start planning:


The Ultimate Venue Guide

San Diego County is home to an astonishing range of wedding venues. Want to say “I do” at the Zoo? You can. Prefer to celebrate your nuptials on a sunset cruise? Get ready to set sail. Whether you’re inviting 50 or 500 guests, we’ve got the place, you bring the fun.

By Archana Ram



San Diego Central Library, Photo by Luis Garcia

San Diego Central Library

The scoop: Literatis, rejoice! San Diego’s newest library (open late September 2013) houses a 3,500-square-foot Special Events Room with open terraces looking down to the Reading Room and floor-to-ceiling windows that offer views of the Bay, Coronado Island, and Petco Park.

Price: Starts at $450/hour

Capacity: 216 for meals

What we love: The cantilever- style space juts out over 11th Avenue for stunning views. | 619-236-5800



Luce Loft

Luce Loft

The scoop: The industrial-style space, housed within the 1920s Carnation Dairy Building downtown, is a “blank canvas”—perfect for couples who want to create their own aesthetic.

Price: $2,500-3,500

Capacity: 175 max

What we love: Soup to nuts! Luce doesn’t limit brides to any set of vendors; they give a long rental period for loading and setting up, and rental fees include a house manager and cleaning fee. | 619-630-5570

Coronado Wedding Chapel by the Sea

The scoop: Just opened in 2012, this intimate little chapel is elegant and understated. It’s also the most affordable place to be married in Coronado, with privacy.

Price: $1,050-3,250

Capacity: 20 (seated guests)

What we love: Local hotels and restaurants are close by for your reception… and Hotel Del is right across the street. | 619-437-9188



Westin San Diego Gaslamp Quarter

Westin San Diego Gaslamp Quarter

The scoop: A hotel-wide facelift consisting of a new lobby, 450 remodeled rooms, and upgraded furnishings is paired with a grand ballroom and charming garden terrace for weddings.

Price: $500 (ballroom)

Capacity: 500-1,200

What we love: This downtown location actually preserves peace and quiet! | 619-239-2200

The Ranch at Bandy Canyon

The scoop: Nestled in the San Pasqual Valley, this secluded ranch has patios, outdoor fireplaces, a stunning pool (with pool bar), horses, and a 1930s adobe lodge. Owner Brian Bonar is bringing in Master Chef of France Patrick Ponsaty (now at Bonar’s Bellamy’s) for the restaurant that’s in the works.

Price: $87/person; plus venue fee that includes 9 cabins for overnight stays

Capacity: 50-1,000+

What we love: Nine onsite cabins accommodate up to 45 people—imagine your entire party having one big sleepover on the property. | 760-871-6494



Hotel Del Coronado, Photo by The Youngrens

Hotel del Coronado

The scoop: The historical gem has everything—verdant lawns, epic ballrooms, and one of the top beaches in the country. A revolving door of celebrity guests doesn’t hurt either.

Price: Starts at $2,000 for facility; $100-175/person

Capacity: 700 max

What we love: The famous hotel feels especially festive this year, as it is celebrating its 125th anniversary. Say “I do” on the beach with fireworks. | 619-435-6611

La Valencia

The scoop: Bougainvillea, marble foyers, and cobalt blues are par for the course at this pink-hued gem—dubbed “The Pink Lady”—in La Jolla Village.

Price: Starts at $125/person

Capacity: 120 max


The US Grant

What we love: For a hotel smack-dab on the main drag, the property has a remarkably private Wedding Garden. And following a $10 million renovation, many of the rooms and suites are new. The Whaling Bar has just been remade as Café La Rue—perfect for late-night cocktails and bites by just-hired Executive Chef Daniel Barron. | 858-551-3715

The US Grant

The scoop: The 6,000-square-foot Celestial Ballroom can accomodate a very large wedding. The historic wood stage, hand-painted arches, and hand-blown Italian chandeliers will take your guests back to an era when the room was San Diego’s most chic speakeasy.

Price: $95-210/person

Capacity: 500 max

What we love: The building has been on the National Register of Historic Sites since 1979, and has been a fixture of downtown San Diego since 1910. | 619-610-8939

The Unexpected


Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, La Jolla

New Children’s Museum

The scoop: Downtown’s NCM offers an intimate garden ceremony for cocktail hour on the skyline-dotted upper level and a large reception area with ceilings spanning 50 feet in height.

Price: Up to $5,000 for facility

Capacity: 250 max

What we love: A chalk artist can customize designs on chalkboard surfaces throughout the venue. | 619-233-8792

Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, La Jolla

The scoop: Pacific Union Pocket Park, which overlooks the ocean, can be used for ceremonies, the Venturi-designed Axline Court accommodates dinner and dancing, and an outdoor sculpture garden is ideal for an artful cocktail hour.

Price: $4,000 for facility

Capacity: 120 (ceremony); 200 (dinner)

What we love: You can’t do better than world-class art and epic ocean views.  |  858-454-3541



Stone Brewing Co., Photo by Studio Vérité

Stone Brewing Co., Escondido

The scoop: Stone’s rustic one-acre garden adjoins an outdoor patio where guests take in the festivities under shady oak trees. Menus incorporate local, organic, and naturally raised ingredients from the venue’s farm.

Price: Starts at $900
for facility

Capacity: 200 max

What we love: Nothing is cooler than a Stone craft beer during a hot summer wedding. | 760-471-4999 ext. 1740



San Diego Zoo Safari Park

San Diego Zoo Safari Park

The scoop: Your guests will get admission into the park the day of your wedding with the purchase of the wedding package. They
can end their sightseeing with the nuptials, which can take place in various areas of the park.

Price: $84-112/person; ceremony space is additional

Capacity: For reception only, 500-plus; for ceremony and reception, 300 max

What we love: Rent a private Caravan Safari and take 15 guests to a field enclosure with rhinos and other animals. Feed the giraffes for a cool photo opp. Or, invite up to four different animals to your reception for one hour. You’ll have the most Instagrammed party ever. | 619-685-3259

Port Pavilion on Broadway Pier

The scoop: The Pavilion is an epic venue for your big fat San Diego wedding. Rooms range in size from 7,000- to 50,000-square-feet.

Price: $500-15,000 for facility

Capacity: 400 max

What we love: The historic waterfront spot also boasts a gold-level LEED-certified design (a.k.a. very eco-friendly). | 619-686-8027

Carlsbad Flower Fields

The scoop: A newly built 3,240-square-foot barn sets the stage for ceremonies and receptions in this floral paradise.

Price: $3,500-5,000 March-Mother’s Day; $3,500 rest of the year

Capacity: 200 max

What we love: Saying “I do” among a sea of giant Tecolote ranunculus. #PhotoOpp! | 760-930-9123 ext. 118

Lions Tigers & Bears

The scoop: This big cat and rescued bear sanctuary in Alpine is unique—there are only a few sanctuaries like this in the nation.

Price: Starts at $1,500 (for 40 people)

Capacity: 600 max

What we love: This is a cheaper zoo option, with mountain views! | 619-659-8078

Also check out:

Karl Strauss Gardens (Sorrento Mesa), JSix Rooftop (Gaslamp), Keys Creek Lavender Farm (Valley Center), Lux Art Institute (Encinitas), Pala Casino Resort & Spa (Pala)

If You Have a Long Engagement or Want to Marry on a Wednesday

Scripps Seaside Forum

The scoop: The oceanfront venue on the Scripps Institution of Oceanography campus has won architectural awards for its modern design, but reserve early. Saturdays book up a year-and-a-half in advance.

Price: $4,500 for facility

Capacity: 300 max

What we love: It’s a techie wonderland with 3D projection systems, surround-sound, and full teleconferencing capabilities. | 858-534-5604

Powerhouse Community Center

The scoop: This Del Mar landmark books out two years in advance for the building and for Seagrove Park ceremonies. Also, your reception must end by 10 p.m. (boo).

Price: $550/hour (three-hour minimum) or $4,500 a day

Capacity: 120 max

What we love: You’re even closer to the ocean than you would be at L’Auberge. In fact, you’re steps from the sand! | 858-755-1524 ext. 346

A Little Bit Rock ‘n’ Roll


Hard Rock Hotel, Photo by Brett & Emily

Hard Rock Hotel

The scoop: Like your lace and rose petals balanced with edge and glamour? Hard Rock’s slick downtown spot is your match.

Price: $90/person

Capacity: 500 max

What we love: An 8,700-square-foot outdoor terrace overlooks the Gaslamp Quarter. | 619-764-6440



Andaz San Diego

Andaz San Diego

The scoop: The Hyatt’s slicker boutique hotel offers two rooftops, a large reception hall, and a wine bar with 88 different vintages. And don’t forget the after-party; the downtown hotel has its own nightclub, too.

Price: Rates vary by season, space, day of the week, and availability, but they start at $18,000.

Capacity: 550 max

What we love: They just completed a $1 million “restyling” of their lobby and entertaining spaces. That includes a new retractable roof perfect for indoor-outdoor partying on what they call “RoofTop600.” | 619-814-2040



W San Diego

W San Diego

The scoop: Clubby rooftop lounge and expansive indoor spaces are a given from a hotel chain that has “trendy” down to a science.

Price: Starts at $90/person

Capacity: 240 max

What we love: The burning chair sculpture on the glam rooftop is super cool. | 619-610-8939


Hotel Palomar

Hotel Palomar 

The scoop: This chic, artistically inclined downtown hotel has ballroom and rooftop spaces as well as an art gallery. (One local artist is featured in the gallery each month.)

Price: Starts at $65/person

Capacity: 50-350

What we love: The rooftop infinity pool and bar is a hip place for guests to hang out. The executive chef makes amazing bites to order. | 619-515-3000

Also check out:

The Loft at UC San Diego (La Jolla), House of Blues (Gaslamp), Hotel Solamar (Downtown)



Hornblower Cruises & Events

Hornblower Cruises & Events

The scoop: Get hitched with your nearest and dearest while cruising the San Diego waters on a private yacht or turn-of-the-century steamer. Wow them with ever-changing views of America’s Finest City!

Price: Starts at $89/person

Capacity: 30-500 (varies by boat)

What we love: Brunch buffet or seated dinner? Hornblower offers a wide variety of packages for both daytime and nighttime weddings. | 619-567-4452

The Garty Family Pavilion at San Diego Rowing Club

The scoop: Look out onto Mission Bay from 12-foot sliding glass walls in this combined indoor/outdoor space, designed by a rowing club member to reflect elements of the sport. (The ceiling is reminiscent of a rowing shell’s hull.)

Price: Starts at $2,500-3,000

Capacity: 200 max

What we love: In summer, you can watch nearby SeaWorld fireworks, free of charge! | 619-792-6834

Tom Ham’s Lighthouse

The scoop: On Harbor Island, the restaurant’s recent $3.5 million makeover means a new outdoor dining deck, bar, and panoramic cocktail lounge to complement the classic California design and maritime artifact collection.

Price: Starts at $40/person

Capacity: 250 max

What we love: A wedding arch made of 2,000 aluminum rings frames the downtown skyline. | 619-291-9110

Flagship Cruises 

The scoop: The Flagship fleet includes the intimate Quiet Heart and the Spirit of San Diego with 2,700-square-foot observation deck. Choose from cruises lasting three to five hours.

Price: $105-200/person for packages

Capacity: 80-600 (varies by vessel)

What we love: For an extra fee, the captain of your yacht will perform your wedding ceremony! | 619-522-6155


Sheraton Hotel and Marina, Photo by XOXO Wedding Studio

Sheraton Hotel and Marina

The scoop: It’s crisp, clean Americana with red, white, and blue accents at this harbor-facing hotel, which includes two ballrooms and an outdoor garden terrace.

Price: $18,000 minimum for food and beverage

Capacity: 1,200 max

What we love: Jada, a wooden sailboat that accommodates 25, can be rented from the hotel for ceremonies and parties. | 619-291-2900

Also check out:

The Sternwheelers (Mission Beach), Admiral Kidd Club (Point Loma), Zlac Rowing Club (Pacific Beach)



The Pearl Hotel

The Pearl Hotel

The scoop: Step into the Mad Men-era at this groovy, ’60s-style hotel in Point Loma.

Price: $1,500 for facility; starts at $100/person

Capacity: 150 max

What we love: A heated saltwater pool and stylish cabanas make for a unique and memorable stay. | 619-226-6100

The Ken

The scoop: Yes, you can rent out the nostalgia-inducing art-house movie theater in Kensington, but it’s best reserved for screenings and cocktail hours.

Price: $550 during off-peak hours (price goes up for peak hours)

Capacity: 400 max

What we love: This is a novel experience from top to bottom. Case in point: you can rent concession stands. | 619-283-3227

Also check out:

Lafayette Hotel (North Park), Ace Hotel (Palm Springs)

Ocean & Bay Views Without the Sand


The Marine Room, Photo by She Wanders

The Marine Room

The scoop: Famous for its breathtaking ocean views and haute cuisine, the Marine Room in La Jolla features six different options for a food-lover’s wedding.

Price: $3,000-20,000

Capacity: 56 (private room); 230 (the entire restaurant)

What we love: The Marine Room earned the AAA Four-Diamond Award, which is given to less than 3 percent of AAA’s reviewed restaurants. Chef Bernard Guillas is one of only two Master Chefs of France in San Diego. | 866-644-2351

Hilton San Diego Bayfront

The scoop: The property’s new Promenade Plaza is an “outdoor ballroom” boasting a stellar view of the bay, high-tech enhancements, and space for 500 people.

Price: $1,500-2,500 for facility; $115-200/person

Capacity: 55-3,400

What we love: The late-night snack menu includes s’mores, sliders, tacos, and Petco Park-themed goodies. Yum! | 619-564-3333


The Dana, Photo by Unveiled

The Dana

The scoop: The ballroom features 18-foot-high glass walls that overlook the water. Translation: You can afford a beautiful, oceanfront reception.

Price: $78-100/person

Capacity: 300 max

What we love: Bay views during your ceremony as well as from the suite you reserve for your first night together as husband and wife. | 619-222-6440

Loews Coronado

The scoop: Located on the Silver Strand, the hotel features several settings for an intimate wedding—the Herb Garden, The Gazebo, and the Sunset Terrace—as well as the Commodore Ballroom for a grand, banquet-style affair.

Price: $129-200

Capacity: 2-1,000

What we love: Loews allows couples to make a personalized “Marry Me Cocktail.” Create your own drink or let the mixologists inspire you. | 619-424-4000

San Diego Marriott Marquis & Marina

The scoop: On the marina, this Marriott is about as close as you can get to the boats, without the seasickness.

Price: $85-$125/person

Capacity: 75-500

What we love: The Bayside Room boasts a 180-degree view of the Harbor and Coronado Island; the Temecula Ballroom is located poolside, and a beautiful tent is available on the Coronado Terrace. | 619-230-8909

Also check out: 

Birch Aquarium at Scripps and Martin Johnson House (La Jolla), Star of the Sea Event Center (downtown)

8 Places to marry in and around Balboa Park


Balboa Park

1. The Spanish Village transports you to Europe’s cobblestone streets. 500 max capacity; starts at $2,420.

2. The Spreckels Organ Pavilion’s ceiling is the starry sky. 2,400 max capacity; $763/hour (for four hours).

3. The Japanese Friendship Garden’s winding paths, lush greenery, and koi pond are 2.5 acres of zen. 200 max capacity; $450-550/hour.

4. The Prado is an architectural ode to the Spanish Renaissance. 350 max capacity; starts at $105/person.

5. Junípero Serra Museum is technically located in Presidio Park—a really cool 1929 Mission-style museum with a terrace overlooking Old Town and the Pacific. 200 max capacity; $2,000-4,500.

6. San Diego History Center includes a grand atrium and five galleries. 250 max capacity; $200-4,000.

7. Reuben H. Fleet Science Center is great for a family-friendly shindig or wedding “under the stars” in the IMAX Heikoff Dome Theater. 314-500 capacity; starts at $6,500.

8. The San Diego Zoo is for animal-lovers! They have indoor and outdoor spaces.

Swanky All the Way


Rancho Valencia Resort & Spa

Rancho Valencia Resort & Spa

The scoop: Croquet lawn, yoga pavilion, world-class spa—do we have your attention? The resort, which underwent a $30 million renovation last October, is the epitome of luxury with acclaimed amenities and a variety of spaces.

Price: $175/person

Capacity: 300 max

What we love: Guests will swoon over a 5,000-square-foot cottage-style hacienda or a beauty of a wine cellar for the rehearsal dinner. | 858-756-1123

University Club

The scoop: The penthouse atop Symphony Towers is a chi-chi affair with old Hollywood style and excellent service to match.

Price: Starts at $8,500

Capacity: 175 (seated); 300 (standing)

What we love: Impress guests with a 360-degree view of San Diego. | 619-234-5200


Grand Del Mar

Grand Del Mar

The scoop: The elegant estate has everything from richly decorated ballrooms to wine-themed rooms and a chapel that converts into a dinner venue.

Price: Starts at $250-350/person; starts at $5,800 for facility

Capacity: 30-600

What we love: Addison is San Diego’s only Five-Star, Five-Diamond restaurant. Executive Chef William Bradley blends contemporary classic French cuisine and seasonal California ingredients. | 855-314-2030

Hotel La Jolla

The scoop: It’s hard to argue with an 11th-floor ballroom of floor-to-ceiling windows that overlook the La Jolla coastline.

Price: Starts at $130/person

Capacity: 60 for plated meals

What we love: A Surf, Sip, and ‘I Do’ wedding package ($30,000) includes a surf class, wine tour, Rolls Royce transportation, and complimentary annual anniversary stays. | 858-551-3627


Park Hyatt Aviara Resort

Also check out:

The Lodge at Torrey Pines (La Jolla), Park Hyatt Aviara Resort (Carlsbad)

Stay Classy

The Westgate Hotel

The scoop: Silk window dressings, hand-picked antiques, Persian rugs, grand fountains—this is an opulent alternative to the more sleek downtown picks.

Price: Starts at $80/person

Capacity: 750 max

What we love: Baccarat crystal chandeliers and an antique Steinway? We feel like the Queen of Versailles. | 619-557-3722

Manchester Grand Hyatt

The scoop: This downtown hotel houses 10 different spaces, from ocean-facing pool decks to the largest ballroom in San Diego.

Price: Starts at $100/person

Capacity: 20-800

What we love: The Bayview Terrace is located on its own exclusive floor with private elevator access. All 1,628 guest rooms were renovated this year and the Grand Ballroom will be made over next year. | 619-358-6635

Also check out:

Darlington House (La Jolla), Estancia La Jolla Hotel & Spa

Tried & True

L’Auberge Del Mar

The scoop: The glamorous coastal resort offers ceremonies on the beach at Seagrove Park and receptions on the Pacific Terrace—both with magnificent views of the ocean.

Price: $159-225/person; $138/person (brunch)

Capacity: 250 max

What we love: The hotel employs in-house professionals. They just hired a talented new senior wedding manager, who works with the experienced “Romance Team.” They also do vow renewal packages (FYI, for future reference). | 866.778.5548


Inn at Rancho Santa Fe

Inn at Rancho Santa Fe

The scoop: This sprawling property is popular for good reasons. Eucalyptus groves, a historic pepper tree, quaint cottages—it’s a throwback to old-world charm and fairytale wonder in quiet Rancho Santa Fe.

Price: $165/person; $3,500 for facility

Capacity: 350 max

What we love: A $12 million renovation, completed in summer 2013, debuted the restaurant Morada, as well as refreshed rooms and a brand new spa. | 858-381-8205

Rancho Bernardo Inn

The scoop: Part classy golf course, part sun-kissed garden, the famous resort has seven ceremony sites and five reception locations, including the wildly popular Santiago Courtyard, furnished with an imported Italian fountain and olive trees.

Price: Starts at $100/person; starts at $1,800 for facility

Capacity: 600 max

What we love: Host a bridal tea party—cupcakes, chamomile, and cucumber sandwiches—before the big day. The restaurant AVANT, helmed by Executive Chef Nicolas Bour and Chef de Cuisine James Kozak, just opened this past May. | 858-675-8420

Coronado Community Center

The scoop: This space combines an indoor banquet hall with an outdoor patio that overlooks Glorietta Bay, the Coronado Bridge, and San Diego skyline. (It books up to 18 months in advance.)

Price: $450/hour on Saturdays; $400/hour other days

Capacity: 250 max

What we love: The center can help organize permits in any of Coronado’s parks or beaches. | 619-522-2455

Also check out:

Hilton La Jolla Torrey Pines, Hyatt Regency La Jolla, Omni La Costa Resort & Spa (Carlsbad)

Golf & Greenery


Maderas Golf Club

Maderas Golf Club

The scoop: Sashay from the stunning outdoor setting of the garden to the ornately furnished ballroom at this Rancho Bernardo course. Both venues come with views of the oh-so-green fairways and more than 100 species of birds.

Price: Starts at $64/person

Capacity: 250 max (ballroom)

What we love: La Casa is a charming nearby abode for bridal prep. | 858-451-8100


The Santaluz Club, Photo by Barnet Photography

The Santaluz Club

The scoop: This private country club spans 3,800 acres overlooking golf course knolls and ocean vistas. Looking to tee up elsewhere? Poolside, library, and courtyard venues are also available.

Price: Starts at $75/person

Capacity: 250 max

What we love: Out-of-towners will take advantage of the championship-level golf course designed by famed architect Rees Jones. | 858-759-3130


The Crossings

The Crossings

The scoop: The crown jewel of this laid-back golf club in Carlsbad is a Craftsman-style clubhouse complete with stone fireplace, wraparound veranda, and panoramic views of the greens.

Price: Starts at $39/person

Capacity: 300 max

What we love: The groom’s golf package ($99/person) includes one round of golf and a golf cart, plus lunch, beer, and a cigar. | 760-444-1800 

Also check out:

Mt. Woodsen (Poway), Fallbrook Treehouse (Fallbrook), The Crosby National Golf Club (Rancho Santa Fe), Lakehouse Hotel & Resort (San Marcos)


Leo Carillo Ranch Historic Park

The scoop: Adobe buildings, antique windmills, and wooden footbridges are sprinkled throughout the 27-acre park, where couples can rent out the reflecting pool, cabana area, and hacienda patio.

Price: $159-221/hour

Capacity: 150 max

What we love: Peacocks roam the ranch and look cool in pics! | 760-476-1042

San Diego Botanic Garden

The scoop: The ultimate garden party location, this verdant venue has gazebos and rainforests.

Price: $200-4,070

Capacity: 250 max

What we love: A three-story waterfall surrounded by tropical plants makes us feel like we’re honeymooning in Hawaii already. | 760-436-3036 ext. 205

San Dieguito Park

The scoop: The expansive emerald lawns at this Del Mar beauty call for sunglasses and a parasol.

Price: $400-450/hour

Capacity: 200 max (Lower Park); 500 max (Upper Park)

What we love: The park is a great choice for budget-conscious brides. String market lights on the wrought-iron gazebo and dance the night away. | 858-755-2386


The Thursday Club, Photo by Analisa Joy Photography

The Thursday Club

The scoop: The Spanish-style clubhouse in Point Loma is draped in well-manicured lawns, winding paths, and peaceful fountains.

Price: $2,000-3,000

Capacity: 175 seated, 350 standing (ballroom); 100 max (garden)

What we love: Three outdoor patios lead from the ballroom to lush garden views. | 619-224-5264


Ponte Winery, Photo by Unveiled

Ponte Winery 

The scoop: Wine-lovers swoon over this Temecula locale, and they love that the ceremony, reception, and overnight stay all take place in a single location.

Price: Starts at $110/person

Capacity: 50-300

What we love: The fountain, Barrel Room, and vineyards are fave photo opps. The rooms at the inn, adjacent to the winery, have vineyard views. | 877-314-9463

Also check out:

Serenity Oaks Ranch (Valley Center), Condor’s Nest Ranch (Pala), Bernardo Winery (Rancho Bernardo), Orfila Vineyards (Escondido), Twin Oaks Garden Estate (San Marcos), Levyland Estates (Carlsbad)



Bali Hai, Photo by True Photography Weddings

Bali Hai

The scoop: This tiki-themed space was recently renovated by late famed local architect Graham Downes, and incorporates 15 different types of wood from trees found in the Cuyamaca Mountains.

Price: Starts at $47/person

Capacity: 35-200+

What we love: Polynesian cuisine options: exotic! \ 619-222-1181 

Paradise Point

The scoop: Located on a private island (Mission Bay), this resort offers a variety of wedding landscapes, including ballrooms, gardens, lagoons, lawns, and sandy beaches.

Price: Starts at $132/person

Capacity: 500 max

What we love: Once known as Vacation Village, the property has 462 bungalow-style guest rooms—your friends and family will make a vacation out of it. | 800-542-6275

One Response

  1. Jessica Amaya Thursday, March 10, 2016 Reply

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