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Needing Inspiration…


by Meg Keene, Editor-In-Chief

I’ve been feeling burned out and having a hard time writing lately, and today I got a wonderful email from a reader, it said:

Dear Meg,
I’ve never written a “Thank you!” email to a blog I love before, but…THANK YOU! I am getting married next September, and I am just so grateful for your inspiring posts in a land of Monique Lhullier-obsession!
You don’t have to reply. I just wanted to say, Keep ‘em coming. You have no idea how much fist-pumping your posts are being met with.
Laura

It made my day. Fist pumping, that’s something I can get on board with.

Sometimes, I think, the best way to combat burn out is by being grateful. So, I wanted to say thank you to each one of you readers. Thanks for your wise comments, your kind emails, for sharing your amazing weddings with me, and for your general support. I read every single thing you send me, even though I’ve run out of time to respond to each one. Thanks for making me feel ok that the wedding industry en masse sometimes makes me want to stick a fork in my eye. Thanks for helping me trust my gut, even when it seems weird or different. Thanks for sticking with this little blog.

And, if you’re feeling particularly generous today, I’d love it if you’d leave me something inspiring – a cool link, or something that’s giving you a spring in your step. It doesn’t have to be wedding related! Because I could use the inspiration.

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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  • Michelle

    Hi Meg!
    I understand your frustration. My wonderful fiance sent me a link to the most relaxing game ever because he knew I was stressed about school and wedding-planning. Make sure you have your sound on and I think it’s probably best enjoyed with some dark chocolate (or other guilty pleasure food).
    http://www.addictinggames.com/boomshine.html

    And also, a link to the beautiful vintage dress that I’m hoping to win on eBay tomorrow… feel free to send good auction-winning vibes my way :)
    http://i33.tinypic.com/2a7wswy.jpg

    It always helps me to sit with my eyes closed for five minutes and just breathe. Feel better, we all appreciate and love you and your blog!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/09945813943336222370 Luis

    I found this posted on the Two Chicks Nest Blog, and I loved it.

    I think the music totally makes it. It inspires me, it gives me hope.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MbWDNM0wuAc

    You can’t live on hope alone, but without hope life’s not worth living.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/10299296732319042119 Amber

    Oh my gosh. Well i was just totally inspired by the two previous posts. I love that game (and have the #25 spot of the day. yes!). I think my favourite thing about the game is that you CAN’T lose, that’s always a winner in my eyes. That dress is stunning Michelle, are you planning on it being your wedding dress? Fingers crossed that you win…

    That speech by Harvey Milk was incredibly inspiring too. Brings a little tear to my eye.

    Currently I’m inspired by two things. One is gospel and soul music. Lots of Sam Cooke, The Impressions and Otis Redding. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5GN82-Vnboo

    The other is my sister. She got married earlier this year, finished university and I thought she’d settle down and start having babies. Instead, her and her husband have sold nearly all their possessions, quit their (very good) jobs and bought one way tickets to Africa. They have no major plans, just traveling, exploring and having adventures.

    It’s pretty inspiring to me to be that ballsy. Makes you realise that the wedding isn’t as important as the stuff that comes after it.

  • http://westaussiewedding.typepad.com/west_aussie_wedding/ WestAussieWedding

    I like to check out the National Geographic “Photo of the Day” archives

    They have such awesome photography which makes my world feel much bigger and my problems feel smaller.

    You can browse by animals, landscapes, people, weather etc.

    http://photography.nationalgeographic.com/photography

  • http://westaussiewedding.typepad.com/west_aussie_wedding/ WestAussieWedding

    http://photography.nationalgeographic.com/photography

    sorry left the last letter off the above link!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/05750659066802561501 Erika

    Cozy pictures of breakfast. Don’t know if you’re a breakfast person, Meg, but these pictures always comfort me in a “small pleasures, don’t sweat the big stuff” way.

    http://simplybreakfast.blogspot.com/

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/01299895022531090290 Molly Jean

    Hi there…I tried to post some pretty things on my blog today…I think of it as escapism when I'm busy or exhausted or worn down!

    Also, I like to read the "Heroes of Running" articles on the Runner's World site. I'm a runner, & often reading these articles puts things in perspective, inspires me & just makes me feel happy to be healthy & alive!

    My blog:
    http://thegirlsgirl.blogspot.com/

    Runner's World articles: http://www.runnersworld.com/cda/special/0,7889,s6-243-408-0-0,00.html

    PS: I love your blog & I'm not even getting married (I'm not even engaged either)! Just pure fun!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/11350962842054378467 carak

    i’m not a great cook, but when i’m in a slump, i like to look for recipes that would be fun, delicious, and easy. and i’m especially a fan of using my crock pot, so this blog is a lot of fun:
    http://crockpot365.blogspot.com/

    also, i think this is just pretty to look at. isn’t it a great alternative to a jewelry box?
    http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=16495712

    i love your posts and ideas – you are an inspiration to me every day!

  • Courtney

    I had my own practical wedding about a month ago, so I know exactly what you are feeling right now. While I loved my wedding, I’m so glad it is over and I can get back to my real life.

    Here’s a lovely picture from the end of the night at our wedding – http://www.flickr.com/photos/28069344@N06/2987440220/ – so you know what you have to look forward to once yours is over.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/02890242440086509316 erin

    My inspiration is wedding-related, hope that’s ok… I got married almost 2 and 1/2 years ago, and I had a practical wedding, and it was perfect. Thanks to family and friends, we were able to accomplish a lot with a little help. With some luck (my dress was $100!) and our priorities in line (food!), I had the day I’d always dreamed of on a budget that made everyone happy …total wedding costs were under $10k. Check out the link below for a quick slideshow of some wedding pictures, and know that team practical is here to stay!

    http://www.garyventura.com/coryanderin

  • B

    I’ve been getting pretty irritated lately about all things wedding — just trying to find the line between budget and sanity! I was really inspired, however, when I stumbled upon a great photographer being recommended on the Knot local boards. Turns out she’s just what I wanted, but since she’s only be doing weddings for a few months, her rates are super inexpensive. For $1,500, we’re getting 2 engagement sessions, unlimited day-of photography, a post-session, and the printing rights to all the pictures. Unbelievable. Another photographer was quoting us $2,800 for half of that.

    It’s stuff like this that has renewed me to keep hunting and not settle for what the WIC is throwing at me…

    Also, my fiance and I will set aside “no wedding days” where we try our best to not mention it, and if we do, it’s not about the planning.

    Good luck — I love your blog!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/00174894872050076618 Marie-Ève

    Well, thank YOU, Meg.

    Seeing my toddler son dance to a song sang by my favorite singer (Feist) on Sesame Street last week was a huge boost of cuteness and smiles in all this November/catastrophic economy grayness.

    http://marie-evelaforte.blogspot.com/2008/11/who-knew-sesame-street-was-so-cool.html

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/12435697594154408096 jessica lynn

    omg girl, I totally agree with the reader that left you the thank you about how your posts are applicable to everyday brides in a monique lhuillier overrun industry. i cant tell you how disgusting it is to see post after post of a girl in a monique lhuiller gown with christian louboutin shoes and centerpieces that must cost $500 each…. it’s nice to see a practical wedding :)

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/06042337953744404916 Marie

    I know the feeling! Sometimes one just lack inspiration… I love this little blog: http://mollysgrove.se/. Its a Swedish painter who makes groovy illustrations to lyrics from songs. It always makes me happy to have a look at her blog!

    Keep up the good work!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/09385092109552183702 Karen

    I know the feeling — everyone gets that burn-out from time to time. Love you blog though. Another blog I really enjoy is : http://lobsterandswan.blogspot.com/

    She always has lovely and inspiring images and posts :)

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

    I have something that isn’t wedding related at all but I just found so cute and damn is the song catchy.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eKG08z85DtY

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/09385092109552183702 Karen

    I know the feeling — everyone gets that burn-out from time to time. Love you blog though. Another blog I really enjoy is : http://lobsterandswan.blogspot.com/

    She always has lovely and inspiring images and posts :)

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/06650731630598286205 Rebecca Green Neale

    This is unrelated to weddings and has to do with babies, but it is absolutely putting a spring in my step today: My niece is a miracle. To make an incredibly long and sad story short: She was a perfectly healthy and normal fullt-term fetus, but born by emergency c-section when the placenta ruptured. She was delivered as the OR doors were closing behind the gurney wheeling in my sister, and resuscitated after being deprived of oxygen for 30 minutes. After a week of an experimental treatment that cooled her head to avoid swelling and months in the NICU, she is home, happy (literally giggling and smiling constantly), and yesterday’s EEG test shows that she did not suffer any brain damage. I posted a pic on http://rgrpcv.blogspot.com/ for you to see how incredibly adorable she is!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/16437575294927806486 Meg

    Hey Meg!
    I generally just stalk your blog, but I wanted to comment today. I, too, appreciate what you do so much. Keep it up!

    Not so much inspiring, but always brings a smile to my face:

    http://www.ustream.tv/channel/shiba-inu-puppy-cam

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/00757803613971281872 Kathryn

    You are definitely a daily inspiration Meg. The wedding world – heck, just the world! – needs you for balance! So thank you for all that you do. Here are some things that are inspiring me lately:

    http://www.metmuseum.org/

    http://www.renaldi.com/portfolio/ (go to the Touching Strangers link)

    http://leloveimage.blogspot.com/

    Pretty image-based inspiration, but that’s how I roll. :)

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/02346474761634640812 jans

    This wedding inspires me. http://www.facebook.com/album.php?page=1&aid;=2019589&id;=98300394

    I know it's just wedding pictures posted to facebook, but it happens to be the wedding of two of my best friends in the world. I think it was one of the happiest days of MY life, because the bridal party was made up of my closest friends, and it was the most beautiful, simple and elegant wedding I've ever been to. The couple planned this wedding over a year apart- he was in Honduras teaching, and she was in Oregon. They didn't care about the little details- they cared about their family and friends being together to witness their love for each other. And their love for all of us and the world was so evident. They planted a tree as a symbol of their unity and their love for the planet. When we were all getting ready, Paige kept asking each of us if we were alright, if we felt good about how we looked, if we were comfortable. It started raining an hour before the wedding, and while Paige's parents starting getting nervous, Paige and Tyler calmly said, then we'll get married in the rain. I could go on for hours about this- one last thing- after they got married, the whole bridal party met with a big group hug and cheered. It was so, so happy.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/07312567296909115391 betsy and emily

    When I get burnt out blogging, or trying to think of new ideas for my store, I like to travel via the internet. Today (allright, and everyday!) I’m loving http://www.liberty.co.uk, wishing I could buy yards and yards of their fabric and pretending I’m in London. Maybe later I’ll go to Paris…

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/18134825296733633815 October12

    Meg,
    I think we all echo the email sent by Laura. I didn’t find your blog until a few weeks before my wedding, I so wish I had found it sooner. You kept me sane in the days leading up to our very practical wedding. Here’s a couple of results of the simplicity we whittled things down to:
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/31033570@N02/2990875845/

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/31033570@N02/2990875765/

    When I’m having a rough day of any sort, I turn to the Mountain Goats and their song “This Year.” I am going to make it through this year, if it kills me!
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fYCzDhaRV60

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/11711266239364382681 amanda

    here’s my new favorite blog:

    http://smittenkitchen.com/

    it’s a great cooking blog i’ve been enjoying for the past few weeks. hope it helps you!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/15899239356088557995 Amanda

    Hello, lovely Meg!
    Here is what I have to say: I am not engaged or hoping to be engaged or in love or generally enamoured of weddings. I read your blog every day.

    I read your blog because it’s not just about weddings, practical or otherwise. It’s about choosing a life you want and about caring for people, whether those people be your family, magical elves and fairyland creatures, or your very own harried self. You write with gumption, you stick graciously to your guns, and you inspire creativity and independance, moxie and sass.

    And you remind us all that at the end of the day, there are things that are important, and things that aren’t, and that we can throw the rest out the motherf***ing window.

    Make yourself some soup and take a long walk. xo

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/06939935590766216936 Bridechka

    Hey Meg! I love your blog (I think this is the second day today I am telling you this)… so I wanted to leaev you something a little off the beaten path. Click the link and you can watch a Russian version of Winnie the Pooh (most of my non-Russian speaking friends crack up when they see it). There are subtitles so you can understand it too. When I was growing up in Russia, this cartoon was my absolute favorite. Enjoy!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HcIiwmclfvw

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/06223425002708139409 violarulz/ducksandbooks

    http://cakewrecks.blogspot.com kept my friend and I giggling all weekend. So much inappropriate frsoting in one place. amazing!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/16611787149634175408 Susan

    Hi Meg. You’ve probably seen this before, but I love peeking at the Year of Evenings Blog http://3191.visualblogging.com/. Usually there are great pics, but it’s the amazing connection between these two friends that wows me. It started with A Year of Mornings: http://www.3191ayearofmornings.com/, which is equally awesome to browse through.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/14893442520502947603 Jennifer

    Ooh, Amanda left a great post there. She said everything that I wanted to say, but she probably did it better! Haha.

    Mine is wedding-related, but practical! Check out my post about my $60 vintage wedding dress.

    http://jenelisebeth.blogspot.com/2008/11/wedding-dress-shopping.html

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/15519373030982494141 Ali

    I’ve seen this wedding blogged about in a few places, but it just looks like so much fun! Cool and creative, relaxed and spunky!

    http://sukrachandwedding.blogspot.com/2008/10/yuli-keith.html

  • http://blondiesbaubles.etsy.com Lauren

    I can totally empathize right now. School is really picking up for some reason, and it’s really stressing me out. Best happy pick-me-up solution: Cute Overload.

    http://cuteoverload.com/

    I don’t know what it is about cute animals, but they just make me so happy.

  • http://tealengthtulle.wordpress.com/ tealengthtulle

    Well, i was coming to post about Cute Overload, but i got beaten to it :-) This link isn’t inspiring, per se, although i suppose the creativity and hilariousness are pretty inspirational.

    It’s a cover of that 80’s gem “Take On Me,” only the lyrics have been re-written to describe what’s actually going on in the video. I dare you to watch it and not laugh!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8HE9OQ4FnkQ

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/07829467193486965326 Jess

    When I’m feeling burned out and lacking inspiration I head over to etsy and peruse all of the great things. It never ceases to amaze me how awesome people are with just their own creativity and a little handiwork. I always leave that site inspired and feeling that the world is a beautiful place. Some of my favorite shops:

    annacote.etsy.com
    CorkandCotton.etsy.com
    mewpaperarts.etsy.com

    and of course the famous Twigs and Honey…
    myrakim.etsy.com

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/09361658418978897159 Danielle

    I was inspired listening to Naomi Klein talking about the economy on Democracy Now! this week. Although the topic is really disturbing (did the government act criminally to push through the bailout package?), she’s so smart it gives me shivers. http://www.democracynow.org/2008/11/17/naomi_klein_on_the_bailout_profiteers

    Love your blog!

  • Anonymous

    You’ve probably seen this blog before but it’s new to me and it really reminds me of yours: http://www.thisyounghouse.com

    The section on their wedding makes me want to die with wonderfulness. Talk about style, fun, and connection with a budget in mind! I love how they used part of their wedding budget to improve their property (new patio, paving the driveway). These days it seems like many people are deciding between a big wedding and a down payment, so I thought this was an interesting juxtaposition.

    And my personal thanks: as a girl getting by in a world (and family) that turns weddings into a competition you make me feel like it’s ok not to serve an 8 course meal and wear a big uncomfortable gown. Thank you thank you! Your blog is my #1 fav.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/01413084853007028128 Marissa

    I was just thinking the other day that I should give you a shout out for providing me with reassurance that I am not the only person out there who doesn’t want to go broke for a one-day party. You might try http://www.yearbookyourself.com for some fun. :)

  • Sara

    When I am burned out, I have to get simple. Make myself a comfort food, smell a flower, watch the clouds go by, sit and read for a couple of hours out of a good book, listen to a favorite cd that I haven’t listened to in a while, or find a reason to laugh.

    Thanks for giving us a chance to give back a little something to you. I had a great practical wedding last month, but I love your blog.

  • One Love Photo

    Meg,
    You must not burn out because all my brides are reading your site now because I send them all over here for encouragement and the occasional reality check. But I can see how the burn out can happen, it gets to all of us once in awhile. Let’s just blame the cold and winter blah this time! Drink some tea, sleep late and you will feel better, promise!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/02359878497246620782 Damaris

    meg, you are a wonderful woman. keep your head up. this is one of my cheer-uppers:

    http://www.abeautifulmess.typepad.com/

    you’re amazing and we need you to keep sane in the crazy wedding world. if it wasn’t for people like you and offbeatbride.com, i would think my wedding has to cost 30,000 with a huge tulle dress and a four course dinner to be a success. instead i know that it will be perfect because at the end of the day, it will be perfect because i get to be married to him, forever.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/05098729708314853961 MWK

    Oh! I missed the boat because work has been too stressful for me to do my daily check in with your blog, boo! But, yes, I have your “Dangerous Wedding Thing” post bookmarked (along with the blog itself) to help keep me sane as I plan for a July 2009 wedding. You are much appreciated.
    Check out this link for a great wedding photo, no matter what your political leanings are I can assure you that it will make your day. (Although it is my favorite photo of the president-elect). It is a friend’s tumblr account, but I am sure she won’t mind.

    http://leslieismore.tumblr.com/post/58388259

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/06303924392508581301 Christine

    Ok so I found your blog a few months ago and I'm not sure if I've ever commented before. I know I meant to, but it may not have happened. Just wanted to stop in and say "HELL YES" to just about every single post! I'm so glad to have stumbled across such an incredible community with such sane and reasonable (but not stuffy or boring) ideas and perspectives and opinions! Three cheers for Team Practical! Keep it coming! (And congratulations on your own wedding too!)