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Roanoke Wedding Video!

With 7 billion+ people on the planet, you choose to be with just one, and that one single person chooses to be with just you! I've always found this to be fascinating, beautiful and worth documenting on film. A wedding video done right is much more than capturing the ceremony, the first dance and the cake cutting. I'm a firm believer in capturing your wedding day where it will encapsulate the moments together, the words spoken, those facial expressions given, the tears, the smiles and those connected moments shared. I do more than just make a wedding film, I create a moment in time that builds your relationship, changes your life and shows the beginning of a new foundation, your marriage.

My name is Joshua and I'm a lifelong wedding videographer with hundreds of wedding films in my career. I love weddings, eating Mexican foods and I'm a nerd at heart. Learn more about me by clicking here.


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Roanoke Wedding Video

See various samples of my work below and learn about my wedding films.
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What is Wedding Grouping?

What is Wedding Grouping and How does it Benefit Me? 

Wedding grouping is the process of when a venue takes their preferred wedding vendors and groups them together into one, simple overall cost. Many wedding venues are taking a different approach to their sales in offering wedding grouping and quite honestly, it's a money saver for you!

Say for example you're looking at a venue and it costs $5,000. Then the wedding photographer cost $2,200, the videographer costs $1,950, the wedding cake, that's $400 and a wedding planner, well that's $750. 

Buying all of these vendors separately would cost you $10,300. Well, collectively, if you bought them in one stop, that same group of vendors might be $7,000, a savings of $3,300. That sounds great, but how can that be? 

Well, a couple of things. 

First, let me tell you that vendors within the wedding business LOVE working together. I, for example, have a few wedding photographers that I simply love working with and prefer to work with if I can, so I often times push them to my clients. 

The other thing is marketing. Wedding vendors do LOT's of marketing in a magazine, at trade shows, on Google and social media and we spend a lot of time marketing too. By grouping our services together, we don't have to do that, we can save money in the process and pass the savings on to you in the process. 

For example, I used to spend about $4,500 a year in advertising between wedding trade shows ($1,000 a pop), magazine ads ($1,200 a year), lots in online ads ($2,200) and some in hard marketing like my brand on pens, cups and USB memory sticks that I gave away. 

Anywho, getting back on track, by being part of a wedding grouping price at a couple of venues, it helps minimize that cost somewhat and I can simply lower my rate at those places because they do the advertising for me. 

It's a win-win for everyone involved. A win for the venue because they have vendors that they love working with and prefer to have and it's a win for me because of not having to market so much to couples. 

Finally, you save on a couple of levels. First, you don't have to shop around for the vendors. Second, you know they're going to be good because the venue is pushing them, a venue isn't going to have vendors that are not good on they're preferred list. 

The biggest benefit is that you save money by using this one-stop shop of sorts. 

Now, the hard part is finding wedding grouping. While this trend is starting to take off in various parts of the United States, areas like Roanoke are slightly behind the times. I will say that a few venues like Silver Hearth Lodge, for example, are working on wedding grouping packages and will have them in the coming year or so. 

The best thing is to simply look for them or ask the wedding venue that you have chosen about it. 

5 Roanoke Valley Wedding Secrets You Didn't Know

5 Roanoke Valley Wedding Secrets You Didn't Know

Getting married in the Roanoke Valley can be a fun, joyful experience that you and your spouse can relive for decades. Being able to navigate the waters of a wedding can sometimes be a difficult one, especially if you're new to weddings in general.

Tons of vendors to choose from, price ranges, various values in what they do, levels of services and general stress from going through the process of weddings can sometimes be challenging.

Well, today, I want to share with you five wedding secrets here in the Roanoke Valley that can help guide you properly through everything, help eliminate some stress in the process.

Roanoke Wedding Vendors are Cheaper than Others

If you're looking around the region, Roanoke has a cheaper cost to live.

That being said, just about everything from fuel, home prices and the food is cheaper and that also includes most wedding vendors.

Compared to other local areas like Lynchburg, Charlottesville, and Greensboro, wedding vendors in Roanoke are actually more affordable than these other areas in most wedding vendor categories.

On average, couples can save about 15-20% on their wedding costs by having their wedding in the Roanoke Valley and hiring local vendors too.

The truth about the Wedding Mark-Up's

Much has been made of the so-called "wedding markup," a phenomenon that occurs when secret shoppers get quoted a higher price for identical services when they are booked for a wedding as opposed to another type of event.

While this certainly can occur, journalists neglect to address the very real reasons WHY this happens.

The truth is that providing any service for a wedding is far more involved than a similar, non-wedding event. Wedding pros make themselves available for planning meetings, calls and consultations, and may well send hundreds of emails back and forth with a single client in the year or more of planning up to the wedding.

This type of time and attention isn't expected or required for most non-wedding events; the time investment alone is enough to justify a higher price. The quality of wedding services often requires a greater degree of skill and specialization.

Most wedding professionals are not living large on "wedding ripoffs," a charge often lodged by the media.

While the average wedding in the Roanoke area costs around $25,000, a recent survey of our wedding professionals in Virginia revealed that 48% of wedding businesses make less than $25,000 in an entire YEAR.

Brunch Weddings 

One thing that couples don't often think about is having a brunch wedding. Celebrating during daylight hours is just as much fun as under the stars! Your guests will enjoy watching you say your "I dos" no matter what time!

Plus, the cost for this time frame is much more reasonable when selecting a venue or choosing entrée selections, as portions tend to be smaller for lunch selections, which is more reasonable for your budget.

As a professional wedding videographer, I would highly recommend that you consider having a brunch wedding, I personally like them more so.

You'll Regret not having a Wedding Video

If you're teetering on having a wedding video or not, think about this, you get married.

Sure, you won't regret it now but after a year goes by and you and your new spouse want to have a nice sit down on the couch, wouldn't be nice to be able to watch the wedding day through a video?

Then after several years, you decide you want to show your children your wedding. Show them a video or your photos?

After about 30 years wedding photos will start to physically deteriorate where a wedding will not do that, especially if its in the cloud or on a memory stick. Not to mention you won't remember what you said, your spouse said or even see friends and family that might have pasted away too.

If you're going to spend all that money on a wedding, you will want to remember it as best you can, get a professional wedding video.

The Truth about Bridesmaids

Pick your bridesmaids carefully and thoughtfully.

The truth is your bridesmaids are there to assist you in the wedding process and to help in all the work and activities. Make sure they will be a help and not a hindrance. Remember that quality overrides quantity in this area.

If you're choosing them just because they're besties or old college drinking gals, you might want to think again. Think of your bridesmaids as your go-to team with helping you put your day together.

Consider everyone’s personality in this process carefully. Here in our area, the average wedding with 150 guests will have 5 bridesmaids and 5 groomsmen.

Bonus Tip: Hire Professionals

Yes, it would be cheaper to have your aunt make her famous baked ziti and your cousin spin his playlist. But professional vendors are better able to handle the demands of a wedding.

Instead of putting your loved ones to work, look for ways to keep your costs down in each category. Hire a florist, but choose in-season blooms to save money; hire a DJ, but skip the laser light show; hire a photographer, but pass on the photo booth. And think of a wedding planner as a financial advisor for your big day.

When Wedding Video is Not in the Budget

When Wedding Video is Not in the Budget

I get that statement a lot, "we love your work, BUT wedding video just isn't in the budget...". Well, that happens form time to time but most couples are not looking past their wedding day. In fact, a video is one of the most important line items for your wedding but many times it's at the bottom of the totem pole because of budget constraints.

Today, I'm going to share with you a couple of ideas that I do here at Roanoke Wedding Video to help make it affordable for you so you can have a great wedding film and be able to enjoy it year after year, snuggled up next to your spouse.

Hidden Secrets

One of the number one things that couples tell wedding vendors is that it's not in the budget and we get that. It's not just us video professionals either, it's various vendors that people think they can do without, but did you know there are a couple of wedding industry secrets that people don't tell you about to make your day more affordable?

Well, there are. 

First, it's grouping. Wedding Grouping is when vendors that like to work with each other become a collective and offer a flat rate price for their services and you literally get a bunch of vendors in the price. For example, there might be a group price of $10,000 and while some think that's a lot it might include a venue, catering, a photographer, videographer, florist, DJ, and officiant. Purchasing their services separate would cost you more in the $14,000 range, a savings of about $4,000.

How can vendors do this? 

Well, vendors can adjust their pricing by not having to deal with advertising and marketing as much, not $1,000 wedding booths at trade shows and the like, so they can more wiggle room to collectively advertise together than individually.

Additionally, vendors might cut out the fat so to speak and offer a simpler version of their package price. Maybe they take out something that you don't really need to begin with or something that's not as important.

Think of it as the old Sam's Club or Costco method, you have buying power purchasing in bulk and the same vendors suddenly become more adorable.

Financing with one Price

The other secret that people often don't think about is simply financing your wedding over 3 or 5 years. Instead of having to fork out large sums of cash ahead of your wedding day, use a company like Prosper and apply for a "Special Occasion" loan.

Being able to pay for your wedding over time to just one company is much easier to do than several and here's the other thing, if you pay for your vendor 100% up front like you do in a Wedding Grouping, you can save just a little bit more when you do. Again, it goes back to less advertising, less paperwork and less the vendors have to deal with.

Wedding Math

Let me give you some basic wedding math into why financing is cheaper than paying outright.

First, let's use the wedding grouping example of say $10,000.

You get a loan for $10,000 and it gets you all those wedding vendors from above and says that your loan interest is 12%.

Your loan total is going to be $11,200.

If you booked the same wedding vendors at a normal rate, the $14,000, you not saving anything at all, actually the opposite, your forking out 40% more for the same thing, plus you have the hassle of meeting with them, booking, signing several contracts and the like too.

So, do you have $14,000 for your wedding or $11,200 for the same thing?

There are times where financing and Wedding Grouping are actually much more beneficial to the couple getting married. Using this method is smarter and saves you money in the long run.

You can even pay off the loan early if you wish without penalty and save even more by not having that interest payment over the 3 or 5 years of the loan.

Middle Ground

Sometimes if you wish to go the separate vendor route, you can still save money by booking with preferred vendors.

For example, if you book me and your wedding photographer is on my list of preferred vendors, I knock anywhere from 5-10% off my prices.

You can still choose to get that wedding loan and shop for your vendors separately, as long as you find their preferred counterparts and book with them.

Why is that? 

It's simple, preferred vendors are people you get along with, you work well together and honestly, you're helping each other out by recommending me and my services.

I'm happy to give you a little bit of wiggle room on the price. Also, I'm not having to use the extra money that I would have charged on Facebook ads, wedding magazine ads and the like that can cost a few thousand bucks each year.

Now, I don't do any discounts for everyone, just a handful of vendors that I love working with on a regular basis.

So, Yeah It's actually IN the Budget

In wedding grouping and wedding financing, you can actually have a wedding video and it's built int your budget. Wedding Grouping is a great money saving and smart way to have your wedding on a budget and if you are smart about the money and financing, you can save even more and not break the bank too!

What Videographers do to prep for a wedding video

What we do to prep for a wedding video

Hi friends, 

Thanks for checking out the blog today, I greatly appreciate it. One of the things that couples don't often see is all the amount of work that we do for a wedding video. 

Well, I did a wedding last week and I kept some notes about what I was doing so I could write today's article. Here's an example of what I typically do for a wedding video via way of my notes I took: 

Evening Before at 6:23pm
Started video prep for the wedding by removing all 9 camera batteries, light batteries, gimbal battery and the action camera batteries and put them on the chargers. I also removed all the lens and cleaned them.
Did an audio test on the wireless microphone and replaced the AA batteries as well as doing an audio test on the Tascam DR-10 lav mic and the DR-40 audio recorder. Replaced those batteries as well.
Removed all SD memory cards, formatted them and and reinstalled. 5 Cameras in total. Opened the drone case and replaced the props, charged the drone and controller and cleaned the lens.
Total time 1 hour 24 minutes. 
Next Day at 12:13pm
Left for wedding to arrive by 2pm. Bought a full tank of gas and headed out to the venue.
Wedding Venue at 1:49pm
Arrived as the venue. Sunny day and about 58 degrees, warm for a January wedding. Took the drone out of the truck and prepped it for flight. Flew the drone around Fincastle for about 15 minutes grabbing various footage shots. Landed the drone and replaced the battery for a second smaller flight around the venue itself.

Veune prep area at 2:36pm
Brought in the 5 cameras, two cases, light kit, microphones, mono and tripods to the second floor of venue where the bridal and groom prep are. Made my introduction to everyone in the bridal room and started filming b roll for the video.
Groom arrived near 3pm and went downstairs to grab footage of groom arrival to venue.

I went to the venue hall and opened the doors for natural light, filmed ceremony location shots with the GH5, G85  and DJI Osmo cameras. Afterward, I setup the tripods and moved my gear to the ceremony location.
Went to the grooms room to grab various b-roll of them getting ready and footage of reception area with flowers, cakes and general setup.
Back to bridal suite to gather additional b-roll of ladies prepping hair, makeup, dresses, shoes, etc.
Went back to guys room to grab any additional b-roll for the video. Also filmed the final walk through from earlier with the bride, then the bride getting final touches on the dress, etc.
Filmed the couple meeting from opposite rooms and holding hands. Then filmed bridal first look with her dad and then the first look with the wedding planner too.
Went back to the ceremony location to get final setup for the ceremony at 7pm.
Found officiant and placed wireless mic on her for the audio and did an audio test from the camera. Made adjustments and grabbed the main camera on the monopod, started the wide angle camera, the action camera and main camera. Found a seat near the middle for walk-in chips.
Ceremony started. All three cams are running, audio seemed to be good, also verified with DJ that the audio recorder was still running and capturing his audio feed.
7:30pm (approx)
The ceremony ends and everyone leaves for reception/cocktail hour. The bridal party goes outside for photos with photographer. I work on taking down all the cameras and gear, I retrieve the wireless mic and put everything away.
Replaced the batteries in the main camera and head outside to grab some picture video clips.
Moved all my camera gear to the reception hall next to the DJ and did a couple of test shots, adjusted for color change and changed camera lens to a 25mm 1.7.
Couple introduction and first dance recorded. Setup the action cam on the DJ table as a back/2nd possible go to cam and filmed it.
DJ announces dinner service upstairs. Filmed the cake and desert table along with some people mingling. Found the Polaroid photo-booth and grabbed clips of the photos on the wall people took.
Stopped for a quick bite to eat/ break.
Toasts and speeches by the best man, maid of honor and father of the bride.
Back downstairs for additional dances, father/daughter and husband/daughter.
Filmed dancing, mingling and having fun. Filmed the couples cake cutting and then the bouquet toss too. Then additional DJ dancing, people enjoying themselves and having fun.
Couple has their exit down to the cabin, took off the audio shotgun mic and put on the LED light for sparkler exit.
Finished with film services and packed up for the evening. Left at 10:41pm
Total time working was : 8 Hours 52 minutes
Next Day 5:32pm
I started by removing all the footage form all cameras, copied into the computer system and cataloged each shot for the videos.
Made an additional backup copy of footage to another hard drive.
Total time working was: 2 hours 40 minutes.
Next Day 6:14pm
Started working on wedding film teaser. Had to find an audio music track to fit the 2 minute social media teaser. Then comb through footage that I cataloged to put the film together.
Started rendering the video and made it into a video file for Facebook.
Uploaded the file to Facebook.
Started working on the traditional wedding edit itself. Again finding music to fill in for the opening montage and other areas that needed it.
Finished the rough draft at 11:23pm.
Total time working was 5 hours 9 minutes. 
Next day at 5:02pm
Worked with audio and made adjustments throughout the edit. Also, changed out various shots that simple didn't flow right in the video. Added slow motion clips at the end of the film and rendered at 10:24pm.
Pushed final film to video clip and copied to USB, created package for it and emailed the bride.
Total time working 5 hours 30 minutes. 

I worked a total time of 23.583 hours for this wedding film.

During this smaller wedding I worked a total time of 23.583 hours for this wedding film. Larger weddings typically require much more time to edit because there is much more footage to go through, usually with having a second person shooting video. 

The part the the couple saw was just the 8 hours and 52 minutes and even then, they didn't see me the entire time. 

Wedding vendors often work much longer than you would typically think, most people simply see the finished product or service that they perform. 

While each wedding van vary in time length, we often work hard for what we do to provide couples the very best service that we can provide. 

Wedding Film Interviews and why I don't do Them

Why I don’t do wedding guest interviews

Have you ever seen weddings where the video guy stands there and wedding guests talk about how great the couple is, often times drunk and not knowing what they're saying? 

Well, there are two things that I don't film when you hire me for your wedding day, the first being the dinner service and second, guest interviews. 

Dinner Service

I don't film during the dinner service for two main reasons, first, it gives me a way to take a small break and switch out camera gear, batteries, lens for better low light, setup lighting if needed, eat a quick meal and second, no one wants to see people stuffing their mouth full of food. 

It's not only not to see, it's almost considered rude truth be told. Mealtimes are a no-no to film. 

Guest Interview's 

The wedding guests are something to film while they are celebrating and enjoying the wedding. But one thing that I never do is have them say some words into the camera. 

Many times people have been drinking and they will simply ramble onward for five minutes or they simply don't know what to say since you put them on the spot. 

Again, it's a no-no in my book and I simply will not do it. 

I try to provide quality films that people can enjoy, watch over and over again and I try to stay away form those cheesy 1980's style of wedding film formats. 

When a Good Deal is a Bad One

Wedding Vendors Deals, When it's too Good to Be True

I was recently in one of the social media groups for weddings in a nearby state when I saw a professional offering both wedding photography, wedding video as well as engagement shoot for $1,000. 

The first thing that came to mind was maybe it was a mistake or maybe it was some sort of promotion where you get $1,000 off or something. But the guy said that wedding vendors prices were too high and he could offer the kitchen sink for the flat rate with a 24 hour turn around. 

Well, I was stunned. 

Yes, $1,000 for all three is a great deal, but it seems alarming

Listen, in ANY industry, be it in weddings or car sales, sometimes a "great deal" can cause you great nightmares. Today, I want to give you some added knowledge of why the wedding industry can cost a lot of money, it's for your peace of mind, trust me. 

The BTS Added Costs

BTS or "Behind the Scenes" of a wedding vendor has added costs. For example, couples don't think about all the hours you put in wedding video post-production, they only see the front end work of being in the wedding and the final product. 

Well, the same applies to wedding photographers, the wedding planners, catering companies, florist, dress designers, the venues and most others in the wedding industry. We all do a large amount of BTS work that you don't see. That costs money

One of the other things that couples don't think about but should is the insurance. Did you know that you can be sued if something goes wrong? Well, you can. Say for example a guest has a major allergic reaction to the wedding cake. Well the person could sue the cake maker for having a cake that made them have the reaction in the first place, then they could sue you because you wanted that type of cake to begin with and it can cost far more than what you paid into it depending on the state you live.

My point is, wedding vendors are expensive for a reason. The annual insurance costs of all your vendors combined are most likely more than your entire wedding budget, then there are countless hours of prep (of post production in the case of me editing wedding video or your wedding photog editing images) and much that you don't see. 

Some vendors spend lots of money in professional gear so they can put on a quality showcase for you. In my line of work alone, I'm bringing $7,000-$10,000+ worth of gear to make your video. The DJ, many times is bringing more in value than me. Some high end wedding photographers, even moreso. 

Take the company that's $1,000. 

Let's say they are going to take your photos, then make a wedding video and also DJ your wedding.

Most likely they don't have insurance for one let alone all three categories. A good wedding photography camera is going to start out at about $1,500 on the very low end and that doesn't include the glass (lenses) that go with it that can cost $1,000+ each. (and replaced every 3-4 years for wear and tear)

Then there is the wedding film. A base pro wedding video camera, just one is going to cost you $2,500 with a lens, then there are tripods, other cameras, the super high end PC you need to edit and render, the lights, gimbals, drones, monopods, other lenses, etc. ( I'm going to bring 3-4 cameras plus a backup) wear and tear on my gear is every 2-3 years)

On the DJ side, a good set of speakers is going to cost you easy a couple of grand, then there is the digital turntable (like the Panasonic DDJDX3) thats another grand, plus the lights, table, the computer, backup equipment etc. A good DJ will bring upwards of $10,000 to your wedding. 

So that wedding vendor, if done right, just in gear alone will need to bring $25,000 worth of gear to your wedding. Then to insure your event, depending on the vendor type, that usually costs me about $50, so lets use that and say $150 for all three

Then your wedding is 10 hours long. The DJ prep is going to be 5 hours to make sure all the songs are there and loaded in the PC, charge everything up, change out the batteries, etc. I'm going to spend a couple of hours on the front end, cleaning lenses, charging batteries, prepping, etc and the photog will do the same at an hour. 

Then the post production begins. A typical film, I will spend 18 hours average on it, the wedding photographer will spend much more editing their images, but lets just say the same, 18. 

Since thats a ton of work let's say you have an assistant and you pay them $200 for the evening for helping out. 

Your Cost to Hire: $1,000

Total hours invested in all three vendor categories, 51. 

Total vendor insurance paid for your wedding: $150

Misc items cost (batteries for lights, mics, etc): $30

Assistant to help out: $200

At the end of the event your profit rate is going to be roughly $620. Oh, then the hours, 51 divided by $620 is $12.15 per hour. That's what the vendor is left making before taxes. 

$12 an hour is not a lot of money to be forking out for a lot of work like that. Figure taxes and the like is going to cost you roughly 30%-35%, thats going to leave you with a min wage hourly set. You haven't started talking about the wear and tear on the gear, the fuel and travel to get there, the advertising, business license, etc. 

What's Worse for the Couple

Here's whats worse for the couple getting married. If you choose a professional that is offering you such a great deal that you can't refuse, it could mean trouble for you, twice fold. 

Not only could a guest (or the venue) sue you for something one of the vendors did, an accident, not showing up or the like, it can cost your wallet, your stress and even ruin your wedding. 

What if the vendor doesn't show up on time or even show up? How can they recover your wedding day?  You pay $1,000 for three vendors and they don't show up.

Now, you have no wedding photographer, no DJ and no video. 

What if they are not insured and your family member, say your grandmother trips on the DJ speaker cable and breaks her ankle by accident?  

These are things that have happened to various wedding couples over the years, all because they wanted to save a few bucks. 

Yes, wedding vendors do offer discounts from time to time, I do during the winter months during the slow season. But a discount vs. getting services so cheap that it seems to good to be true, then it most likely is. 

My advice as a friend: Hire the professional at the professional rate. Make sure they have the equipment (even a backup), the insurance, the expertise to provide you with a great experience. You're getting married once, do it right the first time. 

The high costs are not just because they want to charge you a high rate. There is a reason why a good wedding vendor will charge what they do. 

The Quality

Say you're car breaks down and its something somewhat major, a water pump goes bad.

You have a couple of choices to take it to right up the street, a shop dedicated to car repair or a place that does car repair, offering lunch in the same building and they can also do your taxes. Let's say that business that does everything under the sun is cheaper, much cheaper.

Which do you choose? 

This boils down to saving money vs. quality.

The dedicated car repair shop is going to do is right the first time and you'll never have that issue again in your car.

The second guy is going to be swapping out your water pump while making you a hot-dog lunch and also running turbo-tax to try and save you some money. By the way, the water pump he's putting in is cheaper and doesn't have a lifetime warranty like the first shop does, it'll last six months to a year tops and you'll have to do it again.

Listen, everyone likes to save money, I get it, I do too. BUT when it comes to something important, say a water pump, a new kitchen stove, a new computer or a wedding for example, I'm not going to take a cheaper route just to keep some money then regretting it later. I'm not knocking the $1,000 guy or what he does, but saying others are too high for what they do, well... there is a reason why is cost good money to hire a pro.

If you want something right done the first time, do it right, even if that means you pay a higher rate for better, dedicated service. 
There are ways to have your cake and eat it too, like having your wedding during an off season. Here in Virginia it tends to be from November to late March. Having the same professionals do you wedding on an off season can save you alot of money all the while still having those dedicated professionals at the same time.

Click the image below to see a great sample of what a professional vs. amateur wedding film looks and sounds like. We met up with a couple in 2015 and asked if we could film their wedding ceremony for free. Well they hired a local professional who isn't doing wedding video anymore. They paid the guy $600 to do their ceremony and before and after footage. ($300 for the ceremony and another $300 for the rest)

Not only can you see and hear the difference, but you get a better sense of why you hire a pro in the first place.

You truly get what you pay for so be wise about your investments my friends.

Roanoke Wedding Film Promise to Couples

wedding video promise to couples in roanoke valley

Contact Joshua
Joshua Gabrielson
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Roanoke, Virginia