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APW Happy Hour


Full circle, or something.

by Meg Keene, Editor-In-Chief

APW Happy Hour | A Practical Wedding

APW Happy Hour | A Practical Wedding

HI APW!

What a week! It started out with me being so sick David thought I had walking pneumonia (I’m still coughing my way through interviews, because media wedding season is upon us). But in between hacking coughs, we’ve started planning our newest APW How To series (two of them!). Plus, I’m teaching at Alt For Everyone today, and I’ll be speaking at Alt Summit in Salt Lake City in June, with Martha Stewart keynoting. That feels like full circle… something… from my early days of reading Martha Stewart Weddings.

How was your week? Open thread, let’s dish!

XO,
MEG

Highlights of APW This Week

For the mothers in the house: Super Cheesy Songs To Celebrate Your Mama. (Kanye makes me cry every time.) Thanks for all you do.

How to find a hair or makeup stylist for your wedding. So you don’t eff it up like I did.

That time we gave out free wedding advice and I lost my voice.

“My wedding is not unique!” (But, it is…)

Buying a home, no narratives attached.

Lots (and lots) of tears shed over scraps of paper.

“What my second wedding taught me that I wish I had known the first time.”

All night wedding party in Buenos Aires! Confetti! Disco balls!

When not going on a honeymoon means not getting valuable time to process what the hell just happened. (PSA: Go somewhere. The Holiday Inn, just unplug your phone at home. Something. Right then. To process.)

Link Roundup

APW was mentioned in a New York Times article about how DIY weddings should really be more DIT. We’ve been saying it since 2008.

A moving dissection of a divorce at twenty-five. “Sometimes the difference between stupid and brave depends on the outcome.”

Why it matters that women do more of the housework.

My self-made man.

Amy Schumer’s powerful speech about confidence.

File under disconcerting: portraits of fathers and daughters posing for purity balls, with the daughters in wedding dresses.

The Beygency

In nerd news: John Scalzi outs himself as a “Traitor to the Mens” and then makes awesome t-shirts about it.

“Women don’t want to talk about energy policy, they want to hear about impact on gas prices. They don’t want to talk about Obamacare, talk to them about getting to see their doctor.” It’s a wonder they have a woman problem, right?

Africa’s marketing campaign to encourage men to get circumcised, with the aim of lowering HIV rates focuses on… lasting longer in bed. “You have to talk to people about what worries them—not what you think they should worry about.”

Shailene Woodley says she’s not a feminist. BUT. Let’s not be too hard on her. (<– Brilliant must-read.)

We’ve all been fascinated by Monica Lewinsky this week. Smart lady.

Missed connections for assholes.

Print your own makeup. What?!

Ten words for every girl to learn.

Remember when I moved to Oakland because it was more like Brooklyn, the home I missed? Meet: Oakland: Brooklyn By The Bay, which is actually a smart look at the damage gentrification has wrought.

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 Oakland, CA with her husband and son. For more than you ever wanted to know about Meg, you can visit MegKeene.com.

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  • MisterEHolmes

    True story: I went to a wedding wherein the bride had once been one of those purity ball girls. The minister gave a little talk explaining the idea and how “now she was going from her father’s protection to her husbands'” (barf) and “her virtue is safe because of this pledge.” It was represented by some small token.

    Then, as a “joke,” the minister started to give the token to the husband, then said–I did you not–“Haha, no groom, I can’t trust you with that. You’ll lose it!” and handed it to the Best Man. O.o

    It was extremely uncomfortable and made the wedding not about love, but about sex and who “owned it.”

    I guess it’s unsurprising that, 4 years later, they’re about to have their third kid?

    • Jess

      Oh… that story makes me feel all kinds of icky.

      I was at a wedding recently where two of the speeches (I think FOB and Best Man, in addition to the minister during the ceremony) included how the couple had “saved themselves for marriage/each other,” which was important to them, I’ll grant you.

      I’m glad they did wait for themselves, because it’s what they wanted, but it made me feel weird to have that announcement included so many times. I would be kind of uncomfortable if someone had said anything about that at my wedding (if it were true about me, I’d still be uncomfortable).

      • MisterEHolmes

        Exactly! It isn’t so much that they made that choice–ok, I guess; I wouldn’t do it, but good for you?–but the “joke” was SO inappropriate and the long explanation mid-wedding really changed the tone from “these people love each other so much!” to “she can have sex now and it’s totally ok because women don’t have bodily autonomy yay!”

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

      scary. scary. very scary.

  • Katie

    I’ve been reading APW for a little while since stumbling across it when helping a friend with her wedding. And now this is my first happy hour since I got engaged! So excited, so overwhelmed! One quick question for you all: how do you feel about wedding planners? I have a busy job and don’t want to be calling vendors left and right only to find out they’re out of budget and/or not available on our ideal date…but I also don’t want to spend a ton of money on something I could do myself, or find myself talked into more expensive things than I really want (as happened to a friend with her planner). Thoughts?

    • SarahG

      We don’t have a planner (no money) but if I could have one, I probably would. Just somebody low key to organize stuff. That said, I think our wedding will be fine without one; we have friends that are being our wedding stage managers (we are doing the same for them) and the day of is really when I think the coordinator person starts to become essential. Sort of depends on how big/complicated your event is too. (Ours is 100 people, ceremony plus brunch and dancing all in the same restaurant, minimum coordination needed). Congrats!

      • Katie

        Thanks everyone! We do have an appointment with one venue we love next week that is available…if that works out, maybe we can avoid a planner – especially if they can give good vendor recommendations. If not, I will consider one to keep my sanity in check :)

        • Megan

          I have also been kind of waiting to hire a planner or DOC until I see who my vendors turn out to be. A lot of vendors I’ve talked to have mixed feelings about planners/coordinators–I think some great vendors can do a lot of the day-of work themselves, and some note that having someone else involved can be annoying. I think it all just depends on who you’re working with, the venue, etc etc. But maybe you want a coordinator to find the vendors for you, in which case, my process wouldn’t make sense.

        • Elsa

          That’s a great idea! Our venue had a list of accepted caterers, and the caterers had a list of other vendors they enjoy working with. Since we weren’t set on any one particular vendor and all the prices were competitive, we usually went with their suggestions. That means they’re sort of coordinating themselves, because they work together fairly often.

          I live in a small city, so this approach may be totally unworkable in bigger metro areas. Who knows.

    • Megan

      Congrats! I don’t have one, but may use someone for day-of coordination. I know my city well, and my job is in concert/event production, so I didn’t really feel like I needed someone to guide me and give me names of different vendors, venues, etc as I just know a lot of things myself by having lived here so long. If I lived in a bigger city or one that’s more new to me, I would probably feel differently.
      I know some planners have relationships with vendors that may result in discounts, etc, but given what a lot of planners cost around here–$1000+, I can’t imagine that I would be saving more than what I’d be paying them to get discounts…

    • Jess

      we did most of our contacting via email, which was helpful cause i hate phones and never have time to make calls. Also, our venue, which we love, hosts a lot of wedding events with similarly minded vendors, so we were able to make almost all our picks from those people that they were already associated with, which made it *significantly* easier than just google searching would have been. the basically made an unofficial “best of the best in brooklyn” list for us. we did hire a friend as a day of coordinator tho. :)

    • http://www.rachellerawlingsphotography.com/ Rachelle

      Can you divide things up somewhat between yourself, some close friends and your fiance? I have totally done legwork in the initial stages of planning for friends because I just enjoy doing the research. That being said, I think planners can also be invaluable in these cases, provided you find one that’s a match for you, your style and your budget.

    • emmers

      Congratulations on getting engaged! Go you!
      I think wedding planners can be awesome, if you can find one who has a good philosophy (ie isn’t trying to sell you a million unnecessaries), and you can afford them. When we were looking at a cheaper venue, I was looking at a day of coordinator who looks like she also did awesome planning. Our current venue has a coordinator, which is wonderful. She’ll do things like set up our centerpieces.
      For me, my mom did some of the early calling-of-venues, and would I know be stoked to do any other research I can give her. So if you have any family members who are itching to do this, and it won’t drive you crazy, that’s one option. She sent me a million emails at the very beginning, and it did drive me a bit crazy, but I know I wouldn’t have been able to research as many venues, dates, and prices so quickly without her help.
      Good luck. Try not to stress. Being engaged can be so stressful (particularly in finding a venue). But so many happy congratulations!

    • HannahESmith

      I had a day-of coordinator who was also my main rental agency. It was a fabulous combo. She saved me time and money, and it was totally worth it. If you have any budget for it at all, definitely get a day-of coordinator. A friend can stage manage, but I liked having a clear professional team. If you have the budget for a full coordinator, I think it would be worth it. I would just make sure you meet with them first, and make sure you’re on the same page.

    • AG

      I would at least look into hiring a DOC, if not a full-on planner. Most DOC’s actually get to work a month or two before the wedding, organizing you and making sure you’re on track. They’re also super helpful with vendor recs. You will especially love having her the week and day of. My DOC was worth WAY more than what she charged (which was a pretty standard price).

      Best wishes!

    • Annie

      We have a planner. Large wedding + mom who tends to really get stressed out means she splurged for it. I really wanted one of those day-of super laid back day-of coordinators who “gets” the APW vibe…but those people don’t really exist in my area.

      So, we just went through the first chapters in the APW book, sketched out what is/isn’t important to us, and gave that document to the planner at our first meeting. Our planner hasn’t tried to upsell us, we’ve been clear about where we’re deviating from the WIC norm, and she’s been great even though she also does very WIC weddings.

      Sometimes it feels like a waste since we already knew what we wanted going in and I plan events during my day job. But then she works vendor magic and I think she’s worth every penny. Since she’s worked with a lot of vendors in town, you can hear them relax when they find out we’re working with her – because they what to expect. She also MAKES MY MOM MORE RELAXED which is invaluable.

      I don’t think we would have gotten one if it hadn’t been my mom’s major thing she cared about in the planning process, but I’m happy we have one, and I think as the day gets closer, I’ll be even more grateful.

    • jashshea

      I had a planner. She kicked ass. I hate making phone calls, following up on contracts, and figuring out small details (you know, all the shit I do at my job and get paid for). I didn’t find it to be an incredible expense (maybe 7% of the bottom line). We’d already secured our date, venue, & caterer before we hired her, so she handled flowers, rentals, timeline coordination, transportation, DJ, etc and got us a discount on all of that.

      But, and this is important, my planner is a wedding planner because she loves weddings. And wedding traditions. And wedding stuff. I’m not super into all of that. So we had some conversations where she would say, for example, “Bouquet tosses are fun!” and I’d respond with: “My single friends in their mid-30s would disagree.” Stand up for yourself and don’t get bulldozed.

      • NicoleT

        Re: bouquet tosses- completely agree! There is nothing worse than hanging out and having an awesome time with people when you hear the dreaded words from the DJ: “All right all you single ladies! Let’s see who’s going to be the next lucky one to go up the aisle!” Which is always said in the most OBNOXIOUS voice possible over the song “Single Ladies”. *cue eye roll*

  • http://rationalcreature.com/ Amy

    I’ve got an invitation etiquette question — my Mister’s bff is living, working, and studying in one state (yay, PhD programs!), while his wife is living and working in another. Should I send them each their own invitation to the wedding?

    • ElisabethJoanne

      You should ask them. In all the families I know, 1 person would handle 1 invitation for both, but maybe it will help to have 1 invitation on each fridge, etc.

    • TeaforTwo

      Unless you’re hand-embroidering them, I would send two invitations, each addressed to “mr. and ms.”

      That way, they don’t have to wonder if you only invited half of the couple, each one gets pretty mail, and you don’t have to figure out which of the two is more likely to RSVP.

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

      I think I’d send two too. I’d probably shoot them a text once I thought they’d received them, just saying hey we wanted to make sure you both got an invitation (fun mail!), you can RSVP together or separately.

    • http://karenmadrone.wordpress.com/ Karen

      We invited several couples who don’t live together intentionally. We sent one invitation to the one who is the “social coordinator” in the couple. If you put both people’s names on the invitation, they know it is to both of them.

  • Jess

    one week left!!! this time next friday, we’ll be chillin with our photographer and getting all pretty. so much left to do, but fun fun fun as well! we had our final meeting with our photographer and she said she was reeeally excited for our wedding, so it was nice to have some outside validation for our choices. :)
    had some seesaw moments of friends being really awesome and then being really crappy, then awesome again. hopefully it’s all rise from here!

    • JSwen

      Is the pre-wedding-photographer-meeting normal?

      I’m a little nervous that our photographer is *not* meeting with us before the wedding. He is a professional photographer but works as an associate for another photographer, who handles his wedding communications. The main photographer was like, “oh, he’s a professional. he’ll take care of you.” Super dismissive when I asked if our photographer would like to see the venue with the other vendors… argh…

      • Jess

        i’m not sure if its normal or just something that some photographers do. we met with her to go over timeline and shot list. she also had a online survey for us to fill out before hand with addresses, phone numbers, family members names and stuff like that. we’re doing all our family photos before the ceremony, so a lot of our getting ready, day of timeline is dictated by her scheduling how much time she needs to each thing (couple, families, etc). I would assume that you would at least want to have a conversation with your guy before the wedding, once all your details are worked out. Our photographer didn’t come with us to the venue tho.

      • lolauren

        We flew our photographer in from Atlanta, Georgia (to Boston…LeahandMark who I originally found on here- they are AWESOME) so we didn’t meet beforehand but he was really apologetic about that and talked about how much he appreciated the trust that we had to hire him without meeting him beforehand. Of course your photographer should be professional- that’s baseline. But you might want to make sure he’s creative, fun, etc. I’d hate to stress you out because I don’t know how much longer you have until your wedding but maybe you can push harder to meet him? Or find someone else? It seems weird they were dismissive about that…

        • JSwen

          I should clarify that I have met him, prior to hiring him. The main photographer seemed to think that he didn’t need to discuss the event with me at all, like he could just show up 15 minutes early and bang out amazing photos. Maybe I should trust him? It would be nice if I didn’t have to spell out a bunch of stuff to the guy but I worry that if I don’t give him my expectations now, I’ll regret it in the end. Can’t go back and re-take pics!

          • KC

            If you have expectations (what you want photos of, for instance), communicate them before the wedding. Yes, everyone might accidentally be on the same page, but if not… yeah, no fun.

      • ElisabethJoanne

        We had the initial, pre-contract meeting with our photographer, then an engagement session 11 months before the wedding, then a venue tour several months before the wedding. The venue tour was so he could take light levels, plan good angles, and learn off-limits spots in the church. It took maybe 20 minutes, and he probably did it all again the morning of the wedding. I know my Priest didn’t trust I had communicated about off-limits areas, so they talked the day of the wedding.

        Between the venue tour and the wedding, there were a few emails back and forth and one letter from me (besides the back and forth on the engagement photos). In all that, I tried to cover the shot list, priorities, timeline, etc.

  • vegankitchendiaries

    I really need some planning advice, and I’ve been waiting for Happy Hour all week! Does anyone want to help me with my timeline?

    Trying to make a long story short here but we’ve hired a vegan food truck to do our wedding this summer. We’re stoked because we’re ‘super-budget’, they’re affordable, and it’s harder than you think to find a vegan caterer in this city. ANYHOOCH… since they’re doing the main meal (not the midnight snack kind of thing) it’ll be a kind of laid back, casual wedding.

    At first I was going to have a 30 min slot in my timeline for guests to get dinner but I eat at this food truck at least once a month and I don’t think it’s realistic to think we can feed our 60 pax guestlist in 30 mins from this truck. When I visit them, it’s usually a 10 min wait and I’m starting to think 60 people all queuing at once (or even table by table) won’t work.

    So my new plan was to seat guests, pass out champers for toasts, toasts, first dance (and bride and groom thank yous) followed by the dancefloor and food truck both officially opening up to everyone at 7pm. Like, just to have it open for a few hours, and folk can go up and order whenever they want to… will this work?

    Mentioned to my FMIL and she was just like… ‘But how will people know when to eat?’

    Has anyone done food truck as a main meal? Is there a better timeline solution that I just haven’t thought of??

    I’m not sure if this comments section is just for me to plead for help… sorry if I’m doing it wrong!

    • Jess

      from what I know from friend’s who have done foodtrucks, 30 minutes wouldnt be enough time, especially if guests are custom ordering. we’re having a truck at ours, but are cutting down on the wait time by having them cook plates of each of the 3 options, and keep refilling them as they get empty.
      i think your guests will be perfectly able to get food if you tell them “now’s the eating time! go do it!”

      • vegankitchendiaries

        Absolutement… In fact, we called them last night and just told them to rock up after 5 (when the ceremony should be done) and to serve from 7-9pm. People can just go up and eat when they want… hopefully that’s okay by folk!

    • MisterEHolmes

      30 minutes probably won’t be enough time, but it would depend on your food truck and if they can “make ahead” anything. The wedding I attended that had food truck choices made it tricky; there was a pretty long line, even though they had three (more guests, though). I think location of the truck is almost as critical as the timeline–Make sure it is in a place that creates a logical guest “flow” from one space to another.
      Maybe you could seat everyone, then have tables dismissed one at a time to get their food, to keep the flow steady?

      • Fiona

        I was going to say that…30 minutes to eat at an event where I want to hang out over food for at least an hour (I’m German, ok?) might make me a little bit cranky.

    • AG

      We had food trucks for our rehearsal dinner and it was great! We had two trucks, each truck made 2 small plates (that we selected) and 1 appetizer that was passed at the beginning of the night. The apps were passed for the first hour or so, then the food trucks opened and stayed open for a couple of hours. People got food when they wanted and sat where they wanted. The small plates allowed people to try a few dishes, and having each truck serve only a couple options allowed them to be prepared for the crowd. People LOVED it and there was no confusion about what to do.

      • AG

        Also (and maybe this is just me and my hangry tendencies), I HIGHLY recommend doing toasts while people are eating, not before. If it’s close to dinner time and I’m listening to toasts instead of eating, I’m going to start getting cranky.

    • ElisabethJoanne

      I’ve been to lots of events like that. It works well. As a guest, I like having some choice in when I get my food.

    • HannahESmith

      One thing that was really helpful for our wedding in general was a highly detailed program. Email me at hannahelainesmith at gmail dot com if you’d like to see a copy. It included lots of little notes about our wedding including a timeline, and a few notes about pieces that were different than other weddings. I would recommend something similar. You could explain the food truck and how it’s going to work.

      • Jess

        oh man, that sounds awesome. do you mind if i email you as well??

        • HannahESmith

          Sure! I actually got the idea from a fellow APW reader. :)

          • vegankitchendiaries

            I’m Emailing you too, btw Hannah! :)

          • HannahESmith

            :)

      • vegankitchendiaries

        Oh, we’re already filling in the APW timeline templates. :) I guess my question is regarding having the food truck open for a set 2 or 3 hours) and letting guests go eat as and when they want to) a terrible idea? Has anyone seen this at a wedding before or done it for their own?

        • HannahESmith

          Yes, the timelines are very helpful, but I meant a highly detailed program for your guests that you pass out before the ceremony. We actually had a food truck that was open for a few hours for our engagement party, and it worked out very well.

          • vegankitchendiaries

            Ahaaaaa! Now I get it, sorry I’m in Friday-mode obvz! Thanks for this very good tip!

    • pumpkinpicker

      One of my coworkers went to a wedding with a food truck and he did say it was good, but a bit confusing. It may be worth it to set up a sign or maybe a little something to go on the table to explain when the food truck opens and how to order.

      • vegankitchendiaries

        That’s a really good idea!

        • Jess

          oh! how about a little illustrated sign on the table? with a tiny drawing of your truck? that would be adorable!

        • pumpkinpicker

          Apparently the order process was the biggest point of confusion, they filled out little slips with their orders but no one was sure if they had to go back to the truck to get it or when to do so.

  • SarahG

    I have a couple of random how to ideas; no clue if anybody else would want these instructions as well, but here we go: Mexican paper flowers as centerpieces; cake toppers (am thinking more the cute words type, like in the wedding posted today). Feel better soon Meg! PS These are amazing for a cough: http://www.amazon.com/Prince-Peace-Ginger-Crystals-packets/dp/B001A5TUDW. They sell them at Berkeley Bowl.

  • lady brett

    i read the the story of the “my self made man” article in an article in cosmopolitan. and, the article itself is sweet and nice and lovely, but i am totally mind-boggled (in the good way) that it appeared in *cosmo*. that social progress thing? i think it’s happening.

    • Sparkles

      I agree, super lovely article, but who’d a thunk the people who quote “science” as a reputable source (e.g. “science says you should only eat yogurt before 6a.m.”) would be able to come up with something like that.

      I found this article while doing some internet soul searching a few weeks ago, and was also super surprised it was from Cosmo. http://www.cosmopolitan.com/sex-love/relationship-advice/stay-at-home-wife-essay

      • jashshea

        OHEMGEE Cosmo is blocked at my office as an adult site. LOL.

        • lady brett

          hilarious.

    • H

      It’s actually Marie Claire I think

    • Fiona

      Apparently Cosmo online has a new editor (who has Buzzfeed past experience), so they are posting all kinds of cool new content that I wholeheartedly support.

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

      Not to self-promote here BUT I wrote about this recently and it’s super relevant! http://therewm.com/2014/04/01/cosmo-magazine-rebranding/ Basically, Cosmo is definitely changing for the better!

  • Katelyn

    We made silk bouquets last weekend! They turned out phenomenally, despite my mom’s doubts. My grandmother came over and worked her magical powers – it was like she showed up and next thing I knew, there was a bouquet in her hands.

    Things learned: have a bit of faith. Since they’re silk, just kind of get them arranged generally, and then you can refine after you have them taped together. We added in blueberries and leaves after the fact using floral wire. Just those little bits extra really made a difference. Also, have a REALLY good pair of wire cutters for trimming the stems at the end.

    Sorry for potato quality, I do not have steady enough hands for photo taking.

    • Jess

      oh! do you have pictures?? I’m assembling my paper flower bouquet this weekend! :)

      • Katelyn

        I attached a couple of photos, are they not showing up properly?

        • emmers

          I see them!

        • Jess

          i refreshed and now i see them! they weren’t showing up for me before. lovely!

    • Laura

      The potato quality! :) These are lovely.

    • http://www.rachellerawlingsphotography.com/ Rachelle

      I love them! They look a lot like the ones I made for my wedding <3

    • Kayjayoh

      A. Yes for silk bouquets! I love them.

      B. “Sorry for potato quality” is my favorite autocorrect error of the day. Before I clicked on the photo, I thought perhaps there were potatoes involved in the bouquet, which would be levels of avant garde. :)

    • Emily

      They are so pretty! I’ve been madly researching flower options the last week or so, mind sharing where you got the flowers? Those are just the colors I’d want, too. Nice work!

      • Katelyn

        Hey! Sorry I’m just getting back to you – I got them all online, through a website called afloral.com. I recommend signing up for their mailing list and waiting for one of their 10-20% or free shipping coupons, as well as placing a trial order because return shipping is kind of a pain. But the quality was much better than in craft stores nearby.

        I got everything for the four bouquets plus some to spare for about $300, which isn’t super cheap but since I was quoted that amount for ONE fresh bouquet, decided it was a good compromise.

        • Emily

          Thank you!

    • vegankitchendiaries

      These turned out GREAT!

    • NicoleT

      I totally did not read that as a typo; I read it as “everything will look like a potato” and didn’t realize until several minutes later that that wasn’t what you meant!

      Also, I may or may not want mashed potatoes now.

  • ElisabethJoanne

    Had a relaxing weekend reading about dyspareunia. I now have a whole lot more vocabulary to describe my symptoms to my doctor, and I can do some self-assessment at home before I go back. And I know what treatments to ask for. And they work well with my current treatments for another condition. So, finally hopeful on that front.

    I got to chat with my best friend who also has infertility issues. It was important to me to touch base with her before Mothers Day. I know it can be a hard day for a lot of people.

  • Fiona

    I have a little piece of joy to share, and that is that I just got asked to be the keynote speaker at a local men’s correctional facility where the inmates are hosting an event called “Men of Excellence.” I’m going to speak about male mentors and how they make an impact. So stoked!

    • lady brett

      that sounds awesome!

  • Katarina

    I’m in such a weird place lately. Since announcing our engagement three months ago, all three of my remaining grandparents passed away. Now I’m planning a wedding a state-side memorial for the one who lived in Spain. It’s such a weird transition between them, and I’m trying not to be too emotional. But, my typical thing to escape from obvious emotions is to fixate on little things. My current worry is that all the people I’m inviting to the memorial (including half-uncles I didn’t know I had until this month) will expect to be invited to the wedding. It’s a weird thing to worry about, but apparently it’s what I’ve grabbed onto. Any words of advice for handling my emotional juggernaut?

    P.S. Uterus – now is not the time. Leave me alone.

    • SarahG

      I do that too. Before we moved into our first (owned) house, I was obsessed with finding the right white paint color. I mean, white paint. Really? Really? Anyway, I feel you. Your family won’t mind though; most people are fairly rational and understand that near-strangers should not be expected to make room for them at their wedding. Even in my quite close but large extended family, several of my cousins have decided not to invite cousins to their weddings due to money (this is against family precedent) and everyone was FINE. Because, budget. It’s a reality and also a great excuse. Hugs to you during this difficult time!

  • Kayjayoh

    Happy Friday!

    First, the College of Arms have figured out how to handle the coats of arms for people (who have coats of arms and are) in same sex marriages. I know you all were wondering.

    http://www.college-of-arms.gov.uk/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=47%3Akings-ruling-2014&catid=12%3Aresources&Itemid=216

    Secondly, this is possibly my favorite Wonder Woman so far, and I knew I needed to share it with you all:

    http://milkshakesalt.storenvy.com/products/7015370-we-are-all-wonderful-wonder-woman-print-8×11

    • Mezza

      …Now I really want a coat of arms.

  • Caroline

    I loved the “ten words every girl should know” article. I’m curious about how cultural background affects this too. For instance, I come from a culture with high overlap in speech (aka, we interrupt a lot and talking over is considered normal speech). I wonder how these gender patterns play out inside of cultures like that (probably similar) and between people of cultural groups with different speech patterns.

    And also, I think I really need to learn to say “I just said that” and “No explanation needed.”

    • jashshea

      Same on both counts. My family is large and boisterous, so I wasn’t really socialized to wait my turn in social situations. I do this at work as well, because I have a brain that’s always on overdrive and a terrible memory. I apologize for it (when it’s actually rude), but I don’t really know that it’s something to change. But I really need to work on standing up for my own words.

      • Kayjayoh

        Same here.

    • Jess

      I say “I just said that.” all. the. time. I don’t interrupt often, but I’ve always supposed that was because I tend to be a wait-and-think-then-speak type than a think-out-loud type. If I’m excited, though, heaven help anybody who wants to get a word in.

      • Class of 1980

        Me too. I say “Stop interrupting me” and “I just said that” ALL THE TIME.

        I’m not a self-effacing person. ;) Then again, I come from a family that doesn’t interrupt.

        I am also close to my business partner’s family and they are a bunch of interrupters. I think there is some ADD involved. I do sometimes get annoyed because I think it’s just a bad habit.

      • Meg Keene

        David has this (sort of amusing) habit of pitching back and idea I just pitched, which has made me really good at saying I JUST SAID THAT. Which is a good skill in general.

  • MC

    GREAT week at work and home – friends stayed with us for their friend’s wedding and brought home the lovely floral centerpieces for us, making our house look and smell beautiful, and we’re having a housewarming party tonight! And at work a fundraising event I coordinated went really well and I ended up winning an iPad for my org!

    I also finally bit the bullet and made an appointment with a dermatologist for next week. I’m excited because I’ve never exactly had “good” skin (it’s never been terrible, but it’s I do have some damn persistent acne) and I’m hoping the doctor can either give me some better tips on how to take care of it or put me on some medication. But I’m also nervous to admit that I am self-conscious about my skin and that I’m vain enough to want it to look good for my wedding in 5 months. Even though logically I know that both of those things are totally valid.

    • Jess

      so, i use this totally hippie/paleo brand called primal life organics. it’s all made of oils and clays and herbs, and some of the things smell terrible, but i notice a shocking difference with my skin when i use it. sometimes even within minutes, which is crazy and i really can’t figure out how it does that. also, apparently it makes my skin crazy soft. i hadn’t noticed, but one of my coworkers touched my cheeck the other day, and then just kept petting it. :)

    • pumpkinpicker

      I’ve worn glasses since I was 12. When I was a teenager I thought that contact lenses were vain and ridiculous. One day in my mid 20s I looked in the mirror without my glasses on and thought to myself that I looked really weird without them.

      Suddenly it struck me that that was *MY FACE* that I was thinking of as weird without adornment and that it was not vain to want to look like ME. This was a doubly weird attitude as I was always pro makeup and I have multiple piercings and tattoos.
      I got contacts that week. I don’t wear them all the time, but at least now I get to look at my unadorned face (in focus even!) and recognize it as me.

    • Ally

      I broke out like crazy a few months before my wedding (stress + new bc that made my skin super oily) and my doctor put me on sprironolactone. It took about a week to start clearing up and my skin looked flawless for the wedding which was 2 months after I started the medication.

      I had terrible skin in high school and tried every possible medication (pills and topicals), including two rounds of accutane, and nothing worked as well with as few side effects. I think the only real side effect is that it makes you pee more often.

    • Emmers

      I got a facial mole removed recently, and felt very similar– I wanted to look good for my wedding, and then I felt silly and kind of shameful about it. I was really nervous that I was being too vain (one of the things I told my fiancé when I was deciding was that I wanted to keep my mole so the little girls at church would know it’s OK to accept how you look).
      So, I had it removed, and I feel awesome about it! I should have done this years ago. It really is OK to make changes like that. So, more power to you for going to the dermatologist. It’s kind of scary, but I hope you have a similar experience.

  • lady brett

    oh my, the housework article. i mean, the “women do more housework” article is kind of old hat, but the stats about kids?

    “One study found that girls did two more hours of chores a week while boys got twice as much time to play.”

    makes me totally ill. having kids makes me despise gender (or, you know, all the cultural shit that comes with it).

    • Fiona

      This one made me mad! the no biological determinant for housework was the kicker!

      • Class of 1980

        I used to say … “A uterus is not required for this job.” ;)

    • vegankitchendiaries

      You know that Swedish couple who decided to raise their child totally gender neutral? I remember that bringing out a lot of eye rolls among my contemporaries but it’s stats like this that make me think it’s actually a terrific idea.

    • Class of 1980

      If a parent has a boy and a girl, and you allow one of them more leisure time than the other, that’s just plain lousy parenting.

      I have seen this happen in some families and it’s such a complete lack of awareness. I used to have a friend whose mother had all kinds of housekeeping chores for her to do. If she and I wanted to hang out, I’d have to help her fold clothes or something before she was free.

      Her brother had to do the outdoor chores. There is one problem with this scenario. The outdoor chores did not have to be done as often as the indoor chores, therefore he definitely had more free time!.

      This issue has been burning me up my entire life. The article is right that the one chore men have gravitated to is cooking. I don’t even consider a man cooking as anything extraordinary. Most men even my age do cook.

      • Kayjayoh

        Also, “girls=indoor and boys=outdoor” is a pretty gender rigid assignment.

        • Class of 1980

          It was the 1960s and 1970s, man. ;) Though to be fair, lots of women did gardening, and that can be a pretty strenuous outdoor chore. Hell, my grandmother used to climb in trees and saw off limbs.

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

      I found that even more relevant in the context of this article: http://jezebel.com/moms-get-stuck-with-all-the-work-when-adult-kids-live-a-1574011094

      Because as someone who grew up in a multigenerational household (read: adult children living at home at different times throughout my entire life) I found that the grown MEN did not do chores, but the grown DAUGHTER (and, later, granddaughter) did. This makes me so angry.

      • Class of 1980

        I am more bothered by the equity angle than anything. It’s one thing to divide chores by gender, but once someone has less free time because of unfairness, that’s when my hackles are raised.

        That said, I don’t like outsiders to make assumptions. Didn’t like it one bit when a house we were renting was inspected by the landlord, who looked at ME approvingly when he saw that it was spotless. Uh, there are two of us living here and you don’t know who cleaned it. :(

  • http://instagram.com/autresvoix Kamala

    The fiance and I are headed to California to see my parents this weekend for the first time since getting engaged a couple of months ago! We’re going to look at venues all weekend and hopefully soak up some sun. But really, my mom is thrilled with the plan for Mothers day, my Dad and Sister less so…

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

      congrats on the engagement!

  • Lawyerette510

    The wedding is on Monday and we leave for gals’ weekend in about 30 minutes! Throughout the past 90 days or so we’ve been planning this thing I have been struck by the community support in my daily life and on here, but the past 24 hours has been great! When I was overwhelmed by my to-do list yesterday a call to a friend had her here in 15 minutes and we tackled everything on it in 3 hours. Then last night 5 people endured trips that were tripled in length because of weather delays to get out here, and when they got here at 12:30 am we spent two hours drinking wine, eating cheese and laughing. Then this morning it was 7 of us around the kitchen table and one of the guys cleaned the kitchen top to bottom while we hung out. Aggghhh!!!! It’s happening!!! I hope everyone has a great weekend!

    • scw

      so exciting! <3!

  • Anon

    Okay, so this is kinda left field here – and probably just mild insanity on my part, but even though I have had no symptoms or signs and all my monthly events have continued as expected – I have a nagging feeling that I may be pregnant.

    I know most likely the weight gain is bad eating habits and less exercise, but it has centered right around my mid-section in a way it has never before. I have no other symptoms than this rapid weight gain but I know I missed a pill a few months ago, so I’m a little bit nervous. Those “I didn’t know I was pregnant” shows haven’t helped my anxiety either.

    I mean, if I’m pregnant then that is what it is, but I feel a little silly thinking I’m pregnant when it could just be fat. I don’t want to worry my fiance, as we are not ready at all and I don’t want him to worry about it as well.

    I’m probably going to sneak out and do a test to calm my nerves, but has any one else had random fears of being pregnant in the middle of planning a life/wedding?

    • Lawyerette510

      Yes! I mean not in the wedding planning but it’s something that used to happen to me a lot. Getting an IUD helped, but I can’t count the number of pregnancy tests I took just to be extra sure.

    • Violet

      After I got engaged I kept thinking I was going to get brain cancer, so… there’s that. (One year married and still no cancer, FWIW.)

    • jashshea

      Every time in my life where I’ve been a) stressed the hell out and/or b) have just started a more intense workout regimen, I’ve had 7-14 day delays in my cycle. And I’m usually a 28 day on the dot person. About 5 months before the wedding I was stressed the hell out and working out too much because I couldn’t sleep. I was 2 weeks late and was totally convinced that I was PG which stressed me out more b/c how was the fit and flare dress going to fit over a 6 month belly and giant boobs!?

      So…Take a test and put your mind at ease one way or another.

    • MC

      Yep, I’ve taken 3 pregnancy tests, all negative, one before I was technically sexually active*, because I have always been nervous about getting pregnant and not realizing it until I was 8 months in or something. I think it’s totally worth the $10 or whatever the pregnancy tests cost for the peace of mind!

      * let’s just say there was some foreplay that accidentally involved sperm

      • Caroline

        As someone with irregular cycles and a high “oh noes, I must be pregnant” worry, let me say that you can get pregnancy tests at the dollar store. For a dollar. I was amazed and delighted. I’ve used them on way more than 3 occasions where it was very very unlikely that I was pregnant but I was anxious.

    • Kirstin

      I had someone ask me earlier this week if I was pregnant. And it FREAKED me out. Random stranger in an elevator. And when I said no, she said “I have a feeling that a baby is coming into your life.” Still can’t get over it!

      • MC

        Ha! and AAH! I live in a very “woo woo” city where that kind of comment would not be out of place at all, but it would still freak me the hell out.

      • Sparkles

        Hahaha. I should start saying that to people on the elevator. Or would that give me bad karma?

    • pumpkinpicker

      Oh man, I feel that. I had exactly the same thing last month! I was on antibiotics during my previous period week which *shouldnt* have done anything but my boobs were being weird and… well sometimes the thoughts get ahead of the brain.
      Luckily it turned out to be nothing but I now have a fresh stash of tests in the house just in case. One thing I learned in my wilder youth is there is nothing quite like that instant pregnancy test result gratification.

    • Stella

      Oh God, I did about a million (needless) pregnancy tests when I was taking exams at university and super stressed… I’d just take one if I were you, you’ll feel better!

    • honey.come.home

      Yes, this has started happening to me a little more now that I track my period with one of those iPhone apps. A day late and I’m like THE MAGIC ALL KNOWING DEVICE THINKS SOMETHING IS WRONG, SO IT MUST BE TRUE.

      Then I’ll either break down and take a test or just as I’m about to go out and get one, my period will start. And then I start worrying that I’ll never get pregnant because my SO and I only ever use condoms and I’ve never once gotten accidentally knocked up… and sometimes we’re drunk or clumsy or whatever and I’m probably infertile and… So instead of being scared I’m pregnant, I’m scared that I’m not.

      THIS IS WHAT 30 LOOKS LIKE.

      • GM

        omfg this made me laugh out loud, and also, are you me?

        We also do the condoms thing and every time I have a “scare” I’m like “damn it, I’m pregnant. Oh, I’m not pregnant? Well I probably can’t GET pregnant then. FML.”

        Also, I’ve totally taken a test like 5 minutes before my period arrived.

        • C_Gold

          It’s not just me who does this!!! I did this tons in the past. (I also convince myself, currently, that if I’m a day late I must be pregnant, despite my fiancé’s vasectomy.)

      • Sparkles

        You should try learning about fertility awareness method. Not as a method of birth control, per say, but as a reassurance and a better idea for those scary moments. Check out “Taking Charge of Your Fertility” by Toni Weschler. The tracking is intimidating, but learning more about your fertility is incredibly empowering. There’s actually a pretty clear pattern that you menstruate ~12-14 days after you ovulate. But depending on what’s going on when you’re about to ovulate (e.g. stress, illness) ovulations can happen late. So if you’re keeping track and you know when you ovulated you can count and know if you’re actually late or just stress late. Keeping track is pretty straight forward once you understand. It helps a bit with the infertility fears too, because the book talks about typical cycles in women who aren’t fertile.

        • Jessica Nelson

          Plus if you ever are pregnant, it will help you figure out a due date more accurately than the doctor. Standard practice assumes that you ovulate on day 14 of a 28 day cycle (AKA 14 days after the first day of your period), whereas I personally tend to ovulate on day 18-25 (depending on stress haha) of a 35ish day cycle. So when the doctor says I’m “a week overdue,” I’d really just be at full term.
          And, TMI maybe, but I find this stuff super fascinating…
          One of the easiest signs to track is your basal body temperature, which you would take every morning (preferably at the same time) before you get out of bed. See, sperm like it cold but babies like it toasty warm…so every month, your average body temperature drops about half a degree starting from when you get your period until you ovulate, to make it nice and welcoming for the sperm to come in. (Although you can’t actually get pregnant until a day or two before the egg actually drops, because sperm can only survive around 48 hours.) Then, once you ovulate and your body thinks it might be pregnant, it cranks up the temp for a couple weeks until it figures out that you’re not really pregnant. (Or you have three+ weeks of high temps, and you figure out that you are!)

          • Sparkles

            I am so happy you are as excited about tracking your fertility as I am! Hahaha. I told everybody about it when I first started reading about it and nobody else was that excited. It’s really fun and empowering, though, I really recommend every woman check it out.

  • Lauren from NH

    So I have been gone for a little while. T and I were going through a bit of an existential rough patch and thinking about being preengaged became negative fun and more akin to self emotional abuse so I took a hiatus. But what I would love to share with you ladies is that the biggest blessing from our dark time was being able to share it with my best college girlfriend. Something that I had been scared as shit to do. So one day I just sent it all to her in a facebook message, trying to explain that even though we have been at this 5 years and are having serious marriage talks we can still encounter times of fundamental struggle. And since then we have talked on the phone for over an hour once a week and she was able to tell me some shit she was scared to share too, some stuff that was harder than my situation in different ways. 6 months, 5 years, or more we shouldn’t have to be ashamed that all is not smooth sailing in love.

    • Sara P

      Thanks for posting this. All is not smooth sailing in love, indeed, but it’s hard to talk about, especially when it’s sort of a moving target and the topic is as big as getting married. Good luck, and I’m glad you were able to talk to a friend about it.

      • Lauren from NH

        Thanks. It can be really emotionally tough to trust people with your “dirty laundry” (I guess) when we all do so much self censoring where it comes to facebook and the media never helps any. But I really think we owe it to our friends and ourselves to be more open about communication challenges, lifestyle collisions, and the even more murky stuff where it comes to what makes people feel loved an appreciated.
        When things go amiss part of my fearful brain must compare us to the hypothetical best “super couple” in the world. The rest of my brain has the context of all of our history both personal and together that has brought us here and all the love in between, and I know we will wade our way through I just have no idea how (initially). But where it comes to sharing these challenges with others I think that they don’t know about all the love in between and understand all the history both personal and together, and I fear all they see is the “super couple” and us being woefully inferior in our love because [insert here petty disagreement or huge blow up].
        But especially being one of the first in my social group to be in a headed-to-marriage relationship, I think it super important that we, T and I, set a fair and honest example of the joys and challenges that come with almost marriage. So yeah, I want to apply this going forward :)

  • scw

    the roundup links this week are extra good. I loved missed connections for assholes and, you’re right, I’ve been really into the monica lewinsky story this week.

    I found my dress this week!!! I went alone on a whim and it was such a fun and relaxing experience (not that the other times I tried on dresses weren’t fun and relaxing, but it felt really special to be by myself). I haven’t bought the dress and it’s been discontinued so I’m a little afraid to post it here in case it gets gobbled up before I can take someone back with me to see it, but I’m so excited.

    also, FH just picked me up from my doctor’s appointment and his first words were “we’re going to get you back in time for happy hour!”

    • Sparkles

      FH sounds fantastic. I love that happy hour is an acknowledged part of your routine.

      And I agree, shopping with friends can be fun, but sometimes it’s more peaceful to do it yourself. Congrats on the dress find!

    • Meg Keene

      I know. It was a good week for links.

  • Fiona

    The whole Monica Lewinsky thing is a tiny bit before my time, so I only have strong recollections of things that people discussed years later. After reading the article above about how Dowd portrayed Lewinsky and then got a Pulitzer, I just feel really bad for Lewinsky and annoyed at the media standards that exist. Does anyone else feel this way? If she were a man, would she have been able to pursue a real career?

  • Kirstin

    I’m in the home stretch, y’all. Today marks the 15-day mark. Everyone keeps asking me how I am feeling, and I never know what to say. The best way I can describe it – I feel caught in a swirl. Stuff’s done, but isn’t. Time feels like it’s flying by and that we should be doing more things. I’m hoping that wedding zen will arrive soon, but still waiting.

    This weekend is also my kind-of bachelorette party. I am really trying to work up the energy to be excited and participatory, but I’m kind of sad about it. My sister waited until just six weeks out from my wedding to plan anything, and then it was too late for most of my friends to be able to come. When I said I was okay with low key, that didn’t mean last minute. I had to endure call after call from them apologizing because they couldn’t make it on short notice, or couldn’t fly to see me twice in one month. I tried to be understanding, but it’s been really hard not to be frustrated and a few times I thought about having her cancel. This almost feels worse than doing nothing, which was the original plan. She kept insisting we should still do something and that “people who care will find a way to be there.” But that fails to acknowledge that I don’t have many friends where I live, most are out-of-state, some have kids, and many have jobs that involve weekend commitments this time of year. Know your audience, ya know. So it’ll be three friends and my sister. And I’m going to do my best that have fun with those that can be there. Put on a happy face.

    • HannahESmith

      Sending you a hug, as someone who had a bit of a bumpy ride with my bachelorette party. Is there any way to change the activity to something you will actually enjoy with the small group of people who can make it? My husband had a very similar experience with his bachelor party (last-minute planning on the part of his best man + a plan that no one was excited about). About a week out, he managed to advocate for a night that resembled what he wanted (drinking beer and playing video games). While it wasn’t THE BEST NIGHT EVER it was better than what would have happened otherwise.

    • Stella

      Urgh, bachelorettes are rough – especially when people are going to have to travel for the wedding, maybe try to just think of it as a night out, try to take the pressure off and just use it as a way to relax and stop thinking about planning for a night?

  • Jess

    inspired by the silk flowers below, these are some paper ones i’ve been making. :)

    • HannahESmith

      Those are amazing!

    • Katelyn

      Gorgeous! I would have liked to make paper flowers but we had to go with something that could travel. I may pick up the book anyway just to make some for decoration!

    • ART

      woah! very nice!

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

      I LOVE making paper flowers! I have Paper to Petal too, and have used some great online tutorials too. So fun and pretty! Here are some of the ones I made for our wedding.

      • Jess

        Oh!!! Big ones! So pretty! I wanted to make giant ones too but the fiancé was worried they would look weird. *clearly* he was mistaken, cause these are beautiful!

        • Emily

          This is my centerpiece scheme, oversized paper roses. It’s a garden venue, so I figure super-obviously fake flowers are better than trying to upstage the atmosphere around us.

          • Guest

            It looks like you used the same pattern I did- but huge! This is a shot of my paper flower/brooch bouquet- my very favorite wedding detail. :) I made them out of the sheet music to our wedding song and each of our parents’ wedding songs.

          • Emily

            Wow, that bouquet is fabulous!

          • Heather

            It looks like you used the same pattern I did, only huge! I love it! Here’s a shot of my brooch-and-paper flower bouquet, which is my very favorite wedding detail. I used sheet music to our wedding song and each of our parents’ wedding songs. :)

      • NicoleT

        WANT. Those look so fun and elegant!

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

    My employer let me go a week early so today will be my last day with them. They hired a new person to fill my position on Tuesday… she’s great and I hope she doesn’t go nuts here.

    Good riddance.
    More time to look for jobs in Colorado, pack stuff, clean my house and get last minute wedding stuff taken care of, I guess.

  • swarmofbees

    I am really feeling for all the ReBar couples who no longer have a wedding venue, especially the ones that found out TODAY about their wedding TOMORROW. http://gothamist.com/2014/05/09/dumbo_rebar_closed.php

    • Jess

      oh NO! that’s terrible! i wonder if those couples found out at all. I hope someone at least called and told them, since noone called the employees! :( :( :(

      • swarmofbees

        From what I have heard they haven’t told anyone anything and the couples with weddings are just confused and scrambling.

        • swarmofbees

          This also reminds me that I need to buy my wedding insurance. Any recommendations for good companies?

          • Fiona

            THAT’S A THING?

          • swarmofbees

            Yeah, they can give you money to replace deposits lost fro businesses that go bankrupt and the cost of getting something more expensive last minute. i.e. EXACTLY what happened to the ReBar people. You can also get a nice side of liability insurance.

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

            My planner recommends wedsafe. Moving that item up a little higher on the to-do list as we speak!

          • swarmofbees

            Thank you for the recommendation!

    • scw

      wow, that’s terrible.

    • Felicity

      oh my gosh. I really hope this becomes a story of the community coming around to help them.

    • vegankitchendiaries

      Shit. Can you imagine??

      • Jess

        i know i’m totally pmsing, but i got really upset reading that article and thinking about those poor couples. i got all teary and everything. i just want to hug them.

        • vegankitchendiaries

          It sounds like not just one or two couples either… sheeeeeet….

    • Emily

      Wow, that is awful. I feel terrible for all those people who have to make new plans, worse, with new money!

    • Amanda

      Yeah…my friends are one of those. I can’t even imagine if their wedding was tomorrow. Theirs is end of July so they have a bit of time but OMG what a nightmare.

      • Jess

        oh no! hugs to your friends!

    • Jen

      I know! Upsetting/terrifying. We looked at the space and really loved it (but the cocktail seating just wasn’t going to work for us). When we visited they gave us dinner and the owner came over and did a spiel about how much they love doing weddings and set up their package in a way to make it as stress free and economical for the couples. You basically don’t need any vendors other than a photographer. When we saw it in Feb. they only had a handful of dates left for 2014 – so that’s a serious # of couples impacted.

    • EmilyRose

      There’s an indiegogo campaign going to help the couples pay for new weddings!

      https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/help-the-canceled-rebar-weddings#home/share

  • Felicity

    UGH Catering We just got back our first quote from a food truck turned full service caterer that we are very excited about and it was 40% higher than I expected. The food was the price I thought, but the service etc was more expensive than the food! Have folks had much luck negotiating with caterers? I get the impression using the actual truck would be a better deal, but since we are having 130 guests in January, that’s not a good option. Ugh. Maybe I’m just stressed about spending what is likely to be the largest chunk of our budget.

    P.S. Thoughts about plastic or bamboo plates vs. china? plastic cups vs. glassware?

    • JSwen

      Keep getting quotes – don’t let one surprise mess you up. I did that and it was weeks before my fiance checked into some other caterers and we realized that there are “tiers” and the first caterer was in a different tier that we could afford.

      • Felicity

        Thanks this is really helpful! I felt like I was going overboard contacting 3 caterers but now I feel better about contacting more.

        • JSwen

          We found three caterers in our price range… which meant contacting like 10 caterers. I was very thankful for copy/paste and email for that search!

    • HannahESmith

      We went with a local Mediterranean place instead of a traditional caterer. The food was significantly less expensive than a traditional caterer, and the service (6 hours of 3 servers= $25 per hour, per server) was about half of the cost of the food. If it’s January, I do feel like you might have room to negotiate. I would look around and see who else might be an option.

      • Sparkles

        You should see if they (or other caterers you check out) do an off season discount. We went with a caterer that mostly does weddings and they took a couple dollars per plate off because the wedding was in March.

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

      I negotiated a little with our caterer. In general, they want to work with you. If you tell them your budget and they are not going to be able to meet it, they will tell you (and a couple of caterers I talked to did tell us just that). We tweaked a few things from the initial quote, but my genuine sense was that they knew best how to throw a party, so when we balked at the costs, they explained them. They were very clear about what would be smart to cut out and what would not be!
      We’re having the same tough decisions about dishes, though! I was all for disposables, but my fiance the environmentalist wants us to rent dishes. Which is actually way cheaper than I thought it would be, it’s just kind of a lot more trouble.

    • Megan

      We are about to decide on a caterer and we’ve definitely been able to negotiate. We narrowed it down to two and tasted at both of them. One of the places we’ve narrowed it down to started at almost $19K for 140 people, and we’ve gotten them down to about $13K for 150 (this includes food, bar, service, and rentals). I was going to flat out walk away from that place, but FH and I just decided to taste for fun because it only cost $20 each if we don’t choose them–cheaper than a date! He started slashing stuff left and right at our tasting, esp after I told him we were also considering the place he used to work at. So yes, I would definitely encourage negotiating!!

      I want to use china for our dinner, but we will probably use nice disposables for cocktail hour and desserts, and maybe disposables after a certain point at the bar. Although one caterer has appetizer plates that HOLD wine glasses on them, so, we may reconsider :)

      • Felicity

        Appetizer plates that hold wine glasses?! Best invention EVER.

      • Caroline

        If you want to use china, but are considering the really nice disposables (like those bana leaf ones and such), check the prices. For the same prices as nice banana leaf/bamboo compost able
        plates, we are renting bone china with a platin ring. (So fancy, I’m so excited). We considered disposables to save money, but it didn’t save us money if we wanted nicer compostables.

    • enfp

      This was one of the most disheartening parts of the budgeting/planning process for us. We just had no idea how much the service cost and had some sticker shock at the catering quotes we got. I would keep doing some research, especially if this is your first quote. We are using a food truck for the rehearsal dinner, and not all the trucks we spoke to charged extra for service, some just charged a set amount for the food. We got one quote was 1/3 the price of the full service catering truck, for the same amount of food (but of course my mom wouldn’t go for the affordable truck because it’s not fancy enough for her family, sigh, but that’s a whole other conversation).

      • Caroline

        Yup. Catering/food was really hard. We ended up reworking our budget to almost double the catering budget. (Note: this was not the only solution, but was the right solution for us, because it reduced my
        mama’s stress. It’s just that food was really stressful to figure out).

    • ElisabethJoanne

      FWIW, we found catering to be tiered here in the Bay Area. We would get quotes within 25% of each other, then quotes double those. Had I started out getting the higher quotes, I’d have been very discouraged. But, I based our estimate off of a APW sponsor, so I knew my estimate was realistic. Then we worked to find others in our tier.

      Proposals from caterers were hard to compare. Some did a flat, per-guest charge; some charged for the food, then the plates and linens, etc. To me, the simplicity of the proposal reflected on how easy or hard they’d be to work with, and we ultimately hired someone who just had a per-guest charge, plus a per-bottle charge for wine.

  • Ally

    LOVE the old post on moving from SF to Oakland, Meg – we’re doing exactly that tomorrow! I can’t wait to garden in my window boxes and walk/bike places without having to scale a mountain. Yay Oakland!!

  • Claire

    For my people in the Twin Cities, MN:

    I’ve organized a few APW meet ups in the past and just created a Facebook group to make it easier for us to enjoy each other’s company in real life. I’m calling it The Company of Friends.

    The intention of this group is to foster friendships among women living in the Twin Cities, so please feel free to invite other local women to join. And most definitely use the group to invite us to hang out with you or go to fun events.

    https://www.facebook.com/groups/thecompanyoffriends/

  • Nicole

    I’m getting married in one week and one day! I keep vacillating between stress and excitement. As well as thinking it will be magical and a crappy wedding. The sane person in me knows it will be great, but the stressed out WIC-influenced part is so worried it won’t be enough for people.
    I’ll just keep breathing, keep quieting the nay-saying voice in my head, and constantly be checking the forecast!

    • Jess

      one week for me! good luck!! it will all be great!!

    • HannahESmith

      “Vacillating between stress and excitement.” I remember that feeling so well. The final week before was a mad dash to the finish line for me, but the day before I really did settle into wedding zen. It will be more than enough.

    • Valerie Day

      One week for us too. From today! It was a hard week, with a brother bowing out of the wedding due to not supporting gay marriage, and finding out we have to move out of our apartment, instead of signing another lease. BUT! the love is also starting to pour in, in form of real-here in the flesh and blood people.

  • Laura

    Earlier this week I commented on the RSVP open forum about not hating the RSVP process and trying to stay zen. Exactly one day later, I started subtly freaking out about RSVPs and as of today I am in early-stage panic. We are getting way more attrition from our major West Coast friend base than originally anticipated because airfare is so high for July. Plus, all the early RSVPs seem to be friends of my fiance’s family, and now I’m worrying that I’ll spend my wedding day surrounded by unfamiliar faces, which is exactly the opposite type of wedding I have wanted from the beginning. I was at least hoping that opening it up to a broader guest list, as per the wishes of our families, would be balanced out by a lot of close supporters. Gah.

    • HannahESmith

      RSVP drama is the worst. It is so hard to avoid worrying or being hurt. One thing that helped me was mentally going through a list of really important people who I knew were going to be there. It helped to focus on the people who were coming. The day of, those are the people who matter.

      • Laura

        Awesome, yes. Thank you. I am actually gchatting with one of my bridesmaids/best friends and she is giving me the same advice right now. Which cognitively I know all the time but it is good to remind myself. That I’m getting the wedding I want, just wrapped up in a bigger, fluffier package. With, like, lots of people from New Jersey.

        • Jess

          we actually filled in a bunch of those VIPs who we knew were coming in grey on our rsvp doc. made our early numbers feel better. :)

          • Laura

            I definitely color-coded my RSVP doc by sublist – my parents, his parents, us – so that I could get a sense of the distribution in a glance, but I think it’s making me more upset. I like your coding scheme better.

  • pumpkinpicker

    I found a random webcomic this week (linked below) which claimed that the emotional rollercoaster of PMS is caused by (very broadly) the temporary LOSS of estrogen and heavier influence of testosterone… implying that the cranky bitchy “on the rag” attitude everyone complains about is the time women are hormonally closest to what men are like ALL THE TIME.

    I did do some preliminary research and from what I can tell it appears that this is completely on point. This may not sound like a lot but there are some real cultural implications here and it’s REALLY been messing with my head.

    http://plaintextfeminist.tumblr.com/post/84695526111/timemachineyeah-ive-said-this-before-and

    • swarmofbees

      wow, talk about the cultural implications. If you add this to the article about housework, if we were always having our periods no housework would ever get done.

    • Class of 1980

      I think that explanation is much too simplistic and misleading.

      I’ve never known any man who consistently felt as irritable as I did when I had PMS. Serotonin levels drop during PMS, which explains a lot as far as irritability. Men actually have higher serotonin levels than women most of the time.

      The only part the article got right is that post-menopausal women have the most steady hormone levels. I will not reach menopause until this fall (if I don’t get a period), but I’m already enjoying freedom from the relentless hormonal cycle, let me tell you. On my worst day of peri-menopause a few yeas ago, my hormones were going crazy and my blood surger was crashing. I GROWLED ferociously at my business partner that day. Literally growled.

      He was so unnerved, that he locked his office door. ;)

  • AlisonHendryx

    HALP! I have the very well-meaningest (possibly) of aunts. But she is a little psycho and always seems to be looking for something to be mad at people about. And she keeps asking me for details about the wedding, which is at the end of the month. AND it’s driving me bonkers. First of all, a lot of things are supposed to be surprises, to be experienced that day. Second of all, I’m freaking busy! I cannot answer all of your questions. But I don’t want to make her mad, because she can be very poisonous when she’s mad and who knows what havoc she could wreck that day if she’s mad. By 2 pm, I had started answering the question emails with just partial sentence answers and ignoring some of the questions in each email. She stopped emailing me. I know I shouldn’t be worried she’s mad; I’m almost more worried she’s not and she’s going to keep this up for three weeks. I will not be able to handle this as well soon. HALP!

    • HannahESmith

      Any chance your Mom could handle her inquiries? Now would be a good time to delegate. Also, I wouldn’t worry too much about her finding out surprise details. Most people will still be surprised, and if it keeps her from being awful, I think it’s a small price to pay.

      • AlisonHendryx

        She is mad about something my mom did and won’t tell anyone, and won’t tell her, and so won’t speak to her until she apologizes. And I’m mostly worried about telling her things leading to more questions. She’s an obsessive emailer. it just goes bing-bing-bing, and there’s no satisifying her… I don’t know if there’s really anything more to be done, but I might have just needed to vent so I don’t scream here at my desk.

        • HannahESmith

          Oh gosh… that sounds fun… yeah, there isn’t much to be done. Honestly, a person like that is never going to be happy even if you do email her back immediately every time.

    • Jess

      my nana is doing a bit of the same thing, and isn’t even coming to the wedding. :/ apparently she also convinced my mom that she needed to have pictures on facebook to see the very next day, which then had my mom trying to coordinate her friends to take pictures of the ceremony. in spite of the fact that this is supposed to be an unplugged ceremony. and there’s a professional photographer and videographer. and i’m not really looking to have a ton of photos from my wedding on facebook. sigh. families man.

      good luck with the aunt. if another family member can’t field the emails, maybe you can respond, like, once a day, after shes already in bed. at least you can limit the interactions to one email per day?

      • Sparkles

        I didn’t want too many weddings on Facebook. I don’t know how this will work for an unplugged ceremony, but we used an app/web service called Bliiss https://www.sharethebliiss.com/. People can upload photos from their computer or download the app on their phones and upload right away. It worked pretty well, and I just shared the code with people who weren’t able to come. And we didn’t have thousands of photos on Facebook.

  • vegankitchendiaries

    Just read ‘My self-made man’ – what an awesome read!

    • Fiona

      Ooo man I need someone to lend it to me because I REALLY want to read it!
      What made it awesome?

  • Winny the Elephant

    I’M SICK TOO…IT’S LIKE THE PLAGUE. It all started when this kid came up to me at work, sneezed on me and said “Ms. G, I think I’m sick”. No Sh*t little buddy! Keep your germs to yoself! And it’s the weekend of my bachelorette party :(

  • Caitlin_DD

    Yesterday I tried on my Mama’s wedding dress. It was the first dress I’ve tried on, and even though it didn’t fit, we had a very teary, oh my goodness moment together. (Though that may have been jet lag from my 28 HOUR journey home the day before). Shame it doesn’t fit, because it’s so very Kate Middleton. We’re contemplating getting the lace bodice removed and grafted onto a modern dress. Just an important moment because it was the FIRST tangible, real step toward planning the wedding I’ve taken.

    • NicoleT

      That sounds lovely! I’m wearing my mom’s dress too, but I haven’t tried it on yet. I’m hoping that it will fit me (since she wore it for her “fake” wedding and she was 2-3 months pregnant with me), but no guarantee. I’m attempting to use it as a motivator for losing weight.

      • Caitlin_DD

        It’s so fun to actually use a dress that’s been saved! And hey, you know it looks good on if you were there the first time ;) For me it was my rib cage being straight up too big. Of all the things I expected to cause problems… that wasn’t on my radar!

  • JSwen

    This is wonderful: “My Ideal Weddings, by Age” http://thehairpin.com/2014/05/my-ideal-weddings-by-age

    • Caitlin_DD

      Put age 6 and age 31 together. Wedding nirvana!

      • JSwen

        Hah! Pretty much, yeah!

  • enfp

    We’re six weeks out. Hard to believe, we still have so much to do! Last few weeks have been on the stressful side, planning wise, but this week has been good. RSVP’s are slowly but steadily trickling in, my dressmaker is making good progress, and I got to try on the first iteration of my dress this week which was exciting. It’s very of the moment, but hey, my wedding is not timeless, right? Plus, some true wedding magic – the event coordinator at our venue is getting married three weeks before us, and has painstakingly collected driftwood from the beaches near our venue and crafted them into table decorations, and she’s offered to let us use them. DIY decorations that fit our aesthetic without lifting a finger?? Thank you wedding gods!

    • Jess

      how perfect!

  • Kayjayoh

    Oh, I guess my sister sent out invites for my bridal shower last night. Wee!

  • JSwen

    Can I just give a HURRAH to APW for all of the amazing feminist article links lately? You are doing better than my go-to “feminist response to pop culture”, if you know who I mean…

    • Meg Keene

      Ha. You mean Jezebel has been asking for cash for Lena Dunahm’s un-retouched photos and generally just being general interest? Yeah.

      • JSwen

        Ack, no not Jezebel. Sad to say it but Bitch Magazine has been sucking at their online content. That said, the magazine is still BANGING.

    • Kayjayoh

      I suggest also adding The Toast to your reading list, if you haven’t already.

  • Emily

    3 months out today! Got my first RSVP back from the pile I sent out on Monday, from his grandparents, so sweet. Yay!

    • Sparkles

      I sent an email a week before. Totally chill. My friend who got married last year let us know via text and word of mouth.

    • ElisabethJoanne

      Facebook, email, and phone calls for our mixed-generations, but small, crowd.

      Do set aside some time to deal with this. In my circles, “rehearsal dinners” have morphed into “welcome dinners” and we had out-of-town people assume they were invited when they weren’t, etc.

  • Amy Elizabeth
  • Jade

    I just got an email from my travel agent informing me that all guests for our destination wedding must provide their deposits by June 26th. We haven’t even sent the Save The Dates out yet. And I’m gone to Italy for most of May.

    AAAAIIIIIEEEEE.

    • Rebekah

      It’ll work out!

  • Sarah

    I also have good news to share. We are expecting a baby in October! I have to say, browsing the various baby websites and forums makes me appreciate APW even more for its groundedness. It’s crazy out there!

    • Jennie

      Couldn’t agree more. We’re expecting in late November and I have yet to find a site that makes me feel the way about having a baby that APW did/still does about our wedding/relationship.

    • Meg Keene

      I’ve been saying NEVER EVER on that, but I’ve softened it recently to never probably. We’ll see.

    • StevenPortland

      All the parenting web sites are horrible. I agree, I haven’t found a single one similar to APW’s tone.

      • Sparkles

        Oh god, and I just want someone sane to tell what books are good and what books are total crap. THERE ARE SO MANY BOOKS! You’d think some of them would be a little more reputable, but it’s really really hard to tell. And I can’t afford to buy and read them all.

        • StevenPortland

          As far as books, the one that we still refer to is: “Caring for Your Baby and Young Child: Birth to Age 5″. It is really helpful.

          • Sparkles

            I will check it out. Thanks for the suggestion!

        • aldeka

          A friend of mine has been going through a bunch of baby and parenting books during her pregnancy and put together a Tumblr for her reviews. It’s called “The Throw Test.” :) http://thethrowtest.tumblr.com/

          • Sparkles

            Excellent. And a hilarious title for the blog.

    • StevenPortland

      And if you think WIC is bad, the baby industry is even worse! You do not need 75% of what everyone tells you to buy.

      • Fiona

        I agree wholeheartedly. My sister and I visited my fiance’s family in Haiti, and I realized that what we think we need to raise babies is literally insane. T and I are going to probably ignore 90% of the paraphernalia with our future kids.

  • ART

    OK, for those who were interested from last week, pics of my (handmade) dress. I reserve the right to break these links in a few days, so look while the lookin’s good :)

    (Don’t mind the wrinkles or the bunch look in the back, it needs to be ironed and it’s on a dress form that’s too small.)

    https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B-D7DgW6Igwdc0pTNUV5ZXFlUUkwU2lHMnd5QVRtaUg4OU1B/edit?usp=sharing

    https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B-D7DgW6IgwdbXhZOVQ3ODU2djI2Mm9iV2JBMk4zbk9NWkJR/edit?usp=sharing

    https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B-D7DgW6IgwdWDRKWEZ2aEVtVlBhSzFRUFZFVVpjamZxTG00/edit?usp=sharing

    • Emily

      That dress is GORGEOUS!!! Wow. Well done!

      • ART

        thank you! *blushes*

    • Amanda

      That dress is BEAUTIFUL!

      • ART

        thanks :)

    • StevenPortland

      Wow, great job! I’m an intermediate sewer and can’t even imagining trying that project. Love the look from the front and then the surprise ombre effect in the back. Fantastic!!

      • ART

        thank you – that is *exactly* what I was going for!

    • KEA1

      Ohhhhhhh that is beautiful! And you have done a marvelous job on it!

      • ART

        thanks! I feel like the whole process was kind of charmed. Like, the next thing I sew will be a disaster.

        • KEA1

          Haha–I know that feeling. But you made that fabric sing, and that doesn’t happen without some serious skills. :)

    • Ragnhild

      Well done! The ombre sash is such a cool detail! I am working on my own dress, and just want to make it fit right and be done with it now!

      • ART

        I know the feeling! There were definitely some (deep breath, this f*ing better work) moments in there :) sending good dress vibes to you.

  • aldeka

    I think I might have found my wedding dress. Even though we don’t have a venue or date nailed down yet. Oops.

    (It’s http://watters.com/Product/WtooBrides/11502/, which I didn’t like on the website, but I tried on in person and zomg the lace pattern. I didn’t expect to like a dress with a train, but it’s very comfortable and I can still walk around in it and yay!)

    I tried it (and a bunch of other nice dresses) on at The Wedding Party in Berkeley and boy do I ever recommend them. It’s a schlep from the south bay but totally worth it–low pressure, cozy space, and a selection much closer to my taste. WAY better than the random bridal store I went to with my parents!

    Now if I can just get my fiance and his mom to agree on a date, I can feel a bit less like a goof for finding a dress so early… :)

    • NicoleT

      This dress is really cool! It’s so interesting how it mixes elements. The lace makes it feel very laid back and country-like, but then- BAM- elegant train. I’m sure you’ll look stunning in it. Congratulations!

    • Rachel

      This is my dress!! So comfortable and soft :)

    • C_Gold

      Holy cow, that is so gorgeous!

    • scw

      beautiful!

    • KEA1

      OMGorgeous!

  • Amanda

    Next Friday by this time I will be married!! And as of today I have made a decision to stop being mad at things.

    (Like people -family people-, a week out, still waffling on whether or not they’re actually going to show up to this wedding they were invited to. And friends who have just stopped talking to me, even though I got to hear all about the lead up to their weddings (which I loved!) and now I’m just getting radio silence. And just smiling and nodding when people tell me who all they know who are getting a divorce.)

    I’ve hated basically all of wedding planning, but I’m genuinely excited for this week, and to, ugh, BE MARRIED at the end of it. So yeah. Happy vibes from here on out :)

    • Jess

      Hugs!!! I’m next Friday too! One of our groomsmen isn’t coming to the reception cause his ex is our officiant and she’s bringing a date and another “friend” unfriended both me and my fiancé in the last few weeks, seemingly cause we didn’t invite her?
      We’re just trying to let it all go too! Best of luck, and enjoy all the love, smiles, and happy moments!

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

      UGH, I hate planning too! Two weeks to go for me. :) Congrats!

  • NicoleT

    And now, for something completely different: it’s our 5 year (dating) anniversary today!!! We’re going to go to Yamashiro and live it up! I don’t know why, but it’s very weird for me to be celebrating this anniversary. I love him and I love the relationship we have, but I don’t particularly want to celebrate….I just want to have a nice dinner out with him like I would any other time. I’m not quite sure what name to put to my feelings. Has this happened for anyone else?

    • Not Sarah

      We’re coming up on our one year dating anniversary and I feel so guilty about wanting to celebrate it. We’re also not in complete agreement on what our anniversary should be, so we’ll probably end up celebrating both dates. I don’t understand it! Why do I feel so GUILTY about celebrating our anniversary? It feels strange to count it as an accomplishment. Let me know if you figure this out because it’s been bugging me for a while now…

      • NicoleT

        I still have no idea. I’ve done some thinking on it and, at least for me, it ties into time passing and future plans and changes coming up on the horizon. Changes that are kind of scary for me. Like I said, this is what (I think) is going on for me. Maybe it holds something for you, too.

    • JSwen

      I’ve never been very into anniversaries though they are fun reasons to treat yo selves. Maybe your partner really likes doing anniversaries or maybe not… is there some expectation on either end about them that puts you on different pages?

      • NicoleT

        I don’t know…he likes celebrating them a lot and I used to, but now I’m just kind of ‘meh’ about it. I feel like it’s supposed to be a big accomplishment, and I’m happy we’re still together and doing well, but I’m just not into celebrating it. I think part of it may have to do with him posting a Facebook status about this morning, so I felt obligated to post one in return when that is *definitely* not my thing. I prefer telling him in private.

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

    Late to the party because I had some internet cookie issues that weren’t letting me load the comments. So glad I’m here.

    Anyway, it was 1 year ago tomorrow that I was hooded for my PhD, at 33 weeks pregnant. This week we’ve decided she officially has a first word. She raises one arm at you and says a very friendly “Hey!” We love it.

    It was 5 years ago tomorrow that my then boyfriend/now husband first said, “I love you” and I replied with the ever romantic “Really?” Which was not how that conversation played out in my head the hundreds of times I’d imagined it. But sometimes that’s how life goes.

    And, I went back to contacts this morning and after putting them in looked at myself in the mirror and was surprised at what my face looks like without glasses. Which means it’s been far too long since I’ve worn contacts. When I’ve looked at myself in the mirror without glasses previously I haven’t been able to see myself that well. I forgot what I looked like. That was a weird moment this morning.

    • scw

      “She raises one arm at you and says a very friendly ‘Hey!’ We love it.”
      *I* love it!

    • Natalie Wright

      “She raises one arm at you and says a very friendly “Hey!””
      Oh, that’s adorable!

      Your response to your husband first telling you he loves you sounds a lot like my response to my fiance’s proposal. (Him: Wanna get married? Me: Yes! … Wait, are you serious???! He refused to answer the question. I eventually figured out that yes, he was serious). I think your response of “really” is romantic because it’s not cliche, and it’s genuine and exactly what you were thinking.

  • Laura C

    I’m super late to this thread but I’m sitting here on Amtrak phone-typing, three months to the day before my wedding, and I am so excited (but also nervous): I’m pretty sure I found our apartment for our upcoming move to Boston (well, Cambridge). Me and my mom saw six apartments today after having seen four buildings last weekend, and I left a deposit check and took application materials for a really sweet two-bedroom with in-unit washer-dryer, central air, a private back porch, wood floors. AND? It’s like $800 below our budget (read: what we now pay for a Manhattan one-bedroom). A family friend helped hook us up with the person who had it to show, so while we still have to submit applications, of course, I’m very optimistic we’ll get it. It is near a train track, but not a heavily used one or one with fast trains.

    Now I just have to get over stupid feelings of guilt that it’s in a neighborhood I’m more enthusiastic about than my fiancé. He thinks it’s a fine neighborhood, and I looked at several places in his favorite neighborhood and they didn’t compare. He’s going to love it when he sees this place.

    • Jen

      If you’re taking about Kendall Square / Inman Square, it’s a FANTASTIC place to live- I live in Inman and I LOVE it. It’s got the best restaurants, nightlife, walking distance to the Museum of Science, and a short T ride to downtown Boston. Take your fiance to Oleana or Hungry Mother!

      • Laura C

        No, Porter Square. Less hip and nightlifey, which is why he probably would have preferred another neighborhood. But the Central Square and Kendall apartments I saw didn’t compare to this, and I didn’t realize Inman was on his favorites list until it was too late to look there. Communication around big decisions apparently being something we should keep working on…

        • EF

          Porter Sq is suuuuuuper hip! But not like, undergrad hip, which Kendall is, or drunken hip, like Central. I lived in Porter for a couple of years before the rent skyrocketed there, and it was so great. Dave’s Fresh Pasta is the shiz-nit. And so is kick-ass cupcakes. And so many brunch options…

          Apartment hunting in Boston can be a competitive sport, so congrats for finding a place!!

        • Ann

          I am late to the party, but I currently live near Porter Square (on the Somerville side). I love the neighborhood, and it’s also not far from Inman. The 83 bus runs between Central and Porter, stopping in Inman as well for the days that it’s too cold to walk. I also frequent some restaurants in Davis square (EF’s right about Dave’s Pasta. Their sandwiches are really excellent, too). What I like about the Porter area is that you’re a 10-20 minute walk from hip and nightlifey, but it’s much less likely you’ll get weekend drunk people noise when you actually want to sleep.
          The commuter rail can be loud as fuck, though, depending on how close you are to the tracks/station. If you have another building between you and the tracks, it’s generally fine–my apartment gets zero noise, but my street gets a lot. Closer in to the stop, you get less train noise and more train whistle/bell noise.
          Finally, if you have a car, be mindful of the Somerville/Cambridge line. If you’re parked on the wrong side of the line for your permit, you WILL get a ticket. 100% guaranteed.

        • Kayjayoh

          I really like the Porter neighborhood. I’m a little envious that you found a place (which sounds like exactly the type of place I am looking for).

          Fiance really wants East Arlington or Watertown. I really want a place within walking distance of the T. Mostly, I’m just hoping I get the chance to get out there again and look at places before our actual move!

  • macrain

    I finally found a pre-marital counselor who is in Brooklyn and takes our insurance!
    We will do four sessions over the summer. I spoke to the guy over the phone and he told me that he focuses mainly on communication, and that there is homework involved, and that it’s completely normal that my fiancé is not super into all of this. (He’s “not dying” to go, but he’s going along with it.)
    This is one of those things I was hoping would happen but was having the hardest time finding the appropriate therapist. Now I’m so stoked we’re doing it.

    • JSwen

      My fiance wasn’t interested until I stressed to him that we aren’t going to “fix” anything. We’re just going to see what a third party sees about our communication styles and our expectations for marriage. We had our first session and it was pretty good. She mostly just congratulated us on not having any major issues… kind of weird.

  • Ariel

    50 days!!! My shower is next week and I finally got something to wear to it today (cute dress at old navy for $25) :-)

    • ElisabethJoanne

      I got a cute dress at H&M for about that for my shower. It’s still one of my favorites – for the style and the memories.

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

    So. Music. We are having a DJ and I am kind of counting on that “so excited high of getting married plus alcohol” to make me dance. I have heard this phenomenon happens. Anyway, I know the DJ will playing lots of music for “everyone” (apparently Hole doesn’t make other people dance??) to get people dancing and all that…and for the parents and yadda yadda…but I just wanted to know if anyone else has experience with this DJ type thing that isn’t a *dance music* type person. Music is my oxygen in this world, and is it okay to have some Nirvana etc played??? Like I know not ALL, but Garbage is dancey, right?? I’m not really into music that’s on the radio but I feel like everyone else obviously expects it, fiance included. There’s a happy balance somewhere right?

    • JSwen

      I’d say, pepper in some signature *you* songs at the start and save more for the end. Let the DJ do his or her thing to get people going. One thing to remember though, people will dance if you are dancing. So as long as the music makes you feel like dancing, you will find people on the dance floor with you. :)

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

        thank you! :)

    • ElisabethJoanne

      alcohol+wedding high can get you dancing – or you’ll chat with the wallflowers, which is cool, too

      We had the strangest mix of music at our wedding. Klezmer-y jazz for my MIL. A horah for Dad. Top pop hits from when we started dating. It’s one of the things we’ve gotten compliments on.

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

        thank you :) i also have to remember ill be surrounded by my then-spouse, best friends, and families combined all in one place. it’s not like an akward social gathering or something..

    • jashshea

      I had the DJ play the “music I like*” for cocktail hour and “music I like to dance to” for most of the rest of the night. Do you trust the DJ to read you & the room and pick a good mix? My DJ was really good at that.

      *My wedding and my brother’s are probably among the few that featured both Morrissey and Pitbull.

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

        thank you for the advice :) we really like our DJ and he’s totally a professional…I’m sure he can read the room, I just gotta make sure he can read me :) thank you!

    • Eh

      Other than “the dances” I didn’t dance because I’m not into dancing. We had a DJ so that other people could dance if they wanted but the atmosphere was not a dance party. During the reception I went around table to table talking to guests (sometimes with my new husband sometimes without). That’s what I had planned on doing since may family was traveling a long distance and I wanted to have as much time with them as possible. We also had boardgames for people to play if they wanted. I barely even saw the dance floor all night. When I saw some of the pictures I was glad to see that some people did dance.

      I was at a wedding where the DJ played club music because that’s what the bride and groom liked. Few people danced because their guests were not into club music. The bride was very upset that more people didn’t dance. So I guess it depends on what you and your fiance want. Do you want people to dance? then trust your DJ.

  • EF

    hey, we’re getting married 8 months from today!

    and today my younger brother texted me to say he’s definitely proposing to his girlfriend this weekend, and they are planning on getting married in…7-8 months.

    Hm.

    • Anon

      I’m in the exact same spot, but with my fiancé’s sister. It kind of sucks, doesn’t it? She has some OK reasons, but I’m not sure how this will play out. Trying not to worry too much, and trying to be gracious.

    • Jess

      I wonder if she’s agreed to get married in that time frame already. I’m in a situation where we are talking it over loosely, and all I can think is that I hope he doesn’t propose any time soon, since his sister is getting married next fall. I could not deal with simultaneous family wedding planning/competition. Ugh.

  • C_Gold

    Hey I don’t know if it’s too late for people to be reading this, but I’ll try anyway. I’m organizing a meet-up in Madison, WI, where we can talk about wedding stuff or just whatever. If you’re interested, email me at physics.niu@gmail.com Thanks!

    • Kayjayoh

      Sorry I haven’t emailed since you mentioned it last week. I have the interest in meeting up, but my schedule is frantic. It is self-inflicted (and not even wedding-related) but I’m not sure when I’ll have the time before the wedding and the move. :(

      (Ironically, last year I had also been looking for local folks.)

  • Jen

    Oof. A link to the Daily Mail. Let’s not go there…