APW Happy Hour


BUT THE NEWS THOUGH

by Meg Keene, CEO & Editor-In-Chief

Hey APW,

How are y’all doing? Over here spring has really truly sprung, and it is BEAUTIFUL. Also, we’re heading into wedding season hard enough that I’m missing putting my kids to bed a few too many nights. Which I’m sad about, but also Marketing Coordinator Kate and I went to a “work dinner” at Tartine Manufactory, so I cried all my sad tears into the best bread in the world/things are alright.

And beyond that, the news omfg right? I will walk into an appointment, and then get back in the car, and no longer understand the news because something so big has broken in the last thirty minutes that I’m out of the loop. AND THIS HAPPENS MORE THAN ONCE IN A DAY. But it’s fine, because the boys at Pod Save America are giving me life, and the weather is good, and the rule of law is back, apparently, even for presidents who get two scoops of ice cream when everyone else gets one.

I’m heading into a weekend of kid crafts and prepping our deck for re-staining, plus plenty of glasses of white wine. What are you up to?

XO,

Meg

LINK ROUND-UP

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My child came out as transgender last year: why being her advocate is so important.

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Has the Handmaid’s Tale given us the scariest anti-feminist villain yet?

Meg Keene

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

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[Read comment policy before commenting]

  • Emily

    Life is rolling along here too, and getting busy because we have 99 DAYS TIL OUR WEDDING!!! It’s crazy because we’ve been engaged for eons (read: 2 years) so now that it’s almost upon us? Eek! Navigating turning 30 and getting married in the same weekend has been tough, but I have a good therapist and a better fiance. Happy Friday all!

    ps. I also just discovered Pod Save America, and it’s been getting me through this hellish week.

    • Anna

      Oh man, we got engaged in October 2015 (so like 18 months ago? Can I count?) and now we are LESS THAN A MONTH OUT and HOLY SHIT and yeah it definitely felt like time suddenly sped up by a factor of a million at the three-month-ish mark. Also our wedding will be just over a week before my twenty-somethingth birthday, and despite the lack of round numbered birthday and lack of actual direct overlap (although we’ll be on our honeymoon for my birthday), it still feels like a lot all at once, so I feel you there too.

      • Emily

        Right? It was like once we were down into double digits I realized just how much there still is to do. Ps. Birthdays and weddings together FTW! Might as well get it all done at once, you know?

        • Anna

          Yeah, we’d been kind of ignoring wedding planning from about month 9 (when we booked our venue) until month 3 (I think the only things we did in between were photographer and band, like, we each picked one thing), when we suddenly realized we needed to get moving on finding an officiant, actually talking to our venue coordinator about shit, invitations (which I designed), registry, wedding website, etc etc etc. Now we’re sort of in another lull, which feels very much like the calm before the storm.

        • theteenygirl

          I’m not really a big birthday celebrator, and this year my birthday (Sept 16) falls on a Saturday so I REALLY REALLY wanted to get married ON my birthday because 1) I’ll never have to celebrate a birthday ever again 2) Fiance won’t forget either 3) mid September is THE BEST time of the year

          But the venue wasn’t available soooooo we’re getting married on the 25th. Womp womp.

          • Anna

            See, I’m a HUGE birthday celebrator (my own and others’ – like, fiance and I have always done small/novelty gifts at the holidays, but large/meaningful gifts for birthdays; I have a whole philosophy around birthdays-as-explicit-appreciation-of-one-person-you-care-about-days) and so a week and a half between wedding (and thus anniversary) and my birthday means that it’ll be a very celebratory couple of weeks (definitely no combining the two). But you can definitely combine the two celebrations so you’re only really celebrating your anniversary if you prefer! Nine days apart isn’t very long.

            Also, my sister’s birthday is Sept 15 and my parents’ wedding anniversary (also my maternal grandparents’ anniversary) is Sept 13 :-)

          • theteenygirl

            Mid September! I tell ya.. it’s THE BEST! :)

          • Lisa

            We got married less than two weeks after my birthday, and now my husband bemoans the fact that he has to figure out two presents for me within the span of two weeks!

          • theteenygirl

            Haha my fiance said the same thing but luckily for him I’m not big on presents. The only thing I ask for on my birthday is that I don’t have to cook myself dinner. So in the past I’ve always gone out for dinner either with family or by myself or got takeout. Now as long as he cooks (heck a grilled cheese would be fine) I’m a happy camper :)

          • savannnah

            We are getting married on sept 16th and my birthday is sept 17th! so many people were horrified they were close together but I’m looking forward to it! (I’m also a twin so its never been MY day)

          • theteenygirl

            I was supposed to be born on Sept 17 but I was a day early! My nan’s birthday was Sept 17 and she was SO UPSET that I was born 6 hours too early haha!

          • Engaged Chicago

            My fiancé s birthday is 4 days after our wedding. I ruled the date out at first because I assumed he wouldn’t want to combine but he’s thrilled he gets to technically be “married before 30” (as if that matters lol). Should make for an easy celebration I hope on our honeymoon!

          • nutbrownrose

            I would HATE to get married on my birthday, because I consider birthdays a special me-time, and I would hate to share it. Also, now I get presents in December, May AND July. Or will. After this July 22. Which is 2 months and 3 days from now. AHHHHHH. We still don’t have an officiant!

    • scw

      ditto on pod save america!

    • Gaby

      I just listened to Pod Save America for the first time today (the most recent ep) and laughed out loud real hard when they forgot to talk about Mueller because of the volume of news this week. So glad I finally got to it.

  • lamarsh

    Officially one month out from our Honeymoon today, so I have finally started to plan the details. I would love to hear people’s recs for Portugal, specifically the Alentejo and the Algarve. We are spending a week in each and plan to do lots of daytrips. I have hotels and big logistics coordinated, so if you know of any cities, churches, restaurants, vineyards, etc. that we should check out, please let me know!

    Also, 4 more weeks till the wedding! Eeek!

    • JSK

      Did a few days in the Algarve in 2010 and it’s wonderful. We stayed in a hotel in Lagos and didn’t really move around much from there, did more beachy things. I love the food and culture in Portgual (and the wine). Have so much fun!

  • Lisa

    Happy Friday, everyone!

    I’ve mentioned it here before, but I want to plan a gold-themed birthday for my golden 30th birthday. I want to invite about 30-35 close friends and family to a city I love and host a nice dinner and drinks in the evening. The issue I have is that all the invitees except 3 would be out-of-town guests. I have no idea how many of these friends would be willing to come out though several have said that they’d be interested when I’ve floated the idea past them.

    Here’s my dilemma: it’s really difficult to plan a party of about this size without knowing numbers. If only half or less are willing to come out for the weekend, then we’re looking at a larger dinner party that could pretty easily be accommodated at most restaurants with enough notice. If two-thirds come, we’re starting to look at needing to book a private room, which typically comes with a mandatory minimum. I don’t want to get stuck with a more expensive private room if only 10 people turn out. (Which would be fine! It’s a birthday party, not a major life event, so I’m anticipating a lot of no’s.) Is there any way I can put together invitations and give a location but not a venue? I originally thought about sending an e-mail before the invitations to gauge formal interest, but that feels wrong. I haven’t planned a formal party outside of my wedding, and I’m just not sure how something like this would be done! Any thoughts or advice would be appreciated.

    • Amy March

      Practically, book both and cancel whichever reservation you don’t need a few weeks ahead when people RSVP. But also, people are terrible at RSVPs. I would not just send an invitation out in the mail. I’d email people individually months in advance, sort of an informal save the date. And ask them if they think they’d be able to come.

      • Lisa

        That’s what I was originally leaning towards (I have a draft typed up in my Gmail), but my mother thought it was odd so I started questioning my thought process. She also thought it was strange that I was hosting a birthday party for myself, which has made me start to doubt the whole plan!

        • Anna

          I think I’ve hosted every birthday party I’ve ever had (I mean, besides like when I was a kid and I guess my parents hosted).

        • Amy March

          I mean, technically you aren’t supposed to host a party in your own honor, so the traditional way of doing this would have been your husband throwing you a party and hosting it himself, or someone else. But personally I am happy to celebrate you by eating the food and drink you have bought me.

          • Lisa

            Ah, that’s helpful. I asked her if my husband was supposed to host it instead, and she really wasn’t sure, but she couldn’t tell me how to get around the “don’t host it yourself” problem.

        • Violet

          Whatever, my husband and I hosted my 30th birthday dinner, and it was AWESOME. Celebrate your damn self!

        • Katherine

          I wonder if this is a generational thing. I’m hosting my birthday party tonight, and all of my friends have hosted or organized their own birthday parties in recent years.

          • Lisa

            It’s totally possible. My friends have all hosted their own birthday celebrations at their house or invited people to go out for drinks or whatever. I’ve only seen it once where a friend hosted another friend’s party.

          • Anna

            Happy birthday :-)

          • Katherine

            Thanks!

          • Lisa

            Oh, I totally missed the part about it being your party tonight! Happy Birthday!!

          • Katherine

            Thank you!

          • Kara E

            General rule of thumb I use – If you’re paying for it, you can host your own birthday party! If you’re asking OTHERS to pay for it, you can’t.

        • There’s maybe a traditional etiquette point on that. But like, life is short & parties are fun — Celebrate yourself! ;)

        • RNLindsay

          Totally agree on the “life is short” sentiment! I love my birthday and never trust that someone else will pull through with planning a party so I always plan my own. Who cares! You’re providing them with a meal out? They shouldn’t care who hosts it, although I guess the husband-as-host solves that issue if it really bothers you

          • Lisa

            Yeah, I can see it going either way if I leave it up to my husband to put something together. Plus, I feel like I care more (it’s my birthday!) so it only makes sense I’d take the reins on planning.

          • RNLindsay

            haha well by “husband as host” I mean his name on paper for etiquette purposes but I would actually do all the planning ;)

          • I agree, and I have thrown two birthday parties for myself these last couple of years: for the first birthday that also marked the end of the worst year of my life and for my 40th. The pros of inviting people to celebrate with me far outweighed any potential etiquette cons. And I think, like people have said, it might just be generational and cultural. I have seen lots of younger friends and acquaintances throw their own gatherings. And I know in Europe, if it’s your birthday, you bring a dessert to share with others, which is the opposite of my inclination, which is to make a dessert for the person whose birthday it is.

        • Mer

          I just did this!! I planned a golden 30th birthday for myself…but had my fiance be “the host”. Most people knew it all me though. DO IT!!

          • Lisa

            Glad to hear someone else did it and that it turned out well! I have been dreaming about this for a couple of years so I’m hoping it ends up working out.

          • It’s fun that you all had a golden birthday older. I was 11. :) It seems much more fun to celebrate this as an adult and do something really special… Go for it all you people with golden birthdays as adults!

    • Anna

      Sounds like you need a save the date :-) [Also I missed the initial mention of this and that is a fucking phenomenal idea.]

      But really though, something like a save the date could be useful here. Like, make a simple e-card or something that says what the event is, the city, and a “let me know if you think you can make it! more details to come”, or something along those lines.

      • Lisa

        Ha, thank you! I was thinking it’s kind of like a save the date, but…I also want them to give me a 90% chance RSVP? So it’s not quite a STD in that respect, I guess. I really wanted to send out some formal invites (gold foil?!), but then who would I send them to? The people who have already RSVPed yes? Everyone? That’s when I started going the route of the formal invite but with no venue/time.

        • Laura

          Hey, if gold foil invites make you happy, totally go for it! Just include an informal email beforehand to get a head count of who is likely to make it. As someone who just squealed with delight as she opened a gold glittery wedding shower invite yesterday, I can attest that none of your friends will be upset to receive a fancy gold invitation to your bash.

        • Anna

          Okay yes gold foil is clearly perfect for this occasion.

          So, something like “evening of Month Day, 2017”, city, “RSVP by ” – with “venue and start time to follow”, or just omit that altogether and people will ask what the deal is when they RSVP?

          • penguin

            I came very close to asking you what Month Day was, and then realized I was an idiot. Happy Month Day ya’ll.

          • Anna

            I’m cracking up at my desk at work and getting weird looks from my coworkers now, thanks xD

        • RNLindsay

          I think you’re overthinking this a bit. I would do the STD (e-vite or email) and a “let me know if you think you can make it! More details to follow”. Then based on those responses, send out the formal invites with details. You can include people who were on the fence or you think might change their minds. The only people I wouldn’t send them to are people who responded to the STD with “no, I already have xx commitment on that date”

        • What about mailing the fancy invites sooner without a few details and then following up with the details via email based on who can come? That way you’d still have more of a surprise reveal with the invites.

    • rg223

      I think if everyone has to travel, the venue doesn’t matter when they make the travel plans, and it wouldn’t affect their ability to come. I’d email everyone with a less formal invite and see who can come. UNLESS you are somewhere where people would need to plan to stay close to the venue for some reason.

    • Katharine Parker

      I would book both, as Amy March suggests, at places that you can cancel easily. We’re booking a private room for our rehearsal dinner, and we had to put down a deposit to reserve it, but the deposit is refundable until two weeks out–so a pretty generous cancellation policy. Start investigating places that have reasonable private room minimums (or semi-private rooms or just places that can easily accommodate 20-30 people) and cancellation policies.

      And it sounds really fun! I would try to come, if I were invited to a birthday party like this.

    • Rosie

      This sounds so fun! A gold-themed party sounds amazing… great excuse to wear all of the glitter!

  • nyc_to_ma

    Oh man – so I’m usually just a lurker here, but I have such an APW-worthy dilemma that I’d love advice on! So, our wedding is 3 months from today, and we just sent out invitations last week. And YESTERDAY, the owner of our venue (a local restaurant) called to tell me that they’re going out of business in the next few weeks and definitely won’t make it until our August wedding.

    Sooo that was absurdly stressful, and I think I’m still in panic mode. But luckily our second choice (another local restaurant, just like half a mile from the original place) is still available on our date and is willing to let us do a buy-out on that night. So, I think everything is going to be okay.

    My question – how should we make sure everyone knows? Should we send something else in the mail, or is email sufficient? (FWIW, we’re going to have about 90 guests). My fiance doesn’t think we need to send something in the mail since everyone is an adult and we’ll call and/or email them. But I feel like when people go to a wedding, they just grab the invitation so they know where to go- and at least 1 person will end up at the wrong restaurant.

    Thoughts?

    • rg223

      I’m on your side, I am totally the person who would grab the invitation at the last minute and go to the wrong place. I would mail them something physical to replace the invitation, and I’d probably email everyone too!

    • Essssss

      I’m so sorry that happened, and so glad you have a good back up! Mailings can be a pain/$$ but it def seems like something to get right out in front. Do you have a wedding website you can plaster it at the top of, along with an email you send that lays out all the logistics? Can you put a sign at the restaurant the day of? Can you enlist a family member that wants to be involved in calling everyone individually so it’s not all on you?

    • penguin

      If you can afford to send something in the mail (even a postcard from Minted or something), I would do that, AND call/email them. Just to decrease the likelihood that somebody sits outside a closed down restaurant wondering where your wedding is.

      Also sending something in the mail makes sure that they have a new piece of paper to look at for the location. Also also, good on you for finding a new venue so fast! I would have been hardcore panicking.

    • Amy March

      All of the above? Send a post card with the change and an email. (I don’t think a card is absolutely necessary, but it’s not a bad idea).

    • AmandaBee

      Ooof, what a trip! That’s so great that you were able to find a plan B though.

      I would definitely hit up “the moms” or whoever is the source of information in your family and ask them to spread the word. Then if you can afford it, I’d *also* send folks a card in the mail – that way no one grabs the invite on the way out the door and ends up at the wrong place! If you just do a postcard, you could probably mail it pretty cheaply.

    • Brynna

      This happened to us, too – we sent another invitation that was identical to the original invitation, but with the date (ours involved a date change, not venue) circled and crossed out, with the new date written in red ink. People got a kick out of it, actually. I do think it’s important to send something physical, for the exact reason you mentioned.

      Then, we called everyone. I think everyone came on the right day!

      • Anna

        That’s a great idea, because it very clearly highlights what’s changed and what hasn’t. Like when you get the notification from Google Calendar that an event has been updated and it says “Changed:” next to the part that’s different :-)

      • Brynna

        Also, since your second venue is so close to your original one, you can even ask a kind-hearted guest to post up at the old venue and direct people to the new one the day-of, if you’re really worried about it.

        • Anna

          Or put up a sign, even – the original venue will be out of business, right? So putting a sign on their door shouldn’t be an issue.

          • Lisa

            Depends on whether something has taken over the spot by then or not. If something has, they could always call and give the new business a heads up and ask them to re-direct any wandering wedding guests.

          • penguin

            Also depends if you want any randos who visit that abandoned building that day to get re-directed to your wedding instead. Not a bad idea though, overall.

          • Anna

            Heh, fair. I feel like it’s not uncommon to see a sign in e.g. a hotel lobby that says “Smith-Jones Wedding in Ballroom D” or something like that, but I guess in that case there are also hotel staff around making it at least less likely that randos will wander in.

    • Yikes, that’s no fun at all… Personally, I’d send something physical and call/email. I think you are right about people grabbing invites for directions, and also this type of situation is one where a little redundancy is your friend.

    • zana

      Postcard + email.
      Vistaprint will print custom postcards for pretty cheap. Like, $40 for 100, but you might have to design them yourself.

      • Lisa

        You can design them as much or as little as you want. You can start from scratch or pick one of the pre-designed templates and fill in the text boxes. (We used them for our Christmas cards last year, and it was perfect!)

    • nyc_to_ma

      Thanks everyone!! You’re right – we really should send something in the mail. Our invites are from Paperless Post (their paper invites, which is confusing), so I think we can print something that matches for not too much money…

      • Anna

        …I had no idea Paperless Post made paper invites, and I find this disproportionately hilarious.

        • savannnah

          you can also just send out e-invites and order a few for keepsakes!

  • Laura

    I passed my dissertation defense on Wednesday!! Completely nailed it. And although I still need to complete a one-year internship before I officially get my Ph.D., the worst is over.

    I’m currently at home, in bed, finishing my breakfast after sleeping in! On a Friday! Not at the lab! For the first time in five straight years! Day drinking will commence shortly.

    • Anna

      So much congratulations!! That’s fantastic and you’re awesome and have a lovely lazy celebratory day-drinking day :D

    • Rose

      Yay! So exciting! Congratulations! I’m just imaging how amazing it must feel to be done!

    • Congratulations!

    • AmandaBee

      Congratulations! Sounds like you’re soaking it up the right way :)

    • scw

      congratulations!!!

  • Essssss

    I’ve been working on a big project and microsoft word spontaneously combusted yesterday and I lost two days of work. I’ve been to the end of the internet and back learning how to find invisible temporary files on Macs and all sorts of things because it was supposed to be autosaving and syncing to drop box every 5 minutes, and I saved it regularly too, and yet, the most recent version is two days old. So, eff the computers, and thank god its Friday.

    • sofar

      My heart rate is elevated upon reading your post. That is my worst nightmare.

    • Alli

      Something similar happened to my coworker with Excel, I don’t remember exactly how she resolved it but I know she found some random file hidden away with the recent saves. I hope you can find it!

      • Essssss

        There is literally nothing in the temporary files where it should be. I’ve tried everything I can find on the internet, including just like a basic search in case the file got saved under a different name. I thought I was smarter than this, doing all the right things, but, nope!

    • Cellistec

      Nooooooooooooooo. I’m so sorry. It’s only happened to me recently with small docs I could easily rewrite, and that was bad enough. TGIF indeed.

    • Katherine

      That bites. Our servers at work are incredibly finicky, and I am constantly terrified about this.

  • Anon

    Oof. This week my boss let me know that I’m not on a trajectory for a higher-level position and suggested I look elsewhere in the company. It stung so much. At the same time, I don’t think my role is a fit. I haven’t been particularly happy and I’ve been struggling a bit lately, though my performance reviews for a couple years have always shown some, if slow, progress. I’m not fired but I’m not really wanted. It feels a little like a case of got dumped before I could break up with job. And she gave some negative feedback that my brain keeps revisiting over and over. Blah. Has this ever happened to you and how did you get over it? This whole thing has been crushing my self esteem and making it even harder to work.

    • Essssss

      That sucks! It’s so hard not to take negative feedback personally, but whether she framed it this way or not, it’s about actions, not who you are as a person. It’s hard when its raw and fresh, but maybe with a little space you can take what’s helpful as a gift, and leave the rest. And, it sounds like if you’ve been unhappy anyway, maybe this is good motivation to find a situation you’ll be happier in! I hope so! Would taking some actions like looking elsewhere help you feel more productive/positive rather than spinning the ideas? You’ve got this!

    • Amanda

      As a musician I get a lot of rejection. Some of it comes with feedback ect and most not. My process is to let myself mope about it for a little bit, usually a few hours to a few days, depending. I get to tell myself I’m giving up, make jokes about at least I have xyz, whatever, just be down on the whole thing.

      Then I come out of it, and I’m super ready to take on the world because I see the next thing to work towards, which for me is the next audition.

      So my advice is to let yourself feel however, then learn from it, then get excited about the next thing. However long all this takes is fine.

    • Not Sarah

      I’ve had this happen…multiple times now and it’s really, really sucky, no matter how much you already knew it inside. I was laid off last year from a job that was a bad fit and I knew it was a bad fit, but it still sucked when it happened. It sounds like a bit of soul searching and some hunting for a job that you are better aligned with is in order.

    • Oh that sucks! But think of it this way – your boss gave you confirmation that you’ve reached your limit at your company, and that’s very freeing. You can now figure out what you want to do and where you want to work, and put your energy into finding a role that’s a good fit AND gives you room to grow. Best of luck!

    • I’m sorry about this; that must be really discouraging. Like Amanda, I get a lot of rejection for my artistic work/projects and it can be really hard. I let myself mope and feel discouraged for a while then focus my energy on a more promising new or different artistic project and/or even another part of my life that feels more positive. I don’t have any magic advice but time, self care and focusing on something else tends to help me with the sting until I later feel ready to try something else. Good luck!

  • AGCourtney

    I’ll start off with something great that happened today; I’ve had a rough week emotionally, but this really boosted my spirits.

    First: some of you may remember me posting back in October about how my daughter got an American Girl doll, Molly, for her birthday. She has continued to absolutely adore Molly, but tragedy struck last week: her leg came off while Autumn was trying to take a boot off. Once I had reassured her we weren’t mad and she began to calm down, we talked about how we’d come up with a way for her to earn another one. Did she want Molly again? She did.

    Well, the other day, a friend of mine texted me that Samantha and a few other AG dolls were at a church garage sale she was helping set up. I figured Samantha could tide her over until we found a Molly, so I decided to get it. The sale opened at 7am this morning, so I was there right at 7 – I went straight to the kids’ room. A woman already had three dolls in her hand and was checking their necks, but I recognized one still on the table right away (despite the modern clothes) and picked it up. If I’d gotten to that room *5 seconds later*, I would not have gotten it. I saw the Pleasant Company stamp on her neck and the price tag – $10. I started picking up baggies of clothes that were also for sale, all only a couple bucks each. I also got doll beds and a wardrobe! When I got home, I started looking through the baggies of clothes. One baggie had Molly’s sweater, which puzzled me for a moment…and then it clicked. I looked at the doll again – blue eyes. Samantha has brown eyes. It was Molly!!! So not only did we get Molly for $10 AGAIN but now we have her entire original outfit – including glasses – and her Christmas dress and a whole bunch other other clothes, accessories, and furniture – all for less than $40. _> Ah, the end of Defying Gravity was amazing.

    Speaking of musical theater, my first rehearsal for Pirates of Penzance is on Sunday. They finally got the first week’s schedule out to us the other day (and I have to miss 2 due to work…) and hopefully they’ll get the rest out soon here because I need to figure out tutoring clients! I’m nervous but it’ll probably be fine.

    My supervisor at my main job at the college library pulled me aside during my weekly day shift and said that they really like me there and if I ever wanted to take on another role there, to let him know and they would keep it in mind. I already know I’m getting some more hours next year, taking on some duties of someone that’s retiring next month. Sometimes I have major imposter syndrome, so it’s nice to hear I’m appreciated!

    • Essssss

      OMG that’s my American Girl Doll life dream. Nice work!

    • Rose

      Yay! I’m glad there’s a happy ending to the doll story, but I did also want to mention that they at least used to be quite good about repairing dolls. My sister’s Samantha lost her head the first week she had her, and I’m pretty sure they fixed it for free. So that might also be an option! Although it sounds like you may not need it.

      • AGCourtney

        Thanks! Yeah, they still have a “doll hospital” and I could get the limb reattached for $32.

        • Rose

          Really? $32? To fix damage that happened within a year? I guess even over a decade later, everything American Girl is still crazy expensive. I’m really glad you could find another Molly, then!

          • AGCourtney

            Well, we got this Molly (very well)-used for $10. They actually don’t even sell her new right now, haha.

          • NotMotherTheresa

            What?!?!?! As the perennially ‘quirky’ kid with glasses and lots of awkward but well-intentioned ideas of what would be cool to do, the news that they’ve discontinued Molly breaks my nerdy heart! Molly was my girl! I mean, I always wanted to be a Samantha, but nah. I was a Molly to the core.
            (On the upside, it makes me so happy that your daughter loves Molly as much as I did. I feel like she never got any love when I was growing up!)

          • AGCourtney

            What they seem to be doing is temporarily discontinuing dolls for a few years, and then bringing them back to great fanfare, a la Disney. Samantha has returned and I’ve heard rumors Felicity is next. (Felicity, Kirsten, and Molly are all currently unavailable.)

          • Jennifer

            I was totally a Molly too. I am blonde though, but I was absolutely a quirky/nerdy kid growing up and I felt the same way – that Molly was an overlooked American Girl.

    • Laura

      That is some serious American Girl Doll magic. What a fantastic find, and your daughter must be so thrilled!

    • Lisa

      What luck!! Congratulations on finding a new Molly!

    • Kat

      Molly was always my fave, I got her for Christmas when I was 8 or 9? The same year I got glasses and was NOT happy about them.

      • rg223

        Aww, that is an extremely sweet gift from whoever got that for you!

        • Kat

          I think it was my uncle, who also gave me my first Harry Potter book. Who would I even be without him!

          • rg223

            Ahhh I love your uncle!

      • Kat

        Although I did always want to be like Kirsten, because she had that pretty braided crown at Christmas time.

        • toomanybooks

          I also had Molly but really liked Kirsten!! Kirsten was goals lol

      • Katherine

        Similar thing happened with me – got a Molly doll for the first birthday after I got my glasses.

    • American Girl (and all dolls, but especially AG) was a highlight of my childhood. I’m glad they’re still a thing. I hope your daughter is having a wonderful time with hers.

      • Anna

        My grandmother used to make outfits for my American Girl dolls – I had Samantha and one that “looked like me” – and so I strongly associate AG with her.

    • CP2011

      That’s awesome you found another Molly! I was going to suggest the AG doll hospital, which is probably insanely expensive, but I remember looking longingly at the picture of an AG doll in a cast and wheelchair in the mid-90s catalog and thinking it would be so cool to send my doll to the hospital.

      • AGCourtney

        Haha, didn’t we all? I looked around for an AG wheelchair and did find one in a nearby town for $15, so we may make metaphorical lemonade out of this. xD

  • Alyssa

    People, this week needs to be OVER. There was an awful tragedy last weekend with one of my students where both of his parents were killed, which of course the whole community knows about and has completely (and understandably) disrupted the school I work at, and there are so many 8-year olds with existential questions that I can only ponder with them, not solve. It’s hard to hold.

    And — AND — Wedding venting to follow… my parents initially offered to pay for our wedding dinner (at a restaurant with 30 guests), but when I forwarded them the quote/down payment info, they avoided it for the last four days before it (sort of) erupted yesterday, after my texting them to let me know, because we need to book sooner than later, my mom texts “we want what you want” — and anyone with a passive communicator in their life knows what THAT means. Then, 6 hours later my dad texts me saying “DON’T book it! I need to have a serious conversation with you and your mom about money” — please note that he didn’t include my fiance even though fiance LIVES with them at the moment. Meanwhile, our wedding is in three weeks and y’all — finding a restaurant in Paris to hold and serve 30 people is damn near impossible, nevermind that at least half the guests are vegetarian and/or lactose intolerant which severely impacts our choices over there. So Fiance and I talked on the phone, got on the same page about what we want (we decided we’re going to do it ourselves as a gift to everyone who came), and Fiance talked with my parents about how this restaurant is not only what we want but can work with dietary restrictions (it’s an Italian place) PLUS the fact that we’ve looked for restaurants for 15 months now that can accommodate our group and this is the best we’re gonna do especially with three weeks left.

    I’m also trying to study for my Law and Ethics exam so I can renew my therapist license requirements, am prepping to move away from an area that I’ve grown to love over the past four years back to my hometown area which I’m excited about, but still — am trying to figure out all this wedding shenanigans between food, signing papers and wondering why the F we didn’t just elope, and am coming off the loss of someone in our family that felt like a grandfather to me. Phew!

    Looking forward to heading to Tahoe for the weekend with the Fiance and trying to knock some things off my to-do list and mentally resetting. Anyone else have good self-care plans for the weekend??

    • penguin

      Oh my god they pulled that with three weeks to go?? Good on you and your fiancé for handling it, and good luck on your wedding!! Super pumped to hear about how it goes (and live vicariously through your descriptions).

      • Alyssa

        Yeah, they were wanting us to see what else we could find that would be cheaper, and I was like… hell no. Yeah it’s expensive but it’s all-inclusive (which means wine and champagne) and we’d get a private room, and the owner is actually the brother of an acquaintance of ours who hooked us up with the restaurant in the first place. We have been looking since this time last year, we’re not going to miraculously find anything new at this point!

        • penguin

          Exactly! Also, it’s a wedding in Paris IN THREE WEEKS. Expensive doesn’t sound surprising…

          • Alyssa

            Right. And overall, they’re contributing less money to our wedding than to my brothers’ wedding last year, so… c’mon! You’d think they could keep it in perspective, right?!

    • AGCourtney

      *internet hugs*

    • AmandaBee

      Oh man that’s so frustrating! I hope they’ll consider kicking in something even if they weren’t ready for the whole cost. Sorry that happened, but it sounds like you guys are still on track and I bet it’ll all be awesome!

    • Yikes, I’m sorry that’s a lot to deal with at all, let alone in one week. All the internet good vibes!

    • Emily

      OMG dealing with family drama like this is my nightmare. I am so sorry you’re dealing with, but for the record it sounds like you’re dealing with it really well! Sending you all the positive internet vibes!

      Also, I’m so sorry to hear about your student. My sister had something terrible along the same lines happen to her last week, and I found that it’s hard to be on the sidelines. You want to help, to take it away, but you can’t. I’m so happy you have the support of your community. Hugs!

      • Alyssa

        It is definitely hard to be on the sidelines, especially because I worked with the victim and surviving family to provide counseling, but it was too soon/overwhelming, so they told me yesterday that they didn’t want to see me anymore — which is heartbreaking and all I could think of was whether I did anything wrong, but you really just have to step back and provide support as needed. Grief is such a tricky and varied experience.

        And re: family drama — I really thought we were off the hook with the family drama because Fiance and I specifically picked an approach that would minimize stress, but I’m learning that minimizing stress for us seems to increase stress for our families (because we’re not stressing, so someone’s got to, I guess?)

    • Essssss

      Ugh, that’s so rough, I’m glad you have a path forward! I don’t know if this is possible but would they be able more to contribute what they felt comfortable with and you to cover what’s above and beyond that amount, if they still want to contribute somehow? Also, congratulations on being three weeks out!!

      My self care weekend involves getting outside to exercise and finishing up season 2 of master of none!

      • Alyssa

        Yes — well so now they are thinking that they’re okay paying it (??), but I’m thinking I’d rather split the cost and relieve some stress on both ends.

        Happy exercising! I was really good about running 3-4 days/week but have slipped in motivation (due to all of the above). Can’t wait to start moving again!

    • Amy March

      Ugh I wish people would stop offering to pay for things without a monetary limit and then be shocked that things cost money. Not helpful!

      • Eenie

        Please write a book, and then I can throw said book at people when they act dumb.

    • Arie

      Oh man. Solidarity and ugh-snaps for your fiance, who’s in their house during this.

  • AmandaBee

    I TURNED MY DISSERTATION IN!!!! Good riddance to a solid year of stress!

    (Well, technically my advisor has it and will probably suggest edits, but she’d seen it all 2+ times and has told me already that she doesn’t expect substantive edits.)

    In other news, husband and I are stopping by NYC for a day on the way to sister-in-law’s graduation. Suggestions for things to do in and around Greenwich Village? We figured we’d pick a neighborhood and just hang out for a day since we have to hit a train in the evening. Places to eat, funky shops, etc.?

    • Laura

      Yay, congrats!!! As someone who just came out the other side, I can attest that turning it in was the best damn feeling in the world.

      • AmandaBee

        The good feeling didn’t really hit me until this morning when my alarm clock went off hella early (I’m a morning writer) and I was just like – nope! I get to sleep today, haha.

    • Essssss

      Go to Veniero’s Italian bakery.

      • AmandaBee

        Yess, this is now at the top of the list.

        • Essssss

          Best ever. I have family in NYC and it has a very important place in our occasional NYC visits.

    • Rose

      Yay! I turned mine in last week, and it was the best!

      • AmandaBee

        Yes, I remember your post. Thanks for the encouragement! It feels….weird? But so good to have the bulk of it out there.

        • Rose

          Yeah, it’s also weird. Hope you can enjoy at least a bit of time to relax!

    • rg223

      Congrats on the dissertation! Greenwich Village/East and West Village ideas: the Highline, Chelsea Market, The Evolution Store (cool shop with science-y items), Whitney Museum, Negril Village (Jamaican food), Velselka (Ukranian), Meskerem Ethiopian Cuisine, Big Gay Ice Cream Shop, Vol de Nuit beer garden. And there are some pretty good thrift shops and gift stores in the East Village, around Ave A and Thompkins Square Park.

      • AmandaBee

        Yes, thank you!

    • NolaJael

      The Literary Pub Crawl is really fun, too! I did it last year. http://www.literarypubcrawl.com/

      • AmandaBee

        That looks so fun!

  • penguin

    (background – I made the decision to not invite my mother to my wedding, and we sent out Save the Dates this week)

    I had an upsetting phone call last night, and I don’t think I handled it super well. I was talking to my grandma (who I’m close to), and my grandpa asked to talk to me. He got on the phone, and told me that he’d talked to my mom and when he asked her about the wedding, she said that she would be there if I invited her, but she didn’t know if she would be getting an invite. So he asked me flat out if I’d sent her a card (i.e. Save the Date), and I said no. I also said I wasn’t planning on sending one. Not sure what I was thinking here, but I asked him if he thought I should invite her. His answer was “of course, she’s your mother”. At this point I just went dead silent until he passed the phone back to my grandma, and then cried for a bit. She reassured me that I didn’t have to invite her, and shouldn’t invite anyone who I don’t want there on the wedding day. I just feel like, my mother doesn’t get to be terrible to me and ignore me my whole life, and then decide to don the mantle of “well I’m her MOTHER” whenever she feels like it. Actions have consequences, and the result is that I don’t want to have to see her on my wedding day.

    New fears – what if she shows up? Or people ask me about it all day? Or..?

    • Anna

      Is there someone to whom you can delegate the responsibility of deflecting questions about your mother on your wedding day? Who could also double as a human shield if she were to show up?

    • Amy March

      I think you handled that phone call very well last night! It sounds like your mother was aware she might not be invited, and is not planning on going unless she is.

    • Laura

      First, good for you for making the brave decision to prioritize your own well-being over whatever “tradition” or “society” or whomever thinks.

      I think on a practical note, this is where you need to get a few good friends in the loop and have them run interference for you on your wedding day. They can help to navigate nosy friends/relatives away from you. For anyone else who asks, practicing “My mom isn’t really part of my life” followed my an immediate topic change should do the trick.

      I’m sure it feels to you like everyone is going to be noticing and wondering where your mom is on your wedding day, but as a guest of several weddings with one or more absent parents, I can tell you that it scarcely crossed my mind. I assume everyone has perfectly good reasons for being present or being absent, and I certainly wouldn’t bring them up to the bride or groom.

      • penguin

        That’s a good idea. I’ve talked to my Maid of Honor (=best friend) about it and she’s on mom-deflector duty. I’m also going to talk to my older brother about it and see if he’d be willing to do this as well. Considering how relieved he was when I didn’t invite her, I bet he will.

    • jem

      I agree with Amy & would just add that it sounds like your grandmother supports your decision so she may be able to exert some influence to make sure your mother doesn’t show up uninvited?

      Sending you so many good vibes– this is tough and you’re doing a great job handling it

      • penguin

        Thank you <3

      • penguin

        Yep my grandma (my mom’s mom by the way) is going to talk to my grandpa about this, and low-key spread the word that my mom isn’t invited so people will stop asking if she’ll be there or not. I think most people won’t be surprised that I’m not inviting her, and it’ll help that my grandma (family matriarch) is backing me up on this. Thank you for the kind words – APW is the best.

    • erika22

      You’re doing the right thing by taking care of yourself first.

      We’re two weeks out from the wedding, and recently someone from my past has resurfaced and tried to contact me AND my fiance in several different ways, and I too am kind of afraid of him showing up at our wedding and ruining it (the significant downside to having a wedding website with your date and venue on it). Luckily we’re having a destination wedding, so the chances of him showing up are significantly less, but I’m having my bff keep an eye out for me and am just going to make sure we have the non-emergency police phone number…just in case. Less drastically for you, maybe also have venue folks subtlety verify guests as they arrive? (Not sure what your venue is and if this is feasible, but if she decided to come, it would be less of a scene if she was stopped at the door rather than being asked to leave once inside. Maybe.)

      And people won’t notice your mother isn’t there – those who know you well will know the past/reasons already and those who don’t won’t think there’s a reason to assume she WOULD be there, if that makes sense.

    • Arie

      I could have written this myself 8 months ago, but sub father for mother. This was the point in the wedding process where I went to therapy, it really helped, and I would highly recommend it. I got into some nasty feedback loops around “what if he shows up,” and found it was really difficult to explain the level of anxiety/PTSD to other people in my life. One of the things we did is work through a detailed plan about what we would do if he did show up, which I found helpful. I guess in general I would just say – hugs to you. I know how hard this is. But you are right to not invite her, and it will be worth it to have your wedding without her there. Take care of yourself.

    • AmandaBee

      I’m so sorry – it’s hard to put up boundaries with a parent, and even harder when people don’t support it. But you’re doing the right thing, because her being there would just zap your energy that day and you don’t need that.

      That said: I agree with others that if you can talk to your grandma about why you don’t want her there, maybe she can exert some influence on grandpa and others to just keep their opinions to themselves.

      Or, if not, you may just need to pick a canned response when someone asks and then shift or shut down the conversation. If you can prep a line or two ahead of time (as simple as “we don’t have a relationship, so she’s not invited”), that can help you stick to your guns.

      Ultimately, I think most people will respect the decision even if they don’t “get it – and they don’t need to get it to respect your wishes.

      • penguin

        Yep grandma is 100% on my side, so she’s going to spread the word on this. Hopefully that will deflect most of the bullshit away from me, and if not, I’ll go with everyone’s suggestions here.

        • AmandaBee

          It’ll be okay! I know it’s hard not to stress, but it sounds like you have a solid plan.

    • EF

      i was so, so scared people would ask all day where my parents were.

      no one did. it was fine. i gave pictures of my father to a friend who used to be a bouncer (and is like, 220lbs, 6’4 or so, into martial arts) and told him to keep an eye out and to make sure he didn’t try anything. not that i actually thought that would happen, but outsourcing the problem to a friend was a great idea.

      good luck, penguin. this shit can be hard, but i truly hope it goes fine for you!

    • CommaChick

      I was a bridesmaid in a wedding this weekend where the mother of the bride didn’t attend. It was an emotional topic for the bride, who was really concerned about losing it if someone asked her about it. The good new is that not a single person did. A couple of people asked the maid of honor (not in earshot of the bride), but it wasn’t in a nosy way. It was more of “Which one of the women up there is Bride’s mom?” She was able to say she didn’t attend, and it wasn’t a big deal. Sometimes, people can pleasantly surprise you.

  • K. is skittish about disqus

    This is long and I’m probably way overthinking this and I’m sure many of you will say, “You’re way overthinking this” but I’m nervous about it anyway, so what the hey.

    Basically, my in-laws were supposed to visit for 5 days next week as part of the “Look at the Preggo Before Baby is Here” Tour currently happening with many of our family members. Great! I’m about 32 weeks now, not feeling 100% (lol putting it mildly) but I can walk quite a bit when my sciatica doesn’t act up and sit in a car for day trips. Plus, my husband has a 4 day weekend and so I was only going to be hosting them solo for 1 day. Easy peasy.

    Buuuuuut, they just called and let us know that, surprise, they actually booked their now 7 day trip for the end of June instead. When I’ll be 37/38 weeks pregnant. And my husband won’t be able to take any time off except the weekend since it’s so close to his paternity leave, so it’ll be FIVE days of me solo hosting since I’ll actually not be working at that point (though they are not staying with us, thank god).

    Now, my in-laws are generally great, though I don’t know them as well as my husband knows my parents and sometimes we sit in uncomfortable silence if my husband isn’t there as a buffer (it’s getting better, but the comfort level just isn’t there on either end). But overall, it’s totally fine and my husband is SO excited that they’re *actually* coming to visit. But I have NO IDEA what to do with them on my own for that long, when I’m full-term pregnant, and when I already have mobility issues now. They are not sit around and chat kind of people. Or board game people. They like museums and history tours and anything educational. And I’m exhausted even thinking about that. So it feels like a bit of an impasse?

    Any ideas how I can make those 5 days not super awkward and/or uncomfortable (physically)? I do want to establish a closer relationship with them in general, but I’m worried I’ll be huge and cranky and in pain and just not like my normal self (who honestly hasn’t really made an appearance since a couple of shining days in my second tri). Would I be rude to upfront suggest for them to entertain themselves during certain portions of those days? I don’t want to be unwelcoming, but I also want to be realistic about my likely physical and mental limitations when I’m that far along.

    • Violet

      “Would I be rude to upfront suggest for them to entertain themselves during certain portions of those days?” No, no you would not be rude. They re-scheduled without consulting you/your partner, they get as much of you as you want to/can give, and no more.

      • Eve

        Yeah, if you know of any museums/things they’d like in the area, send them out. Maybe let them take you out to lunch if you’re feeling up for it.

      • K. is skittish about disqus

        Yeah, I think they thought it wouldn’t be a big deal and the fact that I’m starting maternity leave early may have made them think it would work better, but they definitely didn’t think about my husband’s work schedule or how freaking huge I’ll be! I know it was likely about money and traveling over Memorial Day, but ugh, yeah. Thanks for the validation!

      • penguin

        Yeah honestly they are the rude ones here. Changing their plans to visit you without asking? Extending the trip? Scheduling it at a time when they KNOW it’ll be harder for you (more pregnant)?? They get what they get at that point.

    • Cellistec

      Oh man, that’s my nightmare scenario. (Well, relatively.) Are they staying at a hotel or with you? Ideally they could stay at a hotel and give you some rest/decompression time while doing touristy things in the area. Fingers crossed that’s an option.

      • K. is skittish about disqus

        HOTEL. Thank god. I would have put my foot down if they planned on staying with us. No one is staying with us until way after the baby is born. :p

        • Cellistec

          Whew, what a relief!

    • Laura C

      Boy, I’d be like “nope, sorry, not going to host people when I’m full term, I’m sorry if they lose whatever they spent on nonrefundable travel, but they needed to consult us.”

      Also, at 37/38 weeks you really could go into labor at any time!

      So, I’d say that literally anything you want to say, from “you can’t come then” to “you are on your own for 85% of waking hours” to “you’re coming to stock the freezer with meals for us to reheat after the baby arrives, right? and you’ll leave the kitchen sparkling” — any of that is fine. This is a time you are allowed to insist on getting things your way.

      • K. is skittish about disqus

        The last two options could definitely work…and actually giving my MIL some tasks might help. She has severe social anxiety so I think that’s why having activities tends to work better for her; if there are activities that also help me, all the better.

    • Amy March

      Why is it totally fine exactly that they unilaterally invited themselves to visit at a time when they weren’t invited? When it isn’t convenient for you?

      If you don’t want to tell them not to come, then they can either sit around with you or go entertain themselves. You have no obligation to entertain uninvited guests. You should absolutely at a minimum demand that he say “wow, it’s actually not cool that you changed this visit without discussing it with us. I had made arrangements to be around and able to hang out with you on the original dates but I can’t do that in late June. Obviously, K is going to be extremely pregnant and not up for doing much so expect that you’ll be entertaining yourselves during the day.”

      • K. is skittish about disqus

        Oh, I meant my relationship with them is generally totally fine, if a bit awkward. We really don’t see them much and getting his socially anxious mom to come out to see us is a gargantuan emotional labor task, which is why my husband basically begged me to be okay with this switch-up, one time, for his sake. I was decidedly not pleased when it happened at first, but now I’m just determined to make the best of it, while still keeping my needs in the #1 place (it’s honestly what my husband’s whole family is like – partially individual dynamic stuff, partially bigger cultural stuff; I’ve made my begrudging peace with it years ago).

        But this language is great! My husband has my back and promises to help me with whatever I need – but unfortunately, he won’t actually be there during the day which is why I want some back-up thoughts/validation. He tends to think they’ll be okay with sitting around our place or helping me out, but historical evidence doesn’t back that up (plus as much as I joke, “Stare at the Pregnant Lady” also doesn’t actually sound like much of fun time for me)

    • Essssss

      Oh man that’s rough. I think it’s your husband’s place to say hey, I’m not going to be around because of work and we’re anticipating that K is going to be moving slow at that point, so expect to entertain yourselves, help with last minute nursery shopping/food making, and figure that we’ll have dinner as a family as much as we can when I get off.

      Also, do you have a preference on in law presence during labor, because at that point, there’s a possibility they could be there during labor, so make sure wishes are known.

      • K. is skittish about disqus

        We both have a strong “no one but us and our doula” preference and everyone knows that. But good thought! And thanks!

        • Essssss

          I know it’s more emotional labor now, but if you and your husband put together a guide of things you like to do in your town – activities, restaurants, etc – and shared it with them in advance, would that make things easier?
          Good luck!!

    • another prego (former)

      that is such as hard time because you could go into early/on-time labor, or you could be super prego for another 3-5 more weeks! ugh! I would have you hubs cancel his earlier vaca days for their original trip and try to save them for after baby is born – or plan a ‘babymoon’ if he can’t cancel at this point. then tell in laws that they can come, but you are not able to host them or do things with them all week, and you could be super prego or have a baby already. give them very firm guildlines if you do have the baby early (we will be in the hospital and will tell you when you can have a short visit, we will be at home and will tell you when to come over when it works with the baby’s schedule, etc.) also, if you don’t have the baby yet, you may want to put in some words of wisdom to them that you are not planning to host them again in 0-5 weeks when you do actually have the baby! I had to do this and my in laws and they were kinda ‘annoyed’ that I hadn’t had the baby yet when they planned their trip for the week of my due date… sorry, I can’t really control that, and trust me, I would have rather not been prego then, too! But, I had to be induced and still have a long labor, so baby wasn’t willing coming out early or on time! best of luck with navigating the over zealous in laws/ future grand parents!

      • K. is skittish about disqus

        Yeah, what’s weird is that they’re usually the opposite of overzealous (is underzealous a word? Because that’s normally them.) I think this was honestly a combination of money being tight to travel over a holiday + not thinking about how pregnant I’ll be + my MIL wanting to put off the trip because of her social anxiety. These are all great thoughts though and I appreciate it!

    • jem

      Do they see this as a vacation/visit or as an opportunity to help you prepare for baby? If it’s the former, it’s kind of an presumptuous of them to expect you to entertain them when you are about to give BIRTH. I vote for sending them on a ton of errands and giving them a list of fun things they can do without you so you don’t have to be “on” for all 5 days

    • Natalie

      I think putting together a list of fun activities they can do while you take pregnancy naps would signal that A) you can’t possibly entertain them their entire visit but B) you care about them and aren’t trying to avoid them. Especially if you tailor that activity list to their interests. Depending on their personalities, you could also enlist them to help prepare for the baby. My in-laws would be THRILLED to receive a list of things to do to help welcome their grandbaby into the world. It doesn’t need to be a list of super important things, but you could send them out to buy baby items you don’t yet have (I’m guessing you’ll have had baby showers by then, and so you’ll know what you haven’t been gifted/still need); have them paint the nursery, put together the crib, scope out the best toddler playgrounds nearby, hang a baby swing on a tree in your yard, etc. The goal here is to give them busywork that keeps them occupied so you can rest but also shows that they’re valued members of the family.

    • Amanda

      Opinions about the actual situation aside, maybe watching documentaries together would be a good way to pass the time. PBS has lots of good ones online for free.

      • Essssss

        Planet earth 2 is amazing!!

    • Eep, that sounds like a full-on “nope octopus” situation to me… It’s definitely not rude to not play host to them 24/7. If it were me I’d:

      1. Have sizable “blackout” portions of those days where you aren’t available for socializing, and (have your husband) let them know upfront when they are. That’s not to say you can’t bow out other-times if you get overwhelmed, but that will help set an expectation for when they need to entertain themselves.

      2. Find a buddy who can hang out with y’all and fill the buffer role your husband usually does. This one’s obviously a YMMV, especially with pregnancy and social anxiety in play, but I often find adding friends can take a lot of the entertaining load off when people are visiting.

      Also, movies? Educational documentary style movies? Put them to work? Let them know what activities you are up for and don’t worry that they are not normally “board game kind of people” since a statistical majority of the time you are not a “grow another person inside you kind of person” but this is when they chose to come?

    • Emily

      If they’re not staying with you, I’d probably just roll with it–but the minute they want to do something you’re not into I would just point at the belly and go lay down, discussion over.

    • JSK

      You can create an itinerary and a map of locations for them. Join for activities that you are able to (like sit down restaurants with valet or parking lots :) ). I don’t see how they could expect more than that from someone who could be giving birth at any moment!

      ^^I don’t mean that to be harsh. I had a super easy pregnancy and I still didn’t want to entertain people after week 28 or so. Or really be in anything but sweat pants and no bra.

  • flashphase

    I posted a few weeks ago about starting Talkspace for couples therapy. We haven’t done that much with it because we moved into a new house, but I do think it’s been helpful. We’ve been able to listen a little bit better to each other and identify some patterns from my partner’s childhood and give him some perspective on changing them. Finding it helpful to have a neutral third party point out the ways in which my MIL is crazy and not me :) Happy Friday!

  • penguin

    Happier separate post – I’m going wedding dress shopping on Sunday! I’m going with a friend who used to date my brother, and I lost touch with her for a while after that. We reconnected and I’ve missed her SO MUCH. She just got married last fall, so she’s been a life saver for wedding things.

    And I found this dress online while looking through their designers, and I’m IN LOVE with it. It comes in navy (and plus sizes!), and unfortunately no pictures of it in navy exist anywhere on the internet. I’m hoping I find something I love Sunday, or I bite the bullet and just order this dress and hope for the best.

    https://www.jovani.com/evening-dresses/red-v-neck-three-quarter-sleeve-lace-dress-47202

    • Essssss

      That dress is gorgeous!!

    • Laura

      DO IT. That thing is so gorgeous.

    • Rose

      Wow! I love it!

    • jem

      OMG ?

    • BSM

      Gorgeous!

    • Fiona

      GASPING. That dress is magic!

      • penguin

        It has a cape!!

        • Lisa

          Not all heroes where capes, but this bride does.

    • GotMarried!

      LOVE that dresss!

    • AmandaBee

      Is it weird to say that the dress is simultaneously gorgeous and badass?

      • penguin

        Not at all! I love it. My hopes are already SKY HIGH so if I end up ordering it and it sucks, I’m going to be crushed haha. I wish I could find pics of real people wearing it, in case this is mostly model magic or something.

        • AmandaBee

          We’ll just in case, remembered that altered dresses look way better than dresses straight out of the box. And if you’re that excited about it, that’s what matters!

    • WOW!

    • penguin

      I tried on dresses in a similar shape yesterday, and didn’t like them on me, so unfortunately the magical cape dress isn’t meant to be. Someone else on APW should definitely get it though, because reasons :)

      Good news – I think I found a dress! There is a wedding dress designer who will make their gowns with colored lining if you want, so I’m going to have a blue dress with white tulle and lace overlay. And I’m a bit ashamed to say, it’s going to be a strapless ballgown…. The store is going to work with me to make some kind of lace bolero/jacket to go with it, and I’m hoping it ends up looking really great. I’m leaning towards a lighter blue, since that looked better under all the tulle and lace (the helpful ladies at the store were holding bridesmaid dresses under the tulle and lace layers to show me colors lol).

  • Cellistec

    School update: my first quarter of classes is going great (community college course to be an emergency dept tech), and I’m even more excited to transition from nonprofit development to healthcare as a career path. What’s tricky, though, is juggling school and work, and not because of the time demands…because after next quarter I’ll run out of online classes to take and may end up having to take in-person classes during the workday. So I’m not sure how I’m going to finesse that with my boss, who doesn’t know I’m trying to switch careers. I feel awkward just thinking about it. Luckily I can put it off for a few more months….

    • flashphase

      Awesome! My friend switched to 4 days a week at her job so she could finish a certificate program without her bosses knowing. She told them she was helping her brother with his business, which was not true but they were really understanding about it. Would that be an option for you?

      • Cellistec

        Ooh, that’s intriguing. Schedules are fairly rigid here, with exceptions for new parents, but there’s momentum for a 4-10s option. I honestly don’t see it happening though. Meanwhile, the in-person classes in my course are usually 2x/week or 3x/week, so one day off wouldn’t cut it. I think I could just ask permission to go to the classes and make up the time at the end of the day and it would be approved, but at some point I’m going to have to answer questions about exactly what these classes are for, and while I can lie, maintaining it for almost a year is going to be mentally exhausting. Worth it, but exhausting.

        • Caitlyn

          I’m not sure what your current career path is in, but where I work, people understand that most of us don’t want to be in our current positions forever. Saying “I really want to pursue xxx career path eventually, but I’m committed to staying in my current position for a minimum of a year” actually seems to go over well. You know your company’s culture best, but I’d consider being honest about your goals with clear communication about what that will mean for the company (minimum commitment to stay in position and priority to make sure your workload does not suffer as you pursue your degree).

          • Cellistec

            Yes, I’ve thought about that recently too, though the thought of having that conversation makes me sweaty. We have a lot of long-timers here, but I think recent events (see: horrible communication retreat I posted about last HH) would make it understandable that someone wants out.

  • Katherine

    I guess nature decided to make up for all the years I’ve never had snow on my birthday, because I’m now sitting through Day 2 of a spring blizzard. At least I live in an area of the country where people know how to deal with snow and it won’t ruin my birthday gathering tonight. Happy Friday, all! Hope you’re warmer than I am.

    • Rose

      My mom in Colorado kept updating me yesterday about how many times she’d been out to shake the snow out of trees, and I just kept feeling guiltier and guiltier about the fact that it was 90 here. Sorry you’re stuck dealing with all the snow!

      • Alli

        ..is that a thing? Shaking snow out of trees?

        I’m sure there’s a very good reason for it but I’m just picturing a (far too common) situation with my grandmom going “Well I’ve got to go shake the snow out of the trees because who else is going to do it?” and us responding with “Nobody else is going to do it because that’s not a thing you need to do.”

        • Emily

          I live in Michigan, and I’ve never shook the snow out of the trees… I am now concerned I’ve been doing something wrong.

          • Jennifer

            If it isn’t snowing in may when the trees are in full leaf, you’re probably not in the wrong. Just right now the trees are even greener and in full bloom or leaf because they have had a slightly better amount of precipitation this year. :/ And then snow on top of that means that the trees crack and break.

        • Rose

          The problem with these late spring storms is that the trees have already leafed out. A heavy weight of wet snow can really damage them badly. It’s not necessary normally!

        • Katherine

          Oh yeah, it definitely is. The trees already have leaves this time of year, so they trap more snow, and the added weight means downed limbs. We got hit worse than almost anywhere in the state, so I’ve seen multiple snapped trees on my way home.

        • RNLindsay

          A Halloween snowstorm in the Northeast a few years ago caused a lot of damage and downed power lines because the trees hadn’t lost all their leaves yet! Leaves on the trees (like now in May) + snow = really heavy and the boughs break

      • Katherine

        Honestly, I’ll take it over 90. I moved to get out of the heat and I don’t miss it!

    • Jennifer

      Welcome to Colorado. Where the weather means it’ll probably still snow in May. Sorry. My mom sent me a picture of their tree out front cracked in half from the snow. But I still miss it anyway!

      • Katherine

        Wyoming, not Colorado. So I may still see snow in June.

  • BSM

    Half-vent, half-advice please:

    One of my friends ended up needing to cancel on the girls trip we’d planned to Palm Springs for Memorial Day Weekend because her boyfriend got a job opportunity in Australia, and she’s going there with him, so she needed to save money for their move. She also told us they were planning on getting engaged before they moved later this summer. Kind of a bummer on the trip, but we all totally understood. Her BF sort of sucks, but not in any kind of alarming way, so yay for them.

    We get a group text from her yesterday morning saying that they are now definitely moving to Australia and will definitely get engaged before they go (I thought that was already the case), so she wants to do her bachelorette party before they leave at the end of July. O…k.

    Another friend of hers emails everyone to say we’re doing Vegas for the bachelorette party the first week of July, and let her know if we can come. No info on costs, but she does let us know that my friend will probably officially be engaged by the time we go.

    Vent: um, what? You said you couldn’t do a cheap Palm Springs trip due to money, but now you’re asking all of us to shell out hundreds of dollars on a last minute trip to Vegas for a bachelorette weekend? Also, you’re not even engaged! (I don’t know why this also bothers me, but it kind of does).

    Advice: I think I’m going to have to decline, but I feel bad about it. Just guessing (because no one has given me any $$ numbers…) I think the trip plus flight is going to cost me about $800, and, in the middle of a home renovation and trying to save for a baby, I just don’t have that kind of money laying around to put towards a vacation. A lesser but still relevant concern I’ll also be 23ish weeks pregnant at the time of the trip, and I’m not sure how much fun it would be for me OR my friend.

    I was thinking of reaching out to her today to let her know that I can’t make it on late notice (should I mention the money thing? I wasn’t gonna bring up the baby thing), and that I’m really sorry I won’t be there to celebrate her. I’m also planning to send the group a bottle of champagne at some point during the weekend as a sort of “celebration from afar.” Does this sound OK? I’ve never declined a wedding-related event (and honestly haven’t been to many), so let me know if anything I’m planning to do seems off.

    • Amy March

      Decline and feel good about it. She is not even engaged, had no qualms about cancelling on you because of her budget, and is moving away to Australia so honestly are you even staying friends? Probs not, because she doesn’t sound great. Vegas not drinking for a bachelorette sounds especially awful.

      I wouldn’t reach out today. Wait and see what happens. No need to be the one taking a stand on saying no asap if it doesn’t even come together. And don’t make excuses. You can’t come because it doesn’t work for you. Sending champagne is nice.

      • BSM

        On the staying friends thing, yeah, we probably won’t. We’re not in touch very often as it is.

        I was going to tell her today to try to make planning easier for the rest of the group. Should I wait until she or the organizer reach out?

        • Amy March

          I think so. Or email the organizer. I fully think you need to say no, but that doesn’t mean she needs to hear that no right away, and I don’t really see how it makes a big practical difference to any planning right now. When she’s not engaged.

          • BSM

            Lol, good point.

    • Brynna

      Your response is perfect. Also, Vegas in July is a hot, sweaty nightmare.

    • Laura

      If you’re looking for permission, then here it is: permission granted. I would be so incredibly irked by that.

      On the other hand, you’re both prioritizing spending your time/money in ways that are important to you. I think that sending a bottle of champagne is a lovely touch. Beyond that, sending polite regrets is all you need to do.

    • Essssss

      That sounds all kinds of unfun and not worth it. Confident decline plus champagne sounds like boundaries plus classy.

      • Laura

        I didn’t even realize it until this moment, but “boundaries plus classy” is exactly how I like to live my life.

        • Essssss

          Amen! New life motto!

    • Rose

      I’d be annoyed too, especially because she’s not engaged. Logically, I can’t quite figure out why it’s different to plan a bachelorette party when you know you will be getting engaged soon, but it still bugs me.

      • BSM

        I know! It bugs me that it bugs me.

        I totally understand how exciting it is to be on the same page with your person and know it’s coming, and it’s not like her being engaged or not affects the logistics of the trip, but something about it is just odd. Maybe it’s just one more weird thing on top of a stack of other weird things?

        • Amy March

          Bachelorette parties are a) something someone else offers to host for you, b) something that usually happens closer in time to the weddings, and c) something you only get if you are engaged!

          • penguin

            3 strikes, bye Felicia.

        • Rose

          I think part of it is that the being on the same page and knowing you’re going to get engaged is usually a fairly private thing. Something for the two of you to know together. This is the opposite of private–asking for public acknowledgement of something that isn’t actually true yet.

          • BSM

            That is a very good point.

            Related, I think it’s also that she keeps announcing that they’re about to get engaged and so continues to expect these big, performative, congratulatory reactions. I could do it once, but by the third announcement, I just couldn’t get it up for another “yay, you’ve almost decided to spend your life with someone!”

            Note: People totally get and can be engaged without a ring or proposal or any of that stuff, but that is not the situation here. For my friend, the proposal + ring will signify engagement.

    • Amanda

      Ugh. I have a friend who also cited money issues for something (who gets to bring their life partners to her wedding) and then is having a bachelorette weekend that would cost at least $1K. You are being waay more gracious than me. Most of the invitees to the bachelorette can’t go because they are of modest means like myself, and I am NOT on board with plans to take her out another time.

      I’ll be going to the wedding because my partner/chauffeur made the cut, and I love my friend to pieces, but I’m never going to mention that bachelorette weekend to her ever if I can help it.

      …at least she’s engaged, though.

      • Amy March

        Wow

    • Emily

      I think you’re being EXTREMELY gracious even considering sending champagne. Like,she’s not even engaged (this bothered me too…don’t know why) so really she is just planning a vacation right now. Kind of like the vacation you planned and she bailed on.

    • Lisa

      Yeah, I would decline this one, too. That’s a lot of money, time, and effort to invest into someone who isn’t reciprocating. You don’t have to send the champagne, but I think that would be a very classy move.

  • jem

    Weeeeeee our wedding is 3 months from today!!!!! I’m feeling so so lucky to have such a supportive team. Fiancé is out of school for the summer and all of the sudden, he’s HERE and taking on the planning burden now that I’ve started to feel burnt out. My uncle surprised us by offering to arrange for two violinists for our ceremony. My friends an my fiancé’ friends are just being amazing and supportive and it’s so wonderful to feel like everyone is coming through for us ☺️

    We also found THE MOST AMAZING DOC and met with her last weekend and I feel so much less overwhelmed. We weren’t planning on hiring one until I read the APW article about DOCs from a couple weeks ago and then all of the ones I called were super expensive or to wedding-crazy for me. We found one who is a perfect fit and within our budget so PHEW.

  • savannnah

    Its been a week. My finance got a really great job offer to be a regional sales director in the PNW, stationed anywhere there- We are currently in Westchester and he really wants to move there and I really do not and I want to be supportive of his career ambitions but (er and?) my family is close by (5 hrs away) and we are just about to get on the married and planning for babies train and oooof I just don’t know what’s going to happen. My mom already told me she would be totally excited for us and also totally heartbroken and I cried in the starbucks line this morning. I’ve done big moves before, like to Bangkok and Accra big, but they were always for a set amount of time, 2-3 years. I know the PNW is great but we have no community there whatsoever. That being said we know we don’t want to raise kids in Westchester either. I’ve also just worked three 17 hour days and my bachelorette is this weekend! Going to spend a lot of quality naked time with my girl gang of 16 and get scrubbed to death at the Korean spas and then stuffing our faces at smorgasburg. Going to try to relax.

    • Emily

      Where in the PNW? I grew up in Portland and know the whole area really well, plus we’re considering moving back there this summer (also before the wedding…life doesn’t slow down does it?). Let me know if you have any questions! It’s really a wonderful place to grow up and raise a family.

      • savannnah

        We could pick anywhere in the PNW, which really leaves near Portland or near Seattle. Last time I was in Portland, parts of it were great but most of the city was full of aggressive homeless/street kids/adults. Might have just been the places we went?

        • Emily

          Yeah, the homeless/street kid problem has grown in recent years. Parts are worse than others, and the heroin epidemic isn’t making it any easier but the city is trying to figure out how to tackle it. My fiance is actually an alcohol and addictions counselor and currently works in a methadone clinic, which is why we’re eyeing Portland again. It’s such a bummer the city let the problem grow so much before trying to tackle it, but hopefully it’ll improve soon. Seattle is lovely too!

        • Cellistec

          Seattleite here- I grew up in the area and loved it, enough that I scrapped my plans for an international career to move back as an adult. It’s turned into a high cost-of-living area, and we have problems with homelessness as well (most visible in the summer, like in Portland), but local companies are starting to chip in with funding to build more affordable housing and shelters. So I think that helps. Did I mention it’s expensive, though? Because holy crap. There’s a growing divide between tech people who can afford the nice stuff and regular people who are working multiple jobs just to afford housing and childcare.

          • Emily

            We were actually eyeing Seattle instead of Portland but WOW it’s expensive! Portland has gotten pricey too and Chicago’s not picnic but jeeze, I’m not sure we could afford it!

          • Cellistec

            Right? I hear Portland is equally expensive but I have no personal experience with it. Seattle suffers from the added challenge of geography-challenged commuting: all those bodies of water and hills make the bottlenecks unavoidable, and it feels like it only gets worse as 1000 new people arrive every month.

          • CP2011

            Yeah PDX is in a huge bubble right now. And there is increasing resentment toward newcomers. My spouse and I are kind of divided on it — he always talks about the increased economic growth we’ve had, and I focus more on the reduced quality of life brought on by the insane spike in housing price and commute time.

          • savannnah

            yeah- I also think my fiance has the idea that pnw is cheaper than Westchester, like we could buy a house there and not here…which I think he is incorrect about- granted the cheapest houses in our area are like 1.5 mil but I don’t feel like its that much better?

          • Cellistec

            The cheapest houses in your area are like $1.5M?? I just googled Westchester and there are several, but rest assured you can buy a house in the Seattle area for a cool $700k. (In all seriousness, though, we’re moving to a lower-income county to find a place for more like $300k. The bubble is real.)

          • savannnah

            yeah- we’d also be looking in the 300-400k range.

          • Anna

            Vancouver is insanely expensive. Like a crappy basement apartment for 1 Mil. SOooo thats out.

          • Cellistec

            I think the Vancouver comment was about WA, not BC…I’ve heard BC is even more insane than Seattle or Portland and don’t envy anyone having to look for housing there!

          • Emily

            Yeah…wow 1.5M is still a lot (depending on what you’re looking for). You can get a 2 bed, 1 bath craftsman in Portland for $500-$700k – and cheaper if you’re willing to go farther out. Fortunately, the city is growing (and it’s quite small) so farther out might not be a thing for longer.

          • Eve

            So, it could all be rumors, but a friend of a friend is supposedly living in a small town north of Vancouver, WA (commuting distance to Portland) for $600/month, renting, for a whole house. I don’t know what buying is like in those places, but don’t discount the suburbs. You’re going to be commuting anyway.

          • Emily

            Ugh but the commute from Vancouver to Portland is HELL. Like, hours and hours and hours on that damn freeway. Big issues there.

          • savannnah

            Yes. My fiance does have a friend in Vancouver and I think thats where he would like to go and I’m like, we both commute an hour now into the city and you hate it and I hate it and now we can do that on the other side of the country but with no friends around. derp.

          • StevenPortland

            Commuting from Vancouver would be really hard (in my opinion). If your jobs will be in Portland area, then live on the Oregon side of the river.

          • CP2011

            Easily worst commute I could plausibly imagine. Because you know you’re SO CLOSE and yet SO FAR. You couldn’t pay me to live in Vancouver (or north of there) and work in PDX.

        • StevenPortland

          It is just a few parts of the city where you will find that problem. If you plan on living towards the inner part of town then you’d want to plan that out, but if you are living further out then it won’t be a problem at all. (This will mostly be determined by how much $$ you have for housing.) We are in inner-SE and love it, but there are lots of (non-aggressive) homeless issues. We looked at homes further out and even my kids commented that they hadn’t seen any homeless.
          Portland is a great place to raise kids. Access to both snow (Mt. Hood) and beaches is a great thing, and overall people are really casual here.

    • Eve

      I second Emily; I grew up south of Portland in the rural-ish suburbs and while there are definitely quirks, it’s a fantastic place to grow up. I’m currently in Eastern WA and it’s significantly less awesome, but that could just be because of where I am in my life right now. Lots of people I know are starting families or have families and it’s very community-centric, which is great if you, you know, want to be leading that kind of lifestyle.

      • Where at!? I’m in Spokane!

        • Eve

          Walla Walla! Haven’t been to Spokane yet. Worth visiting?

          • Maybe? It’s a great little city, and I love it. Very similar to Walla Walla, but different than Seattle, for sure. It’s a great place to visit if you’re into the outdoors at all. I think the wine tasting is better in Walla Walla. ;)

    • Amy March

      It’s okay to not resolve this one right away! That’s a huge move and there are lots of considerations beyond he got a job and wants to move.

      • savannnah

        You are right-I’m also keenly aware that I want to be supportive and I want to advocate for my own career and support structure and this feels like a big test of that on some level.

        • Hannah

          Have you read “Drop the Ball” by Tiffany Dufu? She talks about doing some big moves and negotiating her own/her husband’s career. Great read – might bring some insight!

          • savannnah

            no- but i will look into that! thanks

    • Anna

      Take the quality naked time (FTW) and ideally the rest of the time through the wedding and THEN, when you’ve hopefully had a chance to breathe, come back to the new-job/moving conversation.

    • erika22

      Can you both decide on a set amount of time as a trial, like one or two years in this new job/city, and if you aren’t happy you can go somewhere else? Or if he can be stationed anywhere, maybe try a couple different places within the PNW, like Seattle the first year and Portland the second? I know that’s a lot of moving, but mentally having an end date might help more than anything.

      • savannnah

        If I didn’t have a career of my own, that plan sounds appealing. Right now I make 30% more than him but we are both not super happy to long term plan in Westchester so its a balancing act.

    • Laura C

      I probably over-identify with this, but I’m about 10 months into 13 months across the country from my family and friends in a city I don’t love for my husband’s job and … I’m really unhappy. There were no career costs for me at all (other than have to keep east coast hours so I start work at 6am) and it is limited time, but it has been HARD. Every situation is different, etc etc etc, you know what your tolerance is and what things would look like for you, but I am definitely going to say that it really can be that bad.

      • savannnah

        Ugh. that sounds hard- I could do anything for 13 months if it didn’t impact my career. And I’m also that person who if my fiance got a job in japan or the UK for 2-3 years I would be like lets move without much hesitation. But its the feeling of permanence and raising babies so far away from my family that I fear will make me feel deeply unhappy and resentful. This is esp. so because my fiance travels 2-4 weeks out of the month.

        • Laura

          As someone facing a cross-country move away from family in 6 weeks plus a growing desire for the babies, I can totally relate to that. But even if it’s the perfect job and an opportunity you and your fiance want to pursue, it doesn’t have to be permanent. If you hate it after a year and you’re having a kid and you’re worried about raising a family when your fiance travels 2-4 wks/month, you can always make another change. It might be a hassle, it might be a financial setback, it might involve a career move, but nobody can force you to stay somewhere you feel unhappy, even it it’s the “sensible” thing to do.

        • Amy March

          4 weeks of the month is all the time, and I think that weighs heavily in favor of a) staying where you are, and b) actually moving 5 hours to where your family is.

      • Mer

        I moved from east coast to west coast 4 months ago now and it’s definitely hard. I had lived in my previous city for 7 years and had an established community and life there. Then I just left it all to move (and convinced my fiance to move with me). We’re doing fine but… meh. It’s not great. I have so much nostalgia from my previous city which is normal, I suppose. And I don’t think moving was a mistake but… if I could just snap my fingers and live in my old city again I’d do it.

        It didn’t affect either of our careers (we moved without jobs but both found work pretty quickly) and we said we’re going to stick it our for 2 years here, at least. So maybe things will turn around. They probably will. For right now it just feels like we’re biding our time until we move back east. And every time I see something related to Boston or Massachusetts I get sad I’m not there.

        • Hannah

          I moved from Boston to CA a few years ago w/ my partner and now, I’m back in Cambridge (after a stint in the meantime in Canada). Turns out I’m an East Coast / Midwest person and the CA vibes did not suit me, even though we met great people out there. We did have a strong reason to come back (I got into a PhD program here), and I’m not sure if we would have moved back otherwise, but we’re sure happy to be here again. Curious how it turns out for you!

      • Natalie

        I also moved across the country from all my friends temporarily (6 months) for my husband’s job and was miserable. I think it was worse because it was temporary. I didn’t put a lot of effort into making friends or building a community because I knew it was temporary, so what’s the point?, and so I was friendless and miserable. If we had gone into our move thinking it would be permanent, I would have put much more effort into making friends and probably would have been a lot happier.

    • Katherine

      For what it’s worth, last year we moved halfway across the country, away from both our families, to an area where we had no connections…about two months before our wedding. Having no community really forced us to get out and make friends, and now, in our small town, we have at least two-three social events standing per week. The people we’ve met here are truly awesome.

      That being said, I’ll echo what everyone else has said – probably want to take some time to think about this one if you can. It’s a lot to process at once.

    • Just Me

      My husband just accepted a job in a different part of the state (~8 hr drive so I realize how much closer that is from where you are considering). I’m planning on staying here for some (as yet to be determined) amount of time until we figure out my job situation. I’m also the higher earner.

      It is sooooo okay for you to have mixed feelings about this, even if/when you decide to go for it! We started seeing a therapist right after my husband accepted the job so we could have some support as we both process the emotions of the impending move. It’s been really good for us to have a space where I can really express how happy I am for him, and how much this is turning our lives upside down, and how vulnerable I feel about moving to a “forever” location where I don’t have a job/friends/etc.

    • If you need any PNW advice, let me know! I’ve lived in Seattle, and now am (back?) in Spokane. I also love (LOVE LOVE) Portland, and can give you some pros and cons of each.

      I will say, as someone with a new baby, 5 hours away is not super close. My parents are 2 hours away, and we’re lucky if we can see them 1-2 times a month.

  • Katelyn

    I had my first wedding-related nervous breakdown last night. For context, my first attempt at getting married ended kind of traumatically after getting dumped 2 weeks beforehand by my partner of 10 years.

    I thought I’d been handling everything pretty well so far in the process – but last night, I purchased the first physical wedding item. For some reason I was super upset all night – I think I cried 6 times. It took until bed time to realize why. I had spent so much time and effort getting the “things” perfect the last time around – crafting, getting stuff on sale, worrying about organization and transport. I very closely associated that effort with the breakup – I felt this pressure throughout the last time planning to be “cool” and nonchalant about everything and associated my failure to keep that cool with why I got dumped. And then those “things” were what reminded me of my failure for months after the breakup.

    Even though this is a comple tely different relationship with mutual enthusiasm for wedding planning – I now have physical evidence of our pending nuptials. I’m still heavy today with these feelings of guilt – both from the (irrational) feeling like I caused the prior breakup and also because I’m bringing all of this baggage to this process. The 30 degree drop in temperature and gloomy skies aren’t exactly helping.

    I just want to let all this go. I want to be in the moment and feel the excitement I deserve without this shadow looming around the corner. It’s coming up on 3 years ago now, and I still feel kind of broken from it.

    …. I want to end this on a positive note. The card box is really pretty!
    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/4649b615b740d627b91bdbcfb648f415b1b0c431710127b591fd3be77f36e19f.jpg

    • Laura

      Have you been to therapy? Weddings — even the most joyfully anticipated ones to wonderful partners — are stressful life changes. And your first engagement sounds horribly, horribly traumatic. A therapist can help you sort through those complicated emotions and help you get back on track.

      And yes, that card box is super lovely!

      • Katelyn

        Yep, my therapist is great! And she always has lovely and helpful advice. But sometimes I’m just… gobsmacked by stuff like this.

        • Laura

          Oh, I think being gobsmacked is a perfectly understandable reaction. I had a few complete freak-out moments during my engagement that came seemingly from nowhere.

          My advice is to give yourself permission to feel whatever you feel, and try to let go of the guilt about your “baggage.” We all have stuff we’re carrying around from the past….for you, it’s wedding-related. Your partner probably has his own weird stuff that comes out at unexpected moments. We all do. Be kind to yourself, and lots of luck to you.

    • Yael

      Something similar happened to me. We ended up “postponing” our wedding a month out, and then broke up a few months later. I hated everything about that wedding, and dealing with his family, and just, everything. Fast forward 6 years and I am with a totally new guy who everyone agrees is just the best, and I still sometimes have anxiety at each new stage of wedding planning, because my only association with that stage is from the ex, not A. So I rage/cry/hide for a while immediately after the new stage is reached, and then my coping skills from therapy help me figure out why I’m reacting, and I tell A, and he proves once again that he is not the ex (case in point – he never gets mad when I flip out, he just tells me he loves me and waits).

      In addition to drawing on my therapy skills, I’ve also found that it helps that this new wedding will be nothing like the old one. The old wedding was designed to make his family like me while simultaneously asserting mine/our independence from his family (his parents once emailed us to say that it was “their wedding”). This wedding is all about how much A and I love and respect each other as people and as partners. It feels different, and that helps so much too.

      TLDR, you do have baggage. We all do. It’s ok.

      • Katelyn

        Thank you <3 <3 I identify with so much of your story – it's so helpful to hear this (totally not crying at work… *sniff*). I hope your wedding is magical with rainbows and unicorns and your marriage even more so.

        • Yael

          Hugs! In retrospect, the first round of wedding planning was 1. so stressful because it was obvious to everyone (but me) that we were not suited for each other, and wedding planning only further highlighted how unsuitable we were, and 2. super helpful in realizing all the things that I do not want for this wedding. Because I didn’t know any better (and also I don’t think APW was a thing), I did all the things the Knot (and all the rest of them) says you should do, which isn’t who I am as a person at all. This time, APW is my only guide (with the exception of some books specifically about Jewish weddings), and it’s all about reinforcing who we are as people and as a couple. And any time I start to get upset or anxious about a thing, we decide not to do it. Planning the old wedding made me hate the idea of weddings and marriage more generally, because it was all so terrible. Planning this one only makes me want to marry A more. I hope you feel that way too.

          • penguin

            Do you have any books you recommend on Jewish weddings? We’re having a Jewish wedding (fiancé is Jewish and I’m not) and looking for resources. Fiancé is Jewish, but has never been to a wedding and doesn’t really know much about wedding traditions.

          • flashphase

            Anita Diamant’s New Jewish Wedding is pretty much the go-to

          • savannnah

            seconded!

          • Yael

            Yup! We’re also using a copy of The Jewish Way in Love and Marriage (old, Orthodox book) given to me by my aunt because A is Orthodox and I’ve been waiting for the new version of New Jewish Wedding to come out.

            https://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0824603532/friendsofaishhat/

          • penguin

            Thank you both!! Just pre-ordered the new version of New Jewish Wedding coming out in a few weeks!

          • Yael

            Yay! And good luck! I know there are some books about interfaith marriages out there that look good (based on a cursory glance, since both A and I are Jewish). I would suggest that you both read thru the book/think about what traditions are important to you for the ceremony and then talk about it (pretty standard advice for how to make a wedding/marriage work, but throwing in religion just ups the potential for conflict). Think about what you do/do not have opinions about, and WHY you hold whatever opinion that is, and be prepared to make a case for it. For instance, A just kind of assumed we’d do a fairly standard Ashkenazi ceremony (since that’s what he’s used to), but I’m Sephardi and also introverted and feminist AF. We’ve ended up changing/eliminating some of the standard parts to fit who we are better. For example, we’re not having a badeken (veiling ceremony – I flat out refuse to wear a veil) or a yichud (seclusion during which time the marriage is supposed to be consummated). We’re keeping the circling, but changing it so that we’re circling each other’s ring fingers with a red string (and reciting the words used when wrapping tefillin) and then circling each other together to 1. reference kabbalah and 2. make it more egalitarian. There’s a LOT of customization you can do!

          • penguin

            Great, thanks! Our rabbi has been really helpful too, she’s been pointing out lots of places we can customize things. We’re doing the yichud but mostly just to give us a break from people, not to consummate the marriage haha. I think I’ll need a few minutes to just breathe after getting married.

    • Your card box is very pretty! And to me it seems perfectly normal that you are working through feelings about your relationship with your ex as your current relationship goes through some of the same steps toward marriage. I think it’s great you are aware of this and how you feel and are working through your emotions with your fiancé and therapist. I know that I’ve experienced some fear and anxiety with certain steps in my relationship with my boyfriend due to my relationship, marriage, and (unwanted) divorce from my ex. Thankfully, my boyfriend is incredibly kind and patient (as are his parents, who knew me before my ex left me). My boyfriend has been so understanding and loving as I’ve had to work through my baggage. Working through grief is a long process and our past experiences are a part of us. You know about kintsugi? This has given me so much comfort over the last almost four years since my world exploded and I felt like my life was in pieces. But broken pieces can re-put back together and become even more beautiful than they were originally. I wish you caring support as you work through the tough emotions, all the best with your fiancé, and much joy in your wedding planning and marriage.

  • MC

    Quick etiquette question here. Back in February, a somewhat-distant-friend messaged me and my husband on Facebook to confirm our address and tell us to save the date for her wedding in July. But a save-the-date/invitation never arrived (and we’ve seen pics of it on social media, so I know she sent them out). Given that we aren’t close friends, it seems more likely that she changed her mind about inviting us (and forgot the FB message) than that our invitation got lost in the mail. We should just not say anything…right?

    • Amy March

      Unless you really wanted to go and actually made plans to attend, I’d just assume she’s being rude and say nothing.

    • Rose

      Ugh. That’s probably what I would do–if they did send you one and it got lost, then they’ll probably contact you when you don’t RSVP and it’ll get sorted out then, so saying nothing in the meantime is probably safest.

    • rg223

      Yeah, if the invite is lost in the mail, she’ll contact you when she doesn’t get the RSVP. Sorry, I’ve been through it too, and it stings a bit!

    • Jennifer

      IDK. My brother’s wedding invitation got lost in the mail. Fortunately, he texted me within a few weeks to ask if I got it. :/

      • toomanybooks

        We had a relative’s invitation get lost in the mail too!

  • Jane

    We are officially at under 100 days until the wedding!! I’m feeling good about where we are with planning, but now it seems like we have to start doing all the things that, before, we were like, well, it makes sense to do that closer to the date.

    One decision I’m really pleased about making this week is that I am going to switch to a separate reception dress at some point. I LOVE my wedding dress but was feeling really stressed out about staying in a giant hoop skirt all night. I don’t know how it will look on me yet, but I’m excited because Dress #2 looks bridal but will also kind of match my floral bridesmaids dresses.

    For other people who switched dresses, when did you make the switch? I’m trying to decide if I want to do it before or after the first dance. My fiancé and I practiced dancing with me wearing the hoop and it was not as fun because we couldn’t move as naturally or get as close. But, I also think I would feel like Belle doing fancy dancing in the big dress. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/ef1f9d6bdd3a2b0feadda29f7ecf553444476dd346a3148824c45cee8c144cb8.png

    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/b498f4d7fbd0ace65cc7af678900c68b0aabd679e01f9e43bf84b58335e6ba71.png
    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/1cd7e6a9257a305c2249cc7aef1d69130bc6532146a67c947b1482650bb6165a.jpg

    • Rose

      If you can get dancing in the big dress to work, I have to say that it looks like it’d be super fun!

      • Jane

        Thanks! I may just have to practice dancing around in my hoop all the time.

        • Rose

          Sounds like a fun plan! Also, just remember that you will probably get more than one chance to dance with him at the wedding–even if the hoop changes the style of your first dance, that doesn’t mean you can’t have a closer one later in the evening after you’ve changed.

          • Jane

            True!! Hopefully lots and lots of dancing.

    • penguin

      Do you have to wear hoops with the wedding dress, or could you take that part out after the ceremony? Sorry my big dress knowledge is limited. Your wedding dress is beautiful though!! And the reception dress looks swishy and fun.

      • Jane

        I didn’t know about hoops until a few weeks ago! I can’t take it out because it changes the length of the dress by a couple inches (because it takes more fabric to go way out to the sides than just to go straight down). But thanks!!! I’be still got a few months to mull or over and practice moving around in the hoop.

        • penguin

          Can the dress be bustled? I feel like people throw that term around with wedding dresses. Either way, it’ll be great! Love the reception dress.

          • Lisa

            Eh, depending on @disqus_zkksAqNGqZ:disqus’s level of caring about wearing the wedding dress for the first dance, removing the hoop and bustling the dress is going to take almost as much time as putting on the second one so it would end up being more like 2 costume changes instead of 1. I would hate to miss out on the food and booze for that long! (One of the reasons I did not do a reception gown. Also because it would have been cruel to tell my mom I wanted to change out of the dress she made me. ;) )

          • penguin

            Definitely a good point, just wanted to throw options out there. Changing into a different dress definitely sounds easier in this case!

          • Jane

            I appreciate the brainstorming!

          • Jane

            Yeah – well, your mom made a spectacular dress for you. My mom (who did not make my dress) is in love with my dress, and may be heartbroken if/when I change. But we are also doing a mother/daughter dance that includes some good 70s moves that will be way easier to pull off in a smaller dress.

          • Lisa

            Love the mother/daughter dance idea! One of my friends started with a “traditional” song for hers, and then she and her mom started shaking their heads, did a big “Naaaah” to the guests, and broke out into a hip hop routine they’d learned in a dance class together. It was such a hoot!

            And thanks! It is a very special dress. :)

          • Jane

            That’s so similar to our plan!! Glad to hear it went off well. We are starting with a really short song from Gigi (the night they invented champagne) and then transitioning into Saturday Night Fever. Both of which we have danced around to together since I was a child.

            For me, it was one way to shake up the gendered stuff. My mom would never do a toast because she is terrified of public speaking. She’s also PRETTY nervous about the dance. . .

          • Lisa

            My friend’s mom is not a performer either, but she really rallied for her. Friend did not invite her dad to the wedding so her mom really stepped up and took over all of the traditionally male hosting roles even though she probably would have preferred to remain in the background.

          • Jane

            Good for your friend’s mom!band your friend!

    • Essssss

      I was in a friends wedding with a dress switch. The reception was
      separate from the wedding ceremony, and so she just changed right after
      the ceremony and came into the reception in the new outfit while people
      were doing cocktail hour.

      • rg223

        This is what I did too – no quickie though @Essssss:disqus, we had a photographer with us!

        • Jane

          Those would be some memorable photos though. . .

          • AGCourtney

            lmao

      • Jane

        Ours are in the same place, but otherwise that would probably be my plan. We are going to do a few minutes of photos of just us right after the ceremony though, so I could change post-pictures pre-joining everyone for lawn games and cocktails. Although I love the idea of playing bocce, etc. in the huge dress. Then again, for every event, I love the *idea* of doing the event in the big dress.

        I’ve also had friends who planned to switch dresses but never did because they were enjoying themselves and enjoying their first dress. I could also see myself going down that path. Knowing I have the second dress as a backup but not changing unless I feel like it.

      • Essssss

        The best part was she and her hubs were overcome with love plus clothes change plus the shots the bridal party had right after, so there was a quickie involved. Underreported benefit of costume changes :)

        • Anna

          No clothes change involved but fiance is semi-jokingly trying to convince me of the benefits of a quickie during our yichud (Jewish tradition of 10ish minutes of seclusion for the couple immediately after the ceremony, which does literally come from a making-sure-the-marriage-is-consummated place, but…) xD Given that apparently the room that’s available for us for the yichud is a conference room, I suspect it won’t be super hospitable for that purpose, but it’s a little tempting haha. I guess we’ll see…

        • Jane

          Lol. Wow. Probably wouldn’t be able to squeeze that in, but worth making sure my *by then husband!* is the one who helps with the switch.

    • BSM

      I switched into a romper and flats right after dinner, before we cut the cake, had our first dance, and started the dance party. It was great!

      • Jane

        Wedding romper seems like a thing we would all like to see pictures of . . . Especially with how much press RompHims have gotten this week.

        • Megan

          I second this. I love rompers and plan to wear one while getting ready. A mid-reception romper change sounds perfectttt

    • Fushigidane

      I changed after we greeted all the tables while everyone was eating dinner. So the first dances and table pictures were in the big dress and cake cutting and dancing in the other one.

      • Jane

        That sounds lovely. Your first dance was before people were eating? I’ve thought of having that because we are having live music during our cocktail hour that is the same type of music our first dance is to, so it seems like a waste not to have them play our first dance song live.

        • Fushigidane

          I don’t know how it is in other places but around here the first dance is typically right after you’re announced into the main room. The dance floor is in the middle of the dining room. So after cocktail hour, everyone gathers in the ballroom; bridal party is announced; first dance; parent dances; speeches; salad course starts

          • flashphase

            that’s what we did

          • Jane

            Whoa – that is great. I think it’s most common here to have all the dancing after dinner but that sounds fun. And you get to get a lot of the big things out of the way early.

            Our cocktail hour includes lawn games so it’s not in the same place (within our venue) as the dance floor, but we could do one dance in the grass. . .

          • Amy March

            I’ve never been to a wedding where we had to wait until after dinner to start dancing, if there was dancing!

          • Lisa

            Huh, and I don’t think I’ve ever been to a wedding that was the opposite way! (Including at my own.) The ones I’ve been to had dinner served first, and then the couple opened up the dance floor afterwards.

          • BSM

            Same!

          • Jane

            Really? I don’t think I’ve ever been to a wedding where you start dancing before. And I’ve been to a bunch in the South and a few in the PNW.

          • Fushigidane

            People around here will dance in between courses depending on how good the music is. This also depends on the crowd. There’s definitely more people dancing after dinner is over but the in between courses crowd varies a lot depending on your people.

          • Jane

            Sounds like your dinner is also bigger and with more going on. Mine is a buffet so there aren’t really “courses” with breaks in between.

          • Fushigidane

            There really aren’t that many courses. Usually it’s just salad, entree, and dessert/cake. Even with buffet, some people will dance if they don’t want to wait in line or as they finish and other people are still eating. This is when you just get a handful of people on the dance floor.

          • Jane

            It sounds fun! It’s so great to see that things that I have always assumed were “the way weddings are done” vary soooo much.

          • Fushigidane

            “spontaneous” dancing in the grass sounds amazing

    • What about a dress that’s bustled underneath with drawstring cords and toggles? I had that. It took a second person to do it, but it was pretty quick. Less than 5 min for sure!

  • Kat

    Re: the RompHim, I think they look fantastic and I’m on board but FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THINGS can we just NOT gender label this pile of fabric? My personal soapbox over the years has been to lead the resistance against the terms “guy-liner” and “man bun” and I find myself called into battle once again.

    Unrelated to one pieces, as I was leaving the office yesterday one of my managers mentioned that he wants to meet with me on Monday regarding my capacity, i.e. I am above capacity and working too many hours. Idk why I am nervous about this because as my BF pointed out, worst case scenario they’re going to lighten my work load and best case scenario maybe I’ll get a raise. I’ve just had a doozy of a year in the employment department, and I LOVE this job and the people I work with, so I think I’m afraid to rock the boat. I feel like I SHOULD ask for a raise, I’m doing way more than I was hired to do, and I always try to step up and lend a hand if needed. It is just so not in my nature to seek recognition, something I know I need to work on. Any advice for getting what you deserve without feeling so awkward about it? Should I just suck it up? (Yes, duh)

    Also I baked a loaf of bread (this recipe: http://xobreakfast.com/post/3632281671/jim-laheys-no-knead-bread) this week with the worlds easiest recipe and I am so impressed with myself. 10/10 recommend for anyone who wants to impress people but doesn’t actually have baking skills. (*praise hands* for my Martha Stewart dutch oven, btw.)

    • Cellistec

      That bread looks amazing! I appreciate the tip about waiting at least an hour before slicing it–no wonder my bread is gummy in the middle when I slice it hot!

      • Kat

        Lol it was soooo hard to wait that hour. I want the carbs immediately.

    • BSM

      Totally agree on the RompHim. I’m into them, but it already has a name: romper.

    • Ashlah

      100% agreed on unnecessarily gendered fashion items (and other stuff). I was pleasantly surprised to see that the linked article was about exactly that! I was also just ranting to my husband the other day about how frustrating it is to see that any male fashion trend like this is an immediate joke (Like man buns. Oh my, men have an identifiable trendy hairstyle, let’s all panic and make fun of it). Because it’s feminine, I assume, so obviously it’s embarrassing and frivolous.

    • joanna b.n.

      I just had a conversation about workload at my (amazing, wonderful) new job with my (amazing, wonderful) boss, which led to us adding two new people to the team (one temporarily, one an intern), and tons of praise. If you can get a raise out of the deal, all the better!

    • Jane

      Yay for baking bread! I’ve got to start doing that!

  • LazyMountain

    Just wanted to say a quick thanks to those who offered honeymoon suggestions last week! We were split between Grand Canyon and Banff for a while (especially since we have the free Canadian national park pass this year). We had trouble finding lodging at the former (apparently October is super popular time there), so we’re going to enjoy Bryce and Zion nearby instead! I’m seriously more excited about this than the wedding at this point- we’ll be in a quiet cabin between the two parks for 5 days, and stole some itineraries from REI and other “adventure tours” groups for suggestions on hikes and activities! I’m beyond stoked for slot canyons and hoodoos :-) Oh and we’ll be ending the trip with a night in Vegas before we fly out to wash off the dust and eat someplace incredibly delicious and opulent.

    Really appreciated the help and now just adding to my list of places to travel! Hoping we can squeeze in a road trip to Banff sometime in the summer!

    • Natalie

      Oooh, Zion is GORGEOUS! I haven’t been to Bryce but I’ve heard wonderful things. That whole region is almost otherworldly in its beauty.

      • Anna

        Seriously. Biking through Capitol Reef (not far from Bryce Canyon) was easily my single favorite day of the cross-country bike ride I did one summer in college. Even before we got to the park, the whole area (we started the day in Green River, UT) is just full of crazy gorgeous rock formations in all kinds of weird and wonderful colors. The group I was riding with thought it was hilarious how I kept gaping at all the rocks and being like “IT LOOKS LIKE A FANTASY KINGDOM” xD

        • Natalie

          It does look like a fantasy kingdom! I need an excuse/time/money to go back there. Also, biking through that area sounds like the absolute best way to experience it. Cars move too fast to take it all in.

          • Anna

            Yeah, absolutely – I had a knee injury that meant I was in the support van the day we rode into Moab and I was so bummed. Not the same at all as biking through it.

            I tried to convince fiance that we should go to Utah for our honeymoon (or Wyoming, or even Colorado – anywhere with gorgeous rocks and good boulder scrambling) but he was adamant about wanting to lie on a beach with a cocktail… fortunately we found a compromise in Virgin Gorda (in BVI), which has both beaches and boulders, and on my birthday (which is during our honeymoon) I get to insist on an entire day of boulder scrambling if I so choose :D But there’s still a minor ghost-ship-that-didn’t-carry-us feeling about honeymooning at Capitol Reef.

          • Mer

            My parents (and 3 other couples they know from college) go to Virgin Gorda every year now that most of them are retired (I think they are now on year 15?). They LOVE it. You’ll have blast!

          • Natalie

            Oooh, the Virgin Islands are gorgeous, too. You can’t go wrong. Also, I’d say the food is better/more interesting in the Virgin Islands, especially if you find restaurants for locals instead of tourists. Authentic Caribbean food is amazing.

    • Anna

      My father proposed to my mother at Zion (at Weeping Rock, I think) :-) We went on a national parks tour, including Zion, when I was about ten or so and I have very fond memories of wading in the Narrows.

    • Katherine

      So jealous!! This is going to be an amazing honeymoon.

    • Abby

      That’s awesome! Definitely bring water shoes and hike the Narrows in Zion, it’s perfect in October– just the right temperature for a wade.

  • Natalie

    Question for women who have been pregnant: were you more likely to suffer from motion sickness when you were dealing with morning sickness? I get motion sick somewhat easily, especially during air travel and I’m already pretty sensitive to smells, so that sitting next to someone wearing perfume/cologne on a small airplane in turbulence is kinda my worst nightmare. I’m trying to make travel plans for this fall, when I will be TTC or pregnant. The thought of dealing with morning sickness while flying across the country horrifies me. But I have to decide whether to travel (buy $600-800 plane tickets, will involve multiple flights and small airplanes) to dear friends’ wedding before I’ll know whether I’ll be pregnant. I hate the thought of missing their wedding, especially if I end up being not yet pregnant at that point. Any thoughts or advice?

    • Violet

      I always get carsick (so taxi-ing is the issue for me on planes), and yeah, it is worse for me now that I’m pregnant. But still not so bad that I’m actually vomiting, or anything. Unfortunately, like everything pregnancy-related, it’s different for everyone, so…. I think you’re just going to have to go with what you are comfortable with.

      • Natalie

        I am fascinated by how incredibly different morning sickness is for different women.

    • rg223

      I was NOT more likely to be motion sick when pregnant. For me, those were very different sensations – I only got morning sickness in the afternoon and evening when I hadn’t eaten in a while, and it felt stomach-related, whereas I feel motion sickness more in my head (if that makes sense). Curious what other people will say!

      And also, I wouldn’t base your plans on being pregnant when you aren’t yet. There are so many variables leading up to the wedding, and like you said, you don’t want to miss it if you aren’t pregnant by that point!

      • Natalie

        That’s good to know. Motion sickness is definitely an in-my-head sensation for me, and even when it’s made me throw up, it doesn’t feel stomach-related.

    • BSM

      I would book the tickets and plan on going to the weddings. There’s no way of knowing when you’re going to get pregnant or how being pregnant will affect you.

      My morning sickness was pretty specific: weeks 6-9, from the time I got home from work until I went to bed I needed to lay on the couch, drink water with lemon, and eat buttered toast or saltines. I never threw up (except when I had food poisoning), and it wasn’t awful, but it was noticeable.

      I’m also more sensitive to smells, but it’s not horrible. I just breathe through my mouth when I encounter something unpleasant, and I do not allow my husband to make Mexican food at our house anymore, since that’s my only real food aversion.

      • Natalie

        Thanks! Good points.

        I’d be so sad about a Mexican food aversion. I live for burritos & guac & tamales.

        • BSM

          Me too :(

    • Ashlah

      I would try not to make plans based on the idea you’ll be pregnant. Sure, you might be pregnant and have worse motion sickness. Or you might not be pregnant; or you might be pregnant and not have morning sickness at all; or you might be pregnant, have morning sickness, but have no worse motion sickness than before. Being horribly ill on a flight would of course be no fun, but so would missing out on an event you want to attend if you had no need to skip in in the first place–and there are a lot of potential scenarios where that would be the case. I’ve personally had a unicorn pregnancy with no nausea at all, so I would have ended up really bummed if I’d declined a wedding out of fear of sickness. Good luck making a decision, and in TTC!

      • Natalie

        Thanks! These are excellent points. I kinda needed someone to tell me I was being a little ridiculous, worrying over morning sickness in a pregnancy that doesn’t yet exist.

        • Ashlah

          For what it’s worth, I was totally the same way! I was constantly (am constantly…) thinking about hypothetical issues before they exist. It’s easier to give advice than to take it yourself :)

    • K. is skittish about disqus

      In addition to the everyone else saying that you might regret making that decision too early on, I’ll offer my anecdotal experience: I had the worst “morning sickness” (mild Hyperemesis gravidarum), but I still handled four 5-6 hour flights within a week and a half, for a pre-planned vacation at 11 weeks. Sure, I threw up in the airport bathrooms before takeoffs and after landings, but the flights themselves ended up being fairly fine.

      Nausea and vomiting of pregnancy is nothing to sneeze at, but you actually learn how to manage it more than you think since life doesn’t just stop for the first 12 weeks (or more, if you’re unlucky like me). Now, if you have really, really bad HG it might be a different story, but that only happens to <1-2% of pregnant women, IIRC.

      Plus Unisom + B6 is god's gift to nauseated pregnant women!

      • Natalie

        Thanks! You make a very good point. Throwing up in air sickness bags on a plane/in airport bathrooms would not be fun, but it’s also not the worst thing ever. And probably worth it to make it to my friends’ wedding.

        Sorry you had such a rough time with morning sickness.

        • K. is skittish about disqus

          It really sucked, but I could still pull myself together when I had to (like going to Hawaii and doing things in Hawaii other than sleep.) And most likely/statistically, you won’t be as bad as me either.

          Good luck with everything!

    • The morning sickness thing is such a crap shoot. For me, I’d have all-day nausea but I only threw up like once. Once I figured out that eating every 2-3hrs (even in the middle of the night) cured my nausea, I was good. So I’d say, book the trips.

    • Yet another Meg

      I didn’t have very bad morning sickness, though nausea/dry heaving did rear it’s ugly head the week we traveled from the far east coast of Canada to the far West coast of the US ( fun times!) The biggest thing that I found to help manage it was making sure I ate often and enough, even if I was feeling queasy. I’m talking carried around almonds and granola bars and every couple of hours would eat some just to keep something in my stomach. The other thing is talk to your Dr. if you are pregnant. The moment I told mine I was travelling, she gave me an RX for diclectin just in case I needed it so that I wouldn’t end up stuck.

      Also, just to echo the other advice, don’t skip the wedding in case you’ll be pregnant as you will probably regret it. However, be prepared for travel to not be quite the same if you are. I don’t regret my trip, but can honestly say I didn’t really feel like myself or enjoy myself the way I normally would while dealing with first trimester symptoms. Good luck!

    • Eileen

      I agree with everything everyone has said here but I totally understand the annoying dilemma of travel planning when you’re not sure you’ll be pregnant. We planned a whole trip to South Africa when we were TTC. And I did end up being 5 months pregnant. (I also took my students on a school trip, including flight, when I was 12 weeks pregnant, in the middle of fatigue and nausea.) But I have no regrets, and if that’s the way it turns out for you (pregnant during the trip), you’ll just face the symptoms you have with the help of your doctor (like compression stockings) and other women’s advice, and your partner.

  • Kaitlyn

    After like seven months of just cruising along engaged, I feel like things are starting to happen haha Yesterday, the centerpieces arrived (no idea where I’m actually going to keep those cuz they’re 5 giant boxes of lanterns), my photographer contacted us to start talking engagement shoot, and this weekend is pre-cana.

    Also, my best friend’s sister (who’s been like my big sister for many years) had her baby yesterday and I’ve become the person that cries when babies are born.

    • savannnah

      I cried when I saw a picture of my sister holding her friends newborn. It happens.

  • toomanybooks

    Yesterday we had a meeting with our DJ and it was really nice and we walked home and I was like “Huh. I feel… calm and good and relaxed about the whole wedding planning thing! Like maybe she was the last vendor we hadn’t met with yet and now I feel like everything’s under control!”

    This morning I got a call that my appointment at an eye doctor for contacts had been double booked so I couldn’t do it, and in fact they have some sort of week long process of teaching you how to wear contacts or something that would mean I wouldn’t get them in time for the wedding if I rescheduled. I called around frantically and finally made an appointment at My Eye Dr, because the second eye place I called recommended that they would be able to give me the turnaround I needed and they ended up being the only place that didn’t bat an eye at me needing contacts for the very first time by next weekend.
    I don’t think I have vision insurance (because I generally just wear glasses, so it’s not much of an expense for me most of the time) and I’m worried that contacts are going to cost like $400. I don’t think I understand them at all? (My fiancée wears contacts all the time but I’ve never done it.) What do I do?? I pretty much just want them for the wedding, for the foreseeable future.

    Also suddenly remembered that I have to make a waxing appointment, and emailed the woman I realized I hadn’t used since 2014 to be like “Ok so there doesn’t seem to be an option on the drop down menu for waxing my ENTIRE body, how do we make that happen” basically lol

    Oh, and my sister bought yet another bridesmaid dress. She insisted the one she got that was different, and longer, but the same color, absolutely no longer fit (she bought it very recently) and she absolutely hated it now. I agreed to go shopping with her at BHLDN/Anthropologie because she’d texted me pictures of some dresses she’d seen there that actually matched the other girls’. I think that was just a ruse because when we got there she told me she didn’t actually like those ones and didn’t want a *bridesmaid* dress. (Yup.) She tried on some that were wildly not like the others at all – meaning, zero in common (different styles, fabrics, lengths, colors, patterns, levels of formality) and I just let her get one of them that at least sort of went with a “garden”-y theme for the wedding because she had been so resistant to reason so far that I was worried if I didn’t compromise on that dress, she’d choose something much worse. And then I felt like I’d been manipulated and treated badly by her the entire engagement and I shouldn’t have let her get her way so much to a point of outlandishness. But then I was like “but she’s my sister! I want her to be happy!” Basically right now I’m at peace with her wearing this completely different dress. Whatever.

    Soooooo. It’s still kind of crazy I guess! But… I’m very excited that my wedding is 9 days away and I do think it’ll be ok.

    • Violet

      As I recall (from when I was 14, haha!) the week is about giving your eyes the chance to gradually acclimate to wearing them, and less about teaching you how to insert/remove. I think they had me start with them in for two hours on day one, then go up by two hours each succeeding day, or something. Not sure how long your wedding day will be, but you might be around the 10-hour range anyway, so it’ll be fine. Bring lens re-wetting drops, since dryness was the main thing I remember when getting used to lenses.

      • toomanybooks

        Ah, ok. My wedding and reception are like 5 hours altogether but I’ll be getting my makeup done earlier and I’d imagine they go in before makeup??

        • Violet

          I actually prefer to put my contacts in after makeup- that way application of eyeshadow doesn’t move them at all, etc. But people definitely do it either way.

        • Amy March

          Contacts go in before makeup to avoid getting makeup trapped between the lens and your eye.

          • Violet

            Fascinating, did not know of this!

          • Amy March

            For all I know it’s just my two eye doctors!

          • Lisa

            No, I’ve always been of the impression that they should go in first, too.

          • Natalie

            Yeah, I’ve made that mistake once and ONLY once. Mascara between eye and contact = awful.

        • Jess

          I do before makeup, but only because my eyes water when I put them in, even 15 years later.

    • KK

      For the contacts – most eye doctors I’ve been to will give you several free pairs to try out to make sure you find a brand that’s comfortable. My husband had to try a few brands before he found one that worked for him. So if you just want them for the wedding weekend, maybe they will be free? But also, to Violet’s point below, you want to make sure you are comfortable in them, especially if it’s your first time with contacts, so wearing them for several days before the wedding is a good idea. Since it doesn’t sound like you will have time to order them online (which is usually the cheapest way to get them), you can probably buy a small pack from the eye doctor, should be much less than $400.

      • penguin

        I forgot about the free pairs they give you! Yes to this.

      • Natalie

        Yeah, I buy my contacts from my eye doctor, and a year’s supply for both eyes is less than $400. AND he always gives me a free trial pair, even when I’m not changing brands or prescriptions.

    • penguin

      So my first-time experience with contacts was super long ago (heyo middle school), but as I recall it took me a bit to get used to putting them in and taking them out. If they fit well (and that’s the point of the eye doctor appointment), they should feel fine when they are in.

      Also just for reference, I just bought a year’s worth of contacts from 1800 contacts and order total was like $180, and I’ve got a $50 mail-in rebate to send in.

      Best of luck with everything!!

    • Fushigidane

      From what I remember when I was 13, it took a couple hours to learn how to put the contacts in and out. Then come back in a week to make sure they’re fitted right to my eyes (the followup happens everytime you get a new prescrption). The first pair is a free trial set. I don’t remember being told to only wear it a certain amount of time but they did warn me it would take a while to get used to them and to take them out if my eyes started feeling irritated/dry. Maybe bring your glasses the day of the wedding in case you need to change out of the contacts.

    • AGCourtney

      I’m sure you’ve given your choices a lot of thought, but I’m curious: why not stick with your glasses for the wedding? Seems like that would be a lot easier.

      • toomanybooks

        My thought for glasses at the wedding has always been “naaahhhhh.” I don’t think they go with the look I’ll have, and I photograph a looooooot better without them. (Hoping for one day of not looking like my celebrity doppelgänger, 1990s Eugene Levy lol.)
        I’ve been meaning to get them for special events, particularly my wedding, for a while but as usual I procrastinated, which I do for most things that require an appointment! Argh.

        • AGCourtney

          Makes sense. Best of luck!

        • I wore my glasses for the actual wedding so I could see things, but took them off for (some of) the pictures. Mostly because my mom wanted pictures of me without my glasses on. Also, my husband had to keep switching between his 2 pairs of glasses for outside (formal) pictures (because they are transition lenses and at least his style looks silly in pictures).

          My prescription is pretty mild, though, so I can see things up close (I actually frequently take them off all day at work because I don’t need to see distances /across the room clearly and the micrscopes scratch them, but need them for talks and presentations and going outside).

      • RNLindsay

        Yeah, I had a similar reaction. Granted it’s been awhile since I got my contacts but there was definitely a bit of an adjustment period. I would be very nervous to be wearing them for the first time (or first couple of times) on my wedding day! To this day my contacts still drive me nuts sometimes and I was worried there’d be issues on my wedding day – and that’s 20 years later!

    • Em

      The “week long process” re contacts is probably just that if your eyes take a little while to adjust, then you might not want to wear them for full days straight away! But you might be fine from day 1 – everyone’s eyes are different. Also, they won’t be that expensive if you just ask to buy one box of contacts (which will have 6 contacts in them) for each eye – I wear fortnightly lenses and a box (which lasts 3 months) costs the equivalent of $25 USD. So just make sure your optometrist doesn’t load you up on a whole year’s worth of lenses, and you’ll be fine.

    • TR

      I agree with others. One other option you could consider when ordering contacts is to get the one use type since you’ll only be wearing them occasionally. Most disposables are meant to last at least a couple weeks, so it could be kind of a waste to just wear them once. My husband got single day lenses when he only wanted them for scuba diving. I don’t think he needed much acclimation, either.

  • Rosie

    Any other June 17th brides here?! OMFG, less than a month away!!! My fiance and I celebrated by making a practice-run of our specialty cocktail (fizzy bourbon lemonade!) and getting tipsy on our porch =)

    • lamarsh

      Meeeeeee! It is getting so real.

    • theteenygirl

      Um yum that sounds delicious!

    • Alli

      Ooh, I’m trying to come up with a specialty cocktail, what’s the recipe?

      • Rosie

        Bourbon, Lemonade, Triple Sec, fresh lemon juice, all mixed up and served on the rocks, with a splash of fresh lemon juice and a spritz of seltzer :) YUM!

    • June 16th for me! So excited but it feels like there’s a lot that needs to happen until then. Punch sounds awesome.

    • Hannah

      would love to hear more about how you handled cocktails! Is it an open, full bar or are you just offering certain cocktails + beer/wine?? How did you ever choose a specialty cocktail?? So exciting that you’re less than a month out :)

    • Anna

      Yes, also June 17! Shit feels real now, haha.

  • Angela’s Back

    Just want to say thanks again to everyone who offered to chat with me via email about my family’s move to the NY capital district–me, Mr. Angela and the cat are now happily 90% moved in to an apartment in downtown Troy and I’m finishing up my second day of work, aka all day Skype orientation, whee! You ladies are the best and I appreciate all your cumulative knowledge as dispensed through Disqus <3

  • LadyMe

    Anyone know anyone who has simultaneously worked a full time, done part time grad school, and have kids? It seems like if I want to shift fields, a degree is going to be necessary, but I can’t afford to go full time and my current job has decent tuition benefits. I don’t want to delay kids for the 4-7 years grad school might take but I’m not sure it’s a feasible thing to do all 3 at once.

    • Cellistec

      Haven’t done it yet, but am planning to within the next 2 years. I was weighing the dumbness of that decision, and a friend who’s a single mom by choice said, “There’s never going to be a perfect time.” As Meg and co have said about having kids in general, and RBG affirmed in a recent NYT interview. So it may not be feasible to do all 3 at once, but that sure doesn’t stop a lot of people from doing it.

    • Violet

      Not to be a Debbie Downer, but when I worked full-time and was in grad school part-time (which included a practice component; maybe yours will be just classes), I didn’t have time to feed myself, let alone think about dependents. My husband (boyfriend at the time) took on all household management just for me to get through it. But those tuition bennies man, you cannot deny are pretty great.

    • AGCourtney

      Not quite the same, but I did my undergraduate full time while working part-time and being a single mother. It was hectic, but it can be done. When I was considering grad school, the impression I got from departments and current students was that graduate programs are more family-friendly. It would be busy to the point of chaos, but a few years of that may be worth it to you for the payoff.

      • Violet

        That reminds me- age is also something to think about. My husband and I were reminiscing last night about all the energy we had as college students. Yeah, we were tired, but we did a LOT of stuff to reach that level of fatigue. Just 10 years later, we just need more sleep than before. Everyone differs, naturally, but something else to consider.

        • AGCourtney

          Ooh, that is a great point. I’m really young, haha.

      • LadyMe

        Did you have any kind of support system to help? Family or anything?

        • AGCourtney

          I did live at a non-profit for single mothers going to college, so my daughter’s child development center was downstairs from my apartment, and I received financial government assistance, but I didn’t have any family around.

          • LadyMe

            That’s really awesome that you earned your degree with all of that going on!

          • AGCourtney

            Thanks! Best of luck figuring everything out. <3

    • Amy March

      There’s gotta be a way to shift fields without 7 years of grad school!

      • LadyMe

        Best other option I can see is try to switch jobs to a startup that would let me wear more hats that might include my particular desired hat. Beyond the other work-at-startup risks, the problem is I don’t have that deep of a knowledge/experience base so it’s entirely possible I’d crash and burn in a rather spectacular fashion. I’m trying to weigh my options, but I don’t really know anyone who’s done grad school, much less grad school while working full time, so I’m trying to source info.

        • NolaJael

          Honestly, better to crash and burn while getting paid than to crash and burn while paying for the privilege.

          • LadyMe

            Well, the start-up would be me paying. It’d be a reduced salary and reduced benefits. Staying at my current job would let me keep my current salary and benefits while going to school.

          • A single sarah

            If the degree is a Phd, you should find a program that funds you. This means tuition, insurance, and stipend. Likely not as good as your current salary. And no retirement. But that’s what seven years of grad school should get you.*

            *varies across fields and program competiveness. I was told not to go unless I was funded.

        • Amy March

          I just think if the solution you have found feels untenable, expand the way you are thinking about it. I obvi have no idea of what you do or what you are looking to shift to, but there are so many different jobs out there, and grad school is so often a terrible investment of time and money, that it seems like there may be more possibilities here.

        • penguin

          Do you know anyone in your desired field that you could talk to? Or does anyone you know know anyone in that field? That might help you figure out if you really need the degree, or if there are other ways to get the experience (volunteering, doing something field-adjacent for work, classes or courses that aren’t a full degree, etc).

      • NolaJael

        Agreed. Unless it’s a very specific “degree required” on every job posting kind of field, I would say once you have some degree and some life experience there are other ways to switch fields. Lots of advanced degrees are just cash cows for universities that employers don’t care about at all.

    • AmandaBee

      I worked full time for the past 2.5 years while finishing my PhD, and I know people who’ve done what you described (FT work, grad school, and kids). It can be done for a short time, but TBH it ain’t pretty.

      Working and doing grad school has been extremely draining and doesn’t leave you a lot of time for you. If it’s something like a PhD that’s long-term, you can plan on taking a bit longer and work at a more manageable pace, but you also don’t want to be in school forever! I would really make sure that the programs you look at are friendly toward working adults with kids, and I would be really clear on your reasons for doing so (like, it helps if they’re really personal reasons – it’s harder if it’s just for a job!)

      • LadyMe

        Just a master’s. How would you tell if a program is family friendly? None of the programs I’m looking at have a blurb or anything that talk about kids. At most they have a little line about how their part time program is good for working/busy professionals or whatever.

        • KK

          So would it be mostly just classes/coursework or would it also involve an in-depth independent research project?

          • LadyMe

            It should be mostly just classes/coursework. Some of the programs ask for a capstone project, which in theory you’d do at your current company or as part of an internship. No idea what happens if your working full time and your current company can’t provide a relevant project.

          • KK

            Gotcha. I think you already got some good advice from others. I did evening masters classes while working full time (engineering) but I was younger and didn’t have kids. I could see it being doable with a very supportive partner, but definitely challenging/exhausting and might have to take a lighter course load.
            I think your best bet is trying it out for a semester or two as discussed. That will let you see how hard or doable it is without kids/pregnancy. Little things like the extra commute time or challenge of fitting in dinner etc
            Also, as a side point, most companies require you to stay on for a year or more after getting tuition reimbursement – worth looking into if you are considering the timing of the whole process.
            Good luck!!! When someone else is willing to pay for education, I think it’s always worth researching whether it makes sense.

        • AmandaBee

          I’d hope programs geared toward working professionals are also geared toward families, but I guess you never know.

          Can you ask to be connected with some of their students to chat about the program? If so, I’d just ask the students if others in the program have work/family responsibilities and, if so, how they balance them. Pay attention to their answer – does it seem like they’re given flexibility when they need it? Do they say that no one has kids? How long are people with kids and jobs taking to graduate? Those’re all flags to watch for.

          I think a master’s could be done if you take it slow and go in with that mentality. It would be helpful if the program allowed some flexibility in when classes are taken, super-structured programs (like, where all 4-5 years of classes are mapped out by semester) can be hard if you need to take a break or scale back one semester. Esp. with kids you don’t know what could happen – I know folks who had to scale back because their child was having health issues.

          Also, know yourself: I’m someone who can temporarily give up hobbies and free time for work that I care about. Others really need a good balance of work/not work. My partner could step in for short periods, but someone whose partner has an intense career might need to have more conversations about how all that works.

          Could you try a 2-semester trial run or something and see what you think?

          • LadyMe

            Thanks, this is really helpful.
            Apparently there’s no penalty for not finishing a degree, so long as I keep my grades up, so I could try a trial run for a semester or two.

          • AmandaBee

            Right – the biggest concern I’d have about starting an MA would be debt. So this may actually not be a bad time to start, at least if you’re pretty sure you want to stay with your current employer for a few more years.

    • ZLMT

      I am starting this at the end of the summer, so I can give better advice then. I’m a little nervous, but I’m going to see how it goes. I do feel like I’m good at getting things done when I have a lot on my plate. and I know people who did this program part-time while working full-time. I am telling myself that I will start and if it is horrible after a semester and seems totally untenable, I will revisit.

    • emilyg25

      My mom! She got her master’s in English when we were little and her master’s in nursing (which also included commuted 1+ hr both ways to school) when we were like 10-15. It’s a lot, for sure. It depends a lot on the support you have from your partner and your tolerance for letting things slide.

  • Anna

    The idea that less than a month from now, I will be MARRIED and fiance will be my HUSBAND and no longer my fiance feels CRAZY. Like, I have a hard time wrapping my head around it in kind of the same way as, e.g., I couldn’t quite wrap my head around the idea of graduating college until at least several months after it had happened.

    • I have had the exact same feelings as I’m also getting married in a month. I keep practicing “Hi I’m Rachel and this is my husband Jack” and also practicing hearing “Hi, I’m Jack and this is my wife, Rachel.” It’s weird but good. Yesterday he finally got his wedding ring and he was wearing it all day to make sure it felt comfortable. I like the look of that a lot, but also will take some getting used to. In a good way. :)

    • Shirley Schmidt

      4 months out and this feels utterly bizarre! I am still getting used to fiancé! Does not compute at all, however much I am looking forward to it. I don’t think I think I’m
      old enough to have a husband (ridiculous – I’ll be 29 by the time we marry!)…

    • Engaged Chicago

      Yess to this. Ending college was such an end of an era and so many happy memories and also terrifying and sad that such a monumental phase of life was ending. But somehow it all got even better! I love that comparison!!!

      Also this “if you want until you’re 100% prepared for something to happen, you’ve waited too long”

      Enjoy enjoy soak it all in and also don’t so it still feels surreal when it’s over!!’

  • Lexipedia

    Invitations advice – I was totally committed to online save the dates and invitations, like researched and planned and costed out. Yesterday we received both a thank you card for a wedding last winter AND an invitation to a wedding this summer by mail and FI got all sentimental about paper (photos with foil stamping, etc). Now he has developed an opinion and REALLY wants to do “fancy” printed invitations for all guests. I love pretty things, and I’m ok with this, but I don’t want to spend ungodly sums of money on things that will get thrown away quickly but I also want to make him happy. So where did people get their printed invites? I think I can talk him into online STDs, so we can use them to collect addresses, but I’m seeking advice on where to order invites from. He is committed them having “sparkles” on them (foil press) and I’d love them to be fairly budget. I have no idea where this very strong opinion came from, but he has so few of them that I want to make it happen.

    APW’ers – where did you get invites? So far Minted looks like the best deal to me…

    • Lisa

      Check Groupon/LivingSocial/Gilt for deals. They pop up once every couple of weeks. The place where we bought ours went out of business, but we got a deal for 50% off the paper suite through Groupon.

    • penguin

      We just ordered our Save the Dates through Minted, and I love them. It was super super easy, and I got $50 off my order by getting a premium wedding website through them ($35, and I was going to do it anyway). I liked a lot of the designs, they were very easy to work with, and they got here fast. Free recipient address printing, I forget what else. Long story short I HIGHLY recommend them now.

    • Alynae

      Minted. Great selection. High quality. Foil and fancy things if you want them. Regular sales. Free Adressing!!!!!

      • Cellistec

        Ditto–we chose Minted after someone in an APW HH mentioned a sale they were having. A++ would use again.

    • Laura C

      Printable Press. We did the print your own option and took it to a local copy shop (where we could have it printed with a union bug), and it was super cheap and our invitations were just about my favorite thing about our wedding.

      • Rose

        We did Printable Press too, and loved our invitations. We didn’t print our own, just had them sent.

    • Nichole

      I got mine printed at Catprint. I designed them myself because I didn’t end up finding anything anywhere that I liked as much as what I could do myself. We had budget there to do what we wanted so we got shimmer paper, and I did splurge on envelopes. We bought our envelopes from envelopes dot com because they have some classy shimmer ones and for the save the dates we got gold sparkle (which are awesome).

      We spent $330 on the invites (main invite card, rsvp card, details card, envelope, return address label sticker, rsvp envelope, address sticker for rsvp card, belly band) and $215 on save the dates (envelopes, return address label, printed address labels for the guests, save the date).

    • Natalie

      We used Paperless Post for both Save the Dates and invites. We did emailed STD, except for some elderly relatives who just couldn’t handle emailed wedding stuff. Paperless Post was nice because I designed one Save the Date card, emailed it to most people, and had a handful of the same card printed out to mail to those who needed a physical STD. I stuck with them for our printed invitations for the wedding & the rehearsal dinner because they were reasonably priced and easy to work with, but our invitations weren’t fancy foil press.

      I wonder if anyone here has used Wedding Paper Divas? It seems to be the same company as Shutterfly and Tiny Prints, both of which I’ve used for Christmas cards and moving announcements. They constantly have big sales, good quality given the price, and TONS of options. ….and now I’ve gone down the fancy stationary rabbit hole, despite having NO reason to purchase foil press anything…. but maybe I need foil-stamped monogrammed stationary? It’s so pretty….

      • flashphase

        We went with WPD. The quality was great, I loved our invites, but their printing times were not at all accurate and our invites went out late as a result. So I would say got with them only if you are ordering way in advance.

      • nutbrownrose

        WPD is great (they frequently have sales!)–we got our return addresses from them and did Vistaprint for our designed invites because the designer (a friend!) said they had the best print quality/price ratio. WPD does take FOREVER to send stuff if you don’t rush.

      • Lisa

        My sister used WPD after finding a Groupon for 50% off. They were really pretty, and she loved them!

    • AmandaBee

      We did a website called Ann’s Bridal Bargains. They were pretty cheap, not sure if they have foil but worth checking. Make sure you use the discount code if you order – they pretty much always have one.

    • We used MagnetStreet for our Save the Dates and our invitation suite. They always have email coupon codes and the quality is great. We maybe spent $250 total on our Save the Dates + invites (invitations, enclosure card, RSVP card, plus all envelopes).

    • LazyMountain

      Etsy girl. So. Many. Options. I was also impressed with Purple Trail and Impress Ink, both of which have really useful online design tools, lots of sparkly options, and were relatively affordable. We also did postcards from vistaprint for STD and thank yous

    • Not Sarah

      We’re going to use VistaPrint for the small number of paper ones we’re doing. It was far more reasonable than Minted. We would have totally paid for Minted if we were doing all paper though. Minted has a free website that you could use for RSVPs and looks great if you like their invitations though!

    • Laura

      shine wedding invitations – gorgeous, not wildly expensive :) we did extra enclosures x 2 + belly bands and address stamping, but you obviously don’t need those

  • Kash

    Visiting the future in laws. They are sweet, wonderful people but because the entire family has ADD everything I say must be a sentence or less. If not, I am inevitably interrupted or ignored. It takes getting used to and constant internal reminders that they don’t hate me. Plus my partner keeps speaking for me and saying ridiculous things like “Kash doesn’t like breakfast.” Excuse me, but I like breakfast a whole damn lot.

    • RNLindsay

      Similar experience with my MIL. I can barely say a single sentence before she takes over and goes off on whole other tangents

      • Mer

        Right there with you. My future MIL loves to talk. Luckily, I’m not a big talker so I ask one question and boom, she’ll talk for like 15 minutes and then tell me how great it was talk to me. So I guess we’re both winning?

        • BSM

          This is how my mom is, lol. It’s both a blessing and a curse.

    • KK

      I know the feeling, my in-laws are the same! Deep breaths and yes, remind yourself that it’s not personal… they are just like that. I usually try to take a few breaks by myself when I can sneak away (or even if it’s not sneaky) because I find that style of interaction very stressful. Hopefully your presence at APW happy hour is a sign you got a break :)

    • Laura C

      My MIL interrupts me ALL. THE. TIME. It makes me crazy. Like, she asks a question and I get four words out and she interrupts me and then I have to sit there thinking “ok, when she’s done saying what she’s saying, do I restart my answer to HER question, or do I just figure she must not really have wanted to know?”

      • KK

        yes!! It feels somehow more annoying when they interrupt your answer to their own question!

    • K. is skittish about disqus

      My FIL loves the sound of his own voice and talks over everyone. He’s incredibly educated on many topics and was a professor for years, which means that he thinks every conversation is part of his new lecture circuit. And he also does have adult ADD too, which manifests in him getting hyperfocused on certain ideas and being a space cadet about everything else, including, like, the fact that other people’s input is generally expected in a conversation. :p

      Finding the humor in it has been the only thing that makes me not want to hit him over the head with a frying pan most times! Also gently bringing it up to my husband and finding out that my FIL does it to literally everyone helped a lot too.

    • AmandaBee

      I have to say, my family = your in-laws. And having seen my husband deal with that, I feel for you. It’s just how they are though, and at least in my case I can confidently say they mean no harm. Interrupting people during conversation (especially any kind of debate/general discussion) is just super normal and expected in my family. Although my in-laws are wonderful, I find that breaks are super handy for staying engaged with them. Sometimes I go “take a nap” that involves me actually just being on Instagram in the bedroom, just sayin’.

      • sage

        I felt the same thing reading this… This is my family. I am embarrassed to say I catch myself interrupting others way too often, even though I have gotten better over the years. It’s a habit born from growing up in a seven person household and having a dad who is literally always talking… like 70% of the time during regular conversations and 30% of the time when he is all by himself. When we are together we all just talk over each other… we also tend to mumble, adding another layer of difficulty. I know it was hard the first few times fiance came to visit them, but now he knows it’s cool to just excuse himself from conversation at some point and take a walk or read a book in the bedroom.

        • AmandaBee

          We have the same families, right down to the mumbling and solo convos.

  • Julia Schnell

    Where are *both* of those dresses from? They’re gorgeous.

    • Jane

      I especially love the watercolor one!

  • Cdn icecube

    This made me laugh pretty hard. Then it made me sad that she actually had to practice this. http://theslot.jezebel.com/in-debate-prep-hillary-clinton-practiced-dodging-trump-1795378999

    • Alli

      That’s hilarious. And sad.

    • K. is skittish about disqus

      Ugh, I love her so much why isn’t she our president this sucks.

      • CMT

        My thoughts literally every morning when I wake up and read the news.

  • Anon for this

    Guys, I’ve been with my husband for six years. We’re monogamous, I have no intention of ever straying. We’re happy together. We’ve had a great 2017 so far. In the last 2 or so weeks, I’ve developed a MAJOR crush on somebody. The last time I had a crush, it was four or five years ago, and was nothing like this. The person I have the crush on I’ve known for 2-3 years. We used to work together, and we ran into one another and drank together at a party that my husband also attended. Totally innocent, nothing happened, but since then, I cannot get this boy out of my head! He is driving me nuts! I think about some of the things that he said to me, and I get butterflies in my stomach. I cannot think of the last time I felt like this. It is driving me crazy and I just needed to vent about it!

    • K. is skittish about disqus

      Any big transitions coming up for you? Might not be relevant to you, but the last two random crushes I’ve had happened when we were a few weeks out from our wedding and when we decided to try to conceive. I think it was my lizard brain being like, “But options are gooooooood!”

      Also, I think crushes just happen! As they say, you’re married, not dead, etc., etc. I think the other cliche around it is to use the nice feeling chemical rush/butterflies to focus on your husband and all will be swell. :)

    • emilyg25

      I like to pick out one or two things that irritate me about the person and just focus on those till the crush melts under the weight of the scrutiny.

    • littleinfinity

      It’s ok to remember that you can still be attracted to other people and it doesn’t mean anything bad about you or your relationship! I think some of the anxiety/ nerves around crushes comes from “omg this is wrong”, which, it’s not necessarily. It just… is! I second the suggestion to “take it out” on your husband, lol… maybe you can both reap the benefits of the heightened arousal?

      • EF

        yuuuuuup def reap those benefits!

        i think it’s also worth pointing out, that crushing on someone else doesn’t lessen the love you have for your spouse. it’s human, it’s ok, and there’s not a cap on the amount of affection a person can feel.

  • Amy March

    Going bridesmaid dress shopping this weekend- so excited!

  • Alli

    Fun question, are impeachment parties a thing? Should I celebrate the impeachment when it happens or wait until Trump is out of office? Should it have a theme? Also I know impeachment =/= getting kicked out of office but I don’t totally understand it so if anyone has an easy explanation that would probably help my party planning.

    • Violet

      Bringing articles of impeachment is like the government version of getting charged with a crime. Getting kicked out of office would be one possible outcome if “convicted.”

    • savannnah

      Shhhhh! do not tempt the fates!

      • Cellistec

        No kidding. Now you have to go outside, turn around three times, and spit.

        • Alli

          I knocked on wood!

          • penguin

            Throw some salt over your shoulder just in case.

    • BSM

      We’re having an impeachment party, and we decided to do it when proceedings begin. We’ve already decided to have it catered by a local taco truck. Everyone is invited, as long as you voted for Hillary in the general.

      • Alli

        I like that rule because then I don’t have to invite the friend who voted for Jill Stein. In a swing state! It went blue but JEEZ MAN

        • K. is skittish about disqus

          My acquaintance/friend voted for Jill Stein in Florida.

          F L O R I D A.

          • Alli

            Omg just remembered my cousin voted for her in PA. Ugh! Somehow all the Jill Stein voters I know are SO VOCAL about how much they hate Trump. I mean it’s not like there’s anything they could have done to prevent this ??????

            (I mean I’m super aware the problem is larger than 3rd party voters but I’m still a little bitter because I’m allowed to be, damn it!)

          • K. is skittish about disqus

            Oh, I’m totally salty about it still, even though I know left unification is crucial and that the people who truly deserve ire are those who voted for Trump, and especially those in power who have helped pave the way for a Trump victory. Emotional v. rational response! One of our groomsmen voted for Gary Johnston, also in Florida. Both of them hate Trump with a fiery passion and it still takes so much for me not to get pissy and throw their votes in their faces. But it would accomplish literally nothing. :p

          • Ella

            You guys need preferential voting!

    • K. is skittish about disqus

      I’ll definitely use it as an excuse to bake a peach pie, because I’m both really corny and love peach pie.

    • LadyMe

      I thought the pussy tape was the end and he survived that. I’m not getting my hope or expectations up until something actually happens. A special counsel can drag on legal proceedings for years and the repubs can use the counsel as a cover to not begin impeachment proceedings.

      • Alli

        That’s a good point. I’ll just start planning quietly. Maybe make a secret pinterest board of recipes. If nothing else I can celebrate when he’s out of office no matter how that happens.

    • Cellistec

      Also, don’t forget that impeachment + conviction + President Pence, who would be (if you can believe it) worse for many, many Americans, immigrants, the planet, etc.

      • K. is skittish about disqus

        I’m on the edge of secretly hoping for the conviction to happen after the midterms, after the Dems take Congress. Oh, and also both Trump and Pence will be ousted due to collusion, giving us President Pelosi.

        It could happen! Ish.

      • Alli

        So, combination impeachment/conviction/take down Pence party?

    • PAJane aka Awesome Tits

      Peach flavored everything. Peach is so refreshing, don’t you think?

    • Gaby

      Well, after reading this thread, impeachment parties SHOULD be a thing and especially with tacos and peach flavored drinks involved.

    • Sarah Porter

      I’m so glad you mentioned this. I’ve been planning one since the Cheeto took office. It features a huge splurge, with a few bottles of the expensive champagne, and fancy cheese. My husband said he’d like some things themed with the news in the past few month, such as Russian Vodka and Leeks (get it, leaks?!), and of course, there will be lots of dancing.

  • Lmba

    Okay, I can’t stop talking to every woman I know about MommaStrong. You ladies know it, right? It’s totally-sane home workouts that are short and sweet and totally tailored to pregnant/post-partum/mothering bodies and IT’S ONLY $2/MONTH and I love everything about it. I actually hate everything related to fitness but I love this company and it has really helped my body to start repairing itself after 2 preganacies/deliveries, 3 years of baby-wearing and 4 years of breastfeeding. I am so excited that I actually have MUSCLES in places now. And my almost-hunchback situation is noticeably straightening out. Haha. *hooray!*

    • Eileen

      Fantastic, I am checking that out. Thanks!

  • anonforthis

    Okay, so due to things going downhill fastfastfast where we are, our family is considering moving to Ottawa, ON. Any APWers in Ottawa who can give me some inside info? We would be looking for a community that is walkable with good transit access, not too far from the core. Also looking for connections withing the homeschool/alternative schooling communities and social justice-oriented folks. Help???

    • Are you Canadian? I’m just wondering about the immigration/work permit side of things, if you aren’t. And are you open to Gatineau or just Ottawa?

    • PS. I asked two people who live or who have lived in Ottawa and will let you know if I hear back…

    • My friend’s who in Gatineau said that some Ottawa neighborhoods that could be a good match are Wetboro, the Glebe and Sandy Hill, but they are very expensive for renting or buying…

  • Liz3407509

    TTC month 1 is officially a bust. I know it can take time (this would be kid #2, and it took 5 months before) but it’s a bummer all the same.

    • Ashlah

      I’m sorry <3

    • Caitlyn

      It’s TTC month 5 over here. And it’s our first. And I’m trying to be fine. But I’m kind of freaking out that it just won’t work for us. I haven’t really told anyone how I’m feeling. And now I’m crying really hard in my office because apparently I have a lot more feelings about this than I even realized.

      • Liz3407509

        Ugh, I’m sorry. It’s such a weight to carry around. I remember feeling so awful, and then I finally confided in a friend (who had been trying longer and was open about it) and even though it still sucked, it felt better.

        • Caitlyn

          Thanks. I didn’t quite realize how much I was feeling until I saw your comment and the floodgates opened (and I already feel a lot better now that that’s passed).
          But yeah – definitely time to talk to someone instead of just bottling it up. It’s funny how sometimes you can just be really out of touch with how much something is impacting you?!

  • macrain

    A few weeks back I was complaining about my heavy periods (a result of the copper IUD I have), and someone on here suggested I try a menstrual cup. I tried it and I. LOVE. IT. I never want to lay eyes on a tampon ever again. It has been admittedly a struggle to figure out how exactly to use it (putting it in and taking it out takes practice, and holy cow things can get messy), but I now that I’m nearing the end of my first cycle using it, I feel like I’ve cleared a hurdle. The instructions assured me that I would get the hang of it and I am.
    So, whoever suggested that THANK YOU. It also makes me feel really good that I’m no longer generating waste from pads and tampons. Total win.
    If you’re thinking about it there’s lots of stuff on Bustle about menstrual cups that I found really helpful. I have the Lena cup but there are a lot of good options out there.

    • PAJane aka Awesome Tits

      Omg I love them to bits and have maybe given them to people as birthday presents and that reminds me that I need to order one for a summer birthday.

      • A single sarah

        Love that this is a go to present for you :)

    • Gaby

      So happy to hear it’s going well for you! I need to order mine before my next period.

    • HCampGust

      Yay! So glad you’re finding it helpful. This makes me really happy.

    • Ah! I recently got one and I have not yet got the hang of it! I am determined, but it’s driving me nuts!

      • macrain

        After I posted this I checked and had some leaking. Sooo maybe my victory lap was a bit premature! But they do say it takes a few cycles. I’m gonna stick with it! But yea it drives me nuts too when I have to take it out and start over a million times.

    • I’ve been thinking of trying one! I haven’t had one since getting pregnant, but once I start using up all the pads/tampons that are sitting around, I want to get one!

    • ART

      commenting late but I liked my Lena and use it inside out which helps with the poki-ness of the stick part (this may not be an issue for you but it drove me nuts)!

  • mim86

    So on the post a couple days ago about keeping your names, I bemoaned feeling like I had to change my name cause of my fiance wanting it. You guys were like “Bitch, live yo life and keep yo name”. And I was like…Imma do that. So I told him last night how I felt. And he was sad and that made my feminist hackles rise. And I was like ” Well you wouldn’t take my name if I asked” and he was like ” Yeah I would, I’d just like us to have the same last name “, and I was like”…wut?”

    So come to find out, he is worried that people won’t believe that we are married. Being in the south, and me being black and him being white, we CONSTANTLY get asked if we are together at restaurants, theatres, any place really. While sitting next to each other. Holding hands. MAKING OUT. We get occasionally get terrible looks, get seated in bad parts of restaurants, or I get completely ignored…and its something he wasn’t aware of/hadn’t experienced before we started dating. So he was worried that if something terrible happens and he or I end up in the hospital, or jail or whatever and my name is different, some racist asshole wouldn’t let us see each other cause we have different names.

    So we had a convo about the fact that even with the same name, racist assholes would still be racist assholes, and that it was going to be okay, and I might even take a pic of my marriage license and have it on me always if that made him feel better. It did. So yeah, we are okay. And it helped me to know where he was coming from. I am so used to racism, I didnt really think about what it would be like to see it, truly be affected by it, even tangentially, for the first time.

    • PAJane aka Awesome Tits

      Awwww. I’m so sad that that’s even a thing you guys have to worry about. But it’s also really sweet and endearing that those were his reasons for wanting the same name.

      • mim86

        It really was nice to know where he was coming from. And I also got to explain that I was thinking of taking his name out of guilt of not having kids and he was like “Babe, no, stop that”. ahaha so it was all around a good talk.

    • Fiona

      Half of an interracial couple here (black-latino and white) and omg people never believe we’re together, and we’re going on 7 years! “Separate checks?”
      We have different names, and my husband was pulled over by a cop who had his gun out and asked him to prove that he hadn’t stolen the car…which was in my name. Thank goodness the insurance shows very clearly that it’s in both of our names and he was eventually permitted to continue, though he got a ticket that he had to go to court to clear up.
      I feel you!

      • mim86

        That had to be so so scary for your husband. And also that is so fucking angering.

        And also, no. People will never believe you are together. Like. Two people of different races clearly in love? Separate those checks.

    • Rose

      Wow. It’s great that you two were able to have the conversation and get at why this was a thing he cared about so much. And I’m so sorry that you’ve had those experiences.

      As half of a same-sex couple, I have a copy (like, just a photo copy) of our marriage license in my wallet. I started carrying it when we were out of town working in a very rural, conservative area last summer, and have just never bothered to take it back out. I’ve never once needed it, but it does make me feel good to know I have it sometimes, so I definitely recommend that approach if you think it would help.

      • mim86

        You know what, having a copy of it is way better than the pic. Thank you. I might also put one a copy of it in the cloud or something should I lose my wallet or it flies out or gets lost in my purse. (All things that happen to anything unfortunate enough to be placed in my purse or wallet)

      • EF

        i do this too – don’t share a name and i have this uh problem in that i’m incredibly active in the…activist community and have gotten into trouble at protests before. and i’m always a little concerned someone’s gonna be like, you don’t have a right to stay in this country. so a photocopy of the visa, and a copy of the marriage license (and a snapshot from the wedding!) is in my bad at all times.

        helps when the government is literally announcing new rules that would have made it impossible for me to get my first spousal visa. (note, i’m not in the states)

        anyway, really sorry you guys are going through this and people suck wayyy too often.

      • For the longest time, I had a copy of my marriage certificate in my passport, since my husband is on a green card. I took it out recently and just realized I need to put it back in (especially considering the current political climate). We share a name, but I’m always worried something is going to happen.

    • Ella

      So is he going to take your last name? That seems like a happy conclusion!

      • mim86

        I think for now we are both gonna keep our names and see how it goes

    • This makes me sad. My father in law recently remarried, to a woman from Kenya, and they’ve been talking about relocating to Atlanta (he’s been splitting his time between Seattle and Kenya). I don’t know where you are in the south, but this makes me so sad. I feel like it’s not as bad in the Pacific Northwest? Maybe I’m wrong, or it just doesn’t feel as bad because this area is so. dang. white. [I’d love to hear if I’m way off base about the PNW, if anyone knows.]

      • mim86

        We are in Houston, which is one of the most diverse city in America, which is great! But its also conservative/southern land so I was been told some wonderfully racist things growing up that people honestly believe about interracial relationships. Like, God doesn’t believe whites should be married to blacks/POC cause “Thou shalt not be unequally yolked”. Also that the curse God put on one of Noah’s sons was to be black/brown. THE CURSE. And I was told that by two different bible teachers at my Christian school. So…fun times.

        Also, growing up, it was far more common to see white women with black men in my area of houston than white men with black women. I am starting to see more of it, but its hard. In the black community, black women are often expected to marry in the race to “continue the race on” and I think the onus falls on white men to do the same, at least from conversations with people I’ve had, so you don’t see a lot of interracial marriages that way. But it is definitely changing.

        And Atlanta is seems like a really cool city and super pro black, and I hope they don’t run into issues. Also id love to split my time between here and Kenya.

      • Jennifer

        I love ATL. Lived there for three years. I will say that they definitely have their issues and there are plenty of racists there, but you can always find your specific tribe. I was flabbergasted that other white people thought that me taking the MARTA at all times of the day was dangerous. Because apparently only all the other races use public transportation and white people drive. It just blew my mind.

        • Oh gosh. I used to live in Europe, and then in Seattle for a while. Lots of people take transit in both places. In Spokane, they think only the poor people take transit. Which, sadly, is true. But it’s because the transit system is so terrible here that only people who have no choice take the bus. :( I wish it was better!

      • Eenie

        Atlanta is quite different from the rest of Georgia. It’s not racism free by any means, but I can definitely feel a difference when we go into the city.

      • whitlizflem

        I live in Seattle but we moved here from Houston. I’m white and my husband is black and white. While it’s definitely more common to see white women with black men, in Houston people always assumed we were a couple and in Seattle unless our kids are with us, people are very likely to assume we’re not together (even if we’re touching). People…

    • Ella

      Super super late to the party, but I am also the black half of a black/white couple and for now we are keeping our names, so I wanted to give you a big solidarity hug and fistbump! I’m so glad he is supporting you!

  • Anon for This One!

    Guys, I have a crush. I have been with my husband for over 6 years. I have had maybe one real crush (not just a “oooo, if I were single” moment, but a real crush) throughout the duration of our relationship. We were in a very bad place when this happened, and I always chalked the last crush up to needing to improve our relationship. But now, our relationship is great. We’ve had a wonderful 2017 with a lot of unexpected pleasant surprises. I don’t understand where this is coming from. The guy is somebody who I’ve known for 2-3 years, we used to work together. I don’t see him or talk to him all that often, and when I do, it’s typically work related. My husband has met him, but he’s never really been anyone of importance before. We bumped into one another at an event that my husband was also attending, and we mutually invited him to our house for the party we were hosting afterwards. He and I happened to be drinking together most of the night, and since then, I cannot get him out of my head. It is driving me absolutely insane. I keep replaying a couple of the things he said to me in my mind, and they’re giving me butterflies like nobody has since I met my husband! I seriously don’t understand what has gotten into me. I don’t plan on acting on it or anything like that, it’s more of an annoyance than anything. Any advice on kicking a crush when you’re in a happy relationship?

    • anonforthis

      It’ll go away with time. If you don’t like having these feelings, just avoid contact with the guy for awhile. Eventually you won’t think about him anymore.

      Also keep in mind that crushes can sometimes happen basically just because of where you are in your cycle. *Hormones!*

      • Jess

        Can confirm – I had a crush on a guy in our social circle for a little while after doing a few smaller group activities sans R. I limited contact with him for a bit, and a couple months later was ok.

        Crushes happen. Use that energy to fantasize and feed back into your relationship sex-wise. You’ll be fine.

  • Gaby

    My husband finally got his passport in the mail! We are hoping to book a trip to Japan for September in the very near future, so any tips, advice, recommendations etc would be very appreciated!

    • Ella

      I have been twice, but not at that time of year, and for a total of about a month so I don’t know how helpful I will be, but here are the places I went – let me know if you want info about any of them:
      – Tokyo
      – Kyoto
      – Osaka
      – Nara
      – Koyasan
      – Niseko
      – Nagano
      – Naoshima

    • Ella

      General tips:
      – Attempting to speak the language will be SO appreciated even if you’re terrible at it. You get by only speaking English in big cities and touristy places, but definitely still at least ask “do you speak English” in Japanese.
      – Dietary needs are not super well-understood or common (people don’t have allergies in Japan is the impression I received..) – I can give advice eating as a vego if that’s relevant for you
      – Everyone is super helpful, but also keep in mind that everyone will be helpful even if they don’t want to be because it’s socially expected, so read up on cultural customs and etiquette so you’re showing them the same respect, as people generally will be super polite about you doing the wrong thing.
      – Onsen are the best
      – Stay in a ryokan (traditional inn) if you can – look around as prices vary widely

    • Ella

      Ahhh I want to go back to Japan now :) Enjoy!! Let me know if you have questions and I’ll do my best – even if I didn’t go to a place I may have info saved in my bookmarks (I’m a major travel planner.)

      • Gaby

        Sorry for the late reply! We ended up booking our flights, airbnb, and a night in ryokan in Hakone! I think we’re going to stick with the Tokyo and Hakone areas because we only have 7 days in total and don’t want to overwhelm ourselves. I am also very into travel planning, I’ve spent the past half hour looking at the area surrounding our bnb on google maps hahaha. We’ll be there 9/16-9/24 :)

  • Hannah

    We’re doing our walkthrough at the venue w/ the caterer and getting our wedding license on Monday! Any other July 1 couples out there? Also, any (non-obvious) questions I should be asking the venue/caterer at the walkthrough? (For reference, our caterer provides a Day Of Coordinator as part of their package, so that person will be there too.) Thanks, hive mind!!!

    PS – my rush order second dress came in the mail this week! eep!!!

  • Katie

    Can I just vent about the wedding planning?

    All the venues we like and “traditional” wedding venues are out of our budget reach. Restaurants are even more expensive than I had thought. We finally found a venue that we loved and that almost fit our budget, and now I find out that there’s an 18% (EIGHTEEN PERCENT) service fee on everything they coordinate! And that not only includes catering (I wanted a drop-off service, so we’ll just get appetizers and serve them ourselves), that also includes the RENT FEE itself, tables, chairs, everything. Despite the fact it listed all the furtnire and on-site coordinator as “amenities”.

    I. Just. Can’t.

    Has anyone heard of cheap (I mean under $2000 cheap) venues in Austin that are not church basements and school halls? I know it sounds like I’m being a Scrooge, but honestly, our budget is not that tiny, and we just can’t fit everything there.

    Rant over.

    Everyone have a good weekend!

    • Katie

      Edit: I did not mean to say that church basement and school hall weddings suck. I’ve been to weddings held there and it was lots of fun! I just want a different vibe. Maybe I have a case of champagne taste on a beer budget :(

      • somanypseudonyms

        I have no good advice, with similar struggles in a major city, but — I feel you. :(

        • Katie

          Ugh, right? Did you come up with something or still looking? It just makes me mad that venues slap mysterious “fees” on everything so they can get more money. Seriously, a fee on the actual rent fee? wut?

          • Jennifer

            sheesh. I agree with that wut. We got married at a public park (Red Rocks in Colorado), so it might be an idea to look at venues like that? Ours included a DOC, food, seating, tables, linens and all those things as part of the event fee. (It wasn’t cheap but ‘mountain’ was important to me, and this is how we made it happen).

    • LazyMountain

      Not Austin specific, but have you looked into renting a big house? If you’re doing a cocktail-style reception that might be easier than pursuing a “traditional” venue. We found ours on Airbnb by searching with the highest number of adults possible selected. VRBO also turned up some good leads. We sent a bunch of messages to these properties asking if they allowed weddings, and while we did get some nope answers most were amenable. Some just charged an extra fee. The bright side is you venue can double as accommodation, but the downsides can be proximity to the city, available parking, and noise ordinances. It all depends on your vibe and guest list. You could also look at some warehouses/park spaces/ artist lofts if you’re not afraid of the “big empty space” issue and the ensuing coordinating challenge. Best of luck!

    • Ugh, venue sticker shock is no joke :/

      Not in Austin, but some general suggestions:

      1. Have you looked into city owned park-spaces? Those can be more affordable (though not school-hall affordable) and can have a great vibe with the right decor.
      2. Restaurants outside of Contemporary American fare can be more affordable (Chinese, Mexican etc.) Also you are probably already doing this, but if possible I’d only look at restaurants that have dedicated event space/ an extra room. Buyouts will usually cost WAY more.
      3. Breweries and distilleries can be less expensive — I think the trick there is finding one that does *not* do a lot of events because they are less likely to have pre-set wedding packages.
      4. Biting the bullet on a church basement, and spending extra $$ Going ALL IN decor. Good lighting, prop stations that take up a lot of space such as photo-booths, get a projector and run some old hollywood movies on a wall, etc.
      5. Smaller “topic specific” museums (like, think Colorado museum of paper-mache gerbils) sometimes are cheaper to rent. That said, they often also have strict restrictions around things like booze.
      6. Like LazyMountain suggested renting a house.

      Sorry if you’ve thought of most of these in a broad sense — I know what you are really looking for are Austin tips. Good luck on your quest! May the wedding force be with you!

      • CMT

        I would most definitely go to the Colorado Museum of Papier Mâché Gerbils.

    • CommaChick

      What size is your guest list?

    • Laur

      I can’t tell if your 2000 is for the venue rental only or for the venue + catering and alcohol. But County Line on the Lake was like 8000ish total for everything for 130. (Your food and alcohol choices could make it more or less.)

      • Katie

        It’s for venue only. But still, $8000 for everything still sounds like a little too much. Thanks for the tip though!

  • Shirley Schmidt

    Guyyyysss, I had such a good day with my parents and fiancé today! Fiancé and I are in London for an exam and studying for a few days so organised meeting my parents and it was the best! My mum and I went to try on the sample of my new wedding dress design and it was perfect and she loved it and I felt so bridal (turns out a veil helps!) and before that we went to a vintage shop and she tried on 2 AMAZING 20s dresses and I got a fur stole to go with my dress. It was such a good mother-daughter bonding session.
    Meanwhile fiancé was helping my dad pick his civil ceremony outfit and having some bonding time too. Then we went to the British Museum, had a relaxing lunch and sniffed some gorgeous perfumes in Liberty.
    It was perfect. Normally I get stressed shepherding my parents around but I just relaxed into it and enjoyed spending time with them. Fiancé loved it too – he thinks of them as his second parents and my dad as the dad he never had. It made me well up with teary happiness seeing them together enjoying themselves!

  • RNLindsay

    Excited for a weekend of fun plans! It’s been a lovely (to me!) 80-90 degrees the past couple days so my husband and I are having a pizza + wine date on our balcony tonight. Tomorrow, I convinced my book club to go to a yoga and mimosas event at a local bar, followed by brunch/book discussion afterwards. On Sunday we plan to get herbs for our annual little balcony herb garden and dinner with friends at a new Mexican place!
    Also, an update on officially becoming a sexual assault nurse — I passed the exam 2 weeks ago and got in my 2 required precepted cases. Now just waiting for the contracts to go through the dept. of public health and I can start picking up hours on my own! I told my grandma about it all (including my feminist reasonings behind finally taking the steps to do this) and she said she was very proud of the hard work I do. Gave me all the feels!

    • Whynotme?

      That is so cool! I just graduated nursing school last week and I’ve been looking into SANE requirements for the last year and talking to a professor who is. Before I started school I volunteered as a victims advocate so I was with the patient and SANE during the exam. If I was going to consider furthering my education it’s really the only thing I could see myself doing. So congrats!!

  • Another Meg

    Elliot MyLast HisLast was born on May 9, and I am super proud of him. Today is the first time I opened my laptop.

    I think I’m going to enjoy that aspect of family leave. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/ccf0d913256a6b2680f7a3c9e99cb5d1778b4c6ba6f24be9bf963de7871546e8.jpg

    • K. is skittish about disqus

      Gorgeous little guy!! Many congrats. :)

    • A single sarah

      Welcome to the world Elliot!

      And welcome to tech free time, Meg.

      BOth of you, enjoy!

    • Ilora

      Congratulations!! He is just perfect!
      Welcome to the world Elliot!
      My birthday is also May 9, tiny high five birthday buddy!

    • LadyJanee

      Congratulations!

    • Lisa

      Congratulations on your little one! He is adorable. :)

    • Ashlah

      Oh, congratulations!! He is beautiful.

  • We got back on Wednesday from two weeks in Germany, visiting my husband’s family with our 5 month old! It wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be, but Delta lost all our luggage on the way over, and our carseat on the way back. Pro Tip: longer layovers are your friend when traveling with a little person. We had short layovers (our favorite thing, usually), but they were much more stressful with a kid. I’d rather have some time to stretch out next time. Also, I got food poisoning from the food at the hotel on our last night and was puking my guts out at 2:30 in the morning before a 7am flight. So, that was terrible.

    Otherwise, it was fantastic, but I am SO glad to be home. Anyone else feel that way after a long trip?

    • Eileen

      Wow, way to go Delta. That sounds stressful though I guess if you were with family the lost luggage thing would be less catastrophic. Glad to hear your experience was overall positive—we are doing this the opposite direction with a 9-month-old in July.

      • We packed our smaller roller bag full of diapers, plenty of clothes for the kiddo, and a change of clothes for each of us, and took it on the plane on the way over. Totally recommend that! I think 9 months would be harder, because they’re more mobile. Although, there were empty seats on the long flights both ways (I was shocked!), so maybe see if you can snag a couple seats in a row with an empty seat, and hope that it doesn’t fill up?

        Luckily, KLM gave us a loaner carseat to use (free!) until ours arrived in Germany, and our luggage showed up the next afternoon. It took 2 days for it to get to us back home, but we had our main carseat, so it wasn’t as big a deal.

  • rebecca

    Sooo my partner and I got engaged in October 2015 and planned a wedding for May 2016, then our moms threw a fit and made us cancel that wedding, which made me want to never-ever have a wedding but it was important to my partner and we ended up needing less of a downpayment than we anticipated for our apartment sooo…fine. Now our wedding is about 10 weeks away and I’ve had this skirt https://www.boutique1.com/baudelaire-skirt-347474 since Dec 2015 knowing that I wanted to wear it for our wedding but unable to find a top for it. I swear I’ve tried every blush and white top ever made and then today, I tried it with a burgundy off the shoulder crop top and it was perfect! And my godmother wore the most amazing Stevie Nicks-esque burgundy velvet hood to her wedding in the 60s so I don’t even think my family will flip out. And then I bought this hair thing on Etsy https://www.pinterest.com/pin/33354853464673218/ and…i dunno…this is literally the only time since we had to cancel our first wedding that I’ve thought maybe the whole thing won’t be total crap?

    • Ilora

      Major heart-eyes to that skirt, it’s gorgeous! Do you have a pic of the top? The colour sounds perfect for the skirt. That second link doesn’t take me to a specific hair piece, just Pinterest search results but I love them all hahaha.

      Wedding stuff is full of complicated feels even without that level of family drama. Our wedding planning was pretty stress free but I still didn’t feel legitimately excited until my final dress fitting 2 weeks before the wedding. So yeah, I don’t blame you for feeling bleh about the whole thing but also APW is the perfect place to just practice being excited! I looove oooohing and ahhhhing over other people’s weddings!

    • LadyJanee

      LOVE the top and skirt! I can totally picture them together and they are gorgeous!

    • Nicole

      I love this so, so, so much and am hoping I can score a dress or skirt from this designer on sale some time in the next nine months for my own (very likely) spring wedding!!!!

      • rebecca

        Thanks! Temperley has really, really good sales (but they’re rare)! I got mine about 60% off right after Christmas and I think their other big sale is in September (but it might be a little earlier)