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APW Happy Hour


by Meg Keene, Editor-In-Chief

APW Happy Hour | A Practical Wedding

APW Happy Hour | A Practical Wedding

HI APW!

Maddie has been on vacation (at Disneyworld!) this week, and it’s been flash mini-summer here in the Bay Area. As a result, I slowed down, caught up, drank mint iced tea, took walks with the toddler, and spent as much time outside as I could. It’s been a good week. Here is to summer, and more to come.

It’s your open thread, hop on it!

XO,
MEG

Highlights of APW This Week

Because you can’t test-drive a marriage. You just have to keep going.

You don’t have to justify the cost of your traveling experience, so why do we make people justify the cost of their wedding experience?

Your bridesmaids are grown ass adults.

A glamorous Art Deco Austin wedding.

Colorful eyeliner you can make for free, and it’s not just for the most daring among us!

Let off some wedding-related steam. We understand.

So your engaged, and it’s turning out not to be like swimming with unicorns?

Synchronized swimmers at a wedding, y’all!

One of the best parts of growing up: learning your parents’ stories.

Meg: is this middle age? No, right? But whatever it is, I’ll take it.

Link Roundup

Baby Sitters Club for the modern woman.

A female student was kicked out of promFor wearing pants.

The language of dude feminism.

The real women behind painted pinups.

On the heels of the new Star Wars casting news, here’s an older, worthwhile read on why Leia is not enough.

What would you have looked like in another decade?

Simply opting out of big online data is not as simple as you think.

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

Meg Keene

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

More in Happy Hour Recent Posts Staff Picks

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  • MirandaVanZ

    I found a photographer! Ours had cancelled on us six months before our wedding but we have a new one now. We click much more AND she costs less :)

    • Michelle

      That is awesome you found a new photographer! Sorry to hear about the stress of having the 1st one cancel. Yay for having a good connection with the new one and yay for less money! Double win.

      • MirandaVanZ

        Yeah, we get a bonus photobooth and 2 more hours for $150 less than what the other photographer charged. But mostly I’m happy that she makes both me and my fiance feel at ease, we aren’t the most outgoing people but we both felt completely comfortable around her, it was great.

    • Laura C

      Congrats! We got a second shooter this week, which I’m pretty pleased about.

  • Michelle

    I loved the post about bridesmaids being adults this week. So great! Thanks for always having great content, APW!

    Hey Minneapolis, St. Paul, other Twin Cities folks: anyone up for a meetup?

    I live by a park and would be happy to have people over rain or shine :) What might be the best way to organize things?

    • Ani

      Hey! Give me your email and I can get you on a list! I have met up a few times with some Twin Cities APW folks, and it’s been fun. I have a hankering to find a crew of ladies to see Belle…

  • emilyg25

    You guys you guys you guys!

    This morning I called up the fertility clinic and canceled our appointment because I’m PREGNANT! We are over the moon and flabbergasted and relieved. The whole process is so incredibly strange, but awesome. In eight months, Imma be a mom!

    • Kelly Mine-His

      Congrats!!

    • enfp

      Congratulations!!

    • Emily

      Congratulations!! That’s wonderful news!!

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

      Yippy!!!

    • sara g

      Aw, congrats!

    • Anon

      So many congratulations and well wishes!

    • Jen

      Yay!

    • Crayfish Kate

      SO, so happy for you! All the best! :-D

    • Megan

      what wonderful news!!!

    • http://werewritingabook.com/ Breck

      Yay!!

    • Lisa

      Congratulations!!

    • STM

      So happy for youuu!

    • JDrives

      Heck yeah! Yay you!!!

    • moonlitfractal

      Congratulations! May you have a safe and easy pregnancy.

    • Brianne Archer

      That’s awesome. I found out at my first appointment to start IVF treatment. My RE says it happens once a year and I’m the lucky one. We’d already paid the $7,000 to start treatment and they had to call back to get my credit card number so they could refund our money. It still hasn’t completely sunk in and I’m 10 weeks today.

      • emilyg25

        Wow, how fortunate! I bet you’ll have a very lucky baby! :)

  • Katie

    I had Five Guys cajun fries and a Friendly’s ice cream sundae for lunch today instead of the low-calorie wedding salad I brought. It was great.

    • sara g

      Well damn, now I want cajun fries.

    • Anon

      I ate an ice-cream float for dinner last night because the weather was so nice. The benefits of adulthood!

      • Heather

        I had ice cream for breakfast because cramps… and adulthood!

      • STM

        Last night I ate a box of mac and cheese straight from the pan. Because adulthood!

    • Megan

      Oh man, I feel you on this rebellion! We have been food and cake tasting this week and I have 12 leftover cupcakes in my fridge. A cupcake a day does not keep the pounds away!! But…we HAVE to eat them.

    • Lawyerette510

      Yay for you! (And for those cajun fries– so delicious!)

      Last night I was walking home from having pasta carbonara and wine for dinner (outside in shorts at 8 pm– a miracle in Oakland!) and I thought about how I am so bad at fulfilling WIC standards about caring about my weight in preparation for my wedding day. As long as the dress fits in 10 days, I’ll be happy.

    • http://twitter.com/mollyepollard Molly Pollard

      I just ate a huge donut this morning. My “wedding diet” has consisted of Chick-fil-A milkshakes, donuts, and other fattening things. No complaints here.

      But seriously Five Guys cajun fries are the best.

    • 123456

      This. I went to a wedding expo recently with a newly engaged friend (I swear she dragged me along by enticing me with a groupon and the promise of cake samples). We were walking down an aisle, eating said cake sample, when a weightloss booth representative said “Cake! You won’t fit in your dress that way!”…to which I said “That was rude” and shoved the rest of the sample in my mouth!!!

  • ART

    I finished my dress! I finished my dress!

    Last weekend my friend/bridesmaid helped me position the buttons in the back, and last night I finished hand-stitching the hem, which took about 3 hours because there’s about 10 feet of it. Tonight I’m sewing in a french bustle because there is a hint of a train. Tomorrow my mom arrives in town for my bridal shower and I will get to reveal it to her.

    I have learned SO much in this process. Did you know there’s something called button loop trim, with pre-fab, evenly spaced elastic button loops? OMG! Also, I used my fiance’s vintage Featherweight machine that was his great grandmother’s. Once this is all over, I’m going to download a copy of the long-lost manual and see about cleaning/oiling it – what a gorgeous little machine.

    Man, had I known how much geometry (skirt drafting) and chemistry (silk dyeing) I’d need to look like a pretty princess on my wedding day, I may have paid a little more attention in those classes in high school. But I managed…thanks math and chem teachers!

    • Emily

      Wow, that’s an ambitious undertaking! Glad it went well, and you’re finished!

      • ART

        Thanks, I can hardly express how glad I am that I’m finished. Finding a dress was the most stressful part of wedding planning, so much so that making one as my first sewing project since I made a very simple skirt in high school seemed like the easy way out o.O

    • swarmofbees

      Amazing, congratulations!

    • Lawyerette510

      Congratulations! Just one pic?

      • ART

        I actually don’t have any yet…unhemmed wedding dress selfies have turned out to be not that flattering, but working on it!

    • Em

      What did you dye your dress with? My mother and I are sewing my dress and dyeing it with natural indigo. I feel a bit insane so it’s nice to hear of someone successfully completing this herculean task! Any pointers/advice/commiseration welcome :)

      • ART

        Oh man. So my dress has this sash/tie thing made out of silk habotai, and i had dyed allllll this cotton ombre-fied for my table linens, so I was like no problem, I’ll totally just ombre-dye this silk sash. So number 1, silk behaves really differently than cotton in terms of dye uptake and setting, and I hadn’t done that before. Then of course I had to have purple, which is of course made of red and blue, which dye totally differently from one another, particularly on silk, apparently. So I swatched with what I had on hand, which was Wilton’s icing dye (food safe, but needs heat) and dharma trading co. procion dye (not food safe, but can dye in cool water), and the icing dye was much, much smoother (the procion colors broke all over and i learned later that procion blue doesn’t really work on silk). But the colors still separate in the icing dye because the red adheres at a more neutral ph than the blue. Luckily icing dye is food safe, so I sat outside with my crock pot open full of dye with no vinegar, slowly ombre-dyed my sash pink/red, then added vinegar to the dye bath and slowly overdyed it with the blue left in the dye bath.

        I would not necessarily recommend this procedure.

        If I had it to do over again, and was willing to buy other dyes, and maybe had a way to have a hot dye bath outside that wasn’t food safe (which would have required equipment I don’t have), I would have dyed the red and blue totally separately, and not used the violet dye in the two-part method I used. I probably would have had better control over the color. But I wanted to get it over with :P

        I’ve never done indigo, but that sounds really cool. What are you doing with it (solid, ombre, shibori, etc??) and what fiber?

        • Em

          Your dress sounds beautiful! I would love to see photos. That process also sounds very tricky. We’re experimenting with woad (a source of indigo), but since I want a bit of a muted blue we’re trying to combine the woad dips with an after-bath of ferrous sulphate, so I definitely feel for you with the persnickity multiple dye baths!

          We’re making my dress out of silk crepe, with lace straps/neckline. I think the tough thing (past the whole issue of getting a decent and consistent colour in the first place!) is going to be matching the linen/cotton lace to the colour of the silk fabric. We haven’t tried dying anything other than silk yet so I’m interested to see how the colour behaves on the different fibre…

          • ART

            that sounds really pretty! it’s been interesting to sort of let go and to some extent let the dye do what it’s going to do. originally i planned to leave the parts of the sash that are visible in the front white, so the front of the dress would be all white and the back would have the color, but even after rinsing and washing the dyed part really well, when i finally wetted the whole sash (to avoid any difference in texture/shrinkage/etc that might occur if i left the white part dry), the red from the dyed part bled into the wash water and turned the white part pale pink. it’s not what i’d envisioned, but it turned out cool anyway. that’s what it wanted to be :)

  • Ann

    My husband and I had our offer accepted on a house! We’re equal parts excited and terrified as first time home buyers.
    On that note, we plan on buying our first nice, comfy couch. Suggestions? Ideally, we’ll get a love seat and then a larger sofa bed that both come with the option to get fitted slip covers (because of the cat).

    • MC

      We got a great deal on a couch at Big Lots that’s nice and comfy. Definitely not THE nicest or comfiest couch ever, but way less expensive than other new couches we were looking at.

    • ART

      My mom and I both have the IKEA KIVIK couch and looooove it. Memory foam. Lots of configurations. Not sure about your style, but it’s a great couch for napping.

    • Heather

      Congrats on the offer!!

      We got couch at Bob’s, and although the commercials are annoying, the quality and price were unbeatable. We’re super happy with our first real adult purchase (aside from a wedding and a car… why does upgrading from a futon feel so much bigger?)

      • emilyg25

        Omg, are you in New England? I haven’t heard anything about Bob since I moved to PA. And oddly, I miss him.

        • Heather

          Jersey, actually. So… sort of? Does that count as NE? I never know.

          I love him and his goof-proofing, comfy cushions and Bob-o-Pedic wonder of a sleeper sofa with a chaise attached to it for less than $1200. SERIOUSLY. But the commercials- woof.

          Maybe if I move away from those, I’ll appreciate him even more?

          • EF

            no no no jersey is not new england no no no

            it’s connecticut, rhode island, massachusetts, new hampshire, vermont, and maine, that’s it.

            sorry to be nitpicky! my family has been in boston since the 1630s, and new england is an idea and place that is so dear to be. I wish people understood how there is a separate old NE culture a little more. that, and obvs, we have the best sports teams :-D

    • Megan

      We are about 3 years in to our Raja couch and loveseat from Macy’s. Super cozy and there are tons of different options in the collection! They’re kind of oversized and we often use them like his and hers–the loveseat is long enough for me (at 5’2″) to sprawl and the couch for him. Not sure if they offer slipcovers though.

      • SarahG

        Love Macy’s! We got our sofa there and it rocks. No regrets.

    • emilyg25

      We have the Ikea Ektorp, which might not be as fancy as you’re hoping, but it’s very comfy!

      • Kelly

        We just got an Ektorp over Christmas break, and it felt VERY fancy after 6 years of goodwill couches…and it’s super comfy!

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

        I got mine to this winter when I was starting over and needed a couch of my own. I like it a lot. I LOVE that I can remove the covers and wash (or replace) them…

    • http://werewritingabook.com/ Breck

      I feel your rollercoaster of emotions, since we had an offer accepted this week, too! We both had a miniature freak out yesterday, but a good meal and a beer helped us chill out a little.

      As for couches, we got one on super sale from Macy’s that is actually very stylish and comfy… I would check out their website!

      • Sarah

        Yes, we got a great deal on a Macy’s sofa bed as well! We sort of stumbled on it, but I’m glad we did since I never would have thought to look there.

  • YOQ

    We have a baker! Thanks soooo much to those of you who offered suggestions in happy hour a few weeks ago–we met with a few people and decided to go with Mindy at Decadent Creations. It is such an amazing relief to have that piece taken care of!

    • Maria

      Yay! I suggested her! Glad that she’s a good fit :)

      • YOQ

        We met with her last weekend and abso-bloomin-lutely LOVED her! Highly recommended to any PDX-area APWers!

  • Kayjayoh

    I’m trying to decide if I should send an email to ask about the ETA for my dress (in January I was told that it would likely be ready in April) or if I should just hang on a bit longer. It isn’t exactly crunch time yet, but I’d like to be able to pay for it and try it on and get any alterations I need etc soon. And, you know, see it.

    But I don’t want to be a pushy client, either.

    • MC

      If they said April and you haven’t heard from them since January I would definitely call – that’s not pushy, that’s being a responsible client!

    • Emily

      I don’t think it’s pushy to check in, it’d be pushy to demand to know where the hell it is since April is OVER now, what’s going on over there?????

    • Amanda

      I would definitely check in on it! Maybe ask them if they have a estimated ship date from the designer.

      • Kayjayoh

        She is the designer. She’s making the dress.

        • Amanda

          Ah, didn’t catch that part. If that’s the case I’d still check up on it. It’s not like you were emailing her every week in April. Phrase it nicely and ask for the newest ETA?

          • Kayjayoh

            Makes sense.

    • C_Gold

      Hey Kayjayoh, Not to be stalkerish, but I saw in a previous open thread that you live in the Madison area. I’m dying to talk to other Wisconsin engaged people. If you have any interest in a meet-up, email me at physics.NIU@gmail.com

  • Karlee

    Anyone have any experience buying a house in foreclosure? My fiance and I fell in love with the cutest little a-frame house (with a loft!) on 5 acres(!!) and only a 20-minute drive to work(!!!)…only to find out the day after we went to visit it that it was a foreclosure. We are still interested in it, and will definitely invest in a home inspection if we decide to put in an offer (and of course if our offer is accepted), but does anyone have any other practical advice that most likely wouldn’t show up in a quick google search?!

    • Anon

      I haven’t heard many stories with actual foreclosure properties where the bank has retaken possession of the property, but I’ve heard countless horror stories about short sales that drag on and on and on. I don’t see why an outright foreclosure would be much different than dealing with normal property owners as long as you are aware of any potential problems through the inspection.

      And congrats! That sounds like the dream situation we are looking for right now.

      • Crayfish Kate

        Heh, yeah, we’re one of those short-sale stories. Still waiting to hear back from the bank… :-P

        • http://werewritingabook.com/ Breck

          A friend of ours had been waiting to hear back for TWO YEARS. He’d basically given up hope, continued on his search, and had an offer on a different house accepted last week. The next day, the short sale goes through. Of course.

      • Lawyerette510

        I know a few people who have had good experiences with short sales, and a couple who have had the drag on forever and move on to the next thing experience. I think if it is a good fit and you have a real estate agent or someone else who can help walk you through the process and you’re ok with it taking a while, then go for it!

    • ElisabethJoanne

      Can you explain more? In all the situations I’ve worked on, once a bank decides to foreclose, the bank is in charge and the house shouldn’t be listed by the borrowers any more. The way someone gets the house is to have the highest bid at the foreclosure auction.

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

      We bought a house that was in foreclosure! It ended up great for us, since we saved about 30-40% off of what it could have sold for. We’ve had it for a year now, and we love it.

      The biggest thing to keep in mind is that foreclosures are usually bought as-is. Unlike buying a normal house, it is highly unlikely that the bank will make any repairs for you. So that house inspection is really, really important. If there are any major issues, they will be on you if you go through and buy the house. Be sure to get a thorough inspector as well, and pay attention for water damage. I’ve seen a couple foreclosures where the prior owner (who was upset about being foreclosed on) has done some damage to the house by “accidentally” leaving the water on when they left, leading to some pretty ugly water damage.

      The only other thing to be aware of is that water/electric/other utilities for foreclosure properties have sometimes been disconnected (due to the foreclosure and the house being vacant, plus the fact that foreclosures often involve default on other bills). It’s not a huge deal to get them reconnected, but sometimes you might have to pay a fee to do so, and it can take a couple days. So don’t plan to move in right after your closing date (give yourself a little time to get the lights back on).

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

        To add to the utility warning: I’m renting right now and it turned out that the previous renters didn’t pay the last few bills. The utility company could not wrap their heads around the fact that there were new, different people wanting utilities at the same address. They told us they would turn it on, then didn’t and we had a house without heat for 5 days. At the end of October. Thank goodness for dogs to snuggle with!

  • Valerie Day

    Our wedding is in two weeks! I really have to start working on the delegation aspects of this process (and stop taking on extra projects!) Tomorrow morning my partner and I have a vow-writing date and no other solid plans all day. I am excited, and will be reviewing all of the vow and ceremony posts on APW. I would love your thoughts, suggestions, process on this! What we know thus far is that we will have identical vows and that there will be some tradition in the mix.

    • MC

      What our friends did at their wedding last summer that we are planning to do as well: They had identical vows, but before they said the vows they read one-page letters that they had written to each other. So they got to say personal, funny, adorable things in their own words, but also had the traditional vows element. And I love the idea of a vow-writing date!

      • kcaudad

        we also did this… we repeated and updated version of the ‘traditional’ church vows, and also wrote our own personal vows to eachother. It worked out perfectly because I had always imagined myself saying the traditional words that I had heard my whole life, but I also loved saying and hearing our own personal vows to eachother.

    • Jess

      We’re in 2 weeks too! same boat! need to delegate, no more projects!

      I really loved the vows APW Rachel used in her wedding. That was our jumping off point.

      Good luck!!!

    • Lawyerette510

      So exciting! We’re 10 days away, and I just made a final delegation list last night.

      We had a great experience writing our vows/ ceremony. I used APW, random internet searches, and OBB to compile ceremony flows/ excerpts and vows that I liked into a word document, and he did the same (to a much smaller extent) then we highlighted what spoke to us as we read through together and just built it that way. One thing I will say, if you’re using readings and you’re going to attribute them– check the sources given by the internet! There’s one great reading we love (and are using) that both here and on OBB said it was by the Dali Lhama, but when I tried to find it, I couldn’t verify that and indeed found it originated with a chain email from the late 90s that seems to be from a cute advice book. We’re still using it, but felt free to adapt it a little more and are just now attributing it to “the internets.”

    • Amanda

      My wedding is in two weeks, too! We’ve been working on our ceremony this week and it was harder than I thought it would be. (Also have found out I’m a major sap so there have been a lot of “stop and cry of happiness” breaks in the process.) Good luck!

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

    Life is good.

    • Heather

      Right?

      So awesome. Yay for you!

  • Carly

    Hey APW – looking for a crowd-sourced opinion, and since this place always has their sh*t together re: throwing big parties, well, you know…

    We’re throwing a birthday/retirement party for my Dad in a couple months and inviting about 75 people (friends, family, co-workers); my mother wants to do ice-breaker name tags (‘How I Know John’, ‘Funniest Story I have About John’, etc), I think people are grown-ups and can be counted on to interact with one another plus given the libricating effects of alcohol and celebratory atmospheres, these are unnecessary. Anyone had experiences with kinda thing??

    • InTheBurbs

      I’m with you – people are grown-ups and will know how to interact. We’re throwing a similar shindig for my dad in 2 weeks – only thing we’re doing besides food is a photo slide show.

    • macrain

      I did an icebreaker like this at a friend’s rehearsal dinner, and it actually was really fun. The bride was SO into games like this, so it made sense for her wedding. What do you think your dad would like? Is he into stuff like this? That might be a good question to ask!

    • emilyg25

      It really depends on the crowd. Personally, I dislike most party games. But other people love them. But yeah, adults know how to make small talk.

    • Kelly

      I think it depends on the crowd…Personally, I really like playing those kinds of games and I think they’re a great way to share fun memories, get people smiling and bonding, and make the person of honor feel really special, but everyone has to buy into it in order for it work.

    • Meg Keene

      I kind of love those things. We ALWAYS end up at weddings where we know nobody, and there isn’t any work put into say, seating us with people we would like or icebreaker anything. So we sit and eat alone, dance a little, and then leave kind of sad.

      So yeah. I’m a fan.

      • Carly

        Thanks Meg – I was reading this on mobile earlier and now discover that – lo and behold! – an entire other bit of the paragraph that I didn’t see… Regarding random outsiders, that’s really a helpful perspective, especially as this thing seems to be heading towards the come-one-come-all vibe rather than a curated shindig.

      • ktan

        This! I love ice-breaker games because I am very prone to staying in my own bubble and keeping to myself without a little nudging. I am also always a little (or a lot) terrified of attending functions where I don’t know anyone because I find small talk painful and terrible – please, stop talking about the weather! Just my two cents – have ice breakers!

    • Lawyerette510

      In a crowd where there’s going to be a mix of people from different sections of his life, I think this is great, as it gets cross-section mingling going and makes people who don’t have a group of people that they know feel more comfortable.

    • NicoleT

      I’m really not a fan of ice-breaker games (or really any kind of party games, unless it is a drinking game with college friends). I agree with you: alcohol + good music + good group of people= fun time. And really, even if the group isn’t that good, just make the cocktails better to balance it out.

      If you really feel that people would be awkward not knowing each other, just play the good hostess: “John, this is Sara. She works with a famous artist and has just sold a drawing that was part of a feminist art show. Sara, John works training horses and travels with the circus.”

      [I actually had a friend who did what "Sara" did. Sorry- I'm just really proud of her.]

    • Carly

      Thanks all! Incredibly helpful – I’m thinking now table toppers rather than name tags (my Mum’s original suggestion and totally part of my initial hesitation!). Much appreciated :)

  • enfp

    Anyone know of good online sources to buy decorations/party supplies? By good, I really mean cheap or has good sales. We have a minuscule decorating budget.

    • sara g

      Oriental Trading Company has a lot of that type of thing for cheap, I know my friend used them for her wedding. I don’t have any personal experience with them though.

    • Amanda

      We got some things for the favors from Zazzle. I have my eye on some votive candles from PartySwizzle if I can’t find them at a store.

    • Meigh McPants

      save-on-crafts.com is also full o’ stuff.

    • Lawyerette510

      Craigslist and freecycle too in addition to the sites. Also, Michael’s has been having some great coupons lately.

    • STM

      I can’t even tell you how much stuff we’ve got from Dollar Tree — weirdly nice stuff, too.

  • sara g

    I feel like I’m stuck in terms of my career. I work in banking right now doing operations/back-end stuff (fraud investigation, legal, all that jazz), but I’m so tired of the corporate B.S. that I have to deal with. I’m tired of no one listening to me because I’m not a manager. And I’m tired of being underpaid; I make 30k/year in a very high cost of living area. I want to go back to school, but I still have no idea what I’d major in (that’s why I never finished college to begin with). Literally the only way for me to move forward in this job would be to get into management, and there’s no way in hell I want to do that, at least not in this company.

    My fiance is wonderful and supportive, but I just wish I *knew* what I wanted to do with my life. I can’t see myself here long term, but I can’t really imagine any alternatives, either. Halp.

    • emilyg25

      Our local community college provides career counseling to county residents for a very reasonable fee, included those assessments that suggest career paths. Perhaps that’s something to look into?

      • sara g

        It’s worth a shot, although I’ve taken a few of those career assesments over the years (1-2 in high school, another in college) and they always told me totally different things and none of their suggestions really popped for me.

        I’m wondering if I just have an unrealistic view of what a career should be. I mean, I want to do something I enjoy, I don’t want to work in a huge company where I’m just a nameless peon. But then again is it even possible for everyone to get their “dream job”? I almost feel guilty for wanting to find a job that I get excited about and that doesn’t make me feel like I’m losing my mind.

        • Fitzford

          I don’t think wanting a better job than you have is unrealistic, but I think a “better job” is different than a “dream job.” Especially since you don’t even know what that dream is. Yet.

          I work in education, so it’s no surprise that my answer would be to finish your degree. That can really open doors in terms of what other jobs you’d be eligible for. A lot of schools now also offer “experiential learning” where you can get college credit for work experience. My school offers up to 30 hours this way (which is two full-time semesters to put it in perspective!). And I know not having a passion for a major can be an obstacle, until you realize that unless you want to enter a very limited number of fields that require a specific degree (education, accounting, nursing, and engineering to name a few), most jobs require a bachelor’s degree in something. Whatever you have is likely OK.

          With that being said, what parts of your job do you like? That may help guide you in the search of a new career. For example, do you like interacting with coworkers? Or would you rather be on your own? Do like having a designated office space? Or would you feel chained to a desk all day? Taking the good pieces from a bad situation can help.

    • jashshea

      Any chance of a mentor in your current position? Or someone in a semi-related field? It’s tough when you don’t know what you want to do, because no one can answer that question for you. How long have you work this particular role? What’s your relationship with your manager – could you ask for more/different responsibilities?

      I struggled a ton in my early 20s to find work that I was good at and paid the bills. Turns out I was (mostly) doing the right work at the wrong company and needed a change of venue for things to really take off (which they did around 27 or so). Don’t get me wrong, I spend many days of a given month navigating STUNNING bureaucracy and I’m not exactly splitting the atom, but there are victories here and there that make me high-five myself.

      And I’ll leave this part down here and feel free to skip this: sometimes it’s just about money. You do a job and someone pays you. Neither side has any fuzzy feelings for the other.

    • Dawn

      Check out the resources at local colleges /universities if you’re thinking of going back to school. Figure out what transfers from your previous foray (sadly many courses will likely transfer as basically useless free electives) and try taking just one class in several different areas. Even taking gen eds could help you find out a lot about your potential interests. You can try this as a non-matriculated (non-degree-seeking) student if that makes things easier, but lots of programs will require you to matriculate to take certain courses. Meanwhile, go and talk to not just advisors and career counselors but also the professors who teach things you might be interested in. If they’re half decent profs, they will want to talk with you. Email is great, but there is nothing like face to face…and profs should always have office hours or by appointment times.
      Another thought: if you were close to degree completion before, contact your former school. If they’re trying to boost their completion rates, they might be more flexible about helping you get a degree quickly, or helping you avoid taking courses that are just the new versions of courses you have already taken.

    • Anonymous Coward

      Since you mentioned your specific industry and focus, have you thought about branching off to doing that same sort of thing with a company managing online payments or virtual currency? If you have tech-leaning interests, it’s an expanding market, and you’d have the chance to maybe work in a less-corporate/stifling atmosphere. And maybe get paid more. I say this because we are hiring in that department at my company (where I got the big raise) and are paying way more than $30k to the entry-level people. With specific experience in antifraud/AML investigation, you could command a higher salary in a similar situation.

      • sara g

        That actually sounds really interesting. I do like tech related stuff and the investigative aspect of my job is the part I enjoy the most. What types of company would have jobs like that though? I guess I haven’t looked around a lot because most anti fraud jobs I’ve seen are either for banks/insurance companies or private auditing firms.

        • Anonymous Coward

          Well, anybody that accepts payments online is interested in carding and account compromises and such. Ecommerce is big! And potentially fraudy! If the website (Amazon, Etsy, Fiverr, eBay, Kickstarter) doesn’t handle their own payments, they’ll use the services of a payment processor like PayPal or the online payments arm of a bank (I know Wells Fargo has one; I expect the rest of the big names do as well). And now that FinCEN is addressing virtual currencies, online gaming services will want to step it up and make sure they’re in compliance. You might bridge the gap by bringing your banking-specific knowledge to one of those places. Get a copy of your current job description and plug some keywords into LinkedIn or Glassdoor to see what’s out there and what they’re offering. Good luck!

  • Jessica

    This is something that John Green linked to the other day that is totally worthwhile! Considering how many books in general (but especially children’s books!) are pretty homogenous, getting attention on diversity in books is one of those things that is easy to support! I’m loving reading all the submissions. http://weneeddiversebooks.tumblr.com/

  • http://werewritingabook.com/ Breck

    We had our offer accepted on a house this week!! We’re over the moon (with a bit of terror mixed in). Our new neighb is awesome, and we can’t wait to move in IN TWO WEEKS (super quick closing… whatup). Now, to look up demo quotes to remove all the ridiculous concrete from our backyard… Happy weekend, all!!

    • swarmofbees

      Hooray, and good luck with the concrete removal! So many of the homes I see have really ugly concrete covering the entire yard. I know it is easy to maintain, but geez, what do people have against a little dirt, and maybe some flowers?

      • http://werewritingabook.com/ Breck

        I know! Our backyard (so crazy to say that!) is probably 3500 sq. feet, and I would guess that 3250 of that is concrete. Whyyyy??

        • swarmofbees

          The environmentalist in me shudders. But, congrats on having so much space!

          • http://werewritingabook.com/ Breck

            Thank you! We’re not planning on doing too much grass, mostly adding in flowers, fruit trees, a couple raised planters, and a CHICKEN COOP. So excited for fresh eggs!

          • swarmofbees

            Please stop, you are describing my ideal garden. Throw in a cat and some brambles and I would be in heaven.

          • lildutchgrrl

            Eeeeee! I have been jonesing for a proper garden while we wait for a pending short sale to be approved. So. Slow. Since we have to replace a fallen-down fence ANYWAY, I’m proposing we start on a Belgian fence of espaliered fruit trees!

    • http://batman-news.com Sonora Webster

      So jelly! Our offer was not accepted this week. :( And now we are comparing all the houses to that house, which now seems perfect. Disappointing!

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

        You’ll find another one. A better one!

      • Ann

        Keep looking and trying. Our successful offer was lucky number 4. If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again…

      • http://werewritingabook.com/ Breck

        I think Disqus ate my comment, but, like others have said, this happened to us. A lot. I think this is our 5th offer, but I truly feel like fate had a small hand in things and we got the right place for us. Your house is out there!

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

      Hooray!

      • http://werewritingabook.com/ Breck

        Thanks, Rachel! I can’t wait to get my sewing machine out of storage and do the napkin and dish towel projects you shared recently!

  • Crayfish Kate

    Just got a new job & attended orientation today. First ‘real job’ since finishing my Master’s & I’m excited. It’s a temp position, but it’s in my field & could easily turn wonderful if they end up hiring me permanently. SUCH a relief, not worrying about finding a job anymore! :-D

    • Lawyerette510

      Congrats! Wishing you so much luck!

  • Kate

    The last month I’ve been trying to bring more minimalism into my life- purge possessions and the like. Any APWers been through a similar process? I’m working right now on making more time for things that actually matter, because if I don’t I’m not sure I’ll survive the May I have in front of me. Gimme a little guidance, I beg you!

    • lady brett

      oh man, so hard. i guess there are a million and a half specific tips, but the real key, to me, has been letting go of the guilt. whether that’s guilt for getting rid of xyz gift/heirloom/etc., or guilt for “dear god, how did i get all this shit in the first place?”, or guilt around the time commitments (and people) you’ve decided to drop because they actually don’t fit into “things that matter.”

      it’s rough being honest with yourself, because all of that stuff involves admitting the kind of person you’re *not* (i mean, how can i not be someone who wants a book collection?), but it is also freeing. not that i’ve exactly got the hang of it, but it’s a start.

      • Kelly

        oh, man, you really hit the nail on the head! sorting and getting rid of things has always been a really heady process for me and I could never quite articulate why, but…YES. the guilt. that needs to go.

    • http://www.explorethiscity.com/ Maria

      I am doing this to a small extent! My #1 biggest decision has been to get off the computer after work. (I work in IT and am staring at the screen ALL DAY.) The leaves me a lot more time to do other things that I like, like cleaning/reading/playing outside/etc. And it has done absolute wonders for my health and sanity. I am exercising more, sitting less, and even my eyes feel better. In terms of getting rid of stuff, we started listing things on ebay at the end of last year and have gotten rid of 40 things already (and made a little bit of money in the process). We decided that if we had no intention of moving it to a new place, it wasn’t staying. Some of it is hard because I’m so sentimental about all sorts of things, but I have noticed that I don’t miss anything I’ve gotten rid of (and in fact don’t even remember what clothes are gone). Good luck!

    • ElisabethJoanne

      Don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good. Just take things to the nearest charity thrift store, don’t hold out to donate to the “right” charity or person. The bigger ones (Salvation Army, Goodwill) have good, mutually beneficial relationships with recyclers, so don’t even feel too guilty donating unusable goods (especially clothes and other textiles).

      I try to save things of quality. Well-made, useful things give me a little pick-me-up every time I use them.

    • Alison O

      i appreciated this perspective i came across last year: http://www.risingshining.com/2013/08/living-more-with-less-stuff.html

      Buddhist sand painting!

      :)

    • EF

      I basically did this by moving to three different countries in 2 years. went from my well-outfitted apartment and very comfortable and available stuff to just 2 suitcases and a carry-on. it IS possible.

      these days I have slightly more, but not that much. sometimes it’s hard — i’ll see these lists of ‘X things every women needs in her closet!’ and I’m like, what? but that’s so much! I think so many people think you need lots and lots of clothes for every occasion, and really, you just need things that mix and match well.
      as for other things, like sentimental things, I have a shoebox of things and that’s it. graduation cards, a letter from an old boyfriend (ugh, i know), some old photos, a matchbox car a friend gave me on a road trip once, some corks from champagne (cough prosecco cough) bottles with details (dates and places) etched in because they’re from big moments. it’s worked for me, but I’ll admit, choosing between the blanket my mother made for me as a small child and the one my sister spent months crocheting when I was in high school and she in university was *hard*. but you don’t have to go that far. I think it’s once those decisions start to get THAT hard, that’s when you’ve reached a sort of zen place with stuff. it’s all meaningful or needed, and that’s great. :-)

  • Erin

    Hey everyone. I am usually a happy hour lurker but had to post today because that awesome art deco Austin wedding helped me make a big wedding decision. I struggled big time with my “floral vision” for my bride and bridesmaids’ bouquets. I knew I wanted rich, dramatic shades of purple to pop against my bridesmaids’ pewter-colored dresses and maybe some blue in honor of my sapphire engagement ring. But flowers weren’t something I was willing to spend a lot of money on, and I oddly began to feel very conflicted about having flowers at all because I couldn’t bring myself to spend money on a florist and there’s something about cut flowers that makes me sad. My family was also giving me a really hard time about my original plan of Blooms by the Box, and I sort of agreed that my time in the days leading up to the wedding might be better spent greeting my out of state guests (and celebrating my husband-to-be’s birthday) than stressing out over making bouquets. They wanted me to go to a florsit, but I knew I couldn’t get florist-made bouquets in New York on my wholesale flower budget. The solution seemed to be a brooch bouquet (which matched my unofficial theme of “sparkly, sparkly love”) but I was very concerned with how people would react to a bride without a bouquet of fresh flowers. But the reaction to Art Deco Austin bride’s amazing, realistic looking real-touch flowers inspired me to revisit this option. …And I found the PERFECT brooch bouquet on etsy! I’ve been working with seller for three days now, and she is also able to make scaled-back, matching bouquets for my bridesmaids! And it will only cost me $50 more than my wholesale flower plan! I’m so happy and excited I decided to say F*** it and do what I really wanted from the beginning. I will have a beautiful, sparkly keepsake of my wedding, and I’ll be able to proudly say “no flowers were harmed in the service of making my wedding more expensive.”
    Picture attached if anyone wants to see.

    • macrain

      Good for you! It sounds liberating. :)

      • Erin

        Thanks! It WAS liberating! And I am excited to get to brag who anyone who questions the fake flower decision that it’s made from vintage fabric and jewelry.

    • Amanda

      That is awesome!! We just went to a wedding last weekend and the bride had a brooch bouquet and it was sparkly and lovely. So happy you were able to get what you wanted!

    • C_Gold

      That’s gorgeous! But…feeling ignorant here…what’s a brooch bouquet, exactly?

      • Erin

        Thanks! A brooch bouquet is a bouquet made of jewelry and also fabric and other materials made to look like flowers. Some are literally just sparkly antique brooches wired together, but this one has silk flowers too.

        • C_Gold

          Oh! Cool! I have absolutely zero thoughts about flowers so I’ve just been telling my sister she can decide, because I care so little. But that looks really awesome. I should talk to her (my de-facto wedding planner) about it.

          • Erin

            I’d definitely recommend doing a search on etsy. I found some really pretty options. There are some very creative and talented artists out there!

  • Jen

    a) I got married last Saturday and ALL THE STRESS is now over! Hurrah!!! I am now so happy :)
    b) We had a lot of favors left over (which are candy in a mason jar- delicious and not anything you are forced to keep for forever!). I keep handing them out to coworkers, because I see it as- hey who doesn’t want free candy? But I hope they don’t see it as “I didn’t invite you to the wedding, but I can give you the left-over favors.” I guess I am overthinking things even after my wedding…

    • TeaforTwo

      Definitely overthinking. Coworkers don’t expect to be invited to your wedding, and will be happy to have free candy.

  • lady brett

    i biked to work today! i am attempting to start a habit (shame it’s almost summer) for the sake of my mental health.

    speaking of mental health, it’s only our 3rd anniversary, but taking the day off work for it has been the *best* observance – heartily recommended.

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

      I love biking to work! It always makes my day a bit better. (Although I do have to remind myself of that every morning in order to drag myself out the door.)

    • Mezza

      Oh man, I tried biking to work last week and realized it is WAY too far. Which is a little sad because I wanted to love it, but also okay because now I get to keep my 30 minutes of reading on the subway. Good luck making it a habit!

    • Sparkles

      My mom used to take us to the zoo instead of school sometimes when we were younger. She’d call them mental health days. What a treat! I only ever take time off work if I’m sick these days, but sometimes you just have to take mental health days to make your life feel a little bit brighter. I think an anniversary is as great a reason as a cold.

      • STM

        My mom did mental health days too. :-) Moms are the coolest.

      • Cat

        We call them “sick and TIRED” days :)

      • Meg

        We did this too! It’s important to have memorable days spent 1 on 1 with a parent like that!

      • Carly

        My mum also did this – it was definitely a bright spot and something I want to do with my own kids!

      • lady brett

        ha! that’s totally what we did (seriously, baby tigers! who needs anniversary presents?).

    • Lisa

      I’ve been cultivating that habit over the past 1-2 years, and this past weekend I rewarded myself by buying a brand new bike!! Nothing super fancy, just something that’s my size to replace the purple mountain bike I got fifteen years and 10 inches ago for my 10th birthday. Enjoy the lovely rides! :)

  • Megan

    I am totally bored at work and have been updating the registry and such this week. Now that it’s Macy’s Friends and Family weekend I noticed that people have started buying gifts for my shower next month when I logged in today and now I’m not sure if I should peek :-)

    • Jessica

      Give into temptation, it won’t hurt!

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

      Gahhhh don’t peek! We didn’t ever peek and it made getting mail so much fun!!

      • Megan

        I totally agree! But then I can’t tinker with the registry without spoiling it anyways….they need to come up with a fix for that.

    • K2

      Oh, I totally peeked. I didn’t want to, but I didn’t have the willpower – getting the gifts was fun nonetheless!

  • K2

    Something like 9 months ago, I was posting about getting pregnant, being terrified of miscarrying when I started spotting, how to tell our parents, etc. Well, he’s here! (It’s a boy!) Arrived at 40w6d after a relatively short but intense labor (and my water broke at Easter dinner!) and is now home and healthy and (mostly) happy and (always) hungry!

    • swarmofbees

      Congratulations! Way to go on creating a human being :)

    • emilyg25

      Humongous congratulations to you, your partner, and your boy!

    • Lawyerette510

      yay! congrats!

  • ElisabethJoanne

    So, apparently I’ve been married for 536 days. My cousin’s getting married in 6 weeks, so my sister and I were looking at her wedding web site, and we decided to peek at mine. It was still up, and had a counter.

    My husband has executive dysfunction issues. We experimented Saturday with my taking on his executive-function chores and him taking on my cleaning chores. My chores related to disputing his medical bills. It worked out well, though it is true that it’s harder to schedule executive function chores to a set amount of time the way we do with cleaning (and the way he does with everything).

    I’m having trouble coming to terms with the things my husband wants and his unemployment. He wants an air conditioner (about $300, plus higher power bills) and to move to a bigger place ASAP. He sleeps on the living room floor of our 1-bedroom apartment because his sleep apnea makes it hard to share a room. Even with him in another room, I wear ear plugs every night. We can afford to move (because I have a fairly new, well-paying job), but we’ve done some research, and we’d definitely get a lower rental rate if we wait until the fall. He sees getting the air conditioner now as a compromise for waiting to move. I see it all as big, unnecessary expenditures when I still feel (not entirely rationally) unstably new at this job.

    • honey come home

      You have to get the air conditioner. If you don’t need it when you move, sell it on craigslist. You won’t recoup the costs entirely, but it will probably be worth it in the long run, for the good of your relationship. If I were in your husband’s shoes and unemployed and adjusting to new ways of handling big issues (the chores switch) and wishing to move, but feeling like my partner had the upper (financial) hand in all the decisions and then was sitting around the apartment sweating through a heat wave… I would not handle it well. Especially because heat always ups crankiness levels.

      Just a thought!

      • ElisabethJoanne

        I’m leaning that way because the more rational part of me sees it as fair. It’s just I said we’d get the air conditioner as soon as we got the money back from one of the bills we’ve disputed. With the executive dysfunction, causes and effects don’t register emotionally, but I had hoped by setting up a reward, I could motivate him towards the tasks I can’t do for him.

    • Amy March

      Air conditioner. CPAP machine. Air bed. Or just move now if you can afford it. Also you mention that you’re a lawyer with a new job? My firm offers what is essentially a medical hand holding service for employees and families through the EAP. They’ll call and make appointments and dispute bills for you. It’s terribly advertised here so might be worth a good look around the firm intranet.

      Setting up a reward like that is treating him like a child and you like his mommy. Which, yeah it might be effective, but it doesn’t get you closer to the goal of having an equal partner in your marriage.

      • ElisabethJoanne

        I don’t mean this to be snarky, but what does get me an equal partner?

        We are considering his applying for disability benefits, so maybe the reality is he’s disabled and I can’t have an equal partner and I just have to accept that. But if he’s not disabled, then he’s asking for some expensive things while not doing the work to get money to pay for it. (We’re expecting over $1000 back.) It’s hard because what he wants to do with our increased income is orders of magnitude more expensive than the splurges I now give myself. And whenever I talk about what I want to do with the money (save for babies and retirement), he shrugs. His depression over his unemployment seems to create a mental block about discussing financial planning with it in mind.

        He doesn’t like his CPAP, and his using it didn’t help me sleep better. His mattress situation in the living room is fairly comfy, and I offer to switch with him all the time.

        • Amy March

          Oh girl I have no idea! You’re dealing with something incredibly hard here, and I really hope my comment didn’t come off as snarky either. My general internet philosophy is no one will really get it, but hopefully someone will come up with something that helps? I’ve been following your story for a while and honestly I’m deeply moved, spiritually, by your commitment to making your marriage work.

        • Dawn

          This is not an answer. I don’t think your situation has an answer…
          But my thoughts: really consider what you mean by an equal partner, what you need in your partner, and what your partner is able/unable to do.
          There are things he is not able to do. You are essentially more able than he is. So in that sense, you won’t get an equal partner. But on some level, that is true of partnerships. People have their own strengths and weaknesses.
          If his problems were physical rather than emotional/psychological, how would that change things? If he had a heart problem or whatever, how would things change? He would still be less able than you (hypothetically). But maybe it would be easier because you could understand what he was capable of more readily. Is part of the problem that you can’t tell whether he is doing everything he can? To me, that seems like a likely and appropriate response.

          Practically — maybe it would be helpful to budget talk with a trusted third party. Your husband does not have the ability to be that person. This could help you get a sense of when, perhaps, he is being profligate and when you are being too economical. My thought: get the AC. But I don’t know your finances or how hot your apartment is. Maybe knowing you have a solid sounding board would help your husband too.

  • Kelly

    We’re having an 11 am outdoor ceremony followed by a bruch reception. I think it would be nice to some pre-ceremony beverages for folks (coffee, tea, mimosas) to sip on before and throughout the ceremony, but I’ve been told people probably would want to wait until after the ceremony to drink and eat during cocktail hour, and that by 11 people will have already had their coffee…Personally, I’d love nothing more than to arrive at a park in the morning and immediately have a mimosa in my hand, but I don’t want to put in the effort to make it happen if people aren’t going to indulge…Could anyone share their thoughts or similar experiences?

    • ART

      Always mimosa over no mimosa, for me.

    • Trinity

      We had a noon outdoor ceremony and served mimosas and bloody marys (and water and OJ for our non-drinking friends). I think everyone loved it!

    • Jess

      I went to an 11am wedding last Saturday and would have LOOOOVED a mimosa (or for their food to be more brunchy and less lunchy). I went to an evening wedding 2 years ago that served champagne and sparkling wine before hand. that was great! (although I had run there thinking i was going to be late and was parched and the sparkling water was not enough. haha)

      We’re doing water, iced tea, lemonade before our friday evening wedding in 2 weeks. We would have done champagne, but our ceremony space is pretty small, and herding all the booze imbibing cats away from the bar when it was so close seemed less than optimal. At the 2 years ago wedding, the champagne was down a tiny path, so we had to physically leave the cocktail area to start the ceremony, so that worked well.

      • Kelly

        Oooh, thanks! I also really appreciate the more brunch, less lunch feedback! For the wedding you were at last Saturday, can I ask what time you actually start eating?

        • Jess

          ceremony was at 11, but started probably more like 11:15. the ceremony and reception were at the same place so cocktail hour started by 11:45. (that food was also lunchy, baked potato bar, pasta, meats – cured and like, a pot roast, cheese) and I think we entered the dining room at 1? so we probably had our main course at 2. out of the venue at 5. all the conversation at the table was about how we would have looooooved waffles or pancakes or omelets, so, that’s about 10 votes for more brunchy. :) also, I noticed a lot more people drinking champagne and rose than I normally do at weddings…probably because of the early nature of things.

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

            Someday I would LOVE to go to a wedding that had brunch food…at any time if day! I love breakfast for dinner!

            Huh, if I ever get married again someday, maybe I will consider doing that myself! :) Considered it the first time around, but did a dessert reception instead (which I loved).

    • lady brett

      sounds lovely! also, this gives folks a solid way to fill the time if things are running a bit off schedule (like, say, your godmother and the wedding rings get left at the hotel and it takes 40 minutes to resolve…ahem).

    • Fiona

      I think that sounds lovely! My mom says no alcohol before the ceremony…but YOU should go for it!

    • Mezza

      We had a very short ceremony at 11am and we had coffee for everyone after. I think it’s a great idea to offer drinks before/during, but it didn’t really make sense for our space, which involved navigating tricky stairs. I definitely think people will want coffee (if they’ve already had some, they can have more!), and I loved the one wedding I attended where they passed champagne BEFORE the outdoor ceremony.

      High five for the outdoor ceremony and brunch reception! Exactly what we did, and we loved it.

    • emilyg25

      I went to a wedding that had refreshments available, and the bride and groom were out mingling as everyone arrived. It was so awesome!

    • Lawyerette510

      I think having something there is nice. Mimosas, tea and coffee, not everyone will have had their coffee and some people like to have more, plus generally coffee isn’t a big expense if people don’t drink it.

    • Kelly

      I’m not a big drinker, especially at brunch, but I would LOVE to have a mimosa in hand for your ceremony! It would feel so special and classy.

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

      A flavored water set-up (like with fresh fruit, mint leaves, etc) might be nice for an outdoor ceremony! (Even if you do mimosas, it still might be nice.)

    • NicoleT

      I would be so happy getting alcohol immediately presented to me. And I don’t know where you live, but I know that early drunkenness would definitely be appreciated in a city where there’s a lot of necessary driving (eg. LA). I’m a light weight and often DD, so I rarely get to indulge, something I’ve regretted when there have been tasty looking drinks.

      Also, have you considered aqua fresca as a mixer? We’re doing it for ours and I’m so excited about it that I wanted to pass it along!

      • Kelly

        Haha, that’s usually my strategy, too. Get a buzz on early so I can drive home later, then take a nap in my comfy pants. :)

    • Kelly

      Yaayyy! o.p.Kelly here, and all of this feedback is making me SO.HAPPY. Thanks, everyone!

    • Jessica Nelson

      Not a “nay” vote exactly, but a “know your audience” vote — almost all the weddings I’ve been to have been in churches where eating/drinking was not allowed, so it would feel really weird to me to have a mimosa in hand *during* the actual ceremony. It would make me feel like I was at a baseball game or movie or something, not at a super important ceremony.
      Obviously lots and lots of people don’t feel this way, but I just thought I’d throw this out there in case most of your guests would have more experience with church weddings than not.

    • ktan

      I agree with what several others have said about knowing your audience and also “always mimosa over no mimosa.”
      This is slightly different, but I went to a wedding where the ceremony took place and then immediately following, champagne was passed around (while everyone was still seated for the ceremony) and it was GREAT!

    • TeaforTwo

      Definitely a know your crowd situation. Having something for people before the ceremony seems very hospitable, but I would feel uncomfortable drinking or eating anything DURING the ceremony. Ceremonies are usually short, and I want to be more present than that. Drinking alcohol during a ceremony, in particular, would feel…strange. I can wait twenty minutes and have a drink to celebrate with you after you’re married.

    • Dawn

      There are already lots of good comments on this, but a few questions come to mind for me that I haven’t seen addressed: how much pre-ceremony time will you have? Will people be finishing the drinks before the ceremony? What will they do with cups/glasses? Will they also be juggling programs? Are there restrooms handy?

      Personally, I would enjoy either coffee or mimosa before the ceremony, especially if there is a pre-ceremony mingling time. I do thiink it would depend a lot of your crowd!

  • Jess

    Two weeks left! The people drama begins and now, of course, all the opinions come out.

    so many things left to do, and lots of little crafty things. of course, apw wisdom says to just cut the projects, but they are all the ones i have been looking forward to but didn’t have time to do because of new job/grad school/puppy etc. my inner martha stewart is alive and kicking. haha.

    in fun news, we ordered our dog a tie for the wedding. not a bow tie…a long tie. and i think i might die of how cute its going to be.

    • NicoleT

      That sounds awesome! Any link/pics?

    • Amanda

      I’m two weeks out, too! My people drama has been going on for months, and it sucks, and I’m sorry you have to deal with it. I’ve already made a bunch of decisions that have pissed numerous people off and finally had to adopt an “if you’re not paying for it, you get to shut up and just eat the free food already” mentality.

      As for the projects: I’m down to all of the little crafty things but I’m actually EXCITED about them, so they’ll be staying, thanks.

      ANIMALS IN TIES ARE AMAZING.

      • Valerie Day

        In the two week boat! huzzah! May 17th is going to be a great day. I keep reminding myself that the people who are causing me stress are coming for a reason that has nothing to do with the stress they are causing and also because I have hope for the long term relationships. I banned our dog from our wedding. He is just too excitable. But I want a tie for him anyway!

  • Meigh McPants

    Anybody else feel like life just got put on fast forward? I have ALL THE CLIENTS in May (which, while good, is a little overwhelming) and I’m trying to fix up the house before the baby comes and you know, generally be prepared not to accidentally kill it, and I just wish I had like 30 minutes in the hammock with a book, you know? Oh well. There’s always July. Time for more Diet Coke, go go go!

    • NicoleT

      YES! It’s kind of freaking me out a little… (okay, a lot)

    • K2

      Story of my life! (Or at least of my April.) My husband started a new job on 4/7, the baby was born on 4/21, and we had to take our 1-week-old on his first trip to the bank on 4/28 to sign the mortgage application for the house that – if all goes well – we’ll be moving into in June.

      Also, I always thought that pregnancy was so stressful because everything was kind of mysterious and things could go wrong for no reason and there were no guarantees, and that once the baby was here, I’d be so much less worried about keeping it alive, because, you know, I’ve spent lots of time taking care of babies and know how to keep them alive, and my not-accidentally-killing-a-baby record is flawless so far. But NOPE. Not accidentally killing him takes up WAY more of my brainpower than I ever expected it to!

      • Jess

        a 4/21 baby! that is my birthday too! congrats on not accidentally killing the baby. I’m sure your streak will continue. :)

      • swarmofbees

        As a new mother I spent inordinate amounts of time thinking about ways to prevent the horrible situations I conjured up in my mind. I never knew motherhood could precipitate such a focus on tragedy. But, I guess it helps you to not kill the thing, right? After a while it does calm down. At two years out I only imagine dire situations about once a month now, on average. sigh.

    • http://werewritingabook.com/ Breck

      Yuuuuup. 3/21, fly back from Venezuela, 4/5 move into temporary apartment, 4/7 start new crazy (and awesome job), put in 3 offers on homes (all denied), 4/29 get accepted!, start 3 week closing (inspection, 2nd inspection, appraisal all in one day), close May 20th, dude leaves for weeklong business trip to Manila, gotta get out of the temp apartment, get to the new place, and figure out how all our stuff in storage will get there in the last 3 days of May. Life is nuts!!!

  • Meg

    After 14 months of waiting we finally have his K1 Visa! I went with him on Monday to the US Consulate in Montreal. Our lawyer told us I’d have to wait outside but I was allowed in and was there with him for the interview and everything. We were told right then and there that it was approved. My eyes filled up with tears of relief and joy. We hugged and kissed and then pulled ourselves together so we wouldn’t rub it in for the whole room of people waiting in line. Such a relief :)

    • Fiona

      WHAT. This is literally the best thing. Many many congrats!
      We’re waiting for K1 forever and ever and ever.

      How long did it take?

      • Meg

        Here is a little timeline!
        Feb 2013 – Proposal
        March 2013 – Submit the application
        April 2013 – Application is accepted
        early August 2013 – I noticed that there was a request for more information notice on the website. We had not actually received the request though.
        end of September (actually his birthday)- Finally receive the request (it had been sent to the wrong address, their accident not ours). All they wanted was a letter of support saying we’d both agree to be married 90 days after he arrived in the country
        End of October – notice of action that the application had been approved. It’d be transferred over to the consulate for processing
        November – THE GOVERNMENT SHUT DOWN (didn’t actually affect the department officially but who knows)
        December – He’s requested to fill out some more information on the consulate website
        January – He finally gets a date for his interview….but it was 4 months later!
        April 28th – we have the interview
        June 14 – The wedding!!

        • Fiona

          Oh no!!!!!!!!! We applied in February and want to get married in August. Yikes!
          I’m very happy for you, but now also very worried!

          • Meg

            I wish you the best of luck, I think ours was unusually long. We had 2 months built in just because of them sending that useless request for info to the wrong address and it was a 4 month wait for an interview, so it could theoretically be quicker!

          • Fiona

            I check the website almost every day haha.
            It’s good to hear from other people going through the same thing!

          • Ali

            Have you been on http://www.visajourney.com – It gives more specific timelines based on your location and visa.

          • Fiona

            No, I hadn’t! That’s very helpful. Thanks for the tip.

        • Alice

          I’m getting married June 14th as well! We will start our visa application adventures afterwards, though. I’m a student in the UK for the next five years, so we’re trying to get him to join me. Scary stuff.

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

      That is so amazing!

    • Lian

      Hurray! As I posted myself I also just got the thing I needed from USCIS – OPT based work permission card, in my case. Hurrah!

  • http://www.explorethiscity.com/ Maria

    Has anyone ever dealt with a boss just completely assuming you are never leaving your job? I graduated with a master’s last May and took the first offer I was given; I was under a lot of pressure and we were trying to buy a house, and it seemed like a good idea at the time. It was NOT a good idea. During the interview process, my boss asked me how long we were going to be in this town, and I responded honestly (4 years — the boy is doing his PhD). I answered based on being IN TOWN that long, not at THIS JOB that long! But literally every single week, my boss makes a comment about having me here all four years!! I 100% do not want to be here for 4 years. I am highly underpaid, hugely taken advantage of, and not doing the work I want to do. On top of that, I know that the next 4-5 years will (hopefully) be my only experience in the “working world” since we’re hoping to start having kids after he’s done with school, and I want to be a stay-at-home/work-at-home mom. So I want to go off and experience other jobs. There is a huge opportunity right now for me to teach (if I get the job) at my alma mater, which is exactly what I want to do, so I’m wondering: how do you break the news to your boss that you’ll be leaving, when he assumes you’re staying for years? I signed no contracts and Indiana is an at-will employment state, so I’m not bound. But I feel sick to my stomach when I think about! Any advice?

    • Meg

      I had this happen and when I did move on it was uncomfortable and they didn’t deal with it well. But I just had to rip the bandaid off and do what was right for me

      • http://www.explorethiscity.com/ Maria

        I know they are not going to deal with it well, but that is perfect advice to rip the bandaid off. Thank you!

    • Megan

      I would not tell your boss anything about leaving until you are actually leaving. If you have no contract or obligation then there is no reason you can’t leave when the time is right. It will be tough for him/her to be caught off guard, but it’s not really your responsibility. I just wouldn’t say anything until you know you’re leaving for sure–you don’t want coworkers to treat you differently all of a sudden because they don’t think you’re committed.

      • http://www.explorethiscity.com/ Maria

        Thank you! The only people who know about it are my professors who asked me to apply to the job opening, and it’ll stay that way till I find out if I get an offer. Thanks for saying it’s not my responsibility. My parents keep saying this too — I need to listen to you all :)

    • ElisabethJoanne

      The most nervous I ever was at my old job was when I gave notice – and I had dropped several hints and everyone knew it was a bad fit at that point. I asked for a meeting in a more formal tone than we’d usually use, and then when we met, I just said I’d asked for the meeting because I had accepted an offer at x,y,z.

      • http://www.explorethiscity.com/ Maria

        How did they react? My plan is to also ask for a meeting, but I’m afraid of a) crying, which is something that happens when I’m nervous and b) them reacting poorly.

        • Megan

          Oh man, I’m a nervous crier too. I would do anything to not have that trait. I had a job offer last spring that I was considering, and I had a meeting with my boss to discuss leaving or staying. I was truly interested in the new opportunity, but I had also applied to it to help leverage myself here. I definitely cried through some of that meeting–but part of that is due to having worked at this place since I was in undergrad and it being a really defining place in building my career. Practice the conversation you might have with someone. If you’re leaving for sure (unlike me at the time), practice it over and over and it may help get the emotion out of it when it’s actually time to have the conversation. I was a wreck until we finally had the conversation, and it felt SO much better to get it all out there. I also expected that my boss would freak and get manipulative, but was pleasantly surprised about how much he cared about helping me choosing my next step professionally and how much he expressed how he values me.

          • http://www.explorethiscity.com/ Maria

            I will absolutely practice, thank you for that advice. I would give anything not to cry too. It’s such a disadvantage. Thanks so much for sharing your experience!

          • Kelly

            I’m also a nervous crier and I second having at least some solid phrases that you’ve practiced so that when the time comes they’ll just come right on out of your mouth. This doesn’t just have to be for the “bad” news part, but also expressing gratitude for the opportunities that you’ve been given (even if that’s a bit of a stretch) and saying that appreciate your boss’ understanding…also maybe offering to train your replacement or aid somehow in the transition

        • ElisabethJoanne

          I mentioned the more formal tone ’cause I think it tipped them off that this was something big. I don’t know how nervous I came across. My hands were shaking before the meeting, but I’m a lawyer – high-stakes meetings come with the territory.

          They were very polite. They smiled polite smiles, asked about the new position. I’ve never actually heard of a blow-up at the work place over someone giving notice, but I’m no expert.

          • http://www.explorethiscity.com/ Maria

            Thank you!

        • Lawyerette510

          I’d suggest having a friend or loved one role-play with you. It really does make it much easier than saying it for the first time to your boss. Plus it’s what managers do all the time when they get ready to give someone notice.

          Additionally, I’d give you the same advice I give the managers I coach– Keep it simple. Have a script of what you’re going to say and stick to it.

          Also, be prepared for them to ask you to leave immediately (although it may not happen, it is always a possibility) have all your personal stuff off your work computer and your work phone (if you’ve got one) and have your phone unsynced from their server already if you use your own (because of remote wiping, it often wipes the entire phone of contacts/ emails not just the work part).

          Blow ups are super uncommon, so it should be fine, but often you’ll feel less nervous if you’ve practiced and you plan for the worst (being asked to leave immediately) but hope for the best- positive reaction and working through the end of your notice.

          • http://www.explorethiscity.com/ Maria

            Thanks so much. I would have never thought about that. Luckily I have zero tech things connected (I don’t believe in having work email on my phone, even working in IT) and all I have is a work computer that’s theirs anyway and I never use it except to update servers at 1am at home. I’ve been socking up an emergency fund for months so in a weird sense it would actually be kind of fun if they asked me to leave right away — I’d have the summer to prep for the new job and be able to enjoy some time with the boy! Ha! But in all seriousness, this is great advice, thank you so much.

        • Kelly

          If your boss reacts poorly to you putting in your notice because you’ve been offered a valuable opportunity, that is on them, not on you.

        • jashshea

          Nervous criers unite! I’ve had 3 grown up jobs (I’m almost 36). The first one laid me off (I cried). I almost threw up when giving my notice at the 2nd (I was leaving for a client of that company), but I managed not to cry. I currently have a great relationship with my manager and he would be aware if I were seriously interviewing. But I’d totally cry when I gave notice.

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

            I am also a nervous crier. And a nervous red-splotchy-skin-haver. Oh, and a nervous sweater. And then all the physical reactions make me self conscious and subsequently more nervous.

    • Amy March

      You’re not doing anything wrong. When you find a new job, give 2 weeks notice and leave !!

      • Sarah E

        Exactly. That’s all you are legally and morally obligated to do.

  • macrain

    I have had crazy PMS this week (I actually hate that term, it feels like it minimizes things.) I have always struggled with hormones, especially when it comes to my mood. I think the hardest part is that I’m mortified by my behavior when I’m like this (I’ve had a pretty short fuse this week), and I have hard time giving myself a break. I’m convinced people are talking about me and that people think I’m nuts.
    It sucks because I’ve been feeling SO GOOD lately. Have struggled for years and have been seeing a therapist, and had been going through a really good spell. I want that back!
    On the plus side, even though my fiance was the target of my sour mood this week a little bit, he has gotten really good at knowing how to comfort me.

  • Kelly

    My fiance had his first therapy appointment this week, and I am SO proud of him. I had been asking him to schedule something before the wedding, but it was pretty scary for him. It feels so good to know that he is wanting to be his full self for our future!

    • ElisabethJoanne

      I kind of do this every week for someone: If you’re not already in touch with the National Alliance on Mental Illness, nami.org, I recommend it. They offer free classes to patients/consumers and their friends and family members. I’ve been helped a lot by their free support groups.

      • Kelly

        thanks for the tip!

  • C_Gold

    Hey everyone! I’ve only started reading this site in the last month or two, and I love it, but I don’t have the structure 100% down. So this info may already exist somewhere on the site that I haven’t discovered yet. Are there ever meet-ups? I’d love to meet other women who read this site, to talk about (practical) wedding stuff, make new friends, and whatever (I feel like people who read this probably have similar sensibilities to me).

    So, are meet-ups for APW readers a thing? If not, regardless, does anyone in the Madison, WI area want to have a APW get together and have a drink sometime?

    • Jess

      there are sometimes local facebook groups with varying levels of activity so you can search there. someone actually just posted on the NYC one today about wanting to have a happy hour. I’m sure there are other madison folks who will jump on this comment too. :)

    • Kelly

      Yes I do! I’m in MKE, but our wedding is in Spring Green. Can I ask, do you have a cake place?

      • C_Gold

        Actually we are thinking maybe CostCo or Hyvee. Not especially fancy. :)

        Unless you’re asking because YOU have a recommendation for an awesome cake place? :)

        • Michelle

          I got married in Madison in September and we loved working with HyVee for bakery! We did cupcakes and a small 8″ cake. All were delicious, pretty, and reasonable priced. We got lots of compliments on the cupcakes. I now live in Minneapolis instead of Madison, so I wish I could do a meetup with you, but oh well. Any Minneapolis folks want to do a meetup?

          • Kelly

            I wish I had a recommendation! We will probably end up with Carls and trusting a family member to drive it out to Spring Green. I’ll give Hy-vee a call and see if they do tiered cakes!

            Someone else further down the comments was asking for Minnesota brides.

          • C_Gold

            If anyone (Kelly, you specifically, or anyone else) wants to get together or just talk Wisconsin bridal stuff, email me! My email is physics.NIU@gmail.com

          • C_Gold

            That’s so good to hear! Yay HyVee!

    • JSwen

      GO BADGERS!

      Sorry – I don’t live in Madison anymore so this was strictly a Wisconsin Pride post.

  • Ella

    I’m not sure how I missed that this was coming out, but I CANNOT wait to watch this movie:

    http://jezebel.com/for-a-woman-of-color-who-loves-jane-austen-belle-is-a-1570843694?utm_campaign=socialflow_jezebel_facebook&utm_source=jezebel_facebook&utm_medium=socialflow

    Yay for women of color in a leading role! Yay period dramas! Yay COSTUMES!

    • ART

      Oh, I want to see this! Thanks for sharing!

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

      I’ve been looking forward to this moving coming out! Hoping to see it sometime this month.

  • http://twitter.com/mollyepollard Molly Pollard

    Y’ALL!! We are getting married in 3 weeks! HOW CRAZY IS THAT? I keep thinking, what am I forgetting? I think I know everything I’m missing? I hope?? I’m kind of to the point of not caring, is that awful? We’re getting married ahhh!

    In other news, my fiance and I spent last weekend in Colorado and it was AWESOME! I had a kind-of-spur-of-the-moment job interview that Friday that went okay given the fact that I had been awake since 3 a.m. Central time trying to catch a flight. We found an apartment near my fiance’s work. We ate tasty food and explored the suburb we’ll be living in. We WENT TO IKEA which I had never done because I live in Alabama and what is Ikea. That was FUN!

    Oh, and I told my supervisors that I was leaving after May 16, which was THE BEST FEELING.

    Caps everywhere! Yay!

    • jashshea

      Been following your story over the last few months – So happy you’ll be away from that work situation so soon! YAH!

      • http://twitter.com/mollyepollard Molly Pollard

        Yessss! Let’s just hope I find a job out there fairly quickly! My fiance assures me we will be okay even if it takes me a bit of time. I haven’t been applying very many places since last week because of Colorado/wedding stuff popping up, so hopefully I can get back on that. Being able to move out there with a job offer would be the icing on the cake!

        We’ll see. :)

  • Lawyerette510

    10 days til the wedding! 3 and a half days of work until I take off for prep and my “Woman Weekend”! I’ve stopped ordering things online, I’m over second guessing my dress, I’ve gotten the final numbers to the caterers and I’m nearly done with the personal notes that are everyone’s escort cards (at least my share, FH has his to do still but that’s his business). FH’s “Man Camp” is this weekend, and I’m getting a facial and my legs waxed and testing margarita recipes.

    On top of all of this though, it is bitter-sweet because I had two friends whose moms died of cancer this past Sunday and both funerals were Wednesday, they were both amazing women who influenced the course of my life, and their passing really helped me put some of the anxiety over wedding details in perspective.

    • LE

      I’d love to hear more about the personal note escort cards! Sounds like a cool idea.

      • Lawyerette510

        We have about 58 guests, and we’re doing a notecard for each couple/ family. The front of the envelope is stamped with a place setting and then inside is the notecard saying why it is meaningful to us to have them there and thanking them for coming.

    • JDrives

      Sounds like wedding zen might be settling in for you! Cheers!

  • STM

    Has anyone here skipped the RSVP pre-stamped-return-envelope thing and just told people to call or email you? Or used a service like RSVPify? It seems like an awful waste of both money and paper to put more envelopes inside of envelopes, and know that half the people won’t send them back anyway and I’ll end up calling. Has anyone run into etiquette issues with this?

    • Ann

      I used a google form–it also allowed me to collect all email addresses and dietary needs in a handy dandy spreadsheet. Several older folks RSVP-ed twice. No one complained. The only person who failed to RSVP was my bff, who I knew was coming anyways.

      • STM

        Two votes for Google forms so far. Cool. Thank you!

        • Ann

          You’re welcome!

          It’s also a know your audience thing. Our wedding was very casual, and I knew people wouldn’t have a problem with the online form. As someone said above, we embedded it in our wedding website (which we built ourselves, using handy dandy university free webspace. Our people handled the awkward, long URL just fine). You can also just post a link to your wedding website.

          • Emmers

            Also, you can use tinyurl or bitly if you want to shorten a cumbersome URL. You can also usually make them generate one that’s friendlier (like http://tinyurl.com/smithbradleywedding).

    • Ella

      I can’t be of help with your question, but I just wanted to say I love your avatar! :) Love me some Katara.

      I do think websites generated by The Kn*t have an RSVP spot. So, maybe try that route?

      • STM

        Thanks! It also makes me giggle to have an avatar from Avatar. :-D

    • Sparkles

      We created a tumblr page with a google form embedded in it that we put the link to on our invite. And we just made sure we had contact information for all those folks who wouldn’t use the computer.

      • STM

        Ok, cool, thanks. I hadn’t looked at Google forms before.

      • Valerie Day

        We did a paper invite with instructions to reply by calling, emailing or going to our wedding website. We used Blogger and a google form. The nice thing about the google form is it imported it into a spreasheet in Google drive. We did have to track people down, but you know…this is just sort of how it goes.

    • Laura C

      We did the Printable Press postcard RSVP card. It’s still paper and a stamp, but no extra envelope and a postcard stamp. Kind of a happy medium? But actually we are also taking online RSVPs and I’d guess it’s been about 50-50 what we’ve gotten back so far.

      • Jess

        we had more than one person put our postcard in their own envelope. we had our address written in a somewhat weird/different way on the postcard, so it was very clear that they all turned the post card over, copied the address as it was written there, right next to the stamp that was also clearly on the card, and then put it in an envelope. doh!

        • Laura C

          Weird! That is one we have not run into yet.

        • STM

          People are funny. :-)

      • STM

        We were looking at that too. Thanks!

    • lady brett

      we did an rsvp postcard, and didn’t provide the stamp. it seemed to work fine =)

    • Laura

      We went old school formal and just put “R.s.v.p” on the invitation with no card or instructions. Honestly it’s surprised and saddened me how many people have reacted with complete bewilderment: “It says RSVP but there’s no response card???” I know they’ve become totally ubiquitous but you’d think if people really couldn’t figure out how to write their own note, put it in an envelope and copy the return address from the invitation, they could at least google “how to respond to an invitation without response card.” (We are also TOTALLY fine with phone calls, emails, text messages, etc., it’s not like we’re demanding everyone get out their fancy stationary and fountain pen.) End grumpy rant.

    • Amanda

      I told people to call or email, because stamps are expensive, and everyone I talked to who used pre-stamped RSVP cards STILL had to track down RSVPs. Guess what? People don’t answer to anything, and you still have to track them down. I say go for it, and save the stamp money :)

    • ML

      Yes we did phone, email, and web-based through Wedding Woo. It worked fine. The people you have to track down, you will have to do so regardless so not having a postcard makes no difference!

    • Dawn

      We did RSVP to (our wedding email address) or (a phone number).
      Most people emailed, and the non-emailers had a place to call we ended up getting a lot of in-person and facebook RSVPs too. I kept track on a spreadsheet.

    • Kendra D

      This is what I’m doing! I’m putting a little silver sticker on our RSVP cards asking for either email or phoned RSVPs. I’ll still address the envelopes just in case, but I’m not putting any stamps on them. Though, to be fair, I also have labels for those as well.

      There are etiquette issues with everything, but I think in this technological age if you offer a couple of options for RSVPing that people will be fine with it. Or they’ll mutter about your lack of courtesy and put a stamp on it and mail it in.

    • TeaforTwo

      We just put a URL at the bottom of our (paper) invitation, and had a form online for people to RSVP. It worked for nearly everyone…my aunt had to respond on behalf of my grandmother (although we knew she wouldn’t be online, and would have called her/otherwise been in touch with her during our engagement), and my mother-in-law’s two elderly cousins were quite confused. We called them, it worked itself out. Everyone else figured it out.

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

      Worked really well for me. I did not want to waste extra paper because of environmental concerns (or money, because the budget was very small). I think I got one phone call and the rest were emailed or submitted rsvps through the wedding website.

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

    Hey APW! Does anyone have any tips for getting paper clutter under control at home?

    Partner and I are pretty good at keeping things tidy around the house- we’re not pack rats nor sentimentalists, so we don’t really have any problems with “stuff,” but I feel like we’re just buried in papers (bills, insurance documents, receipts, etc). Does anyone have any good methods for keeping the paper influx under control?Most of our problems start with the mail. On the one hand, we’ve tried to go paperless for most things, but we still get statements and bills in the mail that I’m afraid to just recycle. Is there a general rule of thumb for stuff to keep vs. stuff to recycle without fear of future problem-causing?

    • Fiona

      Yes, I’m horrible at letting things pile up. When I have it under control, it’s because I have this nice little 2-drawer rolling filing cabinet with hanging files. Hanging files are the best! Then, when you have them set up, you can dump things in there and it WILL be organized because you have labelled files!

      • lady brett

        love hanging files. mine are just in a cardboard file box. but the thing that made my file cabinet work for me was adding a “what happens next” line to the label: scan, keep/replace, and keep.

        so, for example, there might be a “car – keep” folder with, say, the title in it, and a “car – keep/replace” with the current insurance info (to be replaced when the new insurance info comes in) and a “car – scan” where things that i don’t need legally, but might want for future reference reside until i get the gumption to bother scanning them all and throwing away the paper copies (repair bills, that angry note the neighbor left on the windshield).

      • taygete05

        Where’d you get your filing cabinet one? We’d love one that rolls but haven’t had any luck finding a multi-drawer rolling one so far!

    • http://twitter.com/mollyepollard Molly Pollard

      I’m so awful about letting mail pile up. My house looks like a disaster area right now because of all the mail/wedding stuff/whatever that’s just ugh.

      I swear I’m not a hoarder. :)

    • ElisabethJoanne

      This my husband accomplished before we switched chores (discussed below)! A file cabinet, with lots of folders and labels. Some stuff you can file as soon as you open the envelope. Everything else you can clear off once a week.

      How long to keep stuff:
      *Tax-related papers (medical bills and statements, charitable giving receipts, evidence of income, evidence of housing costs and retirement savings) – until tax time. Then you’ll usually file it with your tax returns
      *Tax returns and related documentation – 7 years. After 7 years, you can throw out the documentation, but keep the returns “forever”
      *Credit card and utility bills, bank statements – I toss them once they’re reviewed and paid, but I should keep them for a year
      *Receipts – Until they expire, if they have an expiration date; until I’ve checked them against the credit card bill, usually; for return-any-time-for-any-reason things as well as major purchases, I keep them “forever”
      *Medical documents (not bills, stuff about your health) – forever, but you can toss standardized information once you no longer need it; keep HIPAA policies as long as you’re affiliated with that practice, plus 1 year
      *Fine print for bank accounts, credit cards, etc. – for as long as you have the account, plus one year

    • Jess

      our plan is an inbox of sorts, where stuff that’s clearly junk or notifications that we dont need go into. important things get pulled out and put into 2 piles on the counter, one for me and one for him. then, once a month, we go through the box, recycle or take anything sensitive to stapes to be shred (it cost us maybe 8 bucks for a giant bag last time, and its way easier to drop it off on the way to work than sit there with our dinky home shredder that over heats every 4 sheets.)

      and, i thought letter openers were stupid, but my fiance has an obsession with them and they honestly do make mail significantly easier and faster to process. :)

    • Jess

      whats the site or service that unsubscribes you from junk mail? i want to do that….does anyone know the name?

      • emilyg25

        I use PaperKarma, an app on my iPhone, for catalogs. You just take a photo of the cover and enter the address, and they take care of the rest.

        • Jess

          awesome, thanks!

    • K_

      We’ve been using this system for years:
      http://www.freedomfiler.com/Home.cfm
      It’s ~$35 on Amazon.

      It is “self-purging,” in that it prompts you to get rid of documents every two years. I also keep cards and letters in it, so that two years later I will stop and remember a dear friend. It’s very easy to use, which means that my husband can file things on his own!

    • Alison O

      I’ve switched from file folders and a vertical metal organizer rack thing to binders, and I three-hole punch what I need to keep and put it in the binder with dividers, ordering papers within individual sections by date and sometimes stapling related things together (esp. if they are things that are not 8.5×11 I will tape them to a 8.5×11 sheet or staple to a larger related doc. Takes up a lot less space and I find things more easily.

      Here’s advice on what to keep and how long from Suze Orman I found helpful:
      http://www.oprah.com/money/Suze-Ormans-Spring-Cleaning-Overhaul-Your-Files-and-Finances_1

    • Kayjayoh

      I’m going to run a bunch of my old paperwork through a document scanner, then shred the originals. That way I have the info if I ever need it, but they aren’t taking up physical space anymore.

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

    I know this is a problem pretty much everyone has, but how do I find enough time in my day/week to get to all my priorities without getting burnt out? What do you do when saying no to things, or cutting things out of your life that take up a lot of time just isn’t an option?

    I’ve got a small handful of things (6) that I’ve determined are priorities for me and I’m just not managing to fit them all in my schedule. Or if I do manage to juggle all the balls for a week or two, I get exhausted and burnt out just do nothing for a few days to recoup. It seems like the obvious answer would be to cut one or more of the priorities but… I just don’t think I can. There’s not one that I can justify taking off my list. I’m just frustrated because I feel like all my priorities are suffering (and like I’m a failure who can’t get anything done) because of this, but can’t for life of me figure out how to make it better.

    Any gems of wisdom?

    • C_Gold

      I have similar issues, but I’m in academia, so what ends up happening is that I decide I’ll get to a ton of things I want to do over the summer, and then summer comes and I realize I’ve ridiculously overbooked myself.

      One thing I’ve found has helped me (a bit) is only focusing on one or two things per day. For example, on Tuesdays I do freelance work, will respond to work emails, but do not grade. I will grade on other days. I have to section things out, because I ALWAYS have things to do, so if I don’t say “This is what I’m focusing on today” I end up not prioritizing it because there are dozens of other things vying for my attention. Don’t know how helpful that is, but it’s what I’ve got, so far. :)

      • Dawn

        Also in academia– I do the same thing. I teach and grade on certain days. I don’t waste my morning energy on email or insignificant committee work. I block out specific time slots for long-term projects. Otherwise, little annoying things will take all the time. Basically, I set up my schedule by semester.
        My advice to grad students is to treat grad school as much like an hourly job as possible. You must take time off to allow your mind to think. Plan your off time and when you’re off, don’t work and don’t feel guilty.
        Otherwise, work more and worry less.

    • Jessica Nelson

      My philosophy is similar to C_Gold’s, and based off of a random bunch of influences: This article on “decision fatigue” from the NY Times (http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/21/magazine/do-you-suffer-from-decision-fatigue.html?pagewanted=all), the book “Acedia and Me” by Kathleen Norris (where she talks about how a schedule helps her deal with writer’s block), and the book/program “Managers of their Homes” (http://www.titus2.com/managers-of-their-homes.html) which my mom used to plan out our days when she was homeschooling us.
      So, now that I’ve gotten my citations out of the way lol, here’s my approach:
      – List all of the things you need to do and how much time it takes you to do them, per week. Be realistic!
      – Create a weekly schedule for yourself, starting with the blocks of time that you can’t control (work hours, traffic time, etc), then start to add in more optional things. Think through your personality type and your habits. (Maybe you always go over your finances on Saturday mornings because that’s when your parents always did it, but you *hate* doing it then so it drags on forever, and you’d do better spending 5 mins a night updating your accounts. I used to think I only had time to exercise 2-3 times a week, but I’ve discovered (as a grad student) that I’m not good at getting out of bed when I don’t have a morning obligation, but I can get up pretty early when I do. So now I make sure that I have some morning appointment or something that will get me up, and then I have time to work out as well.)
      – If not everything fits in your weekly schedule, well then, you didn’t really have time for it! Once you get down to the really optional stuff, something might have to give.
      – Live with your schedule for awhile. Try to make it a routine rather than a schedule to spare yourself some of the mental trouble of deciding what you’re doing every day. (Seriously…I haven’t been as good at sticking to a schedule this semester, and I waste so. much. mental energy figuring things out.)

      Good luck!

      • C_Gold

        Yes to the “having a morning appointment” thing! When I’m on Christmas or summer break, I have to make early appointments, or I will sleep soooo late and waste tons of time and feel all gross (particularly in the winter when there’s no sunlight). Sometimes I just make plans to meet friends for a very fast early breakfast.

        • Kelly

          Oh, yes, yes. Getting dressed and out the door in the morning in the key to my productivity. Feeling like a put-together adult (or at least one who is not sitting on the couch without pants) will make me a million times more likely to start getting things accomplished. About once a week I’ll get delusional and think I can just do work at home in my no-pants couch nest, and it will be a complete disaster.

      • Kelly

        These are great tips! I especially appreciate the last one. I’m also a grad student who struggles with prioritizing, and sometimes just the thought of the mental energy that will be required to schedule my week is overwhelming. Sometimes just trying to find little adjustments to make a routine of can lead to victory.

    • Hope

      I find myself in a similar position with my priorities taking more time than I have to give. Last week I read this by Elizabeth Gilbert, the author of Eat, Pray, Love, which helped me start to change my mindset on priorities. It’s probably better if I do two things well than three things crappily.

      “1) For most of my life I never said NO to anything or anyone, because I didn’t know how.

      2) Slowly I learned how to say NO to people I didn’t like, and to things I did not want to do. This felt for a while like the highest teaching. But there is a higher teaching still…

      3) Recently I have learned the hardest lesson of all: How to say NO sometimes to people whom you do love, and to things that you do want to do — based upon a compassionate comprehension of the limitations of your own energies, time and emotional capacity.

      Which is to say: Sometimes you must gently refuse even some things which appeal to you, so that you can focus your limited human attention not only on what is important, but on what is possible.”

  • Anon

    This week I miscarried, after finding out 3 weeks ago that our baby’s heart stopped beating at 9 weeks. It’s been a huge mountain to climb, drudging up memories of some horrible health challenges I faced as a pre-teen, and fear around the idea of parenthood in general. My marriage has been such an amazing force in this time. We celebrate 3 years this month, and I’m more grateful for this partner every day. Tomorrow he celebrates 1 year of sobriety. I’m so proud of us, but mostly I want to remind all of you: you can go through the worst shit and come out stronger and more in love than ever before; you are stronger than you think; there are mysterious blessings amidst the crap– I can already feel it.

    • macrain

      So, so sorry for your loss. Big hugs. <3

    • JDrives

      So many hugs, and many kudos for your awesome partner and positive outlook in this trying time. Sticking this beauty in my pocket for when I need to hear it down the line: “you can go through the worst shit and come out stronger and more in love than ever before; you are stronger than you think; there are mysterious blessings amidst the crap”

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

      My heart breaks for you.

    • Kayjayoh

      Blessings and strength to you both.

    • Amanda Allison (TBPacheco)

      This is an amazing story and I can only imagine what a strong and determined person you are; you’re an inspiration!

  • Ashley

    I am buying my flowers from Costco and doing the centerpieces and bouquets myself and I’m starting to freak out about the number of stems I need to have. Must. Breathe. In addition I’m all of a sudden freaking out about the way I’ll look in pictures as a heavy petite girl. I will be so happy when all of this is over. Is that bad?

    • C_Gold

      Think about the wedding pictures people post on here. The brides always look gorgeous! You’ll look gorgeous!

      Is there anyone around you can enlist to help with the flowers?

    • Erin

      Have you taken pictures of yourself in your dress that you like? I have that same fear sometime, but looking at the pictures I took the day I found my dress always sets me straight. I see how happy I look, and know I’ll be even happier on my wedding day, so there’s no way I could possibly look bad.

      • Ashley

        I did that last night. Thanks, sometimes I just get stuck in my own head and then I see someones bridal pictures and I lose it.

    • JSwen

      Oooh I just saw a florist this week to see if I want to just pay someone or if I want to DIY it. Any web resources you recommend for DIY or is this something you have done before?

      • Ashley

        I used APW and pinterest to get an idea and then went from there. This is first time I’m doing this.

  • Kari

    We’ve been struggling with this decision for weeks now and I finally decided to pull out the big guns and ask y’all for advice:

    We’ve booked (and put $500 down on) a super unique venue for our 150 person wedding that we absolutely adore (vaulted ceilings, skylights, hardwood and metal interior, looks out over a wetland preserve!!). HOWEVER, the venue contracts exclusively with an off-site caterer that we weren’t that excited about, but thought our amazing venue would make up for good-but-not-great catering. Until we saw the contract for the caterer, which has all kinds of sneaky fees and upcharges that we were not aware of until we booked the venue. So, we’re stuck with a caterer that has a $5/person china fee, plus a catering fee, plus a delivery fee, plus an upcharge for additional meal options, plus charges for actual caterers’ time, plus more. I know this may be normal other places, but we’re in rural WI and it seems pretty ridiculous. I’m really struggling with the thought of paying all this when we could go to our second favorite venue (which is admittedly less gorgeous and amazing, but still very nice and pretty; AND has really good food)- and save THOUSANDS of dollars.

    I’m generally a practical person, and so part of me wants to go the practical route (2nd best venue) and just be ok with that. But another part of me wants to “go big or go home” and shell out the extra cash for the venue, even if the caterer bugs me. My fiance is pretty equally divided. We just don’t know what to do… help?!

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

      I would go with the second venue if the food is BETTER. If it’s the same, go for the #1 venue if you can swing it.

      • KC

        Ditto on the if-the-food-is-better. I’d also note that a nearby wetland preserve is not necessarily a plus in mosquito season, if you are having a wedding in mosquito season, so if you go with venue 2, you can reassure yourself on the “hey, we’re not itchy everywhere!” front?

        • Kari

          Eek, mosquitoes! I hadn’t thought of that…but venue 2 is literally in the middle of the woods, so likely not much better :/

    • C_Gold

      Can you do the imagining thing where you pretend you’ve committed to one choice (maybe via coin flip or something) and imagine how it makes you feel? Then do the reverse?

      I don’t know what your budget is like–if you went with the cheaper option, would that give you the flexibility to get something else awesome that’d you be skipping otherwise?

      (Also, I’m also in Wisconsin, recently engaged and dying to talk to other Wisconsin engaged ladies, so if you’re interested in a meet-up or just email exchange, my email is physics.niu@gmail.com)

      • H

        Oooo. This is the flip a coin trick. Assign one to each side of the coin, and if you find yourself wishing for the other side of the coin after you flip it, there’s your answer. :) I love this trick, and I use it all the time.

    • ElisabethJoanne

      Here’s how I think of it: We experienced the wedding through the planning ahead of time and the photos afterwards. We were excited about the venue, and enjoy reflecting on how lovely our choice was. A good meal wasn’t going to hold our imaginations before or after in the same way.

      But other people will have different priorities.

      Possible compromise: A great cake. We had unremarkable food, but got the most compliments on our cake. I know venues often require you to use their baker, too, but, just a thought…

      • Kari

        I guess the issue isn’t even that I’m worried the food won’t be remarkable…more that I find their business model ridiculous and I don’t want to support it. I understand that weddings are a business, but I’ve spent a lot of time working at catering/wedding venues and the way they handle things just shocks/annoys the hell out me!

    • Jennie

      I think it depends on your priorities. Food was our number one priority. We LOVE good food, and my husband has a long list of food allergies. We wanted amazing food that my husband could eat at our wedding and that everyone else would think was amazing. That’s how we made our decision. We had people tell us it was the best wedding food they’d ever had, biggest compliment we got on the wedding. But that was our priority. If your priority is good food, and the food at the second venue is significantly better, think about the second one. If you’re priority is a beautiful venue and the cost difference is acceptable, go for the one you’ve already booked.

    • JSwen

      When I compared loads of caterers, I found that no one priced out their services the same way. If they had included all of those “fees” in the food pricing, would you feel differently? Or conversely, for a similar quality meal through a different vendor, would the price be all that different?

      • Kari

        Good point! I think I need to actually do the work of pricing everything out to see how much the real difference is (though I am fairly certain that it’s at least a couple thousand).

  • Scout

    My FH and I came up with a 3 year plan and I’m SO HAPPY. I’ve been feeling burnt out and stuck at work lately- I love what I actually do, but I don’t like the environment in which I’m doing it, if that makes sense. We moved to where we currently live from Pittsburgh because neither of us could get jobs in our field there, and I’ve just come to a point where I’m recognizing that no matter how much I love my career, living in a soul-sucking place is not worth it!

    We’ve both done some traveling recently and we both were just like, the world is our oyster! We can go anywhere! We both work full time and we are getting our Master’s degrees part time, though. In three years, we’ll both be done and we’ll have built killer resumes and we’ll have saved enough money to buy a house somewhere super awesome and settle into a place that we love. I feel really liberated- it’s like I’ve suddenly come up for air when I didn’t even realize I was drowning.

    • Not Sarah

      Woo! Sometimes I feel like I’m drowning because I have NO future plans, no 3 year plan, nothing. And I’m a planner! But I don’t know if I want kids, I don’t know if getting married is something I ever want, and I feel like I’ve seen most of the world that I want to see at this point. My boyfriend has similar feelings, except that he’s not a planner. So I’ve had a really hard time in the last couple of years coming to terms with the fact that I have no future plans and I don’t really feel any need for them.

      (Keep in mind that I have my career, I’m done with my formal education, I have bought a home, am living in a city I see myself living in for many years, and see myself being with my boyfriend for many years to come. In some ways, I suppose that I have accomplished my plans.)

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

      That’s awesome! :)

  • rant!

    Things were going so well today, until somebody started some new drama about something that really doesn’t need any. New approach is trying to kill them all with kindness. If I can keep a smile on my face through the weekend…all will be well. But dudes, whyyy?

  • Megan

    Does anyone have any recs for honeymoon places in Costa Rica or Belize? I’ve been starting to research hotels and resorts. I want beach and relaxation and he wants some adventure, so these seem like happy medium places. Open to other ideas too!

    • JSwen

      Search here: https://www.lonelyplanet.com/thorntree

      Best travel advice on the nets.

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

      we are honeymooning in Costa Rica! When is your honeymoon? I can let you know after we go, but I’m sure it will be great. We are staying at the Tabacon Hot Springs by the volcano Arenal and then for the other half of our trip we are staying at a private villa thing by the ocean run by a gay couple who cook organic food for you, teach yoga, massage, everything..if you want to just relax in paradise then this place would be great – it’s called Prana Rainforest Retreat. :)

      • Megan

        Sweet! Our wedding is October 18, so I’m hoping we will go that week after…although fiancé is still encouraging us to think about the winter, given how much this past one sucked. We could’ve used some warmth in the middle!

      • Megan

        And um…oMG Prana looks amazing. When do you go?!

  • Jess

    As a wedding gift, we were gifted a lovely week at a time share in Aruba in June! I’m so excited. :) I went there once in college with my family and love love loved it.

    Anyone have any recommendations of things to do or eat? On the list so far is sunset cruise and snuba-ing!

    • Ariel

      Ooh, I want to know too! I’m going to Aruba on my honeymoon in the beginning of July.

      • Jess

        well, from my last trip, I 100% recommend a sunset cruise and the snuba trip, if they still do them. we went in…uh….2005? and both trips were run from the same catamaran/crew and they were both awesome. sunset trip with rum punch! and snorkeling and snuba and they take you to a shipwreck and i saw some live lobsters under a rock. :) I need to do some googling to see if they’re still around. we also went to a Brazilian steakhouse (awesome), and did a rocky side of the island jeep tour which was….interesting, but i’m not looking to do that again. it was cool tho. also, we stayed at the raddison and had banana pancakes that i still dream about. not even that jack johnson song that was popular around then could ruin it for me!

  • Jennie

    We had mini summer in the Northwest this week too! And I think my morning (read: all day) sickness is done (or at least food sounds good again, which it hasn’t for the last six weeks)! My SIL’s bridal shower is this weekend and I’m taking a friend and her six-year-old to a B&B this weekend for a girl’s get-away. Feeling good about this week!

  • basil

    Guys, my very Catholic mother is NOT happy about our plan to have a secular wedding and has told me this week that she will “just stand in the back” for the ceremony. She says that participating more fully would be to condone a wedding outside the church, which she *can’t* do.

    Has anyone else experienced this? Lived through it? Had parents who threatened to do this but caved once the wedding actually arrived?

    I’m really bummed, and honestly, pissed. Standing in the back??? While the rest of our families are walking down the aisle, sitting in the front row, smiling and supporting us?? Argh.

    I should add that I was raised Catholic but have been an atheist my entire adult life (and so has my fiance). She’s known for the past 10 years or so that I’m not religious, and I’ve told her several times in the past (even before being engaged) that it wouldn’t be right for me to have a Catholic wedding, because I’m, y’know… not Catholic anymore. She still asked us to get married in a way that would qualify in the eyes of the church, and I (firmly) told her I wanted to get married in a way that’s true to me and my fiance. She was very upset.

    Forgive me, I’ve only been engaged a month and half. I’m still coming to terms with the fact that *everyone* has a different opinion about the right way to be married.

    • Jess

      I avoided this, but only because I took my anti-Catholic stand with my mother when I was in high school and we didn’t really speak much for about a year. We’re good now, but it was rough at the time. So I can’t necessarily speak to this, but I think, personally, that being true to yourself is the most important, especially something that may be very fundamental to who you are (as it was for me). I can’t imagine how tough it would be to go through that with the added pressure of a wedding. Good luck!

    • StevenPortland

      That’s really too bad. One idea is to *try* not to make a big deal out it. Don’t give it any power. Then try to see if there is a progressive Catholic priest who could talk to your mom about it. It will totally be too bad if she keeps up with her current stance, but I can’t imagine that she’ll be able to keep that resolve once it gets closer.

      • Jess

        oh, don’t give it power! i like that.

      • basil

        Hmm, I like this too. I’m guessing that making a huge deal about it will cause her to dig in her heels, which will make it harder for her to go back on her stance later.

        Thanks. :)

    • Kendra D

      I managed to neutralize the religion issues between our families by explaining, calmly, to both sides that with half being Protestant and half being Catholic that I would be accommodating both by having a friend officiate. This includes not having my Uncle, who is a minister and who has presided over every cousins wedding thus far, officiate. Because I’m not alienating half of my family in order to make the other half more comfortable.

      I have asked both my father and my FIL to open the ceremony and reception in prayer. While my husband definitely holds to no religious beliefs and mine are vague and uncertain even in my own head, neither of us mind allowing them to open things with these blessings in order to help both families feel more comfortable. For us, this was a little thing that we could give on that brought great satisfaction to our parents. This may not be an option for you, but I thought I would throw it out there. In my head, they’ll be inviting the universe to witness our vows, which is how I made my peace with it.

      It does help that our ceremony is coming on our fourth anniversary for eloping, so at this point, both families are a) happy we’re doing anything at all, and, b) fairly resigned to our respective religious positions.

      Best of luck!

    • Jessica Nelson

      Your mom is trying to be more Catholic than the Church itself. :) The Catholic Church recognizes & “condones” any marriage, whether or not it takes place under the authority of the church. The difficulty comes when one or both of the participants in the non-Catholic wedding ceremony are Catholic. Getting married outside of the church is then taken as an official decision to leave the church. Although I don’t know anyone who has decided to not attend a wedding because of this, it does mean that the day has a double meaning — the super happy wedding part, and the sad (to people like your mom) fact that it means someone is leaving the church.
      In your case, however, it sounds like you decided to not be Catholic a long time ago. (If you wanted to be Catholic but not get married in a Catholic ceremony, you could ask for a dispensation, but that seems kind of silly.) Perhaps it would be helpful in the long run to more firmly declare your atheism to your mom now, and make it clear that your wedding day will simply be about your marriage to your fiance, and not about your relationship to the Catholic Church, which has already been decided.
      This link might be helpful too: http://www.catholic.com/quickquestions/are-non-catholic-marriages-valid-in-the-eyes-of-the-catholic-church-what-if-a-catholi

  • Ariel

    I was going to post all happy stuff about how I had my cake tasting yesterday and how I have a dress fitting next week and how we started getting presents in the mail (yay!) and we got the first draft of our ceremony (in love, happy cried at work reading it), but I just got a “no” rsvp from my favorite aunt and uncle and now I’m crying. Damn you wedding planning, and damn you period.

    • Jess

      cake and happy thoughts! and internet hugs!

      • Ariel

        thanks :)

    • JSwen

      I just found out yesterday that my Aunt won’t be coming! I feel your pain! They still love us though, I’m sure. Just blows.

      • Ariel

        Sorry! It does blow. They’re my faves and I really thought they’d be there… it’s far for them and I get it, but still :(

    • ART

      I’m sorry; certain “no” rsvps have been hard for me, too. It sucks.

      • Ariel

        Sorry you’ve had to deal with this too. It sucks a lot.

  • Aurora Parlin

    I had kind of a rough week this week filled with bouts of depression and exhaustion. I ended up skipping out on socializing with members of the local chorus because my social anxiety and depression was really getting to me. BUT my new nail polish came in the mail today so I treated myself to some much-needed self-care, and I’m posting here which (again due to that super fun social anxiety) can be really difficult for me.

    • Ariel

      What’s the color? I have a minor nail polish problem.

      • Aurora Parlin

        It’s Zoya’s “Rory”, which happens to be my nickname (I also have their “Aurora”, of course!).

        • Ariel

          Zoya Aurora is gorgeous!!!

    • Michelle

      I feel you on the anxiety and depression. Good for you doing some self-care! It is so needed. Take care of you.

  • JSwen

    Anyone want to share their best wedding nightmares?! I mean ACTUAL dreams, here.

    Well
    this week I had my first wedding nightmare. I was locked away in some
    part of “our venue”, which seemed to be in the mountains or something.
    An ex made an appearance and I sent him packing. Then I was left alone
    there while everyone else bustled around getting the venue ready and my
    main concerns were that I still had 2-month old polish on my toes and I
    had brought the wrong underwear to wear under my gown. End dream. It was
    anxiety inducing at the time but now that I look at it, I’d be happy if
    the only things I’m concerned about that day are my nail polish and my
    underwear!

    • Felicity

      ah, yes the dreams have started and I’m still several months out!

      Last night I dreamed I was at my ceremony in a very dark church somewhere, not my actual venue. It was strange because it all revolved around me trying to rangle my parents to get them ready to walk me down the aisle. Then, we began to walk and they kept sitting down in the pews and having conversations with people. I woke up so frustrated and I remember thinking, I am not walking down the aisle till they are ready to go. They are punctual, considerate people in real life, so I don’t know what kind of wedding anxiety this represents!

      • JSwen

        yeah, I’ve got about 3 months left… hopefully the dreams don’t ramp up as we get closer!

    • Jade

      I had one of my first last night!

      We’re having both a church wedding and a destination wedding, and in my nightmare it was the day of the wedding at the resort. But at the time we were all supposed to start getting hair and makeup done, my mom and sister were AWOL. I frantically tore through the resort and only found my sister (my MOH) stuffing her face at the buffet table. Everyone else, she said, was having fun swimming in the ocean.

      Thankfully in the dream my FH’s friends (we’re kind of the “destination wedding crew” in real life) picked up my family’s slack and helped me get dressed and ready. But then we discovered rats in our hotel room and I started melting down for realzies. End dream, LMAO.

      In real life this would NEVER happen, my family is super excited about and involved with my impending wedding. And the resort is less than a year old and beautiful and modern and amazing.

      • JSwen

        Oh man – it’s like there wasn’t enough logistics anxiety in there so your brain threw in a natural disaster. Yes, I consider a rat-apocalypse to be a natural disaster.

        • Jade

          Ratpocalypse is the name of my new metal band. ;)

          OH MAN, I just remembered something else from the dream; I’ve currently got my period so my subconscious threw THAT into the logistics as well, so as I was getting dressed I was all “self, I will SLAP YOU if blood gets on ANYTHING” *facepalm*

    • Alison O

      Such a good thread idea. I’ve had a number of anxious wedding dreams, the anxiety coming mostly from being like, ack, I don’t actually want to be getting married right now, how do I get out of this without ruining the world! I haven’t thought enough about this, etc.

      Which, great, because, I’m neither engaged nor married. :)

    • Kayjayoh

      Running late for the ceremony and realizing I had forgotten to buy flowers for my bouquet. Sending my sister to the store to get some, and having her get stuck in traffic. Getting the flowers and still needing to arrange them into a bouquet and also needing to get dressed and do my hair, seeing that we had 15 minutes to go. Then having to look through a giant pile of clothes on the floor to find my wedding underwear. :)

      I’m not stressed about this when I’m awake, so I guess I can live with one classic stress dream.

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

      I actually brought the wrong undies in real life on my real wedding day. :(

  • ktan

    Made it for Friday Happy Hour – here’s what I’m toasting to this evening:
    Not getting my hopes up, but my SO has been acting giddy and silly all week – asking me to celebrate for no reason and hinting at a *big surprise*. I know that a proposal is coming within the next month or two, so APW, this very possibly could be it! That, or he finally paid the ring off/received the ring in the mail? I am excited and nervous and trying not to set myself up for disappointment this weekend.

    On a separate note, I have been (repeat) studying French for over a year and this morning I had my very first off-the-top-of-my-head conversation with an old professor that I ran into – I had a full conversation, in French, without stopping to think about each word or sentence! It was incredibly exhilarating!
    Cheers!

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

      Good for you for the French conversation! :)

  • Lian

    After stressing for weeks about whether my work permission card would come in before I’m supposed to start my new job, my status suddenly changed to ‘card in production’ and today it arrived! This means that I am definitely starting a new job at the end of May, after a long and difficult process of deciding to stop my PhD program. I am so excited about the job!

  • JSwen

    Oh! First pre-marital counseling session was last night. We are doing it through my fiance’s Employee Assistance Program. If you or yours work for a big company, check it out. Free therapy, y’all.

    Actually, this was the first counseling/therapy session ever for me. I am not an incredibly demonstrative person and my cries tend to be related to being overwhelmed. Welp, I learned something new. Apparently counseling and therapy are for TALKING about FEELINGS, which I am not very comfortable with, which caused me to feel overwhelmed… you get the idea. Cries for no reason. At all. I’ve said those exact words to my fiance many times before but saying it in that room with a therapist? MESS.

    So we have another session in two weeks (since neither of us is a flight risk) and we’ll see where/if it goes from there….

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

      Congrats on your first session! I hope you find it helpful and healing :)

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

    Well the good news is that things on the family front are coming together. My mom seems to be doing a lot better with the whole same sex wedding thing. The bad news (or, I guess, normal-for-wedding-time-news?) is that she’s starting to *get involved*. She wants me to wear the pearl necklace that my dad gave her and she wore on their wedding day on my wedding day. I know it would mean a lot to her and my dad…but it just sucks that its pearl. I want to wear something of hers but…I have never in my entire life had a desire to wear pearls. I wasn’t even sure that I wanted to wear a necklace at all because the dress is strapless and I love the neckline and kind of look the elegant just-open-skin look. She says that on your wedding day you were things for “reasons” and that on her wedding day she was so uncomfortable and didn’t like what she wore because it was all stuff from other people (sentimental things). So logically in my head I’m like so why are you saying that’s the way to go? I understand the sentiment but at the same time it’s my wedding day and I see it as the time when I want to feel the most ME. And then I feel guilty and inconsiderate for saying that out loud and I don’t want to hurt her feelings. Anyway. rant over.

    • Katherine

      My aunt pretty much insisted on lending me pearls to wear for my wedding. I’m definitely not a pearls person, and I probably would have skipped a necklace altogether. But she seemed to care so much, and I wanted to make her happy/avoid conflict. If turns out the pearls were just fine. Maybe try your mother’s pearls on with your dress, and see what you think then (rather than deciding in the abstract). If you still don’t like them, I think it’s okay to politely decline, but maybe they’ll be better than you think.

      I guess I think it’s okay to stand firm & not wear them, but I also think it’s okay to wear something you wouldn’t have chosen in order to honor your mother’s wishes.

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

        Thank you for that last line. I’m thinking they might work, and if it would make her happy, I might as well not fight it. Thanks :)

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

      Could you possibly wrap them around your wrist as a bracelet instead?

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

        I had that very thought Jules! Will have to see. They are in NC and I’m in CA right now so…I will see :)

    • Kendra D

      I would definitely check into wearing them as a bracelet or using them as a wrap for your bouquet. One way to circumvent having to wear it as a necklace if that’s not what you want to do is to pick out matching/similar necklaces with your fiancee and going that route so that you have a legitimate reason as to not wearing them.

  • JDrives

    We adopted a fur baby a month and a half ago and the last few weeks have been rough. We got a nasty note on our door that our dog barks while we’re away (we had NO IDEA – he’s so quiet and mellow when we’re home). So we went into fix-it mode and tried all manner of tips and tricks – Kong toy, Thunder Shirt, leaving cue desensitization, hiring a trainer, longer morning runs/walks, a special yummy bone for only when we’re gone – nothing seems to be making a difference. Finally we put him on Prozac (waiting for that to kick in) which I really don’t want to do long-term. Doggie daycare is a no-go due to dog aggression. It’s caused a great deal of stress at home due to being worried about him while I’m at work, feeling unable to leave home in the evenings/on weekends without arranging some sort of babysitter for him, etc. On top of: me picking up a 2nd job, fiance in a more demanding job, planning a wedding, planning to move in a few weeks. It’s a LOT, y’all, and I’ve been feeling pretty hopeless and down about it.

    Any encouraging words and/or success stories? I’m burnt out on tips at this point, we’re trying SO MANY things and stretching our patience & budget to make it work (while acknowledging we might not be the best fit for his needs which brings up All The Sad Feelings).

    • YOQ

      Where are you? Here in Oregon, the Oregon Humane Society has a behavior help line that you can call and talk to REAL behaviorists FOR FREE who actually are very helpful in solving just these sorts of problems. If you’re not in Oregon, maybe your local humane society has something similar? (Or maybe you can call the one in Oregon? I have no idea.)

      • JDrives

        Poo I thought I responded already, sorry! We do have a local SPCA chapter with a similar behavioral help line, I should give them a buzz. Thanks!

    • Ariel

      Is there any chance that your neighbors are not being truthful? Around where I live, it wouldn’t surprise me. Maybe set up a nanny cam and see if your pooch is, in fact, barking a ton while you’re gone?

      • JDrives

        We thought that at first! So I recorded him on the only device I have which only captures 45 mins at a time. He was barking through the entire tape :(

        • Ariel

          Oh poo :-/

    • Kendra D

      You’re still in an adjustment period for your pup. One of my new neighbors stopped me about two weeks ago to say hi to our dogs and mention that they had quit barking when we left. It helps that we live in one of the only complexes in town to allow larger or multiple dogs so that pretty much everyone is an owner. Your pup will adapt, but it will take some time.

      One thing we do, which I know isn’t for everyone is have them wear bark collars when they’re feeling particularly noisome. We use the ones that issue a minor shock that scales up as they continue barking. They also make the ones that spray them in the face, though I’m not sure how effective they are. With our German, she had to wear hers pretty much all day every day for 2-3 months before she finally got the idea that barking all the time isn’t okay. Both of them are fine without them in almost all situations now so we use them quite sparingly. Still, it’s nice to know that if we do need them that we can not bother our neighbors with the barking all day long.

      • JDrives

        If we’re not seeing improvement in another month or so, we might try the spray collar. I’ve heard mixed reviews but it sounds better to me than the buzz collar. It’s helpful to know he’s still adjusting and that he will adapt :) Being in the middle of it has been feeling like GAH this will never end!

        • Ella

          Yes, definitely! We used a bark collar on my dog growing up, and honestly, he only barked a few times and that was it. Some dogs (like Kendra’s, for instance) need a while for it to sink in, but it might work well the first time, too. We would leave it on when we left, even though the batteries weren’t even in after a while, just for the mental state. Not the most fun as a dog owner….:/ It will get better!

    • Alison O

      I’ve had my dog for several years and he doesn’t bark when we leave, but he used to, and I expect him to for a while when we move in a month. It just takes him a while to get comfortable in a new place and realize that our leaving doesn’t mean we’re never coming back. Just carrying boxes in our house, etc. gets him all anxious. (Actually, he has a sort of raspy bark, compared to my mom’s dog of the same breed who has a super loud high-pitched bark, so I suspect someone might have cut his vocal cords or whatever the procedure is.) In any event, something I find helps him get used to a new place and the idea of us coming and going is literally for us to come and go…like….a lot. At first, on a weekend or vacation day, have just one person walk out the door, come right back in without even closing it (do this many many times, then with both people), leave for a few minutes, come in for a while, et cetera and gradually increase it. And I don’t pay any attention to the dog while we’re doing it. I don’t want to reward him directly for waiting quietly for us because I don’t want him to be sitting at home waiting for a reward when we’re gone for hours. I just want us leaving and not being in the apartment with him to no longer be interesting whatsoever to him, like a rerun he’s seen just too many times.

      It can be pretty tiring (consider the walking in and out like your exercise for the day) and discouraging when progress is slow, and it doesn’t help when you have rude neighbors who could have taken a much more reasonable and polite approach. Since you’re moving I’d say screw those people, but when you meet neighbors at your new place you might mention the dog and proactively apologize if he’s noisy and say it’s something you’re working on because he’s new, etc.

      I know some people with super barky dogs who responded well to wearing a collar that releases a lemon scent when they bark, which is apparently unpleasant to dogs. Seems like the most humane of the bark collar options–and also I sorta think something painful/startling would only increase the anxiety which is the source of the problem.

      • JDrives

        Thank you for this. I love the suggestion to “prep” our new neighbors that our dog might have some trouble adjusting to his new place, so I can head off any crappy feelings at the pass. And I will definitely try the coming-and-going more!

  • YOQ

    I have been having problems with disqus this week. It used to tell me “2 new comments above” or “1 new comment below” (or, more regularly during happy hour, “25 new comments above”). But now it rarely does that–it only shows the little blue dot with “one new reply” so I have to keep scrolling through this increasingly long comment thread looking for little blue dots. A hard refresh does not seem to help, at least not reliably. Does anyone know what’s going on or how to fix this? (I’m on a PC, running Windows… oh heck, some pretty up-to-date version of windows, and Firefox as my browser.)

    • YOQ

      (…of course, now it’s working…)

    • jashshea

      Same, most of the week. I was blaming my work computer/network, but clearly not just me!

  • Ryan

    I’ve had a lot of work-related stress for the past few months and I have a huge exam looming in 5 weeks that I need to take for career progression. I’ve become super anxious and am waking up at night and not getting back to sleep. Last night I was up from 1-5 am, worrying about different things. I probably could benefit from therapy, but I don’t have time to take that on for the next five weeks. Does anyone have good stress-reduction tips or for getting back to sleep at night? Thanks all!

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

      Have you looked into Chinese herbs? I am no expert on them as I’ve never taken them, but a good friend of mine who hangs out with Anxiety has trouble sleeping often and really benefits from them. I believe she gets them from her naturopath doctor but I’m sure you can buy them elsewhere. Also, mindfulness meditation has been a game-changer for me, in general.

    • Alison O

      You might look up mindfulness on youtube, particularly stuff by Jon Kabat-Zinn, like the body scan, mindfulness of breathing exercise, mindful yoga, etc. For the body scan they talk about “falling awake”, but I find it’s a great tool to help me fall asleep, too. :-) Basically the idea in mindfulness is that you focus on body sensations, the breath, etc. in the present moment, bringing your focus back to that when your mind wanders to thoughts/worries/etc. You can do this for as short as a few seconds or as long as you like (my longest meditation sessions are about an hour).

      Also, I’d just be gentle and kind with yourself when it’s the middle of the night and you can’t sleep, and try to accept the situation. Worrying about not sleeping because of worrying is a vicious cycle. When there have been times I’ve struggled sleeping, particularly before a day I think will be stressful due to work or travel or I have to get up extra early, etc., I find it helpful to think to myself, you’ll be okay, Alison. I’m awake now, so this is not ideal, but even if I’m exhausted I’ll be able to do the basic things I need to do tomorrow. (I’ve never found the reality to be as bad as the worries in terms of sleep deprivation but I suppose it differs for people.) And then leave the thoughts and go to the body sensations again (and again).

      But yeah, over the longer term I’d recommend a mindfulness/meditation class or therapy for this kind of thing particularly if it is severe or long-lasting. Good luck!

      • C_Gold

        Jon Kabat-Zinn’s body scan is totally how I fall asleep, too! I try to use it as a meditation sometimes, but I just doze off, so it’s great to use to fall asleep deliberately.

    • Anon

      I like cocoa, for the warm milk. I’m also giving melatonin a try tonight. It’s super cheap at Trader Joe’s (maybe $4?). I also like sleepytime tea and other sleepy teas. For the milk and teas, they don’t do the trick if I’m really keyed up, but sometimes they’ll help me wind down. Especially if I read a novel I’ve read before, I find it helps me get in sleep mode.

      • Kendra D

        My husband uses melatonin quite successfully to help him fall asleep when he’s stressed and his sleep cycle is crazy. While that doesn’t work for me, taking a benadryl before bed does. It may not be in the suggested use for it, but I’ve found that my ability to sleep sometimes ranks higher than following the “normal” use of something.

        I’ve gone through periods in my life where I would run things through my head from beginning to end, only to start again as soon as I finished. Quieting my mind during those times was super difficult, but I found a few things that helped.

        First, I developed a go to song in my head. It was one that I could hum all the way thru from beginning to end (important to keep it from getting stuck in your head as songs usually stick only when we can’t finish them and our brain tries to solve it by repeating until it finishes) and I would use it to drown out all other thoughts. This generally worked best on low level worries.

        Second, I developed a mantra to repeat. I still use that one – a Bible verse about peace (Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you) to focus on that instead of whatever was bothering me (usually money). Just like the song, the point was to have something other than my obsessive thoughts to focus on. This one worked better than the song because it was shorter and more repeatable so it was easier to redirect my brain to focus on.

        Third, if neither of the above worked, I would allow myself to focus on one small aspect at a time. I would let one obsessive thought trickle through and do my best to focus on it and how I would solve it. After working my way through it, I would work on steps one and two again in order to try and find peace. And sleep.

      • slmrlln

        Warm milk is great. I usually put honey in mine rather than cocoa. Also, I find it works best for me to just let myself be awake for a while. Get out of bed, turn on the light, have some warm milk, read something familiar (preferably funny) for half an hour, and then go back to sleep.

  • http://innercupcake.blogspot.com innercupcake

    My bestie’s bachelorette party is next weekend (eek!) and we’re going to Vegas, and as the MOH, I feel like I should be stepping up more to help with planning, logistics, details, etc. Any advice on what to do in Vegas or good things to include (ie. pack in my carry-on and bring there) for bachelorette-ing? This is the first party I’ve been involved in planning, and the first time I’ve been part of a weekend getaway/going to vegas, and I’m a little nervous about having prepped for it. I was thinking about maybe making some decorations for the hotel room to hang up there (like some sort of garlands and probably some cheesy stuff) and bringing snacks, but that’s as far as I’ve gotten.

    • Kendra D

      Definitely bring snacks! Both snacks and water are marked up significantly in the hotel/casino shops. And while you can trek to the drugstores, its not a short one and can be frustrating to have to spend your time doing that, especially hungover, just to save money. Cute, cheap, matching reusable cups or water bottles would be a neat favor and allow you to hydrate without having to purchase bottles of water.

      For fun things to do:

      Reserve a bed beside a pool. I’m not sure what the cost is on this, it may be entirely prohibitive, but the beds are a nice way to be able to have a pool space that isn’t in danger of being snatched by anyone. It also reduces the stress of trying to find enough chairs to camp out together and laze away the day. The fact that they walk around and serve you drinks and food is pretty amazing to me.

      Go to a show! There are all kinds to choose from. My favorite are the Cirque shows but I’ve heard wonders about Thunder Down Under if that’s what you’re into.

      I wasn’t big on the clubs there. I found them to be prohibitively expensive – I watched a guy pay over 75 bucks for three shots and two rum and cokes. What I did find was that many of the casinos had fairly affordable lounges tucked off the side of the casino floor where you could easily imbibe without spending a fortune. And, of course, there’s always the hang out by the penny slots option and get free drinks while gambling.

      When you go to check into your hotel, see if they have a place for you to sign up for rewards. This typically waives any early check-in fees and lets you go through a VIP line to speed up the check in process. They also can include vouchers to be used in the casino, which results in free drinks as well as the free plays.

      I did enjoy the shopping there – both at the main malls and the outlets. I spent a decent chunk of a day wandering around, trying things on, and just ogling all the sites.

      Hope you have fun!

      • Alyssa M

        Seconding the snacks and water! Vegas is HOT, and I’m from the desert. When you’re drinking alot and its 95 out in the concrete jungle it is SO important to stay hydrated, and you don’t want to pay what they charge for water. Also keep in mind that everything in Vegas is ridiculously expensive. If you have a large group to transport sometimes a limo is better than multiple cabs (ask your concierge desk, they will help) especially as the cab lines get LONG at night. The cosmopolitan has a bar shaped like a chandelier hanging over the casino if your friend is the sparkle loving kind of lady… And an afternoon by the pool is a great way to relax and save some money for gambling and shows later that night.

    • jashshea

      Fun! I’m trying to convince my college gals that we need to do that next year for a get together.

      How many people? So many good restaurants! I go every few years with a relatively large group of people (between 5-10) and it’s always a blast.

      Not sure what the financial situations are, so I’ll try to include estimated price info.

      Food
      Mesa Grill (Bobby Flay) is really good. (MGM). With drinks, assume $75/person.
      Wicked Spoon (Cosmopolitan) for brunch. I think it was $30/person, but you can eat enough for a whole day.
      Creperie (Paris) – I think it’s ~$10 and it’s pretty good. There’s also a crepe place in new york, new york.
      Buffets – I’ve been to the Bellagio buffet several times, but it’s sort of hit or miss (and expensive). We did Aria buffet a few years ago and it was decent. Don’t remember the price.
      Bobby’s Burger Palace (I forget where it is, on the strip) – decent burgers $10 entrees
      Jaleo (cosmopolitan? I think) – Tapas place, really good for a crowd. It was expensive, but we were hitting the sangria pretty hard.
      Diablo (Between NY/NY and Monte Carlo) – It’s a mexican place. They always have drink specials. Food is good to fair and it’s ~20/plate.
      Secret Pizza – I don’t even know if this is the real name. It’s in Cosmopolitan and is really hard to find. Slices are big and cheap ($4 or so). If you ask for directions, everyone acts like they don’t know where it is.

      Stuff to do:
      We usually just gamble, honestly, but this year we did a show at Cosmopolitan called Rose Rabbit Lie. I couldn’t explain it if I tried, but it’s sort of a variety show for grown ups. Tickets were $90 or so. My husband said Penn & Teller was decent as well.
      Neon Graveyard – North of “old vegas” in a semi dodgy neighborhood. Tickets were $25 and it was AWESOME.
      Fremont street – Old Vegas. It’s super dive-y and I love it. Table games are cheap, they have cheaper food options.

      • scw

        I echo neon graveyard and fremont street. if you get sick of the super vegas-y activities, the griffin is a cool bar near the fremont experience. it’s dark with a lot of tiny fireplaces and it looks like a castle basement.

      • http://innercupcake.blogspot.com innercupcake

        Thanks guys! These are great suggestions!

    • Mezza

      I’m late to this thread, but have you considered seeing shows? Absinthe at Caesar’s Palace would be great for a bachelorette excursion – it’s funny and raunchy but also high-quality circus. Someone below mentioned Rose.Rabbit.Lie., which is the same production company but a very different (fancier) vibe. That one also turns into a club at midnight, with some cool circus and live performance elements woven in. Both recommended!

  • Jade

    So it looks like my at-home wedding will have at least 120 people, which is a far cry from our original plan of having only our immediate family present for a courthouse wedding. I don’t mind, I guess? 120 is actually quite small for a Catholic/Hindu wedding. Does it sound like I’m trying to convince myself that I’m okay with this? I think I’m okay with this.

    Is there anyone else who wanted a suuuuper small wedding but realized that there was no way in hell that was going to happen given the circumstances? How did you reconcile the situation? I’ve heard some people actually get that small intimate wedding feeling at their rehearsal dinner?

    • Emmers

      I’m not in the same situation as you, size-wise, but it seems like what I originally envisioned as a summer time dinner tent wedding with kegs and night time dancing will actually be a winter time afternoon cocktail reception restaurant wedding.

      Sometimes I shake my head a little. I too think I’m OK with this, but this is not at all what I was expecting. I’m trying to just let go of the original wedding I mentally planned, and accept the reality of what we’ve, for various reasons, decided to do.

    • Katy

      Yes!! We were the same – first immediate family only (20), then immediate family, some extended and some friends (50), and now all our big extended families and friends (100+?). We’ve struggled over the past few months, but I keep reminding myself of all of our conversations and reasoning behind it. We can afford it, we love our families and want to avoid permanent grudges, it’s going to be really fun and wonderful to have ALL our people there. Plus with some sad going-ons lately our families need a reason to celebrate!

    • Anon For This

      I’m in a roughly similar situation, though I think I’m less unhappy about the size of the wedding itself than you are. That said, I’ve dealt with my worries in one main way. Basically, I try to remember why I agreed to the big(ger) wedding in the first place: for me, it’s that though my inclination is to do this thing in an intimate way, my fiance wanted something bigger, and it also sounds fun to me to celebrate surrounded by all of our people–it’s a different kind of being sort of wrapped up in everyone’s love, which I think is what I was looking for with the small thing to begin with. At any rate, though, if there was nothing there for me in the bigger wedding, I probably would have been more insistent on something else, and if that’s the case for you too, it might help to remind yourself of the really positive aspects of why you’re doing it this way (not, “Ugh, I had to for [whatever reason],” but “It was really important to me that [this thing] be the case, and this is how we’re achieving that,” or “It will be so fun to see everyone,” or whatever).

      I’ll also caution you against getting attached to the idea of the rehearsal dinner as a substitute for the wedding you wanted. Ours will certainly be much smaller than our wedding, but essentially nothing else about it will be the way I would have done it if I was planning it. That’s fine: it will be a nice event anyway, and again, the dinner we’re having serves important values outside of “This is my dream rehearsal dinner.” BUT I went into it with at least the vague idea that it would be an opportunity to do some of the things/have some of the feel that I wanted for the wedding (but didn’t end up doing), and when the rehearsal dinner got planned in such a way that we didn’t achieve that, it meant I had to get the loss of that stuff all over again.

  • http://www.suncentered.com Jen

    MADDIE I AM SO JEALOUS. I hope you had a great trip! WDW is my favorite and I’m dying to get back there!

  • Anonymous Coward

    The new and interesting project paid off! Starting yesterday, I officially have a transfer to a new department and a BIG RAISE. For which I negotiated like an adult. I kicked up my 401(k) contributions by 10% and will be putting the extra take-home pay into an account that will eventually support my wife and/or I staying home and “eating bonbons” (and doing all that OTHER important stuff one does as a homemaker, especially with small dependents). My dad, whom I asked for advice on the negotiation, said that I manage my money very well, and I felt so proud! (This, apparently, is the WASP love language.)

    • Lawyerette510

      Congratulations! This is a huge accomplishment!

    • Kelly

      Ha, it is!! My dad’s love language is sitting down to discuss our financial spreadsheets.

      • J

        Ha! Mine, too! Financial matters are DEFINITELY the WASP love language!

  • Kendra D

    I just finished my first pay period at my job! And I’ve passed out of the first half of training! So now I can do half of my job without supervision. I have to wait for the other new girl to finish training in the back before I can move back there and learn the second half of my job. I’d appreciate good thoughts for her to hurry up already (she’s about to be on week three of training and she wants the rest of this month before we switch places and that is definitely a no-go for me). Also, our work just decided to let us resume wearing any “business professional” by which they mean business causal clothing. We were restricted to black on top and bottom, though a cardigan over a colored shirt was considered acceptable. Here’s hoping people don’t go so far overboard on what they wear that we get restricted again.

    It’s about time for me to pick up planning again, I’d gone on hiatus during the move, and I find myself stalling on picking things back up. I’m not sure why, but I keep putting off contacting the venue to refigure our time line for the rest of the summer. I think I’ll tackle that this weekend though, as well as start the push to get our invitations out. We just got my BILs for his wedding the month before our ceremony so now I feel good about getting things out!

  • Holy Hel-p

    So I’m hoping someone will feel like chiming in on this…FH and I have been engaged for 2 years, and every time we are about to set a date, something comes up. For the longest time it was family feeling like things were being “rushed”, then it was medical stuff, then money stuff….so here we are, in calm waters at last, literally days away from booking out venue and setting this thing in stone once and for all when my MOH who has been amazing throughout all of this drops the bombshell that she’s expecting…due date THE date we were just about to set. I am so ready to get this wedding over with. I feel like I am going to explode if I don’t. I’ve waited so long, and things were shaping up to be absolutely perfect. It’s heartbreaking having to drop everything and regroup this many times to accommodate other people (selfish, but true). I’ll be really sad if after everything we’ve been through she can’t be there, but I’m not sure if I’m sad enough not to soldier ahead. She has told me she’ll be supportive from afar (she’s out of state), but I feel so guilty. I’ve waited this long, whats another few months? We are working around holidays only, as we both teach. It’s getting to the point where I feel like if we don’t just do this thing, it’s never going to happen. Or at least, when it does I will be so burnt out, and so over it, that I won’t really enjoy it. Help? Any ounce of APW clarity would be appreciated :(

    • Anon

      Girl, just get married. It’s time. My fiance and I are in the midst of planning– we haven’t been engaged long, but due to various life terribleness, it took us about 2 years longer to get engaged if the terribleness hadn’t happened.

      It seemed like when we were first choosing dates, there was literally something random every weekend we wanted (favorite aunt & uncle X will be in Spain then, bridesmaid Y has Yom Kippur then). My fiance finally told me– “I view the wedding as a time we’re getting married, and it will be nice if others can join us, but at the end of the day it’s not about them.”

      But I totes understand wanting your friend to be there! So I guess just see how you feel. But “I am so ready to get this wedding over with. I feel like I am going to explode if I don’t” to me seems that although you love your friend, it’s time.

    • Kendra D

      (((hugs))) It’s not the same, but after my husband and I eloped, we planned to have a ceremony on our first anniversary. And then my sister got engaged so we pushed to our second anniversary. And then his brother got engaged so we pushed to our third anniversary. And then we realized that planning a wedding from Turkey to happen in the US was too hard so we put off indefinitely. We finally set a date for our fourth anniversary and it has felt so good. It isn’t the best timing, even for us; but, we want to celebrate and life doesn’t wait.

      My suggestion is to pick a date that is good for you – whatever that means. If it’s going with your original date even though your MoH may not be able to make it, so be it. If it means pushing the date forward or back so she can be there, so be it.

      Good luck!

      • Holy-thankyouy’allareawesome

        Thank you guys, I really appreciate all the second opinions on this. I think I’ve been staring at the situation too long, but it’s comforting to hear a resounding “it’ll be ok” from people removed from the emotions of it! Really, it’s just what I needed. I’ve always been a people-pleaser, and I guess I was feeling like I couldn’t rightfully hold a wedding unless I’d tried my hardest to accommodate everyone. I wish I could move things earlier for my MOH, but she has said she wouldn’t feel comfortable traveling during the few weeks leading up and that is literally the only time off we have! And although I was reluctantly considering putting it off, I think it’s a valid point that life with a newborn might not be conducive to wedding-readiness anytime soon. In fact it would probably be unfair to expect her to show up, ready to perform as MOH with a one or two month old.
        Yes, I think the resounding wisdom of APW ladies trumps people-pleasing tendencies ;) So after a virtual circle high five, onward to January! Thank you for the stories and general encouragement, y’all are awesome.

        • Jessica Nelson

          Yeah, usually it’s hard to travel anytime during the last month of pregnancy, for fear of going into labor far away from your doctor/hospital. And the first three months after birth are sometimes called the “fourth trimester” because of all the adjustments that are taking place. (Note that I haven’t personally given birth — and when my youngest sister was born, my mom’s fifth child, my mom was riding a bike within a week of giving birth!) Everyone is different, but it’s reasonable to cut people some slack before and after birth.
          That being said, this sounds like an AWESOME opportunity to celebrate together virtually! You’re both going to be experiencing major life events at the same time! If she happens to give birth early, maybe you can coordinate having drinks together over skype or something. Or just build a call to her into the schedule of your wedding day. I’m sure you’d love to be there to help with the new baby, just like she’d love to help at your wedding…but you know that you’ll be there to help the kid grow up for years, just like she’ll be there to support your marriage. Missing one day is sad, but doesn’t define your friendship.

          • Holy-thankyouy’allareawesome

            I seriously love this perspective! It really puts it in a whole new light. Less guilt, more mutual celebrations overlap! Makes me happy :)

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

          Maybe try setting up a skype video thing or live streaming for her? My MOH did not come to my wedding (because of a death in her family) and I wish I had done that… She was present in other ways (phone call, thoughts, etc.) and it wasn’t easy because I missed her and was worried about her too. But it was okay.

    • Anon

      I think the choice is clear: you have to continue w/your plans. This thing has been postponed long enough!

    • Megan

      I agree with the others–set a date and get married! If it’s possible for you to move it earlier before your MOH has the baby, that could be great. But moving it after she has the baby might not make it any easier on her. Her life will change a lot and it would be a real bummer for you to have tried to accommodate her with the chance that having an infant could still keep her from getting there, even if you’ve waited past the due date. The longer you wait, everyone else will keep having more things that could get in the way.
      While you may think you’re sounding selfish, your wedding is about you, and you deserve to move ahead and have it be as absolutely perfect as possible given the circumstances.

    • Emily

      This happened to me… things kept happening, including a 1000-year-flood. In January, I finally said “I want to be married, GD-it!” We got the paperwork, walked down the driveway to our neighbors, signed and had them witness it. (In Colorado a bride and groom can marry themselves). Married! Somehow, actually *getting* married was a good catalyst for setting a date and planning a wedding ceremony, which is happening in June. I’m excited for the ceremony and I actually feel some relief that we don’t have to deal with whether or not it is “official.”

  • scw

    missed happy hour this week, again, but today marks a year til our may 3, 2015 wedding!

    • http://batman-news.com Sonora Webster

      Happy negative first anniversary!

    • KEA1

      happy inverse-ary! :)

    • C_Gold

      Did you end up getting a bhldn dress? I got mine there and am SO EXCITED about it. I am obsessed with their dresses.

      • scw

        I didn’t get one, but I did have a blast trying them on! I found that I was comparing every dress to a dress I had tried on somewhere else, so I’m glad that I have a second appointment scheduled at that salon later this month. I’d love to know which dress you picked, if that’s something that you’re sharing!

        • C_Gold

          Totally! I got the Ruth! I had imagined that I’d get something short (maybe just below my knee) and not that formal, but then I started trying on full-length dresses and realized I wanted one, and totally fell in love with the Ruth.

          I had a similar experience to you, in that I kept shopping after that at other boutiques, but couldn’t get the Ruth out of my head, so that’s how I knew to go back and get it.

          I’d post a pic, but I don’t know how. :)

          • scw

            the ruth is beautiful!

            I also always imagined something short and not that formal, and then tried some stuff on and realized I want to go all out floor-length glam with my dress. yolo, or something (yowo?).

          • C_Gold

            Yeah, exactly! There aren’t too many chances I’m going to have to wear a long, formal, white(ish) dress.

  • Laura

    Late to the party, but! After the last “Tiny Steps to Adulthood” post, I confessed that I have had living will/power of attorney paperwork sitting in my house for over a year, entirely filled out except for that pesky signature + two (non-relative, not profiting off of our deaths) witnesses thing. Last night was my birthday, my husband threw me a lovely surprise party, and I was a little drunk when I remembered. Witnesses! Living wills!

    It still counts as a Tiny Step to Adulthood if you have friends witness your legal paperwork when you’re a teensy bit drunk and wearing a fancy dress on your birthday, right? Because if so, I’M AN ADULT!

    http://www.reactiongifs.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/ADULT.gif

    • Alyssa M

      Happy birthday! And that story was brilliant!

    • Elisabeth S.

      You are the MOST adult! That’s so great!

  • Emily

    Ugh. Today marks the first flare-up between me and my mom over wedding stuff. Just over 3 months out, glad we made it this far!
    She came over to visit today. I had a couple dress candidates to try on and show her what I wanted to wear to the wedding. So I put them on to show her, and all she could talk about was my underwear! Since we weren’t visiting some bridal salon together, I thought it could be that special mom moment to show her the dress I wanted to wear before anyone else. On and on and on about The Proper Undergarments, and all they could do to improve my silhouette. I looked great in that dress! Sure, I do need a new bra, but what the hell?! That was kind of deflating. I wanted to kick her out, I was so aggravated! But no, we have an afternoon planned together, so I get it together and laugh it off.
    I finished addressing all our wedding invites yesterday afternoon, and they were sitting in a neat pile awaiting their mailbox deposit. She picks up the stack, and started rifling through them all. Finally, she sees the name of someone she doesn’t like, and says “oh, that’s disappointing…” Uh, what? You’re going to give me crap over inviting ONE person you don’t like? No, she’s not just going to give me crap. This is her only daughter, and so-and-so always takes over everything! Guilt-trippy bs. Apparently she asked me NOT to invite them, or TOLD me not to. Hi, it’s not your decision! At that point she got up and left in a hurry.
    Ugh.

    • Erin

      I feel your pain. My mom and I had a flare up today over my bridal shower. My wedding is in November, but she is pissed my MOH hasn’t called her to start planning a bridal shower yet. what does she want me to do? I already caved by gently reminding MOH that my mom is looking for ways to pitch in and loves party planning. But I can’t harass my friend about throwing me a party! She has been an awesome MOH so far in terms of cheering me on, going dress shopping and listening to me vent. I don’t want to put demands on her on my mom’s behalf. Ugh!

      Sorry you had a bad afternoon. I am sure your dress will look awesome even if you decide to go commando for your wedding!

  • NYCMini

    My fiance and I are getting married two weeks from today!! I have been reading APW for at least a year and a half now. Am going to dive into the archives and reread all the amazing, thoughtful articles as we get closer to the big event. Ahhh! I’m actually starting to feel the excitement!

  • Beth

    The engagement ring I picked out for my boyfriend came in the mail this week and I made a cute little pouch for it! I’m going to save it and give it to him after he proposes.Now I’m getting impatient ;)

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  • Katarina

    I know I’m late to the party, but I found out on Friday that my abuelo passed away. Since the service was already held in Spain before any of us can get there, I’m now in charge of organizing a small memorial service/family memorial time this summer. We’re a loud, boisterous group who would like to bring our own food. My father is the local one, but he’ll be mid-move at that point, so his place is out.

    Any suggestions on how to find a room for rent? We basically just need blank space with chairs and tables and a place to serve our potluck, but I can’t seem to figure it out at all.

    • Jess

      Local park services often have relatively inexpensive shelters/buildings with tables and chairs. Call them up and see if they’ve got anything available.

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

    Well, I am late by a few days, but I just wanted to check in anyways. It’s been a hard week. A weird week. There have been some wonderful up moments (like an important artistic step on a a long-term project and having an audience and positive feedback! Yay!) and other hard things and disappointments mingled around the good stuff. And all of it has made it feel like a really hard week to be single, with all the up and downs.

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