APW Happy Hour


With Wiley, the office duck!

APW Happy Hour | A Practical Wedding

Dear APW,

Heeeyyyy! It’s been quite a week over here. We announced APW’s pending relaunch. (Which is going to be so good. The teaser we gave you gives away very little.) And then we proceeded to crash the site. Twice. Both totally our fault, as we try to do a massive cleanup effort behind the scenes in advance of the move. We also put brand-new APW mugs on sale. And, since you guys asked so nicely (and told me my hair looked really good) we now have… drumroll please… tote bags! $12.95! Go snap them up!

APW Happy Hour | A Practical Wedding

And, the best part of a very stressful week is that Wiley the Duck (who is in fact wily) showed up on Twitter. Quack quack #WhoAreYou?

It’s your Friday open thread, hop on it. Now, go forth and weekend (or fast… for the Jews in the house).

xoxo

Meg

 

Highlights of APW This Week

APW has been a little heavy of late (whoopsy), but before we lightened up we needed to run this post from Genevieve on why calling off her wedding was the best thing she ever did. Not because we think you should call off your wedding, but because the lesson of listening to your inner voice is so instructive.

We kicked off our favorite ever APW How-To series: Kitchy Wedding Crafts. First up, ombre honeycomb wedding decorations and hacking old school paper wedding bells to make them hip.

Hiring a not-totally-pro wedding photographer? You can live to tell the tale. Here is Maddie’s best, detailed advice.

Intern Elisabeth is getting MARRIED in like, five seconds, y’all! Her post about decision fatigue is just… I think everyone has been there. She articulates it in such a funny and smart way that you feel so much less alone.

Our open thread on religion and marriage provoked some complex conversations, and some helpful explorations of interfaith life.

Why your engagement ring matters (five years after you’ve stopped wearing it) hit home for me, four years after I stopped regularly wearing mine. My ring that involved so much thought that it inspired the first proper post on APW, at that.

Ask Team Practical, on finding examples of happy and healthy marriages, and how that means looking at the big picture. (I’ve never met a happily married couple hadn’t gone through serious rough spots.)

We announced APW’s relaunch (coming in October, whee), and I remembered that the best lesson for women entrepreneurs is also the best thing to learn as a regular feminist: I don’t care if you like it. Go apply that somewhere in your life this weekend. It is so liberating, and will help you make better decisions. (The relaunch is going to be beautiful though, don’t worry.)

Link Roundup

I didn’t love my wife when we got married.”

This theory (and subsequent research) on gender and the body language of power is fascinating, as is this article on the hair “down there.”

In the words of reader Sarah E, this photo series from photographer Shadi Ghadirian will “hit you over the head with ‘whoa.’” And for more (and completely different) thought-provoking images of women, check out this (possibly NSFW) post.

This week in Things That Are Cute news: a wedding infographic made by the couplethis video of a guy proposing to his boyfriend with a flash mob in a Home Depot, and Wiley the Duck.

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  • scw

    happy friday, everyone!

    I’d love to hear specifics from anyone who got married on an earlier date than their big celebration. who did you have at the actual ceremony (we definitely want our parents there, but then we think about friends we’d like present as well, and before we know it we’re in big number territory)? how much time was there between the day of your ceremony and the day of your reception? did you tie the knot at your local city hall or did you use the event as an excuse to take a vacation? speaking of vacations, when did you take your honeymoon- between the ceremony and reception, or after both?

    my partner and I just decided to go this route, but there’s a lot to consider!

    • Amy March

      I’ve been a guest at the celebration, and it really hurt. I think this breaks part of the social contract of weddings. As a society, we’ve decided that getting married is a big deal. So you want people to watch you do it, and people want to be there, and after we all celebrate that special moment together. Taking away that seeing you get married moment leaves me with a bit of what’s-the-point-itis. Like your wedding isn’t an imposition, but that doesn’t mean you can do whatever you want there because people can say no, because they want to be there.

      I know this is becoming more and more popular for a variety of reasons, from ohhh the pretty pictures to distance and equality issues, but I confess I find it a sad development.

      • http://www.lulamaespecialevents.com Meigh McPants

        I’d argue that the social contract of weddings is about celebrating the marriage of two people, and their rite of passage within their community. You’re not celebrating the dress and rings and whatnot, you’re celebrating their union, so I think post-wedding celebrations are a totally valid choice.

      • meg

        So here are my thoughts on this. I think that to make it work for your guests, you need to have an emotionally important moment at your reception. I don’t care if you got hitched elsewhere, I don’t care if you don’t want to recite your vows. But I do want to play witness to something important and emotional. That could be readings, or a blessing, or toasts, or music, or all of those are some combination, but I really want something.

        When there isn’t an emotional moment, I just find myself sort of floating around, like, I’m at a party with a bunch of people who I mostly don’t know, and I’m not sure… why. The cake is good, but this is weird. Somehow, when we all feel something emotional together, then I’m over the moon for you, and kind of bonded to the other guests, because we all just witnessed the same thing. It gives the party weight, somehow.

        So yeah, my advice would just be to do SOMETHING emotional at your reception. (Advice you can obviously totally ignore ;)

        • scw

          definitely! we are thinking of either having a small ceremony or just a lot of toasts. for me, I just really like something about the idea of being legally married already when the ‘big’ day (the one with a lot of people) comes.

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

          I would very much agree to this! We went to two wedding celebrations this summer where the ceremony had happened previously.

          At one reception, there was never any formal acknowledgement of why we were gathered: no speeches or dances or emotional pull of any kind and, while a nice afternoon, it felt odd and I think we all felt very disconnected from their marriage. It had an awkward vibe to it; no one quite knew what we were supposed to be doing.

          At the other reception, the couple had a sweet exchange (although not their vows; those they kept private) and there were speeches and there was a really beautiful request that we write blessings on these origami flowers for the couple, and the whole event was lovely and we all felt very connected–to the couple and to each other–and the love in the room was tangible, which is the key ingredient in any fun wedding-related party.

          tl;dr: Find a way to give your guests a moment to feel connected to you as a couple, to the reason for the celebration, and everyone will feel more festive and joyful as a result.

        • http://www.smittenchickens.com SarahHoppes

          We specifically chose NOT to do some things at our post-wedding receptions that felt too wedding-like for personal reasons, but we wanted each party to feel special for the people who came to support us. At party 1 (his parents as hosts) we did the parent dances, and we danced with each other, and my brother in law gave a beautiful toast.

          At party 2 (my parents as hosts), the vibe was completely different. Much, much less formal, with no toasts, and it was set up as an open house, so people were coming in and out for several hours, with some very close friends and family staying the whole time, or coming early and staying late. There, we had our wedding video playing, my grandma made us a cake (because she makes a wedding cake for every occasion, and made my parents’ and my aunts’ and uncles’ wedding cakes) and set up a photo booth. Before we ate, my grandpa gave a blessing for those who were nearby. Those seemed to still fit the very casual vibe my family wanted but made the event feel like we had a specific reason for celebrating, and that it wasn’t just a party.

        • Laura C

          We went to a 20th anniversary party, which was the anniversary of when these guys got together while still in high school. They got legally married not long after it became possible, and then some years after that had this anniversary party that was weddingish in having a cocktail hour and sit-down dinner and dancing and so on, and after dinner they had a couple toasts and then they exchanged rings, which they’d never done before. So that felt nice to have witnessed.

        • http://www.alainabos.com Alaina Bos

          I totally think tying in something emotional at the reception will help your guests feel included in the joy of your union. Because many people there won’t know each other, it also gives them something to connect over (you and your partner’s excitement, bliss, love!) at the reception.

      • scw

        for us it is both a budget and a we-don’t-want-to-be-stressed-out-on-one-of-the-most-important-days-of-our-lives decision. I am really introverted and don’t love to be in the spotlight, so the reception is going to be hard enough for me. my boyfriend and I both agree it feels more ‘right’ for our relationship for the ceremony to be small and low pressure.

        anyway, this is really helpful. thanks. I definitely don’t want to make anyone feel excluded.

      • Mezza

        Wait, really? You even find it sad when it happens because of distance or equality reasons?

        What would you suggest I do instead, when I can’t get legally married near my family and very few of them have the resources to travel to somewhere that does allow it? Ask them to travel and then be really disappointed when many people I care about won’t be a part of my wedding at all? Or sacrifice having a legal wedding in order to do it near family? I don’t really see those as reasonable options.

        And I’m not trying to be rude, I’m really curious what your preference as a guest would be, if the couple were in this situation.

        • Amy March

          Oh no, that wasn’t what I meant. I think the trend overall is sad, and yes, I would be sad to miss your wedding, but if you can’t get married where your people are, legally, then obviously the solution is more marriage equality! And cheaper flights! And as a guest I’d be sad to miss it, but also recognize that you didn’t have any other choice. On the continum of reasons to separate the legal and public ceremonies, this is absolutely the best one in my mind.

        • Teafortwo

          I would go one further to say that having to make that choice does make most of APW sad, when we’re not angry.

      • Brenda

        I did this, and I agree that guests can be upset if it’s handled badly, but there are good reasons for it and ways to do it right. We had our legal ceremony in January and our wedding in June. We needed to be married before a certain date to apply for my new visa, but that didn’t give us enough time to plan the wedding we wanted, which would involve lots of travel for a lot of important people. We tried to make sure everyone felt that we weren’t not including them in our wedding by doing several things:

        1. It was only just over a month from when we got engaged to our civil ceremony. Our families understood that we wanted them to be at our wedding, but that just wasn’t enough time to make it happen.

        2. We didn’t have any family at the civil ceremony except for my husband’s brother, and we had our closest friends, the ones who have had a direct impact on our relationship, because we met through mutual friends. We decided that if my family couldn’t come then his shouldn’t either, because we wanted the later wedding to be equally special for all our families. We fully explained the situation and our reasons to everyone and they understood.

        3. We didn’t keep the legal ceremony a secret, but we downplayed it to most people, focussing on the later wedding. We didn’t say anything about it at all on social media.

        4. We kept a lot of “wedding” things for the wedding: I didn’t wear a white dress to the legal ceremony, we didn’t say personal vows, only the legally required bits, we didn’t exchange rings. We wanted to have the wedding ceremony later include things we hadn’t done before, so we would feel that we were doing something real and honest at the wedding, for ourselves and our guests.

        5. The wedding had a ceremony that was not legally binding, but that included religious elements, which we wouldn’t have been able to do if it had been conducted legally on the day by the registrar. We thought this made it important to our families and friends to witness. However, it was mentioned in the ceremony that the legal part had been done in January.

        So, we had a lovely day where we went to the town hall with our closest friends, we wore special clothes, and we had a lovely pub lunch. We have photos from a friend, but not professional. And then we had our wedding, where our families were able to come witness our marriage, where we had religious aspects, and made vows we hadn’t made before and exchanged rings. We kept what we’d done above board, but didn’t shout about it so no one’s feelings would be hurt.

        All our families and friends were very happy with everything, but I do think it’s because we made sure to approach it in the most reasonable and honest way we could.

        • Brenda

          And we’re headed on our honeymoon, two months after the wedding, in half an hour!

    • http://poppiesandicecream.blogspot.nl/ Amanda

      Ok, so not exactly the same, but we had a small city hall wedding in May, with the religious ceremony + reception later that year in September.
      For the civil ceremony we intended to go alone with our witnesses (4 people in all), but of course our parents wanted to be there, so we were something like 14: us 2 + 4 witnesses + 4 parents + 1 uncle + grandma + 4 very close family friends. After the ceremony (less thatn 20 min) we went for breakfast at one of our favorite cafés and that was that.

      We were only able to go on honeymoon (because of work and cheap tickets) on January the year later, but right after our wedding reception / religious ceremony (well a few days after, as soon as all our family / visits from abroad were back home) we did go to another city nearby for the weekend, had fancy dinner, stayed at a hotel and walked around. It was nice to have a special way to “close” it all with each other.

      • scw

        city hall ceremony followed by breakfast sounds perfect!

    • Anna

      Hi! So, my husband and I ended up having a small ceremony at our city hall a few days before the wedding because blablabla logistics blabla. We only invited our bridal parties since they were already hanging out with us that day and we didn’t think it would be a big deal. Only, it was a big deal and I was sad more people weren’t there for that “official” moment.

      I know this isn’t the scenario you’re talking about exactly but given my experience I’d suggest inviting those people who if they didn’t come to your big celebration, you’d be devastated.

      I’d also suggest taking your honeymoon after whichever event (ceremony or reception) you think will be more consuming. You’ll want a vacation after the hard, lots of planning, lots of people part.

    • moe

      We eloped in Vegas, just the two of us. I would not change that for the world. I will forever remember the moment of exchanging vows and how deeply moving it was. Glad it was just us.

      Eight months later we had a more traditional wedding with everyone there.

      Then we took a two-day honeymoon.

      My advice: If you choose to postpone your honeymoon until a later date (great idea) I still strongly recommend taking a day or even two days off after your wedding to recover.

      • Rebecca

        We did the 2x elope + more traditional thing to. We were totally open and honest with everyone about already being legally married at the second shindig. Saying our vows in front of our community was, for me, a totally different thing than our legal vows in Vegas. And I think, since our parents weren’t with us the first time around, seeing us say our vows was a super BIG thing for them, maybe even more for us.

        I consider the first ceremony to be our legal wedding, but the second one to be our social contract with our community, and I’m totally cool with those not having happened at the same time. Our families were supportive as well.

    • Emily

      We got married (at city hall) a year before we had our second/public ceremony- my parents and sisters came to the city hall ceremony since they were near by but I also know people who’ve gone to city hall by themselves and kept everything very private until the public event (to avoid negative reactions). That said, while I was worried about negative reactions, my friends and family were all thrilled to come to our wedding and get to celebrate with us- no one cared at all that were were technically married already! It puzzles me that someone would be hurt that they were invited to come celebrate with you, regardless of whether they are watching a legally binding ceremony or not. There are all kinds of reasons that couples prefer (or need) to get married legally, and these don’t always mesh perfectly with the logistics of planning a wedding that all of your family and friends can attend. Sometimes someone needs health insurance, or tuition benefits, or maybe the couple doesn’t want to spend 18 months waiting for a spousal visa to be processed abroad. Getting legally married and saying vows in front of your community of family and friends are two different steps- what’s important is that you do what feels right for you in both instances. Its like APW in a nutshell- you want all your family at city hall and then you want to throw a big party with vows and all the wedding trappings? Go for it! You want a super private city hall technical wedding and a traditional wedding with all the details you’ve been planning for? Do that! There isn’t a wrong way to do this, honestly :) And if your guests don’t want to come because “you’re already married” then they are just missing an awesome chance to celebrate with you!

    • Mezza

      I actually JUST did this! Well, the marriage part – the celebration part is a month from today (yikes). We got married at city hall last week, because my partner is a teacher and can’t really take time off to go to the clerk’s office during business hours, so we went while the schools were closed for Rosh Hashanah. (Living in NYC = Jewish holidays are everyone’s holidays.)

      The main reason we chose to go this route is that our marriage is legal where we live but not where we’re having our reception. None of our family live in this area, so the only people who came to city hall with us were my partner’s colleague (our witness) and her 2-year-old son. He ran around and yelled for the majority of the actual ceremony, but he actually stayed quiet during the bit about objecting to the marriage! We wanted to have as few people there as possible so that we wouldn’t have to make any hard decisions about leaving people out, so we just chose the friend most likely to be able to show up at 8:30am. :)

      Now, we are actually doing a ceremony (renewal of the vows, as my parents insist on calling it) immediately before our reception, with family and friends in attendance – but it won’t be the legal ceremony for obvious reasons. We want the day of the reception to feel like our wedding day, so we really haven’t acknowledged the legal marriage at all so far. And the honeymoon is happening months later, again because of the teacher schedule – we’re going over spring break.

      • Remy

        We went the other way around, with a wedding last fall and a legal paperwork-signing (same officiant, a friend of the family) when Prop 8 was finally overturned. But I want to underscore “We want the day of the reception to feel like our wedding day” — for us, that was very much the case. We were lucky enough to be able to sign our legal marriage paperwork on the same date (a year later) that we registered our domestic partnership. Both of the paperwork occasions were casual and very small (just us, a notary at the UPS store, and our friend with a camera at the first; my parents, our officiant, a friend of my mom’s, and a friend of ours as a witness for the second). I took care with apparel, because there were pictures, but it wasn’t a time to Get All Fancy. A very different vibe than our wedding day, which is the date we’ll be celebrating our anniversary in the years to come.

    • http://anniecardi.com Annie

      I’ve been at a couple of weddings like this, and it worked for me as a guest. At one, the couple had a private ceremony with just their immediate families, and a celebration at their home that evening. At another, friends had gotten married six months prior (another small family-only deal). At the wedding celebration, they restated vows and we all went to the reception immediately after. I was happy to be included in both celebrations, and I think no matter what you decide, your loved ones will be happy to celebrate with you.

    • http://bookish.nu Jenny

      We did this! We had a courthouse ceremony on our 5-year dating anniversary. We told our parents the night before (actually, we made the decision the night before, too). My mom and younger siblings showed up and took pictures and took us to get cupcakes after it was said and done– they were thrilled. My husband’s mother was NOT thrilled–in fact, she forbid us from telling anyone on his side of the family. We had a lovely wedding almost a year later and as far as we know, there wasn’t any drama or hurt feelings — but then again, only half of the guests actually knew that we’d been legally married already.

      The secret-keeping was horrible. If I could do it all over again, I’d have refused to agree to my mother-in-law’s wishes. I was so stressed out that someone would talk to the wrong person at the wedding and it would all come out (it didn’t). That was the only stressful part of the wedding, really — being legally married ahead of time made it so easy to really enjoy the day and focus on the ceremony and spending time with our favorite people.

      The other confusing this is our anniversary — this year is the first year we’ve had a wedding anniversary, which I had thought we’d celebrate, and our dating/legal marriage anniversary, which is what he thought we were celebrating. So we just went out to dinner twice, because why not?

    • p.

      I got legally married at City Hall on a Thursday and then had my wedding the following Saturday. We’d planned to only have our immediate family at our City Hall ceremony but when we found out that two of our good friends couldn’t make it to our Saturday wedding, we invited them to come along, too. On Saturday, we had our (non-legal) ceremony and reception. To us, our Saturday wedding was our wedding, even though it wasn’t legal.

      We didn’t purposefully keep City Hall a secret, but we also didn’t mention City Hall unless people directly asked about it.

      A few months ago, I was at a reception for a couple who’d gotten married a few days before at City Hall and it was fantastic. I was thrilled that my friends chose to get married the way they wanted to, and I felt really happy to be included in their celebration. At their party, the couple gave a little speech and talked about what their wedding day felt like for them and it was really moving.

    • Stephanie

      We were already married at our wedding. We planned a September wedding for financial and logistical reasons and then realized that my husband would need to submit his green card application long before that. We had to get married in February. It wasn’t what I wanted at all and was very conflicted with wanting it to be special (because we were getting married!) and wanting it to be nothing at all (because I wanted our sept wedding to be the REAL wedding.) In the end we got secretly married in the beach behind our house. We told our parents and no one else and my best friend who is conveniently a photographer took photos and served as our witness. My sister got ordained online and married us by the power invested in her by the universal life church dot com. Most people didn’t know we were already married at our sept wedding and we did a whole ceremony as though we were actually sealing the deal. We took a honeymoon after our sept wedding. That’s also the anniversary we’re celebrating for the first time on Sunday. If I were to do it again I would done more green card research and made sure there was time to plan the “real” wedding before his visa expired.

    • LBD

      We did this. Small ceremony that involved beach crashing at a local park in a total policy grey area (they said you had to get a permit to RESERVE an area, we weren’t reserving an area, and you can’t reserve a beach area anyways), just immediate families. We were clear with everyone, that while we love them all very much, we don’t do being the center of attention. We both have big social anxiety issues, and it was important to us to both be fully able to be present at that moment of ALL moments. Heck, I’m not sure I’d ever have convinced the husband to marry if we didn’t come to this compromise. I wanted to elope, he wanted his family there. We ended up doing immediate families (because he wanted that) and wedding party (for me – I have a not-so-great relationship with my immediate family). Afterward we all came back to our house and we got a giant take-out order from our fave vegetarian Chinese food place, and all ate around a giant table in our backyard, complete with attendant chickens and puppy.

      The reception was also small, ~75-80 people. We had it the day after the wedding. I figure if you’re close enough of a friend to be invited, you know us well enough to understand why we were doing it this way. No friends of our parents or distant relatives, or people like that were invited to the reception. Mostly just our friends were invited to the reception, because we were paying for it all, and because of family issues, we both believe strongly in intentional families of friends over blood. We did toasts, and I do think that ended up being a good centerpiece to the event.

      If I were to do it again, I’d either space the reception out a lot later than the ceremony if at all possible, or skip it all together. They were a day apart because both of our families live on the opposite coast from the one we live. But honestly, I felt more than adequately married and done after the initial ceremony and mini-house-reception, to the point where the reception the next day almost felt more like a chore than a celebration. I was exhausted from all the getting everything ready over the months and the weeks, so that it felt like spreading out the two events over two days made everything seem longer with not enough time for a real emotional break. It was like that time for pause kind of allowed me to come out of that adrenaline-fueled last push long enough to feel how much I kind of just wanted to be done. COMPLETELY OUT OF SPOONS! I don’t really know how to explain it. Like you’re running a marathon, stop for a half hour a mile from your goal, then try to get going again? Getting that GO going was really damn hard. I think maybe if I’d had more time to recuperate the stress, it would have been fine, but honestly I think I’d be just as happy had I not done the reception at all (and certainly much richer!). I have NO IDEA how people who plan entire wedding weekends do it.

      The main reason I had wanted to do a reception is, we have a couple close groups of friends, and find that now we’ve all spread all over the place, weddings are like mini-reunions, which has been my favorite part about attending weddings. I wanted to give my friends another opportunity for that. So, I guess that main goal was indeed accomplished, and everyone seemed happy.

      I have friends who I think had a great idea – they did a tiny ceremony, then spent their honeymoon visiting friends all over the country and doing little gatherings in the areas groups of friends were concentrated.

    • Kristin

      We did/are doing this. The way I see it (after thinking about it A LOT) is that for me there are two related but distinct aspects of the wedding – the legal part (signing the marriage certificate and being legal married) and the emotional part (declaring your love and commitment in front of family and friends). We got legally married in May, but we aren’t wearing rings, aren’t referring to each other as husband/wife (except for legal purposes or when we get confused…I mostly get around this by referring to him by his first name), and I won’t change my name until after the big ceremony in a couple of months – because for us that all comes as part of the emotional wedding. So for the “real” wedding (as we are referring to it) we are still doing the dress, the vows, the exchange of rings and the party, because for us the real joining is when we make a commitment in front of our loved ones.

      To extend that (and maybe start a huge debate) I also think you could do one without the other. Want to commit but not be legally bound (or maybe it’s not legal yet for you to get married)? Have a wedding anyway! Let everyone celebrate your love! Say those vows! Just skip the paperwork. Don’t have time/money/interest in the big party? Just do the paperwork!

      Are there problems with this? Sure. My friends were kind of pissed when they found out we were doing it this way….but they mostly came around or at least relented when I explained my point of view (and insisted that the “real” wedding was the one they would be attending). We didn’t tell my grandma at all, because we think she would probably have tried to drive up for paperwork-signing (please don’t spill the beans). And yes, we sometimes get confused when we have to explain that we’re married but haven’t had the wedding yet. And then there’s the issue (definitely more mine than his) of whether or not something will be missing on the day of our real wedding, or somehow stunted our baby family by not doing the legal and emotional parts together (although for the record, I suspect that I will still be nervous and even have “cold feet,” despite the fact that there’s really no turning back at this point). But in the end it was the right decision for us.

      It is definitely do-able, if it’s right for you. Just don’t keep it a secret – people tend to not like that.

    • Sarah

      We did a city hall “paper signing” (which is how we refer to it) with just our parents and a photographer one week before our “wedding”, where we did a traditional type wedding with officiant, readings, vows, and rings, with dinner and reception. We went on a honeymoon for a week a few days after that.

      We struggled with how big to make the official wedding because we didn’t want two celebrations. It happened that my best friend was away that weekend so it worked out to have just our parents. We thought of having a reception that night but we are glad we just went out for dinner.

      Now, a month afterwards, we consider our wedding day, the one with family and friends and dinner and dancing our “real” wedding day and the other day just a formality, a part of the process.

      One of the nice things about the first day was that we had quiet reflection time to let it sink in that we were married and it took all the pressure of the wedding day. I wondered if the wedding would seem less special because we were already technically married but it wasn’t like that at all.

  • Ash

    I have a question for all you photo hoarders out there. I am trying to organize all my files on my computer/external hard drive and… well overwhelmed doesn’t even begin to describe it. Who’s got tips for me??? I know there must be some APW Wisdom out there I can use!

    (if it’s relevant at all I’m an apple and iPhoto user.)

    • Anonymous

      Have you considered using online storage versus in person storage? Just a thought, but I’m actually more comfortable with and confident in an online storage versus my own ability to not break a computer or hard drive with all my precious photos on it. I use Flickr for no good reason and I certainly wouldn’t say its the best, though uploading and viewing are definitely improving each year and currently for $20/year I get unlimited storage for all my gigantor photo files I insist on taking at the highest quality possible. It’s also pretty easy to have some pics private and others viewable by friends and family.

    • http://www.emilywenzel.com Emily

      Paranoid photographer checking in here.

      I have everything on my desktop (editing computer) and at least one external harddrive. Because people’s memories is my business, I also carry a harddrive with my undelivered work with me. Yes, it’s in my purse and goes with me every time I leave the house. Paranoid. :)

      When I’ve got important photos that I don’t lost – ever – I upload them to my photo hosting site. I’ve got a couple folders (ie: personal, our wedding) that are locked down, as well as every client shoot I’ve ever done. I use Smugmug, but Flikr is decent and Zenfolio is supposed to be amazing.

      ALSO. Purge. Regularly. Every few months, I go through my photos. I try to wait until after I’ve edited, blogged, delivered, etc. because then I can be more ruthless. I don’t need 7 photos of my cat with a bow when only two of them are in focus. Delete delete delete. If you’re regularly editing (in this sense, deleting) your stash of photos, you won’t be overwhelmed by having too many. I could go on for ages, but if you have more questions, let me know! :)

      • http://www.smittenchickens.com SarahHoppes

        Ditto to everything Emily just said! Also, I always recommend Adobe Lightroom to people who have a lot of photos and are overwhelmed by keeping track of them. It creates a catalogue of all your photos, whether they are on your desktop or on an external hard drive, and lets you keyword them and sort them multiple ways for access. In addition to procedures for backing up, adding a catalogue software will let you actually find all those photos when you want them.

      • http://irvingplace.net Kayjayoh

        I need to delete more and more often.

    • Emily

      Time Capsule! It’s expensive, but it’s a magical backup machine that holds SO MUCH STUFF and you can partition it and use it as a router and it’s generally awesome.

      • http://www.lulamaespecialevents.com Meigh McPants

        Time capsule is one of the greatest things I’ve ever bought. It’s saved my butt more than once. I highly recommend a backup you don’t have to think about.

        • http://www.stitch-witch.net Christina McPants

          If you have a macbook, it’s also covered under the applecare warranty. Meant that we got ours replaced for free when it died.

    • Caroline

      Since you’ve got a Mac, I’m going to recommend Aperture over Adobe Lightroom. Aperture is built to organize masses of photos. It’s the next step above iPhoto (as iPhoto is obviously not enough for you!). You can add keywords/tags, there’s face recognition, there’s geotagging, there’s star ratings, basically every kind of metadata you could want for photos. It’s really, really powerful for being able to search for exactly the photos you want at any given time. Once you’ve tagged things, identified people, and set locations, you can (for example) search for all photos from your wedding ceremony with your friend Joe in them, but not your friend Suzie, that were taken outdoors at night, that you rated three stars or better.

      You can store your Aperture library (with all the photo files) on an external hard drive, too.

      Also — make sure you have a backup! Copies of your photos need to be stored in (at least) two places at any given time.

    • rys

      I have a technical question about the iphoto/picasa web interface that someone here might be able to address. It used to be that I could move my photos into iphoto, arrange them into events, and then batch upload them to picasa, and the events would be retained as the organizing structure. About a year ago, this ceased (they’d be uploaded but the structure disappeared, making the cataloging a waste). Is there a setting or work-around for this?

    • http://irvingplace.net Kayjayoh

      I can also recommend BackBlaze for online backups of your computer any time you are connected to the internet. I have found them to be a good company. I have two external drives, including one that is partitioned to be a TimeCapsule, plus BackBlaze, which also backs up the external drives when they are connected.

  • http://writemeg.com Megan

    Ladies, I found my wedding shoes — and the most comfortable silver shoes for my sister’s wedding (which is two weeks from tomorrow. I have lots of Feelings about it, but I’m trying to hold them in). Many Happy Hours ago, everyone kindly recommended I check out Zappos for my foot woes and, lo and behold, I came across the brand Bouquets.

    I certainly do not work for them (or Zappos, for that matter), but after trying on dozens of heels for both my wedding day and MOH duties, I can honestly say I am in love with these shoes. I ordered this pair and this pair when they still came in red, and I went from dreading being on my feet for eight hours to feeling slightly . . . defiant? Like, go-ahead-and-try-to-exhaust-me, feet, but it ain’t happening?

    I don’t know. I’m sure it’s my naivete talking — and that I will still have sore and achy toes by the end of the night. But these shoes are the perfect blend of functional, comfortable and sturdy — all things necessary for this klutzy bride-to-be — and I had to share the love. <3

    Happy Friday and happy weekend, all!

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

      Holy goodness those shoes are adorable! And the red ones are for your own wedding? Rock on, sista!

      • http://writemeg.com Megan

        Thank you!! Yes, the red shoes are for yours truly — and I am ridiculously excited about them. Some members of my entourage (um, can I call my mom my entourage? Sure, I think so) were a little hesitant, but I’ve been steadfast in my red-shoe-acquiring from the beginning. I’m wearing a tea-length dress, too, so these babies will be on full display. So pumped!

        • Another Annie

          Pumped, get it?!

          Heehee. I’ll show myself out.

          Congrats on the kickass red shoes!

    • Ella

      Zappos is awesome! Returns are FREE! They also sell Dyeables shoes, and the Dyeables website has information on sending your shoes to them to dye them whatever color you want. I’m going with yellow shoes and it was SO SO easy. I sent my shoes out the day after Labor Day (9/3) and they came back 8 days later. I just sent them a color swatch (we went to Home Depot to get paint swatches) and they came back dyed. It was so so easy. A great option if you want a shoe in a specific not-so-common color.

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

        Okay, that is super fabulous to know! I’m planning on going with colored shoes myself, but the shade of teal I want (to match the stone in my engagement ring) isn’t super common, shoe-wise. Dyeable shoes and paint swatches, here I come! Thank you!!

  • http://www.thehousealwayswinsblog.com Rachel Wilkerson

    After enjoying our summer and traveling to a wedding last weekend, Eric and I are now back to focusing on our wedding planning! I’m about to have a call with a potential make-up artist and he’s about to go see a man about a suit. We’re also working through loads of logistical stuff right now.

    Also, between the honeycomb tutorial and this book (which I discovered today) I’m in the mood for some crafting!

  • Breck

    Thanks to the comments section on yesterday’s ATP, I’ve spent this insanely rainy afternoon marathoning Happy Endings. Whyyyy did this show not get picked up for a 4th season?!?!? And what should I watch next?

    Have a great weekend, everyone!

    • ART

      I loved that show! :( I still giggle when I think about the pranks episode. I was sad to see it cancelled.

    • Sara

      I loved HE. I miss it. RIP Tyler.
      If you’re ok with a little raunchy in your humor, The League is hilarious and has that hang-out feel to it. Also, The New Girl has gotten more ensamble focused instead of Zooey focused, and I think its benefited.

      Not sure if you were serious about show recommendations, but I’m a TV junkie. :)

      • Breck

        We must be TV soul sisters because I love The League and have the exact same feelings about New Girl’s progression (though I’m still not a big CeCe fan).

        xo,
        Another TV Junkie

        P.S. Just saw that season 5 of The League already premiered aka I just planned my Friday night :).

        • Sara

          Have yourself a Fantastic Lady Day. :)

          • Sara

            Oops I meant Terrific, but I can’t edit my comment.

          • Breck

            Bahahaha and you as well :).

            Also, now I have Taco’s “Vaginal Hubris” stuck in my head. EXCELLENT.

    • http://readingandthensome.blogspot.com/ Martha

      I loved that show too! It was hilarious. Like, pee-my-pants-die-from-laughing funny. I am so, so sad it was not renewed or picked up a la Cougar Town.

  • Anon

    So, I was a bridesmaid in my brother’s wedding a week ago and I am surprised at how sad and disappointed I am feeling after the wedding. My brother and I are on good terms, not close, and live on opposite sides of the country. I thought the wedding would bring us closer together but although everyone was nice enough, I just felt really excluded and left out during not only the whole planning process but during the entire day of the wedding itself. So much so that I didn’t even go to the after party. It’s not something I can bring up with my brother and it luckily didn’t affect his wedding, but how do I resolve these feelings and not let them affect our future relationship?

    • moe

      I have a brother that I’m on good terms with, not close to at all, but he’s a decent guy. He’s lived far away my entire life (He’s about 20 years older than me).

      He doesn’t call, let me know when he’s in town, include me in on things. Here’s the catch though, I don’t try either. So nothing really changes. Weddings are great moments in a person’s life but they can’t make up for a life time of being absent.

      So maybe reach out and try to be in touch more, and let it be known that you would like to be closer.

    • http://www.accordingtokate.net Kate

      Anon,

      I don’t think I really have any words of wisdom about this (as my brother and I live in the same city but are on terrible terms and I almost didn’t invite him to my wedding), but I did just want to tell you I’m sorry you felt so excluded. That couldn’t have felt good. :(

      Was it the wedding your brother and his wife wanted? If so… as unfortunate as it is that you felt so left out, maybe that’s what truly matters. But – easier said than done, I know. Hang in there.

    • K.

      Oh, man. This is my worst fear as a bride-to-be…that my FH’s family – particularly his sister, who I’m asking to be a bridesmaid will feel left out of the planning and the day. My fiance isn’t the best at bridging relationships between all of us (though he’s better than he once was) and I’m a pretty extreme introvert, so it can be hard. I don’t really have any advice, but I’m so sorry you feel this way and I hope you have wonderful relationships with your brother and sister-in-law in the future!!

    • Beth

      Ugh, I’m sorry you’re feeling that way. I’m not sure if you are married yet (or planning to be), but I can just say from my own experience that the wedding day/process is crazy. There may have been people at my own wedding who feel like you do. I hope not, but there’s just no way to know. I do know that there were a lot of people I got to say one or two words to, but didn’t get to spend as much time with as I would have liked. I did try to spend as much time as possible with the people who came the furthest, but then this meant that I barely talked to some of my local friends. It is a crazy crazy whirlwind of a day, so it is totally possible that your brother wanted to make this a bonding experience and wanted you to feel involved, but it just got away from him in the madness. BUT, even if I didn’t get to chat with everyone, it still meant the world to me to have them there. I could feel their support and I would have felt their absence had they not come, so perhaps you can reframe your thinking that way. You were there to support him in the start of his marriage and that’s not something to ignore!

  • morningglory
    • Apples

      I agree! (Sorry, I know I’m a bit late to the party, but it’s apple season around here…) YAY TOTE BAGS! And from what I could tell, there are OPTIONS for which kind of tote bag you want. This is fantastic. I don’t drink coffee, or well, anything that would normally go in a mug (unless water or wine could go in a mug…) and I’m So Into These Mugs. Thanks to APW for making this happen!

  • quinners

    My fiancee bought everything she’s going to wear to our wedding on Wednesday! She looks like a gorgeous goddess. It’s fabulous.

    She’s about two inches taller than I am, and she bought four-inch heels to wear during the ceremony. She almost never wears heels, and the floor of our ceremony venue is cobblestone.

    I do wear heels, but I didn’t want to wear them on cobblestone, so I bought a pair of cheap white lace flats. I also have a gorgeous pair of sparkly gold heels with white lace (these: http://www.modcloth.com/shop/shoes-heels/sweetness-and-sparkle-heel) that I haven’t worn yet. They’re not particularly easy to walk in, but they’re lovely.

    I’m not sure I want to be six inches shorter than my fiancee during our ceremony, when we’re used to there only being a two-inch difference (whether we’re both barefoot or I’m in four-inch heels).

    In three days I’m doing the first set of measurements for the dress I’m having made, and I’m supposed to bring the shoes I’ll be wearing because the dress is full-length, so I have to decide quickly. Do I want to be uncomfortable in shoes that are not well-suited to the floor of our venue and risk falling, or do I want to be uncomfortable with the height difference between myself and my fiancee?

    Reading this, it looks like I’ve already made the decision, but it really does feel weird to have her tower over me.

    • http://www.emilywenzel.com Emily

      Have you talked to her about it? She might have gotten heels thinking you were going to wear some too.

      Good luck and congrats on the wedding!

      • quinners

        Well, I bought the flats ages ago, so she knew I didn’t plan on wearing heels and why. I don’t think she knows how I feel about her being so much taller than I am, because it’s never happened before in the two years we’ve been together.

        It’s easier for me to switch to heels than it would be to ask her not to wear the shoes she bought. She’s pretty excited about them.

        Thanks for the well-wishes!

    • never.the.same

      Can you wear the heels for photos/ceremony so that in most of the formal and intimate photos you two are the same height, then change into the flats for the reception portion of things? If you could get your dress fitted to the tall shoes and have a way to bundle it up when you change to flats, that could be an option.

      • quinners

        I probably could. I just really hope I don’t end up falling! I manage fine in heels on even ground, but I don’t trust myself on cobblestone. Or on the grass – we had our engagement photos done in the gardens outside our venue, and we spent a lot of time tromping through grass. I mostly wore flats, but I sank into the ground when we did a few shots where I was wearing heels.

        …Actually, that might be a pretty convincing argument to get her to wear the heels for the reception instead of the ceremony. We don’t really dance, so there’s no comfort issue there, and she’d probably be more comfortable in flats for pictures/the ceremony. I will try that!

    • Amy March

      2 inch wedges? Kate Spade and Cole Haan both have cute ones.

    • http://readingandthensome.blogspot.com/ Martha

      Agreed – rock some wedges. DSW and Zappos both have great options.

  • Emily

    Seriously, the flash mob Home Depot proposal and Wiley the duck’s Twitter account have MADE MY WEEK. It was not the greatest of weeks.

    • Sara

      I hadn’t seen the Home Depot proposal! Thank you!

  • ART

    Our save the date postcard proof came and it’s awesome! So the rest should arrive next week. Our envelopes also came, and we are almost done with our address list so I can start my envelope printing mail merge process very soon…I did a test run and can totally get the fonts and layout to be what I want so YAY!

    I’m feeling a bit queasy because I just ordered fabric to attempt to make a dress. I’m not a master seamstress by any stretch, but I want what I think might be the easiest possible dress to sew, so I figure what the hell. I got an email about a 50% off sale for the fabric this morning and decided there was no time like the present. Worst case scenario I have to buy a dress anyway, and I have some more white fabric to dye and use for various wedding things.

    Things are really starting to come together! Which is good, because by my running tally (yay google spreadsheets), we’ve already spent about 15% of our budget.

  • http://www.meanestlook.com Sara

    WOOT all of my wedding celebrations ish has officially wrapped up. And speaking of wrapping… is anyone in the market for some hand-frayed fabric ribbon.? Color scheme of pink and white. (Yay, crafting!) Claim them and they are yours. A set of four ribbons retails on Etsy for $8 each. WTF? Right, so I just made my own. I’ll ship them on my dime as long as you promise me a thank you note. :)

    • http://www.meanestlook.com Sara

      Link of what the ribbons look like.

      https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=987647429673&set=a.696876047853.2170286.20204884&type=1&theater

      Behind the adorable baby and his laughing mama. :)

      • ART

        must have posted at the same time – but it won’t load for me :(

    • ART

      hmmm. what kind of pink? if lighter pink, i might be a taker :)

    • Sarah

      If you’re willing to ship to Canada I am SO DOWN. I’m doing handknit dishcloth sets for Christmas gifts this year and need ribbon to tie them up with and there’s no craft store in my tiny town! Pink and white fits perfectly with ivory + beige + blush cloth sets.

  • http://irvingplace.net Kayjayoh

    Question that I seemed to have asked too late last week, and most of the commenting was already done:

    Has anyone here kept their name legally but took their husband’s name socially? If so, how well did that work, what did you do, and what were the drawbacks?

    Thanks!

    • Lisha

      So far its working out fine but I have to say that I live in Ontario, Canada and we have the option of assuming a spouses name or legally changing it. I opted for assuming so I still have my maiden name on your version of social security, my tax info and school degree’s. His name has been added on to just about everything else (almost a year married and i’m still updating documents – what a process!) so i’m mostly known as my First Name Maiden Name His Last Name (sans hypen :-) ). So far, its going good…i haven’t experienced any drawbacks. Everyone in my circle, family, friends, co-workers, have accepted it just fine. :)

    • KTMARIE

      That’s funny – I’m thinking of doing just the opposite! I’ve been considering changing my to name to future hubby’s legally (and using it socially) but keeping my maiden name professionally. I know that APW has talked about this before (*holding breath for new search features!!*) My main thing is that I would like to keep my professional and social life separate. I hadn’t considered actually keeping my name legally but still using his socially… hmm.

      I think this article was actually posted in the comments last week – but I enjoyed and it covers some pros/cons so will share again: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/08/25/opinion/sunday/the-problem-that-has-two-names.html?_r=0

      • http://irvingplace.net Kayjayoh

        That was the article that lead me to ask my question, but by the time I asked it was Saturday, which is the deadlands for comments. :)

        • http://irvingplace.net Kayjayoh

          …led…

          I can never get the editor function to work properly, but that ypo bugs me.

      • Gina

        Me too! I think that would be best (I don’t want any nosy clients asking why my signature block on court filings and emails suddenly changed) but wanted the same last name legally to make it easier with kids. But gosh the paperwork. If anyone has any successful list of things to do to change your name, let me know!

        • Amy March

          Caution here: my firm (and probably the state bar) require that I practice under my legal name. Many if my friends have gotten stuck changing everything when they wanted to change legally personally but keep maiden professionally.

      • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/whitehindu CarolynC

        For me, I write under four different pen names, so now my maiden name is basically turning into just another persona/pen name!

    • http://www.smittenchickens.com SarahHoppes

      I did. I hyphenated legally, but the only time I ever use the hyphenated name is on legal documents, at the bank, or when I need something from customer service and they won’t give it to me because we don’t share a last name. (Like our insurance company, for example).

      I don’t really make it apparent that I hyphenated my name, and I use the name I’ve had from birth in every other situation.

      I came to the decision to change after a lot of soul searching and tearful conversations, and we both decided that we like the idea of sharing a joint name of some sort, and that we’d both like to have a common name with our future children. Right now, my name is Sarah Mylast-His Last and he’s Chris HisLast. Any children would all be Mylast-HisLast, and he would like to take on a hyphenated name for himself as well, but he’s going through the process of grieving his birth name and deciding when he’d like to take that step, just like I did. The process was way harder than I expected, and I wasn’t even giving up my last name, just expanding it, and it took several months for me to go through with it. My own issues with the whole thing were the biggest drawback for me.

      So far, being able to throw that hyphenated name around HAS made it easier to get things done when I’m dealing with bureaucratic BS that’s listed under his name. (Or really basic things like renting a car under his name, because we wanted to use his credit card for that spending, and being able to drive the car myself, because he hates driving. Before I changed the name, the rental car places totally refused, and then we either had to pay way more money than our original priceline discount to rebook, or not drive. Or transferring money from our joint business bank account to our joint checking account! Or getting a refund from our insane failed honeymoon trip where the pilot quit on the plane. INSANITY!)

      My experience doesn’t mean it’s the right choice for everyone, and I personally think it’s really silly that the name seems to make much more of an impact on these kinds of negotiations than the fact that we are legally married.

      There’s never a one size fits all answer to the name change issue, so I wish you all the best as you figure out what’s best for you.

      • http://www.smittenchickens.com SarahHoppes

        Whoops! Sorry. I totally read your question backwords. I changed legally but kept my name socially.

    • ElisabethJoanne

      I tried, but got dizzy – in the sense that “socially” didn’t come up often enough for me to get comfortable with the change. Having first changed Facebook to my husband’s name, then tried to change it back, I haven’t been able to get my husband’s name completely off my profile, FWIW.

    • Alexis

      Hmm… Maybe I just haven’t been playing close enough attention to some of the name-change discussions are around here, but what does it mean to change your name socially??? I’m curious because I did not change my name legally (and didn’t intend to socially), but well-meaning friends and relatives that we aren’t super close to and aren’t aware of this, assume that I did so we get a fair amount of mail addressed to Mrs. Hisname. It doesn’t bother me enough to make a stink about it (it’s so nice of people to send us personalized mail in the first place and recognize our union!), but are there other realms aside from mail where a social name-change would be noticeable? I don’t mean to downplay the importance of making the decision to change your name socially or not, I’m just having trouble visualizing what the effects might be…

      • http://irvingplace.net Kayjayoh

        I guess I mean introducing myself as Kayjayoh Hislast, but being Kayjayoh Mylast legally. An alias or an AKA.

        • Alexis

          I see… The Facebook issue ElisabethJoanne also mentioned could be huge too (I actually tried to request deletion of my comment after seeing the Facebook thing, but was unsuccessful!). Thanks!

      • ElisabethJoanne

        Postal mail, Facebook, personal email. As a member of my parish’s board, my name is printed in the weekly order of service. Had I kept trying to use my husband’s name, those were all places where the issue came up. My college, which is a tight and tradition-minded community, would have changed its records, had I requested it. Then my name tag at alumni events would have been printed with my husband’s name.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/whitehindu CarolynC

      I will be changing to his name legally at some point. But I don’t want to deal with the paperwork, so I’ve been putting it off.

      So as of right now, I’ve changed socially and not legally!

      I updated Facebook and my email address. And my outgoing voicemail message. That’s about it.

      I’m sure my maiden name will hang around, though, since I’ve used it a little bit professionally.

    • Laura

      Not sure if you’re still checking the comments, as I’m late to the party. I didn’t do exactly what you’re asking, but I did a version of it.

      I legally changed my name to First Middle Mylast Hislast, no hyphen. Based on lawyer advice I got in my state, at least, I can use my two last names independently as long as I have no intent to defraud. So socially I go by Hislast, but all of my professional work is under my maiden name.

      Mylast Hislast appears on my passport, social security card, drivers license, and tax returns, as well as any other legal documents.

      Hislast appears on most mail we receive, bank statements, various online accounts, etc.

      The only drawback I can think of to going by Hislast socially is that those sorts of social situations don’t come up that often. I typically just introduce myself to people by my first name only, and while our friends and family know that my name has changed socially, I’m rarely addressed as First Hislast. If it’s really important to you (or your husband) to be addressed as Hislast socially, just know that many typical daily interactions (paying with a credit card, showing your ID, work emails, etc.) are still going to be under YourLast if you don’t legally change your name.

  • TeaforTwo

    I need advice on shoes: my wedding dress is tea-length, so they are going to matter.

    I am getting married in December, and our wedding colour scheme is ivory/green/gold. Festive. Sparkly. It’s a daytime wedding, though, with 1pm ceremony and then afternoon tea.

    I don’t love white satin bride-y shoes, so I’ve been looking for either green or sparkly gold pumps, (or maybe maybe nude if I can’t find anything fabulously right in time) and I’m firmly anti-peep toe in the winter, which has made the selection narrower than I had expected.

    So. These. Over the top? What about the black accents? I think they look fantastic together, but I’m not sure the black is right for a wedding? Other suggestions? Help.

    http://couture.zappos.com/kate-spade-new-york-nouvo-gold-glitter-black-suede

    • quinners

      Oooh, I like those a lot! And I think black is fine for a wedding when it’s an accent (or when a lot of black works with your theme; I have definitely seen brides rocking black dresses over on Offbeat Bride).

      If you want gold-and-ivory, to go with your theme, the pair I linked in my comment above have both. They’re obviously not of the same quality/price point, but they’re still pretty nice. In person they look like they could have been much more expensive than they actually are.

    • http://www.meanestlook.com Sara

      Those shoes are amazing!!!!

    • M.
    • LMN

      These shoes are FABULOUS. I don’t think there’s any such thing as over the top for a celebration like this! My mom told me when I was picking out some accessory for our wedding: “It’s your day. Be as fancy as you want.” I’m trying to apply this advice to daily life more often, also.

      I don’t think you need to worry about the black accents being inappropriate for a wedding–everyone will be too distracted by the gorgeous glittery gold. Also, the thought of having these shoes in your closet for a lifetime? To wear on New Year’s Eve and out to dinner with jeans and while watching TV in your pajamas? That thought makes my heart happy.

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

        My husbands favorite bit of advice: You’re an adult. Do whatever you want!

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

      I kind of really love those those Kate Spade shoes, black accents and all! I think that if you love them, that makes them right for *your* wedding.

      I did a little searching, and found these, too. The reviews are pretty good and there are in-the-wild pictures:
      http://www.modcloth.com/shop/shoes-heels/sparkle-an-interest-heel

    • Breck

      I big puffy heart LOVE those shoes! I think black as an accent is fine, and I think the Mary Jane-style kind of demure-s them up (as much as gold glitter can be demure-d) to make them an unexpected yet appropriate choice for a glitzy afternoon wedding.

    • Sara

      I love those. Go for it!!

    • Splendid

      Yay shoes! I love the sparkly gold ones and I say go for it!

      I had bought these really lovely cornflower blue Seychelle’s: http://www.dsw.com/shoe/seychelles+jumpin+the+broom+sandal?prodId=263733

      but I’m just not feeling they are wintry enough for a January wedding. So… I pulled out my wallet and splurged on a gently used pair of Hey Lady pumps on Tradesy: https://www.shopheylady.com/details.php?products_id=131

      I’m so stoked! They haven’t arrived yet but they make me feel happy with their vintage charm and promise to be comfortable all night.

      Also, I realized suddenly that my very far away wedding is now only four months away! Crazy!

      Have a great weekend everyone!

      • http://www.thehousealwayswinsblog.com Rachel Wilkerson

        LOVE Hey Lady shoes! Keep us posted on how the used ones are…I’ve considered going that route!

    • http://readingandthensome.blogspot.com/ Martha

      Those are the prettiest shoes ever! Before clicking the link I was going to suggest that you don’t discount anything white because you could dye it, but those are THE BOMB. And totally re-wearable. I mean, I love my wedding shoes, don’t get me wrong, but they are probably not getting worn any time soon. Those would be the best New Years shoes for the future. And great fancy anniversary shoes!

    • http://irvingplace.net Kayjayoh

      Cute!

    • http://www.thehousealwayswinsblog.com Rachel Wilkerson

      Wear the Kate Spades!!! Those are party shoes, and I wouldn’t have even thought about the black had you not pointed it out!

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

      At the last minute I got a full sequined rose gold bolero. I called it my (tasteful) disco ball jacket and, next to marrying my husband, it was the best wedding decision I made.

      Go for it! Those shoes are amazing!

      • Teafortwo

        Pictures or it didn’t happen.

  • M.

    This week we booked our honeymoon, found ties for fiance and his brother (and rad wooden tie bars http://www.etsy.com/shop/planktiebars), and decided what my best lady will wear! Dress shopping tomorrow if my mom’s flight comes in finally (and even if it doesn’t, but that would be sad.)

    Also had about three instances of, Me: “What about XYZ?” Fiance:”You should ask APW.”

    And now I’ve forgotten all our questions… Ah, well. FRIDAY YAY.

  • anon

    So I got married at the end of May, went off the pill a couple months ago and holy moly have I gained some weight (and no, I’m not pregnant already). Anyone else experience this? I haven’t changed my daily routine, but I do find myself hungry more often than I used to be. Consciously adding more exercise soon, once I figure out how to get it into my schedule.

  • Ariel

    Anyone have any awesome home remedies for laryngitis? Not so awesome to have absolutely no voice as a teacher.

    In other news, I’m going to order my dress tomorrow :D

    • MK

      It won’t help you heal necessarily, but hot water/tea with generous honey and lemon will make your throat feel better and relax those hurty vocal chords.

  • http://www.lulamaespecialevents.com Meigh McPants

    I think I’m finally starting to recover from my late-summer-cold-stravaganza, I got a lovely review from a client, and it’s finally a non-hideous temperature outside. I think this week is looking up.

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

    So, my Mister is coming home this weekend so we can look at reception venues together. We’ve been in a bit of a holding pattern because he’s been focusing on his thesis work, so I’ve mostly been calling and researching in the meantime. This feels like a really big step, and I’m excited.

    And — holy goodness, tote bags!! Thanks, APW team! It’s a good thing today is payday. :)

  • Sara

    That infographic is adorable.

    Also, whoever is in charge of the Wiley twitter, I love the quacking. Love it.

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

    Last weekend I did my friend’s hair for her wedding- both the hairdo (half up in double waterfall braids, the ends finished in pin curls, and the rest hanging in long ringlets) and wedding were great :-) Well, the humidity made everyone’s curls fall out pronto, but whatevs. I was so happy to be able to do something nice for the bride! (especially since half the present for the couple hadn’t arrived by the wedding day, oops)

    I have spent the past two weeks working two jobs (yet again) and I’m exhausted. Two weeks to go until my current day job is finished and I can ramp up to full time as a dance instructor. It’s pretty telling that after 5 hours at the office, I’m pooped and just want a nap, but after I put in four or six hours at the ballroom, doing work that actually tiring , I feel energized all the way home. Still trying to channel the last dregs of good mojo I can to finish out the last couple projects at my day job because I have so few fucks to give about it anymore.

  • Gina

    Woohoo! Just got married last Saturday and thought that wedding fatigue would keep me away from APW for a while, but nope, I needed my fix.

    My favorite parts about the day were our personal vows (hockey and rock climbing, y’all), my family friend/officiant starting off the ceremony with the Princess Bride line “mawwiage… mawwiage is what bwings us togethah tewday”, the way the rain stopped right as the ceremony ended, and dance-dance-dancing to our amazing bluegrass band.

    I am dealing with a *little* nice-girl guilt about not introducing myself to everyone at the reception, especially as presents are rolling in from people I still haven’t met! We did have 160 guests but I may have gotten distracted by my desire to dance while my husband made the rounds at the tables. Whoops. Any advice for letting this go and just reveling in the warm-fuzzies from the day?

    • Emmy

      I hear you. My husband and I split up at the reception and I talked to my far-flung loved ones while he talked to his. Also, I just wanted to daaaaance. Two things make me feel better about this:

      1. A wedding isn’t really a great place to meet someone. There are so many people and so much going on. You basically just have time to say, “Hi, I’m Emmy. You look lovely! Congratulations!”

      2. You’re married now and will have many, many years to get to meet all these people and build relationships. This is just the beginning!

      • Gina

        That is very true. Glad it wasn’t just me!

    • lady brett

      bluegrass! also everything else!

      as for the guilt – my view as a guest is that the bride and groom are happy to have their people there, but they are in the middle of *everything* (especially dancing), and sometimes you don’t get to see them. if personally saying hi or congrats is a priority to you, you can totally stalk the bride and groom and make sure you get your hug, handshake, big hooray! in. i usually try to do that, but sometimes it doesn’t work, and that’s fine too.

      (i also try to catch their mothers, who are much less likely – since they don’t know who you are, often – to get warm fuzzies by your mere presence, but much more likely to be over the moon to hear how lovely their son/daughter/ceremony/party is.)

      • Gina

        Thank you for this. It really does help me feel better, and know that it’s a two-way street (some people did stalk me, and I’m glad!).

    • Amy March

      Prompt effusive thank you notes go a long way towards dispelling guilt.

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

        Exactly. “I’m so glad you could be there and I hope we can find a time soon to visit again.”

    • LILY

      Exactly what you said: let it go, and revel in the warm fuzzies from the day :)

      My wedding was 9/1, and immediately afterwards I decided “no regrets”–I don’t even let myself say things out loud that that I would have done differently, because a)what is the point? , and b) it was AMAZING.

      So revel away, and write very sincere thank-you notes!

    • emma

      A week after our wedding I introduced myself to a woman who was at our wedding. *facepalm* Not a “oh, so sorry we didn’t meet at my wedding”, a high, “I’m Emma, I don’t know you I’ve never seen you before.” Ohh you witnessed our most intimate day?!

      Like Emmy my Mr. and I had to divide and conquer at one point during dinner to see “our” side of the guest list so I never met this woman who was the Mr.’s prior coach’s wife. All turned out fine and as another mentioned you’ll build those relationships now.

  • Jennie

    Oh boy, that home depot flash mob is just about the best thing I’ve seen all week. Tried hard not to cry at work watching it….

    Over in my world, we’re moving out of my favorite city in the world to be closer to my husband’s job and even out our commutes. It’ll be better for our relationship and so much better for him, but I am so bummed to be moving from a place where I can walk everywhere to where I’ll need to get in my car for almost everything. Also, this weekend is our first anniversary. I’m struggling to figure out how to mark the exciting occasion of our anniversary with a stressful and stress-filled weekend of moving.

    • Rosie

      That sounds tough: perhaps you could plan something nice for your anniversary in your new city? Then you’d be making a good memory and have something to look forward to, and not trying to fit it in with moving. On the actual day you could share some wine and a film or something relaxed like that :)

  • lady brett

    ha! hello, wiley the duck!

    also, we finally did our big stuff purge! we had a yard sale last weekend, and literally everything that didn’t sell magically disappeared from the curbside by 6:30 am the next morning – including broken furniture and random power cords. it was awesome. we do have some stuff that we kept to try to craigslist (anyone need a china cabinet?), but otherwise everything is put back together and we have things like closets that don’t barf things up when you open them and half-full bookshelves and kitchen cabinets.

    life is so much easier! which kind of excites me to move on to round two.

    speaking of round two, the powers that be called us last week and tried to give us three kids – again (in fact, it was so similar in form that there was brief confusion that they were talking about the kids that just went home – they were not). we had to say no, but we’re back on the hit list. and our last kiddos are doing so well with their family! it’s awesome.

    • Emily

      That is so great!

      That’s the rule of garage sales: If you’re going to try to sell it and it doesn’t sell, it goes in the trash/to the recycling place/to Goodwill/to whatever local thrift store. It does NOT come back in the house. (Unless you can get real money out of it, obviously.)

      • lady brett

        someone asked me after if it was “worth it,” and that’s what i realized: someone who was not me carried it all! simply logistically, the two of us would never have been able to haul all that to goodwill in a day. the cash is just kind of a bonus (as is the people watching – which was pretty awesome).

  • Copper

    I’m one month out, and the ish has started to hit the fan! It started with an email from my venue confirming details, where they casually mentioned that we coudln’t have outdoor music. Hold your horses, that wasn’t in contract! Thankfully I deal with contract limits on a daily basis so was extremely comfortable being all “This was not disclosed at the time of contract, and we do not accept the amendment. We have already contracted with vendors that make it impossible to move the reception indoors (food truck).” And I’m so glad I held my ground on that.

    THEN I had to cancel our event insurance and get new event insurance because the venue didn’t like the terms of the one I got. Thankfully they were very understanding, and my DOC helped immensely with this one.

    THEN my FMIL emails and is like I need the guest list for your bridal shower… on the same day as you’ll be out of town for bachelorette partying. Nope. Not going to happen.

    Now I’m just wondering what curve ball I’ll get thrown next!

    • Breck

      It sounds like you keep knocking things down as they come your way! I would to have LOVED to have been you when you referred the venue to your contract about the outdoor music–knowing I’ve dotted my I’s and crossed my T’s so that I’m 100% in the right is one of life’s greatest pleasures, in my opinion*. Go you!

      *Unsure as to whether this makes a good person or not. Or an adult or not. Oh well.

      • Copper

        Well I sounded more confident than I was. Actually upon re-reading the contract I signed like 8 months ago, I wish I hadn’t signed it, and was more vulnerable in this negotiation than I made myself sound. At the time I had less confidence with these things, but since I’ve done more contract documents lately I now see some red flags that give me stomach aches should they decide to be sticklers about them.

        Maybe we need a feature on contracts—what’s normal vs what you should push back on? The things that jump out at me now were a clause about following the rules of the grounds, but those rules not being attached (I think at the time I assumed they meant those rules stated in the contract, but now I realize they have rules that weren’t disclosed at the time), and also some clauses that basically treat us like a company with employees instead of individuals hiring vendors who can be expected to have their own insurance, etc.

        • Laura C

          I’d love to read a contracts post. It would be too late for me, but I’d love to be able to point friends in that direction.

        • jashshea

          Yah. Great call. I had a situation where my venue didn’t allow those outside propane heaters. Luckily the company I rented them from was providing something else, so they just charged us for delivery. There was nothing in the (one page, crappy) contract about those not being allowed. Didn’t really care that day or right after, so I let it go. But now it annoys me.

  • Magical Unicorn Mama (no, not yet)

    I’m going to bring the room down a bit – this month was also a bust in babyland. But more infuriatingly, I realized that a possible reason for three months of nos. I’d been misreading the ovulation tests I’ve been taking, or more specifically, my fertility clinic’s instructions that say ‘ignore the kit instructions and call us the instant the test line starts giving you a faint line, not a solid.’

    Which was buried in the middle of the 8.5 x 11 page of unremarkable instructions about what ovulation kits are, where to buy them and what to do after a positive result, in the middle of a paragraph, immediately after an unrelated, bolded bit. So, everything they could possibly do to (unintentionally) bury the lede, they did. I’d skimmed it a couple of times before doing my first predictor kit, but clearly didn’t notice that part. And the nurse never felt the need to reiterate it with me the times we discussed kits (at least twice).

    When I did, I was horrified, mostly because I’d just wasted a good $2,800 on poorly timed inseminations. And I contacted my case worker, horrified and panicked and got a ‘what’s done is done’ and a recommendation to use a certain (ridiculously expensive) brand because it’s digital and you don’t have to do the ‘is it there or not’ (which wasn’t the problem). At the time, I was trying not to hyperventilate or throw up, so I didn’t want to discuss it further. I mentioned how upset I was by it in an email and said that I felt that like someone should have mentioned it to me verbally and they may want to revamp how they do the sheet because the information is lost and got the same ‘sorry for your frustration, buy this brand.’

    And it’s clearly my fault. I know it’s my fault. It was in the instructions, albeit buried in the middle. But I can’t help feeling brushed off and ignored. I know I’m one of many cases and lord knows the clinic we use is good at making you feel like a number, but when I say ‘you guys may want to rethink how you do this, I can’t be the only one,’ saying ‘I’m sorry you’re frustrated’ is not a good response. All I need is ‘thanks for the input, I’ll pass it along.’ I realize that everyone she works with is probably on the verge of crazy between the high stakes emotions and the hormones, which is what makes this even worse.

    But hey, at least I can drink for a while.

    • Copper

      I have to say, I’m never more mad at other people than when I know it’s at least a little bit my own fault.

      Sorry you’re going through this, and I hope the next round goes better now that you’ve sussed out a potential issue and can avoid it in the future.

      • Magical Unicorn Mama (no, not yet)

        Copper, I think you nailed it exactly. And thanks!

    • Emily

      This is in no way as big of a deal, but the first time I was ever prescribed a birth control pill, no one told me you had to take it at the same time every day. Not my doctor, not the pharmacist. And yes, I should have checked, but I was like nineteen and didn’t have the “read all the instructions” wisdom yet. (I knew I was supposed to, but I hadn’t been burned enough times that I actually did.) Part of the responsibility was mine, but part of the responsibility was the doctor’s, who knew damn well that I’d never taken birth control before. Seriously, how could he let me leave the office without tattooing that information on my forehead if need be? I wasn’t sexually active at the time, but holy hell if I had been, I’m fairly certain I’d have an eight-year-old right now.

    • ash

      I don’t know if this is helpful or not, but I learned SO much from this book – my husband and I use the sympto-thermal method of family planning and use ovulation kits each cycle. It’s got great charting software that I update on my phone everyday and keep track of all of my cycle information.

      We’re not ready to start a family yet, but this book may be more educational and/or detailed than your specialists have been thus far.

      http://www.amazon.com/Taking-Charge-Fertility-Anniversary-Edition/dp/0060881909

      • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/whitehindu CarolynC

        I love this book too.

        Though my stupid charts look nothing like anything they show in there. :(

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

      That’s just poor customer service. By no means is the customer always right (in fact, they’re rarely ever right), but when someone raises a concern, you address it and thank them for raising it. Especially for something to high-stakes- both emotionally and physically.

      • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/whitehindu CarolynC

        Agreed! I think this one is entirely on them. You already have a ton to keep track of and figure out. They definitely need to highlight the most important things for you to know!

    • Audrey

      Is there someone higher up the chain where you can register your concern other than this case worker? I may be reading things wrong here (I know little about fertility clinics), but from what I can tell essentially you are their paying customer. You deserve a lot better than to be brushed off – and some sort of management at the clinic might want to know if people are having a bad experience and less likely to recommend the place, etcetera.

  • Kirsten

    I just need to share my excitement, because this week has been horribly exhausting, but I have a super awesome date to look forward to tomorrow night! We’ve been in a LDR for almost 2 1/2 years (the entire time we’ve been together) and only get to see each other once every month or two, which wasn’t going to happen again for another four weeks. But on our Monday skype date, he asked me if I’d be willing to drive two hours to where he’ll be for the weekend, because he has symphony tickets (TOTALLY my thing) and wants to take me out to dinner. He knows I have tons of stuff to get done this weekend and can only make it a quick over-and-back trip for dinner and the concert, but it was entirely his idea/planning and he was SO cutely excited when he asked me that I couldn’t resist. So yay!

    • Catherine McK

      So stinkin cute! Have a wonderful date!

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

      Aw, that’s so awesome! Have a blast!

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

      Yaaay! I’m in a LDR myself, so I know just how exciting this is!! Enjoy the heck out of your impromptu visit!!

    • Kirsten

      Thanks, ladies. It was awesome, AND he greeted me with a big bouquet of flowers– this from the guy who scored 0 for gift giving on the love languages quiz. :)

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

    I posted last week about what a hard time I’m having with the wedding being over. I miss the day itself and how everything felt so very much, and I’m having a hard time knowing I can’t go back there. And people wrote really thoughtful responses that I really appreciated, so thank you.

    It’s still hard for me, but I’m feeling much better about it. Earlier this week, I realized how much I’d been holding all of that in. My husband and I were having a bit of a fight, and I wound up sobbing about how much I missed our wedding. And he was so lovely, insisting it wasn’t silly, and he let me cry. I still miss it all, but in a much more manageable way.

    I think I was holding it all in because it felt silly: I was sad because I had felt so very happy. But the truth is, you can’t change how you feel. If anyone else is struggling with something along these lines, make sure you’re not holding it all inside and be kind to yourself.

    • catherine

      Wow, lovely to hear this. I’m happy for you, and thanks for your encouraging words towards others :)

  • Vanessa

    Hi guys! So….Wedding is one week from tomorrow (YAY!), and up until last night I was super impressed with how calm my lady and I have been through this whole year-long planning process. And then….the 10 day forecast became available…for our outdoor winery wedding in sunny sunny sunny Sacramento. Just seeing that slight chance of rain sent both of us into the anxiety-driven downward spiral we’ve been able to avoid this whole time. On the plus side, after many re-assuring texts (and a Xanax) from close friends about the big picture – “you’re getting MARRIED! Like, LEGALLY! And there will be GRILLED CHEESE!”, we were both able to, you know, get our perspective back a little. I just feel a little ashamed that even two supposedly “super-cool laid-back” brides can get bent out of shape over something completely out of our control!

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

      Sounds like you ladies have the best friends! And the best wedding food ever! (GRILLED CHEESE!!)

  • Ali S

    Guysss my mom is visiting my new home for the first time ever!!! I’ve been cleaning all day and she should be here any minuteeee. I’m so excited to see her, and super nervous about her seeing it and I hope she likes it (she’s a bit judgey, as mothers are).

    And my diploma for my Master’s degree came in the mail today!! Secretly hoping my mom takes it upon herself to buy me a frame for it.

    Now to peruse the rest of the open thread to calm down.

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

      Squeee! Have fun with your mom (and good luck!)!

  • http://irvingplace.net Kayjayoh

    I am starting to consider taking a long-weekend trip to Seattle in January, before classes start again at the college where I work. Probably not the best time for a trip there, but it will still be warmer than Wisconsin, from what I hear.

    I don’t know if I am going by myself, with M, or bringing a girlfriend or two. But I think I want to make this happen.

    • KC

      Yes, Seattle will definitely be warmer in January than Wisconsin. Not, like, “let’s go sunbathing” warm, but at least not “oooh, it got up to 10F today in the afternoon!” cold. But beware of cold, grey drizzle.

    • LBD

      Seattle forecast from Octoberish to Mayish is pretty consistently High of 52, Low of 45, grey drizzle. I don’t bother to check the weather at all once it sets in. We can get cold snaps, but even our cold snaps are nothing to what I understand of Wisconsin. On the plus side, cold snap here usually means clear skies. A good time to get up high and see our spectacular mountain skyline. However, if by rare chance it snows, be prepared to walk anywhere you want to go, the city CANNOT deal.

      I know a surprising number of Wisconsin transplants out here, oddly.

  • Kiki

    My fiance and I have finally decided what we’d like to do for our wedding 6 months after I had a meltdown over the overwhelming nature of planning a wedding and how it becoming larger and farther from what I wanted. Now we’ve decided on a very intimate family wedding of about a dozen people, courthouse in the morning, and a nice brunch after This is the small wedding that I want, no hoopla nor excessive planning/attention on me. However, my mom is disappointed in the lack of a large wedding and celebrating with all our family friends.

    Is it appropriate to have after wedding receptions weeks/months later? Do we have wedding showers, even though we’re not inviting people to the actual wedding?

    I don’t want to plan a reception, the thought of organizing all these people and things plus the money and time is what made me literally have a meltdown/anxiety attack when it got out of hand last time.

    How do I manage my family friends and college friends’ needs to celebrate with us, but not in a very formal manner?

    • M.

      I don’t think I personally would feel comfortable having a shower with people not invited, but I don’t know about others.

      We briefly considered doing a similar small wedding, and we had thought that we would pick up a tab for a celebration at a bar with friends in our home state, and do the same in our current city, and then maybe an informal gathering with family. Not a real reception, but celebratory nonetheless and no planning really.

    • Amy March

      I definitely wouldn’t have a wedding shower. It sounds like you’re happy with your plan. Frankly, it’s everyone else’s problem to manage their “need” to celebrate with you. Likewise, your Mom needs to deal with it.

      I certainly wouldn’t suggest you plan any sort of additional party, but would you consider attending one? You could say “mom, I don’t want or need a large party, I don’t want to plan it, and I don’t want to pay for it. If you want to throw a party and invite your friends and family in celebration of my marriage, clear the date and time with me and we will attend wearing something festive, but that’s it”

      Honestly it sounds like you’re really happy with your new plan, and my vote is just doing that and loving it.

      • Kiki

        I was thinking of just leaving it to my mom and my fiance’s families (divorced and don’t get along) to do receptions/celebrations if they want to and I would be fine with attending. I keep getting bogged down in all the expectations and have to constantly be brought back to what will really make me happy by my fiance.

        What about an engagement party? Since my mom has been asking about that too. Is is too late since we were engage last December already, I think she’s been waiting it out to see what wedding plans we decided on, hoping they were a large wedding.

        • Emmy

          The general rule of thumb with things like engagement parties and showers is that you should invite the people you’re inviting to the wedding. Since you’re having a small wedding, you could have a small engagement party with the same guest list. Otherwise, it’s kinda rude to invite people to celebrate something they’re not going to see.

      • http://www.thehousealwayswinsblog.com Rachel Wilkerson

        Totally agree with this advice!

    • Katelyn

      Oh my, do I feel you on this. I got a lot of heat when I told my family about us getting married in Vegas. The first thought that lept into my grandmother’s head was “are you having a second reception at home?” and it took all my inner strength to politely defer to a later date.

      After some relatively heated discussion, we finally landed on having a barbeque at my parents’ sometime after our wedding. It would not be related to the wedding in any way, but would give our more distant or incapacitated relatives a chance to wish us well as newlyweds.

      This avoids the money-grubbing assumptions and lets my parents and grandparents brag.

    • Samantha

      I’m having a small wedding of 40 ish people. We’ll be inviting people to the shower who aren’t coming to the wedding. About 6 I think. They love me and know me well. They won’t be offended.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/whitehindu CarolynC

      My cousin did something where he got married in Las Vegas (and wasn’t expecting anyone to come, though a handful of us did show up!) and then they had a nice reception in his hometown three months later. I’m not sure why they did it that way, but it worked well for me because we had choices about which one (or both) were feasible for us. It was easier for me to go to the Vegas one, so I skipped the later reception. My parents went to the reception but missed Vegas.

      If you do want to have a celebration later but want to manage people’s expectations, you don’t have to call it a reception. That might help!

  • M.

    Here’s one thing we wondered about, and I know there is some talk of it in the archives filed under “Your Wedding Is Not An Imposition”

    I was wondering people’s experiences reserving hotel blocks. Basically, is it worth it to book a block of rooms? How many people ran into fees or penalties if not a big enough % of block was booked? Did guests use the blocks? How often does a block include a discount?

    We have an invite list of 100, comprising about 49 households/singles. Several live in the city where we’re having the wedding, and many more live within driving distance (<2hrs) and likely won't stay over (12:30 ceremony and afternoon heavy apps/dessert reception). We'll be wrapped up by 6:30.

    We are thinking 20 rooms, but also know guests can fend for themselves – and there are no hotels that are ideal. Best affordable ones are not near event, near ones are $$$$$. We are almost considering just listing a few in diff price points/locations and leaving it to their discretion…Advice?

    • M.

      (We are looking at a Hilton Garden Inn if anyone has specific experiences to share…)

      • lisa

        We reserved a block at a Hilton Garden Inn, had 100 guests and all were 1.5 hours or more from he, including us. We did a block of 10, and when those filled, we went in increments of 5 I believe. We negotiated a suite at a reduced rate for our stay and got all of the Hilton points. We didn’t do a brunch the morning after, but everyone was in the breakfast area mingling. It was fun to have the second chance to talk to people and thank them fior traveling.

      • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/whitehindu CarolynC

        We did Hilton Garden Inn also. It was a great experience!

        It was around the corner from our house and we went over there for breakfast Thurs, Fri, Sat, and Sunday and we always ran into friends and family. So much fun!

        The breakfast was really good. Way more than the usual stale bagel and a banana.

        I had a hard time figuring out how many rooms to do. The hotel talked me into fewer than I thought. I trusted her judgement, but considering that our contract was set up so we weren’t on the hook for unsold rooms, I should have erred on the higher side. It all worked out, though, and they were very accommodating even when people were late making reservations.

    • InTheBurbs

      We chose not to – but did put a list of nearby hotels on the website. Most are in the Amercinn/Hilton Garden range. Now that I think about it – we have no idea where most of the out of town folks will be staying…

    • ElisabethJoanne

      As a guest once, the block rate for a wedding was $1 less than the AAA rate booked last minute. Last minute, the block rate wasn’t available.

      As a bride, we didn’t have enough out-of-town guests that a block made sense. As it turned out, most of our out-of-town guests actually arranged to stay with local families. (Our wedding was near a bunch of airport hotels, on a holiday weekend, if that helps.)

    • Paranoid Libra

      We did at a Holiday Inn and they don’t charge any fees if they weren’t all booked guests just missed their chance to get the $20 off it was.

    • jashshea

      I spent days/hours on finding a good room block (1/2+ of the invitees were out of state) and ended up blocking 20 rooms. Sent it over to key people first (parents, family/friends) and while most ended up staying at that hotel, they found rooms for cheaper on orbitz or whatever and we didn’t use but 7-9 rooms in the block.

      We didn’t have to pay a penalty, but I would have gotten Marriott points for the rooms if they’d been used so it was a small bummer.

      People not staying in our block made it impossible for me to do welcome bags (something I did not want to do), so I was pleased.

      • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/whitehindu CarolynC

        I didn’t do welcome bags. I didn’t really think of it until the hotel called about a week before and asked if I was bringing any over.

        It would have been nice of me, but I didn’t do it. And I don’t feel too much guilt about that!

    • Beth

      We gave people a list of a few suggestions at different price points that we thought would work best for people. And then nobody took our suggestions and booked different hotels on their own. :\ But I would have appreciated suggestions at different price points if I was a guest, though.

    • Audrey

      We had a lot of out of town guests, so we found the best place and did a small block of 15 rooms (was also the hotel I stayed at the night before, since our house was far from the wedding). I think maybe I got a discount for my room because of the block? There was no penalty for not filling the block, the rooms were just were held for a limited time.

      I think it’s one of those nice to haves, but not a huge deal – especially if you give people 2 or 3 clear choices the biggest thing is making the decision easy for guests.

    • Jack

      My wedding hotel block with Hilton (doubletree) has been nothing but a huge pain. Our contract said we’d have to pay if we filled less than 80%, so we thought we super low balled with 25 rooms for our 150 person wedding, and we cut it reallllly close. Also, the website is terrible– future brother in law says the website is run by drunk hamsters– and people keep telling me they booked with our block, only their names aren’t showing up on the block. And finally, the block rate is more expensive than hotel.com. In short, it has not been a good experience for us!

    • Teafortwo

      I always appreciate a block because I like knowing that a bunch of other wedding guests will be staying at the same place. Saves trying to coordinate with my huge extended family (whom I love and want to see at breakfast, but don’t want to make consensus-based decisions with over email) and even stuff like splitting cabs home from the reception gets easier. I think it is forms a nice sense of community aroun your wedding i a bunch of people are staying in one place.

      I have booked a block of rooms at a Holiday Inn for our wedding, and there are no fees or penalties, so it was easy and stress-free.

  • Rosie

    I’m donating my hair tomorrow and I’m really nervous! It’s going to be pixie short, shorter than I’ve had it before. I’m kind of excited to send it off knowing it’ll be doing good, but a bit worried about what it’ll look like. I keep reminding myself that it’ll grow back, and that I have the choice to do this whereas people undergoing treatment which causes them to lose their hair do not. Very inspired by the pictures from other APWers who’ve done it :)

    • Emily

      Send us pictures!

  • Paranoid Libra

    I got asked out of the blue to be an assistant instructor at my dog’s agility classes this week. It has put me on cloud 9 that I got asked to do it since I would love to become a trainer so it’s happy time.

    I always believe going to church and giving a dollar at collection time was good karma and sure enough it was this week.

  • Laura C

    I went wedding dress shopping today and I am confused now. I had this plan: I was going to find a kick-ass evening gown in a color, something I could wear again. I was going to spend $800 on it — way more than I’d ever spent on a dress before, but well within three figures. Only I haven’t found the kick-ass dress of my dreams. There was the one that was GORGEOUS in the picture and looked good on, good enough that I initially tried to convince myself it could be a good choice. But the truth is, my breasts were a liability in that dress. They didn’t make it look bad, but it would have looked better if they weren’t there. My breasts should not be a liability. There is the one that is still in my bedroom that feels great — just the right size and length, swirly and relaxed, yet still glamorous. But it is too dark a color, darker than it looked on the website, and while I am into a color for my wedding, I’m not sure I’m into a color that will, after the sun sets, look navy.

    The problem is, we’re getting to where I’ve been looking for an evening gown for like 5 months and haven’t found it. The winter gowns are coming in, so I’m not going to find anything for an August wedding in the next several months, and I don’t want the uncertainty hanging over my head. So maybe it’s time to go to my fallback position and get an actual bridal-type thing? I’m so confused, and trying on some bridal-type things today just made me feel all that confusion, plus exhaustion, plus, you know, like a person who’d been trying on dresses that were two sizes too small.

    In conclusion, my fiance just got back from buying dark and stormy ingredients at the store and is making me a drink, and thank heavens for that.

    • ART

      isn’t it amazing how dress shopping can make you need a drink? ugh! good luck!

    • Katelyn

      Personally, I’d stick with the dress you have, ‘summer colors’ be damned. If you’d love it for any other occasion, go for it! You can always lighten up the look with jewelry, shoes, a sash, and/or flowers.

  • http://alifeworthwritingdown.blogspot.ca Juels

    I’ve been back for about two weeks right now (just missing out on Happy Hours) but my friend and I had the most amazing vacation in Seattle! For those of you that remember, I crowd-sourced ideas from y’all on a Happy Hour months ago and we had the most amazing time following all the suggestions. You guys have the best ideas.

  • K2

    I had an ultrasound this week, and although we haven’t gotten the official report form my doctor yet, the ultrasound tech was able to tell us that “everything looks good” and that I was measuring 9 weeks, 5 days (1 week ahead of where I thought I was), and my husband was able to see the tech typing the heart rate into the computer.

    I’m feeling more confident now, and the idea that I’m further along than I thought I was means we’re a little closer to being “safe,” to the extent that we ever are. Now we’re trying to figure out how and when to tell our families – we wanted to tell my parents this weekend, but it seems like our schedules aren’t matching up. For a while, I wanted to do something surprising and fun to tell our families, but now I’m feeling like I don’t want to be too . . .self-centered? full of ourselves? dramatic?

    Any ideas for how to tell people you’re close to, without being either too attention-grabbing or too boring? Something cute and fun and easy to implement (that doesn’t involve my needing to keep a straight face for more than 30 seconds, because I couldn’t), but not at all over-the-top?

    Also, at 10 weeks pregnant, is there anything I need to be doing to prepare for, you know, having a baby? So far I’m just doing my best to make sure my diet consists of more variety than just chocolate milkshakes, but eventually we have to start actually preparing for a little person . . . it seems too soon, now, but when do we start doing concrete things, and what are they, exactly?

    • KC

      Going in and having a chat re: prenatal vitamins, if not already taking them, is probably a good plan. (then the baby will not Steal All The Calcium And Iron) You can also ask doctors about exercise and other Life Stuff, and what sorts of things should be scheduled for when (for instance, blood type tests if you’re not the same on the positive/negative field for blood type).

      I think with most non-hyper-dysfunctional family, unless they’re grieving a recent loss/miscarriage/infertility (or similar), or unless they’re “you stole my thunder”-ish with them announcing an engagement or a big move at the same time, will not be “oh, this is too over-the-top” about just about anything you do to tell them, because, seriously, a new awesome kid in the family that *you don’t have to be the primary caregiver of* is just plain very exciting. A semi-traditional way of telling parents is to give them a present of baby shoes/a onesie/a rattle/a “grandchild coming soon” t-shirt. Saying “we’re thinking about making an addition to our family” and then showing them ultrasound photos would probably also get the point across. Hope it goes well!

  • Marie

    Can I request some merch that says “I don’t care if you like it” ??? Having that on a mug would definitely help me keep my feminist sanity.

  • Seshat

    I know I’m late to the party, but shit, I’ve had a bad day. I sprained my ankle at work (can’t drive, can barely make it up the 3 flights of stairs to my apt), fiance made dinner with eggplant that I don’t really care for, I had about 20 minutes of sobbing panic when I thought I lost my phone, our internet was down for a couple hours, and we’ve just discovered a couple of the outlets in our apt aren’t working (and one is the one the computers are plugged into. So I am propped up on the couch marathoning QI on my tablet and praying the cat doesn’t dive bomb me. Oh, and the other cat ate my lunch bag and my gorgeous Algerian ivy seems to be looking ill.

    I’m sure this reads very First World Problems but I don’t deal with I mobility well so I’m massively frustrated and cranky and really needed to vent.

    • catherine

      Oh dear! Eggplant??? Sorry, I might have chuckled at that part :)

      I’m so sorry you hurt your ankle and are having a rough day. Let all the emotions out and give yourself permission to fall apart! It’s okay :) And in the meantime, treat yourself!

      hope tomorrow is brighter!

      • Seshat

        Thanks…. I’m keeping my fingers crossed for today but so far the cats have discovered I’m pretty much trapped on the couch and have been trying to get away with every naughty activity under the sun. I also have a wedding to attend today (thank god the shoes I was planning on wearing are flats that should fit my bandaged foot) but it’s scheduled to rain all afternoon and the wedding’s outside so noted fingers crossed.

        I mentioned to a coworker I had a wedding to go to and her comment was “are you in it? Because that bride would be pissed at you!”. Um…what??? If one of my BM’s sprained her ankle before my wedding I’d feel bad for her! And at that point go along with whatever would be most comfortable for her.

        • ART

          I guess you have to feel sorry for people with friends like that hypothetical bride (maybe she was in this wedding and her perspective is off: http://gawker.com/5948725/reasons-why-you-cannot-be-a-bridesmaid)

          • Seshat

            Yikes… I don’t understand people at all. I know it can be hard to please everyone if you’re choosing matching dresses and whatnot but you sure as hell shouldn’t go out of your way to alienate your closest friends.

  • http://karynthiandesigns.com M. Richards

    Ok, so you know that Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus philosophy that says when discussing a problem, some people want to offer solutions and others just want sympathy? My mother and I are constantly at odds because I am the former, and she is very much the latter.

    Only every time I try to explain that her rejection of my suggestions hurts my feelings, she says that I take things too personally, or that it’s my fault because I am too forceful with my opinions (and I am going to loose all my friends if I don’t change my ways).

    Overall, with her, it is difficult to be open and honest.

    Has anybody here had any success talking to a stubborn mama?

  • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/whitehindu CarolynM

    I can really relate to Rachel in the story on body hair. My family is super hairy. I don’t know what I’m going to do about that when I have daughters!

    I was teased for having a mustache. I could grow a beard. And that is incredibly shameful. You see it on movies and TV all the time, that joke about the ugly hairy girl. Who could ever love that?

    My mom took me for electrolysis, which is the worst pain I’ve ever experienced. I sobbed through it, begged not to go, but my family insisted that it was important. They didn’t think anyone would love me hairy either.

    Electrolysis had been permanent for my mother. It was not for me. Later when lasers came out, we spent money on that too, assured that I had the ideal skin for it to be permanent: dark hair and light skin. But it wasn’t.

    I didn’t know that people removed hair “down there” until my graduate school boyfriend who wanted me to shave. I did. I claimed to like it. I guess it was nice to be all smooth down there, but I had upkeep and maintenance.

    Now I feel so much more relaxed about my body hair because I have a husband who isn’t fazed by it at all. He loves the way I look. I haven’t shaved “down there” in years. If I forget to shave my face, it doesn’t really bother him. What a relief that is!

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/whitehindu CarolynC

      Darn it, my old information is in the auto-fill field. I’m not CarolynM anymore!

  • Jessica

    I posted 2 weeks ago concerned because my fasting blood sugars were creeping up during my 39th week of pregnancy. Well, they stabilized again (hooray for coconut milk!), and I went into labor spontaneously at 40+2. My baby girl was just under 7lbs, and didn’t have any trouble with her sugars at all, so we were lucky/the cake deprivation paid off. Thanks for the well wishes, we’re all healthy and happy over here!

    • KC

      YES! I’m so glad that the cake deprivation paid off, and that you’re both healthy, and that you didn’t have to be induced. That is AWESOME. :-)

      Congratulations!

    • K2

      Congratulations!

    • Kat

      Tell me about the coconut milk. I’ve got gestational diabetes that I’m currently controlling by diet ( at 33 weeks), and I keep getting told that my blood sugars are likely to get worse later on. Any tips for keeping things under control? I also really don’t want to be induced.

  • Emily

    I found my dress! At a thrift-shop, new with tags, for stupid cheap money. It’s perfect, I”m so excited!!!

    • http://seasofgales.wordpress.com/ KH_Tas

      Woo!

    • ART

      yay, that is my dress dream (that has not come true…)! that makes me very happy for you!

  • Caroline

    Super late here, but man, this week has been a whomper. I’m really wishing that we had done more wedding planning stuff this summer even though it was “too early” for it, because now we have to do it during the school year which is going to be challenging. On top of everything else. I can’t bring myself to do anything related to the wedding. I’ve kind of hit a I don’t give a fuck point, and I know I do, but I’m so lost on what needs to be done, and lacking time and motivation to do it.

    Also, this week has been shit. We found out we have to move. The landlord is being nice and giving us until either break, but damn, there are so few nice apartments in the East Bay that are nice accept cats. Plus, we had planned on living here til we were ready to have kids. (Basically, I imagined when I was about 4-6 months preganant, we would leave and not til then). We love it and it is home and it is a steal, rent wise. Also, my period, a cold which brought the return of cold-brought-on asthma which took me a week to recall why I was having trouble breathing and wasn’t until I was sitting in Yom Kippur services last night that I realized why I couldn’t breath. Also, I got a parking ticket that costs as much as a month’s grocery bill. Oh and I fell way behind in one of my classes because the professor was not helpful about getting caught up after missing class for Rosh Hashanah. I finally am caught up in understanding though.

    On the bright side, we finally feel financially more stable. It turns out that my partner going back to school has been a good thing for financial stability. The various sources of money which are combining to put him through school are regular! It is such a relief. We’re trying to focus on the things we liked not so much about our place and which we might find a place that is better about. Also, the High Holidays were good. Rosh Hashanah was particularly amazing. We hosted a big dinner for second night which was just amazing. We had more people than plates or chairs (had to borrow them), and the food came out well and the group was great and we just adored it! We want to host more dinner parties although now it looks like it depends on what our next apartment is like. It has become really important to me to find a place we can set a long table for 10-12+ guests.
    Anyways, rough week, but things are looking up.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/whitehindu CarolynC

      Is it possible to take a break from wedding planning for a bit? Get settled into school and everything and just give yourself a total pass on it for two months or so? I’m betting the guilt over not working on it is causing stress for you! If you have time to give it a break, that might help refresh your enthusiasm?