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APW Happy Hour


Last happy hour of the year!

by Meg Keene, Editor-In-Chief

APW Happy Hour | A Practical Wedding

Hey APW,

This is it! I hate to break it to you, but APW always shuts down for two weeks around the holidays, and we’re shutting down a few extra days after this whirlwind of a year. Not to give ourselves extra time off (like normal people would) but to attempt to get ahead. So we’ll be back on Monday, with awesome stuff you don’t want to miss (hello, Maddie’s last minute gift guide), and then we’ll see you on January 6th. So let’s happy hour it UP today.

APW Happy Hour | A Practical Wedding

But before I go, a note to the ladies in the Bay Area. Long time friend of the site Jillian has shifted her focus from wedding photography to a new crazy amazing project—Electric Blanket is her new vintage store and art space in The Mission. It officially opens on January 12th (mark down the date for a good party), but is having a soft opening pop-up this weekend from 11–4 on both Saturday and Sunday. As honorary girlfriends of mine, I felt like I should tell you about it. I was lucky enough to get to go to her soft launch for friends (that’s me, Jillian, and APW copy editor Kate above). Jillian’s taste is flawless, the vintage collection is stellar, and I’m going to wear the shoes I got for $32 into the ground. Go snap up the good stuff… before she goes to Europe and gets another round of good stuff that I intend to snap up. Sadly, I currently have a ban on buying vintage dress clothes. Hopefully you do not, because LOOK at that nonsense Jillian is wearing. Jillian wrote for APW about how she was building this project to fail… which is sad for her, since after shopping there, I’m pretty sure it’s not going to fail at all.

Till Monday, happy weekending. I hope to (finally) make curtains, shop for presents, and make some of Elizabeth’s boozy winter drinks to have by the fire.

XO,
MEG

Highlights of APW This Week

GIFT GUIDES! For your husband, wife, parents, friends, and more! And we still have one to go!

On celebrating softly, and taking care of yourself within a tough family dynamic.

We talked international travel with babies, and so, so much more.

It’s okay to hate your wedding.

Elisabeth & K’s urban clambake. Don’t you dare miss it.

Link Roundup

This one’s long, to tide us all over till 2014…

Let’s get things started with Medium’s four part series on women and the internet: part one, part two, part three, and part four.

Story of the year: Kiera Knightley re-wears her wedding dress not once, not twice, but three times. And still going, we hope?

David is going to cry when he sees this, because he loves Williams-Sonoma so much in his heart (see: his gift guide, for evidence), but the 2013 Hater’s Guide to the Williams-Sonoma Catalog is plain brilliant.

A hilarious scene from Grey’s Anatomy, in which Kepner dumps her sisters as her bridesmaids.

For the ladies like me, who hate pregnancy and feel like they can’t talk about it: Kelly Clarkson gets it off our collective chests.

Nate Hill wearing naked women as scarves. Crazy. Smart. (Sidenote: I particularly like what he says about letting go of what his wife thinks about his art.)

Well done, Pantene. Watching this commercial made me extra proud to have partnered with Pantene this year.

Oh yeah, it’s engagement season alright. (I… obsessively love this.)

Wifey sweatshirt? Ain’t No Wifey shirt. I want both. One more ironically than the other.

Speaking of gift guides, file this gift under “what to buy for Maddie.”

There is a lot to unpack in this Sunday Times Article, “The Case for Filth.” Gawker makes a nice start.

“This all sucks, and it’s stupid that it has to happen, and we have to suffer through it like this.” “It’s just a good story about love, about inspiration.” The Tutu Project. (Tissues, please.)

Secondary cry warning for this video  “To forget the illness, if only for a second

In long, but absolutely worth it reads: “The Invisible Child.”

A must-have Christmas ornament to round out your tree. (Or Maddie’s tree, at least.)

Bay Area folks this adorable comic is a must-read. Just in time for the holidays, a reminder of a visitors joy in your home.

We couldn’t round out 2013 without a list of the most iconic feminist moments of the year, so here you go!

Thumbnail image by Lisa Wiseman (APW Sponsor). Electric Blanket photo, personal for APW.

Meg Keene

Meg is the Founder and EIC of APW. Her first book, A Practical Wedding: Creative Solutions for Planning a Beautiful, Affordable, and Meaningful Celebration, was published in January 2012, and has been a top three bestseller on the wedding bookshelf ever since. Meg has her BFA in Drama from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. She lives in Oakland, CA with her husband and son. For more than you ever wanted to know about Meg, you can visit MegKeene.com.

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  • http://kara-tanoue.blogspot.com/ Kara Tanoue

    Yay Happy Hour! One more week before I get a Holiday break as well. Only approximately 4.2 million projects to wrap up before then…

  • Shiri

    I have never said this before but I really love Kelly Clarkson right now.

    • Rock On

      ME. TOO.

      That video was the best thing I’ve seen all week, and I watch movies for a living.

      • Shiri

        I. Want. Your. Job. Please.

        • Rock On

          Haha! I do love my job and am in disbelief I get to do it sometimes, but I’m mostly watching things that have yet to be released. And if you think what comes out in theatres is bad, you should see some of the stuff that doesn’t pass muster.

  • Ellen

    Woo happy hour! No big holiday break for me, but life is still pretty good because a) I finish up my second-to-last class toward my MBA this weekend, and b) we close on our first house on Tuesday! Ahhhh! :)

    • Kendra D

      Congrats on the MBA classes! My husband just finished his second year, of three, toward his MBA. Those things are a lot of work. And Congrats on closing on your house!!! So exciting!

  • Kayjayoh

    Y’all, my custom-made flamenco wedding shoes arrived yesterday. In the words of Meg, I want to put them in my mouth. They arrived just in time for me to wear them to our waltz lesson last night, and the teacher complemented me on them. Now I have to wear them around the house to break them in (don’t want to face a wedding day with that “new shoe” feeling) without getting them scuffed up.

    • Kayjayoh

      I have never had a pair of shoes custom-made before, so this is kind of exciting.

    • MisterEHolmes

      I was thinking about going that route. What’s the price ballpark and where did you get them?

      • Kayjayoh

        flamencista.com, and they start around $140, which is amazing. You can also get 10% off if you sign up for their newsletter, and I’m kicking myself that I forgot to do that.

        • MisterEHolmes

          Thanks!

  • Claire

    Oooh, that Hater’s Guide is so good.

  • Kayjayoh

    Ok, the Miley ornament made me smile.

  • Anon

    Downer alert! So my boyfriend of 6 years and I broke up. Although there were good reasons on both sides for the break up re: our future, marriage, and kids, I am still devastated beyond belief. I am 33 and this break-up is so much harder than when I was 25. I am seeing a therapist, but what can I do with those day- to-day moments… I can’t believe that it will get better. Thank you all for listening.

    • M.

      hugs to you

    • Shiri

      Many hugs, Anon. It will get better, it definitely will.

    • BreckW

      I’m so sorry. Lots of hugs.

    • springday123

      I’m sorry to hear that. really sorry. many props to you for going to therapy. so many hugs and good wishes for 2014.

      • springday123

        And a few things that I’ve done in the past when I’ve gone through breakups and other really dark times:

        Much like Alison O, I’ve found it helpful to take up projects and keep busy. I am not really a runner, but I trained for a long race, which gave me something to do on Saturdays (I followed a program that told me to run X number of miles this Saturday, X more miles next). I called around and found a local farm and began apprenticing there on Saturdays. I religiously watched some shows on Friday nights, when I would have in the past been with my guy. I took a week long trip in the winter to the city I used to live in, to hang out with old friend, and also to have time wandering around the city. I began a quilt. I went through counseling. I learned to make cheese. I did a daily workbook bible study.

        Staying busy (especially plugging in new activities during times that were especially risky for me, as far as feeling bad) did help. There were some really shitty times despite this, but I think forcing myself to find new projects did help. And I liked running because it tired me out, gave me a purpose, and also gave me some time to think. And it was something I could control. And the new projects too were good because they gave me something specific to talk about if someone asked how I was doing and I didn’t really want to talk about emotional things.

        I also found it to reach out to some close friends and be brutally honest about what I was going through and what I needed. I said things like “I need you to ask me to dinner, and to ask me about how I’m doing, since I may not volunteer this info.” For my close ones, I also emailed them maybe once every couple weeks about how I was doing (maybe a bit selfishly, I knew if I didn’t they’d forget I was having a hard time, and I really needed the support). And a lot of them really came through for me.

        And also like Alison O I found blocking from facebook helpful, and also deleting phone number, emails, throwing away things that reminded me. For awhile I hung onto things like journal entries and four leaf clovers and flowers from happier times– I was kind of hoping that we’d get back together, and then they’d have the same meaning. But eventually I threw them away, and told myself that if we did get back together, we’d create new memories and that stuff wouldn’t matter. And then it was really nice to have purged all of that, so there were no little pop up reminders.

        I hope some of that is helpful. Again, I’m so sorry you’re going through this.

    • Kayjayoh

      (((Rock on)))

      I was 28 at my last break up, and while I knew in my head that it was for the best, my heart was shattered all over the floor. It was months before I stopped crying and a couple of years before I was really ready to date again. The one thing I can say is that you will get past it, and it will seem like this weird, distant thing. I wish I could promise it would be easy or quick, but I can’t. I can only promise that it will eventually be ok again.

    • emilyg25

      Since you asked: Hunker down and take care of yourself. I don’t know what your treat yo’self treats are, but do them: exercise, spa day (or “spa day” at home), new haircut, cook an awesome meal. Whatever. Now is the time to be a bit indulgent. Spend some time with the people you love most. Spend some time in quiet relaxation. I usually find some weird mixture of being really productive at my hobbies and really unproductive at stuff that stresses me out. Let yourself find your balance. Hang in there. It really does get better.

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

        I agree with treating yourself to spa stuff at gome. I didn’t have/don’t have $$$ for actual spa visits, but I have been painting my nails TONS more. Somehow that helps a lot for me.

    • macrain

      Good for you for seeking help. Therapy has been a tremendously useful tool for me and I hope you end up feeling the same.
      Big big hugs. Take good care of yourself and let yourself feel it. You’ll get there.

    • anon gal

      This too shall pass. Hang in there, sister.

    • Alison O

      For the day-to-day moments, if you’re a project person, do some. The day after my five year relationship went up in flames, I refinished my family’s porch. I sewed my best friend a beautiful, intricate tree skirt for Christmas. I hung out with her a LOT. I took a painting class. Sometimes just to try to hold it together and not think (sob) about it, while I was driving, for example, I counted the number of street signs between destinations (don’t do this if it distracts you from driving safely…). In the shower I’d give myself a category and name things in that category starting with each letter of the alphabet. I memorized poems I like. I listened to a lot of NPR and other podcasts.

      I was also really helped by these books:
      Rebuilding: When Your Relationship Ends, Brush Fisher & Robert Alberti
      SoulMates: Honoring the Mysteries of Love and Relationship, Thomas Moore
      The Power of Now, Eckhart Tolle

      Something that was not helpful was hearing about (/googling) how long it took other people to not feel awful. You get all kinds of answers, including the arbitrary–“half the length of the relationship”–and the depressing–“I will always have some sadness about it”. I had an extremely, extremely (like, life-threateningly) low 2-3 months, and then (with the help of an anti-depressant) I was over it shortly thereafter. I definitely have no lingering sadness whatsoever. I know what it feels like to not believe it will get better, so I’m not sure telling you that it will is helpful. But, hang in there.

      Afterthought – something else that was helpful – I blocked my ex on facebook, unfriended people that were more his friends than mine and I wouldn’t keep in touch with anyway (because even though he was blocked I saw photos of him in their feeds), and ended up just deactivating my facebook for about 6 months altogether. I also made a commitment to myself not to search for him on LinkedIn to know what he was doing, etc.

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

      Hi Anon. I am so sorry. How to Survive the Loss of a Love helped me TONS in the first couple months after my ex left me. It’s broad enough to cover a variety of situations, and you can read little bits at a time. Hang in there. Time will help. I promise. And take care of yourself, and try to sleep and eat. And also…..maybe find a theme song that you find encouraging? I have one main one I listen to when I need encouragement. And it will get better. I actually used that as a sort of phrase I repeated to myself over and over. And I still do. And it has and it will….

      • Laura

        Jenny! I second your recommended of that book. It’s good for all different kinds of loss. Helped with my brother’s death and with other losses.

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

          Laura, I am glad to hear that book helped you too. And I am sorry for the loss of your brother, and other losses.

          • Laura

            Thank you Jenny!

  • M.

    Hooray! I promised I’d be back with the results of my NYC dress alterations — they were perfect! So without reservation I can recommend Sandra Usherov http://www.sandrausherov.com/ in Brooklyn for alterations, great conversation, quick neat work, super fair prices, and an APW-like spirit (her fb is full of marriage equality cheering, and she told me she’d love to have a black tie wedding at a summer camp and a striped dress..love her).

    But not just for alterations — you guuuuysss she MAKES gorgeous gorgeous custom dresses. She’s good people and seriously made the scariest part of planning so far a total dream. NYC brides – call Sandra! /fangirl

  • Laura

    I’m doing some end-of-the-year reflecting. Looking at the goals I’ve checked off of my list this year and looking ahead to next year. Anyone else want to celebrate their accomplishments here? This community is always doing amazing things.

    This year:
    – Traveling to Peru and seeing Machu Picchu
    – Finishing year two of my Ph.D. program
    – Reaching a major personal finance milestone
    – Learned to drive manual transmission car
    – Ran five miles without stopping
    – FINALLY finishing changing my name with umpteen institutions (aaaand I finished before my second anniversary….I’m a procrastinator)

    Next year:
    – Add two states (New Mexico and South Carolina) to my list of states visited
    – Publish a first-authored paper (hopefully two, if I get my ass in gear)
    – Go on a week-long canoe camping trip
    – Regularly write letters to my aunt with terminal cancer and my sister who lives in rural Peru
    – Work on my relationship with my mother

    In short, I’m going to make 2014 my bitch :)

    • Sarah E

      Shit, girlfriend, I have no doubt you’ll own 2014, given what you’ve already done in 2013! Reflection mode will kick in after next week, but you shared some hella inspiration.

    • Kayjayoh

      Let me see:

      2013:
      -Crew rating on a 30-foot keelboat (sailing), which puts me one step closer to a skipper rating
      -Started a single-point flying trapeze class
      -Took up archery again, for the first time since high school
      -Moved out the the apartment I’d shared with my sister and nephew and moved in with my fiance
      -(I’m probably missing some things.)

      2014:
      -Start an informal photography apprenticeship with my wedding photographer
      -Get some of my Etsy store jewelry into an actual museum gift shop (I’m looking at the paperwork right now)
      -Fly to Seattle, the farthest west I’ve ever gone
      -Get my skipper rating on a large keelboat (sailiing)
      -Get married
      -Move out of Wisconsin for the first time ever (Boston!)
      -Send a 5.10 climbing route

    • http://writemeg.com/ Meg

      You’ve had a fantastic year, Laura! Selfishly, I was happy to see your note about finally finishing changing your name with “umpteen institutions” because . . . wow, has this sucked. I just got married a month ago and have legally changed my last name with the ol’ government, but changing my entire freakin’ identity everywhere else is about as easy and fun as it sounds. I’ve been really stressed trying to convert everything . . . I need to just remember it’ll all be okay, right? Ack. I was going to wait until after Christmas, but then I didn’t.

      • Laura

        Okay, I lied a tiny little bit. Just realized yesterday that my vision insurance (but not my health/dental insurance) is still under my maiden name. But I’m dropping at the end of the year to go on my husband’s vision plan, so that’ll sort itself out.

        Seriously, the logistics of name changing are THE WORST. Like I said, nearly two years of marriage and I’m still remembering things that are under my former name. Ugh. Good luck to you.

        • Amanda

          LOL I read this as your “viOLIN insurance” and had a good chuckle ;-)

  • Claire

    Okay, Twin Cities readers! Come by my place around 6pm on Thursday if you like hot chocolate and can at least pretend you like crafting. No actual crafting skills required. All supplies provided. It’ll be like a Pinterest Party, lazy-girl style. Email me if you want in on this. The gmail address is clairehaskell.

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

    Dear Rachel-
    Thanks for putting that gorgeous disco ball dress on last week’s roundup. That sucker is now hanging in my closet and I look AMAZING in it. Exactly like a disco ball in really high heels. So my company Xmas party thanks you (and is a little scandalized…it is a very plunging neckline).

    • BreckW

      Ditto! Mine is sitting at my mom’s house in LA, patiently waiting for me to wear it to my DMV appointment and to run other nonsense errands. Next week you’re mine, disco ball dress. MINE!

      • KC

        DISCO DMV! That is performance art, right there.

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

      PICS OR IT DIDN’T HAPPEN

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

        Will do. :)

    • Meg Keene

      I have to give credit where credit is due. That dress made the roundup because of Maddie’s singular obsession with it.

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

        Well then thanks Maddie! It really is beautiful…if you like looking like you rolled around in glitter. Which I do.

  • copper

    That Invisible Children story really got me. I read it earlier this week and am desperately curious whether Dasani will be able to break out of this cycle. SO many issues to unpack about it though, so just a couple that jumped out at me…

    1) There are a ton of comments floating around about how this is all Dasani’s parents’ fault, they’ve been helped enough and their failure to make it work essentially renders the family a hopeless case. Many in particular point to the $49k they got at one point and managed to run through in a couple of years time. Just in here, there’s so much to unpack. Yes, much of this is Dasani’s parents’ fault. But does that mean that the children don’t deserve help? Also, what on earth do you THINK happens when people who are only used to hand-to-mouth living receive a windfall—that they’ll magically acquire the money management skills of someone who deals in that kind of money on a regular basis? Wake up, dreamers.

    2) Something that personally jumped out at me was the mom’s comments in reaction to seeing richer white people visibly afraid of the poorer black people around them. This is so complex for me because at one point I would have judged them too for their racist stereotyping, but now I am them. Since getting mugged (violently) a few months ago by someone who completely looked the stereotype of a young black gang-banger (or wannabe), I find myself considering this issue a lot. I don’t want to be racist, and I don’t think it’s race I’m afraid of, but I can’t ignore the large overlap between poverty and blackness. I can’t ignore that much of young black culture at worst glorifies and at best is cavalier about violence. That culture combined with the desperation of poverty is what invokes that fear, and I don’t quite know how to get around it.

    • Kayjayoh

      “Also, what on earth do you THINK happens when people who are only used to hand-to-mouth living receive a windfall—that they’ll magically acquire the money management skills of someone who deals in that kind of money on a regular basis?”

      Yes to this. Even people not living hand-to-mouth and *with* money management skills can and do blow through windfalls before they know it.

      • http://andshelovesyou.com/ Lucy

        *raises hand*

    • Shiri

      I read this on Monday and have been captivated by it all week. I have to admit that I’ve been seeing the people around me on the subway differently, wondering about what is behind my assumptions. I was particularly affected by the bonds between siblings in her story.

      Reading it, I kept hoping Dasani doesn’t get pregnant, thinking that getting pregnant young would be the thing that keeps her from being able to “get out”. And how differently she’d be portrayed as a cute, young, spunky 12 year old from a pretty, aggressive, pregnant, 17 year old.

    • ruth

      What I loved about the New York Times piece, which I’d been avidly following this whole week over the course of the series, before APW even posted it, is that it doesn’t shy away from the complexity of the issue. So many social issues articles try to over simplify the story, to make it fit neatly into good and bad, so that we can pass judgement and move on – and this piece didn’t do that. (My reaction to the 49k gift – since that was approximately my salary at the time this family was living on it – was that I was amazed that a family of 10 could live off this for several years, since I had trouble supporting myself as a single person on that amount in one year in NYC!) In regards to what you wrote in 2) I am so sorry to hear that you had this experience. I think all of us, understandably, see through the lens of our own experiences, particularly in trauma. I’ve noticed this reaction in myself – and it challenges me, because I never wanted to be ‘that’ person, either. I think the lesson I got from the Times piece was to take the time to see someone – really see them – in all of their complexity, their nobility and their ignobility. This isn’t an approach of moral relativism, I’m not saying that violence isn’t wrong – but this article made me stop and pause before I make a blanket judgement. I hope that’s helpful.

      • Shiri

        “I think the lesson I got from the Times piece was to take the time to see someone – really see them – in all of their complexity, their nobility and their ignobility. This isn’t an approach of moral relativism, I’m not saying that violence isn’t wrong – but this article made me stop and pause before I make a blanket judgement.”

        I think this is beautifully put, and it actually reminded me of a HONY (if you guys don’t know HONY, you should follow him on Facebook) from this week: http://instagram.com/p/hwM69MNrAW/. The piece made me very aware of just how many causes of violence there are in our society today, and how inescapable they are for a child, especially. I remember hearing on TAL about how kids raised in those situations have a different fight or flight response – that any kind of aggression or danger makes their body think they’re in danger, and they respond to even the slightest kind of stress as though they’re in mortal danger. And that’s for the rest of their lives, really. They’re conditioned to think death is around the corner, that there are very real threats – and the thing is, the threat is very real.

    • Meg Keene

      I’m really uncomfortable with, “I don’t want to be racist, and I don’t think it’s race I’m afraid of, but I can’t ignore the large overlap between poverty and blackness. I can’t ignore that much of young black culture at worst glorifies and at best is cavalier about violence. That culture combined with the desperation of poverty is what invokes that fear, and I don’t quite know how to get around it.” I’m just going to put that out there as something I’d suggest you re-think and talk over with people more experienced in the subject than you. White culture is pretty cavalier about violence too (hey, militias, the NRA, and on and on), and that’s not even getting into blaming poverty on the people who are poor.

      I’m just going to say that if you have to lead a sentence with, “I don’t want to be racist,” “I don’t want to be sexist,” “I don’t want to be a jerk,” WHATEVER, the rest of the sentence may be something you know is a problem.

      • copper

        I’m completely uncomfortable with it too actually. Still working through a lot of feelings, and reactions that are still closer to flashbacks than to thoughtful intentions. I’m not trying to conceal a thing with that statement, rather admitting that I recognized a fearful part of myself that I don’t believe was there before the attack, don’t much like the presence of, but don’t quite know how to get around.

        If the tough stuffs only welcome here when the author is on the “right” side of it, I’ll shut up and go away.

        • Laura C

          Here’s a piece from a guy who got shot in a mugging and lost his spleen that covers his thinking on that fear:

          That’s what I remembered when I began my recovery five years ago. In the preceding 25 years, I’d crossed paths with thousands and thousands of black people (including, obviously, those who became friends). Over the same stretch I’d also crossed paths with thousands and thousands of people wearing hoodies (there was surely some overlap). I got very, very unlucky one time. Adding it all up, I figured my odds of avoiding a repeat of that night are pretty good.

          And that’s ultimately what I want everyone, but particularly future victims of crime, to take away from my story. You can’t tell victims how they should react to the crimes committed against them. That’s wrong, and anyhow it’s largely out of their control. But to anyone whose instinct is to crouch defensively and treat everyone who resembles their attackers like criminals, I’m living proof that there’s another way.

          Everyone who’s ever shot me was black and wearing a hoodie. There just aren’t any reasonable inferences to draw from that fact.

          • copper

            Yep, we all know where we SHOULDbe, and as much as you say you’re not telling anyone how to think, that’s exactly what that is. I now see clearly that speaking when you’re still trying to find that peace and that place is unacceptable. I’ll come back when I’m inspirational, because I can see that my struggling is Not OK.

          • Laura C

            I’m sorry, I thought that maybe sharing a piece from someone who’d experienced a major major injury from a mugging, talking about where he is now and how he got there, would be helpful. Not that you need to be there right this minute, but that other people have been there, gotten past it, and maybe have something useful for you as you work on this.

          • Shiri

            Hey, I think you’re doing the right thing. I think you’re trying to deal with thoughts that you’re having that you don’t like, and figure out how to broaden your thoughts and move past them. You’re not saying that you’re right, you’re saying that you *don’t like about yourself*. I didn’t read this as you justifying your prejudices but as you trying to come to terms with your fears from your experiences and wanting to be able to discuss and learn to move past them.

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

          It’s not just about being on the “right” side of stuff…it’s about realizing when you’re actively hurting people with what you are sharing. I read your comment and felt a little sick. It was HURTFUL. Okay? Just because someone is aware that they are being racist when they make their racist comment doesn’t make it any less shitty.

          And yeah, we do share a lot of tough stuff on APW…usually with a damn good reason (i.e. it will help other people and not hurt them), and typically in a way that tries very hard not to hurt other readers or staff. I get that this is your truth, but what was the potential good you thought might come of this that made hurting other people worth it to you?

          • copper

            I guess I thought that other people who had a fearful reaction to someone that they don’t intend and don’t want to be afraid of, who read the same part of that piece I did and saw themselves in it and realized those momentary involuntary fearful reactions to a situation they encountered on the street, might also find solace in discussing and working out how to overcome those knee-jerk reactions.

            I am truly sorry if I hurt you. If it helps at all (I doubt it, but just in case), I did not intend to do so, but have in turn taken plenty of hurt from people who thought I deserved it for this.

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

            I guess I’d be more inclined to believe that you were truly sorry if you hadn’t posted such a defensive and sarcastic “fuckyousorry” redaction above, and then added here that being called out by two people for being openly racist was just as hurtful as the racist things you said.

          • copper

            Then don’t believe me. Nothing I can say can change what you believe about me. I wish you could know how much I’d beaten myself up for those thoughts that made Meg’s comment seem like such an unnecessary piling onto a small internal world of hate right now, but there’s no effective way to share that on the internet, and if I tried I’m sure it’d somehow manage to double the hate.

          • Meg Keene

            Me being uncomfortable with statements being made that are (disliked about you or not, unworked out or not) hurtful, isn’t hate. I don’t hate you. I don’t even hate what you think. I just am not comfortable with it being posted here, because it’s both damaging and divisive to other readers and staffers. We all work through racist/ sexist/ homophobic/ transphobic/ classist etc issues. As far as I’m concerned, anyone who says they haven’t dealt with these thoughts just isn’t telling the truth. But there is a fine line between working through it, and trying to self-justify it. It’s sometimes hard to see that line when dealing with trauma (I’ve been there, abet on very different issues), which is one of the reasons it’s great to work through it with a trusted therapist or partner. That way the damage of your trauma doesn’t perpetuate the cycle of trauma, but hurting others.

          • copper

            Then please remove this thread.

          • Meg Keene

            What happened happened, and you’ve removed your own comments, which I totally understand. But I’m not comfortable silencing the voices of people like Rachel, who are all too frequently silenced, in conversations like these.

    • KC

      I was fortunate to be a teenager/young adult in a city where the biggest predictor, at least for me, of Someone Is Going To Be A Problem was posture and facial expression (leering or that “stuff to prove” aggressive look or a really fakey look I can’t entirely describe), definitely not race and generally not money-based. (although, clumps of guys with saggy jeans who all have a “something to prove” look on their face = mostly just verbal harassment, unlikely to actually try to follow me home; individual guys with that look and normal or expensive clothing = might want to duck into a random store and take the back exit or catch the next bus no matter where it’s going and sit all the way up front and talk to the driver; homeless-gear plus leer = dodge like a gazelle and do not look anywhere near their crotch, for lo, it may already be uncovered; goth or other nontraditional apparel = unlikely to harass, very likely to provide backup in a bad situation despite me having no piercings or tattoos).

      But I wonder, a lot actually as we may be moving to yet another new location which will probably have totally different population numbers, what statistics or anecdotal experience or whatever would make me likely to avoid different kinds of people – if instead of all races having approximately statistically reasonable “looking aggressive and leering” individuals (or, um, bad experience individuals)(by statistically reasonable, I mean “‘problem’ individuals occur in approximately the same percentage their demographic occupies in my other experiences”), “threat” was solely connected with a particular race or visual financial category (especially if that was a “not the same as me” category), statistically or by a set of experiences. And I don’t know what to do with that, mentally.

      I also wonder how the experience would be different if I were more visually different – waiting at a bus stop next to homeless people (of whatever gender/race/age) as a kind of scruffy student with a cheapo backpack is almost certainly a different experience for both people than the exact same exchange, but with one person in a really nice suit. I haven’t taken daily city public transit since right after college (due to a lack thereof in the communities I’ve lived in since, or a lack of need to do so [walking to work = awesome; working from home = also awesome]), so I’m honestly not sure how that larger visual differential between poverty and “not” would play out, interpersonally and “threat”-wise. I’m also less young and smiley now, so I might be less of a target in general, but I don’t know.

      My viewpoint of “potential threat” is very clearly sexist, also. But that’s also substantially “personal statistics” based, as I’ve only been harassed by a woman twice, I think (once sexual in nature, once an obvious drug-and/or-severe-mental-illness random verbal attack). And I’ve never been followed extensively by a woman, etc.. So my mental potential-threat register only really keeps an eye out for guys, basically (although my “potential ally if something goes wrong” register keeps track of all available genders, identifiable or not). And I’m not sure I should feel badly about that bias when the male gender has “won” every single serious-problem points and 99% of the unpleasant-experience points (I never actually kept a counter, but for a long while while taking public transit before I moved, I had at least daily “interactions” of, um, varied degree, so it’s likely well into the multiple hundreds on the male side). Filtering and reading facial expressions on guys (possibly also with guardian angel support, given some of the stupid stuff I did in college, like walking home from the lab at 3am sometimes) probably kept me alive. That doesn’t mean I dodged all men or assumed the worst until proven otherwise about each individual, but there was definite assessment going on for unknown men proximate to me, which I typically skipped for women (although after screamy-woman, I did start visually verifying them as well – muttering with no bluetooth? hm. go for next bench.). I have a hard time feeling badly about that checking-for-male-posturing, but maybe I should?

      (I do generally feel okay about dodging people of whatever variety based on them glaring aggressively or leering, etc. If that’s how you’re choosing to express yourself, then… yeah. Nope, don’t want to be around that, even if you’re not going to shortly move on to threatening me personally. My [actually sincere] apologies, however, to anyone who was just really constipated or had a major toothache or facial tic or something similar on a particular day; I’m sure that happens and you’re not specifically choosing to look threatening; this was the best I could do, though.)

  • Kelly

    Can I use this last happy hour of the year to crowdsource some stories about how folks have asked friends and loved ones to officiate/stage manage/play an IMPORTANT ROLE in your wedding? Phone call? Lovely card? Email? Is there some kind of decorum to be aware of? I feel like it’s not that big of a deal, but it maybe it’s actually kind of a big deal? Cheers!

    • april

      I vote phone call or in person – mostly because those are potentially complicated roles and you want to be able to explain your expectations/answer any questions your loved ones may have. After they say yes, if you’re feeling super fancy-pants, you can send a follow-up note saying how much you appreciate their stepping into that role for you.

      • Shiri

        Yeah, I agree with this. I decided that clarity and logistics were more important to me than touching/sweet.

    • emilyg25

      Well my mom volunteered when I told her I was considering hiring a planner, but I think a phone call or in-person request is great, as long as you don’t expect an answer right then. Something like, “Hey, I was wondering if I could ask you a huge favor. Would you be interested in officiating/stage managing/playing an important role in my wedding? I know that’s a big job, but if you’re interested, I can tell you what it entails and you can think about it. If not, no worries.”

    • Jennie

      My husband’s uncle officiated our wedding. We knew we wanted someone close to us to officiate and he’d officiated other weddings in the past. So when we were discussing who we wanted, my husband felt strongly about him doing it. We planned to have dinner with them and asked him at dinner. Not a huge deal, but it was nice to have a meal and chat about it.

    • macrain

      For my bridesmaids that live where I do, I asked them in person. For my two sisters and matrons of honor, I talked to them over the phone (even tho this was pretty much a given since I have had that role in both of their weddings, I still felt it important to formally ask).
      I have been asked to be a bridesmaid a number of ways- twice I was asked with a lovely video put together by the bride. I don’t have those kind of skills and I was excited to just ask already!
      I think if you have the desire to do something fancy and it makes you happy, do it. But I just plain asked them, and they seemed pretty happy. This part is SO FUN- enjoy! :)

    • Casey

      We had a very good family friend officiate, and I was SO nervous to ask him! We pulled him aside during a family gatherig to ask, I think it was more nerve-wracking to ask in person but it felt like the right thing to do. We tried to emphasize that while having him officiate would mean so much to us, it would be totally ok for him to say no or to take some time to think about it. He ended up being very flattered but totally surprised, and did want to think about it. He did say yes,, and I think it was a great experience for him (and for us too!).

      • APracticalLaura

        We did the same thing when we asked my brother-in-law to officiate. When asking someone to take on a particularly large role like that, we too felt it was important to give him the opportunity to think about it and say no.

    • HannahESmith

      I mostly asked people over the phone due to either excitement or distance. I wouldn’t do email. Personally, I always associate email with business. If I could go back, I probably would have asked some people in person, but in general I was so excited I couldn’t wait.

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

      I did cards with a little gift for my bridal party and emails for the ushers!

    • Kendra D

      I facebooked or texted everyone. To be fair, we live in Turkey and everyone else is scattered across the globe. I would have loved to do phone calls or in person, but it just wasn’t logistically possible. I do like that it let me lay out my expectations and gave them the opportunity to decide if that’s what they wanted without any pressure of saying yes immediately.

    • Anon

      Oh, interesting that everyone said phone. I asked via email. For a few reasons, 1 was that I communicate via my college girl friends via a giant gmail thread that is basically now 9 years old. Email is our primary means of communication. The other was time changes and logistics made email more practical. I suppose that I also wanted to give them time to think about it and say yes or no, email let me make sure I covered all the important details and expectations and for me that’s easier to do over email. I suppose like most things it’s a know your audience thing.

    • Laura

      I haven’t done it yet (still in early planning), but I am going to use cards. I had a friend who wrote cards and I felt the gesture was so lovely and thoughtful (“no one sends letters anymore, you know”). Plus it gives the recipient of the card a moment to decide, or, if they are stressed and have a terrible reaction, they don’t hurt your feelings. :)

    • KerryMarie

      I used cards (these: http://riflepaperco.com/item/Will_you_be_my_Bridesmaid_/174/c34) to ask my bridesmaids, and my fiance asked his people in person. As to our officiant, we’re both theatre people, and I ended up asking her in between scenes during a show we were in together (which, in its own way was appropriate…). In both instances, Luke (my fiance) and I thought about why we wanted that particular person to be a part of our wedding, and did our best to articulate that to them.

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

    Any scrapbookers in the house? I’m really excited to work on my Project Life/December Daily project this weekend (more info here: http://www.abeautifulmess.com/2013/12/december-daily-begins.html), AND I just came across this super-cute idea for making a family holiday scrapbook that you display during the holidays: http://joannagoddard.blogspot.com/2013/12/holiday-idea-making-family-scrapbook.html I love family albums and I love this idea…I think I’m going to start that tradition next year for our first newlywed Christmas!

    • BreckW

      I JUST (seriously, last night) ordered a Project Life starter kit! I’m now in the process of sifting through our digital images and choosing which ones to have printed. After the holidays, I’m planning on lugging everything back to Venezuela to work on a scrapbook of the crazy year we’ve had. I hope you’ll blog about how yours is going–I love seeing what other people come up with in regards to traditional scrapbooking/Project Life.

      • http://www.devabydefinition.com/ Deva C.

        I am LOVING my Project LIfe Album. I’m trying to document our first newlywed year with it. I watched for a penny print deal from snapfish and ordered something like 350 prints to put into the album.
        I love the family holiday album idea. My favorite thing to do growing up was to go through the family photo albums and my grandmother’s photo wall in her home and think about how things were for my parents when they were growing up just in general. Since we’re sort of an interfaith couple I think doing a holiday-specific album would be really fun.

        • Jennifer

          Snapfish penny deals are the way to go! I was able to print all our engagement photos for so little. Of course the quality isn’t as good as our photographer’s offical printer (we have printing rights, so we can use whoever we want) but these will be perfect to use for showers/reception/etc.

    • http://andshelovesyou.com/ Lucy

      I couldn’t get into Project Life. I ordered the kit and everything, but that binder just feels ENORMOUS, and I think it intimidated me too much. Still, I have the kit and I love the papers so I just use them for other things. I think I’m going to find a smaller album next year that I can cheat the Project Life papers and my photos into.

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

        Guurrrl, that’s what I did. (Post about it here: http://www.thehousealwayswinsblog.com/2013/09/project-life-scrapbook-ideas/)

        12 x 12 binders are just so huge and unwieldy. In fairness, though, I actually think I made life harder on myself by going the small cheater album route because there aren’t as many templates. (Project Life CLAIMS to have smaller albums but none exist in real life as far as I can tell.) I will probably switch to 12 x 12 for 2014…easier to make (for me) but much harder to flip through.

        • http://andshelovesyou.com/ Lucy

          I love the albums you used! Where’d you get them? :D

          Yea, the 12×12 pages were more difficult for me because it felt like too much to take in at once. Minimalist at heart.

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

            I got them at Michael’s…the brand is Simple Stories!

  • Leslie

    Ok I need to crowd source some ideas for what to wear with my wedding dress for a winter outdoors ceremony later this month. Currently it is predicted to be 40 degrees. I am all over the vintage fur, but my fiance isn’t too big of a fan of fur, so I wanted some more ideas. For reference, here is my dress: http://www.shopstyle.com/p/badgley-mischka-strapless-lace-gown-ivory-apparel/434615057
    And here are my shoes: http://www.modcloth.com/shop/shoes-heels/sparkle-an-interest-heel
    We don’t have a wedding party or any set wedding colors, and I couldn’t even tell you what my fiance is going to wear because he wants it to be a surprise (cute!). Do I see an APW roundup for next winter maybe?

    • http://www.nthdegreedesigns.com/blog Seshat

      Oooh! I love your dress and shoes! Just gorgeous! Do you sew at all or know someone who does? You make a vintage inspired wrap or capelet with faux fur. They’re pretty simple patterns so you’d really just need some basic sewing skills to pull it off. I really love the look of fur wraps too, but there are some nice faux furs, or even just very rich, plushy fabrics out there.

    • macrain

      I love winter weddings! Your dress is gorgeous.

      Beholden has some really lovely capes, cardigans and wraps- http://www.bhldn.com/shop-shoes-accessories-cover-ups/?cm_sp=20131203_lp_access-_-cat-_-coverups

      If you don’t feel like shelling out for that, you could also just find a soft wrap in a color you like (I don’t have wedding colors either) from a department store.
      Good luck! Show us pics!

    • BreckW

      Is your fiance also anti faux fur? There are a ton of adorable faux fur options on Etsy. I just did a quick search and found a bunch starting at around $50.

      If all fur-like items are out of the question, you could go with a cute cardigan or, my fav, a shrunken/cropped jacket. I’m not sure if it’s really the look you’re going for, but I feel like this would look great with your outfit:

      http://www.anthropologie.com/anthro/product/clothes-jackets-outervest/27690577.jsp?cm_sp=Grid-_-27690577-_-Regular_5

      • Leslie

        Oh I love this! Putting it on the short list! I think it’s more of an aesthetic versus ethical thing with him (he’s a hearty meat-eater), but I have still been considering things with fur accents. Question for people who have worn wraps in real life: do you have to worry about them falling down all the time? Am I going to be grabbing for it every time a cold breeze blows if I get one? I wore one for a friend’s wedding and felt like I couldn’t keep that thing on my shoulders to save my life, but it was also silk so I think it was sliding more than a wool one would. Or alternatively, will it just look like I walked into my wedding wearing a blanket?

        • BreckW

          I’ve worn wraps in the past and am not really a fan of them. I have the same experience you’re describing–I either try to keep it elegantly draped and end up constantly adjusting it or I wrap it completely around myself and always feel sad that no one can really see my outfit. Maybe I’m doing it wrong?

    • Susie

      I love those shoes! I’m in the same boat! Getting married in January in NC but it still could be quite cold. The wedding is inside but pictures will be outside if the weather permits. My dress is long but tank sleeves and open in the back so not warm at all. I thought about fur but decided that wasn’t really “me” and my fiance would think it was weird to buy one, even if it was vintage, because I will never wear it again. My plan is two-fold, wear a warm, cute dark blue wrap coat I already have to keep me toasty between photos, and buy a nice cashmere cardigan for underneath and if it’s chilly inside or I want to cover up. I ordered four from http://www.bodenusa.com/ and two have already arrived so I can try them on with my dress. I’m leaning towards the cropped camel color. I’m staying away from wraps because I find them kind of matronly and I don’t want to worry about it falling down or dropping into my food or drink. I want my arms free for hugging and dancing! Look up “wedding cardigans” on Pinterest and you’ll see lots of great ideas! Also, Anthropologie has some amazing choices, especially if you’re not choosy about colors. Good luck!

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

      Wow, that dress is gorge! I’d go for a brand-new never been worn pricier cardigan in a jewel tone. Maybe with 3/4 sleeves?

    • Caroline

      I’m no good at matching things, (my fiance does that for me lol), so no idea if it would go with your dress, but I think white winter cloaks look amazing, and am, frankly, a tad jealous that my august wedding has no call for cloaks. (Lots of other nice things about my wedding though.)

      Here’s a short one: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000V2PKMA/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&tag=offbeatbrid0a-20&linkCode=as2&camp=217145&creative=399373&creativeASIN=B000V2PKMA

      I’m having trouble finding a long white cloak for sale to link you to, but they look stunning!

    • Laura

      This is my favorite topic right now, as I am searching for a similar compliment to my dress. Also… KILLER SHOES. These might become my new wedding shoes. Or just my new shoes.

      These netted lace wraps are nice. For winter I’d say a shimmery one would be lovely: http://www.yourselegantly.com/fashion-scarves-shawls-wraps-netted-lace-shawls-wraps-c-9_96.html?osCsid=n7k2t1o00u3lk39u59iul3bml4

      Or what about something like this that is soft but not so “fur-y” so finance would be more inclined to like it. http://www.etsy.com/listing/93462884/kate-middleton-style-customizable?ref=br_feed_10&br_feed_tlp=weddings

  • http://www.nthdegreedesigns.com/blog Seshat

    Oh my god. Can Friday the 13th please stop kicking my ass please? Last one I sprained my foot. Today my car got totaled. Another car hit mine at an intersection on my way to work, everyone was fine, but my car is officially totaled per the insurance adjuster. Not. Cool. One of the managers also took one look at me and told me just to take a sick a day since I was still shaking when I got to the office. Also, anyone have suggestions for winter friendly (preferably hatchback) car? I loved my little Versa, but it doesn’t handle so great once we start getting a lot of snow, but I also love that I could cram random furniture finds into it easy-peasy.

    But thank you APW, for your always wonderful link roundup. I just about died laughing over the William Sonoma catalog commentary. “OH BUT THIS WAFFLE MAKER GOES TO ELEVEN, YOU SEE.” You guys have also have posted the best gift guides that I ever seen on the web. Not only do I see stuff that I love, but I’ve gotten ideas for some of the hard-to-shop-fors as well.

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

      I lost it at “You people with your fucking compotes.”

    • Eenie

      The Honda Fit I hear great things about. I wanted one but they are hard to find used. Not sure about snow handling-I think you can try another compact car and just put winter tires on it to help. They compact cars just might not have enough weight to make them good winter cars.

      • Jennifer

        I had a Honda Civic hatchback and it was SUPER good in the snow. I needed something to be able to put my bikes in the back of. (I’m a triathlete).

        • Laura

          Fist bumps for Honda Civic love!

    • http://kara-tanoue.blogspot.com/ Kara Tanoue

      I’ve had a hyundai accent hatchback for 5 years and I LOVE it. It handles well in snow- but I do recommend weighting it a bit (a bag or two of sand/concrete mix in the back helps it feel a bit more solid).

    • Audrey

      Maybe a vw golf? It was one of my options when I was car shopping, although I ended up with an old honda si hatchback (not recommended unless you want something manual and sporty). The GTI is 4 wheel drive, but also a lot more expensive..

      • http://www.nthdegreedesigns.com/blog Seshat

        I don’t have any problems with manual (it’s what I was driving up until this morning). Automatic would be nice since my fiance hasn’t learned stick yet (and I’m not a very good teacher). Four doors are an absolute must (hopefully we’ll have kids before I need a new car) and hatchback would be greatly preferred. Budget’s a limiting factor so I’ll see what I find.

    • Gina

      Winter friendly hatchback car? Have you SEEN a Subaru commercial?

      Of course, I live in Colorado, where I don’t think they sell anything BUT Subarus.

      • http://www.nthdegreedesigns.com/blog Seshat

        Haha, yes Subaru is always the first suggestion from people (I live in MN and they’re popular here too). Unfortunately I’m on a budget and will have to buy used so I’m trying to get options and see what I can find (soon).

        • Emily

          Toyota (I think) Matrix? A friend of mine loves hers!

    • Laura

      I wouldn’t say my car is a *fantastic* winter car, but I drive a Ford Fiesta (hatchback, manual transmission). And I live in Wisconsin, so I’m no stranger to big snowstorms. It performed beautifully last winter and I was driving through last Sunday’s storm with no skidding/sliding/scariness whatsoever. It’s tiny but handles reasonably well and is definitely affordable.

    • Alison O

      Oh man, the only thing keeping me from ridiculously over-furnishing my house with Craigslist gems is not having a car that can fit most of them.

      • http://www.nthdegreedesigns.com/blog Seshat

        Fiance and had to split up one weekend to attend 2 different out of town weddings and I came home with an awesome MCM chair and foot stool. This is the sort of thing that happens when I’m left unsupervised :-) Our apartment is gorgeous though!

    • Anon

      I’m from Alaska and aside from subaru, I would recommend the Toyota 4 runner (my mom’s car). I believe they also have a toyota hatchback, thought I can’t think of the name. Best of luck with the car shopping.

      • Jennifer

        I’m originally from Colorado and I was debating between a Hyundai Elantra hatchback and a Toyota RAV-4. Also have another friend who drives a Volvo V40. And Subaru is always good (and super reliable). I’d advise test driving them all because there are quirks with every car. I found that I couldn’t see out of a Toyota well enough to buy it and the Hyundai sales guy tried to play games with me so I walked away and ended up with a Honda.

    • Meaghan

      Just get winter tires.

    • Laura

      My little Honda Civic (the ’92 manual version) was a DREAM in the snow. It loved me through 300,000 miles and so much life.

      What I don’t recommend, is the 2012 Ford Focus which is the provided leased vehicle by my company who (though I love my company and my job and my work) doesn’t really get that I drive thousands of miles a year to see hospice patients and I need a better car for the winter.

      • aldeka

        Seconding the Civic recommendation–there’s an old Civic (also a ’92 stick–represent!) in my family that has spent its whole life in Minnesota and has been hand-me-downed TWICE (my dad -> me -> my cousin). And it’s still running strong!

        My cousin got in a double fender-bender with it two winters ago (yay tailgaters) and while the other two cars had serious damage, the little old Civic in the middle of this stupid post-ice-storm sandwich was like ‘whatevs, foo’ and only had scratches. Damn I miss that car.

        • Laura

          Civic solidarity! There is no badassery like the Civic badassery. Mine said ‘whatevs, foo’ to two wrecks — one that ripped the bumper off the back (see: lady in conversion van distracted by 7 screaming kids driving through country kansas intersection in the dark of night with no headlights). The Honda earned the name “Little Cruncher” after that one. Oh, and did I mention that Little Cruncher can still be seen on the streets of Topeka? My other half has a nice shiny new car sitting in the garage but prefers to drive Little Cruncher due to excellent gas mileage.

  • Sarah

    need some life advice–got a job offer yesterday that is pretty close to perfect (good opportunity, baller benefits, closer to family, great institution to work for, etc). very excited–but new hubby and I were playing the “kids or job” first game. On the off chance that I find out I’m pregnant next week–what/any duty do I have to tell new employer? will my new health benefits cover this–is it a pre-existing condition? I would likely be starting the job in week 10 of hypothetical pregnancy. no waiting period for benefits. Please help!

    • Jessica

      This is a bit complicated, because you
      1. Have rights
      2. Don’t have to tell anyone until 12-15 weeks
      3. Want to start off on the right, trusting foot with your new employer.
      Hopefully this is a company that would welcome you and your family (born or otherwise) into its fold, but that is a very naive way to look at the situation.
      As an employer, I would want to know this information sooner rather than later, so that you’re not handed any big projects right before you go on medical leave and so there can be arrangements when you do go on leave. I don’t have the right answer for you because this is going to be rough no matter what. Maybe ask someone you know who has their own company to see what they would think in your potential employers place?

      • Sarah

        Thanks–I appreciate the legal and etiquette feedback–just what I was looking for.

      • Steph

        Just wanted to chime in here to clarify that you don’t HAVE to tell anyone at 12-15 weeks either. Are you in the U.S.? If so, a group health plan (e.g., through an employer) cannot legally consider pregnancy a pre-existing condition, even before the complete reform of pre-existing condition exclusions begins this January.

    • Catherine McK

      Congratulations! As far as I know, you are not legally obligated to tell your employer.you’re pregnant, and the pregnancy should be covered by your new insurance (no more denying for pre-existing, woo!). You won’t be eligible for FMLA however, the 12 weeks unpaid leave, as you will have been there for less than 1 year..

      • Sarah

        Yes, I’m aware of FMLA one year req. Thanks–this is a very hypothetical question but it’s last happy hour so wanted to get it in!

    • Jennifer

      I’m not an expert, but I don’t believe you have any duty to tell your employer if you are pregnant. And I know they can’t ask you! And wasn’t Obamacare supposed to get rid of pre-existing conditions? I thought so, but I haven’t had to check into it personally.
      Congrats on the job!! And the possible baby :)

      • Steph

        Yep Obamacare will do away with pre-existing condition exclusions in January (already did for kids), but employer plans are already prohibited from treating pregnancy as a pre-existing condition thanks to HIPAA. Hooray!

        • Laura

          I didn’t know this. Wonderful news!!

    • Shotgun Shirley

      I’m actually switching jobs while pregnant, and made it clear during recruiting… but it’s a bit different (probably) because I’m going to work with a bunch of people I’ve worked with before. So, they know and like me. I’m not FMLA eligible, but in CA at least, I’m still eligible for state disability, and Paid Family Leave.
      Anyway, they’ve made the offer, so they like you. You don’t need to tell them before you accept, but it probably won’t hurt anyway. Assuming they’re an Equal Opportunity Employer, they can’t rescind the offer just because you’re pregs. Jessica makes a good point, you don’t want to sign on to a big project just before leave. But – 9 months is a LONG time. So is 6 months. Share when you need to, but it’s likely they will be understanding… you can’t be the first pregnant person there. And check out the employee handbook ASAP to understand maternity leave policy.

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

      Agree with the other posters – insurance coverage cannot be denied on the basis of a pre-existing condition. And they’re right that you won’t qualify for FMLA coverage, which means you aren’t guaranteed to keep your job after your maternity leave. The company I work for is very lenient regarding this and almost always allows women to take “unpaid leave” if their maternity leave is within their first year of employment, but again, NOT a guarantee or protected right if you haven’t worked for said company for one year.

    • Laura

      No more pre-existing conditions (after Jan 1, I believe). And, while you definitely do not have a legal obligation to tell your employer (well, I shouldn’t say “definitely” since I am not licensed to give legal advice), It might be good for you to tell them just to have a “reality check” conversation and to be able to openly discuss benefit options. That’s a tough one, though. Not sure what I’d do in your shoes. Yay on “perfect job offer” though!!

  • macrain

    I have recently asked my father to officiate my wedding, and now I need to break the news to him that we would prefer a non-religious ceremony. He was a pastor for much of his life, although he is not one currently. I’m fairly sure he and my mom still have religious beliefs, although only my mom is involved in any sort of church.
    I wasn’t able to discuss this detail with him when my fiance and I asked him; I didn’t want to take away from the beauty of the moment.
    How do I do this? I’m terrified. Do I make a thing of it? I almost sent him an email last week with a wedding ceremony that I found on a blog, hoping that he’d take the hint, but now that seems too indirect. Also I don’t want to feel like I’m asking him permission to have the wedding ceremony me and my fiance want. My fiance and I both have been religious in the past, and at this stage have decided it’s not for us. I’ve actually been worried for this potential conflict since before I got engaged!
    Thoughts?

    • Catherine McK

      My aunt officiated our ceremony. Neither of us are religious and she is a minister. We set up several meetings where we discussed our expectations, thoughts on the purpose of the ceremony, and feelings about God. It was hard to talk about, and I know it was hard for her to do, but it turned out beautifully. So, recommendation: be upfront and open as to what you’re looking for and what the ceremony means to you without the religious aspect. Good luck!

    • Caroline

      I would wrap it into discussing what the ceremony will be like. Try not to assume you know what his feelings will be in advance. Tell him what you want the ceremony to be like, that you don’t want it to be religious. But let him feel his own feelings. Don’t borrow trouble by assuming there will be conflict before there is. He might be fine with it. Or he might freak out, in which case, you can then deal with the conflict, and stay strong in what you want the ceremony to be. It is the beginning of your marriage.

  • Anon

    Did anyone else that kept their name (or is planning to keep their name) get really bothered when people find out and then immediately ask “and how does [husband/fiance] feel about that?”

    I hate this question and I’m having a hard time putting my finger on precisely why. It feels like there’s an implication that husband/fiance holds a secret trump card in the name game. As if it’s OK for me to keep my name but only with if I have my husband’s approval. The rational part of me knows that is (hopefully) not what the person means to convey, but . . . still.

    • Sarah

      I suggest something along the lines of “Of course he’s not bothered. We both decided to keep our birth names.”

    • Price of Tea

      I kept my name, and I also hate this question. My husband really wanted me to change my name, but…it wasn’t his decision, and it doesn’t matter how he feels about it, because it’s MY name. Whenever people ask me how he feels about it, I just kind of laugh and say something vague, but what I want to say is “your question is irrelevant!”

      • EmLeMat

        You are so right, and you’re making me think — a lot.

        I did change my name, and when people ask what I did name-wise, I often throw in something about how much it meant to my now-husband to share a name. I’m probably not alone in responding that way. But you’re right — his feelings about it were NOT enough of a reason, alone, to change my name. I’m probably making it harder for you guys in the process when I name that as a reason. So in the future, I’ll try to stick to “we both changed our names” and leave it at that.

    • Class of 1980

      You hate the question because it is invasive. They think they have the right to question whether you’ve discussed the issue with your fiance, whereas they should be assuming you are adult enough to have already handled it.

      • Caroline

        And this is why I hate it when my mother asks me how my partner feels about that every time I mention some way in which we are not celebrating christmas at our house. (We are an interfaith couple, but made the decision to have a Jewish household. Which means no christmas at home). Thanks for the clarity.

    • La’Marisa-Andrea

      It doesn’t stop with the name. If you get a haircut or lose weight or gain weight, people wanna know what your husband thinks (before they wanna know how YOU feel about it). Grr.

    • K.

      So I’m more than likely taking my fiance’s name for personal reasons, but I think part of what bothers you about this is that it’s not seen as equal sum. I guarantee that NO ONE will hear that I took his last name and say, “And how does [husband/fiance] feel about that?” because the assumption is that it’s the preferred choice, even though we’ve both been grappling with it for some time and it’s not a simple decision for either of us.

  • mimi

    Site request – can you make your links open in a new tab/window instead of the same tab/window? I open a link and then close it when I’m done, only to realize that I then have to open a new tab to get back to APW. Thanks!

    • Kayjayoh

      Try right-clicking? I hate it when sites automatically open a new tab or window, actually.

    • Meg Keene

      It varies, in terms of how we program it. Internal links within APW open in the same tab (intentionally). On our end, external links open in new tabs. (That’s how our settings are, I don’t know what your browser settings might be.) That said, it’s totally up to you. If you want to open a link in a new tab, hit control and then click it.

  • Anon

    Did anyone else that kept their name (or is planning to keep their name) get really bothered when people find out and then immediately ask “and how does [husband/fiance] feel about that?”

    I hate this question and I’m having a hard time putting my finger on precisely why. It feels like there’s an implication that husband/fiance holds a secret trump card in the name game. As if it’s OK for me to keep my name but only with if I have my husband’s approval. The rational part of me knows that is (hopefully) not what the person means to convey, but . . . still.

    • LM

      I kept my name and have not gotten that question, but I think my reaction to it would definitely depend on how it was asked. Reading your post, in my head I was like “doesn’t matter how he feels, i don’t need his permission”. So I think tone matters since it could either seem like “Did your husband give you permission/does he feel emasculated by your choice?” [ugh] or more like “what was the process you went through when deciding and how did the two of you figure out what worked for you?” [thoughtful question] which is less charged.

      • LM

        But also I think for me, part of the annoyance might be the fact that I think it’s pretty bananas that changing one’s name is, for the most part,something that men do not grapple with, and are not expected to by society at large.

        • Jessica

          No one but my mother and a hyper-conservative guy at a coffee shop has given me any questions about it. I was really hyped up and had talking points and witty remarks on the whole thing…and nothing. No one has said anything.

          I’m both happy about it and a little sad that I couldn’t use my feminist rage for something good.

    • Lauren from NH

      Coming from someone who hasn’t made the leap yet and is still shaking out the name change decision…. I would plan a calm and confident redirect. “We both decided to keep our names and it was a decision we made together as a family.” It does a little subtle reeducating and establishes you both as equals and firmly on the same team. I think maybe by showing more confidence than the doubters and judgers, you don’t have to bitch them out to shut them down and stand up for you and your family. If that makes sense…

      • BreckW

        I love subtle reeducation for situations like this, even when, as I say it, I have to remind myself not to completely freak out.

    • Jess

      YES. yes, yes, yes, yes, yes. Or the fact that when we got our license, in the new last name section, they gave us back our forms and I had to write “no change” and sign my name next to it. The first signature on the paper wasn’t enough apparently. I’m really bad at dealing with this. I get, like, instant rage when people ask me how the fiance feels about it.

      • Shiri

        Ooh, that’s so strange. I feel like ours just said “name after marriage” or something like it, but maybe I’m remembering it more egalitarian than it was. State’s rights, man.

      • Laura

        “Instant rage” is going to be my new catch-phrase. “You’re not having save the dates?” “No unity candle?” “you’re not changing your name?” INSTANT RAGE. (inward of course, because I’m a f*king lady.)

    • Emma Klues

      I also feel that same cringing moment when people ask me how my husband feels about my short haircut.

    • Rebecca

      I find that phrasing my answer as “No, neither one of us decided to change our names” helps nip some of that in the bud. And the looks one peoples faces is fun. I stole this phrase from someone else on the internet, but it works wonders.

  • HannahESmith

    So we’re thinking of taking a post-Christmas trip to Vancouver B.C. I’m wondering if any APWs have recommendations on which neighborhood to stay in (we’re doing Airbnb) or fun things to do. Bonus points for rain-appropriate activities, as the weather might be wet. :)

    • Dom

      My only recommendation is to avoid being north of the Lion’s Gate bridge. It is only 3 lanes, so if you have to go downtown and you end up leaving when the lanes switch to one lane in and two lanes out, it will cause a traffic related melt-down.

    • Susie

      Yes!! We went in August and stayed in an awesome basement studio apartment in Strathcona https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/994900. It was super nice, came with two bicycles, and was really close to everything. Walk to Chinatown and go to this restaurant called East of Main (http://eastofmaincafe.com/) which benefits Project Limelight and has amazing Mediterranean food for cheap! We rode bikes all along the city seawall which was gorgeous. If it’s rainy there’s a great museum of anthropology at UBC, even take an umbrella and visit some of the Asian gardens which have covered areas and are lovely even when wet. If you get a clear day a trip up to Grouse Mountain is fun to see the city, although a little touristy. I would also recommend La Buca, Pied-a-Terre or The Sardine Can (all run by by sister-in-law’s brother), Rangoli for amazing modern Indian, and La Taqueria Pinche Taco Shop! Have fun!

    • Alix

      Mount pleasant is a GREAT neighbourhood if you’re into cool restaurants and shopping and cocktail bars etc. (Main street is where that all happens) Commercial drive area is also cool. Funky shopping and more restaurants.

      Granville island is filled with markets and art galleries and that kind of cool stuff. Beautiful water views.

      Those neighbourhoods would also keep you nice and close to the typical downtown core.

    • Alix

      Stanley Park is just absolutely beautiful to walk around and enjoy. (Not rain friendly though for the most part :) The sea wall is wonderful if you and your partner are into walking/biking etc.

      The Rio is a lovely little theatre that plays old/cult movies in the evenings. I saw Spice World there complete with drag queen spice girl intermission performances!

      Vancouver residents are obsessed with brunch and sushi so if you’re into those two things there will be places everywhere heh. I sort of wrote you a novel haha. But have a great time if you make it!

      • HannahESmith

        Thank you! This is so helpful. Also, Drag Queen Spice World sounds amazing.

    • MC

      There is an AWESOME aquarium in Vancouver! I’ve been there about three times because my dad loves it and will always take me when we’ve been up there.

  • Laura C

    Noooo, not the last of the year. Actually, I guess I’ll be off the next two Friday afternoons myself, so, ok, I’ll survive. Though I plan to be making big wedding progress over the next couple weeks.

    Save the dates went out this week and I want to throw a little praise to the postal service — some of them arrived the next day, and within three days I know they’d made it to at least four states.

  • celinad6

    I’m looking for ideas about what people did for their bachelorette party. Even though I’d like to take a girls’ trip somewhere, I’ve decided that it would be best just to do something a couple of days before the wedding.

    • http://www.etsy.com/shop/DIYIDo Laura

      We did a bicycle wine tour (through Pedal & Pour) that included wine tasting, a wine talk, lunch, and biking from winery 1 to winery 2 and back. After that we walked around a nearby town checking out little shops and stopping for drinks and appetizers at a few different places, then drove to another town for dinner. The night ended with a slumber party. It was amazingly fun and relaxing.

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

      My girls took me to a day spa for a massage and manicure (We all got them)and then we went out to dinner. We had a light lunch before the spa at one of my bridesmaid’s houses and went back after dinner to roast marshmallows and stuff our faces with smores.

    • emilyg25

      I had a crafting tea party. My best friend found a local tea room where we rented space and ate scones and made silly crafts for a few hours. It was pretty much the best.

    • Kathleen

      I’m kind of a history geek, so my sister organized a sort of bar crawl that visited some of NYC’s oldest bars. We’re all local, so it was just going out for a few hours one night, but with factoids she had looked up about the history of the places we visited.

    • Shiri

      My friends came to visit me (they all live all over) and we took a (surprise!) cooking class, which was awesome, and then sort of just generally hung out, which we never get to do.

    • malkavian

      I had a joint stag/hen party where we went and got diner food and then went to beer garden afterwards. My friends came up with lots of silly games to play, like play-dough molding contests and a custom version of the drinking game Kings. It was a lot of fun because 1) it was familiar stuff that me and my husband missed after moving away from the area and 2) it was very authentic and organic to us and our group of very, very awesome friends.

    • Guest

      I had a tea party and mani/pedis. My MOH found this cute little teahouse that was sort of equidistant from all of my friends in the state, and we met up there for tea and scones and cakes and nails. It was really sweet.

    • Laura

      For my best friend, we did a fun night for her in “stages.” First we went for a mani-pedi, then we went to a nice dinner. After that we transitioned from “classy to trashy” and went to a couple of bars, and generally had a drunken and lovely time. We didn’t spend loads of money, but we did have a good time. It was fun for her because in doing the night in “stages,” many people were able to come. i.e., her favorite professors from school, some more introverted friends were able to come to the more low-key parts, and other friends from work/school were able to make it after work for the more “party down” parts. (Aside from her two bridesmaids, of course, who were there the whole time.)

  • Kendra D

    When APW resumes in January, we will be in the middle of packing up all our belongings for our third transcontinental move since 2010. We’ve moved from the US to Germany, Germany to Southern Turkey, and now Turkey back to the US next year. I’ll also be a week out from starting a paralegal course and changing career paths. 2014 also holds when we finally get to have our wedding ceremony, so it’s going to be a big year for us!

    • http://kara-tanoue.blogspot.com/ Kara Tanoue

      Wow, that’s quite a year! Congrats!

  • K.

    Totes bought my mom the Williams-Sonoma DIY butter maker from the Deadspin list. And she will love both the concept AND the churning, because she’s hardcore like that. Haters gonna hate. :D

    • KC

      I am intrigued by the churning; I know you can make butter by shaking cream in a mason jar (or by overwhipping cream or, basically, by a number of other cream-abuse methods), and it is delicious, but what sort of churning method does the kit use? (also: butter stamp!)

      (and yes, the Perfect Gift for one person is the Ridiculous Thing I Would Never Use for another. Hooray for individuality!)

      • K.

        Ha! I’m actually not sure. All I know is that it comes with “two mini-crocks” so I’m assuming it’s a miniaturized version of churning with your fingers for 20ish minutes. It’s more for the novelty than anything! And yes to the Perfect Gift – I definitely fall into the first category, re: most Williams-Sonoma “specialty” goods, but my mom eats them up! No pun intended.

  • Class of 1980

    Loved the Williams Sonoma Haters Guide. THIS ONE MADE MY DAY!!!! ;)

    “Item #54-5873732 Gingerbread Estate

    Williams-Sonoma says: “(not shown)”

    Price: $249.95

    Notes:
    What the fuck? I can’t see the estate? The house itself is 57 bucks.
    How much larger is the estate? Is it so large that it can’t fit within
    any standard camera lens? Does it have a fucking golf course? I want a
    gingerbread estate with a chocolate moat and armed taffy guards and
    maple butter gates, and if someone tries to break in, my peppermint
    security alarm alerts an elite group of butter toffee SEAL members to
    come shoot hot caramel right in your fucking EYE. I doubt the wisdom of
    investing heavily in a gingerbread estate. The gingerbread estate market
    is a bubble that is bound to burst and send shards of stale icing all
    over us.”

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

    I don’t know if someone mentioned this yet because I’m at work, getting ready to go to my second job and unfortunately can’t get caught on my cell phone so haven’t been able to read through all the comments yet, but i would volunteer to “guest host” the next two Happy Hours (or just the one of someone else would like to host the second). Because i don’t know about you, but I can no longer begin to imagine Fridays without Happy Hour…plus, where else are we supposed to go for a breath of fresh, sane air during the upcoming family-filled days?

    • Ariel

      I will (hopefully) have exciting news to share next Friday!

    • Shiri

      This is such a lovely idea!

    • Laura

      I would love for this to become a reality. Friday happy hours are one of my favorite thing about fridays.

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

      OK! Let’s do it. I don’t know if the ladies of APW would be comfortable posting a reminder on their last post of the year directing people to my blog for at least one but possibly two unofficial-guest-Happy-Hours {I can’t decide if this is like…a faux paz or not?} but um…yeah, anyone who wants to join, I’ll see you guys there on Friday! {assuming, of course, APW is ok with this?}

  • B.

    So. I’m thinking about proposing to my partner.

    Hold on.

    There is a problem. I’ve been anti-marriage for years. Years. Anti anti anti. When we first started dating – eight years ago! – he expressed that he’d like to get married (in general) “eventually.” Over the years, I’ve repeatedly asserted my many well-reasoned arguments against marriage. It was easy to convince him to be as anti- as me.

    Exploring the changing face of contemporary marriage on this site and through the marriage equality movement has changed my feelings. And, frankly, I just feel like I finally grew up. I adamantly do not see marriage as necessary for “grown-up” status, but I just feel less… angsty about it. I always felt like no one had the right to expect that type of promise from another person, and marriage just seemed so delusional to me. I didn’t realize my own parents’ breakup had affected me that much, but, truthfully, it did. I felt like I didn’t deserve to expect that kind of commitment – that no one did.

    But something has changed. We’re both 36 and have been living together for years. We have joint bank accounts and make all decisions together. And, while I still don’t necessarily believe in promising “til death do us part,” and we’re not religious, and I’ve been terrified of that type of commitment because of my parents’ history of multiple marriages, and I don’t want a typical wedding, and we have no pressing reason to get married… I just haven’t been able to shake the feeling, for the past year or so, that I just WANT to. I changed my mind.

    How do I do it? Romantic “event” proposals are not our style – especially not his style. He definitely wouldn’t want a ring, or want me to spend a bunch of money (I don’t want a ring, either). How do I let
    him know I’m serious about it without making it too high pressure? I suppose the crux of my question is, how does a woman propose to a man when said man fairly and happily assumes that marriage is not on the table? When it’s not an expected, anxiously awaited, romance-infused obvious next step? When he may be suspicious that the woman has completely lost her mind?

    How do I tell him and explain all this without either just blurting it out or engaging in a long-ass diatribe such as the one to which I am now subjecting you fine people?

    Thanks for your patience and thanks for your help, ladies (and gents)!

    • MisterEHolmes

      I think the type of proposal is very tailored to the people in the relationship, ranging from “I made you pancakes for breakfast and why don’t we get married?” to a big Broadway spectacle, so you have to make that choice. But best of luck and congratulations to you for your decision!

    • emilyg25

      Hmm, I think because this is rather unexpected, you might want to start with a discussion about getting married, rather than just proposing out of the blue. You could float some questions, and then depending on how that goes, propose at a later date. Or just start talking and get there in that same discussion. Depends on what works for you guys.

      For proposal ideas, my husband proposed to me while we were lying in bed, chatting on a Saturday morning. No ring. And my dad proposed to my mom thusly: “When’s your next weekend off?” So yeah, we’re not big “event” proposal people either.

    • Caroline

      I think as Emilyg25 said below, bringing it up before a proposal-proposal could be helpful. On the other hand, just bringing it up could be a proposal. Either way.

      I think sometime when you are doing something fun and relaxing/not super stressful (ie, a hike, or sunday breakfast, or sitting around naked on your bed, but probably not just before a work deadline, or packing for a trip), you could mention “You know how I used to be so anti-marriage? I’ve been thinking about it lately, and I’ve changed my mind. I’d really like to marry you.” You could follow it up with “Will you marry me?” or “What do you think?”

      I think that’s all it takes. I don’t think you need to start with explaining. Just be frank. “I changed my mind. I want to marry you. You game?” Then later, you can talk about why you changed your mind if you want.

      But really, there is no wrong way to do it, and only one way to do it: Gather your courage and blurt out the terrifying hope that this person will marry you. Seriously, our proposal was planned by both of us, down to the day, time and mutual proposing and I was scared to propose. So just take the leap of courage!!

  • Caroline

    Yesterday, when we could not take a moment longer of studying for finals, we walked to our favorite local jewelry store and ordered our wedding rings! So excited! I feel like lately, I’m in a super “squeeeeee! We’re getting maaaaaaaaaaried!” mood, but don’t know how to politely express it with friends without bugging them. There is so much crap on the Internet about how “I’m sick of hearing about your wedding planning” on the Internet, that I’m super shy to talk about the wedding if someone asks. Plus it’s not planning news, just general excitement.

    Also, my aunts offered to throw us an engagement party or wedding shower, our choice. I’m so delighted and touched, and I feel so awkward choosing. Like, if I would love to have a special celebrating me as a bride party with my female relatives, is that awkward and asking for gifts ( which is not what’s important) and leaving out my partner? Or if we have an engagement party, but his parents and siblings can’t afford to come, is that awkward and uncomfortable? the wedding is already super “my side of the family dominant” anyways, since they are paying and it is at my mom’s house). I wish they had offered one or the other, to choose is so awkward. But I was also so touched. But how do I choose?

  • Susie

    You guys – I picked up my dress from alterations today and it’s finally all pressed and fits well and I love it! And tomorrow is my bridal shower/bachelorette party! And I finished my third semester of grad school this week (one to go!) And in 36 days I’m getting married! Crazy! Everyone have a wonderful weekend!! Much love to the APW community.

    • Caroline

      So exciting! Yay!

    • Laura

      So much happy! Congrats!

  • K.

    Did any of you struggle with the polar opposite desires of wanting to be inclusive/open/loving in regard to your guest list and also only wanting to celebrate with the people you’re closest to on your wedding day? Any thoughts? Normally I’m very firm in my conviction to only invite the nearest and dearest, and not the family members I’ve lost touch with and probably will never be in touch with (due to lack of caring on both sides), excepting weddings and funerals. But then other times, I feel like I’m being an exclusive snob rather than someone who embraces all of her connections. But then I wonder if that’s the WIC’s concept of Big Weddings talking to me. And then I think maybe I’m being arrogant in thinking that cousins I haven’t spoken to in 5+ years would even care to go to my wedding. But then I remember that post from a few weeks ago about how weddings are seen as “family renunions” and how much I balk at it — but how much others don’t and would be terribly hurt not to be included.

    For the record, my fiance thinks I should invite who I want to be there, in my heart of hearts, and no one else. And usually I’m certain that the smaller guest list is it, but then things get…muddled.

    • Caroline

      Yes. No advice, but I definitely am sometimes unsure on the size of the wedding. Sometimes I’m all, let’s invite more people!!! And sometimes “But only the nearest dearest most intimate.” Since we already have our venue, and a rough idea, it’s not fluctuating too much, but between 60 and 95 people or so.

    • springday123

      I struggle with this all the freaking time! I care about people, and don’t want them to be upset if they don’t get invited. Maybe too much people pleasing. But sometimes I think it would mean a lot for them to be there, even if they’re not my top picks, if that makes sense? Like somehow how much it would mean to them overrides them not being in my top tier?

      I think it’s roughest when I’m thinking about inviting parts of a group and not all (ie part of the college friend group or part of my work colleagues, etc).

    • Laura

      I have no answers; but you’re not alone. I am struggling with the same thing at this very moment.

    • Em

      YES. We are having a terrible time with the guest list. I’m an introvert, so the idea of being surrounded by people who I don’t know well, have lost touch with, or don’t even know (partner’s extended family) makes me fairly sick to my stomach. BUT, there are a couple of cousins and an uncle or two that I very much want to be there, and I feel like I can’t invite one uncle and not an other. And also, my wedding’s gonna be a big old gay wedding, and both my partner and I feel it would likely be extremely helpful for our relatives’ accepting this by giving them an opportunity to see how real and strong our love is and witness our supportive, loving community.

      So we keep swinging wildly from the small wedding of immediate family and friends – which makes my heart stop racing but fills me with guilt and nerves – to the larger wedding – which makes my stomach hurt but at least feels like I am doing The Right Thing or something…. Ahhh. Basically at this point we are just hoping lots of people won’t be able to make it… which then sounds TERRIBLE.

      Anyway… all of this is to say I FEEL YOU.

  • La’Marisa-Andrea

    I think Nate Hill’s “trophy white woman” series is such a brilliant take on the idea of white women being status symbols.

  • MEM

    I’ll be getting married over the break- see you on the other side!! thank you sooo much for keeping me sane through this whole process- from pre-engaged to wedding day and hopefully into the future!

    • Laura

      Best wishes!!

  • http://cafeaubride.blogspot.com/ Catherine

    Awww I will miss you all!! And I have lots that happened this week but just too exhausted to talk bout it now – but it involved my fiance surprising me by flying my best friend out here to go dress shopping with me and I think I might have found *the dress* :)

  • Laura

    Happy Hour has been over for a *while* now, but in light of a few of the links above, I want to share something I read today. It is an interesting read: “An Ode to Women Who Are Difficult to Love.” I feel like if it had been an article featured on this site, it would have been called “Reclaiming Lady.”
    http://www.sisteroftheyam.com/?p=167

    Here’s a link to a small article about and full text of the poem referenced at the beginning of that blog post: http://www.clutchmagonline.com/2011/03/morning-motivation-warsan-shires-for-women-who-are-difficult-to-love/

    • KEA1

      Just read that poem and OH WOW. I need to print it and hang it up everywhere I look, because I need that reminder in a big way (says the woman who’s been criticized by a former boyfriend for being “complicated,” among other things…)

      • Laura

        me too. Other words include: head strong, too stubborn, and yes even difficult.

  • Hayley Tuller

    When you guys come back, I’ll be married. :) Our wedding is on the 4th of January. THANK YOU to the writers and artists of APW for being my go-to source for sane advice, helping me find the most bitching photographer who “gets” us, and validating my sense that much of the WIC was just a little bit too much and not right for us, so I could stand my ground when everyone insisted we “buy all the things.” Thank you so much, ladies.

  • June

    Did anyone else happen to see NPR’s article from a few weeks ago about science reporter Emily Graslie’s recent “Ask Emily” video on her YouTube series, “The Brain Scoop”? It includes a link to the video, in which she very intelligently blasts the gross sexist jerks who send her emails and make comments about her body/looks/clothes. Her whole web series in general is awesome. The particular video discussed in the NPR article made me want to give Emily a giant feminist fist-bump.

    http://www.npr.org/blogs/krulwich/2013/11/30/247842138/science-reporter-emily-graslie-reads-her-mail-and-it-s-not-so-nice

  • http://www.poiresauchocolat.net/ Emma Gardner

    So I’m a bit late for HH but I had an idea this morning… would anyone would be interested if I submitted a post about the tradition/history of sugared almonds and weddings around the world along with a how-to for making candied/caramelised almonds (making them white/coloured involves a long process which is a bit much for DIY but they’re extremely delicious candied and work with the bitter almond/sweet coating concept)? They’re awesome for parties and hostess gifts too.

    • Laura

      I would be interested, yes! I’m interested in posts about wedding “traditions” in general. Knowing where they come from, why we do them, etc.

    • blimunda

      I am Italian (Italy-Italian) and I thought sugared almonds were traditional only here!
      I have this fun fact for you (maybe you already know it? maybe you’re Italian as well?)
      We call them “confetti”. The English word “confectioner” (as in confectioner’s sugar, for example) has the same root and means roughly “sugar coated” (duh). They were thrown at people for good luck. This is why confetti means what it means in English, the word was reassigned to a substitute object for the same use. I can’t help but find it amusing.

  • Kayjayoh

    Ladies, Said the Gramophone’s best 100 songs of 2013 list has gone up. I’ve enjoyed these for the past 3 years. Some songs become new favorites, some get deleted after one listen. It’s a good time.

    http://www.saidthegramophone.com/archives/best_songs_of_2013.php

  • http://dressesandyarn.tumblr.com/ Natalie

    I’m turning 30 next Monday and I’m just glad this year is nearly over. My year was fraught with unemployment, disconnect notices, soul-crushing poverty, and roommates from hell. I knew the year couldn’t be good when the day before my birthday (AKA my unofficial start to the new year) I was hit and my car was totaled. So this year instead, I am going to my very first dress appointment followed by dinner and desert at home. Because although things are slowly getting better, it’s going to be two more paychecks before I’m out of the hole.

    So for 2014 I’m looking forward to things that are probably pretty mundane for most but were completely out of my reach this year:

    x. Joining the local Y with my sweet employee discount
    x. Going on a restrained, yet practical clothing and underpinnings shopping spree for my partner and myself

    x. Sign up for proper sewing lessons

    x. Start socking away money for our own shop!
    x. Pay a trip to a reproductive endocrinologist because of the possible complication relating to my weird medical history

    x. Find and buy wedding outfits for my partner and I

    x. Plan and execute a fun Halloween wedding with all my friends

    • Laura

      Does this mean you’ll be 30 on the 30th?

      • http://dressesandyarn.tumblr.com/ Natalie

        Indeed! I thought my golden birthday would be a little more fun, but if I can just make it without anymore financial crises, that would be the best president of all.

        • Kayjayoh

          Happy T-minus 7 days to birthday!

          • http://dressesandyarn.tumblr.com/ Natalie

            Aww, thanks! So far my birthday plans are to try on wedding dresses, eat peppermint bark, and hang out with my family and pups.