Tuesday’s TPS Report: Bow Front Cardigan

Our daily TPS reports suggest one piece of work-appropriate attire in a range of prices.

 BOSS Black Bow Front CardiganI love the “peacock” color that BOSS Black has out this season, but I couldn’t get 100% behind the peacock dress. So it made me very happy to find this silk/cashmere cardigan with an interesting belt feature. (I would tie it like a sash instead of a bow — it’s always best to avoid looking like a present waiting to be unwrapped, at least at the office.) Love the dusky teal blue color, the three quarter sleeves, and the pleating at the back of the neck and waist. It’s $295 at Nordstrom. BOSS Black Bow Front Cardigan

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Comments

  1. Moonstone :

    I am unable to post at work anymore so I have been just lurking for the past few months, but I want to say thanks to Terry, who is coordinating the Chicago meetup. I saw what I hope was a tongue-in-cheek remark about the daily reminder from another poster, and I want to make sure that Terry knows that some of us are grateful she volunteered for this task. She even set up a poll so people could vote for the evening and location.

    One reason I like the daily reminders is that I remember reading about a meetup in another city where only two ‘rettes came, and they never found each other. That would be a shame.

    • ITA, I don’t even live in Chicago and I thought it was nice of Terry to organize it and remind people.

    • Thanks guys! I really appreciate it. I don’t know how often other people check this website, but, for me, the take home from the kerfuffle is that I was erring on the side of too many reminders. I’m going to cut back and assume that most people who want to come have heard about it.

      • I think a reminder per post isn’t anything overwhelming. I’m not in Chicago, but it takes me a fraction of a second to recognize the comment doesn’t apply to me and scroll past. As someone who can have a busy week and not check Corporette for a few days, I think your intent is good :)

      • Hive Mind :

        The Hive approves of your repeated postings…carry on, Terry!

      • I appreciated all your reminders, as it is erratic when I check this site and which thread I peak into. So thank you thank you! We all appreciate your organizational skills.

        I may not be able to make it as now I need to pick up my brother at the airport, but hope I will make the next gathering. Have fun, and have a mojito for me…

    • Backgrounder :

      +1,000. Thanks Terry!

    • I agree with everyone. I am new here and and the reminder post was actually the first reminder I saw, so I would have completely missed the event and I’m in Chicago! I’m going to do my best to stop by if meetings dont run late and humidity cooperates with my hair, so you ladies don’t make fun of me. I’m picturing this super polished group of women with martinis in my head… its a bit intimidating.

  2. Lest We Forget :

    Some people last weekend were mean to K in transition.

    Those people are mean, mean, mean.

    Weekend commentators are often mean, don’t you think?

    Regular commentators are never mean!

    Okay, I’ve done the daily anti-regular poster check in so probably don’t need to repeat it!

    • Lest We Forget :

      Also, great pick. It’s absolutely gorgeous and the color is calling to me and my credit card. It helps that I know that on my huge rack, it would look like a present about to be unwrapped. A big old square present at that. It would also be significantly shorter and probably ride up. Oh well!

    • Is there really any need to start off the morning with a snarky comment? I haven’t even finished my first cup of coffee yet!

    • Ooh, I do like the peacock dress. Material looks thin, though, like jersey. Might not wear it to work, but fall date night dress?

    • I am always perfect. Thank you for acknowledging same. Carry on.

    • The comment actually made me laugh.

    • Anon for this :

      I kind of agree with this. I actually didn’t think what the weekend people said was all that rude; they said it in as nice a way as possible, and there were only two or three of them. You can disagree with them, but that doesn’t mean it was totally out of line for them to say it at all, since they said it as nicely as possible.

      People have been rude to other regular readers too. I just think this K thing has been blown out of proportion.

      • I agree – people are making it sound like there was an attempt to run K off the board and there was no such thing.

      • Enough of the support/ hate for K already. Whichever side you’re on, can we just move on?

      • Omg I’ve decided that all the anons bashing her are one person, and all the people who keep bringing it up how no good very bad mean the comments were are the same person. The comments weren’t that mean! I’ve seen you all be way meaner to people who aren’t your internet best friend. I hope K comes back, she adds a ton of value to the community, but we don’t need a post every day about how sad the comments made her. They were sligthly mean anonymous interent comments, and they all tried to say it nicely. Everyone needs to get ovvvvvveeeeeerrrrr it.

        http://media.tumblr.com/tumblr_m87iqdXiJi1rsrytp.gif

        flounces*

        • cfm, i think you are awesome, and I am really glad you are part of this community, but can I just point out that the person who started this thread was on the ‘hater’ side and not the ‘supporter’ side, so let’s just be clear about who is making it ‘a post every day’ …

          I completely agree that I would like for us to get over it and stop talking about it. And, HiveFive to your gif.

          • I’m catching up on some threads all this morning instead of doc review :) Todays is not really on the hater side, but the making fun of the people coming to the defense side. I think the last 4 or 5 in a row have all been defense. But really, gifs can just solve all the problems of the world and/or this site

          • omgosh I realized you gave me a hivefive lol I love that

          • ;o) can’t take credit for that, Herbie coined the term yesterday morning. Thanks again, Herbs!!

    • I have learned that it is IMPORTANT to be nice to peeople, and not to be to judgemenetal, especialy b/c this is the time of year we should be refelecting on how to be better. My mom made me a great dinner. Now I need to learn how to cook myself, and NOT just take-out.

      NONE of us is Perfect, so we can all improve, no matter what race, relegion, or creed. I am tryeing to be a better person b/c of what I have learned.

      I am also going to be nice to peeople. My dad, who is very smart, told me all of this’ yesterday. He convienced me to help David decoreate his apartement, and I am going to drive out with Harold to the manageing partners’ aniversary party at the end of the month, with NO excuese’s.

      I also learned that peeople are NOT as fortuneate as me b/c they have not have had the same oportunities, and NOT to judge them poorley b/c of it. The manageing partner told me this as SOON as I walked in today. He also said the firm is sponsoreing a CLEAN UP NYC day and I am to be participeating by doing some painting and raking up of leaves and garbage in Brooklyn. The manageing partner has already made arangement’s with a SOUP kitchen for all of us to help also. I called Myrna, and she is also going to come with me and help even tho she is NOT an attorney, and you do NOT have to be to work. I am glad she will be there b/c I will have some one my OWN age to help.

      • K...in transition :

        Have been busy getting acclimated to the new job, training the puppy, taking care of nieces, and working on learning to be more zen so, while the negativity wasn’t fun to read, it was what it was and, while the amazingly kind comments were super awesome, I don’t need a daily parade hehe

        That said, I just want to clarify that I came here not for that but to say only that I think it’s beyond awesome that Ellen, THE Ellen, commented on something having to do with me. That literalie makes my day!

        PS Happy New Year, ELLEN, maybe we can shop together online somday SOON!

      • lawsuited :

        Ahem, Ellen, I can confirm that Herbie is perfect. See above.

    • Hive Mind :

      Hear, hear! We’re ready to move on. The Hive has spoken!!

  3. I’m loving the color, it would go so well with my new favorite color, mustard.

    Threadjack: I want to start building my adult jewelry collection with a string of pearls (or probably faux-pearls with my budget), but I don’t know what to look for. For some reason, I’m drawn to black and grey pearls, but I am definitely open to other colors because I want to be able to wear them for years to come. Also, I’ve done some searching and would like an 18-20 in strand.

    Bonus issue: I have some cysts on my thyroid (they bulge out) that I’m trying to avoid drawing attention to with the necklace.

    Budget: $100 max

    Thanks in advance, ladies.

    • Oops, forgot, I found a double row of peacock blue pearls that I love. Is the color too “out there” to be worn as a classic strand? Also, is a double row too much? I’m 24 btw.

      Thanks again.

      • I have little experience buying nice jewelry (I was fortunate to inherit a lot of pieces, so I stick to the occasional trendy purchase and that’s it), so I’ can’t help much with recs. But I do think the peacock blue pearls sound amazing!

      • oO – link to peacock blue pearls?

      • oO – link to peac!ck blue pearls?

      • I actually love the pearls my husband got me from Kanye East’s etsy shop. They’re a double strand of light grey graduated pearls that (on me) come down just below my clavicle. She’s run sales for ‘rettes before – maybe ping her if you can’t see something that appeals to you?

        And I don’t think a double strand is too much on younger women (I’m in my 20s too) esp. if the color/style of pearl is a little more funky.

    • Check out pearl paradise.

      Also do read the posts by duchesse at ‘ passage DES perles’ under the pearls topic.

    • hellskitchen :

      I also prefer darker colored pearls over white ones but the latter seem to go with more colors and outfits than black pearls. So I compromised by getting a light grey, almost silvery strand which I love.

    • SAlit-a-gator :
    • I’ve had good luck with the pearls from this store: http://www.etsy.com/shop/PearlsStory

      Very affordable and nice quality. If you have it in the budget, I would get an 18″ strand of off-white (or white if it works better with your skin tone) 7 or 7.5mm pearls, as well as something funkier. I was given my “basic” strand as a gift when I was way too young to appreciate it, but now (27) i wear them all the time.

      Whatever you buy, make sure there are knots between each pearl. You don’t want them going all over the floor one day!

    • Mountain Girl :

      I’ve been looking for pearls as well. I’ll be watching this thread with interest. Thanks

    • I personally think “out there” pearl color has a lot to do with skin color. White pearls on someone with dark(er) skin POPS, whereas gray pearls can make a more subtle statement. When I started getting interested in pearls, I went to Chinatown and played around with some jewelry shops that only sold pearls. That might be more a more inexpensive option for you. Macy’s is also pretty cheap when it comes to “classic” pearls, especially with coupons and whatnot.

  4. Counseling Q :

    Looking into some sort of counseling for issues with Husband. We had some premarital counseling (lots of good advice, like “Be an active listener;” OTOH, it only works if you commit to doing it), but need to find someone else for this.

    I think that my husband understands things on an intellectual level, but personally, he is so on-edge and frazzled that he is always emotionally maxed out, frustrated, loud-voicing, and using bad language (in front of small children).

    I see women here very concerned about their relationships and how to fix them. I don’t see my husband really concerned with this, other than he has too much stress, acts out, and wants to do things relaxing to him. What would a counseler say and would most guys even be receptive to it (his father isn’t around any more, so there is no one to him that is in a position to say something like Get yourself together before you wind up divorced again)?

    I am theoretically pro-counseling, but can see how it would just blow up, cause more resentment, etc. [Finding the right counselor would help; may I just have a magic want, please?]

    • Cornellian :

      Is your husband the man who insulted your nephews??

      This sounds a bit like the situation from yesterday, like he’s behaving like a small child. It’s not really acceptable for adults to respond to stress by acting out and doing things relaxing to them without considering the rest of the world.

      Maybe he would be well-served by going to counseling by himself, rather than/in addition to couples’ therapy. Maybe he can learn more productive ways to respond to stress and frustration, since it sounds like that’s a huge part of the problems in your relationship.

      • Counseling Q :

        No — different person. And I agree!

        I feel like I am stuck and it started with b-feeding (two children, for about 15 months each): H got used to me doing most things by myself, and then it was that I had gotten good at things (FWIW, he has already had a child), then it was he is old and tired and has already had to do this once already (here is where I feel cheated: he wanted to get married again and he wanted to have more children; he knew more than I what this entailed and now HE is old and tired?), etc.

        FWIW, I work full time and feel like I just manned up to the challenges as they’ve come my way. I don’t sit around and complain b/c I don’t have the life of a character from Entourage.

        But I just can’t deal with someone who’s red-lining all the time and just about to pop (and the popping, and the aftermath). It’s a Him issue, for sure, but it affects me (and our children and his child when visiting).

        Do guys ever take criticism for someone telling them to grow up and stop wining? [A counseler would say that more diplomatically, although I don't know anything about how this works. Do they?] Can anyone talk about whether counseling ever works for things like this? And why am I thinking that a man counseler might be better in this instance?

        • Yes, the guys who are worth it do take constructive (non-hostile, non-snarky) criticism.

          Don’t tiptoe around him and his ego, but don’t be snarky or resentful when you say what you need to say. If he can’t accept that, then, let me cut to the chase and say: DTMFA.

        • I do think a male counselor would almost certainly be better, whether a man can actually understand/talk to him better is debatable, but he’ll probably listen better.

          I think someone does need to tell him to man up and stop whining. I also think that there’s a good chance that ‘doing it all again’ doesn’t seem like such a good plan now that he’s done it, and he feels as ‘stuck’ as you do.

          Why’d he get divorced the first time? (Not just his version, but has his ex wife said things over the years?) I think this is an important question, because if his behavior was present in his first marriage too, then you’re dealing with a lifelong pattern of behavior in an older man that’s going to be REALLY difficult to change unless he’s 100% on board.

          • Counseling Q :

            Thanks. I wish his father were alive — that’s the only sort of figure I can see a lot of guys really talking to and taking advice from. [I think that H has a host of issues -- largely untreated anxiety and severe stress and is probably prime heart attack material in the next 5-10 years if he doesn't get off the road he's on.]

            Marriage #1 probably had fewer issues: lots of local in-laws, child looked after by family, spouse in family business, etc. We don’t have those benefits, so H wasn’t used to multiple children, no help unless you schedule a sitter to come over, wife working different sort of job. I think he got seduced by the few years he had of being single with a visiting child, where he could do whatever he wanted a lot of the time. Divorce #1 was for reasons we don’t have (runaway spending and severe financial issues).

            FWIW, I’ve not asked him to do things with his child less or to send them any less $. I think that his relationship with his child should be as unchanged as possible and pick up a lot of slack so that they can have lots of time together. I really like my children and spending with them, but I’m starting to prefer that H not be around unless he’s in a good mood.

          • No experience with my partner, but I can tell you from my perspective of my parents’ counselling, having a male counselor was key to my dad actually listening. That, and the counselor was extremely qualified. My dad was definitely skeptical and uninterested in getting help. Having someone with a doctorate who studied under leading experts in the field was the only way to get him through the door.

            Not to say he immediately accepted everything… it took a long time to get through to him. But I really don’t think he would have respected a female counselor the same way (sadly).

        • You can’t change him, you can only change your response to him. He needs to decide that it’s worth it to seek (and use) help.

          All you can do is decide what will and won’t work for you. I would try finding a quiet moment (maybe both of you need a vacation…even just a day off) and talk to him, not about his behavior necessarily, but about how it makes you feel. Maybe even write it. I find with difficult conversations it’s easier sometimes to do that. I give my note to the other person and stay put, but it’s a way for me not to escalate my tone or get defensive or feel interrupted.

          Then he’s got a choice, he can either say “yeah, I know how you feel, and it’s not important to me” or he can change. Once he makes his choice, then you have to decide how you want to react.

          But I don’t think there’s a way to *make* him change.

          • Counseling Q :

            Ugh. When I try that, I get responses like I’m a narcicist and that it’s not all about me.

            From him, I get that he is suffering and has issues to deal with (anxiety, being chronically sleep deprived, etc.), but it’s like he just wants me to be sympathetic and make his life easier.

            I can’t be sympathetic to someone who won’t stop throwing bombs.

          • Ok, so it sounds like he’s made his decision. Now you have to decide what you’re going to do with it.

            You cannot control him, you can only control your response to him.

          • @Counseling Q (I can’t reply to you)

            If his issues are anxiety/being sleep deprived, he should definitely see someone, as anxiety can lead to getting less sleep/lower quality sleep which will only make the his frustration level that much closer to the surface.

            As far as making his life easier: after several months of seing a therapist and talking to her about how stressed I was and how my house & life being a mess contributed to it, she told me to stop stressing and compare the cost of seing her (my insurance didn’t cover her) and the time involved to buying few ready made meals a week and hiring someone to clean occasionally. When put that way, it really did make sense to go that route. Could you afford for someone to come help out with babysitting/housework/cooking/cleaning whatever to relieve some of the stress on both your parts?

            And regarding the “used to being a part time parent” aspect – could you set up certain nights of the week, or # of weekends a month that you each had “off”? For instance, my husband goes out with his brother and his friends on Wednesday nights, and I go to an aerobics class on Sunday mornings, and we each take one weekend every month or two to go do something fun with friends – these are our sacred times alone, and having that time off on my calendar does great things for my morale knowing that no matter how crazy the kids/house/job is, I have 2 hours scheduled for myself coming up.

            And as to the “used to being a part time parent”

        • Maybe if you think he won’t respond well to traditional counseling, you could look into something specifically geared towards anger management? It sounds like the stress/blowups are the first thing that need to be addressed, because until he gets that under control it’s going to be difficult to have a productive conversation with him about sharing household/childcare duties more equitably.

        • e_pontellier :

          I think some of the advice yesterday would be helpful here too. Frame the discussion as “how our future together looks” and what that means for life 5 years from now, 2 years from now, 1 year from now, and today. That might help him see it as fix-able, instead of something he has to change overnight. My DH is pretty quick to explode too, and when we framed the issue as “how is our relationship going to be in 10 years” we were able to start taking small steps in the right direction. Good luck!

    • I really don’t have much advice for you- never been married or seen a counselor (though probably need to personally). Just wanted to offer you support as a fellow ‘rette.

      Just some thoughts-
      Do you go to church? Your pastor can probably recommend a counselor. Or you could call local churches for recs. I’m sure some would be willing to help. If you’re opposed to that (or in addition), I bet Yelp or Angie’s List have reviews that you could check.

      I also don’t think it’s bad to “counselor shop” until you find one that clicks for both of you. And when you both agree to go, also agree that you may have to give it a few tries before you find a good one.

    • Senior Attorney :

      Would he read a book? I highly recommend “The High Conflict Couple” by Alan Fruzzetti and Marsha Linehan. It addresses what the authors call “emotional dysregulation,” i.e. being emotionally maxed out and acting out when you’re upset. There are exercises to help turn down the emotional volume. Mr. Senior Attorney and I have found it very helpful.

      • Counseling Q :

        I ordered it last year. I had it out for a while, to read at night before going to sleep, along with one of the other books Amazon recommended with it (7 habits, maybe). Reading it stressed me out and H would comment on my reading in a less-than-helpful manner. I doubt H ever read either book, but he really is not into reading. Maybe reading at lunch would be better.

        • Senior Attorney :

          Aw, that’s so sad!! Maybe reading at lunch would be better! Hugs to you!

          • It sounds like you are at a communication impasse. My husband and I were in a similar situation and counseling was helpful, though certainly not a cure-all. Our counselor did not take sides, was not a father figure, and did not tell my husband to shape up, so I wouldn’t expect that from counseling. She did help us hear/understand each other better, learn some strategies for better communication going forward, and decide on some concrete things we could do to improve our quality of life. Hiring more outside help, which others have suggested, was one of the things we decided to do.

    • I noticed you said “there is no one around to say Get yourself together before you wind up divorced again”. Have you said this to him? Or not exactly this, but “I understand you are stressed but thats no reason to be an a$$ and treat me badly”? Does he realize just how much of a jerk he’s being to you and how much it hurts you? Or how much of a jerk he’s being to the kids?
      Not that its going to solve all your problems, but saying flat out that he’s being a jerk might wake him up a bit. Or if you want to phrase it nicer “I understand you are under a lot of stress because of [work, finances, whatever] but please don’t take your anger out on me and the kids.”

  5. Anne Shirley :

    Love!

    • Same. The color is gorgeous! And I’m a sucker for all things with bows…

      • Agreed that this is beautiful, but I wish it weren’t “semi-sheer” according to the description. I highly suspect the whole sheer trend is just an excuse for stores to sell flimsy clothes at the same price, which is bad enough when it’s a normal item of clothing, but much worse when it’s a $300 cardigan. Argh!

      • In the Pink :

        this!

  6. I always *want* sweaters like this to stay wrapped and tied, but inevitably the part that is meant to overlap in the middle works its way loose and migrates to each side, such that I appear to be wearing belted curtains. I suppose the attached sash will help with this sweater, but suspect the effect will only be a narrower gap… Maybe I need to see if my dry cleaner has a snap type solution. Love the color, though.

    Also, snaps to AIMS, who I believe first coined the “present / unwrapped” phrase here! Although bows at work don’t bug me too much unless the overall look is very girlish, which I don’t see as an issue here.

  7. Hah, I’m stuck in moderation for repeating the color of the dress. Peac!ck peac!ck peac!ck!!

    I really like the dress, although the material looks thin.

  8. DC Darling :

    Wedding Rant

    I’ve recently started planning my wedding and it is such a pain in the A$$ to try to find anything affordable in DC. Found a venue I really loved, what’s the catch? 15 grand. And that’s without catering. Our original budget was 20k total for everything (half contributed from myself and half from the families) excluding the honeymoon and I’m finding it harder and harder to stick within it. We’re getting a friend to cater, doing invitations myself (thank god for Michaels) as well as getting a preowned dress, rings from etsy sellers, cupcake reception instead of dealing with the cake cutting fee etc etc. Can you ladies think of anything else? Also share your wedding planning nightmare stories.

    • well, if you can assign a good friend the delivery/setup role, you can do your own flowers. Another caveat is that the arrangements should be simple and/or you need to have talent.
      Google “bulk flowers” or “wedding flowers” — try bigrose dot com and others too.

      Another DIY-ish cheapie is to have Costco/Sams Club do your flowers — look in the regular arrangements section, not the wedding section.

      BTW I thought cupcakes were no longer cheaper than regular cake???? I guess it depends on area of the US.

      • When I got married, the coordinator at the reception venue told us to go buy flowers at the grocery store the morning of the wedding and they would do arrangements in their vases. I did that and it was fine. I didn’t do a lot to decorate the venue. It’s a beautiful place on its own and people didn’t really care. The food was good and it was a fun party.

        • I did exactly that with the flowers.

          Unless someone is an expert with flowers or just unbearably anal about this sort of thing, nobody will remember what sort of flowers you had at the wedding.

          What they will remember is whether you and your intended are happy (or stressed, looking miserable, and about to snap from wedding planning minutiae/nonsense.)

          • Yeah I had a couple of well-meaning friends who drove me to tears the night before my wedding because they decided that I was “doing too much” by hosting my own rehearsal dinner at my house. It did take some work and it was casual but fun and less stressful than paying for a big dinner elsewhere that we couldn’t afford. It was the hounding from them that made it stressful!

        • emcsquared :

          I wish I had done this for flowers – we went with an expensive fussy florist who ended up not able to get flowers in the colors I wanted and gave me bouquets that fell apart. If I had to do it over again, I’d skip flowers and just put out pretty vases of colorful fruit instead.

          • DC Darling :

            Yep. I love flowers and so my family are big on gardening so flowers are important to us. However, we’re still doing them ourselves for 1/10th of the cost of a florist.

        • We did this, except substitute farmer’s market for grocery store. I only pre-ordered my bouquet because I wanted specific colors. The arrangements were lovely and we had tons and tons of flowers for less than $100.

        • SF Bay Associate :

          Is there a wholesale flower mart in DC? There’s one in SF – a friend of mine made gorgeous bouquets and boutonnieres for pennies on the dollar by buying in-season flowers at wholesale prices.

      • DC Darling :

        Cupcakes are only cheaper because you get to avoid the cake cutting fee. Otherwise they’re about the same.

    • Woods-comma-Elle :

      I have never planned a wedding, but what on earth is a ‘cake cutting fee’?!

      • Anon for this :

        Weddings are full of crap like that. Seriously.

      • Oh goodness. It’s a fee the venue charges you to slice up the cake.

        In addition to the flowers, two big areas where you can save are music and photography. DIY ipod playlist, and maybe hire someone to monitor the ipod throughout the evening (make sure friends/family don’t change the songs, etc.). Also, hire a photographer that is relatively new and is looking to build up their portfolio.

        Can you provide your own alcohol? Or just have beer/wine, rather than hard liquor? You can do your own hair and makeup (or have a friend do it).

        Also, if you haven’t already, check out A Practical Wedding – they often have some DIY tips (how to DJ your own wedding, DIY makeup, etc.).

        Congratulations!

        • Honey Pillows :
        • Is your catering friend a pro? Can they serve liquor? Our caterer provided a bartender, but let us buy our own liquor. One of my bridesmaids grabbed her Marine (retired) Dad and hit up the PX for me. Top shelf for peanuts.

          • Honey Pillows :

            Oooh, good thought. PX cuts liquor prices by a third, easily. Anyone you know in the military/retired military of any branch (even Coast Guard/National Reserve) can buy at any PX.

          • DC Darling :

            That is an awesome idea. We’re already looking for a place that’ll allow us to bring our own alcohol and I was thinking Sams Club or Costco but the PX might be an even better idea. Thanks!

            Though this might cut down the location list even more. I hate venue shopping.

          • Since you’re in DC, don’t forget Total Wine for beer/wine. They’ll do case discounts (10%) on wine and I’ve had some experience with them giving 10-15% off everything for large purchases.

        • Do not get a new photographer. I had a great photographer, but she brought along a newbie as a helper. You could see an obvious difference between the seasoned professionals work and the new girl. If you do get a newb photographer make sure to check out their portfolio/facebook page whatever before hiring.

        • Playing commercial music (e.g. from an iPod) at a 200 person gathering will get you RIAA trouble. Public performances require additional royalties to the publishers.

      • I was just talking to a girlfriend about this. Her cake is already some outrageous amount ($10 a slice?!), and on top of that, the venue is charging her to cut the thing!

        As we joke, slap the term wedding on something and you can charge double!

        • have you seen the man stroke woman comedy bit about the wedding cake? it’s on y o u tube, seriously, it’s hilarious.

        • this is no joke, we were a small party so we just drove our own cars around instead of getting a limo. But seriously, I called and asked for limo rates and was told one price. 4 days later, called the same place and made the mistake of saying “wedding”. Price magically went up.

          When I asked why, I was told because of the champagne, and red carpet…neither of which I was interested in. Price didn’t come down without them though. Hence…no limo.

        • Go to Cosco and get a cake and slap your own flowers on it. Don’t say wedding and it will be half the price.

          • SF Bay Associate :

            And consider not getting a stacked cake. Ours was a sheet cake and much cheaper. Cake tower = wedding = wedding prices.

    • DC venues are the opposite of reasonably priced. You will increase your odds if you try for a non-traditional location (restaurant, or county facility, etc), or if you are willing to go farther from DC into wine country or up towards Harper’s Ferry. How many people are you talking about? And does the budget include booze?

      • DC Darling :

        Looking at some of the historic buildings in DC and it’s a mess. We found one reasonably priced but for religious reasons we need outside catering and they wanted to charge 7-10 grand for just the food. Not alcohol, sodas, etc.

        I’m just so sick of everyone trying to take advantage. The venue seems to be the hardest part to get through. Everything else I’ve managed to find a way to cut costs but someone else tried to tell me they wanted $25 dollars a car for parking in DC….for a 5 hour event. Just ridiculous.

        Friend of mine is doing the photography for a lot less than his usual rate.

        • When I was planning my wedding, I usually just told vendors I was planning an “event” or a “party” so they didn’t automatically assume I was a love-sick moron willing to pay anything they asked. Eg. I ordered a “celebration cake” rather than a “wedding cake” and it cost $500 less. Seriously.

        • Have you considered venues outside DC? Something like Cabell’s Mill is pretty, affordable, and there is plenty of parking.

          • DC Darling :

            Unfortunately most of my fiances family is flying into National so we’re trying to keep it close to the city as they won’t have cars and I don’t really want to make them travel any more so than they will already be doing.

          • Check out Eastern Market or Union Station – I know you can rent out Eastern Mkt for a non-crazy price.

          • In Alexandria, there is the Masonic Hall and the Torpedo Factory.

          • DC Darling :

            Union station is 9500 just for the room. No staff, linens, tables, chairs, audio visual

        • Carnegie Institution at 16th and P. I had my wedding there last fall. On non-holiday weekends, it’s $4800. And there is no caterer so you have to have outside catering. Chairs are included if you don’t mind that they’re not fancy. But it books up fast so call like yesterday.

          • DC Darling :

            Max 170 people. I think we’d be willing to cut 30 people to fit in somewhere that is flexible regarding catering and outside alcohol. Thanks.

          • This is not proper wedding etiquette AT ALL but I feel your pain on the giant family thing. We ended up going with a venue that would support our 200+ person guest list but we were prepared do an A list and B list and send out the 30 B invitations every time we got a decline from an A-lister. You’ll get a few declines right off the bat so people won’t necessarily know they weren’t A list.

          • Also I don’t know about cost, but have you checked into the Ronald Reagan Building? I attended a nice wedding there once and it seemed like there would have been room for 200 (although the wedding I attended was not that large).

          • I think Ronald Reagan building is about 10K just to rent the space. The Art Museum of the Americas has a nice space and you can bring in whatever you want: http://museum.oas.org/rental.html I think their fee is about 5K.
            And here’s a list of venues by size: http://washington.org/planning/meeting-planners/facilities-search/unique-spaces

          • The Carnegie Institute is a really lovely venue. A friend of mine got married there a couple years ago and it was fantastic. Plenty of room (I’m really surprised it’s limited to 170, it’s huge!) with separate rooms for her to get ready in, the bar, etc. Beautiful inside so it requires minimal decoration. I *loved* that it was right in the city and I could walk to her wedding from my house.

        • You might check out Hendry House in Arlington (though challenging if you have car-less guests) or Sewall-Belmont House on the Hill.

          • DC Darling :

            I’ve looked at Sewall and I don’t think they could support 200+ but I hadn’t heard about Hendry. Will check out. Thanks!

      • I agree. We got married in Bethesda, MD 15 years ago at a restaurant. It was not open for lunch and therefore was able to host our reception there starting at about 1PM (our ceremony was at 12noon, nearby). The wine was expensive as we paid restaurant prices, but other than that the pricing was far more reasonable than what we had found via cobbling together venue, catering, etc.

        • Sorry, meant to say our *reception* was at the restaurant.

          They were happy to have the business at what was off-hours for them.

    • I don’t know how far you’re willing to go, but the store Vows (it’s the focus of TLC’s new show “I Found the Gown”) is in Boston and they seem to have a really good selection at a variety of (low) prices. So you may be able to get a never owned gown for pre-owned prices.

      Also, if you have some art schools around, maybe you could find an almost finished student to take care of photography. Or if you want cupcakes, maybe try a culinary school. I did my undergrad at Johnson & Wales and always thought the baking and pastry students were amazing even though they were still in school.

      • YES! I got my $6500 Christos dress at VOWS for $500. I am a sample size (8-10 street size) and tall, so I literally did not have to do any alterations. VOWS is like the TJMaXX of wedding gowns. Typical dress prices are a little higher, but I got lucky.

        If you are NOT a sample size and/or are on the shorter side, you may not have as much luck at VOWS as they are typically dress size 8-12 [different from normal street sizes]

        • DC Darling :

          I wear between a 2-4 :(

          • 2-4 street size can be a 4-6 wedding dress size. And, you can always get alterations done. But those aren’t always cheap, so your “bargain” might not be as good. And, if you are in the area anyway, don’t rule it out. Was just giving you a heads up on the very common sizes.

          • Look at Nordstrom, Lord & Taylor, and Macy’s in the Formals section for a dress. They often have lovely dresses in white and off-white.

            Think outside of the “wedding box.”

    • since SF Bay probably isn’t in the office yet, I’ll recommend A Practical Wedding for her :) First step is to cut anything you don’t actually care about, but feel like “of course we’ll have that” – for me, the first thing to go was actually the cake, since I don’t even particularly like it and as you said, SO EXPENSIVE.

      My aunt is a wedding photographer, and her advice was to put your money/attention into food/drink above all else (well, ahem, except for photography…), and then the music and venue, because those shape guests’ experiences the most – least important: flowers (except your bouquet, because it’s photographed so much), stationery items (um, they get pitched by guests anyway) and extras like welcome bags and customized water bottles are the first to cut.

      • Generally agree with this. Think about what you remember from people’s weddings, and focus your money there. I never remember anyone’s flowers, so that got the least amount of money. Ha – my mom and aunt were horrified.

        • Sorry, I’m all over this. I also meant to add that my flowers were gorgeous and I loved them, and my mom and aunt also loved them. But they were horrified with the fact that flowers were the least important item for me.

      • This is awesome advice. Thinking back on all the weddings I’ve gone to, I remember:
        1) How glowy and happy the bride and groom looked.
        2) The laughs and conversations I had with old friends.
        3) The food.

        I could not tell you what the flowers looked like, how good the DJ was, or what their invitations looked like. I’m sure they put plenty of thought into these, but those aren’t the focus of the big day, really.

      • Totally agree. Things we cared about: our rings, food, open bar, our honeymoon.

        Things we didn’t care at all about: centerpieces (barely had them), linens (stock color/style), live music (we had a DJ), flowers (all DIY, except mine), transport to/from church (used friends with nice cars).

        We cared very much but did not spend a lot on photography and invitations. We found a great photographer who was young and just starting weddings. We were her 2nd wedding so we got a great deal. We also had letterpressed invites that we commissioned via Etsy and DH did our calligraphy.

        We stayed under $20k [excluding honeymoon and rehearsal dinner], in Boston, with ~120 attendees.

      • SF Bay Associate :

        Ha, thanks Cat. I guess I should pipe down a bit on APW. I am really anti- having All The Things just because you think they are Required for the wedding to Count.

        I don’t agree with skimping on the photographer. The photos are really the only thing you’ll keep forever, and they need to be done well by someone you trust. If your family friend is experienced in shooting weddings, has a sense of style that you like, and is willing to shoulder the official photographer duties (i.e. they are not really a guest, they are “working”), then fantastic. Same goes for the up and coming photographer – don’t let your wedding be the first one that s/he shoots, but if you like his/her style, that could be a fabulous option. You don’t need the Famous Photographer, but you might not want the one who just graduated from art school either.

        I went to a wedding a couple weeks ago. Great wedding. At the end of the night, when most of the guests had gone home, the tables were littered with the favors left behind. No one cared about the favors. They were cute, fine, but meh. Same goes for the food: fine, but meh – great cake though! The centerpieces were pretty and pricey, but marginal value? I don’t know…unless flowers were really important to the couple, in which case, I’m delighted they got what they wanted. Save your $ on things you actually care about. For mine, we cared about food, wine, and photos, so, that’s where our money went. Cut everywhere else. Chose a much less expensive venue without space for a dance floor because we didn’t care about that. It also helped that my wedding was much, much smaller than yours.

        Assuming your wedding has to have a guest list that large (are you sure?), does your wedding have to have a sit-down meal? What about a c!cktail & cake reception only?

        • DC Darling :

          Well there are some things (I think I mentioned above) that are just cultural and traditional and we couldn’t do without. Lots of dancing, great music (friend of a friend is dj-ing), having everyone we care about there. Wedding favors are eh, same with invitations and transportation. I’m not really that concerned with my dress either which is why I’d be willing to go preowned and am looking into having it made abroad. Unfortunately for me the things that are important to us are the things that take up the bulk of the expenses. Lots of families, a venue we like (so fewer decorations), great food, good music etc

          • SF Bay Associate :

            My dress was preowned too… I didn’t care at all. I keep meaning to post it back on preownedweddingdresses.com and sell it again. But yeah, it sounds like given your requirements… 200 guests… good food… cupcakes… good music… dancing…. your budget may have to go up. Your wedding is sure to be super fun though!

    • DEFINITELY check out fifty flowers (bulk online co.) for flowers. I bought all my reception flowers from there (hydrangea) and only got bouquets and the ceremony alterpiece from a florist. They arrived two days before the wedding looking beautiful and stayed that way through the reception. I just simply put hydrangea in quart size mason jars with a navy ribbon around them. It must have saved at least $1000, if not more.

      I did place cards, programs, and escort cards myself. We also decided to eliminate unnecessary things like favors and a limo rental. Another thing that is normal/popular in the south is just having beer and wine at the reception, which we did also. It’s much cheaper and almost everyone is fine with only beer and wine rather than hard liquor.

      Good luck!

      • DC Darling :

        We’re trying for a soft bar like the one you mentioned and even then most of the family doesn’t drink. But wedding places are just so ridiculous. One wanted 8 grand for a “soft” bar…which I found out to mean was soda and water. Almost lost it.

    • I planned a beautiful DIY wedding for under $10k (and we paid for everything including grooms men/bridesmaid arttire, out-of-country guests’ accommodation, etc. which aren’t common wedding budget line items), but I spent about only 5% of my budget on the venue rental (food, drinks, decor, etc. were seperate line items). If you spend 75% of your budget just on venue rental, I can’t see that you’ll have enough to cover the other costs even choosing the cheapest options available. I’d choose a different venue.

      • DC Darling :

        Definitely working on looking for another venue. I feel as though I’ve looked at everything in the past months but if anyone has any suggestions I’d be happy to hear of something in DC for less than 10 grand?

        Must be indoors
        Allow outside catering
        200+ guests

        Prefer older mansions/club houses as I’ve found they run cheaper but are just as lovely.

        • wow, that is a LOT of guests for $20K in an urban area. How do you feel about afternoon or brunch receptions?

        • 200+ guests actually attending? Can you trim the list any?

          • That’s a huge guest list, and that’s probably a big part of your problem. In a major metro area, something’s going to have to give, either the number of people or the type of venue/time of day/day of week you’re willing to look at.

            We managed to have a beautiful evening wedding at a gorgeous downtown hotel (west coast city)on a saturday night for under 5K, but I’m very DIY, I don’t give a whit about ‘tradition’, and we only had 45 guests. 200 is…eek.

          • DC Darling :

            Unfortunately no. We both have very large families.

            Trimmed down from 250 already haha.

        • Anne Shirley :

          I think you may need to consider that your budget is unrealistic for what you are trying to do. 200 people, in doors, full reception, in a major city for less than 100 a head is really tricky math.

          • Why couldn't we elope? :

            Agree. We’re at 150 guests, must be indoors in New England (Cape Cod), and a grand total of less than 100/head is unrealistic in a major market, especially for a large number like 200 + (way more venues and creative solutions become an option at 75-100 than >100). Even if you could pull it off for that amount, the amount of time and effort and pain in the butt to DIY and penny pinch on every. single. thing. will make you a stressed out wreck leading up to the event. I’m barely DIYing anything (planning from cross-country) and I often want to cancel the darn thing and have a small, intimate ceremony and dinner at a restaurant with our immediate family for 5k, max!

            With that price range, you’re definitely going to have to seriously consider an off-peak time (brunch/luncheon/high tea/dessert), a weekday evening, or going very informal. Venues that hold 200 people all indoors at the same time for a seated meal are $$ in major markets, and $$$$ for the site fee if you don’t use their caterer.

            If his family is all traveling, are they by any chance traveling from somewhere with a lower cost of living where you could perhaps find a better solution for the 200+ people? Just thinking outside the box…

          • $100 a person in downtown DC is not going to happen.

          • DC Darling :

            Haha Everyone told me that my budget was going to increase before I was done. Guess I didn’t want to believe it. At least I can say I tried.

        • Definitely look to trim down the list.

          DH and I started with a list over 200, and got it down to around 100 guests which made our $10k budget feasible. Some of your wedding costs are fixed regardless of how many guests will be there (your dress, your bridesmaids dresses) but most of your costs will dramatically decrease if you can get your guest list down to 120.

          DH and I made a list of 70 or so people that we really needed to be there (mostly close family and our friends), and then told our parents they could each add 15-20 people not already on the list (mostly extended family and family friends).

          • DC Darling :

            Culturally we have very large weddings.

            We a lot of other “pre wedding” events that we decided to forgo in favor of putting our entire budget towards a wedding rather than lots of little events.

            I’ve been back and forth about the guest list but it’s more important to me to have everyone there. As a result, I do realize my budget is probably going to increase. I still find the venue prices to be exorbitant though.

        • if you count indoors as including tented space (included with the rental), you might also look at Woodend in Bethesda. A friend got married there on a Saturday afternoon and it was lovely.

        • kerrycontrary :

          I would go outside of DC and get a shuttle/limo for the guests who don’t have cars. It’s annoying, but a lot of the surrounding counties have mansions/historic homes for rent for $3500-$4500. Look at Montgomery County MD’s website for this. And look at MD or VA state parks (they have indoor buildings). Then you can spend 800 bucks to transport everyone around for the night.

      • Okay, I didn’t get married in DC, so I can’t help there. I rented an old theatre (built before the days of fixed seating), so I would say that choosing a non-traditional wedding venue can save money. Here’s what I did to save money:

        - DIY invitations/programs/menu cards/place cards, etc. – bought stationary at Target on sale and printed on home computer.
        - DIY flowers – bought flowers in bulk and my mother arranged them. She has a talent for that and they were truly beautiful. Everyone commented on them.
        - DIY decor – bought mason jars/hurricanes, etc. at thrift stores, cut and spraypainted tree branches, printed poster-size photos for a wall collage and so on, friends put up the decor the night before.
        - DIY bridesmaids dresses – bought the fabric and pattern and sewed the bridesmaids dresses myself, did my own dress alterations (dress cost $300)
        - Wine and beer reception (with a signature c*cktail during c*cktail hour and sparkling wine for toasts) – got the special occassion permit myself, bought the alcohol myself and hired the servers myself
        - “Celebration” cake – bought 4 “celebration” cakes from a bakery I love rather than 1 tiered cake. The 4 celebration cakes cost much less, fed more people, and people loved the variety.
        - Less food variety – hired an amazing local, organic caterer who worked with us to come up with a delicious but affordable menu, which meant limiting the food offerings to 4 different appetizers at c*cktail hour, a soup course, chicken or vegetarian main course and 1 dessert. People raved about the food, and didn’t seem to miss the variety they’d never had.
        - Ipod DJ
        - No favours – we had candy apples on the table as decor and placecard holders, and guests could take those home
        - No limousine or car rentals – my father drove me to the church in his tres glamorous Ford Expedition

        • DC Darling :

          -We have buffet style food and a very private ceremony (Bride, groom, and parents) so we aren’t doing programs/menus etc
          -No bridal party either. Traditionally there is just the MOH and Best man
          -We are definitely looking for a location that allows us to bring our own wine and beer
          -Not interested in a limo or car rentals
          -As for the food, we’re having a friend do the catering (food only) for religious purposes.

          As I said, I’ve cut a lot but it’s really the venue that is messing me up. I don’t want to lie to them about it being for a wedding but the prices are just so ridiculous.

          • If the ceremony is private then its not lying to say you are interested in a venue to host a “celebration with dinner” – thats all a reception is. A lot of sites may be more expensive for a “wedding” if the wedding is held there as there are a lot more logistics involved in changing a site from ceremony to reception to dancing etc etc.

            I know you said you wanted to keep it close for your traveling relatives, but it might be cheaper to rent a party bus/pay for a car service and have your reception in an outlying area rather than try to keep it close to where they are staying.

    • One big question for your <$20k wedding is the size of the guest list. If you are trying to plan a 300 guest wedding in DC with a $20k budget, that's a VERY different story than a 100 guest.

      FWIW, we did a ~120 guest (attendees, not invited) wedding in Boston with a $20k budget, excluding honeymoon and rehearsal dinner [DH's family covered it, and wanted to go all out....]. We had no issues staying under.

    • If you can bring your own alcohol and are okay with doing the beer/wine route, go to Costco. You can get tons of wine for dirt cheap and put it in pretty decanters.

      Also, flowers in bulk and order any “exotic” flowers online. There’s also a great florist in NW called Nosegay who is usually willing to work with you on prices.

    • Honey Pillows :

      Flowers/decor? That can get really pricey real fast. Stick very closely to in-season, and buy wholesale (Potomac Floral in Silver Spring is one supplier).

      Also, photography -theoretically, one of your friends/acquaintances is a decent photographer -ask them to be the photographer as their gift (NOT in addition to your gift), and do pay for the film/printing.

    • Did you already book the venue? Because I was a wedding planner/bridesmaid a year ago and we found a lot of cheaper venues; the bride simply couldn’t shell out much. I can try to find the list if it would still be useful to you.

      • DC Darling :

        Yes please! I haven’t booked anything yet though I have a few soft holds for the date out.

        • The ones that I remember off the top of my head are Glenview Mansion in Rockville (which is where they ended up having the wedding), Lincoln’s cottage in NW, Phoenix Park Hotel near Union Station (we had the rehearsal dinner there and it was delicious) and one of the riverboat companies (either Odyssey or Potomac – depending on the day and time of your wedding, prices were as low as $100 per guest including meals).

          • Oh, and if I can find the list with the rest of the potential venues, I will post a comment for you later tonight.

          • I just saw you have 200 guests – I don’t think a boat will be an option for that many people. Glenview Mansion may suit your needs perfectly, though.

          • Oh, another affordable venue was the Franciscan Monastery in NE. It’s a great setting and I think non-Catholics can use it too, although the wedding I was at there was Catholic.

          • [links excluded to avoid moderation]
            We had our wedding in DC last year, with similar constraints as yours. For venue, have you considered the Josephine Butler Parks Center near Meridian Hill Park? It might be a little on the small side for you (150 max) but is lovely, doesn’t seem to book up too fast and *well* under $5K. They have tables and chairs there.

            There’s also STROGA in Adams Morgan, which rents out its gorgeous ballroom/yoga studio in the evenings. It was affordable when we did it last year, but they may have raised prices a bit. One advantage is that they had no restrictions on catering / alcohol, etc.

            Glen Echo also has nice and reasonably affordable facilities, but guests would have to drive (which didn’t work well for us); same for MD and VA county parks . The price is much better for the Parks facilities than for most commercial spaces.

        • We had our wedding in DC last year, with similar constraints as yours. For venue, have you considered the Josephine Butler Parks Center near Meridian Hill Park? It might be a little on the small side for you (150 max) but is lovely, doesn’t seem to book up too fast and *well* under $5K. They have tables and chairs there.
          http://www.washingtonparks.net/josephine_butler_parks_center

          There’s also STROGA in Adams Morgan, which rents out its gorgeous ballroom/yoga studio in the evenings. It was affordable when we did it last year, but they may have raised prices a bit. One advantage is that they had no restrictions on catering / alcohol, etc.

          Glen Echo also has nice and reasonably affordable facilities, but guests would have to drive (which didn’t work well for us); same for MD and VA parks (i.e. http://www.montgomeryparks.org/event_centers/social.shtm). The price is much better for the Parks facilities than for most commercial spaces.

      • Another bride here…I’m in NYC. Similar budget. I found a gorgeous venue for $3500. Our (YIKES) $10,000 catering bill includes dessert; we’re skipping a wedding cake. Buying our own wine & beer (no liquor) for about $700. I’m having art students photograph ($500 for 2 shooters), a DJ from craigslist ($500) and a starting out florist ($1000 for 10 centerpieces, large branches to decorate the venue, and my bouquet). We found a young minister who will marry us for $500 to his (sweet, politically progressive) church. Our friend designed an invitation that we’re printing ourselves (est at $300 including postage. We are not including anything but the invitations, online RSVPs, etc). Our rings clock in around $1000. We are foregoing honeymoon for now.

        Question: anyone think I can shave even more off the flowers while still getting them delivered ready-to-go? That is the one place where I feel like the price is still high-ish for something that will die in a couple of days. But Sam’s Club/ Costco feels like too much work for us in NYC (no one has cars).

        Good luck to us all!

        • Could you do something other than flowers for centerpieces? As someone else mentioned, large vases filled with lemons/limes/marbles/something other than flowers that can be arranged in advance and won’t die

        • I’ve ordered flowers from Sam’s Club and Costco, and both deliver directly to your house/apartment. They come in great shape, and my order from Sam’s had each flower individually wrapped. You can specify delivery date.

        • You could try Posies NYC on the UWS — they will work with whatever budget you name.

        • Brooklyn, Esq. :

          Got married in Brooklyn in April. I had a local (Brooklyn) florist do my flowers for around $750. This was 16 small arrangements (we had just a few long tables, so we scattered them down the tables) plus my bouquet. Your price sounds very reasonable for what you are getting, but here’s how I cut costs:
          -I didn’t pre-choose my flowers; just gave the florist inspiration photos and a color palette and let her choose (so, seasonal, local, cheap, whatever)
          -I provided the containers (a mix of family silver julep cups and different size glass jars and bottles I saved over several months–cut to image of me and then-fiance spending a couple hours soaking and scrubbing off the labels)
          -Had a fairly small bouquet

          I LOVED my flowers so so so much and got many compliments on them. I had wanted to do branches to decorate, too, but cut them for costs/hassle and did not miss them at all. (One option I considered, though, was not going through the florist and doing that part myself–I thought about getting really nice fake ones, too, through save on crafts or similar, so I could arrange them ahead of time and then not worry.)

          My venue lined our aisle with the small arrangements and then put them on the tables, so the flowers did double duty.

          Excited for you! Enjoy!

      • In moderation. Check out the Art Museum of the Americas.

    • Kontraktor :

      We had our wedding on a budget in DC, but we largely did this by having a tiny tiny guest list. We also went through a lot of independent people for services- both our flower lady and cake lady worked out of their homes and posted ads on Craigslist (just for reference, our independent lady gave us literally the exact same flowers described by a big-name DC florist for over *half* as much… and we had stupidly simple flowers like cream roses). Our hair and makeup people had smaller businesses as well.

      Saved money in other ways by just trying to get things as cheaply as possibly. Bought a lot via etsy (calligraphy, invite insert cards/menus/other non-invite stationary). Invites were cheaper/not complex, BM dresses were on sale from David’s Bridal, photographer wasn’t a huge posh name. Things like that.

      If your guest list is smaller, look into private dining in restaurants as a possible reception venue. This obviously won’t work if you are talking 75+ people, but for anything under that, you might be able to find a restaurant for your reception at a lower price than a “traditional” venue. This is what we did, but again, guest list was very small.

      • Kontraktor :

        Sorry, I posted after seeing your guest list is 200+.

        I second the ideas of brunch/breakfast reception or one at a different time. I had desperately wanted a brunch or afternoon tea style reception but we realized that wouldn’t work with the timing of how our religious ceremony needed to be. But if you had flexible timing, a reception at a less traditional time could save a lot of money.

    • Don’t laugh, but consider Whole Foods for flowers. My husband and I had the P st Whole Foods do them for our wedding in June and they turned out great! Bridal bouquet (peonies), three bridesmaids (hydrangeas), and 5 boutonnieres (spray roses) for $75 or so, no joke. They don’t charge you for labor so it’s just as cheap as doing flowers yourself!

      We also got married on the National Mall at the DC War Memorial, which was pretty cheap ($50 permit and cost of rental chairs) – so maybe look into having the wedding somewhere on the Mall?

      Our reception site was at the City Tavern Club in Georgetown, a great facility and their staff was fantastic. We had a relatively small wedding (~50 total) but they have a larger room to rent out than the one we used.

      Whole thing cost 11k, and that’s with an open bar. This is totally doable! Don’t loose hope!

    • Recently Wed :

      1) DIY flowers were mentioned above, but I will put in a plug for local (Silver Spring) wholesaler Potomac Florals. I got (a wide variety of not cheap) flowers/vases/etc for our 110 guest wedding (fewer tables) for under $1000, and had a “flower arranging brunch” with female wedding party and family members the day before- everyone had a fun time and the flowers came out gorgeous (I think my bouquet alone would easily have cost $250 to have made professionally). You have to be a little bit flexible, but the truth is that flowers are beautiful and it is hard to make an arrangement look bad.

      2) Find a liquor store that will deliver AND pick up any unopened liquor. That way you are only paying for what your guests consume. Our wedding was outside of town and we used someone local, but my friend used Ace Liquor for her wedding in silver spring, so I am sure they would do something downtown.

      3) Depending on your tax bracket- look for a historic property that treats a portion of thier fee as a tax deductible donation. I can’t remember specific locations offhand, but I know I saw these during my search.

      4) I got my dress used from I do, I do in Gaithersburg. Depending on what you are looking for it is a bit of a needle in a haystack (there are a lot of more traditional ballgowns), but I was really happy with what I found.

      Goodluck! Things really do start to fall into place once you get the venue nailed down!

      • I Do, I Do is amaaaazing for its consignment gowns. They’re all in great shape and much more cheaply priced than retail. I just bought my dress there and couldn’t be happier.

    • lucy stone :

      Congratulations! I just got married this past June so here are some cost-cutting tips I have:

      1) Flowers from Costco. We ordered online, they delivered to the venue, and the venue set them up for us. I think we spent $300 for all our centerpiece flowers, vases, etc.
      2) Invitations from VistaPrint. I was going to make my own and got overwhelmed. I waited for a sale and I think we paid less than $100 for over 200 invitatations, custom envelopes, RSVP cards, and envelopes.
      3) Did either of you go to college in the area? Is there a room you could rent there and still use your friend for catering?
      4) Does your house of worship have a hall you could use?

    • When I got married in the DC area in 1992 (gasp!), I was able to rent a historic Fairfax County park facility (http://www.fairfaxcounty.gov/parks/hprs/cabells.htm). It was a beautiful converted mill building set in a park with a stream, an outdoor terrace and a hardwood-floored, deep-windowed inside room. We were able to buy our own alcohol and hire our own caterer and florist, finding the best value for all of those. My bridesmaids moved my flowers from the church to the reception site, saving lots of $ there. The rental fee for Cabell’s Mill today is $800 for Fairfax County residents and $1,000 for non-residents. I had a good family friend who was still a resident (I was then living downtown) rent it for me. They have a number of other historic properties on the site with reasonable prices. Good luck!!!!

      • I went to a wonderful reception at the Fairfax City Old Town Hall. I think it had a similar deal — bring your own alcohol and pick your caterer / cake. Lots of parking, but you will need a car.

      • Sivercurls :

        Seeing the mention of Fairfax County reminds me that Montgomery County also rents multipurpose rooms that range in size from small (party of 15) to large (party of about 60 in a room that could have accommodated more people). These are at community centers–typically cinder-block construction thus plain & functional rather than super elegant, but located in parks. For Montg. County, go to www6 (dot) montgomerycountymd (dot) gov (forward slash) rectmpl.asp?url=/content/rec/index.asp; click on “how do I?”; click on “rent a facility.” Some of the county’s meeting rooms come with access to kitchen facilities.

        Other outside-the-box venue ideas (may still need you to arrange transportation for guests, or to stick to suburban locations such as Rockville or Silver Spring which have hotels relatively close by for your families):
        Silver Spring Town Center, Inc.
        www (dot) silverspringtowncenter(dot) com

        Some congregations will rent their spaces to you, even if you’re not a member. Call and ask… (Full disclosure: my synagogue is one such place. You have to have Kosher food; you can use their own kitchen staff or work with another Kosher caterer.)

        Spaces owned by other organizations, such as Knights of Columbus or private schools?

        Congratulations and good luck! Oh, and another shout-out re Potomac Florists, the wholesalers located in Silver Spring (although because I found them after getting married I use them when I want to make up bouquets for friends or family).

  9. Ladies, I’m looking for a legal recruiter in NYC for a friend. She’s a mid level (almost senior) estate planning associate in California, and her husband got his dream job in NY. Any suggestions for a recruiter would be great!

    Also, if you know of any good finance recruiters, I’d love to pass those along to her too. She’s open to doing T&E or tax stuff at a bank as well.

  10. Such a pretty color!

    OK, vent/threadjack regarding coworkers and my pregnancy. Let me just say in advance before I start that I know I’m being irrational but I’m just annoyed and want to vent and this is probably my safest place. My issue is that a male coworker continues to ask in a paternalistic tone if I’m feeling OK every.single.day. He also lectured me on coffee intake when he saw me drinking a hot beverage (it was decaf tea!) and lectures me on working out when he sees me leaving work in workout clothes. Grrrrr. I’m not one to hide annoyance and when he picked up on my annoyance, he acted hurt and said I had no reason to be offended. I’m not offended, I’m annoyed. If I couldn’t do my job, I wouldn’t be here. There may be a time when I need help because of my pregnancy, but now is not that time. Thankfully, he’s not my supervisor so I don’t have to worry about him mommy tracking me, so there’s nothing substantive to this vent.

    I think part of my annoyance is that there HAVE been times that my health has kept me from doing my job–I have ulcerative colitis and I’ve had flares that have made me too sick to work. Pregnancy hasn’t done that to me (yet) so I don’t want to be treated differently. I’m fine if someone asks me generally how I’m doing, I just don’t want to feel like I’m being treated like a delicate flower. I’m happy to talk about the baby, really, and I’m happy to be pregnant. It is kinda silly to pretend like my belly isn’t swelling, but that doesn’t mean I should be treated differently unless there’s a reason I can’t do something. Grrrrrrr.

    Vent over. Promise.

    • I think your coworker is an @ss. I’m pretty sure that during other times, when you were sick, he probably completely ignored it and didn’t voice any concern for your health, right?

      Implicitly, I think he is trying to treat you like a delicate flower either because he is trying to sideline you (he doesn’t have to be your boss to do this), or, because he’s a s3xist twit who only cares about a woman’s health because she’s a vessel for another life form. You’re chopped liver until you’re pregnant, and then you have to be treated with a kid glove because the fetal Jesus Christ is IN YOUR WOMB.

      • So, you mean this baby won’t save civilization by curing cancer, finding clean energy and ending hunger all before age 12? (Kidding!)

        This guy is an equal opportunity busybody and everyone knows it. I haven’t been sick since I took this job so I don’t know how he’d act. Luckily I’m not in a firm where I think this behavior would be more damaging. But this is a good reminder that I need to be careful and not worry so much about being a b!tch. I’ll just keep reminding him that he’s out of line. It’s just frustrating. Thanks for letting me vent!

    • That does sound really annoying. Have you tried responding with an evil eye and a cold and terse response that says that he’s being stupid (for example, if he said something about your drink, with “Actually, it’s decaf tea,” (“idiot” – that part’s not said aloud) or, in response to the work out, a very cold “my doctor says it’s fine”)? Maybe that would say “mind your own business” to him, maybe it won’t, but it’s worth a try.

      • Sadly, I’ve done both. I’ve flat out said for him to treat me like everyone else and that he’s not my doctor. Every office has someone who puts himself in the middle of everyone else’s business and this guy is it for my office.

    • You’re not offended? He’s lecturing you on how you’re a bad mom (coffee, working out) — I’m offended.

      • Well the tea and working out is offensive. The daily queries are annoying. Nice to hear I’m not alone on this one :)

    • He’s ridiculous. I don’t think you’re being irrational at all. When he starts in on the lecture, I would just say the same thing over and over–some version of, “That’s between my doctor and me”–change the subject. I wouldn’t tell him that it’s decaf tea, or you’re going to a special prenatal yoga class, or any other justifications for your actions. None of that is any of his business.

    • This kind of thing would probably get an “Excuse me?” response. Either very polite, or a bit sassy, as you are feeling. Heavy on the “WTF are you saying that to me” inflection.

    • Honey Pillows :

      The southern in me would want to stare him right in the eye and give him the most syrupy, completely fake smile and say, “My goodness, you’re so THOUGHTFULLY concerned for my child. I simply can’t wait until lil goirishkj is born and you can help me with babysitting! Should we work out a schedule right now?”

      And then, “Bless your heart.”

      Course, this only really works with a little bit of drawl, when someone knows that “Bless your heart,” is one of the most condescending, insulting things a southern lady can say to you.

      • e_pontellier :

        love love love. “Bless your heart” is amazing.

        I would probably end up saying something horribly b!tchy and then half-apologize the next day (including a “bless your heart”), and blame the pregnancy.

      • Oh my, I love this so much. Not southern, but things like this make me wish I were!

    • Someone a few weeks ago said it best (although I think they were referring to bows on clothing, it works here too): tell him you’re having a baby, not being a baby.

    • I empathize. Had two babies and would hate it if anyone did that to me.

    • I would say this guy is getting off on your reaction. So stop reacting.

      Fine, thanks. OK thanks. See you later. etc.

      I know it p1sses you off and you want to lecture him and tell him that you are capable etc, but you can’t because it won’t work. Rise above. Basically ignore him and move on.

  11. 2/3 attorney :

    10:20 and I’m already thinking about nomming my lunch. These always make for long days.

    • Ha. That is me, every single day. Hello mid-morning snack time!

      • The English used to have this wonderful habit of having “elevenses.”

        I think I should go live in Hobbiton, where they have 7 meals a day.

        • Haha. I think we would both fit right in :) Second breakfast!

        • Used to? In my office 10.30 or 11 am is definitely time to brew up a round of tea and make a start on the biscuits. Or cake. Mmm, cake…

          • I have London colleagues who complain that their office has become “Americanized” and have fallen out of the habit of elevenses or anything vaguely resembling such.

    • I split my breakfast in 2 parts – one at 8 and one at 10. Then I eat lunch at noon & look forward to my 3pm snack.

      I think I’m part hobbit.

    • onehsancare :

      I lost 45 pounds last year, and while it’s true it’s because I cut calories, I was able to be not insane while doing so because I split my food into six small meals a day. I still do that, and I’m never famished.

  12. Anyone know of a source for nude-for-the-wearer color tank tops (more full coverage than a spaghetti strap camisole) or undershirt-style-tshirts? Basically something to wear under slightly sheer sweaters for work (I feel like spaghetti strapped camis just make the sheerness more obvious). My google-fu has failed me.

    If it helps, nude-for-me is about as pale as you can get, but I’ve tried white tanks/tees and they are too visible.

    • I don’t have a source per se, but I’m also very pale, and have sometimes found that a pale pink works better (and can be easier to find) than a nude.

    • 2/3 attorney :

      Zara has some great ones with thicker straps, let me see if I can find them

      • 2/3 attorney :

        Ok I tried to use Zara’s web site for about 39 seconds and it’s way too annoying, sorry. But they do have a range of nude shades as well as a thicker-strapped tank (1.5 in.?).

    • I got the Shimera Seamless Tank during the NAS and I love them. I actually like something a smidge darker than my skin tone so it doesn’t enhance the sheerness of the sweaters or look like you’re maybe seeing peekaboo skin.

      • +1 for the Shimera tank. I have one in nude, black and white, and wear them under just about everything.

      • Was just going to say Shimera. Exactly what you’re looking for. Don’t even think twice.

        Although,
        if what your’e wearing is really sheer, do you actually want nude underneath? One thing to do is wear a tank the color of your skirt/pants underneath the sheer item, so you create a long line. My fashion merchandising friend taught me this and it’s what always do now. So I only have tanks/camis that match my skirts now – dark neutrals.

        • Thank you for all the recommendations! Shimera tanks are on their way to me…

          Mamabear – no, I’m not wearing anything super sheer. It’s just that it is very slightly sheer in right lighting. I’m admittedly overzealous about making sure you can’t see the outline of my br* or straps through my shirt (probably no one else would care – but I care).

      • SF Bay Associate :

        D’oh, should have read the rest of the thread before responding. +1 for Shimera.

      • PharmaGirl :

        Definitely Shimera. Love them so much.

    • I think The Limited carries nude camis regularly!

    • emcsquared :

      GapBody has some in “Sugar Plum Fairy” which seems a bit dark. I’ve always had good luck at Target too (in store, I can’t navigate their website to save my soul).

    • Spanx, maybe?

    • Thanks, all, for the suggestions! Much appreciated :)

      • In the Pink :

        maybe Mod Bod? Used to be undertease so the quality of fabric is lessned, they are more like tshirt tanks but longer. Out of SLC I think.

    • I buy the brass plum branded tank tops in the Nordstrom junior’s dept. They rotate the colors but usually have a few that can pass as different skin tones.

    • First Year Law Student :

      I get a lot of the cotton knit ones from Old Navy, they’re like three dollars a piece and last for years generally. I don’t know if they’d have the color you’re looking for, though, they’re normally seasonal. I get them in white/coordinating colors to wear under sweaters/sheerish polos/on their own for working out and weekend wear.

      • I have seriously found that my ON tanks last longer than anything more expensive, and if they get a hole or a stain I have no qualms about tossing them.

    • I found a nude for me cotton tank at H&M that has worked wonders.

    • SF Bay Associate :

      Shimera at Nordie’s has a tank-style cami in a bazillion colors. They are usually 2 for $35 I think. I have several.

      • SF Bay – I think I am going to just ask you from now on before I buy any underthings – you have *fantastic* recommendations.

  13. Quick poll because I’m about to purchase boots on Zappos. (Should have done this two days ago… alas.) Would you rather have white wellies, or black ones?

    • 2/3 attorney :

      Black for sure, white will show all the mud!

    • Black. I feel like white would get really grimy looking and in a pinch if you had to, you could untuck your pants and it would just like you’re wearing awkward shoes with the black.

      • Good point. I wasn’t as worried about mud because they’re rubber and can easily rinse off, but I couldn’t really wear them with pants. I was envisioning them looking a little like gogo boots with a skirt, which would be cool, but they’re impractical.

        thanks ladies!

    • Honey Pillows :

      And just to be contrary:

      BLUE!

      • I wanted blue but I have wide calves and an under-$50 budget, so alas my selection was limited. My coworker has Crocs rain boots and really likes them so that’s what i went for.

        • Honey Pillows :

          Aw shucks, I really wanted Bluejay to have blue boots.

          I’m saving my pennies to get the Huntress, Hunter’s wider-calf boots. 16.5 inch circumference, same as the Tretorn wide-calf. (Crocs are shorter, so circumference isn’t important.) But the same question remains -Navy, Black or the traditional Green?

          Sorry for the TJ, Bluejay!

          • Yellow. :) J/K, I would go with navy, although the traditional green is really nice too.

            And actually I have such short legs that a 13″ shaft is knee-high on me, so boots that are supposed to be short on everyone else are high enough on me that I need a wide circumference. I actually gave up spinning because my calves increased to about 17″ after a couple months of doing it regularly, and none of my boots fit.

        • 2/3 attorney :

          What kind did you find for under $50? I’m interested in that! You’re in DC, right? Are these rain boots a thing I need here (asks the girl from the desert)?

          • Haha yes I’m in DC and also from the desert. It rains a lot in the fall; days like today will be pretty common. I have a walking commute so I prefer to wear rain boots and I see a lot of other women wearing them too.

            I got these, in black. My coworker has the same pair in navy and recommended them. They’ve held up for her for more than a year.

            http://vip.zappos.com/crocs-crocband-jaunt-womens-oyster

        • phillygirlruns :

          fellow wide-calfers: i have 16.5″ calves and am able to wear hunters – i did size up from a 9 to a 10, which gave me a little extra room in the calf. it might be worth trying them on. i was skeptical about spending so much for rain boots, but the construction is substantially better than the cheap target boots i’d been buying, and i appreciate the height more than i thought i would.

    • I would rather have white ones! A darker color will show the dried salt/snow and rain cooties more. Plus, I just think white is more fun! (Says the girl with magenta Wellies.)

  14. anon for this :

    I want to ask a weird question. How often do you use the bathroom (um, #1) at work each day? I was born with a messed up system in that area, and have to go all the time – probably 6 times a day. And yes, I have seen plenty of doctors about it. But I work in an office where I have to walk past evvveryone’s desk to go to the bathroom, and (horrifyingly), everyone can hear when you go. It’s mortifying, and I wonder if people think I’m in there too much, or wonder why I’m going to the restroom all the time. Seriously this stresses me out and embarasses me so much I could cry typing this.

    If you noticed someone in your office going more than most, what would you think? Thanks for your thoughts.

    • 6 is not that much to me, so don’t feel ashamed!!! I’m “normal” and I have to pee all. the. time. 64 ounces of water will do that to you. Could you approach the office manager and say since everyone can hear everything that goes on, maybe they should invest in a white noise machine. Or you could just be the white noise machine angel and bring a machine in.

      • Buying a white noise machine is very likely to be a waste of money. White noise is really overrated for sound masking. It has to be much louder than the sound you’re trying to mask to be effective. White noise that loud tends to be intrusive enough to be its own problem.

        There’s no DIY way to sound isolate a bathroom after it’s been built. It should have been designed right from the beginning, with STC rated walls, solid core doors, and sound isolating ventilation. Retrofit would involve renovation and isn’t feasible by anyone other than the property owner or leaseholder.

    • OK, first, that is seriously f-ed up that people can hear. Yikes. I’m sorry.

      Having said that, 6 times per day doesn’t seem excessive to me. I drink water steadily throughout the day, and I probably go once every two hours in the morning, and once every hour to hour-and-a-half thereafter. And there are a few women whom I almost always run into in the bathroom, meaning that they pee roughly as much as I do. So I think you sound normal?

      Anyway, if I did even notice that someone was going more than most people, I don’t think I’d think anything about it. I doubt that anyone besides you notices that you’re going 6 times a day.

    • I go 6 x a day and I have no health issues (only an over-fondness for tea) so I wouldn’t think anything of it. But, seriously, if people could hear me go? I’d be completely mortified all the time! (What if you have to do more than #1? Can people hear if you’re rustling around in there with lady products?)

      • anon for this :

        Oh there is no doing more than #1 in this bathroom. I will literally make a Starbucks run if I have to. Even if a little gas squeaks out while I’m doing my business, I am so ashamed to come out of the bathroom. It’s kind of inhumane.

    • 6 times doesn’t sound like so much…but honestly, I don’t think I’ve ever noticed unless someone was obviously looking a little green around the gills, or leaving with some urgency, but even then, it would only be out of concern.

      The sound proofing issue is terrible though. You guys need a white noise machine or a fan!

      • That is messed up that people can hear the bathroom noises. There is a japanese toilet that will play music to cover up sounds. I thought that was a novelty item, but maybe you should petition to have one for your bathroom bathroom. Although I’m not sure which is worse: actual bathroom sounds, or a weird sound that everyone knows is just covering up a bathroom sound.

    • I go a lot, too. I second the suggestion for a white noise maker if people can hear what’s going on in the bathroom.

    • 4-6x/day is pretty normal for me. It was double that when I was pregnant. If a white noise machine or an exhaust fan isn’t an option, just run the water in the sink. People aren’t paying nearly as much attention as you think that they are and no one is dare going to ask.

    • Jacqueline :

      First of all, this situation sounds stressful, and I sympathize with you. I don’t think six times a day is that out of line, but even if it is, the problem here isn’t how often you have to go but the fact that you feel like you’re running the gauntlet every time you do.

      I’m not sure what the solution is, short of changing your desk location (is this a possibility) so you don’t have to walk past everyone. But I’d focus on what you absolutely can control — not letting this stress you out. I doubt anyone thinks about this as much as you do. I’m so sorry!

    • Diana Barry :

      I go about once an hour. I drink a ton of water.

      noise machine is a great idea!

    • If you were in my office, and if I happened to notice that you were in and out of the bathroom all the time, I’d think either (1) you must drink a lot of water or (2) you must have some other medical reason.

      As long as you don’t spend half your day in there, I seriously doubt anyone cares. In fact, I had a boss once (SVP in a large company!) make jokes about the number of times she had to run to the bathroom every day. She’d call a 5-minute break if a meeting was more than two hours (not even try to sneak out and back). She was on the older side, but also drank a lot of water. For all I know she did have a medical condition. But nobody cared.

      You’re probably extra sensitive because it is medical, but don’t worry about it!

    • applesandcheddar :

      That is horrifying that people can hear you! Is it possible to go to another floor or something?

      I go approximately every hour. I’m not sure if that is excessive, but I drink water and hot tea all day at my desk. I used to feel weird about it because I have to walk in front of my boss’s office, but my overwhelming urge to go helps me get over that! Plus, I like to get up and go for a stroll.

    • I know this is hugely stressful for you, but believe me, the vast majority of people in your office won’t notice anything, at all. They’re more than likely too wrapped in what they’re doing and their own concerns to even notice that you walk by, much less take a count of the number of times you go to the bathroom. Moreover, going to the bathroom often is not a weird or gross habit — I go probably more than I need to just for the excuse to get up from my desk and walk around a bit. I also worked with a nurse once who literally couldn’t go more than an hour without a bathroom visit (as in, she would warn us at the beginning of a long meeting that she was going to have to take a break at some point), and all I felt was sympathy for her that she had to live with such an annoyingly small bladder. So truly — people are both much less likely to notice and much more likely to be sympathetic if they do notice than you think.

    • Honey Pillows :

      Air purifier that happens to make white noise? Then there’s an “excuse” to get it, other than “I don’t like people hearing me pee!”

      And going 6x in a workday is perfectly normal if you’re hydrated. The Dear Young Buck gets on my case about being dehydrated all the time, and now I drink at least a liter a day, and it seems like I’m going all. the. friggin. time.

      • e_pontellier :

        I actually laughed out loud at “The Dear Young Buck…” sentence. My DH gets on my case about being dehydrated all the time too, and so now I drink lots of water (like Honey Pillows, at least a liter a day) and I have to go allllllllllllllll the time as well.

        6x/day is nbd.

        • I drink approximately 3-4 liters of water a day, plus tea. I’m a frequent visitor to the little girls room.

          • 3-4 liters? Basically a gallon a day? Really?

          • Really.

            I’ve always needed more water than most not to feel dehydrated. I also exercise twice most days (before and after work) so that contributes as well.

            as a side note, I used to drink 2-3 liters/day, and I noticed a definite improvement in my hair, skin, etc. since upping it to 3-4 liters.

          • lucy stone :

            I drink that much too. My MD always says you should drink half your body weight in ounces of water, so if you weight 200, you should drink at least 100 oz of water a day assuming a sedentary lifestyle.

          • I am in awe of you both. I drink one or two 32 oz tumblers at work, more with lunch and dinner, but I would be shocked if I were getting anywhere close to a gallon a day.

    • I don’t notice how often someone walks by my office, and definitely don’t think about where they might be going. I don’t think anyone is keeping track of how often you go to the bathroom, plus, if you have a medical condition, what’s your alternative?

      I second bringing up the everyone-can-hear-bathroom problem. I’m sure that’s not just bothering you!

    • I don’t think 6 times is weird.

      Re: the hearing issue – is this a private bathroom or stalls? If it is private, turn on the sink when you come in. That will help muffle any noises.

      • I probably wouldn’t notice in the first place but if I did, I would assume that are really good about getting your eight glasses of water!

    • Senior Attorney :

      Please don’t cry! I feel so bad for you I want to give you a hug!!

      If I noticed somebody going to the bathroom a lot, which I almost certainly wouldn’t, I would assume they drink a lot of water and I would think to myself, “Hmmm… I should drink more water!”

      And +1 on the noise machine.

    • new york associate :

      I have randomly ended up in offices very close to the ladies’ room for the last few jobs I’ve had and I can promise you that I have never, EVER noticed the frequency with which people use the bathroom. Truly. People may see you, but they won’t pay attention in a meaningful way. Hang in there! There’s nothing wrong with peeing!

    • Honestly doubt anyone would notice.

      You’re probably over thinking this because of thd underlying medical condition.
      In reality everyone else would probably think its related to the amount of water you drink.

      I think the sound proofing issue is disgusting though. Some of the other posters have given you great tips which you should probably act on. Even if you made toilets your good samaritan project doubt anyone would overthink it.

      Good luck!
      made

    • Six times a day is not out of the ordinary, sometimes more, sometimes less for me.

      Just run the water in the sink when you go in. Maybe someone will finally realize they need to get an exhaust fan or noisemaker. I believe you can put in an exhaust fan that does not really exhaust, just makes noises.

  15. Career vs Marriage :

    I’m not sure if this is a dilemma or if I’m just looking for commiseration or general thoughts or what. Apologies for the novel…

    I’m a pretty new lawyer and had a few years off before law school where I had some low key, low stress jobs. I.e., I was home at 4-5 every day, off every weekend, didn’t have to think about work when I wasn’t there. Then I decided to go to law school, and I realized about halfway through that being an attorney was the perfect job for me. Now I’m a year out in a firm I love doing work I love. Obviously, some people think its completely crazy to love it as much as I do. It’s definitely my passion, and I work quite a bit. I’m in a smaller market, so not as much as many of you here, but I do work until 6-7 most nights and usually 10-4ish on weekend days. Granted, I’m going to trial soon, so things have picked up lately. I know things will slow down for a few weeks after the trial, but my favorite case is going to be heating up pretty soon, and it seems like there’s going to be as much work as I can/want to do for the foreseeable future. I derive A LOT of satisfaction from this stuff. My job is my favorite thing to do. I don’t see this changing.

    Anyway, my husband and I married shortly after college, before I even thought about law school. He brought up last night that he feels like our relationship isn’t good right now and he knows that if I had to choose between him and my career, I would choose my career. I don’t think this is a fair comparison. But, honestly, I do derive more pleasure from my career than I do from my relationship. I know it sounds weird and awful to some people, but I really think that’s just who I am, and my career makes me so happy that I don’t know that I want that to change. I love him a ton and I love being with him. He seems to require a lot more together time than I do (that has always been the case). I’m not sure how to balance it all, knowing that work will increase after a small lull. We’ve talked before about how litigation goes in cycles and I’ll be really really busy sometimes and not so busy other times, but he seems to get in this funk every time it heats up. I’m not going to stop taking higher profile cases just so I can be home at 5 every day and never work a weekend.

    I tried asking how much time he needs so I can try to plan accordingly, but then he got upset because he feels like I should just want to spend time with him and not necessarily have to be told “spend X hours each with with husband.” It all feels like a bit of a mess. Has anyone been through this? Thoughts?

    • I absolutely agree you should not have to cut back on your hours (they don’t actually sound that bad, assuming you are not working every single weekend day). But the time you do spend with your husband- is it quality time? Do you do fun things together?

      Putting myself in his shoes, I think your husband’s concerns are totally valid. You yourself admitted you get more satisfaction out of your job than spending time with your husband. That seems like a major red flag to me (though I’m not married, so what do I know), and if he’s at all intuitive and senses that that’s the case, I can see why he would feel undervalued and unloved. Not sure what the solution is, other than lying (“of course I value you over my career”); all I can say is that if my hypothetical husband told me he loved his career more than me, I’d be out the door.

      • Career vs Marriage :

        Yes, exactly. I agree that his concerns are valid, which is what freaks me out the most. Do I lie to him and try to make it work? Do I say, yes I probably do get more satisfaction out of my career than our relationship? I don’t know that he would leave me, and it feels really cruel to say something hurtful like that to him and make him feel like he’s doomed to second place forever.

        • Your relationship is the product of what you put into int and what your husband puts into it, so consider that it could be more rewarding you dedicated more energy (not necessarily more time, but maybe more time) into it? No judgement at all, just pointing out that your relationship is not a static thing and has potential to grow or be stunted.

        • FWIW, I don’t think it’s purely a husband satisfaction vs job satisfaction issue. Jobs and relationships both have their ups and downs. Sometimes you get a lot of fulfillment from one, sometimes the other. The key for both should be that the lows don’t stay constant. I think it’s great that you’re getting so much satisfaction from your job, but you are still new and should be prepared for the fact that you will almost certainly hit some lows, too. People get burnt out, bored, jaded, whatever. It happens with work just as it happens at home. So I would explain to H that right now you are at a very exciting part of your career (kind of like when you first get serious with someone and you want to spend every waking moment together) but that you are also invested in making your marriage work and would like to work on that with him. It’s not an either/or proposition and you shouldn’t treat it as such. Maybe a good place to start is to make a standing date with husband to go out on, say, saturday night or make a tradition of ordering take out and watching your favorite shows sunday evenings.

          Of course, it’s possible that you are generally dissatisfied with your home life, but that’s a different issue. You say that you married shortly after college and then you went to law school a few years later. What does he do? Do you feel like maybe you outgrew each other? Certainly, I would try to figure out what it is that is making you happier to spend time at work than at home and work on that, if needed.

    • Be present when present. When you are spending time with him, make the time count. No checking the email at dinner, engage in real conversation etc. If you are in trial, then sure it makes sense that you have to work all the time. But, if you are slow at work and basically avoiding him by doing other “work,” then that’s an issue. It’s awesome that you really like your job, but lawyers are notorious for not having work life balance. Your superiors will happily dump all this work on you so that they can have their balance. Or you can get so wrapped up in the thrill of what you are doing that you isolate yourself. Be aware of those tendencies so you don’t wake up in 5-10 years completely burnt out with no life or interests outside of work and your spouse is a stranger to you.

    • What does he do when you’re not at home? When I was in grad school, DH got to spend a ton of time on his hobbies (he is a man of many hobbies). When DH was in grad school, I was lonely and sad because I have a pretty flexible work schedule and spend a lot of time at home. It was stressful at first, but then I started an exercise routine, we got a dog, and I started to pick up some hobbies. Now we’re both working, and we both have lots of hobbies and a dog. We do make sure to schedule a date night, because his new job is pretty demanding (home after 7 each night, plus generally one weekend day).

      All that being said, we both knew when we got married (after my grad program, but before his) that we were going to be a career-minded couple. I think DH is justified in feeling hurt when you ask “how many hours do you need to spend with me?” Sounds like you see “DH time” as a chore and not a treat :(

      • Agree, I can’t even imagine how hurtful that would be. I think you should go to counseling with your husband. What about your relationship is unfufilling? Honestly you remind me so much of my law school classmate who had a really sweet husband. She ended up cheating on him with her coworker. I think you should decide to work on your relationship, or think about ending it. I agree that you should not have to give up cases, but there is a way to balance both. But that means showing your husband how much you love him when you are home, which it sounds like you are not doing.

      • Career vs Marriage :

        He exercises a lot and has a few friends, but they don’t really spend a lot of time together outside the hobby (i.e., gym friends that he sees mostly at the gym). I definitely think he gets lonely and bored, and I’ve tried to encourage him to spend more time with his friends and to get more interests.

        I didn’t think I asked the “how much time” question in a hurtful way, but I can understand why he would be hurt by it. I’m not sure how else to understand what he needs and expects from me?

        • I can completely understand why you’d ask how much time he needs, although putting it that way probably does make it sound like he’s a scheduling conflict that you have to resolve. What about asking instead what makes him feel most loved — less time, but quality time? More time overall, even if you’re working (eg, work from home on the weekends, or at a coffee shop where you can work and he can read the paper)? Are sunday mornings really important? Are particular events important? And so on. It’s similar to the idea of the five love languages book (which I haven’t read, but my sister loves) — you need to find out what kinds of actions signal love and caring to your partner, and then prioritize those.

          • Great advice, N.

            Staying longer at the office so that time at home is work-free is great for some people, and bringing work home so that you can work and be in the same room as your SO is better for others.

          • I’m writing this as I work next to my SO at a Starbucks, and it is nice to be able to squeeze his hand absentmindedly while I’m working. Signed, someone who has figured out that her SO needs a lot of physical presence time.

        • Do you still *like* spending time with him? Or do you see it as a chore/something that takes you away from your work? If it’s the latter, you should consider counseling and/or a serious evaluation of your relationship.

          If it’s the former, counseling may help, but you could also have a heart to heart explaining the job requirements, figuring out how to get in quality DH time without affecting your work, and help DH find ways to be happy with his increased alone time. Also, consider a pet :)

          • Career vs Marriage :

            I love spending time with him! And I definitely still want to be married to him. I just don’t want either of us to have to sacrifice what makes us happy and then both end up unhappy, I guess.

        • I agree with cfm. Either make your marriage a priority and work on it, or considering ending it.

          If you decide your marriage is something worth working on, I think showing him that your relationship is a priority is really important. Show him that you’re making an effort to spend quality time with him rather than just trying to fill a quota, which is what the ‘how much time do you need?’ question sounds like. Institute a date night. Every Friday night no matter what you go on some type of date. Make sure that when you are home you are present, as SAB said. Don’t just watch tv or whatever, have real conversations with him. Maybe you can take up a hobby together. Nuturing your relationship doesn’t have to take hours & hours, but it does take time & effort, especially if you have workaholic tendencies.

          It sounds like you are treating the nurturing of your relationship as a chore. What does he need from you? To feel loved & important in your life. If you can change your mindset I think it will go a long way to helping your dh feel better about your relationship.

          Good luck!

    • Can you try to bring him into your work life a bit more, instead of trying to make a strong division between work and home? I am also very passionate about my job, and trying to share this passion more with him instead of hiding it seems to work well for my SO and I. So for example, if my brain is still working overtime on a particular problem when I get home, I talk to him about it. If I’m working a lot, he’ll come and meet me up at work for lunch or dinner. He proofreads work stuff sometimes for me as well. All these things help him understand why I’m working a lot sometimes, and feel involved in my day to day life. On the flipside, when he requests that a night be no work talk, just TV and laziness, I respect that and can enjoy that little break from work. But I think if you’re passionate about your career it’s unreasonable to assume that you’re just going to flip off that passion as soon as you get home.

    • As someone who felt this same way when I started practicing law (in BigLaw, no less), I will say that I definitely had a “honeymoon” period with my career for the first 1.5 years that calmed down a bit over time. I still absolutely love what I do, but I no longer get the thrills that I did when everything was new and exciting — especially going to trial. So although you might feel now like you value your career over your relationship, I wouldn’t assume it will stay that way over the long haul. Not sure that I have great advice, but I just kind of asked my husband to stick it out with me until I reached a more even place. He seemed to appreciate the honesty and it made it easier to view it as something that would likely improve over time. Five years later, it definitely has and really nothing much changed other than I got used to my job.

    • My two cents (perhaps to be taken with a grain on salt, as I’m not married). Both my SO and I work a lot and understand that work is a priority for each other. I love my job, more so when we’re insanely busy and I’m spending 10-14 hours a day in the office. He also loves what he’s doing and is currently starting his own business on top of his day job so is super busy all the time.

      I’m the partner who needs more from him (time wise and emotionally) than he needs from me. What works for me is knowing that I’m a priority for him and that he wants to talk to me/spend time with me but he has to get X, Y and Z done first. And the only reason we’re at this point now is because I told him that I felt like I was unimportant because everything else always seemed to come first. Also, him telling me how he felt about me more often (he’s also not great at communicating his feelings) helped me feel more secure and less like he was choosing work over me.

      Also, the busier I am, the less “neglected” I feel. (he may be feeling neglected now though because the last 3 weeks have been insane…)

      So essentially:
      -make sure he knows he’s a priority and you enjoy spending time with him, you just can’t spend that much time with him because of work. Also make your time together really count – no just hanging out with your blackberry
      -he should also make sure he has his own life so he doesn’t feel like he’s depending on you for everything

      I do agree with LilyB though – maybe the fact that you derive more satisfaction from work than him is a red flag and suggests that he’s not really the one you want to be with…

    • SpaceMountain :

      My husband and I are both lawyers, so we understand what going to trial means. If one of us is getting ready for trial, the other one picks up major slack in the household, relationship, whatever. I agree you have to deal with this, but suspect the problem is your husband doesn’t understand how all-consuming it is to have a case go to trial.

    • Honestly, I’m flummoxed by your dilemma. You say you love spending time with your DH, but it really doesn’t sound like it. It is great to love your job that passionately, but what happens if the thrill of your career wears off? I don’t know how many years you’ve been working in law, but I can guarantee that burnout will happen at some point even if you really like your job. When (not if) that happens, where will you and your marriage be?

      There is a giant elephant in the room that needs to be addressed: What do you want from the marriage? What does your DH want? And are your needs compatible at all? I have to say, this doesn’t sound like a great situation from your DH’s standpoint and I’d be feeling unimportant, too.

      Assuming you want to stay in this marriage, the desire to nurture it needs to be at least as high on your priority list as your job. Do you guys have special rituals for just the two of you? Make plans together? Stay home long enough to allow for spontaneous fun? Share a hobby? Are you actively engaging with your DH when you’re at home, or are you mentally checked out? Do you try to connect with your DH at all during the day, even if it’s just a short email to see how he’s doing? Do you make a point of acknowledging all the stuff he probably does to keep your home lives running while you’re working? For concrete suggestions, I’d start there.

    • Honestly, though, if you had to choose between him and your career, which would you choose? What if he what he needs in a marriage is someone who makes the relationship the top priority, who’s available for evening hobbies (together) and for lazy Saturdays, who leaves work at work, and who sees a job as just a job? That’s a fair position to have and lots of people feel that way. What if that’s who he is? If he said that this is what he needs, would you be willing to provide it? Or is that not who you are? You may be someone who needs a career and not just a job, who needs lots of room to do your own thing, and who wants a marriage that requires intense interaction a few hours a week but is fine if you go a few evenings every week without really interacting. If that’s who you are and that’s the marriage you need, then that’s the marriage you need. I was in BigLaw when I met my husband. I was becoming disenchanted with it anyway at the time but there are things about it I miss and I’ve considered making my way back there. What I’ve realized, however, is that I could never have the marriage I have if I were in BigLaw. My husband needs more of me than that. So for me I know that having my marriage means having a career that never requires more than X of me (time, attention, energy, focus) because I wouldn’t have enough left over for what my husband needs. It’s okay. I would love to have the all-consuming career again, but I would rather have the marriage I have than have that careeer. That’s not to say that my choice works for everyone, but there is sometimes a choice and you can make it or have it made for you (which is so, so hard to come to terms with — believe me, my choice was not one I made effortlessly). You pulled a bit of a bait and switch on him. He didn’t marry you knowing that this would be what your life together would be. It’s okay that this is where you are now, but you might need to let him go to make the choice he needs to make if this is the choice you’re making.

    • Some thoughts –
      : You won’t always be in the sweet spot of being excited by your work over the course of a career or a marriage – there will be ups and downs, two partners in a marriage will have their ups and downs at different times and it only makes sense to enjoy the ups while they happen. Yes, for now you may feel more defined by your career than by your marriage, but that wasn’t the case in your more ‘fallow’ period before law school, and it isn’t likely to be the case throughout your life together (or your professional life for that matter).
      Gently remind your husband of this and ask him to bear with you for a while longer – a year of career-building isn’t that long in the context of a lifetime together after all. But be prepared to walk the talk – be honest enough with yourself to recognise that you aren’t living up to a real partnership if the situation is still unchanged in a couple of years.
      : What do you do after hours ? Can you make sure that as much of it includes your husband as possible ? When I was working extreme hours, I pretty much dropped everything that wasn’t work, husband and immediate family – no friends, no weekend activity, no social stuff unless there were clients involved. No need to do the same but you may have to jettison some private time (facials, shopping, girlfriends ?) to balance things out with your hubby.

    • A few thoughts. One, this isn’t all or nothing. Framing it as “I have to stop taking high profile cases, come home at 5 every day, and never work weekends in order to spend time with my husband!” is an exaggeration. You just have to choose to come home at 6 sometimes and not work the full weekend sometimes. Choose your husband first some of the time. You do it because it’s meaningful to him, and sometimes that’s more important than doing what you prefer.

      Second, you say you’re a relatively new lawyer. (a) You’re at a point in your career where you’re supposed to be sucking up as much knowledge/experience as you can. That requires putting in hours, which you’re doing. It might help your husband if he knows that this is temporary, and that at some point, your hours will hopefully be more under control. But I don’t mean temporary like, next month this is all over. I mean temporary as in, two years from now. It’s just something Team Mr. & Mrs. Career vs Marriage have to get through. (b) I’m glad you are taking so much joy in your job. The shine of “high profile cases” and working long hours may wear off, though. It has for most lawyers I know, even those who still enjoy their jobs. Point being that it’s worthwhile to be cautious about constantly putting your husband in second place based on your current feelings about your career.

      Third, I’m toooooooootally with your husband on getting upset when you’re like, “Well, tell me how much time you need me to spend with you!” He needs and deserves validation that you value him and spending time together. Hard to get that when you’re reduced to an Outlook calendar item. Are you still doing the surprise/spontaneity stuff to make him feel cared about? Eg, stop by the grocery store on your way home just to pick up a sixer of his favorite beer (wine/comfort food/snack/etc.), give him a card for no reason just to say you’re thinking about him, sneak goofy notes into his wallet or his lunch, surprise him with tickets for the two of you to go see that band/movie/team that he digs. Or something less glamorous like taking his car to get washed/detailed one Saturday a.m. while he’s still sleeping. Etc. Are you still dating your husband? Cuz that might help, too.

      On the bright side, you have a job you love and a hubs you love and who loves you. That’s pretty good.

    • Career vs Marriage :

      Wow, everyone. Thanks for all the extremely thoughtful responses. And for the reminder that I might not feel the way I feel right now forever and ever.

  16. Also, I would be totally insulted if my (again, hypthetical) husband asked me how much time I “needed” to essentially stop nagging him to spend time with me. Your husband’s right- you should want to spend time with him. It’s one thing to schedule quality time, which is totally normal and good. It’s quite another to ask for a quota, as if spending time with him were a chore. Not to mention, it emphasizes the off-balance nature of the relationship.

  17. Honey Pillows :

    It’s a drizzly, grey day here in DC with just a little bit of breeze and temps around the 70′s -perfect weather in my opinion.

    When it rains, I immediately want to pull on the comfiest pants I own with a huge, floppy cardigan or a flannel shirt, but that’s not very fashionable/work-appropriate. My next response is to wear a really cute skirt and fitted blazer, but then my legs get cold, and my nice clothes get wet, and my magenta rainboots boots with roosters printed on them look ridiculous (a gift from my mother).

    What’s a good rainy day work outfit?

    • I’m wearing cigarette pants and a purple scoop-neck sweater (as close to leggings and a tunic sweater as I can get at work). I think my polka dot rainboots look ridiculous in the very best way, but I changed into pumps at the office…

    • 2/3 attorney :

      I don’t know the answer, but second the question!

    • Seeing as I am currently sitting in my house in the DC suburbs in a comfy maxi skirt and my favorite sweatshirt, I may not be in the best position to give suggestions – ha!

      But a good rainy day work outfit for me would be one of my BR stretchy, comfy pencil skirts (it was featured here once), a fitted, light sweater in a comfy material, a colorful scarf, and my magenta Wellies :) I get chilled easily, so I’d probably throw on my cream colored, knit pea coat as well.

      • Oops, read too fast and didn’t note your chilly leg concerns. My Wellies come up high enough that there is not much space between the bottom of my skirt and the top of my boots, so a skirt would work for me :/

    • I’m wearing a black dress with bare legs. I like wearing a dress on a rainy day because I hate when the hem of my pants gets wet. Once it gets cold enough to need tights, though, it doesn’t really matter because wet tights are as bad as wet pants (although I guess they dry faster). I carry a brightly-colored umbrella, because gloomy weather plus gloomy colors makes me gloomy too.

    • phillygirlruns :

      i always wear dresses or skirts when it rains – even if it gets a little chilly, it’s easier to pair skirts with rain boots, and far easier to wait for bare legs or tights to dry than it is to wait for pants to dry.

      • Same here. My legs dry faster than pants would. Plus, I don’t have to worry about hems dragging/can wear wellies if needed. If it’s chilly, I’ll wear tights and bring a backup pair to change into if I really can’t wait for them to dry on their own.

    • Just a bit of breeze? Tornado watch has been announced for the entire metro area!
      I also prefer a dress for wet weather.

      • Oh, no. Before I left for work, my husband wanted to bet me whether or not we would have power tonight. At least it’s cooler outside, if we have to go without a/c for a while.

      • Honey Pillows :

        Man, I should really check the weather more often. It was just pleasantly breezy when I left for work.

  18. Insurance help? :

    Does anyone have any tips on buying health insurance? My husband and I will both be working temporary jobs that don’t come with insurance for probably the next two years. I’ve always had employer-provided insurance and am totally lost.

    • What state are you in? Does your state have a minimal coverage requirement? (MA does) Does your state have a health insurance exchange? (UT, MA, NH? CT? do)

      Things to consider/research:
      - any major medical conditions that may impact your ability to get coverage (pre-existing conditions)?
      - any ongoing medical issues (allergies, whatever) that would require a known amount of medical care per year?
      - how often do you use your coverage today?
      - any chance you’ll get pregnant?
      - would you prefer a lower monthly payment with a higher deductible, or a higher monthly payment with lower deductible?
      - do you have enough cash set aside that you could fund a sizable medical bill out of pocket? Are you willing to take on that risk? [not talking catastrophic, because most plans will cover that, but more like unexpected procedure- like a broken jaw etc.]
      - do you have doctors you are attached to? [look at networks]

      All your answers will impact your plan choices.

    • Most of the major providers (Blue Cross/Blue Shield, others will depend on your region) will have individual plans. Some will be catastrophic plans (high deductible, but low monthly cost) and some will have HSA eligible High Deductible Health Plans (usually a little more expensive because there have certain coverage requirements). So, take the above list and see what works for you.

    • I used eHealthInsurance (dot) com to find my policies. I was happy with my experience. I had a pre-existing condition, so I had to fill out some additional forms, but it didn’t end up affecting my ability to get coverage.

      I wanted something that would allow some mental health coverage and good prescription coverage. You are able to browse all of the different options on the website and they also have representatives who can guide you through the process over the phone if you prefer.

    • Also, it is important to maintain coverage at this point, while you’re looking for individual policies. That way you can’t be denied for a pre- existing condition, because you’re currently covered.

      If you take routine medicines, look at the costs for brand name drugs, not just generics

    • Insurance help? :

      Whew! Thanks so much. That’s a lot to think about, but exactly what I needed to hear. I didn’t even know where to start. It’s just me and my husband, no kids, and no plans to have any. We’re both in good health – I have mild hypertension controlled with medication, and we both need glasses and contacts, but it’s otherwise just routine maintenance at this point (knock on wood). Hopefully I can find something that won’t totally bankrupt us . . . .

      • I’m not sure it will be comparable, but with a pre-existing condition (anxiety treatment) I am paying $183 per month for an Anthem plan. This includes three doctor’s office visits at a copay of $35, then I am responsible for a deductible of $750, then 30%. I opted for a better prescription plan ($5 extra a month), and my scripts are $15 for non-specialty (although generics are cheaper). I am responsible for 30% of emergency services, diagnostic tests, etc.

        I was hoping to only have to use this plan for 6 months, and I don’t go to the doctor very often. Plus I have an existing PA that will do phone consults with me to determine whether I really need to be seen.

    • Do you or your family have an insurance broker you can trust? When my husband and I were in a position where neither of us had healthcare coverage, we talked to our insurance broker–the same woman who helped us find policies for our car and house–and she helped us find health insurance by reviewing several plans from different companies with us. We were both young and healthy and did not have to go to the doctor for any conditions, so we chose a very high deductible catastrophic plan. Essentially, this meant that we covered everything out of pocket and only had the insurance to cover a catastrophic medical event. It was our “if one of us gets hit by a bus” coverage. It was helpful to discuss our options with the broker, so maybe you can find one in your state.

      • I second this. When I needed insurance between jobs when I was younger, we went to my parents’ All State agent and they helped us go through some options and got me on a temporary plan. There are definitely options out there that are not going to bankrupt you. And it definitely depends on the state, some states have their own versions of universal insurance or insurance for self-employed/unemployed people, so make sure you talk to someone familiar with your state.

    • Check to see if your alumni association(s) offer any group plans that you can join.

    • Honey Pillows :

      Related: All the independent health insurance plans I’m looking at list contraceptives under their exclusions. ALL of them. Including BlueCross BlueShield, Aetna, etc.

      Is this still legal? I thought the August 1st law went into effect and required coverage for that!

      • anonforthis :

        Some plans are August 1st, others are January. I can’t remember the difference. Might want to call BC/BS to be sure. I have an individual Anthem plan (a local BC/BS affiliate) and when I went to pick up my pills last month I didn’t have to pay and it totally caught me by surprise.

    • I’ve also read that you can join freelancer unions in order to jump on their plan. I would try to google around that–you essentially get a group rate for a single policy. Good luck!

  19. 2/3 attorney :

    So here’s a job-huntin question. I worked at a firm the last two summers. I previously asked about how to negotiate if they made an offer. Well, they didn’t make a formal offer. It’s a small firm in a small market, in a notoriously informal state/region (southwest). When I left at the end of the summer, the parter I worked the most with (and my favorite) kept saying things like, “We’re really going to miss you around here,” and “We’re trying to figure out how to keep you/get you back.” Finally, after weeks of this, on my last day, I said, “You’re talking in riddles, what do you really mean?” And he said he had never had this kind of conversation with a summer before, but he thought I might enjoy clerking for a year (with the implied…and then come back). Well, I don’t want to clerk. It sounds awful to me. I did not apply for clerkships and now that door has closed. However, other job opportunities that I am pursuing are not panning out yet, and I’m getting (possibly prematurely) worried.

    So my question is, how could I swing this pseudo-offer situation into an actual offer and acceptance for a position after taking the bar? Any advice would be appreciated.

    • Is his concern that you need a year off to study for/take/pass the bar? And/or that he doesn’t want to hire you until you’ve passed the bar?

      What have other summers done (since he has never had that conversation before…)?

      • 2/3 attorney :

        No I don’t think that’s it. I think they all clerked out of school and it seems like the thing to do. All of the partners, independently, tried to talk me into it. He, the parter I’m talking about, is the only one that told me not to do it if I didn’t really want to.

        It’s a pretty old firm (both in that the firm has been around for 60+ years and that the partners are all near or past retirement age) and doesn’t usually hire young associates. I also got the impression that they had never had a summer before that they would have actually hired (not to toot my own horn, but, toot).

    • I was in a very similar situation when I left my summer job before 3L year. They told me they weren’t sure if they could hire me due to the economy, etc., but that they hoped they could. I didn’t hear from them for two months until I emailed the head partner and asked if I could use his name as a reference for a position. I think he was given the jolt that he needed when the hiring manager at the other firm called him to inquire about me. Have you already used him as a reference?

    • Sorry for giving the unhelpful answer, but why don’t you want to clerk? There are not a lot of things about clerking that choosing the right court/judge can’t fix, and there are a lot of judges out there. Also, for the record (for you and also for the recent commenter lamenting her lack of clerkship interviews), I was still searching for clerkships in January of my 3L year (after getting just one interview from my pre-September 300+ massmail), and I was finally offered 2 great positions on the same day and accepted a state supreme court clerkship. In other words, it’s really, really not too late. It sounds like you’ve heard it all before, but they’re a great way to gain a prestigious credential, get to know a judge, and learn more about current case law. Especially if you’re starting to freak out a little, I’d ask whether there’s any flexibility in your decision not to apply to judges. It sounds like that would give you the credentials that this firm feels like you “need” before they can give you an offer. If they’ve made a habit of not hiring brand new attorneys, I’m not sure there’s any good way to convince them that they should change for you, unfortunately. It sounds like you’ve likely done all you can by being an awesome summer!

      • Honey Pillows :

        Didn’t 2/3 attorney finish law school, and move to DC? I was under the impression she had a position here.

        • 2/3 attorney :

          Aw, you remember me! I am in my third year of law school and doing an internship for credit in DC for the semester.

          • Honey Pillows :

            Ha, I was wondering when you were going to change your handle to 3/3 attorney to signify you’d finished!

      • 2/3 attorney :

        I think it seems too academic – I am not one of those people who loves/d law school. It sounds like I would just be sitting at my desk all day, not talking to anyone but myself, with my head just buried in casebooks. Sounds lonely.

        I can’t say with 100% certainty that if a clerkship position came across my path right now, that I wouldn’t apply for it. At least it would give me another year to figure out what I really want to do (but that’s another can of worms). Although, if the problem is solveable by finding the right judge, but I am limited in my options due to the late timing, I don’t see how I will have much choice about the “right one.”

        • My appellate clerkship was a lot like that, but my understanding of trial court clerkships is that they don’t have the same kind of academic feel. Also, I disliked law school (1L was terrible, 2L/3L were somewhat better when I could pick my classes) and loved my clerkship. It was so refreshing to actually apply the law to real people and real problems, not ridiculous law school casebook cases, and to think about where the law is and where it should be going.

          I would highly encourage you keep clerkships in mind, especially since it sounds like this firm won’t hire without a clerkship. If they like you and encourage you to clerk so you can come back to them, ask them if they have any connections to judges. See if they’ll make calls for you or know of any positions that are open. They’re telling you what they want, and it sounds like they’d like to help you get there.

        • My federal district clerkship wasone of the most challenging, enjoyable times of my career. I loved my judge, young and very smart, loved the cases he heard, and loved learning more about how to practice law well. I cannot say enough good things about it. For most judges, I do not think that it is sitting in the office all day. I saw more trials than any first year associate could hope to see working for a firm. I saw excellent attorneys, read motions and briefs and figured out how REALLY to write them.

          I waited til the last year to decide I wanted to clerk and lucked up and got a job with a newly appointed federal judge. It is probably not too late to apply.

          It sounds to me as if the firm wants you to clerk or maybe just wants all its attorneys to have clerked.

    • AnonInfinity :

      There might not be much you can do other than keep in touch with the firm and hope for the best. Maybe try to keep in touch this year (periodic email updates if that wouldn’t be weird, saying congrats if you see that the firm has a big victory in a state trial or appellate court) and then call or email right after the bar exam and ask if they’re in a position to hire an associate.

      Unfortunately, I know a lot of people this happened to from my class. They summered at smaller firms for a long time and then the firm was just unable to hire them once they became attorneys. Luckily, it worked out because the smaller firm was able and willing to give great recommendations. I say this to say you should keep looking and cast a wide net.

      Re: clerkships. You don’t seem to be questioning your decision, but I want to add that I also didn’t apply for clerkships because it just did not appeal to me at all. I know it’s different for different judges, but the nature of the job is just different from litigation (I like picking a side and arguing for it). I am one of the 2-3 people in my entire firm who didn’t do a clerkship, and I haven’t looked back. I don’t regret it one bit at all, and it hasn’t held me back in any way.

    • new york associate :

      Is it a prestige thing? Some small firms will only hire people with clerkships under their belts — it’s just a tacit requirement.

      Assuming that clerking is really off the table for you, I think your only bet is to call the partner and say:

      Dear Bob,

      After seriously considering your advice about clerkships, I’ve concluded that it’s not the right fit for me at this time. At this point, I’m exploring other opportunities for post-graduation employment. Would you be willing to serve as a reference/talk through other firms/discuss other opportunities with me? Of course, if there’s an opportunity at your firm, that would be my first choice – I so enjoyed working with you the last two summers. But if not, I would appreciate any guidance you might have for next steps.

      Sincerely,
      2/3 Attorney

      How would you feel about that?

      • 2/3 attorney :

        Thank you, that seems like a good way of putting it. He was extremely helpful while I was searching for my internship position (I am interning for credit this semester, yes, instead of classes) and was a wonderful reference, so it wouldn’t be surprising to ask him that. Throwing in the line about the firm being my first choice is great.

    • I’m from roughly the same place as you, although I don’t practice there. I’d get in contact, tell him you didn’t get a clerkship (no need to mention you didn’t apply), that you’d be very interested in working for the firm after you take the bar, and that you wanted to see if they anticipated hiring an associate. It’s fine to be direct about it.

      It may be that he mentioned clerking because they know they can’t afford to hire an associate for next fall, or it may just be than he thought it would be a good experience for you but they’d be happy to hire you anyway. Don’t work yourself up too much about this until you know for sure.

  20. Alright smart ladies, I need help. I started a new job a few months ago and I am pretty much ready to tear my hair out. Since bald isn’t my thing, I need to start looking, but the type of org I work at could rub some people the wrong way (examples include, religious, thinktanks, unions, uber political etc). I’m looking 60% bc job functions and 40% culture. I’m afraid putting the org on my resume will get it tossed in the garbage by some, but I have to list it or else it will look like I’m unemployed. Thoughts? I’m half tempted to just list it as confidential and half tempted to just own it. Any advice is greatly appreciated.

    • 2L (formerly 1L) :

      Is there a way you can list it as “Political Party” or “Health Lobby Group” without revealing that it’s “Christ!ans R Us” or “Abort!ons Always?” I kid with the names, obviously, but is there a way to de-politicize while still stating your responsibilities?

    • Are you looking for a field and/or ideology change? In other words, in the jobs you’re applying for, will your credentials really make you seem like a wackadoo, or will you blend in with all the other wackadoos applying? :)

      I’d be really, really reluctant to either leave off a job or to list it as “confidential.” Especially the latter, but I don’t have enough experience with that kind of thing to know whether it would send off the kind of alarm bells for employers that it would for me. It will definitely call more attention to the position, though, which sounds like the opposite of what you want. Maybe try structuring your resume in a way that minimizes the ideologue-aspects of the job? For example, instead of listing positions on your resume this way:

      I Hate Puppies, Inc.
      Teapot Maker, May 2012-Present
      -Make teapots for anti-puppy campaigns

      List it this way:
      Teapot Maker, May 2012 – Present – – I Hate Puppies, Inc.
      -Handcraft teapots for public campaign

      Not sure how clear that is, but I’m thinking that you may be able to minimize association with the organization if you can confine its presence on your resume? Keep ideological things out of the job descriptions as much as possible, focusing on what skills you have demonstrated that will appeal to someone who is against everything your org stands for?

      On the other hand (and it doesn’t sound like this is the case, but who knows), if you are committed to the ideology of the org, maybe you can think about it in this way: if they don’t want you because you worked for I Hate Puppies, Inc., you’re probably better off not working for them anyway?

      • In my second resume example, I intended to have “I Hate Puppies” right-justified. I stuck the dashes in to see if that would do it, but had a suspicion it would not. Sigh. You get the idea.

    • List the bolded job title above the non-bolded organization name, in order to draw the eye to what you do and not where you work?

      Office Gopher May–July 2012
      Rick Santorum should be President for Life, LLC

    • How extreme is the org? I’ve worked a lot of political jobs but now in a non-advocacy role and haven’t had an issue with my resume.

      Are you trying to go from working for the ACLU to being the Kock brother’s corporate counsel? Unless its something like that, I would just keep the tasks really neutral and focus on your work product. Finally, maybe include something in your interests to “balance” your “extreme” resume? ie if you work for planned parenthood and are now applying for a catholic charities position maybe include how you are also a sunday school teacher?

      • ugh, typo not intend koch brothers…

        sorry, typing from phone

        • Love that your typo didn’t get moderated, though.

          From now on, I’m going to ask for recs on Kocktail dresses. :-)

          • The kocktail dress comment made me laugh for 5 minutes out loud. A coworker just poked his head in to check on whether i was ok.

    • Thanks ladies! Not extreme at all and my job doesn’t deal with any of the things that would likely offend people. I like the idea of putting titles first and all other formatting advice. I will tweak appropriately.

      I’m looking for something similar to what I’m supposed to be doing now (minus the culture issues). The job unfortunately isn’t allowing me to do those and instead I end up with all the free time in the world (perhaps the reasons my posting has increased 100x). Do you think I should also list the prescribed job functions (which aren’t offensive at all)? I get to do those things minimally, but I describe the position and org as not a good fit in my cover letter. I don’t want people to just look at the resume and be like oh she hates making teapots, but she’s applying for a job where making teapots is slightly relevant.

      I love the company names by the way. Pretty much awesome.

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