APW Happy Hour!


APW Happy Hour! | A Practical Wedding

Well hello there, APW.

Just like that, it’s Friday afternoon! While the American contingent is eating hotdogs and enjoying temperatures of which we can only dream, let’s all head down to the virtual pub and talk about our week over a celebratory pint. Don’t worry, Americans, you’re invited to the pub too. Bring your hotdog. Have a pint. We’re all friends here! It’s not 1776! Let’s share this open thread together in the spirit of love and friendship between our two nations!

Thanks for having me, guys. It’s been a pleasure.

Kirsty x

Highlights of APW This Week

A traditional and secular (surprise, they’re not mutually exclusive) sample wedding ceremony.

Reclaiming Wife, Legally. Because Pride week may be over, but life goes on. Legally.

Kilts: they’re not just for Scottish people!

Speaking of Scottish people, we introduced APW UK and gave you a British Person’s Guide to American Weddings. Also, hats. Beautiful hats. You’re welcome.

GORGEOUS SHORT-HAIRED BRIDE ALERT.

Friendship isn’t all matching outfits and adorable surprise blog comments. What happens when your friends don’t like your partner?

Link roundup

I recently stumbled upon this BBC archive of programmes about weddings and marriage from the 1950s and 1960s and it’s fascinating to see how the big questions haven’t really changed much. Is marriage out of date? Why are modern couples rejecting traditional values? A white wedding and a honeymoon or a house deposit? Why is being a grown-up so haaaarrrrrrd? (Okay, that last one was just me.)

If you’re lacking ideas for your vows, or just looking for something sweet to write in a note to your beloved, the ever wonderful Stylist has compiled a list of the top 50 most romantic lines in literature. Alternatively, if you’re looking for a different kind of—ahem—inspiration, check out these sensational literary sex scenes.

What is it about weddings that makes people feel they have to be something other than their usual selves? This post on brides wearing glasses (with pictures! Lots of pictures!) is a welcome reminder that, actually, your glasses look very nice every day, and they’ll look very nice on your wedding day too. Plus, being able to see who you’re marrying is probably sensible, at least until after you’ve started on the fizzy.

While we’re on the subject of brides in glasses, am I allowed to ooh and aah over these amazing illustrated invitations? Because ooh, aah.

On a more serious note, this photograph of a conference in Saudi Arabia on the subject of women in society blew my mind.

Now, APW’s campaign with Pantene Beautiful Lengths is a subject very close to my heart. And, in case you were wondering, PBL accepts international donations. But if you’d like to get involved with a charity closer to home, Cancer Research UK offers helpful information and links for donating your hair in the UK. Wherever you’re planning to donate, consider joining the APW Facebook event to help us spread the word.

Wish you could make your own clothes, but have no idea where to start? Yeah, me too. This simple dress looks like it might be achievable, though, even for someone with my embarrassing lack of skills.

In unplugging news, doing nothing for two minutes is a lot harder than it sounds.

And finally, I’ve been enjoying this crowd-sourced blogging advice column on Rock n Roll Bride, especially the tip about getting offline and meeting people in person. If I’ve learned anything this week, it’s that the UK is absolutely hoaching with members of Team Practical. Real-life happy hour, anyone?

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  • CeeBeeUK

    Happy Weekend Everyone! So lesson learned, don’t go to the most expensive bridal shops in town. You’ll have a lovely time but you WILL fall in love with an £1800 dress (Stephanie Allin, I’m looking at you). Now in dress designer mode.

    UK APWers, a rec for a dresskmaker in Scotland?)

    • http://somethingshavehappened.blogspot.co.uk/ Siobhan

      I was going to say Lamesley Bridal but then remembered they are super expensive too – but have you checked out sample sales from the boutiques? My friend in Dundee got her dream dress at a sample sale and I cannot wait to see her in it. CAN NOT WAIT. Roll on the wedding pictures. :)

      • CeeBeeUK

        I went to Lamesley, that’s where I found my lovely, lovely dress! Sadly I’m a smidge too big for samples, it fit but I couldn’t quite breathe. The owner is lovely and I adored the dress.

        • http://somethingshavehappened.blogspot.co.uk/ Siobhan

          The owner IS SO LOVELY.

    • http://halfadreamaway.com julie

      No personal experience but have been noticing a lot of beautiful stuff from Flossy & Dossy in Glasgow. If I wasn’t getting married in Ireland, I’ve have been in there like a shot…

      • CeeBeeUk

        Ooh. Will definitely check it out!

    • http://asafemooring.blogspot.com/ Kirsty

      I’d like to humbly recommend Rowan Joy – she makes beautiful dresses (either to her own designs or a custom design) and is absolutely lovely to boot.

    • LondonSarah

      Ah, some of the Stephanie Allin dresses are so beautiful… lovely lovely.

      I’m afraid I can’t help with people in Scotland, although, you might try Etsy – not for a dress per se, but someone on there selling dresses they’ve made might also undertake bespoke work.

    • YS

      There’s a place called Freja Dressmakers in Edinburgh you could try or this lady who I’ve heard good things about – http://www.gemmasargent.com/. Nearly went to one of them to get adjustments made to mine and they were both very helpful on the phone/email.

      Lamesley Bridal really is lovely!

      • CeeBeeUk

        My venue also recommended them. Will give the a call.

  • ruth

    Hi, just wanted to let you know the two Stylist links – romance and sex quotes from literature – are both broken. Hope it can be fixed – I’m looking forward to reading them :)

    • http://asafemooring.blogspot.com/ Kirsty

      That’s so weird, they’re working for me – try visiting the Stylist home page and searching instead (it’s worth it, I promise).

      If anyone else has any problems, let me know!

      • JB

        the links worked for me :)

  • Tania

    Thanks for the brides-wear-glasses link! I’ve been having a dilemma about this. I wear pretty awesome glasses. Complete strangers have walked up to me and complimented me on their awesome-ness. But I’ve been wondering if fabulous eye-makeup, a birdcage veil AND awesome glasses will just be too much on the day. Not wearing glasses would mean not being able to see anything. My only other option would be to learn to wear contact lenses. But is this something I really want to be grappling with in the final three months of wedding prep?

    • http://somethingshavehappened.blogspot.co.uk/ Siobhan

      I don’t know if it helps but I wish I’d worn my glasses as due to some weird stuff with my eyes I can’t wear contact lenses anymore. I’d probably have gone with a different dress (and I loved my dress but I could easily have loved another) but I would have looked very much like me and like me one year on from our wedding.

      Also finding awesome glasses is the best. I’ve worn dark plastic frames for the last 8 years now and I realise (now the wedding is over) that they’ve kind of become part of my identity.

      You might not miss your glasses on the day, but I do miss mine in the photos now I look back. Also: I want to know more about these glasses – they sound great.

      • Tania

        I am scared of not recognising myself if I don’t wear them. I tried taking photos of myself the other day wearing the birdcage, without my glasses, and I just looked weird!!

        My glasses are Lafont… dark blue filigree frames with some 1960-ish tiger-print style along the top. How could I even be considering excluding them!

        • http://somethingshavehappened.blogspot.co.uk/ Siobhan

          Oh my goodness they sound amazing. Yes, how can you consieder not wearing them. I actually completely physically reacted to the description – they sound AMAZING.

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

        If I even wear a style of glasses other than my black, rectangular plastics I don’t feel like myself. Even my prescription sunglasses feel like I’m putting on another personality, so I couldn’t imagine not wearing them on my wedding day.

        As far as contacts go, I don’t mind them if I’m on the beach, or out boating (I’d rather not lose my glasses in a way I can’t rescue them) I hate wearing them to a party. Taking contacts out while tipsy is torture for me. Which also nixed them for the wedding day.

    • Sarah T

      Just wear your glasses (speaking as someone who was in the same predicament). If they’re awesome for strangers, they’re awesome for friends too. But maybe do a test run of the makeup so you know they aren’t competing with each other.

    • Kate

      I agree– wear the glasses. You will want to look and feel like yourself.

    • Lauren

      I wore my glasses. I love my glasses. I did have to turn down what -would- have been my ideal wedding makeup (think Ke$ha), but my glasses are what makes me me.

    • http://www.kindofamess.com Alyssa

      Glasses bride here! I say wear them. You’re going to have enough “This is not a normal thing I’m dealing with and I find it weird” things going on (like your fancy dress, lots of people paying attention to you, GETTING MARRIED) that you don’t want to worry about messing with damn contacts if you’re not used to it. At least that was my reasoning.
      Maybe check in with your partner? My husband had always known me in glasses, so he said to see me without them in wedding pictures would have made me not look like the me he knows…which was sweet. Sometimes his opinion is just enough of a tipping point that it helps me make decisions I already knew the answer to…

    • LMN

      Definitely keep the glasses! If you don’t usually wear contacts, why change for your wedding day? Have you tried on the full glasses/eye makeup/veil combo? I can see it going either way depending on the styling of all the different elements. I think you need to try it on all together to determine if it will be to busy (and maybe round up 1 or 2 very honest friends for a second opinion). If you like the end result, then go for it! I’m going with a fascinater-ish headband rather than a veil, but I’m not a personally a big fan of veils anyway. Now I just have to find some really fabulous frames at my next eye exam!

    • Kristen

      I wear contacts about 30% of the time and I especially wear them when I get dressed up or go out on the town. Therefore it felt completely natural and me to wear contacts for my wedding. That being said, if I’d worn glasses exclusively, I would have worn glasses for my wedding because I wanted to look like me. Some brides want the fantasy them (i.e. maybe you without glasses) but some want the reality them. Which one are you?

    • Susie

      Ah, the agony of this decision! I feel like myself with my glasses, having worn them everyday for 14 years, but I also want to have some pictures without. Is it crazy to do the ceremony in contacts, then pop them out and switch to glasses for the reception?

      I’m having a similar debate about my hair, which is naturally wavy/curly, but I straighten almost everyday because it’s such a pain to style. My fiance likes it straight, but it doesn’t really feel like me and I imagine this wavy full half-pinned back hair on my wedding day. But I’m hoping it doesn’t turn into a frizzy mess.

      • http://writemeg.com Megan

        As a very wavy/curly girl myself, I’m grappling with this decision too. Everyone says I don’t look like “me” with straight hair (I go natural every day, even for work), but my hair tends toward frizziness/craziness when I don’t do something with it. And I can’t imagine it frizzy on my wedding day. (THE HORROR.)

        I guess part of me does want to look like Fantasy Megan — the sophisticated, grown-up, blushing bride — for one day of her life . . . and not the loveable-but-crazy-haired version folks see every day. But the other part of me is like, Eh. This is me — getting married. Decisions!

        • http://landlockedlove.com Kelly

          I have super curly hair, too.

          I went through a phase where I straightened it every day for about two years in college. I sometimes do it in the winter now, because when it’s straight I don’t have to wash it every day and it is COLD here in Minnesota! Too cold for wet hair!

          I wear it almost exclusively curly, now, though, and wore it curly for my wedding this past September. Is there a deva-method salon near you? It’s a special method for cutting and styling curly hair that totally changed my life. If you’re interested in wearing your hair curly for your wedding, but want to make sure there’s not frizz or other craziness, I’d see if you can find a salon that specializes in curly hair. I felt gorgeous on my wedding day, and was so happy that I kept my hair natural. I felt like “me” in a way I don’t think I would have if my hair was straight.

          That said, if you want to rock a straight, sleek style on your wedding day, go for it!

          • kcaudad

            I also have wavy / curly hair. I wear it curly about 95% of the time and would have felt strange without it. I also like the way it looks down. People spend tons of money to have wavy curlys… so why not go with what you have!? I got married in Sept and there was a chance of rain… I went to my usual salon and stylist and had her style it curly. I washed and let it air dry as usual. Then, she went through and curled it with an iron that was around the same size as my natural curl (about 1 to 1 1/2 inch). Then, she pinned up a small section in the front and added a hair peice. Finally, she sprayed the crap out of it with hair spray! It didn’t go anywhere or fiz up and still looked soft and natural in the picutes. It was probably one of my best hair days!! I would suggest going to a stylist that you know and trust and having her/him do a trial run of the style you want. Good luck!

      • ElisabethJoanne

        Amy Vanderbilt actually recommends brides skip glasses for the ceremony and wear them to the reception. This was 1958, and her reasoning was the bride can do whatever makes her feel most beautiful for the ceremony, but she needs to be able to see her guests at the reception.

      • ElisabethJoanne

        On hair, I have curly hair that I hate dealing with. For my wedding, it was professionally styled, something I had never done before. I don’t LOVE the photos, but I don’t dislike my hairstyle, either. My husband loved it and was disappointed on our wedding night when I told him my hairstyle wouldn’t last through sleeping, let alone the flights from San Francisco to Rome.

    • https://twitter.com/SnippetsofSarah Sarah E

      Adding to the chorus of “Wear your glasses!”

      I’ve had glasses since the first grade. I wore contacts for about ten years, starting in middle school, but just in the past year, when I started staring at a computer for my full time job, they were just too uncomfortable. Then I quickly got un-used to them, and now can’t wear them at all. Fortunately, I got awesome awesome new frames with the most updated prescription two years ago, just before I lost insurance. I still wish I had my contacts, but my bright red frames fight me so well.

      Contacts, while I liked mine, are a pain to get used to. You have to work up to wearing them. You will inevitably lose one down the drain/outside/in the carpet. If you’re trying soft lenses, they rip. They can be frustrating, and I wouldn’t recommend trying them while also in the midst of wedding planning, especially when glasses are your thing. You’ll look beautiful!

    • Riah

      I’m glad to see the glasses v. contacts discussion pop up here as well. I too haven’t decided. It would be one thing if I’d never had contacts, but when I lived in America I had contacts for special occasions (auditions, performances, fancy events), and I didn’t start wearing glasses til five years ago so they’re not super ingrained into my self image. Plus I have 6 different pairs I wear regularly so it’s not like there’s one usual way my face looks.

      The main thing I worry about is having glasses that I think are fun now that I think look stupid down the line. My mom, who is definitely a glasses wearer, wore contacts for her wedding in 85, and all her other pictures from that era have (to my eye) incredibly silly looking glasses in them. So this makes me tend towards my simplest frames (which also match my wedding colors the best. Our colors are turquoise and yellow, and these are thin black plastic, with yellow as the inside color). Adding to my confliction is the fact that I recently attended another wedding, and I really wished I had contacts to wear to it, so as not to hide my pretty eye make up. And then i wound up pushing them up like sunglasses anyways, cuz they kept fogging up with all the dancing. So I went to the optometrist to get a contacts prescription and the kind I got are super comfy and my fiancé is getting used to me wearing them, so I think that’s what I’m leaning towards.

      • http://alifeworthwritingdown.blogspot.ca Juels

        Exactly. I wear glasses 99% of the time but I would definitely wear contacts as a bride because I feel fancier when I’m wearing my contacts and my eye makeup can show. Plus, my glasses would fall down all the time and sometimes I unknowingly do this nose wiggle to get them back up again that would not look awesome in pictures.

        • Ana

          I only got glasses when I turned 26 and I wear them JUST to see far away, so most people only see me in them when I’m driving/at the movies/shopping/at a presentation.

          4 years later, I got contacts for my wedding (in a week!). I got them 4 months before the ceremony so I could practice, and I elect to wear contacts about 30% of the time I would’ve used glasses. They’re great for road trips! Or rainy days! Or days when you just want to wear $5 sunglasses from Target! And they’ll be great on my wedding day too (I hope).

          • Riah

            I am so excited about being able to wear cheap sunglasses again!

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

          Oh, the nose wiggle. I am too familiar. My nose being too small to properly hoist most glasses is the reason I mostly wear contacts nowadays.

  • Ellen

    This just made my (American) Friday workday! Needless to say, I am pretty excited to have this thread to check in on throughout the day.

    My exciting news for the day is that today is my “unniversary”- T minus 1 year to the wedding! Eeeek!

    • Kate

      Right? I feel like I am the ONLY person in the office and then I was all, “Oh look! The British are having Happy Hour! Break out the Pimm’s…”

      Congrats on your unniversary– it goes fast!

      • http://thedilettantista.com The Dilettantista

        I’m working today too. Who are these people who are getting 4 day weekends? We certainly are not closed today.

      • http://www.wrightremedy.blogspot.com Addie

        I worked yesterday and today. These poor Brits have had to put up with me the last two days.

    • Debra

      Hoisting a pint (of coffee…sorry, guess that should be tea…) and cheering the happy hour. I’m working today too (from in Washington, DC) and have thoroughly enjoyed the APW UK takeover. It’s always great to look at wedding (and relationship) traditions through a different lens. And, oh my goodnes, a proper guide to hats! Huzzah! Thanks Kristy!

      (And Meg and team, this was a brilliant way to get some well-deserved vacation time.)

      • Grif

        Agreed, as a Canadian who had to work the last two days this UK invasion has been a lot of fun. Crossing my fingers for a Canadian invasion soon!!?! Thinking midnight Poutine bars and 15 ways to use maple syrup as a theme in your wedding…

        • Carly

          Poutine bars = the best idea ever. BEST. EVER.

        • Ellen

          This American wants a Poutine Bar SO BADLY. We still haven’t figured out food yet… maybe it could happen?!?!??!?

          • Grif

            Someone needs to make this happen and report back!

            A friend of mine in Montreal had a midnight Smoked Meat sandwich buffet…mmmmm so so good. Here in Ottawa I’ve also been debating having Beavertails at midnight (for those who haven’t had them, basically fried dough with cinnamon and sugar or nutella on them)

          • Jen

            if you do it, make sure that you get real cheese curds! the kind that squeak when you bite into them!! this is THE MOST IMPORTANT PART!!

        • http://alifeworthwritingdown.blogspot.ca Juels

          A poutine bar would be amazing!

          Also, I would totally love a Canadian invasion.

        • Carolyn

          Just chiming in as an expat living in Canada. So SO surprising on a daily basis how culturally different the two countries are. I’d be fascinated to read how this permeates the wedding culture.

    • http://landlockedlove.com Kelly

      I’m also at work today, and I’m the only person in my entire department to come in to the office today. It’s me and a sea of empty cubicles.

      • Catherine McK

        Unrelated: what a lovely & brave post on your blog Kelly!

        • http://landlockedlove.com Kelly

          Oh, thanks! I have recently come to the conclusion that keeping silent about the hard stuff isn’t always beneficial. It can be exhausting to pretend.

      • ElisabethJoanne

        This was me Monday, with the Bay Area Rapid Transit strike. Even though that’s not over for another few hours, somehow, strangely, my coworkers all came in this morning, for the first time this week.

      • Jessica B

        Also unrelated: Would you want to come to books & bars this month? My usuals aren’t going to be there, and I would love to be able to meet someone! The Amsterdam has a lovely mint leaf tea to drink, just saying.

        • http://landlockedlove.com Kelly

          Jessica, could you email me at kelly@landlockedlove.com with more details about this month’s books and bars? Date, time, book of the month? I’ve been meaning to go for ages. Depending on when it is, I’d love to go!

  • Samantha

    It’s been quite a week on top of quite a year. We moved to a new Chicago neighborhood last weekend. Now fiance’ can walk to work! We also started couples counseling to figure out how to deal with the fact that his family is awful to me. It was hard, but I think it’s going to be a hugely positive thing for us. We also decided to downsize the wedding. I wanted an intimate wedding, the man did not. Now he’s changed his mind and since we haven’t done invitations or basically anything official yet, our guest list shrank from 95 to 36 in the very best way. We will be having our immediate families, some extended family (only those we are close with), our bridal party + their dates (pretty much all of whom are our friends as well) and like 4 friends not in the bridal party. I’m delighted. I was not looking forward to saying vows in front of 100 people. I think looking forward to the wedding is sort of key so I’m glad he came around. Cheers!

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

      That all sounds so lovely!! So happy for you!

  • http://somethingshavehappened.blogspot.co.uk/ Siobhan

    Oh cocktails and an in real life happy hour sounds BRILLIANT. We could have a bunch! Yes please to that!

  • LondonSarah

    Oh Friday! And what a beautiful day. Welcome to summer, London!

    There’s a bottle of rosé in the fridge that is being opened at 17:01. Assuming I can write 1500 words by then… or perhaps even if I don’t!

    • http://www.theadvicist.com/ The Advicist

      I was going to say the exact same thing about some rose! We are alco-twins. Also got the BBQ food ready, and stopped on the WAY to work to get buns, because everyone knows you’ve got no hope after work on a day like this. Even at 8am it was the last pack!

      • LondonSarah

        Well done! I’m eating on my own tonight otherwise I’d be tempted to get our bbq out. It’s just that kind of day.

  • http://www.wrightremedy.blogspot.com Addie

    Happy Friday everyone! I hope you have a good one.

    Also, I would like to thank all you lovely UK ladies who let me crash your party yesterday and ask all kinds of ridiculous questions about hens and hats. It was nice to get answers to truly puzzling questions (for me at least).

    Also also, ManPerson and I started couples counseling this week even though there isn’t a thing wrong. Our therapist was pleased but a little surprised we made an appointment. Apparently it’s not common at all in her practice to go to a counselor for “relationship checkups.” I wonder how she’ll ever know how to guide us back to equilibrium (if we should ever have problems) if she’s never seen it before? But ManPerson is happy and I am happy and I guess that’s all that matters.

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

    Happy Hour as soon as I get to work? Yes, please!

    So, big things have happened the last couple of weeks. My mister accepted a new job, which meant moving for him, so last weekend I flew to his side of the state to help him with cleaning up the old place so he could turn in his keys, and while he was at work during the day I was able to take some time to explore the darling little town that’s within walking distance of the new place. And the big scary exciting thing is that it’s our new place, I’m on the lease and everything! Which makes moving to his side of the state to finally exist in the same zip code for the first time in four-and-a-half years finally feel real. We went to Ikea on the last day of my visit to buy a few things and I cannot tell you how happily overwhelmed I was to be standing there, discussing which kitchen furniture we liked best, knowing that it was going to be in our kitchen, instead of his kitchen or my kitchen.

    And! The mister and I met/had lunch with a fabulous APW lady (HI ELLE!!) and her fiance, and they are wonderful, wonderful people, just like I knew they would be, and moving is going to be that much easier knowing that there will be awesome people to hang out with.

    • Jenni

      So, for about the first half of this comment, I thought you had written “minister” and I was really impressed and yet confused about your strong relationship with your clergy …

      Clearly I need more coffee. YAY for moving in together!!

    • Breck

      This is exactly how it felt when I moved across the state for my dude and his new job: exciting and scary and surreal (including the same kind of Ikea trip!). Congrats on the big step!!

  • Jenni

    Happy Fourth and Friday all! After months of internal (and external, with my mother) debate … yesterday, I got bangs! I’m the kind of person who never ever does anything different with my hair, so I kind of love how different it looks! I don’t recognize myself in the mirror–my sister didn’t either! I don’t know if I’ll keep it up, but I’m excited to surprise my fiance today and see what he says.

    • fermi

      I got bangs earlier this year and it was the best thing ever. They definitely require more work to make them look good, but it’s so worth it.

      • Jenni

        Oh, yes! Any tips for getting them to behave? They’re still styled from the salon, but I lack my stylist’s skills …

        • fermi

          I always blow dry my bangs (sorry – fringe) out. I have two cowlicks so I blow dry one my right side to the left and my left side to the right using a small toothed comb. (if that makes sense). And I always spary a little hairspray as well. Look online for some tips too, that’s how I’ve learned!

    • Lauren

      Hair changes are so scary! I am debating what to do with my hair now that wedding times are done. I am kind of loving the long hair, but I think I need something new. Asymmetrical bob? Bangs? cRaZy CoLoRs? Congrats on taking the chop and living to tell the tale!

      • CinColorado

        My wedding was in May, and I’ve decided to cut my hair on National Donate Your Hair Day in September. It will be short, really short. I’ve never had long hair, and it took me a solid year to grow it out for the wedding. I’ll miss the long hair look, it kind of grew on me (sorry!), I’ll miss putting it up and all the styling options (Which I can actually do, thanks to the “How To” sections). I found it an easier decision to make if I committed to cutting it off for a good cause. Thanks, APW!

      • MOE

        I just sliced off about 6-inches, a very simple layered bob. I feel fantastic, especially since it’s summer in LA!

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

      Bangs! Congrats! I took a similar plunge a couple of years ago, so I know how nerve-wracking it can be to make such a drastic change! The good news is that it’s just hair, and if you decide to change your mind again, they’ll grow in. But I bet you look fab!

    • JB

      Ladies… It’s UK Happy Hour.. here we call it FRINGE :)

      • Jenni

        Ooooo really? I didn’t know that, cool!

        • LondonSarah

          It’s been like an old-school French (/or whichever language you learned) exchange here – we’ve been hanging out with you for a while now and you’ve been showing us how you do things, and now you’ve got to hang out with us for a couple of days, showing you around! Hats! Fringes!

          So, where next on the APW world tour? I quite fancy seeing how Japanese weddings work, anyone else?! I imagine acres of beautiful kimonos in amazing patterns…

          • https://twitter.com/SnippetsofSarah Sarah E

            APW World Tour.

            YES.

          • http://alifeworthwritingdown.blogspot.ca Juels

            CANADA. CANADA. CANADA.

            We just have so much to offer: weddings in giant igloos, carriages drawn by polar bears..you’ll all have to learn French though. We can only post in French.

            (I’m totally kidding. Please, if anyone didn’t realize I was joking, leave a comment and I am more than willing to educate on how Canadians are just nice, normal people.)

          • JEM

            *wants polar bear carriage*

  • Ell

    This week has been the one made of wedding melt down for me. Wedding is a week tomorrow and this week we found out our lovely reception venue in a barn on a organic farm never actually applied for necessary paperwork to the local council and has been shut down. So with a week to go it’s looking like a relocation to a marquee on a nearby field- somewhat discombobulating after feeling zen about having made the major decisions early on! And one of my best friends and bridesmaid pulled out at the last minute due to visa trouble so not in the calmest of places. However, on my way home from work to a cold beer and my super secret surprise hen do, so it’ll all be ok in the end right?

    • Catherine McK

      Oh my goodness! Not being in the calmest of places is perfectly reasonable. I’m sure it’s going to work out fabulously. Enjoy your beer and surprise hen(?)!

    • Samantha

      It will be all ok in the end! you are right about that. Drink up, calm down. You got this.

      • Ell

        Cold beer is being drunk in the garden, it’s amazing how that improves pretty much…well, everything. Hope everyone gets to enjoy the shockingly un-British genuine Summer sun. I’m leaving all of the tent wrangling to the other half, who after having no head for organisation has stepped up valiantly (possibly to save complete domestic melt down!). Thanks for the well-wishes :)

        • KB

          Wedding twin here (i.e., my wedding is also next weekend!) – SO many good thoughts to you right now, that sounds unbelievably and insanely stressful :-( Thank god you have another half who can step up – here’s hoping that you get a tent and carry on!!

    • Kara E

      That SUCKS. I can understand why you aren’t super calm. Hope you get there within the next week or so!

  • http://www.wrightremedy.blogspot.com Addie

    And because you guys are probably the only people who would remotely care: this is the message I got today from our payroll company when I opened up the company payroll account. Somehow this makes the overruling of DOMA super real for me. Actually changes! I may or may not have teared a little:

    “On June 26th, the U.S. Supreme Court decision ruled that parts of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) are unconstitutional. Since DOMA limited the definition of “marriage” and “spouse” under certain federal laws to only opposite-sex couples, same-sex couples that were legally married in states that recognize such marriages were subject to different legal protections and tax treatment of certain benefits.

    Specifically, the Court ruled that by seeking to injure same-sex spouses that state law seeks to protect, DOMA violates basic due process and equal protection principles applicable to the federal government. The ruling means that the federal government will be required to respect state same-sex marriages and accord those marriages the same benefits and obligations of opposite-sex marriages.

    For detailed information on how the DOMA ruling may affect your organization, please visit http://www.adp.com/regulatorynews. By subscribing to ADP’s Eye on Washington email alerts on this webpage, you will receive regulatory updates from ADP including employer implications, as soon as information becomes available.
    ADP® has begun assessing the impact of the ruling on federal laws, which include Internal Revenue Code (IRC), Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA) and the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). The impact of the ruling may be very broad and affect payroll, HR and employee benefits systems, laws and regulations. ADP will provide further communication as the various federal and state regulatory authorities issue revised guidance.”

  • Meredith

    Living on the East Coast, I’m liking this Happy Hour thread at the start of my workday. Hopefully it sufficiently distracts me and the hours pass quickly.

    I finally got my raise (9%!) and promotion. It’s been a bit of an ordeal as I work for a LARGE company and these things take so much time to get sorted out and become official. But it happened. Finally. And they fast tracked it for me (all other site promotions are effective 01 August) making it retroactively effective on 01 July because….

    2 weeks ago I gave notice! (and they still gave me the promotion and raise!). My last day of work is in exactly 4 weeks (with a vacation week in there too, so only 15 working days). Then 4 weeks after that I board a plane and am off to New Zealand and a round the world trip.

    Still terrifying that this is really happening. But totally incredible, too.

    • Ellen

      Exciting stuff!!! Congratulations! Funny how it works out with promotions and leaving. My last job I got a promotion and two weeks later gave my notice. I wish I’d been bold enough to head off to New Zealand though to kick off a world trip!

    • http://rambling-scientist.blogspot.co.uk/ Sarah

      Exciting! How long will you be traveling for? The boy and I traveled (mostly in China and southeast Asia) for 3 months at the end of last year. It was amazing.

  • Laura

    Just wanted to pop by and say hello – I was married 2 months ago and APW still pops up on my Feedly; I’ve mostly been skimming over the wedding-related content lately, but I’ve read the last couple of days’ British Takeover posts intently and have really enjoyed them. I only wish it had happened a few months (or more) ago, but I wanted to say thank you for some interesting and entertaining reads! Cheers! x

    • http://asafemooring.blogspot.com/ Kirsty

      Thanks Laura, glad you enjoyed it :) and congratulations on your wedding!

  • Emma

    Hi everyone, happy Friday!

    I’m joining in with Happy Hour for the first time, from my office here in England :) I’ve enjoyed the British takeover and really love your writing, Kirsty! I hope there will be lots more posts to come.

    How has everyone’s week been? Mine’s been eventful! I:
    - Had a brilliant hen party :D
    - Dragged my man to a dance class in an attempt to get the ball rolling for our first dance (which isn’t the shuffling kind). I enjoyed it but sadly he didn’t! So we’re still a bit stuck on that one…
    - Sighed with relief when my wedding shoes arrived – they fit well, they’re comfy and look lovely. Phew! :)
    - Hit the “one month to go” mark – YIKES!
    - Had a make up trial and wasn’t convinced :/
    - Tried to comfort my sister after her second bridesmaid dress fitting, as our mum was mean (AGAIN) about her having put on weight :(

    So, lots going on, some good and some not so good. This weekend I have my second wedding dress fitting (without mum, thankfully) and lots of other stuff to do! I hope I’ll be able to enjoy the lovely sunshine at some point…

    • http://asafemooring.blogspot.com/ Kirsty

      Thanks Emma! Enjoy your dress fitting (and the sunshine).

  • Kristen

    Found out this week I’ve got to take pills to try and get the old babyworks clanging along. It was the part about how I should be pregnant in 2 months that freaked me out. Even though we’ve been trying for 10 months, for some reason being told it was probably imminent scared the beejesus outta me.

    If I hadn’t already read about a hundred other ladies who’ve had similar warring feelings about wanting a child and at the same time being terrified of it, here at APW, I might have convinced myself I wasn’t ready to have a kid. Thanks APW for existing and for helping keep me sane.

  • MOE

    Today we celebrate 11 months of marriage. (counting from our elopement in Las Vegas last summer.) Financially speaking, we are the marriage that could not/should not have happened but did. We began with nothing and somehow managed to begin a life together.

    Tonight’s celebration will include pizza and beer!

    • Emma

      Aw, congrats! x

  • Kelly

    On Wednesday I found myself crying under my desk after sending a very passive aggressive email to my mother about flowers for my wedding. (Dahlias in my bouquet? How did you not know I hate dahlias even though we have never discussed them? Clearly this indicates that you don’t want me to ever have anything the way I want and you’re taking over my wedding.) Today I am in much higher spirits, and looking forward to having an adult conversation about dahlias when she comes over for brunch tomorrow. My wedding is two months away and I’m starting to lose my mind!

    • LondonSarah

      Hang in there. Sending hugs.

    • Samantha

      Don’t you just love how a little bit of perspective can make something go from “the worst thing ever” to “not that big of a deal”? I was crying last Friday because I sold some shoes on e-bay and the lady who bought them was giving me crap about nothing and threatening to report me to e-bay even though I did nothing wrong. Telling my friend about it the next day, the sobbing seemed a bit ridiculous… ha!

  • Copper

    We booked our honeymoon yesterday! 3 days each in Amsterdam, Bruges, and Paris. I’m waiting to hear back from the B&B we want to stay at in Bruges, but it’s the part I’m most excited about, it looks so amazing.

    In not exactly news but something I thought would amuse you ladies as much as it amuses me, I saw a friend on facebook post a pic of a huge ring her bf got her, worn on her left ring finger. It doesn’t sound like it’s an engagement ring, but the level of utter bewilderment in the comments that ensued was a little hilarious. I’m all for bucking trends, etc. but it seems silly to ignore that everyone will think of it a certain way. Or maybe that’s exactly the reaction she was looking for?

    • Jenn

      I love Bruges!! Beautiful city, you will love it. Definitely go to the frites museum, I’m not even joking, it’s a bit strange (read awesome) and you get chips (frites) at the end, mmm. Also the brewery there, De Halve Moon, is great – go there too! It has awesome beer, and it’s only sold locally, very cool. Have fun!!!

    • https://twitter.com/SnippetsofSarah Sarah E

      Your honeymoon sounds ideal. Hope you have fun!

    • LACEY

      We booked OUR honeymoon last week, too! 8 days in Ireland. Yay, honeymoons! For some reason, FH booking the honeymoon made this all real, even more than the ring and the venue and all that. Like, THIS IS HAPPENING and I know it because we’re going on a trip! And hey, the tickets are nonrefundable, so I guess that really is our wedding date!

  • Laura G

    PROUD SPEC-WEARING BRIDE-TO-BE HERE! I have been searching far and wide for more info on this subject. Should have known I’d see it on APW. Thanks to our UK friends for getting this conversation started. Love the idea of falsies and adore the thought of a good excuse to buy a new pair! Hey APW team, can we see more on this subject? Pretty please??

    • Laura G

      P.S., I am American, and I did not eat hot dogs yesterday. But we did watch baseball and fireworks. Just wanted to clear that up. :)

  • http://www.mylifeasherbst.wordpress.com AutumnE

    Happy our when I actually have happy hour!!! WOOHOOOOOO!

    Also…. I was offered a job!!!!!!! The perfect job for once my grad school starts! Ten hours a week at (for my american sensibilities) an astounding 12.50 euro an hour!

    It will pay for books, transit and coffee!!! What else do I need!?

    Three cheers for APW UK! I wish I was British!

    • Brenda

      Congratulations!!!

  • http://www.katemuehe.com/blog Kate

    Today we are exactly 3 months from our wedding and I have noticed a subtle but perceptible ‘sea change’ in my mood about it. For a very long time, I was waiting for the other shoe to drop, so to speak. For that moment when wedding planning stopped being fun and started being the terrible nightmare that it is often made out to be.

    I thought for sure it would happen at 6 months out. But then it didn’t.

    ‘By 3 months out, this ish is going to be bananas,’ I told myself.

    But it’s not. And the change in mood has only been that now, in addition to being 12 out of 10 excited for our wedding day, I am also at least a 9 out of 10 emotional about EVERYTHING wedding related.

    Sent invites: cried happy tears at the street corner mailbox.
    Had my first dress fitting: cried in laughter as my seamstress and I talked about how we had to fix the top from “porn star sized boobies” to just “regular Midwestern girl boobies.”
    Starting getting RSVPs with notes on them (we made them somewhat interactive by asking them what they were looking forward to, a song that got them dancing, and then a note to us): crying and re-reading and re-reading and crying every. single. postcard.
    Listen to piano versions of potential ceremony songs: weep uncontrollably at my desk over lunch hour in some sort of giddy haze.

    I am happy I am not crazy stressed, but I don’t know if I can do 92 more days of this kind of emotional either… lordy.

    • Tania

      Wedding day snap! We’re exactly 3 months away today as well! I love that people are rsvp-ing to our invitations… that people I love will actually be there on the day! Yay!

    • Meghan

      Kate and Tania – fist-bump for 3 months out! Me too! I’m very pleased to say I’m experiencing a similar phenomenon as Kate…despite some big twists and turns, I feel like I’m handling it well and enjoying the process to boot. :) Who knew!

    • http://writemeg.com Megan

      My sister is getting married in exactly 85 days (weekend before you? I’m bad at math . . .), and we’ve been delighted by all the personal notes that have come in with her RSVPs! One lovely aunt actually wrote a letter on the back with well wishes, stickers and encouragement. I’m taking notes as I’m usually the “fill in the name line, check ‘accepts with pleasure’” type. So sweet and thoughtful!

      • http://www.katemuehe.com/blog Kate

        Leaving a space where we asked for a note (or drawing) is hands down the best decision we have made in wedding planning. I love all the other choices we have made, but there is nothing personal about centerpieces. These little notes, some so loving and some so funny, are the sort of love we want to be surrounded by as we head into our marriage.

    • Katherine

      Kate, I love the idea of interactive RSVP’s. We put a line on ours for people to list songs that would get them on the dance floor, but it didn’t occur to me to ask what they were looking forward to or to write a note back to us. Sounds like you’ll get some really memorable/meaningful/hilarious responses, depending on the person :-) Enjoy your last 3 months…we’re still a year out, so awhile to go for us. Can’t stand the waiting right now!

  • MarieKD

    I successfully defended my dissertation last week and I am officially done with graduate school! Also, thank you APW UK for posting such great stuff yesterday and today, I am fully intending to find a fabulous hat to wear to my cousin’s wedding this fall!

    • http://landlockedlove.com Kelly

      Congratulations!

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

      Whooo, congrats!

    • CeeBeeUk

      Congrats! That’s awesome!

  • Brenda

    My wedding is on Sunday, my family and friends have all arrived and I’ve spend the week doing tourist things in London, and it’s shaping up to be the nicest weekend of the summer, weatherwise.

    I’m happy!

    • Jenn

      Lucky! Yes, you couldn’t ask for nicer weather, surprise British summer – who knew?!

    • LondonSarah

      It’s so cool to spend some time where you live doing the touristy things – there is shamefully so much in London that I haven’t seen. It is a big city though. And I did stop as I walked past Westminster Abbey this afternoon , it was too much to pretend it was an ordinary building and just walk past.

      Wishing you a beautiful, love-filled day on Sunday (a note from my wedding day – stay hydrated – I find it too easy to fall into a huge headache given too much sun and a little bit of alcohol).

  • Jenn

    Change of topic – but important to the British contingent. TENNIS. WIMBLEDON. Anyone watching the Murray match tonight??? Hope it’s not as tense as the last match.

    • LondonSarah

      Yes!!! Crossing my fingers for him already… BBC Sport reckons it’ll start in 10…

  • KB

    My wedding is next Saturday and I’m vacillating between zen and I’m-going-to-kill-everyone. Why does it feel like you have your timeline down and you’re chugging along nicely and checking off all the boxes and then one phone call from your friends and family can just chuck it all out the window? I feel like I should have emailed EVERYONE the to-do list so that they can see, yes I have plans for X, Y, and Z, these are the things that need to be done by THIS date (so please don’t offer to help to ease my stress, take on a project, and then leave it to the last second because THAT does not help my stress!!), and just follow the plan! Sheesh!

    • Meghan

      Still 3 months out, but I feel ya. Sometimes it’s like 2 steps forward, one step back. I’m rooting for you girl!

    • Jen

      I just want to say that you totally CAN send everyone the to-do list!! my wonderful friend Nicole printed out itineraries for every single person that had any kind of task on the wedding day or part in the ceremony. Did some people (especially the groomsmen!) think she was a bit crazy and over the top? Absolutely! But others (like me!) totally appreciated this gesture, and in her words “it took an enormous weight off my shoulders. everyone knew where they had to be and what they had to be doing at what time, and at that point it was all on them – I didn’t have to worry about it anymore!” For me, it was great to see how everything fit together (I had to be there to receive the flowers and make sure that everyone got what they were supposed to get…so it was helpful to see what time the groomsmen were going to be arriving at the ceremony site so that I could track them down and get them their boutonnieres, for example…), and certain people who are better at following directions and schedules could keep everyone else in line too!

      Also, from my wedding experience, I asked 2 of my bridesmaids a long time before the wedding if they wanted to help me with crafty stuff the day before the wedding (we were all going to be together, staying in the same room, at a place 2hrs away from home) and we basically just got shit done the whole day (went and picked up flowers, got coffees, got extra flowers, went back to our room, made all the bouquets, poured homemade caramel into little jars, got tags ready and then attached tags to said jars…etc, etc). The other stuff (designing and printing any paper goods, taking care of invitations, etc) was all stuff that I WANTED to do on my own…so I did! And it was awesome :) No need to have others take on projects if that is what will stress you out (there is NO WAY I was letting someone else take on certain things…am I a bit of a perfectionist? definitely. but do I love doing crafty things and the sense of satisfaction at the end, and do I have a very specific idea of what I want the finished product to look like? absolutely!) Do whatever makes sense to you, and whatever will keep you the most SANE! :) Sending you lots of love and virtual fist bumps!!

  • Charis

    I’ve loved a little bit of the UK invading the US APW style, it’s been a lovely two days.

    And perfect timing since today is officially one year away from the big day!!!

    And this week we have finally booked and put deposits down on our venues.
    We’re having our ceremony in the courtyard of a Victorian community centre in my home town then it’s on to the pub down the road from my parent’s house. It’s all going to be very cheap but cheerful but I’m excited (and very, very terrified haha).

    To be honest, APW has really helped me come to terms with not being able to afford the SMP style wedding I had stuck in my bridal brain.

    So ta, everyone!

    • Ellen

      Happy T minus 1 year, date twin! I am right there with you on APW keeping my sanity in check.

    • Meghan

      Charis, I just have to say – your wedding sounds AMAZING. If it makes you feel better about it, just know that there are brides across the pond who would kill to have a wedding down the road from their parents’ house, in the courtyard of a Victorian building culminating at a pub!!

      • Charis

        I’m feeling ok about it actually, this version means everyone we love can be there which is the most important thing for us.
        I’m so glad some stateside people love my very British shindig as well lol, when I love vineyard and ranch style weddings so much!

  • Meghan

    Helloooo, happy hour! So glad to see some stuff already here when I got into work this morning. :)

    Kirsty, thanks for the great APW UK content! It was refreshing and fun to read – plus, that baby in the kilt. Seriously made my morning. (Beautiful wedding too, of course!)

    This has been a challenging week for me wedding-planning-wise. I had to do a very hard thing and ask one of my bridesmaids, one of my oldest friends, to step down from the title. It was a mutually agreed-upon best solution for the issues we were having – she lives across the country and is struggling with some very big and scary health problems, so we both felt it was best to take the pressure off both of us and allow her to focus all positive energy she can muster on herself and her health. Even though it was so amiable and actually a big relief to both of us, it was still painful to do. I am very sad to think she won’t be up there next to me on the big day the way I’ve been picturing it since we were both 12 years old. I know she’s really bummed to think she is ‘letting me down’ somehow – even though she’s not.

    However, it led to a really positive and special outcome. In rethinking my bridal party, I was able to overcome some of the anxiety and fears I’d had about bucking the WIC eleven months ago when I started planning, and ask my two brothers to stand up with me at the ceremony! It only makes sense – if they were sisters they’d be up there no questions asked, so why not have them? Luckily they had no such anxiety and immediately, joyfully agreed.

    In a nutshell, I had a few really hard days of stress and sadness, but it was all made better by the fact that despite the hard times and changes I felt so very supported by my friend (ex-bridesmaid) and my brothers.

    • http://writemeg.com Megan

      Huge kudos for having such a brave conversation, Meghan. I can only imagine how tough that was to do, but it sounds like it was the best decision for both of you.

      Choosing a bridal party can be difficult, especially with all these WIC-powered stereotypes in our heads. I knew I would never be a bride with seven smiling sorority sisters in matching blush dresses flanking her (not that there’s anything at all wrong with that! I’m just an introvert. And nerdy. Plus, I commuted to college. Heh). I asked my sister to stand as my matron of honor and my fiance’s cousin, who has become a friend, to be my bridesmaid. As my guy and I are both so close to our families, it felt like the right decision.

      • Meghan

        Megan – thank you! It ultimately was for the best, but hard to do.

        Much like you, I’ll just have two ladies in my party now – my MoH is my childhood BFF and the other female Team Bride member is a cousin. Of course, now I’ll get my brothers too!

        Interesting side note though – my grandmother, whose gown I’m wearing, only had one bridesmaid (her sister) when she got married in 1951. She is still happy with that all these years later, so it helped alleviate some of my worries about NOT having those seven smiling sorority sisters! (Again, not that there’s anything wrong with that.)

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

          We only had two attendants each ourselves, who were incidentally our best friends from high school and college for each of us. We were originally going to go with 3 each (with each of us having one opposite sex attendant) but then drama happened. Long, messy story. I have to say, I was very happy with just the two people and couldn’t imagine having a giant gaggle of attendants. The dressing room/our hotel room was crowded enough.

  • https://twitter.com/SnippetsofSarah Sarah E

    Dear Kirsty, Please take over APW for every other American holiday you can. I love your writing, and the cross-cultural discussions were enlightening and hilarious. In return, I promise to do my part in bringing hats back to the US. Love, Sarah.

    In more personal news, after drama at work that only serves to remind me (and my colleagues) of our impending joblessness, I spent a couple of days totally hopeless that I could find another job that I was qualified for, that paid the bills, and that wouldn’t make me depressed every morning.

    THEN- I finally got a call back from an application I put in two weeks ago, and I’m officially in the running for a Ballroom Dance Instructor position. They are doing a competitive month long training, eliminating people every two weeks. This isn’t the be all, end all of studio owners, but it’s within biking distance, and would allow me a day to day lifestyle that I can totally imagine for myself with happiness. So, while the training stuff is a little reality-show-esque, I’m a very competitive person, the training hours don’t interfere with work, and I can’t wait to rock it. I’m so excited to have something to be looking forward to all summer, and I finally feel hopeful about my future (career-wise). (Though also worried to be so excited, because the last two jobs I thought I was perfect for, either turned out not be right for me, or I never heard back.)

    My four day weekend (taken, not given, and certainly not paid), has me feeling positive too. I have time for both weekend laziness and weekend productivity. The fireworks on my block have already died down (yesterday, they started at 8am. I was so pissed), thank goodness, so now I can start cleaning up all the debris my neighbors likely left behind. Leave the major fireworks to the professionals, people! They do a great job without putting my house and car in danger of wayward sparks!

  • Liz

    High-fives for an awesome UK APW Takeover, Ms. Kirsty!

    (You folks across the pond high-five, right?)

    • http://asafemooring.blogspot.com/ Kirsty

      At every available opportunity.

      Thanks Liz <3

  • moonitfractal

    This is not UK related, but can anyone recommend a good psychologist (or psychiatrist) in or near Montgomery County, Pennsylvania? I met with one councilor I found through Angie’s List, but I didn’t like some of the things she said about my parents (example: “Your mother describes herself as a homemaker? Why do you think her career never took off?”). At almost the same time, the psychiatrist I’d been seeing for 20 years up and retired. In NJ. And can only recommend other doctors located more than an hour’s drive from where I live now. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks!

  • Boo

    One of Boyfriend’s good friends from high school is getting married in September. We’re mostly looking forward to attending, but I’m a little nervous about the whole event because the maid of honor is one of Boyfriend’s exes. Boyfriend and this ex broke up many years ago, and we’ve been together for a few years now, but this girl in particular rubs me the wrong way for a whole bunch of (probably stupid) reasons. There is also an additional aura of weirdness surrounding the wedding because the couple actually met through Boyfriend and his ex while they were dating, and it appears as though the couple has picked the ex’s “side” for the most part.

    I’m kind of ashamed of myself for being so petty and narcissitic about the situation, but I am really worried about having to see and be seen by this woman, interact with her, wonder what she’s thinking about me and Boyfriend, etc. Does anyone have any advice? Tough love? Thoughts on where I can buy a killer dress?

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

      Okay, first, the killer dress: try Rent The Runway (assuming you are in the US, I don’t know if they ship internationally), which is my absolute favorite new thing. A slammin’ dress for a fraction of the price you’d pay to buy it? Sold. I rented a fabulous gown for my Oscar party in February, and the entire experience was amazing. (If you want to sign up, let me know and I can send you an invite, you can save $20 that way!)

      Anyway, as for this woman (and I TOTALLY feel you about being somewhere with the bf’s exes), well, how much will you actually be interacting with her? Unless you’re seated at the same table, you might only be near her on the dance floor or for pictures, and I can’t imagine that things will be too bad. And even if she really is a horrible person, hopefully she’s not horrible enough to cause any kind of scene at the wedding. Just be as pleasant as you can towards her if you do have to chat, and take comfort knowing that your feelings are TOTALLY NORMAL. No shame necessary.

      • Boo

        I have been stalking RTR on the reg, but so far nothing has REALLY grabbed my eye. Thus, the hunt continues.

        I think I’d be a little more “whatever” about the whole thing if she was just another guest at the wedding. But, since she’s the maid of honor, she’ll be a prominent person in the ceremony and making a toast at the reception. And I’m sure I’ll have to meet her (ugh).

        But, on the bright side, I really doubt we’ll be at the same table or have to interact one-on-one too much. Also, I don’t think she’s a bad person, so I’m fairly certain she won’t freak out on me or anything. I’m probably just waaay overthinking this, but it was really nice to hear that someone (not a good friend who has to agree with me:)) understand how I’m feeling. Thanks!

        • KC

          One plus with MOH duties is that while you’ll probably see a fair bit of her from a distance, she’s probably going to be too busy to be actually spending time near the two of you, and it will look seriously weird to everyone else if she goes wedding-limpet on you guys while being in the wedding party. Generally, publicly overemphasizing an ex who is now dating someone else is not viewed positively even by those who were on “her side” re: the breakup, so feel sorry for her, not defensive, if she goes awkward.

          Also: being happy is the best revenge. I’m not a fan of revenge in general, but… seriously, the more bitterness you can dodge and the more you can focus on the good parts in your relationship and your life, the better things are for you (and, um, sneaky bonus, the better you “look” to others, too; happiness and graciousness are some of the most flattering accessories *ever*).

          No particular advice on clothes except: 1. dodge wardrobe-malfunction-likely apparel (wear something comfortable that will stay put without hitching) and 2. dress for yourself (and, potentially, boyfriend), not for outdoing her (esp. re: “sexy” aspects of clothing – you are not competing with her).

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

          I could be nominated for Queen of the Overthinkers. I get you.

          What’s your dress style? I love this one from ModCloth, and one day it will be mine; I would definitely wear it to a September wedding. http://www.modcloth.com/shop/dresses/windy-city-dress

          • Boo

            I’ve totally reined in my overthinking in the past few years, but every so often Boyfriend will still ask me how my brain can possibly handle all the thoughts flying around in there. I just tell him that THAT’S how smart I am :).

            The dress question is tough because it’s an early September wedding (so, fall-ish), but in CA it’s the hottest month of the year (so, summer-ish?). Also, I want to wear something Boyfriend likes since I’ll be meeting a bunch of people he’s known for years, but our fashion senses are a little different. Like, if I was being generous, I would say Boyfriend’s tastes tend to err on the side of… trashy? After passing a bunch of links back and forth, we’d both be happy with something kind of like this (from Asos): http://bit.ly/16csx5g

            I’m TOTALLY open to more suggestions, though!

    • MOE

      What is her status? Married? Moved on? Single and bitter about it?

      I’d be cautious about wearing too much of a “killer dress”. It could only make you appear too insecure about being around her.

      • Boo

        I’m pretty sure she’s single, and I’d really like to think she’s not harboring any feelings for Boyfriend still (they dated for less than a year and broke up 5 years ago), but she periodically will send him weird let’s-walk-down-memory-lane texts that sometimes make me question whether or not she’s really moved on.

        By “killer dress,” I mostly meant something that makes me look and feel great/confident (which is what I’d aim for if we were going to any wedding/event), not necessarily extra sexy or flashy :).

        • MOE

          Let me preface what I’m about to say with letting you know that I am insanely jealous, easily angered, and lack self-control of my inhibitions:

          The text messages would totally piss me off. Partly because she’s sending them, but I also want to know if your guy is reminding her that he is with someone else now.

          I have no idea what you look like, but I suggest a killer red dress.

          >:)

          • Boo

            Yes! And these were not any “hey! how are you?” kind of texts. They were really strange, wistful, alluding to their relationship texts. Not OK.

            At first, Boyfriend would give curt responses back, but when she didn’t get the hint, he just stopped responding. They’ve become more and more infrequent over the last 6 months, thankfully.

            I do already own a great red dress that is currently in the running :).

    • Copper

      Just be super sweet to her. Honestly, I’ve been the ex-gf (even the ex that acted a wee bit crazy about the breakup) and had to spend time with my ex’s new wife, and it made me feel SO GOOD that even though he was awkward around me, she and I could be adults about it. You have the opportunity to do that for this chick, who may be just as nervous about meeting you.

      • rys

        I second Copper’s advice. I’ve been there, and much prefer liking the current gf to thinking meaner, less flattering thoughts (also it takes way less emotional energy to think happy thoughts than to harbor bad ones…trust me, I’m excellent at the latter!)

        And if she is single and acting odd or miffed or awkward, it’s possible that she is frustrated about not being in a relationship, especially at a wedding. This doesn’t mean she wants to or thinks she should get back together w/your bf, In other words, seeing you guys together makes her wistful for having a relationship, not going back to a past one. And if this is the case, being sweet, pleasant, and friendly may be even more meaningful to her than you realize.

        • Boo

          I totally have been on that side of things, too, so I understand what you and Copper are saying. And, like you mentioned, weddings make can really bring out your insecurities, so it definitely makes for an even more complicated meeting.

          I think my game plan is to just be as pleasant and friendly as possible when I meet and talk to her, but, other than that, I’m going to try and put her out of my mind as much as possible. I don’t think I need to go above and beyond to befriend this woman and make her feel comfortable, and I wouldn’t expect her to do that for me, either. Also, I have a tendency to get super in my head about these things (hence, this entire thread!), so I think if I try and just forget she’s there, I’ll be able to enjoy the night and be much less awkward. Also, champagne (just enough, not too much).

  • http://www.devabydefinition.com deva

    We got our sneak peeks from our wedding yesterday and love them! I am eagerly awaiting the start of the weekend and a trip to the library and a hot bath.

  • LACEY

    On unplugging: I live in Texas, so all the trampling on my rights from last week (and this week… and continuing next week) really set off my anxiety, so I started something this week: I turn my phone on silent and leave it in my purse in the evenings. I figure if there is an emergency, anyone who needs me will then call FH, who isn’t nearly as addicted to his device.

    It was so hard the first night I tried it, but since Tuesday, I finished a book (everyone go out and read The Night Circus RIGHT NOW) and started a new one, and have also generally felt less attached to my phone. Unplugging is hard, and it feels odd (what am I missing? everything! omg!), but it’s been so good for me.

    • https://twitter.com/SnippetsofSarah Sarah E

      Seconded on the The Night Circus.

    • Katherine

      The Night Circus is one of my all-time faves. Actually considered having a wishing-tree at our wedding, but the logistics of it kind of seemed more trouble than it would be worth for a 4-hour reception :-/

  • http://thedilettantista.com The Dilettantista

    GUYS I THINK I FOUND WHERE I AM GOING TO GET MY DRESS:

    http://www.sajawedding.com/

    The backstory is: they are in NYC, and I am not, and the nearest store that carries them is in D.C. (a 5.5 hour drive for me in good ol’ Triangle, NC). My sister, who is my height and dress size and is very similar looking to me, just a little less busty, *does* live in NYC. My parents are in NYC visiting her this weekend and I said to my mother: “I am making you and my sister an appointment to try on dresses for me at Saja and here are all the dress styles I love.” They went at 11:00am today while I was at work.

    At 11:15 I get a Facetime from my mother, who is very “OMG ALL THESE DRESSES ARE AMAZING and will also work on your sizable bosom” and then she proceeds to have my sister parade around in a number of the dresses I had asked them to try. The designer was in the store and Facetimed with me a bit too–nice woman, very helpful. So it looks like I’ll be taking a trip to NYC (oh darn) to get myself a wedding dress!

    There are a good 3 or 4 dresses that I would just love to get married in. Picking one is going to be so so so difficult! But so thrilled, because most wedding dresses just make me super sad because they don’t feel like me (or they feel like me but are out of my price range *cough* Jenny Packham *cough*), but I found this designer via #boobsweek bridal dresses for big-boobed ladies on East Side Bride and have been salivating over the website on a daily basis. Yaaaaaaaaaay.!

    • http://acceptorchange.blogspot.com YetAnotherMegan

      Those are so pretty! And some of them even have straps/sleeves! I certainly understand needing to figure out how to get the boobs in (DDD over here) and those certainly look like they will. Initially, I was sure I wanted straps of some kind to help feel more secure, but I wasn’t seeing anything that I liked on me, so I’m going with strapless that has a well fitting corset that looks fabulous on my body. Good luck in choosing one!

      • KEA1

        Good heavens. If you are actually able to choose just one from that lineup, I will be massively impressed because I want ONE OF EACH and I’m not even engaged. I am very confident that you will make whichever one you choose look stunning, and I hope that this will be a fun shopping experience and yield a great dress!

    • LM

      Good luck! I got my dress from Saja and I LOVED it. The dresses are so beautiful and comfortable and the whole process was really easy.

    • KH

      Triangle, NC yay! I’m always excited to see people from my area commenting! Good luck on the dress hunt!

  • SamanthaNichole

    APW Ladies I need your wisdom and wedding zen. I am starting to get very nervous about my bridal shower. It took me a long time to actually give in to even letting my mom and ladies throw me one. I was so against it for so long. 1) I’m nervous because my parents are divorced by my dad’s side of the family does not really get along with/ talk to my mom – so they will alllll be there. 2) I don’t know that many people from my fiance’s family, just the local ones – one of his aunts and a few cousins (plus his immediate family of course). 3) I don’t want to have to sit and open gifts in front of everyone, bleh. 4) I don’t want to have to wear a bow hat or play corny games.

    I must sound like such a party pooper, which is not true! I love to be silly and have fun, I just don’t like necessarily to be the center of attention. I don’t know. I just feel so wishy washy these days. General wedding stress I guess. I’m so excited to get married (in 70 days!!!!!!) but the whole thing is too much some times!

    #2: Name changing stress!!! Basically at this point I just don’t want to do it. My fiance is trying his darndest to be understanding and he has come a long long way to it, but he is disappointed and hurt that I do not want to change my name. I have thought about just adding his name to mine without the hyphen and having two last names, but at this point I just don’t want to deal with it and think maybe that is something I will do down the line when we have kids just so I’m not the only one left out.

    Oh life. I don’t know if there are even any questions in here ladies. Just looking for some encouragement maybe.

    On a good note I got a new job! I couldn’t be more excited about that. So overall things are good.

    Thanks APWers! xo

    • http://www.laughterinthelou.com Emma

      You can do the shower! I also hated them and tried to escape, but once I accepted that they are not actually about you at all, it was fine. They are about everyone else. And everyone just wants to celebrate with you because they know they probably won’t get much time with you at the wedding. So share what you want (in terms of wedding details or ideas or backstory), they’ll be thrilled to hear you say anything, and if you want to quickly shift the focus, just start asking people things. “How did you all handle XXX?” like a receiving line, or honeymoon planning, etc. People love sharing their own experiences and suddenly you opened half your presents without a spotlight…

      Even if those things don’t work and it is actually totally on-the-spot and full of corny games, you can do anything for a few hours. It’s just like how you sit through a movie that’s not your style at all because your friend/fiance/kid thinks it’s just the coolest thing. You don’t have to love it, but you can do it.

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

      1) I’m sorry that your family doesn’t get along. My mother and paternal grandmother have a very antagonistic relationship so I can relate. Best I can offer is to take everything in stride and try not to let things bother you if there is misbehavior on the part of your relatives. As for not wanting to be the center of attention, can you somehow do a ‘no gifts’ shower or try to make the shower more of a laid-back/casual get-together? For example, chatting with everyone at a brunch shower?

      2) I had a lot of angst about the name change, except my husband had absolutely NO opinion on it other than ‘I don’t want to change my own name, do whatever YOU want.’ I ended up hyphenating, partly because my first/last name combo is pretty common so I wanted to set myself apart and make it easier for people to find my scholarly articles. From my experience, if you do not want the name change, the paperwork in itself is a big enough pain in the ass that I do not recommend doing it. As for kids, I didn’t really think about that but my husband’s opinion if we have them is ‘hyphenate their last names and let them sort it out.’

    • Hypothetical Sarah

      For name changing, I remember feeling a ton of pressure to make a decision by the time we signed the wedding license. In reality, you should know that that’s not the case. Post-wedding, you can keep your name legally and use his/combined name socially (or only in certain social settings. whatever). You could change it on your marriage license but not with SS/DMV… which effectively gives you an easy route to change your name in the future (ie not paying the courts), should you ever want to, but doesn’t force you to do it now. And you can always change your mind! APW had a post a while back by a woman who changed her name and then decided to change it back because it didn’t feel right.

  • http://acceptorchange.blogspot.com YetAnotherMegan

    I had mentioned before about my job search, so I just wanted to say that as of July 29 I will no longer be unemployed! It’s not exactly my dream job, but gives me an opportunity to work in a slightly supervisory role and the hours fit well with going back to school. Now does anyone know anything about working in a warehouse office environment??

  • Jess

    I’ve been waiting for happy hour since Monday. First because it’s great, and second, because of some pretty earth shaking news my FH received. He will be going to Afghanistan a few weeks after our wedding, for about a year. I cried for a solid 24 hours, because of the obvious reasons. I’m tearing up a bit now.

    He wants to wait until he has more details on his mission before telling our families, which is killing me. We now are taking our honeymoon immediately after the wedding (instead of around Christmas) and I don’t know what to say to my parents about it, since we’re not telling them and they assume FH will be in school.

    I just don’t even know what to do right now. I feel like every time we have a good day (like today!) I should extra-special cherish it, but I can’t extra-special cherish all the moments for the next 3-4 months, that is exhausting. I want to be able to talk about it with my friends, but I want to honor his wishes about not saying anything until we know more details. It’s just hard. It seems unfair, although I’ve never really believed in fair. It is just hard and I don’t know how I can cope with the fact that our first year of marriage is going to be a long-distance one.

    • Carolyn

      So sorry you’re going through this. I can’t offer any advice about deployment (but I’m a pro on long-distance, it gets easier). Sending internet hugs your way.

      • Jess

        Thank you for the internet hugs, and the kind words.

    • http://rambling-scientist.blogspot.co.uk/ Sarah

      Seconding Carolyn’s comment. Have you been through a previous deployment? I can’t help there, but I know other APW readers have military partners. I have lots of (too much!) international long-distance experience, both pre- and shortly post-wedding. Since you can’t go to your friends and family for support yet, if you’d like to vent to a friendly APW stranger, I’m happy to listen!

      • Jess

        Thank you! We haven’t been through a deployment as a couple before, but rather friends. Being able to just put this out there has been hugely helpful!

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

      Another long-distance pro (1.5 years) here. All I have to say: Skype is your best friend. Also, I don’t know how much spare time your hubs will have while deployed, but when we were long-distance we used to use Netflix on Xbox and use the headsets to talk to each other while watching a movie. It’s one of the best options for long-distance date nights.

      • Jess

        That is such a good idea!

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

    Husband has agreed to be in his sister’s wedding, and she’s being what his parents call ‘particular’. We are flying from TX to NY for the wedding, and she’s not exactly choosing inexpensive options for groomsmen attire, wants them to wear custom shoes, et cetera. While I’m happy for her and her betrothed, I’m a bit worried about the costs involved with him being in the wedding party. Especially since we were pretty much opposite: we knew our wedding party didn’t have much money so we made sure to take that into account when picking attire, and made sure no one had to spend more than $100. She also seemed to expect us to fly up for the shower/bachelor(ette) parties. I don’t want to seem rude or resentful, but I feel like expecting other people to have the kind of extra money to rent fancy suits and fly over 2 or 3 times is kind of imposing (and frustrating). If it were all her money, then yeah, fine, whatever, but I don’t think it’s going to be. Also, husband is really unhappy with her shoe choices (he has foot issues and hence is picky about shoes, and they’re not something he’ll ever wear again and I think they’re a pretty unwearable color too) so I get to hear about that every time he talks to her.

  • S.

    I recently found out I’m unexpectedly pregnant. APW’s conversations on pregnancy and motherhood have comforted me, but now that I’ve read them all (more than once), I’m anxious for more smart, truthful, positive discussions about pregnancy and motherhood. Most of the other resources I’ve found either scare me half to death or aren’t very thoughtful or nuanced. Does anyone have recommendations for books or websites that might be useful?

    • Glen

      I highly recommend looking for a Bradley class in your area. While they do promote “natural” childbirth, the classes I took provided a lot of info on pregnancy, nutrition, pain management (including info on epidurals and other drugs), post-partum, breastfeeding and newborn care. Plus you get to meet other parents. (Get recommendations, though; my sister had an awful instructor her second time through the classes.)

      I tended to look more for info than experiences, so I mostly used the Mayo Clinic book, the What to Expect website (less scary than the book), and Dr. Sears’s books. I’ve also used spinningbabies.com (for help with my baby’s position for birth), rookiemoms.com (for help deciding what to put on my registry, although there’s more than that to the site) and kellymom.com (for help with breastfeeding).

  • Jenn’s Mom

    I think the absolute best book for parenting is by Penelope Leach – Your Baby and Child (appropriate author for UK APW Happy Hour). This is the book I referred to again and again and gave as a gift to every expectant mother. And – congratulations!