APW Happy Hour

Hey APW,

We spent the week over here doing one of our How To shoots. This time we flew out Michelle Edgemont to play with us. You might know her as APW’s resident Brooklyn wedding designer, but Maddie and I know her as one of APW’s earliest readers, and (as all of the APWers who have stuck around since 2008 tend to be) awesome. Our shoot was inspired by the sheet cake to awesome cake project, and the reader request for dollar store wedding crafts. It was good, you guys. It was good and fun and good and this happened.

Also, we’re so tired we can’t see straight. GO WEEKEND! It’s your Friday open thread! Hop on it!


Highlights of APW This Week

Elisabeth kicked off Risk month with a post about cold feet, which contained perhaps the best nod to one of the world’s most famous wedding reading of all time.

Anna’s post on becoming sisters and friends as she helped her sister plan her wedding…and the fruit of their labors (best fashion ever on APW? Possibly).

If you’re still struggling to accept help from the people who love you, the care and keeping of friendors has you covered.

Friends as family. This post has my heart.

Maddie’s slow and sappy playlist came with a necessary will-make-you-cry-at-your-desk-warning. YOU. Not me. Maddie knows how I feel about Michael Bublé.

A reminder that relationships end. In divorce, in death, we don’t want to think about it, but they end. You need your friends. Work on those friendships as you plan your wedding.

And finally, a post from me so personal that I was begging to pull it an hour before it ran.

Link Roundup

This Atlantic article on what effect “passing” has on an interracial and same-sex couples includes a heartbreaking history of how one interracial couple was torn apart.

The “Camp Gyno” ad is laugh-out-loud funny (and we’re thrilled there’s no mysterious blue liquid).

Dabe Alan writes about the way we treat creatives on the internet, where “the ability to soak in, digest, and live with abuse is a prerequisite for being in the public eye, or existing online in some form next to your creations.”

So a couple had their wedding reception at McDonald’s. We see no problem with that. (In fact, pretty sure they followed a lot of the guidelines in the book.)

According to TimeBarbie sales are down, possibly due to parents who are over the doll’s “perfect” body.

We pinned some new things for you! This week’s biggest hits were a cake “embroidered” with sprinkles and fancy gold glitter loafers for dancing the night away at your wedding (or wearing to the office).

Featured Sponsored Content

  • Because who doesn’t love a good ugly cry at work:


    You’re welcome. And I’m sorry.

  • Meredith

    For those of you in the Boston area- we’re having a meet-up this coming Monday, 05 August.

    Join the facebook group! https://www.facebook.com/groups/111559915573417/ (you have to request to join so it won’t be immediate that you’ll have access) and you’ll see the event details in there!

    • Ellen

      Ahhhh that is the closest one yet to me! Anyone in Maine?!?!??!

      • Sophi

        I’m in Maine!! Don’t think I can make it to Boston though as I am 9 months pregnant and just waiting for baby to arrive…. next time!

      • AGrace

        Yaaaaay, Maine! Me too! But, too far for me to make it to Boston this week.

    • TeaforTwo

      I want to have a meet-up! Anyone in Toronto?

  • Paranoid Libra

    OMG the picture on instagram is too much!

    In other news I hate congress cutting my paycheck but they are still keeping theirs!

  • moe

    It’s a slow quiet Friday here in the office and it’s my first wedding anniversary this weekend! Since money is still very tight I don’t think we’ll do anything beyond going out dinner but I’m still so very excited! In past relationships I never had milestaones worthy of celebration, but I’m so very happy that I have this wonderful husband now.

    I ordered a photobook from Artifact Uprising as a anniversary gift for him. (the first anniversary is paper after all!) It’s a collection of all our memories together leading up to our wedding day. Lately we’ve been playing relationship trivia as a fun game, and asking quetions about dates we went on and places we went to…so hopefully this will bring back some memories for him.

    I’m also so very happy that I found the APW community, I went into wedding planning determined that I would be true to myself and also honor who my husband is. It was here that gained clarity and purpose. I was constantly reassured that I could do things my own way and that it would indeed be fabulous. Every morning on my train ride to work I would laugh and sometimes cry from reading all of your experiences. My wedding day was special, it was all that I hoped it would be partly because of you.

    Happy Friday!

    • Happy Anniversary! And while you enjoy APW (and so do I) I wanted to say that I’ve really enjoyed hearing your insights as well. You were the first person I interacted with on APW, and your responses are the only reason I was brave enough to keep posting in the beginning. Thanks!

    • Abby Mae

      Happy Anniversary Moe! Hope you and your Mr. enjoy your special day to the fullest! =)

  • I’m waiting for our local animal shelter to call me and tell me my new (10 month old) puppy is ready to come home.

    So naturally this day has been completely unproductive. Because puppy!

    • Breck

      Ahhhhhh so jealous!! I really want a puppy.

      I’m trying to convince the dude that we should adopt one in Venezuela, but he doesn’t think it’s the best idea I’ve ever had (for some odd reason).

      Congrats on your new family member!

    • PUPPY!

      Buy lots of treats. And toys. Oh the toys.

    • Also, find your local dog park. Love the dog park. Cuddle and snuggle it and all of the other adorable dogs that frolic there.

    • KE

      You’re Atlanta-area, right? Can I ask which shelter you’re adopting from?

      Just curious– I am super into dogs and currently fostering through the local coonhound rescue branch, so I’m always interested to hear about others’ experiences.

      Congratulations on the new addition!

      • KE

        Oh, and it case it wasn’t obvious– I’m in Atlanta, too!

      • Yep! It’s Dekalb County Animal Services. There’s a group, Friends of Dekalb Animals, that works with them who we’ve been following along with and contributing to when we can.

    • Did you decide on a name?

      • Not yet!

        Still in the running: Tiberius, Avery, Helo, Boomer, Bean, and Dax. We’ll probably decide tomorrow, when we’ve had a bit more time with him.

        • MK

          I sense a geek in the house! :D

          Good choices!

          • Haha! What tipped you off?? ;)

            A friend of ours is already refusing to call him anything but Captain Jack Barkness.

          • A. non. mouse.

            I love Captain Jack Barkness, but I’m a huge fan of both puns and Dr. Who :D

          • Capt. Jack Barkness FTW!

        • Alison

          You really can’t go wrong, since you can just call him all of those names and many more if you so choose. Over the 6 years I’ve had my baby (permanently infant-sized dog), I’ve developed more than a dozen nicknames I use interchangeably. Truly interchangeably, actually, because my partner and I also now use some of these names on each other. And they are totally different names, not just variations on his original name–which actually isn’t (likely) his original name, since he was found as a 4-year old stray–and also not just common pet names. Anyway, he’ll respond to anything as long as the tone of voice is the same. :-) The dog, I mean.

      • Update: his name is Topher!

  • anon for the moment

    So . . . wedding dress advice needed. I bought a dress before I was engaged, a really beautiful dress that was drastically on sale. Still, it was around $225, which is definitely more than I would normally spend on a dress. It isn’t white (so I could wear it to a different event), and it had all of the features that I knew I wanted in a dress in terms of sleeve length, length, draping, fabric. I tried it on again recently and I still love it.

    But for some reason I just didn’t realize how communal the process of shopping for a wedding dress would be. My mom wants to buy me a dress, which is awesome of her. I could tell her about the dress, but I’m kind of embarrassed now to admit I bought a dress before getting engaged. AND, I’m finding that the expectation to wear a white dress is stronger than I predicted.

    I could wear the dress I have to a fancy event (don’t go to a lot of those, but you never know!). But I can’t seem to find another dress that fits what I’m looking for. . . . It’s a funny situation, would love to hear your thoughts!

    • Ellen

      Maybe wear it to your rehearsal dinner, if you are having one? Or just rock it anyway! There are plenty of other wedding-related events that you can share in with your mom.

      • Breck

        On the “other events to share with mom” note, maybe you two could go pick out some pretty jewelry to go with the dress? I think that would make for a lovely, heartfelt keepsake (maybe even moreso than a dress) for after the wedding.

    • Irene

      Is it something you could wear to your rehearsal dinner or shower? Would it be too formal to wear to someone else’s wedding? One nice dress that could be worn for multiple occasions and might last you 10+ years can even out to $25 dollars per “wear” or so. Or try on wedding dresses and see if you can’t stop thinking about your first dress?

    • Sara

      If you really really want to wear your original dress, you should. I am totally a fan of buying something on sale because you love it – don’t be embarrassed that you bought it early! But if you don’t want to broadcast it, maybe you could fudge the timeline or say ‘I bought it because I loved it, and now I think it’s perfect for the wedding.” And then offer to try on other dresses to give your mom the experience – or schedule a day to go shopping for her MOB dress. In my experience with my own mother, when she offers to buy something, mostly she just wants to spend the day with me (milage may vary with other mothers).

      However, if you decide not to, maybe you could wear the dress to the rehearsal dinner? Most ones I’ve been to lately involve nice outfits. Or throw yourself a really fancy birthday party! :)

    • p.

      I’m not sure what you mean by “I didn’t realize how communal the process of shopping for a dress would be”? Do you mean “I didn’t realize that other people/my mom expect a communal dress shopping experience” or “I didn’t realize *I* wanted a communal shopping experience”?

      To me, what’s most important is what you want. If you want to try on dresses with your mom and other friends/family, go for it. If you find a different dress, great. If you don’t, you have a dress that you love at home. If you don’t want to have a communal dress shopping experience, tell your mom you tried on a dress that had “all of the features that I knew I wanted in a dress in terms of sleeve length, length, draping, fabric” and secretly bought it for the wedding, and then offer to show it to her and try it on for her.

      • anon for the moment

        Good question–“I didn’t realize that other people/my mom expect a communal dress shopping experience.”

    • anon for the moment

      Oh good ideas, guys. I bet I could wear it to another wedding if I decide not to wear it for my wedding! (Hoping to get away with wearing jeans (nice jeans) for rehearsal dinner. . . ) Sara, thanks for the point about buying something on sale because you love it! And a few people pointed out that there’s a lot of other things I can do with my mom–she might just be looking for a way to spend time, and wedding dress shopping is an obvious one!

    • Michelle

      If it feels ok to you, I would go through the experience of shopping for wedding dresses with your mom, even if you know you’re pretty unlikely to sway from what sounds like a lovely dress. Like Irene said, it may help solidify your feelings about the original dress. Maybe you’ll realize you really definitely do not want a white dress, maybe you’ll realize you do. I also agree with others that it could alternatively be a rockin dress for any wedding-related parties if you decide to have any of those. After searching a bit more, I think you’ll know what feels right for you. At least that worked for me (didn’t find anything I liked in stores –> knew that wasn’t what I wanted –> decided to have my mom’s dress remade/updated by a seamstress. yay!). Best wishes!

      • anon for the moment

        Yes, *really* good point. Looking at dresses gives me the chance to see what alternatives are available (and I might love one of them) plus could help underscore that the first dress is the right one.

    • P. is right in trying to parse- is the communal experience what YOU want, or what your mom wants? (Legit want, either way) The other thing to parse out is the expectation to wear a white dress. It’s expected. So what? It’s also “expected” (whether by your people or society in general) that you’ll change your name, serve a sit-down menu, and have a champagne toast done by a teary BFF you’ve known since you were 5. These expectations pull on everyone to varying degrees, and as a savvy reader of APW, you know they are bullshit. The expectation can be surprising when it comes from your own people rather than from the “them” of society, but you still have the choice how to respond. And fuck ’em if they don’t like the dress, YOU like it. Your partner will think you are beautiful. That’s the summation of important opinions right there.

      On a softer note (that first paragraph was stronger than I thought it would be), as someone who has also bought a wedding-intentioned non-white dress online without being engaged, I think you should go with the dress you bought. The Dress is not the only communal bonding time you can have with your mom, if that’s what the two of you are looking for. You can shop for her dress, or a dress for the rehearsal dinner (and then remember the shopping experience when you wear it over again), or pretty much any other product you need for the day. You can bond while tasting wines for the reception and looking through her wedding album, or commiserating over relative issues while compiling the guest list.

      Dress shopping does not have to be the Best, and Last Opportunity for Woman Bonding. If you and your mom are straight with each other about what you really want (ex, special time with just the two of you, girls times with all your aunts, feeling important in the decision process), you can probably achieve that with another aspect of planning, aside from the dress. And you can also scrap the dress and go find something white with your mom, and that’s completely legit.

      • anon for the moment

        This is really interesting, Sarah. I think of myself as pretty comfortable with bucking those expectations. But I was really taken aback at how robust the white dress norm is. (And also that my mom, who was married in a denim dress in the 70’s, seems really invested in that norm.) Your comment is really helpful in clarifying how to focus on what’s important to me and what’s less important.

        • We’re rooting for you! And I always think its easier to say “Eff society! I’m not doing that way!” than it is to say “Eff Mom’s expectations! I’m not doing it that way!”

          Let us know what you decide in the end :-)

        • anon

          I hear ya. the day I bought my dress, I went out to lunch with family and ended up ugly-crying in the restaurant. early-stage planning (and the dress, omg the dress) was the worst for me. it got infinitely better. hang in there!

    • kcaudad

      Maybe also ask your fiancee how he feels about this. I was really surprised that my now-husband had a very strong opinion about wanting to see his bride in a long white dress. I was planning on doing something different, but ultimatly went with a long cream colored dress. Also, some times people get touchy about using things for the wedding that were around from a previous time. Just a suggestion to check with future-groom first.

      • KC

        I agree that checking on groom expectations, if not already known, can be useful and prevent a lot of weird stuff, but it sounds like this dress is from this relationship, just before engagement existed, so at least the “object is from (or intended for) a different romantic relationship, it should not be in *our* wedding” thing shouldn’t be a problem?

        • Alison

          This reminds me…my mom has told me about her buying her wedding dress at Nordstrom’s (west coast, holla) before she was engaged. Looking back, and thinking about the rest of the engagement narrative, I’m thinking there’s actually a good chance it was in part a “hint, HINT” move aimed at my dad, though she never suggested that. Haha.

          That said, I think not wanting to feed into society’s tendency to judge women as desperate to be married prevents more women from buying dresses intended as bridal gowns before they are actually engaged, or at least revealing that they did so. I think it’s a perfectly reasonable thing to do, though. The main thing that would give me pause if I thought I’d found the dress before I was planning the wedding is that I wouldn’t want to commit to being a certain size an unknown amount of time down the road.

          • KC

            That would be a hilarious “hint, HINT” move. :-)

            The size thing can definitely be an issue, but also there’s some degree of style shifting. So: if your style is not highly influenced by what is currently in fashion, and exactly-what-you-like comes into style, then buy it! (as long as you’re okay with potentially looking “out of style” later) But if what you like, dress-wise, at any given time is highly influenced by fashion, then buying the dress substantially in advance is probably not a good plan…

            The this-is-a-lot-of-money thing can also be an issue.

            But yeah, probably the biggest one is the weird cultural shame factor, that there is somehow something wrong with doing any wedding preparation before you’re “officially engaged” or whatever (or that there are only certain ways in which you are allowed to be preparing for it – hope chests: now out of service mostly, right?), but with the modern squashiness of engagement, where many people know they’re getting married in, say, fall of 2014 but aren’t engaged yet, etc., this doesn’t really make sense. (although: be prepared for wedding dress to take up an amazing amount of closet space, potentially)

    • If you love it, you love it.

      Maybe, if your mom really, really wants to go shopping with you and you feel it is important to do so for her sake, I’d say to go ahead and do it, but with a clear understanding that you’d only take another dress if it knocked your socks off more than the dress you’d been planning on wearing. Have that dress be the bar.

      Or don’t. Show her the dress, explain how exactly it matches what you want and suggest some other “together” activity.

  • Irene

    Went to the doctor this morning to confirm that I am still sick despite a(nother) week of antibiotics, have to wait till Monday to find out latest test results… (Trying to avoid hypochondriac thoughts that in the meantime I will develop septicemia or something.) ugh.
    But in good news, husband and I went to dinner last week with strangers after I took a risk and followed some of the friend-making discussion from the last few weeks: asked like-minded person making chitchat with if she wanted to grab a beer sometime – it worked!

    Still haven’t connected with any APWers in the (Mid?)Michigan area, but I feel like I keep coming late to the party in asking…

    • Oh no! I hope you can get your illness straightened out soon!

      And three cheers for risks and new friends! Go you!

  • DC

    Now that we’re married I really want to work on getting our finances in order. Can anyone recommend a good fee for service (ie not % of assets) financial advisor in the DC area? Thanks!!

    • Michelle

      I do not know of any financial advisors sorry! BUT I would highly recommend Mint.com for basic budgeting. Maybe you already use it. If not, take a look. It’s free and it has awesome budgeting, goals, trends etc with lots of easy to use/understand graphs. It can sync up with almost any accounts you have: savings, checking, credit/debit cards, loans, etc. Best luck in finding a financial advisor to get you really rolling in the right direction.

      • Jessica B

        Mint.com is how I finally got to stick to a budget every month and began saving money instead of just spending it. I cannot recommend it to enough people.

    • learnvest.com has GREAT financial planning services! It’s like mint, but with a lot more advice articles, and you get an on-call expert who will go over your spending habbits and budget and help you plan better. I LOVE IT SO MUCH! (Full disclosure, I first joined because a friend worked for them, but she doesn’t work for them anymore, and I’m still a member.) They have services you have to pay for, but the free service is really helpful.

      • H


    • Apples

      Check out this website for a fee-based certified financial planner. I learned about it in my personal finance course in college. I think it should be a good way to get information about a potential person to work with. Good luck!

    • Rebecca

      Corporette had a post about money management this week and someone specifically asked about financial planners in DC in the comments thread- there might be someone there. I also looked at the napfa website and the garrett planning network to find ours.

  • Blimunda

    Well I’m a reader since the beginning (early 2009 I think) and I must say I love me some “you’re awesome” moments :)

  • I took today off from work to study for the MCAT, which is TWO WEEKS FROM TODAY! ::insert crazy arm flailing:: I’m nervous, but I feel pretty good about being able to get everything done. I hope.

    The BETTER news, is that in 2 weeks and ONE DAY, my husband and I are leaving for our (belated) honeymoon! We got married in October and couldn’t take our trip then. We’re leaving on the 17th for San Francisco, spending 2 days in Napa (and having a portrait session with Allison Andres!), spending 2 days in San Francisco, and then driving down the PCH and stopping to see the sights on our way to LA over the rest of the week. We’re also doing a day trip down to the San Diego Zoo! Just over 1000 miles of driving in one week… but I’m excited! My husband has never been west of Indiana and I’ve never been to northern CA, so I cannot WAIT.

    Until then… it’s studying, studying, studying!

    • Rebekah

      My SO is at Stanford for med school. We should get drinks while you’re in SF and bond over shared interests :)

      • I would love to grab a drink!! Bring your SO if they have time to get away from their studies!

    • Oh, if you have time! After you go to the San Diego zoo (or before, if you want brunch), head to the Gaslamp Quarter and Cafe 21. The food there is so good that the mister and I went for dinner one night and then right back for bunch (stuffed french toast!) the next day.

      Good luck with the MCAT! You’ll do great!!

      • Ooooh that sounds AMAZING! It’s on the list now!

        • Rachel

          If you’re into fancy treats, I recommend Swoon Dessert Bar (they don’t seem to have a website other than facebook – https://www.facebook.com/SwoonDessertBar). It’s right outside Balboa Park, so pretty close to the zoo. I had the 3-course dessert tasting menu and it was really impressive and tasty.

  • Brenda

    My photos are sitting in the post office waiting for me to pick them up tomorrow morning. I’m excited, but secretly worried I’ll look awful and hate them (I am not generally very photogenic and tend to be very hard on myself about my looks). I keep looking at the other photos on the photographer’s website to remind myself that he’s a great photographer and I’m sure they will be fine.

    I felt so beautiful at the wedding and I’m worried I’ll see them and think that I was completely wrong.

    • Jessica B

      You will looks amazing. You will have one bad picture for every 100, just to make sure you set your expectations properly. I swear.

      • Brenda

        Thank you! I’m also reminding myself that that’s why they take so many photos and he won’t send me bad ones. Sometimes I get photographer jealousy reading the sponsored posts, but I do think we got a good guy for what I now realise was an absolute steal. I’m anxious to see them!

        • JessPeebs

          Also, give yourself like a week or more with your pictures. I really liked some of my pictures, but then really hated some of them too. As I had some time with them, I began to come to love even the ones I didn’t like before.

  • Megan

    My bridal shower is next weekend! I’m excited and nervous. It’s a joint shower with my sister — we’re getting married just five weeks apart — and promises to be a rip-roarin’ good time. Like many brides, I don’t feel entirely comfortable in the spotlight . . . but I’m determined to relax and just enjoy the moment, something I rarely give myself permission to do. I’ve actually been coaching myself.

    And my future mother-in-law will be here on Thursday! Yay! I’m absurdly happy to see her. Because she lives so far away but has wanted to be involved in as many of the plans as we can reasonably accommodate, I’ve planned all these wedding-related errands we can run together when she’s physically present (which she assures me is exactly what she’d like to do). It will be a big help to have her opinion on lots of things, and I just genuinely enjoy hanging out with her. She’s an awesome lady.

    I’m marrying her only son and she’s so excited, which makes me so happy. I was thinking the other day about some of the nightmarish parents — especially moms — I dealt with in previous relationships, and I feel incredibly fortunate to like and be liked by my future in-laws. I come from a very close family and would have had a really hard time if they hadn’t accepted me, you know? Feeling super grateful today.

    • Brenda

      Having great in-laws is the best. I absolutely love my husband’s family – immediate family and all the ridiculously large number of extended ones too. It’s such a nice feeling to be welcomed into another family.

      And good luck for the shower! Since it’s joint with your sister you’ll be able to share the spotlight with her, which might help you feel better about being the centre of attention. I’m sure it will be great!

    • Amanda

      My future in-laws are pretty great too! No wedding planning horrors yet. I feel very fortunate.

    • CeeBeeUK

      Yay for fantastic future in-laws! I spent the weekend with mine and they are fantastic!

  • Michelle

    Let’s celebrate all weddings in Minnesota with beautiful photos: http://www.buzzfeed.com/mjs538/the-75-most-unforgettable-moments-from-minnesotas-first-day

    • Ha. Whoops. Didn’t see this before I posted the same link… immediately below. Embarrassing [pass the vodka].

      • Michelle

        Not embarrassing. Doubly (triply) worthy of being shared. But I will share the vodka.

        • Vodka and weddings for everyone.

    • Breck

      Oh my gosh, I looked at some of these yesterday and could not get over how sweet it was that the Mayor was in tears. So much happy :).

    • Paranoid Libra

      I missed that too lol whoops so now let’s see how many times this link gets posted

    • OMG you guys! The Deaf woman. Her signing wife! AAAAH. So happy. :) Love the kiddos too.

      (Me and my husband are Deaf so it is so neat for me to see signing anywhere).

  • Thursday marked the first day that same sex couples in our state (Minnesota) could be legally married and a marathon celebration of marriages occurred in the Minneapolis City Hall starting at 12:01AM. It has been a wonderful week for marriage. Though we would have probably still married in October even if the law had not passed, my fiance and I feel so happy to be getting married in a place where we know all of our friends and guests would have the same option to do so (or not! viva la choice!). We feel very strongly that what has been given to all can be taken from none and believe that this will only strengthen our marriage and our community.

    And for some awesome photos from the marriage marathon: http://www.buzzfeed.com/mjs538/the-75-most-unforgettable-moments-from-minnesotas-first-day

    • Jessica B

      At TC Pride this year Betty Crocker gave away boxes of cake mix to people who recorded 16 second videos talking about their families. My FH and I sat down intending to each say something, but then I ranted about how glad we were that when we get married it will be in a state where everyone has that option, because it is a right to get married and privilege to have a marriage.

      It made my heart sing to celebrate my friends’ legal wedding at 1am in St Paul yesterday.

    • Claire

      Yay Minnesota!

  • Sara

    This is the week that won’t end for me! I had to plan a couple three day long meetings/evening events. One of the events was dinner on a beach, followed by a shoreline boat trip to see the Chicago skyline and the fireworks at Navy Pier. Dinner was fantastic but twenty minutes into the boat trip, the skies opened up and poured down on us. You literally couldn’t see the city, that’s how hard it was raining. But fortunately all the attendees were great about it, saying it was an ‘adventure’ and ‘unique outing’. And it cleared up in enough time to see the fireworks. Next week all my events are indoors, so I’m really looking forward to worrying about other parts of the meeting :)

    I’m also going camping for the first time tomorrow – looking forward to the campfire! Not so much the lack of plumbing and/or wild animal presence near my sleeping body.

  • We got a puppy last Thursday and OMG I AM SO TIRED. First, the dog had tummy troubles and had to be taken out multiple times a night. Then we realized the best way we could have a puppy that would not drive us BANANAS was for her to get an hour walk in the morning. I still haven’t caught up my sleep deficit and she still thinks the cat is the best chase toy ever. I’ve almost nodded off at work every day this week. Heave help us if we ever procreate.

    • Puppy!! What kind?

      • A lab / plott hound mix, which means that she is tiny and adorable and FULL OF ALL THE ENERGY and super smart. So, that’s a lot of things.

        • S.

          I have a Plott Hound and they are THE BEST! He brings so much joy to our lives. Enjoy!!

    • Paranoid Libra

      Keep a leash on her and pull her off the cat chases. Also by blog stalking I see she is a hound mix….hounds aren’t notorious for their intelligence usually. A border collie being a herding breed which requires a lot of command understanding are very intelligent and can learn command within 5 repetitions. Basset hounds can take 90 times to learn the same command. Not sure where plott hounds fall but it’s got to be higher than a basset. Hopefully whatever else is in her helps to speed up her uptake on things.

      Try to teach her a leave it command soon too to aid in the cat chases halting.

      Good luck! Puppies aren’t easy, that’s why they have to start off so adorable otherwise who could deal with them?

      • We’ve segregated the house currently – kitty up, puppy down. It’s mostly working. Lucy is actually pretty smart so far. She’s picking up commands pretty easily and has gone from crazy bark fest when seeing the cat to a couple of whuffs. She’s very treat motivated, which is awesome.

        We’re in puppy obedience school and I believe we cover drop it tonight. She’s still not happy about last week’s the whole loose leash thing, (she’s a hound and there are SO MANY SMELLS) but I imagine that’s going to be a longer road.

        • Paranoid Libra

          Labs also sniff all the things for food so you got a double duty sniffer there. My cattle dog/lab mix will stop dead in the middle of his tracks during a fast agility run if he smells a fallen treat crumb.

          Loose leash will take a lot of time and effort, but will pay off soooo much better in the end.

      • Breck

        “Puppies aren’t easy, that’s why they have to start off so adorable otherwise who could deal with them?”

        I had a developmental psych professor in college who called this special baby (and baby animal) cuteness “wudginess,” and it actually kind of does make a difference (from what I can remember… 9 am class on Fridays…).

        • Oh, no kidding.

          Our puppy’s cuteness is the sole way she earned forgiveness for eating 3 shoes, 1 carton of eggs, 2 lamb chops, and several mouthfuls of drywall.

          • Alison

            When it became clear that my family’s lab had already ‘totaled’ the couch, we started putting tabasco on it. That was effective!

            Moral of the story: ruin your chewable stuff preventively so your dog doesn’t want to ruin it? aka Stuff’s gonna get ruined.

            Good luck, and have fun :-)

    • That’s so exciting! Even if it does mean no sleep.

      Can I just share that the best command I ever taught my (super-needy, attention seeking, rescue) dog was “Go Play.” When he comes up to me at the table while I’m doing work, I tell him “Go Play” and he knows he has to go somewhere else. Bonus – it also sounds like “Go Away” so it still works if I’m slightly frustrated and just tell him that.

      Good luck with your new family addition!

  • I actually have news to post today! It’s been a busy week. I finished my AmeriCorps term, and have an interview on Monday for a job. I’m really excited! Also, I just realized that I’m 7 months out from the wedding. It seems to be coming so quickly! Thanks for being here and keeping me sane APW. Does anyone have any advice to keep from stressing out? Or photographers in North Carolina- Really, I need a photographer in North Carolina.

    • ash

      We live in South Carolina and used these awesome guys as our wedding photographers. I know they’ll travel to NC. They’re amazing – and have a family run business. Check them out!

    • jashshea

      Located in Charlotte, but will travel: idometoo.com

      He did my wedding, so if you see any pictures with normal everyday objects (traffic cones, vacuum cleaners) that traditionally don’t belong at weddings, yup, that’d be mine. He’s a jack of all trades – fashion shoots, etc, but shoots a hell of a wedding.

      Good luck – there are some great APW sponsors as well that are Atlanta and will travel.

    • Meg

      I’m in NC and had a friend do my photos… she did a great job but is moving to Boston in a few weeks. Another friend used Island Creek Photography and her photos look really good. Fairly “standard” to my mind but I have been haunting OBB for *cough* three years.


      • Jenny

        I’m from NC and we had APW sponsor Amanda Summerlin do our photos! She was amazing, and travels anywhere in the lower 48 free!

  • Jessica B

    I get married in 43 days, and my wedding dress that I ordered in March has not yet arrived. I’ve been really disappointed with this bridal store’s behavior thus far (wrong color bridesmaid dress, didn’t call me to tell me my dress was going to be delayed 2 weeks), so it’s causing me a lot of anxiety–what if they ordered the wrong size and it can’t be tailored? What if it’s the wrong color? What if I hate the dress now? I could not sleep last night because of this uncertainty.

    I have back up plans (yay free shipping at Nordstrom!), but I really just want them to get their shit together and stop causing me stress. That way I can stress about slightly more important things, like the wine and pie tasting we have yet to do.

    • Paranoid Libra

      Don’t worry you have time for alterations and if it’s the wrong color or something else going wrong I’d be demanding a discount or potentially a full refund depending on how bad it gets.

      *hugs* hope it arrives though without further incident though.

  • Claire

    Since Minnesota is representing strong in the thread today, I’ll do my part by announcing a second meetup is in the works. I’ll send out a doodle today to nail down a date. If you’ve previously sent me your email, you’re on the list. If you want on the list, shoot me your info at clairehaskell at gmail dot com.

    • Michelle

      Yay! I just sent you an email. Thanks for organizing!

    • Jessica B

      Yay! I missed the last one, and really want to meet awesome APW folks!

  • Anon today

    What a week. Fiance got back last weekend from having been four hours away for two months on a summer job. It’s great having him back, but there’s also a readjustment period — small apartment, now more crowded, etc. Add to that that I’ve been discombobulated because I’m filling in for a coworker who’s on vacation, which means working different hours and having very different duties than usual. Add to that that he’s been waiting to hear if he’d get his dream job for when he graduates a year from now, so he’s been stressed and today found out he didn’t get it. Now, he has a perfectly fine job lined up, it’s just not the dream one.

    Looking on the bright side, the job he does have is in a place I’d rather live, and indeed the place our wedding will be. So we will have a much easier couple months leading up to the wedding. But he’s sad about the dream job, I’m exhausted from work and frustrated from the fact that my happiness at having him back is mixed with minor everyday irritations that I’d gotten used to before he was gone. Just really looking forward to him getting past the initial sadness and both of us relearning all the living-together stuff that slipped a little over the past couple months.

    Truly relieved we won’t be staying with his family for the entire run-up to the wedding, though…

  • Okay, so first of all, this “daughter surprises dying father with father/daughter dance” video was posted in my facebook feed today, and I was crying, so I am going to share it here so you all can join me in crying too: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MRF3mj0xbZg

    Second of all, I went to a bridal show this past weekend. And while it was so very, very WIC, I had a (mostly) good time. It made me feel like a planning-her-wedding lady, which is not something I get to enjoy very often, since my Mister is still working on his Master’s thesis and can’t handle thesis+wedding planning all at once. So after booking our ceremony venue and our photographer, I dialed everything back for a few months.

    But now, I’m rip-roaring to get my planning on, especially since… I tried on my first wedding dress! At the show they had a few bridal shops with sample dresses, and I found one that I liked, and there were awkward gym-class-locker-room changing antics involved, but I put that dress on, and it was kind of magically surreal. Magical enough to make me ignore the gals who were fighting over the other dresses, anyway. (Yikes!)

    • If you ask me if I ugly-cried all over my desk at work after watching that video, I will lie like a rug.

    • I am soooo thankful I was already home hiding in my room before I clicked on that video. Yep. Bawling.

  • ART

    My fiance and I started designing our wedding-invite-as-concert-poster this week. I love it, he is not yet sold on it, so it needs tweaking (FONTS, omg FONTS!). But we are not planning to mail it until next March, so we have plenty of time. For better fonts.

    • CeeBeeUK

      Fonts are important! I saw a lovely illustrated children’s story recently and all I could see was the Comic Sans. No child should be subjected to that :)

    • Ellen

      dafont.com is THE BEST. That is all.


      • ART

        Yeah! that is where we have gotten a lot of ours. It’s helpful to see who the designer is – we didn’t like a particular (important) character in one font, then found a really similar one by the same person with a better version.

        Also, I’m new to vector art (inkscape – yeah!) but it’s soooo awesome to be able to manipulate fonts/characters fairly easily (some are cool but a little hard to read…stretch, smoosh – perfect!)

        • Ellen

          When I was in college I created a font of my handwriting. I still break it out for special occasions. Biggest geek ever.

          • Breck

            That’s awesome! When I was in elementary school, my third grade teacher’s husband made a font out of her handwriting for her for their anniversary. I thought it was such a cool gift (still do!).

    • Fonts! Fonts! Fonts!

      I was super excited when I found an attractive (and free!) font called Solstice, which have become my main font for all of our stationery. We are getting married on the summer solstice, so I had to have it. (The name wouldn’t have sold me on it if it were ugly, but I really like it, so bonus!)

  • catherine

    My partner and I have been engaged since May but I’m so excited because this weekend we are finally STARTING the whole “wedding planning”-y stuff… We live in LA and are driving up to Santa Barbara to look at possible wedding venues…any suggestions? We love old world spanish charm and nature. We’re looking at the courthouse which is beautiful, the nature reserve/history museum place…going to just explore ..

    We are also going to buy a “wedding binder” to do official things in. It’s getting serious! And yesterday her best friend was in town and we asked her to officially be in the wedding.

    Oh and on Monday we are 95 percent sure we are going to be featured extras on Modern Family!

    • All of those things are so fun and exciting! yay!

    • Michelle

      I love Modern Family! That’s awesome. You’ll have to let us know when the episode airs.

      Good luck with searching for venues :) Fun fun.

    • Kate

      Oh my god the courthouse *falls over self while fluttering hands in excitement*

    • Rachel

      I’m from Santa Barbara and there are lots of amazing venues! The courthouse is where my fiance and I are going to have our second/American wedding (first will be in London) and I love it – both the Mural Room and gardens outside are lovely options. The Presidio is also wonderful . If you’re into outdoor venues, Elings Park (specifically Godric Grove) is beautiful, as is the Rose Garden outside of the Mission. There are fancier venues in Montecito (lots of grander estates/hotels) as well as along the beach (Doubletree, etc…) but I obviously like the slightly quirkier options. Finally, there’s always the beach itself, or, a little further north, the Ellwood Mesa Preserve which would be very rustic (no venue, just the preserve). Good luck!


    Please help me track something down! (Or something similar…) I’m looking for some sort of shorts/spanx underthing for under my wedding dress since it’s going to be hot out and well, you all know how wearing a heavy dress in the heat can be. A while back in the APW comments someone mentioned a great website that sold something like that, but that weren’t super tight (like, not meant to be ‘shapers’ just something to comfortably cover your thighs). Thanks in advance!

    • CeeBeeUK

      Perhaps the Jockey pettishorts or bloomer thingies?

    • Caroline

      Yeah, I wear skirts a lot and LOVE a good pair of old fashioned cotton bike shorts, the kind I wore when I was 6 (and are so much harder to find as a grownup!)

    • Jessica B

      I think Modcloth has some with lace at the bottom?

      Otherwise I’ve heard YummieTummie is comfortable, despite being “shapewear.”

    • Rebekah


      That’s what it was. I saved it in an email draft so I could always find it.

      • KTMARIE

        THANK YOU! Thigh society was the one I had read about previously. Those Luvees look fantastic too. Much appreciated!!

        • Brilliant. I need these too. I’m doing a cosplay for Dragon*con as Heroes cheerleader Claire Bennet. I must wear something under the cheer skirt that is not just underwear because I don’t want to be flashing people. (Although it’s probably still going to be too hot for bike shorts in ATL, I may sacrifice comfort for modesty.)

          • Meg

            OMG I love that you’re cosplaying as Claire.

          • I can’t reply to you, Meg, but thank you!

            I’m ridiculously excited! Ahhh is it con yet?!

    • marbella
    • Ali

      I might be totally wrong but do you want something to help shape or are you worried about chafing between the thighs? I was worried about chafing because of the heat so I bought some shaping shorts, but i was worried because they actually made me hotter. My hairdresser told me about this chafing cream the morning of the wedding and it worked wonders! I had no problem the whole day and I even use it now when I am wearing dresses and skirts when I am going to be walking a lot and it is blazing out. I am not even overweight but I guess my thigh shape really lends toward chafing. I thought it happened to everyone, but apparently not – hahah.


  • Don’t Hassle the Haf

    Sitting in my hotel room waiting to get picked up because for the rehearsal because tomorrow I’M GETTING MARRIED!! Thank you APW for everything you’ve done to help me keep my sanity during this process. See you on the other side :):)

    • Congrats! It’s going to be awesome, even if parts of it don’t feel that way in the moment.

    • Breck


    • Megan

      Congratulations!! Have a fabulous, fabulous day!

    • Best wishes!

  • Lena

    It took me all month, BUT, I finally reconciled with a friend I hurt in January. I maintain that it wasn’t necessarily BAD I said the things I said, but the timing was terrible – but I put that all under the bridge and just apologized. And now I think things are okay. So, thanks APW, for friendship month.

    Andddd thanks for the no-diamond engagement ring post, because I finally said to my boyfriend “This is what I want, exactly this, I’m 100% sure” and guess what’s on it’s way to us???

    • Paranoid Libra


  • Caroline

    I just wanted to say thanks for all of you who encouraged me when I was nervous about interviewing for this internship because I thought I couldn’t do it. I have 2 more weeks left (holy crap, how can it be almost done already, and school’s about to start again?), and I have to say, it turned out awesome. I learned more than I imagined possible, slept less than I should, worked my butt off, and made a real contribution to the company. I created a search feature when the previous dev said it couldn’t be done, created an extensive admin dash which has enabled the founder to actual track conversions and get feedback on what marketing tools are successful, and better understand our client base, automated a bunch of stuff that the founder was doing by hand, like updated the mailing list, and took code I wrote at the beginning of the summer and made it better. Overall, I feel like I rocked it, and am surprised and delighted at how capable I’ve been. (Remember me fretting over whether I could/should even interview because I was so sure I would fail? http://apracticalwedding.com/2013/05/apw-happy-hour-3/)

    • Rock on, girlfriend! Treat yo’self tonight, because that is some awesome shit right there.

      • Caroline

        Thanks. We’re going to my parents place at the beach for the weekend tonight. That’s a good idea, treating myself. Maybe on Sunday, I’ll treat me and my partner out to our favorite burger place out at the beach. (With lamb bacon. Yum.)

    • KC

      Hooray and congratulations on nailing it!

      (also, oh yes on the rewriting-code-from-several-months-ago, especially when you’re first starting out with a language. Ha.)

      • Caroline

        Thanks. It was really satisfying to rewrite the code because I knew, when I was writing it, that it was an ugly hack that shouldn’t be done, kind of like mending your clothes with duck tape instead of patching them, but I couldn’t for the life of me understand how to do it properly. Working on another part of the app, I realized I had just created the tools I need to handle it smoothly, elegantly, and according to convention (which since this is Ruby, is big.)

        • KC

          Oh, I love it when I can replace a hack that I gritted my teeth through (I know this is a hack. But it’s the only way I see to do this right now, and it technically works for what it needs to do, and I have to just be okay with that rather than wasting a bunch of time…) with nice, clean code. :-) It basically makes me want to purr.

  • Meghan

    Feeling a little bummed out today. It’s my last day at a job I definitely had no future in and I’m so glad I have quit…but I’m going to miss my team so much!! They are such awesome people, and even though I know this is the right decision for me it is hard to leave them.

    On the other hand, I know next week I’ll be elated and terrified about taking the bull by the horns and pursuing my writing career full time!

    Any other APWers doing NaNoWriMo this year?

  • I’m glad you didn’t pull that risk post. It was stunning and beautiful. I also appreciate the irony of how much of a risk you felt in publishing it.

  • Michelle

    Anyone have experience/tips on moving alcohol and/or speakers within a venue? Is this a terribly bad idea or can it be done?

    The building has 2 levels and the ceremony location is right outside the doors of the lower level. Here’s tentatively what we’re thinking:

    Step #1:
    Ceremony outside with speakers set up near the back of where people are sitting. Cocktail hour immediately following, with speakers playing some fun tunes. Bar is set up outside near the building.

    Step #2:
    We all go upstairs for dinner (the lower level is too small/not an option for dinner). Need to move bar and speakers upstairs. There is an elevator and there are carts with wheels.

    Step #3:
    Move bar and speakers back downstairs for dancing.

    I don’t know why we just realized this is potentially chaotic and now we’re getting worried. We will have 2 bartenders, but are they going to think we’re crazy when we ask them to move the bar twice? Could we serve wine upstairs and beer downstairs or something weird like that? I feel like that’s too weird. We’re considering renting 2 sound systems so we don’t have to move the speakers (ugh… expensive!). Also, speakers for outdoor ceremony for 160 guests = totally necessary, right? Or can we get away without them? Thanks for any ideas!

    • KC

      Wine (maybe even just in bottles on tables) upstairs, beer downstairs sounds totally fine to me, especially if people know that’s the setup (so not-a-fan-of-wine people can take their beer up to dinner and anti-beer people can bring their wine down for dancing – but, um, drinking water for one part of a three-part thing is not going to kill anyone, anyway). I’d want to check that any unattended alcohol/equipment would be secured/obscured, though (depending on your crowd/the neighborhood).

      Doing the two-move might work or might not; I’d suggest talking to your bartenders and “walking” out the actual path (they may or may not have the gear to move stuff mid-party; setup and teardown can be slow with just one dolly, but you wouldn’t want a ton of time where the bar was entirely inaccessible). I’d tend to go with moving *either* the speakers or the bar setup, not both, unless you can work out a timetable so that the time-each-is-not-in-use-and-is-being-moved does not overlap at all (since, yes, freight elevators are large, but no, a bar plus the whole speaker set should probably not be trying to carpool).

      If you do have a speaker-moving, make sure you have someone responsible (well, probably a couple of people) who knows exactly when and where to do both moves and where to plug everything in, etc., plus carts or other methods of sanely moving the equipment. It might just plain be worth the extra cash, though.

    • KC has great advice- a walkthrough will be really valuable.

      Also, I wanted to throw in my two cents of: setting up the bar can take a good bit of time to get everything out and ready. I’ve been to many weddings where the bar is closed during dinner, so you may be able to eliminate one move by keeping the bar downstairs, and just sending wine bottles up (maybe one or both bartenders can circulate?) and just post a sign (and simple piece of paper if fine) at the bar during cocktail hour that says “Bar closed during dinner, if you’d like a drink while you eat, be sure to get a refill before heading upstairs”

      And are the speakers necessary during dinner? Maybe they will be for toasts, but you can get away with not music, and possibly with no amplification for toasts. But I think you’ll definitely need them outdoors and for dancing.

    • You can totally do just wine for dinner! You can pull one bartender up to open bottles if you want or just use my personal favourite, wine bottles with no corks. Maybe not classy for a wedding but they are the best thing in the world for anyone that struggles to uncork wine.

      Like the others have mentioned, just put a note out or make an announcement so people know to stock up if they want to. Moving bar is a lot of work for the bartenders so they would definitely appreciate not having to do that.

  • Laura Lee

    Had an eventful week!
    Monday – Smashed three fingers in the garage door (ouch!)
    Tuesday – Had dental work done and part of my lip was paralyzed for 2.5 hours after the novocaine wore off, leading me to believe I might have a droopy lip and speech problems forever. (scary, but totally fine now)
    Wednesday – We finally bought a new mattress/box spring after being miserable for 2 years. It’s being delivered tonight! (maybe we’ll christen it tonight, *wink*)
    Thursday – Night out with friends (pizza, beer & good company)
    Friday – Nothing noteworthy so far, but who knows what might happen? (perhaps the aforementioned bed christening)

    • Abby Mae

      Yay for bed christening!!

  • KC

    Thanks to the lovely people in the Risk Month comment section, I have now learned that some people make it to 25 (or older!) without One Shitty Thing (at least, self-identified), which I was dubious about before. So, hooray! (I’d love to get a poll done to find out percentages, but knowing that they exist is pretty cool in and of itself)

    Also, is it just me, or did the Care and Keeping of Friendors post comments get really morphed threading-wise (and in many cases disappear-y)?

    • Lena

      I am (slightly) older than 25 and have made it through life without One Shitty Thing but:
      -some people may consider my not-so-shitty things kind of shitty
      -I have watched friends and family go through Shitty Things
      -I decided I have it pretty good, so I try to be as best a friend/family member as I can (and overall more compassionate person) to those going through Actual Shitty Things

    • Claire

      Yeah, I noticed that in the comments too.

    • I liked the point made that it’s hard for some people to define/think of their One Shitty Thing, too, since if you live with some things long enough they kind of cease to be identifiably Shitty and kind of morph into just How Things Are. (Not that they’re not still shitty, just that they wouldn’t necessarily leap to mind as Shitty, if that makes any sense. Look, it’s been a long week!)

      And yes, I definitely noticed the disappear-y-ness.

  • I was inspired, in part, by it being APW Risk Month to do something I thought I would absolutely never do because it was, undoubtedly, one of the more expensive things I could COMPLETELY RUIN by being too spur of the moment: I ordered our wedding rings from the internet.

    We CANNOT find anyone in the area that makes rings like these (https://www.etsy.com/listing/87381476/blue-rare-opal-titanium-ring-set?ref=shop_home_active), we adore them, we hated all of the more traditional rings we tried on, and the vetting process on this seller that I went through would make the FBI’s heart skip a beat. But still, I am semi-panicked that we ordered our wedding rings from the internet. However, there is a time to be safe and a time to say, “Fuck it, I really want to do this.” Which is exactly what I said (while I hyperventilated into a paper bag and entered my credit card number).

    I hope in 3 or 4 weeks I can share at Happy Hour that the rings are perfect.

    Or that we found out the seller was involved in a multi-level illicit drug operation and used our money to smuggle cocaine across the Pacific Ocean. But only because that makes for a wildly better story than, “We ordered rings online and it was entirely uneventful.”

    • KC

      “Seller used our money to buy himself an near-Antarctic island and a starter flock of penguins. No rings delivered. Would not purchase from this seller again.”

      • Breck

        Bahahahaha. I WOULD purchase from that seller again. Especially if his/her new Etsy shop involved said starter flock of penguins.

    • KC

      (sorry, can’t edit comment. On the plus side, you can contest credit card charges, so if the rings don’t show or are just plain wrong, you have a comparatively straightforward avenue of complaint/redress, in addition to complaining to Etsy. Still means you’d have to find new rings, but at least not new rings + new money?)

    • Jessica B

      I’ve never had a bad experience with Etsy, and it looks like no one has had a bad experience with this seller (256 sales, all 100% positive feedback). I think you’ll love them!

    • Abby Mae

      I ordered my husbands’ ring from Hersteller on Etsy. He’s allergic to metal and her rings (which were made out of wood) were the only pieces of jewelry that actually looked appealing to him.

      It was one of our best decisions during the wedding planning process. Because it was such a gorgeous piece of jewelry, and she hand crafted the ring especially for him, AND since we waited in suspense for so long that when we did get the rings it felt so special to us. Also, when people ask about it they usually ooohhed and and ahhhed because hand-crafted-incredible-looking-wedding-rings actually sound a lot more interesting than “We bought this at X-Jewelry store on Cherry Street”. Mostly because we thought it was more interesting and special.

      Own your choice Kate! Those rings look amazing! And people will be marveling at how unique and awesome they look on you and your man!

    • Emmy

      We ordered our rings from Kate Szabone (mine) and Raven’s Refuge (his) and both are absolutely gorgeous. But yes, buying the most expensive piece of jewelry site unseen is nerve-wracking!

    • Ali

      I ordered my wedding ring from Etsy as well and was totally scared about that!

    • Rebecca

      We ordered our wedding rings online and it was 95% uneventful and 5% super troubling because we didn’t get the rings until the day (maybe two days?) before we were leaving to get married because the engraver was super slow, but the designer overnighted our rings and everything was fine. And everything before that was great and we got exactly what we wanted and in 1/4 sizes and everything.

      Also, they are awesome if anyone is looking for a plain band with a hidden twist: http://www.etsy.com/shop/JesseDanger

  • jhummer

    Yay! I’m so excited to post in happy hour! I got engaged two weeks ago and we’re still working on our first major question: location.
    Here’s the background: I’m from MN, fiancé (L) is from [South American country], we go to grad school in NJ (we’ll be there for another 3-4 years). We will either get married in the church where I grew up in MN, or the church we now attend in NJ. I’m in MN right now (although he’s in NJ) and I’m leaving for NJ in ten days, so if we are getting married in MN I’d love to be looking at reception venues right now. (Both churches are available for Aug 2014.) I’ve lived in MN until I was 18, when I was 23 & 24, and come back pretty much every summer – otherwise I’ve been living at college/abroad/now NJ. L did want NJ at first – he thought it would represent “us” better and would be easier for his friends to travel to – but now he’s leaning towards MN so that my friends/family could help plan. We’ve only been living in NJ for a year so we’re still getting to know the area.
    Planning has been slow because my parents are still quite hesitant about Luis. He talked to them and got their approval/blessing before proposing but now they sort of want to take it back…? Anyway, I’ve seen a counselor and have some plans in place for how to talk to them about this, but I really don’t know how much emotional/financial support they’ll be able to offer. I’d just let it ride for a couple more weeks but, again, leaving MN in ten days…

    MN pros: meaningful place (I would be baptized and married in the same church), we have lots of ideas for reception venues and vendors from friends, easy for my family (and most friends) to travel, “expected” choice, his sister lives here too, my high school friends could probably host some of my college friends, my elderly grandparents could probably come, Minnesota is beautiful. :) If family gets on board they would feel most involved with this option.
    MN cons: I grew up at this church and L didn’t – do we want to start our lives together in a place that has a lot of childhood meaning for me and not for him? Guest list would be harder to manage since more of my friends/family would be able to come. More transitions/travel for L and I. If family doesn’t get on board this could get really awkward. And /shallow/ my childhood church is very 1980s ugly.

    NJ pros: L and I can plan throughout the year, friends/family can see our new home, church is beautiful 1850s building, no precedents among my friends/family of a NJ wedding – we get to create a new mold, NYC is a convenient travel hub for his family and friends, and for our college friends, we could sleep at our new home together the night of the wedding.
    NJ cons: church is not air-conditioned (in August in NJ, could be rough), venues seem to be very expensive and very WIC-esque, all my family and many friends would have to travel, grandparents probably wouldn’t be able to come, don’t know the area so finding vendors might be hard, New Jersey is…well, no offense to Jerseyites out there, but it’s not the midwest. :)

    Thoughts? Advice? Questions I should think about? Thanks!!

    • Jessica B

      I have a very big Minnesota bias. It’s glorious here, things are going to be cheaper than on the coast, and, you know, it’s Minnesota!

      That said, it really comes down to how strong Luis feels and how much control you two want in the wedding planning process. I couldn’t imagine letting my family do the majority of the work because I am such a major control freak.

      This might be the time to flip a coin and see if you really feel strongly one way or another–I usually make the decision as soon as the ‘wrong’ choice is the one that wins.

    • KC

      Is your family more likely to get on board if it’s in MN? Do you have any clues as to why they’ve backed off of approval? (sometimes these are good reasons and good things to know about; sometimes they are *stupid* reasons and are still good to know about, so you can roll your eyes and move on)

      The cost factor sticks out to me (why does everything have to be more expensive on the East Coast and in SF?), but the more-equal-guest-lists factor is also, honestly, kind of huge (although if the more-equal is only accomplished by reducing “your” side, then that is somewhat less meaningful). You could potentially explore “alternative” reception venues in NJ (museums, art museums, school buildings?) if the WIC thing is a bit much.

      The making-a-new-mold for weddings in NJ instead of MN is only relevant if you want to break with “local” traditions, so… it’s up to you whether that’s a major advantage or not.

      You might be able to have a (smaller) NJ wedding and then a MN those-who-couldn’t-make-it-to-the-east-coast mini reception at someone’s house or in the church basement or whatever? (I assume there are probably elderly relatives or family friends who wouldn’t be able to travel, period, plus a lot of people who wouldn’t be able to manage the cost/vacation time/kid wrangling necessary to get from MN to NJ)

      Hope it all goes well, in any event!

    • Ariel

      Where in NJ are you? I found an inexpensive non-WIC (so far it seems this way to me, anyway) place in Bergen county that I’ll be getting married at next June (ceremony and reception). Let me know if you’d like more details. Today in Jersey it’s actually nice out!

    • Ali

      Congrats! My husband is also from a….. South American country which we lived in when we got engaged. We ended up getting married in my small hometown (although it is a resort destination) in the US. I grew up there and spent summers there till I was 24. We also met there. It was something that I kind of just knew I needed to do and was also important to my family. Since I have basically agreed to live in his country and have been living there I wanted to get married in my hometown. This meant that only his immediate family and a few close friends came to the wedding. This was a little hard for him and sometimes I questioned if we should just have it where our lives are now (and also where his whole family and friends are.) Ultimately I felt it was important to honor my family and my childhood by having the wedding there before we went out and started our lives as our own family. I guess you just need to weigh it and hopefully what is right for both of you will come to you.

    • C and I are living in PA but getting married in NY in the town I grew up in/his parents currently live in. It’s nice to have that hometown connection and get married in the church I grew up in, but the location means more to me than him and that’s something we have to try to balance in other ways. Also, while the connection to the place is lovely, planning a wedding in quick bursts whenever you can make the trip out to visit is a pain in the ass and I don’t know how things would be getting done if my mom wasn’t helping. So, I would definitely recommend thinking about planning logistics as well as logistics for the wedding itself when you’re trying to choose a location.


    Graduate school sucks! I really want to be done soon. That is all.

    • Ariel

      UGHHHHHHHH ME TOO!!!! My thesis was due in December. Last December. I have approximately one and a half pages written.

      I thought I signed up for a non-thesis program, but I was wrong. So very, very wrong.

    • Samantha

      I’m about to finish semester one of a 12 semester grad program… why does it take so long to become a counselor?! Also, must do three online finals by Monday night, yet brain is so fried from writing papers this week that I get sick at the thought of taking the finals. Waaaah.

  • Ariel

    Yesterday was my birthday (woohoo!) and I may have happy cried in the car on the way home to my fiance, after spending the day with my friends, thinking that my next birthday I’ll be MARRIED.

    On another note, I kind of need someone to either reel me in from DIY craziness and tell me to stop. please. just. stop. or tell me that what I’m planning is completely doable. It can’t be thattt hard, right? I’ve got the time (kind of – hey thesis, maybe I’ll finish you eventually). On my list right now: create paper heart garland to hang from the chuppah (I have a heart shaped paper punch and have punched probably a few hundred – I plan on sewing them together with space in between), make heart-shaped tags for favor bags (my mom is making cookies for favors), possibly make my own stamps (crazy alert) for the tags so I don’t have to write the same two phrases 100 times, print invitations without killing printer, figure out how to print on envelopes I bought today, possibly make heart confetti (for what I’m not exactly sure but I also have a mini heart punch), print escort cards, create centerpieces, create bouquet, be a sane person.

    • catherine

      Wow, sounds awesome, and I’m totaly jealous of your craft skills! Oh how I wish I was crafty…I say go for it! :)

    • Caroline

      Thoughts: buy the stamp for the tags. Buy a stamp for the return addresses. Print on labels for the envelope. Seriously, the clear matt ones look good, we printed save the dates and they were pretty easy to print actually. As long as your printer doesn’t loop over and down (and sometimes even if it does), it’s totally doable. Tip: Buy some damn perforated pages the size you want. Yes, it’s not as 100% clean as if you cut it, but it turns out, it’s pretty close, it’s barely noticeable, and trying to cut 30 or 40 or 50+ cards straight is a nightmare. The perforations are much better. Or use an online printing service to print your invites.

      Flower garlands, heart shaped tags, escort cards, and really all of it is optional, so if you’re stressing too much about them, toss the project.

    • Emmy

      I really liked Meg’s advice in the APW book. Do you like to DIY? Then do it! If not, don’t! We have quite a bit of DIY, but we did things in batches. Also, we chucked some projects. I hoped to finish everything but made a deal with myself first: This stuff does not matter. The minute it stops being fun, I’ll stop. I won’t stress about craft projects. That helped!

    • moe

      Some of the things sound like jobs that can be delegated out to helpful friends/bridesmaids. I took on DIY invitations and wa really excited about it, but 60 invitations became time-consuming. More than I had budgeted for anyhow. A friend came over and we assembled them while drinking wine. We had a great time and they got done quickly.

      You’ll have to be honest with yourself about how much DIY you can really take on, how much can be DIT, and how much time you are willing to invest. I would suggest allowing a little more time than what you think it will take to complete. Perhaps make a schedule of when things will get done?

      I did a lot of projects myself. I loved it. It was a time-consuming process. I was really glad when it was over. I don’t want to do it again. But I did love it, honest!

    • KC

      Okay, with DIY stuff, I think the #1 rule is to not let it kill you.
      #2: Do things in the order of greatest importance wherever possible (so, if it is VITAL to you or to the wedding that X get done, get it done first; this way, if there is time/energy/whatever loss and you don’t have enough time for everything, that is okay)
      #3 If you are doing something as a cost-saving measure instead of for the love of it, price it out to make sure it will actually be cost-saving, then price out how much per hour you’re valuing your time (not as relevant for love-of-it projects or if you have all the time in the world and no money)
      #4 Have backup plans for anything that you see as really necessary that you are not getting done first (want to make artistic hand-created flip-flops from reclaimed and sterilized yoga mat foam and hand-stitched antique silk ribbon for the entire bridal party for your beach wedding? Sure, if that floats your boat. But don’t plan to do that plus other things in the final week leading up to your wedding unless you can instead just have flip-flops that you got from the store and that will be okay.)
      #5 Delegate and/or share the work/love as much as you possibly can
      #6 Finish each project before moving on to the next partial project, to some degree (so, sew those hundreds of hearts together before getting another partial project done, or you may end up with hundreds of beautiful punched-out hearts not-on-a-garland and other assorted partial projects, which is not the end of the world but which might make you sad)
      #7 Reassess at various points whether things are still worth it/enjoyable or just giving you misery
      #8 I’d generally suggest doing only one DIY “can’t be done earlier than a few days before the wedding” project (bouquets *or* a food *or* hand-lettered calligraphic chalkboard signs *or*…), and possibly not even doing that if you have the days before the wedding booked in with friends/family coming in to town, etc., and you’d have to be using precious sleep/problem-solving/actual-relationship time to do the projects.

      On your specific projects, I would vote for printing the invitations at an office supply store or similar. If your home printer is an inkjet, it will most likely be cheaper to print invitations somewhere else than to buy the replacement ink (plus, hassle and jams and ruined paper/cardstock from jams and oh, just don’t do it at home unless you really have to or are doing 20 or fewer invites)(seriously.).

      I’d also note that the cookie tags could potentially be printed, then punched (if you’re literally doing 100 or so, and if your punch allows you to see the paper you’re punching, this should work?), which would skip the make-your-own stamp step (you can even just write stuff in your handwriting, spaced out enough to let you punch it, and then have it photocopied onto the right paper/cardstock).

      Bouquets/centerpieces obviously can’t be done in advance if with real flowers, so please assess your sanity sometime after the invitations are printed/the heart garland is made and verify whether that’s a good idea for you personally or not.

      Cookies can be made ahead of time and frozen/stored, depending on the kind of cookie and as long as there’s not a lot of garlic in your freezer; I also think that favors are optional, so if beautifully-stamped tagged bags of cookies don’t happen, that would be fine with me; if you do not, then maybe reassess whether you want to make them.

      But that’s just my opinion – you know what you enjoy, what you don’t enjoy, what you have practice doing vs. what looks mostly easy on a blog somewhere, and what you most value. :-) Do what you most value, and remember that sanity, sleep, relationship, and thesis (hmph) are also important things. :-)

      • Ariel

        Thank you so much for your reply (and everyone else too, thanks you guys!). I love to DIY (I sew, crochet, bake, brew my own beer, etc.). I did my first papercrafting project when I proposed to my fiance (made an explosion box), so I think I’d like to have a bunch of things I’ve made out of paper at the wedding. I’m not crazy enough to think I’d have the patience to make intricate 3D flowers out of paper (although, seriously? So damn pretty!), but I’m pretty sure I can use this punch to do a bunch of things without wanting to kill myself.

        It’s probably a good idea to get the invitations printed. I’m fine with cutting them myself if it’s cheaper – I ordered a paper cutter a few years ago through my job and I can get nice straight lines that way. I plan on buying a template from empapers.

        My mom offered to bake the cookies when I said I wasn’t going to have favors. She’s planning on taking off a few days the week leading up to the wedding. It really shouldn’t take that long for her to make them as it will probably end up being less cookies than she makes for Christmas.

        My awesome friend and her awesome mom are helping with flowers because apparently they know all about it and they did my awesome friends for her wedding.

        I LOVE your suggestion on writing on the paper and then photocopying it onto the cardstock. I was really struggling with wanting it to be my handwriting and getting it all done. I wonder if staples could photocopy it onto the cardstock I already bought. I can see where I’m punching so that definitely helps.

        I also have a ton of time. My wedding is at the end of June of next year. I don’t go back to work for the next month as I’m a high school teacher. I end the school year a week and a half before my wedding, so I will have some time to get some last minute craziness sorted and most people live around here, so there really shouldn’t be much in the way of having to visit with people beforehand.

        Again, thanks so much!

        • Ali

          rubberstamps.net! Take a pic of your phrase, upload it to the site, pick the size, pay minimal amount of dollars, have stamp in less than a week. I made SO MANY STAMPS for my wedding this way. Plus their customer service is awesome and they have free shipping over $20.

          • Ariel

            Oooh! Thank you!

        • copper

          Most copy shops are happy to photocopy onto cardstock as long as it’s not too thick. Bring a sample and check with them that the weight works with their copiers.

        • KC

          We got our invitations printed at Kinkos, and I think the cutting fee was $3 or $4 per cut, so that worked out to Very Worth It, especially since I’d lined things up for minimal cuts (using the edges of the paper, etc.). Very, very clean, no waste, basically no time.

          One note with getting things printed: make sure they don’t “resize to fit” PDFs, or everything will be ever-so-slightly smaller than expected. This is more of a problem with printing address labels than with printing large things that don’t have to be super-precise, though.

          And yes, most places are happy to print on your cardstock, as long as it’s within what their machines can cope with. (there is floral-inclusion paper specifically made to go through printers [as opposed to the kind that will gum up the works and mangle itself and the printer in one go], and they may need to see the label if it’s this kind before they’ll accept it)

          Also: a week and a half before the wedding will most likely work out to less time than you think it will be – set aside a bit of a slush fund of time to take an unusual number of calls, answer email, interact with people, fix last-minute problems/questions, etc., rather than expecting to actually *have* all that time. :-)

          But yes, this sounds doable (depending on your flower-arranging speed – I agree that bouquets *and* centerpieces may be a bit much depending on what/how many you’re planning for each and how much experience you already have or will have by then, plus how much help/backup you have). Just remember that it’s okay to ditch any non-vital project when it stops being fun. :-)

    • Margaret

      If I were you, these are the things I would do: Finish garland (you sound like you’re already a good chunk of the way through it), do the invites and escort cards, and pick which one matters most – centerpieces or bouquet. You can probably do both centerpieces and bouquet without going crazy but I would decide which is more important and do that one first. I would totally skip the favor tags – homemade cookies can easily stand alone and I would definitely cut the confetti. If you love it, buying some is totally going to be worth your time. BUT, those are my priorities and I have no idea what kind of time frame you’re working with. And I agree with Caroline, pretty much everything except the invites are optional, so toss anything that stresses you out.

    • EAO

      Aug 1 was my birthday too. AND I also cried the whole car ride home. Sunday evening work dread is creeping in to Friday night and I’m feeling overwhelmed with wedding family bs.


      This too shall pass.

  • copper

    um, I’m getting married in 10 weeks. My mom who was supposed to make me a top to go with this awesome vintage skirt I found sent me a fit mockup of the top this week, and there’s still major issues. Manfriend has not actually ordered suit. I’m freaking out a little guys.

    • Brenda

      My husband bought his suit 4 days before our wedding. He’s got plenty of time.

      • Jessica B

        We’re five weeks out and my dude is just getting to ordering.

    • KC

      10 weeks: still totally enough time to alter the top. If it’s a saggy/poochy problem (as opposed to a pulling/tugging problem), can you get a savvy friend to come over and pin the thing onto you? (so, turn the top inside out, put it on, then friend pins abundantly along the seams everywhere it needs to change, then remove the top and, I assume, mail it back with all the pins in it?) If savvy friends are lacking (they are rare, sigh), getting a local seamstress to do the same (or to make a new mockup top that can be disassembled and used as a pattern) might be a good choice.

      If it’s a style problem, that’s a bit harder, although different necklines, sleeve adjustments, etc., can be marked on a real mockup (not the actual fabric, etc.) in pen. (watch that sharpie near your skin or you’ll get a temporary neckline tattoo, though)

      Judicious use of photos of you-in-top can also help (the sleeves go this far on me, and I want them three inches longer, so they’re this long; there’s weird gapping under my armpit when I do this; why is the neckline up to my chin?). The “10 weeks is totally fine” does assume that your mom can put in time on this and is not likely to be flaky; if otherwise, then hunting up a really basic not-great-but-it’d-work prefab backup option may be good for your peace of mind. :-)

      Hope it all goes well!

      • copper

        So the thing I’m worried about is, I’ve already had a friend pin me up, and we sent it back, and then I got the 2nd version of the top and it’s STILL got fit problems even though I thought our pins (and corresponding notes—she’s in construction and I design so we’re both really mindful of how to communicate exactly how we want something done). That’s why I’m worried, because I thought we’d already gone through this step and I was totally confident, and then when I saw the revisions and it still didn’t work it scared me.

        • KC

          Okay, yeah, I would be concerned, too. Could it be a “too conservative off the pins” thing? (sewing along the pin line instead of just inside the pin line) If so, maybe you can baste the next round before mailing (pin, baste, try on, adjust basting, repeat).

          Is the off-ness even along most of the previous-correction-needed seams, or is it spotty/patchy? (also: is your mom used to sewing things from scratch for someone-who-is-not-her, and is the design complicated or relatively simple? I was assuming relatively simple, because it’s going with a vintage skirt, but then realized that may not be at all accurate.)

          Are you and your mom going to be in the same place for long enough before the wedding that she can do alterations on the final top? (because if so, and if the design is pretty straightforward, this will be fine anyway as long as she doesn’t get smallpox or something that week)

          Crazy question: were “supportive undergarments” the same when pinned in and when tried on for this round?

          • copper

            It’s a 3/4 sleeve lace top with buttons down the back. Pretty simple, the only not-simple thing about it is that I’m a bit of an unusual figure (short torso, very defined waist). The offness is that last time we pinned the waist in by 6″ (1″ from each side of two darts, then 1″ from each side of the back panels) and the waist still feels really really big. Like she may have only taken 4″ off. I’m trying to not be offended by this, but maybe she just thinks I’m lying and am actually a lot fatter than I am?

            Supportive undergarments were definitely the same, not a crazy Q at all! Since it’s a lace top, the bustier that goes underneath is a really important part of the ensemble.

          • copper

            gah, comment editor broken, I mistyped and meant to say she may have only taken 2″ off the waist (leaving it still 4″ too big).

          • KC

            Taking the waist in by a full 6″ would definitely be a bit terror-inducing, so I could see her nudging those seams a bit, potentially (or, again, going on the line or even just outside the line of pins instead of just inside the line of pins). But also, taking the waist in at already-defined seams is the sort of alteration that you could totally do on the finished garment at the last minute, unless the thing is french-seamed and that would just create too much bulk.

            Okay, also crazy question: do you have the buttons-down-the-back part overlapped to the same degree that it was previously? Since that could give you an extra inch or two if it were off.

            If the sleeves and the top half of it fit, and it’s just the waist, at the seams, that may need to be taken in further, I bet it will be fine – that really is a *very* quick alteration to do.

          • KC

            (also, that sounds *gorgeous*, by the way)

  • Margaret

    So this week pretty much sucked for me. I’ve been working a second restaurant job in an attempt to quit restaurant job #1 because I hate it there. On Saturday, I was told no one really liked me at job #2 and then on Sunday, I got fired from job #2 right before I had to go to job #1. So I cried and ended up an hour late to job #1 (I called first, in tears, and so that’s not a big deal at this point). Then on Monday, I had an audition for this student film and I was awesome. The director double-checked that I was available to shoot on Wednesday and I was. Then she emailed me on Tuesday morning (morning for her being 8:50 am) and I emailed back as soon as I got it (which for me was 11:20 – see restaurant job that makes my sleep schedule not a normal 9-5 thing). She never responded until 10 p.m. at which point she told me that I took too long to respond and she contacted her second choice. So seriously, I’ve been bumming for basically the entire week now.

    On the plus sides, being fired means I can go to the APW Los Angeles meetup on Sunday. But I’m in some serious need of solidarity and fist-bumps.

    • KC

      Augh. Hope next week is better! (on the plus side: relatively unlikely to be worse?) Also: oh, directors.

      Also hope you find a replacement for job #1 soon (or that the situation in some way improves). Best wishes!

    • Ashleyn

      Look forward to meeting you on Sunday!

      Sorry about jobs, that is rough.

  • A. non. mouse.

    Any advice is welcome, but this is more just something I’ve overthinking and nervous about, not something that is an active problem. Two of my close friends/bridesmaids recently got engaged (yay!) and both of them asked me to be their MOHs (yay, but also nervous! also, I know I shouldn’t, but I feel a little guilty that only one of them is going to be my MOH and don’t want the other to not think I value our friendship) So we’re all planning weddings at the same time and it’s going to be a busy 3-4 months. I’m a little concerned that I’m going to inadvertently make things all about me when we’re bonding over weddings and planning a wedding or come off as patronizing since I’ve been thinking about all this stuff since getting engaged in April and they’ve just started, or do something that tips the balance from supportive/we’re going to get through this together. Anyhow, I know I’m unnecessarily worrying- I don’t plan on drastically changing my personality and they’re both great people and there’s a reason why we’re friends. I’m planning on having a conversation with each of them about what our expectations are for each other at some point in the near future so everyone’s on the same page- I’m just waiting a few weeks since they’ve got way more important ish to deal with than this right now). Also, I’m a little jealous that while I was the first to get engaged, we’ll be the last to get married (long engagement due to wanting to wait to save $ and have an outdoor wedding in Houston-spring felt too soon and summer is hot as hell). The good thing is- I’m blessed to have amazing friends and I can’t wait to be a part of their respective days.

    • Honestly, I think the conversation you’re wanting to have is great and covers it! You can also casually say, “Hey, if I am ever being too focused on my own wedding, snap me out of it!” and they’ll probably offer the same in return. You could even make a joke out of it and have a signal (like tugging your ear). It sounds like it could be a mutual problem on either end so getting it in the open lightheartedly will probably erase any potential resentment and make it easy to shift focus in future conversation/plannings. Fret not, your awareness is already a good step toward not getting carried away!

  • It’s my birthday on Monday! Which also happens to be a holiday here, so that’s awesome!

    But, I don’t think I’m really going to celebrate. Which I’m kind of bummed out about. My best friends don’t live here, my roommate is gone, and the fact that I’ve been pretty sick for the last few months means that doing anything over a slow walk will exhaust me for the next couple days.

    So, I think I’m just going to quietly celebrate over the weekend. Taking puppies to the park with a friend tomorrow = little birthday celebration; going to a movie on Monday night = little birthday celebration; eating a tube of cookie dough = little birthday celebration.

    Anyone have good ideas for things I can do that will be celebratory but not really involve using a lot of energy?

    • Leslie

      Order in from your favorite take-out place that’s just a liiiittle too expensive to eat at regularly. Watch your favorite guilty-pleasure movie. Add booze if desired. Success.

      • Wine. Wine will make everything better.

    • Addie

      Celebratory outfit. Everything is more festive with a sequiny top or over the top earrings.

      • So true! Fabulous earrings for sure.

    • catherine

      Tube of cookie dough, absolutely!

      And yes, yummy take out, bottle of champagne for yourself…cuddles with puppy…more cookie dough…tht’s my heaven

      • I think you may have jinxed me. The puppy has been extra insistent on cuddles all night. He likes to stick his head in my lap and then, while I’m petting him, slowly sneak his front paws on the couch and then quickly jump up and settle his whole 100 pound weight on top of me. Looks so pleased with himself too…

    • KC

      Bubble bath with favorite book/music and candlelight and nice smelling things? Manicure/pedicure (self or otherwise)? Sorting through old photos? Sending “thank you for existing” cards or similar to a few friends/family/supporters-of-you? (thinking about how much someone else will enjoy something is sometimes the most celebration for the least effort ever!) Buying yourself flowers or a hard-to-kill potted plant? Buying yourself a helium balloon and seeing what household items you can successfully lift and send across the living room with it? (warning: may not work with pets)

      Happy birthday, in any event! :-)

      • Flowers are such a fantastic idea! I’ve been wanting some for a while but haven’t been able to justify how expensive they are. I shall gift them to myself!

        Also, sending cards is such a good thought; un-birthday cards shall be picked up tomorrow.

        • KC

          Happy birthday to you!

    • Happy pre-birthday!

  • A week later and I am no closer to solving my dress dilemma, between two completely different styles, from two completely different dressmakers. I’m jokingly considering printing out a copy of my Pinterest board (http://pinterest.com/irvingplace/maybe/) and walking up to strangers on the street to ask their opinion. Or maybe reading my tarot. Or putting the pictures of dresses in a hat.


    • Wow. Those are definitely two completely different directions. Have you started planning out other aspects of the wedding? Venue, decoration style, overall vibe? The colorful, ruffled dresses would certainly take more spunk to pull off, but I could see either one being rocked in their own way.

      • In fact. Venue: children’s museum. dinner: pizza. table decorations: old sf/f paperbacks…

        The regency dress is the dress I had been planning for a long time. The Zolotova dress was something I saw within the past few months and can’t get out of my head.

        “I could see either one being rocked in their own way.”

        And therein lies the difficulty. :)

        • Lada

          Why don’t you mix them? Top from the regency dress and bottom the Zolotova dress? I bet Chrissy would do that for you :)

          • Someone else suggested that. I wish it were as simple as that.

            I wouldn’t want to combine them, because what I like about them is the dresses themselves, as a whole. I like the top on the Zolotova as-is. I like the bottom of the Regency style as-is. Mixing them would get me something that was neither. I really do want to pick between them, rather than make them one.

            Also, part of the dilemma is which dressmaker to use, a local dressmaker or the dressmaker who is far, far away.

        • As someone who went Regency style (more Renaissance inspired, but similar)… I can fully recommended. You can wear colors and ruffles on other occasions, maybe make a short version for anoter event?

          • This is true. It is also true that I’ve heard the opposite argument: you can wear a Regency-style dress to many other things (including Regency balls) but a crazy dress like the Zolotova (esp at the price point) is not something I would buy again.

            I suppose that the problem with wanting two completely different things about equally (when I can only have one of them) is that I’m going to find arguments in favor of either convincing. The problem with asking everyone I meet (almost) is that I am going to get arguments for both sides. :)

        • quinners

          I think the Zolotova sounds more like it would go with your venue/overall wedding vibe, but they are both lovely dresses.

          • Brenda

            I agree with this. Your children’s museum / pizza / SF says “crazy colorful ruffles” more than “elegant regency” to me. I think those ruffly dresses would be awesome.

        • Riah

          I’ve had a “which dress do I wear” dilemma sneak up on me recently. (I bought a lovely white bridesmaids dress, but then the idea of wearing a vintage lace dress I already own snuck up and won’t get out of my head.)

          I still haven’t decided, but when I was talking to my fiance about it, he asked whose opinion I needed to feel good about my decision, who could be both honest and supportive (my sister is “meh” about everything always and my mom is always just excited), so I’m asking my best friend Steven (who encouraged me to buy my very favorite dress ever, and has excellent taste and knows me incredibly well.) So I decided to just ask him what he thinks and start from there. For me, I don’t need a lot of opinions, just ones that I trust would be right for me. Do you have someone who could work like that for you?

    • KC

      Oh, that’s a hard one. They’re both stunning.

      Does one work with your body shape better? Alternately, would one be easier/saner for dancing the kind of dancing you want or moving the way you want to move? (regency dress: probably more elegant for formal dancing and smooth movement; other dress: more fun to rock in, more bubbly movement possible without being reminded of Kitty)

      That, and if there’s a price difference, do you want to spend that money on something else, if the dresses appeal to you equally?

      (there’s also the method of flipping a coin, then seeing whether you’re disappointed in the results of the coin toss. Or doing a ceremony-dress and a reception-dress, although that’s Expensive.)

  • I started my new job this week, and it’s actually going pretty well. BUT I realized at about 9 tonight when I finally sat down for my dinner break that I will pretty much be permanently late to the happy hour party. :-( I’m working second shift Wednesdays – Sundays, with some strong potential for overtime on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday nights. Has anyone dealt with this kind of schedule long term? How did you make having a life outside work happen?

    • KC

      Aw, sorry about now-always-being-late-to-Happy-Hour. :-(

      It really depends what sort of a schedule your social group keeps. You may be able to meet people “on location” near their work for lunches or coffee to catch up; you may be able to suggest having a regular Saturday brunch (after you’re awake, but before you have to go to work). If you have people who also have less-standard work hours, then sorting out with them when might be good to get together with them might work. (warning: people who work from home and/or have flexible schedules still need to get work done, so remember to recognize that when suggesting things. It’s an incredibly annoying repeated misconception that just because your schedule is flexible, it’s like you’re on permanent vacation and you’re always available for anything for anyone – but no, actually, you still need to get that work in, plus sometimes there are meetings or crunch times, etc. – so avoid taking it personally?)

      Is this a long-term schedule change, or an only-until-you-rise-sufficiently-in-the-pecking-order change?


    Yay for happy hour (though boo for stupid 8 hour time difference making me late to the party).

    I have a dilemma (I’ll try and keep it brief!)

    Married before. Best friend 1 married me (she’s a kick ass vicar), best friend 2 did a reading and best friend 3 was busy being in labour.

    BFs 2&3 are the ones I’m closest to and see more and are more… fun. BF1 is a wonderful, gorgeous person but more… serious.

    Now getting married again (yay for second chances!) and have asked 2&3 to stand up with me (both were super excited about it even though I was thinking more along the casual, wear something fancy and stand next to me but not the whole bridesmaid shebang dealio).

    So here’s the thing… do I ask 1 to BM as well knowing that it might not be the thing she is totes down with (she also has three small kids who are invited to the wedding), do I ask her to do something else even though she played a pretty darn major role in the first wedding or do I just leave it as it currently stands as guest.

    Plus (sorry!) if its option c, how do I tell her that the others are standing up with me?

    Help please smart ladies (and gents)


    PS I’m aware that this makes me sound a little bit douchey, I’m not I promise.


      If she is your best friend, she should be a quasi-bridesmaid like the other two- or at least asked to be. Are you not asking her because she’s less fun? If so, sorry but that’s a little shallow. If it’s the reason that she wouldn’t be a ‘down with’ it, why not?

      I just think that if she is truly your best friend, then she should be made part of the wedding in some capacity other than a guest. If all of your best friends were there as guests then that would be a different story.


        Yeah, definitely not asking her her because she’s ‘less fun’ (which she isn’t, just a different kind of fun!). That did come over as kind of shallow which it wasn’t meant to be :-)

        I just don’t think she would have fun being a bm and would be feeling split between doing that and looking after the sprogs (her husband is nice but a bit selfish).

        But you’re right, I should ask her anyways and if she doesn’t then involve her in some other way, fh and I talked about having her do a reading maybe.

    • In my opinion, friendships change over time. There’s no reason to try and duplicate what happened at wedding number one if you guys aren’t at that same place with each other any more. If you’re open to having her stand up with you, maybe just ask if she wants to or if she’d prefer to do something a little more low-key so that she can be with her kids during the ceremony. She might say she doesn’t want to be a bridesmaid and then your whole dilemma is solved.

    • KC

      I think having three kids who will be at the wedding, if they’re young-ish, would basically be a large job in itself? I’d incline towards offering that she join you for semi-bridesmaid-y/friend-fun-together-y things as she’s able (if you’re doing manicures or drinks or a sleepover or whatever), but be open that she’s off the hook if she can’t pull if off and that you really appreciate her being there for you in the past?


      Thanks for the advice everyone, I think I’m ovethinking things :-)