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APW Happy Hour


by Meg Keene, Editor-In-Chief

APW Happy Hour | A Practical Wedding

APW Happy Hour | A Practical Wedding

HI APW!

Four-day weeks, right? They’re only four days, but somehow they feel like the punishment for the three-day weekend as we try to cram five days of work in to a few short days. The APW staff is, by and large, pretty exhausted, and I think we need the weekend to pull ourselves together. Ha. We’re still all recovering from the hurricane that was last week (behind the scenes shot of our three-day shoot above, more coming at you very, very soon), not to mention the joy of the first long summer weekend.

My family is getting (just) outside of town for the weekend, where I plan to lie in the sun and sleep it off. What are you guys up to?

And! A reminder! If you’re getting married and you want to show off a picture or two with the APW crowd, tag it as #APWwedding on Instagram, so we can see it to repost it on APW’s Instagram feed. Joy parade!

It’s your open thread, hop on! But first, your link roundup. We have a special section this week for the best articles about #yesallwomen and the horror at UCSB last weekend.

XO,
MEG

Highlights of APW This Week

Simple tips for writing your wedding vows. (Tip number one: get started now, not the week before the wedding.)

The coolest and simplest braid trick you’ve ever seen.

Veil roundup! For when you decide veils don’t have to be a patriarchal conspiracy.

Should we honeymoon now instead of later? YES. (And yes, turning off your phones and your computer and staycationing totally counts.)

Rachel’s wedding! Worth reading, again and again.

If you only knew how miraculous we are. #yesallwomen

Help us help you solve your wedding problems!

Should we honeymoon, or save money?

Link Roundup

Let’s, like, demolish laundry. The best (and most fun to read) article I’ve seen on the current tech bubble. And… laundry apps. Not joking. Are we surprised it’s all men trying to solve laundry like it’s a puzzle?

The faith journey of a square peg in a round hole.

“If you don’t like what people are saying about you, then change the conversation.” Angelina Jolie’s perfect PR game. (If, like me, you’re a media addict, this is a fascinating must read.)

I’ll be making time this weekend to read “The Case for Reparations.” Fun fact: my favorite course in college was about societal recovery after atrocity, and I have huge books about reparations on my shelf.

We’ve all pre-ordered Amy Poehler’s book, yes?

Bring back Reading Rainbow! Okay, yes, it’s already funded, but you know you want them to have an awesome budget to bring back this amazing show. (Note: I didn’t have a TV growing up, but the rest of the staff collectively wrote the last sentence.)

And I’m glad I didn’t join the internet snarking on Kimye’s upcoming wedding, because y’all? Those few photos we’ve seen are GORG. And sweet. <3 girlfriend.

#YesAllWomen

“Fifteen Must-Read #YesAllWomen Tweets.”

“It’s not all men. But it’s men.”

Let the record reflect, this is not okay.

“How many times do they have to tell us before we believe them?”

We have work to do: #yesallwomen and the Web.”

“The constant barrage of sexism women face.”

Your Princess Is In Another Castle: Misogyny, Entitlement, and Nerds.”

And, somewhat related. A French short film tries to illustrate to men what it feels like to be a woman.

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

Meg Keene

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

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  • Nina B

    I have been so upset all week by http://whenwomenrefuse.tumblr.com/

    Ideas on how to turn this anger into something more positive?

    • emilyg25

      Volunteer at or donate to your local women’s center?

  • MC

    I also loved this article on #YesAllWomen: http://www.slate.com/blogs/bad_astronomy/2014/05/27/not_all_men_how_discussing_women_s_issues_gets_derailed.html

    (which my sweetie found and posted on Facebook before I had even seen it – which caused me to gush to a friend about what a great male ally he is, which we agreed is one of the most attractive qualities a dude can have.)

    • Fiona

      This is the best! My ex-boyfriend posted it (strange ethos there) and not only did it illustrate very well FOR MEN why the #YesAllWomen conversation is so important, but it also made me reexamine some of the times I’ve done what so many men are doing (become defensive) in situations where I am a member of the agent group…
      Definitely read this.

    • AG

      That’s great that he posted that. Of the many things this shooting has made me think about, one is that I rarely talk to my husband about misogyny. I will occasionally, like when I recently refused to watch movies that don’t have at least one well-rounded female character (why is that so hard to find?), but not nearly as often as I do with my sister, mother, or friends. Last night we talked about the shooting, the state of our culture, etc. He was clearly uncomfortable, and I felt like he wasn’t really grasping the enormity of the situation, or how women really are affected by this daily. By the end of the conversation, he seemed to have a better sense of it. Obviously, he is and has always (since I’ve known him) been respectful of women and supportive of feminist issues, but I think he, like many men, feel like it isn’t their fight or right to say anything. I’ve decided to bring it up more with him, and to include him in the conversation instead of playing into the idea that it’s not his problem.

      • STM

        My FH recently told me that he was never exposed to feminism, LGBTQ culture, or other modes of anti-oppression the way that I was growing up. He said that living with me and hearing my general commentary around it slowly opened his eyes, and now he’s actively reading feminist writing and educating himself, and asking me a lot of questions. It’s pretty amazing. Good on you for talking with your husband like you did. We need as many men in this discourse as we do women.

        • NicoleT

          Same for my FH. He supports me, feminism, etc., but he has been very blind to women’s daily struggles. We started with women in media and we’re working up from there.

      • Christina A.

        Oh my gosh, is there an easy way to have this conversation with people unaware of it?

        My speech and debate students (high schoolers) brought up the shooting in their current events discussion today. Much hashing out ensued, and the cheerleader listing headlines on the board wrote “Twitter #YesAllWomen and variations” high up on the board. My freshmen students (including half the C-football team) who came in the class after immediately started asking questions and we had a few productive mini-talks.

        This is the kind of thing I worry about discussing with students sometimes, because it’s REAL and IMPORTANT and thus something I worry I could get fired for someday…but it’s REAL and IMPORTANT and thus something I absolutely cannot hide from them.

        • Lauren from NH

          It is super important and props to you for being brave enough to tackle it. Maybe start with some of the articles that speak clearly to you. Excerpt pieces or synthesize some of the points so it is clear to young minds. This is tough. Like you said it’s real important to get it right.
          It’s the pressure I often feel when having any remotely political conversation with my sister. Her arguments are always more agressive and I feel myself losing on important issues that I wish less people were ignorant about. (only irresponsible people need abortions – live with the consequences, knives cause as much damage as guns – why bother regulating, people need to earn their own way – why should I be taxed more…just a couple gems we have nearly come to blows over). I always wish I had my talking point lined up better, or my brain could access them when my older, bossier sister is being a conservative talk box.
          Maybe that wasn’t what you were getting at, but my concern if I were at the head of the class would be getting derailed by some teenager with an argument based on false logic. And then the bells rings and I wouldn’t have enough time to counter the bomb that was droped about revenge false rape claims. Clearly I have thought too much about “what if I was a teacher…?” lol.

          • Christina A.

            Yes, with these guys, you definitely have to come in prepared, and leave time to have some closure (and correction of inaccurate facts). At least with debaters, there’s an emphasis on logic and evidence, but even they fail sometimes!

            The hard part for me to remember is to turn those “how can you even?!” moments into teachable ones, and instead of shouting about the patriarchy, calmly (if stiffly) ask someone with a cell phone to look up statistics about false rape claims and THEN to look up information on sexual assaults overall. Teenagers can (even if they don’t always want to) draw some conclusions from information when they know how to go about looking.

            Also, all teachers enact “what if” fantasies in their head. It’s how we cope day to day and are ready when students spring insanity on us :)

      • MC

        That’s awesome that he is willing to listen, even if it is uncomfortable. That’s hugely important! My sweetie and I have been together for 10 years and we started dating right around the time that I discovered feminism (at age 15). I then went on to basically be a women’s studies major – so he’s had a lot of time to come around to feminism. The uncomfortable (and maybe sometimes frustrating) conversations are totally worth it!

    • Jules

      I really like the bit that said “Why is it not helpful to say “not all men are like that”? For lots of reasons. For one, women know this. They already know not every man is a rapist, or a murderer, or violent. They don’t need you to tell them……The discussion isn’t about the men who aren’t a problem.”

      And the last tweet:
      “Started reading the #YesAllWomen tweets b/c I’ve got a daughter, but now I see I should be reading them b/c I’ve got two sons.”

      We won’t even start in on the racism thing, but in my group of 20 employees, two people have made racist remarks about me and one other minority here. And it’s not a big deal. And the same thing happens when people make sexist remarks. It just isn’t a big deal.

    • lady brett

      i really liked this one too: “Why It’s So Hard for Men to See Misogyny: Men were surprised by #YesAllWomen because men don’t see what women experience.”
      http://www.slate.com/articles/double_x/doublex/2014/05/_yesallwomen_in_the_wake_of_elliot_rodger_why_it_s_so_hard_for_men_to_recognize.html

  • MisterEHolmes

    Tomorrow would have been the bachelorette party I’m now not having.

    The ex-MOH sent an unmarked $20 gift card and bland “best wishes” card before blocking me on facebook and not communicating any further. The other girl, ex-bridesmaid, did apologize and claimed she wanted to stay friends and would like to hang out, but I’ve invited her three times and she’s declined every time. Now I see (via FB, thanks social media!) that since then she has acquired a dog and a new job and will probably move, which tells me I need to stop hoping that things will get better and we’ll have some sort of perfect Mean Girls ending and that the friendship is just over and we should have the funeral pyre for it already.

    Plus the wedding is in two weeks and all the minor issues are popping up like whack-a-moles and sometimes it’s all just too much.

    This just wasn’t the way the story was supposed to go.

    • celinad6

      Hugs to you.

    • jashshea

      I’m so sorry. Friendships can be such a beast sometimes and it double/triple sucks that this came up during your wedding planning. Good luck with the next few weeks!

    • Jules

      Boo. I’m sorry you’re having to grieve when you wanted to celebrate. I’ve always found friendships to be more of a challenge than relationships because of the grey nature of them and more. On the other hand, sending a bottle of wine your way to whack your moles with. And then drink.

    • Lisa

      I am so so sorry you are going through this. Internet hugs to you, and hopefully things get better from here.

    • Meg

      yeah not having a tight knit group of girlfriends, but having two sisters with no interest in contributing to stuff…has kind of been feeling shitty.

      • MisterEHolmes

        *internet hugs*

    • Hannah B

      :( BUT IT’S ONLY TWO WEEKS! I actually came to the thread looking for updates from you because I knew your wedding was close! Internet hugs and deep breaths and you know you have our best wishes and support!

      • MisterEHolmes

        Oh wow, I feel internet-famous. (And not even in a Kardashian way, yay!).

        Thanks for checking in on me.

    • Lawyerette510

      Sending you hugs and comfort.

    • Kayjayoh

      I’m so sorry. (((MisterEHolmes)))

    • ART

      It’s amazing how difficult friendships can be. It’s not just you. Hugs.

  • vegankitchendiaries

    Happy Happy Hour, all!

    My questions to pick the APW’ers brains this week include…

    1) A food truck is feeding our guests (with no set ‘dinner hour’ but more of a general ‘help yourself to grub thru the evening’ kind of thing). I think it’ll be staffed by about 3 people. How much should we tip them? They’ll be serving/open for about 3 hours.

    2) Any ideas for keeping beverages cold outside? Again this is self-serve style. We’ve been keeping our eyes peeled for a cheap clawfoot tub on Craigslist to fill with ice and put out in the yard but failling that… Large galvanized have proved nearly impossible to find where I live (Vancouver, Canada) and ordering them online has such huge shipping prices it doesn’t seem worth it. My fiance says the inflatable beverage coolers are “tacky” and has firmly vetoed. Anyone have any good ideas?

    • InTheBurbs

      How about a wheelbarrow?

      • Megera

        I second the wheelbarrow: I think it would be super cute if it works with your theme. I’m a Vancouver bride too! Where are you getting married?

        • vegankitchendiaries

          Hey Megera! We’re marrying on July 19th in the front yard. We stay near the PNE. How about you?!

          • Megera

            October 11! Afternoon ceremony at Brock House & evening reception at Creekside Community Centre. Food truck and front yard in East Van sounds pretty cool: are you super excited?
            It just occurred to me: would a bunch of large planters work for your cold beverages? They can be pricey, but if you are going to use them *as* planters for a while, it might be a reasonable investment.

          • vegankitchendiaries

            Went BACK to Cambie Home Depot and while their (horrible) planter selection didn’t provide any options they DID have $3 multi-purpose tubs that I think we’ll just buy 5 of. They certainly won’t look pinterest-worthy but the price is right and after weeks of trying to think of something else I really just need to stop caring about this now.

            One of my best girlfriends was married at Brock House a couple of summers ago and it was **stunning**. Seriously, all of the pictures look like she got married in HEAVEN.

      • vegankitchendiaries

        OMG! Fiance is a gardener… ON IT!

    • jashshea

      A really large cooler (typically found at fishing/sporting good supply stores). Typically godawful looking, but…

      How are you at DIY? I searched “cooler” on Pinterest and there are some cute painted options.

      • ART

        We had to rent those 5-gal dispenser things (you know, the bright orange ones) for water and lemonade, so I bought some cheap muslin, dyed it to match our linens, and plan to just whip-stitch it around them the day before. Not pinterest-amazing but hey, it’s 10 gallons of hydration, which guests will need on a possibly 90+ degree day! Perhaps something similar could work for a big cooler? Can’t picture it but someone out there is cleverer than I…

    • MC

      I don’t know about tips, but we just met some folks that had a food truck for their wedding, and it was a self-serve set-up, and they said with ~85 guests it took everyone pretty much the whole evening to all get food. This food truck was particularly slow, I think, but their food truck advise was to have the staff start making some of the meals before people start getting food. If there’s always someone waiting for food, you never have everyone in the same place for toasts, dancing, announcements, etc. Not sure what your situation is but I thought it was good advice!

      • vegankitchendiaries

        That’s why we’re not doing a ‘brunch hour’ but instead serving lots of appies during the cocktail hour and toasts and hoping that’ll keep the hangries at bay :)

        I think we should tell them to start prepping ahead though… good tip!

    • Erin

      I’ve seen old canoes filled with ice before. Depending on your style and venue, that might be a cool idea?

      Not sure about the tipping, but we’re having a food truck too. High Five!

      • vegankitchendiaries

        Sweet!

        For a second I thought you meant ‘canoe tipping’ though. I’ve considered the canoe route – we’re Canadian so it’s not hard for us to rent a canoe for a few days from a local place.

    • ks

      Does Canada have The Container Store? They have a ton of party tubs. You can also look at any home decorating store, any home improvement store, etc….Home Goods, Target, etc…

      • vegankitchendiaries

        Our Target doesn’t have the same selection as US Target. There were some awesome galvanized tubs on the US Target website but the Canadian Target didn’t carry them… Rona and Home Depot also have limited selections for this kind of stuff. Canada is nice and everything but I just wish we had all the freakin’ STUFF you can get in the States.

        • ART

          LOL. There was actually just a piece on the radio about Target Canada and how it’s not doing that well and how so many Canadian retailers changed their game when Target came in.

    • Meg

      This site looks like it has good options…shipping might be a lot but it’s probably less expensive/cumbersome than buying a bath tub
      http://www.zoro.com/g/00058944/k-G1356047?utm_source=google_shopping&utm_medium=cpc&utm_campaign=Google_Shopping_Feed&kpid=G1356047&gclid=CN2e1o6s1L4CFbTm7Aod3l4AeQ

      • vegankitchendiaries

        hey! There’s a Zoro Canada website too so this is mucho helpful! You guys are all so clever!

    • emilyg25

      We filled a cheapo plastic kiddie pool with ice and it worked splendidly. And cost like $5.

      • vegankitchendiaries

        DOUBLE LIKE.

    • ART

      A couple of years ago my mom needed ice buckets of some sort for Thanksgiving (champagne, martinelli’s, etc). She ended up finding these square-ish plastic planters (with no drain holes, obvs) at Home Depot/Lowes/that sort of store that actually looked damn classy. They were kind of a stone color, and I think she even wrapped a ribbon around them. She uses them every year.

      We are using these metal planter things I found at a discount store (Ross) – don’t know what its equivalent might be near you but now seems to be the season for that outdoor stuff.

      • vegankitchendiaries

        That’s CRAZY! I was actually starting to wonder if planters would work! Something like this? http://www.rona.ca/en/planter—azura-rectangular-patio-planter

        • ART

          Yes, essentially! hers are smaller (indoor tabletop limitations) but something like that! Sounds weird but in the context of it being full of tasty drinks and perhaps alcohol, it will look good :)

    • Ellen

      Our local Marshall’s has enormous galvanized tubs right now. Might be worth checking it out!

      • vegankitchendiaries

        We don’t have those here… :(

        • MisterEHolmes

          How about a home improvement store, like a Lowe’s or Home Depot? I used those giant galvanized tubs for potting plants, but they would serve just as well for this! (Second choice: craft stores. They sometimes have them)

        • http://andshelovesyou.com/ Lucy

          Lowe’s, Home Depot, and other craft stores usually have them. Also, you can drill holes in the bottom so the water will drain out, and then afterwards you can put plants in them!

          • vegankitchendiaries

            I know it’s crazy but they just DON’T here! I went into Home Depot and they turned me away. I really like that everyone is suggesting planters though…. I’m going to go to Canadian Tire (Canada’s answer to Lowe’s?) after work… Excited!

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

          Do you have Winners in BC? It’s the equivalent of Marshalls…

          • vegankitchendiaries

            YES!

    • Sparkles

      Check online classified ads for water troughs for animals. We live on a farm and brought in a water trough that we lined with a tarp and filled with ice.

    • Lawyerette510

      If the wheelbarrow doesn’t work (although I hope it does because what an adorable idea) What about a hardware store or a feed-supply store and getting a large metal or plastic planter of feeding trough? (Yes I did grow up in a small town)

    • emmers

      What about the back of a pickup truck? I think I’ve seen some cute things on pinterest about that.

    • Ellen

      Another idea- I just saw some giant galvanized tubs at Home Depot in their garden section (near the trash barrels). Check your local big box home improvement store!

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

      Maybe Dollarama has some large plant pot things? If there were holes in the bottom you could fill it will hot glue or something maybe. Maybe Canadian Tire would have something in the gardening section as well. ETA: Maybe those long narrow galvanized planter pots, like for using on a railing) at a gradening store…. you could maybe get a decent amount of drinks in one of those?

  • K_

    Inspired by notallmen/yesallwomen, my husband suggested we make a donation to an organization that supports women.

    Recommendations?

    • jashshea

      Heard about Girlup.org a few weeks ago during a work presentation. Haven’t had time for due diligence yet, but it looked interesting.

      • Kelly Mine-His

        I would look elsewhere… I used to work for the org that runs it and it lacks real substance. You’re better off donating directly to UNFPA (my two cents).

        • jashshea

          I appreciate the insider perspective. I’m possibly overly cautious about making charitable donations, but I like to make sure that the money is directly impacting someone’s life. I tend to do lots of crowdfunding/microfinance and am typically wary of larger organizations. Which isn’t always fair to them, of course.

    • MC

      !!!! Way to go husband! I’d suggest looking at domestic violence/sexual assault shelters or service organizations in your community – lots of national orgs do great work but they usually have much more funding than some of the smaller orgs that also do great work (and are often under-supported and under-staffed).

    • anon for this

      Every time I have to see the abusive person-who-is-my-partner’s-father, I donate $50 to RAINN.

    • Crayfish Kate

      Your local Center for Women in Transition. My good friend has worked there for years & it’s amazing all the resources they offer. Not just emergency shelter, but empowerment classes, counseling, help with finding a job, etc.

    • Nell

      I second RAINN as a terrific organization to support.

    • K_

      Thank you for the suggestions! I’m going to suggest RAINN and a local YWCA with a strong DV program to my husband.

  • Amanda

    Happy and sad hour for me today. My bachelorette party is tomorrow and the wedding is 1 week from today! Trying to focus on the good, when I just got the bad news that my grandparents will no longer be able to attend because my grandma wasn’t cleared to travel by the dr :-(

    • Sparkles

      Oh goodness. That really sucks. My first thought, though is do they have any tech-savvy friends? Can you skype her into the ceremony or livestream it? I know it’s short notice, but this link came up with some interesting information about livestreaming it: http://offbeatbride.com/2009/11/broadcast-wedding-internet

      If she’s anything like my granny, even if it doesn’t work perfectly, she’ll be overjoyed to see SOMETHING.

      • Amanda

        Luckily yes, we do have some tech friends so I’ve asked her to bring her go-pro and she is more than happy to do so. At least they’ll be able to see something. I may look at that livestream info too. Thanks!

  • NrgGrl

    Sometimes it’s really hard not to feel like other people think your wedding is an imposition. I just had to change my entire bachelorette party plan because one of my bridesmaids, who is my most-recent best friend, is unwilling/unable to come half a day earlier. (The plan was to do the party on Thursday afternoon before the wedding, which is something she has known about for over a year.) The reason? She didn’t really bother giving one, nor did she suggest any alternative compromise that would work better for her, or accept any of the alternatives that I offered (e.g., could she fly on Wednesday night, so that she would still only need to take Thursday and Friday off from work?). She simply said, “We can only swing Thursday night-Sunday for this trip.” Full stop.

    I realize that I could have the event without her, but I really want her to be there, because the whole point is to be around the people I love, dammit. And it was hurtful that she so casually said she couldn’t make it, out of nowhere (for what I know are reasons unrelated to vacation time or money — she has plenty of both). I feel like I’ve already compromised a lot on this issue — by having a bachelorette two days before the wedding, so that people don’t need to fly twice, for example — and she isn’t willing to meet me halfway. And the thing is, I predict that for her wedding, she’ll expect me to fly cross-country to attend her shower, bachelorette, etc., and won’t be nearly as accommodating as I have been. I suppose this begs the question: why am I so accommodating towards people who won’t return the favor? I DON’T KNOW. Ugh. Anyway, I guess I got half of what I wanted: she’ll be there. We just won’t be able to do what I’d envisioned is all. :/

    • MisterEHolmes

      Maybe go forward with your original plan, and do something else with her when she IS in town? It sounds like you’re really mourning that original plan.

      • Lawyerette510

        I think this is true, you and the other women you value shouldn’t ditch doing something that makes you feel special, excited and happy because it doesn’t work for one person.

    • Meg Keene

      Here is my devil’s advocate argument: she’s using no as a complete sentence, which is what we ALWAYS push for you guys to do. (If you can’t fly across country for her everything, you say no!)

      The logic behind your wedding not being an imposition is that adults can say no to things that don’t work for them, so it’s not on you. SO! That part is working out.

      I’m super sorry she won’t be there, and I’m super sorry she hurt you. Maybe try doing something the day before? I think, in reality, most of us with scattered loved ones don’t get to have bachelorettes that are separate from our weddings, with all our people. Some local girlfriends threw me a little party, but I didn’t get to do anything with my whole group of closest people, they were too far. Other than the wedding, which YAY!

      And really: her being at the wedding is really ALL of what you really really wanted, right? That’s the real prize. <3 it's going to be great.

      • NrgGrl

        Truuuuuuue. You are the best voice of reason. Thanks, Meg. :)

    • Jules

      I’m sorry for the disappointment and frustration. :/ It sucks that she couldn’t make the original plan, and I know this is going to smart a bit…but perhaps she just didn’t want to come, and as your bridesmaid, felt awkward saying it outright. So instead she [pretty firmly] gave you a “Sorry, but I just won’t be there”. That does hurt, but (unless you specifically asked her to attend the bachelorette when you asked her to be a BM) she’s still fulfilling the rest of her responsibilities, so try (really try!) not to be too hard on her. The accessory parties are important in some ways, but they’re ultimately still accessory.

      Also…we’ll never know the true whys of people’s actions. While I don’t suggest being totally vulnerable, give the benefit of a doubt. Plenty of time and money is a hard call; neither of these things is ever what they seem. I know my friends don’t ACTUALLY know how I’ve planned out every last dollar and vacation day. No way. And it would be an awkward conversation for me to have to say, “I love you, and I’m excited you’re getting married, but we’re squirreling away money and time to go on a vacation to X which is super important to us and so I can’t come to the bachelorette” since person A just doesn’t want to hear that person B has a competing (more important) priority.

      So, honestly, it’s only half-fair to say you had to change your plans. You chose to, and that’s great since it seems the tradeoff was worth it and she’ll be there with you. If she expects you to fly cross-country to every single thing for her wedding, then exercise your right to say no. You have to defend your time and money and emotions, and so does she.

  • meeliebee

    My dress is in that photo! Just seeing it makes me all giddy – July 5 is right around the corner.

    I have a question – has anyone else experienced recurring nightmares about their wedding? I’ve been having different versions of the same one since January: it’s the day of the wedding, I’m running around like a madwoman, I can’t find any of my vendors, important people, fiance, and nothing is done. Like, people are there and we haven’t even written the ceremony.

    • Ragnhild

      Definitely… the day before or of the wedding and not having my dress ready, not making it to the hairdresser, or even the church on time. Quite stressful!
      One was particularly crazy, set in India with hundreds of guests, including celebrities! Have no idea where that came from.

    • MC

      OH YES. My wedding is still 4 months away, and I’ve had 4 or 5 dreams that it’s the wedding day and the ceremony hasn’t been written. I think it’s normal, and for me it’s a good reminder to make sure the shit that is important (like the ceremony) is super-done so I won’t actually be stressed about it on the day of!

    • AG

      Yup! And just like college dreams, they were all about being unprepared, and they don’t end once the wedding is over. I had a couple right after the wedding.

    • sara g

      Totally. I just had a dream where my bridesmaid showed up in a see-through dress, and the caterer only provided jello.

      • Jess

        that sounds delicious!

      • vegankitchendiaries

        Best. Wedding. EVAR.

      • Sparkles

        You better go make yourself some Jello, just to ward off the dream demons. Or maybe I’ll go make myself some Jello. I haven’t had Jello in forever.

    • STM

      I keep dreaming that I’m late to the ceremony, run in, rush up the aisle, and then realize that I’m wearing a huge green sweater over my wedding dress.

    • enfp

      OMG yes. Mine always involve me forgetting to prepare a ceremony, and then trying to improvise it to terrible effect. I keep rambling on, while guests shift awkwardly in their seats, waiting for it to end, and all I can think is, I’m bombing my own wedding! Sometimes I forget other things too, like decorations, or worse, that I forgot to invite people ahead of time. In all of those dreams I am freaking out because I let my procrastinating tendencies ruin my wedding, and I am very sad and disappointed with my wedding and myself. Ugh those dreams!

    • JSwen

      Hahah, I posted this same question a month or so ago and I’m happy to say that the wedding nightmares have stopped, two months out. That said, I fully expect them to come back strong in the weeks before the wedding.

      • meeliebee

        I’m glad I’m not alone! My mom got married to my dad with only a few people there, and then eloped with my step dad and she’s baffled that I keep having these dreams.

    • Caitlin_DD

      The nightmares, yes! I dreamed no one was interested in my wedding, and my parents were so glad it was over so they could go to Sam’s Club. Where I had to go to, in my dress. Not fun. And so weird.

      • ART

        i had one where everyone went back to their hotel rooms to take naps after the ceremony!

    • Kelly

      Last night’s dream had lots of disasters, including that I hadn’t made my veil yet. But then, in dream, I saw an AWESOME veil with pearls that will now be my inspiration. Good thinking, dream me!

    • Ellen

      July 5 here too! Just had my first nightmare last night- the venue kicked us out because my FH and his friends were being too loud playing board games after the rehearsal dinner.

    • moonlitfractal

      Has anyone *not* experienced recurring nightmares about their wedding?

      • MisterEHolmes

        Lots of stress-related nightmares here, but (lucky me?) they haven’t actually been wedding-content dreams (yet, I guess?). No, my dreams have taken a turn for the horror-movie psychotic. Movie monsters chasing me EVERYWHERE.

        Personally, I think I’d prefer the ones with the jello caterers.

        • ART

          I had a terrible nightmare about DRONES the other night. WTF.

    • Lindsay Rae

      I’ve been having these since we got engaged – It’s usually me looking at the clock, realizing the ceremony STARTED ALREADY and OMG WHY AM I STILL IN MY PAJAMAS?

  • Sarah

    So, I just found out that my fiance’s half sister (from his dad’s first marriage, so for reference fiance is 27 and she is 43) just told us that she’s planning her wedding for…a month before ours. So May 2, 2015, to our June 6, 2015. We’ve had our date for months at this point. I don’t quite know how to feel about all this? My immediate reaction is that I’m really really really annoyed. She ran the date past us a few days ago, we told her it would be tough on us because I presume I’ll be running around like a madwoman (I have anxious tendencies, I don’t really expect to be a chill bride…) and we’re going to be BROKE. COMPLETELY BROKE. Her wedding requires a plane trip to Florida (we live in NYC). My fiance is like “we’ll make it work” and I’m like “HOW?????”

    I guess, just someone tell me everything will be fine and we’ll be able to have a nice weekend over her wedding instead of being stressed about money and time and travel and our wedding and everything??? Or that you’ve been through this situation? Or that she’s NOT doing this to fuck with us (like trying to get married before her baby brother does on purpose, I kind of feel that) or whatever else. Just, HELP, I have FEELINGS. Haha :(

    • SarahG

      That is kind of annoying! However, there’s two things: it’s kind of annoying, AND also they are probably not doing it with the intention of annoying you. She might have a “I want to get married before my younger brother” thing going on, but that’s still about her, not you. Which doesn’t invalidate your feelings, of course. One thing I need to remind myself a lot is that I’m not the center of anybody’s universe except my own, and other people are not thinking about me nearly as much as I am. They are usually just wrapped up in stuff more personally important to them. But it’ll be OK — her wedding will be a shadow of a memory by the time yours rolls around, and they will be totally different, and it’ll be fine. The good news is, you have an excuse to just do what you feel like in terms of helping with wedding stuff for them — which is kind of ideal, really. Good luck!

      • Sarah

        This is so very true. I have to keep this in mind. Thank you!

    • ElisabethJoanne

      You can take a few days off from wedding-planning, even a month before the wedding. If you’re using a planning timeline, look at anything it says for the last month, consider whether it could actually be done ahead, and do it ahead. “Plan rehearsal dinner” “Select music” – do ahead. “Get final head count to caterer” – not so much. (This goes for everyone, not just those who learn they’ll be traveling in the month before their wedding.)

      And, consider, unless she waited until several months after your wedding to have hers, which wouldn’t be fair to her, for several months before and after your wedding, you’d be broke. That it’s just 5 weeks doesn’t make much difference.

      • Sarah

        Ahh yes. You are right that it won’t make much difference before or after wedding. I’m just sooo stressed about money lately, because you know, wedding planning, that this is another thing on top of all of our expenses. Makes me freak a little you know? But you’re right that I actually have time to work around this logistically. I’ve actually already been doing that–front loading a lot of work to plan around other life happenings. I front-loaded a lot of wedding planning so that I could take time off to study for the LSAT (which, I’m taking in less than two weeks so YEAH I’M REALLY STRESSED, haha). Thanks for the reminder that it can be worked around!

    • Lawyerette510

      Totally understandable to be feeling the feelings about this one.

      I think SarahG said it very well.

      Also, you’ll make it work as best you can and that might mean not going to any extra things for her wedding (and understanding that she might not make it to extra things for yours). It also likely means setting boundaries about what, if any, kind of help you’ll be able to give, working out a plan with your FH about how to support each other if being there makes you feel overwhelmed (how to gracefully exit early or temporarily etc), also this may be one of those situations where your attending is the gift (I know this is a hot topic, but I don’t think anyone is obligated to give a wedding gift and I’d rather someone spend the money on a plane ticket and hotel room and be there than give me gifts).

      • Sarah

        Luckily my FH is really good with helping me work around my anxiety. Good tips! He just doesn’t currently understand why I’m freaked about this but I think he will once we’re *there*. He will probably be stressed too, if I know him.

    • Sparkles

      The month before our wedding, my partner’s sister called us up and told us she was doing a city hall wedding the next day. She had been planning a big wedding and they decided to just throw in the towel and have something cheap and simple. I was super tired with all the planning at that point and just wanted to spend some time working through things, going to work (so I could pay for the wedding) and all this other stuff.

      Her wedding was beautiful and special and it didn’t take away from mine in any way. And it was a nice-ish break (other than the huge drive both ways). Our situation didn’t involve a trip to Florida, but I know you’ll make it work. We were pretty tight with our budget before the wedding and I tried really hard NOT to think about it, and to budget without thinking about it, but a lot of people gave us money as a wedding gift. And we’ve saved a lot of it for big purchases like a new good couch, but we took some of that money to deal with the tight budget we had when it was all over.

      • Sarah

        You’re right that it might be a good pre-wedding break. Traveling tends to make me anxious, but oh well. I’m sure once I get there I can have fun. And yeah, I need to stop freaking out about our budget when none of the issues have even really materialized yet. It’s not productive and will probably work out fine in the end anyway?? Maybe? Haha.

    • Guest

      OK, so… I’ll try to represent the other side because this really struck a chord with me. Many of my friends are getting engaged and married, and there’s a lot of cramming in wedding season. It’s simply inevitable. And shit, if people got mad for having weddings close together, the world would be a mess. SO, I really encourage you to feel your feelings….and then LET THEM GO. Their wedding date can’t wholly be based around you, and she’s had the grace not to do it the same day.

      Just because you’ve had your date for months doesn’t mean that anyone getting engaged after you is off-limits for marrying +/- a month from you. Honestly, four weeks is plenty “spacing”, especially for wedding season. You only really get that one day – I’m sorry. (Although it’s obviously more fun when you can claim the whole weekend/week/month!) And…if they were marrying a month AFTER you, would that fix the money situation much? Might fix the wedding stress, but for whatever reason they just didn’t want to get married early July (two months later!), and that’s totally okay.

      Yes, things will be fine, and who knows why she’s doing it – but it’s best to not focus on the reason, because frankly, who cares? Same result. It was also considerate to at least at you to make sure it wasn’t a definite no-go. 2-3 days can be spared for future family in law, even a month before the wedding.

      Work through the feelings.

      • Sarah

        It’s not really that I find it unacceptable or whatever to plan a wedding within a month of ours IN GENERAL. It’s more about the fact that this is family and we can’t bow out of this if its too stressful or if we don’t have any money, or etc. But yes, I am working through the feelings. This just happened today. I have no intention of holding a grudge or anything, but thank you for your perspective.

        • emmers

          I can say that I really feel you on this! My fiance’s sister may be getting married 1 week before or after we do. I totally relate on all levels– and I too don’t intend to hold a grudge.

          This is one of those things that hit me harder than I thought it would. In the past I’ve kinda marvelled about how some peeps get hung up on it when others get married near them. But now I understand! For me it’s both not wanting to be extra-stressed, and also wanting to have my own time. And I can also understand the financial stress. So, soildarity!

    • ART

      Not quite the same thing because it’s not family, but in terms of going to a wedding right before your wedding…we went to one last weekend and ours is a month later, and I was SO GLAD because it gave me such perspective on being a wedding guest and how some things aren’t going to be 100% smooth and perfect, but it won’t matter. I tried to think back on what I remembered, cared about, totally didn’t care about, etc. What a load off my mind!

      • Sarah McClelland

        We just went to the first of 7 weddings this year(ours is number 5, FH is in number 4 and I am in number 6), and I got some of the same perspective. It’s just a season of celebrating, and it’s gonna be an expensive one in many ways… Trying to make the best of it and be glad the folks we love get to celebrate their love.

  • SarahG

    Hoping to pick the APW hive mind! My fiance and I are getting married at the end of September. He has terrible health insurance through his work and a bunch of chronic medical issues, and we are jazzed to get him on my insurance (which we need to be married to do). We started looking at the possibility of doing the legal ceremony ahead of time to get him covered. It kind of freaked me out, and was also kind of exciting (to think about doing a little bit of the wedding on our own). My question is: did you do an earlier legal ceremony previous to a wedding and if so, did it “take away” from the emotional high/jazzed feeling/whateverness of the wedding? Would you recommend this to others? Would love to get advice on this one.

    • Shotgun Shirley

      We had our legal ceremony two months before the church wedding, for tax and insurance purposes, and it did not take away from the church (“real” to us) wedding. The legal ceremony we just went in with a few loved ones, got it done and got In’N’Out. Then I went to work and he went to school. We didn’t start wearing our rings, and it wasn’t an emotional day. It was exciting though! And a good day. It happened to be the same day as our ‘friends-giving’ potluck so we kind of had a party that night, but the fact that we’d been legally we’d that morning was not front if mind.

      • SarahG

        Thanks! That’s really reassuring. Plus, In N Out… yum.

    • Annie

      We’re getting legally married out of state 6 weeks before what we consider our wedding (boo living in an anti-equality state). I wanted to keep it quiet, but severely underestimated how many people would ask “But are you *actually* getting married?” and I’m not very good at lying. I’m curious to hear the responses, because I’m really nervous that people won’t see our wedding as our “real” wedding.

      On the flipside, I know several people who got quietly married beforehand and only told a few people. It didn’t take a d*mn thing away from their wedding day.

      • SarahG

        Ugh, I really hate the “are you *really* getting married” questions people lobby at same-sex couples! Think about your words, people. Just… think. Oh, and FWIW, I attended two same sex weddings before it was legal pretty much anywhere (I’m 38, so this was like the late 90s). They were amazing, incredibly thoughtful, personal, beautiful weddings and I never once thought “too bad they can’t *really* get married”. I mean, the legal stuff matters (of course!) but those weddings? They were just as damn real as any other ones I attended. And I cried just as hard.

        Perhaps I am answering my own question :) Good luck with yours!

        • Annie

          Ha! I guess I answered my own question/concern, too. “I know several people who got quietly married and it didn’t take a d*mn thing away from their wedding day.”

          We’re religious, and one of the things that factored into our decision is a passage from the Bible about “give to Caesar what is Caesar and give to God what is God’s.”

          I think that passage can totally be rewritten and subbing in words that work for you. EX: give to the insurance company what they need and give to your heart and your baby family what you need. The magic for us is in gathering with our community and making a bold, public commitment in the context of our larger community. That’s our wedding and the beginning of our marriage, no matter what date the stupid piece of paper says.

          Sometimes, though, I’m silly and forget that these nebulous wedding guests are actually people who love us and don’t give a flip about the legal particularities of our wedding. And who are going to cry no matter what. :)

          • SarahG

            i think I need to stick a post-it on my computer that says “these nebulous wedding guests are actually people who love us”. And look at it every time I’m like “can people go 45 minutes without eating?” or “Will people be bored without a photobooth”? Etc etc. Wisdom!

        • Valerie Day

          YES. Our wedding was two days (after being planned for a year) prior to the law change in Oregon. I got so sick (and still am) of the questions. The legal ceremony doesn’t hold the tiniest birthday candle to our wedding. The marriage happened without the law to help us out.

      • Mezza

        I did this, sort of – we live in an equality state but our actual wedding ceremony/reception took place in an anti-equality one, so we had to get married at the courthouse before flying out of town for the wedding. And actually we got legally married about a month before the actual wedding because that was when we both had a weekday off. Hardly anyone even knows when the legal stuff took place because we both insisted that the ceremony was the wedding, and with the exception of my mother (who made an underhanded comment about not knowing when our “real” anniversary was), everyone accepted that without question. It took nothing away from the wedding day!

    • ElisabethJoanne

      I didn’t do this, but I wanted to, for religious and political reasons. We just ran out of energy around the time it would have happened. It’s very common in Latin America and Europe that the civil ceremony is separate from the religious ceremony.

    • lildutchgrrl

      My wife and I had 3 different wedding things:

      Our domestic partnership registration was primarily for insurance purposes; we signed paperwork on a Saturday morning in a UPS Store with a notary and a dear friend as photographer. It was quiet and sweet. We dressed up a little (’cause pictures!). We mentioned it to a few people, but didn’t make it a big deal.

      Our wedding was 3 and a half months later (we’d been planning it much longer) and had a number of readings, a song performed by my sister and father, and the usual “I now pronounce you” by our officiant, who is a family friend as well as certified to perform marriages. We exchanged rings. There were about 25 guests and we had an afternoon reception outdoors, with food prepared by a handful of close friends. This was Our Wedding. It’s the anniversary we’ll celebrate. It meant the most to us.

      A year after our DPR, we signed legal marriage paperwork because Prop 8 had been overturned a few weeks prior and we finally COULD. We chose a friend to witness; our same officiant signed the papers with us at his apartment, and we all went out to dinner with my parents afterward. It was a big deal politically, but personally it made no difference to how we live or how we think of our relationship.

      Put the emotional emphasis where you want it — on both occasions for different reasons, maybe, or more on the in-state ceremony. People will take their cues from you, so if you want to be congratulated a few months early on a big legal step, make it known. If you just want to focus on the upcoming celebration with your people, then downplay it. It’s up to you!

    • laurasmash

      My sis got legally married before the wedding because of some things to do with her husband’s job getting transferred. And it did not take away from the big wedding ceremony at all! It was very beautiful and emotional and special for the couple and everyone else too!

    • EF

      we’re doing the legal ceremony 3 months before the wedding itself so I can apply for a spouse visa/we can actually enjoy the wedding without having to worry if I’ll get deported. I think there’s all sorts of reasons people do this (and to be honest, *most* bi-national couples I know do) and they’re all valid. if it’s right for you, go ahead and own it, and get that insurance sorted!

    • Anonymous for this

      In China most people do the legal ceremony separately at the courthouse before the reception, so it wasn’t odd for my “now” husband and I to do so as well. We did it because we wanted more control over the ceremony, choosing a person to socially marry us that we already respect, while not asking that person to go through lots of paperwork to become certified to legally do weddings. I was incredibly glad to have the legal ceremony ahead of time (just a few days ahead, not months ahead). I was anxious about our wedding as an event, not nervous about the commitment. I had been ready for legal marriage for years and am knowledgeable and excited about the legal benefits of marriage. Therefore, the legal ceremony was very steadying for me. I felt a click inside rather than an emotional high after the legal ceremony. I became much less anxious about the wedding because the most important task was already finished. In the APW phrasing, I reached “wedding zen” because of the legal ceremony happening ahead of time. For me, the main emotions of the wedding came from so many people gathering together to support us. There are a lot of I statements here because this decision is about knowing who you are and how you feel as a couple. My husband didn’t have many feelings after the legal ceremony, it was completing a signing papers task, heck, we didn’t even spend time together afterwards. His emotions came with the rehearsal dinner and wedding. Taking away feelings was initially a small concern, but the need for feminist secular personal vows with a person we knew was much more important to us, and it had a side benefit of working out really well for me emotionally.

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

    I’m about to leave for work – day 3 of 6, no days off with my husband. Why has it become my experience that when you work hard, you are punished for it with longer hours, shitty shifts, and covering for people who don’t care for anyone but themselves.
    And I’m taking this opportunity to tell the very public internet community that I’m pregnant, feel terrible, have felt terrible for the last six weeks, and I’m really scared and anxious for a million reasons. Not least of all, that now I may never get out from under this terrible string of jobs, nor will I ever rekindle my creativity and be a good, positive example for my kid (supposing everything goes ok).
    Any positive words are welcome, as are any recommendations for online communities that are similar to this lovely one, but maybe more pregnancy related.

    • MisterEHolmes

      Best wishes…and remember, today is not forever. It’s just today.

    • emilyg25

      Hello, I am pregnant and feeling terrible too (8w4d)! As far as the anxiety thing, remember that nine months (or seven, or whatever you have left) is a pretty long time, and you can probably get some stuff sorted out before the baby arrives.

      For whatever reason, my usually anxious self has been struck dumb by pregnancy. It’s just so big and out of my control that I can’t even worry about it too much. Whatever happen will happen. Whatever comes our way, we’ll figure it out. Sometimes, we’ll fuck up, but we’ll get through it. I’m sorry if that sounds really trite and unhelpful. I’ve also loved the stuff Meg has written about pregnancy and motherhood.

      No recommendations on communities. It’s kind of a wasteland out there.

      • Anon

        I’m in exactly the same boat, almost down to the day! And I would agree – I thought I’d worry more, and instead, would generally agree with what you’ve said. If I can legitimately control making good choices, then I go for it. And if it’s things beyond my control – well, there are so many of them that it seems hard to even find where to start worrying.

    • jashshea

      Oh, Sera. Unfortunately all I can offer are some clucks of sympathy. Being a hard worker is a blessing and a curse. When I imagine myself pregnant, I always assume I’ll have the same intense fear and anxiety. Please take time to care for yourself and be gentle.

      Best wishes to you on finding your center, feeling better, and easing your anxiety.

    • lady brett

      so, it’s not like i can say “everything will be fine!” because clearly things are more complex than that. but i will say that these are 3 completely separate things:

      1. “get out from under this terrible string of jobs”
      2. “rekindle my creativity”
      3. “be a good, positive example for my kid”

      they may be related (cause shitty jobs make creativity and positivity harder, and any other sort of relations between life), but they’re not the same and not being able to fix one doesn’t mean you’ll not be able to accomplish other parts of it.

      anyhow, all the hugs for your hard times!

    • MC

      My mom didn’t work for the first 7 years of my life – it took her 7 years to fully decide that she really didn’t like not working, so she got a job. She is one of my biggest role-models and was, of course, before she went back to work, and will be regardless of future things – because of who she is and the way she lives her life. You will be a good, positive example for your kid regardless of any career or creativity situations come up. AND if it is important to you to have an awesome job so your kid can be inspired, you have plenty of years before your kid will even care what you do for a living. I know anxiety is irrational, though, so take lots of deep breaths and take it one day at a time. Best of luck!!

    • Hannah B

      :-( I am sorry about the job thing. That sucks.

      As I am wont to do, I go to music…here’s a hopeful song about kids loving their parents sung by the amazing Susan Graham…
      Jake Heggie – At the Statue of Venus: A Lucky Child

      *ahem* Meg, is there apracticalbaby in the works somewhere? That’d be taking on an even bigger industrial complex than APW does, I suppose.

      • Hannah B

        I tried to embed the link, but it’s on spotify if it doesn’t work! youtube is less reliable quality wise due to the great number of aspirational renditions done by music students

    • Sarah E

      What lady brett said is true. Also, Liz came to mind right away- she started her creative business when she had a kid because she could stay home and do art around her time with her son. So there’s that.

      And congrats on the pregnancy, I hope it’s a healthy one- in the long haul, at least :-)

    • Sparkles

      Hey Sera, CONGRATS! Having a baby is exciting and TERRIFYING. I’m 13 weeks and it still feels pretty unreal and annoying that I’m tired all the time and not allowed to drink anything. Which isn’t helpful, because I’m tired all the time which makes work that much more stressful and all I want to do tonight is have a beer on the porch in the sun. Orange juice it is!

      For pregnancy communities, check out AlphaMom. Someone on here suggested it when I was looking for support a few weeks ago, and at first I wasn’t sure, but the more I read the more I like. It’s set up like a Dear Abbey column and Amalah, the main writer, is usually spot on and super encouraging. I haven’t gotten onto the comments yet, and they don’t seem as interactive or as well developed as here, but the voices are friendly and non-judgmental. Of all the places I’ve checked out online so far, AlphaMom is my favourite. Also, please sign up for Pregnant Chicken’s weekly pregnancy email. I love it. This week fetus is the size of a jumbo shrimp and a few weeks ago it was an tiny ewok figurine! Those comparisons that aren’t fruit make my weeks that much better.

      • Kayakgirl73

        Lucie’s list is good. She has a gear web page and send out weekly e-mails with topics geared to what week you are. I think she’s funny. Some posts are about gear and others are about pregnancy and still others are things like what to look for in a pediatrician.

  • enfp

    Any APW’s out there have dancing, but no first dance? I love dancing on a crowded dance floor, but I’m not keen on the first dance idea. I hate the idea of everyone staring at me while I am awkwardly trying to dance, and my partner is even less comfortable than me being the centre of attention. We’d both really rather avoid the first dance, but how do you kick off the dancing without it? I suppose we could just slow dance for like 30 seconds and then pre-arrange for folks to join us on the floor? Any other ideas?

    • MC

      We are thinking about it – neither of us are amazing dancers and don’t feel the need to have the spotlight on us while we slow-dance, and our parents don’t need spotlight dances either. I think having someone announce that the couple would like everyone to join them for their first song would work well.

      • NrgGrl

        I can’t remember where I read this, but it’s a similar idea: Have the first song be a slow dance and invite everyone to join you. It’ll also serve to get everybody on the dance floor, too — even the shy people. And then you can trap them there by playing Black Eyed Peas right after that. ;)

    • emilyg25

      Talk to your friends who like to dance and start with a friends’ song!

      We ended up doing a first dance, even though I really didn’t want to, and actually it was lovely. We chose an upbeat, short song, and I was actually completely unaware that anyone was watching us. But if it’s not for you, it’s not for you!

    • jashshea

      Bourbon.

      1/2 kidding.

      My husband hates all kinds of dancing, but especially the all eyez on me dancing of a first dance. I told him it was the only time in his life he ever had to dance with me and that I would tell the DJ to kill the song after the first chorus (about 1:15 in). He survived.

      You could have folks join you.You could have bridal party dance with you the whole time. You could just have the DJ/emcee welcome everyone onto the dance floor with Black Eyed Peas and skip the whole dang first dance. People will know what to do.

    • Jess

      we did that! we also didnt want to do father/bride mother/groom dances cause we didn’t like how that left half the parents out. so we started our dance, at a particular music cue like 45 seconds in, we kinda posed for a second as if we were done, everyone cheered, then my parents joined in…45 seconds later, his parents joined in. end of the song, dj asked everyone to join in. it was perfect and not horrible at all. ALSO we had everyone standing around the dance floor, so it felt less like an audience cause everyone wasnt sitting down and watching. :)

    • Valerie Day

      We had contra dancing, but our first dance was a conga line through the tables and we got everyone (almost) to join us! It was GREAT!!! Helped us get around the tables for a second time, made everyone laugh with us, and got people onto the dance floor! Way more our style.

  • Erin

    I had my first rough wedding planning week. My dress came in (I really, really love it!), but I started to worry that I was going to regret not having the whole bridal store moment since I ordered online and it’s not a super-expensive frothy confection of a dress.

    On top of that, I’m just struggling with how expensive weddings are and how many expectations I feel like I have to manage, including my own. Really, I just want to marry this man and go on a gorgeous honeymoon. Whenever I look at the budget, though, I get all stressed and feel guilty and feel like we don’t deserve to have a glorious honeymoon if we’re already having a party.

    • Caitlin_DD

      Just got my dress from online too. I have to say the bridal store was underwhelming and awkward. Definitely nicer to have the “moment” in the house I grew up in. Mine is not frothy either, fear not. They’re hard to walk in when they’re frothy ;)

      • Erin

        Yes! Part of my requirements was being able to walk easily and, later, dance my face off.

        • Caitlin_DD

          Exactly! I can see myself tripping down the aisle… but I’d rather it not be because of a dress. And you know what else, all the dresses in store are strapless. I need a regular bra, no strapless for me. So essentially there was very little to even try on. I say cheers for skipping the stress!

    • Ragnhild

      i have a long white dress that isnt a “bridal gown”, and have been thinking the same thing. But then i think back on trying all those uncomfortable big dresses, and remembering the feeling of wearing the one I have. I guess I think I little too much about what other people will think…

      Also, the budget is hard. I had a moment today being super stressed out if we can actually pay for everything! I thought 12-13.000 would be plenty, but I have realized it just isnt! It sucks, and there is really nothing left I want to, or even can, cut out at this time (Only 4 weeks left!) A little stressed out today…

      • Erin

        I think some of my weirdness about it came from a tinge of worry about what others would think, too. But you know what? Your dress gives you a great feeling and that’s what matters. That’s kind of an epiphany for me. My dress makes really happy and I don’t know why I second guessed myself.

        I had that “I thought X would be plenty, but realized it just isn’t” moment on the phone with my dad today. It is super stressful. I think it partly makes me upset because I can only control so much and try to work around some things, but then some things just cost what they cost.

        But you’re rounding the corner and pretty soon you’ll be enjoying an amazing day!

        • Ragnhild

          Yeah. I am so happy to come here and hear from other brides and realize I am not crazy!

    • SarahG

      I feel you. I both love the dress I ordered and feel some weird nostalgia or something for the One I’m Supposed to Have. I mean, WTF. Your dress is awesome. You will have a chance to buy other party dresses again! At least this is what I tell myself :) As for the budget thing, there’s no Universal Court of Wedding Justice that will judge your budget. It’s you guys’ money, your life together.. you get to spend it how you want. Hugs!

      • Erin

        I think the weird nostalgia is exactly it! I saw so many pretty party dresses in my search that I just wanted to find some reason to buy and wear. Hopefully one day, for us both!

        And thanks for the reminder about the Universal Court of Wedding Justice! I’m not sure where these feelings come from because I know that no one is judging our budget.

    • KerryMarie

      Regarding the dress: I had similar doubts and quasi-regrets, especially when it came to trying on the dress for the first time, all alone. It really helped me, however, when I took my dress over to my bridesmaid’s house to show her, and she ooo-ed and ahhh-ed over it and me in it. :) Maybe try it on for your mom or bridesmaid(s) (if you have them) or a friend. Their excitement may help you capture some of that feeling that you’re worried about missing!

      • Erin

        I tried it on alone and then in front of my mom, which was really nice. I think I was expecting some sort of joyous moment with crying, angels singing, and fireworks (ok maybe not fireworks). You know what, though? It felt so right when I put it on and it’s exactly what I wanted and it makes me feel great.

      • Lawyerette510

        I was coming to say something similar, but like you and Erin, there were no angels singing, not chills, not anything like that, I just felt pretty and happy and like I wanted to celebrate in it.

        Also, you get that feeling on your wedding day when you put it on and when your to-be-spouse sees you, (at least I did) so know that there is more than one chance for that feeling.

    • Lawyerette510

      You absolutely deserve both the honeymoon and the party! The wedding and reception are for you and your partner to come together and your community to witness and celebrate with you; the honeymoon is for you to connect with your new spouse. Two related but separate things. You’re making this commitment to one another, so you deserve to have all three pieces (ceremony, reception, honeymoon) be what is right for the two of you!

    • Megera

      Aw, I missed the whole bridal-store thing too: my mum is making my dress. She’s awesome at sewing, so I know this dress is going to be beautifully made, but I’m never going to get that big reveal. And I keep thinking that since I’m not particularly sentimental I likely wouldn’t *have* that OMG-gottawearthis moment…. but I’m four months out and worry that since I don’t feel very ‘bridal’, I never will.

      • Sarah McClelland

        I went to a store with my mama even though I already knew I was making my dress partially to snoop shop and try out silhouettes and partially to have the experience with her… And I’m glad I did it because it changed my mind about the type of dress I wanted, and because my mom got to see me in a wedding dress, but it really was underwhelming in a big way at the same time… I have a feeling it’ll mean more when we’re all working on the hem or when I put the real dress on in the house Mom and I both grew up in.

  • Shotgun Shirley
  • MisterEHolmes

    Oh! My fiance and I picked up our wedding license yesterday, and although the process itself was relatively fast (government-bureaucracy-speaking), it left me literally shaking with feminist rage. (and, you know, rage-rage).
    -the fact that nowhere on the site did it say that only SOME pre-marital counseling counted toward the discounted rate, so ours didn’t count
    -that the price is $77…and they can’t even bother to provide a stamp for the required pre-addressed envelope
    -that we were told we could “just come back some other day,” precluding the fact that I had to take a half-day off work to get to the stupid office because of the ridiculous hours
    -that Texas is stupid and not only doesn’t allow gay marriage, but lists the form as “male’ and “female,” with “male,” of course, coming first.
    -that it was assumed that I’d be changing my name, not a question
    -that the marriage license will be mailed to my husband, not both of us (it’s already addressed…to just him)
    -that we were given this laughably 80s and out-of-touch “marriage preparation” pamphlet, which included such relevant and important questions as: “Should the father be the one to discipline the children? Agree, disagree, undecided.” and “Should the wife work outside of the home? Agree, disagree, undecided.”

    So much rage.

    • Guest

      So a couple weeks ago my mom made me go get eyelash extensions to test them out as a wedding possibility. I actually kind of liked them (specifically the part where I looked like I was wearing makeup 24 hours a day, with no effort). But then when I called the salon to have them taken off, they were closed for the week.

      So I looked up online how to take them off at home.

      AND NOW I HAVE NO EYELASHES.

      All my eyelashes came off with the extensions. I look like Neo when he first comes out of the Matrix.

      All I can think about is the “Momma took my eyebrows” thing from Grey’s Anatomy. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=apulDZ3fUqM&feature=kp

      • STM

        Ok, I have no idea why my comment ended up here instead of being its own post… and also shows up as Guest???

    • Ann

      I got my wedding license in CA while prop 8 was in effect, and I was very happy that it just said “Party A” and “Party B” on the application. I totally understand why you would be frustrated with gross language.

      • Gina

        I liked that CA had the Equality Name Act or whatever. It makes both parties fill out what they want their new names to be, even if you want your name to stay the same.

        • Ann

          As I recall, we were both able to write in any middle or last name. I did feel as though I wrote my name about a dozen times in the process (no changes for him or me), but that’s better than the alternative (not being able to choose).

          • ElisabethJoanne

            It’s technically not “any middle or last name” but it includes something like “any combination or blend of the 2 names.” So, theoretically “A. John Smith” marrying “A. James Jones” couldn’t change to “A. John Bloomington-Radcliff,” but could do “A. James Homie.” I don’t know what training the clerks get in this, though. I imagine they don’t see changes even like “Homie” from “sMItH+jOnEs” very often, and anything they don’t see often can fluster bureaucrats.

    • Jess

      yeah, in nyc i had to do all this extra signing and initialing to confirm that after the 12th time they asked me, i wasn’t, in fact, changing my name. UGH

      • Dawn

        Wow– I didn’t change my name, and we had no issues with that at all in Kentucky! Can’t believe New York is that annoying about it.

    • Kelly Mine-His

      Ugh. I so feel you (and I live in NYC where things are all equal by law now!). We both changed our names when we married, and literally every bureaucratic office we had to visit along the way (city clerk, social security, dmv…) could not make it through changing my husband’s name without making some sort of terrible comment. The woman at the DMV *literally* said “but that’s for girls.” I could not make this up. Embrace your rage, and go out there and make it easier to make choices, lady!

      • jashshea

        Whaaaa!?

        • Kelly Mine-His

          I KNOW. At the social security office, she couldn’t comprehend at all. We kept being like “no, he’s changing his name too.” and she was like “… to what?”

      • Jess

        nyc also, we wanted to add the other’s last as a second middle name, but that wasn’t one of the options allowed. :( so, no changing anything for us!

        also, thats so ridiculous!

      • NicoleT

        I’m normally a (very) passive-aggressive person, but that would have made me dish out a load of icy “excuse me?”s and other choice words. Why do people feel the need to comment on crap that’s none of their business? When I’m working in the public sector, if I see something that I personally disagree with (that isn’t harming anyone, etc.), I keep my damn mouth shut because it’s NONE OF MY BUSINESS.

      • ASH

        Ugh! We’re both going to be changing our names soon in WI. Hoping for a smooth experience!

    • TeaforTwo

      Whaaaaat? The government is giving you a discount on getting married for taking counselling, AND telling you what kind to take?

      Oh, America.

      • MisterEHolmes

        Worse: for taking counseling, but NOT telling you particularly what kind ahead of time, and only that one kind will count. Ugh.

        • Sarah McClelland

          In some counties in Ga they waive the fee entirely. And accept most premarital counseling as long as you have the certificate!

    • swarmofbees

      Oh man, this is just now making me realize that I might have problems not changing my name in AZ. I had just assumed it would be fine, but now I am starting to wonder. Actually, starting to worry that I will legally be something I did not intend to be. welp, looks like I have my new wedding nightmare :/

      • MisterEHolmes

        I can’t actually speak to that, yet: this is just the “how you’ll change your name” info that apparently is handed out to every woman in Texas getting a marriage license. (As in, multiple stops, in order, at various governmental agencies.) As far as I know, there are no direct governmental issues with NOT changing it.

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

        We got married in AZ, and it’s no issue here. I was not forced to change my name, and I have a friend whose husband took her name and they had no issues whatsoever from the court officials. (Granted, we do live in Tucson, which tends to be quite a bit more progressive than the rest of the state.)

    • Valerie Day

      Thanks for being pissed! We got married the first day gay marriage was legal and were encouraged to fill out the license online form while waiting in line. I had to be listed under “male: groom”. The judge made an announcement at noon, and by the time I got inside (20 minutes later) the forms were magically changed to have check marks for “bride, groom, spouse” on both partner 1 and partner 2. I LOVED IT. Even option to not list oneself with a gendered role. CHANGE, so slow and so fast. Most married people tell me they don’t even remember the form. Maybe its not as bad other places as Texas?

  • Gina

    I’m going to Anchorage this weekend to argue a case before the 9th Circuit! So, this is the most nervous I’ve ever been.

    Also, thank you for the #yesallwomen roundup. It hit me hard when I thought about the world my little sisters are facing. I wrote this to them: http://ropesandraces.wordpress.com/2014/04/08/to-my-sisters-and-every-other-girl-coming-of-age-in-this-crazy-world/

    • KM

      Good Luck at the 9th Circuit – that is amazing! I’m sure you’ll be kick-ass.

    • Lawyerette510

      Good luck! What an awesome challenge/ accomplishment!

  • Caitlin_DD

    I found the dress! And online at Dillard’s no less. It was surprisingly emotional, but when I put it on, I felt…like I am getting married. Anyway, I managed to make my teenage brother get a little misty eyed, so I call it a success. Also can I add it was only $280. My kinda price.

    • Ragnhild

      Yay! Congratulations. That was my kinda price too :)

      • Caitlin_DD

        Oo, where did you get your dress?

        • Ragnhild

          From a small dress store in Tallinn, Estonia. It is a fake Dolce and Gabbana! So I might have paid overprice…

          • Caitlin_DD

            That is an excellent story. They do tend to get you on the knock-offs, but still better than the original! It sounds lovely.

          • Ragnhild

            Thank you. The wedding dress that I have found that was closest to it in style and feel was around 3000$, so I am happy with a knock-off!

    • swarmofbees

      That is almost exactly my kind of price.

      • Caitlin_DD

        Bargain hunting… my life.

        • swarmofbees

          Though, paying half the cost of the dress in alterations did surprise me a bit. I think the price is reasonable, I just didn’t factor that in when entering costs into my spreadsheet.

          • Caitlin_DD

            Ooh, yeah alterations are tricky. I don’t feel bad paying for them because I have just enough sewing experience to say YES it is worth it to pay someone to do a good job, but still… My dress luckily just seems to need hemming, and I’ll try to do some alterations at the gym (or with Spanx ;) ) for the rest of it.

    • Sparkles

      YESSSSS! That is seriously exciting.

      • Caitlin_DD

        Thank you!

  • Anon Swattie

    I went to college with Arthur Chu (author of “Your princess is in another castle”). He was pretty low on the list of “Will probably become famous post-college,” but he has inspired SO MUCH Swarthmore pride. It’s exploded on my facebook and it’s awesome. There was lots of celebration during his Jeopardy run, and now there’s HUGE amounts of great, productive conversation going on on my facebook. While it’s not a happy subject to talk about, having it’s good to be having those conversations with people who I haven’t seen/heard from in years.

  • JSwen

    Maybe I’m a pessimist but I have been expecting everything to be priced at 150% when the modifier “wedding” is added (eg. wedding up-do, wedding dress alterations, wedding bands) but today was THE BEST.

    100 servings of our favorite cake from a patisserie in town = $140

    Score. Anyone else get pleasant surprises in their wedding planning budget?

    • ks

      My DJ was way under budget. I’ve been pretty much under-budget on everything, but was severely over-estimated on purpose when planning our budget

      • Sparkles

        That feels so much better than under budgeting and not having enough money. Now if you’ve got money left when the wedding’s over (knock on wood), you’ll be able to scheme about what to do with it.

    • Jess

      the wine store that took returns and didn’t actually charge our credit card until we had brought the extra bottles back! i thought that was SO lovely!

    • Peekayla

      Dessert bar from a local woman that has a small business out of her home:
      80 rum balls
      75 buckeyes (1/2 in dark chocolate and 1/2 in white chocolate)
      4 different cheesecakes (Baileys, PB, Pumpkin, and Grasshopper)
      and a 12″ margarita cake for us to cut
      all for about $130! Looking to add mini-whoopie pies to the mix using my grandmother’s recipe =)

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

      Our florist was super reasonable (and totally reliable and lovely).

    • ART

      I just now (1 month out) got de-stressed enough to decide that going to Safeway the day before to buy cakes would be FINE rather than ordering them from a place an hour away. Then I we had a cake from Safeway at work and the price tag said $9.99. F. Yes.

      • Sparkles

        YES! Grocery store cake is delicious, and that’s an amazing price.

    • Valerie Day

      Our amazing Portland photographer, Jason Quigly made a great 3 hour coverage deal for us. Without it we would have had to rely on friends (who still provided prep and reception coverage. His photos are amazing, and just what we wanted (lots of candids, fully capturing the moment. Even a pic of the best happy face I have ever made. I’ve never seen the look on my face before!). So then, on top of all this, when two days after our wedding marriage was made legal in Oregon, he showed up and provided another hour of coverage just because! I feel so lucky! http://www.photojq.com He also acted like we were full fledged, full day customers in how we prepped for the day.

      • Sparkles

        I had an amazing photographer (www.kymberliedozois.com) who found me from an ad I put on Kijiji who gave us 5 hours of coverage based on our quoted price (which was quite low). I was amazed that she’d be so generous, and our pictures turned out wonderfully. She’s pretty kick ass to work with and I think for the next little while she’s not charging for travel on destination weddings, so she came all the way out to me, no charge. I couldn’t believe my luck!

  • LE

    So many makeup questions this week. I wear some makeup everyday, but keep it pretty minimal and am terrible at it in general. I am, however, really looking forward to getting it done on my wedding day. First, what is airbrushing and do I need it?? I’ve seen it done, but don’t know the benefits. Also, I am very very fair-skinned and always feel like stuff like this kind of thing won’t work on me. Like spray tan or liquid foundation. Anyone have experience?

    Also, how much should it cost for the wedding day? I had no idea that even makeup artists have minimums (as in, you have to sign up 3 of your bridesmaids before they will consider it.) But, I did manage to get one quote for $200 for just me (which includes airbrushing and eyelashes(?!)), another for $150, and to my relief, finally one more for $75. I also live in and am getting married in a big city (Chicago) so that could have something to do with the costs. What did you guys spend on makeup?

    • Lisa

      I have no advice on this, but I’m also getting married in Chicago (solidarity fistbump!) and have no idea what I’m going to do with my make-up so I’m curious to see what other people say.

    • Jess

      mine was $125 in brooklyn, ny at the salon. it was primer, foundation, eyes, blush, lips. she bought me a new mac lipstick in my color and only marked it up 5 bucks. no airbrushing, no lashes. totally worth it. she used more makeup than i do in my day to day life/would want to buy. for instance, to get my foundation color, she mixed two other colors together. my sister got hers done for 80 or 90 at the same place, but without the “bridal” markup.

    • Meg

      I’ve had my trial make up session already and I’m going to have airbrushing done. Basically if they are good at their job they will blend a tone perfect for you that goes on smoothly. (it feels really good going on! very cool and nice). I’m fairly fair skinned too (almost always wear the lightest shade offered by makeup companies.) and liked how it looked

    • sara g

      I haven’t officially booked anything but my local salon does makeup for $75ish (including trial) and hair for a similar amount. I’m in Seattle and that price is insanely low for wedding hair/makeup, but only because it’s not an on-location beautician. The cheapest of those I could find in the area was $250 and I hated her portfolio.
      I keep going back and forth on whether I should do my own makeup or not. I have yet to discover a way to keep my skin from turning into an oil slick after 2 hours. By the end of the day all my makeup has pretty much melted off no matter how much I blot. That does not bode well for a wedding. On the one hand, I feel that a professional might have more tricks to combat oil, but on the other, I had my makeup done once before at a girl’s night salon party, and it was insta-shine. Awful.
      Any other grease-faces got any advice?

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

      I have no idea how much it costs since it was a gift, but when one of my best friends got married her mom-in-law got us all airbrushing and it was literally the best makeup session I’ve ever had. Most of the girls were pale and looked gorgeous. It lasted all day and night and came off wonderfully. We had it done at an Aveda salon.

    • Anon

      I think my advice would be whatever you are most comfortable with. I also wear minimal make up on a day-to-day basis and am fair-skinned. My philosophy was that I still wanted to look like “me” on my wedding day. I did not get spray tanned (although I have seen many natural looking ones!) but I did get married in October so had a bit of natural color from the summer left over.

      Many people emphasize that you want to do more make up than usual for the photographs. My sister did my make up, and she did more mascara than I normally would, and added eyeliner. The key: I still felt it looked natural and I still felt like “me”. If I could do it again, I would do false eyelashes so that my eyes would have popped more in the photos.

      Enjoy your wedding day – it goes too quickly!

  • ElisabethJoanne

    Following up on a couple discussions about what to do with wedding photos, I got a coupon this weekend for free photo prints, and ordered 100 from my wedding for posterity. As the coupons roll in, I plan to get all the photos and put them in a simple album or high-quality photo box.

    Did the self-assessment for provoked vestibulodynia. To my surprise, it was negative. I actually felt kind of disappointed in the moment, because it would have been another explanation of my dyspareunia, but, really, it’s good news. It means I was properly assessed by my doctor and my condition will be simpler to treat. We also got to try my husband’s delayed ejaculation medication. His dose is half a pill, so the medication is half as expensive as I thought. (It’s $30-40/pill, not covered by insurance.) We noticed some effect. So, I guess that’s good.

    For those in the Bay Area, the 10th Annual Bay Area Walk for the National Alliance on Mental Illness is tomorrow in Golden Gate Park. I’m not great at posting links. Try this:
    http://myemail.constantcontact.com/NAMIWalk—Tips-for-Walk-Day-.html?soid=1101109667197&aid=Hs81oZiADbc

  • ruth

    I love when people post happy news on the ‘happy hour’ forum – new jobs, new babies, etc… So thought I’d post some happy news of my own. I just finished my first novel! I’m not entirely happy with the way it turned out, but I stuck it through and finished. Regardless of whether or not it gets published, I now know I can keep the promises I make to myself. I don’t just dream of being a novelist anymore. I am one. For everyone out there who dreams of writing a novel ‘someday’ – do it!

    • Caitlin_DD

      Congratulations! That is something to be very proud of. (I say as a former NaNoWriMo participant).

    • MisterEHolmes

      Let me know if you need any guidance on “next steps.” I’ve written 2.5 now. And may I recommend the website Writer.ly if you want help with editing, layout, and images!

      • ruth

        Thanks! That’s awesome! Did you self pub these?

        • MisterEHolmes

          I’ve been on the traditional publication track (wooing agents, then publishers, etc). And, not to be too self-promotional here, I’m one of the editors on Writer.ly, so let me know if you need help–we can swap info.

          • ruth

            Thanks, MisterEHolmes! I’m hoping to go the traditional track too, but I will definitely keep this in mind :)

    • http://andshelovesyou.com/ Lucy

      YAY! (Also a NaNoWriMo participant here) Fistbumps to you. Now it’s time for editing, so welcome to the trenches. ;)

      • ruth

        Thanks! Already 2 editing passes in – now it’s a toss up between trying to fix a story that may have fundamental narrative arc problems or just chalking it up as a learning experience and moving on to the next novel idea :)

  • Eh

    We are finally on the right track with our relationship with my husband’s brother and his wife. It’s taken a long time and a lot of work but it’s really been worth it, especially considering about six month ago we were barely talking. We’ve been spending more time with them and last weekend we spent a lot of time hanging out with them. I’ve wanted to talk to my SIL about things the last couple of times we’ve seen each other but it’s hard to get a private moment when the kids and our in-laws are around. I don’t really like having conversations over text messages (a text conversation resulted in a misunderstanding between my husband and his brother) but I wished them luck with the offer they are putting in on a house and we started back and forth about how we had a great weekend and how things are going so much better between us. About six months ago we had sat down (for people trying to repair relationships, it takes a long time and it is a huge process, so be patient) and we all needed to see that the words that were said that day were true (e.g., that we were willing to put effort in to our relationship and that we would agree to communicate better and stop sabotaging our relationship). There were also a couple of setbacks along the way but we got through them. My SIL commented on how my husband is more confident now. This was something that we have been working on but it was perfect timing because my SIL has been working on being less aggressive (her previous knee-jerk reaction to everything was to rip people’s heads off when she was upset – a lot of her anger was directed at my husband which made him anxious around her). She recognizes how her actions affected my husband and she feels bad about it. This also reinforced that we aren’t against her and my BIL’s relationship (there are some people in the family who are) and that my husband and my issue was specifically regarding how she treated my husband (she has seen that since she is less aggressive around him and he is less anxious around her that the tension between us has been lifted). It has also helped that we have taken the time to get to know each other. Previously she didn’t want to get to know me and wouldn’t let me get to know her because I am friends with people who do not support her marriage to my BIL so she assumed that I would side with them. Six months ago we agreed to get to know each other and it has really helped.
    We also talked about one of the elephants in the room – our wedding. She did not attend our wedding and their kids did not either (my BIL only came for the ceremony). This topic has been off limits because I understand why she didn’t come – emotions were really high at the time and she feels very uncomfortable around our husbands’ family (since she gets blamed for lots of things and many of them don’t support her marriage). I wish we could have worked things out earlier and that they could have come to the wedding since we really wanted them there. She said that she regrets that they didn’t go which really means a lot to me. Up to the point of our wedding my husband and I had been trying to work things out with my BIL and SIL but they weren’t at their breaking point yet and weren’t willing to put in the effort to work things out. My SIL works for a program run by a mission. The pastor that runs the program really helped her with how to approach our situation. I wish I had known about the pastor before our wedding. In the month before our wedding when we were trying to arrange to meet with them I had suggested to my husband that we have a mediator. We couldn’t think of anyone that would be agreeable to all of us. If I had known about this pastor (I met her last weekend and she is an amazing woman) I would have suggested that she mediate.

    • Shotgun Shirley

      That I awesome. I have a pretty bad relationship with my MIL that I am trying to improve. So this gives me hope.

      • Eh

        Good luck! It takes a lot of work from all parties and all parties have to be willing participants. Before our wedding my SIL felt that we were only trying because my inlaws wanted them at our wedding.

  • STM

    A couple weeks ago my mom made me go get eyelash extensions to test them out as a wedding possibility. I actually kind of liked them (specifically the part where I looked like I was wearing makeup 24 hours a day, with no effort). But then when I called the salon to have them taken off, they were closed for the week.

    So I looked up online how to take them off at home.

    AND NOW I HAVE NO EYELASHES.

    All my eyelashes came off with the extensions. I look like Neo when he first comes out of the Matrix.

    All I can think about is the “Momma took my eyebrows” thing from Grey’s Anatomy. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=apulDZ3fUqM&feature=kp

    • Meg

      noooo!!!!!!!!!! also best reference

    • Shotgun Shirley

      Shiiiiiiiiit… I hope your wedding is in 7-8 wks or more so there’s time to grow back?
      Also I’m now even more scared of eyelash extensions then I was.

      • STM

        Luckily wedding is just under 3 months. Bridal shower, however, is in a week. :-<

      • AG

        Don’t be afraid! I’ve gotten them twice (one trial and then for the wedding) and LOVE them. That said, they make you very aware of your eyes, which is a bit weird. And you just have to let them fall out naturally.

    • Kayjayoh

      Oh my! I’m sorry to hear that. Here’s to them growing fast!

      Not nearly on the scale of no eyebrows, but I managed to give myself a GIANT bruise on my right elbow this week, due to making a stupid, lazy mistake during archery practice this week. (Pro tip: don’t lock your elbow!) It might fade in three weeks, but it is pretty massive, and all I can do is laugh at myself. I’m sure I’ll end up with some bruised or scrapes on my shins between now and then, too. Such a klutz.

  • lildutchgrrl

    I’m frustrated with the glacial progression of the purchase of our first home. We got a good price on a foreclosure, but — due to some strange complications and then to the normal(?) delays of the bank paperwork — our offer has been sitting since mid-February. We’re the only offer; the seller wants to sell to us; we even have the same agent now, and I believe he is making every reasonable effort. But the bank hasn’t returned his calls/emails in almost two weeks for this most recent stretch of “waiting…” and it’s getting to me. I just want to be in our new house! I want solid acceptance of our offer. I want the construction to be over, or at least to get it started because the new appraisal and inspections have been done (they haven’t yet). I want(ed) to plant our garden, and that is probably not going to happen this year. I’m bummed.

    Anyone else been through a long and newsless wait? Advice?

    • Crayfish Kate

      Oh man I feel you. We’re trying to buy a short-sale house. We put in our offer the end of Feb., and NOTHING yet. Our agent keeps calling the seller’s agent, & of course no one’s heard anything. We need to be out of our current place by the end of July. The house needs a new roof, & we were hoping to have that done before we moved in, but now it looks like (if we even get this place) we’ll be living there while the roof is being done. Fun times.

      • http://www.emilyaltphotography.com/ emily alt

        Crayfish Kate–1) I miss you. 2) Ian can probably put your roof on for you–do you want me to talk to him about it? 3) When are we going to hang out? 4) I can’t wait to see this new house!!!!

        • Crayfish Kate

          EMILY!!!! I miss you too, and holy crap, are you serious about the roof?! B/c the house needs a new roof like, yesterday. It’s an old house, so I’m not sure what roofing would entail, but we’ll keep you posted for sure. We need to hang out soon, I completely agree! I got a sweet new job so that’s been exciting, yet time-consuming. But I’ll email you & see what works! You are the best! :-D

      • lildutchgrrl

        Yes, exactly this. *fistbump of solidarity*
        The seller in our situation eventually fired his agent, who disappeared off the map right after we put in our offer and wouldn’t even respond to the SELLER’s contact attempts. Then the seller hired our agent (which was cool because the agent is kind of negotiating with the bank, not juggling conflicting priorities, in a short sale). I called the old agent’s boss and gave her an earful about her employee abandoning a client and a sale. Never heard what happened to him. So that ate up like a month. Then two weeks for the seller and our agent to get everything transferred over and completed. After that I blame the bank.

        • Crayfish Kate

          YIKES. Okay, yeah, the seller’s agent in our case is not great, but he hasn’t walked off the job! We think this is his first short-sale, b/c it’s pretty obvious he has NO IDEA what he’s doing. Our agent has done short-sales before & is familiar with the process, so that helps, but of course he can’t FORCE the bank to hurry up. I wish you luck! Banks are terrible!

  • Shotgun Shirley

    You guys I had a baby the other weekend. She’s gorgeous, and huge (8lb4oz and already back up to and past her birth weight). We didn’t make it to the birth center in time so I gave birth in my (parked) car. I had to catch her myself because hubs was on the opposite side of the car dealing with our injured toddler. (She managed to close a car door on her fingers. Twice.) Thank goodness we had such a thorough birth class… The midwife came out to us instead, and everyone turned out ok, even lil H and her fingers. Anyway, I’m pretty proud of myself.

    • Meg

      wow!! that’s incredible, congrats :)

    • Lindsey d.

      Wow! What a story! Congratulations!

    • Lisa

      Wow, what an amazing story! Congratulations on your second little girl!!

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

      YOU GO MOMMA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Gina

      Whaaaat!!! That is awesome.

    • ruth

      Wow! What an amazing mom you are! That is so great – congratulations on your baby girl!

    • Erin

      Hooo-leee shit! You just might be my hero. That- You – You are amazing. Here’s to you and your growing family! (Seriously, you in the car, baby coming into the world, husband and daughter taking care of tiny, bruised fingers on the other side = mind blown.) Big hugs and bigger congratulations on navigating a situation most would deem… what’s the word? Overwhelming.

      XOXO

      • Shotgun Shirley

        Aw shucks, thanks everybody!

  • nikki

    I got married on May 17! It was absolutely fantastic!
    The funny thing is: Friday was a nightmare. I won’t go into the gory details, but nothing was going right. We were trying to set up the venue and people were sitting instead of helping, people were arriving late who had car loads of stuff, etc, etc. I really thought that my wedding was going to be chaos and terrible. My best friend came up to me Friday during the onslaught of awful and said, “It will all come together tomorrow. You won’t know how, but it will.”
    And it did! I just cannot get over how great my ceremony was and how much fun everyone had at the reception!
    So for anyone planning a wedding and thinking, this will never come together — keep working at it and it will! And this message is coming from someone who relied on family and friends to help instead of paying a coordinator.

    • Jess

      congrats!!! we were may 16th! hope you’re enjoying your first few post wedding weeks!

      • nikki

        Thanks! you too!

    • Jules

      One heck of a friend :) Congratulations!

    • vegankitchendiaries

      Yes to messages of assurance! :)

    • Valerie Day

      I was May 17 too. YAY! So happy for you. The magic cannot be emphasized enough.

  • Molly Kopuru

    We are Colorado-bound! We’ve never done a road trip before so not sure what to expect, especially with the dogs, but it’s going well so far!

    Also, it doesn’t feel any different to be married (married a week tomorrow) … Is that normal? We haven’t lived together before so that may have something to do with it. We’ve just been staying over at each other’s houses the last week while we got everything packed and ready to go. Might take a while for it to sink in? I don’t know. We’ve been together almost 5 years. Hm.

    Looking forward to new beginnings in Colorado. Hopefully I get used to the snow… But until then, I’m going to enjoy the summer.

    • YOQ

      I moved to Wyoming about a decade ago. The best advice anyone gave me was to find some winter activity that I enjoyed doing, so that I could look forward to winter instead of dreading its coming. If you like outdoor stuff, I highly recommend taking up skiing (cross-country or downhill) or snowshoeing!

  • DM

    I’m caught up with a small detail that drives me nuts – figuring out grammatically correct RSVP options that are not repetitive. The defaults of “accepts with pleasure” and “declines with regrets are fine for a single guest, but it grates on me to see “the Smiths accepts”. So far, basics I think work are “will attend” and “cannot join the festivities”. I’d love something a little more eloquent or creative without being silly – any ideas?

    • DM

      update – the current best options are “will happily attend” and “must sadly decline”. I’d love more suggestions, though

      • YOQ

        We got around this with a madlibs-style RSVP. However, if you’re doing something more formal, that probably won’t work… (I do appreciate your attention to grammatical detail, though! Serious props for that.)

        • KM

          We made a madlibs RSVP too! I knew that at the time we were receiving RSVPs, my wife would be working abroad so I wanted more fun than the traditional card to feel all our wedding peeps’ love while wifey was away. I struggled some with the grammar for all potential responses, but ultimately gave it up in favor of the impending laughs.

          • DM

            The madlibs RSVPs are awesome!

          • Lindsay Rae

            OMG awesome!!

    • ART

      we used “wouldn’t miss it for the world” and “will celebrate from afar”

      • Lindsay Rae

        That’s what we used too!

    • Kelly

      “Can’t wait to attend” and “Will be there in spirit”?

    • Rebekah

      We used “Will delightedly attend” and “Will regretfully be absent”

      But then ended up not sending out RSVP cards and asking for emails instead.

    • ElisabethJoanne

      I think we did:

      “Name:___
      Please indicate number:
      _ Will attend
      _ Will not attend”

      We got a few with check marks instead of a number, but only from singles and couples, not families, so we didn’t have to call anyone to clarify. I feel like if there was anything unusual about a family’s RSVP (eg, only some members attending, attending the ceremony but not the reception), they just wrote it out.

  • Bsquillo

    Back at happy hour for the first time in a couple action-packed weeks! In the past three weeks I graduated with my master’s degree, got hired for a new job that I start this coming Monday, and went to China on a 16 day tour with my college jazz ensemble! So I am finally back in the states and 22 days from my wedding and feeling ALL OF THE FEELINGS.

    So can someone help alleviate my anxiety on the following sources of wedding stress? Or at least tell me I’m not a crazy person?

    1) THE DAMN RSVPs. We’ve had to personally contact at least half of the people we sent invites to because they didn’t RSVP by the deadline we listed. It’s making me furious.
    2) I’m kind of disappointed in the lower-than-expected number of people that will be able to attend the wedding. I knew there would be a lot of folks that wouldn’t be able to make it due to their spread around the country, but I can’t help feeling that some people are letting us down. Particularly a groomsman who TODAY told us he may not be able to make it. I know things come up, but it hurts when you give people MONTHS of notice and they still don’t have their act together three weeks before the date.
    3) My fiancé, bless his heart, who is not nearly as stressed about all this as me, and it’s driving me bonkers. And the fact that even though I’m working my ass off on most of the planning, if I ask him to send two emails about the wedding, he acts like it’s torture. I just want to yell “I’M STARTING A FULL TIME JOB ON MONDAY, PLEASE HELP.”

    Overall I’m really excited, but I’m tired of everyone telling me “it will all work out.” That’s because, damn it, I’m the one MAKING it all work out.

    • Caitlin_DD

      I hope you loved China! I have no RSVP advice other than that not responding seems to be a disappointing trend. As for fiance… it may be time to start yelling (just a little), or stating forcefully perhaps!

    • Lisa

      Congratulations on all of the exciting things!!

    • Lindsay Rae

      Congrats on the fun things! I just started a full time (extremely demanding) job two weeks ago and I want to yell PLEASE HELP all the time regarding wedding things (and housework)

      If one more person says “it will all work out” I will smack them, totally feel ya. Good luck continuing to make it all work out!!! xo

    • Jules

      Very, very, very not crazy. Honestly? I’d also have a heart-to-heart about #3 so long as you’re capable of not blowing up. Or do blow up. I dunno. Sometimes these things are needed.

    • Dawn

      I’m late to the party here, but you sound so much like me a year ago! Graduating, going to China, stressing…I can’t say much on 1 and 2, though I think your experience is within the normal range. As others have said: communicate with you fiancé. Start with yourself. Use I statements to express your stresses and explain that you need his help. Maybe write a list for him rather than just talking it through.

      If you’re dealing with complex projects or convoluted timelines, I would consider possible simplifications. Maybe you are the on,y one with the desire for X to work out. Is it really worth the stress? I let a lot of details slide because, as you said, the reason things will work out is that someone is making them work out. That someone wasn’t going to be someone who thinks preparation happens magically!

      Good luck!

  • Lisa

    So a sort of update on where we stand regarding my fiancé’s doctorate:

    It looks like as of now we are going to be moving to Badtown (as one commentor funnily renamed it). Fiancé has officially accepted and will be starting school in the fall.

    BUT… when the professor e-mailed him a month ago to ask how our decision process was coming, B was upfront and told him that I was concerned about what kind of performance opportunities I would have in Badtown. So the professor forwarded B’s e-mail to the head of the performance department at Badtown U to ask how they could help us out. That head offered me an audition for their upcoming shows and for a certificate program. I went and auditioned and found out this week (after a bit of prodding) that I was accepted into the certificate program and cast in a role!

    There is SO much that is still up in the air. I haven’t received any information about the program/tuition costs/etc., and as everyone else who has done the program did it concurrently with their master’s, I get the feeling the school is making it up as they go. However, it will give me the chance to perform with the school at least, and I can do the program part-time so that I can still hold down a job!

    tl;dr: Things are looking up!

    • KC

      YEEEEEES! (I mean, NOOOO about having to go to Badtown, but hooray for it potentially redeeming itself!) It’s especially great, in addition to the factual this-can-happen stuff, that they’re being supportive and trying to make things work out.

      I hope everything goes splendidly!

      • Lisa

        Thank you!!

        One of the things that really sold me was seeing the e-mail B’s professor sent to the department head saying, “I really want this candidate to come here. What can we do to make this work for him and his fiancée?” And then the department head immediately responding with an enthusiastic offer to audition me.

        There are so many logistics still (Ex: we’re having an October wedding. Can I defer by a semester to finish that?), but bit by bit, hopefully it will come together.

    • Hannah B

      Out of curiosity, what’s your field?

      • Lisa

        My fiancé and I are both classical musicians, which makes being near a larger city kind of essential. He’s pursuing a doctorate, while I’m looking more towards a performance career.

    • jashshea

      That’s really great! It sounds like Badtown U is willing to be super flexible, which probably means good things for your fiance’s program. Good luck!

  • Lindsey d.

    I ordered our wedding album today! Well, one anyway…. Shutterfly only goes up to about 110 or so pages in their books and I couldn’t edit much out, so I ordered one album that has getting ready, first look, family portraits, pre-ceremony, Ketubah signing, ceremony and immediately following the ceremony in it. It’s 100 pages, but my idea is that when I read my favorite novels over and over sometimes I’m looking for the overall stories and sometimes I look for the details. I can do the same with our album (speed through for the idea/feeling of the day, or go slow for the #WhereMyFlowerGirlsAt, dress, expressions, etc. details). I sprang for the lay flat pages and matte cover with dust jacket, but thanks to stacking discounts, I spent less than $100 for the whole shebang. I’ll report back with a review when it’s in. And next I’ll make a separate reception book. Good thing I LOVE making photo albums (hate scrapbooking, but love online layout stuff).

    • ElisabethJoanne

      Unsolicited advice, from someone who’s now made 10 Shutterfly wedding albums: Set up some 8×8 albums while you’ve got the interest and energy. I get a few coupons for those for free each year, but they expire in just a few days, which isn’t enough time for me to set up a whole new album. I’ve learned to set them up in advance and wait to order them when I get a coupon. I made such albums for both sets of parents, the officiant, and my sister who went abroad shortly after the wedding.

      • ElisabethJoanne

        Oh, and for anyone who really wanted to attend the wedding, but couldn’t.

      • Lindsey d.

        That is exactly what I do…. I’ve now made two “yearbooks” with Shutterfly, our guest book, a couple of vacation specific albums and this first wedding book. I’m going to go back and make a book for the parents and my husband’s grandparents, who couldn’t make it. I work on them for ages (this one actually easier because I didn’t do any text except the cover) and order them when the coupons fall into place.

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

    I booked a weekend getaway for our one-year anniversary next month! We’ll be staying in a cute little cabin 2 miles from one of PA’s state parks, and just under 2 hours away from home. It was struggle city trying to figure out something to do for just a weekend on a budget, but we’re both really looking forward to it.

  • Ellen

    Thirty six days out and our invitations are finally out the door! It took a LOT of back and forth with our invitation person (and basically threatening a meltdown unless we got them ASAP) and then an actual meltdown when the USPS held them hostage (because it “looked like nobody was home”) but they’re out the door! Finally!!!!!

  • AG

    Rachel’s Let the Record Reflect was an amazing read, thanks for linking it. A month after our wedding, and APW is still part of my daily reading because I’m finding that y’all are one of the best feminist sites out there (also, wedding withdrawal). Thank you, and keep it up.

  • Alyssa M

    It hit me this week that I’m about four months out from my wedding and still have about 60% of a clue what the hell I’m doing planning a wedding. I was aware I had WAAAY to much shit to accomplish, but could barely conceptualize what that shit was. My partner responded with “we’ve still got time.” So I sat down and made an ever growing to-do list that I think is taller than me… and now he’s freaking out about as much as I am.

    Also, my budget $8K wedding may have warped into a wedding weekend… if I actually pull this off (a full weekend wedding for $8K) I think I may just owe ya’ll a How We Did It post… cause it’s gonna involve some freakin wedding magic guys.

    Can you tell I’m on the verge of a panic attack?

    • MC

      Are you Sept. 27th, too? We hit the four-month mark this week which is WEIRD, but like you, it inspired us to make a huge too-do list. Deep breaths!

      • Alyssa M

        October 4th actually! We really wanted September 27th because it’s our 9 year anniversary, but apparently my cousin had already called dibs on that day. We only have my grandma in common on our guest lists, but I moved it for her sake.

    • SarahG

      We’re Sept 28! Four month fist bump! Once you cross even one more item off, it’ll feel great. I ordered my dress yesterday and that felt HUGE (I was really struggling with trying to find something even moderately flattering on a small budget). You can and will get your stuff done! Also, it’s kind of nice to be freaking out with your partner instead of just by yourself. Bonding! Or something :) Good luck!

    • Lindsay Rae

      I’m an October 4 bride too! :)

      No matter how long I make my to-do list, or how many notebooks I carry around with my lists and notes (seriously, I don’t leave home with out it) my fiance always says “it will work out. we have time.” UHMMM WHATTT.

      • Kelly

        Yep. The other day I said, “that’s really not helpful,” and he’s like, “I’m just worried about you being so stressed and don’t want you to be stressed.” Well that’s really sweet, but I’M JUST GOING TO BE STRESSED until the wedding is over. I. Just. Am. I don’t like it, either, but it’s just what’s happening.

        • Lindsay Rae

          YESSS it’s sort of sweet but he keeps telling me “don’t worry” – and it’s not like I’m pulling my hair out or losing sleep (yet?) but I am very aware of what still has to be done and making a plan to get it done!

        • Emily

          When we first began planning our wedding, I was losing sleep every. single. night. ruminating about all the damn loose ends! I couldn’t let it go, try as I might. Luckily that passed after a week or two, but all the loose ends drive me crazy still. I’ve learned to live with the unanswered questions, or cling onto the progress toward tying up anything neatly. Put it on the list? Hey, that’s progress. One fine day soon, we’ll cross it off.

        • MC

          I had the exact. same. conversation with my fiance. So hard for someone who is rarely anxious about anything to grasp that I WILL be anxious/stressed about the wedding even if we are doing fine with the planning. Luckily I think he’s realized that the way to make me less stressed is to help more with planning and to get shit done :)

      • Alyssa M

        It also helped when I pointed out to him that we can really only get things done on weekends and its only SIXTEEN WEEKENDS AWAY!!! AAAAAHHH! Essentially 48 days to complete this list is what really lit a fire under his ass…

        • Lindsay Rae

          OMG. You just lit a fire under MY ass!! 16 WEEKENDS?!?!?!?!?

          Between our bachelorette/bachelor party weekends, other weddings and engagement parties, family events… it probably knocks out 6+ weekends where we will be occupied with other things…. eeek. Time to make some more lists!

        • Lisa

          Fffffff… that means I have only 17 weekends!!

          *commence panic attack*

    • Kelly

      Similar budget here and ours is turning in to a whole weekend thing, too, which is great but not really what I signed for with planning and budget. Besides our actual, official wedding and reception (daytime on Saturday) we decided to have several “drop in” events in open/free spaces. People are coming from all over and I don’t want to over-schedule their time but also want them to feel included if they’d like to be. Sunday morning, for example, we’ll going to post up in a local park for a few hours with some coffee and light snacks and people can just come by whenever they want to say goodbye or hang out or whatever. You wanna go to fancy brunch with friends? Great, do that, then come say hi. You have to dash off to the airport with your to-go coffee and bagel? We’ll run up to your car and give you a high-five. You’re hungover and want to nap in the sun? Super. Cheap, easy, and stress-free (I hope?!)

      • Alyssa M

        Ours turned into a weekend because our reception is at a group campsite 15 miles out of town. So we’ve decided instead of $40 cab rides or intoxicated drivers we’d just invite everyone to camp out with us, which really means were gonna be hosting breakfast too! Since 3/4 of our guests are already involved in the Friday rehearsal, set-up, rehearsal dinner events that really puts it into a full weekend event… luckily it was already a small wedding… And I think a campground breakfast can consist of coffee, instant oatmeal, fruit, and maybe a few of those giant packages of bacon… So it’s maybe doable…

        • Kelly

          A camping wedding weekend sounds SO FUN and magical. And camping breakfast is the best breakfast.

  • Amanda

    First happy hour since the wedding! It was so much better than either of us expected it to be!

    We had 14 people with us in our county mayor’s office (who took a selfie with us) and everyone cried and didn’t even seem to notice we left religion completely out. We had an hour for photos with just us and our fantastic photographer due to the way we set up our timeline. Two hours after the ceremony people rolled in for our forty person backyard reception that I self catered (peach and whiskey BBQ chicken, rolls, homemade macaroni and cheese) and that we had decorated to death with twinkly lights. Bonfire and s’mores for good measure. The grandparents loved the photo booth, I found my mom breaking it down to Elton John, and felt surrounded by more love than I ever thought possible.

    Then we did absolutely nothing but drink umbrella drinks with our feet in the sand, joyous that we’ll never plan another wedding.

    • Emily

      That sounds amazing! We’re just over 2 months out and fantasizing about the day when planning will be over…

  • C

    Recently, the morning of a day when my mom was having a bunch of people over, my uncle/her brother called. She gave the phone to my (mentally disabled) brother to talk to him because my brother asked. He then proceeded to essentially harass my brother about my name. My brother kept telling him my name (the only legal name I’ve had (I was called something else by my foster parents)) and my uncle kept telling him he was wrong. My mom took the phone back, said I didn’t change my name (the wedding was 6 months before this conversation), and then I grabbed the phone and told him that M changed his middle name to my last name. Which apparently blew his mind. He then proceeded to rant at my mother about how he thought the went to a WEDDING. And yeah, he went to a wedding. MY wedding. My secular wedding where a friend officiated, a giant inflatable shark carried the rings, the bridal party (including the MOH) was mostly men, I wore a green and ivory dress, M’s hair was dyed blue, M and I had our first dance to “No Children” by the Mountain Goats, and my dad and I had our father-daughter dance to “Let’s Go Crazy” by Prince. And he’s shocked that I didn’t change my last name.

    • Kelly Mine-His

      solidarity fist-bump. my MIL still addresses mail to my husband with his not-changed name. we have to just take a deep breath and give it time.

      ps, also, your wedding sounds amazing.

    • Sparkles

      Some people just don’t understand subtle hints, do they?

      Please tell me where I can find a comparable inflatable shark for general life purposes.

    • vegankitchendiaries

      M and I had our first dance to “No Children” by the Mountain Goats

      I’m sorry but that is so BADASS! :) :)

  • Kayjayoh

    Three weeks!

    The Good: our venue walk-through went well, many things are coming together. Excitement is maintained. We should be getting out license next Friday (assuming that fiance’s birth certificate arrives in time.)

    The Bad: My dress came back from alterations even worse than it was before. I am going to have a seamstress friend help me with another set of measurements and photos, to send it back one more time with detailed notes for what specifically should be changes. Chrissy Wai-Ching says there is still plenty of time to do it and get it back to me, so I will have faith.

    The Ugly: I am having to pay a lot more than I thought I would as my sister’s apartment cosigner, so my wedding savings has taken a hit. Fiance will have to cover the food costs (which was going to be my job). Even better, we had asked our dad if he would cosign for her this year since she has to have one and I will be moving to a very expensive city, and he has been nothing close to gracious about it. I may very well have to do it myself. Needless to say, his whining and waffling about how he can’t afford to do it and how he had to pay one of her student loans and wah wah wah has really angered me. I’m thinking of asking him *not* to do the reading he was going to do at the wedding. (I’m not having him walk me down the aisle, give a toast, or dance with me, but I did give him a reading. Now…) Argh!

    • C

      I feel like I should know this, but I know you mentioned WisCon so maybe you’re near the Twin Cities- Louise Kegley (651.739.2387) fixed my Wai-Ching dress. I think the seamstress who took my measurements (Kristin Olson, who agreed to do the alterations then backed out last-minute) fucked up a little but I think part of it was also Chrissy’s fault too. Anyway, I was running out of time, terrified to mail it, unable to afford a plane ticket, and Louise made it work great. Louise works fast, she’s really nice, and her rates are insanely reasonable. I hope everything works out.

      • Kayjayoh

        Not in the Twin Cities. I’m in Madison. I’m going to mail it one more time. If it needs more adjustments, my seamstress friend can help me out in the last week. Eek! So, here is hoping.

        Thanks for the suggestion, though.

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

    I just want to weigh in with some huge excitement!! After reading APW (secretly ;)) for years in a pre-engaged state (and more recently started commenting) … we are engaged!!!!!!! We just took a trip to Colorado and he proposed on the summit of a 14er we hiked. I literally could not have asked for a better proposal (sentimentality, grins, photos, video, tears, thoughtfulness, place, date, man!) and I just can’t even believe my luck. I’m still in shock! Did it ever not feel real to anybody else? It’s like I have to pinch myself constantly! The funniest part, though, is that, despite reading basically every article on APW and Meg’s book, I am completely overwhelmed with what to do next – haha! We are just enjoying it all for now (telling people and being floored by everyone’s excitement) and considering all our options. It’s so fun! Just so happy all the time! (And I’m sure that I will have a million questions/ideas/perils/etc and am so happy that APW exists. Thank you to all the past, current, and future faces here!)

    • emilyg25

      Dude, we’ve been married for almost a year and sometimes it still doesn’t feel real! Congratulations!!!

    • KerryMarie

      Congratulations!

    • Stacey H.

      Congratulations!!! We’ve been engaged two months and it’s still not real. The nervous jittery shaking stopped just last week :)

    • laurasmash

      Congrats!!!

    • Annonyanka

      Congratulations! That’s wonderful!

    • Sparkles

      Sounds like what you need is a bit more champagne. Decisions can come later once the glow fades a little. Right now, match your bubbly mood with some delicious bubbly! Congrats!

  • Kayjayoh

    Also, here is a beautiful story to break your heart (in a good way) for Friday afternoon:

    The Water That Falls on You from Nowhere by John Chu

    http://www.tor.com/stories/2013/02/the-water-that-falls-on-you-from-nowhere

    • Caitlin_DD

      That was lovely, thank you for sharing.

  • SJ

    WE GOT MARRIED!

    • SJ

      I got excited and hit enter. It was glorious and simple and sweet. My dad just kept telling me to feel what I felt…so I did: had a mild panic attack in the bridal suite, cried with joy the entire way down the aisle, through the ceremony and the reception.

      • Lindsey d.

        Beautiful!

      • Lindsay Rae

        Congratulations! And what a nice thing for your dad to say to you :) Will have to remember to feel what I feel on my wedding day, too. xo

      • Emily

        So gorgeous! Congratulations!!

  • Kayjayoh

    Re: my dress, I am also starting to look around for a back-up plan dress. If anyone has any shopping suggestions, I am all ears.

    Hoping for: blue, silk, probably tea or cocktail length (but not necessarily), able to be worn with a regular bra, and under $500.

  • Kayjayoh

    Oh! Oh! I suppose it sounds weird but I hope we are standing in a huge line when we get our license next Friday, because of this:

    http://host.madison.com/wsj/news/local/govt-and-politics/dane-county-clerk-s-office-preps-for-gay-marriage-floodgates/article_40682a8c-1bb9-548c-beae-74f63ef8ac28.html

    I mean, it *probably* isn’t going to happen in the next week, but what if it does! I would be so excited and honored to be waiting in line with that crowd.

    • YOQ

      Yay! Here in Oregon, the ban fell almost two weeks ago now. But the National Organization for Marriage has requested an emergency stay from the Supreme Court, and briefs on the motion are due on Monday. In the meantime, we cancelled our out-of-state wedding plans (hi, Vancouver, 15 minutes away) and now I’m wondering whether to reinstate them. Oddly, it is THIS experience–this logistical, planning conundrum–that has tipped me over the edge. I mean, being told I can’t marry the love of my life because she happens to be female? That’s always personal. But screwing with my wedding plans? That’s PERSONAL. And it’s pissing me off.

    • Valerie Day

      DO IT (but beware of the media craze)! This is us, standing in line on the 19th in Oregon. http://www.nytimes.com/2014/05/20/us/federal-judge-strikes-down-oregons-ban-on-same-sex-marriage.html?hp&_r=1

      • Kayjayoh

        Well, do it or not depends on the courts. We are going next Friday either way (unless his birth certificate is still not in our hands) and I have no idea if and when a court ruling might come our way in WI.

  • Ariel

    Four weeks!!!! This morning, via text, my makeup girl bailed on me. Anyone here know of anyone in the north jersey area for makeup? Doing it myself is not an option.

  • Margret

    People, I need advice. I’ve been adamant that I do not want children for, um, my whole life. As in, I was never the mom when I played “House” always the Auntie. Husband has not wanted children either the entire time we’ve been together (>7 years now). We finally got good health insurance, and he finally got the vasectomy we’ve been talking about for 7 years.

    This comes just as our families are REALLY ratcheting up the not-even-passive-anymore aggressive kids comments because he’s been at the big-kid job for a year now and I just graduated law school. MIL gave me a rocking chair as a graduation gift for fuck’s sake! It’s coming from both sides, and even from MIL’s new boyfriend, despite us giving more and more firm replies about now wanting kids or appreciating the comments.

    So, do we tell them about the vasectomy? On one hand, it’s Husband’s private medical info, and none of their business (and I would never tell without his permission). On the other hand, it would at least probably shut the comments up, but maybe then we’ll have to hear all about how we’re too young to make that decision (but not too young to have babies?). Also, I have a feeling something like this just ends up coming out eventually, and then we’ll have to deal with both sets of parents being mad and hurt that we kept this totally personal information a “secret” (we’ve dealt with this before, and not immediately telling everyone private information is somehow deceitful). Uninterested and practical people, what do you think?

    • MisterEHolmes

      Yeesh. Return/sell the rocking chair and write the thank you note to say: “Thank you for the thoughtful gift. The craftsmanship was excellent! Unfortunately, the rocking chair didn’t fit in with our decor and we aren’t planning on having children, so we replaced it with a great ______. Thanks again for the thought!”

      …and then wait for the guilt-bombs to fall. (Good luck!)

    • Audrey

      This is super hard and I don’t have great advice. (At the moment I have told my mom we don’t want kids but we haven’t said ANYTHING to his parents, despite being 33 & 37.) One thing – no matter what, you really don’t have to tell them about the vasectomy. Ever. You may want to try separating out “tell them we aren’t having kids” from “tell them about this medical thing”. As you say, it’s really none of their business HOW you are not having kids.

      The problem that they can’t deal with you keeping private information private… is a whole other thing. Just as an outsider: them not being able to deal with private information rationally should not mean that you have to tell them private information!

    • Stacey H.

      First, I’m so sorry to hear that you’ve had to deal with such behavior when it’s clear that you’ve answered their questions.

      It’s possible that having the conversation about the vasectomy will shut them up. It’s also possible that it will result in more comments. Either way, I think that it is really important to sit down and have an honest conversation with them about boundaries. When you set boundaries the first part is clearly describing the unacceptable behavior and how it makes you feel/why it’s unacceptable. The second part is consequences. If there’s no consequence for the comments, they will continue– whether it’s in the moment or several weeks later.

      When I say consequence, I don’t mean something extreme like “if you continue to make snide comments about our decision, we can’t have you in our lives anymore”, but i can be something just as powerful.

      Having an open conversation will be important. Maybe they don’t understand your decision, but they have to be able to respect it. Go into it with an attitude of honesty, love and understanding of their viewpoints as well and it will take the wind out of their sails.

    • ElisabethJoanne

      FWIW, I have my husband’s permission to tell strangers who ask about kids, “My husband can’t get it up.” We’re actually dealing with a bunch of conditions that make biological or adopted children impossible until they’re resolved. I don’t have a problem telling friends and family who bring it up just that. “We’re dealing with medical conditions and are not sure we’ll ever have children.” But our conditions weren’t our choice, and they’re poorly known, so a lot of my willingness relates to spreading the word about this under-publicized issues.

    • La’Marisa-Andrea

      I would not tell my family that information. It’s probably not going to stop them from talking anyway. I would simply set boundaries that discussing your family planning is off the table and ignore it when it happens and carry on.

    • p.

      Do your parents know that you guys have already made a decision about kids? If not, then I think it makes sense to communicate that to them (but I don’t think they’d need to know about the vasectomy). If the parents do know that you’ve made a decision and they are ignoring that information, then I’d suggest simply reminding them that you don’t plan on having children and leave it at that.

  • Emily

    So. I’m vaguely worried about the alcohol situation at our reception. The venue’s policy is “none allowed except wine or champagne for toasts.” I explained to the owner as we were going over our contract that I’d really like to be able to serve a moderate amount of beer / wine, not enough to get a bunch of people drunk but enough for refreshment. She seemed to agree to it after I offered to make sure any beer was drunk from cups instead of bottles, but I didn’t get anything in writing. I’m nervous to bring it up again to confirm, worried she will stiffly refer to the stated policy. It’s probably best to bring it up again, right? I guess if I bring it up again and she says no, I could be okay with not serving alcohol at all, it’s a daytime wedding anyhow. Is a super-limited alcohol supply better than none at all?

    • emilyg25

      Yes, definitely bring it up again and get it in writing if she bends the policy. Even if she says no, better to hear that now than on your wedding day when you’re getting ready to bring several cases of beer inside! And yes, just wine and champagne is fine anytime, but especially for a daytime wedding.

    • Kelly

      For most situations I’d probably just not bring it up, but you’ll be worrying about it all the time, and getting shut down on your wedding day would suck. I’d say limited alcohol would be better than none at all, but perhaps it’s a “know your crowd” situation. Our guests would probably just sneak in a lot of flasks or have car booze on hand.

  • Caroline

    Two peices of good news and I am so excited.
    Personally: I landed an awesome summer internship! I’m very excited about it, it is an awesome position. And the other company I was interviewing at wants me to come in for the final interview stage for an internship or real job next summer, since my timeline meant I accepted my first offer before finishing interviews at the second place. Woot! AND it pays enough to pay our bills and also offer to pay for plane tickets for the wedding for my fiancé’s best friend and his wife and son. They can’t afford to come. It’s possible they can’t get the time off work, but if the money for a plane, car and place to stay is the problem, we can cover it!

    Wedding wise, we figured out our honeymoon and I am so excited. We’re going to rent a unit in a triplex ON a local beach for 4 days, then drive to the city for a fancy dinner and spend a few more days staycationing it up. I did not think we would be able to afford to stay on the beach anywhere in our price range. That’s like my dream honeymoon. (Maybe a more exotic beach would be a little more dreamy, but we love this beach, and we can revisit it often. Plus it is near our favorite foodie town.)

    Also, splurgy amazeballs SF restaurant ideas? I’m hoping to be in the 200-250 range for two including tip (either including a bottle of wine or a corking fee for our own), and I want something to knock our socks off. Our usual restaurant budget is like 30-40 dollars for two, so I want a big tasty romantic splurge.

    • Caroline

      Oops, pieces. Sorry about the spelling typo.

    • ART

      SF? Ohhh…Greens. It’s romantic and beautiful and everything I’ve had there was so good. Hot chocolate chai…what! And that would be in that price range, I expect. Saturday nights are prix fixe, never been on a weeknight.

    • lildutchgrrl

      Boulevard, Coi, Chez Panisse, Jardinière.

  • Laura

    Lawyer advice (or, actually, any advice) requested:

    I’ve been married for two years and changed my last name to be MyLast HisLast, no hyphen. My intent was to use his name socially, my name professionally. None of this became a problem until my health insurance started complaining that my name doesn’t match the personnel records at the university where I’m a grad student (I use my married name at the doctor’s office and on my health insurance card, maiden name at school). Now I’m getting told by the university that I need to change my name to my married name — they claim I can still make it appear as my maiden name on my email and course roster, but that they need my married name for my personnel file. (I said I would do this as long as my eventual diploma will appear as my maiden name, even though I know that’s going to be another fight).

    To make things more complicated, I’m applying for an F31 grant from the NIH. Does anybody know if I can apply for the grant under my maiden name (which is part of my legal name)? Or does it have to be my entire legal name, First MyLast HisLast? I’m anticipating a showdown with my university’s grant office when I try to apply for a grant with my maiden name, which won’t jive with the the married name on my student record/personnel file if and when I change it there.

    I’m going crazy over here, so any insight or experiences would be very welcome.

    • MisterEHolmes

      Go talk to the specific office in charge of grants in your university (there is one, I promise. Maybe Development). I *suspect* that there is no actual, real reason you can’t use your birth name on your grant–as in, no restrictions from the NIH–but talking to the person in charge of the process will help. Talk to professors to help figure out who/where this person is. (I worked on grants for a college some)

    • Amy March

      This is a pretty common issue for my lawyer friends. In many states you can’t change your name to his and still use maiden professionally because you are required to practice under your legal name. You name , legally, is now his so I can def see getting push back on not using it on anything official.

    • Em

      In terms of your F31, they mostly care about your eraCommons ID (which, by the way, I was told they would NOT change even if I changed my name for all other purposes).

      It’s worth checking with your PO, but I think you should be okay using either name.

    • ElisabethJoanne

      I can’t help with your issues, but it’s my understanding that my Bar registration has to be under my legal name. Basically, if it requires a Social Security number, it has to match your name with the Social Security office.

      When I worked in a doctors’ office, issues with double last names came up regularly. We put our charts in whatever name the patient requested, but we (and the insurance company) could easily get confused in the insurance card didn’t match our records.

  • Stacey H.

    This weekend I’m going to my first round of Pilates Instructor Training!! I’ve been taking Pilates since college and it wasn’t until I met my fiance that he pushed me to actually getting certified. I’m hoping this year will not only be a year of change for us and our baby marriage, but a step towards pursuing our goals together.

    Cheers to all partners that make you a better person and cheers to finally taking the leap!

  • Emily

    So long, May! What a great month it has been.
    2 weeks ago, I passed my test and got licensed to drive a school bus. I’d been training for the past 4 months.It is the only job I got past the interview for in 2 years of looking (intermittently) for something compatible with putting our kid first. I’m so excited and grateful for this opportunity! Now I find myself wondering exactly what it is I’m so intimidated about being in charge of a couple / few dozen children for an hour or two each day. I’m learning still, and it’s a great feeling. Despite a couple glitches with paperwork processing meaning I have yet to actually get paid, I’m making money!
    Last week, my fiance graduated from the local community college with honors. It took him 3 years to do the 2-year degree, working full time and going to school on his days off. He had a great adviser who configured his schedule such that all this classes would fit into 2 specific weekdays each semester. Some semesters, this meant he’d leave the house at 8 am and return after 9 pm. After the ceremony, he got in my car and hung his tassel from my rearview mirror. He also chucked his cap and gown in my backseat, but I left the tassel there. I feel a little like I graduated too, that I have some small claim to that tassel.
    After several stressful snags in the processing of his application, we finally got word that he was accepted to the university of his choice, with a nice chunk of scholarship cash to boot!

    • Sparkles

      Kids can be SCARY! What happens when they take control of the bus and tie you up in the corner and drive off to Mexico? THEN WHAT? Hahaha. Just kidding, you’ll be fine, but don’t go reading any Lord of the Flies anytime soon.

      My friend’s mom was a school bus driver and she loved it. She’s retired now and she still volunteers at the school at lunch time because she misses the kids so much. Give it time.

  • Lian

    I started my new job today! My escaping-academia job (decided not to finish PhD, get Master’s instead and start working). And it’s good so far! And now it’s weekend, and – this is revolutionary – I don’t need to do anything. I don’t need to do anything until Monday morning. Very happy about that :D

    • notquitecece

      Congrats! I walked away with an MA about 6 years ago. It took me a couple of fits and starts, but I’m super, super glad I did it — I’ve learned a ton, like my career now, and there are just so many more OPTIONS. The non-academic world can be intellectually stimulating and challenging, too — Good luck with everything!

      • Lian

        Good to hear from someone who’s 6 years down the road, I’m glad it worked out so well!
        I think you really speak to a worry many people who dislike their PhD programs have: that the non-academic world is boring. That is definitely what my professors told me… And most people who start a PhD (even if they end up disliking academia) hate it when things are boring. So they stay. So thanks for pointing out that it’s not true!

  • Secret

    My boyfriend is in the process of talking with a big computer company about a job there. It’s still very much up in the air, but if it works out, we’d be moving to a big city and doing the complete opposite of our current dream. And that dream has been stressing me out big time so I’m okay letting it go for now. I’m excited to see what happens, but for the time being we’re keeping it quiet–we’re waiting to see if he has the job. I wanted to tell somebody, so I’m anonymously telling the internet.

  • Guest

    Yay, happy hour, I’ve been waiting for this all week! This week I bought a dress, quite possibly “the dress”! The caveat of course is that we aren’t engaged yet (but that will change very, very soon). I know that everyone says to never do things like buy a wedding dress before you’re engaged, but we have mostly planned our entire wedding and are 90% positive about the timing, location, and size. And if any of those things change and the dress no longer fits the wedding, well then I have a beautiful dress to wear for something else!
    We are pretty non-traditional and plan to have a restaurant reception – if anyone is curious the dress looks like this:

  • ktan

    ktan • a few seconds ago
    Yay, happy hour, I’ve been waiting for this all week! This week I bought a dress, quite possibly “the dress”! The caveat of course is that we aren’t engaged yet (but that will change very, very soon). I know that everyone says to never do things like buy a wedding dress before you’re engaged, but we have mostly planned our entire wedding and are 90% positive about the timing, location, and size. And if any of those things change and the dress no longer fits the wedding, well then I have a beautiful dress to wear for something else!
    We are pretty non-traditional and plan to have a restaurant reception – if anyone is curious the dress looks like this:

    • Guest

      Voila!

      • Annonyanka

        Super cute!

    • ktan

      ugh sorry everyone, disqus sort of blew up on me.

    • Alyssa M

      It’s super adorable! I love it! That’s no, wear it just once, dress. Even if things go exactly as planned and you get married in it, you could TOTALLY incorporate it into your wardrobe after.

      • ktan

        Thank you, my thoughts exactly!

    • Love it

      Am I the only one who wants to know the source? I doubt I’d buy it (on a tight budget) but I kind of want to dream about buying it.

      • ktan

        It’s from Anthropologie! I looked at the BHLDN dresses a million times over the course of close to a year, but never found exactly what I was searching for and low and behold this dress was at their sister store!

    • emilyg25

      It sounds like for all intents and purposes, you are pretty much engaged! That dress is really amazing.

    • Megan

      OMG–this is beautiful!!

  • Jessica

    Yay for happy hour! I’m seeking advice today on invitations. How far out should we send invites for a destination-ish wedding? Save the dates have been sent. Half the guests will need to fly, half will drive or take the train 3 – 4 hours. How much time should we give people to RSVP?

    • ElisabethJoanne

      As a guest, I like an invitation about 8 weeks before the wedding. I try to buy plane tickets about 6 weeks out, so this gives me just the right amount of time to think it over, talk to my husband, arrange for time off, etc.

    • EF

      it really depends on how far the destination is. we’re sending our international guests invites about 5-6 months before the wedding, domestic (well, EU) ones about 3 months out. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with staggering it, so far as I have seen (which is also what we did with save-the-dates).

  • EF

    SO in the long long time it takes to get things done for a two ceremony bi-national wedding…we booked a date for our legal ceremony/sorta planned elopement for october 10! the ‘real’/emotional wedding is january 10, so it’s nice to have these things line up.

    but more importantly got the interview booked for the whole ‘are you a real couple? should we let you get married and apply for a visa?’ stage. and that’s cool. but my fiance managed to, as he was flustered, mis-spell my last name over the phone (it was a very obvious mis-spoken thing). and I was like, ‘nooooo! don’t give them a reason to investigate us more!’

    in other news, our wedding registry is through LL Bean and is full of camping gear. And sheets. Cause I love me some LL Bean sheets.

    • ML

      Way late to happy hour, but just had to say, I love LL Bean! Our wedding gift to ourselves was a down blanket and flannel sheets from there. So wonderful.

      Congrats!

  • Erin

    I’m getting married in 16 days! Are we really here already? Damn, the last year and half flew by!

    • Annonyanka

      Wahoo! Good luck in the home stretch :)

      • Erin

        Thank you!!

  • Annonyanka

    Looking for advice. A friend in another state from me is seeming really stressed about her wedding. Her fiance seems like a great guy who gets along amazingly with her adorable son and interfaces well with her ex (the son’s biodad) and the ex’s wife.
    A — is there any way to address this in a way that’s helpful? Another, much closer friend, tried to address it (there’s a ton of drunkness, unprescriped Adderall, and antidepresants but no therapy, although they are in couple’s counseling because she hated that her fiance spent more on his first wife’s ring than on her’s after she saw their prenup) but it just started a yelling fight so she backed down and I’m afraid to say anything.
    B — she invited me to the bachelorette party which was really sweet. Because I was laid off almost 6 months ago and haven’t found a job, so I declined. When she asked I said it was finances (I’d have to fly and get a hotel room in addition to the normal bachelorette party expenses). She then offered to pay for my plane ticket. I said I’d have to think about it because that’s such a large gift. Well, I checked and the party is the same weekend as a huge networking conference right in my city that my parents paid for me to attend as a gift (to be supportive of my job hunt). How do I say this to my friend in a way that shows that I do love and support her, but I really need to take advantage of my parents’ generosity and attend this conference because I need a job? I am driving 8 hours each way to attend her wedding and celebrate the marriage 3 weeks after the party for what’s that worth.

    Yes, I realize this all seems overly complicated but I hate seeing someone I care about so stressed and I hate that I’m going to make her feel like I don’t care when I do — I just really desperately need a job and cannot put a weekend of drinking ahead of that need (even if that does make me an awful friend).

    • scw

      I don’t think you’re an awful friend. Just be up front with her. Could you offer to help out in another way (pick something up the day of the wedding, arrive early to help set up or stay late to break down, etc.)? She might need emotional support more than anything right now, and offering to help/being excited about the wedding might be enough.

      • Annonyanka

        Thank you. I just took your advice and did that. Hopefully everything will be okay.

  • Jade

    Is it alright if I whinge about money for a bit? MY MONIES, PLZ COME BACK AHHHH.

    Beginning of May I was hit by massive car repairs totaling almost $2000. Monday I have a root canal that’s gonna cost +$1000. It’s not that I don’t have the money for these things, I saved up a robust emergency fund because I had a feeling both my car and my teeth were gonna give me the finger at some point. But damn, I really, REALLY would have liked to put some of that money towards the wedding instead.

    On the plus side, going with my FSIL to the local craft store tomorrow to see if we can find materials to put together my invitations. And then on Sunday, meeting with my photographer to sign the contract, eeeeee so exciting!

    • Annonyanka

      Ugh and commiseration on the car repairs and root canal. It sucks when savings go toward those things when there’s something more fun they *could* go toward instead. Hopefully the craft store will have awesome invitation materials!

  • Katie

    We got engaged last Friday and I’m so excited! It has been a total whirlwind and I’m so pumped. And I just stopped by the designer of my ring’s atelier on Orchard St to check out their new perfume line, and the designer could not have been lovelier. She gave me a giant hug!

    • Lisa

      Congratulations!!

  • Megera

    I just want to take a minute to brag about my awesome fiance: he spent this week at his mum’s house in Canada (we’re Canadians, moved to Seattle in March) to care for her after she broke her arm. His dad passed away when he was 8, so it’s just been Fiance, Younger Brother and FMIL for a long time, and I love that he steps in, NBD, to do all the things she needs done. At the same time he’s booking his OWN orthopedic surgery for late June.

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

      Stellar.

  • Amy March

    You guys. Boyfriend wants to go ring shopping. In a concrete he has looked at rings online and has a budget way. I’ve been spontaneously leaking happy tears all week.

    • Sarah E

      Woop woop! Enjoy it :-)

  • Faith

    I am so excited that you linked to Hey Natalie Jean’s “Square Peg/Round Hole” essay. My sister converted to LDS (Mormon) in college (she even transferred to BYU from a really liberal all-women college) but we grew up in a Protestant household, and Natalie is one of my sister’s and my favorite bloggers to discuss. She has a really cool world view, and she’s helped me to understand that not all Mormons fit the stereotype. So thanks!

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

    One week – next Saturday we’ll be saying our vows. And since we are two females, we aren’t legal in Colorado (where our wedding is) so we are having to do a civil ceremony here in LA on Tuesday before we leave..we’re doing it at the park right by our house with our dog. AND I’ve been freaking out that I’m getting sick (I for sure was fighting off something the past two days) and have been downing green juices with ginger, Airborne, zinc tablets, and have been taking these amazing shots from our juice place with oil of oregano, lemon, cayenne, tumeric, ginger (sounds gross but I feel instantly better the second I take one). Also we got a lot of things done this week and after panicking on Tuesday andWednesday I actually feel like this wedding thing might get pulled off.

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

    Yesterday was a big day in my artistic career…it was basically the introduction of my artistic work to the artistic community where I live. I’ve worked on other people’s projects here, but not my own projects in the role that I do as my artistic profession. And it went really, really well. It was magical. Better than I had hoped for. It’s a project I have been working on since 2009, when I first moved to this country (for this project, and to get married), and these last months have been a season of reclaiming this country and this project for me. Chosing to stay here for me. Taking this steps in the project alone, on my own. But not actually alone because I have the support of friends and chosen-family here, and long-distance friends and actual-family.

    It’s been different to re-learn how to pursue my dreams solo, and to go after stuff without the support of a life partner. I miss it, lots, and I hope for that again. But I feel really good about what I’ve managed to do, even during this year of hell. I feel proud for surviving, and deeply grateful for the magical, wonderful career opportunities.

    • Hannah B

      Congratulations!!

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

        Thanks, Hannah B. :)