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APW Happy Hour


Happy Memorial Day!

by Meg Keene, Editor-In-Chief

APW Happy Hour | A Practical Wedding

APW Happy Hour | A Practical Wedding

HI APW!

As those of you who follow us on Instagram and Facebook know, I represented APW for our first national TV appearance this week. It was all very last minute, but I landed on Fusion TV’s Alicia Menendez Tonight (an awesome feminist show on Fusion TV that I’m now super pissed that we don’t get). I hope that for the rest of time I’m the wedding expert you call if you want to know what gift you should (and shouldn’t) get your sex tape ex-lover for their wedding. Go check out the segment and enjoy.

As if that wasn’t enough, we were mentioned in a super interesting article in The Atlantic about gender and the terms husband and wife.

Plus, also, more, OMG, we flew APW’s favorite wedding designer Michelle Edgemont out from Brooklyn and got together with staff photographer Allison Andres to do a How-To shoot (in a warehouse) for half of the week. True story: everyone working on the shoot has been reading APW since a few months after I started my little WordPress site. I feel so lucky to have taken this six-year journey with these ladies. I’m feeling all reflective this week, what can I say?

YOU GUYS I AM VERY TIRED IS THE MORAL OF THE STORY. Happy three day weekend, mwah mwah mwah. Let’s all take naps!

XO,
MEG

Highlights of APW This Week

Five tips for couples counseling.

A stress free Oakland city hall wedding.

Braided wedding hair for beginners, no third arm necessary.

When a matched adoption falls through.

How to you get all your stuff to your wedding? Have you thought about it? (OMG think about it!)

Intern Hayley is married! Hooray!

No couple is an island.

Introducing the APW plus size dress boutique! Cue confetti cannon.

Reciprocating kindness.

Link Roundup

Jill Abramson’s Commencement Address Is Both Pointed and Poignant.” Related: Let’s talk a bit more about Jill Abramson.

Defining success.

“While writing for Orange Is The New Black, I realized I am gay.”

A restaurant responds to a review requesting that servers “show some skin” in a clever way.

You totally didn’t eat that.

Bikini body? Over it. I’m getting my body caftan-ready. And then throwing a caftan party.

Would Drew Barrymore like that?

A wedding photographer reconnects with some of his clients, a few years after their weddings, to talk about their marriages. (Scroll to the bottom to hear just the photographer segment, or listen to the whole wedding show!)

Ah, an honest RSVP card.

Things you do at a wedding that would be creepy anywhere else.

The buried lede here is that sixty-eight percent of women (according to one survey) now identify as feminist. Don’t believe it, but I like it!

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

Meg Keene

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

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  • Laura C

    I may survive the week. Possibly. Yesterday was my fiance’s law school graduation. And since he has a big close extended family, we have his brother and cousin staying on the floor of our little one-bedroom apartment, his mom having turned it into a long-long-weekend visit without exactly having asked if that worked for us, and, yesterday, had two other cousins, three aunts, an uncle, a pair of old family friends, and my parents there for graduation and a celebratory dinner. I’m tired, is what I’m saying. But my fiance was elected by his classmates to speak; the video isn’t online yet but he gave a beautiful speech. And, you know, I’m so, so tired, but right now the four of them are out touristing and I am home working, and tonight they’re going to Le Bernardin and I’m watching several episodes of Call the Midwife, and I just might survive. Though I might also start thinking about all the wedding and moving stuff we haven’t gotten done in the graduation frenzy and lose my mind.

    Oh, but! Feeling much more optimistic about our RSVP situation since I realized that our list and his mom’s list were two separate entities and should be spreadsheeted as such. That clarified that she has a much higher RSVP rate than we do (she’s been calling people), so our part of the list looks a lot different than if you add in her 76 or so guests who’ve RSVP’d at this point.

    • Sparkles

      Just keep watching Call the Midwife, That will solve all of the problems. :)

  • Kendra D

    My invitations went out last week! People have already started RSVPing back. I’ve received a couple of texts and a handful of emails, just as asked. I’m loving that our family is just rolling with this as an RSVP request and I hope that it keeps going smoothly.

    My SIL just had her bridal shower last weekend and they did the unwrapped shower after I suggested it to her. She said it was much more fun being able to spend time with her friends and play games without the awkwardness of opening all the presents. The other girls involved (it was a dual shower thrown by a bunch of military wives) all had fun. Just throwing that out there for those who hate the idea of opening gifts in public!

    • STM

      Great idea!

  • Amanda

    2 weeks! 2 weeks!

    • Lawyerette510

      yay! how are you feeling?

  • http://werewritingabook.com/ Breck

    Another awesome commencement address from Charlie Day. Sunny fans will especially appreciate :)

  • KC

    I totally agree on the “defining success” thing.

    I would note that success being defined a certain way really needs to be fixed for both genders rather than getting only fixed for women, though, or we’re just going to get even more gender-gap-messed-up.

    If a guy can’t (societally speaking) take a pay cut to do what he wants to do and a woman can, without repercussions or “losing” or cocktail-party-eyebrow-lifts, then the forces pushing people into certain careers, etc., will be even more unequal than they are now.

  • Ariel

    5 weeks out!

    I survived my shower and it was nice :-) I am not a fan of being the center of attention but I made it through with a few glasses of wine.

    My bff is leaving my job and I am devastated. Like legit devastated. She’s my person and I don’t know what I’ll do without her.

  • Jules

    This morning wasn’t good. I was on a business trip Tues-Thurs. One boss approved the ticket I was buying and my itinerary (flying directly into the small city I was working in) AND the cost. I made my best educated guess at everything else, such as the hotel (a $70 a night place).

    First thing this morning, the other boss told me off for taking that flight instead of flying into another city, renting a car, and making a 1.5 hour drive in. I wasted everyone’s time by not doing that; I also spent too much on the plane ticket. But I should learn from this and make a better choice next time.

    Needless to say, this has me what-the-fucking. I was actually TOLD to take the flight I did, and I had the cost approved in advance. ALSO, THE OTHER ITINERARY HAS THE NEARLY EXACT SAME AMOUNT OF TRAVEL TIME. I believe it would have been marginally more expensive as well.

    Also, let’s keep in mind that in the last 2 months their trips (the two bosses) have been to Napa Valley, Manhattan, and the Kentucky Derby. Two girls in the office have gotten to go to all three and posted instagram photos of them at wineries and at the derby, all paid for by the company. And I’m getting fussed at over this??

    Older, wiser women who have worked in messed-up corporate offices….please weigh in.

    • Amanda

      WHAT?! I’m always told to take the direct flight, closest to the client location even if it costs a bit more. Also, I want to go to Napa Valley for work, that sounds way more fun.

    • ElisabethJoanne

      Bummer. When I started getting push-back on my travel expenses, I documented alternatives. For example, if I decided to drive up the night before a morning meeting because of rain when I’d leave day-of in clear weather, I printed the forecast. I’d also print kayak.com results for rental cars, hotels, and flights, as appropriate. The time the only highway was shut down due to a man with a gun near a propane dealership that the highway ran above, I hunted down a news article about it to justify my extra travel time.

      Worst was when the office manager said, “Treat it like your own money, how you plan for vacation.” I thought that over, but rejected it as useful advice. My husband and I will spend a bit more to lessen how long we stand in line and ensure a clean hotel room where we feel safe.

    • swarmofbees

      I am no wiser, but it might be worth speaking to the second boss to clarify the approval process for travel. Explain the approval you got originally, and ask what you should do differently next time.

      • Lawyerette510

        I second this. I think it’s useful in a 2 boss situation to get them to “document” (aka respond to your email with an email agreeing to or correcting your understanding of) what the process is, and then if you are getting 1 boss to approve travel expenses that it’s done in writing of some sort. It doesn’t mean that the second boss won’t be a dick, but at least then you can show that you weren’t just acting out.

        Sorry this happened, it’s pretty crappy behavior by the bosses.

        • KC

          Ideally they respond, but even if they don’t, if they both *got the email* and *did not complain or object* then you can later bounce them a copy of the email you sent to them (preferably in a tactful way), and you’re at least partly covered.

          • Lawyerette510

            Yep! Exactly!

    • KC

      Note 1: this is why I will try to never work in a 2-boss office again (I mean, where I report directly to two people).

      Note 2: this is unfair. But the professional way to handle this is probably to confirm with both bosses in the future. If you want to, you could verify with Boss 1 that Boss 1 told you to take this itinerary and ask what you should do in the future.

      Note 3: this is still unfair. Other people getting to go to Napa Valley has, effectively, nothing to do with the Napa Valley fun, however, if you have a more senior or less senior (or more autonomous or less autonomous) position than the girls who went to fun places. There are tradeoffs in ladder-levels and this is sometimes one of them – that being on a middle rung of the ladder means you miss out on top-level and bottom-level perks. It sucks.

      • Jules

        Thanks everybody. I guess the only fail-proof way is to check with both(?), but I feel caught in the middle of a weird power struggle (they are both founding partners). I lose if I don’t ask them both, since one might tell me something different (like this time). But I ALSO sort of lose when I DO ask them both, since what happens when they disagree? It’s like when your dad gets mad at you for doing something your mom said was okay. That’s THEIR communication issue they should work out. I wasn’t being deceitful, either; I wasn’t necessarily asking one over the other because I knew what answers I’d get. Boss #1 was just the one who had originally suggested my trip, so of course I went to him.

        I wish I could get more stuff in writing, but they’re horrid at responding to email, and we’re a very small office. Our HR is outsourced.

        This has actually happened to me over my position, too. I have a new employee that I’m responsible for recruiting, training, and giving day-to-day tasks, but have not been given any promotion or raise. I’m the “leader”, so I effectively take the fall if we mess up, but I don’t “manage”…because I don’t do his annual reviews, his raises, or the department budget…so we are still at the same level organizationally, officially. Boss #2 said you’re in charge of him, boss #1 said I’m not. Now what?

        Regarding the other stuff? I could deal if it just so happened that they had business in cool places, but Kentucky was totally….extra. No business, no conference, no proceedings. This use of company resources is fine, but I’m seen as the wasteful one? They stay extra days in the other places after business is over and the hotel, entertainment, etc are all on the company since boss #1 and #2 are usually present.

        One of the problems is that #1 is in a 2+ year long closet-affair with one of the girls (currently going through his 2nd divorce). It’s the elephant in the room because you’re afraid you’ll be offed or stalled for opposing any special treatment they give her. Boss #2 doesn’t like it – he finally acknowledged it the other week with me – but has failed to do anything to stop it…and he’s really the only one who can.

        I wish leaving were an option, but I’m so new that it really isn’t.

        RANT OVER. Thanks, everyone – I do feel better. Just frustrated!

        • KC

          That is a hideous mess.

          Travel-plan-wise, you may be able to cover it by sending an email to both with “here’s my planned itinerary as I understood it, suggested by Boss 1 – please reply by [date] if there are any issues with this”.

          I’ve found with committees that giving people the option of objecting often seems to reduce their objections in total (so: if feedback is requested on a choice, then people don’t respond and also don’t complain about it later; if no feedback is requested, then they all complain about it later). It might not work universally, but it seems to work in many situations.

          Sending an email also allows you to specify whatever level of buy-in you already have from one of the bosses, hopefully letting the other one choose how to respond to you and to the other in a more… educated… manner.

          Depending on the timing, it’s also slightly possible that they’ve realized that Napa Valley trips are a bad plan, budget-wise, and are in the throes of budget withdrawal.

          RE: the “is this person reporting to me or not”, you could potentially ask the bosses to meet with you to lay out the current org chart? It sounds like some of these problems could be resolved by having both in the room (and giving them space to back down).

          But generally, that situation sounds like a no-good, horrible, very bad MESS. I hope it improves.

          • Jules

            Solid suggestion. It is a struggle to get them on the same page, but my hand is being forced in many situations and I guess it will be necessary. They hate meetings (they hate the formality), and yet we’re always so productive when we do meet and everyone’s on the same page.

            No, no, all of this is recent, and in fact, they’re planning a 5-day trip to Alaska in 2 months with the same bunch. The inconsistency is seriously confusing for your employees though. (Well, we don’t give sick days here, Jules’ friend, so you will go into “negative vacation” for your skin cancer operation and recovery….but I won’t point out that I’m not really tracking vacation days for the other girls.)

            I do my best to just float along and use the opportunity for a good career springboard, but some days, it really just is a pile of poo.

          • KC

            I’d suggest making up a list of the top things that are driving you nuts, mark off which of them are fixable, then sort them by how reasonable they are likely to appear to bosses (because you want to get actual solutions without appearing petty, ideally) and see if you can address one to three of them in a single meeting.

            Tracking vacation *to the degree that someone’s skin cancer operation is not covered* for some people and not for others? That is straight-up bonkers. (but not something a meeting is going to fix)(but totally worth ranting about in happy hour!)

            This does sound like a float-along-until-an-actual-ship-with-functional-plumbing-comes-along sort of job…

          • Sarah

            THEY DON’T GIVE SICK DAYS????!!! Holy crap, is that seriously legal where you live?

          • Jules

            Comes out of your vacation allotment. Our whole vacation policy could use an overhaul. We also lost the 4 “floating holidays” a month into the new year (four days that didn’t roll over that you could place wherever you wanted…we had these when I was hired). We were notified that instead we get Columbus, President’s, Boxing Day, Black Friday this year by boss #1’s [secret] girlfriend via mass email to the office.

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

            I agree with the wording of “please reply by [date] if there are any issues with this”. Then, attach a read-receipt to the email so you know they got it. At least then your tracks are covered technologically without having to go through the awkwardness of “Mom and Dad are fighting again”.

    • emilyg25

      “I’m sorry, Boss 1 approved my travel request in advance. Is there a different protocol I should follow next time?”

      • Jules

        I even mentioned that! Maddening! It was something like this:

        Me: I’m sorry – I guess I’m a little confused about this, because I actually ran my itinerary by #1, and he was pretty against the idea of me driving in. He also approved the cost.

        #2: Yeah, well, next time just ask around and figure out how people normally get there because it just ended up costing more than it probably (NOTE: PROBABLY – HE DOESN’T KNOW THIS) should have and was just a waste of your time and our time. I mean…spending three days there just to go do X…

        Me: *crickets* ….Okay…

        There are a lot of downsides to super-informal work environments. I agree that we need a travel approval process…

        • ElisabethJoanne

          I was always surprised what triggered push-back about travel expenses. $250 hotel room? Fine. $7 lunch. Do you have the receipt? (Yes, I should keep a receipt for anything where I hope to be reimbursed, but I was given only 30 minutes to get lunch in a not-dense area, and it’s $7.) For me, it was a usually conscientious office manager who worried lots about having to explain either to the owners or the client. It wasn’t so much that she didn’t trust me; it was this complicated chain-of-command, so to speak.

          I can see where no chain-of-command issues could make it even harder. People are really weird about money. My parents, for example, would never pay an additional $20 to avoid off-airport car rental. Me, I don’t want to start my vacation with a bunch of hurry-up-and-wait. My old boss disdained fast food, even for working lunches.

    • jashshea

      I’ve spent the better part of a decade using a crappy travel system at a megacorp for any travel I do, but prior to that I was a road warrior at a small tech company. We were issued Corp credit cards and, unless the client specified a particular spending limit on travel, we were left to our own devices to book appropriate travel. I would check out alternative routes or airlines, but my personal time was a very high priority for me and I rarely heard a peep out of anyone for my flight costs. This sounds like Boss had something else going on and was taking it out on you. Which is total bullshit.

      Anyway, what was the argument on the other itinerary? Did she assume it was cheaper? How did you react in the moment? Are you willing to/is there a window to send a quick, business-like email indicating that you’d had your plans approved by Sue and going forward, you’ll certainly research alternative routes, but should you run itineraries by both folks prior to booking?

      • Jules

        I should have CLOSED with a wrap-up statement like the one you suggested. (Again, it was a conversation – I wish I’d gotten this all in writing). See: comment containing our conversation.

        Primary argument was that I missed out on too much office time for this trip, I think. I get that I could have been in the office that day maybe if I’d driven to the other city, but the alt itinerary still involved about 6.5+ hours of travel….most of the work day, and I worked until 8PM most days the week before. I’m shocked this was even brought up. I chose between the 2 available flights based on timing since I had to be useful the day that I had meetings.

        He also assumed it was cheaper, which I don’t believe is true…

        • jashshea

          Ugh! I hope your next boss is a regular human being, Jules! I’ve had the micro-managers here and there before and it’s not a good fit. I work better with a net, not a jump-suit.

  • Sarah E

    I thought for sure the Giant-Turtle-Crashes-Wedding article would make the round up. I’ll drop it off here, anyway: http://jezebel.com/worlds-biggest-sea-turtle-crashes-beach-wedding-to-lay-1579665741

    • ElisabethJoanne

      Love!

  • swarmofbees

    I checked the wedding website for a wedding we will attend this weekend because I remembered something about wearing a particular color. We are requested to wear purple, pink, lavender or blue. Lavender is a shade of purple, but whatever. It sounds very festive. Then, I saw this helpful gem: “Men should wear dark suits,
    and women should wear dresses.” I have decided that the couple is merely trying to be clear about the formality of the event, and throwing in a language difference, I should not be offended. I mean, I was going to wear a dress anyway. But, that didn’t stop me from looking for a fantastic purple wedding pantsuit over my lunch break. Sadly, the local discount atelier did not carry such a necessity.

    • Jenni

      Color requests for wedding guests? Is this ….. typical?

      • vegankitchendiaries

        Miss Manners is pretty clear about telling guests what to wear being *hugely* against etiquette – especially in regards to telling people to stick to a colour scheme.

        For whatever *that’s* worth. Miss Manners also chewed me out for using e-RSVPs as it apparently makes my wedding less reverential or whatever… But I tend to agree that telling your guests what to wear so your pictures can be matchy-matchy is kind of annoying…

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

          Whatever, I filled out an r-RSVP this morning and LOVED IT and thought it was so smart. It was basically an online survey and I thought it was just so cool.

          • http://werewritingabook.com/ Breck

            My co-worker had e-RSVPs, and he and his fiance used the info they collected from guests to create a bunch of really fun graphs and visualizations which are now on their wedding website. I thought it was a really cool idea!

          • vegankitchendiaries

            I feel like advice from ‘the rewm’ is… like… totally on par with Miss Manners! ;)

        • Class of 1980

          Count me in as someone “hugely” against telling guests what to wear. I think it’s rude unless it’s a costume party.

          On the other hand, Miss Manners should probably give up the anti-e-RSVP crusade. That’s going to be a losing battle.

          There are at least real reasons a color dress code is an inconvenience, whereas there is no good reason to diss an e-RSVP.

          • KC

            Yeah, the only time an e-RSVP is really inappropriate is if the person being invited does not have consistent internet or does not reliably check email, which does still happen, but people would know who those people are. In which case, you do something else for that specific person, not really a problem.

            (on the telling guests what to wear: I’d find it just plain easier, from our closet, to follow a clothing request that said “wear blue!” than one that was black-tie formal. So having a sense of what your guests already have and are comfortable with wearing, and a sense of whether any color or formality or other restrictions would be a financial problem for them, is probably key. But weddings where the guests, not their clothing or “photo-worthy” appearance, are the important part: probably my preferred weddings. But costume weddings (or, say, color-coded weddings where the color you’re wearing tells the other guests which relational “bucket’ you’re in, i.e. bride’s side/groom’s side, friend/family?) would kind of be awesome too…. I don’t know.)

      • swarmofbees

        Apparently some people do it, and there is some vociferous objection on the internet to the practice. I think it is kind of fun and, so long as they don’t get upset if people wear a different color, it is fine.

        • STM

          Yeah, so long as there isn’t any side-eye to the person who didn’t get the memo and showed up in red, this is… fine? I mean, it’s like throwing a theme party — you hope people fully participate, but if they don’t, you still enjoy their company.

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

          While i can see the Internet freaking the fuck out over this, I think it’s fun too and I’m sure it would look lovely (not even just for the pics but for everyone there). Also purple, pink, lavender, and blue isn’t THAT limiting.

          • KC

            Yeah, I would be slightly annoyed if a wedding’s color specifications were tight enough that it meant I had to go shopping instead of shopping my closet, but… those would be fine for me.

          • swarmofbees

            It also obviated my other dilemma of whether or not it is okay to wear a white-ish dress to a wedding without a bride. White-ish dress will be worn to rehearsal dinner, blue dress to ceremony. I guess I will have to solve that problem at the next bride-less wedding I attend.

          • KC

            If a wedding is at a hotel or similar or is very large, I would tend to *not* wear white at a wedding without a bride; if you were mistaken for “the bride” (because it looks like a wedding and hey, she’s the only one wearing white) either by unknowing vendors or by distant guests (parents’ business associates, etc.), that would be… embarrassing.

          • swarmofbees

            Hmm, good point. I guess white at weddings is just generally Not A Good Idea.

          • Laura C

            I was at a wedding where they had a friend in white tails to MC the reception, while the groom was in a regular black tux. Poor guy spent the whole day saying “I’m not the groom, he is.” Even the photographers apparently got confused at one point.

          • swarmofbees

            AHH! You would think people attending a wedding would know who was getting married!

          • Jess

            I would say if you did purple, pink, and lavender only (Ie took out the blue) it is pretty limiting. I can’t wear anything on that list of but the most vibrant/winey of purples both of which can be very difficult to find in summer cut dresses/materials. Pastels and any pink color but salmon are NOT in my repertoire (damn you yellowish skin).

            Blue is much much much more versatile, so adding that in helps a lot.

      • Jess

        we suggested people wear bright, happy colors! But we weren’t turning away people at the door who wore their little black dresses. Mostly just trying to communicate that this was going to be a festive, non-somber event! :)

        • vegankitchendiaries

          I think that’s fair enough! Suggestion is a bit different to an instruction and ‘bright colours’ is pretty broad! :)

  • Amanda Otto

    One week! I am so busy getting little details together I have been running into walls and tables. I got so many bruises, I don’t have to worry about something blue!

    • Caitlin_DD

      I’m sorry you’re running into things, but that is too funny. I’ll probably be the same. Nervous=clumsy.

      • Jess

        i was pmsing (dropping things), plus way over tired (dropping things), plus generally frazzled (dropping things). it was a bit silly. :)

        Good luck all!

    • Lawyerette510

      Yay! Have a great last few days! I found about 5 days out while things were still hectic, they were pretty great. Enjoy! (And maybe arnica cream for the bruises?)

    • Sparkles

      Hahaha, take a look at the bruise on my leg in this picture from our wedding. Story of my life, but I love it.

      • Lawyerette510

        How adorable are you two?!?! And that coat and muffler!!!! I’m dying! Also, if you wouldn’t have said anything, I’d have thought the bruise was a birth mark!

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

      I frequently find bruises on my thigh and wonder how they got there, until I walk into the corner of a table again and hit the bruise.

      • jashshea

        I do that all the time. My husband is one of those never in a rush, controlled types. When I walk into walls or spill my drink all over me, he always asks “what were you thinking?” in a totally pure, confused way. Dude, I was thinking about how great Britney looked at the VMAs in 01 or writing a strongly worded letter to Swiffer about the quality of their product. I was not thinking about how a wall was going to jump into my way.

  • anon

    this has been a tough week, so I’m posting this anonymously (hopefully). the photographer of my dreams raised her prices as we were putting together the money for the deposit. I’m glad for her success, she deserves it, but it was already a struggle to afford her and we can’t afford the new price. she didn’t notify me of the new price when I told her to draw up the contract so I was hoping she’d honor the original price she gave us, but I guess I understand why she wouldn’t.
    it’s not the biggest deal in the world, but I’m already having a hard week because a student of mine committed suicide and I’m having trouble dealing with it. attending the wedding of a dear friend this weekend and hoping that snaps me out of my funk.

    • SarahG

      So sorry to hear that. I lost a student a few months ago and it was awful. Hugs to you.

      • anon

        thanks. I know it’s no one’s fault, but in hindsight there may have been some warning signs so I’m really taking it to heart.

        • anon

          Lots of hugs. Suicide is so, so tough.

        • Sparkles

          When things like that happen, I find it’s most helpful to catalogue the signs as things to look for next time. I work in health care and it’s really easy to get burnt out thinking about all the ways you could have prevented things from happening. Not that I’m not guilty of it, just that sometimes it helps me to reframe it.

          Make sure you get some good hugs today. Real ones and happy hour ones.

    • STM

      I’m so sorry! That’s a tough disappointment on top of a big sadness.

    • vegankitchendiaries

      She should DEFINITELY honour her original quote, no? I feel like this is a kind of jerk move from your photog.

      • anon

        I’m trying not to feel that way about it (that it’s a jerk move). it did take us as few months to get the deposit together. it’s just frustrating because the new prices were posted the day I emailed saying draw up the contract (and because the original price was already more than our venue and caterer combined!).

        • Amanda

          If she won’t honor the original quote, maybe she can meet you halfway or something?

          • anon

            that’s a good idea, but I feel weird suggesting that. I am learning that I really don’t know how to talk to vendors!

          • C

            Suggest it. Just be nice and professional and ask for what you can afford. If she doesn’t want to negotiate in a way that you are comfortable with, politely end the conversation. My photographer also raised her rates but I had indicated that we were only interested in the original quote which she agreed to.

          • Lawyerette510

            I think if the new prices don’t work for you, it’s worth saying that. It’s not insulting to the vendor to ask them to honor the prices they gave you. Worst she can say is “nope, it’s the higher price.”

            Of course that’s easier to write than anything else, especially when you’re having a hard week.

            Sending you all the hugs and comfort and fortitude.

    • emilyg25

      I’m really sorry about your student. That just sucks.

      Regarding the photographer, it might be worth asking her is she’d honor the original price. She might say no, but at least you tried!

      • anon

        I think I am going to ask, I just feel weird about it (I’ve never been a haggler) and am already in a terrible head space this week and don’t want to come off as a jerk.

        • swarmofbees

          I would ask her to draw up the contract, if you haven’t already, and if she puts in the new prices, you could send her an email asking if she could use the prices she originally quoted. You could say that you budgeted around the old numbers and may not be able to book her if her prices did go up.

          • anon

            she already drew up the contract, but your wording is helpful. maybe I will go with that in my response. thanks!

        • Jess

          and isn’t that the beauty of email? you can compose your message, hit send, and then run away and hide. :) or at least, that’s what I do…

          • emilyg25

            1-2-3, SEND. OMG OMG OMG.

            That’t what I do.

    • CW

      I’m so sorry it’s been a tough week. I don’t think that it would be inappropriate at all for you to email the photographer and politely let her know that the contract is for $X but that the original quote that she provided you was $Y. The worst that she can do is say no to the $Y rate, but it’s not rude to ask. Good luck, and hope the funk ends.

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

      I’m so sorry to hear that. Sending you a hug.xx

  • SarahG

    We just hired our DJ for our September wedding. Am excited! Here’s a question: do you tip if they do a good job? This one is through an entertainment company, not a solo guy. The APW tipping article seems to suggest that you don’t need to tip a DJ, but also that if someone works for a company rather than is independent, that they should be tipped. The FAQ from the company says they suggest a tip of 15%. Our DJ is $1k. What did others do?

  • Jenni

    I have an interview next week. It was a relief to hear back; I’m hoping really hard that it goes well. It’s a career change, and I hope they can see my unusual background as an asset. One way or another though we are ENDING this long distance at the end of June. Can’t help but be excited about that!

    Went to NH for a whirlwind three days of wedding meetings, the last time I’ll go there until the wedding in October. Venue tasting, florist meetings, cupcake tastings, chatting with the planner about decor–it was very productive! I won’t see the fiance until Sunday though (boo being alone in the house) so I won’t pull the trigger on anything until I can review it all with him.

    After everyone’s (very helpful!) recommendation to get a hair trial the week of the wedding, I’ve been contacting salons about hair styling for the wedding … I understand why prices are where they are especially after the recent APW post about it, but am I really going to pay someone $100 just to curl my hair? Really I just want their knowledge about product and how to make sure the curls won’t fall out. Maybe that knowledge alone is worth it. I dunno, still debating.

    • Jules

      The way I see it, $100 is a bit of an investment in your comfort and peace of mind that’s it’s someone else’s job and they have to do a good one, the knowledge in the product, the experience, and more. If you’re cool that hair might not be 100% what you want and would rather have your $100, that’s legit, and I would skip the trial. Hair’s just hair sometimes. But if it puts you at ease to know that you won’t be winging it the day of (that’s me….heh), then see the $100 as an investment in your overall wedding look and spring for it! Just my thoughts.

  • River

    You guys, I made a hugely practical decision two weeks ago…I’m writing to you from my desk, at my office, because I got a (drumroll) DAY JOB.

    And I kind of love it. I’m a receptionist at fancypants investment firm for the next two-three months, I’ll be making enough back that my fiance and I can finally get a place of our own (and pay for our wedding haha)…and there aren’t any auditions over the summer anyway, so I’m not missing out on the opportunity to secure real work in my chosen field. WIN WIN WIN

    …but then last weekend, I made a very very impractical decision, with the help of my mother: we put a deposit on my dream dress. My dream dress that throws my budget all the way out of whack. *hangs head in shame* My darling mother (who was married at a courthouse in a brown suit, and who has to be cajoled into dressing up) changed her mind and decided to help me purchase the dress. Not because she “gets” it, but because she loves me. I thought that wedding planning would widen the divide between us, but it seems to be bringing us closer together. More than the fact that I get to wear the dress with ALL THE THINGS, that is why I’m still floating on air a week later.

    …I think I’ll call her up and tell her all of this tonight.

    I hope you’re all feeling the love this week!!

  • STM

    Our invitations went out this week – on time! *Cue hallelujah chorus*
    Of the fifteen-odd RSVPs we’ve already gotten back, two wrote in a plus one even though it was clearly stated in multiple places that seats were limited to people specifically named on the invite. One person literally just wrote in the word “Guest.” *Cue sad trombones*

    • swarmofbees

      sigh.

    • vegankitchendiaries

      Dude, same for me. Sent them out a week or so ago and a few days ago had to write my first “I’m so sorry, there has been a misunderstanding” Email uninviting someone’s self-appointed plus one. It was a real bummer as the person is the most awesome nice amazing person but a bit younger and probably didn’t understand the etiquette around it. I felt like a big jerkface but we’re doing ours in the yard and we’ve only got room for about 55…. If all the uncoupled people we invited brought dates we’d have over 80 folk attending… :(

      What we did suggest was that she can invite him later on when the reception is in full swing. We don’t mind if he drinks from the bar or has a burger on our dime, but I’d like to keep a pretty small, intimate crowd for the formal wedding-y stuff (including reception stuff like toasts and 1st dance), you know?

      • STM

        I haven’t decided what to do yet about these… for the person who just wrote “guest,” I’ll probably just send her that kind of “so sorry” message (she lives only 30 minutes from venue and will have dozens of close friends and family members there, so I don’t think I’ll give her an exception for needing a roadtrip buddy or so that she has someone she knows there). The other one… she’s traveling further, will know fewer people, and maybe this person is her long-term SO and I just didn’t know about it? So I might call her up and ask why the person was added. But can you let some people bring a +1 and not others? What if the person I say no to finds out?
        tl;dr UGH ETIQUETTE

        • Amanda

          Yes, absolutely can let some bring a +1 and not others. It is your wedding after all :-)

        • vegankitchendiaries

          Here’s what I decided after hours of reading Emily Post and Miss Manners online regarding this situation… (I used to read all the etiquette columns in Good Housekeeping religiously as a child. I’m pretty into it…)

          1) Pick a rule, apply it across the board. The rule used to be ‘no ring, no bring’ but that’s a bit mean to long term couples who, for whatever reason, haven’t decided to get married. If your rule, for example, is married and live-in partners only, that has to go for EVERYONE. If you give an exception to one friend and not another, that’s kind of rude.

          2) ONE exception might be for guests coming from wayyyyy out of town. If she’s an old college roomate flying in from across the country, but you’ll have a lot of other mutual college friends there – fine. But if she’s coming on her lonesome and won’t know anyone AND is paying tonnes to be there… I say let them bring a +1.

          3) Some folk let their bridal party bring a plus one, even if they’re single. Kind of fair enough to let your friend who helped me make things out of doilies for 3 months bring a date if you can get away with it, I reckon…

          • Amanda

            Yes, we used #1 and #3 if that helps! Although the bridal party members who weren’t seriously dating anyone ended up not RSVPing for a date.

          • Laura C

            The problem with #1 is that a lot of rules are a judgment call. If you’re only inviting people in serious-ish relationships, but they aren’t all married or living together, it gets tough.

            We just got an RSVP with a self-added plus-one, and…we’re probably going to let it slide? Because they are serious, it’s just that we’ve never met him (had to look his name up on Facebook). The thing that stinks is that the person we invited was kind of borderline as to whether he’d be invited to begin with. But having invited him, we really can’t argue on the relationship. And, as I mentioned below, we are feeling pretty ok about the guest list at this point and will probably be getting to send out a few B list invitations, so, yeah, fine.

          • STM

            Yeah, that’s pretty much where my head’s at. I mean, I want to have some guidelines but I think I’m just going to handle stuff like this case-by-case. Our guest list is already close to the line as far as the size of our venue goes, so we do need to police this, but if a +1 is going to significantly improve the experience of attending our wedding for a few people, then let them eat (wedding) cake!

          • MC

            We also had one person that was borderline, and really we only ended up inviting her because she was part of a group message on facebook between a bunch of our friends about our wedding – and then she ended up getting engaged & moving in with someone after dating him for 3 months, AND sent us an e-mail about how she hoped they “both” could make it! ARGHHHHH. I mean, super happy for her that she’s happy with her person, but still.

          • STM

            Haha! Oh man have we had some of those. I mean, we had a few of those classic situations where someone who was not going to be invited started gushing about what they were going to wear to the wedding and how they couldn’t wait to be there…. Also, more than a few people got into relationships right after we made the guest list. By the time the wedding rolls around they will have been together for 6 or 7 months… do you add them? WHAT A PROCESS!

          • MC

            We decided that those people don’t get a plus one automatically, but if they ask,we can put them on a “wait list” of sorts and let people know if we have space. Our friends have seemed to be understanding so far…

          • STM

            Dude! I LIKE this idea!!

          • YetAnotherMegan

            We ended up letting the few uninivited +1s slide. We only had 3 (though one ended up dropping a week later) and are looking at only about 60% of the people we invited being able to attend, so there’s space. I mean, if you want to drag your relatively recent BF to your cousin-you-never-see’s wedding, knock yourself out.

          • Valerie Day

            We’ve learned a lot about being guests during our own wedding planning. Everytime something happened I didn’t like I was like “Okay, so I can make sure not to do this to someone else.” One of our guests emailed to ask if she could bring her boyfriend (which was a definite yes) and we so appreciated the question. It made me realize its so much better to ask first.

        • KC

          Unless Person A and Person B are super buddy-buddy, they will most likely not find out about it (I mean, do people trade notes on +1s at weddings? I don’t think that is a thing?). You could also tell Person B that you are making an Extra Special Exception For These Reasons, if you do make an Extra Special Exception, and then if she did mention it to anyone, the reasons (which are applicable in one case and not the other, and are not offensive reasons) would hopefully also make an appearance.

          But I doubt anyone would be talking about it!

      • STM

        UPDATE: I wrote to the person who just wrote in “guest” saying “So sorry, we should have made the language clearer, due to limitations…” etc etc. She just wrote back and said “Sorry for assuming, but I know that [a mutual friend] isn’t going to be able to come to your wedding, so you’ll have an extra seat. And I’ll pay for their dinner if it’s the budget you’re worried about.”
        Which… just… what? What???????

        • vegankitchendiaries

          Oh my GOD!!!

          • vegankitchendiaries

            Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!!! I feel so sorry for you, STM! What are you going to do?? Oh man… Emily Post is probably *rolling* in her grave.

            The guest we sent our agonizing Email apologizing for the mix-up was so gracious and immediately like ‘DON’T WORRY ABOUT IT!’ We stated space limitations (true) but also that we envisioned something small and intimate anyway (also true) so maybe that helped.

          • STM

            Yeah, I’m drafting (and re-drafting) (and re-re-drafting) a reply right now where I put the emphasis on how it feels important to us that we know all of the people who will be there, with a note about how we can’t make exceptions.
            I am BAFFLED though. She’s an adult. She’s been married before. She must know the etiquette, right? I wonder if there’s some reason that she really wants to bring a date… someone in the family who’s been bugging her about being single or something?

          • vegankitchendiaries

            Is there any way her date can join the reception later in the PM? Maybe that would be a good way to phrase it. Not that you should have to come up with any concessions of course… But I’m absolutely gobsmacked at the reply she gave you! I actually guffawed. My chuckles are your headache, I suppose…

          • STM

            Ok, drafting this email is going poorly. I feel like I either come across as a dictator or like I’m begging her to be understanding.
            If she’s this insistent about needing a date, then, maybe I should let the squeaky wheel get the grease and let this one go. It doesn’t feel particularly fair or logical… but what part of wedding planning is fair or logical? (My inner Spock has struggled mightily this past year.)

          • vegankitchendiaries

            You know I was going to say the same thing… maybe call it taking the path of least resistance? Your “squeaky wheel” has put you in one heck of a predicament though! So CRINGEY.

  • Hope

    I know I’m a week late with this but what did you think of the Grey’s Anatomy season finale?
    After the ridiculous mid season finale wedding interruption I have really enjoyed their portrayal of marriage, parenthood, career choices and religion. I appreciate that there doesn’t seem to be boundaries on race, gender, sexuality in the relationships and careers portrayed. I especially empathised with Meredith and Derek trying to figure out both of their careers while having a family and may have got teary eyed at Christina’s leaving comment “You are the sun!”

    • Jess

      I’m a week behind! Must watch it this weekend! :)

      • Sparkles

        Do! They actually made fun of themselves a bit in comparison to previous season finales, which was refreshing.

        • Jess

          trying. not to read. rest. of comments….

          :)

    • River

      Yes yes yes – I wept at Christina’s parting speech about Meredith.

      Also, I, too, greatly appreciate the storylines and convos about marriage, parenthood, religion, and career – really wonderful for this mixed race/mixed religious background gal to see a couple like April and Jackson working through things. :-)

    • laddibugg

      I am starting to hate Derek. He’s TELLING Mer what is gong to happen, not asking her if it’s ok. She has valid points for wanting to stay in Seattle, and he’s being a jerk for expecting her to just pack up and leave all that behind because he is work for ‘the President’

      That being said I could not understand why they don’t have a nanny. Even someone to just pick up the kids and serve them dinner–doesn’t have to be live in.

    • Sparkles

      Sooo good! I was really happy with how Jackson and what’s her name (why don’t I know her name?) got over their differences. Obvs it’s going to keep going, but they were really mature about it after being kind of immature about it. Which is how these things seem to work, generally. I went through a hating Grey’s phase, but I’m really liking how their dealing with all the relationship things.

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

      Lots of mixed feelings. I basically sobbed through most of it with the whole Cristina leaving thing. It was so well done though, their final “dance it out” was absolutely perfect. I’m going to miss her so so much next season.

      I’m seriously annoyed with Derek. I think he’s being pretty selfish and inconsiderate, and I really don’t want another stretch like after Meredith messed with the Alzheimer’s trial. I mean, they’re great issues to portray, I just don’t want them to happen to my beloved characters! It’s complicated though. They both have valid reasons to want what they want, but Mere is right that Derek isn’t keeping up his side of the bargain.

      I’m was also not super thrilled with new cardio dr. lady (what’s her name again?) turning out to be Meredith’s newest long lost half sister. It’s just like, we’ve already been there, and I still miss Lexie. I mean, it’s interesting, especially assuming that she’s Webber’s daughter. I think that could be a great storyline for Webber, I’m just not interested in seeing Meredith working through the whole surprise/unwanted half-sister thing again. Of course, I didn’t like the whole Lexie thing when she first showed up either, and I loved her in the end, so who knows.

      • River

        I’m reeeeeally excited to see this show and Meredith deal with having a mixed race sister! But yes, it is a little repetitive.

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

          I’m also trying to figure out how it’s logistically possible. Again, I’m assuming Webber is her father (because why would they have that moment on the bench at the end if he isn’t) and Ellis didn’t meet Richard until after Meredith was born. Theoretically, Ellis would have had to have left for awhile to give birth without anyone noticing she was preggo, which she couldn’t have done at least until her residency was finished, so I feel like Maggie (new cardio dr) has to be close to 10 years younger than Meredith. And if she’s that young, how could she already be qualified to be the head of Cardio?

          • River

            Oh, Webber is totally her father. And you’re right about both the timeline and her age… Allow me to dazzle you with my stunning tv memory ;-)
            In the previous episode, when Christina interviews Maggie for the position, Maggie goes on and on about how young she is – that she graduated high school at 15 or something, and then also finished college AND med school early. She’s basically the ridiculous prodigy Ellis always pushed Meredith to be.

  • KM
    • http://werewritingabook.com/ Breck

      This is awesome.

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

      “DON’T PEGGY OLSEN ME, MOTHERFUCKERS.”

      YESSSSSSSS.

      • KM

        Right?! Also, please consider this a highly enthusiastic endorsement for the Celebrity Gossip, Academic Style facebook page, which rounds up really smart media studies pieces. I believe it is curated (or was at first anyway) by Anne Helen Peterson, who rocks the smartypants.

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

          Annnd I’ve now liked them!

    • vegankitchendiaries

      This is the BEST! Can someone explain the Peggy Olsen line though?

      • Jess

        Mad Men reference, she’s a character who kind of breaks into the Old Boys Club but faces a lot of disregard and various other “good… for a girl” type situations.

        • Jules

          Hah. Reminds me of this (kinda the opposite):

          http://xkcd.com/385/

          • Jess

            Oh man, XKCD. There’s another one that if I searched through the archives for a while I could probably find that is perfect. But yeah. Kind of like that in reverse. It’s a thing I see more often now than I remember in school. Being smart… for a girl. Bleah.

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

        Also last week, she was given the ‘compliment’ that she’s “as good as any woman in the business.

    • ItsyBit

      Add this to the million reasons why I love her. SO. MUCH.

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

      Yes.

  • Kats

    Matt Mendelsohn was our wedding photographer…his work is gorgeous and he is wonderful to work with (seriously – go check out his blog. Man has skills for days). Thanks for the link to his radio discussion.

  • anon-with-a-nice-mommy

    My momma, who has always struggled financially and raised me and my sister on her lonesome on terrible salary, told me she’s gifting us $700 for our July wedding this weekend. I’m so blown away… this is a lot of money for her and for us and I’m really moved by it. It also means we can afford to get my sweetheart’s wedding band and suit this weekend plus pay for our rental deposit this weekend which I was stressing about! I know money doesn’t buy happiness… but… but… uhm….. this has made me so happy.

  • Meg

    I’m a little disappointed about posting that “you didn’t eat that” link without any comment. (not going to make any assumptions on anyone’s opinion of it) I think what that instagram person is doing is pretty gross and policing. Here is a response to it that I liked http://skepchick.org/2014/05/seriously-stop-telling-women-how-to-act-in-public/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=seriously-stop-telling-women-how-to-act-in-public

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

      That’s a good response and raises some great points. I personally think YDNET is walking the fine line between snark and just being an asshole to bloggers (and is staying on the snark side for now), but I think the bigger point — that society would not deem it socially acceptable or cute or “like-worthy” if the women posting these images were not thin — is an important discussion to be having. I didn’t read the Insta as “No WAY you eat donuts”…I think it’s less about the food and more about curation, propping, and the faux reality that bloggers sell and people respond to/like consuming. I felt like it was calling out the culture as much as the women on Instagram, and I say this as someone who is pretty defensive of bloggers and sensitive to the bullshit they are subjected to.

      • Angela

        I saw it as mostly cultural criticism too. You know how guys are always saying “I want a woman who EATS! It’s so hot when a girl doesn’t pick at her dinner!”? But then so many of them want skinny girls? I think this Instagram feed is sort of calling bullshit on that. Among other things….

    • Jess

      I’m kind of interested in this debate. I really value authenticity and don’t see that much in the facebook/instagram/twitter world (which is why I’m not really a part of most of those things). I do see the attempt to create a post-worthy moment/picture/story take over in the real world sometimes, and it bothers me that someone is more concerned with creating an image of themself than with living out a moment… with other people who are there and enjoying it! Creative endeavors are a bit outside that for me – I’m generally fine if you set out the day to be about crafting an article about whatever, but have an actual life too. So, in that regard a movement for authenticity in the way people present themselves sounds good to me if it means fewer people setting stages in day-to-day life.

      HOWEVER, food related shame and the message of “You cannot be thin and have eaten this” does really enforce the ED/Certain foods will make you fat if you even have just one/Skinny is better and this is how you actually get there mentality. And the concept of shaming thin people for that bugs me. Also, the line from the article you linked to:

      “people with…ED’s will often pretend to eat foods they consider “bad,” or even prepare such foods for their friends, as a test of their willpower. She would also know that telling an anorexic person they are too thin, that there’s no way they can eat certain foods and stay so “tiny,” only fuels the pathology.”

      really hits the truth. I think I’m for real-life authenticity and against seeking internet fame all day every day, but don’t want it to come at an emotional cost like the “You Didn’t Eat That” seems to.

      • Meg

        Yeah! That’s pretty much where I am. Enjoy your moment at your perfect French café next to the Eiffel tower and your madeleine cookie channeling Marcel Proust…but…don’t like manufacture that moment just for the picture!!
        But yeah other people don’t get to decide what a person eats

    • Hannah

      I have mixed feelings about YDNET. As someone who struggled with disordered eating as a teenager, my teenaged self would have been really frustrated and confused reading blogs and wondering how these women stayed so skinny and apparently ate all those treats! So, in that sense, I appreciate that someone is pointing out how unrealistic it is to assume that those bloggers actually are eating all of the food they post about. I also appreciate the way it just pints out how unrealistic the carefully-curated nature of blogging. On the other hand, as Rachel said, I think it definitely toes the line between being mean and calling people out in a well-meaning way. I’m all for general calling out of the distorted realities, but when it gets personal, that doesn’t seem fair.

  • lady brett

    what a week. the kiddos are going home to their momma in 5 or 6 weeks! which is *great* and exactly what we were hoping for, but complex. we’d initially thought it would be about now, but everything had been moving so slowly that we’ve spent the last couple weeks adjusting to a new expectation that it would probably be more like late summer, which we are now re-un-adjusting to “whoa – basically right now.” add to that that if they’d gone home, say, 6 weeks ago i don’t think it would even have been hard for anyone (except maybe the baby?), but we have recently and suddenly (and finally) actually bonded with the kiddo, and now we’re having to have conversations about how, no, actually we can’t pick our house up and put it in mommy’s yard or all move in together.

    also, it’s crunch time at work and i’m going to be slammed and stressed out for the next 4 weeks, working (out of town) for maybe the last weekend the kids are here, and out of town the next weekend (which is probably the first without them, but maybe the last with them). but i’ll be out of town that time because *my honey secretly bought me a trip to see my best friend* who i haven’t seen since the wedding 3 years ago!!! thrilled. and that trip will use my last vacation days and then i start part-time! and i think my mom’s coming to visit for my b-day. and my mother-in-law is having a biopsy done to see if she has cancer (again).

    all (except work stuff) info i’ve learned in the past 48 hours. my brain isn’t coping well with the info dump.

    • KC

      That is a lot for one brain to work on. Maybe chocolate and a cup of tea for extra fuel?

      Hope it all goes well!

      • lady brett

        thanks! camping with the youth group means my usual self-medicating with whiskey option is out – tea and chocolate it is!

        • KC

          Maybe you could bill moderate consumption of whiskey as “modeling responsible adult drinking behavior”? ;-) Useful life skill, the whole “consuming alcohol in a non-excessive, careful manner” thing is.

    • Jess

      I’m sorry the kids are leaving so abruptly! It’s good for them, I hope, but also tough. I’ve been following along with your experiences there and am glad that they had the opportunity to be with you and your spouse for a while.

      Good luck going to part time after this busy wave passes and you get to go see a friend!

      • lady brett

        thanks! and it *is* really great – it is absolutely time for them to get home and their mom is great.

  • macrain

    A memorial day weekend approps question for you all!
    We have a groomsman who is in the marines, and the question has come up about whether he will wear his uniform as part of our wedding party. He has said he will defer to whatever we would like best.
    The groomsmen will be in dark suits (of their own choosing), white shirt and the same tie, while my fiance will be in a dark gray suit. I’m waffling about I feel about this. His uniform wouldn’t be wildly out of place, but he would look different than the other dudes. I believe the uniform is white pants and a navy blue jacket.
    Part of me also really likes the idea of having him in his uniform, it’s just I have fears about the wedding party looking put together.
    Thoughts on this? Anyone have experience?

    • Jenni

      We’re doing all military members in their uniforms, guy not in military in some suit he owns. Either way it’ll be fine, especially if the others are already not 100% matching. Really just up to you and your aesthetics!!

    • LE

      When my brother got married, he wore his dress blues, as did a couple of his fellow-Marines groomsmen, but the other groomsmen wore tuxes and IMO they all looked really great together. The uniform is simple and pretty elegant, I think, so it fits really well with other fancy get-ups.

    • Sparkles

      I had a friend who got married recently who’s partner was in the army. About half of his groomsmen were too. They all wore their uniforms and everyone else wore suits. It looked fine.

    • mvanengen

      We had just one groomsman wear his Air Force uniform. The rest were in tuxes. And one guest in a uniform as well. I have a picture of the men hanging on our fridge and I still needed to ask my husband what he wore. It looks good.

  • Jess

    GUYS! We got married last Friday! In the rain! And it was lovely anyway!

    After a last minute, 4 day sprint to find and alter a replacement dress, rsvp drama, an early morning trip to nyc’s flower district, a key friend and stylist who was helping us set up falling ill and ending up in the hospital the morning of our wedding, we managed to have a lovely lovely time with our cocktail party, grilled cheese, pup in a tie, and all our very best family and friends! It was one of the biggest dance parties I’ve ever been to, and one of my favorite parts was seeing all the older folk, aunts, uncles, grandma out on the floor and dancing along. It makes me heart all warm just thinking about it! And we received, perhaps, the biggest compliment of all, when many of our friends and family told us just how US the wedding was, and how some anti-WIC friends were feeling so inspired.

    I’m attaching a picture! Our photographer posted a few teaser shots and we LOVE them. The flowers might look familiar….we followed the APW oversize bouquet tutorial and it was AMAZING. Everyone assumed the flowers were pro!

    And rather than post more photos here, I’m just gonna link to my amazing photographer’s facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/cleanplatepictures She does great work and I’d recommend her to any nyc couples. Also, she posted a priceless picture of our cake fight!

    And to sum up….thanks APW! You gave us the confidence to be us, and to really embrace what we wanted out of our wedding and marriage :)

    • macrain

      Stunning! Congratulations!!

      • Jess

        thanks!!! :)

    • Sparkles

      I ADORE the colour of your dress. It looks beautiful on you.

      • Jess

        thank youuuu! :) :)

    • jashshea

      OMG EMERALD DRESS?! LOVE. Love the rain, love it all.

      • Jess

        ahhhh thank you thank you! :)

        (it’s technically called mallard, which makes me laugh so much. duck dress!)

        • jashshea

          Love it!

        • River

          Duck dress in the rain for the win!!! You guys are stunning.

          • Jess

            that makes it even better! haha. ducks totally like rain. and are wiley.

            oh man, the layers here!

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

            Ah, I just saw your comment after making mine…oops! :)

          • Jess

            Great minds!

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

          Ducks are wiley after all…

    • Caitlin_DD

      Your bouquet is so gorgeous with that dress too. Congratulations!

      • Jess

        awww thanks!! it was a last minute addition and I’m SO happy we had the tutorial to work from. life changing. :)

        • Carly

          So beautiful!

    • Ragnhild

      Love the dress! And the flowers too. You look gorgeous :)

      • Jess

        Thank you thank you!

    • sara g

      Beauuuuutiful! Love the dress & bouquet! What kind of flowers/greenery did you use in it? It looks very similar to what I’m wanting to do for mine…

      • Jess

        we literally followed the APW tutorial word for word: http://apracticalwedding.com/2013/06/bright-oversized-wedding-bouquet-diy/ so, eucalyptus and fern and the decorative kale. tho barely any fern. so you’re likely reacting to the eucalyptus. (which, apparently, there are many kinds of! we brought the tutorial pictures and compared to what we were seeing at the stores)

        also, thanks!! :)

        • sara g

          That’s awesome because we’re planning to get flowers from the farmer’s market(s) nearby and I’d been eyeing the floral tutorials on this site. But I’d never seen any pictures of real weddings where people used them so YAY :)

          • Jess

            i will say it took a few tries! it was awesome and fun, but we started over once or twice! it was worth it! the bouquet we ended up using was actually our “practice” bouquet, and we had planned on making a second one with the less damaged flowers. then, my friend got sick and ended up in the hospital, so the practice one became the real one. BUT that was perfectly ok because everything had opened SO beautifully. the peonies were huuuuge and the garden roses (juilet variety) were so so so lovely.

            as we followed the tutorial, since all the flowers were big and heavy they kept “dropping” down in the bouquet. once we figured that out and knew to keep pushing them up, it looked way better. :)

          • sara g

            Good to know! We’ll also be making 4 bridesmaid bouquets and an assortment of boutennieres and corsages, but fortunately my super crafty aunt will be here a couple days early and has volunteered to help out with flowers.
            I am super bummed that peonies won’t be in season for my wedding though (end of August).

          • Jess

            oh so fun!!! that will be great!! we used an extra garden rose for a boutonniere, but definitely should have used something smaller. would have been better if we planned that through a bit more. It looks pretty huge on his modern, slim lapel-ed suit! :)

        • KH_Tas

          “which, apparently, there are many kinds of”
          Here in the homeland of eucalyptus, we have over 500 :)

          • Jess

            Woah! No way! That’s….ridiculously impressive!

    • Lawyerette510

      Beautiful and amazing! What stunning pics! Congratulations!!!

      • Jess

        thank you!!

    • vegankitchendiaries

      You got the flowers down PAT!! I might Email my florist… I echo everyone else’s comments about you and your dress being gorgeous

      • Jess

        aww yay!! thanks so much. :) :)

    • Erin

      Beautiful! I love the color of your dress against the grey sky! By any chance, was this picture taken in Astoria by the mural under the train tracks near Ditmars Blvd?

      • Jess

        Oh thank you!!! It’s actually in dumbo, right near the York street stop. Since it was raining, we stuck to about a 1 block radius from there. :)

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

      GORGEOUS. and pup in a tie??? i hope you mean your dog wore a tie instead of it being some dish I don’t know about, like pigs in a blanket..

      • Jess

        Hahaha. Pup in a tie is, in fact, our little dog wearing a tie. Tho there *were* also pigs in a blanket which were a crowd favorite for the less adventurous eaters.

    • Valerie Day

      Jess I know we’ve been counting down the days, and in parallel the last few weeks. Your dress is amazing and I am so happy for you!!!! We had some rain at the very end of the day during our after party and did a rain and fire dance in the pouring rain. It was awesome. Rain is good luck.

  • Ragnhild

    Only 5 weeks left now! Ups and downs this week: really sad about some friends who aren´t coming to the wedding, and yesterday the lady who was gonna make our wedding cake told us she can´t do it after all! In Norway it is usual to have lots of cakes, and we have around 10 other ones, but no “WEDDING CAKE”. I am wondering if we need it at all then, but I think my mom would disagree…

    Also, i am currently waiting for a surprise guest to be attending my surprise bachelorette party tomorrow! A little nervous, but mostly happy to finally have some time with my friends (I just have no clue who will be there…)

    • Jess

      maybe but a sparkly cake topper on one of the “regular” cakes? I always love all the ones in the roundups that brooklyn bride does.

      • Ragnhild

        Thats what I am thinking. There will definitely be enough sweets for everyone :) I just cant tell anyone we will use their cake as a wedding cake, cause they would freak out a little…

        • Cbrown

          Wait, you’re still having the amazing ring cakes with the flag? I must dig out my pans for this, still haven’t made it.

          • Ragnhild

            Yes we do! I love them, and they look fun and festive too. There is a wedding tradition where the couple is blindfolded, stick a knife in the cake, and the number of rings above the knife tells how many children they will have… Maybe we will do that instead of cutting the cake?

  • Aubry

    So, I found out on Monday that our family friend’s who are hosting our wedding didnt think they were holding the reception at their house. Just the ceremony. Her initial reaction was pretty negative, and we have plane tonight to talk about it. The wedding is July 26- just over 2 months away!

    I am so sure we talked this out a long time ago. I am not the kind of person to operate on assumptions, espessially when it come to large events I plan. She is getting older so its possible she forgot, or maybe im thinking i spoke with her daughter in law at the house and mistook it in my memory for talking with her. She also could have read our wedding site at any time since the STDs or invites were sent out, as that lays it down pretty clearly.

    It wouldnt be the worst thing in the world, and c and I have already cooked up a backup plan, but seriously. 2months! Ive been so anxious all week. I cant even think about doing stuff for the wedding this week because dont even know where it is happening!

    • STM

      AHHHHH that is super stressful I’m sorry!!!

    • vegankitchendiaries

      Two months out? I would be having KITTENS.

    • emilyg25

      Wow. Just wow. Good for you for being remarkably chill! I hope everything works out.

    • Aubry

      Update: it’s fine! we are going ahead with the original plan. Thank goodness. And thanks for the support guys, it made me feel loads better! I hadn’t been able to tell anyone except one friend whose reaction i could trust. Ive felt very lonely this week pretending everything is fine and talking about the wedding like there isn’t anything going on. Pretty relieved now that we are back on track!

  • Rosie

    So last week I asked for help about my husband possibly taking a new job, I said I’d report back so: he’s accepted! We found out some more about the amount of travel, and decided that it was worth it to get into a better company. So thanks for helping us out guys :)

    • KC

      Hooray! I hope it goes splendidly! (and that the travel is even less than expected)

      • Rosie

        Thank you Kats and jashshea!

    • jashshea

      Awesome! Congrats!

  • ElisabethJoanne

    My husband talked to his mental healthcare team about the expected heat at my cousin’s wedding next week. Thanks for your help.

    We’re going away this weekend and have new medications to try for my dysparuenia (specifically, provoked vustibulodynia, I think, still need to do some self-evaluation at home and confirm with a MD) and his delayed ejaculation. Here’s hoping we can try them separately and together, haha!

    Finally got information on my retirement plan, which was a relief of a worry I’d forgotten about. I’m really excited to be able to set that up this weekend.

    Our experiment about 4 weeks back where I take over the executive function tasks of challenging my husband’s medical bills, while he takes over cleaning chores I usually do, isn’t working as well as I hoped. The follow-up to the challenges all comes to him, of course, so it remains hard to maintain momentum on this stuff.

    • Sparkles

      Let us know how things work out at the wedding. Hopefully he’s got some ideas with how to work with it now and you’ve talked about it so you can support them.

    • Emily

      I’m interested in more about the executive function/disfunction in your house, since I experience similar issues. Would you husband be willing to give you the password to his email so that you could get the follow-ups to the challenges? I salute you for working on this for him… I know these things are difficult!

      • ElisabethJoanne

        Long-term, the solution is probably to have him designate me as the payee with all his healthcare providers, and sign a HIPAA waiver.

        We’re also working on better record-keeping so any challenges aren’t so complicated. [Thanks for the reminder about this!] Basically, any doctor’s appointment is going to produce an explanation of benefits, a bill, and possibly a receipt for a co-pay at the appointment. He’s actually really good at maintaining spreadsheets, so the plan is for him/us to list each appointment and mark off when each record comes in, and we already have a file for them.

        For both jashea and Emily, it’s just the practicalities of combining finances while still building trust and good household systems. For us, there was no issue about splitting rent or whatever, but sorting out issues like, “Does the spouse who writes the checks to pay the bills have permission to open bills that are in the other spouse’s name?” are holding us up.

        Hmm…several Reclaiming Wife posts in there, about how spouses deal with legal privacy rights (checking e-mail, opening bills) v. marital sharing. I know my parents just don’t keep email or regular mail private, but my husband and I aren’t there yet.

        • Emily

          You have lots of good thoughts and I send you good energy on all this work! We do keep email semi-private (we don’t know each other’s passwords but we often look at each other’s email with permission from the other). I do open the bills that come in his name that I pay. I also open serious-looking mail that comes to him (letters from the IRS, for example). We’ve had trouble in the past because he hasn’t opened his mail for months and the consequences have affected both of us. There is a point where executing for both of us is exhausting to me, though. I remind myself that he does things I’m terrible at: makes dinner, grocery shops, organizes the garage. I am constantly asking myself “what can we cut in our life?” I.e., what can we do less of? But, compared to many in the busy-trap, we aren’t that busy or overcommitted. Still, it is exhausting.

          • ElisabethJoanne

            Yeah, it’s tough. I think I’d be going crazy if I weren’t at least the only one who checks the mail. At least I know what to ask about, even if I don’t open it or read it.

            I try to automate what I can and set systems/routines for everything else, like the medical bills spreadsheets or “dirty dishes to the left, clean dishes to the right of the sink.” He definitely takes longer to fall into a routine. For example, he’ll still get into the wrong lane at a complicated intersection he’s navigated hundreds of times. We have to be very explicit about how we do things.

          • Emily

            Here’s a random question: do you ever wonder what life would be like if you married someone with executive skills at a similar level as your own? I think about this when I debate with myself about whether I’m “helpful” or “controlling.”

          • ElisabethJoanne

            The fact of the matter is, I have unusually high executive function. I probably couldn’t stand to live with “myself” because everyone has their own obsessions. For example, I track our finances down to the penny, but I only clean up dirty socks once a week. I managed to share a dorm with a good friend who probably has executive function equal to mine for only three days before issues like that started to grate on us. Of course, she’s married to a Marine Corps officer now, so I guess it works for some people.

            So a lot of my work is just figuring out what’s “normal.” But “normal” is meaningless. It’s more that we try to negotiate what’s reasonable for him. For example, is he raising relationship issues with his healthcare team at least equally to professional issues? I think that’s something I can ask of him. Or with the wedding. I can’t change his physiology, I just have to plan around it.

            It really helps both of us that we go over his appointment book together most days. He gets help planning. I get a chance to check-in with him about upcoming deadlines, etc.

          • Emily

            This is really interesting. I feel like I have average to above average executive functioning skills, but nothing extreme. I can manage my life but I occasionally overdraw the bank (but I have overdraft protection). I find it very interesting to look at what I’m good at – paperwork, bills, things with further out deadlines – and what he is good at – getting dinner on the table EVERY night (more than once I’ve said “we have to have dinner AGAIN?”), having food in the house, keeping a relatively clean house. Things with a more immediate deadline.

            I would hate living with myself, because I would never eat. But sometimes I wish someone else would make sure the bills are paid and call the insurance company and be on hold. Those things feel so adult, and mostly I’m okay doing them. It’s the sometimes (like next week, when I need to call the insurance company for the nth week in a row) I wish someone else would do them.

          • ElisabethJoanne

            That’s just life. Just like you couldn’t eat your favorite food all the time, or listen to your favorite song, even the chores you like, you don’t always like.

            I struggle with dividing chores into the adult/non-adult categories. There are definitely frustrating times where I feel like I married a perpetual teenager because he seems incapable of “adult” chores like challenging the medical bills. That’s where I have to pause and think of millions of kind, responsible Americans who don’t know about challenging bills, either. Meanwhile, my husband will explain to you in detail, with insight and sensitivity, how Nazis were and weren’t prosecuted after WWII. No way he’s not an adult. It’s just that everyone has different strengths and weaknesses. Getting intimately wrapped into that is one of the reasons to get married, in our opinion. It makes you a better person.

          • KC

            Life lesson: Don’t compare your level to others in the busy trap. If you’re exhausted, you’re overcommitted or *something* and please feel free to cut back just because it’s what’s right for you. Just because someone else can run a marathon doesn’t mean you have to. :-)

          • Emily

            This is really nicely said and I appreciate it. I think there is a concept about being afraid that you are missing out… I struggle with that. I am agora adverse (not necessarily phobic) and prefer peaceful contemplation. Not the norm in 2014 for a 37 year old. I know what I prefer… but then I worry about missing out.

          • KC

            Some people are missing out on peaceful contemplation. :-)

            Ideally, what “recharges” you and what gives you a sense of accomplishment/purpose are either the same thing or can be reframed so that they do double duty, but if not, figure out your ideal breakfast blend and go with it.

            No one can be everything (or do everything), and it’s good to be the best “you” you can be… which does not generally mean running around frazzled all the time. You are not missing out if you do what is right for you instead of what’s right for someone else, truly.

          • Emily

            It’s funny that you write this. I have been asked “What gives you a sense of accomplishment/purpose?” several times today. I’m not sure of the answer. Food for contemplation. :)

          • KC

            It’s so funny when a question just keeps. popping. up.

            Maybe keep your eyes out, over a week or two, for small accomplishments/sighs-of-satisfaction, and think about what has motivated you in the past, and sometimes the collection of those can give you a clue to the values and motivations that prompt things more globally? Usually each person has a mix of stuff, and sometimes it doesn’t all fit in a customary bucket, and that’s okay.

            (but yes, it’s a hard question to answer if you haven’t thought of it before!)

        • jashshea

          We’re the same way, almost 2 years into marriage and 3 into living together. I feel weird even throwing away junk mail with his name on it because it’s not my place to determine that it’s trash…I guess? OTOH, he’s terrible about staying on top of mail – let’s it pile up until I just start handing it to him when he walks in the door – so it’s a bit of a catch 22 there.

          I understand the need for autonomy/independence, for sure. Merging households is challenging and we haven’t yet found a balance, either.

          • Emily

            I read last night that it takes blended families (we are one, stepchildren) 3-5 years to reach a stable point. That made me feel better; we just reached three years (and are somewhat stable, but not totally). I wouldn’t be surprised if it takes two individuals longer to merge households than we expect, also.

          • ElisabethJoanne

            I just told him he was free to open any of my standard-rate mail (That’s junk mail.) He’s researching DSL services, so whenever I’d get DSL-related junk mail, I’d hand it to him, but then he’d hand it back, “I don’t know if it’s OK for me to open this.” “I handed it to you so you could look at it for your research.”

          • Ann

            My husband is much better about keeping track of mail than me, and I am very happy to let him open stuff, determine what’s important, etc. He keeps saying that he’s happy to do it time-wise, but he feels weird opening my mail. We’ve lived together for 5 years… and I just. don’t. care. But he’s more private than I am in a lot of ways…

          • Anon

            Oh. my. God. The maaaaaaaaaaaaail. Why can it not just be opened and moved on? (I want to ask, every day.) Anyway, just chiming in to say i feel your frustration on that one!!!

    • jashshea

      Enjoy the weekend away & good luck with the new medications and wedding next week!

      Re: your last paragraph. I can see where that would be very frustrating (and inconvenient). Are they contacting him via email or phone directly? Wondering if there’s a way to change his “account” info to a shared address or # so you can take it over and have a vantage point over the follow ups.

      • ElisabethJoanne

        Oh, oops. The wedding’s next month. I must be really excited.

        This week’s issue with the bills is entirely between us. They’re replying by letter to the letters I wrote for him and he signed, but he won’t let me see the replies. I’m guessing it’s either just disappointing information (eg, we misunderstood the bills, and they were correct after all), or the responses show my husband made a mistake (like forgetting about a bill or treatment). He’ll let me see them *eventually* but meanwhile I worry about it and we don’t have the refunds I expect.

        • jashshea

          Gotcha. That sounds frustrating for both of you and I’m sorry it’s causing you stress.

  • Sparkles

    THANK GOODNESS FOR HAPPY HOUR. I just quit my job. I gave my four week notice 15 minutes ago and I’m freaking out a bit. I’ve been at it for 6 months, and it just hasn’t been the right fit for me since day 1, and now I’m done. I think it’s the right decision for so many reasons, but my brain is also totally freaking out. I’m going to be reliant on my husband to support us (he’s totally capable of doing that), I’m going to take on a traditional female gender role (home maker, food preparer). All things I love, but my mom and so many women from her generation are screaming in my mind that I’m giving up economic freedom and things that are essential to independence. Which is scary. But I’m trying to make different choices that work for me, and I need to keep clear on that fact.

    Anyways, that’s it. Just freaking out here in my home office. All by myself.

    • lady brett

      congratulations! (and that’s scary) it sounds like living the dream to me ;)

    • STM

      You’re not all by yourself — you’re at happy hour! :-)

      • Sparkles

        :)

    • Caitlin_DD

      I think the fact that you can make this choice *is* independence. Enjoy your home maker time!

      • Jules

        Amen. Choosing to stay at home because it works for you and you want it? Awesome. Being expected to stay at home, or shunned for having a career, or any similar thing….not awesome. The freedom of choice all the way.

    • Emily

      Good for you for knowing that it isn’t the right fit. I’m also currently choosing not to work for the first time in my life. I am holding on to the idea that I won’t be not-working forever. It is what is right for me right now. Choices that work for me (as you said). Congrats!

      • Sparkles

        I’ve been meeting and thinking about all sorts of people who have gone back and done awesome things with themselves later in life (one of the student midwives at the practice I’m going to has three children, another friend I know put herself through her Master’s with a 10 year old, someone else went back to teacher’s college and made teaching work for her). So I know that it’s more than possible to try other things later on. Good luck with not working!

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

      Congratulations!

      Staying home has always been what I’ve wanted to do. I stopped working a year ago and have never been happier. And I don’t feel any less a feminist for doing so.

      • Sparkles

        I think what I’ve been struggling with for the past few years is managing two competing feminist narratives that live in my head. The one that says it’s okay to make choices that work for you, and the one that says you need to be able to be self-sufficient. I generally listen and agree with narrative #1 a lot more often, but narrative #2 butts itself into my thoughts all the time. After talking to and reading about a bunch of women who were seriously happy with their decision to stop working, I decided it was high time I lived up to #1 up there and make it work for me.

        It’s people like you who have helped me make this decision, so thanks!

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

          I could be self-sufficient if I really wanted to. I’ve done it in the past. But “self” can be lonely. I’m really enjoying the “us-sufficient” we’ve got going on right now.

          Good luck!

          • http://werewritingabook.com/ Breck

            Us-sufficient! Love it!

          • Valerie Day

            Its like dit instead of diy. So much better.

          • KC

            I love that (unless Disqus is messing up names as it not-infrequently does) there is a conversation between Giggles and Sparkles. That just seems really appropriate, although we should also get Unicorns and Glitter into the party…

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

      Congratulations! Sounds amazing!

  • Caitlin_DD

    Tried on my first wedding dresses this week (!!) They were… underwhelming. My mom and I swung by David’s Bridal on a whim, no appointment, and guys it was weird. I hate being helped when I’m shopping. I also hate having to stand on a stage to look in a mirror, with a bunch of random patrons staring at me. I think it’s gonna be order online, try at home for me from now on.

    • ElisabethJoanne

      A totally legit approach.

      If you want to go back, we were left alone by sales staff at DB on a really busy day, though I didn’t try anything on. I also had a good experience at a small, independent boutique. I brought my mother and sister, and there was lots of time for just the 3 of us. I think it helped that I presented as a very knowledgeable customer. I didn’t really want other opinions, I just wanted to find a dress that fit my criteria (which started with long sleeves, before designers could react to Kate Middleton).

      • Caitlin_DD

        Are you me? My mom had long sleeves on her wedding gown (a la Kate) and I’ve always wanted them. I’m pleased that she ushered that trend back in. I can’t do strapless, no way, no how, just let me pick what I know will work. We’re also planning to do the small boutique visit which I think will be more fun, and ironically, cheaper.

        • ElisabethJoanne

          I was worried about being cold. The wedding was in November. I’m always cold. I mean, I’m sitting at my desk now in wool socks, wool slacks, two long-sleeved shirts, and a sweater, with my coat draped over my lap.

          As it turned out, we got a sunny wedding day (*sad face*; I’d have loved rain!), and all those layers were quite WARM. What can you do? Hindsight, 20-20. I still think I made the right choice with the information I had before the wedding. (That choice was ultimately a custom dress, but I’m glad I went to DB and the small salon before making the choice.)

          • Caitlin_DD

            Alas, I’m fairly certain our wedding day will be in 90s or higher, so I’m resigned to lots of time indoors.

    • LE

      I thought DB made for a really weird experience too, so don’t fret! I think their prices are great, but it was not the ideal way for me to make a decision. I went to a smaller boutique afterwards (they only sell dresses that have been samples) and loved it. I didn’t feel like I was being stared at and they could very easily point me in the direction of their small collection of non-strapless gowns. I was able to pick the ones I liked off the rack and then the salesperson was really only there to help me get into the dresses swiftly. Having a small selection was also actually really helpful for me, as a terrible fashion decision maker. I bought one there! Yay for no more shopping! Good luck!

      • Caitlin_DD

        I think I just have really small budget. Definitely looking forward to the boutique, though. Luckily, they just let my mom put the dresses on me at DB. I think I would’ve just left if that hadn’t been the case… Congratulations on finding your dress! Nice to check big things off the list.

    • Lawyerette510

      I did my wedding dress shopping 100% online and it worked great. I think going into shops has its advantage, but if you can return things, don’t be afraid to do a little “import/ export” as my husband calls it!

      • Caitlin_DD

        I enjoy that term, and am going to use it for all future online shopping endeavors ;)

    • Kelly

      Yeah…I went with my mom and sister for my first round of trying on dresses when I was visiting last summer. We mostly just did it for the experience. I didn’t know a damn thing about how it all worked and what I was supposed to do, which made me super uncomfortable right away…plus I had a tiny budget and I’m super tall so everything looked cheap and too short. Such an awkward experience. I remember at the end the sales gal (who was really nice) asked if I wanted to keep the paper heart with my name on it that had been on my dressing room door for my “engagement scrapbook.” Uh, no thank you. Online shopping for the win.

      • Caitlin_DD

        Engagement Scrapbook Entry #97: Day 214 of my captivity….
        Does this mean we get to make… a Menopause Scrapbook? Or a Temporarily Unemployed Scrapbook?

        • ElisabethJoanne

          OMG. I resolved early in our relationship to make a dating scrapbook, but I think it will end with getting engaged.

          Come to think of it, I really need to finally THROW OUT all our wedding-planning stuff, like the hair/dress/makeup ideas torn out of magazines – even the vendor contracts. No reason to have that crowding my living room.

          • Caitlin_DD

            That makes more sense. I feel like engagement is such an in-limbo period that I couldn’t possibly document it that way. And yes, throw away! I’m a zealous, serial paper organizer/thrower-outer. Done with it? into the recycling it goes, weee!

    • Sparkles

      I had my dress made, but went out with some of my bridal brigade to try on dresses for fun and ideas. We went to a place that was reasonably priced (the dress I liked best was under $1000, I don’t know how this compares to DB), but also pretty small. There wasn’t enough space for lots of people to be gawking at me, so that was really nice. Just a thought if you want to keep trying. It might be helpful to get an idea of shapes and styles that look good on you, which was my plan. I had a hard time knowing what I’d look good in ball gown length.

      • Caitlin_DD

        Exactly. Last time I went dress shopping was for prom… and that pretty much taught me what not to wear more than the other way around. This trip was definitely a preliminary what shapes work thing. Mermaid is very in style right now, for example, and looks lovely…! On other people. *I* look like I’m stuck in a snow drift, or like the dress is holding me up.

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

          Snow drift! That’s exactly what I’ve thought mermaid dresses looked like but didn’t have the word for. They do look great on other people, I am not one of those others.

  • swarmofbees

    A wedding photography question: since we signed the contract our photographer has posted new prices, that are LESS than her previous prices. (Not confidence inspiring, but I have paid a deposit and so I have decided not to think about that bit.) I wanted to add on an extra hour but I couldn’t afford it at her original prices. Now, an extra hour plus 8 hour package comes out to the same amount we originally contracted for an 8 hour package. Is it okay to ask her to do the extra hour, depending on your frame of reference, essentially for free? I don’t want to take advantage of her or cause her to lose money, but if she is willing to do a certain job for a certain price for new customers, I feel like it would be okay for her to do that for me, right?

    • KC

      I wouldn’t worry about the price-competence link, since all sorts of random local or personal factors can affect pricing (a sudden influx of other photographers into her area, for instance, or a change in the price point where she feels a job is “worth it”).

      I wouldn’t have the slightest idea socially how to go about asking about the extra hour, but it seems like it would be okay to ask-but-not-demand?

    • Katherine

      I agree with KC that asking about an extra hour, but not demanding it, is completely appropriate. I teach high school, and I have a lot of conversations with students about appropriate ways to ask difficult conversations with teachers. I’d recommend something along the lines of “I noticed that your prices went down. If I were paying at the new hourly rate, I could afford an extra hour of photography, which I would love for XX reason. I totally understand if you need to stick to our originally contracted price, but is this something that might work for you? No pressure, but I figured it couldn’t hurt to ask.”

      Also, I’m pretty sure that my photographer ended up giving us more hours than we officially paid for. She also brought in a second shooter, without charging an extra price. I have no idea if that’s normal, though…

      • swarmofbees

        That wording is great, thank you! I feel like a photographer bringing an extra shooter is like finding a magical unicorn photographer. That is awesome that you had such a flexible and generous photographer!

    • Sarah E

      I’d use wording like “Hey, Chris! I noticed the price change on your website recently and I’m so excited- I would love to have 9 hours of coverage, and with your new prices, we can afford it. Would this work for you? Let me know if our contract can be updated. Thanks!”

      • swarmofbees

        Ooh, I like that wording. Thank you!

  • LMC

    Those of you who work for yourself/are building a client base: experience with picking up second/part time jobs on the side?

    Today I got a job offer from an interview I had way back in March. It’s filling in for a friend on maternity leave, so it’ll only last 4 months, and it’ll pay really well. In my real job (with a private practice, so I have employers and colleagues, but I have to get my own clients/run my own program) I have a small client base that I’m working to grow–and since the time of the interview I have. It’s possible that I could do both at once–but the new job would impact my current one (or give me crazy long days) for the four months. Also, it would start around the same time that we were hoping to start trying for a kid…

    Also, we close on our house in a week. And then leave for our honeymoon the following Wednesday. So our apartment is pure chaos, and we’re up to our ears in paperwork, packing, and planning. My brain is overwhelmed!

  • Natalie

    You GUYS! We got our engagement photos today. And. Well. They’re kind of amazing. If you’re in the Santa Barbara area, definitely check out Jessica Fairchild! She and her husband shoot as team and they’re so great at what they do and easy to work with! And, well, here are a couple of the photos.

    • Lawyerette510

      Gorgeous!

  • InTheBurbs

    Our closing is scheduled!!!! Which means this whole owning a home thing may actually happen. I’m excited and ready…yet terrified.

    • KerryMarie

      congratulations! My fiance and I made a back-up offer on a house this week, which is my first (his second) foray into the crazy world of home-ownership. It is indeed exciting and terrifying!

      • StevenPortland

        True terrifying story of my first house closing. That evening we turned on our oven for the first time. Heard a loud HISSING sound. Smelled the natural gas which was obviously making the hissing sound. We didn’t have a flashlight and so my partner wanted to light a match to see inside the oven better. Fortunately I pointed out how terrible that plan was, and then successfully turned off the gas to the oven.

        • http://werewritingabook.com/ Breck

          Hah! We are both out of town this weekend and didn’t want to leave our new place curtainless (there is no treatment on the huge front window, so you can clearly see that the place is vacant), so we just pinned some old sheets over it with thumbtacks. Home ownership!

        • Jules

          OH. LORD.

        • KerryMarie

          yikes!

    • http://werewritingabook.com/ Breck

      We closed on Tuesday!! It’s awesome!

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

        Congrats, Breck!

        • http://werewritingabook.com/ Breck

          Thanks, Jenny! Hope all’s well with you!!

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

        Congrats, congrats! We just moved into our new house, and after all of my internal conflicts, I’m loving it. Good luck with your move.

        • http://werewritingabook.com/ Breck

          Aww, thanks, Lauren. I had a lot of the same reservations you did about home ownership, but it was the right decision for us, and I’m genuinely excited about it. Glad to hear it’s going well for you, too!

  • Carly

    We are waiting at the gate to head out on our Ireland engagement trip! Happy happy hour APW!

    • Caitlin_DD

      Eeep, have fun!

  • Wrenochka

    Meg, do you have any experience with SoKind registries? The Billfold had an article today that mentioned it, and they look awesome – I’m super-bummed we didn’t know about it while we were planning our own wedding, because it even includes a great section on offering wedding day help (which kind of ties into your last post about moving stuff on the wedding day, too): http://www.sokindregistry.org/

    • Sparkles

      I did a SoKind registry. It was good but had some drawbacks. Store registries update as soon as something is purchased and on SoKind you have to update it when you remember, so we got a few doubles. Most of the doubles were paintings people did for us, which I wasn’t too upset about, but there’s that.

      • Wrenochka

        Thanks, it makes me feel a bit better to know there are drawbacks. We’re using one of those merciregistry pages – my aunt paid the fee for us as a gift without asking us, but does a pretty good job on the whole of keeping track of things and letting us create some customized listings. That’s super sweet that people made paintings for you – what did they paint?

        • Sparkles

          COWS!! I really wanted a painting of a cow like in that little Disqus picture I’ve got there. We got two like that and four others. I never realized how many talented friends I had. I’m a little worried now, though, that everyone is going to think we LOOOVE cows and all of our gifts from here on out will be cow themed. :P

          • Wrenochka

            Six cow paintings??? Adorable and hilarious! You should just embrace it, it’s such a funny and beautiful way to remember your wedding. My advice would be to go all out and make a whole cow wall of paintings. I hope you get some other nice gifts, too, though!

    • Kayjayoh

      I have been loving our SoKind registry so far. I recommend them.

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

    I liked that piece by the wedding photographer. We went back to our wedding photographer when we needed to update our family photo when we became a family of three. It was great for us and for her, to see our family grow.

  • Kirstin

    Hi All! We are getting married this Sunday! I just wanted to thank everyone for the support and encouragement I’ve gotten in this community, and the excellent tips and advice along the way. As we dropped off all of our decorations at the venue on Thursday, I finally reached wedding zen. It’s real! And you can get there! Everything is set. And we have nothing left to do except spend time with our family and friends over the next few days. And get married. I never thought that I’d be sitting in a quiet house and watching Netflix two days out, but I am. You can also have down time! Woo! Cheers all!

    • Jess

      congrats and good luck!!

    • vegankitchendiaries

      You give us all hope!

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

        yes, and i sure do need that hope!

  • StevenPortland

    My friend Christine wrote this amazing post about her thoughts on the day that our state of Oregon gained marriage equality for gay and lesbian couples. http://trudgingthroughfog.wordpress.com/2014/05/19/rights-and-privileges/

    • JSwen

      Thanks for sharing! I’m a fellow Oregonian and I was in Massachusetts – who just celebrated their 10 year anniversary of same-sex weddings – when the news broke. Yay for equality!

  • ItsyBit

    I GOT A JOB. A JOB A JOB A JOB A JOB!

    I am trying to stay excited about it. I applied in Dec and finally got it in April…. only the position I was hired has been delayed. As in doesn’t exist yet. So I’ve been “temporarily” (could be up to a year) placed ~50 min outside of the city in a similar position.

    But still.

    A JOOOOOOOOOB.

    • ElisabethJoanne

      Congratulations!

    • vegankitchendiaries

      GOOD JORB!

  • Ashleyn

    You guys! I self-published a collection of my poetry and I am feeling super proud of myself today. I announced this morning on Facebook and am just basking in all the love and congrats coming my way. It feels awesome.

    In case anyone is interested, it’s called The Chinatown Incident by A.N. Kuhlman and is available on Amazon.

    http://www.amazon.com/The-Chinatown-Incident-A-Kuhlman/dp/1497474655/ref=sr_1_4?ie=UTF8&qid=1400880122&sr=8-4&keywords=A.N.+Kuhlman

    • Caitlin_DD

      Congratulations! That is brave, awesome step for a writer. (P.S. Willoughby is the best cat name).

      • Ashleyn

        Thanks! He’s named after the character in Sense and Sensibility :)

  • Lawyerette510

    We got our wedding pics this week from our May 12 wedding! We used a friend who is a professional outdoor sports photographer who gave us a “brodeal” and I think even more than the deal on pricing (which really really helped) was the fact that the groom was totally at-ease having a friend there. Here are a few of my favorite of the professional pics! (Also we did a DIY photobooth with a DLSR and rented equipment that I can’t say enough good things about)

    • jashshea

      Love that dress! Congrats!

      • Lawyerette510

        Thank you! I have APW to thank, as it was through dialogue in the comments that I found it in my size, and ordered it.

    • Lawyerette510

      Also, if anyone has a friend doing their flowers, and you start off like me thinking you don’t want a bouquet- either buy enough flowers for you to change your mind, or tell your friend not to bring a lovely bunch of the leftover flowers from your hair piece/ the groom’s boutineer into your room about half an hour before the wedding, because it’s going to make you want a bouquet…. Not that, that’s what happened to me (oh wait, yes it did).

    • Sparkles

      Coooookies! And I love the one with your dog in the purple bow tie.

      • Lawyerette510

        Yes! 5 kinds of (homemade) cookies, 3 cakes and 1 tart when all was said and done. (We love to eat) The little bow tie suit is from happy dapper dogs on etsy, it was around $15, looked great, and it was just a bandana. so he didn’t mind wearing it.

        • Alyssa M

          Seriously curious where you got that cookie plate/tray/stand thing? And how much did it cost? We’re doing cookies and tea for our early afternoon “cocktail” hour and that looks perfect!

    • http://werewritingabook.com/ Breck

      Thank you so much for coming back to share pics of you in your dress! You look STUNNING!!

      ETA: Also, your hair flower is everything.

      • Lawyerette510

        Oh thank you! The hair flower is a peony on a comb, and behind it are a couple roses. My uber-talented friend made it and 3 headbands with flowers on them for me to choose from. Here’s a shot showing the rest of the hair flower.

        Also, for anyone reading this don’t be afraid of DIY hair flowers!

  • abdouglass

    Anyone know of a website that allows you to try different table configurations for the reception venue? We have a couple options for where we can put our guests at the venue and are trying to determine the best place but I can’t figure out how many tables/people we can fit into each room. Any free or not too expensive solutions would be greatly appreciated!

    • Kelly

      Oh man, this morning I was trying to wrap my mind around tables and space and wondered if that exact thing existed.

    • Jess

      there’s a site called allseated, but your venue needs to activate it and upload floorplans of their space. could be worth checking and seeing if they already have an account there?

    • emilyg25

      Here’s the free planner on Wedding Wire that we used. Very useful!

      http://www.weddingwire.com/wedding-planning/wedding-seating-tables.html

  • jashshea

    Just realized this hasn’t been said – Holy crap do you have fantastic eyebrows, Meg!

    • Class of 1980

      My computer is having issues with playing videos, so I can’t listen to it.

      But, yeah. Megs hair and makeup are perfect in that screen shot!!!

  • Emily

    Yay, my first *being here* during happy hour! Our wedding is in four weeks. I’m a strange combination of excited about it, worried about having family here (I live far from home and it is rare that they visit), worried about my non-traditional ceremony and wedding, and in denial about all the work we need to do. I just hope it is a good day!

    And APW, I love reading your posts and I love the community you have created!

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

      Ha! I’m two weeks ago and have been in denial of the work too. I’m *hoping* that some of these things are just supposed to be done last minute anyway..I too am slightly worried (not enough to change it) about our non traditional ceremony. There will be no God talk or prayer talk..but spiritual. My family from the South is coming, and my mother coming is enough to make me worry!

      • Emily

        Yup… it is specifically my southern Mother I’m worried about too!

  • NicoleT

    The wedding photographer article…wow. Absolutely amazing article. Especially good for me to read today since FH and I had a lot of wedding talk.

    So, here’s my situation and a question. Our wedding evening just turned into a wedding day. Vow exchange (probably with some readings) in the morning, followed by legit ceremony, then big lunch reception, then (after some down time) a smaller evening reception at the Santa Monica pier (probably about 40 minutes away from the ceremony and first reception, but we’re driving people there). Are we crazy? Is this possible? We’re thinking of doing it this way because FMIL wants to throw us a big party at a specific place, but we want to have our wedding somewhere else and she won’t compromise. Originally, it was going to be over two weekends, but we have out of town-ers and my FH really wants them there for everything and this specific wedding date (a Sunday) is really important to me. Can it be done??

    tl;dr: we are trying to have two receptions on the same day. Possible?

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

      I actually kind of like that plan.

      • NicoleT

        Awesome, thanks!! That makes me really happy! ( I’m a little stressed over this…)

    • Caitlin_DD

      I switched to a morning, (possibly) 2 reception plan this week too. Here are my thoughts: totally possible if you have the right people. And they don’t even have to be the same people. One of our receptions is going to be the family, children, everyone invited one, and in the evening, the friends and dancing party one.

      • NicoleT

        Very cool! That’s kind of what we’re going for as well. Lunch is our everyone is invited and I’m hoping enough people will want to stay and hang out for the evening party. I told FH that we need to run this plan by our bridal party and see how many people are okay with this. I definitely want those people to be there and if they can’t, then we’ll have to work something else out.

        • Caitlin_DD

          I’m willing to bet your bridal party is down to…well, party with you all day. Alternatively, would FMIL be willing to move her party? Maybe she can through you a big rehearsal lunch instead.

          • NicoleT

            I’ll ask! I’m guessing the answer is no since she’s pretty traditional, but it’s worth a shot. Thanks!

    • Jenni

      Sometimes people have an after-party, so you could bill the evening pier event as that? I think it’s fine as long as you’re okay with some of your guests choosing to skip the second event.

      • NicoleT

        Excellent, yeah, we’re actually planning on the majority of our guests skipping the second event. My FMIL is inviting 100+ people to the lunch reception (fine by me since I’m not paying for any of it- I’m just responsible for my half of the second reception). We’re planning on having maybe 50-ish people (but could be as few as 25) for the second reception at the pier.

    • Kelly

      I think it sounds lovely! We’re doing something kind of similar, but trying to keep the “extra” gatherings casual and drop-in. Friday night family gathering hosted by FMIL, followed by a friend meet up in town, Saturday morning ceremony and afternoon reception, downtime, late evening afterparty at a bar for whoever, Sunday morning drop by the park where we’ll be lazing about in the sun with some coffee. I think having a few smaller events with different groups of people sounds fun and I would enjoy it if I were a guest…as long as people’s expectations are managed, I say go for it and enjoy!

      • NicoleT

        I will! All these replies I’m getting are showing me that this is a pretty common thing, so I’m feeling better and better about this. Little parties are fun and FH and I don’t want a lot of dancing at the lunch reception, so hopefully people will have enough energy to party with us later! (Also, little parties mean I can wear a super sparkly dress for the second party, so bonus!)

        • Valerie Day

          It will be great.

    • Erin

      This was the exact format of Prince William’s wedding. That turned out okay!

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

        This is my favorite comment.

      • NicoleT

        Haha, awesome! This is officially the way I’m selling it to both families.

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

      We had originally thought something similar might happen (that we’d have an evening after party that a lot of our guests would come to since our wedding was small anyway)…we had to sort of change that because we couldn’t throw a full on after party in the rental house so it ended up just being us and the friends who were staying there plus immediate family. We ordered pizza and opened gifts. Even though we had down time before, we were all pretty worn out (Eric and me especially) so I’d say if you go this route, maybe plan the evening thing to be pretty low-key, just for your own sake. (I had lost my voice by that point, and my feet were still swollen!) I figured we’d all want to rally that night but 1. we aren’t in college anymore and 2. the day was more tiring than I had expected. But I think if you plan something super easy/casual for the nighttime thang, you’ll be fine!

      PS We had a BLAST at our rehearsal the night before so I kind of feel like that was our real second reception/after party with our friends, if that makes sense? Just something to consider, you may want to organize a higher-energy “welcome party” or something like that the night before!

      • NicoleT

        Gotcha, good to keep in mind. I’m tempted to do something the night before, but I know that I might end up being cranky when I get up (at least in the morning, especially since we’re going to have to get up earlier than originally planned). The evening thing will definitely be casual: merry-go-round, ice cream, amusement park rides if people want, and dancing. I’m hoping that a down time of 3-4 hours will allow people to hang out and grab a nap if they need one!

    • Aubry

      Piping into say we are having a morning wedding, afternoon reception, and then an after party several hours later (to allow time for ppl to feed themselves dinner cause we’re poor yo) and I hope its going to be great! You’re not the only one :) no one fighting it yet.

    • Valerie Day

      We had a morning wedding (hour long mass), followed by a lunch reception, followed by a three hour break, and ending with an amazing no-host after party. It was a perfect balance. The lunch time reception was good for all the kids in our family, and we had contra dancing so LOTS of guests danced despite the daylight. We really enjoyed how high energy a day-time wedding felt. We wanted a small wedding (92 guests in the end, so not that small), but also to include everyone. The after party at 7:30pm at a large outdoor bar was the best solution. We invited everyone including co-workers and classmates to the after party and people really showed up. They
      were so happy for us, so happy we were still dressed up (but with
      flip-flops and a jean jacket over my dress). . Not all of our family and friends from the daytime wedding came, but quite a few did. Having this event on the same day was a good choice. It still felt like our wedding celebration, and it meant we got to spend more time with the people we love. The evening ended with pouring rain–we danced in the rain around the fire pit and it was so wonderful. We felt like we got the best of both types of reception with the least amount of stress.

  • http://www.juliahalprinjackson.com/ Juliahjackson

    Nice segment! Thought the APW community might appreciate this stellar AV Club piece on women in comedy by Cameron Esposito, one of my favorite comics. Among the smart things she says: “” Diversity matters to me because I don’t hear my experience echoed by the many straight white male comics I love interpersonally and have lasting, close relationships with and whose acts I love. They speak to me. But they do not speak for me. And I, arrogantly, would like to speak. ” Oh. And she’s also engaged to fellow comic Rhea Butcher. Check out the full story: http://www.avclub.com/article/what-its-be-woman-comedy-204939.

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

    Meg, you look gorgeous:)
    Second of all…I am TWO WEEKS out, it’s crazy. We still have SO much to do. Is that normal? Like I feel like NOW is when we are actually planning the wedding. It’s a blessing that I am not working right now so I can make this my full time job..but we still have to : order everything we are using as decor/centerpieces (hopefully doing this tonight, we are getting married out of state then going directly to honeymoon so yeah), write our vows, finish writing ceremony with our officiant, finalize music for DJ, get labels made for jam jars, figure out exactly what the hell decor other than flowers we are doing..figure out the music for the ceremony…finalize alcohol stuff…eeeeeeekk. Does anyone else feel like how in the hell is this all going to come together??

    • Jess

      I was exactly there three weeks ago! You’re fine!!! We were even making ceremony changes up until our morning of the wedding walk through (we had forgotten to figure out how we would be exchanging rings. Don’t forget that part when you’re writing yours. Haha) so I vote that it’s totally normal and you will be fine!!! Everything will turn out great and afterwards you’ll feel sad and twitchy that you aren’t doing/making/planning things all the time….or that might just be me!
      Good luck!!!

      • Eh

        We had to figure out how we were getting our rings into our ceremony since we didn’t have a wedding party. It all worked out in the end. My step-mum brought them in and was supposed to hand them to the officiant but forgot and almost handed them to my husband. Then she realized her mistake and handed them to the officiant. She felt really bad that she messed up her job. I said, I wasn’t even there, so I wouldn’t have known the difference. She then asked my husband what he would have done with the rings. He said he would have just handed them to the officiant. The only people the know the “mistake” as it was happening was my husband, my step-mum and the officiant. No one else knew what was supposed to happen.
        The other thing we forgot to work out was the recessional. The only people that knew what was supposed to happen was my, my husband, the piper, and out photographer. It actually worked out better that no one else came with us. We were married in a theatre and we exited up the centre aisle and all of the guests (including our parents and other people normally part of the recessional) exited out of the lower doors. all of out guests met us as we were coming down the stairs in the lobby of the theatre.

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

    and wow, that piece by the writer for Orange is the New Black…

    • Anon

      I know, right? I feel for her and for her ex-husband. It’s a situation no one wants to be in.

      I started dating my husband right as I was starting to figure out what I am not all that straight–I broke off what could have been the start of my first relationship with a woman to be with him. I didn’t handle it as gracefully as I could have, and I still feel bad. It is SO confusing to be at an “adult” age and still be figuring out your sexuality. I ran the GSA at my high school for crying out loud! How did I think I not figure this out earlier?!

      Unlike that writer, I’m much more in the middle of the Kinsey scale. I *am* attracted to my husband, and we have great sex that I enjoy very much. But I threw him through a loop when he once jokingly said “Well, I might worry about you forgetting to pay the bills, but at least I can trust you not to leave me for another man.” I said a bit too seriously “Of course. If I ever left you for someone else, it would almost certainly be a woman. But I trust us to work on our relationship together so that it never comes to that.” The fact is, I’m attracted to more women than men, but my marriage works for me and my husband. It took LOTS of conversations for him to be comfortable with the notion that I am generally attracted to more women than men, but I chose HIM.

      Figuring out my sexuality as an adult was a HARD process. It was further complicated by the fact that shortly before I started exploring getting to know women in that way, I was raped. I went through a hard thought process of “Is this me, or is this a reaction to being too traumatized to be with men?” And the answer was: it’s both. It was always there, but I just didn’t explore it until I was too traumatized to be dating men. Dating men is easier (society-wise. there are more straight/bi dudes than lesbians/bi ladies out there), so I never thought about dating women until my life had already been turned upside down.

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

        thank you so much for sharing your story. that story actually spooked me a little bit – this idea that you could be going along in life and happy and not have any doubts and then BAM find something out about yourself that would destroy the whole life you have built? Thank you for your honesty in saying you are probably more attracted to woman but it doesn’t change the love you have for your husband. I am marrying a woman but grew up never feeling like I was “gay”. I had crushes on boys, and in high school started to realize I also had attractions to girls, and I just figured I would love who I would love. My fiance is the only person I have been with, and I happily considered myself lesbian. Some engagement anxiety kind of threw me for a loop, overanalyzing everything, etc, but I still choose to believe that you love the person, not the gender. I consider myself more lesbian than Bi but the whole “sexuality evolves” thing kind of spooks me still (mainly because of the fear of loss and I never want to lose what my partner and I have). So thank you for your honesty!

  • Erin

    Okay, I made the mistake this week of clicking on an open thread in another, less practical wedding website forum, and as much as I know to take the opinion of the Internet (except APW) with a grain of salt, I have not been able to silence the voice in my head telling me I am a horrible, selfish hostess for having a time gap between my ceremony and reception. Planning a Saturday wedding with a ceremony at a Catholic church is tricky! The Church needs you out before Mass, but the catering halls (which were the most practical choice for the number of guests we wanted to invite to our November wedding) can’t start your reception until they’ve had time to wrap up their lunchtime event and set up your stuff. And most of our guests are traveling pretty far to the wedding, so a Saturday morning or Friday night wedding would have meant asking them to take time off from work. I feel bad about people having to eat dinner a little late, but there will be a lot of food as soon as they arrive. And most of the guests are staying at the hotel, so they will be able to drive there after the ceremony, check in if they need to, grab a nap or pre-game at the hotel bar before the shuttles arrive to take them to the reception. I wouldn’t mind that so much as a wedding guest (especially since I almost ALWAYS forget to buy a card or rip my tights and need to run into Target on my way to weddings) but now I’m worried they are all going to be secretly hating me for not finding a way for the ceremony to flow right into the reception. Am I crazy?

    • ElisabethJoanne

      The Catholic Wedding Gap. It’s a huge thing. Though I mostly attend Catholic weddings, the only Catholic Wedding Gap I’ve dealt with was because the reception site was 2 hours from the ceremony site. Don’t do that.

      Anyway, Catholic guests will probably be really familiar with the circumstances and take it in stride. And non-Catholic guests are still adults or chaperoned by adults. They’ll be OK. I particularly wouldn’t worry about serving food late. Because I never know when food will be served at a party, I’d spend the Catholic Wedding Gap getting food.

      • Erin

        Thanks so much! It makes me feel a lot better to know it’s a thing!
        Have you ever experienced a gap with a wedding where it’s going to be dark out almost as soon as the ceremony ends? I had a minor freakout when I realized the wedding was a week after “Fall Back” and we’re going to be driving around in darkness instead of spending the gap posing for pictures in a pretty garden somewhere. I’ve tried to research pretty indoor places in the area where we could do pictures and am coming up short.

        • ElisabethJoanne

          I think I have, but I was local, so it wasn’t a big deal to be navigating in the dark as a guest.

          Being indoor people, most of our engagement and wedding photos were taken inside. For the engagement photos, we went to a bookstore managed by a friend of mine. Our wedding photos were taken at the church after the ceremony. (November wedding, but at 2pm, so we still had daylight through the windows) I’d totally encourage you to ask any place/friend that might be beautiful or meaningful for you. It really isn’t that big deal to open a building and turn on some lights, or whatever’s necessary.

      • Ann

        I had a non-Catholic wedding gap (and it was big–4 hours), and my friends dealt with it just fine. I got an extra room at the hotel and appointed a friend in charge so that if people wanted to change between picnic ceremony/lunch and evening party, they could. I also gave a list of stuff to do on our website, which a few friends actually did (True quote: “I had to run around all afternoon to be able to do all of the free stuff you suggested! Four hours just wasn’t enough time!”). It helps a lot if you’re in a touristy/pretty area and the weather’s nice.

        Lots of folks (my husband and I included) napped–lots of folks were out drinking the night before. My wedding nap day was glorious–I’d recommend it to anyone!

        This summer I am attending a wedding with a 3 hour long gap and 1.5 hour long drive between the venues. I don’t mind the gap. I’m sure I can find a park to entertain myself and I actually appreciate the time to eat–there’s only one vegetarian meal choice, and I’m allergic to the main ingredient. But I am a bit frustrated by the 1.5 hour long drive. It means the reception is just far enough away that I should get a hotel room. Also, the bride has asked if I’m willing to drive people from Big City (where few people have cars) we live in 1 hour out of town to the ceremony, then another 1.5 hours to the reception AND stay at the “designated” (expensive) hotel AND drive people back in the morning. NO. I am an adult, who will take care of myself (and my husband), but I’m not going to shape my plans to fit in a difficult carpooling situation just because I own a car. Other friends are adults. They can take care of themselves and rent a car like grown ups. As a grown up, I reserve the right to stay two miles away in the Holiday Inn, save $$ and keep to my own damn schedule.

    • KC

      Honestly, especially if they’ve got a hotel (or home) to hang out in, I think it’s totally fine. (but do make it very clear on the invitation material that there Will Be A Gap)

      If the wedding and reception are both out in the middle of nowhere and there is a gap, then figuring out some location that has an appropriate temperature and beverages available for purchase and chairs and whatnot, to offer as a suggestion, might be nice. But if guests either know the surroundings because they live there or if they’re staying at a hotel, that’s plenty. The Gap is great for a nap or, yep, a Target run, or lunch with friends who also came in from out of town, etc. Especially for introverts, it’s very nice to have this little wedge of quiet time in between. (and those who want to be social can grab others who also want to be social!)

      • Erin

        You’re right. There is plenty for the guests to do. The hotel, church and reception hall are all within a 20 minute drive and we are providing transportation for everyone to and rom the hotel and reception. During the gap they can hang quietly at the hotel, or if they’re REALLY bored there’s a movie theater, a driving range, Buffalo Wild Wings, Chipotle, Red Mango and Chili’s next to and/or across the street from the hotel. There’s a mall too, so they can even spend the gap at The Gap :)

        • KC

          Someone should get a photo of them in front of The Gap during The Gap. This is my opinion.

          But yes, that sounds like *plenty*. (just, for the sake of those who are not familiar with The Gap, make clear on the invitation stuff that there is a gap, not just a 5 hour long wedding mass immediately followed by a reception…)

    • scw

      I have attended a wedding with such a gap and it was not a big deal at all. I actually liked having the gap! we are having our reception and ceremony in the same place so a gap doesn’t work for us, but I kind of wish it did so we could take pictures after the ceremony without missing any of the cocktail hour. don’t listen to internet meanies.

    • Alyssa M

      I trapped into the same thread. And I don’t even have being Catholic as an excuse for my gap. Just that it made the most practical sense to let people have time to change before my bonfire reception.

      What helped me deal with those stupid voices was realizing that the ONLY people going “nope. Always rude.” were the kind of people who actively hang out on an etiquette wedding board… Like… everybody who didn’t consider themselves an “e-board regular” was saying they thought it was fine…

      • http://mnnjcooks.blogspot.com/ Jessica Nelson

        90% of the weddings I’ve attended have been Catholic weddings and I’m feeling weird about NOT having a gap. We’re having Mass at 2, reception starting at 4ish (which is basically right after ceremony + 30 min travel time), dinner served around 5:30. I was arguing for a gap, but my parents and fiancé were opposed because 1) we’re out in the boonies, so there’s very little to do between the church and the reception site, 2) a lot of the “local” people will be coming from 45 mins – 1 hour away, so they wouldn’t be able to go home.
        Anyway, point being, gaps are totally fine and normal, and like many of the posters here, I actually prefer them. I would say that a 1 – 1.5 hour gap is the worst, because it’s not really long enough to actually do anything. 4 hours is on the long side but I’ve been to a wedding like that and it was fine.

    • Eh

      Having a gap was practical for us (cost- and logistics-wise). We had a non-religious, two-location wedding. (When we were planning our wedding I read lots of things that said we were selfish for having two venues and having a 2.5 hour gap, especially since we didn’t have the “church” excuse.) I’m an introvert (so is my husband) so I really enjoyed not hosting everyone the whole time (i.e., if we had a cocktail reception during the gap while we were having pictures I would have been anxious about that and I wouldn’t have relaxed during that time). It was just my husband, my sister (MOH, hair stylist, and chauffeur) and the photographers. The gap gave people a chance to unwind, nap, hang out, and check out the town (my guests were from far away and most had never been to my husband’s hometown). On our wedding website we gave some ideas of things to do for out of town guests. I was a bit worried about having a gap but I was reassured by many people that people are used to it and people will find something to do (we’re both from small towns so most people have church weddings with gaps so it’s the norm). As a guest I know that I would much rather have a break where I could do anything I wanted than have a two hour cocktail reception at a one venue wedding in the middle of no-where (I’ve been to a couple of these – as an introvert it’s too much for me to be “on” from when I arrive for an afternoon ceremony until the end of the reception without a break, even then I usually need a break during the reception after supper away from the music and the stimulation).

  • Kayjayoh

    Super late to the discussion, because it is WisCon weekend (if that means anything to any of you…which if it does, we totally need to talk!) but… we are now less than a month out. We are now tracking down the last of the stragglers for responses. We’ve done the venue walkthrough with the venue/catering folks and my stage manager. My bridal shower is next Sunday. And…

    I’ve started applying for jobs in Boston! Wee! And one of them has already called to talk about my move timeline and if I am ok with Skype interviews.

    Shit is getting real, y’all.

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  • Kayla

    I didn’t read every comment, so apologies if someone has covered this already, but it’s not the most thoughtful choice to say, “Happy Memorial Day.” It’s not just a day off work; it’s a day to remember dead soldiers. I think it’s worth considering whether it’s really a happy occasion.

    I’m not trying to be a jackass. It’s just something to think about for next year.