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APW Happy Hour


It's too cold to go out! Stay in with us!

by Meg Keene, Editor-In-Chief

APW Happy Hour | A Practical Wedding

Hey APW,

WELCOME BACK. Hi! It’s been ages, right? Hello, hello. We had lovely holidays over here, we now have a (very tiny) toddler, and it’s been a very intense week getting back to work. How are things with you?

Before we even get started, I want to take a moment to let you know that APW is now on Instagram @APWteam! There are tons of cool things coming over there (pretty real wedding pictures, entrepreneurship thoughts, and more), so if you’re an instagrammer, join us. Plus, we’ve been putting our behind the scenes bits and bobs over on Facebook, so join us over there too, and we’ll chat away together.

Welcome Monogamy Wine (& PromisQous)

And now, the exciting APW news for 2014. We’re thrilled to announce that longtime APW partner Monogamy & PromisQous Wine (remember their kickass summer concert series last year?) will be sponsoring our Happy Hours all year long. That means happy hours continue same as they ever were, and we have more money to pay the APW team (cue gratitude explosion, which looks much like a glitter explosion mixed with the sound of laughter).

First, what Monogamy Wine is. Monogamy (and PromisQous) are awesome (and kind of hilarious) wedding wines that you can pick up at just about any local retailer or supermarket. Monogamy is a single grape wine, PromisQous is, you guessed it, a blend. They are also a great company, who we love to work with. So cheers to 2014, and cheers to many a happy hour!

Second, what Monogamy is not. When we were creating the new happy hour graphic, Maddie kept leaving out the fact that Monogamy is wine, not, you know, happy hour’s new philosophy. That resulted in jokes like, “Happy Hour brought to you by: DON’T HAVE SEX WITH OTHER PEOPLE. Except when it’s sponsored by PromisQous. Then all bets are off.” Whoopsy. So, not that.

While We Were Gone

We have about a zillion links for you in the roundup, where we boiled down our favorite picks of the many awesome things that happened on the internet while we were out. But I want to take a particular moment to talk about THIS:

APW Happy Hour | A Practical Wedding

Oh yes, that’s right, J.Crew put out its first ever wedding jumpsuit. #Bridesinpants #Fuckyeah. There have been mixed reviews of this jumpsuit all over the web, but what I have to say is this: I kind of love it (minus the back bows, which are clearly a problem), and am sad to know it probably wouldn’t look good on me because my curves and jumpsuits never quite seem to mix. But mostly? I’m thrilled. I’m thrilled because retailers are listening to us, and getting it. I’m thrilled because I can near guarantee you that J.Crew did this as a bit of a publicity stunt, and it got loads of publicity (not to mention selling out their stock). Which means? More pants for us. If BHLDN doesn’t have pants in their next collection, I’ll eat my hat.

So.

What I’m saying this week is, if you didn’t think thoughtful capitalism could be a force of good in this world, think again. (And/ or, don’t have dinner with me, because I have zero shame about being a women-owned-and-women-staffed-business sort of capitalist, and am damn proud of it.)

Here is to 2014! And here is to a LOT of weekend reading, dig in. It’s your open thread, hop on it!

Cheers!
MEG

Highlights of APW This Week

Life is short. Wear the sequins.

We talked about what worked, and what didn’t, about your holidays.

Happy engagement! Freak out all you like.

Rachel’s super brave post is about the word “root.” What’s your word for 2014?

This brilliant essay from our regular commenter Lady Brett about not being sure about kids, and deciding to foster for her wife.

All I can say is DAMN, you guys brought it all to our budget discussion, and we love you for it.

Planning a wedding, and stuck in the middle of your divorced parents? This one is for you.

Time for a re-education about what bridesmaids are FOR anyway. (And a short defense of the pregnant bridesmaid.)

Looks like a floral centerpiece, but it’s not. It’s a fake! And it looks awesome in any season.

Link Roundup

 Didn’t get what you want for Christmas? Well, how about building a fort of feminist pillows?

If you’re up for a long read, Rachel says this article on the role class and expectations of femininity played in the story of Tonya Harding and Nancy Kerrigan is the best thing she’s read in ages.

In the stuff Meg really loved file, Rebecca Mead’s article on Jennifer Weiner, and her defense of women’s commercial lit. As someone who runs a commercial site for women #fuckyeah. (I would argue that the flaw in Mead’s conclusion is comparing women’s commercial lit to literature misses the point of gender double standards. Let’s compare the way women’s and men’s commercial lit is treated, and then we’re getting somewhere.)

That thing where your teenage feminist icon does something really embarrassing. While we were out, Ani DiFranco tried to hold her annual feminist songwriting retreat…at a plantation. In case you (like the rest of us) have no time for her pages long retort, here’s a hilarious summary. (I’m just mortified in this hole over here with sixteen-year-old Meg.)

Relive the forty-six most iconic LGBT moments of 2013.

Champagne: one of the first industries to break the gender barrier.

Fuck Your Stupid Wedding, a single serving Tumblr for those times when Pinterest makes you want to vomit.

Air Canada changed their transfer policies after #surnamegate went viral on Twitter. Score one for non-name changers.

Selfie Olympics. Thank you, internet.

“I have a dream: that people will view a picture like this and not think it’s a big deal.”

CVS is selling handcuffs and Plan-B as a part of their Valentine’s Day display. How open minded of them? (Just kidding, the photo was staged, but it’s still the best ever.)

The New York Times failed horribly at rocket scientist Yvonne Brill’s obituary. However, the resulting hashtag, #NYTwomensobits has quite a few gems.

We must not shut up about how women are treated on the internet. (But the APW staff really wants to have the conversation about how women treat other women online. Over here, men trolling is not our problem.) And to that point: LADIES! LET THE OTHER LADIES BE HAPPY.

“It’s not creepy to talk about what you want from your life, no matter how much other people want to make you believe that. Don’t ever design your life around the need NOT to be That Woman.”

The fascinating origins of almost every Jewish surname. (Except David’s. It’s rare. But he still loved the article.)

Raise your hand if you think Ladies Against Humanity should be the next official Cards Against Humanity expansion. Everyone? Good.

365 days of feminist selfies. Are you in? We’re all in for #selfies month in February.

And finally, remember Pantene’s awesome #ShineStrong video about feminism & double standards? They’re making it a movement. You can go share your #ShineStrong moment, and five winners will be sent to a women’s leadership conference this summer, along with a friend. At least one of them should be an APW-er, by my logic.

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.

Meg Keene

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

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  • KC

    Just to note: if BHLDN does not, in fact, include pants, let me know, and I will send you a custom-made edible hat for you to eat. Because I think normal hats have more fiber than is healthy for APW staffers… :-)

  • K.

    Yay! APW is back!

    Okay, diving right in with a whatamidoingthisweddingstuffisoverwhelming question: I sent in my deposit check two days ago for our reception venue (yay!) According to UPS, it was delivered and signed for yesterday at noon (double yay!) But I have yet to receive a receipt confirmation or an official confirmation of our date from the venue (booo).

    Is it normal for wedding communications re: deposits to take a little while? I assumed that if I was sending a $1k check, it would be opened and processed right away. Should I be worried that it was delivered to the wrong place and/or be concerned about the lack of responsiveness as a general concern about the venue?? Or am I just being paranoid and type-A?

    FWIW, this is my first transaction regarding the wedding, so I’m not sure what is normal and what is worrisome.

    • Catherine McK

      From my experience, I wouldn’t worry about it. To make yourself feel better, you could probably go on your bank’s website and look at the endorsed copy of the check. It should have the business info on the back and it should line up with where you sent it. (I did that when our DJ emailed us saying he didn’t have our check, pulled it up, saw that it was cashed by him and gently asked him to recheck his records)

    • Jennifer

      I’m paranoid about that kind of stuff too! When in doubt, I call. I figure people can’t get too mad at me for calling if I’m calling about making sure they got paid, right?

      • M.

        And just be friendly! People generally want to help, and as long as one remains patient, kind, and has a sense of humor, you’ll get the answers you need.

      • K.

        I already sent them an email last night, so I feel like calling less than 24 hours later would be overkill. But otherwise I totally would and I definitely agree with your philosophy!

    • M.

      I agree with Catherine, to use your bank account online to keep an eye on it being cashed, but especially next day, it’s probably totally fine. Not everyone works as fast as us Type-A’s would like! (I work with courts, so I def learn this lesson a lot). Go ahead and shoot them an email today or Monday to confirm. Can’t hurt! But don’t stress yet.

    • Kendra D

      It took my venue two weeks to cash my deposit check after I sent it to them. It took my photographer a month. Yes, I harassed them both fairly constantly the entire time. I just checked in to make sure things were okay. For my venue, it turned out that their finance person was on vacation when they received my check; hence the delay in cashing it.

      • K.

        *vicarious hives*

        I could only handle that if I received pretty consistent reassurance that all the reservations were safe, and even then just barely. Yikes! But it’s good to know that longer timelines can happen and they tend to work out! I’ll just be repeating a lot of Serenity Prayers, ha.

        • Kendra D

          They had already assured me of my date being reserved on both parts. It was mostly the annoyance of having to balance my bank account around money that wasn’t supposed to be there. But yeah, it definitely made me antsy waiting to know that they had actually received the checks.

      • Meg

        haha I feel like whenever I send a check to anyone they cash it immediately…my money come back!!!

        • BreckW

          True story: it took the City of Berkeley 6 months to cash my check for my street parking permit–it was almost more annoying that way because I’d already discounted that money in June but by December I was like whaaaaaat?!

    • http://rationalcreature.com/ Amy

      Hang in there! I am paying monthly installments on our reception venue, and email them once a month to authorize them to charge my card. Sometimes it takes a week for them to confirm/email me my receipt, and for that week I am crazy anxious. But! They know what they’re doing, and likely have a bunch of other things to worry about right about now, like people being out of work due to being sick and getting into a post-holiday routine and such. I’d say if it’s not deducted from your checking account by Wednesday, give them a call. And CONGRATS!

      • K.

        Thank you! Rationally, I know all that but money stuff always makes me craaaaazy. I was jumping to the worst case scenario two minutes after receiving the notification, so my neurosis doesn’t help. ;) And Wednesday certainly sounds reasonable.

        • http://rationalcreature.com/ Amy

          I am prone to leaping to the worst case scenario in a single bound myself, so I totally know where you are coming from. Just think of kittens and puppies and omg how awesome your reception is going to be until then.

      • Winny the Elephant

        You can pay a reception venue in instalments? That’s kind of cool…I did that with our photographer but the venue doesn’t want money until a few weeks before the wedding. Instalments would have been nice, breaking it up into smaller pieces. Was it just your deposit or the full amount?

        • http://rationalcreature.com/ Amy

          It’s our full amount, but I think it’s because of the way our reception fees are working. In order to secure the room, we have a minimum spend requirement, so they just divide that by the number of months until the wedding, and we pay a flat amount every month. Once we have our number of guests and menu set, we’ll have a better idea of our final cost, and anything over and above our minimum threshold will be due the week before the wedding.

          Our venue is including our food, decor, and bar as well, so it’s nice to have that all tallied up and just part of a single payment.

    • KC

      I’ve worked with establishments before where they hold the deposit in your file but don’t cash it until the event (or the cancellation), although I think those were things where there were potential “deposit refunded as well” cases. But, a possibility. I would aim for communication with them, not worry, if at all possible. :-)

  • http://rationalcreature.com/ Amy

    OMG THANK YOU. Fuck Your Stupid Wedding is exactly what I needed right now.

    My mister has specifically requested that we not take a thousand stupid pictures of stupid socks and shoes. I am backing him so hard.

    • K.

      I love it too! And YES to the stupid socks…I guess if socks are a thing for you, that’s cool, but otherwise, WHY?!

      Though we’re totally doing terrariums. Whatevah, whatevah.

      • http://rationalcreature.com/ Amy

        But yours will be awesome terrariums!

        • K.

          Hell yeah!

        • Class of 1980

          I’ve always loved terrariums, even though I’ve never had one. They go in and out of style. If you love them, don’t let the fact that they are in style stop you.

      • KC

        I think the mockery is for when someone is doing something that is currently incredibly common specifically in order to be “unique and special and ‘in'”. Not for when you actually personally like what you’re doing; not when it’s just the easiest option, darnit; not when it has special meaning to you; not when you’ve delegated a part of the wedding you don’t care about and that’s just what your delegate is doing with it. But following trends in order to be “unique”, that’s silly. :-)

        • http://rationalcreature.com/ Amy

          I agree with this. Mister didn’t understand the grar at the terrariums until I explained that they are all over the Pinterests.

          • Class of 1980

            Terrariums are cool. Socks are cool. But endless photos of your socks are not cool.

          • Kayjayoh

            Fezzes are cool…

          • Class of 1980

            ;)

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

        I can’t do terrariums because 1) cost, 2) I am a crazy plant lady and couldn’t let go of all those precious plants, and 3) 98% of the wedding guests are flying in. Maybe air plants?

    • http://rationalcreature.com/ Amy

      Oh, and just because I had to share: I immediately send this link to my mister.

      His reply? “So, I see the mustache on the male ring, but…is that what I think it is on the ladyring?”

      I would totally buy a ladyring with ladyparts.

    • Moe

      Along the same line, you must also see Oven In A Field: http://oveninafield.blogspot.com/

      • http://rationalcreature.com/ Amy

        Yessssssss! Thank you!

      • emily

        Oven in a Field is amazing.
        It says everything I try to say on my webpage without sounding bitchy–they say it sort of bitchy, but that’s amazing.
        LOVE IT SO HARD.

      • BreckW

        OMG, the taxidermy engagement pics… I die.

      • SusieDoozie

        Yes! I will spend the next several hours looking at this and fouckyourstupidwedding. It’s like the antidote to too many mason jars.

    • JLSeldon7

      But what if I knit socks for my husband to wear because I was tired of people fussing over my outfit. So I fussed over his. He had Something Old, New, Borrowed & Blue. ;)

      • http://rationalcreature.com/ Amy

        Um, that’s incredibly awesome, and the absolute perfect reason for sock pictures.

        I guess we’re just railing against the plethora of Sock Pictures For No Reason that we’ve seen in endless wedding albums this year and last.

        • JLSeldon7

          The shoe pictures have become quite common. Maybe its due to the Pinterest of it all

          • Class of 1980

            Pinterest is responsible for increasing the ways to be a total cornball in ways that didn’t exist before the Internet. Now you have to work at not being a cornball.

      • K.

        Yup, super awesome. I’d take tons of pics of them too! Like Amy said above, it’s just that they’ve become puzzlingly ubiquitous even when the socks are just, like, Brooks Brothers argyle. But hey, maybe for that actual couple, there’s a reason behind it or…hell, they just like the aesthetic. Totally valid! I just don’t pretend to understand the appeal, but I also (more controversially) don’t like the dress hanging photos or photos where the bride covers her face with her bouquet. I like seeing people’s faces in pictures unless it’s a really well done detail shot. But that’s just me!

        • JLSeldon7

          I’m with you on the faces in photos.

        • Class of 1980

          Most wedding photo shots have been done to death. Much better to just photograph things as they authentically happen and/or some formal portraits.

      • lady brett

        knitting socks totally wins.
        also, we have one sock photo, and i love it. it’s not a great picture, but it’s from us dancing to the last song of the night after most everyone was gone and we’d taken off our fancy shoes, and it makes me smile.

        • Class of 1980

          That’s an organic sock photo, rather than a staged one. ;)

          • KC

            The one place where organic isn’t hipster/”overdone”… sock photos. ;-)

      • Class of 1980

        That’s different. The fact that you knitted them makes them of special interest. Not the same as people who never cared about socks before seeing the idea online and copying it ad nauseum.

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

          I love my friend, but I knew she’d end up wanting something like this. So I had to get a foot tattoo touched up prior to her wedding. It healed just barely and I spent the whole tattooing time crying. Damn cliched photos and doing everything for a close friend.

      • Kelly

        That’s awesome. I wonder if I can convince my guy to do a something old etc.

        But you know what? If you like your Brook Brothers socks, then they are awesome too! I thought we weren’t about shaming here? Looking at these blogs a) makes me laugh b) makes me feel instantly insecure that my wedding isn’t authentic enough, cool enough, creative enough.

        • JLSeldon7

          I’m sure you could convince your dude to get something old. I asked my MIL if she had any of his grandpa’s stuff and we got some pretty sweet cufflinks. It was nice because it had meaning for him, since his grandpa passed away just after I met him.

          I know what you meaning about the wedding insecurity. We had a pretty “normal” wedding, I think what matters is that ultimately it held meaning for us. And we ended up married, so there’s that

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

        Always take pictures of your handknits!

  • Ariel

    Ahhh, I’m so happy that happy hour is back! I finished my masters!!!! I’m in the process of finding an officiant that the fiancé and I gel with. I’m glad I can spend some more time planning this wedding.

    • Kendra D

      Congrats on finishing your masters!!!

      • Ariel

        Thanks!!!

    • http://rationalcreature.com/ Amy

      Oooh, congrats!! We’re in the home stretch of a masters in our house, too, so I can imagine your feels!!

      • Ariel

        Thanks and good luck!

    • http://innercupcake.blogspot.com innercupcake

      Congratulations on (getting out of the dark pit of despair that) finishing grad school (can be)!

      • Ariel

        Thanks!!! It was definitely a dark pit of despair that I am SO happy to be out of. That damn paper took me a year and a half.

  • http://rationalcreature.com/ Amy

    And, if I may just say, I’m so glad you’re back, Link Roundup and Happy Hour.

  • Laura C

    Hey! I know the Ladies Against Humanity site lady. In fact, saw her at the last wedding I attended and envied her amazing sequined Badgley Mischka from Rent the Runway. So while I have never played Cards Against Humanity, I am totally pro-LAH being linked everywhere because I assume it’s awesome as its creator is. Also, I am totally opposed to jumpsuits as a general rule, but no more to bridal ones than any others.

    I am pleased to say that I’ve had a semi-productive time since the last APW happy hour. In the process of getting 30 hotel rooms blocked at two hotels; we’d like another, hopefully cheaper, option, but it’s a start. And we’re feeling better about our guest list than we had been. But most of all, I had the very freeing moment of giving in that I talked about earlier today: I’m going to just let my FMIL give me things, and it’s going to be ok. She’ll be happy because she likes giving things, and I’ll be happier just accepting it than I have been constantly saying variations on “that’s so kind, but you really don’t have to.” And I’m more likely to like the things she gives me if we discuss them in advance and she has a better idea of what I would be looking for in a [thing that I wouldn’t have gotten myself but nonetheless have opinions about].

  • M.

    So 1) yay happy hour! and 2) I want to shout from the rooftops about APW vendors! Everyone has been great so far (Glo, Up Up, Bario Neal) but Sarah Hoppes (Smitten Chickens) did engagement photos for us and BLEW IT OUT OF THE WATER. Damn, girl. I want her to follow us around with a camera. So, you know. Hire her. The end. So glad we’re all back here!

    • emilyg25

      We hired several APW sponsors for our wedding too and they are seriously the best!

    • SLW

      I’ve used Glo for Save the Dates/wedding website/soon-to-be invitations, too! I can’t say enough about how amazing it is. The vast majority of our guests are coming from the other side of the country, so it’s been a very useful tool for communicating with them! Plus, it’s saving me tons of paper and money. ;)

      The only downside so far is that some people (e.g., my grandmother) really value paper invitations, and others (e.g., my very working-class father) don’t actually use email (it happens!). For STDs, I made some and snail-mailed them where necessary.

      I’m curious about what others did in this area, particularly for invitations (which are supposed to be fancier, I suppose). I haven’t sent out invitations yet, so I’m looking for a cheap way to make or buy ~5 paper invitations. Have you or anyone else run into this as well?

      • Laura C

        For our save the dates, I found a free template online where I entered our info and it created a file that I sent to a local copy shop. I assume such things exist for invitations as well — of course you’re dealing with a limited selection, but I found enough that we had some choice, then just got it printed onto card stock. I assume a copy place would do this even for a relatively small number? And presumably people don’t need all the multiple envelopes with 20 pieces of paper inside bells and whistles.

      • M.

        I love Glo too! We did all digital Save the Dates, with grandparents/non-email having uncle just hearing word of mouth, and then ordered 10 invitations from Wedding Paper Divas with a coupon. They don’t match the Glosite or anything, but it was quick and easy (priority) and fairly affordable. Job = done.

      • Laura C

        I just checked, btw, and where we got our free save the date template also has invitation ones: http://www.weddingchicks.com/freebies/invitation-suites/

        • SLW

          Amazing! Thank you so much!

  • Kate

    I keep seeing round ups of bridal jumpsuits and other nontraditional wedding wear around the web and everytime I smile knowing APW is making serious waves.

  • Sarah Brown

    I don’t know what you’re talking about, the bows make it but I’m biased because I love bows.
    I’m heading to Hobby Lobby tonight to pick up one of the $10 birdcage veils and try to diy one similar to the perfect veil found on etsy for 300+ dollars. Hint, it’s going to have a huge bow on top!

    • Kendra D

      I actually kind of like the bows too. And I’m normally anti-bow, but I like what they add to the back of that jumpsuit.

    • Ellen

      The bows are kind of my favorite part- but maybe that’s because the cut of those pants definitely wouldn’t work on me.

    • KC

      I thought the bows were giant pom-poms on frog-closures at first and was not a fan. I think maybe something a bit flatter would fit more smoothly with the outfit, or something that also appears elsewhere would coordinate better? But I may also just not be used to jumpsuits…

      (but giant bow on birdcage veil = awesome)

  • Kendra D

    Yay! Happy Hour is back! This has been a crazy week for us! We spent the first three days packing out all of our belongings that are now in the process of being shipped from Turkey back to the US! The great intercontinental move of 2014 has commenced! Next week we ship our car and then we’re only a month away from moving back home, or at least the US. I’m excited to get back and be able to go full throttle at planning our vow renewal ceremony!

    • http://rationalcreature.com/ Amy

      I work in international shipping, so I know what a huge undertaking this is! Go you!!

      • Kendra D

        Thanks so much! This is our third international move, but definitely the trickiest. Turkey has some insane import/export laws. I’m just glad that we have experts taking care of all of it for us!

    • BreckW

      Congrats on your impending repatriation! We just got back to Venezuela after a lovely week in the US (and then another in the Caribbean ahhh), so I’m in a bit of a not-at-home-anymore-and-no-more-Trader-Joe’s slump :-/. But, yay you! Good luck packing–that is a beast of a project!

      • Kendra D

        Thanks! It’s been a long three and a half years overseas, so I’m looking forward to being back in the US. Even if I’m going to miss our glorious Mediterranean climate, I’m looking forward to having all the creature comforts that the US has to offer again.

  • chelseaduran

    Cheers to Happy Hour! I’m all for the non-traditional wedding wear. The jumpsuit kinda scares me though. On this model, it looks awesome. As a fellow lady with curves, I’m not so sure it will look so nice. But, power to all the ladies out there who are rockin’ it!

  • Emily Ardoin

    I LOVE Pantene’s ShineStrong video! As an MBA student, I see these stereotypes in action every day. And (cringe!) I hear old school teachers actually catering to these outdated principles in my management classes. Honestly, teachers have “taught” me that women need to be treated with more care because they are more emotional and more easily disturbed in the workplace. And don’t even get me started on the sexual harassment and maternity/paternity leave talks!

    It’s nice to see that Pantene is getting some recognition for this video, and even if it was a publicity stunt, it’s a publicity stunt I can support.

  • Emily Ardoin

    Also, I was super impressed with that dad who took initiative and started his own “daddy” blog. It’s awesome to see dad’s out there taking a stand for being awesome parental figures in their kid’s lives!

    It’s hard for me to see how so many people can be rallying against him in this day in age.

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

    In wedding-related news, we have about five weeks to go, and right now we’re at a point where nothing is really URGENT…we gave ourselves deadlines and since they aren’t, like, tomorrow, we can’t seem to get motivated to actually work on stuff. It’s not like we’re sitting around, we’re just doing random stuff here and there instead of seeing something through to the finish, or doing other chores/tasks instead of wedding ones. I am not usually a procrastinator but I think I’m just feeling like we have SO much to do that I don’t know which project to do next! I’m hoping to reel it in this weekend and really push forward on a few of the (relatively) big ones.

  • Jenni Kissinger

    Couldn’t wait for Happy Hour today … this week just dragged ooooooon. Mostly because I’m still waiting to hear if I’m going to get an awesome job offer (which would FINALLY end the long-distance part of our relationship), and the waiting is torturous!

    In wedding planning news, picking a DJ is hard. I have no idea how a movie of other people dancing to a random song is supposed to help me evaluate a DJ. Actually I really don’t know how to evaluate DJs at all. … Help?

    Finally, I’m going to the Lovesick Expo in Philly this weekend with my mom, and I’m really looking forward to it! Anyone else going?

    • Emily Ardoin

      I’m keeping my fingers crossed for your job! I’m in a long distance relationship that is ending in July (THANK GOD) so I feel your pain!

      • Jenni Kissinger

        Thanks so much, and congrats for July!!! I hope the months fly by for you!

    • jashshea

      Have you talked to any DJs? Our DJ was a planner reco, but when we met, we totally clicked. Music was important to me (I’m a dancing queen), so I just wanted to know that he’d listen to my opinions and fill in the gaps. Unfortunately, he’s not in Philly/PA.

      • Jenni Kissinger

        We haven’t talked to anyone yet. We were trying to narrow down the list (two companies with multiple DJs) so we’d only have to call/Skype a few people. I’m hoping that there will be a ‘click’ with one of the DJs like there was with our photographer, but I feel like in that case I also knew what questions to ask, how to verbalize what was important to me, etc.

        And actually, our wedding will be in New Hampshire (but my parents live in PA, hence the going-to-the-Expo-in-Philly part).

        • http://rationalcreature.com/ Amy

          I’m moving to Philly in a week, so I’m a little bummed that it’s your parents who live there, and not you. :P I need friends!

          • Jenni Kissinger

            Awww sad :-( but I can be your Internet friend! :-D Maybe there’s an APW meetup group, and I think Liz (who does the advice column) lives there?

          • http://rationalcreature.com/ Amy

            You are lovely! And I am totally going to scour the internet and find out if there’s a Philly meetup group. Or maybe start one once I’m settled.

          • YetAntherMegan

            Are you going to be in Philly itself or outside it? I’m about an hour and a half from there if that helps at all?

          • http://rationalcreature.com/ Amy

            That could be lovely! We are about 45 minutes northeast of downtown Philly, right across the river from Trenton.

        • jashshea

          Trying to find what I sent to my planner prior to meeting with the DJ – it’s not questions as much as “this is the type of music I’d want to hear, can we make it work.”

          I’m not that out of the ordinary when it comes to reception music – play all the Britney, MJ, and Wham! you can fit into 4 hours is my style – but my dinner music and ceremony stuff was not quite normal and I wanted to make sure he could swing that part (and not just play dinner standards from the 40s and 50s).

    • MC

      Good luck!!! Ending the long-distance part of a relationship is SO great – I was so much less stressed once my partner and I lived in the same place, and our relationship felt comparitavely effortless.

    • http://rationalcreature.com/ Amy

      I had a hard time picking a DJ. Basically, I went with one that had a reasonable fee, pretty good reviews, and who was a really great guy to talk to. I figure that if our personalities mesh well, he’ll be able to handle what we ask of him.

    • Kat Robertson

      Oh gosh. DJs were the WORST. Horrible websites, full of the weird videos you describe. Why? Why??? No website should play music at me without my consent!!! It was driving me to distraction! I finally went with what my future MIL chose for Fiance’s brother just because they were the cheapest and I was DONE.

  • MC

    Yay Happy Hour!!! Lots has happened since the last one:
    – I got promoted to full-time at my job that I love
    – We camped out overnight to get our state park wedding venue (in the mountains, it was very cold) and we got the date we wanted!!!
    – We booked our photographer, ordered save-the-dates and a bazillion stamps (INCLUDING HARRY POTTER STAMPS), and are setting up meetings with caterers and coordinators all over the place.

    I do have a rant/question for all y’all: What to do about an overly enthusiastic, slightly intrusive mother-in-law? Fiance’s parents are very generously paying for the wedding so we have been updating them regularly about planning and checking in with them about vendors and expenses. MIL’s mom was a wedding planner, so MIL grew up helping plan weddings and also did most of the planning when her daughter got married two years ago. Fiance and I are getting married where we live and are really trying to plan a wedding that feels genuine to us, so we’re both happy to take the lead on planning and let people know when we need help.

    MIL, however, has started taking on aspects of planning without checking in with us, like asking around for addresses and doing extensive research into hotels, centerpieces, etc. Many of the things she’s started looking into are things Fiance and I have already handled or vetoed. So not only do we feel undermined by the fact that she’s not communicating with us about what she decides to help with, but I don’t want her to waste her time on things that we’ve got covered!

    Fiance’s parents are visiting us next week with some wedding planning stuff on the agenda. Luckily, Fiance and I agree that her behavior is a little intense for what we want/need and he has agreed to initiate the conversation with her and set some boundaries. (Should I be there? I would kind of like to avoid it, but I also think it could be useful to have her see us presenting a united front.) We want to tell her that we so, SO appreciate her enthusiasm and willingness to help, but we want to decide what we want/need her help with.

    Obviously I don’t want to downplay the fact that they are very generously paying for the whole thing, and I already feel extremely uncomfortable talking to them about money. Both his parents are generally great people and respectful and supportive. I think it will go fine, but I know weddings are a big deal to her and I want her to feel involved, too. Ideas? Advice? (PS Sorry I wrote a novel…)

    • BreckW

      HARRY POTTER STAMPS?!?! Wantwantwant.

      Re your MIL: Maybe kindly express how much you appreciate her help and enthusiasm, but the two of you are working on the details at your own pace, so could she please just look into videographers (or whatever) right now? I think having a couple to-do items ready to give her right then might make it seem more “Thank you!” and less “Butt out.”

      • MisterEHolmes

        Completely agree with BreckW’s advice. Give her something to do…optimally something you don’t want to do/don’t care much for. That might help.

      • MC

        I KNOW. We were ordering stamps online and I said, “I love them! But we can’t use them for wedding correspondence, can we?” and Finace said, “Sure we can!” So we ordered them.

        And yes, she definitely needs a project or two (that we specifically choose and assign to her). Gonna have to brainstorm about that this weekend.

    • Laura C

      We did very early on have to lay down the law that A’s mother could not contact vendors, that everything had to go through us. I think that’s a simple, easy rule that will make things less complicated for the vendors as well as for us/you. I don’t think you can stop her from researching, and you might not want to if she sees it as a fun thing to do. But definitely communicate in general and in the specifics that it’s your call and you’ve done your own research and have your own views.

      • MC

        That is a great rule! And we can totally frame it as being less confusing for vendors.

  • BreckW

    I saw this today, and I thought of APW: bridal jumpsuit slideshow!!

  • Caroline

    Yay! I missed APW happy hour. I think I found my dress! I have to go fabric shopping to make sure I can find what we need to add the sleev-y bit we wanted, but then we’re gonna order it. And it’s actually in budget! Unlike the other dresses I liked. It’s funny, it’s a dress I liked then dismissed a year ago, but a different modesty solution made all the difference. It’s beautiful. And TWIRLY!

    Also in found new: a professional mentor! She basically fell out of the sky. I reached out to my college’s alumnae coordinator asking if they had any alumnae n my major willing to talk with me briefly about what they do. An awesome woman in one of the fields I’m really interested in not only was willing to talk with me about what she does, but wanted to mentor me. We talked for 1.5 hours over lunch about her profession and her advice for me, and what I should learn, and she sent me a reading list, and she just sent me an email asking if I want to shadow her at work next week. I’m quite excited, I never expected a mentor to come from reaching out to the alumnae office, I was just hoping to a few informational interviews to help me figure out what careers were interesting and possible with my degree.

    • A.C.

      That mentor news is so awesome! Informational interviews are seriously the way to go. At worst, you get a better sense of what it’s like to work in that field and at best, you get a kick-ass mentor!

    • kc

      TWIRLY!

      SLEEVE-ISH OPTION WITHIN BUDGET!

      MENTOR!

      That’s a pretty awesome lineup, right there. :-)

  • Anonymous

    I submitted an application for a new job last week! I’ve been looking for quite awhile, and even if nothing comes of this opportunity, it’s exciting to have finally DONE something about my current job situation. Progress!!

    • Caroline

      Good luck!!

  • lady brett

    welcome back, happy hour!

    and just in time, because i need some advice (or at least a drink). the short version: how do i cope with hating my job?

    i have a good job doing a mix of things i love (layout!) and things i don’t (phones…) with most of it falling in the “meh, whatever” category like data entry, more importantly my coworkers and boss are awesome. but i’ve struggled for as long as i’ve had a full-time job with the fact that working that much kind of depresses me. usually that’s been kind of on-and-off, whereas now it has become constant. typically, in the past, when i got really burnt out, i could take some time off and come back fairly recharged. after two full weeks of vacation, this has been the worst week of work in ages (the kind where i come home from work already dreading going back, and am already starting to stress out that the weekend is going to be too short). plus, it’s wearing me out, so none of the housework (which i would infinitely rather be doing!) is getting done, further stressing me out.

    so, typically if one hates one’s job the solution is to find a new one, but i’m not sure that will work or help for me. (see: good employer with good people; my only job skills are for jobs just like the one i have; it’s not the job, it’s the working.) i can’t just quit or move to part time or to a lower-skill job, because i’m our only earner, and my spouse is in school. and it doesn’t make sense for me to invest (time, energy, money, school) in a real career change, because i’m not planning on working (or not much) once she graduates and gets a job. but that’s 2 1/2 years away, and i’m not sure i can cope that long.

    so, that’s my tale of woe. any ideas? or good bourbon cocktails?

    • MisterEHolmes

      Gamification? In other words, make your job a “game” of sorts. Like “5 phone calls gets you a gold star!” The TED talk on SuperBetter does a great job explaining this idea, and you can really apply it to anything. Try to make even the crappy stuff seem like an achievement.

      • lady brett

        y’all are the best! i intend to further research all of these ideas. =)

    • jashshea
    • Jenni Kissinger

      Hmmm. That’s hard. Maybe you could negotiate to work one day a week from home? I don’t know how easy it would be to telecommute, but maybe with a little finagling it could work.

      If your boss is uncertain, offer it as a trial period (“let’s try it for a month, and see if we’re both happy with the arrangement after that”).

      • Alison O

        Another may not be possible option but something to explore if it sounds attractive is if you could work 4 longer days and have a 3 day weekend each week?

        And to add: if there are specific things you enjoy doing outside of work (hopefully there are since you don’t like work aha! and by the way, I can totally relate on the not liking to work so much thing), it might help to set goals around those. For example, draw up a list of projects/outings/etc. you want to do during your evenings or weekends. Or create things to look forward to, like a special Valentine’s date or something. For me anticipating stuff helps time go faster.

    • BreckW

      Ugh, I’m sorry. My BF is actually in a similar position: good company, good people, some of the work is gratifying, some isn’t, but mostly he’s getting to the end of his rope with working. He’s also the breadwinner and in contract, so he can’t just quit. I don’t have any real advice, but this looks deliciously perfect for sorrow-drowning.

    • Jess

      I can’t offer good work-related advice (If I could, I would take it myself!). So instead, I offer bourbon mixed with things.

      First, this isn’t exactly bourbon, but it is oh-so-good: Fireball Whiskey, Amaretto, Bitters, and Hard Cider. You can adjust the proportions to taste, I add about 2 shots of bourbon, 1/2 oz of Amaretto, shake some bitters and top it off with hard cider and a splash of club soda.

      Manhattans. Old Fashioned’s sweet with club soda. “Moscow Mules” made with Knob Creek are amazing (other bourbons don’t work as well with the ginger beer and lime) We call them Kentucky Mules.

      Chai tea w/ almond milk (real milk probably works too, but lactose isn’t my friend) and Makers Mark is really calming.

      And finally, the Lions Tail that Elizabeth did in the Get Sh*t Done Winter Cocktails? Amazing.

      • Sarah

        Chai tea with vanilla cinnamon Bailey’s is also deeeeeelightful. Sometimes I add a smidge of bourbon, too, just for good measure.

        Thanks for sharing yours!

    • Emma Klues

      If you feel in a rut about work, are there any other options for you to get what you want from work out of something else? I know it sounds counter-intuitive to add a new commitment, but if, say, walking dogs at a local shelter actually gives you energy and helps you get through the long day, might be worth a try. Just something to think about! If you feel like you’re stuck with your full-time gig, can you rearrange other parts of your life to supplement the good stuff and just see the job as a way to make money and contribute to your family for now?

      Plus, if your work people are awesome, can you also reframe how you see things at work in that you are contributing to a fun atmosphere and helping THEM have a great place to work? Sometimes I like to think about that at my job, that beyond my job description, I am helping to create a fun place to work for X other people, and while it’s certainly not changing the state of the union, it motivates me and it matters to those people, and maybe even to their family or friends or people they interact with.

    • MerlyBird

      No solutions per se, here… in a similar situation myself (don’t envision working long term, can’t really afford not to for awhile), except I also just realized that I don’t love my boss (aka don’t trust him/his decision making. …ugh.) BUT My fiancee (former gf) ;) has introduced me to http://www.iwillteachyoutoberich.com/ ‘s Ramit Sethi – and the great thing about him is that it’s end goal is somewhat financial sometimes yes, but really it’s all about your life, He provides *tons* of FREE high quality material and doesn’t do any gimmicks (even though the name sounds totally cheesy). I’m hoping to get some nice insight from him in the coming days and weeks. Good luck!

    • Rebecca

      How is your commute, and is there anything under your control that you can do to change it? Right now I’m commuting by car 40-60 minutes each way on top of my full time job and it’s doing me in- I find that things like podcasts help, or being able to take public transit some of the time, etc. Ultimately we’re moving so that my commute will be shorter (without really lengthening my spouse’s), and I’ll get an hour of my life back each day, which I’m really, really looking forward to.

      I’ve also been taking walks by myself in the quiet neighborhood next to my office during lunch, which has helped a ton- I come back soooo much more relaxed (and less sleepy, too!).

      And Manhattans. Manhattans help.

  • http://innercupcake.blogspot.com innercupcake

    No more APW withdrawals! esp since I was sick over Christmas and coughing up a lung doesn’t leave a lot of motivation for, well…anything bsides the internet and tv. On my big exciting news to share, My big research paper that makes up the bulk of my Ph.D. thesis and is the product of the last four years of my life has been deemed suitable for publication pending “major” revisions (except they don’t want any new experiments, which is pretty rare and um, the revisions aren’t actually major) by a good journal in my field. WOOO. The less stellar note of the week is that I thought I’d be able to stay on in my current lab for a transitional postdoc while Fiance is finishing his Ph.D. and before moving to a new city, and was informed that that’s not going to happen. So now I have to find something within the next three months or so for a 6m-year period that’s funded already. eek.

    On the wedding front- we took engagement photos, which I’m nervous about, esp since I wound up running late- I made a hair apt to avoid stressing about my hair which then started 45 min late (what the what dudes), but I’m cautiously optimistic and both of us feel good about our photographer decision.

    • Nicole

      Congrats! My manuscript based on my thesis just got “major” revisions as well. I’m currently procrastinating on them by reading APW.

      And best of luck with your search. PhDs and love seem to have a lot of challenges (don’t even get me started on the too-familiar-for-comfort-movie that was “The 5 year Engagement”). I hope you find something and that your marriage is stronger from the challenge!

  • emilyg25

    WELCOME BACK I MISSED YOU

    Also, I think I might buy this shirt: http://www.lookhuman.com/design/31032-the-patriarch-is-not-going-to-fuck-itself

  • Jess

    1) This week APW went and punched me in the gut every day. I don’t even really have responses formed for most of them. I just did a lot of thinking and crying. So thanks for posting things that speak to my life and stuff.

    2) I’m going to rant on a card in Ladies against Humanity. The card that says, “Math is hard. Lets go _______.” makes me sad. Really really sad. This isn’t an mindset we need to perpetuate. I’m not saying STEM is the end-all-be-all, and I’m definitely not saying that the Arts are dumb. I’m just saying my life would be a lot better if I hadn’t felt that I had to find math hard in order to make friends. I’d be a way better engineer if I could have been proud of doing well in school and math instead of trying to hide it so I wouldn’t be as lonely in high school as I was in jr. high.

    Hell, I’d be a lot more confident making friends now if I didn’t get stunned silence after I tell people my job. Saying “R&D Engineer” shuts conversation down so fast, and that sucks and is stupid. So let’s try to encourage those girls/women who are STEM inclined… if only to make it easier for their social lives in the future.

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

      I think the joke of the card was that that’s the expectation of women…not that women actually think that! The rest of the cards make it pretty clear that the creator is well-versed in feminist issues and is all around smart and hilarious, so I think the inclusion of female stereotypes was completely intentional.

    • KC

      I’m pretty sure that’s a riff on the much-bashed talking Barbie who said something to the effect of “Math is hard.” among her other phrases. So… probably more of a feminist in-joke than actually being serious.

      • Jess

        Ah, Thanks. Guess I’m not on the in. It still made me sad to see. Loaded emotions firing and all that.

        • KC

          I hear ya. :-)

          (and yes on the silence-after-“what do you do?”; people should not be scared of those in nerdy fields!)

          • Caroline

            Oh man. I WISH I got stunned silence sometimes. I had one lady tell me, on 6 different occasions, that she was a neurologist so she knew these things, and women just couldn’t do math. I had no idea what to say really. I think I said something along the lines of “Well, actually, I’m really good at math and my gender has nothing to do with it” and walked away and started avoiding her. I just didn’t know how to handle that level of self-convinced ignorance. Her work is determining whether people are mentally fit for court proceedings, which is unrelated. And that just isn’t true.

          • Laura C

            Q: How did she become a neurologist if women are so bad at math? Don’t you have to do some math in the training for that?

          • Caroline

            Right? I just… I’ve never been so flabbergasted in my life. I expect, in my career, to run into men who think I can’t do my job (math major, headed probably into tech), but to hear a woman say that women just can’t do math?

          • KC

            I have above-average geospatial reasoning and I’m a girl. Pbbt to them.

            I’m actually kind of surprised a neurologist spouted that, 1. because don’t you need math to become a neurologist? and isn’t she female?, and 2. neurologists should have at least a fundamental aware of variance within populations, yes? But maybe that part of her brain has atrophied through disuse; if she’s mostly seeing cases where it’s borderline where someone is mentally fit for court proceedings, that probably has relatively little to do with math skills and would not be a normal population (I suppose it’s probably mostly two different groups, technically; those who are, in fact, on that borderline for fitness, and those who are neurologically fine but trying to pretend they aren’t so as to dodge court proceedings?)(unrelatedly, I’d be scared to talk to *her* at a party, largely because I know a child psychologist who for whatever reason just can’t leave her hat at the office, so her conversational partners end up feeling treated like poorly-adjusted 3rd graders – very compassionately, but aaaaugh).

          • Amanda

            I’m an actuarial consultant who works with insurance software, when I tell people what I do usually the eyes just glaze over. I’ve started just leading with consultant and letting them ask what kind if they want to know more.

          • KC

            I can bet people are terrified of actuarial consultants. They’re like “I know… one… of those words…”

            I like the idea of only giving a partial job definition and then letting them decide if they want more info or not. That said, straight “consultant” might make them think multi-level marketing of some kind (since people who try to sell you candles or whatever also seem to often be called “consultants”), which might itself lead to some entirely undeserved fleeing-in-terror. Maybe software consultant would work?

        • Meg Keene

          I didn’t know it was Barbie, I just know it’s an ENDLESS feminist issue, hence the joke.

          • Jess

            Probably should have changed out of my angry-because-people-were-mean-to-me-today pants and into my I-have-a-sense-of-humor-and-a-brain pants for anything involving “Against Humanity”.

            That beings said, I did like a lot of their other cards.

          • daniellela

            Yeah, there was a whole thing about this in the early 1990s when Mattel released a speaking Barbie saying, “Math class is tough.” Coolest part about it was the activists who started Barbie Liberation Organization in response: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barbie_Liberation_Organization

    • Hy

      I’ve got to second this. As a math professor, it is my duty. ;)
      (P.S. Math is the best!)

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

      Nah, I didn’t like a lot of the stuff they posted. All of the proposed cards felt very middle-class white feminist which, as a working class WOC, were rather exclusionary. Manicures with a Tavi Gevinson and Lorde? No thank you. I’ll take the regular cards that require I explain what bukkake is to my mom.

  • Meg

    Happy Happy Hour everyone!! My lovely fiancé finally got a date for his consulate interview for his Fiance Visa! He’ll most likely be in the country for our June wedding now. Hurray!!!
    also those blogs “fuck your wedding” and “oven in a field” need more posts!! I ate them right up

  • Karen

    Hey everyone,
    I want to make sure that you are aware that the price of first class stamps are going to increase on January 26! Get your forever stamps NOW if you are having your wedding this year (or anytime, really)!

    • http://rationalcreature.com/ Amy

      This is an incredibly smart thing to share. Thank you!

      • Karen

        You’re welcome. Every penny counts! :-)

    • Ellen

      Going to the post office this weekend! Is it allowable for me to use the muscle car stamps on our save the dates? :)

      • BreckW

        I think it’s encouraged.

      • Laura C

        We used Rosa Parks stamps…

        • BreckW

          I was perusing the stamps on usps.com (never thought I’d say that) and decided that for my future wedding we will use Ronald Reagan stamps and see which of our friends gets the joke.

      • Catherine McK

        Of course! I had much more success ordering stamps from USPS.com than going to the post office. The turn around was very quick and shipping was nominal. Just a thought if you don’t see the perfect muscle car stamps when you get there.

      • Caroline

        I think you should. I’m considering the Mercury/Messanger space project stamps (although miffed because I think they should include a female astronaut, I would buy those stamps exclusively, forever), or the Rosa Parks one or the March on Washinton. I actually really like roses and grow them from cuttings but white roses on stamps for wedding invites are not sassy enough for me.

      • MC

        As I wrote below (or above, depending on how the comments are organized for you), we just ordered Harry Potter stamps for ours. So I say get whatever stamps your heart desires.

        • NicoleT

          I semi-started an argument with my FH (according to him) over which stamps to put on our invites. I think Harry Potter stamps are completely awesome and acceptable for wedding invitations. He vehemently disagrees. :/ He’s got a little WIC in him, methinks…

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

      Thank you. We now have an official deadline for sending our Thank You’s by! (looks away, wedding was four months ago! whoops) Kaleidoscopes were not Forever.

    • Kayjayoh

      Yup. But don’t buy any postcard stamps before then, if you can help it.

  • MisterEHolmes

    I need help. My bridesmaids can’t agree on anything.

    It’s possible this is my fault. I wanted them to like what they wore! So I quizzed them and basically got an idea of what they should wear based on their overall opinions: Preferably with straps, tea-length, and affordable (I know they are all not super-well off). Despite my best efforts, I cannot get them sold on Little Borrowed Dress AT ALL, and we’ve been to David’s Bridal twice and come away empty handed. They also seem to feel like there is no rush at all: I’m getting married in June and worried that we’ll have to order stuff (DB person said we need to pick something by Feb. 20. Ha! There IS a rush).

    But they truly couldn’t decide on a style. It was like that scene in “Mean Girls;” Oh my god, my shoulders are huge,” “I hate my nose,” “eww knees!” I just want to bang my head against the wall.

    Anyone have suggestions? Do I just need to be “mean” and tell them what to do?

    • Meg

      Why do they have to agree on something, could you do the thing where you pick a color and they pick whatever dress they want?

      • MisterEHolmes

        They said they wanted to match because not-matching was “weird.”

        • Meg

          Maybe give them until the end of January to agree on something and if they don’t you’ll pick it for them (or the MOH will I like that idea)

    • Emily Ardoin

      For the latest wedding I was in, the Maid of Honor picked a gown that flattered the majority of us and that was that. Not sure how helpful that advice is, but since the Maid of Honor has the distinction of picking it out, we didn’t complain too much. You can never make everyone happy, so if you’re dedicated to the idea of having all of the bridesmaids match, picking one for them or having the Maid of Honor pick seems to be a reasonable compromise.

      • Meg

        A+ for delegation

    • emilyg25

      Is the issue that they can’t decide on one style that suits everyone? If so, it might be easier if you choose a color (and maybe a designer and a fabric) and let them each choose their own dress.

    • SusieDoozie

      I think you just have to be the boss and start laying out some forced choices. Also, have you looked at ModCloth for options?

      • MisterEHolmes

        I LOVE modcloth, but I think the main two have some sort of bias against online shopping. I can’t even get them to look.

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

          If there is a modcloth look or two that you love you could purchase for them to try on and return it if it didn’t work out.

          • MisterEHolmes

            Weekend project, definitely! I just sent them the link to the Target dresses someone else mentioned; not 5 seconds later, I got the “but the problem is they are online-only.” Yes, but they have free returns! How do I make you happy?!

          • Rowany

            Are you sure it isn’t because they’re not sure what you want and want to make YOU happy?

          • MisterEHolmes

            I don’t really care, honestly? I want them to feel good and be able to afford it. I would prefer it be in my wedding colors. Beyond that? I don’t make a habit of dressing other folks. So yes, my apathy could be contributing, but I just don’t know how to fix it.

    • Nicole

      All of my bridesmaids just bought their dresses from Target. Their TEVOLO line is fantastic! I picked the color, then they each picked a style they liked. I ended up having them pick two, then we had a try-on party! We were able to easily return the styles we didn’t like to the store. I know it’s not the solution for everyone, but considering I was dealing with 3 very different body shapes (including a pregnant one) and wanted to respect their financial considerations, I thought $70 and unique styles was the perfect solution to my wedding!

      • MisterEHolmes

        I’ll have to look into that brand, thanks!

    • Lisha

      What i did was go with a style I preferably wanted my bridesmaids to have so in your case, straps, tea length and affordable. Then, I went through all the styles that were similar on websites like Davids Bridal and a couple of other wedding sites, narrowed it down to about 8 or so and had them pick their top 3 choices. I went with the majority of responses for choices 1 -3. Luckily they all picked the same dress in their top 3 so that made it relatively easy.

    • http://rationalcreature.com/ Amy

      Have you considered convertible/infinity dresses? I don’t know about the style that you’re going for, but on the suggestion of another APW commenter, I’m about 97% sure that I’m going to be asking my girls to get dresses at Henkaa. (I don’t know what your price range is like, though.) They’ll be able to choose how they want to wear their straps while still looking like they match.

      And as cliche as it sounds, I genuinely think my girls will wear these dresses again.

      • Emily Ardoin

        I wore my last bridesmaid’s dress 4 times now. It’s pretty awesome.

  • Lisha

    I’d just like to share this video about working mothers…balancing family, work priorities, and even carving time out for yourself. It really gave me some things to think about and although I’m not thoroughly done processing my thoughts about what my life will look like as a mother (in the next few months) I thought this was very insightful: http://www.cbc.ca/doczone/episodes/motherload

  • SusieDoozie

    HOLY CRAP, YOU GUYS. We’re getting married in eight days! EIGHT! January 18th!

    I’ve been dying for the APW Happy Hour to come back so I can rant about how excited/anxious/relieved I feel that the big day is almost here! I’m actually pretty sick of planning and being asked about it nine bazillion times. I’m just dying to say those sweet words with my honey and hear his and then celebrate in a big way!

    So, to the married folks on here… what is your last week and last minute advice?!

    I’m a pretty chill bride but this wedding has brought out my most Type A and OCD tendencies. I’m not stressing the details anymore, I just want to relax and have a great time and I want to try and remember as much as I can and spend as much time as possible with far away friends and family.

    Also, how the hell do I sleep the night before? It’s gotten pretty rough with these 4am wake ups where I’m full of nervous energy and my mind is racing – not worry or fear – just giddiness now! I can’t take sleeping pills or Benadryl because I’ll be a groggy zombie. Any tricks?

    Woo hoo! 2014 is starting off a big way!

    • kcaudad

      week of advise: try not to stress, do what is *required* and nothing else, let others help as much as possible.
      day of advise: enjoy it as much as you can, let things play out and go with the flow.
      Sleeping… good luck with that! I don’t think I slept more than 4 hours a night the last week before my wedding, but you will be fine! you will have so much love and endorphines getting your through the day, that you won’t even realize you are tired! But, my advise for that: allow yourself to rest a few days after. If you are going on a honeymoon right away, then don’t plan anything major for the first day or 2. Just let yourself calm down and relax and SLEEP! Then, enjoy your new life!

    • emilyg25

      Week of advice: do your best to take it easy and chillax. Just ride this crazy wave. I took a lot of baths, because that’s my preferred relaxation method, but do you.

      Day of advice is pretty much the same. Honor your feelings and feel what you feel. If ou want to cry, cry. If you want to jump up and down, jump up and down. Don’t feel like you HAVE to do anything, or feel a certain way, or whatever.

      I have no advice on how to sleep. I slept 2 hours the night before my wedding and woke up sick to my stomach and shaking. It lasted till we said our vows. I just took it easy, drank a bunch of Pepto, and kept my belly full. I had a lot of family around, but I let myself be kind of quiet and withdrawn.

      ETA: Yay!!! Eight days! It really is so awesome and exciting.

    • Violet

      Hi SusieDoozie- congratulations on almost being there!! So exciting! You already know what to do: “I’m not stressing the details anymore, I just want to relax and have a great time and I want to try and remember as much as I can and spend as much time as possible with far away friends and family” Yay!!
      Know that not all things will go according to the “plan,” so stressing won’t really change that reality.
      I’d say that if you’re walking down the aisle, remember to look as your almost-official-life-partner! I was so psyched to see family and friends, I was waving to everybody and totally forgot to look at my partner. Whoops. I really wanted to see the look on his face, so oh well.
      To fall asleep, I’ll pick a movie I’ve seen a number of times to watch as I fall asleep. It’s enough to keep my mind occupied, but I’ve seen it before so it won’t keep me up wondering what’s happening next. It might work for you. Have fun!

    • LM

      Congrats! I agree with everyone else, especially around not feeling like you’re *supposed* to feel a certain way. After being stressed all week, I was really calm the morning of the wedding and then felt kind of angsty that I was *too* calm, and I wish I’d been a little more accepting of whatever I was feeling. Also, I found my partner a huge help in talking me down when I was freaking out during the week. He was stressed about different things so we could balance each other out.

    • Elena

      Congrats! Take heart: you are so close and most of the big prep work is already done. My only suggestion is to schedule yourself a massage if time/money allow. My MIL got me one as a gift a few days before the wedding, and it was lovely to just relax and turn off for an hour or so.

      Also, all the other things these smart ladies have said above.

    • jashshea

      I had a wonderful friend take me out for coffee at 0600 the morning of our wedding because she knew I wasn’t going to sleep. She didn’t plan it, simply emailed me early that morning and said “if you’re up, I’m up.” Then I went and bought toothpaste. Because I forgot toothpaste.

      Week of advice – I just sort of stopped all the things. I worked up until thursday (saturday wedding), but didn’t go to the gym or make a million phone calls or any of the other activities that had consumed me leading up to the day. I hung out with the people who were in town and enjoyed their company. My now husband was a basket case that weekend, so I’m glad I got to be the sane one for a bit.

      This weekend, make your go-bag or your go-bag list. Do your last minute crafts. Get organized. Then stop if you can and just let it all happen.

      Easier said than done, of course. Good luck, enjoy and congratulations.

    • Tania

      Sleep: See if you can find some nice herbal sleeping tablets – they shouldn’t make you drowsy. Or try valerian tea.
      Clear your diary of jobs and focus on fun. Everything was delegated by Thursday morning for our Saturday wedding. I took the time to book in lunches and coffees with the out of town friends who had arrived ahead of the wedding.
      I had the worlds most detailed day-of run sheet (APW spreadsheets rock) so on the day I was super chilled because everyone knew what to do and when. I’m a total control freak so it was a revolutionary feeling to let everything go on the day and witness our friends and family be so wonderfully generous with their help. Amazing!
      Also: you will feel guilty for not spending enough time with your wedding guests – forgive yourself now. They understand and they don’t mind!

    • clairekfromtheuk

      Night before… Carb loading, a couple glasses of wine and sex did it for me (man person and I refused to sleep apart though, the sex part might be hard if you are :-))

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

    Uh guys? We just put down the deposit on our venue which means we’re having a wedding. HOLYSHIT we’re having a wedding!! *commence running around like a crazy person*
    On a related note: we have decided what to tell the public when they ask us our wedding theme. “Best Newhart episode ever.” We are getting married in a Vermont inn after all.

    • M.

      Please tell me you have two brothers named Daryl.

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

        I don’t but my sister’s husband is the same as Manperson so my littlest sister will get to say “this is my brother manperson and my other brother manperson.” So there’s that.

        • M.

          That is amazing.

        • Kayjayoh

          The friend of mine who will be officiating married a guy with the same first name as her brother. LOL

    • swarmofbees

      Congratulations! We have decided to tell people our wedding theme is “garden gnomes” because after being told that we do not have a theme, they keep on asking …

      • EmilyRose

        I normal reply with “Wedding”* when people ask what the theme is… Why does a wedding need to be anything other than wedding-themed?! (*See also Love, Marriage, Commitment)

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

      As a Vermonter, I naturally have to ask what region and what season.

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

        Yay Vermont. We’re getting married in Killington…in January.

  • Emily Ardoin

    I have to say, this is the first Happy Hour I’ve participated in, and I’m fairly certain it will be the highlight of my Friday/week every week from now to forever.

    • http://rationalcreature.com/ Amy

      Welcome to the best club in town!

  • A.

    Yay Happy Hour is back!
    It’s been a big, big week wedding planning wise: we selected a venue for our ceremony/reception, secured the date, and probably found our photographer! There’s still 16 months to go, but things are well in hand! Does this mean I can relax for the next six months or so before diving back in? Are there another thousand things to do that I can tackle this early? We planned a long engagement so we could have our pick of vendors and places and so we wouldn’t stress, but my type A mentality is kicking in big time and I want to just TAKE CARE OF ALL THE THINGS RIGHT NOW, and my husband of the future feels the same. I’m assuming this feeling will pass for both of us :)

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

      Um yes, you can relax for six months! :) geez you are on a roll! We’ve got five months to go and I just now ordered my dress and we are planning on save the dates this month…you sound good to go :) congrats!

    • http://rationalcreature.com/ Amy

      That’s pretty much what I did! (20 month engagement.) We found the venues and photographer within the first few months because they were the most important to us, then slacked off for a while. Next on my list was the DJ (got that done about 12 months out) and dress (10 months), now I’ll start worrying about an officiant (we’re now nine months away), and soon it’ll be cake and invites and flowers and hair and stuff (I’ll get to that crap sometime over the summer).

      And don’t worry, you’ll probably hit a wall where you don’t even want to hear the word wedding. :)

  • Kirstin

    Hi all! I am excited to share that I am in the process of setting up our premarital counseling. We had been talking about it but both kept putting it off until I finally decided to focus on marriage tasks rather than wedding tasks this week. APW was a huge help as I was trying to make sense of all of this. One thing I learned – depending on where you work, some HR offers an Employee Assistance Programs (EAP). We were actually able to get up to five sessions of pre-marital counseling for free through a referral, and it just took a few quick phone calls. Just thought I’d share in case that is also on your To Do list.

    • KC

      Hooray! Taking a break from wedding tasks to work on marriage tasks is sane in itself (yay perspective!), but also hooray for premarital counseling! I hope yours is excellent. (mine was super-excellent and saved us soooo many misunderstandings and fights. We’re still using the lessons a… lot… of years later. :-) )

  • MerlyBird

    Hey guys – does anyone know what magic it takes to search the Disqus comments? I wanted to search through everyone’s budgets to find those that had happened in a similar location, but my usual control-F was powerless. :-/

    • LM

      The shortcuts work for me, although they don’t actually search all the comments if there are too many. Then I have to hit ‘load more’ and re-search which is annoying. Maybe there’s a better way though…

    • SLW

      Yeah, I keep needing to scroll all the way to the bottom, select “load more comments”, and then control-F some more.

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

    Well, I would do anything for it to be “cold” here. In LA, I feel like our version of winter (mild as it may be) has totally skipped us. I WANT WINTER!! :( Okay, second of all, I have missed all of yall so much and am so glad happy hour is back! And APW is back! And woohoo it’s a new year! Third of all, I bought/ordered my wedding dress this week!! When I first tried on dresses and tried the one i was pretty sure on, I was so calm and no big deal about it- but this sunday when I actually got measured and ordered it- holy cow I freaked out. Felt so huge and surreal. I got panicky. Wow it’s crazy! (and can I just say how much those types of feelings need to be normalized? was so thankful for the post earlier this week on freaking out. guys get to feel enormity and fear of the situation but girls are supposed to blissed out???) Also, we almost had our whole venue ruined- but that’s too long to type here. fiance saved the day and made some calls and thank.freaking.god. crisis (mostly) averted.

    • Kayjayoh

      Well, Madison, WI had -17 or so, plus windchill at the beginning of the week. I’d happily send it your way if we get another.

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

        Thank you, I’ll be looking out for it :)

  • Sarah E

    Hey Happy Hour! I am definitely happy to finally be back in my favorite coffee shop, reading smart things, getting all the more inspired to write smart things. After a good but not-relaxing two-week holiday road trip with the family, and finishing a couple days of hibernation at home with a car that wouldn’t start, I’m glad to have my car back, and some semblance of routine returning.

    Also on the great news front: I have a plan in place for quitting the seemed-perfect-but-my-boss-is-a-fucking-lunatic job by February, to be partially replaced by consultant work with and actual kick-ass business lady, and hopefully supplemented by an assistant’s position with the local farmers’ market manager, who happens to also be a kick-ass non-profit and local-food-advocate lady. The pressure I felt growing on my shoulders through the fall and dragging me down through December is lifting.

    This weekend: creating and ordering business cards for myself rather than waiting around for an employer to give them to me, creating a wedding budget with the man, and a plan to follow-up with the venues we’ve been considering. Even though I cried at my mom (yes, AT) about wedding planning in our first planning excursion, I’m insanely grateful she and my FMIL are great people and able to scope out places for us, since we’re long-distance.

    Huzzah to the lengthening days and hopeful horizons :-)

    • BreckW

      Your career prospects (kick-ass business lady and farmer’s market–wooow) sound like the stuff (my) dreams are made of. Good for you for getting out of a shitty situation! My BF is getting increasingly sick of his day job, so we’re starting to talk a bit more seriously about some alternatives for him/us. It feels so exciting to be getting on a good path.

      P.S. I really missed your comments over the break! Sorry if that sounds creepy.

      • Sarah E

        Hey thanks! I was busy over break driving. Driving 1100 miles between NE and PA, then driving a near-daily 60-mi round-trip between family houses. Blegh.

        Good luck on your BF’s job search. I’ve found my best positions by showing up places, introducing myself, volunteering and outright asking cool people if they’re looking for help, because searching for job ads sucks balls. I happen to have a labor-lawyer friend who revamped my resume and boosted my confidence by telling me my scattered job history is really not scattered. If you have any friends/relatives in HR or a job-searching position, maybe they can help frame is job experience toward something he’s interested in? Ex: I’ve never taken a marketing/communications course in my life, but because I’m loud and social, have done a lot of that stuff in jobs. Lends me some cred for positions involving writing, editing, or social media stuff.

        Obviously, I just put my advice-hat on super-quick. Best of luck with whatever works out for you!

  • Kathleen

    Has anyone successfully resold a wedding dress online or elsewhere? I bought a dress I ended up not wearing, and I’ve listed it on both OnceWed and 100 Layer Cake, and all the responses I’ve got have been either obvious scammers, or not-so-obvious scammers who try to insist on paying with a money order at the last minute. I’m at the point where I’d love to just give it away or donate it, but since my parents paid for it – AND then paid for the other dress I bought, the one I actually wore – I feel like I have to keep trying to recoup some of their costs. (The wedding was 2.5 years ago, but we just rearranged our bedroom, so instead of hanging on the back of a door where I didn’t have to look at it, now it’s hanging on the back of a door where I can see it at all times and it suddenly feels like something that needs to be addressed.) Any tips?

    • Caroline

      Have you tried the offbeat bride tribe classifieds, if you are active over there?

    • celinad6

      I purchased my dress from preownedweddingdresses.com. Try there.

  • Laura C

    Another hilarious wedding thing to watch out for: The second of the new episodes of Sherlock (haven’t aired in the US yet but someone helped us find them streaming online) features a wedding and it is so, so good.

    • clairekfromtheuk

      Totally second that, it’s hilarious!! (Am in the uk so can’t help you on the streaming, sorry)

  • Mary Jo TC

    I want to make a huge deal of our anniversary coming up, but I’m not sure what to do. It’s a dating anniversary, not our wedding, but it’s a big number. We used to make a nice dinner at home, salmon pesto, way nicer than we normally eat, and I’d dress up and we’d split a bottle of wine and we’d record ourselves talking about the early days of our relationship. So that was nice and cozy, but I want something big this year. But we can’t spend much time away from our seven month old baby (breastfeeding), although babysitting for an evening is easy enough with my mother in law. Traveling with the baby doesn’t seem very fun either, as it just disrupts his routine and makes him sleep even worse than he already does. Any ideas?

    • M.

      I don’t have a suggestion (though def get MIL to sit!), but:

      “…and we’d record ourselves talking about the early days of our relationship.” This is amazing. Like…I don’t even know what to say. How precious (in a non-saccharine, non-cheesy way). Completely precious. :’)

    • emilyg25

      Dinner and dancing? Or a movie or play or show? I don’t know what you guys enjoy, but we like gettin’ fancy for special occasions. If you want something more chill, a couples’ spa day? Or cooking class? Day trip to your nearest big city? Basically, whatever your favorite thing is, kicked up a notch or five. Congrats!

      • Mary Jo TC

        Maybe that’s part of the problem…since the baby, I don’t even know what our favorite thing is anymore. We’re actually more of a let’s-each-do-our-separate-hobbies-separately couple. The only thing we do together anymore is play with the baby and sometimes watch TV. I like getting fancy, but none of my favorite fancy clothes fit now. Sigh.

  • Meigh McPants

    Woo, Happy Hour is back! I just saw a huge, possibly mutant possum in the yard. Just wanted to share that. Also, am having so much fun getting down to work on my 2014 clients’ weddings! In conclusion, possum, weddings, yay.

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

      Mutant possum? Please tell me you took a picture!

      • Meigh McPants

        Tragically no, he was off on important possum business and didn’t hang around long enough for me to get a camera. He’s definitely up to no good though. You can just tell.

    • Winny the Elephant

      There was once a possum sitting on top of a garbage can in one of the buildings at my university….we didn’t really know how to react (I’ve never seen a possum before) and he looked really mean

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

        Possums are akin to the psychokentic goo in Ghostbusters 2 in that they are a manifestation of pure meanness. They’re basically the most horrible creatures out there, next to the emu and it’s genetic family (see also, cassowary).

  • La’Marisa-Andrea

    Yeah the Ani DiFranco debacle was pretty horrible in its entirety

  • La’Marisa-Andrea

    Also: I’m not a fan of the jumpsuit. Love the pretty material, HATE the jumpsuit. But kudos for effort.

  • SLW
    • Laura C

      Ooh, those have been all over my Facebook feed lately, and it’s funny, because we did a few of those (the gender-reversed ones) without planning it. We have a ton of pictures with A leaning his head on my shoulder, and a couple times I lost my balance and there was a picture with me on one foot and I was like “then we both have to raise our feet for the next picture, because I’m not having any question about me having done the popped-foot photo.” So we have pictures of us both with a foot raised.

  • Lindsey d.

    So, I say this as person who lives 40 miles (about 15 as the crow flies but there is a pesky river in the way) from Nottoway, the plantation at the center of the Ani DiFranco thing, so take that as you will (cause you will).

    At what point does a plantation get to be just a pretty building with pretty grounds? Would anyone have raised arms if it had been described as an antebellum mansion? Yes, there were slaves, but these days it’s a resort. Why can’t we reclaim that? There are much bigger battles to wage down here in terms of racial inequality. I’d rather fight for better schools and better healthcare for the poor in my community than fight over an antiquated past. Especially one that also happens to be a beautiful wedding venue for ANYONE who can pay the fee (and I’m a white girl who couldn’t pay the fee, frankly).

    • Laura C

      I would have been prepared to maybe possibly entertain that argument had the Nottoway website not been ALL about how the slaves were treated well and got a nice meal at the holidays, and a lot of references to “servants” when that’s…not what they were. To me, the line between “place that happens to be a gorgeous space that was once used for bad things” and “place that is currently marketed all about celebrating the slave times” is the line between possibly ok and definitely not ok.

      • Meg Keene

        The website is a travesty. I got deep into it after reading the whole thing, and it’s just awful and horrific and othering, and textbook bad news.

        • Lindsey d.

          Yes, the website is bad, bad, bad…. But they aren’t a museum. If you want facts, try Baton Rouge’s Rural Life Museum, the West Baton Rouge Museum, Baton Rouge’s Magnolia Mound Plantation (which depicts slavery and hosts events), and many many more.

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

            So because they chose to turn it into a resort, they’ve absolved themselves of any obligation to speak truthfully about what happened there?

          • Meg Keene

            The fact that they’re a resort and calling slaves a “willing workforce” is exactly the problem, and makes it so much worse. If I said I was going to host an APW retreat at a former death camp that had a website that described it as a “jewish relaxation retreat” that wouldn’t make it better because they weren’t a museum… it would make it WAY worse. So now you’ve made it a resort, and you’re distorting the truth. Horrific.

        • La’Marisa-Andrea

          Slaves are described on the website as a “willing workforce.” Enough said.

      • K.

        Did they take it down? I’m having trouble finding things like this on the website (not sure why I want to hate-read racist revisionist history but here we are…)

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

          They took it down yesterday afternoon. Apparently there was a page devoted to the “history” of the plantation that glossed over all the slavery bits…as if that’s possible. Upon further reading, this “resort” is one of the worst offenders in revisionist history. Apparently it’s bad for business to tell partiers “your ceremony site is where they whipped their *willing workforce* for such infractions as reading/speaking/breathing while black.”

          • Meg Keene

            They took it down yesterday? Interesting. It talked about what a benevolent master the owner was, and how he gave them an annal bonus “when earned” of a holiday dinner. And I swear to god, it had a bio photo of each white person in the family, and a bio description. And then it had, I think, one photo of a bunch of slaves somewhere on the page.

            When we were reading it, our conclusion was, “Let’s just say this guy was the best slave owner in the history of slave owners, as they are literally claiming. Ok. He still OWNED HUMAN BEINGS, and became tremendously rich by profiting off them.”

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

            I tried to find it yesterday and the website for Nottaway now looks relatively benign. And every single reference link to the pages in question now say “Error 404 page not found.”

          • Violet

            Benign except that every single photo featuring brides in their “Weddings” album depicts white brides. Because… yeah.

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

            That’s because not a single black woman in her right mind would have her wedding there. And getting rage-y at the lack of diversity in wedding photos/websites is a whole other conversation. I have to limit myself to only a few sites a day lest my blood pressure get to high. What is it about weddings that pushes all my race and feminism buttons?

          • Violet

            “That’s because not a single black woman in her right mind would have her wedding there. ” -Eeeeeexactly. If the original question was along the lines of “When do people decide it’s just a pretty house?” (and the only people who get to decide that are descendants directly affected by it) then the answer, according to who has decided to get married there, seems sure as hell to be, “Not Any Time Soon!”

      • Mary Jo TC

        Chiming in on the idea of a plantation house as a museum and historical artifact. I live in Nashville and Andrew Jackson is kind of a local hero still. We visited his house, the Hermitage, where he kept slaves, which is now a kind of museum of his life. The museum also preserves and displays the pictures of Jackson’s slaves and tells their life stories. The tour guide made a point of saying something like this: “People often ask us if Jackson was a ‘good’ slave owner. There is no historical evidence that he was particularly brutal to his slaves by the standards of his day. But it’s important for every guest to the Hermitage to understand that there is no such thing as a ‘good’ slave owner. Slavery is always dehumanizing.” I think that’s the only message that such a place can truthfully give.

        A website that says basically the opposite of that is so far from ok.

    • Emily Ardoin

      I visited Nottoway when I was a little girl (I’m from Lafayette — hey!), and I had always dreamed of having a wedding there. I would say it depends on your guest list, but around Louisiana, as far as I can tell, none of my family or friends would automatically think SLAVES if I wanted to have my wedding at a plantation.

      • Lindsey d.

        Yep, Emily — for us (white) Louisianans, the slavery issue wouldn’t come up. We took cousins from Washington State to see another plantation when they were in town because it’s neat architecture and pretty.

        We are not getting married at a plantation, but did look at a couple, mostly because they are pretty places that are making new futures for these houses with events, restaurants, hotels, etc.

        • Emily Ardoin

          I’m definitely not saying that the way think is the right way to think. I find that in South Louisiana, we are all too eager to ignore the blemishes on our records (Edwin Edwards, anyone?). However, I just can’t fault someone for taking advantage of a beautiful wedding venue, especially one as picturesque and historical as Nottoway, especially if all of your guests are local and no one will be majorly offended by it. As for Ani deFranco, I think she definitely didn’t handle the situation well, but I’m also someone who wouldn’t have held it against her if she had chosen to hold her event there, so I’m not a great judge of the whole thing.

          • Lindsey d.

            If you are going to throw out Edwin Edwards, you have to add in David Duke… My point in all of this is that there are far greater, current injustices to fight than to re-wage a war that happened 150 years ago. In Baton Rouge right now, just down the river from Nottoway, there is a case of bureaucratic white flight happening. People are actually trying to create a new city in currently unincorporated Baton Rouge in order to get away from the underperforming and mostly minority East Baton Rouge Parish school system. That is a crisis… Not Ani DiFranco.

          • Emily Ardoin

            I certainly agree. But it is important to look at it from a national standpoint as well. Nationally, Ani DiFranco makes a bigger splash, which isn’t necessarily fair, but is the world we live in.

          • Winny the Elephant

            You see slavery and white flight as two separate issues, one historical and one modern. They are not separate issues, one is the legacy of the other.

          • Lindsey d.

            Not at all… I’m saying let’s spend our time and effort working to correct the modern issue. The Ani DiFranco thing got a lot of press, but I haven’t seen much national coverage of the City of St. George/White Flight.

          • Winny the Elephant

            Exactly my point. You can’t correct the modern issue without recognizing that it stems from the historical issue. These plantations are sites of great atrocities and the racism that built them still exists today. The black children who are stuck in poor schools due to white flight are living with that same racism, that racism of white people who think its okay to hold events at the site where those children’s ancestors were brutally treated. It is all the same issue. It is also not your issue to fix. These plantations should be given to the local black communities and what is done with them should be up to them. If they want to reclaim it or bulldoze it, that’s up to them, not us.

          • Em

            This. Well said.

          • Lindsey d.

            I created my first post to start a debate. You’ll notice that my original question told NO ONE to “get over it.” It asked a question. And I got GREAT answers.

            HOWEVER, I take great offense to the idea that it’s not my issue to fix. I LIVE in this community, which is much more than a lot of the people in this discussion can say. I’m going to raise my children here. I have to decide where to send them to school (those same schools affected by white flight). I have to decide where I want to put up a fight. It’s my community and I have a say in its future and even in its past, good or bad.

          • Meg Keene

            I don’t know that that is true. Look, to keep using the Holocaust analogy (again, because that’s how we talked about it in our Jewish household, not because HITLER), Germans who live near concentration camps (lets just say mostly, but not completely, decedents of the population who lived near the concentration camps when they were operating, for arguments sake), are not the people that have the right to ‘fix the issue’ of what to do with the concentration camps. They’re more or less descended from the perpetrators. If they’re going to be involved in ‘fixing the issue’ it would need to be through something like reparations, and turning the land over to Jews (who live wherever) to do whatever they see best with it. For them to think they can ‘fix it’ is to continue perpetrating the power dynamic of the atrocity.

            So. Do we, as white people, get to fix this issue just because we live nearby? (I’m happy to include myself in the white people boat here. My family has been here for 400 years, northern and southern, and have had a part in most white people things in this country. I’m descended from a confederate general.) Sure. We can help ‘fix things’ if that means say, raising money to buy back plantations and give them to the black community. But other than that, it’s NOT our issue to fix. It doesn’t matter if we live close by (you) or are descended from perpetrators (me). We can work for social justice, but we can’t reclaim something that was never ours to claim in the first place.

            Can we work to help fix the future? Yes. Do we have a claim on tragedies of the past that are not ours? No, unless that’s in the form of some sort of (emotional, financial, what have you) reparations.

          • BreckW

            Something about framing this as a “debate” is really rubbing me the wrong way. I appreciate the discussion that your questions prompted, especially because it resulted in some really eloquent and informative answers from a few black women, but this really isn’t our (white people’s) issue to “debate,” whether you’re from the area or not.

            This is not directed at you, but I feel like this is an opportunity to listen and learn*.

            *Not that it’s on black women to educate everyone else, but hearing Rachel and La’Marisa-Andrea’s opinions on this has been really valuable.

          • Winny the Elephant

            It’s really important that when entering into discussions about social issues that you recognize the bias you bring to the conversation. We all have bias and as white people we all come from a place of privilege.

            While you are part of the geographic community, you do not belong to the community of people who’s ancestors were enslaved at those plantations. You also don’t belong to the community of black families fro whom white people are fleeing when they move into a neighbourhood.

            White people do not get to have a say in what is best for black people. We don’t get a say in how they should respond to/deal with the legacy of slavery. We do not live with the racism they live with so we don’t get to decide how best to deal with the consequences of that racism.

          • La’Marisa-Andrea

            Sigh. Only black people are told to get over the legacy of the devastation of slavery. I have no words.

          • Winny the Elephant

            I’m from Canada and I can attest that First Nations people in Canada get told to ‘get over’ the devastation of their communities all the time. I don’t personally see this reaction to Jewish people in relation to the holocaust in the same way that I see it towards Blacks and First Nations.(I could be wrong, just my own experience as an outsider, I’m not a member of the Jewish community so I can’t speak to what they experience). I don’t really understand why this is the case. Maybe because Canada and the US aren’t seen as perpetrators of the holocaust? We can point to Germany and say “Bad Germany!” But given that Canada and the United States did not intervene in the Holocaust as soon as they were aware of it they are in my opinion guilty of being knowing bystanders and permitted the atrocities. Weird.

          • Meg Keene

            Can’t you, though? If it’s not your history, you need to tread extra carefully. If you told me you wanted to hold your wedding at my grandfathers POW camp because it was “pretty” and you didn’t care if I was offended because your guests also thought it was “pretty”? Well. I would have no words.

            If decedents of slaves want to hold their weddings there to re-claim it, well, that’s their right. But it sure as shit not white people’s right, if you ask me.

            That DOESN’T mean that there are not bigger battles to fight. But there being bigger battles to fight doesn’t mean something else is ok.

          • Lindsey d.

            You have an incredibly good point here. I think I still have valid claims to focus on modern issues, but it is clear that I had a misunderstanding on what it means to “reclaim” and who can do it.

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

            Lindsey, this is an awesome article on how a plantation can actually be reclaimed: http://flcourier.com/2013/04/04/from-a-slave-plantation-to-africa-house/ Definitely recommend to everyone in this thread!

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

        I mean this in the nicest way possible, but…if none of your family or friends would think SLAVES when you said you wanted to have your wedding at a plantation then…you need a black friend. :)

        • Emily Ardoin

          Haha I’m from the VERY rural south Louisiana. I didn’t get my first black friend until college. Sad? Yes. But that’s the reality around where I grew up. I’d like to think I’ve grown since then.

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

            No I totally understand and I’m glad you got my tone! I just think that when people are saying “Oh well this wouldn’t be a big deal to my friends and family!” And it’s kinda like, well, this is why diversity is so important for ALL of us!

    • Caroline

      I think the problem really came about after ani difranco spoke about it. The way she spoke about it was the problem, that she was a white woman telling black people when they should forgive and forget, instead of apologizing after being called out. People said, hey, you’re supposed to be this social justice beacon, and you’re holding it on a place of real pain.
      As for it as a wedding venue, I don’t know, I can’t speak to that. I do know that there are places where the pain and human suffering and oppression has become sort of a metaphorical, emotional sowing the ground with salt, it cannot be reclaimed, not for hundreds or maybe thousands of years. So as my ancesoters were not clac slaves in this country, I can’t speak for when/if plantations which were run with slave can be reclaimed, the problem was that, as a white woman, difranco decided she could make that decision herself, and when called out, said she could make that decision that they should be reclaimed instead of apologizing.

      • Laura C

        This is really important. Whatever my level of comfort with something, if people tell me they’re offended/hurt/uncomfortable, I’m taking the time to think it through and take it seriously, at a minimum.

    • Em

      I think you’re missing some context here. This is not about a private person’s individual wedding venue choice — this is about a public figure hosting a well-known feminist songwriting retreat. A place, presumably, to engage some deep thinking about power dynamics and social justice. This is also all happening at a time in which frustration about the exclusionary whiteness of mainstream feminism has reached a very public boiling point. Remember #solidarityisforwhitewomen? The initial decision was, at a minimum, boneheaded and oblivious — to double down and start lecturing other people about what *they* should be ready to reclaim — what they are and are not allowed to be hurt by — is pretty much the definition of privilege.

      • Lindsey d.

        I don’t think I’m missing the context. I believe I bring to it an additional context of a person who lives and is from the area in question, where these homes have become nothing more than pretty houses that host events, because there are bigger battles elsewhere.

        If you want to focus on the history of the place, then I believe that by running from the horror that might have occurred on these lands Ani DiFranco missed an opportunity to reclaim that and use it as an example about power dynamics and social justice…

        • em

          If you read her response, “reclaim” is pretty much what ani said she wanted to do. That is precisely the response for which she has being criticized as tone deaf.

          I do very much appreciate your willingness to provide some local perspective — and I guess I have some follow up questions. When you say that these old plantations “have become nothing more than pretty houses,” — how exactly did that transformation occur? What was the process? Was it just the passage of time — and if so, who decided it had been long enough? Do the people who financially benefit from this transformation by charging high fees for the use of these properties participate in waging the more important battles to which you refer?

          • Meg Keene

            Pretty houses for who, is the question. It’s pretty clear that every person on this thread who is descended from slaves in no way considers them pretty houses, but instead considers them houses of horror.

          • Winny the Elephant

            Exactly. Would you host your wedding in the Ariel Castro house if it was pretty?

        • Winny the Elephant

          They were always pretty houses for white people. They hold no more meaning than that to you because your ancestors weren’t enslaved there. White people don’t get to decide what meaning a site holds for black people.

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

            THANK YOU.

      • Lindsey d.

        I could have been clearer in describing my context: As a single example, in Baton Rouge right now, just down the river from Nottoway, there is a
        case of bureaucratic white flight happening. People are actually trying
        to create a new city in currently unincorporated Baton Rouge in order to
        get away from the underperforming and mostly minority East Baton Rouge
        Parish school system. If it happens, the school system will lose a huge tax base and already bad environments will become worse. That is a crisis… Not Ani DiFranco.

        • Meg Keene

          Ha. To clarify my comment above, I don’t think Ani DiFranco is a crisis, um, at all. But I do think black feminists have every right to want to light something on fire over it. I would want to, for sure.

    • Meg Keene

      We had a LOTTA long talks about this over the holidays in this house, and I think my personal conclusion is never. This is how I worked it out (because we’re a Jewish household, not because HITLER). But. Plantations were, in essence, like concentration camps, less the death camp element (and there were plenty of work camps). Or, for my family history, they were much like the Japanese POW camps my grandfather was held in. They just happen to have pretty houses attached.

      There is NO point at which a concentration camp or a POW camp gets to become a pretty building or a venue devoid of historical horror. None. But even if there were a point, the ONLY people that could re-claim that history would be people with a tie to that history. If German jews want to re-claim a concentration camp as a conference venue, then one assumes they have their reasons. Or in a less absurd example: they want to bulldoze it, wipe it off the face of the earth, and plant flowers. But no one else can “reclaim” it, because they don’t have any claim on it in the first place.

      So I think that if African Americans want to bulldoze Nottoway and plant flowers, they should be able to. But for us white folks: having parties or retreats there should be out of the question.

      • Emily Ardoin

        Well when you put it that way…

        WOW. Um, yea. See, this is where our deep south culture and education fails us. Also, it’s why Louisiana looks ignorant as hell all of the time. I try my hardest to educate myself and see things from all points of view, but sometimes it takes a slap in the face and a new perspective to really make me break out of my upbringing.

        (Not that I was brought up terribly. My parents are both very open-minded. This just isn’t an issue that we ever consider in south Louisiana because our culture is so engrained with racism and segregation.)

        So, thank you for putting things in that light. I see exactly where you are coming from.

        • Em

          Emily, if you’re interested, TNC over at the Atlantic has had a number of posts over the years about the ways that black families were destroyed by slavery. Here’s an example, which excerpts a letter from a husband to the wife and family from whom he had been sold away when they were all slaves, written after emancipation.

          http://www.theatlantic.com/personal/archive/2010/06/on-the-sanctity-of-marriage/57760/

          • Emily Ardoin

            Annnnnnd now I’m crying. Thanks for showing me that. I now have something new to research the week before school starts up again. ;)

      • La’Marisa-Andrea

        Death camp would be appropriate. Murdered, tortured, raped and killed — all happened on plantations. So yeah.

        • Winny the Elephant

          Ya exactly. Do you really want to stand and make vows on the site where women were repeatedly raped?

      • KC

        I’m not sure how the never, ever just plain space again would work if it was extended all the way backward for Europe and the Middle East especially, what with thousands of years of bloody atrocities covering most of their ground and especially their major cities. Genocides and other truly horrible things (see: Mongol towers of skulls) have been going on for, I think, basically all of recorded history in basically all usable land areas. But even the US would be in trouble if areas where, for instance, violence against immigrants or against/among Native Americans disqualified an area for use.

        That said, we are at the odd point now where that level of brutality is *unusual* and perhaps increasingly unusual (for instance, the ruler of most areas is not whoever most recently swept through with an army, killing and enslaving people. Yay!), and exactly what to do about that fact in regards to places and history and hurt and recent vs. not-recent history and what people group “owns” a place that has been the homeland of multiple groups over history (see: Turkey) is not an easy question.

        As someone who has only visited, I really liked how Berlin had dealt with incorporating their recent history into their public spaces, but most cities haven’t had large areas entirely razed due to war, so incorporating public spaces and monuments in those unowned areas is a “luxury” in some ways.

        (all that said, I totally agree that holding a feminist anything on a restored plantation is a decision of definitely questionable judgment, especially given the treatment of female slaves! And this is relatively recent history, not 500 years ago. So that seems like a pretty clear Bad Choice. I’m just not sure how far or how the line goes, really.)

        • Violet

          KC, thanks for voicing so clearly my inner, jumbled thoughts on my commute home last night. I live in present-day USA, which only a few hundred years ago was inhabited by a completely different set of people. And they were removed via genocide. So while I find that hosting a wedding in a prison for innocent people (or “plantation,” I guess if you want to call it that) is appalling, I also wonder where the line is. I’m not asking as a rhetorical device, I’m actually wondering, the way you stated above.

        • Meg Keene

          Yes. Lots of terrible things happened everywhere. But that doesn’t mean that PARTICULARLY horrible things didn’t happen in PARTICULARLY focused ways in particular places. Yes. The US history with native americans is horrific, and that’s a great conversation to hae. But that doesn’t mean that a particular parcel of land built on rape, murder, and human slavery is ok, because of moral relativism. Acknowledging that bad things happened in lots of places is an important discussion to have. That doesn’t make the horror of particular places: death camps, POW camps, torture sites, plantations, something we can discuss.

          • KC

            I totally agree on the not-fine-because-“moral-relativism”. It’s just… it seems like “never” might be a long line to take for all places where horrific things happened, *unless* these are the “last of our worst”, in some way, which it sort of seems like there is a possibility it might be in this area? (The DRC… maybe not so much. And Rwanda is also complicated. And some of the Middle East has basically always been complicated. But a lot of places, especially in North America, are tidier now than they used to be, sort of, in a way, at least?)

            (I mean, pyramids, built by slavery. Coliseum with tons of non-consensual blood sports? Now a favorite tourist destination. Mayan blood sacrifice locations? Fantastic to hike up. There’s a degree to which we consign things that happened “long enough” ago as “not our problem” (or just get “delightful horrified shivers”, as some horror movie aficionados describe it). Although there’s also a degree to which we consign things that happened long, long ago as “still relevant” [see: who “ought” to own land in certain areas wherein each culture did live on it as their homeland at some point throughout history, but as far as can be ascertained, all those cultures initially got there by driving out/slaughtering the previous occupants and being, quite frankly, proud of it?]).

            POW camps and detention centers and concentration camps and similar are comparatively unlikely destinations to be romanticized (being built not to be attractive, but more frequently the reverse), although I could totally imagine someone going for a wedding on Alcatraz.

            One of the especial problems with this plantation is the whitewashing of its still-very-offensive, one-sided history (both its specific whitewashing and the general cultural “it’s over”-ness). But places which are visually attractive places, but which either certainly or almost-certainly got that way due to a) slavery or b) slaughter-and-profit (how many castles or palaces around the world are “clean” of this?)… they’re absolutely everywhere in Europe. I mean, as I understand it, that’s sort of how most things got funded/built “back in the day” (with the exception of religious institutions funded by donations, plus whoever got super-rich from trade, plus taxes, which were sometimes extortionate to the point of death and sometimes not). Which, to me, means that we either say “well, Europe’s peoples killing and oppressing each other mostly went both ways every few centuries, so there isn’t a separate “oppressed” class that is the specific sole target here, so it’s not exactly okay, but we’ll call it even, anyway” (from what I gather, minorities got steamrollered *every* conquest instead of every other conquest, but it’s not quite the same as systemic US slavery or specific, horrific genocide), or we say “long enough ago, in a more unenlightened time, bad things happened basically everywhere, so we will move on from those, whereas the most recent people-really-ought-to-have-known-better history will be forever memorialized from this point on provided we don’t do enough more horrible things”. (Guatanamo: should probably never be turned into a resort unless it is razed to the ground and solely used as land?)

            I guess: it’s hard to find a “clean” place in history. That doesn’t mean that it’s okay to lie about the history of a place (hello, Turkey, “there was no Armenian Genocide, because we wouldn’t have done that”), and it doesn’t mean it’s always okay to say “eh, it was a long time ago. Done and gone.”, especially when the effects are still busy being horrible (again, see Turkey and the Ilisu Dam, which will put villages which are currently minority-occupied just plain underwater… or race in the US or various bits of Africa or what exactly does the world *do* with North Korea?), but we’ll have to figure out what to do with things at some point, either the memorialize-forever-things-past-this-line, or the repurpose-except-for-museum-examples, or… something.

            (but again: whitewashing plantation history and using funds generated by Big Shiny Events for profit: hugely not okay, as it would also be not okay to have a for-profit concentration camp “experience” resort, etc.)

    • Winny the Elephant

      I think the problem with that is the idea that “we” can reclaim it. Judging by your picture, “we” did not experience slavery. It can only be reclaimed by the descendants of those who experienced it. That’s exactly what Ani Difranco doesn’t get. She doesn’t get to ‘reclaim’ it. White people already have control of that plantation. Nothing to ‘reclaim’. Considering yourself to be progressive does not make you part of the group who are dealing with the legacy of slavery.

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

      A little late to this, but just chiming to say that I don’t think that a plantation gets to be a pretty building any time soon. Maybe some day, probably not in our lifetimes. And really, why do we want it to be? What’s the rush, except feeling a bit less uncomfortable? We should feel uncomfortable.

      I personally don’t think we should bulldoze plantations. I think they are extremely important parts of American history (and, let’s be honest, without them, some assholes would become slavery deniers). I do think they should exist primarily as museums, and museums that acknowledge FULLY what happened there. It’s upsetting how many plantations don’t do this. Yes, these days Nottoway is a resort…but it shouldn’t be.

      Eric and I went to Magnolia Plantation when we were in Charleston a few years ago, and I was so glad I had the experience. I was a little uncomfortable being the only person of color on the tour, feeling like I was going to be That Person if I asked questions about slavery, but our guide was great and it was just an important thing to do. Magnolia has won awards for how it has preserved the slave quarters and how it presents the history, and I can see why. I think it’s important that everyone understand the realness of slavery. The thing that was striking to me was not the horror, because Magnolia is a super peaceful place, but just…the reality of seeing the newspapers that were on the walls of the slaves homes. It was such a clear moment of “these didn’t belong to people in a history book, these belonged to REAL people, people who were maybe my age, real FAMILIES who had everyday lives while also being slaves.” I think that is really important to experience firsthand. It’s a primary document and we shouldn’t bulldoze that. That said, I cannot imagine being there for a fun or joyous or even casual event like a retreat

      And by the way. a plantation isn’t “a beautiful venue for ANYONE who can pay the fee.” It’s a beautiful venue for any WHITE PERSON and pay the fee (and overlook the history, which many, thankfully, cannot). I can admit that Magnolia Gardens were one of the most breathtaking things I’ve ever seen…but I could never separate that beauty from the ugly history. As Magnolia fully admits, the gardens are beautiful BECAUSE OF slavery.

      • Emily Ardoin

        This is great! In Louisiana, we have a plantation that was owned by a former slave. It is so interesting and “non traditional” when compared to Nottoway and Oak Alley. They do a great job of showing the truthfulness behind the history of the plantation life. If you’re ever in Louisiana (and it’s not 105 degrees outside), you should check it out. It’s very peaceful and well kept up, but most important, it’s honest.

    • La’Marisa-Andrea

      Plantations are the death camps of my ancestors. If anyone in the world gets the “reclaim” it, it’s us. Period.

  • Amanda

    Our Save the Dates went out this week! I’m really enjoying getting the texts from people letting us know they received them, how excited they are to be coming and that they think the picture is awesome.

  • Sarah E

    I never thought I would be, but I think I’m in the newly-wedding-planning rose-colored-glasses phase.

    Primary evidence: I finally finished scrolling through the budget comments from this week, and I’m still hanging on to the idea that the man and I can host a 175-person, dessert-dance-and-booze wedding for $5K. Because even if nobody else has managed it, surely WE can do it, right?

    I kind of want to hang to the attitude though, and adjust event expectations rather than ratchet up the budget. All the better to afford a kick-ass honeymoon with.

    • River

      This. exactly this. You just described my exact reaction to the budget thread, #s and all. Because $5K is all you need to throw 150+ dinner-dance-booze fest in NYC today, right?

      Let me know how you do with hanging on to the attitude and adjusting event expectations!

    • KC

      Multiply the number of guests by the expected cost of booze per person, then see what you think. Desserts can be potlucked; dance can be iPod-DJ-ed; invitations can be emailed (with a few “print at office center for Grandma” exceptions); booze is harder to potluck (although there’s a first time for everything, right?). Also finding an entirely free/cheap venue would help out a lot (free/cheap as in “not paying a thousand for a tent and another thousand for a fleet of portapotties).

      There’s also the possibility of skills trading (i.e. if you’re a website designer, you build a website and social media presence for a random little camp which then lets you use their facilities at a discount).

      Good luck! And no shame. :-)

  • Kat Robertson

    This has been an amazing DIT week. So many paper flowers, made here in Texas and in New Mexico with my family. My favorite memory of all is this picture of my dad, who has never done an arts and crafts project in his life working on one. Oh the love and the feels!!!!

    • KC

      That is the sweetest. :-) Good for him, and for you!

    • Caitlin_DD

      Oh my gosh, a fellow New Mexico reader at last!!!

      • MC

        I’m in New Mexico, too! And that pictures is wonderful.

        • Caitlin_DD

          I’m so glad to have company. Are you from the northern or southern area?

          • MC

            Well I’m technically from Colorado, but currently living in Santa Fe!

          • Caitlin_DD

            Oh, nice! Colorado is so lovely. Santa Fe as well. Down here the environment is completely different. You must have no trouble with finding vendors and such though!

          • Fermi

            New Mexican here as well! Santa Fe :)

          • Caitlin_DD

            This is very encouraging. I’m not alone!

  • Winny the Elephant

    I love how Ani Difranco calls slavery a ‘social ill’…would you call the holocaust a ‘social ill’?

  • Kayjayoh

    OMG, you guys. I am sitting in the Minneapolis airport on my way to Seattle, for what I hope to be step one in getting my wedding dress made. So excited. It is also the first travel I have done in a long time that did not involve my fiance in some way, and the first time is a long time that was totally solo. In fact, this is the first time I am going to a city by myself, where I am also not going to visit someone, and don’t know anyone. WOOO!

    Also, the departure area at Gate G19 kicks so much ass. What up, MSP? That’s hospitality. :)

    • http://rationalcreature.com/ Amy

      Go you! enjoy Seattle!

      • Kayjayoh

        First step to enjoying Seattle is remembering that my body thinks it is 2AM, and going the hell to sleep, not playing on the internet. :)

  • Kayjayoh

    Also (and apologies if this is linked somewhere else in the comment thread) but boy howdy, this proposal is something else:

    http://imgur.com/a/dGapG

    • http://rationalcreature.com/ Amy

      Holy crap that’s incredibly awesome.

      • Kayjayoh

        innit?

  • YOQ

    Yay 2014! This is the year we get married! And yay happy hour! This is where problems get solved before they happen! Speaking of which:

    We’re holding the afterparty for our wedding in a city community center that only restricts alcohol to beer and wine in bottles/cans. This is fine with us. We had originally planned to have bartenders, but when we met with the people we had picked, they just did not really impress us. Ultimately, we have come to the conclusion that hiring them would mean *more work* for us, rather than less, and that is not what we are looking for.

    So. We are now thinking that we will make the refreshments at the afterparty (to be held from 7-10ish; earlier reception ends at 4:30) potluck. The invitation will include this line, or something like it:

    Bring: a sixpack of beer, a bottle of wine, or a snack to share*
    *community center rules restrict alcohol to beer and wine in bottles and cans. Please no hard liquor, kegs, etc. Thanks!

    We will provide non-alcoholic drinks (I am stuck on the idea of horchata; also pink lemonade, and some other things, I dunno), and we will also bring a couple cases of beer and wine, as well as some munchies (probably chips, pretzels, etc.)

    We’ve checked, and it doesn’t look like we need to have a licensed bartender serving. We will ask my brother and a few other burly guests to keep an eye on things and intervene before anyone gets into trouble, but I don’t think that will be an issue with our guests. Oh, and we’re anticipating 150-200 people.

    We like this idea, because it lets us focus on what’s important to us (hanging out with friends, dancing) rather than fussing about fancy drinks and food. (Nothing against fancy drinks and food! It’s just not us, really.) We’re afraid we’re missing some major problem, though. We have send a deposit to the bartenders this week, if we want them, so we need to settle on a decision.

    What do you all think?

    • KC

      Our community center requires a written-out plan to restrict alcohol to those over the age of 21 (which generally works out to “we have someone assigned to stay hovering over the beer table and checking IDs where age is questionable”). If the community center doesn’t have any rules and you’re providing some snacks and non-alcoholic beverages (so if people lean towards “snacks” rather than “alcohol” or vice versa), it sounds to me like your bases are probably covered (although there may be additional laws about serving alcohol to underagers, so I’d tend to assign a sequence of people to hover over the beer anyway). I’d tend to put the alcohol on one table (or cluster of tables), the snacks on another table/cluster of tables, and the non-alcoholic beverages on another table for ease of filtering out underage people.

      The other thing? Buy a package of labels and assign a really obsessive person to stick a label with name and contact info in not-easily-water-soluble something (pencil, ball-point pen) on the bottom of every single non-disposable plate, bowl, and serving utensil that comes through that door. So much easier to sort out any potluck refugees afterwards when they have tags identifying their owners…

      • YOQ

        Hmm, yes. I was thinking of having all the liquids on one side of the gym and the food on the other, but your comment makes me think I should put all the alcohol on one side and all the things that minors are allowed to consume on the other.

        And YES, we will definitely have friends assigned for organizing/labeling/monitoring/etc. Would it be weird to have people take pictures of the guests with the things they bring? That way we could write them more specific thank-you notes later. Hmm.

        • http://rationalcreature.com/ Amy

          I think the pictures are a really good idea, actually. I remember reading a while ago an internet suggestion to do the same thing with friends and the item they are borrowing from you, and then delete it when they return it. I can’t see where it would really go wrong, unless two people have identical pie pans.

          Plus, like you said, it’ll make thank-yous easier!

          • KC

            Pictures sound like a really good idea to me, too, if it can be done quickly? (and if two people bring the same sort of looking pie pan and one gets left behind accidentally, you’re down to only contacting two people to ask whose it is, not The Whole Wedding, so that’s still basically okay)

            And then you don’t have to worry about accidentally washing label info off. So yeah. :-) Maybe let people know the plan ahead of time and have a couple of people doing photos as people come in? Maybe with a “I came to X and Y’s wedding and brought…” paper backdrop to stand in front of to make it really obvious where they’re supposed to go before they drop off their dish?

            And I think having “minors” and “non-minors” sides of the gym sounds like a great plan for segregating adult beverages!

          • http://rationalcreature.com/ Amy

            I think the backdrop is a stellar idea! Bonus points for a couple funny photobooth style hats and glasses for adorable pictures.

          • YOQ

            LOVE the backdrop idea! Thanks, y’all!

  • YetAntherMegan

    So I’m late to the happy hour party because after work I went browsing and found my wedding jewelry. It’s kind of a strange thing to pick up as an impulse buy, but it was very much what I had in mind and 50% off.

    Over the break, our invitations came in, our rings came in, and a shower date was picked (I’m on the fence about a shower, but my people really want to throw me a party, so I’ll go with it). It keeps hitting me in waves that a wedding is really going to happen this summer.

    As part of making it happen, does anyone know of day of coordinators in northern New York? The closest I’m finding are in the Syracuse area, but we’re getting married 2.5 hours north of there.

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

    Well, my divorce was finalized over the break. Well mostly. The court approved it and there is still about a week of a wait period to go until it is final-final. It’s a weird in-between stage between being divorced and the marriage being disbanded. Who knew? I don’t actually fully understand. All I know is our marriage will be disbanded on the exact anniversary of the day we had started dating exclusively. At least all those memories will be on the same day. Anyhow. I know it doesn’t sound like cheery news, but I am just relieved to have that chapter closed. To be free to move on. And I am hoping that 2014 is infinitely better than 2013. (Well, to be honest, how could it not be?)

    • http://rationalcreature.com/ Amy

      Think of it this way: you can’t fully appreciate the good unless you’ve had some bad. You’ve had some bad, now you can enjoy a ton of good.

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

        Thanks, Amy! Hope so….

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

      The year following my divorce was one of the most transformative I’ve had. And this is coming from someone’s who’s 5 year divorcaversary is next week.

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

        Addie, thanks so much for the encouragement and for your perspective from down the road five years. I hope your divorcaversary is a reminder of the positive transformations and experiences in your life, and I wish you a wonderful 2014. I’ve been thinking how these kind of difficult and/or traumatic experiences can go two ways…they can come out of them as a shell of a human (did you see Under the Tuscan Sun? There is a great quote about that.) or absolutely transformative. Like there is the potential that going though these experiences can open up a whole new life you never would have imagined. That’s what I am hoping for all of us when we go through the hard stuff….coming out of it all with a life that is better than we would have been able to imagine…

  • ItsyBit

    So I definitely just fell into the internet-rabbit-hole that is the Human product page (aka feminist pillows). I want pretty much All The Things.

  • scw

    inspired by the widow article, I had an extra glass of champagne last night. can I call my hangover a feminist act?

  • Kayjayoh

    On the Jewish surnames article, there is a (small) family theory that at some point, back when they were still in Prussia, one of the branches of my (paternal) grandmother’s family had been Jewish and converted. No one has done any digging on the topic, but I was interested to note that “Fuchs” (her mom’s maiden name) was one of the names mentioned in the article. (Not that it means anything, since there were and are Christian Fuchses, too.)

    • Kayjayoh

      Also, does anyone find it hilarious that if you try to google the meaning of a surname, you’ll usually get at *least* one result that is “X family crest,” like crest were/are a thing that every family has. But I suppose it’s a good way to sell tchotchkes to the gullible.

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

    Although my partner lost his job a week ago, it’s not as desperate and tragic as it sounds. Because of the cost of the commute and the rather seasonal nature of my partner’s career, he was barely breaking even. So while I make a sweet wage working 40 hours a week in three days at a nice community mental health agency, my partner is able to make the difference traveling once a month to work near our friends, selling things on ebay, and working on his art.

    Also, I GOT MY WEDDING DRESS FOR $12! And a leather jacket to wear with it for $49! I’ll be wearing in the jacket long before the wedding but the dress has serious rewear potential and even if the cost of installing a new skirt lining costs $100, it’ll still be cheaper than any actual wedding or formal dress out there. The only things I need to make it more bridal are a headpiece and a sash, maybe a nice chunky necklace or new charm bracelet and some killer heels. His stuff is going to cost a bit more as he falls in both the big and tall categories but he’ll re-wear his any time he needs to dress up a bit. Cheap as @#$% wedding here I come.