November 25, 2015

APW Happy Hour | A Practical Wedding

APW Happy Hour

In the kitchen baking pies with my baby

by Najva Sol
HEY APW, I’m back in DC (ok, ok, it’s actually Maryland) for the Turkey Day festivities. Every single family member’s got something intense going on, and I’m stuck at my computer, like “Hey grandma, I know I haven’t seen you at a year and you’re recovering from hip surgery… but just because I’m home doesn’t mean I’m on vacation… yet” which makes me feel like a jerk. (She doesn’t mind, she’s proud to have a hardworking grand-daughter—but still!) No matter how much... read more


Which Stage of “The Married Holiday Cycle” Are You In? | A Practical Wedding

Which Stage of “The Married Holiday Cycle” Are You In?

It's a marathon, not a sprint

by Maddie Eisenhart
Every year it feels a little like Michael and I are inventing married holidays again for the first time. We’re not quite settled into a routine of our own yet, but we also aren’t participating wholly with our families of origin each year either. Instead, we’re in this strangely exciting—and only a little stressful—limbo, where every year it feels like we get to roll the dice and see where we land. I thought maybe we were alone in this, until I stumbled on Meg’s holiday post from last year, where she laid out her stages of... read more

A couple of days ago

This Is the Best Spontaneous Wedding Moment Weve Seen All Year | A Practical Wedding

This Is the Best Spontaneous Wedding Moment We’ve Seen All Year

Oh, and it's free, so you should #stealthisidea

by Najva Sol
Sometimes I miss things, by which I mean I can’t actually live inside Instagram (I’ve tried). For that reason, I encourage everyone on staff to send me cool wedding pictures. When they sent me this one I had questions. Were they praying? Were they synchronized dancing? What’s the deal? Thank goodness for crowdsourcing, because otherwise I never would have heard of the concept of “plugging in.” We reached out to the couple, Brian and Dana, for more information, and Dana explained it thus: “Plugging in” is defined as... read more
41 Classic and Modern Hymns for Your Church Wedding | A Practical Wedding

41 Classic and Modern Hymns for Your Church Wedding

A mix of the new and old, plus a handful of all-time staff faves

by Meg Keene
Much of wedding media assumes that you’re going to write your vows and your ceremony from scratch (and hey, we have tons of resources on that). But if you’re having a religious wedding service, writing anything from scratch is usually pretty much off the table. But what you are allowed to do is get creative with your religious music selection. So if you’re having a church wedding, we’ve rounded up some wedding hymns beloved by the APW community, along with a few other hymns we just flat out love. Call this our best wedding hymns... read more

November 20, 2015

APW Happy Hour | A Practical Wedding

APW Happy Hour

Absinthe, gratitude, and giggles

by Najva Sol
Hey APW, I wrote this happy hour hella late this week (burning the midnight oil here) because instead of working last night, we had an APW staff celebration meal with many rounds of absinthe cocktails and fancy foods. Since I arrived a few weeks ago: Kate had a birthday, Maddie signed a bunch of really exciting partnerships for next year, Meg finished her book and launched our newsletter, and I… found a group of co-workers I actually enjoy hanging out with. It’s my second time out in the Bay to meet up with the crew for IRL coffee,... read more
What Does $5K Do for a Small Business? | A Practical Wedding

What Does $5K Do for a Small Business?

Our final interview with the APW + Squarespace small business scholarship winner

by Maddie Eisenhart
As November draws to a close, we are officially hitting the time of year at APW when we are talking about money… a lot. There are taxes to be paid and budgets to be sorted out for the next calendar year. So it seemed an appropriate time to sit down and catch up with our APW + Squarespace small business scholarship winner, Tristen Chang of RCG Education, to find out what winning the $5,000 scholarship meant for her and her business. Of course, the APW + Squarespace small business scholarship wasn’t just about the $5,000. It also came with... read more

November 19, 2015

Am I a Bad Friend If I Cant Afford a $15,000 Bridesmaid Dress? | A Practical Wedding

Am I a Bad Friend If I Can’t Afford a $15,000 Bridesmaid Dress?

AAPW: I worked hard for my money (and I'm not about to blow it)

by Liz Moorhead
Q: I have been asked to be a bridesmaid by a longtime (over fifteen years) and very dear friend. This woman is the sister I never had, and we’re closer to each other than we are to many of our own family members. I happily said yes without realizing that her tastes and budget far, far exceed mine. She is marrying into a great deal of money, and she’s having a huge, expensive wedding. That’s fine. The problem is that the dresses she selected for her bridesmaids START at $7,000. That’s right—$7,000 is the price of the cheapest of... read more

November 18, 2015

29 Ways To Make The Holidays Magical (Not Commercial) | A Practical Wedding

29 Ways To Make The Holidays Magical (Not Commercial)

What do you do when life gets hard before the holidays? Throw some glitter at it.

by Meg Keene
This year we’ll be celebrating our twelfth holiday season as a couple. In the decade plus that we’ve been our own circus, we’ve gone from casual celebration in a near-empty New York City to cramming four holidays, our son’s birthday, two families, and mountains of tradition into one short month. Things have gotten more and more intense, and by last New Year’s Eve, I just wanted to lay my pregnant self down and take a nap forever. (Which I could not do, because our son ended up in the hospital with RSV, pneumonia, and asthma... read more

November 17, 2015

a&bé Bridal Shop is Expanding to Dallas! | A Practical Wedding

a&bé Bridal Shop is Expanding to Dallas!

The coolest wedding dresses at prices that won't make you cry

by Maddie Eisenhart
Every time someone I love gets engaged, the first thing I do is try to figure out how I can take them on a field trip to a&bé Bridal Shop. Because after spending countless hours researching affordable, stylish wedding dresses for APW, I’ve come to the conclusion that a&bé Bridal Shop is simply one of the coolest bridal salons around: the majority of their dresses are priced between $1,000 and $3,000 and the focus is on indie and up-and-coming designers. Plus, there’s never ever, ever any pressure to buy. So not only are your... read more
Open Thread: How Often Do You Get It On? | A Practical Wedding

Open Thread: How Often Do You Get It On?

Girl, I do this often. (I think? Define often.)

by Najva Sol
I’ve always prided myself on being good, giving, and game in relationships. Sex between consenting adults is rad, and no matter if folks are into fluffies or bondage or humiliation or missionary… my philosophy since I was really young was always #youdoyou. But no matter how sex-positive I was, there wasn’t anything that could prepare me for the first major “we need to have more sex” talk. I was nineteen, in finals mode, working weekends, underslept, and feeling about as sexy as dirty rag. My partner was underemployed, and had lots of... read more

November 16, 2015

Our Families Didnt Bat an Eyelash at Our Interracial, Interfaith, International Same Sex Wedding | A Practical Wedding

Our Families Didn’t Bat an Eyelash at Our Interracial, Interfaith, International Same-Sex Wedding

"We were just two people in love, wearing ridiculously beautiful clothes, and pledging to spend our lives together."

by A Practical Wedding
J and I met on the first day of law school and started dating as 2Ls. We've seen each other through a lot in the intervening five years—finals, the bar exam (sharing one hotel room!), coming out to our families, my mom's diagnosis and recovery from cancer, a year of long distance while J clerked in Indiana, three years of big-law life, seven moves, one bout of mononucleosis, more than a few misguided fashion choices. We wanted our wedding to be a celebration of the people who brought us to where we are today—our dearest family and friends, our dog... read more
How to Not Be an Asshole to the Atheists at Thanksgiving Dinner | A Practical Wedding

How to Not Be an Asshole to the Atheists at Thanksgiving Dinner

What's God got to do with it?

by Alice Sloan
As the holiday season approaches and we’re all deciding if and how and where to spend our precious days off, one thing that often comes up is conflict between religious and non-religious families. Nearly 40 percent of Americans these days are married to someone outside their religious denomination, so this has the potential to affect an awful lot of people. I am an atheist, and I’m writing this based on my personal experience. (I’m also lumping the agnostics here, not because I think they’re the same as atheists, but because they... read more

November 13, 2015

APW Happy Hour | A Practical Wedding

APW Happy Hour

#APWPlanner, made possible by you

by Meg Keene
Hey APW, This week marks me being back from maternity leave for exactly one month and our second APW newsletter. (They each contain a secret bonus post! Sign up for yours here.) It also was another traumatic week for my family (WHYWHYWHY), and David and I celebrated eleven years together yesterday… which is just crazy! BUT! In the midst of all this insanity, the book that I slaved over for nine months during a wildly difficult pregnancy is finally getting close to coming out! It seems impossible, but soon I’ll get to hold it in my hands. And... read more
7 Ways Hunger Games Subverted Gender Roles | A Practical Wedding

7 Ways Hunger Games Subverted Gender Roles

The awesomeness doesn't end with Katniss

by Stephanie Kaloi
First of all, let me go ahead and get this out of the way: I am super late to the Hunger Games party. Like, wildly so. I didn’t read the first book until August 2015. We were on the last leg of our cross-country move (Oregon to Tennessee), and my husband put the first audio book on while I navigated our way out of St. Louis. I don’t know if the combination of hanger, dehydration, and exhaustion I was experiencing was the culprit or what, but I cried three times during the first chapter and insisted that we pull over at [&hellip... read more

November 12, 2015

Introducing Alex Ward Photography in NY, NOLA, and CA! | A Practical Wedding

Introducing Alex Ward Photography in NY, NOLA, and CA!

Where full day coverage comes standard 'cause the good stuff happens in between moments

by Stephanie Kaloi
Who: Alex Ward Photography Why: Because you’re looking for a super fresh wedding photographer near you who won’t break the bank… and you live in one of the three places where Alex works. Where/How Much: Alex Ward works in three locations—New York, New Orleans, and California. Elopement rates begin at $750, and full wedding day coverage begins at $2350. Alex believes in the power of digital photography but also appreciates and emphasizes tangible memories, so you can add on a thirty-six-page photo book, framed 4×6 prints,... read more
How Do I Tell My Sister to Practice Better Hygiene for My Wedding? | A Practical Wedding

How Do I Tell My Sister to Practice Better Hygiene for My Wedding?

AAPW: She gets offended at every suggestion I make

by Liz Moorhead
Q: My sister (who is three years older than me) and I are very different and have never been close. Now that we’re grown, we lead very different lives: she is a teacher in a quiet town in the Midwest, and I am a marketing manager in a city. We see each other for the holidays, and occasionally exchange texts and Facebook messages, but we otherwise don’t have a very active relationship. While I wish we were closer, the truth is that she really aggravates me. It’s not because we’re so different, but because she’s lazy and stubborn... read more