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APW Happy Hour


Instagram takeover! Amazing rings (and maybe even boobs)

by Meg Keene, Editor-In-Chief

APW Happy Hour | A Practical Wedding

APW Happy Hour | A Practical Wedding

HI APW!

So, this week I slept through the night for the first time in… twenty months at least (hi, adorable toddler), but really for the first time in years. So obviously I want to gab about what happened, which is: I saw a (really good) chiropractor. I figured my shitty sleep was due to having a baby who was a shitty sleeper, and my back pain was due to holding a 26 pound bundle of loves-his-mama-a-LOT. NOT SO. One good whack at my neck and my insomnia left the building. CRAZY RIGHT? Crazy enough that I have to talk about it on the Internet. (For anyone looking for a really solid chiropractor in Oakland, or hell, an amazing acupuncturist in San Francisco, hit me up in the comments.) As always, I’m up to swap alternative medicine stories with anyone and everyone in the comments.

Now, I’m going to cheers the weekend, and hang out on the APW Instagram feed where we’re hosting our first-ever takeover this weekend. We’re letting the crazy and amazing team at Fiat Lux in San Francisco take the reins, which means of a lot of amazing rings… and maybe even some boobs. Who knows? See you there.

Till then, open thread and links!

XO
Meg

Highlights of APW This Week

“As long as the photos come back showing us getting married, I’m going to call it a win.”

Motherhood’s tiny disappointments, and learning to focus on the good.

Brent & Jess: custom fingerprint rings, and the stories behind them. (Sob alert)

For richer and for poorer, or mortgaging your future with student loans.

Weddings have never been so rock and roll.

Tackling the challenge of cooking and eating well with Blue Apron.

We’ll be spending the weekend adding everyone’s summer reading picks to our wish lists.

Link Roundup

Quoted! The New York Post asks, “Would you rent your wedding dress?” (Yes, if the options were better.) Plus a name drop from Jezebel.

I don’t fucking care if you like it,” t-shirt edition.

Can the ladies please just keep one damn thing?

Cool photo collection: portraits of women wearing their ex-lovers’ shirts.

Can full-time bloggers live off rainbows and hugs? Is this even the right way to frame the conversation?

Weed weddings! Oh, New York Times and their fake trend pieces.

Nicki Minaj’s backside backlash highlights hip-hop’s hypocrisy.

An interesting read on Ivy League schools.

“How Tiny Letter Is Making Us Fall in Love with Email Again.”

Confused cats against feminism.

Woody Allen’s thoughts on diversity are pretty terrible.

Jane Austen to be honored on British banknotes.

The down and dirty history of TMZ.

Women listening to men in art history.

And the best thing I’ve read all week. Thanks, Anne Lamott, as always.

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 Oakland, CA with her husband and son. For more than you ever wanted to know about Meg, you can visit MegKeene.com.

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  • SarahG

    Picking up my wedding dress tomorrow! So excited. I hope it doesn’t look like my grandma’s curtains (I am worried about this for some reason). I have a random wedding tradition question: a lot of people have been expressing surprise at the fact that my partner is coming with me to try it on, and will also probably see me in it before the ceremony. “But you won’t have a First Look!” I keep hearing. Is it just me, or will there not still be some nice emotional moments of looking at each other in our finery anyway? Or am I about to experience a Lifetime of Wedding Regret if I miss this?

    • Nell

      My fiancee and I are showing each other what we’re wearing before the wedding AND we’re having a first look.

      Obviously, I don’t have any experience with this yet – but I’m sure that seeing my lady dressed to the nines on the day we’re getting married is going to feel very, very different than when we’re standing around at home playing dress up.

      • SarahG

        Yeah, that was my thought too — seeing me just getting the dress fitted with my usual messy hair and red Toms shoes is really different from seeing me all gussied up on the day (and same for me with him).

      • Heather

        My husband and I did this. No matter how much effort I put into playing dress up beforehand, it was definitely different on the wedding day!

    • Nope.

      You do what works best for you and your partner! That said… I’ve sort of been enjoying the anticipation factor of my partner seeing me and me seeing my partner in our fancy duds for the first time on the day of. He has mentioned several times how excited he is for that, and so while I ordinarily wouldn’t have cared about him seeing me in my dress, I feel like both of us are building up a little extra excitement for the day of than we would be otherwise.
      That said, we are also surprise-loving people. So if you’re not, that is totally fine, and I’m sure you’ll still feel all sorts of excitement tomorrow, when you pick up your dress, and on your actual wedding day!

      • swarmofbees

        Same here. I reveled in the secrecy, but that is because of who I am. My response to a first look was “why?” For me, it just didn’t speak to me. So, if secrecy doesn’t speak to you, then go ahead. I kind of knew what my husband was going to wear, but when I walked in and saw him, my thoughts were not on his tuxedo. I saw his face and was overcome. I didn’t even really notice what he was wearing until a few minutes later.

    • enfp

      My partner saw me try on my dress ahead of time, and I had peeked at his suit in the garment bag. We didn’t do a “first look” with out photographer, but I think we felt all the emotion of that moment. I loved seeing him in his dapper new suit. So yes, I’m going to agree that if you don’t feel like keeping your finery secret, there will still be some nice emotional moments of enjoying looking at each other in your finery!

    • KC

      Day you’re getting married is *different*. I would not expect a Lifetime of Wedding Regret, unless it’s important to your partner to not see it before the wedding.

      • SarahG

        It’s not important to him. Thanks! That’s a relief!

    • emilyg25

      Oh gosh, my now-husband saw me in my dress and saw my shoes and saw my hair done up (not all at the same time) and he still bawled like a baby when he saw me on our wedding day. There’s just a crazy magical feeling of “Oh my god, we’re getting MARRIED today!” Nothing can take that away.

      ETA: And I saw him in his suit! But still, on the day of our wedding, I was surprised by how the whole look came together and thought, “Damn, you look fine.”

    • Em(ily)

      I’ve had my man zip my wedding dress up for me when I was trying it on with my new bra. So, I am expecting on the day that the novelty of what we’re wearing will have less to do with the emotions than, say, “holy shit we’re about to do this thing!”

    • Katherine

      Not only did my husband see my dress ahead of time (with me in it, I think), we drove to the wedding together from our house, and had all our formal portraits taken together before the wedding. There was nothing like a first look, at least not one captured on camera. We still look pretty happy in our wedding photos, and the ceremony itself was really special.

      I may be the least romantically-inclined person ever, so the whole idea of a first look wasn’t important to me. I’d say to go with whatever feels most natural for you.

    • vegankitchendiaries

      My garment bag was pretty see thru and the husband had a pretty good idea of what to expect on W-day. Still cried like a babe when we did ‘first look’ – which we both weren’t fussed about doing, but did it on a whim on the day. His reaction is pretty amazing, I’m glad we did it now.

      I agree with those who say even if he sees it, he’ll still be blown away on the day. And start filing other people’s well-intentioned comments under ‘I Don’t Care, This Is What I Want’!

    • Nicole

      I showed my fiance my dress when I got home because I was having second thoughts. A month later, the dress came up, and he obviously couldn’t remember it at all, except that it was pretty. I’m not at all worried that our first look won’t be special or sweet because he’s seen it. :)

  • Jessica

    Can I just say how confused I am that young women don’t think they need feminism? It probably stems from the fact that facts on women’s rights are totally glossed over in history classes and a lot of schools probably don’t have a current events portion to the curriculum, but it really worries me. I just watched this and appreciated that it was a pregnant woman on live television interviewing two young women expressing their opinion without their husband’s approval. http://www.today.com/video/today/55755257

    • Elisabeth S.

      When my beloved formers (college-aged) campers tell me they’re not feminists but humanists, I just don’t even know how to succinctly articulate to them how worried that makes me.

      • Jessica

        My response to “humanists” the first time I heard it was “wouldn’t that mean that animals would get human rights?”

    • Class of 1980

      The “Ladies Against Feminism” site: I’ve got all kinds of thoughts about this. First, some people just aren’t very smart and some aren’t very informed, hence some of the really ignorant comments about not needing feminism.

      But, there are also some thoughtful comments on the site that aren’t being shown. Some of the more intelligent women on the site have real issues with feminism.

      Honestly … I myself am beginning to think that what often passes for feminism today is nothing more than “Pop Feminism” and a lot of it is very ill-informed and alienating. Feminism needs to ask itself why more women don’t want to claim it after such a long successful run. I have my own ideas about that.

      (BTW … Even back in the seventies, a lot of girls didn’t think
      feminism was necessary … except for equal pay. Everyone believed in
      that. I used to roll my eyes that so many believed that was the only issue, but then lots of people don’t study issues in general.
      Back then, feminism was very loud and more concerned with basic issues
      than today. But a lot of women didn’t actually feel discrimination
      because often it was more subtle than is commonly believed by young
      people today.)

    • Bets

      To be honest, I didn’t understand feminism when I was in my late teens either. Women’s rights *were* kind of glossed over in history class, we learned about the suffragetes during world war one who fought for women’s rights to vote, so we were kind of taught that the battle had been won. I grew up kind of assuming that men and women did have equal pay nowadays, and I thought my elderly high school teacher who warned me about how hard it would be to be a woman in engineering was just old-fashioned. (In a way, I’m glad I grew up with that optimism.) Besides, pop-culture representations of feminism were really alienating, and when you’re seventeen and self-conscious, you do try to shy away from those glaring labels.

      I think it simply takes more exposure to life to understand some of the challenges of being a woman. For me, specifically, I think it’s taken being in a seriously relationship and having to really confront the both the stereotypes as well as the very real compromises of being a wife or mom in my near future, to think about some of the underlying inequalities in society.

  • Nope.

    Anyone have any good, non-corny suggestions for bridesmaids gifts? I’m reluctant to get jewelry (several of us were just in another girl’s wedding, where we got jewelry), but am looking for something that’s a good combination of fun and practical. And that doesn’t have any superfluous monograms or sassy sayings.

    • Jessica

      I want to say there was a APW round up of awesome non-jewelry gifts a while back. But I also want to say “Flasks” or even “Flasks with garter holsters.”
      But getting that gift would mean that people in your party like to drink and would appreciate that gift.

    • SarahG

      Cool bottle opener? We are thinking of doing something like that.

    • Amanda

      I found these wine tote bags on Lands End that I DIDN’T monogram. We went wine tasting for my bachelorette and I paid attention and got each girl a bottle of what she liked.

    • Kathleen

      I got my bridesmaids leather journals from an Etsy seller, and had each stamped with something I thought was particularly representative of them, e.g. music notes for the musician. (I worked from within the seller’s catalog of stamps, but still had plenty of option.)

      • l_weston

        Who was the etsy seller, if you don’t mind sharing. My fiance and I are looking for notebooks to take on our honeymoon to write down notes. We’re going to Germany during Oktoberfest and my fiance in particular wants to be sure he has notes about all of the beers he tries.

        • Jess

          We’ll also be in Germany for part of Oktoberfest on our honeymoon! Small world :)

    • KC

      I kind of love my collection of bridesmaid necklaces, so there’s that – it’s okay to not be different.

      But: Super-comfy slippers? Wrap/shawl/scarf? Tote bag (which can then be labeled so each person’s “stuff” can be returned to them after the wedding)? Journals? Favorite (non-wedding, non-diet, etc.) book?

      • Lauren from NH

        I kinda love the slippers idea. A good pair of slippers makes Lauren a happy girl all winter long :)

    • Bsquillo

      I got each of my bridesmaids a nice bottle of bourbon and some sweet whiskey stones that cool down your drink but don’t water it down.

      Because, WHISKEY.

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

      I got my main posse members tiny living cactus magnets because I live in Tucson and we’re all about the cactus here. But that might actually be a little corny. Sometimes corny is good though.

      • KC

        YES. Sometimes corny is good. :-) (I would go, though, not for “generic wedding” corny, but us-specifically corny.)

      • Sarah

        Yay to another Tucson dweller!! Where did you find the magnets? Already married, just curious for my own benefit!

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

          Arizona Sonora Desert Museum. We bought another one a few weeks ago at the Cool Summer Night program because members get 10% off at the gift shop those nights and my mother-in-law mentioned when she was here last year that she needed a new one because her old one fell off the fridge and broke.

          I gave my plant loving uncle a baby saguaro cactus also purchased there at our wedding as a bit of a joke. He’s gone and built a whole cactus garden around it in southern Utah.

    • Amy A.

      I only had one attendant (my sister) but I gave her, my new sister-in-law (who works in the wedding industry and gave me lots of helpful, sane advice) and my friend who served as our day-of coordinator the McKenna Travel Jewelry case from Pottery Barn. They are $50, so maybe a little on the high end for a bridesmaid gift but they also have a soft sided jewelry roll which is $40. Might be a useful gift if you’ve all just received some new jewelry, and who doesn’t need a beautiful way to carry earrings and bracelets when they travel? Good luck on your search!

    • anonpsu

      I’m giving them Kate Spade wristlets. I got them on major sale online for like $30/each. I’m also going to include a pashmina (wedding is in october), mini bottle of wine, and my favorite lip balm.

    • Amanda

      Part of what I got each of my girls was a nice compact mirror with a little engraving (For the moments, the memories and today, thank you.) and the date. It hit me when I realized I still use a compact mirror that I got from my aunt when I was FIVE! and the flower girl in her wedding. It was a nice way to commemorate the day with something they can (hopefully) use.

    • Nicole

      I really struggled with this too! I don’t know how it will go over because we’re getting married next week, but we decided to get our attendants experiences instead of things. I struggled with it because I wanted them to have something fun that day, but when my fiance pointed out that we registered almost exclusively for experiences and that everyone has been really supportive of that, it made a lot of sense. So – gift cards for food, a massage, admission to a museum or movie tickets is how we’re going (depending on who it is and what we think they would like the most).

      • Emily

        I love experience gifts! No more STUFF!

    • Ragnhild

      We gave books to several people. Our wedding kind of ended up with a book theme, and once we gave one book gift it was fun to give more. I gave a Kindle to my husband, and made sure the other ones were nice books (photo/art) the receiver would appreciate.

    • ART

      I wanted to get mine each a nice bottle of liquor they liked, but one was flying home and I didn’t want her to have to deal with that so I skipped it. I ended up making them (maybe superfluously) monogrammed stationery using papersource paper and envelopes and including one of my favorite pens, and gave them each a copy of my all-time favorite movie on DVD. I also got them silly matching robes and sets of cosmetic bags with little travel-sized goodies in them, but the latter two I explained were more for getting ready purposes and not so much *gifts,* but they liked everything.

    • ElisabethJoanne

      I don’t actually remember what I got my bridesmaids, who are my sisters, but they weren’t wedding-y, and they didn’t match. I approached it like I do their birthdays.

    • Libby

      As part of my present, I made each of my bridesmaids a small photobook of photos from our relationship on Artifact Uprising and it was SUCH a hit. It was so much fun to have everyone open them and go through the pictures. They were only like $15 a piece and so worth it. We all had fun looking through them and tearing up/laughing on the day of the wedding.

    • Lawyerette510

      I didn’t have bridesmaids in title, but I did have a group of women who did all the stuff and I wanted to acknowledge. I gave them each homemade bath salts scented with essential oils, butter nail polish (each got their own color that made me think of them) and my favorite lip gloss. I included a note about how they had made me feel so well-cared for during the whirl-wind quick-fire wedding planning, that I wanted to give them a little something they could use to care for themselves. Kinda corny, but it was true. Bridesmaids gifts I’ve gotten in the past that I liked: a good tote bag that wasn’t monogrammed, a soft light-weight robe that wasn’t monogrammed, a handkerchief that was embroidered with my initials by the bride, by hand, a really nice shot print of my then-boyfriend (now husband) and a really nice print of the bride and I from that day (sent belatedly obviously with a lovely note, the other part of the gift were the earrings we wore, which 3 years later I still wear a ton), nice gold stud earrings.

  • Lou

    I just found out, through a girlfriend that was at my bachelorette party a few weeks ago, that my (to be) sister-in-law made a really bitter remark about being the only family member present that wasn’t IN the wedding party. The friend said “Well, I’m not a bridesmaid” and the SIL said, “Yeah, but I’m the sister. This is bullshit.” I’m taking this with a grain of salt, because my friend might have misinterpreted the comment (she had been drinking) but this is just irking me anyway.

    I can completely empathize that she feels left out, or slighted. I chose my five bridesmaids with great care; only one of them was chosen with the whole begrudging attitude “well, she’s family and I was in hers.” My fiance’s mother has already made several hints about the sister being a bridesmaid, but my answer was always a firm no. I’m simply not close with her. I don’t feel I owe her a position in the wedding party, since I am not really Friends with her otherwise. The bachelorette comments are not making me feel guilty at all, but moreso like, well fuck, you kind of just confirmed why I made my choice. I’m not going to apologize for my choices. Should I mention it to her, asking her to come to me directly next time, or just let it go?

    • KC

      I think if alcohol was involved, then she may already be regretting saying it to someone else (or may not remember it). I’d let it go insofar as it’s possible this time.

      • Lou

        I would think so too…but she was a DD, so booze was not a factor for her (only for the friend to whom she was speaking).

        • KC

          Okay, so not so much the alcohol then (I just… take things with a larger grain of salt when alcohol is involved). But the “relaxed atmosphere” sometimes causes reduced inhibition even when alcohol isn’t involved.

          It might be worth having A Talk with her about how you’ve known all your bridesmaids for so long, etc., and you wish she didn’t feel excluded (note the difference here between you wish she was in your bridal party – but I assume you do wish that she didn’t harbor hurt feelings about being left out, yes?), but if you’d expanded your bridal party it would have gotten crazy quickly, etc. All the tactful but truthful reasons, basically? And then that is the same story that gets told to family members about why she is not in the bridal party, and hopefully it shuts things down. But at any rate, the worst that’s likely to happen is some sulking and possibly some retaliatory “well, *I’m* not going to have *you* in *my* bridal party” stuff. Which you can probably live with, being a grownup. Basically, be a grownup at her. :-)

        • leafygreen

          Ah, but who knows what your alcohol-affected friend said before that point. The future sister-in-law could have been put at ease by some snarky comments and returned one in kind.

          Her comment probably does reflect how she feels somewhat, but the fact that she hasn’t brought it up with you could mean she knows she’s being a little immature/pouty about it and doesn’t actually think she needs a spot in your bridal party. I would probably leave it alone unless she brings it up with you.

    • SarahG

      Eh, what happens when you’re out drinking… sometimes has real world consequences but should probably be ignored :) I mean, it sounds like you made the right choice. Definitely. Hopefully she has some hangover regret and cleans up her attitude a little bit. I’d just let it go myself, but that’s speaking as a conflict-avoidant person :) That being said, if you feel like you could have addressed her not-bridesmaidness more sensitively you could always just say… something conciliatory. But I’d kind of go with just letting it roll.

    • emilyg25

      I wouldn’t say anything, and I don’t think your friend should have said anything either. No need to know what’s said behind one’s back.

      • ART

        yes, i never understand why people share that sort of information when it can’t possibly do any good, just hurt someone’s feelings or piss them off!

    • honey come home

      I think you should talk to your sister in law (to be). I would be very hurt if my brother’s fiance chose FIVE bridesmaids and I didn’t make the cut. (Especially if any of them were included with a “begrudging attitude.”) Here’s the thing: she is going to be your SIL likely forever, and definitely your husband’s sister forever. Friendships end or fade, but she’s going to be there at holidays and celebrations forever, and as she isn’t being included in a family event, where her family (brother) is moving into a new family. I think she has every reason to be feeling left out or sad, and even if you’re not close, I think she deserves some actual empathy from you.

      And, even if you think that’s all BS and you really firmly believe that she’s not entitled to be or express her hurt feelings at being left out, the first part of what I said is still true. She is going to be there at holidays and celebrations and is going to be your husband’s sister forever, so make life easier on yourself and him, be a bigger person and talk to her, so that you don’t start a habit of complaining about each other behind the other’s back.

      • Brooke

        Can’t your fiance make her a “groomsmaid”? After all, she’s probably one of the closest people in the world to him, arbitrary “wedding party must be separated by gender” rules be damned. You’re right that if you’re not close to her, she shouldn’t be your bridesmaid. She should be HIS.

    • april

      I wouldn’t mention it to her, but maybe try having a conversation about it with your fiancé. You don’t need to repeat her words exactly (especially since you didn’t actually hear her say that), but tell him that you get the sense his sister may be feeling left out and see if he has any ideas (short of making her your bridesmaid) on how to make her feel more included. Maybe she could be the designated greeter/usher at the ceremony? Or maybe you could invite her to do a reading or make a toast?

      • MC

        Seconding this. We only have two wedding party members on either side, and mine are my two BEST friends. I get along well with Fiance’s sister, but we’re not super close and her energy is very different than mine, and not something that I would find soothing on my wedding day. So we’re including her (and my brother, who is also not in the wedding party) in the ceremony in a different way, and having them make toasts at the rehearsal dinner. We wanted to honor our siblings, but not necessarily by having them be with us ALL day on the wedding.

      • Natalie

        This. I think trying to make future family feel included is important. It sounds like her comment might have been made more bitchy than she is/feels by the drinking and hearing about it secondhand. It likely came from a place of hurt. Ask your fiancé how he thinks she might like to participate in the ceremony. Or, ask her: tell her you’d like her to be included in the ceremony because she’s important family, and ask if she’d prefer to do a reading, or a toast, or be an usher, or whatever. I’d feel hurt if I wasn’t included in my sibling’s wedding in anyway. I wouldn’t necessarily expect to be a bridesmaid, but not being included in the ceremony at all would feel like a slight.

  • JDrives

    Wow. That What Remains post led to some unexpected desksobbing. A beautiful project and tribute to (former, lost) love.

  • Libby

    We did it! I haven’t been on happy hour since we got married July 12th, but it was beyond any expectations and so wonderful! Our family and friends stayed at a ranch together and it was everything I ever dreamed – bonfires, hugs, slow wedding morning with walks, time at the river, and yoga with my aunt. The actual wedding, oh my goodness. So. Much. Fun. and so much incredible love.

    ALSO, I just want to give some hope to others out there that want to cry when they hear someone (everyone) say that your wedding will go by in a flash and be the fastest day of your life. For me, that really wasn’t the case. I felt very present most of the night. I paid attention to the time which helped keep me grounded and just tried to soak it in. My fiancé and I had a word that we had chosen to say to each other as a reminder to soak in the moment. A little whisper from him of our word in some very special moments, helped me be present and take in the amazing community surrounding us. A friend gave us this advice, I wanted to pass it along!

    I haven’t commented a lot, but I wanted to thank the APW community for keeping me sane. And for anyone that remembers my piece about conflicting feelings around fancy flowers – for the record, the flowers were gorgeous and I LOVED THEM SO MUCH. Totally worth it. And the Whole Foods cake was also a hit. Wins all around.

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

      Libby, congrats!! and gorgeous picture!! And I second what you say about being present for the wedding. That was my experience too, and I made a point of making sure I stayed present in my body and slowed down and took it all in :)

    • lildutchgrrl

      Congratulations! We also had a very successful Whole Foods cake, so glad that worked out for you. Also, I really like your dress.

      • Libby

        Thank you! Whole Foods cake was great, our friend even got our tiered cake and sheet cakes successfully to the venue which was two hours away through the mountains! It can be done. Good luck!

    • anonpsu

      Thanks for this! Sometimes people try to scare me with (always so seriously) “Your wedding day will fly by! You’ll be so disappointed that you did all this planning for one day”. It’s like they’re trying to make you upset! So I’m glad to hear that it doesn’t *have* to be a blur.

      • jashshea

        Ha! I kept checking in with people during the dance party to find out what time it was, because I was so afraid it would end too quickly. I was extra concerned because time flies when I’m a) drinking and b) dancing, so I was convinced it was going to be the quickest/blurriest night of my life.

      • Libby

        I know, it’s everyone’s favorite line! Of course I still wasn’t ready for the night to end, but I at least felt like I was really present the whole day :)

      • Ragnhild

        I enjoyed the whole day so much too. The memories are still vivid, and though I cant really remember what everyone said in their speeches 5 weeks later, I was able to be present for it while it happened.

    • sara g

      How lovely! I’m thrilled to hear another Whole Foods cake success story, since we’re using them for our reception at the end of the month!

      • Libby

        Whole Foods cake was great, our friend even got our tiered cake and sheet cakes successfully to the venue which was two hours away through the mountains! It can be done. Good luck!

    • Amanda

      Look at the JOY on your faces! SO beautiful. Congratulations on your beautiful wedding and best wishes for an even more beautiful marriage.

      PS – I totally second your thoughts about being present. I was SO nervous that it would go by too fast like everyone had said but I really tried to focus and enjoy the whole day and stay present and, because of that, it didn’t feel like it went too fast at all. Of course, I wish the day could have just gone on and on and on forever but I feel like I felt all of it.

    • Em

      Congratulations! This is such a wonderful photo.

    • vegankitchendiaries

      Such a shame… you all look like you’re having a terrible time in this picture!

      Smiles all around, this looks awesome! Glad you got to soak up all the awesomeness – the ‘mindfulness codeword’ idea is cool!

    • Natalie

      Congrats!!! Yay!

      I’m stealing your mindfulness codeword to use at my own wedding. Brilliant! I hope my wedding day doesn’t go by in a flash, so thanks for sharing that yours did not.

  • Em(ily)

    Is it helpful to give wedding guests an idea of what’s happening when? Our wedding will be at a 5-ish acre garden, so we are printing up maps of it to help people navigate. On the back, we are thinking of including the intended timeline for when the main events of the day like lunch, first dance, cake-cutting will be. When I told my DOC about the idea, she seemed lukewarm on it. Why might that be? Maybe because things don’t usually happen exactly on time? I really like the idea, but can’t quit questioning myself on it! As a guest at a wedding recently, I feel like I’d have appreciated knowing what was next on the itinerary other than just whenever someone got on the mic to instruct the guests what was about to happen right NOW.

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

      We just had an evening reception, but I wish we would’ve at least told family about our intended timeline. His siblings figured we’d cut the cake at the end and so missed it when we did it at the beginning.

    • Libby

      We did this in our program! Guests commented on how they had never seen anything like it and loved it! We kept it very general and only the big things just to give people a sense of what to expect (cocktail hour, dinner, cake, dancing, photobooth), that way people weren’t expecting very specific times. Our ceremony was later and we wanted people to have an idea of when dinner is, etc.

      • Em(ily)

        Hmm, maybe it would be better without the times specified! I just edited my mini-program to see how I like the way that looks. Part of the purpose with including the times was that people may be spread out browsing the gardens, so if they know x is happening at y time, they may be less likely to miss it. I like it both ways! Argh.

        • KC

          Maybe a giant cowbell/chime/dinner-bell/something which indicates that the next thing on the list will be happening in 10 minutes (or however long you would expect it to take for people to get from point A to point B)? People will also figure things out from the directions that other people are migrating.

        • Libby

          Ahh. Sorry if what I said wasn’t clear (writing quickly at work here ;-/), but we did put times – it just wasn’t each toast listed out. For example we put the time cake would be cut (9pm), but didn’t include that right after that my father-in-law would be singing a song and then family dances. Just having the cake cutting on there was enough to get people in there.
          It actually sounds like you have a similar venue to ours, we had tons of seating outside the barn on decks and the venue staff told us people often wander around the gardens and farm. I don’t know if this would work for you – but we grouped things like toasts, dances, etc into two times we knew people were more likely to be all together – so first group was right when people sat down for salad, then everyone wandered around, ate dinner, and then was sort of wrangled back in for cake cutting which had the other things following it. Hope this makes some sort of sense!

          • Em(ily)

            It does! So since we’re having our first dance after the meal, everybody’s still there we don’t necessarily have to include that on the timeline? I think that makes a lot of sense.

          • Libby

            Yep! Exactly. You could just have dinner listed on there and everyone will already be there. Then have another “big” item listed for later in the night if you want people to sort of be meandering closer to the main area at a certain time when you’re going to start other “planned” things.

    • Lou

      My experience is that if people know what to expect, they’ll have less complaints. You’re always going to get the whiners, sure, but less so if they know a general idea of what’s happening. On our wedding website, we made a joke about trying to stick to a timeline…but still provided one just in case it goes off without a hitch. I don’t want anyone complaining that they didn’t know dinner was at 6, rather than 5, you know?

    • ElisabethJoanne

      Order of events (no need to put precise times) is super-helpful! It helps with questions like, “Should I eat before the ceremony, or will there be food right after?” and “When is it polite to leave?” Also, planning for anyone who’s not a 100% healthy adult – a child, or, in my family’s case, an adult with an invisible disability. So much easier to keep quiet and still through the speeches if you know cake is coming right after (or to unobtrusively excuse yourself if you know it’s going to go on longer than you can handle).

    • Emily

      I did something similar. I didn’t attach any times to the events, but I did list the order of events on a program I made. I also explained some of the stories behind a few things we did as part of our ceremony.

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

    Our little one threw up for the very first time (not counting all the reflux her first 6 months of life) at 1am Sunday morning. It was super scary for her. But we’re laughing because of where she picked to do it – casino hotel room in Vegas. Girl’s got style!

  • Anon for this

    So this week I got a positive pregnancy test that I was not expecting and now … everything is different. Learning early that you don’t get to win as a pregnant/parenting person. If you don’t have nausea (yay!) you’re at a higher risk of miscarriage (ugh). Hoping to start feeling desperately ill any day now. While I currently can’t read about birthing without freaking out a bit, I’m assuming I’ll get over that, and would love some recommendations for what to expect while you’re expecting type books, that are feminist and not horrible, since I’m really not feeling that one.

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

      I love “A Child is Born” because of the awesome photos. And “Your Pregnancy Week by Week” is hands down better than “What to Expect When You’re Expecting.” And check out used book stores for them. People don’t tend to hold on to them when they’re done with them.

      As for the labor and delivery part – get “The Birth Partner.” Best book ever no matter what type of birth you’re thinking of.

      Good luck!

    • lady brett

      i really liked “brain rules for babies,” because science. admittedly, i skipped the part about pregnancy, but i’m assuming it’s probably on par with the baby/toddler parts.

    • Meghan

      I loved Expecting Better by Emily Oster. It’s a compilation of pregnancy related research and solid explanation of the research. I found it helped me calm down my naturally crazy instincts.

      And I hear you on the urge to over-interpret certain signals. I took everything my body did as a sign during the first trimester, and usually a negative sign. Hang in there!

      • ferrous

        Seconding the Oster recommendation. I bought a few books, and it’s the only one I’ve turned to repeatedly for questions.

        I’ve been polling a lot of friends about their experiences, which has been more informative than expected. I’m having a rough go with symptoms so far, and I’m a little pissed that society keeps these difficulties quiet (type A, I like to be well-armed with info). Women don’t like to complain (which I see all the time in my healthcare job), so it’s understandable but infuriating that all my symptoms are such common knowledge to everyone except me.

        For me, anon, try to enjoy your lack of nausea, it doesn’t necessarily mean anything. Good luck!

    • emilyg25

      My favorite pregnancy books are The Whole Pregnancy Handbook, by Joel Evans, and Pregnancy, Childbirth and the Newborn, by Penny Simkin, et al. The Birth Partner is also awesome. It has a bunch of the same info in Pregnancy, Childbirth and the Newborn, but a little easier to access. Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth was also helpful for increasing my confidence in my ability to give birth, but it definitely skews toward the “natural” side of things.

      I know it’s easier said than done, but try not to worry too much about the sickness or lack thereof. Plenty of women have no sickness and healthy babies! Also, your symptoms can come and go. Good luck with everything, and congratulations!

      • Katherine

        Reiterating the urge to try not to worry too much about lack of sickness. At 7 months pregnant, I seem to have avoided most of the horrible pregnancy woes so far. (This seems to be somewhat genetic, as both my mother & maternal grandmother did as well.) My sense is that they tell you that nausea is a sign of a healthy pregnancy largely it order to help people who have it get through it. :)

    • Anon for this

      Thanks for the recommendations/words of encouragement, kind internet strangers. I’m terrible at secrets so it feels good to talk about this somewhere! I really am trying to let go of the anxiety over the lack of nausea, but the risk of miscarriage in the first trimester is 30% for women without nausea and 8% for women who are nauseated. So, yes, it’s still more likely than not that all will be well for me. But. Knowing the numbers, I’d really rather be in that 8% category.

      • J

        If you’ve just found out, it might be too early to feel sick? We found out at four weeks, and then there were two weeks of ‘Really? But I feel fine…’. And then I got to six weeks (exactly) and I was more than sick enough.

        • Anon for this

          Yep, this is definitely possible. Today I hit five weeks. So hopefully I’ll be back here next week complaining about how terrible I feel!

      • Lady L

        Wait. What? I have two children and I have never heard those numbers, ever. (I had very little nausea either time) Where did you get those percentages from? (Genuinely curious, not passive-aggressive challenge, by the way)

        • Anon for this

          Those specific numbers are from Emily Oster’s Expecting Better (mentioned in the comments below). She cites to one specific peer reviewed scientific paper, although she clearly reviewed a ton of research on both miscarriage and morning sickness. Looks like there is some new research confirming these findings (and linking nausea and vomiting to having healthier babies, omg must stop googling this): http://online.wsj.com/articles/the-upside-to-morning-sickness-1406563253

    • KC

      If you’ve got a fair number of reproducing females in your family, then it might be worth calling around to inquire – you may be in one of the lucky camps that genetically has very little morning sickness even though hormone levels et al are just peachy.

      (my family is Camp Morning Sickness, apparently. Which makes the concept of pregnancy even more daunting than it otherwise would be.)

    • Kat

      I really liked Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth. I found it really increased my confidence in birthing (and my husband read it and found it super-useful). As emilyg25 said it leans towards the ‘natural’ side of things.

  • aldeka

    So, (thanks to miscommunication with the venue and people being more excited about attending our wedding than I thought) it’s looking likely that we’ll have too many guests to fit in a single room for dinner. (Unless March is unseasonably not-cold-and-foggy and we can have the dinner outside on the deck. Not counting on it.)

    Fortunately, there *is* enough indoor space for everyone to eat–but it’s two rooms on different floors, each of which seats about 40. (We’re looking at 55-60 people.) So I’m not sure what we should do so that our guests feel comfortable and happy and not insulted. Divide the guest list in half? Seat as many people as we can in the original room? Where do FH and I eat? (Salad and soup in one room, entree in another? Or just hide in our room for dinner?) How will we make toasts work *not* during dinner? (During the cocktail hour maybe? Or at the cake cutting?) How to alert people in the downstairs room that we’re moving tables upstairs and we’re about to have the first dance?

    We were already planning to have the second room be for board games / a quieter space than the main party room. I’m just worried people won’t move between the two, or have general awareness of what’s going on at the wedding as a whole.

    What have you seen done to accommodate multiple rooms at weddings you’ve been to (or your own)?

    • Violet

      Our venue had multiple rooms. (We had about 68 guests.) The rooms were on the same level, but three rooms, all sort-of connected. It worked great! We just made sure to visit all the tables during dinner so we saw everyone, and toasts were done during the cocktail hour (when everyone was in one spot). It worked great!

    • emmers

      Can you do a cocktail reception? You could have different food in different places, and different activities (party vs board games). That way it wouldn’t seem like you were sequestering folks. You could forgo seating charts, but still have seating, and could mention something in the program and/or have the officiant say “the couple invites you to join them for their cocktail reception following the ceremony.”

      And maybe intersperse high tops with regular tables to promote this vibe! This is more or less what we’re doing for our reception, since it’s spread out amongst a building.

      • emmers

        & maybe you could make a point to go between the two rooms– like have cake cutting in one place, and dancing in another, so it doesn’t seem like one room is better than the other. And for events happening in another room, you could have a designated announcer (like a wedding coordinator, or a loud family member) to go announce what’s happening. or you could put a little mini schedule in the program!

        • emmers

          ooooh, and since there are just two rooms, you could give them cutsey names related to your relationship, if there’s two of something that you can come up with. Then you can label them in the program & do little signs in the doorway to distinguish them.

    • Emma

      My sister’s reception was on a boat that had two decks with indoor and outdoor space on both of them so people were all spread out. This might not work in a venue that cares a lot about number of people in each room at all times, but we just made an announcement before the toasts etc and everyone squeezed into the biggest room for that short time and then spread back out. My sister and her husband just moved around between all the spaces to see everyone. Also, this was a pretty informal reception with buffet and people just took plates wherever they wanted on the boat, but for what it’s worth it seemed to work really well for all of us!

    • Ellen

      I attended a wedding last summer in two different rooms, though the second room was more of a balcony above the main room (downstairs was the food locale, upstairs was for the bar and dancefloor). It worked well, and I second the suggestion below to do cocktail/hors d’oeuvre setup. There were *not* enough seats for everyone to sit at once, and I know folks here have sometimes found that to be a problem, but at this particular event, there seemed to be enough mingling that it wasn’t a real issue. It did help that the food was at various stations throughout the room (though hor d’oeuvres formatted, the wedding was at dinner time and food was certainly ample enough for dinner) and that there was A LOT of seating.

  • Laura C

    Eight days. My dress arrived in the mail from my parents’ house, where it has been living, and it fits, so that’s good. I pick up my sash this afternoon. We went to the Hindu temple for a blessing this morning, which made A’s grandmother so, so happy. Unplanned, we were given garlands as part of it, and in the car on the way home, she said “I had been thinking how could we have a wedding without garlands, and now you have them and I am so happy.” It was really sweet. Although this was about the worst possible day to miss a few hours of work. But my coworkers were fantastically understanding about it.

    Lots to do, but we are making headway!

  • Mary Jo TC

    My brother is getting married in 8 days! And we still don’t have a prank planned! Starting with my wedding, my family (mostly my brothers) has been surprising the happy couple with an amazing prank during the reception. At mine, my 4 brothers burst into the room in Ghostbusters outfits, chasing down a friend in a sheet, while the DJ played the Ghostbusters theme. I loved it! But then they really outdid themselves at my sister’s wedding last year. They BUILT A TROJAN HORSE, had it wheeled into the reception hall while the Ben-Hur theme played, then jumped out one by one in gladiator costumes and led the crowd in a simple choreographed dance.

    How in the world do you ever top that?!?!? Any ideas for my brother’s wedding? We have very little time to come up with amazing costumes, which accounted for a major part of the wow factor in the previous wedding pranks. My brother and his bride are both major sports fans, so we’d love to incorporate their favorite teams or something. They have a little girl (3) and my sister and I both have one-year-old boys, and it might be fun to involve them, but they’re wily and tempermental of course.

    Any amazing prank ideas? Please help!

    • Lauren from NH

      THAT. IS. AWESOME!

      I would try to think of something iconic. Maybe a Mario theme and get the bride involved to be Peach? Star Wars? How I Met Your Mother fans? Feign Slap-Bet showdown.

      • Lauren from NH

        Harry Potter re enactment???

    • KC

      Can you stage an impromptu soccer game (or similar) on the dance floor for one song? Smuggle colored flag-football-style vests in to distinguish teams (rectangle of fabric with a hole for your head, basically; I’m not sure what they actually are), rent kiddie soccer goals, get a mini ball, and go? I think the sight of grandma in finery-plus-vest making a goal against a three-year-old goalie might be worthwhile…

      • Amanda

        This would be timely especially with World Cup recently ending!

    • Mary Jo TC

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qf6_7PfVezQ&safe=active

      There’s the poor quality video of the trojan horse. The gladiator who keeps messing up the dance is the groom this time, lol

    • Jessica

      Could you do a mini car chase, ala James Bond? Get those little electric cars kids use and pick someone to be James Bond and stage a huge villain monologue where your brother is kidnapped and your sister in law has to have a nerf-gun shoot out with whoever is the villain to rescue him after the mini car chase.

      Now I just want to ride in my old barbie car.

    • vegankitchendiaries

      I have nothing to add except for that your family is amazing.

  • Anon

    My best friend has asked me to officiate her wedding!!! While I’m incredibly honoured, does anyone have any related tips or resources to share? They will be getting married legally through the courts but I will be perform the symbolic ceremony in front of their family and friends.

    • jashshea

      We had a good friend marry us. He did a wonderful job. I wrote up the relatively short ceremony and asked him to add punch where ever he saw fit. I cribbed nearly the entirety from various places on the internet.

      One thing that was helpful for him was having a leather bound journal to hold. He’d basically memorized what he was saying, but that gave him something to do with his hands.

      • ART

        I did something very similar to jashshea (wrote/borrowed all but the officiant’s address and closing) and let her riff on it a little if she wanted to. I wished I’d made an effort to get her something nice to hold, thought about it but ran out of time. That sounds like a really nice idea. We were so surprised by her sweet additions to our ceremony and loved the whole thing!

    • Kaya

      My best friend/wedding officiant and I used the comments on this post in a big way:

      http://apracticalwedding.com/2014/02/friend-officiating-wedding/

      We also used some of the APW posts on how to write your ceremony. There are some great ones if you dig around!

  • Anon

    I found out that one of my very close family members is very, very sick this week. I think I’m taking it in stride, but I really just want to curl in a ball and cry and cry and cry some more. What’s making it worse is that I have to do a bunch of stuff with the women of my fiancé’s family this week. I love them and they are wonderful to me. But all I can think about is how much I miss my own grandmother and how unfair it feels to be losing another family member now. Add that to figuring out some stressful wedding stuff and I’m having a hard time keeping the cork on the bottle right now.

    • Em(ily)

      I’m so sorry! Internet hugs coming your way.

    • ART

      I’m so sorry, I know how awful it is to have someone you love be ill, Hugs to you.

    • Emma

      I’m so sorry! Sending lots of hugs.

    • Anon

      Thanks for the internet hugs everyone! My plan is to make it through next week in one piece and then hopefully take some time and space to think and feel and cry and cry if I still need to.

  • lady brett

    well, new kiddo in the house. we (the spouse and i) are a lot more settled and less jumpy and confused than in the past…i think we’re settling into this foster parent thing. it is, of course, weird. and easier and harder and all sorts of different than any kids we’ve had before (i don’t think any amount of doing this will change that part).

    • swarmofbees

      Good luck!

    • Jess

      Good luck, and I’m happy the new kiddo gets the chance to spend some time with the two of you.

  • lildutchgrrl

    Our offer was accepted! I am delighted to announce that my wife and I are expecting an addition to our family! Due sometime in September; initial scans indicate it’s yellow with 3 bedrooms and a small backyard.

    • Amanda

      Hahaha that made my day. Congrats on the house!

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

    We finally made it up to Vermont to see our wedding venue….and it’s PERFECT! Seriously the most adorable place in the whole world. The owners were super sweet and laidback. I know that I’ve been joking that we’re having a Newhart themed wedding, but this place is soo like that. Best, they have a huge attic full of decorations from previous weddings that we can totally raid for free. All the twinkle lights I can stand.

    I knew they were my people when the coordinator hugged me when I vetoed any and all burlap. Also, craft beers everywhere. Also also we can get married in front of a roaring fire! Winter wedding dream come true.

    • sara g

      That sounds fabulous. Don’t tell me the venue or I might crash your wedding. ;)

    • Ragnhild

      Ceremony in front of the fire sounds amazing!

    • Lawyerette510

      The idea of a fire-side wedding just gave me chills!

  • Jay

    Excited for APW happy hour today, mainly to vent, ha ha. Our wedding is coming up! We’re really excited. However I’m annoyed that 25 people, 1/3 of our intimate guest list, have not RSVPed. I just don’t get it… We made it sooooo easy with our glovites. I’ll get over it shortly, but just wanted to share.

    • Jessica

      We had to recruit our parents to call up their obscure relatives who couldn’t be bothered to check “regrets” and put the pre-stamped envelope in the mail.

      Also about 1/3 of our guest list and then a bunch of time and some hurt feelings for our respective parents who used to be close to these people.

    • lildutchgrrl

      I hear you. We went even smaller, and we got 4 actual RSVPs. SO WEIRD. Maybe because it was smaller, they assumed we knew they were coming? My wife’s family decided at the last moment (week of the wedding) that they WOULD be attending, and because there was drama there, we’d planned for those circumstances (or the reverse). But as it turned out, exactly 3 people we invited did not come. I hope your people get in line!

    • sara g

      We have a similar issue. Today is our RSVP deadline and we’re sadly lacking in responses. We did online RSVPs too (with an email and phone option) so I figured it’d be easy. Apparently not.

      • Jay

        Yay RSVP deadline twin! When’s your big day? I agree… We thought it would be easy.

        • sara g

          August 30! We have 2 weeks to track people down because our caterer needs the estimated final count 2 weeks out, and the final final count 1 week out. Bleh.

      • http://www.lateralmovements.com/ Lauren Fitzpatrick

        Yep, us too…we set it way early (wedding is September 24th) to allow for a lag, but I didn’t anticipate that of 74 invited, we’d only have 28 replies. Everything’s online, and the people I thought might struggle with it have already replied, so it clearly works WHEN IT IS USED. Sigh.

        I’m also wondering if I’m getting hung up on the actual act of the RSVP; several people have expressed their regrets over the phone or via email so really, I should probably take that as a response. But there’s something about getting the “official” notification.

        • Nicole

          We probably had probably 40% of people never respond officially. But we kept track of what people said to us and got help from our parents to call the others. I keep feeling like if we’d actually needed information from people (i.e. choosing a meal) it would have been extremely frustrating. But since we just needed a yay or nay, we were able to just roll with knowing through the grapevine. We had easy online RSVP’s too and plenty of totally tech savvy people didn’t bother…

    • MC

      Ugh, our RSVP deadline is in two weeks and as of a few days ago, people seem to have stopped RSVPing entirely. Nothing in the mail, nothing on our website. More than half of the people haven’t RSVPd! (Our guest list is around 200, so it’s probably to be expected – but still!) Definitely annoying.

      • Ellen

        We had a similar experience, but found that lots came in right at the deadline. People seemed to either send them right away or wait til the last minute. So, don’t worry yet!

    • Bsquillo

      RSVPs are the worst. We had over HALF of our guest not RSVP by the deadline. Maybe people just don’t understand formal invitations anymore? It’s rage-inducing.

      However, just hang in there, because you pretty much forget about how annoying that process is once you’re hanging out with all your friends and family at your wedding!

      • swarmofbees

        Apparently even the recently wed do not understand reply cards. One of our non-response people was a couple whose wedding we attended a few weeks before our RSVP deadline.They had little paper response cards, but we never saw a little response postcard from them. sigh.

        • ART

          Yep, our recently married friends did not RSVP then told me a week before the wedding they “lost the entire invitation whoops!” Great, nice to know how many F’s you give! :)

    • Em(ily)

      It’s so frustrating! Hopefully they get their responses in soon!

  • Janna

    I took the Bar exam this week! So happy it’s over and hoping I passed. My husband and I are taking a post-Bar trip to the Bay area. I have never been- we’re staying in Berkeley & Sausalito. Any suggestions for top places to go/best places to eat? I know there’s a good APW presence in the Bay area.

    • Amanda

      If you like seafood, I’d suggest Scoma’s in Sausalito. We went for lunch since it is pretty pricey. There is also one in SF.

    • CW

      So it’s pretty cliche, but for a good reason: Chez Panisse in Berkeley. I actually prefer the cafe, which is the less formal part, to the downstairs. A long lunch there is pretty great and is a never-fail when I take people there.

      • Lawyerette510

        Yes, I prefer the cafe at Chez Panisse too, it’s absolutely lovely.

    • Alison O

      Challah French Toast @ Saul’s in Berkeley. yummmmmmmm

    • ART

      Phil’s Sliders in downtown Berkeley if you want to get your burg on, Zachary’s (deep dish) Pizza on Solano or Cheese Board (thin crust) Pizza on Shattuck (across from Chez Panisse), Asmara is my favorite of the Ethiopian restaurants along Telegraph (it’s in Oakland but bus-able and/or parking is easy), Ici for amazing ice cream on College in Berkeley…

      To do: can’t help but rep the Campanile, I used to sell tickets to go up to the top level when I was a student there. It’s cheap and a great view (assuming it’s not too foggy). Go during the noon concert on the bells for a (loud) treat :) I also love the Berkeley Rose Garden.

    • p.

      A few Oakland recs for food/coffee –
      – Blue Bottle Coffee’s (relatively new) Broadway location for coffee, cookies/desserts
      – Bakesale Betty (lunchtime only – famous for their fried chicken sandwiches)
      – Camino (run by a Chez Panisse alum)
      – Pizziaolo (same owner/chef as Boot & Shoe Service but I haven’t been to Boot & Shoe)
      – A16 (Rockridge location; original restaurant is in SF)

      In Berkeley, I second Chez Panisse and the Cheeseboard.

      • Lawyerette510

        All of those are good recommendations, but I’ll add some others here too.

        Boot & Shoe is great (do Pizziaolo or B&S, but no need for both, unless it’s brunch at one and dinner at the other) and just down from Boot & Shoe is my favorite wine bar in all the world: Ordinaire. On Tuesday and Wednesday they even have Boot & Shoe pizza. You can buy a bottle or taste by the class, and they have an amazing bistro on Thursday and Friday nights (see their instagram or facebook for menus). Also, the Saturday farmer’s market near Lake Merritt (also near Boot & Shoe) is fantastic. You can get a bottle of wine from Ordinaire, cheese, fruit and bread from the market, then walk down to a grassy spot by the lake and picnic. You can also rent boats on Lake Merritt, either small sailboats, kayaks or paddle boats, or take a Gondola ride.

        Jack London Square is such a great area these days. I personally think Haven is over-rated, but Bocanova has great outdoor seating (and a nice dining room as well), delicious cocktails, latin-influenced food that is fantastic and a nice wine list. There’s also a great tap-room down there now if you like to drink beer, and a host of good wineries with tasting rooms.

        Oakland Museum of California is totally great and worth a visit. If you’re here on a Friday, go for Friday Nights at the Museum, they keep the exhibits open late, there are tons of food trucks, live music and a bar.

        If you love gourmet ice cream, the Ici is worth the wait. If you love gourmet donuts then Donut Dolly’s and Donut Savant are both great.

        Beauty’s Bagels has fantastic Montreal-Style bagels and bagel sandwiches.

        In Berkeley, in addition to Chez Panisse and Cheeseboard (although you can get comparable Cheeseboard pizza at Arazmendi Bakery in SF, Oakland or Emeryville), 900 Grayson has awesome breakfast and lunch on weekdays and great brunch on Saturday (closed Sundays). Also, Comal is delicious.

        If you like to hike, head up to Tilden Regional Park in Berkeley, you can even go for a swim at Lake Anza.

        Enjoy your trip and congratulations again on being done with the bar!!!

    • Lawyerette510

      Congrats on being done with the bar!!!! As I told myself in the space between the bar and the results “At a minimum, at least I never have to take the bar for the first time again.” and even that knowledge was sweet relief but not as sweet as the pass notification, which I’m sure you’ll get. It’s a huge accomplishment just to power through it!

  • Em

    Outdoor weddings and rain…. can we talk about this for a second?

    I have been obsessively checking the weather forecast ever since our wedding date got within the “14 day trend” time frame. It looked promising early on (doesn’t it always?) but now is calling for “sunny, with a chance of thundershowers”. There’s still time for this to change – the date is Aug 9 – but since there are showers forecast in the days surrounding the wedding, I am not too comforted.

    We do have a backup plan, but it is totally separate from both our ceremony AND reception locations. But it is just… exactly that. A backup plan. It will do, it will hold our 110 guests and we will still be married at the end, but I so desperately want to have our wedding in my partner’s big, beautiful backyard, with the picnic blankets, and the trees, and the sentimental meaning of the place.

    How do we handle making the switch to our backup plan if it seems to be necessary? And when do we make that call? I would prefer not to “play it safe” and change location 5 days ahead of time, because of our attachment to the backyard space. I’d rather play it by ear on the day but I guess I just don’t know how to logistically carry that off. Or if that’s being unkind to our guests. I don’t know. Any advice, commiseration, etc is well-appreciated.

    • emilyg25

      Oh, I’m sorry. I had a backyard wedding, so I understand the crazy weather stress. Maybe start trying to let go of your idea now. That way, if August 9 is clear, it’s a happy surprise. But if it’s not, you’ve already processed some of your disappointment.

      We made our final decision three days before the wedding. It was easier because the report was good. We probably would have waited until the day of if it wasn’t. The backup was just tents, and the backup backup was a community center down the street, so it’s not like it would have changed a lot for guests.

      I’m crossing my fingers and doing a Not Rain Dance for you!

      • Em

        Thank you! I will take all the Not Rain Dances I can get :)

        You’re so right. Let it go – hard words to hear but so wise. And, if we put some intention into the other space, I’m sure it will also become meaningful and less like a necessary evil.

        (But stillllll. Backyard weddings are the bomb)

    • KC

      Do you have cell numbers for all expected guests? You could potentially send out a “warning, plans may change, please be sure to check [a specific website/Facebook page] the morning of the wedding; we’ll also attempt to contact you the evening before the wedding if the venue changes” thing 5 days out and then delegate (DELEGATE) a phone tree to get everyone called/texted when you decide for sure, plus someone to set up waterproof signs and a cheapo tupperware tub of maps at the soggified venue.

      • Em

        Yep, so smart! A text-tree is a great idea if we have to call it ahead of time. And guests were already told about the rainy day location and given the address in their invitations so it won’t come out of left field.

    • Libby

      If worst case scenario, it started pouring a half hour before the ceremony, would it be plausible for your guests to just get in their cars and head to your back up plan? If that’s the case, could you just go for it and wait to make the decision day of? The 14-day weather forecast changed SO many times for my wedding day, I stopped looking at it. In the end, it was a beautiful day and then the second I started walking down the aisle it thundered above us. Two drops of rain fell and then it sprinkled just enough during cocktail hour to give us a rainbow. I say this because there is just really no way to know and I’m just wondering if you could just go for it since it sounds like the backyard part is understandably very meaningful. I feel like guests will understand!

      • Em

        Yes, see, this is exactly what I want to do. I also feel like there’s a sense of community and camaraderie at a wedding and I personally would feel like it was part of the adventure to jump in my car and head over to another location if the rains started coming down. But I don’t know if “THEY” feel this way.

        Thank you so much for sharing how it went for you. Yes, the forecast can change a million times. You’ve given me hope! I am also quitting The Weather Network haha. Too stressful.

        • Libby

          Yes! I agree. When it thundered above me (and my Dad very sweetly whispered, “it sounds far away hunny”) I remember just giggling to myself like, well if it pours it pours, we’re all in it together! It was too late to go back by then.
          Also, I can’t recommend enough not looking at the weather. My Mom and fiancé made me do it and it lowered my stress so much. I made a rule for myself that I couldn’t look until the Thursday before the wedding and by then I was so excited and used to not worrying about the weather, I wasn’t as interested!

        • KC

          I would totally either 1. get soaked or 2. drive to a new venue as a wedding guest. 100%. It’s a party! (the phone tree suggestion above was assuming that you’d be making the rain decision pre-wedding, but it’s true that you don’t necessarily have to!)

        • Lawyerette510

          If you feel good about that plan, then “they” will feel good about that plan. I agree with you, it will foster that sense of community, adventure and camaraderie.

    • Laura C

      We are outdoors on August 9, too, and I am contemplating the weather, too. Nothing productive to say, just that I feel you.

      • Em

        So nerve wracking, hey? This is one area where I much preferred it when “August 9th” was just in the realm of possibility. It was kind of shocking when that showed up as an actual date on the actual forecast, with weather systems already on the roll.

        My fingers are crossed for you :)

        • Laura C

          I may or may not have made a spreadsheet of the weather on August 9 and the days immediately surrounding it over the past five years one night when I got nervous about this…

    • vegankitchendiaries

      We just went through this.. with no backup plan. I chose a date in the calendar that according to the farmers almanac hadn’t seen rain for 19 years. Guess whaaaat…. RAIN. For a month before the wedding I was checking three or four weather sites every morning and they were always changing their mind about the weather. A week out, the forcast was good and I forgot to keep checking until a few days before my sister in law told me at a family brunch it was supposed to rain and I cried into my pancakes.

      3 days before the wedding my now husband was up in a tree in our front yard trying to hang $200 worth of tarps. We decided it looked awful and decided to take them back down and just hope for the best.

      It rained all morning and only stopped a couple of hours before the 4.30pm ceremony. I hope you have similar luck (but way less stress) than we did. Everyone kept telling me “no matter what it will be fine” and I believed NONE of them. Try to believe me, though… everything will be fine.

      I don’t think guests will *mind* per se going to an alternate location but I think my biggest concern would be that not everyone would get the memo. Not everyone is Email, or even text message-friendly… If you could get relatives/bridal party to help out with a old school ‘phone tree’ to actually call every single guest and explain the ‘what to do if it’s raining’ backup plan, that might be more helpful.

      I am really crossing fingers for you. I know how much this is the freakin’ worst.

      • Lawyerette510

        I think the idea of a phone tree is a fantastic suggestion, that way the decision can be made relatively quickly.

    • http://www.lateralmovements.com/ Lauren Fitzpatrick

      Oh man, we are less than two months out and I have only just allowed myself to consider the possibility of a rain plan. Then I push the thought aside and tell myself we’ll deal with it next month. Because if I don’t want to deal with it now, I’ll probably want to handle it then, right? Ugh. There are options, but they don’t exactly fill me with excitement. (Mud…barn…)

    • Em(ily)

      I am in this same boat, same day, BUT no viable rain plan in place. Um, we are relying upon the power of positive thinking!? If the forecast warrants, as we get closer, we’ll figure something out. Yup, super-comfortable with that 1 week out!
      I think it might be a good idea to make guests aware ahead of time what the rain plan is, then they will be familiar with it just in case it actually does end up needing to be implemented. That might make it a simpler matter to play it by ear, and give folks the heads up that you’re going for plan b with shorter notice.

  • Lauren from NH

    So we got the news today that my partner is getting laid off (we saw it coming, but you never think it will be this week). I am a little freaked. The job market still scares the shit out of me because it took such a long time for me to find a job after college. I put on a brave face or was feeling rather glass half full earlier in the week when we talked about student loans and our prospects as a generation, but now I am feeling very vulnerable and not brave at all. We’ll tighten our belts and get through, but for now I feel a little sick.

    • jashshea

      I’m sorry to hear that – layoffs are never ever good news, even if they’re expected. I’m glad you have a plan in place. My best advice is this: You don’t have to be brave, you just need to put one foot in front of the other and keep moving. Best of luck to you both.

    • Erin

      I’ve been there. My partner and I have been together for 2 years. My partner was laid off while we were dating, and when he got a new job we moved forward full speed with getting engaged and wedding planning. Now my job is unstable (I left a lengthy comment above). It’s rough, but easier with 2 people supporting each other. Good luck to you!

    • Lauren from NH

      Thanks ladies. It helps so much at times just to feel heard.

  • Erin

    This has been a crazy week of flip flopping emotions for me. People are acting crazy at my office due to our pending merger, which had inspired me to look harder for a new job, even though there’s a good chance I won’t need one. The problem is I HATE job searching, never feel qualified for anything, and end up sobbing at my computer at night while I’m trolling the job listings. The wedding is in November, and although I know it would be the epitome of living out our “for richer or poorer” part of our vows, I hate the idea of the joy of my wedding being tainted with the stress of entering my marriage potentially unemployed. I have three big life changes coming up. By the end of the year, I will be married, living in a new apartment, and in a new job situation (even if it’s doing my same job in the newly merged company, I’ll be in a new office with new people).
    I planned for the wedding and the move. The merger was out of the blue and I am struggling to work through my anger about the stress it’s adding to my life during a time in which I was supposed to be focusing on these other much happier things.

    So then on Wednesday night, my roommate tells me that our rent is going up on September 1. My plan was to move out on October 1. This time I let my anger work to my advantage, and immediately began looking for apartments that will be available September 1 so I can avoid this stupid rent increase and begin living with my FH a month earlier. Apartment hunting suddenly stopped seeming like a major source of stress and unknown as soon as FH and I made this decision. We are meeting with a broker at 5:30 tonight and going to see a place. I’m so excited and thankful I was able to change my perspective about this and get some of my excitement for my new life back. Getting the move out of the way earlier will make the other changes feel less overwhelming. I already feel so much better. Yay!

  • ItsyBit

    Getting married tomorrow. TOMORROWWWWWWW!!!! Finishing things up right now, heading off to see friends & family later tonight and crossing our fingers for no rain. EEEK!

  • Ragnhild

    I got a job this week! I left my unpaid position (but with a relatively stable support from family/friends) of 8 years in a non-profit organization the week before our wedding. I applied for a job the same day, got married a week later, and now the job is mine! It is my first full time paid job, and I am overwhelmed by how easy it was. I was prepared for months of job hunting, but so very grateful I won´t have to. I start next week, so this summer is really a season of changes.

    • ElisabethJoanne

      Congratulations! Sometimes it’s hard (my husband has been looking for over 2 years), sometimes it’s not. Great to hear one of the happy job-hunt stories!

      • Ragnhild

        Thank you! It is almost a little too good to be true. I hope your husband finds something soon!

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

      congrats!

  • http://instagram.com/mint.car Kamala

    I had some unexpected
    (very early) wedding magic happen this week!

    Our venue apparently does not have a conditional use
    permit, and the county is putting the kibosh on any more events there. We had
    originally picked this venue (venue 1) because the venue (venue 2) that I wanted from
    the get go was not going to hold events anymore for insurance reasons; so my
    caterer/event guy had suggested that venue 1 was a similar feel and had hosted
    events there before. The venue was perfectly nice and the price was right so we
    went with it. I got a call from the caterer this week saying unfortunately
    venue 1 doesn’t have the right permits so we can’t do it there, BUT he has a
    new contract with venue 2 and he’d be happy to host the wedding there AND honor
    the price I was going to pay for venue 1 PLUS a discount for inconvenience! Guys, I am paying HALF of what they’re going
    to charge people for this space in the future!

    My folks were so worried that I was going to be upset,
    but paying half price for the venue that I really wanted in the first place?? I’m
    not even mad! Wedding Magic!!

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

    We just put our invitations in the mail! Eek! Guess this is really happening!

    • Megan

      yay!! I just picked mine up today and they should be out by the end of the weekend…crazy!!

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

    We got our engagement photos back this week and I absolutely love them! I had a moment of “my butt looks huge!” with a few of the photos, but overall I love the way we look & how they came out. And I loved working with our photographer – the engagement session and the photos have put me as ease & reassured me that we booked the “right” photographer for our wedding.

    So now I get to spend my weekend ordering the Save the Dates and finishing our wedding website/app. :-)

    • Natalie

      Yay! I loved that part of wedding planning – picking out the best photos for save the dates and the website. :-) Have fun!

  • ElisabethJoanne

    I went to the dentist this week, and he recommended I get orthodonture for the third time in my life. If I go back to the ophthamologist, he’ll want to touch up my Lasik. If I were more brave, I’d be in regular therapy for sexual dysfunction. And, like anyone, I could exercise more, and cook healthier meals, and get regular facials and massages.

    In short, you can always spend more time and money on your health. How do you figure out what’s worth it?

    • Alison O

      Hey, good for you for paying attention to your health in the first place! That stuff (plus insurance, boo hiss!) can be so overwhelming, I think it’s brave just to acknowledge it all.

      I guess the way I’d think about prioritizing is not to look at the list of options and compare them but rather reflect on your life as a whole and the biggest/most frequent issues you encounter there, and then see if that’s connected to any of these potential health-related actions. Maybe that’s not any easier but could help to come at it from another direction. Good luck

    • KC

      I think looking at what you’re genetically likely to have issues with later in life is a good start (osteoporosis? weight-bearing exercise and calcium and vitamin D for you! diabetes or heart disease? diet changes and exercise start now!), and then prioritizing based on quality-of-life vs. cost. If you’re going to have to do something eventually, and you have the money/time for it now, and it’ll have long-lasting benefits that start now, then… do it now. (aka, I vote for therapy. You can be brave.)

      Speaking as a product of a lot of orthodonture, I’d differentiate between orthodonture that’s going to make a health/cost difference (either for chewing or for, say, making cavity prevention easier) and orthodonture for cosmetic reasons. If you’re good with your smile, then it doesn’t have to look like it came out of a tooth-whitening-product ad. If you can’t bite sandwiches because your teeth don’t line up, then maybe that’s worth it? Or if you only smile with your lips closed or hate photos, then maybe it’s worth it? Some people with extra-flexible connective tissue apparently have more issues with orthodonture regressing, and if that’s your boat, is it worth it to get something done that’s just going to go back to where it was? (I’d vote not in that case)

      Facials, eh; massages, also eh, unless they’re really stress-reducing for you (and if stress is currently a “limiting factor” or affecting your life negatively). But slight increase in exercise and eating slightly larger numbers of naturally-differently-colored foods and drinking more water? Yeah, I’d go for that.

      I guess: what is either already having a negative effect on your life or most likely to have a negative effect on your life in the future; then, of those, what is the easiest/cheapest/fastest to make a small positive change that will have long-term effects?

      But I hear you – it’s hard to know exactly what to go for or how far to go. But for most people, “how far to go” in the diet/exercise realm remains entirely theoretical – if someone thinks “I don’t want to fall off the deep end with exercise and use all my free time exercising”, but currently doesn’t exercise at all, or “I don’t want to only eat lentil smoothies” but currently primarily eats cheetos, then they’re kind of borrowing trouble a bit too far in advance, yes?

    • Jess

      In the end, what I go for is the same question I ask when I feel jealousy coming around: if I had/were ___, what about my life would change?

      I try to be really honest – if I had smaller thighs, not that much would be different, I would just look a bit different in shorts. If I cook healthier meals, I will have less stomach trouble. If I spend money to decorate my apartment differently, I will still probably have clutter everywhere. If I seek help for my depression, I may be able to reconcile my lack of steady friendship in childhood and have a little more confidence with the friends I have today.

      So for me, something that has a big impact on my life (feeling more stable in my friendships and relationship w/ R, not being in constant physical pain that prevents me from being active) takes precedence for my time, energy, and money over something that doesn’t (still needing to wear contact lenses, missing the hamper and leaving things on the floor).

      Sometimes, I just take care of myself in small ways that aren’t such investments. I paint my own nails, I take a longer shower than usual, I buy a cheap foam roller for my back and use it during TV commercials instead of going to a spa.

    • ElisabethJoanne

      Thanks, all! I think the message is “Don’t be persuaded by every ‘wish I’d done it sooner’ story. Know yourself.”

      • KC

        I finally got a preventative scan done that I was supposed to get done 3 years ago, and it came back clean, and it’s nice to have off the back of my mind, but otherwise no big deal. If it hadn’t come back clean, I would have been kicking myself Big Time. But it was almost certain to be clear, so… yeah. But if it hadn’t been, then Major Consequence Time. That’s a choice I would slightly prefer to make differently (would have gone 3 years ago) if given the option, because it would have been more responsible and the “ought to” wouldn’t have been hanging out taking up brain space for that long, but it worked out fine as it was.

        Know yourself and, insofar as you can guess, prioritize based on what is most important (and/or is lowest-cost, whether that’s time or money or energy or just plain doing-things-you-hate, for highest-dividends). Sometimes we can’t know what we’d enjoy most or miss most or would have the most impact until it’s there or gone (if someone gave you a towel warmer, would it be Revolutionary or No Big Deal? I’ve heard from both extremes!), and you just have to let that be what it is, and part of life is guessing wrong sometimes. But do your best, ideally keeping an eye on investing in your future and your present, and let the rest fall where it falls?

  • Alison O

    Oh Meg, CONGRATULATIONS on your great sleep thanks to the chiropractor visit!

    Anyone have a recommendation of a good chiropractor in Los Angeles??

    I’m not sure they could help much with my issue, but I will try anything…if it doesn’t break the bank and isn’t toooo weird. :) I have a slipped disc in my lumbar spine that reared its ugly head in 2005 but then didn’t bother me from about a year after that until two months ago when we packed up and moved across country. I’m not sure if it was more the packing, or more the constant sitting/driving in the truck that got me (prob both), but I have only slept well one night since we moved, and I’m constantly fidgeting and stretching when I’m awake trying to get comfortable. I’ve restarted my physical therapy exercises, and my (doctor) partner got me a TENS unit at 10pm at night off Craigslist from an EMT in Amarillo halfway through our road trip bc it was already that bothersome. I am trying to stay hopeful that ‘this too shall pass’. I feel lucky that I’m not yet working here so the lack of sleep isn’t causing me as much distress as it might if I were really under the gun in other parts of my life!

  • Bsquillo

    That post on bloggers making money really resonated with me. Why aren’t creatives allowed to say that they want to make money? (Especially creative women?) Why must we be martyrs to what we create just because people think it’s fun?

    Not saying that making money should be the top priority (but if it is for you, then OWN IT). I would like to formally declare that as a musician by trade, two of my goals are to create lots of beautiful music, and to be financially successful doing it. BOOM.

    • KC

      In some cases, I think there’s a fear of contamination – that what you create will be affected in a negative way by the means used to procure money. (like ads for gas-guzzling cars and disposable everything on environmentalist blogs… but more subtle shifts from original goals/intents/creative-thingies can also stick out)

      In other cases, there’s jealousy at play. “You get attention – so why should you be getting money *too*? I want all that. It’s not fair. You’re not better than I am. You got it too easily.” sorts of things. (I have a friend who writes a cooking blog, and was asking “why does [famous cooking blogger] have such a large following and I don’t? I write well, and my recipes are as good!]” to which my answer was “well, she’s been blogging for 3 more years than you have, and before that she wrote for newspapers so it’s not like she’s new to this rodeo…” which is not the “dude, she *totally* doesn’t deserve the success she has” answer that my friend was looking for. Oops.) And people who wish they could have the results without seeing the toil behind it are likely to be especially unreasonable on this count – if it looks effortless (and like it took less than 30 minutes a week), then it seems more reasonable for it to be a totally free hobby.

      And then, as a “consumer”, there’s sometimes a sense of feeling like you’re the product that’s being sold, and that feels kind of squicky, especially depending on who you’re being sold to, how, and what level of consent you have in that (esp. with data mining, etc.). I don’t mind being “one of X many eyeballs who will see your ad!” (and especially am happy to lean towards businesses that support sites I like!) but I do mind being profiled and especially profiled and connected across sites – but I also recognize that data mining can lead to a whole lot more cash from companies to websites.

      That said, yes, the ideal case is for people who want to create full-time to be able to get that financial support in, potentially, a variety of ways, without getting tons of mud thrown at them. Throwing mud is basically never a good adult choice, and yet so many people choose to do so…

      (note: I would, however, differentiate between potentially-constructive criticism such as “this sponsor seems like a bad fit for your overall message” and not so constructive “no sponsors! why do you have sponsors! you shouldn’t need money! so lame!”)

      • Bsquillo

        I hadn’t even thought about the data-mining angle (since most of what I create is not web-based). That’s a great point.

        I just think it’s crazy that everyone is telling creative artists that in today’s economy “you have to learn about the business side,” “you have to be your own booking agent/manager/publicist,” “you have to promote yourself,” etc, and then they turn around and say “I CAN’T BELIEVE YOU’RE SELLING OUT!” (I’m most familiar with the way the music world works, so insert your creative industry here.) We’ve made it basically impossible for artists to make a living by being artists alone- they also have to be entrepreneurs, and social media experts, and salespeople to get their work to an audience. Yet we scoff when they actually put these skills to use.

        Perhaps we should replace throwing mud with throwing something more fun….like glitter?

        • KC

          Yes, I really detest non-consensual data mining. (If it helps someone do their creative thing, I’ll totally give you some data, but I want to be in on who exactly gets what information on me.)

          It is weird. I think the first part is possibly a bootstraps/american-dream sort of relic, because then if someone’s not successful, then they just didn’t do enough of the things-to-be-successful, and the theory remains unchallenged.

          I think sometimes there’s a “you should work to be successful but you can only be *this* successful before we have problems with it” sort of thing, both with creatives and sometimes with friends. It’s so exciting that our unemployed friend got a job at our approximate reward level or lower! Kind of… less exciting sometimes… when a friend is earning 100x more than we are and/or is able to apparently effortlessly get the things we want. I don’t tend toward jealousy (thankfully, since I’ve got a lot of highly successful friends!), but I can still feel that “you’re maxing out your permitted success level” thing in me sometimes, which is bad news bears.

          And yes. Glitter throwing, all the way. :-)

  • Natalie

    I need to vent… People keep telling me, “don’t do that for your wedding, you’ll be too stressed out.” “you won’t have time to do that.” “you’ll want to spend every moment with your out-of-town guests, so don’t plan to do your own flowers or your own hair or whatever…” I am so sick of women who don’t know me, who have just met me, telling me what I am and am not capable of, what I will and won’t feel. What IS it about weddings that makes random strangers and friends-of-friends believe they know better than I do about who I am and what I’m capable of??!!

    The latest case: After leaving messages with a couple local florists and not having my messages returned for 5 business days, I decided to use APW’s tutorials to make my own wedding bouquets (not centerpieces, just bouquets, boutineers, and corsages). The wedding is 2 months away, and I have a trial run planned for this weekend, so if it ends up being way harder than Meg says it is, I still have time to find a florist who will make an appointment with me. But this idea/plan has women I don’t even know (who overheard me talking to a friend about the possibility) telling me not to do it. Gah!

    I’d love to hear from other APW-ers whose DIT/DIY projects were poo-pooed by people who said it would be too much, or too stressful. Was it really? Or was it a fun, magical way to prepare for your wedding?

    • Emma

      We did not try boutineers (sp?) because they seemed way too complicated, but one of my favorite memories from my sister’s wedding was making the bouquets with all the bridesmaids (and bridesman) in the hotel room the night before the wedding! It was a wonderful way for the wedding party to get to know each other and the flowers ended up looking really beautiful! And we used Meg’s tutorial, BTW.

      • Natalie

        Thanks! That is good to hear. I was thinking it could be fun. I don’t have many out-of-town friends coming, so I thought it would be a fun way for the out of town friends who do come to get to know my in-town friends. And a fun way to include many of my close girlfriends who aren’t in the wedding party (because they like playing with pretty flowers. Who doesn’t?).

        • Emma

          Yes! We also had an out of town friend not in the wedding party help (she’s the girlfriend of the best man and didn’t know as many people there) and it was a really nice way to include her, and also she was the best at the bouquets so that was another plus!

          • Natalie

            aww, that’s nice!

    • ART

      We had a shit ton of DIT/DIY that was magical but also a bit tiring in the end, but I so feel you on the thing where people tell you what you can’t do. My mom and fiance made me cry one day when, one whole year before our wedding, I mentioned wanting to make simple papel picado to decorate our tent and they went sort of nuts trying to talk me out of it. In the end, I didn’t make those but I did make well over 1,000 feet of garland (coffee filters…yay!) that looked bad ass, everyone loved it and I didn’t go insane making it (actually it was very meditative).

      I think the flower tutorials on this site would be really helpful. We got Blooms by the Box flowers delivered (wonderful) and, magically, my sister took over and did all the arrangements/bouquets/boutonnieres for us. I’m still not sure HOW we would have done it without her, but we would have.

      Know your limitations of course, but also know your capabilities!

      • Natalie

        I’ve been looking at Blooms by the Box (because of the APW posts), and it seems so much more reasonable than hiring a florist. It’s good to know that your flowers turned out well using them!

        And yeah, I hear you about the meditative crafting. I’m knitting each of my bridesmaids lace shawls as their gifts, and a big white one for myself, for us to wear at the wedding when the sun goes down and it gets chilly. I’m a good knitter, though, and I knew I’d had enough time AND that it would be forced meditation time – time that I need to stay sane but might not have otherwise taken. People told me I wouldn’t have time or would be too stressed out to do that, too.

        I’m sorry your family made you cry about your proposed project. My Mom did that when I told her I was going to do the APW Whole Foods wedding cake with Trader Joe flowers. She said I’d be too busy. My roommate/bridesmaid overheard the phone argument and cut in with “I’ll do it for you. I like flowers.” That solved that. But it’s sad to feel like your loved ones underestimate you.

        • KC

          If you can, maybe recast “loved ones underestimate you” as “loved ones want you to be as relaxed and happy as possible”? (but I have a hard time recasting that as well, so… your mileage may vary.)

          • Natalie

            Very true. Good way to look at it. I need to try to think of it that way.

        • Megan

          yay! A fellow knitter! I finished my wedding shawl a few months ago and my friend just did an amazing job blocking it for me. I had hopes to do them for my bridesmaids but I kinda doubt I’ll get around to it. Hope you post a pic of yours at some point!!

          • Natalie

            :-) hello, fellow knitter! I want to see a pic of your wedding shawl! I love the wedding shawl concept.

            I plan to make sure our photographer gets pics of me with my wedding shawl, and all the bridesmaids with their shawls.

          • Guest

            I don’t have modeled photos, but here’s a photo of it laid out and a close-up to see the pattern. Our wedding is in October so the leaves make sense :)
            The pattern is called “Forest Foliage” by Alana Dakos of Never Not Knitting and it’s Blue Sky Alpacas Metalico yarn (50% alpaca, 50% silk). Hope to see yours when it’s done!!

          • Megan

            oops. Sorry for the double comment…photos were not working!

          • Megan

            No modeled photos, but here’s a photo of it laid out and a close-up to see the pattern. Our wedding is in October so the leaves make sense :)

            The pattern is called “Forest Foliage” by Alana Dakos of Never Not Knitting and it’s Blue Sky Alpacas Metalico yarn (50% alpaca, 50% silk). Hope to see yours when it’s done!!

          • Megan

            Here’s a photo of it laid out and a close-up to see the pattern. Our wedding is in October so the leaves make sense :)

            The pattern is called “Forest Foliage” by Alana Dakos of Never Not Knitting and it’s Blue Sky Alpacas Metalico yarn (50% alpaca, 50% silk). Hope to see yours when it’s done!!

          • Natalie

            Oh my goodness, that’s gorgeous!!! I love how it looks like the leaves are falling off. And that edging… so pretty! After your wedding, please post a photo of you wearing it at the wedding. It will look beautiful.
            My wedding shawl is still on the needles, but I promise to post a photo once it’s finished. It’s a half circle shawl also knit in a 50% alpaca, 50% silk yarn (Knit Picks Diadem; pattern is EZ 100th Anniversary Pi Shawl: Camping). I figured my wedding was a perfect excuse to knit with extremely decadent yarn:-)

    • Meghan

      We did homemade bouquets and boutonnieres (and centerpieces, too) for our wedding. We ordered the flowers from fifty flowers (great experience) and put them together with help from a few folks in the wedding party the day before. I, too, heard from several people what a bad idea it was. “You don’t want that stress the day before the wedding!” “What if it something goes wrong?” “They won’t look professional!” My mom was especially stressed about this decision, and managed to find plenty of allies who agreed with her, so I was bombarded by everyone’s two cents on this matter for nearly a year before the wedding.

      Not to say “I told you so, Mom”, but we were so happy having done our own flowers. I’d argue it was even fun to put them together, and they turned out looking great (even if they didn’t look “professional”). And we saved soooo much money. In the end, even my mom admitted that it was a good idea. In fact, my sister and her husband made the same decision for their wedding this year!

      A few things that contributed to it working well for us: (1) It was one of very few things we had to do in prep the day before the wedding; (2) We had willing helpers (about 6 of us managed to do all the centerpieces, bouquets, and boutonnieres in about 90 minutes); (3) We only used one type of flower and it was very sturdy (gerbera).

      Don’t let the haters bring you down!

      • Natalie

        Thanks! That’s good to hear! The fact that your sister made the same decision after experiencing you doing your own flowers implies it turned out really well.

        I was planning for 2 hours to do all the bouquets, boutineers, and corsages, with 5 or so helpers. Sounds like it might not even take that long.

        My mother, too, is among the worst of the nay-sayers. She keeps saying that I need this or that, and I’ll ask her what she did at her wedding, and find out she didn’t have the whatever and didn’t miss it and it was all fine.

    • Erin

      DIY to your heart’s content. We outsourced outsourced outsourced and I completely forgot about flowers until 7 days ahead of the wedding. I did not DIY, but instead found a florist (yup, the first one I talked to) who said “Great, I think the less time the better – people way over think this stuff.” The point being, if you wind up needing to order some things last minute – it can be done. Not everything has to happen MONTHS in advance. Just, you know, in the even that you need a back-up plan. Best of luck and happy crafting!

      • Natalie

        haha. Nice! I agree with your florist.

    • KC

      I think more people hear the “we were so stressed!” the-couple-took-on-too-much stories and focus on those rather than what did get done… and people do have a general tendency to overestimate what they can get done in a particular time period (see also: work project deadlines, homework, remodeling, etc.). But yes, frustrating! I do think doing your own bouquets is totally fine, and if all else fails, you can just buy premade grocery store bouquets, wrap a ribbon around them, and it’s not the end of the world. It’ll really be okay.

      (I had a friend who mostly made her own wedding cake and totally DIT-ed the flowers, including tons of boutonnieres and corsages, and it was FINE. She had enough people to help; she had things scheduled with enough “space”; it was FINE.)

      • Natalie

        That’s true. People hear about and see the horror story things-go-wrong situations but don’t realize that all the things that went smoothly were DIY/DIT, too.

        Your point about allowing enough time is important. I had started to plan my wedding day schedule (we can’t do any setup in the venue the day before; it’s all got to be done day-of, which makes the schedule tight), and then I realized I hadn’t allowed for driving time from setting up at the venue back home for a shower, or from home to get my hair done, or from the hair salon back to the venue. It’s only 15 minutes each way, but still. Rookie mistake.

    • Nicole

      I think another question to ask yourself is how much do you care? We had a lot of people nervous about our plan to do our own flowers pushing for us to hire a florist. We talked and talked about it, but we couldn’t imagine spending so much on something that wasn’t super important to us, and we live in Seattle and love Pike Place Market and loved the idea of getting our flowers there. However, if things go off the rails and we can’t get flowers to do what we want, we won’t be disappointed. When I got a new, more stressful job this summer, we nixed our plan to do our own playlist and hired a DJ because we would care a lot about it, so it would be really stressful if we wouldn’t have time, and we were pretty sure we wouldn’t have time.

      We’re getting married in ONE WEEK! So I’ll know soon how the doing our own flowers thing will go!

      • Natalie

        Yay! Congrats! Please report to the APW community how your Pike Place Market flowers turn out. I expect they’ll be gorgeous.

        And I’ve considered ditching the whole idea of bouquets entirely, so I really won’t be upset if handmade homemade bouquets end up being not great. We’re getting married in a garden. There will be TONS of flowers there without me paying a ton of money for more to be brought in.

    • ElisabethJoanne

      Ours was sort of the opposite situation: We got lots of last-minute projects from our officiant and parents. (obtain ketubah, complete ketubah, scan ketubah, write about ketubah for programs; assign tables – make table names, complete escort cards; etc.) There were not the kind of people to whom you can say, “We’re happy to incorporate that, but we don’t have time to arrange it. If you put it together and all we have to do is show up, we’ll be there.” Had we had these surprises in addition to planned last-minute projects, like flowers, we would not have been happy.

      So, know not only yourself, but your people – the people who will actually be with you on your wedding day.

      • Natalie

        wow. Yeah, that would be rough while also doing your own flowers or other last minute crafts. I don’t think I’ll end up with those sorts of last minute surprises. My Mom is the type to bombard me with every detail 5 months in advance. Seriously, a week after we got engaged she was talking seating charts.

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

      I loved the projects we did (made my dress, made all the flowers out of ribbon). And I did get annoyed at the people who tried to tell me it was too much, or offered to help (with what skill sets I don’t know). I know myself. I know my stress levels. I know my skills. Leave me alone!

      I hear you. Just nod and say “It’s raining in Denver” or some other nonsensical thing.

      • Natalie

        HAHA. I love the “It’s raining in Denver” response. I’m totally using that.

        Your wedding projects sound wonderful. I did not try to make my own dress, because I can NOT sew. And I would be complete crap at making flowers out of ribbons. Mine would look like a very deranged 6-year-old made them. So I’m not for one second considering those sorts of DIY projects, as lovely and beautiful as they would be in the hands of someone competent. I know my skills and my helpers and choose my projects accordingly.

    • ABA

      We got that almost every time someone found out we were self catering our wedding, a lot of people telling me that I would not want to spend the time before my wedding cooking. Really? Do you know me, because whenever I am stressed I cook and it makes everything better. We also did our own flowers (from the grocery store) and did an iPad playlist for dancing. It worked wonderfully for us, we had a ton of help though and I had spreadsheets for everything. Far from stressful spending that week before our wedding getting things ready was a ton of fun! I would say go for it, remember you know yourself way better than strangers who have opinions on your wedding.

      • Natalie

        That’s a lot of DIT! It’s great to hear that it was fun and not stressful. I, too, cook for stress release, and plan to make some of the desserts myself.

    • moonlitfractal

      I might be in the minority here, but DIY projects actually REDUCED my stress level leading up to the wedding. It was good to have something I could work on a little every day to feel like it was advancing me toward my goal.

      • Natalie

        I feel that way about the wedding knitting I’m doing. SUCH stress release.

    • Misti

      So…I know you aren’t supposed to regret stuff (ha!), but since you have framed this as a potential learning opportunity – I wish I had done more DIY!!! I am a very crafty person, I really like to be busy, and well, I have never felt like I am very good at sitting around looking pretty. I always end up getting a run in my (metaphorical) stockings, or giant streaks of (non-metaphorical) grease or dirt or sap all over anything white I ever attempt to wear. I want to DO stuff, and moreover I love to do stuff I am good at, which is painting and design and taping, and all the other little detail stuff.

      I think that “know yourself” is a good theme that has already been expressed, but I would repeat it. I do know myself, but I listened a lot to the doubts and I scaled myself back a lot, and in that process I almost made myself crazy. In the end we didn’t use some of the stuff I did actually make, and I didn’t regret that at all! The point was to keep myself feeling useful and competent, which can be really difficult when your wedding looks different than expected. Also, crafts are calming, if that is who you are.

      Make a plan, know yourself, figure out what you really would freak out about if it wasn’t “perfect” (almost nothing, am I right?), be willing to let stuff go, and then get busy on that DIT!

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

      I did bouquets (4) and bouts (approx 5) with a friend who got married a year ago, and we did it all together the day before the wedding, and it was fun… (and they turned out beautifully, We uses the AWP tutorials.)

  • ART

    This was a frustrating week. My husband (then fiance) got health insurance from our state exchange for the first half of this year – he’d been uninsured since before I met him, so that was great. Based on his (tiny) single-person income, he qualified for subsidies. When we signed him up, I sat on the phone with the exchange for well over an hour to ask: when we get married and then file joint taxes for 2014, will his marrying me halfway through the year retroactively disqualify him for the subsidies (my income is higher)?? The rep assured me that no, the IRS would know when we reported the change in marital status and the first half of the year he’d only be judged on his income alone. Turns out, that’s the opposite of what’s true, as I’d feared.

    We considered getting legally married last December or January to get him on my insurance at work and just not worry about it, but decided not to because we thought it would not make much of a difference (his subsidized premium was the same amount as the spouse premium through my employer). Now it looks like we’re going to have to pay back 7 months’ worth of subsidy (advance tax credit) in our 2014 taxes.

    In the big picture, of course I’m ok with paying our fair share of taxes and not taking a subsidy we don’t qualify for. But I’m so, so disappointed because we tried so hard to get the right information before signing him up, and it was just very inaccessible – the focus, of course, was (and still is) on signing people up and becoming eligible, not on how to cancel your coverage when you want to get out of the exchange. Now it turns out we bought him *really* expensive insurance coverage for 7 months when we could have gotten legaled earlier and saved like $1100. Soooo frustrating.

    • Emma

      So frustrating! My boyfriend is a navigator (helps people sign up through the exchanges and medicaid) in MD and there is just so much misinformation. He has mostly dealt with complications from immigration status, but I hear a lot of similarly frustrating stories from him, so I know you are not alone!

      • ART

        Yeah, finding out that the first person we talked to had given me *exactly the opposite of true* information made me want to cry. Nothing I can do about it now, and I love the ACA in theory, but I feel somewhat screwed by the roll-out :(

        • MC

          The fact that you are not alone is just another reason that my fingers are crossed that SOMEDAY the US will come around to single-payer healthcare. Like, the real reason that so many people are under/uninsured? Private industry healthcare is inaccessible and confusing as fuck.

          Sorry to get on my high horse, but I also have friends that work as navigators and people that have been screwed over my misinformation, and I just wish we would look to other countries that are doing it so much better than we are and take note…

          • ART

            100% with ya. And BTW, I’m not sure if the person I spoke with back in December was a navigator or what, but I don’t even blame him – I mean, they had SO MUCH to do to help people sign up that of course helping people un-sign-up a bit later was not their highest priority, so I’m not surprised that it was totally confusing.

            In hindsight, I really should have seen this coming. It’s sort of painfully obvious to me now that this is how it would work with the taxes and stuff, so I’m also kind of pissed at myself. And dammit, I hate that feeling :)

        • Emily

          I love the ACA in theory too, but our experience (it caused our insurance that we were very happy with to be ended, so we had to go with it) has been terrible.

    • ElisabethJoanne

      My mother’s a doctor, and she says my husband is the only person she knows who’s benefited from the ACA. He needed surgery right as I was switching jobs, so we got him on a platinum plan for that month in-between, and he had the surgery and the pre-op diagnostics for relatively little out-of-pocket.

      But. Our paper applications, submitted complete and fully timely, were likely just ignored. We stressed out to then apply online by the deadline, which they kept moving. Also, the online application asked for information the paper application didn’t, and which we didn’t have – his naturalization number. We had to fudge that bit, and I’m not sure asking a citizen about national origin is legal. (The paper application just asked citizenship status.) I can’t imagine the headaches if we were looking for a subsidy.

      Canceling was sort of hard. We just stopped paying, and eventually they got the message. There were some issues with providers billing the wrong insurer, and the wrong insurer paying, but those appear to have worked out. Completely unrelated to the ACA, we’re still challenging medical bills from the spring of 2013, though.

      • ART

        To be totally fair, it would have benefited him if he’d gotten sick or injured, and it benefited me because it gave me a little peace of mind. I think maybe next year will be better. This year just…sucks. The applications are bonkers, like you said. The California exchange one dumbed down the questions so much that I couldn’t even tell what they were talking about. “Last year’s Income” – gross or taxable? we’re applying for a 2014 benefit, so do you want 2012 (now super old) or 2013 (hadn’t done our taxes yet)? At least REFERENCE the 1040 line, FFS! The website suuuuuuucks. But they knew that. They still do. Now we’ve reported his household income change and they essentially just deleted his account since he no longer qualifies for a subsidy, so they can’t even give us any info on his account when we call. O.M.F.G.

        • ElisabethJoanne

          Yeah, I got the impression that in trying to make it easy for people unfamiliar with government forms, they made it really confusing for conscientious people. Like the naturalization number – I’m sure that was so the computers could decide if he was eligible, rather than our working it out ourselves, but he was clearly eligible because he’s a citizen. He has a US passport! They were also probably trying not to scare away non-citizens by not asking that question up front, and instead very nearly scared away a citizen.

          But I once had to apply for health insurance as an individual before the ACA. They wanted every doctor’s appointment for the past 5 years, and every health complaint you may have raised. It was the absolute worst. So glad we don’t have to do that any more.

          • ART

            Yup – my younger brother was redlined at age 21 because he’d survived leukemia at age 14. Better now, but still, holy crap.

  • Emma

    We got the keys and moved the first load of stuff into our new apartment today! Any advice for navigating the first few months of living together? We’re both super excited, but also a little nervous because it’s just such a big step.

    • Ragnhild

      Ive read a couple of the posts from the APW archives today on this topic, and I think you will find some advice there.

      • Emma

        Great idea!

    • Natalie

      I have found that my biggest issue living together is that when he leaves dirty dishes in the sink for days, or used tissues in the bed (gross!), or tracks in mud without cleaning it up, my instinct is to let it fester until I explode with annoyance. My partner does not respond well to that. I’ve learned that for us, the best thing is for me to calmly talk with him about how waking up to dirty dishes makes me start my day feeling stressed out, and ask him not to do it. And then a few weeks later, have the same talk. And then again in another few weeks. It’s much better than exploding with dishes rage. And I think he’s getting better about not doing the things that bother me. But we certainly fight less than when I would yell at him for leaving two dirty bowls in the sink, after weeks of doing his dirty dishes. And I feel a lot less stressed out and unhappy about it, which is good.

      • Emma

        Haha I’m sure we’ll be having loooots of conversations over the next few months. I’ve noticed recently when we’re doing things like cooking that I have very particular ideas about how some things should be done, that I don’t quite realize how I feel about them until he does it differently. My instinct is to say “stop!” and show him the “right” way to do it, but of course how he does it is perfectly fine and I just need to remind myself of that haha

        • Natalie

          My partner does that to me! I’ll be chopping vegetables and he’ll try to show me the “right” way to do it and then I have to resist the urge to jab him with the knife. He has learned, after I’ve stormed out of the kitchen multiple times, not to tell me I’m doing it wrong. Especially if I haven’t eaten in 6 hours and I’m trying to get a quick dinner on the table! :-)

          • KC

            If no blood is flying, and the veggies are getting cut into smaller pieces, you’re not doing it sufficiently wrong. :-)

            (that said, I do get Very Nervous whenever my husband plays with the poultry shears in the kitchen, just twirling them around or opening and closing the spring while balancing them or whatever, because those things are made to cut through bone. So there are different ways of Doing Things Wrong. :-) )

      • Grace from England

        When I was younger I was determined not to be one of those women who yells to her partner about dishes. Cue me about 2 years into living together ugly-crying while my boyfriend asks “are you sure there isn’t something else bothering you?” Before I scream “I just want you to DO THE F*$%ING DISHES!!!!!”. It worked!

        • ElisabethJoanne

          Part of learning to communicate is learning to take your partner’s word for it when they go through the effort of honestly declaring what’s bothering them. We’ve definitely had several conversations along the lines of “Yes, I’m really this upset you didn’t put away your laundry. No, really, nothing else is bothering me.”

          And, a bit later in the maturing process, “I don’t want to have to get really upset. Neither of us like that. You’re late doing x,y,z. Can you do it right now?”

          Also, particularly in the mornings when I’m grumpy, “I’m not angry. I’m not upset. I’m pre-upset. I asked you to do a,b,c, and you haven’t yet, and I’m worried I’ll get so stressed I’ll do it myself and be resentful / it won’t be done in time / etc.”

          • lady brett

            “pre-upset”! um, yes.

    • Tooter

      Turn the tap on when you’re in the bathroom. Or plan ahead and turn the stereo up! Because farts happen.

      • me too

        haha, i <3 our loud as hell bathroom fan sometimes

      • Grace from England

        Early in our relationship we went on a mini break to Bruges. We’d never stayed in a hotel before. I went in the bathroom to get ready to go out, and accidentally farted really loudly. Then I started laughing. He said “um, are you laughing because you farted?”. I’m SO sexy.

        • Megan

          I was so thrilled that we both broke the ice really early on–I don’t think I could’ve coexisted with him having to hide our bodily functions. Especially during the time when I was eating Fiber One bars for breakfast every day before realizing that they caused my GI issues!!

        • Lawyerette510

          Two weeks after we started dating, now husband was spending the night with me, and I farted so loudly it woke both of us up, all I could do was laugh and thankfully he started laughing too. That pretty much broke the ice and the ice full on dissolved when we lived in a van together in Central America for 6 months. Farts happen and they’re pretty funny most of the time. But the one rule that remains after 6 years of sharing a bed (and many many nights in a van or a tent) is pooping with the door closed (when there is a door to close) no exceptions!

    • KC

      We had two main things:
      1. the way our families had done things was The Right Way to do things… and this is not the case and needs to be negotiated
      2. my [items on the floor] is [item on the floor] exactly where I put them; your [items on the floor] are annoying clutter (this worked both ways)

      Keep communicating, silly solutions are okay (yes, you can buy two different brands of dishsoap if there is Only One True Brand, and then whoever is using dishsoap can use the One True Brand and it’s all good), and use HALT (aim to only have discussions when you’re not Hungry, Angry, Lonely, or Tired already) – you can write things down if you want to discuss them later.

      Also, premarital counseling was awesome for us on communication differences.

      • Emma

        Yes! Especially number 1. I wrote this in a reply to Natalie, but that is something that is so hard for me to remember! I think for my boyfriend this is more where our class differences come up- he trusts certain brands and stores more and prefers to pay more money for them, I prefer to buy the cheaper option that works just fine.

        Also, I love HALT. I might need to make some reminders for that and stick them around the apartment :)

        • KC

          It’s amazing how many arguments… er… “intense discussions”… get canned when you realize that you’re actually only emotional about the fridge magnets because you missed lunch, or got yelled at at work and are still processing that, or just need to get to sleep already, or whatever. Which is not to say “ignore important issues”, but… work them through sometime when you both have the resources to do it kindly. :-)

          • Emma

            I mentioned HALT to my boyfriend just now and he said, “but I’m always hungry! When would we ever have discussions??”

          • KC

            That’s awesome. :-)

            Also: while snacking. :-)

          • Emma

            That’s what I said :) discussion snacks!

        • MC

          Living with my fiance has revealed a lot about our subtle class differences – even though we were both raised in white, upper-middle class families, looooots of our conflicts came from, “That’s how your family does things because they have more money than my family.” Like, I almost felt bad that I needed to point it out to him so much. But having those conversations opened up space for us to have a lot of other great conversations about class, social status, etc. And now he talks about his White Male Privilege all the time!! *swoon*

          • Emma

            yes! Although my family was more working class/solid middle class as I got older, but still pretty solid financially. That plus my “nontraditional” family structure (divorced mom and dad/lesbian mom and stepmom) are the biggest differences in our upbringing. Luckily he’s great at listening and also responds really well if I point out something that he said that bothered me.

      • Natalie

        “yes, you can buy two different brands of dishsoap if there is Only One
        True Brand, and then whoever is using dishsoap can use the One True
        Brand”

        This. We do this. We also do this with kitchen sponges. This has saved us many silly fights.

    • ElisabethJoanne

      Separate spaces were key for us. I have a side of the closet that’s all mine. He has a file cabinet so I know his papers will not consume the apartment.

      • Emma

        That’s a great reminder to start thinking about what those spaces will be! We spent this year spending about half the week at his childhood home (sometimes more when I just couldn’t handle my house anymore) and it was great, except there wasn’t any room for “my space”. All my stuff was kinda stuck into random shelves and drawers and it just added a layer of stress.

        • ElisabethJoanne

          Leave some time and money to set up those spaces. I’d move in with what you have and declare nothing permanent. After a few weeks, you may realize you need another bookcase, or dresser, or the couch should be turned around. Assign a trial period for working that out (2-3 months, I think). But since unpacking can literally go on forever, also set a deadline for fully furnishing the place – after that day, you will stop spending weekends rearranging furniture or scrounging Craigslist and will just be content, maybe saving up for 1 big purchase, like a couch. I really like to plan a party for that deadline. It’s good motivation to get things done.

      • Ann

        Hells yes on the separate spaces, and separate spaces tailored to your needs. My husband and I just moved (after living together for years) and he doesn’t want to get additional furniture until we save up a bit more. Fine. I kept trying to be all “oh, it doesn’t matter, I can have an underwear suitcase *indefinitely*.
        And then, after two weeks, I just flipped out at him when he knocked over my underwear suitcase. And I cried about not having space in our bedroom. And we have plenty of space (we each have TWO closets! It’s wonderful), but apparently an underwear drawer is deeply important to me. So lesson learned. It is not worth fighting over underwear.

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

      1 – Communication is key. My fiance and I have regular check-in conversations & we are open & honest with each other.

      2 – Learn to pick your battles. He may never pick up his socks or fold towels the way you do. Is that the hill you want to die on?

    • Grace from England

      1. Don’t rush unpacking. Take the time to slowly unpack as you discuss what should go where and why. Seriously. You will both probably have different ideas and then you’ll both have a system you’re happy with.
      2. When you discuss chores, discuss how often they should be done and what your definition of clean/tidy is for each space. My boyfriend’s idea of clean isn’t quite the same as mine.
      3. Once you’ve done the above, cut each other some slack. He isn’t going to do absolutely everything the way you would, so you’ll need to compromise and pick your battles. We’ve lived together for 3 years and this is still an issue.
      4. Enjoy it :-). Living together is awesome.

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

      Sticky notes on the cupboards.

      When we got married I rearranged his kitchen (he said he didn’t care, and there really wasn’t much logic to his system) and I put post-its on all the kitchen cupboards and drawers with what was in them so we wouldn’t have to open each cupboard every time we were looking for something. By the time the stickiness wore off we’d learned our way around the kitchen.

    • Megan

      Just know that you’ll definitely still need alone time from each other and let each other have it. Don’t be offended when your SO needs “me time” and you don’t. It’s great if your place has a second bedroom, or a separate living room from bedroom, so that you can be separate when you feel like being separate.

      It’s also good to establish mutual expectations about things like chores, etc. My fiance has very different standard levels of things like neatness, cleanliness, etc than I do, and sometimes we trade resentment because I end up doing more cleaning because it’s dirty to me but not to him.

      Otherwise, have fun. I was amazed that we didn’t have more issues to deal with upon moving in together! Moving to a bigger place a year later really helped. It can be tough to coexist in a place that’s too small, but of course, depending on where you live, that may not be an option.

    • Rose

      I got caught up, the first few months (or maybe years) that we were living together in thinking that the way things were then were the way it was always going to be, unless I made it change. She would never start helping cook. There would always be an ugly green ethernet cable across the living room because her laptop didn’t have wifi. The dishes wouldn’t get really clean unless I did them, and we’d always end up short of forks. Etc, etc, etc. And I’m not the best at communicating (also, we were both 22 and living on our own for the first time), and I didn’t want to pick on all those issues, but I thought if I didn’t get it straightened out *right now* that would be me for maybe the rest of my life. And I was really kind of grumpy for a few months, and really questioning if moving in together had been the right thing.

      Guess what, though? She started getting more comfortable in the kitchen and started offering to cook, often, and almost always does the grocery shopping now (and has gotten much better at picking out good fruit). I’ve gotten much more comfortable asking her to do the dishes, and it’s not an issue. We bought more forks. There is still sometimes an ethernet cable across the living room, but I’m living with it. And I got a lot happier, after I got used to living with her, and it was definitely the right decision to move in together.

      Anyway, my point is that you’re not locked into anything. Even if it takes a year or more to really change something. The pattern of the first few weeks and months is important, but it’s not really representative of your entire lives together.

      • KC

        Yes. Many years of marriage under the belt here, and while there are some things that do not change, other things can and do change.

        One of the surprising ones for me was that some things that had been issues stopped being issues once we had more trust established – it was like “oh, okay, I’m *not* going to get steamrollered everywhere? Then how we fold the towels is not a part of my individuality which I am vigorously defending and *must* defend lest I melt into an ooze of spousedom, but is just… how towels are folded?” and things were much less dramatic. This is part of why I say that you can just keep parallel systems (or, um, dishsoaps) going for a while in some cases; it 1. proves to each other that both ways of doing things do in fact work without having to argue it out to the bitter end, and 2. lets you get past that first hump of bristly independence. And if you always have two dishsoaps, fine – but most of those will settle themselves out eventually.

        Patterns of communication (listening, treating each other well, being interested in each other, fighting fair) are more important to start establishing early – but they’ll grow, too. :-)

        • Rose

          Yeah, we have two dish soaps too. It mattered a lot to me. Now? When we finish mine this time, we probably won’t buy more of it. Hers does actually seem to clean dishes, so.

          And we’ve also definitely gotten better at resolving issues, even as some of those issues disappear on their own.

    • SarahG

      A friend of mine said to me, “the first month sucks. Don’t worry about it.” And she was right. (Not saying that yours will, but if it does… it will stop sucking!). We just had a hard time adjusting to each other, and were both worn out by trying to be polite. Cue a crying fest on my part about 3 weeks in, and then a big talk, and then rapid improvement. Take heart! And enjoy the good stuff.

    • Emmers

      I’m so thankful for this thread! We’re moving in together soon, and I love all of these suggestions. And I think it helps me to realize that it is OK that there will be things that we adjust to– and some things where we don’t really, but we learn to cope with it. I think I’ve been terrified that we won’t be good at living together, and it will never get better! Like a perpetual bad roommate situation or something.

  • Ariel

    Happy Friday! It’s my birthday and I found out I’m going to be an aunt this week! :D

  • Sar

    I’ve been an APW reader for the whole wedding planning process and a happy hour lurker for the last couple of months. I’m getting married tomorrow, and everything about setting up and getting ready has been bizarrely perfect: everyone’s been having a happy, healthy, loving time turning this remote, rocky piece of land on an island in the Pacific northwest into a place to get married and celebrate together. Then, this morning, my fiancee woke up feeling ill, with a pain in his lower abdomen creeping towards the right… Surprise! Looks like he very likely has appendicitis. He’s at the hospital right now waiting for test results, and I am here with my future mother in law… stringing up lights? Because what else can you do? We’ve got 65 people (most of whom have had to take a plane AND car AND ferry to get here) arriving tomorrow, and we’ve got to have SOME kind of gathering.

    I’m keeping my cool, but I’m wrestling with a whole unholy cocktail of worry and sadness and disappointment and contingency planning. Everything was going too well! I should have spat against the evil eye and knocked more wood or something.

    I don’t know, let this be a lesson to us all (one we all already know, but sometimes need to re-learn on the ground) that you absolutely can’t plan for everything. Even knowing that I couldn’t plan for everything and that something was bound to go wrong at some point, I have to admit that I did not consider appendicitis in the mix.

    • KC

      I’m so sorry! I hope everything turns out awesome anyway. (which, it probably will. Just maybe a slightly-rescheduled or getting-married-from-a-wheelchair-after-surgery awesome?)

      • Sar

        Thank you for your well wishes. We’ll see what happens, I guess? There’s still some chance he could make it here tomorrow in some seated state. And another small chance we could talk our vendors into doing the whole thing on Sunday instead (though I think a bunch of our guests, including the officiant, were planning to leave the island that day…). Who knows what will happen. Let me tell you, nothing like a little appendicitis to get your event concerns in the right order. Yesterday I was worried that I was getting a zit on my chin. Haha!

    • vegankitchendiaries

      This really stinks! Man, oh man… You should like you’re keeping pretty cool and that’s highly commendable.

      The upside? Maybe it could be that it sounds like you guys are creating a crazy “you’ll never guess what happened on our wedding day” story for your future grandkids?

      I am so terribly sorry that you have to deal with this though. :(

      • MC

        My in-laws always tell the story of how my FIL had MONO on the day of his wedding – and for a few days after. Ugh. And they’ve been married happily for 31 years!

        Hope you have more information soon and that he’s out of the hospital ASAP.

    • Natalie

      oh, no! I’m so sorry! I hope he feels better quickly!

      If he’s released from the hospital tomorrow, you can still get married, right? And if not, you can still celebrate that fact that you are getting married with all your loved ones who came for the wedding by having a big wedding-themed party. And then get married at city hall or something next week? Either way, you’ll have a great story to tell about your wedding day and plans going awry. You sound like you’re handling it really very well.

      • Sar

        THANK YOU for your well-wishes. It turned out to be a false alarm, and the whole thing went off without a hitch (best. day. ever). I deleted my comments for his privacy, but thank you, thank you for chiming in with some APW love. :)

  • Kayjayoh

    Whew! I’ve had a sudden flurry of Boston-area job contacts this week, with several Skype interviews and phone screenings. I’ve almost lost track of how many positions, but I think it is 5 positions at two different schools. Now I just need something (the right one) to lead to a job offer.

    And we have a lease. So that’s done.

    This morning I told my boss that we are moving at the end of the month, and that went ok. Cross your fingers for me to get a job offer. A good job offer!

    (With this many positions showing interest, I’m a little worried about the possibility of getting an offer on one way ahead of the others. I know I’m getting ahead of myself, but I feel like I should have a plan in place to be able to ask for a bit of time to consider the offer, and then possibly contact the others to see where they are in the process?)

    • KC

      Hooray for a lease! Congratulations! Also, congrats on having told your boss – that’s huge.

      Usually you can ask for time (which can be covered under “need to discuss with partner” – my husband talks through his job offers with me, since they affect both of us); they will usually let you know when they need a response by. To reduce risk, it may be a good idea to show enthusiasm for some aspect of the job while you are asking for time, however, to get through that you *are* interested. (aka: the people in the interview seemed like great people to work with! I’m so excited about being able to do this or that job aspect! I’m so excited about the possibility of working for X school or Y department! – figure out something ahead of time that is true and is something appealing about each job; there ought to be *something* good about each one…)

      If you rank them in advance by what you know about them now, that may sort of help (but remember that the lowest-ranked one is still a good thing!), since then you only need to call those which are lower-ranked if you do get an offer, and you can just start in with negotiating if your “top choice” calls, unless you still need to chat with partner about it.

      Ooooor, a friend of mine just stopped answering her phone and let everything go to voicemail when she was trying to postpone a less-desirable job offer, such that she could call them back and not be caught flat-footed, so there’s that option to have the discussion on your terms/timing, too. :-)

      • ElisabethJoanne

        Seconding not taking the calls. I generally have my cell phone off at the office, and didn’t give potential new employers my work number, so this is my usual practice for all calls. I’ve never had a problem. Usually by the time they’re using the phone, instead of email, they’re pretty committed to giving you the offer.

        But every industry is different in how offers are communicated and what information they contain. Like, sometimes they offer you a job, but don’t say the salary. Sometimes you know the pay before you even interview.

      • Kayjayoh

        Great ideas. Thanks!

  • http://lmcphoto.wordpress.com Lily

    A dream create-your-own practice (I’m a counselor) opportunity just got dropped in my lap today–and I’m struggling with figuring out how to present this to my current job/employer, and if I should try to juggle both jobs, slowly transition, etc…

    I was an avid APW reader during my wedding planning–and dabbled in the entrepreneurship articles and threads–but now I’m looking for them in earnest! Any resources/articles anyone here can point me towards? Feeling both very lucky and very overwhelmed!

  • Nicole

    Guys – my boss and all my coworkers just surprised me with a surprise party to celebrate my wedding (next Thursday)! They decorated with decorations from their own weddings and showers and brought food and had a card as tall as my waist full of well-wishes! Our family and friends are trickling in starting tomorrow!!!

    Now I just have a great problem – how to get this giant card home on the bus!? :-D

  • Emilie

    Got married last Saturday! Can’t help myself:

    • Nicole

      wow! Looks amazing! Congratulations!

    • Em(ily)

      Gorgeous! Love the bubbles!

    • vegankitchendiaries

      Rockin’! Congrats!!

  • Rose

    All I want to know is when and where we’re going to try to have a wedding. Three states (ours, her family, and mine), none near each other, all with different options. And we’re on a pretty limited budget (I’m not even sure exactly what it is yet, but it won’t be big), which makes considering most venues tricky. I may be going overboard with a spreadsheet with tentative budgets for different venues and stuff in different states, but I just need some good idea of how much this will cost.

    Not to mention that I’m working far away again all summer next summer, so May-August is out, and I can’t get my advisor to commit to when we’re planting in the field again–sometimes we do it in June and sometimes in September-October. I really need to know that soon, though, because I’d like to plan a wedding for next September (if it’s in Colorado, otherwise it’ll need to be October) if I can.

    We’ve been saying for a couple of months now that “We’ll figure it out.” I’ve added a whole pile of information to the table in those months, but I don’t feel like we’re any closer to a decision, and I really just want to know.

    Wow, that’s a pretty good rant. Guess I’m more stressed about this than I thought. Anyone have any suggestions for making those first couple big decisions? We got the saying “yes” part down great, but I’m not entirely sure how to move forward from here.

    • Lawyerette510

      I would look at what location will make the planning and executing most enjoyable/ less stressful for you. There certainly are huge advantages to having it where you live (assuming you have no plans to leave soon) but also there are big advantages to having it near family that will be super helpful/ supportive without being controlling. I think it’s also smart to compare how much your wedding dollar gets you in each location.

      I know that we considered driving distance from where we live v. having to fly, and for us the logistics of getting what we wanted out of the wedding process just made sense to have it somewhere we could drive to (our important things were 1) good food 2) somewhere guests could drink and easily return to where they were staying without driving 3) tasting the food and seeing the venue before hand 4) ease of our getting there and 5) feeling like we were getting value for what we paid re venue and food). Had the now-husband been willing to have an engagement of a year or so, then we would have been able to do it elsewhere, but he didn’t want to plan for that long. So we ended up finding somewhere about a 2 hour drive from Oakland and planning it in just under 3 months from when we went to look at the venue to the day of the wedding.

    • Bets

      I have the same problem. We were thinking of planning a wedding for sometime next year, but I don’t know yet where I’ll be next summer, we’re long distance, and our families are from all over the world. I feel like, sure, I can pick a date and plan a wedding, but what if I can’t make it to my own wedding?

  • http://www.hellosamgoodbyesamantha.com Hello Sam, Goodbye Samantha

    I am in love with APW. I’m in the midst of setting up our wedding website (using Squarespace! Seriously, thank you so much APW) and I’m actually loving every minute of it. Even the slightly stressful budget talks with my chap. Even the “holy crap do things actually cost this much’ moments. Loving it.

  • EF

    I *HATED* that ivy league article when I saw it (and when my FB feed blew up with it) last week. This one is a fantastic response piece: http://www.newrepublic.com/article/118869/william-deresiewicz-ivy-league-essay-ignores-financial-aid-students

  • Kayjayoh

    Because it is only Tuesday and I don’t want to forget this by Friday:

    http://wondermark.com/1k51/

  • Callie

    Yes! I would like an Oakland chiropractor recommendation!!!!

  • Lindsay Eyth

    I just poked around my Etsy shop stats for the first time in for*ever* and discovered this post! Thanks for shouting out my IDFCIYLI shirt; I’ve been a fan of y’all’s for a long time. :)