Wednesday’s TPS Report: Colorblock Scuba Knit Sheath Dress

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

Maggy London Colorblock Scuba Knit Sheath DressI’m normally not a fan of beige for dresses (not my color) — but I’m loving the beige/black/white colorblocking here, which looks flattering and interesting. In terms of outfits, because beige is really not my color, I would probably focus on adding something else to frame my face that IS a more flattering color — a strand of pearls or a colorful statement necklace (perhaps in blue or even red). The dress $108 at Nordstrom in sizes 2-16. Maggy London Colorblock Scuba Knit Sheath Dress

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Comments

  1. cute dress. now for an immediate TJ…

    NYC people: is there a default presumption for the quality of title to be conveyed? (if it’s not specified in the contract?)

    • Is this a bar exam question? Your answer is probably “marketable title”

      If this is a RE question, talk to your title insurer. It probably won’t insure a quitclaim deed but wants a general warranty deed. Otherwise, look at your forms — what is the seller obligated to do? If you’ve used any standard forms, I’d be shocked if it isn’t in there somewhere.

      • Thank you! It’s a RE question and unfortunately it’s not on a standard form and there is no obligation other than to “convey.” meh

        • If there is a lender involved, it probably won’t lend on property for which you don’t have title insurance. If it isn’t in your RE forms, I’d have a look at any financing forms.

  2. “Seen a great piece you’d like to recommend?”

    Is it me or is that just terrible grammar?

    • (Have you) seen a great piece (that) you (would) like to recommend?
      I think you can give Kat a pass here. It’s informal and conversational. We all know what the question is.

  3. Ms. Basil E. Frankweiler :

    What is this “scuba” fabric? I’ve been seeing it everywhere and can’t quite figure it out. Also, is it going to be very form fitting?

    • I have some scuba fabric pants from Loft. I think they are pretty similar to my ponte pieces, just slightly thicker.

      • I’ve seen some pieces that are like a thick ponte, and others that are a neoprene like material (so, literally like a wetsuit). They tend to be pretty form fitting, but sizing up is an option if you’d like a looser fit.

    • I suspect so. The fabric blend is polyester and spandex. Add in the “scuba” description and the zipper (which I hate) and this dress doesn’t strike me as something I would want to wear to work. The whole strikes as potentially just looking cheap in real life.

  4. Beige is a tough one. I’m pretty pasty and am wearing a lovely beige and coral summer dress today and look like death warmed over. I think I need my hair down to delineate between my dress and skin? Or to pass along this dress to a darker skinned friend who’ll find it more flattering?

    • I like wearing beige, it is a good neutral on me, but it has to be the right one. Anything too yellow toned and I look sallow.
      Do you have any coral or teal necklaces that would go with your dress? Even brown or black might help.

    • Yeah I think the dress is pretty on the model, but I don’t think I could wear these colors/neutrals. Coral is a good color for me, but not beige. I’m also really pale. I’m wearing a dress today that’s a kind of smudged paisley (as if it’s underwater) in light purple and white with black and sort of gold. I think what makes it look better on me is the lavender cardigan. I know that there are some clothing items I have that just light me up (in a good way). Others look good but don’t have that effect. Only you can decide if this doesn’t meet the criteria.

      • I read once that coral looks good on everyone because it’s the color of blush, so it brightens up your face. I haven’t studied this extensively, but it seems legit to me, and I’ve never seen anyone not look good in coral.

        • You’ve never seen me in coral, then. Which makes sense, since I don’t wear it. It truly makes me look green. I have pale olive skin with a tendency to flush purple-red. Coral – any orange, really – looks hideous on me.

          • Interesting. Maybe a better way to put it is that everyone looks good in clothes the color of their blush (if they wear it).

    • I’ve given up on beige for this reason. The one exception is warmer neutrals like camel.

      I just received these shoes from Boden and absolutely love them: http://www.bodenusa.com/en-US/Womens-Shoes-Boots/Heels/AR567-BLU/Womens-Bright-Blue-Pointed-Mary-Janes.html?NavGroupID=11
      I received 3 compliments this morning and they are uber comfortable.

    • Equity's Darling :

      I’m a bit lighter than the model…but I think this dress would still look awesome on me. I’m debating ordering it, though I’m on the fence about the material (ponte doesn’t look great on me), and how deep the V is, because I need to wear a camisole under J.Crew’s memo dress to make sure it’s not indecent for work, and I just don’t know where this one would hit.

      Plus, cross-border returns are a pain, I can’t wait until fall 2014 and my sweet sweet Nordstroms to open up.

    • I think I’ve mentioned this before, but I don’t think I’d know if a color looks bad on me? I don’t even know what skin tone I am – I’m a white person with medium dark brown hair, brown-green eyes, and I both burn and tan. I’m actually fairly dark right now.

      • Let me introduce you to my mother-in-law – she tells me all the time if a color looks good on me or not (seriously – at a hospital visiting a critically ill family member; at a funeral, etc.), so I bet she would do the same for you…

        • Haha, that just might work! Let me take her off your hands for an afternoon.

          • Notalawyer :

            Do you look better in brown or black? In white or in cream?

            If black and white, stick with cooler shades. If cream and brown, then choose warmer shades.

  5. Can someone please help calm me down? (If you’re sick of fertility/baby posts, please skip.) I didn’t totally understand my nurse’s instructions on when to stop drinking during IVF. We had this big 3 hour class with four other couples, and it included absolutely everything, including demonstrations of every type of drug we might possibly encounter, how to do the injections with each drug (meaning some instructions that wouldn’t be applicable), and detailed day-of instructions for retrieval and transfer. I think we assumed that, since the nurse would be calling daily with that day’s instructions, the instructions would include things like “okay, now that you’re starting X, this is when you should stop all alcohol and cut caffeine back to 200mg/day” or whatever. But that didn’t happen. So I only sort of figured out through a friend that I probably wasn’t supposed to be drinking anymore about two days before retrieval. No one ever said that Mr. maybe shouldn’t be drinking. (We don’t drink a ton, but I like a glass of wine in the evening and I might have 2 and he might have 3 if we’re out with friends.) Now I’m convinced that we’ve wrecked our chances (and a 30% chance is already pretty slim). I realize there is nothing I can do right now and we’ll just have to see how this works out. But I’m having trouble not freaking out. I keep looking for articles with more data and trying to figure out just how much we screwed up. (Frankly, I could do without the “data are inconclusive, but since cutting back on alcohol is healthy for everyone, we recommend you do it.” There are a ton of things that are healthy, buddy, that I’m still not going to do perfectly consistently every single day. Give me data and stats so I can make an informed decision like a rational grown-up and spare me the sermonizing about healthy lifestyle. Thanks.)

    • If NO BOOZE NO WAY was essential to the success of your IVF, then the doctor, nurse, class instructor, etc would have made that abundantly clear to you in all caps.

      I understand why you are freaking out, but I don’t think you need to be (and this comes from a fellow freaker-outer). Deep breaths.

      My recommendation is that you stop googling this :), grab a friend if you can and take a quick walk to a coffee shop to clear your head, and plan something fun for tonight so you aren’t tempted to go back to Dr. Google. A new restaurant, a great yoga class…whatever suits you.

      I think priority #1 right now is to take care of you. So do whatever you can to put this out of your mind and focus on what you can control, which is your state of mind.

    • Sydney Bristow :

      Could you call your nurse or doctor and ask? I’m sorry you are going through all this stress!

      • +1. Call and ask for clear instructions based on your particular meds/situation. Asking for clarification is not a big deal to a good office and I’m sure it will make you feel tons better.

    • Deep breaths. Based on my experiences with IVF, I don’t think you’ve done anything irrevocably wrong. Like you’ve already pointed out, they generally encourage you to adopt a “healthy” lifestyle throughout the process (e.g., no smoking, limited caffeine, limited alcohol), but I never had anyone tell me that drinking coffee or alcohol would completely devastate my chances of IVF working. I’d call your nurse or doctor just to let them know — I’m sure they’ll tell you it’s all fine and that there’s no reason not to go forward at this point. Best of luck!

    • I am not intending to sound rude, although this may be harsh. I will also preface by saying that I have no experience with and limited knowledge of the IVF process. However, having read many of your posts regarding infertility, I do know this is important to you. I don’t understand why you would choose to have even a sporadic or occasional drink during the process if there was any chance that it wasn’t good for the odds. I certainly understand the desire to have a glass of wine or beer. I like wine and beer, too. But, under these circumstances, I would think that total abstention for a month or two/three would be a minuscule sacrifice to get a positive result.

      This is not going to help you feel better, and you are right that there’s nothing you can do about it at this point, but in the event that you have another shot at this, why not consider you and your husband going booze free for a couple of weeks or months?

      • You are right. This isn’t helpful, and you have no idea what you are talking about. She clearly stated that she was given a ton of instructions in a blur, and she didn’t understand that an occasional drink would affect the odds. She didn’t make a conscious choice to put alcohol ahead of her chances at conceiving. No one paying thousands of dollars and giving themselves 20 shots in the stomach would do that.

        OP–I should have added to my other post. In my SECOND round of IVF–so I’ve been through it before, with the same drugs and same protocol, successfully–I totally misunderstood the drug/dosage schedule and only took one of the drugs I was supposed to be taking each day. I had to stop that cycle, induce a period, and start over. That, from someone who had been through it before and been taught how to do it twice! It’s completely complicated and stressful and quite frankly just have the attitude of “screw you” to anyone who tries to make you feel bad for missing an instruction (that my clinic didn’t even care about).

        • Agreed!

        • +1

          Going through infertility treatment is incredibly stressful without anyone piling on about any decision made in the process. Also, by the time a couple is in infertility treatments, its not just “a couple of weeks” but potentially years that you have been trying to get pregnant, potentially foregoing alcohol and any other number of normal activities. Couples going through this deserve hugs, love and no judgment (and yes, the occasional glass of wine).

        • I don’t know. Even the not understanding instructions thing. I would have asked for clarification. If it is indeed that complicated I would want to have a pretty good handle on understanding each step and the timing of when I could and could not or should and should not do things. I get that its complicated and I’m not trying to make anyone feel bad for missing an instruction. But I do wonder if because the instructions are so complicated that it wouldn’t be better to not even mess around with possibly screwing up the timing and just abstain from drinking for a period of time.

          I wasn’t sure what the original question even was. It seems like what’s done is done. Reassurance is great, but when its anecdotal or not based on actual medical science, its pretty useless, too.

          • You have absolutely no idea what you would do in that situation. Period. You have never been in it. God willing, you never will be in it. But I assure you, after years of infertility, tons of tests, and in the middle of shooting yourself up daily with multiple, heavy-duty hormones, even the best of us forget to dot an I or cross a T. And until you have been there, you really have no business making any kind of judgment about it at all. So, don’t tell us that you “would have asked for clarification.” Because the you that “would have asked for clarification” is not the same you that would actually be in that situation. You don’t “get” anything at all about the process. So I really, really don’t understand why you feel compelled to give your extraordinarily uneducated opinion. It’s like me opining on what I “would do” if I were diagnosed with cancer tomorrow. I don’t have the slightest effing clue what I would do until I’ve been in that situation. Apparently, I’m mature enough to understand that, but you feel like you would handle all unknown situations perfectly. I hope you never find out how wrong you likely are.

          • Wow, you must be perfect.

          • Clearly someone p*ssed in your cheerios this morning. Jesus.

          • I’m sorry, did I miss the “medical science” part of your advice? It must be hidden under all that judgment and condescension.

          • MaggieLizer :

            Idk the first thing about IVF, but I have a few very good friends who have been TTC for a long time and if I were going through the kind of stress, heartache, and (totally undeserved) sense of failure they’re experiencing, I think I’d be sloshed every night. I’m frankly impressed by anyone who can keep it to only a glass or two of wine.

          • Anonymous, I get what you mean that reassurance based on anecdotes is useless. My husband has that mindset. But you’re also right that what’s done is done. I understand that you, from a distance, know exactly how you’d respond. I’ll admit to having the same gut reactions when I hear of, for example, women not forcefully telling a guy “no” or not leaving an abusive relationship. I also, though, have learned that (1) people’s reactions in the moment are often very different from what their rational brains would have done with some time to reflect; and (2) humans are by nature not totally rational beasts. I like to think I give people the benefit of the doubt and, even if my emotional reaction is “why did that person do that stupid thing instead of the smart thing I would do,” I try not to vocalize that and instead take the time to step back and examine what assumptions I’m making. I often judge other people and think I’d be smarter in their shoes. But I try to consciously stop and say “okay, let’s assume this is a perfectly smart rational person who still did this thing — can I understand why and where they’re coming from?” I don’t do it reflexively yet, but it’s something I’m working toward. So what’s done is done. I should have asked for more clarification at the time and not assumed the nurse would give me the instructions in more detail later. I was also embarassed to ask questions in a roomful of people. Not rational or in my best interest, but a common foible.

            As for useless reassurances, you and my husband may find them completely not helpful. I do find them helpful. I’m not asking anyone to say “Oh, go ahead and keep drinking, it’s fine!” I’m just saying “I think I screwed up and I know obsessing over it isn’t productive so please help with the obsessing.” For me, reassurances help stop the obsessing. They wouldn’t help you. But they help me. Let me have the things that help me and don’t cost you.

      • Wow.

      • Agreeing that this isn’t helpful and because IVF takes over your life totally and completely (I haven’t gone through it personally, but have many close friends and family that have), I can absolutely understand wanting a glass of wine because 1) it’s a nice, relaxing, normal thing to do and 2) going through IVF, I’ll bet the relaxation from a glass of wine is helpful.

        As for you, TBK, I wouldn’t be too worried. That 200 mg caffeine is what they tell pregnant women to limit themselves to, which makes me think the recommendation is simply in place in case you get pregnant.

        Have you gotten “drunk” from any of the wine you’ve had? If you’re just having 1-2 glasses over the course of a night, (which, heck, I’ve had a glass and half while pregnant this time), I can’t imagine you’ve wrecked your chances. Big hugs and good luck to you.

        • Find other ways to relax :

          I would like to humbly assert that there are better ways to relax than alcohol. Try yoga. Try meditation. Try taking a walk in your neighborhood. If a glass of wine is the only or best thing that relaxes you, there are other problems.

          • Not sure I agree with this. There’s nothing inherently wrong with relaxing with 1-2 glasses of wine, and personally, I hate exercise. I don’t think that this is a problem.

          • Nobody claimed that wine was the only thing that relaxed them. Even if a glass of wine relaxes you, that is not a sign of a problem.

          • A bottle of wine is the best thing that relaxes me. Preferably a red while reading in the hot tub. I see no problems here.

          • I would like to humbly assert that every yoga class I’ve ever taken stresses me the eff out. I keep trying it because everyone recommends it and I’m always sure that this next class/instructor will be a good experience but it never is. I always leave frustrated and angry. I’m glad yoga works for you, but a glass of wine works for me. To each her own.

          • If you’re referring to me, having now been pregnant once and being in the end of the my third trimester now, I am not too worried about my ability to abstain from alcohol and relax without a glass of wine. As it is over 100 degrees most days and with ungodly humidity, I’ll pass on any outdoor activities for the foreseeable future.

          • Agreed. If you are undergoing some kind of treatment, be it IVF or prepping for surgery or anything else, and there is a possibility that alcohol might lower your chances at any stage of the process, why risk it at all and stress yourself out more by worrying if you missed the “cutoff” date?

            All of this vehement insistence on the idea that, because you like something, you’re entitled to have it, is a little strange to me. I would only want to go through IVF once, if I could help it, and I would think that just not doing anything at all to harm those chances would be the best course.

            Not helpful to the OP since it is already done, but it is a thought for the future. So you stop drinking for however long it takes…it’s not the end of the world.

          • I have never been though IVF, but I think JJ’s point that drinking wine may be a “nice, relaxing, normal thing to do” is a good one. From what I understand IVF is often a stressful, lengthy process can be all-consuming emotionally, and preserving one’s normal, everyday routine might help deal with the stress and uncertainty of the process.

            In other words, it’s not that just because someone likes something, they are entitled to have it. It’s that it may be helpful, emotionally, to live a normal, everyday life as much as possible, so that every waking thought isn’t about TTC. And if having a glass of wine in the evenings is part of normal, everyday life (as it is for me), why cut it out unnecessarily?

      • Blonde Lawyer :

        I don’t know TBK’s circumstances but it could also be that she just forgot! Alcohol is not a big part of my life. I don’t drink that often. So when I get put on a med that says “no booze” I don’t have the big “oh crap” moment and have it in the front of my mind. Consequently, I will get on a med that says “no booze,” totally forget, and have a bunch of drinks one random Saturday night. Likewise, my husband, who grew up overseas, ordered a beer in a restaurant our freshmen year of college, forgetting that it wasn’t legal for him to do that here. He was just in the habit of it and we were out for a nice dinner, so he ordered a drink.

        I think for people that drink now and again, rather than as a habit, are way more likely to forget about the alcohol ban. I even know a priest that accidentally took his beer with him in his car leaving a cookout and only a block down the road realized how bad and illegal it was. He hardly ever drank and one beer to him was like one soda.

        • Another thought on this, for those who suggest no alcohol completely while going through IVF or trying to conceive, from someone who hasn’t had the easiest time, is that it’s hard enough not being pregnant … but also abstaining from drinking, etc., makes it feel like you’re pretending to be pregnant, even though it’s painfully obvious you’re not, and that’s a difficult emotion to deal with. And that’s all aside from just wanting to enjoy a glass of wine after work.

    • I’ve been through two successful IVF cycles. It’s fine. I didn’t get instructions not to drink either time, although I did get instructions to avoid certain medications. On the second IVF, it was holiday season, and they specifically told me that a glass of wine at a party was fine. Take a deep breath. Call your doctor, get them to reassure you. I don’t think it will affect your cycle in any way. You’ve been seeing your doctor, monitoring the progress of the eggs, all looks well, right? Your eggs haven’t secretly turned into tiny pouches of merlot–just like the eggs of a woman who gets pregnant without IVF who is drinking during and around conception.

      Best of luck–I know it’s crazy stressful.

    • Our RE actually encouraged me to drink the occasional glass of wine for relaxation purposes until transfer. He said that alcohol has no impact until there is no embryo. You’re fine.

    • I have absolutely no knowledge in this area but just wanted to give you an enormous virtual hug as you go through this undoubtedly stressful and emotional process.

    • No personal experience, but I’ve been privy to some experiences and this is such a stressful, all consuming time because most things are out of your control. Good luck and I hope you get an answer from the office.

    • pregnancy rant :

      “(Frankly, I could do without the “data are inconclusive, but since cutting back on alcohol is healthy for everyone, we recommend you do it.” There are a ton of things that are healthy, buddy, that I’m still not going to do perfectly consistently every single day. Give me data and stats so I can make an informed decision like a rational grown-up and spare me the sermonizing about healthy lifestyle. Thanks.)”

      If you want the world to treat you like a rational person who is capable of examining data and making her own logical decisions, don’t become pregnant.

      For example. Every year, 1/17,500 (.0056%) pregnant women will contract listeria (I calculated based on the data on the CDC website). So basically, it ranks below dangers such as “being hit by a bus” and “getting sucked in by the riptide at the beach.” Any yet. And yet! Pregnant women are repeatedly condescended to and patronized about the “dangers” of sushi and deli meat and cautioned to avoid them AT ALL COST. No one tells you the stats or talks about risk vs. benefit or contemplates the fact that a quick sandwich or a fancy sushi dinner might be worth this .0056% chance of listeria. Nope. Once you’re pregnant the world thinks you’ve turned into a baby gestation vessel that has no personality, desires, or quality of life aside from baking that bun. You are a delicate, hysterical woman who has to be protected not only from the elements but also from your own self.

      /end rant.

      • pregnancy rant :

        I also meant to add: this is basically how I feel every single day. It’s really frustrating, as you can tell. People think they have the right to tell you what to do and not to do because of the baby, and cannot even fathom that the mother is also a person who has a life and likes to do things besides take care of a fetus. Also see: people who say that you should breastfeed because breastfeeding is “free.” It’s only “free” if you put no value on the mother’s time or her ability to be away from her child for more than 3 hours a time. But yeah, if you think that a woman’s time is worthless, and her job is to be next to her kid 24/7, then breastfeeding is “free.”

        It stems from the entire societal attitude that a woman’s place is in the home, all of her joy and fulfillment should come from taking care of her children, and she can’t possibly have any wishes or desires that conflict with the 100% well-being of her offspring. It’s ridiculous, it’s patriarchal, it’s condescending, and even “enlightened” men (like my husband, who am I beginning to think is not so enlightened) don’t get it.

        • Also in Academia :

          Agree 100%! Also, anyone who says that breastfeeding is free obviously hasn’t bought a pump or storage bags. Although I am glad I did it, I can’t say with any assurance that it is cheaper than formula — my body decided we were done with breastfeeding and my youngest is spending a few months on formula as he learns to eat solids, and I feel I am spending about the same on formula as I did on pump bags!

          • On pump bags and on food. I was hungrier while I was nursing than I ever was while pregnant.

          • On pumping supplies and for me, on lactation consultants and fenugreek and herbs and medicine to get my milk supply to where it should be. I spent more money on breastfeeding than I ever would have on formula.

        • Amen!

        • Agreed. This is the part of getting pregnant I dread, even though we haven’t even decided whether or not we’re going to (eventually) have kids!

        • +10000

          I can’t tell you how many people have told me about how formula is “so expensive.” Well, yes. Have you seen my billing rate? I’m expensive too!

          And re the listeria- yeah. i think that’s BS. I have continued to eat sushi the entire time. Just use common sense and don’t eat it from the gas station.

      • Nice rant. I am with you.

        All this talk of what is and isn’t a problem during pregnancy (especially the things that are very low risk) only makes people feel worse when their child turns out to have any sort of problem, major or minor, because they feel they should have “controlled” things better.

        And as for drinking, fetal alcohol syndrome cannot be caused by a glass or two of wine. In terms of IVF, I had assisted reproductive procedures done during the dark ages of the 1990s, and I never heard that drinking could interfere with the efficacy of the drugs. But since that may have changed, I don’t want to comment on the specific IVF situation.

      • Also: it is much easier to shame pregnant women for individual choices they make (e.g. to eat sushi) than to address the environmental factors that mean all babies are exposed to thousands of toxic chemicals, whatever the mom-to-be chooses to ingest or not ingest. IT MAKES ME SO RAGEY.

      • Also, on listeria, if you read any food safety guide or analysis of listeria that is NOT targeted to pregnant women, you’ll find out that listeria is much more likely on vegetables that have been sitting out (like lettuce on a salad bar) than from deli meat. I mean, the food safety guide I read didn’t even mention deli meat as a problem. The real guideline should be: “Eat food that is fresh and has been properly stored at the right temperatures.” But that’s so COMPLICATED so the pregnancy industry just boils it down to “Don’t eat deli meat.” Ridiculous.

      • Ugh. There was a listeria scare for freaking lettuce when I was pregnant. Of course, I had eaten that particular brand and date. The nurse actually scolded me and told me that I should have known better and that I should wash all my produce. Uhm, its bagged washed lettuce, and I work on a construction site with no potable water available. Soooooo you just want me to not eat produce for my entire pregnancy, or lug it all home and wash it and bring it back to the construction site every single day? and I actually did wipe down my [organic] apples, etc with bottled water…. but pre-washed lettuce? Ain’t nobody got time for that!

        • Flying Squirrel :

          Maybe too late for you to see now…but my initial OB (I moved) told me that I really shouldn’t be eating out at all and instead should cook my own food b/c you never know if there might be a contaminant. I’m like, I’m nauseated 24/7, vomiting at least every other day, and the thought of going into the kitchen or the grocery store makes me dry heave…would you rather I starve than eat at a restaurant that would likely go out of business if it had a high incidence of causing food poisoning?!

      • I’m so grateful to have a doctor who isn’t totally crazy about this stuff. He’s said I can eat lunch meat and given me advice on which lunch meat is safest. He’s okay with sushi as well, although suggests staying away from actually raw fish. Yes, we all want to err on the side of caution, but some rationality is also nice.

    • You did NOT wreck your chances! I went through IVF two years ago and was only instructed to stop drinking after retrieval. I had plenty of wine leading up to that day (even the night before), and it did not impact the success of the IVF (I now have twin daughters). I know it’s easier said than done, but the best thing you can do now is try to relax and let things happen. Good luck to you and your husband.

      • Thank you! This is good to hear. And thanks for all the support, everyone. I think I had processed it as “no drinking once you’re at the transfer stage” (pretty much after retrieval) because that would be the same as the pregnancy advice and once the embryo is in there, you might be pregnant. So then when someone mentioned not drinking once the cycle started, I started googling…ugh. But I’ve put a call in to the nurse and told her I was freaked out and please give me info. And, Pregnancy Rant, I know I’ll be right there with you when the time comes. So many of my friends have the same complaint. Luckily one of my best friends is an OB so she gives me the DL on all the pregnancy stuff, including what she did and didn’t do during her two (totally successful, healthy) pregnancies.

        • pregnancy rant :

          I hope you are right here with me soon as well :). I had to use fertility drugs (Femara) to get pregnant so while I know that my struggle is nothing compared to yours, I kind of slightly a little bit understand the infertility thing. And it makes you feel even more guilty when you engage in “risky” behaviors – drinking a sip of wine, eating sliced turkey – because you tried so hard to have this baby. I remind myself daily that I have no control over 99.99% of things that could go wrong with a baby, so I am going to enjoy my sushi and stop thinking about it.

    • Anonforthis :

      I’m still pretty early in the TTC process and it’s incredibly frustrating and heartbreaking so I can’t even imagine what you’re going through. But really, it sounds from the other posts on here like everything is just fine. Don’t beat yourself and I hope you get good news soon.

    • Calm down. It is NOT helpful to drink when you are PREGNANT! And from personal experience, it is ALSO not helpful to DRINK even if you are not pregnant, or if you are a MAN. My Alan was a drunk, and he took it out on me. I can ONLEY imagine what would have happened if I had MARRIED him. I would be stuck with a drunk, trying to raise a child by myself, b/c he would be busy drinking all day. FOOEY on that!

      This guy Sam has possibilitie’s! He makes a lot of money and he seems to like me. He txted me about 5x already today, and want’s to take me out to dinner THIS week. I told him I like to eat Italian or Steak, and he know’s some places. I said Friday is good b/c I am NOT going home this weekend. Dad is waiting to see if my exercise is not working b/c he think’s my tuchus is not getting any smaller. I told him my shorts are tight b/c it is summer, but he should not care if Sam does not care. Dad says I need to be in a size 2 before a guy will marry me. I said I can not get there b/c I am sitting at my desk all day. FOOEY on him.

    • TBK I haven’t done IVF, so I can’t speak to that, but I’m preg now with my first and even without having to do any fertility treatments, I have to say that just the regular, general instructions to pregnant women are damn confusing and hard to keep track of. I was taking a prescription retinol up until like, the 7th week before I read the back of it one day and was like, huh, maybe i shouldn’t take this? My doctor never specifically warned me off it. I spent weeks freaking out about it and finally realized- it’s out of my hands, i can just hope for the best. I hope you can do that too- at some point hopefully you realize that you did the best you could, you’re going through something very difficult (and confusing, it sounds like) and you just have to trust that you tried your best to understand and comply and give yourself the best shot, and it is what it is!
      As for the alcohol, I agree with the person above who said that if it was a complete no-go, they would have made that MUCH more clear. So maybe it’s just a general guideline? I don’t know what the relationship is between alcohol and IVF, but as for alcohol and pregnancy, as you know, the studies show bad things from binge drinking, not the occasional glass of wine, so that’s really not something to worry too much about.

      Good luck.

    • IVF Veteran :

      Hey there TBK. I totally know what you’re going through. I failed five IVF’s — that’s right, count ‘em, five. Failed. So I completely understand the stress of long-term TTC, as well as the complexity of the medical instructions you get. At some point I probably had to follow every single instruction that you saw during that initial hours-long instructional meeting. Over the course of our IVF’s, we also saw four different RE’s. I think I should be given an honorary medical degree at this point.

      So I know a little bit about IVF protocols, and based on my doctors’ advice and my experiences, I can say that having alcohol before transfer is absolutely no big deal. Other factors like your stimming, your follicles, your retrieval, etc all play a waaaay bigger role in success than your diet pre-transfer. You’re fine. Moreover, when you’re long-term TTC, you have to do what you have to do to get through it. If that’s a glass of wine during IVF, so be it. Like some others have said, when you’re doing this long-term, it’s very hard to get rid of all vices indefinitely for years on end.

      Deep breaths. Good luck TBK. I’ll be pulling for you.

      • Thanks. And as for “getting rid of all vices indefinitely” yeah, exactly. (It’s also really awkward to not drink because you *might* be pregnant, month after month.) We’re lucky that it hasn’t been that long for us yet — we tried on our own for a year then went straight to IVF because, I guess, the IVF process has gotten better and so doing just Clomid or IUI isn’t really worth it anymore since the ultimate cost winds up being higher. I’m really sorry to hear about what you’ve been through. You must be a total pro at giving injections, though! Thanks for chiming in.

    • Flying Squirrel :

      Frankly, I had a last drink the night before my transfer…though the embryo doesn’t implant until a few days after that. And actually, you don’t share blood until a couple weeks later anyway….so technically drinking a couple days after transfer isn’t a big deal. I really don’t think that drinking a few days before retrieval is an issue at all. Because of all the hormones already, I stopped drinking much before starting stims…but I can’t see how it will affect your cycle. In fact, my first cycle my brother was visiting before retrieval (work-related), and I asked the nurse specifically if it would be okay to have wine when we went out to dinner…she said no problem.

      I’ve heard about clinics that require patients to completely stop drinking months before their cycle, but I haven’t personally been to one (been to two).

      And I know of what I speak after 5 cycles (3 fresh, 2 frozen; and no, none of the failed cycles were related to drinking, they had to do with undiagnosed scar tissue covering the inside of my uterus). I’m now 15w with my first cycle post-surgery to remove the scarring.

    • Anon for this :

      You are a drunk and you are breeding.

      Lovely.

      Seriously, you have a more bigger problem then fertility if you can’t sober up enough to grasps the ramification of what you are doing.

      Grow the hell up.

  6. Yoga instructor :

    TJ here – I’ve always said “if money was no object, I would quit today, move out of the city, and become a yoga teacher and open up my own studio eventually.”

    I’m about two years into my career (finance) and realizing that I only spend max $2,000 a month. I have no mortgage/rent, and live a very comfortable lifestyle on this. So it’s beginning to look like maybe money is not as much of an object as I always assumed. I’d love any insight on the job market, average salaries, and training required for a yoga instructor. Also, I know the training programs are very expensive so does anyone have some first steps towards becoming an instructor to see if it’s for me? I’ve done various types of yoga since childhood but most commonly Vinyasa for the past 2-3 years.

    • where do you live? In a lot of places you can work in studios as like an assistant/helper and work your way into the teacher training program.

      • The assistants at my studio are actually teacher training grads, aka teachers who aren’t teaching. But maybe as an admin?

      • Yoga instructor :

        DC area, but if I really GO for this I’ll be moving to the central VA area for a lower COL. My biggest fear is dropping my career to work as an assistant or helper without a clear path for future success.

        • sorry to be unclear. To clarify: the helper people in my studio just work at the desk, pick up mats after class etc., not actually assisting the teacher in the class. I think many of them do it because working the desk twice per week covers an unlimited monthly pass, but I have seen many of them integrate into a teacher training program that the studio offers. The could be a good way to get started.

          Also, the teacher training is like one weekend/month so you wouldn’t need to quit your job. by working in the studio before you’re a new teacher you could start to build your yoga network while keeping you current job.

          good luck, this is something I have always wanted to do!

        • How big a town in central VA? Because I live there in a smaller town (~40K people) and I just don’t see a huge market for yoga studios around here. People have a LOT less money than I would have anticipated before I moved here (I thought of central VA as horse country, which it is for like 2% of the population). But if you’re talking Fredericksburg or Charlottesville or a city of that size, then I could definitely see there being a good market for a yoga studio. Not trying to be a dream killer or anything, but I grew up in NoVA with people who did things like go to yoga studios regularly and it’s been a real shock living where I do now.

          • Yoga instructor :

            Harrisonburg is where my BF’s family is from and most of my good friends from college. We definitely plan to move back there *eventually* so all of this thinking is a few years out. I think with many colleges nearby and being close to Charlottesville and Roanoke it has a bit more city-like lifestyle. I’d love any thoughts on the Harrisonburg area, though!

          • Harrisonburg would probably be fine. That’s a bigger area population wise and it has a lot of shopping that attracts people from the surrounding areas. JMU would definitely help breed good clientele. Plus if your BF’s family is from there, that might help you drum up business.

        • DC Wonkette :

          I highly recommend going to Tranquil Space for training. I don’t know the cost, but they have a stellar reputation, and I have had several friends get certified through them.

    • Some studios that do teacher training, which is usually 200 hours for vinyasa, do an “intro” course. The one at my studio is 33 hours, so basically four days. You may want to look for something like that to try it out if you’re not sure.

      Also take note that the first thing they told us in teacher training was that very, very few people do it for a living, and most of those get burned out quickly. Not to say you can’t or you shouldn’t, especially if it’s a dream!, but just go into it with open eyes.

      • Definitely go into it with open eyes. I teach X (staying anon) several times a week for fun, but would never, ever give up my full time job to teach X. To do so would transform something enjoyable and non-stressful into the thing that puts the roof over my head/food on my table, and I know I’d lose my passion for it as a result.

        • Yoga instructor :

          Do you work in a fairly demanding office environment? I have thought about an arrangement like this, and it would be a perfect way to ease into teaching. Unfortunately at my level I don’t think I have the clout in my office to request to be off by __ time on certain days.

          • Yes, fairly demanding (I’m being vague on purpose) but I leave at 5pm on the nose on the 2 weekdays that I teach. If something comes up at work last-minute, then work wins and someone else covers my class.

          • Yoga instructor :

            Thanks! How did you bring this up to your superiors/supervisors? Was the conversation after or before you started training and/or investigating placement?

          • Well, when I started my current job, I was already a student in those classes, and I asked if it would be an issue if I left at 5pm on those 2 days to attend class (and made it clear that, if something came up at work, then that would take precedence). Was told no problem. When I became an instructor, I didn’t make a big deal of it at work, so nothing really changed from that perspective.

    • This post made me smile, what an awesome epiphany to have!!

      I know Sara on http://www.fitfunfemme.com recently became a yoga instructor. She may have info on there about how to do it. She’s based in Atlanta.

      • Yoga instructor :

        Thank you! I am trying to avoid a life of “what-if’s” by really investigating what I’m passionate about. I love new blogs and I’ll definitely check that one out.

        • Sydney Bristow :

          Not a blog, but check out Danielle LaPorte’s books the Fire Starter Sessions and The Desire Map. She does have a blog at daniellelaporte.com but I think her books are great for self-analysis and investigating your passions.

      • Hey there! TJ – thanks for thinking of me – I LOVE talking to other people passionate about yoga. Yoga Instructor – please feel free to e-mail me ([email protected]) and I am happy to talk to you about my journey to teaching yoga and how it may relate to yours. I graduated from yoga teacher training this past June, but have been teaching since April and I still work a full-time job. I’m also happy to talk about the business of yoga and what you can expect. Talk to you soon :).

    • Cornellian :

      I have a friend that did yoga teacher certification in NYC…. I think it was a full day every saturday and sunday, plus classes most other days of the week. He’s still in his non-yoga job, but seems to have enjoyed it.

      • Yoga instructor :

        Thanks! Any insight on how demanding his non-yoga job is? I do not know if my company would support me picking up a second job/commitment. I can also see other associates getting testy if we have a late night and I have to leave at 6 PM sharp (for example) for yoga.

        • Cornellian :

          I think his program had their weekday class early mornings (early early. like 6 AM early), because most people in the class were professionals. He probably works 50 hours weeks, I’d say, but with a relatively flexible schedule. He said it was harder to balance social life and yoga than work and yoga, as he was always so exhausted after a full day of yoga on the weekends, and learned quickly he couldn’t have more than a couple of drinks a week if he wanted to get through classes.

        • I have heard a great cautionary tale about a young associate at my big firm leaving a deal to teach an exercise class. The tale haunts the halls at the firm, but the associate does not.

      • I did my 200-hour in DC with a very demanding job — training was on weekends (full days), while there was homework, some rare night group sessions, and classes during the week. Now I assist two classes a week (nights) at studio, work wins in a conflict. Happy to talk more about it if you want to correspond by e-mail.

        • Yoga instructor :

          I would love to talk through email to get more details. Do you have a *this site* email address? I do not yet but could make one for more information. Thanks!

          • DCyogirette at gmail dot com (no spaces in the username). I did my training at Tranquil Space and I’m more than happy to discuss with you!

          • My other comment is in moderation:

            DCyogire++e (the “+”s are “t”s) at gmail dot com. I did my 200-hour training at Tranquil Space and would be more than happy to discuss with you!

  7. TJ: I’m supervising a new hire, who is a very talkative man about a decade older than I am. He keeps asserting himself as being a “better feminist” than I am in casual conversation, and it’s driving me crazy. Can anybody suggest a witty retort to shut this down?

    • “I’m confused – you keep saying you are a “better feminist” but I thought the whole point of feminism was equality, not superiority? Did I miss something?”

    • Ciao, pues :

      I can’t believe someone would say that to their supervisor. Not terribly witty, but I might say “And if you were an even better feminist you wouldn’t be trying to demean me. I suggest we leave this particular competition aside.”

      • It doesn’t sound as though he’s trying to demean her, even though it comes out as demeaning. It sounds as though he’s trying to let her know he’s comfortable working for a woman, and doing this awkwardly, which actually shows he’s kind of uncomfortable with it. I think the best way to get him comfortable is not to accuse him of being demeaning, but to get him to stop talking about it so they can both do their jobs. So, I think just Ciao, pues’s second sentence would be good: calmly suggest he leave the competition aside, then go back to discussing work.

        • Ciao, pues :

          you are much kinder than I, Eleanor! You’re good to come from the perspective that he’s not trying to demean her (even though it is demeaning), and that he is likely uncomfortable (while also making her uncomfortable).

          It’s hard for me not to call people out on their (even unintended) behaviors, but I agree with Eleanor that if your goal is to nip this in the bud and preserve your working relationship, snark should be avoided.

    • NSFW, but I would think to myself “that’s impressive considering you don’t even have a v@gina!” I don’t even understand his point; is he trying to relate to you because, I assume, you have lady parts? Also, I’m not sure what the point would be regardless of this person’s gender. It seems like a pointless thing to say.

    • How male to turn even feminism into a competition.

    • Along the lines of the other suggestions, I can see myself shutting it down pretty quickly with a look and “I didn’t realize it was a competition,” then move on to something else quickly. If you think he can handle hints and you can restrain yourself from being unprofessional (which I mention because I know that I could not), I think you might even be able to get away with a look of distaste with a quick pause in the conversation. You know better than we do whether he realizes this is condescending and generally not cool.

    • I always love “why would you say such a thing?” with a confused but serious look on my face.

    • I’d just be frank and not try to be witty or have a retort – “hmm. That’s the third time you’ve made that comment, and I’m not sure what you mean by it.”

  8. How do people sit with wrap dresses? I’ve always avoided because I didn’t think they were flattering on my body, and finally bought one that works, but now I’m sitting here trying to hold the two pieces of fabric together over my legs so I don’t flash everyone!

    • In the Pink :

      This +1,000,000

      I have had a few wraps sewn “shut” along the side seams to prevent it from opening.

      Otherwise, unless it is a “Faux Wrap” I just walk away from the item.

    • darjeeling :

      I close the skirt with a safety pin on the inside just above the knee. I know wrap dresses are considerd flattering and practical, but between this concern and the need (with mine at least) for a slip and cami, I find them very fussy.

    • I just try to smooth the fabric of the dress in place when I sit down, and I wear a slip underneath just in case. Hasn’t really been that big of a problem for me.

  9. The dress featured in the post would be 1000x better without the flash of white around the waistline (of all places).

  10. Love that dress. I’d be tempted to buy it except (a) trying to steer away from black/white/tan colors for work (I have so many, need more color) and (b) I already spent too much on the NAS. :(

  11. momentsofabsurdity :

    As a random aside – I am somewhat disgusted with the upcoming Rolling Stone cover choice – a (self?) portrait of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev.

    While I think Janet Reitman is an excellent reporter and the story itself (or at least, the bits they’ve leaked online so far) is worth telling, I have to say, plastering a photo of Tsarnaev smirking on the cover of a magazine that typically has musical or art legends on its cover just seems to glorify him and what he did. I’m really not a fan.

  12. Shopaholic :

    Does anyone find their price points for what is reasonable to spend on clothes/shoes/accessories has changed? I’ve been finding that I’m now much more willing to spend a lot more on a dress for instance that I would have been a year ago. It’s not all bad because now I’m investing in more quality pieces but it just adds up rather quickly.

    • I’m kind of the same. And for the same reason as you – I buy nicer items now. I think going forward I’m only going to buy quality shoes for work. For example, last year I bought these really cute looking shoes at DSW, I think the brand was Bandolino? They were only like 30 dollars so I thought I was getting a great sale. But after a few times of wearing them, they totally fell apart. You could just tell they were very cheaply made. Not saying I’m going to go out and buy Loubs or Jimmy Choos for work but at least at the level of Cole Haan.

    • I’m still trying to loosen my pursestrings (trying to convince myself a person in my position should own nice things), but it’s hard when I know I can find a similar item for less. Unfortunately my cheap pieces do seem to last forever, so my closet is full of stuff that fits and is wearable so I have a hard time getting rid of stuff or justifying new purchases. For reference, more than about $30 for a top or $50 for pants still sounds like a lot to me.

    • I’m right there with you when it comes to handbags. I grew up without money and would usually buy one for $30 or so and use it until the handles fell off. I kept to that even though my income put me in a radically different bracket. My husband bought me my first designer bag about eight years ago though, and I never went back. I’m a total bag snob now. I have a closet that is absolutely bulging with past splurges. Nothing is under $300, most are around $500-$700 or more. I justified there for a bit that it’s the one thing I hold on to a long time (and unlike clothes, it doesn’t matter how much weight I gain or lose). The nicer bags just hold up so much better that I just haven’t had a need to get rid of them, and you truly can see a difference in quality of leather, sewing, details, etc. in a lot of instances. Lately, I’ve stopped myself quite a few times from purchasing more, questioning whether it is it really worth the precious closet space. Would I truly use it being that I already own so many nice brands that are somewhat similar? Anything else at this point is going to have to be pretty high end and special to make the cut. Now if I could just start feeling more “full” elsewhere, I think the savings I set aside every month would get a huge boost.

    • Lady Harriet :

      For most clothing, the amount I’m willing to spend has stayed very low. However, I will now spend a lot more on shoes and bras because I have very specific requirements for them that will cause me physical pain or discomfort if they’re not met. I will spend $100 or more for shoes on sale because there are really only two brands that I can wear and they’re both pricey. I wear an unusual bra size, so it’s impossible to find a bra that fits even on sale for under $30 or so. I tried the $30 ones, but they all fell apart in a matter of months, so I moved over to the $45-$65 range and have been much happier.

      My income is still small, so I have had to sacrifice variety in these areas. I only own 3 bras and about 7 pairs of wearable shoes (some of which are only okay for shorter amounts of time before they make my feet hurt.) I just have to plan my shoe purchases out far ahead of time and pay close attention to sales. I do miss the days when I had shoes in every color of the rainbow, but I don’t miss the pain they caused, so I just have to be patient while building up my collection again!

      I thrift shop for everything else and I’m lucky enough to live in an area where thrift stores have low prices and really nice items, so I haven’t had to sacrifice there. I spend less than I would shopping only at Target and Walmart and get much nicer stuff. When my income goes up, I think I would be willing to spend money on purses, but at present they’re just not enough of a priority for me.

  13. Anon today :

    I am completely overwhelmed at work. This is my first real job out of grad school and definitely not entry level, which I obviously am. Multitasking only makes me on edge even more and focusing on one item isn’t going well as I’m with getting calls, emails , or my boss in my office. For the most part, I know what I have to do but just don’t physically have the time. I’m at my desk before 7am and rarely leave before 5pm. Weekends are spent working as well so this workload is totally freaking me out. The guy training me in the senior level of my position can do this in his sleep so I look inept compared to him because no one seems to remember he’s been here six years with a decade of experience!!!

    How do I tackle my never-ending to do list without appearing completely incompetent? My boss expects X, Y, and Z to always be done as well as making sure I see A, B, and C each and every day. Lets not even talk about the “must get done ten minutes ago” items.

    Where I work without outing myself is a huge global corporation with a not-so employee friendly reputation. I work with all men and feel like I must prove I’m not weak but I desperately need time to get up to speed. Asking my boss thus won’t go over well at all so do you ladies have any advice/commiseration to soothe my sanity? Apologies for rambling but I typed this on my phone from the ladies lounge. Thank you in advance.

    • Hang in there hon. It sounds like you’re not a lawyer, but I definitely felt that way as a first year attorney, and it was not even my first job. You say you rarely leave your desk before 5PM….I think you just have to mentally accept the fact that at least for this first year until you get the hang of things, you will have to put in very long hours, as it sounds like you are doing. I think accepting that reality will help because then when you do work those crazy long hours, it’s just expected so you’re not like, oh crap I have to work late again! I know sometimes you get so overwhelmed with tasks that you’re just paralyzed and don’t know where to start. Do you have daily task lists or some sort of organizational habit to help you stay on track? Make a to do list and just keep plugging away at it. Are there any women in other departments that you could network with?

    • I guess I don’t have advice, but I just wanted to say that we’ve all felt like this! You’re comparing your efficiency to someone more senior, but I highly doubt that everyone else is. Anyone who has work experience recognizes that it usually takes a while for a newish employee (and depending on the job, newish could mean two years out) to get up to speed, regardless of their background or competence – often it’s just getting used to “this is how we do things here” and figuring out the best ways to do your tasks, or getting a grasp of your boss’s priorities.

      I think that last one is something that you could possibly go to your boss about – not “I’m feeling overwhelmed,” which may feel like admitting that you can’t handle it, but “I’m not going to have time to finish XYZ today, what’s most urgent and what can wait until tomorrow?” This is absolutely something that a competent employee would do and I can’t imagine him thinking less of you for it.

      As far as distractions, you know the culture better than anybody, but would it be totally unheard of to sometimes let your phone go to voicemail, or only check your email every 45-60 minutes? In most offices it’s pretty reasonable, and “working on something” is a valid reason for shutting the door and not being reachable.

      Sorry for the novel. TL;DR: hang in there! I’m sure you’re doing better than you think you are.

    • Woods-comma-Elle :

      Agree with the above – hang in there. Part of the reason you are taking a long time to do stuff is because you don’t yet know exactly how to do them, but the more times you do things, the less time it will take you. So the hours should ease off assuming your workload stays the same.

      Also, sometimes, there is such a thing as being too diligent. This is not to say that you should by any means not dedicate the required time to a task, but some tasks can be done in less time if you figure out how and one of the most important things to learn at work is how to get things done in the available time. Sometimes, if you have five hours to do something, you will take five hours, but if someone said you had to do it in two, you totally could. The ability to do this comes with experience as well!

      How about this senior guy who is training you? Could you somehow get help from him? Agree that to do lists are the way to go as well as Outlook reminders of regular deadlines. If you have tasks you have to do regularly, write down the steps you would need to take to complete them and then the next time you can save a bit of time going through the process from your notes.

    • TN Law Girl :

      I am 100% with you. I’m a first year associate, and while I was a paralegal for a good 8 years before making the switch, I have never been this busy before. My first 6 months as an attorney I was painfully, painfully slow, but things have skyrocketed out of control about 2 months ago. So I totally understand what you are going through.

      Two things are helping me right now:

      (1) I gave up my paper to do list when it hit 4 pages long. I was having a hard time prioritizing because my tasks were scattered all over the place, and I was wasting a lot of time rewriting my tasks so they would fit on 1-2 pages. I really don’t like the task feature of Microsoft Outlook and I discovered that I would never look at it (kind of the out of sight, out of mind thing). I liked having a notebook that sat next to my keyboard and was hard to ignore, so I decided to bring in my iPad every day and it now lives where my notebook used to. I keep it plugged in and on most of the day (almost like having a second computer monitor and very hard to ignore!). I put an app called “Wunderlist” on it and I love it! It is very simple to use, I can keep multiple lists (things I need to do, things I’m waiting for other people to do, etc), and I can email tasks to myself from my work computer/email so I’m not having to type them in via the iPad screen. So it has basically become a digital version of my notebook to do list, with the added benefit that I can flag important items, assign due dates, and rearrange the order that items appear on my screen. It also syncs with the app installed on my iPhone so I can play with organizing my tasks while I’m watching tv, or waiting in line to get take out. Long story short… I have the same number of outstanding tasks, but my anxiety level is much much lower because I can organize my tasks and control what tasks I’m viewing at any given time (instead of flipping through pages and pages of tasks and being overwhelmed trying to figure out what on earth needs to be worked on next.)

      (2) Working from home. If you have the ability to do this, I would try it. I had one project that every single time I started to work on it I would get interrupted. Every. Single. Time. Finally, after about six weeks, I took it home. Amazing how much work I can get done in an hour when I can focus uninterrupted without worrying about the task needing to be done in the next 5 minutes because my boss is lingering outside my office. If you can do any amount of work at home (whether it be organizing your to do list, checking and sending emails, or having full access to your work systems through citrix or go to my pc or something similar) I would highly recommend it.

      I hope some of these help! If you come up with others that help you, please share. I’m still searching for other ideas myself!

  14. Wedding-related informal poll, so skip if not interested.

    Would you be annoyed to be invited to a Sunday wedding on a U.S. holiday (Columbus Day) weekend? I work for a government agency and get Columbus Day off, and I’m not sure how many others do. A Sunday wedding would be more affordable, but I don’t want to really inconvenience a huge number of guests.

    If it matters, it’s a U.S. wedding where roughly 1/3 of the invited guests would live a 2-4 hour drive away, 1/3 of the invited guests live on the other side of the country and would have to fly in, and the rest of the invited guests either live abroad or a 2-4 hour flight away.

    Thanks!

    • I wouldn’t be annoyed, per se, but I think you’d have to prepare yourself for a higher rate of declines. Unlike more major holidays like Memorial Day and Labor Day, I don’t think the majority of people have Columbus day off. That doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t do it, you should just expect that a lot of people won’t want to travel for it.

      • mintberrycrunch :

        I would agree with this. My DH and I had a Friday night wedding due to cost, and we went into it with the attitude that we knew it was more inconvenient for some guests (esp. those traveling from out of town), and we did not expect anyone to change their schedules to attend if it would be difficult/they didn’t want to. We tried our best to make that clear to everyone that we invited. We actually ended up not having a huge amount of declines, but we were open to the fact that people might not rearrange their schedules for us.

      • Houston Attny :

        Agreed. I wouldn’t be annoyed if I received an invitation for a Sunday wedding on a kind-of holiday weekend. I’ve actually been invited to two – one on Sunday before Labor Day and one on Sunday before Memorial Day. Those, however, are holidays even my office observes (I think we have 6 holidays a year) so I think people could make a weekend of it if traveling from out of town. I don’t know anyone who actually gets Columbus Day off, so I wouldn’t think of it as a holiday weekend. Probably prepare for fewer accepts and more declines (which might not be a bad thing!).

        • We got married on the Sunday evening of Memorial Day weekend with the hope that people would not have to take any time off for travel: fly in Sat or even Sunday, fly out Monday. I really, really hoped that would be the smallest imposition possible on our guests, but from other comments on this thread I am wondering if there’s just NO right way to do this. (Even not having a wedding at all is offensive to some people.) Sigh. For what it’s worth, attendance was very good.

          • Houston Attny :

            Agreed. I think the Memorial Day weekend, Labor Day weekend, Columbus Day weekend, heck, the Wednesday at 10 a.m. wedding are all just fine. I think whatever works for you and your very favorite people. People who are going to complain are going to complain no matter what, so as long as you are happy and gracious, that’s what matters!

    • I grew up in various locations on the West Coast and Columbus Day was not really a thing there, if that’s a helpful data point.

    • To be honest, yes I would be annoyed. I’m sorry. :( However I will admit that when it comes to weddings, I feel like I am on the more uptight side of rules/etiquette and things like that. If most of your guests also have that Monday off work, then maybe not a big deal. I wouldn’t have that Monday off though. I also don’t like weddings on Holiday weekends. Totally get that it’s so much more affordable though.

      • In-House Optimist :

        This. Sorry. :( I hate when my friends do this – those are my free vacation days and I want to spend them doing things I want to do. That said, I almost always end up going, just being a bit grouchy about it. I don’t think I’ve had a wedding-free Memorial Day (or Labor Day for that matter!) since I graduated law school. Boo.

        • So if you can’t take up people’s existing vacation days when you plan your wedding, and it’s presumptuous to ask people to take a special day off, when do you schedule your wedding if people need travel time? I don’t mean to be snarky, I truly am wondering how to avoid stepping on toes.

          • Saturday. People can fly in on Friday night or Saturday morning, and fly out on Sunday.

          • Sydney Bristow :

            It seems like a Saturday evening wedding is the “best” choice. If it starts late enough in the day then theoretically people could fly in on Saturday and fly home Sunday. Although that would only work if people were flying west to get to the wedding. It seems impossible to get from the west coast to the east coast early in the day without taking a red eye.

            For what it’s worth, I think it’s best to take your guests into consideration and do your best to figure out whether or not they’d see it as an imposition or not. It’s going to be different for everyone depending on their friends and family relationships.

      • Brunette Elle Woods :

        I disagree. If I was getting married, I would schedule it for whenever my budget allows. If a Sunday or Friday night is cheaper, then do it on a Sunday or Friday night. Those who don’t have off or feel too inconvenienced to take off, well, you wouldn’t be wanted at my wedding and should consider the invitation a formality/obligation. It would just further decrease the costs :)

        Sorry if that sounds snarky, but it’s YOUR wedding! Do what you want!

        • I feel like the wedding posts always end the same way. One group is offended if the bride plans the wedding in a certain way to inconvenience some guests; the other group says the bride should do whatever she wants because it’s her wedding.

          I think the bottom line is this: it’s your wedding and you should do what you want, but if you want your friends to come, you need to make some accommodations for your guests. If you can’t/don’t want to do certain things, it’s fine! But, you may lose some guests in the process.

          Guests: if a friend’s wedding is going to cost so much or take up so much time that you will be resentful if you go, then don’t go. Just get a gift and call it a day. Schedule some time with the couple when you can.

    • Sydney Bristow :

      I personally wouldn’t mind. I’m going to a Sunday wedding this summer on the other side of the country. They are doing it for religious reasons, but I wouldn’t mind if it was for budget reasons. Whatever you do, 1/3 of your guests will probably have to take 1 day off (Friday for a Saturday ceremony or Monday for a Sunday ceremony). If you have it early in the day, then it sounds like a lot of your guests could make it home Sunday night if they have to work Monday.

      My situation may be a little different than others in that I don’t get Columbus Day off but could take the day off if I wanted to. I don’t get paid vacation but can take days off and just not get paid.

      • This! I’ve taken off at least one day for the vast majority of weddings I’ve attended, but don’t mind because I love my friends and want to celebrate with them. One on Monday versus one on Friday wouldn’t matter that much to me. Then again, my friends’ weddings have been somewhat spread out over the years. I might feel differently if I had 5 weddings in one year that consumed all of my vacation time or money!

    • A Nonny Moose :

      Another thing to consider: are you positive it will be cheaper? I know at least my venue* charged as much for Sundays that fell on a “Holiday weekend” (including Columbus, Veterans Day, etc. — things not everyone gets off) as it did for normal Saturdays. I’d make sure that everything would be more inexpensive before totally relying on this logic.

      *we ended up doing a non-holiday weekend, so I don’t know if caterer, etc. would have dropped

    • We did a Sunday late-morning wedding on a non holiday weekend and people seemed pretty happy with it because they could fly home Sunday evening.

      • This was going to be my comment. If in a situation where some people may not be able to take the Monday off, I think a Sunday wedding is fine, but only if your wedding and reception are morning/lunch/early afternoon so people can fly home on Sunday night if they need to.

    • I think it is a great idea to have a wedding on a Sunday of a holiday weekend. I had my wedding in a beach town the Sunday before Labor Day and got lots of compliments… That being said, I would be a little annoyed only because Columbus Day doesn’t seem to be a holiday where non-federal employees would get a day off. I would stick to the Sunday before MLK, Presidents’ Day, Memorial, Labor or Veterans’ — my impression is that those are more common for non-government office closures. (FWIW, that list is JP Morgan’s holiday schedule, so I’m guessing other non-government offices do similar.)

      • +1 to be sure it is actually cheaper. Mine wasn’t at all but we chose the date because our preferred vendors / venue wasn’t available until several months later otherwise.

    • This wouldn’t bug me but generally, most “etiquette” related things don’t.

      The thing is – if I love you and adore you and am jazzed to see you get married, then I’ll be equally jazzed to see you on a Saturday afternoon, or a Wednesday morning or a Sunday evening. If I feel like I have to go out of obligation, I’m going to feel like that for almost any wedding – if it’s not “I have to take too much time off work” it’s “Ugh I have to travel so far,” or “gosh I don’t want to spend money on a gift.”

      In other words – people are always gonna find something to gripe about. You do you and just don’t hold it against people if they can’t/don’t choose to participate.

    • If you are worried about inconveniencing your guests, I’d look into if flights and hotel rooms are going to be more expensive because of the holiday weekend. I’m not a fan of holiday weekend weddings because of this; generally a bit of travel and 1-2 nights in a hotel are expected costs when you’re attending an out of town wedding, but I’d be a bit annoyed if I had to spend significantly more on those because of the specific weekend. That being said, it’s your wedding… so you do you.

      • This. Odds are if it’s cheaper for you because everyone is away traveling, travel costs for your guests are going to be higher. Also, while there are some people I love so much that I would be thrilled to go to their wedding on a Tuesday night at midnight, I generally don’t feel that way about most people whose weddings I have attended. So, yes, it is annoying if my New Year’s Eve or Memorial Day Weekend must be sacrificed if I am to attend your wedding (and yes, I can justgo, and in fact I have made that choice before).

    • Columbus Day :

      Management consulting for a large firm in the public sector and I do not get Columbus Day off. Plus, if I had to travel I’d be annoyed that I lost the holiday to travel. But, it’s your wedding and you should do what you want.

    • I think you have to consider that most people don’t have Columbus day off (unless everyone attending is a government employee or teacher). But, if you want to have a sunday wedding then having a sunday wedding. The only wedding I was annoyed at was on a Wednesday night. Most people couldn’t bring dates because their SOs couldn’t get the vacation time. Everyone had a good time, and we all knew they were trying to save money…but a Wednesday?

      • Lady Harriet :

        Where I grew up (Wisconsin) none of the schools or state government were out for Columbus day either. I get the impression that it’s more of a northeast/mid-atlantic thing to have the day off. I live in Florida now, and nobody seems to get it off either.

    • Mountain Girl :

      We got married on Labor Day weekend (20 year ago). My brother and his wife were married on Memorial Day weekend and my sister got married on New Year’s Eve. We were recently talking about how it turned out to be a good thing because we always have a long weekend right around our anniversaries. We have all been married 20-25 years so I know that doesn’t help with the wedding planning but it is something to think about for YOUR future planning. :)

    • I’m sure you’ve already done this, but check the fine print at your venue (if it’s a cost thing). Most venues charge normal rates on holiday weekends (in this case the Sunday is a Saturday rate).

    • Anne Shirley :

      I don’t get Columbus day off and would be annoyed, as I always am by Sunday weddings that aren’t for religious reasons. It makes the wedding cheaper for you and more expensive for me.

      • Traditionalist, I guess :

        Agree, same thing with Friday weddings. It’s just cost-shifting.

        And it kind of hurts my feelings when people say “oh, we knew fewer people would be able to come…” If you don’t care if I’m there, why did you invite me? If you don’t care if a large number of people aren’t there, why don’t you just get married with close family and friends?

        Maybe I’m not being fair, but I think you should have the wedding you can afford on the day that is most convenient for the guests you are inviting. FWIW, I’m engaged and am definitely on a budget.

        • Agree!

        • I think I kind of feel like this too. A backyard BBQ with the people you really want to celebrate with seems more special than a fancy wedding that a lot of people can’t make it to, even if the cost is the same, I feel like.

        • Sydney Bristow :

          Aw I hadn’t ever thought about it like that. I assume that people genuinely want the people that they invite to attend but are just understanding that it might not be possible. Regardless of when or where your ceremony will be, isn’t the assumption always that there will be someone who can’t make it?

          • mintberrycrunch :

            This was definitely our attitude and hope, but I can see from the other comments that not everyone may have taken it that way. I agree with the poster above who says there’s no “right” way to plan a wedding – something is always going to irritate someone…

    • downstream :

      Sunday weddings annoy me, but the worst is a Sunday wedding that starts late. A Sunday wedding that starts no later than 4 or 5 pm is much more tolerable.

      While a lot of people say “It’s your wedding and you should do what you want,” there is a lot of grace in accepting the fact that even though this day is about you, it’s also about your guests, and you should try to make them as comfortable as possible. If you do do it on a Sunday, be prepared for a higher rate of declines and people not getting as drunk and partying/dancing as much. And people might go home right after you serve dinner.

      • I agree. While you can’t please everyone, when my husband and I got married, we did our best to accommodate our guests as much as possible.

        • Which is the sort of the point of being good hosts, no? I am always amazed how all the normal rules fly out the window with a wedding. I understand it’s a couple’s special day, that’s it’s overwhelmingly hard to plan, and you can never please everyone, but when else would you invite guests and throw a celebration but not factor in the guests’ convenience?

          • downstream :

            Yep. Weddings really gives people license to let their inner spoiled child just break free. Most people try to keep their control-freak, me-me-me tendencies under wraps most of the time, but when it comes to their weddings, watch out.

          • I didn’t want a wedding, and people were alienated. Then I planned a very small one and made clear that I didn’t demand everyone to come, and people were offended. I asked for no gifts and people were put off. I didn’t hire a photographer and now people want to know where their photos are. This is all true for me, and I say it to point out that even trying to be as gracious as possible (from your perspective) can backfire. I don’t think any option is safe, and I wish people would judge less and just not come–grudge-free–if they don’t like how the event sounds to them.

      • SoCalAtty :

        So traditional Jews are supposed to get married during the week or only on Saturday nights in winter? (Can’t hold a wedding during Shabbat, so you have to wait until after sundown on Saturday night, do it Sunday, or during the week.) We did early spring and waited until after sundown, but it made the wedding start later. We provided appetizers before the wedding and between the wedding and reception so no on starved to death, but many, many Jewish weddings take place on Sundays. Some couples really want a full, sit down dinner wedding which they might not be able to have because of religious restrictions.

        • I think a lot of the things people are saying here don’t apply if there are religious reasons involved.

        • Data points: I have been to over 20 Jewish weddings. The vast, vast majority have been on Saturday nights, always after sundown (and many in NYC). They just run later. I can’t recall of the top of my head a June Saturday night Jewish wedding, but there were plenty of April/May, Sept/Oct weddings, wedding started around 7ish, actual marriage wasn’t until sundown which was in the 7:30/8:00 ballpark.

          • SoCalAtty :

            That’s what I’m saying – if you want to have a Jewish wedding in summer, for instance, in Los Angeles, sunset is at 8:00, or later. Generally the Rabbi can’t even start to travel to the location until after sunset. That makes for a late wedding!

            I was really just objecting to the point made above that Sunday weddings annoy that poster. Sometimes there are reasons it has to be done.

            Jewish weddings may also prohibited for part of the period between Passover and Shavuot, so that can knock out a big period of time in the spring. It is very tricky, and determined by local custom. I was lucky because my spring date was outside of the locally prescribed prohibition. So it is a tough thing to plan! Sundays are sometimes inevitable.

          • Just to clarify, if you want to have a traditional/Orthodox Jewish wedding on a Saturday, it needs to be after the stars come out, not after sunset. Which adds about 45 minutes. So unless you start the wedding at sunset, have a cocktail reception etc, and only have the actual marriage takes place 1.5ish hours later by the time your rabbi gets there… Saturday night will be pretty late (unless it’s winter). Most religious weddings as a result are on Sundays or weeknights.

    • I wouldn’t mind if I had the day off. If I didn’t, I would definitely mind. I’ve been a bridesmaid in two Friday weddings and it is awful to have to take two vacation days for someone else’s wedding… even if they are a close friend, because my husband has to take them off too.

    • lucy stone :

      That is not a day a lot of people in the midwest get off. I don’t think I’d be annoyed, but I might not attend if it wasn’t a family member or very close friend. I’ve been to several Memorial Day weekend weddings and the attendance is definitely lower than a “regular” weekend.

    • Not even all teachers get Columbus Day off. My stepdaughter always has (public) school that day.

    • Thanks all, for the feedback. It’s what I needed to hear, and now I am leaning towards just doing a Saturday and try to trim the budget elsewhere. It seems its unlikely a majority of people will have the Monday off, and I really want to make it as easy as possible for people to attend.

      If only I had a house with a yard to have the wedding in, rather than a tiny apartment!

      • No idea if this is possible where you are, but I recall reading an article about houses with big backyard being for rent for parties. Maybe you could find something like that?

        • This type of option can often be more expensive when you factor in rentals like tables, linens, silverware, waitstaff, etc. It can be more economical to just get a package deal at a venue. FWIW, I had a late Sunday morning Jewish wedding on a non-holiday weekend. I purposely had it during the day so anyone who had to travel could do so Sunday evening. Some people left early because of travel commitments. Some people couldn’t attend at all. I truly appreciated every effort that people made to attend and also appreciated the heartfelt regrets that I received from those who couldn’t attend. I don’t think it’s realistic to expect 100% attendance, just as I don’t think it’s realistic to expect the bridal couple to accomodate every iteration of “convenience” for all of their guests. You win some, you lose some, you know? Just be gracious about it on all sides.

          • I should have added- we also got a fantastic deal by booking on a short timeframe. We were venue-shopping in March for a wedding in January the next year (winter is the cheapest season in my area (NY & burbs) and.. actually we were thinking of doing the Sunday night before MLK day- which most everyone has off around here.) Our venue ended up offering us a deal: -$10 a head off the January price for a random Sunday in September that they needed to fill. It cut our planning down to 8 months which was about all I could take!!

      • Anonymous :

        I got married last year, and Saturday afternoon (12 ceremony, 1-2 c*cktail hour, 2-6 reception) was the same exact price as a Sunday wedding. Maybe look into Saturday afternoon pricing? We got so many comments on how convenient it was and how much people appreciated not needing to take a day off to attend.

      • But people who are flying in will probably still have to take a day off if you have a Saturday wedding, unless you have it late in the day. So it’s not really any more convenient.

      • I have been to several budget friendly weddings that were jaw-droppingly awesome. And no, the bride/bridesmaids did not spend 12 months hand-knitting the coasters :) Be smart about your venue- pick somewhere that lets you BYOB, or somewhere that offers a beer/wine only package. Negotiate with the venue- think about choosing something not “peak” time, like February or March.

        My husband had just finished business school when we got married, and he negotiated the pants of several of our vendors- we saved $10 per head on our venue LITERALLY just by asking (conversation: “our rate is $160/head. DH: “our budget is $150. Does that work for you?” vendor: “ok”). We later actually knocked another $5-10/head off by swapping around meal options, which was even better. We found an “up and coming” photographer who was both cheaper and looking for work; she cost us under half of what others of equal (or lesser) talent quoted.

        We shopped around for our DJ with a very low budget. We got a few “nos,” met a few weirdos, and eventually stumbled across a DJ who grew up a block from where we got married, belonged to the church we were married in, and used the event as an excuse to visit her mom– she and her husband did it for almost nothing (like…25% of the going rate), we made sure to send her home with a “to go” dinner for her mom (with cake, duh), and we refer them to anyone looking for a vendor. Big win.

        We also used an Etsy vendor for our invites and were able to create something that looked exactly like the $5/invite cards I wanted, for about half the cost (don’t remember these exact numbers)…and they were the talk of our guests.

        I got my dress as a sample, for 10% of sticker price. I think it was “last season,” but as someone who has no reference for the seasonality of wedding dresses, I didn’t care. I looked skinny (!), felt pretty, and it was made of silk/satin and cost the same as something from david’s bridal. (note: sample sizes are anywhere from bridal size 6-12, which is roughly street size 4 thorough 8/10…and you can always have alterations done). I also made my own veil when I saw that people were charging $100+ for some tulle hot glued onto a comb (there are gorgeous veils out there…I just wanted something pinned under my bun, so tulle and hot glue it was!).

    • It would depend on the holiday, for me. My Memorial Day and Labor Day book up a year in advance, and if it was around the winter holidays it would make traveling tough. I don’t really see Columbus Day as a major holiday (we don’t have it off) so I think that would be fine. I always end up taking at least one day off when I attend a wedding anyway.

    • A little food for thought – you might want to price out more of your vendors as I found most of them (other than possibly the venue) don’t really discount for odd days of the week & some of them won’t be available at all. This doesn’t really answer your question, but if you’re concerned about saving costs, I didn’t find that big a difference in Friday/Saturday/Sunday dates once I started pricing more things out.

  15. Very random TJ – Apparently is hatching season for mockingbirds, and my dog keeps getting attacked by mama birds on our daily walks. It began about 2 weeks ago, when I noticed a bird kept swooping near us and cackling, but I didn’t think much of it, until the bird pecked my dog twice the next day. I altered our route, but this morning, another overly protective mama bird started in on him. So three times now, I look like a crazy person, standing in the middle of the walkway, yelling loudly at birds that are dive-bombing at my dog. This new nest is much harder to avoid, given our geography and access to the park.

    Anyone else experienced this and know how long the over-aggressive protection period will be? My poor pup is so confused – all he knows is someone is biting his butt, and Mama is yelling.

    • Aww, no advice, but I feel sorry for your poor pup!

    • Sorry you’re going through this – I don’t know where you live, but where I live, we just get used to mockingbird hatching season. There are a few nests in my backyard and the birds routinely dive bomb my 40-lb dog (and me!). I basically just try to shoo them away.

      Unfortunately, there’s not much you can do and we just deal with this for the few months that the birds bomb us and I think about how grateful I am that I don’t have blue jays in my backyard because they’re even more aggressive.

    • I’ve had this problem with a different kind of bird. Eventually my poor little dog became afraid and unwilling to go out and do her business. I went out and bought the biggest golf umbrella I could find and held it up over her. Yep, I could be found standing in the yard in beautiful, bright, sunny days under an humongous, gaudy umbrella with my dog, beside a very busy street. I felt like a complete idiot, but it worked.

    • There is an NYT article about this today. Apparently the birds can tell when other birds have previously marked something as a threat. Not sure what to do about it, but I bet there are comments at NYT or some other NY-local site.

    • Equity's Darling :

      My parents have robins that have made a nest in a tree by their front walk way. Whenever anyone went outside in the spring when the babies had recently hatched, they were divebombed (i.e. my parents and brother resorted to using the garage or side or back door to avoid the birds). They were still twitchy when I was home in July, but things got better.

      I was also chased by a Canada goose on a morning run one day. I guess it didn’t know I’m vegetarian, and thus, not out to get the goslings that were still cute and yellow and fluffy. It was pretty scary, geese are actually kind of fast, and their beaks are pretty big. I’ve since given them a wide berth when running past.

      All this is to say, birds are crazy, and I’m sorry your pup has to deal with their shenanigans.

    • In-House Optimist :

      OMG – this is clearly the “thing I learned today!” I used to get attacked at my parent’s house when cutting the grass, and now that we’ve moved to the sticks, it’s been really bad the last few weeks. I always wondered what in the heck I was doing to p*ss off this darn birds. I’m thrilled to know there’s “science” behind it – ha. :)

    • Blonde Lawyer :

      I got dive bombed by seagulls in Portland Maine when I walked to close to the garbage dumpster they were eating out of. I crouched down on the sidewalk covering my head and face until they went away. When I stood up, there was a crowd of people watching and laughing.

  16. anon from DC :

    Wedding Guest Outfit TJ:

    http://www.bcbg.com/Maud-Boatneck-Dress-With-Lace-Back/WQR6M586-01P,default,pd.html?dwvar_WQR6M586-01P_color=01P&cgid=whats-new-new-arriv

    says “cloud gray” color but looks very, very light–almost white on my screen. My screen, however, is not very reliable. Has anyone seen it in real life? Is it actually gray or is it so light it would read white? Does it read as a “no go” on others’ screens?

    Thank you all!

  17. Tips on tracking time in tiny increments? I need to get a sense of how much time I’m spending on a project (both for grant purposes and not allowing it to eat my life). I work remotely (so trains, planes, automobiles, coffee shops, and the library) and am sometimes doing email / phone calls on my phone so something across platforms might be helpful (I use a PC, an ipad, and an Android phone so perhaps too much to ask for).

  18. Jessica Glitter :

    I have never down the Barre workout (or any of its variations) and am really wanting to give it a try. Unfortunately, the small city/large town where I live only has one studio that offers the class and it is not very conducive to my work schedule (8:30 a.m. class and 6:00 p.m. class two or three days a week).
    SO, I am wondering if anyone can recommend Barre videos? Is this something you can even do on your own? TIA!

    • I’ve done barre classes but looked into getting videos for $$ reasons. I almost bought the physique57 program since it looked like it had the most variety. I struggle with getting bored when things are repetitive, so that’s why I leaned towards it. It also had good reviews on some website I looked at. I think you mostly just need a sturdy chair and maybe a mat or a ball or small items like that.

    • Physique 57 and Pure Barre videos are both pretty good.

    • I like the Bar Method videos, though have never done it regularly enough to speak as to the results.

    • I have the Bar Method videos and I used to do them a lot in combination with biking and got into good shape that way. I’ve recently started doing Ballet Beautiful, which is floor work along the same vein, and holy moly, it’s a killer.

  19. wedding monies :

    I think I’m experiencing a little bit of “keeping up with the jones'” syndrome. I know from the outside, it’s black and white — it doesn’t matter what anybody else thinks. But . . . this is in the context of planning a wedding. And while visiting APW has helped, there is still an element of my fiance and I both make six figures, so we feel like people expect more from us than just a pizza party (especially for people who are traveling to be there). And of course we want to throw an amazing party, but we are paying for this ourselves, and even if we weren’t we find it difficult to swallow the concept of spending such a large sum of anybody’s money on this enormous party. The guest list has already been minimized, and we are trying to stay under 25k or so in Chicago. A lot of my friends laughed when I said this number. Anybody have wedding budget stories/commiseration/encouragement?

    • Honestly, as a recent attendee of a bunch of weddings (and most of my friends make 6 figures each, but also have loans…), I’ve vastly enjoyed the low-key weddings more. I hate the overblown wedding trend, it just adds so much pressure to the couple. Spend money on what you care about, don’t spend money on things you don’t care about, and remember that you can throw an amazing party without spending a fortune.

      • I second this. The best weddings are always the most personal, and low-key usually means more personal. The only things that I ever really remember from weddings are (1) the music (because I like to dance), (2) food (whether it was satisfying and whether it was served or made available at an appropriate time), and (3) if the bride and groom were having fun. The other stuff just doesn’t matter. If the couple has spent a ton on flowers and decor, but are stressed and anxious the whole time, the party sucks.

        Other tip – do your pictures before the ceremony! It gives you so much more time to spend with your guests.

    • I had <125 person wedding in my parents' hometown (I had lived there as a child and it was reasonably close to my husband's family and many friends from college). It is very country. That made the hotels very inexpensive for people who traveled. The main factors were elderly relatives who don't travel well and that most guests would have children with them, so we had a big outdoor tented reception on a farm. I didn't have any attendants, so it was just a big family BBQ with a band and beer/wine/a few actual fireworks with a short religious event preceding. My in-laws had a rehearsal dinner the night before and were amazed at how inexensive it was.

      Maybe if you think "fun tailgate" instead of "wedding" this will be easier?

      FWIW, my taxes are easier several times the cost of my wedding, but in a small town, you don't have many options. I think you could pull off our wedding for 25K in Chicago. But if a lot of people are paying $$$ to be in your wedding with bridesmaid dresses, etc., then maybe that wouldn't match the reception ???

    • you can do it! :

      It really doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks. If you’re happy with your wedding, everyone else will be, too. Really! I know it doesn’t always feel that way, but it’s true. Your family and friends are coming to see you pledge your love to your fiance, not to eat the best food they’ve ever eaten or gossip about the bridesmaid dresses.

      How many people are you inviting? Have you chosen a venue yet?

      I just attended one of the loveliest weddings I’ve ever been to. And I know it was done on a budget, but it still felt personal, warm, fun, and most importantly, not at all cheap. There’s a lot in between a 40K wedding and a pizza party! Some ideas:

      Etsy for bridesmaid jewelry (and really, anything else you can think of!)
      Have fewer/no attendants
      Do beer/wine only and/or have a signature cocktail
      Do a luncheon instead of a dinner
      Get your dress from Ann Taylor or J. Crew

    • People at weddings care about 2 things: the food and the alcohol. And the food doesn’t even have to be that good, there just has to be a lot of it. Ditto for the alcohol (although my enjoyment at a wedding goes up substantially if the bartender will do shots).

      People may also care about the music, but will only care if it’s in the top 10% or bottom 10% of band/DJs. Otherwise it’s really all the same.

      People do not care about: venue, flowers (seriously, does anyone walk into a room and notice the flowers?), the photographer (although you may care about this, with good reason), the videographer, the linens, the tables, the chairs, the cut of your husband’s suit/tuxedo, your veil, your shoes, and at least 75% of the people won’t care about your dress.

      People may also care about the party favor, because it’s the last thing they get from the wedding, the only thing they take home, and it shows that you put some thought into them.

      Oh, and you should get one of those photo booths, they rock.

      • espresso bean :

        Totally agree with this. The food and alcohol are key. If those are good, everyone has a good time.

        Maybe pick one other thing that really matters to you (your dress, the photographer, a cocktail) and spend your money there, but cut back ruthlessly on everything else. I would definitely cut back on flowers. No one will remember them! And I think there are beautiful dresses out there for well under $500 if you look. Good luck!

      • People notice things like decorations, flowers, venue… and promptly forget it all by the next day. Unless you’ve got some serious faux pas going on (only enough chairs for a quarter of the guests to sit, one bathroom for 200 guests, not enough food, etc.), no one will care. If the bride and groom look beautiful and happy and the guests are treated well, everyone will think it was a marvelous wedding. Nothing else really matters in the long run.

    • DC Wonkette :

      I had a similar budget and was able to make it work. The key is to keep the guest list small (for us, around 85) if you want to have the nice location and catering. It honestly made it easier to have the cutoff be close family and friends instead of going into the “all other friends” category, especially if you have a local wedding. Don’t go crazy on flowers (unless it’s really important to you) because they are really expensive and stay away from venues that have a huge cost just to walk in the door. Our priority was to have a sit down dinner and open bar with decent booze, so we cut corners elsewhere. I also got a dress that wasn’t super expensive and hubby wore a suit.

      • DC Wonkette :

        Oh – and DON’T skimp on the photographer!

        • wedding monies :

          This sounds a lot like what we are planning, down to guest count, dress, food priority. It’s so reassuring to hear you say that you did this on a similar budget!!

          • DC Wonkette :

            One other hint: you can avoid the cost of having a day-of wedding planner by having a friend who is the designated point person and work with the DJ and caterer to make sure everything flows smoothly. I found a DJ who was willing to take on the role of making sure people moved places at the right time to keep everything on track. It was a huge help and not outside the scope of what a lot of DJs are willing to do!

    • TJ from above :

      I can commiserate! I am obviously also in the wedding planning process. SO and I each make 2 figures, so there is not that element, but because of family and friends scattered throughout the country and in Europe, we anticipate most people will have to travel for our wedding. And I keep worrying that it’s one thing to through a low-key pizza party type wedding when most people live nearby, and another when people are investing significant time and expense in attending.

      What I am trying (sometimes unsuccessfully) to do is to prioritize guests’ comfort/experience, but really cut back spending on the more flashy/showy parts of the wedding. So I am doing my own flowers and buying a used, affordable wedding dress. But I am hoping to spend more $$ on things that will directly translate to a good experience for guests–good and plentiful food, drinks, a location that’s easy to get to from the airport, etc.

      • also planning a wedding :

        I am just getting into the details of planning a wedding. How did you do your own flowers? Wondering if you can recommend a good place to buy flowers from in bulk. Thanks!

        • I ordered from fifty flowers for my wedding. They arrived on Wednesday and Thursday and we arranged them on those days. We kept them cool and well watered and they looked fabulous on Saturday

        • Silvercurls :

          If you’re in the DC area (or within whatever you define as “reasonable driving distance/time”), check out Potomac Floral, recommended to me by a long-ago colleague who also had her own event planning business. I’ve only purchased flowers for family & friends but have always enjoyed going there and paying, say $12.00 for 10-12 Gerbera daisies instead of approx $4-6 each.
          www (dot) flowerwholesale (dot) com

          Caveat emptor: check out their reviews, ask other folks, etc….don’t just follow my advice for your wedding without doing more research!

        • TJ from above :

          I’m following a friend’s example and getting Costco flowers shipped. My friend got bulk hydrangeas for $150-$200ish I think? We grabbed a a couple of bouquets at Trader Joe’s the day before the wedding. We kept the flowers in buckets of ice water and then the morning of the wedding, the bridesmaids made our own bouquets (3 hydrangeas per bouquet), and a bigger one for the bride with Trader Joe’s flowers added. We also made boutonnieres following a youtube tutorial (floral tape + wire + pins required for bouquets and boutonnieres).

          The rest of the hydrangeas we stuck haphazardly in mason jars, added votives etc. from IKEA to the tables, and done!

          So less than $300 for all flowers. They all stayed nice. The boutonnieres kept in the refrigerator, and we kept the stems long on the bouquets so we could keep them in water until the last minute. Then we just clipped the ends off and walked down the aisle.

          • Planning to do this as well. A number of people I know have done this and had a local florist do the “important” flowers (bride’s bouquet, etc)

        • SoCalAtty :

          If you have a Costco near you, check them out. They offer both made to order and buy in bulk packages, and their flowers are always very nice.

    • wedding monies :

      Thanks for the helpful comments. We have already cut a lot of the things mentioned and things typically spent on a wedding that we don’t care about, but it all still seems to add up so fast . . .

      • If you can cut your food budget down, do it! The best wedding food is no fuss. Lasagna, pizza, barbecue chicken, etc. But make sure you have plenty of it.

        Also – do your own makeup or have a friend do it, don’t get wedding favors, keep your linens and table settings very simple. Look at some DIY sites for centerpieces. Don’t buy the photographer’s “album” – just get a CD of the photos and make one yourself or have a family or friend do it as a gift. No videographer. Barebones flower budget. Very small wedding cake (but I have a big problem with overtouched desserts – I just picture someone else’s hands all over my food). For booze we skipped the open bar and served wine and beer, but after dinner we opened a scotch, bourbon and whiskey bar (with cigars) and people just drank it until it was gone. It was so. much. fun.

        • I really cannot emphasize how important it is to have a lot of food. I was at a wedding where there was like 2 trays of vegetables for the 200+ guests for the cocktail hour (after ceremony but before dinner). It still annoys me to think about it. The wedding was in a fancy hotel and it was obvious that the couple has chosen to spend money on the venue instead of the food, which was the wrong choice. Sorry to be judgmental, but it just was.

          • I went to a reception like that, only there was no dinner. Nice to find out after you’ve already had a few on an empty stomach. If I had known that, I would have cabbed there so that I didn’t have to go back and get my car the next morning. Which I could have understood if they were being merely frugal (and I would have been OK with Triscuits and Easy Cheese, truly), but this was at the Country Club of Virginia. WTH?

        • DO NOT DO YOUR OWN MAKEUP. if you are spending any money on photographs, you will want pro makeup & hair. this is hardly a big cost item & unless you’re not planning to ever look at a picture of yourself, don’t take this advice.

          • Oh good grief. I paid someone to do my makeup – she came highly recommended, but I hadn’t used her before. We did a run-through that looked fine, but the day of she didn’t do enough eye makeup and the lip color completely came off. I *gasp* went and re-did it myself right before pictures and it looked 10 times better.

            As with anything, it depends. If you don’t often wear makeup or don’t know how to do your own makeup, then hire someone. If you know how to do makeup and don’t have many special considerations (difficult skin, false eyelashes, etc.) then just do it yourself. Also, don’t expect that just because you paid someone to do your makeup that you’re magically going to look like the perfect version of yourself.

            I know many brides who didn’t even wear much makeup on their wedding day and they looked beautiful and their pictures didn’t crack the frame.

          • I agree with MH and, honestly, I’d just make sure the photographer will retouch photos. Photoshop works wonders and can make you look as beautiful as you remember looking :)

    • I would love a pizza party reception, actually. I think I’d only note something being “off” if it was a black-tie pizza party, so just keep it cohesive. Prioritize what you care about and spend there. If you want an awesome party, have food, drinks, music, but don’t worry about flowers and favors and crystal toasting glasses. I like the “fun tailgate” suggestion. Just because you’re in Chicago doesn’t mean you need the standard expensive Chicago wedding. If you’re looking for coordination, check out An Event Less Ordinary – I highly recommend.

    • We started off at about a $25k budget, and ended up at $40k after all of the “miscellaneous” costs that really might not appear in a budget, but add up quickly. I’m trying to remember all of the last minute things, but the biggest checks went to the venue (about $22k, 150-175 people, included food/alcohol and parking), the flowers (outside venue, serious gazebo / arch decoration and lighting), and music. I come from a musical family, so anything recorded would have been a no-no. I had a live band for the reception and a string quartet for before/during/after the ceremony.

      All that being said, they way in which I spent the money made the wedding look much more expensive than it actually was. I did all of the coordinating myself, and my vendors gave me the “wedding coordinator” discount since they only had to deal with me, and not anyone else. I booked the venue about 8 months out, and got the 2006 pricing instead of the 2007 pricing.

      We were happy that we threw the event we wanted to, even though we spent WAY too much money doing it. Depending on what you want, you can do things to make your money go much, much farther than it might otherwise. Renting out a house with a big backyard is one. Cutting way back on flowers is another – my first flower quote was $12k!! I spent much less than that by being creative. Keeping the guest list lower – under 100 – gets you into more intimate venues and lowers your cost. I felt that by finding a venue that could also do the catering, my cost went down (but I had a tasting to make sure the food was GOOD! That was important to me too.)

      If you want video, find out if you can just pay them to shoot raw footage (get HD!) and give that to you, and you can have it cut together later or cut it together yourself if you are good at that. Make sure you make a deal with the photographer to get the digital files, too.

      Good luck! We had a really fun time planning our wedding and getting creative. Our prices are probably a little inflated just because the wedding was here in Malibu.

    • Anonymous :

      Specific encouragement: My sister was married about two years ago just outside Chicago (Oak Lawn). She spent about 18K and had 100 guests. She chose to do a luncheon right after the wedding Mass, we made her bouquets and centerpieces with flowers from a wholesaler, she got her beautiful dress from Nordstrom Rack ($75), and her husband made a playlist and hooked up his iPod at hotel reception. Doing a luncheon instead of dinner and dancing made the biggest impact on savings, but I know that’s not for everyone. The wedding industry exists to sell you stuff; try to examine each “must-have” and decide if it’s important to you and your guests.

    • If you’re willing to look a little bit afield, check out venues in Oak Park. The 19th Century Club and the Carleton Hotel may be much more reasonably priced than downtown Chicago, but still within very close walking distance of the L and Metra lines (if that’s a concern).

      • Oh, and the Pleasant Home in Mills Park also rents out, and I saw any number of beautiful weddings when I lived across the street, and I heard it was very affordable.

  20. I also live in Chicago and just had my wedding here last year. It’s freaking insanely expensive. My husband and I have been to a fair amount of other Chicago weddings of a similar vein. I will tell you though – we went to a southern wedding which was so different than any other wedding we had been to. It was outside, casual, low key (we’re used to the “fancier” elaborate Chicago weddings) and we just loved it because it was different. You could have a totally awesome, low key wedding in Chicago – where is your venue? And most importantly I think if you and your husband are happy and having a wonderful time (which I’m sure you will be) then your guests will be happy and having a wonderful time as well! :)

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