APW Happy Hour

Hey APW!

This week was a good one, and partially because I got to help my friend Lisa by being a stage manager at her wedding yesterday (and yes, I used the APW spreadsheets). I know there are people who claim to really hate helping at weddings, but I don’t get it. Helping at people’s weddings is one of my joys in life. I may be too tired to sit up today, but yesterday was marvelous. Seeing an APW wedding in action (Lisa’s been reading since… forever…)? Best ever. Plus, Saipua did the flowers and oh my god, please witness my instagram:

And now the week is over. Which is good, because this week didn’t just have a wedding, it also had an eight-month-old baby sleep regression. Wake me up when the weekend is over. For now, it’s your Friday open thread, hop on it!


Highlights of APW This Week

The way Liz talked about how we grow in our marriages will probably haunt my thinking on marriage forever. In the best way.

If you read nothing else about wedding planning, read this, on how to have a FUN wedding. (Not pretty, fun.)

Interestingly, our short civil wedding ceremony was a massive hit. Who knew you liked it short n’ sweet?

I can’t wait to round up your tips on unconventionally honoring family members at a wedding (particularly if you’re part of a blended family).

Somewhere around the Isaiah passage in Moe’s wedding grad post, I lost my shit.

It’s Friday. Probably time to listen to the Generational Guilty Pleasures playlist again.

Highlights from Around the Web

In a really solid response to recent “opt-out” piece in the Times, the The Atlantic ran: Keeping a Family Together Is Hard, Whether You ‘Opt Out’ or Not. It also happened to be written by Magda Pecsenye, otherwise known as Ask Moxie, otherwise known as about the only place I bother with getting baby advice online.

Are you watching (or if you’re us have-already-binge-watched-all-of) Orange is the New Black? (You should be.) The real-life Piper wrote an op-ed in The New York Times this week about how relocating prisoners tears apart families.

In related news, did you know that 1 in 28 children in America have a parent in prison? If you haven’t been keeping up on your Sesame Street, they recently added a character with a dad in jail. Growing up, my mom always had kids in her 4th grade class with family members behind bars, so the fact that Sesame Street is talking about this is so important to me.

Feminism got crunked this week. After notorious male “feminist” Hugo Schwyzer “quit the Internet” and the mainstream feminist publications that gave him a platform despite loud and persistent outrage and the way he treated women of color, feminists of color took to Twitter using the hash tag #SolidarityIsForWhiteWomen. Read up.

In other male feminist news, Bleacher Report founder Bryan Goldberg announced he had raised $6.5 million to start a new “feminist” publication for women called… Bustle. Why, you might ask? Because men are here to save us from the pain of having no good lady websites! “Isn’t it time for a women’s publication that puts world news and politics alongside beauty tips? What about a site that takes an introspective look at the celebrity world, while also having a lot of fun covering it? How about a site that offers career advice and book reviews, while also reporting on fashion trends and popular memes?” Once we stopped howling with laughter along with the rest of the women on the Internet, we felt grateful to have such a visionary in our midst. (Side note: “What’s a Jezebel?” might be my favorite subtitle of the year.)

Need another laugh? Well, The White House made a pretty good Mean Girls joke on Twitter. You could also summon a calming manatee…or an unhappy hipster. Happy Friday!

Featured Sponsored Content

  • Ohhhh, yes people. I am getting MARRIED. TOMORROW. I can’t believe it’s finally here. Trying to stay as calm as possible (I’m actually getting a pedicure right now!) Any last words of advice?! I’m getting married on the same farm that was featured in the wordless wedding this week (or maybe that was last week–I can’t remember!). The post today on having a fun wedding was so great. I really hope everyone enjoys themselves and, well, I’m just so darn excited!

    Oh! I’m also making an oversized wedding bouquet from the how-to tutorial. I went to the nyc flower market for the first time this morning and got dahlias, billy balls, hydrangea, and more! It was an incredible experience. Makes me want to go into floral design. I just love flowers. so. much.

    Happy Friday! :)

    • Woohoo! Have an amazing wedding tomorrow!

    • Congratulations! Exciting!!

      Don’t be afraid to ask people for help. They want to help; let them.

      Something will go wrong. Maybe something you don’t care about, but maybe something you care deeply about. Just soak up the goodness and let it roll off your back.

      Enjoy. Soak everything up. It’s going to be wonderful.

      • carrie

        I second this. On my wedding day, if someone asked me what I needed, I just tasked them with it. Including, yes, I would like a sausage biscuit from McDonalds, thank you.

        Have such a great day! Congrats!

    • moe


      Last words of advice:

      Drink water and EAT BREAKFAST!

      That day will be long and fantastic, you’ll need fuel to get through it all.

    • Huge congrats — and I know you will have a fabulous day. Best wishes!

    • elle


    • Jen

      Yay yay!! Congratulations!

    • Teresa

      DUDE! I’m am so freaking excited for you guys! It’s going to be a beautiful day and I just want you to take a deep breath and look around the room and soak up all the love from all your people who came to cheer you on! And then remember that there are lots of us cheering you on from a far (or even maybe just a few subway stops away!)! Big hugs! Being married is the BEST!

    • Very best wishes to you!

      • Thank you everyone! I can feel all your love and good vibes. :)

        Now time for some much needed sleep!

  • APW! I am now a wife, and my partner is now a husband! It’s official and it’s lovely.

    The wedding was so glowy and warm and a non-stop dance party. I’ve never felt so loved in my entire life. Also, I’m relieved and content to be married, now. It’s much better than the pressure cooker of being engaged.

    Then, on my very first morning back in the office I found out that a) my boss is leaving (boo, he was great to work for) and b) I’m getting a promotion that is, basically, the dream job I’ve been thinking about for the past year.

    I’m just trying to soak up all this goodness.

    • Lindsey d.

      Congrats on the marriage and the promotion!

    • That’s so awesome! Congratulations!

    • Amber


    • carrie

      This! Yay! Congrats!

    • elle

      YAY! Congrats on all the good :)

    • Jen

      Woo! Congrats!!

    • Congrats!

  • CoastalCreature

    I was too late to get in on the VIP commenting fun this week… oops. But I still have a question! My current idea is to honor the lovely lady friends with one big colorful fabric flower from Etsy (haven’t chosen a shop yet, just an idea) and to honor the lovely manly friends with cute leafy fabric boutonnieres. I want to either have them listed in the program as honored guests, or on a large sign somewhere in the room. Some of them will be making toasts, some will participate in the ceremony, and some are just providing so much awesome back-end help that I want to make sure they get honored in some way (plus I want them in photos and feel like my photographer will know who is important so long as they hold onto those flowers!)

    I can’t decide if this is a good idea or not would love feedback!

    • Cait

      I think it’s a cute idea! The exception I think would be if it ends up being like 1/3 or more of the guests, because then the people who are regular (non-honored) guests start to feel excluded, potentially. If it’s a huge number of people, I might consider thanking them/honoring them privately, so as not to remind everyone else that they’re less honored than those people.

    • I think it’s always nice to honor people, and these are great ways for doing it. I’m a fan of the program mention. I also like the idea of the flowers and boutonnières, but I have a feeling the ladies will put the flowers down. I’m not saying you shouldn’t still do it, but I’m guessing they won’t carry them all night.

      Maybe you could do some more formal group pictures at the beginning, and just let your photographer know those people are particularly important?

    • I love it! I think giving them the flowers as a kind of “uniform” marking them as special is really perfect. The same way that they will be showing their support for you through speeches and whatnot, you’re declaring that these are your important people by giving them the flowers/bouts, not just people with a special job. Do it!!

    • CoastalCreature

      I have also considered fabric flower corsages for the ladies… but I don’t know, in general, how people feel about corsages. It will be max 20 people at a 150 person wedding so I don’t think it will be too overwhelming numbers wise. The thing is, I’m trying to steer clear of a printed program BUT I kind of want to list the ways in which people are helping. Or does that just make it look like some people helped more than others?

    • We had flowers for all the family and those who are like family to wear to help set them apart. It worked great. And as they were made out of ribbon they got to take the home as a memento. I know one turned hers into a hair clip for her daughter after which I love.

    • Rebekah

      I plan on doing something similar. I will only have a bridal party of 2, but there are many other women I want to honor. I am going to have specific jewelry for them to wear so that others visually know that they are important in supporting me (although everyone invited is important!).

      I’m getting my pieces from A Simple Start (http://www.etsy.com/shop/asimplestart), and she’s also making my sash.

      Good luck!

  • Lindsey d.

    I had a fabulous first meeting yesterday with the dressmaker who will be taking apart and rebuilding the wedding gown my grandmother and mother wore 70 and 40 years ago, respectively. The dressmaker was smart, creative and majorly talented. And reasonably priced to boot! I’m so thrilled that my dream of wearing my family’s dress is going to happen and it’s going to incorporate a lot more lace this time around! And my mom and I get to go fabric shopping!

    Tomorrow, venue hunting. I’m so excited to finally see inside the ceremony venue, which I fell in love with from pictures (http://psverbois.zenfolio.com/img/s8/v78/p1432464282-3.jpg). But I’ve been slowly going crazy over reception venues. I have a full legal size page of questions for the venues…

    • Oh, I’m sure your wedding gown is going to be lovely — and I absolutely love that it was once worn by your grandmother and mother. Such a beautiful tradition! And your ceremony venue looks gorgeous! The stained glass . . .

  • I passed the 1-month mark this week! This weekend I’m going to the wedding of a friend I made through APW and meeting with our officiant. I think we’re going to use a version of a reading recommended to me in an APW Happy Hour for our ceremony.

    I’m starting to get really excited. The only problem is I’m experiencing a feeling similar to senoritus. Concentrating on work has gotten very difficult.

  • Cait

    Uhh that Bustle idea is insulting to women. Most women’s sites have all those things combined. Dudes can be such douches about “women’s stuff.” Geeeez.

    • Shiri

      Agreed. Also, “Bustle”? Thank you, men, for giving us another giant fake butt. We needed it.

      • meg

        Apparently he meant it like: men hustle and women bustle. So thank GOD. I thought it was outdated and sexist till he clarified.

        • Uh, I thought Beyonce had cleared that all up for us already? Diva is a female version of a hustler.

          • Itsy Bitsy

            This might be my favorite comment ever.

          • meg


            Man, and Diva.com isn’t even TAKEN.

        • Shiri

          Ok, I feel slightly better (and should have read the articles before commenting, rather than saving them to Pocket!) but I still don’t know that I’d name anything that, for the connotations.

          • Word, I was way disappointed Bustle.com was not going to be about ways to up your steampunk cosplay game.

          • meg

            DO you feel slightly better? I think that’s totally worse.

  • roses

    Last week I cut off 12 inches of hair to donate and was worried it would make me a completely different person. It has not, and I am relieved/disappointed and it took me a week but I’m now in love with it and I can’t imagine why I had grown my hair out so long (other than the braids, I loved the braids).

    • meg

      Send us a picture, PLEASE PLEASE! They’re making Maddie cry, but also we’re rounding them up for you guys :)

      • Jessica B

        I don’t know if you’ve read The Fault in Our Stars yet, but 1.) it’s fantastic, and 2.) the lead actress of the movie adaptation is planning on cutting her hair very short for the role and is donating her very lengthy hair to a locks of love type organization. This has started a tumblr trend of women showing the hair they cut off and are donating. You can see a bunch of them on John Green’s tumblr: http://fishingboatproceeds.tumblr.com/.

      • Tess

        can we send before and after pics of hair chopping for donation even if it was 5 years ago?!

    • So happy you love the new cut! Sometimes cutting hair off can be really stressful or, alternatively, just a chance to recreate.

      Your comment reminds me that I have a chunk of hair sitting in a box somewhere that I cut off several years ago, planned to donate and just never did. I shall find it and send it away this week. Especially important as my hair is no longer “virgin” (and never will be) so can’t be donated anymore.

  • Remy

    1 in 28. Wow. That settles it; Jacqueline Woodson’s Visiting Day is going to be one of the books I include in the elementary school read aloud program this year.

  • Ellen

    We got a kitten TODAY!!! I can’t wait to get home from work so I can meet her properly!

    • Amber

      Eeeeeeeee!!! Kitten!!!!!

    • carrie


      David and I went to lunch today (last time before he goes back to school as a high school teacher) in the shopping center with the pet store where we adopted our last kitten. I always ask how many kittens we’ll be bringing home whenever we go to this center. :-)

    • elle

      I, um…I impulse buy cats. We have three, and all three were more or less impulse adoptions :D YAY FOR KITTENS!!!

      • Ellen

        This is my first cat EVER. My fiance is a big fan of cats- this is a big big big step for me!

        • elle

          Ohhhh you won’t look back :) My fiance, when I first met him, was vehemently against cats. He just wasn’t a “cat person.”

          …three cats later, and he definitely is now :D

  • APW, thanks for all the lovely comments on the post published this week on living with my sister and family. My mom was particularly thrilled “her daughter was on the internet and not for doing porn.”

    Actual exchange:
    Mom: I read your blog thingy and it was very sweet. I cried a little.
    Me: Thanks. I’m really proud of it.
    Mom: And the comments were so nice. They seem like a nice group of girls on that website.
    Me: Yes mom. Yes they are.

    • ‘My mom was particularly thrilled “her daughter was on the internet and not for doing porn.”’

      OMG, cracking up at my desk.

      • moe

        I giggled out loud.

        • Catherine McK

          I may or may not have snorted.

    • This made me smile! Sounds like a conversation I would totally have with my mom. The “nice group of girls” really got me. :) Loved your piece!

    • Margi

      Awwww…sometimes I refer to stuff on APW as “my friends said this…or my friends found this article”.

    • meg

      “Mom: And the comments were so nice. They seem like a nice group of girls on that website.
      Me: Yes mom. Yes they are.”

      Well great. Now you’re making me cry. I’m still a little raw from toast-poloza at Lisa’s wedding yesterday.

  • anon today

    I need empathy today, friends.

    My parents, I fear, are absolutely going to hate the ceremony that my fiance and I took nearly a year and a half to write (ok, not WRITE, per se, but off and on since May 2012 we’ve been cobbling together our favorite readings and sentiments, and recently got a final version out to the friend who will be performing the ceremony).

    My step-sisters, who originally accepted being Matrons of Honor, only to later decline because they were self-conscious about being in their 40s and standing up with my friends, who are in their late 20s, claimed they still wanted to be included. So I said instead of being part of the bridal party, they could recite a reading together.

    It took a long time to narrow down the possibilities, as I’m sure you all understand, and we had finally settled on a pretty well-known excerpt from Gift From the Sea. We email it to both of my sisters, and my parents. I’m sure you’re starting to cringe – I know, I’m in the future, also.

    So my dad sends me back this scathing email about how he just “doesn’t get it” and he’s infuriatingly defensive, saying things like, “At the risk of making you very angry with me,” and “if you dare think this is [stepmother]’s opinion and not my own, I will be the one who is very angry”and it’s just hugely hostile. Which completely blindsides me, because he is a very compassionate man.

    The last time I visited him, it was like there was this whole level of anger just seething beneath his surface – I haven’t seen him that bad tempered in a decade, and it shook me, and I am trying to attribute it to the stress of his baby (and only) girl getting married in three weeks.

    So I maintain my composure, and respond to him that we have a couple other readings in mind, that we had been considering but discarded, would they like to look through those and choose one, instead of the one we had originally selected? And I stated that I was not starting the search all over; there is way too much on my plate already, and we had already spent hours upon hours researching readings that felt true to us for us to being from scratch. It wasn’t happening, period.

    So I guess they read them, and my dad texts me and says, “Oh, I’m going to send you one [stepmother] found” and it’s like hearing wheels screech to a halt. I’m like, NO, no, I already said if you wanted a say in this, you were picking from the selection we provided. So he figuratively throws up his hands over text messages and says “I’m done, figure it out with [stepmother].”

    I tell her our favorite of the four I sent them, and she agrees that it’s a nice piece, and it was one of the ones she liked. So I forward this onto my dad – YAY crisis averted! – and my dad throws in his two cents (even though he’d already thrown a temper tantrum declaring he was DONE) and said, “Well, did you read the one I sent you that we found?” Yes, but this other one is the one we’re going with. “Well, [sister], [stepmother], and I all like the one I sent better.”

    The one he sent is about destiny and fate and how the two of us were meant to be, which is fine if you’re into that, but I don’t believe in destiny or fate. While I think things happen for a reason, I don’t believe that this individual I am marrying is the sole option who will make my heart sing. That is just too depressing a thought to me. If it wasn’t my fiance whom I was marrying, it would be someone else. I do, however, believe in choices, and the power of choosing to spend the rest of my life with someone, and working at that life each and every day, which is what all of our selected readings demonstrated. But he just had to have the final say, didn’t he??

    So I told him to forget it. I was much more diplomatic throughout the entire exchange than he was, that is for damn sure, but I’m just – sick with the thought that he’s also not going “to get” our ceremony. And with the type of mood he’s been in lately, I have no doubt that he’ll feel it’s appropriate to tell us how much he “didn’t get it.” I’m rattled. Our ceremony doesn’t have a lot of flourishes or fuzzies or talk about destiny. It’s about embracing the change inherant in relationships (which is exactly why I liked the Gift From the Sea excerpt) and learning to go with the flow together without losing yourself.

    I didn’t mention my fears about our ceremony to my parents. It’s non-negotiable, so I’m not even putting it on the table. But do you know the last thing my dad said was, when I said I was fine scrapping the reading entirely, because I’d rather not read anything, than read something that didn’t resonate with us as a couple? He said, “That’s probably a wise decision. I don’t want people to be bored.”

    No pressure, or anything.

    • Oh man, I wish I had any advice, but I am just so sorry and offer you lots of internet hugs. Weddings bring out weird extremes in people–I’ve seen my parents react totally calmly to things I expected them to freak out about, and freak out about things I didn’t think were a big deal. Maybe you could try asking him straight out why he doesn’t like that reading, or explain what about it resonated with you, but as was said in the “how to have a fun wedding post,” you won’t please everyone, and sometimes that includes your parents. Do what’s true to you.

      • rys

        I’m so sorry you have to deal with this. To get all Dear Prudence for a moment, has your dad been to the doctor recently? She always recommends that in cases of sudden/extreme behavior/personality changes, in case there is medicine acting up or a medical explanation of some sort.

        • I second this. Just in case. Maybe ask your step-mom if she’s noticed anything really off or if she can give you some insight that he is just really stressed about the wedding.

    • Anonymous

      Ugh. I’m really sorry. This sounds crappy as hell honestly. Since your immediate reaction wasn’t to tell him to get his biz straight and stop being a dick (or to ask why he needs to have any opinion on a reading your step sisters are giving?) I’m assuming your relationship isn’t one where you can tell him how his behavior is making you feel. In which case, double ugh. I’m double sorry. Sometimes people act damn crazy before a wedding. People you never in a million years would give you problems, sometimes they give you the biggest ones. I’m sorry you’re dealing with this. You’ll get through it though, I promise and you’ll probably forget altogether altercations like this once the wedding is past.

    • MK

      I’m so sorry. That must be very painful.

    • Oh, I would be so pissed off if that happened to me. Fist-bump, lady. I’m so sorry your dad is being a huge Negative Nancy, but here’s hoping you have enough love and support around you to counter-balance his bad behavior.

    • carrie

      I’m so sorry. But I will tell you, if I was ever bored during a ceremony (which I honestly can’t remember if I ever was, so I must not have been), that’s on me. Not you. The ceremony especially is the part that is about you and your fiance, it’s the part where you promise in front of everyone that you are committing to one another. It’s not about your dad.

      I remember worrying a lot about my guests and what would they think before I got married. I went to a wedding that added something last minute to the ceremony because they were afraid it was too short. Your guests will be okay. I know it’s easy for me to say, but please don’t worry. Enjoy every moment and every word of your crafted ceremony and feel the feelings. That part is truly about you and your fiance and your commitment.

      Best of luck.

    • Natalie

      That sucks. Truly.
      A) Do not worry about people getting bored at your ceremony. Seriously, those people are there because they love you and support you, and your relationship. If they’re going to get bored during a what 2 minute, 3 minute reading? Then they probably are pretty crappy friends. Or have ADD. In which case you couldn’t keep them entertained anyway.
      B) It seems to me that you’re having a clash with your dad about the essence of a relationship – you and your fiance believe that while you love each other a lot, you also have to *choose* to love each other, even when things get hard (kinda like this blogger here: http://theartinlife.wordpress.com/2013/07/22/my-husband-is-not-my-soul-mate/). While your dad seems to believe in the fate and destiny kind of love (aka “the one”).
      Believe me, things can get pretty heated when people disagree over this. My guy and I thoroughly believe that there isn’t one person that you’re meant to spend the rest of your life with – that you choose a person you love and you make work with them. But a friend (well, his twin’s girlfriend) believes in the one, and got so pissed when we told her we didn’t think that way that she said she doesn’t approve of our (his and mine) relationship!
      But maybe in your case it can be a matter of sitting down with your dad and talking this over with him? It’s possible that he thinks that you’re making a comment on his relationship decisions with the reading you picked.

    • Sarah

      Lots of empathy from over here. There’s been plenty of rhetoric from both families about ‘true love’ and ‘destiny’ over my wedding next year and it’s driven me nuts- but I would never expect a family member to insist that a reading be excised because they don’t like it.

      Tangentially, would you mind if I asked what your readings are? My fiance and I are very much in the ‘choosing to make it work’ mindset and want our wedding to reflect that, rather than talk about soulmates or never-ending passion. If it’s too personal, I understand- I’m just curious and trying to get a feel for how I want my ceremony to work.

      • OP anon

        I’d be happy to send them your way. Do you have an email you’d be comfortable sharing?

        • Sarah

          Absolutely! My personal email is sarahwood124@gmail.com.

          Thanks so much, I really appreciate it!

          • OP anon

            Oh yay! I was hoping you’d check back here :) I’ll get everything to you sometime tonight.

    • Katherine Harrison

      As I was reading your post (and wishing we could make it all go away for you) all I could think about was the post this week about how to assure your guests have fun at your wedding. It seems that authenticity to the couple is the most important element – not custom TP. It feels like you are creating a ceremony that speaks to you as a couple and therefore, the majority of your guests are going to resonate with it and have a ball. Hoping you find peace in this situation, Katherine

  • Needing help/support

    Well, I finally did it: I set a date to move out. Yes, friends, I’m a late-twenty-something getting married this fall . . . and still live in my childhood home. Maybe not strange in 2013, given the economy and all, but I’ve never left home — not for college, not post-college. Never.

    I’m so excited. And scared.

    My official move-out date is in two months, three weeks before the wedding, and . . . well, breaking that news to my parents was not fun. After talking it over with my fiance and deciding on the exact weekend, I knew I had to tell them — and that they would not be happy. I have a really close family and to say my parents are dreading me going is an understatement. They just seem . . . sad. Happy about my marriage, yes, but sad that I’m “leaving them.”

    I told my parents this week and proceeded to endure a long, uncomfortable dinner with my dad asking “why” I wasn’t planning on just moving out the weekend after we get back from our honeymoon (!). I explained that would be too much stress for me, dealing with having hundreds of people in town to see us, the whirlwind of our nuptials and then our vacation. I don’t want to spend our honeymoon worrying about my first-ever move the next day.

    We didn’t see eye-to-eye. They’re upset and disappointed.

    So I’m sitting here, feeling proud that I’ve set a date and had The Conversation about moving out . . . but battling so. much. guilt over not doing exactly what my parents want. I’ve gone Anon for this one because I feel embarrassed to admit how anxious I feel about this whole thing . . . which is partly why I just want to get it over with so we can all develop a new normal and move forward, especially as we get so close to the wedding.

    My friends, though supportive, don’t seem to understand why I feel such anxiety about moving out. Most people are so! flipping! happy! to be getting married and getting their own place, and I am — trust me — but I still feel . . . bad somehow.

    Does this make sense?

    I don’t even know anymore. I vacillate between feeling okay and feeling really scared/not okay.

    How did you feel when you left home? How old were you? Am I going nuts? Should I just relax?

    (The answer to the last question is always, always yes. But still.)

    • Anonymous

      I think its normal what you’re feeling and if anyone isn’t being understanding of that, they aren’t being very open minded. Change is scary. Even good awesome change. Of course you feel odd and guilty. You’re both excited about getting married (holla!) but you’re hurting your parents and ending an era in your life. Be patient with yourself and your parents – that’s what I’d advise if you asked me. Feel flattered your parents love you so much they hate to lose you. Feel lucky you love your parents so much you hate to go. Feel extra lucky you’re getting married but it sounds like will still live near your family. These are all things to celebrate to help counter balance the natural sadness.

      • Blair

        I am definitely with anonymous. Take my thoughts with a grain of salt, I moved out on ugly terms at 20 so I cannot relate to a supportive and loving situation.
        That said it sounds like there is a lot going on and it could be more than just your parents being sad.
        Even though there are conscious feelings here, maybe spend some time with the fact that change itself, any change, (particularly big, massive, married and starting life AND moving change) is scary. It is normal to maybe package All The Feelings-the fear, uncertainty, warmth, excitement, anxiety-into one.
        Yours happens to be guilt.

        When it comes to our parents, it took me a long time to realize we are completely separate, unique, and powerful beings all on our own.
        I personally would like to see your parents be strong for you in this and try to temper/handle the sadness on their own, at least until after you can get through the biggest changes. Maybe once you get back from your honeymoon and spend time with your Hubby they can cry on your shoulder a bit…but now is not the best time.
        It might help them to really embrace the notion that because you are an adult now, it would be very respectful to allow you the time and energy to make the change.
        Is that something you would feel comfortable telling them?

        • Needing help/support

          I agree with you, Blair — and wish they would think about me, which doesn’t seem to happen all that much. Not to throw myself a pity party, but I’ve felt very isolated during wedding planning because, while everyone loves my fiance and are very happy for me, they can’t stop feeling sad for themselves. And it’s so obvious.

          Having a conversation to explain to them about needing their support and “brave faces” is a very good idea. I have a feeling we’ll be sitting down to discuss this again when the shock has worn off, and I will emphasize that I’m making this choice for me. As a people-pleaser who lives to make others more comfortable — to her own detriment — this is really, really hard for me, but I’m actively choosing the scenario that lets me adjust. And be happy.

          You’re right: lots more going on here than just moving out. I’m just focusing on the guilt because it’s easier than processing allllll the big ol’ changes happening around the move (like, um, getting married).

          Phew! I’m sipping a cocktail of feelings today, and I appreciate you all listening. So much. Thank you!

    • KC


      Question: can you compromise to some degree? (like, move everything except a suitcase to new place, live in family home more or less like you’re a guest for that last three weeks before wedding, then move into new place) I don’t know how much of your parents’ reaction might be driven by but-you’ve-almost-made-it-to-not-living-together-before-you-get-married-ness.

      And moving away/out is, I think, always a little fraught. You’re at least fortunate in that it’s not 100% get-me-out-of-this-horrible-place? Maybe? But it’s okay to be sad about what you’re leaving while really, really excited about what you’re going to. (probably healthy, actually.)

      Hope it all goes well!

      • Needing help/support

        I thought about the suitcase, KC — basically the reversal of what I’m doing now (all my stuff at my parents’ house, bringing the suitcase back and forth to my fiance’s) — but worry that will be worse for me, emotionally. I don’t think their hesitation has too much to do with the whole living-together-before-marriage issue, but that could be a small part of it. Honestly, most people — including my grandparents! — are surprised we don’t already live together.

        I am planning on staying with my parents in the days leading up the wedding, especially after my fiance’s family comes to stay at our place, so I’m hoping those three nights at my family home beforehand will give us a chance to transition. I’m trying really hard to not think of it as “the last time,” because I’m only moving 30 minutes away . . . and I will certainly be back! And making more good memories with my family.

        Thank you so much for your kind words!

        • KC

          Yeah, definitely not the last time. The last time in one sense (because, wow, it is weird to stay in the guest room in your parents’ house, and yes, relationships often shift oddly when you get Officially Married), but I bet you will even be over there overnight again, even if you’re only living 30 minutes away (painting/toilet-is-broken/moving/husband-on-trip-somewhere/etc.).

          Do they know you’re planning on spending the last few days before the wedding there? That might help (if it’s settled – if you’re undecided, don’t throw them a bone and then take it back?), since then they’ll still get that “last chance” before you’re married for advice/waffles-together-in-pyjamas/whatever.

    • I left home at 21. The first time I got sick when I was living in my new city with my husband (who was my boyfriend then), I went to bed and sobbed to him that I wanted to go home.

      I was anxious when I left. I cried when I pulled out of my parents’ driveway for the last time as a resident of the household. Minutes before I left my father hugged me and told me “I did good.” A sentiment repeated at my college graduation a month prior to moving out, and at my wedding nearly three months ago. I felt nostalgic, like I hadn’t taken enough time to really enjoy my family, like I was growing up too fast.

      You aren’t going crazy. It’s OK to be anxious and unsure and feel weird about moving out and away and doing all these grown-up things all at once. I think it’s brave of you. It’s a big change for you AND for your parents and it will take time to navigate the new waters. BUT. It will be OKAY. They will be the same waters, but you’ll be experiencing them from a different shore, but it will be OKAY. I promise. It is OK to feel your feels. It’s okay to have a long island iced tea of feelings about this. It will be Okay.

      • Needing help/support

        Your last paragraph made me cry, Deva — in a good way (a great way!). Pasting your response and all the lovely reminders from this thread into an email that I can read all the time in the weeks and months to come. Thank you so much.

        • You’re very welcome!

    • Just chiming in to say that I’m with you girlfriend. Though not for lack of trying, I didn’t move out until I got married this year. I’m 26 years old. And my parents didn’t make me feel bad about moving out, but they were legitimately sad that I wouldn’t be living with them anymore. My mom especially like really misses me being there, and I’m only 45 minutes away now. I think the big thing for my parents (and possible yours) is the very fact that they haven’t had any sort of preview to get ready for the permanent move out. I commuted to college, so they didn’t get that transition period that a lot of parents get.

      So yeah, you’re growing and flying out of the nest and that’s big and scary, and they’re going to miss seeing you all the time. My mom just texted me yesterday asking when we can hang out because she misses me. But stop feeling guilty, you’re not doing anything wrong, it’s just a change. And change is hard. Try reassuring your parents that you’re still going to see them, and make a plan to do that now if you can (like plan to have dinner together once a month or something).

      • Needing help/support

        Thank you, Laura: that’s been a mantra of mine . . . I’m not doing anything wrong. I’m just a woman growing up, starting her own family and moving forward with her life. We’re already setting up plans to get together for family dinners, either at our place or theirs, and I try to slip references into fun things we’ll still do together — “We’ll still go shopping some Sundays, Mom!” “I’ll still come by to watch this show with you, Dad!” — and I mean it.

        I hope if I just continue emphasizing that I’m not going to disappear into the ether and make a real effort to stay in touch with them, everything will be okay. Obviously I’ll be focused on building a family with my fiance and that has to come first, but I know we’ll find a way to make it all work.

    • Your feelings are real and valid and totally okay. Personally, given my parents’ split while I was away at college, I was ready to get the hell out. However, my best friend had a very different story.

      BFF went to college 30 min from home, and though she lived on campus, she was and has always been in close contact with her family. When she found a job 1 hour from her parents, she spent three years of staying the majority of weekends with her parents. Just this year, she applied to grad school and was accepted, meaning last week she moved across state lines for the first time, ever. Even when she was accepted to school, her mom was not happy for her and expressed no pride in her accomplishments, whatsoever. She basically resented BFF for even considering moving away from her home county at all. So BFF had a ton of guilt laid on her, instead of pride and happiness. It’s so sad that her mom has been a wet towel for such a great accomplishment, so I do my best to counter-balance with pride and enthusiasm.

      My two cents: your parents will be fine. Of course you’ll all have a lot of feelings and adjustments, but it sounds like you’re making the best decision for yourself and your new baby family, which will supercede your family of origin. Stick with it, and everyone will sort their shit out. Your parents will have to learn to live in a new household, just like you, and they will be okay. You still love them and you’ll still spend special time with them, it’ll just look different.

      • Needing help/support

        So true, Sarah. Friends keep telling me I don’t give my parents enough credit (that they will, of course, survive), and that the anticipation of our separation is going to be worse than the separation itself. That’s part of the reason why I didn’t just cave and agree to move out after the wedding: I know myself well enough to understand how anxious I would continue to feel up until we got home from the honeymoon, and I do not want that. Rip it like a Band-Aid, I think! (Though I’m not really ripping so much as pulling slowly, as we’re still two months from move-out.)

    • Not Sarah

      I can totally see where you’re coming from. Change is hard, even if it’s change you want.

      I moved across the country (a five hour flight) for college and moved back into my parents’ house for a few months after college before moving to start my job. My mom cried every time I went back to college after being home and she was especially sad when I moved to Seattle. I think it felt more real to her then that I was leaving, even though, in a way, I had really moved out five years prior when I left for college.

      So I originally moved out at 17 to go to college and then fully moved out at 21 after graduating from college. Moving out the first time was definitely incredibly scary. You are so fortunate that you are moving out with your husband rather than to an unknown place on the other side of the country with people you’ve never met before :) It’s still hard though.

      Good luck!

    • Kestrel

      I’ll be officially moving out soon and despite the fact that I haven’t actually lived in my parent’s home since I was 19 (I’m 23) and have been at least a 6 hour drive away all of that time it’s turning out to be a difficult thing for my mom in particular to handle.

      While I haven’t actually lived there, it has been my home the entire time. Even now, when my room has been changed into an office, my mom still calls my brothers’ old room my room now because “I still live there” even though I haven’t actually for the past 4 years. It is true that a large amount of my stuff still is there in boxes though!

      My older sister still lives at home (she’s 30) and will be moving out next year as she is getting married. When I finish grad school next year, I’ll officially be moving out of my parents and in with my fiance. My two brothers have already moved out.

      I think my mom is a bit worried because one of her ‘identities’ is seemingly coming to an end. She was primarily a stay-at-home mom and that’s going to be officially over in a year. And my mom is really understanding about it all and dislikes that she feels anxious over it. She completely understands that I don’t want to move back in with them – and that’s not because I don’t love them, but because I’m an adult now. But feelings aren’t always logical.

      Soon enough, it will be the new normal. And everyone will soon find themselves attached to the way things will be.

      • To add on my own experiences to this, I think my mom struggled a little bit with the same thing. She was a stay-at-home mom and, after all the kids moved out, she really didn’t know what to do anymore. Some of it was logistical (how to cook for only 2 people) and some of it was social (being alone at home a lot). She ended up joining some new groups for hobbies that she had always been interested in and, this summer, took a part-time job.

        Change can be scary for everyone, especially those that get left behind.

    • AFDP

      I didn’t move out until 24 and I’d never lived anywhere else but my parents’ home until then. I moved out a box at a time for a month before my wedding, and found moving to be the most traumatic part of ALL THE CHANGES (until I got pregnant on my honeymoon – what?).

      I couldn’t/wouldn’t justify paying (expensive!) rent throughout college and grad school when I had such a (inexpensive!) place to live with people I loved and enjoyed so much. But moving out + getting married + living with a new person + decompressing from finishing my thesis + generally being adverse to change (and then, as stated, getting pregnant) was a lot to handle all at once and it took me a long time to “recover” from the onslaught of it all.

      Unfortunately I don’t have much for you besides empathy – no “great advice” helped me; just time and allowing myself to “grieve” (because I was initially embarrassed that I was taking it so hard).

  • Kathleen

    So last Friday I was complaining about my cousin’s unreasonable requirements for being in her wedding . . . the next morning, I found out I’m pregnant, and now I just don’t care! She can’t make me fly to a Vegas bachelorette party when I’m many months pregnant, and if she wants to say I can’t be a bridesmaid because I’m pregnant, that’s her loss. Now that I have a really solid reason for not fulfilling her demands, I have no qualms about not going out of my way to do what I think is unreasonable . . . though I also have a sneaking suspicion that she won’t want to be seen as the unreasonable bride who won’t allow pregnant bridesmaids, so she might be more lenient.

    On a somewhat related note, does anyone here have any experience with taking metformin during pregnancy to reduce the risk of miscarriage in women with PCOS? I conceived without it (in fact, way faster than I would have thought, and all naturally), but my Dr. is pushing it to reduce the risk of miscarriage. The thought of taking really any drug during pregnancy scares me. (DES was prescribed to prevent miscarriages, too!) And yet, if anything goes wrong, I will be devastated and will not be able to forgive myself for not having done something to prevent it, given that I had a chance to at least try. I haven’t told any family or friends yet, and don’t plan to for at least a few weeks, so I have no one else to talk to about it. I’m right about 5 weeks, and have known for 1 week, and haven’t started taking medicine – though I filled the prescription and could start it any time, if I decided to.

    • meg

      I had to take drugs during pregnancy. Not that one, but a drug. All I can say is that it’s sometimes important to model taking care of yourself (and hence your family) even during pregnancy. You have to put on your own oxygen mask first. I’m not sure what that means for you in this scenario, but it’s a good way to think through parenting decisions, for me. Unless I get my mask on, I can’t help anyone.

      • Kathleen

        Yes, and I totally get that. What I should have specified is that I would be much more comfortable taking a drug if I needed it for something . . . or if the baby needed it for something, etc. It’s the whole “risk reduction” thing that makes it a difficult decision to make, because I don’t want to be taking it if I DON’T need it, but I do want to be taking it if I DO need it. Taking metformin, for the record, wouldn’t be for me . . . it would be specifically to improve the baby’s chances, so it’s not like I’m ignoring my own needs out of deference to the baby, just that I’m trying to figure out whether this particular thing would be good or bad for him/her.

        • meg

          This is one of those things that is so annoying to say, but in my limited experience: welcome to parenthood. Pregnancy is a heightened version of this, but it’s like this from now till forever, I think. How do I protect my child while not causing too much risk? How do I make good choices with limited information?

          I’m not saying this to belittle the difficulty of your decision, totally the opposite. It’s so super hard in pregnancy. It often gets easier, but I don’t think this ever goes away.

          Parenthood, man. So bittersweet.

        • I’m taking a prescribed anti-nausea medication with some very slight risk factors attached. Do I NEED it? No. I actually refused it the first two times my doctor offered it to me, because hell no I wasn’t going to take drugs while pregnant.

          This is a choice you have to make, lady, and neither choice–meds or no meds–is a “bad” choice. They both have pros and cons. Even if the meds aren’t for you physically, what will taking them do for you mentally? You weigh everything, and you make the best choice for you and for your baby, and then you tell everyone else to stfu about it. You and your doctor and potentially your partner get a say in this, and that’s all.

          You might not find one choice that feels 100% right, and I know what a struggle that is. You just do the best you can, and know that you’re making choices based on what you feel is right.

          • meg

            What Kelly said exactly.

            Also, I found it helpful to look up the studies. Sometimes the “risk” of “x” was it literally happened one time once, and they have no idea if the meds caused it, but now it has to be listed as a risk. Comparing risk vs. actual population helped too. If it “increased risk of birth defects” but it was from 5.2% in the general population to 5.6%, well, then, lets say I could live with that.

          • LBD

            Yes! My psychiatrist referred me to this site, which compiles fact sheets on the various study findings for various drugs, which is so much better than the vague risk lettering crap I had previously found on my own: http://www.mothertobaby.org/otis-fact-sheets-s13037

            Also I just saw it also includes infections, vaccines, and maternal health conditions. Neat!

      • Thank you Meg
        “You have to put on your own oxygen mask first.”
        This is one of my new mantras to help fight the PND demons that tell me that I’m not doing enough, when I’m doing everything I can.

    • Best wishes for a healthy pregnancy!

    • KC

      So, I totally get the “but I wouldn’t be able to forgive myself if…” – but you’ve got that both ways with this choice. (if something goes wrong, maybe it was taking/not-taking X)

      I’d get a second opinion and try very hard to say “this is the best decision I can make, and I will not feel guilty for doing my best.”

    • Congratulations! Nothing like something amazing like getting pregnant happening to put bridesmaid drama into perspective. :)

    • A Single Sarah for certain values of single

      DES granddaughter=totally understand your concerns, even though I don’t have any further wisdom. I like KC’s idea of getting a second opinion and sharing your concerns with both doctors.

    • Kathleen

      . . . and I just started spotting. :-/

      Nothing to do but wait and see, now, I guess.

      • KC

        {hugs} to you, and hopefully it’s all good.

        And please, please remember you are doing the best that you can with the information available to you. You can’t do better than that.

      • Ariel

        Oh, honey. *hugs*

      • meg

        Oh, that’s awful. Just wait, who knows. Deep breaths. Our best. Hugs.

      • Amy

        Totally totally totally normal at 5 weeks. Try not to keel over from stress, honey. Deep breathes, keep in contact with your doctor’s office.

    • Anonymous

      Thank you for asking about the Metformin!!!! I’m supposed to start taking it to help conception because I (maybe?) have PCOS. (I just love grey area diagnoses.) And I’m having the exact same debate that you are, coupled with the fact that they also want me to take Lovenox later in pregnancy. Ugh.

      So, in short, I have nothing helpful to add, but just wanted to say it was nice to hear from someone in a similar position.

      • Lisa

        I’m prefacing my comment that I do not know you or your exact medical condition and can’t guarantee any end results for anyone…however, I can tell you that both metformin and enoxaparin (Lovenox) have been used successfully in pregnancy. Lovenox does not cross the placenta and is typically the drug of choice (at least in the US) in women who need protection from blood clots for one reason or another during pregnancy. If your healthcare provider is willing and gets an ok from previous patients, perhaps having the opportunity to discuss their experiences might help in your decisions? I know it is isn’t you and your situation, but thought it might be an idea to explore.

        • Anonymous

          Thanks, Lisa. I’ve read similar things re: both of them, but I suppose that’s what I’m really looking for – an honest conversation with someone who’s taken them and how things went for them. I know Lovenox isn’t supposed to cross the placenta, but the whole thing just gives me the heebies. It didn’t help when one of my doctors said that “you’d definitely want to start on a therapeutic does, rather than have a clotting issue and then have to be on a higher dose, just in case it does cross the placenta.” That tiny seed of doubt that was lurking in the back of my mind sprouted a little further with that comment. The rational side of me says, well, no studies have shown that, but the other part of me says why the heck would the comment be made, then. Thanks again for taking the time to comment. Happy Friday!

    • Heather L

      I did a quick literature search and from what I can find, it looks like metformin is quite safe-there have been no adverse effects in animal studies even at double the recommend human dose/body weight. The papers I can find on metformin in human patients show a decrease in complications, however the sample size on these studies is a lot smaller than I’d like to see.


    To hire a DOC or not to hire a DOC? That is the question.

    I’ve been in communication with a professional event planning company for the past couple of weeks to not only be DOC, but to execute the decor of the ceremony/reception. They sent a proposal to me that included a fee for the DOC which was much higher than I anticipated. I’m the kind of person that will not be pressured into spending more many than I feel comfortable with. I explained to them what my budget was for a DOC and somehow they are agreeing to come in at the mark- essentially half of what they proposed. Great! The other items on the list- table linens, lights, draping, etc.- total more than half of my budget, which makes me a little uneasy.

    A little background on myself- I am a planner by nature. I’ve planned my own family reunion, a talent show, a baby shower for a fellow grad student, and a bridal shower for another fellow grad student. If I wasn’t stuck in grad school right now, I could plan this puppy with my eyes closed. Even though I am not hiring them as a full wedding planner, as far as the decor, they will need to contact vendors to provide those items. I think that I could find a better deal on these items than they could. Not to say that they don’t know what they’re doing, but I can find a deal!

    My dilemma is that I am kind of in a transitional state right now: I’m a PhD student in engineering (in Texas) and I’ll be finishing in December. My wedding is in May 2014 (in home state of Florida) and I don’t know where I’ll be or what my financial situation will be in the Spring. God-willing, I will secure a job making engineering scale money and my worries will be assuaged. Even still, that doesn’t mean I want to spend exorbitant amounts of money on my wedding.

    So let me see if I can formulate a real question from all the thoughts in my head: Should I a) hire the DOC/event designer and feel comfortable with the fact that I am buying a sense of stability due to the fact that I am currently long distance and most likely will be after graduating or b) save that money and take care of the bulk myself (even though I’m not sure I’ll have the time based on future job prospects) and just find a stage manager for the day of, or c) your suggestion?

    I’m so confoozed. :-|

    • Catherine McK

      You’ll have to figure out what makes the most sense to you, but I can tell you without a shadow of a doubt that my only regret from our wedding is that I didn’t hire a DOC. There were so many details in my head, and dealing with the logistics of that on the day of just didn’t happen. Almost everything worked out. With the exception of the chairs. That were left out. Overnight. In the rain. I am fairly certain this very expensive mistake would not have happened with a DOC, but even if it hadn’t, I think I would have been calmer knowing someone was managing logistics. Good luck!


        The bride of the wedding I attended last year had the same regrets about not having a DOC. I’m definitely going to have one it’s just a matter of do I hire this one even though I’m not 100% comfy with the prices or just get a stage manager. There is a friend of the family that asked about being my wedding planner. The problem is that 1) I want her to be a guest and not working and 2) I will feel more comfortable with someone that does this for a living.

        My gut is telling me to let go and hire this DOC. I have talked them down in price already so I’m feeling a little better.

    • I definitely think you need someone the day-of to be in charge and make sure everything gets done. You can’t worry about that. So whether that person is a friend, family member or someone you pay, you’re going to have to have someone.

      I would explore the idea of a stage manager (family member or family friend). If you have someone who would be great and also WANTS to do it, then awesome! For me, I didn’t have anyone like that, so I hired a coordinator.

      You also might consider looking around for other coordinators in the area to see if the price they quoted to you is standard. I thought the first estimates I got were outrageous, but after getting a few, I realized that was just what it costs. So for me, I picked a coordinator that was around the same price as the others, but was able to offer some additional values to me. (Mainly, they also owned a rental agency and gave me credit for that, and also offered to bring the rentals and clean them after). Get as much info as you can to make the best decision possible.


        I considered hiring a family friend to be a stage manager, but I would prefer that they just enjoy being a guest. I will gather other price quotes though.

        • Yeah, there were a few times during the wedding planning process, where we decided to pay someone to do something rather than doing it ourselves. We were lucky to have some resources to do this.

    • I second Catherine’s suggestion above: do what makes the most sense for you. Through the wedding process, I’ve grappled often with paying for a service (and paying more) vs. doing it myself (paying less, but worrying more). Personally, I’ve come to terms with the fact that my own sanity and time are worth some of the $$$ we’re putting out for the wedding, and I get the sense that paying for a DOC would be worth it for you, too.

      I think you want one, and I think it would be worth it. I’m naturally a planner/totally Type A and have had a hard time relinquishing control over some aspects of the wedding, but it’s absolutely necessary — and I think for you, too. If it’s what you want, give yourself permission to hire some assistance and don’t look back!


        Yeah, I am a little bit of a control freak. :-) But I do think that it will be worth it to me to hire one. While I have the option to use a family friend, I would be more a peace if I hired a professional where there was a contract involved and I could voice my dislikes without fear of future awkwardness.

    • KC

      So, what I have learned from student-income-lifestyle:
      1. you often trade time and money (so, yes, you can hit three grocery stores each week to juggle the loss-leader sales and stock up on X when it’s the cheapest price it’ll be for months, but this takes time and energy. But it saves you money, so if you have the time/energy and not the money, it’s totally worth it.)
      2. you sometimes trade money for dependability/quality (which again: sometimes worth it)
      3. if you are hiring someone to do something, make sure that you’re not spending dollars to save pennies (yes, you *could* have someone fold paper fans instead of buying them, but if you’re paying that person $20/hour [or if you’re doing it and could instead be earning money] and the “bought” paper fans are really really cheap, then you’re spending more money)(which is fine if you really want handmade fans, just always check the implicit labor costs for sourcing and making and whatnot if the reason you’re doing something a certain way is that it’s cheaper)
      4. Location is relevant for pricing of all sorts of things in all sorts of surprising ways

      I’d personally say, if you can swing it, go with the DOC and their estimates. Yes, you could probably hunt down slightly better deals in some cases (although not in probably-surprising other cases), but you’re not local, and if you don’t have someone on location who can verify that a supplier is non-dodgy and/or is not going to go out of business or supply you with dirty linens or something, it’s probably better for peace of mind and lower stress to just say “it’s off my plate and it’s their problem”, since the DOC would know/trust the companies they work with (and would, presumably, have already ditched any flaky companies, since flaky companies make them look bad!). The estimates may also include pickup/delivery/cleaning/tax/etc., so they may be “cheaper” than they look.

      Also: around a wedding is one of the times when the bride’s time becomes worth more than usual, and that’s okay. Try to avoid wasting the “expensive” time on things you don’t really want to do, and use it to sleep/spend time with people you love/deal with the things you do get stuck dealing with anyway.

      That said, if paying more for napkins than you think you could finagle as a rock-bottom price is just going to bug the heck out of you all the way through from now until decades after the wedding, then go with your gut. You know your priorities and what most stresses you out, so figure out whether you’d rather have the stress of “maybe I could have paid less” or the stress of juggling many vendors and sources from afar and dealing with more of the nitty-gritty up until the wedding, etc.


        You’re so right about the trade-offs. Dependability is very much important to me (I get majorly pissed when friends/family are not dependable). This unknown/grey area I’m in right now has be a little freaked out but I trust it will all work out in the end. It always does.

        • KC

          If you get majorly pissed when friends/family go MIA, get a DOC of some kind and give them *everyone* who is doing something and their phone numbers and where they’re supposed to be with what by when. Seriously. At our wedding, some stuff just plain didn’t happen, or got substituted at the last minute, etc. It was truly okay for our wedding (and we appreciated peoples’ flexibility and forgiveness as we were floundering deeply in the waters of multiple wedding traditions and do-we-have-to ourselves, so were more okay with someone else screwing up too), but the “missing components” would have driven many people I know completely bonkers. We had a venue coordinator lady who did timing and pin-the-boutonniere-on-the-usher and all that, but we should have given her a *lot* more information. (but she kept wanting us to do more WIC stuff, so I kind of didn’t listen to her as much as I should have on other stuff)

          If you have a DOC who knows what is supposed to happen, which friend/family-member is supposed to do it, and has their phone numbers, they can “make” things happen to a greater degree (or at least find out why they didn’t happen and figure out a substitute or something when the person who was going to decorate the walls at the reception gets the flu or whatever). Which means: less chaos/failure, and hence less gritting-of-teeth when you meet formerly-loved-ones after the wedding. Yay!

    • Agreed, I think you have to kind of weigh what your time is worth. I have no doubt that most people *can* plan and execute a wedding, but with everything else on your plate, the question is do you *want to*? I would definitely shop around a little more though, and make sure what they’re charging you seems fair for the area, and also that they get your style and vibe. They’re going to be right there all day on your wedding day, so make sure you like them. Good luck!

    • meg

      YOU CANNOT DOC YOUR OWN WEDDING. It’s my #1 piece of wedding advice. You don’t have to hire someone, but you have to have someone do it. I did it for free yesterday, because I never let a friend try to DOC their own wedding, so I step up once a year or so to do it.

      So yeah, pay or don’t pay, whatever makes sense. But *you* shouldn’t dream of doing it. If you don’t pay, find an awesome friend to help.


        I know, I know. I read the book and downloaded the spreadsheets. LOL.

        I hadn’t planned on being my DOC though. Definitely not happening. It was just a matter of if I wanted to hire this particular company that will also execute my decor OR coordinate everything myself up until the day before and use someone else as stage manager. This decision being made while considering that I don’t know where I’ll be for a large portion of the time between now and the wedding.

        Just by reading the comments though and talking to my office neighbor (who’s probably tired of me talking wedding, bless her heart), I’m becoming more comfortable with the idea of hiring them.

        • meg

          Oh, ok then. I give a thumbs up to either of those choices :)

        • Amy

          I did choice number #2. Did all the spreadsheets, planning, etc., and handed it off to family & bridal party on the day. (Really, they took it from me the day before.) I used the APW spreadsheets for timelines, etc. My beloved college roommate had a clipboard, for real. It was magical. And we jettisoned a DJ in favor of an ipod and my favorite uncle serving as Emcee. It was fantastic.

  • Blair

    You Guysssss!
    At the expense of being annoying (and also the billionth person to report this) please tell me you all caught the Chris Kutcher speech, I wish it made it to the rollup. Pretty sure it nearly exploded the internet, along with my wee brain.

    Looks like somebody took his role study seriously for the Jobs flick.
    Win for the Jobs movie. Spectacular PR. Epic win for Ashton.

  • moe

    What a fabulous week! My wedding was featured here AND it was my birthday. I’m so 40-ish now!!! I used to think I had the heart of a 30-something, but no. I’m settled and middle aged and I’m ok with that now.

    Sometimes, I miss wedding planning. I’m glad I had mine. I’m glad it’s over. I’m glad I don’t have to pay for another one, but damn I miss the pretty things.

    • KC

      Happy birthday! And hooray for people being okay to be the age they are! It’s inspirational. :-)

    • I get that feeling of missing the pretty things. I’m so glad the planning is over, but then seeing the dress round up here this week got me all nostalgic for looking at gorgeous dresses – and other pretty things. Of course, dresses and flowers and everything else are still there to be enjoyed, but I do miss that part of the planning (now that my mind has that that fuzzy, forget-the-details glow).

  • Sabrina

    I am just wondering if there are any other super sort people around here, and if they feel that their hight has effected the way they did/are doing their planning. I feel like maybe I am being overly sensitive, but it seems like I can’t find good resources for short people who are planning weddings. I am 4’7″ and wear size 2 1/2 shoes, and I can’t help thinking “where on earth am I supposed to find wedding attire that will fit my body and not make me look like a 7 year old playing dress up.?” My FH is average size, and doesnt seem to really understand how much this is affecting my enjoyment and comfort during our planning process. Any advice or resources would be AWESOME.

    • Anonymous
    • moe

      I’m not short, but I’m plus-size and the wedding industry in general Just Does Not Get It. I’m not a size 2, I’m a person of ethnicity, I have big boobs, I’m not 20 years old, and I didn’t have an unlimited budget for my wedding attire. All of these things combined made me feel very alinated from the wedding fashions I looked at.

      Wedding blogs rarely featured anyone that looked like me. I rarely saw anything that I identified with. So if you’re feeling sensitive I’m going to venture that it’s reasonable and completely expected.

      I don’t have a specific resource for you but I wantd to encourage you and send well-wishes. You will be a beaufiful bride and and I hope your day will be awesome!

    • TeaforTwo

      I am not short, but I don’t fit into sample size dresses, and so shopping was really stressful for me until I decided to go with a custom dress.

      My dressmaker is also a pattern drafter, so I sent her a pinterest board with a bunch of ideas that I liked, and she combined them into a few sketches for me to choose from. She was also able to give me really helpful feedback about what kinds of silhouettes/pleats/fabrics etc. would work best for my body type. And from her photo albums, I can see that she’s worked with plenty of brides who are atypical sizes.

      Obviously this will depend on your budget, but I was pleasantly surprised by the price. My dress will come in between $1600 and $2000 depending on the fabric I choose. This was around the price range I was looking at in boutiques, but has the added advantage that I won’t have to spend hundreds of dollars on alterations once the dress is done, so it works out much cheaper than similarly priced dresses from bridal stores. I also like that I know that she is making the dress herself, in Toronto, and paying herself a living wage.

      • rys

        Even if you don’t go the custom route, talking to an expert garment-maker could be really helpful. In my experience, they have a well-honed sense of what looks good on what types of bodies and usually have an idea of where to look for it.

    • Amber

      Maybe you could have a dress custom made. Etsy seems to have a bunch a great vendors for dress making. Good luck!

    • Karen

      I am not short but I am sort of freakishly tiny (which is nice in theory, except people who make clothes tend to forget about us…so I consistently have mental breakdowns over “why won’t anything fit!?!?!?” Sample size wedding dresses didn’t work for me, either). But I digress.

      I ended up getting my wedding dress custom-made from a person on Etsy. I had already bought a dress, but decided to take the $225 risk ($250 with shipping) and see if a custom dress was a better option. And OMG IT WAS (and so cheap!). I sent the person on Etsy 4 measurements – my bust, waist, hips, and height, and she sent back a dress (in 3 weeks!) that fits like a glove. No size alterations needed, although I did end up having a local seamstress make some minor changes (nothing to do with fit, though).

      I ended up selling my original dress for exactly $4 less than I paid, so my risk paid off. And now I’m left with a custom-made, lace, beautiful, exactly-what-I-had-in-mind dress that I can’t wait to wear next month! Best of luck!

      • Sabrina

        Thank you all so much for being supportive and having great suggestions, no wonder I like APW.

  • Vyvyan

    Just under one month to go, now, and the stress is getting to me. Just got my dress back from the seamstress; she was able to alter it without cutting it, so we can resell it easily, but it’s a lot more dress than I’d normally wear and I can’t really rip out the tulle underneath it and still hope to sell it on. I’m panicking that it’s more dress than I’d wanted, which is really just code for panic about the traditional/non-traditional balance of the wedding (is it too traditional-looking for our friends? will I feel silly in such a big gown? have I gone too far from my initial vision in choosing something other loved ones told me was a good idea? is our ceremony going to put anyone off? am I happy getting married in a ballroom because we couldn’t find/afford/arrange transit to any adorable indie barn-type venues? *how* are we winding up spending this much money, again?).

    Obviously all of these decisions are fixed at this point, so why am I worrying about them *now*? And do I really need to make table runners, and and and…

    My fiance has been dealing with some big commitments coming to an end, so he hasn’t been 100% there, which also means that a lot of RSVPs are not chased up (among other things) and it’s making me nervous. I *think* all the families are feeling appropriate amounts of happy and involved but who knows. Also we’re an international couple, and in practice that means that most of my family is missing the wedding, which I only recently realized. A lot of folks who were making plans and saving money for the trip this time last year have recently had to cancel. Sad times.

    Clearly, four weeks out is when you get All The Stress Feels. Hug me and tell me my decisions will make me happy?

    • elle

      IT IS SO WHEN YOU GET ALL THE STRESS FEELS. My god, I’ve been telling coworkers I’m in a constant state of an anxiety attack. It’s eased up some (23 days to go), but the past week and a half were hellacious. I felt like I had two fulltime jobs – my day job, and then ceaselessly tying up all the loose ends and finalizing all the remaining details once I got home. For a full week, non-stop. Then my body crashed. I slept like a rock the past two nights (which is like, Not A Thing that happens to me) annnnnnnnd now I’m getting sick.

      Oh well! Better sick now than in 23 daaaaaaays!

      /solidarity fistbump

      • Vyvyan


        My coworkers think I’m remarkably stress-free about this whole thing. HAHAHA.

        Hope you get better soon, and that the last couple weeks are easier!

    • moe

      I bought a petticoat for my dress and I was surprised that when my dress did arrive it already had one built in!! (My dress experience was a nightmare, it got lost during shipping and didn’t arrive until a day before the wedding)

      I wore both petticoats. My ball gown skirt was FLUFFY! When else in life are you going to wear a big dress? Rock the thing and wear it!!

      (and maybe remove the petticoat at the recption if it become too much to move around in)

      • Vyvyan

        It’s the built-in petticoat I’m dealing with. You looked rockin’ in your pictures! Deep breaths, maybe I can pull this off. :)

        • moe


          Perhaps when you’re trying on the dress in everyday hair and everyday makeup it’s hard to imagine the entire look when it all comes together (shoes, veil, jewelry, hair etc…)

          Unless I walk the red carpet one day I doubt I will get to wear a long gown again, so if there’s ever a time to go big and over-the-top it’s the wedding day. :)

    • Okay, deep breath. Your wedding will be beautiful. Most of the time wedding plans have to evolve to fit what is actually possible and doable. Your wedding will be lovely even though it isn’t a complete carbon copy of what you originally thought up before you started actually planning it. No one will hate your ceremony (who hates a wedding ceremony? Most people just sigh happily and tear up at the sight of two people they love committing their lives together). Also, it’s okay that your dress is fancy. This is a fancy occasion.

      I was right where you were two weeks ago stress-wise. For me, I was able to take a weekend off from worrying about the wedding. If you can’t spare a weekend, try to take a day. You will be amazed how much it can help. I was able to come back and knock a bunch of decisions out of the way. Being completely overwhelmed is not a very productive state of mind.

      Also, try to stop worrying about how everyone else is feeling, and do your best to worry about how you can take care of your own experience.

      Also, table runners, totally unnecessary.

      • Vyvyan

        Thank you thank you. This is so helpful.

        I’m actually scheduled to go spend most of a week at a folk festival next week. (Which is adding to stress in the short term, because less time to sort stuff out, but is probably going to be good for me!) Didn’t want to miss what’s become a regular and needed end-of-summer holiday this year.

        I’ve been feeling like I’m on Managing Everyone’s Emotions and Expectations Duty lately, and while it’s been necessary (families are involved, misunderstandings have been sorted out, etc), you’re probably right that it’s time to focus more on how I’m feeling and protect that.

    • KC

      1. I initially read “in a ballroom” as “in a balloon”, like hot air balloon, and suddenly became concerned about the practical implications of your dress being too fluffy to fit in the basket well. :-) But no, it should fit fine in a ballroom.
      2. I’m not sure how feasible this is with the structure of your dress, but a lot of petticoats or dresses with built-in petticoats can have their layers separated and the fluffy layer either fluffed-up-extra or squashed down flatter. I also agree that this is definitely one occasion where you can totally rock a big dress, but if you do really definitely want it smaller, then flip up the outer layer of fabric on the skirt (so you don’t wrinkle it) and weight/compress/hug/whatever the tulle/netting part, if the way the dress is put together permits. For more drastic tulle-flattening measures, flip up the outer skirt, wrap the tulle-part into a stick with rope or saran wrap, then let the skirt down again and leave it like that for a week (or whatever). Obviously, *do not do this to visible fabrics*, because the stuff you squash will wrinkle (which, yes, you can usually steam out, but still). But under-layer netting/tulle? All good – squash away. (also: make sure that those who might generously re-fluff it for you by hand the morning of the wedding know *not to*)

      • Vyvyan

        The structure of the dress is totally how you are imagining it. This might well work! Thank you!

        • KC

          Another option (that is waaay more effort/time consuming, but which can’t be undone by someone trying to be “helpful” the morning of the wedding) is to very lightly and loosely baste/tack down the tulle layer (think quilting), but you have to watch that it doesn’t get lumpy. This is also removable/undoable later. (hint: easier to remove if you baste with a thread color that’s just slightly different from the dress, so you can spot all the bits easily, but not *so* different that you can see it through the outer layer of the dress)

          But also: you can totally go with a big dress! These are just options. :-)

          Good luck, and I hope the stress settles soon. :-)

    • Jessica B

      Are we the same person? Did I just post this and forget about it? Because aside from the fact that I don’t even have my dress in the state yet (!!!) this is all the feels I have.

      So let’s take deep breaths together and realize that our weddings are going to be happy and amazing and beautiful and probably a lot of fun and all of the things will get done! Are you also getting married on the 14th?

      Can I get in on that fistbump thing? I would also like to note that even though I might type calm words, I’m making some inhuman stress sounds in my empty office right now.

      • Vyvyan

        Get in on the fistbump! Yes indeed, on the 14th. We can deep breathe together and try to remember that it will ROCK and then it will be over! Hah.

        Every time my fiance travels for work he comes back to find me stressed out over wedding things and upset. I keep trying to get All The Stuff done while he’s gone, and it backfires. Bleh.

        • Hannah

          I’m on the 14th too! *fistbump*

          • Jessica B

            We should probably set aside a time to get online and take deep breath together/fist bump through the computer screens that day. Or combine all our wedding photos into A (very confusing) Wordless Wedding post.

          • KC

            I think having a Wordless Wedding include multiple weddings from the same day would be hilarious. And possibly identity-crisis-provoking, especially if all names were gender-neutral.

        • Jessica B

          I just started that painful “oh my gosh that’s exactly what I feel” laugh. It only happens when I’m nervous/stressed.

  • Amber

    Tomorrow marks the 2 week count down until our wedding. It’s hard to believe it’s really almost here! We’ve been checking things off our to do list, with a decent number of tasks still on there. It’s been tough because my fiancé’s work has been especially crazy busy lately, which means I’m really the one moving things forward for the wedding. Wishing I had more help from him, but also grateful for his job because that’s what is paying for our celebration. The reality of going from fiancé to wife has been settling into my gut. It’s a big feeling that comes and goes in the moments when he makes me laugh or looks at me just so, knowing that he’s my team and we’re taking steps to make our own family. It makes me happy and feel secure and excited for the adventures to come. I can’t imagine my life without him, and I am so grateful and excited to call him my husband! 2 weeks!!!

    • Jessica B

      WOO! We just passed the 30 day mark, so it’s exciting to think about getting all those details wrapped up. How exciting! Yay!

    • Kerry

      So excited for you!!

  • Anonymous

    It doesn’t matter that it isn’t the perfect time, or that I’m also scared to be a parent – seeing that I’m still not ovulating despite medical intervention is freaking heartbreaking. It helps to have lots of rational and measured thoughts about the whole thing also banging around in my head and heart, but it doesn’t make the whole failure hurt any less. Ugh.

    • A Single Sarah for certain values of single


      • Peabody_Bites

        I get this and I feel for you. One thing I am working hard on us reframing my thought patterns so that I don’t characterise my body as a “failure” because it won’t do what I want right now – I believe it will help me to come to terms with whatever the long term outcome is if I can remember not to take my disappointment and frustration out on my body. Easier said than done.. Hugs and luck.

    • Hug.

  • Itsy Bitsy

    YOU GUYS. I feel a little silly writing here because uh, I’m sure it doesn’t mean as much to other people but… I’m moving!! 3000 miles away!! In 2 weeks!!! I’m from Boston, re-located to LA, now re-relocating to NYC!! The move is taking precedence over GRE studying and wedding planing, but eff it. I’m moving to New York!!! EEEEE!!!

    Now excuse me while I frantically apply for jobs.

    • meg

      NYC. <3 My adjustment there was tough, but so worth it. (Yours won't be, I assume, since you're from Boston..)

      • Itsy Bitsy

        I think it’ll be okay. Hard in that it’s a big move but I miss having super clear seasons and being in the same time zone as my family. The move to LA was the hard one for me, so this will feel more like a homecoming. Woo!

  • I chopped off all my hair this week! Pictures very soon! :D (Or you can stalk my Instagram)

    • Kate

      Stalk your Instagram? Don’t mind if I do…

    • Jessica B

      I just stalked your instagram. Your puppy is adorable, and you are too!

  • Kate

    A week ago (minus a few hours) I lost my job. Technically I am suspended indefinitely without pay (was working under the table), but the unprofessional way this has all gone down (over text message no less) has convinced me it is not worth it to go back. I feel incredibly privileged to be in a situation where I’ll be okay (living with parents, compulsive saver), but feeling increasingly concerned about providing protections to those in similar situations minus the safety net. On the bright side, I can now enjoy APW happy hour in real time!

    • (((Kate)))

      I’m sorry to hear it.

  • Laura


    Feels so so so so so great.

    • KC

      Congratulations! Bras that fit are such a wonderful thing!

    • Jessica B

      I think this is the happiest thing I’ve read all day. I’m currently telling myself I should buy outerwear instead of even more underwear (esp bras!) because none of my skirts fit anymore, BUT BRAS ARE SO PRETTY!

    • I bought a new one about two months ago….the RIGHT size. I am still excited about it.

  • TeaforTwo

    The APW archives kicked my ass this week, so thank you for that. For our tea party wedding, I wanted to keep things as simple as possible, and only serve champagne during the cocktail hour (and non-alcoholic punch for kids, drivers, abstainers etc.)

    My fiance’s parents really wanted more of a full bar than that, and pointed out that lots of people (people who they could name, who we are related to) don’t like champagne, and will want to have a drink. And I….am not proud of my reaction. I was obviously polite to them, but then pitched a bit of a fit to my fiance about how I don’t want people getting drunk and it’s early afternoon, and no no no to red and white wine, or any other drinks. I was so tied to the idea of all champagne – it seemed whimsical, simple, elegant, adorable.

    Then I read this vintage APW post: http://apracticalwedding.com/2011/05/wedding-graduates-faith-mike/ and Faith pointed out that their focus was hospitality, because your wedding is your first act of married hospitality.

    Changed my mind 180 degrees, so fast I got dizzy. Instantly I realized that my guests’ comfort and enjoyment is far more important that my all-champagne aesthetic. People, not props. DUH. So thank you.

    • Jessica B

      I’ve had a couple of those moments, where something seems like a big deal when it really isn’t (or is completely missing the bigger picture).

      I got some really good advice on a plane the other day. A woman whose daughter was getting married over Labor Day weekend and I were chatting about weddings and I expressed some nervousness that not all was going well/fit into my vision and she said “decide how you want to feel afterwards, when you’re going back to your hotel or when you get up in the morning, and every decision should be in relation to how you want to feel then.” Oh boy, that is some perspective.

      • TeaforTwo

        That IS good advice. I have been telling myself all along that I don’t want to freak out over anything that won’t matter 25 years from now, but then BOOM. Wedding planning started to turn me crazy.

        I think that I’ve gotten to used to rebuffing the WIC with a firm “anyone who is coming to our wedding is doing it because they love and are happy for us. They aren’t going to need the flowers/late night comfort food/a belly dancing troupe/fireworks show” that I have lost sight of how this is a very easy way to be hospitable and make people more comfortable. Yeesh, I am so glad that I only have to plan one wedding in my whole life.

        • Jessica B

          I see the freaking out over little things as a way to express emotions you can’t show about the bigger things. Saying “Argh! This (tiny thing) isn’t going well and it’s awful!” might be a sign of “AH! I’m getting married and it’s kind of a big deal and I have a lot of feelings that I can’t express about it!” Or that’s just me.

          But yeah, if I wake up the next morning and am unhappy with the way that some small detail went, I will have missed the point and am probably upset about something else.

  • Emma

    Recommendations on how to find a therapist? It’s for sex/intimacy troubles that I’d like to work through individually and potentially include my husband in the future if he’s comfortable. I live in a mid size college town (not a student) and know few people in the area and/or its too personal for me to feel comfortable asking. I’ve thought about asking my obgyn although she’s a friend of a friend and by no means do I think she’d share info it’s more that I see her at casual BBQs which makes me feel awk…but could be routine for her. I could likely get over the awk of asking her vs any friends/acquaintance. Thanks for any thoughts/recommendations!

    • VIOLET

      Hi Emma,
      You could start with your insurance company. It would be a bummer to start up with someone only to realize you can’t afford that person. Your insurance company can give you specific provider names, so that’s a start. If you want to skip the insurance part, it’s possible the college of the town where you’re situated has connections. If you check out their student health center website, you can see what medical center they’re affiliated with, and that can be another way to go. Even if you meet with someone for a first session, if you don’t feel comfortable with that person, you don’t have to keep seeing him/her! Good counselors understand that the therapist/client relationship is a matter of “fit” and can provide you with other options. Best of luck!

      • KC

        Your ob/gyn, if good, is a good source. Another note on this is that if you grab a list of people your insurance company covers, you could potentially ask if she knows of and would recommend/anti-recommend anyone on the list. At least for me, it would be easier in some cases to have that sort of conversation with a piece of paper I can be looking at instead of the person. :-)

        That said, she may just not be familiar with anyone on the list, in which case you could have her write down recommendations on the same helpfully eye-contact-avoiding piece of paper.

        But re: BBQs, seriously, these doctors regularly deal with STDs and being the only person to know the background of peoples’ sex lives and dealing with normally very dignified and professional people going oh-shoot-I-lost-something-in-my-vagina-can-you-get-it-out-please and all sorts of things that need to stay Private with a capital P, so unless your issue involves something that will make her think your husband (or another BBQ attendee) is abusive or a massive jerk, I would not expect any BBQ interaction changes.

    • A

      My sister, who is a therapist, recommended this as a good place to start looking: http://therapists.psychologytoday.com/rms/?utm_source=PT_Psych_Today&utm_medium=House_Link&utm_campaign=PT_TopNav_Find_Therapist

      its nice because it lets you search by specialty, and it gives a price range in the listing so you know what you’re getting into. Good luck!

      • AnonyMouse

        I am bookmarking that. My husband and I are talking about couples counseling specifically related to teaching me to cope with his ADD. (I’ve finally realized it’s not me, and there’s help for it).

    • Jen

      Check with your employer as well. I am taking advantage of 3 free sessions through my Employee Assistance Program, with a therapist who was recommended to me by a friend (I have a Master’s in Counseling so I feel more free discussing this with friends, though TOTALLY understand the discomfort for others).

      Bravo for seeking help/support! It can be so difficult to take that first step. And I second another poster’s recommendation to pay attention to your gut when meeting a new therapist – it’s not at all rude to discontinue seeing a therapist because their theoretical base or approach does not jive with you. The relationship with your therapist is the most important component…how can you work with someone on these deep issues when you don’t trust them or feel comfortable with them? If one of my clients stopped seeing me for this reason I would absolutely understand, and even provide a recommendation for another therapist who might meet their needs better.

    • Anon

      Not sure if this is true of everyone, but my personal therapist told me we would need to find a different person for couples counseling. Because she had spent so much time listening to me, she didn’t feel that it would be appropriate for her to then work with both of us. Has anyone else found this to be true? Just a heads-up that you might actually need 2 people.

      • itsy bitsy

        I think that this makes your personal therapist sound like a really great and honest professional. And it makes sense to me. A couple’s therapist shouldn’t be biased towards one side and it’s good of her to be up front about the fact that she would be biased. Maybe another therapist wouldn’t feel biased, especially in Emma & partner’s situation since they’d be starting both couple & individual stuff at the same time (rather than there being weeks/months/years of only hearing from one person).

      • Anonymous

        Just to add my two cents, I agree you need separate counselors for individual and couples counseling. However, I have my own therapist and a couples therapist with my hubby. He goes to see her by himself sometimes. Although this may slightly bias our couples therapist, it’s also super helpful that when she sees him struggling with something (like intimacy) she can talk to him one on one abd resolve the problem without me having to sit through it. in a way, it’s like short cutting individual therapy for him. Something he needs but isn’t ready to do so this allows us up resolve things as a couple more quickly. Don’t know it that made any sense.

      • LBD

        I imagine it depends on what the couples therapy is for. Our biggest issue was that I have a really hard time talking about my feelings, and he’s often the person off-hours who had to deal with picking up the pieces. My therapist’s knowledge and familiarity with me has been essential to helping me learn to communicate better with my husband about what’s going on with me. Neutrality is less of an issue in our case.

    • Emma

      Thanks for those suggestions! Will certainly take a look at that site A. Our insurance is through my husband (who works for the university) so there’s a fair amt of options there however I went in years ago as a student and they gave me the “try a glass of wine and candles” schpeal…not helpful! So I’d like to find something outside the university (also since my husband is fairly well known in the community) ad starting with insurance makes sense as well. Thanks team!

  • Yesterday, I got a new dye job that I have been told looks like a) a cupcake, b) an ice cream cone c) the Hunger Games. I am unreasonably pleased. Also, just made plans to go to the beach with my college friends following our (homg) ten year reunion in April. This has been a pleasing Friday.

    • Jessica B

      Cupcake head? Oh yes!

  • I’m leaving immediately after work to carpool with 4 girls from the Lehigh Valley, PA to Long Island, NY for my wonderful friend’s bachelorette party. We’re doing a limo wine tasting tour of long island wineries tomorrow following by an evening backyard bbq. It’s going to be lots of fun and I’m super happy to be able to help celebrate my friend and her upcoming wedding.


    I started feeling faintly ill a few days ago, and today after starting to feel worse am pretty sure I’ve got a UTI (I’ve had a few over the years, so 95% sure my self-diagnosis is correct). I do not feel well, and if I wasn’t going to be gone all weekend I would go to the doctor today or tomorrow. But there’s just no time. I’m not sure whether the right decision is to stay home and get well or suck it up until Sunday (I’ll be home around noon Sunday), but I’m going to the party. I refuse to be the shitty friend who got kinda sick at the last minute and bailed. So I’m hoping just hoping it doesn’t get worse, and I’ll get myself taken care of when I get back.

    Also, I’m decidedly introverted, and the only person I truly know well of the 8 girls I’ll be hanging with this weekend is the bride. I’m acquainted with 2 others, but really don’t know them well. I know I will have fun, because I always do at these sorts of things (especially when alcohol is involved), but I also always have all sorts of anxieties about being miserable and being stuck there for 2 days with no way to escape leading up to said events.

    So right now I would really like to go home and crawl into bed and go to sleep. But I’m not going to. And I’m probably going to have a great time, and then crawl into bed and go to sleep on Sunday when I get home.

    • Catherine McK

      Yuck! Good luck! I’m sure you know this already, but drink ALL the water. So much water. It’s helped me cure them before sans meds.
      Any chance your doctor will prescribe over the phone? If you’ve gone to them before and have a history they might…
      Take care of yourself, hope it turns out better than you’re expecting.

      • Unfortunately I just started going to a doctor since I moved, so I’m not sure they would be inclined to do that, but I will absolutely do the water chugging.

    • Karen

      Yikes, sorry to hear this! If you’ve had a few UTIs over the years, would your doctor be willing to call in a prescription for you without seeing you? Mine did this for me once when I was out of town – I just found a local CVS that they were able to call into. In my experience, drugs for UTIs make a big difference within just a few hours, so it’s probably not worth suffering the whole weekend (although if you go on antibiotics, be careful with drinking). Alternatively, many pharmacies have walk-in clinics who could probably diagnose/prescribe for you. It would mean taking a few hours away from celebrations, but if the alternative is a weekend of pain (which is what my UTIs are like), it may be worth it.

      Good luck!

      • I just moved and have a new doctor, so called in rx is unlikely, and I know that my old doctor made me come in when I tried that once before. If it gets real bad tomorrow, I’ll step out of the festivities and try to find one of the walk-in places (and a ride there since we’re carpooling).

        • Jen

          If you feel comfortable doing so, I would still try asking (kindly, but firmly – UTIs ain’t no joke!). I had an all-of-a-sudden UTI and my OBGYN couldn’t see me, so I explained the situation to the front desk person and the managing nurse was able to get me a prescription. Good luck and I hope you feel better soon!!

        • KC

          Sometimes your former doctor is still willing to call in prescriptions in such a time as this. But also, try your new doctor or their nurse; especially if you can snag a female with personal experience with UTIs, and can convince them that you know what a UTI feels like, they should grasp the situation and figure out some way to help.

    • claireelizabeth

      Good luck w/ the ladies, my fellow introvert!

      And on the UTI front, my doctor grandfather once told me to drink lots and lots of cranberry juice. Which, oddly, helped. No idea whether it was science or the placebo effect, but if you like cranberry juice it’s worth it for the hydration…

      • I have heard about the cranberry juice thing, and I should have time to swing by a convenience store or something to grab one for the road.

        • Beth

          Make sure it is not “cranberry cocktail” with tons of sugar and other juices mixed in. You should try to find pure cranberry juice (usually easy to find at Whole Foods or Trader Joe’s). It’s super bitter and I hate drinking it, but I have had it help in this area before.

        • I have taken cranberry pills too for this….with lots of water.

    • Yes, drink All the Water, and also get yo-self some cranberry juice- 100% cranberry (not a cocktail). Pound it this weekend. With vodka/gin if preferred :-)

    • Megan

      As someone a wee bit too familiar with UTIs (something absolutely no one would envy, eh?), I’d recommend steering clear of much alcohol if you can — totally irritates things, more than they’re already irritated. Water will definitely help, but I’ve needed drugs each time in the past to really kick the infection. But yes: water.

      I hope you feel much better soon and have a lovely time! I felt anxious about hanging out with a good friend’s bridal group for a wine tour years back, mostly because I really only knew the bride and her sister, but ended up having an awesome time and made lots of good memories (and got good pictures!). Hope everything works out beautifully for you!

    • Amy March

      Now is the time to start googling urgent care centers and CVSMinuteClinuc at your destination! Half an hour detour and then pain free peeing all weekend is totally worth it.

    • Heather L

      If you have an emergency clinic/urgent care center in your area, I suggest that. Not an emergency room if you can avoid it (but if it’s your only option, go and hope it’s not a busy night), but there are places open outside normal doctor hours for stuff like this. I would try to find one and go there tonight as UTIs can get very uncomfortable very fast if you don’t treat them.

    • KC

      Okay, exactly on ALL THE WATER and cranberry juice (mix straight cranberry juice and water and drink tons).

      But also: there are these OTC pills that turn your urine orange (and I have no idea how it works) but whatever’s in them, it makes things sooo much better in terms of pain, at least as a short-term measure. But, like, seriously bright Tang-orange urine which will stain undergarments, so feel duly warned? I have the store brand of AZO; I gotta assume the name-brand stuff works as well. It doesn’t help with the assorted other I-have-an-infection-and-hence-feel-cruddy-all-over parts, if you get that with UTIs, but not being in Super Pain can help a lot with energy, etc.

      Also, this is a weird tip, but if any external sensitive bits are Angry for whatever reason and are getting irritated by your urine, pouring water over that area while urinating can help enormously (esp. for first-pee-of-the-morning or whenever the urine is more concentrated)(think: liter bottle of water, keep by toilet, pour over while urinating, then refill the bottle from the tub tap). This doesn’t help when the pain is more internal, but is One Weird Trick for other stuff.

  • Laura C

    Since last week I was in here freaking out about how we’d just found out that someone who has two groomsmen in common with my fiance had planned his wedding for the same day as ours, an update: he was able to change his date! So we are all good. Although one of our groomsmen is now booked up for literally every weekend in August of next year, since he had a family vacation planned for part of the month and now two weddings.

    • Catherine McK

      Hooray! Thanks for the update!

    • Ariel


  • christa

    Thanks Meg, for the ask moxie link. When I found APW in 2010 while wedding planning, it was a little bit of sanity and encouragement in the otherwise shaming and insecurity generating world of weddings on the internet. Now that parenting is looming large, I’ve been looking for the same corner of positive encouragement without judgement regarding motherhood on the internet, and hadn’t found it yet. I totally understand all the reasons you’ll never have a “reclaiming mommy” section here, so I’m glad to be pointed somewhere that seems like it’s got a similar philosophy. Thanks.

    • meg

      I’m always interested in what we end up reading and why. Weirdly, I don’t read parenting sites. I look things up on Ask Moxie when I have a particular problem, I read Girls Gone Child because I love Rebecca, and her poetry on parenthood is just right. I read Peonies and Polaroids because… well… everything, but hey there is also parenthood. And that’s IT. I just find it so odd that I needed to read blogs for my wedding (and a ton of other things) but I don’t for parenthood. I’m not sure why that is…

  • Ariel

    I went dress shopping yesterday for the first time and it was awesome. Wearing a dress (and a veil!) definitely started to make it feel real. :D

    • Ariel

      Also, probably a stupid question, but how do I get the bride next to my name to be me instead of a cartoon?

      • Catherine McK

        Go to https://en.gravatar.com/
        Then when you enter your email, your picture will pop up (and hence the non-anonymous “AnnyMouse” entries)

        • Ariel

          Yay! My face! Thanks!

          • Ariel

            take 2?

  • Stacie


    After eight weeks of back and forth with the folks there, we finally put down a deposit (holy crapola, that’s a lot of money!)

    And I went wedding dress shopping last weekend and I think I found it!!!!

    It’s starting to become real…

  • claireelizabeth

    Woot! One of my besties is getting married tomorrow afternoon in total APW style:
    -In the back-yard of her & fiance’s new house.
    -In a dress that she and her mum made.
    -With punch from the APW tutorial.
    -With DIY cake, decorated (by me!) with help from the APW tutorial.
    -And an ipod playlist.
    -probably some other super laid-back APW-ness that I don’t know about… (cake decorating has consumed me…)

    You guys, I am so proud of her and thrilled that this site and community was so helpful for her & her man!

  • Melissa

    Alright APW gals, I get married in 8 days. 8 DAYS! And I’m pretty positive that I will have my period for our wedding day. Any advice on how to handle that?

    Everything else has gone so smoothly, that I knew something would crop itself up at the last minute. Sneaky, wily ducks. Luckily, after Sunday, all I need to do is survive three days of work and pack for our honeymoon. Hopefully I can write my vows this weekend.

    On a non-wedding note, I’ve been listening to the audio book version of Sheryl Sandberg’s Lean In (courtesy of my boss), and I am really surprised at how much of what she says is already at play in my career–without my even being aware of it. Also, I am fully aware that I’m a few months late on this, but I just wanted to share how much I’m loving listening to this book! It makes long commutes much less frustrating, though switching cars while listening to an audio book is a pain in the ass.

    • Remy

      I was bleeding, too. Gah. White Dress + Center of Attention + Lots of Pictures. (Plus, perhaps, Standing Most of the Day, Stress, and No Privacy, and maybe even Enormous Petticoat That Needs Help When You Visit The Restroom. And Expected Sex.)

      The DivaCup was the best thing for me, although I wouldn’t recommend trying it out for the first time on a big occasion. Use whatever you normally use, and have extras as backup. Also backup undergarments, emergency stain removal gear, and NSAIDs/Midol/whatever you need for pain. Drink plenty of water and don’t put on your dress until the last minute — AFTER you use the bathroom.

      • Melissa

        That helps a lot! Back ups undergarments never even occurred to me. I’m really not excited about cramps, high heels, and dancing all combined, but that’s what Advil is for.

    • Jessica B

      If you’re worried about leaking because you can’t get to the bathroom in time, I suggest rush ordering a pair of Dear Kate undies: http://www.dearkates.com. These are knickers that will keep your dress white (or whatever color your dress is, I’m going to go ahead and assume not blood red). They have them in thongs so if you have underwear that already goes with your dress you can stick the thong under that one.

      If you don’t want to do that (they are kind of pricey), just let one of your bridesmaids know you should be going to the bathroom every 2-3 hours or so just to make sure you’re all set.

      If that doesn’t touch on your question of handling your period, could you be more specific?

    • Paranoi Libra

      One thing I learned reading APW was to pee reverse over the toilet but does require taking underwear nearly off which might be more difficult. I had mine lightly the day of. I put a tampon in just before getting dressed then straddled the toilet reverse cow girl like. I managed ok. Maybe if it’s heavy use a tampon and pad as back up for crazy overprecation even if it might feel sucky dancing.

  • Alicia

    Are there any APW ladies in Mexico?

    • Oh… just saying hi. I am Mexican, but I live in The Netherlands…

  • Kess

    Thanks to those who gave their advice last week on my venue crisis. I am now delighted to report that I have a venue and a wedding date and I am SO HAPPY. I had been feeling so discouraged, thinking nowhere was right, but Saturday my FI and I and both our families ended up stopping by the barn venue we’d been considering and I felt like the wool was pulled off my eyes and I realized that all the things I was worrying about with it were so silly. It’s super pretty and it fits all our guests and is cheap. They even had a sudden cancellation which meant we could have our preferred wedding date. I feel like I have about 20 lbs less on my shoulders!

    I’m already going a bit nuts with the next steps and getting caterers and photographers etc since I’m a bit behind the crowds but every time I get stressed about it, I remind myself that I have a place where all my people can come and celebrate with me and that alone means it’s going to be awesome. Everything else is just gravy!


      I remember how stressed I was when I couldn’t find a venue that I like and that was in my price range. I also remember the absolute elation that I felt when I (read: my mom) found the perfect one. So I understand losing those 20 lbs. Congrats!

  • Lily L

    Do I have to invite significant others who aren’t married to my wedding? I’m trying to keep my wedding 50 people small because I only want to be surrounded by people I/we know and love on our wedding day. My fiancee is inviting a big group of his high school friends (we are about to finish grad school) and some of them have significant others: 4,2,1 years of dating. I would rather not invite the S. Os especially because this group of friends is really close so it’s not like they would only know their S. O. I know that regular etiquette dictates that they get +1s, but the current wedding I’m planning has so few elements of the original wedding I wanted that I just want to hold on to my desire of not having ppl I don’t now at my wedding. I’m curious what the apw community thinks

    • Jessica B

      If you don’t want to give plus ones, talk to the friends about it. They might be disappointed, but once you explain the size of the wedding I would hope they would all be understanding.

    • CII

      These decisions are always difficult. My own view is that it is most important to decide early on what rules you have and then apply them consistently. Also, in some cases, SO and plus one are not interchangeable – I use SO when the person’s identity is certain, whereas a plus one, to me, means “bring anyone you want.”

      For our <50 person wedding, our rule is that SOs are invited, but plus ones are not. We are defining SOs as "married or living with" (but it can be defined more narrowly or broadly). Our goal, like yours, was to have only people we both know and love. But even with that rule, there will be some people there we don't know (e.g., the wife of a family friend who has been very supportive of us, but whose wife neither of us have ever met; and a live-in boyfriend of many years of fiancee's college friend). But, four example, our mutual friend's boyfriend for less than six months who we have never met is not invited. In contrast, one friend of mine who is having a much larger wedding invited named SOs, and for singletons, everyone got a plus one.

      Good luck!

    • Hannah

      Sorry to say it, but I think you really need to include significant others. To be honest, if one of my friends invited me to a wedding, but said I couldn’t bring my fiancé, I probably wouldn’t go. Not letting single people bring a date is one thing, but not letting people in committed relationships bring their significant others is another thing.

    • meg

      I tend to think you do. My guidelines are: you don’t have to give +1, you do have to invite significant others. It makes me really really uncomfortable (politically and personally) when marriage becomes some sort of stamp of approval. David and I were together for 5 years before we got hitched. The idea that I could have been invited to a wedding without David, and then be seated next to a married couple that had been together 2 years who both got invited because of a piece of paper they signed? I’m not down with that.

      That said, if you decide to not invite ANY significant others, well, then at least you’re being consistent. But just the married? That gives me the icks.

      • Breezyred

        I am in agreement with Meg. My partner and I dated for 10 years before we legally wed. He didn’t become part of my family just because we signed a legal document. Not inviting significant others just because they aren’t married has always made me feel gross. This is not even getting into a discussion about not honoring couples who can’t legally wed. Or friends you don’t even realize are in relationships.

        My partner and I have always been invited to weddings, etc. together, and I truly appreciate all the loved ones who honored us in this way. The first time one of us received a “plus one” was actually AFTER we married, and, strangely enough, we have both known the bride for the same amount of time. We couldn’t make it to the wedding, but the plus one really left us feeling uncomfortable with the idea of attending anyway.

      • Yeah, my fiance and I will have been together 6.5 years when we get married. I’ve also known people who tried to only invite married couples. Some of those hurt feelings will last for years.

      • ANDREA

        Agreed! My partner and I are of the “totes committed but have decided not to marry” variety (and I read this site! I don’t know either) and I would be super squicked out if my married friends were invited as couples and I was invited by myself. If it was a) no significant others and b) a group that all knew each other AND c) involved no traveling (important), then sure.

      • Teafortwo

        I agree with Meg in this one – I think a poster in a previous discussion said it well when she referred to couples who are a “social unit” and it makes sense to me. We thought about what we do if we were inviting our guests to dinner at our place – I wouldn’t invite half of a couple who lived together to sit down and eat a meal in our home, I would at least extend the invitation to both, so we did the same for our wedding.

        As an aside, I am surprised to hear women on APW referring to marriage as just a piece of paper. I understand – particularly in countries where same sexier image is still not legal – the political ramifications of excluding non-married couples, and I think that we all have to be conscious of the privilege many of us marry into simply by getting married and stepping into a relationship form that is so socially sanctioned.

        However. Referring to marriage as just a document doesn’t sit right. Surely we are not all here because we believe marriage to be such a trivial and easily dismissed thing?

    • Lily L

      Thank you so much for your input, guys! I definitely agree with Meg that I do not in any way want to say the only way you have a meaningful relationship = marriage. My fiance and I will have been together for 7 years when we get married and we’ve been in situations where only one of us was invited to a wedding. Neither of us have ever been upset about not being invited, so I was hoping that other people would feel the same way. Also, we are the first of our friends to get married, so it’s not like we’d be inviting only married people’s significant others. All these possible guests are on my fiancee’s side so given the advice here I think I’ll have them talk one on one to his friends and see how they are feeling

      • Brenda

        It might be helpful to think less in terms of “strangers” but more in terms of “friends you haven’t met yet.” These are not random people off the street, they’re people who are important to your fiancee’s friends. Definitely talk to them about it, but it might help to think about this this way if they say they really do need their partners invited for them to attend.

        • Brenda

          *Fiance. Comment editor not working.

  • Two months after finishing the baby I finally finished her baby quilt yesterday. Yea!

    Unfortunately it looks like she is allergic to milk proteins. So no milk, cheese, yogurt, ice cream, chocolate, and any of the other hundreds of foods that have milk proteins in them just for spite, for me.

    • meg


      • We’ve decided she’s cute enough we’re going to keep her despite all of her spit up.

    • Emily

      “Finishing the baby” is the best way I’ve ever heard that put before.

  • Beth

    My husband and I just figured out that we needed to get my name added onto his vision insurance before my eye appointment next week and after I thanked him for dealing with it, he wrote me an email and all it said was:

    “Ain’t gonna have no blind wife.”

    I love him.

    • Jessica B


  • I know I am probably way behind the times on this one but I’ve spent the last night and most of my afternoon reading through Tim Ferriss’ blog and it has provided some much needed inspiration. I’m not trying to do a plug or anything because I really haven’t read enough of it to feel comfortable doing that – I just wanted to share the experience of being inspired. Initially, it was just to travel (more) and take off for longer. Now I’m contemplating the possibility of starting a small business in the future and all kinds of things!

    Life is cool. There are so many options and so many different paths. Sometimes it just amazes me.

    • Remy

      I was inspired by The 4-Hour Workweek… less because I want to retire early or hire virtual assistants from India, but because it encouraged me to dream. It was actually a major tool in my life planning with the woman who has become my wife; I asked her, “What would you do with yourself if you didn’t have to work for a living?” and we started planning from there.

      • Yes. It’s all about the dreaming. I’m finding that reading is just stimulating my creativity and I’m coming up with great ideas (which might not be great when I look at them tomorrow but that’s how it goes sometimes).

        If you (or anyone else) don’t mind answering – what would you do if you didn’t have to work? I’m always curious to hear people’s dreams.

        • Remy

          I’d do all the volunteer stuff that I can’t make it to during the workday: snuggling babies in the NICU, getting kittens and cats adopted, reading to kids at the elementary school, tutoring readers and shelving books at the library. My house would be clean and organized. I’d cook more. I wouldn’t travel (much); I’d just nest at home and participate in the local community. I’d sleep more and better, get more exercise and fresh air, and be a nicer and happier person overall.

          • I would run a cat rescue shelter :-)

  • You do not know how much it made my day to come to one of my favorite blogs and see #SolidarityIsForWhiteWomen being referenced. Thank you.

    • And now that I am thinking of it, the Storify round-up on that makes me want to link to this:


      “In a conversation yesterday with Xavier Damman, the Storify CEO suggested that the women @elevatorGATE is targeting turn off all notifications from Storify, which essentially suggests that they withdraw from the medium if they don’t like being stalked, and which also wouldn’t solve the problem of this user archiving everything these women say. One of the users pointed out that this is very much like telling a woman who is being harassed via telephone to never answer the phone. It was at this point in the conversation that Damman went from passively enabling a stalker to actively assisting one. He tweeted, in response to the women, that they ‘…can’t do anything about that. It’s @elevatorgate’s right to quote public statements…'”

  • What a week! A baby with bronchiolitis, and then an earthquake (M6.6) to round out the week. That I feel I coped with remarkably well, considering the better half was at work and took a good 2 hours to get home. Thankfully no damage, either at home or in the city, but still stressful.
    So this morning I treated myself to coffee with a friend, just to work on pretending this never happened, so we can forget that we live on a major faultline.

  • Magical Unicorn Mama to Be (we hope)

    This round of IUI didn’t take. This sucks. This really sucks. I felt SO SURE this go round in a way that I didn’t last month. And my boobs hurt, I was exhausted and the sperm motility was really high. My period came 4 days early and I thought it was implantation bleeding for about 4 hours and was so excited… until I wasn’t.

    We had to buy new sperm with a different donor, so maybe this is supposed to be the father of our baby? I guess? I could be a lot more optimistic about the process if it didn’t cost us $1,400 per month and I’d rather have that money for a college fund for the unicorn or, you know, the mortgage.

    If this one doesn’t take, honestly, I’m not sure what’s going to happen next. The doctor wanted to revisit if I wasn’t knocked up by 3 months and I think the next step is hormones, which my insurance won’t cover and I don’t know if we can go OTC for.

    They don’t tell you how hard the two week wait is, how you analyze everything your body does, how you put your life on hold and hold your breath. Or how hard it is to breathe out once it’s over.

    So cross your fingers for us during the last week of August. I start grad school classes and will pay a doctor $250 to shove $400 of man juice up my twat. Twice.

    • I am so sorry this round did not work. Two week waiting is the worst part. I have found the medical / injections / ultrasounds active part not hard as I thought it would be, and I actually kind of like that there is an active part of the process where you can see progress. But the emotional part in waiting, in checking every single symptom, in hoping, but trying not to hope too hard just in case as a protection….
      I feel you.
      I hope that your magical unicorn baby will come to you soon.
      (Injectables (FSH / Gonal / Fostimon) are not that bad, I did not feel side effects at all. )

    • catherine

      Crossing my fingers for you! I loved your post on APW, sent it to my fiance. We will be going down that road in a few short years, so I’ve loved reading your journey. Sending you best wishes, luck and love :) May you be blessed with unicorns shortly :)

  • Brenna

    So, I got my business license in the mail today! I am officially a WA state legal business! Just in time for the 20th Wedding Anniversary Party I am catering and doing floral for tomorrow that’s IBS, Paleo and vegan friendly menu. How does that work you ask? A paradoxical menu with armloads of dahlias. Now I just need business cards, a website, a commercial kitchen, some minions to chop sweet potatoes and make the individual parchment paper packets for the halibut…oh and maybe some ad space on APW!

    • KC

      Congratulations! And hope everything goes well with the food/dahlias!

  • Katherine Harrison

    Although the first and only wedding book I read was APW and I am 6 months into the planning I just learning that **not everyone is going to like everything about our wedding!**

    I am a first time, 50 year old bride and my mother has passed away. It someways it make wedding planning easier (she may have commented more times than not that it would be a good idea to lose some weight) and sometimes harder.

    Anyway – I was with two good friends, one much older than I am – and we were admiring the other’s daughter’s wedding dress. My older friend said “thank goodness it has straps” and the other said “yea, I know, right?” Rather than keeping my mouth shut I told them my dress doesn’t have straps thus making the exchange more uncomfortable.

    I WAS upset about this: “are strapless dresses slutty?”; “I can’t believe I picked a dress my good friends won’t like!”; etc., etc.

    In re-reading APW I finally realized that not everyone is going to like everything about my wedding. Good to learn this lesson early in the planning.

    And while I don’t post much, I love reading your posts and feeling like I have some planning support.


    • KC

      I think the strapless dress things are mainly:

      1. if you don’t know how to manage a strapless dress, you will be hitching that sucker all wedding long (which I have seen at young peoples’ weddings, but more so at prom – it was A Year Of Strapless Dresses, and literally everywhere you looked that there were girls, there were girls grabbing the front of their dresses and yanking them up, since this was their *very first experience* with strapless dresses and of course they stay up by magic, right?). And hitching a dress/unintentionally giving a side show of more breast/undergarment than you wanted to display: not a good look. So I can see older relatives of younger women being… concerned. But! You are old enough to know what fits and how to wear strapless and to test movement in the dress without feeling stupid and to buy garment adhesive, etc. if necessary! (and to build a “friend circle” in a corner if you do need to hitch) So this does not apply to you.

      2. Strapless dresses are *everywhere* and some people hate them just because of that (especially if they have tried to find a dress with straps for various reasons). Again, not relevant to you, because you didn’t specifically want your dress to have straps, and you like your dress.

      In conclusion: strapless dresses: not inherently slutty, should not be a problem for you.

      That said, some people will not like some wedding decisions, or (as in this case, probably), what some people would choose for “their” wedding is different from what you choose for your wedding. Both of these are ultimately okay, even though the first is a bummer and the second is confusing until you separate “different senses of style/different preferences” from “judgment of me and all of my doings”.

      Hope all the rest of your planning goes really well!

  • Wait. Have I not commented yet? Have I not yet said that Meg is good at writing about weddings because she is Good At Weddings?

    Ours was a delirium of happiness and Meg knows her s***.

    Thank you to everyone here for all your thoughts over the years. A community can exist behind our eyes.

    • KC

      Happy wedding to you and congratulations and hooray!

  • ART

    Well I’m a day late, but I just now cut a bolt of fabric down into eight table runners of varying lengths in anticipation of a big ombre dye project! The cutting alone was a big project, but having these little piles of folded up runners (some of which are 28 feet long) is sooooo satisfying :)

    Planning to cut the rest of the bolt into napkins, but I’ll leave that for another day I think!

    • KC

      Congratulations, and wow, and wow. (I assume you’ve figured out some sort of drying location for the 28-foot table runner)

      That’s an impressive day’s work, and hooray for piles of correctly-sized fabric!

      • ART

        :) Thanks! I’m thinking the drying location is probably my dryer – I’ll be using procion fiber reactive dyes, which I’m pretty familiar with and confident that they won’t turn my dryer purple (or bleed onto the undyed portions) after thorough rinsing! It’s really the rigging for a nice gradual ombre that I’m more concerned about. My dye buddy has suggested a pulley system and tall garbage cans. My heart kind of hurts thinking about filling and emptying those without dyeing my patio or killing someone’s lawn, though!

        • KC

          A pulley system is a really, really good idea. (it might be worth doing a “wet run” using only water, though, since the weight of the wet fabric might do interesting things to a home-engineered system? this would also give you a slightly tighter container size approximation.)

          For the dye bath leftovers, any chance you know someone with a laundry sink and a concrete floor in their basement? You could potentially dip the solution out with a cheapo plastic pitcher until the garbage can is light enough to pour the last bits out?

          In any event, that is a massive scale, AMAZING project/adventure, and I hope you enjoy it thoroughly!

          • ART

            Thanks! We have a utility sink in our laundry room, but the room isn’t big enough to dye in! But we may have to resort to carrying it there by bucket (in fact, that gives me a much better idea as to where to set up the dye bath…). A test run with water only is a great idea!

            There will be photos, so I will share – hopefully in a few weeks!

          • KC

            I would absolutely love to see photos of this amazing process. I have only dipped my toes in the world of dye (like, the boiling-silk-in-vegetable-dye super-elementary kind), so massive table runners and fiber-reactive dye and all the logistics therein are !!! in my world.

            Also, the inherited-engineer in me would love to see the pulley system you rig up. :-)

  • Kelsey

    Did anyone else hear about Alex being only minimally involved in the next season of Orange is the new Black? We are highly disappointed around these parts. Otherwise- can’t wait until it’s back!!

  • Patti

    I wrote my wedding vows based mainly on cobbling from this site, and they are amazing and make me cry every time. So I thought I’d try your suggestions for this…I have two children from a previous marriage, and we’ll be doing a sand ceremony after the ring exchange. I’m looking for a reading (my mom will be the reader)…something poetic (not necessarily an actual poem) that suggests the spirit of family. My searches online turned up mainly…let’s just say “unpublished” poems. Looking for something classier. Anyone? I dig your style! I dig this site! I wish I was getting married lots of times so I could keep using it!

    • Peabody_Bites

      You could try something from A Gift from the Sea by Anne Morrow Lindberg. It sounds like it would fit with your sand ceremony and is a wonderful meditation on family and the role of women in family.

      Otherwise, I like the piece from The Velveteen Rabbit about the nature of love, which starts “What is Real” – you should be able to find it with some judicious googling. I always think that that is very applicable to parent-child love.

  • Love the brides bouquet

  • hototogisu

    Hi guys, this is my first time posting here and I have a question for everyone: how do you get excited and motivated to plan your wedding? My partner proposed three months ago with a beautiful Satomi Kawakita ring, and right away all my excitement centered around being married, not the wedding. I’m so thrilled to be engaged, and find myself fantasizing about getting to use the word ‘husband’, and our conversations about the future suddenly feel weightier, and I find myself looking at the ring and feeling a deep and lovely sense of security, but everything about wedding planning leaves me cold.

    What gives? I used to guiltily click through wedding blogs back in the day and I’d have idle thoughts about backdrops and place settings, but now all of that feels kind of terrifying. I bought a dress that I actually loved from Net a Porter, panicked that it was too soon, and returned it (which I now regret, but it does give me a chance to go dress shopping with my mum, who lives in our home country and is visiting next week). We have a venue in mind that we’ve been casually loving for a while, but we’re both dragging our feet on actually booking it. I’ve set up a savings account so we can save our projected budget, EUR10,000, by our ‘date’ next year, but we don’t have an actual date yet and our friends and family are starting to get antsy.

    Honestly, I just feel so much pressure from the designy cute ladyblogs, from a broader idea of the ‘bridezilla’, from potential conflicts with family, about money (it all COSTS. SO. MUCH), and I’m already encountering tons of judgement just from acquaintances when they find out we’re engaged (‘let me see the ring! Oh, that’s… cute. At least you can choose your wedding band! What do you mean you’re getting married in adopted country and not home country? Isn’t that really rude and ungrateful to your friends and family? Let me see the dress you bought! Wow, are you sure you’ll want to see that when you look back on your wedding pictures*?’)

    I end up in this loop where I’m just like ‘I JUST WANT TO BE MARRIED’ and then ‘our marriage is so important to us, we should do it in a special way’ to ‘maybe I could hand craft a mylar and tissue paper tassel backdrop?’ to ‘OH LORD, THIS PHOTOGRAPHER COSTS MORE THAN MY SPECCED OUT MACBOOK PRO’ to ‘I JUST WANT TO BE MARRIED’ again.

    So how do you get excited in the face of all this pressure?

    * all of these are actual comments I’ve received after sharing our news