APW Happy Hour!

Hey APW!

We’re still shaking the glitter out of our hair, and rubbing our bleary eyes, because yesterday was Alt SF, and I was lucky enough at attend with both Maddie and Kate. All sparkles aside, Alt Summit is our biggest and most important business conference of the year (so much so that we flew the baby to Salt Lake City at just eight weeks old so I could attend). Needless to say, we were over the moon when the amazing team behind Alt brought the show to San Francisco. I got to speak in front of over three hundred people about the business of blogging (alongside the super smart Lane Becker, who is involved in Venture Capital, and Alix of Modern Kiddo). This is pretty much an example of my dream day—speaking, crowds, cute shoes, and frank talk about money and business? Bring it. So please forgive me for not having a link roundup today, we all look like we were run over by a bus. The link goodness will return next Friday, in its full glory.

Till then, I leave you with the best of APW this week, and your Friday open thread. Hop on it!


Highlights of APW This Week

The APW staff’s summer reading list, with even more recommendations in the comments.

Rachel’s manifesta on domesticity and being a badass feminist of color.

In this wedding, their cat was the usher. (Sort of, at least.) Also, it’s beautiful…

Cocktail hour playlist, as curated by… me!

Elisabeth on spending time socializing without your partner, being an unofficial queer mayor, and… hilarity.

How to be a kick-ass bridesmaid. (Hint: do not, under any circumstances, show up to the rehearsal drunk.)

Traditional wedding vow roundup!

And, an informative review of basic wedding table settings. This one is for bookmarking.

Featured Sponsored Content

  • Enginweringmywedding

    I am considering hiring a day of coordinator/wedding designer (I need someone to execute the vision of my ceremony and reception space from my head to reality). I will be talking with one today. I know the answer to this question depends on a variety of factors including geography but for those of you that are using or had a DOC and/or designer, how much did you pay? My wedding will be in north Florida. Thanks

    • My DOCs (two-person team) also owns a vintage rental agency. I paid them $1250, but that include their travel to and from the site (including one pre-wedding visit) and $200 credit to their rental agency. They are also bringing the plates, glasses, silverware and other decor to the site, setting it up and taking it away after. This isn’t part of their standard service, but they made a special deal with me. Don’t be afraid to ask specifically for what you want.

      • Tess

        Our DOC in Denver with a two person team is $800. And so far seems superawesome!

        • Jo

          Hi Tess, I’m in Denver and trying to find some planning help. Would you publicly recommend who you’re working with? I feel like everyone I talk to is totally WIC (I got the “if you want to throw a party on your budget, how about you reduce your guest list” response. ahh, no, my budget is do-able, i know it is, the guest list is the whole reason we’re even bothering with this shindig, so, ah, totally non-negotiable.).

          • “the guest list is the whole reason we’re even bothering with this shindig”

            EXACTLY!!! Thank you.

    • My DOC was AMAZING and was $1100, but she should have been more because she cut us a deal on her travel fees (as in, she didn’t charge us any so we could fit her into our budget). I ended up tipping her $200 because she was seriously the best part of my wedding (besides my husband). She’s an APW vendor, so this is no surprise to me. :)

  • Yay! I’m actually online for happy hour this week!

    I’ve had a wonderful week enjoying my last week off before I start a new job (IN MY FIELD!) on Monday that (bonus points!) will also come with a tuition waiver for H’s medical school costs. I’m so excited to get started.

    • Amber

      Congrats on the new job!

    • That’s awesome!

  • Samantha

    We finalized out date this week. 1.11.14 Can’t wait!

    • YAY! And so soon!!! … unless you’re not from the states, in which case I suppose that could also be November 1, 2014…>_> Regardless, congrats!!

      • Samantha

        Thanks. And yes, it’s January 2014!

        • Congratulations!! January is my favorite month, but I might be a little biased since my bday is the 13th. :)

  • Thanks so much to everyone from the On The Fence post, who encouraged me to advocate for the bachelorette party I wanted. I spoke up, and now my bridesmaids are taking the lead, and my guilt is gone. Because it’s going to be a surprise, I don’t have to feel guilty at all for asking them to spend money on things. Plus, I love surprises.

    • Concetta

      Hooray! Thanks for the rest of the story (so far).

    • I love when people follow up each week. So glad it’s all working out!


      That’s fantastic! Go you!

    • Hooray!!! This makes me feel so good. It kind of makes me feel like my less-than-awesome feelings turned into something good, so in turn you’ve released me from some guilt, too.


      • Kyley, hearing about your experience really helped me a lot. Thank you so much!

  • Happy Happy Hour! (Instant mental image of Effie – “Happy Hunger Games!”)

    I’ve got plans for going to the beach, doing some homework and hanging out with some relatives that are in town for a wedding this weekend. Anyone else got fun plans worth sharing?

    • Jessica B

      My fiance is out of town and I’m hosting an all girl slumber party at our place. Lots of teen movies, cupcakes, thai food, and several bottles of trader joe’s wine. It’s going to be epic!

    • OH OH ME!! I am getting out of work early today to meet one of my bridesmaids at Six Flags (she’s homesick and I finagled an early departure in order to meet her) and then tomorrow I’m looking forward to going running (I’ve been seeing a personal trainer, and I’m kind of starting to be amazed by the things my body can do!) and then we have our official menu tasting! Except it’s supposed to be this big event with other couples and families and we supposedly get to try a little bit of everything so we can really nail down what we want! And then Sunday will hopefully be nice and relaxing :D

      If the beach were closer, I’d so be there!

      • I love the moment when you’re just so impressed with your body. I just feel like screaming “This is the coolest thing EVER!!!’

        • RIGHT? It’s kind of trippy LOL.

        • Yes! This feeling is so awesome! I remember when I started strength training, that day when suddenly the weights that had been so agonizingly heavy were too light and it was time to move up.

          So cool!

    • i’m taking my wife on a date tonight! embarrassingly, this is something i’ve never done before (romantical is not my, um, strong suit), and it’s nothing fancy, but it is a surprise, so there’s that.

      • Jessica B

        Have fun!


        Surprise dates are the best! Have fun!

      • The fact that it’s a surprise is enough to make it romantic! Have fun! :)

    • Amber

      Going to my soon to be nieces baptism, meeting with our florist to nail down the details, picking out a flower girl dress for the same soon to be niece, and getting together with some friends for dinner! It’ll be a busy weekend, but all good stuff. :-)

    • I’m late to the party because I’m at my future in-laws for the weekend. So far we’ve visited my stepbrother and his family who are also in town and hung out with his parents. Tomorrow we have breakfast with my parents, a cake tasting, dinner with a bunch of my extended family, and I finally get to see his band play live. We also just found our his band’s album is on iTunes and Spotify with physical copies coming in the next couple weeks, so we’re pretty excited!

      • That’s really exciting! Do you want to throw in a plug for the band? (I briefly searched your blog but couldn’t find out what it was called.) I’d love to know if it was music I’d like.

        • They’re the Waydown Wailers. They’re sort of a funky blues/rock band.

    • Not Sarah

      I wandered around the Bite of Seattle down at the Seattle Center and had deep fried lasagna for dinner :D So delicious!

  • Shiri

    In the good this week: my husband started his new job on Monday (first full time job in his PhD field) and oh my good god, him having full time employment is glorious!

    In the less good: one of my closest friends is going through the worst wedding planning experience (barring a death) I have ever seen. She didn’t want the wedding to begin with, is only doing it for her fiance, and his parents are being horribly, horribly cruel. We can’t convince her to change her plans, so we’re just trying to support her and get her through the rest of her wedding planning in one piece (and help her have it not effect her marriage itself).

    Tell me, Team Practical, please, how do I best support my friend through this? (And yes, I thought about writing to Liz, but this isn’t my story to put on the internet, you know?) I’m trying to be a safe space and a wedding-less space, tell her I love her, and be someone she can vent to… but I want to make it better for her and I can’t.

    • You might consider getting her a copy of the book, and pointing her straight to the chapter about not having to give a f*ck. Also, it would be great if you can help be her emotional bodyguard the day/weekend of. Maybe try to help her find things about the wedding that are hers and her fiancé’s that the family can’t ruin?

      • Shiri

        Book was thing #1 I did when she got engaged :). She so badly wants to not give a f*ck and they just won’t let her, it kills me.

        I like the idea of helping her have things that are just hers and her fiance’s that they can’t ruin. I convinced her to get her bridesmaids to be the bodyguards – we’ve named them after Dumbledore’s Army – and I’ll definitely try to work on helping her find things that can be just theirs. Thanks!

    • Sounds like you have the right attitude. Maybe involve her fiance in the wedding-less space sometimes, too? Sounds like the experience could be a major relationship strain. Best of luck to all of you!

    • Paranoid Libra

      Remind her that they can’t mess with her wedding day outfit be it a dress or a hot pants suit. That part is definitely hers and hers alone. His family isn’t allowed near it!

      Also maybe some pre-marital counseling to help her fiance’ step up to his family allow the 2 of them to plan their own wedding instead. He needs to be on her side too so if he isn’t the whole process will continue to be an up hill battle.

      I wish her tons of luck with it all.

      • Samantha

        I have future in-law problems too. Including a future grandmother in-law who criticized my choice of shoe and argued with me that I need to wear flats to my wedding instead of the little heels I’m wearing. I was amazed. I quickly learned not to discuss the wedding with them.

        And yes to counseling. We are doing that now to help him see he has to stand up for us. It’s helping tenfold. I actually refused to get married to him if I wasn’t 100% sure that he was on my side. I’m so glad he came around.

      • Anon for this

        Yes, he really needs to step up. My FMIL can be intense (not mean, but very, very accustomed to getting her own way and ready to fight until she wears me down if that’s what it takes) and I would not be getting through this process if my fiance was not getting my back at every turn. I wish he’d address the problem in a more blanket way (“mom, I love you and I want you to know what’s going on, but that can’t happen if every time we tell you something, you take it as an opportunity to try to dictate what we should be doing” would be a great sentence to hear him say) but he is there on every specific, and that’s so, so helpful.

        And honestly, if he can’t step up and either defend her or shut his parents down, that’s a bigger issue than just the wedding. Not that you want to be the one saying that.

  • Remy

    My wife is down with food poisoning or somesuch, and while I’m sympathetic and grateful that she can take a day off work when necessary… my major concern is that this (and the last-minute dinner party invitation that preceded it) is messing up my weekly menu plan. Stuff’s thawing in the fridge and will need to get eaten thsi weekend! Anyone else have trouble accepting change? LOL

    • Breck

      Your poor wife! But, yeah, I have serious issues accepting change, ESPECIALLY when it comes to my weekly meal plan.

      Bright side: I’ve had food poisoning twice and have gotten back to normal (regular appetite for regular food) in about 24 hours, so hopefully your wife has the same experience. All may not be lost!

      • Remy

        Hopefully she will perk right back up! In the meantime, I’m going to make some of the same stuff (using, say, the defrosted pulled pork to make burritos tonight instead of last night as intended) and modify for what she feels she can handle. I’m making rice for the burritos anyway, so she can have some of that plain, and we have applesauce on hand, too, and even those nasty Pedialyte-type ice pops. And lots of peppermint tea.

        • Amber

          Have you ever tried Recharge? It’s a sport drink with electrolytes, but way less processed and way less sugar. Actually, I don’t think they add any sugar. It comes in several flavors, but my favorite is the lemon. I definitely recommend it for post-stomach flu healing! Bananas are also good. Full of potassium. Can you tell my mom’s a nurse? :-P

        • Breck

          Big yes on the Pedialyte stuff, although the first thing I wanted when I got my appetite back was shrimp ceviche lol. I think I’m super weird, though.

    • Lauren

      Oh. My. Gosh. Messing up the weekly menu? Drives me bonkers!

      I got unexpectedly invited to a baseball game tonight and, while I am excited to see a dear friend (and see some baseball), it messed up my whole schedule. Tonight was supposed to be Thai green curry and shrimp. Ugh.

  • Breck

    Ermmmm… Perhaps a stupid question, but what kind of lawyers handle prenups? Matrimonial lawyers? And does anyone have any recommendations for someone in the Bay Area? I already checked the Vendor Directory and no dice.

    Happy Friday!

    • Oakland Sarah

      You need a family law attorney.

    • Caroline

      I would really love to have more discussions about pre-nups on APW. Because they’re scary (first of all, talking about divorce is scary, secondly, I’ve never hired a lawyer before and aren’t lawyers crazy expensive, and thirdly, when do you need/want one?), but I feel like also kind of important.
      Child of a nasty, nasty, nasty divorce here, that I think probably would have been well served with a pre-nup. Seriously, my dad threatened to sue my mom for alimony even though she was the stay at home parent for 5 years when they were together, because they were separated for 7 years before getting divorced and she made more money than he did in those years, and also during the years she was working. This then threatened their ability to pay for my college. Note: Neither parent was poor. In fact, both were/are definitely well off. So yeah, a pre-nup/discussion of what happens in the case of divorce would have served them (and my sister and I!!!) well. But so scary to have that I’m not sure where to start. I’m like, “Wait, but we’re going to last, so why do we have to touch the scary scaries again?”

      • Breck

        Awfulawfulawful divorce for my parents, too, so I feel you :).

        I’ve loved the earlier posts about them, but more first person narratives and actual practical advice on how to go about getting one would be awesome. I’ve also never hired a lawyer before, and I don’t know how you find a good one or how to know if you’re getting ripped off. I’d also like to just talk to someone to go over my state’s marriage laws and what is practical to include in a prenup, since the Internet seems to refuse to do anything but have completely conflicting information on the subject.

        My dude actually brought up the fact that he wanted a prenup pretty early on in our relationship, and while I didn’t think it was that big a deal, I also wasn’t super thrilled about it. The conversations here have done a lot to destigmatize them to me, and now I’m kind of glad we’re going to get one. It forced us to have the whole terrible finances talk (it was pretty awful for us), but now we’ve gotten to a really great middle ground.

        So, yeah, more prenup posts please!

      • Kaitlin

        Agreed on the more discussion of pre-nups! We’ve been talking about getting one, and it’s taken me a while to wrap my head around it. The income disparity in our relationship (me- poor grad student in the humanities, him- software engineer) is something we are already constantly working on, but the pre-nup discussion makes it even harder.

      • meg

        No, they shouldn’t be crazy expensive. I think you’re looking for someone in the $100-$250/hr range for this (hopefully on the lower end). And it should not be a zillion hours.

        I mean, yes, you’re paying for a professional, but it may be better money spent (particularly if you pair it with therapy) than anything else you spend on the wedding. And that’s assuming you don’t get divorced :)

        • Breck

          Gotcha. I will investigate and report back…

          • A Single Sarah for certain values of single

            Please report back! I’d never thought of pre-nups before reading APW posts and comments about them. I’d love to hear more about the process of finding a lawyer (for each of you) and any questions that you discuss that are helpful for you to discuss before various meetings.

  • I was hoping just to relish some good vibes after all-but bagging my new job except this happened:

    I’ve spent my day furious with my brother. He shared on FB a gif of some dude dressed as a magician and a woman. The dude does a “magic trick,” that is, effs around with a silk scarf when poof! He’s touching the woman’s breast. I think my bro’s remark was something like “I’ve gotta learn this trick.”

    I was livid. I posted a comment (under one girl saying “I think you’d get slapped” and one guy saying lol or some shit) that this isn’t funny, it’s sexual harrassment. He deleted my comment. So I reported the posting via FB for inappropriate content. When you do this, the final thing FB asks you to do is choose to either block the user or send the user a message. So I sent him a message saying I wasn’t kidding. This is harrassment and treating it as a joke perpetuates rape culture. He eventually responded, telling me to “save my lecture,” siting offensive jokes I’ve made in the past.

    Since then, I’ve been angry to the point of distraction at work, mentally preparing the earful I intend to give him when I leave work. Yes, I’ve made offensive jokes in the past. Fortunately, I wised up and stopped (generally in the adolescent to adulthood transition). I’m so pissed that he would share something like this and be such an asshole about it when I told him it was offensive. I mean, my own brother perpetuating rape culture. I’m just incensed.

    My plan of action is to call him after work. Try to stay calm as I explain rape culture and why I won’t tolerate it. Then I’m calling Mom. Juvenile? Maybe. But effective. Also, she sees my brother daily, while I live several states away. And I’m asking Mom to talk to him, and to have my uncles talk to him. Maybe he’ll be more receptive to a guy telling him its not okay.

    I have a good relationship with my brother, and he’s a decent human being. (For the one or more readers who know my brother.) He takes excellent care of my ailing grandma, and has always been a good big bro. I won’t tolerate this behavior in my own family and I expect way better of him.

    • Jessica

      Wow, that sounds intense! It seems like it was really shocking to you that your brother posted that…was it out of character for him? If so, then I’m surprised that your response didnt matter more to him. Personally, I think the best way to deal with this moving forward would be to focus on how seeing this gif affected *you*. “I was really disappointed to see that because I would be deeply embarrassed/offended if I were the woman in that situation, and I thought you would hate to see a guy do that to me. It reminded me of the time that (describe any type of harassment that you or a friend has felt) and I really dont appreciate experiences like that being turned into a joke.”

      I’d avoid big theoretical conversations about rape culture…my guess is that it would only make him defensive right now. Save those conversations for a time when its not directly connected with his actions. I’m also not sure what the point in contacting your Mon would be…wouldn’t that reinforce the idea that some women’s thoughts are more valuable than others, sort of a rape culture-esque idea in itself??

      Basically, assuming that you’re generally on good terms w your brother, I think you should focus on this one incident, how it made you feel, and why as a brother he shouldn’t ignore your feelings…thus keeping communication open for more discussions down the road when he might be more receptive.

      • That sounds reasonable. I’d talk to my mom because the three of us are all pretty close, and I’d like some back up. I really like your conversation ideas, too. Probably better than a “lecture.”

    • As someone who has had to have lots of these kinds of conversations with my (usually awesome brother) and as someone who get incensed about this shit….my advice is to take a deep breath and hold off on calling your brother. It will not end well. You will not convince him, at this moment, of why this joke was upsetting, and you will both only wind up more upset.

      Try to get out of the obsessive thought space (I know how hard this is!). I find exercise really helps me let go of the “omg, I’m so upset it’s distracting” variety of rage. Then I’d suggest you have a nice dinner with your friends or partner and watch a movie or do something to make you feel lighter. It will be tempting to obsessively discuss this. Don’t do that!

      Tomorrow morning, when you wake up and a feeling of calm has returned to you–THEN call your brother. (If you still feel distractedly ragey, don’t call him in the am either.) You can still say all the same points, but you will be calmer, which will make them easier for him to receive without turning super defensive.

      *hugs* Good luck.

      • Well, I didn’t call him this weekend. Thanks to the advice here and my calm partner, I came down from the rage ledge. I’m disappointed in him, but I’m thinking more about how I want to relate that to him.

        Thanks for the help :-)

  • Stephanie

    My wedding is 2 months from tomorrow. My company was sold and my last day of work was yesterday. There’s a heat wave where I live (Ohio), and my car’s a/c compressor died this week, and it’s currently being replaced, to the tune of $800.

    I am, perhaps understandably, stressed to a degree I haven’t experienced in years. I’m trying to stay positive and focus on the things that need finished for the wedding, while starting my first job search in 18 years and trying to not worry too much about finances. It’s a little overwhelming.

    My wonderful FH is being incredibly supportive, but another thing that really has been helping me stay grounded and positive is this site. Checking in every day and reading the new posts reminds me of the things that are important: not my wedding day (though that will be fantastic), but my marriage; not my job, but what I do in this world that gives me purpose (which can be a job, of course, but isn’t strictly limited to a job).

    So thanks, Meg and all the staff, and all of Team Practical, for helping me out during a stressful time. I’m deeply grateful.

    • M.E.

      Not having my job be my main source of self-definition was really hard on me when I moved to be with my partner and ended up in a different industry that is not what I studied to be. My relationship, my volunteering, and just ME are the most important things, though I have to remind myself of that often. Hugs to you! It will work out.

  • AnnieMsPreggo

    So… we found out this week that I’m pregnant. (I thought of Kelly before I posted this and triple checked that my email was gone.. )
    We’ve been married 6 weeks! We were trying, so clearly this shouldn’t come as a surprise, but it did anyway. I’m excited! Husband is thrilled. I’m terrified. What if I suck at being a mom? What if I don’t want to work? What if our condo explodes with baby stuff and we never regain control? Hell, we still have piles of wedding presents in the guest room. There’s not really any one to talk to, since I want to tell as few people as possible…


    • *Deep Breaths* I think these types of fears are totally normal, and actually proof that you’re going to be a good Mom!

    • That’s such an exciting surprise!

      It must be rough not having anyone to tell your secret too but trust me when I say that you won’t suck at being a mom. It’s a learning experience just like anything else that you’ve done in your life. Doing something wrong or different doesn’t make you a bad mom and you don’t have to listen to anyone that says that it does. You’ll work your way through it together with your husband and you’ll figure out how to do things your way – the way that fits your new family the best.

      And, you know, if you ever need to vent or ask questions or have a panicky moment, there’s always people here (me being one of them) that are willing to listen. That’s why the APW community is so awesome!

    • Jessica B

      CONGRATS! Be glad this came right away and you aren’t spending months and months trying. In the meantime read the interview on motherhood that was posted awhile back between Maddie and Meg. There are two parts and it has absolutely made me calmer about the thought of one day having children.

      And you won’t be a bad mom. Just keep breathing, smiling, and kissing your husband.

    • congratulations! that’s totally worth being thrilled and terrified!

      and, you know, everyone sucks at being a parent sometimes, but that’s not the same as being a Bad Mom (because screwing up is not the same as screwing up your kid).

      • AnnieMsPreggo

        You guys are the best. Thanks for the encouragement! I know we’re super lucky, and I’m definitely grateful, you know, just terrified.

    • TeaforTwo


    • AnnieMsPreggo

      Also: planning on starting grad school part time in September. Any thoughts on the ludicrousness of that? I would be able to take a couple of quarters off next year without any issue.

      • Congratulations!

        Glad my clumsiness made you double-check!

      • never.the.same

        Reach out to your school/department now and connect with your advisor, if you haven’t done so already. They really are the best ones to consult. Sometimes it’s cool and in some programs it is not recommended. Also something to keep in mind is your classmates. If you take a few quarters off, you won’t move forward with the classmates you start with, and you won’t start with the ones you end with. That might be a non-issue for you, but many people find strong cohorts in grad school that become professional contacts and resources in the coming years and those connections will be harder to form if you aren’t with a consistent group of people and/or are turning down lots of extra opportunities or social activities if you have to get home to a newborn.

      • I had plenty of pregnant classmates in grad school. Only you can determine what’s right for you and what you can handle, but you definitely wouldn’t be the only one. Good luck!

      • S.

        Congratulations! I’m a current graduate student, and 7 weeks pregnant. I’ve been really anxious to talk with people going through the same thing. Would you maybe want to connect? My email is atlasreads and its a gmail. If you’re not comfortable or interested in pen-paling, I completely understand. (Emails from people other than the OP in a similar situation are welcome too!)

    • Congratulations!!!! You will definitely not suck at being a mom and I feel confident saying that even though I’ve never met you because the mere fact that you’re already worried about that this early on proves just how much this new little life means to you and your husband and how much you already love that baby. :)

    • Congrats! And yes….deep breaths

  • I’m in this weird, sort of melancholy place where our wedding is 51 – FIFTY. ONE. THAT’S JUST OVER SEVEN WEEKS, Y’ALL – days away, and it doesn’t feel any different than when it was 100 days away, or even 10 months away. Is that odd? Has anyone else experienced this? I have so many people coming up to me, excitedly exclaiming, “IT’S RIGHT AROUND THE CORNER!!” and yet…it doesn’t feel that way. It doesn’t feel like it’s any more imminent than it was when we first got engaged.

    On the plus side, I did some digging today, and I’m thinking it’s because we still have big details to nail down (for example, our tasting is TOMORROW, fifty days out, when I know most couples have to have their menues decided at least two months in advance) and I wonder if my lack of…urgency? Excitement? Giddyness? Because I’m definitely excited!…is from having mini-events to look forward to along the way?

    Like the tasting? And then next weekend I’m getting my wedding cut and color, and having a crabfest with my family. And the following weekend is my bachelorette party. And then my second dress-fitting, followed by our final walkthrough appointment at the venue and our rehearsal dinner menu tasting…and then our Fantasy Football League’s draft…and then it’s Labor Day weekend, and then it’s our wedding!

    I sort of cheered myself up, working through this here! No wonder it doesn’t feel like it’s right around the corner; I have SO MUCH GOOD to look forward to in the weekends leading up to it, and don’t want to overlook all that happy along the way!

    • Emmy

      That’s pretty much how I was. But now we’re FIVE WEEKS out and it seems crazy imminent and I’m giddy and talking about it all the time and also nervous. So maybe just give it a bit?

      • Good to know!!

      • Crystal

        Mine is 6 weeks away too, and it seems crazy all the details to line up. It’s a ton to take in, and it’s starting to set in that I’m actually getting married!

    • MM

      I’m feeling kinda opposite from you. Our wedding is 13 weeks from tomorrow and it feels like it’s right around the corner because of all the big stuff that is happening every week between now and then.

      • WEIRD!!!

        …that is, not your reaction, just that different people experience things in different ways!

      • Copper

        Yep. We’re 12 weeks away and I’m getting butterflies and going oh shit, but what about the bunting? and the cake? and who’s going to set that up?

    • Amber

      Are you an August 31st bride too? The other day a friend was talking with me about our upcoming wedding and made a comment about it being next month. What?!? Our wedding is already next month?!? Wait a minute, how’d that happen? It definitely snuck up on me and even though we still have a fair amount of things to get done, it still feels like it’s months away and I have all the time in the world. Which I don’t really. I know it will all come together in the end, and I’m excited about it for sure, even though the reality hasn’t quite set in that we’re a little over a month out. Congrats to all the other Labor Day Weekend brides out there!!

      • Emmy

        August 24! It seems like I just got engaged and my wedding was forever away. Not anymore!!

        • Amber

          I know the feeling! Congrats!!

        • Casey

          August 24 here too!!! So exciting, congrats!

    • I didn’t start feeling the right-around-the-corner thing until yesterday. At 30 days til!

    • Ours is just under two months away (57 days actually. . .) and I feel the same as you. It’s hard to get super excited about that one event when there are so many other little mini-events leading up to it to look forward to! I only plan on doing this once so I want to soak in the full experience, even the stressful freak out moments. (Btw, we haven’t done a tasting yet either . . . I feel a stressful freak out moment coming on right now . . .)

  • I have a question for all you crafters. In the spirit of reassigning traditionally “woman’s work,” ManPerson would like to learn how to sew. My question is this: where is the best place for him to start that will maximize success? Sewing is not in my domestic arts wheelhouse so I haven’t the foggiest idea in which direction to send him. He is reasonably dexterous and can follow directions pretty well. Any advice would be much appreciated!

    • Amy

      I know that the chain fabric stores have classes, and most of the independent ones around here do to. You can get a decent machine for $150. Then, or really, before too…curtains, table runners, banners, anything with straight lines really is fair game.

    • Oh, I’d love to hear the answers to this. *I* would like to learn how to sew, and have no idea where to start. It seems so helpful and practical, such a good basic skill to have, and yet I have no idea what I’m doing or how to learn.

    • Moe

      YouTube tutorials, when the Mr. wants to learn how to do anything he watches videos first. He’s become quite an impressive cook just from watching YouTube.

      • Ariel

        YouTube taught me how to crochet and sew!

        • Class of 1980

          Good idea! For some reason, I never thought of You Tube for learning stuff like this. It would be a lot more convenient than driving somewhere.

    • rys

      What does he want to learn to sew — e.g., garment sewing or quilting?

      Do you have any friends who know how to sew? That might be easiest and most flexible, and once he gets the basics down, the interwebz has a lot to offer. Class-wise, I’d steer more toward those offered by modern quilt guilds or sewing studios/craft shops than those offered via adult/rec ed as the former are more, shall we say, open to varied interests, backgrounds, etc. Good luck and enjoy!

      • He’s looking to do garments rather than quilting type things. We live in a large, although not particularly craft friendly (no Hobby Lobby!), city so I will look for an adult ed class he can take. Thanks.

        • Kirsten

          Another possibility is if you belong to some sort of church, temple, organization, etc, scout around and see if you can find any older ladies who are experienced at sewing. They might enjoy the company (or just the satisfaction of a “young person” wanting to learn), and might even have more tricks than he might learn from a class. I learned to sew from my grandma, and she had all kinds of tips to the effect of “technically you should do it this way, but this way is better/easier.”

    • Classes are a great way to start and from there on it’s mostly about sewing things that are fun so it isn’t a chore. Maybe suggest he start off with some ridiculously patterned pajama pants or sew you a shopping bag?

    • Laura Lee

      Do you have any relatives that sew? My grandma taught me when I was little, and learning from a relative is a great bonding experience.

      Otherwise, I say ManPerson should just teach himself. See if you can find a second hand sewing machine for cheap, and just start making things. Buy patterns marked “Easy” and just try to make it (PJ pants are a good easy project). Ask Google any questions you have.

      Read this for how to use a sewing pattern – http://www.wikihow.com/Sew-Using-Patterns.

      Search for your sewing machine model and you should be able to download a copy of the owner’s manual which will explain how to use that.

    • Rebecca

      I just started taking sewing classes two weeks ago, and am having a blast! I would say definitely investigate some smaller fabric shops if you have any in your area. They may offer classes or know of good instructors in your area. Also, there is some good information about what to look for in a sewing machine here: http://www.stitchlab.biz/resources.html It’s where I take classes if anyone in the Austin area is interested.

      • rys

        Stitchlab is awesome. Wish I lived in Austin and could frequent it more.

        Depending where you are, there are some amazing independent craft shops across the country — not just in Austin, Portland, Seattle, Minneapolis, Atlanta, Philly, and Chicago, but also college towns (Madison, Ann Arbor, Lawrence, Burlington) and lots of other tiny places too (Abilene, KS! Stewartsville, MO!) — and many of them offer classes.

        Also books from your local library can be great complements to online tutorials.

        And as others have mentioned, pj pants and grocery bags are great beginner projects.

    • Yay new sewists! The interwebs are your (well, his) friend. There are tons of free internet tutorials, or you can buy classes from places like Craftsy.com. Threadbanger, Burdastyle and WhattheCraft are also helpful sites for tutorials and whatnot. Mostly though, just get a machine and play with it. Hope he has fun!

      • grace b

        My boyfriend sews and it is AWEEESSOME. He learned how to sew from his grandmother and mom. He’s then starting working in liturgical arts.

        Since we’ve been together he’s made me a cute sundress, turned a pair of jeans into a skirt, and can also hem/alter pretty much anything I buy that I’m unhappy with! He’s also made us an epic quilt and one for my sister as a high school graduation present.

        He is also about to start night school to become an auto mechanic. So it all comes out in the wash.

        Good for your man person for learning how! Go gender-bending!

  • Remy

    Oh! And in the mail yesterday, I got both my master’s diploma AND our marriage certificate (from the legalization after Prop 8 was overturned). W00t! We’re official!!

    • Jessica B


    • Amber

      Double congrats! That’s awesome!!

    • CONGRATULATIONS!!! I’m so super excited for you!!

    • A Single Sarah for certain values of single

      That is the most awesome mailbag. YAY!!!!!

  • Moe

    Last Friday I had The Money talk with my husband, paired with strong mojitos. It was educational for us both. He about sensible budgeting and I created a spreadsheet on the laptop while giving him lessons in Excel (something that he’s learning).

    It was not nearly as painful or uncomfortable as I feared it might be. (The rum helped) It was surprisingly encouraging because we were both becoming worried about debt and our future. We have debt, but it’s not crushing. Now we have a plan to get out of it. My husband would start his new job this week, except he’s been selected for jury duty!! Awwww Come On!!!! *shakes fist*

    Meanwhile, I’m looking forward to our first anniversary in 2 weeks. Trying to think of affordable ways to make it special. Welcoming suggestions now. :)

    • Jessica B

      One of the best dates I ever had with my guy was what we dubbed “date day.” We slept in, made breakfast together, went to the beach for a couple hours, got happy hour beers at a place we don’t normally go to, and rented a movie. I can’t remember what we did for dinner, but I think it was Chinese take out that gave us leftovers for 2 days.

      We are both very independent people and would like a mediator when talking about money and making a plan for how to merge assets/debts. I need someone to make me not feel guilty about the debt thing since he doesn’t have any, and I went to a liberal arts school via student loans. Our pastor is giving us recommendations on financial advisors to talk to. I’m glad it wasn’t painful for you!

      Also, gross, jury duty.

      • Copper

        I have the student loans and the guilt that comes with them too. Sometimes I wonder if I’ll ever feel comfortable with money stuff around manfriend, because his track record is so much more spotless than mine.

        • Jessica B

          Money stuff is hard. I don’t feel guilty about it, but I would be willing to have an agreement that says I’m the one to pay them off. He said it’s better for both of us to just get them paid for as quickly and as responsibly as possible. I’m not about to say no to that.

          You know that quote about smooth seas never making a sailor skilled? Well, for some people it’s that way with money. I have a not-great credit score because of 2 years of screwing around and not being responsible, but now I’m making up for it with good habits I had to learn because of the bad. In almost every financial situation with a fair bank, there is hope.

          • Copper

            Manfriend says the same, that me insisting on paying them all myself is me “being weird about it” and it affects him no matter what so we may as well just chip in together. I haven’t fully adopted that viewpoint yet… there’s still a bit of, well I got myself into this so I need to get myself out of it left.

      • Rebecca

        Financial Advisor Advisary: Okay, I was going to write a whole lot of stuff here, but this blog post sums it up: http://www.guardian.co.uk/money/us-money-blog/2013/jul/16/financial-advisor-fiduciary-help-consumers

        Ask any prospective financial advisor if they have a fiduciary duty to you, and if the answer is no, find another one.

        Fee-only planners are a good bet if you’re just starting out. If you’re in the Seattle area I highly recommend ours- she was really great and sensitive to the emotion side as well as the practical side.

        • Irene

          I don’t have immediate need of a financial advisor, but I am in Seattle and do not have one, so I’d love the recommendation!

          • Rebecca

            We used Stacy Ployhar at 2020 Financial Planning. She was great- she quoted a flat fee for a full plan and also offers hourly services. She also offers an initial interview meeting for free so you can figure out if she’s a good fit for you or not.

          • Irene

            Thank you, Rebecca! It’s always nice to have recommendations for things like this.

    • Blair

      Congrats on getting the $ stuff figured out, Moe!! I feel like we all need all deserve an extra diploma just for knowing how to navigate loans and balances and budgets.
      And, heck, excel for that matter. Good call on the mojitos. I love that sense of accomplishment you get when you know there’s a plan and you get all warm and fuzzy because you know you built said plan with the person you love. It’s like having a budgeting baby. “Yay! we did something together!” ::Fist bump. Let’s bang::

      Regarding 1st anniversary: is there ever an appropriate time to recommend pinterest? Might need a little more personality profile on him before we could make recommendations. Is he a gear head? book worm?
      A project that I actually did off of the P-word that worked out well was the stack of playing cards that had “52 reasons I love you.” We are big nerds with inside jokes so it was perfect for us! Try googling it?

      • Kaitlin

        I did the deck of cards as a birthday gift for my fiance. I didn’t think it was going to go over so well (it’s cute but a little corny), but surprisingly he loved it! Every day he picks a new card out and reads why I love him. He ended up doing one for me as well. Next up, I want to make a “Reasons I Love You” day calendar.

      • Moe

        Thanks Blair, it very much was a team-building moment!

        I will check out Pinterest and see what comes up. He is a librarian and a comic collector so celebrating the first anniversary with the traditional paper gift would be easy to do.

        The date day idea is cool too, I have the day off from work but he will be working in the evening, so maybe re-tracing the steps of our first date might be fun.

    • M.E.

      Some of our best convos as a couple have been about money, I think because we really do have to lay it all out there, and even though we have a lot of student loan debt and I have CC debt, plus a big discrepancy in how much we earn, when we have those talks, we see our plan for our future and it’s encouraging.

      I have to agree with Jessica B about a “date day”! Recently my guy and I made a date for a breakfast pajama party + Ghostbusters viewing (he normally hates to lounge around in pajamas, so it was especially special!). It was totally free, and adorable, and special, even though it was just a weekend at home. Happy anniversary!

    • Caroline

      That’s awesome. I’m glad your money talks were helpful.

      We’ve definitely sat down to discuss money several times, and it rarely gets me less worried about it. Actually, our “are we on the same page in terms of long term goals and how to get there” talks are incredibly reassuring (yes, and yes), but the short term talks? They just remind me of how broke we are, which I don’t need a reminder of, because I’m worrying about it ALL THE TIME. (Except, you know, worrying and sticking my head in the sand will just make the problems worse, and talking about it and making budgets, scary as they are, will prevent it from becoming worse, so in that regard short term talks are helpful.)

      • Breck

        Girl, that was totally me for like a year. I was dirt broke and STRESSED, not just about how I was going to pay the bills (though, obvi, this was the main thing) but also about whether or not I was a bad person for having no money and CC debt and letting my boyfriend pay for everything. Sometimes, you have to put your head in the sand for a bit to get through that shit. Don’t be so hard on yourself; it’ll get better :).

        • Caroline

          I just feel like things are going to get worse financially, as he goes back to school, and I’m so scared of ending up in credit card debt (because even though I only use my card for normal stuff we need like gas and food, each month it is getting harder to pay it off in full), and we’re running out of money, right when we are heading into both being in school, and I’m scared if I ignore it, it will get really bad with long term consequences (lots of debt.)

          Also, my parents are helping support me through school, which since my fiance has had not-regular employment (why he’s going back to school), has, in a practical sense meant that the money they are giving me for things like hair cuts and the dentist instead goes towards food, rent, and gas. So when my mom says, “I’m worried about you being really poor in school, when we’re giving you a lot of money for school. I don’t want you to be poor.” I’m like, great, me neither, how do we make that happen? Because that’s not my reality and I don’t see a way of making it happen.

          And I know it will get better, but right now? When we’re planning a wedding that my parents are generously almost entirely paying for, and we lose the income we thought was going to pay for the few things we’re paying for, and him going to a close friends wedding, and the car maintence that’s really needed? I just can’t handle the stress.

          And sometimes I worry that I’m making a poor financial choice in marrying him. I love him, he’s awesome and smart, and our life together is the best, and I want to spend my life with him and raise kids with him, but he’s struggled so much employment wise. I think mostly, it’s being in the bay area without a bachelor’s degree (impossible), but sometimes I worry that it won’t get better. I know it will get better, but sometimes the money worries make me doubt, and then I feel bad for doubting also.

          I wish I could remember how to stick my head in the sand. Right now, I’m spending 2-3 hours a day solidly worrying (my entire commute every day).

          • Breck

            Hugs to you. I’m so, so sorry you’re going through this. I don’t have any great advice because the only way I got out of my own hole was to graduate and get a job, but I really hope things turn around for you soon.

          • Caroline

            Thanks Breck. I know that’s the way out too, it just seems like a long ways away. (It’s not really. 2 more years for me, and the first two flew by. 4 for him, but once I have a real full-time job, we should get by okay.)

          • Remy

            Jedi hugs in abundance. I know that pressing fear. It’s improved for us a lot in the past year and a half or so — we have emergency savings now, for example, and although she’s working two jobs, that is at least employment. It will change again as she goes back to school (to GET that bachelor’s now that she’s in the Bay Area! Forreal.) and probably works part-time, and as I transition to a new industry… but that is honestly less scary now that we’ve been through some tight times and have survived. Hang in there!

          • Remy

            Could you add music/audiobooks/guided affirmations to your commute? That is a lot of time, and perhaps using it to consciously be gentle with yourself would help.

          • Remy

            Also — I can’t seem to edit my comments in Chrome today — this is SUPER CHEESY, but it actually really helped me a lot in my final semester of grad school breakdown. So I will leave it here.


          • Caroline

            Thanks Remy. I can’t wait to checkout that song. I do listen to music, and at first the commute was good, because it gave me time to think, but that hasn’t been helpful this week. Maybe because I got so little sleep last week. Thank you for the support.

          • Breck

            To second Remy, audiobooks/podcasts are a really good idea.
            I used to be a personal assistant, so I spent A LOT of time driving around running errands, which turned out to be the perfect time for all my stress to manifest itself while I zoned out to music. I randomly started listening to sports radio (I’m a huge sports nut), and it made it a lot easier to focus my attention on that rather than my money problems. I love the NPR and ESPN Radio apps (both of which are free).

    • ART

      Good for you! We really need to do this. Or rather, I feel that we really need to do this. He may not be in the same place just yet :) I’m trying not to push the issue until he gets settled into his new job, knows what his paycheck will be, and all of that. I am kind of an obsessive personal finance person, so I can be overwhelming…trying to figure out how not to be when I bring it up!

    • KC

      Dress up super-fancy (possibly in wedding apparel?) and go out for ice cream! (or McDonalds or falafel stand or whatever floats your boat)

      Anniversary picnic! Pack up special food (for lo, even the fanciest homemade picnic food is cheaper than a “nice” dinner out); take it out to a not-too-frequented park or other location; eat and talk and read and whatnot.

      Anniversary bowling/roller-skating/other “retro” activity! (bonus points for fancy dress, but fancy dress not required)

      Plant a tree/shrub/perennial-flower together! (get permission from a park, or plant in an abandoned lot or other “spare” urban space, or plant in a pot)

      Volunteer somewhere!

      Decorate your vehicle with “Married One Year Today” on it and go parking!

      Team up and make your favorite childhood meal with his favorite childhood dessert (or vice versa)!

      Do a kiddie camp craft together (like making pet rocks or froot loop necklaces or friendship bracelets or sand art)!

      Laugh at all mishaps! (for lo, this is where the best anniversary stories come from)

      Use up your quota of exclamation points all in one day!

      • Edelweiss

        Uhm, KC, can you be my date concierge? All those ideas are awesome!

        • KC

          Thanks! I hope you profit greatly from the ideas, and I’m so glad you like them! :-) That’s a lot of years of cash-strapped dating + marriage + anniversaries talking, right there. Different people enjoy different things, though.

          One thing I’d like to do that we haven’t properly done yet: building a giant blanket fort in the living room…

          (also, I should note: if you attempt a craft together, *do not* tackle it with Martha Stewart and/or Pinterest in mind. Aim to have fun as amateurs and do not be disappointed if [er, when] your results are not anywhere near professional, or the experience will most likely be pretty miserable. Eating froot loop necklaces off each other? Not terribly fancy and probably not likely to fail. :-) )

          • Anon

            Re: blanket forts – we call these “porn forts.” Yes, that means building a fort and then crawling inside and watchin’ some porn! Recommended, haha!

  • Magical Unicorn Mama (no, not yet)


    So, you know how you’re like ‘we knew this probably wasn’t going to happen this month, no it’s totally fine’ except that you’re shaming yourself so it’s not and then ANOTHER one of your friends from high school gets knocked up? And you remind yourself that there is not a limited supply of babies or a limited supply of joy and that theirs will not take away from ours, but you don’t really believe it? And then, immediately after, you read a marketing email from your fertility clinic that discusses the importance of avoiding exercise for the first five days after an IUI and then adding in light aerobic activity which NOBODY TOLD YOU and maybe you wouldn’t have gone running, done lots of heavy lifting and gone to weight lifting class. And then you wonder if you should threaten to sue so they’ll knock more off your bill and then start to doubt EVERYTHING EVER because maybe it was on the post insemination instructions and you forgot? But that doesn’t seem likely? And you didn’t think to ask about exercise because it was posed as ‘they shove it in, you hang out for 10 minutes and go about your day normally’ and while you are fat, exercising is a normal activity for you.

    And you have to start peeing on sticks again this weekend, which is fine except that each box of 7 costs $20.

    No? Just me, then?

    • Moe

      I’m replying only to say I’m really sorry. I don’t even know if I can get pregnant yet, but I feel like I can sympathize with all of this.

      • Magical Unicorn Mama (no, not yet)

        Thank you. I’m probably just being melodramatic (and I’m not even on hormones yet!) Honestly at my friend’s news, while I felt happy and then ‘they stole my baby!’, I mostly felt pity for a different friend of mine, who I know is going through infertility troubles for the past few years. And in the mean time, her best friend has had two babies and many of her others are having their firsts. I can’t imagine what she’s dealing with.

    • Anon-a-Basketcase

      No, me. Though obviously to a much lesser degree.

      Every time I see a friend, either they are newly pregnant, or they have just had a baby. And it is impossible to get straight advice about conception, assisted or otherwise, which is not crazy face (don’t exercise when ovulating? That’s a week out of every month. People have been getting pregnant just fine for thousands of years while doing manual labour.

      Good luck. With the peeing and the sticks and the frustration and the feeling that everything is out of your control. I hope you can have a quiet drink and some alone/partner time this weekend.

      • Magical Unicorn Mama (no, not yet)

        I’m so sorry you’re dealing with that. We’re keeping this very quiet (aside from anonymous feelings vomit on the internet, of course), so we’re spared well intentioned but actually hurtful advice.

    • Emmy

      Oof. I’m sorry.

      It totally misses the main point of your story, but Amazon sells stupid-large quantities of pregnancy tests for cheap (like 50 for $20).

      • Magical Unicorn Mama (no, not yet)

        Actually, I’m not dealing with pregnancy tests (yet), it’s ovulation predictor kits. And it’s one of those things where… how many do you buy? You probably need 1-5 a month, but how many months do you plan for? Because you know if you get the jumbo pack, you’ll get knocked up immediately (ooh, new plan. Buy ALL THE TESTS)

        • ALL THE TESTS. Do it right now. This is a great plan.

        • Emmy

          I actually JUST bought this set with both OPKs and pregnancy tests! I feel like an asshat buying so many, but my friend said she’ll totally buy any leftovers off me. Friends are weird. And awesome.


        • Not Sarah

          Buy all the tests. Right now. And then sell/give them to a friend when you do get pregnant ;)

        • anon84

          I’m sure you’ve been through this with the fertility clinic but I’ll throw it out there anyway. Have you tried charting your cycles with NFP? After a few months if your cycle is fairly regular, you’ll have a good idea when you are going to ovulate. You can use apps to track on your phone without a huge learning curve since you are trying to conceive rather than avoid. I use ovuview.
          Hang in there, you will get there!

          • Magical Unicorn Mama (no, not yet)

            Not to get too technical about it, but I’ve been tracking periods on my phone for years and have a pretty decent idea of my cycle (which doesn’t stop me from being surprised when I get my period). The clinic I work with wants ovulation predictor kits because they’re pretty idiot proof and easy to use.

        • Kat

          Buy ALL the tests! Crappy factor of having too many tests left over when you find out your pregnant is much less than the crappy factor of having to buy more and more tests and realising you totally could have saved buy buying them in bulk.

          Plus you can give/sell the spares to a friend (or I’m sure an APW reader would like them).

          All my fingers crossed for you.

      • A friend gave me the great tip that the Dollar Store sells pregnancy tests too.

        We started trying a couple months ago. I then missed two periods. SUPER EXCITED. Nope. Not pregnant. I had a cycle of 67 days. Grrrrrrrr.

        • Not Sarah

          That must have have been hell. I’m so sorry :(

    • I would give you a giant hug if I was there. Unless you’re not cool with hugs, in which case I would offer calming words or silence or listening from a respectable, non-personal-bubble-intruding distance.

      I can’t even pretend to know what that feels like but maybe typing it all out helps a little?

      The best advice I have is to try drowning your sorrows in virgin margaritas. And maybe a bubble bath.

      • Magical Unicorn Mama (no, not yet)

        It’s equal parts ‘it is what it is’ and ‘everything is ruined forever!’ The whole process is frustrating because I can’t control it and I love controlling stuff. But what do you do? This is probably just the tip of the iceberg, we’ll see.

      • Blair

        Sending hugs!

    • Paranoid Libra

      *hugs* and for the pregnancy test POAS times and this is a general announcement for everyone: Dollar store tests are actually some of the most sensitive on the market. In fact my sister’s friend that worked at a gyno/obgyn got sent to the dollar store to buy tests when a shipment was late. Sadly, pretty sure, they don’t have ovulation ones.

    • Kristen

      I’m just here to whine about having to hold it for 4 hours in the middle of the day to pee on the damn sticks! I’m at 2.25 hours right now, I’m thirsty as hell and ready to burst.

    • So, so many hugs.

  • Amber

    Last month I finished graduate school. Wooh!! Shortly after that I moved back in with my fiancé! Yay!! And, we’re now a little over a month away from our wedding! Yippee!! This summer is definitely one of change and transition. I am living in an unfamiliar area, starting a very part time job, and struggling with not really having much of a support system now. Obviously my fiancé is here, and his family, and a few of his friends, but that’s about it. I do have a lot to be excited about and grateful for, but this whole living in a new area where I’m mostly home with the cats watching crappy TV is lonely! I have things to take care of for the wedding, but the motivation part just isn’t always there. I feel like I’m stuck in this dual state of being, one of happiness and one of sadness. I think part of what is challenging is that my fiancé has an awesome job opportunity here but there are extremely limited and minimal opportunities for me to grow in my career. He earns much more than I ever will (thank you non-profit sector), so I can’t exactly ask him to quit his job and move so that I can get better work. But, maybe I can? I don’t know… I am really happy for him and his opportunity and I want to support that because it will move his career forward, but I don’t know how long I’m willing to sacrifice my career. Definitely tricky stuff. I’m sure everything will get sorted out in due time, but in the mean time, I’m not crazy about all the unknowns. Such is life I suppose! Anyone else dealing with stuff like this?

    • I moved with my partner for his graduate school. We moved in July in the middle of a heat wave and spent our first month settling in, figuring places out, and generally hiding from the heat while watching TV/movies. Then he went to school, which is pretty much a full-time job. It took a while for me to feel settled. And while my job search was slow and painful, the number one way that I’ve found positions and opportunities is by showing up. Yes, I responded to some ads on Craigslist (if I recognized the employer), and yes I search some specific job boards (at the university, at the local paper), but all the “real” jobs that I got were by volunteering for non-profits, volunteering at community events, and generally keeping tabs on the community via FB pages, coffee-shop bulletin boards, and walking around town.

      Show up, be seen, shake some hands. Find people who are in jobs/organizations you like and tell them you’re looking. See who they know. Every community is different, so your mileage may vary, but I almost always feel like a better human being (vs. lazy lump of human) when I get outside and get into town, even if its just to people watch.

      • Amber

        Thanks for your tips/suggestions. I work in the museum field and there just aren’t that many museums where I’m living right now. And the ones that are here are TINY, which means limited resources and even less paid opportunities. I’m hoping to get involved with one of the local theatre companies, so that should help with getting out of the house and meeting people, etc. I know it takes time to get settled into a new place and to start making connections. I’m just feeling impatient. And lonely. I know that won’t last forever. But, some days it feels like it…

        • We’ve been in this city for two years. I still feel impatient and sometimes lonely. Not to be a downer, but take it as evidence its normal? Then again, I’m ridiculously impatient with life in general (not in the small “this line is taking forever!” way, but more in the “what do you mean I can’t have a dream house the moment I start thinking about it??”).

          Good luck with the theatre company! It may take a long time to find a position that you really care about, but keep an eye out for “close enough” in the meantime. (Ex: I worked with kids for a year- NOT ideal for me at all, but it eventually led to better opps, and a better position when my contract ended). I’ve learned so far about moving/job searching that it sucks. It continues to suck long enough to make you think it will always suck, then the suckiness recedes at a glacially slow pace, and someday you will hopefully find yourself in a minimal-suckiness position.

          Gosh, I AM a downer. Aiming for solidarity here.

          • Amber

            No, you actually made me laugh, so thanks for that. :-)

        • Are there any universities near you? I’m in a city with few opportunities for my field for the next 4-5 years while my husband is in medical school. However, I have been pleasantly surprised by the number of staff (not faculty) positions at the local university, and I eventually did find a position as a research coordinator that utilizes much of my prior experience.

          In the meantime, hang in there. I think it’s hard to be the one who sacrifices first. My husband and I have a rough plan- I get to pick where he goes for residency (within certain constraints) so that we end up in a city with more opportunities for my career. But in the meantime, it really is key to keep active so I don’t just feel stuck. You can do it!

  • Anon-a-Basketcase

    Happy Friday all – and congrats Meg for rocking your speechifying. And your shoes.

    Team. I know this isn’t a baby blog, and no-one wants to talk about conception techniques less than I do, but I am going crazy here with not knowing how long it takes people, actual couples having actual sex (or assisted) with the intention of actually conceiving, to conceive. All I ever hear is “It’ll happen within 3 months after coming off birth control, or it wil take a year” and it feels like everyone I know has just had a baby. We’ve only been trying 3 months (which i know is not a long time) but the pressure I am putting myself (and my poor husband) under is crazy and as uber type A, I dont deal well with being unable to control stuff or having insufficient information to form an opinion.

    All I want to know, please, is how long it took people to conceive when they were actively trying. Crowd sourcing of information, rather than advice (not because it wouldn’t be useful or gratefully accepted but because it isn’t really the environment for it).

    Happy weekends.

    • Emmy

      I would also like to know this information. We’ve been trying for two cycles now. Are you charting your cycles so you can time sexytimes for when you’re actually ovulating? That can just increase the stress for some women, but it actually alleviates mine.

    • MM

      I can give you info on the ladies I know (my sister and my soon-to-be sister in law). Sister was 28 and got pregnant right away. SIL was 33/34 and it took 9 months.

    • AnnieMsPreggo

      I’ll join the crowd source: as I said above, we just found out I’m pregnant, and it was my second cycle off the pill. I have read that it takes 3 months on average, and that they won’t look for any issues unless it has been a year. I obviously know very little, and feel very lucky (knock on proverbial wood, of course). I’m sorry you’re feeling stressed about it and I hope it works out for you soon!
      Have you read Taking Charge of Your Fertility? I found it to be soothing… helpful to read about what was actually happening and learn about my body.

    • Shiri

      I’m really grateful for this question, because we’re planning on starting in a few months and while I know it could be immediate or it could be a long, long time, I feel like most of what we get is supercharged and fraught. So thanks.

    • Kristen

      Talk to your gyn. I say this because when I told mine we were going to start trying, and she knew my age, she adjusted her tine frame for how long to try without intervention. When we didn’t get pregnant in that time line we did test, have had some medical interventions, and now we have another, shortened time line before we take the next step.

      As an older trying to be mom, its terrifying and frustrating they can’t just give you a test and say, “Yes, eventually you will become pregnant” or “Nope, no matter what, it ain’t happening!” Having my doc on my side and looking out for my needs has been really nice and made me feel better about the whole process.

      If you’re between 19-29, I don’t think you’ll have to worry like you do if you’re in my group, 33-43. But I do recommend using an app (I use “My Days”) to track all your biz. When we didn’t get pregnant, it was super helpful to have the dates of six months of cycles and helped my doc determine when to use what medicines.

      • Shiri

        My gyn said to me this week, “oh, yay! Ok, good luck! Come back in 6…8…12… I don’t know, 8 months if nothing happens? Can I give you a coupon for vitamins?” And that was it. The entirety of her conception planning medical advice. It was, actually, hilarious.

    • So, the scientific literature says that for couples having properly timed intercourse (for that you can either chart, to detect ovulation / other anomalies , use ovulation kits, or check your cervical mucus and other signs).*:

      -every month there is a 25 % chance of getting pregnant (assuming there is no pathology)

      -80 % of couples will get pregnant after 6 months

      -and after a year it will have happened for 90% of couples.

      After a year, or if you are older than 34-35, or there is a family history or some kind of worry (like a known pathology), then it is time to talk to your obgyn / RE to start testing. But I hope it does not go that way for anyone. You never know how it’s gonna be…

      It is odds, and waiting every month is hard, it’s about learning to lose control and let it be.

      *For these numbers it is important that you know your cycles well, for which charting is important. The book that was recommended above (Taking charge of your fertility) seems to be very useful for lots of people.

    • It’s so variable!

      I have a cousin who heard that it would take some trying, so she and her husband tried right after their wedding and were successful immediately. They were not quite prepared for that!

      I am regular as can be, been charting my cycles, everything going smoothly. We decided to start trying, timed sex perfectly for when ovulation should have been, then I missed a period, then another one, yet I wasn’t pregnant. I just had a crazy 67 day long cycle for no reason at all.

      Another friend tried for about four or five months.

      I like being in control too. Reading Taking Charge of Your Fertility made me feel more comfortable with all the unknowns!

      • never.the.same

        When people say that it usually takes 3 months after you start trying… does that always mean after stopping hormonal birth control? Or does it apply to couples who used non-hormonal birth control (barrier methods)?

        • “Usually takes 3 months” does not mean anything. A friend was on birth control for a long while, stopped it and got pregnant the first month. Some people never use birth control, have perfectly regular cycle, no apparent pathology (even after checking everything) and it still does not happen after a year (or more). It is just odds….

          (It is true that hormonal birth control can have an effect and your body has to be used to being without it but you hear so many stories that you really don’t know….)

        • For my data points, I can’t speak for the other couples, but I haven’t been on hormonal birth control for many years.

          I think my friend who tried for four or five months had stopped a few months before trying.

    • Jess

      Not a personal success story (we’re still working on getting one of those for ourselves), but for what it’s worth (shared just in case you haven’t turned up these stats yourself): a fertile couple has roughly a 20% chance of conceiving in any month in which they have sex at the right times. A little less than 90% of couples in the US will get pregnant within the first 12 months they start having conception-friendly sex. The rest are “infertile”, which is defined as no pregnancy after 12 months of unprotected sex if the mom-to-be is under 35, or 6 months if mom-to-be is 35 or older.

      If you meet that criteria, it’s time to see your doctor — and ask for a referral to a reproductive endocrinologist, who specialize in getting people pregnant. (A PSA: your OB/GYN specializes in *keeping* you pregnant and then delivering your baby, but not necessarily *getting* you pregnant. If you need help conceiving, go straight to an RE for the most up-to-date, best care.)

    • anon

      Two months. I am 28. Good luck!!!

    • meg

      Chart your cycles, and don’t expect it right away if everything IS going well (Unless you’re 16. Maybe then.) Unless, you know, it does happen right away, because welcome to the land of zero control. (Also the pill is the devil’s work, so that takes some time to work out of your system. How much time depends. It all depends.)

      Babies come when they come, I’m afraid. There is so much we can plan, and in this situation, so little. Type A’s in particular can be WAY out of their element. Which is good practice for all that comes next… Pregnancy and parenthood is pretty much a master class in lack of control and insufficient information ;)

      Also, now is a good time to think about how you feel about intervention. We’re over-interventionists in the US vs. the rest of the world. They’ll get to intervening in six months or less. In the UK, no one is even going to talk to you about interventions till 12 months or more. So. It’s good to sort of poll where your brain is (now) on that. Because yes, you can go talk to a GYN now. Or, you can wait. Sometimes when I did talk to a GYN, they suggested way more stuff than I wanted to get involved in.

      • It’s funny how this changes between countries. In The Netherlands not only would they not really suggest interventions until after 12 months for couples younger than 35, they would not really even *look* / test. Because, like you say, there is so little that we control, and it happens when it happens, and statistically (provided you are charting / timing properly) it will happen anytime within a period of 12 months.
        The spectrum is wide, you have no idea, until you try, where you are going to fall. And life truly is a miracle, so many things have to happen.
        It is definitely a masterclass in letting go of control.

        • meg

          Having had a baby now, I’m basically amazed that it ever happens ever. It’s… just… mindblowing. So the fact that it usually takes time, makes sense to me. Shouldn’t it take an iceberg forming amount of time to make a whole new soul?? I just… it’s crazy, you guys.

    • Chris

      28 years old, 4 months.

      • Anon-a-Basketcase

        Thanks so much everyone. I’m on it with the ovulation charting (Type A!) but as Meg says here in the UK you do have to wait 12 months before the ob-gym will give you anything other than a helpful suggestion that you should be taking folic acid. At 32 I’m neither in the super fertile nor the challenging age brackets.

        Suspect the advice about learning to let go of the need for control must be the solution to reducing the crazy, in this as in all things. As for the baby, it will be as it is ( and noted re. discussions about intervention. We’re having those).

        Grateful for the input. Good luck to others trying.

    • Kat

      28 years old, came off birth control (hormonal IUD) and was pregnant before getting a period. So we had done no charting, carefully timed sex etc (and we weren’t doing it every second day or anything).

      Big surprise for us, I was expecting it to take 6 months for my cycles to get organised, then I figured it would be a while after that. When I had my IUD out the doctor told me to come back if I wasn’t pregnant in 6 months (which surprised me, I thought she’d say a year).

  • Jacquelyn

    Hello weekend! FH and I finalized our caterer this week :) It was one of the last ‘big’ items on our to do list. Initially, we considered just ordering trays from a nearby restaurant. But we’re okay with paying just a little more that will ensure the caterer handles the logistics (delivery, chaffing dishes, etc.) Now down to the little projects…

    Also, still unsure on who we will choose for our officiant. We’re at the delaying point since we don’t want to make a decision. It’ll either be my uncle, as he’s the pastor in our family and I’m the oldest grandkid and everyone has already been asking if he’ll officiate, or a mutual friend of FH and I that is a pastor and would be our style and has seen us grow over the years (7) as a couple. Thoughts anyone??

    • From what I can tell from your post, it sounds like you would rather pick the friend, but everyone else thinks you *should* pick your uncle. I might be off-base, but I would pick the one that seems right to you and your fiance.

    • Moe

      Wh ever you are both most comfortable with, and not so much who family expects you to choose. I come from a family of ministers and pastors including my brother. He may be a pastor, but I don’t have a pastoral relationship with him.

      I choose to do premarital counseling and have the ceremony offciated by pastors who knew us both and were not related.

    • Jessica B

      A friend of mine who grew up with two pastors that are very close to the family had them split the ceremony. The one that does really good sermons (seriously, I asked him when he was publishing a book of them because they are so amazingly written) just read a sermon out loud, and the other did the actual ceremony.

      If I were in your shoes I would probably ask the pastor that you and your FH know together as a couple to do the sermon because it will be about the two of you getting married and leave out any potential “my little niece is all grown up” stuff (even if your uncle isn’t that kind of guy), and then have the uncle perform the vows and beginning of the ceremony. Does that make any sense?

      Ultimately it is a decision your and your FH need to make together, which is obviously hard and complicated.

    • We had a similar situation- my FIL is a pastor, but he didn’t know “us” as well as our pastor who’d seen us go from friends to dating to engaged all along the way. We ended up have our pastor officiate, but FIL gave a nice homily and did the welcome for us. It worked out quite nicely for us.

    • Jacquelyn

      These are great thoughts. Also love the options for splitting homily/vows. Time for a decision :)

  • Emma

    Hi all!
    This is my first happy hour and I’m thrilled to be here :)
    I was hoping for your help on something. This past weekend my aunt threw me and my fiance the most amazing engagement party (complete with a hot dog cart which makes every party great). It was a fantastic day filled with fun and laughter. The only problem: I barely saw my guy there! We were so focused on making everyone feel welcome that we spent so much time talking to other people separately. It made me a little worried about my wedding so I’d love to pick all your brains: how did you balance making the rounds with experiencing your day with the other half of the “your”?

    • Jacquelyn

      This! The same thing happened to us. Hoping for words of wisdom too :)

      • MIRANDA

        I read about this happening in a magazine before the wedding, and we planned before the wedding to spend the entire day together. I spent pretty much the entire reception holding his hand. We also had our food served first, and when we finished eating we went around and spent a few minutes chatting with each table. Because we had a plan to do this together, people didn’t really pull us apart. We did dance with different people, but we made sure to always know where we were, and connect back after each song. I think knowing going in that this is a goal, and having a plan for always staying together will make a big difference.

    • Kristen

      Perhaps the size and type of wedding you have will help dictate this. We had a 60 person, casualish wedding which made it super easy to be together almost the whole time. If you have to have a larger event, maybe accept it means less time together, but plan certain events throughout reception to bring you together? Dances, speeches, etc.?

    • Lauren

      I will say that I hardly saw the fella at the wedding. We danced together for the first dance, and that is it. His friends kind of hijacked him, since we’re moving soon and they were treating it as kind of a last hurrah. It sort of led to a middle-school dance experience – girls on the right, boys on the left.

      I think it’s something to definitely talk about beforehand, since we didn’t and I am actually still quite sad at how it turned out. The reception/party was fun, it just didn’t involve a lot of being with my *new husband.*

    • Copper

      So when I got engaged my mom sent me some big book o’ (traditional) wedding stuff. And what they had to say was—stay glued to each other’s sides. Not only for your enjoyment, but they pointed out that the thing that everyone came to see was the two of you, together. They can see you separately any old time, this day is specifically about your togetherness, so rock it. I wouldn’t necessarily have connected those dots on my own, but thought it made sense.

      • Emma

        This is all so helpful–thanks!!!

    • Teresa

      We had a sweetheart table, which I don’t love, but that’s just how our venue was set up. It wound up being a great way for us to just chat and be all “we just got married!” We also picked a song or two, that wasn’t our first dance, and agreed to find each other as soon as it came on, no matter what we were doing. We generally stuck together, but these two things helped in making sure we had some quiet moments together.

    • Moe

      I had a wedding of 100 guests.

      I got to see my husband when we woke up in the morning at our hotel. After breakfast he left for the morning and I saw him again before the wedding when we did our first look photo session. We rode over to ceremony together and had time together before guests arrived.

      At the wedding reception we sat at a sweetheart table and I was Very Specific with my wedding coordinator that it was of utmost importance that my husband eats and that we have that time alone. It was planned out and executed perfectly.

  • In bummer news: I’m getting checked out for breast cancer. Blergh. Boopussy. I’m sure it will be fine, but good lord, the waiting on test results super sucks.

    • KINA

      Oh no! Sending all my best thoughts and wishes your way!

    • *hugs* That’s so scary! Good luck and keep us updated.

    • Shiri

      Oh, lady! Good luck! Consider this internet hand-holding and cookie and popcorn providing, yes?

    • Waiting on test result is SO awful. I hope everything comes back with good results!

    • Oh bless. I am so sorry. Waiting for things like that is the worst. I’ll keep you in my thoughts.

    • Copper

      Did you get a needle biopsy? And what’d they say about your mammogram or ultrasound? I’ve gone through that wait a couple of times and both times the guess/suspicion from the mammograms was correct and it was just fybroadenomas. So if you can take comfort in what they’ve told you so far, I encourage you to remind yourself of it. Otherwise, fingers crossed for you lady.

    • meg

      Love, kiddo.

    • Thanks guys. My doc is old school so we’re starting with blood work then going from there. Hoping this is a hormone thing. Or an “I’m just getting old” thing.

      In happy news, we’re planning our wedding celebration to coincide with a very exciting Broncos game. Go Broncos!

      My husband (I love saying that) asked me if my Champ Bailey jersey would go with my dress. Too cute.

      • meg

        Husband. Finally <3 <3

    • Sending good vibes your way! Keep in mind that we’ll all be here with the wine if you need us while waiting or to celebrate good results or help you through anything not so good.

  • Don’t Hassle the Haf

    Happy happy Friday!

    It’s my fiance’s birthday today and now for 8 months I can enjoy the fact that we are the same age and he can’t call me a cradle robber (we are 4 months apart). This workday needs to end because we are going to go enjoy several margaritas at his favorite restaurant.

    In exciting but potentially boring news, I just found out I got approved to get my student loan refinanced! I was paying an obnoxious interest rate and now I will be paying half of that and will be finished paying it off in MUCH less time than anticipated. We always had a 5 year plan to aggressively tackle this loan after the wedding and now with this lower interest rate, we will be able to do so more effectively and will save money!

    • Jessica B

      Yay! Student loans are a bear.

  • Carolyn

    After all the chatter in the comments from the ‘grownups making friends’ post… I’ve been curious to know if APW has any plans or interest in facilitating (either formally or informally) real-life happy hours, meetups, or another book club?

    • I did it! It was actually before reading the post on making friends. In fact, I was inspired by another person’s post in a past APW Happy Hour. I had the first meetup a few weeks back, and three lovely women came. I honestly feel like I have three new friends (I’ve already hung out with two of them outside of the APW meetup). We’re doing our second meetup next week, and five people have RSVP’d.

      I created a Facebook group, and then promoted it in the comments on different posts. We’ve managed to attract 14 members!

      The one thing I wish is that APW would do an official post highlighting the different regional APW groups. I know some people are very active in the comments, but I also know I read APW for months without ever commenting.

      Also, if on the off chance you’re in Portland, Oregon, you should join our group. ;-)

      • A post (or stickied page) highlighting APW groups would be great! Maybe with a comments sections for people that are looking for a group or looking to start a group? I know there’s nobody in my area but I’m visiting Seattle in August and would love to find out if they’re holding a meet-up while I’m there.

        • Yes please on this!

        • Tamar

          Yes! This! I live in Seattle, and I’ve been trying to casually sort through APW to find out if there’s a group that hangs out up here.

          • There definitely is a Seattle group, I think they’ve met before. Also, I posted a few weeks ago asking for advice on things to do while in Seattle and a whole boatload of people responded. Some of them weren’t from the area but most were. Let me hunt down the link.

          • Got it! http://apracticalwedding.com/2013/05/apw-happy-hour-5/#comments
            It’s from this Happy Hour – I’m one of the first few commenters so you should see it right away.

          • Not Sarah

            We’ve, ahem, not been making a Facebook group and organizing stuff with email. Email me at notsarah at comcast dot net and I’ll keep you in the loop when we organize something in August.

      • As one of the Portland ladies participating in Hannah’s group, I agree that it’s pretty much the best. It could just be Hannah’s sparkling personality and organizational skills, but it’s been like sitting down with a group of already-friends.

        • Aw, you give me too much credit. ;-) I’ve organized groups in the past, and they were definitely not this much fun. APW readers = the best people ever.

    • Paranoid Libra

      I would love it if we had another book club go on.

      So my own step up of trying to find people: anyone in the capitol region of PA? Form our own little APW book club maybe as in we all just happen to love APW and read books and meet up and talk.

      (although I still have not had time to finish reading through those comments on that post sadly)

      • ali s

        I’m in that general area! Would love that!!

    • Amber

      Yes, this, please! Would love to know if there are other APW ladies in this area (San Luis Obispo) and would love to connect in person! Just moved here and am looking to make some new friends…

      • Casey

        I’m getting married in SLO but sadly don’t live there (I wish!!). Hope there are some local ladies you can get in touch with!

      • Kerry

        Amber! I am in SLO! my email: keemail19@yahoo.com

    • Shiri

      I was super sad that I was out of town for work when NYC did their meetup (in my nabe, no less!). I’d love to see more regular meet ups everywhere, especially given this month’s theme!

    • Michelle

      I would so love this! Anyone in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area?

  • TeaforTwo

    I got engaged at the end of June, and our wedding is going to be this December. Everyone in my family has always had short engagements, and it just seemed like the right thing for us, since we wanted to be married more than we wanted to plan a wedding.


    I didn’t know about wedding dresses, you guys. I didn’t know that you were supposed to order them 5 months in advance. I didn’t have any idea of how much some people pay for them. I had never thought through the sample size issues. I have no idea what I want it to look like,a nd wedding dress shopping is what is currently ROTTING my gut with anxiety.

    For all of the decisions so far – venue, caterer, photographer, etc. I have been applying the “25th anniversary test” – i.e. if I won’t still care about it on our 25th anniversary, it’s not worth stressing about today. It means that I know I will care about having great photos, but I don’t care much about the menu.

    AND YET. I have no idea what the answer is about the dress. I am not usually someone who cares that much about fashion, which is why I find the propsect of wedding dress shopping so intimidating, but then it’s such a central symbol of getting married, that I can’t say it doesn’t matter. So I’m torn between wanting to shrug and say “yep, it fits and is in the budget, so let’s do this” and wondering if I will regret not putting more effort into finding the perfect dress. Add that to the fact that I understand I basically have to order one this weekend, and I’m a bit in knots.

    Talk me down?

    • Ellen

      There are definitely stores out there where you can just walk out with a dress that very day- I know, it’s what I did! Call around in your area, see if there are places that have that as an option, and then try on dresses there knowing that when you see yourself in your dress it is really YOUR DRESS.

      Deep breaths. It will all work out. And you will look lovely :)

    • Jessica B

      Oh, hi me 4 months ago! I know exactly what you’re going through and it has become one of the sticking points of why I really hate the WIC.

      There are many MANY options for picking a dress to get married in. Do you have a favorite dress now? Do you have one that makes you feel awesome every time you wear it and you know you’re going to have a great day when you put it on? Start by looking online for dresses in a similar shape. This stuff is about making you feel good, not making you look like a super model (that comes with hair and makeup if you want it).

      Seriously, look online.

      Then look at bridesmaids dresses.

      Then look some more.

      I got a bridesmaids dress in white (a very nice option, btw). The same thing as a “bridal” dress would have cost $500 more. For some reason bridesmaids dresses are made much more cheaply, but they can look just as nice.

      Look on yelp for reviews of bridal salons in your area. Shop sales right now–there are white dresses everywhere thanks to some trend. Know that your dress is not the end all be all of your wedding, and there will be people around to make you look AMAZEBALLS on your wedding day. Know what you want to spend, and when the store attendants ask you, tell them your budget is about $100 lower than your actual budget.

      Bring people who make you feel comfortable. I wish I could have followed this advice, but hey, that was 4 months ago.

      Know that you will be beautiful in whatever you choose.

    • I went to a place that specialized in vintage dresses, so the only dresses I tried on, were ones that fit. Also, a lot of more traditional retailers (J-Crew, Nordstrom, Ann Taylor) have started offering wedding dresses. In general, they seem to be better priced, and I assume you can order them in your size without having to wait months.

      Ultimately, for me, the first dress I tried on I loved, and I bought it. I had only been engaged two weeks. Do I regret buying a dress before I had a venue or any other details lined up? No. It felt good to make a decision and move forward. When it comes to dresses, my personal opinion is the most important question is: Do you feel beautiful in it? If the answer is yes, then buy it and move forward. I don’t really buy into all the cultural stuff about how buying a dress is supposed to be a transcendent moment.

    • Deep breaths. The dress is as important as you want it to be, which sounds like a cop-out, but is really is true.

      I freaked out because I had purchased a dress from a girl via PreOwnedWeddingDresses.com and it was $300 and amazing and I loved it… and then I gained 45 lbs (thanks, endocrine system failure) and had to buy a new dress… 4 months before my wedding. Not only did I feel huge and disgusting, I didn’t want a different dress. I wanted MY dress. I bought one off of the clearance rack from DB, and it was $500. I was not pleasant that day, but figured, “Fine, I have a dress. It’s fine.”

      Cut to 3 months later and I’m getting the dress altered and boom, I’ve lost the weight (Thanks endocrinologist!). I tried on both dresses and it turns out that everyone (me, my MOH, my seamstress, my mom, random people in the store) liked the “second” dress better.

      So, I think that if you make it this big psychological thing, you *will* feel all of this pressure to find “the perfect dress”. If you find a dress and you love it, then that’s it. And I’m not sure of your size/what you’re looking for, etc, but since I bought mine off of the clearance rack, I was able to take it home that day (no waiting to get it shipped!) so if you want to give yourself another weekend or so, that might be an option for you.

      I also cannot speak highly enough of PreOwnedWeddingDresses.com. What a way to save money, get the dress you want, AND not have to worry about ordering it 5 months in advance. I know it’s not for everyone, but it’s a fabulous idea in my opinion. :)

      Good luck!!

    • so, i don’t know much about wedding dress shopping…i did a small bit of it and it was terrible and didn’t make sense for me. i got married in an off-white bridesmaid dress, which, if you’re interested in a simpler style, seemed like a simpler process. same stores and all, but a little lower key (and cheaper, which was a priority for me).

    • Caroline

      Okay, not helpful to you perhaps, but I just wanted to chime in that a) I love the 25th anniversary test, and b) this was super helpful to me.
      For me, when you said “if I won’t still care about it on our 25th anniversary, it’s not worth stressing about today. It means that I know I will care about having great photos, but I don’t care much about the menu.”, I thought, Oh hell yes, I will still care about the menu. Every time I make those dishes, I’m gonna remember our wedding. (We’re self catering). So thanks. It’s not silly that the food matters to me, and we shouldn’t just screw it and do whatever’s easiest.
      So thanks!

    • If you’re planning on going out to a store to look, do you have someone you could take with you? You mentioned that you’re not really someone who is big on following fashion so if you have a trusted friend or family member that can give you honest advice about what will make you look your best that might alleviate some of the stress.

    • I’m getting married in three weeks, and I bought my dress two weeks ago. It’s all going to be ok. I got mine at Tadashi Shoji, and it is seriously the most comfortable thing. (I got a second dress from ASOS, so keep your eyes open for good dresses on normal shopping sites, as well.)

      • three weeks! So excited for you!

    • Jenny

      Maybe check out a Brides Against Breast Cancer sale if there’s one in your area? Many of the dresses have never been worn (and the ones that have are in good shape), they’re a bargain and all the money goes to a great cause!

      • Amber

        I got my dress from Brides Against Breast Cancer, and I LOVE it!! Was originally like $750, and I got it for $400. It needs a few minor alterations since I’ve lost some weight since I bought it and I’d like to get it cleaned, but all in I had a really good experience shopping for my dress with this organization. It was really relaxed, and kind of felt like being at a thrift store for wedding dresses. It didn’t feel like a great big spectacle, which I liked too.

      • Ashley

        I was just going to say! I got my dress from Brides Against Breast Cancer as well. Great experience and felt good to know it was supporting a wonderful cause. :) Plus it’s been nice to have my dress in hand (haven’t taken it for alterations yet) to do color matching with shoes/veil, etc. since mine is a darker shade of ivory than many.

    • My Name Here

      When I remember all the dresses I’ve worn to important events, what I remember most is the feeling of the dress, not entirely what it looks like.

      I remember feeling like Barbie when my date to the senior prom picked me up in his sky blue Firebird and I got in the car wearing a long pink dress. I remember how the miniskirt of my purple, orange, and gold glitter dress magically hugged my thighs just low enough to be decent while I shook my ass with my friends at a club in Vegas and never had to adjust the skirt. I remember the pockets in the sundress I wore to college graduation, and how glad I was to have a place to put my camera to snap photos after the ceremony.

      And there are so many more memories, but one thing these dresses had in common was that I felt great in them — like a princess or a rock star or empowered newly-crowned adult.

      I say go with a dress that you put on and you can’t help but look in the mirror, whether it’s from a bridal salon, or you go into a BCBG or J. Crew or Nordstrom’s on your lunch break and buy off the rack. I think you’ll remember the feeling of the dress in 25 years, and that’s worth paying for.

    • Amber

      There are some lovely dresses by Ann Taylor and J. Crew that you can order online that are reasonably priced. Good luck in your search and remember to take deep breathes!

    • Copper

      I’d really recommend looking at Nordstrom, Bloomingdales, etc. They have some off the rack dresses that could easily be wedding dresses, and you can order them, try them on, return them, and expect the whole process to take a week just like normal clothes.

      • Rebecca

        I bought mine at Nordstroms with just me and the saleslady, and it was great. Admittedly, I was looking for something relatively non-traditional/ less formal, so I was just shopping in their special occasion stuff rather than their bridal section, but I had a really fun time and they did in-store alterations so I didn’t even have to think about that part which was also helpful. And then you can go look at shoes, right there!

    • You can totally get a dress by December, friend — I promise you. Are you near a David’s Bridal? Though I can only speak for myself, I went dress shopping in March for my November wedding because the WIC put these crazy notions in my head that I had to have my dress ordered at least four/five/six months out or the world would explode or something.

      So I went, found one I loved, ordered it on March 1 with no idea where I was going to put the thing . . . but hey, I had months before it arrived, right?


      Three weeks. My dress was here in less than three weeks. I’ve had to sidestep it every day for the last four months and, I know, cry you a river, but honestly? Was not expecting to have that bad boy clogging the only entrance to the closet for all this time. Though I’m happy with my decision and love the dress, I would have waited.

      Also, my sister got her dress from DB and purchased one “as-is” straight off the rack. She’s a lovely lady and certainly not a stick figure, and she had lots of options. If she wanted to, she could have purchased the dress and walked straight out of the store with it that day.

      You will find The Dress and everything will be awesome!

      • I got mine from there too. They told me it’d be in in six weeks, I had it in three. I was in no rush, I just went to browse and liked it, so now it’s stashed at my parent’s house. I had a pretty good experience with the consultant that trip, but the one we had for bridesmaids’ dress shopping, not so much.

    • marbella

      After trying on a dress I loved at an awful shop with a horrid, snotty woman, I ordered a replica of it from bigdaydress.com. I ordered their sample fabrics first and paid a little extra for quick shipping and a longer length. They will do custom sizing, but I had a seamstress, so I ordered slightly larger than needed and had it taken in. IIRC it was about a month to arrive and I loved it. It was a third of the price of the dress from the horrid woman at about $350 and the fabric was wonderful. My seamstress was really impressed at the quality and how well it was made.
      I also considered lightinthebox.com after talking to a really sweet Aussie girl who’d ordered from them, she sent me the link to her FB pics so I could see how her dress looked and it was really lovely.
      DON’T PANIC! :)

    • Emmers

      I bought mine online– not sure that is something you’d be interested in, but it had a return policy, was cheap & came quickly. J Crew has a lot of options. I found mine on ideeli.com (one of those daily deals type sites). Ann Taylor has some.

      Since I didn’t do the traditional “going to a bridal salon” thing, my mom and I are going to go try on veils together. I’m probably going to ask the salon people if I can wear my dress when I do this to see how it looks with the veil.

      Not sure if that helps at all, but hugs! I like your 25th anniversary test!

    • Elle

      You definitely have time to get a dress. We decided to have a short engagement, too, and the dress has been the easiest part so far. (Don’t even get me started on how many weekends we’ve spent suit shopping!) I went to the nearest Bella Bridesmaid, tried on a few Saja dresses, & ordered my favorite a week later. They gave me a 3 month dress delivery date. It actually arrived 3.5 weeks after I purchased it. So get thee to the dress stores and shop!

    • Brenda

      I bought mine from BLHDN (Anthropologie’s sister wedding site) for $500 – it came in two weeks (overseas!) and fit perfectly. My friend bought a more expensive one from them and had to have it altered, but even so it’s super quick to ship, and I think they do some beautiful dresses. We planned our whole wedding in six months too and it wasn’t anywhere near as stressful or drawn-out as the internet can lead you to believe it will be.

    • Beth

      Chiming in a little late here, but you can definitely get your dress in time! One hint might be to look for designers who make their dresses in the US (Nicole Miller, for example) versus someone who has them sewn overseas (Watters/WToo). My Nicole Miller dress arrived 3 weeks after it was ordered….and then I picked a different Nicole Miller dress (yay for a dress shop that let me swap!) and that also arrived super fast. I was told that a WTOO dress I liked would take 3 months. Still would have had enough time.

      I also had zero idea of what to do in a dress shop, so I went into it expecting to hate the experience – great attitude, I know – and while I did find it intimidating, I found a couple shops that were great and it ended up being kind of fun. Overall it was (very) stressful for me, but just trying on a few different shapes to start out with will quickly give you an idea of things you want to avoid and will help you narrow things down a LOT.

  • Wife Worries

    Not feeling my best this week. I’m working full time, taking two night classes, studying for the MCAT (barf), and my husband and I just moved into a new condo that is still mostly a disaster and needs to be unpacked. My husband is home for the summer (he’s a teacher) and I’m having a lot of feelings about him being home while I am out busting my ass all day. It’s not that he’s not doing things, but it isn’t how I would do them and the number of things being done isn’t up to what I would consider “acceptable”.

    On top of that, our stove burst into flames on Wednesday (I am not kidding) and we had to use a fire extinguisher to put it out, which made a gigantic mess (but at least our rented condo didn’t burn down). Apparently, the last tenants had left a metal sink stopper under the burner… for funsies? I don’t know.

    Oh, and my check engine light is on for no apparent reason.

    Can I get an APW hug, please?

    • M.E.


      My old car (98 Accord) had a bug where the check engine light was on all the time, forever, for no reason. We eventually got notification from Honda that it was a known issue. BUT. Still get yours checked out if you can, to be sure. The downside of “it’s just on” is that, if there were a problem, you wouldn’t know… Gah!

      ok, another hug.

      • Blair

        BIG hug!

        I go into and out of the “tally trap” with my lovey too. Did he do enough dishes? Did he fold ANY laundry this week? Did he contact the car people?
        Try stepping back, think about the things that you actually, seriously, no shit care about. “Boxes? Do boxes REALLY bother me that much? Do we have a microwave or toaster oven that can substitute until we can afford to clean up the nasty oven?”

        It’s really hard sometimes to remember that my lovey is not me. that he is an entirely different person, he will do things on his own time and there’s always a new opportunity to learn a new way (from him) of getting things done.
        My newest one is-I pat you on the back, you can pat me on the back. I leave notes that say something like “left dinner in the fridge for you, can you throw in a load of laundry?”..it’s really just figurin gout how he operates in a way that I can get him to help out more. Hope this is helpful!

        Rachel’s post this week on domesticity might help, too!

        • Rachel

          Haha, I accidentally reported this instead of replied! It’s funny, because what I meant to come here to say was “The boxes really do bother me!” :( But you’re right, it’s really not a boxmergency. They can stay a little longer.

    • Catherine McK

      Hug!Hope things calm down soon.

    • HUG.

      Also: tell your fiance you’re stressing about the house. There’s a lot going on there with what you expect and what he expects, but if you can be calm and say “I’m really stressed out because stuff isn’t done, and when I come home to stuff not being done, I get really mad at you for not doing them.” Be generous with him. Assume he is NOT sitting around eating bonbons all day. You’ll have to work together to find a right balance, and it probably means both of you compromising.

      As for the check engine light, eh. Sometimes I ignore it and live dangerously. Sometimes I panic and get it checked.

      • Heh the one time I live near the edge with my check engine light (as in got an appointment a couple days later when I didn’t have to miss work) my little 02 Neon stopped dead in the middle lane of a busy street during the evening rush. I’m a firm believer in the light now.
        When it comes to things around the house, definitely talk to him about what’s bothering you. It will affect your mood at some point, and really this is the start of a lifetime of The Dishes. At the same time, is it more important that things get cleaned up and unpacked by someone who loves you or that it’s done exactly how you want it but stresses you out more?

    • Paranoid Libra

      Hugs. If you drive a VW I wouldn’t worry too much as they can be very notorious for it going on for no real reason. I tend to see if it comes on more than 2 days in row as my general rule of thumb to get really worried. Sometimes a sensor was just off from the crazy heat and it starts to act right the next time you get in the car.

    • I can relate to some of that. My fiance has been out of work since January and I HATE my job. It’s a real struggle to deal with the resentment of him not having to go to work when I do. It’s hard for me to not ask him for a list of things he got done during the day and feeling irked that even though he did clean the kitchen and walk the dog, he was also playing video games.

    • marbella

      If you go to napa or an auto parts shop, they will typically let you borrow the computer to plug in and see what the error code on the car is for free. Then you can do a bit of research to find out if it’s an issue. You can also clear the code and see if it comes back again.
      As for the other stuff – talk to your husband. It’s rough that you feel this way, but it doesn’t sound like he’s sitting around doing nothing. Maybe you could try to think of it as a benefit that he is able to be home at this time, relax a little and take some of the pressure off you for housework. I also have control issues about the way things are done ‘the only right way’ (my way) and I know it’s difficult. But I try to think how it felt growing up when my mother behaved that way to us (wonder where these control issues came from….) and remember that it is not pleasant.

    • Rebecca

      Is the check engine light a thing you can shift to team husband? He could drop you off at work and then take the car to the shop, maybe?

      I know Unf* YOur Habitat has packing advice- I’d bet she has unpacking advice as well. Sometimes having a strategy really helps with the insurmountable obstacle tasks- and unpacking can definitely seem like one of those…

      Hugs! And hey, at least you still have a condo. The sink stopper thing is…special. More hugs!

      • Huh, apparently the comment I tried to post came up blank. Teach me to try and use html tags.

        Lots of hugs, fistbumps and support to you

    • Brenda

      I’m the one like your husband in my relationship – my husband does almost all of the cooking / cleaning, and I, while a good cook and a tidy person, just don’t think things need to be done as often or in the same ways as he does. It gets frustrating when someone is not letting you do things / telling you how to do them / redoing them once you’ve done them / getting frustrated because you do it differently. Try to look at it from his perspective, and adjust your expectations – if he’s not doing things at all and you’ve asked him to, that’s one thing, but if he’s just doing things differently, try to let go a bit and accept that there is more than one way.

      Think about what you consider “acceptable” – for example, my husband vacuums every day. I believe that there is no house on the planet that needs to be vacuumed every day – however, when I lived by myself I vacuumed maybe every three months (and that’s a generous estimate), and I can understand that that’s a little lax. If you’re the one with the expectations, but he’s the one with the time, you need to try to come to a compromise on what needs to be done and when.

      I know it’s frustrating for you though (and I try to up my ante in the cleaning department for my husband because I know he cares, I hope your husband does too!).

  • Kristen

    This week, my hubby and I came to terms with the idea that he will probably have to leave teaching as a career option after several years of crap charter schools, crap luck and now being what we imagine on paper looks like a less than great candidate.

    This breaks my heart because I know he is meant to be a teacher and I’m doing everything I can to boost him up, think of things more positively and not let him get down on himself for things he’s had no control over.

    I don’t have a “career”, I just work so this isn’t something I can totally identify with. I definitely had a talk with him about looking at the bright side and how lucky we are in our lives but also acknowledged he has every right to be pissed and frustrated and overwhelmed. We’re going to hopefully spend this year trying to have a baby, focusing on finding him non-teaching work that fulfills and challenges him and on being happy, which is all we can do.

    • Blair

      Kristen- I’m confused. What makes him a bad candidate? Just some teaching gaps? I think anyone with any sense would understand that!
      Could he get any certificates that might bump up other areas of his resume?

      • Kristen

        That’s his attitude – that he’s a bad candidate because he didn’t last at his first and arguably best job and since has had 2 other schools that he didn’t stay with. In his eyes, when he lost the first one, he ruined his teaching career. It’s hard to know how optimistic to be and how hard to push when his attitude is so pessimistic and for all I know, he might be right.

        We live in a state that’s losing teaching jobs every year (Ohio) so I look at it like, its the economy of teaching. He looks at it like, even if they can get past he wasn’t a perfect teacher his first job out, then now with 5 years experience he costs more than kids straight out of school so he’ll never beat them regardless. If I thought this wasn’t a good fit for him or that he didn’t really care about being a teacher, I’d honestly have just convinced him to try something else years ago. But I honestly believe even if I wasn’t in love with him, I’d know he is an amazing teacher that any student is lucky to have. So I want to push and encourage him to keep trying no matter how long it takes to find a good school. I’m just not sure I should since his “failure” at it, is so disheartening to him. I just feel stuck. Luckily I have an amazing job that is our health insurance and I make as much as him so life will continue with just a little penny pinching until he finds something. We’re lucky. I keep reminding us both of that.

        • Amber

          Has he ever considered informal education? Like in museums? Might be worth looking into…

    • Paranoid Libra

      If he is destined to teach what about going through Teach for America? I am not sure what type of school districts they work in other than less fortunate areas with high populations.

      • Kristen

        While a very good idea, then we’re in the sticky territory of, how little should/could he make a year, just to stay in teaching. He can probably sub every day next year but he’d only make $20,000. So we’re both trying to figure out the best way to be adults about making money and preparing to have a family and buy a home, and keeping his dream alive. One thing he’s mentioned is doing free tutoring and volunteering at the science museum. Stuff where he can have a regular full time job making good money, but keep his resume active with mentoring/teaching type activities.

        • My fiance feels the same way about teaching being what he’s meant to do. He’s going for retraining in Montessori method because we’ve heard there are more openings for that (and also he really believes in it), and apparently him being a guy will give him a benefit in hiring (as a minority in teaching?)

          • Amber

            I think there are opportunities in Waldorf schools as well. My step-sister is training to be a Waldorf high school teacher through a program that meets for 1 month each summer for a total of 3 summers, so 3 months all in.

    • I’d suggest looking at non-profits, too. There are plenty of organizations (in the world, so probably your community, too) that promote literacy, teach ESL, offer tutoring, create after school programming, etc, where he might be able to find educational work with kids. It’s under-valued work, to be sure, but even if he can volunteer, that would fill his resume (and his time) while he looks for a job.

      No matter what, it sure is tough, so plenty of hugs to you both!

      • Blair

        This might be a dumb suggestion but you said you are working, rather than career-ing. Would you guys consider looking at teaching jobs in another state or moving?
        (Is that a thing with teaching? It’s not like being a lawyer where you have to have the BAR in your state, right?)

        • Kristen

          I said as long as its in a city I’d happily live in and raise kids, I’ll follow him anywhere! I think we may try the country wide search next year, if he decides he still wants to try. Most of what upsets me is that he might give up out of depression and a broken heart. I figure worst case scenario I’ll push him to try it again in 15-20 years if he gives up now.

          • marbella

            It sounds as though he might benefit from some counselling, since he doesn’t sound happy or confident in himself. It would be a real shame for his future students to lose a potentially great teacher because of self-doubt.
            Good on you for being so supportive.

        • Ariel

          You need to be certified in that state, which can take a while (tests, paperwork, etc.).

    • Copper

      OK, it’s not teaching, but I feel like I’ve been there. I’m a designer and since I was in grad school it was pretty evident that I should pursue a certain sub-specialty of design. However when I graduated, nobody was hiring in that area. So I worked some other jobs that didn’t really put me towards that goal but weren’t too far off base either, and became more and more miserable. Eventually I got pretty despondent, desperate, and felt like I should just give it up. And the perfect job came up this spring, putting me exactly where I needed to be… 4 years later than I thought I’d get here. But they didn’t question why I didn’t get there earlier, that was ME putting that pressure on myself.

      I know this sounds like one of those, “right when you stop looking for him, Mr Right will come along!” sort of stories, but it’s not meant to be. I don’t mean to stop looking, stop trying, I actually mean the opposite—don’t give up. Things don’t always go as smoothly as we think they will or should, but that doesn’t mean we won’t get there eventually. It can still happen for him.

    • Laura

      SO MANY HUGS TO YOUR HUBBY. I have BEEN THERE (I kinda still am there???). I left a teaching job because I relocated, and then taught happily for a year in my new state until normal-but-sucky budget-related layoffs happened combined with my new state deciding I couldn’t teach anymore until I completed 2 years of additional classes (some of which I had taken already but didn’t count because I took them more than four years ago – so basically I burned time and a shitload of money for classes I already freaking took. aksdhfasdfshdjhgfsdhj) During the past two years, I have subbed and hated it (all the bad parts of teaching with none of the good), ranted furiously about bureaucracy on a daily basis, worried about this growing gap on my resume, and tried to imagine my life without teaching if I stopped jumping through hoops and just gave up, or if the resume gap stops me from getting the jobs I want. At first, I was TERRIFIED because teaching has been my entire life, focus and identity since I decided I was going to be one at age 16 and I couldn’t even process not only what I would do but who I would BE if I was not a teacher. But then I brainstormed all my skills, plus things I enjoy doing, and came up with some possible career and life alternatives, which made me feel a little better. I also experienced life outside of teaching and realized that while I loved it, damn I was exhausted all the time when I was a teacher, emotionally and physically, and being away from it made me rediscover sleep, relaxation, some hobbies I had let slide, and family time. So I kept jumping through the hoops because it at least gave me a chance to be a teacher again, and I knew I’d regret it if I didn’t. Now I’m done with all the requirements, and in the process of applying for jobs for next year, so we will see how it all goes. Words for your hubs: My mother has worked in education for over 30 years and has done a LOT of hiring. She always tells me that the good administrators want good teachers, and can tell who they are through the bullshit of bureaucracy and possible colorful resumes. He should definitely keep on trucking, pounding the pavement, and selling his skills because we NEED good teachers, especially ones who can survive through crap charter schools (I have had experience with this too – crap charter schools are the WORST) and crap luck. And if ultimately its too exhausting or he just can’t do it anymore for whatever reason, tell him that there is life outside of teaching and it will really all be ok. My husband, who is like you in that he just has a job not a career and it doesn’t define him the way teaching did(does?) for me, saved me from my sobbing by showing me that I even though I love teaching, I can love other things too. He also threw out some awesome dream career/fantasy job suggestions, and said he would support me 100% no matter what I decided to do. I think that’s the best you can do for your man. Just understanding that this shit is hard and supporting him no matter what – which it sounds like you are doing so yay you! Hugs to him!

      • Laura

        Crap, that stream of consciousness really needs some paragraph spacing and I can’t edit for some reason. My sincere apologies!

  • Paranoid Libra

    So first week gluten free is going fairly well. I think I’ve been good but the whole trying to get down what can be cross contamination is confusing as hell. I found a local Celiac and Gluten Free group on meet up, but of course I missed their monthly meet up by a few days. Hopefully I can make the next one and have others to talk to and get a better handle on this crapola.

    Tonight I am making a pizza that has everything premixed into the bag for a gluten free crust and came with a package of yeast. I am excited to try it. It’s a red mill mix.

    And a thank you everyone for your comments last week :)

    And Happy Happy Weekend everyone!

    • Blair

      Ever heard of the whole30 program? If you are getting settled into GF, the Whole30 might really give you an awesome bump.
      It’s hard. Super hard. But in terms of wellness/healing you will never meet anyone that regrets doing it! And I think the benefit of doing it when you’re diagnosed with something like celiac is that it puts the GF lifestyle into context that is sustainable.

      • Paranoid Libra

        I just looked into it from your suggestion. That’s not something I’d be able to deal with. Completely getting rid of any form of sugar including honey. I am already a picky eater and doing all of that would just be a recipe for disaster for me.

    • Cross-contamination means basically that:

      1) The food was processed in a facility that processes items containing gluten and may have used the same equipment or have been exposed to aerosolized gluten
      2) The food was cooked using the same kitchen implements that were used to cook foods containing gluten (this can even include toasters and oven racks)
      3) The food was exposed to gluten after cooking, ie serving spoons were mixed up or gluten-containing foods were accidentally dropped into serving dishes containing gluten-free foods

      I hope that helps!

      • Paranoid Libra

        It’s the slight ones that kind of baffle me like I am afraid if my husband has eaten soft tacos that aren’t gluten free and then reaches into a bag of chips that are gluten free if those chips are now off limits or what.

        Reading a spatula touching a regular bun then touching a burger that is meant for gluten free property can cross contaminate just seems so crazy. Having problems wrapping my head around that.

        • KC

          I am not GF, but have friends who are, and they each have different sensitivity levels. Basically, some people are *very* sensitive, others can tolerate very very tiny amounts of gluten, others can tolerate slightly more gluten after their systems have healed up. So… try to avoid cross-contamination (use a different colander for GF pasta vs. regular pasta), and keep an eye on your symptoms to try to figure out if you’re a “a breadcrumb touched my salad and I removed it but I’m still getting a reaction” person or a “a breadcrumb was in my salad and that didn’t significantly harm me” person. I’d go for over-cautious at first while your system is healing up (separate implements, etc.) if the symptoms have been really problematic, but to a certain degree you can go by “did that make me sick? No? Then, probably okay” once you have the general gist of it down.

          Note: metal, glass, and glazed ceramic implements without grooves and holes can usually be cleaned well enough between gluten and gluten-free to not be a problem; however, wood will “hold” gluten, ditto for some plastic (and all scratched plastic), so having a separate set of wooden spoons and spatulas and cutting boards marked for gluten-free use only may save you some misery.

        • Anon-a-Basketcase

          My sister is gluten (and dairy) intolerant – not the same as coeliac but I have got pretty used to cooking for. The best gluten free recipes i have found are at Domestic Sluttery (I can’t make my iPad tell you the link but they come right up on google). It’s miserable to start with, but my little sister has been doing it for 4 years now and feels so much better.

          Incidentally, cross contamination isn’t an issue for her at all, but the position might be different if you are coeliac.

        • If you have celiac, then yes, your husband eating something with gluten and reaching into a chip bag can contaminate the chips if there is any chance of residue on his fingers.

          I would suggest that, as a rule, your husband washes his hands well after eating things with gluten and before touching anything that’s gluten free. Or if possible, just keep your household gluten free so you avoid the issue altogether.

    • Laura C

      I haven’t tried pizza crust mixes, but if you’re in the market for a frozen pizza ever, let me recommend the Against the Grain brand. I put pepperoni or other toppings on it and it’s really good.

      Also, if you’re sharing a toaster with someone who eats gluten, check out these: http://www.amazon.com/Set-NoStick-Toast-Toaster-Bags/dp/B0012XGM92 Great way to avoid cross-contamination without having to find space for two toasters on your counter, and whoever toasts less can just use the bags.

      The thing I do try to keep really separate in the kitchen to avoid cross-contamination, besides the toaster (and, obviously, food itself) is a colander. Think how all those little nooks and crannies in a colander can get gummed up when you strain pasta — practically impossible to clean. And having an extra colander doesn’t take up much extra space.

      And as KC said, figuring out how sensitive you are is big. But realize that your sensitivity might come not in the form of omg awful diarrhea right away but rather, say, an anxiety attack at 3 in the morning after a few times of gluten sneaking into your diet in tiny amounts that didn’t register at the time but built up on you.

  • Shiri

    Also, you guys, it is my first anniversary on Sunday and we STILL aren’t legally married because of some major license snafus. My rabbi is ignoring my emails about finishing her part of it and it is making me crazy – she was my friend before she was my rabbi. Amusingly enough, we’re Jewishly married, and my husband isn’t even Jewish. Once we’re married, supposedly we’ll have been married since our wedding day.

    (I realize we’re lucky legally is an option, of course, but I would like to avail myself of that option…)

    If we have to go to City Hall eventually and do it all again, I’m going to be sad.

    • Paranoid Libra

      Some states only allow the licenses to be out for a certain amount of time. PA I think you have 2 months for it so go check out your states laws immediately if you haven’t already. Good luck.

      Sorry your friendor of a rabbi isn’t cooperating.

      • Shiri

        We have the ok of the town clerk in the town where we got married, because the license was lost, and then turned in wrong, and the clerk (I don’t know why, we’re lucky!) is allowing us to get it done correctly and get it in when we can. She’s actually the one in touch with the Rabbi most of the time and the rabbi is ignoring her, too.

        Every time someone calls him my husband, a little voice in my head says “sort of….”

        • Paranoid Libra

          My friend had a legal ceremony at a court house with just a few present. They did a big Jewish ceremony 5 months later. They consider the Jewish ceremony their true wedding and said that is when they felt married. I know it’s backwards, but I am just trying to say your wedding is still your wedding. Your loved ones were there to support you in a public vow of commitment, but I can understand being upset still since there is an obvious number of reasons why it being legally finished is a good thing hence why we have so many people fighting for their rights to be recognized.

          He IS your husband, just some paperwork problems. HUGS and I hope it get’s worked out ASAP.

          • Hypothetical Sarah

            We did this too (though we had 17 months between our legal elopement and Jewish wedding).

            If you need to go to City Hall, consider putting a positive spin on it — you could go on Monday, call it a 1-year vow renewal, and go out for a romantic dinner together. I love the fact that we have public and private memories of getting married.

    • Emmers

      Can you try calling your rabbi instead of emailing? Sometimes when my emails are piled, I triage- which sometimes means they sit for a bit (though your emails sounds pretty important).

      But if someone calls me, it pushes them to the top, since they’re actually on the phone. Or, if she’s in the same town as you, maybe stopping by? Or making an appointment to stop by? More of a hassle than emailing, but maybe it would get her in gear.

      • Judith

        Yikes. There are all kind of tax, healthcare, and medical emergency reasons that make it really not cool for someone to procrastinate on getting your marriage license taken care of properly.

        If this rabbi works for a temple or organization with a board of directors, I would suggest sending him or her a letter stating what you need him or her to do, and that if it is not accomplished by X date, you will be speaking to the board about this issue. Hopefully that will create the incentive to get this wrapped up. Maybe that feels like being a tattle-tail, but this is an important part of the rabbis job and its worrisome to me that it is being neglected, given the potential consequences.

  • Kait

    Hi all,

    Using the APW tutorials, I’ll be doing the bouquets for a friend’s wedding on Sunday.

    We are picking up the flowers from whole foods tomorrow and making them tomorrow afternoon for the ceremony on Sunday.

    I’ve done a dry run but this will be the first time I’ve worked with roses.

    Anyone have any wisdom or tips to share on diy bouquets?


    • Rosie

      Me and my two MOH did this for my wedding as it was fine: the one tip my friend had which was useful is to use odd numbers of flowers in each layer, so for example you have one flower in the middle, three around it, five around that. She also poked in some herbs after they were put together which looked nice. That’s all I’d add to the tutorials! And floral tape is great :) I’m sure they’ll look lovely :)

    • marbella

      check out blooms by the box’s tutorials and youtube. I watched a few then it was easy! They posted my bouquet on their blog a while back.
      Prep the roses and remove any thorns first! Good luck!

  • Guys, this week has been absolutely nuts, and I need to vent.

    Yesterday, I yelled at my rabbi. Straight up yelled. I went for a conversion meeting with our rabbi, who will (fingers crossed) be marrying us in a tiny parents-only Jewish ceremony a few days before our larger ceremony. Except, three weeks out, he decided to tell me that he “doubts my commitment,” and then proceeded to list several reasons that have nothing to do with me and everything to do with the terrible organization and logistics at our synagogue. (For instance, he lamented how few meetings we’ve had, except that he has repeatedly been double-booked and missed scheduled meetings, and has been on half-sabbaticals and vacations every other month.) So I yelled. It just kind of came out, and bordered on “talking really emphatically and loudly,” but was definitely yelling. After I’d gone on about how disappointed I’ve been in this whole process for several minutes, I was about ready to get up and leave, but he told me to wait, and then he scheduled my conversion ceremony. I have no idea what that was all about.

    My fiancée’s grandmother was diagnosed with cancer last week, so with less than a month to the wedding, fiancée’s across the country prepping her for radiation and dealing with this big hard emotional thing, while I frantically try to work through our list of wedding tasks with absolutely no motivation. Her prospects look good, and we’re lucky enough to be in a financial place where fiancée could immediately buy a ticket and fly out, so it’s all as good as it could be, but man, the timing of this just could not be worse. (Not to mention that her grandmother has never been outside of New England and was So Excited to go on a plane for the first time and see the West Coast.)

    So, that’s where I am. Anyone have practical tips for how to get the motivation back so that I can finish this to-do list instead of hiding in bed and reading everything that’s ever been written on the internet?

    • My Name Here

      As a Jew since birth, I have an idea of what it’s about:

      Jews don’t solicit converts. We don’t want people to join the religion just to join — if you’re going to be a Jew, you need to want it badly. You must not be able to be deterred. Often, rabbis will turn away people who ask to convert so that only the most committed will come back. And sometimes they’ll do it in the middle of the conversion.

      I have a feeling that this lecture is part of that tradition.

      Congratulations and welcome (almost) to the tribe!

      • I kind of wondered, but my wondering was based mostly on that Sex and the City story arc, so I felt like I needed to take it with a grain of salt. It’s nice to hear a real person confirm that. And thanks! I’m excited to be finally getting there after four years (!)

      • Shiri

        I’m with My Name Here, completely. The thing that bothers me about this aspect of it (and the way it was done for you) is that this isn’t some on-paper, wink and nudge thing. He made you feel bad about an aspect of a huge thing you’re doing in your life and is related to your wedding and marriage. I’m glad you stood up for yourself!

        Welcome, as well :)

      • meg

        Maybe. I’ve been through this, and that tradition is mostly not used anymore. Conversion programs sometimes just suck, and the whole process is painful, and sometimes clergy are not there for you they way they should be.

        So, having walked the walk, I’m going to tell you that it might well be that, and you have every right to be pissed at your Rabbi.

    • *Big Hugs* Sending you a private FB message. :)

  • Lena

    So I got some nice crystal…stuff from my mother, including a really lovely vase. I’d like to keep it out as much as possible, but don’t want to put flowers in it (for several reasons, but we’ll primarily say cost).

    What can I put in the vase that would make it a nice little decoration in my apartment, but a) won’t die and b) I can easily substitute and change out once in awhile, for under $20 or so? I’m perfectly happy heading out to Michael’s/Joann’s/Dollar Store, but I’m not very creative so any ideas for what to pick up there are welcome! (also taking holiday-specific ideas to horde for when the time comes!)

    • Shiny Christmas ornaments look great in vases! (also, they can stay out all year if you like the colors). Pinecones look cool, too, even for fall, or winter in general.

      I’ve seen cool stuff on Pinterest with sand/rice/beans as a filler, with a candle holder sunk in the middle. Or it could be a giant candy dish.

      • Lena

        I like the idea of stuff like that, but I should probably clarify the vase is cut crystal – so the visual interest needs to be above the vase, not **in** it. You’d never be able to really see pinecones or ornaments in it unless you looked at it from above.

        I WIIIISH I could make it a giant candy dish but yeah…..it’d be GIANT.

        • Lisa

          What about dried flowers or branches?

          • Lena

            I was thinking something like that – how long might those stay “fresh” though? Or at least, nice-looking? Branches would probably look okay for awhile, but do dried flowers have a shelf life?

          • A Single Sarah for certain values of single

            Pussy willow branches! Or my grandmother has dried hydrangeas in her front hall. (As people suggest below.)

        • Ellen

          If dried hydrangea are your thing, they would probably look lovely. As long as they don’t have any water and don’t get touched, they’ll hold for a year easily.

          • Lena

            Ohhhh I dried hygrangea ARE my thing, thank you!

    • I have vases all over the house filled with all sorts of stuff. In the summer I put driftwood balls and sand. In the fall I put pinecones and plastic (but real looking) apples.

      And if you celebrate Christmas, vases are an excellent place to put extra ornaments. You know, when you have just a few left over from a set but feel sad throwing them out? Shove them in a crystal bowl or vase and it’s “fancy.”

      I get all my supplies from Michael’s or Target. Just look in the home goods/candles section.

  • C

    Soooo, my wedding is less than 3 months from now (!!!! 85 days to be exact [holy CRAP, when did that happen?]), and we have all of the big things nailed down, invites are SOOOO CLOSE to going out (come on zazzle, I need those labels!), and are working on the logistics and smaller details of the day. We’re so excited! It hasn’t been stressful at all, everything has worked out with minimal trouble (my fiancé and I are pretty easy going and make decisions fairly well and quickly), but because it’s been so NOT stressful, I’m starting to wonder if I’m forgetting things! Did anyone else feel this way? What smaller things can you think of that you almost forgot about?

    Happy Friday Fellow APWers!

    • Meghan

      Hey C, sounds like you’re a week before me! :) I’m kind of in the same boat so I can’t offer any post-wedding wisdom. I can tell you, however, what I observed at my cousin’s wedding last week and what that made me think of.

      1) Talk to your groom about your first kiss! The groom TOTALLY grabbed a handful during theirs, and I know that there are some shocked bridesmaid faces in their pic now. Maybe it’s cool with you, maybe it’s not, but it’s worth discussing!

      2) Think of music options for any group gatherings (shuttles, non-wedding meals, etc.) if you’re having them. My poor bride was running her ass off trying to pick an appropriate Pandora station when she should’ve been enjoying herself.

      Hope that helps!

    • Angie

      Oh god are you me? I swear I could have written this post! first, i’m getting married on Oct 12th too! And our process hasn’t really been all that stressful. there have been stressful moments here and there, but we’ve had 14 months to plan and I’ve been doing a lot of easy little stuff all along so I wouldn’t have to fret as much 3 months out.

      I’ve been using asana.com, a project management tool, to keep track of everything, and it’s been pretty awesome and helpful. When I read about something or think of something I need to do, I’ll add it to the list. so I’ve got “wedding” as the project and then “tasks” are things like catering, decorations, ceremony, booze. then within each of those tasks are subtasks – for example, the “booze” task has subtasks of “purchase beer and wine”, “where will we get ice?”, “who will transport it to the reception and when?” and “find bottle openers for wine.” As things get figured out, you can cross those suckers off the list, and I am a sucker for crossing things off lists.

      Anyway. I know that wasn’t your question but it is helping with my sanity, so I thought I’d pass it along. Also, it’s free and it has a free app to go with it!

      To answer your question, though I don’t know if i’m qualified because I haven’t had my wedding yet either and maybe I’m forgetting things too: are you having a bridesmaids brunch? If so, are you doing it the day before or the day of? What time do brunch places open on Saturday and does that fit into your timeline? Also, if you have a day-of coordinator, have you started a binder with all the contracts and contact information and a timeline so you can hand it over? Maybe it’d help to walk through your whole wedding from the POV of both a guest and a wedding party member to see if you’d notice something through their eyes. Have you made a list for your photographer of all the formal photos you’ll want, if any?

      And honestly, there is the strong possibility that you’ve got everything you need! If you haven’t thought of it yet, maybe that’s just because it doesn’t matter to you or your fiance. That’s cool too. I keep telling myself to just enjoy not being stressed, it doesn’t necessarily have to come with the bridal territory.

      Man that was long! Hope something in there helped. Happy (almost done) planning!

  • So I mentioned on here before that we were booking a swanky hotel room with a fancy bathtub for my birthday this year. Well, we did it this past Saturday and it was MAGICAL. Seriously, so, so wonderful. I was so sad when we had to return to real life.

    Also, for the first time in 15 weeks I can eat vegetables without immediately puking! So I’ve been eating a lot of salads lately, and it is glorious.

    • meg

      YAY! It gets so much better in the middle.

    • Yay! That is all such good news!

  • Michelle

    Makeup question for wedding day: fake eyelashes or no fake eyelashes?

    I only wear makeup for special occasions (yay wedding!) and am pretty low-maintenance/want to always “feel like myself.”

    I’m very emotional and I can’t seem to even think about our ceremony without happy tears running down my face.

    Friends/family/my makeup artist for wedding are recommending fake eyelashes… and the idea kinda freaks me out. Maybe they’ll be fine, right? Thoughts? Other makeup tips for criers? Thanks!

    • Shiri

      I had the same eyelash dilemma! I love makeup, wear it regularly, and had a lot on at my wedding, but didn’t have the fakes and I really don’t think it made a difference in how I looked. It sounds like you’re a more low-key makeup person, so I think you could achieve the same feeling with just makeup.

      If you want to try, get a test done with them and maybe just sit and think about your ceremony until you cry, and see what happens!

    • I am a super-low maintenance person myself, makeup only on special occasions, etc.

      My friends convinced me to go with false lashes, and I had my makeup professionally done.

      Because I’m not used to wearing them, or so much makeup, I thought I looked STRANGE. But with a few tweaks (namely, a less garish lipstick, and lots of reassurance from loved ones) I let it ride. The pictures are lovely, and I think I look very much like myself, but with some oomph.

      I am a CRIER and sobbed throughout our ceremony. Those false lashes didn’t budge at all, and none of my makeup ran.

    • meg

      Fake eyelashes are bang up if you’re sort of an over the top makeup kind of girl and they get you all excited (me).

      If you’re not, just get waterproof mascara, or don’t wear mascara. Fake eyelashes are a STATEMENT for when you want to be a STATEMENT MAKER. They will not feel “just like normal you but a little nicer).

      • I agree that lashes can be a *statement* (omg, I love them so much) but if you have someone skilled at doing individual lashes (rather than strip) it can be pretty subtle. Of course, ymmv, and there is NOTHING wrong with just doing regular mascara or nothing at all. I’m just saying don’t fear the lashes, lashes are marvelous, one of us, one of us… Ahem. Yeah. Lashes.

    • I love makeup and hate fake eyelashes-they make my lids feel weird. If you aren’t used to wearing them I wouldn’t recommend using them for the wedding.

      I would suggest waterproof mascara for you.

    • Meghan

      I wore false eyelashes for the first time as a bridesmaid in a wedding about a week ago, and I LOVED it. To be clear, the wonderful girl who did my makeup only applied a few eyelashes one by one at the outer corner of my eyes – not the whole arc like you see on sale sometimes at drugstores during Halloween. I cried happy tears many times throughout the day and they stayed put until I removed with a simple makeup remover cloth at the end of the night. I loved the way they looked and totally plan to wear them at my wedding in October! The girl who did them for me claims the key is not using too much glue – she says everyone uses too much. Hope this helps!

    • Well done fake eyelashes don’t have to be over the top, they can just be enhancing. The key is to do a trial run first to make sure you don’t hate them. This is especially important if you’re planning on doing the strip instead of individual lashes because some people hate the way it feels. Personally, I’ve worn the strip ones a bunch of times and I find it super distracting.

  • Rosie

    Yay, I’ve been waiting for this all week! I’ve been reading the posts about donating your hair and thinking ‘that’s a lovely thing, people should do that, shame my hair is too short’. On Monday I realised my hair was longer than it’s been in a while and it was 9 inches, which was a shock! I also found a charity in the UK (http://www.littleprincesses.org.uk/) which takes hair donations from 7 inches. So now I might be taking part in the APW donation, but I’m pretty nervous :/ spoke to my hairdresser who thinks a pixie cut like this would work http://pinterest.com/pin/29062360068512982/ Any reassurance would be gratefully received :)

    • Emmy

      DO ITTTTTTT!!!

      I almost always have short hair (ranging from about an inch to chin-length) and am really looking forward to donating my unusually long hair after my wedding. So I think everybody should try short hair once. It will probably look smashing! But you know the best part? If you don’t like it, it’ll grow back! :)

      • Rosie

        Thank you! It is reassuring that even if I don’t like it, it will quickly get to a kind of short bob length which I’ve had before :) and yeah, I do think I should do it once just to see what it’s like!

    • I’m a cheerleader for the pixie! Do it! I LOVE mine! I used to have reallllllly long curls, and think my pixie cut is way more flattering.

      I debating cutting my hair for years, and I (mistakenly) thought cutting my hair short would make me look bigger (I’m fairly curvy.) I was trying to balance out my chest and hips with huge volumes of hair. Turns out, the short hair (with a good hair stylist who understands face shapes) balances me out MUCH better.

      If you want to cut it, look for pictures of people who have a similar face shape and/or body type to you, be picky about the hair stylist you use, and ask lots of questions to make sure you’re both on the same page.

      Good luck!

      • Rosie

        Just been to your website, your cut looks amazing :) I am a bit worried it might make my face look bigger, not sure where the logic is in that… The hairdresser I spoke to thought this particular cut would suit my face. That’s a good tip about looking for people will a similar face shape, thanks :)

    • Do it. I got a pixie after a mid-length haircut and I freaking love it, especially in summer. It’s so much cooler (temperature-wise) and easy to care for, plus it’s really flattering on me.

      • Rosie

        Easy to care for is definitely what I want out of a haircut, as well as looking good ;) thanks!

        • Anon-a-Basketcase

          I totally love my slightly-longer-than-pixie-but-definitely-not-bob. I say do it. Inspiration image is fab, summer in the UK is so hot this year that no hair on your neck will be a joy, and the low maintenance thing is amazing. Seriously. I get an extra 10 minutes in bed in the mornings now that I can just wash my hair and walk straight out the door.

        • Just keep in mind regarding easy care, a short hair cut isn’t easy to care if you’re a night showerer. I was used to showering at night and then waking up with wavy hair that just looked good on its own. Apparently not the case with short hair. Until I adjusted my schedule I spent a lot of time trying to combat the “I have flat hair on one side and poufy hair on the other side of my head” problem!

          • This is VERY true! But, if you’re a night showerer and don’t want to change that, one of those little spray bottles they use at the salon are really handy!

          • Hah, I didn’t think of that. I usually shower in the morning so it’s not an issue for me, but my hair is definitely in some really interesting positions when I wake up in the morning. Generally, just wetting my hair is enough to allow me to re-comb into something presentable if I need to (say, after a nap).

  • AM

    I’ve been reading APW for a while now because I really appreciate the smart, deep, important topics discussed but have never chimed in because I’m nowhere near planning a wedding or being married. However, today I really just need to just put something out there so I don’t marinate in fear and sadness.

    My boyfriend of almost three years has aplastic anemia (bone marrow failure because the marrow does not produce enough platelets, white blood cells and red blood cells). We’ve been dealing with this since early February, although for the longest time not having a diagnosis and then having constantly changing counts so that plans for treatment have been changed again and again in the past two months.

    I just heard 30 minutes ago that on Monday he will be going in for ATG treatment, an intense 4-6 day immunosuppressant treatment that is kind of like chemo, except really concentrated and all at once. I’ve known that this was probably going to happen for quite a while but now that it’s a reality it feels HARD because I can’t pretend like everything will magically get better. And the treatment is painful and hard and causes rigors and other scary things. I’m ok with hospitals, I’ve been there when he had his appendix out and complications, but I just really don’t want to see him in pain or to have him go through this.

    It’s hard and isolating and terrifying and I just want this to be someone else’s reality, not ours.

    • Catherine McK

      I’m so sorry you’re going through this. You and your boyfriend will be in my thoughts. It’s just the worst to watch someone you love in pain. I wish there were magic words to say other than, big hugs, good luck, and he’s lucky to have you.

    • Amber

      I’m so sorry that you’re dealing with this. It sounds really scary. I don’t really have any words of wisdom to share, but I’m sending you a great big hug and holding you and your man in my heart. I hope everything goes as smoothly as possible with his treatment. It sounds like you are both strong and brave people (even if it doesn’t always feel like it), and I’m sure you’ll get through this! Hugs!!

    • Best of luck to you and your bf. I’m sorry your going through something so difficult.

      Make sure you take good care of yourself. As the caretaker, that can be hard, but don’t feel bad leaning on other people and asking for help, even if help is just in the form of a drink and a good cry. Lots of love.

    • sara p

      I’m so sorry you’re going through this – bone marrow diseases are so weird and scary. Lean on your support network (I hope you have one). I hope the treatment goes well.

    • *Hugs*

      That sounds really scary for you guys. Remember that being scared doesn’t mean there is anything wrong with you – often people diagnosed with a disease or chronic illness (and the people close to them) go through the 5 stages of grief trying to process the information.

      Would it help at all to try and plan distractors for during the treatment? Hospital date night where you watch a movie together (bonus: he can fall asleep if he needs to), sneak in some of his favourite food (unless there’s severe restrictions on that kind of stuff), bring some easy card or board games that you can pick up whenever convenient and move easily, stuff like that? It won’t make it any easier but it might help to reaffirm the focus that you’re fighting this together.

    • A Single Sarah for certain values of single

      Hugs. Reality sucks sometimes. I’m (obviously) behind on reading comments. Hoping that tomorrow’s happy hour has an update from you and that the week has gone as smoothly as possible given reality.

  • MG

    Anyone else training for a race and planning a wedding at the same time? My triathlon is on Sunday, and I am PUMPED. Partly excited that it’s finally here and I feel kinda/sorta ready (!), and partly excited because once it’s over, I’ll have more brain and body energy to devote to the wedding, which is in THREE WEEKS. All of the things all at once.

    Also, my partner and I are MAKING OUR WEDDING BANDS this weekend. OMG.

    I also want to echo the sentiment that APW and its community have been a huge help throughout this process, and I know I’ll keep coming back to the site for guidance after the wedding. Love!

    • Catherine McK

      I did that! Half marathon 5/4, wedding 6/1. It was SO great when the half was over, such a fun feeling to know that that meant the wedding was just around the corner + I was in kick*ss shape. Of course I haven’t run since, but that’s another story.

    • Neither running a race nor making jewelry. But a have to say: damn impressive. And exciting. Good luck on both!

    • I did this!! I just ran/walked (got injured half way through training, so I couldn’t run the whole thing) a half marathon last Sunday, and my wedding is next Sunday. Training as lead up to the wedding was one of the best decisions I could have made, for my self esteem and stress levels alike.

      • MG

        Congrats on the half! Hope your recovery continues quickly, and best wishes for your wedding next weekend. Woohoo!

        • Recovery was really quite easy. :)

          Good luck at your triathlon!!!

    • Good luck with your tri! Let us know how it goes next week please :)

  • This week has been exciting an expensive. We have our preliminary food and drink order in for the wedding and I wrote the deposit check. (Wee! Ack!) I signed up for a flying trapeze class and wrote the deposit check for if I get in. (Wee! Ack!) My sister got the keys to her new place and started moving in (Wee!) which also means that I am paying all the rent and utilities at our old/current place for this month and half of next, because she can barely afford the rent at her new place (that I’ve cosigned for. Ack! Here’s hoping she finds another job soon.) I am now less than a month from moving into a new place with my fiance. (Wee! Ack!) And it is hot and sticky so everyone is a little tetchy. But it all seems like things are going to shake out nicely in the end.

    • MG

      So many exciting things! The money must be stressful, but I hope you enjoy the last few weeks in your bachelorette pad.

      And so jealous about the flying trapeze class! There’s a circus school not too far from my place, and I’ve often daydreamed about taking classes there. Good luck!

    • Flying trapeze class?! That sounds wicked cool. High amounts of jealousy right now.

      • I’ve been talking about how badly I want to try a trapeze class, so you just inspired me to register for a class!

  • Anon for this

    So, in keeping with the baby talk upthread, how do you know when you’re ready for a baby? I’ve never had serious “baby fever” or whatever you call it, yet I know I want kids…husband is the same way, in that he wants kids “eventually”. However, lately I have days where I desperately want a child, but then the feeling goes away for a couple weeks, only to come back later.

    I’m 32 (will be 33 in the fall), husband is 36, and we’re celebrating our 3rd wedding anniversary later this year, though we’ve been together for 10. We’re financially stable and very very close to being debt-free (I’ll make my last car payment this fall!!). Daycare costs/increased healtcare costs would take a bite out of our budget, but it would be totally doable, especially since we would not have other expenses, such as frequent dinners out at our favorite pub or fancy bottles of wine (ahem). I’m very happy in my job and it’s pretty family friendly, plus I have more than 12 weeks of paid time off banked that I could use for maternity leave, in addition to the temp disability/paid family leave programs that CA has.

    All that said, we don’t own a house (tried to buy earlier this year, but were beat out by 20!! other offers – CA housing market is crazy). We do live in a nice apartment, and we could move to a 3 bedroom without breaking our lease or our rent going up too much. Husband is, however, very unhappy in his job and he’s been trying to figure out how to make a career transition. He also gets easily overwhelmed, so having two big “life” projects going on at the same time (career transition and baby stuff) would be really really stressful for him.

    So I’m just not sure that now is the right time – but I’m also terrified of waiting longer. Pretty much everyone I know has fertility troubles of some kind. One couple was able to get pregnant after 5 years, another is on their 4th (I think) year of trying with no luck. So that’s scary. While on paper, financially we’d be in good shape, I’m thinking I should really really *want* to have a child before trying, right? Also, ok, this might be TMI, but sex is…challenging for us. We can talk about money all day long, but we can’t/don’t talk about sex. So the thought of “timing” sex is just not something that I think would work. Also, I suck at seduction (don’t even get me started on the “men are easy, just wear something revealing and they want sex” thing – I was told that my whole life, and I can’t TELL you how damaging that has been for me, since that is just not true of my husband/relationship, even though I would say that we have a good sex life).

    Sometimes I just wish that the birth control would screw up and I’d get pregnant by accident, becuase then I could just deal with what *is* rather than all this navel-gazing and planning and worry.

    Anyway, anyone have any thoughts?

    • Caroline

      I think it sounds like you want to have a baby now. Have you talked to your husband recently about how he feels on the timing of a kid? I think that’s a discussion you need to have. It definitely sounds like you are saying, yeah, okay, I think I’m ready, but I’m not sure he is (but that you don’t know whether or not he is.)

    • marbella

      I feel you. I’m only 29 but my husband will be 34 in August and has been ready to have kids for a while. After a major anxiety episode in Dec/Jan, I’ve been in therapy and that has really been helping me with coming to terms with this issue.
      I want kids, but have never felt that burning need to have them right now for any length of time. I discussed with my therapist how difficult it is to know when is ‘the right time’ and how will I know, and when will I be ready, etc etc. The same thoughts as you, wouldn’t it just be easier if it were ‘an accident’ and you wouldn’t have to think all this through so much.
      He has talked with me about analysis paralysis regarding other things and I think it applies well here. He told me that you can try to prepare so many ways to have children, and you are never, never, never going to know what might come up. There is no way to be fully prepared, you just have to trust in yourself and your ability to deal with problems as they come up. There is never going to be a ‘perfect’ time. I always thought I would have my first kid at 28, and that year just came and went and I still don’t feel ready. I don’t think I will ever feel ‘ready’, I just need to get past the idea that I can’t have control over every part of my life and that’s OK.
      Not sure if this comment has helped at all…. just wanted to say I am there with you!

    • Paranoid Libra

      I understand the whole thing of wanting to be ready. My husband and I did talk a bit about this last night actually. He thinks emotionally we’d be ready, but financially we definitely are not. Granted right now if we wound up with an oops we could deal, but we wouldn’t be in as great of a place financially as say next year. (I send it a final car payment in the fall too, woo!) Some people never get that too strong of emotional pull but just decide logically they could handle it and do in fact want to be a parent. There is a lot of guilt it seems because most people know of 1 couple or person dying to be a parent but for whatever reason it doesn’t seem to be happening for them whether it’s infertility, lack of a serious partner, or anything else. If you both know you want to be parents 1 day, I wouldn’t hold out for the deep emotional need as it might not happen. It’s ok to just go for it without a big need.

      Maybe just sit down with him and discuss child planning. You don’t need to own a house to have a kid. There is nothing wrong with renting. In your case it could be a good idea to just go well maybe we should just see what happens without birth control the whole not actively preventing method instead of trying all the timing crap.

    • Kat

      I don’t think there’s one right answer to this (and opinions vary wildly) but my thoughts: (full disclosure, I’m 25 weeks pregnant)

      You don’t have to have all consuming desires for children RIGHT NOW when you get pregnant. We definitely didn’t. We knew we wanted kids at some stage and now seemed like a good stage on our life to have them (more age/life stage wise rather than financially – see below). When I had the positive pregnancy test I was overwhelmed/scared for a few days and since then I’ve been (mostly) excited.

      While being able to afford children is important, I don’t believe your finances have to be in perfect order, or that you need heaps of many, or already own a house, to have kids. I think for most of us we could be waiting forever if that was the case (ducks are wiley)! People have kids all the time and manage just fine on not much money (and like weddings kids don’t need ALL THE THINGS). But compromises will (probably) need to be made and you need to be OK making them.

      So, generally, I would say if you want kids and think now could be a good time then go for it. There are so many unknowns with kids that I don’t think you can ever be super-duper certain that now is the moment, or everything must be perfect (and I don’t know anyone who wished they didn’t have their kids). Also, no-one knows how long it will take them to get pregnant so I’m generally on the side of not waiting.

      Having said that, serious conversations with your husband about when to have children will need to happen first. And if sex is an issue then serious baby making efforts could put strain on that – so probably lots of conversations to be had there too. But of you’re both on board with the possibility of getting pregnant you could just stop using contraceptives and see what happens. Then (assuming you don’t get pregnant) when you’re ready for serious baby making sex you be familiar with your cycles etc.

      Sorry about the novel. Hope some of it was vaguely useful.
      All the best to you!

  • AnoninTC

    I’ve been waiting all week to ask you guys this…does anyone in the Twin Cities (preferably Minneapolis) have a recommendation for a good therapist? I’ve decided I need to start to work through some stuff (including but not limited to: how to work on falling back in love with my husband and out of love with someone else, what if anything deciding to have a baby and going off birth control had to do with these feelings – any thoughts you extremely smart ladies have on this would be helpful too). I’ve always been a huge advocate for therapy but for some reason don’t know where to turn for myself! Thanks for any guidance oh wise ones.
    (I’m also looking for a good dermatologist if any Minneapolitans know about skin and not therapy :)

    • Anon

      Midwest Center for Personal & Family Development has been highly recommended.

      • AnoninTC

        Thank you!!Off to go check them out…

    • Caroline

      Hey, no suggestions on therapists being from elsewhere myself, but just offering a hug. That sounds tough.
      I wasn’t clear whether you were saying you fell out of love with your husband when you decided to have a baby, or if having the baby coincided with falling out of love, so can’t offer any advice there.

      • AnoninTC

        Thanks for the hug! So basically things were mostly fabulous in my marriage, and we decided the time was right for me to go off birth control and start trying to have a baby. I stopped birth control and while waiting the one cycle to try that my doc suggested before actively trying to conceive, I started feeling significantly less attracted to my husband while simultaneously having resurfacing feelings for a best friend/former love of mine. Both sets of feelings have ballooned and taken over in the past few months. I’ve told my husband I’m not in a good head space right now so we’ve put a temporary hold on the baby thing but he’s definitely not happy about that, plus he can tell I am not doing well and things have changed with us. Part of me thinks this is just a combination of hormones/big life changes/me being briefly insane and is a phase that will pass, but the other part of me feels shitty and stressed all the time and wants to not live like this.

        • Caroline

          So you know how women are attracted to different men at different times in their cycle? Apparently, it can also hold true for women on the pill vs. off the pill. Which could be affecting who you find attractive. Not sure if that’s helpful in a “it’s just the hormones, I’m not crazy” way, or unhelpful.
          That said, I think some therapy to discuss it and figure it out is probably in order. Just because you find your husband less attractive while off the pill right now doesn’t mean the things you love in him aren’t there. If you’ve been on the pill for years, it’s also a really big hormonal shift for your body to go through.

          • AnoninTC

            Yeah, I’ve read the stuff about the pill and how it relates to attraction, and it both made me feel better (oh its just hormones!) and really not better (it could be hormones but SHIT IT STILL SUCKS and now that I’m off the pill I kind of want to be off it forever and WHAT IF I FEEL LIKE THIS FOREVER OMG). I feel like sometimes I can be rational and know that I still love my husband and I made the right choice/married the right guy (aka not the man I feel in love with currently), but other times I lose sight of that, and all the time I feel stressed out. Mostly I feel like I need to do something to create positive change because I have been making some really shitty decisions and that needs to stop before I screw up my life irrevocably.

          • Caroline

            I feel you on the you can think rationally but still lose sight of it and get all stressed out. I’ve been doing that about money lately. (See upthread).

            I don’t have any recommendations for a therapist in your area, but we’ve found couples therapy so helpful, so I hope you find it helpful also.

          • AnoninTC

            (This is a reply to your last comment, which has no reply button…) Good luck with your money stress!! I felt smug earlier in my marriage because we kicked ass with money communication, guess I got my comeuppance for that :) Thanks for your replies and therapy well-wishes. Fingers crossed that we both alleviate some of our stress soon.

        • ANON

          I don’t know if this is helpful, wildly unhelpful or upsetting, but studies have shown that birth control does change who you are attracted to, so don’t beat yourself up too much for that one. Hopefully a therapist would be able to help with that one?


          • AnoninTC

            Thanks, I’ve found information about the pill and attraction to be simultaneously helpful, wildly unhelpful and upsetting! :) Especially the many, many articles about how it affects how your significant other smells to you because that is currently true for me (not like he smells BAD, its just not the same and not comforting). I think I wouldn’t be feeling so badly about attraction changing, because that wasn’t entirely unexpected to me especially over the course of a hopefully long marriage, but its this other guy business. That’s the part that is killing me.

          • Replying to ANONITC’s last comment: my husband TOTALLY smells different since I got off the pill! I’ve even asked him once or twice if he’s changed body wash, even though I know he hasn’t. The increased sense of smell that comes with pregnancy has just made this bizarre change even more prominent to me. Like you mentioned, he doesn’t smell bad at all, just different, and it’s weird. I had NO IDEA that going on/off the pill could do that.

        • catherine

          Those thoughts and feelings are very common, and not talked about enough. You are going through a huge transition in your life, and fear comes up in the form of anxiety, and the safe way out of those fears is attaching them to something else – a great escape (feelings for someone else). Seriously, this is normal. http://www.conscious-transitions.com . Thoughts and feelings shouldn’t always be taken at face value – I bet you will be just fine :)

    • Is Maplewood too far? I’m seeing a therapist at Health Partners Regions Behavioral health. She specializes in Marriage and Family therapy, and it looks like other therapists there do as well.


    • I have no suggestions just hugs. Hormones can definitely play a part in what you’re feeling but sometimes it’s just LIFE stuff. You know? That’s rough stuff to go through but you sound like you’ve got a really positive attitude about it.

  • Also, while I am having my dress made for me and excited (and a little scared) about that because I can get a dress that is just for me, in the past week I’ve also gotten the Wai-Ching Zolotova dress stuck in my head. Which is TDB because I can’t afford it new and finding a dress like that used, in your size, is a thing that happens only if you are really, really lucky. And no, I’m not going to ask my seamstress to make me a copy, because I would feel super skeavy about asking an artist to make me a copy of another artist’s work.

    I know I’m going to love my dress. I’m just not sure whether I should have a specific idea of what I want it to look like or not. A specific idea will help her to put it together, but there is a danger in putting an imaginary dress together in my head, because the finished product is *not* going to be what was in my head, no matter how good she is. Things get lost in translation, and I feel like having a specific vision will set me up for disappointment.

  • Jo

    Have any of you hired buses to transport your guests to or from your party? I’m wondering where to start and how much to expect it will cost.

    We don’t have a venue ironed out, and I’ve been trying to stick with something that would be close enough downtown to hotels that we wouldn’t have to worry about people driving; but there seem to be some reasonable venues that aren’t next to hotels (and not so many options that are). I’m just wondering whether we can afford to hire a bus. I’ve always appreciated them when I’ve been at other people’s weddings, and I REALLY hate the idea of anyone driving drunk.


    • Catherine McK

      We did. I just looked up the quote, it was 1018.70 including tax and tip for ~8 hours, pick-ups at 3:30 and 4, and 3 return trips in Chicago. Other than the fact that the bus was too tall for underpasses, and half my dad’s family almost missed the ceremony, it worked out great. We were worried no one would take them, but they definitely did, and I felt better knowing that there was an option to get people back to a train to the city. Although lots of people drove anyway.

      • Jo

        Thanks Catherine,
        Do you know how many people the bus could carry vs how many people you had at your party? Did they end up needing to take the 3 return trips, how’d that go?

        • Catherine McK

          Sorry for the delayed response. I think it could hold 55 people or so and about 200 guests. We tallied up everyone who might possibly use it and based the bus size on that. So, no counting grandma, but yes to friends who live in the city and might have taken the train to the bus. It made all three return trips not due to capacity but because people wanted to leave at different times. The last bus was at 11. Really not sure how many people took it though, sorry! Also yes to the comment below! One of our hotel blocks was close enough to the venue that people took that shuttle. The bus was for the other 2 blocks plus city guests. Good luck!

    • If you have hotel blocks booked, sometimes the hotels will offer a free shuttle to your venue.

  • Eight days away, over here!

    Current anxiety of the day: Helium.

    Seems I got a bit over excited a few weeks ago, when I was imagining having six of those big mother balloons (36″) in my wedding parade, as well as two huge golden letters for the initials of our names, and squealing at how fun everything was going to be.

    But apparently there is a helium shortage in the world and the shit is expensive, and my brain is hurting at how many small tanks I’d have to buy from Toys r Us to fill that many cubic feet ….
    Or I could rent a helium tank (also expensive) but I’m worried about transporting it on and off the ferry (getting married on an island)…

    What have I gotten myself into?

  • I’m so late to this party, I doubt anyone will see this, but:

    DALLAS LADIES!! (or DFW in general.)

    I have a friend who needs alternations for her wedding dress. Any recommendations, other than David’s Bridal??

    • I’m no where near Dallas, but I want you to know I’m late to this party, too, and we can just hang out together, being the cool kids who roll up to the party fashionably late.

      • YAY!!!

        I mean, ahem, *assumes cool stance*. ‘sup?

  • anon

    A couple weeks ago, I posted something in one of these about being concerned about my husband’s behavior at work — he had been so miserable at his “dream job” that he’d been antagonizing his boss and not living up to his commitments to complete projects on time. I said I was anxious about him committing career suicide, and I’d tried everything to help, and he just looked like he was on this path that he couldn’t get off of. Lady Brett, Class of 1980, and lots of others posted wonderful, supportive responses that helped me get myself settled down.

    Today, the worst happened: he was forced out of the “dream job” he hated — forced to resign.

    I’m sure there will be sadness and money headaches to come, but weirdly, the overwhelming feeling we’re both experiencing is relief.Our little band of two feels more solidly knit together than it ever has before, and I’m feeling hopeful now that we’re finally able to talk about plans for this new future.

    I just wanted to say thank you to all the ladies who helped me get my head on straight a few weeks ago — I’m finding that I’m able to support my husband in the ways that he needs, and I wouldn’t have been able to do that without your support and advice.

  • Guys, my wedding is in 9 days. This is the last open thread I’ll be around for where I’m a single lady. Umm, yikes.

    Here’s my big issue: I have been a non-stop sensitive cranky pants.

    I’m entirely unstressed about planning. My partner and I have worked together like pros, and there’s nothing left to do but the smallest details. (Other than getting our marriage license next Friday, nothing else on our to-do list is actually essential for having an amazing wedding. (And even that? Hell, we won’t tell anyone and we’ll go to city hall next month and I’ll get to wear my wedding dress twice.)

    But, oh, the emotions! There are so many, that I’m completely overwhelmed and confused by how I actually feel. Last night we had a phone call with our DJ (who is aaaawwwesome) and I felt excited and happy. We decided to go out to dinner (impromtu date! yay!) and I continued to feel really happy. I got an email from my MOH, encouraging me to speak up about what I wanted on a certain wedding issue, so that everyone can make me happy. I called MOH to say it’s not all that big a deal, and I wound up *crying* about my fear of being a bridezilla. Then I went home and in trying to discuss my tears to my FH, picked a fight with him, and then wound up ugly crying in the shower, while he shampooed my hair and told me everything was going to be fine. Umm, whaaattt???

    So, yeah, everyone around me is being entirely & utterly lovely. And when I’m not super happy, I’m somehow running around causing mayhem and picking fights with people and crying.

    I’ve been so focused on achieving wedding zen as it pertains to the things, but I am entirely unprepared for the emotions, I’m afraid. Any sage words of wisdom?

    • Meghan

      Hey Kyley – no particularly wise words from this corner, but a fist-bump of solidarity. I’m still 2 1/2 months out from my wedding, and totally ugly-cried all over my fiance last night about figuring out ‘who I am’. I’m also pretty low-key and low-stress about the planning, and I think feeling like you have that part of in hand can leave you open to getting blindsided by the emotional part of it. Because, got it handled = no crying, right? Apparently not necessarily! He had some really great comforting words for me, which basically consisted of “It’s a huge change. I understand. It’s okay to be feeling the way you’re feeling.”

      So just try to remember that and say it to yourself – it’s okay to feel the way you’re feeling! Give yourself a break, let your awesome support network support you, and remember someday you’ll be through it and looking back.

      PS: What helps me rely on my amazing support network? Thinking of ways I’ll support them in the future. e.g. My amazing mom is fielding all the complicated vendor stuff and being my staunch advocate. Next summer, I’ll help her plant and tend her vegetable garden. Someday, I’ll care for her when she’s in her golden years. My kick-ass maid of honor is helping throw me an incredible bridal shower. I’m going to help her move into her new house later this year, and someday when she and her hubby have a little one I’ll provide free babysitting.

    • If you’re hypoglycemic or exhausted, that can cause a whole lot of yelling and crying and general crankyness.

    • If you’re anything like me, anticipation can be sneaky-stressful. Any time before a trip, or a major event, or anything where I have the slightest bit of responsibility, I get all wound up inside without realizing it. Even though everything has been planned perfectly. Even though everyone has been crazy helpful. Even though I know everything there is to know about the thing. I preemptively worry about the day-of going well, and just get more and more tense until it seeps out of my pores and even having to figure out what to have for breakfast seems like one decision too many.

      I, too, was a zen-master re: the logistics before my wedding but I, too, was cranky and snappish right beforehand. I dealt with it by just taking time for myself. I was originally going to work up until the day before the wedding, but found myself crying before work and overwhelmed almost an entire week beforehand. So I managed to get out of work for the final few days, citing “wedding things!” even though there were seriously no more wedding things left to be done. I slept in, I watched “Bridezillas” on Netflix to feel SO MUCH BETTER about my own emotions and antics, I splurged on fancy coffees, I walked around in my wedding shoes and put together outfits to wear with them for after the wedding, I invited friends over to play Mario Kart 64 tournaments.

      Taking the time to acknowledge that I was being a crankypants and just take care of myself made all the difference. Pretending to go about as normal (because I’m handling this, right? RIGHT?? Why wouldn’t I be handling this????) was just stressing me out even more, since I wasn’t actually handling regular-life very well at the time. A life-hiatus, if you can manage it, would probably help immensely.

  • CandiCane

    Today was my last day at my current job. I am excited/scared to have this time to get healthy and less stressed. Leaving my job without having anything else lined up meant a lot of people at work were asking personal and inappropriate questions. Anyone else have excessively rude and nosy coworkers? I know I don’t have to deal with them anymore, but it still bothers me that they felt it appropriate to pry.

    • I know the situation is over now but what helps me is figuring out before hand what I’m prepared to share and with who. Some people I work with get to know way more so they need to know that isn’t common knowledge and they need to not share. Then figure out a polite stock response that is super vague if you won’t it to be and then, for the really obnoxious ones, a polite way of telling them it isn’t any of their business.

      I know it’s tough especially for health related things. I’m pretty open about one health problem because people can see that I don’t do the same physical things as everyone else. However, I’ve got other issues which are waiting on being diagnosed and that can make me emotional sometimes so I try not to talk about it. That being said, I’m starting to miss work and need more help doing my job so people are starting to ask and the best thing I can come up with is “I’m sick but we don’t know why and I have a specialist appointment in September.” The last bit distracts people from offering advice and it lets them know that there’s something being done so we don’t have to discuss that. Overall, some people are gossips but some people really care.

      Sorry, that was pretty rambly and not really related.

  • Samantha

    Okay, so I bought some wedding shoes from Macys and then decided they wouldn’t work for me. I sold them on e-bay. Once the buyer got them, she said she may want to return them because she doesn’t like the color. I said, sorry no returns- as stated on my e-bay account. Then she threatened to with taking it to e-bay. I read somethings online about how e-bay actually always sides with the buyer and forces returns so I said okay, I don’t want to deal with this, you can have your return. She said she would let me know within three days. Well, it’s four weeks later, I hadn’t heard anything from her until now, and she wants to return the shoes. I want to ignore her. It’s ridiculous. I think the shoes were worn to a wedding and now she’s done and trying to get her money back and screw me over, because they were brand new unworn when I sold them. Am I wrong to ignore her and let her take it up with e-bay? It’s been a month since she bought them. I’m so ticked off at this person. Why can’t people just be decent? I’ve got enough real problems that I don’t want to worry about these stupid shoes potentially being screwed out of $200. This is the first time I’ve ever sold anything on e-bay and I’m so never doing it again.

    • Emmers

      Can you try contacting Ebay pre-emptively to explain the situation and your suspicions and see what they say?

      You could call or email them and include copies of your communication with her (like her emails, showing the dates she contacted you with), and a screenshot showing that you had originally stated no returns.

      If it works it would save you some grief!

  • SamanthaNichole

    I am always thinking of questions after happy hour is over!! So if anyone is still checking this thread my question is about timing after the ceremony. We are having a Roman Catholic ceremony, so do we process out and then sign the marriage license? Or sign the license and then process out? We want to ring the bell at the church on the way out. We also want to have a grand exit with people throwing something at us (hahahaha – that just always cracks me up that that is how we celebrate – what to throw? Is rice really bad for birds? Should we do bird seed then?) Phew! So what order does this happen in? Process, sign, bell, exit? Or Sign, process, bell, exit? Will people wait around for all that to happen or be bored and start going to the reception so no one will be left for our exit?

    Thanks Ladies!!! :)

    • I *think* from what I’ve seen (my county actually didn’t even require our signatures on our license, just our officiant’s, which was massively disappointing), you process out and then do whatever you were planning to do–receiving line? disappearing around a corner to giggle about being married? and go back into to do the signing.

      You can have your ushers (if you have them, or friends/family if you don’t) stand at the doors at the back of the sanctuary and hand out your throwing-things (bird seed, sprinkles, bubbles, etc…) to your guests as they exit. You go back in and sign your license after everyone is out and assembling themselves outside–this is what family and bridal party people are for, leading the way. If they go stand on some steps in an orderly fashion, other people will too.

      Have a point-person to shut the outside doors/tell your guests when you’re about to come out, then exit and be showered with throwy-things!

      Ring the bell whenever you want!

    • too far to care

      You should discuss this with your priest. For my wedding, we signed the license at the rehearsal the day before. For my best friend’s wedding at a different parish, she and her husband signed the license while the guests were receiving Communion. It depends on your priest and parish. For the three other Roman Catholic weddings I’ve been to, there was no stopping from the end of the service to the processional. If you are worried about this, then talk to your priest/friendly parish support staff, and they can help clear this up!

    • Kat

      At the weddings I’ve been to (in New Zealand) couples do ceremony, vows etc, then the kiss (if they’re having one) then sign the license (everyone waits around so you generally fill is as many details as you can in advance), then the celebrant/minister/priest says some closing words (possibly a final reading), then the couple processes back down the aisle.

      Talk to your priest who will probably be able to tell you how it usually works.

      Re-reading your post I suspect things will be different where you are as you’ll need people to leave the church before you so they can throw things at you (usually petals here, but I’ve only seen people throw things in outdoor weddings). I agree you can get your bridal party/family/ushers or similar to lead the way – get people out of the church and handout the throwing item (maybe while you sign the license?). If you give them something to throw they’ll wait around for you to come out.