're being socially impolite.  Argh...

How are you or did you navigate dress code issues at your wedding?  Have you ever received an invitation to an event that had a suggested attire?  If so, did it offend you or was it helpful to you?

*Information was researched and paraphrased from these sources.

Friday, March 25, 2011

A Principled Choice

As overwhelmed as I am by needing to pick dresses for some of the gorgeous women in our wedding party, I'm not desperate enough to let go of what is perhaps my only abiding principle when it comes to dress shopping.  Under *no* circumstance will I pick a dress from a retailer that does not sell plus-sized dresses.  Obviously there's a backstory here, and it has nothing to do with our wedding party.  This time, it's personal.  (Doesn't that sound so dramatic?!)

When I was notified that I would be a bridesmaid in a wedding, I eventually heard through the grapevine what dress I was supposed to buy.  It was this lovely gown from J. Crew, in a chocolate brown color.

Of course this was not going to be easy for me.  See, I have been a proud plus-size girl for a long time and I am particularly well-endowed in the chest area.  Can you see where this is going?  Yeah, so J. Crew sizes go up to a 16.  Now take a look at the side view of the top portion of that dress.  Even if I could fit into a size 16 waist, there's no way even one of my boobs could've squeezed into the top of that dress.  (I know, that's TMI.  Just stick with me cuz I swear I'm going somewhere with this.)  Because I didn't really have a relationship with the bride, I didn't feel I could call her and explain the situation.  So what could I do?  Well, the only option (besides backing out, and you gotta really make that your last resort) was to buy 2 dresses and find a seamstress to magically create a whole new dress for me.  And that's exactly what happened, but let me just tell you this...  In the end, that one bridesmaid dress cost me almost $600! 

Needless to say, it left me with a horrifically, embarassingly bad taste in my mouth.  So when it came to choosing dresses for my own wedding, I have vowed to veer far, far away from designers and manufacturers that offer only limited sizes.  That means none of these beauties will ever get to compete for the affection of our wedding party members.

I could easily shop plus-size only departments, but that won't work for all our party members (unless I wanted to retaliorate against the universe by forcing our small-framed wedding party folk to cough up the money to pay for expensive alterations as some sort of plus-sized cultural immersion experience - but I'm not *that* evil). 

Thus far it's looking like taking this stand will mean purchasing dresses from a big name bridal retailer, and that's totally fine with me.  So we're considering David's Bridal, Alfred Sung, and Alfred Angelo (what's up with dress designers named Alfred?), all of whom offer sizes up to at least 26 and often 30. 

In a world of sheer madness where it's my job to choose another grown person's attire, knowing that I practice what I preach gives me just a little bit of much-needed peace. 

Do you have any abiding principles when it comes to your wedding?  And have you chosen to make any principled choices?

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

The World Is Our Oyster

And we want to see *every*little*bit* of it...  if only travel was free and we had unlimited vacation days.  But, it's not and we don't.  So... we have to narrow down our honeymoon options, and fast!  Fast because we have a shower coming up kinda soon, and our primary registry is a honeymoon registry - a registry that isn't going to be very useful for us or very interesting for our guests if everything on there is painfully generic.  Like the difference between "$50 for dinner" versus "$50 for dinner at Petrino in Athens, Greece."  See, aren't you more impressed by that last one? 

In more than 5 years of being together, the mister and I have only taken two longer-than-a-long-weekend vacations together.  (What can I say?  We've both been grad students...) 

                                 {posing in Hawaii}                                        {ATV'ing on a cruise to Mexico}

Priority A#1 for Mr. NM is warm weather and relaxing on the beach.  I'm into that, that's cool - but I'll get bored with the beach after a few days.  I also want the "must see's" and "must do's" suggested by seasoned travlers.  We're planning to make this honeymoon a real barnburner (within reason), and we've got at least 2 weeks of time to play around with.  We could probably go almost anywhere, and in fact we might even be able to split it up into two locations to have two entirely different kinds of vacations.

So how do you narrow down all the possibilities in the world?  We're starting with a list of places each of us thought would be interesting, and we allowed the other person to veto anything that was a definite "no" for them.  (Already nixed from our list: Costa Rica - my veto.  Africa - his veto.)  We split up the list and both of us will research a few basic questions for each location:
  • Average weather and conditions in the last half of November.
  • Options for relaxing, sightseeing, activities, and events
  • Flight time from San Francisco airport
  • Approximate flight costs, one way and round trip
  • General impressions from other travelers
  • Would this location meet both of our needs, or would it need to be only half a honeymoon?

Wanna know what's on our list?  OMG, this is so exciting to type out because then we're just a little closer to making it a reality!!!

Go ahead, you can say it.  You're jealous!  I know, I'm jealous of my Nov.13ish self, too.  We figure this will likely be our last Just the Two of Us trip for a long, long time so we might as well go big before we go home.  This weekend we reconvene to see if we can narrow down our options, and I'll keep you posted.

If you've traveled to any of these places, would you recommend them for a honeymoon?  Is there any place you think we should add to the list?  And do you yet know your honeymoon destination?

Monday, March 21, 2011

The Politics of Planning Showers

Have I mentioned before that I love my future sister-in-law?  Because I really, really do.  She has been such an amazing resource, support, and cheerleader for Mr. NM and I throughout our entire relationship and it's been no different when it comes to our wedding.  She organized an incredible engagement dinner for us, she's letting us showcase our niece in the starring role of flower girl, and now she has graciously offered to host a co-ed wedding shower for us.  (Cue:  "awwwww!")

{FBIL, FSIL, future niece}

Little did she know that, in offering this amazing gift of a shower to us, she'd be wading into some uncharted territory for my family.  The issue is this:  No one in my entire extended family has ever gotten married outside the state of Georgia.  So now here I come along, living and getting married 2561.46 miles away from everyone (not that I'm counting). 

{thank you, Mapquest}

FSIL asked for our tentative guest list, and I had no clue how to handle the family issue.  So I called my mom, and unsprisingly she didn't really know what to do either.  She said what I thought she would - that people in my family always have/host/go to bridal showers.  She also said, "But no one here is going to throw you a shower, so I don't know how that changes things." 

(Side note:  I'm going to be honest here.  Of course I knew that no one was going to throw me a shower, so it's not like I was at all expecting that.  It would also require some coordination to even get home for a shower, which is another reason not to have one in Georgia.  But even with all of that, it still stung to hear her say it so directly.)

Anyway, so mom thought maybe it wouldn't hurt to invite everyone in my family, knowing that they wouldn't come.  Fine, sounds good.  But then FSIL pointed out that would be a total guest list of 86 people, since it's co-ed.  I don't know about you, but that just seems like a ridiculous number of invitees for a shower, even if most of them don't show up.  FSIL was totally willing to invite everyone anyways, but I'm leaning towards nixing the family invites on my side.  It's just too much hassle.  Plus my grandfather was recently in a bad car accident, so it wouldn't be a very sensitive time to send out shower invites.

{me and my maternal grandparents - you can tell whose height and build I inherited, huh?}

I don't have *any* reservations about my decision not to invite my family members to the shower in SF.  I'm just wondering if my GA family would want a shower opportunity of their own.  But what can I do about that?  It's not like I can throw a shower for myself.  But the only person who could reasonably throw a shower for me back home would be my mother and it doesn't seem like she's considering that as an option.  I suppose if it's important enough to someone, then they'll just do it.  And if not, it wouldn't make sense for them to be upset about it.  So that's where I'm leaving it for now - worried enough to think about it but not worried enough to take any action.

I know this is a tough subject to broach, but if you're comfortable sharing then I'd love to hear how you navigate tricky family politics.  Any wisdom, laughs, or advice to share?

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Dressing the Party, Round 1

Party Person K and I headed out last weekend to good ol' David's Bridal to look at some potential dress options for the members of the wedding party (plus we threw in an infinity dress at my house, just for good measure).  My goal for the day:  if nothing else, get clarification on preferred color and length.  Who would've thought that was too much to ask of myself?!  I partially blame K for this.  She looked damn good in nearly everything! 

From left to right: 
F13573 - so elegant, flattering fit, a little much with the shiny fabric top to bottom
F14010 - draping and flowers are beautiful but not a good fit for our wedding
84091 - K's favorite for a "party dress," I was less thrilled by the length and youthfulness
F13185 - gorgeous!  K modeled this for half the store.  Nothing not to love except limited color choices

F13092 - Special edition, chic and easy, flattering and potential pregnancy-friendly (just in case!)
13128 - "meh," nothing wrong with it per se, but not a wow! dress
13291 - K's fav longer dress, pregnancy-friendly, easy to wear and shorten, limited colors
13277 - not bad but not the most flattering fit, color is okay

83312 - cute, simple, really re-wearable, full range of colors
83690 - didn't like the style or fit of the top as much as we thought we would
13291 - (same as blue one, above), much more formal in floor-length black
F12495 - again with the formal and dressy look of all black, straps could likely be removed 

F14138 - K wasn't a fan but I liked it, though that top wouldn't fit anyone who's busty
Infinity dress (2 pics) - K liked the versatility, but thought it wasn't as flattering in the hips and might be more "high maintenance" than other dresses

I came home WAY more confused than when I left.  Convinced we'd go with knee-length dresses, I couldn't believed how much I loved the elegance of the floor-length ones.  And although I did still really gravitate towards shades of gray, those versatile black dresses were starting to call my name. 

That night I sat down to discuss the options with Mr. NM and I was so frustrated that I was teary-eyed.  I was so confused and I was worrying about things I'd never questioned before.  My main issue seemed to be a concern that a shorter dress wouldn't look formal enough for a downtown evening wedding.  The longer ones looked so much more elegant and I thought maybe that was a better fit. 

Then Mr. NM said something that was oh-so-true.  His exact words were, "We haven't made a single other 'elegant' decision when it comes to this entire wedding.  Why are we going for 'elegant' now?"  It was an Aha! moment for me.  I had been mesmerized by the beauty of those dresses, but it's true that we're not really trying to have a super-classy wedding.  Chic, yes.  Elegant, no.  Laid-back, yes.  Formal, no.  It helps to be reminded to plan YOUR wedding, not someone else's wedding. 

I also found out during this conversation that Mr. NM plans to wear a dark gray suit and he wants everyone in the wedding party to wear something at least a little bit lighter.  That probably means a deep charcoal gray color is not a possibility.  So oddly enough, I'd accomplished my goal by the end of that day, even if it didn't happen quite as I'd imagined it would.  I now know that we are on the hunt for knee-length dresses in a medium gray color.  I think David's Bridal is out because they don't have a good range of dresses in the right color, but the infinity dress is still an option.  I also went back to the drawing board to see what other designers might have to offer in that color/length combo.  Hopefully Round 2 will yield some successes.

How many rounds did it take you to find dresses for your wedding party?  I've never done this before, so tell me what I should expect. 

Thursday, March 17, 2011


Remember when it was cool to yell, "Psych!" when you got someone to believe a lie you'd told?  I'm sure I'm showing my age here.  I don't even really remember where it came from or why it was so hip or so ubiqitous, but it was.  And we'd like to find a way to make psych cool again at our wedding.  Not in the lying or yelling at someone kinda way, but in the Field of Psychology kind of way.

Oh, that probably came a little out of left field didn't it?  Perhaps I forgot to tell y'all that both Mr. NM and I are clinical psychologists.  Technically I'm a psychologist and Mr. NM is a psychology intern, but whatevs.  We're both in the field, not to mention that most of our wedding party is in the field.  I thought it would be nice to have some kind of homage, however small, just as a nod to our shared career choice.  But having that thought is just about as far as I've gotten with the plan.  I can't for the life of me think of how to incorporate it! 

Career-oriented cake toppers are cute, but what would ours depict - one of us providing therapy to the other?  That's just weird.  (Not to mention unethical.  So no worries, Board of Psychology.  I know the rules.) 

At least they have hats that are easily recognizable.  I'm not sure what psychologists have that would make us stand out.  Freud had that beard and a cigar, but something tells me that's not gonna work as well for me as it did for him. 

The symbol of psychology would seem to be an easy way to rep our field, but wouldn't you agree that it's just a little oddly pitchforky to make a wedding appearance?

I thought maybe we could do something cool with inkblots on our paper goods (like the [in]famous Rorschach test - though that's really more Mr. NM's arena than mine).  Maybe it has the potential to be interesting, but it doesn't necessarily fit with out theme and it would likely be a lot of work for little payout.

I could just invite these guys to the wedding but apparently their "psych" stands for psychic, which we're not.  (Oh, but don't try to tell that to every cab driver, dentist, banker, retail clerk, or hair stylist I know.  I've tried, and they don't believe me.)

Sadly that was the extent of my brilliant ideas.  The well is dry, so I'm wondering if maybe I should let this go since I'm so stumped.  I'll hold out hope for a bit, because perhaps you have some wisdom to offer me.  Do you have any ideas about how psychology could make an appearance on our wedding day?  And did you incorporate anything about your career into your wedding plans?

And on a side note:  While looking for images for this post, I did find one in particular that really intrigued me.  See for yourself: