All Articles Tagged "weddings"

My Dad Insists On Funding My Wedding, But I’m Sure He Can’t Afford What I Want

November 17th, 2015 - By Jazmine Denise Rogers
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My Dad Insists On Funding My Wedding, But I'm Sure He Can't Afford What I Want


When trying to bring family together for a major event, things are bound to get interesting. Wedding planning, in particular, seems to heighten awkwardness levels by placing you in decision-making situations that are horrifyingly uncomfortable. A 25-year-old bride-to-be recently took to Reddit to ask for advice regarding her upcoming nuptials.

Her father insists on going the traditional route by paying for the entire wedding himself. The problem, however, is that her father makes significantly less than her 32-year-old fiancé does and is likely unable to afford the type of wedding she has in mind. To paint a picture without providing actual figures, the bride-to-be gave the following explanation.

Now, my dad is a fairly successful small businessman in a niche industry. Let’s say he makes (not real numbers, remember!) 300K/year. My fiancé ascended the ranks in his company fairly quickly, and with bonuses and such, he makes 400K/year. We are debt free (fiancé quietly paid off my student loans last year that weren’t much to begin with, as my dad paid for half), and I’m optimistic about the future as I’m about midway through my residency at the moment. So, we’re in great shape. My dad is pretty good shape, too, but has my 3 siblings’ undergrad tuition & living expenses to be worrying about.

When she actually spoke to her mom about the venue at which she would like to host the wedding, her father told her to consider something more cost-effective.

My dad has been insistent since we got engaged, that he would be footing the bill for the wedding. I get that that is traditional. However, fiancé has just kind of brushed this off all “Oh he’ll pay for your dress or something, it’s really going to be us who foot the bill” and hasn’t, until recently, realized that my dad fully intends to pay for the whole thing. This is problematic because, for example, I’ve told my mom about where we want to have the wedding, and my dad ended up calling me and calmly telling me that that place was a little outside our budget; I should look for a closer place, etc. When I tried to have a conversation about the fact that we’re going to pay for it, my dad kind of went “Nonsense, you can’t afford it, you’re a young couple and should be saving for babies/houses/investing/etc., besides, it’s traditional” and when I tried to tell him we were in good shape to be paying for it, he just reiterated the above items.

While she appreciates her father’s offer to help, she would much prefer to handle things herself—if it means she’ll get her dream wedding.

Obviously, this is a point of pride for my dad, but we also need to have a discussion with him and firmly tell him that we’ll be paying for the whole thing.

So, how should she break this news to her well-meaning father without hurting his feelings?

Serious Question: Would You Be Salty If A Friend Bought The Same Wedding Dress You Did?

November 12th, 2015 - By Jazmine Denise Rogers
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So much can go wrong on the road to the altar, but dealing with a wedding dress copycat typically isn’t one of the scenarios that come to mind when thinking of potential wedding planning disasters. However, it seems that this issue is actually quite common.

Many of the popular wedding message boards are filled with stories shared by brides who were left dumbfounded after learning that a close friend or relative is planning to (or have already purchased) their same exact wedding dress. In most cases, the copycat’s wedding is first and typically, the ceremonies fall within weeks of one another.

One story that particularly stood out was posted on the popular Wedding Bee message board six years ago. A bride-to-be was equally frustrated and distraught over the fact that a friend would be purchasing a dress identical to hers.

A friend (my fiancé’s friend’s fiancé) has expressed their desire to purchase the same wedding dress as me and host there wedding within a month of my own. I have already purchased my dress (no refunds or returns) and paid for the reception/ ceremony site several months ago.

I did ask the friend (very nicely) to not purchase the dress, but she insists that it is the dress of her dreams, and she should not have to compromise.

We have all the same friends, and will have the same guest list besides our own families.
I feel offended and hurt by the situation. If I were on the opposite end, I would certainly refrain from purchasing the same dress and deeply apologize for even considering it.

A similar situation unfolded on Wedding Wire two years ago.

My fiancé has become close friends with a guy at work whose bride bought the exact same dress as me. They’ve invited us to their wedding which is less than a month before ours. What do I do?

I really don’t know how I would react if I knew that someone purchased a dress identical to mine. My coworkers say that they would be infuriated and would demand that the copycat make a different selection; however, out of all of the stories I’ve come across, the copycat was rarely willing to part with the dress.

What would you do?

Wedding Photographer: Your iPad Is Cheapening The Moment For The Bride & Groom

November 10th, 2015 - By Jazmine Denise Rogers
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I love my kinfolk. I swear I do. I’ll never let anyone say anything bad about them.

Now that that’s out of the way, I have a confession: I am worried that they’re going to annoy the hell out of me on my wedding day. My aunties are Facebook all stars. I kid you not. No matter what the time of day, if I open Facebook, one of them will likely be at the top of my newsfeed. They will whip out those iPads with the quickness, and before you know it, your photos are all over the book. For this reason, I’ve been contemplating limiting cell phone, and mobile device camera use to the reception—and banning it at the actual ceremony. And the recent rant-gone-viral post by wedding photographer Thomas Stewart pretty much confirmed why I should do so.

Stewart’s post was accompanied by a photo snapped at one of his recent weddings, which shows a groom who had to lean over just to see his bride as she walked down the aisle because several guests were blocking his view with their camera phones. Um, annoying much?

Thomas Stewart Photography

Thomas Stewart Photography

In short, Stewart wanted to communicate that while your first reaction is probably to whip out your mobile devices to capture photos at weddings, you’re not only cheapening the moment for yourself but also, the bride and groom. His full post reads:

Right, I’ve had enough. I want to talk to you all about guests using mobile phones / cameras at weddings. I want to plead with you, and I’m going to make this very simple: brides and grooms, please have a completely unplugged wedding ceremony. 

Look at this photo. This groom had to lean out past the aisle just to see his bride approaching. Why? Because guests with their phones were in the aisle and in his way. 

This sucks. And I’m not blaming these guests in particular; I actually take a large amount of responsibility for this occurring. In the past, I should have been more specific with my clients in explaining to them why guests should be told no photos. Well, from now on, I’m going to make a pretty big deal about it. 

If you’re planning a wedding, please consider these points: 

1. Guests with phones, iPads and cameras get right in your photographer’s way. They have no idea how to stay out of our way. They often ruin many of our shots. They will make our photos worse. You’re paying a photographer quite a bit of money; that means you want great photos. We cannot do our best work with people getting in our way. 

2. These same guests will get in YOUR way. You will miss moments of your own wedding day because there’ll be an iPad in the way. You will miss seeing your partner’s face in the aisle. 

3. The guests’ photos are usually crap. I’m sorry, but it is true. You can’t take great photos with your camera phone by leaning into the aisle of a dark church to photograph a moving subject. Hell, even lots of professionals have trouble with this. 

And finally, the most important point: 

4. Imagine you’re in the middle of your wedding ceremony. You’re elated. You decide to take a quick glance towards your guests as you’re sure they’re sharing these happy moments with you, possibly even shedding a tear of their own. What do you see? NO FACES AT ALL AS THEY ARE ALL HIDDEN BEHIND PHONES AND CAMERAS! I highly doubt this is the way you want to remember your wedding ceremony. 

In your invites, tell everyone you’re having an unplugged ceremony: no technology, please, write it on a chalkboard that guests can see as they arrive on the day. Tell your celebrant/minister /priest to tell the guests at the start of the ceremony. HIRE A PLANE TO WRITE IT IN THE SKY! 

And guests, you’ve been invited to this wedding to share and celebrate the love that two people feel for each other. They didn’t invite you along to take photographs that they probably won’t really look at anyway. They want you there with them in heart and soul, and they want to see your tear-filled eyes as you form part of their wedding ceremony. You are witnesses to their marriage, so for goodness sake, watch them with your eyes and your minds, not your phones. 

So guests please, for my sake, and for the sake of the two people getting married, leave your cameras at home and put your phones / iPads away.

Did you have an unplugged wedding? Do you wish you had?

Serious Question: Is It Rude To Ask Bridesmaids To Cover Their Tattoos?

November 5th, 2015 - By Jazmine Denise Rogers
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Serious Question: Is It Rude To Ask Bridesmaids To Cover Their Tattoos?


Wedding planning can be stressful; I get that. As someone who is still in the early stages of coordinating her wedding, I have been offered a glimpse into how much work brides put into making sure their wedding day is as close to perfect as possible. However, I realized early on that it is humanly impossible to be able to control and dictate how everything will unfold on the day that I officially become a Mrs., and I’m okay with that. Of course, not every bride-to-be is on that “let go and let God” wave when it comes to her nuptials.

One night while I was commuting home last month, I overheard a woman complaining to a friend about her maid of honor’s tattoo. From what I could gather, the MOH’s tattoo was fairly new and on the larger side. The bride was pretty pissed off about it because it would be highly visible in the dress she selected. For nearly 15 minutes, this woman ranted on and on about the “hideous” body art and how inconsiderate it was for her MOH to get inked up prior to the wedding. Meanwhile, her friend, who I assume is not in the wedding, cosigned her Bridezilla-type antics every step of the way. The friend eventually suggested that she “put her foot down” and demand that said bridesmaid have the tat covered for the ceremony and reception. The bride seemed to agree that this was a good idea, and that was the end of that.

I’m sorry, what? First of all, it’s a terrible idea to “demand” that a grown adult who is volunteering her time, money and resources to be in your wedding do anything. And even if you do ask nicely, there’s a big chance she’ll be offended—in addition to the fact that she reserves the right to say no.

I was reminded of this conversation when I came across a resurrected post on Wedding Bee this morning about a bride who wanted to know if she should “confront” a bridesmaid over a tattoo. After skimming a few other wedding boards and websites, I realized that this is a pretty common issue. While not all of them are as demanding as my fellow Long Island Railroad passenger, many brides are out here losing it and under the impression that this type of body art will take away from the elegance of their weddings.

“During our dress fittings, I found out that two of my bridesmaids have tattoos. While I fine with whatever they want to get on their body in their personal life, I am not really a tattoo person and don’t know if I want them to show on my wedding day,” one bride explained in a post on Wedding Wire earlier this year. “I don’t mean to be snobby about this, but I am more conservative (and my family and my fiancé are 100 times more conservative) and would just rather they were covered up. One bridesmaid has a tattoo on her back and short hair, and one bridesmaid has one on her arm. How do I ask they nicely if we can cover them up without sounding like a demanding Bridezilla?”

If handled with care, I guess making this suggestion would be okay; however, I would imagine that these types of conversations also have the potential to go left rather quickly. Ladies, do you think it’s rude to ask bridesmaids to cover their tattoos?

Family Wedding Photo Honors Couple’s Deceased Child

November 4th, 2015 - By Kweli Wright
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Brandy Angel Photography

When Anna Bozman married Travis Thompson last month in Georgia, they were elated that their two children, Trindon, five, and Cambree, two, were able to see their parents get married. But there was a certain sadness that eight-year-old Lake wasn’t there to celebrate with his family: He passed away in May from a rare form of leukemia.

Mom, Anna, says she “felt [Lake] all day,” during her wedding, and she wanted people to know that he had been there in spirit. “I wanted people to see that he is an angel,” she told Inside Edition.

So when Anna told their phootgrapher, Brandy Angel, about her wish, Angel and a co-worker of Bozman’s collaborated to incorporate a faded image of Lake into a shot of the rest of the family.

“Although I felt his presence that day and I was actually happy, it was almost unbearable to take family pictures without him. I could feel my emotions taking over after the ceremony when it was time to take pictures. I became anxious and almost irritated but I knew these pictures had to be taken. They turned out beautiful and thanks to my amazing photographer she was able to get some special edits done. I needed this picture more than she or anyone could ever know. THIS is my family. And we will be together again. Thank you to all of you for the support and love that you have showed our family these past 6 months,” she wrote in a Facebook post.

“I’m sure some people look at it in a different way,” Bozman told Inside Editionof the photo. “To me, it’s comforting.”

“I felt his presence there. So for me, it was the right thing to do.”

Would you create a picture like this to honor a deceased child or family member?

Serious Question: Would You Rock Your Man’s Tooth As Your Engagement Ring?

November 3rd, 2015 - By Jazmine Denise Rogers
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Serious Question: Would You Rock Your Man's Wisdom Tooth In Your Engagement Ring?


As a frequent visitor of wedding websites and message boards, I realize that diamonds are not every girl’s best friend. Instead of going the traditional route, many brides-to-be opt to have moissanite, sapphires, and other gemstones set in their engagement rings. However, I have never heard of an e-ring quite like the one that belongs to Carlee Leifkes of California.

According to BuzzFeed News, Leifkes’ fiancé, Lucas Unger, proposed this past Halloween with an engagement ring that featured his wisdom tooth as the center stone.

“When we’d spoken about it, I’d said that diamonds are so overrated,” Leifkes told BuzzFeed News. “My birthstone is a diamond. I don’t need one to prove how much someone loves me. He’d already moved all the way from Canada to do that!”

After a bit of brainstorming, the couple decided that they would use Unger’s wisdom tooth, which he had removed when he was younger. So they had his father send the tooth in the mail, and the rest is history.

According to the Leifkes, she refused to be like the other future brides in her Facebook network, who she accuses of being superficial and competitive.

“It’s almost a contest of who has the biggest ring and whose fiancé loves them the most, and here I am with the coolest ring I’ve ever seen in my life!” she said. “What does a diamond signify in anybody’s relationship? I literally have my husband’s wisdom on my finger.”

The couple is planning to tie the knot next month in Las Vegas.

While not wanting to be superficial is understandable, this is quite different. And as always, we’re interested in hearing your thoughts. Would you wear your man’s tooth in your engagement ring?

The Road To The Altar: I Said Yes…To The First Dress I Tried On

October 29th, 2015 - By Jazmine Denise Rogers
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The Road To The Altar: I Said Yes...To The First Dress I Tried On


As two ladies from the MN team prepare to say “I do,” they share what they’re learning about their relationships, the wedding-planning process, and themselves.

I always knew that my dress shopping experience wasn’t going to be an elaborate one. Running with a big clique got old once high school ended, and I consider myself to be a no-fuss bride. Besides, television programs like “Say Yes to the Dress” already showed me what I didn’t want my dress shopping experience to be like. The only person who I felt absolutely had to be there during dress shopping adventures is my A-1, since day one: my mommy. And that’s exactly what happened. However, I never imagined that the day I found and purchased the dress would unfold the way that it did. I also never imagined that I’d end up purchasing a dress before officially booking the venue.

It was a Saturday like any other. My workaholic mom and I were kicking it when she decided to do a quick sales run to check up on one of her biggest accounts. We grabbed lunch afterward, and as we chit-chatted over a platter of Hurricane Grill & Wings’ firecracker shrimp, we conspired to get some wedding stuff done. We had an appointment at my dream venue later that evening, so we decided that we would go try on wedding dresses for fun.

My mom (in the purple) and I two summers ago.

Me and my mom at my cousin’s wedding two summers ago.

Initially, we tried to find the bridal shop that my mom purchased her dress from 27 years ago when she and my dad tied the knot. Unfortunately, we learned that they went out of business years ago. But we wound up at a local shop.

“We’re just freestyling today,” I told the woman who greeted us at the front desk and questioned us on the nature of our visit. “We’re just trying to get an idea of what’s out there.”

However, seconds after those words left my lips, this ivory Cinderella-type gown caught my eye.

“This is going to fit me perfectly,” I immediately told my mother.

I was practically salivating over it, but I tried not to get my hopes up. I received the rude awakening years ago when I went prom dress shopping that just because something looks good on the mannequin or hanger doesn’t mean that it’s going to fit properly—especially when it comes to formal wear. However, I was pleasantly surprised when I tried the dress on, and it fit perfectly.

I must’ve stood in the middle of the bridal shop staring at myself in the dress for over 30 minutes. It was gorgeous, and it fit like a glove.

“Is this the dress?” I asked my mom, who was snapping photos to send to my sister.

There’s no way that the very first wedding dress I try on ever in life could be the dress. Or could it? I tried on several other gorgeous dresses just to be sure, but none of them gave me the feels like my fairytale-esque ball gown did.

“No honey, you glow in the other dress. There’s no comparison,” said the aunt of another patron as I stared at myself in a different gown.

“Girl, don’t worry about it. I bought the first dress I tried on, too,” another auntie agreed.

I took a few more minutes to think about it, and before I knew it, I was at the register ordering my gown.

My experience wasn’t anything like what happens in the movies, but if I could go back in time, I wouldn’t change a thing.

The Road To The Altar: Would You Be In Your Feelings If You Had To Attend A Wedding On Black Friday?

October 14th, 2015 - By Jazmine Denise Rogers
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As two ladies from the MN team prepare to say “I do,” they share what they’re learning about their relationships, the wedding-planning process, and themselves.

Weddings are expensive. The entire planning process is a constant reminder of that. And while I am trying to have the full “fairytale” wedding experience, I am definitely not trying to be in debt after all is said and done. The experts say that hosting a wedding during the “off season” could shave hundreds—sometimes even thousands—of dollars off of venue costs. So I recently began entertaining the idea of holding our wedding during the winter or fall months. I became quite fond of the idea of holding an evening ceremony and reception the day after Thanksgiving.

I mentioned it to my fiancé during a lunch outing following Sunday morning service last weekend. Although he was visibly distracted by the Bills vs. Bengals game, he stopped watching long enough to chew on the idea of a Black Friday ceremony and give some solid feedback. He quickly got on board for reasons similar to the ones that attracted me to the date in the first place. Personally, I feel like the date has sentimental value. It would be the day after we got through celebrating family and showing thanks. We’re guessing that most of our guest list, which mainly consists of close relatives, would have the day off already. They’re all local, so we wouldn’t have to worry about anyone trying to fly in during one of the most expensive travel weekends of the year–not to mention that weekday weddings are slightly less expensive than weekend weddings. It would also be an excuse for our families to celebrate all weekend long and there are probably so many fun things that we could probably do to bring everyone together for the holiday and wedding.

At the same time, I realize that there are some who probably would be annoyed by the idea of having to attend a wedding on the day after a major holiday. People tend to put a lot into hosting Thanksgiving dinner, and it’s understandable that some folks may be exhausted after all of that. Then, of course, there’s the fact that Black Friday is the day many people head out to the stores to get their Christmas shopping done. While I’m pretty confident that most—if not all—of our guests, would be okay with missing a few hours of shopping to celebrate with us, you just never know. I realize that you can’t please everyone and that people will always find something to complain about, but I also wonder if hosting a Black Friday wedding would be inconsiderate. We certainly don’t want a bunch of miserable guests sitting around wishing that they were elsewhere.

Ladies, would you be open to attending a wedding on the day after Thanksgiving? If not, why?

The Road To The Altar: Is It Impolite To Pick And Choose Which Children Are Invited To Your Wedding?

October 5th, 2015 - By Jazmine Denise Rogers
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As two ladies from the MN team prepare to say “I do,” they share what they’re learning about their relationships, the wedding-planning process, and themselves.

Since day one, I knew that a “child-free” wedding wasn’t an option for me. For one, I like the idea of my future stepdaughter having some people her age to socialize with during the reception. And secondly, two of my younger cousins—who are nine and ten going on sixty-nine and seventy—would never forgive me if I told their grandma to leave them home (I promise, they’re like miniature church mothers). And this is kind of where the problems begin.

Both my fiancé and I have a ton of children in our families, so we compiled a list of the children who we absolutely want to be present on our big day. His list is comprised of his nieces and nephews. Almost all of the children on my list belong to my first cousins. Unfortunately, there are so many children belonging to other relatives who did not make the list. I realize that inviting parents while failing to invite their children is a sensitive subject. I imagine that things get even trickier when you have to tell some parents, “No, it’s not an ‘adults only’ wedding, but your children are not invited.” And I mean really, how do you play the “you’re in, you’re out” game with a bunch of kids without feeling like a petty Regina George?

I thought that I could get some advice from my dad, who is almost always on my side, but he was surprisingly firm in his beliefs about inviting parents while banning their children from social functions.

“If someone invited me somewhere, and my babies couldn’t go I stayed my butt home,” he boldly stated.

And I’m sure there are some parents who feel the same way that he does. I’ve heard horror stories about people throwing fits about their children not being welcome at wedding receptions—not to mention the recent situation where a wedding guest was invoiced by a bride who held a kid-free wedding after pulling a no-call, no-show on the day of the ceremony because her babysitter cancelled. However, I also realize that allowing every single guest to bring their children along just to appease everybody and their mamas could get chaotic (and expensive) fast.

So I’m left wondering if there are any hard and fast rules for inviting children to weddings? Should weddings be an all or none sort of situation when it comes to children, or is there a polite way to invite some and not others? According to The Knot, it’s perfectly fine to include some children while excluding others, but they couldn’t promise that folks won’t be unhappy about it. Joanna Saltz writes:

Don’t feel as though having kids at your wedding opens it up to everyone under 13. Although it may seem tough to exclude, it’s perfectly fine only to invite children who are part of your or your fiance’s family — or those of close family friends. Just because you want your niece at your wedding doesn’t mean you must have everyone else’s niece. If you let yourself get caught up in the drama of “Why wasn’t my child invited?!” you’re going to find yourself in a big (and expensive) mess, with every child of every random guest coming out of the woodwork looking for an invitation. Stand strong, and tell people you’re sorry you can’t include everyone — that you’re trying to limit the guest list.

Clearly, I have some decisions to make.

Did you have a tough time determining which children, if any, would be invited to your wedding? What did you eventually decide and why?

Fair Or Foul? Wedding Guests Receive Invoice After Pulling A No-Call, No-Show

October 1st, 2015 - By Jazmine Denise Rogers
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Want to piss a bride off in under 10 seconds? Try telling her at the very last minute that you won’t be attending her wedding. Or even better, just don’t show up. You know, after she has already given the caterer a final head count, finalized seating charts and made final payments to the venue based on guests that have sent in their RSVPs.

Jessica Barker of Minnesota apparently learned this lesson the hard way after she pulled a no-show on the day of a relative’s wedding over the summer. In Barker’s defense, her cousin was hosting a kid-free wedding ceremony and Barker’s mother, who was supposed to babysit, had to cancel at the last minute. So she and her husband decided to stay home but failed to notify the bride and groom.

“We were excited to have a night out, and we got a call from my mom saying that my brother’s daughter was sick with hand-foot-and-mouth disease, and my mom had been exposed and didn’t want to expose my kids,” Baker told ABC. “She needed to be with her, and she wouldn’t be able to make it.”

Several weeks later, the Barkers received a bill for the meals they would have eaten had they attended the ceremony. The total: $75.90.

“This cost reflects the amount paid by the bride and groom for meals that were RSVP’d for, reimbursement and explanation for no show, card, call or text would be appreciated,” the invoice reads.

Barker tells local news station KARE that she was shocked to receive the bill.

“You’ve got to be kidding me,” she said. “It listed, we would have had two herb crusted walleye and there was also a service and tax charge.”

“I laughed a little bit and just kind of thought about it, that maybe there was something I could have done differently,” Baker said. “Obviously, they were hurt if they sent us an invoice, but I just didn’t feel there was a whole lot I could do to rectify the situation.”

Oh, and in case you’re wondering, she doesn’t plan on reimbursing the relative, but says that she may consider repaying the couple in a different way, like writing a check to charity and sending them the receipt/

“I guess I don’t know what the right answer would have been, what the right thing to do would have been.”

According to Barker, she and her husband are not very close to the couple.

“The bride and the groom are a couple that we’ve not heard from for the 12 years that we’ve been married, so I’m not very close to the bride and groom really at all,” she said. “The bride’s brother was the person we were closest to. There wasn’t a rift; it’s just extended family.”

Of course, it was extremely tacky for the bride to send out invoices for missed meals. Things happen that are sometimes out of people’s control. However, it was also rude and inconsiderate of the Barkers not to reach out and at least communicate to someone that they would not be in attendance after they had already RSVP’d. At that point, it was probably too late for the newlyweds to get their money back from the venue, but a simple email or text message would have made their absence feel like less of a slap in the face.

What are your thoughts on this situation?