APW Happy Hour


The boss is away, so the staff will play! Or rather, catch up and nap.

by Maddie Eisenhart, Managing Editor

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

HI APW!

Meg is on vacation this week, which means the inmates are running the asylum. Actually, it mostly means we’re quietly catching up after what has felt like a marathon couple of weeks (I fell asleep ten minutes into a nine o’clock showing of Guardians of the Galaxy on Monday night. It was embarrassing, to say the least.) I’ve been pretty thankful for the pause, because the news this week has been bleak, and it’s hard to pay attention to things like shoe roundups when there are riots in Ferguson and no more Robin Williams (we’ve got a special link section for #Ferguson this week, for anyone wishing to get caught up what’s been going on).

But I’m hopeful for the weekend. It’s Michael’s birthday, which I skipped last year to photograph a wedding. It was totally awesome, and totally worth it, but I was punished mercilessly by the universe with a sprained ankle. So I will not be repeating that mistake again.

For now, it’s your happy hour, so jump on it!

Cheers,
Maddie

Highlights of APW This Week

This seating chart photo display is an awesome way to make all your guests feel special at your wedding.

How do you know when you’re ready for kids? (Spoiler: you don’t.)

Making photo books with Blurb. In which we answer the question: how do you make a stylish, lasting photo book for less than $200?

Maybe forever shouldn’t be the goal of marriage.

Hitched, at six months pregnant. (The dress, you guys, the dress!)

First dance songs for your wedding. Or to jam along with at your desk.

It’s five o’clock somewhere.

Link Roundup

A review of Outlander, and a related article on the scourge of “relatability.”

Twenty-five hot guys in stripes. (File under: things I needed this week.)

How Nina Simone turned a movement into music.

One of the most poignant responses to Robin Williams’s death, on why funny people commit suicide.

Minimalism: are we doing it wrong?

Jezebel has a rape gif problem and Gawker Media won’t do anything about it.

This is why you need a vacation.

Two working parents, one sick kid.

Global parenting habits that haven’t caught on in the United States.

Texas abortion clinic protestors are being told to track license plates.

I will buying all the Bright Lab string lights for my house. Just as soon as I decide between metallic or rainbow.

The look and legend of Lauren Bacall.

A helpful guide for anyone that says women are not victims of harassment.

#Ferguson

What I saw in Ferguson.”

“If they gunned me down.” And “When the media treats white suspects better than black victims.”

Yes, you do have a right to record the police.

What military vets have to say about how the Ferguson protests are being mishandled.

Reporter Wesley Lowery gives an account of his arrest.

Mother Jones catalogs the horrifying events of Wednesday night, in photos.

How America’s police became an army.

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.

Maddie Eisenhart

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

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  • sara g

    My wedding is in 2 weeks and I am freaking out!! I feel like there are so many things I’m forgetting! Anyone have any advice as to last-minute things to take care of that will make my life (and my family/friends’ lives) easier on the big day?

    • Another Meg

      That was the time in our wedding when we wrote the check whenever we could. Sanity and calm was such a rare commodity at that time, we just threw money at whatever we could. YMMV.

      • sara g

        I am SO THERE. I’ve been spending money on things I never dreamed I’d spend money on. I am really regretting not hiring a day of coordinator, honestly. But it’s too late now. :(

        • enfp

          So I hesitate to mention this, but I hired a (non-professional) day of coordinator maybe a week before my wedding. He was a friend of a friend who had done it once before, and he was SO helpful! Of course, it might stress you out more to add something to your to-do list, but I just asked my sister to spread the word to her underemployed artist friends and then bam, I got lucky. I can’t imagine you’d get a professional day of coordinator two weeks out, but if it’s important to you to have help that day, it’s not necessarily too late to pull in some non-professional help.

          • sara g

            Unfortunately 95% of our guests (family included) are out of town and I don’t have any local connections. =/ I suppose I could put something up on Craigslist, but I really hesitate to hire somebody without a personal recommendation or something. Blargh.

          • Another Meg

            An out of town friend who is coming anyway might work. We had a destination wedding (3 hours from where anyone lived) and just had friends in charge of each event. That way no one had to take the whole enchilada. They each got a binder for their event. That might not work for everyone, but it worked out well for us.

            Even if you only have a friend in charge of tips and stuff for the reception. Just one person who has your blessing to make decisions so the caterer isn’t looking for you.

          • sara g

            Yeah, I do have a friend who is helping out day-of (mostly just taking questions from people and keeping people out of my hair). So that will be super helpful. I’m just trying not to ask her to do too much because she’s been overworked at other friends’ weddings and I want her to have a good time at ours!

          • Another Meg

            That’s great! And that will take most of the pressure off of you. If you’re worried about putting too much work on her, can she split the duty with a mutual friend?

          • Lawyerette510

            Sara g, remind us of where you’re at, as someone on here might have a suggestion.

          • sara g

            Seattle area (North Bend, specifically).

        • Another Meg

          I agree with enfp in that you might want someone. Even if it’s a friend who pulls together events for a living or is just organized as hell and willing to handle a binder the day of.

        • Alyssa M

          A resource I almost tapped for a non professional DOC: friends of my mom. Depends on what your parents are like, obviously, but I found there were several options who were trustworthy, organized, available, and eager to help in that group of ladies.

          • Alyssa M

            And I just read your comment about out of town family, so scratch that.

      • Kelly

        Yes. We had been pretty budget conscious up until the last two weeks and then it was just like, “whatever!” We just hemorrhaged money for a solid week or so. No regrets.

    • Kelly

      If you’re DIYing your alcohol, do not leave buying booze until the last minute, like we did, which resulted in completely unnecessary stress when Costco didn’t have what we assumed they would have. Also, stay hydrated.

      • sara g

        We’re actually having a dry wedding (family stuff…) so thankfully we don’t have that piece to worry about!

        • Kelly

          Ah ha! Well then replace “buying booze” with “any major shopping trip.” :)

    • Lawyerette510

      Having a timeline/ task list and having lots of people have copies of it made things better around our wedding. It helped me feel like I wasn’t in it alone. We asked all of my close friends (we didn’t have a bridal party) to help with something by the time the wedding rolled around, and everyone who was helping with anything (even if it was just something small like plugging in the lights for the photobooth that was already set up) was on there and had a copy of it. I found out after the fact that many people ended up connecting and backing each other up.

      • sara g

        Oh yeah, I shamelessly borrowed the APW spreadsheets and have an incredibly detailed timeline. I sent it to our caterer and even she was impressed, so I guess that’s a good thing? Ha! But yes, I’m keeping super detailed lists of who is doing what, and when, etc.

        • YetAnotherMegan

          Put a copy of the lists/timelines somewhere that they won’t be forgotten now! I got married back in my hometown and realized the day before that we had left all of that at home. We were good for the most part, but it came back to bite us when we didn’t have a spare to hand to the photographer day of (we had given her a list earlier but….)

  • Another Meg

    Oh god. This week has been one with All of the Feelings.

    I’m from St. Louis, many friends who grew up in Ferguson (it’s an inner ring suburb, essentially) and some who still live there. I’m up in Michigan for grad school, spending the last days of my internship crying at my desk and feeling helpless. I just. I just can’t. My sadness that this happened and that families have to deal with shit like this is tinged with the intense pride in the community who rose up and said NO MORE.

    And I missed the protest in Detroit last night because I only found out about it today. Boo.

    • Another Meg

      Also this. Happy tears.

      http://t.co/GBLaGMe4p5

    • yo

      Hi Another Meg — Where’d you go to high school? (aka I’m from StL too).

      I’m thankful I was previously scheduled to go back to my hometown this weekend (for a wedding no less!) so I can be with my family and friends and feel what’s happening in the community. I’m sad and angry and proud and generally confused, and I hope what’s happening there is a catalyst for change around the country in some way.

      Solidarity.

      P.S. Ladue, but I lived in Olivette.

      • Another Meg

        I went to Rosati-Kain (Catholic girls school in the CWE). Holla!

        I’m a little jealous. I have a wedding up here this weekend, which is the only thing keeping my husband and I from heading down there and helping in any way we can. I feel like a jackass sitting up here wringing my hands. The most productive thing I could do this week was re-tweet instructions to make a gas mask at home. And most of my family is bafflingly conservative, i.e. they are siding with the police, not the “looters.” Ugh.

        I drove a friend to the airport at 5 this morning, which, super fun. She asked me how I was handling things and after I sang a sad little song, I asked her how her week has been. Turns out, Robin Williams used to visit her summer camp every year (she’s from California) and someone from her high school committed suicide this week. So the rest of the car ride was an emotional shit show.

        • WeddAsh

          “And most of my family is bafflingly conservative, i.e. they are siding with the police, not the “looters.” Ugh.” –> Me too. Deactivated Facebook for the time being. Couldn’t deal / keep up with constantly trying to explain that their reality is not everyone’s reality.

          Some of the ideas in this link, but not all, are outdated but the author is updating as more ways to help are found. http://blogs.riverfronttimes.com/dailyrft/2014/08/7_peaceful_ways_to_respond_to_michael_browns_death_ferguson_unrest.php

          • Another Meg

            Thank you for this! I sent it along to some friends who are in the area and really aren’t sure what to do.

            Just don’t read the comments. Why, oh why do I do stupid things like reading the comments? I’m spoiled by sites like APW.

    • WeddAsh

      Here in the Lou (Manchester, specifically).

      It has been a rough week trying to process all that is happening here. Full of sleepless nights of worry for our unique region and the change that MUST spread from here, throughout this country.

    • Emma Klues

      Meg, we miss you! From the APW St. Louis crew, thank you, APW, for creating a space to inform others and discuss. For the first time in my life, I’ve felt the physical/physiological effects of depression (albeit likely situational and temporary) this week. We’re all just milling about with heavy hearts, for sure. I had the distinct privilege of meeting and falling in love with the Ferguson community a few times a few months ago, and my friend made a video that helps to show what happens there most days: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ue9nDQEGmsc

      • Another Meg

        Hi, Emma! Miss you back. I don’t know why I haven’t utilized the email list this week. It’s been so hard to be away from St. Louis during this. Especially when it’s all over the news, and it’s just so scary. We’re also in this weird place where we don’t always know where our family stands on this, so no one is talking about it.

        We had a (Michigan) family wedding this past weekend and I made the mistake of mentioning it to a conservative cousin. Ugh. That conversation was pointless and really frustrating. Yes, we are a military family. No, that does not mean we stand with the police. A lack of diversity in the police force is NOT because there are no black people who are educated. That’s like saying the issue in engineering is that women aren’t good at math.

        Anyway, the video is awesome and I miss our smart group of women. Say hello to everyone next time you brunch!

  • Katelyn

    Hi Happy Hour! I don’t know how many of you recognize me by now, I’ve been kind of an on-again, off-again commenter, but in the last year or so I’ve spend many an hour reading APW and commenting about my upcoming nuptials.

    Except, they didn’t happen. I’ve come around to the fact that it was all for the best, etc etc., but every day is still a new emotional adventure, 2 months later.

    I just wanted to reach out to you guys and express my appreciation for such a great community here. I probably won’t pop in much anymore, but needed this little bit of closure.

    And if anyone has interest in a sapphire engagement ring or a very beautiful but unconventional wedding dress, please send me an email at katelyn (dot) swartz (at) gmail (dot) com and I’ll keep you posted on when/where I list those items for sale.

    <3 <3 <3 I love you all, and thank you for being you.

    • Kayjayoh

      ((Katelyn))

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

      *internet hugs*

    • leafygreen

      :( That’s really difficult. Know that it will get better with time, and take care of yourself!

    • Megan

      Totally admiring your graciousness and warmth during what must be a tough time, even if it was for the best. Hugs to you. Take gentle care of yourself. <3

    • macrain

      Big, big hugs to you. xoxo

  • Anon for this one

    Last week I posted about a job situation, then deleted when I realized that I shouldn’t necessarily have it on the internet in a way searchably connected to my name. But here is an update:

    Job #2 interview went very well, but they are still not deciding until next week. Life will definitely be more simple if they choose someone else, but it does seem like both the pay and the benefits will be much better. So i’m just going to wait and see, and prepare myself for an uncomfortable conversation with Job #1 if they make an offer.

  • Mary Jo TC

    I posted 2 weeks ago asking for ideas of pranks for my brother’s wedding. Little did I know, my other brothers already had the matter in hand. They, two other groomsmen, and a friend dressed up as Mario characters with boxes around their waists for ‘karts’ and raced around the room in a mock MarioKart race. They had the music from the game, as well as a yellow star, banana peels and other props. I just had to brag: my brothers are the best! (But the Trojan horse at my sister’s wedding still beats all.)

    • Erin

      I want to go to all of your family weddings.

    • sara g

      This is the best thing ever, holy shit.

    • Amanda

      Thank you so much for this update! I loved reading about your family pranks a few weeks ago and really wanted to know what you guys came up with. So.Awesome.

  • Kayjayoh

    We are now 100% out of our old apartment. Most of our belongs are off in storage for the next two weeks, and we have begun the week of living with my mom before we hit the road.

    Moving out was super stressful. I had a bit of a crying breakdown when overwhelmed by the last bits of packing, but we handled it together. We are definitely hiring movers to do the whole thing next time. We had them for a few hours this time, and it was amazing. Our next move should be into a place we buy, so hopefully the last one for a long time.

    But go team!

    • Erin

      Congrats! Such an accomplishment. Deep breaths for the September 1 move in- it’s a race in Boston. And I *highly* recommend getting a parking permit for day of:
      http://www.cityofboston.gov/streetoccupancy/

      Welcome to Boston!

      • Kayjayoh

        Thanks!

        September 1 is also Labor Day. :) Fortunately, the place we are moving to (in Newton) has a driveway and parking, and my husband is in talks with the landlady and the city of Newton to see about getting our PODS container a permit to be on the street on Friday or Saturday. (So it is not blocking the driveway, but so that we have it on the 1st.)

        • Erin

          Ha – Newton, you’re fine! Driveway? Perfect. I was thinking major arteries with moving trucks parked on top of moving truck madness. Which is actually what we’re moving out of, on that same weekend…
          Ladies, rev your engines!

          • Kayjayoh

            Best of luck on your own move!

        • Jen

          And at least some people will be away for the weekend, so even better! And enjoy a GIANT sundae at Cabot’s :)

          • Kayjayoh

            True, but we basically don’t get to have our stuff until the 2nd.

            Mmmmm, ice cream. Definitely.

      • jashshea

        I still have nightmares about inter-Brighton moves the first weekend of school. *Shudders*

        Newton should totally be fine, though.

      • River

        Hooray for moving! We are currently packing to move next weekend, from Harlem to Queens :-) leaving our roommates behind for our first grown-up, just ours HOME (yes it’s a rental, but we’re both native NYCers so that is…to be expected?)!!!

        I gotta say though, having gone to school in Boston, I do NOT miss moving in Boston on “Allston Christmas”… Speaking of which, small plug:

        I am in a WEBSERIES about the trials and tribulations of moving in Boston on September 1st, entitled “Allston Xmas.” It comes out on September 1st, and the trailer just came out! It looks gorgeous and you can read about (and see the trailer) on Boston Magazine: http://www.bostonmagazine.com/arts-entertainment/blog/2014/08/11/allston-christmas-web-series-september-1/

  • Alyssa M

    Seven weeks out from my wedding and it feels like it’s finally time to do all of the stuff that had to be saved for the last minute (like buying 20 camp chairs from walmart and booze and creating the packing list) but I’ve completely lost my motivation for anything. Like… no motivation to vacuum or do more than bare minimum laundry… let alone making appointments to finalize stuff with vendors. Ugh.

    For those of you who were giving me feedback on my MOH bachelorette party issues a while ago, it has been resolved. Apparently the issues stemmed from bridesmaid meddling and re-clarification from me cleared things up. Best friend is coming, and her partner is willinglyand happily staying home now that her partner doesn’t feel discriminated against.

    Also does anybody whose read the books feel pretty meh about Outlander being referred to as feminist? Especially the first book??? There’s nothing wrong with it being a great book/show… but I have higher standards for feminism ivolving less rape-as-a-plot-device and justifying a spousal spanking…

    • MC

      I am six weeks out and UGH I feel you. We’re down to all the small decisions and actions and I just can’t bring myself to care about what we eat at the rehearsal dinner or making a sign to put next to the disposable cameras. Not to mention the ceremony is still 70% unwritten. The silver lining is that it’s close enough to get excited about all our friends and family coming to town! And excited that in less than two months we will be married and won’t have to plan a wedding anymore :) Hang in there!

      • Alyssa M

        OMGYES I know that excitement. Every time I make a reservation at my hotel for after October 4th, I’m like HOLY CRAP I’LL BE MARRIED THEN.

        • Natalie

          Yes! Making our mini-moon hotel reservations was awesome. I was all, “my fiance and I… well, he’ll be my husband then, ‘cuz it’s our honeymoon”!

    • Natalie

      We’re also 7 weeks out, and I hear you! I’ve done all the big stuff, but was having a hard time motivating myself for the little stuff. So I asked a friend who’s always excited about shopping to join me for an entire day of running errands around town. It made it fun instead of one more thing I had to do. It helped that we spent a lot of time at craft stores, which stresses me out when I’m alone but can be so much fun with the right friend. We bought all the little crap that I’d been putting off – ring bearer pillow, table numbers, stuff to make the seating chart display, etc. And I got friend bonding time.

  • lizperk23

    so we’re 5.5 weeks out. starting to cross things off (but also add things to) the list. biggest success this week was mailing the invites Monday (just under 6 weeks instead of 8, but so it goes, I’m forgiving myself). Huge thanks to APW not only for the practical advice but also for turning me on to Squarespace & A Printable Press, both of which we are using and loving (and getting compliments on, which is warm and fuzzy). woke up this morning with a yes RSVP from someone I thought was a long shot. so, yay friday!

    • Megan

      We sent ours out a couple weeks ago and getting RSVPs back has been SO fun! Non-junk mail every day! We’re getting a lot back quickly but I’m sure we’ll hit a lull soon. So far no major disappointments, which is nice.

  • Grace from England

    I LOVED that harrassment cartoon. It’s so comprehensive! The bit that got me thinking was the part about guys chatting you up, then apologising to your boyfriend and not you. Pi know I won’t stop noticing this now.

  • Megan

    I just had my annual review and got a raise AND a bonus! Working for an arts nonprofit, bonuses are pretty rare…and a 5% increase is also quite rare. The bonus and raise will hit next month, just one month before our wedding and honeymoon that we just dropped a lot of money on! wahooooooo! (trying not to think about the fact that this will probably be the only bonus for like, the next 5 years again, but this is pretty lovely timing!)

    • Jessica

      Congrats!

  • Annie

    I need a little help reducing my anxiety about our photographer.

    We booked her several months ago and really liked her style – especially of her indoor weddings (and our venue in particular). Since we booked her, though, her style has changed. Now most of her pictures are the on-trend combination of soft/washed out colors and a really shallow depth of field where none of the subjects are looking at the camera.

    That’s not what we want. My fiancee just says I need to relax, because if I’m nervous about how the photos will turn out, it will be obvious in the pictures.

    But I’m wondering if there’s a graceful way to mention it to her a few weeks before the wedding. Maybe reference the wedding from her portfolio at our venue and say we’d like our photos to be similar to that, specifically as it relates to us looking at the camera, vibrant colors and most of the frame in focus?

    Changing photographers isn’t an option, but I don’t think “just relax” is the only option, either.

    (Also I realize this is NBD, but every time she posts a new wedding or engagement shoot I start fretting about it! Stupid wedding brain.)

    • Kayjayoh

      Definitely talk to her. That type of style change is not set in stone. You know she can work in other ways. She’s just trying to show off what is popular. Let her know the stuff of hers that you really like, and explicitly ask her to use that style.

    • Rowany

      Just talk to her. You know she’s capable of the style you like, so really compliment those pictures and emphasize that that’s what you’d like for your wedding pictures. You could even refer to specific pictures from her portfolio so she knows what you are talking about: “like this – not like this”. Her priority is to take pictures that you will love, and I bet she will be both grateful that you appreciate her previous aesthetic and that you are open with her with what you want before the wedding, not complaining about the pictures afterwards.

      • Another Meg

        Yes. It might be that she’s been responding to those couples and what they wanted. Communicating which style you want will make both you and her happy.

        • KC

          Or even just responding to the trend; she’s gotta make a living, too, so if that’s what more people are hiring her for, then… yeah. But she has demonstrated she can do what you want, so you can ask her for that kind of thing.

          I guess, if a baker made a series of *fantastic* chocolate cakes and you ordered one for your wedding, wanting that particular chocolate cake, but then the next three weddings you were at had this baker’s cakes and they were all lavender-lemonade cake, I’d assume that this flavor of cake was just a new trend or series of requests, and that my chocolate cake was not in jeopardy unless I found out something to the contrary? She has the “recipe” in her portfolio, so it should be fine as long as she’s clear on what you want?

    • Allie Moore

      Not helpful to determining your course of action but maybe helpful to assuaging your worries — remember that what you see on her website is just what she’s choosing to use to advertise herself– she probably delivers hundreds of images that don’t make it on her blog/website and I’m sure people are looking at the camera in many of them (that said, I think the advice to just check in with her and focus on the things you love about her work is all very good advice)

    • Alyssa M

      Referencing her photos that you liked, and explaining why, sounds like a brilliant idea to me. It’s perfectly tactful and should really get your point across.

    • Kelly

      When I asked our photographer if it would be ok to send her a “shot list” (intending to send the one that Maddie posted on this site a while back), she replied by (very graciously) stating that she’s happy to have an informational list, but she can’t really handle an entire Pinterest page full of hundreds of shots to replicate while she’s shooting. I was like, “holy hell, no, that is bananas.” Apparently it’s becoming more and more of an issue for her. This might be something that your photographer faces, too, and I’m sure she’d love it if you pointed out the work she’s done that speaks to you.

    • Lawyerette510

      There is nothing wrong with telling her what photos/ style drew you to her and what you like. I’d say start communicating now, and let her know specifically which ones really resonate with you. She’ll want you to be happy with the photos, and if you don’t communicate she won’t have a clue as to what you want stylistically.

    • moonlitfractal

      My photographer mostly took those washed out, trendy photos that are so popular, but we went in making it clear that we wanted lots of bright colors. Photos came out great, even though they looked different from most of that photographer’s portfolio. Talk to them. Make sure they know what you have in mind. If they could do it before I can’t imagine there will be a problem doing it for you.

    • Maddie Eisenhart

      Talk to her. I’ve had lots of conversations like this with clients, and I’m always happy when the managing expectations part happens BEFORE the wedding, because there is nothing you can do afterwards. Just remember that only half of a photographer’s business is actually taking photos. The other half is customer service (and frankly, I’d say it’s more of a 30/70 split, if we’re being honest.) So unless this is her first time at the rodeo (i.e. she’s relatively new to the scene), then she should be able to have this conversation with you without getting defensive. In fact, I’m usually really grateful to have this conversation, because then I feel like I know what I’m getting into when I go to your wedding, instead of being surprised later.

      I’ve changed my shooting style (subtly, of course. I can’t change the way my brain works) for clients PLENTY of times. I just don’t talk about it openly, because it’s a delicate balance between making adjustments to please clients and totally changing your style because someone booked you expecting someone else. You sound like you fall into the former, so I think you’re going to be fine. :)

      P.S. Did you get an engagement session with your package? If it hasn’t happened yet, you can explain some of your concerns now and see if you can’t use that as a practice session.

      LASTLY. And I will never admit to saying this out loud. :) I have occasionally re-edited photos for a client who felt like the initial delivery (which thankfully was only a preview and not the whole gallery), didn’t totally match what they expected. While it’s not ideal (it is time consuming), just remember that digital photos can always be re-edited. Shallow depth of field can’t be changed, but just about everything else can.

      So I would say take your partner’s advice and relax first. Then set up a phone call with your photographer to chat.

  • Anon for this

    So, I’m in a super rough headspace because my dad, who has been married too many times, and is getting older, is debating splitting up with his wife of over a decade. And while I know as the daughter, it’s not my job to fix these things for my parents, I also know him pretty darn well and see how he’s contributing to some of the dynamics he’s upset about. So now I’m sitting trying to figure out to what extent it’s appropriate to give him advice/my thoughts on the situation, because inside I am screaming at him and crying at them… or just shut my trap and let their life unfold. It’s hard, you know, when you know you can have a minor impact on a situation, to know how much to act.
    #youngmarriedproblems

    • Lou

      I love giving advice, LOVE IT. But I can see where this is a situation best left to him. I’m sure he’s trying to figure it all out too, so unless he seems open or receptive to advice, I’d just let him know you’re there to listen and support him through this time.

      • Anon for this

        Oh, I should have said. He is super open to advice. He brought some things up that I want to respond to… so I’ve been sorting my thoughts.

        • Lou

          Hm, in that case, I’d ask him if he’s open to hearing you out. If you get a chilly reception or he gets defensive, back off and let him do his own thing.

  • K

    After 8 months of stressful Happy Hours, reading as others moved forward with their wedding plans and worrying about why we weren’t doing anything (and why we didn’t feel compelled to do anything) for our wedding, we FINALLY found a venue. It’s perfect for what we want and will allow us to have a wedding that we feel good about….After months of indecision and procrastination, I suddenly want to PLAN ALL THE THINGS. It happened!!! :)

    • leafygreen

      Congrats! :)

      I am on the precipice of making this transition from procrastinating to feeling planny, too. Almost have a venue. Almost…

    • macrain

      That’s a huge hurdle! I felt so much better after we nailed down the venue.
      Yay!

  • Beth

    Is there any chance that APW is planning to do another hair donation day? Mine was too short last year, but now it’s pretty long and I want to donate it, but could use the motivation/support!

  • MC

    Wild week here in our little life: Fiance accepted a new job that he’s really excited about, we bought plane tickets for our honeymoon, and today I get to see Justice RBG in person! And then so, so much tragedy happening around our country. Hard to balance my excitement about the little things with the sadness and outrage about the big things.

    And our RSVP deadline is tomorrow and there are still so many people that we haven’t heard from, ugh. Really, how hard is it to let us know 6 weeks before if you’ve planned a vacation to our wedding or not??

    • Natalie

      Ugggghhh. I hear you on the RSVP’s. I’m discovering that some people (our parents’ generation, who should know the “rules” by now) think that verbally telling the mother of the groom they plan to be there is the same as sending a formal RSVP for an event hosted by the bride’s parents and the bride. It’s nice to tell your friend that you plan to be at her son’s wedding, but that’s not the same as letting the hosts know you’re coming, who’s coming with you, if you’re bringing kids, and if you have any food allergies.

  • Kelly

    Married last weekend! We had a morning ceremony in a state park, a brunch reception, no wedding party and no dancing, and it was the most beautiful, warm, joyful celebration! As a sometime commenter but mostly site lurker, I just have to give a huge thank you to APW for helping us have a wedding that was perfect for us, and for helping assuage my fears of introvert burn-out over the course of the weekend. As “promised”, I was carried by a tide of overwhelming love and joy and was still not ready to retreat until we returned from our honeymoon yesterday (and of course now I’m unbelievably sad, but this too, shall pass). Here are some photos because I just want to relive it over and over and not think about all of the sad and terrible things that are happening in the world.

    Edit: photo uploader thing is being weird…can’t tell if the pics are loading or being treated as links to click on…

    • macrain

      Wahoo! You look so lovely and happy!

    • Lawyerette510

      That’s so lovely and happy and wonderful! Congratulations!!!

    • Caitlin_DD

      Your dress is so gorgeous!

      • honeycomehome

        It is gorgeous! Where did you get it?

      • H

        Second!

    • vegankitchendiaries

      KILLER! The location, the smiles, the DRESS (heck, your officiant’s dress!) – ALL KILLER! Congrats!!

    • Kelly

      Thanks, y’all!

    • Nicole Cherae

      So cool to see this. I’ve been on a research mission of late looking for daytime/brunch wedding ideas. It kind of scares me to say, “We’re not going to dance, we’re just going to hang out and enjoy ourselves.”

      • Kelly

        I know I’m really late responding, but I was worried about that, too, and people DID just hang out and enjoy themselves. We had plenty to “do” (photobooth, a bajillion lawn games, crossword puzzles, displays of old photos, nature trails in the park), and some people participated in those things to some degree, but there was a lot of just hanging out and chatting and enjoying each other’s company. And people were really happy!

  • ML

    Quick soapbox speech… Please consider not making asylum jokes. They are very stigmatizing of people who have mental health issues and need to be in a home or institution. It doesn’t mean they are dangerous or psycho.

  • Lou

    I’m also seven weeks out from the wedding, and it almost seems too easy (except stressing about money) that I feel pretty disconnected from it? That sounds weird, but it’s like we’re going through the motions and I’ve never had a significant moment where it’s fully hit me that we’re getting MARRIED. From the proposal to now, it just hasn’t felt Real. This probably means I’ll be overcome with emotion on the day of, but does anyone else feel this way?

    • Alyssa M

      I felt a lot like that early on when everything was going perfectly smoothly. Not really there anymore even thought I’m at 7 weeks out too, but I definitely know the feeling you’re talking about.

      • Lou

        It feels almost clinical, which is bizarre because I’m definitely not afraid of emotions. This just seems like such a weird thing to feel detached to planning something, haha. Good luck!

    • Amanda

      I can relate. Through the planning I had a spreadsheet so just continued to check things off. The day of the wedding I had a small moment in the morning “I’m getting married today!” and then a slow build up throughout the day as I got ready with my bridesmaids and mother. I got a big wave of emotion “OMG this is happening! We are getting married now!” When I stood behind the closed doors at the back of the church with my dad.

    • Laura C

      Conversation we had maybe three days after our wedding: “do you feel like anything’s changed?” “No. Do you?” “No.” Honestly, our wedding went about as well as it could but I don’t think either of us was overcome with emotion. We both almost teared up, maybe, but for the most part the wedding, at least for me, was about worrying about other people and how it would all go off. And I wouldn’t have felt very comfortable being very emotional in front of all those people I barely knew.

      Tl;dr I think it’s totally possible to be kind of disconnected throughout without it being a negative statement about you or your relationship.

      • YetAnotherMegan

        We were both significantly less emotional the day of than we were during the rehearsal. The rehearsal was more intimate and standing up there with the ministers for the first time really made everything hit home. The day off was nice, but we were both stressed from some stuff beforehand and could feel everyone watching us. We still felt some emotion, but it wasn’t a big “moment”.

  • Anon Now

    It’s been a bit of a rough week on the wedding planning front. My parents and I realized my grandfather who has supported me like crazy my whole life is too ill to travel for my wedding (congestive heart failure and senile dementia are setting in). So we’re moving it to him. This would all be fine if FH parent’s weren’t likely to throw a fit for no reason at all. They are all healthy, and much better off than any of my family, so the travel will be no problem for them. However FMIL is a control freak, so we’ll see. Also worried about paying for it now, since we went as low budget as possibly locally. It will work out in the end I’m sure, but it was rough. I’ve been switching anti-anxiety meds this week, so maybe this all much less crazy than it feels right now.

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

      Good luck. We planned our wedding to be in a location my grandpa could easily get to. Which meant we got married in a blizzard. But we wouldn’t have done it any other way.

      • Anon Now

        Thank you. At least it’ll be southern Louisiana in the summer, so a blizzard would be…. beyond miraculous ;)

    • Kayjayoh

      Best of luck!

    • swarmofbees

      We switched locations to Phoenix, in July, to have my father there. I had all of my defenses up in case anyone said anything about the location. Thankfully, absent one or two “but it will be hot” from MIL it was not a problem. So, there is a chance that your in-laws will pleasantly surprise you (Lord knows mine did – which was a minor miracle all things considered). If they do push back, then good luck to you. I found that many of my fears regarding how I thought people would act were really me imagining the worst case scenario. Which is exactly that – the WORST case, but not the only case or even necessarily the most likely case.

      • Anon Now

        Thank you. That is one of my worst issues with anxiety, imagining the worst and then being baffled and relieved when it doesn’t happen. I’m crossing my fingers.

  • Ann

    My childhood best friend has just set her plans for a really awesome destination wedding next summer. I am SUPER EXCITED. Plane tickets are also quite cheap this far out. The issue is my husband is looking to change jobs in January–so we won’t know about time off yet. The question is, do we go ahead and book now, and hope that a new job will accommodate (in engineering, so solidly white collar) or wait until he as a job lined up and can confirm? I vote book now since it would only be 4 days off… but he’s (reasonably) reluctant.

    A different note: the family rumor mill is saying that my 21 year old cousin now plans to get married in June–immediately upon college graduation. I’m trying hard not to judge–I firmly believe that the few years of working post college were important before my husband and I got married (still young, I was 25). I moved in with my husband at her age, and her uber conservative beliefs mean that’s not an option for her. So is what she’s doing really so different than what I did? I guess not, but I still don’t feel great about her marrying without working first. So… if I get an actual phone call, I will do my best to be enthusiastic….

    • Allie Moore

      can you book on Southwest? no change fees!

      • Ann

        Sadly, no. American Airlines is the only airline with reasonable flights from here to there (tiny island).

        • Ann

          By reasonable, I mean one stop (not 2 or 3). They’re also by far the cheapest ($450 vs $800).

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

      My husband and I firmly believe that being single through our 20s was the best thing in the world for us and gave us the marriage we have today. But we also know that it’s not for everyone and wouldn’t work so great for others.

      The path you and your husband took was the perfect path for you, but that doesn’t mean it’s the path your cousin needs to take.

      • Ann

        I know. I just am nervous that without that extra time, she’ll end up unhappy 10 years down the road. I want to do the big sister-y thing and suggest a longer engagement. But I know I should shut my trap. My aunt seems not entirely pleased (she wants her daughter to work for at least a year), either, and in their circle, my uncle could pull the “A longer engagement is the condition of you having our permission to marry my daughter” card. We’ll see…

        • Lizzie C.

          You’re right to worry with her lack of world experience, but (sadly?) it’s her choice. If she winds up unhappy in 10 years, well then screwing up is the best way to learn a lesson in my book. Sometimes the only way. And if that happens, it might be better for her to think of you as the supportive cousin who was there for her when everyone else was trying to talk her out of it, rather than one of the many disgruntled family members from whom she had to defend herself and her fiance.

          (I say this as someone who made an unpopular wedding decision and vividly remember who supported me and who tried to talk me out of it. The people who had my back will always have my gratitude.)

    • macrain

      If it were me I would go ahead and book, then figure it out later. I actually ended up changing jobs after I had tickets booked for a destination wedding in Hawaii, which was some of the most fun I have EVER had in my life. I don’t think my new boss was thrilled that I missed most of the busiest time of the year, but in the end it was 100 % worth it.

    • Caitlin_DD

      I’d say book now. In my experience jobs ask when they hire you if you predict needing time off, right?

    • Lawyerette510

      As someone who works in HR, it is very normal and reasonable for skilled professionals to start jobs with specific dates that they need off. It’s also something that I’ve successfully done 3 times in my own career.

      I don’t think there is anything wrong with at the time a job offer is extended saying “I am so excited for this position and I accept contingent on my being able to be off August 3-7 (or whatever the date is).”

      Depending on company policy it might be covered by vacation pay, or if there isn’t enough time accrued and they don’t let people go into the hole, then a day or two unpaid, but if he’s an engineer (generally a high-demand field) and the company is at all a decent employer, that shouldn’t be a problem.

      I saw book now while the tickets are cheap.

      • MC

        Ditto. If the plane tickets are bought, I’ve found that employers generally respect that. After all, people do have *lives* outside of their careers.

        • Lawyerette510

          Yes, and if the employer can’t be respectful of 4 days off during the first 6 months of employment, that’s probably an indicator that they don’t believe in work-life balance.

          • Ann

            That is a very good point–he may not want to take a job that wouldn’t allow that time off. A lot of our friends have jobs that a SUPER strict about time off (which is part of his worry), but now that I think of it none of those folks are in his field (in fact the two who are seem to take awesome vacations at least 2x a year).

            Thanks!

          • Alex

            Agreed with the above comments! My fiance switched jobs in May (also in engineering, me too, but I’m still in grad school so can’t speak to my experiences), and we already had vacation plans set (an entire WEEK at the end of June), and new boss was totally okay with it even though technically that would have been ALL of his vacation since he started halfway through the year. ESPECIALLY since he’d be telling them SO FAR in advance since the wedding is in the summer and he’d be starting in the winter. If a company rescinds their offer because he can’t get off a couple days that far in advance, I’d look at it as a great way to realize that’s probably a company that would be not very fun to work for in the long term, so good thing you figured it out beforehand :)

            Sticky situation re: cousin – why can’t people just not be uber conservative? I completely agree with you about living together and kind of coming into your own in whatever way that is, but a job is generally the best. I know exactly how you feel though but I don’t know any better idea than to just try to be enthusiastic as well… good luck! and hopefully the rumor mill is wrong ;)

    • swarmofbees

      I would book now. My husband actually ended up switching jobs right around our wedding. So, we had the wedding and honeymoon booked while he was interviewing. It just became a non-negotiable aspect of the job hunt. The employers he got that far with didn’t mind.

    • Jules

      One of my biggest regrets is not being enthusiastic enough for someone.

      She’s probably different than you (in ways you may not even know about) and has more information than you, so it’s not a given that the same timeline/actions are also for her. Really, really try to be there for her to bounce ideas off of, but don’t go into “maybe you should”/”what worked for me was…”/big-sisterly mode. I’m sure she’ll hear plenty of it from the sound of it, so she’ll need someone to support her to make the right decision, whatever that may be.

      • Ann

        I know she’s very different from me–part of what makes me worried is that she’s never done something like traveled without her parents or lived anywhere other than her parents house and the dorm at her conservative Christian college. So I worry that she doesn’t know how to balance life outside of strict rules that have been set for her by others. I can’t imagine figuring that out AND being newly married at the same time. But maybe that’s exactly what she wants–to figure that out with a new husband. I won’t say anything. I’ll just think it…

        Thanks for the advice.

        • Jules

          Hm yeah. :[ I don’t know. This is EXACTLY how I feel about a lot of my friends who married right after we graduated. And maybe these people have a really rough first year or two while they sort through all that stuff…i think that’s fairly common.

          On one hand, you care about someone enough to not want them to make a giant mistake; on the other, there’s very few good ways to bring up your concerns about *someone else’s* relationship.

          My general rule has been to not give unsolicited advice. If she asks something like, “Am I getting married too young?” then that would be your chance to say something like, “I’m concerned that X, Y, Z, and it could be a tough time, but I’m happy for you and only you know what’s right for you…”……or something to that effect.

        • Brittany

          I think the key here is that -you- can’t imagine it, and that’s just fine. You don’t have to, she does, and she is the one who gets to decide that. You don’t mention concerns about the guy or the relationship itself. Your issue seems to be that she has made different choices than you have. Your post also came off as a bit judgmental of her conservative beliefs, but she is an adult and has chosen to maintain those beliefs and the lifestyle that goes along with them. You may not have made those choices, but I think it’s important to respect that she has. There is no list of life experiences a person has to check off before marriage. It is entirely different for every person, you and your cousin included. Not only should you not say anything, but I think it’s unfair to sit in silent judgement as well. People can sense that, no matter how much you try to hide it.

        • Megera

          I know how you feel — my best friend in high school got married from her parent’s house at 21. It’s not a decision that would have made me happy, but she seems content, and in the end it was what she felt was best for her at the time. There are a lot of different ways to ease into being an adult, and although I wouldn’t choose this way, it works for a lot of folks.

        • Amy March

          What makes you think she is now going to be living her life outside of strict rules set for her by others? That’s exactly the type of marriage some conservative Christians argue for- one where a woman moves from her father’s supervision and control to her husband’s. I wouldn’t want that life, but people find joy in it, just as I do with travel and independence.

    • Whitney S.

      I had an 2nd cousin (so my cousin’s kid) run off on her 18th birthday and get married to a boy her own age that the extended family had never met. It was a few days before Christmas, and it was an awkward holiday : / She then proceeded to not go to college and get pregnant ASAP.

      So yeah, I secretly feel sad for her and feel like she’s made a few mistakes. But what can you do? Not much since there is a new little human involved. People make decisions all the time without the best or most information ALL.THE. TIME. It’s massively annoying.

      I say embrace the fact you’re no saint and have a bit internal of internal judgement just like the rest of us. THEN when the rubber meets the road, be there. We already know she could possibly picking the harder row to hoe, so she’s gonna need all the support she can get!

      • Ann

        Yep, that’s what my mom has encouraged. Her sister married at *17* under similar circumstances to what you describe. My mom and grandmother freaked out while planning at at home wedding in the span of 2 weeks (my grandparents decided that they’d rather go along with the wedding than risk their youngest running off and not talking to them). Silent judgement abounded, though there was lots of genuine promises to support my aunt. Three years later, my aunt agreed that she had made a poor decision and didn’t hold any grudges.

        Now 22 is A LOT different than 17! Your advice is the same as my mom’s: try to stifle the internal judgement, but try not to judge myself to harshly for the judging. With a dose of mom-ing, she did remind me that she was displeased when I moved in with my now husband at the ripe old age of 21 (I was well aware of how she felt). And things turned out fine–no hard feelings on either side 5 years later. Hell, it was even easy to get past my preacher grandmother’s judgmental-about-living-in-sin phase (I was the first of her grandkids to do it. Now that 5 have, she’s over it). I think the family motto might be “Judge not, but if you judge, shut your damn mouth.”

        I really think that if my cousin is still happy a few years out, I’ll feel SO much better. Right now I feel like I’ve got a hefty serving of worry with a side of judgement. If the worry goes away, maybe the judgement will, too…

        • Katherine

          I love this: “judge not, but if you judge, shut your damn mouth.” I think I just generally like the idea of giving ourselves permission to feel our own feelings — but that doesn’t mean we have to share them with others.

    • j

      I got married the August before my last year at university, at twenty-two, and it was the best thing for us. We had known each other for a long time, and been best friends for years. For us, finishing school, growing up and learning about life is something we did together, and it has worked out so well. Waiting for some arbitrary level of experience would only have made us miserable. I know our path isn’t for everyone, but isn’t that the point? I don’t think your path is likely to be right for everyone either. If they are adults who love each other, shouldn’t you respect and support their decision?

      • Ann

        I’ll do my best to be supportive, but I think I’d feel differently if she had known the guy for as long as you knew your now husband. They met 6-9 months ago, through a friend (I think he’s her roommate’s brother’s best friend? some connection like that through her roommate). He’s the only guy she has ever dated.

        The whole thing just makes me uncomfortable, but I’m trying to swallow it. By all accounts* the guy is nice, but no one has known him for long.

        You’re right that I just need to be as supportive as I can. And, for all I know, since their relationship is still new, maybe this is being overhyped by her. It could be that the guy is not on the same page… I’m getting this info from my aunts (her mom & her mom’s sister) and my grandmother (who probably got it from my aunt).

        I know marrying young/before work experience works out well for many people, but I also know that (statistically) it doesn’t for many people. I’ve never seen it work–in my circle/family, *I* married very young at 25 and 4 years in the workforce. The few who have broken that trend have all ended up very unhappy… And I really don’t want that for her.

        I’m realizing now that my discomfort is really because of the intersection of these things–she’s young, she hasn’t known him for long, and hasn’t ever supported herself. Remove any one of those things, and I think I’d feel more okay. I think my logic-brain initially jumped to the “never supported herself” when that’s not the whole story.

        Maybe if an actual engagement announcement comes through, I can send a note along with Meg’s book. I think it’s easier to hide the internal worry/judgement in writing, and maybe I can sticky some good parts of the book for her to read…

        *All adult accounts. Her little sister seems staunchly against him, but I think she’s staunchly against the idea of him. Middle schoolers can be that way.

        • EF

          My younger brother is getting married in november, to a girl he met 6 months ago. They’re both super religious conservatives and neither are done with college yet.

          They just posted their engagement pictures and all I’ve done is shake my head and gone, ‘but they’re just kids!’ I think I’d be more comfortable with it if either had shown one bit of independence, but they haven’t…nor are either responsible. But what can I say? I’ve urged brother to do pre-marital counseling of some sort (which my partner and I are doing next week!) and he seems to think that’s a thing that could be done, so I hope that they do that and are at least forced to think about some things. Like, y’know, how you have to have a job to be able to pay rent.

    • leafygreen

      Definitely be supportive. As someone who almost made a mistake getting-married-right-after-college-at-20, it was something that no amount of disapproval could have talked me out of. I just needed to figure that crap out for myself. And if it is a mistake, she’ll figure it out. Maybe sooner, maybe later, but probably not explicitly due to external forces.

      (Not that all people getting married right after graduation are making mistakes, but I certainly would have been.)

    • Megera

      I think you should go ahead and book tickets. If your husband starts a new job in Feb, he’ll be able to give his employers plenty of notice (unless you need to take weeks and weeks away from work) and by then he should have earned enough vacation time to take it anyways. I work for a multidisciplinary firm that has engineers, and we’re able to take 5 days *before* we’ve earned them.

    • Nicole Cherae

      It also good to remember that just because she was raised with super conservative beliefs doesn’t mean that she hasn’t had some experiences. I have a friend who grew up in a very strict, religious household, but she’s no prude. Not living my life doesn’t mean she hasn’t lived the right life for her.

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

      My fiance and I are getting married soon at age 37 and 35, and he loves to “tsk tsk” about people who get married too young. But we know some couples who are our age and have been married for 15 years already. I sometimes wonder if they like to “tsk tsk” about how long it took us to get married! I think we’re all just doing the best we can. :)

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

    After the Blurb post I finally got back to formatting all the emails we sent each other during our courtship because I want to use Blurb to print them in book form. I’m almost 4 years in and about 800 pages. The two months I went through this week included emails about a woman who ran a mile while a rabid fox bit her arm and then threw the fox in the trunk and drove herself to the hospital, using stem cells for breast surgery, what does the word “dispensation” mean in a gospel sense, plans to use the hot tub at my apartment complex, and how you can love some one and not want any thing to do with them ever again, among other topics.

    We also got back to instant messaging each other again and both of us commented on how we’d forgotten how much fun it was.

    Thanks APW!

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

      That’s awesome! I really want to have the first emails we exchange written out by a calligrapher so they are turned into a keepsake. But a Blurb book for alllll your emails is such a good idea!

      • Sarah

        I met my fiance on OKCupid and I saved our first conversation, and basically all of our subsequent missives were through gchat/gmail. I look at them, especially messages from the first week, from time to time whenever I need some warm fuzzy feelings. I never thought to have a calligrapher memorialize them. That’s a fantastic idea!

    • Alison O

      any time my partner says hello on gchat (very infrequent nowadays), I get the same excited young love feeling I got when hours of gchat every day for six months was how our relationship began. aw

  • Sarah

    Hey, thank you so much to everyone who replied to me last week about my situation with the fibroids. Your words really helped to get me through the beginning of this week.

    I did all of my doctor’s appointments this week and even a scary test (sonohysterogram) and got through it without too much trouble (and a lot of xanax). My surgery is scheduled for a week from today. I’m starting to…look forward to it? I’m kind of excited to get my life back…and HOPING I’ll get my life back from this thing.

    Another good thing that came out of all of this is that my mom is coming into town to take care of me because my fiance’s job is crazy hectic right now and he won’t be there for *all* of it, though he will be there for the surgery. Since my surgery won’t actually involve any abdominal incisions my recovery time should be a day or two…after which my mom and I are going wedding dress shopping! We haven’t gone yet. I’m taking my maid of honor along too (yay) and we’re going to Lovely in Soho. I’m glad that I have something to look forward to immediately following all of this :)

    Any wedding dress shopping tips? I’m a size 16 so I already made sure that they have samples I can try on. I’m thinking about buying a longline bra this week because 1. I don’t own a strapless bra, and 2. my boobs are huge and they look terrible in strapless bras. Anything else I should be thinking about?

    • Alyssa M

      I’m not plus sized so my experience may be different, but I just wanted to let you know that I found longline bras to be MUCH cheaper on the internet than from bridal shops…

    • Lawyerette510

      Sounds like you’ve got it taken care of. I’d suggest getting the bra from somewhere with a great return policy, like Nordstrom or Zappos and leaving the tags on while you wear it around the house etc and make sure you like it.

    • KC

      Just a note that with my laparoscopic surgery, the time-in-bed was basically one day, time-still-moving-slowly was a couple more days, but my tummy was still “don’t poke or constrict me or do situps please”-ish for a bit after that (not painful unless provoked… but somewhat painful when provoked, such as by an unexpected seat belt constriction), so dress shopping (and long-line bra-wearing) may want to wait until it can be fun and not ouchy or chance-of-ouchy. But that probably also depends on lots of other factors, and you can totally see how you’re doing at the time, etc. And hooray for your mom being able to come!

      Also, I think a longline bra is a great idea; if that hunt fills you with despair, however, you can also look at dresses that (gasp!) aren’t strapless. (one of my wedding dress criteria was “I must be able to wear a known comfortable bra underneath”) If you can get a dress with straps, often a bra can be adjusted to fit under the straps (by tailoring it to move its straps or via liberal use of safety pins, depending on how fancy/functional you feel). But I’ve had successful bra shopping experiences and unsuccessful ones, and I wish you one of the best! :-)

      • Sarah

        I’m actually not getting laparaoscopic surgery. They are removing the fibroid through my cervix/vagina. So my doctor said I’ll probably be up and moving by the next day and will basically feel fine. If I’m not feeling well I’ll totally just cancel the appointment :)

        I totally want a dress with sleeves ultimately, but I guess I was under the impression that even wedding dresses *with* sleeves aren’t substantial enough to hide a bra strap, haha. Hopefully this will be a successful experience…I have also not had much luck in the bra department lately. haha

        • KC

          NO WAY!!!! That is fantastic! (I stand by “laparoscopic surgery really didn’t suck that much statement, but *better than that* is still better than that and very exciting!)

          Really depends on the cut of the dress. And you can move bra straps a lot. Whether you find a longline bra or not (unless it is The Perfect Bra and you would want to wear it regardless), it might be worth taking a favorite strap-having bra plus some “waistband” elastic or 1/2-1″-wide ribbon (at a fabric store probably less than $4) plus some safety pins to make temp bra straps to see if your bra would work fine with whatever dress. Especially when the straps are showing in the back, you can usually tweak things – but there’s some latitude for shuffling exact placement of the “lift” in the front, too, usually, esp. for more-structured bras (unlined bras have less latitude as to where you attach the strap in front). To do this for dresses where your normal bra is showing, figure out where the “limit” is on where bra straps can go (mark with safety pins), take the dress off or partly off if necessary, slip the “real” bra straps off your shoulders (they’ll hang out in an odd, bunchy, saggy mess under your armpits; sorry), then pin the elastic or ribbon on as temp bra straps and see if everything holds up and is flattering.

          You can also do sneaky tricks on the day of with pinning the bra to the dress if there’s a specific odd line that needs to be followed, or a cut-out back part that needs to be avoided, but the shuffling-bra-strap-locations trick will get you there with a lot of dresses.

          • Sarah

            Thanks for the tips! And yeah I’m pretty pumped for no incisions, and it’s kind of cool, in a way, what my doc is doing…haha.

      • Cat

        Sleeve-wise… May I recommend Whitney Deal? http://shop.whitneydeal.com/ She made my dress (and made the sleeves LONGER! – the Lucille) and is lovely and sweet to work with. Not the same as trying things on, but that worked for me.

        • Sarah

          Actually…its funny that you mentioned her. I was just looking at her dresses yesterday because one of the stores that I have an appointment at sells her dresses! I’m going to Glitter & Grit in Pittsburgh in September, so I do actually get to try them on. Thanks for letting me know!

          • Cat

            I basically wanted to steal her and bring her home with me (magically I live an hour or so from where she is, and got fit in person). Have fun trying on the dresses!

    • Carrie

      On the dress shopping/bra front: My dress ended up being a size 18 and my girls are flat out enormous (38G). The only strapless longline bras I could find to try on literally folded in half once I put them on–no support at all. I did find a normal strapless bra at Dillards (forgot the brand, sorry!) that actually stays mostly-up, so I wore that for the dress shopping.

      The thing I really wanted to mention is that, when my dress came in, I discovered that it actually fits better if I’m not wearing the strapless bra at all. I did get a halter top, so if your dress ends up being strapless this may not be relevant at all, but I know that when I started shopping it never even occurred to me that going bra-less might be an option. I’m not even having a bra sewn into my dress, though that is also an option if you can’t find a stand-alone bra that works for you.

      Good luck with the surgery and the dress shopping!

      • Sarah

        I’ve never tried a longline bra before…so yeah it might be hit or miss. I’m in NYC so I was thinking about going to some specialized bra store that will carry my size. I just discovered that there are no Nordstroms in NYC aside from Nordstrom Rack, which isn’t the same thing. It absolutely never occurred to me that I might be able to go braless. I haven’t gone braless in ANYTHING since I was like…13? I’ve got 36Es on me. Mostly the problem I have is not getting enough support and looking flat and droopy. I want my boobs to be up and out in my dress, ya know? I guess we’ll see!

        • Lawyerette510

          Also keep in mind that talented seamstresses can do amazing things to build-in support to your dress, and talk to the folks at the bridal store about that.

        • Sarah E

          A bra may help you in fitting to see what your boobs will look like in the dress with support while you have a sample dress on. When it comes to the real deal, they can add cups and boning and all sorts of shit for support. My cousin is similarly well-endowed and wore her strapless dress sans-bra all night and it didn’t BUDGE, much to the surprise of the rest of the family, who were side-eyeing the strapless choice.

        • Megan

          Getting my first longline this year for my sister’s bridesmaid dress was pretty amazing–I had no idea I could wear a strapless undergarment! But as others said, it may be totally possible to go braless if your dress has a lot of structure. I may do that with me 34Gs depending on what my seamstress says! Who knew?!

    • Megan

      I am large chested too and went prepared with a longline bra I had bought specifically for dress shopping, but found that most shops said to just try them on without bras because once they zipped me up or clipped me in, it sometimes just stuck out in weird places. So don’t stress like crazy to find one as you’ll probably be okay without it for shopping, but it’s certainly something nice to take along in case. I have had good experience finding stuff to try at herroom.com–they have good selection for DD+! I just ordered another one to try for my dress this week.

      It will be so nice to have your mom there to help take care of you. I got a tonsillectomy a few weeks ago and thank goodness for my sister who came to take care of me, because my fiance’s bachelor party was already planned for the weekend after my surgery and I would not let him worry about me! She was really comforting.

    • Ann

      For large cup sized strapless or longline bras, check out Figleaves.com or Bravissimo. Both are British companies. Somehow, on the other side of the pond, they recognize that boobs can be huge. Figleaves now has a way to return items with only paying to ship them back to a center in VA so you don’t have to fork over the international shipping twice. Since shipping tends to be a flat fee, I order a pile of stuff and return all but one item. I’ve never had a problem. (I’ve never had to return anything to Bravissimo, so I can’t speak to their returns from the US).

      Plus, it’s always exciting to get something shipped by “Royal Mail.” I always think to myself, “Yes, my boobs are quite royal.”

  • macrain

    We are two months out, and I keep vacillating between feeling dreamy and happy to being so stressed it’s hard to deal. Also have this feeling like the wedding is taking over my whole life.
    Any tips on maintaining balance and sanity during the home stretch? I would really like to enjoy this last little bit of being engaged, but man, it’s tough!

    • Kelly

      I feel ya. Is there any way you can have a little mini getaway, even for a night or a weekend? We went to a weekend wedding two weeks before ours. I felt like we didn’t have time to go, but I was so glad we did! It was fun to leave behind planning for a bit and enjoy being happy engaged people. We also made little “dates” around planning tasks (bring the laptop to happy hour!), which helped make it fun.

      • MC

        Yes! We do wedding planning/happy hour dates – also, being in public makes it less likely that we will stress-argue about things that aren’t actually important to us :)

        We’re 6 weeks out and last weekend we went backpacking in the wilderness area near where we live, and it was PERFECT to literally get away from everything for two days. So yes, great recommendations all around.

      • Alyssa M

        Oooh yes, seconding this. I was kind of feeling like the wedding was sucking all the fun out of our lives. Like we’re saving up a whole summer of fun just for one day… then we took just a one night camping trip where we didn’t talk wedding at all (though there was some honeymoon dreaming) last weekend and I’m feeling a little less wedding consumed. Didn’t get rid of my ennui but I feel like a whole person again.

  • Caitlin_DD

    The job hunt tides are finally turning! I have applications in with 2 offices that have wanted to hire me in the past, and have positive, verbal feedback from both bosses. At last the waiting game has a clear end.

  • Lawyerette510

    Any brides in the bay area want some small paper bags stamped with weddding-ish sayings? They’re the right size for a few cookies, a handful of candy, or utensils. Happy to meet up and hand them off for free. I’ve got around 50.

  • Elizabeth

    I need help with invitation wording — specifically with the “dinner and dancing to follow” part since there will not be dinner or much dancing at my reception. Basically there will be an open bar, lots of sweets, fancy cheese, music, but no dance floor (though people are welcome to dance wherever they want). The reception is from 2-6 and I’m coming up with a blank on how to let people know that while there will be things to eat, but they should not expect a full meal. I know I’m not the first person in the world to have a reception of this nature. What would/did you say?

    • laddibugg

      Cocktail reception to follow.

      With that time frame the should not be expecting dinner.

    • jashshea

      Cocktails & Appetizers to follow?

      ETA: Or use hors d’oeuvres if you’re feeling French and fancy. :)

    • Lawyerette510

      For some playful wording, what about “Celebration to follow including fancy cheese and sweets”, and then you can explain more on your website etc.

    • Kelly

      Refreshments and merriment?

      • Lawyerette510

        I love a good use of merriment

    • Caitlin_DD

      followed by drinks, snacks, and conversation. Or cocktails and hors d’oeuvres/ tapas to follow?

    • Alyssa M

      For the short snack type non-cocktail hour following my ceremony I said “Light refreshments to follow” to make it clear we would have snacks but no lunch(its at 1). But there are no cocktails, and I have a dinner planned for that evening…

    • EF

      ours said ‘food, merriment, and embarrassing toast to follow’

      it’s mid afternoon as a reception so we’re having a light meal, but no full meal and I hope people just get that from the time of day.

  • anonpsu

    I really had an awesome week. We signed the lease for our new place, and my apartment got rented out! This was really stressful because my landlord could’ve held me to my lease until October, meaning we would’ve paid 2 months of double rent (and rent is really high here). I am so happy everything worked out. I cannot wait to move (in 10 days!). This is the quickest progression of life changes but I’m not stressed about it, because it’s good things. Now all we have to do is move and get married :) The good news is the wedding has had to take a back seat since moving was more important/immediate.

  • macrain

    I know there is a lot of noise about Robin Williams right now, but this is so beautiful I have to share it-
    http://www.newyorker.com/culture/cultural-comment/suicide-crime-loneliness

    One of my favorite authors, Andrew Solomon, has done extensive research on depression and he tackles the subject with such sensitivity.

    • Guest

      Thanks for sharing the link.

      And I just feel compelled to put this out there:

      If you’re thinking about suicide, or you need to talk to someone for any reason at all, including if a loved one is in crisis, please consider calling a helpline.
      National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255

      Hugs to everyone this week and always.

      • ElisabethJoanne

        Everyone: Put it in your phone right now. I’m new to smartphones, but even with a smartphone, you never know when that network will be wonky, but the phones’ OK.
        Also: domestic violence hotline – 800-799-7233

    • Emily

      I love Andrew Solomon and I was glad that he wrote about Robin Williams too.

  • Laura C

    I got married six days ago. It took me five days after that to lose the vintage wedding ring I’d waited more than a year to wear. It’s probably somewhere on the streets of London as we speak. We retraced our steps for miles with no luck.

    Oh well. Maybe I can get it copied? Or find something I like 80% as much?

    • joanna b.n.

      oh, so sorry to hear this!!! yes, good luck on finding the right next ring. at least you have the right spouse! :)

    • macrain

      Ohhh so sorry. :(

    • SuperDaintyKate

      Oh, my heart aches for you. I lost my two-sizes-too-big engagement ring on the day I got it. Cue us drunk on champagne spending 11 pm to 2 am tearing the entire house apart, right down to pulling every item out of the bathroom trash bin and sticking our hands down the toilet, me woefully repeating “what have I done” over and over with tears in my eyes. Luckily, it turned up half-way down the dirty clothes hamper (I guess it fell off and down a crack while I was walking by?). Now it is a hilarious story. But my heart hurt so badly in those few hours… it seriously threatened the emotional high we had that day. It may be A Thing, but it’s a very important symbol of that day and everything it means.

      I vote for getting it copied. The Thing is the Symbol, and having something as close to what was shared that day is worth it. There are lots of magical jewelers on Etsy who are wonderful at such things.

      • Allie Moore

        Ah my significant other and I were just reminiscing about how I accidentally threw my too big engagement ring in the trash the first week I had it (a family heirloom his grandmother had just given us, which makes it all the more horrifying). It was 20 minutes of terror until he pulled it out of the bottom of the kitchen trash can with the cheeseburger wrapper I had thrown away earlier.

        It was the worst feeling!

    • Lizzie C.

      I’m so, so sorry to hear about your ring! Have you kept an eye on the London Craigslist lost & found to see if anyone posted about it? I’d like to think they’d try to find you rather than just keep it (or pawn it).

  • Megan

    So many things to vent about! Which to choose! The fact that the caterer makes me feel like a fool for being puzzled by such questions as “how many walls would you like your tent to have?” [...4?] and a demanding diva for wanting to know when they’ll arrive and how long they need to set up? The sudden transformation of my adult friends and family into confused and surly teenagers unable to get from an airport to a nearby hotel without 808432 emails and thinly-veiled requests for a pick up? The bizarre and passive-aggressive “fine, guess I WON’T bring my dog” statements I’ve gotten from not one, not two, but THREE DIFFERENT people this week? The craft creep that means I’ll be spending this weekend painting 20 picture frames, 2 easels, and 200 seashells, despite a firm no-crafts-keep-your-sanity policy I tried in vain to impress upon my sweet friends?

    I am a bundle of disgruntlement (and also, a terrible ingrate. It’s nice that my friends want to craft together. It is! It is!) 8 days! 8 days! AAAAaahhhh.

    • Alyssa M

      What on earth is it with the dog thing! My family is doing it too!

      • Megan

        I just do not understand. The latest dog interaction involved the person huffily noting that her dog is welcome *even on the subway*, which was just so odd I didn’t know what to say. What parallel are you drawing? How is my wedding like the subway?

        • macrain

          WHAT. I can’t even.

        • Alyssa M

          To make matters worse, my hotel allows dogs, but if they’re left alone and are disturbing other guests we reserve the right to CALL ANIMAL CONTROL… this insistence on bringing dogs is going to end badly…

          • http://andshelovesyou.com/ Lucy

            As the person who runs an entire blog dedicated to dogs/pet lifestyles and is a little dog crazy… I don’t understand why anyone would begin to assume they could bring their dog along. Board them at a kennel or leave them with a friend! They’ll probably have more fun!

            Also, why would you want to?! Maybe it’s the mentality of people who own small dogs, but the thought of bringing my 75 pound boxer (who is kind of a jerk, much as I might love him) to a wedding just makes me want to go lay down.

          • Sarah E

            Agreed. I am an avid dog-lover, but I would never bring my dog to an event/business/someone’s house without being told explicitly it’s okay. And I wouldn’t ASK if it’s okay, unless it was a very close friend or family member. Every weekend I have to continually remind dog-owners how their dogs need to behave to be welcome at the farmers’ market, and I don’t understand it. I would never bring my dog to a hugely crowded place where food is being sold.

          • CJ

            We own a very small dog and even I would not DREAM of bringing him to a wedding. Whether it was local or required travel. That is flat-out insane. Unless it’s a family farm or something, where there are animals everywhere.

            I really wish he could be involved in our own wedding, but my fiance has convinced me that boarding him will be best for all of us.

          • Alison O

            I have a little dog, and especially if my going out will require my dog to stay in his crate for a while, if it’s the kind of outing that dogs are not obviously inappropriate for, I’ll sometimes ask if I can bring him along. But a wedding?!?! Would not ever cross my mind. I mean, the morning after “farewell” brunch, MAYBE????? But, no.

          • YetAnotherMegan

            Agreed. Fully insane. My parent’s dogs went to the kennel for the three or four days leading up to my wedding. They got to enjoy the trip to the spa and be pampered by the guys who run the place, and we had one less thing to worry about.

        • Kelly

          Well that’s nice! Maybe the dog can just go hang out on the subway during the wedding!

        • Emily

          Your wedding is obviously not like a subway… but this made me laugh out loud! I love the absurdity of the question “How is my wedding like the subway?” It sounds like the beginning of a great joke.

      • StevenPortland

        I went to a work function 2 years ago and when I went to sit down in one of the few remaining seats, next to a woman from my company who I did not know. As I went to sit down, she told me the seat was for her dog. She then picked the dog off the floor and placed him on the chair, forcing me to go find someplace else to sit. SO ODD!

        • MC

          I went to a work meeting/event where seats were very scarce, and a dog (not wearing a service vest, mind you) was sitting in a chair in the front row, while 10+ people were standing at the back of the room. So weird.

      • Alex

        A daughter of one of our super close family friends got married a couple weekends ago and her future mother-in-law brought their dog with them. To Texas. From Montana. And made the groom carry it around for half the night of the evening before the rehearsal dinner (casual dinner at the bride’s family’s house). This was AFTER she EXPLICITLY told them that they shouldn’t bring the dog. Because the bride’s mother’s dogs panic around both people and other dogs (and seeing as how, you know, our friends were nice enough to OPEN THEIR HOME to the bride’s future in-laws, that seems kinda important). Blew my mind. People.

        Good luck crafting, just open a few bottles of wine and if something gets painted a smidge bit not perfect, no one will probably know the difference and you will be much more sane during the process ;)

        And just go to town with your yelp/knot/wedding wire review for your caterer if that helps you stay calm at all ;)

        good luck and a pre-emptive congratulations for next weekend!

    • macrain

      I have encountered this with wedding vendors too- something that seems so obvious to them is NOT obvious to you because, um- this is the first time you are doing this! I wish more vendors would keep this in mind when dealing with brides, because it’s infuriating. Let me just pay you all this money so you can make me feel like an idiot.
      I feel like that with our venue coordinator- not that she makes me feel dumb, but that I can’t get a clear answer out of her about some things because she just assumes it’s obvious. It’s not!

      • Natalie

        This. Wedding venders forget that while they do this 50 weeks a year, the rest of us only do it ONCE or twice in our lives. We don’t know what’s typical and obvious because we’ve never done it before!

    • Kelly

      I feel you so hard on all of these points. No way would I have been a sociable crafter 8 days before the wedding. We had some things to get done, but they got done on the couch while wearing no pants and watching bad tv. And two days before the wedding our caterer STILL would not give us a straight answer on what time she would show up and whether or not we needed to provide ice and storage for beverages.

      • Alyssa M

        Ya’ll are making me feel some serious love for our caterer. Before we even paid the deposit SHE asked ME when she could show up. 0.o Why on earth are your caterers being difficult about something so concrete?!?!?

    • jashshea

      I’m sorry, their DOGS?

      I love all dogs to pieces, but…what?

      Good luck! You can do it!

    • Emily

      What the heck is up with the tent-wall thing? Do some brides want pentagon shaped tents? That sounds bizarre! Sorry that you are disgruntled… hang in there!

  • Molly P. Kopuru

    Seems like I’ll be looking for another job again… This one is just not paying enough for us to put anything aside to reach our long-term goals or even have a little extra to play with while we support my mother-in-law back home. We have to pay a lot of her living expenses… Not ideal, but it’s what we have. My meager salary isn’t really cutting it– only works out to about a buck fifty more than what I was making back home… It sucks, because I don’t actually hate coming to work at this place.

    That said, the industry I’ve been working in is prone to layoffs when things get slow. Maybe it’s best to try something new. It’s just scary… And my resume is very unfortunate-looking as it is :/ sigh.

    It makes me sad because together my husband and I make almost 6 figures. It shouldn’t be this hard. :/

    • Megan

      I am sorry to hear that! Good luck finding what’s best for you guys. My fiance and I had the same talk over dinner tonight–we’re just about making 6 figures now together, and it still seems hard to fathom that we’ll be able to comfortably support ourselves, future children, and probably eventually my MIL, if she doesn’t find a job soon, on what we’re pulling in right now. But there is so much that will change whether expected or unexpected, and the best we can do is make responsible decisions in the present to hopefully set us up for an okay future. I’m sort of facing the decision of whether or not to try something new–but part of me wonders if it’s worth an investment in school when kids might not be so far down the road–and who knows how I’ll feel after that.

      Someone recently told me how much they hated their 20s and loved their 30s because that’s when they finally figured things out! I look forward to feeling like I’m settled in that way, whenever that may be…

  • Alyssa M

    So I’ve got a weird insecurity, that I’m wondering if anybody else shares. I see all of you APW brides in your gorgeous varied wedding outfits and feel rather like a child in awe of these beautiful “gorwn-up” ladies… even the ones who are a year or two younger than I am. Starting to feel like I’m going to look like a 12 year old playing dress up.

    Definitely realize it’s not true and irrational… just curious if anybody else ever feels like that?

    • KC

      You will not look like a 12 year old playing dress-up (I mean, as long as you’re larger than the average 12 year old and don’t let an unskilled 9 year old apply your makeup)(oh! also, don’t wear high-heel shoes 4 sizes too large for your feet – that’s the other ingredient in 12-year-old dress-up, right?).

      But yes, it’s pretty normal to look at other people (especially carefully selected pro photographer shots of other people) and think they’ve got things together more than you do – even if they’re thinking the same thing right back at you!

    • macrain

      Oh! I have the best advice that Meg gave me when I was feeling insecure about how I’m going to look on my wedding day. Repeat this mantra: I WILL LOOK BRIDAL BECAUSE I’M THE BRIDE.
      You will look like the lovely woman you are, trust me!

    • River

      ALL. THE. TIME.

      Doesn’t help that I regularly get asked which grade of high school I’m in (and I’m coming up on my 10 year reunion this coming year!). Or that I just got (awesome! curly!) bangs, which make me look younger. I say screw. You will look as old or as young as you feel.

      And if you want to look “all grown up” and glamorous, go for it! And…if you don’t feel like that’s you – THAT’S OKAY. You don’t have to be the glamorous or even look grown up to be an awesome bride. :-) Just be YOU!

      • Sarah McClelland

        You’ll be thankful for that youthful beauty in time. I had someone guess my age at 33 today… I’m 26.

      • MC

        HA. Yes. I am 24 and recently went wine-tasting with my Fiance and his parents, and one woman working there looked at me and said, “And you’re not drinking.” I am normally not snarky to strangers but I used ALL my snark on her as I pulled out my ID.

        And last year I worked at a high school and constantly got mistaken for a student. So I feel ya.

    • Sarah E

      Oh constantly. When I read an awesome, wise, and insightful post to find it was written by someone 4 years my junior? Womp, womp.

      I’m totally excited by my wedding attire, but have had to come to grips with having to wear my glasses on my wedding day. I wore contacts for over 10 years and loved them, but when I started working in front of a computer full-time, I had to switch back to glasses. Now I don’t have contacts that fit properly or are the correct prescription, nor do I have health insurance to go get them. Even after two years of wearing glasses full time again, I’m just now getting over the surprise of seeing pictures of me with them, as my sense of self is still sans-glasses. I mean, thank goodness I like the frames, but talk about feeling like a 12-year-old again. (the last time I wore glass full-time)

      • KC

        Aw, that’s really rough about the contacts and self-perception. Maybe you can get a few “couples” photos on the wedding day with your glasses off?

        (because for formal photos, it doesn’t matter if you can’t see anything
        at the time, but you *do* want to see your wedding/reception)

        • Sarah E

          Yeah, I’ve thought about that. Usually, I’m not a fan of the whole “Wait! Let me take off my glasses!” before photos as I think people should be themselves. Given my decade of contact-wearing, I think I have a leg to stand on.

          Current plan is hoping for some good engagement photos to help me see myself in glasses in the best possible light, and maybe doing some w/o glasses. My partner wears glasses, too, so we look good together ;-)

      • Violet

        Are you me? I wore contacts for ten years, cue the office job, computer-screen all day, glasses, now contacts for special occasions only. (I wore contacts for our wedding because I still keep up with the prescription.)
        If I may? Please just do whatever is going to make you happy. Including stopping for some non-glasses shots during the day if you want. You don’t need a particular leg to stand on, cred-wise. Just do it if you want to. I am a Full On supporter of brides-in-glasses (aka, BRIDES). BUT, if it’s going to bother you later, please don’t let anything like pride/perceived-vanity/hassle of taking off and putting back on/whatever stop you. Some with glasses on, some with glasses off, whatever you want. I still relate as being a person-without-glasses (which is why I didn’t wear them myself), so I can Totally see how you’d want photos that reflect how you feel about yourself, even if it’s not representative of your now day-to-day life.

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

    Our Save the Dates are going into the mail today :-) We wound up going with magnets from MagnetStreet which came out absolutely fantastic – better than I expected. They are so cute & we have one on our fridge, every time I look at it, I have a reminder that I’m *really* getting married to such a wonderful man.

    Now I just need to finish our AppyCouple site before people receive the Save the Dates!

    • JDrives

      We also did magnets for our Save the Dates and I’m so glad we did! When we visit friends and see our magnets displayed on their fridges, it gives me a happy jolt to the heart. I hope you get the same feeling when you see them at your loved ones’ houses!

  • Lizzie C.

    You guys. It’s just not Friday yet until I’ve seen the APW Happy Hour photo of confetti-showered wine. Does anything shout “WEEKEND!” more than that? No sir. If someone else ever starts sponsoring these posts I’m going to miss it. Thankyouthankyou.

    • vegankitchendiaries

      Haha, I feel the same!

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

    I had my Bachelorette party weekend this weekend and it was lovely. My friends all came down to my house (I live in their favorite vacation location) and we spent the weekend brunching and slumber partying away. This included prank calling boys, face masks, candy and ice cream. More than one bra was frozen.

    Having all my girlfriends in one place was amazing. But I am still glad that I am choosing not to have a wedding party. While well meaning, a couple of the girls kept referring to “the last time you were married.” I had been doing such a good job of protecting THIS wedding experience that I was difficult to have others compare and contrast my choices (then and now). But I know they don’t mean any harm and that it’s par for the course when you get married for the second time in a decade…and have the same friends.

  • Kayjayoh

    (Sigh) I wish APW worked better on my iPhone. :(

  • Annonymous

    I decided not to get an IUD. I am totally freaked out by fertility awareness, but I think it’s something we can learn together/learn to love. I can’t do hormones anymore; I flipped out on birth control pills, so I am looking forward to something new. Anyone else doing FAM?

    • Brittany

      I do! I highly recommend finding a teacher, as uncomfortable as it may be, rather than trying to teach yourself. Ask their policy about follow up questions as well. We just had our first, and our teacher was willing to meet up with me for a refresher on the post-birth protocol free of charge, which was really helpful.

    • dearabbyp

      I don’t know what FAM is, but I LOVE MY IUD. I would cuddle it but it’s busy keeping me un-pregnant.

      • leafygreen

        Indeed, 5+ years and counting with my copper friend.

      • SuperDaintyKate

        Me too! I probably love it too much– I caught myself discussing it at a dinner party recently… and had to stop…

        • Sarah McClelland

          Yup. Talked about mine at work.

      • ann

        Oh, I love my IUD, too, despite the extra cramping (I have a copper one). I got it when I was 200% opposed to pregnancy. I am WAAAYYY happier off the hormones. I had been on them since I was 12 because I had AWFUL cramps as a kid. I thought I had an anxiety disorder for MORE THAN A DECADE. No more pills=no more anxiety. Some of us just don’t play nice with hormones.

    • Alison O

      I am just beginning a transition to FAM. Like, just started a new pack of BC, but working through the book WomanCode (anybody have any experiences with this?) to try to better resolve some hormone issues before I get off the pill. With experience being on the pill and not, it resolves some very big and tangible hormonal issues I have, but it also has drawbacks I’m hopeful about avoiding if I can do things more ‘naturally’. I tried Paraguard (copper IUD), but that was noooooo bueno for me.

    • H

      I flipped out on birth control too, and have been doing FAM for a year with no issues. We mutually agreed that it would honestly be better to get pregnant than for my every waking minute to be misery. I know this doesn’t work for everyone, but the basic awareness methods are working for me. I don’t temp but other bodily signs are just as effective indicators. It’s not foolproof I’m sure, but it’s a mile better than crying/raging/shutting down 24/7, which was my life on BC.

    • Ariel

      I heart charting!

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

        Me too!

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

      I am! Or at least, I will be in about a week or so…after the wedding. ;)
      One thing that we learned in our classes that I really liked is to have the man/husband be in charge of charting your symptoms. That way everyone is on the same page: you *experience* the symptoms and tell him about them, and he writes them down. We started in Nov/Dec and he honestly knows my body probably better than I do — how long my longest cycle has been, when I’ll get my period, etc. And he’ll never be surprised by me telling him its an abstinence night…he’ll have the same info that I do. Hope that helps!

    • Emily

      Taking hormones creeps me out too. Good for you!

    • A Non

      I know it’s a bit of an obvious choice, but I just want to throw in some props to condoms. As long as no one is allergic, they’re pretty rad and straightforward. My husband and I have used them exclusively for about six years with nary a worrying moment.

    • Annonymous

      Thanks, everyone, for your thoughts on this topic! Wow, I am shocked at how many people responded. Thanks, ladies, for your help! Woot.

      My mom’s oncologist told her that staying away from hormones is a good idea for me — because of a strong predisposition to breast cancer. (I know the research on this topic varies from source to source, but birth control makes me INSANE anyways, and after a year of not being on it, I feel AMAZING.)

      I’m not 100% ready to have kids, so we do use other things…but it’s good to know I’m not alone. Thanks again. <3

  • StevenPortland

    Last Saturday night was our delayed wedding reception (after our tiny wedding back in November). Can I tell you that it feels like last Saturday was 6 weeks ago instead of just 6 days ago? We had the best time of our lives.
    We were able to spend an afternoon on Thursday with longtime friends from Minneapolis. Lots of family came into town on Friday and my sister was able to meet all of Mike’s family for the first time (we’ve been together 16+ years).
    On Saturday, family took our two sons on an adventure to give us an empty house to get all of the last minute items ready. Then Saturday night was just a very lovely evening with everyone. I was really apprehensive about our venue (our church’s reception hall), but it was PERFECT. There is an outdoor courtyard where we set up 5 bistro height tables and had the bar for wine and cocktails. Then inside we mingled in the atrium until it was time for dinner. There was a saxophone quartet that played. And the most amazing balloon twister guy I have ever seen entertaining the 15 young kids. Everyone couldn’t believe it. He was making things like Ariel from the Little Mermaid, etc. I also bought $1 wood frames from Michaels and had markers, paper, and other craft supplies. The tweens spent the evening decorating picture frames. We got so many compliments for having such great activities for the kids which let the adults enjoy conversation.
    Our caterer was top notch and I give extra credit to the bartender that was very nice to all of the little kids coming up to him asking for soda. And my older son and other kids went up and asked him for his books of matches. Obviously I wouldn’t be OK with a stranger giving our kids matches but it just about made his night to feel so grown up.
    The next morning we got up early and made brunch for 10 out-of-town friends. Then drove to the coast to spend 4 nights with 15 family members in a large beach house. All in all it was just such a great weekend.
    The best part? I let go of my need to photograph everything. I knew that my sister-in-law is a photographer and just let her have her camera the entire week. That really let me enjoy the moment more.

    • Kelly

      This sounds so, SO wonderful!

    • emmers

      I love the frames idea! Sounds awesome!

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

      Yay! I’m so glad it was perfect. It sure sounds like it :) Congrats!!

  • Mary Jo TC

    Ok, our trip to Providence RI is coming together. We leave on Wednesday and arrive in Boston airport at 3PM. If we want to do some sightseeing in Boston before going to our hotel in Providence that night, what can we reasonably expect to be able to do/see? What are the public transportation options(airport to Boston sights and Boston to Providence)? And what should we do with our luggage?

    • Jessica

      Fancy hotels will generally hold your luggage for a few hours for you even if you’re not staying there. My ex and I did that in Chicago when we had about 7 hours to go sight seeing.

    • Guest

      Google maps is actually pretty good at giving public transit options with times. To get from Boston to Providence, you can take amtrak or the mbta commuter rail. I imagine there are buses too. As for Boston, you could take the blue line (there’s a short bus shuttle to the station) to the aquarium stop, and then walk around by the waterfront, fanueil hall/Quincy market, boston common and the public garden , or pop over to the north end for cannoli (all things I’ve done together within a few hours). Or you can take the silver line (right from the airport and free) to south station if you want to head right to providence.

    • DM

      I’m not sure if there’s luggage storage at South Station, but from Logan you can get the Silver Line to South Station. Not far from South Station is the Harpoon Brewery, which has a great beer hall with some interesting limited releases and my favorite pretzels in the world. There are also some great restaurants not far from South Station. Les Zygomates is really close to the station – french food with a great list of wines by the glass. On Congress Street, you have Menton (where Kristin Kish went to work after winning Top Chef, and an amazing dining experience), Drink (a lounge where you tell the bartenders what you want, and they make something cool – I asked for something smokey and fruity and was impressed), and Lucky’s, for a loungy, comfort food place. Sportello is owned by the same group as Menton & Drink – I haven’t been there but it also has a good reputation.

      Once you’re done with an evening in Boston, I’m fairly sure you can get a train from South Station to Providence and enjoy the rest of your trip.

      • EF

        there’s definitely a luggage store at south station. It’s halfway between the train part and the T part of the station — on the right hand side as you head down the escalator to the T.

    • Nell

      Yay Boston!

      Agree with DM – take the Silver Line from Logan airport to South Station (it’s a bus, easy to find using the signs).

      In the South Station neighborhood:

      - Trillium Brewery http://www.trilliumbrewing.com/

      - Boston Tea Party Museum

      A walk or a T ride from South Station:

      - New England Aquarium (has jellyfish! otters! seals!)
      - Faneuil Hall (touristy historical spot)
      - Old North Church (One if by land! Two if by sea! – the start of Paul Revere’s ride)
      - North End – old Italian neighborhood – eat at Mike’s Pastry for some outstanding cannoli

      • Mary Jo TC

        Thanks so much for your help! I think this will be our plan!

  • moonlitfractal

    Random place to ask, but does anyone know of a doula in the Philadelphia area who is DEFINITELY AVAILABLE in early October (due date Oct 6)? The one I was hoping to work with had to back out right before we were going to sign a contract and everyone else seems to already be booked…

  • Ashleyn

    Wish me luck, ladies! Tomorrow morning I am having a portrait session to get some (hopefully) hot pictures of myself for my website and to use to promote my book.

    Haven’t had professional pictures taken in almost ten years, so I’m really hoping I can get into a groove and get some pictures I like. Any tips?

  • ElisabethJoanne

    My husband has bounced back from not getting that job. He’s looking a whole other line of work, which seems to have more growth potential, and definitely more money. Still, it’s starting a 3-year job search almost from square one.

    • KC

      Yes, it’s “losing” 3 years of job-hunting work, but hopefully this hunt will be quicker (and also, some of the things learned during those 3 years will be cross-applicable, at least in terms of “how to write a cover letter” and whatnot, I assume). So glad he’s bounced back, hope you bounce well too, and I hope this goes well.

    • Amy March

      How can a job search possibly, possibly take 3 years? Of not working? Is this one going to be that long too? Why on earth would you put up with him taking the luxury of a 6 year job search instead of taking some responsibility for himself for a change and getting himself down to the supermarket to work as a cashier? Who cares if he likes it!

      On the one hand, I feel like I shouldn’t even comment, because I think you should divorce him and run a mile a way and you clearly are invested in staying in this marriage. On the other hand, what’s the point of posting on the internet if not to get other people’s view of things. Say the word and I’ll butt out but your posts always read like a cry for someone to tell you that you are worth more than this.

      • ElisabethJoanne

        He thinks I should leave him, too. You raise good points.

        There’s a few factors lengthening his job search, some you’ll accept as valid, some you won’t. First, he has disabilities that would make him a very poor fit for a lot of jobs, especially low-skilled ones. He sees an occupational therapist to address that. I blame her for the dead end that the last 3 years worked out to be, since not only was it her idea, but she kept recommending he stay on the course she laid out and refused to suggest alternatives. Second, the jobs he’s been trying to get for the last 3 years have required significant volunteer commitments, so he hasn’t been able to devote himself 100% to applying for jobs, which, again, per his occupational therapist (and friends in the industry) he couldn’t have qualified for without the volunteer experience.

        I myself have mixed feelings about the dignity of work. I do not think work is always a blessing, as a poem I had to memorize in 7th grade said. In a lot of times and places, even wives who didn’t care for children weren’t expected to bring in money. They cared for the home and had social commitments, rather similar to my husband when he was still volunteering. I don’t want to fall into the man=provider trap. My father was a stay-at-home dad, which freed him to do a lot of things for our community. But Mom still did a lot of the cooking (which she enjoyed), laundry, and grocery shopping, and we had a house cleaner come twice a month. People who know my family say my father is one of the happiest people they know, and my mother did an excellent job balancing work and family. I was raised among Puritans and John Birchers, and still have to stop myself from thinking every conservative trope about welfare queens and “if a man does not work, neither should he eat.” I have no doubt I’ve swung too far in the other direction when it comes to my own household, but until I figure out what I do believe, I’ll stick with the status quo.

        If I had to do it over again, I would not have married my husband until he was making money. And there are other things I would have done differently. But I went into the marriage aware of his disabilities, work history, and student loans. He doesn’t like it when I suggest that I’m staying in the marriage out of a sense of obligation, and I’m sure a lot of people on APW don’t like that view of marriage, either. But obligation is just the final argument. Before that argument is that my life remains better with him in it, that I would not be happier (whatever that means) if I ran a mile away.

        I post on APW for a few reasons. One is to give people with less experience of marriage, and less experience of disabilities like my husband’s, an idea of the way things can go. And a lot of it is for validation. I have no doubt that there are those who think I’ve made my bed and don’t deserve sympathy. I think that often. It’s a very isolating feeling. It reminds me of the conservative tropes about how “She shouldn’t have had kids she couldn’t afford.” But most often I get acknowledgment and encouragement in our difficulties on APW, and that helps me.

        • Amy March

          Fascinating. Thank you so much for sharing. I share your view (I think?) that obligation to continue to do something that is hard and not always pleasant may in fact be the heart of what taking vows for better or worse means. I hope that your path brings you blessings and, eventually, joy. Much as I don’t understand your decisions, your faith and commitment is an inspiration.

        • Emily

          I really appreciate this thoughtful reply. We all have our struggles and I appreciate your tolerance towards his. I’m working on bouncing back from not getting a job I thought was a good chance. It’s really frustrating.

    • Anne

      Best of luck to you. My husband is attempting and failing at finishing his PhD. He feels as though he’s spent 5 years preparing for a career that’s never going to happen, and he’s very depressed (his depression has come and gone over the past few years, but it’s back now with a vengeance). Being in school myself now, I can’t really pick up the slack to completely support both of us for the next three years. But I keep telling him that if he can just bring in *some* money for the next few years, I promise to find a way to support us both. I know I can. I was raised by a corporate lawyer who taught me what it means to take a job that’s reasonably interesting and much better paid over something that brings more happiness. I have my father’s disposition. My husband… does not. He wants to be a stay at home dad when the time comes, but has a lot of internal conflict about not “providing.” It’s so, so hard to work through this. But we do what we must.

      • ElisabethJoanne

        Thanks for sharing your experience. As I tried to express to Amy March, there’s so many layers to having a husband out of work. There’s his feelings, which are of course our feelings to some extent. There are gender expectations, and then our own views of equality. And there are attitudes towards paid employment in general, which I hadn’t thought hard about until I was supporting a family.

        FWIW, my father was/is all-but-disertation. For a lot of my childhood, he’d respond to the awful, “What do you do?” question with, “I’m either an unemployed graduate student or a stay-at-home dad.” I don’t know where he got the self-confidence. He got paid teaching positions here and there while I was growing up, and then when us kids couldn’t really use a full-time father, he got significant part-time, then full-time work. It’s not what he’d have if he’d finished his doctorate, or if he’d worked steadily for the 20 years he raised us, but my family’s story is one of millions of stories that teach that even if a career/family-planning decision has consequences decades later, it doesn’t necessarily bar all doors and burn all bridges behind you.

        • Anne

          Thanks for telling me about your dad. I keep telling my husband that if he wants to work, he can find something to do. He can program proficiently in 3 scientific languages (2 of those are entirely self taught). That right there should get him a job in a city full of tech jobs. But the depression makes him totally incapable of seeing what he CAN do–it’s like there’s a wall of CAN’T in front of him and the depression keeps him from seeing over it.
          Adding to his despair is the fact that he pushed me to go ahead and start school (PhD), but now I don’t make enough to support us both (my stipend is enough for 1, but not 2, and he is VERY against dipping into our savings). He wants to be able to support me while I’m in school since I bought in more money while he was in school (though he didn’t let me “support” him–despite my salary being 2x his stipend. So we lived SUPER cheaply. Then, after I had saved 50+% of my salary for 4 years, we had a baller wedding and an awesome trip to Europe. No regrets there). So he feels like our weak income situation is “all his fault for not finishing sooner.” Ugh. I’m trying to figure out low cost counseling options for each of us–taking care of him and getting all of my work done is hard enough that I think I need some help for myself.
          It’s good to know that there are other people going through similar (if very crappy) stuff.

          • ElisabethJoanne

            My husband’s diagnoses are depression and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder. His cognitive behavioral therapy is covered by insurance. It’s kind of a pain to sort out, because the insurance companies contract with a separate company to arrange for mental health services, but the Affordable Care Act requires that mental health be covered at parity with medical health. And, as my husband is always saying, it’s much cheaper for the insurance company to pay a psychologist or clinical social worker to do talk therapy than a psychiatrist. So if you have any health insurance, look into this.

            I’ve benefited from a support group through the National Alliance on Mental Illness. They also have free classes for patients and family members, and can refer to providers, especially if you don’t have insurance.

        • KC

          That snapshot of your dad is *awesome*. :-)

    • jashshea

      It must be difficult to pick himself up, dust off, and move on after dedicating so much to the search, so it’s great to hear that he’s moving on so quickly. Best of luck to you both.

    • emmers

      I’m glad he bounced back from not getting the job. And I’m also really glad he’s moving on. From your previous posts, it sounds like that is something that you’ve been worried about. Yes, it’s tough if you think about it as starting from scratch, but it sounds like it was past time for that 3 year search to end. So it is positive that he’s considering something that sounds more realistic. I’m rooting for you. I’ve also stayed with someone who has had his own challenges in the past. My guy went to jail, while we were dating, and some people thought we were crazy for staying together. But like you, my life was better with him in it, and I’m glad I made that decision.

      You’re doing what’s right for you, and it sounds like it’s hard, but you’re making it through. And I really do hope that this new job direction is a better fit.

  • dearabbyp

    Three weeks to go! So many half-baked ideas that I am jettisoning.

    So get this, I got a shuttle that goes from one of our hotels to the venue. We’re getting married in wine country so a lot of people are renting houses (I think) but if we rented through Marriott they would let people taking the shuttle park there. Two questions:
    1. I have sent emails and posted on our website that if people are interested in taking the shuttle, to email me. Very very few takers, considering how much we know these people will drink. That said, I’m putting my wedding party on the shuttle home, so I don’t even have that much more room. Do I reach out one last time?
    2. Even for those who are taking the shuttle, I have no idea how they will get back to where they are staying once the are dropped off at the Marriott. It’s a mile back into town, and at least now Paso Robles has uberx, but I don’t think there are going to be millions of cabs at 10:30p. I hate logistics.

    This is what mainly keeps me up at night. And how much I will be SWEATING when it is 90 and I am in a giant dress. Any ideas for staying cool?

    Happy Friday??
    ps if you haven’t discovered the “Bachelorette Party” station on Pandora, feel free to do so and dance your tush off.

    • StevenPortland

      IMHO, you’ve done a great job of planning the shuttle. No need to reach out one last time. Those people are adults and will fend for themselves. Don’t even ask them how they are planning to do it, just let it happen. Enjoy!

      • dearabbyp

        For whatever reason, when my fiance tells me that, it doesn’t work. But random internet friend, thank you for being another voice of reason. :) They are adults, they will figure it out.

    • Claire

      I agree with Steven! But if your fiancee wants to help, you can give them this job- I find that a list of names helps. “This are the 18 people currently booked on the 25 passenger shuttle…. if you need a ride, please let us know ASAP as there are only seven remaining seats.” Facebook is especially helpful if you can tag people (assuming you want to post about your wedding on FB).

      Regarding the dress, I know it’s not everyone’s style, but a teeny hoop will lift the dress away from your body just enough to get air underneath (since you described the dress as giant, I assume it wouldn’t dramatically change the look). I wore one just for my ceremony, when I was nervous and overheating, it actually made a big difference!

    • YetAnotherMegan

      As far as the shuttle goes, your people are adults or traveling with adults, even if they don’t think like it sometimes.

      I’ve found that if my feet are cool, it helps my body stay cool. So if you have a reasonably cool floor/surface, ditch the shoes and go barefoot. My other strategy was finding an AC vent and sitting on it. It’s not for everyone, but a couple minutes looking ridiculous helped a ton.

  • Jules

    I’m miserable at my job 30% of the time and only mildly happy the other 70%. I have a great title and a lot of responsibility, the company is one of the fastest 100 growing companies in the city, there’s “opportunity”.

    BUT

    The place is chaos. It’s a disorganized mess where only the owners (and the owner’s girlfriend, who works here, and has been having an affair with him for nearly 2 years) know what’s going on, other departments are a priority, there’s a boy’s club going on and the only way to be admitted is to be a “Yes Woman” (get in with the girlfriend and stay there). They don’t manage because they’re busy with other things. Deadlines don’t exist, until they suddenly do and you’re “late” for something you didn’t even know was due. We only had one meeting from January til July.

    I’ve tried to “manage myself” as much as possible and put things in place to improve communication, but the company is nowhere close to ever changing. I’m someone who needs order. And the culture disgusts me, and I don’t respect my boss and feel like I could be doing so much if he would just quit being a control freak.

    Am I just nuts for leaving this?

    • KC

      Can you hunt for a job without leaving? It’s usually easier to get a job while you have a job (not practically-speaking in terms of having time to edit cover letters, but tactically speaking).

      So, yes, I’d be looking for the next lily pad to hop onto, despite “growth opportunities” and whatnot – but would probably wait until there’s a good pad available before hopping off this one?

      • Jules

        It’s definitely the plan to hunt right now before quitting. (As much as I want to rage quit).

        I just feel like I’m with a cheating lying boy: promising that if I stick it out I’ll “reap the rewards” (but…I don’t plan on staying until we sell anyway..), saying I’m doing fine but then berating me in meetings, being the bosses but creating office drama by taking certain cliques to HH or the Kentucky Derby and leaving others behind…

        • KC

          Rage-quitting is rarely productive, unfortunately.

          But yes. I’d start hunting now and would be willing to take a step “down” in pay/prestige if I had to (although if the company is theoretically a rising star, other companies may be sufficiently enthused about acquiring you from them, depending on what you are and what the line of business is, that you might not have to). But I’m also very drama-averse, and this sounds like The City of the Drama Llamas, so I’m on the side of run, run, run… as soon as you have a place to run to. :-)

          Also, if you can negotiate for your job title to be attractive, and for business cards so that if your current company tries to shoot you in the foot to keep you… they can’t, that may be potentially helpful. If you’re doing the job of, say, a brain surgeon and your official job title is Lower Sub Administrative Assistant, it’ll be harder to transfer to a truly equivalent position, although you can list projects or duties on your resume to make it a bit clearer – but if the company you’re with now denies that you ever did anything other than staple pages together, then that makes that tack harder.

          • Jules

            Thanks KC :)

            I’m anti-drama too, but at least I haven’t worried about job stability or pay here. I think it’s not so bad as to go backwards (since going to another company is a gamble anyway – what if they’re worse?) but I could do lateral….or upwards…This position has really placed me in a good spot to go up.

            Got the business cards! The official paper with the description is still floating around somewhere in the office, but I wrote the description back in May/June and have the cards.

    • laurasmash

      I feel this feel, like so much. I was going to comment on your post on the other thread earlier, but then I had to get back to work. You are absolutely not nuts for wanting to leave. A terrible work culture is terrible for your emotional health. I work at a company that is quite prestigious in my field, but I just can’t deal with the work culture anymore after 4 years. Do you feel like you’re sticking it out just because you have a good title/things look good from the outside? Because you should do what is good for you first.
      For me, part of the struggle was feeling really trapped, like I couldn’t find another job. You have a great skill set and experience, so you can totally find something else. It doesn’t have to be “right now” since you are employed and can pay the bills. But having an exit strategy or a plan for brushing up your resume and getting it out there can help. Making a plan made me feel so much better about everything, and even makes the crappy days more tolerable because I can confidently tell myself that this isn’t forever. Best of luck! You can do it :)

      • Jules

        Thanks a lot for replying Laura!

        I come home every day ready to bite someone’s head off since I spend 12 hours a day mostly unhappy. :/ I was/am sticking out because…the title’s good, which actually opens up the door for better opportunities. The job’s 10 minutes away from my house. I wear casual clothing every day. Sometimes there are perks like getting to go on a trip. Some others here are really happy, but not the ones who I’d call professional. I got a whopping 25% raise in the winter so the opportunity is there. But now that I have more responsibility and feel like I don’t have the resources to do my job, the bad days are really bad (like, cause me to worry about my objectives/end of year bonus/office politics). If it were all sorta mediocre, I think I could deal.

        I submitted my re-vamped resume to a job 20-30min from here! It’s 15% more than I currently make, but mobility is probably less (don’t expect I’ll see any crazy 25% raises there) and I don’t think there’s bonus. But no one ever gets 100% of their annual bonus here unless they work 60hour weeks every week the whole year, really…and by leaving before end of year, I give up any bonus I’ve earned. :( Also, the job is a 1 year contract…but possible it could lead to full time if they like me/I like them.

        I do feel better already knowing that I’m leaving. Now I just have to work on that emotionally since I really wanted this to work out until we moved abroad.

    • jashshea

      Yikes. I cannot remember what my life was like w/o 5+ meetings a day. But I digress…

      In my experience, there’s two things that happen at a company like that: They flame out or get absorbed by a larger company that sends in the MBA Corp. Option 2 brings order to chaos and often means reduction in dramatic bullshit, but also increases red tape and hierarchy. I worked at a small start up in my 20s that grew from 50–>125–>500 in my time there. In between 125 and 500, they hired loads of “manager-level” people from the outside which diluted the status of existing senior teammates.

      I ask: Would you want to do your current job in a more structured environment? What if that meant your opportunity for advancement was stunted (by the possible influx of new blood into the company or change in company vision)?

      Good advice below – start looking now and try to find something more inline with your values.

      • Jules

        We’re a circus in disguise. We blow money on taking select people to the Derby and Napa Valley for “work”, and yet I know exactly how much we have in the bank. It also means key personnel are gone frequently (they didn’t travel this much in the past) because they’re fishing in Alaska, gambling in Vegas, drinking wine in California….but when we ask for them to give us deadlines on projects/make a call on something, there’s hemming and hawwing and the question’s dodged. Emails and meeting requests go unanswered. Hard to CYA when they won’t give you anything to work with.

        I know they plan to sell someday, but I would guess that’s in 5-10 years. I don’t plan to be here when it happens because we want to move overseas…

        I could definitely do my job with more structure, although I don’t know about being slowed down in advancement – that’s probably the #1 perk here. If that were the case, I think I’d just leave.

  • Em(ily)

    I’m married! Hooray! Our wedding was last Saturday, and it went so so smoothly. The weather was perfect. Our daughter was adorable as the flower girl! I’m a little sad I didn’t get to see it, people kept commenting on it. Our ceremony was beautiful, the timing of our ring-warming was ideal, the rings came around seconds before the minister asked for them. Everybody seemed to enjoy themselves. I remember sitting and eating, and feeling so relaxed and happy.

    Right up to the end, it was just laid-back and fun, exactly what we wanted.

    • KC

      Congratulations!!!

    • Kelly

      Congratulations, wedding day twin! Cheers to laid-back, happy and fun wedding days!

  • Reader

    Can I just say that after reading APW for a year and a half, Adventure month has just.been.AMAZING. Every post has been thought-provoking and/or inspiring. Keep at it, awesome APW team. So many props.

  • ART

    This week we got approved for a line of credit for my husband’s business, which he started the week after we got back from our wedding/honeymoon (so, 6 weeks ago?) Things are moving fast, which is great, but a little stressful since I hate debt. I also have not caught up on sleep since the wedding, unfortunately. It’s so bizarre to have flexed our married financial muscle already to qualify for this loan, but kind of awesome :)

  • H

    So I have wedding dress woes. I bought a super cheap dress two years ago, well before the wedding. The plan was to alter it myself because I’m on a budget and can kind of sew. After a while I realized that my tastes had shifted pretty significantly (Wait, sequins? And colors? We can do that for weddings?) I hadn’t tried on my cheapo dress in a while and I brought it to Dillards while we were bridesmaid dress shopping. When I put it on in the full length mirror it was all sorts of wrong. And then, to make matters worse, I accidentally stumbled upon my “dream dress” or rather the dress I would have picked out NOW as opposed to two years ago. Oops. It was several sizes too big but I figured I could just order my size and presto, wedding dress. So I saved up this month and ordered the same dress on sale from Nordstroms last week and it finally arrived and….it doesn’t fit. Like at all. And there’s no smaller size. I am majorly crushed! How do you break up with the “dream dress” and find a dress you like ok and actually functions on your body? I have hit that mental brick wall where dress shopping seems like the hardest, most frustrating process in the whole world and I equal parts don’t want to shop, and want to look fabulous on my wedding day. Arrgh. Help?

    • Kelly

      This sucks. Dress shopping is the worst. I’m assuming the dress doesn’t exist anywhere else in the internets? How long do you have until your wedding? Are there elements of the “dream dress” that you might be able to find in a different dress? Can this send you on a different kind of search? Hell, I’ll search for you! Do you have a link to the wrong-size dream dress?

    • KC

      Augh, that’s rough. Is there a smaller size of the Dream Dress available on something like eBay?

      I would also note that since you have Dress 1, there are things such as fabric dye and sequins-you-can-sew-on (or sequin appliques, or net/chiffon/lace with sequins that you can stitch into an overlay for your dress). So depending on how far your concept of the basic shape of your ideal dress has changed, that may yet be an option for a customized fantastic dress?

      (also, depending on the construction, it may be possible to take in Dress 2 to fit you; you can ask someone who does alterations what the cost might be and see how you feel about that)

    • JessPeebs

      Are you sure that you couldn’t take it to a tailor to price out alterations? Particularly since you could get away with out saying it is a wedding dress. For the most part, you can always tailor in.

  • laurasmash

    You guys! I threw a bridal shower for my friend last weekend and it was so much fun! It was “america’s next top model” themed (my friend tried out for the show back in the day), and we did silly photoshoot challenges based on her life/things she’s into. It was hilarious. It was also my first grown-up party where I served a sit-down meal to a big group and it went so well!

    • KC

      Hooray and congratulations on a successful bridal shower throwing and sit-down meal! And that sounds like so much fun. :-)

    • macrain

      This sounds like the most amazing thing ever. I love it!

  • YetAnotherMegan

    I just got home from a week of frenzied long hours at work and found out that my husband’s band is opening for Los Lonely Boys next month!!! The band hasn’t announced it yet, but anyone who is in the Syracuse, NY area and can get out on a Tuesday night should totally go!

    Also, my excitement at hearing this news is making me realize that as much as having him gone a lot to play gigs sucks, I want him to have his dream anyway. So yay!

  • Brooke

    Today in weird WIC something-or-other (or maybe just “math is hard,” but it didn’t sound like it…)

    I booked our hairstylists for the wedding day this week.
    Hair person: What time is the wedding?
    Me: 5:30, but I’d like everyone to be ready by 3:30.
    H: Pictures before the ceremony?
    Me: Yep.
    H: Alright, so for a group your size it’ll take us about 4 hours, so we should start at…9:00 AM.

    Yeah. It might just be that she couldn’t do the math, but it seems more likely that she thought we should leave 2 1/2 more hours than we actually need to get ready. And that, somehow, that wouldn’t be a big deal, to ask my bridesmaids to show up at 9:00 AM for a 5:30 wedding. Yeah, right. I eventually talked her into 11:30, but it was difficult. She tried to do 10:00, and then 11:00. YOU SAID IT’D TAKE 4 HOURS, LADY. 11:30.

    • Jen

      I ended up having to basically forgo my “first look” because I thought 1.5 hours would be PLENTY of time to do only my hair and makeup- and it wasn’t. She may have wanted to be safe rather than sorry for making sure you would totally be on time for the pictures. I wish I had given myself more time!

  • ReadyToDaydream

    Guys, I had a really long conversation with my husband (one of many on the topic) and we’ve concluded I can legit retire in a year and 9 months if things proceed as planned! Even if they don’t proceed as planned, I will still take at least a two year sabbatical. I can’t tell you how badly and how long I’ve wanted this, I feel like I’ve been waiting my whole life to step off the “safe, well trod and expected” road. Talk about adventure month. I’m so excited and nervously hoping for the best and I have found it SO distracting and difficult to go to work everyday. How will I get through all those months to go?? Wishing everyone an exciting, adventurous weekend. Big conversations=awesome.

  • Sarah McClelland

    Y’all. Exactly 3 months from now, I am gonna have a HUSBAND. Que all the feelings!! Bring on all the spreadsheets so I can start checking things off of them. Bridesmaids dresses have a listing on Etsy? Check. Caterer conversation was great. He’s totally on board with the idea of potluck sides. And as a friend from church, he’s giving us a SUPER AMAZING deal. Big checkmark.
    It’s been a week of ordering all the things, and today was round one of happy mail… My new Otterbox and all the lining fabrics for my wedding dress! Squeeeeeeee! Buttons for down my back should be here soon too! The back half of the dress, complete with train, is drafted and the front half will be in the course of a movie tonight while I watch The Birdcage. Hoping for a fitting next week.
    -Shoes are on their merry way from Zappos, although there seems to be an astounding lack of T-Strap heels under 4″ tall available. Sad face. Hoping one of these options works… Anybody have a good source for retro-inspired semi-reasonable shoes?
    -bare minerals starter kit is on its way from Sephora with some fun samples. Thinking about going back for a consult/lesson… Afraid it might be overwhelming, but I really don’t want to fret all day about it.
    Invitations are next week’s beast. Gonna do a mock-up so we can start making a million square envelopes for them.

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

      I’ve gotten lucky with Modcloth shoes. Very retro/vintage inspired. Not too badly priced. easy returns if they aren’t what you want.

      • Sarah McClelland

        Thanks! Looked a little bit on Modcloth and ended up finding one of those pairs on Zappos. Everything out there seems so tall and I’m already 5’8. Hoping more goodness will pop up with fall. I’m glad their returns are simple! That’s really great to know.

        • Erin

          Posting this in case original Modcloth suggester wasn’t aware but the return policy recently changed. It’s still pretty reasonable but slightly more risky if you order a bunch of stuff planning to only keep one pair. Be sure to read up before you order or you might end up with lots and lots of store credit.

          • Sarah McClelland

            Whoa. Good warning. Thank you.

    • KC

      That looks fantastic! And congratulations on the progress! And good luck on the shoes. :-)

      I would note as a potentially unwelcome aside that the USPS charges slightly more for square envelopes than they do for not-square envelopes that have the address running the “long” way. (you may already know this! It’s just not one of those things that’s fun to find out after you’ve dropped them in a mailbox unsuspectingly, so I re-mention it every so often…)

  • lady brett

    along with the massive number of odd, hard, good and complex things that have happened in the last few weeks, we have been placed with some kids that…we just want to keep forever. which is not what i am supposed to want, and not what i am accustomed to want (oh, and not a decision you should make on a 24-hour acquaintance). i am emotionally unprepared for this, but the day-to-day is *so much fun*.

  • Stacey H.

    I’m tall (5’8″) and I’ve bought a floor-length dress. I’ve been having nightmares that if I wear heels my dress will be too short. Have any of you tall ladies ever that issue? Can alterations fix something like that?

    • Sarah McClelland

      What does the dress look like? Have you put on heels with it yet?

      • Stacey H.

        Strapless, A-Line and lacy. The dress won’t arrive until the end of this week (at the earliest) so I haven’t been to my fitting yet, so I haven’t really accessorized at all. The wedding is in 6 weeks so cue the stress nightmares, ha!

        http://www.allurebridals.com/assets/1550/2561f4.jpg

        • Sarah McClelland

          Take a pair of heels and a pair of flats to the fitting. Dresses are typically hemmed to the top of the shoe, and when they took your measurements, they should have accounted for your height. It will be beautiful!
          Window shopping on Zappos for shoes has been super fun, btw. NOT stress inducing.

        • Sarah McClelland

          Hope the fitting went well! Share the verdict!!

          • Stacey H.

            The dress hasn’t arrived yet… the boutique said I’d have it by this Saturday, but we’ll see. I’ll keep everyone posted!!

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

    A good and hard week. Excitingly, my wedding dress (bought 2nd hand from Oncewed.com) is on its way to me! I live in Australia, so was thrilled to find the BHLDN dress of my dreams and someone who was willing to ship to me!

    Not so excitingly, I am blessed with a fiancé who has a really strong vision of what he wants his wedding to look like. So do I, and our visions aren’t really matching up at the moment. We’re also planning our August 2015 wedding apart for the next six months, as he’s in England where I’ve lived for the last four years, while I sort out visa problem after visa problem.

    It’s important to me to have a great photographer, a free bar for our guests (not always the custom in the UK) and I kind of even wanted a videographer. J doesn’t immediately see the value for money in these things, and to be fair he hasn’t spent the last two years reading wedding blogs like I have. I just really want to capture the day as perfectly as I can. I know to a certain extent I’ve been caught up in WIC, but also I’m spending $500 on a second hand dress and found wonderful local caterers who will do us a Moroccan feast for £12.50 a head. So I don’t feel like I’m being too much of a diva, considering that we’re in a pretty groovy financial position.

    I guess this is just a bit of a whinge. I’m finding wedding planning to be a bit of an uphill fight at the moment, to the point where I just want to take a step back and let J make the decisions, because I just get upset when we argue, because it doesn’t seem like he ever just goes “that’s a great idea Sam, let’s do that”, it’s always “oh that’s too expensive, anyway I’ve had this idea….”. Has anyone else had experience of having a partner who is a bit of a visionary, and how to actually still be involved in planning your own wedding?

    • Sarah E

      Sounds like maybe you need to lay it all out on the table. “Hey sweet thing, it’s looking like we both have really strong visions for this wedding that aren’t necessarily similar. I’d really like to find a way to compromise with you and find a vision we can both be cool with, so that neither one of us feels trampled by the other.”

      Also, objections on expense need to be backed up with numbers so each of you knows the budget. $20 may be too expensive for a tie, or $100 may be too expensive for a tie, depending on perspective. He’s probably never going to just go along with what you propose if he has such strong opinions himself. So you’ll have to tell yourself what great ideas you have ;-)

    • macrain

      First of all- which BHLDN dress are you wearing? I’m obsessed with mine! (The Isis gown)
      Secondly- fighting is totally normal. We fought a LOT in the beginning, and for us it did get easier after we nailed down the big things.
      I think it’s helpful to narrow down things, on both sides that are really important to both of you, like a can’t do without list. Like, if you are going to die without that photographer, maybe he can concede to you on that if you are willing to give up the open bar, for example. And you can let him have something that’s really important to him. In the beginning especially, it’s all about prioritizing.
      I know all of this is easier said than done, and you feel like tearing your hair out right now! I have been there, I feel you. Take a deep breath- you can do it!

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

        Ah the Isis gown is to die for! Such a gorgeous silhouette, and so flattering. Mine is the crepe de chine gown, don’t think it has a name? This one: http://www.bhldn.com/product/crepe-de-chine-column-gown

        Thanks for your comments, we had a little Skype chat about things tonight. I mentioned that I’ve had lots of people (e.g. family) asking about my choices and having to defend them to a few people, and he realised that he doesn’t have that, so when he questions my choices he just sees it in the context of his situation. He didn’t realise that I’m getting it from everyone else too, so feel a bit attacked! We’re working on it. I’m definitely prepared to compromise, and I know I am lucky to a) be marrying him and b) have someone who cares so much about the day!

    • Megan

      I feel you on some of these disagreements! We have arguments sometimes about what we should spend money on–for awhile he thought a day-of-coordinator was useless, but I know he thinks that because he isn’t the person who is ultimately managing all of the little details throughout this whole process. My day job is concert programming and production, so I have a lot of experience with what it takes to put on an event and all the little stuff that goes on behind the scenes to make something happen, so I see a lot of value in paying someone some money to worry about that, because when it comes to our day, it’s certainly not going to be him! That person is usually me when it comes to a show I’m working on.

      Being the prime researcher of things regarding the wedding, I think sometimes he feels like I’m steam rolling planning decisions, but he also has no interest in spending hours on the computer trying to compare vendors. I’ve found that when there are things he really cares about, it helps to be really encouraging and agreeable on things he’s interested in unless they’re something I am very much against. Are there things that you can find common ground on that you can tackle first, so you feel like progress is being made? That might open both of you up a bit more to compromise when you have disagreements.

  • lizperk23

    finally downloaded the master spreadsheets (hello 5 weeks & 1 day away) – the guest list spreadsheet with Jane Goodall as #1 guest TOTALLY rocked my saturday morning. thank you APW.

    • macrain

      9 weeks away here! Good luck! I’m almost in spreadsheet mode too.

  • Leah

    Wahoo!!! Months of reading APW almost every day, being psyched on this community, the attitude, and the BEAUTIFUL weddings, and now WE DID IT! Our wedding was pretty much the most beautiful weekend ever. Saturday evening Jewish wedding in the mountains of Montana (where we live). Whitewater rafting on Thursday, all-afternoon potluck picnic on Friday, camping on-site for all the guests, and lazy morning of coffee and hanging out with all our wonderful people on Sunday. Just a crazy amount of love, a sunset, a full moon, a legion of toddlers, a dance party till 2 am. Hard to ask for more. Thanks to the APW community for all the information and inspiration! Love, Leah

    • River

      Beautiful!! Best wishes to you both :-)

  • Alice

    I’m late to the party this week, but I could really use some advice on dealing with my narcissistic mother-in-law. We had lots of strife leading up to the wedding, which eventually led to hubby’s family not being invited, because of the very poisonous words and actions of his mother, and the subsequent denial and total lack of support (or even acknowledment of an issue) from his father and sister. Now that the wedding is over, we’d like to heal things enough that hubby can at least speak to his family on the phone without feeling like he needs to punch something or hide in a corner. I would like to be able to spend a day without thinking about the incredibly hateful accuasations she has made against me.

    So, does anyone have experience reconciling with a narcissist without grovelling/lying/setting the stage for another attack? Everything I read just says to stay away if things get bad, but this is his mother we’re talking about, and unfortunately she has a lot of influence (especially financially) on his sister and dad. Hubby and I have both suggested a family counselor, but I don’t think they will agree to that in this lifetime, judging by their response. How can we reach out to hem without getting burnt? And, should I be involved in this discussion, or should I leave this to hubby and just be as supportive as possible?

    • genevathene

      Oh I’m so sorry! It took getting engaged to realize that my mother is a narcissist, and it can be so painful to deal with, especially during major life transitions like marriage. In my experience, family counseling doesn’t work. Your son is seen by his mother as an extension of her, and likely cannot admit wrongdoing due to her fantasy thinking (which she uses as a coping mechanism to deal with her own childhood issues). Honestly, the only thing that helped me was getting therapy for myself. Have you discovered the “raised my narcissists” sub-reddit? It’s surprisingly good. Hugs to you and your husband!

    • Eh

      Good Luck! From my experience, counseling only works when the participants want it to work.

      We tried to work things out with my husband’s narcissistic SIL before our wedding. In the end, my BIL and his family decided not to come because we refused to go out of our way to grovel (and lie) to meet his wife’s demands for an apology (for something my husband did not do and he had already apologized for repeatedly but she refused to accept his apology).

      After we returned from our honeymoon we discussed having no contact with his brother and his wife (as difficult as that would be since my husband loves his brother and his nieces, and how hard it would be for his parents as they only have two sons). We agreed to give them one more chance and we set up a face to face meeting with them. It turns out after our wedding she got help (an event around our wedding actually convinced her to go seek help; she admits she wasn’t ready before that event). She started counseling with her pastor (and my BIL and her even got couples counseling). It has been great for her (she is way less aggressive and she has not been abusive to my husband since she got help). Some of her narcissistic behaviours are still there but they are easier to deal with when she isn’t going into a rage over every little thing.

      It’s been eight months and things are going much better. At first we had a lot of boundaries set up (e.g., my husband was not to be with his SIL without me or third party – and his brother didn’t count since he would not step in if his wife was being abusive towards my husband). We still don’t rely on them (they agreed to help us move but last minute told my MIL that something came up and they had her tell us after we discussed not sending messages through other people since messages can get distorted), we don’t expect things from them (even thank you notes – my in-laws still hold a grudge that my BIL and his wife never sent thank you notes for gifts from their wedding or baby shower), and we don’t get upset when they plan things even after they know my husband won’t be able to come (their youngest daughter’s dedication was on Saturday at the same time my husband was a groomsman in a wedding – they planned it after I mentioned that he was in a wedding that day, that said, not saying they did it no purpose just that they don’t think about others). These boundaries seem to be working for us.

  • Emily

    I’m late too… but in case anyone is reading: is there anyone out there who did a MFA (Creative writing, fiction or non-fiction) in Colorado, Wyoming, or a low-residency program? After more than ten years of being out of school I’m considering going back, but it’s a scary proposition and I can’t decide if it would do me any good.