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On Civil Discussion


by Meg Keene, Editor-In-Chief

I’m sorry it’s come to this, but here we are.

99% of you are the sweetest commenters that the world has ever seen. You’re witty, delightful, well-read, and sassy. You think critically, you prompt discussion, you support each other and me. Sometimes I wish we all had a standing brunch date (at an increasingly big restaurant) where we spent 20 minutes chatting about our weddings, being supportive, and swapping wedding goods, and then we settled in for a nice long gab about politics, books we’d just read, that article in the New York Times last week, and fabulous etsy finds.

But then, there is the other 1% of commenters. As the hostile comments on this blog have piled up, I decided it was time to set a few ground rules. So here goes:

1. Think before you write. The couples who write about their weddings here are real people, as am I. We might have made different decisions than you would have made on a particular issue, but before you write, think. Don’t write anything that you wouldn’t say to someone over a cup of coffee.

2. Do not make nasty or judgmental comments on real wedding posts. If you do, I will delete them. Making an unkind comment on a post about someone’s wedding is a little bit like peeing in their guest book. If you don’t agree with their wedding philosophy, that’s fine. But there are plenty of other places to discuss it (both on and off this blog) in a way that is not hurtful to people who were kind enough to share pictures of their wedding day.

3. If you want to write me about how I’m a capitalist sellout/ pinko commie, and the weddings I feature here are too budget/ not budget enough, please know that I’ve heard it before. I post about weddings that are a betwixt and between, and don’t tend to fit into any strict set of wedding rules. I know this, I’ve thought about this, and I do so intentionally.

4. If this site makes you feel bad about your wedding, please stop reading it. Life is too short.

In sum: I love comments that promote thoughtful discussion, dislike comments that make blanket judgments, and reserve the right to delete comments as I see fit.

NOW! Lets set up that giant brunch date.

(Happy comments that restore my faith in the delightfulness of the internets are, of course, welcome)

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://transitoryenchantedmoment.wordpress.com Sara

    Here here! Long time reader, first time commenter — just chiming in to let you know that there’s much love out there for you and your site! I get so much inspiration from your posts, and I love the diversity of the weddings and ideas that you feature.

    I’ve never understood why some people choose to be so hateful in the comments they choose to leave on other people’s blogs. What a tremendous waste of human energy! Haters: please find yourselves another corner of the internet to troll.

    Keep fighting the good fight, and don’t let ‘em get to you. :)

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/08842191847941847564 Bride in Exile

    As an addition to #4 … No matter what choice you make for your wedding (or any choice at all regarding anything in the world), there is almost certainly someone somewhere on the internet who does not like your choice. Perhaps this person has blogged about how much he/she hates that choice.

    If you run across someone mocking the cake topper you bought, the bridesmaids’ dresses you selected, or the budget you’re devoting to your wedding, this will probably hurt your feelings. But remember that the important thing is that *you* like your choice. So instead of throwing a poorly spelled hissy fit in the comments, why not go hug your fiance and be happy that strangers on the internet have no power over your life?

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/10010855220044881380 Krista

    I’m sorry that people have put such negative comments.

    I like to hope that the people making such comments do not realize they make are so very mean. But the reality is the anonymity of the internet sometimes brings out negative.

    I love your blog b/c your approach: practical is relative. Your post “betwixt and between”, which I remember reading a while back, describes you perfectly. It is also what I strive to be.

    Boo to mean-ness, Yay to niceness!

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

    I find it interesting how wedding discussions just bring out the worst in some people.

    All forums/blogs seem to start out with everyone being really nice and everyone is all helpful. Then all of a sudden some place gets a bit to big and the claws come out.

    I don’t know if it’s their way of trying to prove how much better they are or build their own wedding up or what but really if you don’t have anything nice to say don’t say anything at all.

    There is no reason to criticize a wedding that has already happened.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/12616579784634675288 kristen

    Long time stalker, first time commenter here!
    Anyhoo, your blog has always been a source of inspiration for me, especially when you show real weddings. Thanks for keeping it practical!

  • Leah

    The best thing about Google reader and scrolling is that I dont read the comments.. I get to appreciate the wedding in my own thoughts… but then now I am wondering what the nasty people have had to say…

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/01723202743021861347 Cyd

    I believe I am firmly in the camp of those baffled by how ugly wedding discussions can turn and how quickly. Is it because it is a day so deeply personal and meaningful (one hopes) that we can’t even consider the possibility that someone might object to our decisions? Is it because it is a day largely steeped in tradition and etiquette, which naturally varies between peoples, religions, regions, and families? I, for one, am always confused when others aside from my fiancĂŠ and I, attempt to stake claim on our wedding. I continually remind ourselves that it’s about us and what makes us happy, what we’re comfortable with and what will serve us best as we celebrate the beginning of a lifetime together. At any rate, I love reading about weddings of all shapes/sizes/themes/budgets because of the celebration of love and family. Sometimes you find great inspiration for a centerpiece, but most of the time you find great inspiration for loving and living…which is really, what it is all about.

    Ummm….so one hell of a ramble later, let’s just all play nice, ok? ;-)

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/17256247307155135855 bo

    hello! i also have been reading for awhile and am now commenting. your blog is great! also, i just wanted to say that i couldn’t help laughing out loud at the image of peeing on someone’s guest book. too funny! way to bring humor into a serious post.

    my 2 favorite posts of yours were: 1 – the one where you brought it all back to what a wedding is all about. i teared up on that one. 2 – the diy flowers. i’m diying my flowers too.

    thanks again.

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

    Here, here! Like the wise words of the man who gave me a sticker on the street, Mean People Suck.

    Keep at it and don’t let them get you down :)

  • http://www.thewhub.com/The_Wedding_Hub/Blog/Blog.html Sarah :: Wedding Hub Event Planning

    Isn’t it crazy how people feel like they can abandon common courtesy behind their anonymous internet masks?
    Sending you much blog love!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/04349394209890946701 Dubbs

    what the hell? who been talking trash here? i iz bringin’ my ass kicking leggs back out just for you girl.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/06206689296805893265 east side bride

    Yeah Meg.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/13781314774264492284 blind irish pirate

    Who’s been kicking up shit? I must have rose colored glasses, because this place has been nothing but light and love.

  • Ellie

    I just wanted to say that I love your blog because you feature such a wide scope of weddings, with the underlying theme being that the wedding was a real expression of the love between two people. I appreciate your nonjudgmental approach to wedding planning and it is so refreshing in the world of weddings where the attitude is very much us vs. them; the DIY v. the WIC; the indiebrides v. the traditional; the formal v. the competitively anti-wedding. I also love your blog because you think about what the planning and the traditions really mean, and then you talk about them.

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

    Count me in for brunch and meanwhile remember, they’re just jealous.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/10648725099262152263 AmyJean {Relentless Bride}

    I like to stick with “if you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all!” I think it’s obvious that we won’t always agree or have the same interests/likes/opinions/views… but isn’t that what makes life so great – the differences? Why can’t they be celebrated!?

    I personally love your blog! So Kudos to you!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/06034963362014160492 Marie

    Yeay! Good work Practical Bride :)

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

    This blog has always been about respecting and celebrating people’s decisions about how to keep their wedding sane, however they define that. Meg, you provide a wonderful resource for the betwixt and between folks, don’t let the bad seeds put you off.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/01618363385541430055 Meg

    yeah!

    ohhh brunch – can there be quiche and bloody marys? please?

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/09526722516550185150 Meg

    For those of you wondering about the negative comments, I’m usually pretty fast with the delete, if I feel they are hurtful. It helps keep this place sunshine and light, but it can be wearing as a moderator.

    Really nasty comments are one thing because, ehhh, nasty people are just around sometimes. I just wanted to remind us all that offhand thoughtlessness can be hurtful too, especially when it’s around something as sensitive as a wedding. And who hasn’t been offhandedly thoughtless online once or twice?

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/09526722516550185150 Meg

    Clarification: Me! I’ve been offhandedly thoughtless before, so you know, I figure it’s human, but fixable!

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

    Let’s drink mimosas!

  • One Sorry Mother

    Can I be the Mom at your gathering? I will fuss* and fetch and be extremely proud of everyone.

    *and I mean fuss in the most loving, supportive way possible!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/05647636655893691552 Kitchen Vixen

    I don’t think I’ve delurked to comment here before, but I just wanted to give you some support! I’m not getting married anytime soon…it’s lightyears away, but I love reading the posts here. Seeing a different, more personal side of the “wedding industry” is so heartening, and as an event planner, always gives me lots of inspiration.
    Thanks for continuing to blog!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/05335500882510597919 Lisa from Lisa’s Yarns

    I adore your blog. Screw the haters & negative people out there!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/18292191239014356426 Kathryn

    Well said, Meg. The internet is full of nasty commenters. I think the anonymity does something strange to certain people. You’re totally in the right to just delete them. Any sort of negative reaction they get from other posters is exactly the validation they’re looking for.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/03463468394602351113 cevd

    yay meg, thanks for keeping things happy and civil.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/03669831201059037034 Leenie

    I love your blog. Thank you for posting those rules. there is always someone out there who wants to rain on the parade.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/13437257025121462860 Rhiannon

    meg- I heart this sunny wedding spot you have created… thanks!

  • Peonies and Polaroids

    Well said! Please don’t let The Bad Ones get you down or change how you blog, they’re not worth it. With a great blog will always come jealousy and bitterness that you are getting more readers than they are and that manifests itself in nasty comments.

    Pity the fools, for they know no happiness for others and if you can’t be happy for others in life, what is the point?

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/00862681475383911164 Jules

    Amen, sistah. Here’s my “if you don’t have something nice to say . . .” blog entry: http://cypressandoak.blogspot.com/2008/09/lost-in-translation.html

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/00656557004403292384 Golightly

    well said, I totally am in love with your blog because it’s exactly how I feel my approach to my wedding would be and its nice to have a fresh voice out there that is not the #1 fan of The Knot and the wedding industry. Keep it up!

  • Anonymous

    Good for you! I don’t think any of us need any more negativity in our lives – especially not brides who already feel like they are being judged by anyone and everyone. I must say that one of the things I appreciate about this blog is the freedom from bitchy comments and the feeling of solidarity and acceptance. You’ve done a great job weeding out unnecessary put downs.

    And if you feel like reading something positive – and sexy and romantic – today read this: http://thepioneerwoman.com/category/black_heelstractor_wheels/the_night_i_met_marlboro_man I’m a sucker for love stories (my FAV part of wedding blogs is the proposal and the how-we-met stories). It’s long but addictive. So dreamy…

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/06642594878817158380 loren weltsch

    I think your blog is fabulous! Keep all of the good stuff coming and hopefully the people with the negative attitude can go and find something more productive to do with their time!

  • http://downtomysoul.wordpress.com/ downtomysoul

    I had a discussion with a friend about this the other day, the facelessness of the internet really brings out the worst in people. It’s so easy to forget that there are real human beings behind these computers.

    I think I am frequently offhandedly thoughtless (albeit very unintentionally), I wander about the house like Hagrid from Harry Potter muttering “I shouldn’t have said that, I should NOT have said that!”

    I am hanging out for some homemade dress news btw :-)

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/01087574808667939763 Paula Hoffart

    I only just found your blog last week, and I’m not even sure how. Probably on a random wedding search, but I must say yours is my favorite of all the wedding blogs I’ve found so far, and this post made it all the more favorable! thanks for all you share and the inspiration you give to us brides. :)

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/15557885066815394886 Amanda

    I just wanted to chime in with all the other posters to say that, your blog has become my absolute favorite (and I read far too many of them). It inspires me, encourages me and makes me feel good about the “practical” (or “budget” or “nontraditional”) choices we’re making for our wedding. Keep doing what you’re doing! For every negative comment, there’s about a hundred of us who’d love to meet you for brunch.

  • Lisa

    As for the pinko commie comments, I really would like to understand how *not* spending oodles of unnecessary money has come to mean you’re not patriotic.

    Keep up the good fight!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/15080583721005285729 the un-bride

    Well said. I delete any un-welcome comments, too. Like you said, life is too short …

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/02315460761473871020 Tiffany The Coordinator

    Boo to the haters and mean people!! There are other very large, corporate wedding chat rooms to be mean girls in. Please go there!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/05843971613872030491 Jill

    Your blog has actually made me feel excited about planning my wedding. In a world where bridal shop employees actually ask me what I have against having a train on my dress you are a shining beacon of hope! It’s like we have the exact same ideas about what a wedding should be! Keep it coming! You inspire me!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/18109285188206811042 Joanna Goddard

    hear hear! :) i love your site and everything you do! i’ve gotten lots of nasty comments in my blogging past, and they’re such a bummer! i’m so glad you spoke up :) joannaxo

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/00811942860512021126 kahlia

    Jill said it so wonderfully that I’m going to copy and paste it again here, because you should be reminded of good things every couple of months ;)
    “Your blog has actually made me feel excited about planning my wedding. [...] you are a shining beacon of hope! It’s like we have the exact same ideas about what a wedding should be! Keep it coming! You inspire me!”

    I’m recently engaged, but the wedding will be a good 18 months from now, so I haven’t exactly thrown myself into planning anything yet (because it’s so far away and because we have no idea what we want). I’ve just found your blog and it’s making me feel good about the whole process, which had me slightly worried at just the prospect of throwing a party for 100 people (70 of them are family members!). Thank you.

    Also, count me in for brunch and/or hot chocolate with Blind, Irish Pirate!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/09526722516550185150 Meg

    Awwwwww. Thank you. So sweet!!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/13116288479481784525 Kisses & Kumquats

    seriously this is the best post. truly it comes down to people being unhappy and lashing out on other people and for some reason they feel this is okay since its the internet :( but its not.
    your blog is nothing short of amazing =) and i adore it!

  • Kelly

    I'm cheered just reading this post and the responses (after just getting slammed on an ETIQUETTE board, of all places!). Virtual hugs all around!