364 Days To Go


by Meg Keene, Editor-In-Chief

364 Days To Go | A Practical WeddingOn Saturday David and I celebrated our minus-one anniversary with dinner at the legendary Chez Panisse Cafe. I surprised David with the dinner, and I think it was one of the better gifts I’ve given him! I’ve been hearing about Chez Panisse – the birthplace of California cuisine, and the local and organic food movements as we know them – for my whole life. Naturally, I was worried that dinner wouldn’t live up, but ohhh it did! I’m still dreaming about the tastes. It was a particularly romantic spot for us because it’s where my parents had dinner after their wedding, and it’s were we plan on having dinner after ours.

People often imply that long engagements lead to lots of wedding stress, but I firmly believe it depends on the person. I like careful long range planning, and I hate being rushed, so the year and a half wedding planning time line is perfect for me. That said, on Saturday, when I fully realized that the wedding was now a year away, I pondered freaking out, but decided against it. We’re close to signing lots of our major contracts, or have opted out of them all together. We have a good idea of where we want to go, and freaking out is only going to ruin the journey.

Just remind me of that in 11 months.

Photo via Flickr

Meg Keene

Meg is the Founder and EIC of APW. Her first book, A Practical Wedding: Creative Solutions for Planning a Beautiful, Affordable, and Meaningful Celebration, was published in January 2012, and has been a top three bestseller on the wedding bookshelf ever since. Meg has her BFA in Drama from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. She lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her husband and son.

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  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/10567306554165246459 Rebecca Green

    oooo … I’m so jealous! I wanted to get there before I moved, but now I’ll just have to settle for dining there when I’m in town next time. I’m glad it lived up to your expectations. Happy negative one!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/17572133516556386284 *Michelle

    Happy less than a year!
    I am in teh midst of a 14 month engagement. Not the longest, but also not that short. We have had a few people we know get engaged and married since we’ve been engaged. They always ask why we are waiting so long. umm…well… because once we knew where it was going to be – it was either going to be wait a year for next spring (yes – Heaven forbid! We basked in the fun of engagement for a few months before actually starting with the wedding planning!!!) or sweat to death in the heat of an indian summer, or plan the whole thing in 2 months. So…. I’d lke to think we were just being practical. =)

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/03208244458086146065 Blablover5

    It’s funny we basically had a year of being engaged (what with him proposing during our favorite month) and then after we’d gotten a good chunk of stuff done some friends of ours got engaged and wanted a wedding two weeks after ours.

    Just the difference in stress values between having a month long engagement versus a 5 month. I think it just gets really bad in a long one if you’re always second guessing yourself. If you can generally make a decision and stick with it it’s really nice to actually take weekends away from planning.

  • Aimee

    Hello dear Meg — just woke up this morning and my very, very first thought was “5 more days!!!” And then I checked your blog and you have the countdown, too. Love it. And mmmmm what a dinner. Sending happy thoughts…

  • Desaray

    I didn’t know yours was the same week as mine! How great! The month of August 2009 is going to be extra fabulous in blogland :)

  • http://wemetinabar.com heather from the bar

    haha i said the same exact thing this morning! we are still 11 months out, and we have the church, my dress and (almost) the reception venue. I truly believe that having a plan can eliminate most stress :)

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/11371172824707301749 Cate Subrosa

    I wanted a short engagement (ours is just over ten months) and I’m glad we went with it.

    Having said that, I can see it would be sweet to have over a year so that you could have that time around one year before thinking ‘this time next year we’ll be getting married.’

    Oh, and taking your man out for dinner? Nice touch ;)

  • charmedbride

    we also celebrated hitting the one year countdown point for our wedding :)! i’m actually really psyched. i’ve been pretty intentional with my decision making during the planning process because normally i am a VERY wishywashy person. but surprisingly we have most of our major vendors booked, dress bought, etc etc. we’re now moving down to the next level of items like researching rentals and DIY stuff with a good amount of time to go before we need to commit. i feel so good in fact that i wish i could get married this month :p! i’ve heard that sometimes the longtime engagement and planning so far in advance can backfire, but i guess if anything happens down the road, we’ll deal with it as it comes.