APW Happy Hour

Hey APW,

Is it just me, or are four-day weeks after a long weekend sometimes the most brutal? It’s like, I did some vacation-y things, now I need a little vacation to catch up from my vacation, and instead you want me to do five days of work in four days??? (Weirdly, the “you” in that sentance is now “me,” since I employ myself, but my damn boss needs to give me a day off, my GOD.) Anyway, where were we? Ah yes. At Friday, finally. It’s happy hour, y’all. Let’s Do. This. Thing.

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



Highlights From APW This Week

Simple, bright, awesome summer wedding bouquet tutorial (with one-stop shopping links). Yeah, okay, this was technically last week, but the END of last week.

The kind of DIY tutorials you REALLY need: Setting Up and Breaking Down Your Wedding. Seriously, plan this. Seriously. Now.

A wedding shot all on an iPhone, showing just how good simple can be. Mind-blowing.

Rachel’s post and photo essay on getting her wedding dress made and honoring handcrafts has a special place in my (feminist) heart.

Classical Wedding Music playlist. You know, the non-cheesy bad ass kind.

This raw photo essay on a rather sudden divorce grips my heart strings, and reminds me that we’re all in this together.

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  • Finally!! (Both, that it’s Friday afternoon & that open thread is now open.)


    Half my office took off this week, so it’s been pretty rough. I NEED this weekend. And my ten year high school reunion is tomorrow night, which should be fun.
    Hooray for Friday!

    • My 10 year reunion is sometime in June…actually it might just be this weekend! But maybe it’s actually the last weekend…if it’s not obvious, I’m not going LOL. I entertained the idea of going originally, but the more I browsed the event’s facebook page, the more I realized I kept in touch with everyone I wanted to, and cut all the rest…and I’m ok with that. I didn’t want to spend money on an evening of mostly awkward and unpleasant smalltalk, especially with a wedding fast approaching this September.

      I hope you have a blast, and have some fabulous stories for us next week :D

      • kate

        yep, i’m with you. a regional, or something, basketball game featuring my high school was held where i work and i had to stay late that night for another event. i so did not want to run into anyone that i realized i so should not be attending my reunion. glad i won’t be worrying about this when the event comes around later this summer. i’ve gotten closer to people who matter and people who i was close to have drifted away. (all but one nearly immediately)

    • The Dilettantista

      Uh I just went to my ten year high school reunion last weekend and it was SO MUCH FUN, so I hope you have SO MUCH FUN too. Best time, for realsies.

    • Michelle

      Have fun at your reunion!

    • Laura C

      The past two weeks I’ve been subbing for a coworker who’s on vacation. Her hours are different than mine and I’m short of sleep, plus it’s just a more stressful job in certain ways, at least to pick up for the short term. So, so, SOOOOO ready for this day to be over and then next week to go back to my regular job.

    • Hope your reunion is a blast! My 10-year reunion is actually . . . the night before my wedding. I’m not sure whether or not I would have gone (likely not — seems almost panic-inducing to picture being in the room with some of those people), but I’m kind of relieved I have a legit excuse to skip it. I’ll be partyin’ with the out-of-town family and friends pouring in to meet us at a local bar before the big day, and that’s just fine with me.


      Thank you, internet! I’m still good friends with a few of my classmates (all girls school) and as I don’t have Facebook, I’m looking forward to seeing where everyone is now. I really enjoyed high school for the most part, and there were only about 100 girls in my class. I am psyched to see who comes and if nothing else, have an open bar with my core group of friends.

  • YAAAY!!!!

    (not that I’ve spent the better part of the past two hours hitting ‘refresh’ >_>)

    It’s been a crap week following a crap month, and I will not be sorry to bid adieu to May.

    So what’s awesome? I’ll tell you – I won tickets to see Luke Bryan, Thompson Square, and Florida Georgia Line! On a total whim – you know, the kind where the stars align just so – I was stuck in traffic after a really crappy Tuesday at work, and I heard the advertisement come on the radio about how the opportunity to win tickets was fast approaching. So I suffered through fourteen minutes of stupid commercials – seriously, ya’ll – and then faster than I would have thought humanly possible, I pounded the number the DJ said into my phone.

    Only to get the busy signal. Ah well…I’m nothing if not persistent! So I called again – and it RANG!! …and then a little robot woman told me that she was sorry, but all lines were busy.

    Tricky little bastards, throwing that ring in there…

    I called ten times. And everytime I hung up to a busy signal or to that silly voice recording, I thought, better luck next time. And even as I was thinking, “I should just give up and tune back into the radio” I was hitting that number again.


    “Um. Elle.”

    “Congratulations, Elle, you’re my winner!”

    What I wanted to say was, “SHUT THE F UP!”

    What I did say was, “Oh.”

    “Let’s try this again, Elle. You’ve just won tickets to this concert on Saturday, and you’re eligible for our front-row drawing on Friday!”


    So then he took all my information and told me where and when to pick up tickets, and I hung up, totally dazed and totally shocked I hadn’t run my car off the road in the meantime. Two songs played, and then I heard myself on the radio, and knew I hadn’t been punked.

    But I wasn’t convinced until I was at the station, tickets in hand. OMG I GET TO GO SEE LUKE BRYAN IN CONCERT. YAAAAAAY!!!! My best friend -slash- maid of honor is driving up to be my plus one, and we are both totally stoked.

    ALSO! It’s Comic Con time here in Philly, and because of the concert tomorrow, I now have a precious four hour window tomorrow starting at 10 during which I need to cover the ENTIRE DAMN CONVENTION finding missing comic issues and lots of other wonderful geek paraphernalia, hopefully including but not limited to the Van Gogh Tardis Explosion tee.


    • Laura Lee


    • carrie


    • JEM

      SO FUN! Enjoy!

    • Yay for ComicCons.

      (BTW, if you are a comics person, have you picked up the new X-Men #1? If so, what do you think?)

      • Oooooo! I have picked it up but haven’t read it yet! I’ve been catching up on Red Hood and the Outlaws, which I’m obsessed with. Except now they went and changed the writer and artist on me, the jerks! Hold that thought – I’ll get back to you :)

        • I will save any comment on it until later, then. :)

          (other than that i liked it)

    • Hold on…can we just take a minute to talk about the Van Gogh Tardis Explosion tee?

      That is so DELIGHTFULLY nerdy.

  • Last day at the 9-5 job! I am caught between happy and terrified. Interestingly it’s not at all a bittersweet exit, unlike any other resignation I’ve had. The last two weeks have shown me just how little management values the work I do, and how much that affected my productivity. So I can’t say I’m sorry to be going.

    Onward! I’m enjoying reporting in on this situation every Friday. :)

    EDIT: AND our one year anniversary is Sunday. Which is just crazy pants.

    • /solidarity fistbump.

    • KHope

      This is me exactly! Last day at a job where my quitting after years of work went completely unacknowledged. I completely feel you. And congrats on your escape! i hope you’re off to somewhere that you feel valued and appreciated!

    • LondonSarah

      Well done!!! And good luck!

    • meg


    • Mmouse

      I remember quitting a job a few years back & feeling just like that. They *clearly* didn’t give two figs about me. I was so happy to go! Congratulations!!

  • Not only is it Friday afternoon, but my maid of honor/best friend from college who I haven’t seen in almost 3 years is coming to town this weekend! We have a total girls’ weekend planned and, since there will be two bridesmaids actually in the same city, we’re going shopping. I’m so pumped. Now if only my apartment maintenance would get over here to fix my AC to save me from this 90+ degree weather, I’d be all set!

    • I see my maid of honor a few times a year (which…is weird, thinking about it in that context considering we grew up together, because we always pick up right where we left off in the best possible way…like…the time apart doesn’t matter) but it’s always when I go back down to visit my family in MD. Since I moved here in 2008, she’s been up here twice. And I don’t exactly blame her – she stresses out on long car trips, and for her it’s about a 3 hour drive through tolls and unfamiliar territory.

      But she’s coming up to see me for a concert tomorrow AND I AM SO EXCITED. Although also panicking a teeny bit because she’s way more of a neat-freak than I am, and my fiance and I do not an organized home keep.

      Have a fabulous weekend! <3

    • Laura C

      Jealous! And reminded to try to find a time to go visit my best friend/maid of honor where she is currently living in another country (ok, just Canada, but still) and meet her new twins.

      With you on the air conditioning, too. They tell me a new unit is on order…it was supposed to have been ordered in March…it is about to be June.

  • Tess

    I’ve got an etiquette question that’s bugging me (weddings bring up so many of these!). We’re debating the child policy for our evening reception. There will be children there, because we have 10 nieces and nephews between us and we definitely want to have them with us for the whole day (or until their bedtimes). Question #1: Does that automatically mean everybody’s children have to be invited? Assuming (hoping) the answer to Question #1 is No, Question #2: Can we just invite the children of people that are traveling from out of state? We were thinking about inviting these folk’s children, and then setting up and paying for a babysitting service at the hotel which they could take advantage of if they wanted to. Bottom line: we like children, but it’s an evening affair and our main goal is getting their parents to party hard; however, we also don’t want anybody who would otherwise come from out of town not to come because they don’t have childcare arrangements for the weekend. So, if we invite out-of-towner’s children, and some chose to bring them to the reception, and we don’t invite in-towner’s children, will the in-towners be pissed?

    That was long-winded. Oy.

    • Brenda

      I think you kind of have to choose one or the other: all children or no children. It just gets too fraught and people will be offended if there are other children there but they were told they couldn’t bring theirs. Let them decide if they want to bring the kids or get a sitter / drop them at grandma’s and have an adults evening or weekend. If there’s a babysitting service set up that’s great, but it’s ultimately their decision if they’re prepared to bring the children.

      We’re having an evening reception and hope to party hard, and I realise that that means that some people with children will bring them and leave early – that’s their prerogative. I’m just glad they’re coming – the children too!

      • Kate

        I kind of disagree with the ‘all kids or no kids’ idea– I think you can invite kids that are family or traveling from out of town but not the kids of in-town friends/coworkers/whomever. Are you going to offend someone? Maybe. But you have to do what is right for your wedding day. For us, it was going to mean not inviting some of our friends to accommodate the children of others– and kids we have no relationship with. That didn’t seem right to me, so we are only adding “and family” to the households that have kids we actually know and interact with.

        • Brenda

          Oh definitely, it’s a judgement call and fair enough. It’s having kids you don’t know whose behaviour might be unpredictable, versus risking people being pissed off. But I think it’s important to go into your decision knowing that it might upset people who get there and see other children, and that you might have to deal with that. I tend to err on the side of having one rule for everyone for ease of explanation, but I can see a situation where doing something else might be fine, depending on your guests.

        • Totally agree, and doing the same thing. We’re inviting kids in our families and those from out-of-town, but not the newborns/toddlers of local friends. I worried a little about it in the beginning, but am now at peace with that decision.

          Like you, having “stranger kids” (eh, that sounds weird, but you know what I mean!) at the reception would up our guest list to the point that we couldn’t invite adult coworkers and friends, and sorry: ain’t no way.

          Some folks have done the whole “but kids don’t eat much!” thing, and I laugh because . . . look, I’m not being cheap: your kid takes up a seat. A seat I need in my limited venue space. Can’t do it.

          • The fact that the kid doesn’t eat much is part of the point for us– because they might eat like $5 worth of food but it still cost me $30. My venue does not care if your kidlet eats like a bird or not. :)

        • Amber

          Kids who are invited to our reception: nieces and nephews, kids of the friends/family coming from out of town who don’t have in-town relatives who could watch their kids, and would be highly unlikely to come if they couldn’t bring their kids (and we know and love their kids). Other kids, not invited. Most of our people aren’t offended, and the one or two that may be offended we don’t actually expect to come anyways, so it wasn’t a hard decision. So we’re including about 10 kids, excluding about 10. It was more important to us to include 10 more of our actual friends and family that we want to share the day with us then to include 10 kids that we either know are crazy and will stress us out or that we don’t know well.

      • californienne

        Ugh! Who are these easily offended parents? I think you have to take a look at your guest list and try to guess who might be offended. Can you reach out to anyone in advance? Some parents are happy to leave their kids behind for a night, so you might be surprised. Also, I don’t think your guilt about not inviting kids should necessitate your paying for a sitter, but that’s my two cents.

        • One More Sara

          Agreed. Giving people some emails and phone numbers for local babysitters or babysitting services is plenty of help already.

      • moonitfractal

        I went through the exact same dilemma when I got married. I stressed over it for a long time, then realized that the best solution for us was to invite everyone’s kids (then spend several months trying to justify that decision to my mother, who thought it should be adults only unless…family). Some people left their kids at home, some left early, and some let their kids stay up after bedtime. Everything was fine in the end. I was afraid they’d be disruptive, but it was a pleasure having the kids there and we didn’t have to stress out about presenting a double standard.

    • Sara

      My aunt faced a similar issue at her wedding. She ended up hiring a few local girls to watch all the kids(note: like 20 kids) at a relative’s house after the ceremony. The kids watched some movies and had pizza, and the parents all let loose at the reception. A lot of the guests were local, so I can imagine out-of-towners might find a similar situation easier if it was at a hotel, but the kids all seemed to have a blast. They would not stop talking about it for weeks afterwards.

      Sorry, that doesn’t really answer your etiquette question. I will say my college roommate had only her fiance’s younger sister and two cousins (I think they were all around 9ish?) at her wedding. She had to put out a few fires from other relatives but most people understood that they didn’t want many kids at their reception. She actually had one of his aunts tell her that if she wasn’t allowed to bring her four kids, that her and her husband weren’t coming at all. She just said that was fine, and they didn’t come. *shrug* you have to be willing to stand your ground on whatever you decide for that.

    • Ana in Boston

      I think it’s your wedding and you can invite only your closest children, and it’s not too hard to explain that only children in your immediate family are invited. That’s what we’re doing anyway and I’m maybe just convincing myself that people will get over it? We’re having our two nieces there and they’re in the wedding. We’re not paying for babysitting but are compiling babysitter recommendations from locals that the out-of-towners can use if they bring kids.

      Maybe I’m being offensive and unfair though? I’ll back up and just piggy back on op and ask– am I?

      • Brenda

        Just to be clear – I don’t think it’s actually offensive and there are plenty of good reasons to have some children and not others. But I do think people tend to take it personally and it can be a can of worms you might rather not get into!

    • Hannah

      The truth is if you include some kids, but not others, some people will probably be offended. The babysitter is a great idea, but people will notice that nieces and nephews were allowed to come, while their kids were not. My personal opinion would be to make the babysitter optional for everyone. That way you’re providing a great option, but allowing people to make up their mind about the type of experience they want to have.

      Most people will take you up on it. Those who don’t will probably take off a bit early because when it gets late kids get cranky. I think this minimizes the possibility of hurt feelings. However, of course you’re totally welcome to include or not include whoever you like. Just know there will probably be hurt feelings.

    • KateM

      We were in the same boat completely. The nieces and nephews were invited and we did no other kids, but hired babysitters at a house for out of town guests. I think we said adult reception too. We did a wedding website, with a children tab. I We said “we are so lucky that so many of our friends are blessed with kids that we just can’t have them all. However, we understand that traveling without your kids is not always an option. We are providing babysitters for out of town guests. Please email me directly if you are interested and/or have any questions.” It worked out great, no one complained. Most people get it. And having a defining line like nieces and nephews, there were no hurt feelings. Plus most of our friends with kids were all about a kid free night out.

      • Jo

        The children tab on the wedding website seems like a good solution.
        I was thinking along similar lines. We have some 1st cousins and a nephew who are little and don’t want to exclude them, but we’re planning an evening late-hours party and we don’t have the funds to go out of our way to provide kid-friendly elements. But we do have a number of friends at this point who we’d like to come from out of town who we realize might not be able to travel if they can’t bring their little ones. My thinking has been that at some point after we send out Save-the-Dates, we’ll contact these friends separately and find out what their individual situations are. I figure that kids will be welcome around for the rest of the weekend, so maybe we can just help set up a local baby sitter. Do we have to pay for the sitter, or just provide a place and logistics?

        • KateM

          I think either is fine. We opted to pay for them and to provide the space for a couple reasons. One, babysitting in a hotel is HARD. I have done and it sucks for all involved. Two, fewer babysitters are needed if the kids are together. Three I knew the people most likely to use them, and I know they were strapped financially. It was easier for me to find a couple hundred dollars in our budget and the parents knew they were all set and it figuring out the kids situation wouldn’t be a deterrent.
          I will also be honest and say that I have some local friends whose children are truly awful. Not the kids fault, it is on the parents. And I didn’t want them there and so we basically made the no kids thing because of them. If someone’s feelings are hurt because their kids are not invited, that is on them. Don’t stress about it, I did, and it wasn’t worth it.

      • I agree that you can include only some children, but I still think you need to have a blanket policy like “only nieces and nephews” or “only family.” To include your nieces, nephews, and out-of-town friends, suddenly it look like you’re only EXcluding your local friends.

        The babysitter is your prerogative. Nice to have, but not a required responsibility.

    • So yeah. It think this is one of those things where a person’s experience informs how they end up feeling about their kids being invited or not. In my family kids are always in tow. No matter what. That’s just how we are. I’m going to a wedding this weekend where my son is not invited. No biggie. Although, I am having one heck of a time securing a babysitter. But that is my problem, not the bride or groom’s.
      On the other hand, I was so offended by a bride’s treatment of the kids situation that we’re no longer friends. She didn’t allow my kid at any of her events (knowing I had serious PPD and she and I were pretty darn tight, so you think she would have been a little more chill about him being around) or the wedding. Then her family called me an hour before the ceremony begging me to babysit her nephew for the ceremony and part of the reception. Several people came up and remarked that they thought my son wasn’t invited – wondering why I had a baby with me. A month later she sent me a letter scolding me about being offended for the situation and she never thanked me for babysitting her nephew. That. That was offensive.
      I love the idea of having a babysitter if you can afford it. Otherwise, you can list resources for babysitting on your website to help parents. I think it’s just nice to be direct with parents. Good luck!

    • Jashshea

      We did niece and nephew of groom only (None on my side yet). If anyone had a problem with it, I didn’t hear about it. Meanwhile I caught plenty of 2nd hand guff about not explicitly inviting people with dates.

      • Copper

        Do you mean you didn’t allow dates, or that you did and your guests just had no way of knowing it?

    • Emily

      I agree about all or nothing as far as kids go. It’s easier to have a clear cut policy than to have to explain why it’s some kids over others.

      It sounds like your issue is less with kids at the reception than it is about freeing up their parents to party with you – and while it makes sense to want to have fun with your guests, it may be better to leave that choice up to the parents. I’d vote to not ban kids, but give the option with the babysitter service. Odds are, they will take you up on it and if may have a few extra straggling kids, but no one is offended.

      Hope it all works out!

      • Copper

        I agree with having a clear-cut policy… only those who have to travel, or only relatives.

    • Lan

      For our destination wedding in 4 weeks, this was one of the first questions we tackled. I knew that my cousins would not be able to attend if it was a no kid affair. However, I didn’t have the budget or the space to accommodate the kids of everyone we invited. When you get married at 34 a lot of your friends have kids already.

      So we settled upon a family only kids policy. Everyone has understood and made arrangements accordingly. Only one had difficulty and so they’re bringing their 10 month old son. The kids at the wedding will be in a separate room nearby with babysitters and toys.

      Our main goal was for our friends with kids to be able to let loose for the evening…it seems to be working out. Or nobody has voiced their offense to us.

  • KINA

    Finding myself reflecting a lot on friendships lately. I miss my friends! They’re scattered all over, and I’m currently in a university town for the next few years while my boyfriend wraps up his grad degree. Wow, is making new friends hard. I’ve been going out and meeting people but it takes a long time before those people turn into friends, if they do at all. Also, there’s all these fun things I want to do this summer, but I can”t think of who to ask to go with me to do them, since I feel like that fun, impulsive “Let’s just go fly off and do this thing” side of people gets harder to access as you get older (and I’m only in my late 20s!). Le sigh.

    • Joy

      I shall commiserate with you on the new city/making new girl friends front. Virtual drink cheers. And, I would totally just fly off and do things with an APWer! I’m in RI. How about you?

    • Hannah

      I’m feeling the same way. For Memorial Day, I got to meet up with five college girlfriends who are all scattered around California and Oregon. We had an amazing weekend, but I couldn’t help feeling a little sad about not being able to see these amazing people on a regular basis. I will say I’ve met some friends through activities. Book clubs and kickball have been great. It’s always a gamble, but even if you don’t make lifelong friends, having a social outlet makes you feel less lonely.

    • KINA

      Thanks Joy and Hannah! Joy, I’m in MI – virtual cheers back to you! And Hannah, I agree – I’ve been trying to do Meetups and check out some local activity groups. There’s a lot of potential there – I guess I just feel like I’m not quite where I wanna be yet?

      • Hannah

        It takes way longer than it feel like it should. Remember college, when meeting people was so easy? Hanging out with people was easier too. Just call them up the day of. I have gotten frustrated that I often feel like I need to schedule activities with my friends so far in advance. I love spontaneously doing stuff.


        Where in Michigan? I’m moving to Ann Arbor in two months!

        • Anne

          That’s where I am (grad school)! It’s not my favorite place in the world (I’m a city person), but it’s a nice town, and the people here are great.

        • KINA

          I’m in Ann Arbor!! We should all meet up! And I totally agree Anne!

          • Can the Bay City girl crash this meet up?! Anne you saying Ann Arbor isn’t a city makes me smile because it’s has so much more going on than where I’m at. Meet Up is non-existent.

          • ANOTHER MEG

            I’m a city girl, and I’m a tiny bit worried about moving to a college town again (undergrad was in a place about the size of Ann Arbor) but I’m excited about the Indian food. And my program at UM, which is going to be exhausting and wonderful.

            There should be a meetup! I agree with this! I’ll be there near the end of August. If anyone wants to get a drink or taco or something around then hit me up at meg at benandmeg dot com.

          • Crayfish Kate

            Oh man, anyone on the West MI? I feel like I’m totally missing out on this! (Though I don’t blame any of you – A2 is AWESOME, I need to bring my FH there to experience it one of these days)

          • irene

            crayfish – how far west are you? I’m mid-MI!

    • I am with you one-hundred percent. My closest friends are all scattered, and all are back East, while I’m in NE with my partner while he completes his grad degree. Because of his personality, and because of his situation (seeing the same people with the same experiences every day), he’s developed some close friends, who have become my friends, too. Meanwhile, my extroverted (yet, somehow self-conscious) self has developed a vast array of acquaintances, and still no one who I feel comfortable calling up for a coffee just because.

      I think it just takes a long time to develop close adult friends, but another old friend of mine (Martha, a commenter who is on her honeymoon right now!) told me she thinks we can’t develop the same kind of bond as with college friends because they come from shared experiences. (and I’m sure the theory extends to other foundational experiences, too).

      Either way- YES, EXACTLY, give me girlfriends!!!

      • KINA

        Totally in the same boat, Sarah. Right now I’m trying to find a balance between accepting that I just won’t have the same number of friends here as I did other places I lived, traveling to see the close friends I miss, and trying to be happy with the few people I do know while pushing myself to extend my circle.

  • Michelle

    Happy Friday! Hope everyone has a great weekend and I’m sending especially positive vibes to all of you getting married this weekend :) Yay!

    My partner’s family is throwing us a couple’s shower/BBQ this weekend. Should be fun! I’m honestly pretty nervous though about anti-feminist comments, etc…. but maybe it will be fine, right? Hopefully having both of us there will help alleviate some of that. Last night, I read a bunch of these comments from a post last summer to get my mind ready: http://apracticalwedding.com/2012/07/how-to-survive-bridal-shower-feminist-family/ I’m trying to be positive :)

    Logistical question: has anyone done the idea where a bridesmaid or someone places labels with gift-giver’s names on the actual gifts after they’ve been opened instead of writing down a full list? Did that work ok?

    Enjoy your weekend!

    • I’ve done this at a baby shower and it worked great. Lists tend to get lost anyway. Random piece of advice: use repositionable(sp?)/non permanent labels. That way if you return a gift the packaging isn’t all marred from sticker goo. Some stores get kinda fussy about returns with “damaged” packaging.

      • Masking tape, or painter’s tape, is really good for this as well, if you have that on hand.

      • Brittany

        I had my sister make the list on my iPad. She took a picture of each gift and then added a name as a caption to the picture (on Evernote). You could do it even more unobtrusively with an iPhone. Then, the only way you lose it is if you lose your iPad/phone.

      • Kat

        what an awesome idea!!!

    • Lauren

      I would say that having you both there definitely helps. Our second shower is this weekend, and the first went smooth as buttah. No one wants to make awkward sexist jokes when representatives of both sexes are there!

    • The best way is to write in the card what was given. Assign a bridesmaid or an aunt to this task. That way when you are writing thank yous, you just have to have the cards beside you to go through. If there is no card for a gift, the helper can write on a napkin who and what.

      • JessPeebs

        I always do a list in a small notebook that is purse-sized. I haven’t lost it yet, with two bridal showers and a wedding in it!

  • Hannah

    I heard from a few friends this week that they won’t be able to come to my September wedding. We haven’t even sent invitations out. I am trying to remember that the people who come to your wedding are the ones who are supposed to be there. However, I worry that our guest list leans heavily to family, and that it won’t be as much of a fun party. Anyone eles dealt with this?

    • We’re still planning, but from looking at our guest list so far, I can tell we’re going to have a pretty similar situation. The list is around 80-85% family, but does include a fair number of cousins and nieces our age. We’re also inviting kids of all ages, though the youngest will be around 8 and their grandmother (my stepdad’s ex) lives about 10 minutes for the reception site, so they may be able to leave early while still allowing my stepsister and her husband to stay later. In the end though, we’re not huge party people, so I’m not too worried yet. Now if RSVPs come in and none of our friends outside of our wedding party can make it, that may be another story….

      • Hannah

        Yeah, we’re lucky that a good chunk of our friends live in town. Out of towners are always more unpredictable. Right now I’ve been thinking about inviting people who live in town, are fun, but who weren’t necessarily close enough friends to warrant being invited on the first round of invitations.

    • Don’t underestimate how much your family will party. My 65 & 75 year old parents dancing to sexyback was one of the highlights my wedding.

      • Hannah

        Oh I hope so. I’m planning to do an all family dance in lieu of the traditional mother/son father/daughter dances. Maybe that will get people off their seats. That and booze. Booze always helps.

        • I also told my mom I wanted people dancing and having fun and I think she rallied the family behind my back to do so. (Which is awesome) I think letting a few key players know that you want a party is fine.

          • Hannah

            That’s a great idea. My future mother-in-law is totally the life of the party. I’m sure she will naturally get it going. :)

    • Most of my grad school friends couldn’t come due the cost, and our guest balance was about 2 tables friends to 6 of family. However, we still managed to have lots of fun, because are friends were awesome.

    • Stacey

      We ONLY invited family. It never occurred to me that it wouldn’t be fun! We’re not having any dancing – maybe that’s part of it. Lawn and card games – backyard wedding up in here!

  • This weekend, I’m going to see my 3 1/2 year old niece perform in her first dance recital in a cute-ass tutu. TO DIE FOR!!

    • kgoesgallivanting

      Dancing toddlers are so cute!

  • kgoesgallivanting

    I just wanted to say thank you to the editing team for a great week of content! Holy crap was there a lot of really good conversations going on! Kudos to all of you lovely ladies behind the scenes. :D

    Also, thank you for adding the author’s name and their role on the site to each post. I have been reading for a long time, so I can usually figure out who is “speaking”, but I like how explicit it is now.

  • Caroline

    Thanks for the bra tutorial. I just walked out of nordstroms with a bra that actually fits (in a radically different size than I was wearing! 36C to 34DDD/E)

    Also, we found a rabbi!! (To marry us). We like him a lot, he goes to our Shul, he’s in our price range, and he’s available on our date. Done! We put down the deposit at our next meeting (our first chunk of money towards the wedding.)

    Also in good news, I got the internship I was interviewing for and I’m psyched about it. It’s going to be challenging but awesome. I start in a few weeks.

    So overall, this week is pretty good. (Umm except having to drive my sweetie to work in the city in horrible traffic because some maitenence vehicle crashed in the transbay tube of BART stopping most of the morning trains. Whats up with that? Come on. It took 45 minutes to get to the bay bridge toll booth from our house. It should take 7, maybe 10 in traffic. Whatever, I got to chat with him more and it facilitated my bra shopping by bringing me to SF.)

    • meg

      34D to 34F here. Admittedly, I’m breast feeding, so it should go down (pleaseplease) but holy fuck, right? WRONG SIZE.

      • 36C to 36DDD, though apparently Jockey is trying to either fix or mess with the system http://www.nytimes.com/2013/05/31/business/a-new-step-in-wrestling-with-the-bra.html?partner=rss&emc=rss&smid=tw-nytimes&_r=0

      • A

        This may sound totally stupid, but one of my biggest pregnancy related fears is permanent boob-growth.
        My mom had reduction surgery as a teen (in such a way that she was still able to breast feed). Long after having two kids, her breasts are the same size–if not bigger since her rib cage expanded during pregnancy–as they were before the surgery. And it didn’t correspond to overall weight gain…
        The thought of my 30F boobs getting permanently larger is terrifying. I’d also be sad to no longer fit many of my really awesome bras–I spend a fortune on them but I have zero back/shoulder pain…

    • Ana in Boston

      Did you get a proper fitting or did you fit yourself using the tips from the post? I’ve been trying to fit myself but am failing, but am also nervous, not sure why.

      • Paranoid Libra

        Self fitted. The woman I let measure me at the store did the above the boob measure for the band length (which was still the same) and it just made me cringe as she tells me I was the size I was currently wearing. No lady you don’t understand when I actually swoop it all up where is should be it looks a little like someone squeezing into shoes that are way too small for their feet.

        Shockingly one side seems to be readjusting a little faster as the side boob has shrunk some in only 3 weeks.

      • Caroline

        Both. I did the how to fit yourself on Reddit’s abrathatfits which was recommended. I measured a 34GG, which when I saw at the store was like no way, and got fitted at Nordstroms. Then I tried on 25 bras at two stores. ( oh and the lady measured me at 34DD but then I tried one on and I was spilling out of it. I think the bra I got I could even have fit better in a 32 F (is that the next size up?), but this was comfy, my boobs looked great, and the 32 felt tighter than this hippy usually bra-free girl was willing to go ( although likely the proper fit). Also, I was amazed at how much the different brands and styles varied. I tried on a 34DDD fraya and was spilling out of it big time. Another fraya, 34F, and I was swimming in it. Some 34’s I couldn’t close, some 34’s literally slid off. No idea what is up with sizing but it is f’d up.

      • As another boston resident: go to the (slightly embarrassingly named) intimacy store in the pru. they really really know what they are doing. I went from a 38Dr to a 36G.

        • Ana in Boston

          Thanks for the recommendations! I’m going to try Intimacy!

    • Emily

      34B/C to 32/30 DD/DDD depending on brand. My body (as per usual) does not like to stick to one size.

      Only downside? Now that my boobs are where they’re supposed to be, half my shirts don’t fit. Too tight. GAH.

    • Paranoid Libra

      Care of that post and comments I found out I needed another cup size as the C was making my boobs look a little funny. I am however a barely D. I feel like those half sizes I remember seeing ages ago would also probably work well here like a C.5 but I have no idea if they still make those.

      And Hooraay for a Rabbi!

    • I love Nordstrom’s for bra shopping! There’s a Nordstrom Rack right by my house, and I go there just to hunt for bras. I recently found a front-clasp, racerback-style bra in my size (32D- a rare find indeed!). It is so comfy and supportive–made my day.

    • Ashleyn

      I am planning on going bra shopping this weekend!

      I am slowly coming to terms with being a late late bloomer, which my mom recently informed me runs on my dad’s side of the family. Could have told me earlier maybe? Anyway, I was always one of those straight up and down pencil people, for a long time, and then around 23 I started noticing my clothes were fitting differently, and a couple years later, here I am with this ridiculous hourglass figure that I feel like I don’t know how to dress! I am still skinny but seriously, my hip to waist ratio is ridic. Also, I’ve been wearing a 32C but want to try a 30D if I can find it, because I have a suspicion it might work better.

      Anyway, here’s to new bras!

    • Amber

      Yay for bras that fit! I’ve been wearing 36B for years and after the bra tutorial I’ve found that a 34C is so.much.better.

  • Sara

    My dad’s birthday is this weekend, which I’m pretty excited for since we haven’t had the whole family together since my brother returned from college. And then next Saturday my friends and I are doing a rail crawl, which I have been looking forward to for MONTHS.
    **Rail crawl is when we buy a weekend pass for the Metra Train (I live in Chicagoland burbs), pick a bar near a station about ten stations up and then barhop back to our individual stations.

    • Meghan A.

      I am so upset that I didn’t think of doing a rail crawl when I lived in Chicagoland! Sounds like so much fun! :)

    • Samantha

      I live in Chicago. I just moved here one year ago this weekend! Anyway, is this like a “thing” people do here? Never heard of it. Sounds fun.

  • Gina

    Wooohooo! So glad this post is up. I’m off to Chicago to be MOH in my best friend’s wedding. Does anyone have any speech-writing tips?

    That’s right. I haven’t written the speech yet. Still waiting on inspiration.

    Well I’m tempted to do it off the cuff, I’m sure I’ll say something horrendously awkward like “at first I hated [best friend’s new husband]” which is true, but I probably shouldn’t say it.

    • anon

      dont say, “at first I hated him” say ” After [event that made you like him] I knew the couple was perfect together”

    • Say a memory about your best friend and why [s]he is awesome. If you have the moment you realized future husband is awesome, and/or perfect for your best friend, say that without mentioning hating first. Tell them how much happiness you wish them and how much faith you have in them [or however you would word that], then toast. Details make for good writing, so if you mention the time [future husband] showed up with ice cream at 3 am (hypothetically) it means more than saying all the kind things he always does.

      I would say put a bullet point for each part on an index card or some such for reference, and then speak fairly off the cuff. Be you, your best friend loves you for who you are. If you are funny, tell a joke (but not one that makes fun of anyone too much), if you are sentimental, say something sweet, if you love poetry, quote a line of poetry but if you never read it don’t go find one.

      Do *not* tell a story about your best friend being arrested for being naked on a beach with *not* future husband. Actual instance from actual toast. SO much ouch.

      As long as it is honest and kind they will LOVE it.

      I hope this helps at all. Good luck and have a great time!

    • never.the.same

      A good speech is a gift. Think of a few things (memories, bits of advice, reasons you’re grateful for the friendship) and share those. Keep it simple, short and a bit sappy. When in doubt, go for sappy over attempts at being funny. But most of all think of it as a way to say (publicly) what you’d want to say to your best friend on her wedding day.

      Also, remember to take a moment to thank the people who worked to put the wedding together (parents? friends? officiant?). I think that’s an etiquette thing, but having a “Thank you/I love you” theme is always a winner.

    • It might seem obvious, but definitely don’t rock the, “[Groom], I don’t know you very well, but obviously [Bride] loves you, so you must be all right!”

      I’ve been to TWO weddings recently where the MOH gave a speech along those lines, and it was so awkward. In fact, in one, the actual verbiage was, “[Groom], I don’t know you at all . . .” and I just thought, OMG please don’t.

    • Good advice from the other ladies here. Also, there’s a “how to write a toast” post on the site somewhere.

      If you’re going to reminisce, do like the other commenters said, and pull a memory the couple are both part of (or if it’s a memory of the bride, relate it to her current relationship). Talking for five minutes about inside jokes, or just the bride, is a snooze.

      You’ll be great! Your friend already loves you! Everyone will already have booze in their hands, so no big deal!

      • Gina

        Thank you (and everyone else) for your advice! I love these ideas. Shared, sappy memories are the best. And I think I’m going to steal that line from the sponsor post today– “It’s very rare in life to be in a room where you can say every person there loves you and you love them”–and try to include/toast everyone.

  • js

    Good bye, May! Hello, June and the end of the school year! Woo!

  • The Dilettantista

    Etiquette question! I have just set a date for my wedding (late June, 2014) and it is in my hometown in Florida. Only my parents and their friends live there, which means that everyone else will be traveling–we are having it in my hometown because it is a STUNNINGLY beautiful place, with gorgeous beaches and good proximity to other Florida tourist attractions such as the Orlando theme parks, so we’re thinking a lot of people will just make a vacation out of it. Anyways, my question is about the rehearsal dinner.

    My understanding is that you invite everyone who traveled for the wedding and, honestly, that is what I would like to do. My future in-laws will be hosting the rehearsal dinner and I think their feeling is that it should be the bridal party and the family. My future husband agrees with me and *not* his parents–he thinks that everyone who travels from out of town should be invited. Whichever way we go (and honestly I’d rather go the first way because I love my friends and family and want to see lots of them), it will still be a BIG rehearsal dinner because my family is big. I don’t want or need a fancy rehearsal dinner, beach barbeque or something similar would suit me just fine. Right now our invite list is at about 200, with most people being from out of town, but we haven’t pared it down yet and obviously not all of those 200 people will be coming (such as relatives in Germany or my infirm 90-year old great uncle who are getting a courtesy invite).

    So the point of my question is–who do you invite to the rehearsal dinner and, if this should be an issue of contention with my future-in-laws, any suggestions on what to do to make everyone feel included even if they aren’t invited? And yes I know we can all meet up at a bar later–I’m trying to think differently from that. Also trying to avoid my parents hosting everyone (which always tends to be the default, but I’d rather not invite their house the night before the wedding, heh, especially since they’ve suggested that we can invade the house as an after-party option post-wedding reception). Experience, suggestions, and fun and inexpensive rehearsal dinner ideas totally accepted and appreciated! Note that this will be Florida in June so it will be hot and it could be stormy, so indoor and outdoor suggestions are totally welcomed too. Thanks!

    • meg

      I sided with you. We did everyone that was coming in from out of town, and we did a picnic BBQ (we found a company that would cater that for $12/head so we didn’t have to do any work). It was a negotiation with my in laws who wanted smaller and fancier, but we hardly get to see these people who are out of town, and we didn’t want to miss a chance. It was a good call, since I probably hung out with people more at the picnic then at the wedding when I was… pretty busy.

      • Jessica B

        I’ve just convinced my mom that this is what my dude and I want to do. She has qualms–especially since it will be hosted at my parent’s house rather than my future MIL’s house (at our insistence because it is much better for hosting a large outdoor party, and we don’t want to pay a park rental fee). She doesn’t want to step on my MIL’s toes, but we want to invite everyone possible in order to talk with more people from out of town. It was one of those instances that with reasoning and a bit of firmness on “this is what we want” line we’ll end up getting to have a nice chill time with our friends and family.

      • Caroline

        Can I ask who the $12 a person Bay Area caterer was?

    • californienne

      We decided to skip the rehearsal dinner (or maybe we’ll do it on Thursday) and on Friday we’re having a welcome dinner for everyone in a park. Tacos and beer and that’s about it. It’s an opportunity for everyone to just hang out without any of the stress of the wedding. Plus, everyone will get to meet and the wedding will be that much more epic (that’s the hope anyway!).

      We also couldn’t find a way to exempt some guests from the Friday event, which is why we decided to just be casual and keep everyone. Maybe you could compromise on a rehearsal lunch just for the bridal party, and throw the beach BBQ yourselves (or offer to help out).

    • Ana in Boston

      I think you need to find out (and maybe you already know this– unclear from your post) why your inlaws want to keep it to just family + bridal party. If it’s money, could you guys split the tab with them or pay for the out of towners? If it’s for the intimate experience, could they host a family + bridal party luncheon and you or your family host a bigger out of towners dinner (or you host an OOT lunch and they host their idea of a rehearsal dinner)?

      I think the day before is such a great opportunity to have much more relaxed and more personal contact with people and it doesn’t really matter what you do for the food or venue. I’ve been to church basement pizza delivery rehearsal dinners that were as enjoyable as steakhouse ones.

      • The Dilettantista

        Thanks for the responses so far! A few clarifications I just want to point out right quick:

        1) No bridal party, just our siblings–my sister, his sister and brother.
        2) We are not in a position to contribute financially. He’s in school, with loans and no income, I work for a non-profit and make…not a lot of income. By the grace of parental generosity go we.
        3) From what I can tell his parents can afford it–I haven’t sat down and looked at their finances, but a big BBQ at like $10 a head I think they could absolutely handle. Additionally, I might be blowing it out of proportion–they might be fine with a big rehearsal dinner, but I am just readying myself in case this is not the issue.

        But thank you! Keep them coming! I like the idea of having like, a smaller family (just immediate family, not all the cousins and aunts and uncles and second cousins etc.) get-together as well, maybe two nights before the wedding. So many decisions!

        • That’s what we’re doing! Immediate family on Friday, Welcome Party for everyone on Saturday, wedding on Sunday.

          • Caroline

            We’re considering this. We want to do an out-of-twoners dinner the night before, but our parents won’t meet until the wedding so an immediate families dinner would be good. We’re contemplating Friday family dinner, Saturday night pizza party in my dad’s yard, Sunday wedding at mom’s house.

          • Mira

            we did exactly this. it was awesome.

            my in-laws actually rented out a ballroom space at the hotel for the whole day on Saturday — it was so nice to have a home base! My girlfriends and I did all the flowers in the room on Saturday morning, and then we put out snacks and board games and our guests dropped by to say hello and chat. By the time dinner rolled around (very low-key, with food catered by Wegmans), we’d already gotten to at least say hello to almost all our guests — and the official wedding part was only just beginning!

        • Rachel Almost-D.

          Long time lurker, but wanted to jump in here.

          What we’re doing is having a small rehearsal dinner (bridal party and immediate family, but honestly we are getting a gift certificate to a kid-friendly restaurant for my flower girl + ring bearer’s family, and we avoided grandparents because that’s a landmine on my side) because we wanted to have it at our favorite restaurant in town.

          THEN, we’ve got an open invitation to everyone — out of town or not — to join us at the local drive-in movie theater for a double feature. Guests will pay their own way (it’s less than $10/person for two movies), but we figured this would give us time to see a bunch of people in a situation that lacks the pressure that many wedding events have. I can’t be constantly “on” the night before my wedding — especially considering I’m playing host to my immediately family for a full week before already, have my bachelorette that week, and have people coming into town as early as Wednesday and staying with us.

          You might consider something like that? I’ve heard of people arranging to do a cash bar at a restaurant post-rehearsal dinner, for example.

          All this is happening a week from today (!!!) so I could, in theory, report back on its success soon!

          • Mira

            this is an awesome idea!

          • Amber

            Oooh that sounds fun! We still haven’t finalized anything, but are leaning towards a backyard bbq-type rehearsal dinner with immediate family and our bridal flock, then arranging an on-your-own meetup at a local bar after to catch up with out of town friends and family who are interested.

    • Hannah

      We’re going to be doing a casual pizza party the night before with everyone in from out of town (probably only about 20-25 people for us). Pizza (even fancy pizza) is a great way to feed a crowd for cheap. We are doing bring a beverage to share on this because it will be easier for out of town guests.

      We also considered doing a no host bar (guests buy their own drinks) at a restaurant where we provide the appetizers.

      A potluck picnic would be a great idea too, if the weather cooperates. Beach is also a great location for this. This would be hard if there are only out of town guests, but most people will just pick up something at the grocery store anyways.

      I would say if your future in laws want to do something for just the wedding party, what about a brunch the day of or a dinner two nights before?

    • Jenny

      We got married at a retreat in the mountains and a big part of choosing to get married where we did was that we wanted to spend time with people. So we got pizza and salad and invited everyone for a welcome dinner. Then in the middle of if we grabbed the readers and the officiant and did a little rehearsal in the field. It was nice, we got to visit with a lot of people, which meant I didn’t feel as bad spending my entire wedding night on the dance floor (hey if you want to see me, come dance!).

      However, if your in-laws feel strongly, you could also do an earlyish family rehearsal dinner and then choose a bar/pub/park, to invite everyone to if your goal is just to get to spend more time with people. Good luck!

      • The Dilettantista

        I love pizza. PIZZA PARTY FOR EVERYONE. Now I just need to figure out where to have it, ha!

        • Hannah

          Is having it at an actual pizza restaurant a possibility? At least the pizza parlors around here are huge with nice long tables. They often have playgrounds too (if you are going to have kids attending).

          • The Dilettantista

            None big enough in my hometown, unfortunately, unless something magical and new has appeared. I’m liking the idea of having the fancier “rehearsal dinner” maybe Friday night and then a big open-house “welcome” dinner Saturday (wedding is on Sunday, hooray for Jewish weddings means all the dates I want are available and also means things are less expensive!)

        • Jenny

          We called two days a head to place to order and then picked it up and took it to the retreat. You could see about doing the same in a public park/picnic area (covered). Everyone LOVED it! We got fancy pizza and salads (Mellow Mushroom) and fed about 80-100 people for $600, we also used about 4 cases of soda and 4 cases of beer- all told it still came out to less than 10 bucks a person. Though as K pointed out, if we had just done Domino’s or something we could have fed everyone (except vegans and gluten free) for 300.

          • ANOTHER MEG

            Unexpectedly, Domino’s has gluten-free crust.

          • The Dilettantista

            We do have gluten free people buuuuutttt I won’t support Domino’s, for various reasons, and we’ll figure something out for them I am sure. We also have vegans, vegetarians, people who keep Kosher, and some lactose intolerant folks. Oh and one person who is deathly allergic to nuts. FUN!!!

    • Emily

      We did a Sunday brunch for some people and added a little extra invite/rsvp note to their invites (and had them RSVP to the friend organizing it by email, because it was our tech-savvy college friends party). That helps with the head count.

      Umm, I love the pizza idea!

    • We’re opting for a “welcome party” rather than a rehearsal dinner, because like you almost everyone is from out of town. The key is to avoid planning a second reception. This is stressful and expensive!

      We found a campground, with a lake and picnic tables and a big field for lawn games, and we’re renting the space for the afternoon. We’re going with some low-key catering options (pizza or sandwiches) and we’re buying a kickball. In the evening, we’re going to pick a bar and just tell people to meet us there, if they are interested in doing so. That way the party can continue, but not on our dime.

      Personally, the idea of trying to see everyone I love in the tiny window of my wedding is totally overwhelming. The only thing that makes me a teeny bit sad about my shower is that there was no way to really be with each person there. So I am thrilled to have everyone hang out all weekend; it takes the pressure off. (I’m also a capital-E extrovert; I’m sure other people would feel overwhelmed by more than one party.)

    • We are struggling with this too.

      Since the wedding will be in the town where we live, and both sets of family are coming from out-of-province, and most friends, everyone except bridesmaids are out-of-towners!

      So we have it whittled down to an evening BBQ in our backyard with wedding party, parents, siblings, our officiant and grandparents.

      My family and where I’m from don’t really do rehearsal dinners. We just do the rehearsal, then the couple takes the wedding party out for drinks and food after, or has them over for drinks and food.

      We are only the third wedding on his family’s side and they do the same. So I hope this goes over well enough with the in-laws, even though they are “hosting” it at our place (footing the bill).

      My parents are “hosting” the day-after brunch at our place. That will be a come and go with games open to all out-of towners.

    • AP

      My husband and I had the same problem. We ended up doing a “rehearsal dinner” with just the bridal party and our parents, then the next night, we did a “Welcome Party” for all the out of towners. My mom didn’t love that it was unconventional, but it worked out great for us!

      • The Dilettantista

        This sounds great and honestly, the “small nice dinner” first night, “big welcome party” second night and “wedding” on the third night direction seems like the way to go! Since we *just* picked the date and venue this week we’re verbally spreading the word, but I want to get save the dates sent out before the summer is over…we just need to finalize the guest list (well, rather, my parents need to finalize theirs! Ours is done, and my in-laws just threw a wedding last fall so their guest list is pretty much identical) and we’ll be set!

    • Jashshea

      We had about 45-55% coming from out of town (including my entire family and all of my HS and college friends). Thankfully my husband’s parents (who were hosting) wanted it to be a shindig, because I really valued the extra time I got to spend with everyone at the “Welcome Dinner.”

      Side note: My dad wanted it to be just immediate family and I told him it wasn’t his event.


      We are in pretty much the same situation. We are getting married on a Saturday and having the rehearsal Friday morning. We decided to do a ‘rehearsal brunch’ directly after that, so only the people who are attending the rehearsal will be attending the brunch. (If we invited everyone that’s in from out of town it would be almost a 2nd wedding!) Then Friday evening we’ll be doing a casual ‘meet and greet’ at the hotel and just bringing in some beer and snacks so all of the out of town people can meet and hang out. (We considered just having the meet and greet at a nearby bar so everyone would just pay their own way).

      • Emily

        We also have a ton of out of town guests, so the night before we’re doing a welcome party with just snacks and booze from 8-10, after our rehearsal dinner w/ parents and our wedding party. I’m really excited to get more facetime with the out of towners, and my family is really happy we’re aren’t doing another full dinner for a giant guest list!

    • kate

      I would feel awful having all of these folks in town for a wedding and to reconnect with family and not include them in the rehersal dinner. So I’m with you, no doubt. Also, I think I’ll probably be overwhelmed with people but even so I’d be sad if people went off and did things without us. It’s big but to me it’s worth it for them and me.

    • Lizzie

      Early rehearsal dinner at a restaurant (5pm I think?) and then a casual welcome reception with cheese, fruit, and drinks for everyone who was there by then worked well for us. My mother-in-law planned the whole rehearsal dinner, I just specified the time. She really wanted to and it was a nice easy piece of planning that I could parcel off and not think about. And it was delicious and lovely.

  • After blogging that I was having no problem making the big decisions about our wedding (who, when, where), I was feeling paralyzed by the little decisions and allowing them to snowball in my mind (i.e. “I need to pick my jewelry before I pick the bridesmaids’ jewelry and I want them to all be unique but similar and yellow but not tacky and the women are all so different that they might not all like this and is this locket as bold as I originally intended to go and blue and gold isn’t REALLY blue and yellow but it is lovely…”)

    And then I just clicked “Add to Cart” on Etsy and it was as easy as that and now it’s over. And I am not as unhappy or conflicted or second-guessy as I told myself I would me. Tricky.

    • Hannah

      Making decisions can feel amazing. Especially when you have 50,000 decisions to make (like when you’re planning a wedding). In the APW book it talks about the best being the enemy of the good. Meaning if you are trapped by indecision or fear that you must find THE BEST POSSIBLE OPTION you often get stuck with whatever is left. I’ve tried to remember this through the planning process. Make a decision, check it off and move forward to the next one. It gets easier with each decision you make!

    • Gosh, yes. Isn’t it wonderful to just click “CONFIRM/SUBMIT” on the payment screen and be done with it sometimes? The money can be well worth the sanity, IMHO.

    • I could have written this myself, Kate! I was just telling a friend how I’ve been mired down in all the details and obsessed with finding the perfect, perfect and exactly right bridesmaids’ jewelry (or anything, really), and how good it feels to have just made a decision and been done with it. YAY. (Also, yay for Etsy. I’m going to have a pretty Etsy-ified wedding, and I love it.)

    • good for you on clicking “add to cart” committing can be the hardest part.

  • Hannah

    This is a part etiquette/part opinion question. I’m getting ready to send out invites (having sent out Save the Dates 9 months ago), and I’ve already had a few people tell me they definitely can’t come. Do I need to send them invites? I realize I probably do, but each invite does have a $$ amount associated with it, and it seems silly to send to people who definitely can’t come. Thoughts? Opinions?

    • I have this EXACT question. Looking forward to the responses.

    • meg

      Yes. I think you send them invites. It’s not just etiquette, it’s also nice. I keep my friends invites, at least for awhile. And I’m sad if I can’t come, so I at least want the invite. If I missed out on that too, BOO.

      • Brenda

        Absolutely. My little collection of friends’ wedding invitations is much treasured, even if I couldn’t go.

    • Laura Lee

      Yes, it’s still correct to send them invites. It’s a message that you’re thinking of them and wish they could be there. And you never know, situations can change and someone may be able to attend after all. Also, if it’s a close relative (like a grandma across the country that can’t travel), they probably want an invitation to save.

    • Cleo

      I would reach out to the people who have already told you they can’t come and let them know you’re about to send out invites. Say something like, ‘I know you already RSVP’ed no to me, so if that’s still the case, I won’t send you an invitation. But please let me know if anything has changed. If there’s a chance you might be able to make it, I’d love for you to come.’

      • Tess

        I had this same question…I will send invites, but my worry is that getting an invite from someone you know couldn’t come would feel like just asking for a gift. I definitely don’t want it to be read that way.

        • Definitely see where you’re coming from, but I wouldn’t personally take it that way. As other have mentioned, I save invitations from friends and family — but I’m a total paper nerd! And if I can’t come, I still send them a card. Just feels like a nice thing to do.

        • One More Sara

          I hate all the etiquette about certain actions look like you are “asking” for gifts (except no registries on invites. That one I’m on board with). If you send these people an invite, it’s because you would love for them to be at your wedding. Period. If they think you are being gift-grabby then that is THEIR problem, not yours. (I also think this would be a great instance to use Rachel’s trick and try to use a name instead of the generic “people” or “guests”)

    • Meghan

      Send them invites anyway – I’m in a similar boat, and my guests who can’t make it specifically said “please send me an invitation anyway!”. It’s a nice gesture and they’ll enjoy it.

    • Caroline

      I agree in this situation, yes, you send the invite.

      However, I’m debating if we send our rabbi an invite. (Umm, not the one marrying us, the one who isn’t allowed to). I’d like to, because I wish he could be there even as a guest ( conservative/masorti rabbi and interfaith wedding, so he ‘s not allowed.) it would probably be hurtful to send the invite when I know he can’t come, right? I think, if he could, he would want to come, but can’t ( would lose his membership in the Rabbinical Assembly or whatever that makes him a conservative rabbi). So, sending the rabbi an invite: snarky and hurtful or sweet and wish you could be there?

      • rys

        He can’t officiate, but I think he can attend in a non-official, just-a-friend capacity — or, rather, there haven’t been repercussions for mere attendance even if it’s technically not kosher. I’d send an invite and let him decide.

        • Caroline

          No, Conservative rabbis aren’t allowed to officiate or attend. And while the rules may or may not be strictly enforced (i don’t know), I wouldn’t ask him to break the rules. The idea is more “I wish you could come”. As hypothetical Sarah said below, from the movement perspective, it’s a matter of giving the appearance of condoning intermarriage. I’ve been thinking about Brenda’s idea. I know he can’t attend, it’s a question of whether to send him an invite ( with a note) knowing he can’t come, is a good idea.

      • Brenda

        Maybe an invite with a note saying you know he won’t be able to come but you wanted him to know how much you appreciate his support/guidance/friendship/whatever applies?

        • Caroline

          Thanks. That’s perfect. I couldn’t figure out how to word it.

      • Hypothetical Sarah

        I’d send him one and include a little note saying that while you know he can’t officiate, you’d love to see him there as a guest.

        Having said that, think about how you’ll feel if you send one and he declines. We’re both Jewish and had a conservative rabbi officiate, and we still had a rabbi friend decline because he thought attending might be seen as condoning the non-orthodox ceremony. Knowing someone (probably) can’t come and actually having them say no aren’t always the same thing.

    • Please send them invites. While I will be attending my sister’s wedding she decided that since I am planning it, and I know all the details, she could save some money and not send me a save the date or an invite. I live in another country so I understand but it is so disappointing not to see what everyone else sees. People who love you want to be included even if they can’t attend the event. It gives them some part of your wedding to discuss with you later.

  • Laura Lee

    Tomorrow is the first day of June, the month I’m getting married (6/29). I’m getting really excited for the day to be here, but I’m also getting proportionally more stressed/anxious for all the shiz that still needs to get done. I’ve been running around like a crazy person literally all year. Working full time, 4-5 evenings per week filled with other activities right after work, getting home late every night and staying up working on wedding stuff or cleaning or laundry or whatever else life throws my way until I can’t stay awake any more. And dammit, I’m tired.

    I’m choosing to do all these things and work my ass off so I can have the wedding I want and achieve other goals, but I’M TIRED. It will be oh so worth it and I wouldn’t do anything differently if I could go back, but it’s getting oh so difficult to keep up the pace.

    Oh yeah, and we get the keys to our house tomorrow. We just have to refinish/carpet all the floors, paint every wall and clean every surface before moving in before the wedding, no big deal.

    Did I mention my job is making me crazy? Yeah, that too.

    I’m not trying to throw a pity party, but if you could all think some positive “stay strong, keep on trucking” thoughts for me, it would be most appreciated. It’s the final stretch, I know I can do it (and I’ve got so many loving friends and family including FH to help), but it’s going to be hard. Can’t wait for “I do,” the honeymoon, and a much needed change of pace. Thanks for listening!

    • Lauren

      I am a June 29 gal here too! Fist bump. Or, more like a halfhearted, exhausted fist-gesticulation. I am worn thin.

      Stay strong. Pat on the back. Head up. You’ll get out of this alive and married. I have been alternating every other day from the -1 month anniversary earlier this week between so Zen it hurts to so panicky I feel like crying, throwing up, and jumping off of a bridge all at the same time.

      Just a note to say I’m right there with you! Good vibes to you!

      • Emily

        I’m gettin’ hitched on 7/6/13. The week after you.

        I’m here with you! We can do it! I just keep reminding myself that it won’t be perfect, and it doesn’t have to be. If I’m there, he’s there, and our loved ones are there – that’s the important thing.

        Sending good vibes your way.

    • Kari B

      Hey fellow June bride! (28th over here) Congrats on the house by the way! I know, I know, that alone is a cluster ball of stress let alone before a wedding. When we moved into ours, the whole process stressed us out so much that we must have argued from sun up to down for the first 3 weeks. But it taught us so much about each other and made us closer.

      But back to wedding stress, yeah I don’t know what it is about the last month, but where did all these details and loose ends come from?! It’s seriously making me question all the DIY projects I decided to do too.
      What I can tell you is hang in there, because the end of next month is gonna be so so awesome! And that honeymoon is going to rock!! We haven’t traveled for 5 months so I think we’re looking forward to that more than the wedding sometimes;-) Where did you guys decided to go? Good luck hon!

    • carrie

      Keep on trucking! And it will likely get a little crazier and then it will be your wedding! (!!!!) So be as kind to yourself as you can, ask for some help, and enjoy the ride! Congrats!

    • Paranoid Libra

      Just try to do at least 30 mins of house prep each day. Chance are once you start you will go longer and that is better. If nothing else at least you got 30 more mins of work done on the house. Save the carpet and floor for a weekend thought as I suspect that might be better to give that more time.

    • Laura Lee

      Thank you ladies! I feel like the little engine that could. “I think I can, I think I can. I know I can, I KNOW I can.” :)

      • Emily

        I could have written this post (except for the house part). I am freaking out about June 1- my wedding is the 15th. Seems like I’m trying to cram all the work I’m missing during my honeymoon into the next two weeks, and my friends want to hang out, and my house is super gross, but slowly, we are ticking things off the list. Really nice to hear I’m not the only one :)

    • We just got the keys to our house on Wednesday. We don’t have that many remodeling projects (the house was pretty much move-in ready), but moving is still daunting! But you can do it, one day at a time. And at the end of the month, you’ll be married, and it’ll feel great. The last few weeks can be a marathon (I combined wedding planning with finishing my thesis and graduating). Sending good thoughts your way!

  • Karen

    Seeking advice from APWs more creative than I! My fiance and I have chosen to have just a maid of honor and best man at our wedding instead of full wedding parties. We both wanted his sister to be involved, though, so have long planned to have her do a reading. However, we just asked her to do it and she doesn’t want to! (fear of public speaking, which I never in a million years would have predicted).

    We would still like her to be involved and SHE would still like to be involved, but in a non-speaking capacity. Here is where I need creative minds – any ideas???

    We are getting married outside by a good friend and are writing our entire ceremony, so we are really flexible about what we can do (including pouring of the sand, unity candle, etc.). Has anyone involved other family members in non-speaking ways that we might be able to incorporate? Any advice is appreciated!

    • Jenny

      We didn’t have a bridal party, but K’s brother was the keeper of the rings and brought them up at the appropriate time. You could have her hold your bouquet (if you are having one), it keeps your MOH from holding two. If it’s cool to involve her in non ceremony things you could as her to have people sign your guest book. Of maybe she could help choose a reading, or hand out programs.

      • I like the “keeper of the rings” idea! It’s so sweet, and it connotes, to me, the importance of this person/the rings.

        I do have to say: getting people to sign the guest book seems like a real drag. Everyone is off at the party, and you’re stuck standing around a table, you know? But maybe that’s just me; I’d be too antsy.

        Usher can be a nice role, too, as they sort of welcome people to the wedding!

        • Karen

          I LOVE the idea of having her be the “keeper of the rings!” What a great way to involve her. And on a practical note, holding the bouquet is a good idea, as well!

          THANK YOU! And this is why the APW community rocks. Happy Friday, everyone!

    • kgoesgallivanting

      We are also limiting our bridal party to a maid of honor and best man. It’s been a big fuss trying to figure out other ways to involve other loved ones and this is what we’ve come up with so far (some of them are speaking roles however):
      -flower girls
      -ring bearers
      -guest book attendants
      -greeters (hand out programs)
      -ushers to seat special guests (grandma, elderly family members, our moms, etc.)
      -musicians (we have a lot of musically talented family and friends)
      -gift carriers (bread and wine)
      -MC at the reception
      -someone to say the meal prayer
      -toast givers
      -cake cutters and distributors
      -personal attendant (someone to make sure we eat and drink during the day, etc.)

      Hopefully this list helps! I like Jenny’s idea of having her hold your bouquet. I think that’s a really sweet gesture.

    • Is there a thing you know she *does* fell comfortable with? Maybe she can hand out yay flags and lead the yay flag waving, or as suggested, bring up the rings, or if you are doing escorting down the aisle of some kind she could escort her brother down the aisle?

  • All your tips and tricks for surviving morning sickness: please, please share them with me. I am so fucking miserable.

    • Hannah

      I haven’t been there myself, but my recently pregnant friend swears by Preggie Pops, Altoids (or other mints) and Peppermint tea. I’ve also heard ginger or ginger tea can be a life saver.

      • Emmers

        I also haven’t been pregnant, but I’ve used peppermint tea to combat nausea caused by too much drinking. The couple times I’ve used it it’s been quite effective. I’ve also heard from a recently pregnant coworker that ginger tea helps. Good luck! I hope you feel better soon!

    • Kira

      Keeping your blood sugar stable is supposed to do wonders–so try to eat regularly, if you can find something you can keep down. A friend swore by keeping snacks by her bedside and eating something before she even sat up. Good luck!

    • KateM

      For me, keeping moving was a huge help. I know this time of year can be tough, as the heat intensifies everything. If you have access to a pool, that might be helpful. Hopefully it gets better soon, it was miserable.
      Also I stayed out of the kitchen. We did take out, or m husband cooked. Period. I could not handle food smells and the garbage had o be taken out constantly.

    • Beth

      Vitamin B6. My midwife gave me samples of a prenatal called B-Calm, and after that I DIY-ed it (on her suggestion) by taking 25mg of vitamin B6 3x/day along with my regular prenatal vitamin (and took the regular prenatal at night). Also saltines on your nightstand to snack on in the middle of the night, without having to get up.

    • Citrus worked best for me. I would get up in the middle of the night and eat a tangerine. Especially smelling the oils released by the peel helped, but eating citrus candies helped too.

      But mostly I just felt like I would just try everything every day and some days some things would work and some days other things would work. The nice thing about nausea is that you can pretty much tell immediately when something is not going to work, even thinking about some things made it clear they would be a bad idea for me. Do whatever sounds appealing and hang in there.

  • Kari B

    Normally I’m just a casual browser on the HH posts, but I just had to do the bride-y thing and shout out our countdown. T-minus 28 days ya’ll!!!

    Funny thing about it is, despite how ecstatic my fiance and I are, and all our fam & friends are for us…I’ve only told one person at work about the wedding. And that’s mostly because they’re my boss and they asked about my ring. It’s not that people wouldn’t be excited for us, because everyone in my office seems genuinely nice. But I’m just not close with any of them. Not that it’s always a factor, but there’s a huge age difference between me and almost everyone else apart from one or two people. And I hardly work or see the ones that are. It’s just one of those things.

    I’m also leaving to go back to school full time for graphic design (111 days to go…but who’s counting?) which adds a little more detachment. Sometimes it makes me feel like a cold person, but honestly I wonder too if it’s really my coworkers’ business. I mean apart from letting the proper people know when you’ll be on vacation, who really needs to know?

    Guess I’m just nervous because I’m planning to share the news today and I’m hoping there won’t be a ton of “how come you didn’t tell us sooner?!!” comments. I’m sure it’ll end up going great though. All else fails, it’s almost 5:00:-)

    • Paranoid Libra

      Half of my co-workers didn’t find out until like 2 weeks out because I was on loan to a project and then when I came back I was just quiet about it for a few months. Also having a non-diamond ring doesn’t really draw the attention of the nosey people either. I was in another building for that project when I got engaged and I wasn’t sure how to tell my co-workers that I am not at all close to other than idle chit chat. I also enjoyed avoiding the obnoxious harassment others would have given me.

    • Aside from one job, I have never been particularly friendly with people at work or developed long term relationships with them (which was slightly difficult and one rather clique-y office). Honestly, it makes it easy to keep personal and professional life separate and means that your free time doesn’t devolve into office bitchfests. I invited two people at my office to my wedding – one was my boss and one was my friend before I took the job (and my boss chose not to come) and I didn’t regret not asking more people.

    • Rebecca

      I didn’t tell anybody at work when I got engaged (no engagement ring makes stealth engagements super easy), and then I took two months off to finish my thesis, eloped, and came back as a full time hire and “oh, by the way, I got married.” People were happy for me, and I don’t think anyone felt excluded- day to day I mostly work with men, so I don’t think they felt left out or anything. It’s not like it changed anything, really, in our day to day work relationships. And it’s nice to have a space where the engagement/ wedding isn’t a thing.

  • Jenny

    It’s my first weekend as a WIFE!!!!!!!! The wedding went so amazing, it was awesome. To everyone who’s wedding is coming up, I’m SO EXCITED FOR YOU! ENJOY!

    • Hannah

      This post made me happy. Congrats!

  • Michelle

    Hi all! Happy Friday! For some reason these short weeks, after holidays, seem extra painful. Breaking out of frequent lurkdom to ask if anyone has any tips on coordinating wedding guest transportation? In theory, most of our guests will be staying at one hotel and our ceremony & reception are in the same location. Seems fairly simple, but in my head it’s become the most complicated puzzle ever. How do we deal with figuring out: what size shuttle/bus, do we need more than one, who will take the bus shuttle, timing, etc? I’m guessing the easiest way is to put some kind of RSVP function on our website (I don’t think we’ll have the timing of the shuttles figured out when the invitations are sent, thus cannot put any concrete info on the RSVP card). Any guidance would be greatly appreciated!

    • Paranoid Libra

      We just did one that should have given everyone a couple of mins to get seated and sorted once arrived. It was about a 10 drive from hotel to site and we were supposed to have a 4:45 departure for a 5:00 ceremony. Got one big enough to think we’d fit everyone on. It got there late as my brother fell asleep without setting an alarm and was racing to get dressed when the shuttle was leaving and no one had a key into his room except my sister who was already at the site as she was in the wedding.

      We then did 2 rounds of pick ups from the venue one a half hour before ending for those that were just tired at 10 and then it came back for 10:30 for the real drunk bus. Someone actually picked up one of the boxes of beer(we supplied alcohol) and passed around beer to anyone who wanted it on the ride back.

      Just make sure you have someone that will make sure everyone gets on that last shuttle. I don’t drink so it was easy for me to go no I saw 2 groomsmen walking out to the horse barn they need to get on the shuttle before we can leave.

    • We rented a big school bus and called it a day. They had two shuttles, everyone knew the times and signed up by email, so I had a list that I entrusted to one friend who was riding it so she could take attendance before the shuttle left. Loose attendance. I think it was a hit and the friend was happy to help in some small way.

      Bonus, I gave this entire task to my sister, it’s an easy one to delegate. I literally don’t even know what company we used because she took care of it. Hand that sh*t out to someone!

  • californienne

    Hi everyone! I’ve got two months to go! We’re planning on DIYing/crowd-sourcing our wedding. Anyone done this and have any tips? Suggestions for desserts that work well? I’ve been thinking of an assortment of cookies, cheescake, pie, and chocolate truffles. Any of these bad ideas? What am I missing?

    • Kira

      I just baked most of the cakes for my wedding using this Orangette recipe for chocolate cake: http://orangette.blogspot.com/2004/08/and-then-cake-came-forth.html

      It’s insanely delicious, dead easy (I’m talking 10 minutes of hands-on time per cake, max), and actually improves with freezing, which met all my requirements. Our guests seemed to like them, too!

      • californienne

        Thanks! Looks delicious. I’m worried about truffles melting and this might be a good chocolate substitute.

    • If you know who you’re asking, maybe just play to their specialties? It could be pressure-filled for some people who don’t want to screw up, but if you know your aunt always makes a damn good cheesecake, then ask her for that. If your cousin’s go-to contribution is brownies, there you go.

    • Rebecca

      I use the King Arthur Flour website for all things baking related. They actually have a baking helpline- I bet if you called you’d probably get an enthusiastic person with a lot of good suggestions… Baking hotline: 855-371-BAKE (2253). There’s also a “chat with a baker” option on the recipe portion of the website.

  • so, today is my 30th birthday, which i totally forgot until my wife called this morning (because she’s out of town for almost a week). my mother has come to visit (from another state, at the last minute) because she is upset that i was not planning to do anything for my birthday. so i’ve been hanging out with my mom and three toddlers (’cause, oops, no power at daycare today) and sorta-kinda working from home. it’s real nice and every time i have an uneventful birthday i remember how much i prefer them to parties.

    also, i (again) utterly fail to see why folks think 30 (or any other age) is *such a big deal!* i wasn’t made for this part of our culture =)

    • marbella

      happy birthday!

    • carrie

      Happy Birthday! And congrats for not falling into the 30-oh-my-god trap!

  • Happy Friday everyone! Very yes to the whole elongation of the space-time continuum during a truncated work week.

    I turned the big 3-0 yesterday and am gearing up for a weekend of BBQ and nerdy shenanigans! The work day needs to end PRONTO!

    • /fistbump to the nerdy shenanigans. and, ok, to the bbq.

      and happy belated birthday!

      • Laura Lee

        Mine was yesterday too! (26th) Happy belated birthday to you :)

    • happy birthday. and bonus points to us for posting our 30th birthday news in the exact same moment.

      • Thanks everyone! Happy Birthday Lady Brett! And yes +10 points to each of us for the simulpost!

  • marbella

    Last night I went to my first meetup with a new group, led by this amazing woman who has a degree in Automotive Tech and ran her own custom shop, taught high school auto shop (first woman teacher in AZ!). She now has a 2400+sqft workshop and all these amazing tools and wants to pass on her knowledge to other women. I am so excited to start learning with the group of ladies and get to work on restoring our baby! I can’t wait to weld stuff! (The whole time I will be singing ‘she’s a maniac’ in my head..)

    • Kira

      Whoa, welding is so awesome! Go you!

  • Sandy

    Not a great week. Had awful-can’t-walk-without-looking-ridiculous-laying-on-the-floor back pain for just over a week.

    I know it’s temporary and will go away in time, probably due to huge amounts of stress in recent weeks. But still… ow.

    • awww feel better! hugs!

    • Ugh. I feel for you. I have definitely been there.

      Hope you start feeling better soon so you can start attacking life again!
      Haha…totally kidding. I usually just lay weakly in bed surrounded by hot packs and wave at life as it passes by the door. It gets better eventually.

  • Kira

    So, I got married a few weeks ago, and it was so much fun! I had a blast, felt so touched by the love of my community, and was in a really good mental space for the whole day. I feel like all of my planning (project management stuff more than aesthetic details stuff) paid off–my guests were comfortable, and I basically handed off everything the day before and got to take a nap before the rehearsal dinner, go hiking alone on the morning of the wedding, feel very present and grounded during the ceremony, and have a lovely solo picnic with my husband (!) during the cocktail hour. Plus, I totally remember the day and ate a TON of tasty dinner, so take that, threatening voices of doom!

    Also, today I mailed off my half of our thank-you notes! (Our wedding was small, so it wasn’t a Herculean task, but I still feel proud of myself.) Now I am turning myself to exciting non-wedding tasks: applying to grad school, taking on new work projects, planning fancy dinner parties, and organizing summer trips with friends. Being married is SO much better than being engaged!

    • Congrats!

    • Samantha

      Yeah, I can’t imagine not getting to spend time with and talk to my groom at our wedding and certainly can’t imagine not eating. I will! I will! Threatening voices of doom be damned!

  • Emily

    Been struggling this week. Wanted to apply for a sweet position with lots of travel that started in January, and it closed before the application deadline and I didn’t apply in time because I was unhappy with my cover letter. [Holy run-on sentence. Sorry!] Had a toddler moment where I pouted for a couple days but now I’m back to game planning. :/

    • Whenever I’m job hunting, I feel like there’s always that one “job that got away” early in the process. Even though it’s really disappointing, I actually feel like it’s a helpful part of the process, b/c from then on you don’t sit on the cover letter/resume, trying to make it perfect. You focus on getting it out the door, instead. So, anyway, take heart! And then keep hitting send as soon as possible.

      Also, I found this blog incredibly helpful in my last job hunt: http://www.askamanager.com

    • I just did the same thing last week! The job was almost perfect, but I kept stressing about my cover letter and missed the deadline. It’s so frustrating. I just have to keep reminding myself that perseverance is key in job hunting.

  • We’ve been in the new house a month and a half and we’re still not unpacked and the kitchen is only 75% renovated. Nor have we installed the air conditioners for 2/3s of the house and it’s hitting the 90’s. Plus I am in summer classes 4 days a week. I am reminding myself that it will all get done. Eventually. And it’s OK.

    • Conversely, you only have about 25% of the kitchen reno left and about 1/3 of the air conditioners left to install. There’s no need to feel bad about not being unpacked until at least 6 months for a house. Find the essentials, then just focus on one box at a time. Besides, why fully unpack a room that’s not fully renovated yet? Exactly.

  • Beth

    I tried to get to work early today so I could start my honeymoon early (woohoo!!)…and then I got stuck on a stupid BART train for an hour and a half and got in later than normal. Womp womp.

    Our wedding was last weekend and was amazing. More than I ever imagined. I expected things to go wrong and not one thing went wrong. In fact, every single thing I was worried about went more smoothly than I could have hoped. I’d read about how friends and family would come through in unexpected ways and I didn’t really understand what that would mean for us, but holy cow did they ever. From stage managing to running sound to setting up tables/chairs to hanging lanterns. I even had two ladies in our wedding party who mopped the stage and cleaned the frickin’ bathroom (I mean….!). My husband looked handsome and I looked possibly the best I’ve ever looked in my life (if I do say so myself – and much of that was thanks to my friend who did an amazing job on my hair and makeup) and I cannot wait to see our pictures. I can’t stop looking at us in the few my friends have posted already, haha.

    We had a lot of people tell us how much they enjoyed our (very personalized, very secular) ceremony, which meant a lot. This was far from a traditional wedding, but everyone seemed to have a good time and see just how “us” it was. It was worth all the stress! Truly. I don’t think it hit me until the next day, when I kept starting to cry thinking about all the random moments, just how wonderful it was. My husband(!) was taken completely by surprise by how much it effected him and we are both still floating this week.

    Many thanks to the APW community for helping me get through this process with my sanity intact.

    Sooooo ready to be on our way tomorrow!

    • Kira

      Yay! Congratulations!

  • Darcy

    So get this, I have a two and a half week old baby! I’m still trying to wrap my head around the fact she’s here and we’re the parents.
    Tomorrow is also our third wedding anniversary and the twelfth anniversary of being together. So many blessings, so little sleep.

    • This just made me grin from ear to ear. Congratulations! Enjoy. :)

  • We adopted a dog this week! http://pinterest.com/pin/153122456053436633/
    His name is Roger Sterling. (Yep, I’m obsessed with Mad Men) He was a rescue from the pound where they were going to put him down because they thought his leg needed amputated. They found his stray after being hit by a car. The rescue nabbed him, nursed him back to health, did surgery on the leg to save it and then some rehab. We introduced him to the baby last weekend and thought about it and discussed it and finally we came to the conclusion that we couldn’t live without him. Woo!

    Oh, and we are kicking around the idea of either going to the courthouse or actually having a wedding. Baby steps. And lots more to put in the piggy bank first either way. :)

    • Beth

      He totally looks like a Roger Sterling. Lady-dogs of the neighborhood, watch out!

      • Londonsarah

        No! Sorry, I did not mean report! Fat fingers, tiny screen.

    • Catherine

      Congratulations of adopting a dog!!! I’m so happy for you. Rescues rock <3

  • AP

    One of my good friends, who was a bridesmaid in our wedding last year, asked me to essentially plan her reception – logistics, decorations, etc. I agreed and have finished planning everything for her reception – which is a few weeks away. She’s chosen two bridesmaids, one of whom has done EVERYTHING – all the parties, showers, etc. the other I’m not even sure will show up on the big day. I know all you APW-ers know how special and important the role of stage manager is, but I feel like the ‘hired help’ and not a part of the wedding at all, which is especially frustrating considering the serious lack of involvement or help from the MOH. Any thoughts?

    • Laura Lee

      That just sucks. You’re obviously doing a kick ass job for her, and it sucks that she’s not showing her appreciation. I’m going to give her the benefit of a doubt for a minute. Maybe she’s just really stressed by all the things that aren’t getting done, and maybe extra stressed by her less than helpful MOH. She could be incredibly grateful and relieved that you’re doing such an awesome job supporting her and holding up your part of the planning. She could be focusing all her energy right now on the things that AREN’T getting done, and be planning to recognize and thank all your efforts appropriately once all the crazy is passed.

      It could also be that she’s an ungrateful ho-bag. Let’s hope it’s the former and that she will be letting you know just how much she appreciates you.

    • A friend of mine ran into this when she was a bridesmaid, but ended up having to fulfill all the MOH duties with very little response from the MOH on anything at all.

      Is there anything in particular your friend has done to slight you, aside from not choosing you as a bridesmaid? I agree with Laura Lee that the bride may just be incredibly overwhelmed and stressed right now.

      Don’t worry a bit about the MOH- she’s not your responsibility, and if the wedding passes with no acknowledgement, then talk to your friend.

    • What would make you feel appreciated? Your friend may just be clueless and not realize she’s not appreciating you well. A lunch date with your friend? A thank you letter? Your name in the program? Whatever you think would help, maybe bring it up delicately with the helpful bridesmaid and see if she can tactfully pass it along to the bride?

  • Jessica B

    So I’ve been thinking about whether or not I want to wear my glasses for the wedding. I wear glasses all the time, and don’t especially like contacts, but I’m wondering if there are any special “bridal” glasses I could look at? Anyone have thoughts on contacts v glasses for at least the ceremony and photos?

    • I’ve been thinking about this a lot! For months! Here’s my stump speech on the issue, as it applied to me.

      I also always wear glasses and have since I was about 10. I have contacts for beach days and skiing, but I rarely if ever wear them on a regular day. And yes I kept considering wearing contacts on the wedding, but then I had to ask myself why I suddenly felt like my glasses (aka, the way I walk around ever single day) were inadequate. For me, it was coming from the same place that brides are expected to be on a diet for a year leading up to the wedding, which is part of this more upsetting narrative that women should always be *working on* their appearance, should always be checking their makeup in mirrors or on a diet or worrying about their [fill in the body part]. And I definitely fall subject to that plenty of times, but on my wedding day I really want to look like a super awesome version of myself, not some scripted version of what a bride should look like.

      Also, these pictures and this thread is pretty awesome: http://offbeatbride.com/2008/01/brides-in-glasses

      I might get new frames before the wedding, but I might just replace the lenses in these frames as they are my favorite I’ve had in years.

      • Preach, sister.

        The only thing I’d add is make sure your photographer is clued in, and knows how to avoid bad glare on your lenses (this from a childhood of “Okay, chin down, little lower, okay right there!”).

    • Caroline

      I think I’ll just wear my glasses. Like Jessica B, I have contacts for swimming but I don’t really wear them. I wear glasses every day, it’s who I am, so I will probably wear my regular glasses on my wedding day.

    • I wore my glasses for the reception but not the ceremony. But I rarely wear them around the house–I can see ok at close distances, not so okay further. If you want I can show you pics of me both ways, or just with the glasses–basically I felt like I looked fine as a bride with glasses.

      I have a friend who got new frames for her wedding. Her normal frames were thick and black, and she is pale and redheaded and was wearing all white, so she got some clearish sparkly frames. I would say just getting some cheap (or expensive!) frames that coordinate with your dress/colors/veil should work–they don’t need to eb explicitly bridal. If you want, you coudl do pale blue and have them be a something blue.

      • Jessica B

        I started looking at Warby Parker and realized that could happen. I’ve only ever had ‘practical’ eye glasses of brown or black, so I kind of forgot some colorful glasses exist. I’m totally doing the home-try on program!


      That’s a toughie. I think fancy glasses are a cool idea. Maybe peruse Etsy for ideas? I don’t have glasses myself, and I’ve seen it go both ways at weddings of my glasses wearing friends. I kind of love the idea of keeping something normal on the day, but if you wear contacts sometimes for fancy things, I think keeping it to the ceremony and photos would maximize comfort.

    • Anne

      My husband always wears glasses, and wore his for the wedding; I always wear contacts, and did. We didn’t have any problems with photos or anything, and I was happy that he looked like himself.

    • I’ve wondered about this too, especially since my frames are a little narrow and often slip down my nose. (appearing half way in front of my eye) I’m nearly positive I will be wearing glasses for the wedding those, as they are so very me now. He’s only known me in glasses. He may end up in glasses too before October. Adorable pair of lovers in glasses, eh? ;)

      You asked about bridal glasses, may I recommend you check out Tumbleweeds Handcraft. They’ve sent out a few wedding sets in the last few weeks and you could choose any pair. They’ll send you hand-wood-veneered frames without the lenses in them or with. http://www.tumbleweedshandcraft.bigcartel.com/

    • Tess

      Struggling with this too. I have tried contacts without much success in the past. I like the idea of no glasses for ceremony but yes for reception, but as I’m near-sighted, I think I’d like to be able to look out over the crowd during the ceremony and actually see the features of those happy people smiling back at me!

    • Mira

      If you don’t usually wear them and you’re not used to wearing them, getting contacts to look fancy is a bad idea — they can feel really uncomfortable while you get used to them.

      That being said — I always wear glasses these days, but I got contacts for my wedding. I love how much I can see when I wear contacts — but they’re expensive, and I’d stopped buying them when I started grad school. For me, getting them was a kind of self care — like getting a wedding pedicure, even though I usually have scraggly toenails.

      The key is to figure out whether this impulse is about how you look, or how you feel.

    • Meghan A.

      I’m definitely going to wear my glasses for my wedding. I can’t see wihtout them! I’m not sure if you are comfortable in your frames, but you could also check out sites like zennioptical.com, which you can experiment with cheap glasses. I know that on Offbeat bride, there are a few brides: http://offbeatbride.com/2008/01/brides-in-glasses

    • My glasses feel like as much a part of me as my arms, so while I do own a pair of contacts somewhere the idea of not wearing them to get married couldn’t compute in my head. It just wouldn’t have felt like me.

      • H

        I wore glasses at my wedding. I wore a super girly lace dress with a corset and a veil. My glasses are thick brown plastic, and it was awesome. I look like myself, but GOOD, and I do not regret it. Wear your glasses. Do your hair and makeup if you so desire. If you need new frames like I did (I mean, the screws were falling out, and the glare coating was flaking off and the prescription was old and it was bad), get new frames that you like and will wear outside of the wedding. It will be fine; it will look good. Do any of your normal clothes clash with your glasses? No? Then, they won’t clash with your wedding outfit.

    • My only suggestion for glasses is low-reflective lenses to avoid glare. If you don’t like contacts, no need to wear them. I wore contacts myself, but I switch between them in everyday life depending on things like my allergies.

  • Slade

    Dude, I found this photo of someone’s wedding that is, seriously, the best wedding party shot I’ve ever seen. Check it out: http://www.babble.com/babble-voices/he-said-she-said/2013/05/29/the-best-wedding-photo-ever/

    I thought you guys would really appreciate it. :)

  • moonitfractal

    Hi, everyone. How long is normal to get your albums back after a wedding? I celebrated my first anniversary earlier this month and still haven’t seen the albums we ordered. We got proofs after about 6 months, which seemed really long to me, and took a couple of months to pick out photos for the albums, then didn’t hear from them until a couple of weeks ago. We got our album proofs, but it looks like they messed up the order. This company has great reviews, so I don’t know if I just have unreasonable expectations.

    • Meghan

      Hmmm…I’m thinking you should follow up with them on this. My photog’s contract has a turnaround time of 8-10 weeks – and she’s an APW vendor, so you know she’s legit. :)

      (Shout-out to Corinne Krogh! Can’t wait to have her take the pics of our big day.)

    • Check the contract? I’d be bugging your photographer, especially as they’re in “wedding season” again.

    • Kelly

      We got our album around 6 mos. One year seems long to me, but definitely check your contract.

  • It’s our 3rd legal marriage anniversary… we had the nicest mexican food (green enchiladas, tacos de tinga), there were flowers, and ice-cream, and walks in the city. The husband started a new job, and we are today starting IVF, hoping and praying that it will work. Also, it’s almost June… my birthday month. And we are looking forward to a calm weekend, lots of chilling and a movie (we haven’t been to an action movie in the big screen in ages).
    Happy weekend everyone!

    • happy days too you, good luck/high hopes/solidarity fist pumps to you on IVF !

      • Thanks so much Kate ;)

  • Miriam

    Woke up this morning totally pumped and excited, literally vibrating, for our wedding which is in 10 days! Couldn’t wait to go to the airport to pick up my fiance and his mom.

    Now, a few hours later, I’m sitting in my childhood room crying because there is something just not right in my relationship with my mom. Something went wrong in the schedule for next weekend, and she is in hysterics because she f’ed it up, meaning we all expend more emotional energy calming her than actually solving the problem. This has been ongoing – I have spent more time and emotional energy managing her emotions about my wedding than I have confronting my own emotions about becoming a wife, getting a whole nother set of family… Both today, and yesterday, in public, once in front of our amazing wedding coordinator, she scolded me to change my tone with her, as if I was 12 and talking back. (Reassurance from an objective party that my tone was not overly harsh or inappropriate.) I’ve taken to literally digging my nails into my hands when she says things like that because that is the only response I have that won’t make the situation worse (full out shouting match with runny tears in the middle of Costco? No, thank you.)

    Any tips for how to address long-standing emotional family issues in the week before a wedding when there’s extra stress and extra family around?

    • Good on you for recognizing that there’s an unhealthy pattern at play. That in and of itself is really hard to come to terms with.

      As someone who has had her own difficult relationship with her mother and someone who feels things very intensely, if I were in your shoes I would not try to tackle this head on before the wedding. Sometimes, in trying to change patterns of behavior with parents, it gets really ugly before it gets better. I know how difficult it is to swallow bad treatment, and I don’t recommend you sitting there and taking it. But I would hate for your attempt to change things/set healthy boundaries to be so emotionally charged that it overshadows the joy you are feeling.

      I would suggest have a conversation with your fiance and safe family members (a parent? an aunt? a sister?) about what is going on, and asking for their help in being a buffer. Enlist other people to take the primary responsibility of calming her when she’s upset. And when she starts to act up and be cruel, stay calm. Don’t rise to her level, because that’s how she’ll drag you in/implicate you/justify her behavior. If you need to leave the room or the house do so, but try to do so in a way that keeps the peace…for the next 10 days.

      After your wedding, I’d recommend working on setting some boundaries. My therapist was really helpful in this. Best of luck. I wish you all the happiness as you lead up to the wedding and in your marriage.

      • Copper

        Agreed! Week before the wedding? Damage control time, not confrontation time.

        Then a few weeks later, after you’re back from honeymoon and have had time to settle down, sit her down and point out that you’ve taken the time to get some distance from it, but some of the things that happened in the leadup to the wedding made you realize that your relationship is not ok, and you want to work on it with her. This way neither of you are more stressed than you need to be (time pressure! new family! what do you MEAN the caterer thought it started two hours later?!) and you have time to think about exactly what issues you want to focus on.

    • Not Sarah

      I don’t have any tips, but I’m sending lots of hugs and thoughts your way. I’m so sorry – I would be a complete ball of tears too :(

    • Lan

      In addition to being my day of coordinator, my awesome cousin has assigned herself to Team Tiger, e.g. keeping my dad from stressing me out. Buffer…and try to let things slide. It may not be a problem you can solve in a week.

    • My mom did the same thing of randomly treating me like I was a teenager right before my wedding, which shocked me. My dad was actually the most helpful to me in reminding me to take a step back, that this was HER emotional issues and not mine, that I wasn’t actually a teenager any more and I could handle this like an adult. It’s REALLY hard, it’s not an easy thing to ask of yourself. But draw your boundaries. Ask your fiance and friends to help remind you to take a step back when you need to. Sometimes it was as simple as meeting my fiance’s eyes across a room and sharing a silent “Here we go again” moment to help me keep my cool.

      In some ways, weddings bring out the worst in people. (The best too, sometimes, but also the worst.) Hang in there. It WILL be easier to deal with after the wedding is over.

  • Denzi

    So, I took on Meg’s challenge to DO something from one of my Pinterest boards and had purple streaks dyed in my hair. Sadly, they’re not very visible, so a trip back to Awesome Hairdresser is in order… I’m just too sick at the moment to do so. (Ugh, asthma, why do you make EVERYTHING complicated? You sound like a little kid disease, and then you sap all my energy and keep me up late wheezing and send me to the E.R. and put me on heavy duty steroids.) So pics once I am well and there are more brighter streaks in there!

    (I also had a good internet Sabbath last Saturday, but I’m not sure if I can handle it this weekend with the illness and steroids. We’ll see.)

  • Not Sarah

    Oh! My minimal internet last weekend was awesome. So much time spent talking to people, looking at scenery, and reading books. Oh and good food. I don’t think I’m ever going to take a laptop on a vacation again! (Even when I go to Canada and my cell data doesn’t work, I don’t take a laptop anymore.) I highly recommend it!

    I think I’ll leave my laptop closed all day Saturday (tomorrow) since I’m busy most of the day and I’m looking forward to it! Phone internet (go wi-fi!) definitely reduces the amount of time I spend on the internet wastefully.

  • Today I didn’t work because it’s the third green Friday of the summer season, time off but 10 hour days to make up for it, not the best the thing but not the worst either. I slept in, snuggle cats, went plant shopping with my mum, and now my guy and I are about to head off for some grocery shopping.

    I’m looking forward to this weekend being lowkey after being away last weekend and then some. We’ll assemble Ikea bookshelves (a test of the engagement right? ;), eat tasty things, and plant a vegetable garden. I am very much looking forward to it.

    Hope you all have a wonderful weekend too.

    • That sounds like a lovely weekend, hope mine is similar!

  • Emily

    Ok, this is trivial buuuut.. I got my hair dyed last night -my wedding is in 2 weeks. I’m worried that it’s a little to bright, a little orangey vs blond. It’s not my first time getting my hair dyed but its a slightly different color since I wanted to be a bit blonder for the wedding. I also am PMSing and slighty crazy from planning and maybe I’m overthinking it. I think it will fade in a few days, but any experience with this?

    • Ashleyn

      Do you mean orangey like blonde but brassy? Or orangey like you didn’t get as blonde as you wanted to go, so the whole shade is off?

      Either way, you might try getting a special purple shampoo to maintain blonde hair. John Frieda makes a great one as well as a “Go Blonder” shampoo/conditioner, both of which I love and use when I have my hair blonde. That’s more of a DIY fix, but otherwise, if you give it a couple days and you’re still not sure about it, I would go back to my hairdresser and ask for a few more highlights strategically placed to brighten the whole thing up more if you feel like it’s not blonde enough, or to do a gloss/toner to get the shade or tone you’ll be happy with.

      I’m not a professional, I’ve just been dying my hair since I was fourteen and have been every color under the sun. Good luck and I hope it works out!

  • After the first couple weeks of Happy Hour, I’ve started to feel really guilty writing on here. Honestly, this is almost like a check-in point for me- I want to be living my dreams because you ladies are so inspiring! But then the past few weeks have been rough, mentally, and I’ve been dragged back down into the “Who do you think you are?” zone where everything I want for my life seems very far away or completely absurd.

    I feel guilty because I want to unload my stress, but almost all of it is self-inflicted. Everyone I admire in life have worked their asses off to get where they are, and I feel like I’ve never worked hard in my LIFE. I spend way too much time checking blogs and social media while at work, putting me way behind (terrible ethics, I know!). And I’m alternately bored/overwhelmed/just sick of my current job, but have increasing responsibilities over the summer, until the grant ends in Sept and my job no longer exists. So I bounce between incredible hope and optimism for the next phase in my life (yoga training! More writing! More dancing! My Own Business?!) and complete self-doubt (I’ll be broke, working crappy min-wage jobs that I hate, making it impossible to travel, going into the winter months, when I’m mopey anyway)

    So, even though I just laid it out there, I do want to add in the happy things in my life at the moment:

    Good weather is here! I love and need the sun!
    I’ll be doing more work out of the office this summer, thank goodness!
    My partner and I saw the Lumineers last night, they were awesome!
    My partner exists and he loves me!
    I’m doing a really good job saving $$ towards my goals!
    Tonight I’m meeting up with an APWer and then dancing!!

    I suppose this turned into a bit of a diary entry, I hope that’s not annoying or inappropriate. I’m just getting it out of my system now so when I meet up with Kirsten, I can focus on the good things, be my usual cheerful self, and have fun!

    • Copper

      I completely understand about the web browsing at work! I’ve worked so hard to get the opportunity I have now, but at previous jobs I had a lot more hurry up and wait time, and got too used to checking blogs, news sites, etc. all the time. And now I need to cut it out, but I’m finding it difficult.

      • I tried Nanny for Google Chrome for about a week- and during that time, discovered at least two other blogs, meaning daily reading plus all the archives. I have a hard time making myself do unpleasant tasks when I just want to be enjoying things. Obviously, it’s not a web app, but an attitude shift (and an increased attention span) that will do the trick for me.

    • Mira

      Thing #1: The very worst thing you can do is get sucked into a shame spiral. It is very hard for anyone to operate on all cylinders when you have that kind of uncertainty looming in the future — all you can do is your best, in a situation like that.

      Thing #2: Even outside your particular situation, almost everyone feels that way professionally from time to time. If you told the 18-year-old me what I’d be doing in 10 years, I’d have been damn proud. Now that I’m 28, those same accomplishments sometimes feel like a facade — like I’m fooling people. You’re not alone, sister!

      Thing #3: The internets. I find that internet addiction is extremely susceptible to hedonistic adaptation — that is, the more you do it, the more you have to do it — but the less you do it, the less you have to do it. For me, the best way to re-set my internal gauge of what’s normal is a drastic purge (which, now that I think about it, is what I do with caffeine, too). The hardest I’ve ever worked in my life was studying for step 1 of the medical licensing exam — and it was only possible because I announced on facebook that I was going on a hiatus (and then changed my password to a random string of keystrokes). For the first few days of studying, I would find myself on the fb homepage before I even consciously registered the “I’ll just take a quick study break” thought. Creepy. However, after a week, the that urge was pretty much gone.

      • Celina

        Yes- fb is the ultimate time/productivity sucker. I, like you, will begin to type F-A-C-E-B…. in the web address field without thinking. Fortunately, I have a friend to change my password for me when I am in serious work mode. (I did the same for her when she was finishing up grad school). I like facebook but Mark Zuckerberg is not helping me finish school.

      • Thanks :-)

  • Megan

    So, I feel like I need a manual for decision-making in marriage. My husband of two years expects to receive a job offer soon for a position that would advance his career but require me to leave a new job in my field and have us moving cross-country away from friends and family. Seriously, how do couples navigate tough issues like these? Making a “family decision” feels impossible to me when two separate individuals’ careers and needs are involved. I could use some APW advice, books, or other joint decision-making resources. Much obliged.

    • Copper

      The way I approach these things is a bit the same as in a business meeting… define what success looks like. Identify some overall mutual goal state (we want to eventually be doing X, living in Y, with 2 kids/a dog/be able to take care of my parents) and ask whether staying or going advances you towards that goal state in a better way. And, good luck!

  • MissStumptown

    I’m struggling with our decision to “rearrange” our wedding. We initially had a small-ish Friday brunch wedding planned for September, but when the cost grew too much for our poor selves (and our poor families!), we decided to scrap the original plans, move up our date to June 30, and throw a super tiny wedding shindig with just family and close friends at our 850 sq ft apartment.

    Don’t get me wrong, it’s really nice that we will be married in a month (eek!) but I’m just so worried I will regret this decision to not have our originally planned wedding. I was looking forward to getting married outside in a beautiful park and then having a joyful morning at a local brewery with our loved ones and getting pretty pictures taken of us and showing everyone the awesome parts of our city and having everyone come together to support us.

    Anybody have any tips for reconciling these feelings? I know that, in the end, it just matters that we will be married, and I know I will be happy, but I guess I’m just missing the wedding I could’ve had.

    • CII

      As someone with similar feelings (should we reconfigure our wedding plans? have we already scaled down too much?), this is what I’ve been doing to try to reconcile these feelings…hopefully one or more of these things will help you:

      – rearranging is just a reassessment of priorities, goals, and, well, finances. That’s totally normal. Reassessing doesn’t equate with comrpomising, or losing. And hopefully, it won’t be about the wedding you could have had, it will be about the wedding that you still _get to_ have.

      -read (and in my case, re-read) this fantastic post:
      esp. this quote: “We’re thinking of it now as if our wedding is a part of normal life, instead of a one-in-a-lifetime dreamscape.”

      -if it’s pretty pictures you desire (I know I do), then do an “engagement” or “elopement” photo shoot some time – maybe even the weekend of the wedding. Much less expensive than the wedding photography, and you can have shots taken at some of your favorite parts of the city (park, brewery, etc.) and it will feel so authentic to the couple that you are.

      (Full disclosure: we plan to have limited wedding photography – I am way more excited about our engagement photos than I am about the wedding photos, and we prioritized our budget and chose our photographer accordingly).

  • KEA1

    I feel a little awkward posting, but today’s good news indirectly relates to APW even if it requires backstory:
    At the beginning of May, my boyfriend of 5 years and I finally split. I’ve been reading APW for a couple years, since I discovered it while helping my best friend plan her wedding…and so many of the posts over these years really helped me gain some clarity on why I was so stressed in my relationship even though so much of it was really good. (He is a great guy. We just have no future.)
    Meanwhile, one thing that really turned around for me this year was that I started swimming well again–a bit random, I know, but I am a serious competitive swimmer and so this actually matters a lot. I’d been struggling in the pool for at least the past couple years, but this year finally started feeling like ME again in the water…
    …and that, too, helped solidify the realization about the end of my relationship.
    And then today, I got accepted into a swim camp I’ve been *dreaming* of attending (like, dreaming of it since 2005!). I never had the guts to apply until this year, and applying ended up being a surprisingly emotional experience. Getting in is an incredible feeling in its own right, but especially while I’m really working hard to process a lot of emotional stuff outside the pool, getting some validation for my pour-my-heart-out application has really given me a lift!

  • Sarah

    This is kind of stupid, but it’s been bothering me for awhile. We had a SUPER small ceremony (immediate family only) and a reception the following weekend for extended family and friends. The reception was AWKWARD AS F****.

    Food shows up late, people are tired and cranky, the dancing was a miserable failure, EVERYONE left early, except a couple aunts who stayed to help me clean up.

    It’s hard not to feel shitty about this. How do I let it go?

    • Emmers

      I don’t have any real advice, other than I’m really sorry! And sometimes it’s hard to let things go for me too. But maybe try to think about how awesome it is that you’re married now? And even though things didn’t go as you had hoped, you did get married to your sweetheart, and hopefully in like 10 years this will be a good story (or at least just such a small blip in your life that it’s not so big).

      Many congratulations on your marriage, and definite hugs for feeling shitty.

  • Hi pals,

    Has anyone out there blended a Tea Ceremony in with a modern ceremony? Or did you keep it separate from the ceremony, and did it earlier in the day (or day before)? Help! We are secluding ourselves in a cabin next weekend to write our vows, and I’d like to know what to do with my Asian self.


  • n

    Finally engaged! Beyond thrilled and amazed at the actual shift I feel in our relationship.

    Planning is in motion and I’m already doubting my decisions. This photographer or that— and the dreaded… maybe I should keep looking.

    Thoughts on how to commit?

    • Laura Lee


      As for making decisions, just remember that there is no one perfect decision for your wedding. There is an infinite number of possible weddings you could plan that would all be beautiful and perfect and full of love. But you have to narrow that all down to one.

      Point A. When I was able to realize that there were multiple “right” choices, making those big decisions became so much easier. I think picking a dress is a good example of this. Do you really believe that there is only one dress in existence that is the right dress for your wedding? Of course not, that’s just silly. With every decision, you’re going to have options. Don’t stress about picking the “right” one, that’s a flawed concept. You might try on 20 dresses and 3 of them could all be the right dress for your wedding. You won’t have made a mistake no matter which of three you pick.

      Point B. Head -> Heart -> Head. When making the bigger decisions start with your head, flip it over to your heart, then if the decision is still not made, flip back to head. Let use the dress example again. Start with your head/logic. What makes sense for your dress? What is your budget? What time of year is your wedding? What’s the location? What shops are nearby for you to shop at? That narrows down the infinite possibilities into something much more manageable. Then let your heart take over. Look at all the pretty dresses that match your criteria, go try on the ones that are nearby. Your heart will tell you which ones are right. Maybe it will tell you which one you want, maybe it’ll just narrow it down to those three. If it’s the latter, switch back to your head. Dress 1 weighs 50 pounds, that could definitely be a pain when you’re trying to get your groove on, cross it off the list. Dress 2 and 3 are pretty much tied… what does your mom/sister/MOH/random internet stranger think? Still tied? Flip a coin. If you’re disappointed with the result, you know which one you really want.

      Sorry that turned into a book, but I hope it helps you a little. TL;DR version: You’ve narrowed the options down to good choices, so there’s no need to worry you’ve made a “bad” choice once you’ve committed, therefore no reason to be afraid to commit to a decision!

      • Jessica

        As someone who’s a perfectionist and thus extremely indecisive…that was incredibly helpful. Thank you.

  • So, the How to Buy Alcohol for your wedding was super helpful. Does anyone have any advice on what to get in terms of non-alcoholic beverages? Our invite list is around 200, with about 35 of those being children. And even people who are drinking alcohol will probably want water or coffee to drink as well.

    Water? Milk? Soda? Lemonade? How do you pick?

    • Stacie

      SHIRLEY TEMPLES! :) Ginger ale (or Cola for a “Roy Rogers”) and grenadine. Don’t forget the cherries!

      They were always the best part of going to weddings (or Bat Mitzvahs) when I was a wee one.

    • We had a root beer and ginger ale taste test, with rare varieties from all over the world. It was AWESOME but very time intensive to gather them all up–it was only worth it cause we were super into it and it was fun for us.

      I organize events relatively frequently for work, and in general ice water and coffee are absolute necessities. If it’s in the evening, decaf coffee as well. Soda may depend on where you live–if you went to a restaurant and they didn’t have soda on their menu would you be shocked? If so, a couple varieties would probably be a good idea. If you don’t go with soda, I’d probably do a non-alchoholic punch. If you’re outdoors in the summer, everyone’s gonna love lemonade. I don’t think I’ve ever served milk at an event, it’s not super popular and it’s more likely to go bad if it sits out too long.

      Bare minimum, I’d do ice water, coffee, and a sweet non-caffeinated drink of some kind.