APW Happy Hour!

Heyyyyyyyyyyyyy APW,

Today’s Happy Hour comes first thing, because let’s be for realz. If you’re in the US, and you’re at your desk this Friday before the three-day weekend, you probably have no desire to actually do any real work. Today is all about pushing papers around your desk and opening your email screen when your boss walks by, while you hope that around about one o’clock someone in charge will wise up close up the office. And for the record, since I’m now the someone in charge, APW is totally closing up shop early today, so the staff can all head out till Tuesday. (And for those of you worried that having kids means you’ll never leave home again, we’re packing the kiddo up for his fifth flight this afternoon. The only thing that’s changed over the learning curve of flying with him is that I’ve gotten less tense. He’s a good traveler, but he’s also a baby. It goes how it goes.)

In the meantime, it has been all busy busy behind the scenes here. We’ve been working for a while to bring you a straight-up logistics feature on wedding planning, because what you really end up wanting to know is how to get the beer hauled to the wedding, not how to make a wedding inspiration board on Pinterest. (Meaning, basically, much of your time spent wedding planning was wasted on the fun stuff. Drat.) So we’re thrilled that we’ve finally made it a reality. On Tuesday, Elizabeth of Lowe House Events (she of the how to buy booze for your wedding and wedding timeline posts) will kick off our new bi-weekly series:


And with that, here is a toast to getting NOTHING done, for the next three plus days. Well, except sitting around and chatting with a nice cold beverage in hand.

It’s your Friday open thread, hop on it!




Highlights from APW This Week

A Private Wedding. Not it’s not rude to ask your Uncle Frank to refrain from sharing your wedding video on Facebook. But, if you don’t want to ask him to his face, you can also download this free printable kindly requesting your guests to help keep your wedding private by not sharing photos or videos on social media.

A Bodega Bay elopement with a Winnebago. We have the coolest readers. (And smartest. We love your minds too.)

Liz gets down to it on the Mother-Son relationship, and how that changes during and after a wedding. (And why you’d better sit up and pay attention.)

Planning a wedding with a baby. For your Friday LoLz. Mmm, wine.

Elisabeth totally nails that painful process of realizing that the wedding you really, really, really want isn’t always the wedding you can afford or have the logistical manpower to make happen. And that’s okay. (Truth is, most of us go through this.)

Planning Our Invisible Wedding. On the bigness of moving together, and how sometimes that can be just as much of a commitment as a wedding (except, you get fewer plates).

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  • Rachel

    Happy three-day weekend, everybody!

    I’m home in MI right now for the first time in 18 months and it’s been AWESOME! Except when it hasn’t. This week there have been a lot of really bad moments with one close family member who is just being…difficult. As in, “I don’t think we’ll be inviting her to the wedding anymore” difficult. I was completely blindsided by her behavior and I’m really sad and hurt by it, as we had gotten really close over the past several years (after having a pretty contentious relationship growing up). It’s been really painful and confusing.

    On the other hand, it’s been a GREAT time with my mom, grandma, brother, and friends. I’ve spent this week digitizing a bunch of old family photos, particularly photos of my dad and me, which has been time-consuming but something I really want to do. And we went to buy the fabric for my wedding dress yesterday (my grandma is making it) and it was such a wonderful day. I’m SO glad I made this trip!

    • I’m glad you’re having such a good trip! It’s so good to spend time with family without the rush of specific holidays. Recently when I’ve been back to visit my family, it’s been around Thanksgiving or Christmas and I end up wishing for calmer time to spend with them.

      That really sucks about the family member you’re having issues with, especially since it came out of nowhere. Sending you good wishes on that front.

      Congratulations on buying the dress fabric!! That must be wonderful, and so much fun to do with your grandmother. (I actually saw your tweet from the fabric store yesterday – so pretty!) I can’t wait to see pictures in your grad posts!

      • C

        So true! My Christmas trip got cancelled and it was awesome to be home in April instead, better weather, less holiday stress, more people around.

    • Emily

      Hope it warms up in Michigan for you while you’re here! (Weather- and family-wise…)

    • carrie

      I was shocked at how some really wonderful people churned out some pretty awful behavior when it came to the wedding. And then went back to being wonderful AFTER the wedding. It’s really them, not you. But it is no fun. Virtual hug! And yay for grandma making your dress…that is ah-mah-zing.

    • Paranoid Libra

      If this family member is near your age perhaps its some jealousy? It still is sucky so good luck with that.

  • Anni Rachel

    Commenting for my first time ever on APW, because that whole pushing papers around the desk thing is so incredibly close to home. Seems like the rest of my department took a four day weekend, and left the intern (me) at work with absolutely nothing to do this lovely Friday.

    Next week, I’m going on a family vacation to Italy, the country that, four years ago, took sad, broken-hearted, 3rd-year college student me and filled me in around the edges into the person I am today. I have never been so excited for anything in my entire life. Can’t wait to be back in bella Italia.

    • Samantha

      Yay for Italy! My man and I are taking an Italian Honeymoon in September which we are sooooo excited about! Neither of us have been there before! :)

      • Anni Rachel

        You are going to LOVE it. Such a great honeymoon spot!!

        • emma

          agreed! Last May we went on a 2 yr belated honeymoon to Italy and previously I never understood the whole, go to Italy every year/5 years crowd but I would go tomorrow again if I could. Go. sit. sip. eat. eat more. walk. rinse repeat.

    • This comment actually made me teary. I’m so excited for your trip to italy! Have an incredible time.

      • Anni Rachel

        Thank you so much!

    • Oh la bella Italia! You are going to love it. Make sure you eat lots of gelato and all the other yummie things. And get some sunshine!

      • Copper

        I think gelato is a daily requirement in Italy. It’s one of the major food groups, right… pasta, cheese, tomatoes, gelato?

    • meg

      Italy. It’s good right? Waiting for our trip to Italy got me through some paper pushing myself…

  • Early Happy Hour means the wine can come out early, right? Right?

    Question for all of you – I’m planning to visit Seattle in late August with one of my friends, what are the absolute best things to do while there?

    We aren’t big fans of super touristy things but may be willing to walk a museum if it’s absolutely fascinating. Really just looking for things to amuse ourselves that will make good stories later on.


    • Ashley K

      I live in Seattle and there is a LOT to do that isn’t tourist-y. Pkus August is usually great weather. Here are a few options:
      – Water Taxi to Alki in West Seattle. It’s our beach and has a great waterfront with bars and restaurants.
      – Aquarium. Yes, touristy, but also FANTASTIC.
      – If you want a great view of the city, bypass the Space Needle and hit the Observation Deck at the Columbia Tower
      – Capitol Hill (my home now) is great, walkable and full of restaurants and shops. It also has Volunteer Park, which is gorgeous
      – Other great areas are Ballard and Fremont. Bitterroot in Ballard is a favorite restaurant.
      – Pike Place Market is super tourist-y but also very cool

      What else? I don’t particularly like the art museums here, although the UW has some good museums. You should go to the U District anyway for cheap noodles and a gorgeous campus.

      Let me know if you have other logistical questions.

      • Rebecca

        About the aquarium- very important- they feed the sea otters on a schedule, and you should definitely try to be there for feeding time because it’s basically the cutest thing ever. You can also buy tickets ahead of time online which, in August, will probably save you a substantial amount of standing around with other tourists time.

        It also depends on where you’re coming from/ what you like to do- there’s a lot of good hiking, etc. outside of the city if that’s your sort of thing.

        Also, if you’re coming in super late August, the Evergreen State Fair in Monroe, WA starts August 22- it’s not the famous one, but it has a huge set of 4H exhibits which are awesome, if you’re into that sort of thing. Show chickens! I’m pretty sure the alpaca obstacle course competition (teenage girls dragging around slightly confused alpacas) is August 25- if it’s stories you’re looking for, that’s the place to be.

    • rowany

      Since I’m assuming you’re in some phase of planning or pre-planning, and even if you’re not, you should drop by Luly Yang couture. Because those dresses are ART. Just sipping coffee outside the windows is fun.

      Second Pike Place Market, it’s touristy simply because it’s awesome, but tons of local people go there as well – Go hungry and just eat samples along the entire walk, make sure to go to the other side of the street to hungry olive oil samples and piroshki!

      Seattle has a huge music scene, going to a record store or concert would definitely be a Seattle non-touristy experience.

      Depends on where you’re coming from, but if your home doesn’t have much in the way of authentic Chinese food, definitely check out Chinatown, try to go for dimsum.

      If you’re willing to go on daytrips outside of Seattle, you could check out:
      Woodinville – home to 130 wineries, wine bars and tasting rooms (and 1 brewery), mostly within walking distance of each other. There are tours leaving from Seattle if you don’t want to drive yourself – http://www.gotastewine.com/wa-wine-tours.php
      Mt. Rainier – it’s gorgeous
      Snoqualmie falls – close to Woodinville, also really pretty

    • Mer

      Seattle in August is awesome! There is lots of non-touristy stuff to do. It all depends on what you like and where in Seattle you are going.

      If you are soccer fan the Sounders are playing the Timbers on the 25th. It is guaranteed to be a crazy awesome game. Tickets may be a little pricey and a tad hard to get, but it is one of the best rivalries in MLS.

      I second taking a ferry ride and visiting Alki and taking a walk along the water at the multiple parks available. I usually avoid Pike Place Market because I don’t like being crowded by all the people. However I do go to Pike Place Brewing Company. Delicious beer.

      Oh and Capital Hill is a great spot too. One of my all time favorite ways to spend a day is to get coffee at Cafe Vita, head to Everyday music to check out albums, then Elliot Bay Books to smell and leaf through books, followed by dinner at Odd Fellows Cafe and dessert at Molly Moon Ice Cream. They are all within a few blocks of each other.

      Give us an idea of what you want to focus on and we can probably give you some more focused ideas. There is just so much good stuff!

      Have fun!

    • These ideas all sound amazing! I knew you all would have the best ideas. This is exactly what I was looking for – some “bigger” things to do like day/half-day trips and some coffee shops, book stores, etc. We’re there for, I think, 4 days so please keep the ideas coming!

      • Dude, go stay in the treehouse hotel! It’s in Issaquah, which is like 30 min away, but SO worth it and so so so cool. Super relaxing, too. Also, tour the Theo chocolate factory. It’t neat, and also, chocolate!

    • You MUST go to pike place keep an open mind and smell the flowers and fish. It’s total chaos and really fun if you just walk around and try stuff out. There’s mini-donuts, gelaterias, and views to die for from the park.
      Old Ballard avenue on a Sunday is the farmers market, but the rest of the time it’s shops and awesome restaurants. And the Ballard locks are totally weird and cool.
      We are a foodie town, so if you’re in to that you are never far from an amazing meal, email me if you want suggestions. And our food truck scene is getting fierce, so you need not pay a ton!
      The arboretum is an urban oasis of trees and flowers and there is a Japanese garden that you can go to for $2 to see the koi and curved bridges. It’s absolutely lovely. And you can rent kayaks and wander around by the arboretum/university of Washington by water! We are a town of mountains and water!
      A ferry ride is essential, most choose Bainbridge because you can pick it up right downtown. Don’t worry, it isn’t so much touristy as just us locals getting out of the city for the weekend. There’s also Vashon island which takes you to the ultra garden land.
      Ok, I’ll stop. :)

    • Katy

      Love love love my hometown of Seattle! Unfortunately, currently stuck in Fremont California for school. Cannot wait to go back for my wedding in August!! You’ll love it there :)

      Just gotta give a couple suggestions no one has mentioned yet:
      -Elliot Bay Bookstore on Capitol Hill, great indie book store! (Since you mentioned book stores specifically :)
      -For a killer view of the city, hit up my two absolute favorite parks: Gasworks Park (across Lake Union from downtown, which actually used to be a gasification plant, and has big green lawns and a hill that is great for flying kites) and Kerry Park (very small, but literally the best view of the city you can get. All of the wedding day couples get their picture taken here!)
      -If you like Thai food, and want to do what the locals do, you have to hit Thai Tom next to the University of Washington. It’s on University Way (“The Ave”) and 47th. (Sorry California but nothing I’ve had here comes close!)
      -For a delicious burger and killer onion rings and shakes, go to any of the Red Mill locations

      Have so much fun!! Now I’m drooling… :)

      • Other Katelyn

        Definite cosign on Thai Tom, but bring cash– they don’t take cards.

        • Alison C.

          Oh, Thai Tom. It’s been 10 years, but I still compare every tofu praram in every thai restuarant I go to to their swimming rama. Nothing ever comes close.

    • Amy

      Definitely take a day or half day trip to Bainbridge. First, the view of Seattle from the ferry is to.die.for, second they’ve got great food over there. The cute little town is walking distance from the ferry. In town: winery, Blackbird Bakery, a fantastic ice cream place behind the bakery, a yummy crepe place, cute stores and bookstores. If you have a car or a bike, there’s a brewery and distillery on the island too. If you love the outdoors, have a car and are willing to spend a little, there’s an amazing reserve, The Bloedel Reserve. It’s beautiful.

    • Audrey

      Don’t actually live there (have some friends that do), but I have to recommend Pie. OMG Pie. Especially recommended are whatever-fruit-is-in-season pies.


    • Slade

      I live in Seattle, on Capitol Hill. My neighborhood brags one of the densest areas in town for food, drinks, sex shops, clubs, music venues, and gay bars. It’s also a twenty-five minute walk (or less than ten minute bus ride) up the hill from Downtown. Some of these places have been mentioned already, but here’s my Best of the Hill Tour:

      –Elliot Bay Books: big, gorgeous independent bookstore. Smells like literature. Cafe inside (fantastic crepes) and readings in the basement.
      –Toys in Babeland: top-quality feminist sex shop. Includes a wall of condoms, display of glass dildos, and some really clever toys. Their staff is an awesome resource.
      –Pike Street Fish Fry: it’s a fish and chips shop! Get the cod. Awesome sauces.
      –Ristorante Machiavelli: little hole-in-the-wall Italian place. Best lasagna I’ve ever eaten. Only open for dinner and they don’t take reservations, so if you’re going on a Friday or Saturday night, be there at 5pm when they open. And yes, there’s a painting of Machiavelli on the wall.
      –Savor Seattle’s “Hip on the Hill” food tour: Yes, it’s a tour. But it’s a tour often taken by locals. I’m good friends with the guide and seriously, if you take this tour you will not regret it. Every restaurant they stop at is incredible and at the end of it you get a coupon for ALL OF THEM.
      –Octo Sushi: this town has amazing sushi. Some it is here. Also great non-seafood menu.
      –Victrola: impressive indie cafe. Great drip, best espresso. See also: Stumptown Coffee and Vivace. All of them have multiple locations.
      –Molly Moon’s Ice Cream: made-on-site ice cream in a rotating seasonal array of flavors both weird and exciting. Basil ice cream? Yup. Year-round Thin Mint? Got it. Includes some vegan flavors.
      –Old School Custard: fucking awesome. Daily flavors. Nice staff that do any bizarre special order you can think up in your crazy brain.
      –Annapurna Himalayan Restaurant: northern Indian/Nepalese/Tibetan food. De-fucking-licious. Go in, turn right, and descend into an intimate underground fantasy land full of prayer flags and naan.
      –Dick’s Burgers: they’re a shitty local fast food chain. They’re delicious. They’re also a great hangover cure and ubiquitous. Notable for their collection of panhandlers.
      –Hot Mama’s Pizza: just awesome. Try the pesto.
      –Po Dogs: gourmet hot dog shop. See also: Comet Dogs, etc., the hot dog stands that crop up on Pike St. north of Broadway on Friday and Saturday nights. Try them with cream cheese. No, really..

      Also, if you want a tour guide/dinner companion/further suggestions/etc., then feel free to hit me up. I love this city and I’m told that I don’t suck and showing it off. My email is powell (dot) slade (at) gmail (dot) com. And let me know if you want a list of the gay bars. ;)

    • You guys are all SO amazing. This makes me want to spend the whole vacation in Seattle. Sorry for not replying individually but that would have taken FOREVER. And I’m a little bit lazy…it is Friday after all.

      @Ashley K – I LOVE aquariums. Also, water taxi sounds so fun.

      @Rebecca – I don’t think we’ll be there in time for the alpaca obstacle course :( It sounds like the most amusing thing though.

      @Rowany – Couture. How did you know the way to my heart?

      @Mer – It certainly sounds like Capitol Hill is the place to be. We weren’t really planning on it but I think we may have to make a trip now, it sounds delightful.

      @Meigh McPants – I love the treehouse idea but I’m slightly nervous about anything that doesn’t have prices listed on the site. I feel like it might be out of our budget.

      @Sera – Totally weird and cool sounds like us :)

      @Katy – Flying kites sounds like fun or just kite-watching. Also, may have to try that Thai food…certainly sounds popular.

      @Amy – Bainbridge sounds lovely. How am I going to fit all this in? So much cool stuff to do!

      @Audrey – Pie. Enough said.

      @Slade – I think I’ll pass on the list of gay bars ;) but oh-my-goodness, everything you named sounds perfect. Ice cream, sushi, Italian? Delicious!

    • Louise

      I live in Seattle and spend most of my time on Capitol hill. I agree with everything that’s been said — you have a great list so far! I wanted to add one (sorry if its already been mentioned. I didn’t see it, but I’m pretty brain dead this time of week)– Kayaking and then tacos at Agua Verde Cafe is absolutely a must on a sunny day. You can rent Kayaks from Agua Verde, a mexican restaurant on Lake Union. The food is SO good and there is a (heated because this is seattle) deck over the lake. It is on Boat St near the University of Washington, and you could also do Fremont, the U dist or Wallingford on the same day. Or really anything else. Seattle isn’t that big. But be aware, if you are coming from a bigger city, our public transport is not as efficient or well planned a lots of other cities!

      ALSO, pick and eat lots of blackberries when you’re here. Just because you can. Our berries are amazing in August.

      Did someone suggest Discovery Park already? It is in Magnolia (northwest of downtown I think), and it has AMAZING views of Puget Sound and a little hike to the beach. Take a picnic and its the perfect way to spend a sunny day.

      Have fun!

  • Hi APW,

    I finally manage to comment on an open thread! No long weekend here in Australia, but given I’m in what I call ‘PhD limbo’ I’ve done barely any work today (of course I’m still working sporadically at 10:44 AEST).

    Also hand sewing, checking how badly I’m doing at Fantasy Football, looking at potential engagement rings and shivering (this part of Australia is actually capable of getting cold).

    • C

      Ugh, PhD limbo, I’m totally there. Had my first year promotion panel last week and still haven’t managed to do any proper work. Have a summer of archival research, interviewing, a methods presentation, conference paper, and language training. Need to get my butt in gear.

    • What are you sewing? So few of us are left who do our sewing by hand instead of machine.

      • Caroline

        I do basically all my sewing by hand. Sewing by machine means pulling out the machine, cluttering the dining room table, making noise too loud for conversation or TV or a podcast, and then having to clean the whole thing up for dinner before the project is done. Hand sewing, I pick up a bit here, a bit there. Three stitches here while I’m waiting in line somewhere, 1 hour while we watch a TV show there, and overall, it’s faster and more relaxing. Slower by the foot, faster by the day.

        • Definitely more relaxing! When have the TV on at night is my favourite time to take my quilt blocks out and work on some piecing. It also helps deal with the fidgets and lets me accomplish something in my down time.

        • KEA1

          I sew at least half of my clothing, so I rely heavily on both my regular machine and my serger…but oh, the joy of hand-sewing. I really started getting into technique stuff a couple years ago and have really worked on doing things like handpicking zippers and hand-understitching linings and facings. SO satisfying, and the results look so good (and, in most cases, are better/more durable than what the machine version would be).

      • I’m making a full size patchwork quilt with ~3inch squares, all by hand. I’ve been working on it for many months, but now I only have 5 rows to go :)

  • sara p

    Happy happy Friday! I won’t be pushing papers around the desk today, fortunately :). But I did have a job interview yesterday to be full time at the place I’ve worked at part time for a year now, yay! And the manfriend and I came up with a general five-year plan, which includes getting married :). And I’m going home in a week and a half for a whole week! Life is good this Friday.

  • Margi

    Everyone was so helpful last week! Thanks so much! Happy hour is awesome! I wish I could hire Elizabeth to help me get Sh*t done in my real life. SIGH.

  • KW

    Pushing papers indeed. :)

    The best thing about today is that my brother-in-law comes home. In early March, he suffered a massive stroke at the age of 38. It was really touch and go for awhile, but now he has rehabbed enough to finally come home. He and my sister and their kids have a long road ahead of them because there is a lot to adjust to (he is permanently disabled now) but at least now they can start to develop the new normal for their lives. I will get to see him on Monday.

    • KEA1

      That sounds like a “best thing” about more than just today! Lots of good wishes for the road ahead to be filled with love and support and happier times, for your sister and brother-in-law and their kids of course but also for you and your entire family. %)

    • Shiri

      This is wonderful. Much good luck and good days ahead to your family. It sounds like he has a great support system in place and I hope that they’re able to rebuild.

  • Ann

    My wedding is now in less than a month. During that time, I also have to wrap up the school year with my students (I teach high school), pack up my classroom, find an apartment in Boston (where I’m moving in August), and then fly across the country for the wedding.

    Oh yeah, and there are still important things like making sure we get food at our (small) picnic ceremony and WRITING THE CEREMONY left to go.

    I have been 100% calm through the entire wedding process. Until now.

    Help! How did other people stay calm in the last few weeks?

    • Ashley Ashley K

      Good luck with all that! So busy. I am getting married June 1 and found that putting a big to-do list on Google docs and sharing it with my fiance helped me to at least get things off my brain and onto paper. Then I put one thing on my to-do list (sometimes two, never more than three) per day. And it kept me sane. I csn easily cut programs or even write a ceremony in one night if that’s all I have to do (it took us only two tries to get the ceremony right thanks to googling secular ceremonies). Little bites eventually take care of it all. At least in my experience. And with a week out I just have to write thank you notes to family, load the music on my iPhone and make sure my fiance has a tie he likes. :)

      You can do it!

      • Margaret

        Hi fellow June 1st bride! My comment has no purpose other than to say hi and squeal in excitement. Ahhhhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!!! Best of luck to you!

        • Marcela

          We’ve only got eight more days!!

    • StillSmiling

      Me too! Right now I’m finishing up the school year teaching, prepping and moving into the house we just bought (!), and trying to finish planning our wedding, which is in three weeks. Wow. But, I’m sitting here listening to and working on a wedding playlist while I grade papers/work on our wedding program (yes, those two things can happen simultaneously), oh yeah, and enjoying the APW goodness.

      Best of luck on everything! And yes, small bites! (but not of chocolate…)

      • Catherine B

        Chocolate too!

    • Sarah

      June 22 bride here. This long weekend is a godsend as both of us will be home this weekend. We are planning to work on our photo table (and write shower thank you notes!). I’m also going to try and talk to dude into buying a new tie for the wedding.

      Any suggestions for a way to display family/child/couple photos at the wedding? We have pics of my parents and grandparents at their wedding as well as Jeff’s parents. Most are lose pics, but Jeff has his family prints digitized.

      • Hannah

        You’re getting married on my birthday. :)

        As for displaying pictures, I’m planning to put them in frames and put them on the guest table.

        • Sarah

          That’s likely what we’ll end up doing. But I’ve seen pictures of people hanging them up with string and using cute little clips. I also like scrapbooks but frankly I’m not artsy nor inclined to spend hours trying to be. I figure baby and family pictures are nice no matter what :)

          Great day for a birthday! It’s my (deceased) grandfather’s as well.

          • Alyssa

            We strung up twine and hung photos mixed in with people’s seating cards with clothespins. It was pretty cute but it might have been hard for people to find their cards – and then we left them out overnight and all the photos got dewy. Oops! Thankfully we didn’t put up any originals.

      • LMN

        Another June 22 bride here! Fist bump to you for picking such an awesome date, and virtual hugs if you’re feeling a little of what I’m feeling today (ohmygoodness one month to go! So grateful it’s a long weekend).

        We’re displaying family photos on a half round table in frames. Going to be printing out our 4x6s and hitting up the Dollar Store for black frames this weekend. There are many more craftsy display ideas out there, but right now we are going for cheap and simple.

        • Sarah

          We have cheap clear frames at home so this is what we’ll be doing I’m sure. I think we should just put out the originals, Jeff thinks we should scan them–not a bad idea since some are decades old.

          • LMN

            I usually take the lazy route, but I’m totally with Jeff on this one–if you have time, scan those photos! :) We’re not putting out any originals at the wedding. I don’t want to worry about someone spilling a glass of wine on my only copy of my grandparents’ anniversary photo. For me, scanning the photos means I can relax about them–the copies at the wedding are essentially disposable.

      • Amber

        We’re planning to print pictures on vellum and then glue them to jars with tissue paper to make lanterns for our center pieces. I’m thinking to make about 3 per table.

      • Rebecca

        Definitely scans! Also, IKEA has (or had) simple frames that were basically a glass cover that clipped over your photo, so they were basically frameless. I also recall them being super cheap, but looking a bit nicer (imo) than the plastic ones…

    • Jessica

      Do you know where you’re looking for an apartment in Boston? If you want advice on neighborhoods, etc., share your criteria and I’ll try to make suggestions!

      • Ann

        I do know where I’m looking and I have TONS of local friends who are helping me out. I went to college in Philly and it seems like 75% of my college friends have moved up to Boston.

        In two weeks, I’ll see a bunch of them as I am frantically running around parts of Somerville. Then in four weeks, I’ll see a couple of them again at the wedding! (June 22nd here, too).

        I am fortunate that my partner’s brother is going to write most of the ceremony–he’s an extremely talented writer–but he does want us to draft some parts ASAP and get them to him.

        I just keep feeling like there is SO MUCH TO DO!!

        • Jessica

          Sounds like there’s a lot going on, but it also sounds like you’re in great shape. Good luck!

        • Good luck with it all!

          We are getting married *next* June 21, and then heading to the Boston area around August of 2014. Current neighborhoods on the “hmm, maybe” list are Cambridge, Somerville (more likely to be able to afford the Somerville part of Camberville), Jamaica Plain, and maybe Quincy. (Fiance likes Waltham, Watertown, and Belmont, but it would depend on where I end up working and what the commute would be, since I don’t want to have to drive.)

    • Does it make you feel better that we wrote our vows (and really, that was pretty much the whole ceremony) the night before we left for the wedding? so, like 2 days before we said them?

  • sarah

    Today my husband and I are packing up to leave for our honeymoon! Ten months after our wedding :-) Last summer when we got married we worked jobs where we couldn’t get more than a day or two off, so we decided to do the delayed-honeymoon thing, and it starts tomorrow!

    We mulled over a trip to Europe for awhile before finally deciding that we’d go the cheaper route and explore a part of the U.S. where we’ve never been before (hooray for saving money for tuition!). I originally worried that I’d regret not taking the honeymoon right away or not going to Europe, but I have no regrets and am so excited to be spending time with him away from work in a part of the country we’ve never seen.

    • kgoesgallivanting

      My honey and I are considering a delayed honeymoon as well for financial and school-related reasons. Did you have a stay-cation or some other sort of couple time or did you jump right back into work on Monday after the wedding?

      • sarah

        We spent Saturday and Sunday night after the wedding in a nearby bed and breakfast, and then we took the bus from the b&b to work on Monday morning (Yep….I taught summer school with my wedding dress in my backpack haha. Granted, it was a cotton dress that folded up easily). But our quiet Sunday together after the wedding day was low-key and definitely a great way to wind down before getting back to work on Monday.

      • KM

        We delayed our honeymoon after getting married on Labor Day weekend last year because my wife had to start back to her grad program right after the wedding. But we got married on Sunday of Labor Day weekend and did not make it back to work/school until the Thursday after. I definitely recommend a little “mini-moon” to enjoy each other and the moment, even if only for a day or two. We did nothing but lounge around a small luxurious inn (that happened to be on the way from Vermont wedding back to NYC) and eat nice things. But it was our first time doing any of these things MARRIED so it was special.

      • marbella

        We were married in February, and honeymooned in October. Partly due to work commitments of my husband. I have to say, it was AWESOME! The time right after the wedding was great and felt like a honeymoon anyway (though he did go almost right back to work as he was launching a spacecraft that week). Having something to look forward to for several months afterward was brilliant, and I think really stopped any post wedding blues I could have encountered. Our wedding was in our town, but that meant it was a (transatlantic) destination for all of our family except my father and many close friends. So the wedding week was already like a little holiday with them all being around. It was soooo relaxing to not worry about the honeymoon immediately afterward and I really cherish the memories and completely think of it as a honeymoon, not just a random holiday.

        • Slade

          I’m sorry, did you say your husband LAUNCHED A SPACECRAFT?

          I can’t even. That’s so awesome.

    • We delayed our honeymoon as well, as we got married on a Sunday this past October and my husband teaches high school. We also didn’t have the money to book anything right then. We are planning to go to San Francisco and drive down the Pacific Coast Highway for a week in August, and we’re hoping to take a trip to Puerto Rico this winter!

    • We delayed our honeymoon as well, as we got married on a Sunday this past October and my husband teaches high school. We both took off that Monday, and he took off Tuesday as well, but I was back to work on Tuesday. We are planning to go to San Francisco and drive down the Pacific Coast Highway for a week in August, and we’re hoping to take a trip to Puerto Rico this winter!

      • Jules

        We also delayed the honeymoon, we spent the night at the hotel where our out of town guests were staying. Some curve balls later, it is about to be our two year anniversary and I don’t think we’ll be having our honeymoon yet, although we’ve taken some trips together. Now I’m not really sure what would make honeymoon a honeymoon instead of just a lovely vacation. The sex? The lack of responsibilities? The fact that you can just chill and relax for a few days with your favorite person? I want that to be EVERY vacation, not just the first!

        • We still haven’t taken our honeymoon yet, and it’s been 3.5 years. My husband travels a lot for work, so we sometimes travel to those locations because it’s cheaper since his airfare is already paid, but we wanted to go to a particular country off the beaten path for the honeymoon. I am hoping for next May at the latest. We are both really looking forward to going to that country together…but the timing and $$$ hasn’t aligned yet…

          And I am not sure if people will think we are crazy if we call it a honeymoon, but I think I will think of it that way, since we never had one and have always wanted to do this trip as our honeymoon.

  • Jen

    It’s also a three day weekend over here in the UK too! I’m reassured to know that across the globe, my pushing papers, desk tidying and thinly veiled yawns are being mirrored. I’m always under the impression everyone around me is a hive of production. Office ‘busy-offs’ are a regular occurrence:

    Scene: A small corner kitchen with mini fridge and view out over the Thames. An obvious EMPLOYEE of The Man is standing by the kettle, waiting for it to boil. They stare out of the window dreamily, wishing they were walking along the Southbank with an ice cream.


    E2: Hey E, how are you?
    E: (standing straighter, taller, looking sharper) Oh, hey E2, yeah, I’m great. I mean, I’m so busy.
    E2: Oh yes, I know the feeling. I mean I’m SO BUSY
    E: Oh really? As busy as me? I think not, NO ONE IS AS BUSY AS ME. I have those TEN projects I was telling you about.
    E2: Hmmm, well, I am REALLY F****** BUSY. I’ve got FIFTEEN projects on…

    etc etc etc at infinitum….. both spend at least 20 minutes discussing how busy they are. E2 eventually grabs a glass of water, and leaves E alone. E pops the kettle back on to boil and stares, once again, out of the window dreamily.


    • Peabody_bites

      You must be in my office… although sadly we have a busy road to dream over rather than the Thames.

      http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/06/30/the-busy-trap/ is a great article about competitive busying.

      • Jen

        That’ IS a great article, thanks for linking to it.

        When I took over a job from my boss, who’s also a good friend, she warned me that I should always say how busy I was to managers and colleagues. Apparenlty I’d been quite causal when people asked how I was, saying things along the lines of ‘Yeah, I’m great, things are nicely under control’. Something I thought made me sound competent, confident and efficient.

        Now, apparently, it’s better for us to all be giving the impression that we are one terse email away from having a complete mental breakdown due to the strain of our ever more demanding schedules. And the fact that we never quite get there is much more praise worthy than managing a life in a balanced, reasonable and structed way.

        I also work in a pretty creative industry, it’s not brain surgery…

        • ha. this is all such a great perspective (jen, i love your mini play).

          i typically work for steadily productive over busy, but things have been completely swamped at work this week, and for once i’m actually grateful – i’m somewhere near “one terse email away from having a complete mental breakdown” in my personal life, and my to-do list has given me the opportunity to let my guard down just a little because everyone at the office is assuming that i’m prickly and irritated because i have more shit to do than time to do it in. which i do, but that is not something that normally makes me snappy. however, the folks i work with are all more high-strung than me, so it makes perfect sense to them – and that’s an excuse i can really use right now.

        • Class of 1980

          I always felt I needed to hire a public relations firm to manage my reputation when I worked at companies.

          I remember one time a director passed my desk, which was unusually clear and remarked that I must have very little to do. In fact, I was at the breaking point with too much work, but it didn’t involve stuff on my desk.

          Needed a PR firm to craft my image. Don’t need one now that I’m on my own.

      • “Busyness serves as a kind of existential reassurance, a hedge against emptiness; obviously your life cannot possibly be silly or trivial or meaningless if you are so busy”

        This article is great. The cult of being “busy” has definitely been growing in my peer group. It also serves as a bit of a code word: it’s so vague that (unless its work busy) you’re not telling anyone what you’re actually choosing to spend your time on. Just that your time is taken.

    • ah! sorry, didn’t mean to “report” this comment. all I wanted to was say, yes, yes, yes.

    • meg


    • Class of 1980

      The difference is that you are having yet another bank holiday, which seems to occur on a constant basis, while we have been waiting months for a three-day weekend.

      I told my U.K. supplier that I’m clearly living in the wrong country. ;)

  • Peabody_bites

    I think I like an early open thread – opens commenting at our desks up to us Europeans….

    An odd week full of tiny victories:
    – Started part-time Msc (while working a full time job). Did my first assignment last night and remembered the utter joy of rigorous intellectual effort;
    – Finally learnt to wear contact lenses, only fifteen years after I started wearing glasses;
    – Ran 10K for the first time;
    – Celebrated by buying “barefoot” running shoes and had a great first run in them after being inspired by Born to Run (which I highly recommend);
    – Reviewed photos from recent trip to Iran – 1500 virtually identical pictures of mountains and/or mosque tiles down to edited highlights of 400;

    And best of all, I allowed myself to acknowledge that I am in a bit of a career rut at the moment, but that maybe its OK because I am focussing on other areas of my life at the moment and still getting my work done and still feeling stimulated by new challenges and finally feeling that non-professional achievements are valid.

    Plus, its the long weekend. I love that.

    • Shiri

      Some of your tiny victories are not so tiny, lady!

      This is super interesting to me, about the career rut. I’ve been feeling the same way, and when a big relationship change just came through, I thought maybe instead of being so focused on my next career move and re-finding my professional satisfaction, I should take advantage of the lull to maybe start our family. I don’t know how I feel about it, though, because all my life I’ve basically felt like only academic/professional achievements are valid, and also, my god, the possible unfeministness of letting oneself languish professionally on purpose (though temporarily) to become a mom.

      Have you gotten any push back on feeling that way?

      • Kristen

        Admittedly professional/academic achievement has never been my personal barometer of – a life well lived – if you will, this particular victory struck a chord in me as well. I’d spent several years making sweeping and major self and life changes when just as I was peaking on my happiness road, I met my now husband. Entering an intense relationship at what felt like was such an integral part of my journey was upsetting. I found myself veering off course when the relationship began to drive my inner thoughts, wants and needs. I questioned whether I shouldn’t leave the relationship to focus on me. Then I realized that if my end goal was a marriage and a family the path I was on would help me get there.

        All this blathering to say, at the end of the day, what will you say made you most happy in life? What so you ultimately want? Take the paths that lead you there and you won’t go wrong.

        • Shiri

          It’s funny, I think this is part of my issue. My relationship makes me happy, my family makes me happy, time with my friends makes me happy, having my own family will make me happy… and my job does make me very, very happy. But it doesn’t anymore, I need to leave it (and now I’m realizing how unique my name is and hoping no one at my work reads APW) and so I guess I’m trying to balance one unhappiness with possibly gaining a happiness, since I feel like we’d have to put off a baby for a year or two if I got a new job. Which, I suppose, brings us back to a whole different discussion…

      • Peabody_bites

        Such an interesting question and sorry if the below is slightly incoherent as a result both of having a lot to say, and of being on a conference call at the same time!

        I am lucky because even though *I* know that I am in a bit of a lull career-wise, it isn’t actually that obvious to the uninvolved eye as I can hide behind the ostensible prestige of my current job (great job description, really interesting sector), so I’m not actually taking a CV hit, only an ego one and I haven’t had too much external input. Also, I am probably the most aggressively professionally ambitious person in my immediate family and my closest friends and so they, on the whole, are supportive of indications that I am stepping that down a little.

        However, it is exactly what I beat myself up about. Were I not moving rapidly north of 30 and (whisper) had my husband and I not just agreed to start a family, I would definitely be moving onwards and upwards from my job because my professional achievements have always been front and centre of my sense of self and I so hear you on the feeling unfeminist by languishing on purpose to enable parenthood. The fact that my professional life is so profoundly impacted by my gender at this time, which is precisely the time that if I were a man, I would be pushing onwards and upwards to a really big job, is almost unbearably frustrating to me.

        On the other hand, I do believe that learning to centre my sense of self on myself, instead of on my external achievements, is probably a good thing for the long term and so I have been trying to frame these personal achievements/milestones as investments in my long term mental health and self confidence, rather than as time-fillers while I languish (great word) professionally.

        Final thought – I try to think purely practically that (A) I am the only person in my marriage who can bear children (B) I want children (C) I am lucky enough to be in a job where I can have children. Conclusion: A is inescapable, B is what I think I want and C is lucky, so I need to get with the current program as no-one is beating me up about this except me. Unfortunately, this hasn’t really worked so far as a motivating tactic, but I am hopeful it will in due course.

        Addendum to this absurdly long comment: Don’t even get me started on how my desire (need?) to just get on and be pregnant already so that I don’t have to live with the uncertainty and professional frustrations has impacted on the already stressful process of trying to conceive….

        Good luck to you in wrestling with all this and be absolutely sure you are not alone.

        • Shiri

          Wow, apparently I really am not alone in this! So much of what you just said rings true to me. Your addendum especially feels true. I’m one step back from you – at the point of having the conversation about this/not sure what my decision is yet. And I really don’t know if the next place I go would be the better job to have a baby in, but I know I’d be ok doing it where I am now (even though my job is really travel intensive, so that would have to change, but I know they want to keep me badly enough to be amenable).

          I know that what I’m doing now doesn’t look like languishing to anyone but me, but I also know that where I am professionally just isn’t right for me anymore, and so it does feel like a balancing act, one that I didn’t think I’d need to worry about for a while yet. Or, really, wouldn’t have the luxury to worry about, but then my husband got a job and now this could be the time. It changed so quickly that it makes me feel like I should take advantage of it, but I also know that the best laid plans can mean nothing.

          It’s funny to me that this is to you, too, about making a family. That that is what we balance our professional goals with (I mean, part of it is – of course it is – but I didn’t realize it when reading your post).

          • Peabody_bites

            Oh it totally is (at the moment). And that is the only thing that I have ever found that would have forced my professional goals from top spot. I just wasn’t planning to share all my internal crazy conflicts re. babies all over the internet- but then your comment sounded so like me that I couldn’t stop myself!

          • Peabody_bites

            Oh it totally is (at the moment). And that is the only thing that I have ever found that forced my professional goals from top spot. I just wasn’t planning to share all my internal crazy conflicts re. babies all over the internet- but then your comment sounded so like me that I couldn’t stop myself!

          • Shiri

            I can’t reply to you so I’m replying to me.

            I’m glad my own oversharing sparked yours. :) I haven’t really felt comfortable talking to my friends about this yet. My husband just got his job offer in the past week and it really has made everything feel different. My own unhappiness at work waxes and wanes, and when it is particularly acute – like this week – the urge to stay and have a baby now is less, of course, but I know that if I felt like there was a reason to stay where I am and that I’m not just stagnating, I’d be able to handle the things that I’m unhappy about there so much more easily.

          • Anon.A.Mouse.

            SHIRI: I can’t reply to you either, so I’m replying to me – only to say good luck figuring it out and that I wish you much balanced personal and professional success.

          • Peabody_bites

            SHIRI: I can’t reply to your latest comment, so I’m replying to your earlier one – only to say good luck figuring it out and that I wish you much balanced personal and professional success.

    • Kristen

      I love everything on this list. I’m not a list person, but this is inspiring me to try and write a list of small victories at the end of each week too. Remembering the positives and having a concrete place to be reminded of them is such a fantastic idea.

      Congratulations on the good week and have a great weekend!

      • Peabody_bites

        Thanks Kristen! You have a great weekend too.

    • Jashshea

      This whole conversation is amazing and reminds why I come to this site on the daily.

  • Anon

    A big project that I’ve been working on/ leading since December is wrapping up at work today! It was very successful, too. And I should be getting a raise soon. A raise that I asked for. Hey-Oh!


    In 2 months I’ll be quitting my job to travel around the world (alone)! 3 weeks ago I booked my ticket. I’ll give notice in about 5 weeks and my last day will be the beginning of August. Then I’ve got a month to sell/ pack my possessions, move them to my Uncle’s, say some see you laters, party it up and then head to my parents for a few days before I leave the US.

    I’m crazy excited. Still a bit in the freak out “holy sh*t what am I doing?” phase, but mostly excited.

    • Samantha

      Where are you going?! How long will you be traveling?! I have fantasies of doing this someday and love to hear how others do it . . . .

      • Anon

        I’m hitting up New Zealand and Australia first, then heading to Mexico and working my way south all the way down to Tierra del Fuego (perhaps a loop south through Argentina and return north through Chile) . Then I’m heading to eastern Europe and maybe some parts of western Europe.

        So I guess that’s not totally around the world, but I already spent 2 months in Asia a few years ago and would like to see places I haven’t been.

        As for a timeline- how ever long it takes! I think it’ll be anywhere from 9-18 months, but that is just a wild estimate. I have no idea how long it will take, or if I’ll decide mid-way through I’m done and come back to the US. Or I’ll decide to stay abroad and live there. Or I’ll be a perpetual traveler. No idea. Which is partly what makes it so exciting!

        • JEM

          Amazing!!! If you need recs for places to stay in NZ on the North Island I’d be happy to share! It is the most beautiful place.

        • Samantha

          Have you just been saving your pennies in anticipation to this trip – do you have plans to work in each location? How the heck do you get a job when you are just passing through for a while? These are the logistical things I think about. So incredible!!

          • Anon

            hmmm…. so I save my pennies in general, all the time. It’s a game to me, to see how much I can save every month. Over the (almost) 4 years that I’ve been working, I’ve saved quite a bit, but I never thought I would use it for a trip like this. I never had any plans to use it at all, actually. I just saved because I like having the freedom to do what I want, when I want.

            I don’t plan to work anywhere, mostly because I have enough savings to last me quite a long time so it’s not a necessity. If however, I decide to stay in 1 location for more than, say a month, I expect I’d try to find some sort of temporary work.

        • Anon

          Don´t forget Colombia!

    • Audrey

      That’s AMAZING! Congrats!

    • The Family Jules

      That’s amazing! I recommend reading Tales of a Female Nomad by Rita Golden Gelman before you go on your trip. :-)

    • Slade

      Hell fucking yes! Congratulations! That’s SO AWESOME!!

      I’m so proud of and happy for you. :)

  • THREE DAY AND A HALF DAY WEEKEND! We just got word they’re letting us out at 2:30 and I am so happy I could plotz.

    In other news, I decided to take two classes this summer, not realizing that summer classes are two days a week, not one. Y’all, there is a lot of reading. I’m going to try to knock a bunch out this afternoon (after a much needed jog) so I can focus on unpacking my house and putting up backsplashes this weekend. (It’s worth it, I’m starting my grad school officially in the fall, but after this summer, I have a year’s worth of classes under my belt)

    The past three months, between packing, moving & renovating, there really has been no time for the gym and my body has just been screaming for exercise. I’m honestly a little surprised how much I missed it.

    • Jashshea

      Ditto to that last point – I used to go to the gym in the AM, but my work hours have required early starts lately, so I’m feeling thicker than I want. And my body HURTS more. How strange.

      Good luck w/house stuff as well!

      • Pay attention to your energy levels. I am SO MUCH MORE TIRED in the day to day without workouts.

        • Jashshea

          Yup! And my peaks and valleys are at different times. If I work out in the AM, I’m alert/smart until about 4 PM, then I lag until 7. No workout = horrible time waking up and I need 1-2 cups of coffee to make it through the morning.

  • Brenda

    I’ve spent my day fighting with banks to try to figure out how to transfer money we’ve been given for the wedding from my US bank account to my UK bank account. Does anyone who’s moved abroad have suggestions for handling money internationally? It’s driving me nuts!

    • Laura Lee

      I haven’t actually done this before, but have you tried using paypal? You could set up two paypal accounts for yourself and pay the money from one account (linked to your US bank) to your other account (linked to your UK bank). Then you could transfer the funds from paypal right into your UK bank. It takes a few days to verify linked bank accounts with paypal, but I think this solution might work for you.

    • Peabody_bites

      I do this pretty often – provided that you have the SWIFT code for the receiving bank, which they ought to be able to tell you over the phone, then it shouldn’t be too problematic or take longer than 3 business days to show up in the recieving account.

      The only issue is that they will definitely charge you at least $25 plus exchange rate costs, so the Paypal option might be better value.

      Alternatively, you could write a cheque to yourself from one account to the other, but the recieving bank may charge an admin fee to pay in a cheque in a currency other than its primary currency (e.g. US$ rather than £GBP).

    • As I live in Germany but get paid for tiny bits of freelance work in the states I use Bank of America. They have a relationship with several European banks, so I take money from my us bank account out at deutsch bank( I think their uk bank is Barclays ) once you have cash you could deposit it into another bank in the uk. Hope this helps.

    • KateM

      Wire it from one account to the other. You should be able to do itbwithout going into the branch, although that would be the fastest way to do it. It should cost no more than $15 but it is secure and instant. Also your funds are immeadiately available which they may not be if you use some other type of transfer.

    • Anon

      Have you tried doing cash advances? I do a cash advance in the US with my Colombian credit card. Then I pay off the Colombian credit card immediately with the cash in my Colombian checking account. It has the lowest fees that I have found so far. I can only do about $1500 at a time though.

      • Brenda

        Thanks everyone! These are some good things to look into :)

    • Hypothetical Sarah

      A wire transfer, as Peabody_bites suggests, is the simplest… but you’ll probably get hit with fees on both sides (which drove me crazy. Our money wasn’t leaving their bank!). If your US debit card doesn’t charge international fees (or if they’re reasonable), you could just withdraw the money from a UK ATM. You can also walk into a UK bank with dollars and ask them to convert it into pounds. I don’t remember how reasonable the bank exchange rate was.

    • Emma

      My mum lives in Switzerland (moved there from the UK, where I still live) and so we’ve dealt with quite a few money transfers inc. buying houses on both sides. If it’s anything more than a grand, I’d recommend using a currency specialist rather than a bank etc – they have better rates (which can make quite a difference). I’m not sure if I’m allowed to say this, but we use a company called Currency Solutions and they’re fantastic.

    • Jules

      I had to keep different bank accounts, one in each country, having been unable to transfer them remotely. South American banks are sucky that way. However, between USA and UK, you can probably do a bank transfer, you’ll need a SWIFT or ABRA code (banks can give those to you) and with your bank info you should be able to transfer the money by paying a fee.

  • Audrey

    Does saying hi to all of you trump work? Yep. You Bet! Most things do these days. HAPPY FRIDAY!

    I wish you all a very wonderful weekend. Mine will be filled with job applications ahead of our upcoming move. Anyone have any info on Richmond?

    Husband is going on a guys only camping trip this weekend. So I’ll also have two nights all to myself! (introverted sigh of relief)

  • mj

    Happy Friday all!

    Having the wedding ho-down in September and getting a little anxious about… everything… Except that I’ve found my perfect person!

    …But we do differ on how the whole thing will work… he prefers very “traditional” (or shall I call it modern traditional) with a consist “theme”, and favors, and gifts, and me walking down an aisle with everyone looking at me, and a wedding party, and speeches and an MC, and signature drinks, etc. (we are in agreement about no first dance and no cake cutting THANK GOD) He seems to want what “everyone else” does for just that reason….

    I prefer to reel it in — both because that’s how “my people” (Puritan New England WASP) generally do things… and I don’t want to be at the center of everything, a spectacle, etc. Honestly, if I’d had my way it would have been a little backyard to do with just our families… but now it’s a 150 person full-on WEDDING. (lots of side events, but i’m good with those!)

    We’ve met in the middle and each flexed on some things — no wedding party, minimal speeches, no gifts, etc. And perhaps I’ve gotten more than he has… but he is getting… the full-on WEDDING… but it is at my family’s home and his people must all come from far (but he is happy to share our special place with them!)

    So I don’t want to get too greedy or non-traditional on him… but now we are down to the ceremony and the part where I need to “appear”….
    My dad is a JOP and is marrying us and his dad will do some reading or say something….
    But it is the part about how we/I appear that’s the point of discussion….
    My dad is the JOP — is he out there already? Or is everyone just standing looking at a blank seawall with maybe just my beloved out there? – does he come prancing out too? if my dad is out there already, does just my mom come out with me? and then there is everyone LOOKING AT ME ALL AT THE SAME TIME…. and i’m supposed to be the prettiest pea that i’ve ever been, etc.

    In light of these decisions/issues I’ve proposed that we do something a little different… close family hang out and a few photos before everyone arrives…. and then we’re there greeting everyone as they get there… kind of a short little cocktail party… and then at the designated hour we just get up there and do it….
    He of course does not love this idea… it’s weird… people will be confused (think they arrived late for a minute)… “why can’t we just do it the normal way?”

    So is there some middle option? Some idea that makes it less of a EVERYONE LOOK AT ME NOW WHILE I MARCH OUT TO MY FUTURE HUSBAND
    and if we do do the traditional procession – how to handle the dad JOP thing….??

    • Laura C

      I feel the same about not wanting everyone staring at me marching out to my future husband, though I have a very different feeling about a wedding party in that light — I feel like having a whole bunch of other people have walked down the aisle will make me feel more like just another person. Which…I’ll tell you in like 14 months how that works out!

      But either way, something that’s huge for me is that we both arrive at the front in the same way. No way am I having people stare at me for an endless walk if all he had to do was slink out from the side and stand there waiting. Either we both walk out a few steps from the side or we both walk down the aisle. Unfortunately for me, he chose walking down the aisle. :) He’ll walk with his mom and I haven’t yet decided if I’m walking with my parents or alone.

      As for your dad…hmm. I’ve been to a wedding where the bride’s father officiated and I think he just walked her down the aisle and then turned around and faced the church. But if your dad isn’t walking you, then…he could walk out with your mom, sit her down, then stand in front while you come out?

    • KE


      1. You and your dad walk out together. He takes his place at the head of the room, you take your place next to your fiance. This is what my SIL/BIL did. Worked perfectly, no one thought it was weird.

      2. Like #1, but your mom and dad walk you down. At the end of the aisle, dad goes to the head, mom sits in the front row.

      3. You and your fiance walk out together.

      4. If the space allows it, you and your fiance walk out at the same time, but from separate entrances, reaching the front at the same time. I’m imagining a church with doors on each side of the altar, or two doors at the front of the church (and three sections of seats so you each have an aisle), or doors at each transept. (I know you may not be Christian or getting married in a church, but I don’t know how to describe the equivalent in another setting. But whatever the space, if there are multiple entrances and ways to reach the front, this could work.)

      #1 and #2 are the most traditional (for your fiance) and don’t put attention solely on you (for you). #3 and #4 are less traditional, but really take the focus off you. Maybe you could sell him on the symbolism of #3 and #4– you’re two adults choosing to join your lives together, and so you enter together as equals, just as you leave together. People who are fond of tradition (I’m one of them) are more comfortable switching up traditions if it seems like there’s a meaningful reason.

      ETA: Obviously your happiness is a meaningful reason, but being able to say “We liked the symbolism of walking in as equals” might lessen your fiance’s concerns about being less traditional.

      • Samantha

        Walking together as bride and groom is traditional in the Catholic Church – so it is traditional if not your own tradition. :)

        • KE

          Ha, good point. If tradition a sticking point, there’s always a tradition that suits your needs!

    • Anon

      My brother and sister in-law were married by her father, so similar situation. They had a semi-traditional procession. First was the grooms people + brides people. Since you don’t have a wedding party just skip all that.

      The last people to process were my brother and both my parents, all walking in together, and then her father and mother, walking together, and then then finally her, alone, walking in last.

      People didn’t seem confused at all when at the start of the music/ ceremony no one was at the front. The music cues everyone that something is about to start. If you don’t have music, it may be a bit harder to give people the hint that you’re starting.

      If you’re worried about everyone looking at you, you could walk in with both your parents. Or just your dad. Whatever you’re most comfortable with. I guess the point is, even with your dad officiating, it’s totally possible to have a processional.

      Now if you just don’t want a processional, that’s a whole different matter. Meet and Greet and already being up there and starting sounds totally fine, too!

    • You could:

      a. Both walk in together down the aisle. (It’s definitely traditional in some religions/cultures) with your dad already at the front (his appearance can be the everybody stand up and get ready cue)

      b. Both walk in from NOT the aisle. I’m sure in your fiance’s mind, he’s coming in from the side at the front of the ceremony- you could do that too. Then you can walk back down the aisle together at the end

      c. If you walk down the aisle with your dad, I’d just have someone say “please rise” or some other cue so the congregation knows the processional will begin.

      You have way more choices than these, that’s just what came to my head. Also, give your family and friends some credit! They’re smart people, they will figure it out quickly!

    • Would your future husband consider processing down the aisle with you? Otherwise, you could certainly have one or both parents walk with you down the aisle. Your father could simply take a few extra steps after you reach the end of the aisle to shift from Escorting Parent to JOP.

      I’d suggest talking to your parents about this, as the processional is one of those things that tends to stir up strong feelings. They may have a long-established idea of what they think their roles should be at that point in the ceremony and you can avoid unintentionally hurting feelings by checking in with them to get a solid handle on their thoughts. Once you have your parental powwow, maybe talk again with your fiance. Underscore to him how uncomfortable you are about being the center of attention and try to incorporate your parents’ thoughts into your plans.

      Even if you end up doing a “traditional” processional, your portion will last for a handful of seconds (and you won’t be alone!). It may not happen to you, but there’s this brilliant phenomenon that may occur as you’re striding towards your almost-spouse where the rest of the world suddenly fades into the background and you see only him through this new tunnel-vision. It sounds movie cliche, but I know plenty of people who have described experiencing exactly that and they’ve claimed it help them get over “performance anxiety”.

    • In terms of alternate options, there will surely be a bunch of pictures here or at OBB that I can’t think of right now. The only one I can think of is walking in together with your fiance, and I guess he’ll think that’s ‘weird’ too (I feel your pain on this).

      I’ve found the same thing at our (earlier) stage in the process, with my SO being challenged and tending to knee-jerk ‘no’ to anything that is way outside his comfort zone. Maybe asking him to really think about why he wants to do things in a certain way? And reminding him that there is no one ‘normal’ in this super diverse world we live in?

      Best of luck :)

    • Tess

      I love the idea of having the cocktail hour first… im getting married in Israel and that is typically how it is done… that way, you get to say hi to everyone and see everyone before hand, and the pressure is totally off!! My US family and friends might not expect the change of the usual order, but they will get it, and the unexpected is just part of the fun anyways :)

      I’m also not having a wedding party, and we are walking in the traditional Jewish way which means first he is walking down with his parents, and then I am walking down with mine… at this point, your dad could just take his place at the front… actually we will be having all the parents stand with us under the chuppa…. i like this tradition because it emphasizes that this is a unification of 2 families…. plus you are not walking down the aisle alone, and your parents would probably be so honored to walk you down the aisle

      Finally, I also know the feeling about your small wedding getting blown out of control…. here, the typical guest list is 400!!! after a process of thinning out the list with his parents and limiting our friends, we are still somehow ending up with 200 people!! and whats crazy here is that when I tell vendors this number, they think I’m crazy and try to get me to invite more guests….

      anyways, you will figure out what works for you!

    • Manya

      Here’s what we did:

      Guests arrived and they had some juice cocktails and tiny snackies (think peanuts…) while they waited for critical mass to arrive. Groom and attendants and my mom and dad hung out and schmoozed with the group. When critical mass was there, my dad came up to get me. Groom and attendants kind of hearded everybody in, then hung back. They all came in together with the officiant, in kind of a rambling guy herd while the song “Crazy Love” played (the mellow, She give me love, love, love. love….). When that song started it was our cue to come down, and I processed in with my Dad. My mom didn’t want to process in at all, so she just got seated with all the other guests, then my dad joined her once we got there. Both Brian and I hugged both my mom and dad–it wasn’t really a giving away scene, rather just kind of an airport reunion scene where Brian kept saying how beautiful I looked and we all started crying ALREADY.

      It was nice… both “traditional” but not so much….

    • mmouse

      We did the weird “mingle-before-the-ceremony”. Our ceremony was in an open field and there would’ve been nowhere for me to hide out, so I just greeted people when they drove up and everyone talked and hugged and it was really casual. When it was time, some family members herded everyone into position, our officiant & my guy when up front, and I stood off to the side with my dad. It was a really lovely start to the ceremony & no one was confused. In fact, I LOVED seeing everyone right away. It calmed my nerves and made it feel intimate (even though we had 115 guests).

  • Shiri

    You guys, my husband got a job this week. A job! We’ve been married almost a year, together for seven years, he got his PhD in 2010 and has been working up to three jobs at a time since then, and he finally, finally, finally! got a job. A single job, where he can work at just one place, and where they wanted someone with a PhD. It may change everything, and I’m so excited.

    We’ve only ever been together when he was in grad school or underemployed and I’m so excited to see what this employment can do for us. I know things don’t really change in a relationship because of something like this, but I’m looking forward to the opportunity and security it can provide.

    A job!

    • Catherine B

      Hooray! Congrats to you both! And how nice to have a 3-day weekend over which to celebrate!

    • Laura Lee

      Congratulations to you both! I hope he loves his new job.

      • Shiri

        You’re so right, I hope he does too. All I’ve been hoping up to now is that he gets one, and that by having one, he feels like the last 9 years of his life haven’t been a huge mistake and that his decisions (and by extension, he) are worthwhile. You’re so right, now that he has one, maybe its simpler than that. Watching your husband be unemployed feels so risky, you know? Everyone always talks about how much “men need a job, need a purpose” blah blah blah.

    • KEA1

      YAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAY! That is so fabulous. Congrats to him, and much happiness for both of you. %)

    • Congrats!

    • things *totally* (can) change in a relationship because of something like that. just the fact that you’re so excited changes things – and i’m assuming he is also so excited, which changes things. and, damn, doing something you like and/or care about – that changes people for the better. people changing changes the relationship.

      also, yay!

      • Shiri

        This is totally my hope, so thanks. I know that anxiety and self confidence are, to a certain degree, what they are, but I’m hoping (not counting on, but hoping) that a much better reality will help.

    • carrie

      Woo hooooo! Congrats!

    • Wow! What incredible news. Congratulations!!!

    • Meghan

      Congratulations!! So exciting for you guys! FYI, things totally *do* change – but usually for the better! My fiance had trouble finding work for a long time after we both graduated, and our lives became so different once he was able to leave his two part-time jobs he was way over-qualified for to work in a position that uses his degree and is in his field. It was a very positive change for sure! Have fun!

      • Shiri

        That’s exactly my hope! I’m glad it was a good change for you guys!

    • Hurray and congratulations! What a great bit of news to carry into the 3-day weekend.

  • Mary

    I signed up to take muay thai classes, and had my first class this week! It’s such a departure from my normally very quiet, non-aggressive personality, but I loved it!

    • Oh that’s kick-ass (literally and figuratively)! Good for you!

  • Shauna

    I have basically had it with the health care system. Have been trying the conceive for six months and thus setting off alarm bells among my health care providers (which brings up all kinds of feelings of judgment and anxiety in my over-achiever soul). When I went to see a GYN a few weeks ago, she circled my age (36) on my chart and talked about a bunch of invasive tests/procedures. NOTHING on timing intercourse or other ways to improve our chances. I was overwhelmed in the appointment–was not expecting this barrage of information.

    She gave me a sheaf of handouts and then said I could contact her with questions. I followed up with a very thoughtful email through the patient/dr. messaging system. In the email I asked several questions and instead of answering them, the dr. forwarded my message to the nurse, who responded with a 2-line message stating that the dr. now wants to perform a DIFFERENT (less invasive – yay) test. It’s a sucky feeling to have my questions unacknowledged, and then to get new information without any context or explanation (when I called to learn more, the staff was very dismissive). I am trying to avoid googling information about the test/fertility in general, because the internet on this topic is crazy-making.

    I am dreading going back to this practice but don’t know where else to go. Anyone have a good OB/GYN in the Boston area? And anyone know where to get APW-ish community and information related to fertility issues?

    • scw

      I have a fair amount of health issues and am at the doctor often and I understand. Western medicine can be so frustrating!

      I can’t help you with any of your specific requests but if you are interested in going the holistic route (in addition to a more traditional route, not in place of it) you might look into Mayan Abdominal Therapy. It sounds kind of hippie-dippie but I used to work for a woman who swears by it. If you can afford it, it might be worth looking into.


      Whatever you decide to do, best of luck!

    • Sarah for this comment

      1. Write back to the doctor stating you would like a more in depth answer to your email. Be specific if necessary. You are the customer and you are paying good money for a service. I work in a hospital and believe it or not this is what we’re trained as employees.

      2. Look into whether your hospital has a customer service/customer complaints department and consider contacting them.

      3. Go to a different doctor. For a long time I used to put up with the dumbest bs from doctors. Waiting 45 mins past appointment times, having chronic health issues that never got properly explained or addressed. I had it one day, and I vowed that anyone providing me health care better damn well care about me visibly. Since then I’ve had so much better luck with doctors. I’m open and honest about what I expect. Release my concerning test results to be emailed to me with no explanation? You’re going to hear about it and you’re going to apologize and give me better care. Because I deserve it and so do you.

    • I don’t have any answers about where to go, but I wish you the best of luck in finding a new place. And I know some will argue with me, but 36 is absolutely not the death knell for ‘natural’ conception (my gran had my mum at 39, and my great gran had two children in her 40s, all without assistance). In my opinion, the first doc was just skimming the surface and going with the current ‘popular’ line.

    • amc

      Shauna – That situation sounds so frustrating. I hate to feel like my concerns aren’t being taken seriously, especially as it relates to health. While I don’t have any experience with your specific issues, I have used the midwives at Women’s Health Associates in Wellesley. They are right at Route 9 and the highway. I liked that they were slightly less into the medical checklists and more open to discussion.

      Best of luck to you and your partner.

    • Acupuncture. If nothing else, you will be listened to. I know quite a few people who it has helped too. I’m also 36 and I just can’t go the western medicine route until I actually get pregnant. I have never felt heard or understood and its soooo expensive, with iffy results!

      • Shauna

        Yes! I am doing acupuncture. Only time will tell if it works, but it feels great to be in a healing atmosphere once a week.

      • meg

        Indeed. There is also less crazy time pressure “SIX MONTHS OMG.” Which isn’t just western, it’s United States centric. My friends in the UK all are given far more reasonable windows of time in which to get pregnant without alarm bells ringing. We’re not 16, it’s just not once and one, usually.

    • I am so sorry you experienced that. Boopussy on them.

      I’m not in Boston and I’m not sure who you used before, but there is actually a Yelp page for OBs in Boston


      and this http://www.tuftsmedicalcenter.org/baby-womens-care/index.html?_vsignck&_vsrefdom=OBGYN
      has the highest Paid search results with a quick search.

      Another paid search that has a very high listing and a specialty page for infertility:


      http://bmc.org/obgyn/team.htm <– they tout a Maternal Fetal team (med talk for high-risk, which "mature" mothers are considered.)

      I just feel sick about the way you were treated and how callus they are being to your situation. I your current doc has a patients bill of rights and a customer service dept, please complain. You're probably not alone in this treatment.

      And the very best of luck in baby making. XOXO

      • Shauna

        Thanks, I will check these out!

        • Best of luck, love! I have a friend dealing with some similar issues and I truly feel for how hard it can be. Love, love, love your way!

      • Shiri

        I have a friend who is a resident at BMC in OB/Gyn and I know she chose to work there because she liked their woman centered approach and the way they practiced medicine. I don’t know anything about their private practices, though!

    • Kara E

      I’m 36 + pregnant and got pregnant on our first well-timed intercourse. So….that age is definitely not the death-knell of fertility. Did your doc even suggest ovulation tests strips or something non-interventionist? No suggestions for other docs/clinics, but I’d be looking too. :(

      • Shauna

        Thanks for your replies!

        She may have mentioned the kits (which I’ve already been using), but no guidance on how to make them most effective. And I’ve found confusing information on the “surge” and whether it’s best to try daily or every other day, and that kind of thing. The process is maddening, though I do enjoy using the word “surge.”

        BTW, I attended a talk yesterday called “When Doctors Don’t Listen” which is about advocating for yourself in medical situations: http://whendoctorsdontlisten.com/

        The advice was straightforward, but I appreciated the authors’ (two doctors) perspectives.

        • Kara E

          Frustrating. Good luck. :(

        • marbella

          I would recommend reading ‘taking charge of your fertility’ and learning NFP. There are lots of resources to help.
          And of course, try to find a new OBGYN who will listen to you and cares!
          Anecdotal, I know, but don’t fret – my mum had my little sister at 46 after 5 years of trying, some hormonal help that didn’t work, she gave up and then conceived naturally. My step-mum had my littlest sister after 8 years of trying, invasive procedures that didn’t work and caused huge amounts of stress. She also had ‘given up’ and became pregnant at 41. My SIL just gave birth to a baby girl after an awful time in the past couple of years with a stillbirth and a miscarriage, she is nearing 40. It is not too late for you, and don’t let yourself become discouraged!

        • I second “Taking Charge of Your Fertility” by Toni Weschler. It was SO informative and amazing to read. I now recommend it to all my female friends; it’s super informative whether or not one wants to have a kid. Good luck!

    • Anon

      I go to Harvard Vanguard Post Office Square and have been really happy with them. I haven’t talked to them about fertility issues, so I’m not sure what their approach/attitude is, but all of my doctors are through that office at this point, and I’ve been happy across the board. In particular, I feel like they are all knowledgeable enough that I trust their recommendations, but at the same time, they treat me as a smart adult that they are ultimately advising, while I make the final decisions about my own health. Finding that balance is really important to me.

    • Elle Marie

      Shoutout to a fellow Bostonian!

      I haven’t had the occasion to use OB services (yet!) but I have heard VERY good things from friends and neighbors about the OB/GYN services at MGH. I had an ankle surgery and aftercare through MGH two years ago and the entire experience was simply amazing. The nurses and staff were genuinely compassionate and helpful, and the doctor was fantastic and responsive to my concerns and individual situation.

      One of my friends (who lives on the North Shore) used this midwifery service for her most recent pregnancy and birth, and was VERY happy with them: http://www.fullcirclemidwiferynh.com/

      For primary care, I go to BU Medical Group (930 Commonwealth Ave., Boston, MA) – I really like them, but they are affiliated with BMC for specialist services, which is an inconvenient hike for me if I need a referral. That being said, I got my IUD from the OB/GYN services at BMC, and didn’t have any problems.

      • Shauna

        Actually, MGH is where I’m having this yucky experience! Perhaps this particular physician and her nurse are just exceptions … MGH is such a huge institution (and I have been satisfied with their primary care).

    • Stacey

      There’s a book called Taking Charge of Your Fertility by Toni Wechsler and a related website with some message boards. It’s all about monitoring your basal body temperature and other bio signs to know when you’ll be most fertile (it is NOT the rhythm method, which only counts days). The women on the discussion boards talk about a lot more than that one method though. There are even boards for women using the method to prevent conception. I’ve found it to be an eye-opening wealth of knowledge in a supporting atmosphere.
      I’d post a link but I’m at work and am not willing to bring up the website here in the cubicle farm with all-male co-workers around me. You should be able to find it by searching!

      • My doctor (who is awesome and listens and took me ages to find) also recommended this book. I haven’t read it yet, but I definitely trust her opinions. Also, Shauna, you deserve to be listened to and to have your questions answered. I went forever with shitty doctors and once I got one who actually listened and treated me like a person, it was a whole new ballgame. Don’t let the medical industrial complex get to you any more than you would the wedding industrial complex. :) Good luck!

      • Stacey

        I got it at the library and liked it so much I bought my own copy. It’s like a how-to manual for your lady parts!

      • Stacey

        I got it at the library and liked it so much I bought my own copy. It’s like a how-to manual for your lady parts! The specific method is called FAM = Fertility Awareness Method.

    • Meagan

      Hi Shauna,

      If you can get across the river, I see a NP at Mt. Auburn Center for Women and LOVE her. She’s super sweet and very knowledgeable. Let me know if you want more information; I’d be happy to chat some more.

      Good luck!

    • Katherine

      Be your own advocate, Shauna! Keep fighting to get the care and attention you deserve.

      And two other things:

      1) There is NO way 36 should be that much of a concern. Yes, you’re not in your 20’s anymore, but if women in their 50’s & 60’s can handle a pregnancy, so can you.

      2) It took one of my best friends over 3 years to get pregnant. Her & her hubby had almost given up hope, but with the right team of specialists and a lot perseverance and positive attitude, it finally happened! They’re just about 5 months pregnant right now (even though she’s high-risk), and I couldn’t be happier or more excited for them.

      So keep going!! You’ll find the right care, but maybe this doctor/practice just isn’t the right place.

      ((virtual hugs))

    • Jules

      UGH What a horrible experience, I totally understand. I usually feel very frustrated dealing with the medical system, like I am the last thing on the doctor’s mind when they are seeing me and then having to chase them down to get answers about test results or dosage or whatnot. I hope you can get awesome recommendations for Boston Doctors, I wish I had some for DC!

      I’m also looking for a Reproductive endocrinologist (OB GYN for infertility issues) in Washington DC that takes new patients and returns calls. In the past, I asked my close friends about who they recommended and then got an appointment, but because I just moved to the city, I don’t have a network I could ask for recommendations. Because what I need is a specialist, it isn’t like I can just walk up to someone and ask them what infertility doctor they recommend :/

      I find that for me it is such a personal and touchy subject, that getting someone who CARES and makes me feel they are in my corner is important, and I’ve been unable to find that, specially someone in my insurance network.

      • Shauna

        I hope you find someone! I’m in the same boat (not wanting to ask for recommendations, even from friends). Good luck, and thanks to you (and everyone) for your comment.

  • Laura Lee

    I love the shuffling papers line so much. And now I’m very much hoping someone comes around the office this afternoon telling everyone to take off early.

    FH and I had some good news this week. We’ve both been living with our parents during our engagement renting out the house he owns to save money (along with a few other reasons) to help pay for the wedding as well as paying down debts before starting our lives together. Our tenants’ lease was supposed to end July 1st (2 days after our wedding), but we put together a deal where they move out June 1st and we forgive the back rent they owe. *Side note, if you’re thinking about getting into the rental property business, think long and hard. It was a pretty awful experience for us.* They agreed to the deal last month and signed the necessary documents to terminate the lease effective June 1st, but saying you’re moving and actually moving are two different things. They confirmed on Wednesday that they had a new place and will be moving June 1st.

    It is SUCH A RELIEF. We have a shit ton of work we need to do in the house before it’s ready to move in (rip up all the carpeting, redo hardwood floors, paint every wall, clean like crazy), but I’m so thankful we can do those things before the wedding. I was having all sorts of nightmare of us coming back from the honeymoon and still being at one of our parents’ houses.

    The flip side is that we now have all this new work to get done before the wedding in addition to all the wedding stuff that still needs to be finished. I know we’ll get everything done, but June is going to be a little insane. I’m so excited though :) We’re getting married!!! And turning a house into a home.

    • Catherine B

      Congrats on the house news! I’m excited for you imagining tackling all those projects and returning in July to your home!

  • Kess

    Sadly it’s not a long weekend in Canada… but I guess we don’t deserve too much sympathy, since that’s just cause ours already happened last weekend. Nevertheless, I am procrastinating in sympathy with my American friends today.

    So instead of writing the memo I should have already finished by now, I’m looking at wedding things. And freaking out about not being able to find a venue. And then because that is too stressful, I’m also procrastinating on THAT by looking at wedding flowers, dresses, bridesmaid dresses, anything except the venue. Even though I know the advice in the APW book regarding needing to settle your venue before almost anything else is absolutely correct.

    Yes that’s right, I have perfected my ability to procrastinate about two things at once! Check out my amazing multitasking!

  • Ali S

    Happy Friday!! Today is my negative 1 year anniversary! In 365 days I will be saying “I do.” So excited!
    And we are both off work today in preparation for the big move tomorrow, so we are about to go celebrate with some donuts :]

    A big thanks to APW for last friday’s open thread – I asked about moving, and picking a photographer and got some great advice! The move is happening as scheduled, hopefully without a hitch, and we interviewed 4 photographers and chose one! An awesome husband and wife team that we cannot be more excited about. It’s a little soon to say, but they might end up being my favorite part of the wedding (aside from the whole marriage thing)!!

  • Hintzy

    pushing papers around and hoping someone in charge wises up… yep!

    we haven’t gotten official approval yet to close early… here’s hoping! I want to hurry up and get in the pool for a swim…. wedding planning stuff will just have to wait till next week.

  • Lauren

    Hey hey! Yay for early Happy Hour thread. Not so much actual early Happy Hour but that’s ok.

    We had a great Triangle-area meetup last weekend! Just a few people were there but it was pretty fun!

    And from my question two weeks ago about wine, I just handed the whole alcohol question over to the fella and his dad. I wash my hands of it. Too much stress.

    Speaking of stress, I kind of need someone to pat my back and say it’s all ok. I am stressed about my dress (should I add straps? There are only five weeks left ahhhh). I am stressed about my bridesmaids (their dresses aren’t coming in on time and need alterations ahhhh). I am stressed about food and meeting with the caterer today (at least that is something I have control over ahhhh). I am stressed about decorations (ahhhh). I am stressed about corralling family (double ahhhh). I am stressed because our photographer just got a jury summons for the weekend of our wedding (WHAT!?) I am stressed about feeling like our wedding is coming apart at the seams and there is nothing I can do about it (AHHHH)!

    I know I have a lot of these things in my control, I just need a nonjudgemental hug and a “I know it’s hard.” Thanks. :)

    • Catherine B

      Hug!!!! 8 days out and I know it’s hard! We’ve got your back.

    • Hannah

      *hugs* It is hard. And it is so much all at once. Good luck!

    • Lauren

      Update post-meeting with caterer: *angels singing in background*

      Everything is not fixed. The dresses and photographer problems still abound. But I met with the caterer and site coordinator and all is (semi) well!

      Thing I did not know: the caterer is ALSO the day-of coordinator! I didn’t know he did that! But he does! I want to shout from the rooftops! I thought I’d be delegating my most responsible non-bridal party friend (read: no idea) to that role! That means:

      * DIT flowers – give to him
      * Decorations – give to him
      * Moving tables at the reception – he will do that
      * Getting specialty vegan food for guests with dietary restrictions – I buy, someone delivers, he sets up
      * Our tent will hold all of our guests
      * Send-off – he will organize

      I feel like I just recovered from a stomach flu, you know, when the world seems fresh and new after you’ve been holed up in bed for a week? And you’ve lost five pounds (and you’ll gain it back because the stomach flu diet is not sustainable but hey you feel great)?


      Thanks Catherine and Hannah!

      • Catherine B

        Hooray! Thanks for the update and here’s hoping the rest of it get resolved in a similarly satisfying matter soon.

    • Sarah

      Triangle meetup? I assume you mean RDU Triangle? I’m in the area and didn’t even know about gatherings for APW. Maybe after my 6/22 wedding I’ll have some time!

      I’m sorry to hear about the challenges. We were supposed to get our caterers final invoice this week and no word. Jury duty summons is not a guarantee he/she will have to go but that’s very stressful. Virtual hugs–and delegating on the wine was probably a good idea. Maybe you can do some more of that?

      • Lauren

        Sarah – yes, RDU Triangle! I know that Jenny (I can’t remember her username here, possibly Jenny) is getting married this weekend but was going to maybe host another meetup in June. I am getting married a week after you! I hope all goes smoothly and you hear back from the caterer soon. If my caterer wasn’t such a nice person I think I would have run off to Bermuda by now, never to return. I am working on the delegating but it is tough to let go sometimes, unless I am forced!

        Anyway email me at lauren dot ramsdell at gmail dot com if you want to chat!

      • KH

        Yay! Triangle meetup! I would love to meet some other APW in my area! I feel like I’m the only semi-sane person left in this area sometimes…. maybe because this is the summer of weddings/bridezillas.

  • anonforthis

    Happy Friday, everyone! I’m actually taking Tuesday off for the laziest 4 day weekend ever :).

    Unfortunately, my long weekend isn’t getting off to the best start. This morning before work my guy was a little bummed, so I asked him what was up. He told me he was upset because I don’t initiate sex enough (how’s that for 7 am???).We didn’t really get into it because I had to leave, but I’m obviously not in the best mood now. We’ve had this conversation a few times before (we’ve been together about 2 years), and, while we’ve resolved the issue at the time, we haven’t come up with a good game plan to really combat it.

    I know we had the sex talk a few weeks ago, but does anyone have any advice?

    • I would start by asking what “enough” really means to him- and to you, so you know what exactly the discrepancy is.

      Also, I’ve realized, with the help of my partner, that subtlety just needs to be tossed out the window when I want to initiate sex. When I want sex, I have to just out and say “Let’s have sex.” I literally asked him to take clothes off while we were watching TV on the couch, and he still didn’t get it. Another thing that I’ve been meaning to remind my guy about- it takes me a lot longer to really feel aroused. Usually, even if I’m “in the mood,” it takes a lot more touch before I’m really ready to go at it. And when I’m coming from a neutral place (“If you want to, I’m game”), it takes even more touch, words, messing around til I’m actually ready to go for it.

      I don’t know if much of that is directly relevant to your situation, but I feel calmer/better about our sex life when I actually talk about how my body works and what my actions really mean. It’s physically (and usually behaviorally) obvious when my man is aroused and ready to go (plus, he has explicitly said- Any. Time), but notsomuch when I am, so I have to counter that by being more direct. That’s what works for us. Talk through it over and over and over and it’ll get better every time :-)

    • Anon.A.Mouse.

      We had this exact same problem (we have been together about 10 years, married for 2.5, for context). It wasn’t so much of an issue when we were at university, because we had lots of time (and lots of sex) or when we were long distance (almost no time together, lots of sex crammed into short time) but when we moved in together (about 4 years go), it became a recurrent theme.

      I think a couple of things play into it:
      – my way of initiating is slower and can feel more like a pre-sleep hug than a sexual advance and I am usually pretty quick to retreat if he finishes his chapter or otherwise doesn’t respond immediately;
      – I just don’t want sex as much as he does (and I like to read more than he does)
      – the times I feel like sex are usually not times when it is at all convenient (middle of the afternoon in a museum, walking up the escalator on the way to work) and I can’t usually hold on to that feeling of desire for all that long

      We dealt with it by: (a) revamping my underwear drawer so that he felt like I was thinking about sex, even though I knew perfectly well I was just getting dressed in the morning; (b) scheduling Sunday as the day when I always initiate sex – any time, any place etc.. That takes the pressure off me that he might not respond and reassures him that I will definitely initiate at some point in the week – and because it can be any time any place, there is some tiny element of spontaneity; and (c) I try a bit harder, when I remember, to initiate at other times. I also read The 52 Seductions by Betty Herbert – funny, clever, and a bit sexy – about a long term couple who hardly ever had sex and so agreed that they would take it in turns to seduce each other once a week for a year. I recomment.

      Plus, the more sex you have, the more you feel like having, in my experience – so it can just be a matter of a decision to commit to it (as per 52 Seductions above) and letting it flow from there.

      Incidentally – I have assumed in the above that it isn’t that you dont WANT sex with him, just that you rarely make the first move. If the former assumption is incorrect, all my advice is nonsense and should be ignored.

    • Are you on the same page about what it means to be the initiator? Sometimes if I initiate in a subtle way my husband will end up thinking it was his idea to get started at the end, just because I never specifically said “heeeey, let’s ….” Subtlety is lost here, I think. Also, does he give you the chance to initiate? (Ie, if he’s initiating every day, when do you have a chance to do so?)

      • anonforthis

        We’re talking right now and THIS X 100000000.

    • AnonToReply

      Not much advice, but plenty of commiseration. Talking about sex is challenging. I feel like I’ve so ingrained the cultural narrative of “good girls don’t talk about sex and don’t really initiate sex and should be embarrassed about sex” even though I don’t consciously agree with that. So it can be challenging. Also add in libido issues (umm when we met and were long distance, my libido was raging. Mostly because phone sex = stoking the imagination a lot, and I have a harder time stoking the imagination now.) and it’s been frustrating.

      I don’t really feel super content with our sex life (I’d like sex more often that I want sex, if that makes any sense at all, meaning, I’m disappointed with our frequency even though our frequency is set by my currently low-ish libido). Also, I feel like I’ve been trying to teach him some stuff for years and I just can’t figure out how to explain it. Like how to rub me to get me off. Doesn’t work (he’s great at oral though, luckily). Or foreplay. I want more but I don’t know what I want so I can’t ask for what I want because I’m not sure what would feel good and have a hard time coming up with ideas to try.

      I think for me, I initiate when I’m more horny often, which means I need regular mental stimulation (erotic books/phone sex/hot and heavy novels etc). Are there days or weeks or months when you have initiated more? What was different then?

    • mainly, it sounds like a pretty straightforward complaint, but if it’s that hard to solve it is probably not as straightforward as it sounds. for us it was sort of an opening question for some other things – like, i thought i *was* initiating, and she was turning me down. which was an opening to the fact that, yes, that happens kind of a lot, which makes me feel like it’s not worth doing and i should just wait for her, but just as often i am so subtle she didn’t know i was making a move. i think it led to a lot of other conversations (gee, it’s hard for anyone to initiate anything if we’re only alone when we’re too tired to move. we’re excitable at different times. i’m afraid of being pushy. etc.) my main point is that just saying “yes, i’ll do this more” is unlikely to be a long-term solution if you don’t know why it’s not happening in the first place.

      also, figure out what you need to be let down gently. because even with this being his request, there are *bound* to be times that you try to make a move and he’s not interested. and, if you’re not used to initiating things, you’re not used to being rejected, and you’re already doing something out of your comfort zone, so it is pretty important to make a lack of interest not feel like a rejection.

    • We have a code for sex. It’s “play.” Like, “you wanna play?”. Sometimes it is more like “we haven’t played for awhile, we really should.” It is kind of a non-threatening way to broach it.

    • AnoninCanada

      Two things: As others have said, being too subtle about the topic of sex makes it nearly impossible to solve the problem, leading to more frustration, etc. Having an open and direct conversation can be awkward at first, but in my experience it gets easier, and even fun! The second thing I have to mention is that if you are using birth control pills, really think about whether you feel the same way about sex as you did before you started taking them. I had the “you don’t initiate sex enough” talk with my partner several times over the years, and only put two and two together when I had to take a break from the pill for a while for medical reasons, and the change in libido (and my likeliness to actually ask for it instead of just going along with it) made a huge difference in our relationship. I don’t think this potential side-effect is taken seriously enough by the medical profession.

  • Okay, precisely 50 days from now, we’ll be on an amazing vacation, but in the meantime, I was wondering if perhaps I could get anyone to comment here on the subject of a little photo I took last weekend (specifically, the part on the left). I’m just looking for an “oooh” or “ahhh” or the like, as I know it’s going to be great, but keeping it a secret is atomic-level fidget-inducing.

    The photo was taken in the place in the world that means the most to me (due to a vast personal history there), and it’s got a call out to the place that I’d say has the greatest significance to us. Figured I’d tie everything together in one perfect postcard of an image, but the problem with that is that I *can’t* show it off for another two months. GAAAAAH!

    I put the photo up at cjmb.us/secret (so, shhhhhh, don’t tell anyone *else*), and I figure I’m being ambiguous enough here that this won’t inadvertently show up anywhere, hehe. So, anyone care to help a poor, fidgety APW lurker guy out with a comment on it?

    (For the record, I feel *really* strange and rather dumb asking for comments/validation/whatever, but I don’t have any “BFF”-type people I can sneak a peek to. I’m a pretty private person, and APW friends, such as we are, seem like a safe group to share a great “secret” that I just *have* to let *someone* in on.)

    • WOW. Gorgeous!! Love the wave-like setting. Total win. Good luck with the secret-keeping!

      • Mer

        So lovely!! Ditto luck on keeping the secret!

    • KEA1

      OOOOOOH. AAAAAAAHHHHHHHH! And you are SO right that it’s gonna be great. Everything about that photo is awesome. May everything that the photo initiates be even more awesome. %)

    • LILY

      What a beautiful idea! The whole things sounds so thoughtful and personalized…keep the secret as long as you can! Your partner will appreciate it so so much.

    • Addie

      Squeee!! Love it. Super awesome! Good luck keeping it a secret but well done my friend.

    • LMN

      That photos makes me so happy! Congratulations on creating something so beautiful and meaningful. Enjoy your secret–hope it keeps you smiling for the next 50 days. And I hope that your photo and everything in it makes your special person very happy when you finally share your secret. :)

    • Claire

      Awesome setting. Love that you’ve put so much thought and energy into creating something personal and meaningful – and did I mention Gorgeous?

    • Meghan

      Just beautiful! :)

  • Kirstin

    Hi All!

    Looking forward to the long weekend, and totally procrastinating right now, as I am the only one at work. I’m most excited to get outside and plant my veggie/herb garden now that we are hopefully going to have a stretch of nice weather.

    I am so excited to share that I picked a dress last weekend! I took the suggestions of others from a few weeks ago and rather than doing the whole boutique thing, happened to order some from a few stores that were having great sales. Tried on three, loved the first one, sent the rest back, and avoided any major family drama. Thanks for everyone who shared support and ideas.

    Have a great weekend!

    • Amy

      We are planting our veggie garden this weekend too!

  • Mer

    Yay three day weekend! Two days to travel home to another state and work on wedding stuff with beloved ladies and one to be home with my guy and cats and do NOTHING. Not sure which I am looking forward to more.

    That said, we are a few months out and have planned only one aspect of our honeymoon. We are headed to northern New Mexico for a little over a week and then taking a sleeper car on Amtrak home (squee!). Neither of us have visited the state (and for me the Southwest) and aren’t sure what to do. It will be mid-September. We are into trains, beer, textiles, delish food (not tooo spicy though), kayaking, hiking, history, etc. We will be renting a car so will have some mobility.

    Have any suggestions are where we should stay, what restaurants are must visits, place to see, things to do?

    • Sarah

      How close will you be to Albuquerque? They have this tram ride thing that goes to the top of a mountain. Touristy, but it’s pretty.

      • Mer

        We will flying into Albuquerque and taking the train out of it so will be spending at least one or two nights there. Maybe more.

        • Rebekah

          Eat. At. Dion’s.

    • sara p

      If you are going to be near Santa Fe, it’s awesome – for food, history, and more (textiles! art!). The mountains are super beautiful for hiking and driving around (and probably kayaking or rafting or canoeing). There’s a really neat historic narrow-gauge railroad called the Cumbres and Toltec Scenic Railroad (http://www.cumbrestoltec.com/) if you’re going to be way north. Pack sunscreen and lots of layers! The desert is highly variable that time of year (always, really :)). Lucky!

    • Oh, the Amtrak sleeper cars are great. I just got done with a Boston-Chicago journey on one. I love it every time I do it. (I just wish the train came all the way to Madison.

  • KM

    Happy long weekend! I am (like another poster above) starting to plan my honeymoon following my wedding in September 2012, and would love any recommendations folks have for INDONESIA. We’ve got about 2 weeks this August and we’re thinking Bali, Lombok, Gilli islands (snorkeling!) and the orangutan preserve at Tanjung Puting Park but I’d love to hear from anyone who has traveled to the area about best areas, hotels, restaurants, adventures…please! Thanks so much.

    • Jessica

      Indonesia is amazing! I spent three weeks there last summer, and absolutely loved it! It was at the tail end of a 5 month trip through South East Asia, so I didn’t want to do much in the way of activities by the time I got to Bali from Java and spent most of my time lounging and doing yoga-so I’m not much help on what to do (other than yoga and lounging and massages!). Stayed at the Alila in Ubud, and oh my gosh, I cannot recommend that place enough. Fabulous hotel that’s way underpriced for the level of service. I would stay there again for their beyond fabulous (and complimentary) breakfast menu. Best I’ve ever had. It’s sort of out of the way, so I rented a scooter-which also ended up being a really, really good choice! It was so fun to skip the packed tour buses and just cruise along the coast/rice paddies on my own! Never made it to the Gili islands, though I hear they’re pretty great! Especially for snorkeling. Instead spent four days at Rinjani Beach Eco Resort in Lombok and went diving up in Tulamben back on Bali. I actually preferred Lombok to Bali, it felt less industrialized. Spent one night in Seminyak and ran as quickly as possible!
      The food is pretty great in Ubud, but hands down Naughty Nuri’s Warung was absolutely amazing! I still think about that place…
      Hope that’s somewhat helpful!

      • KM

        Thank you SO much for the recommendations!

    • I spent a week in the Gili Islands last June and loved it! I can’t wait to go back someday. The water is so clear and the snorkeling was great! I stayed on Gili Trawangan, the biggest of the three islands, but it was still small enough to walk around in an afternoon. I was there on a backpacker’s budget, so I didn’t get to really try any of the honeymoon-worthy hotels, but I ate at the Scallywags resort and the food was delicious (the rooms also looked really pretty). There’s also an evening market right by the main harbor that sells tasty, made-on-food-carts Indonesian food. I don’t know how familiar you are with the food, but beef rendang is a delicious dish and Indonesian fried noodles (mie goreng) are outstanding. You’re going to have a fantastic time! I’m so excited for you!

      (Also, I feel a little weird linking to my own post, but I wrote about the Gili Islands on my personal blog, and maybe it’d be helpful? http://www.chanouxstories.com/2013/03/vacationing-on-water-part-i-gili-islands.html)

      • KM

        Thank you! I really appreciate your suggestions!

  • Stacey

    Our RSVP deadline is tomorrow and our wedding is June 8th. We think we’ll have between 41 and 50 guests. It’s frustrating that almost nobody has bothered to RSVP, so I’ve had the moms calling around this week to confirm. Technically we don’t have to have numbers in to the caterer until June 1, but I was hoping people would have their sh*t together by the time the long weekend arrived.
    We’ll be finishing up our ceremony this weekend. It has been so hard to write and has led to a few tearful conversations. It’s like having marriage counseling, but DIY. I guess I can kind of understand why some religious celebrants who use canned ceremonies require the counseling. Writing a secular ceremony ourselves has certainly been interesting.
    We knocked out a bunch of tasks last weekend, so with an extra day this weekend, I think we can finish up all the most important things. AND still have time to hit the road on the Harley for a nice ride…

    • Man, I hear you on writing the wedding ceremony being like counseling. It really brings out all the “WHY do you value that?” questions. Hang in there, it is 100% worth it.

    • Remy

      Oof, I feel you on the lack of RSVPs. We had… 3, I think? My MOM, my godmother, and someone who’d just broken up with me and wanted to confirm (again) that it was okay to show up. 3 out of ~25. Oh, and my wife’s mom decided at the last minute that she’d be attending after all. I got to meet my future in-laws the night before the wedding. :/

      • After planning a wedding I’ve become a much better wedding guest — including RSVPing right away! For me it felt like herding 135 cats. Good luck!

  • Copper

    I am super looking forward to the how-to features! I just made the big bad list of all the DIY shit I had to do for my wedding (in October, so I’ve got time) this week, and flipped my shit guys. But then after flipping my shit, I convinced myself or let bridesmaids convince me to take like 3 items off of that list. Then I took the man ring-shopping, ordered supplies for one of the DIY items, am planning to order shoes monday (sales!!!), and set a deadline for being done with the caterers-won’t-call-me back BS and just going with my backup. So I’ve totally got weddingbrain now, but it’s so productive!

    On the how-to subject, I noticed a post over at another blog (I’m not trying to promote, so I won’t link unless asked, just thought you ladies would have a perspective on it that I’d frankly appreciate more than the “oh yay, this is SOOOOOOOO pretty!” stuff going on over there) about why/how bouquets cost as much as they do. But the example prices they give are $350, $250, and $150! For just the bride’s bouquet! Am I out of my mind, or is their cheapest example still stupid expensive??

    • LILY

      Dang. I’ve been quoted $85 and $65 for bridal and bridesmaid bouquets, respectively…and I thought that was pretty high! Clearly, I do not work in the floral industry.

      • Grif

        I read that same article and couldn’t get over the prices they quoted. 150$ for the cheap bouquet???? Maybe I’m out of whack with what actual bouquets cost but it just seemed nuts to me as well. I appreciate the APW posts about DIT bouquets much more than a ‘cheap’ option that is still way outside of my budget.

      • Copper

        Oh good. I was worried that my budget might just be completely insufficient after reading that. I mean, they were very pretty and all that, but jeebus. I am not prepared to shell out $150 for any one piece of decor, and I’m especially not prepared to call that the “budget-friendly” option.

        • Kara E

          I’m with you. We went with a florist connected to a garden center because her prices were sane (because she was willing to work with me!) and she said she’d “try but couldn’t promise” to get me some lilacs in my bouquet. I love honesty in someone selling me something. And she got me lilacs. I think my bouquet was $90 (and that was in the DC area).

    • Stacey

      You are not out of your mind. That is stupid expensive. I’m getting 12 calla lilies tied with a ribbon for $60 at a grocery store in Billings, MT. Admittedly, my bouquet is simple. But $350 would have been unacceptable to me.

      • Copper

        yeah, I’m not exactly in Billings MT. But the advantage of being in Los Angeles is the flower mart. And the jewelry district. If there’s a thing, there’s probably a district or market here that lets you get that thing at or near wholesale prices if you know where to look.

    • Caroline

      Umm, that’s pretty much my entire flower budget. We have $500 for ALL the flowers, and that felt like a lot of money (although I know we can’t get much. the plan is to buy a bouquet, a flower wreath for my sis, and spend the rest on as many flowers as possible at the farmer’s market that morning, and stick them in jars.)

    • I’m not sure if I’m getting a the-florist-went-to-high-school-with-my-mom discount or not (neither is my mom), but my bouquet was quoted at $60 for a simple arrangement of blue orchids. I’m pretty sure $250 is going to cover the four bouquets, boutonnieres, and corsages unless I’m forgetting something or failing at math. Of course, I’m also getting married in a low cost of living area, which helps.

    • meg

      You guys, I hate to say it, but that’s not at all stupid expensive for a pro. $200 is about the average. You’re paying for time and experience, which has a lot of value, but you’re also paying for materials, which are none too cheap. We just did a floral DIY tutorial (coming to you soon), and I spent $200 (for the florist to buy wholesale) on flowers that made up a bride’s bouquet, and then some extras: teeny tiny bouquets, detail-y stuff, etc. Your typical bridal bouquet done by a pro is going to have 6ish kinds of flowers in it, and that ads up pretty quick.

      None of that is to say that you can’t do it cheaper on your own, because for SURE you can. Way cheaper. But you’re going to do it in a way simpler fashion, with less expensive blooms, and not pay for time and experience. However, point is, that’s just what it costs a pro to do it for you, pay for their materials and overhead, and get to eat at night. (People just starting out, or with tiny businesses will charge less, but they’re not necessarily charging rates that are sustainable over time. Also, as some on this thread have mentioned, if your getting a bouquet from a pro that’s more or less all one kind of flower, that’s also way cheaper, because the flowers cost much less, and it takes next to no time to arrange.)

      For the record, we did our flowers ourselves, and I didn’t pay that. Also for the record, if I had to do it over, I’d pay to do bouquets with a pro, and just not have centerpieces.

      • JEM

        Excellent points all around!

      • Copper

        Thanks for chiming in Meg. As a designer of a different sort, this is an issue that I run into all the time—some things are worth it for a client to hire me for, and some things are not. Every client, every project, the line gets drawn in a different place, but it’s something to always be aware of. In the wedding industry, the line doesn’t always get talked about or sometimes becomes invisible, in part because of weddings we see on tv, in movies, on blogs, that are styled in a way that appears consistent with an average person’s budget, income level, etc. but in fact cost much much more. Maybe the reality of the situation is simply, nope that’s not crazy prices, and if they scare you it’s probably a good idea to have alternative arrangements for your floral needs, whether by DITing everything, finding a friend or family member who can do it, or purchasing only select items from a florist as posters mentioned above, or severely cutting down the total amount of flowers used.

        • meg

          Exactly this.

      • Other Katelyn

        Completely with Meg on this. My insanely talented friend and groomsman did our flowers with the help of some other volunteers the morning of the wedding– if I were a stranger, I would have expected to pay him at least $150 for the bridal bouquet alone. (For our DIY option for centerpieces and : we spent $750ish on 76 doz flowers/greenery at the market, $650 on vases that we dipped in gold ourselves, and something like $40 for extra supplies like floral wire etc.– a ton but not nearly as much as we would have paid a pro to do it.)

      • Stacey

        I didn’t mean to imply someone’s talent is not worth it. It’s not worth it to *me* because I don’t value pro floral arrangements. And costs are different in different markets…

      • Oakland Sarah

        Is there a particular reason why? Just that you think it’d look nicer or something more?

    • LMN

      I have heard a whole range of prices quoted. $250 seems to be the standard starting price for a bridal bouquet in the Portland area, and the bouquets on these florists’ sites were jaw-droppingly beautiful. But $250 wasn’t workable for me, so I kept calling around until I found a florist who started the conversation by asking my budget. She was also very straight up about explaining the price per stem and the labor costs. I was so happy I kept calling/emailing until I found her.

      I will be getting the bouquet I want (on the small side, using purple lisianthus, purple sweet peas, lavender freesias, ivory roses, and pitto for greenery, with a purple/ivory ballerina wrap on the stem) for $75. The rest of our decor is minimal, so the bouquet feels like a lovely splurge, and I can’t wait to see it.

    • Amy

      I read Meg’s comment below before writing this, and while I completely value her expert opinion, I still would have felt sick shelling out $150 for a single bouquet. (With that said, our caterer bill was INSANE and we had 10 pies and 10 cakes for 90 people. Obviously, we value food, not flowers).
      I asked a local farmer’s market florist to supply the flowers for my wedding, in a mix of prepared bouquets and loose flowers. She made 15 or so small mason jar-sized bouquets (like, made them for us). She also put four 5-gallon buckets of loose flowers together. This cost me $135. We spent maybe $20 on floral tape, pins and ribbons at Michael’s, and my bridesmaids and I made our bouquets, little poseys for the moms and boutonnieres.
      I know it sounds like work, but we had such a good time hanging out in my kitchen laughing and complimenting each other’s floral skills. It’s an awesome wedding week memory. (Also, when you have an extra fridge in your parent’s garage, storing them for 48 hours is easy-peasy!)

    • Phoebe

      It really, really, really depends on what kind of flowers you are using and the level of experience. Do you have very specific flower and style ideas? Are the flowers you want in season? How big is the bouquet going to be? If you have some flexibility with the type of flower then you could just give guidance regarding the color and shape of the bouquet. And then the florist will have some flexibility in their pricing. Or maybe think outside the box. Do any of your local community colleges have a flower arranging course? Maybe contact the instructor and see if they have any star students who could make the bouquets for you. Wholesale flowers are easy to find on yelp/ online in your area, or you can always order online (which in my opinion tends to be more expensive). Best of luck :)

    • Someone who was just starting her flower business did 3 bouquets and maybe 8 or so boutonnieres and some simple flowers in small vintage vases for the cost of the flowers. It was gorgeous because she is excellent, but she was building her portfolio, so I really, really lucked out. If she hadn’t offered such a wonderful offer, I would have taken a DIY approach because flowers weren’t on my list of priorities, and my tastes run simple (daisies!). I will say that I LOVED my bouquet. LOVED it. And I didn’t expect to love it so much, but it was just SO beautiful.

      All that to say….I guess it depends on what your priorities are and how important flowers are to you. If you happen to be in Quebec, I would be very very happy to recommend who did my flowers! (I recommend her every time I meet someone getting married around here…)

  • This weekend, my husband and I may continue working on our deck. We already have the structure and some plywood laid down so that we can pretend it’s useable until we get the deck boards in place. We’re actually remodelers! It’s insane!
    Also, I’ll be working on my homework for my Passion Search class. Being unemployed is weird on Memorial Day weekend! If anyone has any job prospects for a creative holistic chick who wants to help people in the Seattle area, let me know.
    Have a great holiday all!
    And don’t forget to take that minute of silence at 3 on Monday. It’s the least we can do.

    • Slade

      So, prospects for someone who wants to help people? I’m going to be leaving my job soon, and it’s a pretty good one. (It’s just not actually in my field and I’m being second-interviewed by my dream job.) I work at a group home for the mentally ill, run by Community House Mental Health Agency, which is a private non-profit. The job is helping the 19 residents (mostly elderly, all with mental health diagnoses, but all conditions stable and managed) with their daily needs. You give out medications, cook meals, make sure they get to appointments, handle administrative stuff, and remain on-hand for various resident needs. It takes good organization, time management, empathy, a good head for details, and a sense of humor. Our residents are lovely people and I’d love to see them cared for by an awesome new person. :)

      Let me know if you want any more info. And good luck with the deck!

  • Yay! APW Happy Hour!

    My husband and I should get the keys to our first house at 2 p.m. this afternoon (fingers crossed)! I’m so excited to finally be done with renting for the next 4 years or so while he’s in med school. At the same time, there’s so much packing and moving to do this weekend…

    • Hintzy

      that’s awesome! congratulations!

    • Congratulations! That is terrific and I hope you fill your new home with love and great memories!

    • Kara E


    • Kara E


    • Congrats! How exciting!

  • Considering I have a sick kiddo today, I’m thinking our 3 day weekend could be a tad on the long side. Oh well, maybe he’ll be feeling better for part of it and we can still get out and do something, otherwise, there’s nothing better than toddler snuggles in bed.

    • I hope your kiddo feels better fast. And enjoy those snugs!

  • Samantha

    3.5 months out from our Wedding!!! Getting so excited. My fiance and I are taking an Italian honeymoon which we are so excited about! Neither of us has been there before. We have our accommodations booked but not our flight yet. Does anyone have any advice about finding the cheapest airfare we can (which out doing anything ridiculous like laying over for 24 hours in Russia – we have limited time). There are so many good websites for Students, i.e.: Student Universe which anyone who is a student or 25 or under should definitely check out! So any advice on finding cheap flights to Europe would be sooooo appreciated! Thanks all!

    Happy Memorial Day to all and especially to those in the service or with close ones in the service.

    • Hypothetical Sarah

      I usually use kayak.com to find flights. If you have some flexibility in dates, search +/- 3 days and see if you can save that way. Hipmunk is also good, but I find the search options to be a bit less flexible than kayak.

      Have fun!

  • Jessica

    I’m marrying my amazing Fiance a week from tomorrow, and things are nutty.

    Here’s what’s happened in the last two weeks:

    1. His Grandmother passed away

    2. I had to do an intense, day long job interview

    3. We got in a car accident (100% not our fault).

    The car has been in the shop and won’t be ready to transport family/friends for the wedding and also we can’t use it on our honeymoon. I’ve also had a lot of back pain since the incident, so I’m seeing another MD today and a massage therapist who specializes in injury recovery. It hurts ALL the time unless I’m flat on my back or leaning in a way that completely supports my head and back. I can’t drive anywhere (and of course there’s a ton of wedding errands) without pain…not that I have a car to do it in! We were supposed to pick up my wedding dress last night, but we had to leave right as all the commuters were, and the traffic was literally so bad that we left an hour early and were going to be so late the woman wouldn’t be there anymore. So now we get to do the drive some time this weekend. Everything needs to be cleaned, but I can’t do it without causing pain. All I can do is lay here.

    I am grateful that I’m not worse-off injury-wise. I’m grateful that the car protected us as it should. I’m grateful that when my family arrives they’ll be able to help with things like cleaning and errands. But I’m down about being in so much pain.

    Random request for advice: My car insurance doesn’t have rental coverage, so I have to pay out of pocket for a rental. Since this was literally 100% not my fault (I was stopped when we were hit), do I have a prayer of a chance getting that money out of the other drivers’ insurance companies? I need to rent a small SUV in order to accommodate my family and also to have room for our stuff on the road trip that is our honeymoon. It’s $$$$$ to do this. Any advice?

    • I don’t have insurance advice, but best of luck in your injury recovery! The massage therapist sounds like such a good idea, I’d recommend trying a chiropractor, too. In fact, depending on how much the massage helps- and how long the feeling lasts, it might not be a bad idea to schedule another appt either the day before or even the morning of your wedding (schedule permitting), just so you can make it through the ceremony pain free. Hope you’re feeling better soon!

      • Jessica

        Thanks! I’ll definitely be trying to schedule another appointment close to the wedding to avoid pain :)

        • Slade

          I’m going to toss this out there, especially being as your wedding is so near: try combining your massage sessions with chiropractics. The two work really well together, especially for speedy recovery from injuries. I’m not saying you’ll be magically cured by the wedding, but all-out attacking your recovery from the outset may be helpful for getting through the day, as well as the rest of the process. It can be especially beneficial if your chiro and massage therapist share an office, so you can literally travel ten feet between sessions.

          Just putting my two cents out there. I’m a massage therapist and I couldn’t resist trying to help. I hope you have a quick and easy recovery.

    • Kara E

      Sounds awful. I’m glad you’re more or less ok, but it sounds pretty awful. Please please ask for help with the stuff like cleaning. And hang in there!

      Regarding the rental car: if you’re in a “fault” insurance state (MD is not one, VA is – and I have no idea where you are), yes absolutely they will pay. Call your AND their insurance ASAP. They may not cover an SUV (if you didn’t have a similar car), but call NOW and tell them what you need. At the very least, most states require that the offender’s insurance should be paying for your our of pocket costs (e.g. medical and rental).

      Also, do you have a copy of the police report yet? If not, ask for it.

      • Jessica

        Your advice is helpful, thank you! The car that was hit was indeed a small SUV–so I’m only asking for what I had to be temporarily replaced :)

        Seriously–thank you so very much for commenting!

        • ANOTHER MEG

          I”m sorry that this happened to you!

          I used to work for a car rental company in-house at an insurance company, handling situations like yours. Most insurance companies will only cover the size of the interior of the vehicle. So if you had a Jeep Liberty, for instance, they’d cover something like a Ford Focus. Not even kidding. When they’re required to cover a like-size vehicle, they usually interpret that not to mean height.

          BUT if you have a specific need for an SUV, let them know. You might get a sympathetic person on the other end of the line who will authorize an upgrade.

          Also, they won’t cover any deposits on the rental. So expect to cover that and get it back at the end.

          • Kara E

            Oy, seriously?

            I think this is a good time to just throw yourself on the mercy of the person — and escalate if they’re not merciful enough (you might get someone senior enough to be helpful).

    • Lindsay

      When my neighbor hit my car, his insurance company paid for the entire rental bill for as long as my car was in the shop getting fixed. After my neighbor filed a claim w/his insurance company, someone from that company called me to let me know that they wold be covering cost. I would recommend talking to the other driver or his/her insurance company ASAP to find out if a claim has been filed and what will be covered. Good luck with the car situation and all the wedding errands!!! Sending lots of good health vibes!

    • Katie

      I don’t know where you live or what your insurance policy is like, so take this with a grain of salt, but I was recently rear-ended (while stopped) and the other car’s insurance covered repairs to our car, my medical bills, and an additional settlement amount to us. I can’t speak to rental coverage, but I would definitely stay on top of your insurance and keep copies of every bill you get for repairs or medical care related to the accident. Even if they don’t give you money for the rental, they may offer you a settlement.

  • Do any of you Bay Area folks have a good hair cutter person to recommend? Ideally, someone on the Peninsula. I have long, thick, straight hair that is too long at this point, so I’d love to do a big chop, donate!, and sport a cute new do.

    Thanks and happy Friday!

    • Audrey

      I don’t have particularly long hair and I’m pretty new to her, but my first few cuts with Liz at Level 10 in San Carlos went really well.

      (Oh, and if you go at the right time there’s a divine chocolate shop next door.)

  • Kate

    Any APWers in SLO? This pre-engaged gal bets you’d be awesome to hang with.

  • Kara E

    Pushing papers around the desk?

    Oh yeah. Except that I’m also desperately trying to finish up a project in the 4-6 weeks I have before going on the maternity leave I haven’t officially asked for yet. And all I really want to is go home and sleep. And unpack boxes, and then sleep some more.

  • I’m a bridesmaid in a friend’s wedding in September. I just got my dress in last weekend and can I just say squeeee! It’s a plum colored infinity dress. So pretty, so flattering, hides all my weird mama bulges and the fabric skims off my so nothing is clingy. In love. I seriously want to wear it to another wedding I’m invited to as a guest. This dress will definitely be worn again and again. Probably better not wear it any place until after her wedding, though. Maybe I’ll just prance around my house in it until September. :) Also, if anyone is looking at an infinity dress for your bridesmaids, we ordered for a Canadian company called Henkaa ( http://www.henkaa.com/ ).

    • I’m jealous! The things you can do with those infinity dresses are just marvelous.

      I just tried on the gorgeous bridesmaid dress I’ll be wearing in September and I almost cried. It won’t do up all the way. Now I have to lose five pounds and while it’s not the end of the world I hate that I’m stressed over a dress. It’s a good thing the dress is super pretty.

    • Thank you for the recommendation!! I am strongly considering infinity dresses for my wedding ladies, so the shop suggestion is much appreciated. I’ve been all over Etsy looking for sellers but there’s just so many options… I just ordered (free!) swatches from Henkaa!

      • You are welcome. I really like the fabric because it is not a jersey knit. The sheen kicks the look up a notch. I didn’t want to have to wear spanx for hours and hours. I like being comfy even at fancy events and I really feel like I will be. Hooray for this dress. :) he he.

  • mmouse

    I teach primary and today is the last day of school!! It also means as a nursing mom, it’s my last day of pumping!! We’re also going camping for the long weekend with some friends we haven’t seen in a while (and with our 8 month old), so that should be fun. Plus, we had donuts for breakfast as a class. Today is pretty much tops.

    • That sounds like pretty much the best start to a weekend ever!!

  • Kess

    So here’s a question for the APW hive mind, if I’m not too late to catch people’s attention – I don’t really want to have “wedding colours” in terms of my decorating. I just want things to be bright and cheerful and I wasn’t planning to go with a specific colour theme, as long as nothing horrible clashes. However, I am going to have bridesmaids, and I want them to be clearly bridesmaids in their attire, whether it’s by all wearing the same colour or something else. How do I accomplish that? Just pick a random colour for them all to wear? Or pick a dress style and tell them to wear whatever colour they want? Something else altogether? Help!

    • Caroline

      I think bridesmaids dresses are usually so unique that it doesn’t matter if they match styles or colors or anything, they will look like bridesmaids. It’s why no one actually ever rewears their dress, because there is no other reason to wear a bridesmaid dress, it’s a very particular piece of clothing. That said, if you are concerned, I would at least pick a fabric OR a color OR a style AND a length. I think a cohesive length is one of the most “these are the bridesmaids” things. Multicolored knee length chiffon dresses? They are all going to go together and look lik the bridesmaids. One satin blue floorlength princess cut strapless gown and one v-neck red empire waistline above the knee chiffon gown are less likely to look like they go, although they probably still look like bridesmaid dresses. But if you have a chiffon strapless blue dress and a v-neck empire waist red chiffon dress of the same length, I think they will look nice together.

      • Copper

        Agree with this wholeheartedly, it’s all about matching lengths! Some examples that come to mind: knee length with some amount of metallic fabric or accents. Long and patterned. Short and vintage-inspired. Color definitely doesn’t have the be the thing that ties them together.

    • I went the “lots of bright colors” route and I love looking at pictures of my wedding. :) I think you have a lot of choices! You could pick a color range, like “greens” or “anything that goes with this swatch of fabric”. You could pick a style and they could all have different colors. You could give them all the same jewelry, a shrug, or a scarf. Or hats, if you’re having the kind of wedding where hats work. Or Groucho Marx glasses? Ok, that might be a little ridiculous. :)

    • Stacey

      When I was a maid in my brother’s wedding, we started out with all the same color and fabric. Then we switched to all the same color, same designer, and same length (floor length).
      You could just do same designer/same length/same fabric and get a pretty cohesive look. Maybe let them know you favor bright colors and if they all want to decide on the same color, just run it by you first to make sure it’s not a color you hate.
      ETA: Check out these dresses – all the same color and length. The two girls on the ends were readers. http://www.getmarried.com/inspiration/real-weddings/244-real-wedding-sarah-jacob

    • Rebekah

      I have a friend on Stalkerbook who was just a bridesmaid and the theme was black and white pattern. There were stripes, zebra, polka dots, and they all looked so(ooooooo) cute while being able to pick out something they wanted.
      So maybe something like that?

    • I did the same – no color scheme. I told my bridesmaids to wear black and then bought everyone matching hairflowers so that they would stand out as wedding VIP. My sister then asked if she could wear a color and I said sure. So my sister was in dark pink and my bridesmaids were in black.

      I didn’t care a bit on the day and I don’t care now looking at the photos. It really doesn’t matter if they match.

      That being said, I do like the same dress pick your own color lineup. (I just didn’t want to make my broke friends buy a dress). And it may work well with your (lack of) color scheme.

    • Rebecca

      I picked a picture of a bouquet that I liked and told anyone who asked about colors to pick one in the bouquet. If it’s well designed, the colors go together, and the “lots of bright colors” notion is pretty easy to convey.

  • Anyone looking for a timewaster, I’ve been obsessed with geoguessr.com lately.

    • Ellen

      OMG YES. My record is 0.049 km away!

      • A Single Sarah for certain values of single

        Monday’s xkcd got me hooked too.
        I have no idea how you get 0.049 km away. You’re much more precise in your placements than I am. (What was the location? The Eiffel Tower? The Corn Palace? Your house?)

        • Ellen

          That one was Bar Harbor, Maine! I have an unfair advantage though- I live in Maine :) I actually took a stroll down the street to make sure I recognized something! My second best was 0.054 km, at a fort in Brazil (I saw a sign for it).

          Remember to go back to your starting point, because that’s where it measures from, and good luck!!!

  • Caroline

    I’m so excited for Elizabeth’s Get Shit Done posts!!!! Thank you.

    I’m excited for this weekend. We’re going on my synagogue biannual retreat. I can take lots of classes and my fiance can hike a bunch. It’ll be great. (Here’s hoping we don’t hit too much traffic tonight.)

    I had a really good interview yesterday for an internship I wasn’t originally so sure about but now am really excited about.

    Also, in exciting news, I think we’ve found a rabbi to marry us. We don’t want to get our hearts set until we’ve got a contract and a deposit, but we really loved him and he fits our budget and is available on our date (indeed he penciled us in at our meeting), so it’s looking good. We’re both pretty excited about that. My mom has decided that that means it’s time to do Save the Dates. I feel like a year might be a little early to send them out, but whatever, we’ll make them now and send them in august or september. We found someone to marry us, guys! It’ll be good.

    Also, my dad and I are going to NY for a week in June. We used to go a lot when I was a teenager, so that will be fun. We’re going to manhattan, staying on the upper west side. Any must do/see/eat suggestions for folks who are pretty familiar with the city but haven’t been for fun (rather than work) in a while? Especially must eat, as I’m a hypoglycemic foodie, so my life revolves around food.

    • Laura

      Not sure where on the UWS you’re staying so these are kind of scattered around there but…cookies at Levain, fancy dinner at Telepan, delicious ramen at Jin, good bread and baked goods at Silver Moon, best bagels at Absolute Bagels. Have fun!

    • Oakland Sarah


  • I just want to thank you all for all of your support last week. Friday was a rough day, but I’m moving forward and cranking out more applications. *Fingers crossed*

    After being engaged since September, we’ve gotten a big chunk of planning taken care of, even though we’re still just over a year out from the wedding. But this week it feels like we just crossed a major milestone – our first obnoxious unsolicited opinion. C’s passive-aggressive grandmother put a note in his birthday card saying that we should have the wedding (or reception – it wasn’t quite clear) in one of the family backyards because its practical and economical and better than a stuffy dining hall. Um, about that. 1) No one in the family has a yard big enough to accommodate both of our families – we’re talking ballpark 150 people 2) Renting a tent, tables, chairs, linens, dishware, port-a-potties (I don’t see 150 people and 1 bathroom working), etc would cost way more than the banquet hall we’ve reserved – that comes with EVERYTHING 3) Vaulted ceilings with exposed beams and overlooking a golf course isn’t exactly stuffy IMHO. We hardly ever see this grandmother, so really once I got the rant out of my system I found the whole thing hysterical. I think from now on if I need a good laugh to get rid of wedding stress, I’ll just picture her in the port-a-potty. Problem solved.

    • Kess

      Ahaha, love it. I’ve also been both amused and ranty about the bizarre unsolicited opinions. My favourite was from a friend who declared that if we had our wedding in a tent it was going to be too much like camping. My favourite comments are the ones that are both utterly impractical AND completely unfounded in any reality. At least then I don’t feel I have to second guess myself, and can just laugh.

      • Well of course a wedding in a tent is like camping. You ARE lining it with sleeping bags, right? :-p

    • Stacey

      We’re having 50 guests in grandma’s backyard and I can attest that it is not necessarily cheaper, because we’re getting a $900 tent and a $107 potty. And renting tables and linens. That’s comparable to venue cost right there. I’m not taking a risk that we’ll get rained out or overwhelm the septic system – I would consider that to be bad hostessing.

      • Yeah, we looked at having our wedding in a state park. Would have cost $1000 to rent the space (cheap by wedding standards). But then we figured out we’d have to rent a $5,000 tent, rent dishes, linens, glassware, tables, chairs, etc etc. The final nail in that coffin was when I figured out the rental company didn’t set up the tables/chairs/etc but just dropped them off. So we’d have to hire help (or ask for favors) to both set up and breakdown/clean up. Suddenly it made the $11,000 “everything included, we just had to show up, party and leave” venue look a lot better. Money very well spent in my opinion.

  • I am loving this weekend already! I just finished up the last of the 4-day weeks I’ve been working during my final semester of grad school — it’s back to 5 8-hour days for me. But this is my last glorious hurrah of a (4-day) weekend. And today I am going to see KITTENZ!! (see link in my name for adorable photos and videos) I am so excited to having little balls of fluff crawl all over me. I will probably cry. Grad school has been full of angst. But I have graduated, I’m NOT attending tomorrow’s ceremony (nor last week’s department-specific one), and I have graduation kittens. And maybe massage.

  • This week my friend opened up some deep issues on a site we work on together called Searching Sophia’s Pockets. My response brought up some intense issues, about touch, but I think it was good. Launching and running the site are pretty much what keep my spirits up during these long months of unemployment.

    The only sad part is after months of reaching out we still have yet to get a single submission from someone we don’t know personally, in fact, no one I know has submitted. So since I know there are some awesome blog writers on this site,Mir you want to share any part of your spiritual journey, and I mean anything, like even how your wedding planning is part of a spiritual journey, I would love to have them. You can find the submissions page at http://www.sophiaspockets.wordpress.com/lint/submissions or email anything to sophiaspockets@gmail.com.

    • I know some awesome ladies who like to write, who seem like good fit. I’ll send them the link!

    • I may have some things to add but just a friendly suggestion first. (Because I like giving friendly suggestions, feel free to do with it as you will.) I was trying to look at the site to get an idea of what your content is and…it is REALLY hard to navigate. In terms of just getting to a main page with posts on it, I have to click at least 3 times just to get to a post other than the latest post. And the Blog page is…cluttered.

      Ugh. Now I just sound like a grumpy pants. The point of this is – I LIKE YOUR BLOG. And I think you might get more submissions (and probably more traffic) if it was a wee bit more user-friendly.

      Grumpy Pants Out.

      • Thanks for the advice! I really appreciate it. As a writer, and a newbie to wordpress, I was just trying to get a feel for all the thing the site can do. It is good to get feedback. The Internet is so hard that way sometimes. It is like being stuck in a vacuum. I did all the design and site work myself, with only a few people who knew about the project looking at it.
        What I am trying to say is THANKS! This community rocks!

    • I’ll second Juels friendly advice. I would say to pretty much put everything on one front page. Until you have tons of content, you don’t really need categories or other pages. You can put things like the Welcome page in a sidebar so that it’s more integrated into the blog. And I would let people see more than one post at a time. As a newbie, you want to show off what you’ve got!

      • Nice idea. I hate clutter so I will see what I can do to make it more accessible for people.

  • Rebekah

    Yay APW Happy Hour!

    My weekend consists of breaking in hiking boots and watching Arrested Development. Anybody else excited for Season 4?

    Also, I’m doing an in-chair happy dance for Elizabeth’s upcoming posts.

    • Michelle

      So excited for Arrested Development!


      Also, in gearing up, I found a great Twitter feed of AD quotes – @BluthQuotes. It’s great. It’s going to be an 8 hour season. Hello, Sunday plans.

  • Michelle

    Has anyone ever dealt with someone inviting himself/herself to be in the wedding party? We’ve been awkwardly sitting on this for a couple weeks now wondering what to do.

    We’re getting married in 4 months. When my partner was on the phone with one of his friends, the friend started saying things like, “So let me know where I need to order my tux from,” and “What time will the rehearsal dinner be?” Alert! Alert! My partner tried to skirt around the issue by explaining that we’re still sorting those things out, but did not explicitly say anything to let him know he is or is not in the wedding party. I’m struggling as the bride here, trying not to be too push or to stereotype men, but honestly thinking, “How could this happen?!?”

    My partner was good friends with this guy in college. I barely know him, but think he’s a decent guy. He’s someone my partner thought about including in the wedding party when we were first engaged, but ultimately decided they weren’t that close anymore. Now he’s saying Let’s just add him, he’s a good guy and I like him a lot. I guess it would be fine, but it just feels weird adding someone at this point. Please help! Thanks!

    • Class of 1980

      I can’t believe I’m saying this, but if he’s a good guy and he’s THAT excited about your wedding, he might be a great addition.

      Even though he’s wrong to presume, he sounds so darn warmhearted. Maybe your fiance will rekindle the friendship.

    • Meghan

      An unfortunate effect of choosing your bridal party is that it can sometimes make or break friendships; with my guy, we’ve had some similar choices to make. As Class of 1980 said, if it’s in the cards, why not include him? It can’t hurt to have a friendly, positive person as part of your special group on the big day. If that isn’t going to work for you, then consider making him what I like to call an “honored guest” – we have one old friend who isn’t going to be in the wedding party, but will man our guestbook for us. Point being, if you have an important job – being an usher, manning the guestbook, etc., your fiance’s buddy could be a great fit.

    • Copper

      Though I overall agree with 1980 above, if you do decide together that you’d just rather not include him for whatever reason, your fiance needs to talk to the guy. One of the best reasons I’ve ever heard given for excluding someone is if the wedding party is made up of people who have been a source of support to the couple during their relationship, as opposed to people who they knew before they knew each other and maybe only know one of the partners. That sounds like it could be the case in your situation, and is a reason that makes it clear that it’s nothing lacking in the person or the feelings there, just not the right call for this particular moment.

    • I agree with Class of 1980- mostly since the only reservation about it you mentioned is having it “feel weird.” If it’s possible for you planning-wise, he’s good person, and that excited, well why not?

      He definitely overstepped in his assumptions, but if you can add him easily, why make a big deal out of it? Just don’t get drunk and tell him you hadn’t planned to ask him (true story about how I found out I was second choice to do a reading at my cousin’s wedding).

      If it IS difficult financially or otherwise to add him, then tell him no and give him another job instead, like Meghan said, and thank him profusely for being SUCH a big help.

      • Michelle

        Thanks for listening and for your thoughts. My partner and I will have to talk more to sort out our thoughts. I think part of it is like Copper said, this guy would be the only person in the wedding party that currently isn’t much of a mutual connection to both of us. But, maybe like others said, this is a good chance for me to get to know him more. It’s important to us that the wedding party represents the people who are going to support our marriage and keep our vows throughout our lives. So maybe I just need to ask my partner if he feels this friend can help fill that role.

        I think when I honestly reflect on this, it is partly bringing to light some of my insecurities about the wedding in general. I feel really nervous even writing about this, even though I know APW is one of the most supportive communities out there, so I shouldn’t feel insecure about it. I keep finding myself worrying that I’m “not being APW-enough” in my thinking and decision-making. I try to be cool with things. 3 bridesmaids and 5 groomsmen? No big deal. Now 3 and 6 seems somehow much different. But why do I even care? Am I letting the WIC get to me?

        Maybe this whole thing can give us a boost in the non-WIC direction I’ve been considering-but-not-read-to-commit-to-since-the-beginning-of-planning of having my brothers stand up with me on the brides’ side instead of on his side? They’re close with both of us, but I think it would be pretty awesome to have my brothers by my side on the big day.


        • Hey Michelle- don’t sweat it! Your wedding does not need to be “APW-enough.” It needs to be “(collective) YOU enough” If you and your partner are making a decision that works for you both and your families, COOL.

          Your wedding will be wonderful. TOO MANY people want to stand beside you as you wed?! Good problem to have. Soak in the love.

          Good luck with planning! You’re doing it right!

  • So this weekend C and I are going to our hometown to spend time with our families. His parents suggested that we both stay with them, which we are, since there is actually room for us to both stay in the same house, and with one car that just makes sense. We planned everything out so that our time is split between both families pretty evenly. Sounds great, right? Well just now, as I’m packing, I’m having a minor freak out. What kind of pajamas do you take to stay with the future in-laws, including two young kids???? I mean obviously I should be covered for those early am bathroom trips, but I don’t want to look like a slob either AND I HAVE NOTHING TO WEAR. Am I crazy?

    • Catherine B

      Do you have a robe? That might help bridge the gap to make whatever you sleep in family friendly.

    • You’re not crazy. And if they have two young kids, I doubt the morning dress code is really much above “slob” level. Clean, non-ripped sweats should do the trick to cover up. Depending on your cup size, just make sure you either have a heavy sweatshirt or a comfortable bra handy to throw on for when you stumble into the kitchen seeking that first cup of coffee.

      It’ll be okay! If they’ve asked you to stay, and they are reasonable people, they will not expect you to be 100% put-together first thing in the morning.

      • A Single Sarah for certain values of single

        When I’m at my friend’s family’s home, I’ll wear a tank top with a shelf bra in the early mornings instead of a sweatshirt (or a tanktop/t-shirt without the shelf bra that I normally sleep in). So putting that out there.

        I never found a robe that I liked, until this fall when I decided to buy a 3/4-sleeve wrap dress from Old Navy to use as a robe.

        • Agreed- the shelf bra is useless for just about anything else. But for summer mornings as a guest, it suits nicely.

          And I love that you found a wrap dress to use as a robe! I was thrilled when I found a cute one for college that didn’t go down to the floor. Also worth looking into: beach cover-ups, sarongs, stretchy sundresses, and those button-up pj tops. (I don’t like sleeping in buttons, but assume they’d be a good fit for morning coffee with the in-laws, with a tank underneath)

    • Class of 1980

      I second that. Robe. ;)

  • Stacey

    I don’t suppose anyone knows of a good massage therapist to recommend in Jackson, WY? That’s on the agenda for Day 1 of Honeymoon.

  • Melissa

    After a week of bickering, er, discussing, our first dance song, we agreed! We’re going to get swing lessons and dance to Simple Songs by Big Bad Voodoo Daddy. We’ve talked about getting lessons for years, and now we’re actually doing it. Except….the wedding is August 24th and our lessons start June 25th! It’s gonna be a crazy fun summer–hope we don’t break each other’s toes.

    • Stacey

      I recommend finding a Lindy Hop instructor for learning swing dancing. It is one of the many “flavors” of swing dancing. East Coast Swing/Jitterbug would also be appropriate for Big Bad Voodoo Daddy, but teachers of those styles may have more of a ballroom dance focus than a pure swing dance focus.
      Have fun! You’ll be fine!

      • Melissa

        Thanks! We just signed up with an instructor for introductory lessons in East Coast Swing. We’re not very good dancers but we’re hoping to get the basics down. Though if the instructor isn’t quite right, we have family who are skilled at Lindy. We want to keep it a surprise though.

    • Stacey is ONE HUNDRED PERCENT right. If you can, try your darnedest to find a dedicated Swing Dance Club in your area. Ballroom swing is. . .well, much more formal? Same steps, different spirit, if you will.

      Google “swing dance club” or “lindy hop club” Lindy is a bit more advanced, so unless you are super-dedicated and have good rhythm to start, you probably won’t master a swing-out in two months. But East Coast Swing is definitely do-able and you could learn definitely learn some fancy-looking turns by then. And Lindy teachers will almost always know East Coast, as it’s a good foundation for lindy.

      (I’m an advanced swing dancer, and I have many big feelings about this. Dance is fun no matter what! The good news is, in swing, there are no wrong moves- just new moves!)

      • KEA1

        …which is, arguably, the one of the BEST differences between swing dancers and more formal ballroom dancers (though I admit I was much more of an Intl Standard girl and therefore technically in the latter camp). Much more friendly and accommodating in swing!

        • I took International lessons (in both Standard and Latin) throughout college and loved it. Except for jive, which kind of broke my heart every time. Still wish I could find a studio or instructor to at least keep up with training and technique, because I love dancesport. But I’ve always been a down-n-dirty swing dancer by nature :-)

          Standard dancing just seems to take so much more commitment and athleticism to even dance the basics properly. For the casual or social dancer, swing is where it’s at!

    • L

      We are also having our big day on August 24th! Yay!

  • Not Sarah

    Yay for an unplugged long weekend! Taking the train down to Portland with a friend to meet up with some other friends and I’m not taking a laptop. I’ll have my smartphone, but I don’t have data, so I can only check anything if we’re on wifi. I’m so looking forward to staying unplugged!

    I’ve also finally figured out why I’ve been unhappy at work: I’ve been working by myself with no one to talk to and not had much social time outside of work either. I may be an introvert, but I still really enjoy working with people (so long as I have appropriate times to recuperate afterwards). Now that I know that, I can work on fixing it!

    Happy long weekend everyone!!!

    • no friends at work definitely makes a big difference. I’m an introvert, too, so I had one cooworker who was my main friend, and once he left, I got sad and lonely. Things are looking up now, though. I’m glad you figured out the problem so you can make a plan!

      • Not Sarah

        This is pretty much me to a T. I changed jobs about six months ago, my only close girlfriend moved away and I broke up with my ex two months ago. I really need to get better at having multiple friends at a time :P Finding work friends again will make work SO much more bearable. I’m not unhappy, just a bit lonely.

        I’m glad things are looking up for you at work!

  • I know I’m late to the party (some of us have to work, people!), but I’m wondering what the protocol is regarding baby-proofing.

    Tomorrow my cousins are coming over, and with them is a little girl, about 13 months, who just started walking. Our apartment is like the opposite of baby proofed. How much should I worry about?

    thanks! i know very little about tiny humans, so any and all input is appreciated :)

    • Rebecca

      There’s two kinds of baby proofing: baby proofing to protect the baby, and baby proofing to protect your stuff.

      Generally if someone’s visiting you with their kids, you can reasonably count on them to protect the baby, so you probably don’t need to be worried about outlet covers, cleaning chemicals under the sink, etc. They know you don’t have kids, so (assuming they’re reasonable people) they won’t expect you to have child locked your cabinets or anything. Especially if it’s a short visit- she’ll probably have someone’s eyes on her the entire time.

      As far as protecting stuff is concerned- if she’s just started walking, she’ll probably use things to pull herself up- if you have any tippy tables, etc. you might move those to another room. Breakables at 13 month old finger level might be better moved up to a higher shelf, especially if anything is irreplaceable. Anything that couldn’t reasonably recover from a spill with professional cleaning might also be best off tucked away.

      I don’t have kids myself, but I do spend a lot of time with them- parents in the thick of it might have more/ different suggestions.

      In general, attention and redirection is an adequate substitute for child-proofing in most cases- enjoy your visit!

      • Rebecca

        Looking around our place, the one baby-proofing thing I would do if I were having a newly walking person over is a choking hazard sweep of all the stuff below about 3 feet or so. Babies can put stuff in their mouths scary fast. And we keep batteries and magnets and stuff basically at ground level (you may not). So that might be worth doing, especially if you need to burn nervous energy.

  • Morningglory

    It’s the morning of my wedding!! It’s raining! I’m currently printing programs that still need to make it over to Kinko’s to get cut in half! And I’m SO HAPPY!!!! We had the BEST pre-wedding celebration last night, so many people I love are in town to love us and we’re going to have a chilly, windy, awesome party under a tent this afternoon. Can’t wait!

    Lots of love to everyone getting married today!

    • KEA1

      YAY! Have a wonderful wedding day, and LOTS of warm wishes for your life together!

    • Yay! Your day will be amazing because you feel amazing about it :)

    • Class of 1980


    • Congratulations!

    • How did it go? I hope it was fabulous!

  • Sara

    Okay, people – this is probably going to sound crazy but I have to vent. I HATE call-waiting: it’s the rudest thing ever. My husband always pulls out the “what about emergencies?” excuse when I complain, but seriously, the # of times people interrupt calls for non-emergencies compared to # of times for true emergencies just doesn’t even begin to add up. I have told my mom and husband that I don’t want to be put on hold enough times so that now, if their call-waiting beeps, they just tell me they’ll call me back. Which usually works fine for me. EXCEPT: I was just on the phone w/my mom, and she cut our call short to talk to my sister, then call me back. I am SO irritated. What do you all think? Am I just over-reacting? Any words of wisdom in terms of calming myself down?

    • The only time I usually use call-waiting is to tell the second caller I’m on the phone, could I call them back shortly? (Because I really don’t like checking my voicemail) If they have a quick question, I’ll sometimes answer it and get back to the first caller ASAP. But yeah, it doesn’t seem very polite to stop one chatty conversation just to have another. I accept that if the person I call tells me they are waiting for so-and-so to call them, (emergency or not).

      As always, communication. If you’re the person with a second call coming in, the first call takes precedence. Use call-waiting to tell the second caller you’re busy or let it go to voicemail. If you’re expecting a call, and someone else calls you first, let them know. In an emergency situation, I would expect the person being called to tell the second caller “I’m on the phone with so-and-so, can I call you back?’ Whereupon the second caller immediately says it’s an emergency, and the person being called can then tell the first caller it’s an emergency, make an apology, and call them later to continue the conversations.

      In terms of your irritation: justified, but take a walk so you can speak calmly to your mom and tell her again that you were annoyed by her reactions and why. Not just whining, but that you consider it a major breach of etiquette, so you feel disrespected and unappreciated. And in the future, tell her you might not be available when she calls back.

    • Class of 1980

      You are not over-reacting. What your mom did is a major etiquette violation. She needs a brush up on phone manners because that would be offensive to anyone with human feelings.

      Unless it’s an emergency, it’s offensive to hang up on Caller A so you can talk to Caller B instead. The rule is “first come, first served” in phone conversations.

      Talk to her and tell her how it makes you feel.

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