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Best Of APW 2013


And a happy new year!

by Meg Keene, Editor-In-Chief

Best Of APW 2013 | A Practical Wedding

Dear APW,

We normally take two weeks off at the end of the year, because, well, everyone needs a proper vacation once a year. (And what’s running a company about if it’s not creating a little bit of the dream work-life balance?) But this year, we’re taking a few extra days off from publishing, though we’ll still be toiling away over here behind the scenes till Friday. This year has been a professional whirlwind. The staff is exhausted, but mostly, we’re tired of running fire drills and never being far enough ahead. So we’re taking time off to get things properly ready for 2014. Because if 2013 was good around these parts, 2014 is going to be a zillion times better. We’re starting the year with our shiny new site, our (even) awesome(er) team, and all the skills we gained this year. In the meantime though, we’ll be sharing links and other good stuff on Facebook. Follow along over with us there (in between egg nog and naps).

If you’re brand new here, may I suggest our pre-engagedengaged, and married pages (depending). And our pages on City Hall WeddingsAt Home Weddings, and Elopements will help you think outside of the wedding industry box. And really? Really, really? The APW bookBest Of APW 2013 | A Practical Wedding is the very best place to start (plus you can write in the margins and pass it to your mom). In January, we’ll be back to delight with you over your engagements.

For the rest of you, here is where we leave you. Except… we never really leave you, since the APW archives go on for near eternity. For those you wanting a walk down the memory lane of 2013, those of you looking for good stuff to read and reread over the holidays, and for those of you who just got engaged (Squeeee! Congrats!) and want to get started, here is the best of APW in the last year. We think so at least. Feel free to leave your favorites in the comments.

Till January 6th, cheers! Wishing you naps, long quiet walks, cozy time with the ones you love, and some mulled wine and cookies. We can’t wait for the New Year. Till then, our love.

xo,
Meg & The APW Team

Best Of APW 2013 | A Practical Wedding

Wedding Planning

Getting Started Wedding Planning. To, you know, think about getting started. (I’m just mad I can’t see your new ring/engagement puppy!)

APW’s Ultimate Guide to Wedding Dress Shopping. Or: Trust Yourself.

How To Have A Fun Wedding. Enough said. Except it’s really not said enough.

I DON’T CARE IF YOU LIKE IT. (This one must be typed in all caps.)

Emergency Wedding Playlist. Just in case your Maid Of Honor looses the iPod, we’ve got you covered.

Tomboy Flower Girls. The post that made the internet go “squee!”

Mollusks Don’t Have Nervous Systems, Let Alone Body Image (otherwise known as Elisabeth’s first post)

In Defense of David’s Bridal (For Example).

The Case Against Inspiration Boards. Blogs ≠ Reality. (Reality is usually much better.)

Your Wedding Is Not Timeless.

A Private Wedding. When you don’t want your guests to share your wedding on social media.

 

REAL WEDDINGS

This hip San Francisco City Hall Wedding. Throwing your garter on the steps of City Hall? Check.

A teeny tiny Bodega Bay wedding.

Chris & Eric. Kilts and joy.

Corey & Shawn have a pizza party on a roof in Brooklyn, and then break down how they did it.

A budget wedding shot totally on Instagram. (It’s beautiful.)

 

HOW TO

Turning a (terrible) grocery store sheet cake into a hip wedding cake. (Or, the one that angered The Bakers Of The Internet Texas.)

For those with more classic tastes: how to turn (lovely) grocery store cakes into a trio of wedding cakes.

Vellum Candle Centerpiece. God, it’s pretty. God, it’s easy.

Retro cat eye and false eyelashes. The tutorial I use at least once a month.

BRAS BRAS BRAS. Finding one that fits (changed my life). Finding one for your wedding dress (may change your wedding).

Awesome poems for your wedding.

 

Marriage & More

What If It’s Not Forever? Recognizing the impossibility of predicting forever, and hoping for it anyway.

DOMA’s gift. Recommitting after things get tough.

One black feminist’s thoughts on weddings and marriage.

Chore Monsters, Feminism, and Zombies. Or, how to figure out if you should pick up your husband/ boyfriend/ masculine-of-center person’s dirty dishes.

When We Got Married. (Tissue alert.)

Why get gay married. (Or not.)

Prudence’s frank discussion of divorce: Deciding You’re Done and A Dog And A Sweater.

And a personal favorite: Fifty Ways To Leave Your Lover (And Start All Over Again).

 

Kids/ No Kids

How To Make A Baby. (Hint: not with sex.)

Learning A New Kind Of Love. Dizzying. Terrifying. Wonderful.

Marriage and Early Motherhood: Part I and Part II. Maddie interviews me about fears about motherhood.

In Praise of Daycare. One of the things my kid loves the most (which allows me to do some of the work I love the most).

Post-Postpartum. The same, but rearranged.

Trading Fear for Gratitude. The stay-at-home dad. The mom who loves her career.

The Visitors. We’re the home team; they’re the visitors. Right now the home team is wining.

 

Shit We’re Just Proud Of

My Life Is Good* On the culture of hate reading on the internet.

Don’t Pin It—Do It, and the follow up, Unplugging and Work-Life Balance

Our campaign with Pantene Beautiful Lengths. From Liz shaving her head, to all of you donating your hair to make wigs for cancer patients, we’re so grateful for this community.

Best Of APW 2013 | A Practical Wedding

Happy Holidays, y’all. We’ll miss you.

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 the San Francisco Bay Area with her husband and son. For more than you ever wanted to know about Meg, you can visit MegKeene.com.

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  • Jessica

    Happy New Year Ladies! I hope you get all the shit done you need to get done and rest deeply knowing you have helped many women stay sane during the craziness that can be wedding planning.

  • BD

    I’m curious about the sheet wedding cake post that angered Texas Bakers? It sounds interesting, but I scanned the comments and didn’t see anything like that occurring…

    That aside, it’s fun to look over these best-of posts! I came to love this site over the last year, while planning my own wedding, and it was a bastion of sanity in an otherwise insane process. Ya’ll have a great vacay!

    • Meg Keene

      Oh, we moderate, so we took down the comments (though we shared one of the best ones in the happy hour that week). They were EPIC though. Apparently if you’re going to feed your guests grocery store sheet cake, you shouldn’t even have the nerve to have a wedding. Also (more puzzingly) apparently the only thing guests remember about a wedding is the cake. Which of course lead me to try to remember cakes. I can remember EATING them, but nothing further, I’m afraid.

      • BD

        Well shoot, I always miss Good Times On the Internet when they happen! (I thought the sheet cake idea was rad, just so you know! I didn’t do store-bought only because my friend is a baker.)

        • http://abasketcase.blogspot.com/ Basketcase

          I read the post and comments when they first came out and missed them too.
          Would love to see some of them, even edited versions??? :)

          • Laura

            Same here. I think I saw one the day of the post but it was gone in a flash.

      • Laura

        FYI, my grandmother is a (PROUD) Texan and excellent baker and she loves the grocery store wedding cake idea. She said, “I don’t understand the part about the internet, but I think cakes from the grocery store are good. They are pretty and they are not priced so high. You don’t need a a cake boss to have a nice wedding cake.”

        • Meg Keene

          <3 Your grandmother should be our new how to mascot. She'll just say encouraging things to us.

        • Jacki

          Your grandmother sounds awesome!

          And my favorite cake to have for my birthday is that frozen coconut cake from Pepperidge Farm, NO SHAME, so god only knows what we’ll serve at my wedding.

          • Laura

            When you decide, let us know!

      • malkavian

        I remember a particularly good one at one wedding (it was a fantastic red velvet with PERFECT frosting), but other than that, same.

      • http://www.foreveryoungadult.com/ likepenguins

        At our first of two weddings (can there be a compare and contrast How We Did It? with a simple, two-week-planned backyard wedding and the year-and-a-half-in-the-making forest shindig? I’m thinking) we had the (delicious) coconut cream cake from La Madeleine, for which I slapped on a gold filigree ribbon and called it a day. “That’s SO pretty,” my mom exclaimed. “I know,” I said. “APW told me it would be.”

        • Meg Keene

          THERE FOR SURE SHOULD BE A COMPARE AND CONTRAST HOW WE DID IT. I’m waiting for your write up anyway. I know it’s going to be great.

        • Emily

          GASP! La Madeline’s coconut cake is so good.

      • Jacky Speck

        Wow, I guess these people must have really delicate taste buds. I kind of want to round some of these Texas cake connoisseurs up for a blind taste test of grocery store sheet cake vs. the fanciest gourmet wedding cake I can find. My guess is that 9 out of 10 will not be able to tell the difference.

        • Meg Keene

          Well. I wouldn’t take it (anywhere near) that far. I can for sure tell the difference between a nice grocery store cake and a gourmet wedding cake, I just don’t think your wedding depends on it.

          As for this sheet cake? The goal was to find the cheapest worst sheet cake we could, to prove that no matter where you were, or what limited access you had, you could make a cute wedding cake happen. I went above and beyond finding the cheapest sheet cake there was, and y’all? It was HORRIBLE. Maddie was the only one that would touch any of it, and then we gave it away to some sort of stoned dudes playing basketball outside the studio where we shot it. It’s ok though. I hear Costco sheet cakes are not half bad.

          • Laura

            The more I know about the post, the more I love it. <3 I think I mostly love the determination of meg to make a terrible cake look adorable.

            And no, Sam's (Kansas equivalent of Costco) cakes are not half bad and are, in fact, quite yummy.

          • Meg Keene

            Only matched by my determination to find the worst cake ever, which took some doing, in a part of Oakland that’s gotten all foodie hip. Luckily I live right on the edge of hip/rough Oakland, so I was able to go to our semi-regular shitty supermarket (it’s cheap, man) and get in line with some people high on crack (I thought that was a nice touch) to buy my $9.99 terrible cake.

          • Laura

            I hereby deem you the Ruth Harkness of terrible grocery store sheet cakes.

        • malkavian

          There are definitely differences in quality between bakers and bakeries. Hell, I can tell the difference between my own cake recipes and my friend’s (neither of use are professionals). However, a lot of wedding cakes aren’t particularly ‘gourmet’. My wedding cake was definitely not the best cake I’ve ever had…but it came with the venue’s package, and it was decent cake even if it wasn’t spectacular, so whatevs.

          • Jacky Speck

            I was mostly not being serious :P

            But I’ve had cakes that were very, very expensive, but not very good and definitely not worth the price. So by “gourmet” I guess I actually meant “overpriced.” There’s one particular bakery I’m thinking of that charges ridiculous prices for cakes that taste comparable to what I can find at the grocery store.

    • Laura

      I think one of the reasons I love the grocery store posts so much is that the internet flipped its shit. (Texas bakers? C’mon Texas, you’re part of my heritage. Get it together.) Besides the fact that reading the grocery store wedding cake post was my wedding planning epiphany moment aka when APW blew my wedding planning mind aka when wedding planning started being fun. You know, I have been to and in so many weddings and the only cake I specifically remember is the most recent wedding, but that’s because it was a halloween themed wedding where the bride was dressed as Rainbow Bright and the groom was dressed as Joker. The cake was decorated accordingly.

  • Beth R

    I just wanted to throw out an end of the year “Thank you!” to the whole APW team. I discovered you in early 2013, read through the entire archives (I, uh, had a lot of time on my hands at work), got married in May, and am still here, thanks to your awesome topics/writing and supportive community. I cannot even begin to tell you the number of conversations I’ve had with my husband that started, “So I read this article on A Practical Wedding…” So thanks for opening my mind to so many awesome, feminist, realistic, different ways of being. Looking forward to seeing what you do in 2014!

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

      I can totally relate to “I was reading APW today and…” So much so that my husband no longer needs me to remind him what APW stands for!

    • Chiara M

      Basically once a week this happens with my partner. With others it’s usually, “on this feminist wedding blog I read”…. And then i get to explain! FEMINISM! WEDDINGS! BLOGS! Enlightenment for all.

    • Kayjayoh

      I also read the whole blog from start to current. Started when I was “pre-engaged” and caught up a couple of months after I got engaged. I was so excited to finally be able to take part in the conversation in real time. (And bummed that I had completely missed the call for interns, which happened after I got engaged but before I caught up.)

    • Jacquelyn

      Second that! I stumbled upon APW this year, just after beginning to plan my 11/10/13 wedding. Such a breath of fresh air, for reading and convos :)

  • http://alithompsonart.com/ Ali

    Can I ask an off topic question, since this is the vacation comments section?

    The BF and I are edging closer to our engagement, and we’ve been talking about name changes. I am not decided, but I have been thinking about it.

    Then someone I work with said in Pennsylvania, you can’t do the maiden name as middle name. It’s not allowed. And that lead me to googling, cause I want to know what our options are.

    There should be a chart, since all the states are different. A chart of your options and if your dude can change his name and what your same sex options are- by state.

    I love a good chart! Anyway.

    Is this a thing that exists somewhere and I just didn’t feed the right search terms into Google?

    • BreckW

      Just did a bit of googling, and I found this:

      http://www.missnowmrs.com/Newlywed-Blog/index.php/name-change/pa-maiden-to-middle-name-change-after-marriage-update.html

      Looks like as long as you file for your new SS card first, you can have your maiden name become your middle name on your DL. Here’s the instructions for changing your name on your SS card:

      http://www.socialsecurity.gov/online/ss-5.pdf

      I definitely agree that it would be great if there was some nice, clean chart to explain name-change procedures and marriage contracts. That shit is tricky!

      • http://alithompsonart.com/ Ali

        It is tricky. My BF was talking about changing his name too, but I don’t know if we will if it’s an extra chunk of $$ and a court date. We need some gender equality up in here.
        Not even to mention that PA hasn’t got it together on their same sex marriage. Boo. Not ok, PA.

    • ruth

      I can only speak for where I live in New York, but in my own name change investigation, it seems like many name change options are possible, but certain options are made a lot easier / harder than others. For example, in New York, to change your name to your spouse’s name (or change their name to yours) is free and just requires a simple form. However, to change your maiden name to your middle name requires a pretty hefty fee and a court visit. I highly suggest talking to your local city hall / marriage bureau. At least where i live in NYC, I found the staff at the city hall marriage bureau much more knowledgeable, friendly and helpful about my name change questions than the social security office (maybe it’s because the marriage bureau deals with happy, excited people about to get married all day, instead of all the grimmer issues social security staff have to deal with.) Anyway – good luck – I know the name change issue can be quite a challenge

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

      Um…I’m in Pennsylvania, and made my maiden name my middle name. I had no trouble at all! Hit me up if you have additional questions – I actually found the process itself to be extremely easy, even if getting the information ON the process was nigh impossible.

      • http://alithompsonart.com/ Ali

        Thank you, elle! Thank you! I can’t seem to get a straight answer on what is even possible. It looks like my co-worker may have either gotten married before they changed the rules or ran up against the system in Philly which often seems to be making up its own rules, as determined by the amount of shitty attitude you get from the specific clerk you’re speaking to.

        I am a bit jumpy about this kind of thing b/c when I first tried to get my driver’s license in Philly, they just decided that my birth certificate from Georgia looked fake and therefore they weren’t going to take it, which caused a 2 month delay in me being able to get a license.

        So you can do maiden middle. Can you do First name, Middle name, Maiden name as second middle name, His last name? You can probably do two last names, no problem.

        I also read that my BF can’t change his name when we get married in PA just with the marriage license. He would need a court order. Which is irritating and stupid. You should be able to do that if you want to.

        • Jacky Speck

          I’m in Philly and my mom did First Name + Middle Name + Maiden Name + His Last Name when she married my dad back in the ’80’s. Unless something has changed since then, I think you can do it.

    • http://raisingthedough.wordpress.com/ Marina

      It can even be different by county. I’d go ahead and call your local county courthouse and get the info straight from them.

  • ItsyBit

    What a great year! “Chore monsters” feels so long ago but is one of my all time faves. And the bra posts really and truly did change my (bra-related) life and that of some family/close friends as I have since become a properly-fitting-bra-evangelical. So special thanks for that!

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

      Me too. And now I have an expensive habit (because my size is not carried in normal stores, so…$$$. Ah well! At least they fit!)

      • ItsyBit

        Dude srsly re: expensive habit. I also have an “unusual” size (“unusual” = BS, stores are stupid). But yes! They fit! And sometimes they’re pretty! :)

  • http://fancystephanie.wordpress.com/ fancystephanie

    The divorce posts really helped me this year. Thank you. Happy holidays, everyone on the APW team!

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

      Oh good. I know they took some bravery to write. If you ever feel moved to share bits of your story, we’re here.

      (Also, I know for a fact we have some amazing divorce posts squirreled away. People started complaining we’d run too many, so we held some for next year :)

      • Violet

        I’m excited for the “Fuck ‘em” attitude coming our way, because I like to learn from people with ALL kinds of experiences: pre-engaged, engaged, married, divorced, re-married, widowed, and I’m sure there are more. So I for one am ready for whatever content you’re gonna throw our way! Happy 2014!

      • Laura

        I liked the divorce posts! As Violet noted, learning from all experiences is helpful.

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

    Ok…well…no one has said anything moderator-y yet…so I’m hoping APW supports this little venture, but if they don’t, please feel free to remove this comment {I think it’s pretty obvious I’m not trying to spam or self-promote here, but since I can’t figure out how to make my nametag link to my blog, I have to include the address here}.

    For those who expressed interest in participating in a guest-hosted Happy Hour this Friday, I’ll be facilitating over at http://onwingingit.wordpress.com. Look for the post around 1 PM EST. I can’t promise a cool, comprehensive link round-up with a witty-sassy week recap, but I can promise glitter!

    • Meg Keene

      We’ll also link to this open thread on Friday on FB, to remind you guys you can happy hour it up over here… even if we ARE on vacation. Though a guest hosted happy hour sounds rad too.

      • Laura

        As a social worker, I just have to point this out: When working with therapy groups, one way to determine whether a group has achieved cohesion (aka “when the *real work* can begin”) is if the group can run itself without you leading them along. So, high five to the APW team, for creating a supportive, cohesive community!

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

          THIS IS FULL OF WARM AND.FUZZY.

          • Laura

            Tgat’s what social workers do best.

    • Shotgun Shirley

      Awesome idea! Can we suggest links? ;-)

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

        I’m totally game for this.

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

    On another note, THANK YOU APW, for all you’ve done this year. I’ve truly enjoyed the ride, and it’s your quality content that keeps me here – like many others – long after our wedding is over. I can’t even fathom the drama Meg describes, because I think you guys did a really great job of keeping it classy. Transitions are hard, and you guys totally rocked this year!

  • Caiti_D

    Have a great holiday APW Team! You deserve it!

  • http://www.smittenchickens.com/ Sarah Hoppes

    JANUARY 6 IS SO LONG AWAY! I will miss your sass, your candor, your encouragement, and your (not always pretty, but always beautiful) truths.

    To all the wonderful people who make up APW, THANK YOU, from the bottom of my heart, for all you do! Enjoy your time off, have many naps, and rock as much glitter as you see fit. I can’t wait to see how hard you all rock 2014!

  • http://www.pinterest.com/katerees711 kater711

    Hopefully ya’ll (only on the internet do I say this) will be popping in from time to time because I have a California question.

    Yay! We’ve decided what we want to do for “honeymoon” 10 weeks following the wedding, there were three options (London, Portland, and this). Is it really a honeymoon or just our first big vacation we’re taking together at this point? Does it matter? I can answer that one, no. California! yay!

    Our plan is to fly in to LAX and do a day or two in LA (where Matt lived for two-ish years). Head down to San Diego (Stone Brewing gardens) for a day or two, then drive up Highway 1, stopping for the night somewhere along the way, to San Francisco (Oakland too?) for a day or two, out to Sonoma where we specifically have in mind dinner (lunch?) at French Laundry. Other than these specific stops our itinerary is open, so hit us with your best suggestions. Any of our “a day or twos” could be longer.

    My big question is, what’s the best time of year to do this?!

    Matt suggested May…

    • BreckW

      I grew up in the LA area (just south of downtown at the beach), and May is usually OK, but May-June can sometimes be tricky (May Gray and June Gloom are actually real). If you really want to get in some time at the beach and enjoy hot, sunny weather, I’d probably wait until mid-July. The hottest time of the year is more like August-September, to be honest.

      I relocated to the Oakland/Berkeley border in the beginning of the year (though I’m now away from the area), and REALLY recommend stopping by Bakesale Betty in the Temescal area of Oakland. They’re only open for like 2 hours a day, 5 days a week, and you will wait in line for 20+ minutes, but–believe the hype–the fried chicken sandwich is SO TOTALLY worth it. Seriously, I’m salivating right now just thinking about it…

      ETA: Also, I’m insanely jealous you’re going to eat at the French Laundry!!

    • Casey

      Fun! I would recommend stopping somewhere along the Central Coast for the night. Santa Barbara, anywhere in the San Luis Obispo area, Cambria…all gorgeous.

      For the Bay Area, definitely venture out to the East Bay if you can! Oakland and Berkeley both have a ton to offer in terms of food and things to go. Rockridge, on the Berkeley/Oakland border is a fun neighborhood to stroll around (primarily on College Ave), lots of good restaurants. In San Francisco, don’t miss the Ferry Building – they have a massive Farmers Market on Saturday, Tuesday, and Thursday, but even if you don’t go on those days, it’s fun to walk through the building and visit the (mostly food-related) shops and kiosks there.

      • Shotgun Shirley

        Yes yes YES Cambria! We had a post bar exam honeymoon there and that town is fantastic.

    • Gina

      I lived in both L.A. and San Diego for several years so I second BreckW’s warning about May gray– especially in SD, and especially if you’re going to be driving up Highway 1. I do remember doing a Big Sur trip in July one year and it was beautiful. So if you’re going to do a summer trip, I’d push for later in the summer, but I personally think early fall is the absolute best. Things aren’t as touristy, hotels are cheaper, and it’s still super-sunny and warm. Have so much fun!

    • Audrey

      I don’t know about May gray in the LA area, but May in SF is often really, really nice!

    • http://raisingthedough.wordpress.com/ Marina

      Highway 1 is fantastic. I really recommend a tour of Hearst Castle. Yes, it’s super touristy, but it’s just SO FREAKING BIZARRE and gorgeous. Also just driving past it you can usually spot wild zebra herds, NO I AM NOT KIDDING, they escaped from his zoo ages ago and are now real actual wild zebra herds on the side of the highway.

      Avoid June, definitely, unless you love fog. I think February and September are probably your best bets for sun.

    • Jacky Speck

      Big Sur is heart-stoppingly gorgeous. I’ve never seen the southern half of Highway 1, but what I’ve seen between Big Sur and San Fransicso is beautiful. IMO the best way to see it is on a motorcycle, or at least in a convertible so you can be immersed in the scenery rather than seeing it through a bunch of windows. But if neither of those is an option, at least take plenty of opportunities to pull over, appreciate the view, and maybe take a few photos. The journey will be just as much of a highlight as the destinations.

      • Mai

        The first time I took my now-husband there we got a nice hotel downtown (try the Nines, though there are many nice ones), rented bikes to ride along the waterfront, went on a pedicab distillery tour, and had many wonderful dinners and happy hours! It could definitely be a wonderful honeymoon spot. If you have more time, you could rent a car and explore other areas like the Columbia Gorge or the coast.

    • Steph

      Hooray California vacation! Agree with others who have said June is not a pretty time in SF (and sadly June Gloom often extends to July and August gloom as well). May is likely to be better.

      If you are really planning on wine country, a few things!

      1) The French Laundry is in Yountville, just north of Napa, and you will need to be realistic about getting a reservation there. They open reservations for both lunch and dinner exactly two months in advance of the date at 10 am. They also post three tables (one for a table of two) on Open Table. The phone line requires constant redialing. If you have a credit card with a concierge, ask them if they can help you. Otherwise, I would strongly recommend making backup plans in case your reservation doesn’t pan out. There are a ton of great options for fancy dinners (or lunches) in Napa valley and I recommend checking out Chowhound for insider tips. Also on wine tastings! Fair warning–reasonably priced lodging in Yountville where the Thomas Keller empire is strongest (French Laundry, Buchon, Ad Hoc) is hard to find. You can definitely find cheap lodging in the city of Napa but depending on where you are eating/drinking, it can be a 20-40 minute drive away so keep that in mind.

      2) The Sonoma side can be somewhat more approachable with cheaper lodging, more free/cheap wine tasting options, and still lots and lots of good food.

      3) If you have time and do not have a shellfish allergy, stop on your way from SF to wine country at Tomales Bay for fresh oysters–Tomales Bay or Hog Island Oyster Companies both have bbq/lunch site options where you can BYOB and bring sides and shuck/bbq/eat oysters and other shellfish on site. If you take Casey’s recommendation to visit the SF Ferry Building on a farmers market day, you can pick up sides there before driving north.

  • BreckW

    Ok, need to post a mini rant:

    My BF just resent his family our itinerary for the holidays, and it appears that they just deduced that we will not be in their area in time to go to Christmas Eve Mass with them. They aren’t religious; it’s more of just a family tradition. In response, his sister sends him a ragey email saying that he better “get his ass up there” and that she “doesn’t care if he has to walk from LA” because he’s “ruining Christmas.” While I sympathize with her that, yes, change, especially when it comes to the holidays and traditions, can be really tough (I won’t be with my family on Christmas so NO NEED TO TELL ME ABOUT IT), but really? She’s a senior in high school acting like a kindergartener. I feel like fucking Frank Costanza whispering, “Serenity now,” to myself.

    • Kayjayoh

      The key here is “senior in high school.” When they act like kindergartners, they are pretty much also acting like high school seniors. Ah, the joy and wonder of adolescent brain development. :)

      I feel for you, but cut her a wee bit of slack in your response, because she’s still working on that impulse control thing. She’ll get over it, and you can model how a grown up really acts.

      That being said, hugs to you.

      • BreckW

        Yeah, I’m trying to just let it go and chalk it up to adolescent insanity (though this girl has a long history of being extremely combative and difficult, so it’s a little beyond the average moody teenager). And luckily, since she’s not my sister, I don’t have to be the one to rein her in. BF is doing a great job being kind but firm with her, so that’s another silver lining : ).

        • Laura

          Three cheers for BFs who set their own boundaries with their family members so you don’t have to.

    • jashshea

      Same as KJO. Do some serious eye-rolling in private, then under-react in person. I’d have pulled the same crap with my brother when I was in HS and he’d have ignored me. He deserves some sort of congressional medal for growing up w/me as a sister.

      I think the other key is “re-sent” the “itinerary.” Did they miss it the first time? My brother and I are both far from our parents (and each other) and our parents are notorious for a) not paying attention to our flight sched and b) scheduling family activities while ignoring said flight schedules. I just do what I can to make sure I reinforce the plans w/them, then let it go.

      ETA: I want to make it clear that I couldn’t be more grateful that my parents pick me up at the airport, let me eat their food, let me borrow their car(s), etc when I’m visiting. Scheduling is the only quirk. Wanted to make that clear. I’m not a brat anymore :)

      • Kayjayoh

        I cringe at the shit I said to my family members as a teen, and that was two decades ago.

      • BreckW

        Yes, eye-rolling is happening right now. I’m feeling much more at ease with everyone’s reassuring words that this too shall pass : ).

        When we originally booked our flights (in October, I think), we sent both families our itinerary right away. I think his parents looked at it but didn’t put together that arriving at the airport 7 pm = no time for Christmas Eve Mass. I guess we learned that next year we need to really drive home what we can and can’t attend with them.

  • Grace

    I just wanted to say that the post that made the biggest impression on me was It Was Never a Question. Being pre-engaged and all we’re still trying to figure out how our story will go, and this post gave me the confidence to suggest a mutual proposal when the time is right. Providing things go to plan hopefully be able to share our story with young this time next year!

    • Elizabeth

      Oooh, I have some ideas for that how-to post! We mutually proposed to each other and it was sweet and romantic. Basically, we picked a day on the calendar and called it E Day. We each planned something meaningful to us. So there were surprises, but “am I getting engaged today?” was not one of them.

      • Grace

        Oh cool! I would love to hear your engagement story and any tips, we could do with some inspiration!

  • Jacki

    Happy happy, merry merry, APW. Cheers to a fabulous year! I was thinking of all of you/us last night during a particularly spirited discussion about feminism and privilege and date rape last night.

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

    I came home yesterday to find Manperson laying in bed reading the “A Practical Wedding” book and just about dissolved into tears. His comment, “Meg says we can have pie at the wedding but I think I want cake. And I’d like my mom to walk me down the aisle.” Um, okay. I think this wedding planning thing is going to go just fine in 2014.

    • Kayjayoh

      “Meg says we can have pie at the wedding but I think I want cake.”

      ^The best line of the day.

      • M.

        Agreed! :) Love it. My fiance has also learned a lot and internalized so much from the book/site. We went to a wedding where the program said, “Let the show begin!” He leaned over and whispered, “Your wedding is not a show!” :D

    • Jacky Speck

      I’ve been trying to get my fiance to read the APW book for MONTHS and have thus far been completely unsuccessful. Not for his own sake, because he’s already pretty relaxed about wedding planning… But so he can pass some of its messages on to his family members who are freaking out about the silliest things (“What do you MEAN you’re not going to walk down the aisle to ‘Here Comes The Bride’!?”)

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

        Mine I think was a little overwhelmed at the idea of reading a whole book on wedding planning so I just picked one or two chapters at a time. Maybe if you just left a post it “please read pages 112-115″ and let me know your thoughts” it would work better?

        Our copy of the book went unread for months until this week. There is hope yet.

        • Meg Keene

          I’ve had mental health pros tell me you should put self help books on the toilet, so you can just poke around in them, “Because who wants to read one straight through.” I said, “THAT’S HOW PEOPLE SHOULD READ MY BOOK.” So maybe try that.

      • BD

        LOL. My then-fiance, when we first started planning, actually said that to me when I mentioned I didn’t want to walk down the aisle to “Here Comes The Bride”. Boy has his attitude towards weddings changed since then!

      • ItsyBit

        My fiancé isn’t a huge book reader lately (super busy with work) so I ended up putting little post-it notes on the pages that summed up the chapter contents in bullet points, plus one or two things I felt super strongly about. Maybe that would help at least get points across?

    • Meg Keene

      AWWWWWWWWWWW. Sniffle. Tell him I want cake and his mom to walk him down the aisle too.

      Pie is fine and all but.

  • Emma Klues

    I really enjoy that you value taking a holiday/end of year break! Enjoy it, you all deserve it!

  • Winny the Elephant

    Has anyone ever actually had a s’mores bar at their wedding? I’ve seen some pictures on pinterest of people using the little bunson burner things that are approved for indoors to make s’mores bars but has anyone actually pulled it off?

    • http://raisingthedough.wordpress.com/ Marina

      My brother in law did it 7ish years ago. The skewers were monogrammed and you could take them home as favors… except I was flying across country so that was a no for me. ;) As a guest, I can say it was fun, although I have no idea how much work it was to put together. They had one burner per table I think.

    • ap

      I did it! it was really fun, and because our wedding was in December, we used a fire pit. I’ve been to parties where they used bunson burners and it worked pretty well.

    • socallmeshirley

      I have seen it at a wedding. It was cute and messy, and there are some great pictures of the bride and groom with big melty chocolate smiles.

  • Kayjayoh

    OK, Millennials, what say you. Does this NY Times piece hit or miss the mark, in terms of your experience? I know most (though not all) of the readers of APW either are or have been in serious relationships. What was dating like?

    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/01/13/fashion/the-end-of-courtship.html

    • Catherine McK

      Is anyone else having trouble getting to the NYTimes links from here? I am logged in to my account and I still can’t access it. Kayjoyoh can you add the article name for searchability?

      • Kayjayoh

        I’ve edited my post to add the title:
        The End of Courtship?

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

      I met my husband when I was twenty, so this was not my experience. However, my same-aged friends who are in the dating-verse now have had this as their experience (we are now 27/28 as a cohort) overall. They have said it’s disheartening and many of them are turning to online matchmaking sites in an attempt to find a long-term partner.
      I can say I do struggle with Hanna Rosin’s comments one page three of the article. I don’t think all of the changes in courtship have to do with income inequality, and part of me wants to say that’s almost an oversimplification of a lot of economic issues affecting lots of Gen Y and Millenials. I think technology is a big piece of the puzzle looking at current dating culture as it affects my friends and younger siblings. They google each other. Dates are made or broken based on information gleaned from Facebook and Twitter and other online accounts. I do think that the dating landscape has changed a lot due to technology, smart phones, and constant connectedness, and a lot of those changes have occurred during my seven plus years in a relationship.

    • Jess

      A bunch of my friends discussed this article a while ago!

      I guess I’m the odd one out, because when I was single, I always had certain expectations (a date in a public space, conversation, mainly face to face or phone call interaction for the first couple of weeks, no social media). I did a lot of asking out, because why not, and generally expected that whoever did the asking would pay. I did always offer to split the check if I didn’t do the asking, and frequently would not pay if I did. It wasn’t always a fancy dinner – I went on pretty cheap dates at Chipotle and dive bars some times – but it was always face to face.

      When “single” I also would go out on dates with lots of different people rather than being exclusive. I wasn’t into the hook-up thing due to inexperience. I also had a version of the three date rule, which was that I would give somebody up to three dates before deciding if I wanted to continue seeing them. After three dates, I wouldn’t continue seeing them if I wasn’t relatively interested. Exclusivity was more of a conversation later on when I felt like things were serious. That didn’t happen often.

      So I kind of forced people into courtship (or maybe just singled out people who would give me courtship), because that’s what I wanted, and didn’t put up with people who weren’t willing to give that. I found that a lot of people were willing to go out for coffee/a drink/dinner one-on-one, as long as I made it clear that was what I wanted. Especially if I was the one who asked them out. Granted, I stopped dating that way two years ago when I met R.

      I hear differently from my friends, but they agree that it could mainly be because my girlfriends won’t usually be the one to ask someone out or demand that they go on a date. I have had a lot of guy friends say that they want to do this, but not be confident enough to ask someone out directly or do the face-to-face thing. I think a lot of the indirect-ness of communication (which I hate) these days has to do with that confidence level, and that’s a really big shame.

      • Jess

        More info: I met R at 24. I dated around between 20 and 24. I loved it, went on really fun and awesome dates, and asked a lot of people out. My philosophy was that unless I didn’t think it was safe, I would say Yes to anybody that asked me out, because it’s a fun night out and a new friend, and at worst, it would be an awkward encounter that gave me a good story.

        I also decided early on that if somebody wasn’t ok with being asked out by a girl, they weren’t the kind of guy I was interested in being with anyway.

    • jashshea

      35 and therefore not a millenial, but I met husband at work when I was 28. Never went on what could be construed as a date in my life with him or anyone else (*unless I simply had NO IDEA it was a date). I’ve always had at least as many guy friends as girl friends, so I generally just hung out with someone until we started being exclusive. Maybe *I* started this trend? :)

    • Catherine McK

      While some of this article rang true for me, I definitely went on dates! I do remember being impressed that my now husband picked up an actual phone and made an actual call to ask me out on our first date. We also met at work and had been studying and bowling together (I’d like to take this opportunity to thank the Professional Engineering exam for bringing us together) so, lots of “hanging out.” But there was definite distinction between that and when we were dating. Previously, on match etc I’d gone on lots of coffee/drink dates. Looking back, one of my past relationships evolved from hanging out, but not like in the article.

      I like Jess’ point about her expectations driving the protocol and am interested in hearing other perspectives.

    • http://heartsvsbrains.tumblr.com/ HeartvsBrain

      Meh, people treat us the way we allow them to treat us. Old fashioned or not, when I was dating a millennial (my now hubs) a few years ago, this certainly wasn’t an issue and if it had been, I would have let him know why I no longer was interested in trying to connect with him.

      Dating/courtship/etc. helps you figure out who a person is and whether you like them or not. If some child man or woman is so disrespectful they’re offering last minute tag along texts to prospective partners, those prospective partners should move on to mature folks who understand how to treat fellows humans appropriately.

      In my opinion, this is a problem invented by people allowing themselves to be treated shoddily. That’s how I see it, at least. It’s only a problem, if you let it be one. If you don’t offer your time or energy to people who don’t value you, then you’ll never have this problem.

      • Jess

        Yes!

      • KC

        I would say that is only part of the equation. If there’s a large enough population with lousy expectations (for instance, in the case of “trading favors” wherein sex is expected in exchange for dinner is normalized, or as in the case of, say, nation-wise racism, or as in the case of exploitative factory owners who are basically the only game in town job-wise), your choices are reduced or eliminated.

        Well, provided you want to participate in that society. I suppose going out and subsistence farming and living in a yurt somewhere could also potentially be an option, or moving to a new location. But the larger the pool of people expecting to be able to treat you poorly is (whether employers or partners or medical providers or whatever), the harder of a time you’ll have finding a “match”, potentially to the degree of not being able to find a match in some locations or systems.

        I’m definitely not saying “suck it up and let people treat you like dirt”, I’m just saying that not “allowing yourself to be treated shoddily” does not necessarily equal success in finding a partner/job/etc. We have some control over what we accept, yes, and any time spent on something that isn’t going anywhere is potentially time that could be spent looking for something that *is* going somewhere… but the more the population of jobs or partners or whatever shifts to be kinda-lousy, the lower the possibility of actually finding “a good one” is and the harder that process is.

        • KC

          That said, getting to know potential romantic “options” in a group setting first was generally my preference, although I wouldn’t have called it a “Date” unless it was a “double date” or something similar with actual pairing involved – but it’s harder for people to fake who they are in a way tailored to you when there are other people they’re also interacting with.

          I also think the demands for particular things in terms of economics or ahead-of-time-ness when date-filtering really need to line up with what you want out of a relationship eventually; if you want a guy who is okay with you making more money than he does, then a guy who is okay with you paying for the meal might actually be a better pick than a guy who recoils in horror at the thought. If you want someone spontaneous, then dating someone who does not always plan things two weeks in advance might actually be a better choice than someone who does. If you’re interested in dating an elementary school teacher and you’re also not exactly high-budget, then you probably shouldn’t be expecting dates to consist of a five-course meal followed by great opera tickets (coffee dates: indicative of a potentially attractive inclination to stay out of debt, sometimes).

          So not all things referenced in the article are necessarily Universally Shoddy Dating. Many are confusing, though, some I would categorize as Shoddy Dating, and most sound like they most needed a big fat infusion of communication so everyone was on the same page.

          • Laura

            “A big fat infusion of communication.” Yes. And that phrase made me giggle.

        • http://heartsvsbrains.tumblr.com/ HeartvsBrain

          I take your point. I looked at it your way and I can understand why
          you are thinking along these lines and I think you’ve made some valid
          points. I would offer simply this: I think your viewpoint is a little too passive for my tastes. I think there’s a more active way to look at it.

          I think the flaw I see with your argument (the most friendly of arguments
          of course) is that it assumes basically the worst of people. At least,
          that’s how I’m reading it.

          “If there’s a large enough population with lousy expectations…”

          Woah. What?

          Why would anyone envision that kind of a scenario? I ask because I’m honestly not sure if I’m the one whose view seems a little off here. I can’t really imagine why a large population of people would spontaneously (or through cultural grooming?) simply have lousy expectations. And god forbid they do, well that’s the real problem in my mind, not the resulting dating practices. It’s: Why would we have such a large portion of humans, living with such a negative outlook and why aren’t we trying to help them change it?

          My original point (though like all my points, inelegantly expressed) was we absolutely have control over how people treat us. Sometimes, in the dark moments of history, large groups of people have had that freedom, suppressed. Yes, that happens/happened. That doesn’t eliminate our need to FIGHT for appropriate treatment. At times it has been our duty as good humans, to FIGHT for that ability – the ability to decide how much crap you want to put up with and the freedom to leave when you’ve had enough.

          So no, I don’t think my idea is one part of an idea. Its the whole idea.
          Or at least its my whole idea. Everyone has the right to demand fair
          treatment. It sounds like in some places, the people who believe in
          their right to respectful potential partners who value them, are in the minority. Which sucks. Not flippantly, that truly sucks. That doesn’t mean they don’t still have the option of requiring better treatment. I mean, seriously, if you’re looking for a long term partner and you’re in a pool of guys/gals who only work in last minute text invites? Then you’re going to end up in a crappy long term relationship in my mind. Just my opinion. Because why would someone who can’t treat you with basic respect as a stranger when beginning courtship, treat you any better once they know your weaknesses and flaws? You’re setting yourself up for failure I’d say.

          We’re all free to roll over or to stand up and leave when we aren’t being treated appropriately. I happen to strongly believe too many of us have been taught to roll over. I intend to teach my kids to stand up and leave. Or stay and fight for better treatment. But rolling over and accepting it, is no longer in my own personal DNA.

          • KC

            Since I’ve been out of the dating pool for, um, rather a while now, I only have first-person experience that’s pretty outdated. But many (MANY) of the attitudes at that time were very awry from my point of view. I specifically objected to the expectations around “she wanted it”; in my mind, if someone says “no, I have rationally concluded that what you are suggesting is not something I want” and then again “no”, then forcing the issue either through social engineering or through actual force is not respectful (I didn’t quite understand the concept of “playing hard to get”. No, I didn’t play hard to get, I actually just plain *did not want that*). There’s a lot of severely messed-up stuff swirling around in our culture around dating/sexuality/consent.

            I can speak to the “free to roll over or to stand up” in regards to employers, however, where I think there’s a bit of a parallel (pool of options, range of treatment from good to poor, range of “matching” with skills/culture).

            If you work as a bank teller, and you like working as a bank teller but object to the fairly standard employer practice of ranking employees and either giving them bonuses or firing them based on how many people they “upsell” into additional account services, whether or not the customers had any need of those additional account services… well, good luck finding a place now that doesn’t have some version of that in place. Some small local banks might still be an option, but you’ve eliminated the national branches in one fell swoop.

            If you work in video games, very few studios have anything remotely resembling work/life balance. They do exist, but the competition is higher. If you object to planned “crunch time” as exploitative, then your primary option is to swap fields, which can be challenging if you don’t have experience in another field.

            There are other things people object to that are not field-specific; wages below the minimum necessary to live in the area; randomized drug testing (because it’s so dignified to make your office workers pee in a cup on demand); abusive bosses; ergonomically poor work environments; tracking devices; hours only scheduled a week or so in advance, making it difficult to plan the rest of your life; etc.

            In general, when the qualified workforce exceeds the open slots, people have less of an option to turn down things they object to or mildly object to, because paying rent and buying food is important and getting a job in an overpopulated field is difficult. Obviously, in the past, people have organized and gone on strike, but for people who *need income now* and are fairly easy to replace, i.e. some Amazon stock-pullers, that’s harder. Sometimes standing up comes at a very, very high price. There are also more important and less important issues (occasional paid overtime vs. continual required paid overtime vs. unpaid overtime vs. projects with planned unpaid overtime worked into the schedule, for instance). I’m not saying it’s never worth standing up – I’m just saying it’s unfair to say that if you stand up, things will work out just fine… and not to acknowledge the cost of being a whistleblower or the cost of quitting or the cost of being forced out.

            Similarly, with romantic relationships, it’s disingenuous to not acknowledge the fact that sticking to standards may result in perpetual singleness. I stuck pretty aggressively to my standards, and found someone absolutely excellent (yay!), but I was also aware that sticking to high standards (for compatibility and respect, primarily) might result in me staying single (partly because I am Weird, so compatibility requires being Weird in approximately the same ways). That was worth it to me because, in my opinion, being single is better than being unhappily partnered, but not everyone sees it that way (and, to be honest, it’s not strictly binary, either; there is plenty of ground between Perfect Mind-Reading Relationship [which does not actually exist in the wild] and The Worst Relationship Possible). But anyway: I have a number of friends who are currently unwillingly-single who are absolute gems of people; the fact that they’re single and I’m not is not because I stood up for myself and they didn’t. I could just have easily landed where they are, more or less.

            Anyway, so I agree that we have choices in how we demand to be treated, and that it’s *generally* better to stand up than not. It’s just very important to acknowledge that those choices have consequences, and that cultural conditions (i.e. racism, high unemployment, predominant viewpoints among the group we’re interested in dating) can affect whether or not our choices result in a happy pairing or singleness/unemployment.

    • Ann

      Almost exactly 10 years ago a 17 year old boy did a shocking thing and asked then 16 year old me to go to dinner and a movie. He came to my house, chatted up my parents, and had me home by midnight. It completely baffled my friends! Because that wasn’t the way things worked! You asked someone to be your boyfriend/girlfriend or “hang out,” not on a regular old date (I think a friend asked, “Does he think this is 1960?”). And honestly, I had never thought of dating that boy until he made that phone call, but he planned a really awesome date that got my interested. We dated for almost a year (which is a long time when you’re 16!).

      I met my husband when I was 19, in college. We worked in a lab together and got together slowly, but “dating” started with an “official” first date. That was very important to him, though it wasn’t to me. This was also seen as a weird, and unusual move by my friends.

      Today, now vaguely in adulthood, my friends tend to expect “real” dates if they are meeting someone they found online. Otherwise, traditional dates tend to take place quite a long time after they start getting to know each other in a romantic way–often in bigger group settings. So people who meet through friends go through a sort of drawn out process where they go from hanging out in group settings to seeing each other exclusively after maybe one date that’s just the two of them, but the folks who do the online thing (which is SUPER common among my friends) tend to date in a pretty traditional way.

      (On a side note, I’ve hit the point in life where quite a few of my friends are worried that they’ll never get married because “all” of their friends are settling down with partners. And we’re all 24-28ish. Not exactly old! My responses of “well, we’re still very young!” are met with “And you’re married.”)

      • http://www.smittenchickens.com/ Sarah Hoppes

        We met online, and we had a structured first date. But you’re totally right. That doesn’t happen that much unless you DO meet online.

    • Sara P

      I know I’m a little late with this one, but I’m in my mid-twenties and most of this didn’t ring true for me. It’s partly how I’ve approached it, I think, in that I expected to be taken on dates (not fancy ones, necessarily, but out somewhere one-on-one) at least in the early part of any relationship I’ve been in since high school. But I have pretty old fashioned parents, which might have had something to do with it, I guess. I’ve also never casually been seeing a number of people at once (it’s just a style of dating I’m not into, nothing wrong with it). My (couple of) “adult” relationships have started out with fairly old-fashioned dating (activity-and-a-meal) and progressed to just spending a lot of time hanging out, and then some to living together. But I don’t live in New York, either, and I think the big-city dating scene must be different than the small-city dating scene.

  • BreckW

    You guuuuys! I just saw a photo of my 16-year old little bro on Facebook with a big group of high schoolers, all of them wearing sweatshirts that read, “Gender Equality Club.” Apparently, it’s a new club that was set up this year, and he’s one of the founders! My heart basically melted into a giant, sappy puddle when I saw that pic–I’m so proud of him.

    • ItsyBit

      Your brother rocks. Just saying.

      • BreckW

        :-D. When I see him tomorrow, I will let him know that APW approves.

  • M.

    Good morning anyone who’s there! I came here to share an (amazing, articulate) interview with Caitlin Cahow I caught on the Today Show this morning. http://www.today.com/news/gay-olympian-proud-represent-us-diversity-delegate-russia-2D11775075)

    I find the show generally vapid and sensationalist (and omg their sexist coverage of “Selfiegate”) but Cahow, a former Olympian and a lesbian who was selected for the Sochi Olympic delegation, just KILLS IT in this interview with Matt Lauer. KILLS IT. I was literally on the edge of my seat and she answered every question with clear, SMART answers and made awesome points while not taking any bait from Lauer. God I loved it. I want to watch this interview forever. Happy Thursday!

  • cbee

    First time commenting aaaahhh! I know this is kind of a dead time of year, so I won’t be super surprised if I don’t hear from anyone, but here goes…

    Does anyone have experience with navigating (very slight) cultural differences? I ask because it seems that BF and I are now in the earliest of the early pre-engaged state and there are some… hiccups. Namely, BF is a different ethnicity than I am, and, although his family is far from first-generation, his parents did not move out of their parents’ houses until they married. BF expects to do the same. BF is not allowed to sleep over. He is 24 and I am 23. My mother is horrified by this, and every time I go to her for advice, she either tells me to cheat on him or dump him which is… not super helpful, to say the least.

    Now, I am so happy with him and I cannot imagine a life without him, however we recently started talking about getting engaged in the next year or so, and my mother has reacted in absolute horror. Apparently I am ruining my life by considering becoming engaged to a man I cannot live with until the wedding (in reality, if we find a place beforehand, we would probably live together before marriage, but not before we become engaged). Personally, I’m okay. I’m a little annoyed he can’t stay over occasionally, and it has been the root of many disagreements, but deep down, I am happy he gets to live at home while saving money. As someone whose family is out of state and who earns half of what he does, it’s great that he can save that much. My roommate wants to live together for another year in our cheap apartment. It’s not a bad situation at all.

    However I feel like my mother doesn’t like him because of his unwillingness to move out. She’s constantly telling me to “not limit myself” and that I’m too young. We’ve been together for 2 years and friends for 4. I know he’s the first man I’ve dated, but I’m confident in my choice. We’re not even planning on becoming engaged for another year at least! I just feel so horrible that my mother seems to dislike him so much. He’s been nothing but nice and super helpful to my family every time he visits, and my dad seems to really like him. I just don’t know how to handle this… I want so much for my mom to accept my choices without trying to make me feel like I’m making a mistake.

    Any advice? (Sorry this got so long…)

    • Laura

      Hi cbee and welcome! I’ve just recently become a commenter myself. I am in a similar-ish living situation due in part to cultural factors. In many parts of the world people don’t move out even after they marry; the new wife or husband will move into the family home when they marry and inherit it after the parents die. My fiance’s parents have lived with him since he sponsored them over to the states from Vietnam over 10 years ago. I don’t stay overnight at all there because awkward.

      So… I’m thinking about your mom’s strong opinions. Her first concern is surrounding him not staying overnight (in my opinion, respecting his parents wishes while living under their roof is a highly commendable course of action), and her second concern is your age? Has she voiced other concerns? Have other trusted family/friends voiced similar or other concerns about him? You said your dad gets along with him which is great! I am one to take trusted family’s concerns seriously. Even though relationships are individual decisions, I have learned from personal experience that if your trusted (“trusted” being the key word) friends or family have concerns, it is a good idea to hear them out. They *usually* have your best interests at heart and will hopefully talk though worries and disagreements with you. Way back when, my friends were *uber* (is uber still a thing?) concerned about a certain boyfriend and they were very right to be.

      Now after saying that I’m also going to say that you know yourself and your relationship better than any onlookers. It sounds like you and your partner have worked out the situation in question (yes, a lot of fighting has happened in my relationship due to the cultural issues as well, but the important piece is that we worked through it) and are comfortable with your arrangement. And clearly you are not rushing into this marriage overnight. Perhaps you can lovingly remind your mom that she has raised you to be a smart, thoughtful, careful, independent, etc. woman and it is time for her to trust you to make your own decisions. Maybe communicate to her that you hope she can be involved and supportive during the wedding planning process (well, if you decide to have a wedding) and throughout your marriage.

      I am wondering, has your mom had lots of strong opinions about other life decisions thus far or is this the firs one? I wonder if, from her perspective, there is some sort of threat to your wellbeing. Did she (or have close friends or family) marry young or into different cultures or races and have a really bad time? Are you in the sort of relationship with your mom that she’d be willing to talk to you more about the “why” of her concerns? If so that might lead to some common ground. If not then I hope she is at least able to get to a place where she lovingly supports your decisions whether or not she agrees.

      Also if you poke around the site there are some good articles on family being less than supportive.

      Hope that helps and blessings to you and your partner along the way.

      • cbee

        Hi Laura,

        Regarding the age thing, my mother became engaged at 19 and broke it off within the year, so she may be afraid I’m making a mistake similar to hers. I don’t know the full story of what went down in that situation, other than she broke it off not long after accepting the proposal, as she didn’t feel ready to marry, which is completely understandable.

        To be honest, she’s never been 100% supportive of me. She and I have personalities that clash… We’re very similar, and I think that’s it. She had a very abusive childhood and we both inherited personality aspects of my grandmother that I think causes her to react poorly (we tend to be a tad bit prickly). Though it’s not all on her. BF was way behind me in terms of growing up mentally — it’s taken him a while to “grow up,” as it were, and I think she might be holding a bit of a grudge with regards to that. I’m very glad to say that he and I have worked through a lot of that through many long talks.

        The rest of my family likes him just fine, as far as I know. My sister likes him, and my dad says he’s a “goofball,” which is a positive thing coming from my dad. We had a fun family game time over Thanksgiving with all 6 of us (my sister’s boyfriend was there, too). The dislike only seems to come out from my mom when we’re not visiting… Maybe I should just stop telling her everything and find a different source for advice, since hers has not been super great and it seems like my questions might be turning her against him.

        Anyway, thank you so much for the great advice! I didn’t expect anyone to respond to this at all, and it was really helpful. Also thanks for letting me ~*feel my feelings*~ tonight. I think it’s really helped me work a few thoughts out. :)

    • http://rationalcreature.com/ Amy

      Welcome, darling!

      I do not have any specific advice to give you, except that no matter what you do, you are going to displease someone. I have been dating my mister for six years and engaged for one, but my dad is Not Pleased that we are moving in together next month. All you can do is make yourself (and your partner) happy. If you are both content to not live together before you’re married, then that is a perfectly acceptable decision no matter what anyone else says. As for making you feel like you’re making a mistake… *solidarity fist bumps* It is a hard road, but be true to yourself. You’re getting engaged to your partner, not your mother.

      Which is easy to say, I know, but have confidence in your own actions. Maybe see if you can sit down with your mom sometime and ask her why she feels this way, or explain to her why you feel the way you do. She might not accept your choices (and that is hard, and another reply for another day), but you’ll feel better (hopefully) once you’ve had a chance to sort things out with her.

      Good luck!

      • cbee

        Thank you. I found this really helpful and comforting. (Sorry for the late reply though!) :)

    • http://rationalcreature.com/ Amy

      (Also? Your avatar has completely made my day.)

  • Emily Ardoin

    First time commenter on the open thread! Ah!

    I’m currently pre-engaged and 24 years old. The holidays are a rough time for my family. Not because I have a bad family life (quite the contrary!), but because my family is so set on tradition and keeping things in the family. We still have Sunday lunches that I try to go to at least once or twice a month. My manfriend, on the other hand, sees his family for Easter, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. That’s all.

    For the past couple of years, my mom puts a huge guilt trip on me to stay home on Christmas day even though we go to my grandparents house and spend all day on Christmas Eve with them. Finally, I had to stand up to her and say,”I am 24 years old and I am going to J’s family Christmas because they will one day be my family.” Her response? “They aren’t your family yet, and this could be the last family Christmas we have together before you get married.” (Eye roll. Every Christmas is the LAST Christmas together..). She doesn’t seem to understand that just because we aren’t engaged yet doesn’t mean we aren’t fully committed to each other.

    I hate to hurt her feelings. We are so close and she really does a lot for me. However, I know that it is important for J for me to go to his family’s house. How can I get it through my mother’s head without breaking her heart?

    • Kayjayoh

      “How can I get it through my mother’s head without breaking her heart?”

      Continue to say what you told her above. Spend part of your holiday with your family and part with his, say it with love, and hold your ground. She might be a little sad, but it won’t break her heart. She will get used to it. It will just take time.

    • http://rationalcreature.com/ Amy

      I’ve been dealing with a similar situation myself with my father — he is the best at the guilt trips — so I will share, if you don’t mind, what I’ve learned with through my therapist. It is your mom’s decision to react the way that she does, to feel hurt and to try and guilt you. None of that is your responsibility. Your responsibility is to yourself and to J., and if you want to spend time with him and his family, then you should, as long as you are truly not neglecting your own family (which I am certain you are not).

      What is your mom going to do if/when you and J. get engaged and married? You will be faced with this same problem, but you mom may, if she is still like my dad, just come up with different reasons to try to convince the two of you to have holidays with only your family.

      And good for you for standing up to your mom. I know it’s hard, and you don’t want to upset her, but sometimes our parents need a little bit of upsetting.

      • Emily Ardoin

        Thank you so much for this advice! I’m just seeing this now (a few weeks after Christmas, whomp whomp), but I was already starting to stress about Easter! Your advice was great! J and I have talked about it over and over, and we decided that it was time to start creating our own traditions for holidays. My parents will just have to understand. :)

        • http://rationalcreature.com/ Amy

          You are quite welcome!II’m so glad you and J. will be doing your own thing.

          Hang in there, sister!

  • MC

    So I ordered a dress that is a potential for a Wedding Dress, and I tried it on this morning…!! I love how it looks on me, and from the second I saw it online I wanted to wear it. It is comfortable and great for dancing and feels like me. BUT… it is not white and it knee-length, which is what I want, but I am having a hard time combating all the cultural messages that I should be wearing a big, long white dress or else. None of it is explicit, and in fact, my mom and best friends and Fiance are all totally supportive and tell me that I should wear what I want to wear, which I’m very grateful for. So why am I hesitant to make the final decision??

    Basically just looking for solidarity that it is okay to feel weird when making wedding choices that don’t comply with the WIC and it will still be awesome.

    • Laura

      Solidarity here!! Look at offbeatbride.com to see all the awesome “non-traditional” gowns. Also, remind yourself that “traditional” wedding dresses are actually just really nice dresses. I was born in the 80s, and in the majority of weddings in my grandmothers’ generation and before, the couple just picked the nicest outfit they had in their closet. It sounds like the *important* people in your life are supportive of your decision, which is awesome! It’s ok to feel weird. I felt pretty weird when I told my best friend that I was going to have grocery store cake at my wedding. And I also felt weird when I didn’t want a unity candle (until my Mom said, “thank god! I don’t want to get up in front of people and light a candle.”

    • http://www.lateralmovements.com/ Lauren Fitzpatrick

      I think the most important part of what you said about your dress was “feels like me.” Truly, nothing else matters. I bought my dress this week and I’m still not sure if it feels more like me or more like the WIC, which is everything I didn’t want!! On paper, I’d have rejected my dress without a second glance (strapless, taffeta, fussy flowers on the bodice, flower-like bustle thing on the back), but when I think about how it surprised me when I put it on, I remember why I bought it (truth: also because it was massively marked down). I think (I hope) that fully owning your wedding dress takes time for some of us. It is always, always okay to make your own wedding choices and I think feeling weird about it is part of the process. Breaking the mold isn’t supposed to be easy because then everyone would do it, right?

      • Laura

        THIS. My dress is from david’s bridal (to me that screams WIC) and in a picture it wouldn’t have gotten a second look. I bought it because I LOVED how I looked and it felt like me. When I start to get down on myself about it, I sneak into my closet and put it on and BAM. I own the dress choice again. You’re right! It takes some time for some of us to own the dress choice, no matter what the choice is or which side of the WIC spectrum you feel the dress lands on.

    • Em

      Your dress sounds AMAZING. F*ck the cultural noise. I totally feel you on this… I’ve chosen not to wear an engagement ring and it’s been a difficult decision to stick to. I go through periods of feeling like I’m missing out on something, or like I’m a fraud. I start thinking maybe I do want the sparkly rock – but every time, I do a thorough gut check and I remember that an engagement ring just doesn’t feel like ME, that I am doing just fine and that I’m a completely legit bride even if I don’t hit one single “wedding-y” mark except ending up married to my beloved. So, as someone who is also planning on rocking a non-white wedding dress next August – I think that the best way you can honour this truly momentous ritual is by honouring who you are, and who your partner is, and allowing that to be the point… because, well, being you is how you got to this moment in the first place.

      • Jennifer

        I chose to go very nontraditional with the engagement ring, and it’s my only ring so it doubles as engagement/wedding band. I was super surprised by how little blowback I got but every once in a while I still wonder if I would like a big, dangerous rock. And then I remember why I went this route. You’re not a fraud or missing something. It’s whatever suits YOU best.

  • Laura

    Hi! Poking around to find an APW Happy Hour fix. Wanting to croudsource makeup ideas. I like makeup. I think it’s pretty and fun. However, I’ve basically given up on it because of a) not kniwing where to start b) liking the more “natual” look and not knowing how to acheive it c) parabens (ew!) and d) finances. My financial situation is better now, so I’m still budget-minded but get that better quality means spending more. Really, I don’t want to wear makeup every day all the time, but I’d like the option of wearing it and feeling comfortable in it. Since it’s holiday picture time and next year is wedding time during which there will be lots of oictures, I’ve decided to re-open the makeup can of worms, thoughts? Suggestions?

    • MC

      This year I’ve gone from never wearing make-up to occasionally wearing make-up, and I am liking the easy combo of mascara, eyeliner, and lipstick/lipgloss. It hardly takes me any time in the morning, maybe 5 minutes at most, and it leaves me feeling natural but a little fancier.

      I like to practice technique when I am home for the afternoon/evening so that if I mess up it is not disastrous. And putting on make-up makes an evening of staying in and reading/watching Netflix feel a little more exciting.

      • Laura

        This sounds like what happens when I try on my wedding dress!!

    • Grace

      I don’t know where you are based, but if a store near you has a Bobbi Brown counter I would strongly advise booking in for one of their free makeup lessons. Their entire range and philosophy is about enhancing, not masking, natural beauty and my experience of them has been very positive and they will take the time to find out what kind of look you want. When I went I asked for a 5 minute look I could do half asleep before work, with minimal brushes or skill needed. They absolutely delivered that and it was a lot of fun

      • Laura

        That sounds like exactly what I’m looking for! None in Topeka, but maybe in Wichita or Kansas City. Thanks!

    • Ilora

      You can also try Etsy, there are lots of Etsy shops that specialize in natural/vegan/etc cosmetics and I love the ones that I’ve tried out so far.

    • Bsquillo

      I’ve had a lot of success with Everyday Minerals: http://www.everydayminerals.com/store/

      They’re a small company based out of Austin, TX, and all of their products are vegan and cruelty-free. They also provide free samples of base shades so you can figure out what works for you. I find their stuff to look really natural, and their prices aren’t much more than your typical drug store makeup. Good luck!

      • Laura

        I will look them up, thank you!

    • Caroline

      I didn’t wear makeup for years, but have gotten into wearing it for special occasions. I bought an illia lipstick (femme fatale, a really nice deep red), and got a brighter bare essentials lipstickaxnd mascara. The illia one has an awesome Skin Deep rating (do you know about skin deep for ratings on beauty product safety?), and I just wear the other stuff less since I couldn’t find ratings for it. I’ve found that wearing makeup occasionally is really fun and helps me feel more pulled together.

      I suggest thinking about one accent thing you love with makeup and starting there. Maybe smokey eyes, or cat eyes, or like me, bright red lips. It keeps it more affordable and manageable as a starting place.

      • Laura

        I love the idea of finding one accent thing I love. Thank you for the great suggestions! Also, I did not know about skin deep – what a great resource.

    • Sonny

      I’ve been getting into makeup more lately (warning: you may find yourself spending tons of dollars) and beauty blogs are really helpful. I like The Beauty Department for technique tutorials, Temptalia for product reviews and Phyrra for vegan/natural product recommendations.

      • Laura

        Thanks!!

  • Bsquillo

    Y’all. I MADE my own veil today with my mom and grandmother, and it looks SLAMMIN. It’s fingertip length with beaded lace trim (that I bought on Etsy), and we put it together with one afternoon of hand-sewing (and I have pretty much ZERO sewing skills). The tutorials on here were a great place to start!

    Seriously, it looks amazing. I’m probably more excited about it than I am about my dress. So to those considering making their own veil, go for it! If I can handle it, you certainly can.

  • Caroline

    You guys, we’re getting married next summer, and all 4 of our 5 married parents are apparently having marriage troubles. On top of Christmas. I’ve been trying to set boundaries about Christmas with my family without much success. I’m a religious Jew, and Christmas is just not my thing, but my mom and sis (mom is not jewish, sis is patrilineally, and identifies as “half-jewish”, I converted because Jewish law is important to me) are acting like I’m breaking their hearts for not doing Christmas with them. Neither is religious so they don’t get why I can’t be Jewish and do christmas too, because they feel like it is secular. I’m willing to help them celebrate, but it is not my holiday, and I don’t want to do all the xmas this with them. I ended up backing down on not doing christmas eve (in addition to a weekend of xmas with extended family, AND all day on the 25th) because my mom asked me to since she is having such a hard time between some health issues and with her troubles with my stepdad. We’ve been fighting so much lately.

    I’m really frustrated at how to communicate through our differences in world view. She is “really glad I have a good community in my synagogue, and my spiritual practices, but is very concerned about how it inconveniences others and I am so inflexible”.(paraphrasing) I don’t have a spiritual practice. I have a religios practice which involves discipline, following religious law when it is convenient and when it is not, and which happens to be spiritually meaningful.

    Do you have any advice on communicating better? I can’t explain in a way she understands why Christmas is religious and not secular to me, and why I can’t suddenly eat out at a restaurant on the sabbath, because she is inconvenienced by the Jewish law not to use money on the sabbath, and the like.
    i really hate december, and to be dealing with Christmas (very difficult for me, and conflicted), and possibly both my mom and step-dad’s and my in-laws marriages crumbling is very rough.

    • Laura

      Wish I could give you more than an internet hug. When in a fight with my mom, it always helps if we are able to find some kind of common ground first, and then listen/learn/respect the parts that are different even if we can’t understand them.

      • Caroline

        Thanks. I reached out to a friend who runs an organization helping interfaith families. Since a large part of her job is helping Jews and non-Jews who are family talk about Judaism, I’m hoping she can give me some advice on how to find ways to communicate better with my mom.

    • http://heartsvsbrains.tumblr.com/ HeartvsBrain

      I don’t mean to be disrespectful, so apologies up front if my suggestion doesn’t fit your feelings on celebrating various holidays:

      What if your mom and sister celebrate Christmas…and you celebrate being a part of the family? Like, can you not just look at it like visiting your family and spending time with them? Skip the presents, but beyond that, what make Christmas, Christmas, versus just a visit with the family? I don’t know all your traditions, so I don’t want to presume, I’m just thinking isn’t there a way for everyone to be happy. Your mom and sister get to spend time with you on a day that is special for them and you get to visit with your family without “celebrating Christmas” which makes you uncomfortable. If there is no gift exchange and just a nice meal…well how is that celebrating a holiday? You’re just spending time with your family. And bonus – they think you’re celebrating Christmas with them. But to you, its just a visit with family.

      Maybe that’s way to simplistic, I just thought it might actually be a perception thing and if everyone just thinks they are getting what they want, maybe good enough?

      • Caroline

        There’s really no way of doing Christmas with my family and having it be in any way “just going to their house for a meal”. It is at least a several day, everyone at the same rental house, tons of presents, multi-day extravaganza. And if I’m the least grumpy about it, I get lectures on how it’s secular to everyone else, so therefore I’m wrong that it is not secular to me. Fancy meals are basically how you celebrate religious Jewish holidays (and sometimes going to synagogue, but the meal is kind of the bulk of it for a lot of Jews) and a meal which would otherwise be secular, if it happens because of the holiday, is then a religious observance, so just because we don’t talk about Jesus doesn’t make Christmas dinner secular to me. If it were just a matter of showing up cheerfully for dinner, I could do that because it means so much to my family. But it is “mandatory” to spend too much time in a row with my family. (This year will be 4 days, 6 major meals, two major present fests and not a smidge of recognition in there by my mother that things aren’t the way they used to be and that it does not mean I will stop “inconveniencing her” with my religion.)

        I understand that to her, Christmas is about family, but she doesn’t understand at all that to me, Christmas is about Jesus, and since I am a Jew, therefore not for me. If we could reach a place of mutual understanding, maybe we can get to a point where I can help her celebrate her holidays (who knows maybe even she could help me celebrate mine by wishing me a happy holiday on them!), and she could respect that it isn’t my holiday, we’d be okay. But she insists that it is my holiday because it is secular to her.

        • http://heartsvsbrains.tumblr.com/ HeartvsBrain

          I see now the bigger issue is your mom’s lack of respect for your feelings around the holidays and I think that’s really tough and I’m sorry you’re struggling with it. It seems like maybe a heart to heart style talk with her, maybe after the holidays is in order. It sounds like you are willing to be open minded and accommodating, if you feel you’re getting the same in return from the people you love and I think that’s fantastic. I’ve got my fingers crossed you can get your mom to see things your way and to stop alienating you from celebrations she wants you to embrace. Maybe letting her know her behavior is in fact causing you to do and feel the opposite of what she wants, would be helpful. Good luck!

          • Caroline

            Yes, that is exactly it. Thanks. I am planning to try to talk with her about it. I hope she can hear it. Previous conversations on the subject have not gone well.

  • Kayjayoh

    I don’t know who is around at this point, but I’m stuck at work today and it is a ghost town. So, internet surfing it is!

    So, if a gent were interested in “dressing like a Hobbit”…not cosplaying as a Hobbit, but that sort of “I live in the Shire and maybe play some Irish trad music” tweeds and vests sort of look, where would be some good places to shop w/o totally blowing the bank? Fiance is kind of interested in updating his look, and I am 100% on board with this.

    I can easily find super high-end places for those kinds of clothes, but mid-level? No clue WRT men’s fashion. Any suggestions?

    • jashshea

      Not sure I can help on the question, but wanted to thank you for also being at work. I’m so lonely!

      Do you have any good clothing exchange places near you? Not like a thrift shop, more of a consignment store?

      • Kayjayoh

        We have a good range of thrift stuff, but that can be iffy as far as finding the thing that looks right *and* fits him. (Women’s stuff seems much better in the thrift stores.) I’m more trying to figure out where one buys this stuff new.

        • jashshea

          Did some google’ing – holy moly new wool sweaters are expensive! Anything on overstock? Think I remember you saying you were moving East soon – if so, check out the LL Bean outlet when you get there.

          I did find some lovely sweater options for me, though. Does that help? :)

          • Kayjayoh

            Eddie Bauer and LL Bean were the first places I looked. (Might have better luck in person.) I also tried a Google image search for “tweed” and started clicking on images that looked like they might go somewhere promising. Found some good stores, but all super spendy.

            And maybe the case is that this *is* a look that will require either thrift store luck and/or some serious cash outlay.

          • Jennifer

            Or a trip to SE Asia. (um, also cash outlay). My husband had two whole bespoke suits made for him when we were in Thailand in October. Partially because he needs that stuff for business and presentations, and partially because he’s such an odd size ‘bespoke’ is about the only way for him to go. Once you GET overseas, costs for making clothing is insanely cheap.

    • http://heartsvsbrains.tumblr.com/ HeartvsBrain

      Goodwill/Thrift store. Basically said person wants old dude clothes and the best place to find those is thrift shopping. Then I just looked down and saw you wanted stuff new…

      I have to be honest, I don’t think you do want new stuff, not for hobbit clothes. I’d also look at Hospice resale shops. I’m presuming most medium and up cities have them since mine does. Also, hobbits rule.

      • Kayjayoh

        Perhaps I should clarify. Not “Hobbit clothes” as in “Hobbit costume”. That was just a descriptor he used when talking about the style. He also described it as the type of thing you might picture on some stereotypical, picture postcard Irish folks music players. Tweeds and wools and vests and sweaters and a little bit of structure and suspenders and whatnot.

        • http://heartsvsbrains.tumblr.com/ HeartvsBrain

          Ah! I think you’ll have to go the opposite route then: high end department stores/retailers. Ralph Lauren should surely have exactly this. Fancy men’s stores, etc. Though I’d encourage a look around etsy. You’d be surprised what people will make to sell online and what kind of crazy vintage clothes you can find too.

          • Kayjayoh

            That’s what I was afraid of. :)

          • Maddie Eisenhart

            Don’t forget about stores like TJMaxx and Marshall’s! They often sell exactly the designer stuff you’re looking for, just a season behind. You’d be amazed what you can find.

          • Kayjayoh

            Big fan of Marshalls.

    • Kayjayoh

      A Google image search for “tweed vest” has been a little helpful, especially in terms of finding men’s style blogs. Useful!

      https://www.gentlemansgazette.com/gentleman-dress-suit-budget-15-tips-guide/

  • moonlitfractal

    It’s unlikely that anyone will read this, but I can’t talk to my friends and would like to get it out of my head and into the world somehow.

    For the past 10 months I’ve been pretty much ignoring ads for birth control, and while ads aimed at parents sting, I’ve pretty much gotten used to them.

    However, whatever person or algorithm decided to target me, a person struggling with infertility, with a ad that begins: “as a busy mom, you don’t have time to take daily birth control pills…” can just go right to hell.

    • Jess

      Internet Hug. I hate internet ads with a passion.

    • Caroline

      I’m so sorry.

    • KEA1

      hugs to you. That is not cool, algorithm. =( And LOTS of wishes for strength even when you’re not having insult added to injury!

    • Jennifer

      :( That’s horrible! Stupid algorithms for internet ads. They really do mess us up sometimes.

    • a single sarah

      Aww honey, that’s dreadful. I’m sorry for the stupidity of the marketplace.

      I was halfway into my search of how to change the google algorithm for which ads it shows you when I thought, “Why don’t I get birth control ads? Oh right, I use adblock. I don’t see the ads in the first place.” Least of your problems, but may help hide one stinger?

  • Anon for this

    I’m having a weird day and I need to get this off my chest. My younger brother’s girlfriend is newly pregnant – we’re not suppose to be telling people yet (hence talking to invisible internet friends anonymously), and I’m not sure how I’m suppose to feel. She was told she had a 1 – 5% chance of ever getting pregnant so I’ve never even thought this was a possibility before (to be fair, they didn’t either). Everyone is surprised. They’re planning on keeping it – marriage was always a plan down the road for them so they’re just jumbling the timeline I guess. But I’m also feeling strange – as the oldest child, I feel….I don’t know, displaced? Jealous? Like I was suppose to have the first grandkid? I’ve only had a day to think about it, and my head is racing a bit. I want to be happy for them but I’m so shocked, I haven’t gotten to happy yet. I’m sure they will be great parents, they have good jobs and good families that will support them and they’re both good people. But its just so…out of left field!

    I just wanted to get the thoughts down and out of my head. I feel a little better already.

  • Karen

    How is it that you’ve NEVER posted about making a wedding website???

  • Kayjayoh

    WOOOOO!!! I just got an email from the person in charge of the cabins we were looking to rent from for our mini-honeymoon right after the wedding. I’d been crushed to discover that someone already had the one we wanted for that week, so we had to make arrangements in one of the other cabins.

    It turns out that the family who reserved it needed to switch their dates after all, so we get the little cottage I’d been dreaming of! Happy New Year!

    • Kayjayoh

      http://www.camplakeresort.com/rock-rest.html

      This place is the best. Growing up, my family called it “Fairyland.”

    • http://www.pinterest.com/katerees711 kater711

      I think being holed up in a cabin with a roaring fire place and my husband sounds like just about the best thing right now.

      Glad to hear you’ll be staying in the cabin you hoped for!

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

    is anyone else having serious APW withdrawal??

    • Laura

      SERIOUS withdrawal. I see a disqus comment in my email and get all excited, only to see it’s a giant squid of anger commenting on the latest news article…

    • MEM

      yes!!! my wedding was 10 days ago so APW withdrawal is coinciding with wedding withdrawal and holiday withdrawal and it’s terrible!

    • YetAntherMegan

      Yes! I’ve been checking back every couple days to see if there are any new comments. I also have a mostly written post that just doesn’t feel done, so at least that’s been sorta keeping me company.

    • Catherine McK

      Happy last work day without APW!

    • http://theartofhintz.blogspot.com/ Jenniferjuniper

      I just came by to see if there were any new comments on this thread because I am missing apw, I’ve been occupying myself with Offbeat Bride, but you guys are different enough that I’m feeling the void. Till monday folks!

      • Laura

        We’re almost there!

  • Apex Tent & Party

    Looking forward for more beautiful weddings and inspiration in 2014.

  • http://www.pinterest.com/katerees711 kater711

    Happy Friday all! Happy to know that the next time I come in to work, APW will be back to regular scheduled programming! Hope it’s been a restful, joyful couple of weeks for the APW team and readers. Stay warm. (-6 here in Michigan.)

  • Kayjayoh

    One more day!!

  • Kayjayoh

    Some amazing knot tutorials for your tie-wearer. I love the trinity knot.

    http://www.diply.com/different-solutions/9-ways-transform-a-tie-into-a-stunning-knot/21341

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

    Okay yall, I didn’t know where to put this and I’ll save it for a happy hour if no one sees it, but question: white dress at rehearsal dinner? But more casual than wedding dress? In my wedding dress hunt, I found this vintage cream colored dress with sequins that I am absolutely in love with and haven’t stopped thinking about, I didn’t think I’d want to wear vintage but when it was clamped on me it was insane how much I loved it. I wasn’t feeling it for the actual wedding day, but still I haven’t stopped thinking of it. Was thinking it would be cool and fun for the rehearsal dinner with some funky shoes but was wondering if wearing a white-ish dress that night would take away from wedding day? thoughts? experience?

    • Jess

      Totally cool for the rehearsal dinner! Vintage, sequins, and funky shoes? Rock it! The rehearsal (and dinner) is still about the wedding and about you and your future life-person, so why not make yourself stand out a bit as the bride? And again… SEQUINS.