APW Happy Hour


It's going to be an interesting weekend!

by Meg Keene, Editor-In-Chief

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

HI APW!

I am back from RV camping in California’s Gold Country (a region I sometimes feel like everyone forgot), digging around in history, and seeing Yosemite. We knew RV camping was going to be an interesting experience, but what we didn’t realize is how many more permanent residents live in RV resorts. We ended up spending the week living next to retired seniors (some of whom have some seriously rockstar RVs) and migrant farm workers. It was interesting and complicated (we, after all, were choosing to do this for vacation), and I’m still thinking about all of it.

Our own Alt Summit! (Online!)

In more exciting news, I was asked by Alt Summit to curate an online Alt Conference with my dream lineup of speakers. I’m super proud of what we came up with: Making Money in a Changing Media Landscape. In short, I called up everyone I wanted to learn from, and signed them up. I can’t wait to take every class I’m not teaching. If you are in any way involved in building a brand online, from selling a product you make by hand to editing a website, you should sign up for this conference. We’re talking about it all—what’s happening online right now, pitching to brands, Instagram, Pinterest, affiliate programs. Hell, we even cold called the ladies at Man Repeller and convinced them to speak. Sign up, tell your friends, we’ll see you there.

Oh and Also…

And with that, I give you our open thread… and a note to tune into our Instagram feed this weekend. I’ve been asked to go to one of the coolest events of my online career on Monday, and I’m hitting the road. Stay tuned.

Cheers,
meg

Highlights of APW This Week

How to ask for help and how to move forward when a family member is struggling with addiction.

A gold dress, a strong beat, and a solid horn line.

What to include in your wedding website. Hint: it’s everything you don’t want to get asked on the day of the wedding.

In which intern Kelsey enters the home stretch of wedding planning.

Introducing Lindsey Bolling Photography in Oregon, and Kristen Schueler Photography in Boston!

Wedges! Because stilettos and grass don’t mix.

Twelve hours with APW’s Editor-in-Chief.

How to make a Bee’s Knees cocktail that is, actually, the bee’s knees.

“Now, I knew I left that sense of adventure around here somewhere.”

In case you missed our Facebook announcement, the Gemvara winner has been selected! Suzy designed this black onyx Acadia ring, and was randomly selected to win $1,000 from Gemvara. Congrats Suzy!

Link Roundup

Our takeaway from this article: Tavi Gevinson is a nice person, not just a smart and successful one. We’re not surprised. But it’s depressing to realize people assume that successful women must be real bitches.

We all prefer foul-mouthed Hillary. The funniest political article we’ve read in… a while.

We’re kind of digging Lena Dunham’s new bowl cut.

Gay Pakistan: Lesbians’ lives on the line.”

“Eight life hacks every woman needs.”

Kelly Osbourne is coming out with her own clothing line, and it’s going to be available in sizes 0-24! It looks very promising.

Speaking of plus sizes, Target has been a disappointment. Maddie nailed it with her thoughts on the matter, “You know what the problem with Target is? They have a plus-size selection, but they assume that if you’re plus sized, you probably dress like Mrs. Doubtfire.”

We’d just like to note here that Nicki Minaj is the artist to watch in 2015.

If you love games, you should refuse to call yourself a “gamer.”

Things to throw money at: this Kickstarter for a women’s writing conference in NYC this fall.

A Child Is Born: a photo series done in utero. (My mom had this book, and at four I spent countless hours staring at it. THIS, however, I did not know.)

Bigger wedding, happier marriage?

Marriage is not the end zone.

Jesse Williams and John Legend, killing it with their Ferguson commentary. We knew we liked these guys for a reason.

The essential ladies’ guide to gaining confidence from construction workers.

“Thirteen-year-old Mo’Ne Davis is on the cover of Sports Illustrated.” Hell yeah!

We knew the tech world could ruin the Bay Area. We didn’t know they could take Burning man down with them.

Our own Rachel rocked BuzzFeed’s homepage this week with “18 Stunning Photos of Black Women At Work In WWII.” Cheers!

APW’S 2014 HAPPY HOURS ARE SPONSORED BY MONOGAMY WINE AND PROMISQOUS WINE. Thank you Monogamy and PromisQous for helping make the APW mission possible! To follow PromisQous Wines on their foodie adventures, click here to follow them on Instagram.

Meg Keene

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

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  • ART

    Rachel, those photos are wonderful and really inspiring!

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

      Thank you!! :)

  • Alison O

    When I couldn’t sleep at 3 am last night I was thinking about the happy hour today and asking Meg & others to share some good resources about blogging as business.

    UM, SERENDIPITY WHAT.

    • Alison O

      That said, I’d still like to put it out there–if people have recommendations of reading material/tutorials/etc. online that get at the fundamentals of blogging and blogging as business (obviously lots of things could fall under this heading; I’m just interested to learn more generally), I would love some recommendations! Thanks

  • anonpsu

    So the bigger wedding=marital happiness study. There’s a 50% chance I’m wrong on this, and also there study didn’t have *that* many people so I’m wary of conclusions like that: My guess is that a lot of people who have bigger weddings have a bigger community, big families, or strong community ties. We know that community ties affect overall happiness, so maybe those people are just happy in their individual lives which leaves them to be happier in their marriage (sometimes people blame marital disatisfaction when really they’re unhappy with themselves, and vice versa, so couldn’t the same be true for happiness?). Also, the article was correct to point out that people who had bigger weddings may have been more well off financially, or had wealthier parents, and having less economic stress leads to more happiness (up to a certain salary range). So, I wouldn’t take their conclusions too seriously.

    • SarahG

      Agreed. Correlation is not causation!

    • up_at_Dawn

      I was also going to relate it to greater affluence, more familial support or other confounding variables. It seems like a very simplistic pop-cultural-y way of interpreting a study.

      Were the differences even statistically significant? It wasn’t really interpreted in a very sophisticated way.

    • moonlitfractal

      “bigger community, big families, or strong community ties.” Maybe also more money. Just a thought.

    • laurasmash

      My FMIL sent me an article about that study (like, she actually clipped it out of the newspaper, took a photo, and texted me the photo, haha). I hope we don’t need to take the conclusions too seriously, it doesn’t look good for couples like us who live together before marriage. All those studies stress me out, despite the fact that our relationship is pretty strong.

      • leafygreen

        “it doesn’t look good for couples like us who live together before marriage”

        Sooo many confounding variables in these things. For that one, I suspect that you’d need to look into the religious background of the people involved. Couples who marry before living together may have stronger religious convictions against divorce, and thus are less likely to divorce (which on its face sounds like a good thing, but I think we all know some divorced couples who definitely made the right choice).

    • Sarah McClelland

      Agreed. Community support and witness in you life is HUGE as a factor on judging happiness and its likelihood…in and out of matrimony. And the really vague way that they talk about defining happiness and all of the constrictors to “average” the data set make me look a little sideways at the results.

  • Emily

    Smart women, what do you have to say about doing a creative writing (fiction or non-fiction) MFA? I’d have to do a fully-funded one and maybe even part time at that, so it might take me four years. I’m specifically looking at the University of Wyoming program (it’s relatively close) or a low-residency program. Is it worth it? Would it help me figure out a career as a writer?

    • Laura

      My husband did an M.A. (not an MFA) in creative writing. I think it can be a good option if you’d really like to focus on your writing and receive more intensive feedback from your work than you’d likely get from community writing groups or workshops. That said, it’s a major time/energy/money commitment (even if you’re funded, you’re presumably foregoing other wages) and doesn’t translate directly into a set career path. So if you’re going in with both eyes open and really want the opportunity to focus intensively on writing, I think it can be a worthy pursuit.

    • Erin

      I did a BFA in Creative Writing and many of my classmates went on to pursue an MFA. Honestly, it is a total crapshoot whether or not it will lead to career options. Many expect to get a teaching position with their MFA but there are so many programs now that it is extremely competitive. These are the reasons I haven’t gone for one, even though I dream of having all that time to write and all that intense workshopping.

    • Amanda

      I have an MA (not MFA) in creative writing. I ended up choosing not to do anything with it (yet, at least), but it was fully funded, and it was two of the best years of my life. The connections I made, workshops, and other writing friends were priceless to me. All but one of those of us in my graduating class who wanted to do so went on for PhDs and they’re all just about finished or finishing now. I can’t speak to how helpful it is career-wise, but if you want to grow as a writer and you have the means to live on the graduate stipend, I think it’s totally worth doing.

    • Cleo

      When you say “figure out a career as a writer” what do you mean? Do you mean learn to write? Make connections in the industry? Learn how to submit your work? Decide if you want to be a writer?

      I’m a novelist, but, beyond basic school stuff, I’ve never had any formal training. I read, I write, I critique and get my work critiqued. I don’t know first-hand the value of an MFA, but from speaking with those I know who do — it helps them hone their craft, but it doesn’t promise them a career as a writer (to do that, you need to write and submit…degree or no degree) and my agent friends say that while an MFA might make them take a query more seriously at first, if the pages don’t spark their interest, they won’t request.

      • Emily

        You are my hero!

        I am currently trying to improve my writing craft by reading, writing, and submitting. I’m feeling a strong need for a writing community: I only know a few people who are good draft readers and I don’t want to take advantage of them. I guess I’m wondering if I’m foolish by trying to do this on my own, verses getting training like one would in another field.

        To answer your questions, i would like to make connections in the industry and improve my writing. A part of this is improving my skills at organizing my thoughts and doing what I call “thinking big” — taking an anecdote and trying to reflect on a universal theme from it.

        • Cleo

          Cool. If I were you, before I made the commitment to get a degree, I’d look to see if any colleges nearby offer writing classes you can audit so you can, at the very least, test out the atmosphere. Also, there are writer’s organizations of all sorts, for all genres and categories, that host workshops, and allow you to connect with other writers. Do some Googling and you should be able to find one that fits! Absolutewrite.com has forums as well and http://www.howaboutwecp.com is a great online resource to find a critique partner.

          What types of things do you write/do you want to write?

          I write YA fiction (mostly female-centered mystery-thrillers) and the SCBWI (Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators) has been an invaluable resource for me as I navigate the road to being published.

          Good luck!

          • Emily

            I know happy hour is over, but right now I write personal essays and short stories. I would like to write a novel and/or memoir. This might be too vague, but I write about the human condition as I see it from my life.

            I can’t get http://www.howaboutwecp.com to open (server not found error). Maybe there is a technical problem tonight?

            I have done some workshops and classes; my response has been that they are okay. At the risk of sounding snobbish, I would like a class with some selectivity (assuming I can get in). The last class I had people not actually having anything written to be critiqued for their week was a problem. I have moved since then and haven’t looked in my new location. I think I will do that. Thank you!

          • Cleo

            it’s a tumblr. Sorry!! http://howaboutwecp.tumblr.com/

          • Emily

            No worries! I found it. I’m trying it. You spurred me to find and do several things: a local writers organization, that tumblr, and to resubscribe to a newsletter of writing contests and markets. Thank you! I hope this goodwill comes back to you in awesome female characters and plots! :)

    • M.

      I can’t speak to what it will do for your career, though what Cleo says above rings true. The only published novelist I know personally is not a “trained” writer, except for, you know, 20 years of dedicated writing time, writing groups, writing at lunch hour from her unrelated job. Just busts ass, works on her craft, and submitted/queried like crazy.

      What I know of MFA’s “in the wild”: My dad has an MFA in Fiction (got it in his 40s after being a reporter) and then taught 20 years in the English dept of a community college (literature, composition, communications, even police report writing!).

      My husband has an MFA in Screenwriting but now works as a consultant in private industry. However, it serves him well as he analyzes and writes CONSTANTLY, and has even been told by interviewers that they like that as his background. It’s interesting and surprisingly applicable.

      Good luck!

  • Caitlin_DD

    This week started off… terribly weird, but has gotten so much better. FH visited the venue for the first time, loved it, and so we’re going with it. It was much more emotional than expected. I got called to schedule an interview with my dream job this morning! And finally, I want to shamelessly share the Save the Dates I designed because I think they’re not too bad for a couple of hours’ work. The design is papel picado, for those familiar with Mexican culture.

    • Jill

      Love! We did a full out Fiesta-themed wedding (I am of Mexican descent and live in San Antonio TX). The bright colors are such a fun departure from monotone everything!

      • Caitlin_DD

        Thank you! We’re taking our cues from our city, and our historic venue.

    • Em(ily)

      That looks great!
      There was a moment on our venue visit I just will never forget, my husband and I just looked at each other and everything around us seemed to fall away. The place was so beautiful, and it just seemed to hit us both time the same time that we’d get married there. It was surreal.

      Good luck on your interview!

      • Caitlin_DD

        Definitely. Having the location means daydreams suddenly take place in *the place.* We both almost happy cried, which is a rare occurrence for us.

        And thank you!

      • sara g

        That totally happened to us, too! Even though it was at the end of winter, so everything was brown and soggy and dead, the view was still gorgeous.

    • Lawyerette510

      So good! Also, the blue font is really a great font!

      • Caitlin_DD

        Thank you!

  • Laura

    Something I’ve been mulling over lately…I’m in a Ph.D. program in a science field (I do neuroscience research). One by one, the women in my cohort who came into the program wanting tenure-track academic positions and research-based careers have decided that they would rather take non-academic positions. Each one cites the competitive environment, that it would be easier to have children, and the desire for work/life balance.

    The question (partly philosophical and partly practical) I’ve been wrestling with is how much influence my feminist values should play in my career decisions. I’m smart, I’ve been successful in my Ph.D. program, I’ve looked down the barrel of a competitive academic career and feel that I could be happy with that life. I also firmly believe that the culture of academia cannot and will not change unless there are more women breaking into top positions and agitating for change. So on the one hand, I want to go full-throttle for that academic career to be a role model to young women, to have my children grow up with badass female scientist for a mother, to try to do my small part to change the academic landscape to be more open to women, and, obviously, because I love the research and work I do. On the other hand, I could see myself being very happy in a non-academic position because the crazy workload, lack of funding opportunities, and poor work/life balance I see many academics managing seems exhausting.

    So: if I think both career options could make me happy in different ways, do I have a feminist obligation to choose the academic career to fight against the brain drain of women in the sciences? (Obligation is a stronger word than I’m looking for, but I couldn’t think of a better one). If every single female colleague I have drops out of the academic track, how will women ever achieve equity in tenure, pay, research dollars, etc.? How much should I let those facts impact my individual decisions?

    I’m just pissed off, because I think of the hours and hours that my female colleagues and I have spent discussing relationships/babies/family and how they will impact our careers. And while the men in our group certainly have notions about whether they want relationships/babies/families, I have NEVER heard them talk about how those choices will negatively impact their careers.

    *Notes: I would never make a choice that would make me unhappy or that I thought was not a good choice for my family, just so that I could hold up some sort of feminist principle. Also, I have nothing against graduate students choosing non-academic careers; there are a ton of excellent, fulfilling opportunities outside of academia. I don’t mean to imply that a person can’t be a feminist and choose that career path.

    • SarahG

      So, this is super cheesy, but your dilemma reminded me of a quote: “Don’t ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.” (Howard Thurman).

      You can only make decisions based on the information you now have — you don’t know if you will end up with poor work/life balance in a non-tenure track job just because you got that one shitty boss, or end up with the most awesome tenure track position with a supervisor who really gets it. You should do what makes your heart sing, whatever that is, and try to make it work — and if it doesn’t, don’t be afraid to say you tried, and do something else (I was on and left the academic tenure path so I have some experience with this, in a different field). If making the academic world better for women is the thing that inspires you — that is a great thing to do, so go for it!

    • Emily

      This is so hard. I think this where we haven’t reached equality (I’m assuming you are in the US–I’m in the US). There have been other discussions here about this recently, and I think they state the problem, the causes, and suggestions better than I will. You are totally right about women achieving equity in tenure, etc, if we don’t do it. At the same time, it is my experience that it is incredibly hard for a family to run reasonably well (assuming two adults) if both adults are in full-time work. And I’m not even talking about especially demanding full-time work!

      What’s my point? You have to do what is right for you and your values. Sorry I’m not more help. In my life I’ve been frustrated with myself and what, to use Kingsolver’s phrase, “the world makes me do,” in my work life.

    • emilyg25

      My primary obligation is to my own happiness and well-being. I don’t need to use my own career to make a point about feminism. Maybe I’m too complacent, not enough of a pioneer, or whatever, but I find ways to make a difference while also satisfying my own needs. And I’m pretty sure my kid is still going to grow up with a badass mom. :)

      Make the decisions that are right for you, not for the movement, and not for your colleagues. And respect that they’re trying to do the same.

      • Laura

        I think it would be easier if I clearly wanted to take a non-academic position. In that case, I would just make the decision and be done with it. But I’m truly torn between two options that both could lead to my happiness and well-being. I’m not naive enough to think that I can (or should) fight the whole world’s battles, but I’m also struggling to determine how much weight to give my values, one of which is gender equity in academia.

        • emilyg25

          Yeah, that certainly makes it trickier. When I stepped off the academia path (early enough that it didn’t cost me much), there were lots of other reasons to make it easy. Is there any reason you need to make a decision now? Other than if you, like me, dislike uncertainty? I had a therapist tell me once: “When you’re facing two paths and you don’t know which to take, sit down for a bit. Eventually, your path will become clear.” It’s generally worked for me.

          I know you can’t very well leave academia and go back to the full-throttle thing, but maybe go full throttle till you don’t want to anymore? Regardless, I don’t think you should let the brain drain and the loss of your female colleagues affect your decision too much. You can find other ways to stay true to your values.

        • Jules

          What really speaks to me about your post(s) is that gender equality (lack thereof…) in academia seems to speak to your heart a little more, and that you could be equally but differently happy in both. If you feel like you’re leaving something behind by leaving academia, then I would say to try and stick it out. I wouldn’t let that be the sole cause, though; you obviously need to enjoy it for its own sake too.

          Reiterating what Alex says below, I think as a woman in STEM (I am) you will have to fight the fight wherever you are. They will just be different.

    • SuperDaintyKate

      I think about this a lot (a LOT). And this is the best answer I have come up with:

      As much as I try to take Everything Sheryl Sandberg with a massive tablespoon of salt, I think her suggestion on the topic has some value (once morphed into something slightly different).

      She suggests that women should pursue their careers diligently and with ambition before having children, and not move into less demanding roles before children are on the horizon. In her view, that will lead to women having more fulfilling careers and being more likely to return to work and become leaders in our profession after having children.

      I think that there is some value to pursuing careers with ambition and not stepping off the track before having children. However, I think that the value to that approach lies in the fact that you can’t know what kind of parent you want to be until you actually have children. I expect that your love for your child will change you, and it is impossible to know how, because it differs for everyone. Maybe your love for your child will make you want to be that badass scientist. Maybe you will want to stay home and devote yourself entirely to that. Maybe you will fall somewhere in the middle. All of those are completely valid and worthy life options, and will lead to beautiful families.

      But my point is that it is impossible to plan for these things. As difficult (maybe impossible) as it is, I think there is value to pursuing your goals and your dreams passionately now, and, once you have a child, deciding what will be best for you and your family. You are right that our culture hasn’t reached the point yet where women don’t worry how their careers will affect their families. But that is a change that we can try to create– it is impossible to fully plan out what your career/family life will look like once kids arrive. So maybe we should stop trying, and deal with it when it happens.

    • Jules

      Do you have an obligation? In short, I think not. Fight your own fights first, and the ones for all womankind second. BUT!!! I think you’ll find there are plenty of feminist battles out there for any working woman.

      Therefore, I think the question is not “should I choose the feminist academic path, because if I don’t, who will?”, it’s WHICH feminist fight is closer to your heart. Is it the corporate glass ceiling? Is it the academic inequality? I think you could get that extra fulfillment that you are advancing the cause in either career.

      Finally, keep in mind that not all choices are forever! I had plenty of profs who were formerly industry, ones who still dabbled in it, and more. Maybe it’s not so black and white; you may start in one and end up in the other.

      And it’s kickass that you’ll be a PhD neuroscientist woman, academia or not.

      • KEA1

        YES to the kickass-ness of being a PhD neuroscientist woman. Or really, a PhD woman in ANY field. I personally think that one of the best things you can do to help advance the “women in STEM” movement is to be as vocal as you’re willing to be about the choices that you have made, and WHY, regardless of what those decisions are. And that includes being open about holding a PhD. I’m VERY vigilant, when asked about my academic background, to specify that I did my PhD in chemistry at X. Own your awesomeness, and you will be setting the best possible example regardless of the path you set for your career.

    • Alex

      I’m in basically the same boat. And I agree with all those points you made 100% :)

      I’m finishing up my PhD in Materials Science & Engineering in December, my fiance just finished his (in the same field but very different topics ;) ) in January, and neither of us are going to go the academic route for various reasons, and one is definitely the diminished government funding for research, another is that now he has a fantastic job that’s really well-paying (and happened to graduate first :p), and I don’t think I want to work my ass off for another seven years to try to get tenure, and I literally physically CAN’T wait 7-10 years (assuming that I’d need a couple years of post docs to get a professorship) to start thinking about having kids since I’ll probably go through menopause in my late 30′s, just like my mom.

      I had a female PI when I was doing undergraduate research, and she was a total badass and waited (early/mid 30′s) to have a kid and it was kinda a mess when she did, but she just basically said “Whatever, I’m going to do what I want, take that” and she’s juggling it fine it seems. Then when I was doing summer research at a different university in undergrad, the head of the department was also a woman, and she took myself and the other two girls under her wing and flat out said “Men will try to push you out in this field, and you are going to have to fight to stay in.” And then talked about how she would start subtly getting pushed out of grants since she “had a baby to take care of” or was pregnant or had to take care of the kids or something. That was five years ago, and I remember that conversation pretty vividly still, so clearly it’s made an impact on me :p

      Sheesh, this got long. Do what makes you happy. If you want to go for the professorship, go for it – by no means do you seem oblivious to the trials and tribulations that will entail. And if you think that in ten years, you’re going to regret not doing it, then I say do it. I’ve completely come to terms with moving away from the academic ship, and I’m happy with that, but that’s just me :) I do think that you can 100% make a difference in the STEM world and empower women even if you aren’t a professor, whether that’s through Public Policy, conventions, teaching, volunteering or even just helping your future kids with their science experiments and inspiring that creativity. And let’s hope that in another generation things will be a little better, and then the generation after that, it’ll be a little better. I fortunately didn’t have a single male professor proposition me in either undergrad or grad school, whereas my mom (also in engineering) had countless. But I still had a bunch of freshmen goons think I couldn’t do Calculus because of my chromosomes, so let’s hope the generation under us has fewer of those encounters :)

      Also – I know you’re not in engineering, but I thought you might find this interesting if you haven’t seen it already – http://www.npr.org/blogs/alltechconsidered/2014/08/12/339638726/many-women-leave-engineering-blame-the-work-culture

    • Natalie

      I’m also a PhD student in science (ecology & evolutionary biology, defending this semester or next). Hi sister scientist!

      I personally think you owe it to yourself to choose the career track that best 1) makes you happy 2) plays to your strengths and 3) fits with your overall life & lifestyle goals. Maybe academia fits those things best for you. But if it doesn’t I don’t think you should attempt the career path to uphold a feminist principle.

      I wonder how many female role models you have in your department? People are always saying how hard it is to be an academic woman with kids, and sure that’s true, but it’s hard whether you’re the mom or dad (the number of times I’ve had meetings with my male advisor while his daughters played in the same room and occasionally interrupted…). And in some ways it seems easier to be an academic parent than a parent in other fields – I’ve known/seen both male and female professors bring their sick kids (or kids on “teacher planning days” at school) to meetings or the class they teach with an ipad or coloring book & crayons for entertainment. I’ve had meetings with female professors who breastfed their baby during our meeting. That sort of thing would not work in many career fields, but academics tend to pride themselves on their independence, and a benefit of that is that there’s no one there to tell you that you can’t bring your kid to work if you need to. I guess I don’t view academic life as incompatible with being a mom because most women in my department have kids, and they’re kick-ass scientists.

      I do see a problem with academia (especially science) being incredibly sexist and full of biases. Academia definitely needs more women to act as role models and to counteract the old male sexism and lecherous behavior. But I don’t think any particular woman owes it to the field to stay in academia if that’s not what she wants for her career.

    • Jenni

      Quick background: I’m a scientist with a PhD who recently left a postdoc at NASA to go into industry.

      It’s a hard decision. One of the many factors that made it hard was feeling like I was letting down, not only family and friends who had cheered me on, but “womenkind”. I’ve read the articles and I’ve seen women leave academia and hard science. How could I contribute to those statistics?

      If circumstances in my personal life were different, I would likely have stayed at NASA/tried for an academic position. But, they’re not. The truth is I would have been happy staying in that path, but I’m also happy in this path. Each has pros and cons, and in the end, a woman has to weigh them in her own heart and decide on the best choice for her and her family. That’s feminism. Making the choice that’s best for you.

      Honestly, while it’s good to have an ideal goal, everyone (men and women) should plan for both possibilities, industry and academia (I have seen both men and women leaving, by the way). You don’t know what will happen in the future after you graduate, after your postdoc, etc. You may find (as many have) that the competition for academic positions is so fierce that you can’t get one, and you have to choose between an adjunct position or applying to industry jobs. You might get sick of the proposal-writing process–or you might love it and have tons of collaborations with other scientists. You might wake up one day, as I did, and find that your dreams have changed (or, that the priority of your dreams have changed). Maybe an industry salary is just too good to pass up, or maybe you can negotiate extra flexibility in a tenure-track job.

      Whatever you do, do it with your whole heart, with passion and joy for learning, and you will be that role model for other women and for your children.

    • Ashlee

      As another lady in a science Ph.D. student (astronomy for me), and one who is trying to do a lot of work in the realm of women/under-represented minorities in my field, I definitely know what you’re talking about. If this isn’t weird, I’d suggest you read a blog post a friend and classmate wrote about how she realized she was staying in science on feminist principle, and because she felt pressured to not be just another drop out of the leaky pipeline: http://astrobites.org/2013/03/20/why-i-left-research-for-education/

      That said, I think that if, as you say, you’re not making a choice that would make you unhappy or bad for your family, it’s totally valid argument to say, all other things being equal, you would like to make the choice that may help future generations find more equality. Simple visibility can be HUGE for increasing the retention of members of typically underrepresented groups, so you help just by existing. The other thing is that you will have the power to address the reasons why some of your colleagues chose to leave and make the current difficulties (work/life balance, funding, unconscious bias, imposter syndrome, etc.) better for yourselves and others. This doesn’t mean you have to fight huge battles — though you certainly can be a warrior for equity if you want — but you can be visible, and be a better mentor/teacher/colleague to others in the same predicament.

      It’s hard, is the short answer. I think you’re in a good position because you still want to stay on the academic track, at least for now, and can perhaps lean on your feminist values on the hard days to help keep you motivated, which is better than wanting to go but being pulled back by the feminist values and the guilt that goes along with them.

    • Leah

      First off, thumbs up to all you women in science. I’m also in the in/out of academia netherworld – 3 years after my PhD, I’m very much OVER the world of postdoc limbo, and wanting a career that will let me move on with my life (our life, since we just got married last month!) – buy a house, some big-girl furniture, put down roots, etc. I’m in my mid-30′s, so I’m just feeling like enough already with expecting me to move around every 2 years like I’m 22 or something [end rant].

      But seriously, I hear so much where you are coming from, and have the same conversation in my head about 3 times a day. I think another way to look at it though – you say “If every single female colleague I have drops out of the academic
      track, how will women ever achieve equity in tenure, pay, research
      dollars, etc.?” But maybe that’s backwards – maybe if women keeping putting up with all the bullsh*t thrown at us as we try to plan our lives and families, there won’t be an incentive to change things. The word ‘boycott’ is too strong for what I’m trying to say, but I do think that if more and more of the best people in science (both women AND men) continue to leave academia, maybe academia will have to do some soul-searching about the quality of life they are offering to young scientists. Or maybe academia will stop being where the important science happens (wait, maybe there’s a sector that would offer us both more $ and a better quality of life? Hmmm….).

      Also a blog: https://tenureshewrote.wordpress.com that I enjoy reading, that deals with these questions on the regular – though for academia in general, not specifically science.

      That being said, do what lights you up, there is absolutely NO right answer, and neuroscience is crazy badass. Good luck!

    • Laura

      I would just like to say that all of this advice is fabulous, and it’s so inspiring to see so many lady scientists at different stages of their careers who have wrestled with these issues. Thanks for taking the time to share your thoughts.

    • JLK

      So, I’m normally just a lurker in the background, but this is something that my husband and I have recently been talking about a lot. He just finished his first year as a tenure-track professor (he’s a theoretical biophysicist) and has had a female grad student working in his lab for the summer. He’s really impressed with her work so far, but is worried that she may wind up switching fields because she has no female role models and is concerned about work/family balance. Which, as a feminist in a demanding field with long hours but also tons of female role models (I’m a veterinarian who is also getting my MPH), totally drives me nuts.

      Like everyone else, I think that you should do whatever works best for you. If you choose the academia route, I can tell you that it won’t be easy. It took J two years before he was able to get a tenure-track position. He strongly considered going into industry and was even offered a job (with a good salary in area where we both wanted to live), but wound up turning it down because both of us knew he would be happier in academia. This year has been tough for both of us. He is more stressed than I have ever seen him and I now know more about NIH/NSF grants than I could ever care about. At the same time, though, this is the right fit for him and it will get better.

      So, basically what I’m saying (in a long-winded way) is: take your time and think about what it is that you want for you and your family because neither option is perfect. BUT, if you do decide that academia is what you want, I will totally be rooting for you through the interwebs because the world needs more women agitating for change.

    • rys

      You may have seen it, but I think this post, “The Awesomest 7-Year Postdoc” is great and reframes an academic career in life-friendly ways: http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/guest-blog/2013/07/21/the-awesomest-7-year-postdoc-or-how-i-learned-to-stop-worrying-and-love-the-tenure-track-faculty-life/

      What I like most about the piece (I’m an academic but not in the sciences) is that the core message is “pursue the work you want to do on your own terms.” It’s possible it won’t work out and you’ll leave academia. But it’s just as possible that this will enable you to create the personal-professional blend you seek.

  • Estherhasi

    So, I’ve been an APW lurker for a couple months now. Just want to say thank you! After a broken off engagement last November, the boy and I stayed together through many attempts by both of our fams to break us up and are finally hoping to move toward a wedding again. Just saying thank you for showing me I’m not a freak for having a unique journey towards marriage. It’s so hard to keep a good perspective when everywhere I turn there is a timeline crammed down my throat of how you’re “supposed” to do things. Big THANK YOU!

  • Lauren from NH

    I love the link to Jesse Williams and John Legend’s commentary on Fergueson. The current status quo is unacceptable. Why some people think what happened is normal and okay and that people should quiet down and not “incite” ….

    • River

      I’m so happy they shared that link! I posted it on Facebook yesterday. Be sure to watch the clip of JW on CNN, he is speaks the truth and he speaks it bluntly. Love him!

      • Lauren from NH

        One of the articles I read surrounding the situation, mentioned that some black mothers/mothers-to-be hope for girls and experience some distress when learning they will have a boy because of how black males have been demonized by our society. As someone who studied human rights, that starts to sound eerily similar to genocide. That our society has systematically created a negative atmosphere around black American reproduction.

        I know that’s very 0-60 serious, but if we open our ears for many people this is a serious as literal dead bodies. I just wish I had more power to make this better.

        • ART

          Sometimes 0-60 is what is needed to make up for generations of violence – I can’t think of a good reason not to get serious yesterday.

        • River

          I mean, loving Jesse Williams (and, boy do i!) doesn’t take away from the serious nature of his words. I 100% support this being a serious conversation.

          And yes, our society HAS systematically created a negative atmosphere around Black reproduction. And it is terrifying.

        • ferrous

          This is interesting. I am a pregnant WOC (partnered with a white man), and today we found out it’s a girl. I am ecstatic and terrified. She will likely be light-skinned, but I am now realizing that part of me hoped for a boy because I am terrified she will be sexually victimized or otherwise disenfranchised. I was more confident in my ability to teach a light-skinned boy to be respectful of women and careful around authority figures, than I am of my ability to insulate any girl from society’s message that she is worthless.

          • Lauren from NH

            Intersectionality is a bitch. My partner is black and it is so ugly to think that if we decide to have kids I am going to need take this huge crash course on self policing ones behavior so I won’t teach our kids the wrong thing. I don’t think about people assuming I am stealing something in stores by putting a item in my reusable bag when I run out of hands or that I might break in when I walk around the neighborhood and point at cute houses or flowers whose name I recognize. I am from a small town where people often don’t bother to lock their doors, but these little actions I have never thought twice about make my partner very uncomfortable.

          • ferrous

            Haha, yep. I had to ask my partner (a big, intimidating-looking guy) to stop examining other cars as we pulled up alongside them. His privilege and genuine car interest made it a sort of harmless thing, but it made me so uncomfortable. It means something different where I’m from!

          • River

            Thanks for sharing this, ferrous. Congratulations on your pregnancy!
            Colorist privilege – I’ve never heard this term before, but I’m really glad to hear it. It makes me feel less…alone.

            For what it’s worth, I think that recognizing that privilege and then using it to speak the truth loudly – as Jesse and John are doing, and as you did here, I think that’s a good thing!

          • ferrous

            I’m glad, River! And thanks.

            For anyone who’s interested, studies in colorism show that there is a strong relationship between the shade of your skin and: incarceration rate, number of promotions, likelihood of becoming an elected official, blue vs white collar employment, educational attainment, etc, etc. It’s more popular and accepted in other countries, frankly, but I believe it’s catching on in academic circles in the U.S. Companies that toot their diversity horn are often shown to have diversity hires, yes, but rarely dark ones… Fascinating stuff, IMO.

    • vegankitchendiaries

      So agree!! I was fist pumping reading the link… It’s so easy to get depressed by the status quo commentary, so I’m trying to focus on those that are standing up to say what needs to be said.

      Also, they are such BABES.

    • Violet

      Omg, when the one newswhatever account thing told John to stay in his LANE!?!?!!!!! WHAT!?!!!

    • Lily

      Also I love that Jesse Williams’s wife is a successful real estate broker with a hyphenated last name. I can’t help but think he might be a feminist in addition to all his other awesome traits… :D

  • Molly P. Kopuru

    The first company I interviewed with out here did a phone interview with me the other day for the same position they called me about a few weeks ago. Today they asked me to come in for an in-person interview next week.

    Third time is the charm? I hope so. All this going back and forth is stressing me out.

    • Not Sarah

      It is super stressful, but you are brave, Molly! I’ll keep my fingers crossed for you with the in-person interview next week :)

  • Kayjayoh

    ERMERGERD!

    Last day at work was yesterday. Last day in Madison is today. Tomorrow, my husband and I fill out car with stuff and hit the road for Boston. On Monday, I start my new job.

    Also, my wedding photos came this week, so I am starting to work on a submission.

    All the transitions!!

    • Em(ily)

      Woo-hoo! Good luck with it all!

      • Kayjayoh

        Thanks!

    • Kate

      Boston sounds like an adventure, and what a good day to get out of MadTown, with the gross heat and all! Where did you work?

  • K2

    I LOVE my job, but I have a long commute and a new baby at home who I feel like I never get to see (~2 waking hrs/day). There are no opportunities in my field closer to home. I could probably find a job closer to home, but I’d go from having a great career in a field I love that utilizes my MA to most likely having an administrative job doing nothing I’m passionate about, and having a very difficult time breaking back into my current field if I wanted to later. But I HATE the way my home life and parenting are currently set up (e.g. I never see my son, nothing ever gets done at home, and most of the interaction I have with my husband is handing the baby back and forth while we trade off on who’s watching him vs making/cleaning up dinner). And I work at a non-proft, so it’s not like I’m commuting long hours to bring home $$$$ – my husband makes more at his boring admin job that he took to be closer to home. How on earth do I balance these things and make decisions about the future?

    • Emily

      Is moving closer to your work a possibility? Probably not, but I’m just wondering…

      • K2

        We actually just moved (and bought a house) in the farther-from-work location, because it has everything else – family support, good schools (we’ll need them one day!), a yard, etc. – and because my husband really disliked living in the city. So I guess I made my own bed, but the set-up is more challenging than I’d anticipated.

        • Emily

          Ah. I think I remember that now from past threads. For what it’s worth, we moved over a year ago and I had to tell myself yesterday that we are still transitioning with the move. I don’t know why it has been so hard – like you, I love my house, we have good schools, etc. But moving, especially I think when you buy a house, is really hard. I say this as someone who has moved at least ten times in the last twenty years, but this one, where I bought a house and I hope to live here forever, has been different and very hard.

          So perhaps you are still transitioning? The other suggestions are really good too. Good luck.

    • Ali

      Any chance you could talk to your employers about working from home one day a week? At the very least it would cut your commute time and give you more time with the baby. I also work in nonprofits and had some supervisors/colleagues who did that. I assume you’d have to prove that you were being productive (send emails, send deliverables around then) because sometimes there’s resistance to that idea, but it might be worth having that conversation if you have a good relationship with your supervisors. Plus, having a quiet home to make work-related phone calls is also nice!

      • K2

        My job is really hands-on. It’s more like 1 day/month that I actually reliably have work that can be done from home. I’ve occasionally taken a day to work from home here or there, and they’re pretty good about allowing it, but it’s not something that makes sense on a regular basis, given my position. The fact that I’m not necessarily glued to a computer every day is one of the things I love about my job, but unfortunately it means my work is a lot less portable than some.

    • anonpsu

      Outsource as much as you can. Get a cleaning person, it will be worth it’s wait in gold so you aren’t spending any time cleaning that you could be spending with your baby. See if you can do a work from home arrangement 1 day a week. Your baby would be in daycare, but you wouldn’t have the commute those days. Research flextime and alternate schedule policies at your company, a lot of nonprofits have them.

      • Sparkles

        I would add that freezer meals, and/or prepared meals would be the way to go. Anything you can do to make home stuff easier.

        And can you put your kid in a daycare closer to work? I don’t know if you want to do the commute with the baby, but it might be some more time to spend together, you might be able to make time to see the baby at lunch.

    • Emmers

      I’m thinking about a lot of these things, since when we get married I’ll have a healthy commute. I’ve commuted in the past, and really hated how tired I felt, and how it was a timesuck, so I’m also weighing whether or not I want to look for something closer.
      Like you, this would probably involve changing fields, and I like my job! But I’ve decided (after much hand wringing with my husband to be and counselor) that it’s OK to look. I don’t have to actually accept a job, but I can look and have options. I was actually just stressing about this today, since there’s a job I’m considering applying to, so it seems so real.
      But I’m trying to reframe it as– this is something I’d be doing for my peace of mind, and my future husband’s. Yes, I’d be leaving a career I’ve invested a lot in, but maybe I can find another job that I’m good at, and doesn’t involve a huge commute. We’ll see. It’s definitely stressful!

  • MC

    Something super frustrating happened last week and I can’t stop thinking about it so I wanna vent: Some of fiance’s distant relatives were vacationing in our town so we got dinner with them one night. When we were all looking at the menu his uncle-one-removed (or whatever) asked me if I had any “goals around my wedding dress” – as in, if I was trying to lose weight for the wedding. For a second I was speechless, because
    1. Since WHEN is it okay to ask someone who is practically a stranger to you if they’re trying to lose weight or not???
    2. I have a history with eating disorders/disordered eating (brief, but that stuff stays with you) and I’ve worked SO HARD to surround myself with people who don’t talk about weight, don’t express body negativity, etc. I’m totally comfortable asking my friends not to talk about that stuff around me, but how to tell a soon-to-be distant relative that they are way out of line??

    UGH. Luckily, I was able to (truthfully) respond with, “Actually I’m training for a half marathon so I have to eat way more than I usually do, and my dress already fits and looks great.” Didn’t come across too snarky but I kind of wish I had. These kinds of things are making me SO look forward to not being a bride-to-be.

    • Emily

      There are moments when I think we should bring back punching people in the face. That is ridiculously rude. Congrats on handling it with grace.

    • SarahG

      Ugh, I am SO SORRY. That is terrible. Why do people feel like it’s OK to make comments like that? My elderly next door neighbor asked me two days ago if I was pregnant (I am not). And then said “I told my daughter, she looks kinda pregnant!” Um, thanks for the instant replay. I am getting married at the end of September, so I just said “hey, looks like that wedding diet is really working, ha ha ha” (I am not on a diet). Anyway, it’s the worst. I’m sorry.

      • Alison M

        Acceptable times to ask someone of they are pregnant:
        1. If you are their doctor and you want to know if you can give them a particular treatment
        2. They are in the process of actually having a baby

        Otherwise, just keep your mouth shut.
        I feel like I get asked this not infrequently. Recently I told someone “nope, just had too much pizza”

        • SarahG

          Nice reply! I am thinking I might just start telling people I’m bloated with horrible gas. That’ll shut em up :)

          • YetAnotherMegan

            See, with me, it usually is gas (thanks, IBS). I mean, I’m not small normally, but I have days I could pass for 7-8 months along. And apparently do.

    • Erin

      I wish I could give you some great advice, but it sounds like you handled it well.

      I’ve been getting some body comments too and it’s really stressful at times.

    • Lindsay

      ugh! SO rude! i hate the assumption that if you’re getting married, you must be on a “wedding diet”. um, no? my partner wants to marry me the way that i am, thanks.

    • Lauren from NH

      I talk some big talk in my head but I am not super confrontational. But in your shoes, I might practice and mentally toughen myself to say to the next person, “That was rude. That is personal.” Sometimes I think we self enforce a greater level of politeness and considerateness than the offending person deserves. Sometimes keeping the peace means you are keeping all of the crappy feelings to yourself, which you don’t deserve.

    • Violet

      DAMNIT! I am so sorry this happened to you. I can fully imagine myself being in your shoes: first confused, then speechless, muster a response, later agonize over it wishing it had been snarkier (tougher/more of a throw-down/whatever) and feel So Angry. And then the thoughts will just carousel around and around, until then I’m angry at myself too for giving the idiot too much real estate in my head.

    • Alex

      Ugh, yeah. I’m training for a sprint triathlon and my wedding is in March, so I’m doing the eating tons as well ;) I also powerlift though, so I’m kinda used to eating tons :) It does sound like you handled it well, and who knows about the weird uncle (at least he’s super distant!). I’d like to think maybe he was just attempting to make small talk and has no clue how to do so… I glanced at a Self (or Shape, can’t remember, they’re basically the same) article a couple weeks ago about wedding diets and exercise and how a bride was trying to lose more weight so she could look better than the people she knew who were getting married, and THEN yesterday, saw a girl I know who is getting married in October post an instagram of TEN ALMONDS as a “meal” (out of 5 total a day, but still, ten almonds is NOT a meal), for her “wedding diet.” I think unfortunately dieting and weddings have become an entwined pair, and it’s quite unfortunate. Best of luck with the half marathon!!!

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

      That’s pretty rude, I really dislike the assumption that getting married = losing weight. I think you handled it really well.

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

      My answer to the “what are you doing to get wedding dress ready” question.

      “I bought a dress that fits.”

      End conversation.

      • Emily

        So perfect!

    • Sarah McClelland

      IKR?!!!?
      Hate that this happened for you. And excited for you running a half! And surrounding yourself with positive people.
      I’m running a half too… And it is in 2 weeks and I’m getting married in three months and I think I’m gonna throw something at the next person who makes a “sweating for the wedding” remark. How ’bout I’m just an active person? Or interested in my health/shape/current choices for the sake of my everyday life??

      Good luck on your half! And thanks for being an example of grace under pressure :)

      • MC

        Ugh, yeah, my half is in 3 weeks, which is 2 weeks before our wedding, and a couple of people have definitely said things along the lines of, “Oh, you’ll look so fit for the wedding!” I have no problem telling people that I would so much rather BE fit in my day-to-day life than “look fit” for the wedding.

        I am glad that I’m training for a race in the leadup to the wedding because it forces me to be on a workout schedule which helps sooooo much with stress relief. It’s been the best ever. Good luck on your half too!

    • Grace from England

      “…my dress already fits and looks great.” This is the perfect response to a horrible question. Good for you!

  • SarahG

    Random boob support question (I guess I could have said bra question but I love the word boob): has anybody tried those sticky cup things that are basically a backless, strapless bra for deep v dresses? The shop I bought my dress from recommended them but said they are $60 a pop. I don’t see myself needing sticky boob cups again in the future, so I am wondering if it’s worth it. I realize $60 is nothing compared to the overall wedding budget, but I’m trying to save where I can. My dress has a very low back and a deep V. Apparently my seamstress can sew in cups but is notorious for using huge ones that make you look like Dolly Parton (love her but don’t want the rack) so this sticky boob cup thing is the alternative. Do they actually stay on? Are they gross or what? You know, the important questions of life :)

    • Estherhasi

      I’m only a B cup, but I’ve used them for formal dresses and such. I love them and even wear them sometimes when I don’t want to deal with straps or making sure a strapless bra doesn’t slip down. But I don’t know if they work for ladies who are well endowed.

      • SarahG

        I’m a B cup too, so that’s good to know! Thanks!

        • Estherhasi

          Also, I got mine for like $20 at a non-wedding store, So $60 seems like a bit much.

          • SarahG

            Oh reeeeeaaaally??? WIC strikes again! Thanks for the tip.

          • Mezza

            Yes, same – also a B cup, also have had great success with the sticky cup things, and also got them for like $20-30 at a Walgreens or similar.

          • Anon

            I believe they also sell them at Target!

    • emilyg25

      I did the cups. They were awesome. Maybe just ask to take a look at the cups she chooses? My seamstress pinned them in the dress before she sewed them so I could see.

      • SarahG

        Good idea. I’ll do that! My appointment is tomorrow morning, so I don’t really have time to buy the sticky cups now anyway, but I figure I can do that if she pulls out something that looks like it could pad a mattress. Thanks!

    • anonpsu

      You can use them up to a small-medium D cup. I used them when I was a small D and they actually worked! I wore them many times throughout the year with a backless shirt I loved (to bars…). I used Nubra which sells for $40, not 60, so that helps.

      • anonpsu

        Also, not gross, and no sticky residue. You just have to make sure you don’t have any lotion/sweat on your breasts before using them. They pull off cleanly and you just handwash them with detergent and water. But they actually did lift my breasts up and stay on ALL night.

        • SarahG

          Huh. I was kind of refusing to believe that this method worked but if they actually don’t fall off randomly it might be worth it. Thanks for the testimonial!

          • anonpsu

            Yeh the Nubra came with good instructions.

    • kris

      I have an A cup but also sweat a lot. They did/do not work for me.

      • Sarah McClelland

        Ya my experience is that if you’re moving around/perspiring at all they won’t stay put. Sew in cups.

    • Gina

      I’m a big-B to little-C cup and I love those sticky cups. They’re great for backless dresses or tank tops. That said, if you sweat a lot or it’s going to be really hot, they might need to be adjusted at some point. You can get them at Macy’s for way cheaper than $60. I think the last time I bought ‘em they were $25.

    • River

      YES I have and they can be great! I got mine for $25 from Ricky’s NYC. Check out their website, I think they ship outside the city.

    • Claire

      I bought a duplicate of my favorite bra and had my seamstress cut off the straps/ back and sew it straight into the dress, just a thought!

    • Nicole

      I thought I would have this problem and they had recommended having the seamstress sew these in, but actually, once the dress fit me, there was no need for anything at all. I am a C cup and always wear a bra, and this dress did not have built in boning, so I planned on needing a bra, but actually I didn’t need one. So you might just talk about all the concerns with the seamstress and consider all options, including not having anything at all!

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

      I actually used these for my high school homecoming one year and didn’t have a problem with them. I don’t remember where I found it (Kohls maybe? Some department store) but I’m sure it was way cheaper than $60. It stayed up fine and I don’t remember being uncomfortable at all (although this was a long time ago). I’m also a C cup if that helps (probably would have been a small-end-of-C at the time).

    • Sparkles

      I’m a C-cup (or I was before pregnancy got a hold of me) and I did a lot of research on these things for a formal I went to one year. I ended up buying a pack of boob stickers (they come in a pack of four or six, if I remember, and you get one sticker for each side) from the drug store because I didn’t want to spend all that money on a bra I was going to wear once. They actually worked really well, and because they were so inexpensive, I didn’t mind using up a couple pairs practicing and getting my boob shape right. They did make things a little bit pointier and maybe a wee bit lopsided, but I think you only noticed that because the dress was jersey. Picture for a better idea of how it worked out (I’m the one without the pink circle on my face):

      • JDrives

        !! That dress is killer! I don’t notice any lopsided or pointy-ness at all, well done!

  • Erin

    What’s the general consensus on providing transportation for guests? We have a block of rooms at a hotel that’s about 20 min from the venue. We’re having our ceremony and reception in one spot with plenty of dedicated, free parking. Apparently cabs aren’t plentiful, but there are options. We’d love to provide a shuttle bus, but I’m not sure how that even works. Or if most people will even stay at the hotel. Do you have to do more than one round at a different times in case people want to leave earlier? Even one 24 person bus was much more expensive than I thought it would be.

    All that being said, I’ve never been to a wedding with transportation. I’ve been DD more often than not and I have always had fun. So, is this even something I should worry about?

    So much headache.

    • SarahG

      The only two times I actually took the transportation that was so kindly offered was at a wedding where there was literally no other option at all for getting there, and at a wedding in Switzerland where I was like “where the F am I?” All my friends who have done it (except those two) say it was a waste of money. I would not do it unless I had one of those situations (a truly inaccessible venue or mostly international guests in a foreign country). Just my two cents!

      • Erin

        Two much appreciated cents!

        Also, a wedding in Switzerland sounds incredible!

        • SarahG

          It was ridiculous, and by that I mean awesome. A rich friend who spent her money making sure everyone had an incredible time — tons of amazing food and booze, great music, beautiful venue (chateau on Lake Geneva), boat ride over the lake to the chateau, and just everything on earth for people’s comfort. It must have cost $100K but it was friggin incredible. I have been to plenty of weddings I liked just as much that did not cost that amount, but it was definitely memorable!

    • MC

      We’re having a shuttle because our venue is in the mountains, 15 minutes up a windy mountain road, and our city is at high altitude, so we REALLY want to discourage people from driving if they’re planning on having more than 1 drink. We also have a lot of people that are traveling and not everyone will have cars. I’d say if most people will have cars and it’s not an especially dangerous place to be driving at night, you’re fine without one.

      • Erin

        Ah, yeah, I can see how a shuttle would be great in your situation. Everyone will need cars where we are, but it’s very easy to get around. Hmm.

    • emilyg25

      This is something that caused me so much angst during planning. Our details were a lot like yours, but I knew most guests were staying at the hotel. It turned out to be crazy expensive to set up transportation, and I didn’t want to coordinate all the logistics. But I felt sooo guilty and like I was inconveniencing people.

      Our guests figured out how to get themselves to the venue and back. You know, like they do all the time when they go out. It was so not a big deal.

      • Erin

        I didn’t even have it on my radar until a family friend told my parents we had to have transportation. Which, frankly, made me mad and made me feel like a bad host all in one.

        I keep thinking that everyone is a grown-up and we don’t need to take on an extra cost like that. I’m glad it worked out for you and that we’re not the only ones struggling with it!

        • emilyg25

          It was seriously going to be like $800. I had a few friends kind of scoff that we weren’t offering something, so I straight up told them. They had no idea! People outside wedding world sometimes don’t realize how much shit costs.

          • Alex

            THIS. SO MUCH THIS. Or like chairs. People have no idea how expensive chairs/tables are. I had one friend say that my hotel block at $139 was “so expensive” and was crushed because I thought it was pretty good and that’s really the best option I can get, but thankfully, I talked to another friend (who’s from the tri-state area) and was like “WOW ONLY $139 that’s AMAZING!” perspective ;)

          • ART

            oh for pete’s sake, no one has to stay in a hotel block, do they? what is it with people and their entitlement when it comes to other people’s weddings?!

          • Libby

            Also, for the record – $139 is a great deal!

          • Alex

            hehe, thanks!

          • Jules

            “You’re NOT HAVING A WEDDING CAKE?!? But you have to have a wedding cake!”
            “They’re $600.”
            “Oh…well…”

            I call bullshit on other people telling you that you HAVE to have something there.

          • Ragnhild

            So happy we opted out of a “professional” wedding cake! My moms friends made awesome cakes instead :)

          • Natalie

            I have this conversation weekly with my mother.

          • Emily

            Pie! We had wedding pie. :)

      • SuperDaintyKate

        “Our guests figured out how to get themselves to the venue and back. You know, like they do all the time when they go out.” This.

        I do not think transportation is essential. My wedding planning mantra has become “Your guests are grown-ass people (or the children of grown ass people) and can take care of themselves” (Thank-you, APW for teaching me that invaluable life lesson.) Providing transportation is generous and kind, but not necessary. Grown ass people can do that for themselves.

        Think mathematically: If you accumulate all the “stress” each guest will individually experience getting him or herself to and from the venue, it will amount to less stress and burden than you will experience arranging collective transportation for them. Let yourself off the hook!

      • vegankitchendiaries

        Really agree with this but want to add if you know people aren’t drivers it’s always good to link them up with others who WILL have cars so they can ride share. Totally NOT suggesting you orchestrate this all yourself, but maybe get an Email pool going…. ?

        • Ellen

          We used Facebook (private group, members invited by us) for this. It got a fair amount of use, and has also seen some post-wedding traffic in the form of photos, a thank you from us, and similar things. We were clear in the group description that it was for people to talk amongst themselves, and they were free to use or not use it as they felt appropriate. Assuming you have a Facebook-using crowd, it can be a lot of usefulness bang for the low-time-investment buck.

    • anonpsu

      I agree that people should just woman-up and find a DD, but we all know that people drive buzzed and drunk way more than they should. And I would never, ever, want to someone get into an accident after my wedding because they drank too much. We booked a hotel that has a shuttle (9 person) that will run from about 1.5-2hrs before the reception ends to the end of the reception. We are putting a little note in the hotel welcome bags that it will provide transportation home (we are not doing it to the wedding, but people can keep their cars there overnight). Another option is renting a 15 passenger van through Enterprise or Hertz, if you can find someone willing to be DD. 2 runs of that will take care of 30 people. I would wait until you can estimate how many out of town guests you will have to book the transportation. My brother rented a van during the week of the wedding because the majority of the guests did not have drivers licenses (international) and it worked out well. If it’s too much stress, don’t do it. In the overall sense, you are not responsible for getting adults to and from the wedding. They are adults, they need to manage it on their own. But providing some sort of option for intoxicated guests is a nice gesture.

      • Erin

        Thanks! If we had unlimited money, we would do it in a heartbeat. Our plan right now is to wait and see how many people are even booking the hotel and go from there. At the very least I was going to have a sign with the taxi number (and maybe call the taxi company ahead of time and say “yo, wedding ahoy, fares aplenty!”

        • Nicole

          I think the other thing I forgot to mention in my other comment is this – We had a TON of out of town guests, but not very many who stayed at the hotel. Outside of our parents who drove to the venue to help with loading/unloading of things, there were very few. If we had put a lot of stress into providing transportation, it would have been for nothing, because most people chose to stay in different parts of the city either to stay at an AirBnB, or because they’d rather be close to downtown than close to our venue, or because no one reads wedding websites and they didn’t even pay attention to the fact that we might have recommended hotels.

          I rode in a Lyft to an airport once with a driver who said people often hire him for weddings and he just runs back and forth between the ceremony and where people are going. It might be easier than a shuttle, if you want to provide something. (Big Aloha Luau lyft in Tacoma/Seattle if you’re interested – he’s also really fun and has karaoke)

          • EF

            We’re not doing transport. But living in the UK means public transport is easy, and we got a hotel block on a direct bus line to the venue — it’ll take about 20 minutes, or about £12 for a taxi. They’re grown-ups. They can deal.

        • Violet

          “If we had unlimited money, we would do it in a heartbeat.” Yes. My partner and I couldn’t afford something like this for our wedding. Luckily it was small, most guests were not out-of-towners, but still, many had to drive forty minutes from the reception back to their homes. A few months after we got married, we attended my partner’s cousin’s wedding. I won’t go into details, but this couple has a LOT of money. My MIL commented, “I think it is so smart of them to provide transportation for their guests.” Her comment irked me, because it sort of implied that anyone who can’t afford that isn’t being thoughtful/gracious/whatever. Look, I would love to provide things like that, but we’re not at the stage in our lives when we can do that. This couple is, and I don’t begrudge them, but it kinda hurt that my MIL implied they were kinder hosts just because they have more money. “Want to give” does not equal “can afford,” and visa versa.

        • Ellen

          While our room block was within walking distance of the reception (also the ceremony, though it was at a different location), we did have some guests staying at other hotels. For those guests, we included taxi information on our website and in the welcome bags (as part of a welcome letter reiterating the wedding day schedule, suggesting restaurants, and similar things). In additon to being in the bags, we posted the letter to a Facebook group we’d made to facilitate ridesharing. We also had a “Transportation” page on our website that covered both getting to the relatively small town where we got married and getting around once there. That page encouraged people to walk to the events, provided information about parking for those who would drive anyway, and also emphasized the availability of taxi service if necessary (particularly for folks who might want to drive to the reception–we wanted them to know that it would be fine to leave cars parked at the reception venue overnight and taxi to their hotels, if need be).

          Full disclosure: we rejected some venues because we were really concerned about drunk driving/ensuring guests wouldn’t have to worry about driving post-reception, but also weren’t totally comfortable with the logistics and finances of a shuttle. That said, I’ve certainly been to weddings where guests are left to their own devices regarding transportation and it’s worked out fine. The information that we provided was based on my experiences at those weddings–it’s what I either was happy to have or wished I had had when attending those events.

    • Alex

      Depending on where you’re getting married, Uber might also be in your area – I remember hearing a bunch of press a couple weeks ago about them doing a major publicity thing for weddings, and this popped up on google after just an “uber wedding” search http://www.herecomestheguide.com/best/uber-weddings-here-comes-your-ride .

      Agreed re: “Our guests figured out how to get themselves to the venue and back. You know, like they do all the time when they go out.” but as someone else mentioned, people do drive buzzed more often than they should, maybe just help encourage carpooling? “Oh, Group A, you and Group B are staying in the same place and I think you would totally get along and could share a ride” or things like that? I feel like if you just present the information and leave it up to guests it will be fine :)

    • april

      It’s totally up to you whether or not you want to provide transportation. Your guests are adults, they’ll figure it out (carpooling and pre-arranging cabs, as needed) if you decide not to provide a shuttle. Maybe just let them know what the situation is ahead of time (through your wedding website or just word-of-mouth) so they can plan.

      If you do want to provide transportation, though, school buses are a great affordable option. We had a similar set-up where the hotel was about 20 minutes from the reception venue, and this is the option we went with. Look for the kinds of companies that offer buses for school and church trips. They can be a little tricky to find online — I asked our caterer for recommendations, and she gave us the contact info for a couple. We wound up with an all-inclusive (gas, driver, taxes – though not tip) 6-hour package on a big yellow bus for a grand total of $375 (!!!). Our guests loved it, and I’m really glad we offered it.

    • Nicole

      I’ve been to a bunch of weddings where there was transportation provided and almost always, it was not worth it. We recommended some hotels within walking distance, and then provided a LOT of information about different ways people could make it work (Lyft – with a referral link for a free first ride, uber, public transit, etc.). Everyone figured it out and I was SO glad I wasn’t worrying about it. The only way I would have considered it would have been in a situation that would have made it REALLY hard for people. For example, I had a friend get married somewhere that required a ferry trip. Walking on is infinitely cheaper and easier and you’re not likely to have to wait for several HOURS for a ferry with room for your car. In that case, transportation was a must. In other cases, it seems like a LOT of work (and $$$)

    • LM

      If you have a lot of out of town guests, I think it is a nice thing to do, especially if guests can then avoid having to rent a car. Also, as someone who does not drive, I’ve definitely worried about how I would get to the reception and found it to be stressful, even though it’s always worked out. I absolutely understand why people don’t do it, but I’ve always appreciated shuttles when they are there.

    • Kate

      The only time I attended a wedding that had transportation for the guests at the end of the night, it was a school bus (cheaper, and super fun!). When we checked into the hotel there was a sign telling us what time the shuttle was leaving for the wedding venue (there was one time, and you’d better be there) and 2 shuttles back to the hotel (an “early” and a “late” shuttle). From a guest’s perspective, it was great to not have to worry, but I don’t think it was an expected thing or anything.

      • Lindsay

        This is exactly what we’re doing in just under 3 weeks(!). We have rooms blocked at two hotels about 15 minutes from the venue where both the ceremony and reception will be held. We encouraged people to reserve rooms and take advantage of the shuttle, and to our surprise, nearly everyone is planning to do so, even though most of the guest live within an hour of the venue. It’s nice for us not to worry about people drinking and driving.

    • helen

      We’re providing transportation because our venue is up a winding canyon road– not super dangerous normally, but we just don’t want to have to worry about guests drinking, plus cabs would take a while to arrive. Also a ton of our guests are out-of-towners who live in cities where they don’t drive all the time. It’s definitely not required. Your guests can rent cars and carpool with each other. But I do think it’s a nice gesture if you can afford it (big if– it can get expensive!). As a guest I always really appreciate it when it’s offered.

    • swarmofbees

      I spent a lot of time worrying about this. Our ceremony and reception/hotel were a 40 minute drive apart, and there was no public transportation. I recommended for people to rent cars, but some people just called cabs. They are not super reliable, but they worked in the end. I was really worried about drunk driving and generally inconveniencing people. If we had an unlimited budget, I would have got them. But, I heard no complaints from anyone. People figured it out, as they tend to.

    • Jules

      Is it something you should worry about? NO. Big, resounding NO :)

      You looked into it and it’s out of range. Everything will be fine.

    • M.

      We had about 85 people, did not block rooms (our hotel didn’t offer a deal and we were in shoulder season), there wasn’t dedicated parking at the venue, and we didn’t provide transportation. We DID: remember our guests are adults, and offer copious info on our website. We recommended hotels and B&Bs in different neighborhoods and price points, and posted info about street parking and parking in a nearby super affordable lot. Didn’t hear a peep from anyone about anything, everyone made it and was right on time! We started early! As everyone’s saying: they are grownups who go to events and travel alone in daily life. I think it’s really not much different. Good luck!

  • Beth

    Guys, we get the keys to our new house today!! I have experienced an incredible range of emotions over the last few weeks from “oh fuck oh fuck do we really want to do this?” to “alright, this could actually be pretty cool” and now I have finally arrived at EXCITEMENT. Whee! We have a lot of work to do to make it awesome, but they are all projects we’re looking forward to.

    Also, I finally found a lady bits doctor who took me seriously and didn’t tell me it was all in my head. So that was nice. When I told her that other doctors have told me it might be psychological she said, “That is not fair. No. That is absolutely the last thing I look at if everything else has been ruled out.” So Bay Area ladies – Kyoko Peña-Robles with One Medical. Do it.

    • Erin

      Wow! Two super great things! There’s not much worse than dismissive doctors, so nice you have found someone who’s ready to get to the bottom of things.

    • River

      Congrats!! And sending you good wishes that this nice new doctor is able to help you :-)

  • anon daughter

    Hoping for some commiseration today. I know I’m not the first person that ever disliked their stepparent. I’m just having trouble envisioning what the future looks like, when my wonderful mom is married to a man with undiagnosed, untreated but obvious mental illness that manifests as being a raging asshole to everyone, making the worst possible life decisions, and being in total denial about how much the rest of his family is a burden on my mom. Last year I really stopped thinking about him as a parent (they’ve been married since I was about 10) when he announced to my mom, who was recovering from major neck surgery, that he was going to go “retire early” (quit his job) and give up a major chunk of the pension he was 2 years away from getting in full, as well giving up amazing LIFETIME health insurance for himself and his spouse. She could not even physically follow him out the door on his way to do this.

    Our wedding this summer was OK, I kind of faked my way through it with him and even had a glimmer of hope, but he’s just been a total jerk since then, and I think he’s still not working. Meanwhile my mom has moved heaven and earth to get his dad into an Alzheimers care facility under difficult immigration/financial circumstances, spent entire days at work trying to coordinate mental health care for his daughter (my stepsister), etc.

    Yesterday I posted something on Facebook about Ferguson and he chose that post to flame me about as personally and hurtfully as he could. I feel like I’ve reached the limit of my compassion for him, and being newly married makes me want to put up barriers to protect myself and my husband from that pretty toxic influence.

    But he’s married to my mom! He lives in the house I want to return to for Thanksgiving! I’m super close to my mom and I am so afraid this is going to grow into a rift between her and me. I don’t even know how/whether to talk to her about it. She knows. So then I get a little resentful that she’s willing to put up with this shit.

    The Jesse Williams tweets & associated hotness did cheer me up a little though, so thanks :)

    • p.

      I know this can feel like the standard APW response, but I’d suggest working through this with a therapist. Therapy personally helped me with some parent issues.

      In the meantime, I think it makes sense to start setting some boundaries (ie, can you block him from your Facebook page?). And maybe you can start inviting your mom to things on her own?

      • ART

        I have unfriended him, at my mom’s urging. And you’re right, I’ve seen therapists in the past with really helpful results. I’m not sure why I wouldn’t think of it for this situation. We live about 6 hours from them, but my mom does come up to visit on her own sometimes. And I don’t think I would welcome him at my house anymore (haven’t in over a year).

        • ART

          well shit, just outed myself by habit. whatever.

          • River

            Here’s an un-anonymous hug.

          • ART

            thanks :)

    • DM

      Ok – I’m glad I’m not the only one with family drama right now. Fortunately, I’m sightly more removed from it (and sorry if this seems like hijacking your issue – lessons in next paragraph)- my aunt has decided to hold a major grudge, which my sister asked me to try to work out in advance of her wedding next weekend, and I just got off a completely insane call with her. I’ve said I’m sorry more times than I can count (and the more I have to say it, honestly, the less I mean it). I still don’t think things are good.

      Ok – here’s what I’ve learned. I’ve tried my best to keep my family in the loop about communications. I’ve admitted what I have done wrong (today I said something I knew would incite my aunt b/c she hasn’t been talking to me). I think presenting your argument in a manner where you are not always perfect shows that you’re being critical about evaluating the situation.

      Since your mother is married to the problem (and we’re dealing with different people), this may not work out for you like it’s working for me. My parents are my allies in dealing with Aunt Pscyho, and I think it’s because I’ve communicated with them honestly through the ordeal. While typing this, Dad called and let me know that he’d stand by me over his sister any day (I’d chatted with my mum right after I got off today’s call with Aunt Psycho). I know that my parents have remained pleasant with my aunt through the ordeal, but when push comes to shove, I’m comfortable that they’re on my side and they’re happy to minimize potential conflict when I ask. I wish my sister didn’t have to seat my aunt at another table that’s not full of family at her wedding, and I wish that I didn’t have to ask my parents that if they have to choose to be with Aunt Psycho or me at the rehearsal dinner, that they pick me, but my parents seem really happy and supportive to do this for me. I hope your mother is able to find a way to support you as well

    • Alison M

      Yikes, that sounds awful. I have no helpful advice, but I am sorry that you’re in that situation. I strongly dislike my mother’s boyfriend of several years, but I’m lucky that they don’t actually live together – that makes everything more difficult.

    • Lawyerette510

      I feel you so hard. My dad’s wife is just that, my dad’s wife. She’s not my stepmom, because she’s not a parent to me as a result of her behaviors being hurtful and toxic. It’s hard to know what to do in these situations because you want to shield yourself from the toxic person without damaging the relationship with your parent.

      After doing a lot of work and soul searching, I finally had to draw boundaries with my dad about how/ when/ where/ why I would interact with his wife. I spoke to him alone, face to face about what it meant for me in the pattern of behavior between her and I and that I was setting boundaries based on what was healthy for me.

      I didn’t address the things about their relationship that horrify me, as much as I wanted to because ultimately that’s his relationship to have.

      It hasn’t been easy for his and I relationship since then, but overall it has been better. While I don’t see him as much, when I do see him the time we spend together is positive and we talk about positive things because she is one (along with a list of other things) of the topics we don’t discuss because overtime it’s become apparent we can’t discuss it without it hurting his and I relationship (other topics include: my mother/ his ex-wife, politics, and religion).

      It hasn’t been easy, but drawing those boundaries has helped me a lot, and I feel safer in my interactions with him.

      All that said, because of the toxicity I stopped spending major holidays with him a while ago, and instead have used those opportunities to strengthen my own little mini family as well as my bonds with the in-laws and my mom will sometimes participate in the in-law or mini-family activities too.

      Big hugs because this kind of thing sucks so very much.

      • ART

        Thank you, it does suck, those boundaries around my mom are the most painful thing to think about (like, almost ever.)

    • Emily

      As a woman who is a step-mom, all I can say is I’m sorry that this stinks so much for you! I like some of the things discussed below (unfriending, therapy, setting boundaries). Sorry that I’m not much help, but good luck. Families can be very difficult.

  • Jessica

    This past week has been a flurry of moving activity and work activities. Last weekend my parents, room mate, best friend and I painted the new kitchen–like took down the cabinet doors and did all the walls and everything. It was hours of work and it’s still not done yet, but it looks so much better now–even without the cupboard doors on. The kitchen started off with mustard yellow walls and periwinkle cabinets (why??) and now has a warm off-white on the walls and bright white on the cabinets. I’m in the middle of spray painting the hardware at work (it smells like spray paint through the whole office) and we should be done soon!

    Also: Moving is so expensive. I’ve had to buy curtain rods, still have to buy rugs, and install clothes rods in our sloped-ceiling closet (which, what is up with sloped ceiling closets?) And we’re hiring movers which is just a whole other story. Ugh.

    The photos are 2 before, one in the middle of the process. That’s my dad! The before photos are kind of washed out and don’t show the full clashing of the color combo.

    • River

      PRETTY. Also, yes moving is expensive. It is the WORST. *pretending I don’t have to go home and pack in two hours*

      • Jessica

        I was up until 12:30am packing and cleaning up the hinges for the cabinets. Packing stinks.

        • River

          Solidarity fist bump ;-)

          • Jessica

            :) Is there a fist-bump emoticon?

          • River

            haha there should be!! (probably there is. but i’m not so clever with those things)

    • NW

      We moved into our first home a few months ago and the most shocking cost was the “moving in” costs such as the curtain rods, cleaning supplies, and supplies to rip up nasty old carpeting from the 50′s. I wish someone had warned about those costs!

      Congrats on your move!

      • Jessica

        Thanks!

        The 1950′s has some cute styles accredited to it, but too many homes have just let that stuff sit there for 60 years without proper care. Congrats on getting that gross carpet out!

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

        This is the whole reason my husband and I are starting to think about buying a house now instead of moving to a different apartment (our landlord is becoming irksome). Sure, we could move into a cheaper place and save some extra money for a house… but the cost of moving twice would probably wipe out anything extra we saved depending on how soon we moved again. Thank god we live near IKEA though, that at least helps a little bit with some of the basic stuff.

        Also, I feel your pain with the nasty 50′s carpeting. The house lived in for middle school/high school was last redecorated in the 60s/70s and had some awesome (not) goldenrod and avocado shag carpeting in the bedrooms along with an adhesive carpet pad. It took forever to scrape it off the hardwood floors and my room smelled like goo-gone for months. Also, there were 5(!!!!) layers of wallpaper in the kitchen. WHO DOES THAT?!

  • april

    Sooo, Rachel’s Buzzfeed photos just made me really teary-eyed/proud/sad.
    Also, can we talk about those pants?! Why does no one make pants like that anymore?!

    • River

      YES. Rachel killed it. Super inspiring!

    • Caitlin_DD

      That second photo is one of my all time favorites.

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

      Thank you! :)

  • River

    With all of the heinous things going on around the world, and ESPECIALLY here in America, I feel weird about sharing how awesome things are going for me right now…But this is a truthiness space, no? So:

    We are moving into our first ever apartment that is just ours tomorrow. I’m so freaking excited!!! And we are hosting a “painting party” complete with wine and the best pizza in NYC to celebrate/start nesting right away haha.

    The other big thing for me is that I have become a Beachbody coach!! I was hesitant to mention that I started doing a Beachbody program, because it didn’t seem relevant and I was worried that health/fitness talk would be read as WIC body-shaming….But it’s totally relevant because I feel like am actually taking care of myself for the first time in FOREVER. I’m actually starting to look forward to my dress fitting in November instead of feeling an angry ball of dread in the pit of my stomach. I finally found a workout/nutrition plan that makes me happy :-) And now I get to help other people do the same thing! If you’re interested in learning more about my new venture, check out: http://www.facebook.com/coachrebbekahnyc

    That said, with all of these things going on (moving! new business! oh, and did I mention my other bestie is getting married next weekend?!), our wedding planning has ground to a halt. Anyone have any tips on how to restart that engine?

    • Lindsay

      congrats on the new place! my fiance and i got our first “just us” apartment in may (also in NYC) and it’s been WONDERFUL. and congrats on the beachbody coaching – a girl i know is also a coach and it sounds like a really effective and supportive, rather than shaming, program.

      • River

        :-D Thanks, neighbor! ;-) Hah, oh May is such a better time to move in the city. We really lucked out with our new place, but it was looking bleak for a while.

        We really need to make an APW NYC meet up happen, I think!

        • Lindsay

          i was JUST thinking that an APW NYC meetup would be awesome. i see so many awesome posts/comments from people here that really make me want to be friends!

          • Ali

            Seconded! Also, River, I must know what you consider to be the best pizza in NYC!

          • River

            HOORAY. Now how do we actually organize this, and can we please make it happen in September as I will not be here next week?

            It’s Sunnyside Pizza. They put sesame seeds on the crust. Get a pie, the individual slices are not as good. Yes, I am fitness coach, and yes I just recommended ordering a whole pie – sharing is caring!

          • K2

            Chiming in to say I totally disagree. We recently moved out of Sunnyside, and every time I ordered Sunnyside Pizza, I forgot about the sesame seeds and then was like, “Ick, what are these doing here?!”

            That said, I had no one specific other favorite to recommend instead.

          • River

            haha to each their own. When you find a favorite, let me know – I will try pretty much any pizza (unless it has fish on it).

          • Erin

            I am all for an NYC meetup too! …and also need to check this pizza out too. Anyone here familiar with the Ditmars area of Astoria? My guy and I are moving there in a week.

          • River

            Don’t know the area but am hoping to explore it soon! We’ll be in Sunnyside, so sorta neighbors!

          • Erin

            Hooray for Queens!

          • Racheldreams

            Delurking to say I just moved out of that area to move in with my Long Island-based partner, and I do miss it! Such a great neighborhood.

          • Sarah

            I am! I live in that area, off the Astoria Blvd stop. Got any questions? I absolutely love this neighborhood. I’ve lived in three different borough in about 5 different neighborhoods and this is by far the best in my opinion.

          • Ali

            Shut the front door! My person used to live around the corner from that place! It was our go-to fast lunch before going back into the city. And it was really good! Sesame seeds FTW

          • River

            NO. WAY. hahahaha LOVE it.

          • Alex

            Me, too! My fiance moved there for a job recently, and I’m following him out this fall, and we know all of two people in the city, and I feel like this little corner of cyberspace that is APW is full of so many wonderful, sane, rational women!

          • River

            We will totally throw a welcome to the city meet-up!

          • Alex

            hooray, hooray!!! :)

    • Em(ily)

      Wow, sounds like things are going great! As awful as things can be elsewhere, there’s always room for gratitude for your own blessings. :)

      Check your checklist, and get yourself interested in one thing to get moving on the planning once again?

      • River

        Challenge accepted ;-) that’s what we shall do over pizza tomorrow!

        • Em(ily)

          One thing leads to another…. :D Enjoy your pizza!

          • River

            OH I WILL ;-)

    • Lauren from NH

      Congrats on your coaching gig! As someone else who’s body and mind are not magically healthy all on their own, congrats again for embracing a program that works for you!

      In case there are others interested, since I find it super helpful, I use the Daily Burn site. It’s like a Hulu for workout videos. Some super short, some long, some in between, hard, medium, easy, yoga, kettle bell, dance, abs, etc, etc. I find it to be a great tool and it helps me to eliminate the mental excuse of, “I don’t know what to do!”

      • River

        Thanks, Lauren!

        That site is cool! That seems like it would really great for people who want to switch things up on the regular. I like having a variety of stuff to do, but with a schedule to stick to ;-)

      • swarmofbees

        Since you brought it up, I have used Daily Burn’s nutrition tracker before, but I never paid for the service to do the workouts. Do you find it is worth the membership fee? Are the workouts good for rank beginners with little to no equipment at home? Is this something you could do with a partner, or is it more solo exercise? I am thinking of my husband who tried to do a kickboxing/dance workout with me once and just lacks the coordination necessary to jump into something like that. (Though, it provided me with great entertainment to see him try – because I am evil.)

        • River

          If you’re interested in an at home workout that is great for beginners and doesn’t need much equip, that you could do solo or with a partner, send me a message! :-) I’d love to help!

          • Erin

            Have to jump in here because I am very anxious about what to do for exercise after my move next weekend. Right now FH and I belong to an affordable gym but we are moving to a neigborhood with no convenient affordable option. What can we do?

          • Erin

            Also congrats on the apartment and the gig River! Way to line up those wily ducks!

          • River

            OMG I didn’t even think of it that way!!! I AM lining up wily ducks :-D

          • River

            :-) You are welcome to jump in! Anxiety about a good gym was one of the things that drew me to Beachbody: they have a huge variety of at home programs, so you never have to worry about a shady cheap but close gym versus an over-priced inconveniently located one again! (I feel like that is a consistent city problem).

            I don’t know how to send private messages on APW, and don’t want to ask you tons of questions here…But I’d love to chat more with you! If you go to http://www.facebook.com/coachrebbekahnyc and send me a message, maybe i can help you find a good solution! :-)

          • Erin

            Thanks River! I will defi itely hit you up later.

        • Lauren from NH

          I have not used the nutrition tracker. I do find the workout service a good deal. $10 a month, if you don’t use it or in theory if you used it for a long time one could say, “Oh I could have bought the box set of P90X or whatever for this money.” I find it worth it in that they have added a bunch of new videos since I signed up in the spring and I find the quality to be good. While I have not done any of the specific beginner oriented workouts, other than their Insanity program, which they call “Inferno”, I have found the moves very doable and most workouts require little (yoga mat if you want) to no equipment. Within most all the videos the demonstrate 3 levels of difficulty and will explain the modifications. They are also very thorough on stretching, which can be easy to skip when working out on your own. They used to do a 1 month trial. Maybe they still do so you can see if it suits you?

        • Lauren from NH

          Maybe based on my poor comma usage I implied Insanity is beginner…not at all the case! Hope I did not scare you that this recommendation is coming from the she HULK. I am at a pretty moderate level exercise wise. Also you could certainly do it with a partner with enough space.

          • swarmofbees

            ha, I was wondering why they called the beginner program Insanity! They do offer a free trial, maybe I’ll give it a try this weekend. I can save the dancey workouts for the nights he is at work late.

        • leafygreen

          Along the lines of your question, I’ve found http://www.fitnessblender.com/ somewhat handy in the past. I honestly gave up on doing it, but that wasn’t the website’s fault (I own an elliptical and honestly I’m the sort of person for whom a routine is better than variety, fitness advice be damned).

          There are a bunch of free videos and they’re searchable (as far as difficulty, length, equipment, body focus…), which I really liked.

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

          Do you mind some additional Daily Burn workout reviews? I signed up cause I hate going to the gym & doing the same thing every time, and I wanted to work out at home without people watching me. I’ve loved the Daily Burn videos. I started with the True Beginner series, which is really geared to folks who haven’t worked out in forever, and the instructor is super encouraging. I then moved onto the Cardio Sculpt series but there are tons of programs, plus you can do any of the individual workouts anytime you want. I like that they have programs with schedules, and they give you guidance on what equipment you need. For $10 a month, it’s been totally worth it to me. Hope that helps!

    • vegankitchendiaries

      congrats on the apartment, river!

      i just looked at your fb pic (couldn’t help but stalk!) and you are so freaking cute it’s insane.

      no tips on restarting the wedding planning engine other than… sometimes a week or two off is exactly what the doctor ordered. yikes, especially if you’re MOVING! :)

      • River

        :-D yay, thanks VKD!! (is that a good nickname? or do you have another I should use?) *blushing* thanks for looking at my page, I’m slowly building it (aka it’s empty save for mission statement and pic) – glad you like the pic!

        • vegankitchendiaries

          VKD works! Or Vee as that’s what my pals call me. :)

          • River

            Oooo I like Vee! :-) It’s adorable yet sharp.

          • vegankitchendiaries

            Bless you.

            PS. Mega jealous of this APWNYC pizza party being planned… ;)

          • River

            <3 <3 <3

            You know you're welcome, Vee, it makes for a great weekend trip! ;-)

          • ART

            hey, if you’re ever down in Nor Cal i know of some good pizza :)

          • vegankitchendiaries

            Just come to Canada, guyz! We have pizza here too! I mean, I know most of you people don’t have passports but… ;)

          • ART

            I’m actually sort of glad I never did get a passport because apparently they are the hardest thing to change your name on. Now I can just get one with my new name no hassle :)

          • vegankitchendiaries

            Yeah, you should break it in with a trip to Vancouver, British Columbia (aka GOD’S COUNTRY)!

          • River

            I have one! And I love Canada! But have never been out to BC.

  • Em(ily)

    I got hit with some post-wedding funk this week, I’m so sad it’s all over! I was putting off writing the thank-you cards, since it felt like the last wedding thing to check off the list. But, the last one of those got mailed today.
    As wonderful as it was to marry my love, as beautiful as the father-daughter dance that made us both cry was, I’m freakishly fixated on the things that were off. Like my mom throwing a hissy fit before the ceremony over my having forgotten to put her corsage on the wrist thingy, so she had to pin it to her dress instead. Or the DOC’s intern who was in charge of the ipod starting our recessional song 15 seconds too soon, destroying the impact of the song’s beginning at the end of the ceremony (Lego Movie’s “Everything is awesome,” because everything was!). Or ALL the tablecloths I bought somehow being stained, even though nobody even sat at a few of the tables! It’s so irksome that I can’t seem to let that crap go, it doesn’t even matter now!
    Now we just wait for the photos. I’m so impatient. Our photographer said she’d put a sneak peek on facebook in “a week or so,” and it’s been almost 2 weeks now.

    • Jessica

      I think it’s kind of normal to do that. You put so much work, effort, money and love into crafting this day and then some things were off and emotions were running high. You notice the little things that went wrong because the big things went right.

      My mom was this way for about 6 months after my wedding. In one breath she would say how great the day was and then spend the next 10 minutes complaining about things that went wrong. It became a broken record and I had to ask her multiple times to let it go because it was tainting my view of that amazing day. Eventually she did, but she is a perfectionist and just wanted everything to go great and everyone to be their best selves–which pretty much never happens at a huge event.

    • Violet

      Awww, I’m sorry to hear you’ve got the funk (and not in the “bring in da noise” kinda way). I’m similar in that I’ll over-focus on negatives, so even though I loved our wedding, I’ll still reflect back on things that went “wrong.” What helps me is to do that observing thoughts thing: “Oh, yep, there’s that thought again. Okay.” The harder I try NOT to think about something or let it bother me, the more it does. It’s like when someone says “Don’t think about a pink elephant,” then, you do. I think there’s a lot of pressure to have loved EVERY LITTLE THING about your wedding day, so we try to squash any feelings to the contrary. There are great posts on APW about having a mixture of feelings on your wedding, so maybe some of those will help you to not feel too alone about having a mixture of feelings.

      • Em(ily)

        Thoughts can come, and we don’t have to entertain them. :) I know I’ll be able to let them go eventually, and really, we’re lucky everything else went so smoothly.

    • kris

      I’m sorry you’re feeling this way. I think it’s very normal and I had the same feelings when our wedding was over…rode the “high” for about a week and then suddenly would have random crying outbursts that seemed to come out of nowhere. I finally realized– it was just so much transition and emotion that came through like a whirlwind (really, for the prior year!) that any reaction I’d have was OK. I committed to allowing myself to FEEL whatever emotion came up, accept it, not judge it, and just know that time will pass and all the thoughts and emotions will sift through into place. I got married 6 weeks ago and feel much better by now.

      • Em(ily)

        That makes a lot of sense. We took a little honeymoon, so it was just a week ago that we came home and back to “real life.” For a day or two I was really searching for some kind of what’s next to fixate on and look forward to, but that didn’t feel right. Trying to focus on and enjoy what’s in front of me, and what’s next will come when it’s time!

    • swarmofbees

      There are still parts of our wedding day that I don’t let myself think about. I am just not ready to open those doors. But, when I finally let myself watch a video of our vows, it brought back such a happy feeling that I have hope that I can, one day, think about all parts of the day without cringing. Looking at the pictures also helped to bring back happy memories to at least put the bad ones in perspective. I hope you get to see your pictures soon!

    • YetAnotherMegan

      I’m still trying to work out of the funk two and a half months later. My husband wasn’t super clear with the DJ about what we meant for a certain song and I didn’t follow up, so instead of him dancing with his mother and me dancing with my stepfather, all three of us as couples ended up dancing. So, I never go the father/daughter dance I had finally made myself ok with (since my dad … forcibly removed himself from the picture a few years ago). And I think I’ve posted before about the horror that was our photographer critiquing how the dress fit right before the ceremony, taking crappy pictures (seriously, who stands behind the groom’s back for a first look? Neither of our faces were in the shot), and leaving early. I have to keep pulling myself back to very specific memories, because if I think too long about how awesome it was to have every single person who stayed till the end on the dance floor in a huge circle, I’m reminded of how there are no pictures of it because the photographer left before dark and everyone dancing means no one taking pictures.

      For me, it really has come down to thinking about specific memories and redirecting myself if I think about others. The honeymoon, with hardly any expectations, is a great distraction.

    • Kelly

      Super late replying, but I’ve been feeling the same way this week, and it just sucks! And yes, our wedding (the whole weekend, really) was SO, SO wonderful, but now I just keep thinking about all the things that could have been better/that we forgot/that didn’t go according to plan. Irksome is the perfect word. And coming down from such an emotional high and now realizing that it’s over and we’ll never experience that again or have all of those people in the same place just makes me really sad… Just gotta have a good wallow, I think.

  • Nicole

    We got married!!! It was Thursday Aug 7, we got to spend the whole weekend with family and friends, and we had a great time. One week later, I got the WORST cold I’ve ever had, but I’m starting to finally feel better after that too. Thank you so much to everyone at APW (both writing and in the community) for all the support and ideas. We did our own flowers from Pike Place Market, had a sokind registry where we got lots of experiences and practically no stuff, and kept everything really sane and wonderful. :-D

    We got a couple of preview pictures and our photographer said he’s putting the rest on a USB drive in the mail today!!!!

    • KC

      Congratulations!

    • Em(ily)

      Congrats!

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

      Congratulations! :D

    • vegankitchendiaries

      Hell, YES, girl! Great to see more ‘GLASSES ON GLASSES’ going down the aisle together… beautiful! And CONGRATS!

      • Nicole

        Yay! Thanks! Only one person asked me if I was going to wear contacts for the wedding, and I was like…um…I have been wearing glasses since I was 2, with a brief fling with contacts in college, I think I’d like to get married looking like me. :) But it was hard to find examples of people with glasses, especially with a birdcage veil.

        • ART

          that was me, too! glasses on glasses wedding fistbump.

          • vegankitchendiaries

            that’s what came to mind, art! to me, you guys are the OG “glasses on glasses” couple. like… you did it when it was underground.

          • ART

            yeah now i’m all

          • ART

            ah damn that was supposed to be hipster Ariel.

        • SarahG

          I was just thinking this… I am having a glasses/contacts dilemma and people keep assuming I will wear contacts. I wear them for exercise but find them uncomfortable. You are inspiring me to wear my glasses!

          • Nicole

            Thanks! Years ago, in college, when I was realizing that I wasn’t comfortable in contacts, I kept thinking, But what will I do when I get married?! I had a friend who had dressy glasses that she just wore for special occasions, and I thought…If it comes down to it, I can get special glasses just for that day (compared to a wedding dress, it’s actually not that outrageous, especially with all the money I save on not buying contacts all the time). That realization also kind of made me realize how silly it would be to continue suffering through contacts for one day in the potential future, and that that would be crazy for me. That’s when I committed to quit contacts so I could instead have glasses I loved and feel beautiful in and not worry about one day. Good thing too, because that was like 9 years ago! When it came time to actually get married, I didn’t get any special glasses because I actually just like the glasses I’m in.

            Definitely go with comfort! Plus, they’re so fun and you’ll feel like you! A wedding isn’t a work out, it’s a party!

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

            At the my exam before my wedding (even though it was like 8 months before my wedding) I picked out frames thinking about wedding photos, and ending up splurging a tiny bit on ones I really really loved. They weren’t really drastically different than what I usually pick out, but I did keep thinking that I’ll end up with more pictures of me in this pair than any other so they better be pretty kick-ass.

          • SarahG

            “A wedding isn’t a workout” — this I need to remember :)

          • Nicole

            Haha totally. I mean, you might dance so hard you get a work out. But You get to focus more on being comfortable than on being athletic. So…just like you probably aren’t wearing moisture-wicking performance wear (but if you are, cool!), you wouldn’t have a need to wear your workout eyewear (unless of course, you wanted to)

          • ART

            Do you use transitions? I had to remember to get my last pair without them, since I knew we’d be getting married outside, but that led me to get my first pair of prescription sunglasses, and where the hell have they been all my life – I LOVE THEM! Will never go back to transitions :)

      • vegankitchendiaries

        PS. Lady clapping in the red dress? Obviously VERY happy for you.

    • Alison M

      Gorgeous! I love your dress, and the bright flowers. The location looks amazing! Congratulations!!

      • Nicole

        Thanks! The location is the MV Skansonia – it was an awesome Seattle venue – extremely affordable for what it was and they took care of a lot, and just have a lot of experience, so it took a lot of stress off it. The food was good too – all our guests commented about how much they liked the location. Because they’re great, they book up way in advance, so we picked a THURSDAY which was THE BEST IDEA EVER and it made it so we could get engaged this Spring and then get married this summer in the height of good weather for Seattle even though we would have had to wait until summer 2015 to get married on a Friday or Sunday and summer 2016 to book on a Saturday!

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

          You’re beautiful! And I love the skansonia! The only reason we didn’t choose it is that we’d been to 3 weddings there. But gorgeous!

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

      ummm fucking GORGEOUS. And I so jealous that you are in Seattle. So jealous. Congrats!

      • Nicole

        :) Thanks!

    • Kayla

      1. THAT DRESS.

      2. We are also planning on DIY flowers from Pike Place and I’m so excited that yours look so good! They are everything I’m hoping for. Did you do them day of?

      • Nicole

        Thanks!!

        1. If you’re in Seattle and petite (I’m 5’3″ and wore flats) know that I’m going to be selling/consigning it soon. If you’re not, I found at a place in Burien called Pearls and Lace that had a bunch of similar stuff. I loved it – and it was lightweight compared to a lot of things. I had always pictured myself in something simple and short though, so I actually went back and forth a lot on it even after I got it. Luckily, the day of I felt it was perfect. :)

        2. We did them the day before. Two weeks before, I went and browsed all the flower vendors and talked the one that looked the best. She said that usually they recommend people come 5 days before to pre-order, but since we didn’t need to many, to just come the morning we needed them. The morning of our rehearsal, we went down, picked out 4 of the $5 bouquets and 8 dozen dahlias. We supplemented my bouquet with a couple extra dahlias and wrapped all the bouquets with tape, then put in water overnight in my apartment (no a/c). We trimmed the dahlias and put 2-3 each in little bud vases. Those we transported (via six pack containers) to my parents’ hotel room where there was AC and they stayed there overnight. But, we probably didn’t need to bother, the picture of the vases is from the next day at a lunch we did – after the lunch our parents dropped them off at our house and there they stayed, spread all over the house for almost a week! It was about the amount of time and work that I expected (though more complicated centerpieces would make it a LOT more time consuming – we spent about 2 hours from when we arrived at Pike Place to when we were finished). I WAY underestimated how much we would save (90% off the quotes we got) and how much fun it was – it was SO SO SO much fun!

        Also – pro-tip, the person who made the bouquets used KALE as a green/spacer to keep the dahlias from running into each other!

        • Nicole

          And here’s what we had before we put them all together…

        • Kayla

          I’m getting married in September, so I have my dress almost ready to go (I’ve done one fitting; that must be close to done), but that will be a great find for someone.

          Thanks so much for the details on the flowers! We’ve been planning to do them the day before after our rehearsal lunch, so I’m really glad that went well. I wouldn’t have known about pre-ordering flowers though. You’re a lifesaver! Or, I mean, at least a flower-saver.

          • Nicole

            Haha awesome. Glad I can help. I was nervous ahead of time too, but it worked out great. If you want more of an arrangement for the centerpieces (rather than single flowers) the $5 bouquets would be pretty affordable and pretty too – but I think you’d need a lot of them so that’s why they’d need a pre-order. But if you don’t need much, OR if you’re not picky about colors, you can just go that day. Good luck! You’re almost there!!!!

        • http://innercupcake.blogspot.com innercupcake

          Omg. A six pack container to transport? That is a magical idea that I probably would not have thought of, and one of the things that stresses me out about doing my own flowers is getting them from apartment to venue (and then assigning someone to set them up).

          • Nicole

            Thanks! I wish I could take credit – but it was a genius family member. I was nervous about it too but these didn’t take up that much space (we used 45 vases or so, all small enough to fit into a six-pack container, and we put those in boxes. 3 people carried them all in in one trip and it took about 10 minutes to carry them in and set them on the tables. We had already filled with water and everything the day before. We were stressed about it too, and had limited time to set up. Everyone got one and only one task, and they were all done within 15 minutes. It was a lot less stressful than I worried it would be. Let me know if you have other questions – I was super nervous about it and it worked out great, so I’m happy to help if i can soothe other questions.

      • lanne

        we did our flowers from pike place just a couple days ago, and they were AMAZING!!! i had concerns too, but they were so so so incredible and for $200 we had gorgeous flowers all over the wedding. we did 15 medium sized bouquets for centrepieces/decor– those i preordered about 2 weeks before the wedding, just giving the flower lady ideas of colours and flowers i liked and that she thought would be available then. then we picked them up the morning the day before the wedding, and i also had bridesmaids and me select bouquets from vendors that we wanted to make into our own bouquets. we put them into buckets with water and floral food during the day. the night before the wedding i had my best girlfriends over, and we arranged them into vases (pretty easy with floral foam and given that the arrangements are all put together in bouquets from the market) and wrapped the bouquets while catching up and drinking wine. i think it took about 2-3 hours to do it all with 5-6 of us helping, but we were hardly focusing…

  • SJ

    J has a final interview for a majorly game-changing position next Friday. It will require moving out near San Antonio. I’m so ready. SO READY. Praying, fingers crossed…all of it that he aces the interview. Then it’s putting together all the finances and GOING!!
    Also: finally. Out of the country and near civilization where I can make some new, much-needed friends. :D

    • Jill

      In San Antonio and NEED new friends :). Hope it happens! (Is this a weird comment?)

      • Lauren from NH

        Nope! Everyone could use more friends ;)
        (not a local though, can’t help ya there)

      • SJ

        Nope. Not weird at all :)

  • sara g

    The forecast is currently showing a 60% chance of rain for our wedding next Saturday. :( I know that’s still awhile out, but it’s just one more little thing to stress about. grrr.

    • Violet

      What’s it say for Friday? I have this bizarre theory that they’re always about 12 hours to one day late in their predictions…

      • sara g

        Partly cloudy and low 70s, lol. I like your theory. ;)

        • Violet

          I dunno, it’s weirdly usually true for my area, at least. My fingers are crossed for you!!!

    • vegankitchendiaries

      Honey bun! Don’t worry, petal! If your friends/family are like mine were in the same situation last month everyone is saying to you “it will be beautiful no matter what!” and you are like “STFU, what do you know about anything! you don’t know my PAIN!”

      It really will be beautiful, though. And 60% for a date a week away isn’t anything to place bets on anyway. Wishing you luck!!

      • sara g

        Thank you .>

        Deep breaths! It will be fine!

        • M.

          They’re coming for you, lady, not the weather (I know you totes know this) :) Yay!!! Wedding time!! Enjoy these last days as much as you can with the stress. We had a really dicey forecast too and were fine, for what it’s worth, and looking back, not even a freak hurricane could’ve dampened it. :) I mean, maybe with water but not in spirit!

          Also, my photog recently shot a wedding where they had a major cloudburst during the outdoor photos BEFORE the ceremony, and the pix are great and it is one of the most joyful weddings I’ve seen! Even if they were..a little wet :D

      • M.

        >>you are like “STFU, what do you know about anything! you don’t know my PAIN!”<<

        Heh. :D

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

      We had a blizzard during our ceremony and several people who made it to the afternoon ceremony weren’t able to get to the evening reception. But the snow made for some great memories and incredible pictures. Embrace the possibilities!

  • holly golightly

    This is a crazy question but here goes. My fiance and I are getting married next month. Woo hoo! And then we are going on a super-luxurious, romantic honeymoon at a popular romantic honeymoon spot a half-day’s drive away from where our wedding is. Woo hoo again! Well, I recently discovered via Facebook that his ex-girlfriend is also getting married… on the same day… in the same state. And now a teeny tiny (paranoid) part of me is just the slightest bit, like, “What if they go to the same small romantic place for their honeymoon?” I know this is (very) unlikely, but I think it is… possible! It’s an obvious choice for a honeymoon, given their wedding location, if they don’t want to go on a big trip but want to do something special. Am I being crazy? Is there anything to be done? We don’t have any neutral/mutual friends who would know what their honeymoon plans are or could discreetly find out. And I should note that it wouldn’t be the end of the world if we ran into them– no big scenes or anything– it would just be awkward. Discuss!

    • River

      That is super awkward – that she is getting married on the same day in the same state is awkward enough (maybe just because I tend to feel awk haha)….I don’t really have advice, except to say – at this point, there is nothing to be done. Hopefully you won’t see them. And if you have any friends who are good at snapping you out of things, talk to that person ;-) Because they will probably tell you not waste your energy on worrying about it.

      That said, I hope you don’t run into them, but I’m sure it will not take away from your honeymoon bliss if you do.

      • holly golightly

        Thanks for these very level-headed replies– you are right– I have some Wedding Brain and this is a non-issue. Just reading your “ummm calm down” responses makes me feel better!

        • River

          Happy to help! And just want to reiterate – you are TOTALLY justified in your initial reaction, but yes calming down is a good idea. I would also suggest treating yourself to something you LOVE – a dance party, a manicure, a piece of dark chocolate, or a good Scotch are all good options ;-)

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

      It’s a bit odd but I wouldn’t worry about it. Even you end up at the same place and run into each other, you’ll probably be all wrapped up in your post-wedding love-bubble that it won’t be worth worrying about. :)

    • Jules

      Even if you knew, what good would it do? No one’s rebooking any honeymoons on account of mayyybe running into old flames. There are people I certainly wouldn’t want to run into on my honeymoon, but I second the “not giving a shit” approach ;) Enjoy the wedded bliss. It sounds like a case of Wedding Brain.

    • Em(ily)

      You could always just stay in your room, in case there might be potential awkwards on the outside. I’m sure you’ll have a great time either way.

    • YetAnotherMegan

      I totally get how this feels like it could be weird. I was super paranoid about running into either of our exes the week before the wedding when we were in town. They live in our hometown still, and last I knew one of them works at WalMart and the other works i the same building as my mom. We didn’t, but it helps to remember that it all worked out well in the end. And besides, I doubt she would want to see you guys on her honeymoon any more than you all want to see her on yours.

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

    I haven’t listened to it yet, but you can get the #GIRLBOSS audiobook for free right now through Goodreads/Audible. You just have to join a group on goodreads, then you get a link through email to download the audiobook for free from Audible. Offer is in the banner on the right side of this page https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18667945-girlboss. I have to finish my current audiobook first, but I’m really looking forward to listening to this one!

    • macrain

      GOOD ONE IM DOING THIS RIGHT NOW.
      :)

    • Erin

      Thank you! I’ve been on the library list forever and I’m still 45th in line for one of 10 copies. Excited! This also reminds me that I need to start using Goodreads again.

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

      Awesome find!!

    • Guest

      How long does it take to get the code? I did this last night and still havent gotten the code at 12:05 PM the next day.

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

        Took at least 24 hours for me. Should have mentioned that in my first comment.

  • http://www.aprilbooth.com/ April

    I’ve been learning to ride a motorcycle and it’s been making feel all the feels.

    1. The assumption is that I must be learning because my boyfriend rides. I don’t like this assumption, but it’s also partly true. I don’t want to care that people assume this, but I do.

    2. one of the instructors commented that a lot of women come into the course and end up being super hard on themselves when they make mistakes. This ended up me last week and now I have to redo the last day along with the only other woman in the class. I’m bothered that this bothers me. I’m really irritated by the fact that because I feel like I need to prove myself because “women can’t drive” or whatever has been shoved down our collective throat for years, I’m effectively now proving that incorrect assumption by not being as good. I don’t want to care about that, but I do!

    Ugh, like I said. Feeling ALL THE FEELS.

    • EF

      It’s tough for sure. My cousin taught my how to ride a motorcycle a few years ago (he’s a collector of bikes and an instructor) and I was SO GLAD it was just me and some one who respected me as a person and didn’t think I was doing it for any reason other than I was tired of riding on the back of his bike all the time, and wanted to be able to tag along on my own.

      Remember that one reason women are probably repeating/being hard on themselves is that they’re taking it seriously. Because there’s such a gender split on this one, there’s not a lot of women who are going to wake up one day and go, ‘oh man, today’s the day I’m going to take motorcycle lessons!’ whereas young guys are told it’s the epitome of cool and they should just learn as fast as possible. Being safe is most important. When you’re ready, you’re ready. It’s not worth it to rush it.

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

        It makes me really angry that I even care if people think that. Like, so what if i’m learning so I can ride with my bf? That’s not any worse than riding on my own.

        And yeah, true. The instructor even mentioned that statistically women are safer drivers on motorcycles. I’m much rather be on the positive side of that statistic. lol

        *sigh* I just want to be able to make mistakes as an individual and not have to deal with feeling the weight of the entire gender pressing down on me. Probably being a little dramatic about the whole thing but those are the feels.

  • Oh baby

    Going anon for this. Not on topic of weddings, but on topic of potential babies. I know some of you have dealt with trying to get pregnant, and if not full-blown infertility, at least that moment where you think, “okay, this should have happened by now.” My question is how long you waited to check in with your doctor. I’m 28, husband’s 28, and we’ve been trying about 10 months. I have super-short cycles and a semi-short luteal phase, which I found out by temping. We’ve been timing sex, watching what we eat, the whole 9 yards. Today I got my period again and I just feel crushed.

    • Alex

      Oh, I’m so sorry! I have nothing to offer re: advice, just some hope <3

    • anon

      My doctor told me that it can take a year for couples with no fertility issues to become pregnant, but the waiting and disappointment each month totally sucks, and I really feel for you. I am on month 6 and I have been surprised by how hard emotionally it’s been each time.

    • enfp

      I’m so sorry you’re going through this. As holly golightly says, while it’s hard, it’s not at all unusual for it to take a year for a couple to conceive, and doctors (at least in my area) generally wait a year before considering any fertility interventions. If you’re concerned, I don’t see any harm in contacting your doctor at this point. Maybe it will be helpful to get some information about your options if nothing happens for you in the next few months, or maybe there are some steps that your doctor might be willing to take at this point.

    • Sparkles

      My understanding is that the docs want you to try for a year before they start discussing other options. You might want to make an appointment anyways to see if they have anything productive to add before you start down another path.

      I don’t have experience with infertility myself, but I was really interested in fertility/menstrual cycles in general a few years ago and read a bunch about it. Check out the book “Taking Charge of Your Fertility”. It offers a really comprehensive overview of how your cycle works and a pretty good tracking method. I find that for me, temps aren’t as reliable as checking discharge, which she talks about in the book.

    • emilyg25

      Yep, the general rule of thumb is 12 months if you’re under 35. It really blows waiting it out. Like really blows. We knew what our issues were, so I started asking for recommendations of fertility clinics around six months and at like 10 months, I made an appointment for right at 12 months. It made me feel like at least I was doing all I could. Hang in there.

    • Oh baby

      Thank you everyone :) Yes, I’ve heard a year of trying is the minimum too. If you count my short cycles, it’s actually been at least 12 cycles–maybe I can push for that. I am considering making an appointment with my primary care provider, a midwife, to discuss my concerns, and then maybe she can refer me directly to a reproductive endocrinologist.

      And I agree Sparkles, I love Taking Charge of Your Fertility. I think it’s a good read even for people who doesn’t struggle with trying to get pregnant. It is amazing how much I didn’t know about my own body–as a feminist !–before I read that book.

    • moonlitfractal

      I think I know exactly how you feel. I made a call after 11 months, and scheduled an appointment for what would have been the 12th month trying. With all the timing and temping and stress we’d reached the point where we were ready to change tactics. I was about ready to try for adoption if there was a problem that couldn’t be easily fixed.

  • Mezza

    Hey, APW – anyone have any tips for having a conversation with one’s boss about dissatisfaction with one’s job and/or salary? I’m planning this for next week and have never done such a thing before.

    For some background, I work in a VERY informal, VERY small office of a rapidly developing, successful theatre company. I’ve been here for a year, and we all like each other and occasionally hang out outside of work. I want to keep my job; I just also want some things to change. My flailiness at having this discussion comes almost entirely from just not having done it before and very little from thinking it’s going to go badly.

    • MC

      Since it sounds like your company is small & new-ish, maybe this isn’t implemented yet, but it’s pretty common to have a 6-month or annual review where the supervisor and the employee talk about what’s working, what could change, etc. If you’re been there a year I would start by asking your boss for an annual review so you can check in about things. I would also make it clear that you like the job, want to stay, etc. but feel like you need more compensation/more professional development/whatever to make it feasible.

      I had a similar conversation with my boss last November and was SO nervous in the lead-up, and it was all over nothing – I got offered a promotion before I could even ask for one! My boss told me afterward that when I asked to check in she was worried that I was going to tell her I’d found another job, ha. So sometimes it can help to subtly remind your boss that you very well could find another job – and from the sound of it, they wouldn’t want you to!

      • MC

        Oh, and before I had the conversation with my boss I mad a list of EVERYTHING I could say as evidence that I should get a promotion, from the big stuff to the minutae, and organized it by category, and talked to my partner about which things I should start with and which things I should say only if my boss asked about them. That definitely made me feel more prepared and slightly less nervous.

      • Mezza

        Ha, I hope I am also nervous over nothing. My main issue is that for the first 6 months I was here, I was totally swamped and stressed out. The company realized that and hired two new people, whom I have since trained to do…my entire job. So now I’m not really sure what my job IS, but it sure isn’t my job title. And both of those people get paid more than me. So I’m a little nervous that I’ve become redundant, but I hope they’re just going to give me bigger, cooler things to do (and more money) instead of, you know, firing me. Eep.

        But yes, I did frame it as an annual review, and my boss said she had also been thinking about such a thing, so hopefully we’re on the same page!

    • Cleo

      I’m preparing for a similar discussion in a somewhat similar office situation (small department in larger company). The advice I’ve gotten so far has been mainly centered around the idea that you should focus on what you can do for them if they give you what you’re asking for (in my case — the time I spend on secretarial tasks is enough to be able to get 5 more reports written every week) and remind them of what you’ve done even with things not being perfect. Tone is key, though. You shouldn’t sound like you’re complaining or whining.

      • Violet

        I totally agree. When I asked for my promotion/raise, I did a “Just the facts, ma’am” approach. Here’s what I do, here’s what that job title looks like, so I’d expect the title and associated pay increase. I was nervous, so I rehearsed and kept it short and sweet. Worked great!

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

      I’ve been having a lot of conversations like this recently as well! I’m not really an expert but I approached it by stating where I would like to see improvement and provided examples of what I do that makes me think those requests are reasonable and would be an improvement over the current situation. I think the important thing is to go into it with solutions and suggestions instead of complaints.

    • vegankitchendiaries

      Piping in to say that in my experience, the advice for someone in a small, NFP office setting can often be quite different. Not sure if this is your setup Mezza, but it can be a lot harder to up your salary in that situation compared to the corporate/private-sector world.

      I’m not saying don’t ask… it’s just harder. :)

      • Mezza

        Oh yes, fair point! But we are not a NFP, and I have personally trained two new people in the last 6 months who each make more than me, so I feel like I have some grounds for nudging the company about finances.

        • vegankitchendiaries

          Hearing that, I couldn’t agree more!

        • Lawyerette510

          I think identifying the things you’ve done, the value they have brought to the company, and how you have increased in value from succeeding at those things is one of the keys to discussing why you are entitled to be paid more. So sounds like you’re off to a good start.

          • Mezza

            Ah. How I have increased in value. Yes, that’s a really helpful way to think about it. Thanks!

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

      My company sounds like yours…except I’d be your boss. When my staff come to me for these kinds of talks, these are the things that make it less awkward. Even if the job is informal, reviews should be formal and scheduled in advance. If you want more money have an idea of how much that is and how little you would accept. Think about other ways that you could feel compensated if money is (for whatever reason) taken off the table. Decide if it’s immediate changes needed or slow implementation is okay. Also, document document document. I’m less inclined to give raises/promotions if I have to come up with all the reasons you are awesome. This is not the time to be demure. If you’ve been an awesome and productive employee, don’t be afraid to ask your employers to recognize that fact.

      • Emily

        Great suggestions!

    • StevenPortland

      I’ve always found that a positive presentation is received better than a negative one. So instead of the theme being dissatisfaction (i.e., the negative parts) of your job, focus on a theme of showing all of the positive things you’ve done and how those things help the business and are things that you enjoy. Probably twice a year I work it into a conversation with my manager about how I would really like to do more ABC stuff since I love doing it, am good at it, and have skills with it that other people don’t, and how that’s so much better than XYZ which others in the group do better.

    • emilyg25

      Have you heard of Ask A Manager? It’s a Q&A advice blog with advice on tons of job stuff. You might find some help there. It’s made me like 900% more confident in negotiating my career.

    • Emily

      I hope that you will update us next week! I’m working on being better at negotiating for myself and would love to hear how this works out. Good luck!

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

    RSVP’s! Urgh. Today’s difficulty—we have a few people whowere invited as couples, who have RSVP’d as one of the adults and one kid. Like it’s a trade or something? I’m so frustrated about this. I would love to have been able to invite everyone with their kids. But we’re both in our mid/late 30’s, in the South–everyone we know has kids! So we couldn’t invite all of them, so we just invited family and BP kids. So now do I have to graciously allow them to bring their kids? I feel like that will make the people who didn’t bring their uninvited kids wonder why we invited these other kids, when they weren’t invited. Or do I tell them their kids aren’t actually invited? That also seems rocky.

    • Caitlin_DD

      Just tell them what you’ve told us. It may be rocky, but not as rocky as them inviting people not listed on the invitation.

    • Violet

      Argh! I think you’re on solid ground if you were to choose to explain that they can’t bring their kid instead of their partner, because then it wouldn’t be fair to other couples with kids. I think fairness is a concept people can usually get behind.

      • Jules

        Not to mention, some people are just really dense about wedding etiquette. They might not know that the invite wasn’t transferable. (As in, she sent an invite for two, so I’ll bring myself and someone else not listed….)

        Clarifying solves that :)

        • Violet

          I really like your approach below in phrasing it as just giving information. No accusing, no being overly solicitous or overly apologetic. Just explaining what the deal is. : )

        • ElisabethJoanne

          My parents are totally those people, and I’m trying to think of what wording would have worked best with them. “We were/are not able to invite/include guests’ children” maybe?

    • Jules

      “Thank you for the RSVP! Sorry for the misunderstanding, but our invitation was actually for you and Spouse! We would love to have been able to extend invitations to children, but we’ve had to really limit the guest list. Thanks for being so understanding.”

      …or something. I wouldn’t just brush it off, for the reasons mentioned (your many other guests with kids will wonder why theirs weren’t invited….BP only kids are pretty obvious so you don’t have the same concern.)

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

        Perfect, thanks! This is very helpful.

  • Lauren from NH

    If Ms. ElizabethJoanne is out there or happens to make a appearance this weekend, I want to say a huge thanks for recommending “Is It You, Me, or Adult ADD” several months ago. On vacation last week I tore through 90% of it and I feel so much more confidence and understanding now in our situation. Also it motivated me to encourage my partner to request and try some ADHD medication. Not sure if it will be a good fit, but it feels like a huge mental change that we are no longer afraid to look the issue in the face and work on addressing it. My many thanks to you!

    • ElisabethJoanne

      Happy to help. Thanks so much for following up. Good luck!

      I’m finding there’s always more to learn. For example, I always assumed my husband’s difficulties with empathy and such were the result of his parents’ abuse, but the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals came down this week with a decision about a police officer with similar symptoms, which multiple doctors attributed to ADHD. (I don’t know how accessible the text is to a non-lawyer, but it’s Weaving v. City of Hillsboro, should come up on google.)

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

    We transferred our last group of embryos this week. It’s times like this I wish I could open up a window to my insides and see what’s going on.

    Highlights from our week – watching our daughter dance to her first mariachi band and steel drum player.

    • StevenPortland

      Good luck with implantation. I remember how stressful the times were after an embryo transfer.

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

        Thanks. It’s not our first rodeo, but it almost seems like that makes it harder.

  • Laura

    I’ve been an lurker/APW devotee for a couple years now, and I’ve decided to come out of the woodwork to celebrate that my FH has just agreed to take my last name as a (second) middle name when we get married in June. We will both be first name, middle name, mylastname hislastname. This was after many discussions (read: fights) around this issue, and my resolve has been 100% due to APW!! Best community ever. <3

    • emilyg25

      That’s awesome! I’m glad you two found something that works for you.

    • River

      HOORAY!!! We are doing something similar, but taking my mom’s last name as the second middle name. I’m so happy that you guys found a solution. Thank you for sharing, it’s really good to find other couples coming up with similar solutions :-) <3

    • Mellie

      Yay! We got married last summer and did a similar thing so I love hearing about this catching on. We took Hislast Mylast as a double barreled (no hyphen) last name. Legally we haven’t made the change which makes doctor visits and such a little easier, but socially we use our double last name and I use it professionally (his work doesn’t require a named presence so I don’t think it comes up) and we will probably revisit the question of a legal change when we have kids. Sometimes it is kind of clunky or awkward to be honest, but it makes us happy to have a team name :)

  • C_Gold

    Has anyone else done (or attended) an all-appetizers-and-desserts wedding? We’re doing an evening thing, like after-dinner time, and I want to just have, like, a ton of snacks for people to munch on. How has that gone?

    Also, if anyone has timing advice, I’d love it. We’re getting married at a hotel: doing a short ceremony, followed by a cocktail hour in the fancy lobby area while they reset the room for the reception (a mix of short and tall tables, chairs and couches, dance floor, DJ). What time is late enough to start but not too late? How do I express “You won’t be served dinner so eat first, but there will be tons of snacks so really don’t worry, there will be food.” I don’t want to have it start during dinner time because it seems like it’d be rude not to serve dinner.

    Anyone have thoughts?

    • Lawyerette510

      Some of it is cultural as to what dinner time is, but I feel like a 7:30 pm start time for the ceremony on a Saturday would probably be the earliest you could go. As for the language on the invite, something along the lines of “Join us in celebrating with dancing, drinks, and treats savory and sweet immediately following the ceremony.”

      ETA: I also love this idea, as some of the most fun receptions I’ve been to are like this in that they feel like big parties and there’s so much mingling without the sitting and feeling like you’ve got to be in your seat for 2 hours for the meal. (We did a big family style meal for our reception, so obviously I like those too, but our wedding was on a Monday evening, so the vibe was different.)

      • C_Gold

        Man, that is PERFECT language for the invite. Thank you. Totally stealing that.

        I really wish we could skip the cocktail hour, and go straight into snacks/dancing/partying immediately after we’re married, but the space won’t work for that. Maybe it will be a cocktail-45-minutes…

        • Lawyerette510

          Yes, cocktail 45-minutes should be perfect! Also, that little window will go by quickly, and in a way it will give you a few minutes to slip off with your new spouse, if you so choose. We hadn’t intended to slip away after the ceremony while the cocktails were happening, but we just kinda walked to the porch of one of the cottages and sat down together for a minute and the totally awesome staff at our venue (Boonville Hotel in Boonville CA) noticed us and brought us champagne and a little sampling of all the hot apps so we could have a minute just to be together and have a bite before jumping into the full-blown celebration. It was one of the sweetest parts.

          • Grace from England

            That sounds perfect! I would love that

    • emilyg25

      I’d start the ceremony at 8 pm.

      ETA: We really wanted a reception like this, but knew it’d be out of our budget. Have a blast!

    • Sparkles

      I think if there’s going to be dancing, but no dinner, it either has to start well before dinner but a good while after lunch (I’m thinking reception at 3 or 4) or well after dinner (like reception at 8 or 9). I also think that on the invitation you need to say something like “appetizers and dessert to follow”. Not everyone will clue into that, but at least it will be a head’s up.

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

      That’s kind of how all receptions go in our (religious) culture. In fact, I have 4 (had, I ate 2) gallon sized bags of leftover appetizers in my fridge right now from my sister’s husband’s cousin’s wedding last weekend.

    • Violet

      My thoughts are not helpful, except to say I would LOVE being a guest at this type of wedding. Snacks and drinks are the best part of a meal!! I’d pretty much live on snacks and drinks if I could. : )

    • Brooke

      I went to a wedding last fall where the “wedding” (lots of mingling with a ceremony sandwiched in the middle, and later, some toasts) was 4-8 and the “after party” (more mingling, but no dancing) was 8-12. In that whole 8 hour span, no official dinner was served, but there were appetizers and desserts constantly available. Lemme tell you, I did NOT go hungry. :)

      ETA: We hadn’t eaten since brunch, so we went to the wedding semi-hungry. As long as you have plenty of food available, no one will notice or care about the lack of a sit-down dinner.

    • Nell

      One big favor you can do for your guests is to give recommendations for where they can get lunch and/or dinner before the wedding on your website, and let them know if they’ll need a car to navigate the area near your wedding to get to dinner options and still get to the ceremony on time!

  • Lawyerette510

    So, my husband was just diagnosed with melanoma for a second time. The first one (2 years ago) was in situ and only .3 mm deep, this second one is 1.04 mm deep and on his face. Monday he goes for a PET scan and September 4 he has the removal and sentinel lymph node biopsy. Anyone have experience with a loved one going through this type of melanoma diagnosis and treatment? Or anyone who has been through it themselves? I’m stumped as to how to be a supportive partner. While I’ve asked him how I can support him, he says he doesn’t know, and maybe that’s the only answer, but I’d love insight from the community here.

    • ART

      I don’t know, but sending hugs. I have seen other family members through illness and treatment but not a partner. I imagine his needs for support will become evident (hopefully to you both) as they arise. And don’t forget your needs, either!

      • Lawyerette510

        Thanks ART, and especially for the reminder to take care of my needs too.

    • Amanda Banana

      I’m really sorry to hear you have to go through this, and for a second time. My dad has had years of preventative treatment (biopsies and removals of squamous cell patches), but none have been positive for melanoma yet.
      My advice might not work for you and your husband, but perhaps you could buy some fun costume pieces – giant hats, glasses with noses, monocles, mustaches – that you could use to dress up when he’s feeing down about the treatments.
      If your or his insurance offers treatments with a therapits, you might consider taking them up on that just to help work through all the emotions and changes. I’d recommend asking the doctor(s) how to be supportive too, because they’ll be more familiar with the procedures and healing processes.
      Best of luck.

      • Lawyerette510

        Thanks Amanda Banana, I like the idea of fun goofy stuff to perk us up as well as seeing what emotional support our insurance has as a resource. He’s with Kaiser, and I think they have pretty good stuff for him. At this point, we don’t know what more, if anything more, will be needed beyond the lymph node biopsy. I think for both of us it’s overwhelming because it’s the second one in 2 years and he’s only 36, so even though he’s vigilant about sunscreen and skin checks, it probably wont be the last time we go through it, even if the removal and lymph node biopsy are all he needs this go-round.

        • Sarah McClelland

          Vitamin E capsules. All the time. Pop them and use sterile qtips to apply the goo to the areas affected after surgery. My grandmother had a melanoma on her nose.

    • Alison O

      My dad had a melanoma removed from his face last year; my understanding is it was more like your partner’s first experience than this most recent one. I don’t really have any advice based on my own experience, but it seems like if you keep checking in with your husband (not in an obsessive way, but remaining present) to see how he’s doing, and being mindful of how you’re doing, that’s the best you can do to figure out how to proceed at each moment.

  • Kayjayoh

    I really wish I could get the comments to work properly on mobile.

  • leafygreen

    We booked a venue! Now we have a place and a date! After three months of engagement, this feels really good to finally have done. :)

  • Jackie

    Happy Friday! Anyone have recommendations for well-fitting, sexy bras for a big boobed-small ribcaged woman such as myself? VS isn’t doing it for me anymore, but I also don’t want to shop at a department store and walk away looking like Mrs. Doubtfire.

    • River

      I really like the sets I have from Adore Me. Really sexy, well fitting stuff – as a 32D I’m super happy, and I think they carry small rib/bigger boob sizes than mine. Plus most of their bras come with a matching panty!

    • AR

      Bravissimo! http://www.bravissimo.com/
      Downside: If you’re not in the UK (I’m not), the shipping is a bit more expensive. But it is totally worth it to find a well-fitting, pretty/sexy, 32FF bra! They have lots of styles, and the size range is amazing. Good luck. I totally feel your pain!

    • Sarah

      Bare Necessities has a great selection of sizes, way better than VS.

    • Lawyerette510

      Nordstrom has always come through for me when it comes to bras. They have a great selection, do a good job of training their sales women on how to fit and how to guide you through trying on lots of different shapes/ types, and they have a great return policy if you feel like you made a mistake. I love the Nordstrom Bra Sales Women!

      ETA: Natori is my favorite brand, but they carry lots of great options.

      • Nicole

        YES – Nordstrom and the Rack were the best suggestion I got when my bra size changed from 34B (super common, easy to fit, and support doesn’t matter that much) to 32C (apparently rare, whole other ball game). It was recommended to me by a woman who is 32DD and I was impressed by the selection. Also – at the Rack, there are some really good deals.

    • macrain

      I FINALLY got fitted for a bra properly, and I am so happy. It took a few tries to find somewhere good, and I live in NYC! I ultimately took Maddie’s suggestion from forever ago and went to this little boutique in the West Village. Life changing. All of those magazines are kind of right- we are basically all wearing the wrong bra size.
      Also- shopping for a bra is so vulnerable, isn’t it? After a particularly awkward appointment at this chain called Intimacy, I remember wanting to burst into tears. It is hard to do this work well. I have to give it up to the ladies at La Petite Coquette- I didn’t feel awkward or embarrassed in the least to be standing in front of them in my skivvies.

    • Caitlin_DD

      Chantelle bras, Natori bras, and occasionally Freya bras, depending upon if you want fun and sassy (and not in an ugly way…). I honestly have good luck at Nordstrom at Dillard’s with bras, just don’t be afraid to ignore a bad salesperson, but listen to the woman who fits you and knows what’s up.

    • YetAnotherMegan

      I’m hooked on Soma lately. I’m a 36DDD and easily fall into their size range. They go down to at least 32 if not 30 and up to 42 for the band and from A to G for cups. And they constantly have sales :-)

    • Grace from England

      Wonderbra!! I don’t know about the US but in the UK they have extended their range up to a G cup with the idea being you get the wonderbra shape without the padding. I’m a 30FF and a total convert. My rack finally has the support it deserves and looks HOT.

    • Whitney S.

      I wear Panache T-shirt bras for everyday wear. I suggest getting measured at your local shop that carries ALL sizes. You’ll get properly fitted and find the style that fits best with your shape.

    • Megan

      Panache also! Her Room. fig Leaves, and Bare necessities all have lots of options for DD+. (32G here) I just hate paying return shipping after ordering tons of stuff to try on at home!

    • Not Sarah

      I was a 28F, so I bought exclusively from Bare Necessities online. Now I’m up to a 30G, so I’ve gone into Nordstrom and been super happy! Their great return policy even extends to bras ;) I’ve worn Panache, Freya, and Chantelle over the years and been super happy!

    • Ann

      One thing that I’ve done: try on 1-2 styles of bra from a manufacturer and then order other sizes/colors/styles. I’m solidly a 30F from Panache and Freya and a 30E in Fantasie–I buy online and haven’t gone bra shopping in a store in years. I believe Nordstrom carries all of those brands, but they generally don’t go below a 30 band size (I’m a 28 in most Chantelle bras). I used to buy my stuff at an independent boutique (if you happen to be anywhere near the research triangle of NC, the bra patch in Raleigh is worth the drive). Nordstrom generally had only 2-3 styles in a 30–most of their selection (at least where I shopped) started at 32. The bra patch generally had THEIR ENTIRE STOCK available in my size. Be prepared to spend a minimum of $50/bra. My favorites are all $70+, though they last MUCH longer than VS stuff. I have 7 bras in regular rotation, and some are 5 or 6 years old (my size/weight has been very stable). One of the things that makes me cringe about having kids is likely needing to spend $500+ on a new bra wardrobe post-kids.

      I know you are looking for sexy bras, but I can’t advocate the panache sports bra enough. I LOVE MINE. They are super expensive (I think >$80), but for the first time since I was 13, I can run without pain.

    • april

      I’ll echo the nordstrom suggestion – let one of their sales people actually measure you too. The sales person will likely have some good suggestions on brand. It will really depend on your shape – I’m a 32 DD and I’ve heard others with the same measurements swear by Chantelle and natori. I find I do better in wacoal though … Just be prepared to spend a good $50 or more (though once you know your size and which brands work for you, you can find good deals online or at some place like the rack or TJ maxx).

    • Jackie

      Thank you guys! I took your suggestion and went to Nordstrom yesterday and bought two wonderfully fitting Natori bras and my boobs thank you. turns out, wearing a 34 DD isn’t recommended when you’re really a 32G. My world has been changed.

  • macrain

    Eight weeks out, and my birthday is on Monday! I’m 34!
    Instead of doing my usual thing, expecting my fiance to just KNOW what I want and plan something special, he asked me what would you like and I said I want to go to this resto (Brooklynites will probs know Buttermilk Channel, it’s my fave!). Fiances are not mind readers. I want a nice dinner out, I have to tell him. Seems easy, but I think our pre-marital counseling has really facilitated more honesty and communication, and this is exhibit A.

    • M.

      They certainly are not mind readers! :) Major, super props to you on your awesome communication. We also learned to just tell each other what we want to do for important days, including gifts/no gifts. I have definitely said, I want a little present this year please! Or, this cake please! Or this year: Let’s brunch at Champ’s (Brooklyn hello!), watch movies, then dinner and drinks in the city later. It’s amazing how smoooooth it makes everything, and much like a first look doesn’t ruin the aisle moment, knowing what’s coming doesn’t ruin how damn fun and great it is to be on the same page with your person.

      • macrain

        Yes, it’s so important! One of our biggest take aways from counseling is that we grew up celebrating holidays and special occasions in completely different ways. I never would have thought to discuss that or pay it any mind.

        • M.

          Ooh super interesting! Looking at it just in this moment, from an outsider POV, we also have that divide, esp. re birthdays. They were HUGE and special with my mom and me, and still are, and his family’s were much more low key, and grower ever lower in key as the “kids” approach 30. Wow! It never continues to surprise me how many nuances there are to navigate when you join lives, and always new ones! Bonkers!!!

          Anyways, go you guys!

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

      My husband reads my mind pretty well when I talk out loud to myself.

      For example, if I verbalize the thought “I’m thirsty. I’d like some water,” and he happens to be in the kitchen at the time, it’s amazing how many times he asks me if he can bring me some water.

      He’s not so good at the mind reading when I don’t talk out loud to myself.

      • M.

        Biggest smile. Oh yes :)

  • Sarah

    I kind of appreciated the big wedding = happy marriage article even though it was totally unscientific and probably isn’t actually statistically true. It was just nice to hear something other than criticism for having a big wedding. My husband and I saved up for 2 years to pay for our big fancy wedding. We are normally very frugal and aren’t really into “things” (we’re rather spend our money on experiences than stuff…unless it’s food). But for our wedding we went all out. It wasn’t because we wanted a pretty princess party or whatever. it was because we wanted our wedding to reflect how excited we were about our marriage. We didn’t want to do it quietly or privately. We wanted everyone we love to witness how happy we were and to ask them all to be witnesses and a support system. We wanted to be held accountable for the lifetime commitment we were making. We were about to fundamentally change our lives; we were joining our lives into one. We needed everyone we loved to be there to witness such an important event. And we were so darn excited about it that we wanted to throw a big fancy party in honor if it. So I get irritated when people say that small weddings are more meaningful or that big weddings don’t focus on the right things. It’s not that our wedding was about a pretty dress and a fancy party. It was unmistakeably about our lifetime commitment to each other and a celebration of our love, punctuated with fancy things. I don’t think our marriage will be any happier than someone’s who had a small wedding. I think the article was actually kind of lame. But I can definitely see how big weddings can reflect happy marriages. That’s what we were trying to get across with ours – a shout-it-from-the-rooftops celebration.

    • macrain

      I have a dear friend who probably spent around 100K a few years ago for a fancy, black tie wedding. Because her wedding was so formal and fancy, it opened her up to a different level of scrutiny than another friend who got married around the same time but had a more budget friendly affair. I don’t know what fuels this sort of thing- jealousy, maybe? And given, the “friends” who were so critical of every aspect of her wedding were behaving in such poor taste, it’s pretty unbelievable looking back on it now. But I’m pretty sure that the amount spent was related to how much criticism she received
      Weddings big and small are meaningful and special in their own ways. Good for you for doing what made you happy! That’s the absolute key to success, I’m finding!

      • Sarah

        also it’s important to note that our wedding wasn’t expensive because of fancy things. It was expensive because of the amount of people we invited. And it was fancy because it was in a super fancy church, which was non-negotiable, because our faith is important to us and it was a church that reflected our faith and values (ostentatious decorations notwithstanding). It wasn’t just fancy for the sake of looking fancy. We spent money on things that were meaningful to us (like the church fees or being able to invite as many people as we wanted) or that helped our guests be more comfortable (like food/alcohol, parking, etc.). Our wedding certainly wasn’t a fancy show. It was fancy at times, and it was a reflection of us, but it wasn’t for show. I think when it’s feels like it’s all for show is when people get snarky.

    • ML

      Yes, I have a gigantic family and my husband grew up where we will so his friendship network is really big. And I wanted everyone who supports us to be there to celebrate with us! It wouldn’t have felt right to have a small wedding, so I get what you mean that there sometimes seems to be a tone that big wedding=WIC and small weddings are the only ones that are thoughtful and practical.

      • Sarah

        yeah, we couldn’t imagine excluding people we love from such an important life event. We happen to have big families and a large network of friends. Everyone who was invited was important to us. It wasn’t big for the sake of being big; it was just big because we love a lot of people and want them to be included in celebrating and supporting our marriage. If we had excluded people for the sake of being frugal or “practical” or whatever our wedding would have been less meaningful for us. Not saying other people can’t have small weddings and have them be meaningful, of course, but it’s nice to know folks can also see a big wedding as meaningful too.

    • River

      THIS times one million! This is why we’re having a big wedding that we are slaving away to pay for – because yes, we actually want the fancy party – but we want to celebrate this huge milestone that we’re crossing together. And we want all of our people there to bear witness!

    • Amanda

      Thank you for saying this. My husband and I threw a big old, heartfelt wedding for exactly the same reasons and I know EXACTLY what kind of comments you’re talking about.

  • Becca

    Who won the Gemvara giveaway! Time to unsubscribe from their emails, sigh.

    • Maddie Eisenhart

      Sorry, I meant to add a link to this week’s Happy Hour (just updated the post.) We announced on Facebook earlier this week. It went to a woman named Suzy!

  • AuntieWho?

    So I am struggling to deal with my sil right now. She spent YEARS trying to have a baby, driving her and her husband into a huge amount of debt, and she got the baby she wanted. I was happy that she finally got what she wanted, and sad because they couldn’t afford to take care of their child (like at all, we have had to buy them CAT FOOD for gods sake). They just had a 2nd baby (who they claim was an oops) that was born premature just over a year after the first was born. The part that gets to me is that she was drinking (like fall down and black out kinda drinking) and smoking the whole time she was doing fertility treatments, and she was seen smoking during the 2nd pregnancy. So now she has this premature baby that has to be in the hospital for weeks and she is requiring SO MUCH HELP to try to take care of the first one and being incredibly thoughtless when we give it to her ( leaving the baby with us with next to no warning, staying away longer than expected with out letting us know, ect). How do I help those babies with out giving my silent approval of their mothers behavior?

    • Amy March

      Who cares if you approve? No one. You’re not going to teach this woman anything and really shouldn’t be trying. You draw your own boundaries around taking care of your nieces/nephews as you need to, without regard to her choices.

    • Lawyerette510

      Helping the babies is not an act of approving of your SIL’s behavior, it’s an act of love towards that family, which is connected to your family. It’s up to you how much help you want to give and the boundaries you draw related to the help you give, and it’s up to you to enforce the boundaries you set. It sounds like you and your partner (I’m inferring she is your partner’s sister) need to discuss what kind of help you’re willing to give and the boundaries you’re going to set in extending it, then to be united on those boundaries.

    • Brooke

      Honestly? Just help the babies. They need it, and none of this is their fault. We don’t know for sure what’s going on with your sister-in-law, but the best case scenario is that she only smoked the one time during her pregnancy and just happened to get caught (and stopped drinking once she became pregnant with baby #1)…or the worst case scenario is that she might need some serious help. And that help will probably be most effective if it comes from a place of love, not a place of judgement. It must be hard, since she’s been so rude to you. She’s obviously going through SOMETHING, it’s just hard to know what. Ask her. And when she does something that’s endangering her or the babies, you can lovingly but firmly tell her that, too. (Or if you’re not close, then your spouse/sibling who is close to them can. Is she your sibling’s spouse or your spouse’s sibling?) But withholding help from the kids is unlikely to do much good for anyone. Except when you really can’t. Like…you don’t need to miss work to take care of her kids or anything, but you get what I mean.

    • emilyg25

      Oof. Yes, help the babies. But also remember that it’s okay to pull back and set stricter boundaries if you need to.

  • Caroline

    We got married!! August 10. The wedding was absolutely magical. Things went wrong (I dumped a plate of food all down the front of my dress at the buffet!) but I just didn’t care at all. We had our closest loved ones, more than we thought would be able to come from long distances, and it felt really small and intimate. (I was surprised, walking down the aisle, how few rows we had, but it was perfect, because it meant we knew everyone there really really well.) We ended up with last minute flower kids (boys and girls), which was adorable. (The cutest thing we spotted them doing was the non-Jewish flower girls saw us do the chair lift during the hora and decided it was fabulous and made a bunch of our friends they know lift them on chairs off in the meadow after the hora. )
    I was blown away by how far above and beyond friends and family went to help us. I found out after, one of the best wedding gifts we received, was one of my husband’s best friends is another close friend’s landlord. He told the friend who rents from him to skip a month’s rent and use it to travel to our wedding instead. He didn’t mention it to us. The whole thing was a whirlwind, but just fabulous.

    We had a lovely honeymoon, and now we’re home and married, and I’m loving it. Being married is SO much better than being engaged, and we don’t have to plan a wedding anymore, thank goodness.

  • anon today

    i know this is generic and probably a silly question, but i am just feeling like having some reassurance. have you guys struggled in your marriage/relationship ? and what has the struggle centered around?

    • Violet

      Of course! Our struggles have changed over the years as we worked through issues and resolved them. Then others crop up. Fun! (sarcasm) When we were younger, it was just struggling to exist as a little unit, then things came up like who loves who more, who needs more attention, what kind of language is or is not acceptable during an argument, jealousy, movings in together, learning each other’s communication styles, do we have enough in common, and so on.

      • anon today

        oh, thank you violet. the “do we have enough in common” one is good to here. thanks so much.

        • Violet

          You’re so welcome darlin!

    • Emma

      My struggle has mainly been that I occasionally feel disconnected. Usually unrelated to how much attention/affection etc I’m getting and more related to minor depression, but it does put a damper on our relationship for a little while whenever it happens.

    • Not Sarah

      Yes! Our biggest struggle is schedules, particularly around food.

      • Emily

        Schedule is our biggest issue too. Getting everything that needs to be done accomplished (for us and his three daughters) and attempting to find some fun time in there. He occasionally accuses me of trying to schedule every minute. I don’t, but I’m not as spontaneous as he is and my sense of duty is stronger.

    • M.

      I found the link in the roundup called Marriage is not the End Zone very helpful, centered around one content and one not content partner (content re personal issues not discontented with the marriage)

    • emilyg25

      Of course! I still struggle pretty regularly with becoming a new unit. I was super independent for a while, which more naturally suited my temperament, and it’s been hard and sometimes frustrating to not be able to do whatever I damn well please whenever I want. We struggle to communicate clearly and openly. We struggle to balance our individual needs with the needs of working, running a home, and (soon) raising a family. I consider all this to be positive struggle toward growth.

    • macrain

      Yes, of course. Our struggles include- his work (he sometimes works long hours). When we will have a baby. My mental and emotional issues.
      I used to feel like every time we fought we were probably breaking up- my mind just jumped to the worst case scenario. A lot of that has calmed down with time.
      Hugs to you! <3

  • Emma

    I posted a few weeks ago about moving in with my boyfriend, and i just wanted to update that it’s been so wonderful!! We both loved setting up our apartment together and it has felt so natural and fun! The timing also worked out perfectly because my first day teaching first grade is MONDAY and I have been spending every waking second prepping for that, at the same time that BF has a month off in between jobs to stay home and clean the bathroom and cook me dinner :)

    • macrain

      Wahoo! Congrats!

  • Colline

    We got married! Aug 9th, in the park, with the best weather possible. I was amazed how everything flowed, and even though we did several non-traditional things, people rolled with it. Even my step-dad’s mom who tends to have plenty of opinions about everything said she had a great time. Wedding zen was more like a wedding high.
    Best part? We hired a band and did a second line through the park in honour of our engagement in New Orleans. There were small children running along side us as we dance walked to the reception. It took days for me to stop grinning like a fool.
    And in response to the glasses conversation earlier, I too wore glasses (though you can’t really see it in the picture.) I can’t wait to see the professional photos!
    Props to APW for being a sane place that had practical, useful information and thoughtful written pieces.

    • Em(ily)

      Nice photo! Everyone looks lovely. It’s wonderful to hear everything worked out well. I got married the same day, also with glasses and outdoors.

    • macrain

      It looks amazing!! Congrats!

    • Nicole

      Yay! What a great weekend to get married :) Apparently especially for people wearing glasses ;)

  • anon

    Husband says we can’t know if there was a race component to the shooting in Ferguson without more information. I wholeheartedly disagree but don’t always do a good job articulating my argument. Anyone have a good article I can reference?

    • Unhip in Brooklyn

      Hey anon, you may want to look up articles or studies on implicit racial attitudes. There are psychology experiments that show that people are more likely to report feelings of fear and mistrust when shown subliminal images of black or brown faces, and more likely to subconsciously associate guns with them. From there, you can point out that police officers may do the same thing in real life– and gun black people down. Sometimes this is a non-threatening way to confront our racist ideas and attitudes….since it’s subconscious, we are often unaware of the way we can think and judge others. Hope this helps!

    • moonlitfractal

      I thought this might be really helpful. http://weeklysift.com/2014/08/18/the-ferguson-test/

  • macrain

    Just wanted to note that I noticed and appreciated that those pesky side buttons that were obscuring my view are now gone. Thank you for listening, APW!

  • Sarah

    Hey everyone! Just want to say to all of the people that gave me encouraging words that I got the fibroid removed yesterday. It was a whopping 3cms and I didn’t even realize but it made me look and feel about three months pregnant and now I can bend my body in half comfortably??? I had no idea that it was so uncomfortable inside me, beyond the bleeding and cramping. I still feel a bit weak from the anesthesia but I feel better than I have in about two years. Seriously, if anyone has unknown bleeding and cramping problems GET YOURSELF CHECKED OUT. I was so so so doctor averse, which is why it took two years to get this figured out.

    • Carrie

      I know I’m late to the thread, but I just wanted to say YAY!!! for your procedure going well. I was hoping you’d come back with an update.
      :)

      • Sarah

        Thank you! If anyone needs an outstanding Gynecologist/Reproductive Endocrinologist in NYC, I have the hookup. I basically love him now, haha. I was so scared going in but it was SO WORTH IT and this is me speaking three days post-op. I already feel so much better.

  • Guest

    We got married! July 12, so more than a month ago already.

    Highlights – the kids. Oh, the kids. There were around 30 kids under 14 and their photos from our photo booth are by far my favourite. And the photo booth itself! My husbands brother took it on as his contribution to the wedding and did such a kickass job. He set it up so photos were projected huge on a screen in real time so everyone in the room could see each one, which definitely helped keep people interested in it all night. We booked food trucks which was a big hit and were totally novel to most of the guests. We got a big last-minute order of flowers from Whole Foods and they looked awesome – assembled all the bouquets the day before the wedding. Thanks APW for the bouquet tutorials – it was definitely a worthwhile project. Overall, it was the relaxed party we had hoped for!

  • tashamoes

    We got married! July 12, so more than a month ago already. (trying to share a photo below…hopefully it works!)

    Highlights – the kids. Oh, the kids. There were around 30 kids under 14 and their photos from our photo booth are by far my favourite. And the photo booth itself! My husbands brother took it on as his contribution to the wedding and did such a kickass job. He set it up so photos were projected huge on a screen in real time so everyone in the room could see each one, which definitely helped keep people interested in it all night. We booked food trucks which was a big hit and were totally novel to most of the guests. We got a big last-minute order of flowers from Whole Foods and they looked awesome – assembled all the bouquets the day before the wedding. Thanks APW for the bouquet tutorials – it was definitely a worthwhile project. Overall, it was the relaxed party we had hoped for!

    • tashamoes

      Here it is!

    • tashamoes

      And a photo!

  • Nell

    OK, APW brain trust. . . I went dress shopping yesterday and tried on a GORGEOUS dress at the mall. . . that is grey and blue and not the least little bit white. When I first got engaged, I thought “wouldn’t it be nice if I just found a pretty evening gown and didn’t have to go to bridal stores?” Now I’ve actually had some positive bridal dress experiences, and I’m starting to like myself in white.

    Trusted friends are failing me here (opinions range from “what the heck?” to “interesting” to “I LOVE IT GET IT NOW.” What can other non-white-wearing brides tell me about committing to a very bold, very different dress that you know will give people something to talk about?

    • macrain

      Dress shopping was a total roller coaster for me. The best advice I can give you is to do what makes YOU happy, and wear what you feel beautiful in.
      I am actually wearing white, but my dress is very simple and has short sleeves, and I started to panic when others didn’t love it as much as I do. People have their own ideas about what “bridal” looks like. I have learned to tune them out. I am so happy now that I did that, and that I chose my dress. It’s so me and I love it.
      Also, I must rehash this advice I received from Meg in the comments one time when I was freaking out about my dress. Repeat after me: I WILL LOOK BRIDAL BECAUSE I AM THE BRIDE. (Somehow, that always must be said in all caps. :) ) In blue and gray, or any other color- you are the bride.
      Good luck! I’m sure you’ll look gorgeous.

    • emilyg25

      Buy a dress that you love and feel gorgeous in. Color doesn’t matter. I wore hot pink and it was amazeballs. It was easy to make that decision because I adored the dress.

    • M.

      If it’s all caps GORGEOUS, then go for it! It’s important how you feel. As @macrain:disqus said below: a bride makes a dress bridal. There have been some bangin’ colored dresses on this site (@emilyg25:disqus’s was one of them!). People have opinions about everything. Heck, for some of our pictures I wore a cardigan (cream with gold embroidered polka dots, not even a color!) over my sleeveless ivory dress, and had someone say about a picture: “Were you wearing a cardigan?!?” Very disapproving. But yes, because it was effing cute….and 50 degrees and windy out!

      This is all to say that all our best wedding decisions were ones we made because we loved them and didn’t even ask for advice. And thus my only advice is: do what YOU want!

    • Emily

      I wore red. I couldn’t get over the “virginal bride” idea of the white dress. I don’t think people talked, but my group isn’t really a white-dress wearing group. I loved my wedding dress and I might even wear it again, since it doesn’t only look like a wedding dress.

      It depends on who you are and what you want –do you want the traditional white dress experience? Or do you want to go bold, very different? How does it fit with the rest of your plans? Good luck!

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

      I wore a navy blue dress that I altered myself with red, orange and pink silk. I’m sure I didn’t make some people “happy” but it was my wedding and I was the bride. Maybe it wasn’t “bridal” but there was no getting around that my dress was beautiful. It was compared to Vivienne Westwood. Anyway, find the dress that makes you feel amazing and beautiful, white or not!

    • MC

      My dress is teal/turquoise and even though it’s what I wanted to wear from the start, it’s hard to shut up the voice in my head that worries what other people will disapprove. What’s helped:
      1. Showing my dress ONLY to a few friends and family that I KNOW will be supportive and excited
      2. Reading about the history of white wedding dresses in Meg’s book and reminding myself that there is really NO reason to wear white over any other color except that it is a fashion trend. People that are going to get upset about me not following a “tradition” that is really just a fashion trend are not people I need to worry about pleasing.
      3. Looking at all the non-white dresses on APW and reminding myself that at the end of the day, all those people are married!

      Good luck with your decision – if you love how it looks on you and makes you feel, I say go for it!