APW Happy Hour

Technical difficulties edition!

Hey APW,

You know what the best possible time to switch your highly trafficked website’s hosting is? Tuesday morning. Just kidding, it’s TOTALLY NOT. But it’s what we did this week. Long story short, our hosting company has sucked for a long time. They haven’t been able to handle our traffic load, sold us upgrades to manage it (that didn’t manage it), and had terrible customer service. But we ignored the issue, because we’re about to relaunch the site, so we’d be fixing it in a few short weeks anyway. But then on Monday, things fell apart to the point that it was taking sixty seconds to load the site, and our hosting company told us it wasn’t their problem. You know what I have no patience for? Shitty customer service. (I’m looking at you, hipster waiters.) So we walked. The rest of the week has, of course, been dealing with the complex headaches of a hosting transfer. (Huh, these posts duplicated. Huh, these posts unpublished. Huh, these pictures are missing. Huh, this plug-in is now lines of error code.) But everything is now very close to being fixed. That means we’re even much closer to the new site, coming at you Monday, November 11th!

In the meantime, we’re off to David’s ten-year college reunion for the weekend. And now, it’s your Friday open thread, hop on it!


Highlights of APW This Week

Everything you need to know about rehearsal dinners (including the fact that you totally don’t have to have one).

The Feminist egalitarian parenting Open Thread is still going strong, so jump on it!

How do you walk down the aisle as a feminist? Any way you want.

Wherein I Properly Thank The Nasty Internet Commenters” is such a smart commentary on what you learn as a woman attacked on the internet (hint: you win, the trolls lose), and also an articulate exploration of our relationship with beauty while wedding planning. (Hint: You can see the adorable proposal video that spawned the troll attack here.)

Our server issues didn’t stop you guys from pulling together tons of tips and tricks for teaching your partner how to do stuff.

We hope you didn’t miss Class of 1980’s amazing Sixties/Seventies playlist! At first I thought it would be like a snoozy oldies station, but I should have known better. It’s badass.

Link Roundup

You don’t have to like Once Upon a Time, but it’s nice to see a show continuing to push forward with depictions of LGBT characters.

We all have one: that meal we make when we’re beholden to no one but ourselves for dinner. A Cup of Jo has been asking food bloggers what they make when they’re eating alone, and this entry by Dinner: A Love Story highlights my favorite easy dish: Cacio e Pepe (which I prefer to eat in Rome, but we can’t win them all).

From reader Nicole: A student provides some insight into how expectations for men and women differ and how much setting examples for our daughters really does matter.

Why is endometriosis called “the career woman’s disease”? Stuff Mom Never Told You explores why this condition is still so misunderstood by doctors everywhere.

From reader Rachel: Recent Booker Prize winner Eleanor Catton’s interview with The Guardian, and her observations on how female writers are often seen as less serious thinkers than men.

“And do I think that men (and women) who recoil in horror at the idea of a man consensually adopting his wife’s name have some *issues* with misogyny? YUP. They simply must. It is pure math.”

And finally, did you know that whiskey tastes different depending on where you are? Neat! Which, conveniently, is also how I like my whiskey.

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  • Robyn

    I successfully cooked my first turkey for (Canadian) Thanksgiving last weekend! It turned out so well that there weren’t even leftovers (sad). It was also our first Thanksgiving on our own as a baby family, yay for new traditions!

    • Ariel

      Woohoo!!! I consider myself a pretty good cook, but still haven’t even attempted turkey! Congrats!

    • I had my first Canadian Thanksgiving last weekend (after 4 years of living in Canada). But I will still celebrate US Thanksgiving in November with my Quebecois friends. :)

    • Awesome! We’re having (American) Thanksgiving at our place for the first time this year. So excited!

  • Y’all, I was so tickled this week at work when a library patron was checking out a bunch of wedding books and I had a moment to go, “hey, I know one more good one that I can get you from another branch, want me to get it for you?” so I could load her up with APW. (Our “Staff Picks” display copy of Caitlin Moran is also getting some rave reviews!) It’s like I’m an APW fangirl all over, erry day.

    (Also omg, leaving in less than a week for ivf in the Czech Republic — eeeeeeeeeeeeee!)

    Congrats to all getting married this lovely fall weekend!

    • Jessica B

      1.) Heck yeah to good book recommendations!
      2.) Have fun in the Czech Republic and good luck with IVF!

      • Oh I will be crossing my fingers for you guys :)
        And it kind of sounds dreamy to work in libraries.

        • Haha, well, it’s fun, and also you get to call the cops a lot for drunk bums and there are some real assholes daily. It’s very rewarding though, and I highly recommend it in terms of fulfilling career, TONS of female mentors and women in TONS of high positions (not a huge glass ceiling issue in the profession from what I can tell), and genuinely nice people.

          • Really? That’s so different from what I’ve heard. Both friends I have with library degrees have been unable to get a job even shelving books in any library and one has been looking for eight years!

  • GAH!!! Endometriosis. Total soap box of mine.

    It took going to a fertility doctor before I finally found out that I didn’t need to have that much pain for over a decade. I’m mad that nobody helped me earlier, that I didn’t know I could get help, that it has basically killed my fertility in that I only get pregnant right after surgery to remove it.

    Pain is not normal just because you are a woman and have a uterus.

    • YES. It really bothers me that it goes untreated so often because women get brushed off as written off as whiners when really the pain is surely much worse than the typical woman is experiencing! (No endo here, but researched it trying to figure out fertility issues — I’ve still had to deal with doctors dismissing me though!)

      I’m just of a mind that if a doctor dismisses my opinion about my body without any real effort or reasoning as to *why* then they aren’t the right doctor for me. (This was easier when I wasn’t rural.)

    • Ughhh endometriosis! I have had 2 laparoscopies in the last 8 years and gone through a bunch of other treatments to keep it in check. I hated being on Lupron and I am totally not looking forward to the probable circus that will occur when my husband and I try to get pregnant in the next few years. Add that to PCOS and it’s probably not going to be fun.

      I could go on for days about doctors dismissing women and their various health issues due to the fact that they have 2 X chromosomes… such a soapbox of mine as well.

    • Meg

      I don’t have words for how I feel about the fact that women’s issues are still regularly dismissed by doctors as “in our head.” I actually, in the midst of a major health episode, had a doctor who couldn’t be bothered to figure it out if I was “just sad, maybe.” Because a dudes get asked that ALL THE TIME, y’all. #feminism

      • My mom has a funny story of when she went to the doctor and without really listening to her at all he was like, “oh you’re in your late 40s? Menopause. here, take these bovine hormones and it will all get better.” And she was like, “really you think its menopause?” and he was like “yep, no doubt about it.” She informed him she had a full hysterecomy ten years before (ovaries too) so it couldn’t be menopause.

        She went to another doctor.

    • The “career’s woman disease”? Hahahaha. I got diagnosed when I was 19, and I was just about to graduate high school. When I had no career at all. Full nonsense.

      I was lucky in that my endometriosis kind of magically disappeared (when we went and checked 10 years later, none was found), but I still went through fertility struggles (ironically, not because of the endometriosis).

    • BR

      Ugh, I’ve been wondering for a while if I have endometriosis, but the three doctors I’ve been to haven’t even suggested it. I didn’t know much about it until recently, so maybe I’ll ask the next time I go in, but it’s so weird that it was never even mentioned as a possibility. I’ve gotten, “well it’s an ovarian cyst so it should go away on its own” but a year later and I still have pain and no sign of a cyst “it could just be ovulations,” but why would that hurt at all times of the month and always during sex. And why would I just suddenly start having super painful period cramps when that was never the case before?

      Who knows if I actually have it, but there has to be some explanation and it seems like this is a pretty common problem that should probably be explored as a possibility. Ugh.

      • Jane

        BR, that is a whole lot of not right. Endometriosis or something else, they should be figuring that out asap. I hope you can go in soon … and if the doctor blows you off, try a different doctor. (Can you imagine a guy telling his doctor it always hurts during sex and having it waved off?)

    • I’ve been struggling with ovarian cysts, pain during random times of the month, painful intercourse, and really bad cramps within the last few years. I was told by my OBGYN that I could either “deal with the pain” or “go on the pill”. Thanks for the options. I finally broke down and talked to my mom about it and she made be an appointment at a fertility specialist for December when I’m back in the states. I’m sick of being worried about not being able to conceive so I’m finally doing something about it.

      If I’m not going to have a hard time getting pregnant then I’m not in a hurry (But I’m over 30, and you know that’s “getting up there” supposedly), but if I am going to have a hard time I should probably get on it. Am I totally weird to feel like ignorance is bliss but I also want to find out what the deal is at the same time?

      Giggles, glad to know that you could get pregnant after your surgeries.

      • Drives me batty how often doctors would rather throw drugs at the problem than figure out what is causing it in the first place. Good luck with your appointment.

    • Joy

      This is such a hot button issue for me. I was blown off (by male AND female doctors) until I forced the issue with my OBGYN in my mid-twenties. I got the dx with a laparoscopy, but apparently I will need another before trying to get pregnant? The infertility issues scare the hell out of me.

      I once had a doctor tell me that I should get pregnant and then I wouldn’t have to worry about the pain for 9 months. I was 16. RAGE.

      • I join you in your rage. Seriously!?!

        Some women with endometriosis don’t need surgery for infertility, some do. I fall in the latter category. I’ll cross my fingers you fall in the former.

      • I can’t believe at 16 you were told that! WTF!! I will cross my fingers for you as well.

  • Ilora

    Yay Friday! This has been the longest week so thank goodness it’s almost over!
    Earlier this month someone made a comment on a different post saying that they’re getting (got?) married on Vancouver Island! I’d love to hear from that person about what part of the Island they’re on and what venues we’re found, so far I’ve only found 1 place I love and it’s a bit above budget… Thanks!


      I wasn’t the earlier poster, but I have a few ideas!
      I’m getting married this coming weekend at the Dragon’s Lodge, on Gabriola Island… not exactly ON Vancouver Island, but close enough!
      If you’re looking for the type of place that a bunch of people can stay at and you can have your wedding on-site as well, this place is beautiful, and if you rent it off-season it’s very reasonable.
      We also looked at Sea Cider in Saanich. Beautiful setting, delicious cider… Good off-season prices.
      Hope this helps!

  • Katie

    Has anybody dealt with feeling guilty about having an out of town (for everyone) wedding where guests will have to pay for a pricy-but-not-ridiculous hotel room? Our venue is about two and a half hours away from where most of our guests (and we) live and is personally meaningful to us. We are having a late afternoon ceremony so that people won’t have to stay at the hotel the night before, but I still feel like I’m being selfish and… well, that my wedding will be an imposition (I know, I know). I suppose if people really wanted to they could drive back home after the wedding? Or find a cheaper place to stay nearby? We just booked the date recently and I honestly feel that I have to defend myself and our venue choice to people as I spread the word. The only person who has really said anything about it being out of town is my grandma, who is generally extremely supportive of me but made a comment about it being such a far drive for everyone and wondering if there was more than one bed in each room so that people would be able to share rooms. We are having a small wedding, so all of the guests are close to us and would likely be able to afford a night in the hotel. Am I just being too sensitive, or is there some validity to my feeling guilty?

    • Two hours is reasonable, and if people don’t want to stay, they won’t, because they are adults. :) it is totally fine.

      • Katie

        Thank you for putting it into perspective! They ARE adults, I think I just needed to hear somebody from this very reasonable-minded community to say it.

    • N

      2 and half hours away is nothing!!! For our wedding, my mom will be the only guest not flying in. We have been feeling a little guilty about this but ultimately people will only come if they really want to come so it’s not an imposition (we also told people to pay for their travel in lieu of a physical gift to us).

      • Katie

        Thanks again! Just curious, how did you communicate the no gifts idea to everyone? Word of mouth? Actually on the invitations?

        • Amy March

          I prefer this info spread word of mouth. Because, frankly, I’m buying you a gift no matter what you say. It’s just simply not one of the parts of the wedding you get to control. So while it’s a lovely preference to share when asked, I find “no gifts” on an invitation to be bossy and off-putting.

          • Laura C

            I’ve seen people put something on their wedding website where a registry is along the lines of “the best gift you can give us is your presence, but if you want a registry, here’s a small one.”

          • Amy March

            @Laura C- I really like that wording!

      • Casey

        Almost everyone had to fly in for our wedding too. We put “Your presence is your present. No gifts, please.” on our invite. I wasn’t entirely comfortable with it, but my husband was adamant. And we got some cash gifts anyway – mostly from people who did not attend. But there is NO WAY that at 35 and 37 years old we were going to ask people to shop for us. On that, Miss Manners and my husband and I agree.

    • teafortwo

      Your wedding is not an imposition!

      BUT the trick to that is that it’s all about boundaries. As in, if someone decides that they can’t afford the hotel and doesn’t come, you can’t be mad about it. And if there’s a mass exodus at 9pm because folks have a long drive home, then you hug them fierce and thank them for coming.

      But mostly: grown-ups. People will decide if they can manage it, they will book an Air BnB if the hotel is too expensive, they will share rooms, or otherwise just figure it out. If you want to assuage your guilt, look into some less expensive hotels nearby, offer to put people in touch with each other about carpooling and call it a day.

      • Katie

        These are some great suggestions!

    • Hannah

      We went to a wedding this past summer that was a little more than two hours away. We didn’t stay over night, and we weren’t at all bothered by the distance.

      Our wedding was also about an 1.5 hours from where we live. For me, it was so important to me that as many people as possible didn’t have to pay a lot for hotel rooms, that we rented a large house where 1/3 of our guests stayed with us. It ended up being my favorite part of the whole wedding. Also, bonus of having everyone stay in a house, extra help! (Side note: We didn’t finance the house all ourselves, but everyone paid in).

      A bunch of our guests either rented hotel rooms or just drove home that night. People got to make the choice that was right for them. Also, don’t feel guilty. Sometimes other people like your Grandma can be overly cautious about what *might* offend people.

      • My husband and I have been known to book a hotel if a friend’s wedding is across town in another suburb … because we want to be there and have fun and celebrate and not worry about getting home tipsy. In some ways it’s extra exciting because when else do we get the king sized bed?

        Seriously, the excuse for a hotel room is a favourite part of weddings.

    • Ella

      I felt the same way. We chose a venue in a vacation town that was in the middle of everyone, about a 3 hour drive. Because it’s more of a rental town, there aren’t any “value” hotels — it’s the place we’re getting married, or the closest value hotel is at least 30 minutes. I felt bad, but gave people several options, one of them being to rent a house. Since it’s off season, it ended up being cheaper, and a lot of my college friends are doing that. And my family, even those strapped for money, don’t seem to mind forking over a little extra to stay at the hotel venue. But, they all have options.

      Your guests are adults. They will figure it out — and if they are upset about it, they can choose not to come (which would be sad, but, ultimately an option). Your guests will make it work. Whether they’ll squeeze a lot of people into one room, stay at a place farther away that’s more reasonably priced, or camp out, they’ll be okay.

      I had to talk myself into this, too. But think about it — would it stop you? And if money was that much of an option, could you work it out? I think you could.

      Good luck! And congrats finding a venue! :)

    • Leila

      For both our wedding and my brothers wedding their were international guests, and heck I’ve traveled international for a wedding. I think that if you are worried the best thing you can do is give ample warning and be understanding. The moment we realized that it would be in a different state or even country then 80% of the guests we just began spreading the word. And I was very blunt that I really wanted them there but understood that life happened. I did feel guilty though, especially when one friend drove 10 hours with a three week old baby (not exaggerating). Yes, it was her choice, but damn was that commitment.

      • Emmers

        Try not to feel guilty about that! I could totally see myself doing something like that– it’s because she loves you, and wanted to celebrate you. And maybe even have a little time away from bebe :)

  • Addie

    You guys! Manperson and I leave for a two and a half week cross country drive in exactly ONE WEEK!!! I am so excited! We are driving from Miami to San Diego then up the California coast to Seattle. It’s a meet the parents for the first time trip so it’s kind of a big deal. But mostly I’m excited to drive all over the US. So, I need your lovely assistance in thinking of things to do. We are stopping in New Orleans, Austin, and Tucson on our way to San Diego then driving north. Any suggestions of things that we absolutely must do will be appreciated. Especially in the area north of San Francisco and Oregon. Seattle is his hometown so I figure he’s got that covered.

    Ready, set, suggest!

    • Paranoid Libra

      In New Orleans, eat at Johnny Po-boughs and get the Johnny special it was fabulous. I don’t even remember what meat was involved but damn was it good and consider splitting a whole or only getting a half, it’s a lot of food. Also strongly recommend going on one of the bus city trips and a haunted city tour.

      Have fun!

    • Stephanie B.

      North of San Francisco, the Mendocino/Ft. Bragg area is beautiful — it’s on the coast, on Hwy. 1. There’s a state park just north of Ft. Bragg called Mackerricher State Park that has tide pools and is a glorious spot to watch the sunset.

      If you’re driving north into Oregon, just before Eureka, CA, is the Redwood Highway, which is beautiful old-growth redwoods. Just *after* Eureka is Redwood National and State Parks, which left me speechless. Those redwoods are spectacular.

      (We just got back on Monday from our honeymoon in northern California, so it’s all still fresh in my mind. I can even recommend places to eat in Mendocino/Ft. Bragg, if you like.)

      Have a great trip — it sounds like so much fun!

    • Tucson!!

      Eat at Beyond Bread.

      Visit the Arizona Sonora Desert Museum.

      • I’m a Tucsonan! (And I’m a little fanatical about my city)

        Second on the Arizona Sonora Desert Museum. Sabino Canyon is a really neat hiking area as well.

        You must go eat/drink downtown. Scott & Co. (a tiny bar connected to the restaurant 47 Scott) has been named one of the top cocktail bars in the country and it is AMAZING. The Hub has the best ice cream in town, hands down (they make it all in-house and have all sorts of crazy flavors- bourbon almond brittle is my personal favorite). 47 Scott (American), Proper (American, specializing in Arizona-local food), Cafe Poca Cosa (upscale Mexican-ish and delicious), Penca (Mexico City-style), and Maynard’s (upscale American) are all great places to eat downtown.

        My favorite coffee places in town are EXO (downtown) and Cartel Coffee Lab (midtown). EXO is the best coffee in town. Cartel has great coffee and very tasty baked goods and breakfast food (My friend is the head baker and her creations are always delicious).

        4th Avenue is a good place to get unique souvenir or gift types things. It’s a little weird (but it’s really classic Tucson- we are weird here). B-Line Cafe is a good place to eat there.

        The UA Campus is a nice area to walk around in if you get the chance (I’m a little partial as an alum and current employee). There’s some nice museums and cool buildings on campus.

        P.S. I’ve done a San Francisco to Seattle road trip before as well. Redwoods National Park, Olympic National Park, Columbia River Gorge, and the San Juan Islands were my favorite highlights of the trip.

        • Oh, and if you’re a beer fan- Tap and Oak (next to EXO near downtown) is a great beer and wine bar with over 30 beers on tap (and lots of local beers). Union Pub, Proper, and 1702 are local restaurants with great selections of local beers on tap. Cartel Coffee Lab also has a nice selection of local beers on tap as well (they serve local wine and beer plus whisky as well as coffee and food and amazing pastries).

          Barrio Brewing is the best local microbrewery to visit for beer.

        • ShealaC

          I’ll definitely add a vote for the Arizona Sonora Desert Museum, local hiking, 4th Ave., and Cafe Poca Cosa.

          I don’t suppose there is any chance your road trip will take you through Tucson on the 3rd? If so, the Dios de los Muertos parade is one of the most incredible things I’ve ever seen. http://www.allsoulsprocession.org/.

          Finally, Allegro Gelato has absolutely the best gelato and sorbet. I’m a bit of an evangelist about it.

        • Kirsten

          Also, if you happen to have time and want to splurge a bit, the night program at the Kitt Peak National Observatory (an hour SW of Tucson) is amazing. I’m not into astronomy at all, but went along to be a supportive girlfriend (thinking it would be kind of ho-hum), and was totally blown away by what we saw through the telescopes.

          Otherwise, another vote for Sabino Canyon. So beautiful.

    • Nicole T

      That sounds like an amazing trip! I’ve only been to New Orleans once, so I can’t really recommend anything over there (except that there’s this one restaurant famous for inventing the Baked Alaska…), but I’m a Californian born and raised so I’ve got you covered for that!

      One word: FOOD. If you like beer, definitely make time to stop in San Diego and indulge! San Diego has one of the highest numbers of breweries and they’re all fantastic. If you want to know specific names, just reply to this and I’ll ask my FH which is best (he went on a brewery tour last year in SD). There’s a fabulous restaurant there called Seersuckers. They’re known for this huge rib of beef which I’ve heard everyone talk about (I haven’t been, but FH has and he loved it).

      As for Los Angeles, that’s my home town essentially, so I’ll just start listing before this gets ridiculously long (too late). Activities: LA Phil, theater in Santa Monica that shows the Rocky Horror Picture Show every Saturday at midnight (lots of fun, but also kind of crazy), Griffith observatory (definitely do this!), MoMA, Lacma, Santa Monica pier (one of my favorite places to hang out), or you could just drive up PCH, which is gorgeous.

      Restaurants for LA: Scoops (GO! It has amazing ice cream and it’s pretty cheap- about $2.50 for 2 massive scoops. Make sure you get the Brown Bread flavor!), Gladstones (expensive, but classic), Malibu Seafood (super tasty, fresh seafood), Apple pan (classic hamburger place, great apple pie), the Foundry (delicious, fancy-ish dinner), Fig and Olive (the dishes all include different types of olive oil and some figs- one of my favorite places). Reply if you want more names. I know my restaurants.

      San Francisco: Definitely check out the piers, that’s kind of a given. Besides that, there’s the Winchester mystery house, which is always fun. There’s also Gilroy, which is famous for its garlic. They have a garlic festival every year, but it ends in July. However, there may be things to see there still. Camarillo is a really beautiful place to stop by on your way up. Bi-Rite Creamery in San Fran is a great place to get ice cream as well. It has this olive oil sundae that showed up on The Best Thing I Ever Ate. You could also check out Alcatraz in San Fran. I hear the night tour is nice and spooky!

      Sorry about this being so long. If there’s anything you want to know in particular, just reply and let me know! FH and I know southern California (and San Fran) pretty well, so we can recommend things. Have fun!!

      • Addie

        Yes beer and brewery recommendations please!

        • Nicole T

          Okay, here’s a start. San Diego: Green Flash, Ballast Point, Stone, Lost Abbey, and Coronado. San Francisco: Anchor (for sure). FH is thinking of some more. :)

        • Casey

          Also in SF: Magnolia Gastropub and Brewery off Haight street. Really good food and beer and awesome location! In Oakland, Beer Revolution is a really cool bar with about a million beers on tap and a patio…not the greatest area at night but one of my favorite spots.

    • That trip sounds amaaazing. The ladyperson and I love a road trip too, we went from SFO to Seattle for our honeymoon. I highly encourage taking Hwy 1/101 rather than I-5 when you go north from CA, it’s so amazingly gorgeous, and has lots of fun kitschy roadside attractions. If you have time/like booze & food, go do the whole Napa/Sonoma valleys wine extravaganza. In OR, we really loved the little beach towns on the coast (we stayed in Yachats, but there’s lots of cute ones) and the Columbia River Valley is spectacular for hiking and scenic awesomeness. I hope y’all have the most fun!

    • Hannah

      North of San Francisco, Ashland is a delightful little town. It has tons of good restaurants, but I personally love The Black Sheep (British-themed pub).

      Also, I’m from Eugene, and it’s also worth a stop. Stop in at Barry’s Espresso & Bakery for some of the best challah you’ve had in your life. Also, if you’re a beer fan, Oakshire and Ninkasi are definitely worth stops.

      And finally, you simply MUST stop in Portland (where I currently live). Honestly, you could spend a full week eating and drinking your way through this amazing town, but at least stop and get some lunch or dinner here.

    • Lindsey d.

      Love New Orleans! I recommend either strolling through the French Quarter or down Magazine Street if it’s your first time in the city.

      In the Quarter, try Muriel’s, Mr. B’s Bistro, Stella or Tujague’s for an upscale meal. For more affordable options hit Stanley (and people watch out the windows to Jackson Square), a muffaletta at Central Grocery, or Napoleon House. After your meal, walk down Royal Street for great art and antique shops.

      On Magazine, hit Sucre for dessert no matter where you eat! Mahoney’s has AMAZING po-boys. It’s a little off Magazine, but the lunch deal is Commander’s Palace is fab (something like $25 for a three course meal and 25 cent martinis). Magazine has great, offbeat shops and antique stores that are a lot of fun. There are a couple of cemeteries off of Magazine as well that are fun to explore.

    • MK

      You probably can’t go wrong eating anywhere in Austin — it’s a foodie dream!

      But if you can, catch a movie at the Alamo Drafthouse. It’s an experience.

      If you’re into more nature-type activities, go swim in Bartlett Springs (it’ll be cold!) and watch the bats fly out from under the bridge.

      If you like to drink, hit up Sixth Street. Watch for college kids! It can be silly up there.

      • Lynn

        I’m originally from Austin, and I totally agree about the food. The best types in my opinion are barbecue and TexMex. If you’re hungry in the middle of the night, go to Kerbey Lane Cafe (whenever I go home to visit my parents, my dad takes me on the way from the airport for queso and./or pancakes- the gingerbread and pumpkin are both amazing).

        Barton Springs is fun- but MK was right, it is cold-I think 68 degrees every day all year. It’s probably too late for the bats though. It you want a nice view with limited work (just climbing stairs), go to Mt. Bonnell.

        I hear lately that the cool kids are skipping 6th Street (the classic Austin drinking location) for Rainey St. I haven’t been out there though, so I can’t say from personal experience (I’m not personally an especially cool kid).

        Austin has a lot of fun local businesses. My favorite random one to visit is Toy Joy (actually a toy store). They moved recently, and I haven’t been to the new place yet, but the old one was full of awesome, random stuff.

    • Casey

      In New Orleans, try visiting Frenchman Street in the Marigny neighborhood for some music. It’s where the locals hang out (as opposed to the French Quarter). The jazz music is usually much better and there aren’t bitchy waitresses demanding you buy one drink per set (although you should do that anyway!).
      See a brass band at the Maple Leaf. Rebirth holds it down every Tuesday night. Stooges, Hot 8, Soul Rebels are also good if you can catch them somewhere around town. Brass Band music is really unique to New Orleans – it’s like a cross between Hip Hop and Traditional Jazz.
      You could also see my friend Jayna Morgan sing jazz standards! Or my friend Trixie Minx dance (she has an AWESOME burlesque show – catch her at One Eyed Jack’s in the FQ or at the Roosevelt downtown. Jayna and Trixie often work together.
      If you want a good, inexpensive gumbo, try the Gumbo Shop in the FQ.
      If you want an impeccable meal, go to Commander’s Palace.
      If you want an interesting meal (they still use the same menu written in French from the 1800’s – and they invented Oysters Rockefeller), try Antoine’s, and ask for a tour of the restaurant, including the former jail :). It’s the oldest continuously operating restaurant, and it occupies a city block – it has something like 19 dining rooms.
      Buy a drink from Chris at the bar at the Ritz-Carlton if you’re into cocktail culture. Or go uptown to Cure and get a unique drink there.
      If you’re into metal, don’t miss the Dungeon – a bar in the FQ that opens at midnight.
      If you like vintage clothing, try Trashy Diva. There are locations uptown on Magazine and also in the FQ. It’s more vintage reproduction than true vintage, but they have some AMAZING designs and fabrics! Magazine is the place to go for funky shopping – FQ more for expensive antique hunting or junky souvenirs.
      Oh, there are so many more places I could recommend!

    • catherine

      holyyyy crapppp – southern california up to seattle is the BEST ROADTRIP EVER. I’ve done it twice and have been dying to do it again. The northwest is my favorite place ever, basically heaven on earth, and oh god, seattle mmmmmm

    • Alison O

      Totally second the redwoods Stephanie B. suggested. Also known as Avenue of the Giants.

      I’m from Oregon, and here are some fav places:

      Along the coast/Hwy 101:
      – Salishan Resort & Spa in Gleneden Beach
      – the Tillamook Cheese factory is north of Gleneden Beach in Tillamook
      – Cannon Beach, a small, can be touristy but overall I think enchanting beach town with a big ol’ rock in the ocean
      – Ecola State Park adjacent to Cannon Beach is pretty

      – Portland – see Hannah’s googledoc. Food carts = yes. Tons of good restaurants and beer.
      – Ashland

      Natural features (not at the beach):
      – Crater Lake
      – Mt. Hood (a night at Timberline Lodge, perhaps?)
      – Multnomah Falls (if you’re headed east on I-84 from Portland, anyway)
      – Silver Falls (if you’re driving up I-5 near Salem, anyway)

      Most of all, I would not miss at least part of the Oregon coast. The more dreary the weather, the better the ambience, in my opinion.

    • Rebecca

      We just did a Seattle to Austin move/ road trip, so I have general road trip suggestions:

      License plate game- still fun as a grownup. We re-set for every state so you don’t get totally tired of the game after day one (e.g. even though you got Kansas in Louisiana you still look for it in Texas)

      West texas- somewhat boring (apologies to any west texans). Podcasts and audio books are magic. We especially enjoyed radiolab podcasts and Let’s Explore Diabetes with Owls.

      Road atlas, water, snacks- especially for west texas and new mexico, since towns (and cell service) is a little sparse on the ground.

      Carlsbad Caverns in New Mexico (we missed out because of the government shutdown, but you should go!) or Roswell, aka dairy capital of the southwest! (Also aliens)

      Every national park we’ve ever stopped at has been totally worth it. It’s also nice to get out of the car and stretch your legs on a short hike.

    • Cat K

      North of San Fancisco, check out Bodega Bay, it’s gorgeous and has great sea lion and whale watching areas. Oh, and Monterey (south of SF) has the Monterey Aquarium and whale watching tours. If you do whale watching, make sure you look up their migratory patterns; I know they head up to the arctic for the summer and to the equator for the winter, but I don’t know the precise timing.

    • Definitely stop in Napa or Sonoma and do some wine tasting!! It’s absolutely GORGEOUS up that way.

      Also, not sure where it’s located geographically in relation to Seattle but Willamette Valley has the BEST Pinot Noir (I think) ever!!

      Sounds like you’re going to have so much fun!!!

  • lady brett

    i’m reading a really fascinating and important book that i’m only just started on, but want to recommend to everyone anyway. the title probably sums it up better than i ever could: “Saving Normal: An Insider’s Revolt against Out-of-Control Psychiatric Diagnosis, DSM-5, Big Pharma, and the Medicalization of Ordinary Life.” http://www.amazon.com/dp/B009NFMITE/

    (also just finished this interesting and horrifying look at adoption (particularly international): “The Child Catchers: Rescue, Trafficking, and the New Gospel of Adoption.” http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00BKRW582/ )

    i’m so excited to be reading on a regular basis again (it’s sort of cyclical for me), and i’m thrilled about my library’s e-book collection expanding.

    • Seconding Child Catchers book rec. It’s a really good read.

      Also, as a librarian, I have to mention to be sure to see if your library system can cross-borrow among consortium libraries. I know on our OverDrive system you can search for titles that are available not only through our city, but through the county and beyond as well (not all ebooks can go across borders, but some can, and you can search that way on OverDrive if you click the OverDrive Advantage option, if it’s there and your library uses OverDrive).

      Phew long boring plug is long, boring! Hopefully you can find more titles that way maybe!

      • lady brett

        ooh, exciting insider tip! i will have to check that out.

    • ElisabethJoanne

      Second for “Child Catchers”

  • InTheBurbs

    If you need a place to stay in Austin check out the Gateway Guesthouse. As for food: Home Slice Pizza on South Congress; Casino el Camino on 6th Street for burgers; and Smitty in Lockhart is worth the drive for the bbq.

  • Speaking of name changing, this has me rageful today:

    How The Texas GOP Is Waging A Hidden War On Women Voters


    Found out last Monday that I am a.) pregnant and b.) out of a job at the end of October. Wheeeee!! I am insanely lucky that we can definitely survive on one income, but holy life changes batman. I’m almost 6 weeks and have spent the last 2 weeks in the following ways:
    -trying not to google anything pregnancy-related (FAIL)
    -trying not to worry too much about miscarriage and counting down the days until the alleged “safe zone” (mixture of FAIL/successful)
    -trying to eat better (mostly successful)
    -being doubled over in terrible gas pains most nights, and damn, my boobs guys (OUCH)
    -LOVING the APW Feminist egalitarian parenting thread, excellent timing Meg and Co.
    Happy Friday!

    • Sarah

      Wow! Congratulations on the baby and good luck riding the wave of all the life changes!

    • Katie


    • M.


    • Peabody_Bites

      Congratulations on pregnancy – and SNAP also 6 weeks pregnant with no symptoms except addiction to google, incredibly sore boobs and gas. Also, I am eating for an entire football team, but I think that is more because I seem to have let my innate greed off its 20 year leash…

      It feels so odd to have something so life changing happen and to be so silent about it. This is only the third time I have said I’m pregnant out loud (1. My husband. 2. The chemist (who was so sweet and excited about being the second person I told).

      Good luck on the jobs front. Last week, the builders pulled down all the internal walls in our house, and the staircase and put a hole through the roof. Holy life changes indeed! And thank heavens for the kindness of friends and Internet strangers.


        Congrats to you too!! Yes on the weirdness of this big event being so silently celebrated. I’ve told a few more people than you have (basically deciding that I would tell the people I would want to lean on if something bad happened), but its so odd to have this big thing that most people don’t know about.
        Holy construction! Good luck, I have a headache just thinking about it!
        Also – addiction to google needs to be made an official pregnancy symptom stat.

  • Anon

    Please help! Three weeks ago at my rehearsal dinner my (now) father in law found out I was keeping my name. He was furious and immediately withdrew all support for the wedding- reneging on his promises to pay for the rehearsal dinner, do a ceremony reading and give a blessing before dinner at the reception. (the practical problems we fixed- we paid for the dinner, my sister did the reading and we nixed the blessing; but his lack of support still really stings). He yelled at me and I spent most of the dinner crying in the bathroom. We decided to put the drama aside for the wedding day(which was great!!!) but now the wedding’s over and hubby and I are back from the honeymoon and I don’t know what to do about my father in law. Advice would be much appreciated.

    • Laura C

      Wow. I don’t see how you interact with him at all until he apologizes. Because holy crap was he out of order on so, so many levels. I’m so glad you were able to put it aside and have a good wedding day.

      I don’t know who’s best to deliver that message — I want to say your husband because I think each person in a couple should do a lot of the negotiating of the couple’s relationship with their parents, but then I have brief second thoughts because of the specific nature of your FIL’s rage, but then I think no, still, best to hear from his son, your husband, that this is the way things are, that you are his wife and he respects your choices and as such can’t in any way endorse his father’s mistreatment of you. But maybe you write a letter and your husband delivers it along with a firm I’m-with-her message. Anyway, I don’t see you going to him personally to ask for an apology, and it doesn’t seem like the sort of thing you can just wait to see how it shakes out. Have you heard any indication of how he’s feeling now, if he’s ashamed of himself or dug in in self-righteous fury?

      • My gut reaction and head reaction here agree that this is a grunt-work task that your husband, whose loyalties are to his baby family first now, needs to lead the charge here. (If it were reversed I’d say the same; nothing to do with Head Of House bs, but rather the Old Team Player who knows the old team best going first.).

        I’m so sorry you had to be the victim of all this, OP.

        • mira

          What Hayley said. Husband’s dad, husband’s conversation.

          Also, anon – tell your guy that the internet thinks he’s awesome for getting on the feminist train — it sounds like he probably had to find the station on his own.

    • Jessica B

      That is terrifying.

      What does your husband say about the matter? Is your FIL usually a tantrum-throwing guy?

      Not knowing anything other than what you’ve told us, I would say you two should show a united front on this and say that it’s what you both chose–to keep your last names.

      While your FIL doesn’t have to be happy about it, you are both adults, it wasn’t meant to be insulting to him, but he should respect your decision because this is just the start of your marriage and it would be better to have him involved in your lives than not.

      • Anon

        I agree. In addition to your husband, I’m also curious what your MIL had to say about this too. Was she still supportive? If so, maybe she can talk some sense into your FIL.

        But definitely, this is something you both have to stand united on and your husband has to (if he hasn’t already) stand up to his father and say that he agrees with your decision. Do it as soon as possible and if you already have an idea of what last name you want to give your future kids, if it includes yours, start this conversation now or else things may be worse down the road.

    • Sarah

      That’s crazy! I’m so sorry you had to go through that. My advice would be to let your husband deal with his father. Your FIL clearly has strong feelings about your (i.e. you and your husband’s) decision and made assumptions about what you would be called after your wedding, but his behaviour is inexcusable. It’s not up to you to “do” anything, just like by keeping your name (emphasis on YOUR NAME) you didn’t “do” anything to him. He must see it as a symbol of something else. After all, your husband is a part of your family now and he didn’t have to change his name to accomplish that. Either way, it’s not your job to counsel him.

      Before all this was he willing to accept (dare I say welcome) you into the family? Or was he disapproving and he just chose this issue as an excuse to go off on you?

    • Yikes. That’s. Well. Yikes. I’m so sorry.

      I think this is definitely one of those instances where you shouldn’t “do” anything. Interact with your husband’s family as you always have, take the high road and act normal. You’re not the one causing drama. If your husband’s family is the “talk about our feelings and issues” type, I’d encourage him to sit down with his dad (without you!) to be like “hey, what you did was really hurtful and inexcusable” and wait to see if there’s an apology.

      No matter what, though, just make sure your husband has your back. If his dad says something snarky about your choices then your husband needs to be able to shut him down and stick up for you. You guys need to have a script and a plan for when you’re interacting with him. Have a topic-change script ready: “Dad, this isn’t up for discussion. How was your golf outing last week?” Have a topic-change doesn’t work script: “I already said we’re not going to talk about this, we can come back some other time if you don’t want to talk about something else. Have you seen the new episode of Parenthood yet?” And be prepared to walk away if your FIL won’t let it go.

      But seriously, remember that this isn’t your fault. You didn’t cause this. You’re being completely reasonable, and enforcing boundaries and calling FIL out on his complete and utter BS isn’t going to reflect badly on you. He’s making things awful–let there be consequences for that.

    • I agree with the thought that your husband should be the one taking point in dealing with his father. He needs to be firm in letting his father know that you have his support, and that you are a team on this.

      And wow, that is such inappropriately terrible behavior for an adult. Of course, I read your comment just after reading the Jezebel article…

    • jashshea

      I’m livid on your behalf, Anon. What’s your relationship like outside of this issue? Jokey/good humor or oil/vinegar? Is anything else going on that’s relevant to the story (not that you have to share deets here, just something to think about).

      I don’t know how I’d react, honestly, either in the moment or after the fact. When I’m feeling attacked, I either go for scorched earth or I get SUPER cold/businesslike. I suppose once things had settled down, I’d attempt to go for a kind, but businesslike discussion where you state that you’re sorry he’s upset, but that it simply is not his business what your name is. I would also seek an apology for the actions that led to you crying in the bathroom. *I detest interpersonal conflict and icky discussions, but this is something you are ostensibly not going to change and he needs to decide if this is the hill he’s going to die on, figuratively of course.*

      Other people may say that it’s your FIL/husband’s family, so your spouse should handle it, but I get a little squicky about it appearing from the outside that my husband needs to fight my battles for me. JMO, so maybe see if your husband wants to go to battle or stand by your side.

    • JessPeebs

      My FIL also threw a mini fit when he heard that I was hyphenating my name. I cried. I got mad at Hubs for not sticking up for me in that moment. We all, collectively, got over it. I still think FIL is probably just ignoring it and hoping it will go away. We’ve been married a year and a half, and it has only came up that once. So, solidarity fist bump.

    • april

      Yikes. Do you have any allies you could recruit to make your case to him? Your husband or your mother-in-law, or any other family members who are close with him? I’d suggest having one of them sit him down and explain that keeping your name is important to you, and that your decision not to take your husband’s name doesn’t in any way reflect a lack of respect for his family or a lack of desire to be a part of it (maybe have your ally give your father in law a copy of the jezebel article included in the link roundup for good measure). Because, seriously – freaking out because your daughter-in-law won’t take your family name is not a good way to welcome her to the family …

    • I got so angry reading this on your behalf. I’m so sorry you had to deal with that! I agree with your husband leading the convo with your FIL.

      Please keep us posted on what happens!

    • Alison O

      First thought, “wow, that’s f***ed up” and “I’m sad for you but even more so for MIL”, assuming she’s more reasonable.

      I wonder if FIL has addiction and/or mental health issues. This reminds me of two people I’ve known. Many people have strongly held beliefs or feelings about things, esp. family/tradition-related, but it’s unusual for them to result in such public outbursts and adolescent-like rejection. Might be something for husband and his family to explore.

      As some other commenters have suggested, if I were you in your shoes it would be essential for me that my husband be 100% on my side and not making anything resembling an apology or trying to coddle or cajole dad into not being so upset. He can explain frankly, “Anon and I are in agreement that her keeping her name, as I’m keeping mine, is the right choice for us, I support her fully, and this is not open to discussion.” I wouldn’t go into it much more than that; since FIL’s reaction was completely unreasonable, I’m doubtful reasoning on you or your husband’s part will somehow help him see the light.

      I think it’s important for your husband to take a hard line now because it can be a slippery slope trying to compromise between the original family and the baby family’s needs. Like, going on a major family vacation that your spouse wasn’t invited on? (A move by the son of one of the two people I mentioned above, trying to smooth things over after dad refused to come to the wedding.) NOT supporting your marriage/baby family.

      • Marcela

        Can we discuss this major family vacation that spouse was not invited on thing? Hubby was recently invited to visit his sister in far-off glamorous big city land in a few months and I was not included in this. He doesn’t see a problem with it and doesn’t understand why I am so upset. Help in articulating these feelings?

        • Alison O

          I think the circumstances matter in terms of untangling emotions and the correct response. In the case I mentioned, there were already glaring family problems, and other children’s spouses WERE invited, just not the one wife. And the vacation was supposed to serve as a real reunion, the whole point of which is EVERYONE COMES. Except one person, who is a legally married spouse. So, it was really egregious.

          In the case of your husband’s trip, maybe it’s less clearcut and that’s why you and he are having trouble seeing eye to eye? If my guy were doing some kind of “siblings only” or “immediate family-of-origin only” or, not relevant in this situation since it’s his sister, but a “guys only” special trip, it would be more understandable. That said, I’d also feel like, if it’s a really special city, and especially if the trip is not for a specific purpose that doesn’t necessarily preclude me, I’d feel left out. Even if he’s going to do special stuff with his sister alone, that wouldn’t mean you couldn’t be there and amuse yourself at times. Do you know the details of the trip and its purpose?

      • Samantha

        Just for the record, my FFIL also throws tantrums and has public outbursts when he’s angry. I’ve been the recipient of two so far and he does not have mental health issues or substance abuse. He has anger/rage issues.

        • Caroline

          To my thinking, anger/rage issues count as mental health issues!

          • Samantha

            I’m not trying to offend anyone. I just don’t perceive anger to be a mental health issue. This is coming from a mental health professional in training. I’m not saying anyone is wrong to perceive it that it’s just that I don’t.

        • Alison O

          Maybe it was a semantic difference… but similar to Caroline, how I think about it is that if emotions/thoughts (possibly manifested as behaviors) are interfering with your life in a substantial way (work, relationships, mood, whatever), that is a mental health issue. I didn’t assume that the person was or even could necessarily be diagnosed with an ‘official’ DSM-V disorder. Lots of people with issues of varying degrees can benefit from treatment (talk/behavior therapy) even if they don’t meet the diagnostic criteria for classified disorders (which are situated in super fuzzy fluid gray area, anyhow, a la what’s normal kid energy vs. ADD, eccentricity/introversion vs. autism, etc.).

          That said, it’s interesting because what you described, Samantha, is actually reminiscent of a DSM-V disorder…(of course depending on scope, frequency, severity, impact, etc.) http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/intermittent-explosive-disorder/DS00730

          It’s all on a spectrum, but I think even people with mild maladaptive behaviors (and maybe those folks in particular) can learn to cope better with life stressors and build stronger relationships if they can access resources to learn to do so.

  • Jacquelyn

    So our wedding is 3 weeks away and most everything is planned/finished. Feel like I’m biding my time over here, hoping I didn’t miss anything. There are some things still needing completion, but can’t actually happen until the week prior. But what have I forgotten and what to do until then??

    • Sarah

      Make a back-up plan for everything? Emergency first aid kit? Sewing kit?

    • Laura C

      My theory is always if I feel like I must have forgotten something, I probably didn’t. And if I’m confident I got everything done, I definitely forgot something.

    • Hannah

      Print copies of things (Schedules, phone number lists, maps etc.) This can actually be pretty time consuming (I waited and did it at the last minute). Although it was so nice to hand each important person a packet of the info they needed.

      Also, if there is any little errand you can think of that you can do now, do it now. (For instance, buying a strapless bra). I got crazy busy until the week before, and these little last-minute errands took up so much time.

      • Peabody_Bites

        Sleep. As much as you can. And hang out with your spouse-to-me as much as you can. Also I definitely second the printing of everything suggestion. Also, if you plan to make a speech or give a toast, now is a good time to start thinking about what you might say. (I wrote my speech at 5 am the morning of our wedding and totally forgot to mention my new husband because I got so carried away writing and thinking about our grandparents (then 3 out of 4 deceased). Maybe don’t do that…) Have fun with the last stage!

  • Well, I did it — I moved in with my fiance. Out of my parents’ house . . . for the very first time. Three weeks ahead of our wedding. Whew!

    It was tough and emotional and hard . . . and it’s still weird, honestly, coming home to my guy (and our half-unpacked apartment) instead of my mom and dad and golden retriever, but I’m getting adjusted and very excited to start the next chapter.

    And really, I’m just super stoked I no longer have to obsess about moving out because I’ve moved out. And now I’m sure the rest will fall into place!

    • Jessica B

      Ah! That’s so cool and so much to deal with! My husband and I (and our room mate) moved two weeks before our wedding and it was not ideal, so I totally feel you on the unpacking, new place, different routine, etc.

      It’s also really cool that you guys are living together for the first time! I hope your transition is smooth and remember this: Communication is Key!

    • Catherine

      aww congratulations! Sending you a hug and bowl of internet cookies for the hard part and then champagne for the exciting part :)

      This whole growing up thing…

  • Getting Sh*t Done type question for people who have had small children in their weddings: how did you handle the kids at the rehearsal?

    We are likely to have a passel of about 6 kids from age 2-7 coming down the “aisle” at the start of the ceremony. They don’t have to do much, just parade in and then find their parents. I assume you have them at the rehearsal, too?

    • Ellen

      I’m really curious to see what you hear on this. We’re leaning toward having a “kid parade” much like what you describe (plus blowing bubbles maybe and pulling littler kids in wagons), and it never even crossed my mind that they’d need to rehearse!

      • I’m on the line between involving them and not. All of them have parents involved in the ceremony. On the other hand, that’s a lot of kid wrangling. On the other hand, maybe the older kids rehearse and the younger kids don’t? On the other hand, maybe you just say “and this is when the kid parade happens” and then get them all together a little while before they enter and let them do their thing, knowing that it will all work out fine in the end?

        • Ellen

          I figure that even if they run down the aisle full-bore, and then run back to their parent, or stop at their parent’s spot, or refuse to walk, it will still be cute.

          Little kids can get away with a ton and people will still think it’s adorable, especially if they’re dressed up.

          My future kid parade leans pretty young though- I think the oldest that any of them will be is in first grade. Maybe you have the older ones rehearse and then they can take charge of the younger ones day of? Kids like having permission to be bossy too.

          • I just though of one advantage of our venue: it is at a children’s museum, and the rehearsal will have to be during public open hours. So if any kids are along, if there is someone to keep an eye on them, they can be shown what they need to do the next day, and then set loose to play.

        • Ellen

          Can’t reply to your other comment- with your venue the way it is, it sounds like it might be a great idea for them to rehearse, if only because then the kids will already have some familiarity with the stimuli at the location during the wedding itself.

    • teafortwo

      I don’t think you need to have them there – a group of excited 2-7 year olds is going to be chaotic whether or not they rehearse. But if your wedding rehearsal is in the evening, when the kids are either hungry for dinner or tired and cranky or otherwise wound up because all of the adults around them are wound up, the rest of your rehearsal might not go that smoothly with 6 small kids there. Particularly not if their parents are otherwise involved in the wedding and need to be paying attention to the rehearsal more than to shushing or distracting the kids with “hey, why don’t you colour this instead of trying to climb onto the altar.”

      On the actual day, you round up the six kids and have someone at the back of the church/aisle tell them when to go – they can figure out walking down a straight aisle at which point their parents will yank them into their laps and hopefully pass them something to colour.

    • mimi

      We had 4 kids in our recent ceremony and we had them rehearse. We wanted them to know what they would be doing and when. My 5 year old nephew walked with my almost 2 year old niece, and my 3 year old nephew walked with my husband’s cousin’s 4 year old daughter. We have learned from other family weddings to have bribes (candy, toy, whatever) waiting at the front of the venue (maybe with the parent of that kid or with the officiant or another helper) so the kids have an incentive to keep going if they get scared.

      • Samantha

        I love your idea for a bride for them! My 5 year old nephew will be walking with his 2 year old sister. How did they do in your wedding? I’m a little nervous about the 2 year old but she’s so darn cute any chaos she causes will likely be heart melting.

    • Alison O

      As a former first grade teacher, I would say REHEARSE unless you wouldn’t be bothered by having things go completely not as you expected. There is still uncertainty with children (or animals) (or, hell, adults) even if you do rehearse, but I would strongly recommend it. I think it could be particularly helpful for shy children to experience the venue ahead of time and have their parent/guardian explain that here’s where you’ll go and people will be sitting all along here, etc. and have the kid practice.

      However, I might recommend doing the kid rehearsing before or after the rest of the rehearsal because it might slow things down for the rest of the crowd unnecessarily. Most kids won’t have a good sense of the overall schedule, anyhow, so just making sure someone is there day of cuing them at the appropriate time, “do the thing you did yesterday”, I think it would be fine.

    • K

      We had a not-quite-2-year-old flower girl, and I think she practiced at the rehearsal. Her father told her to take a flower to grandma, and having a task helped her focus.

    • theemilyann

      They NEED TO SEE THE SPACE. Seriously, kids are usually the ice breaker at a wedding, and everyone understands, and loves them, but if something in the ceremony is going to go awry, they are it. Can’t tell you how many weddings I’ve coordinated where I couldn’t talk the couple into getting the kids to rehearse where the kids simply balked, and totally refused to walk down the aisle. Take 5 minutes and let them do exactly what they are going to do the next day.

    • Rowan

      I hope I’m not too late for this but I used lollypops! I gave them out at rehearsal to the kids and adults and they were a big hit. It gave them something to do. I had lollypops for them at the end of the aisle too – which gave them something to do during the ceremony.

  • teafortwo

    I have a Getting Sh*t Done question about escort cards.

    I always see escort cards on pinterest/the rest of the wedding internet displayed on a table, all together. Are these the same cards that are at your plate to show you which physical seat to sit in? Or are there two sets? If it’s one set, when do they move into the other room, and how can you be sure everyone already knew what table to sit at?

    • Catherine McK

      I’m not an expert, but I think escort cards usually just tell you the table, then you go pick a seat at that table.

      The one wedding I went to with place cards had a big chalkboard sign with table assignments (Table 1: Bride, Groom, Susie, Joe…etc) then when you got to the table, there was a card at your assigned seat.

      • Teafortwo

        That makes sense. We will definitely need to assign specific seats, as we have long tables seating 24-40 people each1

    • Laura C

      Escort cards tell you what table you sit at. They are at the entrance or wherever. If you then also want to tell people which seat at the table to sit at, there are place cards at the settings when they get to the table their escort card has told them to go to.

    • Laura C
    • Jessica B

      We had the escort cards in alphabetical order on display during the cocktail hour, and below the name they had the meal choice and what table they were assigned. We did not assigned specific seats, though. The only (sort of ) problem with this was that people picked up their escort cards and then went and sat down, even though it was about and hour until dinner was served. I think they figured this out (and that the booze was free for an hour), and got back up again, so it really wasn’t a problem–just kind of confusing for them.

      If you did want to assign specific seats, what I would have done was have a couple of lists displayed (in alphabetical order) telling people what table they would be at. That way they can find their table then find their seat instead of going to each table looking for where they were sitting.

      • Alison O

        As a guest, I’ve appreciated knowing my table from the get-go because then I can leave my purse/coat/already uncomfortable shoes/etc. at my seat and not have to carry them around while mingling. If you wanted people to know that it would be a while before dinner, you could have a little sign near the cards that says what time dinner will (approx.) be served.

    • Ellen

      For most of the weddings I’ve been to, guests grab their escort card on the way into the venue and then put it at a seat at their designated table. That way they get to sit next to whoever they want to at the reception, as long as it is someone at their table.

      It’s generally worked quite well.

    • Amy March

      2 sets, if you are assigning sears as well as tables.

    • april

      If you’re assigning a particular seat (as opposed to just a table), then you need to have a card with that person’s name at that person’s spot. Escort cards are a different thing – they typically go on a table in the cocktail or reception area; each guest picks their own up; and the card tells the guest which table to go to when they get into the dining area. So basically you have 4 options:

      If you’re assigning seats:
      1. have a place card with each person’s name on the table at that person’s seat AND have escort cards in the reception area telling people which table they are seated at (so they can find their seat faster); OR
      2. have a place card with each person’s name on the table at that person’s seat AND dispense with the escort cards altogether – just post a list of who’s at which table, or just leave it up to people to find their seats once they get into the dining area

      If you’re only assigning tables:
      3. just put a table number on each table AND make escort cards telling each guest which table to go to; OR
      4. dispense with the escort cards altogether – just post a list of who’s at which table

    • I think it’s common to assign tables, but not specific seats. That’s what we did. So we had our escort cards all grouped together, with each guests name on them and the table number. We didn’t have any place cards at the tables themselves, so guests could sit at any seat at their designated table.

    • elle

      We used a seating chart that I made, that displayed the guest names in alphabetical order with their table assignments (for example, Smith, John………8) and then had place cards at the actual tables, so people didn’t have to worry about finding a seat together. We mixed a lot of friend and family groups, so this structure was absolutely essential.

      I’m a fan of the seating chart particularly because it didn’t waste nearly as much paper as having escort AND place cards would have.

      • Leila

        We had great success doing this (seating chart + place cards). Plus it saved us space which is a critical factor when you have a smallish venue.

    • Violet

      This totally got to me during the planning stage too- Escort cards (if you choose to have them) tell guests at what table they’re to sit. These cards have the table number/name only. Place cards (if you choose to have them) are at the exact spot you want your guests to sit, if you’re doing assigned seating down to the nitty gritty of who sits in what seat.

    • theemilyann

      Escort cards are, quite literally, ESCORT cards. They provide the escort to get a person from the front door to the proper seat. They can take it with them, or not (your choice) and they can have a corresponding name card at the table (or not). Escort cards usually get people to a table and they can figure it out from there, but you are also welcome to have specific name cards at each place if you’d like/need it to be VERY assigned seating.

  • Rachel

    I just wanted to recommend the book I’ve been reading: The New Jim Crow, about the prison system in the United States. In hindsight, I wish I had bought the audiobook because I have to keep pausing it to read parts aloud to Eric because I’m having such a visceral reaction. I rarely say a book is something everyone should read, but I’m in the last chapter now and I feel like this book is truly something that every American needs to read.

    • lady brett

      seriously, everyone should read that. it took me like two months to read because it made me so seethingly angry that i would have to put it down, so i read it in like 5-page chunks.

      • Remy

        That is how I feel about Angela Davis’s Are Prisons Obsolete? It’s dense academic writing (accessible! but not fluff), but it is also just. so. maddening. Frustration. Despair. Outrage. Shame. So much to work through.

        • Peabody_Bites

          For the Brits, this is how I felt about Chavs by Owen Jones. Such a fascinating look at the demonisation of the British working class.

    • Laura C

      Just went and put myself on the waitlist for it at the library.

    • lady brett

      also, i haven’t watched any of these, but i have heard her speak and she did a very good job summarizing the book in a 1-hour speech, so these might be a good place to start for folks who aren’t sure they want to read it (or are wait-listed) – http://newjimcrow.com/media/speeches

      • Rachel

        Thanks for that! Adding this to the weekend agenda.

    • Rachel, my partner studies criminology and also highly recommends the book.

      To further explore the issue, a MUST watch is The House I Live In. The documentary is on Netflix, and it details the class and race issues inherent to the War on Drugs. The author of The New Jim Crow is interviewed in the documentary as well. (Find the trailer here: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2125653/)

      As one critic suggests- it’s nearly a civic duty to watch it.

      • Rachel

        Thanks for the reminder to watch this! I heard about it a while back…adding it to the queue now!

      • M.

        This American Life recently did an great episode in which they visit a prison that is doing a screening of The House I Live In, followed by a conversation between and inmate and one of his officers after watching the movie.


    • Added to my Kindle just now. Simultaneously looking forward to and dreading reading this (the latter because I get rage-y about this stuff really easily).

    • Alison O

      AGREED. Any time someone asks me for a book recommendation, regardless of the person, this is what I suggest….emphatically.

    • moonlitfractal

      I haven’t technically read this book yet, but I plan to. I watched the author’s lecture on youtube and it resonated with me strongly. I agree that every American should read it (or watch the lecture), and would also recommend it to foreigners who would like to learn more about the United States. I remember studying abroad in the UK and trying to explain race and the prison system to British classmates who claimed that America didn’t have a class structure. I wish I had had this book to recommend.

  • april

    Just heard from our wedding photographer that she’ll be sending our photos next week. Eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!

  • Samantha

    Looking for validation/comments on something here. Getting married in Indiana in January. I wanted to elope- fiance did not. We are having a wedding of 50. I was getting really stressed about wanting to elope, but we felt it was too far into planning so we decided to go ahead with the wedding with the compromise that we would actually go to city hall in Chicago where we live the the week before the wedding and get married there.

    What I’m curious about is what ya’ll think about our officiant situation for the wedding ceremony with family and friends. Since legality of the officiant won’t be an issue we’ve got lots of options. I was looking into the self-uniting cermony style where it’s led by bride and groom which I kind of like. We would say our vows to one another and all the good stuff without having to repeat after an officiant which I like. We do still want someone to do a welcoming and sort of guide as up until the vows/rings part so we were racking our brains trying to decide who we could ask that was comfortable in front of people, well spoken, and close to us both. Seriously we were hard pressed with this criteria. Fiance’ finally suggested we ask his brother. I’m on the fence about it. They aren’t really that close, but are slowly developing a closer relationship. I like him, I’m just not sure if he’s the right on for the job. The other options are to think of another person to ask or the dreaded rent-an-officiant.

    Wedding planning/decision making/problem solving is driving me bonkers lately- just a side note.

    • Hannah

      For us, we racked our brains about the right person to ask to perform our ceremony, and we couldn’t think of anyone who was just right. So we hired a professional officiant. You know what? She was AMAZING. She wrote a beautiful address that told our story. She used inclusive religious language, which was important to us (divine love vs. God). Many people commented on how meaningful our ceremony was, and there was hardly a dry eye in the place.

      I recommend at least consider a professional officiant. We found ours through asking our friends about the weddings they had been where they loved the officiant.

      • Ariel

        Who was your officiant?

        • Hannah

          Reverend Myrna Yoder: http://myrnayoder.com/. I can’t say enough good things about her. She made our wedding wonderful.

      • Samantha

        Your officiant sounds awesome. I’m leaning towards hiring a professional. But I don’t know where to begin with that. I’ve found all of one non church affiliated officiant in the area. It’s a small city in Central Indiana. Not a ton of options like in Chicago. All of our friends have had super religious ceremonies (even the ones who I had no idea were religious had really Christian or Catholic ceremonies- must be what you “do” in Indiana), which is totally not us. Another thought, which I’m almost embarrased to mention, but it is something we have talked about, we go to a counselor for various reasons and she mentioned that has officiated weddings before. Is it totally inappropriate to ask her if she would officiate? I’m a grad student in a Master’s of Counseling program, so I’m pretty aware of boundaries between client/counselor and the risks of dual relationships, but I’m not sure if her acting as our officiant would be violating those boundaries?

        • Hannah

          I know a lot of people with religious ceremonies actually go through counseling with their officiant, so it actually would make a lot of sense. I think it would be worthwhile to ask her if she would be interested. If not, maybe she can recommend someone else? She must have a back-up person she refers people to when she can’t officiate.

          Also, how close is your wedding to a larger area with more options for officiants? Our wedding was about 1.5 hours away from where we and our officiant live. We were able to pay a travel fee for her to come to perform our wedding.

    • Alison O

      My instinct with this one is to lean toward finding a professional. It reminds me of how surgeons don’t typically operate on their families. If things go wrong, it’s even worse if it’s a family member who was part of the problem. I’d rather risk having a professional officiant I don’t really love and never have to see again than risk having my brother/in-law not quite fit the bill and have things be awkward/resentful or something because of it and jeopardize the burgeoning relationship with my fiance and me.

      Plus, like Hannah said, there are great professionals out there. And if you’re still trying to figure out what you want the ceremony to look like, a professional should also have more background knowledge and experience to help you figure out your options and what makes most sense for you.

      • Samantha

        Yeah, I think I agree with you guys. Ideally we’d have some awesome, officiant like friend who would do an awesome job as an officiant in the wedding, but in reality, that’s not the case so I think we have to suck it up and find someone to hire.

      • Hannah

        Totally agree on this. Working with a professional made it so much easier to shape our ceremony. Also it took much less time, which was so nice when you have a million other wedding to-dos.

  • Ashleyn

    I want to gift myself a sewing machine this year for the holidays! But I haven’t the slightest idea of what to get.

    I am a beginning sewer with a pretty good hold on the basics, but have never had my own machine. Growing up I would use my mother’s but would always have to call her in to fix any snafus with the machine. I want to learn more and move toward making my own clothing if I can.

    Does anyone have any suggestions for a good basic machine that will last a long time?

    • I have Husqvarna “Sofia”, which I got as a gift like 9 years ago, and it is still going strong. A little more than basic, it has some fancy stitches for decoration, but mostly it’s a solid get-the-job-done machine. Husqvarna Viking is an excellent brand, so maybe even the level below if you want something even more basic.

    • Darcy

      Check around the local shops to see if anyone rents machines. Then you can figure out what features you will actually use. It’s really easy to get caught up in all the fancy computerized extra bits but will you really embroider every towel and set of underwear you have?

      If you are just looking for a good workhorse the first step is to find the repair shop you will ultimately be using. They may sell used machines. Any of the theatres I worked for guarded their old Berninas that had metal gears with moats and dragons. I use a 30 year old Kenmore, again with metal gears, that does a few fancy stitches but can plough through layers of denim like a champ.

    • Ariel

      I have the Brother Sew Easy Sew Affordable and I really like it! I’ve done some crafts with it and made some clothes (3 skirts, a scarf, baby bibs).

      • Ariel

        Actually, I have the Sew Advance Sew Affordable (just checked my Amazon acct)… it’s currently $80 on Amazon

      • MK

        Seconding Brother as a good starter brand! I got mine at Target, if you can believe it.

    • AMS

      I splurged earlier this year on a Pfaff Ambition Essential (which for me was a pretty big splurge!) and so far I love it! I’m using it mostly for quilting, and I have no complaints. It’s pretty intuitive, even I can troubleshoot it, and I’m expecting it to last for a while. When I was researching machines one thing people kept telling me was that planned obsolescence is starting to creep into sewing machines. Some manufacturers are producing machines with the expectation that you’ll “upgrade” in a couple of years. I was strongly advised by both the ladies in the quilting class I took and the staff at a couple of stores to go with a Pfaff or Bernina over a Brother machine for that very reason. Just my two cents!

  • The reception site that I want to use has seating for 85 people. I would love to keep my wedding at this number. We told FMIL and she gave us a guest list of over 85 people. This guest list included some of FSIL’s friends but none of his…So either I don’t invite any of my family or a pretty big fight is going to happen because she says we can’t wittle the list down any more. We ARE NOT inviting his sister’s friends, I’ve never even met them.

    He said that about half will show up, this still puts us around 100 people and if more show then we are so screwed. UGH

    Luckily it’s outside so her dumb crazy large family can sit on picnic blankets we provide cause I’m not budging even if she isn’t. (she wants us to use the church basement)

    • Nothing useful to say, other than I sympathize.

    • Ariel

      Ugh. We’re dealing with this too, it sucks.

    • Laura C

      So much sympathy!

      My fiance has a huge family and his cousin’s wife does too, and she told me for her wedding, she went to her own mother and said “you can have 40 people. It’s fine if you make me the bad guy with the people you can’t invite.” Maybe it’s late in the game to tell your FMIL “you can have 30 people” — has she already gone around telling all these people they’re invited? — but that’s the best I can recommend. I mean, there’s no way she heard you say there would be 85 total and thought that meant she got to pick all of them. She might try to act like that, but unless you were wildly unclear when you told her how big the wedding is, she can’t, in her heart of hearts, think she’s being reasonable.

      Or figure out a way to expand it some. Though not to the sister’s friends you’ve never met, for sure!

    • Marcela

      I feel you on this. My MIL sent over a list of 67 people after she was told she had 30 spots. (We were aiming for 90 invited guests total, 30 each for my family/ his family/ us) It basically took me sitting my fiance down and explaining in no uncertain terms that we could not afford to have these people attend. When we were confronted with the “But these people wouldn’t actually come!” line of reasoning, I told him it would be his responsibility to tell the invitees that they were not actually invited. That made the list cutting go MUCH faster.

      • Samantha

        What an awesome line “It’s your responsibility to tell the invitees they aren’t actually invited”. Very effective!

    • Blimunda

      Stand your ground! A friend of mine and her husband invited to their wedding his paternal aunt and uncle, and the cousin (one of three siblings) that still lived with them. One week before the wedding they called the groom’s mother (not even the bride or groom) and said they would come, and also the (not invited) other 2 cousins with spouses and children were coming. Ten extra people. My friend’s MIL didn’t argue because the aunt was her deceased husband’s sister. They had to add a table and rearrange the seating chart. Funny.

  • Ariel

    Kinda freaking out over inviting more people than our venue can hold. Am I crazy to think that nearly everyone invited will come? The wedding is local (within an hours drive) for probably 85% of the people invited.

    • Hannah

      There will always be at least a few people who can’t come, even if they say they can. We had a few people get sick they day of.

      That said, I know a lot of people do an A list and a B list. Is this an option for you?

      • Ariel

        I want to have a B list, but I feel like they might find out that they’ve been “demoted” when a certain someone talks about invitations going out (the same someone that wants to invite all these extra people).

        Right now we’re inviting 109, our place holds 100, and I know for a fact that 5 will not come. I really don’t want to add any more.

        • Hannah

          Oh, you will definitely be fine with your current invite list, but yeah, maybe wait to invite more. I actually had a few people early on say they couldn’t come, and then later let me know they decided to come after all. This wasn’t a problem for me (I was thrilled), but it could have been a potential problem.

          Also, our guest list at one time three weeks before the wedding swelled up to 90 people, but then some dropped out a week or two before. The day of my entire aunt’s family got sick, as well as one of our friend’s son, so I think we ended up with about 70 there the day of.

    • Lindsey d.

      This scares me too! I made a “likely to attend” column on my guest spreadsheet, which made me feel slightly better, but we are inviting 135 people for a ceremony venue that holds exactly 100! I think we are at 102 with our “expected to show” people, but that includes 5 people who will be standing at the front with us and won’t need a seat. I’m planning to instruct the ushers to tell people to “budge up.”

  • anon for now

    I was married on Saturday and it was wonderful. My dad and I have had a hard relationship since he married his wife 15 years ago. I was always trying to tell him how important it was to keep a relationship with me, beyond their life. Long story-short they kicked me out of the house two weeks before hs graduation at 17 (I had my mom to go live with) and since then we’ve talked and seen each other maybe 10-15 times. I took the steps to introduce them to my now husband because, well I thought it was important that he know I was happy and with a good man. I called him to ask what role he would like in the wedding, making it clear that walking me down the aisle was not an option. I suggested a reading, toast or father-daughter dance. He called back later to say he’d chosen a reading, but that did not sit well with anyone and I asked him to give the reading as a toast. He did. It was weird but ok. I proceeded to dance with my mom, husband danced with his mom then my mom and then I danced with my stepdad. (I’ve since been told he left before even the end of that last dance.)

    When I got home that night, giddy and overjoyed and exhausted I was checking Facebook, as I do, and received an awful and absurd message from my dad’s wife calling me a monster and sending my congratulations for demonstrating all my monster like qualities to my grandparents and dad. I spoke with my grandma the following morning and while she was upset the night before held no anger against me that morning. Only hurt that I didn’t dance with my dad. How would they know I hadn’t chosen to do something later, out of the spotlight as would be appropriate for a relationship fraught with hurt and history.(I hadn’t but if that’s the real reason he is hurt, he should have asked me to dance or heaven forbid talk.) I called my dad Monday and thanked him profusely for bringing his parents, who are very important to me, and for being there himself. I said I wanted to talk to him about a absurd Facebook message I received. (I said those things because they were the things I would have said at a later date of I hadn’t known about the fb message.) Talk, because that’s what you do with people you care about- your daughter. I later found out that there is also a wall post on her wall that also insists if you ask about our wedding she will puke her guts out or cry her eyes out.

    What happened? What did I miss? Wasn’t this day about joy and my husband and I? Are they really angry about the dance? Are they angry about all the people who do love us so easily?

    I’m so angry that this communication did not come from my dad. I am so angry that her petty, immature hatred of me has tarnished this AMAZING day, I am angry that there are two children of theirs that have been told to love me because I am there sister and they are the sweetest and now I can’t even begin to imagine what they are being told. I am angry that I tried to be cordial with her. I am not angry that I spent extra time with my grandparents because I’ll probably be the only grandchild they see get married but I am angry that my dad and his wife were their and able to enjoy that as well or maybe just her. I am angry I’m still worried about this.

    • Anon for now

      sorry for the novel

    • Hannah

      I’m so sorry to hear about everything you’re going through. *Big Hugs* One of the biggest things I learned from APW is that weddings show you the way things are, not the way you wish they were. I’m guessing this applies to your dad’s wife. Maybe the wedding made her realize the way things are (you guys have a complicated relationship that you said is fraught with hurt and history) instead of the way she wishes things were.

      Not to say her behavior was at all okay. It wasn’t. But perhaps that’s what going on.

      Sometimes people wish weddings will magically fix things and have a hard time dealing when they don’t.

      • anon for now (still)

        Hannah, thank you. This comment has been really helpful. The efforts that I made with (with? for) my dad were reflective of how I imagined things being in an relationship with him. I honored what I thought was a relationship we were trying to nurture as father and daughter.

        I forgot that this was making it about us and not her. This has, honestly, I don’t think I’m being self-centered here, always been the issue with her and I, when she’s not involved-running the show- the shit is going to hit the fan. It must reflect positively on her. She wishes I had embraced her in front of my mom and my mom’s family (her other biggest fear).

        I wished I could have a relationship with my dad without her, and that’s obviously not our reality. I’m glad we weren’t asked to spend any holidays with them.

        • Hannah

          I’m so glad it was helpful. One of the difficult things about weddings is that you really can’t make everyone happy. It makes sense that you would prioritize honoring your relationship with your Father over your relationship with his wife. I don’t think you’re being self-centered at all.

          Some people really don’t do well when they aren’t in charge. And you can accommodate that a lot of the time, but your wedding isn’t one of those times.

          One good thing that I’ve noticed, is that getting married is a natural time to start redefining relationships. Ultimately, the new family you created has to be your number one priority, and you can start deciding how your other family relationships fit around that.

    • Jessica B

      Oh goodness. I’m so sorry that this drama has tarnished your day, and your dad’s wife clearly doesn’t respect the fact that you are a person with feelings. I’m so, so sorry that this happened, but it sounds like you’re handling it pretty well (as far as social etiquette goes). I’m glad your grandparents seemed to be able to communicate their feelings in a mature way!

      I hope talking with your dad works out better soon, this sounds like it’d be hard for him, too.

    • aly

      my heart is sad for you – but congratulations on your wedding. i wish i had something helpful to say but the truth is it just is unfair of you to be subjected to these actions of others. i hope you find peace, and i hope that in the long run it won’t even be worth remembering compared the huge success of your beautiful wedding and marriage! sending good vibes your way :)

    • anon for now (still)

      Still feeling hurt by this, but realized that’s I shouldn’t feel badly about that because she basically verbally abused and attacked me on my wedding day. Awful human. I blocked her on facebook which means I no longer see photos of the girls on my dad’s page (he’s still my “friend”) That seems to mean something yet makes me feel angry with and sad for him.

      I don’t want this to be part of our story of the wedding. It will get better with time as memories do. I wish other things weren’t such a blur.

      I still feel so badly for the girls who were told to love me and got all, excessively, but specially, dolled up for this day, but who are now being taught to hate and belittle others.

  • This week, we made A LOT of progress on the joint finances front, and I am so relieved. We started these discussions maybe 8 months ago and were on opposite sides of the spectrum: me, in favor of the one pot, let’s share philosophy, and him, the polar opposite. I knew eventually we would come to a compromise and that things would continue to evolve even after we’d made a decision, but I was very much not looking forward to more difficult (though important) conversations about it. Now that we’re on the same page (again, YAY), I would definitely suggest everyone learn as much as they can about their state’s marriage laws before getting into the nitty-gritty of the money talks. I’m pretty knowledgeable about CA’s marriage contract thanks mostly to APW’s posts about joint finances and speaking with some lawyer-friends, but the dude’s info was mostly wrong, which led to a lot of unnecessary arguing.

    Happy weekend!

    • jess

      Congrats! Hooray for progress!

      Can you share any details that were notable or specific to CA’s marriage contract?

      • I think just getting a comprehensive understanding of what “community property” and “separate property” mean was very important. Also, figuring out how you can structure a prenup and what can be included in it was useful.

        This link gives a bare-bones explanation: http://www.courts.ca.gov/1039.htm

        • ART

          THANK YOU for that link. I will study it. We are trying to figure this out and are really different about our approaches to finances, so it has been hard to even start talking about it.

          • I hope it’s helpful! We also had a very, very tough time in the beginning, and now we are probably 90% in agreement of how we want to do things. The other thing that was enormously helpful: those APW posts on finances, ESPECIALLY the comment sections. Not only did they reassure me that I wasn’t being ridiculous in what I was asking for, they also helped me articulate why I was pushing for the set-up I was.

            Good luck to you!

  • ElisabetheJoanne

    BART strike II, Day 1 – I talked with someone from my state senator’s office, and apparently the Peninsula didn’t start paying into BART when the southern BART stations were built. Apparently, the Peninsula would have to pay back dues, so to speak, if it wants a seat(s) on the BART Board of Directors.

    Other than that, life’s been ho-him this week.

    • ART

      Hehe…that’s so not happening. Bummer. I am working from home today due to the strike (not worth it to take Caltrain).

  • Secret Share

    You ladies can’t tell anyone yet (says the anonymous commenter), but my partner and I have agreed to shoot for a May 2015 wedding. At the end of the summer, we finally started talking about concrete dates– we’ve been in clear agreement that we were marrying each other for some time now– and after much patience on my part, he agreed May 2015 is the best bet for us, considering his school calendar. Every couple of days now, I have a “Woah.” moment when I start thinking of our wedding in more concrete terms rather than “maybes” or “somedays” or “when we finally.”

    Here’s a question though: Now that we’ve gotten on this train, I’m looking at the calendar and seeing “Engagement Season” rapidly approaching and feel we should spend the next couple of months doing some venue/date shopping before all the holiday-engagements jump on board the planning train, too. Our target month will be popular, so I think the sooner the better. Is this reasonable line of thought, or am I being a little too anxious?

    • M.

      It can’t hurt. We got engaged in July and started looking immediately for 1 year later Wedding Season, and had a lot of trouble with things we like already being booked, even through the fall, so we went earlier in the spring before it’s really in full swing. If it’s something you think will be stressful for you, and you have specific things you want/not much selection/smaller towns (part of our problem), I say go for it!

    • ElisabetheJoanne

      It mostly depends on your personalities, IMO. We had a 15-month engagement, ending with a wedding in November. We still had to book our venue a year in advance, even though it was the off-season.

      Having such a long period of active planning had the advantage that we could pause the planning. We did very little wedding-related that spring as I was swamped with work and Mom was very sick. Throughout our engagement, we usually only had one wedding-related task per week.

      It had the disadvantage that that planning style didn’t match with our families’ styles. Our families forgot about things we’d carefully agreed to. They put things off.

    • Hannah

      We picked a lesser-known venue, so when we looked at it in January 2012 for our September 2013 wedding, they didn’t even have a calendar yet.

      There is definitely a benefit to looking at venues now to get a sense of how tight the season will be in your area.

      One thing I would encourage you to do though, is when you do get engaged, don’t rush into planning no matter how much you want to. Take some time and really celebrate! You will have months of stressful intense planning ahead, and one to two weeks to enjoy being happy is really important.

  • Remy

    This week has been very productive! It was round 2 of insane work mop-up (got C-level recognition and fabulous lunch in exchange), plus Grownup Stuff like buying our first major appliance (it’s a small chest freezer, now named Queen Frostine) and prepping a bunch of produce that came our way for free or not-very-much. My amazing wife did SOOOOO much in her two days off work; she really caught the household chores up and both of us were so much happier to be living in it.

    We’re waiting to hear about a living situation that could be awesome for us. I have an interview coming up in my desired industry (and local, too!). I put on my big girl panties and went to the dentist after like 7 years. Only a few fillings (my first cavities) and a little deep cleaning needed, and I’m not too freaked out by that. Jamming it all into a couple of appointments to avoid taking too much time off work. The dentist did not shame me, and the estimates are less than I’d been dreading.

    Now I have a week of vacation coming up! It will be nice to withdraw from the world and just enjoy our first anniversary.

    • M.

      You said a lot of big things there but QUEEN FROSTINE!!! Ahhh! Thanks for that. Props to you on all of your accomplishments this week, have a fun vacay, and way to be amazing at naming appliances.

    • lady brett

      queen frostine!!

  • C

    Looking for some large wedding solidarity here… I just wanna have a low key backyard BBQ wedding with my family present, but inviting my big family means our wedding is likely to be in the 150 people range. In my large city, it seemed like all the venues we liked and could afford max out at 120 people. After an exhaustive search we FINALLY found a low-key quirky venue with lots of outdoor space that totally fits the bill. Of course the final quote is significantly more than we hoped to spend. Ugh extra charges. Feeling discouraged, like our vision of a backyard bbq is just not compatible with our numbers, and my options are (a) blow the budget, (b) elope, or (c) get married in a generic soulless indoor space.

    At least it is Friday and I ended the week with a solid work victory.

    • Samantha

      I like option B. I kinda wish that’s the route we went.. Sigh. But really, good luck figuring it out! Listen to your gut.

    • M

      Ugh, I’ve definitely been there. Finding a big, reasonably priced venue with outdoor space in a big city was HARD. I don’t know if this is an option for you, but we actually ended up with a venue in a small town about an hour outside the city. It meant a little more travel for some people, but it was gorgeous, affordable, and could fit all of our family and friends! Have you considered looking a little further out?

    • Audrey

      Our wedding ended up at 145 people (with a max of 150! whew!).

      – Suburbs just outside the city might be cheaper. We had our wedding in a suburb (30-50 minutes depending on traffic) and although it wasn’t as hip as having it in the city, it certainly made it easier for people driving.
      – You can have a quirky wedding without a quirky space. We went with an outdoor venue that was really pretty for the ceremony / drink hour – but honestly the indoor space was super boring. No one really seemed to notice. We added some quirky centerpieces and called it a day.

    • Kristin

      What state and what’s your date? You could look into state or county parks – in my state, several have indoor space, and even more have shelters (roof but no walls) that will hold a ton of people and are cheap cheap cheap. And then an bbq picnic (Oooh, or a pig roast maybe? If that’s your thing..) is just perfect – oh my gosh just thinking about it is making me excited for you.

    • Kestrel

      Quick question: have you gone through your guest list and done a “they’ll probably come, they probably won’t, they definitely won’t…” deal? It may be possible that you’d actually be ok with some of those venues that only hold 120.

  • Angie

    So I just got married 6 days ago. I don’t want to be braggy, and I probably am just not aware of the issues that happened, but you guys. It was really so amazingly wonderful and we got so, so lucky with so many things. I’ve been reading APW since before I got engaged, and it was my lifeline. I think people must have felt like yall were paying me because I was singing your praises so much. People asked how and why I was so calm through everything, and it was 75% attributed to APW and the sanity you helped me keep, with all that crazy logic and rationality that I’m always seeing up in here. So if I could just share some details of the day because I’m still so excited about it all…

    We live in Charleston, SC and wanted a beach wedding. Husband (!!!) found a boat company that would take all the guests out to this state protected, undeveloped barrier island for the ceremony, and then to another barrier island with a bandstand, bathroom, tiki bar, and canoe to use as the beer cooler for the reception. Husband’s dad officiated the ceremony. We cobbled together our ceremony from the open threads here on APW and nearly every single person commented afterward on how moved they were by it, and we were really proud of it. The sunset was gorgeous and the weather was perfect. We had our own personal boat ride from the ceremony to the reception so we could have our 15 minutes of alone time, where we scarfed down sandwiches and popped a bottle of champagne, and saw dolphins.

    As far as luck: We didn’t actually have enough boats to get everyone from the ceremony to the reception in one trip – a boat was going to have to come back and people were going to have to wait on the island. However, there was another boat company that was out of commission because they do shuttles to a nearby federally protected island, and were unable to do so because of the govy shutdown – so they lent us their boat and we did it all in one trip. Also, there was a corporate event at our reception venue a couple days before, and they rented mohagany farm tables and cocktail tables – $75 each vs the $15 for regular tables and linens that we were planning on – and the rental company agreed to leave them out for us, no extra charge. Plus a 20×60 tent with perimeter lighting. Plus the corporate event had a professional lighting guy that left all his cool uplighting stuff up for us free of charge. Plus they made amazing driftwood/spanish moss/blue bottle chandeliers that they left out for us as well, which totally and completely fit in with the rest of our decor.

    Our families got along great even though my dad had incredible anxiety about being a blue collar worker meeting my husband’s white collar, more than comfortable family. My brother was in jail just days before and wasn’t sure he would be able to attend, but my mom didn’t tell me about it until he knew he could come. My mom made our cake and it didn’t exactly go as planned but turned out lovely.

    I woke up in the middle of the night after the wedding with a giant smile on my face. I was still so excited and happy about all of it. We were surrounded by so much love and support the entire time and it was one of the most incredible experiences of my life. I would tell myself during the planning that the reception was just a party, which helped me not to get too worked up about things, because hey, I’d thrown a party before; this one would just be a bit bigger than the rest. But the reception turned out to be an amazing way to celebrate the high of the ceremony, which was so intensely beautiful and moving and community oriented and just full of so much love. I’m still smiling about it and replay the ceremony in my head on the reg.

    Anyway, THANK YOU APW and community for being such a helpful and supportive place to come and get advice and support. I’m very lucky to have found this!

    • M.

      Shout it out, lady! So happy to hear the stars aligned for you. :) Happy happy!

    • Marcela

      Was one of the islands Bull Island? My husband is from Charleston and it’s such a lovely area. Congratulations on the wedding!

      • Angie

        Bull Island was actually the federally protected one that we got to borrow the boat from – we did the ceremony on Capers Island and the reception on Goat Island. Bull is right up there close to them though. So cool that your husband is from here, I’ve been living here about 7 years and it really is quite beautiful.

    • C

      So all of this sounds completely dreamy and wonderful, but can I just emphasize for those who didn’t read closely that you saw DOLPHINS in your 15 minutes alone with your brand new husband!!!!

      And don’t worry about bragging, as someone stuck in the trenches of planning it is nice to hear that things can work out in the most unexpectedly great ways. Congrats to you, enjoy the glow of your wedding magic:)

    • catherine

      Awww love this! I love south carolina :) And, just wanted to also thank APW as you did, because I have had friends be so excited and wow-ed by how calm and cool and not stressed I am about everything…and I’m like “I read A Practical Wedding 4 times before getting engaged. I’m good.” :)

  • Heather

    I’m super excited about performing tonight with my acappella group, plus tomorrow is our inversary (-1 year to wedding). Hopefully we’ll get the same kind of weather next year that we’re getting right now- this is the best time of year to be in Houston. It’s been a busy week with my boss throwing many things at me in reference to getting our paper put together so that we can submit it soon and I can get ma Ph.D., but I have to get her a revised draft tomorrow by noon, so I can finally relax in the afternoon (followed by working Sunday all day to take care of all the things I’ve been putting off while working on the paper).

  • Alison O

    Is anyone here a medical or hospice social worker or know someone who is who would like to chat with me about it? I’m also interested in mental health, less so child welfare, community organizing, or macro stuff.

    I am in the throes of deciding whether to apply to grad school and am trying to tame my pesky risk-averse side by getting as many perspectives on the field as possible. I alternate between determination and excitement and utter confusion and discouragement…and I need to submit applications in the very near future and ask for recs…like, a month ago.

    Thanks in advance if you have any leads!

  • Anonny-non

    I’m pregnant with my 2nd and I got a call from one of my favorite bosses asking me to work for her in her new start up. It would be so. cool. But can I handle 2 kids and a start up lifestyle? They’re only 20 people, and I’m sick of my ginormous corporation, but I’m also nice and settled here, and I’ve navigated maternity leave here before. It’s such a good opportunity, but so much to consider, eek!

    • Have a frank talk with your fave boss about your concerns. If you can get some agreements made up-front, it sounds like an awesome opportunity. And I’d assume some understanding on her part is a factor in why she’s a favorite of yours, so I’m sure she’d be willing to work with your needs as much as she can. And she’d appreciate the honesty, too.

      Best of luck!

  • Jenni

    We’re doing engagement photos this weekend!! My sister and her boyfriend drove down to visit/take photos. I’m so excited to show them our house and our new town (and play with their adorable puppy). Kinda nervous about the pictures (awkward posing …?) but hopefully we’ll relax and the rain will hold.

  • Emmy

    Today, we got all our wedding photos from Kelly Prizel (www.kellyprizel.com), an amazeballs photographer that we found through APW. You guys, she’s amazing. She really captured how our entire wedding felt. She’s based in Connecticut, but it’s not terribly expensive to get her to travel. I can’t recommend her highly enough.

    • Catherine

      I would love to have her do our wedding. So awesome that you got her!! I’ve been eyeing her for a longggg time :)

  • Katie

    Thanks to APW, which introduced me to the organization, I’ll be losing 8″ inches of my hair tomorrow to the Pantene Beautiful Lengths cause, and am experiencing some anxiety about it — I haven’t had hair shorter than shoulder-length in years! But I’m still going to go through with it because it’s October, which, as the ubiquitous pink everything announces, is breast cancer awareness month. For me, though, it’s something much more personal: it’s the month that breast cancer claimed my mother’s life in her mid-thirties when I was not yet two years old. I may not have any of my own memories of her, but that won’t stop my donation from being in her memory. I’m still somewhat nervous about my new look, but I can only hope that it will make life a little bit more bearable for someone going through what she experienced.

    • Maddie

      I just wanted to say good luck today. :) Your comment gave me goosebumps. Also, pictures! Pleeeeassee?

  • Kestrel

    So I know this is uber late, but I still want to share.


    Now, granted, I’m still in grad school, so it’s not like I’m unemployed or anything but holy crap this just makes everything so much easier. It’s in a city my SO and I both like, it’s a job I think I’ll really enjoy (yeah fixing stuff that went wrong unforeseeably in engineering!), in a career field that won’t likely have too many layoffs (medical supply company), and it’s only a half hour away from a school my SO wants to get a masters at!!!!

    I’m really, really happy about it. And perhaps most importantly, it means that come May, I can FINALLY GET A DOG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    (I’ve been wanting one since I was 3. 20 years is quite a long time to wait)

    • Maddie

      Congratulations! I got really excited when you said what field you were going into because that’s what Michael does for a living, and then I read you were getting a dog and did a happy dance for you. Yay for exciting things!

    • Wow, way to go!!

      And I totally hear you on getting a dog. With just that level of emotion. I’ve had one my whole life, but now that I live away from home, I’m in a (great, perfect for us) apartment that won’t allow them, and I probably won’t be getting one for another three years at least.

      Hope you have time to really celebrate this weekend!!

    • Kirsten

      I totally understand the feeling of wanting a dog– I’m currently waiting patiently until the day I can get a schnauzer. Congratulations, and enjoy!!!

  • anon today

    just bought wedding earrings for my fiance that match the pair i bought for myself – white gold balls and peridot studs :) we’d been talking about me getting him some “engagement earrings” for a while but hadn’t gotten around to it. it took a while to find tiny enough gold studs that weren’t sized for children (post length), but i think i did manage! i’m thinking of saving them for his christmas stocking since they are still a surprise, but i’m really excited about them because they are his first “wear on the wedding day” things! now to find the whole rest of his outfit…and mine (maybe we will just have to have a naked wedding in our beautiful earrings).

  • Megan

    GUYS!!! Look at this proposal: https://www.upworthy.com/she-didnt-think-the-love-of-her-life-was-romantic-enough-then-she-looked-out-her-office-window?c=upw1 (if you are anything like me, you’ll want to have a tissue handy…)

  • Kris

    So four months to the day after we got married I lost my job…this past week… my hunsband is being very supportive, and though I am still feeling pretty terrible, being in a stable relationship is helping so much.