APW Happy Hour!

Heyyyyy APW,

It’s the first day of summer! It’s been a good and chill week over here! It’s APW Pride next week, which is my favorite week of the year. We just talked about cocktails, so we all should be in the perfect mood for happy hour. YAYYYY! Let’s do this thing. It’s your Friday open thread, hop on it!


Highlights of APW This Week

Have you written your ceremony yet? No? Time to get on that. Here is some help.

My thoughts on unplugging and work-life balance.

The wedding I wish I’d had. (I lovelovelove our wedding, but this was our first-choice venue that we couldn’t quite swing. Sigh.)

We somehow eluded the Angry Bakers with this grocery store wedding cake hack. I almost feel disappointed.

Resigning Wife. The beginning of our anonymous series from a regular contributor on the process of divorce.

The APW staff hasn’t debated advice this much in forever. We found out in the comments that we weren’t wrong. Pheeeewwwww. (Much love to the question asker from the whole APW team! Group hug!)

Easy summer cocktails for your wedding. In other news, I’m probably having a 4th of July BBQ just so I can make the watermelon one. Damn.

And the big one: We really, really, really want APW to make an impact on National Donate Your Hair Day. This is big deal stuff for the staff. Let’s make it happen.

Link Roundup

If you weren’t sold on the idea of an unplugged wedding, reader Rachel offers visual proof that guests taking photos during your wedding is distracting, and ruins key shots for your photographer. I did a slow scroll of horror through this post. Who knew flash from guest cameras was so bad? Or how about the wedding where she could not get a shot of the couple getting married because guests were blocking the whole aisle, and she wasn’t allowed to get closer?

While we’re on the topic of unplugging, consider writing with a pencil instead of a keyboard once in a while. Personally, if I’m trying to process something emotionally. Forget it, it has to be pen and paper. It’s interesting that studies back that up.

This article about giving up Twitter is one of the best things I’ve read in awhile.

Speaking of best things, this Pinterest board featuring an imaginary well-dressed toddler named (wait for it…) Quinoa, is amazing satire. Because of course I’d buy a girl child of mine a fair amount of that stuff. (Headesk.)

An economist speaks to the “declining demand for husbands” in The New York Times.

The largest Christian Ministry to offer a “cure” for homosexuality is shutting down and as someone who remembers this movement’s influence in the 90’s, this seems like a huge step forward. But more than that, having grown up in the gay rights movement in the church, I find the founder’s apology deeply moving, even though it’s certainly imperfect.

The men of the world ask Cosmo to kindly please stop giving their girlfriends sex advice.

If you’re looking for a fun DIY project to take on, we’re into this sequined elbow patch sweater. Start it now, finish it by the time temperatures drop in the fall (in true lazy fashion, it’s best to allow yourself time).

This week, in “This Is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things” news, a couple of brides behaved very, very badly in response to a totally thoughtful wedding gift they received.

This one is from APW Intern of Awesomeness Lucy, since I can’t even begin to claim geek status: Even if you’ve never read A Song of Ice and Fire, this discussion on “strong female characters” is worth reading for its take on the way “girlie” behavior is so often seen as bad.

And, let’s end it strong. If you really want to dismantle the patriarchy, this feminist makeup tutorial will show you how. That’s my kind of feminism, ladies. With eyeliner.

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  • So amazing news of the week: found my dream wedding dress online for a super steal, bought, and it fits!!! No alterations. Boom! Wedding dress on the first try.

    Bad news of the week: the next day someone breaks into my car, smashing the windows and taking inexpensive but useful things.

    So its a mixed bag for me

    • Laura

      Yay dress! Boo thieves. But at least they didn’t steal the dress too?

      • Dress is safe in a closet. Thank goodness. But they stole my chocolate! Chocolate. Have they no decency?

        • Catalicous

          It was the cheese that brought me to tears when my apt was broken into… Who steals cheese?!?

        • That’s low. That’s real low. I’d share my stash with you if you were local.

        • Sara

          Someone broke my car window and stole my Tom-Tom and…a pen? I mean, it was in a box but it was like 50 cents. I hope they had something important to write.

          • C

            Someone broke into our garage (I came home and found them). When the police caught him, he had a pocketful of change, a pocketknife, and a few pens out of my dad’s car. There was a laptop in the trunk.

    • Not Sarah

      Ugh, I’m sorry to hear about your car. Someone broke into my car last fall and DIDN’T STEAL ANYTHING. So it cost me $$$ to get the car fixed, but they didn’t even take anything! I was so confused. There was a Tom Tom, some coins, a USB cable, a notebook, some maps from AAA, and a beach towel, all safe.

    • Katherine

      Addie, I’m so sorry your car got broken into. That sucks. Hopefully that person will get the karma they deserve :-( But I wanted to share that I got my dress online on Wednesday, too! $257 for a wedding dress that fits perfectly. All it needs is about 4 feet taken off the bottom (I’m a little on the short side, LOL), with free alterations by an amazingly talented friend of mine. It will now sit in my closet until the wedding next year :-)

      • That’s so awesome you found a great dress bargain! I was super afraid I’d never find a dress in budget. My first wedding’s dress cost the same as this wedding’s whole budget! So imagine my surprise when I found a dress a third of my already low budget. Score!! More booze for everyone.

        • Katherine

          Yes!! My first wedding, the dress cost about $1100 with alterations. So, finding a dress that cost me less than $300 makes me VERY happy. And oddly enough, I’m finding that having had the experience of that first wedding has really made me re-evaluate what I really want/need this time around. Things are much more scaled back, low-key, and less stressful this time, and I think it’s really because I know what’s worth doing/paying for, what’s worth changing, and what can just be scrapped out of the picture entirely. It’s making planning SO much easier!

          • Exactly! We are in the very beginnings of planning (aiming for Dec 2014/Jan 2015) and since we are paying for it ourselves (same as first) i’m doing some serious prioritizing . If I can’t remember it from the first go round then clearly it’s not my thing.

            I remember dancing my face off and eating delicious food. I remember the amazing photos of the day. I remember all the DIY work i put in. But flowers? Um, i know we had them because they’re in the pictures. Unless ManPerson has strong feelings about them, basic arrangements it is. It’s kinda nice.

        • Katherine

          We’re slightly before you, in September 2014. It’s outside in a winery, so I don’t need a fancy dress. Just something white, lightweight and fit me well, which is exactly what is hanging in my closet :-) We’re only having 60 people max, so I don’t see any point in having a bridal party, a DJ or any of the stuff I tore my hair out over the first time. Minimal flowers (bouquet for me, corsages or boutonnieres for FH and both sets of parents). But we will have an iPod setup with an awesome playlist, amazing food and drink, and a cupcake tree :-)

  • Cleo

    I’ve been waiting for the Friday open thread since Monday. I need the advice/opinions of the APW brain trust!

    One of my boyfriend and my close friends got engaged this weekend. This is great news, but it opened the door to a difficult and semi-painful conversation…

    When my boyfriend and I started dating 4 1/2 years ago, he told me his life’s goal was to have a family and be happy with them. I’d known him for 10 years at this point. I know that wasn’t bullshit. As a product of divorce and an observer of unhappy marriages in his family, he wanted something he saw his friends growing up had — 2 loving parents. He wanted kids. He wanted to get married.

    And now, he told me he doesn’t see a purpose in getting married beyond tax reasons or if you have kids or something like that, where the benefits would actually be beneficial. He also said some romantic things in this conversation — that us spending our lives together as they are, that we spend so much time together and enjoy each other’s company, that’s the real marriage. The ceremony and the performance feels like an obligation to him, something to do when you have to. He also cited divorce statistics and called marriage meaningless in a lot of ways.

    He also told me he wasn’t sure he wanted to have kids. He doesn’t feel capable of raising them or ready for the responsibility. He doesn’t think he’ll be ready for that for 10 years (we’re both in our late 20s). I brought up fertility and how having kids naturally will most likely be considerably more difficult in 10 years. I’m not ready to have kids just yet, but I told him I need to start thinking about it sooner rather than later.

    To be fair to him, this isn’t a total bait and switch. Since our relationship began and that initial statement, he has given hints he changed his mind. Most notably:

    He said, around 1 year of dating, he doesn’t want to get married for 5 years
    He has repeatedly said he hates attending weddings because they seem like a show, though he will agree when pressed that the vows are nice. He has, however, made references to “our wedding,” mostly how it will probably be filled with things he hates (he thinks I want the WIC despite my gentle rebuffs when he makes those comments).

    He recently asked me if I wanted kids. The truthful answer I gave was “I don’t know.” I’ve never been someone who has craved having children, but I thought the idea was nice. After he asked that question, though, I kept thinking about it, and, remembering my childhood, with my aunts and uncles and cousins at my grandparents’ house for Sunday dinners… and I want to be able to pass that fun on. So, I decided I do want kids. However, as neither of us are ready for that, I didn’t pass the information along when I thought of it. So now, I’m worried that kids with him might not be in my future.

    I’m worried that I will have to choose, between the love of my life, someone who makes me so so happy, and the life that I want — getting married and having a family. I don’t think he would flat out refuse to get married, but the kids thing is more worrisome. I reminded him that 10 years is a long time, and he agreed and said he could absolutely change his mind about being ready then (if he was ready at all), but…

    Before this conversation, I was planning on bringing up the subject of us getting married in a concrete way in about a year and a half (i.e. about 5 years from when he said 5 years until we get married). That is still my plan. I would like to be more financially solvent before we make a legal commitment and have some ducks in a row. I was hoping he’d bring the topic up for me and just propose so I didn’t have to, but it looks like I will. I’m scared of bringing up big topics like this, so all the conversations about marriage we had is adding some anxiety to an alread anxiety-ridden area. And I don’t want to bring this all back up now, when I’m not ready to get married tomorrow (when I get engaged, I want it to be at a point where I feel like if I had to get married that instant, I’d be ready, and so doubly goes for me bringing up a topic that could end in a proposal). But I know it needs to be discussed sometime soon.

    Another thing to consider (and that I have, a lot over this week) — we have a dog, and for various reasons, if we broke up, the dog would stay with him. It breaks my heart to think of never seeing our pup again — we each have a general “break all ties” rule re: breaking up with someone that I doubt we would violate for other reasons I won’t get into.

    I don’t know what to do — I’m confused and scared about the future. On one hand — marriage and kids are things I DO want. On the other — how stupid would it be for me to dump someone who is perfect for me to look for someone else who might not be as perfect in the quest to create a 1950s vision of a nuclear family.

    Despite all this, this weekend we discussed engagement rings (what I want, what he likes). He asked me why I like a certain brand of jewelry — what I like about it aesthetically and how does it have meaning to me. He, for the first time, took unprompted and proactive steps to meeting my extended family (he’s met my parents multiple times, but would have to travel several thousand miles to meet the rest of them). And, in a separate conversation this weekend, he iterated/emphasized that whatever he says, he means at face value. So, he’s either planning a highly elaborate Chandler Bing-esque hoodwink (saying, “I don’t want to get married,” so I’d be surprised when he proposes), which I highly doubt, or… and that’s where I have no effing clue.

    I’m so confused and I would love for anyone and everyone to weigh in on this — advice, personal anecdotes, tough love, even some judgment, etc. Whatever perspective you have, I’m open to it.

    Thanks and sorry for the length!

    • S

      Tough situation but I think it’s really worth it to start expressing your feelings and thoughts to him now (i.e. you mentioned talking about marriage around the 5 year mark) or else you are not on the same page as him and it will hit him like a ton of bricks and that isn’t fair to him either. He’s been honest and upfront with you and you need to do the same. You have to decide what you want. 10 years from now, are you going to be happy knowing that you are with a man who does not share your goal of having children? Are willing to give this up? On the other hand, you could find someone who wants children just as much as you do. But really, talk it out with him and hopefully at the end you’ll be less confused.

      • Cleo

        Thank you for the advice. That is really what I need to do.

        and this is the million dollar question: “10 years from now, are you going to be happy knowing that you are with a man who does not share your goal of having children?”

        I don’t know that answer.

    • Rachel

      I used to avoid confrontation at all costs, particularly with regard to relationships. I never wanted to know; it was easier (or so I thought) to tell myself stories (good and bad) about what I thought was going on. Then I read a book that basically called my kind out for this and included the quote, “The only way out is through the door.” That was my light bulb moment. When it came to relationships, I was constantly doing mental MacGuyver moves to avoid just going through the door and asking directly for an answer. Every time I start talking myself into NOT talking to someone about a problem, I remind myself to exit through the door.

      Sooo…I think the first step is to just start talking to him about these things! Wherever you choose to start (marriage timeline, him changing his mind about kids) is fine, but I think rather than worrying about what might be going on or what it might mean for you (or worrying about losing your dog!), it’s better to just ask directly. I know it’s easier said that done, but it’s the kind of thing that I truly believe is worth practicing. And there’s honestly no reason you shouldn’t ask or that you don’t deserve answers. I used to tell myself to wait quietly and patiently instead of recognizing that I deserve to have a say in my future. I don’t see anything wrong with saying, “Soooo asking me my favorite engagement ring styles, eh? You planning something, buddy?”

      Good luck and please keep us posted on how it goes, whatever you decide to do!

      • meg

        Rachel is right. You have to flat out ask. And then you may need to go to therapy to figure out what you need and want. But you also have to take what he’s saying at face value. He might not want kids. He might not want to get married.

        At a certain point (it’s up to you when that is, but late 20’s seems a good marker to me, fertility-wise), if you want kids and marriage, and your partner can’t commit to them, you have to get out (or completely change what you want, and please do that in therapy… you don’t want to trick yourself into thinking you changed your mind and realize at 35 that you never really did). He might have all the time in the world. Biologically speaking, unless you intend to adopt, you don’t.

        The key here for me is that he’s telling you to take what he’s saying on face value. That means no wishing and hoping it’s not true.

        • Since you mentioned it, awesome article in the Atlantic this week about the science behind fertility statistics.

          The most quoted statistics on fertility are often historical, rather than contemporary. The author found that many of them were from pre-1830s. Amazing stuff.


          My favorite part: “Millions of women are being told when to get pregnant based on statistics from a time before electricity, antibiotics, or fertility treatment. Most people assume these numbers are based on large, well-conducted studies of modern women, but they are not.”

          • meg

            Looks facinating and I’ll have to read it. I hear people (on APW!) freaking out about fertility in late 20s and early 30s, and that seems like an overblown fear more tied to a cultural narrative than anything else. But in real life, once you hit 36 or so, it really does get harder (at least for the first go-round). So it does get scary, if you really want kids, sticking with a partner who really might never be ready. Because it can take years to break up and re-partner, or decide you don’t want to/ are not going to re-partner and decide to do it alone.

            My point is simply: by your very late 20’s, it’s a question that I think women should at least be considering. Do I want biological kids? Am I realistically setting myself up for that possibility (in whatever form that takes for me), if it really matters?

            We live in a culture that tells us YOU CAN DO ANYTHING, in a way that I find a little false sometimes, misleading and empty. We can’t do anything. We can do a lot of different awesome things, but life is about hard choices, and sometimes we’ve got to pick.

            Blah blah, that is NOT at all advice to the original question, just some thoughts.

          • Cleo

            Wow. This is incredible and heartening.

        • Cleo

          “The key here for me is that he’s telling you to take what he’s saying on face value. That means no wishing and hoping it’s not true.”

          Yes. Thanks. This is a fact I’ve been trying to ignore, but I absolutely know I can’t.

          I also need to stop doing “mental MacGyver” as Rachel amazingly put it, to convince myself that the face value means x.

          I have to ask. Ugh. Cue the knotted stomach…

      • Cleo

        “I used to tell myself to wait quietly and patiently instead of recognizing that I deserve to have a say in my future.”

        I definitely do this now. Thanks for the perspective and advice! time to grow some steel lady parts

    • Sounds like this conversation(s) will absolutely be scary and hard. But you still have to have it. And depending on what he says, and how the two of you hash it out, you may have to choose between the lifestyle you want and the man you want. Very scary, very hard. But you’ll survive that worst case scenario. It will be okay. (Refer to Resigning Wife post from earlier this week: it’s awful and hard and scary. And you’ll be okay. Sometimes love isn’t enough, and it will take time to heal, but you’ll be okay)

      If I were you, I’d tell him something like “I’m confused about your feelings toward marriage because I remember when you said X and now you’re saying Y. Can you tell me what changed your mind about it? It’s really important to me and I want to understand your point of view better”

      And just because you’re talking about getting married and what that means, does not necessarily mean you’re ready to get married rightthen or that you’re engaged (refer to yesterday’s ATP post and comments for more insight). The more you talk about it, the better able you’ll be to dispel the anxiety around it, because you’ll (ideally, hopefully) gain some clarity about where you both stand.

      It would absolutely rip my heart out to lose a dog like that. No question. BUT- if he is a responsible, loving dog owner, that wound would probably heal as well. And there may be another dog out there with a broken heart who could help you both heal together.

      Best of luck and all the internet hugs in the world, lady. Most of my advice revolved around the worst-case scenario, but you can’t predict what will happen. These hard conversations could lead you somewhere wonderful, too, and I hope no matter what happens, you find the happiness you’re looking for!

      • Cleo

        ““I’m confused about your feelings toward marriage because I remember when you said X and now you’re saying Y. Can you tell me what changed your mind about it? It’s really important to me and I want to understand your point of view better””

        thank you! this is a great way to phrase this. I usually agonize over that part.

    • M

      I’m sorry you are going through this. I’m in a similar situation, I’ve been in a relationship with my boyfriend for 5 years and he is the one who wants marriage and kids, while I’m the one who doesn’t. We are stuck in a horrible limbo, so I really feel your pain. I’m sorry I don’t have anything helpful to offer you.

      • Cleo

        Hearing that I’m not alone in this is actually very helpful. thank you and good luck to you!!

    • Amy March

      Whoa! Slow the panic horses. You need to talk to him openly about what you want- openly and probably often. But please don’t rush to thinking of never seeing your dog again. Making this decision out of fear isn’t fair to either of you. You love him right? Trust in that a little, if you can.

      • Cleo

        “Slow the panic horses” is my new favorite phrase…and one that I need to make part of my internal monologue.

        Thanks for helping knock some sense back into me.

        I trust I love him — but sometimes love isn’t enough. And that’s a scary place to negotiate.

    • Suzaphone

      Sorry to hear about your predicament, Cleo. I wish I could share a happy ending to a similar situation that I faced with my last ex, but it didn’t end well with him. The short of it, is that he strung me along for a long time with me thinking we were committed and a proposal was imminent. The kid thing had been discussed and we were both on the fence, although honestly, now looking back I think I just said I was wishy washy to suit him and not scare him off. Anyway, out of the blue one day he just calls the whole relationship off, without much explanation. Mostly saying he didn’t want to get married to me, or to anyone, ever, and clearly I did. I was stunned and deeply hurt. But I realized pretty quickly that our biggest problem was avoiding the “talks.” Him because he was uncomfortable, anxious, and didn’t want to make any promises about anything ever, and me because I was scared they would drive him away, which they sorta did.

      Anyway, I know your situation is not the same, but having coming through that experience brokenhearted and confused I learned that I need to be much more upfront with my future partners and say what I mean and mean what I say. I have to expect and trust that my partner will do the same.

      Fast forward 6 months after that breakup I met a new fella online, fell madly in love, got engaged two years later and we’ll be married next January. So… my advice is to talk to him sooner rather than later about what you really want, your fears, your frustrations, your hopes, all of it. If your relationship is built on a solid foundation of honest communication now it will certainly weather the storms of engagement and marriage. Good luck!

      • Cleo

        I’m glad you came through your situation okay (or more than!) Thank you for the perspective and good luck with the wedding planning! :)

      • Brenda

        “Mean what I say and say what I mean, and trust that my partner is doing the same” has become my mantra. It was life-changing.

    • Martha

      I wholeheartedly agree with SARAHE’s advice:

      If I were you, I’d tell him something like “I’m confused about your feelings toward marriage because I remember when you said X and now you’re saying Y. Can you tell me what changed your mind about it? It’s really important to me and I want to understand your point of view better”

      Definitely express what you want/feel and your confusion (because girl, I am confused about what he wants)!

      Best of luck – and I agree with Rachel – an update is a must.

      • Cleo

        “Definitely express what you want/feel and your confusion (because girl, I am confused about what he wants)!”

        I am so glad it’s not just me! As I tell him often, I’m a writer, not a speaker. It takes time and revision for me to process my thoughts, so the consequence is that I think of what I need to and want to say minutes/hours/days after the conversation happens.

        In this case, I was a little shocked about this change in his opinion, so the thoughts in my head were just a jumble of “wait whaaaa?”

    • ANONY

      Let me say – I empathize. I’m in a similar situation, except that I’m the one who is pretty sure I don’t want kids, and my amazing partner thinks he might, or at least is trying to figure out what life looks like without them.

      The one thing I’ll add, besides my empathy, is that talking is definitely key, but don’t feel bad if you don’t solve it all in one sitting. For us, we’ve had to keep coming back to the conversation over and over. It’s the hardest thing about a great relationship, because there is no “right” answer – there’s just an inevitable compromise or an end to things. We are still trying to figure out, individually and together, how to make it work together, and weighing the very difficult lifestyle vs. being together” thing.

      We haven’t come to a solution yet. I don’t know when we will. We take it day by day and still talk about our future. It’s hard, because I’d love to just keep moving forward, and I definitely want to marry him. Right now I think we just hope that if we keep talking that eventually we’ll get to a point where we can make a decision. But right now we aren’t there.

      Anyway, if nothing else, I hope it helps a little to know you’re not alone!

      • Cleo

        “It’s the hardest thing about a great relationship, because there is no “right” answer – there’s just an inevitable compromise or an end to things. ”

        Yes. This is running through my head on a loop whenever I let myself think about it. Thank you for the perspective. It feels good to know I’m not alone, and best wishes to you! Whatever happens, I hope you come out of it feeling happy.

    • Jenna

      Oh, Cleo, my inclination is to just give you a giant hug and make you a cup of tea. Or a cocktail. It is Friday evening, after all. :)

      As I learned recently, one of the best solutions to problems like this is to open up the lines of communication, which it sounds like you’ve at least started doing. Keep talking, and good luck.

      • Cleo

        Both would be lovely…maybe a Long Island Iced Tea? haha.

    • Everyone has pretty well nailed it with the advice to talk to him openly about all of this, so instead of advice, I’ll offer a cautionary tale. We had one brief but unsatisfying conversation about similar issues. We basically left it that I’d give him time to think and he’d restart the conversation when he was ready. Except he didn’t. I spent the next month quietly losing my mind, but not talking to him about it. Then we went on a pre-Thanksgiving pub crawl. I drank WAY too much and spent the entire trip home spewing molten crazy all over him. Which did lead to a more productive conversation the next day (also a massive hangover) but I really wished I’d just brought it up when I was sober and rational. So I’m not a good example here, but at least I can be a horrible warning.

      • Cleo

        Oh, the molten crazy and I go way back. (love that term by the way!). Thank you for reminding me about that. I definitely don’t want to stew and have that come out.


    • Samantha

      I just got engaged to my man after four and half years of dating. I’ve known from about six months into our relationship that he was the one. We are a perfect match and so happy together. After about a year and a half I wanted to start talking about marriage. Then he told me he didn’t want to get married. We had conversations like this multiple times in our relationship. It always ended up with us both crying- he didn’t want to get married and he didn’t know why. It killed me every time, but I felt very sure that he would have a change of heart. Sometimes during these conversations he would break down and say that he wanted to marry me, I would be elated, the next day when I would bring up how happy I was, I could tell he’d had a change of heart. It was awful, but I knew we were so right for each other and I was willing ot give it time. So I waited it out. I don’t know why, and he doesn’t know why, but he did have a change of heart and proposed to me a month ago. Waiting was hard, I wouldn’t have waited forever, because marriage is important to me, but I was willing to wait for years.

      What I had suspected all along, and what finally came out after our engagement, is that his family was very against him getting married. Even though his parents and grandparents are married, for some reason, they engrained in him and his cousins from a young age that they should not get married. It was almost subliminal, because he had no idea that this was the reason for his not feeling like he wanted to get married. Once we got engaged his mother admitted that she didn’t want him or her other son to get married.

      So basically my point is that families have profound affects on our views about things like marriage and family. And also that these views can change.
      I can’t tell you what to do, I can only share my situation and how things worked out for me. It took a lot of patience and haaaard conversations to get to the place we are now, but it was totally worth it.

    • I don’t know how much help I can be as an outsider to your relationship, but I will say that I was much happier leaving someone who was almost right for me but not quite in exactly those same ways.

      I was dating someone that I cared about, loved, had a fairly great relationship with, but he came from a divorced family and was extremely skittish about marriage and children. I had always wanted marriage, but listening to him make all of these very logical, reasonable arguments why it didn’t make sense made me doubt myself.

      It sounded romantic when he said that instead of getting married we would wake up each day CHOOSING each other.

      Yet it left me feeling more and more and more discontent and I couldn’t explain those feelings. They didn’t make sense, given what logical and well reasoned responses he had for why marriage is a stupid idea.

      I finally made the very difficult decision to break up and now several years later I’m with a guy who is thrilled to marry me. Also from a divorced family, also has a history of being skittish about marriage. But he is so confident in me and in us that he can’t wait to marry me. The relationship with him is a thousand times better than the previous one.

      I still feel weird about caring that much about something that has plenty of arguments against it, but it makes me happy and that’s what really matters.

  • Laura

    Yes! Perfect APWHH timing!

    So, I could really use some practical (logistical) planning advice on hiring a live band:

    Brian and I live in CA but are getting married next summer in DC to be closer to family. Our parents are graciously and generously paying for the wedding, but of course I am still very cost-conscious. This is true in general – one of my biggest concerns in life is getting ripped off. So, wedding planning has been generally gut-wrenching on that front. And when Brian and his family made it clear that they would greatly prefer to have a live band over a DJ, the sticker shock (even though the in-laws offered to pay) was nauseating.

    Many things about long-distance wedding planning have gone smoothly, thanks to the interwebs. But I am extremely *extremely* worried about hiring a band sight-unseen. Here’s the deal: I am very picky about music. And I’ve watched a bunch of videos of “wedding bands” on youtube and am mostly unimpressed. The covers end up sounding like bad copies of the original songs – I guess I would prefer that it sound like either awesome copies or something totally unique.

    I know one of the things people sometimes do is hire a band that is not a traditional “wedding band,” per se, but instead a great local band who maybe plays local venues and can do some covers with their own cool spin. Does anyone have experience finding a group like this? Does anyone in the DC area know any good wedding bands or good bands who might be fun at a wedding??

    Any and all suggestions would be greatly appreciated! Thanks in advance, crew!!

    • april

      The Swingin’ Swamis are pretty awesome if your looking for something with a jazzy/swing feel. They play a lot of local (Baltimore/DC) venues as well as a lot of weddings. I think they’re on the pricey side, though …

    • Maddie

      Ohhh! I shot a wedding a few years ago in Arlington and they were awesome. They were called the Monster Band.


      • Jenna

        I was really hoping that I’d click that link and see a band where everyone dressed up as monsters……just putting my dorkiness out there for all to see. ;-D

        • Laura


    • Kathy

      You could try White Ford Bronco? They do 90s covers and it’s always a good show. Unsure about more Motown-y classic stuff though. I screamed my head off when they did Wannabe by the Spice Girls when I saw them. Yay DC!

      • Maybe, next time there is a layout change, these two things can be moved apart. I think this happens a lot.

    • Not sure if you have a preference of musical genre, but I can recommend Roadhouse (contemporary/classic rock and country and probably other things mixed in, too). We saw them perform at a local summer concert in the D.C. area last year and they were great! The lead singer has a strong, awesome voice. I mean, she sang Adele — and it really didn’t suck. Adele!

      I found some videos online, but they’re all older (and sans their current female lead singer). Without clips, etc., this is probably not all that helpful, but hopefully you can do some digging and check ’em out?


    • I worked a wedding recently that had DC Transit play. It was a little off b/c it was a day wedding and day wedding don’t tend to have as much dancing, but the music was good and they had a nice selection of songs. The band was also super nice to work with, which is always a huge plus.

      • Bonnie

        I was going to suggest DC Transit, but I see they’ve already been brought up (in reference to what was actually my own wedding!). They were great to work with– they communicated well/seemed super organized/were nice people– and were reasonably priced (I think it worked out to a little more than $100/musician for the whole reception). One of the things we liked about them was that a subset of the band is actually a jazz combo, so we had them play more relaxed jazz while everyone was eating. (My husband sold some of his family members who were more used to extravagant weddings on our simple brunch reception by promising a jazz band). I think you could hire the jazz faction separately if you’re more into that. A 10 piece band was a little intense for a brunch wedding where many of the guests aren’t big dancers, but it was still fun and I think people enjoyed the live music. They would be great for a group that likes to dance/an evening party.

        Here’s their website: http://www.thedctransitband.com/

    • Kara E

      This may not be what you’re looking for, but we hired a combo (I think 4-5 piece combo) of these guys: http://www.pianojazz.com/swing.htm (the Burnett Thompson Swing Band). They didn’t feel “wedding band,” but did a great job of being both low key and playing good (swing/jazz) music that we could dance to. I don’t do well with loud, so they were a great option. Their vocalist has an amazing voice, and their pianist was terrific.

    • JEM

      I LOVE the Jangling Reinharts: http://www.samhillbands.com/bands/reinharts/

    • Laura

      You all are the BEST. Thank you!!

  • Katelyn

    Hey ladies! I wrote a lament a couple of weeks ago about my ultimatum-fueled engagement and just wanted to say THANK YOU for all the kind words and support.

    I talked to my guy about all this, and he apologized for seeming distant. We’re on the same page again and I just had my first therapy session yesterday. I feel really good about feeling better in lots of ways in the very near future, and I would have wallowed a lot longer if I hadn’t gotten a bit of validation about my mixed feelings (particularly surrounding the ultimatum).

    I’ve been involved with this community for several years now, but this was the first time I’d ever really felt like I needed help, and man, did you guys deliver.

    Thanks again, and I hope to only have good, positive, less heart-wrenching contributions from now on! <3 <3

    • Anon for this

      I think I missed your original post but it sounds like I am going through something similar. I just booked my first therapy appointment for next week.

    • Catherine

      Woohoo! So happy for you!! :) :)

    • Kristen


    • Jenna

      As a grad student and future counselor, I’m excited to see open discussion about going to and seeking out therapy. Counseling/therapy can be useful for anyone and everyone–let’s keep dismantling the stigma! Thanks, ladies!

      • Crayfish Kate

        Hi Jenna!

        I also am LOVING the therapy & counseling discussions! My partner & I have been in counseling since January. It started out as premarital counseling, but turned into therapy when we realized we had more to work on that originally thought. I love it & am so fascinated with all I’m learning about myself and him. My question for you (or anyone else who’d like to weigh in!) is, is it ‘normal’ for things to get worse before they get better?

        I ask b/c my partner wasn’t sure about counseling at first, as he was worried it’d make everything worse & we’d break up. Things have definitely been shaken up a bit, but I’m wondering (hoping?) if it’s just temporary?

        Any insight would be awesome (and if you don’t know, that’s totally fine!). Thank you!

        • Bit late to the party, but yes getting worse before it gets better is a known phenomenon mentioned by my therapist.

          Best of luck

        • Catherine

          Of course things get shaken up which can feel “worse” but that’s the great work that;s going to make your connection even stronger! I have been in therapy for a few months now, and sometimes leave feeling like I have been plunged into the depths of my inner hell, but that’s the whole point of going to therapy- to find the bravery to face your deepest wounds and heal them. I think my partner and I are going to start going, if we can afford it – I think it would be great for us, since it has done so much for me.

          You’re shaking up a snowglobe, cracking open an oyster – those things might be disorienting or painful and feel kinda crazy but when the snowflakes settle they will be on firmer ground, and you get pearls.

  • Big big news of the week: We are submitting our comic book to Image comics TODAY! Our pitch is complete and has been proof read by many, many pairs of eyes, and we are about to take a great big leap! We already met with the head of marketing at image, and he told us our book was well done and would be a good fit, so it’s the moment of truth!!! (Although that “moment” is more likely 1-2 months before we get a response.) But I’m really, really, really excited about it!!!!

    • Rachel

      GOOD LUCK!!

    • Exactly didn’t seem to fit so:
      Yay x1000!!

      That’s a tremendous accomplishment whatever the outcome. Good luck!

    • Luck luck luck!

  • Paranoid Libra

    So about 2 weeks ago I celebrated my first anniversary. The day started out lovely, and then got a phone call while on a mountain side that my grandmother had died soo yea it zapped a lot of the happy out of it. Now I am kind of afraid my father will always just be sad on my wedding anniversary every year.

    I am thankful that she was at my wedding and well at least no one was lost while at the wedding or while we were on our honeymoon. Just trying to find the bright side.

    And on a happier note, I am now going to go enjoy gardening in remembering to seize the day and enjoy fresh air.

    • Brenda

      I’m so sorry for your loss, especially as it came at a time that should be happy for you.

    • Lynn

      We actually got married on the anniversary of my grandfather’s death. I think it may temper the sadness for family members to have something happy to associate with the date as well.

    • Samantha

      I’m so sorry for your loss. I got engaged recently and lost both of my grandparents in the past 4 months (my grandpa just last week). I’m still trying to wrap my head around it all and the fact that they won’t be at the wedding. I’m so glad for you that your grandma was able to be at your wedding. I’m sure it meant the world to her.

    • Paranoid Libra

      Thank you ladies. I figured someone here would have a way to frame it that would help calm my nerves. It’s not like we aren’t used to having to deal with shared things with the hubs being a Christmas Eve baby and me being of Eastern European ancestry with Christmas Eve being a big deal. Those are happy things to have to share though so a happy and a sad seemed more challenging.

  • Don’t Hassle the Haf

    Happy Friday! I am 43 days out of the wedding and I only feel nervous/nauseous thinking about what still needs to be done like 80% of the time (down from 100%)! I’m really excited that we were able to figure out the photobooth. At first we weren’t even going to have one because it was just too out of budget and we don’t own a super nice camera for a traditional DIY photobooth and it made me sad. But after finding this DIY iPad photobooth tutorial http://thebudgetsocialite.com/diy-photobooth/ and testing it out with my iPad I am happy to report that it looks great and we can now have a photobooth! We are still trying to figure out if we will add on a wireless printer but with the app people can always upload everything to Facebook/twitter etc. I’m just glad we were able to find something that fit in our budget without having to sacrifice it entirely

    • Good to know there are options! I really liked the idea of a photobooth, too, but have waited to book one because the budget is already really-squeaky-close to being over and it’s another (cool but ultimately not crucial) expense. I’m sure yours will be awesome! :)

  • I found Quinoa’s Pinterest board this week too and about died. Have y’all seen http://catalogliving.net/?

    • Amanda

      YES. :)

    • Class of 1980

      OMG, Quinoa. I loves it!

  • Anon for this

    This has been a significant few months for me. My boyfriend and I decided we were ready to move in together in February so we started looking for places. We signed a lease for July 1 (tough housing market here). I told him that I wanted to be engaged before we moved in, figuring that would give us plenty of time. (He told me over a year ago that he wanted to marry me).

    We went ring shopping in March but didn’t find anything/I freaked out and couldn’t stop nervous laughing. Then nothing. He started a new job in April and could never find time to go ring shopping again. I have been worrying that he didn’t really want to marry me. I started pestering him. I also made the mistake of telling may parents we were going to get engaged in mid-April. They started pestering me.

    Finally, a few days after a particularly difficult conversation, in which he told me I was stealing all of the fun of getting engaged by setting a time line and insisting on picking out the ring, he proposed in early June. It was lovely.

    My family jumped in and barraged us with a million wedding planning questions/demands/ideas. The first week of being engaged was one of the most stressful and overwhelming weeks of my life. I felt tired and anxious, not a bit excited. He is not excited or happy to start any wedding planning.

    I still have a nagging feeling like I pushed him into it. I still have no ring. He still does not want to find time to get one. We are moving in together in 9 days and I am scared. I love him and I do believe I want to marry him but I want to feel good about it and I don’t right now.

    • Laura Lee

      Your life has gone through a lot of changes in the past few months, I think you might just need some time to process everything. I imagine the upcoming move isn’t doing anything to improve your stress level either. Get through the move, don’t let anyone pressure you into starting to plan the wedding and make big decisions right away. Just take a month or so to enjoy being engaged and focus on getting acclimated to the new things in your life.

      And talk to your fiance about how you’re feeling. Start planning the wedding when you’re ready and excited.

    • One of my biggest regrets was telling people when I thought he was going to propose and then sharing the news so soon after. It’s such a big moment that I found it overwhelming to have so many other voices chiming in while I was still processing and enjoying being engaged. I don’t know if that might be one of the things going on here?

      Being engaged doesn’t mean that you have to start planning a wedding first thing. You two have a lot going on with moving in together and getting engaged so maybe you’d benefit from taking some time to just enjoy things just the two of you without trying to plan the wedding yet.

    • fermi

      I didn’t have a ring either when my boyfriend proposed. We started wedding planning that week that I told my parents. I agree it was the most stressful week ever and really hard.

      Things will calm down. I did get my ring in March and wedding planning has calmed down for a bit. Everything will smooth out, just got to get through the hard stuff. If he said he wanted to marry you and already proposed then I wouldn’t worry! You’re moving in together be happy about that first!

    • Paranoid Libra

      Maybe at least for now have intentions of a longer engagement too to help hopefully settle the racing feeling. If you also tell people you want a longer engagement it might make them cool it with wedding badgering questions. That or just tell them we are just enjoying this next big step right now and won’t be getting around to much until fall as we have a lot on our plate with moving soon that needs to get at least somewhat settled before we will have time to plan.

      Good luck.

    • moonitfractal

      You could always propose to him, and worry about rings later.

    • Anon for this

      Thank you for the input. (I was up at 3 am reading it after I couldn’t sleep for freaking out).

      By way of an update: It is important to my parents that we set a date since they are very conservatively religious and don’t agree with us living together before marriage. They are concerned about us living together indefinitely with no concrete plans to marry. That is also why I was pushing to for him to propose before we moved in. Although I am nearly 30, may parents opinion still matters (perhaps too much) to me.

      My parents were pushing for November, which I feel is way too fast. We settled on a date in May and booked a venue yesterday. Then the man and I told my parents to BACK OFF. We explained that we have had no time to process any of these big life changes (I also just got my dream job after 6 months of job hunting). We want to focus on the moving in and learning to live together right now. Now that the venue is booked, we want to put off any other planning for a few months.

      We did go ring shopping again yesterday too. Although I feel a bit like I am the only one picking out this ring. My fault for telling him I want to pick it out rather than him surprising me? Probably. I guess I just need to get over that.

    • Catherine

      Aw, I remember when my girlfriend would tell me I was taking all the fun out with my pestering about the engagment..ugh made me feel pretty bad…

      She proposed in May, and we haven’t started planning! There is so much to process once you get engaged, I don’t know how people you to automatically have this whole big plan the second it happens. Give yourself all the time you two want! Anxiety is very common during engagement. Scary stuff! Good stuff, but sometimes good things are scary..like having babies..or something like that..

      My advice is to give yourself a break and try not to feel bad for “pushing” him. He is an adult and he is responsible for him – if he didn’t want to propose, he wouldn’t have done it! Congrats, by the way, and the breathe! Your’re totally good!

  • Ann

    I’m sure this is a semi-common issue, but I’m shaving trouble with my family and guest lists! My FH is a wonderful dude, natch, and he’s very private and introverted. Luckily, I totally get that because I’m a big ol’ introvert too! And while I’m probably more “classically” introverted (less into going out more than once a week, much less adept at small talk, etc), the ways in which he is an introvert are much less flexible than mine are. He’s really into our wedding, but his one major request is that we have no more than 75 people there and ideally no more than 50. Only our nearest and dearest, as he puts it.

    The problem is my family could easily fill those 50 seats – and that’s only counting the immediate extended family (so aunts, uncles, first cousins, etc). And the real crux of my issue comes down to the latter most category: alllll of my cousins. I know etiquette would dictate that if I invite one first cousin, I have to invite them all. But my cousins kind of fall into 3 categories:

    1) People I genuinely love as family and as friends, and willingly/eagerly spend time with when given the chance. Can’t imagine having my wedding without them being there.
    2) People I don’t have all that much in common with (if anything), but care for and know care for me. The average cousin experience.
    3) People who either barely know or care that I’m still alive/even getting married or actively dislike me (and who I actively dislike right back). Furthermore, these people most likely couldn’t name my FH with a gun to their head. But still, they would flip a you-know-what if I excluded them from a free ‘family reunion.’

    Is there any way to invite the 1s and 2s without inviting the 3s? My mom wants to have a get-together in our home town and then only invite the 1s to the wedding, but I feel like that’s sort of crappy since it’s announcing that they’re firmly on the B-list. But OTOH and frankly, I don’t want to fund a family reunion and I certainly don’t want people who may be actively wishing me ill-will or don’t care at all that I’m getting married at my wedding. And FH has delicately put it that the only strangers he wants there are those who I care about and definitely care about me.

    But it’s absolutely rude to, say, invite my awesome cousin and snub her horrible sisters, right? Even when everyone knows they’re horrible? Has anyone else ever dealt with excluding portions of a large family from a wedding, even when people on the same “level” (cousin to cousin, aunt to aunt) were invited because of a closer/more genuine relationship?

    Man, I feel horribly selfish even posing the question. Honestly, though, I’ve never been a ‘blood in thicker than water’ type and I want as much joy at my wedding as possible. But gaaaah, feelings/guilt/yadda yadda.

    • Daisy6564

      If these cousins are on your mom’s side then I say listen to her and share the heat or fallout with her. Your FH’s feelings are more important than those of people you already dislike. Kudos to your supportive mom, chances are she will hear more garbage about it form older family so if she’s okay with it, do it.

      • Ann

        Oh, my mom’s the best. Luckily, she totally understands the craziness of her huge family (and really, wants to mitigate the torture SHE went through when she got married). People will definitely be upset, but more for the above-mentioned ‘family reunion’ issues than any deep burning desire to see me, in particular. I do know that no matter what it probably won’t be perfect (can’t exactly invite my awesome uncle and aunt, and their awesome daughter while strategically excluding their used-to-bully-me-and-grew-into-an-even-worse-person son, as much as I would want to!) But the more I can avoid having the ‘bad’ cousins there, the better I’ll feel. And it rocks that my parents are both so supportive of that.

        • em

          what ages are these cousins? you can invite awesome uncle and aunt “and family” and have a separate conversation with awesome cousin — or even send an extra invitation to her.

    • Paige

      You are describing me 8 months ago! We wanted a 50-75 people wedding (it ended up being 64 people). My family is HUGE and would have left no room for friends. I am fairly close to my aunts and uncles, and only close to about 5 cousins (out of 32!)

      For my side of the family, we implemented the “aunts and uncles only” rule. We spread the word throughout my family that it would be aunts and uncles only, so B- and C-team cousins got that message. I talked to the “A” team cousins and explained that we really wanted to keep it simple, but looked forward to celebrating with them in a more casual setting.

      It was a good way for us to not really hurt anyone’s feelings. The cousins that I love understood why we made that decision, and the cousins I’m not as close to didn’t really care that they weren’t invited.

      • Ann

        That makes sense, but it would just break my heart (being dramatic) because some of my cousins are like siblings to me in terms of closeness. One idea that has been floating through my head is to say aunts and uncles only, except for cousins that are IN the wedding and then find places to shoe-horn in the cousins I love, as readers/etc. Kind of like what some people do to keep the kid count down (flower girl only, etc.) Ha! That would probably be terribly transparent. :)

        • KC

          I think that’s genius, personally, if you can fit all the super-close cousins into the wedding in some capacity. Good luck!

          • Ann

            Maybe it is! The more I re-read it, the more I’m thinking, “Hmmm…just add a flower girl here, someone to walk my dog down the aisle there…”

        • Jenna

          That’s kind of what we’re doing, but with second cousins (age difference stuff means that the firsts on his side are all much older, with wide variation in age of the seconds). We will have a “guestbook attendant”, a greeter, an “assistant” to our day-of person (my friend), and a variety of other mostly made-up assignments.

          I agree with the suggestion about listening to your mother, as it’s her side of the family.

          Good luck!!

    • KC

      I may be opposing etiquette here, but having a family reunion (not hosted by you) on the same weekend sounds like the best way out to me.

      I’m also wondering if you could vocally reserve the guest list for “only people we both know, so neither of us will be extra-nervous”, with potentially a localized definition of “known”.

      But obviously, if you have people who are going to be unpleasant about not being invited, they may be unpleasant about not being invited no matter what you do (even if there was a super fun rest-of-family during-the-wedding bowling party for the “B list”). And that’s their problem. I will admit that it is well-nigh impossible to not feel lousy about it, but if you can skip taking their responses personally, I think that is a winning scenario in this case.

      I would note that I would not suggest doing a second round of invites for family members in this case; if people cancel or RSVP negatively, fill in with extra friends or co-workers or other people-who-do-not-know-uninvited-family-members if you want to include more people. You don’t need the drama of having multiple categories for family members to be offended about (initial invites, “secondary” invites, and “sorry, no invitation for you at all”).

    • Amy March

      I don’t believe there is any etiquette rule that requires inviting all of your cousins if you invite one. It’s often suggested for reasons of family harmony, but it isn’t rude to just invite who you want. That being said, I think you need to have a convo with FI about closeness versus numbers. If he really wants only the nearest and dearest, great. But what if that’s 82 people?

      • Ann

        Oh, 75 is more of a guideline. I know I said he’s not the most flexible person when it comes to privacy, but he’s not so rigid that he’d be like, “Grandma’s #76? Tough sh*t, grandma!!!” It’s just the easiest way for him to express that he vehemently doesn’t want a large wedding filled with people we don’t know well.

    • Kess

      We’re doing it! I can’t really say how it will go over because we’re not at the point of sending invitations, but we’ve run it by some people (including the parents of some of those who are excluded) and people seem to accept it. Basically our rule is it’s okay to pick and choose a few people from a category and exclude the rest, because then you can always just explain (if someone has the gall to ask) that you have a special relationship with those people. What we’re trying to avoid is inviting, say, all the cousins except one, because that would probably be legitimately pretty hurtful to that one person.

      Honestly though, if it does come down to there only being one or two people you don’t want to invite in a category, but the reason is they are actively nasty to you and/or generally horrible, I wouldn’t be terribly concerned about their feelings in that case.

    • Ellen

      How far are you into your planning? Would it be possible for you to have a destination wedding? If you did, would only the cousins you’re close with actually come?

      I say this because that might allow for the small, intimate gathering you’re thinking of while allowing people a very legit reason to “opt out”. Depending on your family dynamic, etc etc there might be a good chance that only those cousins you care about would be able to make it.

      …says the bride who likely isn’t inviting any aunts, uncles or cousins from Dad’s side of the fam and might start WW3 in the process…

      • Ann

        Well, we’re having it in a destination-y kind of location where my FH’s family lives, and I’m still 99% sure most of them would come if invited. They’d think “FREE FOOD SUNNY PLACE AND A CHANCE TO SEE [INSERT RANDOM COUSIN HERE] SCORE” and rent houses together.

        Wow! Hope that goes well for you!

        • Ellen

          Put my vote in for the “special people doing special things” then! Fingers crossed for you!

    • KE

      If you have a giant, rambling family, I think you can get away with inviting only cousins you’re close to. But I wouldn’t split up sibling groups when they’re your cousins. That seems like more of a deliberate slight than inviting your mom’s sister’s kids you spent every holiday with, but not your dad’s brother’s kids who you only saw at reunions.

      I like your idea of shoehorning every cousin you want there into a wedding-related role. Then it goes from “some cousins, the ones I like” to “only cousins in the wedding.”

      • Kara

        Ach, I was an uninvited sibling/cousin recently, and wasn’t offended. There are dozens of us, and while she and brother 2 are close, we’re not. On the flip side, I invited all 50ish first,sous ins because the was important to me. I think 20 (???) came…

    • Samantha

      I have 39 first cousins on my dads side. I have like 15 on my mom’s side. I also want a very small wedding. I’m only inviting the first cousins that I have a relationship with. Which means only one cousin on my dads side and two on my moms. I just can’t accomodate people I’m not close with and have zero relationship just because we happen to have blood relation and there will be no apology for that. Thats my two cents.

    • I have a very large extended family (my mother had eight brothers and sisters, I don’t even know how many first cousins I have) and I faced this same issue. There was a particular group of five siblings, whose mother passed recently that I grew up with and wanted to invite, but at the size of wedding I was having, five people (plus a couple of long term partners/spouses) just would have kicked out more good friends than I was willing to sacrifice, being that I love my cousins but don’t have much in common with them and only see them at occasional family events. Plus, I could see the grapevine getting around and a whole lot of other cousins hearing about it and either being hurt or just thinking they didn’t get an invite for some reason and just showing up, which my budget and space and logistics couldn’t handle.

      So I chose not to invite them, but my mother talked me into selecting one of them to represent her sister who died, as all of her other siblings were invited, so I picked the one closest to my age. Well, my mom, who I put in charge of gathering addresses asked her for hers on facebook, my other cousins were hurt, and she never even responded. Later, when the wedding got a little bigger I thought about squeezing them all in, but ultimately decided its my wedding, and it is too sacred and emotional a day to have anyone around where there might be tension or resentment for any reason; these cousins are beautiful people, but a couple of them can be kind of volatile and I just didn’t want any kind of issues.

      So I invited all of my uncles and aunts but only two first cousins, one who is the oldest cousin and more of an aunt to me and who has frequently showed up to support some of my events, and one who lived with me growing up so is more like a sister. I am also holding a larger more casual event the wedding weekend and have a feeling that a lot of people won’t show up because they are upset. But I figure if people choose to see the event as a B-list consolation prize rather than the best way I could see to celebrate with all of my large family, than I can’t control that and I am not going to let it dissuade or stress me. I feel like if the situation was reversed, yeah, I might be confused and mad about it in private, but I would still do my best to show up at whatever I was invited to and be supportive.

      Sorry so long. Moral of the story: invite who you most want to be there within the numbers you can accommodate. Definitely don’t invite anybody who you don’t have a good relationship with or you think doesn’t like you. This should go whether your wedding is 50 people or 500. Sticking to rules about what circle and layer of people can come can be good for explaining your choices to outsiders, but why should you have to explain? It’s arbitrary and often forces you to put the feelings of people that you aren’t as close to ahead of those who you actually are. I really regret doing that with some of my guest list choices (well if we invite so-and-so we have to invite so-and-so and we don’t have room so we won’t invite them even though we really want to) No matter what you do, lots of people will be hurt and pissed off, so you might as well do what’s really in your heart, as kindly as you possibly can. There is no way of getting away from some hurt feelings, but being surrounded by the people who you most want to be surrounded by, whatever your reasons for choosing them, will help make you feel better.

  • Paige

    Yay happy hour!

    Tomorrow we celebrate two weeks (!!) of being married. I started a new job this week and I am OBSESSED with it. My husband quit his horrible job on Tuesday, and we’ve been oscillating between completely freaked out that we have one income while he searches for a better job, and completely excited and thrilled that he can start going down a path towards a job he will love. It’s completely scary! And exciting!

    (Mostly I’m just excited that he is home every morning to make me coffee and breakfast. Still trying to convince him that “stay-at-home husband” is a good career move for him.)

  • KC

    Wedding-guest-photographers were beyond frustrating when we were trying to get group shots. “Okay, everyone, look over here!” as the official photographer is trying to get people to move/adjust positions/look at her/etc. Bonus: most guests never gave us the photos they took (although the most egregious photo-hijacker did, thankfully). I kinda wish I’d gotten a giant orange hat or something for our Official Photographer to wear just for that bit so people knew who was supposed to be in charge, no matter who was being loudest.

    • My new thing is to tell them, “you’ll get a chance to take your photo after I get mine. If you don’t wait, you’ll have to leave.” It usually works pretty well. :D Then I snap a couple, give them all 30 seconds to get a photo while I consult the group list, and then call up the next set of people.

      At a recent wedding, I had a grumpy father of the groom, and I bribed him with beer. “The sooner we finish family photos, the sooner you can drink.” Worked like a charm.

    • Ann

      I have a feeling my FMIL will be one of those guests. She’s been asked by professional wedding photographers (during at least two other weddings) to let them do their jobs. She really is great, she just loves taking pictures, and seems to think photographers are joking when they say this. Le sigh.

    • I love seeing these responses here–they’re helpful and I feel like I am always looking for nice ways to say “Let me work here!” to guests.

      I have the same issues when I’m shooting-30 iphones in the background and my couples’ eyes all over the place–so I have started using my assistant to deal with the folks in the back–taking candids of them, having them pose, etc just so that they get off their phones and let me do my work. It’s helping–I tend to be the Type A “let me work!” person and my assistant is super laid back, so he is actually pretty good about getting the guests to back off with the photographing so I can get my work done. I try my best to keep it light and upbeat–knowing that everyone really just wants to have that one awesome shot he/she took at a wedding. It’s all part of the fun! :)

  • Laura Lee

    Wooooo! Happy hour!

    First, an update on my groom’s shoe debacle from last week. (In case you weren’t following along, the custom Vans shoes we ordered arrived after 7 long weeks and were hideous. I was able to return the normally non-returnable shoes, but they had nothing to substitute in stock.) I ultimately decided to order a pair of solid white shoes from Vans, got them to give me free 2 day shipping, and dyed those bad boys yellow myself. click for photo of result -> https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B-j5JplnHMAXWExDMDZlU2tOMzA/edit?usp=sharing I think they turned out awesome. Thanks to all the ladies who chimed in last week with suggestions and links to replacement shoes!

    In other news, we’re getting married in 8 days and our house renovations are way behind schedule. It’ll be ok, it’s just extra stress in the days leading up to the wedding that I really don’t need.

    Question for the masses: Does anyone have advice for the final week before the wedding? Like, “make sure you do such and such” or “don’t forget to take along a _____” or “did you remember to get your marriage license?” (we did)

    • Rachel

      Those look GREAT! Good job!!

    • Emily

      Those shoes look great!

    • Molly

      My main advice would be to stock up on healthy but filling snacks and be sure to hydrate (easy to forget if you are running around and it’s not that hot out).
      If you are getting ready somewhere besides your own home, I would get a back-up phone charger and pack it with your dress now. That’s an oft-forgotten essential.

    • Get everyone out of your house by 9 or 10pm the night before so you can get some sleep. Your wedding day is fantastic but it is so long and you don’t need to be pounding down coffee at 3pm to stay with it.

      • Audrey

        Along similar lines, I took (Meg’s?) advice and I took a Benadryl the night before the wedding to help me fall asleep. Highly recommended if you’re the type of person for whom this works.

        • Jenny

          I agree with this and somehow missed it in Meg’s advice. I thought to myself, I don’t need to bring anything, I’ll be so tired from some of the set up and the welcome dinner…. NOPE! I went to bed around 11 and was awake till about 4/4:30. Leaving me with about 4 hours of sleep. If you have things you do to make your self fall asleep, bring them!

    • Moe

      You may already have a list of projects that need to get finished or errands that need to get done. Take that list and cross off a few things. Take a few more and delegate them to someone else to handle for you.

      Then take at least an hour or two to go out have one quet dinner alone with your partner.

      I want to tell you to try to get done sleep but I know that’s nearly impossible.

    • KC

      I was totally hoping for a shoe update! Those look fantastic.

      Re: wedding, try to get as much sleep and water and decent food and whatever else makes you healthiest in the days leading up to the wedding as possible. Get your who-does-what and where-stuff-goes-when documents out to the right people (the person who will be transporting gifts/flowers/random-dressing-leavings home, the photographer, etc.), preferably in time so that questions can be answered. Toss together a day-of bag (whatever’s relevant, but suggested: makeup touchup supplies, needle and thread (and/or white duct tape), stain stick/baby wipes, trail mix, water bottle, one-dose of medications if applicable, anything that needs to follow you around; don’t put cash/ids/cards in this unless you’ll definitely need them for your wedding day plans, so if the bag gets lost at the end of the day, it doesn’t matter). And if the answer to “does this need to be done before the wedding?” is no (oil change?), then don’t do it. :-)

    • Rachel D.

      The Saturday before our wedding, I did a massive “download” session. I essentially spent an hour writing down every single thing I knew had to be done, then breaking that down into individual steps. (This included even silly very very very tiny things. I was so worried I would forget something!) I did this all on workflowy.com (which I use on-again off-again), but it was awesome because you can organize things through hashtags, so once I made my list I broke it up into days, or hashtagged things that needed to be taken to our coordinator’s office, or packed in the day-of bag, or hashtagged things that needed to be bought at a store (This may not make sense, but essentially, I had a massive final to do list, that was then broken up into days, which was then divided by errands, which also then had a list of each thing that had to be accomplished at said errand.) Then, each morning that week, I printed off that day, and just went with it. It helped SO MUCH. It sounds crazy (and it was and I got a lot of grief about it from my family in a loving way), but I didn’t forget a thing that whole week and it was so satisfying to watch the tasks dwindle day after day.

      BUT, the best actual thing we did was have a date night. We sandwiched it into picking up some wedding party people at a nearby airport, but we got out of our town for awhile, went to a dinner (beer and pizza, nothing fancy), and just enjoyed being together alone with a nice long walk. We were surrounded by so many people that week, so this was the *only* time we were together alone until we went on our honeymoon. It was so, so important. If you haven’t thought to do it, I would highly recommend it.

    • Beth

      My comment just got eaten, but essentially I said that I wish someone had told me to take a sleeping pill the night before the wedding. Got zero sleep that night or the next night (up all night replaying the wedding!) and it was pretty rough.

      Also, I recommend putting together a folder of all the documents you’ll need to take with you (License, extra copies of the ceremony, readings, contracts, contact information, etc). Also, yes to making a list of even the smallest things that you think you’ll remember, but might not. I almost walked out the door without my contacts in. Actually I did walk out the door and had to run back and grab them to put in along the way). I also had been thinking about/planning to wear this perfume I love that my husband bought me for my birthday last year (which was also the day we had an awkward “ring talk”!), but totally forgot until we were in the car and it was too late. I thought about it A LOT ahead of time, so that was a bummer.

    • The shoes are impressive!

      Maybe pack ALL your accessories in a bag and stick it with your dress well in advance? I somehow forgot my garter and the particular pair of undies I had bought especially for the wedding. I guess if I had made and used a massive to-do list (including an exact packing list of every item) like Rachel D. suggested, that would have helped. Oops. I am much better at lists these days… :)

  • Remy

    Last night my wife and I cut up a big basket of yellow plums someone at work gave her, made a “rustic tart”, and froze 3 batches of plum compote that will either make more tarts, or a cobbler, or just be eaten as yummy plumness someday. https://sphotos-b.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-prn1/q71/s720x720/935911_593139090706404_315674621_n.jpg

    I felt this visceral sense of pride about providing for future household needs. I recently read Radical Homemakers (http://www.shannonhayes.info/bio.htm) and have been LONGING for a similar lifestyle: grow tomatoes and zucchini and flowers, bake bread and brownies, store a season’s worth of food in the freezer and pantry, raise kids outside of a consumer culture. But I live in the Bay Area (and want to stay here), work in customer service, and don’t have enough saved to make that happen. So I do it in baby steps.

    • Rachel

      Your tart sounds so yummy, and I love when people give fruits and veggies as gifts!

      I have been reading Radical Homemakers too and, like you, am doing this in baby steps (like, SUPER baby steps in my case).

    • Caroline

      I basically feel like homemaking is both of our second close to full time job. We really prioritize it, but we have a lot less free time because of it. We have a big garden, (shared with the upstairs neighbors, who don’t garden much), and grow tomatoes and zucchini and cucumbers and beans and corn and herbs and strawberries, and lettuce and greens. We put stuff up (we can a years worth of tomatoes once a summer, it’s about 60 lbs and takes all day late into the night, and usually do a few fruit u-picks always resulting in long days of preserving the fruit either making jam or freezing them.) We bake bread once a week, and we make sourkraut and stock, and cook from scratch always. We love it, it’s how we prioritize our life, and it’s hard to do while working, although it’s possible. We don’t store a season’s worth of food, but we live in Oakland, we don’t have to. We just get bored of winter squash and greens in winter, but they are fresh.

      It’s worth it to us but it definitely has it’s trade offs. Yesterday, I helped shecht (slaughter in a kosher manner) chickens. This was an incredible experience, but not at all economically sensical in any way. I spent 8 hours helping set up, holding chickens while they were slaughtered, plucking, gutting, soaking, cleaning up salting, and rinsing chickens, resulting in two kosher chickens for the freezer which also had a financial cost of 26.50 each. *doesn’t look at that number* I’m so glad I got the chance to participate (and that is not how we always do it), but this is definitely how we do radical homemaking: full time students and workers, with less sleep, from scratch dinner on the table by 9 or 10 at the latest every night, and the occasional until 1 am putting up. (Like last year, when we picked 30 pounds of peaches, half for mead and half to freeze. I had no idea it was so hard to peel peaches!!!)
      There is something so rewarding about falling into bed after a hard day’s work making food to keep, but it sure is exhausting, and frankly, I wouldn’t want to do it full time. I LOVE being a full time work-outside-the-home-r/student (I recently went back to school) and a part time homesteader. Baby steps are definitely the way. I think we started with just cooking dinner from scratch. That was enough of a start. We’ve gradually managed to do more, as we found an apartment with a yard, and learned to preserve and cook, and more, over a period of 5 years.

      • Remy

        I’m impressed with what you’ve accomplished while working full-time as well. (I’m coming off of 2 years of working and schooling full-time, and it’s very strange to have free time — I’m trying to budget it wisely so I’m not so stressed.) My ideal life might look more like part-time work outside the home and more focus at home, but that isn’t supportable just now. Where did you learn your gardening skills, Caroline? I’m thinking about trying to hook up with people who could use an extra pair of hands and are willing to teach, but I don’t know anyone locally with a garden. (We have a couple of planters on the roof and fire escape, but would love to have more at wherever we move next.)

        http://www.cityslickerfarms.org/ looks appealing — I’m going to join the tour on July 13th. Anyone in Oakland interested?

        • Caroline

          I’ve only gone to school full time OR worked full time, not both at the same time. I work very little while in school (full time on breaks).
          I learned to garden partly from my parents (we always had a very small garden when I was a kid) and a lot from experience over the past two years. Oh and I worked at a plant nursery in high school. I forgot lol. Mostly, from my parents and our experience. We’ve had a lot of successes and a lot of failures (peas. My poor english peas that have never once worked. And the cucumbers this year when we are on batch 3? 4? maybe 5?). You learn from both.
          I also really recommend the book Golden Gate Gardening for the Bay Area. If you want to come by and talk garden sometime, and I can answer questions as best I can/show you some, you are welcome to. Generally we just garden in odd hours here and there, but if you wanted to come help and learn and take some produce home at some point, you’re welcome to.

          My email is ctaymor at gmail dot com. (and yes, other team practical folks are welcome to email me if you want to come talk gardening. I’m not a master, but we have a pretty big thriving garden.)

      • Re: Peeling Peaches

        If you ever decide to do it again, get a huge pot of boiling water, dunk your peaches in it and then straight into an ice bath. Also works for tomatoes. The skin should come right off!

        • It’s extra easy if you score a little x in the skin on the bottom before they go into the boiling water. The skin will peel back a bit and start it for you.

          • Caroline

            I did both. It was still kind of a disaster in terms of difficulty. Some peaches just never had the skin come off. I have no idea why. I mean, I’d cut an x or two, and boil it for a few minutes, but nothing. Others were fine. It works great for tomatoes though.

          • Kara e

            If they aren’t dead ripe, you’ll likely have to hand peel…

  • Danielle

    First of all, that is the first makeup tutorial I’ve ever been able to sit through, and it taught me more about applying makeup than anything else ever has. (I hate makeup.)

    Second, I gave notice at my job today. I’ll be leaving in a month to go to grad school. Wheeee!!!

    • M.E.

      Not much time to hang out today but wanted to say that I was just *so* in love with everything APW this week. Thanks to Meg and Maddie and all of everyone who’s here! Grateful grateful. Have a wonderful weekend!!!! xo

      ETA: Accidentally posted as a reply to Danielle. Forgot to type my original note to her: GO YOU!!!!!!

      • meg

        Awwwww. Thank you!

        Danielle, we’re talking about video tutorials (eep!) so now we have a high bar. Good think both Maddie and I are pretty funny ;)

        • Danielle

          Video tutorials are a great idea! Somehow it’s much easier for me to understand how a process actually works when it’s in video form, instead of just pictures.

          Yes, please make them funny! The absurd sense of humor in that feminist makeup video just made me want to keep watching.

    • Laura Lee

      yay! congrats on making big moves

      • Danielle

        Thank you so much ladies!!!

  • Leslie

    Just want to pop in for a quick thank you to the APW team and community. I’m walking down the aisle in ~6 hours and thanks to all of you I have successfully DIY-ed my hair, makeup, and bouquet, all the while being able to stay composed, relaxed, and tapped into my wedding zen.

    I am so happy to have had APW as a resource as a bride, and I look forward to many more years of encouragement and thoughtful discussion as a wife.

    Thank you to everyone and have a wonderful Friday!

    • Major congrats!

    • WHEEEEE!! Congratulations!!! Happy wedding!!

    • Congrats!

    • p.

      This is so awesome! Congratulations!

    • YAY! Huge congratulations. Now go get married, gorgeous gal!

    • meg

      Yayyy! Thanks and GO WEDDING!

  • Brenda

    2 weeks to go! I’m feeling calm and excited, even about my family coming overseas. I’m honestly shocked – I’m the type of person who doesn’t even like to pick what we watch on TV in case the other person doesn’t like it, and yet I’m owning all our plans and feeling comfortable with them. Vaguely nervous about 78-year old grandma flying to the UK, but she’s excited, and I think everything will be fine.

    Now if only the weather would be nice…..

    • Catherine B

      Promise you’ll be okay even if the weather’s not nice! 3 weeks ago (!) it poured and thundered for our outdoor tent wedding. People still had a wonderful time, although many a shoe was sacrificed.

      • Brenda

        Oh, I certainly will! One thing it pretty much won’t be is HOT, which is good because that’s what makes me the most uncomfortable. Do not want to feel sweaty and frizzy at my wedding. I’m mentally prepared for rain – though maybe I should go buy a cute umbrella ….

  • cherryblossoms

    Happy Friday!

    Heavy in the midst of wedding planning here (12/29/13!).

    The printer we are thinking of using FINALLY got back to me. The prices are good, but it has taken 3 or 4 emails to hash out the details of what we want and it’s taken him at least 2 weeks to answer in between times. The turn around time quoted to us is short, but do I trust a vendor who takes that long to respond?? Or, do I have unrealistic expectations of email responses? I’m from a work environment where that would be unthinkable, so maybe it’s not like that everywhere. Thoughts anyone?

    • Meghan

      Hey Cherry Blossoms – glad you found a good printer! I’ve worked in various industries where email is regarded as everything from as essential as oxygen (and moving at the speed of breath) or an unnecessary annoyance that can wait. I wouldn’t take that in itself as a bad sign – many businesspeople, especially craftspeople, are not particularly good with email and/or hate taking the time to clean up, sit down and answer email when they’ve got projects moving.

      Does your printer have a phone #? If so, I’d recommend trying some communication out via phone. It might keep you from missing out on a good deal.

      On the other hand, if the printer’s stuff isn’t knocking you out or the prices just aren’t that competitive, don’t feel bad about moving on to someone who would fit your needs better!

      If it’s important to you that your vendors be able to communicate well via email, that’s a huge factor you’ll need to consider when hiring. (Side note: I don’t mean to sound derisive, I myself find a vendor’s ability to communicate via email REALLY important because I am unable to take phone calls during normal business hours due to my job.)

  • Rachel

    Eric’s younger sister got engaged over the weekend and I’m really excited for her and her fiance!! And the highlight of my week was learning to do a vintage beehive in my hair! Pretty proud of that one.

    I also have a wedding question today: Um, I’m like REALLY excited to make welcome bags since most of our guests have never been to Texas and I’m just a gifter by nature, but since not everyone will be staying in the same hotels we recommend (and some guests won’t be staying in hotels at all)…what’s the best way to distribute the bags? Like…do we ask people to let us know where they are staying and then leave bags all over town? I know you don’t HAVE to give welcome bags to anyone (let alone run around town trying to distribute them) but it’s one of the things that’s important to me so I’d love some input on the logistics of this.

    Maybe we just do really legit favor bags instead of welcome bags?

    • Laura Lee

      I’m not 100% on how you could float the logistics of getting welcome bags to ALL your guests, but many hotels will hand them out for you if you block rooms there. You just drop off the bags a day or so in advance at the final guest.

      I also love the idea of welcome bags, and had every intention of doing them myself (I even ordered cute “welcome to our wedding” gift bags from Oriental Trading), BUT only 1 non-wedding party person booked a room in the hotel I blocked rooms at. So I decided not to bother with it, and I vote you do really cool favor bags instead.

    • Welcome bags were one of the first tasks my future MIL and I discussed, actually! As most of my fiance’s family has never been to Maryland, I’m also super excited to share Maryland-y things with them (crab chips [seriously, you must try them], Old Bay seasoning, local postcards, etc.).

      We have a similar issue with the hotel — thanks to the support of a previous APW forum, we decided not to block off hotel rooms. Many folks are still staying at the same hotel, though, so to make sure the bags get distributed, we have asked my MIL’s two best friends if they were okay with being responsible for passing them out to people as they encounter them in the hotel. We’re having an informal “come hang out with us!” event at a local bar the night before, too, and I’d imagine that’s where most folks will be given a bag.

      My “advice” (if you can call it that?) is to delegate the distribution to a bridesmaid, friend, etc. — someone who won’t mind ensuring your lovely bags reach the right hands. Without having a block of rooms reserved for your party at certain hotels, I wasn’t sure how the front desk staff would know to actually give out the bags . . . so perhaps delegating the distribution is a better method?

      Eh, this is complicated.

      • ElisabethJoanne

        Hotels with any business clientele are pretty good about having messages and packages for guests upon arrival. Even if you don’t have a block, if you leave them at the front desk saying, “I understand Mr. and Mrs. John Smith have a reservation. Please make sure they get this when they check in,” it should be OK. Even better if there’s a name on it. This is one area where I find the movies are true to life.

        • Very good to know. And very cool in a secret agent sort of way. Thanks!

    • Rachel D.

      We took ours to three different hotels (blocks at two of them, and one of them was just random), and I think one house a family had rented. Delegate the running around town part if you can.

      We either asked people specifically, or found out through my mom, etc. where people were staying. It was manageable (I really thought it wouldn’t be, but it was).

      The hotel where we didn’t have a block didn’t have a problem with it at all. I called (um, the day I planned to drop them off) to double check, but chances are they probably do that sort of thing all the time.

      If they’re important to you, do ’em! We loved ours, and they were such a vital part of really welcoming our guests and sharing the town we love with them :) (But, um, I did not anticipate how much they ended up costing…by the point we did them, I was just going with the flow and had stopped stressing about every single dollar because I was too tired of doing that…but those things get expensive, fast!)

    • We had awesome favor bags. But my parents did all of it. I don’t even know how they managed to get them handed out. They had things in them that were from Colorado, or at least the product was made in Colorado. Rocky Mountain Carmel Corn, Arrowhead Spring Water, and Boulder potato chips. Those water bottles saved so many of my maids’ lives over our wedding weekend. It was hot and we were guzzling tons of water (so water is a big suggestion).

    • Welcome bags were something I wanted to do for our non-local guests coming from my country. I wanted to give sightseeing tips, suggested restaurants and things to do if they want, and a few snacks. But when I asked the hotel that most of them were staying at (in our block), the hotel wanted to charge more than the value of the bags per bag to deliver them in the rooms. So, when a few people checked in while we (my family and bridesmaids) were at the hotel, and we happened to hear from them, we handed them the bag when we said hello. And the rest went to the welcome dinner and got set out on a table. Not ideal because not everyone at the welcome dinner had a bag (my husband’s local immediate family, for example). But I am sure once they knew what was in there, they were fine with not having a guide to the local sights and some local mini candy bars and pretzels, etc. :) The potential awkwardness could have been avoided with a little sign that said “Orientation welcome bags for out-of-town guests” or something…

    • Oooh, I want to know how to do the vintage beehive! I’m all thumbs when it comes to my own hair. Do tell!

  • ElisabethJoanne

    Re: red focus beams from guests’ cameras

    I hate these from my own camera. They were a pain in Rome at sites where flash is not allowed, because they were rude and made the guards nervous, but the only way I could turn the feature off was by switching to a landscape mode. I wished my camera had a “gallery mode” for no flash, no beam, indoor shooting. (It was a $100 tourist’s camera that was otherwise great.)

  • I’m freaking out about shoes. Shoes, shoes, shoes. I’m wearing a tea-length dress, so these babies are going to be on full display at the wedding — and I am so not a shoe girl. I don’t know what I’m doing.

    I’ve shopped at DSW and a bit online, but I’m starting to feel like I’m lost in the woods and am blowing way too much cash on shoes that are probably not going to work for me. I’ve tried on, bought and returned or otherwise have stacked no less than half a dozen heels.

    I know I want red shoes with a not-too-high heel (less than 2 inches?), preferably a peep-toe with vintage appeal. I am paranoid about my feet hurting on my wedding day, but teeter-totter between resigning myself to the fact that “beauty is pain” and just flat-out refusing to wear anything that will kill my feet.

    This is a little OCD, maybe, but does anyone have a good comfortable shoe brand/make/model/website to recommend? Maybe something you wore yourself and loved, or a recommendation from another bride?

    • Zappos. Zappos zappos zappos. Good prices, 2 day shipping, free returns for a year, FANTASTIC customer service, decent wide shoe selection.

      • I second zappos! I got my wedding shoes there. I, too, wanted a low heel and on zappos you can narrow your search by heel height!

        • Must go research. Thank you, ladies!

      • LMN

        I found mine at 6pm.com! I’ll be wearing a tea-length dress as well and was hoping to find fun shoes that I could wear again (a woman laughed at me when I told her that was my goal!). The problem(s) I ran into was having wide feet, an intolerance to anything over a 2″ heel, AND a limited budget… the combination of all those factors is pretty limiting. I found an awesome pair of coral peep-toe heels: http://www.6pm.com/easy-street-piper (yes, I am ridiculously excited about my shoes)

        These shoes turned out to be pretty comfy, but standing the entire day in heels can be a bit much so I’m planning on buying a cheep pair of white flats as a dancing back-up (sorry, but I hate the flip-flops always popping up in weddings…). I would definitely not buy a pair of shoes that is uncomfortable right off the bat though. Good luck!

    • Laura Lee

      Reading this made me remember an article on wearing dance shoes for your wedding. http://offbeatbride.com/2013/04/walkable-wedding-heels They’re made for comfort AND looking pretty.

    • I don’t have good shoe recommendations, but would going barefoot for the ceremony be an option? Maybe with some red nail polish? Then either the shoe question is not as much of an issue, or you can just slip on whatever fabulous pair you find for pictures. Just brainstorming how to avoid foot pain while standing through your ceremony.

      Kicking off the heels for the reception, or having a pair of back-up shoes (maybe your favorite flats you already own?) are really common, if you’re okay with that.

      Good luck!

      • I was going to suggest the opposite – shoes for the ceremony, and if you’re doing photos, and then kicking them off in favour of flip flops or bare feet for the reception.

        • Thank you both! No matter what heel I ultimately choose, I’m sure I’ll have a cute pair of back-up flats for the reception. Don’t think I can rock flip-flops for a November wedding, but I will make sure to have something relatively comfortable . . . or temporarily go barefoot!

    • GCDC

      I agree with Zappos. The free returns are key.

      Have you thought about wedges? I usually find wedges to be more comfortable than a strappy heel.

    • Ellen

      Full disclosure: while I have not worn any of these shoes I AM kind of a shoe fanatic. And spent more time looking for my shoes to wear with my dress than I did looking for the dress itself.

      I am also trying to kill the last hour of my workday before I can go home!

      Without further ado, here are some options:

      http://www.dsw.com/shoe/poetic+licence+birdcage+pump?prodId=260685&activeCats=cat10006,cat20006 (I am secretly in love with the last ones)

      Some of these are a higher heel but it really depends on how the shoe is constructed if it will work for you or not. DO NOT be afraid to say “you know what, this isn’t the right shoe for me”.

      Let us know what you pick!

      • Thank you, Ellen! These absolutely slay me. So gorgeous! I will definitely check back in and let y’all know the verdict, I so appreciate the help :)

    • Can I recommend dispensing the notion of fancy shoes or buying a second pair of inexpensive ultra comfy ones that you can switch into? I actually had a pair of Toms custom painted….Different story because my dress is full length though.

      Maybe try modcloth.com?

    • Susie

      Yes to Zappos!

      If you feel like you can splurge a little I’ve heard amazing things about Hey Lady Shoes that are super foxy and fun and designed like a dance shoe that you can wear all night. You could always get them and try and re-sell them afterward (maybe to me!)

      Happy feet!

      • Everything at Hey Lady is making me simultaneously drool and combust with envy. SO GORGEOUS.

    • p.

      I’m a big fan of Camper heels. (I wore them at my wedding with a tea-length dress). They are not cheap, but most of their heels are low and since the heels are usually made of rubber, I never worry about slipping. I also wore a pair of Frye heels in my sister’s wedding that were surprisingly comfortable even though they had a higher heel.

      • Camper heels are new to me, but I’m off to investigate — thank you so much!

    • I don’t know what your budget is, but I wore a pair of Frye pumps for my wedding, and they were comfortable for the WHOLE day. They are hands-down the most comfortable and highest quality shoes I’ve ever worn. I think these red ones might suit you well.

    • Rebecca

      I wore a pair of Seychelles with my tea length dress, and they were super comfy even though I had had part of my toenail removed about three weeks before our shindig (long story). I think the shoe was their “Trip the Light Fantastic.” The stacked heel was awesome- more stable than a stiletto without the wedginess of a wedge.

      Not sure if they have a red, but they definitely trend towards vintagey in style. On me they ran about 1/2 size big- ymmv.

      • Brenda

        I agree, I love Seychelles, they’re cute and generally comfy and walkable. They’ve got a lot of stacked and lower heels and vintage styles.

    • I wore red Clark’s Artisan line shoes for the wedding and I wore them all day. They were Mary-Jane-ish heels. I had originally wanted about what you described, but after much searching everywhere on Zappos and online (3.5 years ago) I couldn’t find anything I thought I could actually walk in and survive. The ones I bought we found in a random stop at an outlet in Indiana. And they were $30 on sale. And they were the exact color of the red Converse we bought my husband and another outlet store beside that one. Two birds with one stone in about 30 minutes of a spontaneous stop on a road trip. :)

      So, my shoes were different then I envisioned, but I loved them, and I still LOVE wearing them regularly. (And my husband wears his converse regularly too, and I also got red converse that I wear all the time.) Red goes with most things in my wardrobe, surprisingly. Good luck find red ones you love!

  • I’m 11 weeks pregnant and just had my first ultrasound/heard the heartbeat for the first time today. It was thrilling and lovely, but it’s also been the only even semi-bright spot in this pregnancy for me thus far. As soon as the screen went dark, I plunged right back into misery.

    My husband is so amazing and supportive, and we are having as much of an egalitarian pregnancy as we can. But I am depressed, and it’s hard. Got a referral to a therapist today, so that’s good. Mostly I just wanted to say thanks to Meg for speaking up about the fact that pregnancy was tremendously hard for her. Going back and reading those posts is one of the few things that’s made me feel even a little ok lately.

    • I… don’t even know what to say, because I can only imagine what you’re going through, but… *HUGS*.

    • Hang in there, Kelly. Sending hugs and support your way…!

    • I’m sorry to hear that. I hope that your therapist is able to help you.

    • meg

      Oh, hugs. It was a nightmare for me too, obviously. Though way worse than I’ve written about here. Get a good therapist, have them get you into someone to talk about meds. MEDS MEDS MEDS. They are safe, and the general out in the world message is that they are not safe, and that puts women and fetuses at risk.

      And, mostly, the best thing I can say is that I love being a mom and having a kid. It’s amazing, glorious, I love it. The switch flipped the second the placenta came out (though it got better in the last weeks as it was disintegrating). So try to keep in mind that no matter what your brain is saying to you, your pregnancy has no relationship with your parenthood.

    • Claire

      Karen Fink is an ah-mazing twin cities therapist, if you decide to shop around. Best wishes that things get better for you sometime real soon.

  • Kess

    So, are there any other East Coast Canadian brides out there? I’m in Nova Scotia, and by what I can find on the internet, I sometimes feel like the only one. I can never find many or any reviews for vendors, venues, or anything. The best I can get is some idea of places from pictures off the local photographer’s websites. If you’re out there, I’d love to hear from you! And maybe you know of ways to get information that I haven’t found?

  • Becs

    That Quinoa Pinterest board might be the funniest thing I’ve ever seen.

  • Susie

    Flower advice wanted!

    We’re getting married next January in North Carolina, not exactly the peak of flower season, which is okay by me since I think they’re nice but I don’t see the need to have them everywhere. However I need some advice about selection and cost from the APW crowd, especially if you are/were planning a winter wedding.

    What types of flowers are in season in January and look decent? (We’re going with blue/green/white colors). I’m particularly fond of white anemones and other non-roses.

    How much should I expect to spend for a nice bouquet by a professional? Boutonniere? (I’m meeting with a florist in a few weeks and am preparing myself for sticker shock.)

    Has anyone tried using mail-order flowers in bulk and DIT the bouquet? Did you do a trial run or just wing it?

    I’m also considering doing the bouquet and boutonniere with a pro and DIT the little vases with decorative flowers from Whole Foods or Trader Joes or wherever I can get them, but I’m a little nervous about selection that time of year. Any advice is welcome!

    • ElisabethJoanne

      We did cost-comparisons on florists by looking at magazines and local professionals with price lists online. Bouts were $15. “Nice bouquet” was all over the map. Mine was huge, out of season, and $200. (Flowers were a priority for us.) We used a fairly high-end professional because she was the first who could do the centerpieces we wanted. Another professional working from her home would have been half the price.

      Reply if you want more info. I’ve got the full bill in front of me. Keep in mind that we’re in one of the more expensive regions. I’d cut all quotes by 30% for North Carolina.

    • Molly

      I also had a January wedding and had many similar concerns. We did bud vases and skinny cylinder vases that we purchased at CB2 and Hobby Lobby. These shapes, as opposed to round ones, let you really reduce the number of flowers you need per vase (and thus the cost overall). We did a few hanging vases on this stairwell for a big visual impact and then the table arrangements were quite small.

      We had my bouquets and boutonierres made by a professional florist and planned to buy bulk flowers from them and fill the vases ourselves. I, too, was nervous about selection at grocery stores at this time of year so this seemed like a good compromise between ensuring high-quality flowers but not having to pay a florist to do the arranging and provide the vases. In a happy surprise, our sweet florist ended up doing the arranging for us because it was a small job, she wasn’t that busy, and she wanted to see the venue we were using. If you find a flower vendor that you like, this may be something to explore.

  • Lauren

    One week to go. Damn.

    I missed Happy Hour last week because we were picking out our apartment in Atlanta (currently based in Raleigh for the next 5 weeks.) I delegated that whole business, too.

    I am all caught up on my to-do list, although I still have this nagging feeling I’m forgetting EVERYTHING. The fella has been outstanding, taking my vague directions and flying with them. And we just got a very unexpected gift from my grandma, making the burden of paying for it a lot easier.

    It’s all coming together. But I just can’t wait for the “wedding” part and the “marriage” part and for the “planning” part to be OVER.

    • Beth

      I felt the same way (re: being super ready to just be married already), and then the wedding was SO AWESOME that now I’m kind of sad it’s over. :P But I don’t miss the planning even a tiny bit. You’re almost there!!

    • Almost welcome to Atlanta. We’re starting monthly meet ups (first is this month!) so hopefully we’ll see you at one of those!

  • Jacquelyn

    Happy Friday APW!!

    Photographer/guest photos help: At our November 2013 wedding, we want wonderful, personal images captured by our photographer and at the same time, allow our guests to take photos for their own memories. Is there a way to handle it politely and gracefully (i.e. put a note in the program about it along the lines of: We invite you to be truly present on our special day and kindly ask that our guests take photos respectfully)? Or are we assuming/asking too much and should just pick a side (unplugged vs. plugged)?

    • We had our officiant make an announcement before the ceremony that photography was allowed, but that flashes must be off, and guests must remain seated the entire time. It worked well for us.

    • I’d be specific and say something more like “Please don’t enter the aisle for photos” or “please be mindful of our photographer, who is doing his/her best to capture our day just the way we asked.”

      “Respectfully” could mean different things to different people (noisy/quiet, flash/no flash, simply not crawling over everyone in the row to exit the pew, etc), but I absolutely think you can make the request without going strictly unplugged.

    • Thanks to APW, we’re asking our officiant to make an announcement just before the beginning of the ceremony along the lines of:

      “Welcome, friends and family! The bride and groom invite you to be truly present at this special time. Please, turn off your cell phones and use your cameras respectfully and only without flash. The photographer will capture how this moment looks — I encourage you all to focus on and enjoy how it feels.”

      Not perfect, but gets the sentiment out there! I might still tweak it before the big day . . .

      And hey hey from another November 2013 bride! :) (We’re November 10!)

      • Jacquelyn

        Loving these thoughts! Thanks :) Megan, our date is November 10 as well!! It’s outdoors in southern California so we’re renting a couple heaters in the off chance it’ll be cold that early in our ‘fall.’ Anything specific you’re doing to counteract the weather?

        • How funny is that?! We chose the weekend because of the Veterans Day holiday on Monday, figuring more out-of-town folks might be able to attend with the long weekend . . . plus, I love even numbers. I couldn’t get married on November 9 — 11-9-13. All odds! (I’m quirky like that!)

          Fall in Maryland can be pretty iffy, but we’re hoping it’ll be warm enough to have our ceremony outdoors. If it’s less than 50 degrees or rainy, we’re moving everything inside where our reception will be. On our wedding website, I note it might be chilly during our ceremony, so to plan to bring a jacket, etc.

          I originally wrote “please dress comfortably,” but “comfortably” means different things to different people . . . and since the ceremony itself shouldn’t be more than 20 minutes, guests won’t be out there that long. That’s my hope, anyway. :)

          The heaters sound like a great idea, but I’m sure your weather will be lovely! I remember visiting San Diego in November and eating outside at a restaurant where it was no less than 70 degrees. The owners were worried we would be too cold, so they put on all the outdoor heaters, haha. Little did they know that we’d just flown in from D.C., where it was 40 degrees! That felt positively tropical!

          • Jacquelyn

            That sounds amazing! I bet the colors will be just beautiful at that time of year. It’s the day before our 7th anniversary and last November was perfect weather. Just crossing our fingers for the same this year! Generally people are good about knowing how to dress but I think we’ll have to include somewhere that both the ceremony and reception are outside. Best of luck with all your planning!

  • 83000ReasonsWhy

    Husband and I are gearing up to tell his family next week that we’re expecting a baby! They are a whirlwind of dysfunction, and we’ve distanced ourselves from then since our wedding late last year when some monstrously inappropriate, disrespectful shiznat went down. We’re bracing ourselves for an equally inappropriate, disrespectful response to our baby news, and it’s extra awkward since we’ve had very little interaction with them for months now.

    Anyway, Husband and I are trying to remain joyous even in the face of what will most probably be joy-less reactions on their part, and I guess I just needed a little encouragement about the whole situation. I might be back here next week in need of some major advice about how to deal with dysfunctional/disrespectful/dangerous family members when there’s (soon to be) a baby in the mix! I’m secretly holding out the tiniest bit of hope that something so BIG and full of JOY will knock them off their usual dysfunctional track, but APW taught me that doesn’t necessarily happen with weddings, so I know I shouldn’t count on it with baby.

    • Catherine McK

      Congratulations! And good luck, hope it goes better than expected; update us next week.


    Happy Happy Friday everyone!!

    I thought Wednesdays XKCD comic was rather appropriate regarding the ‘unplugging’ articles. Not trying to make any particular statement about it, but just thought it was interesting:

  • My professional language blog is doing awesome and getting traffic! My husband has a meeting with a professor at his #1 choice PhD program in a few weeks! Woo hoo!

    Here is to Ambition Squared!

    • Congratulations! Ambition squared indeed.

  • Anon

    Just wanted to share that I’ve been thinking a lot about the Ego post from earlier this week. In particular, I am the last of three weddings in my college/post-college friend group this summer. This is a pretty tight group of hipster-leaning friends that hung out in a major U.S. city for a couple post-collegiate years before many of us dispersed. I realized after reading that post how much I’ve been nervous about my wedding being the least “cool” of the three. The other two couples are both from within the friend group, and are still living hip lives much closer to the life we all lived together right after college. I’ve moved on and changed in a lot of ways and my wedding plans (and betrothed) reflect that. Anyhow – I fear that my wedding will be far more traditional while theirs will be hip and different, and this will lead to lots of peeps attending both saying things like “Oh but so-and-so’s was so much more fun,” “so-and-so really made it cooler” or whatever.

    I realize this is totally ego-based and silly. The folks that will be there will be there out of love for me and my affianced and not judgment. And if a couple of them do make the stray comment comparing our wedding to theirs, oh well. Just needed to type that out as an affirmation I guess :).

    • M.E.

      “Oh well” can be a great mantra!

      Also, it WILL be cool, because you are cool (obvs.) and it’s the wedding you want!

      +1 for using “affianced.”

    • meg

      I’m so happy that post hit home for you guys. It did for me, but I somehow was afraid no one else would get it. Silly me.

      • Oh no, it hit. I’m still trying to put into words how it hit home exactly, but it did. I also feel like it’s related somehow to my rather strong reaction to Father’s Day this year. I guess I’m trying to work out the right balance between embracing the life I have and letting go of other possibilities and when it’s right to speak up for my experiences and when I’d just be saying something because I wish my life was different. Clearly, I have a lot more to work out, but I think I just found my next introspection mission.

  • Bonnie

    We’ve started getting RSVPs back which is super exciting! So many people are coming from so far (including literally the other side of the world!). But I don’t think I was prepared for how hard I’d take some of the nos. Obviously some are expected, especially from friends and family who cant afford to travel, are experiencing health problems, have child care issues etc. But especially given our fairly long engagement we thought we’d heard from everyone who wasn’t going to be coming. So I’ve been surprised by how upset I’ve been by the few nos from friends we were sure would come. Today we received a no from a couple who we know can afford to travel (and its at most a few hours drive from where they live) but who claimed they had plans to be out of town that weekend and that they couldn’t reschedule. It seemed like an excuse to me given we sent a save the date over a year ago. Also I spent an absolute fortune and took time off grad school to make it to their wedding when it was on the other side of the country. So I guess I’m upset they aren’t willing to go out of their way for us. I feel similarly about some of my fiances extended family who don’t seem to be putting in the effort to attend. Any advice for dealing with disappointing RSVPs? Obviously I dont plan to confront anyone about their response but more from an emotional standpoint: how did people deal with the disappointment of friends and family members not attending?

    • Laura

      It’s really hard not to take it personally (even when people have legitimate reasons). A college friend cancelled two weeks before with no explanation and it was really upsetting. I think it’s totally appropriate to be disappointed — they are obviously people you care enough about to want to have at your wedding, so it’s normal to be upset that they won’t be there. I was not always successful with this, but I tried to remind myself that their not coming wasn’t a reflection of how much people cared about me, but that people have all kinds of things going on in their lives that I didn’t necessarily know about. It was also helpful to think about all the people who traveled from all over the country just to celebrate with us and feel lucky to have such kind people in our lives.

      • KC

        Exactly to all this, but especially to the not knowing everything that’s going on. (examples could include “that day is the anniversary of a friend’s suicide and we just can’t cope with a wedding then” or “hidden health trouble” or “oh, shoot, double-scheduled with someone else’s wedding because we are idiots and don’t keep a good enough calendar to remember save-the-dates a year out” or “have had a massive falling-out with someone else who will be at the wedding and don’t want to pull you into the drama” or “we just lost a huge chunk of money or job security and are retrenching, terrified, and don’t want to give you a cheapo wedding gift”) Even without privacy/shame reasons for not telling you everything, people often don’t want to be “downers”, so they may put their bad news (“partner is going in for addiction rehab that week”) on the back burner while your wedding is at the forefront.

        • Meghan

          KC – what great example reasons! I’m going to try to remember those when my own RSVPs come rolling in. As hard as I try to be a conscientious bride and really put myself in my friends and family’s shoes, most of those didn’t occur to me and you’re totally right. Thank you for the dose of perspective!

    • I am getting RSVPs too right now, and have been really surprised by the people who haven’t bothered to respond, even after I sent out reminder emails and calls. But every time I get pissed at a no RSVP or people who haven’t responded I think about the fact that I once RSVPd for a good friend’s wedding and didn’t show up (which just seems so egregious to me now, as much as I have agonized over every invite) just because I was going through some personal dramas and in all of the stress I mixed up the date and didn’t put my work request in early enough and couldn’t flake as I had been written up recently at my job. I never cancelled or anything, just totally flaked. It was my failing, not theirs or an indication of how I felt about them. (Still kicking myself for missing that fabulous wedding for no singular good reason, but we are still friends and I have made an effort to support everything else that they have invited me to since)

      I say this to say, you can’t assume that people aren’t coming because you aren’t important to them, there may be something totally unrelated going on. And also, you did what you did for someone else’s wedding because that’s where your relationship was at the time, but relationships change even within a year. I think some of my non-responses may be complete slips of the mind, health or money or family issues I’m not aware of, or unescapable obligations and some may also be saying some people aren’t as close or don’t consider my wedding as high a priority as I would have thought, and that is ok. We have a lot of friends and family, and if there is ever a time to sort of reevaluate the relationships that you are going to spend a lot of time nurturing as you enter another relationship that is going to consume so much of your emotional energy, this is it.

  • Jenny
    • Teresa

      They are lovely and I just about fell off the couch when I saw the HP one! We put our rings on the chapter in Half-blood Prince entitled “The Unbreakable Vow.” And we had our friend/officiant pronounce us bonded for life, just like the wizard officiant does during Bill and Fleur’s wedding! Nerds!

    • Catherine B

      So lovely! I may or may not have gotten choked up at the pinky swear one. So sweet! So many giant smiles made me smile this Friday afternoon.

    • meg

      Wordless Wedding! You better submit!!

    • They are STUNNING! And Park Avenue Coffee! They make my favorite hot chocolate! Do you live in STL? We’ve been doing meetups, you should join if so!

      • Jenny

        Thanks everyone!
        We lived in St Louis for several years and we went on our first date at Park Ave. We just moved about 10 months ago to Chapel Hill so we aren’t there anymore, bummer.
        Meg, I’m planning on submitting it and our playlist (which was awesome!)

    • Jenna

      What a beautiful, love-filled, joyful day!!! Thank you for sharing with us. :)

  • Sending out good thoughts to all the APWers in the Calgary area, and that all of you and your families are somewhere safe and together. Hopefully the weather will clear up soon and you can all get back to your homes.

  • n

    We’ve been engaged a month and planning is well underway even though we’re not getting married until next summer.

    I’m struggling with all of it. Trying to avoid the WIC and also the indie/DIY sector makes me feel inadequate in every way. I feel like I have to hate both shiny pink things and mason jars on principle. I don’t actually like pink, but I have no personal feelings against mason jars.

    I want it to be us and yet I feel guilty that thus far, we have a very traditional/typical timeline and wedding day planned. I’m worried I’m searching for things just to make it unique. But, honestly, the whole 4pm ceremony, cocktail hour, dinner, dance reception works for us.
    I want to just be ok with that, but I feel guilty for doing things in the traditional way.

    On the bad days, I still question if we hired the right photographer and chose the right venue. When we add up the rough budget, I feel horrified that we’re even considering spending that much money. We can afford it and it’s not ostentatious, but it just feels absurd. I’m worried that I’m worried/concerned because I’ve been looking at too many UNDER 5000, UNDER 10000 wedding posts. I wish I didn’t want the things I want at my wedding, because they’re so ordinary.

    Maybe ordinary is ok?

    • Tess

      Totally in your boat. Wedding is in a month and a half and I have made my peace with a lot of that, but I still feel the inadequacy fears of having such an “ordinary” wedding (that costs so much!). But I’ll let you know how it is from the other side, I’m pretty sure all that won’t matter in the end.

    • KC

      Ordinary is totally okay.

      We had the “Canon in D”, which the pianist objected to initially since it’s so “overplayed”, but I’d loved it since I was grade school, so… I didn’t really care if people thought it was too wedding-generic (sorry, wonderful pianist!). It wasn’t generic for us.

      If what you like happens to also be what a bunch of other people like, that’s not a bad thing (how many people like black dresses? blue jeans? roses? chocolate ice cream? do people feel bad about that, because so many other people like them, too?). And no wedding, no matter how standard, will be exactly like anyone else’s – but also, no wedding will be totally different from everyone else’s, ever.

      Budget stuff is weird and scary and it is genuinely hard to cope with spending that much money on one day. It’s a giant expensive event (usually, really, a series of events involving a whole lot of people), and most cost reductions mean time/energy tradeoffs or “vision” tradeoffs (appetizers instead of dinner; second-favorite dress instead of favorite dress; guest list cuts; etc.), so… go with what makes sense to you?

      Also: weddings are great, but the point is the marriage. At some point, the planning and the doing will be over, and you’ll get back to life. Hooray!

      • n

        interesting thought on the many people like X idea. I hadn’t considered it that way.

        I think I just want our guests to say that was so (us)

        • KC

          Your wedding probably will be very “you” in many ways (I mean, you’re the ones getting married; plus, if you’re choosing things you like, bits of you will come out inadvertently, even if they seem like normal choices).

          But it’s also okay if weddings are not your primary medium of self-expression. Some people express themselves through clothes; some through their work; some through home decor; some through writing; some through culinary pursuits; some through parties; some through witty repartee; some through gardening; whatever, but basically no one is Totally Unique And Hugely Expressive And Artistic In Every Facet Of Life. If the parts of you guys that make you you aren’t really wedding-applicable (or aren’t easily/sanely wedding-applicable), that’s not a terrible thing.

          But, if you’re looking for ways to introduce extra you-ness (which, see above, you truly don’t have to), maybe try to figure out what “so us” means to you (by the way, I would have had serious trouble pinning down our us-ness when I was wedding planning, but we are a fairly unique couple anyway and I can see and articulate it better many years into marriage, so don’t despair for your relationship or your ordinariness if you can’t identify the ways you’re you). Anyway, look and see if some things might fit in the programs or the readings or the decor or food or whatever, whether or not it quite “goes”? (fancy dinner… plus gummi dinosaurs for dessert?) Unless having everything go together perfectly is “so you”, in which case, let things all go together and call it good. :-)

          I hope all goes well. :-) Happy wedding to you, and an excellent marriage. :-)

          • Rachel

            THISSSSSS. I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately and you just summed it up so perfectly in your second paragraph. Like, not everyone is particularly creative, and not everyone’s form of creative expression is through a wedding. And that’s OKAY!

    • Kara E

      Ordinary is ok, sometimes ordinary is a lot easier to figure out. It’s YOUR wedding, so it will be unique to you. Ours was, in many ways, totally ordinary–and yet, with the right vendors and people (!!!!!) it was absolutely lovely and felt extraordinary. And honestly, don’t worry about the budget if it’s actually your budget (like you can pay cash for it, etc. etc.).

    • meg

      OH GOD. The “my wedding isn’t under X number” brain loop is the WORST. Trust me, our budget wan’t under (near under) any of those numbers either. It was right for us, it was happy, and now I just wish I hadn’t wasted all that time feeling bad about it.

      We had the same timeline by the way, just in the morning. And not to save money, but because it was the only time we could get our venue. I wouldn’t, however, describe our wedding as ordinary. I don’t think yours will be either. It’ll be yours.

    • N

      You’re all tremendously thoughtful and I so appreciate the space to say these things.
      Thank you for your perspective and care in responding to my insecurity.
      Going to work on reframing from using the word ordinary. It will be ours.

      Much gratitude!

      • I was feeling like this sometimes. Sometimes the tone of indie wedding blogs can feel a little self-righteous. I read about these wonderful little courthouse and backyard potluck weddings and think, why am I spending this much money? Why couldn’t I and my family make all the food? (Maybe cause I can’t cook worth shit) I go for my fitting at David’s Bridal and wish I would have thought to buy a cool non-bridal dress or have something completely original made, even though I like my dress and it works for my wedding. After reading about all of these great ipod dance parties I was actually feeling guilty about hiring a DJ. Then I thought, why did I hire a DJ? Oh yeah, because creating a playlist, renting or borrowing speakers, designating someone to stop and start our first dance song, the dinner soundtrack, and the party…it all sounded like more work than I wanted to do. I thought I was very original for choosing peacock feathers as an aesthetic inspiration and now, thanks to the internet, I see peacock weddings all over the place.

        Nothing is original when it comes to weddings. Not handfastings in a field, not vampire goth, not punkrock makeup and hair. If you want to do it, probably lots of people have done it. The point of the indie wedding revolution should be to open us up to options that we might have liked but not embraced because of social and family pressure and the WIC formula, not to give us a whole other set of things to feel bad about doing or not doing. When you doubt your choices, don’t think about how many other choices you could have made, just list the reasons that you made the ones you did. If you don’t like your reasons, change it, but don’t change it to be different because at the end of the day, nobody can be different than everyone else.

    • Margaret

      I know that feeling so well. I got married 3 weeks ago and truth be told, we spent a lot of money on it, more than most indie/hip/cool/blog-worthy weddings seem to spend but probably less than the WIC would tell you is necessary. BUT we could afford it and it was what we wanted- formal, sit down dinner, cocktail hour with open bar, live band and a beautiful outdoor venue in the Los Angeles area. I spent a lot of time feeling guilty because it’s an expensive event and why couldn’t I want an informal BBQ in a park? I’m on the other side of it now and the money was well spent. Traditional worked for us and I have no regrets about who we hired and what we spent money on. I only wish I had stopped beating myself up about the money and comparing my life to others. Hello, ego. (P.S. that post was spot on). Anyway, all this is to say relax, take a deep breath and go ahead and like what you like. The only people you have to answer to are yourself and your fiancé.

  • Jenny

    We got our wedding pictures back. They are Awesome!!!

    Just wanted to share!

  • Teresa


    I had to share this. For those of us who still don’t know if they want kids or just don’t want them yet, this was a freaking relief to read.

    • Jenna

      THANK YOU. I needed that.

  • Winning ALL THE THINGS with the links today. Thanks for cheering up my Friday evening!

  • A.M.

    So obviously the brides in that Jezebel link are awful and greedy with a serious case of the gimmes and lack basic tact. But it’s reeeeaaaallllyy hard for me to have much sympathy for the dude with his comment about their “sham of a marriage” being “legal.” In the original posted link, he openly admits to being a shot against their sexuality. Admittedly, he said that it just came out in the heat of the moment and doesn’t actually reflect his views, but for it to EVER come out like that is pretty outrageous. Personally, I’d rather know someone who has warped and selfish ideas about gift giving than someone who makes homophobic remarks, even in the heat of anger.

    (But really, just means they’re all terrible.)

    • Brenda

      Yeah, pretty much everyone came out of that looking pretty bad, even if the brides were more bad.

    • meg

      I think that was the idea. Everyone looked horrid.

    • anonforthis

      I found this text message exchange hilarious, but it left me with an etiquette question:

      I know that gifts are a sign of graciousness, and are not to be expected. But if you decide to give one, as a guest, is it uncommon to give a thing, as opposed to cash? I haven’t been to very many weddings as an adult, and at all the weddings we have been to, we gave a tangible gift (typically something off of the registry). I have always assumed that only older family members commonly gave cash (aunts, grandparents, parents’ best friends), and wouldn’t have ever thought to give a friend in my same age range cash for a wedding gift. Is this actually pretty common, though?

      Not trying to judge guests for giving either one (or couples for preferring either one), just trying to figure out the trend on this issue (I live on the West Coast of the US, if there are regional differences to take into consideration).

      • Copper

        I always give things, never cash. Usually from the registry.

        And I said this on Jez, but if I were the guy I just would’ve responded to the reciept request like, “nope, I don’t have a reciept for every little thing I put in there. So sorry to hear that (bride 1) can’t enjoy many of the treats! But I hope you can see the care and love that went into it, that is IMHO the real point of a wedding.

  • Our save the dates came in the mail today! I was so excited to see how they turned out, even though we realized after ordering them that we really need to hold off on sending them until we know for sure if we’re moving (hopefully and most likely) or renewing our lease in September. We really want to stick to 1 address on all the wedding stuff we send out. So now I get to look at the pretty for a little bit longer. And of course, this pretty led me to go browsing for other pretty. I found myself looking at invitation options even though we’re pretty sure we know what we’re using for those just-in-case I found something better and more economical (hint: nope you really can’t find anything much better than a little under $2 each for self mailing all in one invitation and rsvp card sets that actually look good). A brief look at program prices confirmed that we will be designing those ourselves and taking them to a local office store to get printed on decent paper along with our table numbers. I get that pretty paper is expensive and really nice design takes time and skill, but I have to draw the line somewhere. And that line is well before $4 per program. (And no, they weren’t gold leaf, letterpress, or hand calligraphy.) I’m trying to limit the projects I give myself because I am most certainly not crafty and do not want to be stressing over them at the last minute, but making your own programs and getting them printed can’t be too bad right?

    • KC

      Making your own programs and getting them printed: totally fine as long as you iron out the ceremony order and stuff early enough to retain your sanity (you can create a document with the format and outline that you want as early on as you want and then just slot in names/readings whenever you know them, but don’t follow my example and put it off until the morning of the wedding…). You can have them printed and folded or cut at copy places or office stores, and it is indeed cheap (I mean, depending on what paper/cardstock you use and whether you go with color or b/w, but it at least can be very cheap). Best way to get them printed the same way they look on your computer is to print to PDF (CutePDF is a free PDF writer) and then take the pdf in, since then it doesn’t matter if the place you get them printed doesn’t have the font you used. Also, have at least one other person proofread at the end before printing. Also, if you’re not crafty, skip gluing a seashell on each one or tying a ribbon around each one or whatever it is that comes up on Pinterest. A printed thing with some sort of decorative flourish in a corner, or even just plain with a nice font, works peachy. Can people read it and understand the general flow of things insofar as they need to? Is it not-hideous? You win!

  • Ali S

    Happy friday everyone!!!

    Does anyone here happen to be from the Central PA region!? I just moved here and have no job, no friends, and nothing to do. Real happy hours would be nice sometimes!

    Not having a job is a serious struggle, not just from a financial standpoint, but from an emotional one too. I moved in with my fiance, and he makes enough to support us both, and is happy to do it. I just feel like such a sham of a human being to have him completely supporting me right now, and we aren’t even married. There’s definitely a point in my life where I want to stay home, have some little ones, and have him be the sole supporter. That time just definitely is not now, before we’re even married. I feel like I shouldn’t even marry him like this, because I’m barely contributing anything. I hardly even cook!!! Can someone just tell me it’s going to be okay? (Or vis-versa, that it’s not going to be okay and I should postpone the wedding)

    • I’m in Allentown, which certainly isn’t central PA, but depending on where in central PA you are, it might not be far. I’ve been unemployed for just shy of 3 months now and swinging between uber productive and stuck in a rut, so I know that feeling. But it will be ok (unless you’re seeing drastic signs that it most certainly will not, in which case, evaluate the situation, but, taking what you’re saying at face value, everything sounds pretty stable). Ducks are just wiley little buggers. I have to remind myself that all the time, but it really helps to have something to look forward to. Hang in there!

    • M.E.

      It is going to be OKAY!!!!!

      A year ago I moved halfway across the country to be with my bf (pre-engaged what!) in a place I wasn’t jazzed about living, and just a few weeks ago I finally got a fill time job, and not even doing what I am trained for/really want to do. I spent the first couple months unemployed, and then until recently worked two part-time jobs for which I was overqualified to put it lightly. He supported us, as all my money went right into my student loan and credit debt. Even now, he makes twice as much as I do and we contribute accordingly (AND he does all the cooking because I just can’t, ya know? I do the laundry.) I felt like a sham for a long long time, and won’t be completely over it for awhile.

      BUT here are some things I learned.

      1) You can do things to promote your career and your relationship, but sometimes not equally at the same time. I knew deep down that this was the only chance for us to make it work long term/forever, and we wanted to be together after being friends for 8 years. I was in a much better place to move/make a change, so I did it. He had the job here, so I came here. I trusted that it would be worth it to get my personal life in order and worry about

      2) He really was/is HAPPY to do it and loves supporting me. For him, having me here is more important than me contributing equally. I can’t make as much as him, but I can be a part of his life every day. For me, being here with him is worth living in a place I don’t always love, and making my life work in a different industry than I planned (and in suffering a year of struggle to get to this place). It took a long time to believe that he was okay with this, but I truly believe it now and he knows I’m doing the best I can. Your man is supporting you because he WANTS to and, married or not, he wants you there so much! That, my dear, is some romantic shit (well, that’s how I read it in my situation).

      3) Expressing gratitude goes a long way. We try to be very good about saying, “Thank you for paying for dinner,” “Thank your for doing the laundry,” “Thank you for remembering we needed toilet paper,” “Thank you for lending me $20 when I forgot my debit card.” We don’t keep track or score, but we try to keep the love flowing and do what we can for each other.

      4) Talk about money and jobs and everything. Be open. We talk a lot about our debt, his investments, bills, etc., and even though we contribute differently, everything is with the same goal of living a comfortable stable life.

      It might be a blow to your self-esteem, but it’s not forever and it’s life and…

      tldr= IT WILL BE OKAY.

      • M.E.

        1) should end with, “and worry about career stuff later.”

        Because merlot.

    • LT

      I agree with everything M.E. said. I also moved to a new city to be with my then boyfriend but now fiance. I was unhappy with my job in NYC and saw the move as an opportunity to press the restart button. I moved without a job because I wanted to take some time to re-evaluate and really think about what kind of work I wanted to pursue and not just jump into another meaningless and unfulfilling job. Well, after about 2 weeks of not working, I became antsy. I had been working for 7 years straight at this point and not to have a routine (or professional identity) was SUCH a struggle. So I looked into volunteering which was a saving grace for me. It gave me a reason to get out of the apartment but the best part was for about an hour, I wasn’t thinking about myself and my situation (or more like overthinking everything) and it was awesome. So I highly recommend looking into some volunteer opportunities (it may also lead to job prospects, like it did for me!)

      I didn’t work for about 3 months and during this time, I volunteered and did a 30-day yoga challenge which was something I would’ve never been able to do with a full-time job. That leads me to the next thing: come up with something to do for 30 days straight and each month can be something new and different. I had a friend who took a photo each day for 30 days (on her iPhone too so nothing fancy!). It’s just something that helps break up the days but it also gives you a routine, which is something that is obviously missing when you don’t have the 9-5.

      I also ended up getting a part-time retail gig to make some money so I could contribute something to the household because I felt really weird not financially contributing. I also looked into temp/contract positions to supplement the part-time job. My biggest thing was I did not want to permanently commit to something full-time just for the sake of getting a paycheck. My fiance was great (and has continued to be great) about this but I still struggle with it (I’m not making anywhere near what he makes). But it’s really, really important that you express whatever you’re feeling with your fiance. For me, I wanted to make sure he didn’t resent the fact that he is contributing more to our life. It’s also good to talk to him because keeping that stuff bottled up won’t be good for you or your relationship.

      Just remember, this is a blip in your lifetime together and right now, he may be contributing more financially but things change and the roles may be reversed down the line. Try to take advantage of this time to help you explore whatever interests/passions you have and consider yourself fortunate that you are able to do so. I try to keep that mentality and it definitely helps me keep the bigger picture in perspective. Hang in there!

      • LT

        Oh and one more thing to add – it’s okay to feel what you’re feeling too! I totally had days where there was a pity party of one and I felt really down about things. For some time, I didn’t even feel like socializing with new people because you know one of the first questions is “So what do you do?” Ugh. I wanted to answer with “I’m figuring myself out and trying not to get stuck in a crappy job. You?”

        • M.E.

          So many exactly’s for the dread of, “What do you do?” And either “unemployed” or descriptions of multiple not-simple-to-explain p/t jobs, or “well I am trained as a teacher, but…” …all excruciating. I think when I went full time and got a succinct, understandable job title, it was worth more to me than the money or insurance (only half kidding).

          Fist bumps etc. It will be okay!

    • ali s

      Thanks everyone! You all made me feel so much better, especially to hear that its been done and you’ve been to the other side!
      Yet another Megan, I totally hear you on the “sometimes super productive” and sometimes nothing feeling- I’m going through the same cycle.
      I’ll let you know what happens- I think my first 30 day challenge is decorating the house!!

    • applegirl

      I’m in south central PA (I live just north of Gettysburg). First off, you are not a sham of a human; you are looking for work in a place that isn’t offering much in the way of jobs. Good for you. My fiance will be moving to this state and in with me in the winter, and we don’t know if he will have a job nicely timed with the move or not. He could end up in a similar situation, and, I’m trying to prepare mentally for that a bit. And I wouldn’t count cooking as the main way to contribute to a relationship, I’m sure you’re doing much more supportive things. I agree with a lot of others on here that your ducks don’t all need to be in a row for a wedding. What you actually need is a great relationship, and based on your description, it sounds like you do. In fact, this struggle is probably making you guys stronger, more communicative, and more supportive of each other!

    • Wow, M.E. covered it so well. I’m also on the other side of “I moved to a new state with my bf, and I don’t have a job!” It’s definitely been a struggle emotionally for me, as I’ve been under-employed or unhappily employed for most of our two years here (three to go!). We’re still discussing and re-assessing how we handle finances together.

      I got my first job (an AmeriCorps position I didn’t like, but had no other option) as a result of volunteer work and chatting about my background to the cool people there. I got my next job (and first full-time gig) after volunteering to help with a community event as part of my AC duties. When I went to that job interview, I already knew four of the five people interviewing me. I got a third job after showing up to a grand opening party for a local start up that I loved the concept behind, then introduced myself and left a card, offering my services.

      All that aside, I think M.E’s #2 is the most important part, no matter how your employment situation works out. It’s a particularly tough concept for me, as I always feel like I need to bring some kind of external value to a relationship (I can french braid hair!). Recognizing your internal value- that you bring value to the relationship just because of who you are- is incredibly important, and obviously your bf sees that value.

      Lastly, though I don’t live there now, I’m from central PA! I have family and friends in York, Lancaster, and Centre counties, and I’d be happy to hook you up with them (even for just a drink or a coffee) if you’d like to just meet some people and talk to someone who isn’t your bf! saraherdlen at gmail.

      The “what do you do” question is always tough, but I like LT’s response. And in the end- you’ll be okay!!

  • Julia

    One of my favorite things to read about on APW is how people navigate gender/culture in the workplace, especially as young women.

    I realize this has nothing to do with weddings, but I wanted to share something that happened at work today. I was in the break room getting coffee when one of my male coworkers tried to make a stupid joke about the clothes I’d worn today, for casual Friday (jeans and a nice shirt). He made some reference to my clothes and then followed it up with a derisive comment under his breath. This is not the first time this has happened, and while I know it was just his attempt at “humor,” I was tired of it. I turned to him and said, “You like to pick on me, don’t you?”

    He looked startled, then said, “Do I? Oh, I’m sorry.” And then he changed the subject.

    This might seem like a trifling exchange, but I consider it a small victory, as a young woman who has worked in various offices and professional environments for the past 10 years. I’m so used to just brushing off little comments like that, but it just occurred to me today that if I called him out on it, maybe it wouldn’t happen again. Only time will tell, but I’m proud of myself.

    I’d be interested in hearing how other APW readers address things like this in the workplace and beyond.

    • I tend to take the approach of flat out telling people “that’s not very nice” in those exact words if I feel something’s gone south. People often don’t quite know how to reply!

    • Rosie

      If I have the guts I say something like ‘I’d rather you didn’t make comments like that’, which isn’t radical in itself but I’m a bit of a wimp. Sometimes if you call people out on their comments they feel ashamed and stop.

  • My husband and I had a long pillow talk last night about how infertility has kind of super fucked up our previously quite compatible sexlife and it feels really good to be reminded that we are a team, and also how hard this whole process is physically as this point for both of us. Psychologically too but yeah.

    On a similar note, one of my best friends had a huge health scare yesterday and where before I was hesitant to go to their kidlet’s first birthday party in a few weeks (would have to drive 3 hours)…now I’m rethinking. Because it isn’t all about me and my feelings, it’s about friendship and loving people when you have the opportunity. So while I don’t know if I can make it, I’m no longer trying to duck out to preserve my sanity. Although there better be booze…..(are you there booze god, it’s me, hayley…)

    • I wish I could offer more, but all I have is a fistbump of support. While it’s not the same thing, I know what it’s like to have physical things lead to emotional things that screw up your sex life. Simply put, something is wrong with my vag that causes severe pain making sex hurt (which has led to me not wanting to do anything that may tempt myself to want more) and we’re still trying to find out why and what this means big picture wise. All I can say is, keep the communication lines open. That’s your liferboat right now.

      • Fist bump back at you. I’m so sorry — that sounds really rough. Stress regarding intimacy is ughhhh.

        My husband and I have always been really open with each other about how we both have pretty low sex drives. Which means now…we both know we are so, so not into doing it a fairly large % of the time we do it for “trying” purposes.

  • Elizabeth

    I’m getting married in 364 days!!!!

  • MCW

    I found myself in an awkward wedding scenario, and would appreciate APW’s input. At a reception, I was speaking with the bride when she stated, “Yea, we did all this on the cheap so we could go on a kick*ss honeymoon.” The reception was very modest, which was neither here no there to me, until she said those words. Then it occurred to me that I wouldn’t be going on a kick*ss anything because I had used my vacation time and funds to attend this event. It is hard to describe how I felt. The best I can do is to say that I didn’t feel valued as a guest. At what point does it stop being about budgets, and start being about priorities?

    • I guess my question is, had she not said that and opened up a possibility that the event could have been “better” or more grand, would you have been satisfied with taking the time off to attend? I feel like in the same way it is important to be a good host, it’s important to be a good guest and…attend things for the right reason, aka to celebrate and be joyful for the couple’s joyful day. I agree it may not have been the best use of tact on her part (because yes, telling someone you were cheap with their dinner so they could have more fun later may come across poorly hostwise), but on the other hand, my question is, if it hadn’t been brought up, would you have been happy with your attendance? I’d forgive the etiquette misstep, and accept it for what it was. If you we’re happy attending, hold onto that memory, and don’t let their honeymoon sour the memory or your relationship.

      I’m long winded!

    • KC

      I’d note that she might have been trying to “excuse” what she felt were deficiencies or “not measuring up”-ness in her wedding by saying “I’m being cool in this other way!”… and sometimes people don’t grasp the other implications of what they’re saying. (I have put my foot in my mouth so. many. times. that I know of, and I’m sure there are more that I don’t know of. And I can totally see someone who is feeling sheepish about not being able to splash out as much as their peers using their honeymoon as an excuse without thinking about it.).

      Anyway, you can give someone a $5 Christmas present if that’s the way the budget works out (or no present at all!), but you’re not supposed to then tell them “Yeah, I was planning to get you a $100 Christmas present but instead I got you a $5 Christmas present so I could buy myself awesome new shoes!” Okay, people can have priorities that their money is preferentially going toward (saving for a house or car or trip or getting out of debt or buying a camera or whatever), but feeling as a person (or, in this case, as a member of a group) like you’ve been considered and rated but then downgraded in the priority ranking is never fun.

      And then having that priority ranking contrast with how you ranked their wedding in your priorities: harsh. But she may not have exactly meant what she said, or may have meant it more pragmatically than it came out (like “in our budget, we could have upgraded the dessert to include sprinkles, but then we realized that the upgrade would not make much of a difference to anyone at the wedding, and that the difference in reception cost just for not having sprinkles would mean a full extra day of honeymoon, including food and lodging… so the honeymoon won.” – since sometimes really minor reception upgrades mean a Lot of money).

    • meg

      You were there because you made a choice to be there (as a grown ass adult, in APW parlance), not because you expected a nice spread. You were there because you loved her (I hope).

      If she wanted to prioritize a kick ass honeymoon, good for her. If you want to prioritize your kick ass vacations, don’t go to the next out of town wedding.

      What she was saying was AWKWARD, but she might have been feeling like she had to excuse not spending a huge amount of money. Who knows. Anyway, the point is that the situation was totally fine, it was her comment that was awkward.

      • KC

        I totally agree with this, but would note:
        1. our valuation of relationships is often somewhat contingent on mutual value and reciprocity, to some degree.
        2. we can choose to prioritize something due to relationship that we wouldn’t otherwise prioritize (for instance, I detest probably 90% of showers [don’t like small talk, don’t tend to like the games if they exist, feel very awkward, would rather just give a present to my friend and hug them and leave]. I still go to them, though, because the visual support group is really important to a lot of people, I usually can’t guess in advance who would be disappointed vs. who wouldn’t care at all, and a less-pleasant afternoon for me has been an acceptable sacrifice, generally. Sorry, shower-lovers! Your decorations and themes are amazing anyway even though I am a curmudgeon!). If a large part of the reason that someone attended a wedding was because them being at the wedding was theoretically important to the couple (and hence worth more sacrifice), and then they found out or thought that this wedding wasn’t as important to the couple as the honeymoon… that would be a downer. A miscalculation downer, not a “these are horrible people” downer, but still – how much your participation “gives” to them changes the math of what it’s worth to you to sacrifice to get there, and if you’d known where they stood in advance, you might have made a different choice. Possibly kind of like stretching the budget a little to give someone an expensive toaster because you think they’ll really, really like it and then finding out they’ve already been given the same expensive toaster; it’s not anyone’s fault, but it’s a bummer.

        And, everything Meg said. :-)

  • Caroline

    I love that article on Sansa Stark. I definitely found her insufferable and silly in the early episodes, but man, she is awesome now. I think she is amazing at how she navigates the politics of King’s Landing, and although she isn’t very skillful at it, she never gives up, and she never breaks. She’s definitely one of the strongest characters of the series, although she doesn’t get credit for it. I love Arya and Daenerys, because as a little girl, I wanted to be them, but Sansa is amazing. Further, I think it’s definitely interesting that Arya and Daenerys were the types of women/girls I wanted to be as a child, because I think that was what I was taught strong meant. Not that I think that isn’t a way to be a strong woman, and definitely is more the sort I lean to (hello, backyard swordfighting) but it was also the only model, which is a problem. Being feminine and taking feminine roles were definitely considered weak in the cultural messages I absorbed.

    • Brenda

      I think if Sansa would wise up and realise that she’s actually married to probably the best possible person she could be married to, they could stage a coup and take over everything. And I think she’ll get there. I thought Sansa was a drip at first too but she’s been through so much and she’s still standing with dignity.

      I’ve heard a lot of criticism of Game of Thrones for the portrayal of women, and I agree that the nudity is sometimes a bit pointless, but in general I think it does a really great job of showing women operating in a society where they’re designated powerless and to be used by men, and how these specific women use the forms of power that they have available to them to survive and to thrive, whether it’s traditionally feminine (Sansa, Cersei, Shae, Margeary, Catelyn) or masculine (Danaerys, Arya, Brienne).

      I haven’t read the books but I think I will after the show has finished.

      • Yeah, except Tyrion is still a Lannister (you know, those people who killed her dad and tortured her), and Sansa Stark does not owe him anything just because he’s not horrible.

        • Caroline


          It’s true she owes him nothing for being not horrible. On the other hand, she’s married to him, and I don’t know how divorce works in the show but given that the king’s father forced her into it, I doubt she’s getting our of it any time soon. Given she’s stuck with him, I’d really like to see her realize she’s married to one of the smartest, most compassionate, interesting men in the show. If you are stuck with someone as a spouse, won’t your life be happier if you get along as friends or companions rather than hating/resenting eachother for who one’s family is?

          I have to say, I really don’t have a problem with the nudity in the later seasons. By the third season, they have gotten just as heavy handed at gratuitous male nudity as gratuitous female nudity. There are still occasionally problematic portrayals (ex. Portraying and sexuallizing Ros’s body after Joffrey murders her.) For the most part, it seems to be pretty equal opportunity free for all on as much nudity as they can get away with showing on TV (did you see how much of Gendry they showed when Melisandre was undressing him before having sex with then bleeding him? They definitely showed more than I thought they could get away with.)

          The same author of that post had an interesting article on how they silenced Catelyn, which has some interesting points, that while the war is told through her story in the books, in the show, her role fades.

    • I still think Dany is my favorite female character on that show. She manages to combine being feminine with being compassionate and a totally kick-ass leader.

      I liked Arya in the early books, but the way her character is progressing makes me a bit scared and uncomfortable on her behalf. Sansa, however, continues to astound me with her perseverance. I think she’ll end up being a major player in the game.

      • Caroline

        I know, I love Danerys. She’s awesome. Although I feel like she has no clue what she is in for when she crosses the sea. By the time she gets there, it seems like the battle may be more against the white walkers than other humans.

        What don’t you like about Arya’s character growth?

        • I can’t really discuss it without major book spoilers for Feast for Crows and Dance with Dragons, and you seem to be a show-only person from your comment above.

          • Caroline

            Thanks for being sensitive about that! I appreciate it. I read the first two or three books back in high school, maybe 2004, 2005. So I don’t really remember much from them, beyond some broad strokes. I’ve been meaning to reread, and I’ll have to go do that.

  • Lauren

    Watched this sendup of the WIC last night and it is HILARIOUS. http://breakupatawedding.com Thought others might appreciate!

  • Jess

    So, I was so totally inspired by Meg’s “unplugging” post that I deleted the Facebook app on my phone. If I am honest with myself, I’m totally addicted to it. The first few days without it were soooo weird – I was a little twitchy not having something to fill my free moments (in line at the grocery store? waiting for husband to brush his teeth? waiting before doctors appointment? check).

    Anyway, I thought I’d put it back on for the weekend, and went to re-download the app. Turns out, my phone is so old that there is no longer a Facebook app that supports my 2010 phone. Oops! So I cannot re-download it and I’m forced to go Facebook app-less until I eventually get a new phone. Which is not in the plans anytime soon because phones are expensive!

    I find this kind of funny, but totally appropriate. Forced Facebook abstinence – I’ll take it! I didn’t need that app back anyway :-p

    • Rachel

      Ooh deleting apps is a great idea to help with unplugging. I bet most of my idle internetting is done through apps!

  • Kyle S

    This week, nay, month has been a rough one for me/us. And so the rant begins…

    It started with us moving across country. During which time every. single. thing. went wrong. Everything. We weren’t finished packing in time, so we left much later than we meant to (we had a tight schedule). The people that were helping us move, family “friends”, turned out to be completely horrible and just rude the entire time. So much so that we ended up splitting away from them and just met up when they caught up (they were pulling all of our stuff) and then they basically said that they weren’t going to give us our stuff unless we paid for their hotel that night (we had been paying for their gas/hotels along the way but weren’t planning on paying once they arrived in the city)… The whole experience was one that I hope to never experience again. The move ended up costing much more than even our highest estimates, which is extremely unfortunate because we are getting married in just about two months, and that was where the money came from.

    As for the wedding… We had recently decided to completely change everything about it (who is invited, where it is, what it will be like, everything). This was mostly because of money but also what we will probably be more comfortable with. We went from having about 65 people invited to about 6 people invited. With the move costing so much more we aren’t even sure if we really want to/can afford the new idea (main costs are flying out our families from across country ~$2000). Not to mention that we have NOTHING planned. I mean we have a vague idea, we would like to have a quick ceremony at the beach (which beach?) and a reception at a restaurant (where?) or just grill out and have smore’s. But that’s pretty much it. Who will officiate, rings, dress, photographer (can we even afford one?), etc. No clue! We were originally planning on honeymooning in Europe, truly must have been dreaming… We scaled that back to Vancouver. But for numerous reasons we aren’t even sure if THAT will work out. So either we will wait for a honeymoon or I don’t even know.

    Since we have moved I have been looking for a job, with no luck at all. Which really adds to the money stress we are feeling. Thankfully my fiancé has a decent income, but with as much debt as he has we are definitely feeling the pressure. He is also in San Fransisco for the next couple weeks for work. So it is all pretty awful and hardly any planning is happening. The only good news is that he heard from someone that is interested in hiring him (with a 40% pay increase!) but it isn’t set in stone, and wouldn’t be starting anytime soon if it does happen.

    Sorry… haha. It’s been a bad month, but hopefully it will get better. It has to, right?!

    • Rebecca

      Oooof! Deep breaths. Random brainstorming:

      Good news: 6 people is restaurant reservation size. And (some) judges chambers size. So courthouse wedding + reception wherever you feel like is totally a thing you can do. With probably a week or two advance planning depending on what it takes to get a marriage license where you are.

      6 people is also (possibly) meet everyone in Vegas size. It’s very easy to get married in Vegas. Flights are cheap. Sometimes this works.

      In most states, you’ll need an officiant (not Colorado?), but rings are optional, dresses are optional although showing up naked to your wedding is not a common choice (nude beach wedding?), and photographers, while awesome, also not required.

      You can do this whole getting married thing a lot of ways- decide what things matter most to you (being married already, party, money- you know you better than us internet strangers). Then do whatever supports those. You don’t necessarily have to get it done tomorrow. As someone who avoided as much planning as humanly possible, wedding wise, it doesn’t have to be some one or more year intense planning effort. A “get ‘er done” attitude leaves you just as married when the dust settles.

      Job hunting sucks- solidarity fistbumps there.

      • Kyle S.

        We were/are going back and forth between courthouse and beach (beach is free- so no added cost there) they should cost about the same, and I don’t think I would mind either (Fiancé is more interested in beach). The thing that is making both of us lean more towards beach is that if we have a courthouse wedding it seems kind of pointless to pay for and fly four of our close family members out just for that.

        We aren’t even interested in spending a lot on rings (i.e. $100 each) and I am planning/thinking about making a dress, nothing fancy but something quick and easy-ish. And since we cut ~60 people that wanted to join us for our wedding, we feel like we should have a photographer so that there is some visual proof? Not to mention to have pictures for ourselves. We were originally going to have a couple of friends do our pictures, but with them not invited I don’t know what to do. Can’t really ask a parent or sibling… and that’s all that are joining us.

        So it’s not even like we are going to be or planning on spending that much money. It’s just that it is spending money that we don’t really need to be spending. And we really need to sit down and just decide on things but it is hard when he leaves the house at 6:30 AM and gets home after 8 PM.

        Fistbump appreciated! haha. I just have to keep telling myself that it will all work out and all that really matters is that at the end of the day we get married. But jeez, the stress.

        • Rebecca

          Spending money on things that are important to you is pretty much always reasonable way to spend your money. It seems like you’ve got the really big stuff settled- now it’s just execution? (Ha, ha- just execution. I know : / )

          I would add that, of all the things we spent money on for our wedding, the only thing that seemed super important was when our parents got to see us say our vows. Not only did it make things real for us, but it was so much more of a big deal for our parents than I ever expected. Of all the things that made up our wedding, making sure our parents could see it is the one thing I would pay for in the infinite variety of possible weddings we could have had.

          As far as decision making- here’s a strategy we use most of the time that might work for you, given your partner’s limited decision making time.

          We’ll use cheese as our example here (cheese is non-controversial, right?). First, I try to find out what things about cheese are important to my husband- “Of these 10 things about cheese, what three things are most important to you?” Then I go and round up some cheeses that I think fit the bill and come back. “Of these three cheeses, which one do you like best?” I usually would be happy with any of the three cheeses (since I picked them), so in essence we’re both deciding, but only one of us has to do the leg-work. And he gets limited choices, which expedites the decision making.

          • KC

            I use variations of the cheese strategy with people All The Time. Sometimes you do have to go an extra round because of surprising silently differing definitions/expectations (by strong cheese, do you mean sharp cheddar or cheese that has a serious “funk” to it? and what are your numeric borders for “cheap”, “moderate”, and “expensive”?), but separating the step of identifying priorities from the step of making the specific choice really makes the process less maddening for all involved. Home furnishings; dates/times for parties or meetings (although for this, I use Doodle a lot); food options; all good.

    • Mira

      We couldn’t take a honeymoon vacation after the wedding, and we’re probably not going to have one (though hopefully there will be plenty of married travel in our futures). Instead, we have been focusing on building our “honeymoon” into our everyday lives. Which for us is 100% better. So when we went to the mountains for a friend’s wedding, we spent the next morning honeymooning at a funky private hot spring that wasn’t too far away. Another week we treated ourselves to a nice honeymoon dinner. Last week, we went across town for honeymoon lunch at our favorite taco truck, and test drove some dream cars.

  • Do you have to stick to the date? If you’ve changed the plans this much, would postponing to give you some breathing and getting on your feet and clearing your mind time before retackling a scaled-down plan be that much of a problem? If you were paying to fly family out then their travel shouldn’t be booked already, which is the only reason I can think of to absolutely have to go forward on something that seems to be more of a source of stress than joy at this moment.

    • Kyle S.

      The date is the only thing we are really stuck on… Which is annoying because it doesn’t even fall on a good day during the week. We are planning on it being on our 7 year anniversary, and I know it’s silly but I don’t really want to have a different wedding anniversary. And I don’t think I could handle waiting another year. I know I shouldn’t be so stubborn (although he is pretty set on the date also), but it’s the one thing that I really know I want this wedding to include (besides me and my Fiancé).

  • Valerie

    Question about Rehearsal Dinner Invites…. We are including a “mini” invite to the rehearsal dinner for the wedding party and a few very close relatives at a local restaurant. My question is how to get them to rsvp to this. Do we include a second rsvp card that is rehearsal dinner specific? I don’t want to have them rsvp online, because I am afraid that it might be confusing for them (and, frankly me). Do any of you APWers have a suggestion? Thanks!!

    • Bonnie

      We did the same thing and included a rehearsal invite with some of the wedding invites. Rather than have a second RSVP card we put an email address on the rehearsal invite and asked for RSVPs to that address. So far its working out great. We’ll probably have to follow up with a couple people but we were expecting that no matter what method we used.

    • The one rehearsal dinner I was invited to, there was a separate card, mailed after the wedding invite, with an RSVP card included. The rehearsal invite was much simpler than the wedding invite (it was a one-sided post card that was a bit bigger than a regular postcard).

      Just one experience though, and the only time I went to a rehearsal dinner when I wasn’t in the wedding or escorting Grandma.

      • Valerie

        Fantastic! Thank you both!

  • Hannah

    Not sure if anyone is still reading this thread, but I thought this would be a good place for me to celebrate the shut down and apologies of “Exodus International”, a Christian anti-gay organization that has been causing harm for 37 years. As a Christian, this is a really really exciting. Whoot!

    • Hannah

      Hah! Just realized that Meg mentioned this in her post! I was too excited to comment about it to read through the list of links first, haha.

  • Hi! I’m so late to Happy Hour, but it was for good reason!

    I was shooting my first APW wedding of the season yesterday and OH MY GOODNESS was it amazing! The bride, Molly, was absolutely the sweetest thing ever and the entire vibe was so relaxed and so chill all day–kind, kind, kind people.

    So, for my HH contribution for the week, I just wanted to say THANK YOU to the entire APW community (Meg, Emily, Maddie and all the readers, etc) for creating such a fabulous group of awesome folks. From one vendor to APW brides: please keep being awesome. You are what makes our job so much more fun and joyful!

  • SamanthaNichole

    Hello All!

    I’m not sure if anyone is still reading this. I just thought of a few questions that the APW team would be great for.

    Introductions of the bride and groom: We want to be introduced at the reception. I do not know if I am adding to my name, I definitely won’t be changing it completely, and I may wait a while or until we have kids or not at all. Basically it is all up in the air. Can you all help me think of a fun way to introduce us, I’m struggling with the wording, that includes only our first names? Will this be strange? I don’t want to make a big thing of it/ make it obvious that we are excluding our last names/ not saying “Mr. and Mrs. Blah blah.” This is all probably unnecessary worry. “And now, for the first time as husband and wife: Kyle and Samantha!” or “And now, introducing Kyle and Samantha for the first time as husband and wife!” are all I’ve got.

    Thanks APWers!

    • KEA1

      I think a just-first-name introduction is perfectly fine. I wouldn’t bat an eyelash over it if I heard it at a reception: this will be the first time you enter a party as husband and wife, but you’re still Kyle and Samantha. %)

      • KEA1

        and, since I hit “submit” prematurely: CONGRATS! %) Enjoy the wedding and best wishes for your marriage!

        • SamanthaNichole

          Thank you so much for the reassurance and congrats!

  • Copper

    Just wanted to come on and say ‘hi’! as this is the first happy hour I’ve intentionally missed. Trying to get back on track at work, I installed a website blocker app so that I wouldn’t spend so much time online during the day, and APW is one of the places I had to block. I’ll miss being there for the meat of happy hour and all the other discussions, but it’s what I need to do.

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