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APW Happy Hour


Shhh, sleepy staff members ahead...

by Meg Keene, Editor-In-Chief

APW Happy Hour | A Practical Wedding

APW Happy Hour | A Practical Wedding

HI APW!

We just (I mean JUST) got back from the first Summer Alt Summit in Salt Lake City. Alt Summit started as a blogging conference, but over the years it’s turned into something I’d describe as a women’s entrepreneurship conference. This time in particular there were a lot of serious businesswomen in attendance (and I don’t just mean Martha Stewart). In fact, during lunch with Martha Stewart, someone got up and asked her a question about growing a business, mentioning that she started as a kitchen table operation a few years ago, and they currently have fifty people working for them. If that doesn’t make you sit up and take notice, I donno what does. I also got to take a class in entrepreneurship from the amazing Susan Peterson. A few years ago we were roommates at a conference, and she had made branded leather business card holders for all three hundred attendees, as smart publicity. Now she has ten staffers, and is just killing it in the most amazing inspiring way ever.

APW Happy Hour | A Practical Wedding

I’m still processing everything I learned in two short days. As anyone who’s been paying any attention to online media knows, business models are changing these days, and changing fast. As a result, the halls at Alt (which is where all the best meetings happen) felt pretty electric. Getting to sit down with smart businesswoman after smart businesswoman and talk shop was the most fun I’ve had in… a while.

APW Happy Hour | A Practical Wedding

But mostly, Alt Summit is just my magic place. It’s the only place I know of where motherhood is so seamlessly integrated into business life. I took my baby to his first Alt when he was eight weeks old, and this year the halls were packed with scrunchy babies and pregnant ladies. In the middle of Martha Stewart’s talk, she suddenly looked around and said, “There are a lot of babies here. I love that.” But all those babies didn’t mean that there weren’t hardcore business deals going down. To be in a place where people are talking about dolla-dolla-bills, and also passing out breastfeeding advice, means the part where pregnant ladies mention how feminist they are is almost unnecessary. Because we’re already living it.

I’m off to think a whole lot about what I learned this week, and leave you guys to your open thread.

With Love, Hustle, and Glitter,
MEG

Highlights of APW This Week

Recovering from an eating disorder and planning a wedding.

All our best How We Did Its are currently coming out of Long Island, and this is one of them!

Behind the scenes at APW, aka the return of Meg’s thoughts on entrepreneurship!

Because a Mexican wedding is not the same as Mexican + Wedding.

A wedding that almost wasn’t.

Talking about the wedding details that got left on the cutting room floor.

A gentle reminder to all the overachievers out there: getting married is not quite like studying (cough, cramming, cough) for a big exam.

Link Roundup

Pantene’s newest #shinestrong video came out yesterday. And they want you to know they are #sorrynotsorry about it.

Not new, but still charming: a single dad and his unlikely college roommate. And an update to their story.

Why do we care about weddings?

Fuck yeah, Texas women!

A new generation of Golden Girls are embracing communal living as they get older.

“Instead of focusing on my decision to perform in porn to pay my tuition, let’s start paying attention to what got me here: artificially inflated demand for college that pushes tuitions sky high.”

Now, off to spend the weekend napping and practicing our donut-caking abilities.

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. For more than you ever wanted to know about Meg, you can visit MegKeene.com.

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  • Ellen

    Two weeks out! In frantically trying to get last RSVPs in, I got in touch with my future MIL asking her to reach out to someone she had invited so I could check them off my list. She informed me that this person had DIED. TWO YEARS AGO. Before we were even engaged!!!!!! My fiancé laughed “yup, sounds like my mom.”

    I am so so glad it is Friday and happy hour because I am in desperate need of a drink!

    • ElisabethJoanne

      There was an aunt on our initial guest lists who we found out had died when we started asking for an address. I used a church directory from a few years back to make that part of the guest list, and asked the clergy to look it over before passing it around for updates because I feared I’d missed a death announcement.

      And then there were the babies due somewhere between making the guest list and the wedding, but those ones were fun.

      • Ellen

        This just irks me because she was the one who insisted this person be on the list in the first place, who we weren’t able to invite other people we cared about as a result of, and then for her to be like “he’s dead, so he’s not coming”… just not what I needed to be dealing with right now!

        • ART

          Yeah…that’s just a whole ‘nother level of ridiculous.

        • emmers

          Wine. Wine. Wine.

    • A.

      Wait, whaaa…? How did…? Did she just not know that they died? I guess that would be slightly more understandable that she would ask for them to be invited, though that also speaks to how little they were in touch, clearly, if she didn’t realize. Or was it a “you still have to invite this person” as a symbol even though they’re dead? I mean, my fiance’s grandmother recently passed away and he’s not ready to delete her name off our guest list (which I totally get) but we aren’t going to ACTUALLY send her an invitation when all is said and done.

      • Ellen

        Oh she knew they had died. She also made no mention of the fact that they were dead to me before things went out, or in the first two rounds of “these people need followup because I haven’t heard from them.” No clue what is going on in her mind but let me tell you, this is making me think twice about ever having her babysit our hypothetical future children.

        • Laura C

          I read these comments to my fiance to let him know that other people have it worse with regard to parents and guest lists…sheesh.

        • ElisabethJoanne

          I mean this question sincerely, as someone who’s already decided that my in-laws cannot ever be alone with our hypothetical future children: What is it about this behavior that makes you concerned about her as a babysitter? Is it just uncaring? delusional? With us, it’s that my in-laws were abusive and have a world view so at odds with ours, we worry a comment they think is “harmless” could hurt our child.

          • Ellen

            She isn’t nearly at the point where you are with your in-laws and even despite this kerfluffle (and others of a similar vein) I’d still likely be fine with her babysitting on occasion. I can see her wanting to be the full-time caretaker for said hypothetical child though, especially once she retires in the not-so-distant future, and the general lack of awareness that incidents like this demonstrate make me worried about the impact that long-term continual exposure could have on our child.

          • ElisabethJoanne

            Thanks for responding. That all makes sense.

  • http://gardenvarietycomics.com Dani

    I am very excited to share that my husband (it feels so awesome calling him that!) and I got married 4 weeks ago and just came back from our 2 1/2 week trip to Iceland! Our wedding with off without a hitch thanks to all the amazing people that helped. A storm hit RIGHT as everyone was inside, seated with dinner, which then turned into A DOUBLE RAINBOW. It was magic. We are now regretting ever getting back onto the plane to the US- Iceland was incredible. It’s gorgeous, otherworldly, and the people are just as incredible. We started joking about finding jobs and an apartment there, and now we’re seriously researching it! The culture shock coming back into the US has proven difficult since we found so much joy in the fjords. Also, the food. OMG the FOOD. Vegetarians, don’t be wary! The seafood is to die for, the ingredients are fresh- hell, even the gas station sandwiches were tasty! Thanks to jet-lag, we’re totally going to sleep the whole weekend, haha!

    I just wanted to share our joy with all you lovely people :)

    • Caitlin_DD

      Iceland sounds amazing. I hope you’ll keep us updated on if you decide to move!

    • vegankitchendiaries

      JOY!!

    • LondonSarah

      Ooh, we’ve been looking at going to Iceland this year; every photo I see is AMAZING!

    • aldeka

      OMG Iceland YES.

      Fiancé and I vacationed there back in March; A+++ would visit again. Hell, we’d MOVE there. Right there with you.

    • meghan

      amazing dani! my fiance & I are planning our late september honeymoon to Iceland right now! any recommendations? we are planning to utilize air b&b for most of our lodging, but any suggestions on food/things to see are so appreciated!

  • Caitlin_DD

    Jumping down quickly to say Meg, that photo is HOT.

    • Meg Keene

      Thank youuuuu!

    • vegankitchendiaries

      Maddie too! Fluro-fierce!!

      • Maddie Eisenhart

        <3

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

      And those FLOWERS!

  • Lib

    I have never gotten to Happy Hour this early so I thought I would comment. I got married 7 weeks ago and turned 30 three days ago. This year has been one of the toughest of my life: a few family deaths, the worst job I have ever had, and tons of family drama over wedding planning. I have survived it (mostly) intact. My last day at work is in 3 days. I don’t have new job yet but I have a cushion and my husband and I are going to ride it out for a bit. I am looking forward to reclaiming my life and my passions.

    • Lib

      Also, leaving on our honeymoon finally in two weeks!

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

      I, too, am looking forward to reclaiming my life and my passions. Being married is liberating- like staking out your own land to call your own and now you can make whatever you want. I had a really rough year as well and I’m ready to take it back! :) congrats to you!

    • Sarah McClelland

      I hope this is eloquently me in 5 months. Lib, you inspire! Have soo much honeymoon fun!

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

    We got married on June 7th and just got back from Costa Rica on Wednesday!! It’s so surreal. I can’t believe the wedding is over. I want to relive it again and again..having everyone there together in a big love-fest celebration. I seriously wouldn’t change a thing. It my favorite night ever…totally dreamy. I had no clue how anything would come together, was so nervous it wouldn’t look good or cute or “work” and everything ended up being so seamless and just magical. It’s so weird coming back here and being on this site but MARRIED now. Like, been there, done that. Wow, can’t believe I have crossed that threshold. Anyway, had to share! For any of you in the throes of planning….DON’T WORRY. All the little things we worried about beforehand turned to glitter dust and the wedding took the reigns…it all comes out in the wash and it will be beautiful.

    • vegankitchendiaries

      Can everyone getting married this summer promise to come back and drop a “EVERYTHING WILL BE OK” message on the Happy Hour thread? I’m finding it all hugely calming.

      Congrats, Catherine!!

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

        thank you! and YES seriously it will be better than OK. I was the laziest wedding planner ever. I totally resonated with Lauren’s post today – all the sudden we were three weeks out and I was like what the fuckkkk how is this going to happen, will there actually be a wedding?? but there was seriously nothing to worry about. people want to help – consider it handled. you don’t want to miss out on experiencing the transition and ritual by worrying over planning details…for me, less is sometimes more. we focused on like two key things (decor/vision) wise and mother nature did the rest. and people do the rest. :) you will be great!!

      • malkavian

        I got married two summers ago, but I’ll throw in an “Everything will be ok” anyway.

        Besides, I think wedding planning is a little like theater productions in that if something goes awry, unless it’s really huge and obvious, no one is going to realize but the people putting the thing on. So basically, unless something ridiculous happens you’ll be fine and if something ridiculous DOES happen, it’ll be a story for later.

    • laurasmash

      Hooray! Congrats!!!

    • Megan

      I’ve been thinking of you! How were the places you stayed at in Costa Rica? We still haven’t booked our trip yet but need to like, now.

  • InTheBurbs

    Closed on house – moved into house – wife throws out her back – epic rainstorm hits MN – basement has water. I know this crap happens…trying to roll with it…trying…

    • LondonSarah

      Wine. Wine will help you here. Or chocolate. Or of course both.

    • vegankitchendiaries

      BOO.

    • Lisa

      Seriously…this rain? Needs to stop soon. Especially for the sake of your basement.

  • vegankitchendiaries

    I am so recovered from the wedding blues and now letting my always-anxious, always-fretting brain relax. We are officially a month out! (3 weeks before family gets here!)

    I made the most CRAZY good table numbers yesterday out of glitter card stock, modge podge, and bbq skewers from the dollar store. Srsly. A pinterest dream! My sweetheart finally ordered a ring off an etsy seller just over the border in Seattle who promises to get it to us in time. We only have a few things left on the to do list so my asshole is finally starting to unclench and I should generally be a lot more fun to be around.

    Happy Friday, dudes!

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

      ahahah love the asshole line. and your crafts sound awesome and i am green with happy-envy :)

      • vegankitchendiaries

        I’ve always felt really happy that APW seems to be a curse word “safe space”. :)

    • Ariel

      Ooh, can we see a picture of the fabulous table numbers?

      • vegankitchendiaries

        I was totally waiting to be asked. #guilty #anyexcuseforahumblebrag

        I’ll upload later on! ;)

        • Lawyerette510

          I nearly posted “Where are pics?” but then I thought I should scroll down and see if someone else asked first, so to second that: yes please on the pics! And 3 weeks until people start arriving!!!! I’m so excited for you!

          • vegankitchendiaries

            Cheers! <3 <3

      • vegankitchendiaries

        TAAAA DAAAAA!!!! Dollar store brilliance! BHLDN charges $7 PER NUMBER for these… #practicallysmug

        • Ragnhild

          I gasped! Glitter is awesome. If I hadnt already made mine, this might have had to happen at our wedding too ;)

        • Ariel

          Oooooooh I am in LOVE with those! If my wedding wasn’t in seven days and I didn’t already have table numbers, I’d totally be doing those! Gold glitter is one of my “colors”.

          • vegankitchendiaries

            Thanks everyone for indulging me :)

            And, Ariel, I thought I was the only woman in the world who was cool enough to make ‘gold glitter’ a wedding colour… We’re goldie and teal here!

          • Ariel

            Nice! We’re gold glitter, white, and bright colors haha. Basically I described our colors to anyone who asked as summer.

          • River

            Ariel and vegankitchendiaries: gold glitter is one of my colors too :-) We’re doing gold and deep violet!! Yay!

          • vegankitchendiaries

            Rad!!! We should just start sharing pictures of ALL OF THE THINGS. What’s the famous APW saying again? You won’t remember what your wedding FELT like but what it LOOKED like? Yeah, something like that…

          • River

            HAH yes, that’s totally it – exactly! ;-)

        • scw

          these look great!

    • River

      I just love this. Pictures please??

      BTW, thanks again for recommending the curlformers a while back. I finally got around to ordering a trial pack and they just arrived! Can’t wait to try them :-)

      • vegankitchendiaries

        I have been trying them with mixed results. (I bought the cheap, knock-off kind of curlformers off amazon.) I forget your hair-type (did you mention? I’m biracial and I’d say I was between 3b and 3c) but I’ve done a few trials and curls seem to be a bit fluffy when they come out. I’ve tried some cheap drugstore brand curling creams/gels as well as lotta body setting lotion but I never look like the beautiful Blaque Barbie girl in the video!! I’ve still got time for a few more efforts though so I haven’t given up hope of them working eventually!!

        Note: Don’t even try to sleep in these things. Especially if you’re working the next day.

        • Guest

          I have more type 2 b/c hair. I have been incredibly impressed by davines curl moisturizer mousse. It is not cheap, though. I’m still annoyed that I ended up having to have a hairstylist (out of town wedding in out of the way location) who straightened my hair, coated it in a bunch of stuff, and the fake-curled it. WTH.

          • vegankitchendiaries

            This is exactly what my fiance is trying to convince me is a GREAT idea… (Why??)

          • River

            :-( That makes me sad

          • vegankitchendiaries

            He’s just an unknowing gringo but he’s like, “Don’t girls use curling irons? Can’t you just do that?” My fault for asking him too many “HOW SHOULD MY HAIR LOOK” questions. :)

          • River

            HAHA ;-) To be fair, I am guilty of using a curling iron (5/8″) to “fix” my bangs/top layer curls for special occasions – even though I know it is hair ruining and means my bangs will look gross for like a week after. *hangs head in shame*

        • River

          I didn’t mention, but we have the same hair type! Rockin’ that biracial 3b/c mix. I got the trial kit of the short ones to use on my bangs. I’m gonna try them tonight, though hopefully I won’t need to sleep on them ;-) Have you ever read the book “Curly Girl?” I use clips when drying my hair as she suggests in that book, so I’m not afraid of any scalp discomfort!

          As far as gel, I spend far too much $$ on Deva Curl extra strength hair gel…that, combined with their “set it free” humidity spray, is a lifesaver in the summer.

          • vegankitchendiaries

            Still stuck in Friday’s happy hour… maybe FOREVER!

            Curly hair + gold glitter 4 lyf!!! How’s that Deva Curl gel working for you? SunkissAlba (of curlformers video fame) uses it as well. Does it give you cruchies at all?

            I should also check out that book. This year, at 30, I’ve been trying to figure out how my hair “works”. It’s been an interesting process…

          • River

            Happy Hour is EVERY HOUR!!!

            I love DevaCurl gel :-) Yes, it crunchies – but it is supposed to. If you let it dry without touching it, it forms a sort of “cast” and then you shake it out and the cruchies disappear.

            Figuring out how your hair works is sort of like an ongoing experiment with me…That book was a big part of my hair journey, I hope you like it!

  • ART

    Wedding is one week from tomorrow. I’m so excited it literally hurts – my back, neck, and shoulders are so tense. Last night, inspired by the wedding makeup post, I bought Maybelline Baby Skin primer, a new bronze eyeliner and eyeshadow palette (new color for me), waterproof mascara (thanks for the Full n Soft rec, ladies), and this weird scented Revlon nail polish in “lavender soap” – love the color, meh on the “scent.” I think my simple wedding makeup look is going to be pretty easy and work well. In the spirit of getting all girly, I also started treating the tips of my hair with styling oil – I’ve been growing it out and the ends juuuust started to get a little flurfy on me, but I don’t have time to see a hairdresser before we leave for our wedding trip ON MONDAY!

    YAY!

    • Caitlin_DD

      I love that Revlon scented nail polish (which I bought because the bottle was cute). It’s absurd. I did have fun telling people to sniff my fingernails (in a deliberately deadpan way of course). Also, eeep, congratulations! One week!

      • ART

        Yeah, the bottle is totally cute. It’s a great color, too! Very subtle but still a *color* and it totally goes with my dress (purple sash) – it’s just heavy on the “soap” part and lighter on the “lavender” part…coulda probably been the other way around ;)

    • Ragnhild

      Same date for me, and my body feels weird too… But I am super excited! Good luck with the make-up :) I died my eyebrows a little too dark two days ago, fingers crossed it will fade a little…

    • Lawyerette510

      One week! One week! One week!!!! Yay! It’s going to be so awesome! Try to be good to your body during this last little push. It might not be possible to get a massage (although if it is, go for it) but I found carving out just a little time for stretching in the morning and evening the days leading up to the wedding, using my trusty heat-packs at night on my neck and shoulders, and spending just a little longer under the hot shower really helped and felt like little indulgences but were really needed.

      GOOD LUCK!

    • vegankitchendiaries

      You might not be checking in much in the next little while… GOOD LUCK, ARTIE! x

  • anon.E

    Urgh. So our first month properly TTC ended today, with cramps, a dropping temperature and tears. We had the timing spot on and I was so sure. And so wrong. I guess this is how it goes, right? Learn to let go of controlling a situation, and allow it to be what it will be?

    Silver lining – it’s Friday, so I’m reaching for the chilled white wine…

    • Meg Keene

      First lesson of parenting: we control none of it.

      • anon.E

        Yep, my head knows this. I guess this is lesson 1 in accepting it!

    • emilyg25

      My mantra for 11 months: I am cultivating patience. Repeat, repeat, repeat. Not that it was that easy, but I tried to view TTC as practice for parenting. Learning to let go now will be a wonderful gift to your offspring. A friend with a sympathetic ear when you need it and a taste for distraction when you don’t is also a nice thing to have.

      ETA: I’m sorry.

      • anon.E

        Thank you. Letting go is something I know I need to work on. I also perhaps need more yoga.

    • Megera

      Ugh, that sucks. At home we say that we’re practicing for the *perfect* kid, so until we get it right we’ll have to just keep trying.

  • anonpsu

    I’m 4 months out from our wedding and I have really really bad wedding brain! I can’t stop my mind from racing over to-dos and ideas. And I haven’t procrastinated! There’s just so much involved in throwing a party for 170 people. I really really need to step away for a week or two!

    • kris

      Our wedding is in 3 weeks and there have been times throughout the year where I had to totally shut down the wedding world to regain my sanity. I think taking a break from wedding sites online was the biggest help when I started feeling overwhelmed. As much as we all love APW sometimes it’s best to get away ;-)

    • JSwen

      Do it! Step away!

      One thing I tried was to write ideas down and have *wedding day* each week to tackle these things with my fiance. It worked for a while though I’ve been lapsing lately (six weeks out!).

  • laurasmash

    I need some ideas for things to do at the wedding that aren’t dancing. My fiance really dislikes dancing and I don’t want him to hide in the corner being sad at our wedding (like he does at all my friends’ weddings while I’m dancing).
    We’re maybe thinking of having the wedding somewhere cool that our guests could take a tour of (historic site or botanical garden) but I’m not sure if that will be enough. Any ideas APW?

    • emilyg25

      Are you wedded (ha!) to the idea of an evening reception? Sometimes if you want to skip dancing, it’s easier to have a brunch or lunch wedding. People are less likely to expect dancing in the afternoon. Plus, they tend to be shorter.

      • laurasmash

        Thanks! Definitely leaning toward brunch, but one of our potential venues only does weddings after 6pm when they’re normally closed. Points in favor of the other (brunch-friendly) venue :)
        I think we are the weirdest most picky couple to try and plan a wedding in our hometown… Vegetarians who don’t dance much and don’t want to serve tons of alcohol because one of us doesn’t drink. Brunch is sounding better and better!

    • http://gardenvarietycomics.com Dani

      We had a games table and some lawn games set up outside! I was pretty distracted the whole reception, but I did see people having fun playing some games. We also had craft paper and birch-crayons on the tables for little ones (and adults!) to draw on.

      • Meg

        yeah I vote lawn games. You can even paint your own special wedding themed cornhole set. ladderball is fun too!

    • Caitlin_DD

      Board games for sure is my vote. Whatever you normally do when you hang out with friends is always a winner.

    • anonpsu

      Brunch or a cocktail/cake reception. Or do a backyard/state park picnic without a dance floor. I just attended a backyard wedding (they had a tent) but there was no place to dance so everyone just chit-chatted. It was nice.

    • Nell

      I second board games and lawn games. We considered having our reception at the local science museum that would allow us to play with all the exhibits. A friend had her wedding at a YMCA summer camp, and the entertainment was all during the day, pre-wedding (swimming, a rock wall, a boat ride) – and then everyone changed and went to the wedding (they did elect to have dancing, but they had a bonfire at the same time).

      What do you and your fiance like doing together? Apple picking? A hike in the woods? I don’t think that there is a rule that you have to have a certain amount of entertainment at your wedding.

    • JSwen

      My cousin had her reception on the beach with a bonfire and sing-alongs (which totally fits her and her husband but would not work for everyone…). Is there something you both love and you could share during the time that wedding receptions traditionally turn into a dance party? Like movies? Could you set up a private movie showing? Etc…

    • Jane

      Neither of us like DJ/nightclub-esque dancing, but we do enjoy nerdy community things. Despite only having gone contra-dancing once, we thought it would be fun and hired a contra dance band and a caller (they were a bargain at $500) and had simple contra dancing at our wedding. Almost everybody participated. It lasted about an hour. It was a blast.

  • Shelly Shore

    We got married!! The wedding was on June 8th and to be totally honest, I don’t remember any of it. It was a total blur! It’s almost annoying–all that work and stress for an experience I don’t even remember! Then a honeymoon in Jamaica that was spectacular, and we got back to the US on Sunday. I didn’t post much here during the wedding planning process, but all the lurking totally kept me sane (for a given definition of sane…). So thank you all for writing awesome articles and awesome comments and just being pretty fabulous in general!!

    • JSwen

      While it’s fresh, can I ask if you would have done anything differently to be more present or retain more memories of your day?

      Also, I’m a visual person so I know for me, I’ll forget things happened and then it will all come back to me when I see the beautiful pictures. Fingers crossed for you!

      • Shelly Shore

        Good question! I’m also really visual, so I think I would have asked a few of my friends to snap some pictures during the day and text them to me before we left for the honeymoon so I had things to look at. Looking back, I do remember a lot of bits and pieces and I know I had an amazing time, but as a whole the full day is pretty blurry. I know once we get our professional pics back it’ll be memory lane all day, though. :)

  • Anon for this

    Work rant: my immediate supervisor is on vacation and I’m stepping in for her, but I’m supposed to have a half day today because I’m on call this weekend. So my division manager is supposed to step in for ME, but she’s being a total martyr about it, but all the reasons she gives for why it’s so hard for her to take over for half a day boil down to her own bad management. The big one is that she’s added a really low-level task to her daily work, and Friday is particularly intense for that low-level task. She does have a lot of work today! But it’s ridiculous that she’s making it difficult for me to take my time off and is in other ways rearranging our entire workflow on a regular basis because she has refused to hire a freelancer to do this task (the company definitely has the money to hire a freelancer for a few hours a week so that the division manager can be available to do higher-level tasks). So I feel really stressed and guilty, but then also resentful because I know I shouldn’t have been made to feel that way.

    • Sparkles

      That sucks.

      I’m in Friday mood which is when I tell work to f*ck it. So my advice would be to deal with her and her poor management and planning on Monday! Enjoy your weekend! It’s supposed to be lovely weather here.

  • Caitlin_DD

    Okay, that article on tuition costs is excellent and intense. I too took on a huge amount of debt in an attempt to get a degree from a more prestigious institute. Well, it ended up being so expensive that here I am with my pile of debt and a degree from the local state university instead. I’m not sure it was worth it. I think her point about not everyone needing to go to college is spot-on. Not everyone wants to go to college, not everyone can, not everyone should. For the rising number of us that do attend, our education is valued less because there are more of us. It seems a Master’s is the new B.A. What next? Everyone needs a Master’s, then a Ph.D? At what point will that make things easier for people just trying to make a decent living? We’ll all be hugely in debt, and undervalued, and that is not the future I want to see. /end rant.

    • Lauren from NH

      This is something I keep ruminating on since graduating. T has tons of debt, I have somewhat less, but it’s ridickulous (I can never spell this word!). We are doing better now but for the first few years finding any kind of shit job was a huge struggle. It surprises me that every article that comes out still says you are better off going to college than not. I think it is much more complicated than that. Another thing is, I think there is a big problem with not lining up degrees with future jobs. Neither T or I are using our degrees per say though we are both in jobs that require one to be a college graduate. Not that the only things worth studying are ones that are profitable but I think career paths, prospects, and connections should be a million times more intentional. I could go on and on. I think the rate of graduation like she mentions, also needs reexamining. Potentially signing up for five years or six of tuition instead of four should be factored in to what school you can afford.

      • Caitlin_DD

        Yes, this. both FH and I have history degrees. I’m currently unemployed, and I can’t really imagine a job I’d do with this degree to be honest…The one history-realted job I held was while earning that degree. In retrospect, though I love history, I may have been better off with a business degree or some such thing… FH wants to be a professor, so his continuing trek through higher education makes particular sense, and he is currently debt-free (ironically). If he wanted to do something else though… I’d encourage him to stop at the master’s. Not to say he can’t ever have a different career path, but there’s a difference between planning on it, and circumstances demanding it.

        • Lauren from NH

          Yeah I wonder if some kind of partial, dual degree system would be better. So you could do business and study a specialized area of history (for example). So then we don’t lose knowedge for knowledge’s sake and the process of seminars etc (you know awesome liberal arts stuff!) but then you also have specialized career applicable training.

          • Caitlin_DD

            That is brilliant. Why did I never think of this while still in school?

          • Kirstin

            Many campuses do offer this, where students can create their own major/combo of majors. I think the key is connecting students with the academic advisors that can help them figure out how to do this. And the students need to be willing to put in the time/work to navigate the different requirements of studying multiple programs.

    • Kirstin

      I work at a university and really struggle with this. I want students to have less debt. I want the college experience to remain accessible. I also need students to continue attending, or my job becomes irrelevant.

      One of the challenges that I see is that students come in academically under-prepared for college, and without direction. The goal was to get here. They haven’t thought past that because their whole life, the message has been “get to college”. And without clearly defined career goals, some may have been better off waiting a year or two, or starting at a community college first. Many don’t end up staying, and they are really defeated when they leave and won’t likely return. So perhaps the need is for greater discernment earlier in high school of career goals? Have a plan before you start?

      But I also feel like the average 18 year old doesn’t have any clue about their plans for their future, or if they do, they typically change them once they have gotten onto the college campus and have been able to explore all of the other things that are out there. The number of students that come in pre-med and pre-law is overwhelming. But those are the careers they have heard of and aspire to. I am now in a field that I wouldn’t have known existed if I hadn’t attended college. And my bachelor’s degree has nothing to do with what I’m doing now. So perhaps the discernment is an important outcome of the college experience.

      • KC

        I wish that the last six months of high school (when: who learns anything, really?) was “here is exposure to tons of different career options” – but by that point, most people are already locked in to a particular college anyway.

        But yes, the math, English, and study skills of college entrants seem to be getting worse and worse, even as some test-prep-skills go up. Not helpful to anyone.

        • Kirstin

          Yes. That would be fantastic. College preparation within the high schools should not just be academic preparation. Although more of that is needed too.

          • Caitlin_DD

            Yes. A little more expansion on what a job can be. It doesn’t have to be the 9-5 desk job anymore, and I think high school students don’t know that, and can get a little downtrodden because of it, so they go for what will hopefully be the highest paying 9-5.

      • Caitlin_DD

        Absolutely. My dad has been a professor my whole life, so I feel this issue from both sides. I think college is a fantastic, life changing experience… for those who are ready. Others will not “get it” until many years after. And I strongly agree about 18 being so, so young. I started with a major in Japan Studies. So I could ideally move to Japan and be an artist or museum curator or…something. Then a casual love for history was inflamed by my classes, and in the end I had nothing about Japan in my upper-level courses or thesis. It’s such a difficult topic, I know there is no right answer for everyone.

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

        This is an excellent point. I was lucky, I found my future career at 13, and I spent my high school years in programs that gave me exposure to engineering and helped me solidify that’s what I wanted to do. College helped me whittle down that goal even further but I would have been totally lost if I hadn’t had a clear direction on what I wanted to do when I started college.

      • ElisabethJoanne

        I went to strange schools until law school (high school class of 13 students; college class of 62 in a Great Books program), so I’m not representative, but I think high schools and colleges could do a better job of exposing students to careers that aren’t one word. We know about firemen and police officers (ok, 2 words), lawyers, doctors, teachers, etc. from the time we’re about 4 years old. In elementary school we learn about architects and engineers. But I didn’t know about “systems analysts” or “public relations representatives” or “third-party marketer of hedge funds” until I was a lawyer. Students need more exposure to even the 9-5 jobs.

        • ART

          I remember being in college and thinking, I know there are lots of jobs out there, but what do people actually DO ALL DAY, from 9 to 5? What are they DOING sitting at those desks? It seems silly in hindsight now that I know exactly what I do all day at my job, but it was really hard for me to understand what the day-to-day WORK was that those jobs entailed.

          • ElisabethJoanne

            Yes. Exactly. I still don’t understand a lot of multi-word job titles. I read about “projects” and “proposals” and “teams,” and I wonder what kind of data they’re analyzing, and what sort of projects they’re proposing, and how on earth you do that with a team. [I was never one for group projects in school.] Like, I know what I do all day – I read stuff, maybe statutes, maybe case law, maybe evidence (business records, emails), and then I write about it – a motion, a memo, a letter. And I know something of how research and development for tangible things like medicine and cars, and even software, works (because I went on a field trip to a pharmaceutical company in high school and actually talked to those people). And my husband has told me a bit about how investment banking and accounting work as practical matters, but there are still so many desk jobs that fascinate/bewilder me.

          • Astounded

            Which desk jobs in particular? And @SarahE….

            I’m the Principal Engineer for a medical device company. I definitely work on projects and teams. On a day to day basis….here are things I might do…(I normally work 8a-7p):

            – Communicate with Executive Mgmt about upcoming projects (what product lines are we focusing on next? Why? What exists on the market already? Where will we sell it? When will we launch it? What will it be for, what does it look like)
            – Record the minutes for the above meeting
            – Create a model of said medical device in CAD software. Maybe create several designs. Revise the design. Prototype it, wait for it to come in. This is both creative and technical. I have to know what I’m making, how it will be made in real-life (design for manufacturability), how that affects cost, where it would be likely to fail, how to model those features….
            – Create a technical drawing and figure out what the critical dimensions are, and what tolerance you can have (can it measure anywhere from 1.000″ to 1.010″, or should it be 1.000″ to 1.005″?). Is that dimension even inspectable?
            – Send for quote
            – Find vendor
            – Develop project schedule, break down tasks
            – Test our devices. Mechanically, are they strong enough? Are they biocompatible? Sterilizable?
            – Look at parts that are not passing inspection and make decision (scrap them? use as is?)
            – Produce all sorts of design files at my computer….like analyzing risk
            – Communicate with my own employees about their tasks (maybe they’re working on a model, or writing me a report about a part that broke in the field). Review their tasks. Discuss with them to help them learn. Review again. Pass to the quality dept.
            – Receive calls from vendors about our parts
            – Review our documents for audit preparedness
            – Attend a training/webinar on a medical device engineering topic
            – Validate the process through which a part is made. Are we making what we are intending to make? Does it do what we want it to?
            – Work with our sales reps if they have a problem in the field.

            THIS is the kind of thing I wish I knew about in high school.

          • ART

            exactly!

          • Astounded

            I hope that helped ;)

            As a little kid I continually asked my dad what he “did”. I understood he was a subsea engineer…but….what did he DO all day?!?

            I think that there DOES need to be increased exposure in high school to actual day-to-day adults with jobs, how they got there, why they chose it. And it can totally be jobs that don’t require a degree. (Although I will argue that it keeps your doors open and it would be bad to NOT go just because you don’t know what you will do yet.)

          • ElisabethJoanne

            That was great. My husband and I volunteer for an organization that has both a Volunteer Coordinator and a Volunteer Services Manager, or some such. He’s in the office all the time and still doesn’t understand the difference. We wanted to send a basic literature packet to a friend recently, and I was surprised that task went to the Executive Director – like isn’t there some non-executive that can take one hand-out from each pile and stick it in an envelope? But apparently the ED handles the most basic outreach as well as community-wide outreach, like talking to press or developing materials.

          • Sarah E

            This continues to be my primary question about most brain/computer-use jobs in office settings. What do you actually DO?? Definitely part of my thought process in finding jobs and getting my yoga instructor certification. I know what yoga instructors do. I don’t know how people sit down in their office, boot up the computer, and. . .decide what to do for the next eight hours?

        • Megera

          It’s funny that you mention learning about architects as a kid here: I’m one, and I went to school with a TON of folks who had been dreaming of being architects since they started playing with lego. And most of them? HATED it. Hated school, didn’t like design, didn’t want to stick with the (very rigorous and expensive) schooling. Me? I have a degree in History and wanted a desk job where I can be creative. Turns out that to be a really good architect, you have to study tons of other stuff. Also, about 55% of my high school graduating class became teachers, I think mostly because it was the only job they could really wrap their heads around coming out of said high school.

          • ElisabethJoanne

            Architecture sticks in my mind because there was a brief period of elementary school where I wanted to be an architect. I was good at math and liked to draw. And my husband should have become an architect. He loves architecture (and could handle all the engineering and math), but he couldn’t draw. Had he pursued it, he would have begun right when computers took over the drafting.

            My mother’s a doctor, and when she talks to little kids about being a doctor, she always tells them how much school and math are involved.

            Despite the resulting upper-middle-class upbringing, I didn’t know many lawyers growing up, and I’m very grateful to the handful that brought me into their offices and let me observe them at work before I applied to law school.

            And these are just the one-word job titles – and outsiders can be very surprised by what we actually do. But then you get someone like Astounded (thanks so much for that!) or my husband, who is a third-party marketer, and it can be hard to explain to even other professionals, let alone kids.

          • Kayjayoh

            I work at a college, for the biology and the “physical sciences” departments. The school has a nursing program as well, the number of student in or trying to get in to the nursing program who are barely clawing their way through the necessary chemistry and basic biology courses is astounding. It is at the point where on of the major advisors has started a web page on pre-health careers to highlight things other than pre-med and pre-nursing, so that the ones trying to be nurses but can’t handle the chemistry etc can see some options on a slightly different path, which still involve helping people/

    • Astounded

      The Duke article does NOT click with me. I will give her this: college is [perhaps too] expensive, and it is NOT FOR EVERYONE. BUT.

      I hated her article. It was too…victimized. Whiny. Entitled. Maybe I’m just really sensitive to this topic since I personally bowed out of the top program in the nation at $50K a year, for cost reasons. I didn’t go because I couldn’t afford it without taking on massive debt, and I chose to be free of that. I made the sacrifice. (And I still secured an excellent first job despite my “less prestigious” school.) She chose a brand-name school and is paying brand-name price and somehow seems shocked that it’s inflated like that.

      “Faced with either a degree from a less prestigious school or decades of crushing debt, a few hours of work on a porn set revealed itself to be the best way to avoid getting screwed.”

      “To make matters worse, my income now makes me ineligible for the $13,000 in aid I was receiving.”

      CHANCES ARE (AS A DUKE STUDENT) THAT YOU ARE BRIGHT ENOUGH TO WIN MERIT SCHOLARSHIPS TO STATE UNIVERSITIES. And while I understand why the second bit deserved a mention, I’m sure she is also bright enough to understand how her income affects her aid and taxes and more. Is it unfair that only the super-rich or the super-in-debt can afford private universities? I guess so, but we have options too. Stop pretending otherwise.

      • Caitlin_DD

        I certainly get what you’re saying. However, I think she has a point about income and eligibility in the middle class. I’ve been in the same boat as her. And sure, she probably is bright enough to win those merit scholarships…but what if she wants her degree from Duke? Like it or not, a name like that on your degree can make a difference (which is a whole separate issue) but that doesn’t mean it needs to be so astronomically expensive. Personally, I’d rather live in an average dorm room, not have brand new stadiums and sports facilities all the dang time, and in exchange learn from better paid professors at a lower cost overall. It’s great to provide these amenities, but college is not a resort or sports camp, it’s SCHOOL.

        • aldeka

          Also in the same boat. The especially frustrating thing is that for most schools, you don’t know what you’re getting into when you’re starting to look at schools, or even when you first start attending one! You don’t know how much tuition will go up. You don’t know what your FAFSA will end up giving you each year. You don’t know how your own income will play in, or how your parents’ assets are arranged will make a difference in your eligibility.

          Middle class students are told to ignore the “sticker price,” because “oh but the financial aid is really good”, but then that turns out to be a gigantic lie.

          • Caitlin_DD

            THIS. I had NO idea what I had gotten into when I went to college, no matter how carefully my parents and advisors and financial aid services explain it. I just couldn’t wrap my head around that kind of figure vs. wages/salaries/interest/earning potential. NOW I get it. But it’s too late now.

          • Astounded

            Honestly, I think that it’s more of an “informed consumer” thing – I was in the same position. I was lucky because I could go the merit scholarship route…but what if not? But, that’s not the focus of her piece. It’s more “college costs too much”. Solution: don’t choose a college that costs as much.

            State (AND THERE ARE SUPERB STATE UNIVERSITIES, BELLE!!!!) tuition: $9-15K
            Duke: $45K
            Vanderbilt: Full ride

            I find it insulting to the middle class that she releases something like this when she had so many options. So victimized.

          • Caitlin_DD

            Fair enough!

        • Astounded

          I was in the same boat too. I COMPLETELY get the whole financial aid lie. My parents fell into the same bracket (and oh, by the way, they hadn’t finalized their divorce when my FAFSA was due, further screwing us over). BUT. “What if she wants her degree from Duke?”

          What happens is that she needs to be able to pay for it. I don’t care how she does it. I find it hard to pity someone who got a scholarship to Vanderbilt (A VERY PRESTIGIOUS SCHOOL) and instead wanted to go to Duke and is now complaining that college is too pricey. If you can’t afford it, don’t buy it. Make it work some other way – she had solutions. See excerpts from her interviews. (Also to clarify, I’m not raging at you…I’m really just furious about the tone she uses in the article.)

          http://www.realcleareducation.com/articles/2014/02/25/blue_devil_the_duke_porn_star_and_college_costs_885.html

          “So why Duke, of all places? Why didn’t you choose a less costly institution?

          I was offered scholarships at a lot of places. I was offered full tuition at Vanderbilt, for example, and was accepted into USC, Wellesley, Barnard, Pepperdine, some others. But I visited Duke last year on Blue Devil Days [Duke's programmed weekend for admitted freshmen], and I remember walking into the Duke Chapel — I’m a very spiritual person — and just feeling an energy that told me, “This is the place you need to be.” And I felt something in the chapel in that moment that told me that I needed to be here and go to Duke and it was something that would be an amazing experience for me.

          Would you still do porn if Duke cost less?

          No. If Duke had given me sufficient financial aid, if they had given me the proper resources and made college affordable for my family, I would not have done porn. I would’ve just gotten through college and been fine. The financial burden that Duke put on me was absolutely enormous and insurmountable with the resources that I had.”

          I see SO MUCH woe-is-me and “it felt magical and therefore i just had to go there”. I got the warm fuzzies walking onto two private universities that accepted me….but it ultimately wasn’t enough to make a decision on. I just see so little of her taking responsibility for her decisions (all of them). Cost-benefit analysis. It wasn’t worth $50-60K a year to me. It is to some people, and they decide to take on debt or work hard or whatever.

          • Caitlin_DD

            Aaaaah. I was unaware of her numerous other choices, just read her one article. That makes it different. I think people make college out to be so magical that students miss the fact that, like any other major life choice, there are decisions and sacrifices to be made. I only had 2 choices, the free state university, and my private school. I thought I could make the private school work. I couldn’t, so I left. I wish it hadn’t cost so much, but yeah, I wasn’t gonna stick around for magical fuzzies. It was worth it until the point that it wasn’t.

          • Astounded

            100% this. It’s such a different story. Like you said, there’s a lot of “best time of your life!!!!” about college, and I think you REALLY feel the pressure to pick the best place you can get into even if it’s out of your realm, because you don’t get do-overs with undergrad. The beautiful brick dorms! The gorgeous football stadium! The prestige! Magic fuzzies!

            But….schools don’t focus on the consequences enough, nor break it down in a way that students understand when they’re deciding.

            I know it’s a different beast, but this to me is SORT of like someone (let’s say middle class) saying “weddings cost $30K! that is an outrage! how can an average person afford $2K for a dress!” or “diamonds are such a ripoff!”

            Because…weddings don’t HAVE to cost $30K as we’ve all seen. Engagement rings don’t HAVE to be diamond. There are choices available that are perfectly okay that do not have the same price tag, so rather than complaining that people over charge for wedding cake, let’s remember that the grocery store sells cake at $50 a sheet. You don’t HAVE to pay that much for all your family members to gather. And it’s not wrong if you do, but you can’t pass the buck for your decision to someone else. I also have to argue it’s not entirely unfair for a private university to charge whatever the hell they please, just like an in-demand venue can charge a ridiculous amount, because I’m a pretty huge supply and demand person.

            Now, when sheet cakes go up to $500 a sheet and state tuition goes to $50K, THEN I will start raising hell.

          • Astounded

            It’s kind of interesting what she says in an interview in March, which isn’t mentioned at all in the Times article:

            “If I could give advice for any person who was choosing college, I would honestly advise them to go to a better school, you know? Or, a cheaper school, you know what I mean? …… The benefits of not being in debt far outweigh the benefits of having gone to maybe a better school…”

            http://www.foxnews.com/entertainment/2014/03/18/co-ed-porn-star-belle-knox-has-first-year-at-duke-paid-for-wishes-team-well-in/

            It’s a shame, because I was pretty behind her up until that last bit that was just so disconnected from things she’s said before. And…I have to wonder, if we got a “complete separation of school and state at all levels”, would I have even been able to afford my university?

      • malkavian

        Just because you get a merit scholarship doesn’t mean it covers everything, or even close. Also, most government aid comes in the form of loans, as opposed to simply reducing the cost.I went to a state school, with merit scholarships. I still have debt-around 30k, maybe a bit over. That number represents government loans for 4 years, and outside loans for two (I covered the first two out of savings) AFTER my scholarship. Sure, I could have lived at home instead of on campus-but part of the reason I WENT to college was to get away from a toxic family environment and I’m fairly certain I would have killed myself if I had to stay there.

        • Astounded

          While this is a totally fair point, my issue is with her specific situation. Who she is as an author. The way she writes it. The opening line is “let’s start paying attention to what got me here: artificially inflated demand for college that pushes tuitions sky high”

          …But she loses a lot of credibility in the fact that she’s a very bright middle class student who could have afforded a university. College, in general, WAS affordable – it’s just that Duke isn’t. Duke is not an average college nor will it ever really be such. She tries to break down her Duke tuition, but the piece seems to focus on “colleges” as a whole. It would mean more to me coming from a public school, which to me is more of a basic right to attend. Going somewhere like Duke is a privilege, not everybody gets that privilege (either they can’t afford it or can’t get in or both), and you pay the price. What “got her here”, in large amount, was her own decision to attend Duke.

          I’m also not saying everyone should be graduating debt-free, and it’s their fault if they aren’t. In this particular case, though, she has a number of factors that she can control, chief among them the decision of what uni to attend. Kind of like how she mentions that her job now makes her ineligible for $13K in aid and so her bill has gone up. One would hope that she did the math in advance and still figured out she’d come out on top.

    • JSwen

      I really hope things change soon or the next generation is going to be even worse off. Then add in that social security funds are dwindling… no bueno.

      • aldeka

        I kind of want to make my future kids pick a “blue collar” skill/craft (car repair, barbering, etsy crafting, etc) and learn or do that for a year or two post-high school, and THEN have them go to college. Both to give them some experience in the working world and time to mature and as a “backup skill” in case their chosen “white collar” profession doesn’t work out/ends up in extended unemployment…

  • anon, llc

    The Alt Summit info is interesting and well-timed for me today…my baby family is looking at starting *two* new businesses post-wedding (one tiny, one not so tiny and needing a loan etc.) It’s been a big source of pre-wedding stress that we haven’t been talking about much outside the two of us, but can start doing so soon. When we return from the wedding and honeymoon, there will be much research and work to do!

  • http://www.wrightremedy.blogspot.com/ Addie

    .You guys! I finally finished my practice paper flower bouquet and it does not suck! Now I just need to do it in our actual wedding colors.

    • Jessica

      I love paper flowers! Any photos of your practice bouquet?

      • http://www.wrightremedy.blogspot.com/ Addie

        Thanks. It’s definitely labor intensive. I really liked the idea of paper flowers but like more natural (read: not oragami) flowers. We are getting married in the dead of winter 1500 miles from home so crepe paper flowers would not hold up to travel as well as these have turned out.

    • Caitlin_DD

      My jaw dropped. That is gorgeous!

    • http://www.wrightremedy.blogspot.com/ Addie
      • Emily Ardoin

        These are beautifullllll! Any links for tutorials?!

        • http://www.wrightremedy.blogspot.com/ Addie

          Here’s where I found my inspiration. I found her directions to be… incomplete. If you want to attempt them I’d be happy to tell you my alternate (and somewhat more thorough) methods. To be honest it’s not hard exactly, but you should be reasonably crafty or a good baker. It mostly just takes patience.

          http://offbeatbride.com/2014/03/travel-friendly-bouquet

    • Nina B

      This is the practice??? I say, that looks beautiful and you should just use that one!

      • Erin

        Thanks! This one is definitely in the lineup. I am arranging them on mirrors with electric tealights in glittered wine goblets and sequined votes with extra sequins and silk flower petals scattered around them. I can’t wait to get my bridal brigade over for a sangria and glitter party!

    • Sarah McClelland

      Those are lovely! Yaaaay you!

    • Lawyerette510

      Um, not only does it not suck: it’s GORGEOUS!

  • mackenzie

    ack! “To be in a place where people are talking about dolla-dolla-bills, and also passing out breastfeeding advice, means the part where pregnant ladies mention how feminist they are is almost unnecessary. Because we’re already living it.” This this this!

    • Meg Keene

      I mean, not that we all need to care about making money. But it’s so HARD in this world to want to run a business and have babies, so it’s so NICE to be in a place where it’s just understood.

      • SLG

        I would LOVE to have more about this on APW (or anywhere, frankly). This is a conversation I want to have and cannot find. For those of us who couldn’t go to Alt, please share all the insights you can!

        • Meg Keene

          What are your specific questions, or really what do you want to hear more about. Not opposed to writing about it, but need some guidance :)

          • Lauren from NH

            You have written about it before but I always want to hear about managing to stay happy and balanced while accomplishing big things and chasing down dreams. That would be the next level for me. I am doing unexciting stuff right now but I miss the challenge, at the same time I don’t want challenge at the cost of my zen and joy if that makes sense. That doesn’t relate to babies for me right now but in the future it may.

          • Meg Keene

            Cool! I’ll do my best. What did Martha Stewart say to us yesterday? I think she tried to give advice and then laughed and said, “I don’t know. How to keep balanced? You try to keep balanced, I guess.” Which is about… it.

            I never quite know how balanced I am, but having a flexible schedule makes me feel way more balanced, even though the flip side is it means I have sort of a high stakes all consuming job. But at least I can pick my kid up half an hour early if he’s having breakdowns staying later, even if that means I work half an hour after he’s in bed.

            BUT. Alt just makes it feel integrated, in a way the world does not. The message out here in the wilds tends to be you can be a good mom or a working mom (FUCKING STILL, don’t get me started). At Alt, the assumption is everyone’s working. Some women are working at their kitchen table during nap time, some women are working full time, or in some cases women are so successful their partners are now staying home with the kids. But, given that it’s Utah, a LOT of women have kids. A lot of women have more than one kid. And that’s an important part of the picture too.

  • Meg

    Happy Friday!!! Steve and I got married on Saturday and it was awesome. We made our own bouquets using the tutorial here on APW and they came out great. He came to America an immediately was a part time florist! Had so much help from family and friends. It was such a beautiful and fun day. Together at last :) So many compliments on the venue, the caterer, the cake, and the DJ (Jeff Durand with Beat Train Productions) Our photographer has already posted some pictures too!! Can’t recommend her enough http://sweetladyjanephoto.com/2014/06/20/steve-meaghan-married/

    • ART

      you look lovely! i bought the same robe for myself (white) and my bridesmaids (lavender), so now I’m excited because it looks so cute in your photos!

      • Meg

        yeah! They come in kid sizes so I got the flower girls ones too!

      • JDrives

        Where are they from? I love yours Meg, gorgeous colors! And congrats!

    • Sparkles

      Love the sparkly blue flats! You guys looked wonderful and so happy.

    • Emily

      Everything looks beautiful and happy! Congrats!

  • Nicky

    Help me decide! Do I have the wedding on a date with good weather, when my MOH will be 8.5 months pregnant and miserable? Or do I postpone it for 3 months so that she can enjoy the day (with new bub) but risk monsoon season?

    (It’s a beach wedding.)

    • Amy March

      Good weather. Or a different venue. Planning on a beach wedding in monsoon season just doesn’t work, unless you can really be okay with having it inside instead.

    • emilyg25

      I’d probably choose the good weather. But do let your MOH sit during the ceremony.

    • Ariel

      Good weather. Let her sit and understand that she might not be able to make it.

    • Sparkles

      Is it a destination wedding? If so, I agree with the good weather. People don’t want to fly to paradise to be stuck inside.

      If not, I’d still think about what else is going on in your life and other people’s lives that will factor into when you do it. Will your MOH be able to offer you more support before the little one is born? Going to a wedding with a 3month old is still going to be stressful for her. Are there important people who can make it to one date and not the other?

      • Nicky

        It’s a destination wedding, so she’ll have to drive at 8.5 months – which she does NOT want to do. If she flies, we’d have to have it even earlier. :(

    • Lawyerette510

      Yep, good weather, don’t risk a monsoon. Also, on either side of half a month before she is due or shortly after, keep in mind that she might not be able to do much/ be there etc. I don’t say that to be a debbie downer, but instead to encourage you and her to both talk about it and have realistic expectations that for some women that late in pregnancy/ early post-baby is no big deal and for others it’s a BFD.

    • swarmofbees

      I would rather be a pregnant MOH than a MOH with a three month old any day of the week. But, I would ask her what she would prefer.

    • Emily

      Those both sound kind of unpleasant for her. 8.5 months pregnant is pretty close to delivery, I don’t think I’d be comfortable making big commitments at that stage of pregnancy.

  • Lauren from NH

    Everyone saw this coming but me, we are now doing 2-3 weddings. Which feels a bit ridikulous but for us it means being able to include his big traditional Ethiopian family and seperately honor some of the cultural elements that are important to them. Of course originally we were going to do one ceremony and simple cocktail reception at our college (where we met), but due to budgetary and introversion reasons that would mean limiting the guest list. So now we are roughly thinking of hitting the courthouse and doing a BBQ reception hosted by his family, rehersal dinner next day, and college wedding following day. Anyone done or doing something like this? Also I am feeling a little horrified by the idea of the photography bill (of course I want pictures of the first moment we are legally married! and also the personally crafted ceremony at our college), it’s sounding like 2-3 days worth of pictures…gah! I am such a low key person…why?!

    • Jen

      I was on the phone with my best friend yesterday (who lives in NH) and I said “hey, I found my apw soulmate” and she said “oh wow- I did too!”… and then we found out we were both talking about you. Here is my reasoning- I grew up in Hampstead, NH and my family stills lives in the “ham” (as my husband calls it). I moved to DC four years ago. I have two adorable cats. And I have a hatred for DC traffic and a love for Dunkins. I know I sound a little bit like a stalker- however it isn’t everyday that I read a bio that sounds like I wrote it! I did try to post to what you wrote last week, but I read it too late and the comments were closed :)
      Although you can take off points for me not having anything to say about your three day wedding- except for a) it sounds tiring for you but b) fun for everyone else. Three days of photographs though is extreme- can any of the weddings be done by a friend? You may also get someone to give you a good deal on the stuff not on a Saturday- you may be able to do an hourly thing?

      • Lauren from NH

        Haha! I am super honored! We should get a drink!
        Yeah I have less than no clue about how all these pieces are going to come together, luckily his family is very experienced at doing these big gatherings so that part I don’t have to worry about. As for the photography part…I looked at few too many pretty pictures lately (local and not so local APW sponsers) and the artsy side of my brain got all crack happy lol. I am sure there is a cost friendly solution.
        Really though, I tried to do a meet up the other day and failed, it was cancelled last minute :( Hit me up whenever life isn’t too crazy! lejacoby@smcm.edu

      • Lauren from NH

        Also FYI $.99 medium iced coffees at DDs all month in MD. GO NUTS!

    • Nicky

      Uh oh… sounds like this is my future too. We don’t want two or three weddings but there are 3 countries in the mix. And yeah, I want pictures in all of them!

  • Carly

    Just moved to Minneapolis and started my new job! I think I saw a link to a facebook group for APW- minded women in Twin Cities on a Happy Hour a few months ago. Anyone know if this exists?

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

      If it does I’d love the info since I’m also in the Twin Cities!

      • Jessica

        If you need an invite (link was posted by InTheBurbs), just reply with your e-mail.

        • AK

          Can I jump in on this as well? Another Twin Cities-located APW-minded woman :)

    • InTheBurbs

      It does! It’s called Company of Friends – you should find it if you search!

      • Carly

        Thanks! Would you mind posting a link? I don’t know if it’s because I don’t have many connections in/around the cities, but fb isn’t finding it for me.

    • Acres_Wild

      Yeah! Link was just posted so I won’t post it again, but definitely come join us, we’ve done some really fun stuff. Awesome group of ladies!

    • Jessica

      yes! What is your e-mail, I’ll invite you to the Facebook group!

      • Carly

        Its carly-lintner at uiowa dot com. Thanks!

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

    Okay first things first…I wanted to share the fact that my fiance did a write up of our engagement story on HIS BLOG TOO! (I did one on mine earlier this week because I knew a lot of friends wanted to see the story + pictures, but wasn’t expecting him to write it up from his side of the story!) It’s here http://cantstoperic.com/travels-getting-engaged-on-mt-bierstadt/ if you want to see it (also links to my story in there too). Anyway, shameless plugging over. I’m just super happy we’ll always remember it from both sides since it’s written down now.

    Next, still no luck on finding/creating our own ring. I feel like this is preventing us from actually starting to plan. I want a next-summer wedding, maybe July or August, and I feel like we need to start reserving things now especially because there’s a good chance we won’t be getting married anywhere near here (beach? lake? etc). Thoughts? Also, has anyone ever had a large (I mean 200+ people) wedding on Lake Michigan?

    And finally, best for last. I mentioned a few weeks ago about wanting to quit my job. WELL. I just got offered a new job back at my alma mater (less than an hour from where we live!) to teach computer science to college students (with only a master’s degree). It is a dream job (working with all my favorite professors at my favorite university, teaching, etc.). Of course I accepted their offer. Now I am waiting to find a good time to let my boss/workplace know (which is so scary it makes me feel sick!). Anyway, I wanted to chime in with that bit of great news! The end is in sight! Thanks for all the comments back then about doing what’s right for me. Love this place.

    • ElisabethJoanne

      Congratulations on the new job! The only time I ever really shook with nervousness at my first “grown-up” job was when giving notice – but everyone was very gracious. Good luck!

    • JSwen

      I don’t know how comfortable you are with designing your ring over email but our rings took a very long time to find and we ended up at equinoxjewelers.com. It’s a husband-wife duo and they have wonderful stuff.

  • Amanda

    Wedding was June 6 and we just got back from our honeymoon yesterday! Today I went to social security and the DMV and changed my name. What a whirlwind it has been.

  • ElisabethJoanne

    We went to my cousin’s outdoor wedding in San Diego this weekend – and my husband stayed for the whole thing and had an almost-good time. The motel mini-fridge couldn’t actually freeze the water bottles we brought, but he did have cold water available to him throughout and stayed in the shade as much as possible.

    My parents spent most of the evening holding my baby cousin. I don’t know which hurts more as my husband and I deal with sexual dysfunction – my in-laws’ direct, “When are you going to have a baby?” or my parents’ more passive-aggressive approach. But I’ve started to have dreams about going to the gynecologist, and having a baby, that don’t feel like nightmares, and I’m considering restarting home treatment for vaginismus, so – hope. (I don’t think dreams have meaning, like it’s a sign I should see a doctor or am ready to try for a baby, but I do think dreams can show our gut feelings about the topics depicted.)

    I will say that the cliche about experiencing weddings differently once you’ve had your own was true for me. For me, the fun part is the planning, so being able to reflect on what my cousin and her family chose made her wedding extra-special for me.

    • jashshea

      Glad to hear that the wedding went well overall for your husband & you’re feeling more steady about seeking treatment. Good luck to you!

    • Jess

      I feel the same way about dreams – gut feelings can be revealed, but it’s not a sign that it’ll all work. Good luck to you! (and I’m glad to hear that your husband was able to keep mostly cool)

  • Pileofstix

    So after tons of one-sided “conversations” about rings, my BF casually started asking me about stones yesterday. I’d already provided him the link to a local gem wholesaler who happens to have Montana sapphires, which is what I want in lieu of diamonds. His inventory is listed by number on his website, and the stone my boyfriend suggested was the exact one I had been eyeing from the get-go. It made him all gushy (“We like the same stone! OMG!”) and all I could think was FINALLY. Hahaha. I feel sorrynotsorry myself. Still! It’s so exciting to have a conversation with actual forward progress!!!

    • emmers

      So exciting!!!!!!! I’m glad that you’re getting moving, since it sounds like it’s time for you! I was pretty much the same way– excited, and also thinking that it was way time!

    • Sparkles

      Oh god. I remember that ridiculous limbo where you’re waiting for him to make the move and you’re soo ready for it and what on EARTH is keeping him back! And having all the conversations about, “Is there anything philosophically that’s holding you back, or emotionally? I don’t want to push you into something you don’t want to do…” With the completely useless responses that made me think he was just being slow.

      So, I’m soo happy that there’s movement for you. It feels sooo good.

      • Pileofstix

        I’m pretty sure I’ve read every pre-engaged article on APW like 50 times. o.O And thanks!

        • Jules

          Me too. And I keep meaning to submit one / hoping to see more on them!

  • Sparkles

    Meg, that description of motherhood happening in between business at the conference made me tear up with joy. It’s such an empowering thing to hear, babies and business deals. I can feel the feminist pride radiating off of that description like it’s sunshine.

    Also, this makes me think that you recommended I read “All Joy and No Fun” in the comments a few weeks ago, and I am adoring it. So frigging right. And I’m also all for parenting-ish books that are chock full of research, instead of people just throwing stuff out there because it worked for them. Critical thinking FTW!

  • River

    I just want to thank everyone who responded with advice about my wedding gown and bridesmaids dress queries last week!!! :-) It was really really helpful.

    In case you’re wondering, I went and spent two hours in my dress, trying to figure out what to do. In the end, the main sales manager brought up the head of alterations to talk to me and my mom and my bestie. When I asked her what she thought I should do, she said “you no pay extra to designer. I can do it better” (she has the most adorable grandmotherly Eastern-European accent). Possibly because she reminds me of my deceased abuelita, I decided to take her advice.

    As for the bridesmaids dresses, I pretty much hated every one that we tried on – even though they all looked lovely on my best friend! We realized eventually that I just hate chiffon, which seems to be the most prevalent fabric in the long, under $200 category. So. I found some styles on Weddington Way, and emailed with a consultant and got them to send me 4 free swatches in two colors and fabrics (satin! peu de soie! dupioni! yay!). Just wanted to recommend that website, they’ve been wicked helpful so far AND they seem to have better pricing than the brick and mortar bridesmaids stores.

    • JSwen

      I didn’t end up buying a dress off weddington way but they have so many designers and you can search across all of them. Made it much easier to hone in on my wedding gown (which is a Jim Hjelm Occasions dress).

  • Ariel

    Ahhhhhh, eight days out! I’m getting ridiculously excited!!! I picked up the marriage license today! My bachelorette party is tomorrow! Most of the little things are starting to fall into place. Plus, I’m a teacher and yesterday was my last day, so I don’t have to worry about work for a while.

    Also, I tried my first two cups of the ginger tea (trying to make my period come early so I don’t have a heavy day eight days from now) recommended to me last week. That shit is STRONG. I’m hoping my two cups tonight do the trick (my temp was slightly lower this morning, which is a good sign).

    • River

      I was hoping you’d post! If you don’t like the strong taste (which does take getting used to) try adding honey and/or lemon and/or bourbon. (#bourbonsolveseverything)

      Good luck!! Hope you’re able to enjoy the week off before the wedding! And best wishes for next week!

      • Ariel

        I added some agave nectar for the final 1.5 cups, but the first half cup I tried to muscle through, haha. It did seem to get less intense as it cooled. I’ll be adding some bourbon tonight!

        Thank you for the well wishes! I want to be on here in a few weeks telling everyone my wedding and honeymoon were fabulous :-)

      • Sarah McClelland

        River, I’m stealing that am making it a hashtag. You certainly speak the truth.

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

      woaaaaa i have never heard of ginger tea to start a period early. now that i think of it, i got my period three days early on our honeymoon and i had been sick so i was drinking ginger tea…!

    • Ragnhild

      Good luck! I am curious to how it works.

      • Ariel

        So far, nothing :-(

        • Emily

          Aw, nuts! I’m trying the ginger tea, too. My fiance was making fun of me for “blindly following random internet advice.”

          • Ariel

            Still nothing, grr… my fiance has definitely been making fun of me too

          • Emily

            Harrumph. Well, I’m somewhat glad I’m not the only one getting made fun of! I’m double-brewing the tea tonight, maybe tomorrow too just to not give up on it. Thanks for taking the time to write back!

          • Ariel

            I hope it works for you! I went through the entire box of tea!

    • Aurora Parlin

      I am on the pill because endometriosis runs in the family and my OB/GYN said it would probably prevent it. It’s done wonders on shortening and making periods less painful (and when you vomit because the pain is so bad that’s a huge plus), but sometimes I get wistful and think “wouldn’t it be nice to have natural methods to control everything?” Since my fiancee and I are both cis women it’s not like I’d have to worry about an oops baby anyway.

    • JSwen

      Raspberry leaf tea can help regulate as well. It helps to just get it over with if you are the type to have spotting for like four days before and after the main event.

    • Ragnhild

      I am so excited too, I literally feel like I can hardly stand still… Had my last day a work as well, and family is coming to town today. Good luck with the last preparations, and have lots of fun!

    • Expect Cowgirls

      If all else fails: shower sex.

      • Ariel

        Eh, not worried about that part; more like how to deal when strapped into crazy dress.

  • River

    Oh! Does anyone have suggestions for what to wear for an engagement photo shoot? I’m normally a fashionista but wedding planning stress = I’ve gained a few obvious pounds and hate everything I own.

    How did those of you who did engagement portraits decide what to wear?

    • Ani

      I decided to wear something that I felt good in. Not maybe my trendiest thing, or even necessarily considering what would “photograph well” (not that I know what that would be). I’m not accustomed to being the focus of a photo shoot, so if I can feel a little more myself through clothes, I thought it would help me to look genuinely happy. Good luck and have fun!

      • River

        I like the idea of trying to find something I feel genuinely happy in…We’ll see how I do with that (stupid former E.D. makes this so much more complicated than it sounds!)

        Thanks for the advice :-)

        • Jess

          Solidarity Fist Bump on that.

    • Kirstin

      Do you have your shoot set up already? Any sense on weather? That was the biggest factor in what we wore, since it was a cool fall day. We went with the “slightly more dressed up” version of what we’d wear on the average day. We also tried to stay away from anything super trendy.

      • River

        Yes, it’s for this coming Wednesday afternoon. We’re hoping to use them for our save the dates (which hopefully we can put together by mid-July).

        • Kirstin

          So you might also consider your venue and what will be most comfortable. I wore jeans for ours both because it was cold, but also because I knew our photographer would likely have us sitting on the ground in the middle of the park. I didn’t want to be awkward if I had a dress on.

          • River

            Hmmm good point. I’m afraid jeans would make me feel more awkward hah, but I guess that’s cause I wear skirts or dresses most days.

          • Kirstin

            If that’s your normal style, go with it!

      • ElisabethJoanne

        We did the “slightly more dressed up” thing, and also very muted colors (gray, ivory, tan). I wanted our faces to be the focus, not our clothes. Also, since we took some photos in a book store, I didn’t want too much busyness.

        • River

          Ooooo I like this idea. I’m normally overly colorful but we’re going to the Natural History Museum and Central Park and there’s so much color there already. Thanks!

        • Ragnhild

          Oooohh… I was hoping we could get some wedding pictures in a cute book store/cafe, but my photographer says the one I am thinking of doesnt exist anymore + the cafes are super busy Saturday afternoons… Fingers crossed the weather is alright and we have amazing scenery backdrop instead!

    • Caitlin_DD

      Depending on your level of trust/ approval of their fashion sense with your photographer, they might be able to help you out picking an outfit from your closet.

    • emilyg25

      We did a little nicer than normal. Basically, Us+. So a sundress and heels for me and a button up and blazer with jeans for him. We chose bright colors because that’s us, but it sounds like that’s not really you.

    • jashshea

      Thirding the “slightly more dressed up” for me. My husband wore what he wears to work (slacks*/button down) and I wore the “going out on a wknd night in my 20s uni” (black tank and jeans w/ black heels). I blew my hair out myself, which usually looks good, but it was SO humid so it was a puffy/wavy/greasy shitshow by the time we did pix.

      We did our pictures around town – a cool bbq joint, abandoned factory, and some bizarro country club. It was fun, but we weren’t planning to use the pix for anything specific, just trying to get husband comfortable with being photographed.

      *I feel like such an old man saying slacks. Work pants?

    • Natalie

      Okay, here’s what our photographer suggested for us – it worked really well!

      Choosing what to wear the hardest and easiest part :)

      The
      most important thing is that you’re comfortable and feel great in what
      you wear, if you’re confident it will show in the pictures. (And if
      you’re stressed it will show in the pictures) So wear something that you
      love and feel great in.

      Neutral colors
      are best, they always match each other and photograph well, and it’s
      always better to be simple. Avoid patterns and neon colors because they
      don’t photograph well.
      If you want, you can text me photos of a few outfit options and I can help narrow it down before the shoot.

      (Girl): ! Having hair and
      makeup done, or doing your own hair and makeup for the shoot
      makes you feel extra confident and that definitely shows in the photos.
      You are beautiful and I know you will look great! I
      recommend wearing a dress that had a ruched/gathered waist and sits
      above the knee, it is best paired with belt (to give you a
      great waistline), and boots and simple jewelry. I recommend staying away
      from strapless and sleeveless dresses, because bare arms
      don’t photograph as well, but you could always throw a cute open sweater
      over a dress to complete your outfit. If you wanted to wear a casual outfit as well
      for a few photos you could either do leggings or dark wash jeans, tucked
      into boots, or cuffed up with cute flats, with either a button up
      semi-casual top, or a flowy top. Maxi dresses are also great, as well as
      a high waisted skirt with belt (see pinterest board for some options)
      Neutral colors photograph well, and having a little bit of a color pop
      is always fun and goes well when everything else is neutral. Also I
      recommend wearing your hair down because it’s so pretty!

      (boy):
      wear clothes that fit well, not too baggy or too tight. I recommend
      dark wash well fitted jeans, with a brown leather belt, brown boots, or
      shoes that match belt, with a neutral colored shirt (irovy/white,
      chambray or denim works best), can also wear blazer over shirt to make
      more formal. Just remember patterns do not photograph well, so stay
      away from patterns :) For a more casual outfit you could wear jeans with sandals
      or Sperry’s or boots with a Henley shirt or Vneck, or a button down
      short sleeve shirt. (see pinterest board for more ideas and options)

      Here is a link to the pinterest board:
      http://pinterest.com/jessfairchild/wear-this-engagement-shoot/

      • Natalie

        And I tried to add a picture in case that helps :)

      • River

        THANK YOU. This is fabulous.

        • Megan

          I would also suggest matching your outfits in color families or similar tones. We did this and I was so happy with the results! For one outfit I wore a solid bright blue top and fiancé wore a blue checked button down–the matching doesn’t look cheesy but just really polished. Another outfit was fiancé wearing a brown striped button down and me wearing a rusty orange cardigan with a brown tee underneath. We complemented each other really well without looking too matchy matchy!

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

    Casually clicked on the Pantene link not knowing what to expect and it almost made me cry. It was so great, I don’t even have words. Also, I need to stop saying sorry for things.

    • Jess

      Saying sorry is something I’m working on right now! I do it all the time – I’ve apologized to walls I run into.

  • Ani

    We are 8 days away, but we’re at a good place. Our one semi-risky DIT project is just getting started–we’re making a pie topper with wooden peg dolls–but we have decided that if it doesn’t work, we’ll chuck it and have no regrets. Thanks for the fantastic inspiration and words of wisdom, APW!

    • JSwen

      Oooh did you make those little figurines or did you buy them somewhere?

      • Ani

        We found them on Amazon, but I thought they were going to be the big ones I’ve been seeing around… these ones are kinda wee, but maybe that means it’ll be cuter.

    • Ellen

      You can totally do it! 15 days out here and just painted up my future hubby tonight!

      • Ani

        Nice job!!!! I am very impressed. Your guests are going to love it!

  • scw

    I thought I’d be writing here this week that I had ordered our save the dates, invitations, and rsvps, but I’ve been having some trouble with vistaprint (specifically, trouble generating proofs. I called and they said it must be because my image needs to be flattened… but it never had layers and I was able to generate a proof for it this time last week). anyone ever able to resolve a similar issue, or have a comparably priced alternative? the good news is I’m loving what we’ve designed and there’s plenty of time before even the save the dates need to go out.

    the other tasks of the week have been finalizing the guest list and trying to figure out what the groomsmen are going to wear if the bridesmaids are mismatched in the same color. oh and having the first beach day of the summer. necessary!

    • ART

      Is it the part where it says it’s not a good enough resolution (vs. something like “your resolution is great!”) and does your design include all necessary bleed dimensions? i had a hard time with that but when i sized them up to the full bleed dimensions (since i was doing that) it worked.

      i can recommend CatPrint, we used them for our save the dates, invitations, and thank-yous. I really liked them (and they foster cats!) If it’s really a flattening issue somehow (I had one and couldn’t resolve it with any of the programs I used) they will do it for you for $10.

      • scw

        nope, it’s not the resolution or the bleed dimensions. just when I try to generate a proof the little timer goes around forever and it won’t generate. the person I talked to when I called customer service had the same issue.

        but honestly, none of that matters anymore, because I now know about a printing company that fosters cats.

        • ART

          Haha! Well that’s annoying. Vistaprint is cool for some things but a little funky, maybe they are just having a weird day. Catprint is neat! Their website isn’t as slick as Vistaprint but they do one free hard copy proof per order (as well as showing you a mini digital proof when you are building the order)

          • scw

            the hard copy proof is awesome! I also love that they don’t have an order minimum, because I was hoping to do a project for the reception that would require a smaller amount of different printed things (how vague).

          • ART

            ha! i have been toying with doing some other post-wedding printing with them and figuring out how to set up orders for different things (like a set of 4 postcards, could do it as a document with 8 pages, which means one “copy” would be 4 different double-sided postcards) and see what works out best for price.

            also, never underestimate things like FedEx office if you have one near you! I’ve printed a few things using their online system and just picked them up in-store (RSVP cards, menus, mad libs, etc). They have a much more limited range of papers but there isn’t a document set-up minimum/fee unless you need cutting, punching, etc.

    • Annie

      +1 on “what are the male Bridal Brigade folks going to wear if the females are mismatched in the same color.” What are you thinking?

      I was initially thinking gray suits (women are wearing navy dresses) but none of them have a gray suit and 4 of the 5 guys are pretty strapped for cash. Also, I feel like if I told the women to wear whatever they want, preferably something they already have / will wear again, I should give the men the same courtesy.

      They all have dark suits, but with the women in navy I’m worried it will seem like a funeral. Am I just being ridiculous? Okay to say yes.

      • ART

        We are doing mis-matched bridesmaid dresses in purple. We asked our groomsmen to wear “vests in the linen/tan/brown range with pants that look good with the vest, white dress shirts.” That way it didn’t have to be a suit. We bought them matching bow ties at TheTieBar.com ($15! we got tons of ties there!)

        We considered doing suspenders instead of vests for a while when vests were out of season and hard to find. We could have found matching suspenders pretty reasonably I think.

        Also, it will not look like a funeral if they are wearing happy ties and/or boutonnieres!

      • scw

        I mean, of course, your wedding is going to seem like a wedding and not a funeral. because it’s a wedding. not a funeral. but I don’t think it’s ridiculous to care what it looks like. I’m sure you can make dark suits fun with the right shirts and ties, if you decide to go that route.

        we’re thinking gray suits too. my worry is that it won’t be immediately obvious that they are the groomsmen (the females will be in ivory, so I’m not worried about them standing out). maybe we’ll have them wear similar/matching shirts or ties? for some reason, I’m not feeling boutonnieres.

        • ART

          snazzy pocket squares?

      • Megera

        I think dark suits would be great! Our girls are wearing navy, and the guys grey-or-navy, and I think it’ll look fab with flowered boutonnieres, Maybe if you think about looking more high contrast it will help? If your dress is white that means that brightly coloured pocket squares, flowers, SOCKS, suspenders, ties, and what have you will be extra visible and festive.

    • JSwen

      I used vistaprint but didn’t upload my own design so the proofs were really simple. Sorry but I think it is the best deal out there (considering there’s always a coupon or a sale on their site). Maybe customer service can create the proof and email it to you?

      • scw

        the customer service person I talked to couldn’t create the proof either. I might as well try to call again tomorrow, because I think you’re right about the price – with vistaprint I can get 100 matte postcards and shipping for under $20! (by the way, that price is totally thanks to your comment two happy hours ago!)

        • JSwen

          It’s luck of the draw but I had great customer service from them via email. Like, “Hey, will you create address labels that match the invites I’ve got saved in my profile?” and the response was: “Done. Check your profile.” Amazing.

      • Sarah McClelland

        I actually got a much better rate, hard copy proofs, and recycled paper from the local shop up the street for cheaper than Vistaprint- I’m in Atlanta- and I was really glad I went with them! We paid $27 for 100 all-in-1 format save the dates. Super cute.

        I hope it all works out! Check out the mom and pop place near you.

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

    Hi peeps, just here for some semi-anonymous internet venting.
    I have a beautiful, passionate, eccentric friend, “Rocia” who lives back in my home state. In early May, she randomly ran into my mom and told her that she had just found out the day before that her job contract wasn’t going to be renewed for the next year. Her job is one of the things she is most passionate about, and has been very fulfilling for her. I originally told her about this job opportunity back when I still lived there, and she always thanked me for helping her find it (probably giving me way too much credit haha). Anyway, my mom told me that Rocia said she would talk to me soon about it, but a few weeks passed and I didn’t hear from her. I thought maybe she was feeling weird about telling me, like a strange sort of guilt or something, so eventually I started reaching out myself and trying to get ahold of her, with no luck.
    I finally talked to a mutual friend last night. Turns out that five days after (basically) getting fired, she had a massive psychological breakdown — some type of schizophrenia type thing. She currently believes that she is the reincarnation of Christ and that these are her last days on earth, and that’s why she’s suffering, and that she will go to Argentina and lead a massive uprising for justice or something. The friend who told me about the situation has visited her in the hospital and said it was so strange: “I visited her, but the real Rocia wasn’t there.”
    She has now been in the hospital for SIX WEEKS with very little improvement. Now, I’m no expert, but that must mean the the doctors are having to try multiple types of interventions, and nothing is working very well so far.
    I’m mourning the fact that my friend essentially doesn’t exist right now, and praying that this is only a temporary situation. I talked to her husband and will try calling her tomorrow, so we’ll see how that goes.
    And as far as a wedding connection, to make this more relevant to the board: She was starting a photography business on the side, so I was going to have her take my “getting ready” photos and maybe our “couple” photos at our wedding in two months. We have another official photographer, who I’m sure will do a fine job, but I will definitely miss Rocia’s joyful, loving, supportive spirit if she can’t be there. :(

    • anon for this

      I’m so sorry, I’ve dealt with psychosis in a family member and it is really terrifying.

    • emilyg25

      Oh, I’m sorry. I’ve been on both sides of this and it is truly awful. Hang in there.

    • emmers

      I’m so sorry! I have a family member who struggles with this. It seems like with her, she’s in an episode from anywhere from a month to 6 months (it seems to improve more quickly when she takes meds), and then goes back to being completely normal for periods in between. It’s so stressful, especially since it seems like there’s very little control to be had. Schizophrenia sucks so much, and I’m sorry your friend is going through this.

  • lildutchgrrl

    Because I can do nothing to affect the house-buying-approval process while I wait, I’ve been channeling energy into planning a) our future garden and b) a potential Little Free Library in front of the house. I have no carpentry skills/equipment, and I can’t afford to spend hundreds of dollars on an official LFL (they’re usually a bit bigger than a breadbox, with a clear acrylic door and a roof, so as to be visually appealing and weatherproof). However, using other models is allowed. I was thinking about repurposing a ready-made or cast-off cabinet — would not be QUITE as cute as some of the official or custom models, but it would be workable. Thoughts?

    • KC

      Those are incredibly cute. Incredibly, incredibly cute. And that’s a really good way of repurposing homebuying aaack-ness, since those could be put outside more or less any home.

      I think repurposing is a great way to go, both environmentally and cost-wise – the only thing I’d wonder about would be how to make it weatherproof (or at least weather resistant?).

      Also, I’m dimly wondering whether a bad pun could be made of, say, using a kaput microwave. (Instant Books?)

      • lildutchgrrl

        If it’s wood, a few coats of outdoor sealant should do the trick (and there’s even recommended brands on the LFL site). Metal is iffier — I’d have to figure out how to treat it, and decide whether the risk of rust would be worth the hassle. I kinda want a big acrylic cube with shelves… but maybe that’s tacky.

        • Pileofstix

          As a lover of all things mid-century-modern: acrylic. Acrylic so hard.

        • KC

          Go modern art with it! Why not?

          (I was mostly thinking “how do you weatherproof adorable little library doors?” but they probably have answers to that, too!)

    • Lizzie C.

      Wow, I LOVE this idea. Since my husband and I are stuck in an apartment while we save up for a house, a LFL may be a good way to channel my house-related decor impulses. There are a few LFLs in Seattle (near where I live) but none in our town.

      • lildutchgrrl

        Go for it! It can be a neat community project. I took a look at the map, and while there are some in the East Bay, the ones in our (new) neck of the woods are pretty scarce. The new house is about equidistant from the only two LFLs in East Oakland. I’m looking forward to connecting with those stewards.

    • ART

      I’ve seen these before but I didn’t realize it was A Thing! so, so adorable! Wow, now I wish we could do this at our place. Filing away for when we can buy a house.

    • macaroni

      Is it weird that one of the top reasons I’m excited about (eventually) buying a house is having a Little Free Library out front?! I LOVE them. Re: using another cabinet – I think that would work! I also know nothing about carpentry but I think with some creativity it would be really cute!!

    • JSwen

      We have them in our neighborhood and none are that cutesy. All you need is a box with a window and some way to keep water out. The rest is just arts and crafts :)

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

      I saw a free library for the first time this past week! It was such a wonderful surprise in my day!

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

      Huh, so until your comment I didn’t know this was a whole movement. I checked the map and it just so happened I stumbled by the only Little Free Library in the whole region. And it’s convenient to where I live! :)

    • Emily

      Wow, I had never heard of this! I now want one in front of my house :) There are a few in NH, but none too close by where we are. I think the awesomeness of the project and concept in general would emanate from whatever receptacle you chose to use, and make anything nearly look adorable.

  • malkavian

    Seems I’ve finally found a healthcare provider who is willing to take some ongoing medical complaints (fatigue, sleep problems, joint and muscle pain, ataxia) seriously. The GPs and specialists I’ve been seeing for another chronic illness with have kept dismissing these complaints without doing anything but basic bloodwork, so it’s relieving to finally work with someone proactive. I’m hoping we can figure out what’s up and fix it.

    I am so ready for it to be the weekend RIGHT NOW though.

  • Ragnhild

    Only 8 days to go! It has been a crazy day. I had my last day at work in the non-profit organization I worked for 8 years. I will need a paid job to support my non-norwegian husband to be, and I applied for the first one today! Also, our new bed arrived, AND my brother and sister in law came to town for the first time. So many impressions…

    Finally finished sewing my wedding dress a couple of days ago. For anyone making their own dress I recommend getting it done much earlier to avoid stress…
    Now I am almost done packing for the wedding week and honeymoon, and so excited to meet all my family and GET MARRIED.

    • ART

      hey we are date twins and both made our dresses! HAVE A BLAST!

      • Ragnhild

        Yay!! I am so excited to wear mine. Enjoy your dress and day!

        • Sarah McClelland

          Pictures. Of both dresses.
          Pretty please with sugar and chocolate and sprinkles on top?
          Making mine- silk came in today, and I’m 4.5 months out. Eeeeeee!

          • Ragnhild

            I can post in a couple of weeks :) I dont have any pictures right now. I was so scared to sew silk, since it is quite slippery, my motto was “slow and steady wins the race”, and it wasnt too bad! Good luck with the sewing.

  • Sara P

    I’m running my first half marathon tomorrow morning!! I haven’t talked about it with very many people. really, so just wanted to say something here :).

    • ART

      go you! I ran my first and only (so far…) a while ago and was soooo psyched and proud of myself, as you should be!

      • Sara P

        Thanks! (and go you! it’s a lot of miles!)

    • Jess

      The Half is one of my favorite distances! Enjoy it!!!

      • Sara P

        Thanks!!

    • Lauren from NH

      It’s gonna be great! You shoul be super proud! Just did my second 2 weeks past. It was my first trail run and if you have any interest in that, it was very really fun!

      • Sara P

        Thanks! I love trail running, and I totally have my eye on one in October :). Good for you!

    • Ariel

      Go kick some ass!

    • Sarah McClelland

      Woohoo!! go you!! Im trying to get psyched up for my first half and all the positive energy from lovely APWers is the bestest.
      How’d you train? Any recommendations?

      Kick some butt, pat yourself on the back, and come back and tell us about it!

      • Sara P

        Thanks! Get psyched – it was super fun! It also really hurt, more than I thought it would, but that’ll go away eventually :).

        The one thing I’d change about my training is the very end – I think I might have tapered too much? I barely ran (like 2 miles) the week before the race. Next time, I think I’ll try to run a little more the week before. But I definitely want to run more of them! Probably more trail races, though, I think they’re a lot more interesting. 13 miles is just a ton of pavement.

        • Sarah McClelland

          Good for you! Hooray! It’s making me excited!

  • Bee

    I love the Golden Girls article. I live in a house which I co-own with a friend; we rent out two rooms. Sometimes there are conflicts, but on the whole we love having a full house and have made some lifelong friends from housemates. Not to mention it’s extremely economical and environmentally-friendly!

    • Jessica

      I love it too! My husband and I still live with another room mate (when he’s here, right now it’s just my best friend and I), and it’s pretty great. I love living with a friend and doing mealshares and not having to buy all of the things on my own.

  • Kae

    Just popping in to say that I love the shot, Meg :)
    And my fiance is FINALLY coming home for our wedding after moving to England in February for a job! I’ll be joining him next month (visa, don’t fail me now!) and our wedding is next Saturday – high five to all the other brides for next weekend!
    Really I just had to gush. I AM SO PUMPED HE’S GOING TO BE HERE SOON!

    • EF

      feeling you on the english visa process! solidarity fist-bump, good luck!

      • Kae

        Good luck to you too!

  • macrain

    My bridal shower was last weekend and it was just stupidly perfect. There were 8 people there total, including my mom and me. It was laid back, and full of lovely details, and bursting with love. I still haven’t stopped smiling.
    I was a nervous wreck leading up to it- my rental dress was destroyed, after three cancelled flights my sister had to throw in the towel on attending, and a friend bailed on the morning of via text message with no explanation. BUT here is the beautiful part- I totally had a moment where I just decided, you know what? This is my shower and I’m going to enjoy myself. And I DID. It gives me more confidence going into the wedding that the EFF IT moment is possible! That things can go wrong and I can deal. I’m really proud of myself.

    • Lauren from NH

      Secret admirer of your comments! Kudos to you for living and loving the moment!

  • Mezza

    This is unrelated to weddings, but my foster cat had kittens last weekend! There are five of them, all different colors, and their cuteness is totally taking over my life. I’ve never been around such tiny kittens before and it’s the greatest. And they’ll only get cuter from here on! Now I just have to line up homes for them in two months…

    • Lawyerette510

      Oh the tiny babies! Melts my heart! Nothing so cute as kittens from newborn to 2 months!!!

    • Aurora Parlin

      My jaw dropped. All the cute. We are getting a kitten today, actually, so I’ve had kittens on the brain!

    • Amy March

      Ummm why no photo?

      • Mezza

        Haha good point! It’s astonishingly hard to get good photos of them, but here are a couple:

    • Meg Keene

      I’ve been thinking of doing that! Here you just foster kittens for two weeks for the pound, during “kitten season” and you don’t have to find homes for them or anything.

      • Alison O

        Yeah, I did this for a number of years. If an animal was sick it was usually just a 10-day stay or so while we gave them antibiotics. For kittens it was usually longer, like a month to 3 months, based on how old they were. They’d be with their mom til they were weaned, then mom would go back to get adopted and the kittens would stay until they were 3 months. They had to wait about that long to spay/neuter them, which our shelter requires before they let people adopt them (for obvious reasons). We stopped fostering because it was actually a lot of work caring for multiple kittens, and mama cats are PSYCHO (one escaped her room and attacked my 8-lb dog who is harmless and had no interest in them, and she scratched his cornea, among other things.) ANYWAY – I do totally recommend fostering, though! It’s how I got my baby (dog) in the first place. The one I’m gonna carry as my bouquet. :)

      • Mezza

        Oh man that would be even better. We’ll have these guys until they get homes. This is our fourth (I think) round of foster kittens, but the others were all 8 weeks old or so when we got them. Go for it! I love having temporary kittens and then going back to my two lovely calm big cats when they’re gone.

      • Valerie

        DO. IT. We foster for the SFSPCA, and it is magical. I get to cuddle a kitten every day. Bad day? Cuddle a kitten. Great day? Cuddle a kitten. Even when they’re being total shitheads, they’re adorable.

  • Aurora Parlin

    So, I have a question for the feminists out there… I have never cared what other people though about my hair, especially not my partners. When I say that, I mean that I always made sure to be with people who thought I was beautiful BECAUSE of my crazily colored/cut/styled hair and not “in spite” of it. It always bothered me to no end when I would hear another woman say “I wanted to get this haircut/piercing/tattoo but my partner said no way and I’m kind of bummed but I’m not going through with it.” The closest I ever got to seeking a partner’s permission to change my appearance was when I was in a long distance relationship, and I promised my girlfriend I would tell her/send her pictures of an impending change in hairstyle so she wasn’t the last to know on Facebook. But overall, I did with my body what I wanted.

    And now I’m with my fiancee, and I’m all of a sudden actually considering her opinion on these things. Like, she’s lukewarm on an idea for a haircut and a piercing, and I’m finding myself thinking “But I want her to think I’m pretty!”

    WTF? Was I wrong in the first place – should I have always put more stock in my partner’s view of my appearance? Am I wrong now – should I do what makes me happy? Is there a middle ground? Why is there a sudden change now, with her?

    • Jessica

      Ultimately, you still do whatever you want to do with your body. That is the bottom line. From my perspective, I will still wear/do what makes me comfortable, but my husband’s opinion is one that I value greatly. I do want him to think I’m pretty, it validates that I think I’m pretty. It want him to care what I think as well.

      In the end, though, just do whatever makes you feel comfortable. Even if your partner isn’t crazy about it or just goes “meh” if you are excited by a piercing or new hair cut, they should be happy you’re excited.

    • Lauren from NH

      Hmmm. Well I would imagine your fiance loves you for you, crazily colored/cut/styled hair, piercings, tattoos and all. But also I think it is reasonable for you to want her to be attracted to you because of the love and sexuality within your relationship. There can be a balance, style days or features of your self that are for you and other’s that are also for her/your relationship. I feel like I am not saying this well. I am trying to say I think it is normal and healthy to want to attract your partner and fuel the passion between you but I think that should still be driven by your individuality. Also writing outside the lines of what she likes every so often and doing something that’s just for you is great too and like Jessica said, I am sure she will be happy that you are happy.

    • Jess

      I don’t think you were wrong in the first place, and I don’t think you’re wrong now. You just care what she thinks more than you have previously.

      Maybe it’s because you’re looking at a future together and getting into the practice of considering her feelings/opinions all the time? I’m not sure how far you are into planning, but that process seems like it brings out the consideration skills big time. So you’re just more tuned into co-making decisions than you used to be.

    • Nell

      Lukewarm is totally different than “please don’t do this, it matters to me more than anything in the world!” My fiancee doesn’t like it when I get my hair blown out straight, but it feels fun and different to me, so sometimes I do it anyway.

      Hair grows out. Piercings can close up. Experiment if it seems like fun to you – and if you end up wearing a hat, so be it!

  • Lynsey

    I just have to say, Meg’s outfit in the top photo is FIERCE!

  • nikki

    That flower backdrop = amazing. Someone please make this for your photobooth! AstroTurf stapled onto plywood + fake flowers hot glue gunned on has to be cheap, easy and look AMAZING! I wish I would have seen this piece of inspiration a month ago!

  • KerryMarie

    3 Months from today! Cue my “sh*t’s about to get real” moment…

    and congrats to everyone getting married this weekend!

  • Jules

    Has anyone else seen this Verizon ad about girls and science/math? This was me as a little girl, but luckily these were not my parents. (And it’s “normal” little things that they say.)

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XP3cyRRAfX0&feature=kp

    • ART

      Yes, and when we see it I turn to my husband-to-be and say “if/when we have a daughter, you have to teach her all the same cool techie stuff you teach our hypothetical future son! if not more!” :)

    • JSwen

      I like it but I don’t get it. What is Verizon selling?

  • aldeka

    In-laws are visiting for dinner tonight, and fiancé and I have both been so busy with work, we didn’t manage to talk about the guest list and get on the same page so that we could present a united front.

    Uh oh.

    #bourbonsolveseverything?

  • C_Gold

    Hey Wisconsin-Area Brides! I’m posting this here hoping to see if any APW fans want to get together in Madison for drinks, to talk about wedding stuff. Me and another woman are trying to plan something fun, and there isn’t currently an APW-Wisconsin Facebook page or anything, so I thought, if you’re interested, you can email me and I’ll arrange something!

    My email is physics.niu@gmail.com Hope to hear from you!

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

      dang that sounds awesome, wish I was in Wisconsin!

      • C_Gold

        Aw, wish you were!

    • Kate

      I’d be down! We should make a facebook group!

  • Emily

    7 weeks out tomorrow! I feel like I don’t have much to do. It’s eerie.
    Figure out something for flowers? Do I care? Kind of. Is it odd for just me to have a bouquet and no bridal party or other honored family members to have a bouquet, corsage, bout? I guess I’m still in the same place with my hair / make up, which is I don’t know what I’m doing. Getting more comfortable with the idea of no make up.
    I feel like something is going to jump out in front of me and catch me off guard that I should have been working on all along. We have a playlist and audio plan, all our vendor meetings are scheduled, decor decisions other than personal florals are done. My outfit’s set. His outfit is all set. Our daughter’s outfit is set other than shoes, but getting close on that. Our menu is done. We have no signage, I don’t really feel like it’s necessary (am I wrong?). All The Stuff is accounted for. Our officiant is writing the ceremony. The DOC is in charge of timelines. Rehearsal dinner will be a laid-back beer / pizza at our house deal.
    Waiting on about a third of the rsvp’s still, I feel like if they haven’t sent it back by now they’re not that eager to come! There’s still a month left before the “due date” though, so we’ll see if they come back or if I have to go hunting.

    • ElisabethJoanne

      Just the 1 bouquet is not odd.

      The only time you need signage is if there’s a possibility of confusion. Will there be other weddings going on at your venue? Is it possible arriving guests will miss the driveway? Also, if you’re having an unusual format – like serving drinks in a separate space before the ceremony. Then a “This way first!” sign directing people away from the ceremony space could be important.

      For us, it was others sprung on us last-minute projects (like the officiant wanting us to write a paragraph about the ketubah for our wedding programs). But we anticipated that there’d be last-minute projects we couldn’t anticipate, so we blocked off the last 4 weeks to deal with them.

      As for RSVPs, it has nothing to do with excitement. A lot of the time I know immediately whether I can attend a wedding, but sometimes I don’t. I may need to wait on my work schedule, or maybe I’m hoping travel prices will go down. There are reasons we give guests until fairly close to the wedding to RSVP, and they don’t have to do with letting guests hold out for a better invitation.

      • Emily

        Thanks for chiming in on my ramblings!
        I’m sure there are logical, reasonable reasons why people haven’t responded yet. We just had a flurry of cards come back in the first 3 weeks after I sent the invites out, and practically nothing since. We have yet to get a “no” response. So it *feels* like anyone who hasn’t responded yet is a no, until I hear otherwise.

        • emmers

          Prob the folks who haven’t responded yet are procrastinators or can’t come. In my job, I work with deadlines sometimes, and it seems like typically people are either on the ball and reply immediately, or they wait to the last minute/ are late. There seem to be very few in the middle!

          • Emily

            It’s driving me bananas not to know if these people are coming! I want them all to come, and I know someone is bound to say no. Whoever it is, I’m sure it’s fine, I just want to know! I’m so impatient. I would never harass them personally ahead of the deadline, but I can be impatient for the deadline to arrive.
            One of the last weddings I was invited to, I actually was a later-on responder due to needing to find out whether my man could take the day off. I’m a procrastinator in general, too. At that wedding, there were a fair amount of no-shows, and I felt so bad for the bride! She was having her siblings text random friends to come party and eat the extra food! They had a blast all the same, and some of the “crashers” ended up being the highlight of the evening for her. A nod to that concept of “the right people will be there” from Meg’s book, I thought.
            Another of them, I returned the card like the day after we got the invite, since I had already been planning our wedding and had gotten a clue how helpful that actually is.

  • Jean

    Long time lurker here. I have been reading APW for the past six months as I planned my wedding. And its finally here! Tomorrow night my beautiful lady and I will be married! I am so happy that this site exists. In a sea of WIC nonsense and heteronormative b.s. APW has been a life boat. Thank you.

  • Kayjayoh

    Wearable dress: check
    Wedding items to stage manager: check
    Rehearsal: check
    Rehearsal dinner: check

    Now for a tiny bit of socializing, and then to bed. Tomorrow morning I pick up the donuts and then hit the farmers market for flowers, after which I will employ my mad APW-taught bouquet-making skills. Less than 24 hours to the wedding y’all. Things are good. See you on the flip side!

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

      Any wedding where you have to go pick up the donuts first is my kind of wedding. Early congratulations and enjoy the day!

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

      Enjoy and have fun! :)

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

      oh my gosh! so exciting!! woohoo enjoy :)

    • Ragnhild

      Happy wedding day!! So happy your dress turned out :)

    • vegankitchendiaries

      Best! Have fun!

  • Minimally Incognito

    I can’t remember if I shared this already or not, but I feel the need for a bit more venting, so here goes: We fired our wedding planner/officiant/day-of coordinator a few weeks ago, thus ending my 20-year friendship with her, after she said some crazy/inappropriate things at our last meeting and dicked us around yet again on the catering plan (no, we don’t bloody well need a caviar platter on vintage china, thankyouverymuch!). Came to find out after firing her that we have exactly nothing to show for 11 months working with her. No caterer (she never called them back with our wedding date and they are booked!), no DJ, no rentals, no toilets, no contract for transportation, and no officiant. Worth mentioning here that she is a (for reals) *professional event planner* and was giving us the “friends and family rate”, which we happily paid because I am in grad school while working full time and we needed to be able to hand over our wants/needs/ideas and have someone execute them. Also, we were friends. But firing her was the best wedding decision we’ve made in a while, because now our wedding belongs to US again. We have the venue and the photographer, both of which we booked ourselves well before we asked her to plan our wedding, and we have taken over finalizing the hotel room block contracts that she began negotiating and which have both had to be revised multiple times due to her providing the hotels with incorrect information. We found an officiant and a new, full-service event-planning/catering/rentals company within a week (which will likely blow our budget big-time, but the budget was set way below the actual available funds, so we won’t go into debt over it, but it will cut into my “kitchen renovation” fund). I know things are better this way–they feel so much better!–but I’m still pretty pissy about having wasted all that time on someone who clearly wasn’t spending any time on us.

  • Emma Klues

    If anyone’s still here, any thoughts on the Pantene commercial? I love the concept but the execution fell a little short for me. Asking a great question in a meeting instead of apologizing and asking permission to speak = brilliant. Not moving your elbow because you were using the armrest first? Yes! Taking back your side of the comforter? Of course! All good things. But then Pantene did two things I feel uneasy about: 1) They only showed women apologizing or sorrynotsorrying to men, when in reality I think we all do it (but maybe women moreso) to everyone, and 2) they chose the two examples to use sorrynotsorry as making women seem snotty instead of confident. Isn’t stealing all of the covers and then muttering sorrynotsorry while doing it kind of a dick move? If dad was happy to take the kid from your arms and play with him, isn’t adding a passive aggressive comment just reinforcing the possible negative stereotype instead of simply sharing parenthood?

    I know they wanted to take it beyond omitting the apology and include and tap into the trendy #sorrynotsorry concept, but it seemed to edge toward the “screw men” mindset that I think tends to discredit feminism for some. I sort of wish they hadn’t nudged toward that, but what does anyone else think?

  • laurabird

    I know I’m late, but I still have to share! We booked our venue this week! We have an actual date and location and they have our money so this shit is getting real!

    And on a totally different note, the fella and I were talking last night about how he’s not going to be able to keep his insurance come January, and he asked if we could at least talk about getting legalled sooner than our next September wedding. I have no issue with doing that, and he said he’d take me to San Francisco for the City Hall wedding I’ve always wanted that we nixed in favor of getting married in Seattle where we live and having a bigger wedding to include all our friends and family.

    So it looks like I might get to have my donuts and eat them too. :-)

    • CJ

      We just booked our venue this week too! Woo hoo!!!