Prev Next

APW Happy Hour


Wedding season, back with a vengeance!

by Meg Keene, Editor-In-Chief

APW Happy Hour | A Practical Wedding

APW Happy Hour | A Practical Wedding

HI APW!

It’s crazy here. I normally figure that media wedding season starts in June, but this year’s season has started early, and my days are a whirl of interviews, and writing, and trying to line up models for our next DIY shoot and OMG SO FUN NEED A BREAK.

Plus, we’re having a massive heat wave here… which I’m not going to lie, I secretly love. I’m the child of the 108-degree desert. As long as it’s dry heat, bring it on! So I’m packing it up and heading for some water this Friday afternoon, just as soon as I can get out from under these deadlines. How about you? It’s your open thread, hop on!

XO,
MEG

Highlights of APW This Week

We tried our hand at shopping for you guys with the classic bridal crop top question. It was so much fun you should send us ALL your shopping questions.

A (beautiful) DIY Anemone and Garden Rose Centerpiece, where everything is in season right this second.

Wedding logos to make everything pretty for $25? Yes please.

How do you plan a wedding when a loved one is dying?

A beautiful, heartwarming, and heartbreaking at-home wedding.

Not your mama’s Cape Cod wedding, with all the How We Did It details.

Oh right, there are TWO of us planning this thing. How annoying fun!

The wedding is cancelled, but the stuff lives on.

Everything you need to know about typography when you’re designing wedding invites.

Link Roundup

In which we get US News to title an article “Wedding Zen.” We’ve made it, you guys. High five. (For fun: here is the first reference of wedding zen on APW, a week before my wedding, and here is Alyssa’s classic essay on the subject.)

I was interviewed for Shape on “10 New Rules for Wedding Season,” and I really enjoyed the resulting article. Like number nine, where I said that if the bride is wearing white, you still really probably shouldn’t. Still.

Seth Rogan’s thoughts on marriage in movies.

The dress that made the (dads? OMG?) “think impure thoughts.”

Grandma’s a bridesmaid!

“The paradox of racism is that at any given moment, the racism of the day seems reasonable and very possibly true, but the racism of the past always seems so ridiculous.”

Yahoo! and Google pull deceptive abortion ads.

“The lack of equal emphasis on male celebs’ feminist beliefs just perpetuates the idea that the onus to fight sexism falls solely on women’s shoulders. So if we’re going to insist on asking celebrities about feminism, we need to hold the guys accountable, too.”

Mom’s Night Out sounds like a terrible movie. Also, stop saying dads are “babysitting” their kids already!

Michael Sam gets drafted to the Rams, kisses his boyfriend, and makes us all cry.

Farewell to Jessica McClintock prom dresses.

Walking while fat and female.

Here’s the epic, mesmerizing “fat girl” speech from Louie.

Teddy Girls: the forgotten 1950s girl gang.

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

Meg Keene

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

More in Happy Hour Recent Posts Staff Picks

[Read comment policy before commenting]

  • Laura C

    OMG happy hour time! Can I admit that I have pretty much been counting down to this since yesterday, just because?

    If I get to kvetching later in the thread, which I well may, please remember that mostly I was just excited to have it happen and see what the links were and what everyone had to say. Now off to read said links.

  • Melissa

    This is so random — but if any APW folks are looking for a venue in Central New York for Fall 2014, let me know. We got caught up in the whirlwind of the WIC before we figured out what we really wanted, and put down a deposit on a CNY venue last fall. We’ve since changed our plans, and though I spoke with the venue in January, I was told that all Fall 2014 brides had already booked.

    If there’s anything APW has taught me, it’s that not all brides are on a 12-14 month timeline. At this point, it’s not about the money (we signed a contract, after all) — but perhaps they’d cut someone a deal since it’s already partially paid for.

    • JSwen

      Maybe you could transfer your deposit to someone – like you say, there are last minute weddings and there are people out there who would jump at the opportunity! Goodluck!

      • Melissa

        That’s what I’m hoping for — I’d love to be able to help someone out!

  • Anonymous

    So. This week my boss invited himself and his wife to my wedding. He just mentioned in the middle of another conversation that he told his wife it’s too early to have received their invitation because the wedding isn’t until fall.

    Actually, they haven’t received an invitation because they aren’t going to. Because we’re having a small wedding. Because we aren’t inviting coworkers unless they’re friends we spend time with outside of work. Because he’s creepy and makes me uncomfortable almost every single day.

    Oh, and he mentioned, just after he invited himself, that he knows they’ll be invited because I’m getting married just after we have performance reviews.

    …..awesome.

    • KC

      Um, can you talk with HR about that one? Because if he *does* bomb your review due to a wedding non-invite, then… um… yeah, no.

      Also, “it’s a small wedding” should be a good reason.

      • Anonymous

        That’s what I’m gonna go with. “It’s a very small venue and we can only invite family and our closest friends.” It would be an easier situation if he weren’t the kind of person who’s frequently offended by perceived slights. But alas, he’s the kind of person who sends emails detailing all the ways that innocuous things you said in a meeting could possibly reflect badly on him.

        • Violet

          I think that wording works. I realize you didn’t ask for specific advice in your original post, so feel free to ignore,
          but in this situation with a person with NO boundaries, I would totally
          feel comfortable lying (especially since he’ll never be able to prove
          that close friends were there, right?). If I were in your spot, I’d probably leave out the “and our closest friends” part, just to be waaaaay conservative. He can be offended he’s not considered a close friend, but can he be offended he’s not family? I mean, yeah (people find ways to be offended by anything), but he’s gonna look even crazier.

        • KC

          Wooooow. I mean, on the plus side, at least he’s verbal about it instead of silently stewing and then stabbing people in the back. But woooooow.

          Wondering, if pacification is a desired thing, you could offer to bring in wedding photos once you get them? (not that you should need to pacify, because this is really ridiculous! Just an option.)

    • Laura C

      Wow. That’s … well, exactly what a creepy boss would do, I guess. Awful.

      Probably you’d never use it, but this is the kind of thing it never hurts to have a paper trail on. I don’t mean formal complaints, just having a record of times he said things like that. Just in case.

      • JSwen

        Eh also, who invites themselves to someone’s wedding? What a dick. Sounds like if he creeps you out normally and then did this, it’s worth letting HR know… that said, I know not all organizations have a trustworthy HR department. Uff. Goodluck!

        • Laura C

          Or any HR department at all…it’s funny, I’m thinking about it and a few people I know work at places with HR departments, but not many. It’s the sort of thing that if you have a union, you can go to your steward with. But that’s even less common than a meaningful HR department.

          • Anonymous

            Ours is on the other coast and takes weeks to respond to emails. But I’ll document just in case and hope my review isn’t dismal. Sigh.

        • Anonymous

          He’s always on the not totally inappropriate but kind of weird side of creepy. He also encouraged me to take as long as I wanted to for our honeymoon because it’s “a once-in-a-lifetime event IN THEORY.” Which is true! But it’s not really a thing you’re supposed to say, I think.

          • JSwen

            Maybe he’s just socially awkward but means well? Either way, stick to your guns. Creeper bosses don’t belong at their employee’s weddings. Period.

    • Kayjayoh

      That is so many levels of icky and creepy and inappropriate.

    • Caitlin_DD

      Time to go to HR. And possibly, get job hunting. That’s creepy and oh-so manipulative.

    • emilyg25

      Ugh. You might want to start a file at home where you detail incidents like this. Date, time, substance of conversation. You can never be too careful.

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

      Not a boss, but we had to tell a few people we were having a small wedding and that’s why we were unable to invite them. And then we didn’t go into details about what “small” meant for us.

    • Emily

      That is ridiculous. I had one person try to invite herself to my wedding; I also used the small wedding explanation, plus I said that our celebration was mainly for out of town people who we don’t see often.

  • celinad6

    Yes! Been waiting for this! I missed the last two weeks because of a) faculty interview and b) I’m married (happy dance ensues).

    For those folks who gave me encouragement for my faculty interview, it went really well in my opinion. Surprisingly, I wasn’t that nervous and managed to talk to a lot of folks with a good level of confidence. It seems like they were quite impressed with me too and I think they want me. I’m…just…waiting…

    Fast forward to a week later, I got married this past Saturday! My wedding was great! I really had a good time and keep hearing from folks that it was the best time they’ve had at a wedding. OMG! It went by so fast though. I want to do it again- without the planning stress though.

    I am struggling with some things though. There is about 5% of my wedding that I’m disappointed with. I know weddings aren’t perfect but I can’t keep those things from popping up in my head and me kicking myself for making sure they didn’t happen. e.g. having a more thorough conversation with our officiant since he announced us as ‘man and wife’ (I cringe every time I think about this). I guess these things will become less prominent in my head over time but they are really bothering me. Suggestions?

    • JSwen

      Seems like two HUGE events that were taking up mental real estate are now over… so you are probably in planning withdrawal (I know I would be). My advice would be to take one last night to laugh about what went wrong with your new partner and then find a new thing to plan – hobbies, job searching, home improvements, etc.

      Oh and congrats x2!

    • Sparkles

      I loved my wedding and I kept having bad dreams afterwards that we redid the ceremony for some reason and I kept getting really mad in the dreams because I DID NOT want to redo it because it was wonderful the first time, and the redo was not as good. They really freaked me out. But they’ve stopped now (it’s been two months). I think it’s helpful to have some space from such a big deal event.

      Also, try talking to other people about what they liked about the wedding, to focus on other parts of it. Most people who were there probably didn’t even notice the 5% you didn’t like and it might help you to refocus. It definitely helped me!

    • YOQ

      Congrats on the interview going well!

      • YOQ

        Oh–and also on the wedding. But as another academic, man, I know how much stress on-campus interviews are. I can’t imagine planning a wedding with an interview *right before* it. But: yay, you’re married! Yay, it went well! AND yay for a good interview!

  • scw

    I love the jessica mcclintock link! I’ve got dresses on my mind this week because all of my bridesmaids are getting together tomorrow to see me try on my favorite dress (if they like it, I’m buying my wedding dress tomorrow!). I’m about 80% sure my senior prom dress was jessica mcclintock. attaching a very silly picture of it here. anyone else have one?

    • Laura C

      I had a Jessica McClintock for Gunne Sax one that I wore to a family friend’s wedding when I was maybe in junior high? Pale pink with a white flower pattern, puffy sleeves, lace collar. In college or the year after, I had the lace collar taken off and the sleeves shortened a little, but I don’t think I ever ended up wearing it after doing that.

    • Meg

      Love the gloves!!

      • scw

        I lost those in a cab a few halloweens ago and was very, very sad.

    • Sparkles

      I always wanted a pair of kitten heel shoes like those. I’m jealous that you had a pair. Such a wonderful picture!

      • scw

        I borrowed those from a friend! thanks!

    • EKS

      Yes! Had one for Junior Prom, and it was my favorite dress ever. Polka dots and A line.

    • Guest

      Yes! I can’t find my picture from the actual dance, but here is one of me looking disheveled (probably after cross country practice) trying on my dress for my mom.

    • http://instagram.com/autresvoix Kamala

      Yes! I don’t have one from the actual dance but here is one of me looking disheveled (probably after cross country practice) trying it on for my mom

  • swarmofbees

    I got my first RSVPs this week! It was so exciting and such a relief to actually feel excited. So much of the planning process has been fraught with other worries that I am just happy to be enjoying this small part. We also got our first wedding present in the mail! I feel a little bad for being excited about material things, but I have decided to be excited about it because it is yet another sign of the wedding getting closer every day :)

    • vegankitchendiaries

      High five, lady! We just got our first RSVP too! I wasn’t expecting the happy dance we did around the living room as a result… That means at least 2 people are coming (plus us!).

      • swarmofbees

        I know, I Immediately calculated that we would have at least a 3 person wedding.

        • Laura C

          We just crossed the 100 RSVPs yes mark and I’m like “will some people RSVP no already???” I mean, a few have, but we need the rate to about double.

          • KC

            From what I hear, a lot of “no”s are silent or late, so the proportion of “yes” vs. “no” should change over time, if that’s encouraging?

          • Laura C

            That’s what I’ve been telling myself, but it’s good to hear from others. And actually we just got a no that was not one we’d counted on, so our proportion got that little bit better. (It’s a plus-one I’ve never met, so while I look forward to meeting her sometime, the wedding wasn’t necessarily the time I was actually going to get to know her anyway.)

    • Emily

      I’ve been surprised just how exciting it is to get them back! So far everyone has said yes, and it’s kind of amazing to me how loved just saying they’ll come has made me feel.

  • Kayjayoh

    Five weeks, y’all. Five weeks.

    I got my wedding dress on Monday. Cautiously optimistic, but in need of a lot of alterations. Yesterday I got to cram it back into the mailing pouch and mail it back to Seattle, where Chrissy Wai-Ching will make some changes. No feeling quite like putting your wedding dress in the mail and hoping it all turns out ok.

    • scw

      only kind of related, but I’m short and will need a lot of de-lengthening (that’s the technical term, right?) done to my dress but I’ve only looked at dresses places that don’t have a seamstress, and have started to get really worried that my dress will be ruined in the alteration process!

      here’s hoping the mail takes care of your dress.

      • KC

        Basically anywhere that works with fancy materials can hem your dress to be shorter. (er, “de-lengthen” :-) ) It should be pretty easy to find, although potentially pricey if your dress has a lot of layers or is very “full”. (aka: it is faster and easier to hem 1 yard of fabric than to hem 7+ yards of fabric)

        So, you may not be able to go with the place you bought the dress from, but almost anywhere that does alterations will be able to hem it for you. :-)

        The best procedure I’m aware of: they get you to come in the shoes you’ll wear with your dress, or something equivalent (since obvs. you’ll want a different length with flats than you would with 4″ heels!), then have you stand in your dress while they mark where the hem should be all around you either with pins or with a chalk line. Then you leave your dress there for a while, come back, and tada!

        (honestly, even random people-who-sew-who-you-know can do wedding dress hemming as long as it’s not asymmetrical drapes or whatever. It takes time, but it’s generally not “hard”.)

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

          yes, my seamstress (a family friend) even offered to show my mom and I how to cut the tulle layers of my very full skirt so that she wouldn’t have to charge us for doing it. We were like…yeah we are not taking responsibility for that one haha. But the point being, she (a trained professional) thought it was something that we (totally untrained/inexperienced people) would be able to do. No worries!

          • KC

            Tulle is even easier, since it doesn’t fray so you don’t even have to hem it, and you can just trim it until it looks right. (please note, anyone, TULLE IS NOT THE SAME AS CHIFFON; chiffon needs to be hemmed or otherwise dealt with, or it’ll fray, whereas tulle is a non-woven fused fabric that you can cut kind of like tissue paper)

            (but yes, I understand the “we are not taking responsibility for possibly destroying this dress” thing. :-) Totally fair enough. :-))

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

        My sister’s wedding dress designer offered something called “hem to hollow” fitting. I *think* it was Jordan bridals, but check with bridal shops around you to see if they have a list of designers who offer this. It was extra money, but then the dress doesn’t need hemmed at all once you’ve got it. My sisters’ dress was a mermaid/trumpet style and when you hem dresses like that you lose the visual effect if you’re short/require lots of, as you put it, de-lengthening.

        • KC

          I was forgetting mermaid/trumpet style; oops. There you also need to watch out that the flare is still hitting you somewhere such that you can *walk* rather than being totally hobbled by the dress. Still likely something that most alteration places can do, but not as universal as Basic Hemming Of Straight Hemline.

          • scw

            yeah, the dress I’m showing my bridesmaids this morning is fit n flare in the front and mermaid in the back (sooo resisting the urge to call it the mullet of dresses) so I’m worried about that!

          • Bindi

            HAHAHAH. I’m sure your dress is nothing like a mullet. But that made me laugh so much.

    • swarmofbees

      Congratulations on getting your dress! I got mine in the mail too and it was so exciting to take it out and try it on. I hope the alterations go well!

    • JSwen

      I got misty eyed today just imagining trying on my dress, pre-alterations, at the store. Must have been exciting! And I’m sure it will look even better once it is fitted – don’t worry, she’s a professional.

    • E

      I got my Wai-Ching dress about a month (or less) before my wedding. It needed a lot of alterations (pretty sure 2 of me could’ve fit in the dress and I hadn’t lost weight) which she said she could do, but I was terrified. I thought about flying out to Seattle but settled on a local seamstress. I got the final version 2 days before my wedding. Everything was fine but there was so much anxiety.

      • Kayjayoh

        I was very worried about sending it back, but she assured me that if I sent it two-day, they could do the adjustments and get it back right away. I took a *lot* of photos of me in the dress, since the biggest thing was that it was supposed to be built to work with the bra I am wearing (and wore to her studio) and the reality was a bodice that showed the bra all over. So if she can fix it, I will be very happy about not having to buy a new bra. And since the alterations are included, I just have to pay for the shipping. Now…if is doesn’t work, I have to pay for that plus a new bra plus local alterations. Here’s hoping!

    • ASH

      YAY 5 weeks! We just had our MCM wedding 3 weeks ago (hi again!) and it was so much fun there! Excited for you!

  • Erin

    Oh man, I’ve been waiting for this all week. We’re engaged! It was more beautiful and meaningful and wonderful than I had even imagined. I’m still on cloud 9!

    Did everything get really crazy really fast for anyone else? Earlier this week, we decided to call the venue we’ve been eyeing for awhile and found out that they had one date left that would suit us for next year. So we booked it! YAY! Then we quickly found out that so so so many other things are booking up in that area. Now I feel like we’re on wedding planning fast forward and I’m happy that I spent my pre-engaged months reading about logistics. Even with all of my research, I’m already struggling with things like inviting kids and colors and hotel blocks and my dad wanting to know if we are going to have going away outfits and so so so so many questions. I still feel a little breathless and totally scatterbrained–today I walked into the bathroom 5 separate times to put deodorant on–and happy and overwhelmed.

    • emmers

      when we got engaged a month or so ago, I had the exact same experience! It will calm down, sort of, soon!
      Congratulations!!! Take a breath, have a glass of wine or a nice cream soda tonight, and rejoice that you are engaged, and you have a venue!

      • Erin

        I. . .forgot cream soda existed and now feel the need to have both a cream soda and a glass of wine tonight! Thanks! And woohoo for the impending calm down (sort of!)

        Also, congratulations to you too!

    • emilyg25

      Yep! Part of it was that we had a relatively short engagement–just seven months–so we had to jump on the big shit right away. It did settle down after a bit though.

      Congrats!!

      • Erin

        Thank you!! And phew! I’m glad to know it’s pretty normal. We feel lucky that we got that date so I guess it’s sort of a happy, yet insane whirlwind.

      • http://underacorktree.blogspot.com Christina Josephine

        Ditto for me. Six month engagement over here!

    • http://instagram.com/autresvoix Kamala

      Congrats! We got engaged a few months ago and managed to fight some of the whirlwind by promptly taking a trip the weekend after we got engaged (the trip had already been in the plans for a few months, my fiance conveniently scheduled the proposal for the weekend before for this reason). It was good to have a little bit of time to ourselves without parents/family/friends/random acquaintances accosting us with their questions and ideas. Try to carve out some time together that has nothing to do with planning and just enjoy your engagement together!

      • Erin

        That is a a great idea. Your fiancé was smart! Our plan is to take the next few days to relax, but it would be nice to actually get away for a bit.

    • Emily

      CONGRATS! Also, what is a “going away outfit”? This is the second time I’ve seen this phrase today…

      • Lindsey d.

        Emily, a going away outfit is what you wear when you change out of your wedding dress/suit to leave the reception. It was really common when the couple would leave the reception and head on their honeymoon immediately.

      • KC

        From reading 19th C novels, I think it’s a relic from the days when you’d be traveling (via train or stage coach or whatever) away from the wedding, so you change at the reception site into traveling clothes instead of your wedding finery so that your wedding dress doesn’t get trashed by your chosen method of travel. Today it can be for similar reasons (because if you’re going from your reception site to an airplane and you have a giant fluffy skirt… that might not fit in those tiny little seats?) or to avoid the “look! a bride and groom!” conspicuousness, or a fantastic excuse to get another set of fancy-but-not-that-fancy clothes. :-)

        • Erin

          Yes! My parents also described it as a way to signal that the night is winding down to the guests. They changed, had a last dance, and then took off on their new married-life adventure. They weren’t bride and groom anymore, they were husband and wife.

          • KC

            Awwww! That’s really sweet!

          • Teresa

            The last line of your comment just made me burst into tears (and I’ve been married almost two years and didn’t change outfits or anything). Man, that was a one sentence summary or how I felt during the last moments of our wedding!

          • Bindi

            Love that final sentence, too! Beautiful sentiment.

    • Emily

      Congratulations!

    • laurasmash

      Congrats! And yay for finding your venue and your date! I’m so glad I’ve been reading APW for the last several months, because I’m sure the whirlwind is coming :)

    • Gina

      We did the big things within, like, one week of getting engaged. Because when we got engaged, we were in the state where we wanted to get married– so we booked the venue, caterer, and found my dress (that part I just wanted to do while I was in the same state as my mom and sisters :))

      Don’t feel like, just because you got a couple big things booked, you have to do All. The. Things. For me, getting some big things out of the way took a load off to just rest for a while when I got home, think about what was left, and slowly get each of those things checked off the list! Enjoy the feeling, and trust me when I say you don’t need to worry about going away outfits yet. And congrats!!

  • JSwen

    Oh Disqus, you jerk. Retyping so forgive the lack of wittiness.

    Engagement party this weekend! Yay! At my future Father In Law’s house! Yay! Only a 6 hour flight away… well…

    Very excited but also preparing myself to be supportive. About 27/30 of the
    family invited from my fiance’s father’s side isn’t coming to the
    wedding (likely due to that 6 hour flight). My fiance is anxious about
    how to respond to the impending, “oh, we wish we could make it,” and,
    “oh it’s too bad we can’t be there,” comments. He’d like to respond,
    “oh, do you? then you could have come out for the wedding instead of
    booking a week at an inclusive resort in Miami,” or, “yeah, it’s too bad
    especially since your family was chipping in to pay for your flight.
    why can’t you come?”

    My advice was to say, “yes, we’re so excited! It’s going to be great!”

    That’s one way to stay honest – ignore the elephant in the room. Any other ideas?

    • KC

      They are making the (they’re grownups) choice to not come. He is upset. These are both fair things. I would tend towards either ignoring the elephant in the room, if he thinks he can eventually let it go, or addressing it directly in the “it does hurt that it appears you’re prioritizing X over coming to my wedding – it was important to me and my relationship with you that you be there – but hopefully we can work through it” sort of way. Snark is probably not the answer in this case, although admittedly satisfying at the time…

    • Amy March

      Remind him that it goes both ways? If their being at his wedding were their top priority, they could do that instead of vacation. If it were his top priority he could be having the wedding in his home town. Them saying “oh we wish we could be there ” is called being a polite adult not inviting a solution to the problem.

    • lolauren

      I would just be gracious and excited. You’ll never regret that.

      • JSwen

        Same here. I’m trying to get the fiance to see the light. :)

    • Emily

      I don’t have an idea, but it sounds like he feels hurt and just wants to hurt them back . . . does he admit this? Is he a talking-it-out might help kind of guy?

  • Caitlin_DD

    Busy week! Planning is finally starting to pick up steam. Honestly, it feels like I have a swarm of bees in my head, and until I get the hive (aka venue) they won’t be able to settle down. So, naturally, I have my hair stylist, a baker, and possibly the groom’s clothes set. Not to mention dresses. I had no idea Dillard’s was such a resource for wedding dresses. Also, my copy of Meg’s book came in yesterday. The ride is starting!

    • JSwen

      Yes! Read the book with your partner – it helped me make sure that I got his input before going too far down the planning path. Fingers crossed that you find a venue soon!

      • Caitlin_DD

        Thank you! I am always sending him links from APW, so why not? My best friend is actually wrapping up planning her wedding next month in our hometown, so she’s providing me with so many tips. I cannot imagine doing this thing alone.

    • Erin

      A swarm of bees is a great description!

      • Caitlin_DD

        I wish they’d get to making the honey… whatever that means in this metaphor ;)

  • Kelly

    friends, I need your thoughts on two things.

    First, I’m writing a toast for a wedding that is tomorrow (I usually work better under pressure…) but the bride, who I already struggle with, is DRIVING ME NUTS. She’s been ordering me around for days without a single thank you, including that time I built her a surprise photo booth because she didn’t have time. I am not a carpenter, ladies- it was a challenge. I got a “oh, you’ve been busy! What’s for lunch?”

    So first, a reminder to be nice to your friends. But also, how do I write this damn speech?

    • Caitlin_DD

      Take a deep breath, get a nice snack and a drink… then write it. Short and sweet is always good, so no need to delve into the depths of your friendship if you’re not feeling it right now, I think.

      • Kelly

        wine helped! You’re right!

    • KC

      You can potentially just tell the story of how your friend told you about meeting/dating/getting-engaged-to her intended? Whichever one is the funniest/sweetest. It doesn’t have to be Super Deep and especially doesn’t have to be Super Long. It’s also reasonable to find a poem or a set of song lyrics that “capture your relationship” or “her personality” or whatever, and tag a one-sentence introduction and conclusion to that.

      (also, thank you for being awesome. She will most likely realize, maybe not immediately, but possibly years after the wedding, how ridiculously much you did and how not-there her head was. I had so many awesome people who I was so inadequate in my verbal thanks to at the time when I got married.)

    • swarmofbees

      Maybe focus on a few fun and happy times in your past and then say how much you are looking forward to her helping with your wedding if you are feeling snarky.

    • YOQ

      Oddly, I ran across this post from APW just a few days ago: http://apracticalwedding.com/2011/08/write-wedding-toast/
      Seems like pretty good advice to me. Good luck!

    • Kelly

      It’s written! And I started tearing up reading it… who saw THAT coming?

  • Kayjayoh

    Oh man, the homeschool prom story made me so mad.

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

    When we got engaged a woman who had a very unhealthy obsession bordering on stalking towards my husband, which resulted in an unhealthy hatred of me (she made not entirely veiled threats the first time she ever spoke to me), told him she gave him 5 years to discover how mean I am and divorce me.

    We celebrate 5 years of marriage in six months and are looking for funny ideas to celebrate that we aren’t getting divorced. Any thoughts?

    • KC

      I would kind of love matching “We’re not getting divorced!” bride and groom tshirts with a fancy-schmancy font and sparkles. Like, Bride/Groom in large font, with your wedding date below that, and then “Five years in, and we’re still not getting divorced” in smaller flowery cursive lettering (probably split between two lines?) below that. I bet there would be some number of double-takes…

    • swarmofbees

      I don’t know, it might be a bit early to start planning. You still have six months to go, and you know how July 4th can bring out the mean in people. ;)

    • JSwen

      What an awful human, that woman. Maybe just toast to your success and vow to never think of her again?

    • Emily

      I can’t believe anyone would say that! She sounds like “Amy” in GoneGirl… you could have a “the psychopath was wrong” party…

  • Kelly

    Thing number two. My sweet fiance is coming to terms with his mild depression and starting to see someone. But I’m also coming to terms with what he is feeling– kind of numb, not excited or fully experiencing things. Since we are four weeks out from the wedding, I’m scared. He is interested in getting back on antidepressants but I know it will take some time.
    He isn’t worried about any of this, but I hate the idea of him not feeling fully alive while he is giving his vows or while we’re on our honeymoon. That scares the heck out of me. I’ve thought about postponing but it isn’t really an option, nor would he let me.

    • JSwen

      You can’t control how he is going to feel on your wedding day – you can just be supportive and trusting that when he says “I do”, he means it. And it’s good that he’s getting the help he needs. Maybe focus on that? It might not make him a better groom but it will make him a better husband down the line. :)

      • Kelly

        thanks, you all. your words helped a lot.

    • Caitlin_DD

      As a sufferer of depression myself. I think he will be ok. Yes, you go through periods of startling numbness, but you can certainly still be roused to feeling by big things, and I’m sure getting married is one of them. I think anti-depressants are good if he already knows what meds work for him. If he’s searching for the right pill, which can take a great deal of time, I might suggest holding off until after things have settled down. It’s hard, but if he says he’ll be okay, you just have to trust him. Depression is such a personal irregular thing, you just have to trust the people in the midst of it to try to do what is best for themselves.

      • StevenPortland

        Agree with everything you said!

    • Anon

      My heart goes out to you.
      It’s so good that he’s seeing someone for this. I would try to think about the big picture– before the numb time, was he fully invested in getting married? He committed to you, and that’s something that’s long term– meaning, he meant it when he originally committed to you, and even though he’s not feeling well now, he’s in it for the long haul.
      Agreeing with Caitlin_DD below– if he says he’ll be OK, trust him. He may not be bubbling with enthusiasm, but he’s committing to you– in sickness, and in health. He’s committing to you while he’s sick (ie depressed), but it’s a commitment that will carry through to the healthy times too.
      If he’s still wanting to get married now, even in this dark time, think about what that means. He has chosen you, and wants to be with you.

  • Mary Jo TC

    APW gives great fashion advice. I’d love some hints on wearing maxi skirts and/or dresses as a short woman. My fear is always that I’ll look dumpy. But I’m never able to find one I’m not tripping over anyway, so it seems a moot point. I’m 5’1″. I know tailoring is a thing, but I rarely spend enough money on a garment for it to feel worth it, and I especially wouldn’t want to bother with something that feels casual and trendy and that I might not wear next year.
    Which kinds of maxi skirts/dresses look best on short girls? Any patterns to look for or avoid?
    Where in the world can I find one that will fit? Or must I embrace tailoring?

    • emilyg25

      Buy from a store that has petites. I have an awesome salmon chiffon maxi skirt from Banana Republic, and I just bought a few maxi dresses from Old Navy, which just expanded their online petite selection. I’m 5’2″ and I actually feel taller and more graceful in a maxi skirt (as long as it isn’t spilling over my toes).

    • Caitlin_DD

      5’2″ here, I find they look best with a very tailored shirt, or T-shirt. I have some that are column, and some that flow, and I honestly like the flowing ones better, but that may just be my preference. I think short girls can rock either. Also might do to wear them below your natural waist. I have very good luck at Target, Kohl’s and Uniqlo for skirts and dresses that do not need tailoring, or even heels. As for prints, small is always better for petite women.

      • Don’t Hassle the Haf

        LOVE UNIQLO.

        That is all.

  • Meg

    Went in for a last dress fitting with the seamstress who made my senior prom dress and it turned out I didn’t need anything done after all. I somehow bought a dress that fit me perfectly. She’s just having it cleaned and pressed for me. Now uh…to stay away from “cookies cakes and brownies” as my mother would say. Less than one month!! I can’t remember if my junior prom dress was a Jessica McClintock, but that name still has so many memories ahha

    • Caitlin_DD

      Can I just say I wish I had a family seamstress? One day.

      • Meg

        haha we aren’t related but yeah. That would come in handy to have one in the family!! Also my fiancé’s grandmother sent us a card in the mail and a check which she said we can use to buy a sewing machine with, so I might have to become the family seamstress!

        • Caitlin_DD

          Ooooh, what a lovely gift! Bernina machines are very nice, they practically do all the work for you.

  • Grace

    Oh my gosh the video about grandma bridesmaids made me tear up. It was so sweet and touching. Not having some of my grandparents at my wedding is something I’ve been struggling with for a long time, so that video was only the most bittersweet thing in the world for me. No big.

    • JSwen

      Yeah, it’s rough. We are incorporating heirlooms from our grandparents, those deceased and those who can’t travel, into our outfits and the bouquet. :)

      • Grace

        I’m planning on doing the same :). Possibly also favors that are their famous cookies.

    • Jess

      I’m not getting married any time soon, and I have one grandparent left. He’s not in the best of health, nor has he been a large part of my life. It’s awesome to see people get the chance to have their grandparents so close to them and be honored, but definitely a struggle to sit through when those kind of relationships are gone in my own life.

  • lady brett

    so, we’re off to a continuing ed event tonight whose online registration form deleted the “wife” option from the “add a family member” section when you put your gender in as female. this should be fun.

    • KC

      Usually the people who are making choices about online registration forms are not at all the same people who are doing events, so… there’s that. Ah, forms trying to be clever…

      • lady brett

        yeah…all the fields were required, too, so there was no getting around lying on the form. but then (as we were arguing over who got to be the husband) i discovered that the forms were only partly clever…your gender was tied to your *spouse’s* “family position”…but not to your *own*. so if we both signed up as male, it allowed us both to be wives (because wive’s have male spouses, after all). so, clearly, that’s what we did.

        so, yeah, forms trying to be clever…

        • Emily

          I’m sorry you even had the experience, but I do love how you dealt with it!

    • StevenPortland

      how annoying! After the event, you should send an email pointing out the problem. It seems like something that was hopefully a relic of older times and just hasn’t been fixed yet. Let’s hope that’s what it is and not some “well meaning” bigot.

      • lady brett

        it’s possible, but the limited other info i have on the church hosting doesn’t have my hopes up. (it’s fairly difficult to get foster parent continuing ed credits outside of churches – at least when you add time and money into the decision-making equation.)

        • KC

          Plus, even if they do want to change it, it’s sometimes a Very Large Pain to change that sort of thing, since often tech stuff is done once by a volunteer and then recycled by non-techies, sometimes long after the person who set it up is goooone. (says someone who has built I-don’t-even-know-how-many web forms for different nonprofits)

          • lady brett

            whew, truth. trying to back-track through tech decisions made by someone you don’t even have contact info for…and possibly using technology that isn’t used/updated anymore…yeah, there is that part.

  • Jess

    Man, that Walking While Fat article hits home, even without the comments about weight. I was having a conversation last week in mixed company catcalls and how many men will honk their horns or shout out the window at me while I run, and one of the guys made a comment, “You girls like it though.” I stared at him for a long moment.

    “You know what, I don’t. I run because I like to run, not to perform in your fantasies. It isn’t gratifying to have someone yell out ‘NICE TITS’, it’s humiliating and annoying that I cannot go running without being interrupted by someone’s idiotic comments and you can.”

    It’s bothering me more and more.

    • Caitlin_DD

      GOOD response.

      • Jess

        The girls at the table flat out backed me up (go them!) with their own stories. The other guys were kind of shocked that all of us had experienced it, but that one got real sheepish… Which I liked.

        • Caitlin_DD

          Yuuup, and he should feel sheepish!

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

          I have been in that situation a few times lately (at work) and the other women in the room always side with the guys. It makes it really hard to make anyone see the point and it just makes me sad for them. I know it’s just the work environment I’m in but still…frustrating.

          • scw

            ugh

    • Kayjayoh
    • JSwen

      If “us girls” like it, why has that method NEVER resulted in a guy picking up that girl?

    • Katelyn

      Something that I have been doing to great effect is to actual mention these incidences in daily conversation. It started last summer – I would take a bus home from volleyball in the evenings (around 9 pm) and almost every week a man would strike up a “friendly” conversation.

      I mentioned it offhand one night and my fiance was much more affected by it than I expected. I realized that in the interest of forgetting about these incidences as quickly as possible, I rarely, if ever, brought up the street harassment directed toward me. So, now I try to make it part of my “news of the day”. It’s not much, but it helps my fiance and other friends realize that despite our similar stomping grounds, it’s not the same experience for women.

      • jashshea

        Late to post, but YES! I think some men think it’s something that happens to some specific class of woman/person (ex. models or dressed up women) and not their GF/wife/etc. I don’t think they understand all it takes is being female. I can get ready to walk to the gym with two day unwashed hair/no makeup wearing a northface fleece and someone still feels the need to say something.

        • Jess

          I think that’s a big part of it! It doesn’t just happen to “normal” women in their minds. We should all keep complaining!

    • Lauren from NH

      So this popped up on my facebook feed this week and some dude, who insisted he wasn’t trolling, was going on about how men call out fat women because it is instict to shame them into conforming to socially acceptable standards of health and physical attractiveness….it was pretty flooring. I guess what I found the most frustrating is the inability for this guy (and lots of men) to understand what it is like to feel physically threatened on the daily (and not just feel, this isn’t just in women’s minds, but be threatened, be a few wrong moves away from phyisical harm) and that as humans women share in the human right to physical safety. I know men have privaledge and this is not something they emotionally experience in the same way but COME ON! So little empathy? so little foresight regarding cause and effect?

    • Emily

      That article hit home for me, too.
      I’ve been lucky to have taken dozens of uneventful walks in my neighborhood. One day a few weeks ago though, the lucky streak ended. I felt a whiff of a breeze on my neck, then witnessed a large, half-filled plastic iced coffee cup crash to the sidewalk ten feet ahead of me as a vehicle passed by. I was stunned and the cup may as well have hit me, I don’t think I could have been any more upset about it. I haven’t really taken many walks since, and when I do, I’m constantly watching the traffic for threats. Sucks.

    • EKS

      I had this same conversation two weeks ago! The men I was with were shocked that it was not ok to do that. I was shocked no one had ever told them it was not acceptable, and downright mean!

    • scw

      in the last few years I’ve started calling out casual sexism like that. it’s a good feeling (and also a really, really terrible one).

  • Amanda Otto

    2 weeks till my wedding. And last night I had a nightmare that my mother spent $1,500 on bread for the reception. We only have 75 people, so that would be $20 worth of bread per person for one meal. WHY AM I DREAMING THIS?!?

    • Violet

      Sounds like some Excellent bread, though.

      • genevathene

        Or, you know, specially priced Wedding Bread. ;)

    • http://instagram.com/autresvoix Kamala

      I feel like if I showed up to a wedding, and for dinner they served me $20 worth of bread, it would be far from the worst wedding food I had ever encountered. Good luck, hopefully that dream is as crazy as any of this will get!

  • Molly Pollard

    One week till the wedding and I’m suddenly finding myself tying ribbon to favor containers… Only 70 more to go… :( I guess last minute things like this are why it ended up being a good thing I got to leave my job a week early.

    In other news, are we there yet??? I’m tired.

    • KC

      Congratulations on being 1. a week out, and 2. smart enough to take the week off. (I took… the day before the wedding off. I was a complete idiot.)

      • Molly Pollard

        Yeah, I wasn’t going to be able to take the week off before the wedding, and then I found out my fiancé got a job transfer so I put in my notice for today.

        They let me go last Friday (a week early) and at this point I’m not even mad. This week alone has been crazy.

        • KC

          Sometimes your time is worth a whoooole lot more than whatever money they’d be paying you. The time right before your wedding is a good candidate for that sort of time. :-)

  • Jenni

    So glad this week is over!!! Tomorrow I’m flying to NH for a food tasting at the venue, meetings with several florists, discussing decor with the planner, and cupcake tasting–whew!! I’m sad my fiance won’t be there, but I get to see him for a week after this trip, huzzah! Oh, and my dress came in–I can’t wait to see it in person.

    … Any advice if your SO doesn’t want to do premarital counseling? He doesn’t want to bring a third party into our relationship. I see it differently, but I don’t want to drag him to something he’d be uncomfortable with. I really think it would be beneficial for our communication … but I understand his reluctance.

    • Meg

      I think there is some self guided counseling? My fiancé and I went through all the questions in the APW book together too

    • KC

      So, some premarital counseling uses these booklets and quizzes that you take separately and then a company computes where you each “land” in an assortment of different places. I don’t know if they’ll do this for a couple, or only for counselors, but ours let us see the results and it was really useful (for instance, his family is way off the end of the “hands off” side of the extended-family-interaction spectrum whereas mine is not). This can give you some of the material to talk about and bring out some of the invisible differences that tend to bite people after marriage. (ours was SO USEFUL. we had three batches of premarital counseling. We now have *mumble mumble* years of marriage under our belt and I am soooo glad we did all that.)

      That said, yeah, there’s nothing quite like having a third person in the room, especially one who is trained in communication. And if you feel you-and-future-spouse’s communication skills need work, but don’t know how or what to do about that, then I don’t know of a replacement for an actual “personal trainer”.

      But for some of the other stuff, is there anyone (or any married couple) you both personally know, who he’d be comfortable with, who would be willing to do informal “let’s all talk about our expectations of marriage!” sorts of stuff?

      • KC

        Oh! and I think the quiz/booklet thing is called PREPARE/ENRICH (possibly both acronyms?). Taking the quizzes for that one separately is sort of key, though, as you often unconsciously drift towards superficial agreement if you’re discussing them as you go.

        • KC

          (it’s a bit like the Official Myers-Briggs tests, but focused on views of life/relationships that are likely to affect your relationship. To be honest, it was interesting just to think about how to answer some of those questions – *do* I expect to do more chores than my spouse? – but the charts mapping out our responses were super-interesting)

    • Lindsey d.

      We started with a book called 1,001 Questions to Ask Before You Get Married. It definitely got conversations started. This book was actually recommended by a friend who went through it with her boyfriend and later called off the wedding. She said the signs that they were not marriage compatible were confirmed by the book. For us, it confirmed that we were on the same page on money, kids, vacation, etc. Might not be the best for improving communication, but if want a prompt for those big discussions, it’s a good one.

    • JSwen

      Doing counseling right now. My fiance is not a fan of therapy. His ears start to burn when he hears the phrase, “but how does that make you feel?”

      It was a rough conversation but I calmly expressed my reasons for wanting to do it. He couldn’t really argue with it when I laid it out like this: Most people go to therapy when something is wrong. I’d like to go to pre-marital counseling for a couple reasons: 1) we can find out what we do well so we can focus on preserving that, 2) we can get a third-party to provide us tools for communicating well with each other, and 3) it is important to me. It was about two months from that conversation to seeing a counselor. He was on board by then.

      Goodluck. If he still doesn’t want to go, our therapist is having us read “Hold me tight: seven conversations…” by Sue Johnson.

    • malkavian

      I found having both of us take Meyers-Briggs tests and comparing our types was pretty useful at figuring out things that were causing conflict and seeing where we need to be better at understanding each other.

    • macrain

      My fiance didn’t understand why we needed it, but he’s on board enough that we are going at this point. I’m sort of ok that he’s not 100% on board, because I think this will be so good for us. I’m a big believer in therapy! Be patient, he might come around.

    • YetAnotherMegan

      My fiance and I did ours long distance with one of the ministers marrying us. She gave us a book full of different sections that had a little bit to read and then we each filled out answers to the same set of questions to talk about after. We only met with the minister twice I think once we started and had kind of overarching conversations with her about what we thought of the topics; the in depth conversations happened on our own.

  • http://instagram.com/autresvoix Kamala

    Just popping in to say that we picked a date/venue last weekend in California! It looks like this thing is going to happen!

  • NycMiniBee133

    Am married! We actually tied the knot legally at city hall with the “real” wedding on Sunday. I am so so happy in a slow burning fuzzy way.

    • KC

      Congratulations!

      • NYCMiniBee

        The Sunday wedding was amazing as well! Thank you guys for the well wishes!

    • http://www.kandisebrown.com/ Kandise Brown

      Yay!

    • Erin

      Congratulations! Enjoy the slow burning fuzziness, that sounds lovely!

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

    I love the Dad’s “babysitting” post. Excellent! According to Dictionary.com a babysitter is someone who “takes charge of a child while the parents are temporarily away.”

    In related news: our baby is 2 lbs and 14 oz and still growing. Only 11 weeks to go . . . it’s going to be a HOT summer.

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

      One good thing about a summer pregnancy – nobody cares if you turn the AC on. When you’re overheating in the winter nonpregnant people generally don’t want the AC on.

  • Shelly

    (Long-time lurker, first-time talker here.) Y’all, I am FREAKING OUT. Wedding is in 23 days (eeeeeee) and while I am very stoked to be finally getting married to my dude, I am blown away by the amount of shit that still has to get done. Because of a lot of drama with our vendor, stuff that should have been done months ago is getting done now–finalizing stuff with the caterer, getting our flowers decided on, organizing weekend logistics…oof. I’m also trying to deal with my guilt about my Grandma paying more than she probably bargained for on our Saturday night welcome party (a more informal, drop-in affair that replaced a formal rehearsal dinner), for which we expected 60-80 people and are looking at close to 115, and my mom spending more time on this wedding than is even remotely fair for a full-time lawyer who has more important things than hot-gluing centerpieces.

    All of this combined with graduating from my master’s program, moving, starting a new job, and having my fiance temporarily long-distance have led to a lot of Big Feelings. Any advice on handling the epic to-do lists and guilt, beyond guzzling epic amounts of wine?

    • KC

      Honestly, if you thank people profusely and honestly – your grandma and mom probably *want* to help out a lot. Things may be more than expected (that’s where the “profuse” thanks part comes in), but this their chance to do these things. If Grandma is on a fixed income and you think this will be a severe pinch, then maybe offer to pitch in? And if your mom is keeling over from sleep deprivation, then seeing if you can get an extra pair of hands to help her out, then maybe? But otherwise, let them be bountiful?

      Get the to-do lists down on paper/digital (somewhere other than your head), if you haven’t already, and just keep plugging away at them. And try to kill the guilt. Grateful is not the same as guilty. :-)

      Also, it will work out okay (if not perfectly) and it will be over, and you will be married, in 23 days. Yay!

    • http://www.mrsrobbinssparkles.com/ Jennifer Robbins

      DELEGATE. You probably have people around you that would love to help. I know not everything can be passed off to someone else, but if it can be, then do it! That’s the only way I survived the final few weeks before my wedding. It sounds like your mom is already helping, but if you and/or your soon to be spouse have any friends willing to help, let them!
      Other than that, just drink your wine and do your best. Some things probably won’t get done, and that’s ok! Your wedding will still be awesome anyway :)

    • YetAnotherMegan

      I’m right there with you at 22 days. Oddly enough, I decided 4 weeks out was the PERFECT time to start a project involving thousands of fabric flower petals and 40 feet of tulle. I’m really not that bright sometimes. This weekend is supposed to be our last big push with getting everything printed and organized so that if we don’t finish then we still have time. I’m big on fake deadlines. Either way, I just keep reminding myself that programs (or favors or diy aisle bumpers) aren’t what make us married.

    • AG

      You can do it! I honestly don’t have any good advice for avoiding the giant to-do lists or guilt – definitely experienced both. My only advice is to accept it. I decided that I was OK with being stressed out a month before the wedding, but I was NOT OK with being stressed out the week (and especially day) of. So I was in work mode right up until a few days before, and then I put myself into wedding zen and kind of forced myself to let go and enjoy. Think about prioritizing your to-do list, and don’t let anyone (even well-meaning people) convince you that you have to be working on your list right up to the wedding. My MIL overexerted herself working on our Rehearsal Dinner (all her idea, nothing that B or I asked for), and I truly don’t think she enjoyed herself all weekend because she was just so spent. You owe it to yourself to enjoy your wedding.

      As for the guilt, it’s tough. I’m trying to accept that the guilt I feel (for people traveling so far, for all the generosity of my friends and family), is really just an overwhelming gratitude, and that the people who gave us so much would hate for us to feel guilty about it. These people love you, and they are adults capable of making their own decisions. They want to do this for you.

      ENJOY YOUR WEDDING! It will be wonderful, regardless of centerpieces.

  • swarmofbees

    Can anyone recommend a jeweler in NYC that works with reclaimed/ ethically sourced metals? We want to go down to Philadelphia to see Bario Neal, but I don’t know if we will be able to make the trip before the wedding.

    • swarmofbees

      I just saw that they have an NYC showroom! problem solved :)

      • Erin

        I second Ken and Dana! We got my ring from them and I love it! And they just moved into a new beautiful showroom and even have a friendly dog who hangs out there with them.

    • Grace Boone

      Ken and Dana Designs. I got my ring with them. They do vintage and custom and all sorts of great stuff.

    • Granola

      Little King Jewelers. They closed their showroom, but they still do custom pieces. I think they’re pretty ethical, but I’m not 100% sure. I did get my ring custom made from them though and I’m really happy with it.

  • Emily

    It’s a good day! I passed my test and got my license, now I can work and help pay for our frickin’ wedding! Yaay!

    Bra suggestions with this dress?
    http://www.modcloth.com/shop/dresses/seaside-ceremony-dress?new_pdp_layout=true

    Do I NEED to go strapless? I have never bought one of those before. Was thinking I’d try maybe seeing if a nude strap would be sufficiently unobtrusive, since it’d be covered anyway.

    • swarmofbees

      Congratulations! In terms of the bra, I would go strapless, preferably long line. But, You could see when you get it how it looks.

    • KC

      There are also those clear straps, if you can’t get a nude that’s “your” nude. Depending on how large the “holes” in the lace are, though, you may be stuck either with a strapless or with the “I am deliberately wearing an underlayer” look.

    • Meg

      If it fits right and you aren’t hugely endowed strapless bras are tolerable. I like the clear bra-strap idea but for me I’m going with a strapless bra. I’d suggest going somewhere and trying them all on. I went with this one and it’s not bad, but well I’m a small C…so results may vary! http://www.victoriassecret.com/bras/strapless-and-multi-way/multi-way-bra-fabulous-by-victorias-secret?ProductID=145221&CatalogueType=OLS

    • Amy March

      I think you need to go strapless. I think the straps will show up more in photographs than you’d like.

    • Sparkles

      You could always go braless, depending on how comfortable you are with that/how it fits. I went braless in my dress and it was fine. It looks like it’s lined enough to pull that off. If you don’t want to go strapless, you could also get a white bra with pretty white straps that might blend in with the lace.

    • Aubry

      Depends on your bust/comfort. I’d go with straps personally. You can get clear or nude and put your foundation on them to match more closely. Clear can be shiny and reflective in photos but with a thicker lace like that it would probably be unnoticable.

  • Rosie

    I need some help APW! My husband has been offered a new job. It’s for a good company, moving into something he’s interested in. It’s all great, except he’d be travelling and they don’t know how much because it’s dependent on the workload. We don’t fancy him being away a lot, so we’re worried about him accepting the job. Does anyone have any thoughts or advice? I’d be very grateful! :) x

    • KC

      So, while yes, fine, it’s dependent on the workload, can they at least give him an approximate range? I assume they have or have had other employees doing similar things, so they should be able to give at least a vague “not more than X times per year and not fewer than Y times per year” or “likely maximum of this number of days away, even if the workload goes bonkers”, which might then give you a clear yes or no as to whether this sounds doable?

      • JSwen

        I agree. They should be able to give you more info – he needs to know what he’s signing up for!

        • Rosie

          Thanks KC and JSwen, I agree that he should ask them for a range based on the other employees doing the same thing. Believe it or not we hadn’t thought of that!

          • KC

            Hooray! I’m glad that was helpful.

            Also, if reasonably possible, get the range in writing. People are less likely to fudge numbers in the direction they think you want if it’s recorded. But that can also be very awkward to get, so… at your discretion.

          • Rosie

            The guy who would be his boss has been very nice so far and they’ve been communicating mainly over email, so that might be possible. I’ll report back next week, should have a decision by then!

          • Jess

            Almost always they should have a limit of %age of time traveled – mine ended up being an actual 50%. It sucked. Now I’m down to the 25% mark they told me I’d have at the beginning. It’s totally fair to understand the expectation.

          • Rosie

            That’s a really good point, thanks Jess.

    • Amy March

      Don’t accept it. No matter what they say now, if the job requires traveling he will have to travel. If that doesn’t work for you this isn’t the job for him.

      • Rosie

        Thanks Amy March; I should say we don’t mind him travelling a little bit, and if he’s away over a weekend he can take time off in lieu. I’m self employed so I could have a day off with him not on a weekend quite easily. I think we’ll try to pin them down on the amount of travel a bit more!

    • ElisabethJoanne

      A good employer will let you talk to other people in the same position, or even the person you’re replacing. Then you can ask, “What is the workload like? What makes it vary? Is it seasonal? Completely sporadic? Does it depend on the manager? How much leeway do you have in scheduling travel? How much notice do you get?”

      I was offered a job where the boss described a really brutal work environment, but the compensation didn’t match that, and the work was interesting. I asked to speak with the people who had the same job title as I’d have, and then I just asked them, “The boss described a really brutal work environment. What are your days like?” They said that was just the boss’s personality. They had a reasonable to good work environment, for the profession. I didn’t take the job, but I think my potential coworkers were honest.

      • Rosie

        That’s a really good idea, I think that would be great to speak to people in the team.

    • jashshea

      If they can’t give a range, that usually means it’s 100% travel and they don’t want to say it. Just my $.02.

  • ElisabethJoanne

    Chickened out on at-home evaluation re: dyspaneuria. Maybe this weekend. Still reading the books.

    Set up a Shutterfly album of our honeymoon photos just this morning. Turns out, we had over 800 honeymoon photos, which is more than you can put in 1 Shutterfly book. I’ll probably end up doing multiple Shutterfly books, and doing a separately typed up key for each. I think that will be really easy for my husband to help with, and I need his help, ’cause he remembers more.

    I would like advice about a wedding my family is attending next month. It’s outdoors in San Diego. My husband has a hard time pacing himself in the heat. He’ll just GO and then crash and not be able to do anything but lie down for several hours. (It’s not heat stroke; I think it’s related to his executive dysfunction/ADHD.) When I brought up that we needed a plan to get through this wedding, he suggested lying down inside (It’s at a private house.) and bringing a cooler with cooling packs. I told him that those were really unusual behaviors for a healthy adult, so he was putting me in a tough spot asking me to conceal his executive dysfunction from my family while also asking for conspicuous accommodation of his condition. I think he’d be OK if he just sought what shade was available, drank water, and avoided alcohol, but he didn’t think so.

    As brides or wedding guests, what would you think of an adult guest who slipped away periodically to lie down? Is that something we should raise with the couple ahead of time, or just deal with in the moment? Should we deal with that idea through the homeowners, who are distant relations? What about an able-bodied guest using cool packs during the ceremony? Distracting? Any other ideas for keeping him cool? (I’m thinking bringing a couple frozen water bottles would be less conspicuous and more cooling than just a water bottle.) Should my husband just skip the wedding? We’ve already RSVP’d. How would we handle his backing out?

    • JSwen

      You could let the homeowners know on the day of that he’s not feeling well and may need to lie down a few times. I don’t think that’s a ridiculous request, personally. Now bringing a cooler… kind of odd but if you could leave it in the car and let him chill out there, might work!

    • Amy March

      I’m terribly heat sensitive and wouldn’t hesitate to bring a frozen water bottle in my purse and spend time in shady places. I wouldn’t expect to be able to lie down inside but I wouldn’t hesitate to slip away and take a seat if I needed to. I’d let him do what he wants- he’s making choices and a plan to take care of himself. If that means he can’t keep his condition a secret, so be it. Also- have you not told your family about this? I really hope you have someone you can confide in in real life- discretion is fine to request but not secrecy. And I don’t think there’s any reason at all for him to just skip it.

      • ElisabethJoanne

        I have a support group, and I’ll ask them for tips, too. Thanks. I wanted a wedding-planning perspective, because the support group will be patient-focused.

        I haven’t told my family about his condition because he’s asked me not to. He carries the stigma of mental illness, and there’s special skepticism about whether adults can have ADHD. Personally, I think telling my family would be better than the million small excuses we employ now, but that’s not my call. Though, I’m only making educated guesses at to what’s related to the ADHD and what’s just his personality/other physiology. It’s certainly not true that every unusual or unhelpful thing he does is a result of ADHD.

        • Amy March

          I understand the stigma, but he’s asking you to build a wall of lies between yourself and your family and I guarantee they’ve noticed something is up if there have been a million small excuses. On the other hand maybe a wall is something you need. Just a perspective to consider.

          • ElisabethJoanne

            Thanks for the perspective. OTOH, there’s “It’s not fair to make EJ dodge reasonable questions”; OTOH there’s “EJ’s family isn’t entitled to answers to all their questions.” I don’t think his diagnoses are mine to disclose for now.

            I’m sure my family knows something’s up and is taking the WASP approach of not asking about it, which works for all concerned. He also volunteers tons for the National Alliance on Mental Illness, and my parents know all about that. Mom’s coming with us to the NAMI Walk, and maybe that will open up some conversations.

            I have explained that his family is “not normal” in how they get along, and I know that’s helped my parents not feel guilty for seeing us more than we see our in-laws, though the distances are equal. (“not normal” = abusive, and that past is also something we accommodate in our day-to-day lives)

    • lady brett

      the thing about health is that you don’t really owe anyone an explanation. behavior, on the other hand, you generally do. which means that you should let someone know if he’s going to need to rest inside or something else “unexpected” – but you’re perfectly fine to say something vague like “he’s not been feeling well” or “we’ve found that heat is hard on him” or whatever. you do not have to explain any details to folks, but it’s nice to say enough to make it clear that he’ll be okay, and also you’ll need to do some specific special things to ensure that.

    • KC

      Just a note that heat sensitivity manifesting itself like that might be a medical non-mental-illness thing; thermoregulatory problems, esp. combined with the GO->CRASH (which might be an adrenaline regulation problem partly triggered by thermoregulatory problems) makes me wonder about dysautonomia (which can also cause confusion, difficulty with multitasking, and all sorts of other random stuff, so not necessarily totally unlinked to ADHD diagnosis criteria). Just flagging it because it’s not something everyone knows about.

      I think asking at the beginning of the day where he can lie down due to not feeling well occasionally is a good plan. You may get rumors that he has cancer or something, though. (at least he can’t be pregnant!)

      • ElisabethJoanne

        I’ll try to have him bring those things up with one of his healthcare providers. Thanks. He’s really good about going to his appointments and taking his meds, but he can only raise one or two issues per appointment, so it can take awhile to resolve anything that’s not an everyday issue.

        • KC

          Hooray for a spouse who is good at going to appointments and taking medications! That’s great. :-)

          Modern medicine: where 15 minutes is theoretically enough to a) get the doctor caught up as to how, exactly, the patient is doing health-wise, and b) have the patient understand what the doctor wants the patient to do to improve the situation. Riiight.

          I do hope it all goes well.

      • KC

        (oh, also: can he sneak away and lie down with cool packs in the car with the windows rolled down? This might be a less-inconveniencing or less-visible-to-all option if you two are driving there separately.)

        (I mean, if you’re a diet-controlled diabetic, you smuggle in quiet snacks to keep your blood sugar at the right level; if your snack supply fails in some way (stolen by a dog; whatever), then you ask your hosts for help. This is okay to do. You do what you reasonably can to avoid inconveniencing others; when you do need to inconvenience others, you give what notice seems feasible/reasonable; and everyone takes care of everyone else, ideally. :-) )

        • ElisabethJoanne

          I’m certainly thinking about the car – even using the air conditioning in the car – but I don’t know what the parking arrangements will be. It could very well be valet, like in Father of the Bride with Steve Martin. And I don’t want to ask in advance, because that kind of wrecks the idea of “He’s not feeling well…”

          • KC

            You could probably ask what the parking arrangements will be, as I think that’s a reasonably normal guest-y question (aka: will I have to park a mile off and walk in heels in the grass beside a sidewalk-less road, and hence add that time to our travel time? will we need to take a shuttle?). I hadn’t thought about air conditioning in the car, though – genius! (I had thought about those sun-reflecting windshield screens, though, which might help if it’s overstimulation-related, to make it slightly less bright inside the car and also make him slightly less visible.)

          • ElisabethJoanne

            OK. I’ll try to follow up about parking. I hate to be one of those pesky guests with tons of questions. I really didn’t get many questions before our wedding. (Of course, I also had a very detailed wedding web site that discussed food allergies, childcare, medical emergencies, etc.)

          • KC

            Yeah, if there’s someone not-the-bride you can contact, that’s ideal, but I do think asking about where to park is reasonable (and something where if they haven’t thought about it yet, they might need to start thinking about it around now…). If you *can* pull off parking within a sane distance with a cooler in the car and shade and AC, then you’ve got a backup option and hopefully you and your husband will both feel more reassured about things. :-) (and maybe he’ll do fine with hydration and pacing and you won’t even need the “out”!)

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

      If it were at a hotel or similar space, I think going to lie down would be a great solution. However, I don’t think planning on using someone’s home is a good idea. Homes are private places, and while the hosts of the wedding are inviting you into some parts of their home, I think it’s rude to assume that they’ll also be able/willing to provide him with a space to lie down.
      Although now that I’m halfway through writing, I see KC’s much more compassionate response. I guess I’m having trouble understanding how much control your husband has over his tendency to overheat. If his solution is to just act as he normally would (ie GO GO GO —> CRASH) and use the house as a safety valve, that seems inconsiderate. If there really isn’t another solution besides lying down in the house that will prevent a medical emergency, then I think it’s ok…but I personally would still talk to the homeowners first.

      • ElisabethJoanne

        Everyone has trouble understanding how much control he has, and how much exercising that control wrecks his mood, including him. Welcome to the world of mental disorders. Physically, I think he’d be fine taking the normal precautions (water, shade, very limited alcohol), and I could certainly “make” him do that, since I’ll be there with him. But I think he thinks having to take a break periodically to sit in the shade and drink some water will make him not have a good time, that he’ll be worried all afternoon about whether now is the right time for a break, whether the break was long enough, etc. Periodic breaks are probably what EVERYONE will be doing, but most people do it without a lot of thought, whereas, even with me coaching him, it causes him anxiety, I think. I haven’t figured out how to unpack those concerns with him yet.

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

          Perhaps what he really needs to hear is that he has a safety net and a backup plan? Obviously I don’t know him but, for myself and my health issues, I often feel better just knowing that I’ve planned out “worst-case” scenarios and then don’t have to worry about if I’ll embarrass myself or inconvenience anybody.

  • Sara

    Hello all you lovely folks. If you are in Denver, I’d like to invite you to a charity baby shower to benefit Every Mother Counts. Open house style from 10-11:30am. And mimosas!

    • KC

      I’m not in Denver, but I’d note that a link or location might be helpful to anyone who is. :-)

    • jashshea

      This is awesome! Hope it’s a huge success!

  • http://underacorktree.blogspot.com Christina Josephine

    I need advice about ceremony backdrops! What is the best way to set up a backdrop when a wedding will be outdoors (in an open field) and there is nary a wall or ceiling (or tree) to which to anchor anything? Specifically, I am wanting to string paper chain garlands (horizontally), but don’t have anything to string them to. Any ideas would be much appreciated!

    • KC

      So, three basic options, which you can riff off:
      1. purchase professional arch/awning
      2. use APW’s backdrop frame tutorial (one of the locations it occurs: http://apracticalwedding.com/2014/01/bohemian-wedding-arch/ )
      3. if the field is “yours”, and you know people with fence hole diggers, you can sink poles deeep in the ground ahead of time.

      Good luck! :-)

      • KC

        Okay, fourth nutty have-never-done-this would-not-work-if-there-was-any-wind-or-breeze: balloon line? Probably not a good option unless your wedding is somewhere with No Wind Ever, though.

      • ElisabethJoanne

        To skip the buckets and other anchors, test just pushing pipe into the ground. Our chuppah was free standing, made out of PVC pipe, without any bases or anything on the floor. I wouldn’t just go with that outdoors without testing it, but in soft ground with light breeze and only paper garlands weighing it down, I could see it working.

        • em

          or use umbrella bases.

      • http://underacorktree.blogspot.com Christina Josephine

        #2: YES!!! Thank you.

    • Jessica

      Outdoor/garden shepherd hooks worked for us. We had large pots of flowers to anchor them to the cement, but most are made to be stuck in the ground.

      • http://underacorktree.blogspot.com Christina Josephine

        Whoa. I had no idea they made super tall shepherd’s hooks! I had only seen the short ones that people sometimes use for aisle decorations. I just found 7 foot ones online. Thanks!

    • Rosie

      A very sturdy trellis?!

      • http://underacorktree.blogspot.com Christina Josephine

        Don’t make fun of me, but I had to Google “trellis”! it’s one of those common words of which I somehow never really learned the definition. Anyone else have words like that? Maybe I’m just a horrible English major.

        • Rosie

          I did wonder if it was a British English thing and whether I’d make any sense! :)

    • Sparkles

      My first thought was, why would you need a backdrop at all? There’s some really cute ideas on APW if you really want to do something, but I imagine you standing in a beautiful field with the outdoors in the background. Consider it…

    • Kelly

      This isn’t terribly pretty, but it might be a good starting point- http://www.dandelionsonthewall.com/2012/04/diy-photography-backdrop-stand-pvc-pipe.html

  • Lindsey d.

    How to stay motivated when you hate your job? Well, mostly I seriously dislike my new boss. She and I simply clash and do not have the same idea about how my job should be successfully done. She started the Monday after my wedding while we were on our honeymoon, so it’s been pretty much hellish at work since I got back seven weeks ago. I’m looking around for other opportunities, but I’m also having trouble reconciling leaving all the people I like and respect (including senior management) at my job. And the jobs posted now aren’t quite right either. Rock and hard place over here.

    • KC

      Any way you can talk to senior management and get shuffled internally? I don’t know if there are other “teams” not under your new boss that you could be moved to…

      • Lindsey d.

        I wish… Moving departments would mean drastically changing my career. :(

    • laurasmash

      Hang in there! My boss is a crazy workaholic, so when work gets bad, I remember that some people live to work but I work to live. I try to remember the things that having a decent job allows me to do (fun hobbies, nice apartment, etc) and that helps me tough it out on the bad days. Also having a timeline for looking for a new job (mine is a year) helps me feel less “stuck” even if the perfect job for me isn’t posted now.

      • MC

        Yes, focusing on the good things you do outside of work is helpful. I’ve never had a job I *hated*, but I have had a boss whose work style clashed with mine and made it hard for me to do my job/made it hard for employees to feel like they were doing enough. At work, I focused on the small things I could accomplish that made me feel like my job was worthwhile, and then stopped thinking about work as much as possible when I was home.

    • Lauren from NH

      As someone who just left a job under a really shitty boss, probably my number one saving grace was having an ally. My supervisor was a super lady. Very cleared headed and he was unbelievably rude to her. She was always focused on realistic expectations of yourself, if there is a problem, what’s the solution. She was a real role model for me. Having her around to occasionally bitch to and screw around chatting about the most recent Walking Dead kept me motivated to pull my weight out of respect for her and the challenges of her job. Don’t know if that’s an option but a lot of the midset is applicable. Also finding a new job with friendier people, I am happy as a clam now.

    • Sparkles

      I don’t have any advice, I just want to say that I’m in a similar situation, and it sucks. I’ve been at my job for 6 months and have disliked it from day 1. I’ve learned to work it out, try to focus on the good parts, but it’s hard. I’ve been looking for other work since I first started and haven’t found it. My current plan is to reduce my days at work and spend more time at home/working for my partner.

  • Elizabeth

    I’m having a -1 year anniversary party (a year before the wedding date… I think it’s cute) at the bar that will hopefully be the venue next friday and nobody can come! It’s memorial day weekend, people are busy. I get it, but it makes me slightly worried about the wedding. Well, if any of you New Yorkers want to hang out at Doris in Bed Stuy next Friday, I’ll be there at 7:30. We can talk about weddings or whatever!

    • KC

      People will prioritize weddings over parties, generally by A Lot, so I would not be totally worried (plus, they’ll probably have more notice?). Generally, one-off parties < traditional annual parties < weddings?

      I hope you have fun anyway!

      • Elizabeth

        Absolutely.

        When we picked the date, I wasn’t thinking that it was Memorial Day Weekend at all though. That’s where most of this “oh shit”ness is coming from.

        • KC

          That makes sense! (but it will still probably be totally okay :-) )

        • Jenny

          I got married last memorial day (sunday of) and lots of people commented that it was nice because most of them already had the weekend off and didn’t need to take extra travel time. Plus the weather was lovely! We gave people lots of advanced notice, but in general it was seen as a plus by my crowd!

          • Heather

            (Late to this party, BUT) Samesies to May 26, 2013! High five to NEARLY a year later, Jenny! I keep thinking about where I was this time last year…. craziness.

            We chose Memorial Day Weekend because it was 3 days and gave people a chance to travel without cutting into vacation days. A lot of people had to travel, and several took some days off the next week to go visiting or sight-seeing in the days following the wedding, which really validated for us that we made a good call and took care of our people when choosing the date. I was concerned about travel costs being higher on the holiday weekend, but with a year’s notice, people can plan, and it wasn’t an issue for us or them. We had a Sunday champagne brunch wedding and it was great- people loved the option of having eggs and bacon, etc. at a wedding.

            Sidenote- one of my favorite quotes of the day was from a friend, passing by me with his full plate. He stopped dead in his tracks and said “Y’all have bacon. At a wedding. THANK YOU.” Then he kept walking. There’s a giggle for your Monday.

    • ElisabethJoanne

      Instead of thinking of this as your -1 year wedding, think of it as your -2 year first anniversary, which would be totally sweet to celebrate just the two of you at your wedding venue.

      I’m really lucky and get a freshly-made slice of my wedding cake every month; the bakery that made our wedding cake is a few blocks from my support group. It’s like a little anniversary party every month.

      • Heather

        Jealous. Our wedding cake was Bobby Flay’s coconut cake, but Mesa Grill in NYC has sadly closed, so I can no longer pop in for a slice.

  • laurasmash

    Wooohooo! My first APW happy hour as an engaged person!

    • KC

      Congratulations!

    • Erin

      High five!!!

    • Emily

      Hooray! Congratulations!

  • Ashley

    I am literally having nightmares and daymares about becoming jobless one week before the wedding. My contracted position ends June 20th and 8 days later we’re getting married. I have found anything yet and I am getting really anxious about continuing to pay our bills while I don’t bring in money. Any ideas on how to make myself stand out in the job search? Or at least how to stop waking up sweating?

    • KC

      1. looking at your finances realistically, how long of a job gap is actually *just fine*? Because if you’re like me, you may be panicking about not having something lined up, but if you actually sit down and look at the numbers, by being snug you can get by on one income for a while (or you have X in savings which can get you along for Y months).
      2. is casual temp work an option in your field?
      3. have you talked with your employer about either extending the contract, or expressed interest in additional contracts with them?

      Hope it all works out really well!

  • Jen

    Tomorrow will be three weeks since I have been married. Last night my husband got asked by his mother, “Is Jen pregnant yet?” Less than three weeks! And I actually have been getting the baby question by more people than I haven’t! The most ironic thing is, we are pretty sure we do not want babies! Bring on the comments for the rest of our lives :)

    • KC

      Auuuuuugh the pregnant-yet comments! (but hey, congratulations on the three weeks! :-) )

      In our case, the queries/guesses increased for a couple of years and then tapered off, so there’s hope. And I bet no one will be asking you when you’re 70, anyway…

    • JDrives

      Fellow Jen here :) I feel like nothing I do in advance will prepare me to NOT respond to those comments with vitriol. Hoping you are handling it with more grace than I imagine I will have in similar circumstances!

      • Jess

        i’ve been going with a nice simple “nope!”

        the shortness seems to shut the conversation down, but it’s not explicitly rude. :)

    • MC

      Ugh, my fiance and I are having more and more conversations about how we’re both pretty sure we don’t want kids, and I am DREADING the post-marriage baby questions, especially from his sweet grandparents. How do you tell your family & in-laws, “Nope, sorry, probably no kids here,” ??

  • Laura

    Just checking in to drown my sorrows in the fact that Michelle Obama is going to speak in honor of the Brown vs. Board of Education 60th anniversary not 2 miles from where I live and I don’t have the connections to go see her! Too cool that she’s in Topeka though. We have a bad rep politically so it’s an honor that she’s here.

  • La’Marisa-Andrea

    Ha. Love the article re dads babysitting. I do a lot traveling for my work and I am asked by someone every single time I leave town: so who is gonna take care of your daughter?

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

      That stuff really bugs me. Someone once asked my husband if he was the babysitter. It made him so sexy when he replied matter-of-factly that he was the dad.

  • Anonymous

    I just broke up with my (first post-divorce) boyfriend last night and I am feeling BUMMED OUT. It didn’t go well. I was not my best self and neither was he. I feel like one of the major lessons I learned in my divorce was that closing myself off and protecting my inner self from being known precludes the possibility of true love. This break-up taught me that the corollary is not true: being open and vulnerable to hurt does not guarantee I’ll be loved. Which, duh, of course. But man. Being human is some hard shit sometimes.

    • KC

      That is definitely frustrating (and not something that motivational quotes usually cover; they’re usually all about the “take a chance!” side and not on the “even though it doesn’t always work out!” side).

      Being human: it’s rough.

    • JDrives

      Courage, and lots of internet hugs.

  • Lindsay Rae

    I start my dream job on Monday!! It’s been a long time coming, and I can’t believe May 19th is here!!

    My wedding is now just over 4 months away. I’m a little nervous about how I’m going to handle the crunch time of wedding planning (i.e. “bride brain”) while starting a new, very demanding job. Guess I’ll be drinking a lot of coffee?

    • MC

      I’m also in the just-over-4-months period (yay September weddings!) and am curious to see how I’ll handle the crunch time. My fiance & I actually just had a State of the Wedding night where we talked about everything that needed to still get done and put reminders and deadlines on our Google calendars. Definitely helpful, coffee probably won’t hurt either :)

      • Lindsay Rae

        OMG State of the Wedding night!! LOVE THIS!

        • MC

          It became necessary for us to plan big wedding planning discussions after a few supr-of-the-moment discussions ended poorly because we were tired, hungry, etc. When we are well fed, well-rested, and have had enough prior time to relax and vent about anything we needed to, the wedding planning goes MUCH more smoothly! I highly recommend it.

      • lizperk23

        State of the Wedding night! amazing. we might need to start that too. just realized how many things (big & little) still need to happen in the next 4 months…(yay september!)

  • joanna b.n.

    Leaving tomorrow for a long awaited, much needed vacation w the hubs to Norway and Denmark! Will be our longest vacation since the honeymoon and his first time in Europe! Not to mention a good way to celebrate him wrapping up his Masters! I guess I’m just super grateful! Eeeee!

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

      Norway is on our list. He wants to see the fjords (Hitchhiker Guide fan). I want to see the Northern lights and buy a sweater.

  • Michelle

    I officially gave my family the notice that I’ll be moving 7 hours away to be with my BF at the end of June. The next few weeks will be hectic & crazy, but I’m really looking forward to it. (And really grateful for all of the APW articles on moving & long distance relationships & whatnot that have kept me sane over the past year of debating this move!)

  • http://www.nthdegreedesigns.com/blog Seshat

    Whooohoooo! I made it through our wedding without completely losing my mind! Hell, I even made it through our vows without breaking down and I’m often a weepy emotional wreck. The weather didn’t cooperate so it was too cold to have the ceremony outside as I was really hoping for, but it was still fabulous and perfect. We then got to enjoy an awesome honeymoon in Quebec, and even managed to make it back out of Canada after O’hare (where we were supposed to catch a connecting flight) descended into chaos on Tuesday. Good times. Now I’m just anxiously awaiting our wedding photos.

    Thanks APW for being an amazing pocket of sanity in the often terrifying world of wedding planning! I am *so* glad I found this site.

    The only downside is that now I don’t have the excuse of wedding planning, I have to crack back down on all the things I’ve been putting off… like actually trying to find a job that relates to my degree, which requires putting a portfolio together and possibly learning how on earth to become an effective freelancer. The hardest part is getting started, right?

    • KC

      Congratulations!

      And good luck on freelancing – it’s hard to keep “pitching”, but it gets easier with practice. I think my #1 freelancing tip is to have internal deadlines as well as external deadlines – you will have the Thing finished say 2 days before you *really* have to turn it in – which means that if your computer dies or something else happens, it’s still okay. And then break the pieces down as well into smaller internal deadlines. The #2 freelancing tip is to remain in communication with clients (although this depends on the clients; a “reassuring” frequency of communication to one client can be an “annoying” frequency of communication to another) – but generally, if you’re concise and precise about where you’re at, it’s helpful in keeping them calm (and feeling like you’re doing a good job) and also keeping you “on the map” for other projects. Hope it goes well!

      • Emily

        Man, KC, I’d appreciate a post on this! I know it exists in other places… but you seem helpful, supportive, and practical!

        • KC

          Thank you so much! I would feel slightly weird submitting a freelancing post to APW, because… um… not weddings at all. At any rate, those really are my top 2 tips, followed by “read ‘The Boss of You’ (by Mears) and don’t underestimate what your time is worth” (the book has a chunk on how to do pricing in a way that takes into account more factors than most people remember to!), so you can pretend it’s a post? :-)

          • http://www.nthdegreedesigns.com/blog Seshat

            I dunno, they’ve had practical, business-y type posts before. Possibly one of the month themes may align with it in the future?

            Thanks for the tips and the book recommendation. I have absolutely zero idea how to price stuff. My husband keeps suggesting I take on small side projects for free (I have an unrelated full time job at the moment, so income is not an immediate concern) just to expand my portfolio, but I’ve seen several sources that say underselling yourself is a really bad idea.

    • Jess

      congrats on the wedding! fellow freelancer here…what’s your field?

      • http://www.nthdegreedesigns.com/blog Seshat

        Thanks! I studied graphic/web design, although with more emphasis on web than print. The hardest part for me is getting the confidence to really put myself out there, especially since in school there’s much more emphasis on how to be a good designer vs how to actually work with clients. My goal isn’t necessarily to be a freelancer either, but if I can’t find a full time job in my field I still want to be able to grow my experiences and portfolio.

  • Caroline

    I think it ate my comment! Anyways, we’re less than 3 months out from the wedding and we are changing the wedding venue. Yikes! That said, we feel pretty good about it.

    Our venue was my mom and step-dad’s house. A week ago, my mom moved out and they are separated. They said we might be able to have it there still maybe. We decide the right thing for us emotionally and logistically is to move the wedding. (We haven’t told anyone this yet though, as it is
    my little sister’s graduation from college so this weekend is about her not us.

    I actually feel pretty good about this decision. We’ve known this was a possibility for months, and I think this is the right decision emotionally for everyone.

    I think we will probably do the reception in my dad’s backyard but we’re now looking for an alternate space for the ceremony or the ceremony and reception. We have one idea, to do it in a meadow in a state park near his house, but we’re looking at other options. It’s in Marin (specifically San Rafael, CA) on August 10th during the daytime. We need to be able to bring our caterer with us, (we already paid a large deposit) and bring our own booze. We have a very low budget for the venue, ideally close to free. We are having about 70 people, and would LOVE to be by the water but not in a high-traffic park (low traffic park is awesome). That’s the only thing I’m sad bout is losing the waterfront aspect of the venue).

    So, big change, but I’m feeling okay about it.
    I’ve been dreaming of getting married at my mom and step-dad’s house for years before we even got engaged but this is the right decision. It feels right.

    • Emily

      Wow! That is a big change to make, I’m glad you guys weren’t taken off guard by it, and that it feels like the right move for you. My dad offered to host our wedding at his house, but a recent (around the time of our engagement) clash between my mom and his girlfriend made me feel as though it would be wise to plan our wedding on more “neutral” turf. Hope you find a suitable location!

  • Rebekah

    After last week’s RSVP open thread (two weeks ago? Three?) I saw this “Honest Wedding Invitation” and bookmarked it for happy hour.

    http://imgur.com/SLPHOFt

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

    Help. table linen catastrophe. i have always hated grey. the peach linens that thought we wanted, now my fiance and the planner and the even coordinator girl all like grey tablecloths with peach napkins. We are in a white wedding tent. We can only choose through pictures since we are states away. Am I crazy? Are grey table cloths and peach napkins pretty?? This whole time we have been planning on having blue mason jars with peonies in the center….does that work with grey table cloths? it sucks because I can’t tell how dark the grey is in the picture and am afraid it will look dull and dingy. But now I feel like the difficult one for feeling this way. Fiance is worried peach table cloths will look too grandma – and I admit the peach isn’t as soft or light light pink as I imagined and I don’t want it orangey at all… Advice?? tell me what to do? Also, we are three weeks out and I am so ready for this shit to be done and to just have fun.

    • YOQ

      1. Breathe.
      2. I mean, I’m the one who is advocating for paisley as a wedding color, so take my words with many grains of salt. But I think gray tablecloths actually might look very nice in this scheme. Do you trust the taste of any of the people you named (your fiance, your planner, your coordinator)? If so, I would go with it. If not, do you have anyone on the ground whose taste you *do* trust? Could that person get a real-life look at these things together? I think of gray as kind of a neutral color, so it won’t clash with any of the things you mention. Is this something that you can say “Fiance says this is what he wants, so I’m going to be fine with it and be done”? I think that would be my vote, in your situation.
      3. Breathe some more. It’ll be okay, no matter what. I promise.

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

        thank you for this. yall are amazing. i guess I just wanting some validation that either way will look good so its okay to succumb to the others and also to not. also (and i internally cringe as i type this)…i feel that pressure that people will be assuming it’s MY taste since I am the “bride” (even though we are both females). OH and i would LOVE paisley as a wedding color.

    • ElisabethJoanne

      Peach and gray is a very common color combo. It’s even linked in this round-up.

      You could always do white, or an ivory instead of gray.

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

        thank you! I wish there was a Reply All button because I just replied more thoroughly to the first responder (ha) but I guess I just wanted back up and to be reassured that if we do go with gray that it will be just fine. I just don’t want the peach to look orangey with the grey. thanks again!

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

        Oh and I am looking for it in the link round up- which one is it ??

    • moonlitfractal

      I personally really like grey in general and think it looks great on tablecloths, but that’s me. If you hate grey don’t get grey tablecloths. I think ivory and peach would be a lovely combination!

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

        thank you!! ok so i just responded to the last two commenters, wish there was a reply all button- but THANK YOU :)

    • Ellen

      Can you make a table throw thing to put on top of the tablecloth but under the centerpiece? Like a decent-sized ivory square or something? That would break up the expanse of grey and make the blue mason jars flow a bit better.

      We are doing navy gingham squares in the middle of our tables under the centerpieces to go along with our “glorified picnic” idea.

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

        i will look those up! i was trying to head in that direction. thanks!

        • Heather

          FWIW, I think gray is lovely with peach or yellow (spoiler, my wedding was all gray and yellow). I can see where you’re coming from with the whole “might be dingy” thing. Could you ask your caterer (or linen provider) to send you a gray napkin and a peach napkin? Just one of each shouldn’t mess them up for future events, and then you can see them in person, hold them up in different lights, next to blue flowers, etc. Usually, the tablecloths and napkins are the same fabric, so if they have one, they will probably have the other, and it would cost very little to send them to you. That should give you some peace of mind, if nothing else. And you can send or bring them back once you’re done with the decisions- no harm, no foul. You could also ask to borrow a gray tablecloth and peach napkin and pay the shipping each way if they don’t have gray napkins. The $30 or whatever in total is probably worth your sanity.

          We had white tablecloths and accents, but my dress was definitively ivory- so much so that the guys had to rent ivory shirts so my dress didn’t look dingy or dirty, so I TOTALLY get your concern. Nobody noticed or cared about the linens at all. I had white tablecloths with gray napkins, and a gray square napkin spread out in the center, under the centerpieces. I thought it would look cheap and tacky, but it broke up the table nicely and looked thought-out. Which was nice. The venue really did know what they were doing- go figure!

  • YetAnotherMegan

    I realize I’m probably too late for anyone to see this (LOOONGGG day at work), but here’s hoping…

    How do you tell your rather traditional for tradition’s sake family that you want to do a first look? I mean, I like the continuity of most traditions, but my fiance and I generally like to keep our emotions to ourselves or at least restrain them in public. That, on top of the general stress and craziness of the day (and logistical rationale) have led us to want a few moments mostly alone before the ceremony. I’m at a loss on how to explain that to my slightly overbearing mother who insists that we can’t see each other before the wedding because THATS NOT HOW THINGS ARE DONE and is paying for a large portion of the day.

    • Jenni

      Show her some wedding posts which include an emotional first look? I’m planning to do this with my fiance to show him the benefit of having a photographer at the first look. I also found that some things my mom was unsure about, she got behind once I showed her some pics/other weddings that did it. Also, tell her how incredibly important it is to you AND your fiance–it’s his day too! And it literally only impacts the two of you, no one sitting in the seats will know if you had a first look or not.

      • AG

        That’s a good idea. My mom didn’t know what a first look was when I told her that’s what we were doing. She’s not especially traditional and didn’t have a problem with it, but she also didn’t realize that the first look was a special moment itself. When I explained to her that it would be a private, quiet moment with me and B, and that the photographer would be there to capture it, she teared up and loved the idea. I think explaining that you’re replacing the old tradition with a new, still special one, that will help.

    • ap

      Thankfully, this wasn’t an issue with my mom – but it easily could have been. While the first look may not be “how things are done” – there nothing in any specific tradition that forbids it or says it shouldn’t be done. I told our family that we wanted to pray together quietly before the ceremony and had our photographer shoot it as a ‘first look’ – it was kind of great, and nobody gave me any crap about it. Good luck!

    • Kendra D

      I would point out the origin of the tradition – aka steeped in arranged marriages and problematic notions behind not letting the groom see the bride until after the vows so that he couldn’t run off or change his mind – and explain that this tradition isn’t one you want to follow. I would point out where you are following tradition because it has meaning to you. I think the important part is explaining that you want to do things that are meaningful to you – not just because they’re traditional.

    • Violet

      The thing about saying, “It’s tradition” is that it doesn’t tell you anything specifically about why this is important to your mom. Which means you’re at a loss as to how to meet her needs in another way. So maybe start off with “Mom, what you’re saying is that it’s tradition, but what I’m hearing is that this is important to you. Can you please tell me why this is important to you?” Then you have something to work with. Maybe she wants to see his face when he sees you the first time. If you’re having the moment photographed, then she gets to see his face! If you’re not, then she can pick someone else she feels really close to and watch his/her face during the ceremony when that person sees you the first time. Maybe this is what she did, and she loved it that way. You can validate the heck out of her experience and describe it as really special for her. Say that you want that special moment just like she had, it will just look a little different for you. Maybe she’s concerned “what people will think.” In that case, Jenni is 100% right that no one will know, so you can reassure her of that. Etc., etc.

      I guess what I’m saying is you can absolutely validate your mom’s feelings without having to do it her way.

    • scw

      is your reception right after your ceremony? what sold my mom is that I wanted to cut down on the amount of time we’re away from our guests during the cocktail hour. funnily enough, it’s the groom who is resisting the first look in my case!

  • aldeka

    WE HAVE A VENUE! And a date!

    3.14.15. Pi Day. I swear this was not intentional. We were originally going for 3.20, or a Friday in April, but then decided to eat the extra cost and go with a Saturday… and here we are.

    Now my fiance and I need to figure out how to have a (tiered?!?) wedding pie.

    • StevenPortland

      Google “tier wedding pie” and you’ll find lots of examples of pie stands that will work. My quick search didn’t find anything that blew me away but it is a starting point. Pi day is a great day to have as an anniversary!

    • C_Gold

      OMG! I’m also getting married on Pi Day! Yay!! Totally also planning to have pie at the reception. And I’m in physics, so I think all my nerdy colleagues (when you’re in physics, that’s ALL your colleagues) will appreciate it.

    • C_Gold

      And of course it’s the best possible Pi Day this century, since the next digits in pi after 3.14 are “15”

    • CJ

      That is hopefully going to be my date also! We haven’t booked the venue yet, but my fiance loves the idea of getting married on SUPER PI DAY. So we can serve lots of pies.

  • StevenPortland

    After a lengthy delay, the caterer finally sent me a revised proposal. We had heard such great things about the catering company but I wasn’t wowed with the first proposal. Then we sat down with the head guy for an hour and now many weeks later the menu is in my hands. I am super happy with it!! Now in a few weeks we send out the invitations and wait for the RSVPs to come back. It is a little strange feeling to be doing this reception 9 months after we were married but on the other hand the stress is much less now. It just feels like a fancy dinner that we are planning (with balloon animals for the kids). Starting to look forward to this reception now.

  • MC

    I know happy hour is over but I had to share the wedding stress dream I had last night – my most bizarre to date. It was the day of our wedding and people were showing up to our house, and since the ceremony was starting soon I dragged my fiance upstairs so we could get dressed. Once we were upstairs, I went into a walk-in closet with my best friend and realized that the ceremony hadn’t been written at all – then realized it was a dream and it was okay – and then Prince William and Kate Middleton showed up!? In my dream-world, they were distant relatives of my fiance, and they had come upstairs to say hi – the only problem was that I was completely naked. So I was running around naked, trying to find a robe or something to throw on, and Kate Middleton was being so sweet, assuring me that it was perfectly okay if I was naked in their presence and that they were just delighted to be there for us.

    Okay brain, where did THAT one come from?!

    • C_Gold

      That is amazing.