APW Happy Hour!

It’s that time again! It’s Friday, which means I’m on a Business Trip, or as the Wall Street Journal calls it a “Mommy Business Trip,” though oddly David is here to watch the baby, and I have not yet laid on the hotel floor cramming food from the mini-bar in my mouth. I’m so restrained, for a woman (or as I like to call them “Mommys”). AKA, I’m in Southern California at Mom 2.0. I’m speaking today about being a woman in a groundbreaking media field, complete with historical examples. (Big thanks to Maddie, and her degree in Culture and Communications with a minor in Producing, which everyone told her would be impractical. Ha!) Also, because it must be noted, fifteen years ago almost to the day, David and I went to prom in this very hotel (not with each other, please and thank you).

How was your week? It’s your Friday open thread, hop on it!



Highlights of APW this week

My essay on unplugging, and my month long unplugging challenge for APWers (update, three weeks in, this continues to get easier).

Quite honestly, I’m just linking to this awesome hair tutorial so I can point out how adorable my four months pregnant self was last year (I can only see the good parts of that difficult pregnancy in the rearview mirror).

Maddie’s post “Keeping Up With…” on the pitfalls comparing your insides to someone else’s outsides, and how we have to question, and not excuse, our own emotional jealousies.

Tradition month has started! Here is my Letter From The Editor.

I have big, big love for men willing to face the (shitty, sexist) music, and take their wives’ names.

Rachel’s post about wedding guests being our loved ones, not the worst commenters on The Kn*t slayed me… and made me mad I didn’t have it for my own wedding planning.

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  • Moe

    Nerd Status: I was waiting all morning for this open thread.

    • Oh, hell yeah! I was, too. I wasn’t around to read and comment all week, so now I’m catching up on all the APW goodness, too.

      • Another Meg

        Oh yes. I was pretty pissed last week when I had *actual work* at work all afternoon and basically missed it.

        • RIGHT? And I have actual work THIS afternoon too!!!


  • Maddie- you have a minor in producing?! That’s so awesome! When I was in college, I didn’t even know what producing WAS, and once I left college for the real world, it took me a while to realize producing is exactly what I was doing.

    • meg

      Fun fact: Maddie when to NYU and basically majored in media studies and producing. I went to NYU and majored in theatre (with a heavy side of women’s studies). It’s like we were prepping for… this.

      (Which we were, duh. People just didn’t get it.)

    • Maddie

      I did! It was something they introduced my year and I *loved* it. I was so sad when I graduated into the recession because every. single. entertainment company had shuttered their doors (hiring freezes, whatup baby). It was my dream to be a showrunner one day. :)

      But strangely, as Meg mentioned, I use my degree WAY more at APW than I ever did at my entertainment jobs (when I finally got one).

      • You two were TOTALLY prepping for APW. The fit is perfect.

        I never use anything I learned in my minor (“Global Leadership-what does that even mean?”), but I use everything I learned in production, and everything I learned being the nerd on the public speaking team basically every single day.

      • Maddie, I love the sound of your degree, particularly the theory portion. Mine’s in television production – lots of hands on video work and such. I love the idea of producing but as you said – recession – and also I don’t think it gels with my introvert side. Now I need to figure out what my next job/career move is as an administrate assistant at a community college – stay here and work towards something more administrative, go back to school and develop skills to something new…. anyone have any genius ideas?

        • Amy

          The corporate side of producing tends to be called project managing or operations managing. You get paid to herd business people along as they attempt to work on big long term projects. It is something I used to do in an old role and I loved it. Many of the big consulting firms need/want people with industry expertise, so if you had good grades in undergrad (consulting firms tend to be a bit snooty about degrees and grades sadly) it might be a good fit for you!

          • Yeah, come to LA and be a consultant with me!

          • Maddie

            Yes! Also, there are tons of entertainment office jobs that require industry know-how and aren’t on-set producing. My first job in the industry was in international distribution, but it turns out that having knowledge of post-production was a huge help for that job because we were working with video masters and audio masters, etc.

        • Maddie

          The theory side was the most fun part for me. And the HISTORY. I find it fascinating how the cycles of media perpetuate themselves with each new advancement in technology. It gives me a weird sense of safety in a rapidly changing world to know that the upheaval we’re experiencing in the digital world isn’t unlike what happened when radio was first introduced (just quicker and more intensely). Did you know radio even had its own versions of hackers in the early 20th century? Gah. I could nerd out over this stuff forever.

          I wish I had job advice though. After failing miserably at my desired career, I decided to try career searching by lifestyle (aka, is it ten minutes away from home? Check.) Oddly this has worked so far.

          • Funny enough, the theory and history of graphic design was much more compelling to me than any of my practical/studio classes ever were.

            And media/advertising history is just so interesting! Maddie, we should geek out more.

          • I’m so happy to read all this geeking out, by the way!

  • Laura C

    I have a kind of fuzzy nebulous question about making my wedding feel like mine.

    For background, I made a few big compromises right at the outset of wedding planning. Because my fiance has a large, close extended family and a lot of closely networked friends, we basically had to have a wedding that’s around twice the size I would have liked. We tried to figure out how a smaller guest list would work, and the answer was, it wouldn’t. That restricted us on venue, since there are only so many venues that do 250. And we ended up with a venue about which I love many things, but which has an in-house caterer. So I would have liked to have 125 people, made the desserts myself, bought the liquor ourselves and hired a bartender, and had a choice of caterer. None of those things will be the case, the baseline amount we’re spending for venue and catering is much more than I’d hoped (not putting anyone in debt, just more than I’d hoped on a values level) and it’s possible there will be 100 or more people I’ve never met there. With those big things already in place, I’m trying to think of creative ways to make the wedding feel like me.

    Here’s what I’ve got: Obviously the ceremony will be designed by the two of us alone, and we’ve agreed to emphasize readings that represent our values. Even if it’s an in-house caterer, I’m refusing the lumps of meat and potatoes on the side model of wedding food, going for something more eclectic and more me. I’m going to DIT the flowers and they’re going to be simple, because frankly I don’t care that much about flowers, but in a way where I’d rather have it right out there, defiantly underdone, almost. I’m looking for a dress that’s not particularly bridal. The rehearsal dinner will be at my future MIL’s house and I am going to make the desserts for that. But I feel like there’s more out there that I’m not thinking of, and this community has so many great ideas that I’d love to hear.

    • Cleo

      You seem to be doing a lot to take control of a, for you, less than ideal situation.

      I’m curious why it still doesn’t feel like “yours” or why you feel compelled to do more. From reading your post, I’m inclined to believe that it’s because there are going to be so many people there you don’t know, that you might feel lost at your ceremony or at the reception.

      If that’s the case, perhaps you could plan a few get-togethers with close groups of people (one for close family, one for close friends) during the wedding weekend (if you’re having your wedding on a weekend?). Something informal, maybe going out for drinks or going bowling or taking a hike. Perhaps if you include the people you are closest to in smaller outings separate from the wedding, you’ll feel like it’s been a more intimate time.

      Hope that helped!

      • Laura C

        That’s a good question. I think because until I’d been dating my fiance for a couple years the idea that I’d have a wedding-type wedding had never seriously crossed my mind at all. So then I started thinking about having a wedding-wedding, and got comfortable with the idea, and then reality turned out to be … so much bigger and to the extent that I’d anticipated having more people than I personally would have chosen, I hadn’t really wrapped my head around the ways that having that many people constrain your choices.

        So the basic framework of this event really isn’t terribly me. Which I’m torn about. Since it’s not like I had some vision of my wedding that I’ve had to give up, on some level I feel like my sense of pressure to make it feel more like me is actually a product of the exact wedding culture I didn’t used to participate in. But at the same time, I do want to feel some sense of ownership, because something important in my life is happening at this event, because while I’m not paying for nearly all of it I am putting a fair amount of money in personally, and because it’s a party I’m inviting my friends to.

        • Cate

          It also sounds to me like you might be feeling uncomfortable with the financial side of things, that spending a lot on a big wedding isn’t very “you.” Is that true?

          re-framing for yourself what it all means: I always thought I wasn’t the type of person who would spend a lot on a big fancy wedding. I thought I’d do something more DIY and community based. But my fiance has a large close family, as do I, and getting married in a field catered by the local BBQ joint with a cake I baked, like I’d initially imagined, was just too out there for his family, and there were too many people for that to work. I also realized my mom’s wedding depended on a lot of unpaid female labor by relatives who did not work outside of the home. Women’s professional progress makes professionalized weddings more necessary. The way we were going to have the laid-back non-weddingy wedding I wanted was to hire professionals so we wouldn’t have to stress about it, and could focus on family when everyone is in town. I had to really re-frame the wedding in my mind, and what DIY would mean, and what hiring professionals would mean. My friends and family are off doing amazing things, and I am so excited for them to come together for our wedding, but I am also going to respect their limitations and obligations and my own by focusing on what I really want them there for. (not to knock when people have a group of friends and family who come together to make them an awesome wedding. Thats amazing, but it wasn’t going to happen for me and that is ok!)

          The dress: One thing that really helped for me, though, was finding my dress. I found a beautiful dress that feels really special but also not particularly “bridal.” Its gorgeous and formal but not particularly femme, and it really reflects ME. Having that dress helps me fit the rest of the wedding to its style, a style that really fits us. My fiance is also wearing a suit instead of a tux, which also makes a big difference to me in signaling the type of wedding we want.

          The ceremony: It sounds like this is where you get to do what you want. Have you worked out the details of what you are going to do? If not, that might help it feel more like your own. In my tradition, there is no walk down the aisle, the bride and groom enter together, so we will both be out greeting guests before the ceremony. That is a big important symbol to me of how we are approaching our wedding and gender and what a wedding is. Having a ceremony that reflects our values makes having a more traditional reception feel like no big deal. On a related note, while I am having “bridesmaids” that I get ready with and plan with, there will be no matching dresses or wedding party in the ceremony. WHat you do with your bridal party can also help make your wedding your own/

          One more idea: If you want to bake something more for your wedding, what about cookies for welcome bags or favors? You can make the dough ahead of time and freeze it, then bake them all over a few days before the wedding?

        • Cate

          It also sounds to me like you might be feeling uncomfortable with the financial side of things, that spending a lot on a big wedding isn’t very “you.” Is that true?

          re-framing for yourself what it all means: I always thought I wasn’t the type of person who would spend a lot on a big fancy wedding. I thought I’d do something more DIY and community based. But my fiance has a large close family, as do I, and getting married in a field catered by the local BBQ joint with a cake I baked, like I’d initially imagined, was just too out there for his family, and there were too many people for that to work. I also realized my mom’s wedding depended on a lot of unpaid female labor by relatives who did not work outside of the home. Women’s professional progress makes professionalized weddings more necessary. The way we were going to have the laid-back non-weddingy wedding I wanted was to hire professionals so we wouldn’t have to stress about it, and could focus on family when everyone is in town. I had to really re-frame the wedding in my mind, and what DIY would mean, and what hiring professionals would mean. My friends and family are off doing amazing things, and I am so excited for them to come together for our wedding, but I am also going to respect their limitations and obligations and my own by focusing on what I really want them there for. (not to knock when people have a group of friends and family who come together to make them an awesome wedding. Thats amazing, but it wasn’t going to happen for me and that is ok!)

          The dress: One thing that really helped for me, though, was finding my dress. I found a beautiful dress that feels really special but also not particularly “bridal.” Its gorgeous and formal but not particularly femme, and it really reflects ME. Having that dress helps me fit the rest of the wedding to its style, a style that really fits us. My fiance is also wearing a suit instead of a tux, which also makes a big difference to me in signaling the type of wedding we want.

          The ceremony: It sounds like this is where you get to do what you want. Have you worked out the details of what you are going to do? If not, that might help it feel more like your own. In my tradition, there is no walk down the aisle, the bride and groom enter together, so we will both be out greeting guests before the ceremony. That is a big important symbol to me of how we are approaching our wedding and gender and what a wedding is. Having a ceremony that reflects our values makes having a more traditional reception feel like no big deal. On a related note, while I am having “bridesmaids” that I get ready with and plan with, there will be no matching dresses or wedding party in the ceremony. What you do with your bridal party can also help make your wedding your own.

          One more idea: If you want to bake something more for your wedding, what about cookies for welcome bags or favors? You can make the dough ahead of time and freeze it, then bake them all over a few days before the wedding?

          • I baked my cookies for our favors a couple of weeks ahead of time and then froze them. We took them out of the freezer the day before and they came out perfectly – no difference in taste or texture.

    • athena

      Laura, I think those are all great ideas! I had a hard time with my wedding as well, since half of our guest list was my husband’s family, and most of whom I’d never met or barely interacted with. So I focused on my friends and family and including them as much as possible. We had two friends and my sister do readings from novels we love, we had our friends (and some family) usher, play guitar at the ceremony, bake cookies for party favours, set up the reception, bake our wedding cake, do our slideshow, MC the wedding, design invitations, help decorate for the ceremony, chauffeur us on the wedding day, do makeup, make jewellery, and arrange our flowers. Having such huge participation from the people who are closest to us as a couple, REALLY made it feel ours. Also, writing the ceremony together cemented that for us. Hope that helps! :) Just remember, no matter what, your wedding day IS yours and you’ll feel it too.

    • Paranoid Libra

      I think if you can find a dress that just feels so you it would be such a huge help of getting to feel like the day is yours. Whenever I have on one of my super very me outfits that make me confident out the wazzooo, I always feel so awesome about whatever if going on around me cuz damn it I look good. That’s just with everyday clothes not the dress I had been trying to stalk out for 6 months for my wedding that when I finally tracked it down and showed a few people the link to the group in that line, EVERY one of them picked out my dress without even me saying which one it was.

      Get a rocking outfit for your day and it will make you feel like the awesome woman you deserve to be on your wedding day.

      And what about baking some favors would they have something against that at the venue since you can’t bake the regular desserts there?

    • alyssa

      I totally feel ya, lady! Only, reversed. I was the one bringing the whole town!
      I’d have to ask my hubby what helped him to feel himself, but these were the things that helped me to feel centered, despite all the people around:

      FIRST LOOK – spending time with just me, my future hubby, and my photographer really hammered home the reason I was marrying this man. I was so nervous until I saw him! the rest of the day was wonderful because he was around. It helped me to focus on the two of us in the eye of the storm :)

      Getting Ready – I had people around me whom I’ve known all my life, sisters, godparents, my dog… it felt great to be surrounded by people who love me as defined by: they’ve seen me cry and/or be naked

      Music – we had a great time putting together a playlist. Even if you’re surrounded by tons of people, you can choose songs which are meaningful to you as a couple, to you and your best friend, songs that are inside jokes, etc.

      Alone Time – We had a sweetheart table. (It was a surprise to us as it wasn’t something we planned, but my mom and mother in law knew we needed a place to sit, and they were right! It was nice that it was just the two of us.) I took the time to pray with my parents before walking down the aisle. Greg and I spent a little more time than necessary driving to the reception. We sneaked out of the reception to drink beers in our bare feet for about 10 minutes when we needed a break. Do what you need to do in order to create a little space, if that’s what you need! Plus, haven’t you always wanted to have a secret signal? This is your chance. :)

      I hope this helps! The rest of your ideas are great. :) It’s going to be YOU, even if it’s a lot of them. Because after all, it’s happening to you! And you’re making it happen. And all the in betweens. And I’m really excited for you, even though I don’t know you! So imagine how excited all 250 of your friends and family will be. The energy is palpable, and powerful. It’s gonna be great.

    • Teresa

      I think your ceremony and the music you choose will help things feel more “you.” People are still talking about the music we picked and how “us” it was and telling us they loved our ceremony (we had a friend officiate and the three of us wrote the ceremony and I had a friend help to choose the readings and read them). Our venue was quite traditional, which isn’t really what we wanted, but it still really felt like us bc we put so much thought into those other areas.

      • Katherine

        Teresa –

        Do you have any pointers on writing your own ceremony? I’ve been a prolific writer all my life, but oddly enough, when it comes down to me and my FH finally getting married, I have complete writer’s block. We’re having a friend officiate, so this is something we’ll work on with him too, obviously. But do you have any suggestions on what worked for you guys during the process? I know what readings I’d like to have read (mainly stuff I’ve found online), but as far as the ceremony verbiage & format itself, I have NO idea where to start or what I want (grr!). Hope you (or anyone else here) can help!! And, TGIF, by the way :-)

        • Kira

          I found this (Canadian) Unitarian site really useful when working on the ceremony. http://unitarian-stcatharines.org/rites/personalizeWeddingCeremony.htm.sav

          My partner and I ended up borrowing a lot from it, but I think it could be useful even if you want to go in a different direction with wording, since it has a clear structure of ceremony elements and several options for all of them.

          • Katherine

            AAAHHHH!! Thank you, Kira! I think this might be exactly what we need!!

        • Rebecca

          The vows open thread a while back was helpful for us, because a bunch of people posted their entire ceremony, which really gave us an idea of the variety of flows a ceremony could have. I think when my mom and stepmom got married the state (Colorado) actually had civil ceremony texts on their website?

        • Teresa

          My friend had married two other couples and we used the structure of the ceremony to guide us for the order of things. My friend who helped with the readings (I called her our literary director), came to us with lots of ideas for readings and we worked them in to the ceremony. We met with our friend/officiant one afternoon and she asked us all kinds of questions to help her personalize things. I can send you our ceremony–email me at thisisteresat at gmail dot com!

    • Jen

      about the food…we did family style, and it was perfect and felt totally “us”. It seems like you’re going for more of a casual vibe (could be totally wrong here!), and that was one way we did it. I second Paranoid Libra with the “bake something for the favours” if you wanted to do the desserts and can’t. I made salted butter caramel sauce and put it in little jars as the favours, and everyone loved them!!

      • LILY

        Salted butter caramel sauce sounds heavenly!! Must. make. immediately.

  • Sad as I am that I can’t refresh this site infinitely all evening, I’m happy to be attending my partner’s graduation ceremony tonight for his Master’s degree in sociology. Which of course makes me ponder whether and how this has been his individual accomplishment vs. an “us” accomplishment. Mostly his own. The extra happy part is having his parents in town and pal-ing around with them, eating great food and sipping fine drinks for the next couple days.

    After getting a depressing snowfall this week (I know the Midwest needs more moisture, but couldn’t it come in warm, softly falling spring rain instead?), I made up my mind– again– about where I want my career to go. The hard part will be working my ass off the next five months to save up for training. Deep breath, and—!

    Happy Friday, everyone!

    P.S. Meg, I’m interested to hear your thoughts on the Mom2Summit, if you share them here or on Twitter. I’m not familiar with the conference, but your involvement in something labeled “mom” has perked up my ears.

    • I don’t know which part of the midwest you are in, but here in SW/SC Wisconsin, April gave us quite a bit of moisture, thank you very much, and we’d appreciate a bit of a break. Even just a week would do nicely.

      • I’m in Nebraska, and though we got *some,* we’re still in a drought. Womp-womp. Last summer was brutally dry, so we’ll take whatever we can get (you can send yours our way!)

    • Another gal in the Mid West unhappy about the snow, here. My husband’s graduation ceremony for his Master’s in the 18th! It is definitely something that touches both people in the relationship (or all people in the house) even if only one person is actually earning the degree.

      Congratulations to you both! And cheers for deciding on a career path, too!

    • I love how whenever people talk about the Midwest, they name states like Wisconsin or Nebraska and I’m sitting over here in Ohio, wondering as I have since I moved to this state 18 years ago now, how am I also in the Midwest? At least our snow stopped last week…

      • Well, Colorado is the next state over from us, and that’s definitely straight-up West. So we’re just at opposite ends of the region!

        • I grew up in Pennsylvania where we considered ourselves “east coast” ha ha ha! It’d be more fun if we came up with new names for the different regions.

          • I grew up in PA, too! Though it’s a Mid-Atlantic state, I still consider it (mostly) East Coast. I just had this conversation with a Midwesterner who is moving to Erie for a year for her husband’s work. She called that the East Coast. I laughed (a little). I consider “East Coast” anywhere within an easy day’s drive of the Atlantic Ocean. Erie residents are *probably* not making many trips to the Jersey Shore.

          • Well…hahaha…I actually grew up in Erie and said “east coast” claim is strong there. I mean, the city is not even on the east coast of the lake. I think Erie has a complex – they think its the third largest city in the state (or that’s what I learned in school) and its on the lake an all…but its still kind of just a small little town. Tell your friend to try Barbatos and especially their pepperoni balls. To DIE for.

      • Ohio is the midwest, but it also gets to be the “bread basket.” Which I’ve never heard anyone use as an actual location description.

        • I’m going to start calling it the bread basket instead. It makes just as little sense as Midwest but I really love bread. So I can get behind it.

          • It does sound less cheesy than “the heart of it all.” And it’s fairly accurate.

          • Sarah, you’re really tempting me to find that logo and change it to “the fart of it all” and put it on a t-shirt for my friends…

      • I’m in Michigan and it’s referred to as midwest too… I’m not sure what else you’d consider the mitten ;-)

        • Another Meg

          What part? I’m moving to Ann Arbor in August and would love a head start on friend making!

          • For some reason, I can’t reply directly to you, Kristen.

            But if you made that t-shirt, I would buy the f*ck out of it!

          • Essexville/Bay City – it’s about an hour and a half north of there (near the thumb). Although kind of far, it seems that if I’m wanting to meet APW reading friends a trek downstate might be in order! and making friends sounds like a great endeavor.

          • Another Meg

            I can’t reply to you for some reason, Kate, but we can explore Ann Arbor together! I’m vaguely familiar with it since my gent’s family lives nearby, but I’m excited to root around and find wonders.Or we can hike somewhere in the middle!

          • Rebekah

            Another Meg: The answer to all your questions is Zingerman’s. My SO’s family is from Michigan, so I’ve fallen in love with many smaller wonders (and also with the Wings)

          • My best friend is moving to Ann Arbor in August as well to start her graduate degree. I can personally attest to her high quality as a friendship candidate :-) I’m happy to hook you two up- saraherdlen at gmail

        • You’re so on my friend.

          • I just googled and etsy searched, and there were NO HITS for “Ohio: The Fart of It All.”

            Just sayin.

          • Kristen

            Guess I know what I’ll be doing instead of laundry this weekend…

          • Kristen

            I don’t know about anyone else, but I feel bad poor Meg had to wade through our fart of it all commentary to post this completely appropriate and legitimate answer to someone’s question. Sorry for turning into a 12 year old, Meg.

        • Crayfish Kate

          Hey, I’m in MI too! Tho I’m on the opposite side, south of Grand Rapids, on the Lake MI shore. If you’re ever in this area, let me know! Also, Ann Arbor is AWESOME! I need to visit there again soon – have a blast!

    • meg

      Re Mom2: I’m really here to speak, and not about motherhood in the slightest. (I was interestingly one of the few talks in my session that did not contain even the word mom.)

  • I am in the midst of being close to my first planning meltdown today, mostly due to the fact that VistaPrint keeps resizing files when I upload, and I can’t seem to get the original file to be acceptable to it for printing, no matter how much I try. One hour or so on chat with a CS rep this morning, and her manager is supposed to give me a call in 20 minutes.

    I don’t even really care about the thing that I’m printing. I have a $100 for $25 Groupon that I bought to make save the date magnets, then had money left on it. So I designed my RSVPs (for next year). And still had money left to use. So I made some return address labels. And still had money left to use. So I designed some cute little envelope seals, using VP’s own Illustrator template as the start.

    I don’t need them and I wasn’t planning on them. But now that I’ve made the design, have the credit to cover them (and really nothing else to get with it) and I followed their directions exactly, I am freaking out a little about that fact that it isn’t working like it is supposed to.


    • athena

      Awwww…that’s so sucky and annoying! Step away from it for a while and do something that makes you happy. I find when things piss me off like that, the more I try, the more snap-showy I get.

      • I got to the point, while on the phone with the second customer service person, where I stopped caring. I only added the stickers to fill out the order. It frustrated me that the upload process and their template where failing, but I had spent as much time thinking about it as I cared to. More, in fact, than they were worth on any scale.

        So I told the lady “Oh, they aren’t working the way they should. You guys need to fix your template and I’m never going to use one of your templates again, but let’s give up trying to sort this.” And I ordered enough stickers to use up the Groupon…doesn’t matter how they look. I designed them in about 5 minutes, really.

        Which means, turning this back around, I can tick save-the-date magnets, RSVP cards, and return address labels off my to-do list, and for super inexpensive. BAM! I feel better now.

        AND! It is Friday. AND! It is Spring Gallery Night.

        • Yay for feeling better, Friday, and Spring Gallery night!

        • We used VistaPrint for our invitations, save the dates, thank you cards, and address labels. It really was pretty cost effective and they had a design I liked.

          I’m sorry they’re being a headache for you though!

          • I think a big part of the problem was that their template was the wrong size. Another part may be something with Illustrator CS6.

          • Good customer service, though.

  • Speaking of happy hour, we’re getting people together for a real life get together for APW readers in NYC. If anyone is interested in coming, you can go to the APW NYC facebook. or email me at studio(at)sarahhoppes(dot)com. We’re picking out a date now, so if you want to come and have a date you’d prefer, you can Vote on it in the poll.

  • Claire

    Twin Cities Women:

    Remember Meg’s “Don’t Pin It – Do It” challenge? Well, here’s what makin’ it real looks like for me – trying to take some of this online community and bring it into the real world. I want to continue these conversations & get to know each other in person, maybe over coffee or whiskey or brunch on some patio. Who’s in?

    I created this Doodle poll to help us figure out a time. ‘Cause you know, people want options ;)


    clairehaskell at gmail dot com

    • Ha! I just commented about this below. I’m so looking forward to it!

      • Claire

        We’re up to 5

    • Alyssa

      This is awesome! Thanks for suggesting it!

  • Emily

    I’ve been to 10 states in the last week! And I’m making it 11 tomorrow.

    • And I got to meet you! East Coast APWers for the win!

      That impromptu adventure was the high of my week. :)

      • Emily

        That was so much fun! Thanks for the brilliant milkshake suggestion. (And by suggestion, I mean I just copied you.)

    • what?! whoa!

  • Morningglory

    Any great suggestions for figuring out a seating chart? I’ve heard the “put everyone’s name on a post-it and move them around until it makes sense” suggestion. Any other brilliant ideas?

    Also – we don’t have a bridal party, but my fiance is pretty much against a “sweetheart” table. Any suggestions for choosing who gets to sit with us if decide to sit at a 10-person table? Any pros/cons of the sweetheart table? Would love your opinions! Thanks!

    • athena

      I printed and cut out all of our guest names and then drew our reception layout on a massive piece of paper then started with the “easy” table arrangements (i.e. parents, friends, etc) and made sure that the people closest to us were closest to our head table. But, since you aren’t having a head table, just figure out where you want to sit and go from there. As far as your table goes, I would definitely have both sets of parents at your table…or pick your best friends.

    • The major pro I’ve seen for the sweetheart table are for couples with a bridal party. I’m a bridesmaid in a wedding this year, for a college friend. My husband doesn’t know most of the people who will be attending and has a lot of social anxiety, especially around new people. It’s going to be hard for him to go to the wedding ceremony by himself, and be by himself for a lot of the cocktail hour, and it would be extra hard if we went to the reception and still couldn’t sit with me. There were other members of the bridal party who had partners who they would like to sit with as well, and the couple didn’t have a preference either way and ended up choosing the sweetheart table for that reason. They also figured that they’d be a little overwhelmed by the time they made it to the reception, and the sweetheart table would give them a little more time to talk with and enjoying each other in the hub-bub.

      We didn’t have a sweetheart table at our wedding, because there were only 13 guests total and we had our wedding and reception in the corner of a restaurant. But our immediate family (4 parents, 1 sibling, my dad’s best friend who is non-blood family, making 8 people total) sat with us at one table, and our friends sat together at another.

    • Moe

      This took a little work to set up, but I only did it once and it worked fine:

      I had our guest list on an Excel spreadsheet. I colored the cells pink for my guests and blue for my husband’s folks. Then I printed it out. I cut them into little strips.

      I kept the married folks and/or families as one strip of paper.

      I stuck post its on a cork board, each one labelled with a different table number.

      I stuck each guest to a table with a push pin and left the board at our desk in the living room.

      We each spent the next few weeks moving folks around as family feuds arose, people cancelled, and a few +1s were added.

      What I forgot to do was take a photo of the final version to take to the wedding with me when there were last minute questions.

      • I did this! Very close, anyway. I didn’t color code, but I had people categorized (family, church, work, law school, college, etc. – actually, the categories made it clear whose guests were whose) and couples together so I would start with, say a group of 5 from A’s law school, mix that with a group of 3 people who didn’t know anyone else, plus a couple who gets along with anybody – bam, 10 people.
        There was a lot of mixing and matching and rearranging, but it worked pretty well, we had it all figured out in a couple evenings (I took first pass, he checked it over).

        And then the venue called the day before and it turned out we were getting one less table than expected, which was so not awesome. I may or may not have had a bit of a phone-throwing fit whilst my friends were making bouquets in the other room.

    • I had a very small wedding (55 guests) and putting each name on a post it actually worked great for us. But as far as who to sit with – we had the same dilemma. Because our tables were in two long rows, we placed ourselves in the middle against the wall – so basically every table could see us and we sat with the folks who could have had fun at any table, but through limits for each table they were just the leftovers basically and we wanted to make up for it. They also happened to be some of our favorite folks we invited so it all worked out great.

    • Meg wrote about this for her own reception in a post called “Deconstructing the Head Table” I think you can find it under the “Traditions” category in the Dilemmas tab. Her choice was to sit with friends she doesn’t see often, and seat her parents with far-off friends as well for maximum partying. (I may be a bit over-familiar with some of the archives)

      • good ideas! it’ll be exciting to see who can make it from afar and plan around some of that!

    • Another Kate

      We got married in a restaurant, so had some flexibility with table size (not limited to just 10 person rounds), so we chose to sit with just our best man/his gf and maid of honor and her bf. I was anti sweetheart table too, but in retrospect would have been fine, we made the rounds during dinner and were barely at our table anyway. A suggestion I always see is sitting with both sets of parents and immediate families, but that won’t work for some families. Good luck!

    • Morningglory

      It’s a little tricky because our closest friends who are traveling from afar have 2 and 3 kids, respectively, so if we did that it would basically be a table of 6 adults and 5 kids. Not really what I was looking for. Maybe sitting with our parents is the way to go, but that wouldn’t be my first choice, honestly. It’ll be interesting to see how this pans out.

      • Copper

        are the kids old enough that you could group them with others and have a kids table?

    • Amy

      I know everyone mocks them, but Martha Stewart weddings site has a really good app for this where you can put in the size/shape of your tables/room set up/etc. And if you have your guest names in an excel file already you just upload them. Super easy, plus I used it to print out copies for my wedding coordinator.

    • Paranoid Libra

      I loved having a sweet heart table as PPs said it gives you a little bit more time together to enjoy it. People will steadily stream up to you guys anyways while eating. My bridemaid who had gotten married the previous year took it upon herself and husband to guard us for a few mins so we could actually enjoy eating our food without people pestering us. They just stood there and faked talking to us while we shovelled our faces. It was greatly appreciated since I have low blood sugar so I need to eat. If my sugar crashes I just want to nap and having an outdoor wedding on one of the hotter days in June would not have helped.

      As for if you opt for just sitting among people I would have immediate family at table at min. as it’s the non-offensive way otherwise if it’s all friends family members might be jealous or other friends and it can just turn into a hellish pool of catti-ness.

    • Jo

      We used weddingwire for our website and it had a seating table app. I loved that thing. Is that site still around??

      • Another Meg

        Yes and the seating chart app is super useful!

    • We had a sweetheart table and I loved it. It gave us a chance to be alone together and gossip about our guests and take a break. Plus, I actually wanted to eat my food.

      One option we considered was leaving several empty chairs at our table so that people could come sit and talk with us without having to squat to our level or stand over us, and that way you kind of get to sit with everyone.

    • I used excel and just created a column for each table and then started cutting and pasting people until everyone fit. Like others have said. Start with your family and close friends. It’ll take some time, but take a stab at it and then when you start to get frustrated, take a break. I always knew I need to break when I started to get annoyed at single people (like they did it on purpose to make things difficult for me!). Oh and also, not all the tables have to have the same number of people. Depending on your venue you might be able to have different size tables, or just vary the number plus or minus 1. Call me crazy, but doing the table layout was kind of fun, like a big puzzle :)

    • alyssa

      I did NOT want to stress a seating chart, so we didn’t have one. But, we also didn’t have a seated dinner – just a dessert bar, so it was easier to get away with that. We had scattered tables and chairs and benches, because my goal was for people to be dancing, anyway!

      As far as sweetheart table goes- we had one, even though I didn’t want one initially. I disliked the name (Sweetheart Table… gag me) and I told my family (who was setting up the barn) that G and I didn’t need a place to sit because we’d be dancing all night. Cue: my mother and mother in law calling me out and setting up a sweetheart table anyway. I can’t tell you how helpful it was to have a designated seat! Plus, without the added people at my table, it was so not intimidating for people to come up to me and say hi while we were eating. AND we got the added benefit of being able to talk to eachother without everyone hearing what we were saying. It was so ideal!

      … Moms are smart.

    • Copper

      A couple of less traditional options I’m playing with:

      1) Do the big long table thing so that we can sit in the middle of everything with all the people we love. I’m dead set against a sweetheart table because I do not want everybody watching me eat. But, your food issues may vary.

      2) For those at the ten-tops (we don’t have enough rectangular tables for everyone to be at one) just figure out who’s at what table and don’t bother with specifying who sits by whom. Get them to the right table, and I’m confident they’ll figure it out.

      • Kait

        We didn’t want a typical head table because being on display while I eat isn’t my idea of a great time. All our tables are round so our ‘head’ table is rectangle. My partner and I will sit at one end with our attendants and their partners on each side of the table (we have two attendants on both sides) the other end of the table is empty. This way our table is still different and we get to sit with our favourite people and their partners (who we are very fond of) to enjoy the meal.

  • Jenny

    I have a question about RSVP’s, our wedding is 3 weeks away and we’ve had a hard time getting RSVP’s. I emailed non responders a few days after the deadline, and again a week and a half after the deadline. Do we email/call one more time (which I’m NOT exited about) or just assume the non responses are nos. We are fine for food, but if three of the non responders end up coming, one of them won’t have a chair/ table etc. On the other hand, I really don’t want to pay for more chairs. What should I do?

    • Moe

      We had family help us with this. We had to track down about 20 people in the last two weeks. His parents tracked down their family members based on a list we gave them. My niece helped with my family members.

      This can also be a good task to assign to a member of the wedding party.

    • athena

      How many are missing? I hounded our guests to find out who was and wasn’t coming and on our wedding we had about 15 no shows. I’d call them to follow up, or just plan without them and if they show up, they’ll figure out what to do. Try not to let it stress you out, on your wedding day if there aren’t enough chairs, or there are extras, someone else will find a solution, you’ll be too busy to even notice!

    • Another Meg

      I like the idea of delegating this. Maybe have someone call the next closest connection who has RSVP’d? Example- cousin Myrtle hasn’t responded but her parents have. Would it be weird to have your Mom call her sister? Maybe planting gossip in the right ears….

      This is turning into a lot of work. How many are we talking about?

    • We also had the family member closest to the person contact them the last time. For example, if it was my husband’s friend from college he called, if it was my mother-in-law’s cousin, she did, etc. A few people just never responded and I think after the third request I just listed them as no. It was annoying and I was frustrated and lost a lot of respect for them (especially since I was using a service – GLO!- which let me see that they opened my emails). Good practice in letting things go.

      One thing I did re the guestlist, which was awesome, which I tell everyone to do now is to tell your caterer that you have three or so less people who actually rsvped yes. It wouldn’t work for a sit down dinner but we were doing buffet. 88 people rsvped yes, but I told the caterer it was 85. I knew that caterers always overbudget for food so if everyone showed up there would be enough to eat and we’d pay the extra money. Guess how many last minute no-shows we had? 3! I felt a lot less bitter about the no-shows since I hadn’t paid for them.

    • Moe

      Also don’t forget your wedding crew (DJ, photogrpahers, coordinator, etc) On my timeline notes I gave to the coordinator I made a note that it was mandatory to have a quick bite while everyone else is having dinner.

      • Jenny

        Thanks everyone, yeah it’s about 30 people. I’m finishing up my first year of my PhD program (yay!) and scheduling my committee and progress review and basically had budgeted these three weeks as relaxing/prepping/enjoying not doing homework time and I’m a little bitter that people can’t seem to click yes or no (we are also using glo, and I also provided my phone number and email incase they wanted to do it some other way).
        Both of our parents haven’t been so great at communicating with family members (though REALLY great for lots of other stuff), so I’m less inclined to go that route. Honestly I’m sort of feeling like well if you show up to a wedding without RSVPing and you don’t have a chair, table, place setting, plates/glasses/silverware or booze (the worst) that’s what you get! But, that really only hurts me. But seriously it’s about 15-20 per person for that stuff, it adds up quick.
        I will facebook stalk/call and ask our parents to follow up with ppl (though from our parents we will hear all about how much easier this would have been if we had used traditional invitations- because opening mail, finding a pen and then mailing something back is apparently easier than clicking 3 times on a computer without moving :) I mean they are both easy really).

        • Moe

          my reception was outdoors and there were all the rented tables for guests for RSVP’d, then there were a few extra pieces of patio furniture around the backyard that served as a lounge area and it was also used for smokers.

          I set out a few extra votive candles in those areas and figured if I had extra folks show up they could sit in the lounge area. (and it would also serve as a public way for shaming those who do not RSVP. ;) )

        • Beth

          We eventually emailed our missing people individually and if that hadn’t worked, I was thinking about calling/sending a second follow up saying that we would plan for them not being able to make it if we didn’t hear back by X day. Our venue is very small so extra people would make a huge difference for seating etc, so we really needed to know. But yeah, I definitely wouldn’t assume that people won’t show up if they don’t rsvp. We had one guy who we just could not get ahold of and figured he was out. We finally finally got in touch with him and it turned out he’d been in China for…awhile apparently, but he said he wouldn’t miss it!

  • Claire


  • LMN

    I loved last month’s focus on “The Good,” and I’ve been making a conscious effort to find the good in each day. I’ve been especially focused on finding the good in wedding planning, as we are a little under two months out. Here’s my good for today: I just sent out an email titled “Who wants to learn to bustle my dress? C’mon…you know it will be fun…” to four friends who have been helping me over the past year. In no time at all, all of them responded with a resounding, “Ooh, me!” So now we’re going to make an evening of it and have dinner together before my final dress fitting/learning to bustle appointment. I’m already looking forward to it.

    This is amazing to me. I’m an introvert with anxiety issues, so I don’t often spontaneously arrange dinner outings. But my wedding helpers are making it possible for me to change my habits. Each time I have an appointment (flowers, hair, makeup, dress), they are ready to drive me there, support me in any way needed, and keep all of us laughing.

    At the beginning of the planning process, all I could see was all the work to be done before our wedding–I didn’t realize that this work could change me and change my relationships for the better. I’m so grateful that wedding planning has given me the opportunity to spend more time with these women who are important to me. So, there’s my good for the day (and possibly also for the past several months). :)

    • Yay! All good things =)

    • Kira

      How wonderful!

  • athena

    I took a vacation day today to go visit a friend out of town, but she had to cancel…sooo I decided to take the day to do a bunch of things I have been meaning to do but never seem to have the time for:

    1) Delete songs I don’t like from my iTunes
    2) Rip all my old CDs to my iTunes
    3) Submit my wedding playlist to APW
    4) FINALLY write my APW wedding graduate post and submit it
    5) Revise my thesis and submit for publication
    6) Look through CFPs for potential conferences/journals to submit to
    7) Walk the dogs since it’s FINALLY nice out.

    After 8 months of tragedy, injury/pain, stress, and indecision, I am finally feeling good and motivated again!

    • That sounds like a fantastic-freaking-day! If you have leftover energy, I have a to-do list you can let loose on.

      • athena

        Hahahaha I don’t get many days by myself with my husband and sister living here!

        What do you need done? ;)

        Mind you, I am only on numbers 2 and 3 and it’s after 1PM here…

  • I just clicked to your blog and was sad to see that you are formerly of NYC but now are in the midwest, as I am a midwesterner in NYC who thought your cat’s bio was hilarious.

    • Two ships passing the night!

      Our cat is pretty outrageous. I grew up exclusively with dogs, and my husband brought the cat with him into the relationship, so I can’t say for certain whether or not she’s a typical feline. I feel confident that she’d approve of her bio, though, or at least allow for the truth of its contents!

  • Another Meg

    This “Tradition” theme has really got me thinking. Not about my own wedding, but about my little sister’s. We were raised über-Catholic in a very conservative household. Pie is marrying a cheerful, non-apologetic atheist, and she herself is openly agnostic. This causes awkward moments at the dinner table as it is (Dad saying a special prayer that God will bring his children “back to you, Lord” while Pie and Smarty just sit there and Pie turns an angry shade of pink).

    On top of this is their plans for a wedding. Their wedding is crazy non-traditional. Like, banners and homemade Meade and honeywine and Pie in a purple dress while we ladies wear cream. It’s actually the banners that have driven my mother off a cliff. We, the gals of both teams (non-gendered teams instead of bridesmaids and groomsmen), shall walk down the aisle in our cream dresses carrying bright, sunny banners instead of flowers. Mom’s gone apoplectic.

    As Head Gal, I’m going to bat for Pie a lot these days. I’m happy to, but I’m somewhat at a loss with my mom.

    Any tips on holding the hand of an embarrassed Mom while she tries to come to terms with this? I know that’s the problem- she’s fine with Pie’s “quirkiness” as long as it’s not being “flaunted” (her words) in front of our extended, very conservative and irritatingly judgmental family. Anyone else with experience in dealing with super-judgy families?

    • I have nothing really to say about easing the way with your mom (having been unsuccessful in that area), but your sister’s wedding sounds like it will be a rocking time, and you sound like the best, most supportive sister ever!

    • Ugh, sympathetic fist-bump for the passive-aggressive praying. That is sooo frustrating.

      I’m not sure I can offer any tips. My family isn’t judgy, but definitely teases mercilessly. I think in your shoes, I’d just say “Look, Mom, this is the lovely, self-assured daughter you raised. I think everyone will have a nice time, and if they don’t like her taste- oh well. It’s just her taste.” And kudos to your sister and her fiance for being non-apologetic about who they are! Good luck with the fam

      • Another Meg

        Yeah, the passive-agressive force is strong in my parents. Apparently Pie, awesome being that she is, sat them down last week after a dinner at home (Smarty disappeared to do the dishes, because he is rad). They talked, she let them know how upset it made her and how she felt like they didn’t respect her or her beliefs. They actually responded positively. This particular prayer, for now, has stopped. At least in Pie’s presence.

        Side note- Mom still leaves her book about “saving your children when they are destined for damnation” out on the table when Pie or I are over.

        • Is there like a nice or non-pissy way to tell your mom what she thinks and what everyone else thinks doesn’t matter? And that its your sisters happiness that does? I don’t know, I don’t deal well with judgy people without getting pissy. That unfortunately includes my husband. :)

          • Another Meg

            That’s an excellent suggestion, but I haven’t figured out a way to tell her that she won’t find insulting. If there is one, I’d really like to know it, because Mom is a motherf*cking champion grudge holder. She still talks about slights from the eighties.

          • I’d phrase it something like:

            “I just wish your sister would reconsider those ridiculous banners! They’re just embarrassing. What will Grandma think?”

            “Well, the good news is that no matter what Grandma thinks, Pie and Smarty are getting married, and that’s the important part. Plus, no matter your embarrassment, Pie will be radiant at the wedding.”

            Because even if she responded well to The Talk, she may still continue to make comments to you when your sister isnt’ there.

        • That book is ripe for mocking. My inappropriate sense of humor would just toss jokes left and right- “Wow, I love this hot weather! Good thing too, huh? nudgenudgewink”

          Tell your sis and fiance we all think they’re pretty rad, too :-)

          • Laura

            You just made me laugh like crazy in my quiet apartment. Thanks for that!

    • Flitwick

      I think that I am your sister in this scenario, not too much judgement from one side of the family or the other but awkwardness is still present. My family (well really my parents and the adults) are Muslim, my siblings and I were raised Muslim but we definitely don’t practice. My fiancé ‘s family is super Catholic and he and his siblings also don’t really practice. And both of our mothers are secretly convinced that their child’s partners have pulled them from The Lord. My mother basically had a heart attack when she found out we would be serving alcohol at the wedding.

      Needless to say I am nervous about the potential storm that might hit!

      • Another Meg

        Oh no! I hope very hard that no storms hit. If your or your fiance’s parents are like mine, they would never say anything in front of a bunch of wedding guests. Passive-agressive to the max, but never impolite.

        Maybe their own sense of propriety will save the day.

    • Ok wait! I think I might have figured it out – ignore your mom. Right? and possibly get your sister to ignore her too. You can’t change her, but you can change how you react yourselves. You two can giggle about her being ridic behind her back, bond in sisterly love over your parents not being able to be very mature, and move on? I mean – this could potentially be uber hard, but you’re portraying this like you’ve already got a sense of humor about it. When your mom starts going off, why not just do the old, “uh huh mom. Uh huh. Gosh, sorry you’re upset. Sorry you’re worried. Uh huh.” Just tune it out?

    • Breck

      That is so incredibly frustrating, but good for you and your sister for being so level-headed and pragmatic, while still sticking to your/her guns! I really have no good advice, but I do wish my nickname/pseudonym was Pie…

    • Paranoid Libra

      I am sure offbeatbride.com has several posts about this. Searching while at work though on old as hell I.E. 7?(whichever one tabbed browsing was finally allowed, yes I am aware it’s like 3 verisions old, I can’t control that) browser just doesn’t work so well.

      • Another Meg

        I will check that when I get home (my work firewall SUCKS).

        Thanks for the support, internet! You are all peaches on trees.

  • Morningglory

    Also – East Coasters getting married outside in the next few weeks: CICADAS! At this point I’m just going to roll with it. There’s really nothing we can do. Our ceremony and cocktail hour will be outside, the reception is under a tent. Hopefully no one ends up with a cicada in their drink. Any suggestions? Thoughts? Are you going to take photos with them if they’re there? Maybe we can do an APW “wordless weddings” of Cicada Wedding photos once we’ve all lived through it. Fingers crossed for good weather and few, if any, cicadas on Memorial Day weekend!

    • Emily

      In a way–and feel free to hate me for saying this, since it’s not like it’s my wedding–it’s kind of a good story, isn’t it? I think the local news said it only happens once every seventeen years or something? It’s like a comet. A bug comet.

      Plus I love the noise they make.

    • Morningglory

      I’ve been checking this site for info: http://project.wnyc.org/cicadas/. It’s pretty fascinating, and yes this brood only emerges every 17 years.

      • Are there different broods on different 17 year cycles? Because I remember a crazy once-every-17-year year sometime around 2004 or so. It *was* in the midwest (Indiana), so maybe that’s the difference?

        • Kate, I was just about to ask the same thing. I remember having to deal with 17 year cycle cicadas at summer camp as a kid, and again at summer camp when I was a counselor during college. And I’m not 61, so it can’t be that all the cicadas only come out every 17 years.

        • Morningglory

          Yep, there are different broods on 17 year cycles. Our area of NJ also got hit pretty hard in 2004, so I’m hoping that this year isn’t too bad for us. But the reports are daunting to say the least: up to 1.5 million cicadas per acre in some areas! http://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2013/04/new-jersey-will-be-covered-in-giant-bugs-soon.html
          There are lots more scientific articles out there, but this sums it up pretty nicely.

          • Laura C

            I was in NJ then. Awful. My friend saw someone stop their car in an intersection and jump out trying to shake a cicada out of their sweater. I, meanwhile, was on crutches, which made for some hairy cicada-evasion efforts.

        • Yes, there are! Here’s a handy dandy chart I found that lists them.

          I remember looking this up a few years ago, because it seemed like people were talking about it being a cicada year when 17 years definitely had not passed since I’d seen one.

      • oh my goodness that thought had just skipped right over me. Cicadas. Crap. My wedding is outdoors in three weeks.

        my mantra, however, is, oh well! if we cannot be heard we can laugh about it later. What matters is that we are married :-).

    • Lauren

      I love cicadas and their chattering. I don’t love when my cat eats one and then barfs all over the house.

      That is all.

    • alyssa

      This is maybe a little overkill, but have you thought of straws and cupcake liners? If you put a cupcake liner upside down and poke a straw through, it’s a lot harder for bugs/bees/food to drop into your drink. Just a thought!

      Another thought, if you go this route, DELEGATE IT! :)

  • ali s

    This is totally random, but it needs to be shared with the world
    I just ate the best sandwich of my life. And I’m completely not exaggerating. If you’re a Philly girl and you’ve never been to Paesano’s, go there!!

    Anyway, now that that’s out, I’m coming up on a year away from the wedding! May 24th, 2014!! And I feel like I have basically nothing done. Any advice??

    • I love how random this is, and I’m going to be in Philly for Wizard World Con at the end of the month, sos I’m going to check out Paesano’s!

      Also, on the topic of randomness and food, I’m currently listening to Jerry Seinfeld talking about coffee on NPR here.

      And on the topic of NPR, I’ve basically been playing this on repeat for two days.

    • Advice: 1. Ignore the WIC people screaming at you that you already have to have everything done. A year is plenty of time. 2. Gaze over at your betrothed and think about how cool it will be to be hitched to them a year from now. 3. Now’s an awesome time to do some research. Once you have a handle on what exactly you want/need, it’s so much easier to get things accomplished than when you’re dealing with amorphous omg!wedding things. Eat the elephant one bite at a time. 4. Have a margarita; it’s gorgeous out. Repeat as necessary. Good luck!

      • Oh girl, let me stop you right there, because the BEST sandwich one could ever eat can only be found in Brussels, from this little street cafe, at noon, after walking all day. ACCEPT NO SUBSTITUTES.

        (Yes, I am living an entire life in the haunting shadow of that Brussels sandwich. My god, my god.)

    • jess

      We’re the weekend before you next year! We have a few things done (venue, projected guest list), which feels like nothing since I start grad school in September so I’d *like* to have waaaay more done by the end of the summer and classes and homework start.

      Also, my finace is a Philly guy….might have to check out that sandwich!

      • ali s

        Sorry, reported you by accident! Those buttons are way too close together for the phone!

    • Amy

      Don’t freak out. I planned my wedding in four months. You’ll be fine.

    • Brenda

      I’m two months away in what was a six month planning process, and even though we’ve got stuff to do still, it’s been pretty quiet. I’m thinking, what the heck do people actually do when they’re planning for a year or more?

      You’ve got plenty of time.

      Also, Philly! I miss cheesesteaks.

      • YetAnotherMegan

        We’re two weeks after, on June 7, 2014. We’re planning long distance, and got a lot done already. I feel like I should feel like I’ve made a ton of progress, but instead I feel like I should be doing something, I just don’t know what.

        Also, this tread is making me think I should make the trek into Philly more often.

    • Nope, sorry. Best sandwich ever at a place known as “Eat Eat” (though I don’t know the real name) outside of Milton, Ontario. Chicken. Spinach. Pear. Brilliant.

      I’ve been disappointed with every sandwich I’ve had since.

  • This week has been a roller coaster. Finish a 20 page paper for your final grad school class! Run two awesome meetings for work! Mammoth cold that means you’re out of the office for two days! Sleeping in for two days and reading romance novels! Phlegm, pounding headaches and coughing fits! Unpacking the house of boxes when you can stand! Fight with wife about how to properly lay backsplash tile! Hangry! Order pizza! Pizza never shows! Late night Wendy’s! Can’t sleep! Go to work! Tedious meeting cancelled! Work! Find out you got an A on your final paper and the class! Get chocolate! Back to work!

    So yeah. And then this weekend will be More unpacking! Iron Man 3! Visit with Aunt who will criticize everything because that’s how she shows love! More unpacking! Booze, if well enough! MORE UNPACKING! FOREVER!

    So, it’s kind of an exclamation point week. Is that a thing? It’s a thing now.

    • I’m really concerned about the part where you ordered a pizza and it never showed. What kind of world are we living in when one can’t depend on pizza?!

      • Apparently, the online order system wasn’t working because the fax machine had been broken for the past two days? Because those two things are related? They voided the charge and said we’ve have a free pizza whenever we wanted at some point. But still… don’t get between me and pizza, man.

        • That happened to me once. I ordered a pizza for my friend to pick up on his way over to my place, already paid. He was there an hour when they said they never got the order, so he came over and we went to a way better pizza place across the street that didn’t have online ordering. We were extremely cranky. The next day, a random pizza showed up at my door. Apparently the online ordering system had a glitch and changed the date. This was a year ago, and I’m still mad about it. It’s a bad idea to stand between me and pizza goodness.

          • Oh, online ordering. I love it, because it means you don’t have to make a phone call, but it also means more ways to go wrong.

            On the other hand, I’ve had plenty of wackadoodle phone take out mishaps. My favorite was my order of chicken tikka masala that was chicken vindaloo. I’d never cried from spiciness before.

    • Phlegm is a grosser word that moist. Just sayin’. Also, for the record, in public, I AM SO PROUD OF YOU! You kick all the asses, and deserved the hell out of that A.

      • Thanks, hon, love you too!

        (Is this what it feels like when your parents unexpectedly find your facebook?)

  • LILY

    So, invitations. Such a necessary (to us) part of wedding planning and preparation, and yet this is the one area in which I have no idea where to start! I’m having a hard time figuring out the websites and how much customization is actually available with the wording. Do most people just order invitations online these days? And is it actually cheaper to print them yourselves? If you do print them yourself (at Staples or wherever), can you purchase envelopes at the same place? For some reason, figuring out the envelopes is the stressful part to me.

    Also, are there ways to incorporate parents’ names on the invitation, other than the traditional “Mr. and Mrs. Parents request your presence…”? We want to include both sets of parents, which is sadly now 1.5 sets, and it’s a becoming a wording issue. Any suggestions?

    • We did ours as a “Person 1 & Person 1 and their parents request your presence.” Doesn’t specifically name them, but does get their presence across.

    • We said “Kelly & David, together with their families…”

      • Audrey

        We did “Together with our parents, we invite you to share our joy and support our love…”

        • Kelly

          yeah, we did “together with their parents, Kelly & Ryan invite….”

    • Catherine B

      I struggled with the name thing too. We ended up with “The Jones and Smith Families Request the … ” then I didn’t have to Fight the Mr. & Mrs. Dad’s First Name Last Name fight and could honor and include both families.

      • LILY

        I like that option! My mom is pretty adamant on wanting her and my dad’s name on the invite, and since they’re paying, I don’t think it’s unreasonable. Thanks!

    • Moe

      I downloaded the free invitation template from weddingchicks.com, printed them at home on cardstock I bought, stuffed them into envelopes I bought. (same website as the cardstock)

      Then a crafty friend came over and helped me bundle them up and tie them with bakers twine before they were mailed out in enevelopes.

      It’s a little bit of work but I enjoyed it.

      • LILY

        That sounds great–I actually used a STD template from weddingchicks.com, so why not continue the theme?

        You make it sound easy and manageable, glad to hear it doesn’t have to be a stress-inducing craft experience from Hades :)

        • Moe

          I went to Joann’s and bought a paper cutter. If you choose to go this route BUY A PAPERCUTTER (or borrow one)

          I had to cut two invitations from each sheet of card stock, and cut the RSVP card, and the card with the directions too Xs 65 invitations.

          You will want a papercutter.

          Joann’s (and Michael’s too) has an app where you can get coupons for discounts off regulary priced merchandise. My paper cutter was 50% off.

          • Rule of thumb for Joann’s: if it’s not 50% off and you can’t find a coupon making it 50% off, there’s a VERY good chance one will pop up within two weeks of you looking.

            Their stuff (and Hobby Lobby) gets deeply discounted on a pretty set schedule. I’d probably have it memorized if I lived closer to either of them.

          • LILY

            Paper cutters are amazing. Worth way more than their weight in gold! (especially at 50% off…)

          • PAPERCUTTER!!!! Also, if you’re getting a discount anyway, don’t cheap out. Like, don’t spend a zillion dollars, but the absolute cheapest one will probably make your life harder than not having one. Also, the ones that chop are better (imo) than the sliding ones.

          • Amanda

            Also, they have industrial-sized paper cutters at many print shop places (Kinkos, FedEx, etc.) If you print a lot with them too and ask nicely, the employees also might cut them for you! We found this out when my husband did some small business printing at Kinkos.

    • I’m working on invitations right now! We’re ordering ours online through Wedding Paper Divas (hope it’s okay to mention that), but I’m also helping my sister with her invitations (she’s getting married five weeks before me) and we’re totally printing hers at home. She bought pretty kits from a craft store that included the envelopes, plus a few extras. Not sure about going through a store like Staples, but I’d imagine envelopes are included in the cost (or at least available at the same place).

      In the end, the do-it-yourself route will probably be cheaper — but I’d also consider the factors of having to buy ink (pretty expensive for my parents’ printer) and the added stress of, you know, having to print them yourself (formatting, etc.).

      We wanted to make sure both sets of parents were mentioned, and here’s how we’re doing it . . .

      “Together with
      Mr. and Mrs. Megan’s Parents and
      Mr. and Mrs. Spencer’s Parents

      Megan XX
      Spencer XX

      request the pleasure of your company
      as they unite in marriage . . .”

      On Wedding Paper Divas, at least, you’re given many customization options for wording from the get-go. It was really important to me to have both sets of parents on the invite, even if we’re technically financing the wedding . . . I just thought it was a respect thing.

      Hope that helps! And good luck!

      • LILY

        That is very helpful, Megan! Thank you. I really like how you incorporated both sets of parents–we will also be doing that, so I’m glad to know it’s not completely unheard of at this point. Thanks for sharing your experience, good luck with the rest of planning!

      • Amber

        We went with Wedding Paper Divas too! And they’re supposed to arrive here at any minute–woot woot! I’ve done the DIY route before (we had a tiny commitment ceremony 7 years ago and now we’re having a legal ceremony!) with purchasing a kit from Joanns and printing yourself, and while they turned out really well, it was SUCH a pain in the butt. I consider myself to be pretty darn crafty and creatively-inclined, but the idea of dealing with our home printer and going through that process again seemed like a nightmare. That said, I know lots of people that have gone that route (or made their own design, or purchased a design on Etsy and printed with Vistaprint or whatnot) and have amazing things to say about it. But I love our invites, and to me the splurge was well worth it!

        Oh, and we said “Amber and K invite you to join them for dinner, drinks, and dancing in celebration of their marriage…” and then at the very bottom in a smaller font we said “Hosted by the K family” because my family is not involved, financially, emotionally, well, at all, and her family is contributing to a part of the cost, but not all, and it just seemed awkward to say in the first line of the invite that her family was inviting everyone to our wedding. So that was the best solution we could come up with and her family thought it was nice.

        Oooh, ooh, update–we just got the invites, and they are amazing!!

      • Megan, I just wanted to say that we got married 6 weeks after my husband’s sister. :) Good luck with everything!

    • Got mine printed at CopyMax – they did not have the right size envelopes. It was a fairly urban CopyMax so perhaps a suburban one would have larger selection, but I recommend ordering envelopes separately.

    • I made ours and just kind of winged the wording, so I don’t have many good resources for wording/templates.

      However, cardsandpockets.com is a good source for envelopes (they have about every color you can think of) – we got almost all our supplies there. But I’m sure you can probably find envelopes at Staples or Office Max too. They’ll fit as long as they are around 1/4 inch larger than your finished invite.

    • we also did together with their families, partially because i feel we’re as much hosts and our immediate families are, it’s definitely going to feel like kate + matt’s wedding.

      and also because we both have elements that make it hard to list my mom + santi, matt’s mom without listing his dad who passed away, which makes me sad. and then adding in my dad and his wife, which apparently is full of concerns that may be a whole separate comment on it’s own some day.

      and on envelopes, we’re going with french paper – they have amazing colors and are made in michigan i do believe.

      invites will be letter pressed, we have a paper geek by our side and it has me geeked too.

    • I wanted to include both sets of parents, too, so we ended up with:

      Dad & Mom MylastName request the pleasure of your company to celebrate the marriage of their daughter ME to Groom son of Dad & Mom Hislastname

      Because I didn’t change my name and to (hopefully?) avoid some confusion, my name was my whole name, rather than the more traditional First & Middle, and Groom had his first & last there too

      I hope that makes sense!

    • Lauren

      I did the whole shebang myself. I painted a watercolor to use as the “header image” and basically downloaded a lot of fonts that I liked and made a .pdf the text goes:

      Together with their parents
      Chris Hisname and Lauren Hername
      Invite you to share in their celebration
      As best friends become husband & wife

      Time, Date, Place, Etc.

      Food, drinks, and awkward but enthusiastic dancing to follow (<– found that line on someone else's invites and I LOVED it).

      I used CatPrint.com to print invites, response cards and info cards. They also have matching envelopes. The customer service was FANTASTIC; I cannot say enough about how great they were when I had issues. Also, you can eco-print, which I love, and they ship using eco-friendly materials. They also have a page dedicated to customers' cats.

      I got 150 invites, response cards, info cards, big envelopes and reply envelopes for under $250. Rock. On.

      • Copper

        aw, your wording is so sweet!

    • Brenda

      I ended up going with someone on Etsy who also did our ketubah, but I was drooling over the designs at Printable Press and EM Papers (both APW sponsors) for ages. They all seem pretty customisable. Also, Etsy has about a million invitation vendors. I’m sure you can find something lovely with the wording you want.

    • Rachel

      We also used Catprint for our save the dates and were really happy with them so we’re using them for the invitations as well. I was really happy that they emphasize environmental responsibility (apparently the packing peanuts they use are so biodegradable/non-toxic that you can eat them?!) and their customer service was incredibly helpful. Plus everything came quickly and they were CHEAP! We are not particularly artsy but we downloaded a bunch of fonts and messed around with Pages and some google images and had consultations with our more creative/graphic design-inclined friends and family and they turned out perfectly for us.

      One side note: our wedding will be quite a traditional Jewish wedding (although totally egalitarian) so we wanted all of the invitation to be in Hebrew as well as English. We didn’t like the aesthetics of Hebrew/English templates we saw or they were too expensive (custom design was also too expensive) so we knew we would be designing from scratch. If anyone wants our Hebrew/English wording I’m happy to share – I particularly love the traditional Hebrew language and how we translated it.

    • Samantha

      I designers my own invitations so I can’t speak to that portion but I will say we printed with Aped&Pink who did a fantastic and fast job for basically the same amount as if we had bought paper from paper-souce.com and printed with staples(our first thought) and with no headache. I felt confident that she would actually care about how they looked which I dont think staples would have so much. Plus I love supporting small businesses when j can – bonus! I got our envelopes at paperpresentation.com. same envelope as paper-souce but less expensive. Also FYI. Check with USPS because many shapes.proportions of envelopes will cost you a “non-machinable” fee – like our ducky square ones. 20 cents per envelope.

      • Samantha

        Oh my gosh auto correct….sorry!

    • Margaret

      We ordered a kit from Joann’s and they came with envelopes and some really ugly brown pocket folders. The paper for the invites and inserts was lovely though. So we ordered new pocket folds from envelopments. We downloaded the pdf’s from the Wilton print site and printed them at home.
      We spent 50 bucks on the original kits for 75 invites and 150 on the new pocket folds. I know that seems crazy but I could not even look at the brown ones long enough to put them together and the gorgeous purple ones made the whole project more fun. We actually didn’t go through that much ink so I have no idea what that cost was since we didn’t have to replace ink during the whole print process. We sealed the pocket folds with a wax seal. For us, any time I tried to look at having them printed, it seemed like it would have cost us at least 500 bucks to get the formal invites I wanted for our formal wedding. Having said that, I love putting together actual mail- I’m an actor and I hand write most of my actor-type mailings. Not everyone loves that but it was a great project for us to do as a couple.

  • Moe

    Oh! I was doing instead of pinning this last week!

    I finally went about making decorating improvements around the apartment. I hung pictures on the wall, something I was afraid to do wrong.

    I hung two shower curtains in the bathroom so that they open up like window curtains. I love it.

    AND I made honey-sesame chicken in the crockpot.

    I’m on a roll!!! Now I’m going to tomatillo pork in the crock pot for the cinco de mayo weekend!

    • Grats! This is so huge. I think this is part of the reason why I suck at blogging. Because I spend enough time Pinning things, that I don’t want to then go and write about Pinning things, you know?

      I glitter-fied the shoes I’m probably going to be wearing at our wedding, and I’ve found some really neat alternatives to “traditional” wedding goodies. I’m not necessarily making them myself, but it’s been nice to be inspired to search for something different, knowing that it’s out there.

      (does that make sense? it’s friday and my brain is fried. WHO KNOWS)

    • Go you! Both of you! =D

    • Caroline

      Me too! I did stuff instead of pinning. I made yogurt and then made it into cheese which I’m completely obsessed with because it turned out exactly like my favorite firm super salty labneh like cheese I ate every morning in Israel. Not the labneh that’s pretty soft and sort of like Greek yogurt in texture, but the one that’s sort of the texture of very cold blocks of philidelphia cream cheese. I’m in love with this cheese.

      I also started a mustard recipe (have to finish it today).

  • Catherine B

    I signed up for the Indianapolis Mini-marathon in hopes of motivating myself to get in shape for the wedding. That was back in November. It’s tomorrow. I’m in great shape from the training, so mission accomplished. But the whole running 13 miles thing seems a bit pointless now….will be happy when it’s over! Then the wedding is almost here! Eeek!

    • Cleo

      I ran this race a couple years ago! It’s SO FUN!! The atmosphere and crowds were pretty great and running on the track for the Indy 500 is unbelievable!

      Have an amazing time!!

    • Have you ever run in a race before? I find it to be totally exhilarating. It’s – it’s your energy, and the energy of thousands of strangers all there for the same ultimate purpose – to run. And their energy is totally contageous. I find myself utterly giddy with it when I race. Props to you for making your goal and seeing it through to the end!!!

      • Catherine B

        Thanks! I did a half two years ago in Chicago. It was 45 and raining sideways with the wind blowing in my face half the race. So, not exhilarating…but I think/hope this one will be fun. And then done! Yay!

    • Good luck on your race and have fun at the wedding!

    • Kira

      I am in Bloomington and getting married next week! Good luck on your mini-marathon and your wedding!

  • Suck at Being Stealthy

    I just found out (on Wednesday) that I’m pregnant!

    I have a lot of feelings about this. When I found out I curled up on my husband’s chest and burst into tears. “Happy tears, right?!” he asked. “Mostly!” I said, through my sobs. “Mostly happy tears! A couple of them are OH SHIT tears, though!”

    • Catherine B

      Bahahah at least you caught it in time :) Congratulations and good luck processing all of your mostly happy feelings. (And we won’t tell)

    • Congratulations! We just decided officially to stop bc and try – it is really exciting and scary!

      • Stealthy also

        This is my second month off the pill and I agree it is really exciting and scary. I was actually surprised to feel quite ill last month from hormones adjusting but I feel better now. After an entire adulthood of being super careful to not get pregnant, it is such a weird mind shift to now suddenly be trying to make it happen.

        I am also trying to be very stealthy, we have visitors coming over this evening and this morning I was hiding vitamins and such. Hopefully I didn’t forget anything.

        Congrats SABS, and good luck with the trying Rowena.

        • Suck at Being Stealthy

          Getting off the pill SUCKED for me. I was on it a relatively short time (I’m 30 years old, was on the pill for 4.5 straight years, that’s it). I don’t remember my period being horrid before I ever got on the pill in the first place, but once I got off it was hell. Pure hell. And my mood swings were unreal. Super depressed, super emotional, just a total wreck. I was not prepared for that! And I’m seriously hoping pregnancy hormones are kinder to me…

    • Emily

      I was going to delete your first comment but you did it before I could. So maybe you DON’T suck at being stealthy.

      Congrats! (On the baby, not the comment deleting. ha)

      • Suck at Being Stealthy

        Haha, thanks! Of course, yesterday I made the mistake of pinning baby stuff to a non-secret Pinterest board, which brought an avalanche of speculation from friends and family down on my head, so I am 0 for 2 at this point in terms of Stealthy vs the Internet.

    • athena

      So intense! I think I would be bawling if that were me, but I am 80% sure I don’t want kids. However, anytime I think I am pregnant and do a test and find out I am not, I’m somehow disappointed. Anyways, do you want to talk about your “oh shit” tears aka fears?

      • Suck at Being Stealthy

        This pregnancy is definitely wanted and planned for, and yet so many complicated feelings! Like being on the precipice of most big life changes, I could prepare for it up to a point without ever really knowing what it was going to be like on the other side.

        I am mostly frightened of the physicality of it, the out-of-control-ness. I worry about the ways people will view me and how it will change my existing relationships. I am so, so excited, and can’t wait to have a new person in our family and see my partner as a father and all kinds of lovely things. I am thrilled and SO HAPPY.

        And then on the other hand, I bought a whole luscious log of goat cheese about two hours before taking the test, and I am strongly discouraged from eating it. And runny eggs. And coffee. So basically, breakfast this morning felt like my husband was personally torturing me.

        • athena

          I can totally understand that you can only prepare so much and then BAM, you’re in holy shit mode. I think I felt like that about being married. Took some serious adjustment!

          One of the reasons I don’t think I want kids is the physicality of it, I am terrified of what pregnancy will do to my body (both internally and externally) and I like to drink and eat way too much, which would make pregnancy extremely difficult. Nothing worse than feeling tortured because you can’t eat what you want. I guess the only thing to remind yourself is that it’s only temporary (though I am sure 9 months feels long) and that you’ll be rewarded with a tiny person that’s half you and half your husband (which is the 20% wanting a kid part for me).

        • jlseldon7

          Pregnancy has only gotten better so far for me. I wrote on APW a couple months ago about my Oh Shit moment when it came to being pregnant. And while sometimes I’m still a little nervous overall it has gotten a lot better! I’m about halfway now. The first trimester was…rough…but managed to get through it

          My husband would tell me during the first trimester that “women don’t feel pregnant until they start showing” which is hysterical coming from him, but was really sweet, and surprisingly accurate.

          I would also say that unless your doctor (not the internet) tells you to not eat things, don’t worry about it. You can still have coffee (Yay!) and tasty things. I’ve been trying to not go crazy overboard with diet and it’s really improved my mood.

          Also get the book “girlfriends guide to pregnancy” I about died of laughter. I mean the woman talks about titty fairies, so you know its going to be good. And let me tell you the Fairy was generous.

    • I debated with myself over saying a heartfelt CONGRATULATIONS because of all the discussion we participate in over here at APW, and how maybe it’s not always appropriate or is loaded with preconceived notions, and because I remember when Meg announced her pregnancy, she asked for solidarity fist-bumps, and felt weird being congratulated. I now second-guess myself when I go to congratulate someone for ANYTHING.

      But here it is: I’m not congratulating you for procreating, per se. In my head, my congratulations is an acknowledgement that you have embarked on or will be embarking on something life-changing, and you have determined that you will see it through. You’ve been dealt a prickley hand of cards, and have determined that you will play them to the best of your ability. That is huge, I think, and can be exciting and terrifying, regardless of what it is.

      So congratulations! and /fist-bump.

      • Shiri

        Elle, what a lovely comment. Yes yes yes. I feel weird about congratulating people now, too, and you just put into words what I couldn’t name about why i want to do it.

      • Suck at Being Stealthy

        I accept both the congratulations and the fist-bump gladly. The fact that you paused to give so much consideration to my feelings means a lot!

    • Congratulations! To paraphrase Meg, you’re making a human and it’s a big deal. If you didn’t have any conflicting feelings, you probably wouldn’t be thinking about it hard enough.

    • PCE

      Me too! Pretty much exactly except it was Tuesday. I found out right after getting home from work and spent the next 2 hours with my heart beating like crazy waiting for my husband to get home. We are both thrilled, but I couldn’t help keep the tears and shaky voice at bay. I kept telling my husband he was allowed to freak out a little too! It’s a lot to deal with!

      Also, so glad to have a space to share the news with friendly strangers :)

    • Yes! While I am no pregnant, my partner and I just decided (last night) after a year of talks to stop using birth control. I was instantly excited and then have been scared sh*tless all day. It’s such a weird conflicting feeling.

      Though, what Meigh McPants said made me feel really happy: “…you’re making a human and it’s a big deal. If you didn’t have any conflicting feelings, you probably wouldn’t be thinking about it hard enough.”

      Yay for you and fist bumps all around.

    • Amy

      I’m taking a pregnancy test tomorrow. My period should have come earlier this week…still nothing! We’re excited!

  • I’m hoping to unplug this weekend, though I think I’m going to have a hard time of it this first go around because we’re supposed to get a butt-ton of rain and grossness.

    I’ve been blogging for a whole month! Not a hugely impressive thing, but better than I’ve ever done before so I will take it. Plus I got a couple hundred page views (mostly you guys I think) so that’s also cool. Even without comments, it feels a little less like shouting into the ether.

    I fell into a huge writing rut a few weeks ago, but I think I’m starting to come back out of it. The ideas have come back, at least, if not the cohesive thought process.

    Last, I’m still in the market for designing wedding invites (or other things) for people! Email me at lguest4 at gmail dot com if you’re interested.

    • Yay for blogging! I read your blog and I know it can be hard to figure out a good schedule for that or get inspired. I hope your unplugged weekend goes well!

  • A good friend of mine is getting married tomorrow! She got engaged two months before my sister and I both did, and I’m so excited her day is finally here. Part of me is a little sad, though . . . the three of us have done so much wedding planning together over the last eight months, and it’s bittersweet to see that come to an end. I know we have so much to look forward to, of course, but I’m mourning our cozy crew doing wedding-y things as a trio up until now.

    Plus, that means I’m officially six months from my own wedding — and !!!!. Excited. And nervous. And excited.

    • Blessing in disguise? Perhaps now she can help YOU with your wedding-y things, and y’all can get them done in half the time, leaving you ample opportunities for evening champagne soirees :)

      I’m so excited you’re excited! I’m closing in on four months away from my wedding and – it seems SO far away still. A gal I work with is getting married on June 1, so I’m thinking once that passes, it’ll feel more immediate for me.

      • Evening champagne soiree — I’m loving the sound of that! :) Totally know what you mean about it feeling more immediate, too. I’ve been focused on my friend’s wedding, and then I will definitely be focused on my sister’s . . . but come October, we’ll be the last couple ready to tie the knot! That will be crazy.

    • Moe

      One of my friends got married about 6 months before I did. She listened to all of my worrying, planning and hoping. Then she told me that she was really happy for my wedding day to arrive but also really excited for the day after it was all over because the stress would be gone.

      The three of you should set a date to get together and celebrate after all three of you have married.

      • That’s an awesome idea, Moe — a married girls’ night out when all the chaos has passed. I’m sure I’ll need an adult beverage (or ten) by then. :)

    • Cheers to Elle and Megan on your upcoming nuptials!

  • So I have a blogging question, since a lot of you have personal blogs. I use blogspot and it find it perfect for my use. I can see in the stats that I get so many random country hits (Eastern European, Asia) and it kind of bugs me. I know that I am putting myself out there publicly, but I also don’t really like the idea of people fishing.

    Does anyone else struggle with this. I’m actually conservative compared to a lot of blogs (no faces and no last names) so there isn’t a whole lot anyone is going to find out about me. When people put tons of pictures up of themselves and their friends and their kids I wonder how they’ve come to terms with this. And do you ask your friends before putting it up?

    • I generally don’t post photos of anyone who hasn’t given me permission — i.e., no friends or extra family members (unless the photo is blurred in some way). I do post photos of myself and my fiance, but I’m also a newspaper columnist; I figure I’m “out there” already. Despite being a rather paranoid person in my day-to-day life, it doesn’t really bother me!

      I get lots of random hits from all over the world, too, but don’t think much of it. By going through the search terms folks use to find my blog, it becomes pretty clear what they’re looking for — and it’s usually a certain book review, a style of jean I’ve ranted about in the past, the recipe for a random cupcake I baked once.

      Only you know what you’re comfortable with — and it sounds like you’re taking steps to ensure your privacy (no last names, no faces). I can perfectly understand where you’re coming from, but I wouldn’t stress too much! If you go back through your archives and notice a certain post is getting a ton of hits from a weird locale, you could always make it private or delete it. I’ve done that before.

      • Thanks! I figured as much. I actually don’t get many hits from google searches but from weird traffic sources (e.g., filmhill, vampirestat, bthemes). Places I don’t expect to be linking to my blog. Any idea what that is?

    • I honestly never thought about the random county hits being fishing. I sort of thought people in India (or wherever) might just be searching for vegan cookies. Am I naive?

      As for photos of people, I don’t have a lot of them up, but both on my blog and on my personal FB page, I try not to embarrass anyone or put up too much info by sort of sticking to the “would I like this picture of myself up?” guideline

  • Sarah Marguerite

    I need some help brainstorming ideas.

    I am leaving my job in June and moving back home to the Midwest to live with my long-term, long-distance boyfriend for the first time (yay!) I recently came to the realization that I do not want to go to graduate school for the academic field I’ve been working in since I got out of college. So I am leaving this job and starting over.

    So what should I do with my life? Interests and skills: people and their stories/interviewing, organizing and planning, grant writing, writing in general, and helping people. I am anti-competition and pro inter-disciplinary collaboration . Broad, I know, but there is so much I am interested and want to do that I am overwhelmed with the possibilities and don’t know where to start.


    • This is a hard one. What did you want to be when you were a kid? Sometimes who we are was least adulterated as kids.

      Congrats, that you are leaving the job and starting over is exciting and brave!

      • Sarah Marguerite

        Thank you! I think I wanted to be a librarian or a writer when I was a kid. Those still sound pretty appealing.

        After working in places where people are so unhappy for the last few years, I want to find a field/industry/workplace that cares about morale and work-life balance. I feel like I might have to invent a job for myself :)

        • That’s one of my prime concerns too. After actually getting a job in my field and realizing lifestyle means way more to me (because I can pursue community development through volunteering and just being a cheerleader for local stuff), I’m now considering changing career fields so I can achieve the lifestyle I want.

          Of course, this realization was not without a couple years of self-doubt, crying, and general frustration with my whole life.

          Keep going, though! Inventing a job sounds like a great solution!

        • Another Meg

          Actually, with a background in grant writing, you’d be ahead of the game for librarainship. The ALA has a great list of their accredited schools, and they’re pretty much across the board in location/cost. I’m starting that University of Michigan for my MIS (Master of Information Science) in September. Librarians have, from what I’ve seen and heard, an excellent life/work balance for the most part. It’s one of the reasons I’m excited about this field. (Also BOOKS)

        • Brytani

          Just saying: being a librarian is crazy rewarding for me. I’m a public librarian in youth services and I get to go around reading and playing with kids, making teens think I’m cool, and getting hugs and cookies from patrons. It’s pretty amazing. My only warning is that if you go into libraryland and become a public librarian, and especially a youth services librarian, you will routinely feel undervalued by society. (I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had to talk about why I needed a Master’s degree or how many times I’ve had to reinforce to parents that I know what I’m talking about.)

        • Alyssa

          I’m a librarian! It’s a pretty cool job – and there’s a bunch of different career paths in the library and information science field. If you think you might be interested – I’d be happy to chat with you about it!

        • I’m a public librarian and find it to be crazy-rewarding. It’s also a field that’s CRAZY-friendly to women, and there are TONS of female directors. Even in studying library history for my MLS, it’s a super-female-dominated profession back to its early days, and women have maintained that. There are techie avenues and there are working-with-kids/teens avenues and there are adult-education avenues, there are archiving and managerial avenues…and I’m able to have a hand in all of those pots sometimes (my boss wants me to write a grant, too!). I will say as a public librarian, a lot of people always laugh and say how easy my job is, and it’s partly true — I love what I do, but a lot of the time, we librarians make it look effortless when it is anything but.

          But even the effort that goes into making it look effortless is, in fact, so very worth it. My job satisfaction is through the roof because I feel like I’m contributing to equality (providing equal access to information), I’m providing a service to my community, and I get to work with a super LGBT-friendly group of people without fear of a glass ceiling.

          Also: the field actively wants people from different backgrounds. So, it’s not just for literature-people!

          If you wanna know more I’m happy to chat too — hayley.deroche@gmail dot com

        • Brenda

          I’m not a librarian, but I’ve just finished a masters in Library Science and I’m working as an Information Officer in a university. If you’re an organisational type of person but also enjoy working with people going into library and information science might be a great idea. There are so many options for working with information beyond just being a librarian (which is also an awesome thing to do), and just about every type of organisation needs it. It also sounds like charities or arts organisations might be good places for you to look in to.

        • Alyssa

          So in the midst of APW Happy Hour, I received a text from a random local number…

          Seeing as I recently moved to a new city and have been meeting new people, I replied. Much to my horror – it was the WIC coming after me!!!

          Message: “I’m Tatiana – David’s Bridal official Beauty Consultant. U won a Mary Kay flawless face makeover!”…I’m sure you all can imagine how the rest of this goes. I figured out pretty quickly that it was a scam.

          Being newly engaged – I had NO IDEA that David’s Bridal would sell my information to third parties that would be text me scammy prizes. I knew they would probably mail me advertisements, but I had no idea I would experience such an invasion of privacy! I proceeded to unsubscribe myself from everything David’s Bridal related, but I think it’s too late. :-(

          Has this happened to anyone else?

          • Alyssa

            Sorry friends, this should have been a new thread…apparently I’m not so good at the open-thread thing yet!

          • kelsey

            ugh yes, I got calls from various vendors throughout my engagement and i repeatedly had to confirm that yes, I am all set with a photographer/dj/etcetera.

          • Hypothetical Sarah

            David’s Bridal is awful about that. Assume any info you give out at bridal shows will also be widely disseminated. My suggestion: make a wedding email address and give that out when you need to. That way your real inbox doesn’t get spammed. Also consider using a google voice number instead of your real phone number.

          • While David’s Bridal may have sold your information, if the text was about Mary Kay, that could just be your consultant’s other job, and she used your information herself.

            Either way, it’s either David’s Bridal being skeevy or the individual herself with the ethics problem.

    • i get the feeling there is a great need for grant writers. check your local community colleges, universities, non-profits and such. (i’m actually not sure where else grant writers write.)

    • Maybe there’s a non-profit out there that could use your help in telling it’s clients’ stories? When I was job-hunting, grant-writing was on the list of preferred skills for so many types of positions: universities, government agencies, non-profit orgs, start-ups. . .So maybe try to find an agency/org that has a mission that moves you and see what you can do for them?

      Also, what helped me find my job(s) when I moved was to start volunteering. Considering you’re moving to your hometown, you may have an advantage, too, in creating a network and putting feelers out there. And remember, the job you get isn’t necessarily your job forever, so be open to possibilities!

      • Sarah Marguerite

        I really like the idea of telling clients’ stories. And I had thought about universities and non-profits, but not government agencies and start-ups – so many great possibilities. I think you’re right that the best way is to find good places . . . and then I can invent a job for myself and convince them that hiring me to do it is vital to their future success :)

        • Through exploration of some marketing conferences (when I was considering that option) I learned there are a lot of businesses that are for-profit, but their mission is to serve non-profits. One in particular that I’m thinking about is a videography business whose ideal clients are non-profits developing promotional videos or commercials for themselves.

          I went the “convince them to hire me route” at a local start-up and it. . .mostly worked. They gave me responsibility, and I really enjoy working with them, but they were clear up-front that they could only pay me in trade for the first 9-12 months. So while small businesses and entrepreneurs do need help getting their story out in the community, a better way might be to find a business (like a start-up accelerator) that serves start-ups and provides resources.

    • Paranoid Libra

      Well wedding planners need to interview couples to find out their story and what they want for the big day which then leads to more planning and organizing for you.
      (hey we are on a wedding website, wedding related things can easily take the front of my thoughts)

      Or an English teacher maybe and teaching people to write. Ooooohhh or Public Relations!!!! It involves a lot of that, writing, planning interviewing.

      Figuring out jobs isn’t easy.

    • Sarah

      While this isn’t a specific idea, I would really recommend the book called What Color is Your Parachute. It’s basically filled with exercises to help you brainstorm what kind of job you would like (and takes lifestyle preferences into consideration on top of your skills).

      • I would second the suggestion of What Colour is Your Parachute. And if that’s not enough, would recommend contacting a career counsellor/career coach/some career professional. It’s such a complicated process, career choices, and a professional can be really helpful.

        Other suggestions are volunteer work, LOTS of informational interviewing, and basically just finding out as much as you can about the different jobs available and the different places you might fit in.

        Good luck!

  • Jennie

    Anyone in Seattle wanting to join our in-person happy hour tonight?

    We’re meeting at the Pub at Third Place Books on NE 65th St @ 7pm!

    Thanks APW for helping us make a real in-person happy hour possible.

    • alyssa

      I can’t tonight, but I’m so happy that this is happening! My heart is full. Hopefully next time!

    • Louise

      Ooh I’m not sure I’ll make it out tonight. I hope this happens again! I’d love to join in!

      • Not Sarah

        We’re figuring out when to do this again in June! Fill out this poll: http://www.doodle.com/d476nh3sqx5429nn and email me at notsarah at comcast dot net.

        (In case you have the checkbox checked!) Hope to see you in June!

  • Kirstin

    Hi All!

    Relatively new to being engaged and to finding this site. I was so excited to find a place with others like me!

    So here’s my question, and maybe it fits in with this whole talk of tradition. Is it normal to not really be excited about dress shopping? I am excited about having a dress that I like and feel comfortable in – that part is important to me. But I can’t say that I’m exactly excited about the process of finding it.

    I love my mom and sister, but both are brutally honest in a way that can feel very critical and unsupportive. They think they are providing constructive feedback and being helpful, and I know it’s not meant to be hurtful, but I am not even sure that I want their opinion. I already have anxiety about having to stand in a bunch of dresses to get their input. I would honestly rather just buy a dress off of the internet that I know I will like, but I know that they are excited about this tradition and would be upset to not be included. They wouldn’t understand it, and I don’t exactly know how to tell them it’s because I think they can be kinda mean.

    I have also debated going with just a friend first (secretly, of course), to get some ideas of what I like and look good in, so that I don’t feel compelled to try on dresses that they like…of which they have already given opinions. I am trying to determine if I could pull this off.

    Has anyone else been in this same boat? Would love some feedback!

    • Lauren

      I literally broke down after getting my dress fitted because my mom was so enthusiastic and excited and I am not. that. person. I have some serious social anxiety stuff going on so sometimes it is quite honestly the best I can do to simply hold it together in public, so being outwardly emotional about anything is out of the question!

      I approached wedding dress shopping like I did other shopping. I want a red skirt, I hunt that sucker down until I find it. The shopping is not the exciting part, nor is the buying. It’s the wearing of that bitchin’ red skirt all over town and feeling like a million bucks in it. Same thing for a big white dress in my case! Hope that helps!

    • I was not at all excited about dress shopping. After spending most of my formative years in a uniform (private school) and then spending all of college in jeans and paint covered t-shirts, clothes are a very utilitarian thing for me. Sure I like looking pretty once in a while, but then I usually find something comfortable and show it to Bryan. If he thinks I look cute in it, I get it.

      Since he didn’t want to see the dress, there went that shopping plan. Womp.

      My stepmom went with me, and she’s not super critical, so I picked the one that made me feel comfortable that also made her get all weepy. I’m not sure about how to navigate critical family members, because I am estranged from my (extremely critical) mother. I would say go with a friend first, and if your family gets upset by that then try and break it to them that you’re worried that their strong opinions would color your first impressions of the dresses you try on, and while you respect their opinion, you want to be sure you know what you like first.

    • californienne

      Totally in the same boat. I love clothes and love clothes shopping but I like to do it ALONE. Knowing it’s *kinda* traditional to pick a dress with mom (and knowing my mom *kinda* cared about this tradition) I ordered a bunch of dresses from JCrew had them shipped to my mom’s house, and tried them on in the comfort of my childhood home. I then had my good girlfriend (who desperately wanted to take me dress shopping) come over to my place a couple of weeks later for a final pseduo-vetting before I returned all but one of them (prefacing the whole thing the whole time with “I know which dress I’m getting”). It seemed to make everyone happy.

      • Kirstin

        I love this idea. Especially because I have already eyed a few on JCrew that are much more my style than the pouffy ones at the store my mom has been mentioning. Thanks for sharing!

    • Sara

      I haven’t gone wedding dress shopping, but my mother is like this with regular shopping. Whenever I’ve had to buy something important that I need her input on, I always bring my best friend so she can help turn the conversation from negatives to positives. And she and I have always conference ahead of time so she knows what I want so she can help me not get steamrolled.
      If all else fails, go with them once to get the ‘experience’ but go by yourself or with friends to get the final product. They might be sad they weren’t there for the final purchase but they’d probably get over it.

    • I avoided bridal stores completely and bought my dress online. I know it’s not for everyone, but a lot of “normal” stores have wedding collections online-only. My came from Ann Taylor, so the sizes were the same as usual and I could return anything I didn’t like to a store. Nordstrom is like that too. I know JCrew and I think The Limited also have wedding stores online. The other thing was I did a quick google search for coupon codes when I checked out and saved $100. food for thought :)

    • Paranoid Libra

      Sneak off with a friend so you at least know what styles will work on your body type ahead of time. I wish I did that just for shits-n-giggles but I also like trying on pretty dresses and well I found my dress in 1-1hour shopping trip and only tried on like 4.

      Even if you wind up the online route at least you will know which styles will be better off as you might really love 1 style to discover it’s not made for your body type and now have a dress that looks a little weird on you that you have to deal with returning or reselling.

    • Jenny

      I was similar. I sent my mom some pictures of styles I liked, so she had an idea and we didn’t have to sit there with me being like NO. We went I tried on 8 or 9, figured out more what I liked and broke it to her that although I agreed that the long dresses looked fine, I wouldn’t be getting the dress of her dreams, but the dress of mine. But I will say that thought I think my tea length dress with sleeves is exactly what I wanted my mom has told me a few times that it looks nice, which I didn’t think would bug me, but I guess I wanted to look a little more than nice on my wedding day…

      So it might help to try some on stealthy to figure out what you like, send some pics so they know what to expect, but also be prepared that it won’t maybe be what everyone hopes it will be. But, at the end of it, you’ll have your dress! Now that I read this it sounds sort of downerish, but actually I loved getting my dress, I found it at a little store with my girlfriends in New Orleans and bought it right there (plus I bought the other dress I liked in a different color, yay for stores that aren’t just bridal stores!)

    • First, I’d like to point out that as a human, you are entitled to your feelings and they are always valid. So if you don’t feel excited about wedding dress shopping, you just don’t, and that is totally fine.

      I come from a blended family, and my older (half – but we never really use the term “half”) sister did something similar to what you suggested. She went by herself and with neutral people to do the bulk of the looking, and then had like three dresses set aside to try on for our sister and me so we could feel like we took part in the dress searching process, even though she knew exactly what dress she was going to pick before our sister and I even saw it. If I remember correctly, she had sort of different viewing slots picked out for different people – her mom and I didn’t look at her dress together – so that way everyone got to see it beforehand. Hope that helps!

  • Sara

    Its small and silly but I’m super excited to get my hair cut and colored tomorrow! Like five inches are coming off and I’m so sick of my long hair. And I can see a surprising amount of grey for 26, so I’m ready for a touch up.

    Also, seeing Oklahoma at the Lyric Opera House in Chicago with my grandpa Sunday! He’s super excited and I’m really looking forward to it. Its nice to have him in town since my Grandma was sick the last few years and he wouldn’t leave her to make the trip from Cleveland. I miss her terribly, but its nice that he’s not tethered to his condo and come visit my family here.

    In all, it should be a great weekend. Hope everyone else has a great one.

    • I recall very vividly waking up to my first gray hair on my 21st birthday. Of course, it wasn’t noticable to anyone else. But now, at 28, I’m getting a few doozies.

      I can totally relate to the excitement over a cut and color! I am long overdue for one myself, so thank you for the reminder! It’s like, getting my hair done might as well be the same as getting a full body makeover, clothes and all, for how…sassy I feel!!!

    • MarieKD

      I got a haircut on Tuesday that I am still excited about! They took off 4-6 inches in some places and it went from being a perfectly serviceable shoulder length all around to a neat jaw length a-line bob. It felt so good to get it cut. I hope you love your cut and color tomorrow and have a great weekend!

    • Getting your hair done is so much fun. It really puts a spring in your step! And have fun at your show!

    • Londonsarah

      Ooh, I’m having my hair cut tomorrow too – time for a change. I’m going from long to a bob. Bit scary but fun!!!

  • this week i was having lunch with some co-workers and we were discussing getting food on ourselves. i mentioned being totally mentally prepared to drop pork chop all over myself, or spill red wine more likely, at our wedding. all the comments about oh don’t worry you won’t have time to eat started and i said no actually, we’re going to have time together immediately following the ceremony and i’m sure we’ll grab a snack there. comments: oh no, you mom or mother in law will be banging on the door with questions about this and that to nag you.

    luckily i think our moms will be standing outside the door saying no one’s going the in there, get away, and i told them as much. i still feel like they gave a knowing nod of oh you wait and see.

    as an introvert with extrovert mannerisms (look at me! sometimes) marrying an introvert who’s mostly an introvert, it seems only logical that we’re going to build time into this momentous day, the only one we’ll ever have like it, to decompress, to be just us two and to celebrate. sure i’ll probably feel anxious to get to the party, but maybe i won’t and i want to protect us and our sanity, and give us room to breathe.

    it bothered me.

    oh, and let me tell you if i don’t get something to eat that day, no one is going to want to be around me!

    • Right?! I hated that stereotype/comment. Clearly the people who told me that have no idea how much I LOVE food. Not eating was out of the question. So we got to the day of the wedding.

      I had an awesome breakfast with people while helping set up, I ate Subway *in my wedding dress* with a towel draped over me, like a boss, and I ate at the reception promptly after snarling at people to leave us alone so we could eat because I was still starving and tired of people shouting at me to look at them so they could take a picture. Which I would do in any situation, because when it comes to food I basically turn into a bear. Grrr.

      And then I dropped a s’more on myself at the end of the evening. Oh well!

    • I made sure to have plenty of snacks on hand, because I did not want to spend my wedding day hangry.

      What I didn’t plan for? Pee breaks. I got married at an apple orchard, and the bathrooms were on the opposite side of the venue from where I was getting dressed (in a tent in the woods beside the ceremony site). When it was time to get my dress on, I had to pee DESPERATELY, but couldn’t walk over to the bathrooms, or the guests would see me. My bridesmaids convinced me to pop a squat and pee outside, but before I could go through with it, a guest came down a path through the woods on a little scenic stroll. So I didn’t have a chance to pee until halfway through the reception at least 4 hours later!

      Luckily my dress was such that I could at least pee on my own at that point!

      • JessPeebs

        I was the opposite. I for some reason forgot I had a bladder. All day. Didn’t even think about it until I was changing out of my dress.

    • californienne

      It bothers me that everyone feels so entitled to share their opinions about wedding planning. But it REALLY pisses me off when people insist on continuing to share their opinions despite your polite and increasingly not-so-subtle attempts to dissuade them.

      After asking about our rehearsal dinner (which I explained we’re not having), a friend went through a laundry list of suggestions, none of which looked anything like the welcome dinner in the park we’re having instead. WTH? We friggin’ want to have a welcome dinner in a park! Clearly you don’t approve, which is why you’re suggesting alternatives, but enough is enough!

      • Kirstin

        A welcome dinner in the park sounds lovely! Do your thing. : )

      • It’s when the “opinons” dissolve into a one-sided debate of who’s right and who’s wrong, and the person giving their (unwelcome, unsolicited) opinions so obviously believes they’re right and you just have NO idea that I lose my sh*t. I don’t mind letting others have their say, but as you said, enough is freaking enough.

      • Kira

        Oh my god, that drives me crazy. It’s so hard not to emotionally engage and feel judged!

    • Paranoid Libra

      They are just bitter to not have eaten much at their own weddings. I stated in an earlier comment here today I have low blood sugar…I need to eat. My bridesmaid who didn’t get to really eat at her wedding took it upon herself and her hubby to guard our sweet heart table so we actually got to eat. I couldn’t have been more thankful because if this girl get HANGRY it can also turn into passing out.

    • Jennie

      If eating is important on your wedding day, you’ll eat. Food is super important to us (we choose our venue because of the food), we both sat down and ate at our wedding. It sucks that your co-workers are acting like they know what will happen at your wedding, don’t let their comments and looks get to you!

    • Rachel

      All this talk of not getting to eat on your wedding day has convinced me we need to think of some sort of new wedding tradition that happens during the meal and forces everyone to stop talking to us for long enough to stuff our faces. I’m thinking some sort of entertainment or slideshow of some sort. Any ideas??

      • We had smoothies around for just this reason. We could walk around with them and happily sip.

        • This is your best user name yet. LOVE IT

      • http://offbeatbride.com/2013/05/pre-reception-private-dinner

        Offbeat Bride ran a post today about taking the yichud tradition to a new level and having a private dinner before the reception. I am super psyched about making this into a new tradition.

      • My brother’s a capella group sang during dinner. Everyone was occupied and it was lovely. A slideshow would also be cool!

    • Jenny

      I will say that I always dismissed the advice to makes sure to get food because I was like, CLEARLY these people don’t know me, because the chance that I will forget to eat is 0%, but then at the wedding shower that was thrown for us (really a preception for a lot of K’s family and some friends who won’t/can’t make it down), I did have to make a conscious effort to eat (and it was basically revolving around food). It did make me go back and read some of the advice for ways to make sure you eat/tip and tricks for eating.

      But yes, if it’s important to eat, you’ll make it happen!

    • Beth

      Gah, well I really hope we get to eat considering it took us a month to decide on a caterer….

      We are going to be first in line to the buffet, so I think we will have time to eat while the rest of the guests go get their food, at least. I just need 5-10 minutes!

      Also, I have found the best way to deal with people who have a lot of opinions about my wedding that do not actually match up with the reality of what is going to happen is just the “smile and nod” approach. “Oh, hmm, well that’s something I’ll have to think about, thanks.” And then promptly forget all about it.

    • Teresa

      I’m not trying to be annoying, but we picked awesome food choices at a venue known for amazing food and we were all “we’re going to eat this food, dammit!” And our bridal attendant went to the buffet for us and covered me in a table cloth to avoid spills. We high-fived about how awesome this was, took two bites and realized we couldn’t sit and eat, we really just wanted to go hug all of our people! Bc they were all there, in one room, laughing and celebrating our new marriage. Holy crap! I was not prepared for that bc, seriously, we LOVE to eat and spent so much time choosing our food options. No one was interrupting us trying to eat, we just couldn’t stay seated one second longer! My advice, make sure you ask your venue/caterer to pack you guys a doggy bag. We thought they just would and they brought out two trays for us and when we opened them at home, they were cookies. Le sigh. I really just wanted that Mac and cheese!

  • Lauren

    I got a new swimsuit in the mail! And it fits! HUZZAH!

    I am short and curvy leaning to pudgy with a huge rack, so buying bikinis is understandably rather difficult. BUT. I found this designer and I am IN LOVE. Never buying a suit anywhere else ever again.

    I got this top: http://store.taragrinna-swimwear.com/tr-142/

    And this bottom: http://store.taragrinna-swimwear.com/bx-219/

    I have never felt happier about how I look in a bathing suit! And it’s almost time for the pools to open! Woop woop!

    • Paranoid Libra

      Fist bump for that!

      My husband encouraged me to get a new bikini last year cuz he believed I looked good in it. I really won’t wear it if around more than just family, but he helps me feel better.

      And I completely see how those work. Seriously why can’t we go back to a little bit of the modest suits of older days? Those would even be muffin top friendly, well more than muffin top and I definitely above that. Seriously some of these older fashioned cuts really were more flattering to curvy females and I hate how difficult it to just find flattering clothing in general. Most of these higher waisted skirts and such are just made for retirees. What’s up with that?!?!

      • I really started thinking hard about bathing suits a couple years ago- I mean, the norm for young women is to wear basically their underwear (or less) out in public, while the norm for men is to have anything sensitive more than covered. If people want to wear skimpy suits- go for it! I just don’t like it being an expectation.

        I don’t swim very much, but I’ve decided that before my next jaunt poolside, I’m okay with a bikini top, but I’m wearing swim shorts or a skirt. (Hello, inner thigh- If I don’t want you to touch it, I don’t want you to see it)

    • Rebecca

      Yay! I just ordered my first suit that actually came in bra sizing instead of s/m/l and I am excited to see how it fits. And for swimsuit weather.

      The ones you linked to look super cute!

    • Thank you so much for posting this!!! I was looking for a bathing suit like this and now… here it is! ::fist bump::

  • Not Sarah

    Seattle APW ladies! Some of us are meeting up tonight, at 7 pm. Email me at notsarah at comcast dot net for details if you’re interested in joining us!

    (Oops, Jennie already posted above: We’re meeting at the Pub at Third Place Books on NE 65th St @ 7pm!)

  • LB

    This is a hard question – heavy for happy hour, sorry! – but no better place to ask it. I am getting married this month. Currently living at home, will clearly not after the wedding. I think my dad is cheating on my mom. I don’t have 100% conclusive proof, but only bc I haven’t really sought it out – I guess deep down I prefer to stay in denial. My question is…what do I do about it? Confront him? Tell her? Stay quiet? Does the answer change pre- vs post-wedding? I’m sure I don’t have to say it’s hard to get excited about a wedding and subsequent marriage when your “best” example of marriage is falling apart in front of you. Did I note – I don’t think my mom has any idea, and the root of their marriage issues come from the fact that she loves him but doesn’t really show it and he treats her at least decently (though less so in recent years) but possibly doesn’t really love her. They got married when they were 20. Lots more background but I think the answers I’m looking for don’t require it. HELP!

    • This is a toughy. On the one hand, I’m sure you feel a responsibility to let your mom know, but on the other, they’re both adults, and it’s kind of not your place to intervene. Especially if you don’t have proof.

      I am a woman of action, and I can only stew so long before I explode. So I would need to say something, to someone. If it were me, knowing what little I know about your family dynamics and running with it, I would approach your dad. Actually, I would get proof. Solid proof, and then I would approach him. The important thing would be to NOT be accusatory.

      There are twelve sides to every story, which APWers have shown us time and again.

    • AnonForThis

      This is really hard, and I’m sorry you’re having to deal with it.

      If it were me getting married in a month, I’d likely not go searching for answers at a time that’s already very busy and very stressful. You are not your parents, and their problems don’t mean your own marriage will be like theirs, but I can imagine that it’s difficult to separate the two right now.

      My thoughts on this come from my own horrible experience as a kid of discovering an illicit internet relationship my dad was having, with whom he had plans to meet in real life, and confronted my dad about it. It was traumatic to say the least, and it’s something I’ve never forgotten. They worked things out and are still married today, but it completely changed my relationship with my dad and rocked my world. He told a 12 year old girl that if her mom found out, he might not be able to keep living. Which is an insane amount of responsibility and guilt to place on a child for his own bad behavior.

      If this were me, I would take action of some sort after the wedding. Approaching him with solid proof and discussing it. And then finding a good therapist I trusted to help me process and deal with the situation.

    • marbella

      I’m so sorry you are stuck in such a horrible position.

      This may seem selfish, but I think with your wedding coming up so soon it might be wise to wait until afterward to delve any further into this. If indeed he is cheating, the damage is already done. It may make things far worse to have to deal with the repercussions of this on top of a happy family occasion. As someone who dealt with my parents being in the same room for the first time in years at my wedding, I know how stressful it is to have to try to organise around difficult parental relationships and keep people happy.

      If the wedding were longer off I might suggest differently, but it seems that you won’t really have time for anyone to come to any sort of resolution or closure and this will have a big impact on you and your future spouse.

      Please don’t feel like this means anything for your upcoming marriage. You and your spouse are not your parents, and if anything can learn from their mistakes and be a stronger couple for it.

      I do think the thing to do after the wedding is find proof and then confront your dad, making it clear that this is not an appropriate situation for you to be in, and that he and your mom need to deal with it and not put you in the middle.

    • Rebekah

      I was reading a Dear Prudence column recently where the parents were swingers and their son found an explicit email to the dad from one of their partners. He accused the dad of cheating on his mom (and who can blame him for that conclusion?). Her advice was to tell the son that their marriage was theirs to deal with and work through.

      That’s not the advice you were expecting, I bet.

      Also, I know nothing. All I know about myself is were I in your situation, I would be super snoopy and find my proof. I would then probably run away from the situation.

      But what I really would advise you to do is to sit down with your dad and let him know that some things have been making you uncomfortable lately and then list a few that have given you pause. Tell him you hope you’re mistaken about your conclusions and that you know your mom loves him, but that you also are aware that you don’t know the nuances of their relationship. I think you’d be allowed to tell him too how it makes you feel (sad, angry, scared, etc) to think about if he were really cheating.

    • L

      I am not sure that I have advice about whether to/how to talk to people (and which ones). but I do just want to point out something that might be making this feel more pressing right now. Every time I am feeling overwhelmed/stressed I tend to just keep piling it on. Like if I already have a lot to do, then clearly I need to do everything else too, even though it is not imminently necessarily like the things that are actually stressing me out.
      Example: “Oh no, we are moving next week, which means I need to get my oil changed, and add my name to my husband’s credit card, and return all the phone calls I have been putting off, and plan how I will quit my job in a year, and tell my Mom that I am not coming home for Christmas.”
      Obviously none of those things are related to moving, and they can all wait til a calmer time when I might not be such a mess.
      What is happening with your parents has been going on for a while and doesn’t need to be addressed or even really thought about in this already busy time. You have enough to process for the foreseeable future, so let this one sit until you are in a better living situation and feeling stable with your husband. Whatever happens, you will need that stability and support.
      I will be thinking of you. And APW will always be here for some internet hugs.

      • Kira

        I totally do that! Thanks for putting words to it.

  • I had a good week! Mostly, I’m proud of myself for crawling out of the black hole that was the second half of my April and getting not one, but *two* blog posts up this week.

    Another good thing is that we’re having people over for dinner tomorrow night and BEING SOCIAL. We’re often not, so it’s a little bit of a big deal. I was even inspired to clean off our little balcony so that people can spill onto there from our little inside area. Especially important given that it’s been in the 80s all week (sorry Midwest folks!) and our apartment heats up.

    And finally, I talked to my boss about starting to train for a promotion. sweet.

    • We had friends over last weekend, for the first time in months, and it was wonderful!

    • Yay promotions and being social! And I totally just added your blog to my RSS feed.

  • Laura Lee

    I commented a few weeks ago that I would be testing for a black sash in Kung Fu shortly. Last Friday night was the qualifying test, which I passed with very high scores. Tomorrow is the actual test, designed to be tough as hell and make you want to give up. I’m a little out of shape right now, so I’m a little worried about the physical exhaustion aspect, but am otherwise very prepared and confident. So that’s my exciting news!

    On other fronts it’s been a tough week at work, and I’m feeling a lot of stress from the wedding (less than 2 months out now), kung fu testing and work stuff. Then today I discovered that my debit card information had been stolen and someone was making unauthorized transactions. The same thing happened with my credit card two weeks ago. And the debit card a year and a half ago. Finding that today was just the straw that broke the camels back. My boss walked by, saw my face and asked what was wrong and I burst into tears. Everything is going to be fine, and I’m going to be fine… there’s just TOO. MUCH. right now.

    I’ve got my head down, pulling hard uphill. And I’m grateful for my loving FH who is always there for me, and that we’re going to get through these next two months and cross the finish line together.

    • Good luck on your kung fu test! And I’m so sorry that you’re feeling overwhelmed. :cyber hugs:

  • I tried Zumba for the first time ever on Monday, and I’m mentally prepping myself for my second-ever personal training session this evening!

    Zumba was AWESOME. SUCH FUN. I am so horrible at it. It was me, and all of these middle-aged women rocking out, and THEY WERE SO MUCH BETTER THAN ME and it was just amazing. It’s a really small class, because it’s at a private studio and not a gym (which, people looking for gym alternatives, this is it!) and it was just…wonderful. I was terrified, and half hating it while I was doing it because I’m sure I looked like a totally uncoordinated noob, but you know what? None of them cared. So I stopped caring, too.

    • Go you!! I started working out several months ago now, wow time flies – not zumba, but bar method, and I totally relate, because it was awesome, and I loved how it wore me out, but ohmygoshyouguys, everyone else just seemed like such an expert. But everyone is there to get healthier and stronger, not to check you out! If they can see a mirror, they’re looking at themselves.

  • Martha

    I am three weeks from our wedding and my CAT SHIT ON MY SEATING CHART AT 3:30 THIS MORNING. It was a piece of posterboard with meticulously placed post-it’s with everyone’s name.

    Did I mention this is the second seating chart he did this to?

    • Paranoid Libra

      I am sorry your cat is being a butt. Maybe he just trying to label his own seat?

      • Martha

        Either that or he is angry because he knows he’s getting boarded for the honeymoon . . .

      • Rachel

        Laughing out loud. Oh, pets…

    • Laura C

      Oh, that’s really horrible, but I’m also laughing really hard, because of course a cat would do that. We recently discovered our cat was eating the page markers my fiance was meticulously putting notes on and placing in his books while studying for his finals.

      • It seems cats are like toddlers but more sneaky and possibly more dexterous.

        • Caitlin

          They totally are! We have to tape our refrigerator door shut ’cause our cat has figured out how to open it (usually at 3 am of course)!

    • Moe

      That’s awful!! (and a little funny) My dog peed on my wedding dress, but it was the morning after.

    • Is your cat Grumpycat?

    • Sara

      I’m so sorry, but this made me burst out laughing. And reminded me of this site that my brother sent me: http://mycatisadick.com/

  • Leslie

    I just made the biggest presentation of my career this morning, and then I have the final fitting for my wedding dress in a few hours. I also ate a giant lunch and have zero regrets. Today is a good day.

    • your Today sounds Awesome. rock on.

  • I’m going to a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) event this weekend, and it’s dinner under a SPACE SHUTTLE YOU GUYS! I watched the Endeavour travel through LA, which was a huge deal, but now I’m going to see it in its final home, yay!
    I’m super excited, even though I don’t like networking events and the constant ‘on-ness’ required. I enjoy company networking events, but there I know half the people already.
    Does anyone have tips for attending networking events that they’d like to share?

    • MarieKD

      Dinner under a space shuttle? That is the coolest dinner ever!

      Good luck with the networking, I also find it really difficult and usually just end up talking to people I know. I’ve been trying harder to be good about it though.

      For me, it’s like jumping into a cold pool, I find I just have to go for it and realize that I will feel uncomfortable. Hopefully since it’s a dinner (under a space shuttle!) people will be more relaxed and the on-ness won’t be as intense. Good luck!

      • Thanks!!
        The space shuttle will definitely be a good conversation starter. :-)

    • A

      A while back, my dad was playing golf in Pebble Beach, about to take a swing, when he heard a REALLY loud noise. He looked up and OMG! A space shuttle on the back of a 747, only about 1000 feet up!

      When they flew the Endeavor to LA, they flew it low over a bunch of landmarks in California. In retrospect, he thought it was really cool, but when it came over the hill suddenly and very loudly, it scared him pretty badly!

    • The last time I was at an event where I didn’t know anybody, I found someone who looked official and asked a question- turns our he was just taking photos as a favor to the owners, but we chatted a bit then.

      Also, GEEK OUT. If you’re at a STEM event, I imagine everyone else (or most of them) are going to be geeking out at the space shuttle, too, so that could be a good way to start chatting with people. I think you’ll be fine. Wear something you don’t have to constantly fuss with (pull down/pull up/ re-tuck), then head to the event already thinking it’ll be fantastic.

      Have fun!

    • Rachel

      If it’s not too late – a secret to networking is to listen well – ask questions about the other person, and give them space to speak. (So many people treat networking as a “let me tell you about me!!!!” moment)

      So listening, and seeking to find out more about them, rather than feelign you have to “perform” can be helpful.

      Open ended questions are your friend. As are respectful neutral statements which give space for the other person to talk.And good networking is all about finding some way of being of use to the other person.

      Classic questions:
      “What keeps you busy” can be useful as a polite question that avoids the “what do you do” question that some people who may not have jobs find difficult to answer – they can answer with family, sport or jobs.

      “How’s x working out for you?” / “how are you finding xxx”can be useful too. (x = the dinner, life in California, work at Google, being a parent – lots of things)’, as they can share as much or as little as they want.

      And the old “x (thing they have referred to) can be interesting” or “x has its challenges”

      “I’ll bet that has its challenges”

      And of course, “Hi I’m x, from y” is a good start.

      And there’s the royal family standby if all else fails – “Have you come far” ?

  • Quinners

    Okay, so my fiancee and I settled on a venue for the reception nearly a month ago (April 7th). We’re doing our ceremony in one of the Niagara Parks venues, and the reception venue is also in Niagara Parks. We had no issues with communication when we set up the ceremony venue, and no issues with communication when we set up a viewing for the reception venue. But now that we’ve settled on the venue and just want to put down a deposit and be done? NO REPLIES. I sent the first email when we made the decision, and the second email two weeks later. I’ve also tried calling, but no one answered.

    Where do I go from here? Do I keep emailing every couple of weeks until I get a response? Is it normal for a vendor to take a month to get back to a client? Do we give up on what really is the perfect venue for the reception because of the communication issue? We’re not going to find anything else with this combination of elements (good food, lots of couches for sitting and talking, a dance floor, a terrace to watch fireworks over Niagara Falls, no need to decorate because they’ll do it for us, etc.), and I think my fiancee has her heart set on it now.

    • Liz

      That stinks. I hate to say it but if it were me and I didn’t hear from them soon, I’d try to find another place. Not being responsive = not a good sign. :(

    • Another Niagara Girl

      I know there have been some staff changes recently at that venue. If I were you I’d just keep calling and look up other numbers to call that can refer you to someone who can help. They do provide great service and think you might have just had bad luck.

      • Quinners

        Thanks, Another Niagara Girl! We’re already locked in to the ceremony venue, so it’s reassuring to hear that the service is good and that this isn’t a normal problem. I feel better! I’ll keep trying to get a hold of them for awhile.

  • jlseldon7

    I know this sort of ties into Meg’s idea of talking about stay-at-home-mothering or working-mothering but I need help. I’m pregnant and due in September. I’m also a teacher looking for a full-time job. Which means I have to decide whether or not to apply this year.

    It’s one of those when it rains it pours kind of scenarios. There is actually a History opening in my district this year. And I wants it (gollum voice included) badly. But do I just want it because I think I can’t have it? Is it even practical to consider going to back to work so soon after a baby? (It would end up being like 2 weeks since no school in their right mind wold hire a teacher who wants to take the whole 6 weeks off. Not to mention the 12 FMLA weeks. Not to mention I wouldn’t have all that vacation time right away anyway, so it would be unpaid)

    • Is it possible to apply to start a semester in, at the middle of the year, instead of starting at the beginning of the year?
      Those 6 weeks are typically a medical necessity. With my own birth, no way I could have been back at work in 2 weeks. Now, my sister was up and about and seemingly fine a week after her 2nd – but, work is different. An infant needs SO MUCH attention, and those first couple of months, you need a lot of rest and recovery from birth and from dealing with this new person at all hours.

      • jlseldon7

        Considering how few job positions are open for Social Studies teachers this is kind of an all or nothing proposition. I’ve been looking for a full time job for a while (more than 2 years) and this is my first best shot. I don’t know how I feel about it coming right on top of this huge-life-changing event.

        • That’s really sucky, I’m sorry. :(
          But fist bump of solidarity for the new little person on the way!

          • jlseldon7

            I know. Its been crazy with all the flips this kiddo has been doing, which is what makes this hard. I can’t imagine how hard it would be to go back to work after only 2 weeks off. I’m pretty sure I’m just going to want to smell baby all day.

          • …at the risk of being reported:
            That, and like, ice your vag.

    • Paranoid Libra

      Also make sure you have childcare setup too as daycares often don’t take a child under 6 weeks so you might need a private person or a family member to help out too if you do decide to apply. It would suck if you got the job just to go into panic about what’s going to happen to the baby.

      Good luck!

  • Celina

    In an effort to relinquish control (since I’m working hard on finishing my PhD program in December) while also including my mother in wedding day planning, she has been helping me to secure a wedding venue.

    I have been super stressed about this. Yes, I know I can save money by reducing my guest list, but I DON’T WANNA. Weddings are about sharing the love you have for your significant other with the people that are most important in your lives. So I want my people there. Obviously, dealing with mainstream wedding venues (hotels, golf clubs, etc), lots of people means lots of money. Sorry, I’m not spending $7500 on food and drinks.

    So this is where my mother comes in. I’m pretty sure she has found the perfect venue for my wedding that will allow me to have the amount of people that I want, self-cater/use outside catering and bring my own drinks. I will be traveling home next week to look at the venue but I’m already convinced this issue has been resolved. Yay, mommy!

    P.S. It’s a Women’s Club. Yay, supporting women!

  • Steph

    Today my DH and I are celebrating our 4th anniversary. Still enjoying wedded bliss :)

  • Alicia

    I met Obama yesterday! Totally made the bureaucracy worth it.

    Plus, vacation starts in 6 days!

    • jlseldon7


    • Kate

      that’s really fucking cool!

  • Rachel

    Jeez, I get to the party a couple hours late and I realize I missed a lot already! Everybody’s good and drunk!

    Today was a good day! I got my hair done, so ya know…WAY better day than it would have been otherwise.

    Also, I’m really excited to start this book next week: http://www.amazon.com/Homeward-Bound-Embracing-Domesticity-ebook/dp/B008J2AGNW/ref=dp_kinw_strp_1

    • I love getting my hair done. And I am stealing your idea to read that book. After the one I currently have out from the library. Libraries are awesome, btw.

    • oooh – i want to read that! thanks for the recommendation.

      in related news, my house has been clean for a whole week! not like “spic and span” clean, but like “i actually enjoy living here” clean.

      dishes, laundry and trash not piling up is really the crux of it – the rest is kind of bonus (bonus: i actually touched bleach to deal with our awful kitchen floor).

      my whole life is so much better for it, even though i am doing more work. i have finally embraced “fuck equity” and taken charge of making the house i want to live in with no resentment on my part and (to the extent i can control it) little guilt on the part of my wife. it has been immensely freeing.

  • Brytani

    I just had an interview for my dream job in my dream location and it was amazing but now I have to wait for a week to know if I got it. Blast.

    I’m still hung up on something this week, though. Basically, what is the definition of a good bridesmaid?

    I was recently a bridesmaid for one of my best friends and it was the easiest thing in the world. I planned our bachelorette getaway and was totally there for her on her wedding day when she had a meltdown. It felt good in that case because the bride was so laid back and just wanted to honor us and have us there for her. We rented dresses and did our own make-up and hair, then stood up with her with flowers in our hands. Easy!

    However, I’m in another wedding this summer and I just hate how I feel about it. The bride is another very close friend but she’s much more of Kn*t bride and lately she really only talks to me about the wedding and my role as a bridesmaid. I started to get annoyed with her because she wants to have a say in everything about my appearance and finally I talked to her about it. I told her I didn’t feel very appreciated as a friend because she was only talking to me as a bridesmaid and a dress-up doll. It really hurt her feelings and she explained how depressed she’s been lately and how she stressed she is by the idea of leaving her job and moving to be with her fiance. I like her fiance but to tell the truth, I don’t think they’re very good together. I’ve never said as much but I have voiced my concerns when specific issues have arisen. Anyway…now when she talks to me, it feels like she starts with forced questions about how I’m doing and then gets to the real wedding-related reason that she called. She continues to sound more and more sad/stressed every time and I’m starting to have a really gloomy feeling about being a part of this wedding. Aside from not liking any of her choices for it, which I’m willing to deal with as best as I can, I just don’t feel like she’s happy about it. It’s tough and I keep trying to be there for her but it’s such a chore. I think there’s not much else I can do but it’s starting to wear down my friendship with her because I dread our conversations. What to do?

    • I feel like there are some things here you can do something about, and some you can’t. Her choice of husband is her business, and I think unless there are some serious, serious concerns (abuse, etc) going on, it’s not something you should weigh in on. However, if she’s sounding sad and stressed, you could certainly try to address those. Ultimately, one person’s idea of a “good” bridesmaid won’t be everyone else’s, and it doesn’t make her wrong, it just means she’s not your friend who wanted everything low-key and such. Has she given you her basic expectations so you have a clear idea of what “good” is to her?

      Do y’all normally hang out aside from wedding-related activities? Could you try to have some wind-down low-key hangouts to get yourselves in a better frame of mind for your friendship? Ultimately, a bridesmaids-hood is a short-term thing, but if it’s a friendship you’re wanting to maintain, I’d put an extra amount of effort into friendy type things, and hope that work carries over into helping her with her wedding. Ultimately, it’d be nice if we could all be part of weddings we love and our roles would be as we wish, but alas. :(

      • Brytani

        “Do y’all normally hang out aside from wedding-related activities?”

        I think this may be what’s really hard for us. We’re long distance friends so we only see each other maybe once a year. I wish I could take her out and be there for her in that close, personal way but I can only call. That’s why when I only get calls or random texts asking me about how I’m going to style my hair, I feel a lot like a life-sized Barbie.

        I know I should be sucking it up and I really am being supportive. I think the hard truth is that as a friend and bridesmaid, when your friend is having a wedding that somehow doesn’t seem to match the parts of her that you know, it makes you long for the darn thing to be over so you can have your friend back.

        • Aw hon I know how hard it is to be a long-distance friend while trying to be there for someone. It’s really tough and it’s hard to communicate intimately that way. This is gonna sound weird, but maybe you could create some sort of long-distance friendy-close thing? My friends and I started a book club with each other right as I was moving away for a new job, so now we all keep up on GoodReads and post long discussions about the “Sister Wives” book we decided on. It kind of helps us keep connected outside of texts and random Facebook messages, you know? Maybe you could both find a fun book you want to read and then do that together on the side — that would also give you a conversation to have that’s not wedding-related, but could genuinely continue after the wedding, so it’s not a fake-wedding-distraction type of thing, you know?

          I write “you know?” too much. You know?

          • Brytani

            Such a good idea! Now just to think of a thing…

  • So, after two months of back and forth phone calls, I *finally* got another infertility test scheduled with the single RE in my new city (rural area!) after confirming the test would only be a few hundred instead of the few thousand I feared it would cost……went there this past Wednesday (my third wedding anniversary)….waiting 45 minutes………..then discovered that a receptionist screwed up which test I needed, and now I’m stuck waiting *another* month (because it’s cycle-specific) while hoping that the *actual* test I need is not thousands as I fear.


    BUT. Here’s the thing: after leaving the RE’s office without even getting mad (because I try to be nice through gritted teeth like a nice Southerner), my husband and I went out to dinner and stuffed our faces while drunkenly mocking the rich people at the Kentucky Derby on the restaurant patio’s TV, and it was fabulous. ZERO FUCKS WERE GIVEN AND LIFE FELT GREAT.

    So take that, Universe. I STAB AT THEE. AND DRINK AT THEE. Point of this being, with RE’s give you lemons…put them in your Grateful Dead drink and sip the rest of the night.

  • Guys! We had a meetup in St. Louis last weekend and it was so fun! That’s all.

    • Yay!

    • Emily

      Yay St. Louis! I wasn’t at the last meetup but are there plans for another??

      • Yes, email me at emmalouklues at gmail dot com and we’ll loop you into our email chain. :)

  • Liz

    Guys, I’m getting married in eight days. I’m half-excited and half-sad because my best friend/bridesmaid probably won’t be able to make it. Still coming to terms with that but I’ll miss her.

    • Woot for getting married in eight days!

      I feel for you on the best friend front. My fiancee and bestie had it out and my bestie didn’t like the way I handled it, so we’re not really on speaking terms. It’s hard knowing that she’s not really going to be a part of something so important. :hug: :fist bump of… not really solidarity, but empathy/sympathy:

      • How did it go? I am just reading your comment now about your wedding and your best friend/bridesmaid not being able to come. I hope you had a fabulous day anyways. The same thing happened to me (3.5 years ago). It was hard to not have there there, but the day was still great. And hard. And a mix of emotions. I hope your wedding day was a mix of mostly happy/magical emotions and few or no sad emotions…. but it’s okay if you had those too. Wedding day emotions can be hard, and it’s possible to experience a lot of different ones at once.

    • Casey

      How exciting your wedding is so soon!! I’m so sorry about your bridesmaid situation, I just went through the same thing (although my wedding isn’t till later this summer) and it’s no fun. Hugs!

    • Kira

      ME TOO! WAUGH! Good luck! I’m sorry about your best friend. We’ve had some really disappointing no RSVPs, and those are the worst.

  • rowany

    Getting overwhelmed with wedding planning + school + networking +housework (yay spring! boo weeds!), so…I bought a new camera. Having a shiny new toy has helped me focus (after distracting me the week before looking at reviews). I reward myself for getting work done with a little bit of time playing with my new toy.

    On another note, I really super miss Saturday morning link roundup! Is it ever going to come back? If it’s too much work, could we have an open thread where we post links ourselves and discuss, or have a separate Facebook group?

    • I agree! I miss Saturday morning link round up.

      But I also want to unplug on weekends, so I’m torn.

      Also, I love that a camera is helping you focus. Punny!!

    • L

      I know! I was wondering about Sat Links too until Meg posted about unplugging. But I still really liked readying all the articles and widening the conversation a bit. I know our lovely editors are busy busy, but if it could ever be fit back in, I would love it!

    • jess

      I would certainly be down for a facebook group. Doesn’t even have to be Saturdays necessarily. Though I did like the curated aspect…its always nice to see a round up of what on person/organization thinks is new and noteworthy. Seems to give one jumping off point for more open discussion.

  • L

    As our rsvps are rolling in, I am feeling a little overwhelmed by the fact that there is actually going to be a thing. And the truth is I haven’t really figured out what the thing will be yet.

    So can you guys help me brainstorm?

    Here’s the deal: we had a small wedding/elopement/whatever in February with just a few friends at our apartment and we got married. It had to happen for immigration reasons and we sent out announcements to everyone so everyone knows we are married.

    We are planning a celebration at the end of the summer on an organic farm. We will serve lunch. We will not have alcohol or dancing (I mean if people want to dance in the grass that’s cool, it just won’t be the primary form of entertainment post-meal). We will have lawn games and homemade desserts. We will possibly hire a hammer dulcimer player for part of the time.

    But is that enough? Will people be bored with no ceremony and then no dancing? What else can we do to provide some direction/structure? What are some other entertainment ideas? Will it help me to talk to an event planner or is that unnecessary?


    • We, too, had a separate ceremony and reception. We served brunch, no dancing or other “wedding stuff”. It was indoors, so we had a cross word puzzle and board games instead of lawn games, but no one seemed bored. There was a lot of socializing, which is what we wanted!

      • L

        Thanks! We are planning something that we would both love – lots of little areas for small groups to chat. I just worry it won’t be as fun as I am picturing. And we are going to have board games and such as a rain plan and for people who would rather go that route.

        So what did you do when people first got there? I was thinking that H and I will greet and people and then they can mill and have some iced tea until most peopl are there and then we all sit to eat. It just seems a little clumsy…

        • We greeted everyone who came through the door, which was great. Our parents were also up there, too, but we didn’t have an official receiving line or anything. Just more of a time to welcome everyone, hug, say hi, make introductions, etc. While we were doing that, guests were drinking and mingling. As much as a wedding is about the couple, it’s also a get-together, and often people who haven’t seen each other in a while are there, so it’s a great chance for them to catch up as well (think: college friends who haven’t seen each other since the last one of you guys got married, geographically scattered family, etc). Eventually, food came out (ours was a buffet), and people transitioned to tables, ate, and then transitioned to mingling again, taking photos, and heading home.

          A lot of it was self-directed, but I think the venue staff also did some directing. I didn’t do too much, other than grab people for group photos.

          • L

            That is exactly what I want! I am so relieved to hear that it worked so well for you. I have felt so certain for a year now, but now that I know people are definitely going to be there, I feel some anxiety. I think I actually feel some anxiety because I have a lot less to do than I thought I would so there is a chance I am trying to make up tasks to help me feel more in control of it.

            How long did people stay after eating? I guess I would feel so bummed if people just disappeared after dessert.

        • For some reason (the reply button! it’s just not there!), I can’t reply to your latest comment, so sorry that this is out of order now.

          ummm, I’m not exactly sure. I think we had the venue for something like 12-4pm on a Sunday, so people came, mingled, ate, photos, mingled some more, and started straggling out. Who left when was very dependent on things like if they had kiddos, how far they had to drive, if they knew other people, etc. I do seem to remember the staff trying to (nicely) start to usher people out and clean up, and I know we left after 4, absolutely exhausted (which I take as a sign of a good party!).

          I think you shouldn’t worry too much :) I was also worried about people being bored, but it was absolutely not a problem.

    • Rebecca

      Well, when I hear lunch and party on an organic farm, I think sack races and that thing where you carry an egg in a spoon and other such things. But I’m weird and think those are fun.

      I second what Kate said about the get-together element- for us, our wedding weekend was the first time our parents and sides of the family had met, so mostly people just swapped embarrassing stories about both of us. If you wanted to encourage that sort of thing you could probably spread around photos of both of you at key points in your lives as conversation starters?

  • So, I went on a food making binge today. Couscous with corn, green onions, and cilantro; pasta salad, German potato salad, and fruit leather. This Sunday is a public Beltane celebration that I’ll be attending with my fiancee that I am super excited about (that’s when we’ll be eating the pasta salad and German potato salad, picnic style). I’m really kind of torn because I’m very interested in Judaism, so I might not be doing these Pagan celebrations anymore. But I know I’ll have fun and so will she.

    • How did the fruit leather turn out? I tried a recipe once that was a total f-f-f-fail, so I’ve been wary since

      • http://www.thetravellingfoodie.co.uk/blog/2012/11/06/Strawberry-Basil-Fruit-Leather.aspx

        I used this recipe. This particular batch isn’t done yet, but I’ve had success with this recipe multiple times before. I made it in the oven once, but I’ve been using a dehydrator since this recipe’s maiden voyage and I cannot recommend it enough. It makes it so easy and I don’t have to worry about burning the fruit leather (or the house down).

        • I registered for a dehydrator in hopes that a generous relative would buy it, but no one did, and, thus far, I’m to cheap to invest in one on my own. But good to know that you like it!

  • Kira

    I am getting married in eight days! Relatedly, this weekend I am baking eight cakes!

    I am going to see more of my loved ones at once than has ever happened before. And THEN, I am going to go on a crazy lobster-eating extravaganza honeymoon, and THEN I am going to have a long, lazy summer in which I am not planning a wedding! Things are looking up.

  • Louise

    You guys. My first and second graders did a flash mob today at the school fair. There is nothing like 70 kids dancing in unison on a sunny seattle day while their friends and parents cheer them on. I am bursting with pride this afternoon!

    • Paranoid Libra

      That is AWESOME!!!! Please tell me there is some form of video.

      • Louise

        Oh yes. We’re working on cutting together a few different angles. So excited!

  • Amber

    This is a great read about body image. Totally recommend!


  • Ok, I don’t know how I didn’t know about this before, but this weekend I discovered the 2011 concert version of Stephen Sondheim’s “Company” with Neil Patrick Harris, Christina Hendricks, Stephen Colbert, Patti LuPone and just about everyone else awesome, and have been obsessively watching clips of it onYouTube. If you like Sondheim, I highly recommend it. Not only is it a brilliant production with a great cast, but rather topical for this blog. (“Getting Married Today” always cracks me up. Quite a challenge to sing, too.)