APW Happy Hour


Happy Birthday APW!

by Maddie Eisenhart, Managing Editor

APW Happy Hour | A Practical Wedding

APW Happy Hour | A Practical Wedding

HEY, APW!

Last weekend I went camping. It was the first non-work, not-visiting-families, just-for-fun trip Michael and I have taken in almost three years and it was goddamn glorious. I got drunk on $10 wine tastings, saw elephant seals, and conquered my fear of driving windy highways alongside sea cliffs. Not to be outdone, this weekend it’s APW’s sixth (SIXTH!) birthday, so APW’s copy editor Kate and I are taking Meg out for celebratory brunch. But that’s tomorrow, and today it’s happy hour. So get on it and we’ll see you there with preemptive mimosas.

Cheers,
Maddie

P.S. We’re gearing up for our next tutorial series and kicked off a flash poll on Facebook yesterday to crowdsource some ideas. Head over to our post and leave your suggestions for what our newest project should be!

Highlights of APW This Week

We suggest cake for dinner, pie for breakfast, and perhaps doughnuts for dessert. Choices for everybody!

This unplugged island wedding with midnight skinny dipping. Is it summer yet??

Meg’s engagement ring was stolen, so she got a do-over. And then went shopping for us.

Five points to whoever guesses which staffer wants the TARDIS teapot from this Australian Vietnamese wedding. (Hint: it’s probably more than one staffer)

The secret to getting shit done is, there is no secret. You just have to do the work.

And now it’s time for the link roundup! But first you deserve whisky sour that doesn’t taste like college.

Link Roundup

It’s the end of Mad Men. Is anyone else crying?

APW’s design team, CooperHouse, is headed to Seattle at the end of the month to host a two-day graphic design bootcamp geared toward small businesses. Tickets are a steal for what you get out of it, but they’ve only got a handful left, and you should probably have one. Sign up over here.

In staff debates: The government is a hit man, and Uber, Tesla, and Airbnb are in its crosshairs. We’re not completely sure its a bad thing (see illegal workarounds, putting companies following the rules out of business, etc.) but that hasn’t stopped us from using Airbnb. What do you think?

From Hollywood: 1975 Shirley Maclaine says the smartest things. Sadly, not much has changed in forty years.

“You see, your very network [Fox News] has created the very balanced narrative that ties people’s poverty to their own lack of virtue, and says that programs created to serve the impoverished are in fact the reason that those are still impoverished. Sort of the idea being, if they weren’t such shitty people, they wouldn’t be poor. And those food stamps are just making them shittier.” — Jon Stewart

This week in dress code news that enrages me (I once staged a protest over a tutu): First, the banning of leggings. Then, a Colorado girl was sent home in violation of her school’s dress code after shaving her head to support her cancer-suffering friend. And two Virginia grandparents have pulled their granddaughter out of her Christian elementary school after receiving a letter from administrators saying they would reject admittance unless she started dressing more feminine.

The WIC expands its services to include: a hashtag enforcer for your wedding. O…kay?

In childcare debate, a thread from Reddit. Some of the comments are worth a read, if you can avoid being blinded by rage from the others (and the original post).

Why baby Hart doesn’t have two mommies.

On Lena, On Rihanna, On Kimye: The Very Necessary Death Of “Vogue.”

This is what 80 looks like.

APW’s 2014 Happy Hours 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.

Maddie Eisenhart

Maddie is the Managing Editor of A Practical Wedding. She’s been writing stories about boys and crushes since she was old enough to form shapes into words, but received her formal training (and a BS) in the art of talking from NYU in 2008. In her spare time, she takes pictures of people in love. Maddie lives on a pony farm in the Bay Area with her husband Michael, her Mastiff named Juno, and her roommate named Joe.

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  • anon lawyer

    Well, in case you needed a reminder that women are objectified and rape culture is alive and real, a federal judge wrote this on his blog earlier this week: http://herculesandtheumpire.com/2014/03/25/on-being-a-dirty-old-man-and-how-young-women-lawyers-dress/

    Incidentally, although I haven’t appeared before him yet, he’s a judge on one of my cases. Joy.

    • Kate

      Ew ew ew ew ew

    • MC

      WOW. “You can’t win. Men are both pigs and prudes. Get over it.” Ew is right.

    • GCDC

      I read that the blog entry to my husband last night in the context of a larger talk about how confusing the female lawyer dress code is. I had to pick his jaw up from off the floor.

      May I suggest the following as appropriate court room attire when you appear before Judge Dirty Old Man:

      • anon lawyer

        haha I love this! That’s courtroom attire.

    • La_Venus

      I was reading through the comments section and after one of his coworkers wrote something I started reading every comment like it was from people he works with. A big courthouse drama with underlying tones, layered context, and personal history. That made it a more palatable endeavor.
      And seriously, there is no pleasing someone like that. I am sure he is someone that if you dressed conservatively he would make some joke about lightening up or something. Bleh.

  • swarmofbees

    Happy Birthday! Here’s to another great glitter, glam, and mimosa filled year!!

  • Anon

    I’d love the opinions of the wise women around here about something I’ve been thinking through. My husband and I have been together for 8 years. During that time, he’s had a handful of times (maybe 4-5?) when he became very upset about something and seemed not to know how to control his anger. It seems as though he just gets really frustrated, inconsolably mad, and then doesn’t really know how to work through/process those feelings in a healthy way. Last night, this happened and he ended up breaking his phone (an old, inexpensive flip phone) by throwing it at the floor. Aside from one other incident involving him breaking a phone a few years ago in a similar manner (tossed onto the bed and it ended up breaking), these incidents aren’t usually physical (there was one time he punched a wall when he was 18 because of a bad breakup following a pretty wretched relationship, but I tend to chalk that up to teenage stupidity and angst…nothing to that level has ever happened since).

    To make it clear, he has never ever been physically violent, physically threatening, or verbally intimidating toward me in any way. 99.9% of our disagreements are worked out by talking things through in a reasonable, rationale matter. When things get heated, we argue a bit and then things tend to blow over soon.

    My question is how do I interact with him in these rarer circumstances when he’s extremely upset and emotionally volatile? I can’t really relate to that hot, wanting to punch something sort of anger. I tend to run toward coldly furious when I get really upset, so I just don’t understand what he’s feeling. I don’t really know whether to leave the situation, try to console him, ignore it, etc. Anybody else dealt with similar things?

    Again, these incidents are very rare — it’s just that when they do arise, I don’t really know how to react. He has had ongoing conversations about it with a spiritual advisor who has really helped him think through things and find strategies to diffuse his anger. It’s just once every year or so that he gets to this level of frustration/anger, so it doesn’t really affect either of us in the day-to-day.

    Thoughts? Advice? Opinions?

    • anon for this

      This might not help with how you deal with it, but I will say that my brother voluntarily went to anger management classes and felt like he got SO much from them. He’s similarly not a violent guy and had his rare but serious moments of inconsolable anger. The classes gave him some really awesome concrete tools and they weren’t like, a punishment or something. I know there’s stigma attached to them and it’s a shame.

    • Lisha

      You say “I just don’t understand what he’s feeling. I don’t really know whether to leave the situation, try to console him, ignore it, etc.”. How about asking him how he wants you to respond? He is the expert on himself and what may help to calm him down. My natural reaction to anyone who is upset/angry and becomes physical with objects is to walk away and let them have their space until they cool down. I’ve realized though that the kindergarten method of giving someone a time out may not be exactly what they need. Maybe they need physical assurance from you and so walking away actually makes the situation worse. So ask your hubby. Tell him his behaviour concerns you and you’re not entirely sure how to respond to his needs during this time.

    • K_

      Have you thought about couples counseling? It could be good to talk through and make a strategy, for you and for husband, so you both know what to expect of the other in the situation. (Something like this: you go visit a girlfriend for an hour, and he hits a punching bag until he cools off; you could have an agreed-upon code word/phrase for when something like this starts happening).

    • La_Venus

      This is tricky. I am like your husband. Occasionally over the years I have really lost it and exploded. Never against my partner, just in general. I have worked a lot with a therapist around recognizing triggers, accepting them, loosening their power on me, and then my husband and I have worked on communication techniques. One thing that is almost a sure-fire way to calm me down is to validate me. Like just totally full-on, “I can see how angry you are that the kitchen still isn’t clean. That must be so frustrating to come home when you thought it was done and it isn’t. It must make you feel like you have to do everything yourself.” I know that is extremely hard to do in the moment and it takes a lot of self-discipline, which is why your husband also needs to work on his part. And just to be clear, this is just the initial part of the conversation – when you can see he is getting to that place, it will allow him to breathe if he know he is being heard and understood. Then you can move the conversation into a deeper more collaborative place together.

    • emilyg25

      My brother also took an anger management class in college and found it incredibly helpful. I know you say these incidents are rare and they aren’t directed at people, but still, that’s not a healthy way to manage anger. It might be helpful for him to learn some new skills. This is obviously a discussion to have at a time when you’re both relatively calm. As for how to react in the moment, personally, I’d remove myself from the situation. “I see you’re very angry right now, so I’m going to go sit on the couch/make cookies/sleep in the other room tonight.”

    • jashshea

      I’m someone who *can* go whitehot with anger – Is he able to identify the trigger points for himself? Can he feel it happening and try to avert?

      I can usually identify a phone-throwing in advance and work to get the deep breaths in before it happens. Generally speaking, I need to make sure I’m not hungry, tired, PMS’ing, or distracted when I need to discuss something serious (work or home).

    • Meg

      I think the best thing is to just give them time to chill. Don’t get in their face immediately trying to make them feel better or resolve the issue or whatever was happening. Give them time to cool off. They’re probably pretty much immediately going to feel embarrassed about what they just did. So yeah just leave him be and be there to console later.

    • ElisabethJoanne

      I can get like that. I read a bit about emotions and hormones and have learned that by the time I want/need to physically express my anger, the hormones (adrenaline, etc.) are more in control than the human emotions. Personally, I think it’s fine to release anger in a physical, though not destructive, way, like punching my pillow. It gets the hormones out of my bloodstream faster so I can think straight again. I guess ideally I’d have a physical release not typically associated with anger, like taking a walk, and I do that too sometimes, but sometimes I’m really angry at 1am or in my pajamas.

      • Laura

        So what do you do when you’re in your pajamas? or at 1am?

        • ElisabethJoanne

          Punch the pillow. Like I said, I don’t think that reaction is wrong. It doesn’t hurt anyone or anything and gets me to the solution faster, but I know it’s scary for my husband, because punching anything suggests dangerous violence. That’s why I prefer taking a walk, or a good weight-lifting session, when they’re practical.

          • Laura

            Oh I must have read your comment too fast. I am a proponent of punching the pillow or tearing up paper as well. Also of vigorously cleaning the kitchen. Although chores tend to sometimes make me more angry than make me feel better so, cleaning is not always the best way to work out anger. LOL

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

            My sister rage vacuums. I get vicious pleasure tearing paper into tiny pieces when I am mad. We are quite the pair when we are both mad about something.

          • Laura

            This is such a lovely picture. Also, I am totally stealing the phrase “rage vacuum” and am going to adapt it to “rage chores.” (i.e., “I’m busy. I’m doing rage chores right now.”)

    • Gina

      Are you my brother’s girlfriend? Just kidding. But really, my brother has had rage episodes that sound eerily similar to those of your husband over the years. When he was a kid, my parents put him in hockey to give him a constructive outlet. When he was a teenager, he punched a hole through a wall. When he was in college, he got in a pretty bad fight that ended with him slamming some guy’s head in a door repeatedly.

      He has, thank God, moved past these episodes (~8 years later). He never went to anger management classes, but has learned that alcohol makes it worse, and that he has to walk away from a situation rather than participate in confrontation and lose control of his emotions. I asked him recently what changed, perspective-wise, and he said the most significant change is that he realized that kind of behavior is not accepted in an adult. I’m sure that saying “your behavior is unacceptable” will just make your husband more angry in the moment, but I WOULD recommend removing yourself from the situation and giving him time to cool down. Then, later, let him know how it made you feel. There’s simply no way to reason with someone who’s in a fit of rage. It’s awesome he’s learning coping strategies, and it sounds like you’re super-supportive of those– but knowing how it hurts you may motivate him to continue implementing those strategies.

    • Kayjayoh

      I will echo the “ask him how he wants you to react” advice. (Obviously ask during a neutral time.) Everyone have different needs, triggers, and calming aids.

      I also grew up with a temper and a tendency to cry when upset of frustrated (both of which would cascade and get worse when people would get on my case about them). I’ve gotten better about both, but it has lead me to understand that I can’t assume what over people need.

      I used to substitute teach, and when I would have a grade school breaking down in tears, I would always ask them what they needed. (Easier to do during when it is tears instead of tantrums.) “Do you want to have some time by yourself? Do you want someone to sit with you?” Having your fiance tell you will keep you from having to guess.

    • Laura

      I have had experiences similar to yours in my relationship. Also very few and far-between. For us it boils down to another one of those fun communication issues where we communicate differently. He and I both tend to deal with anger (towards anything) quietly and “talk it out.” Sometimes the intense overwhelming anger does pop up though (in everyone) and for me it results in tears rather than breaking phones (for example) so that physical response is totally foreign to me. Another preface of, I have never-ever-ever felt afraid and he has never belittled me, or verbally/physically tried to control or harm me thankfully. On the rare occasion that he or I encounter the other in a state of overwhelming anger, we walk away. This is the agreement we have and it works for us. We figured this out through trial and error. It is also our agreement that we will, no matter what, talk about it afterwards like… within the same week. To manage it and keep it to a minimum? Regular physical movement (aka exercise of some form).

      In my career, we talk a lot about “the anger umbrella” In other words, anger is usually an emotion that has other emotions underneath it: fear, sadness, loss etc. So when we talk about the “outburst” we have to talk about “why did I get to that point?” For example, I might have gotten to that point because there were a whole lot of things going on in my life all at once that I had no control over. Lack of control means loss and fear, etc. I hope that is helpful to you and your husband.

      *soapbox moment follows*
      Being the Social Worker that I am, I can’t comment on uncontrollable anger without bringing up the subject of domestic violence. I am not saying that your husband is abusive, but I just want to make sure that anyone reading this knows there is a distinction which is not always clear between anger and abusiveness and that we, as a community, do need to be sure we talk about it as a real and deadly thing that happens to millions of men and women. If a partner were to speak disrespectfully toward former partners or to you, is possessive and/or constantly jealous, pressures you for sex/other physical activity you are not ready for, treats you differently around other people, intimidates you when angry like pointing finger in your face/”just trying to make you listen”/does anything that makes you flinch or feel afraid, calls you stupid or anything else that belittles you/doesn’t want you to work or to spend time with anyone without them around. If any one of these things happens in your relationship, you might want to talk with someone further. Your EAP provider might be a good place to start or the national hotline at 1-800-799-7233 http://www.thehotline.org . I know it’s embarrassing and scary to talk about. It happens to so many people though, probably to many of our readers. The best way to stop it is to talk about it.

      • jashshea

        Laura – I think you posted a few weeks/months ago a good checklist for (maybe) dealing with anger or confrontations? I half reference it below, but it was something to the effect of ensuring your emotional response to something wasn’t a result of being hungry, tired, hormonal, distracted, etc and using that as a guideline to help you work through how you’re responding.
        Am I remembering that correctly?

        • Laura

          Yes! That is me. I totally forgot I posted it, but also a great tool helpful for me and clients. :) It’s called “HALT” make sure you’re not too Hungry, Angry, Lonely or Tired.

  • ART

    Three months from today! I got a ton done on my dress this week. I hand-dyed the silk straps/sash, then overdyed it all when I decided it was slightly the wrong shade (I don’t want to EXACTLY match my APW-inspired ombre runners, that’s a little too much). I re-positioned the pockets in the skirt so I can actually use them, attached a waistband, and added a zipper to my petticoat, which previously only had one hook-and-eye closure that made me nervous. This weekend I’m hoping to finish the bodice and attach everything, and then I just have to hem it which will be a beast.

    I’m so, so nervous to have it all come together. The parts look good, but I have not seen them all together yet, Oh, and my shoes (I hope they work out) are arriving today.

    • http://brokensaucer.blogspot.com/ sera

      I’m dying to see it!

      • ART

        I’m planning to have a friend take some photos once it’s done to share with my poor mom and FMIL who are sort of freaked out by my lack of a dress (they don’t know I’m making it yet because that would really, super duper freak them out). So I may be able to post a photo in the next few weeks…fingers crossed!

  • Annie

    Speaking of birthdays, do you have suggestions for a favorite greeting card source (etsy shop or online ordering)? I don’t have many options in my town and I’d like to stock up for birthdays, weddings, showers, etc.

    We got the CUTEST (non-hetero) engagement cards from out-of-town friends so I know they’re out there!

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

    My birthday is on Monday, so I’ll be knocking back a whisky sour or two on Saturday. I’ll just have to have another in honor of APW’s 6th birthday!

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

      happy birthday!

    • http://brokensaucer.blogspot.com/ sera

      Happy Birthday! I can tell you, that whiskey sour recipe is delish!

  • Cbrown

    So… I bought my dress online and there were a few hiccups. This is what I get for joking that they were going to send me a shiny / sparkly dress.

    Instead of satin (I originally wanted silk shantung but they don’t work with it), it’s taffeta and feels and sounds like a parachute. It’s a a-line with a defined waist (so two separate pieces). Is it totally impractical to think that a seamstress could take it apart, use the top layer as a pattern and put it back together? I’d use a heavy raw silk so it would have the heft that apparently satin lacks.

    Image of the waistline attached for reference. It has box-pleats. I’m planning on a 3/4 sleeve topper and a sash if that makes a difference.

    • vegankitchendiaries

      What’s the company saying about the fabric not being what you ordered?

      • Cbrown

        They said it was the only one that would work and give the right shape. Sadly didn’t have photos beforehand and ordered through an overseas manufacturer so not a ton of recourse.

        • vegankitchendiaries

          From China perhaps? I did the same… you save tonnes of money but you also have to be OK with a few things arriving differently than you expected unfortunately.

          • Cbrown

            Yep, it was totally worth it but just had to reset expectations.

    • vegankitchendiaries

      My dress company sent me a picture of my finished dress with the bodice in the wrong colour. (My bodice doesn’t match the skirt.) So… maybe if they can re-do the bodice fabric they can do the same for the skirt… it’s lined right?

    • Mezza

      My mother’s a seamstress and she could definitely do what you’re talking about, using the dress as its own pattern. It’s a LOT of work, though – fabric being cut into the right shape doesn’t mean it automatically behaves like a dress, especially if it’s a totally different kind of fabric – so I would think you should be prepared to pay someone well and allow enough time. They would essentially be making you a new dress.

      • Cbrown

        Thanks for that info. Just trying to decide if it is worth it. No one is going to say, ‘I can’t believe she had a taffeta skirt!’ but I am a bit fussy about fabric.

  • Fiona

    So I’ve been a bit conflicted about posting this, but it’s something I’m really excited about, so here goes!
    In Dec. when I saw the opportunity to apply for the APW internship I went ahead and did it. While I didn’t get it, I’m so, so thankful for the opportunity because it got me writing again for the first time in years.

    As a result, I remembered why I love writing so much. While I was bummed at first, my mum figuratively kicked my butt a bit and figuratively yelled at me for giving up after one try…

    …So I got my sh*t together and created my own blog! I’ve spent a few weeks now writing about things that I’m interested in and are important to me. I’ve had great support from friends and family, and I’m appreciating so much more how much work it takes to make a blog and cultivate a community (such as this one) that is engaged and invested in the conversations that ensue.

    • Maddie Eisenhart

      Dude. That is the very definition of success. Good for you! I’m really excited to see more of your writing.

      • Fiona

        Thank you!!! I’m really excited. Haha.

    • Meg Keene

      YAYYYYYYYYYYY. That makes me so happy.

      I just went and looked you up Fiona, and your stuff was super fantastic. SUPER FANTASTIC. (That’s obviously the APW intern conundrum. You guys are so goddamn talented that we’re always like “is 50 too many to hire,” and then we hire too many anyway ;)

      Link to it please!

      • Fiona

        Thanks, Meg! Much smiles over here.
        The site is: Coffeeisblack.com

    • http://www.therewm.com/ Rachel W. Miller

      Um, you forgot to post the link!

      • Fiona

        Jaja ok…you got me. It’s coffeeisblack.com

        Happy reading!

    • http://brokensaucer.blogspot.com/ sera

      Yay! That’s so fantastic!!!

  • Sara

    Today is my last day at my job!! There’s a pizza party and Portillo’s cake, and everyone is being super nice to me, so its been a good day. I’m transferring to a different office within the same company, so there’s been a lot of good natured ribbing and ‘traitor’ being thrown around. I can’t wait to leave, but its been a nice last day.

    • http://rationalcreature.com/ Amy

      Sometimes the best thing about leaving a job (or transferring in your case) is just knowing that you’re appreciated and going to be missed. Happy last day!

    • http://brokensaucer.blogspot.com/ sera

      happy last day!

    • ASH

      Mmm Portillos cake! Happy last day!

  • vegankitchendiaries

    Happy Birthday, APW!

    July wedding here and I’m actually starting to put together tangible wedding stuff. Fun! I’m currently writing my wedding FAQ. I could really use some crowd-sourced guidance on wording for gift guidance.

    What about gifts?
    We are both so grateful for your presence on the big day and cannot express enough that gifts from our guests are not necessary.

    I was really happy with this initially… I’ve been so stressed in the past about the obligation of bringing a gift to a wedding when in financial dire straits and we’ll have at least a handful of friends attending who fall under the starving artist catagory. We just desperately want them to COME and party with us! Skint guests could bring a hallmark card with some well-wishes written inside and that would honestly be so lovely.

    However, reading on APW and elsewhere has convinced me this isn’t enough ‘guidance’ for those who DO wish to give a gift. We can’t see ourselves registering but any gift (of any size) that someone thought was fitting (a vase, a tagine, oven mitts…) is all GOOD.

    Add to this… Groom and I are actually still in pretty rough financial shape currently. We’ve done good on paying down quite a bit of our debt but aside from that trying to save towards a mortgage down payment on our very modest combined income has been pretty difficult. Also, hi, we’re paying for this stupid wedding thing. (We’re pretty sure ours will come in under 5 or 6k.) We both bristle at the thought of asking for cash from guests, but Lord knows that’s really the gift we need most of all… Is there a way we can word it while also making it clear that the gift of the person coming is more than enough to make us happy?

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

      I think word of mouth is your best bet for this. Tell your close family and wedding party you’d prefer cash, and if you haven’t registered, guests are likely to ask around and find out. Also, (in my experience at least) giving physical gifts at the wedding seems to be becoming less and less of thing. People will give you physical gifts at a shower, but by far the majority of people give cash or a check in card at the wedding. So I suspect it won’t even be an issue.

      Also, I think your FAQ statement is pretty much perfectly worded.

      • vegankitchendiaries

        Thanks (and thanks also to Leslie) – perhaps my original, short and sweet, is best after all! x

    • Leslie

      So I don’t have a lot of input about your wording, but I wanted to just ease your mind and tell you this: You will get cash. Probably more than you think you will, regardless of registering. We didn’t register because we decided to scrap our wedding and plan a new one in three weeks and it just wasn’t even on our radar as we tried to figure out all the way more major details. But it worked out perfectly because we almost exclusively received money, even though our wedding was very small. Which was glorious because one of our two very old cars died for good literally on the day of the wedding. Two weeks later, we walked into the bank, make a huge deposit, got pre-approved for a car loan, and were able to make a significant down payment on a car using our wedding money.

      Here’s the thing I figured out. A good chunk of people who go to weddings have been married themselves. And so they realize acutely that the majority of people getting married need cash more than gifts (um, hello expensive weddings). I never gave cash at weddings because I thought it was too impersonal. Now I wouldn’t hesitate at all.

      Also, keep in mind that the people really close to you know that you are broke because, well, they know you! And who do all those other people ask for gift ideas? The people closest to you!

    • Heather

      This is what I put on my site, you might be able to tweak it to your specifications (I second the idea of spreading the word to those close to you that cash would be most appreciated):
      Your presence at our wedding, your good wishes, blessings and thoughts are (quite seriously) the most memorable and thoughtful gift you could give us.

      That said, if you really would like to get us something tangible, handmade gifts are always wonderful, but if you’d prefer a traditional registry we’re planning to register through Amazon.com and Target. Donations toward our honeymoon fund would also be greatly appreciated.

      • vegankitchendiaries

        “Your presence at our wedding, your good wishes, blessings and thoughts are (quite seriously) the most memorable and thoughtful gift you could give us.” Mega like that wording and might steal some of it!

  • http://rationalcreature.com/ Amy

    Yay, happy hour! I’ve been waiting anxiously all morning because I wanted to get the community’s input: a couple a months ago there were a few mentions of the desire for an engagement sympathy card beacause of the trainwreck planning a wedding can be and APWers Moe and Laura offered input and a phrasing suggestion. I finally found time to work on a design, and thought I’d toss it out there for all to see. If y’all like it, I can offer it in my shop in various colors and things once I find a nice printing company.

    • vegankitchendiaries

      Man, without the context of your post, I would DEFINITELY take this the wrong way.

      Reminds me a text my (long estranged) cousin sent me after learning about my engagement. “Heard you were engaged. Enjoy the 3 rings – engagement ring, wedding ring, and suffering” She was recently separated from her husband and he’d just been sent to jail and left her with three kids which is terrible and everything but I was a bit “Ohhhhhh kayyyyyee…”

      Maybe you could put edit to “…and my sympathies regarding the PLANNING” or similar? Now that I’m actually at planning stage, I DO see where you’re coming from.. :)

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

        It’d definitely be something you’d want to include your own personal note in and you’d have to know that the person you were sending it to would “get it.”

        As for your cousin, it doesn’t seem that text was sent with wink as I’d hope you’d send this card.

        • vegankitchendiaries

          Yeah, no winkies, no smilies and ALSO THE FIRST I’D HEARD FROM HER SINCE CHILDHOOD. Okay… sorry… over it now…

      • http://rationalcreature.com/ Amy

        I totally see where you’re coming from! Context is key here, and I’m hoping that this is the sort of thing that you’d only give to someone who “gets” you and the humor attempt.

        (And also the spelling mistake. D’oh!)

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

      If we’re being picky ;), I’d like an option with only the sympathy portion inside.

      • http://rationalcreature.com/ Amy

        Picky away! This is why I asked. :D

    • Katelyn

      I agree a bit with vegan, maybe using the actual word “sympathy” on the outside can be construed negatively – it’s a bit of a loaded word.

      Perhaps just “Congratulations!” on the exterior, and “I’m here with sympathy cocktails and cupcakes when you’re ready.”

      (Also, the interior graphic has “sympathy” spelled incorrectly)

      • http://rationalcreature.com/ Amy

        Ha, thanks! I’ve been looking at that all morning wondering why it looked off. Ugh, Fridays. :)

        I appreciate the input!

      • http://rationalcreature.com/ Amy

        ta da! thanks. :D

    • Moe

      **APPLAUSE!!**

      • http://rationalcreature.com/ Amy

        *grins*

    • Meg Keene

      AHAHAHAHHA. I thought that was a note for me about the six years.

      And I was like, “Fair enough.”

  • Guest

    Is anyone else having problems getting the Andrea Lawlor piece to load properly.

    • La_Venus

      Yes. No text.

      • Cleo

        I did too. The text is there. Open a word doc, highlight the article and c/p. It shows up (no changing font color necessary). It’s kind of annoying to have to do it, but the article is very interesting and worth the read.

    • jashshea

      Just retried and it’s up for me. In Chrome. So far, compelling as hell.

    • Kayjayoh

      I did, but then I reloaded the page and it was there.

  • lady brett

    oh! that article on why hart doesn’t have two mommies is lovely! it is as though someone took all my feelings on the subject of parent-words and mashed them up with all my spouse’s feelings on being a genderqueer parent – it makes me so *happy* (happy like when the baby calls me papa (which, of course, he doesn’t actually do because he doesn’t actually make words on purpose, but he dos sometimes babble “pa-pa-pa” in my general direction, and i just go with that)).

    speaking of the baby – he is already getting sneaky! he *knows how to walk* but he won’t do it in front of us. apparently he’s been walking at school and visits for weeks. sneaky baby.

    p.s. i *did* go talk to my boss. it was easy and chill and no big deal (after the 3 weeks of stressing about it). meeting time t.b.d. now i can check my proposal repeatedly and stress out about *it*.

    • Jessica

      In my head your sneaky baby is only being sneaky because he wants you and your spouse to hold him more (more cuddles!) and be closer to you–but seeing a kid walk for the first few times is super cool! Maybe he’s just practicing to show off for you two?

      yay about talking to your boss being no big deal!

      • lady brett

        yeah, it’s actually really funny, now that we know the secret. and i suspect you’re right about being held. daycare tried to show us, and he kept falling over and crawling to us and *would not show off*. so we hid around the corner, and he trucked right across the room on his legs.

        • swarmofbees

          What a tricksy little boy!

        • Jessica

          That’s hilarious!

        • swarmofbees

          Did you then jump out and yell GOTCHA!? ;)

    • http://brokensaucer.blogspot.com/ sera

      Yaaaayyyyy! you went and talked to your boss! Yay! I’m so happy for you!

      • lady brett

        thanks! it was kind of hilariously easy. he was like “oh yeah, i got your email. so-n-so want to be in on that conversation, i’ll set up a meeting.” the end.

  • Felicity

    Hey lovelies, I need a little pep talk. I’m ready to start wedding dress shopping, to finally move out of Pinterest world and into what actually fits. But. I don’t feel like I have anyone to shop with where I live. None of my bridesmaids live within driving distance. How have you guys done this? Order online and send pictures? Go by yourself?

    • swarmofbees

      I went shopping on my own because none of my wedding party live nearby. I had the first trip with my mom and sister when they were in town. Then I did a few stores on my own. I sent out pictures to the relevant people and got feedback. I bought a dress online and had it shipped to my parents house to try on over Christmas. I actually really liked having the chance to try on my dress for the first time with my family – I know it meant a lot to my mom. But, it was just chance that the timing worked out like that. I wasn’t expecting that. It worked out just fine for me, but I wasn’t looking for a big dress-shopping experience. I think sending pictures or links to dresses can be a great way to keep everyone in the loop.

    • Meg

      I kind of wish I went by myself. I ended up buying the 5th dress I tried on because my family was just so toxic. if it’s a decent place the attendant is going to be very good and be giving you a lot of attention.

    • Fiona

      I very dumbly bought mine on ebay (same sitch–nothing nearby) and I’m very lucky that it worked out brilliantly. Literally, it’s a dress I found on pinterest.

    • ElisabethJoanne

      I went shopping with my mother and sister, mostly for the fun/tradition/experience. I wasn’t expecting to actually find a dress, and I didn’t.

      I ended up ordering a custom dress from a shop. I went alone because my mother was sick and said to go ahead and get it done.

      In general, I prefer shopping alone.

    • MC

      I ordered online and sent pictures to my mom/ladies. I did have a brief shopping experience with my mom, and decided it wasn’t worth it to me to recreate it. But I also went with a non-”traditional” wedding dress so I wouldn’t have been shopping in wedding stores anyway. I’d say depending on what style you’re going for, ordering online can be great!

    • vegankitchendiaries

      I ordered online too. I’m pretty much to embarrassed to tell you what a good deal I got because the dress was SO cheap. Also, they made it only from ‘inspiration pictures’ I’d found on Pinterest. I still need alterations, but that will end up being $200 or so (less than what I paid for the dress). I was fine sending pictures to interested parties (my mom and my girlfriends)… If everyone a bit geographically spread out for you anyway, than all the better :D

    • lady brett

      not sure i can help, but to take the pressure of doing it the “right way” off…i went dress shopping with my fiance and a friends’ 5- and 9-year-old boys. since i hate shopping, it actually worked out well to make the whole thing a lot less stressful =) (mostly it just made it hilarious – the 5-year-old gasped, clapped and told me the dress was *beautiful* for every single one. the 9-year-old stoically evaluated each on a scale of 1-to-10 in the exact opposite order of my preferences.)

    • april

      If you have a pretty good idea of what you like, I think ordering online is a fine idea (it’s what I did. jcrew. original, I know …). I sent my bridesmaids and future MIL links to the pictures of the dress online before I even got it, then texted them pictures of myself in it once it arrived. It was actually kind of fun that everyone was actually seeing me in the dress for the first time at the wedding ….

    • Ariel

      I went with a group of friends once, with my mom and some other friends a second time, and by myself the third time. I LOVED going by myself. It was awesome. My girl at the dress store took pictures of everything. I then went back with mom to buy the dress I found when shopping by myself (Mom is paying for my dress).

    • Hope

      I went dress shopping the first time with my roommates. When I was going back to double check on the dress by myself, I bumped into a coworker and ended up going with her.

    • Jess

      I went to one store with a friend and tried some options on (with moderate success). She mentioned that she found her second dress (first one came in and she realized she hated it and had felt family pressure at purchase time, hence dress 2) at this consignment shop. They have made, but never worn in a wedding, wedding dresses. I figured it was such a long-shot and my family is no where close by, I just stopped by when I had some free time. Found a dress that fit PERFECTLY and was exactly what I described how I wanted my dress to look. I ended up texting photos to my sister for her approval, and bought the dress that day! I’m an independent person and have very clear ideas of clothes I like/don’t like…so this was easy for me. If you feel more in need of input, photos (or Facetime?) definitely work. I’m a fan of trying dresses on in person rather than online shopping, since you have a really hard time picturing what something will actually fit you like. Good luck!!

  • River

    You guys, I think we found our wedding venue!!! The place we’re in love with is a beautiful Victorian mansion. On Wednesday, we spent the day hopping around LI, from venue to venue. The big difference between looking on LI and looking in the city is the cost and level of service. In NYC, you are expect to wrangle every single moving piece yourself. On LI, it seems they take care of EVERYTHING – and still charge about half of what it costs in the city!

    My two big hesitations: 1) superficially, I’m worried our wedding will feel like a factory product because this place is very WIC. But we simply cannot afford any of the cool customizable spaces near us. 2) more importantly, if we do our reception out on the island, it makes sense to do the ceremony out there. I’m super nervous about finding a priest and parish near our venue that both myself and my (not at all Catholic) fiance will love.

    Any advice is welcome!!! We have until tomorrow evening to put a deposit on our day.

    P.S. When we returned home from our epic day of venue-shopping, I gave Z his engagement ring!!! :-) He called me from work just now to say he loves looking down and being reminded of me.

    • april

      “1) superficially, I’m worried our wedding will feel like a factory product because this place is very WIC.” I wouldn’t really worry about this. I think Pinterest and (sneakily) the WIC has given us this idea that a wedding isn’t really authentic unless every last detail is a reflection of the couple’s personality. If you like the venue and it works with your budget, I say go for it! You’ll still find tons of ways to make the day feel like your own. Happy planning!

      • River

        Thanks, april! I have been Pinterest bingeing recently, maybe you’re right about where that worry was coming from…

    • Emily

      I have read so many articles on wedding planning that they are all running into each other, so I can’t remember where I picked up this notion, but here: EVERY wedding is different, even the ones held at WIC factory-type places. It will be special and unique not because it’s in a funky, customizable space, but because of you, your love, and your people coming together to celebrate. There is enough room in those event packages to make it your own.

      If you can, try and scope out a suitable ceremony venue before you commit to the reception venue. I didn’t, and luckily got my money back, but we had to change the reception venue since I didn’t find a good ceremony space close enough together! It was all for the best, however. I’m sure you’ll find something great, LI is not rural NH! Happy planning!

      • River

        :-) Thanks, Emily! Yeah, I spent the last hour calling Catholic churches in the area. Only three of eight I contacted will even consider performing a wedding for non-parishioners. Fingers crossed that we like one when we go to visit on Monday!

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

      River, about hesitation number 1: I think there is WAY too much pressure/worry over the fear of seeming too WIC or something. The people coming to your wedding know YOU, not Hasbro, and I doubt they will feel like they are at a factory (and if they do, screw em) if someone is seriously judging you for the “type” of wedding you are having, that’s sooo their problem. I truly don’t think people who go to weddings to celebrate your marriage think like that. It will be beautiful, and it’s about you two, and that’s what people think/care about. I say this cause I’m sort of in the same boat. I LOVE our venue, but they do a ton of wedding and it’s been so easy for us because it’s NOT that DIY. We don’t have the time or the resources or the community for that right now. I don’t care if there are a few typical wedding-y things there…I’m getting married dammit and nothing else matters! let them eat cake if you ask me.

  • MC

    Oh boy is it Friday. I showed up to work early this morning so I could get started on a couple of things I want to get done today, only to lock myself out of the office without my phone, wallet, keys, ETC. Thank goodness I had Fiance’s phone number memorized so I could go next door to borrow a phone, call him, and have him log into my work e-mail to do a search for my boss’s phone number. Even though it was a totally ridiculous situation, at least I was resourceful!

    Also, 6 months minus one day until the wedding, and over pizza and beers we talked about the ceremony and made a legit outline of what we want it to look like!!!

  • VenusAD

    Hey, APW! Happy birthday! I’ve been following the blog for a bit now in the throws of pre-engagement, but that ended last Tuesday when I was proposed to in Cinderella’s Castle at Disney World! It was so amazing and magical and unreal!

    So…now I gotta plan this thing. I’ve already got my APW book constantly by my side! Visiting my first choice venue this Sunday!

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

      go, lady go! so efficient!

    • http://rationalcreature.com/ Amy

      Huge congrats!!

      • VenusAD

        Thank you! So ridiculously excited, even faced with the giant pile of confusion and terror that planning a wedding can be!

    • River

      Congratulations!! Way to kick right into high gear ;-)

  • Jessica

    I can sum up my week like this:
    I’m the only employee at a nonprofit, and I only work part time. I’m pretty much out of my allotted hours for the month, but am working anyway (I will get paid! already worked that out).

    I get a call from someone who asked how Person A could be on the Board. Person A is already on the board, but has only come to 3 board meetings this year. Person A has received multiple phone calls, emails and snail mail parcels from me throughout the last year with relevant information for board members only. I just had to call to tell person A that she is already on the board and will be for another year.

    I don’t really want Person A on the board if she is that dense.

  • La_Venus

    OK, I think you all might have some ideas on this. I have been super sick recently (long-term chronic health issues manifesting themselves more loudly in addition to an acute illness has really brought me to my knees). I have been letting myself rest physically (or rather giving into the not-so-subtle demands of my body), but I am not being very *mentally* kind to myself. As in I am a great caretaker for others and very nonjudgmental, but with myself I am feeling disappointed in myself that I can’t work, frustrated that I can’t even help much around the house, and generally feeling like I am just wasting my time and I should *at least* be giving myself a pep-talk to be a better person/planning our entire future while I wait to get better.
    So. Tips for self-care? How can I feel OK about taking more time off work? How can I give myself a break when I have already been fighting health issues for years and I am just bored of it? How can I stop feeling the need to DO something all the time and just give myself a mental bowl of soup?

    • Fiona

      I’m with you, girl. I have a chronic illness as well, and though it doesn’t keep me from working, my health makes it awfully difficult to do what I want to in my jobs. This makes the competitive side of me shrivel in shame.

      I try to deal with it by measuring my progress in health and putting my extra energy towards making myself healthy. I also try to engage in activites like language learning and reading because those are generally good for my mind, even though my body can’t keep up with my goals right now, at least I’m doing something. That works for me…
      What do you think?

      • La_Venus

        I love the idea of learning a language or I was looking at picking up a musical instrument since I can’t do the more physical things that I used to enjoy. But right now while I am just acutely sick (with pneumonia), I am having a hard time cutting myself some slack. I keep telling myself that if I am going to be at home all day I better at least learn a language or something. Which I would never tell any of my friends or loved ones if they had pneumonia. You know? The line is so hard to find when you also have a chronic illness because you are used to strategizing ways to just keep doing something, anything. But right now I have to find a way to shut that down and just take care of myself.

        And yes! Not being able to always achieve by societies standards or “lean in”, totally gets my competitive side riled up. Also my self-worth, but that’s a different discussion.

        • Fiona

          I meant the language/book things not because I should be putting pressure on myself to do these things, but because I’m not well, I finally have the time to do things I’ve wanted to do for a while. Like a mini-sabbath. Definitely don’t use the less physical time as an opportunity to berate yourself for not doing something else. Use it as an opportunity to fulfill a goal you’ve had for a while but have never had the time to do before.

          • La_Venus

            Oh I see, sorry I think my brain just immediately grabbed it and started to feel guilty that I wasn’t doing those things. Which, obviously, my tendency to self-induce guilt is one of my challenges. It is so helpful to just touch base with other young people with chronic illnesses. It can be such an identity-shaping thing, but I have trouble not just shutting it down and never talking about it.

          • Fiona

            I feel the same way! But yeah, the guilt helps no one, least of all yourself. You didn’t get sick on purpose.
            That being said, it’s definitely super-weird to be young and sick…

          • La_Venus

            Yes so weird. Almost counter-cultural or something. Like if I were eschewing all these expectations and norms with different intentions I would be spear-heading a revolution.

          • Fiona

            You can totally be counter-cultural about being chronically ill. If you’re starting a movement, count me in.

          • http://brokensaucer.blogspot.com/ sera

            I don’t have a chronic condition, but I’ll join your movement if only because I have dealt with depression and have always felt I had low energy if only because I need at least 8 hours of sleep. Isn’t that what we’re supposed to get? Why do I have to feel guilty for needing the required amount?

        • http://brokensaucer.blogspot.com/ sera

          Take it easy on yourself. These things all require little physical effort:
          Buy this book by Brene Brown: http://www.amazon.com/The-Gifts-Imperfection-Supposed-Embrace/dp/159285849X
          She is really amazing. She also has two Ted talks to stream and this amazing interview on The Good Life Project: http://www.goodlifeproject.com/brene-brown-vulnerable/

          Also, do you journal? I know if I can just write down the bad thoughts just to get them out, and then start writing the good thoughts, the nice thoughts about myself, the ones I would naturally give my friends and loved ones but not give myself, it helps.
          I hate being sick. I don’t understand why when you already feel physically bad, then the guilt and emotional bad thoughts come up too. I’m so sorry.

          • La_Venus

            I just started watching that interview and I just wanted to say I love that they are sitting cross-legged. I have seen her Ted talks and that book actually looks like exactly what I need. Thank you so much for the recommendations.

    • emilyg25

      So it sounds totally trite, but I read an article a few years ago that said you should treat yourself like you would treat a friend. It was actually life-changing for me. If you had a friend who was struck by such a serious illness, you’d never push her to work or help out around the house, right? You’d bring her a cup of tea and sit with her on the couch and listen, or watch bad old movies, or whatever things you and your friends do.

      Another helpful thing I read, from somewhere else: “I have a chronic illness that keeps me from doing certain things. I can feel bad about that, but that doesn’t change the fact of the matter. So I don’t feel bad about it.” I read this more recently, and I’m still working toward acceptance, but it’s also helpful.

      Finally, changing your mental patterns is hard. It takes time and sometimes you forget and your nasty to yourself again. Try not to harp on that and feel guilty! Just acknowledge it and move on. Like when you’re trying to meditate and you start mentally making your shopping list.

      Most of all: Hang in there.

      • La_Venus

        Yes! Thank you. Trying to figure out how to treat myself as a friend is challenging. Pushing myself has just become second-nature and is threaded through so much of my identity and thinking. It’s pretty powerful. Especially being in my late-twenties when I am supposed to be making the most of my time and excelling and impressing all who encounter me in my youthful vigor. But yes. If this were a friend? I would be constantly reminding her to be easy with herself and gentle and I would giver her all the space in the world to recover.

        Choosing not to feel bad about it. That is so obvious. I have definitely been spending a lot of time imagining the things I want to do – bike riding, hiking, regular socializing, joining some community groups. I really, really hope that I am working toward a time when I can live that life. But right now that’s just not the reality, is it? Right now I have a stellar husband and some candied pecans and APW (also a job that I love that I just can’t perform quite yet). Thanks for the solidarity.

        • emilyg25

          *chronic illness fistbump*

      • http://brokensaucer.blogspot.com/ sera

        The word “reframe” helps me when I’m in the depths of bad thoughts. Reframe whatever it is into a positive thing.

    • EmLeMat

      Oh, this sounds so familiar to me!

      The breakthrough I recently had about all this has to do with drawing a distinction between self-care and self-indulgence.

      When I feel bad, I usually just want to stay up late for a popcorn and Netflix binge. The impulse to zone out is reflexive. And that’s okay — occasionally, you need to be a little self-indulgent. But it’s not a replacement for self-care. For me, self-care means eating a nutritious meal, taking a walk or a bath, and going to bed early. It does not mean sacrificing sleep for Netflix. It means pro-actively taking care of yourself — which can actually be really hard work.

      Giving my tough love an outlet by forcing myself to be honest about this distinction has been really liberating. If I think of self-care as an active process, I no longer feel guilty about it — it’s a job. But what is perhaps more surprising is that naming what I need has also helped me to feel less guilty about self-indulgence. Sometimes self-care is a necessity — but sometimes we all need a little self-indulgence, too. You need what you need.

      • La_Venus

        Wow I love this distinction. It is already starting to change the way I am thinking about it. Self-care is a lot of work! And sometimes it does include some Netflix (for me), but it is a part of an entirely different mental framework than self-indulgence. Thank you for this, I can tell I will definitely be turning it over in my mind for a while.

  • meeliebee

    I have to vent a little about wedding-related weight-loss pressure. My sister is my MOH, and has been working to lose weight for the wedding. She’s lost a good amount of weight, and is also pressuring me to “get on my game”. Last night she reminded me that though my dress may fit – it better look good because it’s my ass everyone is going to be looking at during our wedding. It was pretty hurtful given that Ive gained some weight over the last few years and I’m not 100% happy with my weight, but I’m also tired of the ups and downs of dieting and the shame negative self-image I’ve developed as a result of years of being told my body is not good enough.

    I’ve been trying to foster a healthy relationship with my body and making peace with myself. Being active and eating healthy is a part of that, but it’s not going to give me extreme results that I think are expected of me before the wedding. It’s an ongoing journey, and I’m definitely not always perfect – but if anyone has resources that they’d like to share I’m all ears.

    • MC

      UGH. As someone who has struggled with body image issues in the past I know how even a small careless comment can feel awful and debilitating. I don’t know what your relationship is like with your sister, but I would recommend talking to her if possible. Some people that are losing weight tend to think about it a lot and may not realize that not everyone has the same goals that they do. And especially for women, it’s unfortunately normalized that women should want to lose weight, especially for weddings. Even saying something like, “I’m happy for you, but please don’t mention weight loss around me, it is not constructive and I’m trying to work through body issues without obsessing about weight.” For me it’s helped a lot to surround myself with people that know not to say shit like that around me.

    • ART

      I don’t have any resources, just commiserating – the moment my facebook status changed to “engaged” I started getting sponsored posts about getting in shape/losing weight/etc for the wedding. It’s such a pervasive message, and so unhelpful.

      • Violet

        That happened to me too! I marked them as “Offensive” and then they stopped. : )

      • Meg

        that was why I completely deleted my “theknot” account. I got an e-mail about getting my “bridal body”. That didn’t sound like my body but one that would be in a body bag somewhere.

        • MisterEHolmes

          Did you get the one about trying out for the bridal weight-loss show? Where, in exchange for filming your every embarrassing moment, they would give you *gasp* free workout videos? It was so ridiculous I had to laugh.

      • ElisabethJoanne

        I think I got those, but I also got “Become a nun!” ads. That was honestly funny.

      • meeliebee

        Ugh – so annoying. Seriously – I really don’t think how I look on my wedding is the most important thing, but then again I’m super vain and started looking for my wedding lipstick as soon as I got engaged.

    • VenusAD

      Honey, you are gonna look beautiful on your wedding day no matter what your size is! And if your sister is hurting your feelings, just be honest with her and tell her that you’re happy with yourself and you want your weight loss to be slow and you’re not worried about it on your wedding day–and tell her she’s hurting your feelings! If she’s any kind of awesome sister, that isn’t her intention at all.

      And remember–the most efficient and lasting way of losing weight is to lose it slowly–about a pound a week at the most, maybe 2. If you crash for the wedding, you’re likely just to gain it all back after!

      • meeliebee

        Thank you!

    • Emily

      I can commiserate with the pressure, ugh! I’m right there with you. I just can’t even talk about it anymore, I’m having such a hard time with it.

    • MisterEHolmes

      I commiserate, too. After going on the South Beach diet in January (doctor’s recommendation of which to choose), I lost 8 pounds fairly easily. Yay, right? And then juggling wedding things with life things just got to be way too much, and I gave up. And now I have 2.5 months until the wedding and I’m suddenly gripped with weight loss panic, and it’s scaring me because I’ve never been particularly worried about my weight. But now I am. :-/

      Can you talk to your sister and ask her to back off?

      • meeliebee

        I’ve got just about the same amount of time before the wedding, so I’m feeling overwhelmed by everything, including my body. :( I hope you get to spend your next few months feeling happy about your wedding!!

    • Leslie

      This is exactly the type of situation that I like to remember one of my favorite posts by Rachel: http://apracticalwedding.com/2013/05/wedding-guest-expectations/
      Who are these people at weddings looking at everyone’s asses????

      • meeliebee

        That is a good post – thanks for linking! I hope everyone will be so blown away by our declarations of love, they won’t have time to stare at my ass… ;)

    • lady brett

      okay, i don’t have resources, but i do have this: your body is good enough.

      and in my experience, the only people who have expectations of your body are the people who have negative relationships with their own bodies. which is, i realize, a *ton* of people, so it’s not that no one cares, it’s that *it’s not about you* – it’s about them, and (often) people who have body issues are going to take them out on you whether you lose weight or not. you might be “too heavy” now, and maybe you’ll still be “too heavy” when you lose weight. or maybe you’ll be “too skinny” or “too proud” of the “success”.

      excuse my cynicism, but as the lover of someone who is “overweight” the things that this cultural mindset does to people makes me livid. health is important. and your body is good enough. probably better than good enough, if you ask the people who really matter.

      • meeliebee

        THANK YOU! I teared up at this – it’s the kind of thing I try to remind myself, but it’s so hard to see the forest through the trees sometimes.

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

    March has been an interesting month for me. Maybe all the APW “Hungry for It” posts this month have helped push me along, but I’ve really made strides this month in figuring out what I want and how I might be able to get there. Jobs, finances, family… I have such a clearer picture of what I’m working towards now. Relating it to roadblocks, what could a bigger roadblock than not knowing where your going?

    On the job front, I’ve stopped submitting applications to other companies, and I’m working towards making doing my own thing work, while also trying to position myself to be happier in my current job in the meantime.

    Financially, my husband and I just combined finances 9 months ago when we got married, and the day to day financial management/budgeting is all running smoothly. So now that the basics are working, we’re reading to start working on aggressively paying down debt and building our savings (like real adults!). That feels so amazing.

    And in the family arena, this month a had a moment when I realized “I am now officially ready for a baby.” For quite awhile, it’s been “I’m almost ready,” but for me there was a literal moment where I crossed over. Husband still needs a little bit of time, but we’re planning to start actually trying around the end of this year, and he thinks he’ll be ready by then. My sister-in-law and her husband are planning to start a family within the next year or two as well, and another close friend is planning to start trying at the end of this year as well. So I’m very excited to hopefully be going through this big transition with all the new experiences at the same time as people I’m close to. And just the feeling of being ready is so exciting. I’m not worried about what we’re going to give up when a baby becomes part of the picture anymore, I’m just… ready!

    I’m excited to see where I’m at come December!

    • La_Venus

      I had a moment like that. More like all of a sudden I gave myself permission to get over my uncertainties. It was awesome and sooooo much has happened in the way of preparation since then. Enjoy it!

      • http://brokensaucer.blogspot.com/ sera

        Oooh I like that, “Get over my uncertainties.”

  • Kayjayoh

    Because I know you are all dying to know (or not)…I have mostly come to terms with the awful matching groomsmen outfits. I know it is not something I am going to think about at *all* on the day itself, so why spend time getting vexed about it now. This is not to say that I want to see them, have conversations about them, or even think about them between now and then.

    I also finally told my fiance that I would rather just get a simple, inexpensive gold band (like the one on Turtle Love) than to try and make one of the heirloom family bands into something that would work for me, and he seemed to be ok with that.

    • swarmofbees

      Hooray for acceptance! I am still trying to come to terms with the fact that FI, at 3 and a half months out, hasn’t thought about his or his best man’s outfits beyond that he wants something “fresh.” sigh. I know that he can just go out and get a suit in about a week. But, I like things settled. Plus, he has now had multiple bad dreams where he doesn’t have a suit for the wedding – so this clearly bothers him.

      • Kayjayoh

        “It’s his wedding, too. It’s his wedding, too.”

        At least I was able to talk him out of tuxes.

      • MC

        Ohh I feel you. We’re six months out and Fiance just asked his first groomsman to even be in the wedding, and has one more to ask. I’m sure neither of them will mind that he’s only giving them six months heads up but to me I get anxious about it. Who knows when or if he will think about their outfits…

      • YetAntherMegan

        I am so with you. We’re two and a half months out and my fiance finally now has a suit. The rest of the guys? Um, they have ties. And nothing else.

    • Laura C

      So glad the ring discussion went well!

      • Kayjayoh

        I just said that I didn’t want to end up with something happening to them, and the more likely heirloom ring had an inscription inside it. Getting it made into something that would work for me would ruin the inscription.

        I think the fact that what I want is an inexpensive gold band may have helped.

    • Laura

      This is like me coming to terms with the fountain cake. *acceptance fist bump*

      • Rebekah

        You did!? I’m so excited for you. That was one of the more memorable topics in recent HH memory. Can’t wait for pictures

        • Emmers

          Ditto. I loved the fountain cake discussion. Glad you’re on the road to acceptance!

  • swarmofbees

    I had a really hopeful conversation with my FMIL about her and her ex-husband, and his new wife, being in the same room together for the wedding. It is a topic that has caused immense amounts of dread in my wedding planning. Even after my Dad got sick and I grew a screw-it attitude, it was still a nagging sense of worry. But, we had a reasonably grown-up conversation and now I feel like we are in with a chance of them just ignoring each other on the day! It was such a relief :) Civility FTW!

  • Kayjayoh

    And for a serious update, my mom’s surgery on Tuesday went ok. It took about 6 hours and they were not able to get everything done that they wanted, which means she will have two more surgeries in the next few months (one for a tumor by the pituitary and one for the spleen). She’s a little disappointed by that, but she’s already feeling some improvement since they got the two off her spine. She goes to a rehab facility this afternoon and should be home by next week.

    Thank you all for the kind thoughts and messages about this the past few Fridays.

    • swarmofbees

      I ma sorry to hear that she will have to have more surgeries. Cancer treatment can be such a long process, when what you really want is one treatment to make everything go away. My Dad is in the thick of his stem cell transplant and it is such a strange mix of waiting, worry, and normal life happening all at once. Good luck with everything and i hope your Mother recovers quickly!

      • Kayjayoh

        Thank you. And good luck with your dad’s treatment.

  • moonlitfractal

    I am home from the hospital and have been eating regular meals. I’m nauseated less often than not, though I’m still on high doses of anti-nausea meds. I don’t want to jinx it, but I might be turning the corner on the whole hyperemisis gravidarum thing. Here’s hoping it’s on its way out for good!

    • Kayjayoh

      Sending ginger-laden thoughts in your direction.

      • moonlitfractal

        Thanks! I’m just glad I’m well enough to actually drink ginger ale again!

  • Anne Schwartz

    Blah, leggings. I am a teacher at an all girls ‘ school and I can say I hate leggings. I currently work with the student group that is redesigning dress code and leggings are definitely not going to be allowed next year. There are two main things

    1. I can’t tell you what kind of underwear to wear.
    2. I don’t want to know what kind of underwear you are wearing.

    The problem at my school is a lack of understanding for what makes leggings appropriate and what doesn’t. It’s not about distracting boys it’s about seeing underwear. There is also the fact that we are an elite boarding school so our goal is to look a little fancier. I go back and forth on this but I always end up on the side of “dear god I don’t want to see your underwear.”

    • Meg

      yeah maybe it’s a sign of me being old, but they are basically something you wear under a skirt for me not an article of clothing of external use

      • Anne Schwartz

        I mean I’m wearing them right now as pants but I am also not at work or at school. Oh, and you can’t see my underwear.

      • Jess

        You’re not old. I wear them as pants at yoga. To/from yoga? Full coverage sweatpants. The world doesn’t need to see the outline of my genitals, thank you very much.

    • emilyg25

      Yeah, I have no problem with the leggings ban. (I work at a college campus. Ugh.) But I do have a problem with the rationale (because they distract boys).

      • Jessica

        Agreed. If they made the dress code about visible underwear vs how leggings affect boys, I would have less of a problem with it.

    • ElisabethJoanne

      I was at very religious schools from fifth grade through college. They had uniforms and strict dresscodes, including no leggings. The girls’ dresscodes were always explained in terms of “not distracting the boys.” (Actually, the explanations were more moralizing and more goofy.) Of course, I don’t think I was disadvantaged by any particular rule, including the no-leggings rule, but the emphasis on clothing as a display of sexuality prevented me from learning naturally about other sociological aspects of dress and grooming, such as self-expression (including expression of self-respect).

      • Violet

        Yeah, I’d be in favor of a dress code that focused on the positive, rather than the negative. So instead of saying, “No leggings because the boys will be distracted” (so rage-inducing), how about, “At our school, we are preparing our students for lives in various professional settings. The ability to dress professionally is a skill that is practiced over time, and we start that practice here at our institution.” Because I mean really, pajamas are just as bad on a professional level, and yet kids can wear those….

        • MC

          I love this way of looking at it.

        • Crayfish Kate

          That is awesome. I just turned 30, and I STILL feel like I have no idea how to dress professionally sometimes!

    • http://www.therewm.com/ Rachel W. Miller

      Wait, what? I’m wearing leggings right now (as I do basically every day) and you can’t see my underwear. Why are leggings a guarantee for wearing underwear? By that logic, couldn’t girls just…not wear underwear and keep on wearing their leggings?

      • La_Venus

        THAT would be a fascinating standard to set: “If you chose to wear leggings, please don’t wear underwear. We don’t want to know why type you wear.”

      • Fiona

        The leggings-underwear issue resolves itself a bit if you get higher quality leggings. That being said, as a big-bummed girl (who also works for a church) I’m reluctant to wear leggings unless I have at least a fluttery bit of something covering my booty.

        • Anne Schwartz

          I’m totally with you on the higher quality piece it’s just really hard to say to a teenage girl, “Well if you want to wear leggings you need to buy more expensive ones.”

          • Meg

            I’ve bought leggings at walgreens for 10 bucks (lol don’t judge) that were thick enough to hide my unmentionables. It’s not a price thing, more of a thickness thing.

      • http://werewritingabook.com/ Breck

        And, I have to say, even if you *can* see the outline of someone’s underwear… is that actually indecent? Seems pretty tame to me.

        • http://www.therewm.com/ Rachel W. Miller

          Right? To my mind, visible panty lines or the outline of a bra are more fashion faux pas/necessary evil than thing you regulate with a dress code.

          • Anne Schwartz

            Oh no, I mean I can see their underwear. LIke color, shape, often pattern.

          • http://www.therewm.com/ Rachel W. Miller

            Ugh. I blame Forever21 for this.

          • Anne Schwartz

            Totes.

      • Ariel

        I’m a high school teacher. Most of the leggings I see in the hallway are quite translucent in areas where they are stretched (like over bums).

        • http://www.therewm.com/ Rachel W. Miller

          Well, on that point I agree with Fiona — that’s a quality issue. It seems like banning transparent or sheer clothing rather than all leggings would be a way around that.

          • Ariel

            I also had to tell a girl to throw a gym tshirt over her shirt earlier this week. Her shirt that had slits showing ALL of her cleavage (total height of boob). She had been in five other classes that day and no one said anything to her. Oh, working in a high school.

          • TeaforTwo

            That’s a tricky line to walk as a teacher, though. Telling a teenager that her pants are see-through on her bum would be awkward to say the very least.

          • http://www.alivingspace.com/ Julia | alivingspace

            Very true. My husband is a high school teacher, and he has said he ends up feeling really awkward about how some of the girls dress, but he rarely (if ever) will say anything about it, because he does not want to come across as if he is looking at the girls in an inappropriate way. Doesn’t help that he’s only in his mid-20′s, so he’s really not that much older than them. I’ve always been rather annoyed by the concept of strict dress codes, especially when they focus on how girls are too “distracting,” but hearing my husband’s take on it definitely gave me pause.

      • Anne Schwartz

        I’m wearing leggings right now, too. In fact I love them but I’m with Ariel on this most of the girls wearing them I can either see their skin or their underwear. It’s a shitshow trying to enforce “quality leggings.” So we go with leggings as tights. Also, we’re a boarding school so this only applies 8:00-3:20. After that leggings are fair game.

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

        Asking that question would be appropriate for many situations. Provided, of course, that you would then do the opposite.

        • Violet

          Freakin brilliant!

    • http://www.housemadeblog.blogspot.com Corrie

      Um, or see that the girl is not, in fact, wearing underwear at all…made worse when she bends over and you can see the entirety of her butt crack. Might as well not wear any bottoms at all if you’re going to wear leggings that are that cheap/threadbare. I know someone who wears leggings like this, but I’ve only see her wear them in her house, so I haven’t said anything to her. I hope she doesn’t go out in public with them on. However, she’s not the only one. I live in an area where many kids walk to school and I drive past the school on my way to work. I’ve noticed a number of teenagers wearing semi-transparent leggings as I drive past them and think that if I can see that much from my car, I can’t imagine what their classmates and teachers see when the girls bend in any sort of way.

      That being said, I agree with Rachel that this should be about banning transparent clothing, not a specific article of clothing.

  • swarmofbees

    I have an etiquette question – Is it okay to have my parents at the head table, but not FI’s parents? I was planning on doing a sweetheart table in order to avoid having his parents sit at the same table. But, I just found out that my parents really want to be at the same table as me. I would be crushed if I disappointed my parents like this. They mean the world to me and I would have them at my table in a heartbeat, but I feel like it would be rude to not have FI’s parents as well. My parents are paying for everything, and I am planning most everything, so they are the nominal hosts. If we do a sweetheart table I will make sure they are close to me. It nearly broke my heart to hear my mom say that I could turn around and talk to them a bit during dinner (n.b. this conversation took place while my parents were sitting in my Dad’s hospital room while he is having a Stem Cell transplant, so emotions are running high in general) So, apart from dealing with my anger toward FI’s parents’ inability to handle physical proximity, do you have any advice?

    • Ariel

      I think if you want to have your parents at the head table, you should have his parents there as well. It’s probably best to just have a sweetheart table with just you and your husband.

    • ART

      We’ve asked each set of parents (there are 3) to “host” a table to make our other guests feel special (by sitting w/ parents) and we’re sitting at another table. It’s not to keep people apart in our case, but maybe that could work “oh, we thought it would be great if you guys would host a table of other VIP family/etc guests! We’ll probably be making the rounds during dinner anyway” or something along those lines?

      • swarmofbees

        That is how we are selling it. They understand why we would have to be at a sweetheart table, and wouldn’t be angry or anything, just hurt. Which is much worse for me. I am sure it will be okay on the day. It just feels kind of crappy that my parents have to miss out on something special because of some other people’s problems. Sigh. I know this is what family is about, it is just hard to deal with.

    • enfp

      Oh hmm tricky. Could both of his parents sit at the head table but far apart? i.e. opposite ends of a long banquet table? Otherwise maybe your fiance could speak to his parents about his concerns about the head table? Maybe I’m not being realistic, but perhaps your fiance’s parents could help you figure out a seating arrangement? If he explains to them that you’d like to have a head table and it would be really meaningful for you both to be able to sit with both your parents, but he’s concerned about their conflict, would they be open to discussing this? Finally, if it helps, many couples don’t even get to sit down and eat because they are making the rounds to greet guests, so who knows maybe the sweetheart table option wouldn’t be so bad if you aren’t going to spend much time at it anyways.

  • MC

    Still struggling with MIL issues – she looooooves planning and it was getting overwhelming, so we asked her to do decorations for the reception so she would have something to do, and she was happy, and all seemed good. Earlier this week, she e-mailed us saying that she made a Pinterest board for us and that “her ideas about the decorations are spilling over into ideas about the ceremony and day-of events.” After spending too much time trying to find her secret Pinterest board after we created an account, we talked to her, and it just made me feel overwhelmed all over again – even when we ask her to plan one part, she keeps trying to help us plan other parts! I know it’s 100% good intentions and love and I really do appreciate it, but I also don’t want to feel totally out of control every time we talk to her about wedding stuff.

    • p.

      To me, this sounds like a good time to start setting some boundaries with your MIL. Maybe some communication like: Thank you so much for all your work on decorations. We love what you’ve come up with (assuming you’ve seen her Pinterest board and do like what she’s done) and really appreciate all the work you’ve put into it. We’ve got the ceremony and other items under control, but we’ll come to you if we need any more assistance.

      I think it’s actually a positive that she’s hinting that she wants to do more rather than just jumping in and starting to do more (ie Pinterest boards or emails about her ideas for the ceremony and day-of-events).

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

    I am mentally and emotionally spent from looking for day care . . . our little girl is set to arrive in early August and I just can’t wrap my brain around handing my 8 week old over to someone else to love and care for. I feel like I’ll be better with it as she ages, like once she’s a walking/talking kid, but the infancy is getting to me. It’s not even that I’ve looked at any place that’s bad or screams “unsafe,” but I just want to fall in love with someone/place. I think I’m expecting to just know, much like I did with wedding dress shopping.

    This all comes from the bummer phone call to a wonderful woman who’s husband works for my company and she was AWESOME over the phone. But alas, does not have an opening when we need it. Here’s hoping the woman she recommended calls me back soon!

    • TeaforTwo

      Oh wow. I don’t have any advice, just sympathy – it must be so hard to try to figure out daycare for a person you haven’t even met yet!

  • Katarina

    So excited to go venue hunting next week! We’ve got pretty detailed spreadsheets about different things to look for, but does anyone have any advice for things that aren’t obvious to think or ask about? I know I almost forgot to get wheelchair accessible down, for example.

    • M.

      1)If you will need event liability insurance. We had to get a rider through our renters insurance.
      2)If you’re using their sound system, if it’s included in the price. We are doing an iPod for both ceremony/reception, plus the ceremony needs amplification. Neither place, though both own their own A/V systems with mics and receivers, mentioned that we have to rent these separate. We never thought to ask! (One specifically told us about how we could set it up, but never mentioned, oh it’s $200. Right.) Have fun!

    • moonlitfractal

      Make sure they have a backup generator. Make really sure. My cousin thought her venue had one, but when the power went out during her wedding the DJ or someone had to run to Home Depot to get one (which didn’t arrive until well after dinner was over). It was the most memorable wedding I’ve ever been to. Very hot and dark.

  • Ariel

    It is exactly three months until my wedding today! I had my first wedding dream that wasn’t a nightmare last night – I was on my honeymoon in Aruba and it was glorious!

    • Katelyn

      Three months tomorrow for us! Aruba sounds awesome right now. Instead my weekend will be spent printing envelopes for wedding invitations… :/

      • Ariel

        I just printed my wraparound labels for envelopes! When are you mailing your invites?

        • Katelyn

          I wanted to send them last week…. But hopefully they’ll all go out Monday and be in people’s hands by this time next week! It’s a ‘destination’ wedding so we’re trying to send them a bit earlier than is considered ‘normal’.

  • Laura C

    Huge strides made in the “your wedding is not an imposition” department this week. One of my bridesmaids called the salon and set up appointments for all of us on the wedding day, my MOH sent an email asking for help on the bachelorette and two of the bridesmaids (including the one who called the salon, plus one who’s having her own wedding a month before mine!) were just like “right. this is how we’re dividing up the work. no problem.”

    On the other hand, for some reason this week my response to decision fatigue and general fatigue has been to think “if I just bang through all my job work as fast as possible, I’ll free up some time to renew my energy.” Only what’s been happening is I bang through my work really fast and my supervisor is like “oh, Laura has time to do this other thing” and by one key measure I’ve literally done about 60% more this week than my average (which ain’t low), and I am so tired, and also I’m not mostly that in love with what I’ve done, I’ve just been phoning it in. Trying to figure out how to have a healthier strategy there.

    • Katelyn

      Sounds like you need a mid-week “mental health day” to fake sick and just have a day to yourself.

      • Laura C

        I wouldn’t even need to fake. We’re encouraged to take time when we need it to avoid burnout. It’s the internal thing that’s the problem — I’d know me being out would mean someone else doing more, and think about the days I’m taking in a few months to move, and my wedding/honeymoon stretch of a couple weeks, and the guilt would set in… I’m hoping I’ll bounce back by Monday and that next week will be easier. If not, though, I will have to look at taking some time.

  • Stacie

    5 weeks out, and the wedding dreams have begun! Two nights in a row now, I’ve woken up saying “I need to order my veil!”… when my veil has been in my possession for three months. Also, last night I had a nightmare that the bridal salon ordered the wrong dress… when again, the dress has been in my hands and has already been at the tailors’ for six weeks.

    Make it stooooop!

    • http://batman-news.com jbryant6

      I’m 4 weeks out, and I’ve been having crazy wedding dreams for months! Last night I only dreamed about the rehearsal dinner, but it was the worst. I dreamed we had the dinner at this gorgeous riverside B&B, but it turns
      out it used to be a children’s home where kids were abused and killed, and it
      was this whole demonic horror story nightmare thing. It was absolutely awful! And I have no idea where it came from, because I refuse to watch those kinds of horror movies. I guess wedding stress is getting to me more than I thought…

    • Lindsey d.

      So…. I started having wedding anxiety dreams AFTER the wedding.. I had two on our honeymoon. Thankfully, they seem to have gone away now, but we’ll see.

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

    Happy birthday APW!!!

    Our Harry Potter themed infertility shirts won for best team shirt at Resolve’s Walk of Hope in Scottsdale, AZ last week. Photos of our awesome shirts and the embryo who lived here – http://www.missgiggles.com/blog/2014/03/walk-with-hope/

    • Jessica

      I’m dying! That’s the best thing!*

      *aside from infertility being the worst.

    • Meg Keene

      Awww. That gave me chills.

    • Shotgun Shirley

      Iddo is so cute!!

  • http://innercupcake.blogspot.com innercupcake

    I wasn’t at last week’s happy hour because I was busy defending my dissertation in a public seminar and then closed defense! And then celebrating! And my talk went really well and I got a lot of positive feedback from people on it being a great talk, easy to follow, and interesting! So you can now call me Dr. Innercupcake :D The next day we did marathon wedding dress shopping since my family was in town and (not so) shockingly, I wasn’t a huge fan of how many of the more traditional dresses looked on me, but I was pleasantly surprised that there were dresses that fit (as a plus sized lady), and that many of the dresses looked pretty on me. So, now I’ll need to decide if I go with the practical side of me that wants to wear the much less expensive, more comfortable (less layers) white bridesmaids dress that doesn’t make as much of a statement and doesn’t have as nice of a bodice drape as another fairly similar dress (that I would want to remove some layers from to de-poof).

    • Crayfish Kate

      Congratulations Doctor!!!! My FH defended his dissertation a few weeks ago and holy crap, what a RELIEF! Well done! Best wishes for your future and enjoy your new title! :-D

    • Ariel

      CONGRATULATIONS, DOCTOR!

    • emilyg25

      Doctor Cupcake. Why, I quite like the sound of that.

    • Chiara M

      I vote for the BHLDN dress (dreamy!).

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

      WHOA. That dress is gorgeous. Almost as gorgeous as your DOCTORATE!

    • Raakele

      Congrats on your successful defense, Dr. Innercupcake!

  • Ana

    I’m tapping the vast experiences of APW readers… Does anyone know how bad of an idea it is to change your last name with the Social Security Administration, and then travel on a passport with your maiden name?

    I travel a lot for work and we got married the end of February (woohoo destination wedding!) and then left for three weeks. I’m a planner and want to have things like our joint checking account taken care of ASAP. However, I’d like to just do it with the new name, rather than go back in a month and change everything. But the fact that I need a new passport at the same time makes things hard.

    So…my question is: If I go to the SS office on a Friday and file the paperwork and then leave on Sunday for Bosnia/Rome for ten days, am I asking for trouble? Obviously all my tickets and travel documents have the same name as my passport. But is there a risk of them scanning my passport on the return trip and it coming up as, “this person doesn’t exist”? I would then fill out the paperwork and expedite my new passport the day I get back so that I have the updated version for my next trip.

    Part B – anyone with any knowledge about traveling on a visa with a maiden name? Or who I contact for an official answer? Obviously our visa company is going to say I need a new visa so they can get more money…but can I travel with my old passport and a copy of my marriage license (as I’ve kind of read online) and reliably get into another country?

    I love my job and I love my husband, but this is a lot of headache!

    • jashshea

      Weeell. I can’t speak to the legality. But. I changed my name end of 2012 and have traveled (all flights) as my maiden name, including two international trips. It doesn’t set off any red flags at the airport. At all. But I imagined I’d have gotten a big wrist slap if there had been an issue while I was away.

      Why did I take this chance? Because I’m LIVID that my passport doesn’t expire until 2018 and those emeffs want over $200 for me to update the passport ($168 passport fee + new pictures + shipping). My license numbers and social haven’t changed and are the “primary keys” on the account, so it shouldn’t matter. But now I’m getting a little chicken shit and am converting everything over this month, including the FF stuff. I can’t fathom why the FF programs need a copy of my marriage license, but there you go.

      Wait until there’s a multi-week lull in travel and then have your company cover all the fees to expedite (and, shit, have them pay the passport fee too if they’re game for that?).

      No help with Visas. Is there a Passport location you can visit in person to ask questions?

      • Ana

        That’s good to know that you’ve made it happen…I just hope I’m not the exception! I REALLY don’t want to end up in jail in a foreign country because I’m trying to be two people.

        Good grief on the FF stuff! (good thing I just ordered a handful of extra marriage license copies) I’m completely in the same boat. I’m literally four months past the one year “you can update your name for free” mark on the passports. Why they gotta be so cruel?!

        And yes, work will be paying for everything…especially since I renewed my passport in a moment of optimism when I applied for this job instead of waiting until I got the job to have them pay for it in the first place!

        For the visas – I’ve been told I have to go to the embassies, because it’s up to each individual country (again, that was one random person who said that). But I do have to go into the Customs Office in person (closest one is three hours away) to update my Global Entry status when I get my new passport, so I’ll probably start there – thanks for the suggestion!

        • jashshea

          Just as a quick anecdote (and to make you think I’m additionally criminal): I have 4 licenses right now. In my state it’s $10 for a duplicate license and they don’t make you attest that it’s lost or whatever.

          When I moved in with my fiance I requested an updated address (#2), but kept the old for my gym bag. Then we got married and I changed my name (#3), so I have a new one with a different picture. Six months later we bought a house (#4), so I duplicated #3 with the new addy.

          All have the same license number. I fly domestically using (I think) #2.

          I…would look like the world’s shittiest spy if anyone ever found my bag o’licenses on the side of the road.

          • Ana

            Haha, that’s hilarious!

    • Nina

      Can you carry a photocopy of your marriage license / name change paperwork with you?

      My mom got married and changed her name, got divorced and changed it back, and then forever had to carry photocopies of her marriage license, our birth certificates, and her divorce certificate to prove that we belonged to her (ugh!) and that seemed to work.

    • Hope

      For years my SS last name was different to the one on my passport and I did not have any problems flying or entering countries. The airlines mostly care that your ticket is in the same name as your passport.

      I only had trouble when my Green Card last name was different to my passport and ticket last name due to married/maiden name. But even then they let me fly and enter the country.

      • Ana

        Awesome! This is exactly what I wanted to hear!

  • margie

    Has anybody ever been asked to be a bridesmaid, and then asked not to be?

    My sister-in-law just did this to me, and I’m trying to figure out how I feel. Especially now that she has asked my husband to be her “man of honor” and given him a lot of tasks that, quite frankly, seem a bit ridiculous…
    So maybe I should just be relieved?!

    I wanted to be ok with it, but honestly I’m a little hurt, especially because I asked her to be in our wedding mostly to make my husband happy. And now when he proudly tells me how much time (which he really, really doesn’t have to spare) he spent on these tasks–I’m having a hard time being enthusiastic. So I end up feeling unsupportive. And I don’t want to feel this way about her wedding! Any thoughts?

    • swarmofbees

      Unless she has a really good reason, and I honestly can’t think of one, I think you have every right to feel miffed. But, hopefully with time you can come to live with whatever reasons she gave you and enjoy the day. Even if you are grumpy before the day, I am sure you can enjoy the festivities when they happen (unless she puts you at a different table from your husband – then you have the right to be quietly miffed on the day).

    • Meg Keene

      Differently, I got asked to do some honors at a wedding, and then at the last minute was told not to bother. At the time I was super offended (though I’d forgotten about it till now, so there you go). I later figured out it had nothing to do with me, and everything to do with other family stressers they were trying to balance. (This was pre our wedding, after which I got much more sympathetic, I think ;)

      Anyway, long story short, sometimes it feels like it’s about you and it’s really not about you in the slightest. And if we’ve learned anything about wedding planning in the last… six years… it’s that it’s complicated and sometimes hellish, and we probably should cut everyone doing it a lot of slack.

      So *I* say, mock your husband for what he’s gotten himself into, while having a drink with your feet up ;)

    • margie

      Thanks guys! You’re right, it probably has nothing to do with me… I had a hard time dealing with her mother (my mother-in-law) and should probably cut her slack based on that alone… It’s also certainly not worth holding onto long term. I feel a little less crazy for voicing it though–and can re-read this to remind me as the wedding approaches!

  • http://www.blackgirlunlost.com Jubi The Great

    Happy birthday APW!

    I’ve got a wedding conundrum but it’s not my own, it’s my BFFs. He’s been engaged for a couple of years, and he & his fiancee decided to get married Fourth of July weekend, so in like 4 months. I’d always planned to be there, until I found out the date thanks to the Save The Date evite I got this morning. My fiance & I had already planned a different trip with some of my friends, and though we haven’t paid for all of it yet, we’ve paid for some & I don’t know how much of the cost we’d have to eat. Is “I’d already booked another trip with another group of friends” a good enough reason to miss your BFF’s wedding? I want to go on this trip but we could always go next year, and theoretically my BFF is only getting married once. If only he’d given me more notice *sigh*

    • Cathi

      I’d eat the cost of the trip, rant about it to my partner, and be there for BFF.

      Maybe get him a less expensive wedding present :P

    • http://batman-news.com jbryant6

      As the person who has had several friends bail on my upcoming wedding, I say be there for your friend. It hurts like hell to have people you love not show up for you :(

  • Bsquillo

    About an hour ago, I finished my comprehensive exams for my master’s degree! WOOOOOO!

    I also applied for a job this week that I really, REALLY want. It’s hard not to get too excited this early on because I know it would be the PERFECT job for me. Fingers and toes crossed!

    • Ariel

      WOOHOO!!!

    • http://innercupcake.blogspot.com innercupcake

      Congrats!! Those are both awesomely exciting things- it’s so great that you know what you want!

  • Ashleyn

    I just want to say thank you to APW for the posts on roadblocks and getting past them. My book of poetry has been languishing in self-publication limbo, and they gave me the push to just GET IT DONE already. I was making this huge mountain out of ISBNs and how they work and well maybe I want to have like my own company as the publisher of record, so I’ll need to start a publishing company, but how does that work? How do taxes for that work? It’s really better to start my own company and then buy like ten ISBNs, right? So of course this was all too hard and confusing and I’m not ready to have my own publishing company yet, who else would I publish other than myself, so it just sat there. Because I was frozen. The writing had been done forever and I just wanted someone to take care of the logistics for me. But that wasn’t happening (duh).

    Then I realized there is nothing wrong with CreateSpace providing me with a free ISBN if it means I just get past this and get my book out there and totally finished. Maybe I will get it together enough to have my own publishing company someday – I will have more poems to publish. Maybe just getting this out there will be what I need to get there eventually.

    Anyway, taking a break from the work of fine tuning the book and designing a cover (exciting!) to just say thanks APW for those articles and for you ladies who commented and encouraged. I’m going to make this happen!

    • MisterEHolmes

      You can buy just one ISBN, too. And for “founding a company,” you just put it under your business name. That’s all you have to do, at this point! (Google it. There are lots of helpful blogs on the subject!)

  • http://brokensaucer.blogspot.com/ sera

    Okay, I just started reading the Vogue article and I love this line: “The Vogue mentality is a crushing, totalitarian, all-encompassing binary of right and wrong, and good bad, and no one can ever really obtain it. The best case scenario is to get rich and die buying.”
    And I totally agree. I have had a subscription off and on for most of my days and just when I think I’m in love with the beautiful dresses, I start to feel bad about myself and then I cancel my subscription. Ah, Vogue. Why can’t you be a positive force in society instead of one that tears us all down?

  • Nina

    I want to request a tutorial (I refuse to join facebook): How do I decorate a whole wedding with things that can fit in one checked suitcase???

    • Katelyn

      Agree! This would have been very helpful for us, but we ended up going with essentially no decorations.

      Our ceremony is set in a garden and will have no additional trimmings, and we won’t have centerpieces for our restaurant reception – just table numbers and wine bottles in the center of each table. I’ll be constructing silk flower bouquets for myself and 3 bridesmaids, and the mothers and grandmothers will have paper flower corsages from Etsy.

      Oh, and we’re making a backdrop for a homemade photo booth with cardstock a la Martha Stewart (photo attached). We’ll pack the pre-cut and pre-folded squares and use repositionable spray adhesive to attach to a wall. The other photo booth components are my DSLR with a Wi-Fi enabled SD card to synch with our iPad for viewing photos and a compact tripod which fits in a suitcase.

      • Nina

        That is so cool! I’m going to have to research some paper handicrafts.

    • Laura

      APW pick this pick this! Not because I need it but because it would be the most fascinating tutorial ever!

    • Ann

      Good idea! I could have used this a few months ago!

      We basically went the same route as Katelyn – found a garden venue that didn’t need decorating! We carried on our dress/suit in one garment bag and then packed a second, hard-sided carry on with all “wedding day essentials”: shoes, jewelry, hair accessories, unity candle/vases, silk flower corsage/pearl bracelets for the moms, silk flower pins/hair accessories for the sisters (no bridesmaids, just sisters in matching dresses) and bouquet charms. The restaurant was super-cute already, but the florist did a few matching centerpieces to my bouquet. And the planner brought leftover flowers from the day before (my wedding was a Sunday).

      I’d say the hard-sided suitcases are a God-send. You can really pack stuff into them, and you know it’s protected.

  • http://www.therewm.com/ Rachel W. Miller

    Good lord, I’m so glad I’m not in high school with a dress code anymore. Y’all can take my leggings from my cold, dead hands.

    Related: http://www.slate.com/blogs/xx_factor/2013/03/08/leggings_aren_t_pants_in_defense_of_the_better_alternative_to_pants_and.html

    • http://brokensaucer.blogspot.com/ sera

      While I admit, I am not a huge fan of leggings as pants, I think this dress code is bullshit. Why is it always the girls problem to deal with boys reactions? grrr.

      • Alyssa M

        “While I admit, I am not a huge fan of leggings as pants, I think this
        dress code is bullshit. Why is it always the girls problem to deal with
        boys reactions? grrr.”

        Man, that is EXACTLY how I feel about it. What a good opportunity to teach those boys to be responsible for themselves instead of shaming and embarrassing girls right when they’re most sensitive to it. UGH.

        Also, that 13 year old quoted in the article, she rocks. I seriously wish I had been that aware and empowered in 8th grade.

      • Laura

        I’m in the boat with you. I have yet to see a person wearing leggings with a shirt that doesn’t cover their butt and think “oh, that’s cute.” I also think that dresscode is bullshit and re-enforcing oppressive norms. For one, whose to say that the leggings as pants thing wasn’t also distracting to other girls in the school? For another thing, we could totally re-phrase this whole dresscode thing for the right reasons. Like… “we want to teach our students that they don’t have to show off their bodies in order to be valued, and we define ‘showing off your body’ as the following: shorts and skirts under x amount of inches, leggings accompanies by shirts that don’t cover their butts, and etc. But then again, this school probably cares less about empowering young women and more about how comfortable they are within their own tiny minds.

    • http://www.superfantastic.blogs.com/ Superfantastic

      Just to offer a different perspective here: I’ve been asked by male teachers to talk to female students about wearing leggings as pants because these teachers feel uncomfortable around girls wearing too tight clothes. I agree that it shouldn’t be phrased as girls having to be responsible for boys’ thoughts and actions, but kids do need to learn that different situations demand different clothing. The school I work in allows leggings under skirts, dresses, or shorts. We also don’t allow boys to wear saggy pants with their boxers showing. I don’t think it’s unreasonable to want everyone’s junk covered in school.

  • ElisabethJoanne

    I went to the doctor yesterday. I’m convinced that was a mistake. As I expected, she couldn’t treat my sexual dysfunction because I couldn’t describe my symptoms because it’s been that long since we tried. There was also some shaming about my husband’s long-term-unemployment. I’m really sad and frustrated that after two weeks of anxiety about the appointment, I’m right where I was before. I cried on the way to work this morning. I’ve been trying to figure out the next step for me (after we find an effective treatment for my husband’s sexual dysfunction). This is 2 or 3 doctor’s appointments with no new ideas and increasing bad feelings after each one.

    • jashshea

      Oh my gosh, that’s terrible. I’m so sorry, especially given that you were so anxious about the appointment beforehand.

      Are you otherwise happy with this physician? This must sound like a terrible suggestion, but could you try to see a different one? It wouldn’t guarantee a result, but maybe you’d have a better working relationship with the next.

      Again, I’m so sorry.

    • Shauna

      This is so unbelievably sucky. So sorry you have to go through this. The only silver lining is that you now know for sure that this provider isn’t the right one for you. Try to scrounge up the will to find someone else. The right, compassionate person can make a *huge* difference. Hang in there.

    • ElisabethJoanne

      I can’t see a different gynecologist for family reasons I won’t go into. Right now, I’d rather live with the problem forever than cross that bridge. Right now, I don’t want any more appointments with any one, but assuming I get over that, my own research suggests my treatment options are seeing some other kind of doctor (psychiatrist? psychologist? general practitioner for a referral?), a physical therapist, or going back and asking my gynecologist for hormone therapy.

      She did test me for infection, cancer, endometriosis and clearly doesn’t think the cause is something that could get worse or affect other systems.

      Thank you for your validation. It’s really hard to explain to my husband why I’m upset. He’s so happy in our marriage and doesn’t seem to think these problems are worth urgent effort.

      • http://batman-news.com jbryant6

        My two cents? If you can’t see a different gynecologist for whatever reason, then definitely try to find a different kind of doctor. Any doctor that would listen to you and take you seriously and NOT shame you. Maybe a psychologist or psychiatrist would be a good place to start, if only so you can talk to someone whose sole job is to listen to your problems. Either way, sending you an internet hug.

      • Laura

        As someone in school to become a clinical psychologist, I would highly recommend seeking help from a mental health professional. Look for someone in your area who specializes in sexual health, and feel free to ask a bunch of questions when you’re making the appointment — what sort of theoretical orientation does he/she have? Has s/he treated people with XYZ problem you and your husband are having?

        A good, sex-positive therapist will be able to discuss any psychological/social/emotional factors that may be contributing to the sexual dysfunction. He/she would also be able to help you work through those barriers or miscommunications between yourself and your husband about how important this issue is. And since they work with so many clients with co-occurring medical issues, a good sex therapist will be able to give you a referral to a sex-positive physician who will listen to your needs.

        Good luck to you! This stuff is hard, but it’s so important to make your (both physical and mental) health a priority.

    • La_Venus

      I am so sorry. I know how devastating it is to just get nothing out of appointments that end in tears. I am convinced I have developed trauma associated with going to the doctor because I always feel dismissed, belittled, and ignored.

      Hang in there. It finally helped me to see an NMD. Is there one in your area who might specialized in something like this? Or even a midwife as a starting point? I have found it extremely easy to talk to NMDs and midwives about various issues. They have been non-judgmental, unhurried, sympathetic, and able to think outside the box. I always feel heard and hopeful afterward. The only thing is insurance coverage is not guaranteed.

      And if that’s off the table, when you are ready definitely find a different physician. Maybe a specialist. This is your body. Your health. You deserve respectful, helpful treatment.

    • Grace

      I’m really sorry you had such a bad experience today. Going was the right thing, honestly. Now my advice is to NEVER go back, you can safely say this is not the right doctor for you. From reading a few of your posts it sounds to me like you and your husband have a few issues which will all contribute to sexual problems, even if not directly. I don’t know loads about the US health system but do you have general practitioners or family doctors that can refer you to specialists? I feel like gynaecology is too narrow right now, what you need I’d someone to sit dome with you as a couple and discuss all of your issues one by one to start to sort through them, to decide where to go next. I know this is complicated but there will be a way forward. Hang in there xxx

    • Meg Keene

      You need a new doctor, not to give up on doctors.

      I’m sorry she was a bitch, though. Shitty doctors are really the worst. But you owe it to yourself to keep going till you find answers.

    • Laura

      That is so awful. It’s indescribably stupid to go to several so-called professionals who are supposed to be trusted, knowledgeable advisors only to be shamed and not even helped or referred to someone who can help. The more bad feelings, the more terrifying it is to go to an appointment each time. I wish I could go with you and be your advocate. Do you have any super-supportive/assertive friends or family members that would go with you? Have you self-diagnosed based on your (past) symptoms? If so maybe you could find an online support group with good ideas?

  • MisterEHolmes

    Multiple things:
    * My dress has arrived back to the shop. They want me to come in 4 TIMES for fittings, and can’t even offer me a price quote until I come in. I’ve developed sudden anxieties about how it will fit and if I will still like it and the prices and I’m just six kinds of nervous. Oh, and they want me to come in at a time that would mean sneaking out of work early. Do not want.

    * We discovered there is a spelling error on our invitations — after we printed them. It’s a double-l from our city name, and we just missed it. I’m horribly embarrassed and we don’t really have money to fix them, and my fiance assures me no one will notice, because, heck, we didn’t! … But I am an editor by day. SUPER embarrassed. Maybe it’ll be funny later.

    * The Old Church Lady throwing me a shower left the charity registry off the list of places we’re registered on the invitation. I’m LIVID but there is nothing I can do about it. This is even more frustrating.

    • jashshea

      On #2: Some people may notice, but I promise that it will be a hilarious story in the future.

      #1 seems over the top.

      • MisterEHolmes

        I’m hoping it’s funny later–I’m not amused right now. :(

        Over the top–my freakout or the shop’s requests?

        • jashshea

          No, the shop. Four fittings? Holy moly. And not giving an inkling on pricing? I was nervous as hell trying on my dress each time, so I certainly understand your nerves there, for sure.

        • Kayjayoh

          Tell people it is a deliberate mistake, to show humility, etc.

          • MisterEHolmes

            I was planning “I just wanted to be sure you were paying attention! Good catch har har! This really proves my point about everyone needing an editor.”

    • Dom

      It’s okay about #2! I was 75% done putting our return address on the envelopes when I noticed that my own postal code was wrong. So I had the choice of wasting all the labels and re-enveloping everything, trying to pull off the wrong labels, or just crossing our fingers and hoping if the invitation was returned back our postal office would catch it.

      As long as it doesn’t affect any ones ability to attend your wedding, I wouldn’t stress too much.

      • MisterEHolmes

        My fiance is confident it won’t: everyone in town knows what town it is (duh). Anyone out of town, he says, will Google it/look it up, in which case autocorrect will get them to the double-l town without a problem–he says they won’t even notice. Here’s hoping. (I checked our names, the spelling of the church, EVERYTHING but that, apparently!)

  • Kelly

    Footwear advice needed!

    Because my dress is a little bit short, I can only wear 2″ heels. I thought this wouldn’t be an issue, but WHERE are the cute, not-flat, not-high heels? Does anyone have any suggestions? Everything I’m finding is decidedly not fabulous.

    To add to it, my chubby feet means I walk out of shoes. So I’m also hoping for something with an ankle strap or similar fix.

    I’m considering these (http://bit.ly/1lsfA3U) with a cute clip, but I can’t imagine ever wanting to wear them again. They feel a little… Prom 2001.

    Any suggestions? Thank you!!

    • Alyssa M

      VINTAGE! This can totally be waaaay to expensive, but it was my solution for adorable heels that won’t sink into the ground. Plenty of ankle straps and low heels to be found in vintage shoes… although sizing can be a bitch.

      The etsy store I bought my fabulous 1940s green leather pumps: https://www.etsy.com/shop/honeytalkvintage?ref=l2-shopheader-name

    • april

      What you’re looking for are ‘kitten heels’ (I know, because it’s basically all I wear). Here are a billion options from zappos: http://www.zappos.com/kitten-heels P.S. can I have a wedding do-over and wear these? http://www.zappos.com/j-renee-floretta-grenadine-cork ?

      • Kelly

        those are beauties!

    • Kayjayoh
    • Jess

      I’m going to throw out ballroom dance shoes. You can custom order a specific heel height usually no more than 2″.

      • Katelyn

        I think I need to find a shoe-related post every Happy Hour and post about ballroom shoes. They. are. awesome.

        Try a website like Dance Shoes Online – http://www.danceshoesonline.com/ – almost every style has a customizable heel height.

        And now, photo evidence of ballroom awesomeness (this style comes in a 1.8 inch heel option: http://www.danceshoesonline.com/LS160209.html).

        • Kelly

          these are amazing!! I might need to order some others just for fun!
          Will the suede soles hold up outdoors? Especially if the ground is a little wet?

          • Katelyn

            Outdoors are not a great idea for those soles BUT I know I’ve seen some shoes on that website that you can select to have “street” soles put on. I’m sure you could also go to a cobbler and have a standard sole glued on as well.

            Here’s at least some of the shoes available to be made custom with a street sole:
            http://www.danceshoesonline.com/Alma-Danza-Custom-made/

      • Kelly

        For an outdoor wedding, is the suede sole okay? I will be mostly on paved ground, but some grass and gravel. If it rains and shoes get a little wet, will they fall apart?

      • Kelly

        Looks like my original thank you was marked as spam…. thank you!!

        • Jess

          You’re welcome!

  • http://brokensaucer.blogspot.com/ sera

    Okay. So today is my last day at the temp job. I have two days left until a full two days off. Yet, I’ve already felt the guilt trip for not coming back to the temp job for one last day on Monday. People I need sleep!
    I start the florist job tomorrow. I hope I have the energy to prove myself, right now I’m not feeling it. At least I get to sleep in until 8 am.
    I officially started a Squarespace, but I haven’t been able to work on it at all. But it’s a start.
    I printed out the job posting for the Anthropologie Display Coordinator position which is kind of a dream job. I have no portfolio, no established work, no blog to show yet, so I won’t be applying this time around, but I have physical words to look at, words to help me establish a vision of what I want to do. Anyway. At this moment, the physical energy is the hardest part of trying to be creative, even trying to compose my ideas into words, drawings anything, so I’ll just have to give myself a break and hold out for my Monday weekend.
    Happy birthday APW! You are a huge part of my life and I am so thankful for you!!!

    • Meg Keene

      YAYYY! Thanks for being there for… basically all six of the years, Sera.

      • http://brokensaucer.blogspot.com/ sera

        I actually wonder how long you were up before I found you… a month maybe?
        Seriously Meg, you are an inspiration to me. Thanks for helping me get through the hard times.

        • Cat

          Wooo! My goal this weekend is to start a Squarespace, I already have a “store front” with them, so a whole website should be…. not as crazypants inducing as my first attempts?? right?! ;) Can’t wait to see yours, happy sleeping!

  • taygete05

    My inlaws-to-be have been pestering my partner about hotel possibilities for our next-spring-maybe wedding … but we haven’t finalized a date/venue yet, because they haven’t given us their ‘must invite’ list. I’m glad they’re excited but need to take this one thing at a time!

  • Chiara M

    I think I might quit my job. And not have a back up job. And work on my partner’s farm, which isn’t even a full time job (or in my mind a real job, because it’s just part of life around here).

    I started working for this company at the end of November, because I was freaking out about never being employed. I was three months out of school for a professional program and it seemed like the best thing ever to be employed in my field. I had a really bad time at the interview, but they hired me anyways because they really need people. I am always driving (it’s a key component of the job, I have to drive around to see people), I feel like I’m constantly bombarded by deadlines, I struggled with mild anxiety for the first three months to the point where I wasn’t sleeping through the night on my work days. It’s gotten better, but I’m still not really content with it.

    Money isn’t a huge issue right now. I don’t want my partner saddled with my student loans, but if I work on the farm I can make enough money to get by with my monthly payments and he’d cover all the household expenses. I’m not sure how likely I’ll be able to find another job as we live in a semi-rural area and the company I’m working for is the biggest employer of my profession in the area. And even if another job came up, I don’t know if I’d get it because I’ve got such limited work in the field (6 months part time max). But after working here, I’m not even sure how interested I am in continuing in my field. I don’t know what else I’d do, but I’m not sure it’s this.

    Should I stick it out? Is it just new job growing pains? Or should I quit. The idea of quitting is really enchanting. But part of my thinks I’m just being ridiculous and making money is a grind in general. Google has not been very helpful, so I thought I’d ask all of you lovely people what you think.

    • Katelyn

      Anecdotally – it took a full year for me to be disenchanted at my first “real” job. And even then, I was still overall satisfied, even if I wasn’t chugging the Kool-Aid quite like I did at first. If I were in your spot, I would jump ship.

    • ElisabethJoanne

      If only for resume issues, I’d stick with it for at least 6 months. In terms of peace of mind, I’d stick with it for a year. It’s taken me that long to settle into places. Also, be careful of conflating this job with every job in the field you trained for. What you dislike about the job may just be this employer/assignment.

    • emilyg25

      I vote stick it out. It could be an adjustment period or it could be the wrong job for you, but it’s a bit too early to tell. As yes, as Elisabeth said, it’s generally a good idea to stick in a job for at least a year. Give it a few more months, maybe make some adjustments to make it more pleasant for you, and see how you feel.

  • notquitecece

    I thought I had relaxed. I thought I had settled into oh-we’re-gonna-do-this-slowly. And then…wedding dreams, of the anxiety variety. We don’t even have a venue! We don’t even have a ring! All we have is a basic guest list! Whyyyyy would my brain decide that it’s time to start having stress dreams about having to do my own hair and not being able to find my best friend to help with makeup. Whyyy?

    • taygete05

      I’m in the same boat. I’m fine most of the time, and then have paralyzing, mind-numbing bouts of anxiety out of nowhere about once a day or so!

      • notquitecece

        Internet hugs of solidarity.

  • Dom

    Ladies! So, we are slowly counting down more and more everyday. Last weekend my ladies and I had a lovely brunch then went to try on some dresses. I want my bridesmaids to be comfortable, and as long as the dresses were the same length and colour, I would be happy. The girls are all paying for their dresses as I’m covering the cost of the hair and make-up, as well as any accessories such as the shawl. We went in with the loose idea of a budget of $100-150.

    Now, everyone had fun and my friend I was most worried about having strong opinions was really, really good. Everyone ended up liking the exact same dress. We agreed to sleep on it and talk about it over the next week.

    Now, my other friend who I know isn’t in the best financial shape (but she can still afford starbucks everyday), told me as I dropped her off that she can’t afford the dress ($200). She tells me a sob story about another wedding her husband is in, that expects them to stay two nights in an expensive hotel (why can’t they find something more in their price range??). I said I would cover the extra $50 over budget – she said ok (without a thank you). I also said that if it is too much, then we can try again, as long as we search soon.

    I send a mass message, multiple times to confirm that everyone still loves it and wants it. Everyone does, and she raises no objection to the price. Now we have to order it. Every time I suggest a date, she has some reason why she can’t go. My other friends are savvy enough to not purchase the dress unless we all go together, as it would be weird if only one girl didn’t match. The thing is, the dress takes 5 months to come in, and needs at least 6 weeks of alterations. I want a buffer of a few weeks in case something is wrong. This means we need to order by April 26th.

    I want her to make a single hour of her life a priority for my wedding now… How hard is it going to be in 7 months time when the wedding is closer? She wasn’t the one I was originally worried about causing drama, but the other 3 friends are really annoyed with her back-and-forth on our plans just to order the dress…

    /Rant over

    • MisterEHolmes

      I too have unnecessary bridesmaid drama related to the dresses. You have my sympathies. Good luck, and I hope you manage it better than I did (I have no advice).

    • http://www.therewm.com/ Rachel W. Miller

      Maybe email all the girls and let them know that the options are X date or Y date and if that means anyone is in a tight spot or between paychecks, you’ll cover the cost of their dress and they can pay you back by Z date. My guess is your friend is stalling because she doesn’t have the $150 either and she doesn’t want to tell you that.

      • Laura

        Yes! Boundaries.

    • Laura

      This might be way too harsh because I don’t know your whole story or hers, but at some point is it ever time to just schedule the appointment? And if everyone else but her can make it, tell her the steps to take to get it done and when it needs to be done. If she doesn’t get it done, she doesn’t match. And if she doesn’t match, she becomes the bridesmaid that is included in everything except she can’t stand up there with you? I know that sounds terribly cruel, but it might also just be boundaries. Her being terribly difficult is cruel to you. Whether intentionally or not, she is hijacking the situation.

      Also, based on all the “difficult bridesmaid in relation to clothes” posts that I see on Happy Hour, I think it’s time for a whole APW series on this subject. :-)

    • vegankitchendiaries

      If it is in any way in your budget maybe you could offer to cover the cost of the dress? Or, like Rachel suggested offer to float her a loan until she’s had a few catch-up paycheques? It sounds like she’s having a hard time affording it and that can be a really difficult thing to broach with someone.

    • p.

      I’d consider reaching out to her separately and explain that the dress has to be ordered in the next few weeks and ask her to suggest a date. I wonder if she doesn’t want to go with the group to order the dress because she doesn’t want the rest of the group to know that you’re paying for part of her dress because she can’t afford it, and if that’s the case, maybe it’s better for her to order her dress separately.

  • macrain

    Having one of those NYC problems I was hoping someone here could help with!
    It states clearly in our lease that smoking is no allowed in our building, yet my downstairs neighbor smokes all the time. I have confronted him on this (and he has admitted that he does smoke inside) but it hasn’t gotten better. The property manager for the building keeps dodging my emails and so far has not been helpful at all.

    Do I have any recourse here? I feel pretty helpless!

    • Sarah

      Try contacting 311 or going on the 311 website to see if there’s any information there.

    • M.

      There was recently a notice put up in my building (Brooklyn) bc some people were smoking in the hallways, reminding everyone that no smoking is allowed in common areas and, while they can’t prevent anyone from smoking inside their apts, that it needs to be properly ventilated to prevent secondhand smoke from spreading. They said they’d move to terminate anyone’s lease who violated. It’s possible city law doesn’t technically allow for leases to exclude smokers, but I have no idea. Can you go above the property manager to someone higher in the management company?

      • macrain

        I am certainly going to threaten to go above the property manager to get her to just respond to me, but unfortunately I can’t find any information about the realty company online. They do not have a website. I have a sickening feeling this is probably on purpose. I’m going to keep digging!

  • enfp

    Happy birthday APW!!

    We’re three months away from the wedding and planning is… not going so great lately. Could use some words of wisdom from Team Practical. Or just commiseration.

    Lately, my partner has just been impossible when it comes to wedding planning. He gets super grumpy and I feel like he’s picking fights with me. It’s gotten to the point that I think I just need to do everything on my own, without his help. He acknowledges that he is being difficult and says it is because of his anxieties about the wedding. My introverted partner does not like being the centre of attention and doesn’t really like big parties (although we’ve always had a ton of fun together at big parties), but for various reasons which I won’t get into here our wedding will be around 150 people, which causes my partner a certain degree of anxiety.

    We are communicating fairly well about this conflict, but practically speaking, I don’t know how to manage the planning. At three months out, we have a TON of work left to do! I hate the thought of doing it alone, without him, but I also can’t stand the bickering and his grumpy moods whenever we try to work together on wedding stuff. Do I just suck it up and try to do EVERYTHING on top of my long work hours? Or divide up tasks and try not to work together on them? Continue to try to find a way to manage his anxiety together and hope this dysfunctional bickering unpleasant dynamic goes away? Ugh. I miss the early days when we easily made all the big planning decisions together and felt totally like a wedding planning team!

    • LM

      That sounds so stressful. Doing everything your own sounds like a recipe for even more stress and resentment. If possible, I wonder if it would be helpful/possible to separate dealing with his ‘anxieties about the wedding’ from the practical planning aspects? Both are important to deal with, but from a practical perspective, you can’t do everything alone (and it doesn’t seem like you want to) and if you guys could split up some of the planning responsibilities (he could take on those that seem less onerous to him), it might help the situation since you’d feel less stressed about things getting done and then it would leave some more space to figure out the emotional pieces…

  • guest

    Suggestions for compensating people who perform duties for your wedding? One good friend who lives accross the country has a agreed to be our officiant, and another who lives nearby has agreed to be our “stage manager.” We never discussed “payment” and I assumed we’d get them each a nice, personal gift as a thank you. When I was talking to my mom about it, she seemed to imply that we should be paying them or paying for their lodging, which I don’t think is really necessary. Am I being rude? Are our friends waiting for us to offer to compensate them? Because I don’t think they are, but I’m embarrassed to ask.

    • Alyssa M

      I have a lot of friendors and we found it was best to at least pay for their lodging. It’s not really the same as paying them, but it just seemed right that we at least cover some of their expenses…

    • Sarah

      I just asked a friend of mine to DJ our wedding for two hours, and my approach was to ask for his hourly rate/usual compensation for this type of thing, to which he responded that it wasn’t necessary but that travel costs might be good. When it comes to these type of things I think the direct approach is best and it circumvents any potential miscommunications/awkwardness.

    • emilyg25

      Yep, I agree that the direct route is the way to go. “Hey, I just realized we never discussed payment for when you officiate/stage manage our wedding. What do you think would be an appropriate amount?” Chances are, since they didn’t bring it up at the beginning, they’ll just say, “Oh, it’s my gift to you!” But I feel like it’s better to be in the clear, rather than worrying about miscommunication.

  • molly till

    Okay AWPers, I need some insight on an issue with my mother in law and my cousin-in-law’s wedding. My MIL decided that it’d be cool to have a flash mob at Cousin’s wedding to a song from her favorite band. I guess she got “approval” from the mother of the bride (her sister) – although these are women who request “Inagodadavida” at weddings just to see if the DJ is willing to play it. My MIL asked me and my husband to join in with his siblings, their spouses, and the brothers/wives of Cousin, but we declined. We feel like it’s not appropriate to do a surprise flash mob at someone’s wedding and we told her that. Now our dilemma: we’re not participating, but do we try and stop it? My husband wants to tell his cousin about it and I want to try to talk my MIL out of it. I feel like it’s a really disrespectful distraction that that will pull the focus of the day from the celebration of Cousin’s marriage and put the spotlight on MIL and her family.
    Are we over-reacting and this isn’t a big deal? Or do we need to do something?

    • LM

      This seems like a ‘know your crowd’ kind of thing. Does cousin seem like she could roll with it or would it be a mess? I totally get the impulse to both talk MIL out of it and tell cousin but depending on the soon-to-be married couple it could be a fun surprise. I would start with trying to talk to MIL about it before telling cousin though? Also, could be one of those things that ends up being funny/a good story later. One of my husband’s relative’s started a conga line at our wedding which I was not pleased about at the time (I really hate them), but people were really having fun so I just had to suck it up and go with it and ultimately, it was fine and it’s fun to see the photos of it.

      • Jenny

        I agree about knowing your audience, I mean I had a flash mob for my mother daughter dance, but if I’d gotten a surprise flash mob I would have been OVER THE MOON! I love them and I love dancing! I guess someone close to the planning must be involved, I mean I wouldn’t want it to impact the general timeline of the event, but I mean I LOOOOOVE surprises and flashmobs, so yeah that would have been awesome for me, but horrible for some of my friends as they dislike flashmobs (what?).

        • molly till

          Thanks for your insight, everyone! I think I’m probably bringing some of my own baggage into this. If Cousin’s mom and her brothers are participating, it’ll probably be fine.

    • ElisabethJoanne

      Among people I actually know, as opposed to reading online, the only time I’ve heard of a wedding where the focus of the day was pulled from the celebration of the marriage, it was because the wedding didn’t take place because the groom was already married.

      However, I’m the kind of person who couldn’t deal with that kind of surprise at my party. Not that I’d break down or cause a scene, but I wouldn’t know how to react and I’d be worried about the timeline and stuff. I would definitely want the heads-up as a bride. But I’m also unusual in how I enjoy parties by planning them, not attending them.

      • molly till

        I feel that way too; I wouldn’t be jazzed about a surprise like that. Also, my MIL started the dancing early at my wedding (like, I was still helping a guest get her meal from the kitchen early), so I’m probably just bringing all my own baggage into this.

    • emilyg25

      They’re planning this for the reception, after the first dance, when everybody else is dancing, right? If so, I don’t see a problem with it. Isn’t flashmob just a buzzy word for “get the family on the dancefloor”?

      • molly till

        My MIL said she’s just going to “talk to the DJ” at the reception and ask him to do it right before dancing is supposed to officially start. Her plan is to do it so that no one else is dancing at that time, or will have been dancing, which is maybe where I’m getting the “Look at me” vibe?

        • emilyg25

          Ah, okay. Yeah, that’s not cool. Any way you can encourage her to wait till after the spotlight dances? If not, try to intercept her before she gets to the DJ?

  • KerryMarie

    Maddie, it sounds like you were on the Central Coast! Hope you had a great vacation!

    Also, HAPPY BIRTHDAY, APW!

  • Amanda

    I’m de-lurking since this is the first Happy Hour I’ve been at a computer for! I just wanted to say that I am so, so, so happy to have found APW. I started reading before getting engaged, and since that happened in December, not many days have gone by that I’m not digging in the archives looking for an answer to a problem or a question. Basically, this website is the reason I don’t care what the chairs look like at our reception (May 16th!), just as long as some show up so our people can sit down. And because chair money was more fun to spend on craft supplies.

  • AMS

    I’m a bit late to the conversation, and to be honest I’ve been debating if I should even let this out into the world or not. I’ve been tossing around the idea about starting my own business, and I can’t decide if I want someone to tell me I’m crazy, or to tell me to go for it. Probably both, actually. Some background: I’m on maternity leave until the end of summer, and my husband’s job is going to have us do (another) cross-country move, probably in July. I’m an RN, and within the last week about 100 FTE nursing jobs were cut in the city where we’ll be moving. The job prospects are not looking promising, and frankly the care model that the health authority there has adopted scares me (it seems horribly unsafe). The more that I think about it, the less I want to work in that environment, if I could even get a job.
    Enter my idea: I like sewing. And I like crunchy granola baby stuff. And the same day I found out about the job cuts, I also stumbled upon an online fabric store that sells large quantities of organic cotton fabric, as well as bamboo and hemp and others. I’d love to craft and sell things like blankets (hand dyed?), sleep sacks, breast pads, menstrual pads, basically mom and baby goodies. All organic or eco-friendly. I wouldn’t be looking to make a whole lot of money, more like to be home with my son and create pretty things. So in the end, is it worth it? Could I feasibly do this?

    • Katelyn

      Some considerations from a business standpoint for you to think about:

      1. What does the crunchy granola baby homemade market currently look like? Etsy is a good place to start.
      2. What would your shop offer to the crunchy granola consumers that doesn’t currently exist? Unique products? More competitive pricing? Better quality?
      3. Who is your “starter market”? Do you have friends or friends of friends that have crunchy granola baby needs? Are you friends with bloggers who can try out your products and post reviews on their sites?
      4. How do you measure your success? Personal satisfaction, profitable within x months, a small but devout customer base?

      Just going through the process of researching and answering some of the more technical questions should help guide your decision. And don’t be afraid of the natural transformation your business idea may take! Maybe you find one particular product that you think would make a big impact very quickly, and start with just that. Maybe you create and sell patterns and kits for the DIY crowd.

      • AMS

        Thank you! These are great things to think about!

  • Annie

    Does anyone have any suggestions for guest books that don’t suck? For non-crafty people?

    • vegankitchendiaries

      We got ours from Shutterfly. http://www.shutterfly.com/custom-path/quickView.sfly?bookSize=8×8&coverType=USER_CUSTOM&id=5053

      As you can see the cost is CHEAP $30 but we got ours for $15 or something all in (including shipping). You just need to wait until they have a good sale (which happens every few weeks at least!).

      • ElisabethJoanne

        They had a sale for free 8×8″ photo books that ended Wednesday. I think I’ve received maybe 4 free photo books from Shutterfly at this point, as well as free photo cards, magnets, and big prints. Seriously, join their email list and watch your spam folder.

        I also recommend Shutterfly for wedding albums if your photographer is just delivering the images. Our officiant is a professional photographer, and he’s been beyond impressed with the quality of our Shutterfly wedding albums.

      • Eh

        We had a photo booth at our wedding instead of a guest book. Instead of people writing notes in a guest book they wrote notes to us on a white board and took a picture with the white board. We then used shutterfly to make a guest book and we added in some other pictures from the reception to fill the book.

    • Michelle

      I just bought a smallish journal and glued in photos of us together and small mementos from our relationship every few pages. Guests really enjoyed looking through it and a lot of people had fun choosing a page that related to them. We even got a full-page drawing of a robot blowing up a building…

    • Lindsey d.

      Seconding the Shutterfly recommendation. I was superbly impressed with the signatures we got in ours. It was a great place to showcase engagement session pics and just pictures from our relationship. You can customize it as much or as a little and it’s total lazy-girl crafting.

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

      We printed cards, 8 to a sheet, with our binary and names on them, and had them cut out. Then we put them out with a sign telling people to sign their names on one, give advice, or draw a picture for us (my mom and several small children drew pictures). They were stacked in a box with a basket for them to be put in when people were done. It was a lot of fun to go through them afterwards. Some people even did more than one.

      Who says it has to be a book?

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

      pricy but really beautiful. http://www.paper-source.com/cgi-bin/paper/item/Linen-Wedding-Guest-Book/2710_023/485201.html

      maybe use it for both your shower (if you choose to have one ;) and your wedding. (?? just a thought)

  • Not Sarah

    So, as a wedding guest, what do you do when you get invited to two weddings on the same day, but they are nowhere near each other? The two weddings are about a six hour drive away from each other, there’s no way to fly between the cities, and we currently live about a five hour flight + driving away from each city where these weddings are being held. We’re kind of bummed about this predicament because a) boyfriend has never been to a wedding before, b) we’ve never been to a wedding together before, and c) we would happily fly across the continent to go to EITHER wedding. We would also drive like maniacs to go to both if they were on back-to-back days, but they’re on the same day.

    Wedding A: Boyfriend knows the groom from high school, old friend, and the groom picked this day because boyfriend said he was available that weekend. At the point when this guy got engaged, we had no idea that Wedding B was even happening. (Groom B proposed about 3-6 months later than Groom A.)
    Wedding B: Boyfriend and I both know the groom from college, are pretty good friends with him and him and his fiancee have been together for almost 11 years. We are so excited they’ve decided to get married and really want to celebrate with them together.

    Our first idea when we heard of the two wedding dates was to go to Wedding B since we both know the groom and we really want to see all of our friends from college in one place as a couple and then we would send an extra nice present to the wedding we missed. Someone reminded my boyfriend that Groom A picked that date because of my boyfriend’s availability and that led us to our current conclusion of I go to Wedding B with friends from college, my boyfriend goes to Wedding A with his high school friends, we gift as if two of us went to each wedding, and we try to go to pre-wedding activities of one and post-wedding activities for the other.

    What would you ladies do?

    • Crayfish Kate

      Yikes! That does sound like a (happy) pickle. I really like the idea you have now of each of you going to each of the weddings. I know it sucks not to be together for them, but both of these sound equally important to both of you.

      Otherwise, if you’d really rather just pick one, I’d say go with Wedding A, b/c technically that one was in the works before Wedding B. It also sounds like it was/is pretty important for the groom to have your boyfriend there, seeing as he was willing to schedule the date around said bf’s schedule (I’m sure there were other factors at play, but you get the idea).

      Would love to know how it all turns out, good luck!

    • vegankitchendiaries

      Woah, that SUCKS! (Except for the actual unions which I’m sure are good news all around, of course!)

      I agree it either makes the most sense for you to separate and each attend one (your groom at his buddy’s – especially since the date was chosen vaguely around his availability, and you at your college buddies’).

      And agree with CrayKate… if you have to stick together, head to wedding A and send regrets to B! Good luck with whatever you choose!

  • CJ

    Delurking to post that I have finally moved from “pre-engaged” to actually “engaged.” Yay!

    I’ve been scouring the archives for all the great advice on APW, and it’s allowed me to state with confidence to my fiance (woo-hoo) that planning, and paying for, our wedding will not be the hellish nightmare he is confident it will be.

    • Not Sarah

      Yay!

    • Laura

      Yay! Disclaimer: a hellish nightmare or two will likely be involved at some point but it won’t be an all-encompassing hellish nightmare. :-)

      • CJ

        Hah. Well, ok, that’s good to know. The occasional hellish nightmare I think we can deal with.

        He’s been married before (he’s widowed), but I haven’t, and everyone in his life is telling him to let me have the “big wedding that all first-time brides dream of.” I’ve been trying to tell him that it will be a perfectly “practical” wedding, with as little drama as possible. He’s skeptical. I showed him one wedding video of my anticipated venue and he completely freaked out because the wedding in question was much larger and grander than what we plan to have. We’ve only been engaged for one week. So it hasn’t been a good start.

        • Laura

          Most of my battle has been convincing my groom that I want “a practical wedding” (haha) Visuals have been helpful, enter APW “how we did it” posts. Good luck!

    • Ariel

      Congrats!!!

  • BA

    Happiest of birthdays to my favouritest of blogs!

  • Rowany

    Happy birthday APW! Like a fine wine, you age well :-)
    I didn’t ask many questions while I was planning my wedding, but now afterwards I need to ask: how do you let go of the hurt you’ve felt from your close in-laws’ (MIL, FIL, SIL, BIL, etc) lack of respect and dismissal of you and your partner’s feelings during the wedding planning and on the wedding day? I’m worried that such treatment will continue without laying it out to them, but our past efforts at communicating just resulted in more disrespectful language and dismissiveness on their part. I feel like I should just accept that that’s how they are (and compared to some other families, they’re not THAT bad), but part of me just wants to seethe in how unfair it is. Adulthood, amirite?

  • ElisabethJoanne

    P.S. I haven’t been here 6 years, but I’ve been here long enough to remember the posts about that birthday/wedding cake. It’s lovely!

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

    So our invites are FINALLY sent out!! (well all but like five) and holy cow, what a weight off our shoulders! It feels so great and I can’t wait for people to start getting them!! Also, my dress came in today! I’m nervous to go try it on. When I look it up online, it doesn’t look that great but when I look at the pictures of it on me I love it- weird. We are about two months out now…and getting really stressed but its also really fun! I hope everyone has had a great week, and happy birthday APW!!

  • Pippa

    Happy birthday APW!
    I’m posting because yesterday I FINALLY finished my Master’s thesis, and because I only have two and a bit weeks to go until our wedding! Talk about cutting it fine! Also, it’s been a five-year-long engagement so it would be an understatement to say I’m FREAKING out that it’s this close!

  • Caitlin_DD

    Happy Birthday!

  • Granola

    I tried to get through the reddit thread, and I just can’t. I want to go cry and set something alight, preferably that guy’s business. I wish there was a way you could have highlighted or excerpted some of the comments instead of just pointing me toward mental suffering. I appreciate the intention, but I just hit a wall about a dozen or so comments in.

  • Ann

    I’m late to the party, but I could really use some advice, re: thank you notes.

    I did them all within three weeks of the wedding (which was in June of last year). I have a super organized spreadsheet with all of the names crossed off. And my grandmother just told me (via email) that she and her sister never got thank you notes, sounding pretty ticked off. I sent a super apologetic email right away and said I’d send new notes, which I will.

    So now I have a few questions:
    1) Since clearly at least two notes *did* get lost, do I email the other people who I sent notes to in the same batch asking if they got them? I did a great big pile of “family” notes and sent those all at the same time, so I have some notion of which ones I sent out when. I’m kind of horrified at the idea that people think that I didn’t send notes, but no one else has said anything to me…
    2) When I first wrote the note to my great aunt, I made something up about what we intended to spend the gift cards on (I think it was vague, but I don’t really remember it…). Now I have sweet pillows that I love, that I bought with those gift cards. There is some chance that the great aunt *did* receive the card, but her memory has been failing recently (she’s 90). So… do I try to recreate the original story in case she finds the original note? Or do I just rave about the awesome pillows?

    Also, lesson learned: follow up on thank you notes when you see people. Not a possibility for the great aunt (I don’t see her regularly), but it was for 90% of the other family members I sent notes to… now I’m left to wonder…

    • Granola

      1. If other people didn’t get them, you’ll probably hear about it. I’d also suggest having your mom subtly relay the story in a “Oh can you believe the mail these days!” tone to suss out if anyone else’s note got waylayed.
      2. Just rave about the pillows. Your great aunt will probably just be thrilled to hear from you. If she remembers the first story, she’ll figure you just changed your mind, or she’s forgotten, in which case use the minor memory loss to your advantage. (I suggest that with all due respect and grace. I have sever elderly relatives struggling with the same thing.)

      • Ann

        ooo, good tip on relying the story to my parents. I’ll talk to both of them, and one of my aunts who I’m very close to (it’s my dad’s family–I’ll talk to his sister who is the family gossip). I feel better about handling things that way–taking advantage of the family grape vine. Sending an email out seven months after the fact just feels weird.

        Thanks!

    • Caitlin_DD

      I think it’s fine to ask people if they’ve received your note. If it makes you uncomfortable, just mention that you’re worried some got lost. I assume your grandmother was ticked off because she saw someone else’s thank you note, and wondered why she didn’t get her own?

  • YetAntherMegan

    We’re about two and a half months out and sent our invitations out at the beginning of the week. We’re already getting some RSVPs back through our website, but we just got our first no. And it sucks. I was expecting a fairly high percentage to not come, but I was fairly certain this person would come, and be the only cousin from that side of my family to make it. It’s going to be a long two months until we get all of our RSVPs back. Does the waiting and the nos get any easier?

    • celinad6

      The waiting does not get easier. And since we’re doing online RSVPing, I’m constantly checking. We only allowed a 3 week response time though.

      I think the ‘yes’es will help you get over the ‘no’s and on the wedding day you probably won’t even notice that specific people aren’t there.