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Actually, Someone Is Marrying Me Because I’m Interesting

by Meg Keene, Editor-In-Chief

To lead us into the holidays, I thought I’d take the time tot talk about what it means to be people getting married (not just brides and grooms). David’s little cousin is wont to say “I’m 10, I’m not stupid,” and often I feel the need to say something similar – “I’m a bride, I’m not SLOW.” Somehow the wedding industry seems to imagine us both as easily duped marketing targets (What? It will make my day a fairytale? Then I’ll take it!) and as women who have let their wedding consume every fiber of their being (I’d love to go out with you this weekend, but I’m afraid I can’t. Must stay home and bedazzle napkins with our monogram).

So, as we lead into the New Year, I thought I’d ask you for your thoughts on life as people, not brides. I suspect we will all be inspired by the answers. First question is this: What (other than weddings) really interests you? I love:

  1. Innovative philanthropy
  2. Pithy non-fiction
  3. The machinations of domestic politics
  4. Good food and wine

What about you, team practical? What excites you? (And if you tell me shopping for discount Vera Wang gowns….. gah!)

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 Oakland, CA with her husband and son. For more than you ever wanted to know about Meg, you can visit

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  • Nicky

    Reading ravenously
    Junk television (A little Grey’s Anatomy anyone?)
    Indie Movies
    Grooviness (Ingrid Michaelson, Lily Allen, Duffy to name a few)
    Holiday Spirit

  • Catherine


    1. Really well written YA novels (Markus Zuzak and John Green currently top my my list) and other well written books as well, of course
    2. Identifying and tackling an area in which I need to educate myself (ex: Supreme Court Justices, countries in the Middle East)
    3. Crosswords and pretty much any kind of logic puzzle
    4. Reading with Eric, my fiance, before bed

  • maggieplans

    I like it!

    1. Crime dramas
    2. Kitschy vintage tchotchkes
    3. Singing karaoke
    4. Dorky videogames
    5. Vegetarian cooking
    6. Various fitness kicks
    7. Cheesy pop songs

  • Jenny

    1. Historic fashion (from ancient to the 1920’s)
    2. World history
    3. Art History (especially early 19th century portraiture and the Orientalism movement of the “Victorian” era)
    4. Costume dramas

    So yeah… This resembles the fact that I’m a history major. But despite my love for history, our wedding will be far from a “Marie Antoinette” wedding. My fiance’s and my wedding will not exceed $2500.

  • Ashleigh

    food/cooking/eating/fine dining :)
    improv and stand up comedy

  • Stephanie

    This is good…
    A. Baking anything that seems healthy but really isn’t
    B. Obsessing over the state of the US education system
    C. Taking pottery and knitting classes
    D. Hiking (or skiing) the mountains surrounding the Tetons
    E. Planning Surprise Parties
    F. Reading anything that someone puts in front of me

  • Nicole


  • Chic.Personal.Fun


    In no particular order
    modern dance of all kinds
    good food
    making good food
    good reality TV (Top Chef..are you noticing a food theme here?)
    art history
    the NY Times
    sacred classical music
    learning languages

  • Bridechka

    Really really great fiction novels
    Cooking and food
    Action movies
    Hiking huge mountains
    Jeopardy (watching/playing along)
    Live sporting events (especially hockey!)
    Going to Jew school
    Crossword puzzles

  • style-for-style

    foreign language
    vegetarian food
    re-finishing furniture
    euro fashion magazines

  • i do! nyc

    – Ditto on the good food and wine.
    – Magazines.
    – Anything with a seasonal ambiance – pumpkin picking in the fall, ice skating in the winter, beach or bike riding in the summer, etc.
    – Indie bands, eighties music, and du-wop style oldies.
    – Terrible appetite for cheesy chick flicks.
    – Shopping online.
    – Planning and list keeping.
    – Traveling.

  • jess

    -reading (russian literature, american lit late 19th/20th century, any and all modernist i can get my paws on)
    -scrapbooking (a manifestation of my obsession with photography and graphic design and having no creative outlet since leaving art school)
    -computers and technology in all forms.
    -being outdoors (camping, hiking, canoeing, waterskiing, BOATING, geocaching)
    -frickin’ crosswords
    -road trips ?? there is something insanely calming about driving for more than an hour – disconnecting and listening to ipod/NPR or chatting it up with long-lost friends until your phone battery dies (what?)

  • Anonymous

    a) beautiful rag papers
    b) McSweeney’s
    c) finishing grad school applications!!!!!

  • ChendaBride

    i enjoy

    1. interesting people who have different perspectives from me
    2. learning new things
    3. law and order, csi, um, pretty much any crime drama
    4. walking up the hill to school without getting too winded

  • Meganleigh

    I love/like/whatever

    (apparently ‘!’s)!

    -popcorn in all its buttery glory
    – cheese in all its cheesy glory
    – hiking in the hills back home
    – home in general
    – my family.

  • Jenny

    *trying out new recipes
    *traveling, especially anything *outdoors or exotic (you won’t catch me on a cruise!)
    *day hikes
    *drinking wine and watching movies

  • blind irish pirate

    – Muzak… good, eclectic muzak for all occasions.
    – Running around outside, preferably in the summer, barefoot.
    – A delicious novel, usually containing a tried and true heroine and a torrid love scene… I recommend Juliette Marillior.
    – Civil War history, and paralleled history
    – Hot. Chocolate.

  • miss button

    -Learning, writing and teaching
    -Good food with plenty of flavour
    -Musical theatre, singing and playing the piano
    -Puzzles and board games
    -Tramping, camping and going on adventures (but not too extreme)

  • Anonymous

    1. Knitting
    2. Cooking sweet xmas gifts
    3. Community gardens, city farms and organic agriculture
    4. Reading fiction (I’m an academic so have to read non-fiction for a living)
    5. Lazing by the beach
    6. My puppy dog ‘Skipper’

  • mel

    Homebrewing beer (with my own recipes!)
    Pouring over Bon Appetit magazine and its stunning food photography
    Going to Philly pubs to discover new beers
    Being a Foodie
    Reading ravenously (like Nicky said)
    Rocking out to music in my living room
    Watching my fiance play story-driven video games (it’s like watching a movie!)

  • Hayley Niuserre

    1. Fantasy fiction, especially Terry Pratchett
    2. Inventing cakes, making up recipes based on what happens to be in the cupboard
    3. Running conventions, usually about fantasy or science fiction
    4. Rocking out to awesome rock and metal music
    5. Making costumes (for conventions and live action roleplay)

  • Cameron

    Back to the whole “I’m 10, I’m not stupid” thing. In 10 days, I’m getting married for the second time. I love your blog and have learned a lot from it and from team practical. I’m also 51 and if one more person says “are you ready for your big day,” I’m going to scream. First wedding, second wedding, 51, 27, whatever. It’s a very important day, but a woman’s life doesn’t begin (and end) at her wedding!

  • Susan Fussell

    – Reading any and all fiction
    – Crafting
    – Running the small craft comany I own with darling fiance
    – gardening and harvesting my own vegetables
    – shopping locally
    – cooking and entertaining friends and family

  • Leika

    – Reading (especially fantasy fiction, my guilty pleasure)
    – Debating about current events (especially the economy) with my fiance – a nice chance to remember there is a world outside the wedding!
    – Traveling
    – Exploring old bookstores
    – Singing, and music in general
    – Planning things for other people!

  • cait

    coffee and tea dates with friends
    international politics
    urban renewal
    peace organizations like nonviolent peaceforce
    eating pies
    ultimate frisbee
    john legend
    making christmas gifts despite my complete lack of craftiness

  • Allie

    Traveling (particularly throughout Europe)
    Christmas music
    Creating jewelry
    Movie nights
    Potlucks with my girlfriends
    Couple game nights
    A good glass of red wine
    Kitty cats
    Shopping at the farmer’s market

  • Molly


    BTW, as far as pithy non-fiction goes if you haven’t read Devil in the White City about the Chicago World’s Fair, I would definitely recommend adding it to your book list! I could not put it down!

  • Beth

    ::Subjecting my fiance to my “inventive” kitchen machinations
    ::Rum balls – tis the season!
    ::Interior architecture/design books
    ::Listening to the new words my three year old nephew has picked up (where he learned “double-crossed”, no one knows)
    ::HGTV, Style, and Bravo – if it’s a reality show about design, fashion, or food I’m all about it

  • AmyJean {Relentless Bride}

    delicious food
    my pups
    blogging and making new blog friends
    Colts football

  • Bride in Exile

    * Finding fantastic wines for under $10 (I’ve been blogging about this, in fact!)
    * Trying new recipes at dinnertime
    * Playing the piano
    * Reading mystery novels and historical fiction
    * Watching the Denver Broncos snatch defeat from the jaws of victory (and occasionally vice-versa)

  • Elizabeth

    I love it!

    As my mom recently put into words, we’re dabblers. I love learning new things! I like to do little bits of everything traditional –
    -bake from scratch,
    -embroider (I’m working on learning that one right now),
    -dance (ballroom),
    -read classics,
    -read history (I love a good McCullough book, or biography), and
    -send letters and cards

    But I’m also incredibly tied to the modern world.
    -I can’t work out without my ipod
    -I watch entirely too much tv (usually dramas)
    -I love really great restaurants (though I prefer to cook, most of the time)

  • Angeline

    I’m into:
    – Reading anything and everything, cereal boxes to Vietnam non fiction to Ohio Revised Code
    – running.
    – drumming. I’ve been drummin for 2 years. I’m in an awesome band/duo. We’re The Half Truths!
    – working out
    – dancing in my living room with the cats and the dog
    – library sciences
    – food: cooking, eating, making, buying
    – peace and love and rock and roll

  • Vanessa

    1. Watching Jeopardy & Wheel of Fortune with my finance and trying to get more right answers than he does!

    2. Spending time with my family

    3. Photography

    4. Girls night

    5. Dinner parties (although few and far between given the current lack of space in our apt)

    6. Good food

    7. Christmas & baking xmas cookies

    8. Crime dramas

    9. folk(y) music

    10. Acting like kids in the fresh snow

  • Emily

    1. Knitting and
    2. Reading a really good story
    3. Running. Oh how I love a good long run.
    4. Movies with my fiance
    5. Very silly, but the first snow fall had me staring out the window today.

  • thisistemporary

    I've read all of these comments! Fascinating!!!

    My life as a people, not as a bride:

    exploring downtown Toronto
    colour/forms of expression/design/typography
    most definitely documentaries
    Bible studies & other soul-feeding activities (gotta feed your soul!)
    cooking & baking
    eating (gotta feed your bellay!)
    reading & writing
    Lover-time. (woo! I love my fiance!)

  • Donna

    1. urban gardening-yeah heirloom veggies!
    2. exploring farmers markets and farms in my region to eat locally
    3. french film and indie movies
    3. rehabbing my house
    4. learning to cook without recipes or specific ingredients. i love meals that turn out great when i had to wing it
    5. reading about stuff i never thought i’d care about (history, sociology, etc.)

  • Maddie

    1. Dean Koontz novels. All of them. Multiple times.

    2. Any and all scripted television.

    3. 70’s rock. 80’s metal. 90’s hip hop.

    4. Vocabulary words.

    5. 4 hour car rides back home with my man during the holidays. Why fly when you can slowly crawl through New England traffic?

  • Kayte

    Crocheting rugs with old clothes
    Rocking out to Bluegrass music with lots of banjo
    Eating Indian food until I can’t move
    Watching bad TV
    Being a political junkie, and having really strong liberal opinions
    Loving my cat Toaster
    Cooking on the grill, or making Rachel Ray dinners with my fiancĂŠ
    Live theatre, musicals, or watching other performances
    Learning more about Africa
    Banging on things and making noise.
    Swing dancing, belly dancing, and wiggling around the house.
    Pointing out gender inequality in TV commercials and telling people about feminism
    Playing board games with friends, and attempting not to get too competitive

  • Marie-Ève

    Watching my son become a little person
    Reading and writing (my French Lit master’s thesis was on cultural identity -20th century French and Russian, to be specific)
    Cooking, baking, eating, drinking and being merry!
    Arthouse Cinema
    Crafting and Sewing
    Politics of all kind
    Art in general, music in particular
    Traveling, learning about other cultures…

  • Jess

    What a novel idea- women actually have lives outside of marriage?!

    -sarcasm (obviously)
    -reading, anything and everything
    -learning new things… how to dance, how to decorate cakes, how to knit, and on and on
    -watching dorky history and science shows on History Channel and Discovery
    -the French language
    -photography and scrapbooking
    -exploring American historic sites such as old forts, villages, etc.
    -having lively debates with fiance on everything from healthcare reform to the pros and cons of hybrid vehicles

  • Autumn

    Such amazing and interesting women around here!
    1) Bad reality TV shows– guilty pleasure
    2) Volunteering to make my community a better place
    3) Fighting the good fight for my copyright clients
    4) Time relaxing/ chilling with friends and family
    5) Baking and cooking up new, healthy treats

    I’m managing to keep enjoying all of these things despite a little wedding planning here and there.

  • Terry

    1) drawing Japanese-inspired comic books
    2) trying to figure out ways to reform the field of psychology. So much to do
    3) trying to tame our nearly ferral rescued chinchilla
    4)figuring out as many ways as possible to eat well without cooking or spending money.
    5) religious art, and music- from any religion, era or region. Maybe an odd trait in an atheist, but I’m drawn to passion, and a lot of passion tends to be poured into such works.
    6) watching Boston Legal with my extended family on DVD every Sunday.
    7) Victoriana

  • Ten Thousand Only

    What (other than weddings) really interests you?

    world news
    good grub
    live music

  • October12

    * Any book I can’t put down, whether it’s really edifying or just a guilty pleasure.
    * Planning the amazing adventures Husband and I are hoping to be able to take soon.
    * Playing in the kitchen, researching the play in the kitchen, turning out something really awesomely tasty that didn’t break my bank account.
    * Making plans for my return to school so that I have a fulfilling day job.
    * Theater, being in it as either audience or cast member.
    * Husband and I planning to conquer the world. (Yup, we’re Pinky and The Brain)

  • Meg

    -Reading any and everything
    -Movies and witty TV shows (30 Rock and The Office! It’s a 1-2 punch of goodness!)
    -Being outside and looking at the stars
    -Sitting around and laughing with friends
    -Dancing with my guy
    -Writing, learning and teaching

  • yoyohanna

    -Cheese (any and all, I don't discriminate)
    -Law & Order (any and all)
    -Crossword puzzles
    -Delta Blues of the 20's and 30's

  • Sara

    Reading inspiring lovely design blogs.
    Collecting vintage ceramics.
    Adoring my gentle pitbull.
    Finding new music.
    Mid-century modern furniture.
    Making lists of all the things I plan to learn after devoting the last 5 years to finishing my PhD.

  • Anonymous

    -knitting and spinning
    -cooking and baking
    -whitewater kayaking and camping
    -running, swimming, dancing, yoga-fitness in general
    -spending time with my family
    -supporting local/independent businesses
    -reading for pleasure
    -having painted toenails

  • The Broke-Ass Bride

    1. Vegetarian cooking
    2. My doggie
    3. Cozy clothing
    4. Music – from hippie to hip hop
    5. Pizza
    6. Volunteerism
    7. Poetry

  • Lee

    I love:

    1. Being right in the middle of a good novel
    2. Good food and craft beers
    3. Cooking, baking, and rolling sushi
    5. Yoga
    6. Swimming in the ocean

  • Ruthie

    Medieval Reenactment
    Werewolf and Vampire Novels
    Celtic Fiddle

  • Talia Bigelow

    1) Finishing my thesis
    2) Finishing my thesis
    3) Maintaining my relationship with:
    a) my fiance
    b) my friends/family
    4) Finishing my thesis

  • kristen

    ooops! In all my wedding obsession and trying to get my homework done for online classes, I almost forgot I had other interests!
    -The Spanish language
    -Wes Anderson
    -going to church
    -really bad competition-based reality shows
    -Playing with my 2-year-old niece
    -Dave Eggers’ books

  • Smallgood

    museums (especially art or history)
    curriculum development
    etymology of names
    going places in the middle of the night

  • Anonymous

    Hiking/kayaking/snowshoeing/back country adventures/seeing the stars away from the city. And Good Eats. Alton Brow is a genius.

  • B

    1. Cooking/baking
    2. Nesting (Decorating on a budget!)
    3. Art (Photography & Prints)
    4. Crafts of all sorts (Card making, crochet, etc.)
    5. Planning (and not necessarily weddings – I enjoy planning ANYTHING!)
    6. Traveling (and the planning to match!)

  • Kristy

    1.) Romance languages (even Latin)
    2.) Travel
    3.) Reading
    4.) International Relations
    5.) Fair Trade
    6.) Trying to save the world
    7.) Football (or soccer, if you prefer, but it really is football)
    8.) Food (and the Food Network)
    9.) Coffee
    10.) Chocolate.

    But not in any particular order.

  • Amy

    I started something like this at my blog a while back, because I realized.. I am so much more than my wedding.

    Decorating my home
    history books
    good books in general
    my friends
    life… life interests me more than anything else

  • Renee

    *Getting take out and watching comedies in my bed with my partner
    *Walking to the market on Saturday morning
    *Planning how to create a home for my fiance and I (We just got accepted for our first rental home!)
    *Writing cards and letters to my family and friends
    *Visiting my best friend and her beautiful baby
    *Making gift for no reason for my loved ones

    from renee

  • Anonymous

    1. learning to cook everything in the Les Halle cookbook
    2. exploring the new state i live in, Iowa isn’t that interesting.
    3. reading books of essays.

  • Rosemary

    What interests me? Healthcare! I am an RN in grad school to become an NP.

    Literature! I love reading the classics, like Proust and Tolstoy, and classic theology, from Augustine to William James. I also love modern non-fiction, like Tracy Kidder, Oliver Sacks, Diane Ackerman . . .

    Quakerism! My spirituality is a top priority, and Quakers give me an intellectually satisfying way to be spiritual.

    Folk music! I play the fiddle and love to practice, learn new tunes, and jam with friends.

    I also love to cook (especially vegetarian food, even though I’m not vegetarian), bake bread, and knit.

    Oh, and I used to be both a fencing instructor and a volunteer firefighter. I can’t decide which should be my priority when I have more time . . .

  • diana

    mountain biking.
    seeing my dog so happy to be on the trails with Eric and I.
    taking pictures.
    traveling to new places.

  • Amanda

    Flappers, pie and chickens

  • miss indiana

    1. classic cars
    2. theory of industrial design – why people design things the way that they do
    3. Interior design
    4. Country/bluegrass music
    5. 1960s and 1970s french films

  • Anonymous

    Holing up in a book store in the photography section.
    Attempting to read Book Club Books
    NIA-crazy dancing that sometimes involves animal noises
    I was obsessed with Politics, but we won so now I am getting over that.
    Training for new athletic challenges

  • Jamie

    Walks about the neighborhood
    Visits to see friends and far away
    A really really good book
    Cold weather at Christmas time
    Saturdays curled up watching movies
    Animals of any kind

  • melissaj

    Thank you for this post! Every time I see the targeted advertising on Facebook, I get a little depressed.

    My list:

    – De-glutenizing and undairy-izing my favorite recipes.
    – Hearing new bands
    – Reading up on subjects my education left out (history outside the US, predominantly)
    – Pretending I can afford to travel
    – Hacking old clothes into something new

    … among others

  • Isa

    Love your work Meg!

    *Finding something for someone that I know they’re just going to LOVE (even if it is another 9 months until their birthday!)
    *Losing myself in a book
    *The smell of the earth after rain
    *Laughing so hard that it hurts
    *Cooking awesome food for people I love

  • Anonymous

    slightly off topic, but is this supposed to make me feel bad about myself?

  • Alison

    Great question, Meg!

    I love:
    -The Lord
    -They way I feel after a good workout.
    -Thrifting/Antique stores/Consignment (alright, I’m cheap).
    -Elliot, my fiance (of course)!
    -A good pair of True Religions (ok, not [that] cheap).

  • kaitlin

    a. surprises. both planning and receiving
    b. working with and playing with children
    c. social history, especially class and gender history
    d. cooking (but not baking!)
    e. writing (non-fiction, prose, poetry)
    f. foreign languages (i speak three plus english)
    g. knitting

  • Wedding_Skulls

    What excites me?

    1. Heavy Metal
    2. Swordfighting
    3. Wall-E
    4. My job – I’m a braille transcriber. When I finish a book or a manual or a recipe folder and the person rings me up to say how much of a difference I’ve made for them. It’s just…indescribably cool.
    5. Homemade gifts
    6. My garden – eating something you’ve grown yourself just gives me a happy feeling.
    7. My husband – he’s just so totally rad
    8. Sausage rolls.

  • Amanda

    -Pretending I can cook
    -Wine, and lots of it
    -Collecting children’s books (not because I ever plan on having kids, but because I’m still in denial about being an adult)

  • Anonymous

    My fiance and I went for our first premarital counseling session with our pastor this weekend. He asked how things were looking five, no, four months out. I said, “No, it’s even less than that,” and proceeded to regale him with the status of my dissertation and job hunt. I didn’t even recognize that that wasn’t the time line or event he was asking about. Oops.