APW Happy Hour


Leaving on a jet plane!

by Meg Keene, CEO & Editor-In-Chief

Hey APW,

It’s been a really fun (and really intense) week over here. We did a huge summer fun themed shoot for Crate & Barrel, which basically entailed me working twelve days in a row. They were days I was happy to work, towing my four-year-old behind me to the party shop to source materials. But still, it was work, and I’m tired.

But that is JUST FINE, because as you read this, David and I are boarding a flight to New York, for our first three nights away from the kids since they were born. (We’ve done two nights, but three nights seems crazy, and wonderful, and… a little sad. Thus is life as parents.) We celebrated our eighth anniversary on Wednesday, so this is an anniversary trip back to where we started this whole thing in the first place. I’m sure I’ll post a few snaps on Instagram, if following along on other people’s vacations is your thing. (Because it’s totally mine.)

And with that, it’s your midsummer happy hour. Three cheers to summer!

xo,

Meg

Meg Keene

Meg is the Founder and EIC of APW. She has written two best selling wedding books: A Practical Wedding and A Practical Wedding Planner. Meg has her BFA in Drama from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. She lives in Oakland, CA with her husband and two children. For more than you ever wanted to know about Meg, you can visit MegKeene.com.

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  • penguin

    We’re off on our combined bachelor/bachelorette party weekend! Since our friend circles overlap almost entirely, we decided we didn’t want to have two parties where almost everyone would attend both but us. We’ve rented a house up in Vermont for the weekend, I’m excited for the hot tub and roasting marshmallows over the fire pit!

    We had our cake tasting, and it was awesome. We’re going to have spice and hazlenut for the two cake flavors, and the fillings (on different tiers) will be apple jam, black cherry buttercream, and cinnamon buttercream. I’m glad we went in for a tasting, because I thought we’d love the Nutella buttercream, but it mostly just tasted like butter and not much else.

    We had a meeting with our rabbi to go over ceremony details last night, and I’m feeling really good about our ceremony. We made a lot of decisions and got just about everything planned. When we mentioned some ring exchange wording we liked (“set me as a seal upon your arm…”), she said there was a song that she could sing that we might like. So right there in her office she found the songbook and started singing (with no music) a folk version of “Set Me As A Seal”. It was so beautiful that I was crying before the first line was done, and my fiancé didn’t last much longer. So she’s going to sing that song right after we do our ring exchange.

    • CMT

      That cake sounds amazing!

      • penguin

        It was great! Also you can’t beat “no additional charge” – the entire wedding cake is included in our per-head catering cost. On top of not paying a venue rental fee at all, it’s great.

    • jem

      Go, girl! You deserve all of this weekend/cake/ceremony awesomeness after your summer of MIL drama!

    • norah_charles_ftw

      Hazelnut cake and black cherry buttercream sounds like what dreams are made of….and now drooling at my desk.
      Also, your combined bachelor/bachelorette party sounds fabulous!

    • Sarah Porter

      If you need any suggestions on fun places to go/eat in VT, lemme know! It’s kind of the best spot for a party weekend (though I’m a bit biased, ha!)

      • penguin

        I’ll take any suggestions! We’ll be in southern Vermont just as a reference.

        • Sarah Porter

          Oh nice! Honeypie (in Jamaica, VT) is an amazing place with incredible food (low-key burgers, shakes, etc in a former gas station run by some friends of mine). Also Hermit Thrush in Brattleboro has super good Sour Beer, if you’re into that, and there’s this great vintage clothes store there too called Boomerang that I’m a huge fan of. Be sure to pick up some Big Picture Farm Goat’s Milk Caramels (also owned by friends, you can find them in the awesome coop in Brattleboro). If you’re looking for some adventure, look into swimmingholes.org and pick out one or two of the swimming holes in the state to go to! Have so much fun <3

          • penguin

            Thanks so much!!

    • sofar

      Yeah… I’m gonna need a piece of that cake.

      • Jessica

        ditto.

    • Lain

      That cake sounds amazing

    • Jess

      I just got a request from R to make a cinnamon buttercream cake this weekend. I’m excited to see how it goes!

      Now I know it’s an option, I’m going to research black cherry buttercream recipes too. YUM!

      • penguin

        Yay do it! It was so good. It definitely tasted like black cherry, but it also wasn’t overwhelming.

    • AmandaBee

      Hot tub and fire pit sounds perfect, enjoy!

    • Kat

      How dare you just come here and describe the worlds most delicious cake with no regard for my lack of self control. :P I’m literally going to have to buy cake now.

      Your weekend sounds very very fun!

    • suchbrightlights

      All of this sounds excellent. After the troubles you’ve had, I’m so glad things are coming together.

      Also… I’m gonna need a piece of that cake.

    • Mjh

      Vermont house with good friends, a hot tub and fire pit sounds fantastic. Hope you guys have a great bachelor/ette weekend.

      Aaaand I’ll take a slice of the hazelnut cake with cinnamon frosting, thanks :)

  • Cleo

    There was a post a while ago (maybe an open thread?) about how you know whether your partner is “the one” and a lot of people in the comments talked about how they didn’t know.

    If someone knows what I’m talking about, can you please link me to it? I think reading it now would help me sort out some feelings.

    The TL;DR is – I used to think I was one of those people who would “just know,” but as I’ve gone into introspection about it over several months, I’ve come to the tentative conclusion that I might never be sure (I’m currently single, but have just started seeing someone I’m smitten with) and want to get to the place where I’m okay and comfortable with that.

  • Pickle

    Hey friends! I would like to hear people’s experiences with the following two things, because I am considering them:

    1. Getting married on Columbus Day weekend. Is it a crazy busy time when we’ll be competing with lots of other weddings and venues? I would have thought not because a lot of people don’t even get it off, but apparently it’s often been the most popular wedding date in a given year.

    2. Having a Jewish wedding that starts with Havdalah on a Saturday night. Did having to deal with sundown make things annoying and complicated? Anything else I should consider?

    Thanks muchly!

    • penguin

      I think Columbus Day weekend books up fast because a lot of people get the Monday off (or their kids get it off from school), so it can make traveling a bit easier. We tried to get that weekend and it was already booked.

      Jewish wedding – our rabbi said that she does Saturday evening weddings pretty frequently and it goes well. We decided to have ours on a Sunday, but mostly just because we wanted a daytime wedding. I figured I’d be amped up and anxious if I had to wait all day to get married, but that’s me.

      • Pickle

        Thanks! Ugh– I really want a three day weekend because a lot of our folks will be coming from the opposite coast, and I’d really like to have a leisurely post-wedding brunch that most folks don’t have to run away from to make flights. But our options are really limited by sundown needing to be at a reasonable time!

        • Amy March

          I’d just warn you that many people don’t have Columbus Day off- don’t sacrifice too much to have a leisurely post-wedding brunch because it still may not be a thing that happens.

          • Jess

            Agreed – I haven’t ever had it off.

        • penguin

          You could always have a leisurely post-wedding brunch with just your new spouse :)

    • rebecca

      Since it sounds like you might be open to either Saturday and Sunday of Columbus Day weekend, I imagine it would make it much less difficult to book a particular venue (and of course, the Sunday will probs be cheaper which is great) even though it is a weekend that has lovely weather in many areas and a free day off for some folks. fwiw I’ve gone to Columbus Day weddings twice, but I’ve never had two conflicting Columbus Day wedding invitations.

    • Amy March

      For 1, I never see the point in picking a date before talking to venues! It doesn’t matter whether a date is or isn’t popular, it matters whether or not you can find a venue in budget on that day.

      For the after sundown piece I’d just keep in mind prioritizing getting down to the business of eating dinner asap. Waiting until 10 is just late.

      • penguin

        Agreed. We tried to keep a general season in mind (fall 2017), and then shopped around to venues to see what they had available. Until you have a venue, you don’t have a date.

        • Unless your tied to the date and the venue is a lesser priority. Example – my husband and I got married on Pi Day, and the date wasn’t negotiable. We weren’t interested in any venue unless they could accommodate the date.

      • Pickle

        True! We are asking about a range of dates in October and hoping that Columbus day is available for some. And, I agree re: eating! It’s hard because I can’t quite tell whether we can start the ceremony exactly at sundown or if we have to wait 40 minutes after sundown. But either way we will do a cocktail hour with heavy appetizers beforehand if we go that route.

        • penguin

          Do you have a rabbi yet? You could ask them, I think it’ll vary depending on the rabbi.

          • Pickle

            Not yet, but we have a bunch of rabbinical student friends so I think we’ll ask them.

        • Angela’s Back

          I’d think you’ll have to wait until 40 minutes after sundown, and actually even a little later than that–you can’t do havdalah until 40 minutes after, then Shabbat is over, then you can start. For what it’s worth though, I think starting your wedding with havdalah and then moving right into the ceremony would be such a beautiful way to start your lives together, the havdalah ceremony is so lovely and the music is really pretty and now I’m getting all kinds of warm fuzzies just imagining.

          • Pickle

            I agree that it would be lovely! I’ve always loved Havdalah. I just also love eating so I’m nervous :) We’ll be in LA so sundown will be at 6-6:30. So if we had to wait 40 minutes we probably wouldn’t be feeding people till 8:30-9 which feels really late to me, but I guess we’ll stuff ’em with appetizers?

          • Angela’s Back

            Totally understandable, food is awesome :D I don’t know how religious your crowd is (or how religious you all are, obviously), but maybe you could do a modified shaleshudis/seudah shlishit kind of thing beforehand but without the study/singing of songs? Or if your people are into that kind of thing, you could do a combo shaleshudis/tisch scenario but not sex-segregated where you could talk about Jewish weddings or the meaning of marriage in Judaism or even the bridal imagery of Shabbat while everyone is snacking, then you do havdalah, then you get married, then you have dinner/light dinner/dessert? Man, I want this to be my wedding now.

          • Angela’s Back

            You know though, the other way to approach it would be treating it like your guests are adults and trusting them to feed themselves beforehand if they need it while also being very clear that you would be serving food, just later than they might be used to–and then you and your partner maybe have a delightful first look where you share a little plate of tapas or something. Like two yichuds for the price of one, ha.

          • Cleo

            Two thoughts –

            1. One of my cousins had a shaleshudis/tisch in a non-sex-segregated way where the focus was on greeting the bride and the groom and eating and talking amongst themselves

            2. In Los Angeles, in my experience, eating dinner around 8pm is normal, so 8:30-9 is well within a normal range. Not sure where your families are from, but if (like mine), they’re from a place where dinnertime is more like 6pm, they might need to be warned about dinner. Though, if your invitation says when the ceremony starts, everyone should be able to put 2 and 2 together and have a snack if necessary.

          • Pickle

            Haha I love how into this you are! I’m not-religious enough that I had to google “shaleshudis” but religious enough that we have to follow the sundown thing pretty specifically.

          • Lisa

            This could work:
            Cocktail hour with appetizers upon arrival (or a tisch with appetizers)
            havdalah
            ceremony
            reception with dinner

    • Sarah Porter

      It depends on which area you’re hoping on getting married! For New England, it’s definitely a more popular weekend, but not the MOST popular weekend (i.e., Labor Day, Memorial Day, and September in general). If you’re planning for 2018, and you’re planning a Sunday wedding, I think you’re pretty safe with finding the most of the vendors/venues you love still open.

  • Ashlah

    Happy Anniversary, Meg! And Happy Happy Hour, everyone else!

    Midwife gave us permission, pending how I’m feeling, to travel to the path of totality for the eclipse at 38-39 weeks pregnant! It’s an hour away in normal traffic, but no one really knows what to expect. We’ll be avoiding highways/freeways and we’ll take our go bag. It feels kind of crazy, but she seemed unfazed, and we were feeling really sad to miss out. So fingers crossed that works out well!

    In other news, I’m curious what you do when someone tags you in something on Facebook that you’re…not into. Not horribly offensive (though I’m here for those stories too, if you have them), but something that doesn’t meld with your beliefs and you don’t really want attached to you. My mom, who should really know better, tagged me in a “boymom” meme that basically boils down to “boys are gross and annoying, but also sweet and they love you.” Which is ostensibly positive, right? Except that I hate it. I’m really not here for anything that suggests my kid is or will be a certain way because he’s a boy (or that girls can’t be or do the same things). I untagged myself from the post (which no one had interacted with yet) and texted my mom, trying to strike a balance between making it clear I don’t like it, while keeping it lighthearted. She hasn’t responded. Part of me feels like I should have used the opportunity to make my opinions clearer to a wider audience, but I also feel weird calling my mom out in such a public way. What would you do/have you done? Am I overreacting to the whole thing?

    • Kaitlyn

      To the second part, I totally here you there. I generally just untag myself in it and don’t acknowledge it since I figure it’d be making a mountain out of a mole hill.

    • penguin

      I don’t think you’re overreacting. If you’re comfortable with it next time, you could comment with something stating your view, although right this minute I can’t think of how to phrase it.

      • JSK

        “Mom, I’m pretty sure all kids are sticky and gross lots of the time. Lol, remember that time I did (something super gross).”

        • JSK

          ETA: OP, you totally are not overreacting. That sort of thing is a real gray area for me where I don’t want to go over the top with my reaction or publicly call out my mom, but it doesn’t sit well and untagging doesn’t quite cover off on enough closure.

        • penguin

          I like this approach.

          • kris10

            Me too. You can drive yourself crazy trying make sure the people who interact with your kid are consistent with your parenting style. A gentle approach like this may get her thinking without causing a fuss.

        • Ashlah

          My text response did in fact include, “Don’t discount girls’ love of farts!”

    • Amy March

      I ignore it. Best way to avoid FB drama is to ignore it- I don’t have any interest in problems based on a service I use for cute kid pics so unless something were really horrific I just ignore. Especially with my mom- I love her, I’m having no part of publically embarrassing her. She dealt with that enough when I was a toddler!

      • Ashlah

        This is generally how I operate! I think it feels different in this case because I feel like maybe I can nip this gender stuff in the bud, so she’ll at least stop making those sorts of comments to me (and to him, once he’s old enough to hear them), whether or not I actually change her mind. But I do also appreciate the desire not to publicly embarrass her!

        • Amy March

          I think jumping from a FB post to how she will actually treat your son is a big leap!

          • penguin

            I took that as more she’ll say stuff like boys will be boys, or other gender based things, not that she’d mistreat him.

          • Ashlah

            Yes, this. I’d just prefer her to stop with the offhand gender stereotypes, which she definitely verbalizes in person too.

          • penguin

            Totally reasonable. We don’t have kids, but it irks me when my MIL makes similar comments. “Oh you know how men are, so helpless! Can’t cook or clean to save their lives!” I think she means it as a commiseration/finding common ground thing, but I just really do not agree at all.

          • Kat

            And it’s easier to address a small issue now when the stakes are low than years down the line when she’s telling him he can’t play with a certain toy or wear a certain color (thing’s I absolutely heard my grandfather say to my brother when we were young.)

      • sofar

        Agreed. My mom has tagged me in some weird, random stuff on Facebook. Moms gonna mom.

        I just untag and hide from timeline.

        Also, I just assume nobody really noticed/cared about the fact that I was tagged in a Christian-centric post about God for like 10 minutes before I untagged/hid it. Writing a comment that addresses my feelings on said post, however, would attract a lot of attention.

        • Ashlah

          Yeah, and I definitely don’t want to get into a discussion about gender with some of her conservative military colleagues…

          • sofar

            Oh god. Gotta love FB’s ability to bring people together. Like, your conservative relatives and your college friends. On a long-ass Facebook argument thread.

    • rg223

      Oh, I think you absolutely did the right thing by messaging her privately! And I don’t think you are overreacting either.

      In the past, I’ve both shared my opinion, or done the PM – just sort of depending on how strongly I feel about whatever was posted. Since your reaction to your mom’s post was closer to “this is not my jam” rather than “this is deeply offensive,” I think just keeping it private is the way to go.

      • Ashlah

        Thank you! That distinction between “not my jam” vs offensive feels like an important one. If it were something blatantly offensive, I wouldn’t hesitate to challenge it.

        • SarahRose472

          I also think that this is where the debate about “calling out” vs “calling in” is relevant even if it’s something offensive. Sometimes it feels like certain comments should be publicly challenged for the sake of others exposed to it by reading it, but at the same time if the goal is to make the person who wrote it realize why it was offensive (and maybe for example consider taking it down), I’ve found many people get wildly defensive if you call them out in a public space, rather than privately, and that can also be counterproductive.

    • rebecca

      I would have a warm but serious talk about it. It’s your mom, she’ll likely interact with your kid fairly regularly and you have every right to be concerned about the expectations she has for your child. I don’t think you’re overreacting at all.

      • Ashlah

        I appreciate that, thank you!

    • sofar

      This is SUCH a Mom thing to do. If you think this is going to be a pattern with her and it bothers you, I’d set up my profile so that I had to approve every tag. IF she notices that none of her posts are appearing on your wall, you can have a talk, but I’m guessing she’s putting as much thought into that post as my mom does when she forwards me random chain emails.

      • Ashlah

        Oh, I already have that set up! Partly because she is notorious for tagging me in random stuff. Haha. Usually it’s just silly stuff I can pretend to be amused by, no big deal. It just bugs me that this will (or did) still show up in people’s news feeds that I was tagged in it/with my name on it. But in the end I should remember, it’s something she posted, not me, and people can see that I didn’t interact with it. So I guess in this case, it’s more important to me that I help her understand my feelings about this sort of thing, which I can do privately.

        • sofar

          OH yes, my husband has also tagged me in some random stuff that doesn’t wind up on my wall … but everyone who is friends with us sees it in their feed. Like, thanks for tagging me in a political joke that my cousins (who are also friends with you) will also see.

    • Violet

      First, I totally agree with your premise. If someone (anyone) tagged me in a gender stereotyped message, I’d for sure be annoyed and remove the tag (or I guess, not approve it, since I have that setting on). My response might be a bit different to call instead of text, but it depends on the person. If it’s someone I only interact with via Facebook (extended in-laws, for example), I wouldn’t do anything other than remove the tag. But if it’s someone I’d normally text, I might call. I’d probably lump it in with a few other more neutral topics on the phone call, but yeah, I’d want to make my opinion heard if I was close enough to the person.
      One of the (many) reasons why I didn’t want to find out the sex in advance is to hold all this stereotyping bullshit at bay for as long as possible. I know once the kiddo’s born the horse is out of the barn, but still. Just buying myself time. I’m sorry this happened to you, it sucks.

      • Ashlah

        I’m supposed to hang out with her Saturday, and I considered waiting until then to talk about it, but I was worried she’d noticed I’d untagged myself in the meantime. But that’ll probably be a better time to have a real discussion about it!

        Despite choosing to find out the sex ourselves, we totally intended to keep it a secret until he was born! And then we changed our minds pretty much as soon as we found out. Sometimes I regret it, sometimes I think it was the right choice. These comments are just everywhere, seemingly regardless of what you do!

        • AP

          Lol, this comment makes me think my husband is right about not finding out the sex. I wanted to find out and not tell anyone, but he really doesn’t think he can keep the secret! So I think we’ll be better off waiting to be surprised:)

          • Ashlah

            Haha, for us we felt like we were deciding between annoying comments about the baby’s specific gender, or annoying comments from people pushing us for info and general annoying gender comments. Plus we had some gender disappointment to grapple with (a funny thing to admit in the midst of this conversation), and felt like acknowledging that we were having a son with our community at large would help us process.

        • Violet

          For sure- I’m sure for us the comments will start as soon as kiddo is born. You really can’t escape it; it’s so sad.

    • Not Sarah

      I have my privacy settings such that I have to approve all tags.

    • AP

      Ugh, that sucks. My MIL tags me in inappropriate crap all the time (political rants, rants about millennials, other people’s posts about their garage sales….) so I set my FB so that no one can tag me without approval. I freely untag myself from stuff all the time so it doesn’t show up on my wall. I’ve tried to gently ask her not to tag me in stuff (and I’ve straight up told her that I don’t follow her because I don’t like the political stuff she posts) but she does it anyway. So I just untag and move on, usually.

      • Ashlah

        Ugh, how frustrating.

      • Kat

        I have a couple of cousins and an aunt who spend ALL DAY sharing stuff on FB and tagging random people in it. I often think about setting them up with a Tumblr, where they can reblog to their hearts desire without flooding my news feed with rants about how my generation is so selfish.

        • AP

          YES. My newsfeed is basically 10 people now because I’ve hidden so much nonsense in the last year, from the political garbage to the folks who just have no FB etiquette and post 20 clickbait “articles” and polls a day. I was an anonymous Live Journal-er back in the day, so I get the need to just brain-dump your stream of consciousness onto the Internet but for Pete’s sake FB is meant to be a community, or I sometimes think of it like a town square. The things people yell into the town square just amaze me to no end.

          • RNLindsay

            I haven’t this theory that people who didn’t grow up with AIM or live journal or MySpace didn’t get all the oversharing and brain-dumping out of their system back in the day and think FB is now the place to do that. But it’s not. (Btw I still miss AIM)

    • Gaby

      Ugh, I got very close to dropping $600 for us to fly out to my brother’s house in Nebraska for the eclipse since it’s on the path of totality. We’re leaving to Japan in less than 40 days so I talked some sense into myself, but I’m still sad about it!

      • Ashlah

        Ah, being responsible is such a bummer! We’re so close geographically that we feel like we’d really regret not making the effort/taking the chance.

  • Mary Jo TC

    First week of school is on the books. My preschooler told me this morning how Tucker the Turtle puppet was teaching his class about counting to 3 when he’s angry. So far I’m thrilled with his school. I’m happy as a teacher because this year my magical unicorn school is confiscating all student cell phones at the door!
    Tomorrow it’s the Tomato Art Festival in East Nashville! We’re going to do the kiddie festival thing this time, and I want to eat heirloom tomatoes with feta cheese and buy tomato earrings and maybe a political t-shirt if I see one with a good slogan and/or cause.

    • AP

      Awww I miss the Tomato Fest! I used to live in that neighborhood:) Have fun!!

    • Violet

      Do they do tomato and mayo sandwiches? They sound so gross but they are so simple and so good.

      • I LOVE those….

      • Ilora

        My coworkers make fun of me for eating these, and my husband is horrified, but they are SO GOOD!

  • savannnah

    DIY photobooth questions: So far I have fijufilm instax cameras and film (lots of it) and a backdrop frame, clamps, and backdrop- we are using our chuppah, and a cute sign explaining what to do but as its getting down to the wire I’m still working on 1. what kind of lights should we get for it ? and 2. I feel like I’m crazypants for looking for tasteful photobooth props since its kinda not the point but if those such things existed, what would they look like?

    • penguin

      I think the picture frame props look the least cheesy (as opposed to mustaches, things like that). I think you could also go no props, or just have something that goes with your decorations (like those balls of foil streamers on sticks maybe) that isn’t necessarily an obvious photo booth prop.

      • Jane

        Everyone loves a good picture frame!!

    • CMT

      I vote that photobooth props aren’t even necessary if you can’t find tasteful ones. People can take fun photos without them!

      • savannnah

        Ok..so I really don’t want props at all but I got it in my head that it was the whole point. Maybe I’ll just go with nada and be good with it

    • Sarah Porter

      Yo! I just photographed a wedding that had an awesome DIY Photo Booth and instax film. They used two regular lights, like you’d see in your living room. You can get two from IKEA or a thrift store for cheap, and they worked really well! Set them at 45 degree angles from your subject, and you’re GOLDEN. xoxo

      • savannnah

        Ahh! amazing! done!

    • photopersonisback

      1) what kind of lights should we get for it?
      What is your budget, how complex do you want to get insofar as setup, and what aesthetic is your desired result? You could use a regular lamp from your living room or you could drop $5k on a professional setup or $200 on renting that same professional setup… but have you ever set up professional lights before? It’s a skill unto itself, ask anyone who works on movie sets as a grip haha. I would google ‘how to light a photo booth’ and read the various blog posts from pro’s that come up – they will introduce you to some fundamental considerations and help you avoid unwanted shadows or making EVERYONE’s face look extra-shiny and reflective – then you can pick and choose what you would like to execute based on your budget, skills and desired deliverable.
      The one thing I would recommend is to TEST IT at least 2 weeks beforehand so you can mess around and go out to buy or rent different lighting options if your Plan A turns out to not work out.

      • savannnah

        def not going the professional route but this is great advice for those that are!

    • Sarah

      Are party poppers and confetti and balloons… not classy? Bc they make for fab pictures!

      • Alli

        Those sound super classy! A bit messy though.

      • savannnah

        ooo this is a good idea. those are classy versions of props!

    • Jane

      Maybe some sun hats?
      Here are my classy-ish props, but I am someone who has spent way tooo much time, money, and energy on her photo booth props. And my dad decided to buy me these (absurdly expensive) masks because we were trying to make fancy masks and not getting great results. But I think the masks will survive and I will have them for years, for whenever I need them. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/45d80eda89e87f9c5a659cf557cc77e3fb51b2def42cfd801b074ef00c410c6f.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/e87ececb7495eef617fa155015ed22fcd0f50ff7d0050434a5a9014ea30c20bc.jpg

      • savannnah

        This is lovely!! and I was thinking about animal masks as well! esp. since we have a good horde of 3-5 year olds coming…

        • Jane

          Thanks. Amazon has some cheap but not that cheap looking ones, so they would arrive in time. Mine are like hand-painted tanned leather or something. I feel more than a little ridiculous about how much they cost but costuming is an interest my dad and I share, and he really got into it . . .

          ETA The stems for my flowers were very very time-consuming to make so that they could be super tall and freestanding. But the flowers themselves are pretty much just tissue paper and moss, with a few friends you could bang that out in an hour and make a bouquet of giant tissue paper flowers for guests to hold.

          • rg223

            I am not a costume person and think those masks are awesome!

    • Brynna

      We had 4 photobooth props; two large cutouts of our cats’ faces and two large cutouts of our own faces.

      We weren’t really going for tasteful, but people had fun! https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/5e2af4671bd661ca81077514fd5a5a04f14d17d7f9c4c4f393046c6883406c7c.jpg

      • Ashlah

        I still regret not pushing harder for cardboard cutouts of our cats at the wedding!

      • sage

        I tasked my mom with printing/making a large cutout of my dog’s face for our photobooth! I’m happy to see this picture and how well it turned out for y’all!

      • suchbrightlights

        This is excellent.

  • CMT

    Ugh, I’ve been in such a funk this week. I have a post-vacation mental hangover — I spent too much money, my apartment’s a mess, I haven’t unpacked yet, I haven’t eaten a vegetable in, like, 2 weeks. I am so excited for the weekend to hole up at home and organize my life. And cuddle with my cat.

    • rg223

      Upvote for cat cuddling. Enjoy!

    • ART

      I 100% sympathize with the not eating vegetables feeling – I have come home from vacations and made the hugest salads of my life thanks to that!

      • CMT

        I’m leaving work a little early today and my first stop will be the grocery store to buy ALL the vegetables! Salad here I come!

    • Cellistec

      Upvoted for feeling like that sometimes too.

    • Ashlah

      I hate that “I spent too much” feeling post-vacation, even when it was completely budgeted for sometimes. Enjoy your weekend and your kitty cuddles. <3

  • nyc_to_ma

    ah guys I need help!

    So, our wedding is one week from tomorrow. My fiance and I are both planning to read something – and he is reading a really perfect poem (I Like You by Sandra Stoddard Warburg). I was going to read the passage below from Sylvia Plath’s journals… but now I feel like reading Sylvia Plath during my wedding ceremony might be bad juju.

    Any other ideas? I’ve googled literally dozens of roundups for “unique wedding readings” and “non-cheesy wedding poems” and every website has the exact same 10-15 readings and none of them are remotely what I’m looking for… help!

    (original planned reading: “I feel good with my husband: I like his warmth and his bigness and his being-there and his making and his jokes and stories and what he reads and how he likes fishing and walks and pigs and foxes and little animals and is honest and not vain or fame-crazy and how he shows his gladness for what I cook him and joy for when I make him something, a poem or a cake, and how he is troubled when I am unhappy and wants to do anything so I can fight out my soul-battles and grow up with courage and a philosophical ease. I love his good smell and his body that fits with mine as if they were made in the same body-shop to do just that. What is only pieces, doled out here and there to this boy and that boy, that made me like pieces of them, is all jammed together in my husband. So I don’t want to look around any more: I don’t need to look around for anything.”)

    • penguin

      Do you not like your original reading, or is it just because it’s by Sylvia Plath? For what it’s worth, I like the one you have and it seems appropriate.

      (Also I am a child and snorted a little at “his bigness”)

    • Anne

      That is gorgeous. I would trust yourself and stick with the original plan at this point!

    • GotMarried!

      I love your original planned reading.

    • LindseyM

      I think that is lovely, and not bad juju. I read something from Withering Heights and feel great about it even though I think the relationship in the book is toxic.

    • HarrietVane

      I really like the quote, but I also totally understand icky about it being about Ted Hughes… I don’t have an immediate good quote but I will think about it!

    • Lisa

      This is a beautiful reading, and it seems to complement your fiance’s really well. I wouldn’t change a thing.

    • suchbrightlights

      I love Sylvia Plath, but I would have the same hesitation as you do about using that for a reading. Also because I can’t think of Ted Hughes’ name without thinking of Robin Morgan’s “Arraignment.”

    • Brittany

      I read a Mary Oliver poem from her book Felicity:

      I don’t want to lose a single thread
      from the intricate brocade of this happiness
      I want to remember everything
      Which is why I’m lying awake, sleepy
      but not sleepy enough to give it up.
      Just now, a moment from years ago:
      the early morning light, the deft, sweet
      gesture of your hand
      reaching for me.

      Short and not overly wedding-y. FWIW I really love your original choice though.

  • sofar

    We had my in-laws (my husband’s parents and siblings AND a cousin) in town to see our new house last weekend.

    I’ve written on here a lot about how my in-laws are very fancy, and critical in a “we-know-what’s-best-for-you” way. (Think of them as a nicer versions of Richard and Emily Gilmore). They mean well, but they are the kind of people who will express surprise at buying a used car (“Why would you want something someone else has owned?”). And buying anything less than a McMansion (“1800 square feet? Why, that’s a cottage!”) And “Isn’t the engagement ring a bit small? Perhaps we should tell family that it’s just a temporary ‘proposal ring.'”

    So I was worried at how they’d react to our consignment-store furnished, rustic-industrial-decor home that still has a lot of its 1970s fixtures.

    I’m so happy to report the visit went SUPER WELL. We gave the tour, and my FIL told us he was impressed. My MIL said “You know, I feel like I’m in a hip hotel. You guys really have a knack for interior decor.” I think I got extra points for outfitting the guest room with a chandelier, an ornate quilt, a GIANT crucifix, and framed photos of the town my MIL and FIL grew up in.

    • Ashlah

      Glad to hear it went well!! I would love to see a photo of this guest room chandelier, if you’d like to share!

    • So glad it went well!

    • mjh

      So glad to hear it went well. My inlaws are [seemingly] different from yours in a number of ways, but they have the same thing going about spending/expected conventions and the surprised exclamations of “but why would anyone x?” so I can totally relate. Super exciting that it went so well and they had such nice things to say. Extra nice touch with the framed photos of their hometown :)

  • Alexis

    We’re finally starting to plan the Big Stuff, like catering and hotel blocks and transportation, not to mention the super fun time that is gathering addresses for save the dates. And yet, my biggest hang-up so far has been over floral??? There are SO many options that I’m honestly overwhelmed. At this point I kinda feel like I could choose any flower vendor and it would be beautiful, but something is holding me back. I have a feeling I’m nearing the fuck it nail it stage, but also… why is this one of the hardest parts so far? Why am I panicking over something that will objectively be beautiful no matter what?

    • penguin

      The good thing is, you don’t have to decide on flowers yet! We did everything else first (venue, food, alcohol, cake, DJ, rabbi, ceremony decisions) and now we just have florist left. Since we know what everything else is going to look like, we can make florist decisions around that. That helped me because I also fell into the “but I like all the plants!!” mindset. Good luck!!

      • Alexis

        Thanks!! I feel kinda dumb because I KNOW that the flowers will look good no matter what. Plus, what a ridiculous thing to worry about. But for some reason they’re what says “wedding!” to me the most. Maybe letting that decision take a backseat for a while will work! Hope all of your planning is going well- I saw upthread that you had a cake tasting and visited with a rabbi to figure out details! Have a blast at your bachelor/bachelorette weekend!

        • penguin

          Thanks so much! And I get it, wedding planning does that to you haha. The good thing is that you can ALWAYS find flowers that will look good with whatever you end up with. Flowers go with everything!

      • jem

        Agree! Plus, once you book the other vendors, your budget will be ahem narrower. And, sometimes it’s nice to save a fun vendor for later in the planning process– think of it as a treat for when you hit a planning slump!

    • Lain

      Sounds like the paradox of choice. Too many choices makes it harder. Maybe take a bit of a mental break to reset, maybe have your partner narrow down all the choices into a small handful, and then reconsider? Picking between 3-5 options is probably better than picking out of infinity.

      • Alexis

        Yes, that’s exactly it. I think I just need to relax! It’s funny that everything else I thought would be more difficult to choose (venue, officiant) were actually really easy!

    • Lisa

      I looked over all of my pins and saved images and picked out 5 or 6 with flowers that I liked the best, then I scanned them for commonalities. Turns out they had many of the same flowers and the bouquet shape was the similar in all of them, so it was decided. YMMV, but you could do that and see if there are any themes – color, shape, particular flowers, etc. I also found the “make this look” section on Fiftyflowers.com to be helpful, because I could choose favorite looks and it told me exactly what flowers were used.

    • Katharine Parker

      Are you struggling with what kind of floral vision you want, as in floral style, specific blooms, centerpieces, bouquet shape, etc.? Or are you staring at 5 floral quotes and unsure of which to choose?

      For the first, I’d look on pinterest and try to identify a few inspiration photos. You don’t need to be too specific with your florist–“bohemian in shades of purple” is enough to start. Then bring that idea to florists along with your general budget to get floral proposals from them. The florist will identify specific blooms if you can’t. Mine made me a pinterest board using some of my pins, some of her past work, other inspiration photos, and specific blooms that she would use.

      If you’re in the second stage, and you have quotes and can’t decide between them, I’d give it a week, come back to it, and pick one then.

      • Alexis

        Thank you! I have quotes from several florists that are all super similar in price (including labor, which I did not realize was going to be so expensive!), and I like all of their work. I think I’ll give it a week and come back to it like you suggested. I tried getting my fiance interested, thinking that he might have an opinion, but he just… doesn’t care about flowers haha.

        • Katharine Parker

          Yeah, if they’re all really similar price-wise and quality-wise, I’d pick the one you like the most personally (if there is one) or who seemed the most excited about your wedding. Otherwise, pick one and trust that they will be great!

        • penguin

          I’d also throw in to consider how responsive the vendors are – that has made a HUGE difference to us.

  • Capondoodle

    Longtime lurker, first time posting. Wedding planning has been pretty good for the most part. We’re experiencing the typical challenges of a budget wedding that we are paying for ourselves with family in two states. I have kind of hit a wall with my wedding party, though. I envisioned having my three best pals from college and one of my cousins as bridesmaids. Shortly after getting engaged, though, my sister indicated that my nieces really wanted to be bridesmaids. I was kind of taken a back (surprised that anyone would volunteer to be a bridesmaid), so I said sure. My sister in law had also made it pretty clear she also wants to be a bridesmaid. So if you’re keeping count, that’s 7 bridesmaids, when I was originally thinking 4. I’ve already asked my MOH, two nieces, and cousin, but haven’t talked to the other 3. My fiancé has 4 groomsmen and doesn’t want to add any more, but also thinks that if I have more bridesmaids then people will think he doesn’t have any friends (which I told him wouldn’t be the case). He could add more people, but then he’d be in the same position as me….inviting people outside of your original intent. So I don’t know what to do. I’m annoyed with myself for being a people pleaser and not sticking to my original idea. I could also just stick with the 4 girls I’ve already asked but risk alienating my future SIL. I’m also sad at the idea of not involving my two other gal pals who I really wanted to be a part of it.

    • penguin

      Could your SIL stand up on your fiancé’s side? She’d still be supporting one of you.

      Also, how old are your nieces? If they are young to be bridesmaids, you could have them do something else.

      • Capondoodle

        I raised the possibility of SIL being with the groomsmen but fiancé wasn’t enthusiastic about the idea. Nieces are 19 and 14. The young one was very particular about being a bridesmaid, but maybe I can find a fun alternative role. She’s kinda quirky so she might be down for it. Thanks for the idea!

        • penguin

          Yeah I think that’s pretty young to bridesmaid. Also, do they just want to stand up with you? Or do other bridesmaid things? You can’t really have a bachelorette party with teenagers (depending on what you consider a bachelorette party of course).

          • Capondoodle

            I think they want to do things and I think they want to wear the dresses. I really don’t care if they wear the same dress as the bridesmaids or a similar fancy dress. I’m all about people being involved as much as they want to be involved. I’m less concerned about the bachelorette party because everyone is dispersed and don’t expect everyone to be there.

          • penguin

            I like the idea someone else had of “junior bridesmaids”. They could process in, and still sit instead of standing with you. Lots of options.

          • This idea was exactly what I was thinking!

        • HarrietVane

          Can your fiancé talk to his sister? It seems like you’re put in an awkward position of her expectations that it’s his responsibility to work out. I don’t think that you have need to make your future nieces or SIL bridesmaids just because they want to be.

          • Capondoodle

            I agree. I just learned a little too late, as far as my nieces are concerned. I just was genuinely surprised that people would volunteer.

        • Jessica

          So now that I’m seeing their ages, maybe it would be strange to have them both as jr bridesmaids — 19 is probably pretty close to the age of your other bridesmaids, I’d guess. But it sounds like the 14-year-old is pretty into weddings in general? You could definitely draw from the WIC to convince her that jr bridesmaid is actually the appropriate wedding role for a beloved 14-year-old (just do a google image search for jr bridesmaid, some of the photos look like 8-10 year old girls but many are young teens as well).

    • Jessica

      Echoing what penguin said! Have your nieces be “junior bridesmaids.” Places like David’s Bridal have coordinating dresses for jr bridesmaids already, and since there’s two of them it will be even less awkward: they can process in as a pair. (My youngest sister, 14-years-old at the time, was a jr bridesmaid at our wedding and processed in by herself, which was more solo attention than she really wanted…but she was also glad not to be walking in with a groomsman, who were all 15+ years older than her.)
      And for the SIL — can you involve your fiance in the decision? Maybe he would really like his sister to do a reading, and he can be the one to communicate that to her. OR maybe he cares more about having his sister be a bridesmaid (and stand on your side) than he does about having fewer groomsmen than bridesmaids.
      If you do give the SIL another job besides bridesmaid, you can always include her in the getting-ready portion of the day, unless you really think that would have a negative impact on your time with your friends, cousin, and sister.

      • Capondoodle

        I was banking on them being more like junior bridesmaids, but didn’t really know how to distinguish them from the rest of the party. Does APW have a chapter on junior bridesmaids? Lol. And, yes, fiancé needs to get involved with sister. Thanks!

        • Jessica

          Junior bridesmaids kind of straddle the line between bridesmaids and flower girls. They usually don’t process in with a groomsman, and might remain seated when the other bridesmaids stand (at least in a Catholic ceremony, the bridal party goes back up to stand by the couple during the vows, IDK what a bridal party does during other types of ceremonies). I think the biggest differences are that jr bridesmaids dresses are designed for younger bodies, and that in photos they can be arranged so that they don’t cause “imbalance” in the photo (eg: back row of 5 bridesmaids, bride, groom, 5 groomsmen; front row: jr bridesmaids).

        • L

          My younger not biological but like-my-sisters were “junior” bridesmaids (they are twins and were 13 at the time) – they wore dresses that were the same color, similar style as bridesmaids but intended for their age group, they walked down the aisle together – not with groomsmen and then sat down with the rest of the family for the ceremony. Only the older bridesmaids stood up during the ceremony. For pictures with the bridal party they were in some, but not all. It worked out well! I think they felt special and included, but I didn’t feel like I had to have a whopping 8 people included in ALL THE THINGS.

          • Capondoodle

            Aw that sounds so sweet!

            Yeah, here’s my other rub…they aren’t my only nieces. So I hope my other siblings don’t give me grief. If they say anything, I’ll just say they volunteered, which they did.

    • sofar

      The HARDEST part about the wedding party was dealing with people who thought they should be in it. I mean, as you said, who VOLUNTEERS to be a bridesmaid? Whenever I’m NOT asked to be one, I’m like: “YES, bullet dodged.”

      I had 5 bridesmaids and my husband had 14 or 16 groomspeople (I honestly don’t remember, but it was one of those numbers). Lots of people said, “But you’ll look like you have no friends.” So I get why your fiance feels that way. But it’s also kinda silly because I had 5 AMAZING ladies standing by my side and he’ll have 4 amazing people standing by his. I know weddings involve compromise, but I don’t think his feelings should prevent you from asking your best gal pals. Just my 2 cents.

      • Capondoodle

        Yes! Thank you! Would never ever volunteer to be a bridesmaid. Also, I want to be clear– I love my nieces and SIL. Being in the wedding party is not a measurement of how much I love you.

      • AmandaBee

        Just here to echo the idea that if you want your gal pals to be bridesmaids, you should ask them. Having a wedding is about including the important people in your community. I like the jr bridesmaid idea and just ignoring the fact that the sides don’t match perfectly. But I’d make it work so that your friends are included for sure.

      • Ashley Meredith

        I think the idea of “You’ll look like you have no friends” is crazy! I’m more, “Wait, who has 14-16 close friends?! And where would they all stand?!” In fact, I’d probably never even notice how big the party was on the other side of the aisle, I’d be so busy trying to figure that out. But maybe that just comes from being an introvert who has a hard time connecting with most people?

    • Amy March

      Invite the people you want and tell him he’ll need to cope.

      • Booknerd

        Telling your partner to cope with a major wedding decision seems uneccisarily harsh. Perhaps try to understand where your partner is coming from. Spoken as the person who’s husband could have had 10 guys to my 3 closest gfs. If he told me to cope with it I would have had some serious doubts about his character

        • Amy March

          She’s in this spot to accommodate his sister and two of her extras are children. He really does need to figure out a way to cope with this, and she obviously has been and I would expect continue to be extremely thoughtful.

    • Les

      Have the sister in law stand up with the groom? Gets you a little closer to parity

  • AmandaBee

    Hello from our new state! We just moved about 10 hours away from the state in which I’ve lived my whole life, which has been an experience. My mother in law came along to help with the drive and settling in, and that’s been nice, but I am 110% ready for her to go home tomorrow so I can go 10 minutes without having a conversation. But we love our new house! Also: this is the first time I’ve ever had central air and a dishwasher, and these are quality of life gamechangers. Happy Friday!

    • Capondoodle

      I hope your adjustment goes well! I live 10 hours from my family and it can be hard sometimes.

      • AmandaBee

        I imagine there will be super hard moments. We also had this amazing group of friends that lived within walking distance and we don’t know anyone here, so that’s been weird.

    • Jess

      Hooray for dishwashers and central air! They are HUGE improvements.

  • Lain

    LadyMe back with a different name. Someone I avoid IRL found I was posting under my other account so I deleted it and laid low for a few weeks. I’ll probably delete this post in a bit so they don’t find it.

    • Jess

      Ugh. Good luck.

  • Cellistec

    I finished the crying-in-the-shower-stressful summer quarter of school! Now I get a month of vacation before diving back in on a pared-down class schedule that will give me more time with my husband and correspondingly more anxiety about never finishing this program if I don’t take a heavier courseload. You know.

    We leave for Copenhagen next week for 9 days and I can’t WAIT. Crap do I need a vacation. Happy Friday, all.

    • Lisa

      You will finish. It’s a marathon, not a sprint. Taking care of yourself is definitely the name of the game.

      Enjoy Copenhagen! This is the perfect time of year to go; everything is so beautiful there in the late summer.

    • Transnonymous

      Congrats! Enjoy Copenhagen, I’ve heard nothing but good things.

    • Jessica

      Copenhagen. What an amazing city. Definitely eat alllllll of the pastries!

  • Jenny

    I would love to crowd source some furniture buying advice/sources from you all.
    I’ll be moving to Philly next week (eeeek) and my husband and small child are staying behind for four months while my husband finishes up school. We’ve decided that since almost all of our furniture is old and hand-me-down, and since we will both want/need bed, couch, dining room table and chairs, that we should leave our current/crappy stuff here, and buy some new stuff. Hurray for new stuff and also not having to move big bulky stuff. But this is more or less my first time buying stuff not from craigslist. We have some nicer ikea bookshelves, and a nice chest of drawers for the bedroom, but we are hoping to get a sofa, a dining room set (ideally a 4 place setting, with a leaf), and a bed frame/mattress and potentially night tables.

    Growing up, most furniture wasn’t able to be shipped to Alaska (and it was a little before online shopping was a mainstream thing anyway) so I don’t really know where to start?

    Where are your favorite places to get ikea priced/1.5-2x ikea priced stuff (other than ikea, which I like for some things, but not mattresses/sofas)? (online, in Philly, or national chain stores)? Has anyone bought stuff from article/joybird/all modern? What about leesa/casper mattresses?

    • Capondoodle

      We got a memory foam mattress off of Amazon and love it! Very affordable. Got my couch in the clearance section of American Signature Furniture and it’s great. Also check local Facebook buy, sell, trade pages.

    • penguin

      I know someone with a casper mattress who loves it, but that’s all I know about that.

      I’ve actually gotten some decent furniture off Amazon, and a bunch of our shelves are from Home Depot. A lot of our other stuff is secondhand, which would be hard to scope out ahead of time. Is there an IKEA around Philly?

    • Jessica

      We did a big cross-country move and I honestly liked buying from our local independent furniture dealer. There were two in town and they were both fine. We got a moving stipend from my husband’s new job, but had to buy literally EVERYTHING (we were moving out of furnished student housing) so we were probably looking at a similar price range. Plus we wanted to get stuff quickly, since we only had two weeks to settle in before his job started. We only looked at what they had on the floor, which meant 1) it could be delivered super quickly and 2) there was often a discount. They gave us free delivery with our orders, and a discount for paying cash (like, literally cash money vs a debit card). (Another advantage, IMO, is that there were enough choices for our purposes, but not an overwhelming number.) I’d just read some reviews of local furniture stores and pick the highest rated one or two to go check out!

      (Also: I was super pregnant at the time we moved, another reason why we wanted to get settled quickly, and we ended up buying another couch from the local place shortly after our baby was born. We wanted to have the couch in our basement, and the delivery people literally took the doorframe off our stairway to move the couch in, and then put the doorframe back on when they were done, all while I watched with the baby in my arms and my husband at work. If we had bought it from a big-box store that couch might still be on our driveway lol.)

    • sofar

      Are you looking for a one-stop shop for everything? Or willing to hit up a couple places?

      We had a lot of luck when we bought our house by just going into local furniture stores and haggling to get better prices. And they were all super great about next-day delivery.

      We also got some nice pieces at consignment stores (the larger ones do delivery). It was important for me to see the larger stuff (kitchen table, wardrobes etc.) in person and touch them, and we really did want luxury items on an Ikea budget. So consignment was perfect for that. If you don’t mind a bit of hunting.

      We’ve used Wayfair for everything else, rugs especially, although TBH, delivery has been a HUGE issue with them. We still have 2 rugs MIA that have been reordered several times, and it’s a month later and still no rugs. But they’ve been great for various small decor items (lamps, light fixtures, etc.) And they have such a big selection that fits a lot of hard-to-find niche aesthetics that are hard to buy for elsewhere. Also, they frequently do really great sales.

      • Jenny

        Thanks! Willing to check out a few places. I will have to check out local places when I get there. It is slightly annoying because I’m starting my new job the day after I get to town, and most of my weekends will be spent back in NC visiting my husband and kid, and I’ll be without a car, but I do love being able to see and touch stuff in person. I’ll probably make my first weekend in town a big shop around town kind of a day. Good to know about Wayfair and lamps/rugs!

    • emmers

      I think a few people in last happy hour talked about joybird and how great it was, since I’ve been browsing since then. So last happy hour might be a good place to peruse if no one offers feedback today :)

    • Ashlah

      We have a Casper mattress and we LOVE it. They also replaced it for free when we had some mold issues (which we’ve rectified and it hasn’t returned on the new mattress), so I like to vouch for their customer service.

      We’ve splurged on a few pieces of really nice furniture (bed frame, couches) and for those we went to local furniture stores (checked Yelp for the least sleazy, sales-y ones). For other stuff, if you have the time and patience, scouting thrift stores can be great. We’ve gotten a few decent pieces from Overstock and Wayfair, just be sure to check the reviews. They’ll require assembly and certainly aren’t heirloom quality, but are more than good enough for us. I love the dresser we got online (and took forever to assemble)!

      • AP

        Seconding Overstock and Wayfair, and recently Hayneedle. Just got a beautiful sideboard from Hayneedle for my birthday- solid wood, barely any assembly, delivered to my door for $425 all-in. (Sideboards are surprisingly expensive! Even Ikea ones!)

    • jem

      LOVE our Casper & it was SO EASY to order and carry up the stairs. I carried it up the stairs, unwrapped it, and wrangled it on to the bed frame all by myself!!! Which was really exciting because I am a small person.

    • Kara E

      Sofas = room and board or west elm? I really liked working with R&B in the past and you can generally get their “stocked” stuff in quickly. Macy’s also tends to have good sales on furniture stuff and I think have decent quality. I really really strongly prefer to feel fabrics/sit on stuff/ etc. before buying, so online purchasing sofas and rugs is a no-go for me.. For a table and other wooden stuff, a local consignment furniture shop might be a good stop.

    • Sara

      I have the best dining room table from World Market, and their armchairs are pretty cute too. They’re slightly more expensive but they have big sales a lot and the stuff is quality.
      I’ve bought a bunch of stuff from Wayfair that is fine, but I’ve also found the same stuff at Walmart or Target for similar or lower price with free returns. Wayfair hates having you return stuff, so make sure you love it. But their rugs are nice.

    • CMT

      Most places *still* don’t ship to Alaska, which is so frustrating. Every time I look at something cute on Wayfair the shipping ends up being more than the cost of the actual item.

    • Megan
      • toomanybooks

        Yes, I like using them as a reference! And I used Sleep like the Dead or mattress data/reviews

      • Jenny

        This is perfect! It’s like America’s test kitchen, but for not just kitchen stuff! My dream! Thanks!

    • StevenPortland

      I love our Joybird chair and sofa!

    • toomanybooks

      I just bought a bed from Wayfair and a mattress from Amerisleep. I’d been having back problems, and always have trouble sleeping, and I ordered their AS4 because I wanted to get a mattress that wasn’t too firm. (I looked at Leesa and Casper but of course they each only have one model and I was worried they wouldn’t feel soft enough for me.) I really like my new Amerisleep AS4! It’s not exactly cloud-like but it’s sooo much more comfortable than our old bed and I fall asleep so much faster. It’s also a king and our previous bed was a queen… so all around it’s a HUGE difference for the better. (By the way – there are West Elm and Target locations that have Casper mattresses you can test out!)

    • Les

      AllModern!

  • kris10

    To go with the jet plane theme, can anyone recommend a good travel destination for 10 weeks between October and December this year? The catch is that we’ll have our 2.5 year old and almost 1 year old with us.

    • Amy March

      Are you comfortable with a long flight? Australia’s Gold Coast should have good weather then.

      • Cellistec

        Yes, I went to Queensland in October several years ago and it was delightful. Highly recommended, 15-hour flight aside.

      • kris10

        The flight does seem like a nightmare but may be worth it for such a long stretch of time. Thanks for the recommendation! My friend is working the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games, so that sweetens the deal.

        • S

          I thought I’d reply directly to you just in case you missed my above reply to Amy. Basically: the Gold Coast is fun and kid-friendly, but there are massive issues around this time of year and it’s probably not somewhere you’d want to hang out for 10 whole weeks. (See above for more detail.)

      • S

        NO. NONONO. I mean, yes, maybe for a bit, but hell no to 10 weeks during that time period. I’m a Queenslander and while the Gold Coast will definitely be nice weather then (it usually is nice, seasons aren’t a massive issue in QLD) and is theoretically a perfect place to take kids to most of the year (thanks theme parks), there are two issues here. 1) We have “schoolies” (think spring break for those who just graduated high school) on the Gold Coast smack bang in this time, and it can be pretty intense and make finding accomodation a nightmare, so you’ll want to make sure you plan to be there well before or after Schoolies. So October should be safe, but avoid the Gold Coast like the plague in November and very early December. Look this up online for better idea of dates. 2) The Gold Coast is not really the kind of place you’d want to hang out at for 10 whole weeks. It’s really a 1-2 week max kind of place. Theme parks, beach, pool lounging, some activities, then you’ll most likely want to GTFO. Gold Coast is known for beautiful beaches and fun theme parks, but also strip clubs and day drinking and hens and bucks nights, etc. So, yes, come to the Gold Coast in October, but make other plans for the rest of the trip! Sydney and Melbourne are great!

        • S

          I mean I’m not going to watch all 5 minutes of this video, but this is Schoolies in a nutshell. Think: if you’re Australian you probably know someone who lost their virginity on the beach at Schoolies. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XQhB0oiXm6M

    • Megan

      Thailand is inexpensive and beautiful in late fall/winter time. Railei Beach is somewhat hard to get to but affordable and oh so worth it. https://www.raileibeachclub.com/

    • EngineerGirl

      Azores, Portugal! It’s only a 4 hr flight from Boston, beautiful, mild weather, cheap, and very baby friendly! We took our 9 mo old in june and it was perfect! Lots of air Bnb’s with cribs and toys!

    • A cabin somewhere in the northeast? Vermont, Maine? New Zealand? (I’ve heard it’s similar to Australia but without creatures that can kill you.) Norway (though a trip to Norway would be expensive, but if you liked hiking and camping or staying in cabins, it’d be much more reasonable. Or perhaps a house exchange??

    • Laura

      bail or thailand – you could rent a villa for cheeeeeeeeap and have the trip of a lifetime :) super baby friendly, incredibly kind people – i could go onnnnnnnn….

  • jazzygingery

    I got married last weekend, and it was so much more fun than I could have imagined. Granted, it was a wild ride in the last 36 hours leading up to the wedding, and I was so grateful to have my awesome friends and family to help.
    Some of the things that happened….Cousin RSVP’d for 1, (his wife could not come) sent a FB message to me on Thursday (wedding Saturday,) that “Just so you know, I’m going to bring a friend.” Yeah…he’s apparently been seeing someone on the side, and thought he should bring his girlfriend to the wedding…My greyhound escaped the house the morning of while loading up supplies, (she’s safe and sound,) the area for our outdoor tent was flooded and super muddy, so there was 100+ lbs of kitty litter purchased to try to mop it up, rental delivery broke a couple of tables, the park we were at cut off the power to a building we needed to run power from that week, but didn’t tell us, and a string of lights fell about an hour before I arrived at the venue, and almost lit our tent on fire!
    But for how crazy everything was beforehand, as soon as 2pm hit, everything went smoothly, without any hiccups. It was just freaking beautiful.
    I also want to give a shout out to our photographers, Aaron and Whitney, (and share a couple pics…) They rocked it! My husband had met Aaron on a music message board ages ago, and I was totally sold when I saw one of their weddings featured here.
    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/f97e08f80350fa3ed986a70a6a1397a0c821601d36fecd8562bc2073d7d9de93.jpg https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/cac4667c4081fc53bb884e6aab710498a503bda8285d330e9299726ad2609b2d.jpg

    • Ashlah

      Stunning photos! Congratulations! And oh my god, the gall of your cousin.

      • jazzygingery

        Thanks! It was very ballsy.

    • penguin

      Oh my god those pictures! Your hair! And your dress! Ugh it’s all so beautiful, I love it.

      • jazzygingery

        thanks!

    • sofar

      Your dress. I die.

      • jazzygingery

        Thank you!

    • emmers

      Your photos are amazing! And I’m glad things went well, despite the shitshow that preceded!

      • jazzygingery

        thanks

    • Capondoodle

      Wow! 1) sorry that madness happened but glad it worked out. 2) really, cuz? 3) stunning photo 4) Congrats!!!

      • jazzygingery

        thank you!

    • Congratulations! I LOVE that dress!

      • jazzygingery

        thank you

    • Violet

      Your dress is like, I dunno. No words. Oooof. GOOD.

      • jazzygingery

        Thanks!

    • Jess

      OMG YOUR DRESS AND PHOTOS.

      Also, wtf cousin…

      BUT YOUR PHOTOS.

      • jazzygingery

        thank you

    • Lisa

      Gorgeous! Sorry about the hiccups, but it sounds like you really just went with the flow, which is all anyone can ask for!

      • jazzygingery

        thanks

    • Kat

      These photos are so cinematic, I LOVE them. Congrats!

      • jazzygingery

        thank you!

    • Katharine Parker

      You look great! I’m glad everything turned out well from 2pm onwards.

      …but can we talk about your cousin???? WOW.

      • jazzygingery

        thanks!

    • Jessica

      oh my god, look how gorgeous you two are!

      Also, please let me personally punch your cousin in the face. What the fuck?

      • jazzygingery

        thank you!

      • I totally agree about the cousin. (And it sounds like something my ex would have done because he did something similar but at a small family birthday gathering. Sigh.)

    • Fiona

      Hey we had the same wedding photographers! <3 Aaron and Whitney

      • jazzygingery

        Fiona, the pictures from your wedding is what sealed the deal to book them! They were absolutely stunning. Aaron and Whitney were on my husband’s short list of photographers, (from a music message board, of all places,) but I didn’t know their names at that point. I saw your wedding on here by chance, and told DH to check out the pictures. We were really surprised when we realized that we had picked the same photographers from totally different corners of the internet!

        • Fiona

          How neat! I’m glad you were able to make that connection!

    • Jan

      Beautiful dress.

      Also, I need more deets on the cousin. Like, what was your reaction? Did he bring her? Did anyone mention to him how bizarre it is to bring his side piece, or…? THIS IS SO OUTLANDISH.

      • penguin

        Right! Like, wouldn’t it be awkward for her too, if people were expecting to see your date’s wife and not you?

        • Jan

          Right? This is some Real Housewives level shit, I’m loving it.

          • jazzygingery

            It was so weird. They were sitting with his parents, and my aunt and uncle were SUPER pissed…so I can’t imagine there was too much fun conversation at that table.

      • jazzygingery

        Thank you! I was absolutely livid. I knew he was kind of seeing someone, but figured he was just coming by himself after his rsvp. When he sent me the message, I was going to tell him not to come, but honestly, at that point, I wasn’t worth the argument/conflict.

        • PAJane aka Awesome Tits

          So what happens when she shows up in wedding photos? Presumably his wife will see your photos eventually. Is the onus on you to edit her out?

          • jazzygingery

            Oh man, that’s a good question. We didn’t let the gf in any “official” photos, but I know there have been pics floating around fb…including ones my cousin posted! So, I don’t think it’s much of a secret anymore. My aunt was also at the wedding, so I think she was planning on talking to the wife (her daughter-in-law) asap anyway.

          • PAJane aka Awesome Tits

            Taking your mistress to a highly photographer family affair is suuuuuper ballsy. Sounds like he opted for the nuclear option wrt his marriage. Shitty of him to involve you in it.

    • Not Sarah

      Congrats! I love your dress!!

      • jazzygingery

        thank you

    • mjh

      The pictures! Especially the black and white. So beautiful <3

      Glad everything went so well after all the crazy. Wt-mfing-f about cousin, though?

      • jazzygingery

        thanks!

    • suchbrightlights

      Congratulations on your excellent judgment on getting all crazy out of the event BEFORE 2PM and not after. :) Your pics are breathtaking- both you (omg that dress please tell us about that dress) and the scenery!

      • jazzygingery

        hahaha, thanks! definitely not planned.
        It was from BHLDN! I was so worried about dress shopping, but everything ended up working out.

        • Not Sarah

          I was going to ask if it was BHLDN! It looked like one I had tried on there. It looks even more fantastic with the wind!

  • Anne

    Hi all. We’re 3 weeks out from our wedding and I feel like I’m drowning a little bit. I’m just sick of planning and thinking about it obsessively and asking people to do things and answering questions that I’ve answered before and and and. We’re also planning a party 2 weeks after the wedding in the city we live in, and I’m also planning a bachelorette party for a friend for next month as well. I’m really not a “natural” party planner in that I don’t get that excited about thinking about the details, so I knew this would be a challenge but I’m sure feeling it anyway. FH is aware and being as helpful as he can, but it’s even less natural for him and he also struggles with getting distracted by national political happenings/the possibility that we’ll be at war with North Korea by the time we’re married…

    A few rants/questions:
    -I heard somewhere that it’s hard to change your middle name in Washington state, that you have to go before a judge and everything. Can anyone speak to this? (we have been planning to just both keep our names but recently we have been thinking of taking each other’s last names as our middle names, which I really like)
    -One branch of my family is the absolute worst at RSVPing, and most of them have a funeral and another wedding in their town this weekend so there’s zero chance of getting straight answers from them before next week even though our deadline was this week.
    -I also just found out a good friend who asked about the wedding incessantly for the last year and talked about being exciting to travel for it isn’t going to make it after all. Know it happens and he has good reasons but it’s still no fun.

    • Amy March

      Ok, but he doesn’t get to use “war with North Korea” as an out for doing the work! Like, the rest of us are all still living our lives, nice try but no.

      • Anne

        Oh believe me we know. He just has had very real mental health struggles with how he processes the news for the last year and it makes him more forgetful of what exactly he was meaning to help with and what emails need to be replied to, etc. Most of what I’m struggling with is “project management”-type exhaustion and it only gets harder to delegate that (a la this comic https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/may/26/gender-wars-household-chores-comic)

        • Jess

          Would he be responsive to setting up something like a google calendar with reminders for the things he volunteered for? We had a “Wedding Calendar” that we both had rights to and would put in items like “Jess call limo service” or “R send DJ song list” so we could remember everything in the last weeks.

          It was nice because it automated that reminder emotional labor, and we could immediately update the calendar on our phone when one of us said, “Yeah, I can take that on” so nobody was reminding the other one later.

          • Lisa

            We used Trello to the same effect, and we divided out vendors so certain things were entirely under him and others under me. That way I didn’t have to micromanage where he was at with the caterer, etc. I just trusted in him to do what needed to be done, and he knew it, so there was no room for failure unless he wanted to explain to guests why they weren’t being served a meal. And he definitely came through, because that’s what it means to be a partner.

          • Anne

            We have a Google doc of regularly updated “Current wedding to-dos.” I’m much better at looking at it/updating it but I’m definitely not organizationally perfect either. The automatic reminder aspect of calendar would probably be helpful.

          • Jess

            we are both terrible at remembering things if we don’t do them right away. The Calendar reminders were absolutely life saving in the last few weeks to get stuff done.

    • sofar

      The last few weeks are terrible. Probably even worse that you have obligations to take care of even after it’s over.

      And to your last point — we had a couple invite themselves to our wedding, talk excitedly about traveling to our city and then, the week before were like, “Oh wait, we are running a half-marathon instead.” *sigh*

      • Jan

        We invited family friends (who we like but aren’t that close with) after they’d asked my sister if she thought they would get an invitation and told her they’d like to come. They RSVPd yes and just backed out so they can take their grandkids to the family cabin… that they can literally go to any time.

        • sofar

          Unforgivable.

    • Lisa

      I would delegate getting the RSVPs from family members to your parents and future-in-laws. Tell them the date that the catering numbers and chair rentals are due (maybe move that date a few days before the actual date just in case) and have them make the phone calls. Be clear with your parents that you want everyone to be there, but if they can’t get a response by X date, they just won’t be able to come because you have deadlines with your vendors that are outside of your control.

      • toomanybooks

        Yesss. Get a person who is related to the people who aren’t RSVPing to just call them all up and make them give a yes or no answer then, and if they can’t (assuming your rsvp deadline has passed?) you have to mark them as not coming. We did this, it was great. Some people are better at it than others lol.

        • Anne

          Yeah, we’re on this, but it’s hard because the culture is different on that side of the family – there are just always a lot of people, and you should just assume that there will be a lot of people, plus or minus more people (plated weddings are not the norm). We’ll get a lot of “figured you already knew we would be there!”. And also a lot of them apparently had issues filling out the online form. Anyway, my dad is going to call them individually on Monday. Hopefully.

    • jazzygingery

      You’re almost there! The last few weeks are super overwhelming, and it sounds like you have a bunch of extra stuff on your plate. I second the google calendar idea, that was pretty helpful. I know things get crazy, but try to take a couple minutes to yourself each day to decompress, even 5 minutes. All this work will hopefully be worth it in the end.

      • Anne

        Thanks! We made the (somewhat reckless) decision to go camping with a couple friends this weekend. So I’m hoping that will be a good mental health break and we’ll come back ready to roll into the final stretch.

    • nutbrownrose

      I literally just finished changing my name in Tacoma, WA, and while I can’t say it’s fast (looking at you, South Tacoma DMV), it’s easy as pie. Easier, actually. It’s as easy as frozen Marie Calendar’s pie. You just take your marriage license you pick up at the auditor’s office ($3 a copy in Pierce County) to the various agencies (SS, DMV, Vehicle licensing, passport, bank, etc) and they change it. It’s just a lot of waiting in lines. But no judges involved. The lady at SS asked if I was changing my middle too, so I assume they do it all the time.

  • Not Sarah

    Our RSVP deadline is Monday and we have 60% of our responses. Sounds like next week is going to be busy…

    We had our engagement shoot this week and I absolutely hated the backdrop we ended up with. I picked a location for X feature knowing it also had Y features (which I hated) and our photographer took a route that only went through Y features and refused to take us to the X feature area. Did anyone else hate their engagement photos? Sounds like we need to be more firm in where we agree on for the wedding day photos…

    Also, our contract says the photographer can only share one photo online of us the client and only with permission from us to share that photo, otherwise they can only use our photos in offline content. They shared a photo of our faces on their professional and personal Facebook accounts and on mine with no permission. So now we need to push back on that which is a separate fact from how much I dislike the photo and would never have shared it myself.

    • penguin

      Ooh, yeah it sounds like you guys need to have a talk with your photographer. If they are already violating the contract AND you didn’t like your engagement session, that’s not good. Did they have a reason for refusing to take you by X feature area that you wanted? I can’t think of anything really valid unless it was like dangerous or something.

      If you really don’t like the photographer, is there a way to switch at this point? Probably not, but figured I’d bring it up just in case.

      • Not Sarah

        We are a month out, so the best we can do is have a talk with her… Thanks! I commented to one friend and she said everyone hates their engagement photos and it’ll be fine.

        • penguin

          Did you like any of yours? We definitely had some photos that we were like “what was she thinking I look like a demon”, but other ones we liked/loved so it balanced out. Good luck!

          • Not Sarah

            We only have the one back so I’m hopeful we will like some of the others :)

    • Anne

      Solidarity on the RSVPs! We’re in the process of bugging people we haven’t heard from. Turns out a number of them had problems with the online form. Sigh.

      • Not Sarah

        We put stamps on the paper RSVP cards and only 1/4 people have returned them. Everyone else got email invites. It turns out people are terrible at email and many have managed to “lose” the email. Despite the fact that you can RSVP on your mobile phone or on a computer…

    • Sara

      I had a friend who’s photographer took the worst engagement photos I’ve ever seen. She ended up complaining so that they would redo them. Can you talk to them about your expectations are?

      • Not Sarah

        So far we only have one back. My primary complaint at the moment is that she violated our contract and I’ll hold off on any further complaints until we get them all back in a few weeks.

    • Little Owl

      I had a similar concern re: posting photos online. That is extremely unprofessional and you should definitely make a fuss! Check your contract but your photos (and your likeness) are YOUR property, and they absolutely cannot use them without your active permission. I would make them remove the engagement photo and be very clear that you do not want any wedding photos posted.

      • Not Sarah

        That’s our plan! We are just trying to figure out how to word our response. Thanks for the solidarity! I’m especially annoyed because their contract really limits how we can share photos and yet they violated how we wanted them to share photos.

  • Her Lindsayship

    We got married three weeks ago! It completely flew by, like everyone said it would. But it was way more euphoric and magical than I ever thought I could feel. Since something always goes wrong, here was ours: our rehearsal dinner caterer never showed up. We tried calling them and got no answer for an hour and a half, and finally our best man and his girlfriend went and got a bunch of pizzas. On the plus side we had a super cheap rehearsal dinner, and nobody cared that it wasn’t fancy food. Later, I got an email from the caterer with a dozen apologies saying they didn’t know why the courier never arrived but they refunded the order. I’m so not done with them yet, it’s ridiculous that we couldn’t contact them in the moment. But it worked out fine as far as the guests are concerned, so out of all wedding things that could’ve gone wrong, it wasn’t too bad.

    Our honeymoon in Jordan was perfect, we had an amazing time in Amman, the Dead Sea, Petra, Wadi Rum, Aqaba, and Madaba. I highly recommend it, though perhaps not in July or August – the high was 113 the day we stayed in the desert! But we loved our trip and wouldn’t change a thing.

    A weird thing has happened now that we got our photos back, and I’m wondering if anyone can relate. I was so excited to see the photos and relive the day, and when we finally got them, I was a little disappointed. I think our photographers did a lovely job capturing the day, but I was surprised to find I didn’t like the way I looked in most of the pictures. I don’t usually dislike the way I look, and I felt STUNNING on the day of, so I really wasn’t expecting this. The feeling has worn off a bit now that I’ve had a couple days to process it, but it was jarring at first. In most of the photos, I don’t love the dress or the hair, and I’m really struck by how much weight I’ve put on. I hate that that’s what I see. I’ve known for a while I’m not at my thinnest, but I didn’t put in any effort to lose weight before the wedding because I honestly didn’t care, or so I thought.

    The up side to this is that I don’t feel too attached to the dress anymore, I’m ok with selling it (which was the plan all along). Also, for vanity’s sake, I feel like my most beautiful day is still ahead of me. At least I look insanely happy, if not as glamorous as I’d hoped. And I love everything else about the photos – my husband, the venues, the guests, the details. Here’s one of the portraits we took in a (closed at the time) outdoor book shop downtown!

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/41efff9276b3eb45887762510a3c27b42d30a754808a9d6b530fa02eca71317e.png

    • penguin

      What helps me with photos like that is to either ask my fiancé what he thinks (spoiler, he thinks I look pretty), or to put the pictures away and come back to them later. Some more time and space might help with this. I’d try and remember how you FELT, since that was extra awesome. Also, you look beautiful! Love the backdrop too.

    • CMT

      They just didn’t show up AND they don’t know why?!? That’s insane!

      • Her Lindsayship

        SERIOUSLY!! And it’s this super hipster local food truck/counter-serve place that has a bunch of locations all over the city – it’s a very successful, very popular business. I don’t know how they got there with this kind of shenanigans. It’s just so not ok to not show up, not have a way to contact them, not have an explanation for what happened, and then to email me instead of calling me about it!

    • Cleo

      I am my own worst critic when it comes to pictures of me. I immediately see every flaw, the fat that I didn’t know was there, the weird double chin line I didn’t realize I had, how my eyes are too scrunchy or too wide, and when people tell me, “You look so good!” my first reaction isn’t, “Thank you!” it’s thinking “OMG if you think that’s a good picture, what do I really look like what’s wroooooong with me?!?!?!?!”

      So, I get you. But the first thing i noticed about this picture is how you and your husband are looking at each other like you’re the only people in the world and also, how buff your arm is. I’d kill* for that kind of muscle definition at rest!

      *work out 6 days a week (which is what I’m doing)

      • Her Lindsayship

        Ugh this comment made me tear up, what is even happening with me right now. Thank you for the kind words about my arm, which is suddenly as of two days ago a huge source of insecurity.

        • Cleo

          Aw! Glad that helped! <3

        • Katharine Parker

          I also thought, “her arms look great” when I looked at the photo. You look gorg, of course, but your arms specifically look great!

      • Pickle

        WHY ARE CHINS SO TERRIBLE.

        That is all.

    • Disqus isn’t working for me

      I didn’t love my photos. They captured lots of pure emotion but not the instagram-worthy shots I was dreaming of. I look weird in the portraits. And my hair was covering the side of my face so you can barely see my face in many of them.

      And yet… I feel confident in 30 years I’ll go crazy over how great we looked.

      • Lisa

        That is such a good way of thinking about it, and absolutely true.

    • Amy March

      Maybe try looking again in a few months? I think you look absolutely gorgeous!

      • Her Lindsayship

        Thank you :’) and yes, this is my strategy. I actually like them a lot more now than I did even two days ago, so hoping that only continues to improve.

        • Ilora

          I think it will! None of my friends or family are picture takers so our engagement photos were the first pics of myself I’d seen in a long time…I cried the first time I saw them for the same “surprised by weight gain” reasons. Within 6 months I really liked them and now nearly 3 years later I love them. I’ve also come to recognize that some of the least flattering shots have nothing to do with me and everything to do with lighting/angle/lack of direction.
          And of course I’ll join the chorus of people telling you that you look stunning and in love!

    • nosio

      Personally, I think you look absolutely gorgeous! I can relate, though, as I had a very similar reaction to seeing myself in our engagement photos when we got them back in June. They’re beautiful, warm and practically bursting with love and happiness, and yet my initial reaction was, “WHOA, you can totally tell that I’ve gained weight in the past two years.” Which was uncomfortable for me, because I totally DO love my body and felt really happy and good during the shoot. The feeling has since faded, though, and I’m hoping if I have a similar reaction to seeing our wedding pictures, those will fade, too.

      Also, I think the idea that you have to be THE MOST PERFECT version of yourself on your wedding day is bullshit, frankly. Do I want to feel beautiful that day? Sure! But I also want to leave myself open to a lifetime of radical beauty and joy on any given day. <3

    • Violet

      I didn’t even know I had certain expectations about our photos until we got them back- there were way fewer shots of guests than I guess I’d assumed there would be. Since I never realized this was something I was implicitly expecting, I never communicated it in advance. After a little time passed, I could go back through and be really happy with the photos we did get. So maybe give it some time. Because you do look amazing in this pic!

      • ssha

        This is helpful to me- we just got ours last month and I wish I had told her to take photo of each table or something. I want evidence my college friends were there! But maybe I won’t be thinking about that in the next 5 years?

    • Jess

      Regarding pictures, I kind of felt similarly about how I looked, especially since my hair was not capable of looking how I wanted it to look. I have found that taking a long space from looking at pictures, and focusing on how happy we look has really helped. That and I always say, “look how cute we are” because I feel like if I say it enough, I’ll believe it.

      (Spoiler: saying that is actually helping a lot, I just looked at a wedding photo of us and thought not about my double chin or my shoulders, but about my smile being really big and cute.)

    • We’re all our worst critics. For what it’s worth, you look stunning!

    • Lisa

      You guys look gorgeous, and I think that the love and joy that comes through in wedding pictures is really what makes them so special. And that’s so clear here.

      I’m so glad that your honeymoon was awesome too! I was waiting to hear back about it. What were your favorite parts? I’ve only been to Petra and the Dead Sea. What do you recommend?

      • Her Lindsayship

        Ooh! Did you drive along the Dead Sea Highway or the King’s Highway when you went? That was one unexpected highlight – the drives were truly breathtaking. We also couldn’t stop freaking out about how beautiful the Wadi Rum desert was – our stay in a Bedouin camp there included a jeep tour, a sunset camel ride (SO AMAZING, camels are hilarious if smelly), traditionally prepared meals, and sleeping under the stars. When I talk about it now it’s hard to believe it even happened, it was just an incredible experience.

    • jem

      I think this is a phenomenon no one talks about? I felt the same way when we got our engagement photos back last November, but now I love them. So maybe you just need a little time?

      For what it’s worth, I think you look gorgeous!

    • Abs

      I felt the same way! I felt SO PRETTY on the day, and then when the photos came back I thought I looked…okay. I’m trying to see it as better that way–I’d much rather have felt pretty on the day than just looked pretty in the photos.

      • Her Lindsayship

        Ok, that is a really good point. I’m so glad to see others have experienced the same thing though, makes me feel a lot better about it.

    • jazzygingery

      You look gorgeous in this photo! And you 2 are totally locked on one another.
      P.S. Your honeymoon sounds amazing, and I’m glad you had a blast.

    • Kaitlyn

      Ahhh I love this! I used to work next door!! And I love the hair and dress. Congrats!!

    • Bsquillo

      I really like our wedding photos in general. Do I think they’re the absolute best we’ve ever looked? Probably not- my husband and I have both sort of “grown into” our looks and style the further we’ve gotten into our twenties. My husband literally hasn’t been clean-shaven since our wedding three years ago, and he thinks he looks kind of weird in the wedding photos. I was probably my heaviest weight ever at our wedding (due to grad school + wedding planning + life stress), but didn’t really care at the time. But! I love how we’re laughing in tons of our photos together, and I feel nostalgic every time I look back at them.

      And honestly? We look at our pictures in detail MAYBE once a year. And my favorite thing to notice in them is actually all our guest photos- it’s so fun to remember all our friends who were there, and see them all dressed up!

    • CII

      Can relate 100 percent. I didn’t love the professional photos. and in fact, we still haven’t done anything with our wedding photos (other than make a couple of prints) because the initial emotions were so strong we had to put them away. Turns out, I hate shots of me in profile — I think I have Miss Piggy face. I wish I had learned that from my engagement photos and just TOLD the photographer. Turns out, I don’t actually like candid photos where things are imperfect (like my necklace is crooked or I’m doing something wild with my arm). Turns out, I am STILL ME on my wedding day. Which, is kind of cool in other ways.

    • Rose

      I had a little bit of a let-down with our photos too, right at first, and I was never sure why–it wasn’t about how I looked, specifically, but I think maybe I’d expected that there would be a few shots of us that would jump out at me as being so perfectly artistic and gorgeous that they were obviously the best photos of us ever, or something. But the more I looked at them, the more I loved them–I think partly, at first, there were just so many, and I had to kind of sort them in my head. A month later, I loved most of them and was super happy. It sounds like you’re starting to like yours more, too, so hopefully you’ll keep on being happier and happier with them. Also, I really love your bookshop setting, there! And the two of you look so happy, I love it.

    • Olga Mikhailov

      God, I’m SO glad you said this! So many people on this site say the opposite–that they were worried they’d look bad in all the pictures, but they ended up looking magical and just beyond imagination. Well, that sure didn’t happen to me. When we got our photos back, I recognized that all the photos looked authentic and happy, but nothing bowled me over, and the angles our photog used were super unflattering. Somehow I think we’d have had better luck with someone female or at least not stick-thin–someone who understands the double-chin struggle.

      The good news is, I grow more and more fond of the pictures as time goes on! That might happen for you too.

      • Her Lindsayship

        You know, our photog was both female and not stick-thin, but I also find myself thinking she maybe could’ve directed me in some way to keep me from making this scrunchy-piggy face I make in basically EVERY posed photo. Help your bride out, no? But then, I also think I’m just disappointed that the photos didn’t provide the all-caps MAGIC that I felt on the day of. I’m going to have to find a way to associate them with the magic though, because they’re what we have.

        Glad to hear you are liking yours more!

        • Ilora

          I have learned about myself that I need to smile in photos. I can’t manage the half smile or staring off into the distance look, I just look angry, sleepy, disgusted, etc if I even try so I just don’t. I can do variations of smiling (huge smile, laughing, content smile) but it does have to be an actual smile.

    • EF

      you’re in boston!? i really miss that bookshop…sigh…

      • Her Lindsayship

        We looked into having our ceremony there! They said they couldn’t get a permit for it though. I’m glad we still snuck over for a few photos, it’s just so cool.

    • AmandaBee

      That photo is perfect and you look gorgeous

      But I can relate – I didn’t like our photos when we got them, in part because I fixated on the ones where I saw some perceived flaw in myself (and in part because the quality was bad but that’s a whole other story).

      What helped me: having friends and family ooh and aah over the good ones. Then pulling out the ones we felt good about and saving them separately. You’re bound to have some unflattering photos out of a stack of hundreds, but you only need a few that you really love, kwim? Those get easier to pick out with time.

      • Abby

        This, absolutely. I felt terrible about our wedding photos until I let myself ruthlessly edit the ones I look at. Once I culled them down into only ones that make me and the people I love look as good as we felt on the day, looking at our photos became a much happier experience. So @herlindsayship, don’t be afraid to just pick your favorites and file any you don’t love away.

    • suchbrightlights

      I think you look wonderful (and your photo location is choice.) I know that in the moment we are our own worst critics and I hope the day that you look at these pictures and smile comes soon for you. It’s a letdown to spend the emotional energy (and money!) on something you end up not loving as much as you thought you would.

    • Laura

      when we first got our pictures back i had the same feeling – they were gorgeous but i was focusing on how i looked. i put them away for a few weeks and went back with fresh eyes – and i loved them. I needed a little space to appreciate how i looked, and now i love them!

  • Amandalikeshummus

    Care to settle a wedding etiquette debate I just had with my bf? He thought a certain gift would be overkill for a wedding because we aren’t able to attend; but I thought being invited kicked in the same gift-giving etiquette regardless. The gift is home-made with love, so it’s not a money thing. We generally give that and a check.

    • Alli

      I wouldn’t really say that’s an etiquette thing, more of a “what do you want to give this couple” sort of a thing? I don’t think either of you are necessarily in the wrong. Do you both have to make the gift or is it one person making it?

      • Amandalikeshummus

        It’s already made, actually. We made a whole batch of them together because we had a ton of weddings this year. The debate was about who gets it. I think this couple would enjoy it.

    • Amy March

      Gifts are never required and always appropriate to give. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with a generous gift for a wedding you aren’t able to attend, and I don’t think being invited obligates you to send a gift.

      • Jess

        “Gifts are never required and always appropriate to give” I love this line so much!!!

        • Amandalikeshummus

          I kind of like it in all contexts too, because it validates my inclination to give a gift in response to anything. A thank-you gift. A sorry-you-miscarried gift. A I-made-too-much-zucchini-bread gift.

          • penguin

            I like to do little “thinking of you” gifts when I find something good for somebody, but there isn’t an occasion coming up.

      • Amandalikeshummus

        That’s what I thought. They are totally separate things! Although, I’m gonna be honest that one reason I want to give it to this couple is that it means cousin-who-couldn’t-find-room-for-live-in-gf-and-who-I-met-at-Thanksgiving doesn’t get it.

    • Alex K

      I think whomever is closest to the couple should pick the gift (your friends = you decide, his friends = he decides).

      • Amandalikeshummus

        That makes a lot of sense. It makes me laugh in this context, since he is so excited to give one of the knife holders to my friends. But I agree with you.

        We’ve been having a lot of conversations about it as we adjust from the one-person to the two-person mindset in terms of what we are able to give. When I first started going to friends’ weddings, I’d write a check so small that sometimes I wouldn’t get a thank you note or I’d buy a book for the shower because I couldn’t afford anything on the registry (rude, but that’s how little it was). Now that there’s more resources, it takes a conversation for me to really see that.

        • rg223

          Um, it is absolutely NOT rude to buy something off-registry, and it IS rude of your friends to not send a thank-you card for a check, no matter the amount! You gave gifts within your means, that’s a kindness to the receiver and never rude.

          • Ashlah

            That’s what I was going to say! There is no gift so small that it doesn’t deserve a thank you card.

          • Amandalikeshummus

            Ohhh, sorry, the parentheses was meant for after the no card part.

          • Amandalikeshummus

            But I appreciate your validation that my little gifts still counted.

          • rg223

            Ohhh, gotcha. Well glad we are on the same page, and that still sucks!

  • Not Sarah

    My partner’s grandmother who is our only living grandparent is not coming to our wedding reception because she doesn’t want to have anything to do with America. As are the two friends I would have picked to be bridesmaids. My partner seems to not care, but I’m really tired of this.

    • Amy March

      Is she coming to the ceremony and then leaving? So strange. Are they out of the country and avoiding a trip here? I guess I can see that but I can very much see why that’s upsetting to you.

      • Not Sarah

        Oh yes sorry for missing that context. They live in Canada, as do all of our families and many friends.

        • Amy March

          Thats rough. And I hope you’ve told your friends that their decisions are hurtful.

    • Jess

      I’m really sorry that the political atmosphere is preventing the people you care about from being there. That sounds awful – not least of all because it is completely out of your individual control.

      • Not Sarah

        Thanks Jess. I can understand their sentiment but it really sucks that there’s nothing we can do about it other than holding it in Canada.

        • penguin

          Do they feel unsafe or are they trying to make a political statement? I’m sorry they’re doing this, that sucks.

          • Not Sarah

            The friends feel unsafe traveling to the US. I’m not sure where it stems from as they don’t fall into any minority or disadvantaged classes other than not being US citizens.

    • Eileen

      Surely this is something they will regret in ten years? How can it not be? I would have a really hard time with this. Would they have come three years ago? Does the current government have that much influence on how they interact in your life?

      Not to criticize your family and friends. Just to say that I feel for you.

      • Not Sarah

        Those are the questions I keep asking myself. They were all positively excited to come back in September when we announced this and then the election happened…

    • emilyg25

      I feel like that’s giving Trump way too much power.

      • Not Sarah

        THIS! I refuse to live a life of fear. I recognize I have enough privilege to do that (despite not being a US citizen and being a woman), but fear is not the way I want to run my life, even if he drives me bonkers.

  • suchbrightlights

    Happy Friday, y’all.

    One of my bridesmaids, who naturally is also one of my closest friends, may not be able to attend the wedding because of personal life circumstances that make complete sense and that she needs to take care of. In the back of my head, I’m seeing the circumstances as connected to what I have always perceived as selfishness and emotional manipulation on her husband’s part, but I’m not sure if that’s me thinking her husband is a selfish and emotionally manipulative ass who needs to work on that before being a good partner, or if the circumstances aren’t what I think they are and my dislike of him is coloring them. Either way, she needs to do what’s best for her, and I understand the decision she may need to make, but I’m disappointed the circumstances exist and a little mad at her husband whether or not I need to be.

    Also my dress might not fit.

    On the bright side, I talked to my fiancé about all this and the dynamic I think I observe in my friend’s relationship, and his reaction of “we pull together, not pull each other apart” was yet another reason I’m marrying him.

    • Lisa

      So sorry to hear about your friend. That stinks, but it’s great that she has someone like you who handles these things in stride and supports her when she needs it. It seems like you have a really good perspective on this, and it’s perfectly natural to feel disappointed.

      I also love hearing your fiancé’s reaction. My husband and I supported a friend through a particularly difficult divorce a few years ago, and our mantra (to each other) during that time was “The answer will always be us,” (I won’t go into the details of its meanings) but it was really comforting.

      • Jess

        “The answer will always be us” I love that.

      • suchbrightlights

        Thanks, Lisa. The circumstances complicating her life suck and I hope they pass quickly for the good of all parties involved. It’s the sort of thing where, to me, staying home for some or all of the wedding events is a no brainer unless something changes soon. Viewed that way, it isn’t even a disappointment that “she might not be coming to the wedding” or “she might not be able to stand up with me” but that “life sucks for her right now.” I need to work on extricating “…because her husband doesn’t prioritize her” from the sentence until I know that’s true because I need to be careful about not letting that bleed into the way I talk to her about it. I’m trying to stay in the role of “I have your back whatever happens” and make sure that I behave like someone who’s worth having at your back. Which is hard when I want to end every sentence with “BUT HE’S ACTING LIKE A MASSIVE DOUCHECANOE.”

        Sigh.

        I like the way your husband responded. It’s so good to get validation that your person really is your best teammate, right?

    • nutbrownrose

      I don’t know how soon your wedding is, but I think I might have a dress solution for you! Mine also did not fit a month out and I was able to have a seamstress replace the zipper with a corset so it totally fit and looked like it should be there. And pro-tip: if something isn’t sticking where it’s supposed to, velco! We velcroed the privacy panel behind the corset into place, and then when it wouldn’t consistently cover my bra we added velco to the inside of the dress and the outside of the bra! Helped with the whole feeling snug thing too!

      • suchbrightlights

        Thank you for the tip! Mine is not a traditional model so the corset suggestion won’t fly. My backup plan is to corral my sister and make an expedition to bhldn. It’ll all work out somehow.

        Velcro and hem tape are godsends, aren’t they?

        • nutbrownrose

          Velcro holds the world together.
          Sorry the corset won’t work! Good luck, and don’t try to starve yourself in to the dress. Hangry ain’t a good look on anyone, especially a bride!

  • I’m driving north to my parents’ house for the weekend to go wedding dress shopping with my mom & sister! I’m excited, but it’s sure to be…interesting. My mom will likely cry a lot and is not afraid to tell me if something doesn’t look good (fingers crossed we agree on one!) My sister has the exact opposite taste in everything, and I’m just crossing my fingers she wears normal (read: skin covering) clothes tomorrow for it haha. Hoping I find the one!

  • Kat

    I’m currently searching for a new GP and was hoping you all might be able to give me some advice. Is it silly that I want to find a doctor who is also a feminist? I’ve had issues in the past with being uncomfortable with my doctor because their core beliefs (and yes, religious beliefs) don’t match up with mine. For example, when I first started dealing with anxiety and depression, my doctor at the time made me feel like I was being over-dramatic and that I should just….pray about it, I guess. It’s made me very wary of going to any medical professional with issues that might not match up with their values. I’m trying to be more responsible about my health but can’t shake my nerves . Is this just a trial-and-error scenario? Is there a secret network of empowering doctors I don’t know about? I feel like it’s ridiculous to be stressed about this.

    • Eileen

      I don’t have any tips (sorry :( ), but it sounds absolutely normal to me to feel stressed about that.

      • Kat

        Honestly it’s just helpful to hear that I’m not being crazy. lol

        • bee

          I would try calling the office and just asking about the general philosophy of the practice/doctor. Does the doctor find it helpful to offer advice on the spiritual side or no? Are women’s reproductive rights a priority? Etc.

    • Whitney S.

      I would say this is actually important. Research shows that medical treatment is affected by your identity. So like women and/or fat people aren’t taken as seriously when reporting symptoms, for example. When I find a good GP, I cling to them for dear life!!! 🤣

    • Alex K

      You are not being ridiculous. As for finding a doctor I’d recommend asking similarly minded friends for recommendations or if you have a specialist you like (ex Gyn) asking for recommendations.

    • Jess

      No. You are not being ridiculous to want a medical doctor who wants to actually treat things you’re suffering from.

      I ended up going to the OB-GYN clinic I do because they listed D&C’s on their “services performed” page. I floated between GP’s until I landed on my current Internist on a fluke. She and her PA are both incredible women who really listen to me and take my concerns seriously.

      Like Alex K suggested, start asking friends and any current practitioners you do like for recommendations.

      I hope you find somebody great, because it is SO IMPORTANT for women to be heard and treated in the medical field.

    • Kara E

      I will say that I have no idea how to screen for a “feminist” doctor, but I don’t think it’s unreasonable to expect your doctor to be a doctor and not a religious advisor. But sadly, yes, I think it will be a bit of trial and error. That said, you can probably look at websites and see where there are any red flags there (or key words you like), but at some point, you just need to make a decision and go for it. Nothing says that you have to STAY with a doc you don’t like.

    • Transnonymous

      You’re not at all silly for wanting to find a feminist doctor. Unfortunately, I don’t have any good tips on how to find a feminist GP specifically, though it’s something I’ve found is easier to figure out with therapists. Best of luck.

    • Lexipedia

      Asking all of your friends for recommendations is the way I’ve had the most success. Also, it might be unfair, but I’ve always had way better luck with female GPs than male ones – yes, they have the same medical training and may be very good doctors, but shared life experience counts for a lot.

    • rebecca

      When I don’t have a referral from a friend, I stalk people’s resumes and look for someone who’s worked or trained at something like a progressive women’s health center. I also wore my “Science is Universal” T-shirt to my first meeting w/a new therapist and that seemed to get us off on the right foot haha

    • AP

      This is EXACTLY why I’m struggling to find a mental health professional in my area. A lot of the ones covered by my insurance have Christian overtones on their websites or even offer Christian counseling as a service. (These are mainly LCSWs or licensed family therapists, which seems to be the degree level my insurance will cover.) It’s frustrating, because I want to be able to talk about my life and my work in reproductive health/rights without fear of judgement or being dropped as a patient. It’s so common where I live to have doctors blur the lines and preach at you or recommend prayer as stress relief, or ask you what church you go to. I totally feel you, and I would LOVE a resource for finding feminist, progressive health professionals as well!

    • LazyMountain

      Can I recommend looking into D.O.s instead of M.D.s? They make incredible GPs and I think are better at thinking in terms of overall wellness and less in terms of “lets fix this one problem with this one script”. Full disclosure- I almost chose this as my occupation having gotten into a couple of schools and then had a last minute change of heart. But my current career puts me in close contact with lots of allopathic physicians and medical students at one of the top medical schools in the nation, and the type-A hyper competitive personalities do not always lend themselves best to compassion and understanding. They are incredible problem solvers and researchers, but not specifically whom I want to confide my issues with anxiety/lady parts in. There are also fewer D.O. schools in the US (26 vs 137 M.D.), so often the practitioners have done more travel and rotations in different parts of the country and are exposed to a greater breadth of patient populations. My current GP (whom I selected specifically because she was a D.O.) helped me find resources for good mental health care at my last appointment, and stood up for me when a nurse tried to have me take a pregnancy test as a gay woman. I seriously wish you nothing but the best of luck in your search!

      • Kat

        This is a great idea, actually. I’ll have to do some more research this weekend and see who’s around/in my network. Thank you!

    • Eenie

      The best part about doctors is you can try them out, and if you don’t like them, you don’t go back. Yes it’s a pain with paperwork and such, but unless you get a really good recommendation, it’s just trial and error. Which can suck.

      • Amandalikeshummus

        That can depend on your area. Around where I am, if you want a new doctor, you could wait 6 months to see them for a physical, and I was briefly on insurance that sent me a letter that said, “Welcome, your new doctor is X,” even though I was super happy with the NP I’ve seen for years.

    • reller

      I 100% recommend reaching out to friends. Medical professionals are also a great place to get recommendations. If you have a specialist or therapist who has a patient philosophy/ approach that you like, you can definitely reach out for referrals.

  • louise danger

    we have started getting unofficial replies (no return postcards yet): one “we can’t make it” :( and one “yes me, no spouse” :( but the wedding is midday on a friday so i wasn’t expecting a high rate for out of town folks, and the spouse has a class at that time. alas.

    edit: also, this week in The Saga of the Priest – still haven’t heard from Retired Parish Priest. getting nervous but i have delegated this task to Mr Danger and am hopeful it will be resolved shortly. i maintain that, worse comes to worst i’m just going to bang on the door at the rectory until someone who can preside at a wedding appears.

    • Not Sarah

      I’m sorry about no responses. The first few were really hard for me to receive and some of them still are :(

  • Kara E
    • Jess

      I agree with this, and the surrounding arguments –

      “Just as a competent, civil presidential candidate was called a “nasty woman” and little girls who show leadership skills are scolded for being “bossy,” “bridezilla” is specifically designed to condemn a woman who puts any energy and authority toward trying to achieve entirely reasonable goals. ”

      See also: women being called “desperate” when they ask their boyfriends for a reasonable timeline for an impending marriage, or “bitches” for the simple act of not being romantically interested in a certain man, or “pushy” when they request accountability from people they work with.

      But I’m not so sure I agree with this –

      “‘If you’re going to pitch a fit’, she said, ‘your wedding day is the day to do that.'”

      There’s being Type A and trying to manage very challenging expectations with reality and being stressed out, and there’s making unreasonable demands on the people – who are literally only there because they want to support and love you on an important day in your life – in an uncaring way.

      I’m also not a big fan of the rhetoric about your wedding being “The Best Day Evaaarrrr” ™ or the associated Instagram-worthiness being required. Those things aren’t in line with my own personal value set, but I do know it becomes A Thing for lots of women planning weddings with their intendeds.

      • Jane

        Also – I think the author is kissing outbon a lot of why most brides I know have gotten stressed. I don’t feel like the Pinterest / social media stuff is the stressful part of wedding planning. Like, have I done a million craft projects and looked at weddings in fancy wedding blogs religiously for the last year? Yes. Is that what is turning me into a crazy person? No. It’s parents, future-in-laws, extended family, etc. It is not at all my expectations for how the wedding will look. It’s about dealing with everyone’s feelings. And that’s true for pretty much all the friends I have who are getting married.

  • Transnonymous

    Brief but good news – I started hormone replacement therapy on Tuesday. I was lucky enough to find an endocrinologist who could treat me locally and visiting his office was a positive and affirming experience.

    • penguin

      Yay!! Congrats!

    • jem

      Woo hoo! Good for you!

    • EF

      yay!

    • mjh

      Glad to hear it :)

    • suchbrightlights

      That’s great news.

  • BSM

    So, feeling pretty frustrated with my HR and the way planning my maternity leave is going. I’d love advice if anyone has it.

    This is what our Employee Handbook says:

    “Full-time employees may use up to a maximum of 20 days of paid time off or sick time concurrently with an
    otherwise unpaid portion of FMLA leave. Any additional use of time off will be at the discretion of the
    Company.

    Employees who have worked for Company for at least 12 months who have added a child to their family by
    birth or placement of a child for adoption or foster care, and are considered the primary caregiver, are eligible
    for 10 weeks of paid leave. This leave runs concurrently with the Federal Family Medical Leave Act and any
    other applicable federal, state, or local leave laws.”

    I was a little confused about how exactly this intersects with FMLA and my state laws around leave (my company is based in NY, but I’m work at our office in CA), but I took this to mean I get 10 weeks of paid leave and have the option to use 20 days/4 weeks of vacation time (fully paid) in addition to those 10 weeks. My company has unlimited vacation time, so it makes sense that they’d want to put some guardrails around how it’s used in conjunction with other leave.

    So, based on that information, I put together my leave plan of 14 weeks off. I communicated my plans to my managers (who were totally fine with that) and met with HR in the beginning of July to formalize things. At that time, they told me they were increasing leave from 10 weeks to 12 weeks. Sweet! I changed my plan to be for 16 weeks.

    Mine is the first leave in CA, so they said they were still trying to figure out if they wanted me to apply for the state benefits and that they would let me know. I emailed HR earlier this week to check on things, and they basically still don’t know exactly how they want to do things, but they’re now saying that, at this point, they can only assure me that I’ll get full pay during the first 12 weeks and that what’s written in the Handbook is intended as an either/or arrangement: either you take 12 weeks of parental leave OR you take 20 days of vacation time for other medical reasons.

    Ummm, wtf. I feel like they were at best extremely unclear and at worst actively misleading me. We’ve been making childcare plans and financial decisions and coordinating my husband’s leave around the 14-16 weeks of paid leave, and now I’m being given a bait and switch while also receiving no information about when they’re going to figure out how they want to deal with CA’s laws around leave.

    I’m really not sure how to respond or what to do at this point, and I’m really, really pissed. I’m almost afraid to talk to HR about this because I feel like I might get too upset.

    • penguin

      I’m sorry they were unclear, I’d be pissed too. I had this whole thing typed up about how they did say it was concurrent, but then I got to the last part about having the option to use 20 days vacation in addition to the 10 paid weeks. So I would also have assumed it is 14 paid weeks, since that is what their own policy said. I’d let them know that you made plans based on what is in the handbook.

    • Anon

      I think the policy is clear. You are eligible for 12 weeks FMLA leave. Any employee may use up to 20 sick days to get paid for a portion of that leave that would otherwise be unpaid. As an additional benefit, for maternity your company will pay you for the full 12 weeks. Nothing in there promises you more time and I think you’re out of luck. Sorry.

      • BSM

        But when I explained my leave plans to HR, they initially told me that all my leave would be paid. So… it doesn’t seem very clear if HR themselves don’t understand it. They already signed off on my leave, so it was something I was promised.

    • Violet

      Based on the handbook, I totally read it as you did too. You might very well get upset, but you are right to be. This feels like a bait n switch. Would it help to kind of pre-plan out what you’re going to say before going in for the meeting?

      • BSM

        And I literally explained the reasoning for my leave to my managers and HR last month, and no one said anything about it then!

        So far we’ve just been emailing back and forth because they still don’t fucking know how they want to manage leave in CA (and don’t know when they’ll know), but we are supposed to meet once that gets figured out. The HR manager says she’s recommending a policy that would allow employees in CA to take more time off (because the state kicks in $$ for leave), so I don’t know how hard to push on all this if they are working on it.

    • JSK

      Take the weekend before responding to HR, for sure. I had a similar situation happen over 18 months ago and I’m still fired up. Can you structure it so that you’re taking the 12 weeks FMLA-protected leave and then you “return to work” or whatever bullshit rubber stamp HR needs and then you go on vacation for 4 weeks with manager’s approval?

      My long story: I accepted a job when we were actively trying to get pregnant and let my manager squared know that during the hiring process. He didn’t know the leave policy himself but sent the handbook so I could read & understand the policy. Original handbook language said something like employees would be paid 66% for “up to” 12 weeks of STD. I negotiated a larger signing bonus to offset the loss of 34% of my income so assumed all was well for my 12 week leave. When I announced the pregnancy and met with HR for more details, I found out that the STD Insurance company set the length of time allowed by the specific disability and for vaginal delivery the payment was only 6 weeks. I absolutely LOST it on the HR person when she said, essentially, of course the handbook doesn’t mean what the handbook says.

      The story ends up fine-ish. I had to have an emergency C which got me more STD (victory?!) and used vacation time to cobble the 12 week leave, largely paid in full. I’m pregnant again (due in January) and dreading using up all my vacation time so early in the year.

      • BSM

        Thanks for sharing your story; it’s helpful (although frustrating) to hear from other people who’ve been in a similar position (and, just in the last couple days, I’ve heard from a looot).

        I also thought about some scenarios like what you suggested: “coming back” to work and then taking 4 weeks of “vacation,” or actually coming back for 2 weeks while my husband takes PFL, and then taking 2 weeks of vacation. My managers are really flexible (and one will actually be on parental leave himself if I have to return at 12 weeks), so I don’t anticipate any pushback from them.

        Also, there’s the added layer of complexity given CA state laws – I could be eligible for Pregnancy Disability Leave, which guarantees 4 months off, during which you can use your (accrued) vacation time, but… I have unlimited vacation time, not accrued, so how does that work?

        Mostly, I understand that it’s confusing, but I’m 2 months out from the planned start of my leave, my company has had 4 months notice, and I’m frustrated that they seem to be waffling on what they originally agreed to and also have no real answers for me on what my options are.

        And it doesn’t help that my husband is trying to be diplomatic about the whole thing. This is the second time I was misled during the hiring process regarding pay/benefits, so I’m seriously at a make-or-break point with HR.

        • JSK

          I’m sorry it’s so unclear and frustrating. Especially if you’re only 2 months out – you could legitimately need to be on leave with a baby in a few weeks! Could your manager or another senior person intervene to at least get a deadline set for HR to give you options?

          • BSM

            I’m struggling with figuring out how to get more help. There are no childcare options in our area for infants that young (other than a private nanny), so I literally have no idea what we’ll do if they don’t adhere to the plan we already agreed to.

    • emilyg25

      My understanding of that quote is that the 20 days and the 10 weeks are both concurrent with FMLA, which is only 12 weeks, and that some folks may only get the 20 days paid, some may get the 10 weeks paid, and some may get the 10 weeks and can use some of the 20 days to pay for the remaining two weeks.

      • BSM

        Actually, how they intended it is that you either get 10 weeks paid for parental leave or 20 days paid for other FMLA leave, not that you can use both. So, obviously, it’s not very clear.

        The bigger issue I have is that my 16 weeks of paid leave was approved last month, but now they’re not sure if they will pay the additional 4 weeks. And they don’t know when they’ll know if they’ll be paid.

        • emilyg25

          Where is your supervisor in this? They should be advocating for you (or clarifying company policy).

        • Alissa

          If you can invoke CA laws, this would be to your benefit because CA has some much more generous state policies than most places. You should be able to get 1) one month mat leave *before* birth through CA disability laws and then 2) if your HR dept continues to be horrible and try to pull those last 4 paid weeks they seemed to initially promise you, CA’s Paid Family Leave act will let you get those paid at 55% salary. Not the same as full pay, but definitely better than unpaid altogether. I’m so sorry you’re dealing with a less than clear and supportive HR department (unfortunately, seems to be the norm in this country…I’ll save my anger rant for another time). Solidarity to you and best of luck!

  • nosio

    We’re 3 weeks out. We’re missing responses from about 30 people. My grandpa is in the hospital, things look bleak. I realized today that I totally dropped the ball on the florist and we’re going to have to DIY everything. My dressmakers forgot to put a “need-by” date in their notes for my dress so it’s not ready yet; my one and only fitting will be next Friday, and we leave for the wedding the following Tuesday, so…hopefully it fits? One of the groomsmen might not be able to make it and isn’t responding to us, so we haven’t been able to order programs. My fiance has weird scary health stuff going on that we won’t be able to address until after the wedding because there simply isn’t enough time and we don’t know what tests insurance will cover yet.

    I was feeling pretty panicked earlier this week, but it’s gotten to the point where I’m just numb about everything. Which might be a good thing! I can’t be feeling all the feelings all the time anymore. The wedding is happening regardless of shit hitting the fan. It’ll happen and then it’ll be over and hopefully someday we’ll be old and laugh about everything that went wrong and look at our pictures and feel whatever happiness I’m missing right now.

    • penguin

      Is the florist problem money or that they’ll all be booked? How much were you planning on for flowers? If you just want a bouquet you might be able to find someone to make it. Also totally fine if you decide to say “eff flowers” and just don’t have them.

      Sorry about all the stressful things! That is a lot, especially the health stuff. Are you waiting to order your programs because the groomsmen’s names are in them? You may want to just make a decision on that and get the programs done. It’s OK if his name is in it but he ends up dropping out.

      • nosio

        The florist is a booking thing – I missed an email from her where she was like, “I have another bride asking about this date, are we still moving forward?” because I am apparently blind. I sent her an email just now where I was like, “I am so sorry and horrified that I missed this,” and I think we’re just going to DIY things and it’ll be fine? Regardless, I’m telling myself it’ll be fine and probably nobody but me will care about the flowers anyway.

        We were waiting to order programs because they’ll have everyone’s names in them, but I think you’re right – we should just go ahead and order them, and if he drops out it won’t be a big deal!

        • penguin

          Ooh, that sucks about the missed email. You can totally DIY them! Enlist help so it’s not just you. Depending on how much you care about a specific flower vision you could do something like bud vases on the tables – easy and simple, not much at all to arrange. Good luck!!

        • Alli

          Is there a grocery store near where you’re getting married? They might be able to help if they’ve got a floral department

          • Jane

            My local Safeway actually has pretty good flowers, both as bouquets and arranged nicely in vases. I’m having really simple bouquets for my bridesmaids (they’re already in floral dresses) and the florist at Safeway was awesome over the phone.

            But I did not have a good experience trying to plan the same thing with Whole Foods.

        • I’ve heard Costco has flowers… I have no experience with them though! But worst case scenario, you don’t have flowers and it will be okay. And you can also just got to Trader Joes or somewhere and pick up some and do something super super minimal and call it done. But I would enlist someone else to handle that if you can. But if you just want a bouquet for you, that can certainly happen somehow. And flowers are so pretty that if you tie them with a ribbon/burlap/something, it’ll probably look great!

          I think you should just do the programs and put him in. And if he doesn’t show, well, that’s okay.

        • E.

          I’m very late to the program but we did DIY flowers for my sister’s wedding and it was totally fine! That was actually how I discovered APW because we used their tutorial. We used grocery store flowers and got a bunch of friends together the night before to make bouquets. It helped practicing a few times and having a couple crafty friends.

    • LindseyM

      My grandma went into the ICU, in Argentina, three days before our wedding with a minor stroke. She was in the hospital the two weeks we were there, and for a while it looked like the only way to get her back to the US was a medivac. It was really stressful for my whole family, so I hear you. Try to make some time for yourself.

  • anony

    I feel so weird even typing this but I’m starting to feel sort of concerned about my drinking. I just read that having 4 or more drinks at a time is considered high-risk alcohol use for women and realized that I can and do have that much relatively easily. Like, having a couple beers and a couple glasses of wine in a night that involves dinner is not difficult. But yet I rarely get drunk and do not have any issues in my life associated with alcohol (that I know of). I guess I’m just freaked out that maybe my husband and I both have drinking problems and have been enabling each other for years and I don’t know what to do/where to go from here. I guess we do tend to have a little more to drink than other people in our circle, but we never go out and get hammered, so I never thought of it as an issue until now.

    • rebecca

      I think I saw the same article you did and I read that sentence a couple times and I think they actually said “4 drinks *every* night plus more than 4 a few nights during that week” The first time I read it though, I thought they were saying that the fact that I drank four hibiscus ales over the course of 6 hours at the beach last weekend was cause for alarm which just seemed silly. It is good though, to check in every once and a while and make sure that the relationship you have w/alcohol is one that makes you feel healthy and happy.

    • Eenie

      The best way to double check is to give up drinking for a month or two. See how much it impacts you (can you still enjoy life without alcohol?). Tell your friends you’re doing a cleanse/eating clean/doing a dry August. Then, don’t drink for that time period. I think it’ll give you a pretty good idea of how problematic you’re drinking is if you can’t make it a month without alcohol.

      • NotMotherTheresa

        Honestly, though, is it even really that problematic to have a hard time going without alcohol for an entire month?

        I don’t know. I see some of these comments about “Are you using it as a social crutch?”, and all I can think is “Isn’t that why everyone drinks it?”, because truthfully, a dinner party without any alcohol sounds sort of dreadful.

        Do I have a drinking problem? No. Do I drink every day? No. Can I easily consume four drinks in a setting? Of course…that seems like a pretty reasonable amount for a dinner party, or even a simple end of the week celebration in front of the television.

        I mean, it’s obviously a problem if you *literally* couldn’t go a month without alcohol, but I can’t imagine completely cutting it out like that without a reallllly good reason. (Of course, in the interest of full disclosure, it is no secret that alcohol and I are pretty good friends. It’s never negatively impacted my life, and I keep an eye on my consumption, but at the same time, I’ll be the first to admit that I have a somewhat closer than average relationship with my wine.)

        • Eenie

          I think a really good reason to cut it out would be you’re worried that you and your husband are enabling each other with alcohol like the original poster said. I love wine, I can drink a bottle in the course of an evening, but I also know I don’t need it every day. I’m not so worried using it as a social crutch, but more worried if it’s a life crutch.

          This topic hits close to home because one of my best friends used to use alcohol to relax after work and help her fall asleep. It spiraled out of control, and she is sober now. She didn’t realize how bad it was until she tried to not drink for a month on her own. She entered rehab and is doing really well now.

        • Violet

          Basically, I agree. Everyone’s different, so people use alcohol differently. Honestly, I could never physically drink four drinks in a row and don’t use it as a social crutch, but I too would need a really good reason to eliminate it completely for a month. (Though, tell me I can’t have coffee for a month, and we’ve got a WHOLE ‘nother conversation.)
          I guess where my opinion differs from yours is that anony is freaked out, and that’s a good enough reason for me. I think it’s okay for her to just respect the feeling she’s having and explore it by trimming back and seeing what happens. In all likelihood, the peace of mind that exercise will give her will be more than worth passing on alcohol for a little while.

    • Amy March

      I think it’s a confusing thing to try and puzzle out in part because Official Advice is usually also judgmental and excessively cautious. I think there are really two issues- do you have a problem with alcohol in the sense of addiction? And is the amount of alcohol you are drinking healthy? Regularly drinking 4 drinks a night is not going to be labeled healthy behavior by basically any medical authority, and I think you can acknowledge that without a total panic and freak out. And, initially, maybe pick either beer or wine for a given night to scale back a bit?

      • Violet

        Honestly, we all do things the medical establishment is never gonna give an official “okay” on, but it is what it is. Sometimes it’s worth changing your behavior when you realize this, other times, not so much.

        • Jane

          Yup. I have definitely gone through periods of life where my eating (way too much junk food) and lack of exercise were unhealthy and I’m sure doctors would suggest I change all my habits. But even with how much society judges women for their weight / how much they eat, I think it’s just much much scarier to hear that you’re engaging in unhealthy drinking than unhealthy eating.

          • Violet

            I don’t disagree that unhealthy drinking habits are a bit scarier to realize you’re engaging in than some of the other things many people do that are not recommended. But there’s also way less specific info out there about drinking, such that you can find yourself “surprised” like anony is that you’re imbibing too much. Whereas most of us already know no more than 2,000 cal a day, exercise, lots of water, yada yada. So I just don’t want to discount that there might be a bit of a shock factor here that isn’t as present as say, advice that you should always wear a seatbelt or refrain from smoking.

    • LindseyM

      I think it is really helpful to look to see if drinking is accompanied by other warning signs. Are you already in a high stress profession where drinking/drugs are already more common? Do you use drinking as a crutch is social situations where you are uncomfortable? Do you ever feel like you don’t want to stop drinking? I realized a while ago that I use alcohol as a social crutch since I am introverted. That, combined with being in a profession where alcohol is prevalent, makes me just keep it in the back of my mind as something I have my eye on. From what else you have said, it doesn’t sound like you have an issue :)

    • emilyg25

      Meh. These guidelines vary so much by culture. I’ll easily have 4 drinks during a social occasion that lasts several hours. I agree that the key is if you feel like you *need* to drink. If you cut back for a little while, you may see that a lot of it is a habit. I stopped drinking on weeknights for weight-loss reasons and realized that I really liked coming home from work and cracking open something cold. So now it’s a seltzer.

    • ART

      I agree with others on trying a dry few weeks to a month just to see how that feels. I’ve done that a few times in the past when I’ve felt that whatever amount I was drinking was outside my comfort zone (and I also never felt like I had Life Problems from it, I just thought hmmm, this seems much?) Last year I finally realized that I’m uncomfortable drinking with coworkers, almost no matter how much I have, just because of the specific dynamics of my colleagues around alcohol and feeling like it’s not worth it to me to have any sense of loss of control of like, what I say around them. So I cut it out there, but not in private settings (well, I’m pregnant now so mostly that, too!) But in the last five years my tolerance has gone wayyy down and now I’m like meh, I get stomach and sleep problems long before I’ve had “too much” by most other standards, so I would say enjoy it if you can feel confident that there aren’t other warning signs or problems associated with having 3-4 :)

    • Violet

      I wish there was more clarity around why those definitions of binge drinking (the 4 for women, 5 for men in one 2-hour occasion thing) were set where they are. Do people who drink at that level end up being at a clinically significantly higher risk of developing a substance use disorder, suffer cirrhosis of the liver, more likely to get cancer, etc? Without that, all we know is your BAC is high, and you should not be driving, or whatever. Not super helpful.
      I think if you’re freaked out,* that’s reason enough to just try scaling back and see how you feel. If it’s really not a big deal, no different, cool. If it’s kinda hard, then maybe your concern is warranted. But there’s no harm in scaling back, it will actually do your body some good, so it seems like a straightforward first step.
      *If you’re generally a person to get worried about the news (“Oh no! Eggs are bad for you again! How many eggs did I eat this week!? Ack!”) then maybe this is just how you respond to news. But if you’re generally pretty blasé about these reports but *this* one got to you for some reason, you’re worth it to just have a look see.

  • Anon

    APWers, I could use some advice on communicating with my spouse. When we were dating and then engaged, I was very willing and able to have all the conversations. For example, I was the one who coordinated us reading and discussing 10 Conversations to Have Before You Get Married. (We actually found that we didn’t tread much new ground because we had happily talked in depth about all of the topics during our three years of dating.)

    Now that we’ve been married for almost two years, I find it difficult to initiate or even engage in complex personal or state-of-the-union conversations. Our relationship remains strong in all the ways it always has been. And for the most part, the parts of life (together and individually) that have bugged me to varying degrees remain the same. Now that there’s not the goal of figuring out if we’re compatible and want to be married, it feels sort of depressing to continue talking about, for example, how I wish it wasn’t so expensive to live here (when I don’t want to move), or how my libido continues to disappoint me after years of trying to understand it better. And yet these things weigh on me.

    All in all, I feel a distance from my spouse because of this and I don’t know how to regain the sense of conversational closeness that is so natural when you’re getting to know each other.

    • Jessica

      A couple I know uses Valentine’s Day as their “State of the Union” day, where they talk about highs and lows of the last year, and their goals as individuals and a couple for the upcoming year. Having a set date (or dates) to talk about the big stuff seems like a really good thing.

      Be honest with your spouse about feeling that way. Invite them on a walk or something to just say what you want to do to get back to feeling close again (I always find doing something active helps with loaded conversations). I think ups and downs of feeling close in a marriage are normal, but unless you do a little course correction that distance has the potential to grow (or it might not, every marriage is different).

      • AP

        We do this around New Year’s. We set goals for the upcoming year, think about our 3-5 year plan, look back over the last year. So far it’s been a little more like a team-building, strategic planning exercise (pardon my nonprofit speak, but I know you get it) than a “state of the union” but if we have relationship issues we need to address it would be a good time to bring them up.

    • Cellistec

      I hear you. We read All The Books when we were dating (my husband beelines right to the self-help section in a bookstore)…or at least he read them, and I skimmed 30 pages and then gave up. We’ve found that our conversations have changed too, from “how are we compatible”? to “how to we function as Team Us with all the obstacles in the rest of the world?” One thing that helped is to frame some of the conversations as games. We spent an evening playing Would You Rather where the questions started out being ridiculous (would you rather have flippers for feet or one frying pan hand?) and wound up hitting close to home (would you rather never take XYZ medication again and have only mediocre sex, or have great sex but be on medication?). Of course, the conversation can’t stop with the gamified questions, but if breaking the ice is the main obstacle, it could be worth a shot. Either way, I hope you find an approach that works for you.

    • AP

      I feel ya on losing that closeness after the phase of “are we good together?” ends and things are a lot more settled. We’re about 2 years in as well, and I feel that same disconnectedness sometimes, mostly from just being so focused on work and routines that it feels like we don’t talk about anything important anymore. Also my husband isn’t much of a talker, but I definitely am, so sometimes it feels like there is an imbalance in sharing. I initiated reading a marriage book together last year, and we ended up quitting a few chapters in because it just felt forced.

      One thing that helps us feel more connected is doing something new together. Like, this week we played mini golf, which we’d never done together before. It’s so simple and silly, but we laughed at how bad we were and cheered/high-fived when my husband got a crazy hole in one. I think taking the pressure off your time together to be “meaningful” can help, and just letting the simple moments be what they are. And then maybe the conversations can happen organically? But there’s also nothing wrong with just saying, “hey, I’ve got some stuff on my mind. can we turn off the distractions tonight and just be with each other over a bottle of wine and a board game?”

    • NotMotherTheresa

      I totally, 100% hear you.

      Honestly, it feels like for us, talking more would probably just lead to fighting more, because at this point, all of the things wearing on our minds are the things that are ALWAYS wearing on our minds and have been for years. It’s not news that we’re stressed about money, or about my lack of a career, or about his lack of career success, or about the fact that we aren’t in any position to have kids even though the clock is ticking so loudly it’s causing me to go deaf. I get that you’re supposed to talk about those things, but geez, is there really anything to be gained by having the same conversation for the 9,758,294 time?!?!?! We didn’t find a solution in the first 3,827 discussions, so at this point, talking about those things just feels like beating a dead horse.

      Finding out that we were compatible was fun. Rehashing the fact that our day to day lives have proven to be a crushing disappointment with no hope on the horizon isn’t really quite as fun.

      Sorry I don’t actually have any constructive advice :/

  • Alex K

    I’m going to the Basque region of Spain and France in September for 10 days. I’m normally good at packing but am super stressed about what to bring- it’s usually in the low 70s which I don’t know how to pack for a (I’m always cold so sweaters and pants but it’s kinda warm so..) and I really don’t want to look a frumpy tourist! Any recommendations? (Also if you have things to do, I’d love those too).

    • Amy March

      Jeans, sneakers, a dress or two, short sleeved and long sleeved tops, a cardigan or two, a pair of nicer shoes, and a light jacket. My go to for any temperate European vacation.

      • Cellistec

        So much for my packing spreadsheet. All I needed was a sentence from @amymarch:disqus. Pure gold.

  • mOnks

    I found my dress last weekend! I put it on, looked in the mirror while everyone was rather quiet – and sort of burst into tears.

    I was thinking about how much I loved the little details and how my Fiancé was going to react to me in it. It was a vastly different reaction then I had given any of the other dresses I tried on before. (We even did another similar dress after and I basically noped it the instant I stepped up on the pedestal). My Mom surprised me by paying for the deposit, saying I would have to come up with the other half when the dress arrived. It was still a really sweet gesture that basically made me cry all over again.

    That being said, I am finding myself having a hard time dealing with my Mom’s enthusiasm about the wedding in general. She has been buying things for the ceremony/reception sort of regularly. . . and only asks about approval 50% of the time. I don’t want to squash her energy for this and understand where it is coming for (only girl & oldest of 3), but it is making my Fiancé feel as if he is being excluded from the decision making process – and therefore, like it isn’t his wedding. Also, I am worried that it will be wasted money in the end since some of it is just not the kind of aesthetic we’ve talked about (Our’s: Gaming, mainly video games = modern, geometric, maybe some pixel art. Her: Pinterest Trends of the Month).

    [ Ex: She ordered these names signs in a highly cursive script to designate “sides” during the ceremony. I think that is a bad idea as his family numbers alone run close to 100 and ours is…. 10. Maybe 12. She looked a bit disheartened when I pointed this out to her, but reassured her that we would find some kind of use for them. Maybe… by the cake or something. ]

    I am making an effort to work on communicating between the two of them but I think a time in a neutral space where we can talk about our ideas about this thing would be beneficial. It would smooth out any wrinkles before they become worse and undoable. He doesn’t see the point exactly as he has made his feeling known to me – and that I would relay this to my Mom. Any advice for over eager parental units and sometimes stubborn FHs?

    • Amy March

      I guess I don’t see why the solution isn’t you just telling your mom “I’m so glad you are excited! Please stop just buying things without talking to me about it. It’s a waste of money if we don’t use them and it’s important to me that I get a say in this stuff and that fiance is a part of these discussions.” I don’t really see what else there is to say on this, or why talking about this issue with your FI and her would be useful.

      I think you do want to squash her energy about this, because it isn’t helpful and is causing problems?

      • mOnks

        I suppose that is right. Talking with the both of them might not do anything productive. I do want to quell it without emotional damaging her. I know that I can find a way to do it. . . It just feels sort of tricky – you know? But thanks for the upfrontness. I think I am really trying to not hurt anyone’s feels and sometimes that isn’t always totally possible. A part of wedding planning I am really trying to remind myself about: there is no pleasing everyone at all times & it is okay.

    • penguin

      I agree with Amy March, and I think that since it’s your mom, you should be the one to talk to her. This is your wedding – that’s you and your fiancé, not you and your mom, so I think reining her in NOW is a good idea. Maybe set up somewhere that she can send you both ideas if you want to, but she doesn’t get to just make decisions and buy stuff for your wedding without your input. Or if she does, then yeah it might end up being wasted money (hers) cause you’re not gonna use it.

    • emilyg25

      Your FH is stubborn because he’s right—you need to just talk to your mom and tell her to stop buying stuff. You handle communication with your family.

    • Capondoodle

      Maybe she can be in charge of decorating the bridal shower or something? Or maybe to tell her to save her receipts…

    • This isn’t what you were asking, but if the signs are hanging signs, maybe they could be used on your chairs at the reception? (As long as you aren’t opposed to it, of course!)

  • Jan

    I’m having Feelings this week about none of my extended family attending my wedding in a few weeks. As in, literally no one outside of my parents and siblings, on either side, will be coming. Things with my family have gotten a bit awkward as they are all v v right-wing conservative and I literally work against everything they believe for a living. But, still. It kind of hurts my feelings. Trying to focus on my immediate family and awesome friends, and all the new family I’m getting who will be there.

    Also, we are leaving in a bit here to meet with our officiant! He was our boss when fiancé and I met and threatened to fire fiancé when he found out we were dating (he was technically my supervisor at the time, whoops). We think having him marry us will be hilarious and I’m excited to plan the ceremony with him!

    • rebecca

      Your officiant story is great! I think that’s super cute.

      We also had our conservative relatives (which was about 80% of my side and 20% of his side) decline their invitations to our wedding. I think it was especially painful bc part of the reason we had as big of a wedding as we did was because we wanted to make it clear to them that while we do not love their politics, we do love them and they are our family. And I did miss them on the day of, it was sad to look out during the ceremony and not see them there. I don’t have helpful tips for dealing with it, just know that you’re not alone and that not feeling 100% happy about everything on your wedding day doesn’t diminish how special your marriage is.

      • Jan

        Thanks for this. Yes, that’s part of my sadness/frustration; we intentionally had a bigger wedding to set the “we are family, we love you regardless” tone, and. Well. I’m also mad because we left off friends from college, etc, from our list so that we could afford to host our full families.

    • Amandalikeshummus

      Sorry to hear about your family. You getting married shouldn’t be about politics. It should be an awesome excuse for them to come together and get along. Sometimes family stinks, though.

      • Jan

        Thank you

    • Capondoodle

      I love your officiant story and hope he works “you’re fired” in a non-DJT kind of way into your ceremony. Also, you are allowed to mourn the absence of you right extended family, but I hope you won’t dwell on it so you can enjoy all the wonderful people that will be here for you.

    • Not Sarah

      I love your officiant story! That’s so sweet.

      I’m sorry about your extended family not coming. My partner’s extended family is not coming either and I have so many feelings about it. Some of them have specifically cited not wanting to travel from Canada to the US as part of their reason to not come. I’m trying to let the joyous feelings of the people who are coming overpower them, but that isn’t as easy to do as it is to say. To counter the no’s from his family, we’ve been sending out more friend invites that we didn’t initially send in the name of saving space.

      • Lexipedia

        As a Canadian living in the US, I’m so sorry. We’re getting married in Canada, so I don’t have the same problem, but I had a couple close family members saying (pretty sanctimoniously) that they wouldn’t be visiting me for four years after the results of the election – these are not particularly liberal or politically engaged people. Also, that they couldn’t understand why I would want to stay – especially in DC where we live.

        I was really, really hurt and basically said “so you’re going to miss out on the important events in our lives to make a point that nobody is listening to? Donate your damn money to good causes if you’re going to complain about this, and don’t give me shit about the fact that we’re staying and trying to make things better.”

        Enjoy inviting your friends and being surrounded by love.

        • Not Sarah

          Thanks for the sympathy, Lexipedia. I’m sorry you’ve had family members saying similar hurtful things to you. I’ve definitely wondered if we should have gotten married in Canada instead, but that would have been its own headache to plan a wedding not where we live!

          • Lexipedia

            It has definitely been a headache, but it worked out best for a whole host of reasons. It sounds like you’re getting married soon? Best wishes to you and your partner!

  • ART

    So this week I’m feeling like I am having kind of a tough pregnancy, physically and emotionally. Not like some stories I’ve heard, by a longshot, but I don’t know, I hear other people talk about how they loved being pregnant and I’m just not experiencing any perks that I can tell. I haven’t really been willing to admit this to myself but yesterday morning I just sobbed in the car on the way to work because I’m gaining weight too fast, trying to exercise enough, and then started having incredible pain in my pubic bone, of all the stupid places, and it’s making it hard to sleep. The thought of having 18-20 more weeks of this is kind of crazy-making, and on top of it I just don’t feel all that connected to the baby yet. I’m hoping that changes when I can feel movement, and the ultrasound pictures are super cute (the little nose!), and I’m making little clothes for it and trying to imagine all this behind me. But then again, I’ve always, always wanted two kids and I’m not sure I’ll be willing to do this a second time, and that is also taking a toll emotionally. Anyway, big self-care weekend coming up, I really need it! And if anyone has tips for that pain where your pelvis feels like it cracked in half, I’ll take them.

    • emilyg25

      I’m sorry you’re having such a tough time. I hated being pregnant. For me, it was just a means to an end. So you’re not alone. Do you have a pregnancy pillow? The Snoogle is worth its weight in gold. I nicknamed mine Javier and threatened to divorce my husband so I could marry it. I hear pelvic support belts can help with pain in the pubic bone.

      • ART

        Yes! I got one a few weeks ago when it was just hip pain from sleeping on my side exclusively, and it helped a lot. It does feel a bit like a third person in bed with us, and it’s funny to see my husband rest his head on it opposite where I do. But the last two nights the hip pain has come back, maybe connected to this pelvis thing. I got some relief this morning by sleeping on my stomach, but that’s only going to be possible for a little while longer. I think tonight I’ll try an extra pillow between my knees, and I did find some exercises I can do that may help. I also have a support belt on its way, so fingers crossed! And thanks for the commiseration – definitely a means to an end. And who knows, maybe when I feel more prepared for all of this, I’ll be willing to have another one? But my husband is totally on board for whatever I want to do, so I’m trying hard to put that out of my mind for now and focus on this one.

        • emilyg25

          You really do forget how terrible it is. A friend of my was saying she was afraid of pregnancy because it looks so uncomfortable. I told her it’s fine and it’s just nine months anyway. My BFF was like, “Dude, you HATED being pregnant. Why you lie?” But it wasn’t really a lie. Those nine months feel like forever when you’re in them. For. Ever. But then … it’s over. Hang in there! You’re half way done!

      • Violet

        I literally tell people, “It’s a means to an end.” when they ask how I’m doing.

    • Ashlah

      It took me a long time to feel connected to the baby. Like, I was certainly fond of this little thing inside me, but my mom was saying she loved him at the anatomy scan, which totally weirded me out. How can you say you’re in love with him before me?! I’m almost 38 weeks, and I’d say I feel more connected to him now, and might even call it love at this point, maybe? But it’s sort of a nebulous, abstract, hypothetical love. I think it’s completely normal to not feel a real connection until later in pregnancy–or for a while after birth! I feel like I need to know this little person before I’ll feel a real connection.

      Are you a member of any online pregnancy groups? The ones on Reddit are a really supportive place for honesty and commiseration over the harder parts of pregnancy, where you won’t get torn apart for not feeling like a goddess and appreciating every second, or whatever. I hope things get easier for you <3

      • ART

        Thank you, that helps to hear. I tend to shy away from online groups (APW being pretty much the one exception, glad we don’t seem to wear out our welcome here post-wedding), but I will check it out!

        • Ilora

          Try to find a small group, when you can actually get to know everyone its way less likely for there to be drama and judginess. I’m in a secret group on Facebook with other women who were due the same month as me, there are about 30 of us and it’s just perfect! We were due this past February so we’ve all known each other for a year (online only, none of us live near each other, we connected on a wedding forum I followed) and it’s actually really great to have a supportive group of people who don’t and won’t ever know you/your families. It’s easier to be vulnerable with people when there’s no risk of getting thrown together unexpectedly irl and it’s very freeing to be able to vent/get advice about your friends and families in a space where no one knows them.

          I can’t speak personally to the pubic pain but it sounds like it could be Symphysis Pubis Dysfunction (SPD)* so I’d recommend talking to your doctor about it and they can help you with pain management! In the general pregnancy aches and pains sense, I highly recommend prenatal massage, I worked until 38.5 weeks and those massages were literally the only reason that was possible! They even have either a special table or a special pillow that allows you to lay face down and that was amazing by the end!

          * https://www.whattoexpect.com/pregnancy/symptoms-and-solutions/symphysis-pubis-dysfunction

      • Violet

        Ahahahah, this is me too! My spouse keeps saying he loves the baby, and I’m like, “How?” I still call it a fetus >50% of the time. I just tell my friends I must be missing a chip and shrug.

    • Violet

      Oh HAI are you me!?
      Pelvic bone first- google pregnancy pelvic tilt exercise. Also try to activate your core muscles when walking and take slightly smaller steps. I actually find wearing heels (if you’re comfortable walking in those) helps me take shorter, less painful steps. Also, not sleeping on my side like they recommend, but on my back only propped up, pool-lounge chair-style.
      General crap- I’m with you. Always thought I wanted two, now let’s just see about that. Without getting whatever awesome hormones other pregnant women seem to get, pregnancy is a raw fucking deal. I’m really sorry. Things that have been helping: my therapist, a new moms support group, pre-natal yoga, allowing myself treats as I normally would, an understanding spouse. Things that have not helped: thinking the quick weight gain in first tri would be sustained; it has definitely tapered off nicely, women who don’t remember being pregnant because it was so long ago and spout on and on about how they loved every minute (give me a fucking break), generally googling anything.

    • Mary Jo TC

      Sorry this is late. Mom of 2 here.

      Don’t worry about not feeling connected to the baby yet. At this point any connection a mom feels to a baby is pretty much just in her head. It’s ok if you can’t conjure up a connection with a person you haven’t met yet purely from your imagination. I didn’t fall in love with my babies until after they were born and I’d had a few hours sleep to recover from labor.

      I know it’s hard but don’t worry about the weight gain. It’s healthy and necessary. It will plateau in later months, so that as the baby continues to grow s/he will use up some of that weight. I had a lot of anxiety about that too, and getting bigger and more conspicuous triggered some body image issues I already had. I was lucky and had an easy time dropping the weight afterward, mostly because of breastfeeding. Your body might not be the same, but you can find peace with that.

      I had some back and pelvic pain during pregnancy too. I went to a physical therapist who recommended a lot of exercises to strengthen that area. It was better than nothing I guess. I tried a support belt and it almost seemed to make it worse. I recently heard about exercises called the “Dia Method” for preventing and/or curing diastasis recti which might be helpful too. Constant pain is tough and it really messes with your head, especially when no end is in sight.

      Don’t borrow trouble worrying about a second pregnancy before this one is even over. Cross that bridge when you come to it. You may look back on this time differently than how you feel now. Child spacing is good and important. Don’t even think about a second kid until this one is at least 2 years old (unless you’re worried about fertility and you’re like 37 or something).

    • Sarah

      Pubic symphonis diastis (something like that). Avoid spreading your legs like when entering a car and do some pelvic tilts on exercise ball. I saw a phys therapist during preg and it made all the difference. Yoga cat cow helped too. Avoid warrior pose.

  • Fredandgeorge

    Long time lurker here- my husband just accepted a new job at a start up. Longer hours for a better chance (we hope!) of career progression. It will also start just as I go back to work from maternity leave- and mean quite a bit longer hours. I’m excited for the opportunity for him, but nervous too, since we have baby twins and a three year old, and the whole dinner-bedtime-post-work-struggle is real. We were joking that I’m “leaning in” to give him this chance, anyone else out there leaning in for team while reducing their own personal flexibility?

    • Ilora

      Congrats to your husband on the job! That sounds like a lot of big changes all at once and anyone would be nervous. Do you guys have a good network of friends and family to help out, even if it’s just in the beginning of the transition? Sending good vibes that the new job is everything you’re hoping for!

      I’m about to ‘lean in’ a bit in a sense as well. I go back to work from maternity leave on Monday while my husband takes 6 months of parental leave (we’re Canadian and splitting our 1 year leave in half). I work in daycare so I’m sad to be going to work to care for other peoples children while leaving my own baby at home, especially since I’ll likely only get 1-1.5 hours with the baby on weeknights, and on nights when we have staff meetings none at all. But I am so excited about seeing my husband really dig in to fatherhood and see the bond between him and our son grow.

  • Jessica

    So I was only planning on dropping in, but a 1.5 hour meeting I attended ended up lasting about 20 minutes, which means I get a half hour of HH! Happy FriYay y’all!

    The past couple of weeks have been a blur of busy. I’m hosting 3 students as renters for 12 days, which meant I had to clean out the basement, remove shelves from the ‘office’ bedroom that have a tendency to fall down, paint, and get furniture for two of the rooms. Luckily, it turns out the students are paying me more than I asked for because the University department they are working for is covering their bill. I’m really relieved that painting and the basement are done, because those were on my list before we start to think about selling the house. My ex seems to think he’ll be able to keep the house, and refused to take any boxes with him when he picked up mail. I couldn’t argue with him, because I took the dog on a walk when he stopped by and let my dad watch over things.

    Last night I got to hang out with my BFF all evening and catch up after she was on an adventure for the last 3 weeks. We ended up walking to get ice cream and wandered into a boutique next to the ice cream shop, and I bought a ring that says “We were together. I forget the rest.” People seem to think that’s very romantic, but I’m thinking of it as hope for myself and being able to move beyond my negative feelings.

    Also, I got to walk this puppy today, so yay!

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/c50fd11cdef0b179e8f144fb9872348b3f48c9a1de4e20ff075e16c0e441f177.jpg

    • Jan

      “We were together. I forget the rest.”

      Perfect.

    • toomanybooks

      Yesss you have accomplished so much! I’m just living in a tiny one bedroom, and the idea of cleaning any one of the rooms in it (other than the bathroom, which is the one thing that doesn’t overwhelm me) just makes me tired. It is my goal to get it to 100% clean for the first time ever this weekend. Yes, we have lived there for over a year. Getting that rent money sounds great! Lol that he still thinks he can just keep the house.

      • Jessica

        I had a therapy appointment yesterday, and on the intake sheet (for the first time) I circled that I was having trouble relaxing. When I told my therapist what I had done her eyes got wide and she said “That’s a lot.” I told her it was about a year’s worth of indoor projects done in 3 weeks. Then we made a plan for me to schedule relaxation and alone time in my planner.

        I’m so excited to read books again!

        • Jess

          Hooray books! If you come across any good ones, let me know! Past HH posts show we have very similar tastes.

          I just finished the Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, which was astonishingly comforting and enjoyable.

          • Jessica

            I’m in the middle of “People of the Book” by Geraldine Brooks and LOVING IT.

          • Jess

            frantically opening my goodreads tab…

    • Jess

      1) What a cute little curious puppy! I would walk it also!
      2) SO MUCH house-related accomplishment! High-Five!
      3) I love hearing about friends’ adventures, so I hope she had lovely stories for you.
      4) I’m really into the ring. I definitely don’t get the romantic vibe off it, but I for sure hear it and feel wonderful amounts of hope. Fingers crossed it keeps making you feel that way, too.

    • mjh

      Yay for bff catch up sessions and adorable pups (this one in particular is extra cute). And as for the ring, here’s to forgetting the rest!

  • Bsquillo

    Okay, so my husband and I are slowly upgrading to “adult furniture” around our house, and we have made a savings goal in YNAB to upgrade to a new king size bed sometime around the holidays! I’ve been eyeing a lot of those internet-startup-memory-foam options, and wondering if anyone has personal experience with any of those companies? Also, feel free to toss out recs for sheets, pillows, comforters, etc. LET’S TALK ABOUT SLEEP.

    • ART

      I don’t, but I am super into this conversation, and my husband made me watch that several minute long purple protector commercial (the bigfoot one) possibly more than once…

    • Ashlah

      I just shared this in a comment below, but we love our Casper mattress! We’ve had it for almost a year now. I was worried it would be too firm for me, but it’s been great. Fixed my husband’s back discomfort, comfy for me, love that we don’t disturb each other when we move. And when we ended up with mold on the bottom of the mattress, they replaced it for free! We made a few changes to our bedroom and haven’t had mold since.

      Also, I am a big fan of down comforters with duvet covers! We use the coolest warmth level, and it’s perfect for the Pacific NW nearly year-around (a little hot in the summer). And if you’re new to duvet covers, search YouTube for how to put them on, it’s really pretty easy. Definitely go for 100% cotton. We had a polyester duvet cover before and we were both SO sweaty every night.

      Here for pillow recs! I seem to hate all pillows! If it’s firm enough to support my head, it hurts my ears and face, and if it’s soft enough to feel comfortable on my face, it has no structure. I have a picky head, and it seems to get worse the older I get.

      • toomanybooks

        https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B015DCEQZY/ref=yo_ii_img?ie=UTF8&psc=1

        This pillow in the King size (its softer and more comfy) is my pillow rec!!! I said this in response to the original comment, but I sleep on my side (or on my stomach) so like, the pillow has to be just right – soft enough for comfort, enough structure that I can rest the side of my face on it and juuust hang off of it enough that I can breathe lol. And my ears were feelings crushed before! I use this with a silk pillowcase and I feel super comfy and supported and not too hot. I don’t want to use any other pillow now.

        • Ashlah

          Ooh, I’m intrigued! It sounds like our pillow habits/needs are very similar! And it’s inexpensive enough that it’s worth a try. I have hard time spending $100 on a pillow that I might decide I hate a month later. Thanks for the recommendation!

        • Les

          thank you thank you! that’s how i sleep too and i just hate my pillows right now…

          • toomanybooks

            Yessss!!! I’m so excited there are other people here who have the same sleep positions/problems that I can potentially help by spreading the word about what has worked for me lol

    • rebecca

      I have a Tuft & Needle mattress, I like it but I am like weirdly good at sleeping so my opinion doesn’t count much. Their customer service has been excellent. We actually just got another one for our guest room, they sent out an email to all their existing customers that they were going to raise prices a month before they did it, which I thought was pretty nice.

      Weird percieved benefit of a memory foam mattress? It’s so much easier to flip (I can flip our Queen by myself) so I feel like we take better care of it.

    • toomanybooks

      Hi! Yes! I just did this (upgrading to king too!) and got an Amerisleep AS4!! Upgrading to king is so worth it, every time I go into our bedroom or get in bed I feel like I’m living in luxury. I also don’t feel like I’m in danger of getting pushed off the bed or having nowhere to sleep, anymore! (My wife is a real starfisher/cuddler.)

      I went with Amerisleep because I could choose the level of softness in my mattress and I wanted one that felt nice and plush – so it seemed like the single-model companies like Casper would be too much of a risk that I’d get something too firm, as it seems like memory foam mattresses tend to feel firmer.

      King size + AS4 means I feel luxurious and sleep MUCH better (I fall asleep a lot faster and the mattesss is much more comfortable). It still doesn’t feel like a cloud but it has enough squishiness for me. I sleep in a lot of positions, but mostly on my side, so I needed something I could sink into a little. This has been great for avoiding the “tossing and turning and not getting comfy enough to sleep” stage I used to be in for a long time before sleep. (Other background info: i was having a lot of back pain which was suuuuper motivating the mattress search, and I am historically very bad at falling asleep.)

      Soooo I would recommend it! West Elm and Target (or at least some locations) have Caspers to try as well.

      As for sheets, I tend to like a 100% Egyptian Cotton sateen weave sheet, I don’t have an exact required thread count but around 700 seems to do it. TBH my favorite sheets have been from bed bath and beyond – Wamsutta Finest Sateen 725 thread count – I just got them again to fit my king bed, and they’re on clearance right now!! I also got a set of 1000 thread count wamsutta dream zone sheets because they were on sale and PINK, but the pillowcase has felt so rough to me! I don’t know if I need to break it in….

      And speaking of pillows. I am a very finicky person when it comes to sleep. This has made things so much better:
      https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B015DCEQZY/ref=yo_ii_img?ie=UTF8&psc=1

      I got this pillow in the King size (it is softer and nicer in the King size, and also it’s really nice to have that much more pillow, as it turns out) and I got a silk pillowcase for it. (100% silk, both sides, not satin.) This has made for a MUCH more comfortable and cool place to rest my head. I’m such a delicate baby bird that I would get uncomfortable resting my head on pillows because my ears would feel crushed. Not anymore. Now I basically can’t use any other pillow. This is the best.

      Lmk if you have any more questions! I’ve really been investing in my sleep experience in recent times because I’ve just always had such a hard time with it!

    • emilyg25

      My husband and I like firm mattresses, and from my extensive online reading, Casper, Leesa and the like tend to be middle of the road, so too soft for us. They’re also pretty thin (9 or 10″) and can thus squish at the edges when you get out of bed. Ultimately, I just prefer springs to foam, but YMMV.

      I love the Company Store for down comforters. They have nice sheets, but I really like my Target percale ones.

    • Henri

      We got a Casper mattress and I was VERY skeptical, but . . . I love it. Like, I love it more than any other mattress including hotels and fancy AirBnB mattresses.

      It did take me some getting used to. It runs warmer than our previous non-foam mattress, and firmer (which is not my usual preference). And it kinda put us to sleep and kept us there, which sounds great until you fall asleep in a weird position or with your arm over your head and wake up stiff and sore.

      But it didn’t have a strong smell (I was worried about this), the delivery and plumpening (?) was super easy, and even moving it to a new house was not terrible! Bonus, if it’s a little too firm you can always put a gel topper on it.

  • jem

    We’re getting married a week from tomorrow!!!!!!!!!!!

    I picked up my dress last Friday and… I stress-lost about six pounds since my last fitting (two weeks ago?!) so my dress is a little loose around the bosom and my seamstress is on VACATION this week. This is something that always happens to me when I get stressed, but I still haven’t figured out how to curb it without triggering some old, dark ED issues. Does this happen to anyone else?

    In other news, my family and my fiance’s family are just flooring me by how awesome they are. And my DOC is the most amazing woman on the planet (Boston brides, if you’re looking for a DOC, this is your girl).

    • Yael

      We’re getting legaled in a week from Tuesday! Yay!

  • Pingback: APW Happy Hour | Wedding Warriors TC | Wedding Planner | Kennewick, Richland, Pasco()

  • Katie

    I got a job!!! Not a teaching one, but a teacher assistant instead, which I figured is perfect anyway, because we’re planning a wedding and going to buy house, and I thought that maybe taking up on a challenging and very time-consuming career in the same year would not be the best decision. (By the way, the day I accepted the offer I got like 10 invitations to actual teacher interviews. Well, next year I’ll know that they hire VERY late in the game).
    So yeah, gonna be working in the same school as husband (yay for saving money on gas), now just have to teach our pup to stay home by himself and not tear it apart! I’m super psyched!

    Hope everyone’s having a great weekend, and yes, HAPPY ANNIVERSARY Megan, a.k.a. my wedding fairy.

    • Amy March

      Congrats!!

    • Les

      They hire SO LATE, it’s shocking! Back when I was in TFA, the school hired me 3 DAYS before school. 3 DAYS!!! What are they thinking?

  • Britta

    Free wedding photography opportunity! Hey APW community! I’m recently married (and had a fantastic wedding thanks to APW! This website, this community, and the book are just the best!). Now that I’ve got all this free time, I want to finally achieve my dreams of becoming a wedding photographer. Until I make my business official and legal, I’d love to offer free wedding photography to weddings that fit with my aesthetic (bright, light, airy, natural, and FUN! all cultures and sexualities are very welcome!). Please check out my new website: brittabphotography.com, and click the link “apply for free wedding photography” to tell me about yourselves and your wedding plans and see if we’re a good match! I’d only ask that you pay any travel expenses from Palo Alto, California. Thanks for helping me build up a portfolio!

    • S

      I hope an APWer takes you up on this! Your photography looks beautiful. Good luck!

  • WeddingPlanimus

    Posting as anon, just because.

    I have a slight etiquette and family issue. I wasn’t planning on inviting kids to our wedding, because in that case our guest list would go from 60 to 90 (yes, it’s one to three ratio, and most kids are under 5… So you can imagine the dynamic). I thought my fiance would be on the same page as me, except… He wasn’t. And not because he loves kids (he barely sees them at all), but because he thinks that inviting a family is inviting EVERYONE in the family. We finally agreed on just inviting his brothers’ kids (which are of ages of 10, 7, 4, 3 years old and one newborn). So the question is – how do we go about it? Do we let brothers know that they’re welcome to bring kids (they most likely will) but not to share this info with anyone else? Do we write names of just parents on envelopes, leaving the kids out? (that seems obvious, but there’s a problem of people throwing away envelopes and assuming their kids are invited). How do we invite just 5 kids out of 30 without hurting anyone’s feelings? Please help!

    • Amy March

      Only inviting your nieces and nephews is a pretty reasonable move. You just write the names of parents on the envelopes (except for the brothers/ write the kids names on there). If anyone asks you can say only nieces and nephews, for everyone else if they RSVP with kids you just call and say no.

      • Jane

        Unless you do exactly that but your FMIL decides it would be horribly rude to call the cousins and politely explain their children aren’t invited and starts shouting/crying at your fiancé and telling him that he is rejecting his family.

    • Jane

      We were very careful with our envelopes and our online RSVP had lines for the guest’s name and one spot for “invited guest joining you” – but people still RSVP’d with their children by writing it into our “message” spot.
      So, I recommend having some slightly awkward conversations with your cousins and such before invites go out – so people know. My side of the family was on top of this and had zero problems. FH’s side of the family completely ignored the envelopes and the medium-clear RSVP link and RSVP’d with all their kids anyway. As Amy March says, you can call them and tell them their kids aren’t invited. But, in my experience, it’s a lot easier to make sure they know first.

    • emmers

      It’s awkward but for the kid people you could write a little note in their response card about how “unfortunately due to space restrictions we’re only able to accommodate our nephews, as far as kids go. But we hope you & Tandy can still join us!”

      Or just do the thing where you write the invited names, and resolve that you’ll likely have to make a few awkward phone calls later.

      • WeddingPlanimus

        Thank you! I like the idea of a separate little card. I don’t want to put that info on the actual invite, not to mention our invites are not going to be personalized (i.e., no names on them, just on the envelope). I hate the idea of awkward calls, but if worst comes to worst…

  • somanypseudonyms

    In the car on the way to the rehearsal dinner. Everything is a shambles but everything is also wonderful. See you on the other side, APW.

    • ART

      <3 wishing you the best!

    • Ashlah

      Good luck! Enjoy!

    • Jane

      Good luck!

    • suchbrightlights

      Best of luck! Get the shambles out of the way now like jazzygingery did upthread and everything will be fine. Congratulations and best wishes!

    • Mjh

      The shambles/wonderful state <3

      Enjoy!

    • Jess

      Good luck!

  • Whynotme?

    I finally joined YNAB! I was wondering if people could give me any tips for my first month using it other than focusing on logging my transactions. I’ve been trying to read the tips on the website but didn’t know if I should also be focusing on other things. Also does linking my bank account automatically upload my purchases from my debit card? I don’t know if I did it wrong or if I’m misunderstanding the purpose of linking my bank.

    • notquitecece

      Mostly just go easy on yourself the first month or two — try not to judge your spending as you go, and just focus on getting the hang of the system. (But I can’t speak to the auto-load stuff because I still have the old desktop YNAB software.)

    • penguin

      You link your bank and all credit card accounts first. Then when you log in, you click on each account and then click on the “Import” button, and it’ll automatically import your transactions. Definitely take it easy in the first month or two – it took me a bit to figure out what my categories should be, and then it settled down. Good luck!

  • NotMotherTheresa

    Dropped the ball on getting my CLE hours in for my license, so today I had to pay the $75 fee for an extension.

    Not the end of the world, but ugh, such a stupid adulting fail…particularly considering how miserably tight money is right now. (We have zero *fun* groceries, and I’m already so overdue for a trim and dye job that I look like a J.Crew-wearing Courtney Love, thanks to not having the money for chocolate or salon visits.)

    And….that pretty much sums up my entire life right now. There’s nothing earth shatteringly devastating going on, but it just feels like every. single. day. is an ongoing slog of minor failures, with no real bright spots to break them all up. I know it’s (probably, hopefully) not permanent. I know that this time of year is always slow for the husband’s business, and that EVERY summer feels like a long, miserable slog in our household. But that doesn’t make this all any less frustrating.

    I want chocolate. I want roots that aren’t grown out to my eyebrows. I want to be a good adult, who doesn’t make so many silly mistakes, and who always has plenty of money, and who has a great career, and a life that’s just full of promise and great adventure.

    If anyone needs me, I’ll getting my CLE hours in while wearing lots of hats!

    • Jane

      That really sucks. That is exactly the kind of adulting fail I would make. You’ll get through this!!

      • NotMotherTheresa

        Thanks! I’m glad I’m not alone in my adulting fails.

        And yeah, I will:) I know I’m fortunate to be in a position where things like this aren’t like, the end of the world or anything, so I don’t guess I can really complain too much. Plus, an extra month of bad hair will hopefully be a good incentive to do a better job of staying on top of things the next time around!

  • Mrr

    Have a lot of projects going on at work so
    gave my manager a heads up that I’ll have to take some time off in the near future since my grandmother is in hospice. She does the usual sympathetic conversation with a “I hope she feels better soon” ……”um actually she’s brain dead” I thought that would be the end of that but every other day she’s asking how my grandmother is doing or if she’s any better. I told her we’re just waiting for the body to die but she keeps asking and looked confused when I let loose a snarky “that’s kind of impossible being brain dead and all”

    • Ilora

      Ooof! That is rough and I am so sorry you are dealing with that. It sounds like our manager just…doesn’t understand what hospice care is? Except, you’ve also given her the specifics of your situation…I don’t understand what could possibly be causing her confusion but it sucks and I’m sure is making a hard situation harder. If you’ve got it in you I think it would be totally reasonable to tell her to stop asking.

    • Yael

      I’m so sorry.

    • notquitecece

      I’m so sorry. I do think it would be very appropriate to say something like “I know you mean well when you ask, but at this point we’re focused on saying goodbye and grieving, and it’s not helpful for my focus to talk about it at work.”

  • anon-for-this

    So after two years, one miscarriage and 2 unsuccessful IUIs, we decided last week to stop trying to get pregnant and move on to foster/adoption. I am excited about pursuing a new path toward parenthood, and foster parenting is something I have always wanted to do, but I am also still sad that I won’t have a bio kid. (Please don’t tell me that we’ll get pregnant as soon as we start adoption… I really need a hard break from TTC because the hoping just hurts too much, and plus our agency asks foster/adopt families to commit to not pursue other means of building their family while they are adopting).

    I am not sure how to stop being irritated by pregnant people or new moms… I mean, not the ones I know. I love them. It’s all the strangers with babies that I can’t stand.

    My friend is having a party with a bunch of her other friends and I am invited, but they ALL have new babies… and I just can’t go. I feel really shitty about it, but I just can’t. I don’t want to hear about cloth diapers or nursing or how amazing motherhood is…

    How do I get over this? I am looking into therapy to help, but if anyone else out there has any experience that might help… please share!

    • emmers

      Congratulations/I’m sorry. It’s been a year since my miscarriage, about 1.5 years since we started trying and I can totally relate. Be gentle with yourself. I find I hate pregnant people less, but it’s still hard/mixed. A really close friend called me this week to let me know she’s pregnant and for one of the first times I was able to feel really happy for her, but it was tinged with sadness, you know? The rest of that night I felt kinda heavy. But then I was mostly better the next day.

      I’ve gone to a little counseling. I may go to more. This week I felt good because I reached out to a couple old friends and told them about my miscarriage/infertility for the first time. It felt good to share, you know?

      It’s helped to be almost completely off Facebook. I’ve deactivated and once every week or two weeks or so reactivate just to see what’s going on, but the daily flood of babies is no more. I’ve also honestly blocked most pregnant people, especially the really vocal ones, on APW through Disqus.

      And I’m realizing, especially after talking to older infertile friends, that this will probably be a lifelong process. It will get easier with time, but things will still probably occasionally trigger me. I’m taking comfort that eventually the friends with babies will be fewer. We’ll get there.

      And I am trying new things, like my husband was teaching me to brew beer this week. I’m planning future vacations and learning about makeup. Creating a full life. For us fostering is out due to my husband’s past criminal conviction & adoption maybe out too, but we will have a full life.

      I guess know that you are not alone. You are doing your best. Hang out friends when you can, but give yourself grace when it’s hard due to babies. I (without wanting to) held a friend’s new baby for a bit when asked & then passed it on when I could. I feel guilty sometimes for my feelings but they are what they are. We do the best we can.

      And congratulations on the decision to foster/adopt. I’m so happy for the joy that will bring to your life. It will not replace your struggle, but it will still be something so sweet.

      • anon-for-this

        Thanks for this. I am sorry that you are going through the same thing. I really appreciate your perspective.

    • Les

      Give yourself permission to put yourself first. You get to grieve.

  • RE

    Hi all, longtime lurker here.
    I just accepted a job (yay!)
    I didn’t mention any personal stuff in the interview process, but it’s looking like an engagement and wedding will possibly happen sooner rather than later, and there’s grad school in another state in the picture, so– I feel like I might have just accepted an internship, rather than a long-term job. I’m happy with the professional advancement and thrilled with the personal advancement, but… not sure how to work them together. And it’s my first postgrad job so it also just feels like a ton of change at once and idk how to plan for all of it or who to talk to. Do I just stick it out? What do I tell my boss when I start planning a wedding, or is it ok to stay dark as long as possible? How do I talk to my bf without hurting his feelings?

    • Amy March

      I’m a bit confused. Why would your boyfriend’s feelings be hurt? Why would your boss need to know anything about you planning a wedding?

      Is the issue that you’ve accepted a job in location A, but may be moving to location B? I think that’s what you tell your boss but not until the move is set in stone and you’re giving notice.

      • RE

        Thanks, Amy! I think there’s a lot I’m thinking, and maybe overthinking through. RE bf, I’m not sure how to start talking about feeling overwhelmed and how I’m not sure how to plan for my future and our future. I guess the answer is… talking through it. And while I certainly don’t need to tell my boss, I just made it sound like I was here for the long haul, whereas now A and I are starting to plan for… not being here for the long haul. I’m a planner, and the tricky thing about this pre-engaged stage is that it’s hard to plan for everything, and everything is in flux!

        • Amy March

          I think until you have concrete plans to move, you are there for the long haul! Life happens, you don’t owe your boss forever and don’t need to feel guilty.

        • notquitecece

          You did everything right here — in job searches, you can’t take yourself out of the running for opportunities or advancement because of personal things that *might* change. Not to mention that you don’t owe your boss any info at all about your personal life.

          Start your job, throw yourself into it, and work with your boyfriend to navigate the overwhelm and potential changes. That way, when you are ready to move someday, you’ll be in a better place professionally, and have gained some great work experience!

        • suchbrightlights

          I am a hiring manager. You don’t owe your new job that information until you get ready to leave. When you do, if it’s under a year, you’ll want to be careful not to accidentally burn a bridge you’ll want to keep for a reference. Make sure you observe the company’s typical notice period, transition your work well, etc. But you don’t need to go in to the job thinking your time there has an expiration date, and of course you won’t be taking that attitude to your work. Life is mutable and stuff happens; approach this like you’re there for the long haul and be gracious if you aren’t. It’ll be fine.

          Congratulations on the job, and on being on the cusp of what sounds like many exciting changes!

  • Shawna

    It took me more than a year, but I FINALLY submitted our wedding! It feels SO GOOD to close those reminder tabs and cross something personal off my to-do list.

    Sorry, Meg. I said I’d do this when I showed you photos way back at the Minted event in SF. Oops. Better late than never?