APW Happy Hour


by Maddie Eisenhart, Managing Editor

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

HI APW!

We’re starting the long weekend a little early, if only because we hope it will encourage you to finish up whatever you’re working on, then go get yourself some ice cream and a bourbon. Maybe some bourbon ice cream? It’s been scorching on the farm lately (my roommate has gone through the better part of a bottle of aloe vera this week), so we’re seeking out poolside action this weekend and prioritizing doing a whole lotta nothing.

Happy Fourth to you and yours! Until then, it’s your happy hour, so hop to it.

Cheers,
MaddiE

Highlights of APW This Week

When does “my debt” become “our debt”?

Basically all of your wedding dress shopping problems are solved. (Well, if you live in California. Sorry the rest of the world. Maybe soon?)

In which I become unexpectedly emotional reading about meatballs and Sunday dinner and everyone’s Nanas. Not to brag, but my grandma’s sauce is pretty dope.

Can you have a DIY wedding without the crafts? YES. (Duh.) And it will be amazing.

No, but seriously. Do you have to buy a wedding gift if you’re IN the wedding? Jury’s out.

The opposite of a humblebrag is a humble omission.

Semi-DIY wedding flowers for Lazy Girls with good taste and no time for messing around (aka the APW staff.)

Link Roundup

How did we miss Lily Allen’s badass comeback? URL Badman obviously strikes a familiar chord, but holy crap is there an entire verse about pop stars getting their periods in Sheezus? SHE HAS AN ALBUM CALLED SHEEZUS?!

Old, but awesome: What Well-dressed Dykes Wore in the 70s, from DapperQ

It actually is that bad.

Rachel found us the best ever swimsuit (in plus sizes too!). I have a similar suit I bought from, coughwalmartcough, and I now believe that every article of clothing should have this silhouette. ModCloth’s is way more flattering in the boob area though, so get theirs, not mine.

All things Hobby Lobby. And what a woman’s choice means to the Supreme Court and social conservatives.

The best part of Instagram last week was the OITNB cast updating live from their PRIDE floats. Also, “An Ex-Con Reviews Orange Is The New Black” is almost as good as actually watching the series. (And, now that I’m done, is how I plan to get my fix of OITNB.)

Ten years ago the New York Times printed forty-one wedding announcements, five of which were the first legal same-sex marriages to grace those pages. Last week they followed up with those five couples.

Nicolette Mason designed a collection for ModCloth! And I will be buying that “Les Femmes” sweatshirt as soon as it’s out. Done and done.

File under: twisted pleasure.

The woman advertising herself on Craiglist as a professional bridesmaid is probably a secret genius.

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.

Maddie Eisenhart

Maddie is the Managing Editor of A Practical Wedding. She’s been writing stories about boys and crushes since she was old enough to form shapes into words, but received her formal training (and a BS) in the art of talking from NYU in 2008. In her spare time, she takes pictures of people in love. Maddie lives on a pony farm in the Bay Area with her husband Michael, her Mastiff named Juno, and her roommate named Joe.

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  • Laura C

    We are moved! Not unpacked, but hey, that’s what three-day weekends are for. And also, one night that I should have been unpacking, I went to see Belle instead and I think that was the right call.

    Now we can refocus on the wedding. Got a few very late but very welcome RSVPs this week, and also, the family friend at whose restaurant we are having a night-before-the-wedding karaoke party and a morning-after brunch let me know that his gift to us is the karaoke DJ and appetizers at the party (which will be cash bar) and the entire brunch! Pretty amazing. Now I just need to focus on accepting it with grace and not being like “but if too many people come, we will pay for some of them,” which is my instinct. Man owns a restaurant and is doing well and wants to do this.

  • SarahG

    I have a random question for the APW smarties: I’m currently trying to decide whether or not it’s worth making some paper flower garland type things to hang from rafters at our venue. The room is a big sunny room with windows on three sides, overlooking a lake, so it’s quite nice on its own. Since we’re having a morning wedding, candles on tables/strings of lights are basically pointless, so we were going to do Mexican paper flower arrangements on the tables and just go with natural lighting (cafe light strings are normally my go-to for overhead decor). I’m worried this will be a little plain, but I’ve also had people tell me that they regretted the time they spend on decor, or felt they worried too much about this. So… paper flower garlands/balls of flowers/something or not? (This is the room, if anyone is interested: http://www.weddingwire.com/biz/chalet-special-event-venues-oakland/c492fdfe1f30c670.html). Thanks, APWers!

    • SarahG

      Bleurgh, link not working. It’s the room in the top banner photo here: http://www.thelakechalet.com/privatedining.

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

        OH WOW. What a stunning room. Love the wood too. If it were me, I wouldn’t spend any stress on things for the ceiling. It looks gorgeous naturally, what a beautiful view! Like I stated in my novel, I can’t believe I stressed so much over decor. I’m glad we skipped stuff in the ceiling. At the end of the day, we decided if there was something that happened naturally or felt meaningful to us, then we’d use it, but not to try to do something decor-wise just because we felt like we needed to.

        • SarahG

          That is excellent advice! You have made me feel so much better. I was stressing out about how we would get flower garlands over the beams, and had started down the road of “will the restaurant have a 12 foot ladder”? Ay yi yi. You’re right — natural character counts and the details we do have (pretty much just paper flowers in nice vases) will stand out more if we don’t stuff the place with knicknacks or different decor items. And thanks for the validation on the room as well :) I love it, but of course after a while started thinking “is it too plain?” Always good to hear someone else’s perspective. Thanks!

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

            ahhaha we had the ladder dilemma too, which is where the fiance was like okay, no this is just becoming too much. :)

          • Lawyerette510

            That room is definitely not too plain, and the morning light in there and reflecting off the lake is going to be gorgeous! (I know, we live just across the lake like to head over to Lake Chalet for drinks and nibbles). If the flowers are fun for you, then do them because they would add to the fun and happiness for you, but if it’s going to be a point of stress, that room will be stunning so long as it has you in it that day!

          • SarahG

            Thanks! And hey hey fellow Oaklander! We are in the Laurel but lived about 3 blocks from Lake Chalet for a while; slightly obsessed with the whole lake area. Good advice, thanks. And, f you happen to be walking by on Sept 28, send us good wedding vibes :)

          • Lawyerette510

            Yay Oakland! We’ve got friends in the Laurel, it’s a really good location for getting to EB Regional Parks.

            Sept 28 I’ll be sending the good vibes for sure! From my dining table I can see across to LC, so I’ll just vibe them across the lake!

          • SarahG

            :)

      • sara g

        WOW that is gorgeous! I agree with Catherine, I don’t think you’ll need to decorate much at all! That’s a big reason we picked our venue too… it’s got a stunning view (it’s outdoors) and we seriously won’t have to do anything much to decorate.

        • SarahG

          Thanks, other Sara G! :) That’s very reassuring.

      • Maddie Eisenhart

        LAKE CHALET IS MY FAVORITE. If they weren’t forty minutes away and if I didn’t have an Oyster habit that’s a little out of control, I would eat there every day. :)

        From photographer speak, you really don’t need much in there. The natural light is gorgeous. If you did want to add something in there, cafe lights would actually still be really lovely if that’s your go-to. If you’re working with a professional photographer, professional lenses turn cafe lights into beautiful blurry twinkliness, which can add interest to your pictures. BUT. That’s only if you want something. Because you really don’t need it. :)

        • SarahG

          Maddie, that is so helpful — thank you! I really appreciate hearing from someone who has been to the venue. LC is a favorite of ours too. We almost broke up there once, and had our anniversary dinner there the following year (to exorcise the bad ju-ju), when we decided that anyplace that had seen such moments in our relationship should be a place we got married :) We do have a professional photographer and that’s good to know — I assumed lights would be totally pointless in such a bright space. I would rather string lights than make balls of flowers to garland, so if we do something, lights will be it. Thank you!

          • Maddie Eisenhart

            God, their food is just so good. If you’re going to celebrate milestones somewhere, I’d say that’s the best place. :)

            More specifically, if you guys are having dancing, I’d just do lights above the dance floor, maybe hanging kind of lowish? You mostly don’t need them in the rest of the space as far as I’m concerned. Just where your milestone moments might happen (toasts, dancing, etc.)

          • SarahG

            Hmmm, I didn’t even think of hilighting the dance floor. That makes a lot of sense, because it’s just going to be in the middle of the tables, and so could probably use a little demarcation. Like it!

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

        This is beautiful :D

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

      Oh yay I can actually offer insight hehe! First of all, everything you just described sounds gorgeous!! I got married on June 7 and was SO worried that our tent (where the dinner portion was) was going to look plain. It was seriously my worst nightmare. We went back and forth trying to decide if we wanted bistro lights or floral bunting strung across the ceiling…things got away from us and we decided just to go without altogether. I am SO glad that we did. Everything looked really beautiful and clean and not having *too much* stuff (that I was freaking out thinking we needed- because aren’t you supposed to have all this cool DIY stylish stuff everywhere??) allowed the few things we DID focus on to really pop and be seen (the cool jars with the gorgeous big flowers, simple vintage candle votives and the color of the napkins that we adored). I had this idea in my head that we needed x,y, and z and that it would look shabby or plain or worse with the few decor ish things that we had. It’s funny, people keep commenting on “all the details” and how well thought out they were and I’m thinking “what details??” We literally chose jars (that I loved), flowers (that I loved), candles, and those were our main items! We relied on the natural character of the place, and it sounds like you’ve got beautiful character to rely on too if you choose ;) Looking back, we had PLENTY. It will be enough, whatever you decide. There was absolutely no reason to worry. We aren’t a magazine shoot showcasing different craft ideas. And the less-is-more mentality really allowed the things we did choose to POP and get the attention :) (so sorry for the novel.)

    • vegankitchendiaries

      I have come close to a mental breakdown doing both of the ‘garland projects’ I took on. It feels like all the DIY crafts take about four times as long as you think they’re going to!

      I mean… time will tell. Maybe when I look at the pics afterwards I’ll be able to say it was totally worth the stress! Here’s hoping.

      For what it’s worth I think those ceilings are gorgeous already! x

      • SarahG

        I am looking forward to your post-wedding synopsis! You’ll have to come back and post your Lessons Learned re: garlands :) (and other stuff).

    • StevenPortland

      How about doing a simpler craft instead of time intensive paper flower garlands? I’ve seen photos on Pinterest where they grouped different sizes and shades of those crepe balls. Here are two examples: http://www.pinterest.com/pin/280419514273007354/ and http://www.pinterest.com/pin/280419514272508264/ . Or here is a third: http://www.pinterest.com/pin/280419514272273836/

    • emilyg25

      Omigod, paper flowers were my wedding albatross. We wanted to make a “curtain” of them for a backdrop. It took forever before we finally scrapped it. I definitely agree with your people who said they spent too much time on decor or worrying about it. It just really doesn’t make that big of a difference. APW is so right when they say people will remember how your wedding felt, not how it looked.

      That said, if you’re in love with your idea, go for it!

    • april

      That venue looks beautiful! I’d say only bother with the garlands if you think it’s a project you would enjoy doing (maybe with a couple of glasses of wine and some friends). Also factor in how much of a pain it will be to put it up (will you have time? a ladder? extra hands?).

      We used a sort of similar space – very minimal and natural with lots of big windows (we’re under APW’s Real Weddings, Scott and April, if you want to see some pictures) and we found that it really didn’t need much decorating. Once the tables are set and the room is filled with people, it won’t look plain at all! But crafts are also not something I enjoy doing, so I’d use any excuse not to do them …

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

    I got extremely confused thinking it was Friday. I’m back now. You guys, can we talk about waiting to hear if you got a job!!? I got married on June 7, honeymooned and came back to a full day working trial with a pretty much part time dream job. I was so excited because everything just felt so right – fresh marriage, everything new, coming home to (hopefully) new job at a non profit organization that I have LOVED since I was 12. It’s the perfect amount of hours I need, right in my neighborhood. I had the working day interview (after two email interviews and a phone interview) last Monday and they said I should know within 2 weeks. I’m constantly checking my phone and email. I’m so used to acting auditions where you audition and then never hear from them again- but with this, she said I would know either way what they decide. Since it’s already almost been two weeks, my mind is spinning and that voice in my head is telling me that I probably didn’t get it and how I’m not qualified anyway yadda yadda ( that poor critical voice that is trying to protect from the possible feelings of rejection). I also found a low-residency college that I think would be perfect for my lifestyle and needs and I could possibly start next spring. ANYWAY. this job thing. I haven’t had a real job (other than babysitting and acting) in over a year and I’m nervous and I want this so bad. HOW DO YOU JUST WAIT?!

    • Molly P. Kop

      I KNOW RIGHT? I’m with you.

    • vegankitchendiaries

      So the worst. It’s the worst. I have no advice, only sympathy.

      I just started a new job (excellent timing! er…). At my last interview (on a Tuesday) they told me I’d hear by the end of the week. I didn’t get an offer until 3 WEEKS LATER. Sometimes people are just slow. Keeping fingers crossed for you!

      ETA: What I *did* do was drop an Email (a few days after the one week mark) just re-iterating how excited I was by the opportunity and to let me know if they had any trouble getting ahold of my references.

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

        thank you for the advice about the email. I need to do that (right now). I kick myself because even stuff like that makes me feel nervous, like i’m being too forward or something. (awful I know). and that is very reassuring, thank you! I feel like its a trial and the jury has been out too long…wondering what it all *means*. I will email them, thank you so much! PS. it’s a vegan organization ;)

        • vegankitchendiaries

          VERY AWESOME! Now I want them to give ME the job!

          It’s always better to know either way so I hope you hear back soon! And if it’s NOT yours they have a saying in Scotland “What’s for ye, won’t go by ye” – it will all be OK. <3 <3

        • MDBethann

          Don’t feel awful! I think some of that follow up is part of what is meant by “Lean In.”

          If it’s a tactic that a man might use in a job interview or to get a job they really want, we should use it too.

          My sister is looking for jobs in a different city right now, because her current one has no more upward mobility, and I told her she needs to always follow up her interviews with a “thank you for the interview, I appreciate the opportunity to interview for X job because I’m really interested in working for your company” sort of email to each person who interviewed her. You have to stay fresh in their minds, if nothing else, and set yourself apart from the rest (in a good way) whenever you can.

    • Jenni

      Waiting is the worst. I’ve learned in my job hunt that companies tend to have a slower timeframe than I’d prefer, so if you don’t hear at the two week mark, send an email/call to say how interested you are and wondering if you can provide any other information.

  • delighted

    Hey APW! Can I pick your brains for lawn game-type things one could do at a winter wedding in MN? I know there are lots of cool winter activities out there, but I want something that A) will bring people together and B) is easy for people to pick up and put down when they get bored.

    • SarahG

      So the games will be indoors?

      • delighted

        Possibly? The ceremony may be outdoors depending on the weather, so we might theoretically have space for it…

        • Kayjayoh

          Outdoor winter wedding in MN? Brave!

    • sara g

      Something like cornhole would work great indoors. Or giant Jenga.

      • SarahG

        I was going to say giant Jenga too! Twister could also potentially be hilarious (and easy to move).

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

          Second the giant Jenga. That is so much fun, and definitely suitable for people in fancy clothes (I might avoid Twister for that particular reason- twister+dresses/skirts generally doesn’t work so well).

    • StevenPortland

      As a former MN person I read your question and thought “What?? Who plays games outside in winter there (except for hockey and making snowpeople)?” But you are right, some weeks in winter turn out to be quite nice and so it would be doable. Too bad you couldn’t do some sort of DIY curling event. That would be VERY Minnesota.

    • Kayjayoh
    • Christina McPants

      What about a giant chessboard? They’re expensive but they’re fun.

      • KC

        Giant chessboards are cooler, but a homemade giant checkerboard would be pretty cheap (canvas dropcloth painted in checkerboard manner; some sort of large objects, like cheapo frisbees or plates (maybe plastic plates?) or such for checkers…).

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

      How will people be dressed? For snow and cold? I always assume most Minnesotans are cold tolerant ;)
      - Disc golf or variation (easy to spot in white snow if you use those brights ones, plus you could mostly just have people throw things at a goal)
      - Snow races (sledding, snowshoeing, etc)
      - Corn hole (could also be done inside)
      - Inside things involving winter themes, like asking people to make you snowflakes for your Christmas tree or guestbook or something similar
      - Snow painting
      - Snow bocce

  • MC

    Yay happy hour! This week is especially exciting because we just passed the 3-months-out mark which motivated us to be super productive. Fiance finally ordered his wedding outfit, we both ordered our rings, we started an awesome dance playlist, AND we just put the invites in the mail this morning!!! And tonight we are having a long-overdue date night and going to the restaurant that our wedding caterers own! Excitement all around!

    • SarahG

      Congrats! Re: rings, how long will it take? We are also at the 3 month mark and procrastinating hard on this one, so I’m curious… thanks :)

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

        ours only took two weeks! but you want to do it ahead of time in case they need to fix something, the size if off, or whatever. you’re totally fine though.

      • MC

        We’re ordering online (Bario-Neal and Etsy) and both places said it could take up to 4-6 weeks for them to arrive, and we also wanted to have extra time in case they needed to be returned/resized. If we were buying locally we could probably wait a while longer.

      • vegankitchendiaries

        DO NOT PROCRASTINATE TOO LONG! My sweetheart dragged his goddamn heels on this so hard. He definitely wanted something off etsy, but by the time I forced him to sit down in front of the laptop and pick something (@ one month out) it was too late to order a lot of the rings offered there by custom jewelers because the turnaround time can be 6 weeks or more. (Don’t even get me started on delivery to Canada pain…)

        Anyway, he picked one that night and it arrived yesterday (oh hai, 2 weeks out). He effing loves it (THANK GOD) but still… better to be early with everything that you can (ring, dress, etc) and focus on the unavoidable last minute stuff (self-catered bits, rsvp-chasing, seating charts) later…

        • Laura C

          We are meeting my fiance’s ring tonight. (Had it delivered to his mom’s office since we were in the middle of moving, and then he was out of town the day it arrived, so tonight’s the night.) So excited — it’s an Ash Hilton with a custom etching, because apparently we only buy rings from APW sponsors.

          • Allie Moore

            We got an Ash Hilton ring, too. This one: https://www.etsy.com/listing/124148844/engagement-ring-or-wedding-band-wedding?ref=listing-12 Which was so perfect for my geometry-loving husband to be.

          • Laura C

            He has so much nice stuff. We had a custom etching of a picture of a mountain my fiance’s late father summitted in the 1960s. I can’t remember whether we chose the picture of the one he got to name or the biggest one he did (this was in the Himalayas, so, big). And I’m thinking, at some point, I might get a bracelet or something with the same etching.

      • ElisabethJoanne

        We ordered plain bands with engraving, and I think they took about 2 weeks each (separate orders). We had to sign for the packages, which meant going to the post office on a Saturday because we’re never home when the mail is delivered. Had we planned to be away that weekend, we’d have been in trouble. (I keep ordering things from eBay right before vacations and having to say “please wait a few days to ship this, so this is big on my mind.)

      • Marcela

        We got ours from Kay Jewelers, but since I have tiny tiny fingers and my hubby wanted something different than they had in the store, they had to special order and it was a month before our rings came in. I went in thinking we’d walk out with our rings since it was a chain store at the mall, but nope.

        • Jennifer

          We got husband’s ring at Kay too. He did a good bit of hand shaking to make sure it wouldn’t come off while signing. And then we had a bugger of a time getting it off him at the reception for the photographer to take pictures of it (butter does work).

      • Carrie

        I’m dual-purposing my engagement ring, because 1) I love it that much and 2) There’s really no reason for me to have two rings. We got his super early, we’re 2 months out from the wedding now and I’ve kept it hidden in my sock drawer for something like 6 months. We weren’t even really planning on getting his ring until later, but we were at the mall and thought we’d look at the local Riddle’s just for fun. He ended up falling in love with a carbon fiber and titanium ring in their case, and it fit him perfectly, so they sold it to us for $80 flat and we took it home right then. And I’ve spent the last 6 months listening to him whine that I can wear my ring, but he can’t wear his yet. Ha.
        (By the way, he was originally lusting after one of those meteorite/dinosaur bone/titanium rings you see on etsy, and after doing plenty of research on them I finally talked him out of it. They’re pretty expensive for what they are, and unless you want to re-seal them every month you can’t ever get them wet because the meteorite rusts. Sounds super-cool at first, but is really a pain in the butt.)

        • Jenni

          That is super helpful to know about meteorite rusting! Thank you!

    • macrain

      Wahoo! We are getting close too!
      We also just sent out our invites and it’s be so fun the number of people texting and gchatting me that, “I got your invitation!” I was not expecting that.

      • MC

        Yes, that is the best part! We got some of that with the save-the-dates, and since a lot of people will be traveling to our wedding, our more on-the-top friends are already buying flights and booking hotels and it is making all the planning stress SO worth it :)

    • vegankitchendiaries

      3 months out was when I officially allowed myself to get into the nitty gritty of planning. You guys sound mega on the ball, GOOD WORK!

    • MC

      And because who doesn’t love cat pictures, here is a picture of my cat “helping out” with addressing the invites :)

      • Acres_Wild

        That cat is so stoic! Adorable!

        • Lauren from NH

          Yeah, it really makes me want to post a picture of my cat, but he and is his sister aren’t doing anything feminist right now, so I have been resisting.

        • MC

          Ha, he has his crazy moments, but he does tend to stay put when he is somewhere inconvenient, like sitting all over the invitations. Ah, cats!

  • http://www.rachellerawlingsphotography.com/ Rachelle

    I shot my first elopement on Tuesday and it was amazing! They went from engaged to married in 5 days, the shortest possible time they could legally make it happen within here. I was hired less than 24 hours before the ceremony! It was so inspiring to me just how excited they were to get married. Since I really wanted to elope and got overruled by my husband and parents, I really enjoyed living vicariously through theirs. I love elopements! I want to shoot all the elopements!

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

      This sounds amazing! I love how excited you are about elopements. :D

  • macrain

    Am I the only one whose mind was blown over Olivia Palermo and her wedding sweater and wedding shorts?! Because DAMN. So effortless, so pretty. I loved everything about it. Tell me I’m not alone here!

    • vegankitchendiaries

      Yeah, I saw it on HuffPo this week and it was SHIT HOT. I’m with you, macrain!

    • Meg Keene

      Yeah, that was well played.

    • swarmofbees

      I was more distracted by her husband’s eyes. I believe piercing is the adjective to use there.

    • Bindi

      Ohhh, I loved this so much! There was a lot of media-based negativity to her outfit here in Australia, which is bizarre because a)it made me swoon and b) who even cares what she wears enough to diss it on the news? :P

      • Maddy

        Australia is so weird about weddings for some reason. mamamia.com.au regularly publishes THE MOST NEGATIVE things about marriage and weddings ever, and people are really funny about people not doing the sit down dinner, big strapless traditional gown thing. I dunno, makes me feel lucky to be a part of such an amazing community of brides who don’t give a fuck about chairs/dinner/invitations/dresses if they don’t want to.

  • sara g

    We just booked our wedding night hotel and our honeymoon flights/lodging! Hooray! I’m so excited about the wedding night…it’s got a view of the river, and a giant jacuzzi spa tub, and a fireplace… aw yeah.

    • macrain

      Sounds amazing! I spend most of my free time daydreaming about our honeymoon after our wedding in October.

    • Em(ily)

      That sounds amazing! Making those plans was my favorite part of planning so far, very exciting stuff.

  • Em(ily)

    So weird, I was totally waiting for happy hour today, and here it is!
    I’m so excited we’re in good shape for our planning, and our budget looks great. All the deets are shaping up, 5 weeks out this Saturday!!
    We are planning a rather informal rehearsal dinner at our place, just beer & pizza after we get done with the runthrough at the venue. Some folks on my Dad’s side of the family may end up staying at his place the night before the wedding (rehearsal night). Do I invite them to the rehearsal dinner, too, since that’s where my Dad will be that evening? It’s just immediate family so far, but I don’t want them to feel left out if they’re in the area anyway. They’d be welcome if they wanted to come, but I don’t want them feeling obligated I guess.

    How do I ask someone if they WANT to do something, without it sounding like I want them to do it, like I’m hoping the answer is yes but it’s totally ok if it’s no? I don’t know if anyone WANTS to give a toast or whatever, but asking if someone would want to makes me feel like I seem to be looking for volunteers. I don’t really care if they do or not. Is that something that’d happen organically on its own, if I don’t talk to people about it ahead of time?

    • Amanda

      Our rehearsal was also informal, in our case not including everyone for dinner was a space issue. We invited everyone else we knew would be around to join after dinner for dessert, drinks and mingling.

    • vegankitchendiaries

      2 weeks out and just realizing now we need to coordinate some kind of ‘rehearsal pizza party’…

      I think the traditional-ish rule is that everyone who’s bridal party or someone who’s come from out of town is generally invited to the rehearsal so if you can swing it I’d invite these guests at your dad’s house along.

      As for asking people to do things… You just have to ask as politely and “no biggie, either way but it we would be honoured/humbled/grateful if you wanted to x, y, z…” I struggle with it to but you just gotta DO IT! I was asked to give a toast by a girlfriend a few years ago (I was one of her bridesmaids). Being on the other side, it felt WONDERFUL to be asked…. And I gave a KICK ASS speech.

      • Em(ily)

        Yeah, I was looking at a takeout menu and tabulating how many pies we’d need and how much that would cost today, and telling my fiance about it. He told me he just wanted to not think about it, and was sure it’d happen just fine when the time came. Well yeah, it will be fine because we thought about it now and made our damn plan! (I think I’ve heard this refrain a few times on here)
        Glad to know there’s a traditional-ish rule to go by :) I’ll be seeing them this weekend, so we’ll see what they say. I don’t know if I want to choose anyone for speeches or toasts or whatnot. Like I said, I don’t really care if anybody does or not.

        • vegankitchendiaries

          Our plan for this… My sweetheart is asking his ‘best man’ who is his cousin. He’s a bit on the quiet side and he was asked to be best man the first thing he was was “Okay but I’m not giving a speech! Well… okay, maybe I’ll give a speech…” So, he’s getting asked! I’m also asking my MOH who’s a loudmouth like me anyway and will love it. Then the MC will throw it out to anyone who wants to say something. I’ll make sure there are at least one or two who actually will, lest her request fall on a deafening and awkward silence… (Queue the tumbleweeds!)

        • Katherine

          We had a program that covered the entire evening (ceremony + reception) and it listed a time for toasts. That way people knew what to expect, but we didn’t have to ask anyone formally. The program actually said “remarks,” which allowed us to each say our own prepared statement to kick things off. I actually loved doing that, as it was the only part of the evening that we didn’t share with each other before hand; we wanted to say the same vows, but it was nice to be surprised by something.

          In terms of the guests, I think it’s fine to say, “we’d be happy to have you at our (informal) rehearsal dinner. However, we completely understand if you’d like to take the evening to play tourists while you’re visiting, or to just have a bit of downtime at dad’s house.”

    • ElisabethJoanne

      My older etiquette books say that rehearsal dinners are just for people who need to attend the rehearsal, and their partners. That’s what it was for my parents. But my cousins have generally held “welcome reception” rehearsal dinners, which first confused my grandfather, then came to be expected. So when we tried to stick to the traditional guest list for our rehearsal dinner (in a nice restaurant, my in-laws paying), there were bumps. Especially because all of my extended family arrived during the rehearsal together, but not all were invited. (The rehearsal dinner was planned before the travel arrangements.)

      My advice is to invite people staying with your father. They’ll probably prefer having an “appointment” to being alone in a strange house.

      For toasts, I’d circulate an email. “Confirming rehearsal dinner…informal, laid back…opportunity for toasts when everyone sits down/after dinner/etc.” That way, you’re not singling anyone out, but anyone who does want to speak has an idea when to stand up, rather than things winding down before they grab the moment.

    • kris

      Re: Toasts. We asked people in our wedding party, individually, and very generically, so they could turn it down if they wanted. Make it seem logistical — like, “Hey we’re just wrapping up a few wedding details and are figuring out who wants to give a toast. Either way you decide is fine with me, but let me know if you’re interested. If you are, great! If not, that’s totally fine too! Just trying to get everything situated.” –I think I said something like that, and pretty sure I emailed or texted so it gave them time to mull it over. Some of our party said, ‘phew I’m really not into that idea’ and others jumped on the chance. Hope that helps!

      ETA what I’ve learned in wedding planning is that as the date gets closer, as much as I hoped things would organically happen, some things really do need to be nailed down, for your own sanity :)

  • Molly P. Kop

    I got offered a job Tuesday morning, a few hours before the interview I told y’all about last week. It’s nice to (sort of) have lsomethijg lined up but I’m confused because company 2 is my dream company, great people, room to grow and learn new things… The job I’ve been offered is very entry-level. Is it wrong to hold off accepting a few days to see if I hear back from the other interview? I have asked them to please send a written offer and told them I could let them know early next week.

    I really am hoping and praying for job 2, but I, always so critical of myself after an interview… I just don’t know.

    • Kayjayoh

      I also want to hear the answer to this, on the off-chance that this is something that comes up in my own job search.

    • Cleo

      It’s perfectly fine to take some time to think about a job offer and I think you handled the offer just right.

      As for the interview for your dream job…I’d reach out to your dream job company and lay your cards out on the table. I would do this on the same email chain which you used to send a thank you for the interview (or, if you haven’t sent a TY yet, write one and express your enthusiasm at the same time).

      “I have a job offer from another company, however, working here would be my absolute first choice. I love your company for x, y, and z reasons and would be thrilled to accept a position with you. Please let me know whether I’m still in the running and when you expect to make your decision.” (or something along those lines)

      Showing enthusiasm for a company is not something to balk at — people want to work with people excited to work with them. And the worst thing they can say is “thanks, but we’ve already filled the position,” in which case, it wasn’t meant to be and their loss.

      Good luck!

      • Molly P. Kop

        Thanks! I sent a thank you/reiteration of interest email to the person who scheduled my interview yesterday and they responded saying they would forward it to my interview panel, which I’ll take as a good sign. When i was in the interview i asked when I could expect to hear back and they said Monday or Tuesday, so I’ll give them till then, I think.

        Thanks for your reassurance. :) They had a couple more candidates to interview but I’m remaining hopeful, here.

    • NewHere

      1. There’s no such thing as a dream job (but I totally get that you’re more excited about one of the opportunities) http://www.askamanager.org/2013/01/stop-thinking-youre-applying-for-your-dream-job.html

      2. Definitely reach out to job 2 and say you have an offer and need to make a decision by x date. I’ve done this a couple times – the first time the company came back with an offer sooner than they might have. The second time I finally got a straight answer out of the company (that their funding was really up in the air and they hated stringing me along but wouldn’t have it pinned down for another 2-6 months!). Both times this gave me valuable information even though it wasn’t always the answer I was hoping for.
      Good luck!!

      • Molly P. Kop

        1. Oh, believe me, I know, but this company seems like a good match for what I’m looking for overall. As far as the company, not just the job.
        2. Already mentioned the other offer. They said it’d be Monday or Tuesday before they made a decision. We’ll see!

      • Molly P. Kop

        Also, thanks for the link!!

    • Christina McPants

      I have definitely followed up with job #2 situations because I was offered job #1 – I would recommend talking to the HR person / prelim interviewer rather than your #2 person. But Cleo’s phrasing is excellent and exactly what I’d recommend, though I might do a phone call instead of an email (that’s just me personally).

      Also, you can accept job #1 and just quit / withdraw your acceptance if job #2 comes through. It happens. Job #1 won’t love you for it, but it happens all the time.

      • Molly P. Kop

        That’s what I’m leaning toward but I need to see a formal offer first. Once I do I’ll probably let them know first of next week. If I have to quit then so be it.

    • Jenni

      I would contact company 2/dream company immediately and let them know that you have an offer and inquire as to their timeframe. If they want you, they’ll know that they need to move fast to get you. If company 1 gave you a date to let them know by, you can tell company 2 that you have to make a decision by XX/XX. If they didn’t give you a date, a week is a good gap time to tell company 1 that you need to discuss with family and make a decision.

      • Molly P. Kop

        Company 1 told me they needed a response by end of business today so I had I go ahead and accept. If company 2 comes back with an offer within the next week (start date is 7/14) I’ll have to take it, but if they don’t… At least I have a job! Yay!!

  • lady brett

    in marriage-and-family news – i was out of town this weekend (on my wonderful, lovely, great belated b-day trip!) and my honey went to lunch with their grandmother. the one who couldn’t come to the wedding for moral reasons. and who proceeded to check in and make sure my honey was okay all alone, and tell stories about how she always missed her husband terribly when he would go out of town. this progress is so lovely to watch – and doubly lovely to see how much it means to my honey.

    • vegankitchendiaries

      At least an open window to follow a closed door… This is a nice update, LB. x

    • Em

      This is really really great to hear. This past week my partner and I received an email from a family member who was choosing not to attend our wedding because of their faith and personal views. I was surprised by how shocked and hurt I felt, even though I had known there was a chance this family wouldn’t react well. It’s nice to hear that there can be movement, after time.

      • Valerie Day

        Sorry EM! It is incredibly hurtful. This happened to us too, the week before the wedding. He had RSVP’d and everything. So hard. But I also know a lot of our family has made progress so we hold out the hope.

    • Annie

      So reassuring to hear, especially given the situation with my grandmother. So grateful for your honey’s grandmother’s continued wrapping-her-head-around-the-whole-thing. Transformation is possible!

  • vegankitchendiaries

    2 weeks out!! DJ quit on Sunday!! So excited to marry my sweetheart and see all my pals (from all over the goddamn WORLD) I don’t even give a toss! Woo hoo!

    • Em(ily)

      Hooray!! Hope it all goes as smoothly as possible and solutions arise effortlessly!

      • vegankitchendiaries

        They should make wedding cards that say that inside. :)

    • HannahESmith

      It’s going to be incredible. Having all your people there is AMAZING. Also, this may help: http://apracticalwedding.com/2013/08/playlist-for-an-emergency-dance-party/

      • vegankitchendiaries

        You are SO right! We’re going to be compiling some last minute playlists over the next few days and I’ll probably pinch a LOT of these suggestions. Cheers, Hannah! x

  • Kayjayoh

    I got my wedding dress back and finished at 7 PM two days before my wedding. I also sliced my finger open with a knife blade while cutting apart sheets of paper for the tables. (Helpful hint about using the carpet as a cutting surface: it can cause the knife blade to bounce. FYI) No one sang the hymn during the procession. People had cut into *all* of the desserts on the dessert table by the time we got down to the reception, including the fancy decorated cake. The wrong song got played for our first dance. My husband realized that he picked the wrong size for his (engraved, steel, non-resizeable) ring. We (and three of our friend) got food poisoning for one night of the honeymoon trip.

    And you know what? Everything was still great. It was wonderful. I could have done without the finger cut and the food poisoning but other than that, nothing that “went wrong” did so in a way that caused me any worry. The ceremony was moving (and hot and sunny, but we didn’t get rained out) and people especially commented on the readings. The reception was a blast and we didn’t run out of food and folks told us over and over how much fun they were having. The two-part honeymoon trip to northern Wisconsin (which included friends for the first few days) included beautiful weather and wonderful experiences. (We saw a bear, y’all.)

    Now we are back and starting to ramp up our move prep. I’ve had four long-distance job interviews. (Different jobs. No second interviews yet.) We are writing our thank you notes and getting used to saying “my husband” and “my wife.” Life is good.

    Happy Fourth of July weekend, everyone!!!

    • vegankitchendiaries

      Big congrats, Kayjayoh! Love to see the post-wedding success posts! Hope you’ll still be around for a bit after this… :)

    • lady brett

      <3

      that's the best (somehow the stories of "all this went wrong, and also it was perfect" make me the happiest…probably because they remind me of my wedding ;)

      • ART

        totally! we had a few things “go wrong” but none mattered. our biodegradable plastic cups melted in the sun…they still worked, they just looked stupid and melty. it was FINE :)

    • ElisabethJoanne

      Mazel tov!

      My husband has worn his ring maybe 3 days of the 19 months we’ve been married. (too big; afraid he’ll lose it) He’s getting a gold chain to wear it around his neck for Christmas.

      • Kayjayoh

        M calls this a “Frodo chain.” I have one for my rings for when I rock climb.

        • ElisabethJoanne

          “Frodo chain” – love that. I could get Dad to buy it if I described it that way.

      • april

        We had this same problem and wound up taking the ring back to the jeweler where we got it. They re-sized it free of charge! Maybe something to look into …

        • ElisabethJoanne

          We bought our rings online. We were professionally sized before we ordered, down to the quarter-size, but on a hot afternoon.

          I don’t think my husband should be afraid of losing the ring. I’ve worn rings a half+ size too big and been fine, but he’ll never feel good about it.

          I’m not sure he’d wear the ring even if it was the perfect size. It takes getting used to, and I don’t think it’s right to insist he do something with/on his body he’s uncomfortable with. He thought he’d be ok wearing a ring, but he’s just not. I just wish we could have foreseen all this, and we would have skipped his ring. I’m very glad we at least skipped his ring for the ceremony. I’d be really hurt if we had a double-ring ceremony and then he didn’t care about his ring.

    • jashshea

      Congrats & glad to hear you’re getting some interviews in! Good luck w/move prep!

    • emilyg25

      Someone cut your wedding cake!? That’s so … weird. But I’m glad everything was still great. Congratulations!!!

      • Marcela

        It happened at my SIL’s wedding too. They had a variety of different cakes on a designated table and before the bride and groom even got to the reception people had already dug in. It took us some finagling and cake doctoring to make it so she didn’t know. We had to combine two half eaten upside down pineapple cakes into one!

      • Kayjayoh

        The decorated one was what surprised us the most. But ultimately, whatever. M doesn’t really like the posing for photos thing anyway, so missing out on the cake cutting was not a huge loss.

    • enfp

      Congratulations!! Glad to hear that it was all wonderful:)

  • http://humanlivinghumanly.wordpress.com/ Shelly

    Friends friends friends! After weeks of procrastinating I have finally gotten myself together to start my first “grown up” blog. There are so many changes and transitions happening in my life that I needed somewhere to think and talk about them, and I couldn’t hold myself to paper journaling, so blog it is! I’m really excited and so far I’m meeting my goal of 2 posts per week, which is super good for me. I’ve always written online but this is the first time I’m doing so without a pseudonym, and I’ve had a lot of anxiety about starting this so I’m super proud of myself!

    Anyway, if you’re interested in a blog about transitioning to adulthood, being newly married, creative writing, media commentary and social justice, and working as a therapist, please check me out! I need more people to yell at me if I don’t post. ;) URL is here: https://humanlivinghumanly.wordpress.com/

    • http://humanlivinghumanly.wordpress.com/ Shelly

      Link opens in the same tab because I have no idea how to format comments here. Merp.

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

    Turns out the mystery illness that’s been causing my intense abdominal pain and nausea is just a particularly weird case of mononucleosis. I’m very relieved it’s not anything more serious (I had a few symptoms that had been pointing towards lymphoma), but this whole thing kind of makes me feel like I’m back in high school (at least that’s the last time I knew people who were getting mono).

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

      I’m so glad it’s only mono! That must have been scary.

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

        Yes- my grandfather had Hodgkin’s lymphoma, so when I started having intense abdominal pain and my lymph nodes starting swelling like crazy, I was a bit freaked out.

        Since my case was so abnormal, no one thought mono at first (I think the mono screen was the 12th or 13th blood test I had done). It was such a relief to get a call that it was just mono.

    • Megan

      I’m sure it’s such a relief to have a diagnosis! Very glad it’s not anything worse.

      I got news this week that after 4 throat infections in the last 2 years, my doctor recommends a SECOND tonsillectomy. I had my first, and what I hoped was my last, 5 years ago. Kill me now.

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

        Oh no!! I’m so sorry. I hate when things come back.

  • Meg

    I’m so glad you had happy hour on a Thursday!

  • anon

    Did anyone have a slideshow at their wedding reception? Was it fun? Who made it? Do you have a link to share? I need some inspiration.

    • Megan

      My parents spent last winter digitizing all our family photos, and they did one for my sister’s wedding this spring. They showed it at cocktail hour in the background, and people seemed to really like it. They specifically made sure there were selections of photos of my sister (and me) with all the different family and friends who were at the wedding, so people had fun seeing not only my sister and her husband’s baby pictures, but themselves too.

      Since I was in the wedding party and we missed some of cocktail hour, I didn’t see the whole thing through AT the reception….but multiple people couldn’t wait to tell me how the slideshow froze for about 5 minutes on a picture of me, my sister, and our two cousins naked in the bathtub in 1992. Awesome.

    • Amanda

      We had it at the rehearsal dinner. I don’t have a link as we just used a laptop and had the slideshow be the screensaver. Just found all the pictures we could of us together and threw in some of the engagement photos as well!

    • Christina McPants

      My unprofessional opinion: Slideshow in the background is fun for receptions, especially cocktail hour and can be a fun job if you have enthusiastic family that want to help somehow. I wouldn’t recommend slideshow in a toast unless you keep it brief – not more than 5 photos, it can drag after that.

    • Marcela

      I had one during my bridal shower and it was really sweet running in the background. Lots of old photos showing off my best fashion choices during the 90′s/00′s…:)

    • Caroline

      My mom is making one. We’re actually showing it at the BBQ the night before because there’s no where to show it at the wedding. Just scanned phoos of each of our lives. It’s a family tradition.

  • Alison O

    Anybody have recommendations of good cheap tex-mex/mexican comfort food restaurants in Los Angeles? I’m talking somewhere I can get good house-made chips and salsa, cheese enchiladas, rice and beans, maybe tamales or a burrito… NOT the pathetic stuff made with Kraft cheese slices, etc.

    • MC

      I’ve only been there a handful of times, but my SIL took me to a delicious restaurant called Casablanca. It wasn’t cheap, but I don’t recall it being super pricey either, and they made their own tortillas!

    • Cleo

      Paco’s Tacos. It’s the restaurant featured in Jerry Maguire (the serenade scene) and they handmake their tortillas on site. It’s not taco stand prices, but it’s really good, reasonably priced mexican food: http://www.yelp.com/biz/pacos-tacos-los-angeles

      Also, Guelaguetza. It’s a Oaxacan cuisine restaurant located in Koreatown and they have the best mole I’ve ever had (and the rest of their food is pretty good too). http://www.yelp.com/biz/guelaguetza-restaurante-los-angeles

      • laurasmash

        LA APW meetup at Paco’s!!!!!

        • Cleo

          I’m game!

    • NewHere

      Titos Tacos!!!!! It’s not sit down but it’s cheap and most awesome.
      Important question though – where in LA??

      • Alison O

        I’m in the Pico-Robertson area, but we need to explore the city, and I will venture far and wide for food! :)

        • NewHere

          Well then, head over to Titos!! I’m pretty sure it’s on Sepulveda and Washington? We always stopped by to/from the airport since it was the only time I was near there. In Pasadena I love El Portal but it’s not super cheap and they specialize in more central American (although you can still get classic tex-mex). If you like Cuban food, check out Versailles on La Cienega.

    • laurasmash

      Paco’s Tacos on Centinela!

  • ElisabethJoanne

    I want to start a blog. It will mostly be links to developments in California law related to mental illness, with some commentary. The thing is, I’m not tech-savvy. I don’t even know how to look up a bitly. Advice for websites, software, platforms to use?

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

      I think blogger is pretty intuitive to get started with.

      • ElisabethJoanne

        Thanks, all! I’m tracking these responses. Hopefully I can make something that’s helpful to others.

    • Christina McPants

      WordPress is pretty easy to work with in terms of making a blog / hosting / etc, though some of their editing functions are not perfect.

    • HannahESmith

      I second the WordPress recommendation. I can personally recommend this hosting company: http://hostpond.com/. I believe they offer you a few hours of free help when you sign up, which could help you get a simple WordPress site set up. They are a small company, and they are really helpful.

    • http://humanlivinghumanly.wordpress.com/ Shelly

      Third-ing WordPress! I just started a blog over there and it’s very intuitive. Also it sends you emails when you get followers or comments, which is good if you want to start building a following or communicating with people on the blog. :)

    • YOQ

      Fourthing WordPress. If you don’t mind a blahblah.wordpress.com url, they can host it and it’s free. (Actually, I think if you pay a small amount, they’ll host it and give you the domain name of your choice.) I’ve used both blogger and wordpress, and I prefer wordpress, though I still find some things difficult (some things are not intuitive for me). I taught myself quite a bit of html for a class project, and it’s frustrating sometimes not to be able to use that, but for someone who doesn’t do much web stuff, I think wordpress is probably the way to go. (I even used it for our wedding website. Since I wasn’t trying to *gather* information–e.g. RSVPs–through our site, this was the easiest, least expensive way to go.)

      • YOQ

        Oops–didn’t mean that to become a real hyperlink. (Now I’m wondering if someone has that as a blog. hmm..)

        • YOQ

          Reporting back to say: yes, they do. But it’s protected, so you have to have a password. Which I obviously don’t. So, anyway, I don’t recommend clicking on that link in my original response to ElisabethJoanne…

  • Lawyerette510

    Does anyone in the SF Bay area want some paper bags for favors etc for free? We have little small ones that are beige and in black have cute phrases like Mr. & Mrs. and Happily Ever After etc, and lunch-bag sized ones stamped with flag garlands in pink, blue and green. I’ll post pics if someone is interested or email you if you’d like. Also, I’m happy to ship them if pay the cost of shipping. Anyway, if there’s interest, I’d love to pass them on to someone from the APW community.

  • emilyg25

    WE HEARD OUR BABY’S HEARTBEAT ON MONDAY!!! I started laughing uncontrollably and my husband started crying. It feels really real now. So weird. It’s amazing that something you planned for and worked for for more than a year could still feel so unexpected and scary.

    • vegankitchendiaries

      This gave mega-feels. <3 <3

    • Sparkles

      My midwife told me it made her day when I heard ours for the first time. I started crying uncontrollably and had to pull myself together enough to finish the appointment. When I got back to the car I called my partner and cried some more. So freaking real. I’m 17 weeks and I’ve just started feeling it kicking, which is also unreal. At first I thought it was indigestion, but now I’m pretty sure it’s kicking.

      I’m so happy to hear your baby is well.

    • MDBethann

      Congrats! We had our first ultrasound at 8 weeks and just had our 19/20 week ultrasound today. I totally lost it at the first ultrasound because we’d been TTC for nearly 2 years when we finally got pregnant. I’m not huge yet and haven’t felt the baby kick at all, but I am enjoying the belly and it was fun to see the baby moving all around today, so I’m right there with you. Hearing the heartbeat (or seeing it on the ultrasound) is definitely reassuring.

      I think our ultrasound today made it more real for my husband too. Between that and all the baby hand-me-downs we picked up from family over the holiday weekend, he’s talked more about the baby in the last 2 days than he has since we found out at the end of March!

  • Laura C

    Ok, this was a new one to me: My FMIL got an email from an old friend saying he was looking forward to the wedding and would be looking at our website, but hadn’t actually gotten an invitation (a mutual friend had given him the URL) and could we send one. So you’re thinking “guy inviting himself,” right? No. Actually, I know for a fact that he and his wife got a formal invitation. Not just that we sent it, but that they got it. I know this because they sent back the response card by mail rather than RSVPing online, and there’s no way they did that by having someone tell them the URL.

    I guess maybe his wife just sent the card back? Or, as my FMIL jokingly put it in her reply to him, this is what having your child gets married does to you (his daughter just got married)? Anyway, it was one of those where there have been a few of my FMIL’s people who didn’t get their invitations, and we haven’t known whether we screwed up or it was the mail or what, so when I first saw the email about this I was pretty freaked, but then there was this surge of “NOT MY FAULT” that was pretty delicious.

  • Violet

    Smart APW folks! Any spotlight-averse brides have any advice for me? I’d like to know how I can best support my sis as she navigates wedding planning. She and her fella got engaged a month ago. They’re pretty low key, and she has already said she doesn’t want to do anything too traditional for her wedding. She tends to feel overwhelmed when there’s attention on her. She’s not introverted (she likes parties and big gatherings, often hosts herself), she just doesn’t like people making too much of a fuss over her, even if they mean it in a good way. It makes her all flustered. She’s basically always been that way.

    I’m really excited for her, but I don’t know how to show her that without being too overbearing. One thing she said she appreciated is when I saw her in person after the proposal (she told me about it over the phone), I asked if there was any associated jewelry I should be asking about, rather than assume there was a ring. She was a fantastic MoH to me when I got married, so I really want to be there for her, just in a way she would appreciate.

    • Marcela

      Just be careful that knowing she’s want to stay lowkey doesn’t make you run too far in the other direction. This happened to me and it led to a not very graceful crying fit on not having a bachelorette party two days before the wedding. My bridesmaids and friends thought that since I was adamant about not having a giant party that meant I didn’t want anything.

      • Violet

        I’m so sorry you were bummed out at lack of bachelorette. : ( This is exactly the kind of inside-scoop I need.Would you have wanted them to check in with you more frequently as to what your hopes were more specifically for various events/gatherings?

        • Marcela

          I think that would have helped. Part of the problem is this whole Bridezilla/ being a bridesmaid ruined my life BS we’re fed that makes it so you feel like you can’t ask for anything so you just hush.

          • Violet

            Ugh, it’s so true. When did just voicing an opinion turn into something so maligned!? Argh, I feel for you on that.

    • Lauren from NH

      Aww this is super sweet of you. It sounds like you are pretty good at this already. With topics where I think I might be overbearing I try to go with a less is more approach. People can get so dramatic and excited that they stop listening or make a bunch of stereotypical assumptions (accidentally). I would just focus on asking open questions (occasionally, not rapidfire) so she knows you are interested and care and then letting her talk to you about what parts she wants to share. Maybe it’s hard, maybe it’s easy, maybe both, maybe a ring, maybe no ring like you said. In a sense it’s like a role reversal. I take on more of a follower, listener role and set aside my spirited opinionated lady hat.

      • Violet

        Thanks! I think you’re right about tempering my usual tendency for amount of questions. I’m pretty good with open-ended, but I can see how it could turn into rapid-fire pretty easily. So “less is more” is going to be an important thing for me to remember.

    • ElisabethJoanne

      Maybe run interference for fuss-free logistics. Obviously, don’t plan the kind of bachelorette that involves lots of attention on her. A spa day or pottery painting or anything that doesn’t involve lots of special treatment for THE BRIDE is a good idea. (For mine, we went camping.)

      It was SO NICE to spend the morning of my wedding with just my parents and sisters, so if anyone brings up a big getting-ready party group, including if she does, tamp that down. Depending on your family, friends, and logistics, this may involve going contrary to the expectations of your mother or the bride’s friends. To get that quiet morning, I had to put my foot down (very gently but clearly) with my mother several months before the wedding, so she didn’t invite extra people.

      There’s lots of advice in the archives about showers, too.

      • Nicole

        This is a GREAT idea. A few years ago I was planning a bachelorette for a friend of mine and started to feel stressed about the idea of bachelorettes because they’re so not my style. Not a problem planning for someone else, but what about when I eventually get married?! I mentioned my fears to that friend and she said, “oh, I always just assumed we’d do a spa day or something.” I felt immediately calmer.

        The thing is, in my stress about it, I hadn’t been able to think outside the box. So making a few suggestions really helped me to re-frame. For my sister, we all went to laser-tag. I’m getting married in 5 weeks and am very much looking forward to nails & ice cream!

      • Violet

        I hadn’t even thought about the morning-of! I can’t imagine she’d want any kind of “audience” for that. You also bring up other people’s expectations: My family knows her really well, and my mom said to her, “Whatever you want to do, we’re happy for you. If you’re heading to the municipal building, just let us know what time and we’ll show up.” Ha! His family is a bit more on the “activities” (she’s gone on some insane vacations with them, and I know she ended up being pressured into some stuff she would have rather not done) so actually, I think you have a very good point about running fuss-interference might be more of my role here.

        • ElisabethJoanne

          It can be helpful to have someone else in the family/group be “the bad guy” or the messenger of bad news. It’s easier for you to say to friends insisting on a big to-do, “You know, she’s my sister, and I think she’d prefer…” than for her to say “No, thank you.” I’d also suggest she steel herself for one event where there is some fussing – maybe the rehearsal dinner (hopefully a couple days before the wedding) or a shower. Because it’s how people celebrate. So if his family like louder parties or whatever, let them throw that party, just at a time where it doesn’t leave her upset on her wedding day.

          • Violet

            Right! So I can ask her if she ever wants me to be the Wedding “Bad Cop,” so she doesn’t have to stress about upsetting her future in-laws. Spacing a non-avoidable fuss-event away from the wedding itself is a good suggestion, too.

          • YetAnotherMegan

            Along with being “Bad Cop”, be ready to be “Morning-of Bouncer”. I wished I had thought to figure out a signal for my MOH to kick everyone out when everyone was fussing around and the photographer decided to point out how my dress was creasing and bunching at my hip (due to lifelong back issues and being a hair snug) which led to everyone staring at my ass and being overbearing. I was too frazzled to speak up myself and just wanted everyone OUT.

          • Violet

            Oooo, I can definitely ask her if she wants to develop a “signal” for these kinds of things. I think it would be helpful for Morning-of Bouncing, and also if she ends up having a shower or other lead-up events where she gets overwhelmed, she can signal for me to run interference. I like that idea. I’m sorry you were in such a frazzle-y situation; those are tough for anyone to handle, shy or not!

    • KC

      As a person who likes to host parties and then hide in the kitchen, and as someone who had three (three!) bridal showers, I would have loved it if someone had figured out an alternative to the part of the shower where everyone stares at the bride while she awkwardly opens every single gift and attempts to spontaneously respond in an appropriate manner to each gift without making the gifter or anyone else in the room feel badly.

      I tend to feel overwhelmed when it’s more than one person’s attention focused on me (birthdays, etc.), but I’m totally fine with just one (non-hostile, anyway) person who is focused on me. If your sister is similar, then figuring out ways to make multiple-person things into not-multiple-person things (like wedding dress trying on) might help (in that case, kick out salesladies, only bring along the people she really wants along, step back and let her do it solo if she’s more comfortable with that, etc.). I really appreciated having *one* or, max *two* supportive friends along for whatever (fiance was long-distance at the time), and having them defer to my decisions was really helpful (so, yes, maybe you don’t like the paper I chose for the invitations as much as this other paper, but be excited about the paper the bride likes anyway). But I don’t know if that “matches” your sister or not.

      And, at the end of the day, just asking her “how can I help?” and really listening, and telling her “let me know if you want more input or less input, or more help or less help – I’m really excited for you, but I don’t want to overwhelm you”, and then honestly not being hurt by her answers, is *REALLY* useful. Letting her be honest with you, repeatedly, as her stress levels change and as her opinions change, is a really nice gift. :-)

      • Violet

        Your description of yourself in Para 2 is Spot On how my sister is. She’s very good 1:1, she likes groups of people, but she doesn’t like groups of people all Looking At Her. Really, more than two people, you’re right, and she sort of freezes. I like your strategy of breaking multi-people things down into smaller clusters of people. That’ll be a good thing to keep in mind, even as she’s planning- she might want to look into venues that involve lots of nooks and crannies, rather than one big room.
        I’m gonna use your wording to the letter (“let me know if you want more input or less input, or more help or less
        help – I’m really excited for you, but I don’t want to overwhelm you”) because that really is how I feel about it. Thanks!!

        • KC

          For what it’s worth (possibly nothing; people are individuals), on the wedding day itself, I was in a Bubble (first, unfortunately, a sleep-deprived incredibly-stressed I-wanna-puke bubble [I did too much before the wedding, and only took one day off from work. Don't be me. Leave space for things to go wrong], then a Happy Bubble [once the Wedding Zen hit, which was at the moment of seeing the faces of So Many Awesome People So Happy All At Once For Us!]). So, hundreds of people looking at me during vows, etc.? Completely and utterly oblivious. (and, earlier in the morning, 8+ people in the room while I’m trying to figure out what makeup I can wear given the potential puking thing, Did Not Care.)

          I guess: if I am not responsible for making any of them them happy, or if there’s an obvious non-fake response that will make them all happy, or if I’m completely absorbed in something else at the moment, then lots of people looking at me is totally fine. If I feel responsible for making more than one person at a time happy/comfortable (or “responding appropriately” to more than one person at a time, I guess, is the real thing – trying to target your response for more than one or two people at once is *hard*, especially with gift-opening!), though, that’s challenging/stressful/tiring. I guess, it’s probably something to consider more for showers/bachelorette especially, and on the day-of, more for pre-wedding prep time (hopefully she does not feel so sick before the wedding that she just doesn’t even care about anything) and for the reception (which in my case was fairly unstructured and which I floated through on a happy haze – but I would have hated being up on a platform in front of everyone and having to respond appropriately to toasts, etc.) than the wedding itself.

          • Violet

            This is such an interesting distinction! I don’t think we’ll even know how she’d feel in front of hundreds- she’ll likely keep the guest list small. Before walking down the aisle to stand up next to me during my wedding (about 65 people), the poor thing was quaking like a leaf! It was a good thing she had the bouquet to hold on to; she was super tense.

            It seems like there might be enough pure emotion on the day of that she won’t be quite as overwhelmed by the fact that there are other people there. But you and other commenters are pointing out that it might be the lead-up events where she’ll be more uncomfortable, and it could be helpful if we knew that going in and made adjustments as needed.

          • KC

            As a many-times-a-bridesmaid, being a bridesmaid is much more “aack, get me out of here”-inducing for me than our wedding was (I’ll still bridesmaid, though, because it’s important and standing up there is not *that* bad. I will probably attempt to turn down any future “opportunities” to give toasts, though, because the one time I did that, it really was pretty horrible.).

            I just was totally oblivious during our wedding – maybe partly because we were basically always “doing things” as opposed to trying to walk smoothly while a ton of people are staring at me and then just standing there gripping a bouquet like death while staring at the wedding couple and trying not to shuffle feet, etc. (and for the parts where we were “just standing there” in our wedding, Hello Emotion and also Wow He’s Going To Be My Husband And He’s Hot).

          • Violet

            Wow, thanks for your perspective. I would’ve never thought it’d be that way, but it sounds like there’s a trend emerging! That might be reassuring for her to know, if at any point she tells me she’s worried about feeling nervous during the actual ceremony (whatever it ends up looking like). So you felt like doing specific things, coupled with “Woah, this is a big deal right here,” helped you not feel so squicky about the eyes on you?

          • KC

            I was not even dimly aware, after I met up with now-husband after walking down the aisle (most of the walking down the aisle was an “I am so happy all these people are here” awareness, and then focus shifted to now-husband and doing-things) that anyone was present. I think once or twice I had a very vague “there is a giant cloud of happiness for us off somewhere to my right” impression, and I was aware of the presence of the bridesmaids and groomsmen and officiant sometimes (but, um, not most of the time, because look! husband!). It really was a Pretty Big Thing, and the Bigness of it shut out “stage fright” or performance anxiety or whatever. (we still had a puke bucket cleverly concealed, just in case, but turned out to be totally, totally unnecessary)

          • Violet

            This is great to hear, thank you!! (And I’m glad you didn’t need the puke bucket!)

          • Katherine

            A little late to the discussion, but… I was recently a bride who does not like being the center of attention. Some things that helped me (that I’ll hopefully eventually submit as a “How we did it”):

            1) Depending on your family & friends, all those extra parties are optional. I had one bridal shower (with people from work) and no bachelorette party. None of those made me feel unloved (although you should check with your sister, as has been mentioned).

            2) I didn’t have a bridal party, and the only people around while I was getting ready were my husband and my mom. I saw various other family members earlier in the day, but just to hang out while some people were playing tennis.

            3) There was no aisle for my wedding. We had the “cocktail hour” before the ceremony, and then everyone sat down at their dinner seats during the ceremony. The officiant was at the front for the entire ceremony, but everyone else just went to the front for their portions. That meant that “all eyes were on me” just for the vows, the ring exchange, and the toast that I gave (my choice to

          • Katherine

            Discus didn’t cooperate…. I meant to end that by saying that I choose to give a sort of “toast,” but that would have been completely optional too.

          • Violet

            I think there are probably lots of limelight avoiding brides who would appreciate a How we did it post from you- it sounds like you were really creative in navigating this process. As my sis is considering ceremony options, I’ll definitely suggest this one. It sounds really natural and laid back- kinda like how she is!

  • YOQ

    Last happy hour before my wedding! Next Friday will be family lunch/rehearsal/rehearsal dinner. I have not yet reached wedding zen, though I hold onto the hope that I’ll get there. Right now, there are still too many details to take care of. This weekend is (I hope) the Last Big Shopping Trip (for things like drinks, paper products, etc.). Next week we will distribute carefully packed and numbered boxes to various helpers so that they can show up magically when they are needed. We will print and distribute timelines, contact lists, etc., etc. We will get our nails done.

    Speaking of: can anyone wholeheartedly recommend someplace for a pedicure (and a minimalist manicure) in the Portland, OR area? (I’m in NE PDX, and would especially like something around there.)

    Happy 4th of July! If anyone is at the Oregon Coast this weekend, I *strongly* recommend the weiner dog races at Rockaway Beach (1pm, Rockaway Beach City Park) on the 4th. They’re always hilarious, even (especially) if you don’t have a dachshund. (But if you have a different breed, there’s a fun run for all breeds…) It’s a fundraiser for the Tillamook Co. animal shelter, so, y’know, good cause, fun times…

    • swarmofbees

      9 days out here too! I may have reached wedding zen, or I may just be too tired out from my cold to care. Hard to tell which. I know next week will involve a fair bit of running around, despite my best efforts to avoid it. But, I think at this point there isn’t a whole lot I can do to prevent that.
      Good luck to you!

      • YOQ

        And to you!

    • Valerie Day

      Congrats on getting married in Portland OR! I live here too, and got nervous about the mani/pedi and so did it myself on the kitchen floor the night before the wedding. Good luck. Also..dachshund dog races!!!

  • Kayjayoh

    Arriving home from a 1/2 day at work, I am reminded (by the post-wedding mess in my living room) that part of our move preparation will involve getting rid of all the 120″ round tablecloths I bought for the reception. Seriously, if anyone is looking for ivory tablecloths, I’m your girl. :)

    • Megan

      uhhhhhhhhh maybe?! How much, how many?

      • Kayjayoh

        I have 25 total, 14 of which were used and 11 of which are still in the plastic. For the new ones, $8.79 each or $90 for the whole lot (plus shipping). For the ones that were used…I still need to get them washed and see what shape they are in before I decide.

        • Megan

          OK thanks! It’s not a huge difference to what it will cost me to rent through my caterer, so I’ll probably pass so I won’t have to worry about ironing :) But maybe others will bite!

          • Kayjayoh

            No worries. My ideal would be to sell them locally, via Craigslist. Then no one even has to deal with shipping.

  • alyson

    So my future SIL wants to do a flashmob dance with the groomsmen at our reception. My fiance is super, super NOT down with that because it’s totally (TOTALLY) not his style, but she’s ignoring him (and frankly kind of steamrolling him) saying that, “I’m your sister and I want to do this for you…and only the guys will have to do it, not you.” Which isn’t the point; he doesn’t want a flashmob dance, period. She’s even pitched it to his whole immediate family, who all think it’s the best idea ever. I think it’s supposed to be a surprise for me, even though obviously I’ve heard about it from multiple sources.

    My fiance thinks the only way to get his sister to back down is if “the bride” (i.e., me) tells her that I’m not into it. He says that he’s told her that it doesn’t fit with our vision, it’s not his style and would be embarrassing for him, and he’s worried the groomsmen will feel coerced, but he doesn’t trust her to really listen. However, she’s very traditional and, as a bridesmaid, if I told her that I didn’t want it, she would drop it immediately. This makes me nervous because I don’t want my first interaction in official bride to bridesmaid with my future SIL to shut down the one thing she’s been excited about OR seem like the dreaded hissy-fit bride (refuse to use that other word). Any ideas for how my fiance can deflect this without involving me? Or SHOULD I step up in his defense? Or is this maybe something we should let go and accept as a good intention (but make clear to the groomsmen that they can say no)? I’m inclined toward the last option, but my fiance is really fretting about this.

    • ElisabethJoanne

      You can certainly take the last option, but you don’t have to. I think it’s ok for you both to approach the sister and say it’s not what either of you want. Then she gets the “traditional” “be nice to the bride” thing, but you both get the “our wedding, our decisions, joint front” thing.

      • Violet

        Oooo, I like this strategy.

      • Laura C

        I feel like this would need to be handled super carefully or she could feel like she’s being ganged up on or something. I believe in a united front, but I think that having the united front be represented by both of you showing up together and saying “this is our united front” should be reserved for very serious situations.

      • alyson

        In an ideal world, this would definitely work. However, I agree with Laura C below that she would feel ganged up on *and* she would probably try to change the conversation to “You TOLD her?! It was supposed to be a surpriiiiiiise!” Which is pretty manipulative, I realize, but it’s certainly effective in potentially turning a molehill into a mountain. God help us if she involves my FMIL too. FMIL is already pissed that my fiance is trying to shoot down his sister’s ideas. That’s another reason why I would rather not be involved — I could see the family in general thinking that I’m being snobby and uptight (I’m pretty quiet, low key and they are louder, more boisterous). But I also don’t think she should get to unilaterally decide that there should be a performance at our wedding, especially since my fiance is so vocally opposed to it and to forcing his friends to be involved in something like that.

        Hopefully this is the biggest issue we have!

    • Sarah

      This might not be a popular opinion, but here’s what I would probably do…

      He needs to talk to her, because she’s his sister and you really shouldn’t be handling this. However, I think it’s totally okay that he lay the blame on you IF YOU are okay with that, and if he thinks that’s the ONLY way that she will respect his wishes (which she will think are your wishes). Hopefully he can make the blow land softly enough that she doesn’t feel like you’re throwing a hissy fit or anything, just something like “Hey sis, I spoke with Cleo about this and she really isn’t into the flashmob idea either and doesn’t want it to happen. Is there another way that you can show your love and affection for us? A toast perhaps?” Just something along those lines, whatever you and he would be more comfortable with. I know that’s kind of shady, but she’s really overstepping a lot of boundaries and she’s putting him in a weird place where his feelings aren’t being taken seriously by her. Whatever accomplishes her taking this seriously is okay in my book…Haha.

      • alyson

        I think this makes the most sense, though it still makes me anxious in terms of how I’ll come across to her and her family! But I probably have to suck it up, since it’s equally fiance’s wedding and I would rather have my white dress splattered with red paint than have him be uncomfortable there. She can just be a bit manipulative about things like this, so I worry she won’t really take it seriously unless she hears it from my mouth. But we could cross that bridge if/when we come to it.

        I really do like her, don’t get me wrong, but accepting that we have different tastes than her is difficult for her in general, and I think it’s been magnified by the wedding since she’s the oldest sister who always thought she would be married by now. I think there’s a little bit of the classic “This is not YOUR wedding” thing going on. We’re already involving her as a bridesmaid AND she’s doing a toast, so I feel like it’s more than enough in terms of honoring her. The dance is something that is catered only to her interests, so I don’t really feel bad (at all) about it not happening, but I worry about getting the message across kindly since she is someone we both really care about and love.

        • Laura C

          Another possibility that just came to me — is it possible to get the groomsmen to say “this is not a good idea and we don’t want to participate”? It sounds like she’ll need to hear it pretty firmly, so if everyone is saying it’s a bad idea, maybe that’ll help.

          That said, I went to a wedding where the groom’s parents did a LONG song that they’d made up about the couple that was actually kind of insulting to the bride, and they rejected multiple attempts to get them not to do it. So I know it can be hard when people are determined.

    • enfp

      I like ElisabethJoanne’s suggestion of approaching your future SIL together with your fiancé, combined with Sarah’s suggestion to find another way to involve your SIL, ideally something that she would also be excited about doing, so she can channel her energies elsewhere.

    • Rebekah

      What if she did it at the rehearsal? I know it’s not ideal, but then she could get her way while also leaving you and your fiancé without any stress about the flashmob interrupting your wedding day. Maybe a compromise isn’t the precedent you want to set going into your new family, but maybe FSIL is the kind of lady where you’d be better off giving a little. Best of luck for sure.

  • malkavian

    I will probably have enough data from my PhD work to submit a manuscript soon…which means I will probably be on track to graduate in about a year! Also, one the papers I’m a co-author on finally got accepted. Makes me glad I decided to give this grad school thing another semester.

    Also this past weekend was my birthday and husband was awesome and took the cat to the vet (hooray persistent hairball issues) so I could relax, and then we went out for sushi which I love but rarely treat myself to because of financial guilt. So life has been on the upswing lately.

  • Meg

    We booked our honeymoon! Going to THE star trek convention in las vegas…we spend so much of our long distance time watching star trek together this will be cool to see all the actors in real life! I kind of secretly want our picture with worf :3

    • vegankitchendiaries

      Closet TNG fan here. (Briefly considered posting anonymously.) Have the MOST fun!

      • ART

        there’s no reason to be in a trek closet…come on out!

      • swarmofbees

        I walked in front of Sir Patrick in Park Slope once. I heard this rich Scottish accent and thought, no, can’t be him, much too thick to actually be him. BUT IT WAS. I was mere feet from Captain Picard. I played it cool and all, but I texted FI as soon as I couldn’t see him anymore. i know FI is slightly jealous of the Captain.

        • vegankitchendiaries

          Love Sir P, so hard. I met him TWICE in childhood (they shoot a LOT of movies here) and he was the most sweet, down to earth dude and took some time to chat to a very starstruck 6th grader.

          Isn’t it great how he’s riding this awesome tidal wave of popularity again the last few years? I *live* for his twitpics with Sir Iain. #bffs4lyf

        • EF

          not scottish, but a huddersfield (yorkshire) accent! it’s amazing and so hard to understand outside of that tiny yorkshire area I think. could you feel the awesome oozing off him? #jealous

  • Ariel

    I got married last Saturday and it was amazing! Amazing amazing amazing. My new husband (!!!) and I keep wondering if all brides and grooms have as much fun as we did during our wedding. I cried a little bit during my brothers reading (Robert Fulghum’s Union), but otherwise held it together. Giant dance party, almost died thinking I was going to fall off the chair during the hora, our cake was bangin’. Yay!

    • Amanda

      Yes! The day after our wedding my new husband said to me “If it weren’t so expensive, I’d have a wedding every year. Having all the people we like in the same room was awesome!”

    • Fiona

      Woohoo!!! That sounds so lovely.

    • vegankitchendiaries

      Word!

    • enfp

      Congratulations!!

    • River

      Congratulations, Ariel!!! That sounds wonderful :-)

    • Ragnhild

      COngratulations!!!

  • Carrie

    Dress update from last week (if anyone remembers my weight-loss weirdness): IT ZIPS UP NOW!!! Still pretty snug, but I can get it on, and I’m feeling much less nervous about the amount of weight I need to lose in the next 2 months for it to really fit. I’m truly amazed that losing maybe 3 lbs made such a difference, when in normal street clothes it takes losing 25-30 for me to go down a size.
    I’m just so relieved I won’t have to have it let out now. I took it to my seamstress a couple of days ago, and all she needs to do is add some shaping around the sides of the halter straps, because there was extra stuff there.
    Also crazy, the store I ordered it through kept telling me I needed to have a bustle added, and when I got it on at the seamstress’s she discovered it already came with one. Win!

    • Fiona

      Yay this is great news! I wondered how this would turn out!

    • River

      Hooray!! I’m relieved for you. Glad that it sounds like you have a nice and reliable seamstress, as that store seems to have been giving you some wonky service.

    • Laura C

      That’s fabulous! Speaking as someone who’s usually between sizes, it’s amazing what 2-3 pounds in either direction can do.

    • CJ

      Yay! Thanks for the update. I was keeping my fingers crossed for you. I also have a dress that is too small (my size was sold out), but my wedding is still several months away, so I should have time to lose enough weight. *fingers crossed*

  • enfp

    First happy hour as a married lady!! Just back from our lovely mountain getaway honeymoon, and getting used to our new name:) We are both procrastinators, and the two weeks leading up to our wedding were super stressful. The wedding zen didn’t hit until I walked into our welcome party (almost 20 minutes late, ha). But it all came together beautifully. Nothing serious went wrong, and the things that went unexpectedly well were so amazing. The weather could not have been more perfect. Our friends and family showed up for us big time and made us feel so loved. Our officiant did a beautiful job with our ceremony. The speeches were great. Our alcohol calculations were almost perfect. My partner’s 92 year old grandma was cutting up the dance floor. Releasing lanterns from the beach was magical. We keep hearing from people that it was one of the best weddings they’ve ever been to! And best of all, my introverted partner who was in some ways dreading our big party ended up loving it and was so happy to have all our people there.

    APW was the key to our planning process. We could never have pulled off our logistics-heavy island wedding so well without this site and the amazing folks who contribute to it. Thank you Team Practical!

    • River

      Congratulations!

  • Lauren from NH

    We are finally getting my ring deisgned on Etsy and I am soooo excited! FINALLY! But really I need some mental yoga because it’s going to take a good 4-6 weeks to complete and then who knows if mister is going to get excited and propose immediately like it’s a hot potato or get nervous and hold on to it for weeks like a deathly secret…though of all the kinds of angst, super happy angst is the best.

    • River

      UGH DISQUS ATE MY COMMENT. Here it is again (or as close as I could make it):

      WOOHOO!!! That’s so exciting!!

      UNSOLICITED ADVICE ALERT: I would suggest coming up with a time frame together, not necessarily a definite date, but more like he will take “x weeks” or until “y date” to propose after the ring arrives. This ensures you don’t have too much angst during the waiting time.

      Allow me to elaborate with a QUICK CAUTIONARY TALE: though we are blissfully engaged and excitedly planning a wedding now, Z and I had a very fraught pre-engagement period, mainly because I thought we’d be engaged within a month after my granny gave us her ring. It took four months of heartbreak for me to broach the subject with him, because I didn’t want to ruin the surprise. Turns out, he wasn’t ready. I almost walked. But we decided together to be engaged by the New Year, which was six months later. He ended up proposing on Dec. 30th ;-) And I was as surprised as could be, even though he’d had the ring for ten months.
      So yes, I’m happy with where we are now. But it would have saved us both a lot of grief to have a time frame convo up front.

      • Lauren from NH

        Haha I appreciate the realness. We have kind of been there done that got the T-shirt. It has been an epically long pre engagement. He is huge on his traditional proposal secrecy, so I am mostly amazed that he is finally cool with us already brainstorming wedding stuff and communicating so directly about the ring situation. I gave him an overly generous timeline which he has agree to. But knowing him, he is a secretly emotional fellow and feels very strongly about this, I just have no idea how it’s going to play out lol.

        • River

          HAH Got the t-shirt, got the mug ;-) Well in that case, congrats also on the fact that he is opening up by brainstorming and communicating, and also on giving him a timeline! Sending a bit o’ fairy dust your way!

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

      Congratulations! May your waiting period be short and un-angsty. :)

  • Acres_Wild

    Any Twin Cities ladies reading this? Have you ever been to/planned a wedding at the Weisman Art Museum? The Riverview Gallery was our top choice for the reception, but it turns out that you can’t have dancing in that room (something about the wood floors), you have to have it in an adjacent room. I’m worried that A) it will be way too much space for our 100-person cocktail reception, and B) the separate room for dancing will be awkward.

    Here’s the reception space looking into the doorway of the adjacent room: https://flic.kr/p/5XyRCs

    And here’s the adjacent room looking out into the reception space: https://flic.kr/p/5XuBz2

    What do you think? Is it weird to do two separate spaces like that or am I totally overthinking it? I was just so excited about the original room because it would be perfect for our purposes, and now having to deal with this whole other space is really throwing me off.

    • Ellen

      The separate spaces strike me as fine and maybe even nice if you’ll have older folks or just people who would like to chat a bit away from any potentially loud music. If you’d like to bring the spaces together a little more, you might consider putting your bar (if you’ll have a bar) in the dancing room. That’ll get people moving over there and include it in the broader party a bit.

      While it’s tough to say without seeing the space in person, your concern about it being too much space is one I would share were I in your position. However, it seems to me that you might be able to essentially screen off part of the dancing room to essentially shrink the space. In fact, if you like the idea of having the bar in there, the bar (maybe flanked/backed by some ficus trees or something?) could potentially serve the purpose of cutting off a part of the room.

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

      Twin Cities here – I briefly considered it as a location but then I heard that the waitlist is really long (not 100% sure how true that is though). Also you’ll need to get permission from the Board of Regents if you’d like to serve liquor at your reception, so you’ll have to do that early to make sure they can vote on it.

    • EW

      I’ve been to a reception there with dancing (not a wedding) and it actually worked pretty well. The dancing space didn’t seem too separate – I didn’t know that it was there by necessity, it just seemed like the place where the dance floor happened to be. It’s a beautiful room and I think even if there’s “too much” space you could pretty easily not use all the floorspace for tables etc. and enjoy it.

  • River

    We took our engagement photos on Tuesday. It was wonderful :-) We went to the Museum of Natural History, to visit our friend the big blue whale. Z teased me about how I love sea mammals and hate fish. He insisted we lie down under the whale to recreate the moment he first realized he wanted to marry me, and we made out in front of a bunch of children and didn’t care at all. Then we went to central park for some photos in the sweltering heat of the natural light ;-) Even though I felt sweaty and awkward at first, we ended up having just a total blast.

    We both really really liked our photographer, and that means I’m way less stressed about the wedding!!

    …Now I’m on pins and needles to see our photos haha!!

    • Fiona

      I LOVE the idea of doing pictures in a museum!

      • River

        It was Z’s idea, he almost proposed there, and since he ended up proposing at GCT, he wanted to involve the museum somehow :-)

  • Sad B

    Canada changed its immigration laws last week. :( This means that to live in the same country with my FH, I have to give up Canada. I’ve lived here 5 years and love my city soooo much, but it’s now a choice between getting married or staying here.

    So I have to say goodbye to the city I love forever, or live apart from my husband. The answer is obvious but it still hurts.

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

      Is your husband in Canada or elsewhere? I have read the law changes and have been following it closely (because I just submitted my citizenship application in June). The new law isn’t expected to go into effect until mid-June 2015. Are you already a permanent resident? Will you be eligible to submit for citizenship before then?

      • Sad B

        He’s elsewhere. :( I’ll be a few months short of the required time in June next year, which means that all of my non-PR accumulated time gets wiped out in addition to the longer time requirements (so I’ll need another 2 years). Given that you can’t bring someone into Canada unless you’re married, and it’s a 2 year wait from that point…I’m moving to his country. And by the time the 2 year wait is up, I will have lost my PR.

        I spent so much time and money on getting my PR. I really wanted to live here forever.

        But if I go to his country, I can get a fiancee visa within 9 months.

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

          I am so sorry that you are going through this. Bi-national and long-distance relationships can be so difficult… :( I wish you all the best with your fiancée visa and finding a way to live in the same place as your partner.

          • Sad B

            Thank you for letting me vent; and best of luck with your citizenship application! I really appreciate your words. :)

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

            Thanks! Good luck with your next steps…

  • River

    You guys. BUY THAT SWIMSUIT. I have it in blue velvet, and it has lasted me 3 (almost 4) years, looks brand new and is super sexy but ALSO keeps everything covered. WIN / WIN.

    • Sparkles

      Yes! It’s the most flattering thing ever. I found Esther Williams before ModCloth found her (aren’t I a hipster) and she has a pretty funny website where she sells them too. In a whole bunch of other patterns.

      I love that blue velvet one, though. I might get myself a second one.

      • River

        doooo iiiitttt

      • Laura C

        Interesting. I feel like that cut around the legs would be really unflattering on me. But I guess different bodies, etc. Too bad, because I like the top.

        • p.

          I bought one of these suits last year and returned it because it wasn’t flattering on me, though I love it on other people.

    • emilyg25

      Yep, I have the red one with white polka dots. SO FLATTERING. And the best thing is, no need to wax/shave/whatever!

    • Caroline

      Can I ask if anyone has worn it who has a long torso and how it fit? I have a super long torso, and I’ve pretty much decided that I’m only buying long-torso suimsuits from here on, even though they are hard to find. I’m very long in the torso.

  • orienteeringirl

    We found our wedding venue last weekend!!!! No date yet (looking to get hitched in about two years after I finish grad school) but it is such a relief to have the location set, especially since we don’t have a car and renting just added another step and expense to the whole ordeal of searching for venues! Last weekend was honestly probably the best time we’d had together since getting engaged three months ago (we were in Paris celebrating our 5th anniversary when he proposed.) We already had a pretty full calendar for the spring, and since getting engaged I have gone back to grad school, so there hasn’t been much time for relaxation and spontaneity. But after our tour of our venue, we had all afternoon free and stopped at a winery we’d passed on our way and celebrated our love and ticking a big wedding to-do off our list over some surprisingly good wine and a picnic lunch! It was followed by a DC United game with our friends, who have totally floored me with with all of their support and enthusiasm over our engagement and wedding planning. And an already amazing weekend was concluded with a terrific Sunday BBQ where a long-time friend came out. He was embraced in a huge group hug of pure love, joy and unconditional support. It was amazing and we were so honored to have shared in such an important moment in his life!

    Consequently, I’ve been spending my lunch breaks on APW this week looking for inspiration as to how we can acknowledge our support of marriage equality (and just equality) for all of our LGBTQ friends who will be attending our wedding. Love!

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

    Guys…I just want to say that I put in my resignation at work this week. HOLY CRAP! That was the scariest thing ever. Everyone seems to be taking it well (or at least faking it) so far. My last day is July 25th, then I get to focus on teaching prep! Dang!!! Our next step is to find a new place to move to (to make my commute easier). Someday maybe we will start wedding planning :D

  • Jenni

    Guys …. last week I moved to South Carolina, to finally live with my fiance after seven years of long-distance. SEVEN. I almost can’t believe that I don’t have to leave again in a couple days …

    And, I GOT A JOB!!!! The offer came in at the beginning of my last conference, where I had to tell everyone that I’m leaving the field. It was hard to do so, but so much better to say “Here’s what I’m doing next!” compared to “Yeah I’m leaving science, moving in with the fiance …. and don’t know what I’ll be doing ….” I’m SO excited about this job, learning new things and being challenged. Oh and not being unemployed!!!

    Three months to go until the wedding, and there’s still a lot to do, but everything is finally in place.

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

      Congrats!!

    • MC

      CONGRATS!!! Speaking from experience, it is so much easier to handle the crazy life transition of moving to a new place and FINALLY not being long-distance when both people are employed/in school/whatever. Unemployment often does not make for the healthiest attitudes. So YAY on all counts!

  • Erin

    We’re getting ready to order our Save the Dates! I designed them myself! Whee! (I may be a little proud/excited)

    I also need opinions! Nearly everyone has to travel for our wedding, so we’re getting them our almost a year in advance. We’re torn on whether to do magnets or just regular paper. We thought magnets would be great at first, but then we realized they were 4 times what a good quality postcard size would be. I’m hesitant to use Vistaprint to go cheaper because I haven’t loved their quality in the past. Then today I thought maybe we could send out little stickers for people to put on their calendars with a nice postcard version, but then I realized no one is going to have a calendar for next year. Whomp whomp.

    The paper is important to me, so I want it all to feel and look great. But I also want to be reasonable because I know a lot people are just going to toss the stuff anyway.

    • Alison

      Just go with the postcards. I feel like people who would be inclined to stick them on the fridge will do so anyway. Or at least that’s what I decided about mine!

      • Erin

        That’s my line of thought, too. There are so many people with stainless steel fridges out there now and magnets don’t stick to those either. My gut says it’s not worth the extra cost in the end.

        • MC

          Wait – people have fridges that they can’t put magnets on?? My favorite thing in the world is to fill every possible surface of our fridge with magnets, pictures of friends, etc. I feel like our kitchen would look so empty without it… but yes, I think postcards are fine.

    • ElisabethJoanne

      fwiw: An organization my husband and I volunteer for sends save-the-dates for its biggest annual fundraiser. The director of the fundraiser visits participants’ homes, and she says she sees so many of the save-the-dates on fridges. :-) Because they’re so cheap, they can give out stacks of them, so this year we had one for the fridge at home and my bulletin board at the office.

    • Valerie Day

      All my save the dates go on the fridge with a magnet. I need more magnets. I’d keep your magnet to hold up all the future save the dates, but you know….

  • Amanda Michele Rhaesa

    I bought my boyfriend an engagement watch this week. I don’t know when or how I’m going to give it to him, but I’m really excited so I had to share.

    • Not Sarah

      Congrats! My boyfriend doesn’t have any interest in wearing rings at all (or any jewellery really) and when I commented that I didn’t like that only women wear engagement rings, his solution was that neither of us should, which doesn’t sit 100% with his want to propose some day with one. So we’re clearly still working on some of those things. I wonder if an engagement puppy might help with that!

      • Amanda Michele Rhaesa

        I love the idea of an engagement puppy (or kitten for that matter). I don’t mind the engagement ring, our plan is to pick it out together sometime in the near future, but I wanted him to have something too. The watch is a surprise for him for sometime after he proposes, which he really wants to do. Good luck figuring out what works for the two of you!

        • River

          Congrats! I did something similar – he really wanted to propose, and I really wanted to give him something in return. So we found him an engagement ring (he calls it his training ring, as he’s never worn jewelry before and was nervous about wearing a wedding band) and I surprised him with it on the night that we found our wedding venue. :-) Best of luck!!

    • Ariel

      Best of luck! I proposed to my husband a little over a year ago. I couldn’t sleep the night before because I was so excited/nervous, but all went well :-)

    • leafygreen

      Awesome!

      I think I had something like half a dozen half-assed proposal plans that I ended up throwing away (some of them in the middle of trying to execute them) before finally pulling off something that felt right. I had his gift in a drawer for something like 6 weeks in the meantime.

      Good luck with figuring out how/when to do it! And best wishes overall. :)

  • Bsquillo

    I’m finally back at happy hour, basically right off the tarmac from our honeymoon, and MARRIED!

    Our wedding was June 21, and it was perfect. Maybe not in a pinteresty picture-perfect fairytale way, but in a laid-back totally us imperfectly perfect way. I can honestly say that the week of the wedding was the most relaxed I had been about the planning process for months. Thanks to a lot of the organizational tools from APW (and some serious help from family and friends), all the things eventually got checked off the list, and we could just relax and take it all in.

    I just wanted to say, WEDDING ZEN IS POSSIBLE, Y’ALL. The day of our wedding it stormed on and off all afternoon. We thought it looked clear for our outdoor ceremony, and right as I walked down the aisle, the wind picked up. What followed was a super intense stormy ceremony, but the rain held long enough for us to make it through as I squeezed my husband’s hands tightly and laughed that my veil was blowing horizontally. Despite the chaos, I wasn’t worried. I was just happy to get married, even if the flower arrangements at the altar had totally fallen over.

    One more thing- a lot of people describe their wedding feeling like a blur. Maybe it’s because we had a smaller guest list, but I feel like I remember everything in sharp detail. It is possible to actually speak to all your guests, actually eat your food, and actually enjoy the great big party you’re throwing. There is hope :)

    Congrats to all my June 21 wedding buddies- we made it! And to everyone else getting married soon: you can do it!

  • http://innercupcake.blogspot.com innercupcake

    First week of my new job! Last Friday I handed in the final copy of my thesis and I’ve now got a badge that says PostDoc Associate! Of course, I still have to finish turning my introduction into a review to publish, and have been back in my old lab to tie up loose ends and will do so over the weekend as well (and I’ve got little to no idea of what I should be doing in my new lab), but I’m going to try to feel like this is a big accomplishment and step forward!

  • ART

    got married on Saturday, it was the best ever. can’t really put it in words yet. but here’s a pic of the vintage boat photobooth to prove that it totally worked (people went crazy over this…soooo much fun). i actually don’t know why the oars are there…someone dug those out. didn’t even notice :)

  • ART

    oh, weird. i’m not sure this attached to my last post. photobooth shot of me and my husband :)

    • B

      This is adorable!

  • emmers

    Hey ya’ll! How did you go about estimating how many hotel rooms to reserve for your hotel block, if you have one? I know some folks who are definitely going to need rooms, but we haven’t yet sent save the dates/invitations, so I’m not sure how to estimate. There’s no fee for unreserved rooms or anything.

    • Caroline

      We were able to book a block of 10 rooms, and didn’t have to commit to absolutely filling them. (and I think if the 10 filled up, we could add more. So you might find a place where you can book how many you think you will need.

    • Sarah McClelland

      We erred on the side of a bigger block of rooms with a deadline, and then they’ll be released… No fee, but a great discount ($40ish per room per night) so it worked out for us. For our 50-ish person family/rehearsal night we are holding 15 rooms, and for our 150 person expected 4:30pm plus dinner reception wedding we asked for 40.

    • emilyg25

      We reserved a room for every out-of-town guest/couple/family. Then we checked in with the hotel after our invites went out and realized a bunch of our friends were also reserving rooms, so we called and added more to the block.

  • NicoleT

    I’ve seen a few posts here and other places about sky lanterns (the lanterns with the candles inside that you light and let float up) and I just wanted to pass on some info to people thinking about using them. Check to make sure they aren’t illegal in your state! In California, they’re illegal and, besides that, incredibly dangerous. Since there’s a drought out here, it can very easily set a huge fire. Please be thoughtful and extremely cautious. They’re pretty, but it’s not worth setting a large portion of land on fire (only that if you’re lucky).

    Just googled to find out that the lanterns are illegal in these states: California, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, Minnesota, New Hampshire, Oregon, South Carolina, Tennessee, Utah, Virginia and Washington. Kansas, Missouri, and New York are thinking about regulating them.

    • ElisabethJoanne

      My parents have a vacation house in the Santa Cruz mountains. My cousin’s wedding was almost burned out by the fires in San Diego. I was a kid for the East Bay Hills fire, but I can still distinctly remember the news reports. Wildfires are no joke. Please, obey the laws – sky lanterns and fireworks.

    • emilyg25

      Even where they’re legal, they’re still very dangerous! Beautiful, but dangerous.

  • Em

    First time poster, trying to work out how to deal with family pressures re engagement/wedding etc. My boyfriend and I are moving in together at the end of August, and have just announced this to his (very religious, very conservative) parents, which was a fairly nervewracking event.

    HIs mother’s response was very different to what we anticipated, and has essentially taken it as if we are engaged/are imminently going to get engaged – e.g. offering my boyfriend the diamonds from his grandmother’s ring to design something for me, making a quilt for me to “welcome me to the family” etc (my boyfriend is the youngest of four, and his siblings are all married and their spouses got a quilt when they got engaged/married – none of them lived with their partners before getting married though). The problem with all of this is that we’re definitely not ready to get married – we’ve only been together about a year, and we both know that we’re not ready to get engaged for at least another year or two. How exactly do we manage expectations?

    • ElisabethJoanne

      You’re going to have to find an equilibrium among his parents’ involvement, your consciences, his parents’ expectations, your wishes, and your plans. This will likely involve some combination of seeming to go along with his parents’ wishes/timeline, and then correcting them later; standing up for yourselves; hard conversations; and smiling and nodding.

      I don’t have any experience with your exact situation, but we had a 15-month engagement, and my husband let his family believe that our wedding was 5 months earlier than we had ever planned. I imagine the “conversation” went something like, “Oh, Elisabeth finally said yes! You can have the wedding in June when Aunt Sarah and Uncle Jonathan are visiting from Russia!” and he just didn’t respond. I didn’t approve of the implicit or explicit lie, but I did agree to respond “You need to talk to [husband] about the date” when it came up early in the planning. Eventually, of course, the truth worked itself out – without my having to be involved.

      His parents were abusive until he moved out at the end of our engagement. They’re also immigrants, so there are cultural barriers to my understanding the family dynamics, especially of the family back in Europe and Israel. But I get the impression that I’m viewed as something of a savior of the son/family who can’t do anything right in America.

      I offer this story not as an example to follow – I’d have preferred being honest from the beginning – but as one set of approaches, and of everything working out ok. One thing we did right, and do right, is he deals with his family. The only expectations I manage are how often we see them, because my husband’s bad at planning, but I don’t set up the plans directly, and I take the liberty of dodging or refusing to answer any tough questions and deferring to my husband.

      • Em

        ‘You’re going to have to find an equilibrium among his parents’ involvement, your consciences, his parents’ expectations, your wishes, and your plans. This will likely involve some combination of seeming to go along with his parents’ wishes/timeline, and then correcting them later; standing up for yourselves; hard conversations; and smiling and nodding.’

        Yep! Can definitely relate to the smiling and nodding thing. At this stage, I think we’re essentially just letting his mother go ahead and think what she wants, but not encourage her etc. At the end of the day it’s more bearable than the outright “you’re living in sin” anger/disappointment would have been…

    • notquitecece

      Ha, when FH and I moved in together (~6 mo. into dating), he had a chat with his parents where he basically told them we were headed for marriage… …. … …eventually. We finally got engaged 4 years later, and by that point his parents’ concern had ebbed and flowed a few times, with some annoying nagging-based peaks. At one point his grandpa implied (via email to the entire extended family) that we were engaged 2 years before we were.

      But it’s much better to have your potential future family excited to welcome you than railing against you or something! For me, it’s worked okay to just demur gently, let him handle the conversations and keep cultivating good relationships with his family. They’ve mostly taken the hint and been good about it, and now they’re thrilled we’re finally making it official.

      • Em

        Yeah, he keeps stressing that this is all a sign that they like me, etc etc etc – but the pressure is just a bit overwhelming at times. Part of this is also due to some pretty significant differences between his family and mine (his family is very “all family, all the time”, and my family…is not. But yes, I think demurring gently and letting him handle it is the way to go :) that’s very helpful!

    • emilyg25

      Oh, this happened to my BFF. Her mom was convinced that marriage was imminent when she moved in when her boyfriend. BFF was just really clear about it. “Mom, we’re moving in together. We have no intentions of getting married at this time. I know that bothers you, but please try to respect our decision.” It took a few more months of reinforcement, but her mom got it. If your boyfriend’s parents are a little more prickly, you might try just ignoring their efforts, but I’m generally a fan of clear communication.

  • The B.

    One of our sweet, very well-meaning groomsmen just sent us a link to a website called The Plunge, to help my groom get involved in wedding planning in a “manly” way, I suppose. Have any of you seen it? There are a few good things on there, I guess, in the same way The Knot isn’t always completely worthless… but for the most part it made both my fiance and me look like this:

    :-| :-| :-| :-|

    Just line facing all over the place.

    My primary issue with it is that it claims to be all above the WIC…but it’s totally not. It’s just the WIC: Groom Edition, reinforcing stereotypes (“Pretend ur totes awake when shez all like ‘wedding!’ and ur all like ‘football?’”) and telling some lovely homophobic jokes (“lol ur gay if u care about flowerz” — really, they link to gayweddings dot com when they say that it’s “fine” for a man to like flowers in certain cases…how hilarious!) like we know ALL men just LOVE because they are a monolithic group just like shallow, ditzy brides. But underneath all the heavy bro-talk and “weddings suck” mission statement, they subtly yet pervasively still tow the basic WIC requirements (“totes gotta having even number of groomsmen and bridesmaids, bro” “spend 3 months salary on ur ring or ur a pussy!” “you need to spend literally thousands of dollars on your bachelor party” “ur gay if u care about flowers but still spend hella money on them”).

    (…I actually have a theory that it’s written by the same marketing team as The Knot and it’s just a way to capture grooms in the WIC just as much as women, but that might be some unchecked paranoia coming out. *adjusts tin foil hat, looks around suspiciously* THEY’RE EVERYWHERE)

    • KH_Tas

      Urg, what an unfortunate website. The naming sounds like it’s on the same theme as the kn*t’s satellite sites, so it might not just be paranoia

  • moonlitfractal

    I have that bathing suite (thought mine is green). It’s pretty great.

  • Ellen

    You guys, WE GET MARRIED ON SATURDAY! After a week of oppressive heat and torrential thunderstorms, the weather is looking good. Cross your fingers and we’ll see you on the flip side!

  • KH_Tas

    Did my PhD confirmation speech today… got lost trying to find the room … it seems to have worked out ok though, minus the usual number of ‘ums’

  • Caroline

    I just listened to the new Lily Allen stuff. I love those videos. They’re so interesting! And talking about periods in pop music (in any context), yes please!

  • Ragnhild

    We are married!! The day couldnt have been any better with a lot of laughter and happy tears. The weather was amazing for my part of the country, it was so awesome to have all our dear friends and family in the same room – not just for a day, but for several events that week. The dress fit great, everyone enjoyed themselves and kept saying the wedding was so us. We managed to make it relaxed and informal, and now we are a happy wife and husband relaxing on our honeymoon in Greece :)

  • LydiaB

    So I ordered the Temperley dress and I’m so glad you all helped me make my way round my issues with it, I’m mad about it! (Pics soon I promise!)

    I did keep thinking to myself that getting something at the top end of my budget that would still need work done on it (creating an underskirt) was crazy but my mum is just in her element and we are working closely together on choosing fabrics and beading and I can’t imagine having got a dress that she didn’t have that creative input on now and can’t wait to wear something made by my mum on the day! So yay for cons turning out to be big pros, goes to show, you just can’t ever tell.

  • HelenM

    I tried on my wedding dress, which my mum is making last weekend. It is absolutely beautiful and I can feel her love in it. And it’s got POCKETS.

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

      POCKETS!

    • ART

      Mine had pockets and they were soooo nice to have that day! Yay!

  • Maddy

    Oh man, Esther Williams bathers. I have been in those since 2010, and I will NEVER EVER go back. I thought the lady was mad when she handed me an AU10 for my 12D bust, but I put it on and it was magic/love/unicorns/amazing/horyshet. I’ve got a turquoise one and a cherry print one.