APW Happy Hour


Is it vacation yet?

by Meg Keene, Editor-In-Chief

APW Happy Hour | A Practical Wedding

APW Happy Hour | A Practical Wedding

HI APW!

Hi everyone, I’M GOING ON VACATION. Okay, not technically yet, but basically really soon. It’s August, and I somehow haven’t even had a mini-vacation yet this year, so even though this isn’t a trip on a massive scale, I’m ready. In the meantime, we’ve been dashing around taking meetings and riding the work tidal wave. It’s been grand, but I’d rather ride the lapping ripples of a babbling stream. Vacations with a toddler are mostly just taking the show on the road, but still. At least it’s the road.

But in between now and vacation, it’s our five-year anniversary tomorrow. It’s crazy since we’d been together five years when we got married, so we just doubled that. But time flies when you’re having fun.

Love, happy summer vibes, good links, and an open thread! I’ll see you on Instagram this weekend rocking your #APWwedding hashtags. Join us there. I wanna see your pretty faces in my hashtags.

XO
Meg

Highlights of APW This Week

Adventure: the journey into the moment.

Getting married on a cloudy day in paradise.

Mythbusters, APW edition: will SPF ruin your wedding photos?

What would it mean if sitting quietly was enough?

Beautiful, affordable letterpress by Thomas-Printers. It’s a wedding industry miracle!

“Is it too big of a risk to get married at our wedding?”

“So what if it’s a Wednesday morning wedding? So what if it’s a standing reception? So what if the only beverage is champagne and sparkling cider? So what?”

Dressing for the job you want, digitally.

Putting the awkward in adventure.

Win $1,000 towards your own Gemvara piece!

Link Roundup

The abortion ministry of Dr. Willie Parker. And semi related: a six-part series about one woman’s journey to understand abortion from a biblical perspective.

How a single pronoun became the Internet’s most expressive meme.

A newborn shoot… with a Jack Russell Terrier? Our request: someone do this with their Great Dane/Mastiff/other large dog. Bonus points if you can actually hold them like a baby.

Marvel’s ridiculous excuses for why they won’t be making a female-led superhero movie any time soon.

A photographer profiles the generation moving back in with their parents post-college.

The new Cheerios ads portray dads as totally competent! Watch the entire #HowToDad series. You won’t regret it.

The case against barn weddings.

I punch first.”

Alison Lundergan Grimes calls Mitch McConnell a useless douche to Mitch McConnell’s face.

Why can’t we stop using emojis?

Anna Paquin’s bisexuality for dummies.

Why we need more men to speak openly about the challenges and joys of raising kids.

“What I’ve left unsaid: On balancing career and family as a woman of color.”

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

Meg Keene

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

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  • Elizabeth

    HAPPY ANNIVERSARY! And happy vacation!

  • anon update

    Hi! About a year ago, I nervously submitted an essay about an episode of domestic violence, and promised to give an update in one year: http://apracticalwedding.com/2013/08/rebuilding-a-relationship-after-abuse/
    That comment thread is now closed, but I felt it important to follow through, so I’ll post the update here. If you feel it should be elsewhere, mods, please redirect. Thanks.

    So as promised, here is an update (nearly two years after the incident of abuse). I am joyful to report that we are doing well. D has not touched me in anger again; the respect level between us remains high. There are ups and downs, but they are “regular”, two-people-coexisting ups and downs. We got married last year, and I am currently knocked up. Also, I recently got past my aversion and returned to the site of the abusive incident, for his family reunion. It was a great road trip (tip: Hunger Games is awesome for out-loud road reading), aside from the part where I was nauseous throughout. Trust, my cranky, growing ass is not currently a delight. But when I’m on the verge of blubbering because I can no longer button my pants, D wraps his arms around me, smiling, and I just feel better.

    There is bad news: a friend is being abused by her partner. I have begged her to confide in our other friends (who are local to her, which I am not) or at least read the abuse book I mentioned in the original essay, but she won’t. I get the sense D and I somewhat normalized the experience for her, which is especially disconcerting because she is therapy-averse. I feel the need to emphasize, for anyone reading along, that it’s crucial for an abuser to do their emotional homework in order to have a functional relationship. You also benefit from social support. Our relationship didn’t magically resolve itself; we also continue to work at growth, as imperfect folks do.

    Lastly, during our first prenatal visit, the NP asked me whether I was afraid of D, while he was present. The answer was a truthful no, but I changed NPs. It’s a little disheartening how much professional education is still required. My new perspective on domestic violence has made me intolerant of that kind of oversight (don’t get me started on Ray Rice). Besides, if they’re not following procedure for a danger this common, I hate to discover what other protocols they’re skipping. I’ll end this before I burst into cranky hormone flames; long story short: we’re good! Thanks for this wonderful community.

    • River

      Thank you for sharing your story and for updating us. I am very pleased to hear that you and D are doing well, and have so thoughtfully worked past this. Best wishes for a happy and healthy pregnancy!

      Though it comes at the expense of your friend, I’m also glad that you acknowledged that abuse shouldn’t be normalized, and that your original story might do just that.

      I hope it’s okay if I share this story with my sister, who is in a similar position as your friend, and about whom I am desperately worried.

      • anon update

        I would say that it is more dangerous than that, by verging on false hope territory (“man abuses woman, it works out”). But I submitted it because I *only* found stories of things not working out, rather than acknowledging that, with work and support, things really can be healthy. My friend makes me so frustrated because she’s skipping these really essential elements… But that’s another story.

        Share away, I purposely left the details vague so as not to doxx myself.

    • vegankitchendiaries

      God, was that a year ago? I remember reading this so clearly and it’s actually really nice to read your update. Sending you and your man (and your belly) lots of good wishes!

    • Grace from England

      I remember your post so clearly, it made a real impact. Nobody seems to want to discuss life beyond abuse, particularly for the abuser. I’m glad you’ve spoken out about such a serious issue in such a reflective and healthy way. I’m sorry your friend is suffering without reaching for help in the way that you did. All you can do is let her know help is available, and hope she accepts it when she’s ready.

      I hope all goes well with your pregnancy and your marriage – it sounds like you both have a lot to look forward to.

    • Julie

      Thank you so much for sharing your update. Your original post was one of my top APW posts in that it made me re-examine opinions on things I didn’t even know I had. Wishing you all the best!

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

      Thank you for updating us! I am so glad that you are doing well.

    • macrain

      I am seeing this for the first time, and it’s so amazing. Thank you for this.

    • Meg Keene

      Boom. I’m so glad. I ran your post by a professional back before we ran it who was deeply impressed by the amount of theraputic work you both had been willing to do on yourselves, and was like “OK TO PUBLISH.” I read *a lot of things* and often see danger signals that the writer is not intending to send, but I had a really really good feeling about you two.

    • Jess

      I’m so glad to have this follow-up, I remember your essay vividly and am so glad to hear that the two of you are continuing work to keep going and treating each other well.

  • Anon

    Hey ladies, I’m struggling with how to get the love back in a marriage and could use some advice. I’m a new mom and with transititioning to staying at home with baby on mat leave, there are so many things that are different…my identity, body, finances and most of all my marriage. My spouse has not been what I expected in terms of helping out with baby. On top of that he has made comments that our marriage has been a mistake, that I have no interests anymore, etc. Its heartbreaking to know he feels this way about me. Nevertheless our communication is horrible, I always feel like he’s putting me down and unsupportive. I haven’t heard anything positive from his mouth in terms of how well I am taking care of baby or even in terms of how I look post baby. Our sex life has taken a dive and for myself, its hard to put myself in a physical intimate situation where my spouse doesn’t seem positive towards me. We’ve had talks and even spoke with our pastor but I don’t know what to do. I’m hoping this is just a phase but I’m struggling with his negativity towards me. How do I get past that? I’ve vocalized my feelings to him but he says I’m being too sensitive. We are coming up on 2 years of marriage. Any advice?

    • Caroline

      I’m so sorry. That sounds really hard. I’d like to suggest counseling. We’ve found it so helpful from everything from small issues to large issues. It really helps us communicate better. Clergy people sometimes have some training in pastoral counseling, but not a huge amount. I’d recommend trying some counseling with someone who has extensive training as a counselor, such as a MFT or LSW. They will be able to help more than your pastor most likely, unless your pastor has very extensive counseling training.

    • Violet

      Oh Anon, you’re hurting. One good sign is you said “we’ve talked with our pastor,” meaning, it sounds like your husband a. at least also acknowledges there’s room for improvement in your marriage, b. is willing to work on it and c. will work on it by bringing in sources of support. So if I read that “we” right, your partnership has got some strengths going for you.

      You’ve got a lot going on now that really an experienced counselor would be able to help with. I know pastors do “pastoral care” but some are more trained than others. I’d really suggest meeting with someone in the mental health field to start to hash things out.

      If you do identify as Christian, Sheila Wray Gregoire has a blog that handles marital issues. I don’t recall the name, not being religious myself, but I’m sure if you Google you can at least start reading some things there to get an idea of what you’d like to do next.

    • emilyg25

      I’m sorry. The postpartum period is never easy, but this isn’t okay. It sounds like you guys need a couple of sessions with a good marital therapist.

  • bonfire girl

    Kinda glad the NYT called out barn weddings, although for a slightly different reason. It makes me uncomfortable when people spend thousands and thousands of dollars to basically play at being rural and working class. The analogy, albeit more extreme, would be throwing a homeless-themed ball or a working-class costume party. It’s cultural appropriation. I’ve seen images from barn weddings that border on mockery. I don’t mean to offend anyone who is excited about (or already has had) a barn wedding, I just challenge people to think about what “rustic” really means — poor. Some people don’t have the privilege of choosing a “rustic” wedding.

    • Lauren from NH

      Agreed. I think the scale of the trend is a bit problematic. To be fair I don’t think I 100% understand it, but I think I maybe see a connection to the rising popularity of organic/green/DIY culture. Like on a subconscious level it is somewhat coming from a good place in that people are trying to move away from processed, prepackaged, plastic, consumerism and that’s getting expressed as appreciation for more natural landscapes, reclaimed (recycled in a sense) barns, mason jars representing organics. But in doing so without thinking critically about it, “rustic” has become commodified, and I think in some cases it is becoming like hipsters wearing Native American headdresses, wearing cultural element to be chic and then taking them off.

      • Natalie

        I wonder where you draw the line? Someone who has never owned a Mason jar in her life but who chooses to use them as glasses and vases at her wedding for the trendy aesthetics could be called out for cultural appropriation. But a bride who has never worked on a farm or lived in a rural setting but who cans her own jams & fruit preserves, or who grows her own vegetables in the middle of a city… is she guilty of cultural appropriation if she chooses a mason jar-filled barn wedding?

        • Lauren from NH

          I really don’t know where the line is. Those two feel different to me because the canner is using the jars for their intended purpose at the very least and taking the time to learn a craft rather than the bride who just thinks, “oh these are cute”. Other thoughts?

          • Violet

            Sometimes I wonder if it comes down to individual values re. aesthetics and purpose. To some people, Beauty is a really important value in and of itself. For others, Pragmatics win the day and how something looks isn’t a good enough reason for something. I could see someone who values Beauty and another who values Pragmatism maybe never fully seeing eye to eye on something like this. Hence why the line might be fuzzy/disputed. (Obviously people can value both Beauty and Pragmatism, but this would be an extreme form of the dispute.)

          • Natalie

            I think I agree with you… I garden, can my own fruit preserves & homegrown tomatoes, and my fiance & I use mason jars on a daily basis for food storage, simply because they’re the most useful, versatile items in our kitchen for that purpose. Our friends tease us about how many mason jars we own and how often we’re seen drinking tea out of them and how often they get sent home from our dinner parties with a mason jar of leftovers. But I deliberately chose NOT to have mason jars as part of our wedding decor because it has become too trendy for me. I didn’t want to be mistaken for someone who chose the rustic/farm theme because it’s cute and cool. I don’t know if that makes me a hipster bride or an anti-hipster bride…

          • Sarah

            LOL I am the same. I think I own about 40 mason jars in total and use them for everything constantly. Food storage, quick pickles, sauces, herb storage, leftover storage, etc. And…I am deliberately avoiding them for my wedding because they’re too trendy. I don’t know what that means either :

          • Natalie

            :-) They’re perfect for just about everything. Including holding flowers and drinking out of. I just won’t be using them for that purpose on my wedding day. In addition to feeling particularly rebellious against the super trendy (in this one particular instance…not sure why; I’m doing other very trendy things at my wedding), I kept picturing my very proper great aunt looking at her mason jar, and wondering why in the world she’s being asked to drink out something she hasn’t had to use as a glass since the Depression. And her wondering if we scrubbed all the jam out of the jar before we poured her drink into it.

          • Lawyerette510

            I disagree, mason jars aren’t special, they are one brand of glass jars which have been around in various forms for centuries and used very widely and across cultures for various purposes not just for canning. Saying “visually I like the look of mason jars” is not problematic to me. I don’t wear a $400 dress on the regular, but wearing it for one day because it makes me happy and I like the look at it wasn’t appropriating anything. Weddings are full of subjective decisions about taste and appearance. People order cakes and cookies and they don’t necessarily know how to make those or the other food they serve.

          • vegankitchendiaries

            This is really well said. We do a lot of things on our wedding day that aren’t necessarily “us” but that’s a totally different thing than cultural appropriation.

          • Meg Keene

            I mean, more than agreed. I just don’t think the issues raised in the article had anything to do with mason jars. I also don’t think the article came down firmly on “barn weddings are bad,” but was more of an exploration of what happens when we do thing without questioning because they are cool, or pleasing aesthetically, and those choices impact others.

          • Megera

            We are using Mason jars for flowers, because I didn’t want to rent vases and we could spare them. We’ll also have floating candles in mason jars, because I can’t stand the thought of buying things if we’ll never use them again. I wouldn’t glue stuff to them so we can’t use them for preserves again, but we had them to hand, they were convenient, and they’ll look fine.
            That said, I’m not sure if our guests will know that, so they might think we’re doing it because it’s trendy. I don’t mind that — if people come in looking for stuff to be upset about, this is a pretty minor issue.

    • Natalie

      Huh. I had never thought of it in that way before. I’m not sure I agree 100% with you, but I’m definitely glad to see your perspective. I guess I don’t equate enjoying the rural setting with playing at being poor. Because while rural agricultural often means rustic and poor, it doesn’t always. I have a hard time faulting people for enjoying the idea of rural, back-to-nature themed weddings. But you’ve given me a new way to see the issue, which I appreciate.

    • pajamafishadventures

      Be careful not to equate “having a barn” with “being poor” though, as that is not always the case.

    • Carrie

      I’m really frustrated by the trend, as someone whose wedding (from the outside) probably looks like a “barn wedding.” I’ve just been going along, planning out the wedding I always thought I would have, and lo and behold suddenly the entire WIC internet world has decided that ‘rustic chic’ is a thing and everything needs mason jars on it. It makes me feel like I have to defend my choices in order to somehow distinguish myself from the hipster-posers.

      So here’s my defense, even though I know it shouldn’t be necessary:

      We’re not technically getting married in a barn, but there will be mason jars and bbq. And probably some chickens wandering around. The venue is my uncle’s yard, which has both a chicken house and some barns attached. It’s the farm where my grandmother grew up. It’s HOME to me in a deeper way than anywhere I’ve actually lived. This is where my family has reunion picnics, and birthday celebrations, and where my grandfather taught me how to put up vinyl siding.
      And the mason jars… we’re using them for the flowers because my grandmother has a basement full of them (she’s almost 90 and still does some serious canning) that we can use for free. (My uncle is growing sunflowers for me, because flowers are $$$.) We got some stupid personalized mason jar mugs as favors, both because we actually drink from mason jars at home and because they were cheaper to buy than renting glasses from our caterer. There will be no hay bales. There will be no burlap. There will be no banjo music, even though I LIKE banjo music. There will be lawn games, and a trampoline, instead of a dance floor because I hate dancing.

      • Lauren from NH

        You shouldn’t have to defend yourself. Your wedding sounds perfect for you! I think what you are saying really gets at the issue though, that barn weddings are personal to some people and so tons and tons of random other people doing it to be cute kind of cheapens it.

        • vegankitchendiaries

          I don’t think it’s fair to suggest that suburban people (or city people, or hipsters, etc…) can’t get married in a beautiful barn because it’s “cheapening” the experience for a couple that considers themselves more rural (or whose grandpa own a farm, or who are actual farmers, etc…). I certainly don’t think Carrie has to defend her barn wedding (which sounds bloody marvelous, btw!) but I also don’t think anyone else having a barn wedding should have to either.

          • Alison O

            This thread is interesting to me in light of some spiritual reading about ego, attachment to self, etc. I’ve done recently. (this is one example from a Catholic mystical perspective, but there’s a lot along the same lines in Buddhism in particular: http://myemail.constantcontact.com/Richard-Rohr-s-Meditation–The-Small-Self.html?soid=1103098668616&aid=jXaP2jAKYxs) I think using the word “defend” is notable here because it usually suggests that you are being attacked, but that doesn’t sound like that’s actually happening to Carrie, for example. The ‘defense’ is only ‘necessary’ insofar as we feel the need to stake our claim as being a certain kind of person, in contrast to other people whose traits, motives, etc. we implicitly or explicitly consider less desirable. What’s hard about that is we can’t control how people perceive us in any event, and we also can’t know the full story behind other people we might be tempted to judge (e.g. why someone made certain wedding choices). I think when our culture teaches the saying “don’t judge a book by its cover”, the focus is on not being unfair to other people; but letting go of the framework of judgment is just as much a favor to ourselves!

      • KC

        TRAMPOLINE!!! That is awesome.

        And I feel you on the “my personal tradition is being hijacked and then attacked as a trend” thing. It’s rough. But hopefully your wedding guests will know what’s “you” at the wedding.

        (aside from which, it’s not like mason jars are any more fake than any other centerpieces/glassware options – if you don’t do giant parties regularly, you probably don’t *have* a normal for all the categories and will need to pick *an* option, and mason jars are *an* option…)

        • Carrie

          We seriously considered renting a bouncy castle, but ultimately didn’t for money/space reasons. Trampoline will have to do. :)

          You’re totally right about the jars, they’re just as valid an option as anything else, but the trendiness of them has prompted a lot of judgey “wow, you’re using mason jars? I’m so over that…” comments on one side, and over-the-top “oooh, you should have a cake shaped like a barn” comments on the other.
          APW is the only place I talk about the wedding anymore, outside of planning conversations with my mother, because this is a magical island of sanity in an ocean of overly formal programs and plastic canning-jar-shaped twinkly lights being thrust in my face. Ack!

          • leafygreen

            Poor mason jars, really. There was a reddit thread the other day about wedding trends people are over, and mason jars featured prominently…but so did nerd weddings, and dammit, my wedding is going to be nerdy because that is who I am. I hope you can do what you like and ignore any judgyness about it. I am going to try, too.

          • Carrie

            Power to the nerd wedding!
            I don’t care what anyone says, nerd weddings will never die. If I could have come up with an affordable way to have a Doctor Who/Star Trek/Star Wars/Firefly/Lego wedding without totally overwhelming everyone who wasn’t me or my fiance, I would have. I just didn’t have the emotional wherewithal.
            Please tell me you’re submitting pictures after? :D

          • leafygreen

            We’re probably going a little more math nerdy (I have fandoms but the fiance does not share in them, so I shall leave Tolkien out of it for the most part out of respect to him). I will totally at least put a couple of pictures up in a happy hour after the wedding. :)

          • Sarah McClelland

            Hahaha I love this! My FH got a little excited when we picked brown suits because he gets to be a browncoat. Nerdy inside jokes belong in all the weddings where there are nerds.

          • KC

            Cake shaped like a barn? Hm. That’s… a new one.

            But yes. Go for what seems feasible/enjoyable to you, potentially don’t mention the mason jars to additional people unless you really feel like it, and enjoy your trampoline! (I cannot even imagine how fun trampoline photos are going to be!)

          • Natalie

            “APW is the only place I talk about the wedding anymore, outside of
            planning conversations with my mother, because this is a magical island
            of sanity in an ocean of overly formal programs and plastic
            canning-jar-shaped twinkly lights being thrust in my face. Ack!”

            This. A thousand times this.

      • l_weston

        Thank you for your post! I am constantly defending my wedding choices to others and myself. I’ve wanted a “barn wedding” since I was an early teen (currently 26), because it just feels like home and a big family gathering. Now that it’s so trendy it feels like people I talk to think I am just going with what’s popular, and for some reason that drives me batty. While I am not from a farming family, I grew up in fairly rural Indiana with lots of space and a pretty serious appreciation for being outside. Laid back family gatherings are some of my favorite memories growing up. We’re getting married at a barn venue in September (so soon!), and the reason we chose it was because it felt like home for me and natural/laid back for my fiance.

        I think the saddest thing about the “barn wedding” trend is that sooner rather than later all of these new barn venues won’t have enough people interested in them to sustain them. So these beautiful, old barns that finally got some TLC will end up forgotten.

        • Sarah McClelland

          Yes to both of you awesome ladies. Same boat. A wedding in the countryside where we can see stars and all out small cousins can run and play without fear is super important to us. Mason jars are convenient for holding flowers. They’re around. It’s part of using what we have, which we promised ourselves we would do, because there is enough waste in the world already.

    • vegankitchendiaries

      Filing mason jars and burlap table runners under cultural appropriation seems like kind of a reach for me…

      • Lawyerette510

        I agree. What culture is being appropriated by Mason jars and burlap or gingham or sunflowers/ wildflowers? “Rural” is not a culture, that’s too broad of a descriptor, does rural mean poor? does it mean small town or no town? does it mean someone who lived in a rural area but whose parents made a living from something else? or someone who lived in town but whose parents made a living from their large corporate farm? What about someone in the suburbs whose entire backyard growing up was a garden and who made jam with their grandma every year?

        • vegankitchendiaries

          Nailed it.

        • Sarah E

          Defining “rural” is actually something I studied, and it’s a difficult thing to do. Even the census only defines “rural” as “non-metropolitan.” Which, as you’ve pointed out could mean a cabin in the Rockies, small town Illinois, seaside tourist towns in Maine, mining communities in Appalachia, and everything you can think of that’s not-city. It can be primarily agriculture, primarily extraction industry, primarily tourism, lots of stuff. It’s really important to recognize the not-city-ness, but there’s far more to think of, too.

        • Lauren from NH

          Hmm from my perspective these rustic details would never have occasion to organically appear in my life, but maybe that is not the point. I just think myself wearing cowgirl boots for cuteness would be a bit of a disservice to people who have grown up with this and other traditional farm elements, but maybe I am off base.

          • Sarah E

            Hotel ballrooms, tuxedos, and tiered cakes don’t show up organically in many people’s lives either, but couples still choose them for aesthetic reasons, to communicate the formality of the event, and also just because it was the best option for their situation.

            Sure attitudes toward agricultural lifestyles can go overboard. And like you, I try to be an advocate when rural places and the people who live in them are dismissed (don’t get me started on a cornfield being “the middle of nowhere.” You’re in the middle of someone’s livelihood, not to mention amidst an extremely important issue in our food and economic systems). I’m just not sure I can agree with conflating a wedding style choice with a dismissive attitude toward agricultural communities.

          • Meg Keene

            Did you read the article though? I agree with what you said here, but the article wasn’t actually discussing style choices. It was discussing what happens when you decide to throw a big party in the middle of the countryside where you don’t live, and flout all the social norms in the area. The article was circling around what happens when we thoughtlessly do something just because it’s “cool,” without thinking how it impacts real live people in that environment everyday.

            In short, I agree with you. But I also thought the article was pretty on point. I don’t think barn weddings are bad, but I think it raised good questions in general.

          • Sarah McClelland

            I think it also made some really good points about how wedding/event venues in general have to be super conscious of their surrounding and people around them. We’re getting married in a working pecan grove 40 minutes from the farm I grew up on that has converted a stable and put up a structure made from old barn beams and 120-year-old windows from a train station. So… Kind of a barn. Definitely a farm.

            One of the first things we asked when we walked onto the property was about the proximity of neighbors. My dad’s property abuts an event space in metro Atlanta and he feels some of the same concerns expressed in the article- music that shakes the houses of an established neighborhood with children on school nights is inappropriate in the same way congested roadways and blasting musice in a rural area is inappropriate. I took away from the the article a real need to consider all of the impact/ramifications of a venue… Safety, infrastructure, and surroundings being at the top of the list. At the same time, I’ve really enjoyed this conversation on authenticity. Hooray!

          • Lawyerette510

            Fair enough, and I don’t think that being overly respectful is a thing, so I applaud you being sensitive.

            That said, as far as boots go, for anyone interested in wearing them but not doing so for fear of insulting someone with an agrarian heritage. I will assert my agrarian heritage as someone who grew up in Texas and spent years in 4-H, lived on a small ranch with horses and cows, dreamed of either being the queen of the county fair or the county rodeo as a kid (which I did not achieve) and went to Texas A&M University (Agriculture is part of the source of the name), plus my grandmother was raised on a farm in Oklahoma during the great depression, and say that it is perfectly ok for people who have no agrarian heritage to wear cowboy boots as fashion and it’s not insulting to anyone.

            The cowboy boot started as a utilitarian item for the people (mainly men) working and riding in brush on the range and on large ranches and they are influenced by the diverse cultural melange northern Mexico, Texas (with various settlers including significant German heritage) and the development of the South West; however, the vast majority of people who wear them don’t wear them for utility, they wear them for fashion, and that’s ok because there are very few people (in comparison of % of the population now v. at the time when they became recognizable as cowboy boots) who do the kind of work the boots were originally designed for. Plus most of the boots made now are not made to stand up to that kind of work. I’d say they are analogous to jeans, which originated as work pants for miners, but clearly are so much more than that.

    • Class of 1980

      If “rustic” means poor, how do you explain all the Adirondack estates in upstate New York built by very rich people?

      As someone who lives in the Southeast mountains, where the Adirondack style is also popular, I can assure you that the owners of lodge-style houses here are not intending to come across as poor. ;)

      The style is meant to be a celebration of nature and there are lots of craftspeople turning out some damned expensive stuff.

    • Meg Keene

      Yeah, I thought it was a really interesting discussion of cultural appropriation, without actually bringing up the term.

      I mean, all that said, the only people I know with barns are quite wealthy (it takes some serious money to support a farm with a barn), but the points made in the article were still all pretty sound. Probably because it was on the front page, not the style section, which is just awful at this point.

  • Caroline

    I’m getting married this Sunday!! I’m really excited. And have definitely hit my zen. (Here’s hoping it stays).

    Also, I loved the Anna Paquin article on bisexuality. As a bisexual/queer woman who is marrying a man in two days, I’m definitely very straight passing, and having met my partner very young, I’ve never been very involved with the queer community (although most of my friends are queer, but that’s just because I live in Berkeley.) But I’ve been working on coming out more and more this year to combat bi-invisibility. I decided a year ago that it was important to me to be out.

  • lildutchgrrl

    I seem to have picked up a part-time gig cleaning someone’s house twice a week. This is immensely ironic, as I can’t stand housework, don’t clean my own house, and really don’t even know how to do some of the stuff right. (Yes, I Googled “how to mop a floor” in preparation.) And it really stung when my best friend, who’s known me since middle school and lived with me for about a year and a half after college, SAID “There’s a certain irony there” as her first response. She sounded just like my mom. (I haven’t told my mom.) But, you know? If someone paid me by the hour to do my own housework, I’d probably be doing more of it, too.

    The good news is: I’m learning. It’s pretty low-stress. The people are nice, and not always home. I get paid in cash (so I now have cash for cash-only things, which I otherwise never do). And I get more exercise moving/reaching/bending/lifting, going up and down stairs, and walking home afterward. An extra 3 miles a week, especially in the summer weather after dark, is a nice bonus.

    • Sarah E

      I feel you on your friend’s comment. My best friend, whom I lived with for four years through college, to the this very day has the reaction of “Sarah? A morning person?! BAHAHAHA”

      Which, I get, as I overslept a LOT during the school year (um, hey depression). However, it overlooks the three summers in a row that I worked 7am shifts 5 days a week, the year that I got up and ran before class (and before she woke up) to train for a half marathon, and the fact that years have passed, I’ve held multiple jobs that required early hours, and have been just fine. Am I going to bounce out of bed at 5am? No, but I’m also not sleeping til 10am every damn day.

      Whew. That all came out quickly. Suffice to say, it irks me greatly when those who know us very well or for a very long time forget that we’ve grown and changed over time.

      • KC

        1. we grow and change over time, and
        2. what we prefer is different from what we’re capable of (see: you *can* get out of bed early, even if you still don’t want to, which is different from being unable to, and is also different from Sunrises Are My Favorite Time Of Day)

        (and yes on the irking. We are not teenagers anymore; why can they still make us feel like [the bad parts of] teenagers sometimes???)

      • lildutchgrrl

        Thank you for sharing that. I’ve realized this about my parents (and have made great strides in being treated like a capable adult by them), and I suppose it also applies to this friend. Also, it’s one thing to acknowledge a fault of your own, and another to have it pointed out as an obvious trait.

  • Sarah

    Man, I just got back from vacation this past weekend, and now I need ANOTHER vacation. I forgot that adult life is hard while I was away, and now it has hit me again. Brutal!

  • Kayjayoh

    Dilemma!

    On Monday I was offered a job at a place where I am excited to work, and on Tuesday I accepted it. Today I got an email from a place I’d had a phone interview with last week, wanting to set up a Skype interview. I know from the first conversation that this job would be about 6k a year more than the one I have accepted, and is also at a place where I would be excited to work.

    I’ve set up the Skype interview, because it doesn’t mean they will hire me, after all, and I know I would regret it if I didn’t. But what if they make an offer? I am scheduled to start at job 1 on 8/25. I’m sure they’d be pissed if I quit before I started, and I don’t want to burn bridges in the new area just as I’m getting into the city. But 6k a year is nothing to sneeze at, and I feel I’d be foolish not to consider it.

    Thoughts?

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

      Have you run the math on what that $6k in salary means in terms of after-tax dollars for each paycheck? That may be one way to evaluate if it’s “worth it’ to burn the bridge.

      • Violet

        I’d also consider when you said “accept,” whether you signed a contract or not. I’m assuming not, but just sayin’, no one wants to trade getting sued for breach of contract for 6K.

        • Kayjayoh

          I have not signed any contracts.

          • leafygreen

            I hesitate to suggest this because it’s not something I would personally feel comfortable doing, but if you do get a second offer and you’re feeling bold, you could go back to the first place and try to renegotiate your starting wage, especially if no contracts have been signed yet.

          • Erin

            I second this. It seems like a ballsy, leaning the fuck in kind of move that bring surprising results. Plus, its honest, straightforward and if you wind up taking the other job, nobody can fault you.

          • leafygreen

            Definitely! Good points. Hell, maybe in the name of honesty you could save everyone a little time and try to renegotiate now. They already know they want you, so just someone else being interested might be enough to get you some leverage.

          • Kayjayoh

            I’m leery of making a move while job #2 is still just a theory, because that could backfire. I wouldn’t want to say “hey, so-and-so is interested and wants to offer X” before they actually have. It might be a moot point. Just because you get an interview doesn’t mean you get an offer.

          • leafygreen

            Yeah, totally, and now that you’ve mentioned you’re in academia (I am too) I agree. If you do get an offer, making a move is smart. Until then, notsomuch.

          • Violet

            Plot twist! Love this!

      • Kayjayoh

        I haven’t. I’m not even sure how to do that.

        • Sarah

          I can tell you that my $5000 raise earlier this year meant a little more than $100 more every bi-weekly paycheck. My tax bracket wasn’t affected by the raise though.

          • Kayjayoh

            I’m not just looking at 6K a year now, but the “where we go from here” levels. It will take quite a few years at this job to get raises up to that, whereas that will be getting raises up to something higher. It becomes a cumulative thing.

          • Sarah

            Totally. It might really be worth it.

          • HannahESmith

            This is definitely a very valid thing to think about. When you’re starting a job is when you have the most room to negotiate. Speaking of negotiating, what about negotiating with the job you accepted if you get the other job?

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

          You can do a back of the envelope calculation using some IRS/state tax rate info, and then dividing by the number of paychecks you’ll receive in the year. Someone also suggested comparing benefits as well which is another great suggestion. The new place may have more out of pocket expenses that eat up that $6k boost in salary.

        • ElisabethJoanne

          google “withholdings calculator” or “take-home pay calculator”

          You just plug in the state and the numbers, and they’ll tell you what your actual paycheck will be. Fancier ones factor in withholdings for health insurance and retirement, but they all can just do the taxes.

      • leafygreen

        Also benefits comparisons, if that’s relevant. It’s totally possible for stuff that isn’t accounted for in a flat salary statement to amount to a few thousand in difference.

        • Kayjayoh

          The benefits are pretty comparable, which is why I applied at both of these places to begin with.

    • Elizabeth

      If you were the boss and one of my recent hires did that to me, I (probably) wouldn’t be that mad. I’m presuming they know you are awesome, therefore it’s unsurprising that there would be competition for your talents. And if they can’t offer you a better salary, then that’s that. Chances are they have a second choice ready to go as well. In that way, it’s not as bad as if you left 6 months in or something.

      • Kayjayoh

        This is something I am keeping in mind. I think I’d be likely to start of with “one of the places I’d interviewed with at the same time as you has made me an offer, for $X.” and see where it went.

        • Elizabeth

          YES. SMART. Say that. I would even throw in a little something about how much you respect them and how genuinely excited you were to work there, but you can’t miss this opportunity, and blah blah blah.

          • Kayjayoh

            I suppose I’d need to do this in a phone conversation. Which sucks, since I am so much better at email.

        • Ali

          I’m wondering if this is a male female thing. My husband went through a very similar situation that had similar salaries but the 2nd job was a year contract and the 1st was 6 months. I felt horrible about him accepting one job while holding out for another, but once we started talking to people – everyone said he should take the better offer and it was actually no big deal. Thankfully he hadn’t started at the first job when he finally told them no. Are we women more worried about breaking these rules then men would be?

    • jashshea

      You’re moving to Boston, right (or already have)? Depends on the industry, but it can be a VERY SMALL TOWN or a REALLY BIG CITY in my experience. If you’re in a hyper specific industry, burning the bridge could backfire (small town), but if you’re just looking at, for example, tech jobs, there’s millions of jobs and millions of new grads, so there isn’t really a bridge to burn there.

      If you haven’t moved yet, good luck with that! And good luck with either job!

      • Kayjayoh

        Academia is kind of a small town, even at big schools.

        • jashshea

          Oh, yeah tread lightly, then. Take the interview for sure, because those are always good practice. If they extend and offer compare the packages side by side. But the 25th is soon. Really soon.

          • Kayjayoh

            Tis!

          • Kayjayoh

            One thing I *have* made sure to do is send out “I have accepted another offer” emails to all the other people I’ve interviewed with at other departments in this place. Leaving for another institution could be messy, quitting for another job at the same one would be a disaster.

    • anon

      I’m all about _Women Don’t Ask_ and advocating for what we’re worth, but if you already accepted the first job, it’s poor form to interview with the 2nd place. It might seem like good practice, but in my view it’s dishonest and a poor use of the hiring committee’s time. If you really think it would be a good networking opportunity, then be upfront about it: “I would love to do the Skype interview, but I have to tell you I just accepted an offer at XZY university, so I wouldn’t be able to proceed in this hiring process. But if there’s any chance we could still talk, I’d love to learn more about your institution, and get your take on the Boston higher ed scene.” You didn’t say if you’d already talked salary with the first place. If you’ve already agreed on $, then it will be hard to re-negotiate at this stage, regardless of what happens with the 2nd place.

      • Kayjayoh

        Fair points.

    • SoontobeNatalieN

      I think it’s fair to do the interview, and then if they offer it, (so long as it’s before your position starts), go to the first place and say “look, I want to work here, but X place has offered me Y. Can you compete with that?” If they can counter, then great. If not, you can still choose to stick with the original offer/acceptance, but personally I see nothing wrong with discovering what your worth and letting both places know.

  • Griff

    We are getting married in two weeks (how the heck did that happen???) and working on all the logistics now. We are debating whether to do a first-look photo session before the ceremony, or wait for photos until afterwards. The main motivation is to be able to enjoy cocktail hour with our guests rather than doing pictures on our own. We keep going back and forth on whether we will like that time alone after the ceremony (well, ‘alone’ with photogs) or whether we will regret not getting to talk to people at the cocktail. I also wonder if seeing him before the ceremony will help with the nerves. Obviously I am all over the place on this one! Any advice, oh APW?

    • HannahESmith

      We took about 15 minutes to spend alone directly following our ceremony (without a photgrapher), did a few post-ceremony photos, signed our marriage license and were still able to catch the tail end of cocktail hour. I highly recommend doing all the family portraits, and even some of the two of you before the ceremony.

    • Nell

      We are doing all our first look/family portraits BEFORE the ceremony, then having a moment of quiet after the ceremony without the photographer. That way our moment of quiet isn’t interrupted by anything on the photographer’s (our our) to do list.

      • Kayjayoh

        That is what we did, and it was nice. We got to see each other and do the photos before the ceremony, then after we had a quiet moment together and when we decided we were hungry we just headed in and ate. It made it much more relaxing to have the photos out of the way.

    • Natalie

      I’m currently internally debating the same question, so thanks for asking it! I’m leaning towards no photos before the ceremony, but that’s mostly because we’re doing all our own setup that morning and I worry we won’t have enough time and I don’t want to feel rushed when doing my makeup or hair. But I like the idea of having more time with the guests during cocktail hour instead of being busy with photos…

    • Amanda

      We did the first look photos beforehand and I would never do it any other way. If I would’ve had to wait all the way through the ceremony to hug that man….I would’ve been a huge ball of anxious, excited neres. For us, it was extremely centering to spend just a few minutes together hugging and whispering to each other about how excited we were. It gave me (and him too!) so much peace in my heart. Plus, the cocktail hour was easily one of my favorite parts of the wedding. It was the best time to mingle with everyone and have some fun.

      Either way will be magical and I’m sure that people who didn’t see each other beforehand feel just as strongly about that. I knew that for us, being able to have that time to connect beforehand would enable us to really feel the whole ceremony.

      HAPPY ALMOST WEDDING!!!!

    • emilyg25

      I can only speak from my personal experience. I loved doing a first look because I was soooo nervous before the ceremony, and it really calmed my nerves to be able to spend that time with the one person who can actually calm me down. And we had a lot more time than an hour, so we could relax and take our time. It was fun.

      Beyond that, our ceremony was really emotional and we were so glad to be able to carry that emotion right into the reception. It was seamless and natural. It would have been a major bummer to have to step away for an hour to take photos. We actually had planned on having 10 minutes alone after the ceremony, but I didn’t even want to take that time apart. So I’m super really pro first look.

    • Jane

      Alternative perspective–we didn’t do first look photos. Logistically, they make a ton of sense, but I had a lot emotionally invested in the tradition of seeing him for the first time at the altar. We didn’t spend much time on portrait photos during cocktail hour, but we got a couple of nice ones. Our cocktail hour was pretty low-key. We just had chips and salsa and an open bar, no appetizers. I’ve been to so many weddings where I filled up on amazing appetizers and didn’t have room for dinner, and leaving them out saved us about $3000. All that to say that doing some quick portraits during our cocktail hour wasn’t a big sacrifice.

      Not having the “big reveal” at the altar would have been. But that’s just me.

    • Beth

      We did a first look before the ceremony and I am SO glad. My husband said that as soon as he saw me all his nerves disappear. Mine didn’t stop until the ceremony had ended and I knew things were going to run smoothly, but I was such an emotional stress ball that if I had waited to see him until the ceremony I would have been a sobbing mess. With all the craziness I somehow didn’t see my dad until 10 seconds before we walked down the aisle and that almost put me over the edge as it was, so I can’t imagine what I would have done if I also hadn’t seen my husband.

      Spending a few minutes with just the two of us away from the photographer and our wedding party was incredibly valuable for us. I think no matter what, if you wait or don’t wait, make sure you carve out a few minutes at some point to just be with each other (no photographer either). And make sure other people know about this so that can help ensure it happens. I thought we would sneak a few minutes alone together after the ceremony, but there were so many people and so much excitement that it never happened. I didn’t miss it because we’d had a moment earlier.

      Also, we did our formal pictures right outside the venue and many many of our guests just came outside to watch and visit with each other while we did this. In between shots or when other group shots were being gathered, we got to visit with them, too, and even sneak a few bites of cocktail hour food. That was awesome.

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

      We did the first look and family photos (immediate family) before the ceremony. I’m so glad we did because then we got to stay in the flow of the wedding after the ceremony. We spent like 15 minutes doing some just-us pictures after the ceremony and then went to cocktail hour. It was great. I was worried that doing all the pics before the ceremony would take away from the special-ness but it totally didn’t. After about 20 minutes of people around me in the grass dangerously close to stepping on my dress I was like “okay, okay pictures are done!!” but other than that I totally recommend it!!

  • leafygreen

    Visiting our first venue on Monday. I’m suddenly very nervous about money stuff, although from first glance they seem a lot more reasonable than most places I have googled. They do food and alcohol too, so if we like it this will be the first big “okay, we are spending THIS much on THIS STUFF” decision. Eeeeep.

    • Sarah

      Visiting venues was when I was most stressed about money and our budget. It’s so hard to figure out how much everything will cost and to compare those costs against other venues, but once you figure it out and nail a place down, it gets less stressful money wise (I assume, until we have to actually pay for it all :) )

      • River

        Seconded! Once you take that plunge, everything else will come into focus – at least, it did for us. Like, if we’re spending x on venue (all-inclusive :-)) then we have y left to work with, so my dress can only cost z or the invites can only cost c… Good luck!!

    • Megera

      Have you picked a day yet? We started looking at venues before we knew when we wanted to be married and it saved us SO MUCH MONEY to get hitched in October vs. September. We’re also doing a small afternoon ceremony (with lunch) at a fancy place and a big evening reception (at a not-so-fancy place) to try to manage costs, and it really has made a difference.

      • leafygreen

        We’ve got a date in mind. I’m trying not to get too attached to it until we’ve booked a place to have it, but…I am pretty attached to it. It’s in March so I think technically we’re off-season. The lady on the phone gave me a flat price for the rental, but I may see if my fiance is comfortable helping me ask about off-season discounts.

        Yours sounds like a good way to keep the costs under control. :) I’m currently aiming at a less popular venue for a usual afternoon ceremony/evening dinner thing, but I’ll definitely consider alternatives if that turns out to be pricier than I would like.

  • Ilora

    Guys, I bought my dress last weekend! It’s this one http://www.allurebridals.com/products/9150
    I got the champagne/black one and I’m still in shock at how much I love it! (I’m not one for black usually…)

    • jashshea

      That dress is absolutely killer.

    • Sarah

      Oh man, that dress is beautiful! I’m going dress shopping with my mom in a couple of weeks, and I’ve been seriously admiring a lot of the Allure dresses. They are stunning!

    • River

      CONGRATS!! It’s gorge! Pretty incredible how it looks like a COMPLETELY different dress in champagne/black vs. ivory.

      • Ilora

        I know right! I wouldn’t have given it a second glance in white! (I went in looking for a mermaid style, go figure)

    • HannahESmith

      Stunning!

    • http://www.pinterest.com/katerees711 kater711

      Oh, damn. That dress is beautiful.

    • vegankitchendiaries

      HELLA COOL

    • Lawyerette510

      Gorgeous!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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

      That’s a gorgeous dress.

  • Kayjayoh

    Also, a couple of things I dropped off very late in last week’s thread:

    #1051; In which a Tradition is threatened, which was pretty much written for us:

    http://wondermark.com/1k51/

    And also written for us, I’m pretty sure:

    http://the-toast.net/2014/08/05/what-the-bride-took/

    • River

      LOVE BOTH OF THESE <3

    • Meg Keene

      Well in fact, I seem to be name checked in the former. That wedding expert has a reversed version of my real name, and I grew up with David. I was amused.

      • Kayjayoh

        Ha!

  • Marta

    Here’s a money question: I make significantly more than my husband, because I finished school and got a career and all those things one is “supposed” to do. So now, my husband in his early 30s is going back to college to do all this because he realizes that we can’t afford the thing we’d like on our meager combined salaries (why is life so expensive!) I make enough where I have some disposable income each month, and in lieu of taking out student loans, I offered to pay his tuition (or as much as I can).

    We have separate finances (more his choice than mine), and I am struggling with a little resentment toward the whole situation. In my bratty moments, I think “I worked my ass off for years to get where I am, shouldn’t I be reaping the benefits now? I’m paying off my own loans, and now paying for you too.” Ok I know that’s selfish and not good married lady thoughts, but that’s sometimes how I feel. Also, I’m ready to move forward into the grown up part of life, start thinking about kids and stuff, and we can’t because he still has another 3 years of school.

    Help me internalize a more positive outlook on this please!

    • Violet

      Just a question before I’d weigh in- are you resentful that your finances are still separate due to his choice?

      • Marta

        I don’t really mind having separate finances but I do feel like if WE were paying for his education rather than ME paying for it, I would feel better psychologically, even if in reality it’s still the money I’ve earned.

        • River

          Have you shared that distinction with him?

          • Marta

            Yea, and he’s semi-agreed with reservations and says he understands, but then doesn’t really want to DO anything about it. If I dragged him down to the bank and said “this is happening” it would happen but I want it to be a mutual desire, not me doing what I think is best and him following.

        • Violet

          Okay, yeah, that’s kind of what I was thinking. It’s easier to have a positive outlook on making contributions to the partnership if you see yourselves as on the same team. But once it’s his money/your money, then automatically you are sort of “doing him a favor,” and that is MUCH harder to reconcile with a “This is best for us, I don’t mind it!” outlook that you’d prefer to have.

          Because, of course, you WILL reap the benefits once he has a better paying job. But it’s going to be harder to “see” that if then once he gets this higher paying job, he considers that money “his.” So, yeah, I hear where your current outlook is coming from.

      • ART

        I think that’s a wise question. I’m in sort of a similar place as the first commenter, but instead of going to college (he never did), my husband is starting a company – in the same vein of the work he’s been doing for many years but still a brand new company. It’s very capital-intensive. He has no retirement savings because he frittered away a few years of a healthy salary in his early 20s, then got hit hard in the recession.

        I am really proud of him and helping him with the new company any way I can, but I am a saver, and track my finances closely. We JUST got married and so have not combined our finances as in having joint accounts and whatnot, but that is in the works. I am pretty adamant that since we’re taking the risk of starting a new company and I am putting in my time and money into it (not “my” money directly, but I am paying for our lifestyle while he puts in money, and married dollars in a community property state appear pretty fungible to me), that we NEED to have our finances combined so that we are both held accountable to each other in terms of our spending and saving. I just don’t see another way to do it that is fair to either of us (and in particular, to me, the current breadwinner).

        I can get a bit resentful when I come home from my full-time job, exhausted, and he sometimes gets annoyed if I say I just can’t help with whatever spreadsheet he’s working on at the moment. I sometimes want to say “I HAVE a job already!” But his company represents future earnings that will be shared between us, and fulfills his professional passions, and I believe will be successful, so I am committed to contributing to it at least in its infancy.

        tl;dr you may find that separate finances stings when you are earning and he is spending it, even for a great reason.

        • Violet

          Yes, your last line was what I was trying to get at. You summed it up really well. It’s been much easier for me being the breadwinner while my husband is in grad school knowing that our finances are combined.

    • swarmofbees

      I think those feelings are perfectly normal. I recently read Spousonomics (on the recommendation of someone during APW happy hour – thank you!) and it talked about an idea that might be helpful. One is to look at what you are gaining, not what you are losing. So, you are gaining a more financially secure future and professionally fulfilled husband (assuming that the degree actually brings that – a very complicated calculation I will admit). One crazy Idea I have is that him being in college does not preclude having children. In fact, it may bring flexibility so that you can spend less on childcare. This route is not for everyone, but having dealt with a child for one semester of graduate school, I can tell you that it is possible. We saved a lot of money on childcare and got to spend much more time with the kid than if we were both working full time. I wouldn’t recommend this for the first year, but once he is an established student, you can learn to be more efficient and spend a fair amount of time not studying. If only one of you is in school, you would likely need at least part time childcare. But, its a thought.

      • Marta

        Unfortunately, he’s still working while going to school so that’s not really an option. I do think focusing on what I am gaining is a really helpful way to look at it.

    • Natalie

      I feel you. I put myself through undergrad, a master’s, and a PhD with no debt at all. It took luck (scholarships) and hard work and serious budgeting (no eating out even though my friends were, etc.). My fiance has $60k in student loan debt that it’s time to start repaying now that he’s finished his PhD. In my bratty moments, I resent him for living large and racking up more debt than he needed to while in school, because WE now need to live a more frugal lifestyle to pay for his choices. But then I remind myself that I will reap the benefits of his education. Our finances are mostly separate as well (also his choice more than mine). The fact that I will take money from my paycheck to help pay off his student loans seems somehow more frustrating than if our finances were combined, and the student loan repayment came from our joint account. Even though it’s the same money.

      I don’t have good advice for you, I just sympathize. I find I’m happier when I remember that I chose this person as my partner for his many wonderful qualities. The benefits of him being in my life far outweigh the downside of student loans.

      • ElisabethJoanne

        ^ last paragraph is the key advice.

    • HannahESmith

      I also make more than my husband. For me, combining finances was one of my favorite things about getting married. I think seeing both of our student loans together, thinking about it as “our” debt has really been helpful for me. Also, I know in Oregon where I live, were we to get divorced all our assets would be divided 50-50. Weirdly enough, that really helped me feel like we’re in this together. I also recommend this APW post on the topic: http://apracticalwedding.com/2012/03/combining-finances-marriage-wedding/

    • ElisabethJoanne

      My husband’s been unemployed for as long as I’ve known him. We found out yesterday he didn’t get a job he’s been teeing himself up for for 3 years. I feel you.

      At first, I resented having to provide financially for another adult. Eventually, though, I stopped thinking in terms of “now my budget has to accommodate him” and just thinking about “our budget.” It helped to know that because of how we were doing student loan payments, if we divorced, I’d owe him money beyond the 50/50 split of remaining marital assets.

      This isn’t for everyone, but I might look into your post-nuptial agreement options – not to actually do one (though that’s fine too), but to give structure to your thoughts of yours/mine/ours. Would you like to not pay for his college degree, and also not receive a share of his future higher income? Would you like a credit, in the event of divorce, for the years you were the sole breadwinner? For me, knowing that I could set up things differently, and so was choosing not to, helped me own the circumstances more readily.

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

        I am sorry he did not get the job. And your process of owning your decision by conciously considering and not choosing other options sounds like a great approach.

    • Jane

      We combined finances the week after we got married, and it’s done a lot for our marriage. We track all spending on Mint.com and agree on a budget every month. As a result, we never fight about money and we feel like a team, working for what’s important to both of us.

      For the first year, I made more than him, but he got a higher paying job last month and now makes significantly more than me. He came into the marriage with a 40k student loan for his master’s, which kind of bothered me, because I worked and cash flowed my own master’s.

      His debt is our debt. It stopped bothering me after a few months of marriage. His master’s allows him to make a good living doing work that matters to him and that makes me proud of him. I can’t think of a better use of our money than the loan he took out to get it.

    • Sarah E

      While being in school certainly comes with it’s own demands, I’d talk it out (maybe more than once) in terms of having kids in the meantime. There are plenty of things to consider, but as a partner to a grad student, many of the students have heard that being in school is a better time to have kids thanks to flexible scheduling, etc. So perhaps he’d be available for some childcare (with the probable exception of exam times). Plus, every year/semester is different in terms of work load and schedule. So keep chatting with him about your goals, as it’s possible to not wait on them.

    • Megera

      How about focusing on all the INTEREST you are saving? Student loans are tough to pay, especially when you first start working, and you guys will be so far ahead; when your husband finishes school you guys can go immediately to the savings & fun having part of working two good jobs, instead of the stress of paying off loans.

    • Laura

      It sounds like you’ve got a few issues tangled together here: your hopes for how your situation would look now, your (and your husband’s) feelings toward combining finances, your plans for money in the future. It seems like there’s more to it than just resentment about paying the tuition. Does that mean your finances are combined (or more combined than they were), or is this a “debt” that he would pay back once he has greater earning power? Would he be open to combining? Do you want to? What will you do when you have kids?

      One thing that I’ve found very helpful in my own life is thinking about money not in terms of dollars and cents, but in terms of values. Am I spending my money in ways that fit my values and goals? If I feel like I’m helping our little family reach its goals, it makes short-term money resentment feel less powerful. I found David Bach’s book “Smart Couples Finish Rich” to be very helpful in stimulating discussions about money between me and my husband.

      http://www.amazon.com/Smart-Couples-Finish-Rich-Creating/dp/0767904842/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1407605577&sr=8-1&keywords=smart+couples+finish+rich

      The other thing that has helped me is realizing that life is long. Right now, I’m in grad school and supported pretty substantially by my husband’s salary. But once I get a job in my field, I’ll likely outearn him. Or maybe he’ll go back to school. Or one of us will develop an illness, or become unemployed, or stay home with children, or decide to retire early, or whatever. It doesn’t necessarily help with the short-term frustrations about money, but it helps me to realize that the balance of earning power will likely fluctuate over the course of our marriage.

      • ART

        I gave away my copy of Smart Couples (unread) during my singledom, but I loved Smart Women Finish Rich, so I’m guessing it’s good! I should find another copy!

  • Sarah

    Soo…I’m dealing with some crap right now, and its tough, and I kind of just want to reach out to see if anyone else has dealt with this before…

    I have two small fibroids that have caused me a ton of issues; bleeding, pain, anemia, lack of energy, loss of carefreeness, etc. I’ve been dealing for two years with what I thought was a hormonal issue, or a stress issue, or a birth control issue, or anything else, but it turns out it was the fibroids. I feel..relief that once I get these puppies removed that my issues will go away, but I am TERRIFIED of the procedures I’ll have to endure to get the result I want. I’m going for a consult on Monday with a gyn and I’m just…so scared of what he’s going to tell me that he has to do to me. Sonohysterograms, hysteroscopy, laproscopic surgery…whatever it will be, I’m fucking scared. Has anyone dealt with these types of issues before?

    I’m only 25 and I almost can’t believe I’m dealing with this now? But I have to, I’ve been anemic and in pain for sooo long. Two years! Also its the type of fibroid (basically the placement of it) that causes miscarriage. I want kids! All of this is terrifying.

    • jashshea

      That is really scary stuff and I’m sorry you’re dealing with this. You have every right to be scared and angry (if you are!) and all the other feelings. I have not dealt with fibroids, but wanted to offer general advice that I use for the scary/unknown stuff in my life.

      Best advice I can give is to play the ball as it lies. Stop googling/webmd’ing. Until your doctor says “we need to schedule a Synthoplastimajob on Tuesday” you don’t need to know what that is. Try to enjoy your weekend & get some rest. When you’re with your gyn, ask all the questions you need to in as many ways as it takes for you to feel comfortable. Leave a buffer in your schedule for after the appointment to do nothing and just feel how you need to feel.

      Very best of luck and all sort of positive thoughts for you.

      • Sarah

        Ahh thank you, this is really compassionate and good advice. Definitely need to put down the google…

    • SJ

      I haven’t been there before. But I’m virtually holding your hand. Prayers/happy thoughts/love coming your way through the interwebs!

    • ElisabethJoanne

      My mother’s a gynecologist. I worked for her for a number of years, so I’ve seen this from a different perspective.

      The surgical techniques are getting SO GOOD. They’re more precise, which means faster surgery, less chance of infection, faster recovery, less scaring, all kinds of good stuff.

      It’s also my understanding that these are a one-and-done thing. Once they’re removed, they’re not particularly likely to grow back, etc. But of course, check with your own doctor.

      • Sarah

        Oh, one of the scenario’s my anxiety brain keeps going back to is the possibility of recurrence (in that, OF COURSE because I have them at 25 I’ll just be dealing with this foreverrrrrrr). So…that’s really helpful to know. I’m going to ask my doctor about that. Thank you!

    • KC

      Laparoscopic surgery – like, don’t plan on weightlifting or doing other intensive things the week after, but *surprisingly* not bad. I would rank it as “below having wisdom teeth removed” in terms of recovery. (not, like, something I’d do for fun, but still. SO WORTH IT if you need something removed; I didn’t have fibroids, but I suspect they’d be similar-ish. I would say that the total amount of pain from recovery from the surgery was probably less than the resultant “my period is this much less painful than it was before” added up over probably less than three months!) Also, the scarring is indeed as minimal as they say it will be.

      Re: terrifying doctor’s appointments in general: If you have questions, take them in written form; take written notes as well; if you end up with questions that come up after the appointment, call them on in. (you can even warn them in advance “I’m probably going to have more questions after I mentally process this information”) And dodge Dr. Google from now until then. If you *have* to look things up, look them up on the Mayo Clinic website, where at least it’s going to be accurate and relatively concise information. But no WebMD or “everyone’s horror stories” forums! Just… no.

    • Bethany

      I haven’t dealt with fibroids, but I wanted to second what jashshea said about trying to enjoy your weekend and doing your best to relax. For me, reading comedic fiction is the best way to deal in general with something scary that’s coming down the line. Jennifer Crusie, Lois McMaster Bujold, and Gail Carriger are my favorites for distraction although Crusie is the only one who is really a comedian. Bujold does fantasy and sci-fi with humorous moments while Gail Carriger does hysterical steampunk with werewolves and vampires.

      • Sarah

        Ha! I love Bujold. I read The Sharing Knife series recently! Thank you for your thoughts :)

    • Bethany

      Also, good luck. I’ll keep you in my thoughts this weekend.

    • Grace from England

      Hey, I won’t bore you with my life story but I’m 24, I have endometriosis and I’ve had 2 laparoscopies. I’m also a medical student (now graduating 2015 not 2014 because health problems.

      Anyway, I’d be more than happy to talk you through it all over e-mail? I remember when it all happened to me how badly I wished there was someone my own age who can relate.

  • SJ

    I told my mama about some things I’ve been wrestling with and a deep need to get away. She responded with a plane ticket. I couldn’t love her more than I did right that moment. Sometimes the offer of a haven is all we need.

    • Violet

      Sometimes I think there’s nothing more powerful than expressing a need and having it met.

      • SJ

        That was exactly it. Although….I did take next Friday off…just in case. ;)

    • swarmofbees

      Aren’t mamas just wonderful :)

    • Kate

      That’s beautiful. Mamas are the best, and I don’t think you ever stop needing a safe place. Hugs!

  • MC

    What have people done for their “something borrowed”?? I already have my outfit, save the shoes (which… I don’t really want to borrow shoes), have all the jewelry I want… what else can I borrow?

    • Erin

      a veil?

    • Heather

      add a brooch to your bouquet, or a fancy hairpin, maybe?

    • HannahESmith

      My Mom lent me a hankercheif that she carried for her wedding to wrap my boquet in.

    • Caitlin_DD

      Purse? Or if you have similarly sized mother/female loved one, a slip.

    • emilyg25

      I borrowed my mom’s original wedding ring and strung it on the bracelet I was already planning to wear. The brooch is a good idea. You can pin it on your bouquet or in the lining of your dress.

      • Violet

        Similar- I looped a borrowed ring onto the ribbon I used around my bouquet.

    • swarmofbees

      Somehow, I managed to have 3 somethings borrowed: I had the ribbon from my sister’s wedding bouquet as the ribbon on my bouquet; my daughter broke my necklace, so I borrowed my sister’s identical one; and I had a family heirloom handkerchief tucked into my bosom. In general, bosoms are a good place to secrete things, so perhaps you could put a family memento there?

    • jashshea

      I borrowed a clutch and earrings. And a flask of whiskey here and there.

      • scw

        “And a flask of whiskey here and there.” love that! I’m definitely for incorporating whiskey into as many wedding traditions as possible.

      • Sarah McClelland

        This makes my heart happy.

    • Bethany

      My sister had a small piece of blue fabirc pinned to the underside of her dress’s skirt. It was from her now-husband’s grandmother’s bridal petticoat. My sister’s sister-in-law presented it to her and safety pinned it in as a way of welcoming my sister to the family. The piece of fabric had been used in every family wedding since then as a way of borrowing from the earlier generations. My sister also wore the same ballet slippers that my mom wore in her wedding to our dad. I’m actually a bit sad that they’re a half size too small for me to ever wear.

    • Sarah E

      I’ve heard of borrowing a scent. . . as in, using your friend’s perfume for the day. Probably could work for lipgloss or something too, if that doesn’t gross you out.

    • SoontobeNatalieN

      I found my mom’s garter from her wedding 35 years ago this year – the elastic still works and she said I can have it for my wedding :). For my sister’s wedding, I had her borrow our grandmothers ring that I wear.

    • YetAnotherMegan

      I had a handkerchief that my grandmother’s mother gave to her in the 30s or 40s that I folded and tucked into the back of my dress where it laced up.

    • moonlitfractal

      I lucked out. My mother in law let me wear her Mantilla veil!

  • Laura

    So I have a fellowship grant application that went in today. I’m waiting on a letter of recommendation from a department member that is due in two hours and 20 minutes. Not that I’m counting or anything. I reminded him this morning, he said he was working on it, and I haven’t heard anything since. If the recommendation doesn’t go in on time, there’s no grace period and my grant won’t get reviewed.

    I just keep telling myself that this is a good lesson on tolerance of uncertainty….right?

    • ElisabethJoanne

      Oh, gosh. I hate those situations. Best of luck!

    • Bethany

      Good luck! Hopefully the recommender gets on top of things.

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

      Did it work out?

      • Laura

        It did, with 30 minutes to spare! He and my advisor are in a bit of a tiff right now, so I suspect this was just part of a larger battle. Always fun to be stuck in the middle of political squabbles in the workplace.

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

          So glad it worked out!

  • June

    Wedding dream/nightmare: my FH and I decided to get married immediately. I didn’t have my dress, so I tried to go pick one out super fast, but the sales lady kept forgetting I was there and just didn’t understand that I needed a dress to wear right in that moment- I only had ten minutes! I got a dress and went home, but my FH had turned into Chris Pratt (which I didn’t totally mind). He started writing me super cute and sweet indecipherable love notes and ultimately tried to convince me to swap out my engagement ring ring for a plastic, space-ier version. I was not convinced.

    What does this meeeeeeeeeeeaaaaaaannnn? Also, Guardians of the Galaxy was awesome. :)

    • Erin

      It means that you are incapable of understanding metaphors. (Why would I put my finger to his throat?)

      • Stacey H.

        Nothing goes over my head. My reflexes are too fast. I would catch it.

        Also, had a wedding nightmare where my dress was a blanket and the roof of our venue was a porous tarp and it rained on us.

        • SoontobeNatalieN

          Who put the sticks up their butts? … Sounds cruel.

    • Kayjayoh

      I <3 everyone who has replied below so far.

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

    Some fun news here: Eric and I are lending our support to the Wendy Davis campaign starting this weekend by offering up our spare bedroom as supporter housing! We’re actually taking in someone who works for the campaign full time and needs to be closer to HQ (thanks, Houston traffic). I’m really excited to be able to help out in this way, and also a little nervous that she’s going to think we’re total slobs. But mostly excited!

    Also, my birthday was yesterday and my coworkers had cupcakes delivered AND Eric had already ordered me cupcakes soooo….cupcake overload over here. :)

    • ART

      YAY I LOVE WENDY M.F. DAVIS!

      happy birthday too!

    • Jessica

      Having been a campaign worker staying a strangers house I can tell you that 1. Their slob tolerance is huge and 2. Your house will be fine.

      Thanks for doing that! I’m probably going to give to her campaign because she’s so rad!

    • River

      Happy Birthday!!

    • Lawyerette510

      Yay! Happy belated birthday and a big hip hip hooray for supporting the Wendy Davis campaign. I think it’s so exciting the mobilization that is happening in Texas. As someone who spent the first 22 years of her life in Texas and has all her family there, I think what’s happening is so important and exciting.

    • vegankitchendiaries

      Happy Bidet, Rachel! Mega impressed with the WD support – nice one!

    • Bethany

      Happy Birthday!

    • H

      Rachel – that is so awesome that you are providing housing! I’ve been a campaign worker living in supporter housing and it is so important. One thing to think about (if you’re so inclined) – maybe get your campaign worker some cereal or snacks to eat for breakfast/late at night when they get home from an exhausting day, or provide them with a shelf where they can keep their food. One of the families I stayed with did that and it meant the world!

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

        Thanks for the tip! She’ll definitely have room in the pantry/fridge (I figured she’d just buy her own groceries)…but maybe we could do a little welcome snack basket for her?

        • H

          I’m sure she would appreciate that! Thanks again!

    • Kayjayoh

      Happy Birthday +1!

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

      that sounds SO awesome!!!!

    • Rebecca

      WENDY DAVIS IS AMAZING. thanks for supporting her campaign in a small way!

    • Jules

      Oh THAT’S what that tweet was about. I was wondering i there was an occasion…not that one needs an occasion for cupcakes. Still, happy birthday!

  • scw

    FH and I put together ‘secret agent’ packages this week to officially ask my nieces and nephews to be in the wedding. the packages have multiple envelopes for each kid, ID badges, disguises, and invisible messages they can reveal with their own black light markers. the first one should arrive tomorrow, and I can’t wait to hear if they are excited to help us complete ‘project UNION’!

    • Another Meg

      That is so frickin cute.

    • Grace from England

      So cool!

    • Natalie

      oh man, that’s adorable!!!

  • Jane

    Everyone totally needs to read Altared, edited by Colleen Curran. It’s a collection of contemporary feminist writing about weddings. Very APW, but longer articles. I’ve been married eleven months but I am loving this book.

  • http://www.pinterest.com/katerees711 kater711

    Just wanted to say hi!

    It’s been since May since I was around on Friday’s (summer Friday’s off, 10 hour days M-R) and Happy Hour.

  • ktan

    Leaving for vacation in T-minus 5 minutes, cheers!

  • Caitlin_DD

    “I Punch First” is so good. It’s sad how much time I (we?) have devoted to thinking about what to do if (inevitably) threatened, and I usually conclude something like this.

    • Jess

      Known fact: I will punch first.

      I found this out because R quietly turned a corner as I was entering his apartment and I (thankfully only) very-nearly-earboxed him as hard as I could. Out of surprise, and because I took a self defense class. Luckily I recognized him halfway through the swing and was able to stop prior to rupturing his ear drums.

      And it’s really sad that we have devoted time to thinking about it and to training for it.

    • Alice

      Yes, that sparked a really interesting discussion with the hubby last night. He’s six foot three and has a full beard, and has just never had the experience of sizing someone up on an empty street, wondering if they might be dangerous, or worrying about what would happen if someone got into the house while he was alone at night. It was so strange to me that he never has to think about those things.

    • Daisy6564

      I kind of wish this article was higher up on the link list because I think it was so good!

      I took self defense class this spring and learned many important and infuriating things. My first response to the prevention part of the class was “duh” since my mom and and grandmother are the least trusting people in the world and raised me to be leery of strangers. This response was soon followed by blind rage that as a woman I have learned to live my life constantly vigilant about not walking alone at night, not leaving friends at parties, not wearing short skirts in certain places, taking my drink to the bathroom etc. and that I think this is all normal.

      The class was taught by cops, one of whom had been attacked in her personal life and successfully fought off the attacker. They gave me a lot of new information that had never occurred to me, along the lines of “punch first.” The male instructor reiterated over and over how much injury anyone can cause and how little aggression it really takes to get someone to leave you alone. Most attackers want an easy target, if you put up resistance in a way that shows you are prepared to “kill or be killed” they will likely leave you alone. He kept saying “the louder you yell, the harder you hit.”

      Just taking that one class gave me an enormous amount of confidence that I could cause bodily injury to an attacker if I had to. it also made me realize that though I am fortunate to have never been sexually or physically assaulted in my life, I certainly have been on the receiving end of unwanted touch in bars or at parties and of cat calls, etc. I really wish that I had made a bigger deal of these incidents at the time. He said “if someone thinks they can say anything they want to you, its not a far leap for them to think they can do anything they want to you.” It had made more determined to call out misogyny and sexist remarks more.

      I think that colleges and even high schools should provide self-defense training to all women. Young men would also benefit because the vast majority of men, no matter how kind and feminist, have no idea that women have learned to be on constant rape alert. The first thing I did when I came home from the first class was start a conversation with my husband essentially along the lines of the #yesallwomen thread because I felt that this kind, lovely man needed to understand the inherent privilege he has by being a large man.

      Long story short, self defense classes brought up all kinds of crazy shit for me, made me feel super empowered, and I would recommend them to everyone!!

  • Kayjayoh

    ZOMG, that Alison Lundergan Grimes video!!!! <3

  • Rachel

    Hey. Hey APW. I’m getting married in 6 days (!!!!!!) Thanks for being that website I suddenly started checking every day. Multiple times a day. You know. Like you do.

    • macrain

      Wahoo!! Hope you have a blast and all goes well!

  • K.

    Thoughts on registering for fine china, y’all? It’s something we’re potentially interested in, but it just feels so ostentatious to put on our registry, even though I know there would be people who might be interested in getting it for us (more traditional types). But The Knot (I know, I know) says that you should register for AT LEAST 12 settings (!!!). That’s putting nearly $3k onto our registry, based on the averages of China I was looking at. And that’s practically the low end. That feels…wrong. And weird.

    Am I finding way over the top China? I know it’s supposed to be your formal dinnerware for years, but yikes. Or is this normal? How have others gone about registering for fine china (or not)?

    • swarmofbees

      I didn’t register for fine china, for many of the reasons you mentioned, plus the issue of storage space. We did register for nice everyday plates, Noritake, which are a big step up from IKEA plates. If you do register for fine china I would say that 8 place settings is fine. Also, you could use money you get from the wedding to buy china when you find the pattern you like, maybe even at a discount somewhere!

    • ART

      I’m not someone who’s ever had, or used (in my family), formal dinnerware, so we did not register for it. I don’t think I’d find it ostentatious if I thought you’d use it. But a few friends have registered for that sort of thing, and one thing I’d consider based on their experiences is: what if you get, say, 1/6th of it? in random smatterings? are you going to be interested in/willing to fill in so you have a whole usable set (I mean, how formal is it ever going to be if you only have 3 plates and 7 bowls and a soup tureen?)

    • K.

      (Just realized I accidentally capitalized china a few times here. I write about the country a lot for work, so habit! :p)

    • HannahESmith

      I personally chose not to register for china. I have a small apartment and no room to store it. For us, we really wanted camping equipment becuase we didn’t have any, and it can be quite expensive. We also registered for a smattering of kitchen things that we really wanted. I think it all comes down to priorities. What do you really want? If that is china, great, but if it’s something else register for that. Don’t register for something just because you think you should.

    • KC

      I think you may be finding slightly over the top china? Ours was something like $50/place setting, which would be $600 for 12 place settings, but it was also on the low end for things that would be long-lasting patterns (aka: can buy more placesettings or filler pieces later).

      I do know that at our wedding, at least three people had an automatic “I give everyone one place setting of their china” as a fairness/easy-gift sort of thing, so there’s that. If you’re going to hopefully use it for fancy meals frequently, then go for it; if you’re not likely to be hosting dinner parties, then maybe registering for two place settings (for fancy meals for the two of you!) would be good for now? But also, you can register for things and not get them. So if you register for 12 and get 4, then fine, you have 4, and if you get a kind that will still be in production for a while or available on replacement china websites, you can augment it as you want it.

      Another thing to consider is whether you’ll be “coming into” any full sets of fancy china, and how you feel about that. If you’d only be using fancy china in the Future (say, in 10 or 20 years), then if your grandma plans to give you her fancy china when she moves into a nursing home, is that a better option for you? I have friends who now have three sets of fancy china, which is a bit daunting!

      • KC

        (and we’ve primarily used our fancy china for anniversary/special dinners for the two of us and for Very Fancy Group Occasions. I’ve found that for big group meals, I don’t want to add the unpacking and careful washing and setting and re-washing and packing up of Fancy China to the already-extensive to-do list, so we use regular plates for that, and the fancy china has thus been used more rarely than I would have expected. If you have a china hutch or similar not-the-back-of-the-closet storage equipment which would mean not packing each place setting back into its little special box each time, though, that would reduce the barrier to use.)

      • MC

        My in-laws have 2 or 3 fancy china sets that are almost always just sitting in their china cabinet – I’ve eaten at their house a bunch of times for casual and formal events and almost never have seen them used. That was definitely a factor in us deciding we didn’t need china.

        • KC

          YES. My parents used fancy china multiple times a year (every remotely formal event; if there were strangers over the age of 14 in the house and it wasn’t an outdoors thing, the fancy china came out, basically – and then also for family-only birthday and holiday meals), but so many people I know don’t, and that is okay.

          I think trying to figure out what you’re likely to actually want to use and then registering for that (potentially with a bit extra for breakage/loss of the occasional butter knife/etc.) is a good plan, rather than going with what Someone Somewhere Might Use if they were different from you.

          • ElisabethJoanne

            Also, if your “everyday” and “good” china sort of coordinate, that’s good, so you can have just 1 set of serving dishes. My good china is all in storage, except for the gravy boat, because it’s such an odd shape there wasn’t a good storage case for it.

          • KC

            We did this (serving dishes that work with both), and can verify that it has worked out really, really, really well.

            (and I hope to someday have a gravy boat – that was one thing that didn’t get bought off our registry. But until then, we use cream jugs and gravy ladles that fit in them… No one has complained yet? But still: someday: gravy boat. :-) )

          • Jess

            I had to laugh, “if there were strangers over the age of 14 in the house and it wasn’t an outdoors thing, the fancy china came out, basically” That is SO my family.

    • Jessica

      We registered for 8 place settings of some nice china and received 2 in total. We ended up returning it to buy some bigger things that we could use more often.

      The registry assistant at Macy’s was great and told us to register more for individual things (knives, pots, pans etc) so that we could return them to buy the set — it’s easier on the guest wallets and we still get something we want out of it.

    • June

      We didn’t register for fine china because we don’t have the space (1 bedroom apartment). My sister and her husband bought a house when they got married, but they also didn’t register for fine china. One of her friends brought up The idea of registering for an everyday set and a nicer set (instead of the full-on fine china) because she pointed out that it would be a bummer to break a dish from the nice set grandma got her. That has worked out well!

    • Jess

      To assuage your guilt, it sounds like you know people who would really like to get you something a little fancier and traditional.

      I would recommend 8 place settings unless you have a large family/friend group you’d be inviting over for really fancy events. I’ve found 8 is a really good number for dinner parties. 4 couples works surprisingly well for groups who don’t know each other well, and it’s not so much that you have to adjust recipes to suit more people.

      This is coming from someone who had 2 sets of garage sale found china during college, at 8 settings each plus serving dishes. And would consider registering for China were I getting married.

      I like fancy things and dinner parties. Sorry, I’m not sorry?

      • jashshea

        See my other post. I can help you out! :)

        • Jess

          That’s awesome! I love that china is such a thing for some people and other people are kind of like, Eh… It’s one of those things that are great either way.

          If I ever need another set, I’ll let you know and you can ask around for me!

      • Ann

        My mom always votes for 10. Because she thinks that 8 is the right number and is clumsy. 10 gives you spares :)

        That said, one of my mom’s few rules for my wedding was “DO NOT REGISTER FOR CHINA.” Because my mom has her set AND my grandmother’s set AND my mom’s sister wants to pass hers to me too (she has no kids). Similarly, there are three sets of *silver*. My mom refuses to let more china into a family with only two people (me and my brother) in my generation. So if you know that there’s a set in the family that no one is using, it’s a great way to get fine china without spending money.

        • Jess

          For spares, on even older sets, Replacements, Ltd. is amazing. I broke one of my mom’s plates when I was 14 and recently found the pattern there.

    • ElisabethJoanne

      I registered to fill out a set I inherited from my great-grandmother. I think I asked for what would bring me to complete service for 13. We invited a lot of Anglican Church ladies and one gave us 5 dinner plates, and another couple bought. everything. else. The box was the size of a crib! Fine china is definitely something traditional types can get into.

      We live in a 1-bedroom apartment and have had to put the china in storage since my husband moved in, but I did use it regularly when I could still entertain.

      To get my great-grandmother’s antique pattern, we registered at replacements.com. It might be cheaper, but I also don’t worry about the pattern being discontinued, because replacements.com is always stocking new pieces. It’s also on ebay. Replacements.com also had really good customer service.

      • Caroline

        Yes, my mother bought us 8 settings, and it was in two boxes that took up a third of the living room. (the china itself stores better, but for shipping it, they pack it very carefully with a lot of bubble wrap).

    • jashshea

      My lifestyle does not support fine china, as I’m both casual and klutzy. We didn’t register for fine china, just an upgraded/matching set to what we already had.

      Semi-related rant about china: I have a distant relative that desperately wants us to take her mother’s china. I’m so against it, for a variety of reasons: It’s very lovely, but not really my style. I won’t use it, so I don’t want it. It would need to be white-glove shipped to me at a disgusting cost. I don’t actually have a connection to the person who owned it. And so on.

    • Jane

      We registered for twelve place settings of Noritake Colorware and we got the whole shebang. We put six place settings in storage and use the rest as our daily china. We’ll probably inherit fancy china from my parents, so registering for the good stuff didn’t seem necessary. People really liked giving us Noritake.

      • Sarah McClelland

        We are the same way! I’m getting my Godmothers silver and china and registered for Noritake! In blue and brown and green!

    • K.

      Everyone – thank you! This is so helpful. I have a lot to mull over…

    • Grace from England

      Fine china or normal china aside, I have no idea what The Kn*t are talking about. Surely you just register for the number of settings you would ever realistically need at once?! Like, 6, or maybe 8….

      • KC

        I think if you’re going for a cheaper store-brand one-off china pattern, getting slightly more makes sense so that as you break (or, in the case of flatware, lose) things, you’re not having to trim people from the dinner party list. Otherwise, 10+ might make sense for Thanksgiving/Christmas-sized gatherings, but… not much else?

        • Grace from England

          Unless you have 10 children!

          • KC

            True! Or, I suppose, even just five children who you will then be pressuring to All Come Home For Every Holiday Married (ha). But most people run into table space issues at around 8 place settings nowadays, I think? (three people on the sides of a long table with its leaves out, one on each end?)

        • moonlitfractal

          I registered for about 8 settings of ‘normal’ china but 12 settings of fine china because I figured we’d primarily be using the fine china for holiday gatherings or other special occasions were we’d expect to have many guests.

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

          I dunno, I have 14 plates (of my everyday Pier 1 white dishes), and I find that’s a good number for me. But I also host an annual Thanksgiving dinner and sometimes other stuff for a lot of people, so I run out of dishes when I host that kind of stuff. I do have less of the other pieces. I think I have 8 bread plates, coffee cups, and bowls. And that works for me.

          (I don’t have any nice china though, but someday I will inherit some.)

    • AC

      We registered for fancy china and were lucky enough to receive all 12 settings. It all came from grandparents and parent friends (many who are super savvy with their Macy’s couponing!) and we use it fairly often along with silver my ebay loving uncle gifted. It makes me feel like a real grown-up at dinner parties. I’d say get it if you think you’ll use it. Don’t put it on your registry only if you feel you “should”.

    • Caroline

      We registered for 12 sets of Lenox Federal Platinum China, plus 12 soup bowls. I peeked the other day (we’re just before the wedding) and we’ve had all 12 5-peice place settings ordered and 8 soup bowls. The total for all the china is about 1,500 USD. This is from several different guests (since we already got some of it from one guest so we know it’s not all from one guest)

      A few thoughts on how we made the decision:
      - We knew we really wanted to register for china. I love fine dinnerware (of all sorts: tablecloths, forks, plates, etc) so much. And we set a fancy table every Friday night for shabbat dinner, so we knew we would use it. Registering for china was something we knew we wanted to do, but we also picked china that felt like a comfortable price point. $100 for a place setting (when you count the soup bowls, ours is actually about $140 a place setting), which felt like the upper limit of what I was comfortable with.
      - We didn’t really feel like we needed tea cups, but it cost about the same to get the 5 piece place setting as the several sizes of plates we wanted not as a 5 piece place setting.
      - Why 12? We love hosting parties. We hosted a fancy holiday dinner for 12 when we lived in a studio apartment. (The table ran the length of the entire apartment). Before we or any of our friends have had kids, it’s incredibly easy to pile up 8-12 people for dinner. I expect that in 10 or 12 years, it will be 15-18 people for holiday dinners, and 12 people will be normal for a simple, let’s have a few friends over for shabbos dinner. Thanksgiving in our family is 25 people. We’re hoping to have a bigger family (3-4 kids) and some of our friends hope to have a few kids as well. If we have 4-6 people in our family, and invite over one or two other families with kids, that’s 12 people. So for us, 12 made sense as a start. I expect to buy at least 6 more place settings slowly over the next 5 years.

      But if you don’t host much, and it’s just fancy dinner for the two of you? Maybe you only need 4 place settings.

    • Kathleen

      I almost didn’t register for china, primarily because I couldn’t find any I liked, but then my mom said, “But Grandma REALLY wants to get you china!” and, well, I liked to give my sweet grandmother what she wanted. So I went out and found china I liked, and registered for it. And it’s still in my parents’ basement. (Now that we finally have a house, we hope to change that soon.

      My mom also bought me a lovely set of vintage china she found at an estate sale. It’s still in my parents’ basement.

      I also have high hopes of someday inheriting my great-great-grandmother’s china from my parents. (No one else would be interested.) So I may one day have a LOT of china. We have a house, but it’s pretty tiny! I haven’t really thought through the logistics of it all yet.

    • Erin

      I wasn’t sure about registering for fine china at first. Then I started browsing the selection at Macy’s and found a super cute polka dot pattern that I loved. A few minutes later it hit me that this same pattern used to be on display at the top of the escalator at the mall I went to as a kid and I used to admire it and fantasize about having Fancy Dinner Parties at my Fancu Grown Up Apartment in NYC. This memory became super vivid and made me very emotional because while I am not in a Fancy apartment, I am living a modified, grown up version of the life I had dreamed of back then, and when I shared this memory with my FH, he agreed enthusiastically that it should be on the registry, realistic NYC apartment with limited storage space be damned! …That being said, we may have skipped it without that symbolic attachment. I would never judge a friend as being extravagant for his/her registry choices though. I am all about the giving of the pretty things!

    • YetAnotherMegan

      We registered for china because our family convinced us people would want to buy it for us, but only ended up getting the silverware in the end. Which is fine, because we have storage issues. Ours was probably half the cost of what you’re finding (or maybe a little less), but I’d say only register for what you actually want to have around for the next several years. Odds are, you’ll have enough people giving you gifts that fall under “it’s nice, but what do we do with it?” anyway without adding that category to the registry.

    • Libby

      I also felt very weird and was like who is going to spend this? It felt wrong to ask. (Ours was $140) What convinced me was when I asked my Mom what she likes to get when she goes on someone’s registry. Without hesitation she said “oh I always love to get a place setting. It’s a nice gift that I know they will use for a long time and is easy for me” She was right, People.loved.it. And by that I mean, our family friends, and people my Mom’s age. it was clearly the go-to for them and went very quickly (far before anything else). This may be a know your audience thing – I don’t know about different areas of the country or class issues around this, but for us it was definitely what many of our guests wanted to contribute.It sounds like you’re interested in getting it, so I just want to encourage not to feel too badly, having stuff on your registry that guests WANT to get is a good thing.

      • Libby

        I have no idea why that “people loved it” is turning into a link, please ignore it I can’t seem to get it to stop!

        • Rebekah

          If you put spaces after your periods it’ll stop thinking it’s a web address.

    • Penfield

      We thought about it initially, but our sense (based on the number of guests we invited, their gift-giving tendencies, etc.) was that we probably wouldn’t get even close to a full set. (We did end up creating a lengthy china-less registry, and many of our guests forewent the registry to give us board games, checks, cash, or homemade things — all wonderful.) And, our storage space is limited so it meant either devoting the space to things that we knew we would regularly use (like our awesome Ninja blender) or to the china. The latter wasn’t too appealing because we don’t plan on hosting any formal holidays/events for the foreseeable future (we’ll be traveling to our families). All that informed our decision not to do it. I guess we’ll figure it out when I become a hosting grandmother one day, lord willing. :)

  • pdrax

    I don’t mean to be a killjoy, but that Alison Grimes video was just… mean. I’m not a fan of Mitch McConnell, quite the opposite, but that doesn’t mean he should be put on display while being publicly mocked at a political (social?) event. Maybe I’m old fashioned, but can’t we have a little more class? Even for people we really, really dislike?

    • Jess

      I’m also not comfortable during takedowns like that. I’d rather read somebody’s well argued rebuttle than witness public humiliation.

    • Jessica

      From what I understand it’s a tradition in Kentucky. He had his shots too and chose to make them at Obama instead of Grimes for the most part.

    • Violet

      I didn’t watch it, so I’m responding to your comment more generally. I’m definitely of the “You can disagree, but you should still respect” camp. Others believe that someone has to earn respect, which, if you don’t agree with someone, it can be really hard to grudgingly admit you still respect them. So there’s that.
      I do think there should be more civility in politics. Then I watch the Prime Minister’s Questions in Britain and am like, “WOAH. And the English are meant to be paragons of class…”

    • Sarah E

      I felt the same way when I watched it. I see other commenters are explaining the event more completely, so if that’s what is expected, okay. But I would rather her pick apart his politics with good arguments of her own.

  • Erin

    Our fantastic realtor just emailed to say we can move in a few days early. Living on a street that is, literally, lined with moving trucks on the last and first days of the month, this is a huge gift!

  • Malorie

    We got married two weeks ago! We did it in a walk-in aviary and a bird landed on my head during one of the readings to eat my flower crown: it was perfect.

    I’ve mostly lurked around here (except for one essay: http://apracticalwedding.com/2014/04/becoming-a-stepmother/) but APW has been invaluable to me during the planning process, so thank you all, for everything.

    • Kayjayoh

      Congrats!

    • KC

      I love that a bird landed on your head to eat your flower crown. That is amazing. :-)

      And congratulations!

    • Erin

      Gorgeous colors!

    • vegankitchendiaries

      Hooray!

    • C_Gold

      Love all the flowers!!

    • HannahESmith

      Flower Crown! Love the colors. Gorgeously done! Congratulations!

    • Kate

      Congratulations!!!!!! This is the best.

    • Meg Keene

      OMG SO CUTE. Are you sending in your wedding???

      • Malorie

        Planning to! I’ll be putting something together as soon as we get the professional shots. :)

        Thanks (to everyone) for all the lovely words!

  • ElisabethJoanne

    My husband didn’t get the job he’s been teeing himself up for for 3 years. It’s a big rug out from under both of us, as we’d made friends in the organization, and received support (while he also spent 20 hours/week volunteering), but now he feels duped.

    I’m kind of running out of ways to say, “I still love you even if you can’t find a job.”

    • Kayjayoh

      Oh man, that is rough! I’m so sorry to hear that.

    • Grace from England

      Ouch, I’m sorry. I hope there will be other opportunities for him, even if it doesn’t feel like it right now x

    • Violet

      Oh ElisabethJoanne, that is so disappointing. If your fella is anything like mine, he really takes pride in what he *does,* so if he feels he’s not doing enough, he’ll get down on himself. Can you think of any ways you can provide some gentle gratitude for the things he does to support your relationship? Not to make these HUGE deals out of them, but even noticing the small things consistently? Maybe you already do this, but I’m just suggesting it because it works for me/my partner.

      • ElisabethJoanne

        I try really hard to point out all the ways he contributes to the family despite not bringing in money. As I contemplate next steps for us, there’s a question of whether he should keep looking for work or whether he should become a full-time homemaker. We don’t need additional income, and I’d really like a more orderly home. But I don’t really think he wants to take that route.

        We’re just at a loss. His occupational therapist pushed him hard to focus on this 1 opportunity. When I got nervous and insisted he get a second opinion, it took him 15 months to choose someone else, due to the mental issues that have him seeing a therapist in the first place. His first therapist has suggested he start his own business, and he’s taking steps in that direction, but every project just moves so slowly. It’s fine if it takes the government 3 (or 30) years to break ground on high-speed rail, but a family can’t wait 3 years to draw up a business plan. You know the men in sit-coms who get obsessed with a home improvement project and insist it’s for the family when really it’s more of a hobby and about their egos? I feel like his job search is like that, and I’m trying to keep the right attitude and 1) not resent him and 2) not patronize him, even in my mind.

        • Violet

          This is just a really hard situation. You’ve mentioned here before, and it’s so true, that for someone with EF issues to even make appointments with a therapist is going to be a slog. From the overall tenor of your comments over the past months, it seems like you try your very best to support him, and it (so far) hasn’t made him feel better. So maybe rather than thinking of other ways to help him right now, what would you tink of changing it up? As a mental exercise for you, what caused you to fall in love with him in the first place? If those reasons/qualities are still there, what would it be like to focus your efforts on loving those things that he already has, and for a time, put aside striving so hard to help him acquire what he does not have. If you two can truly live on one income and he can get to his mental health appointments, it might just be worth trying a new tactic for a time. I work with folks of all ages with ADHD, and really, you can’t be his therapist or his OT, you can only really be his wife. You sound like a really caring person and so loving him may start to turn into taking care of him, but… if that isn’t working for him and you, it might be time to consider changing the dynamic.
          If I’ve misinterpreted anything or overstepped my bounds with this comment, feel free to set me straight and/or tell me to bugger off.

          • ElisabethJoanne

            Thanks. I try to follow all this advice.

            On typical days, I don’t know how down he is. I try not to be one of those people who focuses on the downs, but when things are going well, one doesn’t need advice. I knew that his not getting this particular job was going to be hard all over, but, you know, it’s hard to see loved ones in pain.

            I want him to be happy, and I want to move on with life. In the sit-coms, eventually the wife calls a professional plumber, ’cause the family needs a working sink. I try not to get Puritanical (“I don’t care what, but you have to do something with your life”) – and I was raised among actual modern-day Puritans – but his time is a marital asset. I feel stuck between depreciating that asset to 0 (which would be patronizing), and deciding what to do with it, like I do with the money because it interests me and he insists he doesn’t care (which would be controlling).

          • Violet

            Yeah, the sitcom answer ain’t exactly gonna work here, that’s for sure. It seems you knew his gunning for this one position and putting all the proverbial eggs in the one damn basket was very risky, so it just sucks all the more that it didn’t pan out. I think your last sentence really sums up the dilemma as you’re currently conceptualizing it- do you let him make the calls with his own time (knowing it may not be best put to use) or do you call the shots to better allocate that resource (which as you say, could seem controlling). I just wonder if the framework of this being your dilemma as being where the hang-up is. In trying to make these decisions as a team, taking into account how he feels (he insists he doesn’t care if you just assign him a task to do) is the kindest way you can restore his voice in the partnership. It’s sort of counterintuitive (“I’ll tell you what to do, because you’ve told me that’s what you want”), but there you have it. Otherwise, your making this decision on your own sort of perpetuates this idea that he can’t make important decisions.
            That was confusing. Did that make sense at all?

          • ElisabethJoanne

            Thanks again.

            We could certainly come to an agreement that I set his individual priorities for awhile; or if I asked him to, he’d certainly agree to do whatever I asked. But that’s not the role of a spouse, to me, at least not when the mental health issues are such that there’s already an OT in the picture, who’s also providing CBT and other talk therapy. He’s an adult; he can decide his goals for his life. Besides, I’ve tried prodding him, “If you didn’t have to earn money, what would you want to do?” and, also, “If we had a baby this time next year, would you still want to keep looking for work?” (’cause that’s the aspiration).

            Or, it’s my aspiration. I don’t think it’s an ED thing. I think it’s a personality and history of parental abuse thing that he can’t figure out what he wants and plan for it. So he looks for work for years, ’cause unemployed people look for work. But he doesn’t imagine a different life than looking for work, or even think how life will be better once he’s working. Meanwhile, I had an idea in high school what I wanted to do in retirement. So I’m also fighting against my tendency to plan too much.

    • Erin

      So sorry to hear this. I have seen people stuck in job searches against incredible odds and know how hard it can be when the emotional support you are giving doesn’t seem to help.

    • Bethany

      I’m so sorry. For what it’s worth, I’ve been in a crappy job hunt for awhile now and interviewed at my dream org for 5 different positions in the past 6 months, each time getting to the final stage and being the second or third choice. My partner has been great about reminding me to do the little things (“Did you email and ask about what skills they would suggest you improve?”) while also every now and then just suggesting I take a break and watch British comedy, plus asking me how he can help (we’re both highly ADHD but he’s medicated while I have really bad reactions to meds and have to just do behavioral work to cope). I know for me, sometimes having him push me a bit (“Hey, I’ll make you coffee but I need you to get out of bed and accomplish 2 items from your to-do list in the next hour.”) can really help.

      I hope that things work out. I’m sorry if you’ve said this elsewhere, but would he be open to the two of you going to a session together to talk about how this affects you as a couple and how you might both best be able to cope and help each other?

  • anon for this

    My back has been killing me all week because last Saturday I helped a friend move. Her husband moved out one day and left her with no warning less than two months ago, and left a whole bunch of his shit in the house for her to deal with. Maybe not surprisingly, it was the heaviest shit, too – whole set of weight lifting stuff, huge car parts, empty dressers, etc. A bunch of our friends showed up to help her pack, load, drive, unload, and clean. It took two u-haul trips plus a caravan of cars. I drove for four hours that day.

    If I ever run into the husband I will have some words for him about how sore I was the next day, and how a bunch of women did what he was too lazy and cowardly do to, which was move and deal with all his physical crap. I was in a mood that evening, but felt pretty strong, too. When I got home I told my husband, may god strike me where I stand if I ever do something like that to you.

    After my last move, I swore I would not do any more moving (see: back hurting) and would just hire a company, but in this case even if it had been appropriate or feasible for me to just pay someone to move her stuff, I knew what she really needed was me (all of us) there, sweating and grunting, helping her start over.

    /rant

    • KC

      Tangible support rocks. Thank you for being there for your friend.

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

      That was so incredibly kind of you to help your friend that I am moved almost to tears. My now-ex-husband’s stuff (who left without warning) stayed in our-now-my apartment for six months because, well, because moving it was not a priority, despite my requests and telling him it would help my healing process. It was so awful to see his stuff still here, like he was on some long work trip. I hope your back heals quickly and well, and that the injury doesn’t cause any long-term problemss. And I am sure your friend is so deeply thankful for your friendship and support during what is most likely some very dark and painful days for her. She is likely to have you and the other friends taking care of her and helping her face her new reality.

    • Bethany

      That was awesome of you.

  • Megera

    I’m excited to be getting married… but SO TIRED of talking about wedding plans. My job is tremendously unsatisfying since I started working remotely so my fiance could keep his job after his satellite office closed, so I spend most of my time planning and worrying about the wedding (since I am a natural planner and worrier). It sucks! It doesn’t help that we’re planning everything from a 3 hour drive away, or that my family is terrible at communication (I’m still waiting for an invitation to my bridal shower, which is next weekend). I can’t even get together with girlfriends to vent, since we barely know anyone here, so I am venting here :(

    • Bethany

      That sounds really rough. I would be a mess if I moved and worked remotely. Can you join any bookgroups or volunteer at a local animal shelter — that was how I made my first friends when I moved to DC.

      • Megera

        We’re going to join the local curling league in the fall, but I’m hesitant to do anything else until we get back from our honeymoon in the fall. I’m so used to making friends at school that I forgot how hard it can be, especially in a city with a lot of new residents! We’ll get through it, but it’s certainly been a grind.

        • Bethany

          What city is it? Maybe there are APWers around to at least get an in-person HH drink? Making friends as an adult is one of my least favorite aspects of adulthood.

          • Megera

            Seattle! It’s a beautiful city, and everyone we meet is very friendly… but busy. If anyone here is from Seattle, let me know and we can swap info!

          • KC

            I’m not in Seattle (waaaah), but I’d note that volunteering can be a great way to meet people. There are “soup kitchens”, animal shelters, park cleanup efforts (some garbage-focused, some invasive-species-focused), kid-camp efforts, etc., if any of that might float your boat. :-)

            Depending on where you are in Seattle, community center/community college/UW-extension classes (where you can learn dance/woodworking/canning/really-random-stuff) can also be a good way to get thrown together with a group of people each week for a little while, which gives a bit of a chance for friendships to form. Also, the first stage in friendship is usually “going for coffee”; don’t be shy about inviting people; the worst they can say is “no” (or, in Seattle, more likely “oh, sometime later…” which is sometimes, I admit, the same thing…). :-)

          • Not Sarah

            I am also in Seattle and dislike my job! And I’ve been curling for 20 years, since I was a kid :) Have you curled before? The curling club is full of such friendly people! Feel free to email me – notsarah AT comcast DOT net

          • KateS

            I’m in Seattle! I just recently stumbled upon APW, but also even more recently transplanted to Seattle from Minneapolis (where we are planning our wedding) and work remotely here, so I immediately sympathized with your whole post! kestoeckel AT gmail if you care to email.

  • JSwen

    MARRIED July 26th. Boom.

    Thank you APW, because it would not have gone down the way it did if I hadn’t stumbled upon you after seeing The Knot’s recommendations for a hot air balloon as guest transportation between ceremony and reception. I knew I had to get out of there fast. I came looking for wedding advice and have gotten a lot more.

    The details were all lovely but right now I’m in the warm afterglow stage so I’ll do a How We Did It or something in the future.

    • ART

      LOL @ Hot air balloon!

    • vegankitchendiaries

      DEATH TO THE KNOT! And big congrats, lady!!

    • Meg Keene

      <3 Hot air balloon. <3

    • Jenna

      Our ex-wedding planner wanted us to have tethered hot air balloon rides at the reception. /smh/ Thank goodness for APW!

  • Beth

    My husband and I got an offer accepted on a house last week! We’d been looking for 7 months and had put in 4 other offers unsuccessfully and were on the verge of giving up for a while, but now here we are. It is stressful, but it has also reaffirmed to me that he and I are a good partnership. This feels huge in a different way than marriage, and I’m not totally sure why. I think part of it is that it feels like we’re finally starting to actually be a family instead of each others significant others, if that makes sense. Something about taking such a huge risk and sharing our finances in this way (we don’t yet have a joint bank acct, but have planned to do that since before we go married last year) and the discussions about our future needs and possible children…it’s kind of like our engagement discussions, but put to practice in a very tactile and realistic way. It feels huge but also comforting that we’re on the same page about most things. Nervous and excited!

    • Kayjayoh

      Congrats!

  • C_Gold

    Any advice on how to involve my fiancé’s nine year old son in our wedding? He was previously married, and his 15 year old daughter is going to read that selection from the Massachusetts Supreme Court 2003 marriage decision (our state still hasn’t legalized gay marriage, and both the two of us and she are really passionate about supporting gay rights), but we aren’t sure what to suggest for his son. We aren’t “all light a unity candle” sort of people. Also, if relevant, his son has absolutely no fear about public speaking, talking to people he doesn’t know, etc. He’s the least self-conscious or shy kid I’ve ever met.

    • KC

      So, some people do mixing of liquids or sand jars or whatever – potential crazy blended-family idea might be to make a (non-alcoholic) fruit punch with all four of you [like: pineapple, mango, orange, sparkling water] and then pour out a glass for each of you? Or you could add a reading, or have him announce something?

    • ART

      Maybe a reading less about marriage and more about family/family of choice? Something oriented more for younger readers?

      • Kendra D

        I would definitely suggest a family oriented reading. What about something like this?

        A FAMILY

        A family is a place where you can cry and laugh,

        and be silly, or sad, or cross, where you can ask for help,

        and tease and yell at each other, and know that you will always be loved.

        A family is made up of people who care about you when you are sad,

        who love you all the time, no matter what, and who share your good times.

        They don’t expect you to be perfect,

        but just want you to try to be the best you can be.

        A family is a safe place like a circle,

        where we learn to like ourselves,

        where we learn about making good choices,

        where we learn to think about things before we do them,

        where we learn to be honest, and to have table manners,

        and respect for other people,

        where we are special, where we share ideas,

        where we listen to them and they listen to us,

        where we learn the rules of life to prepare ourselves for the world.

        The world is a place where anything can happen.

        If we grow up in a loving family… like our family

        we are ready for the world.

        -Unknown author (found on Off Beat Bride)

    • C_Gold

      I like the idea of having him do a short reading! I like the suggestion of having it be family-themed. I also am paranoid, I should mention, about making sure I don’t choose something that sounds like I’m dissing his mom or something (they live with their mom half the time and she’s a perfectly fine person).

    • YetAnotherMegan

      We had my 10 year old BIL light the candles at the start of the ceremony. It gave him something small that he could do without having a lot of pressure (kid’s got his shy moments that are NOTHING like his older brother), but if he had gotten nervous and backed out, someone else could have unceremoniously done it before we started.

    • Violet

      Just stopping by to clarify- did he say he wants to be involved? And if so, why not ask him what he thinks might be cool? Nine year-olds can be heckin’ creative.

    • Natalie

      Could he be the ring bearer? Nine is older than traditional, but not unreasonably so. My friend’s now stepson (age 6.5) was the ring bearer/best man at their wedding. He got a tux with tails and bow tie to match his dad’s, and very importantly held onto the rings until asked for them in the ceremony. He was so proud to stand next to his dad the whole ceremony.

      You could also ask him to read something, since he’s not shy. There are lots of wonderful poems and passages he could read about family.

  • C_Gold

    Also, other question I want advice on: what’s a reasonable price for wedding photographers in the Midwest? I’m looking at photographers and have no sense of what’s normal and what’s outrageous.

    • Allie Moore

      So all over the board, but I’m a wedding photographer in Denver and I’d say for 8 hr coverage (most common coverage time) $2000-$2500 is average (maybe even low-end average) — there are a very few great building-their business type people out there for $1000-$1500 and of course lots of great people out there for $3500+ but you can get a very good photographer for a full day for around $2k.

      • C_Gold

        OK cool. I’m seeing a lot in that range. Good. :)

    • Sarah

      Is Pittsburgh Midwest? My photographer costs $3400 and that was for unlimited time on the day of, unlimited photos, a second shooter, including an engagement session and all of the photos with full resolution and rights. That price seemed to be about the best we could do since we wanted all of those things included. I saw prices go as high as $10k. The lowest price I saw was about $1800 for someone who was kind of a photographer on the side.

    • Brooke

      It kinda depends on whether or not photography is a priority for you. If it’s a top priority, then you’re probably looking at the $5000+ range for full-day coverage. Our wedding is in a relatively large (but not Chicago) Midwestern city, and photography is a medium priority for us, so our photography package is $2800, discounted from $3600 since we got it in a “book right away and we’ll give you a giant discount” deal.

    • Kendra D

      We are paying 1750 for 2 photographers for 9 hours of shooting in Grand Rapids, MI. I know that included her military discount though and she cut the wedding album for us too. But, the package we took is standard at 2250 I think. That was fairly in line with what I found in the Grand Rapids area.

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

      Our package was $1750 for 8 hours of coverage with 2 shooters in Minneapolis. We were also able to add an engagement session for $100.

    • Penfield

      Mine was $550 for six hours of coverage, with a free engagement session. (This person hadn’t been in the wedding photography business for years, but she was making her living as a photographer and transitioning to weddings.)

    • Rebekah

      I got married in AZ but flew out Raven (APW Sponsor and amaze balls person) from GA. We got 10 hours and 2 shooters, plus rehearsal coverage for $3350. That includes travel and the APW discount.

  • Guest

    we got our professional pictures back! i saw this one and laughed out loud. “Oh GOD….this sucker had better FIT!”

  • Grace from England

    When APW linked to Meg’s post from a few years ago about the Lazy Girl’s Guide to Blog-Chic weddings, I noticed this typo:
    “I know you’ve been taught to think that you have to *craft* and *think up cleaver details*”
    I’m telling you this because I’ve been imagining a meat-cleaver themed wedding since Monday and the longer I think about it, the less crazy it sounds. Maybe the heat is getting to my head? Ha! Happy Friday :-)

    • macrain

      My favorite line from that post: “So have a blog-chic wedding. Or don’t. Who cares.”

    • Meg Keene

      Ah yes, I’m dyslexic. I didn’t have a copy editor then. Can’t see the difference.

  • Brooke

    Any advice on moms who’re contrarian about every wedding decision? My mom does have a tendency to be pretty Type A and bossy, but the wedding is taking it to a whole new level. It’s not stress (not wedding-related stress, anyway, it could be OTHER life stress that she’s taking out on the wedding), since I’m taking care of the lion’s share of the actual work. Yes, my parents are contributing about half the funds for the wedding, to the extent that matters. But she has disagreed with almost every single thing I’ve suggested, and usually not in a nice way. Some true, not exaggerated examples: the ceremony won’t be sacred because I’m letting the bridesmaids pick their own dresses, people will have less fun at the reception if the centerpieces aren’t fancy, all the ceremony music I’ve carefully chosen will just be “noise” to the congregation, and no one will like it. It’s gotten to the point where I don’t know how I’ll even enjoy the wedding day–how can I enjoy myself when I know my mom (who is a good person and who I do love) is going to be sitting there hating almost everything about it? And my fiance is feeling like my mom is shutting his opinions out of the process entirely–like when she disagrees with something, she’ll make a nasty comment but grumblingly accept my point of view…she’ll dismiss his outright. How should I handle this now, mid-planning? How should I handle it on the wedding day?

    • Kayjayoh

      First off, is it possible to recalibrate and plan the wedding without your parents’ funds? It might not be comfortable, but it could give you the freedom you need.

      Second, do you have the type of relationship with your mother where it would be possible to tell her a variation on what you told us above?

      Third, (((Brooke))). Hugs to you.

      • Brooke

        For the first question, it would be possible, but not comfortable. Besides, it would hurt their feelings. They want to contribute.
        Second question…well, I’m planning to try. I’m not sure how she’ll react. I think I’m going to have to at least try, though, for my fiance’s sake. He’s feeling very shut out.

        • Kayjayoh

          It is hard to predict the reaction, because mothers are not identical cut-outs and people are people, but one could hope that you mom will realize that she is causing you and your fiance distress, and want to do what she can to lessen that. But yeah, not an easy conversation.

        • Ann

          I’m late to the party, but instead of framing it as “they are paying for half of the wedding” can you frame it as, they are paying for X, Y, and Z? If it’s at all possible, this can go over much better. Then you let go of having 100% control over X, Y, and Z, but you retain that control over everything else. If you are paying for decor, then mom gets zero say in that decor, but if she’s paying for flowers, veto power is okay. Given the budget situation, you might have to forgo having complete control of some big ticket items (say food or booze), but you can keep control over the things that matter most to you (ceremony location? officiant?).
          Good luck!

    • ElisabethJoanne

      It was hard to communicate with my mom about the wedding, too. I think we found a rhythm in my 15 month engagement, but it was still hard.

      The couple isn’t the only one who gets swept-up in the big day. Often the family does, too. So don’t be certain she’ll be unhappy on your wedding day. If she is? Well, unless your wedding is really small, she probably won’t be the only one. There will be a boyfriend or husband unhappy to have to wear a tie (or whatever) and maybe a bitty grumbling about the bridesmaids’ dresses. But: It’s. not. your. fault. and You couldn’t have prevented it. Try to ignore it.

      • Brooke

        Well, the thing is, though…technically, I can prevent it. If I just do the wedding she wants. But that wedding would be so far from the wedding that feels right to my fiance and I that I just can’t bring myself to do that.

        • leafygreen

          You can prevent her unhappiness re: specific elements, sure, but you can’t prevent people in general being unhappy (in particular, if you cave to give her everything she wants, the unhappiness goes to you, and that’s not good!).

        • ElisabethJoanne

          What leafygreen said. Someone’s going to be unhappy at your wedding. Make sure it’s not you or your husband. It’s a bummer that it may work out to be your mother, and not a distant relative or someone’s plus-one you just meet that day, but take comfort in knowing you won’t be able to please everyone. Give yourselves permission to please yourselves.

        • Stacey H.

          My parents got married in a Baptist church instead of the Catholic one and both of their mothers were so pissed they almost gave themselves aneurysms. The pictures are hilarious, and they laugh now and lovingly refer to them as “the ice queens”. My parents were beaming the whole time in their photos.

    • Sarah E

      Are these brainstorming sessions or decision announcements? Because if you’ve already decided and are just telling her what’s happening, perhaps A. don’t tell her what she doesn’t need to know, or B. let her know firmly “Mom, partner and I have made this decision, it’s not up for discussion.”

      Better yet, a direct method would be telling her clearly “Mom, you’ve disagreed strongly with all of these decisions. Your opinion is valued, but not if you’re just being contrary. I know we have different tastes, and your comments make me feel like partner and I are dumb, which we aren’t. In the future, could you please share more kindly and treat partner’s input with respect? I don’t appreciate your outright dismissal of his point of view.” Obviously you have some excellent examples to cite if she doesn’t know what you’re talking about.

      • Brooke

        Some are brainstorming sessions where her opinion is actually solicited (I just wish she’d state it in a nicer way), others are decision announcements (which then go back and get unmade.) For example, I told her I’d picked a florist just as a courtesy as I was about to send the deposit, but she vetoed the one I picked and asked me to pick another. After the decision was made. Flowers aren’t even an important aspect of the day, we’re getting very few of them.. I ended up just picking a different florist for her because I really didn’t care that much and I wanted to give her something. But the decision had been made when she told me it was unacceptable.

        • Sarah E

          Sounds like you’ll have to be direct: “These are okay ways to participate, these are not, and here’s why.” Otherwise, I’d be tempted to not have any planning discussions with her at all to save my sanity. The financial aspect may make that impossible, though

        • Stacey H.

          It’s definitely more difficult when you have the finances involved. In this case, you want your mother involved and she wants to be involved, she’s just being a dick about it. It’s not WHAT she is saying it’s HOW she’s saying it. This means that you have to address her behavior, not her as a person. “Mom, some of the comments that you’ve made, and how dismissive you’ve been of partner have really hurt my feelings. It’s hard for me to have conversations with you about wedding planning and include you in the process when all I hear is negative,hurtful feedback.”

          I don’t know how your relationship is with her, but could it be possible to have a conversation with her about why she has these expectations that are so different from yours? Being calm, kind and understanding about her opinion might give her an opportunity to vent and give you an opportunity to be clear about your expectations for the wedding.

    • YetAnotherMegan

      I wish I had advice, but mostly I just have sympathy. My mom wasn’t as pushy or contrarian as yours, but I wish I had tactfully stood my ground more. She rather strongly suggested a photographer (friend of both of our moms) that I knew nothing about and couldn’t meet until the final month before, and it did not turn out well. By the time we knew enough about the situation, there were red flags everywhere but no time for plan B.

      Would it help to frame your fiance’s siggestions as a mutual idea? If she thinks it’s what you both want, it seems like she might be more likely to come around. On the day of, find someone to be an emotional bodyguard that can intervene if things get uncomfortable. Good luck!

    • Nell

      I empathize with this bigtime.

      You mention that your mom might have some other life stress that she’s taking out on your wedding. Next time you have to have a wedding related conversation, pick a time when those stresses are least likely to come up (e.g. if it’s health related, not after a doctor’s appointment).

      Otherwise, I’m loving reading other people’s responses!

  • YetAnotherMegan

    I posted a couple weeks ago about not getting a save the date from my neice. I’m still working family channels to find out what’s going on (her mother/my stepsister isn’t really involved in planning) but the general consensus is that it’s probably some type of oversight. Knowing that my family does think of my husband and I as family certainly helps, so thanks for the push to ask!

    • ElisabethJoanne

      Thanks for the follow-up. Good to hear.

  • Megera

    I’m looking for loungewear to wear on my cabin-style honeymoon in October; silk & lace slips weird me out, but I still want to feel cute & partially dressed. Does anyone have any suggestions for what kind of thing might be appropriate?

    • Kendra D

      I have an adorable pair of soft shorts/tank top that are matching that I love wearing around the house and my husband still finds cute. I also have an awesome pair of black slinky pants from VS that are so comfy but still sexy that I wear with cute camisole tops or band t-shirts by turn around the house.

    • YetAnotherMegan

      I found something for my honeymoon at Soma. I really had a hard time finding something that wasn’t see-through yet wasn’t something my grandma would wear. I got this and the navy robe: http://www.soma.com/store/browse/product.jsp?maxRec=14&pageId=1&viewAll=&productId=570103296&prd=Floral+Lace+Sleep+Chemise+Palace+Tile+Navy&subCatId=&color=7283&fromSearch=true&inSeam=&posId=6&catId=cat4809276&cat=&onSale=true&colorFamily=&maxPg=1&size=
      There’s a good range from barely dressed to all covered up

      • Megera

        Thanks for the link — That looks awesome!
        My name is also Megan.

        • YetAnotherMegan

          During a very frustrated trip through the mall, I had a lightbulb moment. I love the bras at Soma, they actually work for large chests, so why not look there? And the fabric is SO soft. It’s pricier than I originally wanted, but it’s now in my regular pj rotation.

    • KC

      Okay, two quick notes:
      1. October, depending on where you are, may be cold. Do not underestimate the sexy capabilities of button-up flannel pjs over nice undies… or, really, anything that is relatively straightforward to remove.
      2. I’m not sure what the selection is like right now, but Target is actually my go-to place for *comfortable* lingerie/pyjama-ish things. It seems weird, but an unusual percentage of their Gilligan O’Malley line is not scary.

      If you can define what it is about silk and lace slips that weirds you out (the feeling of the fabric? the odd sensation that you aren’t really you and somehow ought to be in an underwear catalog? the shape of the slip itself? the itchiness of the lace [note: not all lace is itchy]? something else?), then you can follow alternate leads.

      If satin feels weird on your skin, think about a soft knit, maybe? If the short slip thing feels weird to wear, think about a tank or button-up and capris or shorts or pants or a comfy robe (or: also never underestimate how sexy a super-long oversized button-up shirt can feel, although not usually found in lingerie sections). If it’s the lace, then get something without lace. Etc.

      Good luck, and have fun. :-)

      (also: speaking as someone whose friends bought her some Very Silly lingerie: if your husband laughs outright when he spots iridescent sequins in an animal pattern on your undies, he is not laughing at you or your sexiness or your worth, he is laughing at the sequins and the fact that they are in an… unexpected location, shall we say? Sometimes lingerie turns out to be funny; this is okay.)(or, um, sometimes, eventually okay. Some Lingerie Incidents require a bit of time to recover from…)

    • Natalie

      I’ve found some really cute shorts & camisoles sets and pajama-bottom type pants that are tight on the butt so they look sexy while being incredibly comfortable and warm at Victoria’s Secret. You could probably find similar things at many department stores or Target. For pj’s, I find the key for me to feel that they’re “sexy” rather than just comfortable is the amount of stretch and how much they end up hugging my curves. Actual yoga pants when paired with a sexy camisole would be super cute. A satin robe might also be something you’d feel comfortable in but is totally sexy (especially if your new spouse knows you’re not wearing anything underneath the robe).

    • notquitecece

      Gap Body has some cute stuff right now! Both cute-but-not-too-lacy nighties and tops/bottoms.

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

      oh my gosh that sounds like such a fun shopping need.

  • Kendra D

    We are a week out from our vow renewal/wedding ceremony/belated reception. I have been planning this for over four years now, in some shape or form. I can’t believe we’re finally so close. Pretty much everything is done and I’m just reminding myself that I need to breathe.

    I’m fighting the urge to run out and make bouquets for my bridesmaids from the super awesome burlap flowers I found in the store last night. I mean, how cool would burlap flower bouquets look against their black dresses? Yet, I have no plans for a bouquet for myself and they really don’t need them. Still, they would look cool and not be that expensive.

    I’m also obsessively refreshing the weather to make sure that it’s still supposed to be gorgeous (spoiler: it is). I guess when I’m down to the point of refreshing the weather that it’s a good sign that everything is pretty much ready.

    I took an extra half day off of work for next week so that I have some time before we drive out to Michigan and that was seriously the best decision I could have made. One, I now only have 1.5 days of work between me and leaving for the wedding. Two, I can relax about all of the packing, car cleaning, and loading that needs to be done before our 13 hour road trip.

    We do still have a few things to do: burn the cds for the ceremony music, finish the last two emails to venue and photographer, memorize our vow, and get out there and party with our loved ones. It’s been almost four years since we eloped and I am so stoked that it’s finally time to celebrate our crazy love.

    • Kendra D

      I just made the mistake of going to facebook. And, not only did one half of my family decide to get together in Wyoming two weeks before my wedding, making it so that 75% of that group won’t be coming to our event; but now the other half of that family, all of whom could not make it because they couldn’t get the time/money to travel across multiple states…have all traveled across multiple states to be together this weekend…I think I quit family.

      • macrain

        Ugh. That sounds awful. I hate facebook.
        Sending you some big hugs.

      • YetAnotherMegan

        Sometimes families just suck, but it’s a reminder to be appreciative of the people that don’t. *hugs* or *drinks* whichever you prefer

  • Erin

    Last week I whined here about how angry I was that my company is being acquired, meaning I have to look for potential new jobs while also finishing wedding planning and finding an apartment to live in with my almost husband. This week, things are looking up up up! We fell in love with the first apartment we looked at (it helped we had many discussions about apartment requirements) and signed a lease to move in Sept 1! I am so thrilled and surprised the search was so easy and ecstatic about finally getting to live with my love. And yesterday I had what seemed like a very promising job interview, too. My plans for grown up life just may be working out after all!

  • Anon

    Ok, people, I would appreciate your advice on this non wedding-related situation. A previously close friend has had 3 children in the past 7 or so years (I am just now pregnant with my 1st). Since college, we have grown apart, both emotionally and geographically. Even before college, she rarely made an effort to come to my place, but since she’s had the kids I have driven significant distances on multiple occasions to see her. She has not once reciprocated. We have been out of touch for the past year, b/c I was sick of the situation and she b/c she did not initiate contact. I never said anything, so as far as she knew I was just busy. Now she is in touch w/me again, wanting to meet up and agreeing to meet halfway, which still means about a 60 mile drive for each of us. The problem is that, just as on previous occasions, she will have all 3 children with her. For reasons that I don’t understand and don’t feel I can call her on, she seems to never leave the kids w/her husband (whom I have met and who seems like a perfectly reasonable person to care for his own children) or a sitter. Our previous meetings have been very limited in terms of actual ability to talk to each other b/c, understandably, her very young children require a lot of her attention. I would like to see her, and I’m not quite ready to give up on this friendship, but I’m really balking at driving 120 miles round-trip to have our conversation repeatedly interrupted by crying, diaper changes, and skinned knees. I can’t really say to her “I want to see you, but not your kids”. Thoughts? Advice? Thanks guys.

    • Megera

      Is there a place you can meet where her kids might be adequately entertained? I know it sounds totally unfun from an adult perspective, but if you guys can meet at a place with an indoor playground or SOMETHING to keep her offspring moderately entertained you might be able to connect again. Even McDonalds might do — and certainly meeting up while you are expecting will give you both some great middle ground.

      • Anon

        Sorry, I should have clarified. The repeated interruptions have happened at kid-friendly places. Since they were born, we’ve always met at parks / playgrounds. They are young enough that they still need almost constant attention, regardless of the setting.

        • Megera

          Have you tried skyping? It’s absolutely not as good as in-person, but would at least take the driving away…

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

      If you haven’t seen her (or her kids) in over a year, and she’s now willing to drive 60 miles to see you, which she wasn’t before…I’d say there’s a decent chance that her kids have grown up some and will be less likely to interrupt you. Of course, there will still be some interruptions — I just came from a friend’s family dinner with her 7 nieces and nephews, and as a childless person myself, it felt like there was a LOT of action. But the last time you saw her and her kids, they were probably 1, 3, and 6 or something, right? If they’re now 2, 4, and 7, that actually is a pretty big difference. I’d say accept the effort she’s making to reach out to you, and at least give it a try!

    • Bethany

      Late on this, but what about saying “I’m so excited to see you, but I was really hoping for some one-on-one lady time. Is [husband's name] busy that day? I can shift dates to one where he’d be able to be home with the kids. It would be so good to see you and really talk.”

  • Kate

    My dress arrived this week! And it rocks! I can’t believe how close I am to doing the wedding dance (6 weeks today). Thanks APW for being a very awesome home base :-)

  • Jules

    Missed Happy Hour again! But, it was due to some fantastic fun. If any of you are into scavenger hunts, creating art, or doing ridiculous things, I highly recommend that you take part in GISHWHES next year. It’s an international scavenger hunt run by Misha Collins and it supports his charity Random Acts Org. Basically, you get to be crazy and meet loads of other crazy people getting out of their regular boxes and looking for new perspectives. I’ve gotten to meet (online) people from all over the world and I’ve had a fantastic week!

  • Jessica

    Any tips for getting an affordable (less than $500) microphone at our wedding venue? We’ll have 70 guests in a restaurant we’re renting out, so no built in a/v system. We really just need it for the toasts. The restaurant does have speakers in which we’re playing music.

    • Nell

      Google in your area for a local professional audio rental shop. Often, music shops will have PA kits (ask for that) and will rent for less than $200.

  • anon

    A little late to happy hour but I just bought THIS catbird ring to be my wedding band gaaaaaaah can’t wait for it to arrive! I’ve never been a diamond gal (engagement ring has a herkimer) but man, that black diamond really got me.

    https://catbirdnyc.com/shop/images/P/maleficent_ring1.jpg

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

      gorgeous!!!

      • anon

        thank you!! It was a bit nerve wracking to make a final decision on which ring to get, but I feel loads better now that the decision has been made ;)

  • Em(ily)

    It’s my wedding day!!! I don’t know what to do with myself for the next half-hour, everything is done. We’re ready, just have to get dressed and head out when it’s time!

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

      yayyyy!!!!!!!!! have a beautiful day!!! breathe!

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

      I hope it went (is going?) superbly! Enjoy!

  • macrain

    I was a complete ball of nerves for my first dress fitting today (what if it doesn’t fit? what if I decide I hate it? what if my tailor sucks?), and it went great! I’m so relived and happy. I feel like I made it over a huge wedding hurdle and I feel so much better!

    • anon

      yay!!! you go girl.