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APW Happy Hour


The One with the Angry Bakers

APW Happy Hour | A Practical Wedding

Hey you guys,

Every so often we have a week at APW where I love everything in an obsessive, openhearted kind of way. That was this week for me, so thank you for coming along for the ride.

My project of turning the worst sheet cake I could find into a hip wedding cake just to prove that ANYONE could do this, no matter what kind of grocery store is nearby, got all sorts of viral traffic. This resulted in some of my favorite mean wedding industry comments of all time. One person claimed the cake had swamp water flowers on it (I’m unclear?), another claimed that the only thing wedding guests remembered was the cake (Y’all… I remember EATING cake, mmmmmm cake, but that comment made me work really hard to visualize cakes from weddings past, and the only one I could picture was the one the bride’s mom made). So it’s possible that’s… oversell… But this comment. STAFF FAVORITE FOREVER:

APW Happy Hour | A Practical Wedding

I am going to take 100% credit for that sprinkle-topped monstrosity. Fuck. Yes. And thank you. Just mail me the dollar store gifts.

And! Rachel made you a brunch wedding board on Pinterest this week—a work in progress. Bam!

In short, thanks for hanging with us this week. I loved it. It’s your Friday open thread, hop on it!

xoxo
Meg

Highlights of APW This Week

It’s a Nice Day for (Half) White Wedding.” Rachel’s much needed discussion of race and weddings in America.

A sample wedding vows roundup, to jump-start your writing.

Shana’s courthouse elopement in San Francisco is one of my favorite things in a long time.

The famous shitty grocery store sheet cake that I turned into a hip wedding cake. Again, one of my favorite projects in a long time. (The more upscale version is coming, but this one has my heart.)

Link Roundup

Slate is currently running a special weddings issue, filled with musings that hit me in the gut. Of interest: why you should invite your parents’ friends to your wedding (I feel reasonably strongly about this, but wasn’t expecting the article to make me cry), musings on the friends who disappear from your life after your wedding (again, with the tears. We’re heading to the four year line, and already know there are last-timers in those photos), and something Elisabeth has discussed at length on these pages, how do I have a gay wedding that doesn’t seem…. straight.

But the Slate article that’s the most factually important is on why the “average” wedding cost you’re always hearing about is misleading. (Hint: because it’s not the median, for starters.) I recently told a reporter for a major newspaper why this oft reported number was incorrect, and suddenly realized that it’s not common knowledge… but it should be.

This video of two ladies getting engaged at a Macklemore concert may restore your faith in the public proposal. (Related story: are fanny packs back? Nooooo….)

Etsy’s new wedding collection for Nordstrom is pretty fascinating. I’m thrilled for the artists getting this mainstream retailing platform, but it also opens up an interesting conversation about how the wedding industry is co-opting what was originally indie wedding trends (and sometimes distorting the original message).

The ongoing discussion of sex and marriage in mainstream media tends to focus on maintaining or increasing desire; over at The Atlantic, they’re questioning whether maintaining desire has to be the goal. I’m gonna be frank with you: I found this article depressing as all get out, and Maddie immediately insisted we have an open thread on good sex (coming ‘atcha…)

We’re all about the well-fitting bra at APW so the staff is really curious whether Jockey’s attempts to make a better-fitting bra will actually be successful. Curious and excited, even though the internet is clutching its pearls over the price (which… us busty ladies have been paying $60 for a bra for a while).

Why Finnish Babies Mostly Sleep In Cardboard Boxes. F*ck yeah, socialism.

The good news: more and more US companies are offering paid paternity leave. The bad news: the dads aren’t always comfortable taking it. As someone who just had her husband home for a full six week paternity leave, I would argue that the game is already rigged, and partner leave is the best tool we have to attempt to build an egalitarian parenting model.

This week, Hillary Clinton joined Twitter! Why the f*ck didn’t we lead with this? The team at The Cut asks smart and funny questions about her Twitter bio, so read that. I want a more in-depth conversation about why it leads with wife. (Softening? Or relational importance? What does it mean as a feminist?) But I just can’t even get to debating it because of the rest of the bio, “Wife, mom, lawyer, women & kids advocate, FLOAR, FLOTUS, US Senator, SecState, author, dog owner, hair icon, pantsuit aficionado, glass ceiling cracker, TBD…” HAIR ICON! PANTSUIT AFICIONADO! TBD… Holy crap, I can’t wait till you’re president. (I’m sorry, and the first Tweet. I just lost it all over again.)

More in Recent Posts Staff Picks

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  • Margi

    YES!!!! Thank you!

  • Jashshea

    Oh thank god. I’ve been waiting ALL DAY, PEOPLE.

    That slate article about last-timers is v. v. interesting. I’m trying to figure it out right now.

    • Moe

      My wedding was only 2 months ago, I’m trying to pick out my last-timers now.

      • Jashshea

        We had a massive crowd, so there were definitely people who were not especially close friends (coworker who are already ex-coworkers for example) that we probably won’t see much.

        I think I have it narrowed down. One of my college friends. The split’s been happening for years, but the weekend really drove home how different we are from when we were close.

        I’m now expanding it to “weddings where I was the last-timer.” I think I only have one instance.

        • A Single Sarah for certain values of single

          I’m totally trying to think through weddings where I was the last-timer. But mine was where I attended as a +1.

          Though to be fair, there are others who I’ve clearly slipped away from. Just not quite letting myself go off the radar.

        • Kirsten

          I can think of one where I was the last-timer, but not for lack of trying. She was my best friend in high school, but embraced married life and having babies so exclusively that eventually I had to make the painful decision that I had put enough effort into what had become a one-sided relationship. I think I’ve seen her once since she was married, over four years ago. We always talked about her being my MOH someday and it’s sad that I won’t actually even invite her now, but I’d rather give my energy to friendships where the effort to maintain them is mutual.

      • KE

        Same! But the whole “you don’t know who they are until years later” thing is throwing me.

        If I’m being honest, I’d guess my elementary school BFF. She is the sweetest, dearest person, but I haven’t seen her regularly since middle school, and we’re in different states living very different lives now. Ours is the kind of relationship that makes me glad social media exists. I like knowing that she’s well and leaving a note on big life events, but I don’t see us being adult IRL BFFs.

        And then a high school friend whose lack of involvement (like, lack of RSVPing to shit) made it clear how interested she is in being a part of my life.

    • http://teastrumpets.wordpress.com/ kyley

      Our wedding is at the end of July, and I know some of the people attending will be last-timers. For some of my friends, very very dear in a lifetime past, I’m thinking of the wedding as our last hurrah. It doesn’t make me sad or resentful; I just feel really happy to acknowledge how much they mean/meant to me in this way.

      • http://unexpected-moments.blogspot.ca/ Sheryl

        What a beautiful way to look at it. It’s easy to miss that even if someone isn’t going to be a super important part of your life in the future doesn’t mean that they weren’t monumental in your past.

  • Rachel

    Re: fanny packs. Soo…here’s me rocking the fanny pack on my trip with my mom and bro to an amusement park last month: http://www.thehousealwayswinsblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/Cedar-Point-fanny-pack.jpg

    Meanwhile, my mom was working the double-wide one (two drink holders on that baby.)

    I KNOW they are hopelessly dorky but damn if I didn’t feel SO FREAKING LIBERATED the second I walked into that park and had my hands free. I brought it home with me. Eric is appalled. I stand by my choice.

    • http://landlockedlove.com Kelly

      I would kind of love it if fanny packs came back.

    • Kara E

      Lumbar packs and waist packs never went away in the hiking/climbing community!
      See, e.g.: http://www.rei.com/product/812552/mountainsmith-daylight-waistpack

      • http://www.dmarried.com Blair

        omg. I want to wear that. Just wear it. and put all my shit in it. every day.

    • Samantha

      That’s a pretty chic fanny pack. Not like the gaudy,neon ones from my youth.. ha!

    • Laura K

      I thought fanny packs were back already? Fanny packs are huge in the roller derby community (I guess its hard to skate while carrying a handbag). Pretty much everyone I know has several. Plus, how can it be dorky when it’s covered in sequins?! I will continue to rock my fanny pack proudly!

    • Kestrel

      This is why I have a cross body strap purse. I completely forget about it but have all the stuff I need.

  • Moe

    Wait, I missed people trolling cake? CAKE? Who trolls a cake?

    My original wedding plans included one small 8-inch round cake on a cakestand for each reception table. It would serve as a centerpiece topped with flowers and would then get gobbled up by guests as dessert. A family member was going to bake them for me but because of a very unfortunate turn of events had to concel about 48 hours before the wedding leaving me in a pinch.

    She paid for replacements pies and it was perfectly fine (some people said it was better than cake)

    When a friend heard about what happened she offered up the baking services of her high school daughter who was taking a class.

    I had a FREE two-tier buttercream frosted cake made by a high school senior as her class project. (She got an A btw) and that damn amateur cake was the best tasting cake I ever had. Maybe I’m biased because I was so happy that day.

    I’ll remember my cake because someone loved me enough to step in and help us on our wedding day. I’ll remember my cake not because it was covered in expensive sugar flowers but because it was one of the many small miracles that day that made it magic.

    Take your fancy cake and shove it, WIC.

    • The Family Jules

      The cake troll’s comment and Meg’s reaction are the best thing ever. There should be a follow up post on turning dollar store items into a decent wedding gift.

      • M.E.

        How To: Throw an Entire Wedding from the Dollar Store.

        …please??

        • http://dungeons-and-flagons.com/ Heather L

          That would be a pretty badass post.

        • Moe

          I think that was my wedding. For real,yo.

          Dollar Store, Yard Sale, Estate Sale wedding.

          • M.E.

            Have you written about it here? I’d love to read about it! Esp. the estate sale stuff.

          • Moe

            I drafted a wedding grad post but my photos aren’t back from the pro photogrpher yet.

            You can get an idea for what it looked like by taking a peek at my flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/mrsmoeno/

          • Louise

            yeah, mine was a yard sale/thrift store wedding for SURE. It thrilled me to no end searching for all the different, beautiful antique linen white table cloths, the cake stands, the silk shirts to cut up and repurpose into flowers… and then there were the jars for vases, which were all FREE because a lot of my people collected them for me over several months after they, you know, ate food out of them.

          • http://elisapetersen.com Elisa

            MOE those bouquets are exactly what I tried to describe to my florist! The wedding is next week, crossing my fingers that mine look as awesome as yours!

        • Alyssa

          I would craft the SHIT out of that wedding.

        • Katelyn

          I’ve long admired the Dollar Store Crafts blog for tagging some of their creations as wedding-friendly. They even have a category for it! Some things are pretty ‘meh’ but there are a couple of really fantastic ideas!

          http://dollarstorecrafts.com/find-projects/wedding/

          Some highlights:
          – Apothecary Jars for $2
          – Wallpaper Scrap Covered Chocolate Bars

        • meg

          This is happening. The staff just decided.

          • Moe

            Can I get in on that?

          • A Single Sarah for certain values of single

            I’m excited for that tutorial series.

          • Rebekah

            I want in too, despite not being crafty.

          • meg

            If you’re serious Moe, email us. I know you’re in So Cal, which isn’t LOCAL, but.

          • http://www.laughterinthelou.com Emma

            Our table decorations were dollar store frames with pictures of us! Loved it. http://apracticalwedding.com/2011/09/midwest-camp-wedding/

          • Kelly

            AWESOME!! I LOVE that this is all happening from a insult-intended comment, too. It’s the PERFECT revenge, Meg!!

            My favorite cheap-a$$ part of my wedding was these $1-2 old picture frames I got from Goodwill and painted with chalkboard paint ($10 Home Depot) to then write whatever I wanted on them for the reception…directions, drink names, menu items, quotes, etc. Really simple, but very unique!

          • Moe

            I sent an email off to the team at APW address. Hope it gets to the right person. :)

        • http://cuvikingadventures.blogspot.com/ Jenny- Adventures Along the Way

          Haha, now that I think about it a number of our things came from Dollarama.
          Flowergirl basket:
          http://cuvikingadventures.blogspot.ca/2009/10/non-cheesy-flower-girl-basket.html

          Zipperbag that contained the bridesmaids’ gifts:
          http://cuvikingadventures.blogspot.ca/2009/10/bridal-party-gifts-part-i-diy-fun-make.html

          Bilingual framed notes on the dessert tables:
          http://cuvikingadventures.blogspot.ca/2009/10/dessert-buffet-cards-for-our-soiree.html

          and probably other stuff too. :) So…I’m looking forward to seeing the post!

      • Moe

        Speaking of Dollar Store items, I bought stacks of their picture frames and spray painted them gold. I filled them all with wedding pictures of my guests and used them as decor.

        I have some of the frames left, I’m going to make a large gallery wall with art and larger frames I’ve bought at yard sales and estate sales.

        “Style” does not mean “expensive”.

        • http://www.meanestlook.com Sara

          Okay, I am freaking out right now. FRAMES!!!!! The pool. Succulents! The thumbs up picture. La la la la la la love it all.

          I have a gallery wall with empty frames in my house. Best conversation piece ever.

          • Moe

            Thank you!!!!

            I had this VISION for the day that included the entire backyard bathed in this glowing golden sunlight. We had sunshine for the rehearsal but the day-of was cloudy and cold and it made me sad to see guests bundled up in jackets and coats.

            But to hear that people liked how everything looked makes me proud and really glad that I did things my own way.

          • http://www.meanestlook.com Sara

            Girl, your empty frames behind you where you are exchanging vows is amazing. It’s balls out symbolic. Gorgeous. And you can’t trust weather. What are ya gonna do?

        • Anon Today

          I got all my reception decor at Savers (thrift store) and Home Depot: miscellaneous glass and/or crystal vases, crystal teacups, and crystal bowls + succulents in the teacups + mirror paint to spray paint the assorted wine bottles I had accumulated over the years. Threw some Trader Joe’s flowers in that shit with a few little led light strands from Ikea (no candles allowed at our venue). It was AWESOME. And it cost me about $120 bucks total ($40 for the glassware, $40 for flowers, $20 for succulents, and $20 bucks for spray paint and twinkle lights)

          • Moe

            250 feet of brown heavyweight paper from Home Depot, $10!!
            I used it for table runners.

            Steel buckets from IKEA were about .79 cents each. I rusted them myself with hydrogen peroxide, vinegar and salt. Then used them as flower containers.

            You can also do an Ikea wedding for pretty cheap.

    • http://dungeons-and-flagons.com/ Heather L

      I don’t know! It’s a damned cake! It’s meant to be eaten, not preserved and looked at forever and ever. As long as it tastes nice, whatever. Some people get their knickers in a twist over the silliest things.

    • Class of 1980

      That cake was scandalous (apparently). ;)

    • http://abasketcase.blogspot.com Basketcase

      Our cake was damned ugly. Two tiers, neither of which matched the other – a chocolate and black doris plum mud cake with dark choc ganache from our fave bakery, topped by a white chocolate mud cake with white choc ganache we made ourselves 3 days before the wedding.
      They meant so much to us, so being ugly? Did.not.matter.

      • anon

        our cake was gorgeous….and tasted like a sugar truck exploded inside a cave of plastic fondant-y stuff. but it came with the venue — the gluten free cupcakes we brought were amazing, so it worked out

        • http://dungeons-and-flagons.com/ Heather L

          Our cake was so-so (actual cake was great, frosting/filling was sweet for my taste) but like you, ours came with the venue so whatever.

          I still love my grandmother’s reaction to my mom telling her I wanted chocolate cake: “What if some guests don’t like chocolate?”

          My reaction was: “First, who the hell DOESN’T LIKE CHOCOLATE and second, it’s my cake, and I freaking like chocolate.”

          • Tuppet

            At the risk of shattering your image of the world, we exist! I’m betting there are a lot more people who don’t like the traditional fruit cake though…

            (btw. Easter = the most disappointing holiday of the year.)

  • Ellen

    It is finally Friday afternoon! Hurrah, the Happy Hour thread has arrived!

    Tomorrow my fiance and I are heading to the wedding of one of my high school friends. I haven’t seen her in 5+ years and don’t know if I will see her again after this, but I am SO THANKFUL I was asked to join them in this moment.

    • Melise

      Yes! Just read the Slate article about friends disappearing after the wedding, and it seems totally natural. We invited people neither of us have seen in many many years and probably will never see again. But you know what? At some point they were a significant part of our lives, and that’s still something worth celebrating.

  • Sandy

    Father’s day is this weekend and I haven’t talked to my dad since he didn’t come to my MA graduation. He was worried about experiencing negative vibes.

    I’ll take a G&T with Bombay, thanks.

    • SamiSidewinder

      Not an awesome thing to bond over, but my dad didn’t show to my M.Arch graduation either. He ‘tried’ to come, but the traffic was ‘too bad’. Our relationship has taken a pretty serious downturn, but I haven’t quit talking to him. Just quit relying on him for anything. I recognize that he will always be my father and I will probably miss him when he’s gone in certain ways, but that he doesn’t really add anything to my life at this point. I just try to take him at face value and appreciate what he is capable of giving and ignore the rest.
      You will make it girl. And I’ll toast to you and your awesomeness with a bourbon! Congrats on graduating!

    • ART

      With ya. Mine hasn’t come to any graduations due to bad vibes (that would inevitably come from him). Do I want bad vibes at my wedding? …I’m thinking probably not?

  • Maria

    That really is the best comment ever.

    Now I have a very very important enquiry. I woke up this morning from another wedding dream/nightmare/sleeping planning session, with this burning question: if both my parents are walking me up the aisle, what the heck do I do with my arms? And my bouquet? How will it all fit?

    So yes. Please tell me.

    • Jenni

      Each arm linked with one of your parents, flowers clasped in both hands in front of you?

      • Maria

        This seems like the obvious choice, but I picture extremely stiff walking as we all try to stay in sync and not push each other over. Glad I opted out of the high heels.

    • Casey

      I am doing the same thing and totally had the same question!! One of my friends did the same thing too and she linked arms with her parents and held the bouquet with both hands. Not the most comfortable or natural but it’s the only way I can think to make it work!

      • mira

        We did this. It felt totally comfortable and natural (and I have a short mom and a tall dad). I didn’t even think about it ahead of time — we just linked arms (I think?) and *went.* And I had a big-ass bouquet with long stems. Nonissue :)

    • http://www.devabydefinition.com deva

      This may not work for everyone, but my dad walked me with his arm tucked around my upper arm – of the arm holding the bouquet. I ended up holding my mother’s hand, which for us worked really well. We did a lot of hand sqeezing.

    • Jessica B

      Shit. I didn’t even think about this when I decided both parents would walk me down.

      Maybe just hold it in one hand? That is what seems to work for people I saw when I just googled this.

      • Maria

        And I didn’t think to do an image search. How smart are you!

        So yes, a loose hold at the elbow from mom, bouquet in same hand, and other arm with dad seems to be the preferred arrangement.

    • GCDC

      My mom held my bouquet in one hand and held my other hand, and I linked arms with my dad. We didn’t plan it that way. It just sort of happened.

    • Moe

      Take your fathers arm with one hand.

      Hold your bouquet with the other.

      Your mom can hold on to your arm holding the bouquet.

      DO NOT forget to smile as you walk down the aisle, you might be nervous and forget.

    • Kristin

      I had both parents walk with me. I held the bouquet in front of me with both hands, and then my parents each held an arm. Not super natural, but it worked.

      • Kristin

        That is, it was not VERY natural…but I suppose it wasn’t supernatural either.

      • Laura

        I did the same! My mom had it all figured out. I hold the bouquet with both my hands, and my parents each grab an elbow. Bouquet first, parents second. None of this looks natural – it isnt like you walk down the street linking arms with your parents on a regular basis (or well, I don’t) – but it didnt look horribly unnatural either. Just do what feels comfortable. :)

        • http://livinglnf.blogspot.com Jo

          Practice walking in step with one another, if that concept is new to you.

    • http://acceptorchange.blogspot.com YetAnotherMegan

      You can even try some of the suggestions here for your rehearsal to see what would work best. Get some some type of substitute bouquet (fake dollar store flowers, wildflowers you grabbed on the side of the road on the way, heck even a paper towel tube) and try things ahead of time so you aren’t worried about it the day of. A friend of my MOH did that and now my MOH recommends it every time she’s in a wedding.

    • meg

      I did this and held my bouquet. Some people think it’s awkward looking, but I wanted my flowers, and I felt like we’d look like a lock step skipping line otherwise. Also, it looked cute. I held it with both hands, my parents held my elbows.

      It’s Jewish custom for both parents to walk down the asile, so it’s done on the regular.

    • SamiSidewinder

      How about link with dad, hold bouquet in that hand. Hold hands with mom. Allows for a bit more wiggle room between the three of you?

    • http://theaftercath.blogspot.com Cathi

      You could always forgo a bouquet if you’re not attached to the idea and are having one just because you thought you should. I actually used “both my parents are walking me down the aisle so I need both hands free” as my “excuse” to busybodies who were appalled that I wasn’t having a bouquet, haha.

      But if the bouquet is important to you (it was my bff’s favorite detail of her own wedding), I like the link arms with dad, hold bouquet in other hand, have mom take your elbow look.

  • Laura

    Ahhh, a much-needed ending to a perfectly horrendous week. LET’S DO THIS!

  • Michelle

    Yay for summer hours where I’m done with work by 12:30 and can immediately begin happy hour.

    I missed the race article earlier this week. So glad I see it now, with Loving Day this week. 46 years was not all that long ago, folks.

    Meg, will you do a round-up of the funniest/most impractical comments you’ve ever gotten?

    • Emily

      HA! That roundup would be hilarious. And easily sourced from staff e-mails, I imagine.

    • Rosie

      YES

  • http://www.devabydefinition.com deva

    I’ve been waiting for this since the day before my wedding three weeks ago. I got busy, I went on my honeymoon and then my grandmother passed away. A. lot. has. happened. I am still processing it all and I am typing this with so many feels y’all. And I love this space to just come and chat and read. Which I did with the past few happy hours: just read and see how all of you who post here are doing.

    Our wedding was perfect. There was tons of love. Our honeymoon was amazing – full of happiness. My grandmother’s funeral was as good as a funeral can be, she was a very very loved woman and it showed in those who came out to pay tribute to her.

    And now I don’t know how to end this comment without babbling, but happy friday everyone! :-)

    • Martha

      Deva! I am so sorry for your loss – glad to know the funeral did an awesome lady some justice :-)

      Happy Friday for sure!

      • http://www.devabydefinition.com deva

        Thank you.

        How was your wedding?? :-)

        • Martha

          Good!!! A whirlwind – I feel like I don’t remember half of what went on. I’ve heard some crazy stories from various people in the aftermath, but too me it was just one big, beautiful day. Absolutely perfect weather too!!

          • http://www.devabydefinition.com deva

            The weather was perfect for ours, as well! I want to keep so much of it close to my heart but I also want so share how great it felt. I know I can hontestly say that I didn’t know my sister was wearing lightning bolt earrings – that she ASKED me about before we left the hotel – until after the ceremony, when I said “those are fabulous!” So I get the whirlwind and not remembering it all :-).

    • Samantha

      I’m so sorry for your loss. I’ve been wedding planning the past few months for my January 2014 wedding, and in January of this year my fiance’s sweet grandpa passed away. He was in his 90s and had a long life. In February my grandma, who was only 72 passed away- shocking us all. It’s been hard. Then my grandpa (husband of grandma who passed) also 70’s passed away yesterday. I think he died of a broken heart. I’m still avoiding processsing this new reality. He will be buried on Father’s Day. Sadness.

      • http://www.devabydefinition.com deva

        I am so sorry for your loss. I am still avoiding really processing my Nana’s passing, so I understand. I am sending you virtual hugs.

  • Laura C

    I feel like that Dickerson piece about inviting your parents’ friends fails to make the important distinction between your parents’ friends who’ve been in your life and those who haven’t. Invited to my wedding: my parents’ friends who come over for Christmas dinner every year, half of the now-divorced couple we vacationed with into my early teens (the half my parents still see a couple times a year instead of once every couple years), the neighbors my parents are closest to. But I have a lot more trouble with the idea of inviting parents’ coworkers who you’ve met once or their high school friends who they only see every few years and you haven’t seen since you were a child. (And I shifted into “you” language there for the reason that my parents would never ask me to do that.)

    • Jenni

      Exactly–if I haven’t seen them since I was a teenager (and never met my fiance), why are they even there?

      • meg

        Though on this point I’d answer “Because they are important to your parents.” We did this anyway, but having a kid now… I totally get it. I birthed him and raised him, and if he gets married that will be a huge deal, and something I’ve thought about as a possibility since he was born. It’s his wedding, but it’s our day too, in a huge huge way, as parents. And if my kid told me I couldn’t invite my very important people? (And not for space limitations, or whatever valid reason.)

        Well.

        I might un-change those diapers.

        • http://ladybrettashley.wordpress.com lady brett

          “I might un-change those diapers.”

          yes.

        • http://dungeons-and-flagons.com/ Heather L

          We had a fairly small wedding, and we ended up inviting each of my parents’ closest friends. Husband’s mom kind of put her foot down about inviting super extended family, so she got that instead.

    • Jessica B

      My reaction as well. We have a small venue that only allows for so many people, so my parents closest friends are invited. My mom has expressed that when people start RSVPing with regrets she wants to fill the empty seats with more of her friends, even though J and I have lots of people we had to leave off the guest list to make room for our parents’ friends already. This is a little frustrating.

      • Hannah

        I would probably fudge it about who I invited before and who was a B list guest.

      • SamiSidewinder

        I’m with you sister. I found the same frustrations. But when I got to the part about the friends were there telling our parents our crazy was normal crazy, I kind of got it. They were a part of our lives, whether we felt it or not, because they help our parents raise us in some way. Advice, support whatever. But I agree, if I don’t know them, have never met them? That’s a no. But those close people from childhood, I get that more now.

    • Ellen

      Um, yes. There are a couple of friends of my parents who will ABSOLUTELY be at the wedding. I also see these people multiple times a year, even now that I have moved away from home. I can’t imagine them not being there.

    • KE

      This was the source of much discussion with my husband when we were wedding planning. With the exception of his dad’s college buddy, his family does not have family friends. Period. It’s not a concept that was familiar to him. Whereas I feel I have individual relationships with many of my parents’ friends. (One heated discussion ended with my snapping, “I’m in her will. Pretty sure that merits an invite.”) He eventually understood that it took a village to raise me, and I wanted my village there to celebrate.

      Meanwhile, my mom and I had several fights over her high school friends, dad’s work colleagues, and their second tier church friends. There was crying.

      Guest lists are fun!

    • Jessica B

      Maybe give your parents a certain number of seats and let them choose which of their friends they’d like to see at the wedding. This way you can give your parents input, have people your parents want at the wedding, and not take up a bunch of seats with folks you don’t know well.

    • Laura C

      Interesting. I’m trying to put myself into … this mindset, I guess. Where I’m sticking is, if the friends aren’t people who are relevant in your life, why would you be relevant enough in their lives to have attending your wedding be of interest to them? Which, the answer is your parents, so I can halfway understand it. But only in select situations like you lay out, and I still don’t like all the times I’ve seen people’s parents insist on inviting friends for what appear to be status reasons! That feels like this expanding blob logic: “I was surprised to be invited to X’s daughter’s wedding, but since I was, now X has to be invited to my son’s wedding.”

      • Laura C

        Hmm…guess the comment this was replying to got deleted or something? Anyway, it (hopefully) made more sense as a reply.

    • http://unexpected-moments.blogspot.ca/ Sheryl

      I honestly can’t fathom inviting a friend of my parents that I don’t know to a wedding. But the friends that I’ve known for years and I know are a part of my mom’s life? Easy choice. Leading up to us eloping some of the biggest shows of support came from them and they’re part of my life. Those are also the friends that my mom was probably talking with as she dealt with her children growing up.

      • ElisabethJoanne

        My parents paid for my wedding, and that puts a certain perspective on things, but I knew (and realized even more at the wedding) that my mother’s friends were her support when she was supporting us. She took them around and introduced them to the extended family and they asked thoughtful questions (“Cindy, of course, How’s the new job?”) like they knew everyone. And the only reason I’m not closer to my high school teachers is because Dad works there now, so I get and send updates through him. My parents’ friends love me, even if they don’t know me well face-to-face, and that’s a good reason to invite them.

        I know with my in-laws, the friends and even extended family they invited were much more of a status thing. There were repeated conversations with my now-husband that began “My parents are worried their friends will think…” But – you know what? – I’m not here to judge other people’s relationships. If those people and those customs are important to my in-laws, who are definitely important to me, I’m going to do my best to accommodate them.

        • http://whereyoucamefrom.blogspot.com K

          Oh, you’re so much less judgmental than I am! I wish I was so mature.

          My parents invited their closest friends to our wedding, who were, almost without exception, people I know well and people my now-husband had met and spent time with on numerous occasions. My in-laws invited all of their own friends who fit that description (including people we’ve vacationed with, people who’d gotten me job interviews, etc. – friends of theirs who we absolutely wanted at our wedding) but also insisted on inviting about an equal number of people I’d never met, people my husband hadn’t seen in years. In a couple of cases, those invitations went out late, because my in-laws didn’t have their addresses, and DIDN’T HAVE THEIR PHONE NUMBERS to ask for them! Clearly these are NOT friends you’ve kept in touch with! Why do you want them at my wedding? (Could it have something to do with the honorifics on those particular invitations?)

          None of those people came (some didn’t bother to RSVP), and I was, frankly, relieved. Of course, partly because of the insistence on inviting people who don’t know us and have no real reason to come to our wedding, we fell below our minimum and ended up inviting friends of friends, distant relatives, and my parents’ coworkers at the last minute to eat the meals we’d be paying for anyway, so there ended up being plenty of people there that one or both of us had never met before, but that’s a story for another day . . .

    • meg

      That was our rule. They had to know us by name, not as “Hannah’s kid.” (With exceptions for people REALLY important to our parents.)

      • Tuppet

        I said early on that I didn’t want to invite strangers. The rule I set (which I’m being relaxed on in my mind but apparently I’m waaay to strict about it) was if one of us hasn’t met them, we should meet them before the wedding, and if our parents couldn’t find a reason to get us and this incredibly significant person in a room together for 5 minutes over the course of the year, and we also hadn’t met in the previous 6 years, then they were not that significant.

        Interstaters are exempted from this rule (most family friends are local anyway).

    • Not Sarah

      My parents have lived in the same house for almost 20 years and my dad has lived in the same city his whole life. Their neighbours? People I call sometimes when I need help figuring something out. They witnessed my will. There are some of their friends that I would be more than happy to invite to a hypothetical wedding.

    • Rebekah

      On a semi-related note, I’m planning a small (best friends and blood relatives one tier out) wedding, roughly 80 on the list. It’s also a destination for almost everyone.

      There are many adults who helped me grow up, and many who also affected my fiance. As much as I would like to offer them the option to witness our marriage and offer their support that way, I know they will do so regardless and probably wouldn’t make the journey. My family and his are relatively drama-free and enjoy one another’s company, but this article still gave me pause.

      However, my sister and I threw a surprise 25th anniversary party for my parents last year to which we invited many of their friends and support group. I think that in my situation, that will have been more than thoughtful enough. (Also, it did help my dad get back in touch with a groomsman!)

    • Carolyn

      My mom is a teacher, and those women are thick as thieves. They were the absolute first to volunteer to glue, plant, transport and just DO stuff for my wedding and also the first to volunteer to remove themselves from the guest list if space did not permit. It took me about half a second to realize that even if I didn’t know them that well, these were my mom’s people, which made them my people. I’m so happy and proud they were there to celebrate with me and my family.

  • Rachel

    Side note: do we need a round-up of wedding gifts you can get at the dollar store? Because their kitchen utensils are no joke.

    • The Family Jules

      I basically just said the same exact thing in a comment above (minus the kitchen utensils, which is TOTALLY TRUE!). APW brain share.

      • Rachel

        This proves it MUST be a good idea!!

    • http://ladybrettashley.wordpress.com lady brett

      i’m kind of hankering for a full-on dollar store wedding, personally.

      • meg

        Happening.

    • http://www.devabydefinition.com deva

      I would love this, actually. I love the rubbermaid containers you can get at the dollar store.

      • meg

        Also, what kind of person throws a wedding for the monetary value of the GIFTS?? Lots of our guests didn’t get us gifts. They traveled or were poor or gave us a card or whatever. I didn’t give a shit.

        I certainly didn’t upgrade my CAKE in the hopes that they would upgrade their GIFT. Last I checked, that wasn’t how friendship worked.

        • http://acceptorchange.blogspot.com YetAnotherMegan

          What were they supposed to do? Come in, see the cake, and run back out to the store to exchange their gift if it wasn’t good enough/too much for the cake/meal/centerpieces?

        • SamiSidewinder

          Serious. I’m literally BEGGING people not to get us gifts. Charity! Nothing! Card! Please! No more STUFF! (which, incidentally is what the registry page on our website is called)

          • meg

            You should downgrade your cake. It’s the surest way to make that happen.

          • ART

            it was called “No More Stuff”? that is freaking brilliant. i may use that…

    • http://snippetsof.blogspot.com SarahE

      Well, I have a full set of dollar store silverware (that I got in pieces along with a really nice dish set from my aunt over the years), and they do break easily. Knives bend, forks come apart, the finish scrapes off.

      However, I do think there are completely legit things you could get at the dollar store- especially if the couple is moving into a new home together- superglue, duct tape, power strips, garbage bags, lightbulbs, twinkle lights. . . You could do a whole set of ugly mugs for your nearest and dearest hipster cousin. . .the possibilities are definitely there.

      • Rachel

        Oh that’s fair. When I said “utensils” I was actually thinking things like spatulas and measuring cups…I have bought lots of those from the dollar store! Also, good call on the other stuff…those sound like good supplies for a wedding too!

        Clearly these people have never been to a dollar store.

        • http://snippetsof.blogspot.com SarahE

          Honestly, you could probably get a whole host of good stuff from the thrift store, too. Holiday decorations (oft overlooked in the home-making purchases), vases, picture frames.

          Frankly, my ideal wedding presents would be every guest (or family) bringing a framed photo of themselves or of their family or of them and me/my partner. Cuz that’s what _really_ makes a home. Tons of photos. And you can hit the dollar store or the thrift store for frames easy as pie.

          • ElisabethJoanne

            Real examples: When I went looking at Goodwill for stomping glasses for our Jewish wedding, I found multiple sets of bride/groom champagne glasses.

            For stomping, I found a pair of blue and clear sherry glasses that were very thin, since I knew thick glass can actually be hard to break.

      • KC

        You could put together a moving kit! (for people who are moving or who might be moving, at least)

        (by moving kit, I’m thinking of a package of all those things you suddenly realize you need but that are in a box somewhere and you don’t know where – toilet paper, paper towels, a can opener, corkscrew/bottle opener, cheapo shower curtain, flashlight, scissors, etc., not so much a package of boxes and tape and packing materials, but maybe they’re at dollar stores too?)

        Or a first aid kit for the car? Or a picnic kit? So many dollar store possibilities!

      • SARAH

        I REALLY LOVE DOLLAR STORE WINE GLASSES… SURPRISINGLY STURDY.

    • KE

      True life: I buy pregnancy tests there. They’re only a dollar! And I’m paranoid.

      • Rachel

        I would NOT recommend giving those as a wedding gift.

        • http://snippetsof.blogspot.com SarahE

          Dollar store pregnancy test wrapped in dollar store lingerie: worst wedding present ever? LOL

          • http://www.sarahhoppes.com SarahHoppes

            Worst? Or made better?

        • KE

          Bachelorette party favor? My friends have the right sense of humor for that (i.e. low brow).

      • http://www.meanestlook.com Sara

        Best idea ever. I am completely inappropriate, so I’m absolutely giving my girlfriend a dollar store pregnancy test and lingerie for a wedding present. I’ll probably also get her a serving dish or something, but this will be amazing.

        • Rachel

          Ya know, given the predominant theme of bachelorette parties these days, I don’t see how that would be crossing the line! I mean, all those penises are bound to impregnate someone, right!?

  • Nina B.

    Been loving the brunch board. It’s exactly what we were planning before eloping. Nice work, Rachel!

    • Rachel

      <3 Making that board was pretty much the highlight of my week, so I’m glad you like it!

  • Ann

    So my wedding is in 8 days.

    It’s exciting, but I feel like there’s all this stuff I HAVE to do, and I’m just not doing it. No motivation. At. All.

    The partner can’t do it because he’s not here (where I grew up, where the wedding will be) yet.

    I also need to coordinate car craziness in terms of getting stuff to the wedding location, and it is making my head hurt because NO ONE is being flexible (my brother doesn’t want to drive, but doesn’t want to go in his friends’ car. Mom won’t drive her car up the steep/windy road to the site. Dad insists on taking his won car, despite the fact that I need him to drive mom’s car because his isn’t big enough to take the coolers). And EVERYONE is expecting ME to be okay with shuttling people around on my damn wedding day. I’m thinking about calling the car service I hired to provide guest shuttle buses and asking them for a car to cater to the whims of my family because I AM DONE.

    And I thought a picnic for 35 people would be easy. Ha. How naive was I?

    • Kara E

      Can you just tell your parents to take the shuttle? And ask some of your guests to be responsible for the coolers? I wouldn’t be the personal shuttle either.

      • Ann

        The guest shuttle won’t work for my parents and brother (and my brother’s best friend) because they’re the ones helping set up and bringing things like the few card tables to put food on, decorations, etc. There’s not much stuff, but it’s big enough that it’s got to be transported in my mom’s car. I’ve only got a midsized rental car and stuff ain’t gonna fit!

        I just need them to suck it up and make some adjustments! My brother needs to either a) Drive or b) be driven by someone else coming from the same town. Options a) or b) are both unacceptable to him. My mom’s car must get to the ceremony site. Mom must drive it or dad must drive it. Both say no (my mom has legit reasons–fear of heights and the road has a big drop off). Dad must suck it up.

        • Kara E

          Frustrating. :S

        • Hannah

          As for your brother, I think it’s time for you to stop worrying about him getting to the wedding. As a fellow worrier, this can be really hard to do, but eventually you’ve got to decide what you’re going to worry about. He’ll figure it out. Hopefully your Dad will suck up his simple task.

        • ANOTHER MEG

          Family can be infuriating.
          I’ve learned a phrase from arguments with my fella that I think might help here:
          You:
          How would you like this to be resolved? What is the best case senario for you?
          Brother:
          [fill in the blank way to get there]
          Parents:
          [fill in the blank way to get there]
          Maybe, hopefully, then a game plan can be figured out.

    • Jessica B

      I think it’s time for real talk about being adults, sucking it up, and doing what needs to be done in order to have a great wedding.

      I don’t know how your family would deal with that sort of thing, but my family would laugh at me taking a picnic so seriously and then (after getting up off the floor from laughing so hard) try a little harder to make things easier on me.

    • ElisabethJoanne

      So sorry you’re dealing with that. I foresaw similar issues with my family, so I rented a car for my wedding weekend so I didn’t have to coordinate with anyone (I don’t usually have my own car), and we overpaid for car service on the wedding day, again so I didn’t have to work out transportation like some sort of extended story problem from junior high math class. It was money well spent.

      I also made a schedule for myself that included blocks of alone time, and time with just my immediate family, and gave it to everyone. Then, I made reasonable requests of others, and expected them to be grown-ups.

    • AIH

      I kind of gave up on my wedding a week before when a friend lended me the Hunger Games trilogoy-and I’m still married.

      • JessPeebs

        I just lost 3 days of my life to the hunger games trilogy. I consumed them.

  • KC

    Maybe swamp-water flower commenter has a bit of difficulty with floral identification and thought the peony was a water lily somehow?…

    And if you can’t look at something on the internet and say “that’s not my style, so I’m not going to do it, but obviously a bunch of other people like it, so they can do it” instead of pouring out a resentful mess of a comment, then you should take a nap. Or enjoy a botanical guide? Or do something other than be on the internet, generally.

    I got nothing beyond that. (Except irritation that someone thinks that the amount of money expended on a gift needs to somehow not exceed the amount of time and money expended on the cake for the wedding. Not, y’know, how much money you have reasonably available to spend on the gift, or how much you think your friends/relatives who are getting married will enjoy the gift, or what they need… but a proportion of cake/wedding costs. This is a strange world.)

    • http://snippetsof.blogspot.com SarahE

      Totally- I mean, I feel like sending all these people emails with Rachel’s post about The Good. Case in point, right here. Just because it’s not your jam doesn’t mean you can tear it down, for heaven’s sake! There are people on the other side of your internet connection!

    • http://dungeons-and-flagons.com/ Heather L

      That commenter probably needs her own happy hour =(

      • The Family Jules

        Or maybe ze was just hangry and wanted some cake.

        • KC

          With sprinkles on the side, *not* on top. :-)

          • meg

            I just snarfed.

            Most of these people are bakers, so you’d think they could just go eat some cake. Apparently we’ve also gone viral in resentful baker circles, where they don’t know that if you hate something, you shouldn’t LINK to it, and send everyone you know there. Sillies.

          • KC

            I didn’t know resentful baker circles were a Thing! That is… somewhat baffling.

            (but also: resentful bakers who think that cake is ugly are obviously missing a market segment. They may be catching a different market segment and may not be interested in the Kate Spade Photo Shoot Candidate wedding market, but listening to what a whole fleet of potential customers are oohing and aahing over seems like it could be useful from a business perspective? Although I could grasp being annoyed that specialty baking time/skill/experience is being marketed as replaceable for $41 and, what, ten minutes; as with apparel and pretty much everything, you can’t do those prices for something from scratch without mass-production or serious labor devaluation or both.)

          • SamiSidewinder

            Maybe someone should tell these bakers to stop making wedding cakes that are either a) gross dry cakes that nobody wants to eat or b) insanely expensive cakes that aren’t dry and gross but make you feel that way when you hear the price. Maybe then they wouldn’t have to hate on cakes with pretty peonies?

          • meg

            I mean, KC, we’re not kidding ourselves here. That cake tasted nothing like a delicious amazing wedding cake made by someone like Oakland Bakes (mmmmmm…… ccaaaaakkkkeeeee). But not everyone can afford a fancy cake, so make do with what you’ve got, amiright? And make it CUTE.

            Though, phew. I looked at some of the angry bakers FB pages and there is a lot of *not cute* going on, so I really hope it tastes great.

          • KC

            Yeah, cake made from really good ingredients is just plain different. (although, seriously, those Costco cakes! I don’t know how they do it!)

            Sometimes one person’s cute is another’s uuuugly, just in terms of concept alone (see bridesmaid dresses…), but you can still do a good job at a particular style or a bad job at a particular style (and you did a great job at that style). But yes, one hopes that bakers who denigrate grocery store cakes are at least turning out something that tastes better…

        • http://dungeons-and-flagons.com/ Heather L

          Actually this entire thread is making ME want cake, so that’s entirely plausible.

          • http://alifeworthwritingdown.blogspot.ca Juels

            I’m actually seriously considering baking a frosting a lovely two tier cake tonight just because of this thread. Chocolate? What type of filling?

          • Rebekah

            Juels: Raspberry! Or cherry. Or orange. All in season and SO. GOOD.

          • Laura C

            OMG, you just made me realize why I bought some grocery store cupcakes tonight — this thread!

          • http://dungeons-and-flagons.com/ Heather L

            Almost ended up coming home with cheesecake myself, but all the two-packs had one plain, one flavored, and I really only like the flavored.

    • Amy March

      Can I just say about the cake- I hated it! And I think you can do so much better for under $59. But it isn’t my cake!! No one is saying it has to be! There are all kinds of wedding ideas that aren’t for everyone. For me, mason jars are the worst. They’re like evil little spill machines. For someone else white lace dresses fill her with itchy rage. I don’t always love the crafty posts, but I don’t understand this idea that all of us need to love everything- I mean oodles of people obviously like the cake, so awesome.

      And, Meg, I would LOVE a follow up post by a baker. Local to me I have Carlo’s (crazy, and $$$$), and a string of mediocre Italian bakeries that dont seem to have changed anything since 1985. Whats up with that?

      • KC

        If we all liked exactly the same things, every wedding would look identical except for budget, and that would be no fun at all. So hooray for differences of opinion on style!

        On the bakeries that “don’t seem to have changed anything since 1985″, is that “wedding cake styles” or something else? Because if a frosting is non-crusting and not whipped, you can totally restyle those suckers (and even if a frosting is whipped or does crust, you can still do it – it’s just less of a “a few swoops and there you go, no more frilly stuff” affair).

        Or you might be able to convince them to leave off the 1985 wedding additions (puffs of tulle? pastel wedding bells that don’t look like wedding bells? little staircases with little identical plastic figures representing the wedding party? not sure which 1985 style issues are at play…) and flat-frost a tiered cake, which you can then add whatever you want?

        Or you could potentially take in photos of cakes you do like, have them make a 6″ cake in the style you want, confirm/deny that this is anywhere near what you were thinking, and then go from there? There’s a chance that at one of them, there might be a decorator who’s interested in adding more modern cakes to the portfolio…

      • http://www.alacartealbums.com Jane

        Sometimes they just haven’t updated their portfolio. Sometimes they haven’t added new bakers since 1985 and business is doing just fine, so….

        Oh, and a side note about the crazy expensive bakeries — mileage will totally vary, but here in Seattle we have Mike’s Amazing Cakes (who you may have seen on the Food Network) which are indeed amazing, but if you don’t WANT the Taj Mahal replica that serves 300, they do also do small, not-elaborate cakes that taste good at prices in line with the rest of the market. (At my old job, I was sad when we stopped having our wedding show booth really close to Mike’s, becuase end of day extra samples = yummy.)

        • http://www.sarahhoppes.com SarahHoppes

          We had great luck with our cake because we went to our local coffee/pastry shop and asked if they had cakes big enough for a crowd. Since everything they made in small batches was good, we assumed what they made it a big dose would be good as well. It didn’t look elaborate or wedding-y, but it was DAMN good. Plus, we pass them every day on our way to work, which means we stop in for anniversary/just because wedding cake on a pretty regular basic. So you may have luck with a mom and pop place like that. (Milage varies, of course.)

      • http://whereyoucamefrom.blogspot.com Kathleen

        I agree – I didn’t love the cake. So you know what I did? I kept my mouth shut. Because if you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all!

        And you know what other cake I didn’t love? The one that was included with my wedding venue. But I wasn’t about to pay a fortune for something super cute that was just going to be digested, so we used the venue’s cake anyway. You don’t *have* to love a wedding cake!

  • http://www.rationalcreature.com sweet starling

    Thank goodness for that Slate article about the “average” cost of a wedding. It’s like a breath of fresh air and a dose of sanity rolled into one. The Mister and I are doing everything we can to pay for this wedding ourselves, and at times it seems like it’s going to be impossible, especially when you have figures like $28K lurking in the back of your mind — because honestly, that really is ALL you ever hear.

    I’m so glad we get to talk about this cake thing some more, because it’s pure genius. Costco cakes are absolutely amazing, and now I have no desire to even go bakery shopping. And all those crankypants cake trolls, they’re just jealous they didn’t think of it themselves.

    • http://lgcmachine.wordpress.com/ elle

      HI FRIEND!!!

      <3

      • http://www.rationalcreature.com sweet starling

        Fancy running into you here! ;)

        (I am in the middle of writing you an email! Stay tuned!)

        • http://lgcmachine.wordpress.com/ elle

          YAAAAY I AM LAZY/CRAZY BUSY AND HAVEN’T HAD TIME TO REPLY TO YOUR LATEST LIFE EMAIL.

          I need to start keeping a list in my phone, because I do stuff all the time and am like, “OMG I have to remember to write about THIS and THAT and THOSE THINGS!”

          And then I go to write you and I’m like, “nothing new here, life is boring” because I HAVE THE MEMORY SPAN OF A GOLDFISH.

          • Rebekah

            This whole thing is adorable. I’m grinning.

    • http://unexpected-moments.blogspot.ca/ Sheryl

      Was I the only person who assumed that they meant the mean average when I read “average” cost?

      My lightbulb moment was realizing that the “average” was from readers of wedding websites and magazines because while duh, that makes sense, my brain didn’t put it together. So lots of weddings (most of which are likely smaller) left out of the equation. So many ways those results are skewed.

      • ElisabethJoanne

        I think CNN had crunched the $28,000 number before, so I knew it was a mean from the pricier wedding websites while I was planning. I appreciated Oremus providing the medians, though.

    • http://alifeworthwritingdown.blogspot.ca Juels

      This whole little thread here reminds me of me and my best friends. And we’re adorable and freaking amazing so I’m imagining you both are too. So cute :)

      • http://www.rationalcreature.com sweet starling

        Would you believe that Elle and I have not yet actually met?! We found each other during the first APW happy hour, and it turns out that she and her fiance live in the same suburb where my fiance lives, across the state from me. But we have been trading emails and are practically the same person and are hopefully going to be BFFs when I move at the end of the year. This is the power of APW!!

        • http://lgcmachine.wordpress.com/ elle

          Late to the game (story of my life), but srsly: TRUTH.

    • http://weehermione.blogspot.com Centauress

      I think I remember reading the book “One Perfect Day” and it dispelled the “average” myth too. (But, obviously, I’m sure that book reached a waaaaaaaaaay smaller audience, and that the audience it reached already suspected the “average” was off.)

  • Sara

    The cake comments remind me of a co-worker’s recent wedding. She took cake decorating in high school so she decorated a three tier styrofoam cake that they actually ‘sliced’ for the pictures. (it looked amazing. Like the perfect bakery display cake) Then they took it in the back and cut up an undecorated Costco cake they had bought for the actual dessert serving. The thing I liked about it was that her five siblings loved her styrofoam cake so much that two of them are using it with their wedding – they’re going to all write their names next to their slice. I have no clue what they’ll do with it long term, but it seems like a fun, weird tradition.

    • Emily

      I would be so nervous that I would try to slice it in the wrong place!

    • CW

      This has been my secret cake plan for the future since I was 22!

  • http://lgcmachine.wordpress.com/ elle

    I had the best bridal shower this past weekend! It was small (15 people including myself!) but absolutely wonderful. I had a glass of champagne and was good for the rest of the afternoon. I’ve never felt so enveloped by warmth and love by the women in my life as I have in these past few months, specifcally when related to my bridal shower or bachelorette party (which is still to come).

    It is an amazing feeling, and indeed, my co-workers said I came back from the weekend “glowing.” I’m effervescent, what can I say?!

    Now – 86 days away! – I’m fretting about having enough rooms in our hotel block to satisfy everyone. We only blocked 20 – at the advice of the hotel gent – and 9 are booked already, and only ONE of those is from our 10-member bridal party. So I sent out a frantic text telling the others to get their rears in gear, but even so…it wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world if the hotel is otherwise booked (which it seems like it is), it’s just that it’s in the middle of nowhere, and is the biggest hotel (that I’m aware of) outside of the closest city (which is about 15-20 minutes away) and it just seems even MORE inconvenient for people to not be able to stay where we’re staying, since it’s location is so clutch (it’s five minutes from the wedding venue).

    And it’s just so funny because I read all the APW posts about how guests are adults and can fend for themselves and I’ve even reinforced that idea several times – recently even! – to other people, but now that it’s my turn…well…they’re MY guests, and I want life to be as easy as possible for them, dammit!

    • Hannah

      I can relate. I decided to do a large house (sleeps 20+) for the wedding party and immediate family, and filling it up with other guests. It has been a big task to organize it all, but I think it will be worth it to have everyone in the same place.

  • Tess

    I had my first moment of non-WIC backlash from a co-worker recently and it was pretty hilarious. Our head of HR heard I was getting married in less than two months and was like “OHMYGOD are you so stressed?” After I politely said, a little, but not too bad, she asked what our colors were. I said “Um, we aren’t really having any….” her eyes bugged out and I swear she was concerned for my health. “Really? Are you sure?” Amazing that’s the first of that so far, there’s a lot to be said for not talking about your wedding to co-workers.

    • Ellen

      One of the first people I talked to after we got engaged literally said “Congratulations! What is your theme???????”

      She didn’t appreciate that my answer was “we’re getting married! That’s a theme, right?”

      Granted we are still a year plus out but I could care less about having any sort of a theme other than our love.

      • http://dungeons-and-flagons.com/ Heather L

        “Eating cake and drinking bubbly” isn’t a theme?

      • Jessica B

        OMG That is like, totally my theme too! Plus having fun, that is like, a sub theme.

        Any time someone asks me a question like this I want to reply in a valley girl voice and play up every bridal/bridezilla stereotype possible–especially if its a stranger. Generally I tamp down the sarcasm and try to reply genuinely because they are taking an interest in my life.

      • http://writemeg.com Megan

        I’ve definitely gotten the “theme” question many times, especially recently, and I love the looks on people’s faces when I say, “Books and science!” (Because that’s totally our theme. For a writer and a scientist, it’s jiving pretty well.)

        Maybe they were looking for “country chic” . . .

      • alyssa

        Ha! I love that question. I started telling people, “WEDDING IS A THEME” with angry eyes, but my fiance started telling people, “Dinosaur!” and that elicited a much better reaction :)

        • One More Sara

          I wish I had thought about the dinosaur answer sooner!!! When people ask me ridiculous questions, I like to give them equally ridiculous(ly detailed) answers. Putting this one in my back pocket for the next person who asks me what our wedding theme is. (Which, will probably be soon bc I’m going back to work at my summer camp again this summer!!! EEEE! But all the teenagers will probably ask the most WIC-y questions ever, bc you know. Theyre teenagers.)

        • Carolyn

          Um, there WERE dinosaurs at my wedding. So your coworkers (and mine) can shove it.

          • alyssa

            Okay now you HAVE to submit a wedding graduate post!

      • JessPeebs

        The florist that I did NOT use asked me what my theme was… and I struggled, and then said Joy. He looked at me like I had a third eye.

        The florist I did use just asked me what kind of flowers I liked. I liked that better. haha.

    • Hannah

      I’ve totally ran into the same thing. When I say my wedding colors are blue, people immediately want to know WHICH BLUE??. And my answer of multiple shades of blue doesn’t satisfy them at all.

      • http://thevanillabride@blogspot.com Sonarisa

        I know the feeling. I’m telling people “orange-y pinks and blue-y greens” and everyone thinks I’m crazy. I’m sure they’d be happier if I picked something like peach and mint, or peony and jade, but I really don’t want to have to worry about napkins matching table clothes… Stick with the blue!

    • ANOTHER MEG

      That was mine, too! The annoying lady in my office who hasn’t been there for long and doesn’t know me at all stops me as I walk past to ask about my colors. When I told her we don’t have colors, it’s more like patterns, or maybe ideas? and she balks. “For your wedding? I mean for the WEDDING!” as though I was the confused one in this situation.

      I’m just happy that’s really been the worst so far.

  • nikki

    This blog is such a breath of fresh air. I was worried I’d be alone in my non-traditional, thrifty, feminist, wedding planning. This blog makes this process much more bearable.

    • SamiSidewinder

      Isn’t it?! I have a serious crush on this community. Welcome.

  • Class of 1980

    So Meg,

    Which part of The Atlantic article did you find depressing as hell?

    • meg

      Ha. The “maybe we don’t care about sex anymore” part.

      • Class of 1980

        It’s only depressing if it’s not mutual. I wasn’t depressed because the author said it’s mutual between him and his wife … and they are happy.

        • Amy

          Agree. I liked the article. To me, it was more about the freedom to be okay wanting a little less sex. It’s not the usual message we get (HOW TO HAVE HOTTER SEX! HOW TO KEEP THE SPARK!) and that’s why I liked it.

  • http://fourfeeteightpaws.blogspot.com/ Rowan

    I stopped reading Slate awhile ago because I felt they ran too many rile everyone up articles – you know the “deciding not to have kids” ones that bring out the comment wars “you’re selfish for not having kids, my kids will be paying your social security,” “no, you’re selfish for having kids, my tax dollars give your kids an education.” It was really exhausting. BUT both the Wedding Guest Goodbyes and the Wedding Present Etiquette (not linked to by Meg but included in their wedding week) spoke to me. I agree that wedding presents are pretty outdated and felt a bit silly requesting them myself. I know why people do it (because they love you) but there is something true about the wealth distribution being unnecessary and unfair (single people never get it “paid back”).

    I’m not quite at 2 years since the wedding and I already think I have one friend who that was it for me. It is hard and sad and I’m having a difficult time coming to terms with it. I guess that is just life – people who are your friends in college and your twenties are not necessarily the ones you will be friends with for life – you grow apart. I have a general no maintenance rule – like if I am calling this friend out of guilt and obligation rather than a genuine desire to catch up, I let that person go. Sometimes its harder than others though.

  • The Family Jules

    I’m just feeling all sorts of grateful for APW this week. So many of the articles have just been very in tune to everything going on in my life right now, and I just love that this community is here.

    And that open vent thread about families? I felt like I was going to break out into a one woman gospel choir. I wrote out a long comment about my family, but the post didn’t go through (not APW’s fault. I was interning at an NGO and the firewall went up). But it was okay. Just typing out all of that frustration really helped me let some of it go. Also reading from everyone else that I wasn’t alone with a crazy family made me feel a bit better.

    If there are people on here who like Bollywood you should listen to this song-
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jQSrrisU2oI
    I’m in India right now and this song is all over the place and constantly stuck in my head.

    Happy Friday everyone!

    • Maria

      Oh! I’m not the only one planning a wedding from India? HI!!

      • The Family Jules

        Hi!! Unfortunately I’m not planning a wedding from India (I would absolutely love to though!). I’m visiting my adopted family for the summer (I was an exchange student to India a few years ago) and doing an internship. Are you planning a wedding in India?

  • Kara E

    So….it’s been over a year, and I’m still working (slowly!) on thank you notes (I think I “only” have 35 to go). And now I need to send baby gift thank yous. And we’re going to need to send some change of address/state/job/hey here’s our new baby cards to a lot of people sometime within the next month or two.

    I swear that I’m not ungrateful, I really truly am. However, I generally suck at the detail stuff, overplan what I want to say in the notes, and have trouble with following through on these details. Maybe I use it all up at work?

    Anyway, I’m feeling guilty about the thank you notes – and a (good) bit overwhelmed with everything that needs to happen. *sigh*

    • Remy

      Would a formula help? I know it’s not the 100% most genuine thing, but presumably your thanks is genuine, and at this point just getting them out is key.

      Dear _______,

      I realize this is awfully belated, but I hope you’ll understand. It was so nice to see you at our wedding / We missed you at the wedding, but felt so loved and supported when we got your card / Your help with our wedding was wonderful, and we deeply appreciate it. Here’s a picture to remember the occasion. [comment on what's happening in picture]

      Thank you so much for the ______! [Other half] and I just used it for _____, and it was simply smashing. _____[detail about why it is awesome]____. I know we’ll think of you whenever we ____________.

      I hope all is well with you [and family]. [Generic question about what's new with them / Congratulations or best wishes on new development you know about] We’re looking forward to seeing you [at holiday/event, whenever / extend casual invitation].

      Best / Love/ xoxo,
      Kara [and Other Half]

      Also, VISTAPRINT for announcements and the like. You can combine your NEW LIFE STUFF into one design if you like: picture of new baby and happy parents, along with new address. Would make a nice holiday card if most people can wait to get the specifics. (I assume the key players will have all of that in person or by email shortly after the fact.)

      • http://fourfeeteightpaws.blogspot.com/ Rowan

        I agree! Things went much faster when I realized each one didn’t have to be unique – the guests weren’t reading each others! The formula is great as long as it is authentic vs. canned.

        • Ellen

          Right- it can’t be canned.

          I once got a thank-you card that said (no joke):

          Thank you so much for the kitchen item. We will certainly use it. Your friendship means so much to us.

          Love, Adam and Eve

          SRSLY?!?!?!??!? People are ridiculous. I would have been less offended if I hadn’t gotten a note- or had gotten a genuine one a year later.

          • KC

            My guess on that is that whoever was recording gifts as they were opening things couldn’t guess or didn’t write down what exactly it was, and it couldn’t be reconstructed later.

            Although… we did receive an ice pick whose encasing was sufficiently complex that it took us a while to figure out how to open the case, and then figure out what it was (we were *pretty* sure, before opening, it was some sort of kitchen item, not a… um… bedroom item?)(and neither of us had prior experience with a kitchen ice pick). So there’s that, too.

          • A Single Sarah for certain values of single

            Per KC’s comment. My handheld citrus reamer had gotten male friends to ask, “You sure this isn’t a sex toy?”

          • Ellen

            Too late to edit, and can’t reply to others:

            It was Pyrex dishes. They damn well knew what they were supposed to be used for. Oh well.

            It is probably not coincidental that I haven’t seen them since…

          • KC

            Pyrex dishes should not be that confusing, no. That hypothesis is busted.

            (And ha re: the handheld citrus reamer! Also, ouch!)

        • Rebecca

          I have used nearly exactly that formula for every thank you I’ve written to anyone basically ever. I don’t think anyone finds them repetitive- they’re thank you notes! That’s what they’re supposed to say!

          Mostly people just want to know that their gift got there, that you like it, and that you’re thinking of them. Which makes me happy every time I get one, so I figure it makes other people happy too.

          • Caroline

            My theory on thank you notes is that it is better to send them than to fret about the perfect words. My basic formula is “dear so and so, thank you so much for the blank.. I really love it. One to two sentences about the gift or life or how nice it was to see them or how I’ll spend the money or I’m looking forward to seeing them. Thank you. Love, Caroline”

      • Kara E

        Ok, I’m printing this out. And thank you. Probably didn’t help that we had two receptions with over 300 wonderfully generous guests (and 2 interstate moves + being super sick in there).

        • http://cuvikingadventures.blogspot.com/ Jenny- Adventures Along the Way

          Here’s a vote of confidence for you! You can do it!

          We also were late in finishing ours, and I felt horrible about it, but finally, belatedly I got them all done and mailed and it felt fabulous. Nobody made any negative comments about them being late and at least one person even made a positive comment.

          I realized (somewhere along the way) that I felt so moved and overwhelmed with the love of our community that I didn’t really think I could find words to adequately express it. I am a perfectionist, and I procrastinated. But at some point, I realized that I will never be able to find the perfect words to express how much it all meant to us, but *some* words that try hard are better than no words at all (that also send the opposite message too).

          So like others have suggested, I created a base letter with sentences for various circumstances. Then I varied it and personalized it for each letter. And I also gave up on equal division of labor with my partner on this task. He HATES “paperwork.” So I settled for my husband editing my French (for the French ones) and writing his parents’ cards by hand. I wrote the rest, and he signed them. And it was the solution that worked for us to finish them…and then move on without that guilt hanging over me. So worth it.

          Good luck!

    • Emily

      Have you seen this pin? It might help. :)

      http://pinterest.com/pin/421579215088125759/

    • Jessica B

      So my secret talent is writing thank you notes. This is just a question I’ve thought about for awhile: Would you have paid someone to write the thank you notes? Perhaps write the ones to not-so-close family and friends and then help you write the ones to the folks who are more present in your life?

      I’ve been thinking about starting a side business doing this ever since I graduated from high school and my mom told me she got calls from her friends who were in tears because of my touching thank you notes.

      • Rebekah

        I just pictured you as a superhero with a cape that has a calligraphy pen on the back.

        • Jessica B

          Way to just give me the logo design idea!

          • Rebekah

            You could be The Mighty Stylus.

      • KE

        Ooh, I’m interested in answers to this question. I have this secret talent, too. I help friends out with their thank you wording a lot.

        • Jessica B

          Let’s start this business together and be an APW vendor ;)

          • KE

            Quarter-life crisis over, just found my life’s work.

        • Jessica B

          I’m signing up for calligraphy classes then! And call it ‘Young and Grateful’

          (your last comment doesn’t have a reply button =/)

          • KE

            That is an awesome name for a wedding thank you note business.

            Seriously, though, I really do hope you pursue this and we get to read a sponsor post about it!

      • Kara E

        Honestly, the ones that are DONE have had this reaction. Two of my aunts sent me thank yous for the thank yous (I have wonderful aunts). But…that just adds to the pressure. What I would really pay for is someone to sit with me and supervise the completion and stamp and address them. Maybe I should make my husband do this part – he did the ones for his family/friends, but it took him like 1/16 the time it takes me. Plus, there are FAR fewer people on that list!

        • Jessica B

          I get that. You have a lot of people on that list! Also, thank you notes for thank you notes make me smile and feel a little awkward–what if they want a thank you note acknowledging the thank you note sent in response to the original thank you note? It’s thank you inception.

          I believe you can power through it this week. Do 5 per day for the next week and you will be done in 7 days. Maybe just address and stamp all the envelopes first so when you’re done with a small batch you can just throw them in the mailbox on your way out of the house? When you’re done treat yourself to a cupcake or fancy coffee drink.

          • Kara E

            Thanks. I’ll report back next week. All I “have” to do this weekend is cleaning and the (not-here-yet) baby’s laundry, so surely I can get at least that 35 done!

      • Moe

        Oh God yes!!

        My thank you photo cards are going to arrive Monday and the thought of having to fill them all out feels like such a chore.

        I’m organized, I have the mailing list and the detailed list of what everyone did/gave/contributed. I just don’t want to handwrite them all.

        • Jessica B

          If you live in the Twin Cities I can help you out =)

    • JessPeebs

      I’m at 11 Months out without them done. I like writing them, because I really do love the people, but I have so many fires to put out on a daily basis (My laundry pile rivals Mt. Everest) that I just have problems getting to them… plus since the wedding, I’ve completed my Ph.D. proposal, Attempted (and failed…) my comprehensive exams, my best friend from high school got married (I was MOH), and lost so many family members: my Sister-in-Law (during childbirth), Grandmother (lung and bone cancer), and Favorite Uncle (suicide). One hell of a year. The thank you notes can be late. And if my family and friends don’t understand why the notes are late, then they aren’t very good family and friends.

  • Laura

    The Finnish baby box article is fascinating! I particularly love that receipt is tied to early prenatal care – genius. Also, a lightly padded box really kind of does seem like a great place to keep a baby while it’s sleeping, amiright? Except that my cat would almost definitely just assume the box was for her instead.

    • Brenda

      I want to move to Finland now just for the baby box.

    • One More Sara

      My parents couldn’t afford a crib at first when my older sister was born, so they literally pulled a drawer out of their dresser and lined it with blankets. GUESS WHAT? SHE LIVED. <3

    • http://cuvikingadventures.blogspot.com/ Jenny- Adventures Along the Way

      When that article came out, I sent it to my husband, and he suggested making a translucent screened lid to keep our cat out. (Our cat LOVES boxes.) I think if we had a kid, we would seriously consider actually doing this. If anyone questioned us, we could say that we have decided to go with the time-tested Finnish approach. I lived in Scandinavia for a while, so it might just satisfy people. :)

  • http://fourfeeteightpaws.blogspot.com/ Rowan

    Oh and can you please label the sex post (and links) as “not safe for work” if it isn’t? A couple of years ago you had me worried I was going to be flagged for looking at the big P (I’m too afraid to even type the word) and fired by some of the links you used. You actually got me twice because not long after you linked to it again in a separate post (that one was more of a “we run all kinds of content here” post). Either my company doesn’t screen for P (lucky for me) or my boss was too freaked out to have that conversation with me (he’s like a socially awkward uncle). I keep meaning to remember to read the dungeon story at home, but forgetting. Was it good?

    • http://snippetsof.blogspot.com SarahE

      You should probably put a sticky note on your forehead to remind you to read that one. Awesomely awesome.

    • meg

      Wait, WHAT? Are you saying we link to pictures of penises? Because I HOPE NOT.

      The dungeon story is just an interesting how we met article. It’s pretty safe for work.

      • Meghan

        Meg, I think she might mean porn – which, I guess, may also include penises! Either way, a well-placed NSFW warning might be good for those of us who browse on our breaks. :)

        • meg

          WAIT! We link to PORN??? That also seems problematic.

          Other then the occasional boudoir photo in a sponsored post, which we put after the jump and label, I don’t think we run any NSFW stuff. Unless by NSFW you include crying a lot.

          • KC

            If there’s a text filter that’s looking for specific words (or words in combination), the open threads on sex could definitely cause some alerts (and/or red faces on eavesdroppers, as some things are discussed with… frankness). I’d assume that photographically all is well on the APW site itself (with the possible exception of bra suggestions and any boudoir shots), but on this page there was just a discussion of pregnancy tests, dollar store lingerie, and how it might be reasonable, given the average tastefulness of some bachelorette parties, to think that the sheer penis number might warrant a pregnancy test… And now comments have the word “porn” and “bondage” in them as well, so if any of those terms are filtered for further review when encountered as text on a page, then we’re definitely in the bucket. Congratulations!

          • http://www.sarahhoppes.com SarahHoppes

            Was the P polyamory?

          • Rowan

            It was a couple of years ago and I think the title was “married sex is great!” or something. It had links to some sort of outside website which had some pretty explicit sex in it. I can’t remember exactly what the outside link was. I’ll have to go look it up tonight (once again reading at work).

      • Amy March

        Mmmmm, it’s a story about a sex dungeon. My office filter isn’t a hip feminist woman reading a great first time meeting story. It’s a magical robot thing with no feelings. Please, do consider a NSFW warning on the sexy posts!

  • Liz

    You know, I would be off the week someone threatens with dollar store wedding gifts.

    THANKS A LOT, IMMUNE SYSTEM.

    • Rebekah

      Oh good, Liz is here! I’ve been secretly waiting for your hairstyle updates. Please?

      • Liz

        Yes, ma’am! Here’s the most recent! http://instagram.com/p/Z_-sX0rzU3/

        • http://teastrumpets.wordpress.com/ kyley

          Yessss! Liz, that haircut looks insanely awesome.

        • http://turningtoward.blogspot.com Kara H.

          LOVE!

  • Lena

    Okay so hi. My sister’s unit is slated to go to Afghanistan this time next year, which might mean I’ll be married by this time next year because I refuse to get married without her there (I am pre-engaged).

    Alternatively, I won’t be married for at least another 19 months, because I refuse to get married without her there, but I’d rather get married without her there because something happened to her rather than because she’s just far away.

    She and I are the only two people who know about her impending deployment. I haven’t told my boyfriend yet because then we have to have two emotional conversations (this sucks + yay wedding?) and it’s my birthday this weekend and I just don’t want to do that.

    So, someone send me a drink with either white rum (not a mojito, I’m so tired of mojitos) or gin, because that’s what’s in my freezer.

    • http://snippetsof.blogspot.com SarahE

      Jamaican Sunday (I just discovered this): Rum, a few drops of honey, lime, and sparkling lemonade. YUM. I’m also a fan of rum and ginger ale.

      Gin: the classic gin and tonic, or one up it to a gimlet: basically just gin with a splash of lime. Gin and flavored seltzer water. Gin and grapefruit juice. But really, I’ll drink gin with just about anything. Bee’s Knees (i’ve been meaning to try): gin, honey and lemon

      Each cocktail recipe is a hug sent your way. My brother spent nine months in Iraq, and I was thankful every day that he had a desk job. I hope dearly that your sister stays safe.

      • Lena

        I do not like honey (despite liking virtually everything else with sugar in it…I just feel like it sticks to my ribs and suffocates me? It’s very disturbing) BUT gin and grapefruit juice I can get behind. Thank you, and I’m so glad your brother returned safely.

    • http://dungeons-and-flagons.com/ Heather L

      Have a daiquiri? Lime, Simple syrup, and white rum, over ice.

      Or for Gin-Tom Collins-Gin, Lemon, Sugar, seltzer in a tall glass over ice, garnish with a cherry if you’ve got one. You can use good sour mix instead of the lemon+sugar.

      • Lena

        Ohh I forgot about Tom Collins! I did those for my birthday last year so that would be a good throwback…thanks!

        • http://dungeons-and-flagons.com/ Heather L

          You’re welcome! Always happy to share drink recipes, I am.

    • LondonSarah

      I’m reaching for the gin. Would you like ice and a slice of cucumber in that?

    • Jessica B

      I’m so sorry that this scheduling is happening. Someone you love going overseas is already stressful enough, but wanting things to happen (like a wedding) before they leave just makes it even crazier. A friend of mine planned a wedding during our senior year of college because her fiance’s brother was in the same situation.

      There is an app where you can check off what you have in your house and it will tell you what kinds of drinks you can make from that. It’s a little dangerous.

      • Lena

        Thanks :) That app sounds amazing and exactly what I need except I never have anything in my house except whatever I need for dinner and, well, alcohol apparently. Do you know what it’s called at all? I’m terrible at searching the app store!

    • Kara E

      Gin + Tonic Water + a whole lot of crushed mint = my version of a G&T. Have one for me too. And good luck!!!

  • http://www.dmarried.com Blair

    I have absolutely no idea why this just popped into my head but thought I’d share in case anyone is looking for baby shower gift ideas. Did somebody say babies anywhere on the thread? so random.
    We did one of these for a friend this last year as a gift (double bonus points because the new mom was a rider) and it just resurfaced on the invitation to their sons 1 year-old birthday party. I mentioned it to a friend at my school, she did one too, and it was a hit.
    It’s a little more pricey than it looks…I think total cost for ours was about $75. Found everything at Target!

    http://www.instructables.com/id/How-to-Make-a-Diaper-Motorcycle-Baby-Shower-Show-S/

    • http://unexpected-moments.blogspot.ca/ Sheryl

      If I ever get pregnant can you please come to my baby shower?

  • LondonSarah

    OK, so here’s a non-wedding related question: PMT – what do you do or take that means you see yourself being being far too snippy, over-picky and take something far too personally BEFORE you have a go at your husband/partner about whatever inconsequential issue it is? It’s like my rudeness filter just turns itself off and I get angry before I even realise it’s happening. Dark chocolate helps (though it might just be a placebo), but I don’t have shares in Lindt so I’m not sure it’s a long term solution…

    • http://snippetsof.blogspot.com SarahE

      For me, it’s directions. I like to plan ahead in everything, but when I’m driving or biking, I like to have a picture in my head of what’s coming. When my partner gives directions, he usually only gives them one step at a time, right before I need it. The other day I asked him to lead the way home on our bikes, but after he crossed a street without warning, I started swearing.

      So, I’m not perfect, but what has helped me is apologizing and saying calmly why I was irritated, which slowly because stopping myself, even midsentence if possible, to calm my voice and speak rationally. And slowly my filter grows better to speak calmly the FIRST time, rather than having to apologize. It’s like any habit- it will take time and practice to overcome it, but by acknowledging my mistake, then stopping myself mid-rant, or cutting myself off, my brain is slowly building better response systems than the short fuse.

      • LondonSarah

        Hmm, yes, growing a new filter, that sounds like a good (and do-able) thing to try. Thanks.

      • Katy

        Omg my fiancé is HORRIBLE with directions! It drives me crazy! I consider myself pretty calm most of the time, but yeah I do sometimes lash out a bit there. Is there something different about the male brain that makes them incapable of reading directions properly?

        • http://snippetsof.blogspot.com SarahE

          Ha, I don’t know about that. My partner gives good directions (when giving them all at once) and can understand/relay directions just fine- I simply have a problem with timing. I like to know ahead of time what my route will look like so I’ll know when I can speed up, or when I have to be looking at street signs, or which lane I need to be in when I turn. It just takes a few reminders– if I’m being good, reminders at the beginning of the trip– that I’d prefer to get a sense of where we’re going, rather than “turn left” wait ten minutes “turn right” wait two minutes “merge here” It’s like suspenseful driving to me. And even worse when we’re biking, where I’m already more uncomfortable and more vulnerable on the road.

    • Kristen

      Go off by myself or read until I feel more in control. I also warn my husband when I feel it coming and apologize up front for being an asshole for the next few days. Lessens my guilt when I blow up big time and allows him to calmly remind me I might be feeling something strongly because of the hormones.

    • http://www.meanestlook.com Sara

      Oh lawd. I have been a bear myself this past week. It’s 90 degrees in our house. It’s 99 outside. Constant headache, a whiny 2 year-old and someone may get stabbed. Hormones, baby. Woo!

    • Emmers

      I always get snippy if I’m hungry, so I feel your dark chocolate need. Or I’ll have a meltdown over something dumb. I’m really trying to get better at noticing this (and actually bought some granola bars to keep in my purse in hopes of helping!), but it’s a work in progress.

  • http://writemeg.com Megan

    Ugh, crying at my desk regarding the “Let your parents invite their friends” article.

    During the initial OMG OUR GUEST LIST IS WAY TOO FREAKIN’ HUGE freak-out (we’ve all had them, right?), it was tempting to do an initial cut of my parents’ and grandparents’ friends. Between my side and my fiance’s group, that would easily be 25-30 people . . . and I thought, Yes! Smaller guest list! Saves me money (and good, because I’m gonna be broke)! Plus, it had the added benefit of not putting me in the awkward position to cut my own friends and coworkers. It seemed like the best solution.

    But then I began to think about the many wonderful points made in the story: that my parents have attended their friends’ children’s weddings, and how these events become celebrations of epic proportions — a welcome chance to celebrate my parents’ lives as well as my own.

    Because despite my insistence that this is our wedding, it’s not just our wedding.

    My parents’ buddies have been with them through births, deaths and everything in between. Heck, my dad’s best friend was with him when he had a heart attack at work — and was the one who dialed 911. To exclude them from such a happy day just felt . . . wrong.

    I’m not saying a big ol’ guest list full of people you don’t know all that well is for everyone, but it’s going to be for us. I’m looking forward to the photos of my mom and her bestie hugging just as much as the ones hugging my own.

    • http://www.dmarried.com Blair

      I didn’t make it past the first paragraph.
      ::sniff::

    • Kristen

      Even though I’m firmly in the camp of only invite who you and your partner want to the wedding, we had a few strangers at our wedding and they were honestly so genuinely sweet and appreciative about sharing our day (more than actual relatives in some cases) that they made a permanent mark of sweetness on my heart. There are only a few things I actually enjoyed about my wedding, and these folks were definitely one of them.

    • anon

      It’s so funny, because our struggle was the opposite.

      We were short on space and my parents wanted to cut their friends in favor of distant relatives, because the friends would understand, and the relatives might not. We’re talking not inviting people like my dad’s best friend from junior high school, who was the best man at my parents wedding and who was in the room (taking tasteful photos) when I was born — in order to invite the second cousin who used to comment on the size of my thighs when I was a teenager. I am not even exaggerating a little bit.

      Ultimately, I cut people from my list, in my peer group, to accommodate these family friends (hubs and I hosted a small pre-wedding dinner party to celebrate with the friends we couldn’t invite, and it was lovely). And you know what? Fat-shaming cousin didn’t come, and it meant SO MUCH to all of us to have those family friends there.

  • Kristen

    What would it take to get Meg and her crew to go Meta with this wonderful world they’ve created and start APracticalLife.com? I’ve been thinking of this for a while now and I’m in love with this idea. I’ll volunteer 10 hours a week of my time!

    • http://lgcmachine.wordpress.com/ elle

      I can volunteer another 10.

    • mira

      at least be sure you’ve nabbed the domain?

      • http://www.devabydefinition.com deva

        I would totally jump on this, too, when/if it happens. :-)

        ETA: I replied before seeing Meg’s comment, so I am eager to see what is coming :-)!!

    • meg

      You guys are so nice to us. So there is something HUGE happening behind the scenes on APW (more soon, but we’re having our asses handed to us work-wise) and then something like this is next on our (ambitious) list. I own a shit ton of domains (like 15, I’m a horder, it’s absurd), but I don’t think this is what we’re going with.

      PS I *really* want apw.com, but it’s being squatted on for $7,500, and, you know, I have to do other things with that kind of money.

      THOUGH. That might be a very cool kickstarter… just getting the domain…. hum.

      • http://lgcmachine.wordpress.com/ elle

        I have nothing insightful to contribute, beyond:

        YAY!!!

  • Emily

    Unrelated to anything, BUT I’m in my hometown of Houston right now, which is exciting, but I’ve had too many North Carolina summers because I’m wilting like a flower down here. So hot.

  • LondonSarah

    Oh, and for any cat lovers out there, have a look at this: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-22567526
    I watched the programme last night on iplayer (from the BBC, can you get that in the US?) with our (neighbour’s) cat on my lap. He found it rivetting. I’m not sure I’ve actually seen him watch TV before.

    Interestingly, the article about Finnish baby boxes was originally run on the BBC, whose Magazine section is great (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine/), they also ran an interesting article earlier in the week about why some same-sex couples are against marriage (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-22758434).

    I’m going to have to learn some html. How do you make these things just come up as links?!

    • A Single Sarah for certain values of single

      Use the pointy keys and a href is your friend.

    • Rebecca

      I just pop over to east side bride and copy the “fancy link” instructions in her sidebar. It’s not super complicated, but I never can remember…

    • Brenda

      There’s a good resource here.

      I tried to type it out right here but I couldn’t get it to show the code instead of just making a link!

  • ElisabethJoanne

    Did anyone look at the comments on the Slate wedding-costs article? Not awful, but mostly humble-bragging about how cheap the commenters’ weddings were (usually with no dates or thorough descriptions, making them useless for actual estimating purposes). It made me thankful to have APW as a forum that encourages cost-cutting, but discourages judging based on costs.

    • KE

      I have to say, sometimes I hate humble-bragging about cheap weddings as much as I hate the WIC. Maybe even more, because it’s so insidious. They’re both ways of attempting to dictate other people’s priorities, values, and personal decisions. Only a couple knows what a sane, practical wedding is for them.

      • Rachel

        “They’re both ways of attempting to dictate other people’s priorities, values, and personal decisions.” This perfectly sums up exactly what I hate about those types of comments. When people comment and say, “UGH, why do you care, it’s just a day?” I’m like, But…why do YOU care?! Because that form of not caring IS caring. It’s so common on “progressive” websites and it drives me crazy.

    • Laura C

      The ones that drive me nuts are the comments from people who got married like 40 years ago about how their weddings were so cheap etc etc, and it’s like, yeah, back when that was the standard. Don’t try to brag to me about how you didn’t do something that no one was doing at the time!

      • ElisabethJoanne

        One of my favorite APW posts (it actually may be a couple posts) is about Meg’s parents’ wedding, if put on today. It’s not just inflation; the goods and services that go into a wedding have increased in price faster than inflation – like higher education and healthcare. You wouldn’t know about this unless you were intimately involved in planning a wedding.

        My parents got married in the late 70s. My wedding last year was purposefully similar to theirs in terms of number of people, formality, etc. I think both weddings were fairly “standard” for our respective social circles. It wouldn’t surprise me if the price tag were 10x as much for my wedding as for my parents’, though I think inflation would only have doubled the price tag. (too lazy to google an inflation tracker)

        • One More Sara

          Is that a post or a section in the book (both?). If it is a post, maybe you guys could rerun it on the front page on your next day off (4th of July)? I know when I explained that to my mom it BLEW HER MIND (she kept telling me about how inexpensive her wedding was, and I was about to lose it, but instead I just pulled out my APW knowledge. #winning). But yeah. That post is worth its weight in gold. You know, if blog posts weigh anything.

          • meg

            It’s in the book. So people should buy it for their mama’s. It’s funny, because it was such simple math, but NPR wanted to talk to me about it… because… no one is talking about it, I guess.

        • KE

          I was lucky in that my parents had something insane like 600 people* at their wedding, so my 135 person wedding with a seated dinner and live band seemed very modest in comparison.

          *They literally invited the entire small town my dad was raised in and had dinner and dancing.

  • Definitely Anon

    I’m getting married in FIVE WEEKS!

    And my day started out with the news that my boss is in jail. So…there’s that.

    • LondonSarah

      Eh?!

  • Jashshea

    I have to ask. WHO exactly’d that mean cake comment? Hopefully it was a “meant to report, accidentally exactly’d” situation.

    • Kirsten

      And when I went to go look at it out of morbid curiosity, I noticed that there are now FIVE exactlys!

      • meg

        The angry bakers. They’re sending each other to the post.

        We took down that comment, but then put it back up because it was so awesome.

        • http://alifeworthwritingdown.blogspot.ca Juels

          The Angry Bakers sounds like a street gang.

          In the far distance, the sound of engines gradually becomes louder and louder. The APW community glances nervously at each other, could it be? A dust cloud slowly rolls over the nearest hill and, with a terrific roar, The Angry Bakers skid into the town square on their bikes. They dramatically whip off their chef hats and pull out their rolling pins as they step off their bikes. Their leader, Pillsbury, approaches threateningly. “We are here to destroy THE CAKE.”
          All of Team Practical rushes in and temporarily blinds the gang members with bucket loads of dollar store confetti. By the time the glitter settles, The Angry Bakers are tied to chairs and forced to listen as Meg reads them all the APW posts from the very beginning.
          Several days later, The Angry Bakers gratefully accept slices of THE CAKE, slap some APW bumper stickers on their bikes and everyone lives happily ever after.

          • Kate

            Bahahahaha

          • meg

            Just. That is all.

          • Meghan

            OMG Juels. I love it!

        • Hypothetical Sarah

          I really hope there’s an opposing gang of appreciative grocery store bakers out there.

          • http://acceptorchange.blogspot.com YetAnotherMegan

            The sad thing is, the appreciative grocery store bakers are probably too overworked to form a gang, so they just smile, nod, and keep baking.

  • Karen

    Thanks for sharing the cake comment with us. It shows what goes on behind the scenes to keep APW the fabulous place it is!

    In other news: My partner and I are finally engaged! Many things had to fall in place but we finally have a date planned for next spring. Yeah!

    • Hannah

      Wow! That’s exciting! Soak it in and enjoy it. My recommendation, get a few big things done (such as venue and photographer if you’re doing one) then sit back and relax until it gets way closer. Yay for long engagements!

      • Karen

        Thanks! The venue is set and we already have the general idea of how the ceremony and reception are going to flow. We scheduled it out that far so we can spend time with my partner’s father and stepmother afterwards and give people time to plan. I’m just happy as a clam knowing there’s a date. We exchanged rings in January 2012 as commitment rings. Now they’re engagement rings and in April 2014 they will be wedding rings (we’re into reusing!).

  • http://twitter.com/NoPants_McGee Christina McPants

    My wife’s birthday is today! We’re going out to fancy dinner! It was also staff appreciation day at work BOOZE CRUISE HAAAAY! And then they let us out an hour early, so I am getting things done in between games of solitaire blitz. (SOLITAIRE BLITZ, I USE YOU TO ESCAPE FROM EVERYTHING!!!!)

    • http://teastrumpets.wordpress.com/ kyley

      Oh, man, I have fallen down the Solitare Blitz rabbit hole more times than I can count. Candy Crush is my game addiction of choice at the moment.

  • Laura Lee

    I think this week (with only 2 weeks to go til the big day) I had my first bridal freakout over something not turning out right. We ordered custom Vans shoes for FH in April, and they take 5-7 weeks to get done so they just came in the mail 2 days ago. And they are Not. Right.

    At first I was all calm and rational, and “oh, they’re fine, it’s not that bad,” but the things are fugly. Basically, they have yellow parts and gray parts and all the yellow parts are supposed to be the exact same yellow, but they sure as hell aren’t. They are two different clashing shades of yellow. So I called customer service and had a very polite freakout to the girl on the other end. Something to the effect of “My wedding is in two weeks and the shoes are ugly and horrible and my wedding will be ruined if you can’t fix this did I mention my wedding is in two weeks, omg, help!”

    I had to email them a picture of the shoes and am waiting to hear back. And no, his shoes aren’t the most important thing by any means, but it’s one of the details I’m really excited about. The whole wedding party has yellow shoes. And finding them has been really challenging (thus the custom ones from FH). Oh, and we can’t get his pants hemmed until we have the shoes he’s going to wear.

  • http://twitter.com/NoPants_McGee Christina McPants

    My favorite trolling comment is still the flounce from Manya’s awesome paradigm of plenty post (http://apracticalwedding.com/2013/06/paradigm-of-plenty/#comment-186512), but that one is pretty awesome.

    • meg

      That’s my favorite comment in the history of TIME. I want to get a tote bag printed that says “Drama Club Narcissist,” because fair ENOUGH. I mean we all have flaws, and that’s the most hilarious description of mine that I’ve ever heard.

      Manya was like, “Oh, she was just at the wrong lunch table is all. She should NOT be sitting with the drama kids.”

    • http://acceptorchange.blogspot.com YetAnotherMegan

      I missed this one the first time, but just went back to it and wow. Responding to someone’s reply to you is discussion in it’s most basic form, yes?

    • http://prettypicturesbydanielle.tumblr.com/ Danielle

      Srsly, WTF is wrong with people?

      If you don’t like a blog, don’t f*ing read it! There are a million other blogs out there! No one is tying you to a chair and force-feeding you cake and APW blog posts (unless you are the Angry Bakers, see above).

  • Not Sarah

    Seattle ladies! We are meeting for happy hour next Friday the 21st at 6 pm at the Dilettante Mocha Cafe on Broadway in Capitol Hill! It’s on the southeast corner of the Broadway and Mercer intersection. So far we’re at 3 ladies and we’d love to see more ladies there!

    http://www.dilettante.com/

    • Not Sarah

      Feel free to email me at notsarah at comcast dot net if you’re interested in joining!

    • http://alifeworthwritingdown.blogspot.ca Juels

      Plan something for late August! Please?

      I live far away from any APWers but I will be in Seattle the last week of August.

  • http://unexpected-moments.blogspot.ca/ Sheryl

    I’ve been running this week on a wave between sleep-deprived grumps (my insomnia reared its ugly head) and absolutely elated. There’s a new baby in my extended family and he is the most precious little person I’ve ever met and I’m crazy in love with him already.

  • Hey anonny nonny

    Oh my god this is so ridiculous but I have to vent somewhere about what just happened to me at work because I feel awful and horrified about what someone might think of me.

    We had a work potluck lunch. I brought ginger cookies that I made. At the end of the potluck, I was cleaning up the conference room and there were a few stragglers still snacking. One of the managers from a different department said that my cookies were good, but he liked the oatmeal raisin cookies I had brought to work once better. I said, “Yeah, the ginger cookies aren’t for everybody.” Meaning like, not everyone likes ginger. Like oatmeal raisin cookies are a much more universal cookie in cookiedom. Anyway, then he said something along the lines of, “Oh I see how it is, like CERTAIN PEOPLE can’t appreciate the taste, ok ok.”

    Side note: I am white. He is Puerto Rican.

    Then, because I have no filter, and am not smart, and think he is joking I blurt, “Haha, yeah they’re white people cookies.” Which is something I would blurt to my (multi-cultural) group of friends and we would all laugh at, because seriously? White people cookies?
    At which point, the other guy with us (who is Mexican) does a “Oho!” and proceeds to laugh.
    But the first guy gets this look on his face that obviously means he’s offended, so I start apologizing immediately and said, Oh my god, I’m sorry, it was just a joke, I didn’t mean it like that, etc.
    He pretty much just nodded and said something like “I see how it is” wouldn’t listen to my apologies and said, “No need to apologize for who you are.”

    So now I feel AWFUL about my stupid comment which was just meant to be funny because I thought he was joking, and horribly ashamed now that one of my coworkers thinks I’m racist.

    Please tell me I’m just blowing this out of proportion? Or I guess just tell me that apparently I’m a latent racist that doesn’t know what comes out of her mouth sometimes.

    Happy Friday.
    *Headhitsdeskrepeatedly*

    • SARAH

      HAHA OMG, I’M SORRY, BUT I TOTALLY LAUGHED OUT LOUD WHEN I READ THIS. I WOULD HAVE DONE PROBABLY SOMETHING VERY SIMILAR AND OFFENDED SOMEONE. I ALWAYS HAVE TO WATCH MY MOUTH ABOUT THE WAY I JOKE BECAUSE A LOT OF PEOPLE DON’T GET IT.

    • Rebekah

      Isn’t that the worst when you’re just being yourself with your sense of humor and then someone totally misunderstands you?

      Ugh. I cringe inwardly so, so hard it’s like I’m doing sit ups.

      So no, try not to stress too much. Sometimes there are just going to be people who don’t get you. That doesn’t mean you’re wrong, and honestly, if it really bothers them, they will avoid you. Which might be better.

      And I’m going to assume you don’t say racist things at work, which means even if he tells this story to other people, they’ll be like, “What? I think you misunderstood. She doesn’t seem like that.”

      Also ginger is definitely not a flavor everyone loves. So you were right.

    • Brenda

      If you’ve got a good relationship with your boss, you might want to tell them what happened and explain, just in case the other manager says something to your boss or to HR, so they’re aware of what happened if it came up.

      As in, “hey, I think Other Manager took something I said the wrong way at the party and I just wanted to let you know…”

      Speaking from experience – I’ve got a terrible tendency to speak before I think sometimes, especially when I’m trying to be funny.

  • meg

    UPDATE! Someone is now trolling the cake post complaining that it is being moderated under the name “America.” Because we hurt AMERICA with that post, you guys. America.

    • Emily

      MEG, THINK OF THE CHILDREN!

    • KC

      Well, it looked like you took the red and blue balloons *off* the cake, making it predominately a white-with-a-bit-of-yellow-and-pink cake instead of a red-white-and-blue (with-a-bit-of-yellow-and-pink) cake. Clearly, not an action properly honoring the country. ;-)

      (actually, I’m guessing they’re implicitly objecting to the “lack of ‘freedom of speech’ to say whatever they like in your living space without being ejected” thing. A lot of people get confused about that one. Now, if the government is suppressing anti-inexpensive-cake-comments on websites, then I could see it being a political issue…)

      • KC

        Hm, actually, looking at the photos again, the balloons weren’t even red and blue. My bad. I’m kind of at a loss – I was theorizing that perhaps peonies are not native to the US, but actually they are… and you bought the cake from a US store (and, um, I assume the cake wasn’t imported)… maybe it’s un-American to try to reduce unnecessary costs and avoid excess commercialism? Unpatriotic to neglect to “improve the economy through reckless spending”? Or something?

        (in other words: I’d love to know their nickname logic, too…)

    • http://prettypicturesbydanielle.tumblr.com/ Danielle

      Freedom Cake?!

  • http://alifeworthwritingdown.blogspot.ca Juels

    Just had to take a break from reading comments to cuddle with my dog. My roommate is away with her dog so my poor guy is so lonely. Just wanders around the house making sad noises and being even more needy than usual. Cuddle breaks on our comfy chair help for a little while but having a 100 pound dog do his best to fit all of himself on my relatively small lap is getting a little old. Also, the cuddles don’t count unless I’m petting him continuously. Sigh…can’t wait until the weather clears up and I can take him to the park.

  • AnonForThis

    I don’t want to be the raincloud this afternoon – but I’m having a hard time with one of my bridesmaids. Long and complicated story is this: BM and I have been friends since age 12. BM is in the military and has spent the past year overseas. BM’s marriage (which I was a BM in) fell apart during this time. Now BM is engaged (!!) to a fellow solider she met overseas – they’re inseparable and madly in love. However, BM’s soldier is exhibiting some bananas behavior lately; he has her facebook and email passwords and apparently also has access to her cell phone and is asking everyone about her past, so BM has set up an alternate method of “safe” communication. He’s still overseas, she and I are both stateside but on opposite ends of the country.

    What do I do you guys?? I feel like her life has gone totally batshit over the past year and I don’t know how to help. I’m especially worried about her soldier’s behavior! Me and my MoH (also very close with BM) have her home address as well as her local police dept’s #, just in case. To be clear, I’m not super worried about her being physically harmed since they’re not on the same continent, but I wish I could help more.

    Has anyone else had a friend in a similar vortex of crazy?

    • Kate

      It could be the beginning signs of an abusive, controlling relationship, it could be that he has mental health issues that are just beginning to emerge (like schizophrenia, which can emerge later in life), or that his military service has caused mental health disturbances. You don’t have to be in combat or anywhere near the front lines to suffer. A Marine I once dated started suffering from hallucinations and intense paranoia following his SERE training. It was heart breaking to witness.

      Another possibility, though it sounds like things are far past this, is that he doesn’t understand healthy boundaries in relationships. If your BM hasn’t discussed this issue with him that could be a possibility. Sounds unlikely though given the scope of the situation.

      What can you do for BM?
      For one, understand the pressures and expectations put on military relationships vary greatly from those put on civilian relationships. There are a lot of expectations about settling down and having kids, and especially with deployments, it can feel impossible to find a “right” time to end a relationship. Encourage her to listen to her gut.

    • http://alifeworthwritingdown.blogspot.ca Juels

      Pretty much everything Kate said is right on the money. Military relationships are a lot different from civilian and that may have a lot to do with it. Not in a “that’s cool and totally normal way” but in a “think of possible triggers for his behaviour if this is a new thing” way. Also, maybe take a look at his past…has he done this before? Believe me, the people he works with will know. A few well-placed subtle questions by someone in the right position could reveal a lot of information.

      Just keep in mind that, at the end of the day, the best you can do is be a loving and supportive friend. She has to work out everything in her own time to make a decision she feels is best. Being there for her while she does that may be one of the only ways you can help.

  • http://turningtoward.blogspot.com Kara H.

    Yay Happy Hour!

    I’ve had a great day- one of my favorite friends is finally back in town, and we just spent most of the day taking a break from job hunting together and catching up. And this angry-bakers-business has me in stitches. Happy Friday everyone!

  • Samantha

    My wedding is in January. Been engaged since May. Bought my dress (sample, now hanging in my closet) only went to 2 stores and tried on maybe 15 dresses total? It was easy. E-mailing with 4 bridesmaids this week, 99.9% sure we picked their dresses. Easy. Went to Macy’s tried on my wedding shoes, came home ordered them online at a discount. Easy. I like how this is going so far. :)

    • Brenda

      This is the big secret about weddings I’ve learned – sometimes it doesn’t have to be that hard. Especially if your friends and family are relatively normal (and go read the dysfunctional families thread to make you feel very grateful if yours are!). It doesn’t have to be a big drama-filled thing like the media sometimes makes it out to be (and I think APW is pretty good at showing that as well as dealing with the drama when it happens).

      Mine is in three weeks, we started planning in January, and it’s been super easy. Mostly because our families are awesome and no one has got their knickers in a twist about anything we’re doing or not doing.

      Good luck! I hope it keeps going well :)

  • XO

    Ack ack ack we’re going to the courthouse in 7 days and having the real wedding in 9 days what am I doing reading APW there are a million other things I should be doing ack ack ack

    (Fiance is making me go to yoga with him tomorrow. Smart man.)

    • http://acceptorchange.blogspot.com YetAnotherMegan

      You’re here instead of doing the million other things because everyone needs a sanity break (says the girl who made her entire wedding website in the past 24 hours, including manually importing the guest list and doing a draft seating chart even though save the dates haven’t even gone out yet just to see how the program would work). Sanity breaks. Take them.

  • Louise

    This is unrelated to anything on here, but it’s what’s going on with me, and what I’d be talking about if I were out to happy hour with my real life friends… I am a teacher and my last day of school was yesterday. I started my career at this amazing school, with an incredible mentor, 3 years ago, and in 3 weeks I’m moving to India to work at our year-old sister school. It will be a wonderful adventure and I am so excited to take it on, but WOW was yesterday bittersweet. The kids made me sweet cards with wishes and thank yous. I hugged them all and tried to keep smiling. Two of them I have had for two years (I teach a multi-age classroom) because they needed consistency for either academic or social/emotional reasons, and damn, have they grown up in those two years. I told them they will be amazing 3rd graders. I smiled and cried. Once the kids were gone, my teaching partner/mentor cried. I kept crying. And smiling. I know it will be OK, but I am going to miss that place so, so much.

    Now that school’s out, I don’t have 18 kids keeping me busy everyday, and I actually have to face the reality of packing up my whole life and paring it down to fit the essentials into a suitcase… and mentally preparing to work at a brand new school where I will be one of the most experienced teachers… But I can also look back on the complete year and see how much I have grown as a teacher. So today I’m feeling a little bit, “what have I done!?” and a little bit, “I can do this!”

    And to make it slightly related, I will add, the fact that my husband and I got married last summer is what makes this all seem possible. He will make the whole thing easier, and he is incredibly supportive, to the tune of quitting his job and moving across the world with me so I can have this take advantage professional opportunity. In addition, marriage seems to have made me braver. I am not sure I feel totally comfortable with that, but there it is. Being on a team makes the world (and I do mean the whole world) seem a little more manageable.

    • A Single Sarah for certain values of single

      Good luck with the packing! So excited for your adventure!

    • http://acceptorchange.blogspot.com YetAnotherMegan

      This sounds like a wonderful adventure! I have a friend from college who is just wrapping up a year teaching in India through an AIF fellowship. Prior to that, her teaching experience was through TFA, but she has really enjoyed her time in India and done a lot of traveling as well as teaching. If you want me to try to get you in contact with her, message me through my blog.

    • Ali

      Good Luck! I will have my last day of school on Monday after teaching in Colombia for the past five years. I am moving to Washington DC in August to teach and have all the same feelings about going back to US schools!

      My only advice to you is that things will be different and be open to all those differences instead of focusing on how you don´t like things – focus on finding the things you do like in those differences. Of all the international teachers, I have seen come and go, the happiest ones are the ones who do that.

      Also let go of all your nice kitchen stuff, sheets, towels or only bring one of each thing!
      Good Luck!!!!

    • The Family Jules

      Oh where are in India? I have lived in India before and I’m back in India now for a short while so if you have any questions/concerns let me know! :-)

  • Pia

    I know I’m late – the perils of being an overseas reader. I’m so super proud of the first piece of writing I’ve ever done for anyone other than myself that was requested by one of my friends that I’m going to link to it right here: http://insanelysociable.blogspot.com.au/2013/06/feminism-c-word.html

    Also, I’m wondering if 9 months is too early to be sending out invitations to guests? The thing is our wedding is in a popular holiday spot and during school holidays so people may be needing to book places to and I want to give them lots of notice but not so much they forget about the whole thing before it even happens.
    Also just needing some wedding love because at the moment, it feels as if having a truly practical wedding is all a bit too hard.

    • Rosie

      Hi Pia, if you’re late I’m later! I think if you’re ready with the invites send them out, it’s one less thing to think about and I don’t think people will forget: they’ll write the date in the diary/calendar then put your invitation on the fridge/noticeboard/shoebox and get it out nearer the time. Like you say you don’t want people to get busy or things to get booked up. If most people going know someone else going they’ll be reminded by someone else even if they forget.

      And… yay! You’re getting married! You will have a lovely wedding :) There’s great advice on this site about how some things are important to you, and worth working on/fighting for, and some things it’s ok not to care about and just ignore, do the minimum or throw money at to go away.

      Let us know how you get on x

    • Quinners

      That’s what save-the-dates are for! :) You can do them fairly cheaply – even a little handwritten note saying the date and “formal invitation to follow” would be fine.

      Technically nine months is a bit early for a formal invitation. A lot can change in nine months, and you may find that eight weeks before the wedding you actually don’t want to invite some of the people who were on your initial list. Or you do want to invite several people you didn’t even know six months before.

      I think etiquette says that if you decide that you don’t want a particular person at your wedding, a save-the-date does not require you to send them an invitation and that person should not consider him/herself invited. Gives you some wiggle room, y’know?

      • Amy March

        No. If you send a save the date you must invite that person. Unless they’ve like committed a crime or something. The whole point of the save the date is so that they can start making plans to attend. You have flexibility in reverse though- if you didn’t send someone a save the date, you can still send them an invite later.

      • http://cuvikingadventures.blogspot.com/ Jenny- Adventures Along the Way

        Ah, I exactly the first part, but I think if someone gets a save-the-date they are supposed to be invited. So I would only send save-the-dates to people you know you want to invite. But I agree that save-the-dates are perfect for alerting people of the wedding date so they can think ahead and plan as necessary.

  • LT

    Jumping on this happy hour a bit late… I’m having trouble figuring how to handle my dad. My fiance and I got engaged a few months ago and to make a long story short, my dad does not approve these upcoming nuptials. My fiance is not Catholic (and my parents are devoutly Catholic and I was raised Catholic) which I would say is the biggest problem with why he’s not supportive of this marriage. I’m used to not having my dad’s support so that’s not really the issue. It’s more so that my future in-laws are very family oriented and they are really excited to meet my parents. I, however, am extremely stressed out about it. My dad has no filter and I am afraid that he will say things that will end up being insulting and disrespectful to my future in-laws. If it were up to me, I wouldn’t even have my dad meet them until the wedding day (my mom has already met them). I think I’m more stressed about this than the actual wedding planning! This has definitely been on my mind more so because this weekend is Father’s Day.

    Btw, this is my first time commenting but I’ve been lurking this site for quite some time. You guys got me through my pre-engagement period!

    • KEA1

      Are you on good enough terms with your future-in-laws that you could explain to them what you’ve said here? I would think they could be very understanding of a situation like this, and that they could maybe help you deal with some of the stress you’re feeling over this. Good luck!

    • http://acceptorchange.blogspot.com YetAnotherMegan

      I second the idea of giving your future in-laws a heads up. It doesn’t need to be overly detailed, but just explaining that religion is very important to your dad and he isn’t very comfortable with the fact that your fiance isn’t Catholic, so you’re hesitant to have them meet him. If you’re not comfortable having that conversation with your in-laws yourself, you can always have your fiance talk to them since they are his parents and he’d be better able to anticipate their reaction and assure them that it’s not the end of the world to you and (you intend to be happy even if your dad never supports it/hope your dad eventually comes around/whatever). Good luck!

  • Kayjayoh

    Question: is anyone else having problems posting comments from Chrome?

    I didn’t used to, but as of this weekend: two different computers, two different Internet set-ups, same result. I’m posting this from Firefox, and it seems to actually be posting. But most of my comments from Chrome (my preferred browser) just don’t show up anymore.

    • http://acceptorchange.blogspot.com YetAnotherMegan

      Super late reply, but I almost exclusively use chrome and haven’t had any problems. I hope everything straightens out for you!

    • Maddie

      Hey! We were actually just remarking behind that scenes that for some reasons your comments keep getting marked as spam. Not sure what’s going on there, but we’ve been trying to keep approving them as we see them. Sorry for the trouble!

      • http://irvingplace.net Kayjayoh

        Ok, good (for values of good) to know. In that case, I will stop trying to repost, since they are just in the moderation queue and you will end up with multi-posts. Thanks for checking into it.

  • Catcat

    I am way late to this party but also just got caught up on this cake nonsense. I would just like to add that we literally bought two (nice-looking but not omg wedding special) cakes from a bakery (german chocolate and tiramisu–the best, seriously), gave them to the caterer and said, “Put these out with dessert.” No cake toppers, no flowers, no monograms. Just cake. Guess what? Everyone ate the cake, everyone enjoyed the cake, and our wedding/marriage was not ruined. Imagine that!

  • Kristin

    Hi, I know I am REALLY late here (it being Saturday ‘n all) but I have to vent. I have been stalking this site for a while now (got sent here “accidentally” by a search engine) and I almost left ’cause, well, I’m not engaged yet and being on a wedding site seemed a bit–over-the-top (not the plan the wedding before the bf kinda girl).
    Since then, I have met the man and we moved in together a couple of months ago. He’s not for weddings, etc. so there we have it.
    What seriously is messed up: My parents came to visit me for the first time in forever (ok, I usually go home–it IS a 17 hour flight) and decided to REALLY jump the gun! The first evening my mom overheard me speaking to him in German (our relational language) about his parents and although I said I don’t call them Mom and Dad (freaky early for THAT) she immediately told my bf to call her Mom and her husband Dad (he’s not even my Dad–married after I was in my 30s!). Then they went behind my back to arrange a HUGE meet-the-parents after I had said I didn’t want it right now. Seriously! and they have NO FILTER! During the entire visit they ignored me (her husband said a grand total of 20 words to me the 2 days following the meet-the-parents including: “you may come downstairs now” in my own home!). The translating went well (the bf speaks fluent English, his family none at all). My bf said I was absolutely charming and attentive and handled the situation graciously. His comment was: don’t stoop to their level.
    Now the bf got a letter of thanks for them staying there and his giving his time and effort. Then an apology for my bad behavior and argumentative nature and hopes that he will be able to look past that as they have come to and find love with me nevertheless.
    It took me 4 hours to write the damn thank you notes to them for my birthday present. I am so drained and just cancelled our flight to the States for this November (to visit home with my bf).
    Tears.
    Is this normal behavior (timing)? Is this what I have to look forward to if/when there is an engagement?

    • Kristin

      omg sorry for the eternal post. tears and terror’ll do that to ya.
      figured here someone would be able to explain this to me.