APW Happy Hour

Happy Labor Day!

Hey APW!

So there is good news, and there is bad news. The good news is that it’s almost the long weekend. The bad news is that APW is closing a day early, so I can give the staff a much-needed day off (though, of course, I’M not taking a day off. Self-employment, y’all). It’s Labor Day here in the States, and around these parts we’re going to celebrate by not going anywhere or doing anything. I’m pretty excited. Feel free to kick it on the open thread this afternoon and all day tomorrow, or just get to browsing all these links.

It’s your (Thursday!) open thread. Hop on it!

Until Tuesday, cheers!



Highlights of APW This Week

Thanks to Monogamy Wine, we brought you an entire dance party for your wedding. Download it, use it, or just keep it on your phone for dance party emergencies.

Elisabeth’s post You Brought Me To Church is my favorite that she’s ever written (and that’s saying something). For all of you that are both progressive and religious, go read it NOW.

This beautiful mountain wedding contains the line, “Reality check: Every other person on the face of the earth has the same vision for your wedding, and it’s much simpler than yours: You, happy. That’s it.”

This post chronicling feelings after a miscarriage leads with a line that haunts me, and provided comfort for some of you.

On building a business that you fully expect to fail (and not caring).

This open thread on travel was tons of fun, and contained lots of conversations about traveling with kids.

Around The Web

In the craziest twist of the week, I thought that Miley Cyrus’s VMA performance stirred up some of the most interesting feminist conversations I’ve heard in awhile. My personal favorite was Rebecca Woolf’s fierce defense of women in their early 20s, We, The Miley. Also important, this sexologist’s take on how women are “allowed” to behave. Rachel submits this Groupthink/Jezebel post on the racial implications of the performance as her favorite, Solidarity is For Miley Cyrus.

In a related story, NPR is turning #solidarityisforwhitewomen into a larger conversation with a new series. Fuck yeah, feminism.

The New York Times features some couples who are really hung up on the gifts they didn’t get for their weddings. Is this really a thing? I’m only still irked about guests who didn’t show up on the day of, not the many wonderful people who didn’t get us gifts.

The man behind Bustle should have taken a cue from the young ladies behind the The Riveter, who know not only how to start a website for women (this one is devoted to long-form journalism by women!) but also how to give it a damn good name.

Speaking of ladyblogs, after taking issue with the Forbes list of 100 best websites for women, Refinery29 put together their own list of 24 picks Forbes overlooked. And there goes my long weekend, right down the rabbit hole.

“Arranged marriage, as I’ve come to experience it, is far more complicated than either its champions or its critics understand.” From a first-person account of arranged marriage in America.

After an onslaught of horrific attacks in India against women, one woman is starting a for-women, by-women taxi service that provides jobs for women and helps women travel safely.

Things that will make you cry: the song a 93-year-old widower wrote about his wife of 73 years and this couple.

Things that will make you smile: study confirms: haters gonna hate. (They say there is no word yet on whether playas gonna play, so stay tuned.) And this awesome slow-motion wedding photobooth video.

Featured Sponsored Content

  • I don’t think Miley’s performance was too sexual, too racy, too naked, too anything. I just think it was bad. As in, she was barely singing and just bounced around with (what looked like) little to no choreography, what’s the big deal???? I’d have more of a problem (if I were a parent) with the red-eyed bears and drug references than the sexual nature of her “dance” moves.

    It only frustrates me that everyone (myself included) is, days later, talking about Miley Cyrus’ 3 minute performance instead of the amazing, 15 minute, perfectly choreographed 10 song medley put on by a Grammy-award-winning artist.

    • I have oppositional feelings about the whole shebang: Yes, I think it’s a silly thing to capture such frenzied attention, but I also think the performance, and to a fair extent the media frenzy around it, prompts further discussion about the systems involved.

      There are so many offensive parts of the performance (the drug references, the appropriateness, considering the intended audience, the racial overtones, why can’t Miley be a stupid 20 yr old like the rest of us, why can’t Miley be a reasonable person like the rest of us, etc, etc.) but what I think gets lost is that all of these choices were not solely Miley’s. There’s a whole system of producers, choreographers, administrators, whoEVER, on all sides, who all made decisions to take the performance in this particular direction.

      And whenever I start getting mad about it, I remember the stupid shit I did at that age (it was not that long ago and I was remarkably stupid-er)

      • meg

        I can’t say, even now AS a parent, that I’m fussed about it in that sense. I’d seen way worse as a teen, even a young teen. If my kids were watching the VMA’s (and… I wouldn’t stop them), I’d trust them to have a head on their shoulders and form their own articulate opinions about whatever: no clothes, drug references, even teddy bears.

        I also have to say, that racial issues aside, I wasn’t at all offended by it. In fact, I showed it to David (and the baby in his high chair, who just looked unimpressed) and David was like, “Wait. That’s IT?” We saw far worse things on our High School dance floor, I gotta say.

        • Also, for those who don’t care for Jezebel and therefore don’t want to provide them with clicks, here is the Solidarity is for Miley Cyrus via the blogger’s own site:


        • AnonyMouse

          “I also have to say, that racial issues aside, I wasn’t at all offended by it. In fact, I showed it to David (and the baby in his high chair, who just looked unimpressed) and David was like, “Wait. That’s IT?” We saw far worse things on our High School dance floor, I gotta say.”

          Miley shoving a giant finger between her legs in lieu of a dick and humping the air with it was just “eh whatever”? So, what would it take to offend you? Live sex?

          Of course, the real offense is that shock value isn’t art; it’s a prank. Miley told the press that they had something good in store and that it was better than Madonna’s kiss at the VMAs. It’s wasn’t “better”; it was only more graphic

          Bill Mahr was right. You could see the same thing in a strip club..

          I am offended. I’m offended that as a member of the audience, my IQ is deemed so low that it’s believed I’ll be impressed by shock and vulgarity. It’s the last refuge of the untalented.

    • Sarah
      • C

        I listened to that too! It’s true, most people seem okay with the vulgarity in music videos / other artists, but when Miley does it, it’s a huge shock. We’re exposed to Lady Gaga’s ass almost every time we see her in public anymore, and that’s okay, but not for Miley. Seems like a double standard to me. She’s 20. She’s going to do stupid things, let her do it. I personally thought that her tongue hanging out of her mouth the whole time was the silliest part, it just made the whole thing cheesy, along with the appearance of the foam finger.

        The real problem here, is the initial desire to see that kind of performance in the first place, or at least what producers, etc. think the public want to see. And hey, it got a reaction right? Maybe that was the point of the performance in the first place.

      • Anon

        Aw come on. He’s saying we “ask” to see these images in music videos, and we’re just having a problem with Miley doing it because we remember her as a child.

        I call b.s. on that. Who is “asking” to see overt or gratuitous sexual images? It’s only what they’re throwing at us. I don’t recall ever being asked.

    • Paranoid Libra

      Re VMAs in general:

      1. Miley was just scary and not in the Marilyn Manson scary freaky way of that’s so weird it’s kind of cool, but in the just WTF way. I would have rather watched her screw Robin Thicke live than dry hump a foam finger. It was really the bizarre way she went with the sexuality of it that disturbs me more….and all the creepy bears were just creepy.

      2. I am sorry but all these NSYNC fans should really just be pissed off about JT’s perfomance. He would sing like 3 lines that just dance for another minute. He is paid to sing and dance and quite frankly he should be capable of handling more singing since it’s his job. I know it’s not easy but it’s kind of like Usain Bolt going to a race and walking half of it. Also this whole reunion hype for only 30 seconds?! seriously?! that much hype and that don’t even do half of a song?! I get it the rest of them a more so out of shape and what not, but then start off with one of their slower songs people loved.

      Imma let you finish but Beyonce’ had the best televised group reunion of all time.

      • Rachel

        The whole NSYNC reunion is the only reason I even watched the VMAs and yeah…I was SO disappointed by JT’s performance and the “reunion.” Not worth it. Not worth it at all.

        For most of the show, I was HOPING Kanye would come on stage and interrupt.

        • catherine

          Ha, funny, I loved JT’s performance, but was underwhelmed with NSYNC. I thought Justin saved the show though.

          And as a reply to this whole convo – I’m usually not one to judge or get my panties in bunch, but I’m sorry, I thought Miley’s performance was a SNL skit- my partner and I were like waiting for Ashton Kutcher to come out and say it was the PUNKd show. It was the worst thing I have ever seen – and I mean that…in every way possible…*cringe*

          Like I’m all for being racy, or whatever you want to be, but make it GOOD.

          • YES! I was having lunch with a friend who’s a professional musician yesterday and this is what we both said – it was just so BAD. Not offensive, just plain bad – conceptually, musically, everything. I kept waiting for it to be a joke.
            And – I hope that whoever’s handling her (producer, manager, probably some combination) gets fired. Because let’s be real – Miley-as-a-musician is a studio creation, and someone else likely came up with that concept, but at the very least signed off on it, and that person… should not have that job anymore.

    • Kate

      I found this article about the racial aspect of Miley’s performance really interesting. It focuses on the most uncomfortable part of the whole thing for me: when Miley slapped her back-up dancer’s behind. I can’t believe everyone is so scandalized by her being “too sexy” or “to vulgar” when the racial stuff was the only thing I found really appalling.


      • Kate

        Ahhh why isn’t the comment editor working?! That “to vulgar” in my original comment is killing me.

      • SarahRose

        Definitely agree. It’s not like a sexualized performance is anything new or odd, but I think it’s the racial aspect that is what’s worth being upset about. On the one hand, as some writers have said, there’s this aspect of Miley taking on what she thinks is “black culture” in order to be “sexy” — twerking, etc. — and then there is just the strange, strange role of her black backup dancers in the performance. Her only interaction with them is to slap one’s ass (again with the black women = sexual) but at the same time, they’re carrying those twisted teddy bear backpacks that make them look…foolish. Or at least definitely contrast with Miley in her “cute” sexy leotard.

        It definitely felt like she was using them for entertainment value (“Look at these funny black women with their big asses!”) or to heighten focus on Miley herself as this white, skinny, “sexual ideal” next to these black women bumbling along with their teddy bear backpacks.

        • Kate

          Totally. You wanna twerk? Great! (Though maybe practice a bit more first…her attempt looked like what I might be capable of, aka BAD.) I don’t buy the idea of “stealing” another culture’s dance moves. But man, those backup dancers and the way they were used felt like a really deliberate choice betraying a terrible mindset about black women and their bodies.

          • I finally just watched the VMA performance, after my little sister, a professional hip-hop dancer, posted an excerpt of the Solidarity is for Miley Cyrus clip and got attacked for it…as a Black woman, it really bothers me not because there is anything wrong with openly expressing sexuality but because there was something so incredibly forced and overt about it, the insulting use of Black female bodies, and because she is trying to channel her “grown-up” sexiness through a very sloppy, unresearched, superficial, and distasteful adoption of one super-thin slice of Black popular culture (twerking, which by the way she doesn’t even do correctly), calling it “blackness,” and using it to point to how cool and adult she now is. And then there’s this random age-inappropriate pairing with Robin Thicke, perhaps forced only because she was “playing Black” and his work is known to be authentically grounded in a Black soul music tradition.

            And she was off beat the whole time, by the way.

  • quinners

    My fiancee and I both have problems with anxiety, so I don’t know if this is an anxiety thing or a thing that most engaged couples experience, but: the closer we get to the wedding, the more we worry about one of us dying young and leaving the other behind. Did this happen/is this happening to anyone else? How did you handle it/how are you handling it?

    • I have slight anxiety issues and had similar issues and still occasionally imagine what would happen and how I would survive if my wife was killed in some kind of freak accident. Talk about it with your fiancee and try to work our your fears? One of the things I do when I realize that I am in the middle of one of these anxiety fests is say “Thank you, worst case scenario voice” to recognize that a) I’ve worked myself into a tizzy and b) this is the worst case scenario. Brene Brown has something about forboding joy in her latest book and she might be a good resource.

    • I thought it was just me that had these weird thoughts! We’ve been married 9 weeks now and I still think them. The way I’ve been handling it is acknowledging that the thoughts are irrational and getting in the way of me enjoying the present, but also utilizing those anxieties to make sure I’m living life to the fullest, and loving my husband to the fullest (and making sure he knows it).

    • I have some fairly moderate anxiety issues myself, and after going through a particularly rough patch in my life, I find myself doing this exact same thing. Now that I’m on the other side of emotional trauma, and am happy and excited again, I find myself constantly worrying that something will happen to one of us. I’d be curious to hear what others experience, too!

      • ALI

        I have moderate anxiety issues as well and have for years. I am getting married in 6 weeks and have been having these same thoughts. I typically just try to sit with the uncertainty that is life, acknowledge it, but not dwell in it. And remind myself that the uncertainty of the future is a reason to live and love as hard as possible now. That doesn’t always work, but it’s the goal. I’ve noticed that, at least for me, anxiety like this hits harder at happy moments. I guess the more to be happy / excited about, the greater the potential loss. Hang in there!

      • Yes! Once I’m happy, I’m terrified of losing it.

    • Yes! This happened to me like you would not believe. We each lost two grandparents in the year leading up to our wedding, so this was especially on my mind. I also have pretty bad anxiety, for what it’s worth.

      Personally, my anxiety gets worse when I try too hard to “look away” from what is causing me to be upset. So I just let myself be present with that fear and the sadness of realizing that, inevitably, one of us will have to leave the other behind. That *is* sad and, unlike the other things that I usually feel anxious about, it’s true. So I just let myself be present with that realization, but tried not to dwell. And it passed. It felt especially potent in the lead-up to the wedding, but now that we’re married (1 month) it doesn’t feel as strong.

      Hugs & congratulations.

    • Another Kate

      This absolutely happened/is happening to me. Unfortunately my husband is the most rational man in the world, and really just doesn’t understand my fears, so it’s hard to talk about with him. You’re so not alone, and I’ll be keeping my eye on this thread for any good tips. I’ve always been a worrier by nature, but after getting engaged the fear of him dying hit me really really hard.

    • april

      Haha … Last night I came home around 6 and figured (by the way the work clothes were strewn around the apartment) that my fiance had gone out for a run. 45 minutes later I was in my car, nearly in tears, driving around the neighborhood trying to find him. It was getting dark and starting to storm and I was 90% convinced that he was lost and/or run over on the side of the road (we just moved to a new town about a month ago and he’s gotten lost while running before). He was fine, of course, and literally running up the road towards our apartment.

      Sooo, no words of wisdom here. Just letting you know you’re not the only one with irrational death fears near the wedding :)

    • emma

      My husband travels a LOT for work so I’m often lying in bed alone thinking “I hope he makes it home” and then “or at least give us kids before he goes”. I struggled with enjoying the now and I think I’ve gotten a lot better.

      I read Jay Pausch’s, “Dream New Dreams” about her life while her husband, Randy Pausch (The Last Lecture) was passing, mourning it, and life post-partner death. I’d 100% recommend it if death is on the brain. While you and you’re partner have become a very comfortable unit the book reminded me that I am still ME and will be even if something should happen to my partner.

    • We’re almost four years married and I still worry about it sometimes. It helps when he walks me through our finances and tells me what I’d need to do to not lose the house should he die. It’s morbid, but it works.

      We’ve also tried to figure out what he’d do with our frozen embryos should I die before we get to them. That one we’re still working on.

    • Anonymous

      The longer we’re trying to get pregnant, the more I worry I’m going to die young. I just try and shake that biz off because at the end of the day, what a waste of energy to worry about something I have 0% control over.

    • meg

      I think it’s normal even if you don’t have anxiety. As my dad says, weddings are about death. It’s right up there in the vows. It’s totally normally and healthy to think and worry about it around your wedding. Of course, if your anxiety is making it worse, get treatment, but the idea itself is normal.

      And get life insurance ;)

      • catherine

        Wow, thank you for this. Feeling so freaking much of that ( I have pretty bad anxiety, and it has been heightened like crazy through this transition) and I hate feeling like I have to be so happy and blissed out right now….Um, sorry, marriage is bringing up the darkest parts in me! My deepest darkest fears, the inner workings on my brain and psyche, everythinggggggg!! I’m sad a lot of the time, crying over the fact that my dad will die one day,etc…just feeling numb. So I loved your comment, thanks, made me not feel so crazy or “silly” or irrational.

      • jashshea

        Life insurance and a will! No matter how few assets you have, GET A WILL.

        • And talk to your partner about funeral arrangements. My husband knows I want to be cremated.

    • Alison O

      I contemplate this from time to time and am not even engaged! It’s come more into focus since two of my grandparents and my partner’s mom died in the last couple years. They were all in long, happy marriages, and I imagine myself in the surviving spouse’s shoes.

      I think it’s good to acknowledge these feelings and talk about them. In my opinion, our culture’s relationship with death is warped with repressed anxiety, and it becomes especially problematic in the realm of geriatric health care, paradoxically compromising the quality of life we do have. (Hopefully it’s obvious that I’m not referring to the clinical anxiety others have discussed in this thread!) On a related note, I highly recommend this podcast: http://www.onbeing.org/program/contemplating-mortality/4653

      I also think about it pragmatically. If I’m going to have children with my partner, I want to fully imagine the possibility that I will raise them alone, or that he will, because there is no guarantee that either of us will be around for the expected amount of time. It is also a small part of why I am compelled to develop my own career, though I can see myself as a SAHM. And get life insurance. Some people probably think it’s crass to talk about such things; I think it’s healthy.

      But anyway, Tennyson said it best:
      I hold it true, whate’er befall;
      I feel it when I sorrow most;
      ‘Tis better to have loved and lost
      Than never to have loved at all.

    • MUSHU

      I am so, so glad to hear that others are going through this! I’m getting married next weekend (YAY!) and the last two months have been the opposite of what I thought they would be. Full of stress, and anxiety and crying. I have never had issues with anxiety before – in fact, most people would describe me as the “calmest person they know”.
      I had a few minor health issues, which I then blew out of proportion, which then caused more stress, and more symptoms (vicious cycle). I was convinced I had cancer and would be dead within a couple of months (irrational, I know). I had 2 first cousins pass away last month (aged 19 and 27), so that added onto my fears of dying young because of the symptoms I was experiencing.

      I’ve tried to explain to my family and future husband that it isn’t the wedding or the marriage that is adding to the stress level, it is just how much more *important* everything seems once you’re married. If I had had those same health issues and symptoms as a single person I don’t think I would have freaked out nearly as much. But now that I have a “person” who wants to spend the rest of our days together, I want those days to be as many as possible. And that just seems like a big responsibility!

      Luckily, the third doctor I saw (after a very thorough exam) put me on a temporary, mild anti-anxiety pill that has worked wonders! I’m finally feeling like myself again and am SO excited to marry my love next Saturday.
      Sorry for the super long comment but this just really hit home and I’m so glad to read that I’m not the only one dealing with this!

      • Sarah

        I had those feelings too. I think it has to do with the anxiety of knitting your life so closely together with someone else’s. Our spouses are intricately linked with us and it’s only natural to balance the joy of being that close to someone with the fear of what would happen if you lost them. It’s just a yin yang thing, I think.

    • Samantha

      After losing both my grandparents very suddenly this year, I was having major anxiety about losing other loved ones. Then Rachel had an amazing post about fear that really helped soothe my anxieties. http://apracticalwedding.com/2013/04/love-and-fear-of-loss/
      I thought it was so inspiring!

    • C

      I’ve been feeling super anxious generally the closer I get to my wedding too! 43 days! My fiance deals with anxiety and panic attacks and doesn’t react well to stress, so I’m super scared that he’s going to leave me at the alter on our wedding day. And i’ve been very emotional for the past couple of weeks. Stressing out!

    • Dude leading up to our wedding I was so paranoid about one of us dying. It seemed like it would just be so literary-tragic if we didn’t quite get to be married, to make that commitment to each other, because one of us died. Like by that point I wanted to get the chance to be his wife before I died?

      Sorry that was totally morbid.

  • JC

    As of right now, I’ve been married for about thirty hours. Our big wedding with all the people and food and whatnot is still a little over two weeks out, and there are still a million things that need to get done, but I’m already feeling SO much better about everything now that I know that the part that’s most important to me–being married to my husband–has already happened. Getting preemptively married wasn’t our original plan, but it turned out to be absolutely the right decision. :)

    Casualties of our wedding-night festivities include a wine glass (totally broken) and a standing fan (only kind of broken). They will be mourned (but not too much).

    • Catherine McK

      Happy marriage! And I’m sure I’m not the only curious one…

      • JC


        Haha, the broken stuff really isn’t that great of a story–it can just be attributed to drunken clumsiness (and in the case of the fan, ill-advised placement near the foot of the bed). I am pretty proud that we spent a chunk of the night tipsily acting out two-person scenes from Shakespeare in our living room, though.

    • Samantha

      I’ve been having a lot of second thoughts about my wedding-NOT the marriage. I’m getting all anxious thinking about professing my undying love to my fiance’ in front of a group as if it’s a performance. I will likely be bawling through it, and I’m just so worried that I’ll be so preoccupied by the fact that so many eyes are on us that I won’t truly be in the moment. SOO I thought, what if we went to the courthouse and got married a week before the wedding (like I wanted to do, but fiance’ wanted a wedding)- then I could have my private just us intimate ceremony and a week later have one again with the family/friends to celebrate with. Fiance’ likes this idea. I’m curious about your situation. You say it was a good idea even though you hadn’t originally planned it this way- so you would you recommend it for others (like me)? Did/do your family and friends know you are legally married before the wedding? How have they reacted- if you don’t mind sharing, I’d love to hear some insight!

      • JC

        In addition to general stress relief, one of the big reasons I’m so happy we did this is that, like you said, the sort of performative aspect of the wedding is really nerve-racking, and I didn’t want to get all freaked out and lose sight of what the wedding was really all about. Plus, I personally feel like the ‘undying love’ bit of my marriage should be a private thing just for the two of us, you know? I admire people who can write gorgeous, meaningful vows and whatnot–it’s just not right for me.

        As of right now, the only people who know are us, the folks at the town hall, the woman who’s officiating the public wedding, and one coworker who did a similar thing. And you guys, of course! I figure we’ll maybe tell a couple of people before the wedding and then tell our parents after the fact. I don’t think they’ll take it badly or anything, but I figure springing the news on them in the crazy weeks leading up to the wedding might not be the best idea. I can totally report back after I tell them, if that’ll be helpful for you and anyone else who’s considering going the town hall/courthouse route!

        I’m hesitant to recommend this course to EVERYONE, just because everyone’s family/relationship/situation is different. In my case, our immediate families are accustomed to unusual weddings–my mom’s second wedding took place at her fortieth birthday party and was a surprise to everyone but like five of us, for instance–and we don’t have any particular religious or cultural traditions to take into consideration. My husband and I are also pretty private people (when not anonymously oversharing on the internet), so this option makes the most sense for us. From what you said, it sounds like you’re having a lot of the same worries as I did, so it could definitely be a good option! (But as always, YMMV.)

        • Samantha

          Thanks for sharing more details of your decision. I would love to hear your report back after you tell the family.

    • MJ

      I am in this same position — married a good 5.5 months now and the wedding is in .5 months and I LOVE IT. We are used to being married and it’s a secret to all but our families and that part is kind of fun too. We didn’t really have a choice (immigration issues) and at first it was a bummer, but I think it has been so good for us. We’re both still antsy/nervous about getting up in front of all of our family and friends, but it’s a different kind of nerves. I actually highly recommend doing it this way!

      • JC

        Congrats on the marriage and on the upcoming celebration! Yeah, the secret part is really fun–though the part of me that’s itching to change my Facebook relationship status sure doesn’t think so, haha.

    • Laura C

      Jealous! My dream was to have a private marriage ceremony a year to the day before our big wedding. That didn’t happen. But maybe I should think about doing it a month or two before. My fiance is the type of person who’s always looking for an excuse to break out the champagne and celebrate something, so I can make the case to him that it’ll give us two chances a year to celebrate. Me, I just feel like I’d be calmer about all the compromises associated with the wedding — led by the fact that we’ll be getting married in front of a whole lot of people I’ve never met — if we were already married.

    • ART

      Glad to hear it has been a good experience. We are thinking of doing it a few months in advance for health insurance purposes (I mean it’s like half the price at work vs. the exchange) but keeping mum. We are both unsure about how it will make us feel about the Wedding, but as I told him the other night, I wish we were just married already (instead of waiting till next summer)!


        We got married on June 21 of this year and will have the big wedding celebration on June 21 next year. It’s not for everyone, but it was definitely right for us. Took the pressure off. Planning this big party for 200 people is much easier knowing if it’s not perfect, it’s ok. We’re already married. It’s also helped with health insurance for us! It was kind of perfect. We had a small courthouse ceremony in the city where I grew up and we’ll have a huge country party where he grew up. Best of both worlds!

  • Margi

    HUGE shout out to Elizabeth from Lowe House Events who saved the day! The wedding I’m in (next Saturday) in San Francisco had a huge mix up with the hair & makeup artist. I emailed Elizabeth for recommendations and a few hours later she emailed back with a list. Crisis averted. I heart the APW community!

    • aw, so happy to help, and glad it worked out – a last minute vendor scramble is always stressful!

  • Just a big ole love note to APW for being awesome. I am not a girly girl and me 3 years ago would have probably lied before admitting I was reading a wedding blog. Now, I think I tell someone about APW at least once a week and feel no shame whatsoever because it is, without a doubt, the most interesting and successful online business model I’ve come across in my career in digital marketing and the most passionate, practical and poignant collection of writing and humans I’ve seen. I do not make recommendations lightly and I talk about this on a regular basis, even though “a wedding blog” is the last thing most people would expect me to be sharing with them. Rock the eff on.

    • Here, here!

    • meg


  • Amy March

    Suggested addition to news round up: IRS will recognize legally married gay couples no matter what state they currently reside in. So if you’re legally married in MA, living in TX, your federal return can be married: filing jointly this year, and retroactive fir a certain number of years, potentially entitling you to a refund.

  • Kerry

    Shout out to my friend, Amber, (met here on an APW happy hour thread!) who is getting married on Saturday! Congrats, Amber!

  • I would really like life to stop being a rollercoaster for a little while so I can actually do my laundry and cook the nutritious vegetables I purchase with my CSA. But I officially started my grad school program this week and my friend Melissa (or Melissa of Craftgasm as she sometimes comments here) is opening her own store space in DC this weekend! Shout out for significant achievements!

    • Emily


    • meg

      Melissa! Send us a link or something!!

      And that’s why we stopped doing CSA ;)

  • Beth

    I got married at the end of May and I’m finally getting around to Thank You notes. As much as it is a pain in the ass to hand write Thank yous (I’ve already screwed up 10 of them!) – it’s been an amazing week of thinking about the wedding and all of the wonderful people who were able to celebrate with us, either in person, or in spirit. I was dreading writing all of these notes, but I’m actually really enjoying it and making sure to put some real love into each message. It makes it less a labor and more a labor of love and a trip down memory lane. And I’m so excited I get to use those cute seed packet stamps, since they didn’t come out soon enough to use for our invites! :)

    • Ooh, I love the seed packet stamps! Of course, I’m also a total mail nerd, but I’m still obsessed with them. :) I used them for all my bridal shower thank-yous. Reflecting on the shower and all the wonderful women in my life was a humbling experience, so I can only imagine how I’ll feel after the wedding!

      • Rebecca

        So many good stamps this year! We used the cherry blossom ones for invites (using one side for my side of the family and the other side for his because I am silly like that), but I got a big stack of the american scientist ones because: awesome, and the seed packet ones because: so pretty.


        Another stamp nerd here! I spent three hours on the USPS site picking out stamps for our wedding invitations. I got American Scientists, Cherry Blossoms, the Emancipation Proclamation, O. Henry, Gregory Peck, and the Miles Davis/Edith Piaf pack. There are also Johnny Cash and the Civil War stamps right now, and they are fantastic.

    • I’m in love with the stamps too! I might have to really stock up on those ones. They’re just so happy.

    • We used the Garden of Love stamps on our invites, and they made me absurdly gleeful. The USPS sells a print of them, actually, and I always toy with buying it to hang in my office.

    • Amanda

      I just bought 120 of the seed packet stamps for our save the dates!! I’m glad others share my excitement over how freakin’ adorable they are, because my fiance just doesn’t get it.

    • a stamp conversation! we went with the kaleidoscopes, love them!!!

      • H

        Ooo… we used the stamps that look like an envelope with a little red heart seal. So great. :)

        • I just went and bought a bunch of those. We used the wedding flowers for our invitations/reply cards and for some of the TY notes.
          I ran out of the wedding flowers mid-TY-notes and went to buy more. Then I saw a far-away picture of the “sealed with love” ones from like 10 people back in line and decided: if those are regular letter stamps, I’m buying them!

  • Alison O

    I was hoping you’d include the NY Times piece. I thought it was hilarious. Strikes that sweet spot between deeply disturbing and profoundly silly. That said, holding a 60-year grudge is straight-up sad. The Reader Picks comments section is not to be missed, especially the one about how this reads like the Onion.

    Like the Miley performance, I found the article so…out there…that I began to wonder if there weren’t more self-awareness, irony, and subversiveness in the mix than meets the eye. But, probably not, this is just our culture. Yeeeeaaaahhhhh, it’s a party in the U.S.A.

    Also: Glad Rachel contributed the Jezebel post. I found the racial aspect of the performance a lot more problematic than the sexual.

    • June

      I also found the NY Times article on the lack-of-gift grudges to be hilarious! As I read it, I just chuckled to myself and wondered, “what would APW say about this?” Glad to see you all mentioned it.

      Also I just accidentally reported Alison O’s comment when I was trying to click “exactly!” So sorry!

  • Marie

    That no-gift-given article was mind-boggling. Maybe it’s because I can barely remember all of my fiance’s aunts, but I don’t know where the latest shower presents are, much less who gave them. (I keep a spreadsheet, and crank out Thank You notes, but the instant the note is in the mail, it’s out of my brain.)

    It seemed like the people in the article are also aware of every possible faux pas, and would never initiate forgiveness. That said, my grandmother DEFINITELY falls into this category. She can rattle off every wedding gift in her home, and whether it was worth less than the gift she gave to the gift-giver.

    I think it’s a personality thing, not a wedding thing.

    • I was pretty flabbergasted by that story, too. I’ve personally felt uncomfortable with the whole gift thing to begin with, and only registered for presents with my fiance at the insistence of our families . . . I cannot even begin to imagine a scenario in which I would actually confront an attendee about their lack of gift after an event. I would feel mega, unspeakably uncomfortable.

    • “I think it’s a personality thing, not a wedding thing.”

      Totally agree. Although I’d be horrified if I went to a wedding and forgot to give a gift, I’m not stressing about people who came to our wedding and didn’t give us anything. We invited them because we wanted to share the day with them, not because we wanted a gift. But I can totally see how some people see the gift as a symbol of love and respect. They don’t necessarily want a thing, they want acknowledgment of appreciation for being included in a special day.

      • KC

        I never knew who didn’t give a gift. But gifts really don’t say much to me.

        I do have friends where gifts are like hugs to them.

        But still, why get resentful that someone else interacts with special events differently than you do? (I couldn’t believe that it was only “most experts” that say it’s healthier not to hold permanent gift-lack grudges!)

        It’d be *convenient* if we all spoke exactly the same language and were on the same page all the time, but… I like my people, even though we don’t, and I make an effort to appreciate the ways they show affection and make an effort to express it in a way they can “hear”, and figure that the rest of the time is where grace comes in?

    • Jesselyn

      I agree. I can remember who gave me what. “These tumblers were from Paul!” but I can’t remember who didn’t give me anything. I don’t have enough emotional head room for that nonsense.

      • meg

        I still have a card saved from a friend that only gave me a card. It was the BEST card, y’all. Fuck toasters.

        • I have a friend who only gave a card too and it was an awesome card – in fact it was the only one that made it to the fridge and it is still there two years later.

        • Rachel

          I first read this as a friend giving you a card that said “Fuck toasters.”

          Also wasn’t your toaster the best gift you got?! (I remember this because I feel like I’d pay a TIDY sum for a really good toaster, if only I could find one.)

          • KC

            That would be a fantastic card.

    • del678

      The only part of this article I related to was the lady who said that no gifts didn’t bother her but no card did (if I remember correctly). I don’t expect my best friends to give gifts. But I have to admit I was a little hurt that they didn’t give us a card at the engagement (or even scribble on a bit of paper because cards are overpriced) wishing us well, and I’m predicting the same at the wedding.

      • rys

        I’ve always given gifts for weddings, but I’ve never sent a card for an engagement. I’ve sent emails and said congratulations, but it never occurred to me to send a card upon engagement. I don’t know if that’s more reflective of me or the broader culture, but birthdays, weddings, and funerals (condolences) are pretty much my standards for cards.

    • jashshea

      Same – I had a single mega-spreadsheet for the wedding, but I didn’t map the “invited” tab to the “gifts” tab. I’m sure some people didn’t give a gift, but fo’ real? That just meant I didn’t have to send a TY note. I actually felt worse about the people who couldn’t join, but sent gifts – made me feel like they felt obligated to send something.

    • Tamar

      Holy cow did this article stress me out! The way I see it, my fiance and I are in our mid-twenties, and we’re obsessive vintage market/thrift store shoppers, so we’ve got a kick-a** household already set up. We’re going to set up a registry because I understand the need to give a gift to show affection (I’m a gift giver). If we get few or zero gifts, that’s fine by me.

      The people we love will be there if they can. They’ve already given our relationship support and care in a million different ways, so I’m not hinging their approval and love on this one day.

      You’re probably totally right about this being a personality thing. I’ve never been super comfortable with receiving gifts as it is (even though I love to give them). I do, however, need to be told that I’m loved and and to be hugged all the time, and I’ve been blessed with family and friends that are flamboyant about showing their affection in a way that speaks to me.

    • I didn’t even click on it to read it b/c I don’t want to encourage NYT to write stories like this. NYT often writes stories about weddings, like “Brides now make bridesmaids do botox before the wedding! This is a thing!” I try to not to click on the articles.

    • I also read an article recently – Slate maybe? – that advocated that we stop giving wedding gifts period and switch to college graduation gifts. It makes sense to me, considering that we used to give newly married early-20 year olds gifts to help them get a start in life. But more and more people are already established when they get married and don’t need help getting a start. But guess who does, the college graduate. It also ameliorates the unfairness if someone never gets married – they’ll get their share as well.

      • KC

        I think this makes *so* much sense. (and could include gift certificates for “interview clothes”!) I mean, not everyone’s life follows the same track (not everyone goes to college, for instance), and people are often in Roommate A has the toaster, Roommate B has the microwave, Roommate C has the TV sort of situations for a while after college. But it’s at least closer to fair, and less ridiculous than getting couples a third set of things they already have two of due to combining their separate households.

  • lady brett

    oh! you got my hopes up! alas, it is not friday, and i do have to go to work tomorrow.

    however, i do have a long weekend. i intend to make progress on the “get this shit out of our house!” project. and other acts of simplifying, which are all complex to get rolling.

    • lady brett

      also, whoa. against my better judgement, i went and read that ny times article. in direct relation to the above, how can people possibly be so attached to stuff? i mean, clearly that’s a thing that is thoroughly supported by vast swaths of our culture: stuff is more important than people. it gives me the absolute willies to read, but the timing is nice – it makes me want to yell “less stuff, more fun!” and throw shit out.

      • M.

        My fiance and I make a concerted effort to shop/plan with the mantra, “experiences, not things” (or “people, not things”), which is essentially the same as “less stuff, more fun!” — that means, rock climbing lessons, camping trips, concert tickets, etc. instead of material gifts for special occasions, or spending date nights in educating each other on our favorite movies (two film majors with very different tastes, the horror!) instead of going out for drinks. We aren’t at 100% this all the time but it is so helpful as a mental framework and feels sooo gooood.

        • One of the best gifts we got at our wedding was scuba diving lessons. It was something we’d never have bought for ourselves, and it was a new experience we could participate in together. We also treasure the few physical gifts we received, but we LOVED the idea of an experience that allowed us to try something new together.

      • SamanthaNichole

        I know I know I know! We didn’t even want to register for stuff but our families really wanted us too. Then we got a bunch of stuff not on our list at the shower and now we are like… all this stuff we didn’t even want or need . . .

        • M.

          It’s hard to donate stuff like that too, especially when it’s new! Why, Stuff? Why?

        • That’s totally an awkward situation. May I kindly suggest your local women’s shelter or domestic violence prevention organization as a place to donate? Household goods are definitely appreciated there.

      • See, for me and hubby, a lot of our ‘experience’ spending is cooking awesome things, often for other people, so we really appreciate all the cool kitchen stuff that people got us. Especially when it was unexpected, like my grad school friends getting us our awesome knife set despite not being able to attend the wedding.

        And I was definitely more disappointed by our last minute cancels than the people who didn’t get us stuff.

    • Jen

      Same here re: hopes up! It’s been feeling very Friday around my office, it’s confusing me. And when I saw “APW Happy Hour” it really threw me for a loop! Sad, one more day til the weekend :( Best of luck on the get-shit-out project, that’s on my long weekend agenda as well.

  • That taxi idea in India is a business I would invest in. Those attacks turn my stomach something fierce.

    We’ve looked at the furlough we’ve had this week as a great opportunity to have daddy/baby bonding and it’s been great.

    Yea for dance party music!

  • Another Kate

    I figured there would be some snark on that NYT no gift piece, but I’m gonna just put it out there that I agreed with quite a bit of it. I don’t think I’m generally petty, but I do know exactly who didn’t get us wedding gifts, and I am finding it hold not to hold a grudge, particularly against one couple. This couple got married back in 2006, when we had all just graduated college. Despite having very little money (again, post college), I went to her shower, brought a gift. We then went to the wedding, gave a gift. Fast forward several years, they get pregnant. I went to the baby shower, brought a gift. We went to the Baptism, gave another monetary gift. 1st birthday party for the kid, same thing. She did not even RSVP to my shower and had to be called by my MOH to see if she was coming (she wasn’t), and she didn’t send a gift. They both came to our wedding earlier this year and did not give a gift. They are both employed. It’s just hard not to feel taken advantage of, you know? When you’re cheap, and a bad friend, of course I’m going to judge you and be bitter about it. Especially when 95% of the other people at the wedding were so incredibly generous with their gifts.

    • I can definitely appreciate where you’re coming from, and I would feel exactly the same in that scenario! I think it’s a respect thing. It’s just important to feel acknowledged. If they truly lacked the funds or there was some sort of snafu (they ordered something that didn’t arrive in time, etc.), a card would explain and/or smooth over hurt feelings. But that sounds like simply miserly behavior.

    • I find the perspective you describe to be a bit transactional, and that may be because of differing perspectives on the “why” of getting gifts. This is also why I really don’t like buying from registries, too- it feels more like a transaction to me, even though the logic behind it is entirely solid.

      I get bitter over bad friends, too, no doubt. But if the measure of the friendship is commercial goods exchanged, it probably wasn’t a great relationship to start with. I can certainly understand the gift exchanges being symptomatic of larger, time/energy inequalities in the friendship, too (the RSVP thing definitely would have irked me). If the friend has been distant in other aspects of the relationship, maybe this is just the final sign that it’s time to let the friendship go.

    • Ella

      Crap! Did not mean to report you. My bad!!!

      I mean to comment: I totally agree with what you’re saying, and your feelings about your scenario in general. Also, I’m sure it’s not about how much money you’ve invested and how much you expected — even a small gift or a card would have meant a lot. But bringing nothing (not even a card) after years of knowing each other and supporting each other? That’s some friend bullshit right there.

    • TeaforTwo

      Bad friends are no good, definitely, but for me, gifts don’t make or break a friendship.

      I’m not great at gifts – I often leave shopping to the last minute, or forget entirely, or just have no idea what to give. (And I will even quietly admit that I went to one out of town wedding several years ago and forgot to give a gift. I ran out time before the wedding, and then it just… kind of slipped and I am still mortified every time I think about it.)

      I don’t think that makes me a bad friend. At the wedding where I flaked out on the gift (cringe!) I did sit with the bride outside the reception while she had a big cry, and did my best to keep crazy away from her all day. I’m bad at giving gifts, but I’m great at helping people move, and feeding them, and lending them cash when they are stuck and being sweet to their mothers and lots of other things that are also important in a friendship.

      I think the 5 Love Languages idea applies to friendship just as much as to romantic relationships. And the folks who are great at giving gifts may not be as great at words of affirmation, or bear hugs, or other important parts of being a friend. People just show love differently. (Although I will never not gift at a wedding again – I am still so, so embarrassed about the whole thing.)

    • meg

      I think that’s more someone being a bad friend. Judging and being bitter just hurts you though. Just stop inviting her to stuff. I don’t think not giving a gift makes you a bad friend, but the other stuff does.

      • KC

        I agree on this, and also note that she may not have thought of the gifts you were giving her and her family as IOUs piling up, since some people just don’t click with gifts that way. If she demanded presents and then didn’t give you anything (and I would note that usually showers are more social-based than who-do-I-want-a-present-from-based), that’s bad.

        I guess: flaking in one way, in a dimension that you’re particularly good at and sensitive to: hard to deal with, but we all have areas of lower competence in life, and gifts may be one of hers. Flakiness in all dimensions without extenuating circumstances, bitterness building up: friendship can hereby be mentally downgraded to acquaintance-ship and you can drop those expectations from her and from yourself from here on out?

  • Anon for this

    I’m one of the people who totally believes that your wedding is not a show. That being said I play piano, and have played for multiple family members weddings. Our venue doesn’t have a piano so I can’t ask a friend to play ours. Is it to much of a show to record an unplugged version of our favourite song to walk down the aisle to? My sister in law is a sound engineer so the quality would be good.

    • I don’t think that’s overly showy at all! It’s personal and special. I say go for it.

    • I think that would be a lovely idea.

    • meg

      Obviously do it!

      And while I wrote that piece about your wedding not being a show, I didn’t mean that there were not showy aspects of our wedding (which I loved, attention yay! ;) but that the real meaning is way deeper.

      • Anon for this

        Thanks ladies for the reassurance! It will mean so much more to me (even if it doesn’t to anyone else).

        • There were a lot of things we did at our wedding that we did solely because they would mean something to us. That’s reason enough.

          And on the other hand, if it doesn’t mean anything to you then you probably shouldn’t do it (unless it might mean something to grandma or a similarly important person, then it’s at least worth considering).

    • I know someone who did this. It was amazing. Go for it :)

    • Michelle

      Can I just … as the only female sound engineer I know … high five your sister-in-law?

  • KW

    Last Saturday, I attended the absolute best wedding ever. The bride and groom are both Indian and Hindu, and it was my first time ever attending a non-Christian religious wedding. Instead of one ceremony, it was a series of ceremonies across a couple hours in the temple, many involving family and close friends. We got to participate in the barat, which is where friends and family dance and escort the groom on his horse to greet the bride’s family at the temple. The groom is one of my dearest friends (we actually dated for a short time nearly 10 yrs ago) and his new wife has brought more joy to his life than I have ever known him to have. There were hundreds of people there, and after a midday break for the guests, a reception where people danced the night away, mostly to Bollywood style music. I learned how to dance (badly) a traditional dance with sticks.

    His wedding was nearly the exact opposite of mine (secular, outdoors, 9 total people including the officiant and us). Perfect for us, just as theirs was perfect for them. I don’t regret not having the huge wedding at all, but I really had a chance to see what APW is always saying about the love and everyone being there to support the bride and groom. I felt it in my small wedding of course, but it was particularly noticeable at this wedding too. It’s made me happy all week. :)

    I had a difficult and mostly non-existent dating history before getting together with my husband, so weddings were always mostly good but a bit emotional for me in prior years. It is so much better attending weddings now when I can experience the fun to its fullest extent.

  • Anonymous

    The gift giving article is a little cray cray if you ask me. While privately I’ve mentioned to maybe 3 people (including my husband) that I find it odd his parents and only siblings families didn’t give gifts (which is fine as they contributed in other ways) they also didn’t give a card. The thing I’m most struck by is that I personally would be too embarrassed and ashamed to not give a gift/card for my sibling/child’s wedding. Maybe that says more about me than it does them. Because I wholeheartedly believe in the idea of gifts as lovely surprises and never being owed one, I would NEVER mention to my in-laws that I noticed they didn’t give a gift. In my mind, appropriate etiquette means YOU’RE the classier person when it comes to stuff like this and you suck it up. But 10+ months out, I’m not sure I’ll ever forget his own family didn’t give us anything for our wedding.

    • Amy March

      Not sure if this perspective will help, but it would never occur to me to expect a card from my parents or sister. In our family, that would be majorly odd and very impersonal. Like, we birthed you, you really need a card to know we care? I completely get the alternate viewpoint (cards are love! And caring! And special!) but part of getting married is adjusting to a family that does all the things differently.

    • Plus, to jump off what Amy said, if they don’t value “stuff” off your registry or generic homegoods, they may have seen the other ways they contributed, as you mentioned, as far more personal and more highly valued.

    • Anonymous Coward

      We didn’t get a card or gift from anyone on my wife’s side of the bridal party or her family. I thought it was odd, but I don’t hold a grudge about it! (And if I did, I wouldn’t say so in the newspaper with my name attached for everyone to see. Goodness.) I was more put out by the lack of RSVPs, but that applied to the whole guestlist. Her people made a financial effort to attend by traveling from elsewhere in the state, and they showed up and stood up, which was the point of their participation in the wedding. Additionally, the maid of honor hosted a bachelorette barbecue for my wife, and covered her travel costs, so I certainly don’t think that the lack of a specific wedding gift speaks against their friendship.

    • we got some wonderful gifts from wonderful friends and family. but for the most part, our best *gifts* were from folks who couldn’t bear to support us any other way. i guess that’s a side effect of being queer – we got gifts from all but one of our extended families who (pointedly) did not come to the wedding. which emphasizes to me the idea of gifts as “buying love/relationship.”

      and our close, important people? they don’t need to buy their importance to us. some of them gave us lovely gifts, also. most of them gave us their lovely selves. and some of them gave us their lovely selves and help paying for or preparing for the wedding – or all of the above.

    • Anonymous

      You all make great points and I’d like to choose to believe any of them. But, because they’ve always given gifts and cards for every occasion, got a gift and card for my shower from both mother-in-law and sister-in-law (who threw the shower and did other things for the wedding so no gift was no problem to me) the absence of a card was strange. We found out after the wedding that they were very angry with us and we had months of fighting right after the wedding which damaged my view of them. So I’ve always assumed it was purposeful. I guess writing that out, it shows me that I tie the no gift/no card from his parents to all those months of hurt and anger surrounding the wedding.

    • Gina

      I agree with some of the other commenters–it could be just a different family dynamic than you’re used to. I would be utterly shocked if any one of my four siblings or my parents gave us a gift for our wedding. And it’s not that we aren’t gift-givers–Christmas and birthdays are huge events that necessitate presents and phone calls, no matter where we are in the country. It’s just that my immediate family has contributed SO much to my wedding already, in terms of time and love and money, that a gift would feel so impersonal at this point.

      On the other hand, his parents bought us a KitchenAid because they wanted to contribute a “big gift.” And they really haven’t been involved other than that. So I guess it totally depends on the family!

  • Aubry

    Curses, I still have to work tomorrow! But, ballroom class afterwards, so all is well:) We have been loving the ballroom classes so much! Just started on choreography for the first dance last night. It is a chance to be physical and have fun together, and that has been vital in the recent stressful times. And he absolutely loves leading! And it is good for me to learn how to let him lead too! I totally recomend taking clases to anyone, and not just cause I’m a dancer!

    That article about gifts is really something. I couldn’t even get through it. I agree with some commenters above that it is probably a personality thing, rather than a wedding thing. I always remeber what people give me, and cherish each thing, but would never remember who didnt’t give me what item or how much things cost. I am a young person living in a big city, if my friends can even make it out to an event I am grateful!

    On wedding news I am just under 11 months out now. Yay! Most of the crafts I wanted to get done or mostly done are well underway! More work this weekend! 250 hearts on sticks for an aisle liner. I have to do a trial run and see how many I need before I go too crazy there. And also figure out what end of the yard I am getting married on! Of 120 “yay” flags I have all of them glued (assembled) and 60 painted both sides with 20 more with one side done. Those are taking WAY longer than anticipated. I could make it easier on myself and do a few different fonts, but no, I decided they all need to be different. I swear there was logic there somewhere! Guestbook thumprint situation will hopefully be started on this weekend too. I need someone with a camera and some time at work (when I’m not actually at work) to use the photoshop and indesign I don’t have at home.

    Hit a blip on my glosite, as paypal is taking forever to pay for things and I am locked out still. Silly paypal. I wanted to get a good chunk of email addresses in there this weekend, so hopefully sorted by tomorrow?!

    • MK

      Did I read this right? You’re getting married in 11 months and you have all that started/done already?! I’m about 10 months out and all I’ve made are 5 paper flowers!

      • Aubry

        Yes, I am a bit of a keener I suppose! But, my schedule is CRAZY in may and june (2 big work events -dance shows- with hundreds of people involved, not to mention year end crunch, competitions etc) so I basically will not be able to get anything done at all those 2 months. And also write off september for work crazy as well, so that leaves 8 months of which 1 is the month of my actual wedding and if things aren’t done by then they are probably not getting done. Also I work regular person hours during the summer and that leaves me SO much free time, as I dance ~10 hours per week during the sept-june dance year.

        TL:DR I’m a busy person usually and I set amounts I wanted done by September, knowing it might not get done at all otherwise.

        • MK

          I’m just so impressed! (and sort of feeling like maybe I need to be churning out more paper flowers…)

          • Daisy6564

            If it makes you feel better, I’m getting married in 9 months and I haven’t even figured out what I want for decor or what, if anything, I will be making.

    • Seconded on taking dance classes! (says the burgeoning ballroom instructor, here)

      I could gush about how much fun it is as an activity in general, but in terms of relationships, dancing is often a brand new activity that you get to learn together, so you see different facets of each other and maybe even see some of that new-thing shyness of yore in your partner? Plus, getting your body moving with a partner floods your brain with way more fuzzy feel-goods than Netflix marathons.

      And to let you in on a secret: no matter if you take classes geared toward a first dance scenario or not, it really does NOT matter how good you are, as long as you are learning and having fun. There’s no “Must be THIS advanced to be on dance floor” at your wedding or at any social dance event.

    • LikelyLaura

      We loved our dance lessons, too! We keep saying we’re going to take more, but various things keep getting in the way.

    • M.

      If you haven’t already, def contact Glo about any problems you’re having. I had a problem with PayPal for a specific design (I purchased it but then wasn’t able to use it, even though it had shown up on my card – we’re talking within a minute or two of purchase), so I emailed Glo right away to ask if I forgot a step or something. Turns out there was a blip with the site and Taryn emailed me back within MINUTES and fixed the problem with her tech team in about a half hour. BONKERS AMAZING customer service. So, it may not be 100% paypal and maybe you can get it fixed in time to work on it this weekend! Yay Glo!

      • meg

        Yes, email Taryn about Glo issues. Do you know she was answering customer service emails in her hospital bed after giving birth? YES. She was.

        I would mock her lightly, but I found business emails that I sent from my hospital bed, high as an effing kite, on post surgery meds.

        • ;-) as if I was going to get any sleep!
          I am too afraid to go back and read what I (aka the pain meds) wrote to everyone…

      • Aubry

        I did! And she fixed it! Thanks glo :)
        Just a delayed onset of the paypal, as i was paying through a bank account and it took time to clear.

    • We are starting a beginning waltz class in October. I’m looking forward to it, though it did lead to an internal eyeroll on my part.

      I mentioned to fiance that I wanted to take this class. Let that percolate (he is a better dancer and knows more ballroom than I, but is majorly anxious about it) and then mentioned it again. “I know you aren’t excited by this, but I’d really love to do this, especially since our first dance will be a waltz. I can’t take the class very well without you.” So he agreed.

      Then I waited for a while before registering, mostly for budget reasons, but also because I wanted to give him a chance to back out. A few days before registering, I mentioned that I still hadn’t done so, and why. He was like. “go ahead an register.” Thus, when I got to a new budget month and was financially clear to pay for it, I did.

      Mentioned it to him that night. “What are the dates?” I told him. I’d double checked before that it didn’t conflict with anything and…turns out he wants to be out of town for the first class. The thing he has out of town is the weekend before, but he wants to stay for the next weekend, too. You couldn’t have mentioned this *before* I signed up? Or asked about the dates when you were telling me to register last week.

      Anyway, I told him to go ahead and stay the extra weekend. I’ll get a friend to come with for the first class. This is a thing I know: no matter how often you double and triple check dates with him, fiance will never, ever remember what his schedule looks like. Ever. C’est la vie.

      • Re-reading, that sounded awfully frustrated. I’m really ok about it, it was just a reminder to me that we love our mates with all their quirks and flaws.

      • You’ll also be just fine in class yourself for the first week. Depending on how the studio runs classes, you may be switching partners during lessons anyway. And as my boss says, your partner can’t help you learn the right steps. You have to do that. If he already has some ballroom experience, I’m sure he’ll catch up quickly!

        • It’s a mini-course through the student union, and they recommend that you come with a partner. If I can find one, I will.

  • MK

    The thing in the NYT article that most struck me was that very few people, apparently, actually contribute to a charity registry. Is that true?

    I wanted to do a charity registry (for Heifer International or Water.org, I think), and my mom felt it was very important to do a “regular” registry (and in fact thinks a charity registry is stupid), so I figured I’d just do both …but if no one will contribute…maybe it’s not worth it?


    • lady brett

      i want to say that maybe that depends on your “crowd”. i have a friend who did a charity registry with great success, but that’s someone who has wide connections in the nonprofit field. the other thing that might make a difference is they sent out a full multi-paragraph insert in the invitation explaining the how and why of the charity donation, which could help people grasp its’ importance?

      also, yeah, i find that statistic kind of sad (as someone who hates “compulsory giving” – the idea of gifting intangibles is pretty lovely to me).

    • meg

      I think that’s often true? But not because they are charity registries. I think registries that involve cash are often lightly used. People just wanna give you a nice wrapped up present. (Often.)

      • Amy March

        And people who want to give cash will often just do that, without a registry. Even if I know you really want a charitable donation, I’m writing you a check. You can always donate it, but I hate getting my name on all those lists.

      • Giving gifts is my love language. I WANT to wrap something prettily that I spent time picking out. If someone insists on something else, I may do it, but it will make me feel sad that I didn’t get to show love the way I like best. IT’S ALL ABOUT MEEEEEE. ;). But in all seriousness, gift giving I not simply transactional, and does often invove real thought and *genuine enjoyment* for the giver.

    • KC

      I’d be curious about where those numbers come from, since we donate anonymously wherever possible (do I want charities I like spending loads of cash on advertising to me? NO! do I want more junk mail? NO! can I easily find them on the internet when I want to donate? YES!)(Also, for ethical reasons.), but that means that our “number” wouldn’t be included in the wedding total.

      That said, a lot of people probably go “oh. the couple doesn’t need/want anything? okay, I guess.” and don’t give, since you generally have a closer emotional connection to the couple than to a random charity.

    • KimBee

      I had a friend who choose 3 charities that they wanted to donate to. Instead of doing a registry, they committed a sum of their own money and asked guests to “vote” (using poker chips in glass jars) on where that money went. Lots of people ended up throwing in a few dollars as well. I thought it was a really lovely idea if you have the money to do it.

      • MK

        Thanks, that’s a nice idea. No idea if we’ll have any money left at the end, but I really liked the idea of helping people with my wedding.

  • Laura

    Wow, sometimes a magic happy hour appears right when you need one.

    I just got off the phone with my dad, who told me that my aunt’s inflammatory breast cancer came back (she was originally diagnosed two years ago and went through aggressive treatment). It has spread to lymph nodes around her liver, stomach, lungs, and neck.

    She’s 46 years old and has only one or two years to live. This lady is my dad’s baby sister, the glue that holds my family together.

    • Catherine McK

      Well, shit. My hatred for cancer knows no bounds, particularly nasty spready cancer. So many hugs to you and your family as you navigate these terrible waters.

    • Oh, Laura, I’m so, so sorry. That is heartbreaking. Prayers for you, your aunt, and your family.

    • InTheBurbs

      Sending big hugs – similar loss in my family this year. Cancer SUCKS!

    • quinners

      I’m so sorry.

    • My prayers for you, your aunt, and your family.

    • jashshea

      Hope it’s not too late for well-wishes for you and yours. Cancer sucks.

  • Sarah

    My first time hopping on APW after a couple of weeks because I was busy having the best wedding ever. I cannot believe how awesome it was. Everything came together and I felt that wedding zen y’all keep talking about. It didn’t fly by like everyone says it does. I was present every moment and you could not wipe the smile off my face. And shockingly I didn’t bawl my face off through the ceremony! I was overwhelmed with how beautiful our venue was and how willing everyone was to help out. Back to work today after our honeymoon and I’m still giddy.

    I have to thank all of you at APW and all of the community. I don’t think my wedding would have happened the way it did without the support of this blog. This is the one place that consistently reassured me that we could and SHOULD, in fact, have the wedding we wanted, the way we wanted to. We did it and it was perfect. I’m happy to be a wedding graduate!

  • MacKenzie

    9 days to go! And two, maybe three, (still) looming questions–1) How do you say thank you to your parents on your wedding day? Do you give gifts? Of what? Heartfelt notes? How do you say thank you for everything they’ve done to get you to that moment?

    2) Our “domestic destination” wedding is 30 people and we’re having some post-wedding celebrations at restaurants in our hometowns in the weeks to follow. How do we make these not feel like consolation parties? What do we do for the three hour appetizer + cocktail reception other than talk about the wedding that they weren’t invited to? There won’t be dancing (our wedding doesn’t have dancing either), but I want it to still feel wedding-esque. How?

    3) I really like what we have planned for the ceremony, and I think I’ll want to watch it. We haven’t hired anyone for video, and I’m pretty earnest about having an unplugged ceremony (except for our photographer). We have a little wiggle room left in the budget, so my options, I guess, are to hire a) someone inexpensive and cheesy, b) have someone stand in the back with our flip video camera, or c) just take-in the moment as much as I can and forget about the video aspect.

    Thanks APW Family! You rock!

    • Beth

      We had my cousin record our ceremony and I’m SO glad we have it. It’s not at a professional level or anything, but being able to hear us speaking our vows is something I will always treasure. If you have a friend/relative do it, just make sure you tell them not to flip it vertically part-way through! (At least my cousin flipped it back before we actually started our vows….)

      Also, maybe consider having the speeches recorded as well. I wish we had those.

    • Sarah

      I did gifts and cards for my parents, but we like doing gifts in our family. (Not out of obligation, but out of delight in giving.) If that feels transactional for you, as someone mentioned about gifts in a thread above, then don’t feel obligated to do that. We gave them to them at the start of the wedding weekend in a quiet moment, just the four of us. For us, it was a really special moment and I’m delighted we did it.

    • I thought about doing parent gifts but I couldn’t find anything that would fit my budget that they would actually want. All the mother of the bride gifts are jewelry or trinkets and my mom is SO not like that.

      I did hand write thank you notes to all my bridesmaids (along with gifts) and to both sets of parents to give them before the wedding. After the wedding we sent the parents framed wedding pictures and another thank you note. I even got my mom to cry with the second note, which is really hard to do.

      Unless your parents give you a reason to think otherwise, they would probably appreciate something like that more than some bracelet that says “mother of the bride” or whatever.

  • Anon for this

    Etiquette question for y’all.

    I received an invitation to a shower for the daughter of a co-worker. Now, I’ve known said co-worker for a while through work, and we’re friendly, but I wouldn’t say we’re friends. This co-worker is my mother’s age. I wouldn’t say I know the daughter at all – I mean, I’ll smile at her and make small talk, but we are not friends, not even on facebook.

    So, the shower invite is for a lingerie shower, and the invite helpfully lists sizes and everything. I admit, I was a bit…taken aback when I opened the envelope. I don’t know this girl’s middle name and I’m supposed to buy her undies? I wouldn’t buy my own sister undies! It just rubs me the wrong way, you know?

    But I want to do the right thing – which is decline the shower but still give a gift (as you do). My husband thinks (and I admit, the evil part of me though this too) that I should go super trashy – edible/crotchless undies, light up condoms, etc. Which would be fun, but evil. My mother thinks I should get a floor length flannel night gown.

    Would it be terrible of me to get a very bland gift card (say to Macy’s or Target) and call it a day? I know normally you’re supposed to stick to the registry/requested list, but in this case…I just can’t do it! My other thought was to get a Starbucks gift card and say something about date night.


    • MK

      I definitely don’t think it would be terrible to give a gift card, especially considering that’s a very personal shower for someone you don’t know at all! Besides, Macy’s and Target both sell lingerie!

    • LikelyLaura

      Well, showers are pretty personal (especially lingerie showers!), so if you want to decline, just send a card with a congratulatory note.

      But if you really feel obligated, I like the date night idea. Were any other coworkers invited? Maybe you all could go in on a restaurant gift card. Or a decent bottle of champagne and chocolates.

    • I really like the idea of the gift card,especially because this lingerie thing really might not even be her idea! She might welcome a chance to buy a sweater or something to put on over all those new undies.

    • Paranoid Libra

      I would definitely go for date night gift card. I appreciated those that we got as wedding gifts and oh look no weird awkwardness. For me unless I am friends with them the whole lingerie party would just be too weird.

    • Go with the bland gift card. That is perfectly appropriate and polite. Frankly, I missed the memo that you’re to send a gift even when you decline the invitation, so I’d probably decline politely and not send anything (but apparently that’s a faux pas).

      The date night thing is a good idea, too! I just did that for a new friend’s bridal shower. If you write a nice note in the card like “I know how stressful wedding planning can be. Don’t forget to take a break from all things wedding, go out on a date and remember why you want to be married!” The bride-to-be will think it’s incredibly thoughtful, regardless of your attendance at the shower.

    • Jessica B

      I second the “decline with nice note” comment as well as the gift card comment. Where is she lingerie-registered? You could get a gift card there.

    • TeaforTwo

      Oh, sister. I was also invited to a “bedroom-themed” shower this summer for a woman I have met precisely once. I also declined the invitation.

      First off, I will say that you are not required to send a gift if you are declining the shower, only to send a note offering your best wishes. (And Miss Manners backs me up on this!) This is the route that I chose.

      But since you sound like a wonderful person who is more magnanimous than I am, what about a robe? The APW UK pinterest board has some floral robes that I have been drooling over for all time. It’s classy, it sticks with the theme, and it won’t offend her mother/your coworker like light up condoms or a floor length flannel nightgown would.

      (Seriously, though, if it were me, like that time that it was me? “I’m so sorry I won’t be able to make it. I hope you have a wonderful day at your shower, and wish the two of you many decades of happiness.” I would send a gift for a close friend, because I would genuinely regret not being able to go. But a coworker’s daughter? She’s not going to miss you there, so I say just move right along.)

    • KC

      I was going to comment “who on earth invites random people to a lingerie shower???” and then realized “my grandma, that’s who.” (yes, through a very strange series of events, my grandma was at a lingerie shower and brought a friend of hers with her, who I had indeed met before, but… yeah.)

      But yes, you definitely don’t have to go (the poor girl!), and you also don’t have to send a gift, but if you do, a gift card is great. Other not-so-racy options include a robe or satin pyjamas.


      So you’re not going to a shower of someone you’re not friends with and you’re wondering if its OK not to buy her knickers? :)

      It maybe because I’m english and we don’t have showers in the UK (so many weather puns, so little time) but I wouldn’t have thought you’re obligated to get her anything.

      feel free to ignore my limey advice

  • My fiancé’s parents would much prefer that he have an arranged marriage (they’re Indian). Fortunately… not happening. Ha!

    • Also, that is a wonderful article. Every one of my fiancé’s family members has had an arranged marriage, some successful, some not so much… but I can see the pros and cons of both. Nice to see a firsthand perspective.

  • Whoohoo, happy hour! The hours until actual happy hour, and the college football season kicking off this evening, are just iiiinching along, so yay magical early happy hour.

    What a week!

    This week, I chopped off all my hair! I’m excited to donate for the 4th time, and to rock a pixie cut for the first time. The reactions from my family/friends/coworkers have been awesome.

    I’m thinking of going to Branson, MO next month for a family reunion, but I think it might be mostly family I don’t know. My grandma’s putting it together though, and my sister and parents are going. I’m also trying to save $$ right now for another baby, and it will cost ~20% of the cost of a midwife delivery, so there’s that. Has anyone here been to Branson?

    • april

      Yeah, some college friends and I did a roadtrip to Branson once (dressed as mutant presidents … it was a scavenger hunt thing … long story …). It’s kind of fun, in a weird super-kitschy way. Like Las Vegas minus the debauchery.

      • Las Vegas minus the debauchery sounds like fun to me. I could only ever handle Vegas in very short stints, and always feel dirty after a weekend. I really have no desire to go back there at this point.

    • MK

      Do you like “family-friendly” shows and gospel/country music? If so, it can be fun! It also features a lot of artists who used to be big names but are less famous now, and there’s always an “up and coming” (or so-called) magician.

      My grandparents live up there, so I’ve been a lot and seen most of the shows. It’s definitely not for everyone. The area, though, is beautiful, so you can sometimes get a mix of nature and shows. The Western-themed “Silver Dollar City” is a pretty fun amusement park (it’s like a Ren fest, but with rides!) if you’re looking for something a little different.

      • You’re not selling me on it, but you’r not NOT selling me on it either…

        • MK

          Sorry, I know that wasn’t enthusiastic, but I think it was pretty accurate. It isn’t a trip I’d do, but then, like I said, I’ve seen pretty much everything. It’s like Las Vegas for people who would never go to Vegas or for older folks who want to see the shows they used to like.

    • Rachel

      I was in the Ozarks two weeks ago! We usually fly into Branson but this time it was a road trip. A road trip that Eric miscalculated by…~2 hours. Both times.

      Anyway, I second April’s comment…I’ve heard it described as “Las Vegas for people who love Jesus.”


    So, I had an interview yesterday. It went very well, and I was basically told that the position is mine if I want it. My reservations are:

    1) It is for a position full of new responsibility (a national manager), that I have *never* dealt with. I am terrified I will go splat.

    2) I thought it was for a lower-level position (a regional manager), and thusly lowballed my salary requirements. I can probably salvage some of that, but I doubt all.

    3) I’m kind of terrified the company will go splat, and blame me. They’ve had a tumultuous few years, and with some LinkedIn stalking, it looks like people in this role (or this department, for that matter), don’t generally stay longer than a year. Fixing the problems in the company might be more of a project than one person can handle.

    I am very unhappy where I am, making sub-standard pay, and it has been made clear to me over the last year that there is no growth opportunity at all for me. FH thinks this is the time to take a risk: take the job if it’s offered with good compensation, and if I go splat, I go splat, and he will catch me (isn’t that a nice feeling?).

    Scary Unknown is scary.

    • Sounds like taking this job means you’ll have a year of resume-building/formatting, and other new job/career pursuit activities, all at a higher pay grade. A year can be a long time– but then again, it’s only a year!

      Plus, if FH is going to catch you, it’s less “splat” and more “long jump to safe place.” Still scary. But also a bit thrilling. Good luck!

      • I agree with Sarah – go for it! Re the salary thing, just be straight with them about why you gave the number you gave and why it needs to be adjusted upward. There’s nothing wrong with something like, “You know, when we originally talked about salary, I gave a [number/range] based on what I knew about this position at the time. Now that I have a better understanding of the role [you could throw in pertinent specifics here if you want, such as the level of responsibility, high profile, ambitious performance goals, or whatever], I think I’d be looking for a salary around $X if we moved forward.”

    • Solidarity fist bump and large glass of wine

      I’m in a similar position now. I just started a new job very recently, and my direct boss quit. They brought someone in temporarily from another site and tried to woo her to take it permanently, but she turned it down. I’m now the only internal candidate. And I’m freaking the eff out. For the past couple weeks I’ve been taking on a large portion of the role, and it would be better pay. But, it would become a no set hours kind of job. I’d generally be Monday – Friday normal office hours instead of the weird shift I have now but things happen, the phone rings, and e-mails show up because we run a 24/7 operation. I want to officially apply and I’m pretty sure it’s mine to turn down. I know I can do the work, but who ever heard of a 24 year old office manager?


        If you think you could do it, then apply! At least it will look amazing on a resume later.

  • May

    I missed the travel thread but really want to share my news. Last Friday my fiancé came home and asked “what do you think about taking six months off next year to travel the world?” My initial reaction was “oh ok sure” but I didn’t really think it would happen – we have a big mortgage and he is on the verge of being made partner. Turns out that I had totally underestimated his laserlike focus once again…. because last night he told me that he has already spoken to all the key people in the firm and they are fine for us to go. It will delay his partnership by a year or so but it won’t ruin his chances.

    SO WE ARE GOING!!!!! IN FEBRUARY!! OMG!!! When FH asked where I wanted to go, I yelled “HARRY POTTER WORLD” and couldn’t come up with anything besides that. But now we are going to be starting in Brazil in Feb, working our way up to the US where we will do a driving holiday for a month, take a cruise around Alaska, then head over to London where we will base ourselves for 3 months so that we can do Scandanavia (northern lights), Spain/Portugal and then potter around Western Europe until we reach my friend’s wedding in Lake Como in June. We are heading to Italy next month for our honeymoon but it will be so great to return to celebrate someone else’s marriage.

    Although we have both done a buttload of travel in the past, I’m so excited to start our marriage with this adventure, just the two of us. More than that, I feel so grateful to my partner for understanding how badly I wanted to have one last crazy experience before settling down to the business of babies, and caring enough to make it happen when I didn’t really think it was possible. Happy tears. So many happy tears.

    • Catherine McK

      This post brought such a smile to my face! Your joy and excitement is contagious. That sounds like an amazing 6 months, happy planning!

      • May

        Thank you! Right now the list says “Visit Harry Potter World” and “eat at In-and-Out”; hopefully over the next few weeks it stops looking like it was compiled by a five year old.


    • Teresa

      I missed the travel thread too, because I was at HARRY POTTER WORLD!!!!! It is as amazing as you think it would be and then even a little better! AH! YOU HAVE TO GO! And, we went to King’s Cross Station that morning and took the silly Platform 9 3/4 pictures. Best way to spend our first anniversary, don’t you think?! MARRIAGE IS SO AWESOME!

    • Harry Potter!!! I think those are the next books I’m going to read my baby. Also, we’re learning Latin at our house and have the first two books in Latin to help us practice. I have a slight obsession with the boy wizard.

      Brasil!!! O pais do meu coração. Where are you going there? So jealous.

      Northern Lights!! We have plans to go to Norway one day so he can see the fjords (Hitchhiker fan) and I can see the Northern Lights and buy a sweater. :)

  • AW

    Bouncing off from the gift giving article, if you are in the wedding party and put up considerable money for airfare and hotel as well as your required attire for the wedding do you still give a gift?

    • TeaforTwo

      I think that if you are close enough to the couple to be in the wedding party, then the answer is that you give them something but only within your budget (also true for all wedding guests ever – paying for your plate is such offensive nonsense that I can’t believe it is starting to mainsteam).

      Maybe that’s a stand mixer, or maybe it’s a $10 picture frame with one of your favourite photos of the two of them and a sweet card about how much it means to you to be a part of their wedding.

      • AW

        I was definitely leaning towards grabbing something smallish! Perhaps a nice bottle of champagne and a heartfelt card. And I was more curious where other people landed on this.

        • ANOTHER MEG

          That sounds lovely.

      • AW

        And normally I love giving my favourite people generous gifts, it’s just a bit sticky right now between being underemployed, travelling to her wedding, and then having my wedding three weeks later.

        • rys

          If the finances are the sticking point, perhaps you could give them something small now and then another gift on their first anniversary?

    • Amy March

      I do. And usually I give more than I would otherwise, because they’re closer and that’s just how my budgeting works. I think though that the reverse applies- who is better at a heartfelt card than a bestie after all.

      • AW


    • Jessica B

      I’ve heard that wedding parties will often go in on a gift. When I was a bridesmaid I got a couple of matching travel mugs and some other trinket-thing that I thought they’d like. It’s really up to you and the relationship you and your finances.

    • Judith

      My best friend gave me a really heartfelt card at the wedding and then saved up for a few months and gave me a gift later. So no reason that it has to be exactly by or before the wedding day if money is tight/you are too busy now.

      • My best friend made me a screen print – one of the best gifts I got.

  • I already posted but whatever, I just thought of something else. I’m really worried that I won’t be able to find a job soon. I’ve been unemployed since August 2 and I know that’s not a super long time but it feels like an eternity. I’m spending my day looking at jobs online and it’s started to grate on my nerves. I know my fiancé is going to help me out financially (we currently do not live together. He makes more than twice what I did at my last job) but I put so much pride in being able to make my own money and pay my own bills, even if I can’t afford much outside of basic expenses usually. I just don’t want to put him through that financially. He keeps reminding me, “We’re supposed to be a team, we’re getting married in a few months, it’ll be okay! But I have so much trouble with that. He is brilliant — currently he’s on a business trip learning leadership skills because he is in the top 1% of his level at work and I just want him to be proud of me. I want to be contributing something.

    I would love it if someone called me back but I’ve applied to like 30 jobs (trying to tailor resumé/cover letter to ever application) and no responses. What am I doing wrong?

    This turned into a rant. My mom is horrible with money, and it made me very good with my money despite the fact I’ve never made much.. it also made me very keen on supporting myself. I feel like the rug’s pulled out from under me. UGH.

    • KC

      I totally empathize. Independence! I fortunately got to start our marriage being the breadwinner, so having to swap roles later didn’t feel as horrifying as it would have earlier. But that doesn’t totally make logical sense. But some things don’t make logical sense and do make emotional sense.

      Two things:
      1. how would you feel if your roles were reversed? Does this perspective help?
      2. for the job-hunting craziness, I strongly endorse scheduling in how long each day you’re going to look online or “work” at it and then do something else (learn a language! read at the library! go to a shelter and pet dogs! whatever) to help avoid procrastination and also help avoid going bonkers (I always used to go “maybe the job I’m looking for is just one page of search results away….” 20 times. Ick.). You can also look at alternate avenues for job-hunting, depending on what kind of thing you’re looking for (go to events for local business owners or walk into businesses and flat-out ask or use alumni job network stuff or look into temping). Often university job center services remain available after you graduate, and some towns/cities/areas/libraries have specific job-finding-assistance organizations, which might be useful.

      • Thanks for your tips. I actually have my resumé with the same temp agency who found me my last job (a job that I really loved, it’s a shame they couldn’t afford to keep me around). I email about once a week and they tell me it’s just really slow but maybe it will pick up soon and I will find something through them again. That would certainly be nice.

        I have thought about just going in to businesses. That’s what my fiancé tells me I need to do too. I guess I just have to get over my anxiety about it first. I have a little bit of social anxiety I gotta get a grip on for sure, which is not an excuse.

        I definitely need to make out a schedule. I was just thinking that this morning. It helps because I have been taking care of our dog while my fiancé is out of town this week (she lives with him) and so I have the morning “feed the dog, take the dog for a walk, drop her off at fiancé’s house with treat” morning routine down. Then I get home and just kind of sit around looking at jobs… so yeah, more structure would probably benefit me. I’ll work on that.

        It looks like I need to reapply to volunteer with the Humane Society. I put in an application to volunteer two weeks ago and when they didn’t get back to me after a few days I called and the receptionist was like “our volunteer coordinator is really busy, I’m sure he’ll be giving you a call as soon as he gets to your application.” Still no call though, and I want to pet some damn kitties! Putting that on the to-do list, too :)

        • KC

          Another thing to look at would be casual/whatever jobs at any local schools/universities/etc., since they’re starting up now-ish and may need fill-ins of various weird/boring varieties (“oh, shoot, we need extra people to process all the incoming student forms! Wait, we didn’t hire enough people to clean things/cover the cafeteria/etc. We need someone to sit and take photos for student IDs! Eek, our tutoring resource center is getting overwhelmed!”). Sometimes this can morph into more of a “real job”, sometimes it’s just you-rescuing-them-and-getting-paid-for-a-few-days (which can also make some less-appealing jobs more doable; you know it is only for X length of time and then you can leave with no hard feelings).

          Best of luck with it! (And hope you get to pet some kitties soon!)

        • KC

          (also, I am SHY, so I get you on the not-wanting-to-pound-the-pavement thing. Sometimes it helps to remember that if things go awry when I’m asking for a job, I Never Have To Go In Those Doors Again. Sometimes it helps to take it as “acting” not as “me”.)

        • I’m going to strongly second the “show up in person” advice. It may be a bit weird to walk into an office building and ask for a job, but I would suggest trying to find trade organizations or regular networking meetings that happen in your area and attend those (for example, your local chapter of the American Marketing Assoc. or if the Chamber of Commerce has a social activities). And when people ask what you do, you can be honest “My last position was (blank), but currently I’m looking to work in (blank).”

          Personally, I’ve been able to get to know organizations and keep tabs on where a position might be through getting to know the community in general, and following people on social media. By following organizations on Facebook, I know what’s going on with almost all downtown businesses, the start up community, and a few professional organizations. Plus, they list events, open houses, etc. on social media, so I know when I can show up and not feel as awkward.

          Don’t mean to flood you with Things You Should Do, I just hope my experience might be helpful, as unemployment royally sucks. Best of luck in the job search!!

    • Caroline

      I’m sorry, that sucks. My fiancé has been there (with feeling like he his contributing equally also). I don’t have much advice, but just some commiseration and Internet hugs.

      • Thanks, I appreciate the internet hugs and the commiseration. This is the second time in 14 months that we have found ourselves in this predicament (both times me. I have had some pretty bad luck with jobs since graduating college, sadly) but last time I was only unemployed for like two weeks before I found something else. Trying to stay positive as much as possible… it’s hard.

    • Carly

      Molly, I unfortunately can’t offer any suggestions or wise words, but I will offer commiseration – I get it, I’m almost exactly in the same place you’re at right now, it f*cking sucks – and a big ol’ internet hug. Chin up! Everything will be okay in the end, right? And if it isn’t okay, it isn’t the end.

      • Thanks :) And same to you! I am just trying to remember how lucky I am that I have someone with the means and desire to help me– and I always will.

    • Rebecca

      Ask A Manager is a totally helpful blog on the cover letter, resume and straight up solidarity in job hunting front. Highly recommend.

      I have totally been there with the “I have no job and no money” and the “my person makes plenty of money and says they will help me.” I was also not okay with it even thought I would have been 100% totally fine with helping him if our positions were reversed. Unfortunately, the only things that really helped me were landing a job and getting married, so I have no useful advice, but all the solidarity fist bumps.

      After we got married it was about 1000% percent easier for me to think of us as a single economic unit, and it stopped mattering quite so much that he makes and will probably always make about twice as much as I do. It helped to think of income as only one of the things we each contribute to the household, and frankly, compared to the love, attention, respect, and caring we give to each other and bring to our household, it’s far from the most important contribution.

  • Jessica B

    Our wedding is in 16 days and I’m starting to feel worn down and apathetic about all the detaily things we have to get done, especially since my husband-to-be is out of town this week, in town next week, and out of town until 2 days before the wedding. We are also moving on Sunday, so my brain is fried.

    Any tips on how to rally?

    • KC


      Also, realize that the only things you *need*-need in order to end up married are the two of you, the license, an officiant, and witnesses. This may help get enough pressure off your fried brain that you can prioritize your list better (questions like “which things will I most likely care about in a year?” and “what’s the lowest-hanging fruit here?” may help?).

      If you don’t have an external list and are just juggling things in your brain, I strongly endorse doing a brain-dump and getting that list into some sort of format (spreadsheet? email? preferably digital so you can sort it and add any due dates or whatever, but a napkin can work, too) so you can move energy off of trying to keep track of things and onto just plugging through and getting the things done one at a time.

      Also: delegation! Even if you can’t delegate a thing, you can delegate cheerleading or reminders. :-)

      Hope it all goes splendidly, and best wishes for your move, too!

      • Jessica B


        The officiant is awesome, though a bit absent minded. For instance, she has not yet gotten us the proof of marriage counseling that gets us a big discount on the license, so we don’t have one of those much needed things. But fiance must be present to apply for the license, so we just need it on Tuesday.

        The brain dump happened yesterday, which is part of the problem. My mom and her friends have been amazing at the details and keeping track of stuff. It’s been good.

        Sleep. Yes. Sleep. Good.

        • KC

          Oh, yeah, after the brain dump you often won’t want to touch that pile of junk for a day or two at least (but after a brain dump, you *can* if you have to, since it’s externalized and you can visually pick out the “yes this is absolutely necessary and needed by this date” without really engaging as much of your brain). Hooray for helpful family!

          If the officiant has an office (like, a church office), there may be someone you can talk to there who can either just get you the proof-of-premarital-counseling all by themselves or can badger the officiant into doing it. Otherwise, calling Officiant again to say “we do need this by X date, which is only Y days away” (X date being the day before you need to pick up the license, since if you get the proof at 7pm on the day you need to pick up the license, that’s not so great), might help, if you haven’t already recently poked at Officiant.

          Yes, sleep. Also, aim to get food that will fuel you properly (some people Need Protein or whatever to plow through heavier schedules; you would know what helps you best [comfort food? continual supply of almonds stashed in car?], but sometimes one forgets that when in “emergency” mode). Also, if things like Airborne or Emergen-C or even just multivitamins help boost you when you’re wiped out, this is a good time for that even though you’re not currently traveling.

    • Beth

      I would take stock of what things you really neeeeed to do. Details can bog you down and in the end not be worth the time (or they can be! It depends!). I got caught up in some crafty decoration things (poofballs made out of cupcake liners) – they were super easy, but super time consuming, and once I’d gotten about halfway through, I “couldn’t not finish them.” I should have just giving them up. They didn’t end up staying poofed, so they didn’t look as good as I wanted and we didn’t use most of them. Several hours of my life could have been put to better use. So maybe just prioritize the stuff you have left and start with the things that actually HAVE to get done and work your way down to the “but I really want this” items.

    • Gina

      I don’t have very good advice to give you, but I empathize! Ours is in a week and my fiance has been out of town for work pretty much the entire month leading up to the wedding. I can’t imagine throwing moving into the mix!! My approach so far has just been to do one thing at a time and try not to think about what there is left to do. You can only do so much. And take care of you! Go get a massage or just sit on your deck with a glass of wine and stare into space :)

    • april

      I’ll second “sleep” and add “ask for help.” I’m a bit of a control freak, so delegating tasks was difficult for me at first. But I was starting to loose my mind/hate thinking about the wedding (seriously caterer – I love you but I do not care what shade of green the napkins are!) so I started taking people up on their offers to help. Designate a responsible bridesmaid or family member to take on some of the more tedious tasks and you’ll feel a lot better. And if they’re anything like my friends, they’ll be really touched and excite that you trusted them with some of the planning and will consequently do a really excellent job.

      Also 2 weeks away from my wedding! Anyone else for September 14th? Oh, and I love how this puts the rehearsal on Friday the 13th …

  • Caroline

    In life news: I’m fairly overwhelmed by how much work I have for my courses, despite it being the lightest course load I’ve taken in terms of credits. I guess because it isn’t in terms of what classes I’m taking. (Physics, differential equations, real analysis, and intermediate French when I haven’t spoken French in 8 years). Plus, the Jewish high holidays are NEXT week!! So I’ll be missing a ton of school for that. We’re having guests for Rosh Hashanah for the first time though, which makes me feel so grown up.

    We decided we’re going to South East Asia for 3+ weeks in two summers! We are so excited. We’ve been pretty broke and we’re in school and can’t save much (since earned money needs to offset money our parents would otherwise give us to help out supporting us), but we have an actual plan to travel! We’re not sure where yet, but we have a plan.

    In wedding news, I am so glad we picked the rabbi we did. We interviewed 10 rabbis before choosing one, and are paying a lot of money (they all charged a lot for interfaith weddings) but he is awesome. We had our second meeting and talked about the ketubah, and the conversation was really about what marriage means. It was a great meeting. However, one thing I’m a little stuck on is figuring out how we will do the ketubah. Most of the ones I’ve seen with custom text are way out of our budget, but it is really important to me, since we are not having a halachic, traditional one, to have one we wrote ourselves. Any suggestions on getting a ketubah with custom text affordably? Ideally, English and Hebrew, although we would probably settle for just english if we had to. Out budget is $300, although we could stretch it a little if we had to, but I don’t want canned language and just cannot afford 500+ a ketubah.

    • Ariel

      Have you looked at etsy?

    • We used Jerise on Etsy for our Ketubah and it was gorgeous. Ours was $475, but she has less expensive ones depending on the artwork you choose. I can send you a photo of ours, if you’d like to see it. She is a dream to work with!


      • Jessica

        I second Jerise! I LOVE the ketubah she made for us, and we wrote our own text entirely. I will say that she made some adjustments without asking us first, that might have bothered someone more particular than me, so just be sure you’re very clear on your expectations. For me, they just added to the hand-made character of the piece.

        • Jessica

          Can’t edit, wanted to add: We had our Hebrew text written by a friend, but I think Jerise said she had someone who could translate the English if we needed it (that might be pricier, though). Also, if price is an issue, she might be able to do something for you in a smaller-than-usual size, or some other adjustment to get you in a lower price range.

  • Ariel

    I’ve made some major progress on my thesis this week! Woohoo!!!

    • SamanthaNichole

      What is your thesis about??

      • Ariel

        Japanese knotweed – basically how it became such a damn successful invader, methods to remove it, and implications for secondary biology education

        • KC

          My dad needs your thesis. He has been trying to kill the stuff at their house for about a year now (pull it out by the roots? nope. Dig out that entire section of ground? nope.). They poisoned it a few weeks ago, and it’s still not dead, but he’s going to try the pull-it-out-by-the-roots again now that it’s taken a hit from the poison and hope it works…

  • Thank you for the article about arranged marriage. I came inches from an arranged marriage myself and have very complicated feelings about them.

    • If it wouldn’t be too personal, that sounds like a guest post in the making.

      • I’ve written about it a little already on my own blog, but I could think about seeing it from a new angle to submit here!

  • Alix

    I’m really excited because we just finalized having a family friend who happens to be a mountie officiate our wedding. In the whole fancy uniform. WHOOO! Uber Canadian yes we are.

    • Those are pictures I’d like to see. :)

      • Alix


        Maybe a wordless wedding is required :)

  • Alicia

    OMG OMG OMG!!! Our wedding is next weekend and today we did a few important things
    -obtained our marriage license
    -paid the venue and caterer
    -brought home my perfectly tailored dress
    and booked our honeymoon to Hawaii!!!

    This whole engagement I’ve been telling people we are not going on a honeymoon right away, why stress? We’ll save it for the winter when we really need it. But then my fiance decided that since we are taking time off we better go big. He is very spontaneous in nature so it figures.

    I’m so glad that the bulk of the wedding stuff is done with and we get to enjoy next weekend and then a 10 day vacation!!! AHHHH!!! Freaking out over here! I need to occupy the next week with packing so I don’t get antsy.

    It’s here. It’s happening. OMG

  • So, my boss just had her last day yesterday, and her position has been posted. *Her* boss (our immediate boss for the interim) has mentioned to all of her direct reports that we are welcome to apply for the position, but it sounds like none of the other three women I work with have even a little bit of desire for it.

    I’ve been thinking about it *but* I’m moving out of state in a year. On the one hand, getting her job would be a step up on my resume and help with my job search in new city. On the other hand, I feel a little bad about the idea of taking the job when they would just have to do another search about a year. <– (only a tiny bit guilty, though)

    Continuing the one hand/other hand: if I got the job it would be more pay, which would be good. (Probably not much though). If I got the job it would be more work and responsibility and stress in a year that is also going to have wedding/marriage/moving/job search stress. And I really like the work I do right now. I might be able to fold the work I do now in with the work of her job though…

    Big boss has scheduled individual meetings with us all next week. Perhaps I will discuss *some* of my thoughts about this with him. (The continuing my work part, not the moving away part.)

    • Emmers

      I say go for it! A lot can happen in a year, and you never know, circumstances could shift and you could stick around. And it would be great for them to have someone who is already familiar with the company.

      But, if you think it will be too crazy, you don’t have to. Or, you could apply anyways, see how you feel if you get it, and then decide. Good luck! Job stuff can be crazy.

    • Amy March

      If ever there were a time to lean in, this sounds like it to me! If, setting everything else aside, you want the job- go for it. At the very least, you’ll get some practice in pursuing it.


      do it! your responsibility is to you, not your company (though I get the feeling bad part, that’s because you’re a real live human being!)

      good luck :)

      • Beth

        Word, if there is one thing I’ve learned over the past couple of years, it’s that you need to do what is best for you and not worry about hurting “the company’s” feelings. If it came down to it, the company would always do what’s best for the company, even if that left you in a rough spot. It’s all business!

        And like someone above said, I’m sure they would prefer to have someone who is familiar with the company already rather than bring on someone new, so even if you leave in a year, that’s still a year where they don’t have to fully train someone else.

        I say go for it!

    • KC

      I think for me it would depend on whether the additional stress sounds like an okay level vs. not okay, and what direction I wanted to eventually be moving in. If you want to be moving up the management ladder, this is a good direction; if you want to continue doing-what-you’re-doing, this may not be a good direction. (I see this a lot with engineers of various kinds; some are frankly just happier *doing the work* than managing people who are doing the work, even though once you get to a certain level, the only way to move “up” is to move into management. But more prestige/greater salary vs. less actual job satisfaction is an equation that everyone has to solve for themselves, if a personality of that kind is in a field of that kind.)

      Re: moving away, they’re going to have to replace you whatever job you’re in when you leave, so while it’s potentially harder to find an X than a Y or whatever your boss’s job vs. current job is (and it may not be, depending on what you do now), they’ll still have to hire someone.

      • The way I see it (in terms of moving up) right now I can easily apply for Admin Asst positions elsewhere, having about 5 years of experience in it. If I get boss’ old job, I would be able to add Executive Asst into the mix as well with a better shot at getting them. (I’d still be applying for those anyway, but with iffier chances,)

        I’m starting to realize that I may as well apply. If I apply, there is no guarantee that I would get it, and I can always decline if offered. If I don’t apply, there is a guarantee that I won’t get it.

        I will definitely discuss with boss’ boss on Wednesday.

        • KC

          Yeah, Admin Asst. vs Exec Asst. (or even office manager) is a lot less of a wait-this-is-a-completely-different-job-and-I-hate-it sort of thing than “I used to design planes, and now I track schedules and plan meetings for people who design planes.”

          It’s definitely also possible to say “thank you, but having learned more about what the job entails, I think I’ll actually be happier in my current position at this organization”.

          So, yes, go for it! Yay!

  • anon for this!

    We officially set the date today! June 7th, 2014. We’re getting married in Boulder, CO and we live in Los Angeles.

    I just hate that my unsupportive parents bring a sad cloud to this excitement. I haven’t told my parents yet. I’m scared. I’m not good at confrontation, and I’m 23, so I’m just now starting to learn how to set boundaries with my mother and take care of my own emotional self..I’m also an only child- and I’m marrying a female, which is the issue – my mother will list many other things, but the real issue is that I’m marrying a woman. Not meaning to have a pity party, just had to vent a little. My partner and I have a loving, sweet, great relatonship – we always have, and it’s hurtful to feel attacked for it, meanwhile, my parents have pretty much the worst relationship ever – pretty much nonexistent.

    We’re also going through some other really though stuff- her dad has been fighting cancer for the past three and a half years, and they just stopped his second round of chemo bc it stopped working. He now has two clinical trials lined up, but my partner is scared that he could pass away before our wedding :( It’s terrifying.

    Also, there is huge, ridiculous, and honestly disgusting family drama going on – her brother and sister in law have violently turned on the family for literally no reason. They both need a lot of help. It’s been extremely hard for my future mother in law and my partner…My partner’s brother used to be her best friend, but over the years she has watched him become a shell of himself and someone she doesn’t recognize. She is going through so much emotionally, I just want to be able to give her the safe space to feel it all.

    But we found the perfect venue for us, and we are happy to get things going! Our friends and her family are thrilled. It’s nice to feel loved and supported. It’s weird to think that about a year and a half ago I discovered this site and read the book about five times in a row (yeah, i wanted to get married), have read this site everyday, and now i am actually engaged and doing all the things i have read about for so long. I am so thankful for this community!

    • I’m sorry to hear about all the family drama, but one good thing about having a partner is that you can each be a stabilizing factor for the other during times of family turmoil.

      Congratulations on having a date set!

      • anon for this!

        Thank you, and so true. Getting married is a fresh start- to make the family that I want, that is always loving and supportive…xx

    • MK

      I’m so sorry. All those things must be so hard.

      I don’t know if it will make you feel any better, but I’ve got a groom and my mom is still being unsupportive and unhelpful–so maybe it’s not just the gender of your fiance, but also the idea that you’re doing something new and different and scary.

      • anon for this!

        thank you, it does help, not that i wish it upon anyone! it’s good to know that other people get through this, have joyous weddings despite family drama.

    • I’m sorry to hear that everything is so difficult, but it’s awesome that you do have love and support coming from a large part of your community.

      And yay for date twins!

      • anon for this!

        Date twins?!? Awesome!! Ahh so cool! I can’t believe I even have a date! It’s all so real! I’m used to reading about other peoples’ wedding planning and dates…it all feels so grown up, like a story that I’m reading instead of my life ! Congrats to you!


    Wedding is in 3 months and I have no dress. Am weirdly un-bothered by this fact.

    I’m super-psyched to be getting married but frankly, am totally over this whole wedding thing!

    Not looking for advice but I know I’ll get sensible comments from you guys instead of the wide-eyed horror I get in RL!!


    • KC

      Especially if you don’t have super-specific dress requirements, I wouldn’t be worried either. (bonus points for being a size-that-dresses-are-often-carried-in) Three months is not a short period of time to find/alter a dress unless your every last second is booked or something like that. (in case alterations are needed, though, I’d get pretty itchy around a month/month and a half, unless you can sew)

      And being more excited about being married than the wedding sounds healthy to me. :-) I hope you regain just enough enthusiasm for the wedding to make all the wedding “work” enjoyable rather than blah, and best wishes altogether. :-)


        Belatedly! thanks :)

        Its not that the wedding planning is a chore, its just that its not the be all and end all you know?

        But yeah, went and tried on some ‘proper’ wedding dresses today and am consequently much more excited about it :)

        • KC

          Hooray! I’m glad the dress-trying-on got you more excited. :-)

          Wedding planning definitely dipped into chore-level with me sometimes (would I rather clean the toilet or try to juggle peoples’ expectations? Toilet every time!). But the excitement helps things that might otherwise be tedious (like writing addresses on so. many. envelopes) be enjoyable instead, sometimes, because of the accompanying associations. Which is helpful. :-)

      • I’m definitely over wedding planning and i have a lot left to do. Ah well. ;)

  • Ron

    Finish strong! The hard work should all be done, now all you have to do is deal with family, yikes!

  • KimBee

    Ya’ll, did anyone else cry like child when watching the story about “Oh Sweet Lorraine?” I needed a box of tissues. Like, I asked for one, but that didn’t even come close to covering it; I needed the box. It was so touching.

    I started my morning reading the Sherman Alexie quote “He loved her, of course, but better than that, he chose her, day after day. Choice: That was the thing.” And then I saw this. And people choosing each other….for 75 years….just makes me SO happy!

  • Gina

    Eight days ’til wedding and today is my last day of work until post-wedding, so naturally I’m not getting anything done! We are driving from CO to CA (about 16 hours) with our dog ring-bearer and a shit-ton of wedding decorations. That may sound like hell but I’m actually looking forward to the time alone with my fiance, both before and after the wedding. He’s a quiet guy, but I’ve noticed when we’re driving and both facing forward, we have our deepest, most wonderful conversations. So I’m looking forward to that quiet time of reflection on what our marriage will be.

    The thing I’ve noticed most in these final weeks of build-up is just how loved I feel! Has this happened to anyone else? I just feel enveloped by this cloud of support from family, friends, and even co-workers who are constantly asking about the wedding. Even the lady at the Post Office noticed we were getting a lot of packages and wanted to hear all about it. I can understand how this would get annoying for some people, but I’m loving it! Haha. I’m trying my best to focus on that feeling of blessedness and let everything else just be.

    • KC

      We also have awesome conversations on road trips… sometimes. But speaking from experience, please don’t be disappointed/mad if you mainly end up talking about pickles, or the most interesting umbrellas, or some random political situation, or favorite kinds of carpets, or end up in silence more than usual. Sometimes the stuff that’s the biggest/deepest doesn’t come out at the “right” time.

  • elle

    I just got back from the seamstress with my dress. I’m getting married in NINE days.

    I hate it. I don’t know if it’s because I lost weight (about 7 pounds) since I first tried it on and was way curvier, thereby making the sheath way more flattering back then, or if it’s my hair (it’s very shaggy and in need of a cut) or what it is about it, but guys, I HATE MY DRESS.

    What on earth do I do? Assuming there’s no time to make an emergency purchase, how do I reconcile this?

    • Laura C

      Ugh. Even if you don’t believe that your wedding dress has to be a fairy tale, it sucks to be the center of attention and not feeling your best.

      Are you getting your hair cut in time to see if that improves your feelings about the overall look and then make needed adjustments to the dress, or is your hair going to be a last-minute thing? Might some kind of belt or sash help? If you can’t buy a new dress, would you consider Rent the Runway?

      Good luck!

    • Beth

      Ugh, I feel ya. I had major dress drama two weeks before my wedding and wasn’t sure it was even going to fit right due to the crappy seamstress I took it to. Luckily I was able to get it fixed, but it was a stress I did not need.

      Is there a way for the seamstress to take it in a little bit or alter it to show off your shape more? Also, I think hair and makeup can make a HUGE difference to how you feel about yourself, especially when you’re wearing fancy clothes but looking like a schlub otherwise. Perhaps you could do a trial run of your hair/makeup and then try on the dress again? Put on some jewelry? Have a close friend with you who can tell you just how gorgeous you look? Sometimes that’s all it takes!

    • Catherine McK

      Ugh 2, sorry! My gut response was to eat milkshakes for 9 days…

      I’d say, start with getting another opinion. Your kind and generous friend who always knows exactly the right thing to say. Maybe they will help you see it in a different light or at least come up with ways to bring it into alignment with what you were hoping for. I agree with the sash suggestion, maybe a big statement necklace to add some pizazz? Any chance new curve enhancing lingerie might help? Yes to the haircut too, you’ll feel fresher, regardless.

      You’ll be beautiful on your wedding day, even if the dress isn’t exactly what you were picturing…that comes from the smile on your face and the love surrounding you.

    • KC

      All of the above (more alterations, maybe; rent/buy a dress that fits; shapewear-y stuff; sash/belt/necklace/etc. additions; you will look gorgeous on the day of the wedding anyway; etc.).

      Plus: does lighting/shoes/backdrop play into how the dress looks on you? I know that florescent lighting makes me look like I’ve been dead for a few days and hence tends to be unflattering; heels vs. barefoot also makes a surprising difference in posture and whatnot and hence also how things look. Fancy dresses look way more “out of place” or “weird” on me in mirrors at home than out-and-about (I think because I’m used to seeing one kind of me than the other?).

      I hope you find a good resolution!

    • Rachel

      This might sound silly but…get your hair cut before you make any major decisions! Not gonna lie: I’ve felt similarly over clothes when all I needed was my hair done or (more likely) an eyebrow wax. Not sure how much time you have until you can get a cut/blowout/whatever, but that might honestly make a difference!

      Hair is just…full of secrets!

      • <3 Mean Girls reference.

  • Jessica

    I’m 39 weeks 1 day pregnant today. Physically so ready to be done with this, but we started some construction on our apartment in APRIL that was supposed to be finished months ago, and is not. So torn between getting this baby out, and holding it in as long as I can. (Not that I have a choice in the matter…)

    Frustrated today because I have gestational diabetes that I’ve been controlling with diet alone since 24 weeks. But this week my fasting blood sugars are high no matter what I do. I have a feeling they might risk me out of the (in hospital) birthing center that I really wanted to use, and maybe even insist on induction on my due date (diet controlled they’d let me go to 41 weeks). Obviously don’t want to take unnecessary risks, but it’s so frustrating to have come so far (and avoided cake for so long!) just to have it not work the very last week.

    • Good luck!

    • I’m taking the glucose text early-ish, because I have some risk factors for gestational diabetes. No idea if I have it yet, but I worry about these same things (I do NOT want to be induced).

      I hope things work out in the best possible way for you. *hugs*

      • Test, not text. :)

      • Paranoid Libra

        What are the risk factors for GD as I am hypoglycemic already a fear my already normal low blood sugar risks me for it. I have tried to research it but google has not been my friend in finding something that says it one way or the other?

        Good luck hopefully you don’t have it. Also good luck Jessica that you don’t risk out and labor and delivery go smooth

        • Jessica

          As far as I am aware, hypoglycemia is not a risk factor for GD. Family history of diabetes (type 2 or GD), previous history of GD/very large (over 9 lb) previous baby, advanced maternal age, & other indicators of/risk factors for insulin resistance (obesity, PCOS, etc) are the risk factors I know of.

    • KC

      Oh, remodeling. I don’t think I’ve ever heard of a project that finished on time, although that’s more than a bit excessive. Hope it finishes up soon!

      Also hope that all goes well with delivery, etc. – baby soon, anyway! :-)

  • Ellen

    We just got our teasers from our engagement shoot and YOU GUYS. I am in LOVE with them. I found our photographer here on APW (Justine Johnson, out of Portland Maine) and could not be more pleased so far!

    Being ten months out from the wedding a lot of stuff still feels kind of surreal but these photos are making it so very clear why we are doing what we are! Eeee!

  • anonymous

    I need to vent. I’m planning a large wedding, for which my parents are very generously footing the majority of the bill. This is the wedding I want, as I have a large extended family and I can’t envision getting married without them. My fiance did not want a large wedding, but knows it’s important to me to have my [huge] family there. He shows little to no enthusiasm about anything wedding related, and it’s really starting to wear on me. I get that he’s not interested in the planning part, and I can’t fault him for that – it’s stressful, it’s a ton of details, it’s not even what he wanted. So I’ve asked the bare minimum of him in the planning process. But his lack of interest is taking all the joy out of this for me, making it all the more stressful because now planning feels like a chore rather than a labor of love. I’m not going to enjoy our wedding if he’s not having fun, you know? I view the wedding as a time for the people who love us to come together to support and celebrate this huge commitment we’re making to each other. He views it as spending a ton of money to feed and entertain and make small talk with a bunch of people he barely knows. I don’t know how to reconcile our differing views, or how to compromise. Any advice?

    • Jessica

      We had a similar issue when planning our wedding. What helped was when we sat down and figured out what parts of party planning were interesting to him. Turns out, he was able to muster excitement for some things, like music playlists, menu, designing a wedding website, etc. Once he had some tasks he actually found enjoyable, it took the pressure off and I didn’t feel like I was doing everything alone. It also got him into planning mode, so he was in a better place to help even w/things that didn’t excite either of us as much. (And anything that I was enjoying planning, I stopped asking for his help with, if it wasn’t something he was interested in, because that took a lot of the pressure off of him.)

    • Liz tackled a similar question before:


      Hopefully that’s helpful! Good luck!

    • My husband hated planning (and we only planned for about 3 months), but he kicked into gear doing stuff the couple days before the wedding and worked hard pulling a lot of stuff together. And then he had fun at the actual wedding and I think he enjoyed hanging out with his friends and family and felt loved by our community. He was more of an in-the-moment person… Long-term (or even short-term advance) planning is not for him.

      Good luck!

  • My first wedding anniversary is on Sunday! We’re going to get pie from the same shop that made the pies for our wedding. I can’t believe a year has gone by so fast.

    • Catherine McK

      Happy Anniversary! And yum! Pie!

  • Paranoid Libra

    So I am a celiac patient now officially. Just had the endoscopy. Glad to finally have an answer after a year of trying for answers.

    In other news a job that I am very interested in at the facility closer to my house was just posted. So excited to try for it as it would bring in some of my college degree. Wish me luck to get it.

    • Catherine McK

      Glad you have answers at last! Not sure where you live, but there are so many gf options these days. Chicago just opened a lovely looking prix fixe restaurant, entirely gluten free, http://www.senzachicago.com/
      Come visit!

      Good luck with the interview!

    • Yay for answers! I got dumped into the catch-all diagnosis of IBS a while back because all the tests are negative. There’s nothing like an answer and a treatment plan.!

      • KC

        A friend told me that “IBS” really stands for “I Be Stumped” from the doctor’s point of view (a diagnosis of exclusion more than anything else). :-)

        (hope you figure out what “your” IBS needs soon!)

  • anon

    Coming a little late to this, but I’d love advice if anyone has some-my Dad is getting married in a couple weeks (!), and I’d like to get/do something for them as a gift, however it’s a second marriage for both, combining of two grown up adult households, combined with my dad selling his house and moving the week after the wedding ( which is the part I’ve had the hardest time coming to terms with), so material stuff seems inappropriate/inconvenient for them. Add in the fact that I’m long distance and my dad/his lady friend can probably afford to buy anything they like, and I’m not sure what I can do other than show up with all my love and support and some tissues.

    Unrelated, but since this is my chance to overshare anonymously and I’ve been sworn to secrecy, but one of my friends recently found out she was pregnant, has a fair amount of health issues, and has reason for concern about tiny bun’s health, so she’s going to a high risk ob/gyn next week and I’m coming with for support since her husband will be out of the country for work. I’m so worried for her, and also worried I won’t be adequate support, since I’d just tough ish. I feel like this is leveling up adult wise, since I’m still in the mode where my first instinct is to ask whether I should be celebratory or commiseratory about pregnancies (I know some people want em, but I and many of my friends still don’t).

    • Anon as well

      *hugs* I’m not sure about the part about your dad. But for your friend, it’s quite possible that you just being there and giving her a hug is all she wants/needs/is looking for. I’m so glad for your friend that you are able to go while her husband is out of town. I went with a friend to an appointment while her husband was out of town and stayed around for the day and she seemed really grateful to have someone around, no matter what we were doing. So just go and be helpful however she asks. It’s hard, but I’m not sure what else you can do.

    • Emmers

      Sorry for all of this! Not a fun time.

      It sounds like you’re being a really good friend. Just going with her is adequate support– so don’t sell yourself short there! The fact that she trusts you enough to tell you and wants you to be with her is huge. I had a very unrelated tough situation that friends helped me with, and it wasn’t the big stuff that meant a lot — it was the small stuff, like offering to go with me, or just asking how I was feeling, or calling to check on me, or telling me they were thinking of me.

      As for your dad, maybe just something small but meaningful? Like if you know they like margaritas, a couple matching glasses, a little bottle of tequila, some specialty salt, and a note about how you hope they can toast this new time together? Or something like a travel guide to where they’re moving, with a nice note? So many hugs to you during this time!

  • catherine

    Ok so this comment is way late to the party, but my fiance and I are running into some questions:

    PLATES. Now, I have always dreamed of having vintage-y china looking plates, you know, that look all charming and feminine and pretty? But they can be mismatched…you know what kind I’m talking about?

    Ok, now our venue includes catering – the owners own several restaurants of different cuisines so it’s great, we have lots to choose from and they are great at what they do. SO. Does that mean we have to use their plates? OR how freaking expensive is it to get the plates you want on your own?? I really really want the plates I’ve dreamed of, and I feel like I see them in a lot of APW/low budget/ indie/DIY wedding pictures, so there has to be a way right?? We are planning for about 100 people.

    Thank you!!

    • KC

      Question 1: how much time do you have available to go to estate sales/garage sales/thrift stores? (things can be a range of different prices, so figure out ahead of time what you’re willing to spend per plate on plates you love and what you’re willing to spend per plate on plates-that-would-work, to stay within budget)
      Question 2: how many plates do you have in your community? If you have a ton of people-who-possess-china in your life, you may be able to borrow a table’s worth of plates from each, but make sure they’re aware of the risk *and* make sure you photograph the plates with their names so you know who to return them to (another option is laser-printed, so not as easily water-soluble] labels on the bottom of each plate, but that can be a major pain to remove). This is potentially socially hazardous, as plates can get broken and people sometimes have a pretty substantial emotional attachment to china.
      Question 3: do I know or can I find someone who is also wanting to do this, but with an earlier wedding, and can I just buy their whole stash? I think there are a few “wedding recycling”-specific sites, or there’s craigslist, or friends-who-are-getting-married (who might be in the “oh, that’s the sweetest thing ever, having the same wedding-reception china as we do” camp or might be in the “they’re copying us! and have the gall to want to use *our* plates! stinkers!” camp, so keep your social-response feelers out on this one) If you know any food bloggers who have an enormous “stash” of prop plates, that also might be an option.

      There’s also Etsy and Ebay, which would also take time to dig through, since prices range widely (and “batch size” varies widely, so you can’t just search for the cheapest item, argh.), and which would be more pricey, but possibly still within your range, depending on what it is.

      Good luck!

    • KC

      Okay, it appears that I can’t edit, but one other possibility is to have napkins or square papers over the plates, printed in the mismatched-vintage-china colors and patterns to give a general visual nudge in that direction while using the caterer’s plates. Not the same thing, but many orders of magnitude cheaper and easier…

    • del678

      ” I feel like I see them in a lot of APW/low budget/ indie/DIY wedding pictures”

      All these words do not necessarily go together so don’t feel like your missing something everyone else knows. DIY is not necessarily low budget, indie look is not necessarily independent vendors etc. A lot of these rustic, homely, at-home garden crafty DIY wedding details can be more effort/stress/money. Like the above poster said, get a clear idea of how much time/effort/money you are willing to spend on each detail and keep perspective so you can enjoy the process and not end up hating plates!

      • KC

        Indie/DIY/low-budget being three totally different criteria/buckets/etc. that only sometimes intersect is a really good point. REALLY good point.

        (see, for instance, photo shoot of I-should-probably-warn-you-in-advance-that-this-is-not-actually-a-wedding: http://www.jessicazaisblog.com/weddings/anne-of-green-gables-wedding-inspiration-photos/ – which has the mismatched china and is definitely on the DIY “look” side (lace in embroidery hoops hanging from trees!), but is not either an actual wedding, nor necessarily low-budget. But pretty!)

        I would also note that the china look makes the biggest decorative impact only until people actually have a bunch of food on their plates, at which point the plates mostly look like “plates with food on them”. :-)

        That said, if you love the look and you want to do it, the options I could think of are above, and it seems like generally a good policy to not feel like a “bad practical bride” for doing what you want to do with time/money/energy that you have and that you want to spend on the thing that you like. :-)

      • meg

        Yes. This is a pretty vital point. Also, assuming all APW weddings are low budget, or DIY, or both is a dangerous game, because they aren’t. Some are, some are not.

        Anyway! Where you do see mismatched plates a lot is STYLED wedding: styled shoots, or weddings with a professional designer /stylist, where they are aiming for a sort of DIY rustic look. Mismatched vintage plates are going to be both expensive and time consuming for 100 people. Possibly worth it to you, but you’ll need to budget a lot for it, and spend a fair amount of time.

  • Winter

    Hi everybody,

    My Mister proposed to me last Saturday with a Pac Man game (he changed the code and put the proposal on the screen after the second level). So now I’m engaged and wedding planning. I’M ENGAGED!!!! Ok, I just wanted to tell you all and hope Labor Day is entirely relaxing for each and everyone of you. Thanks Meg for APW; I’ve been reading for a year now and I feel way more prepared for being a wife, planning a party for getting hitched and looking good on our special day. More importantly, I feel a little more grounded, and more comfortable with being my happy go lucky nerd self. Blessings to you and your wonderful staff!

    • KC


      (also, that is a fantastic proposal method. :-) )