APW Happy Hour


#GIRLBOSS edition

by Meg Keene, Editor-In-Chief

APW Happy Hour | A Practical WeddingAPW Happy Hour | A Practical Wedding

HI APW!

So, mostly what I want to talk about is how I’ve been reading #GIRLBOSS by Sophia Amoruso this week, and it’s excellent. (It’s also a little bit inspirational for your little sister/ cousin who just graduated and doesn’t fit into a super traditional career path. And while I’ll be buying a copy for said little cousin, if you take out the pep talk sentences it’s ALL FOR ME.) For those of you that don’t know the background story, Sophia Amoruso is an ex sometime-shoplifter-sometime-anarchist-freegan-misfit, who started her company as a vintage e-bay store, and with pure smarts and hustle (and no debt, because she couldn’t even qualify for a credit card) turned it into Nasty Gal, the largest growing retailer in the country, now doing $100 million in sales a year. And she’s still kind of a misfit.

Or as David called the book when he caught me reading it, “erotica.”

If you’re interested, this article in New York Magazine/ The Cut is a great place to start.

Till then, this #GIRLBOSS is actually super exhausted from CEO duty this pre Alt Summit week. So, happy Father’s Day weekend. There is a dad in this household I have to go celebrate. It’s your open thread, go wild.

**HAPPY HOUR UPDATE: APW just made the New York Times, in what is my favorite ever press mention we’ve ever gotten. Happy Friday, y’all!**

XO,
MEG

Highlights of APW This Week

It’s only the first project in our backdrop series, and the whole staff wants one hanging in our homes. (I… actually kept this one so I have it.)

Finally, a wedding photography shot list you can actually use!

Premarital education: it’s more than just extra work during wedding planning.

A high-fashion faux hawk that even Katniss would approve of.

I’m a military wife, but I’m still my own damn self.

Open relationships: how one person did, why they did it, and why it’s working for them.

An intimate, Florida backyard BBQ.

Using your time wisely during wedding planning: it’s trickier than you think.

My partner was married before, but how do I keep from comparing his first relationship with this one?

How to build a wedding website using Squarespace.

Link Roundup

We made a list of best wedding Pinners! It may seem like nbd, but it’s been a personal goal of mine all year. (I do all the pinning for APW, right over here.)

Can we talk about how two female-led movies are dominating the box office right now?! Not a niche, people.

A day of weddings at Unity Temple.

Shonda Rhimes had us at “dreaming is bullshit.

Don’t call me mamacita, I am not your mommy.

Now this is a legit beauty routine.

Sad and fascinating: GooBing Detroit.

Did we all miss the release of Beyonce’s new video for Pretty Hurts? Let’s remedy that.

The summer of Iggy Azalea.

Sophia Amoruso has advice for millennials and a bone to pick with Sheryl Sandberg.

The complete opposite of unplugging, basically.

Wedding advice from the stylish ladies of BHLDN.

APW’s 2014 Happy Hours are sponsored by Monogamy Wine. Thank you Monogamy 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.

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  • Laura C

    I haven’t had much of a problem with “my wedding is not an imposition.” Partly because I’m hardly asking anyone to do anything but show up, true, and that’s in significant part due to my allergy to asking for help, but the wedding thing is what it is. People go to them, I get that. This weekend, however, is my bachelorette (hate the word, can’t think of a better one) party, and I am having trouble with that not being an imposition. Or something? I’m nervous, is what I’m saying, centered around the fact that people are coming here for me. I think I’m ok with my MOH coming even though she’s coming the farthest. Because, well, she’s her and our relationship is 15 years old and solid and has been long distance a lot, and also because she’s leaving the 14-month twins and 4.5 year old at home and I have hopes she’ll get a really good night of sleep in a hotel by herself and maybe a couple naps on the plane here and back, and she’s excited to get to wear jewelry without having babies yanking on it. But I’m a little…taken aback that people are actually driving here 4+ hours for this, and it makes me nervous, even though, as the person who coordinated the invitations and is doing the driving pointed out, mani-pedis, mac and cheese, drinks, and Sunday brunch are about as close to a surefire hit as you get.

    Also I think I’m just overwhelmed. We move two weeks from tomorrow. The wedding is less than two months away. My fiance is studying for the bar. It’s all just a little too much.

    • ART

      fist bumps all around. people want to come to your mac and cheese party (can i come?)

      • sara g

        no kidding, a mac and cheese party sounds heavenly.

    • Katherine

      I want to come to a Mac & cheese party too. People keep asking if I have pregnancy cravings, and I explain that I crave dessert & macaroni & cheese. But given that’s what I crave even when not pregnant, I don’t think it counts. ;)

      Also, I have a feeling your MOH will enjoy the trip. And her husband will be able to handle the kids for a few days. :)

      • Laura C

        Yeah, he’s a competent guy. ;)

        You may be familiar with the mac and cheese — we’re going to S’Mac.

        • Violet

          S’Mac… drool…. …

  • ART

    Two weeks! My dreams/nightmares are going NUTS. They’re not even about the wedding (I mean, they are. Just not thematically). Last night I stayed up late and wrote/designed two Mad Libs, then tested them on my mom via e-mail (I went to a wedding that had mad libs, but half the parts of speech were wrong…womp womp). Having FedEx print and cut them for me today – boom, done!

    I wasn’t able to listen to all of Hilary on Fresh Air last night, but man, she’s bad ass. Just the highlight of her being all “NOPE” to Terry Gross made my skin crawl but also was something I need to learn how to do.

    • MC

      I am SO EXCITED to listen to that interview. Terry Gross is so good and Hillary Clinton is so good.

  • ABA

    I got married last Saturday!!! I’m a long time reader but this is my first time posting. I just wanted to give a shout out to the APW staff and community for being so amazing in everything. APW was there to reassure me every step of the way, to help me come to terms with being a feminist and also desperately
    wanting to get engaged and married, and then while planning my wedding APW became my answer to everything. Every time someone would tell me that something we wanted for our wedding wasn’t done or wouldn’t work, I had an APW article to send to them. APW was my proof that we could have a self catered wedding (food was amazing!) without a DJ (I-Pad worked just great and I danced so much I had blisters on the bottom of my toes) or a wedding party (our support group of friends rocked it without having matching outfits). Everything came together and I couldn’t have asked for anything more and I feel like we owe APW for being such a wonderful resource, it really is a safe place in the mist of
    all the crazy WIC expectations. Thank you! :)

    • KC

      Congratulations! And hooray!

    • Kirstin

      Congrats!

    • Erin

      Congratulations! So great to hear everything went wonderfully! How did the DJ iPad work out for you? We’re really crazy about music and are having a hard time finding a great dj that isn’t insanely expensive (to us). I started considering doing it ourselves but. . .logistics seem tricky to me.

      • SarahG

        Hey there! I’ve been to lots of self-DJed weddings and for what it’s worth, from my observation it works best when you have really thought through the logistics — like “is this a good dance floor?” “is this sound system loud enough?” etc. The ones where it worked less well they hadn’t really thought about *where* people would dance (just sorta thought “it’ll happen” I think, and it wasn’t a huge priority, which is fine, but then it was just confusing — is this the dance floor? IDK.) Or they hadn’t gotten a sound system loud enough to make you feel unselfconscious. If you can do those things and also pick popular music a lot of people like, people will dance. My two cents anyway :)

        • Em

          Ahaha. You are describing my wedding exactly. We are getting married in a restaurant that has no real space for an actual dance floor so we’re not “having dancing” but we are crafting a bumpin playlist with the idea that “it will just happen” if people wanna dance…

          Now this is making me nervous. I don’t want people to be confused!

          • SarahG

            Oh geez, I’m sorry — didn’t mean to stress you out! We are also getting married in a restaurant and are carving out an area between the tables to be the dance floor — I don’t think it has to be some kind of massive thing, just think about where folks would actually feel comfortable dancing. The wedding I had in mind when I said that was one at a park, where the only available area ended up being this dusty bit next to the parking lot… it was just kind of an odd place to dance, so nobody really danced. That said, as long as the bride was on the “dance floor” people were there with her (she gave up kinda quick but still). Yours will be great.

      • Jenni

        Make sure to have someone in charge of the iPad who knows the cues–which song is the first dance song, when to play it, and if you want them to say anything.

        • Erin

          Yeah I think figuring out who we’d put in charge of everything would be the harder part, not because we don’t trust anyone, but because we really want people to just come and enjoy without having to do much of anything. Definitely something to think about!

          • KC

            Family friend’s highschooler who’d be happy to earn $50 for babysitting an iPad? Or you could run it in shifts…

      • ABA

        Thanks! Our DJ IPad worked amazingly well. We rented out a sound system (Speakers, stands, mixer, microphone) and then used a free app called Qusik, which did a great job fading in and out between songs (no long pauses between songs) and allows you to cut songs down to whatever length you want. So if you want to cut out a long intro, you can. I found it way easier than Itunes. Then we just asked someone to push play on our playlists and away we went dancing.

        • Erin

          Ooh that sounds great and pretty doable with some work. I’ll definitely talk to my fiance about it. Thank you!

      • Lawyerette510

        We used an iphone for music and it worked well, except for a speaker-issue at the venue that worked when we were there but didn’t work as well during the later-half of the reception. That said, we overcame the speaker issue by just moving the dance floor from where we been dancing to a different location near the speaker that was still working. We used Spotify Premium, with the phone on airplane mode. We had a playlist for before ceremony, one for us walking in, one for walking out, one for appetizer/mingle time, one for dinner, and one for the dance party. The speaker where the ceremony was had bluetooth, so my in-charge-of-music-friend had the phone in her pocket and just hit play as needed (and she knew the cue for when the ceremony was ending so she could hit play at the right time for the song to start playing as we kissed). Similarly, she was the one who moved the iphone to the reception area (just a different part of the venue) for the rest of the music, and switched the playlists over when it was time. We used the option in Spotify where you select the number of seconds of cross-fade you want, so there weren’t pauses between songs. The walk-in, walk-out, and dance party playlists played in order, the others were shuffle. This made it so I only had to worry about the “flow” of the dance party (my principle was waves: something really broad in appeal to get everyone going, building momentum, throwing in a momentum-but-random-song, a few more popular songs, then after about 40-50 minutes of that, a little set of slow-dance songs, then build the momentum again).

    • np

      I also got married last Saturday and echo every sentiment in this post. As someone with high anxiety, I would not have survived wedding planning without APW. A small list of things this community made possible: Patience and understanding with the process of getting engaged, coming to terms with budget, managing complex family dynamics, designing and crafting our invites, having mismatched and uneven gender wedding party (and bit having a MOH or BM – just people we love and honor), DIT our own flowers with the help of our family and friends (thanks blooms by the box!), patience worh myself and the weird things that popped up as unexpectedly important (cue teary chair conversations), and many more things. Most importantly, this space reminded me to plan for my marriage by going to pre marriage counseling and having open conversation with my now husband (whoa, husband). So much gratitude to Meg for creating this space and to everyone who contributes to maintaining it. It’s invaluable.

  • Alyssa M

    Woah… I actually caught Happy Hour before there were 100+ comments!?

    Probably because I’m sitting at home excitedly waiting for my partner to come home so we can get the ball rolling on applying for a home loan! And then my Best Woman’s gonna come do my first hair trial run (totally trying this http://apracticalwedding.com/2014/05/braided-wedding-hair-beginners/ ) and this weekend we’re gonna start the process of writing our ceremony/vows!!! It’s a good start to the weekend so far!

    • Alyssa M

      Weeelll… the hair went good but the loan did not. My cash loving debt averse partner doesn’t have enough established credit… It’ll be another year before we can try again. But, maybe it means we can splurge a little more on our honeymoon? And I’m sure cash loving debt averse man will love making a bigger down payment!

  • lizperk23

    had a great day yesterday of “just do the work” as related to wedding planning…three months & one week out, and it’s feeling doable. culminated the day off with tasting a meal at the venue (a farm) and had a lovely time with W & mom, complete with sunset!

    then today shit meets fan at work. yay..

  • Bets

    Folks! The Ontario elections happened yesterday, and now we have “the province’s first female premier and the first openly gay first minister in Canada.” What’s really awesome about this is that Kathleen Wynne’s sexual orientation was a non-issue throughout her campaign, only occasionally mentioned in passing by the media.

    • Rachel

      Agreed! One of my friends made a similar comment on Facebook after the election this morning. Along the lines of “the best part about Kathleen Wynne becoming the first openly gay premier in Canada? I had absolutely no idea she was gay until today.”

      It was a total non-issue for the entire campaign. Her personal life was not discussed, slandered, or fretted about by even her most vocal opponents. Even in the media today, when it was mentioned that she is the first woman elected premier of Ontario and the first openly gay person to be elected premier in Canada – it was mentioned more as an interesting fact, and not as an issue, even by conservative (by Canadian standards) media.

    • http://thescienceoffood.info/ Cassandra

      Too bad she runs the most corrupt party in the history of Ontario politics. No big deal.

      • Bets

        I know there’s good reason to be skeptical (with all the main candidates), I still think the fact that Ontarians care more about actual issues than someone’s sexual orientation is awesome. It is definitely a big deal what Kathleen Wynne and the Liberal party does politically, but we’ll be judging her for how well she does her job, where the detail of her being gay is irrelevant.

  • Molly Kopuru

    We got a sneak peek of our wedding photos and I’m soooo excited!! They came out great! The photographer we used does the more typical wedding photos, but they’re mine so I love them aaaah! The day was such a blur, it’s nice to see it captured on film. I can’t wait to get our video back from the videographer.

    Loving the new location. We are finally getting settled (ish, boxes everywhere, but at least we finally have everything) into our new apartment and I can’t get over how many outdoorsy things there are to do here! We (and our dogs) are loving the trails that are EVERYWHERE in our area! Now if I could just get a call back with a job, life would be grand. BUT we have internet, finally, and that is making the job search so much easier. I just know everything will work out!

  • sara g

    My MOH and I made a test bouquet with grocery store flowers and I think it turned out awesome for our first try!

    Edit: ok weird, pic didn’t show up. Trying again. Ignore the cat litter box in the background, lol.

    https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B7tCzOYOFHcCYXFDY1ptUGRtQl81azY3RlBiVG53ZDBHTHdF/edit?usp=sharing

    • ART

      oh TOTALLY awesome! i love it!!! i ordered a very simple flower selection from blooms by the box and costco for all the arrangements, but now i’m thinking i want to hit up the grocery store to add to my bouquet.

      • sara g

        thanks! we got three mixed bouquets from Trader Joe’s and a thing of filler (eucalyptus, some other greeny stuff) from Fred Meyer. Fred Meyer actually had a ton of awesome filler-type stuff in their floral section… if we’d gone there first we could have easily done everything from there.

        Cost around $20 for the flowers and another $15 for supplies, which we will reuse for the wedding. There weren’t a ton of flowers left over, but enough to make a boutonniere and a few little informal bouquets for table decorations.

    • Stephanie B.

      That looks great! I made mine from grocery store flowers, using the APW tutorial (I think maybe the How To Make a Trader Joe’s Bouquet one), and it turned out really well. I did a test run first, like you, which helped me be sure it would turn out the way I wanted and would last the whole day (I put it in the fridge in water overnight, and then took it out the next day and left it out to see if/when it would wilt — it lasted all day, and so did my wedding-day bouquet).

      • sara g

        Yeah, we stuck the bouquet in a big vase and it lasted just fine for several days. We didn’t even refrigerate it.

        • Stephanie B.

          If we didn’t have cats who view plants as their own personal snack, I wouldn’t have refrigerated it. But they are shifty little beasts, so the fridge was the safest idea.

          • sara g

            Haha, we have 2 cats and I was just sure they would munch on all the flowers, but they seemed more scared of them than anything and never really touched them.

    • vegankitchendiaries

      YOU DONE REAL GOOD HERE

    • Erin

      So pretty!!

    • Nell

      How far in advance can you do a bouquet from the grocery store? How long did yours last, and did you do anything to make it last longer?

      • sara g

        We made it Sunday and all we did was stick it in a big vase of water. As of yesterday it was starting to get wilty, but it looked GREAT for a good three days, easily. A lot of the flowers were already wide open when we bought the bouquets, so I bet if you got ones that were still partly closed they would last even longer.

      • Claire

        You can stick it in the fridge too if you have room!

    • Lawyerette510

      It’s GORGEOUS!!!!

    • River

      Okay, now you have me seriously considering doing this. That’s your first try?? GIRL. Stunning.

      • sara g

        Aw thank you! Yeah, neither of us had ever attempted a bouquet before. I give all the credit to the APW bouquet tutorials, which I studied religiously beforehand.

        It was actually surprisingly easy. Totally go for it! Grocery store flowers are so cheap, you can do multiple attempts!

    • JDrives

      Pretty!!!

    • Ellen

      I love it!!!!! We’re planning on Trader Joe’s flowers for mine- it wasn’t until we did the test bouquet that I convinced my mom it could actually be done! Had I known it would have calmed her down that much I would have spent 10 bucks on flowers a LOOONG time ago.

    • meeliebee

      Beautiful! I also practiced my bouquet making skills this weekend, it was way easier than I thought.

      • sara g

        Love! I know, it’s definitely easier I expected. :D

  • aldeka

    Had the first wedding planning fight with the fiancé this week. :/ It took him a long time to talk to his mother and put together the invite list for his side of the family…and it turned out the list is HUGE. Our guest list is 150% over our target now, and also well over the limit for our venue if we want everyone to eat indoors (which we do, because mountains are likely to be cold and foggy, and my mother will kill me if I subject guests to that). Terrifying.

    Even though his mom promises that hardly any of these relatives and family friends would come (they live on the opposite side of the country) I feel super uncomfortable sending save-the-dates to people we just can’t fit. And I was so sure a few months ago that hardly anyone would come to our wedding. How did this list get so big? :/

    I of course can’t make any decisions on who to cut, since I’ve never even met these people, and I’ve already cut my side of the guest list to the bone. Fiancé is too stressed out by job stuff to make any decisions right now–and won’t commit to a date/vague time period when we *can* make a decision. So I just have to be patient. I hate being patient! :P

    • Laura C

      I hope all these people haven’t already been told they’re invited? Because, yeah, if you have your venue already and the list is bigger than you can accommodate even with the expected percentage of people not coming, that’s a thing to address! We definitely had a LOT of negotiations with my fiance’s mother, and eventually gave her a number of people she could have at the wedding, however she wanted to make that number happen. I think some of the things she did would have been outside my personal comfort zone, but I didn’t have to know much about them and she is hitting her number. But it sounds like the first thing for you is coming to a clear understanding with fiance; maybe having him read something about what percent of people invited you’d expect to come, etc, so you’re both on the same page about the basic logistics separate from his particular set of invitations? Anyway, our guest list was so so so stressful until about a week ago, so I completely understand.

    • sara g

      “Even though his mom promises that hardly any of these relatives and family friends would come (they live on the opposite side of the country) I feel super uncomfortable sending save-the-dates to people we just can’t fit.”

      I hear you SO HARD. My mom keeps saying I should send invites to various people (distant relatives, family friends, mainly people I haven’t seen in forever, if at all) because if they don’t get one they’ll “feel bad” and I’m like MOM SOME OF THESE PEOPLE ARE WEALTHY AND COULD ACTUALLY AFFORD TO FLY TO OUR DESTINATION WEDDING. STOP IT.

      Fortunately we were able to compromise, but I did have to put my foot down. If your venue has limited space you can TOTALLY use that as leverage. I sadly did not have that luxury since our venue is a huge outdoor space with chairs/tables for 200+ (we only are having ~70).

    • Caitlin_DD

      Might I suggest just sending them invites? Only send the STDs (what a horrible acronym) to the people that are REALLY important.

      • jashshea

        I did this…sort of. I had “my” list of friends/family in order for MONTHS and got tired of being patient for husband’s list. So I sent the save the dates out to my family and any friends who were traveling (and the small handful of his family members that I had addresses for).

      • Lawyerette510

        I was just coming to suggest this, and to ask him and his mom to rank the list for the invites. It’s ok to have a B-list that gets sent out once you hear back from those awesome people who RSVP “no” immediately.

    • Alyssa M

      Yeah, I definitely had to put my foot down with my mother on the “just send them an invitation! they won’t actually come!” Yeah, but what if they DO!

    • ElisabethJoanne

      My story. YMMV. We invited over 200 people, about half local and half out-of-town, including dozens overseas. Our venue could hold 150, and I think we set our catering minimum at 100. Only about 80 came. Among the surprise attendees was one friend from Singapore who came last-minute. (He’s wealthy and kind of nuts.) Among the surprise declines were locals with vacations planned or who had to work. Also locals who attended but didn’t bring their children, though children were invited.

      I spent a lot of the engagement worrying about how many people were invited. It was a similar situation where lots of people were my future in-laws living overseas, and as much as my husband and parents-in-law insisted they wouldn’t come, I’d read all the advice about never inviting more than your venue can hold. Also, that family isn’t entirely functional, so I didn’t trust them to know their own minds. I quieted my mind by telling myself that if 150 people came, we just wouldn’t have a dance floor, and that’d be ok.

      Considering that we didn’t even make our catering minimum, I don’t know if I now wish we’d actually invited more people. I guess I don’t wish we’d invited more people just to have more people, but there’s a whole group of friends I wish I’d invited, because they were and are such great friends. But – They still are great friends, despite not having been invited. I think it helped that I didn’t invite anyone from that group (high school friends), and that anything they’ve seen/heard about the wedding shows our priority was clearly the older generation, not our age-peers.

    • JSwen

      For those on the other side of the country… maybe you don’t invite them but travel out to them some time after the wedding for a little cake and punch celebration? Consolation for you MIL?

      • aldeka

        Yeah, hopefully. My future mother-in-law has already offered to throw us an east coast wedding shower; if she wants to also throw a second party out there I’m game. We’re already having a second reception in Minnesota for my family.

    • Sparkles

      Maybe ask your partner’s mom if she could come up with an A list and a B list. Send out save the dates to the A list (people who really need to be invited). You’ll hear back from some people after they get the save the dates and then you’ll have a slightly better idea of who might not be able to make it from the A list and will have a chance to dig into the B list as you go along if needed.

      Meg’s got a good section in the book about the B list (I think, it might be on here too). We had one for our wedding and although I freaked out for a bit, we had almost exactly the 100 predicted people come because we were able to invite people a bit closer to the date.

  • Sarah

    3 more weeks from today! Is it just me or does everyone do the bulk of their crafting and plans a month before the wedding? I’m so busy right now and it’s past the point where I can order things off etsy! I’m not freaking out and I’m having fun, whatever doesn’t get done at this point just won’t be there but I’m so busy!

    • Sparkles

      When I was trying to decide if I was insane for planning our wedding in 3.5 months my good friend reassured me that she did most of her planning in the last 3 months of her 12 month long engagement. Just keep having fun, you’ve probably got all the big stuff out of the way (booze, food, venue- those were my top three items), the rest will work itself out if it needs to work itself out.

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

        I’m a big fan of short engagements. (Mine was 3.5 months too.)

  • Sara

    I had never heard of #Girlboss, so thanks Meg! One of my favorite cousins sounds a lot like her minus the shoplifting and is still figuring out ‘what’s next’. Her birthday is coming up and I think I know what I’ll be buying her!
    Also, that Shonda Rhimes speech is magical. I love her (and all her shows).

  • MC

    It’s my first day back in the office after a much-needed vacation and I’ve gotten so much good news – we were awarded a huge grant that I applied for, we finally got some payments that we have been waiting for, we’re getting some crucial donations, and there are chocolate-covered pomegranate seeds for me to eat! Oh, and even though it feels like a Monday to me, it’s FRIDAY and I’m going to a real happy hour!

    Also feeling super ultra grateful that my partner & I support each other so well and feel so comfortable letting each other have our own adventures. I love traveling with my partner but it was so nice this past week to have a vacation all for myself – even though I missed him like crazy, it felt good.

  • Jessica

    Iggy Azalea being the queen of summer irks me after reading her racist tweets. http://www.lipstickalley.com/showthread.php?t=524543

    • Caitlin_DD

      Yeah not a fan of that girl and her blatant cultural appropriation. Not at all.

    • ART

      woah.

  • Dazed and Confused

    Not an awesome week. I found out on Sunday that my fiance and partner of almost-double-digit years had sex with another woman early Sunday morning. Our wedding is in mere months. I’m doing much, much better than I was earlier this week, partly thanks to reading all of the APW articles and comments on infidelity that I could find. And dare I say it, I’m thinking I am going to move forward* and actually marry this love of my life. I haven’t fully admitted this to myself, let alone him or anyone else except you all. I am scared to say it out loud just yet and I am just trying to give myself space to consider the possibility of NOT continuing our life together. When did our few pre-marital counseling sessions we both said that cheating would not be a deal breaker. Never would I have imagined that I would have to put that into practice to soon. And NEVER did I think it would be HIM. I am just feeling confused, hurt, sad, angry, mournful, proud, strong and more and more and more. And yet at the same time feeling like I’m not feeling enough. I don’t want to know so quickly after this terrible, terrible thing happened that I still want to marry him. I want to hurt more. I want him to hurt more. But at the same time, those last few invitations still need to get sent if we want to give folks time to RSVP by the deadline. I think what I’m most scared about is saying yes, let’s work this out and discovering years later that I want to take it back. I’m scared that things will go back to the way they were, back to “normal,” and it will be like this never happened. At the same time, I don’t want this to rule our life. So which is it? Our couples therapist has said told us that we can feel multiple feelings at the same time. I guess I don’t have to decide on just one.
    So, not sure whether I should post this comment but I just had to get it out somewhere. Thanks for listening, amazing APWers.
    [*actual name of my Pinterest board that I've started for words and stories I want to remember throughout this process.]

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

      Don’t be afraid to postpone the wedding if you need more time to process!!!!! HUGS!

    • sara g

      Oh hon. I don’t have any advice because I’ve never experienced this, but I’m sending love and hugs. And a virtual glass of wine. <3

    • anon

      oh honey. i’m so sorry. i can’t say i’ve been in your exact shoes but i’ve been in a similar pair. if you haven’t added Dan Savage to your reading list, that is my #1 recommendation for relationship perspective (which is not to suggest that your perspective should lean one way or the other, at all). I just think he’s a wise man who’s heard it all.

    • MC

      Oof. That is hard. I haven’t experienced that exact situation but emotional betrayal is just so hard. And especially leading up to the wedding. This essay by Cheryl Strayed really help me understand a little more about infidelity and how couples can move on from it – if you haven’t read it already:
      http://therumpus.net/2011/08/dear-sugar-the-rumpus-advice-column-81-a-bit-of-sully-in-your-sweet/

      Sending lots of love your way.

    • CH

      Joining the others to offer support.

      Not sure if my perspective is helpful or welcome, but when my ex-H left our marriage, he left to be with another woman, and my immediate response was, “We can work this out. You can come back home and it’ll be okay.” I was so surprised by how NOT ANGRY I was. I just loved him and wanted him home. It took several weeks (I’m trying to think, 2-3 at least) before I started feeling pissed.

      Hang in there. You’ll have some tough weeks ahead of you, but you’ll get through it. Many hugs.

      • Meg Keene

        Yeah. That sounds right to me. Our first instinct is to protect the life we have. Sometimes it takes awhile to get to the, “WAIT A FUCKING MINUTE YOU DID WHAT WHY?” point of really processing. Not that you can’t recover from these things, but with a serious betrayal of trust, I don’t think we can actually recover till you get through the anger that is totally normal to feel. (Note: it’s not the sex that’s the issue, I think. It’s the betrayal of trust.)

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

        Ditto, CH. It took me a while to get angry when my ex left me for another woman. I was just so stunned and so hurt. Devastated. Eventually the fog lifted and I could see more clearly how I felt about it all and him.

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

          And I want to add that I was in a fog for a while…I think it must be a protective way our body helps us stay partially functional when facing deep grief experiences. I think it was about 6 weeks before the first, deepest layer of fog lifted, then in the following months, I processed more and more and was better able to deal with all those questions whirling around my head incessantly.

          • Sarah McClelland

            I went through the same fog… Lost 15 pounds I couldn’t afford to lose. And therapy. Yes. Listening to instincts and doing some major talking was the most important thing. Sending you hopes for rest and hoping you’ll keep listening to all the positivity here.

    • Jenni

      I’m so sorry. This is such an incredibly hard situation. I can’t even imagine the conflicting feelings that you have swirling about.

      My only advice is that, you can only make a decision with the information/feelings that you have, right now. Whatever you choose, if years from now you look back and wished you chose differently, as you fear, know that you’ll have made the best choice that you could, in the moment, with all the information and knowledge about yourself and your partner that you currently have.

      That doesn’t make the choice any easier now. But when you make it, own it, and don’t look back. ::hugs::

    • Kirstin

      Wow, sending hugs and positive vibes your way.

    • Anony

      I am about a year out from my own version of this. And we decided together that getting married was still something we wanted to do. And I don’t regret that decision for a minute. BUT. It was incredibly hard and still is some days.

      I do want to recommend “How to Help Your Spouse Heal from Your Affair” by Linda MacDonald. We then went through it chapter by chapter (along with counseling) and it really helped put a name to my (and his) feelings. It made things easier when I’d have a set back months later; I’d know why I was lashing out and he’d know how to respond. Seriously. It was a life saver.

      Internet hugs lady friend. If you both want to survive this, I believe that you will.

    • SarahG

      Just wanted to say — all the feelings are OK feelings to have. And you will probably have them all. I’ve been cheated on in a previous relationship, and I felt humiliated by how much I just wanted our relationship to work out, despite being angry. That humiliation was an extra load I did not need to carry, so just be kind to yourself and to whatever feeling is cropping up at the moment. Also, I just finished a course on mindfullness-based stress reduction (through my health insurance, Kaiser) and it was amazing and allowed me to deal with so many unsurfaced feelings in such a gentle and self-loving way. There’s lots of MBSR classes; highly recommend. Big hugs and good luck.

    • Meg Keene

      Oof. LADY. I’m so sorry.

      My best advice is to give yourself time. You should not be making a decision this important (I mean, the legal elements alone are huge) under the gun. Also, while finding a way to stay together after infidelity is totally something you can do, saying your vows a few months after something like this happened, before either of you has worked it out? That’s another thing. Not something you can’t do. BUT. Please don’t make your decision based on the last few invites you need to get out to stay on deadline.

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

        I definitely agree about taking time.

    • Lawyerette510

      I’m so sorry you’re going through this. Sending you hugs and love and confidence that you’ll make the decision that is right for you. There’s not a right or wrong decision in this case, just a right for you decision.

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

      I am so so sorry you are facing this. Please take care of yourself and eat as best as you can and try to sleep….

    • AnotherAnon

      There’s a great blog for people who have been cheated on. chumplady.com

      It’s
      kinda like APW but for surviving that situation and rebuilding your
      life after. But….I must warn you, it is definitely not advocating
      reconciliation. So, I am not sure if it will be right for you in your
      situation. But perhaps it might help others out there who are also
      trying to survive this. I know it has brought me SO MUCH healing in my
      journey. And given me so much courage and strength. And it keeps my head on straight, as I continue processing my own situation. There is a list of featured articles that
      are a good introduction to many of the key ideas and things to consider
      when someone finds themselves in this awful situation, including one
      about how to know if remorse is genuine.

      Sending healing thoughts to all facing this….

    • JDrives

      My heart is heavy for you. I hope you can absorb the love and support from your real-time family and friends during this difficult time, as well as the loads of it from this community. Take your time making decisions and know that all the feels you are having/will have are OK, and you will be OK.

    • Dazed and Confused

      Thank you for your support, all. While all of your comments have burst my bubble a little bit, I am truly grateful. You’re helping me put things back into perspective. For one, I’ve decided that I can’t wait until my therapist, who I saw before for my anxiety but haven’t seen in over a year, is back from vacation. So I am trying to set up an appointment with her stand in to talk about things. And second, I am feeling like my initial “timeline” of giving myself a month to think things through is a goo oned. If I need more time after that, I will take it. If anyone else has any more experience with this, I would really love to hear.

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

        If you want to talk via email, you can send me a note via my blog (my name should link to it), through the “If you want to say hello” message box and then I can reply back to you. My situation was different, though, because my husband had no interest in staying with me and was certain he wanted to be with his girlfriend…so I wasn’t facing the same choices you are. But if you want to talk and need someone to listen, just let me know…. Hang in there…

      • OtherSideNow

        I am so, so, so sorry this happened to you. You’ve had a lot of comments on this issue, but I have a different perspective. I was the one who had sex with someone else (I wasn’t engaged yet, but we were still very committed to each other at the time). I was devastated with my own damn self, for having acted in a way I knew was so wrong, (and I fight the urge to explain the circumstances, to mitigate, which I could because there was some shadiness, because the internet is a cruel, cruel place for people who admit their mistakes…just google cheating, and see how many people think people like me should be killed, or burned at the stake, or divested of my genitals.) I woke up and I sobbed and I was sick for a week and I examined why what happened happened, what my patterns were, how I had previously used infidelity to push away boyfriends, to test them, and I told all of this to my poor beloved whose face shattered into a million pieces and my heart broke more than I ever thought possible simply because I hurt the man who I truly truly loved above all others and who deserved nothing but the best and kindest care. It was the worst way to find clarity, to figure out that he was the love of my life only by doing everything I could to try to lose him.

        And, fully expecting to be deservedly and rancorously dumped, he forgave me. In what was the greatest miracle of my life so far, he forgave me. We worked through it, hours on Skype, lots of tears. It took awhile, and we didn’t have any pressures of wedding planning to deal with. I think the reason it worked at all on my end is because I fully took responsibility and made no attempts to excuse my behavior beyond explaining the circumstances that led up to the event. I knew why I did it, too, and we worked through that. But the real reason it worked out at all is because he, in a supremely logical way, just decided that he would forgive me and he followed through on that forgiveness. It’s been almost two years since it happened and we’re getting married soon. And things are good. We’ve gotten stronger. We’re happy.

        I am not saying you should forgive him and everything will be A-OK. But I am saying that if he is sincere in his apology (if he’s apologized) and truly wants to make it work, you’ll know. And then you can decide if it’s worth it. I’m just proof that the oft-repeated axiom “if you love someone, you could never cheat on them” or “once a cheater always a cheater” is not true. But don’t let fear of disappointing people or losing deposits force you into a decision you cannot process in time. Because when you say your vows, you want to mean them, and you want to know that HE means them, like, means them means them.

    • leafygreen

      Oh man, I am so sorry. That is a horrible thing to go through, no matter what you end up deciding.

      My first fiance did this to me on a similar timeline, but with the added bonus of “…and I still want to marry you, but I want an open marriage.” My first reaction was…of course I have to stay with him and make the most of it, because I was young and stupid and didn’t think I would ever have a chance at having someone again.

      Of course, I’m not saying that’s your thought process…but I definitely second giving yourself time to figure out what exactly IS your thought process, and what’s his, and working through it until you’re sure you’re okay with your decisions one way or another. A month sounds like a great minimum, and yeah, extend that if you need to.

      What was key for me in my situation, too, was setting boundaries on what he needed to do (or uh, not do) to earn back the trust he lost…and when he crossed those boundaries again, I knew I couldn’t marry him.

    • Anon

      Dooood. I am so sorry that happened. I don’t want to sound like a jerk (what everyone says before they sound like a jerk), but maybe you should consider pumping the brakes on the wedding. I would never want to judge y’alls choices of what is or is not a deal breaker. And I agree that feeling a multitude of feelings is totally normal, but things in your relationship will never be the same again. There will always be *this*. And it’s cool to still want to marry him, but maybe next year? This is me personally, I would want a minute to let this situation shake out and breathe. And that waiting is a completely valid choice. Your guest don’t need to know boo about this. You can simply say that something came up and we’re postponing for a bit. That gives you the room to figure all this out. And room is awesome. One of my best friends got married because she had already sent out invites and she actually didn’t *want* to get married cause some similar stuff went down like this in her relationship. They’re divorced now. I’d hate for that to be your story.

      • Gerald

        Have you considered how your relationship will hold up with multiple instances of cheating? And – this is so hard to ask – does HE really, really want to get married? Or is he feeling locked in by expectations from the wedding ball already rolling?

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

    Did anyone else see the Mila Kunis video from Jimmy Kimmel? I am dying to hear others reactions . . . I have super mixed feelings, not only as a woman but as a 32 weeks pregnant woman. I get it, I agree with her to some extent – obviously your partner is not pregnant as he doesn’t have a uterus. But he is also expecting a baby/becoming a parent. Jimmy K is excited! Let him be excited! I guess I just think, maybe naively, that if we instill more fathers from the beginning with equal participation in parenting this will help in the long run. Heck, my husband was an equal part of my baby shower. There were lots of men present!

    • Jessica

      As a non-pregnant woman who has opinions about nearly everything, I think there is a big difference in the “WE’RE PREGNANT!” camp versus the “WE’RE HAVING A BABY!” camp. It doesn’t take that much more effort to use a couple more words and still have that same excitement and involvement (though their lives go on without too many added restrictions like pregnant women do).

      I used to be a canvasser, and one night a man answered the door and said he couldn’t talk to me because “we’re breastfeeding” as his wife looked over from the couch and raised an eyebrow. It was clear he was not breastfeeding, but rather being supportive/helpful during breastfeeding time. The language was weird enough that it has stuck with me.

      • CH

        Yeah, I think “we’re pregnant!” is weird and “we’re having a baby!” is okay.

        Honestly, if I heard my husband ever say, “We’re pregnant,” I’d probably roll my eyes. I think I’d prefer something like, “My wife is pregnant.”

      • Meg Keene

        WE are not breastfeeding. I love the raised eyebrow.

    • emilyg25

      I just can’t bring myself to care much about this. Yeah, it’s kind of silly because obviously, the dude’s not pregnant. But if that’s how he expresses his involvement, awesome! It took us considerable trial and tribulation to get pregnant, most of it experienced by my husband thanks to male factor infertility. So if he wants to share in it verbally, whatevs. (Though he actually never says that.) The skit was pretty funny, though.

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

        That seems like a good way to phrase it “I just can’t bring myself to care much about this.” And I feel like, because I am pregnant, I should. My husband generally says “we’re expecting” or “we’re having a baby,” but who knows, maybe Jimmy Kimmel and his wife really struggled and for him (as a man) getting pregnant feels like an accomplishment.

      • Meg Keene

        I think it probably has to do with where the trials were. As someone for whom the true hell was pregnancy, hearing a man say they’re pregnant just makes me want to punch them in the face. Because no, you’re not. AT ALL.

    • Alyssa M

      It did seem mostly tongue in cheek, like “hey this is annoying cause you get tequila and I don’t!” rather than like she (or anybody) is truly offended by the phrase… mostly I just thought it was funny…

      • Meg Keene

        Mmm. I would say offended is a strong word. But I find the phrase seriously distasteful. Though I usually let it slide, though I might raise an eyebrow. The skit is funny though. Funny because it’s true.

    • Amy March

      But men aren’t equal participants in pregnancy. I don’t see why we should encourage them to feel like they are. “We’re pregnant” just seems like really men? Millennia of dominance isn’t enough? Now you want to be pregnant too? Ugh.

      • moonlitfractal

        LOL. If they only knew they would *not* want to be pregnant! Seeing what I’ve been going through, my husband sure doesn’t!

      • Meg Keene

        EXACTLY. I’m not going to lie and be like “Oh honey, you did this as much as I did.” NUH UH. I still point to our toddler and say, “I made that.” Because for reaaaalllllzzz I did.

    • Meg Keene

      MEN ARE NOT FUCKING PREGNANT. Non pregnant partners are no fucking pregnant. WE are not pregnant.

      FUCK THAT NOISSEEEEEEEE. That is how I feel about that. Being pregnant was fucking hell. I had a supportive partner who had to do a lot of shit to help me though. But. He did not have to scream for three hours through a contraction that didn’t break. NOT PREGNANT.

      (David was an equal part of my co-ed baby shower. But that didn’t make him any kind of pregnant.)

      #strongfeelings

      • Lawyerette510

        Yep! There has only been one time in my life where it was appropriate for someone I knew to say “We’re pregnant” and it was because both of the women in the relationship were pregnant simultaneously. Otherwise, just no, there are other words, but men don’t get to have ownership of that experience/ credit for that experience of carrying a baby.

  • Anon for this

    Freaking out. One company that I’m pursuing is about to schedule a phone interview, and the other just left a voicemail regarding “good news”. I might have a job! I might not be unemployed for very long! But now I have to juggle the pros and cons and timing of these two places. ::deep breaths::

    • Jennifer

      Good luck! Fingers crossed for you from an internet stranger who knows how tough the job hunt can be.

    • Caitlin_DD

      Yay! You have got this!

  • Caitlin_DD

    I had an interview this week that I’m cautiously optimistic about. I would love this job, because it’s with a super group of very intelligent, passionate women, AND it would help so much with paying for apartment/wedding/piles of student loans. For now though I’m not going to fret to much about the result because my best friend is getting married tomorrow! Couldn’t be more happy for her.

    • Jenni

      Fingers crossed, good luck, and have fun tomorrow!!!

      • Caitlin_DD

        Thank you!

    • Erin

      Yay! Good vibes your way!

      • Caitlin_DD

        Thank you! I’m getting the vibes ;)

  • LydiaB

    I’m freaking out! I think I’ve found my dress but how do you know!! I think I am worried about disappointing people with my unconventional choice. I’m getting married in Italy in May so a huge cinderella dress just isn’t an option.

    http://www.temperleylondon.com/shop/long-hemingway-lace-back-dress-29434.html

    This is the dress, my mum is going to make a lacy underskirt for the ceremony so I’m not rocking too much leg but the few people I’ve dared to show it to so far have been.. errm, underwhelmed at best! Please help me see that I am not being nuts and that someone else can see how gorgeous this dress is! (And trust me, once you get some curves in it, it just comes to life even more!)

    • ART

      no, you’re not nuts. it is amazeballs.

    • emilyg25

      Ooo, pretty! If I learned one thing rocking an unconventional wedding dress, it’s to stop showing people before the wedding. If you love it, you don’t need any feedback! Haters gonna hate, but that dress is gorgeous.

      • LydiaB

        And can I just say that I LOVED your dress choice!

        • emilyg25

          Thanks!! :) Most people loved in when they saw it, but man oh man did I not get good feedback in the beginning.

          • LydiaB

            That’s so reassuring, thank you!

      • MC

        I 100% agree with this. As someone wearing a non-white, non-ballgown dress for her wedding, I’ve only shown it to the people that I know would support me no matter what I want to wear and would not inflict any of their own doubts onto me.

    • Rachel

      How could anyone be underwhelmed by THAT? It’s STUNNING! I can just picture it at a gorgeous wedding in Italy, so perfect.

      • LydiaB

        I know, and every time I’ve tricked myself into thinking, “This will be the person who *gets* it” and they don’t!! I need to stop looking for validation as Emily says. (On APW is fine though, right?!)

    • Ragnhild

      It is beautiful!! You should get it :)

    • Erin

      Not nuts! That dress is gorgeous and if I wasn’t getting married in the hot hot summer heat (and, uh, didn’t already have a dress), I’d be tempted to snap it up. That dress + Italy + you = amazing.

      I had a freak out about my dress right after I got it because I was worried people would be disappointed. But you know what? Eff that. You gotta rock what you love!

    • Amy March

      You’re going to buy it in your size right? Not 4 sizes too big? I’m completely underwhelmed by this photo but I bet in real life it will be fabulous. Just stop showing it to people who lack vision.

      • LydiaB

        I’ve tried it on in the store and it’s actually very form fitting, the model really isn’t selling the dress well! I ordered my size as soon as it went into the sale.

        And yes, I will stop the dress showing, talking, begging for validation!

        • River

          My dress is pretty “traditional” (although as we all know those traditions are pretty modern, right? Right?) and honestly, I passed right over it when online browsing – it looks limp and awful on the model. So don’t worry about that!! If it’s you, it’s you.

    • Jennifer

      Gorgeous. If I didn’t already have a dress at the tailor being altered, I might be ordering that one. Love the sleeves and the lace. Be confident in your choice. That dress is hot.

    • jashshea

      That’s a rad dress. Rock it.

    • Meg Keene

      Do ITTTTT.

    • HannahESmith

      Getting married in Italy? That sounds fabulous! Also that dress is so beautiful and interesting. Do what you want!

    • Lawyerette510

      This dress is so awesome! Plus it looks like it will travel great! You are not being nuts, you are having exceptionally great taste. If you feel great in it, that’s all that matters. I narrowed my dress choices down to a handful and took feedback from a select group of friends. Three of them loved the dress I chose, two of them loved a different dress, but they were unanimous in observing that my face lit-up and I couldn’t stop smiling in the dress I chose, and that’s what mattered.

      Also, I agree with the below comments, for a less-traditional dress, showing only open-minded people is key to not having to deal with crap. And if someone pushes you, you just say something about keeping it close to your heart before the big day so you’re not sharing pics.

    • scw

      that is seriously one of my favorite dresses I’ve ever seen. it’s not even THAT unconventional! please don’t second guess yourself.

    • JDrives

      My eyes just melted out of my face at how gorgeous this dress is. Agree with Emilyg – maybe hold off on showing people and keep it as a sweet surprise! And get excited cuz you just found a freakin’ awesome dress!!

    • Sar

      What?? People are crazy, that dress is amazing!! I actually “oooed” out loud when I saw it. If I didn’t already have a dress I’ be trying to track down that one.

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

      I bet that dress will look awesome on you — but yeah, stop showing people that photo! Besides the fact that the model isn’t really showing the dress off very well, her white sunglasses don’t exactly scream “bridal” haha. It will look totally different in real life, so getting peoples’ validation of the photo doesn’t really matter! (I’m guessing you haven’t bought it yet, but once you do, you can probably take a picture of yourself wearing the dress and get some feedback on that if you’re really desperate haha.)

    • nic

      It is STUNNING! Adorable from every angle!

    • Cat

      That’s a totally badass dress!

  • Laura

    What a strange week. After scheduling a meeting with my Ph.D. advisor and another faculty member to talk about an issue unrelated to my research, they start talking about my research and how maybe I should propose my dissertation “sooner rather than later.” They thought it would be a good way for me to get feedback on a grant I’m writing (the proposed project is my dissertation research).

    Only thing is, the grant deadline is August 8th. Which means I’m proposing my dissertation in mid-July. You know, in five weeks. And oh, I just finished my second year of grad school so this whole damn thing is happening just a teensy bit sooner than I had expected (most people in my program don’t propose until their fourth year at the earliest).

    Kind of terrified, kind of excited, kind of stressed out. And kind of over it at this point, because I’m leaving in four hours for a week-long canoe camping trip in the wilderness and it’s going to be fantastic. Take that, grad school stress :)

    • Nicole Cherae

      Only going for my M.A., but I feel ya. Good luck!

    • JSwen

      Grad program advisors…. ohhhhhh boy. I have the opposite issue that my advisor shrugs and says “ok” to everything I propose. And then goes on a tangent… Good luck!

    • Nina B

      You can do it!!! I spend a whole semester stressing out about the proposal… and then had to completely rewrite it from scratch in the last 10 days anyway. My labmate was only given 12 days notice that she had to defend her proposal and she nailed it. It is totally doable. Also, the proposal is not as big a deal as the dissertation so don’t worry about it too much. Really it’s just a good way to organize your thoughts and get some feedback on your plan. Good luck!

      • Laura

        Thanks for the support! I think the thing that’s psyching me out is that I first talked to my advisor about this project less than three weeks ago. So now I’m trying to write a million different sections of this grant, start seeing therapy clients (clinical psych Ph.D.) and do the research that I’m actually getting paid through a summer fellowship to complete (budgeting 40 hrs/wk of effort). Proposing the dissertation on top of that just seems like one more stupid hoop to jump through. Oh, and then of course rewriting my entire grant in the last week before the deadline :)

        Could be worse…I have friends in the program who can’t get their advisors to get moving on anything, so at least I have the opposite problem.

  • delighted

    Anyone have suggestions for an affordable wedding venue in MN (Twin Cities area) for a ceremony/reception between January and April? We got engaged a week ago but we’re looking at getting married before the end of April 2015 (eep!) We are talking about 100 or fewer guests… would love some advice from anyone who has dealt with our ‘tempermental’ MN winter/spring weather and still had a rockin’ wedding.

    • Jessica

      Congrats! Question: what does affordable mean to you?

      • delighted

        I’d like to spend less than $1000 on venue fees if possible, but there is a little wiggle room since we haven’t made a lot of decisions yet. I don’t have an exact budget yet but I think our absolute max would be $15k.

        • Jessica

          Hmm, I would check with nicer restaurants. What we frequently found is that they would have a certain amount they would “Rent” the space out for, but that any food and beverages purchased for the wedding would be deducted from that amount. Definitely look at reviews though. I did love my wedding but the restaurant we had the reception at did not live up to their promises.

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

          How far out of the Twin Cities are you willing to go? Our reception will be at the Links at North Fork in Ramsey — typical golf course/country club vibe, but the deposit (applied to the cost of food) is only $800 I think, and food and beverage minimum was $5000. We’re doing a buffet for around 250 guests there and I think our total venue/food cost will only be around $8k. They have been very reasonable too about keeping costs down (not charging for unopened alcohol, we can bring in our own hors d’oeuvres if they don’t require refrigeration, etc.

    • aldeka

      If we’d ended up having the wedding in Minnesota, it probably would have been at Centennial Lakes. Hot chocolate, fireplaces, and ice skating! :D

    • e

      http://www.municipalbuildingcommission.org/Events.html

      $2k. No idea if that works with your budget or not. We also considered the Weisman and some small theaters (and outdoor locations, but that probably won’t work for your dates).

    • http://www.blackgirlunlost.com Jubi The Great

      We’re getting married at McNamara Alumni Center, which is on the University of Minnesota campus. Your time frame is their off-season, and their smaller space is $1500 for 7hr rental. You do have to use their in-house caterer, which is D’Amico but their food is yummy.

      I’m getting married there March 2015 so I’m with you on worrying about the weather – it could be a heatwave or a blizzard!

    • Claire

      The Guthrie Theater! We were married in the “yellow room” and it only cost a couple hundred bucks to reserve the space for 2-3 hours. We used the view as our only decorations to keep things cheap and lazy.

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

        I like this idea!

  • Jennifer

    So excited that we’ve finally figured out our honeymoon! We’re going to climb Kilimanjaro. We kept going back and forth between Hawaii (which could be accomplished with points and miles) and Africa (once in a lifetime, but not cheap). Now it’s all starting to feel very real. Two months to go.

  • Anna

    My fiance’s ring came in the mail today!! We decided together it was unfair for only one of us to be sporting a pre-wedding ring (actually, not sporting, since my hand eczema is back with a vengeance… sigh), so he’s expecting a ring at some point… but I think this will still catch him off-guard. It’s gonna be fun to be the proposer this time around!

  • enfp

    Getting married a week tomorrow… excited but overwhelmed. Had to take a little break from APW because I feel like we are a week out where most people are two months out, planning wise, and it was stressing me out. We have a week to make this thing happen! Maybe when this is all over and I’ve caught up on sleep I will try to write a post about wedding planning as a procrastinator.

    • River

      Please do! I am a procrastinator and this list of wedding To Dos I have is like procrastinator’s cat nip. :-( Please oh please write us post!

      Also, YAY! Best wishes for your wedding!!

  • Anonnon

    Warning: Work Related Rant:

    I feel like I’m taking crazy pills sometimes. I really don’t mind my job that much. First job out of college, the company has been super flexible since my hubby is army (I did have to work really hard to prove I was good enough to earn the flexibility) good benefits, good pay etc. It’s not my dream job but at 24 I really have no idea what I want to do so I’m just in a holding pattern (as my former manager described it) until I can figure out what I want to do.

    BUT I am so fucking sick of they way I am treated by the person I support (I’m an analyst supporting a portfolio). I just don’t get it. I get so many forwarded emails from her about things I need to “handle” but it’s stuff that either A: doesn’t go to me (customer service related, something I don’t have access to etc) or B: it’s something that is ACTUALLY in their job title and they don’t want to do it (aka giving a customer bad news, following up etc) or C: a question that I would obviously have no idea how to answer or D: She KNOWS THE ANSWER BUT OUT OF SOME WEIRD PRINCIPAL OF HER BEING ABOVE ME SENDS IT TO ME ANYWAY!

    Example:
    Email to me: Please see below and ask Mary if this is something we can
    Me: Wouldn’t it have just been easier to replace my name with Mary’s in the email and send directly to her?
    Her: No.

    Wat?

    Example:

    Her: Please send this fact sheet to the client and CC me when you get back from vacation

    Me (checking in on my email even though I am on vacation): Ok no problem, but just FYI this sheet in the depository we both have access to so it may just be faster for you to pull it and send it. Just a note to improve client delight

    Her: No. I don’t have time

    YOU DON’T HAVE 15 SECONDS TO USE OUR INTERNAL GOOGLE TO PULL THIS DOCUMENT TO SEND TO THE CLIENT AND INSTEAD WANT TO WAIT A WEEK FOR ME TO GET BACK SO THAT I CAN DO IT??

    And the worst part is that I honestly feel like I do a good job. I very very small error rate. But on the rare occasion that I do forget to do something I immediately take responsibility immediately and try to fix ASAP to reduce client impact. But that doesn’t matter to her. My manager immeditately get’s CC’d and I get thrown under the bus. I am very lucky that my manager understands that she has “temper tantrums” and knows that I am kicking ass but it’s like why do we allow this to go on?? (Well I know, it’s because she bring in the big bucks)

    I get it. I’m just an analyst. It’s supposed to suck but then it get’s better right? It just blows my mind that efficiency seems to go out the door after a while.

    Wow writing that makes me feel a LOT better

    • Jessica

      Dude, I hear you about that e-mail thing. While I generally enjoy my job people ask me to forward e-mails to folks they know all the time–and I only work part time so there is a definite 1-2 day delay on relaying that message.

      I’m sorry work is so frustrating!

      • Anonnon

        The hardest/weirdest part is having to ask myself every day “Am I just being a brat? “Like if I’m being a brat then I will change because who likes to work with a brat? But then I say it outloud to my husband, my friends, HER BOSS and they’re like no you aren’t being a brat and no you aren’t crazy. It’s just how it is

        ARGHHH

    • CH

      LOL, I had a boss who used to forward me emails asking me to print out the attached document. The docs were always about 2 pages long. And she had a printer IN HER OFFICE. It took her longer to forward me the email and then wait for me to print it than it did for her to just hit “print.”

    • jashshea

      So, I know you were ranting and TRUST ME I hate inefficiency more than you’ll ever know (9 years at a megacorp will do that to you) but…

      I ask my employees to do things all the time that I can do myself. That I can often do by myself FASTER than they can do it. Because them knowing how to do it without my help is potentially critical to keeping the lights on.

      I know this person isn’t your direct manager and it’s totally possible that this person may just be a shithead. Best advice I can give is to try really hard to assume that she’s not a shithead and she’s not trying to be difficult. It’s really hard to do, but it’s good locus of control practice.

      Good luck & I hope it gets better!

    • ElisabethJoanne

      Ugh. That’s hard. I work in a fairly stratified field (law), and it can be silly how inefficient the power plays with the communications work out to be. Like re-writing memos just so it looks like a partner wrote them instead of an associate who actually did the work, or secretary phone-tag so the lawyers look too busy to talk to the other lawyers. I’d look on the bright side – At least you’re trusted enough to communicate on behalf of the business. I can go weeks where I only talk to my co-workers at work, and never a client or opposing counsel or an expert.

      • Mezza

        I had a job where my boss would ask me to look something up/let her know about something, and then she’d just take my words, sign her name, and email it to whomever had asked. It drove me NUTS, but when I mentioned it to a lawyer friend, she was like “that’s normal! it’s awesome that your boss will use your words!” I was just like, “um hell no, I want credit.”

        One of the reasons why I’m not a practicing lawyer.

        • ElisabethJoanne

          Yeah, it depends on the precise pattern. Sometimes, the client wants to see the partner involvement. I totally understand preparing certain things for someone else’s signature. But if that wasn’t the original plan, it bothers me when it’s changed after it’s otherwise finished. Why not just send my work with some approving comments showing the idea for the research was the boss’s, and he’s reviewed it? And I’ve come to learn that if they never acknowledge to people outside the firm that you’ve helped, it’s a real problem.

    • StevenPortland

      I sympathize. I worked for someone for almost 2 years and she drove me crazy like that. On top of it, she had to APPROVE all of my outgoing emails. Control freak.

  • K.

    Officially started an Excel called “Shit We Don’t Need (For Our Wedding)” Every time that little voice in my head insists that it’s only POLITE to purchase every guest a customized parasol even though that would easily add a few hundred dollars to the already stretched budget, I simply write down the idea on my new list and then forget about it. Thus far, it has been quite cathartic – it allows me to acknowledge the idea and then let it go.

    It might just be me, but now that we have all the major pieces settled, my brain is trying to fill in with all new things we “need” to add or accomplish since we’re going into a summer lull now. It’s weird!

    • Ragnhild

      Sounds like a good idea! Maybe I should have put that 50$ Dior lipstick on that list before I bought it… It seemed like a good idea in the store!

    • Nicole

      oh my gosh I LOVE this idea! I have been leaving things on a checklist but crossed off – “favors – check (not doing them!!) but I could use a little more help. We’re two months out and I feel the call of the creep all the time!! I need to constantly add to it. Luckily my mother is helping rather than demanding more things…

    • macrain

      Oh my god, I have the same list on my Iphone! YES.

    • Meg Keene

      Oh HI. You should do a post on that. I feel like it would be that kind of thing that would make everyone laugh and feel better.

      • Nicole

        Yeah! I’d love to just see it to get more ideas to add to my own (just now created after reading about it) list!

        • Meg Keene

          If we’re sent a good screen shot, I sense an open thread.

          • vegankitchendiaries

            That would be the FUNNIEST!

          • Amy A.

            I would like to officially request an open thread on wedding stress dreams. I bet there are some great ones out there in the APW community, and we could all use a good chuckle :-)

          • http://www.smittenchickens.com/ Sarah Hoppes

            Funny enough, I get wedding stress dreams WAY MORE as a wedding vendor than I did as a bride. In my latest wedding stress dream, the (awesome, on top of everything, APW-affiliated) wedding planner forgot to mention that the wedding was in Washington DC, not NYC. I sped to make it in time, and everyone at the wedding was the cast of Orange is the New Black.

      • K.

        Cool! I’ll try to submit something this week and make the screen shot look good. :)

    • NrgGrl

      Yes, open thread! Or, shared Google spreadsheet?!

      I feel you. I follow lots of other wedding blogs (not sure why I bother), and I end up yelling things like, “Are you effing kidding me?!” at my computer screen half the time I read them. Too many posts about “How to have an –insert ridiculous theme no one has ever heard of– Wedding”!

  • Ragnhild

    Only 2 more weeks till I am a wife! I have a constant grin on my face, and weirdly enough have lost a lot of interest in getting things done for the wedding. I know I will care, so this weekend its time to work hard on the last details before family and guests start to arrive.

  • Erin

    I immediately put #GIRLBOSS on hold on my library website. Whoa nelly, 101 holds on 10 copies! This is exciting to me for some reason. I guess I’ll be waiting awhile, though.

    In wedding related news, I think I’m in the rebellion phase of planning. I freaked out about my dress not being frothy/bridal/expensive (? ugh.) enough a couple of weeks ago. This week a strong sense of “Fuck what anyone else thinks. Do I/we love it? Yes. Boom.” developed and is starting to spread to everything else.

    • Jessica

      My library doesn’t even have it yet!

      • Erin

        Our library is amazing here. They always get new books really quickly, they are into new media, and are on a big campaign to modernize. Plus free museum passes! I feel like they’re working hard to actually meet the needs of the communities.

        • Jessica

          Ok, please tell me where you live. If I ever have to move I need to know to put that on list of “pros” for whatever city you’re in.

          • Erin

            Toronto! The flip side is that it’s cold and snowy.

          • Jessica

            Well, I live in Minneapolis so it wouldn’t be a huge trade off :) But our new city train line is opening tomorrow and I had to deal with 3+ years of construction and traffic problems, so I’m going to enjoy it for a little while (even though it is being criticized as the most poorly planned public transit project ever).

          • Erin

            That’s exciting (especially after a long wait for it)! I can relate to poorly planned transit. While our libraries are good, our transit and traffic are pretty terrible.

  • Nell

    I’m embarking on trying out makeup techniques on myself to see how I feel about DIY-ing makeup. Had no idea that filling in my brows would make me look like a magical movie star!

    My MOH says DIY makeup is a bad plan, since I never wear makeup. She thinks I should pass the task off to a pro, because I’ll be going for “perfection” on my wedding day. I think that it’s a fun skill to learn (plenty of brides don’t know how to make bouquets or centerpieces when they start wedding planning, and end up with gorgeous stuff, right?) Am I totally nuts to just take the next few months to teach myself? I feel like it could be super empowering.

    • Jessica

      If you have a couple months do it! Sephora and youtube my friend.

      • Kirstin

        Agreed. And I would say that when you go to Sephora, be honest with the staffer about the level of skill/amount of complication you are comfortable with.

        • Nicole

          I agree with everyone else here! I’m doing the same thing and made an appointment to get help with it at Sephora. Now I’m in the practice stage and feeling good about it and glad I’m learning this new skill!

    • KC

      I vote teach yourself. If, after attempting to teach yourself, you realize that you have the hand-eye coordination of a hermit crab in a rock tumbler and that your results are not acceptable to you 90% of the time, then fine, hire a pro (ooooor ask that friend who’s awesome at makeup if she’ll be your backup if things go awry on the day of). But if you want to learn, then go for it!

      • ART

        “hermit crab in a rock tumbler” – HAA!

      • Nell

        OMG, now imagining a hermit crab with a mascara wand. Fabulous!

      • Ally

        HAHA!

        I did my full makeup for our private city hall ceremony (and KILLED it) but for our big family and friends ceremony I was: running late, running on 2 hours of sleep, and a little zoned out (thx xanax) so I did everything but the eyeliner which I had my sister do after she finished my hair.

        So I second having someone who will be around to help out with those specific things you may not nail down on your own – or may not be in the proper state to manage yourself day of!

        • Lawyerette510

          Really good point. I had my sister there who is killer at hair and make up, so I could check in with her for blending/ if I was wearing enough/ if my hair was big enough (I did my own hair too), etc. That was really helpful, because she made my eye-makeup a little heavier and my hair a little bigger, and it was perfect in the pictures yet I still felt good in real life.

    • ElisabethJoanne

      I did something similar, and it worked out really well. It’s a wedding-planning skill I can use regularly, unlike comparing catering proposals. I used all the pre-wedding events (engagement photos, bridal shower, rehearsal dinner, some planning meetings) to test techniques and products.

    • Nell

      Yay! Does anyone have recommendations for makeup brands for non makeup wearin’ ladies?

      • ElisabethJoanne

        If you never wear makeup, I’d recommend first getting cheap-as-possible drugstore brands of each kind of makeup, and seeing if there’s anything you can’t stand/can’t work with. For me, that’s bronzer and eyeliner. Then go to Sephora or Ulta and get better brands of those things you want. The better brands will be easier and nicer to use, but I don’t think higher quality can fix feelings or looks you just don’t like.

      • Ally

        YES – Bobbi Brown. I don’t work for them or anything but I can’t stop raving about it. Her makeup is just SO good. More expensive than drugstore brands for sure but her foundation just looks so natural and photographs so well – they say it’s the yellow undertones.

        I spent a small fortune buying the full spectrum so I could do my own wedding makeup but I’m still using it daily (8 months later) and have only needed to replace the foundation. You could just splurge on the foundation/powder and then buy lower cost options for lipstick/blush/eyeshadow if you’re not planning on using them again after the wedding.

      • JSwen

        POWDER FOUNDATION. It’s the easiest to apply. Depending on your skin type, you might need a primer. Go to Sephora and get some advice and samples!

      • Lawyerette510

        Korres for foundation. Tarte does a great job with water-proof eye-products. Too Face has some great eye-shadow pallets.

        Also, at Sephora they will give you pretty good-sized samples of foundation/ primer/ other liquid products, so ask for some that you can take home and play around with before you buy.

    • Leigh W.

      This might sound ridiculous, but I am planning to do the same. I do, however, wear a bit of make up regularly. If Kate Middleton can apply her own wedding make up after some lessons, I sure as hell can.

      • Sarah McClelland

        Lessons! I love that idea! Yaaaay!

    • Meg Keene

      We actually have a post on EXACTLY this, with photos of how it went next week. YAY! and of course it’s not crazy. It’s not that hard. Not to blow everyone’s cover but. It’s really not. I don’t think as a no makeup person you’re going to want anything crazy.

    • Ally

      You can do it!! For someone who doesn’t regularly wear makeup you’ll know much better what’s going to feel like you than a professional’s idea of what a bride looks/should look like.

      I do low key makeup every day and have had my makeup done plenty of times by professionals and have never liked how it turned out.

    • Lawyerette510

      Just seconding everyone else to say: go for it! give it a try, use resources like Sephora, Ultra etc for going in for tutorial/ appointments; you-tube; xovain; all great resources. I think another key is taking practice pics and wearing the make up on practice runs. For example, 6 weeks before our wedding I went to a party where I knew there would be a professional photographer. While normally I wouldn’t have done total full-face makeup, I took advantage of it and did a test-run on the make up I was considering to see how it photographed, then once the hostess posted the pics I looked at it and decided I needed more eye-liner and different lip color. I played with it some more, then had a friend who is skilled with his DLSR take some shots of me in different light to see how the tweaks worked.

      I found it really relaxing to do my own make up on the day-off.

    • Sparkles

      I’m not a huge makeup person, and I DIYed my wedding makeup. My photog told me it was a bad idea, because you want your face to be perfect for all the pictures, but I did not want to be too heavily made up, for myself or my partner (he doesn’t really like when I wear makeup).

      The key is to get the right stuff so that it stays put. And try samples! Most department stores (or Sephora) will give you samples so you don’t have to buy huge quantities of everything. One of my friends had a few days before the wedding, she’s a makeup junkie, and she went to three different Sephora’s and picked up a sample of my foundation colour from each place. She also brought some pro star eyeliner (that was hers). All in all it worked out fine, but read up on wedding makeup. I think primer is key (and one of the tips I stumbled across, which is totally true, is that foundation primer is the same as this anti-friction gel they sell for under $5 at the drug store).

      The other thing my photog suggested was to photograph your practice makeup in different lights before hand, and do some vigorous activity while wearing it to make sure it doesn’t melt off awkwardly. Lots of dancing and stress sweat and tears aren’t the friendliest to makeup.

      Hahaha, long story short, YOU CAN DO IT! But do some research and practice.

  • ElisabethJoanne

    I was able to look at my wedding album and smile the other night, for the first time since it arrived safely in the mail about a year ago. It’s a personal milestone for me, ’cause the first 18 months of our marriage was tough (unemployment, chronic illness, sexual dysfunction), and I didn’t think of the decision to get married as a happy one. Not that I regretted it. I just didn’t want to think about it. But now I can be happy about it.

    I had it out because my cousin’s getting married tomorrow, and my husband and uncle had asked what to wear. I advised them before looking at the album. Turns out I remembered wrong – Men actually dressed more formally than I remembered. But what does it matter? In a year (or a week), my cousin won’t remember what my husband and father wore anyway. ;-)

    • Jess

      Yay! I’m so glad you could feel good about it. Men totally de-formalize as the night goes on.
      At 5pm: Suit coats on and ties.
      At 11pm: completely unbuttoned collared shirt, I swear you had a second shoe when we showed up…

      • ART

        Yeah, this is how we convinced certain people (coughparentscough) to dress nice for photos (“yes, you can put your aloha shirt on as soon as we cut the cake…”)

        • Sarah McClelland

          My brother(a groomsman) is already angling for a Spider-Man tee under his suit. I feels.

    • moonlitfractal

      I know how you feel about the album. My marriage has been pretty good but our wedding day was very stressful, so it took quite some time to be happy looking at the album. It was a good day when I realized that looking at the photos brought a smile to my face :-)

  • River

    So I was going write something gloomy about how I’m feeling stifled after only a month at my day job…BUT I have an audition tomorrow!! And two next week! Even though it is totally the “off” season!! So I will be working my little tail off over the weekend.

    Also, my best friend is going to be in staying with us this weekend (t-minus 7 hours, y’all!) and this will be the first time I’ve seen her since her wedding!! I’m so excited I might cry happy tears at my desk. We’re going bridesmaids dress shopping, wish us luck! ;-)

    • River

      P.S. Is there an APW post on tips for bridesmaid dress shopping and keeping dress costs under $200? Especially for full-length dresses, this is ROUGH.

      • Jessica

        Little Borrowed Dress! Also this post from Refinery29 http://www.refinery29.com/cheap-formal-dresses#slide

        • River

          WOW This is great. I didn’t realize you could buy dresses here too! (Almost all of the girls stated a preference for purchasing over renting) And their storefront is convenient for us. Winning!

      • ART

        I don’t know about a post, but when I was looking I looked at a lot of infinity/convertible dress sellers on etsy. There are some pretty cool ones out there that are under $200. We ended up going with bridesmaids choosing their own short dresses but I liked the infinity dress look a lot (actually I bought one for myself for our honeymoon!)

      • Ellen

        I spent a long time bridesmaid dress shopping and ended up going with Nordstrom (specifically Donna Morgan dresses, though knee length not full). FWIW, full-length versions of what I picked in knee-length are $230 right now, though obviously if $200 is a hard cap that won’t work, and my women, as far as I can tell, are happy with what they’ve gotten. Pluses for me included that dresses could come in a variety of styles up top (strapless, v with straps, one strap), that the size range was wide, including plus sizes, that they were at least partially in a natural fabric (silk, though with vicose lining), and that Nordstrom was accessible at least online to everyone and has free shipping/returns so folks could make sure the dress would fit.

        More broadly, I found Nordstrom to have the widest variety of styles and prices available. The amount of time I spent Googling was mostly just intensely frustrating (Pinterest without saying where the dress came from! Suggestions for dresses that came only in a narrow range of sizes! Suggestions for dresses that only came in strapless! Suggestions for dresses that are no longer in season!).

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

      Congrats on the auditions!

      • River

        Thanks, Jenny :-)

  • Kirstin

    Just started the process of changing my name. Wow, lots of steps. Trying not to let the paperwork part overrule the decision that I made, but I can see where it is easier (stress-wise) to just not do it. Anyone have any good tips for streamlining this? I thought I could do it in one day, but then realized I have to wait for my new SSN card to get mailed before I can do anything else.

    • Violet

      Yeah, that SS card’s gotta get done FIRST. After that, do your Driver’s License and Passport (make sure to make photocopies of your old ones, in case the DMV wants to take the license from you, and the Passport office I think needs your old one sent into them). After that, everything can be done fairly straight away. Some credit cards require you to print forms and mail/fax them into them. So while it won’t be *done* in a day, you can fill out most paperwork etc in the course of a long afternoon. I used missnowmrs.com (I’m not a promoter, I swear!) only because I wanted to make sure I was using the most up-to-date forms for all those things. A co-worker recommended it to me, and while it won’t do the work for you, it provided me with some peace of mind. I didn’t have any nasty surprises in bureaucratic offices, if you catch my drift. Best of luck!

      • Kirstin

        Thank you!

      • Ally

        I used missnowmrs also! I didn’t think it was that great – you still have to do all of the work, but it does help to streamline. I did SSA…got the card then did DL…got that license and then have been changing over CCs/bank and work (insurance, payroll, etc.) I’m actually waiting on changing my passport until it’s closer to expiring. I’m also making my husband pay for the new DL and passport bc I have to go through the pain (and in the case of SSA and DMV time off from work) to get this crap done.

        Ugh what a crappy process.

        I’m SO close to being done but my bank keeps getting my name wrong for my debit cards – already got replacements that were incorrect. It’s taken 5-6 phone calls to sort it out with them – but then other companies were super easy to do.

        • Violet

          Yeah actually, my bank was the most annoying about it of all the things I needed to change as well! WEIRD. Even now they explained to me, they can never change the underlying name on the account, so while on the *surface* everything has my married name, automated systems on their end still show the old one. And yet when I got a check addressed to my previous name, they gave me a hard time about depositing it. Even though I brought my marriage certificate. Very odd stuff.

          • ART

            I can’t believe how hard this process turns out to be (I’ll be starting it in a few weeks). I mean, don’t people get married and change their name ALL THE TIME?!

          • Violet

            Right. That’s what blew my mind. This seems like it should be, I dunno, no big deal to an institution like that?

          • StevenPortland

            Try being a guy changing your last name. I can’t tell you how many times I was given funny looks, questions, etc. Such a hassle. One word of caution, if you move to a new house/apartment try really hard ahead of time to get all of your name changes updated. We had mail returned to companies because the new postal carrier didn’t know anyone with my former last name on his route.

          • Ally

            That is weird – wouldn’t the SSN be the one underlying identifier?

            I’m usually a big fan of my bank (we have the same name!). They’re the one with those cheesy commercials where people rave about how much they love their bank…they’re online and are really great with most things but apparently two last names, not hyphenated, is just too much to handle without a dozen phone calls. :(

            Also, correction – I used http://imamrs.com/ I get it confused with missnowmrs EVERY time.

    • MagNCheese

      There are companies that will help you with this. Off the top of my head, missnowmrs.com is the one that I can think of but I think there is at least one more. Haven’t used them yet, but I am planning on using them after the wedding. As I understand it, you fill out one form, then they autofill in all the others so all you have to do is mail them out. It’s only $30.

      • Violet

        My husband and I are super-nerds, so we opened up our joint checking account the day after our wedding. First purchase from it? That 30 bucks, haha!

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

      Don’t forget to notify doctor’s offices and insurance (that part usually done through HR dept. of your job).

  • lady brett

    a week and a half ’till the kiddos go home.

    and my last 2 weekend days with them are tomorrow, which i have to work 1/2 of, and next sat, which is the middle of what is essentially a 72-hour work day for me. the weekend after that i’m going to see my best friend. i’m intellectually really excited about all of it, but i’m so exhausted from work that i’ve pretty much lost my capacity for emotions (other than frustration – see: all the work). so…see y’all in 3 weeks when i’m childless.

    also, happy solstice – we’re celebrating early due to said work – summer solstice is bird themed and low-key. there will be a new bird feeder, and if we’re really ambitious, i looked up how to make birdseed cake things that you hang in the trees.

    • Meg Keene

      Aw. I’m so sorry/ happy/ everything.

      • lady brett

        ha. thanks, that pretty well sums it up.

  • http://www.blackgirlunlost.com Jubi The Great

    I’m nine months away from my wedding but I’m stressing about 2 things – $$$ and guests.

    Money – My fiance and I are paying for our wedding ourselves and so far we haven’t saved a lot for the wedding and it’s worrying me. I don’t want to get to March & realize we have to charge things. Our goal was to pay for the wedding with no debt and I really want to stick to that, but that means we need to be strict with our money. We can both be spendy and I’m worried it’s going to bite us in the ass.

    Guests – we’re getting married in the city we currently live in because neither of us are from here & both of our families/most of the guests will have to travel in & we thought that was most fair. Except now I’m worried that no one will come! I want as much family there as possible but I also know it will just be impossible for some people to afford to make the trip; other family that I consider essential I will be helping w/their expenses to make sure they are there. Our guest list isn’t super long but I’ll be crushed if we invite 150 people and only half come. Are my expectations too high? Am I worrying for nothing?

    • ART

      for the money part – I am a huge proponent and practitioner of Pay Yourself First, which in your case may mean: for the next 9 months set up some sort of automatic withdrawal to a wedding savings account on the same day you get your paycheck (or however you can do it if they aren’t regular), preferably one that isn’t your normal bank so it’s that much harder to transfer back out (I use capital one 360 which used to be INGdirect). Treat it like a bill that you can’t not pay. Get that cash out of your primary account and don’t look at it! This is how I save for everything, it’s like UGH, gotta pay the bills, then in 9 months YAY, pot o’ money!

      • http://www.blackgirlunlost.com Jubi The Great

        That’s a great idea. We were all set to open our wedding account at my local credit union, but last minute issues pushed that back. I like the idea of opening the account at an institution we can’t get to easily.

        • ART

          Yeah, for me, money is such a psychological thing. I have figured out ways to trick myself into saving really effectively, but I’m not sure I would be able to do it without those tricks!

      • Violet

        Yes, this worked for us too. Opened up an Amex high yield savings account and set up that autopay feature. It’s fun because even though wedding is long over, the username on what is now my “emergency fund” pertains to the wedding. : )

    • Kirstin

      In terms of guests, we did have a lower overall percentage of our guests come because it was out of town for many. We invited around 130 and had about 80 come. We didn’t do a great job managing our expectations at first and were really hurt when the No RSVPs came in. But, on our wedding day, we were so thankful for those that were there, and knew that those who couldn’t afford to travel were there with us in spirit. It was truly the most beautiful day, and we agreed to not spend it worrying about who wasn’t there. And on the plus side, we were able to be more in our budget because of the smaller guest list.

    • emilyg25

      You might be surprised by your guests. 95% percent of our guests were from out of town, including a fair number from across the country, and I geared myself for a lot of declines. We had an 83% accept rate! We actually had to scramble to get extra chairs and stuff. Since your budget is tight, maybe budget for a higher acceptance rate than you expect, just in case.

      • http://www.blackgirlunlost.com Jubi The Great

        Wow, that’s way higher than what I’ve been reading. Initially I was going with a 25% decline rate, but then I read that you should expect a higher no rate for out of town guests. Maybe I’ll go back to the original 25% and just see how things shake out from there.

        • KC

          It varies pretty widely, so while 25% probably is a good ballpark number (and higher than that for not-frequent-flyer out of town guests), but which side of that you’ll end up on (and how far away from it!) is hard to predict. Sorry!

        • emilyg25

          Yeah, it was definitely an “Oh crap!” moment. A good one, but still, an unexpected scramble. Better to have extra money left over at the end that you can maybe put toward something extra (or put back in the bank).

    • katie

      We are in the same boat, except we’re three months out (exactly! whee!) now, so we KNOW where we’ve promised our money out. It’s not making me worry less. Do lots of research about what’s doable in your area, determine a budget and savings plan, and make the savings transfer automatic. Oh, and when you determine your budget based on your research, add in a reallllllly nice cushion to get to the number you’ll actually save. I figured on the budget for a dress, but I forgot about alterations. I figured out a budget for alcohol, but didn’t realize we’d need to buy ice and buckets and glasses.

      The quickest way to save money is to limit your guest list, but it sounds like that’s a priority for ya. It’s nice to write down what is important to you, in the order they are important, so you can remind yourself later on after you’ve drooled over the sparkliest pair of shoes in the land that it’s really OK that you can’t have them because what’s important is that Aunt Bess is coming. Sigh. At least, that’s been my strategy! That, and a bedazzler off Ebay.

    • JSwen

      For the guest part…. yes your expectations are too high. Stick with me here! We are in the same boat and over half of our family won’t be coming due to the travel factor. At first it is a let down but only if you go into it expecting everyone to fly across the country to see you for ~5 hours and barely talk to you (ie people only realistically expect to see you at the wedding). The majority of those not coming are in one of two places, so we did a wedding shower in one state and will do a post-wedding celebration in another state so we can see everyone and celebrate with them. That said, we had a b-list of friends who got invited as relatives rsvp’d “no”. So we’ll still have about the amount we expected (80 of the initial 110 invited) but it will be a bit more friend-heavy than family-heavy.

      • http://www.blackgirlunlost.com Jubi The Great

        Thank you so much :-) How did you handle the B-list? I was actually thinking of doing this but I don’t want the B-list folks to know they are B-list…basically I just want to get the out of town family invites out before the local friends.

        My family has already said they want to do a shower for me in my hometown, so we’ll definitely get a chance to celebrate there with those who won’t be able to travel to the wedding.

        • JSwen

          Well, we sent invites four months ahead of time because of the amount of people who would have to make travel plans. This is also far enough ahead that friends who live in town weren’t expecting an invite yet. For those friends who were on the b-list, we would talk about the wedding if they asked but emphasized that our venue was small and we needed to keep the guest list below 90 (really, it’s 125 but we want it around 90). Then when they got invites closer to 2 months prior, they were excited and not really put out. Only one friend was a bit miffed about not being invited with the first list but she’ll get over it. :)

  • Ariel

    Two weeks (and one day) out and I’m super excited! I have one concern: I chart my cycles and it’s looking like I’m going to have my period on our wedding day. Have any of you ladies had to deal with this? What did you do? Would you have done anything differently? Thanks!

    • Violet

      If your cycle gets delayed due to stress, it might end up delayed. (Which could then put it during the honeymoon, lucky, lucky me.)

      • Ariel

        Stress will typically delay ovulation, but not the period after ovulation (your luteal phase). I ovulated on time, so there’s no hope of it coming later. Although gah! Honeymoon period sounds awful, sorry!

        • Violet

          Oh no! I didn’t realize you’d already ovulated (though the math checks out.). Yeah… hmmmm.

    • KC

      I have not dealt with this, *however* there is interesting data about ibuprofen basically reducing bleeding (as well as cramping – http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/7011011). Obvs., take with food, don’t go nuts dosage-wise, and don’t take if it’s contraindicated for you for whatever reason, but even if you don’t normally cramp, it might be worth looking into to reduce or slightly-delay things.

      • KC

        (clarification: I did not have a period on my wedding day. I *have* used ibuprofen to reduce bleeding, however, initially accidentally.)(the latter is a long story)

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

      If you are on birth control, just skip the inactive pills of your current pack and start a new pack on the day you would be taking the first inactive pill. I’m not a doctor, but I did this for my wedding, and have friends who do it from time to time as well.

      • Ariel

        I was on the pill (for almost 10 years) but I’m not on it anymore and don’t want to start up again.

      • KC

        Depending on your body, you can still end up with light spotting when your body is “expecting” your period, but yes – tri-cycling is a thing and an awesome, awesome thing for people with rocky periods, and this is an even shorter way of doing it. (but it sounds like already-ovulated = not on hormonal BC, so not applicable)

    • Ragnhild

      28th of June for me too! And I have the same issue. Although, recently I started the pill, and my period is going crazy, which means its completely unpredictable. I think thats even worse than knowing it will be that day. There is not much to do about it, and I warned my fiancee as well.

    • Jessica

      I actually bought a pair of Dear Kates, which are literal Period Panties. They are amazing. dearkates.com

      • Ariel

        I was planning on buying those – thanks for the reminder!

        • Jessica

          If you’re going to buy, get 25% off with my recommendation code– XOJessicaBuchberger

          • Ariel

            done and done! Thanks for saving me $9!

      • Ragnhild

        I wonder if I have time to get a pair too. Sounds amazing!

        • Jessica

          probably! If you’re going to buy, get 25% off with my recommendation code– XOJessicaBuchberger

          • Ragnhild

            Thank you!

    • River

      If you aren’t opposed to messing with your cycle, drink two cups of (strong) ginger tea tonight and tomorrow night, and you should get your period by Sunday. That way you’ll be in the clear by your wedding day.

      That’s what I do if my period is schedule to come the day of a big event – get it over with two weeks in advance ;-)

      • Ariel

        Whoa! Is there a type/strength of ginger tea you’d recommend?

        • River

          What always works for is Yogi Tea, and letting it steep for way too long. I only discovered this after getting off BC and looking for natural, EASY ways to self-regulate. After doing it two cycles in a row (I was having super long cycles that made me wig out about possible preggers status), my period became more regular, which was an added bonus.

          • Ariel

            Nice! Thanks!

          • River

            Also, if you hate the taste, add bourbon ;-)

          • Ariel

            Off to the grocery store now :-)

          • Ariel

            Thanks so much for the tea suggestion. I think I’m going to try it out next weekend and then if all goes well, I should be good to go by the 28th. Just to be clear – you drink two strong cups each night? Thanks again!

      • Emily

        This induces your period early? I might need to try this, I’m 2 months out and it’s looking likely my period will “join” us on the honeymoon right now! Super interesting.

      • scw

        I had never heard of this! thanks!

    • emilyg25

      Yep. I laid in the Midol and used my regular Diva Cup with a pantiliner as backup. It was actually not a big deal at all. The worst part is that I had my dress taken in pretty closely and it was a tight squeeze. But that was my own dumb fault.

      • Ariel

        I <3 my divacup – but there's no way if it's a heavy day that I'll be able to deal in that dress. Heavy day = emptying the overflowing divacup every 1.5 hours :-/

        • JSwen

          hmmm… i was thinking about trying the diva cup on the promise that it would be 12 hours between each empty… rethinking that…

          • emilyg25

            It definitely depends on your flow. My periods are pretty light now, so it’s not an issue.

          • Nicole

            I agree – definitely worth trying! I have only once in my 3+ years of using (and loving!) the Diva cup needed to change more often than that. So it’s just a very personal thing depending on your flow.

          • Ariel

            On any other day besides my crazy day where I’m basically hemorrhaging, the diva cup lasts all day! I seriously love the thing AND my periods have gotten shorter/less painful since starting to use that instead of tampons. I also love that you can stick it up there before you actually start your period – clean and easy.

        • moonlitfractal

          I used the Moon Cup, and I usually have to empty it several times on the first day or two when my flow is really heavy, but only every 12 hours for the rest of the cycle.

    • SarahG

      This will sound weird, but I’ve found that exercise will delay my period a little — as in, if I do like a solid hour of cardio exercise and am supposed to get my period that day, I won’t get it until the next day. Sometimes when I want my period to show up right on time, I will schedule a day of no exercise and bam, it shows up. Anyway, that’s one option…

    • JSwen

      I’m pretty sure it’s going to happen to me as well. I guess we get to grin and bear it…. oh and remember not to take acetaminophen (tylenol) before, after, or during an event with alcohol. Your liver will thank you.

    • jashshea

      If you know a disreputable doctor, get a steroid shot. I had one mid-cycle a few years ago – ovulated on day 14, had shot on day 15 – and got my period on day 17. Crazy painful and intense period, but it sorted itself out by the next cycle.

    • moonlitfractal

      It may be a little late in the game for this, but have you looked into a menstrual cup? They last all day and, unlike with tampons, you don’t need to carry around replacements, so it might be a good choice for a wedding. They are very comfortable once you get used to them, but there’s a bit of a learning curve, so your wedding day is probably not the best time to try it for the first time.

      • Ariel

        I have a divacup and LOVE it. I have one day per period where I have crazy heavy flow and have to empty the cup every 1.5 hours. If it’s not my one heavy day, the divacup would be fine, but I’m nervous that my crazy heavy day will be June 28th. I think I’m going to go with drinking some ginger tea next weekend and hoping for the best!

        • moonlitfractal

          Sounds like you’re already ahead of the game, then! I’ll keep my fingers crossed for you that it’s not your heavy day. :-)

          Edit: I’m still not sure why these things haven’t caught on more widely. Must be because we’re afraid to talk about our bodily functions.

          • Ariel

            Thanks!

        • Sar

          I’m the same for all of this! Divacup lover, probably looking at having my period on my wedding day, one bad day per period. What does ginger tea do?

          • Ariel

            Someone posted earlier that if you drink 2 cups/night of strong ginger tea for 2 nights, it will make your period come earlier. I’m going to give it a try next weekend, so I can hopefully get my period 1 week early and then I’ll be in the clear for the wedding and honeymoon.

  • Jessica

    Found my dress this week for our courthouse wedding! Simple cream dress for $73 at a vintage store in SF. So excited!

  • Kirstin

    Oh, also, my husband’s birthday is coming up in a few weeks, and I have absolutely NO gift ideas. We are currently saving for our honeymoon, and so we aren’t doing big gifts right now, but I don’t really have any little ones either. Any ideas? He tends to buy things he wants when he wants them, so he’s not helping me out.

    • River

      Is he into music? We’re in a similar saving $$ state, so I got my fiance a subscription to Spotify, something he’d been eyeing for a while. It’s only $10 and they are doing a two month’s free special.

      • Kirstin

        He definitely is. And I love that idea. I’m 90% sure he already has Spotify, but I will check.

        • River

          OOPS I meant $10/a month (but paid monthly, if that helps)

    • ElisabethJoanne

      Is a gift important to him? (doesn’t sound like it) to you? Don’t be afraid to skips gifts altogether (after talking about it). 2014 will be the last year my husband and I exchange gifts, I think. It just doesn’t work for our relationship – causes more hurt feelings than happiness.

      • Kirstin

        Hmm. Good question. He’s a very thoughtful gift giver, and plans far in advance for gifts. While I don’t know that he would say it is important to him to receive gifts, it feels hard to be on the other side of that and not feel like a good gift giver. I think that were this my birthday, he’d likely still give me something small and thoughtful, so maybe that’s where I feel pressure to do the same.

        • Jess

          I am in the same situation – not a good gifter at all (and really don’t care about receiving) but R is super into giving. I cannot for the life of me find the “small and thoughtful” or “cute and funny” gift.

          I don’t have any words of advice, but I usually just find something he’s been talking about getting himself but hasn’t done yet. This is easier when not dealing with $$ restraints.

          Anyway, I really just wanted to let you know that you’re not alone in feeling pressure to get a reciprocatingly-good-gift without the ability to do so.

        • ElisabethJoanne

          It’s not a marriage thing that has to be equal/balanced. Each spouse can celebrate the other in a different way.

    • KC

      Do you have any crafty skill sets?

      Or, something that can be very meaningful is basically a “things I like best about you” list (with both character traits and anecdotes) or a similar “I think you are awesome” letter.

      Another option might be to re-create a favorite childhood birthday meal or similar (inquire with family for old favorites).

      Also: it is okay if you do not hit it out of the park all the time. Known effort is valuable even if he is not into doilies. :-)

      • Kirstin

        Love these ideas! Thanks!

      • StevenPortland

        If you are even slightly crafty, I think this is a good idea. http://digital-photography-school.com/how-to-transfer-prints-to-wood-an-awesome-photography-diy-project/ It is actually the craft I’m all set to do this weekend. Super easy way to make a special photo to look even better. I’d even recommend getting artsy and cropping out only one piece of the photo for this instead of the entire thing. I’m going to do one of a trip we took to Europe over 12 years ago and another one of just our son’s legs and shoes I took last night while he was swinging.

    • emilyg25

      Does he like coffee or booze? A little bottle/package of his favorite thing might hit the spot.

      • Kirstin

        He’s a huge coffee and beer person. Great idea!

    • aldeka

      Tickets for a show? Dinner reservations and a movie? Waterpark passes?

      • Kirstin

        Great idea!

      • NrgGrl

        Yeah! I’m a big fan of “experiential” gifts. Sometimes my fiance and I plan short weekend or day trips and give those as a gift. An example: I planned a hike, packed us lunches, and picked a dinner spot I thought he would enjoy.

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

      My guy is hard to shop for and doesn’t care much about gifts, and I’m always broke, so small/quirky/thoughtful has become my go-to. Funny/weird things from Urban Outfitters usually go over well, as do shoes weirdly enough (bright purple New Balances for Christmas) and funny, hip T-shirts. I got him a T-shirt from here for his last bday and he really liked it: http://thuglifeshirts.com/

      • Kirstin

        Thanks! I might buy the “I already want to take a nap tomorrow” for myself!

  • lildutchgrrl

    Two weeks ago I was really bummed about this short sale taking FOREVER. The ball finally started rolling! Just signed a new offer (about 8% higher than our previous one, due to the bank’s new higher minimum after appraisal) and submitted it. There’s no reason to think it won’t be accepted. It’s still a good deal for the area, and affordable even when we roll in the costs of repairs. I hope we’ll be moved in by the end of the summer!

  • NrgGrl

    Less than two months out and I have a SEVERE case of “wedding brain” (which, according to APW is “Wedding Brain, noun [ˈwe-diŋ ˈbrān]: a disorder that affects the cerebral cortex
    causing anxiety, stress, procrastination and the inability to
    stay focused… Ooohh I wonder if Etsy has any vintage brooches from 1950?”).

    I also have so, so much stuff to do at work (it’s our busy time of year), but I can’t stop thinking about all the small details that need to come together for our wedding. Excitement is part of what’s driving me, but the other part is my tendency to obsess over details (which is something I generally find to be enjoyable, believe it or not). So it’s not that “wedding brain” is inherently bad; it’s just taking up a lot of my brainspace that’s supposed to be used for working! Sigh. I’m having a lot of trouble staying focused.

    • Kirstin

      That totally happened to me. I felt completely incapable of simple decisions, like what to have for lunch. Thankfully it went away the week of the wedding. You’ve got this!

    • JSwen

      Samsies. I’m making a to-do list as we speak so I can prioritize and get out of my current frazzled state.

    • Ally

      I hear you on the wedding brain! Those are some crazy times.

      I almost forgot to pick my husband up on our drive home from work one day because I had seating arrangements on my mind. Luckily I only went one exit too far.

      I also had a hectic time at work leading up our wedding. It was 2.5 weeks prior to a big conference I work for. I had to have everything planned and locked up before my time off for the wedding/honeymoon. The honeymoon then ended in the same place as the conference. Husband left the morning that the event started.

      It was a total crazy whirlwind but you feel so accomplished when it’s all over. Of course once you return and your inbox is out of control that brainspace is day dreaming about how great it all was and still not focusing on work! At least that’s how it was for me.

      I also SO FEEL YOU on the etsy shopping rat holes. SO many hours spent (wasted?) browsing that site.

    • Bsquillo

      I feel you on the wedding brain. It doesn’t really get better as you get closer, but at least your distractions become more…practical I suppose? Like instead of spending hours finding the best deal on tiny clothespins, you’re kept awake at night wondering how much ice you need for 80 people.

    • Emily

      Oh, is that what’s happening? I’m 8 weeks out tomorrow, and very unfocused / unmotivated!

    • Sarah McClelland

      Uh oh. It gets worse?! I’m still 5 months and change out :/
      But save the dates are sent and accessories are started… It’s all craft ADD all the time over here right now when I should be getting rid of ALL THE THINGS because we are getting the things and I’m moving and aaaah!

  • macrain

    My bridal shower is tomorrow! I was seriously floating on a cloud about it until I found out that my very special dress from Rent the Runway that I’ve been dreaming about for months was damaged beyond repair and now I have nothing to wear. I was pretty heart broken- there were tears. I’m trying to look at this as a good test run for dealing when shit goes awry. I know that I need to move past it and focus on all the other aspects of the day that will be really special.
    As an aside, if you are considering RTR for your wedding day, I would think twice about it. It is definitely a risk, and I don’t think they are as equipped to deal with the special beast that is weddings in the same way that a company like Little Borrowed Dress is.

    • Jess

      oh no! did you call customer service? sometimes they can overnight you another dress in a different style! :( so sorry

      • macrain

        Yes, there’s another one on the way, but the selection was very limited- this is a popular weekend for renting dresses.
        Still, I’m hopeful it’ll work out!

  • Jess

    so excited to read #girlboss! giving it to my sister for her college graduation tomorrow! sweet!

  • JSwen

    YAY! I missed last week’s happy hour because of the wedding shower my fiance’s work threw for us. Very late, I left a comment on last week’s happy hour about a postcard deal for save-the-dates that I found in my email inbox. I don’t want to spam this week’s happy hour as well so head over there and look for it if you want it.

  • River

    OH, another question, re: my wedding gown (apologies, in advance for the length):

    I went to this schmancy famous wedding store, just for fun/cause my bestie got her dress there, fully expecting not to get my dress there, and they tricked me into trying on a dress I couldn’t afford (when I said my budget was X including alterations and accessories, they put me in a dress that cost exactly X), that of course I fell in love with. My mom surprised me by generously contributing so that I would be able to purchase the gown. And I love it, okay? Really love it. I had the whole SYTTD moment, with the crying and everything.

    When we went to finish the deposit, I discovered that they had marked my order “standard length” – I am not even 5’3″, y’all. That is not going to work at all. This dress has elaborate lace at the bottom hem, which will make altering it a pain in the butt… So I was going to pay the exorbitant alterations charges to have it done in-house at the store because they guarantee it.

    During all of this I had trouble getting a response from customer service so I ended up calling the store’s owner. To my surprise and delight, he responded immediately! Now I come to find out I can order a shorter length, but I’d need to pay $200 extra to get a shorter (but still not custom) length… This $200 is like the straw that broke the camel’s back for me – it’s the $200 I was going to spend to get custom cap sleeves on etsy and get my shoes.

    SO my question is, do I ask the manager or even owner to make an exception for me and cover $200 fee (which they claim is charged by the designer)? What do I do if he says no? Can I ask him to discount the alterations by $200 so they are still getting that business? The problem is that even though X is the most I have ever spent on a single item, I know it is chump change to this store. What do I do if I ask and they say no??

    • Nicole

      I also have an all-lace dress that I needed hemmed significantly. I could have ordered the extra petite, but they weren’t sure it would be here in time because I’m getting married sooner rather than later. When the dress came in, I was super freaked out because it also felt like it fit really poorly in more places than just the hem and I thought maybe the store had ordered a size too small. I called the alterations lady the place had recommended, described the dress and my concerns about fit and she immediately put my mind at ease. Took it in, and for $200 she is hemming it AND fixing all the other places where it doesn’t fit. She spent about 15 minutes pinning it and it looks amazing. With all the lace, I had been worried the alterations would be more like $500. So – maybe it’s worth also calling around to alterations places to see how much they’ll charge so you have the best information about the end cost?

      • River

        Thanks for sharing! Maybe I will call around, I just like knowing that if the alterations department messes up, they are obligated to make it better, in a way that an outside seamstress or tailor wouldn’t be, because of the guarantee they issue. BUT getting the shorter length and cheaper alterations elsewhere might end up being cheaper than the cost of alterations at the big store…

        • Nicole

          You know, even when looking at places with in-house alterations, somehow I never thought that would necessarily mean they guaranteed their work (hopefully yours does!) but if the quote seems unreasonable, it’s worth looking on yelp or getting recommendations from your area.

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

      How short is the shorter length? How positive are you that you wouldn’t need to hem that? Because once you start hemming, you might as well take off 8″ as 1″, at least in terms of work that needs to be done…

  • La_Venus

    Hello all!
    I am having one of those incredibly stressful, life upside down transitions. Earlier this week I had a miscarriage. The pregnancy had been unexpected but I was far enough along to be excited and happy. And now my body just feels empty and pointless. Like it was doing something so awesome for a minute there and now it’s not. But it was definitely the kick in the pants we needed to let go of our last uncertainties about trying to conceive and now we are preparing in earnest without the nitpicking anxiety. Husband: “But I thought you didn’t want to have the baby during the summer.” Me: “I don’t give a shit. I will have a baby at the end of the pregnancy.” Also, pregnancy is such a bigger deal than I thought it would be. And so is miscarriage :(

    In addition to that we are in the process of moving, going to two weddings in the next two weeks in different states and I have strep throat. This will all end soon, right?

    • KC

      So sorry to hear about the miscarriage!

      (and yes, strep throat and two weddings and travel will all end soon. You are totally right; that part you can just ride out!)

    • Jess

      so sorry to hear that! :( i hope you feel better soon!!

      as for the strep, my friend had it last week and said dunkin donuts arnold palmer coolatas were saving her life.

    • Emily

      :( Sorry for your loss, it’s rough. Your body is still amazing and good luck with your future baby (ies) when you get your head around trying again.

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

      I am sorry to hear about your miscarriage. I have had a few friends go through that this year, and it seems to be so difficult. Please do something special for yourself that helps you feel cared for…

  • Guest

    You guysssss. As I’ve mentioned previously, I’m pregnant, and Father’s Day is nigh! Normally, I wouldn’t do anything for my husband since he’s just a father-to-be, but I saw this little board book online called “Daddy Kisses.” It’s pictures of different animal daddies kissing their babies! So obviously, I bought it ($4 well spent). But now I’m *dying* to give it to him. He’s a real mush and at 48, he’s waited a long damn time for this baby. He’s gonna cry so much when he opens that book! Please give me the strength to wait till Sunday!

    • ART

      Think of a good plan for how to give it to him – that’s how I managed to not tell my mom I was engaged for a whole week, because we’d planned to tell her over Google Hangout when she was at my grandma’s house :)

  • Krista

    Just want to say how much I adore these link roundups! Meg, you’re an ace link curator.

    • april

      Seconded. This is basically how I get through my last hour of work on Friday (because, really – who is productive after 4pm on Friday?)

  • Gina

    So… We might put an offer in on a house tonight. And this is after 5 days of looking, no joke. But my husband has been “looking” for months (i.e., he has listing alerts on every real estate website out there) and he thinks this is The One. I just can’t believe it if we found The One that fast.

    Also: we are buying in a seller’s market, so there’s a possibility it sold already and my real estate agent just hasn’t found out yet. So I’m trying not to get excited but I’m totally feeling All The Emotions. Does anyone have any advice about how to deal with this? It is a total mind fuck.

    • jashshea

      It’s the worst, right?! You tell yourself you aren’t going to be emotional or get attached and then, well, you DO. We were looking in a very specific neighborhood at a very specific price-point and got outbid at least 3x. AND and we didn’t submit an offer a 4th time b/c we felt the house was overpriced. That house was on the market for 24 hours and had 11 offers over list.

      For “The Real One,” we called the selling agent and asked for the 1st appointment. We were writing our offer 20 minutes prior to the house officially being on the market. We anticipated that they’d wait out the weekend, but they accepted our offer that night.

      Good luck! The process is such a mindfuck, but I love having a house.

      • Gina

        Wow. Your market sounds even crazier! Thank you for giving me hope that it’s possible to get through it :) Congratulations!!

  • kris

    Anyone else not able to take hormonal birth control and feeling bummed about using a condom on their wedding night?

    :(

    • Emily

      Well, I’ll probably be on my period on my honeymoon, if that makes you feel any better!

    • emilyg25

      Have you explored the Paragard copper IUD? I had it for several years and it was awesome. The best thing ever. Probably not the right option if you’re thinking of trying for a baby soonish, but worth looking at otherwise.

    • Amy March

      Diaphragm time?

      • kris

        Ok I’m gonna blame wedding brain for not thinking of this. Of course! Hopefully I can get fitted beforehand!

    • JSwen

      Nope! No babies for us any time soon! I’ll save that intimacy for when we want to start a family.

      • Jess

        Same boat. I can and do use BC and still go for the condoms. I’d rather not have any doubts… that messes up the intimacy in the moment way more for me.

    • Sparkles

      If you’ve got time to figure it out (a couple of cycles before you start) you should check out the fertility awareness method. The book that got me started on it and is super comprehensive is “Take Charge of Your Fertility”. I’ve never been into hormonal birth control, and so we always used condoms, but FAM is a pretty legit natural method that lets you keep track of when you’re fertile so you can use condoms on just those days. It’s pretty amazing. Also, please don’t write it off as the rhythm method or some silly counting method that doesn’t actually work, it’s pretty legit and well-done once you get it figured out.

  • april

    We just got our wedding album from Artifact/Uprising this week, and it is seriously gorgeous. If anyone is thinking of DIY-ing their wedding album (or any other photo book, for that matter) I highly recommend them. Soooooo pretty!

    • emilyg25

      I second this! I used them to make an album for my parents it it’s gorg. I made our album with Kolo, which is also awesome but has a bigger album option.

  • http://innercupcake.blogspot.com innercupcake

    Happy happy hour! Advice on gifting wanted! I will likely be buying something off the registry for my bff’s upcoming wedding, but I’d like to get something for them that’s off-registry too- Unfortunately, I don’t know the future husband suuuper-well since we’re long distance bff, but I’m wondering if there’s any gift ideas that are good for people who are newlyweds and in a long-distance relationship? He’ll be moving away for school and she won’t be able to follow for a couple years (:/), so maybe there’s a gift idea that ties in with that?

    In other news, life is coming along reasonably well and I’m pretty excited about that- I start a new position as a postdoc at the end of the month (so I just need to finish revising my thesis-eek!). We’re getting married in a little over four months (double eek, need to get on that planning!). One sad note is that I found out this week there was no way my MOH could travel for a bachelorette weekend getaway, which was disappointing, but I’ll probably end up still doing the getaway weekend with local friends and any out of town bridesmaids who can make it (all are out of town except my SIL (who’s due date is 2 days before the wedding, so traveling and boozing are less than ideal right now, but is being incredibly sweet and supportive about planning stuff and making me feel special)) and then a low key thing 2 days prior to the wedding with anyone who’s in town early (two parties! woo!). So glad I’ve got APW and the awesome community/advice to help manage the wedding monster.

    • Bsquillo

      I did long distance dating with my soon to be husband for a couple of years, and one thing that always helped us was writing and sending handwritten letters. So maybe you could get your friend something related to that? Pretty stamps or stationery, mini photo albums that are easy to send, etc.

    • JSwen

      Maybe an off the registry item would be a gift certificate to a restaurant you know your friend likes?

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

      I gave some friends a gift certificate from an airline. They were getting married just before becoming long distance.

  • Bsquillo

    Wedding is in 8 DAYS!!! I have almost fully entered the zen stage. Several times this week, I’ve given myself permission to stop worrying about x, and it’s actually working. I can’t wait for our families to get here next week!!!

    And the fiance has provided great perspective this week. Every time I’m like, “but what if the guests don’t like this?” he just says, “screw em. We’ll still be married.”

  • JSwen

    So this week was major “consider the name change” week. I read everything on APW and offbeatbride on name changes. Meg’s article about why we need to have a bigger discussion about name changing really hit home. So, of course…. Fiance gets home and I tell him that I’ve been thinking about it. He wants to know what I decided. Like, it’s my decision. Ok, that’s not the worst reaction. But! Why is it my decision?

    I fought the urge to say, “I decided that you will take my last name! Yay!” and instead asked what his thoughts were. Again, he said it was my decision. Uffffffffffff.

    I love him but it was like a light went off in his head when he realized that his name was under question. “Oh no, I’m not changing my name,” he says. Again I fought the urge to say, “ok, then I’m not changing my name,” which I knew he’d be fine with… because my anger wasn’t about Fiance and me.

    We need to have this conversation on a broader scale. And by “we”, I mean along with the rape culture and street harassment issues, this would be a great candidate for discussion on the media. Recognizing that changing names is a universal issue in marriage, I’m going to get hetero specific here: Guys don’t have to think about it. Guys don’t get stuck with the burden of deciding to change their name or raising their own children with a different last name. Thoughts?

    Back in my world, he determined that he could take my family name for a middle name but should we have a son, he would want to pass along his father’s father’s father’s (…) last name instead of any other family name.

    Which helped me make my decision: I’m not changing my name. For now. We’ll keep talking about this stuff until we are both comfortable for future babies’ names. Until that’s an inevitable reality, I’ll just keep being the me on my driver’s license!

    • aldeka

      “I decided that you will take my last name! Yay!”

      I kinda wish you HAD said that. :D

      Would you pass on your name if you have a female child?

      • JSwen

        I’ve been considering that as an option but Fiance is concerned that these imaginary children of our future would get made fun of at school if they don’t have the same last name. Maybe? Kids can be jerks.

        • aldeka

          Kids will find anything to tease about. You could think of it as a teachable moment! And if you care about kids sharing your name, like your fiancé does, it’s only fair.

          FWIW my fiancé and I are hyphenating, with the plan that our kids can switch to the male or female half of their surname as they get older/when they get married/if they want to. I was rooting for us to just take my name, but my partner didn’t like how his name sounded with my last name. And this is more fair.

          In the end, your kids’ names will be their names. No one will have known them as anything else! And only jerks would make fun of them for their name, whatever it is.

        • MC

          I dunno – I feel like families today look so different than the nuclear families of 50-60 years ago and so many relatives don’t share family names that it would not be a big deal at all. Potential parents probably said the same thing about hypenated names a few generations ago and now no one bats an eye at them. Kids can be jerks, but making fun of a kid with loving parents for having a sibling with a different last name just seems so out of their realm of… caring?

          • JSwen

            I don’t think it would be a big issue either but then I remembered something that happened recently. My cousin who is 12 years younger than me sprained his ankle and couldn’t play soccer for the rest of the season. I went on his facebook page and told him something like, “oh that sucks! get better soon. you’ll be playing soccer again before you know it”. Then the notifications started pouring in of his middle-school friends making fun of him. For a sprained ankle. Jerks.

        • emilyg25

          If another kid wants to make fun of your kid, s/he’ll find a way: name, clothes, home neighborhood, different way of talking, lack of sports ability, whatever. I wouldn’t let that worry guide your name decisions.

        • Mezza

          My wife and I are planning to do this. I guess it’s a little different because we’re both women, so we don’t have all the tradition to fight against, but we’d each like to pass on our family names and don’t think they sound good hyphenated. So far we know that the first boy will have my last name (and my father’s first – family tradition) and otherwise we’ll figure it out as we go.

        • Laura C

          You know, there were some brothers in my grade school who had different last names (one their mother’s, one their father’s) and it didn’t occur to me it was any kind of statement until way later? Like, I knew their respective last names and it just didn’t register.

          I wonder if, as blended families and remarried parents are more and more common, that kind of stuff will stand out even less to other kids.

        • Cam

          As anecdata, my brother and I have different surnames and never got any shit for it, that I’m aware of (in the US). And that was decades ago, I think it would be even less of an issue now. We had more problems of the ‘yes this is my guardian’ variety than we perhaps otherwise would’ve. But kids, even in middle school, never cared; we just corrected them if they called people by the wrong name and everything was cool. We were three school years apart and went to the same school concurrently for seven years. I also think it helped my younger brother establish himself with teachers and older students more easily.

        • Natalie Wright

          I know a family where the girl has her mother’s last name and the boy has his father’s. The little girl very proudly tells people “The girls in our family are named ‘Smith,’ but the boys are called ‘White’. ‘Smith’ is way better.” It’s adorable how proud she is that she gets to share something with her mom that no one else in the family shares.

      • ART

        I agree with OP that it needs to be a bigger conversation. In some ways, I like the tradition of mother’s name -> girl child, father’s name -> boy child. but in other ways, it has its own whole set of problems (and is very hetero-focused). When I was deciding whether to change my name, I felt like the choice was well, I can take my husband’s name, or keep my father’s name. Or maybe I can take my mother’s….father’s name. Or maybe my grandma’s!….father’s name. Pffft. Based on my relationships with all those men, I decided to take my husband’s name. I don’t feel like I had a great set of options. I am happy about my decision but bummed about the larger context.

        • aldeka

          The way I think about it, my surname is my surname. Getting disheartened because it’s also my dad’s name/grandfather’s name doesn’t seem like it has a point–of course it is, because we were born into a patriarchical-as-shit society. One has to start somewhere!

          • ART

            Yeah, I mean it depends on your dad I guess. For me, that was an issue and did have merit in the decision.

    • http://werewritingabook.com/ Breck

      I think it helps to start the entire process/discussion early. We aren’t engaged yet, but I’ve definitely framed the discussion from a place of what are *we* going to do about *our names* when we get married? I think that helped get my BF and I on the same page in that this is an *us* issue, not something I need to figure out on my own. He really wants us to share the same last name (and, honestly, so would I), but I think it’s really unfair that, traditionally, that would mean me doing a bunch of work to make that happen, when it’s something that is just as important (if not more important) to him. SO, my proposition (which he is still considering, but I believe he’ll come around to) is that we will both change our names. I will become Breck Middle Mylast Hislast, and he will be Chris Middle Mylast Hislast. I don’t care if we just go by the Hislasts or if we pass mine on to our kids; I just care about both of us putting in the work to have a shared family name a reality.

      • Jenna

        That is exactly what we are doing, but it took a lot more convincing (and some shouting about “The Patriarchy” that I’m not entirely proud of) to get my fiancé on board. But now, he is *totally* on board and has started taking the lead in explaining it to people!

      • Sarah E

        “Both of us putting in the work” <— Exactly this. I used to not care so much because I didn't really want to keep my name. Now I don't want either "easy" option (keeping mine or taking his completely) and I'm mad mad mad that it's "my decision" made more complicated that he's in academia, and beginning to publish papers as a grad student. Fuck it all.

      • Jennie

        We talked a lot about it too. I wasn’t super into his last name, didn’t want to keep mine and wanted us to have the same last name for our eventual kids. We ended up looking at our family trees and choosing a last name we could both agree on. It wasn’t a quick and easy decision, but we’re both happy with the way it worked out.

    • leafygreen

      One of the first things my boyfriend asked after we got engaged was what I was going to do with my name. I said I wasn’t sure, and then he said he would like to keep his name. I appreciate that he felt it should be said upfront, although it probably has something to do with the fact that I’m hyphenated already (this may also affect him not wanting to take a piece of my name — the long, hyphenated thing is a bitch).

      I like hyphens in theory, but my parents hyphenated, had me, and then divorced, leaving me as the only person with my last name (although I joke my cat inherited it too). I still occasionally get things addressed to “the hyphenated-lastname family” and it always makes me a little sad, because it’s not a family…it’s just me and my cat. And of course I can’t pick one of the two, because that would be picking a side between divorced parents…

      I’m torn between keeping my name, because it’s part of who I am and it’s pretty unique, and wanting to finally be part of a unified last name family in a way that I never really was before. It doesn’t hurt that his last name is a lot shorter and easier to grapple with, too. I’m not sure what I’ll do, ultimately, but I’m leaning toward keeping mine. As for kids, nooooo idea.

      I hope you end up with a decision you’re both happy with!

  • Acres_Wild

    I got engaged last weekend! It was a perfectly nerdy proposal at our favorite restaurant featuring a beautiful sapphire ring and Cards Against Humanity cards signed by Wil and Anne Wheaton (a couple of my favorite nerd celebrities).

    We are thinking spring 2015 for the wedding, so we’re trying to get it in gear and pick a date and venue in the next few weeks. There was some drama when our original first choice venue raised their prices $6,000 overnight (literally the day before we were going to call and schedule a tour), but I think we found something that will work better (and be cheaper) anyways.

    I am having massive sticker shock over how much this all costs, even though I thought I was prepared for it. Aside from that, I am unbelievably (unexpectedly, kind of?) happy. Yay!

    • Emily

      Yaay! Congratulations! Sticker shock is tough. Helps to take each decision as it comes, are we happy with the pros and cons of spending x on y? As our overall budget grew, I kind of got freaked out by the total number until I looked at it from the perspective that we made each individual decision thoughtfully.

      • Acres_Wild

        Thanks! That’s how I’m trying to think about it. I’m having a hard time shaking the feeling that all this money would be better saved for something more… practical? Like a house? But in the long run, I know this celebration is important to us and our communities, so it will be worth it.

    • Kae

      That proposal sounds AWESOME. I love their CAH (I follow them on Twitter), how excellent! Good luck with all the planning :)

      • Acres_Wild

        Thank you! It WAS awesome. And my fiance said Anne was really excited to be part of the proposal. :) They are so cool!

  • Emily

    So I’m 8 weeks out tomorrow, and have no vanity plans. I had a feeling there was something that really should get done, but wasn’t being worked on. I think that is it, hair / face ideas. I’m not a very done-up person, as in, own no makeups! I have naturally curly hair which I normally either just tie back in a bun or wear down, and have few styling skills. I don’t know what I want to do! I think I’m ok with saying eff the makeup. I definitely have to figure out something for the hair though.

    • Katherine

      I had someone at my normal hair salon do my hair for about $60. Like you, I felt like I needed someone to deal with it. I didn’t care that much, though, exactly what it was as long as it was pretty and the style held all night. Maybe you could just ask your hair person (if you have one) if he/she, or someone else at the salon, will do fancy styles.

      • Jen

        If you want it down, make sure you get someone who is skilled at styling curly hair! I didn’t once, and it was a fuzzy ball of weird. I’d have been better doing it myself, with my own very limited skill set.
        Your hair person will likely know someone, possibly at the same salon, who can do your makeup. Otherwise, perhaps a friend whose tastes jive with yours could help you out.

  • moonlitfractal

    So, how bad would it be to saddle a child with a five-syllable, hyphenated last name that’s not even iambic?

    • aldeka

      Not so bad, if the names flow well! “Bellamy-Marco” just popped into my head as a five-syllable name that doesn’t sound half bad.

      • moonlitfractal

        It doesn’t, really, and to make matters worse the ‘hislast’ part of the name is Polishly hard to pronounce/spell. The kid is either just going to get that name by itself or my hyphenated version.

    • Emily

      I don’t think it would be all that bad. Your name is your name, I never thought much about how mine came to be. I imagine it would be a long while before anybody felt “saddled,” if it happened at all.

      • MC

        Yeah, the only time my friends with long names cared was when they had to fill in the bubbles on standardized tests. But I think everyone hates those things regardless of what your name is.

        • moonlitfractal

          I chose my long, complicated name, but it still makes me crazy whenever I have to spell it for someone on the phone… Plus it doesn’t fit on many forms. I’ve heard people born with hyphenated names complain, so I’m conflicted.

    • emilyg25

      Not too bad. There’s a British socialite named Isabella Anstruther-Gough-Calthorpe and she seems to be doing just fine.

  • Jessica

    NYC APWers: recommendations for affordable flowers? Just a few bouquets & corsages, not center pieces or anything like that.

    Any recommendations for day of coordinators?

  • vegankitchendiaries

    Usually I hop on here early with a ‘What does everyon think about this?’ kind of question but this week I’ve had a serious case of the “I don’t want a stupid wedding anymore” blues. The planning is stressing me out, and I’ve been fighting with my sweetheart all week. Ugh. That is all.

    • ART

      how far out are you again? I had serious wedding blues about 5-6 weeks out. They totally went away though (getting married June 28th)

      • vegankitchendiaries

        Yep! We’re five weeks out! That’s a relief, thanks for saying! Do you feel the ‘zen’ because you feel on top of things or because ‘YAY ALMOST WEDDING!’ would you say?

        This has been said by so many APW folk before me but I just thought I’d be COOLER than this. It’s just hard to be cool all the time. Even a smaller wedding needs so many details pulled together and, another familiar APW theme here, I just feel so lonely doing it sometimes… I’m getting lots of girlfriends offer to help but it’s not like they can realistically help with, say, getting FH’s suit tailored or ordering food stuffs…

        • ART

          Totally, totally. I’m not quite at ‘zen’ yet (stayed up way too late last night making mad libs because our invitations said we’d have games at the wedding and I Am Compelled To Deliver) but I am in the ‘yay almost wedding’ phase where it’s really REAL that all my family and friends will be in one place for once and I get to marry my sweet husband-to-be. My to-do list last weekend was “make paper chandelier and driftwood boats.” I felt like an idiot for not being “cool” enough not to care about that stuff, but I do care about that stuff, so I did it. My main challenges are logistical issues the day of, and people are starting to come out of the woodwork to offer help, so that’s been a huge relief.

          • vegankitchendiaries

            I allllllways feel like an idiot mentioning the pinterest diy stuff. I get paranoid as hell thinking people might be like, “Oooh, look at her with her special snowflake arts and crafts!”. Like, for NO REASON. It’s not like my friends are assholes or anything.

            Anyway, god willing, may I follow in your footsteps, ever getting closer to the ‘wedding zen’ state that’s apparently the light at the end of the tunnel. Already feel better for venting, thanks for hearing it, ART. xox

          • ART

            and man, my chandelier is freaking awesome! it looks like a 5-foot-tall jellyfish. i’m proud of it

          • vegankitchendiaries

            Yeah? You should share a pic! No spoilers? ;)

          • ART

            :) it’s made of dyed coffee filters and wreath frames from the craft store

          • vegankitchendiaries

            WOAH!!!!!! AMAZE!!!!!

          • Emily

            This is beautiful!

          • http://www.aprilbooth.com/ April

            Oooo I love this!

  • http://werewritingabook.com/ Breck

    Popping in from work to introduce our new family member :)

    No name yet, but we’re taking suggestions for her!

    • Ani

      Cute! How old?

    • Ariel

      omg, so cute!!! How big is she supposed to get? For some reason, I see her and think ‘Peanut’, but that may be the whiskey talking.

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

      She is adorable! Congratulations on adding to the family.

    • Sarah McClelland

      Biscuit.

      She’s adorable.

    • emilyg25

      Tessa, Molly, Ginger, Astrid. I like people names for dogs. She’s adorable!!

      • Ariel

        Ooh I love Molly and Ginger!

    • scw

      wow she is precious. look at that little face!

    • Ashley

      Lucy <3

    • emmers

      Snuggles!

  • JDrives

    Ohhh my gosh Glennon Melton’s article – “Today I will FILL UP WITH THIS BEAUTY. I will SEE this beauty and really NOTICE IT and smell it and hear it and roll around in it and soak it all up. I will allow all of this beauty to become a part of me — to BECOME ME — and by the end of the day I will be so freaking beautiful from the inside out that folks will stop and stare, probably.”

    Printing, putting on my mirror, sharing with all my ladyfriends as a reminder to “fill up”!

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

      I love this.

  • Brooke

    Recommendations for shoes that are flat, comfortable, affordable, suitable for a winter wedding, and also not ugly–GO! (I’m not a huge shoe person, so it’s not necessary that they be once-in-a-lifetime shoes, just…yeah. Not ugly.)

    • ElisabethJoanne

      Mine were gold-glitter flats for $19 from Cathy Jean for a winter wedding. There were 2 pictures of them peeking out from under my floor-length dress. I wore them before the wedding and after.

      I’ve been having fun getting name-brand shoes for a lot less than I’d pay in a department store from eBay. I went to the mall, tried on a bunch of brands, and wrote down my size. I can’t wait to wear my new red Calvin Klein flats (<$30 from eBay) to my cousin's wedding tomorrow.

    • emmers

      I love these! They used to have them in gold, but now in silver– not sure if that works for your dress.

  • Ani

    T- 15 days for me… It’s uncanny sometimes how APW posts exactly what I need. We are meeting with our photographer tomorrow, so the anti-shot list was perfect for us! We have the big stuff down, so now we are at little things, and how much time we want to spend on DIT stuff. Today we went to an recycled art supply store and gathered to items to make a clothespin pie toppers in our image. We’ll see how they turn out!

  • NicoleT

    Just took my mcat today (for a second time) and paid the deposit for the wedding reception location! Shit is officially real.
    My FH is starting to get disappointed again that my family doesn’t want to hang out with his family. I want to tell him how much of a good thing that is right now, but I’m pretty sure he wouldn’t take that well. (My parents *really* don’t like his mom and will occasionally drop little harsh comments about her when he’s not around; I always tell them to stop.) I have no idea how to get him to understand that our families are just not going to pal around together anytime soon. And the wedding will definitely *not* help this situation.

  • AnonyJ

    We had to fire our wedding planner/officiant/day-of coordinator/friend of 20 years last week. After it was done, we discovered that NONE of the arrangements this person (an event planning professional!!!) supposedly made over the past twelve moths had actually been made, leaving us 3.5 months out with virtually nothing arranged. We are having a big wedding and I am in graduate school, so self-catering and DIT-ing the bejesus out of everything isn’t really an option for us. The shit that got us to that point reallyreallyreally sucked (oh hello, past trauma triggers!) and finding out we had paid quite a bit of money for a year of what my fiancé calls “air kisses and champagne” was incredibly stressful, but we rallied–hard–and within the space of a week had secured a caterer, event coordinator, officiant, and hotel blocks. We are running the show now, and our wedding finally gets to go back to being about US, not the ‘grand visions’ of someone who doesn’t even care about what’s truly important to us.

    Thank heavens for APW, which I kept/keep using to remind myself that even if we order 100 pizzas and perform our own ceremony while wearing pajamas the wedding day will still be awesome because WE WILL BE MARRIED!!!!!

    • Emily

      This sounds HORRIBLE (The coordinator thing, not the pizzas). What on earth? Crazy! I’m glad you figured out what was going on!

    • Emily

      Oh my goodness! That’s ridiculous, sorry to hear you were put through such stress. Sounds like you and your partner killed it on the problem-solving though!

    • http://www.aprilbooth.com/ April

      That sounds insane. D:

      Congratulations on making the best of it and powering through though.

  • Caroline

    You guys, my new internship that I started this week is AMAZING. It was very last minute, and I was interested in the company, but not sure about how the internship would go. The people are AWESOME. My boss is great. My teammates are great. The work seems interesting. The mission of the company is something I could really get behind. It seems like people do have some work life balance. Basically, I took the internship as an “I need something, and this is well paid and in my field” and now I’m at “Gee, I could really see working here for a long time after I graduate….” I love it.

    Also, we’re less than 8 weeks out. My to-do list is crazy. Every night last week, I came home from work and worked 3-5 hours on the wedding. But we will do this thing. We got our marriage license. Invites are out. My first dress fitting is in a week. We’re getting married! I think this is going to be the summer of crazy, but also a summer of growth and up. Way way up fast. I can’t wait!

  • Kayjayoh

    Ok, ok, ok. One week. And of course, I’m missing the happy hours because I get off work early and run errands. :)

    Things are looking pretty solid, though, and I credit so much of my organization and chill to APW and all of you. Mwah!

    • Kayjayoh

      Oh! I now have heard back from three different positions who would like to talk to me further. Next week is going to be full of so many things! FIngers crossed that my various phone and Skype discussions go well and lead to some in-person interviews (in July, of course).

      • scw

        isn’t it funny how big life things always happen in clumps? best of luck for all the exciting things!

        • Kayjayoh

          Thank you.

  • Kayjayoh

    Also! The dress is still a disaster. Going to have a local seamstress take a look. Also going to look for a back-up dress. Most expensive and least flattering piece of clothing I own.

    • Emily

      Oh no! That’s sucks, I’m sorry you’re still dealing with that. Hope you find a magical seamstress!

      • Kayjayoh

        Thanks. I’m also going ahead and buying a back up dress.

        • Emily

          Sound planning. I would too!

          • Kayjayoh

            Taking advantage of the fact that J Crew has flat rate shipping for overnight and will do in-store returns, I just bought 4 dresses…basically the same dress in two colors, two sizes, two lengths, based on what was not back ordered. We will see what actually fits and works on me and take the rest back.

            Fun fact: all four dresses, together with shipping and tax, are a little more than what I spent on my original dress. Fortunately, after that return it will be in the $300 range.

  • Emily Ardoin

    Just got engaged and I am now sitting on my couch, Pinteresting and bridal magazine-ing and deliriously happy! That first link with Pinterest boards was EXACTLY what I wanted to see after a crazy, family-filled, wonderfully wonderful weekend!

    (Congrats on making the list, APW! Y’all definitely deserve it!)

  • AmyLouise

    My partner and I have been together just shy of 8 years and for the last couple of months have been looking at engagement rings and I’m actually finding the whole process really stressful, I mean how hard could it be to find an ethically sourced yellow gold blue sapphire ring? Apparently very hard.
    We are currently in the process of having a ring custom made but I keep changing my mind on the design, I cant stop thinking about how I will be wearing this for the next 70+ years and what if I change my mind about it? Can I get some advice from ladies who have picked their own ring?

    • Erin

      I was stressed during this process too and decided to go with a lab created sapphire to be absolutely sure about the ethics. My ring was made for me, right down to the stone. Our designer was Ken and Dana in NYC and they are wonderful.

      • AmyLouise

        Thank you Erin! I’m in Australia though so probably wouldn’t go with the same designer hehehe, I’ve decided to go with an Australia sapphire so I can be sure that its ethical but how did you settle on a design? Or did you already know what you wanted before you went to get it made?

        • KH_Tas

          I did a lot of looking on the internet before taking a stab at buying something online, while we worked with the designer, who sent us a bunch of sketches, for my fiance’s. Neither were from oz though (USA / NZ)

  • Kayjayoh

    Odds are pretty good that hardly anyone will read this now, but odds are also good that I will miss the Happy Hour on Friday, since it is the day before my wedding:

    In case anyone needed a good happy cry today: http://the-toast.net/2014/06/13/superdad-growing-deaf-parent/