APW Happy Hour


It's the Lucy—Lucy Comedy Hour!

by Lucy Bennett, Deputy Editor

APW Happy Hour | A Practical Wedding

Hi APW!

Lucy here, filling in while Meg and Maddie are away at Alt. Usually I think this is where we say, “the cats are away so the mice will play,” and by that I mean the mice will talk about Doctor Who, or perhaps the newest season of Downton Abbey. But currently, all this mouse wants to do is sneak in another nap! And I may do just that, but not before I hang out with you fine folks this afternoon. After all, it’s your Friday open thread, so hop on it!

Best wishes!
Lucy

P.S. Happy birthday, husband of mine!

Highlights of APW This Week

Did you miss our Beyonce Brunch Party? Maybe we can circle back around in comments today.

This awesome Denver City Hall wedding has me wanting to rock a fauxhawk this weekend.

DIY wedding invitation design tips, from the pros! I couldn’t have said it better myself.

I loved all the comments about work-life balance from our open thread this week. Considering mine currently involves wrestling giving a dog eye drops every three hours, it’s a process.

“They’re just shoes, right? Well, no, they’re not.

Ten tips for plus size wedding dress shopping. Now with bonus tip #11 from Meg: have the seamstress build in a bra! You’re welcome.

It’s the chuppah building post you’ve been requesting for years. Use wisely (and appropriately!), young grasshoppers.

Link Roundup

In parenting news, this stay-at-home dad leaves post it notes for his wife, ending the mommy wars, and apparently black dads really shock people.

Friends of APW and local SF jeweler FiatLux are hosting a black diamond engagement ring giveaway (RAD) from now until February 17th. Head over to their blog to enter, or just to ogle (your pick).

Why comedians ARE a bit mad. Not surprising to me, considering at my lowest points people told me I should do stand up. Talk about mixed messages.

A guide to talking to women (and girls) you just met without focusing on complimenting their appearances.

On the heels of the Lena Dunham conversation, we’re really excited this is happening.

An excellent breakdown of thoughts about the Richard Sherman interview.

Beyonce makes sweatshirts now? Beyonce makes sweatshirts now.

Dove’s new ad on selfies is kind of the best. And just in time for February.

Wedding photobombs! Freaking hilarious.

The racially fraught history of the American beard. Super interesting read.

The Critical Flame is dedicating a year to reading only things written by women and people of color. Are you in? While I happened to start this year with an Orson Scott Card book (eeeeek.) I’m totally going to try it!

Someone in the comments of our dress shopping posts ask about masculine-of-center lady fashion, so we felt worth it to include Bindle & Keep in our roundup this week. Enjoy!

Using Pinterest to examine the difficulties of violence against black women and girls.

Woman takes short half-hour break from being feminist to enjoy TV show. Oh Onion.

Thumbnail image by Meg for APW

APW’s 2014 Happy Hour’s are sponsored by Monogamy Wine. Thank you Monogamy for helping make the APW mission possible! if you want to learn more about monogamy (and possibly win birthday treats), head over here and sign up for their newsletter.

Lucy Bennett

Lucy is the Deputy Editor of APW and a freelance designer/ writer hybrid. When not coming up with weird self-challenges, she can be found marathoning TV shows or playing board games. She lives in Atlanta with her husband, her moderately-internet-famous-pup, and two cats. She takes herself very seriously.

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  • http://www.marbleryephotography.com/ Melissa

    Ok! Crowd sourcing travel ideas.. A friend and I are doing four nights in Tulum next month. What should we not miss? Food, adventure, history, anything!

    And happy Friday kids!

  • artfulword

    Love that Onion article – it’s TOO scary accurate!

    • Kelly

      Right? Was someone spying on my Friday night?

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

    Eric and I are on the lookout for 7 or 8 inch cake domes! The American Atelier cake stands we ordered came with domes that are way too short to cover a normal-person cake. Suggestions for where to buy affordable domes or entirely new stands w/ domes welcome!

    We want them to look nice, as we have to keep the cakes covered until it’s time to eat, lest the buttercream absorb the flavor from the BBQ smoker downstairs. We need four stands/domes and most are not cheap…would it look weird to just put glass bell jars on the stands or on platters?

    • KC

      I think bell jars would be totally fine if the ones you selected fit with the stands/platters and cakes. I mean, they’re basically indistinguishable from tall cake domes. So. Vote of confidence for that, as long as the general look “goes” well enough.

      Alternately, depending on your price range and how many of these you’d need, Target has a glass “Cake Stand With Cover” for $45.

      The other thing is that some frostings are actually improved by a bit of an added smoky flavor (yum). So there’s possibly the option of just letting it happen (although I’d take it for a test run first). If you’re doing potluck cake, that’s less ideal, since 1. you don’t have control over what flavors there are (and hence can’t make sure that they’d work with smoke), and 2. Aunt Vera might be sad if her Classic X Cake from the secret recipe tasted different, even if it *was* fine/better.

      • KC

        (or there’s this one from Amazon for $25-ish: http://www.amazon.com/Anchor-Hocking-Monaco-Cake-Ribbed/dp/B0000DBJVB/) (I’d go for either a glass option *or*, if you can preview an acrylic/plastic option, that may also be fine. But sometimes it looks really bad and sometimes it doesn’t, depending on the product. The bonus is that plastic’s lighter and less breakable, though.)

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

          I actually own that glass one and we’ve discussed buying three more…BUT it’s a 12 inch platter and our cakes are only six inches so we’re worried they’ll look tiny in there. So…if worse comes to worse, it might make more sense to just make the cakes a little bigger.

          • KC

            You could make the cakes a little bigger… or do a trial run of a 6″ cake on that stand with a twining of flowers or scattering of petals or a drizzle of skinny ribbon or a few herbs or curls of chocolate or vanilla bean pods or star anise pods or curlicues of sauce/topping or something else “filling” the vacant space. (note: does not have to actually fill the space; just needs to look like it was meant to be that way. ;-) )

            The other thing is that if the platter is 12″, that probably means that the space inside the dome is not 12″, but closer to 10″, which would leave 2 or 2.5″ on either side of a 6″ cake. Which might look less tiny? The thing I’d be more worried about is if the 6″ cakes are also very short in comparison with the dome. (trial run cake time? can always eat more cake…) If you do not want actual cake at this time, if you’ve got a 6″ cake pan, you can check it out (use cans of tuna/soup/whatever to “lift” it to the height of the cake, if you know what that height should be, and if your imagination fails, give it a collar of white paper to “fill” the area that the 6″ cake would fill), or you can “make” a cake out of posterboard or whatever to get an approximate visual (circle of 6″ diameter, make a cylinder, tada).

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

            I think a trial is a great idea to get a feel for how it will fill the platter. I know that we thought our our six-inch cutting cake would look small on its own, but it actually looked a lot bigger because it was rather tall. I didn’t realize when I ordered it just how tall one layer would be, and two was impressive in height, which I think would have looked great beneath a cake dome.

          • KC

            (Oh! The caveat with garnishing the plate around the cake: if you’re having a buttercream or otherwise fat-based frosting especially, be aware that ribbons, accordion-folded paper, paper flowers, confetti, plain paper doilies, etc. can oil-spot and bleed/soak wherever they touch the frosting, sometimes. So either make sure that specific garnish candidates are “non-frosting-reactive” with that frosting, or make sure your decorative plate-fillers don’t touch the cake, at least in front. :-) )

            (also: you can use fruit, esp. berries, or small noshables such as chocolate truffles or caramels or M&Ms or whatever as totally edible and non-wasted “filler”)

          • NL

            Have you searched for cheese platter domes? I saw smaller ones at a macys last week.

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

        Thanks for those! That one from Amazon is great and I actually have a very similar one that’s glass and about the same price…the downside is that it’s 12 inches in diameter (as is the beehive) and our cakes are only 6 inches in diameter!

        • BreckW

          Oooooh, I can see how this is a tough find! Could you have the cakes made a little bit bigger? I think even at 8 inches, they wouldn’t look odd on a 12 inch stand.

    • Sam2

      I don’t know what your peoples are like, but in an act of desperation I sent out an email to a bunch of likely suspects and asked if they had any I could borrow. Also, I just put the word out with my mom and any one that would listen that we needed some. The community came through for us.

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

        I was hoping to do something like that but since most of our guests are coming long-distance, it seems less likely that they can bring a cake stand & dome along with them!

  • Nicole

    I have a question about parenting blogs: As someone getting married soon, I’m already thinking about family planning. I’ve randomly stumbled across some parenting blogs in my pinterest endeavors, and have been completely frightened by them! They tell you how to raise your child(ren), then shame you if you’re not following these rules. Because clearly you don’t love your child or you would be doing EXACTLY what they say. And may the Lord have mercy on your soul if you give your child non-organic, locally grown food that you made for your family.

    I was pretty stoked to find a blog devoted to weddings that didn’t embrace the WIC, so I was wondering if you educated people had any recommended blogs that don’t embrace the how-you-must-parent bullshit.

    Also, I’m just going throw this out to APW, if one doesn’t exist (hell, even if one does!), you should consider a unique sister site devoted to parenting! I know with the website relaunch behind you, you’re all twiddling your thumbs! (KIDDING!)

    • Sophi

      I would loveeee to know what you find…

    • http://weehermione.blogspot.com/ Hayley || Wee Hermione

      There are some pretty decent parenting sites out there, fwiw. These are a few in my feedly — most are just singular blogs rather than mutli-author sites, but still:
      -Girls Gone Child
      -Peonies & Polaroids
      -Gregarious Peach
      -Offbeat Families (now an archive, but still nice)

      They’re not…prescriptive though. They’re just families, doing stuff, you know?

    • lady brett

      i highly recommend daddy blogs, the level of sanity and reality is a lot higher on average.
      or maybe it’s just that i identify with daddy stereotypes far more than mommy ones, so they’re kind of my speed.

    • emilyg25

      I really like Amalah, Ask Your Dad, and Mommy Shorts. Most of those are just parents writing about being parents. Mutha Magazine is really interesting, thoughty, journal-type website. Mommyish is funny but sometimes a little bitchy or paranoid for my tastes. The boards on Mothering can be useful, but often too crunchy for me. Alphamom is another good site. I have yet to find a holy grail APW for parents, but these fill the gap okay.

      • Grace

        Can someone start a sister site called A Practical Family or something?! I need this level of sanity in more areas of my life!

        • EmLeMat

          This comes up pretty regularly, and Meg has been very clear that she’s not interested in taking that on. There’s plenty of good parenting stuff in Reclaiming Wife, though — if you haven’t yet, go wild!
          http://apracticalwedding.com/category/marriage-and-more/kids-no-kids/

        • Meg Keene

          Nope! Never gonna happen. But we’ll keep mixing in motherhood stuff in reclaiming wife. It’s just not ever going to be prescriptive, just musings about my life as a mom, or musings about other people’s thoughts on motherhood. One day, assuming we bow to the inevitable and have a non-wedding project, it will continue to be in the mix. But it’s never going to be a huge part of the mix. Motherhood is one part of my life, I couldn’t run a whole site about it. (I mean, come on. I only vaguely pretend to run a whole site about weddings, lets not kid.) Plus, parenthood is my personal life, not my professional one.

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

      Umm…this is something I’m sort of trying to cultivate over at http://www.onwingingit.wordpress.com. It’s in its baby stages (uh, no pun intended?) but there you go :) Have to start somewhere, right?

    • Meg Keene

      Sorry ladies, no parenting blog from me, ever. I don’t intend to get my motherhood and my professional life mixed up. My list would be about the same as Hayley’s: GGC, Peonies & Polaroids, Ask Moxie for practical issues. But I don’t even read parenting blogs really, other than the first two, who are great women and friends, so I’m a terrible candidate to write one.

    • LBD

      In addition to some of the ones already mentioned, I like Scary Mommy.

  • Ariel

    Happy Friday! My wedding band came in the mail from blue nile earlier this week, and I couldn’t stop myself from wearing it around the house :-) I get to go back to my venue tomorrow for the first time since we booked it and take pictures and talk to the caterer and I’m really excited because I kind of forgot some details about the place. Yay!

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

      Eeeee! I didn’t want a band so Eric got me a vintage watch from the 1930s to wear instead. It too arrived this week and I really, really want to wear it all the time!

      • Ariel

        It’s just so fun! and pretty!

      • Ella

        Omg I cannot WAIT to see pictures of that! What a neat idea in lieu of a wedding band!

      • Jess

        Adding to the list of options. I love this.

    • Kayjayoh

      I’m suddenly reminded that I need to get us over to the jewelry store so fiance can pick out his ring and I can get it ordered.

      I think I am resigning myself to one of his grandmother’s wedding rings (one from a divorce, one from a widowing). I know if is important to him and would save some money. I just really wished that I actually *liked* any of them and/or were excited to wear one.

      • http://weehermione.blogspot.com/ Hayley || Wee Hermione

        As far as money is concerned, would you be willing to wait for the ring you want, instead of going with the ring you really don’t? Maybe budget for it together? (My husband and I considered all the rings a joint expense, for what it’s worth.)

        • Kayjayoh

          It’s not that we don’t have the money for it. But his grandmother’s ring (to him) = family heirloom + free.

          To me it is not the band I’m looking for and it came from a marriage that ended in an very unhappy divorce. However, I’m just not sure this is a battle I’m up for fighting. I already said no to a rather lovely assortment of his family rings for the engagement ring, because I had some specific things I needed (no diamond, no raised stone).

          We ended up compromising a bit on that one, too…I didn’t get the ring I’d really wanted when we had it designed, because he wanted input and I respected that. I did get a ring I like and can wear everyday, even though I don’t love it (the engagement is the important thing, not the ring), so I feel it worked out OK. But I feel like there will be sadness (and not just from him) if I say no thank you to the wedding band options as well.

          • Kayjayoh

            (I would also never dream of telling him that I like my ring but don’t love it. But if I could go back in time, I would have just asked him to buy me this, which would cover both rings: https://www.etsy.com/listing/93509583/18k-yellow-gold-and-blue-sapphire)

          • http://weehermione.blogspot.com/ Hayley || Wee Hermione

            Could you talk to him about the ring being connected to the unhappy divorce and just feel out how the ring being connected to that feels to him, as a way to broach the topic without it being necessarily “this is out”? It seems like he should at least know you have hesitations due to that, even if you do ultimately accept said ring. :-/ Of course, you know your relationship best, so this may not work as I envision! I do hope you find a happy solution for both of you, even if that solution is you wearing it but you both being on the same page about giving the ring a chance at a happier ending, something like that? (Like, wearing it and accepting it with purpose.)

          • E

            Whatever you decide, it is yours to wear, not his.

      • Crayfish Kate

        Would he be open to having one or both of them melted down & made into a new ring of your style? That way you can still be wearing them, but it’d be more to your liking. Just a thought :-)

        • Kayjayoh

          Maybe. I’ve been pondering that.

    • M.

      We have “ring parties” and secretly wear our rings around the house :) So hard to wait the few more months!

      • BreckW

        This is so freaking cute.

      • Ariel

        Damn, that’s adorable. I’m waiting for blue nile to send me another $100 off coupon before we buy his ring… after that we may need to have a ring party :-)

    • macrain

      NYC gals- I had the most lovely experience picking out my wedding band at Catbird in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. I have a vintage style ring with a non traditional shape, so picking out a band was tricky. Their staff was amazing and they were the least pressurey ever.
      As an aside, I had to explain to my fiance about wedding bands. He was like, you get another ring? What?

      • LM

        Yes! I also got my wedding band (which was also my engagement ring) at Catbird and had a great experience. Lots of options at all prices and low-key staff.

      • Alix

        I bought my wedding band from Catbird’s website! The band I really wanted had just been discontinued but they set up a special one time order screen for me. They are so lovely and efficient and awesome and I’d recommend them also.

      • Caitlin_DD

        I saw my Catbird engagement ring…months and months before I was engaged, and had a “That’s the one!” moment, which I haven’t had about anything else (except the man ;) ) Also got his engagement ring there, and will probably be returning for wedding bands.

  • Molly

    You guys, today marks 4 months until my wedding reception, and exactly 119 days until my fiance and I traipse down to the courthouse to make it legal. We have a lot of stuff figured out, but I still have to get the reception music situation sorted out. We are going to try to rent a sound system and make a playlist… any tips? I know APW has a couple playlists on Spotify so if all else fails, we have that…. we can’t afford a DJ or band, though :( Everything in my fiance’s house seems to be breaking right now, so any extra money he has outside of what he’s already contributing to our wedding account is going to have to go toward repairs. :( Help is appreciated. Or commiseration.

    I also was hoping for some advice on my hair and makeup situation. I had my hair done for our engagement party in November and that shit was hella expensive. Since we are having the civil ceremony one day and the reception the next day, I worry that hiring a hair and makeup person to make me look fancy both days will get ridiculous. Any tips on how to save in that arena? I can do my makeup for work or whatever, but I’m not very skilled at evening looks and I don’t want to look like I walked off the set of the Walking Dead either. I’m sure a professional could do a much better job than me….. so I’m at a loss. Thinking maybe trying toget my sister to do my hair following one of the basic tutorials here on APW. Anyone have any experience with doing hair when you’re not a professional/don’t do your hair very often? She can do a good French braid, so maybe some kind of French braid would look good. Hmm…

    Sorry y’all, now it’s just the details really. Going to pick up my courthouse dress from the tailor tomorrow, have my attire for the reception. Just need rentals, music, and some small things for the reception and I think everything else will fall into place.

    Oh, and the hair and makeup thing. Wedding planning has been such a pain, is it bad for me to say that? It makes me feel bad saying that, but I’m just ready for it to be over, but I want it to be nice, too. I just hope it still will be. We are just barely going to afford this at this point.

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

      Depending on what you want for your hairstyle, I definitely recommend learning to DIY it or having a friend do it for you. Watching YouTube videos has helped me a ton with doing pretty hairstyles myself. Just practice a few times to get the hang of it first. As for makeup, maybe go to a makeup counter/Sephora for a tutorial and then buy the products? That way you can DIY it for both events!

      • Molly

        Good tips Rachel! I’ll definitely have to see about going into Sephora. I do have plenty of time to practice, so hopefully that will work out in my favor. Thanks!!

    • http://andshelovesyou.com/ Lucy

      I got my stepmom to put my hair in a french twist, but we did two different “trials” before the day of and they were probably the most fun I’ve had with my stepmom, even if we did mostly just act silly and curl my hair for random hairstyles. It kept her from feeling like the pressure was on for the wedding day, and I got to have a good idea of what everything would look like.

      And I didn’t feel like getting a professional was worth it because a) my stepmom did my hair for various things when I was in high school and was plenty good at it and b) pretty much my only requirement for my hair was, “please keep it out of my face.”

      • Molly

        As long as my hair and makeup still looks nice, I really don’t care who puts it up/on, either :) But I’m sure I can find a hairstyle that is simple/easy to put up and still meets those few requirements. I’ll probably just have my sister work on it for the couple of days she’s up here before my festivities begin. We’ll work something out. Thanks Lucy!

    • HannahESmith

      Have you tried finding a freelancer who runs their own business? That’s who I worked with for my wedding hair and makeup, and her prices were much better than anyone else. Also, a freelancer might be willing to give you a better deal for multiple times. Just a thought.

      • Molly

        Good point, I’ll have to check into that and see. Definitely worth a shot! Thanks!

    • Nicole

      Is there an Aveda training salon nearby? I’m scheduled to have my hair and make-up done at one for my wedding, and, including a trial, it’s going to be less than $75.

      • Molly

        Wow I never thought of that. I actually do have one of those in my area it looks like, according to Google. I’ll have to give them a call. Thank you!

    • anon

      If you have an Origins store nearby, they will do your make-up for free, including a trial.

    • memery

      well, if it makes you feel better, I’m getting married three weeks before you, and I don’t have a LOT of things done. You’re way ahead of me.
      As for hair and makeup, I’ve been playing makeup games — basically watching youtube makeup videos, playing around with it myself (usually at night before I wash my face, so I can make it look like whatever I want and then can wash it off.) I’m getting to the point where I feel like I can probably do makeup myself. Hair, on the other hand… I’m terrible at that and seem incapable of learning. I think I will save money on the make up and DIY, but pay for the hair…

      • Molly

        haha, we still have some big stuff to do…. i’m sure there’s more not-so-small stuff that i’m forgetting… like blocking off hotel rooms, but i’m hopeful that won’t be too bad. we also have to figure out where we’ll get the cake too, seeing as we can’t really afford a $500 cake, we’re going to have to probably get it from Publix, since they do tiered cakes and their cake tastes awesome.

        it definitely helps with our planning that we axed the whole ceremony idea. that was going to be a beast in and of itself because my fiance is Indian, so we would have had to do two ceremonies to make everybody happy. can you say $expensive$ and an emotional pain. i think that cut out a lot of the planning… that and not having to deal with a bridal party. still, i feel like there’s a lot left, for some reason. but i’m not one of those people who has dreamed about this day forever, and planning it stresses me out.

        yeah i may just try to work on the makeup myself. i have really dark circles under my eyes that make me look half dead in pictures sometimes (it’s a genetic thing… sadly), so i just want to make sure that doesn’t happen. that said i want to look like myself, but nicer. i’m sure i can handle that, haha.

        • Meigh McPants

          Hell yeah, Publix cake! I think the only thing my bestie regretted about getting married in DC was that there was no Publix cake.

    • Alynae

      Day one get a great blow out with some curls or however you think your hair looks the best worn down. Day two take that blow out, body whatever you decide and pin half back, twist into a loose bun, sassy pony with some volume from the blowout etc.

    • Meigh McPants

      The hair tutorials on the beauty dept are easy to follow and have many braids, They make me miss having more than an inch of hair,

  • The Chronically Ill Bride

    You guys, I’ve hit the “resigned” stage of my “sort of having a hard time” period. I’m trying to find a new job and all my leads/interviews just came to naught and we’re in month 7 of trying for a baby, and so everything is just kind of feeling like it’s never going to happen. And rather than that making me furious, like it did last week, I seem to be ok with feeling slightly hopeless.

    Now, I realize just how pathetic this sounds, and that month 7 is nothing in ttc land, but I think having two huge things that i’m trying for in my life and having neither success nor control in either is making me slightly crazy.

    On the upside, I just had an HSG test (which didn’t hurt as much as I thought it would!) and there’s a doctor who is taking my health concerns and ttc seriously, so that’s nice.

    • http://weehermione.blogspot.com/ Hayley || Wee Hermione

      I’ve been there — the best advice I can give is, don’t worry about infertility until you get there, because there’s no use in getting upset over it sooner, if that makes sense. I know it sounds flippant, but if you let that fear overtake you before getting to that year-mark, at which point seeing a specialist is a good next step, it will drag out the process for you more, and probably be a more stressful endeavor. (I know, I know, it’s practically impossible not to get upset — again, I have been there. I have been in that trench. Please know I mean it with the best intentions when I say, you’re not dealing with the monster of infertility *right now/yet* so don’t let the spectre of that battle overshadow you at this point.) Hugs.

      • The Chronically Ill Bride

        Thank you for this. Somehow, “you’re not dealing with the monster of infertility *right now/yet* so don’t let the spectre of that battle overshadow you at this point” actually got through to me. I’d been so scared, leading up to the 6 month conversation with my doctor and somehow once we had it, I felt better. It does still feel like it won’t ever happen – I mean, where else in life do you try the same thing up to 5 times per month for 7 months to no avail and yet keep trying? – but somehow, I’m feeling calmer about it. And less alone, every time I read something supportive from someone who has been there, and been through the real trenches. So thank you.

        • http://weehermione.blogspot.com/ Hayley || Wee Hermione

          For what it’s worth, taking up to a year is supposedly fairly normal across the wider population overall (hence why they say to wait that long before seeing a specialist). So it could be nothing, it could be something easily solved (low progesterone, low B6, etc), or it could fall into the harder-to-fix-or-pinpoint category. It could very well be something that’s fairly easily solved and *won’t* require a long battle, even if there’s something going on. Hang in there.

        • Mary Jo TC

          “where else in life do you try the same thing up to 5 times per month for 7 months to no avail and yet keep trying? ”
          Ha. You can try the same thing 30 times a month for much longer than 7 months and still have no luck when you’re trying to get a baby to sleep longer than 3 hours. And you keep trying because the only alternative is accepting that you’re just going to feel half-dead all the time for the entire foreseeable future.
          (I really hope that’s not insensitive because I know of course ALL you want is to have this problem, but you phrased that in a way that struck me. I’ve been trying to articulate how crazy-making this baby sleep thing is for weeks now.)

      • Granola

        I hope I’m not being insensitive with this question: Has anyone started ttc earlier than they’d ideally want to be pregnant because of concerns about infertility or conception taking up to a year? Hearing your comments makes me think I should widen my window a little bit from the fall, which is when we’d like it to happen to possibly starting in the summer just in case.

        • The Chronically Ill Bride

          I know someone who did this, convinced it would take her a long time (she had been told so by doctors) and she got pregnant the first month. Which was the month after their wedding. She was actually pretty upset about it – she’s thought they would have a hard time and didn’t want to be pregnant until at least a year later.

        • emilyg25

          We did this. We started trying a few months before our wedding. But my husband was recovering from a vasectomy reversal, so we knew our chances were pretty slim. Also, we would have been thrilled to get pregnant and were pretty much ready, aside from the married bit.

        • http://weehermione.blogspot.com/ Hayley || Wee Hermione

          I mean, ultimately, I think you can hope for the best, but the planning is really just not something you can rely on. If you know there’s a time that’d specifically be bad, I’d wait, but if it’s just a matter of this month or that month…widening the window may save you some annoyance with yourself later?

    • emilyg25

      I’m right there with you (8th month). I just keep telling myself over and over that this is one thing in life that I can’t control, and that it’s good practice for the huge unpredictability of parenting. :) It works sometimes. The other thing I do is really throw myself into all the things I won’t be able to do when I’m pregnant (wine and sushi, with a side of unpasteurized cheese, please!). Hang in there.

      • The Chronically Ill Bride

        Cheese! Cheese makes everything better. Yes, you’re right, it’s good to think of this unpredictability preparation. But really, just having someone else in a similar situation saying hanging in there helps most of all.

      • Superfantastic

        Yup. We live in Japan and I tell myself, “Well, one more month of ahi sashimi.” It is maddening, always feeling like I’m in perpetual waiting mode. Waiting to ovulate, waiting for my period/a reasonable time to take a pregnancy test, then starting the waiting all over again. Every month feels at least two months long. Wine for everyone! (Though hopefully not for much longer.)

  • Crayfish Kate

    My copy of the APW book arrived this week! It’s a small pleasure, but I’m so excited to start reading it. Perfect day to stay hunkered down inside, what with it being 15 out, gusty winds & blowing snow :-P

    • vegankitchendiaries

      You’ll go through it before the day is out if you are the same as I was!

    • emilyg25

      It’s a really wonderful book, and very helpful for wedding planning!

    • HannahESmith

      I read it in two evenings. It’s such a great book. I’ve purchased copies for friends as well. I recommend keeping your own copy around through the whole wedding process. I would re-read certain chapters every time I felt stressed out.

    • JSwen

      Fun! I read it a chapter at a time to consider how it might help me plan before moving to the next, which was a really great way to get the fiancé reading it as well.

    • lizperk23

      Mine did too! My auntie sent it to me as an engagement gift – she had no way of knowing that just about the only practical thing I’ve done so far is to find and read this website :)

  • Lisha

    Oh my goodness!! That post it note link had me in stitches!! lol too funny!

    I just read about the #ReadWomen2014 and I love it! Although, most of the books I read are generally by women anyways, but I’m excited for this initiative! With that being said, do you have any book recommendations written by women and/or women of colour? Would love to start a new list of books to read!! :)

    • MC

      Probably the best book I’ve read in the last two years is The Round House by Louise Erdrich, and now I want to read everything else she’s written.

      • BreckW

        Loved The Round House and absolutely EVERYTHING Louise Erdrich writes (seriously, you cannot go wrong).

      • MC

        I also love everything by Barbara Kingsolver but ESPECIALLY The Poisonwood Bible and Animal Dreams, Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi, The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri, and pretty much anything by Isabel Allende and Toni Morrison.

        • Granola

          I just found out about Isabelle Allende and I’m so in love. Her stuff is crazy great. So far I’ve read “Daughter of Fortune” and “Island Beneath the Sea”

          • melise

            Isabel Allende is absolutely one of my favorite authors. If you’re looking for more, Zorro is a terrific story, and Of Love and Shadows and The House of the Spirits are wonderful too!

    • guest

      Americanah, by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, is excellent. (Linking back to this week’s context, there is a section in it with a discussion of how magazines and cosmetics are Anglocentrics.) Bonus: her TED talk (“We Should All Be Feminists”), which is also amazing and empowering, was excerpted in Beyonce’s “Flawless” video.

      • Lisha

        I’ve read Americanah – very good!! I’ve yet to read Half of Yellow Sun so that’s the next book of her’s I’d like to read. Her TED talk was awesome! I haven’t seen the Beyonce video so I will check that out :)

    • http://andshelovesyou.com/ Lucy

      Currently on my shelf I have two books of poems by Mary Oliver, and I can’t praise her enough. Otherwise, I’m starting Between, Georgia by Joshilyn Jackson soon and that looks promising.

      Plain Kate by Erin Bow has been one of the best fantasy books I’ve read in the last 5 years, which is saying something because I read like a fiend. I will probably continue moving through Tamora Pierce books, since I guess I missed those as a child (read Anne MacCaffery instead I guess, also a good author to pick up). Zoo City by Lauren Beukes is also a good sci-fi/fantasy read, and Seraphina by Rachel Hartman is a good fantasy, almost regency-esque novel.

      Other female authors I’ve read enjoyed: Karen Russel (literary fiction), Laurel K Hamilton (fantasy smut), Naomi Novik (historical fiction), and Zadie Smith (literary fiction/nonfiction) to name a few.

      • Meigh McPants

        Joshilyn Jackson is the shiz. We read that one for book club and I totally dug it.

      • Jenny

        Last year I re-read all of my old Tamora Pierce books. It was great! I loved her as a teen, but I was happy to see that they totally held up while reading them as an adult, and in fact I was like DAMN, I had great taste!

    • Sam2

      Jennifer L. Leo edits a series of essay collections of women writers and they are amazing. (Sand in my Bra, The Thong Also Rises, Whose Panties Are These?) Travel themed funny women writing? Yes please!

      • Lisha

        Ooh I love travel themed books. Thanks for the suggestion!!

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

      This is mostly due to me being a Russian Lit nut, but I love Ludmilla Petrushevskaya. She writes mostly short stories, in the form of modern Russian fairy tales (dark, old school style fairy tales). Her latest two collections are “There Once Lived a Girl Who Seduced Her Sister’s Husband And He Hanged Himself: Love Stories” and “There Once Lived A Woman Who Tried To Kill Her Neighbor’s Baby: Scary Fairy Tales.” (Dark- yes, but so good.)

    • Jenni Kissinger

      If you like scifi/fantasy with examinations of human nature, Octavia Butler is a great woman-of-color author. Lilith’s Brood (http://www.amazon.com/Liliths-Brood-Octavia-E-Butler/dp/0446676101/) is intense and thought-provoking. It’s one of those trilogies I couldn’t get out of my head for days after finishing it.

      I just finished her Patternist series (here called Seed to Harvest: http://www.amazon.com/Seed-Harvest-Octavia-E-Butler-ebook/dp/B008HALOVO/), which was also amazing. Four books that span from the seventeenth century into the future, an immortal trying to shape the human race into beings like himself.

      I’ll second the recommendation for Tamora Pierce (very strong female leads!).

    • Sam2

      Ooh, also The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery

    • Laura C

      Free Food for Millionaires, by Min Jin Lee.

      Also anything by Elinor Lipman, especially The Way Men Act and The Inn at Lake Devine.

  • Shiri

    A friend and I have been arguing lately over her impulse to not wear her engagement ring to job interviews, and she pointed me toward this Huff Post article on the issue. Anyone have thoughts on this? There is so much wrapped up in it, and I can’t tell what I’m more concerned about, the self-hating, the privilege on display, the anti-feminist assumptions about someone wearing a ring, or what it does to her salary arguments.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/katherine-bindley/interviewing-should-you-take-the-ring-off_b_930242.html

    • NicoleT

      This is a load of bull. The ring “distracts” from the interview? If you have a nice engagement ring you don’t “need the job”? I think that’s absurd and sexist. If a man comes in wearing a particularly expensive suit and tie with, say, a jeweled tie pin, I bet you he would just be seen as incredibly professional. If I ever have an interview where someone asks me about my ring, I will immediately direct their focus back to the interview. And really, I feel like a ring is only noticeable if a) it’s the biggest, clunkiest thing ever and that person is waving it around or b) the interviewer is looking for it (which they shouldn’t be- it doesn’t concern them). It almost feels like this article is an excuse for lower salaries for women; instead of attacking the patriarchal system, they’re blaming it on jewelry.

      • Shiri

        “It almost feels like this article is an excuse for lower salaries for women; instead of attacking the patriarchal system, they’re blaming it on jewelry.”

        Yes, yes, thank you! And this was the least disgusting of the articles around this issue, too. And yet, it really touched a nerve inside me, thinking that somehow I was being blind to think it was ok to wear a ring to an interview. It really made me doubt, and that pissed me off.

        • NicoleT

          I say do what you want. In this context, the engagement ring seems like a symbol of the commitment you’ve made to someone else. That’s something to be celebrated, not hidden away because of some small minded people.

    • Crayfish Kate

      Uggghhhh, this just rubs me the wrong way. Bottom line is, it’s none of the interviewer’s business. For all they know, it could be fake, it could be a precious family heirloom, it may be none of these. But that’s not what matters, what the interviewer should be paying attention to, is seeing if this candidate is the best one for the job.

      That said, I have thought about whether I’ll wear my engagement ring to interviews. What if the interviewer sees that I’m engaged, and assumes I won’t be invested & dedicated to the job, b/c I’ll be too busy wedding planning?

      • Shiri

        Yes, I’ve totally heard that. Or the idea that it advertises the possibility that you might need maternity leave soon (as though babies can’t happen without rings). Again, all totally anti-woman and backward issues, but is it our responsibility to put ourselves at risk in our careers to push back against these ideas? (The “does every choice need to be a feminist one” issue, again).

        • Crayfish Kate

          So true, and sad. The job market is such crap right now, I feel like I need to give myself every advantage, & if that means not wearing my ring, then…yeah, I don’t know. It just leaves me with an icky feeling that a qualified someone might not get the job over…a ring.

      • KC

        I had a co-worker once who quit as soon as she was married (less than a year after she was hired) and, yes, spent time at work looking at bridesmaid dresses and whatnot, although that totally might have been during a break (but she horrified me by opining that a $300 bridesmaid dress that she was considering as an option was “cheap” – pretty, yes, “cheap”, not in my little world over here…).

        I’d say that this is somewhat geography+job-field+class dependent, though. But mentioning long-term goals within the company, or long-term career goals in general, might reduce or eliminate “hm. she might be quitting just as we finish training her…” question.

    • ElisabethJoanne

      My boss for my first legal internship recommended “Guerrilla Tactics for Getting the Legal Job of Your Dreams,” which I think was written in the early ’90s. It said to remove your engagement ring for interviews, particularly for summer internships meant to lead to permanent employment. Apparently, you might take a summer job in New York, but if you have a fiance from Chicago, you’re settling in Chicago.

      While I take the position, “Why take the risk?” I haven’t found these dynamics to really be in play in my or my friends’ job searches. Being local got me very few “points” when I interviewed in law school. There were lots of stories of summering in one market and going to the same firm’s office in another market after law school. Now that I’m an attorney, the thought of taking another Bar Exam keeps me from moving.

    • emilyg25

      I had a friend who always took her rings off for job interviews to avoid misogynistic assumptions about her career trajectory. I’m of the opposite mind. If you don’t want to hire me because of my ring, I don’t want to work for you. (I do cover up my tattoos though, so I’m not 100% take it or leave it.)

    • River

      So, my perspective on this is a bit skewed: I’m currently in unemployment hell, and as an actress, this “job interview” (re: auditioning) thing involves a LOT of focusing on what image I am presenting. Especially as I am someone who looks very young, and am actively pursuing younger roles, I’m really nervous about wearing my lovely engagement ring, and coming across as *gasp* old… It is surprising and disheartening to hear that ladies in other professions have to worry about this too!

    • Leslie

      So not quite the same, but my husband and I bought a car recently and were at one dealership (where we did not end up buying the car) and during an initial negotiating process it came up that we had just gotten married (I was going through the multi-identity name-change phase). As soon as we mentioned it, the salesman literally took both of our hands and inspected our rings. It was incredibly uncomfortable for both of us, probably more for my husband because I have gotten (as much as I can) used to this kind of unwanted hand-grabbing during our extended engagement. When we got in the car my husband asked me what it was all about and I said “He was trying to size up how much money we have.” It was awesome to see it the light bulb go off in his head after getting a taste of it himself. Ironically, while the salesman was practically looking at my diamond under a microscope to examine it for quality and cut, he failed to notice that our clunker almost broke down in their parking lot.

      • ElisabethJoanne

        It only happened to me once when I was engaged. With that experience, the second time, I might have sued for battery. Grabbing strangers is not OK.

    • AC

      When I was job searching last year I took my ring off for every interview. It is SO HARD getting a job as it is. Not worth it to me to maybe possibly not get a job because they think I “don’t need the money”, “won’t be as committed”, will have a baby, whatever.

      • Eenie

        I think that’s it for me. As much as that system sucks, when I’m job searching I want to avoid as many things as possible that could *possibly* keep me from getting the job. The counter argument being, do you want to work for a company that would judge you for wearing a ring? I think I counter that with the fact that it can influence one or two people’s opinions subconsciously without it being the corporate culture. Just not worth the risk to me.

    • Jenni Kissinger

      I was really, really nervous about wearing my engagement ring to an interview. Mostly because I didn’t want any questions about my fiance or his line of work to come up until after I (hopefully) get an offer. I’ve heard a lot about how academic folks will ask (illegal) questions regarding a spouse, your/their job and willingness to move, etc, and had learned some phrases to redirect the conversation back to one’s skills and experience. I ended up wearing it and luckily didn’t get any comments or questions.

    • Caroline

      This issue makes me really nervous, and I’ve given it so much thought. I’m VERY young to marry where we live. Like, all my friends getting married are a decade or more older than I am. Also, I’m old to be in school, since I took some time off, ie, I’m 2-3 years older than my classmates in my underground program. I just can’t help but think that wearing an engagement ring to job and internship interviews in a boys club field while still in undergrad can’t possibly do good for me. I haven’t taken it off for previous interviews, but I’ve definitely considered it.

      I’m less worried that people will judge me about the size of the ring, and more that people will assume I must not be serious about my work if I’m engaged (and soon will be married) in undergrad.

      • Shiri

        I’m not sure where to put this reply, but it’s amazing to me how many women have commented that they’re worried about wearing their rings for one reason or another – it’s really the breadth of the comments that are getting to me. There’s so many reasons women are afraid of showing they’re married or committed and it’s just so not right.

  • Ellen

    For those who are so inclined- there is a sale on short wedding dresses on RueLaLa that started just now! Go check that shizz out! If I didn’t have my dress already, I would be super tempted.

    • Laura C

      Isn’t it tough, once you have your dress, to quit looking? If online was where you were looking, anyway. I don’t have any problem staying out of the stores I looked in for dresses, but their websites? Tough! Especially when the ads are still following me around the entire internet.

      • Ellen

        This one didn’t fall into that category- they have a bunch of random pretty things that they put up for sale there, and this is the first time in a looooong time they’ve had wedding stuff. I just happen to get emails from them, and got one just as happy hour was starting!

        But yeah- I still like to check out what there is out there. Part of that is to reaffirm that I like my dress as much as I do, and part is because I want to know what I can get as a last-minute alternate in case something goes horribly awry.

    • Jessica

      They have dresses for the guest too! Some shiny ones are in there.

  • Sophi

    Hey – this is slightly off-topic, but a virtual friend of mine just posted something really brave online and I thought I would share it with you all. It’s not re: weddings and marriage directly, but definitely about being a woman and growing up and facing past demons and all that — she is going public about her dad’s sexual abuse that she and her sister endured for years. Please, read it if you can and share it freely. She would really like people to know what kind of a man he is since the statue of limitations prevents her from pressing charges. Check it out here if you like, http://www.therebelheart.com/charlottes-blog/2014/1/13/my-dad-is-an-unregistered-unprosecuted-sex-offender-please-h.html#comment20740257

    • Shiri

      This is amazingly, astoundingly brave and strong. My heart goes out to your friend.

    • Winny the Elephant

      Oh wow…

  • Don’t Hassle the H

    Huzzah! “Snow Day” in Texas so I am working from home and can actually comment !

    Did something crazy and just bought my plane tickets to go to Rio for the World Cup with friends! Hoping we can actually get tickets to the game but for now a week travelling between Sao Paolo and Rio is very exciting. Now we just need to be ok living off of ramen and wine.

    (side note: is there a way to comment from an iphone? The comments won’t load when I read the page from my phone so I can only read the posts. I tried opening the page from chrome but it was the same thing. Do I need to download the app?)

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

    Speaking of brides in pants, this was one of my favorite things on the interwebs this week: Speaking of Women in Suits

    I love it so much.

  • Katherine

    You guys, God help me, but I am going to a bridal sample sale this weekend. Can any of you ladies with sample sale experience offer some general advice/tips? Is it going to be as crazy as I think it is? Because I’m picturing it like the newcaster brawl scene from Anchorman, only with wedding dresses. I don’t want anyone to murder me with a trident over a cheap dress!

    • scw

      the BHLDN one in philly, by any chance? I thought about doing that (it is less than a mile from my house) but I haven’t tried any dresses on yet and having that be my first experience sounds like a nightmare! I have been to the urban sample sales and they are crazy enough. I’ll wait until the NYC BHLDN opens up.

      whether it is BHLDN or not, good luck! I say take some friends, wear some underwear you’re ok with strangers seeing, and keep a sense of humor about it.

      • Katherine

        That’s the one! Can you tell me anything about what the urban sample sales were like? I just want to have an idea of what to expect.

        • scw

          the urban sample sales I went to were in 2004/5 and were not at the warehouse, and I’m not even sure if they were officially run by urban (for some reason I am remembering that the money was donated to some organization, but I could be making this up). you got there as early as possible, stood in line, and then when they opened the gate everyone RAN in. everything was in bins or on tables in kind of a heap. there weren’t dressing rooms or mirrors or anything. nothing was marked with a price and they just kind of randomly gave you a total when you went to ‘check out.’
          I really don’t know if you should take this as an idea of what to expect, though, because that was years ago and this seems like a more organized event. the bhldn instagram posted a picture of the dresses hung up on racks for the event and it looks really nice.
          have fun and I hope you find something good!!! a little part of me definitely still wants to go, but my wedding is over a year away and I’m just not ready to get the dress. I read that they’re going to have a lot of discontinued dresses!

          • Katherine

            Thanks!! Here’s hoping that this is at least a little more organized.

          • scw

            I hope it went well!

          • Katherine

            It was surprisingly civilized, and was pretty well organized. I actually bought something, not 100% yet if I’m going to wear it, but overall I’d say it went well!

        • Crayfish Kate

          Katherine – here’s a post from one of my favorite bloggers on going to the Running of the Brides thing with her daughter. It sounds like the sale you’re going to won’t be as nuts, but there are some good tips about what to wear & how to go about it all. Have fun! http://zoethe.livejournal.com/758698.html

          • Katherine

            You rule! Thanks so much.

    • Kayjayoh

      Sorry, but I cannot stop laughing at this image.

  • http://weehermione.blogspot.com/ Hayley || Wee Hermione

    I am so thrilled that our IVF in the Czech Republic over Halloween worked, and that after the purgatory of infertility, we just might get to make our little family a little bigger after all in July. I just wanted to post here formally to thank you all for the support in comments — and for anyone going through that particular hell, you’re in my thoughts, I get it. (Also, holy crap, these pregnancy sites and books are insane!)

    • Sam2

      I have a friend that’s a doula, and she always talked about ‘What to Expect’ as a horrible book to prepare you for birth. She suggested ‘The Thinking Woman’s Guide to Better Birth’ (http://www.amazon.com/Thinking-Womans-Guide-Better-Birth/dp/0399525173/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1390594631&sr=8-1&keywords=thinking+womans+guide+to+a+better+birth)

      Congrats and good luck!

      • http://weehermione.blogspot.com/ Hayley || Wee Hermione

        Thanks! I got the Mayo Clinic book which is okay so far (not too cutesy) but interestingly, the book “Expecting Better: How to Fight the Pregnancy Establishment with Facts” is scaring the crap out of me (because in its attempt to quell the fears of the majority of women regarding nausea and the fear of miscarriage, it’s directly exacerbating those fears for me! I’m *not* in the majority, so being told the sicker the better when I feel fine scares me; I had IVF so telling me it’s IVF patients who have really high risks of miscarriage scares me; I’ve had a miscarriage so reminding me that if you haven’t had one, your risk is lower…all that stuff is like, hey, hello, not everyone reading this book is going to fall into the category of women who will feel comforted by this data!) (That and HOLY CRAP it is impossible to find a stay-at-home-dad guide out there that isn’t ridiculous. Screw that, he can read the same stuff I read!)

    • emilyg25

      I’m a big fan of “The Whole Pregnancy Handbook.” It was highly recommended by the commentariat on the now-defunct Offbeat Families.

    • Kayjayoh

      Congrats!

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

      fist bumps! congrats!
      Do I remember correctly that IVF in the Czech Republic is different than IVF here? If yes, do you mind sharing how so?

      • http://weehermione.blogspot.com/ Hayley || Wee Hermione

        It really wasn’t that different — except in price (and the fact that our Czech nurses had pink neon hair)! It was about $2000 there as opposed to $10-12k here. Granted, we had to pony up travel expenses and B&B and food and all that, but it still came to roughly $7k (I just did the tax spreadsheet in Drive) instead of $10-12 as it would here in the US, not counting travel we would have had to do since the closest US clinic was still 2 hours away from us. We figured better to at least get a trip out of the deal if the IVF didn’t work! All in all, I highly recommend looking abroad. (We were also lucky in that a relative had gone to this clinic before, so we had a trustworthy source of vetting it.)

        Oh, and the hospital gowns there are like blouse-length. But by the time you get to IVF, dignity is long gone anyway…

        • Em

          Smart! I am filing this information away.

  • Katy

    Shout out to my awesome husband – editor of The Critical Flame! So, so happy to see you guys featuring this project!!

  • NicoleT

    We (most likely) found my fiancé’s ring!! It’s seriously the best thing ever. It’s off of etsy and it’s made out of meteorite and dinosaur bone. How sweet is that!
    And, I’m taking the MCAT tomorrow! Thanks for all your love and good wishes you sent last week! :)

    • Crayfish Kate

      Good luck good luck! One thing I’ve found helpful in hard hurdles/journeys, is reminding myself that it’s SUPPOSED to be hard – if it wasn’t, then we’d all have perfect MCATs and we’d all be doctors :-) So if it’s hard, it’s okay. It was designed to be hard. Deep breaths, you’ve got this!

      • NicoleT

        Thank you! I’ll remember that as I’m working through it tomorrow. I’ll do my best!

    • HCl

      My fiance found that one, too, and got SUPER excited. We had to pass on it, though, because it turned out that there’s no way to keep the meteorite from rusting. The guy who sells the rings also sells some sort of sealer, but it has to be re-applied multiple times a year and we decided it was just too much hassle.
      : (
      He’s settled for a titanium and carbon fiber band instead, and I had to hide it from him because he wants to start wearing it NOW.

      • Claire

        My husband started wearing his ring the moment we bought it (as soon as we decided we were making it official). Way before I even had my ring. We called it his engagement ring and relished the questions it brought.

      • NicoleT

        Well, shoot. Thanks for letting me know! I’ll have to let him know about that. :( I know he’s not really good about remembering to do this sometimes, so the sealer probably still wouldn’t work out. Is that all meteorite, or just from this seller because of how the ring is made?
        Titanium and carbon fiber sounds really cool too! Maybe he’ll find a ring like that that he prefers!

        • Rowany

          My husband’s engagement ring/wedding ring has meteorite (it was his version of ‘bling’) and it hasn’t had any problem with rusting. He wears it daily, never takes it off except while climbing or in the ocean. I don’t think it’s unique to the jeweler (mine was http://www.boonerings.com/), I think any rust that might happen will be pretty minute. Here’s the instance I found of rusting that gave me pause, until I realized I couldn’t see anything: http://www.pricescope.com/forum/jewelry-pieces/meteorite-wedding-band-and-rusting-t152045.html

          If it helps, I was designing it and the conversation went like this:
          ‘Would you rather have something that requires a little maintenance but is super cool, or something absolutely no-maintenance?”
          “-uh, no-maintenance I guess.”
          “Oh, too bad. I was going to put meteorite in your engagement ring.”
          “WAIT, what? SPACE!”

          • NicoleT

            Huh, well, that’s good to know! I guess I’ll just pass along all of this information and let him decide. Chances are he’ll go space as well. :) And really, the rusting isn’t that bad. I looked through some of the comments and it said something about wax being great, so maybe we can go that route for protection. Thank you!

    • Caitlin_DD

      Wow, dinosaur bone?! I did not know that was a thing. I must look into this.

      • NicoleT

        The one I found is on etsy in the shop jewelrybyjohan. He has a bunch of really nice rings, so have fun!

        • Caitlin_DD

          Thank you!

  • Sarah

    Hi Lucy – that city hall weding was in Denver – not Chicago. The midwest is not all “near Chicago”!!

    • http://andshelovesyou.com/ Lucy

      That was a brain fart on my behalf. I was probably looking at a different page when I typed it. Fixed now! :)

  • GCDC

    And now for something completely different:

    Are there any novels that you would recommend that deal with the beginnings of marriages? I can come up with lots of them that deal with the ending of marriages, but am coming up empty handed in my searches.

    • Jo

      Committed by Elizabeth Gilbert?

    • Teresa

      Joy in the Morning by Betty Smith. It’s old, but it’s beautiful.

  • Laura C

    Went to the first wedding of the year last weekend, which means one down, three to attend, plus my own. That I know of so far. This one was … not practical, and parts of it were a little hard to deal with for that reason, but then there were parts of it where there was just so much love that it overwhelmed the other stuff.

    Also, this week we went to see Twelfth Night on Broadway and it was so so so so good that we got tickets to see Richard III next week. Can we afford them? Ehhhh, maybe? But can we live with not having seen it? Probably not.

    • M.

      Oooh I’ve so wanted to see those. We got Godot tickets this week. Afford?? Ehh… MUST SEE? Yes.

      • Laura C

        Some friends saw Godot a couple weeks ago and RAVED about it.

    • LM

      Twelfth Night was SO good. I saw it a few weeks ago and seriously considered going to Richard III before it closes. Enjoy!

    • Ali

      Gaaa Richard III was so so so good, and I’m seeing Twelfth Night next weekend! Obsessed with Mark Rylance, who is the best actor around. Enjoy it!

      Also, for similarly minded theatergoers in NYC, $25 tickets for the revival of Cabaret got released today and will go fast – get on it!

      • Laura C

        I’m having this weird thing where I can’t decide more if I’m having a crush on Mark Rylance (in female costume) or crushing on/identifying with Olivia as he played her, but either way, obsessed is the word.

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

        Ooooh. Caberet! I would love to go see that…

  • vegankitchendiaries

    So… does anyone have a really hard time viewing the Disqus comments on Chrome/Firefox lately? You know hte three linked articles (with pics) that follow every APW post? That overlaps all over the Disqus comments for me (on my work and home computer!) lately… In fact, I can only see half of what I’m typing at the moment so excuse my typos. :(

    • http://andshelovesyou.com/ Lucy

      Try doing a hard reload (by pressing control/command + shift + R). We’ve had a few folks have this problem and that seems to clear it up. That or going and clearing your cache, then reloading.

      • vegankitchendiaries

        You doll! That’s fixed it! Thanks, Lucy.

    • Shiri

      Meg told me earlier this week to hit shift-F5, and that cleared it up for me!

    • Kayjayoh

      Sometimes. It’s unpredictable.

    • http://alifeworthwritingdown.blogspot.ca/ Jules

      I’m having the same problem but on Safari. I tried both the options listed and neither work…does anyone have Mac specific advice?

      • Meg Keene

        Shift refresh or clear your cache. It’s not a current problem, but computers are cacheing the old problem.

  • Kayjayoh

    Yay Happy Hour!

    I semi-snapped at fiance last night. My mom has been going through a host of uterine cancer-related troubles for the past few years (in addition to being unemployed and trying to job search while in chemo! Fun!)

    I mentioned to him an email I got from her yesterday about needing to go in for a full body MRI for a small tumor that was found on her spinal chord that needs to be removed. Then I switched gears (perhaps a little abruptly) to show him a silly photo I’d come across online.

    He paused to let me know that the tumor situation was serious and it was all I could do not to bite his head off for a moment. Like, “dude, I am *very* aware how serious this is. Why do you think I’m looking at this f*cking silly photo? I’d like to not think about how serious it is.” Fortunately for him and for us, he immediately twigged to what had happened and how it was a misstep and apologized. This is (one of the reasons) why we are getting married.

    Also, I am so glad for the various posts folks have done about planning a wedding during illness/grief. They have been very helpful.

    • Stacie

      Hello, comrade. My dad has been going through Stage IV cancer of an undetermined type (is lung? Is it breast? We don’t know! That’s the FUN!), and his latest reports are not good at all. I have been good for absolutely nothing at work since we found out, and my fiance has been in final rehearsals for a play that opens tomorrow, so I haven’t seen much of him. I’ve been so spaced out, that I neglected to get tickets for his show… tomorrow.. until today… whereupon I discovered that they are SOLD OUT. I feel like such a turd. Thank heavens he’s so freaking understanding.

      • Kayjayoh

        ((((Stacie))))

        Internet hugs for you and white light and prayers for your dad!

        Is it possible that the theater has any seats set aside they could open up, or that you could watch from the wings or something…if watching the show is somethign you even want to do at this point.

        The frustrating thing for me is that I don’t have the full picture from my mom on what is going on and I just get bits and pieces. (Stage=??) Not sure if she doesn’t want to talk about it or if she just isn’t good at explaining it, but I don’t want to pump her for info on her own health, so I ask some questions but try not to badger.

        • Stacie

          Yeah, I’m going to go and try to walk in. We’re supposed to have bad weather tomorrow, so there is a pretty good chance of a no-show. I’ll usher, or even run the light board if they need me to.. :) But still, having to tell him that I screwed up– I don’t enjoy it.

          Your mom probably doesn’t want to worry you, but in my personal opinion you need to know these things. I got burned a few years ago when my mom had a mini-stroke. The hospital was asking me a million questions about her health, what meds she was on, and I knew nothing (that has since changed).

          I hope all goes well with the MRI.

          • Sara P

            Good luck to both of you – waiting to hear is so hard. **Hugs***

          • Kayjayoh

            Thank you.

  • emilyg25

    Whelp, this has been a shitty week. After trying to conceive for eight months, my period was five days late. Long enough for me to be sure I was pregnant, I just needed a high enough hormone level to register on the test. And then I got my period. It was a huge disappointment. But a reminder that there are some things in life that we just can’t control. One of my goals is to be more flexible and cultivate patience and hope. But man, it’s so hard.

    It was also a reminder of why I’m married. We’re struggling to get pregnant after my husband had his vasectomy reversed. His counts are still low, and he’s struggling with a lot of guilt right now. I’m struggling with the control and all that. But last night, we sat together and cried on the couch and reminded ourselves that as long as we’re together, we’ll be okay.

    • The Chronically Ill Bride

      Oh, lady, I’m sorry. I know you just replied to me downthread (upthread?) but I wanted to give you a big hug here. I had that month last month, and the feeling is brutal. A huge, huge hug.

    • http://weehermione.blogspot.com/ Hayley || Wee Hermione

      You will be okay. You will. Also, for what it’s worth, I’m glad my husband and I had that wringer early on in our marriage. I’m not saying I’m thankful for infertility — I am decidedly not. BUT, having any sort of long tough thing to go through together early on has really cemented our 7-year-long-3.5-years-of-marriage relationship (since the larger fraction of our marriage has been spent in the holding pattern it puts you in.) If anything, it’s been a boot camp of sorts for how to deal with not only the ups and downs of possible parenting, but just…all that life can throw at you.

    • J. Driver

      All of the internet hugs. All of them.

    • Katherine

      Truly wishing you the best on this one. No matter what happens, you and your husband will experience it as a team.

    • macrain

      Big big hugs. It sounds like you have good perspective about all of this.
      XOXOXO

  • ElisabethJoanne

    These weeks at my house: My husband so totally should have taken my last name. Because my mother’s a doctor, I’ve never really had to deal with a lot of the headaches of American health care. Doctors squeeze me in for appointments, they don’t demand my insurance information up front, my calls are returned quickly.

    Now my husband needs surgery. He went on a special insurance plan for just the month of the surgery to pay for it (Thank you, Affordable Care Act). After the headaches of switching insurance, I wanted to be very careful we didn’t have headaches of denied claims, so he’s been blasting the surgeon’s office with his new insurance information. Also, the surgery is scheduled for the last day of the month, so if they delay the surgery for any reason, it’ll cost us 8x as much. But they won’t pick up the phone. They aren’t clear what information they need. They lose messages. He finally just went there this morning. I’m quite sure if I were the patient, the doctor’s daughter, or if they recognized the name on the chart, this would be smoother.

    [Obviously, it's too late to switch surgeons, and the surgeon is highly qualified, etc. - It's just his staff. My husband, my mother, and I are all trying to get the message to the surgeon he needs to shake things up, but...]

    • Kayjayoh

      I hope everything goes well for the surgery!

      • ElisabethJoanne

        Thank you.

    • Emmers

      Ugh, that sucks. As someone who works in an office (not a dr’s office), my main advice is for you guys to basically annoy the hell out of them. Stopping by is genius, since it sounds like they don’t respond. I know it’s a huge pain (particularly if you don’t have time off), but stage “sit-ins” as needed, if they don’t respond to multiple emails, phone calls, etc.
      But seriously, phone them every day or every other day, email them the same, and maybe stop by as much as you can. If they’re really busy (sometimes in my office we’re really busy, and drop emails/phone messages), if you keep annoying them then hopefully they’ll buck up.

      • ElisabethJoanne

        Thanks. I see it as we can put in the effort now, or we can put in the effort after the surgery. We either get them to do things right beforehand, or we let them mess up, receive a big bill, and get them to straighten it out. That worked when they messed up the claim submission for his MRI, but the new insurer might not be as accommodating.

        • Emmers

          And one other suggestion– if possible, try to get them to put anything they say in writing. if they won’t, you can maybe summarize whatever conversation you had on the phone with them with an email later that day, and if possible CC someone in charge (like the surgeon if he even has email). And include as many details as possible (name of ppl you talked to, what they said, time of day you talked, was it on the phone or in person, etc).
          Like “It was great chatting with Tina Smith from your office on the phone today about my husband Todd Smith’s upcoming surgery. After my conversation I understood from Tina that 100% of the lower tibia surgery scheduled for 5/6/2014 will be covered by our Anthem BlueCross insurance, and that you’ve verified that we will not be responsible for anything other than our regular $35 copay. That’s my understanding from our conversation, and please correct me if I have anything wrong.”
          They may still F up, but maybe it will give you ammo for the future?
          And I’d also follow up with your insurance company, pre-emptively, again, if possible to get something from them in writing about if this type of surgery will be covered.
          Again, good luck!!!!

          • ElisabethJoanne

            Thanks. Being a lawyer, I’ve told my husband he can end the back-and-forth by just sending a certified letter, but he feels this is still more efficient.

  • SusieDoozie

    YAY! We got married last weekend! It was so amazing and fun (and anxious) and a whirlwind. The ceremony was seriously the most special, touching, and intimate 15 minutes I’ve ever had in front of 80 of our favorite people. As soon as it was done I just wanted to hit rewind. It’s like the feeling when the roller coaster finally stops and you just want to stay in your seat and go again. I want to thank all the wonderful people on APW for your advice, ideas, and support! Without APW I would have lost my mind down an OCD detail oriented vortex and forgot to step back and enjoy the big picture and all the love. Now I’m so excited to plan the honeymoon and all that comes next. When the pictures come back I’m definitely writing up a post for APW, so hopefully you all can see what I’m talking about!

    • macrain

      Wahoo!! Congrats and big hugs!
      XOXOXO

    • Katherine

      Congratulations!! Looking forward to your post.

  • J. Driver

    I found my dress this weekend!! Thank you APW for exposing me to the beautiful brilliance that is BHLDN. The Margeaux dress is on its way to me and I can’t wait to put it back on (and probably never ever take off again, it is THAT comfy).
    Also, I’d love for some encouraging stories from brides who chose the alternative bridal party route. I had planned on honoring my bestest lady friends by making them my “something blue” (again, thank you APW!), since only one of the seven is in the same city, let alone the same state/country. Some of these women might not even be able to make it to the wedding, let alone the rehearsal, due to costly flights and hotel expenses. With my dearest friends so scattered and not all super well off, I wanted to alleviate the stress of having to “perform” bridesmaid-type duties. Yet one of these gals has been gung-ho about being a bridesmaid, and when I said we were doing something different she seemed a little confused and I suddenly thought, what if they don’t feel honored at all by this? Or it’s not enough somehow? Cue worry spiral. Anyone have a fishing line of encouragement for me at the moment to draw me back into sanity?

    • Erin E

      I did the “something blue” with my girls! I loved it. I wrote them all a big sappy e-mail telling them why they were so special to me and then telling them that we were foregoing the bridal party thing but that I wanted to honor them in this way and would they please participate? I got lots of nice feedback – many thought it was a great idea and we had a really fun time at the wedding posing for our “something blue” photos (which I also led with a little private toast, thanking them again for being in my life). Also, at least 4 girls told me “thank you so much for not making me buy a bridesmaid dress!!!”

      The point is to let them know that they’re important to you. You can do it in lots of ways that don’t involve the whole “bridesmaid” schtick.

      • Jess

        I really love that you did the private toast and special pictures. It was a good way to still allow them to have a special moment with you!

      • JDrives

        This comment was like a soothing cup of tea for my anxiety. Thank you so much! Love the big, sappy email idea :) I really think they will be OK with it after hearing my explanation and that they get to participate in any and all celebratory events leading up to the wedding, just that there is zero expectation on my end of their involvement since I know their lives are busy and they mostly live so far from me. And I can’t wait for our “something blue” picture!!

    • macrain

      I love Beholden! Of course I went over to the site to see which dress you mean (stunning!!). I’m wearing the Isis dress and my bridesmaids are wearing the Esme dress and the Annabelle dress (both in shades of gray).
      I was worried that three of my close friends were offended I hadn’t asked them to be in my wedding. I ended up writing them an email telling them what I decided and they were totally amazing about it. One of them even said, “I’m honored just to be there,” which made me tear up!
      Bottom line, just be honest with your friends and try to not be freaked out about their expectations. If they are really your friends they will understand whatever decision you make.

      • JDrives

        Ohhh the Isis gown is so gorgeous. I actually tried on the Annabelle in white as a potential wedding dress, but I’d already fallen hard for Margeaux :) Thanks so much for the reassurance. I feel like my friends will actually react the same way, which is why they are my dear friends I suppose!

      • Caitlin_DD

        I love the Isis. It’s so sultry!

  • Jessica

    Today has been a bag of mixed feelings. I got to sleep in (+1), talk to my husband who is overseas (+1) and one of my childhood friends got engaged (+1,000,000!). But tomorrow is my birthday (+1) which I don’t get to spend with my husband (-1,000) and it’s hard to imagine attending weddings this upcoming year without him (another -1,000).

    Luckily I have a good group of friends who are going to brave the Minnesotan weather to go to the Beer Dabbler, which is outdoors, and we are going to drink a lot of beer and eat a lot of food truck food! (+1,000).

    Ok, so I guess it’s coming out ahead for the positives, which is something.

    • BreckW

      Beer Dabbler sounds so fun!! Mmmmm, beer. Have a great birthday and weekend!

    • M.

      Can I just say I love that you “talked this out” and decided to go with the positives. It can’t be easy but your attitude is inspiring.

      • Jessica

        the annual winter depression that sets in around this time is too easy to give into. It must be fought, if only a few happy points at a time!

        • M.

          I really really want to calculate my happy points. :) Happy Birthday!

          • Jessica

            Thank you!

    • JDrives

      Your friends win!! I hope you have a wonderful time with beer and food truck deliciousness!

  • ItsyBit

    So today, while I (once again) was having a mini-meltdown re: getting back into shape before our wedding (I’ve gotten way out of shape over the last few years), my fiancé looked at me and said: “You’re going to look beautiful on our wedding day. All women look beautiful on their wedding day.”

    It was a “you get me” moment colliding with a “you get it!” moment. The best.

  • BreckW

    Been having a super frustrating 24 hours (fucking. insurance. claims. UGHH), but everyone’s positive attitude in the comments is definitely helping (that and the fact that a dirty martini is very much in my immediate future)! Thanks, guys, and have a great weekend!

    • MC

      The promise of a delicious, cold beer at the end of the day has been motivating me for the last 36 hours. And can I just say UGH in solidarity – even the smallest instances in which I deal with insurance make me feel completely confused, helpless, enraged, etc. Hope your weekend is much less frustrating!

      • BreckW

        Thank you for the commiseration, and enjoy your beer!

    • Jess

      Getting me through the day: Knowing I have a bourbon cocktail coming.

      • BreckW

        Glad I’m not the only one! What are you making?

        • Jess

          Right now, I’m not sure. I keep bouncing around – old fashioned (because small town Wisconsin), Manhattan, or just going to the bar up the street and asking them to make me something interesting. The effort level on that last one has a certain appeal.

          • BreckW

            The laziest answer is usually my answer, which is why boyfriend is currently making martinis (with garlic stuffed olives!!) for us using a Tupperware container instead of a cocktail shaker. I say go for the bar! I mean, if you walk there it counts as exercise, right?

          • Jess

            Trust me, it was the right call.

    • macrain

      Hang in there!
      Big internet hugs.
      XOXOXO

  • http://www.missgiggles.com/blog Giggles

    After over 4 years of marriage we finally had our first dinner party that did not involve family type people. (We’re introverts. Our annual Pi party is about as outgoing as we get.) Luckily the baby picked that day to be her day this week where she really napped well and I had a good 2.5 hours to clean the house and watch an episode of “Bones.” Perhaps we’ll have to invite other people over for dinner some day.

    • Jessica

      Aw, glad it worked out!

  • MC

    We got our save-the-dates in the mail earlier this week and I just hand-delivered them to my co-workers – the first people to get them! – and they were all super excited and squealy. After doing a LOT of wedding planning with the in-laws over the weekend and feeling very jaded/discouraged at our attempts to have a simple, not-crazy-expensive wedding, it was awesome to see their pure excitement about celebrating with us. Hooray for the loving people in our lives!

    • macrain

      Isn’t that the best when wedding planning is getting you down, and then something happens to completely turn you around? I was feeling blue this morning and then I got some honeymoon options from our travel agent and it was like BAM! Happy again!

      • MC

        Ah yes, I am hoping that once we start planning our honeymoon I will have many more reasons to feel excited :)

  • Anon

    My mother has been pushing me to invite a childhood friend of mine to the wedding. I haven’t really seen or spoken to this friend in years, and she has severe developmental and emotional problems.
    Recently I failed to wish her a happy birthday on Facebook and she had an outburst. On my Facebook wall. I could show it to you- it is still there because I don’t know what to do about it.
    I have now decided this person will not be invited to the wedding (we haven’t sent save the dates yet). I understand she has trouble relating to others because of some things she can’t control, but that doesn’t mean I need to invite her. It helps explain her behavior, but it doesn’t make it ok. It also made me realize the importance of figuring out what I want instead of trying to please others (in this case my Mom, who I was trying to please by extending this invitation).
    No questions for the group really, just wanted to share in case any other ladies have experienced anything similar. XOXO

    • Kayjayoh

      ” I haven’t really seen or spoken to this friend in years”

      This is key.

    • HannahESmith

      I had an emotionally unstable high school friend who I didn’t invite to my wedding, and so did my husband. Not having either person there was the right decision, and I don’t regret it.

  • Winny the Elephant

    LOVE the new aerie campaign. It makes me want to burn everything I ever bought at Victoria Secret and go buy new aerie bras. Which when you think about it is brilliant marketing

    • HannahESmith

      Almost all of my underwear are from aerie. I’ve been a big fan of them since high school.

      • Winny the Elephant

        Me too but I was worried I was getting to be too old to shop there. I now say fuck it, I love polar bear underwear. I personally hate Victoria Secret as a company but it can be hard to find bras that fit properly in my size that aren’t super expensive (and really, I’m a 34DD, should it really be that hard?). They tend to have more selection in my size than aerie.

        • HannahESmith

          I am totally the oldest one there any time I shop! Their underwear are really cute (they even have some more grown-up lacy ones I love). I have to go the boutique route for bras, though. I’m a 34 DD too or sometimes 34E depending on the brand. If there is a local specialty bra shop in your area, I recommend going that route. The bras are only slight more expensive than VS.

          • Winny the Elephant

            Last time I went into a specialty bra shop they were like $80 a bra….ummm no…

            I live in Canada, everything here is much more expensive than the US

      • Kestrel

        Dang. No wireless bras. Seriously, why is it so hard to realize that some people really don’t like wires?! (I’m a 30D (aka, same size boobs as 34B) so I really don’t need the support, and frankly it’s near impossible to find my size anywhere)

  • June

    Just popping by to say “cheers!” because this is my first officially-engaged happy hour! We got engaged last weekend, and then Mother Nature dumped tons of snow and ice in our area, so we were out of school (we’re both teachers) until today. It was so lovely to just let our whole newly-engaged-ness wash over us. I will say, however, telling my high school students today was so super fun.

    We got my ring at Bario Neal, and they were so awesome to work with and I LOVE my ring. It’s just different enough. Thanks, APW, for recommending them!

    • macrain

      Wahoo!! Congrats!!!
      Once you dive into the nitty gritty of wedding planning, we’ll be here.:)

    • MC

      CONGRATS!!! I can only imagine what a blast it was to share the news with your students; as a high schooler, I would have been thrilled. And great to hear about Bario Neal – we’ve talked about designing bands with them because I love pretty much everything on their website – and you really can’t go wrong with an APW sponsor.

    • M.

      Congrats!! And “yay” to Bario Neal. They made our (gorgeous) wedding bands, which we got to pick out in person in NYC. Anna was a dream. Love them.

    • Ariel

      Yay! I’m also a high school teacher and my kids love talking about my upcoming wedding… maybe they just want to get me off topic, but whatever, I enjoy it.

      Congrats!

  • Kaitlin

    Alright, I don’t know if anyone will have any suggestions, but you all never fail to come through. The wedding is in June, and it has now turned into a much bigger Indian-American extravaganza than expected (basically his parents weren’t happy that there wasn’t as much Indian cultural traditions like a garba raas dance/mehndi party/temple service that they have now decided to make those things happen, which I’m totally fine with if they plan and pay for it because we seriously cannot). So now I need to get 4 “nice” Indian outfits on a limited budget. I live in the Midwest, and I don’t have time to travel to Chicago where there are Indian clothing stores. Also, I’m 5’8 and plus size (about size 14-16), so finding Indian clothing is difficult at the best of times. Does anyone have any recommendations for online sites to try? I used to use Cbazaar, but I’ve had such horrible customer service experiences there that I would rather go naked.

    • yay saris!

      Do you have some Indian friends or relatives that you can borrow clothes from? My best friend had an Indian-American extravaganza (also far larger than she initially bargained for) so I borrowed a few saris from a coworker. It seems that most Indians living in america have tons of fancy saris that they never wear. As a tall size 12, I could not wear the borrowed blouse part but a cotton shirt did the trick. For the wedding, they hired a lady to dress everyone because apparently nobody knows how to put on their own saris, ha!

      • Kaitlin

        I totally forgot about the cotton shirt trick! Brilliant! I will have to see what we can put together for me and my American MOH. Thanks!

    • Winny the Elephant

      Most of the Indian people I know go back to India to buy saris and lingas (don’t know that I spelled that right). Does he have any relatives going back home anytime soon? You may have to just purchase the fabric and have a seamstress make one

      • Kaitlin

        Good idea, I hadn’t considered the seamstress. I’m pretty sure my FMIL could find someone local to do that. No relatives going home anytime soon, but we are going in December, and I plan to stock up on clothing for the next 12 years!

    • Laura C

      So, we are doing Indian attire for my rehearsal dinner, and my fiance’s family is basically going to pool their saris to lend to my bridesmaids. But that left the choli issue, and some of my bridesmaids definitely won’t be fitting into just anything. One of them found this site, which has some very affordable knit cholis, which might make fit issues easier. Because, boy, I have been trying to send my measurements to my FMIL who is in India shopping for saris for me right now (I mean, right now she’s asleep, but I am supposed to stay up late tonight to check out pictures she sends me) and the measurements sure are something else. I’m definitely nervous about fit issues as a 5’11″ woman with broad shoulders.

      • Kaitlin

        Hmm, will have to check out that site. I was looking at bharat plaza online, and they had some pretty things. Luckily I only have 2 bridesmaids, and 1 is my sister-in-law, so she has plenty of things to wear. My MOH is also plus size, but I think she’ll have a harder time than me because she is also taller. Thanks for your advice! (And send your FMIL my sizes too please ;) )

      • Alison O

        Haha yes. One of the girls in our college friend group is from Bangladesh and had various outfits made for us to be a part of her wedding there (so fun and generous!). For one us, the bride said the tailor was like, “no way, those are not real measurements, must be a mistake”. That person is quite tall but has narrow shoulders/waist/hips and a very large chest. Her choli was tight (the fabric was decidedly not stretchy), but luckily it did ultimately fit. I took a deep breath at the end of the night and a fastener snapped.

  • MisterEHolmes

    This week has been horrible, in terms of my relationship with two of my three bridesmaids. And I don’t think I did anything wrong or even aggressive, but I was called a “bridezilla” and had to apologize to THEM (which just has me secretly madder).
    I sent an email on Tuesday telling all bridesmaids my plan. Without even acknowledging my first email, my MOH responds with a list of completely new dresses that they want me to consider. Because it turned out that she and another ‘maid had gone shopping. The day before. Without even telling me. At a place I specifically said I didn’t want to shop at because my out-of-town ‘maid wouldn’t be able to get her dress there (it was a local boutique).
    I was pissed that they would basically go behind my back and then ignore me, and emailed them to say I wish I’d been told they were going shopping, then reiterated my original plan as plan A (everyone pick her own dress from LBD) and said they could also (instead) pick one of the dresses they had found as long as everyone agreed. And that I wanted it decided by the end of the month or I was picking for them — because we have been doing this since October, and were no closer to having things for them to wear and running out of time. (Even the folks at David’s Bridal thought we were cutting it close)
    Apparently this made me a “bridezilla” (which ALSO pissed me off to no end). My MOH also threatened to step down.
    And now I’m mad that I’m not having some kind of magical best-friends-forever relationship with these girls.

    • Kayjayoh

      I am fuming on your behalf. That’s so uncool.

      Similar thing happened to a friend of mine. Her idea was “we all go to JC Penny and pick out something that works for everyone”. Instead, two of her bridesmaids mutinied and scheduled an appointment at a fancy bridal boutique, and so they all ended up wearing very bridesmaid, wear-it-once dress. She laughed it off, because it that was how they wanted to spend their money…but it irked her as well.

      Shows how deep the WIC is into people’s psyches.

    • Katherine

      Huh, shopping for bridesmaid dresses without even mentioning it to the person who’s getting married seems like a REALLY strange move. Frustrating! Unfortunately I have no helpful advice except to pour yourself a cold one of whatever floats your boat, take a deep breath, and put your feet up.

    • Laura C

      I think I remember you talking in a past happy hour about your struggles to figure out a dress your bridesmaids would be ok with? If that was you, I recall feeling that they were being incredibly picky and difficult about it, as you described things. I don’t have anything really to say to this but wow, this is not ok. And if what I’m remembering from the other week is you, it’s a really difficult mix of them wanting you to follow neo-traditional rules like they have to match exactly while going off and doing totally against-tradition things like shopping behind your back and laying down the law to you. Anyway, sympathy!

      • MisterEHolmes

        Yeah, that was me. I thought maybe I just needed to pick, that it was my general apathy that was the problem. Looks like… no, maybe not. And now I’m $125 poorer because I rented two LBD dresses for these girls to try on and hopefully get used to the idea.
        And I am SO, SO grateful for this community and for Meg’s post about the term “bridezilla,” which really helped me this week (wait, giving you *choices* makes me a bitch? Damnit, I can’t win).

        • Laura C

          I’m sorry. It just sucks, nothing I can think of to add to that.

    • Rowany

      Ugh I’m so sorry. I had a similar experience with a bridesmaid and months after my wedding it still bugs me. I didn’t actually know the bridesmaid that well, but for me I just needed to cut my losses and accept that some people are self-centered. However, she’s your MOH for a reason. Has she always been like this, or could there be something else going on? Maybe a straight-up sit-down talk about how you feel like she cares more about her appearance at your wedding than about you and how much that hurts you? The other thing you realize is that that magical best-friends forever relationship isn’t necessarily with your bridesmaids. Maybe you just didn’t meet them in time to name them bridesmaid, and while honoring your older friendship you can look around for another friend that’s been supportive and lean on them.

      • MisterEHolmes

        That’s good advice, but at this point I’m honestly *afraid* to say anything for fear she WILL quit, which would hurt horribly. (That’s why I apologized even though I can’t see how I would have done anything differently). Yes, she has been prickly, but we’ve never had a fight of any kind before, so it was very shocking to me.
        But your kind words about friendship ring true…and make me sadder that I haven’t found that friend yet.

        • Rowany

          *Big Internet Hugs.* I don’t think there’s really any best way to deal with this – weddings heighten everything – the stress of deadlines and juggling vendors, wanting to look good in photographs, and the little craziness in everyone. But I can say 1) you’re not crazy or controlling and your 100% in the right and 2) having this happening now gives you time to figure out what you need to protect your feelings for your wedding day. It could be telling your bridesmaids what kind of support you need from them to finding other people to act as buffers in case your bridesmaids are being catty. You’ll probably be glowing no matter what, but it’s nice to have those safeguards in place.

          • MisterEHolmes

            You know, I read somewhere that, psychologically, an imagined hug is nearly as beneficial as a real-world hug.

            Thank you for the hug. And the sound advice.

    • MC

      That sounds incredibly frustrating, and I can only imagine that dealing with the stress of this situation when you’re trying to plan everything else for the wedding is just no fun.

      I’ve never been a bridesmaid, but I have had people get upset over e-mails I’ve sent that they misinterpreted or read with their own stuff in mind. Even though it is totally not your fault and it sucks to feel like you HAVE to apologize, I’ve found it helpful to write a long e-mail that basically says, “Here’s what I want to communicate: I want you to have dresses that kind of match, I don’t want you to stress, etc. etc. and I didn’t mean to come off as controlling or unfair at all.” That might give said ‘maids a moment to think about their own stuff (are they stressed about wedding responsibilities? worried about other stuff in their life? etc.) Mentioning your timeline concerns might not hurt, either, since those that have never planned a wedding might not understand how far in advance things need to get worked out. I’m sure you’ve communicated a lot of this to them before, but never hurts to re-iterate. And yes, drink a cold beverage with your feet up :)

      • Anon

        When I was in a dear friend’s wedding, she and I had some incredibly tense, “oh my god are we still friends” moments with each other. When I look back on it, I chalk it up to the amount of stress we were both under (of course hers being more intense than mine, and mine was because I was single handedly planning her bachelorette party with no help). We muddled through it and are still friends now. In fact, she is one of my bridesmaids and things are so much better between us now. I am so glad we didn’t let those tense moments ruin years of friendship.
        I think it always helps to remember that your friends are on your side, they are with you, even when it feels like they are battling with you.
        I agree with the comments about- if they’ve never been through it before, they probably don’t understand. Hence, cut them a little slack. They may have not realizing that questioning your dress choice would be as crazy making as it was for you (trust me, that would have stressed me out too!).
        I’m sorry they are behaving this way- it is no okay. Invoking the B-word is not cool.
        Sending big hugs to you. XOXOXO

    • ML

      If you’ve mostly been communicating by email, I would suggest meeting you MOH in person, acknowledge things have been getting heated, and that you hope you two can resolve things. Sometimes when I get burning mad inside, I literally visualize myself as ice. It’s weird, but I feel like it helps me keep the focus on dialing down the temperature of the interaction. Hopefully if you can get her back by your side, she can pass that spirit onto the others. I hope you can work things out! Good luck!

  • Kayjayoh

    [vent] New boss (who has the job I applied for) is so corporate (we are in academia) it drives me crazy. (She had a meeting yesterday because she had a meeting with someone else and wanted to “download all of you on our conversation.” WTF?) It is the beginning of the semester with a million things to do. You know what I don’t want? More meetings to “discuss” and “brainstorm”. I want more time to get the actual work done that I actually have in front of me. I don’t really need more meetings in my life at any time, but at least schedule the “brainstorm/discuss” meetings for mid-semester, when things are humming along and I can be away from my desk for an hour without stuff piling up, ya know?

    Plus, she’s one of those people who likes to touch your arm/shoulder/back to emphasize a point. I HATE that. So much. I don’t want to say “don’t touch me” so I just move farther away every time she does it. I need to get to meetings early, so I can sit in the chair that isn’t next to her.

    [/vent]

    • emilyg25

      I’m sitting here trying to think if there’s any way to say, “Please don’t touch me,” that doesn’t sound potentially bad and I can’t. I work in academia too (staff) and I know the culture clash well. I’m sorry you’re in this situation.

      • Kayjayoh

        Exactly. It’s not like it is threatening or triggering. Just annoying. And she does it w/o thinking about it, so if I did say something, she’d forget and do it anyway, but then she’d apologize and get awkward or something every time.

        My hope is that subtly increasing my physical distance when it happens sends the message w/o being rude or blatant.

      • Kayjayoh

        Also, academic staff represent! In academia but not of academia.

      • Winny the Elephant

        I would just give a firm, direct “I prefer not to be touched”.

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

        I would try purposely looking uncomfortable when does it, maybe shy away a little, then a little apologetic “oh, sorry, i’m not really the touchy feely type.” It might be a bit dramatic, but it’s a lot less confrontational than “don’t touch me” and makes it your problem instead of something your supervisor is doing wrong.

    • Rowany

      I just took a class on the MBTI personality test and this was brought up as a key issue for introvert/extrovert conflict. Extroverts work best by ‘brain dumping’ and getting it all on the table at once, while introverts prefer to receive input in writing/e-mail and process it in private. The teacher (an extrovert) literally brought up a story about how she would barge into someone’s office to hug and discuss and her coworker would put up her hands and ask for space and an e-mail, and how once she learned these differences realized how to tone herself down a bit. Perhaps one way to avoid offending is just to point to resources showing the differences between extroverts and introverts (one even says “Extroverts don’t understand introversion unless someone explains it.”) and mention that you are an introvert and while it’s not personal, you prefer personal space and processing time vs hugs and brainstorming.
      Some links:

      http://blog.bufferapp.com/introverts-and-extroverts-what-they-are-and-how-to-get-along-with-everyone

      http://www.fastcocreate.com/1683402/your-guide-to-interacting-with-an-introvert#1

      http://lifehacker.com/how-introverts-and-extroverts-can-peacefully-coexist-638422576

      http://www.delta-associates.com/istj

      http://lifehacker.com/how-introverts-and-extroverts-can-peacefully-coexist-638422576

      • Kayjayoh

        Yeah, but I’m not an introvert. That’s not the problem. My problem with the arm touching is just that I find it irritating. My dad is another person who does that when he talks, and that irritates me, too, but I can at least call him out on it, because: dad. Don’t poke my damn arm to make your point. :)

        My problem with the meetings is that they are being scheduled during a highly busy, detail-oriented time, to discuss some fuzzy, long-term, big-picture things. There is a time and place for “let’s sit and brainstorm about future directions” and it isn’t right in the midst of crunchtime.

        • Rowany

          Sorry, didn’t mean to assume! It just seemed like a similar circumstance :-)

    • Jess

      People I’m not intimate with (and I do mean intimate in the fullest sense of the word) casually touching me makes my skin crawl. I totally get that some people communicate like that and express compassion through touching constantly.

      With a boss, you CAN say, after a meeting, “Hey, when you touch me on the arm or shoulder during conversations, it makes me feel uncomfortable. I know you don’t mean to be inappropriate, I just want you to know that it makes me uncomfortable.” (see, look! When you, I feel!) It could make things awkward, but it would probably be respected. It’s the workplace.

      Can you say this to a parent or a FMIL? Without making them feel like you don’t like them or that you don’t want to get to know them or are rejecting their love? Because R’s mom did this to me ALL OF CHRISTMAS. I full-body-flinched. Every. Time.

      • Rowany

        Oh no, that’s tough – sort of a damned if you do damned if you don’t situation – flinch or say ‘no hugs’? It almost seems like you need outside help, like R just casually saying ‘Oh, Jess just isn’t a hugger mom’ as if it’s no big deal to show it’s not personal.

      • Kayjayoh

        It doesn’t make me uncomfortable. I’m not a person who doesn’t like to be touched, ever, or needs a lot of personal space. I specifically find the pokey-arm-touching to make a point irritating. A LOT.

        When my dad does it, I call him out and tell him to knock it off because I can. He’s my dad, and we have that kind of relationship.

        With my boss…she’s new. I don’t know her yet. She’s not someone I have any history with, but I get the distinct impression that she won’t get “that’s seriously irritating” but instead go to “you are making me uncomfortable” and get self conscious or weird.

        At the moment, it really feels like subtly increasing my physical distance is the thing I can do. Stay out of arm’s reach when she’s talking.

        • Jess

          Well that makes it way harder to deal with. Good luck! Stay out of reach!

    • Kestrel

      Ugh. That would bug the crap out of me. As for the touching thing I’ve found the best way to get around that (I don’t touch anyone and don’t let anyone touch me except animals, my fiance, my mom, and my dad. I don’t even hug my siblings. It took me over a month to be comfortable with kissing my fiance – and that’s just a peck) is to joke about it, but bring it up a fair amount.

      Like, if she goes for a hug or a touch, I tend to put my arms up in a ‘defensive-ish way’, back away and kind of jokingly say “oooh, personal bubble!”. And when anything comes up about personal space, always make it quite evident that you have a ‘massive personal bubble’ – even if you don’t.

      • Kayjayoh

        She’s not huggy. She’s very specifically touch-your-arm/shoulder-while-making-a-point. It’s one of those things that happens super fast and during animated conversation, so I’d have to interrupt, which would add to the awkward.

    • Beth R

      You could also take this to your HR person. I just had an incident where a coworker kept taking off his shoes and sticking them under my desk (we’re across from each other) and his feet smelled awful and it was super distracting and gross. I didn’t want to embarrass him, though, so I asked someone what I should do and they had an HR person approach the guy so I could remain anonymous. That’s one of the reasons HR exists as it turns out!

  • lady brett

    woohoo – vacation time!

  • Ashley Douglass

    I do not understand catering costs. It is ridiculous. I live in an expensive city (not NYC or San Francisco expensive, but expensive none the less). I can go out to eat at a very nice restaurant in an expensive area of town and get a great meal for less than $50 a person with appetizer, dinner, and dessert (but no alcohol in this case), and even tipping. When I eat out, my bill includes the food, the venue, the service. It includes the marketing for the restaurant and everything else. Now I am looking at caterers and they are twice that and it doesn’t even include the venue. How does that even begin to make sense?
    The worst I think is trying to accurately compare vendors, none of them want to give you a price without you telling them your budget, which is ridiculous. For example if I said my budget is $75 per person, I know they will come back with their price being $73 per person.
    Sorry for the rambling, just frustrated. How did everyone else deal with this?

    • Winny the Elephant

      You could try holding it at a restaurant or do what I did and move out of the city. We’re getting married 2.5 hrs away from the very expensive city we live in and the quotes dropped from $80-120 minimum pp to $26 per person.

      • Ashley Douglass

        We have been looking into restaurants, and it is our preference in most ways, however, we will be having a very large wedding and most restaurants will not be able to fit the number of guests wer are expecting.
        We have considered going outside of the city, and we will most likely end up in the suburbs, but because about half the people that will be coming are from quite far away (4+ hour flight) we want to keep it close to the city so that we can spend as much time as possible with them once they land. Plus, we don’t own cars and I fear the logistics of planning something that far away would just be a nightmare.

    • Laura C

      I think part of it is because you’re paying for the flexibility? The restaurant is always there with the same number of seats etc while the caterer has to go all sorts of places, decide what equipment to bring depending on the venue, etc etc etc.

      But also, I’m guessing it doesn’t entirely make sense because people who hire caterers are mostly either having weddings, in which case WIC, or corporate events, in which case corporate budgets, so they can price it higher?

      • Ashley Douglass

        To me though it should be the opposite. The restaurant is there, and it needs to be open regularly. It isn’t guarenteed to have customers and yet still needs to pay employees, where as a catering company knows what business it is going to get and thus who to hire for a job and that they will be making the money to pay them. It just seems ridiculous to me, especially because these rates don’t even include the location, which is an expensive portion of owning a business. Instead caterers can be out in the cheap suburbs where rent is minimal comparetively.

    • Sam2

      Part of the reason for the evasiveness when it comes to cost is they have a huge range of stuff they make that likely goes from business bbq parties to a very nice WIC wedding. If you don’t want to give them a budget number, give them some ideas for the types or quality of food/feeling you want out of your event. How many courses? Sit down or buffet? Organic? Special dietary considerations? Casual kinds of food or steak? See if they can give you a range from there.

      We emphasized casual and affordable over and over. We worked with our caterer to get a number we were comfortable with and ended up with a taco bar. I heard it was great.

      Also, the cost is not the same as a restaurant costs. All of what you said your restaurant meal includes is true. But a caterer has specific costs too that restaurants don’t have as well as the ones you mentioned. A huge variety of large serving tools (chaffing dishes, platters, etc all for different ‘fancy’ levels) plus the cooking equipment they have to bring with them to produce the food on site, the ability to move all the equipment (ie large van), they still need the use of a commercial kitchen to do prep in which are not cheap to rent, the immense more time it takes to develop individual menus week after week (where a restaurant just pumps out the same food night after night leading to economies of scale), etc. Hope that helps you feel like the money is worth it a little bit more.

    • ElisabethJoanne

      No real advice, just commiseration. Comparing catering proposals was the worst.

    • Beth R

      Finding a caterer was the worst. There must be a better way.

      One thing to keep in mind is that a lot of caterers don’t own their own rentals and have to rent them based on your needs, so that is included in the cost as well. You’re not just paying for the food and service, but also the table cloths, plates, glasses, silverware, etc, and the setup. Obviously, this depends on the caterer and the venue and all sorts of other obnoxious things.

      I got so sick of feeling like I was being yanked around that I made a spreadsheet (oh the spreadsheets) so I could compare the various costs from all the quotes we got. I included columns for the costs of food, service, rentals, and tax (& tip if they include it automatically). It was pretty eye-opening. You would think that aside from the food and maybe the service, most of the costs would be the same. Not so, as it turned out. There was one woman who we really liked when we met with her, but the quote she sent us was almost double what we told her our budget was, which was frustrating. Looking at the numbers, she was charging more than twice what the next highest caterer was charging for service, rentals, and tax/tip! Absolute bullshit. I can understand food costing more if it’s fancier or whatever, but how can you charge twice as much for the same plates? And tip? I should be able to decide what I want to tip you, especially when you are apparently paying your servers double what every other caterer is paying their servers. It still makes me angry, haha.

      We ended up having paella, which was awesome and WAY cheaper than a traditional caterered meal. Perhaps try looking into options like that, where large quantities can be cooked all at once?

    • Meg Keene

      We should do a breakdown on this, but that’s a pretty accurate cost. I remember that our caterer couldn’t do anything much under that without loosing money for the wedding. Think about it: in a restaurant, you’re sharing the cost of the kitchen and staff with all the diners. In this case they have to hire a full staff just to cover you, plus go buy all the groceries just for you. Plus, cook exactly what you want. Plus, rentals.

      We dealt with it by deciding we didn’t have time or energy for hacking the system, understanding it was a fair cost, and writing the check. (We had affordable meats, not too many of them, buffet, the works, but that’s just what it cost, end of the day.) You CAN hack the system (taco trucks, self catering, etc). But that means you have to put time and effort into it to make up for the money you’re not putting into it.

  • SarahG

    Hey folks! I have a random question about dresses. I have this long, antique silk robe that is my only family heirloom — my great uncle bought it for my grandma while he was stationed overseas during the Korean War. It is beautiful but never gets any use; it is too fancy. I would love to have this made into my wedding dress, but I have heard that this costs the earth. Are tailors/seamstresses really that expensive? Also, would you trust someone with an antique like that? I would be sad if it got f-ed up. That being said, I also get bummed that it just sits in a closet and never gets used, and I love the idea of using something with such history. I generally feel like heirlooms should be used (appropriately, obviously not to do the dishes in). Thoughts? Anybody had any success with something like this?

    • Rowany

      Do you mind if I ask- would your family be supportive of this transformation as well?

      • SarahG

        Totally good question. They don’t care :) My mom is surprisingly unsentimental about it and she forgot she had even given me the robe (it’s from her mom; they had a complex relationship). I think I have always loved it way more than anyone else. And my grandma has dementia and her brother has died, so neither of them will object (nor do I think they would have, if they could… though I guess I will never know.)

      • SarahG

        This is a reply to your answer below, which for some reason I couldn’t post…Oh awesome. Thank you for those links! I’m in the Bay Area (Oakland specifically). I hope it works out. It would be cool to have my grandma’s spirit present (I mean, she will be there physically…maybe, if she can. But she’s pretty out of it and sleeps 99% of the time, so it’d be nice to have something that reminds me of who she was.)

      • SarahG

        Huh, it seems like your comment and mine disappeared… but thanks for the ideas and links!

        • Rowany

          Weird – it seems like you’re replying as two people, MC and SarahG?

          • SarahG

            Uh what? I don’t even see an MC… oh well. Chrome, you wily fox! Thanks for the help anyway :)

    • scw

      I can’t help, but this is a great idea. you could also get ready in it if you are too worried about altering it or it turns out not to be possible to make it into a dress.

      • SarahG

        Love the idea to get ready in it! Thanks :)

    • Sam2

      I love the idea of getting ready in it, that was my first thought too. That being said, I think seamstresses can vary pretty wildly. But you want someone super experienced to take care of your heirloom. On top of that you will need a pattern designer to make the dress out of what you have (that can be the same person as your seamstress or not). I’d say, just take the time to ask around to a few different people in your area. Can’t hurt right? If you feel uncomfortable or if its too much money, you can always fall back on the getting ready option!

      • SarahG

        Yeah, I think you’re right — I just need to ask around. Bay Area people, if you used a seamstress I would love your thoughts! I really hadn’t thought it through and I honestly didn’t realize until you just typed it that “pattern designer” is a job description (totally clueless!). Thanks for the idea. If all else fails, getting ready in it would be a nice second option.

    • Lindsey d.

      My experience with a seamstress (in Louisiana) was that it was quite affordable at $35/hour. The first question is whether the silk is in good enough shape to be used. My seamstress says she has had lots of brides bring in silk family wedding dresses that were too fragile to remake. In those cases, she made a ring bearer pillow, christening cap or similar, small piece from it. For me, she remade my grandmother’s wedding dress, which was 1940s, high-quality silk-like rayon, so I was actually very lucky.

      Oh, I found my seamstress by putting out a call on Facebook. A friend recommended her.

  • Caroline

    I bought a wedding dress. It’s beautiful and I love it. It’s actually the dress we liked at the first store we went to a year ago, but then I thought maybe I wanted something else, but when I tried it on again I really liked it a lot. I’m so excited. Here’s hoping the seamstress will be able to make the sleeves bit we discussed with the salesperson for an affordable price. I’m meeting with her to discuss it in a month. I’m excited, it’s beautiful. (And while it felt too expensive last year, this year after all the other dresses I tried on were more, it feels reasonable. And is under budget so yay!)

    Also, we are still trying to figure out catering for our wedding in 6.5 months. I’m trying to find a caterer in our budget who makes my mom comfortable (she wants a traditional caterer not a restaurant, someone who will do catering and also some day-of coordination). I’m fine with this but since we haven’t found anyone in budget, assumed it would be an “okay, we will compromise with you to make you feel comfortable if you pay the difference”. And then she could back down and let us use a restaurant or pay for a more expensive caterer. But you guys, my mom decided yesterday that she is leaving for an almost month-long trip to Burma/Myanmar a week from Sunday! I feel like we will lose a lot of options if we wait until 5 months before the wedding when she gets back, but how do I decide if we make her really uncomfortable (like near tears of stress every wedding discussion, related to catering or not, until we agreed to compromise) or bust our budget our budget by 3k-4k that we do not have and can’t save up but she might be able and willing to, I don’t know. And she’s so stressed about this last minute trip and some big personal issues she can’t focus on the wedding, but I need an answer before she goes so I can make the appropriate decision while she’s gone. (All other people contributing to wedding costs were content about the under-budget restaurant catering plan and have no interest or no money to pay more than budgeted for something else).

    • SarahG

      Oh man, that sounds stressful. It sounds like you are really trying to take your mom’s feelings into account, which is awesome and all, but also sounds like it’s causing you some grief. Can you just have a quick and gentle “let’s put a fork in this and call it done” conversation where you say hey, since we need to knock this decision out now and I don’t want it hanging over either of our heads while you’re away (and it’s stressing me out), I’m going to go ahead with a restaurant. Don’t worry about it anymore and have fun on your trip. … Is that something that would work? Near tears on every decision sounds like she is pretty high stressing right now, so maybe the vacation will be an awesome break for you both and she can return to the country a bit more relaxed and ready to enjoy the crap out of the awesome restaurant you have selected?

      • Caroline

        Hey, thank you for this. I’m not sure what about this comment really clicked, but it helped me realize why my mom was getting so emotional and stressed about it, related to her stresses in her personal life right now and how that intertwines with the wedding planning. So thank you. You helped me understand and be a lot more compassionate towards my mom. I’m hoping we can find a time to talk before she leaves and lay it out for her. I left her a message saying I wanted to talk about it before she goes.

        • SarahG

          Aw, I’m so glad! I just saw this now :) I hope it went well. I’m sure your wedding is going to be awesome, and the trip away will be wonderfully relaxing for everybody :)

  • Sam2

    Ooh thought. Could APW do another reading list like the feminist they did but for The Critical Flame project? I would love more suggestions like some of the ones earlier!

    • MC

      Seconded! I was just looking at the books I read in 2013, and was very disappointed in myself that there weren’t a lot of people of color represented. I’d love to hear about everyone’s favorite books/writers.

  • moonlitfractal

    After many unpleasant months of purgatory, I was about to throw out another negative pregnancy test when I noticed a faint second line. I was surprised, happy, and relieved.

    • Mo

      <3
      Best wishes for you. I have had 8 months of negative pregnancy tests, and am hoping for that second line this weekend. The purgatory is tough – I am glad to hear you are happy and relieved. :)

      • Em

        Hugs.

  • Kat91314

    Just had to share……FH & I just had a cool realization last night. Out of our 4 vendors, 3 of the companies are women-owned businesses, and 2 of those are also LGBT-owned as well. So awesome!! Gotta love getting married in Cape Cod :-)

    • Em

      Hell yes! I feel you on this one! This is really the first time I have spent serious (to me) money on something, and I feel SO lucky to have the chance to speak with my dollars and give my business to the lovely women at Bario-Neal, to my talented female friend just starting her photography business, and to the KICKASS female owner/chef at our restaurant reception venue!!! I started the planning process having a really hard time justifying spending any money at all on the wedding, feeling selfish and wracked with guilt. I think the realization that I am supporting women-owned, progressive businesses and helping them thrive has really helped me to think differently about the whole thing.

      • Kat91314

        It’s a great feeling, isn’t it? It’s so special having these women as part of your day! Congrats Em!

  • Lauren

    Had my first pap smear in 5 years this week and promptly forgot all about it…until the doctor called to say that the results showed abnormal cells. They’re CIN3, the highest risk level, and if left untreated could likely progress to cervical cancer. Waiting on a biopsy to find out where to go from here, but it sounds like treatment is pretty effective so I should be fine, if not a bit shaken. Moral of the story: stay on track with your pap smears! I realized that at 32 I’ve been taking my health for granted and am grateful for the reminder to pay more attention.

    • Kayjayoh

      ((Lauren))

      On the positive side, if you end up needing it, LEEP is extremely effective.

    • Superfantastic

      Ugh, I’m sorry you’re having to go through this. Not that it’s so bad, but not so fun either and still scary. When I had my LEEP, the nurse, trying to help, told me it would feel like a bee sting. Yeah, I’m sort of bee-phobic, so that was the opposite of soothing, but the actual thing wasn’t bad at all. (Except they gave me a GIANT maxi-pad to wear out of the office. Thank goodness I was wearing a skirt because I’m not sure I could have gotten into my jeans with that thing.) And I’ve had all normal PAPs since. Thanks for reminding me I need to make an appointment soon.

    • Em

      Oh man, so many hugs. That’s scary stuff, thank god you caught it so early. I really appreciate you posting this here. I’m due for a pap smear and have been putting it off for a while, so thank you for the reminder to make it a priority.

    • Crayfish Kate

      Sending good vibes Lauren! That can be really scary :-( If you’d like to talk, let me know & I’d be happy to listen. I had CIN2 dysplasia & was treated with a LEEP too. Hugs to you!

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

      Thank you for the virtual hugs! It’s so reassuring to hear that others have been in a similar situation. My appointment with the specialist isn’t until the 14th of Feb (which I’ll definitely be wearing a skirt to). Until then, I’m pretty much feeling compelled to ask every female I encounter when they last had a pap smear and encouraging them to go get one.

  • aldeka

    This week has been me trying to compromise on what location to have the wedding in, and none of the options are actually good. My partner B likes the trees and climate of Portland, but only my parents and two of my friends live there. We and most of my friends live in the bay area, but most of my extended family is too broke (or in fragile health, in the case of both grandmas) to attend a wedding there. If we had the wedding in Minnesota, my family could come, but the vast majority of our friends would miss out (yay plane tickets and car rentals). And meanwhile all of B’s family and a significant minority of our friends live various places on the east coast. >.<

    It seems like no matter what we do, we won't have half our favorite people there. (And that list is pretty small as weddings go–maybe eighty people.) I still don't know what to do with that information.

    • StevenPortland

      We had very similar issues (living in Portland, from Minneapolis, used to live in the Bay Area). We ended up splitting it up. First a VERY small wedding with friends here in Portland. And then a reception next Summer for family and friends in Minneapolis. It isn’t ideal, but half will make it to the wedding itself and half will make it to the reception. Do whatever will make you happiest – family and friends will understand.

      • Lian

        We’re in a more extreme version of the same problem: I’m from Europe, he’s from the US, and we live in Minneapolis. Luckily that’s also where most of our friends are, but not his family. We’re having a full wedding thing in Minneapolis and two weeks later we’ll have a party in my home country.
        It’s stressful to plan two events but it means all our People can celebrate with us and that’s what matters!

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

    Late to the party (Yay new job! Boo super busy schedule!), but I could use some practical opinions. I’m seriously struggling with my bridal party. M and I both have already chosen one attendant, which is all he wants, but I have 2 other very close friends who I feel awful about not including (although to perfectly honest, one is incredibly introverted and may very well decline, but I’d like to extend the offer to her nonetheless). Personally I have no problems with uneven sides, but M likes symmetry and feels that if I increased my side he’d have to increase his and he doesn’t want to. He also feels like larger bridal parties add unnecessary complications (more people to coordinate, the couple spending more time with the wedding party than their other guests–things that I personally have not encountered at weddings). I really want to respect his feelings, but I also really want to include my best friends in my bridal party. Thoughts?

    • Granola

      I’m not sure how long you have before your wedding, but maybe just keep working on his opinion? If there are other people you know who had uneven bridal parties who could weigh in? I found that my mom and now-husband would have a weird or discouraging reaction to something I wanted, but that if I was patient and kept at it, they usually came around. Evidence from someone who wasn’t me was usually helpful. And of course explaining that your friends are important to you and logistics be damned. Weddings are not logistically easy ever, so once you’ve gone down this road, what’s a little more? Good luck!

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

        That’s another part of the dilemma–the wedding’s in May. So maybe it’s even too late? I have no idea. I’m not picking out a specific dress (just giving a color and length) and my MOH just had a baby so she hasn’t even started looking at dresses yet so I’m super worried about dress ordering (navy is really not a hard color to find). I’ve had this discussion with M before though and tried to slowly get him to understand my perspective, but it hasn’t really made a difference so far and since the wedding is rapidly approaching I’m just feeling more stressed about the situation.

        Bringing in an outside opinion is a good idea. I don’t know anyone who’s had uneven sides, but I do at least know people who’ve had larger bridal parties so they can at least speak to the logistics side of things.

        • scw

          I don’t think it is ever too late to honor someone you love. it sounds to me like you really want these women besides you as bridesmaids, and I get it. I would too. maybe you can sit down with your FH and say you really want to honor these friends and ask him if he has any ideas for other ways you could do it. a toast? a mention in the program? make them your ‘something blue’ unofficial bridesmaids? maybe by starting this conversation he’ll see how important it is to you.

          you also might think about why/how specifically you’re imagining these friends involved. for example, is it important for you to have them walk down the aisle, or are you really just picturing them around while you’re getting ready? you can definitely invite them both to get ready with you and have them not be official bridesmaids. as a friend, I’d be just as honored to be asked to participate in the morning-of festivities as I would to be an ‘official’ bridesmaid (and, by the way, as a full-on introvert I’d much prefer the former to walking down the aisle!).

    • Casey

      We had a super uneven bridal party – I had three bridesmaids and my husband had seven groomsmen. It was originally going to be four and seven but one of my bridesmaids moved out of the country, so I struggled with whether to ask another friend to join, but ultimately I wasn’t comfortable doing that because it felt like I was asking someone to replace her. Anyway, it was definitely unconventional, but it was true to us (my husband has a big circle of friends, I have a small circle of friends). It seems like your situation would be way smaller and way less uneven than ours was, so I say go for it : ) You have to do what’s right for you, and I think having uneven sides is better than asking people to be in your wedding who you (or in this case your fiance) don’t really want to ask.

  • scw

    a little late, so if this doesn’t get any replies I’ll post next week, but apw the book states pretty clearly that it is important to get contracts with vendors who are friends of friends. what if someone has offered you something for free? my FH and I were offered an amazing venue as a wedding present. the problem is that it is being renovated. we’re shooting for april of 2015 so there’s plenty of time for the work to be done, but it is still scary to make plans around something that could potentially not work out. the owners are fairly good acquaintances but not close enough that they’d be invited to the wedding otherwise, they are just excited to have the motivation to restore the building (I mention this because if the owners were best friends of the family or something I’d imagine they would make the renovations a priority). the owners have been very cool and up front with us, saying they don’t want to ‘officially’ book until they have talked to the electricians and plumbers and everything and can guarantee that it will be ready for us, but I’m not sure if I should push for some kind of contract to cover both of us… or if it is silly to try to draw up a contract for something that is free.

    • Emmers

      I’m not sure about a contract, but maybe you could have a “drop dead” date by which they’ve unofficially agreed to have the work done, and if it’s not done by then, you could look elsewhere.
      Or maybe you could also talk timeline with them (ie when do they plan to have various renovations done), so that later if things seem to not be on schedule, you could also know if it seems like it will work or not.
      If they’re saying they don’t want to officially book, I’d take them at their word. I guess I’m not sure what kind of contract you could have, since they’ve already said it may not be ready. If this were me, I’d hope that it would be ready on time, but I’d also look into a backup plan. You may lose a deposit (on your backup plan place), but what’s a few hundred dollars (versus the original venue not being ready, and having no back up plan)?

      • scw

        thanks to both of you for weighing in! I know we wouldn’t be talking about/signing a contract until the owners give us the go ahead (they’ve been in touch almost every day with their updates and should know for sure in a month or two), I just didn’t know if I should expect one if/when we get to that point.

        emmers, having a deposit on another place isn’t a bad idea but wouldn’t work for us because if this place doesn’t work out we’ll be getting married in a totally different city. this place is so perfect – lots of land, within walking distance of my parents’ house and across the street from a jazz club where the whole wedding party can stay – that I think I’d rather push the date back than use another place. also, the other venues we looked at had deposits much closer to $1,000 and we really can’t afford to lose that kind of money.

    • Meg Keene

      Contracts are good in that they protect everyone, in this case, it’s going to protect the owners more than you. You’ll stipulate that you won’t hold them liable, etc. But. They’re clearly not going to be ready to do anything like that till they have a date.

  • Emily

    I’m looking for a search box on the APW site, am I blind? I cannot find one!

    • Libby

      It’s on the right in the gray banner that has the other categories “real weddings” “how to’s”

    • MC

      The search bar disappears when I use Chrome – not sure why – but it’s on the top far right clear as day in Firefox.

      • Emily

        Weird! I don’t see it using Chrome or IE.

    • M.

      When I view the site at work, both Chrome and Firefox on a PC, I have to zoom out (ctrl + scroll) in order to see the search bar and to get the sponsors down the right hand side (which makes the print so tiny, but at least I can search!)

      • Emily

        Aha! Yes, tiny tiny print makes the search box appear. That was so obvious, I would have never thought of it myself, so thank you. I always thought the mile of links at the bottom of the page was kind of strange. Now I understand!

  • macrain

    Has anyone here ever had their mom walk them down the aisle? My Dad is my officiant, and we’d need to have someone stand in for him for the first part of the ceremony if he does it. I figure, just skip that and walk with my mom! Anyone? I’d love to see pics too!

  • Shan Rose

    Today Wedding planning is very important for good ceremony

    Wedding Venue

  • feelingfickle

    While I have huge problems with Grantland’s Dr V story this one on the Richard Sherman debacle is great: http://grantland.com/the-triangle/stanford-man-richard-sherman-and-the-thug-athlete-narrative/

    It’s so strange to me that the guide to talking to girls/women was EXACTLY SOMETHING I NEEDED. I mean, I guess not strange at all. But frustrating, definitely, to realize how much I fail miserably at treating new women and girls I meet as people. I mean, totally, I try to engage, but I’m still drawn to the easy way out, to the vague compliments.

    Loved this roundup!

    (Also is it just me or is anyone else having problems with the layout of the ads in Chrome? They’ve taken over my comment section and box and Disqus. I had to respond on Explorer.)

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

    Does anyone know of hair/makeup/music/anything vendors in Boulder CO?? Officiants?