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Our Wedding Update (The Dress Arrives)

by Meg Keene, Editor-In-Chief

Our Wedding Update (The Dress Arrives) | A Practical WeddingIt’s been a while since I’ve given you an update on our wedding, so here we go. First off: of course the second I wrote a post about the absurdity of pre-fab wedding lists, my real life wedding list kicked into overdrive. In the past two weeks alone: my wedding dress arrived almost completed, we went shopping for lace trim for the dress, I got the materials to make both my veil and my headpiece, we finished our invitation design, we sent our invitations to the printer, we paid the final deposit for our venue, we started the process of ordering our wedding bands, we ordered vases for the flowers, we wrote our wedding service, we’ve continued pre-marital counseling, and we found a Ketubah to order… and honestly? I’m not even sure if that’s it, because I can’t remember anymore.

In sum: we’ve done a lot of wonderful, deep, rich, emotional work, and we’ve written a lot of checks. Mmmm…. writing checks. I think no matter how much money you are spending on your wedding, and no matter how thrifty you are trying to be, there will still be a point in the planning process where you feel like you are forking over a lot of money. Hopefully you’re forking over an amount of money you feel comfortable with to people who’s work your thrilled to support, but at the end of the day, money is still leaving your bank account. And for me at least, it’s exhausting.

So I was lying in bed one night, feeling exhausted by all the spendspendspend tied to the wedding this month, and suddenly everything shifted. I looked up at my wedding dress hanging on my armoire and had a little burst of happiness. Then I thought about how soon we’d have the invitations we’d been planning for a year in our hands, and something clicked. I realized that the wedding we’d been dreaming of was finally coming together. I realized that that the handmade wedding that I’d hoped for, in some tiny part of me, for years and years was just around the corner.

And you know what? It all feels worth it. I don’t know how important weddings are in the end. It is, after all, just one day in a life that is hopefully long and full. But I do know that having a wedding where the choices felt right, where the wedding felt like us, was how we wanted to start our married life together. These days all the pieces of that celebration are all over our house: the wedding dress waiting for lace to be hand-sewn on, the stylish and affordable vases piled in a corner, the cases of good local wine in the kitchen, and the birch huppah poles leaning up against the bookcase. And for now, for me, that is a good place to be. It is enough.

Picture: sneak peak of my handmade wedding dress, in progress

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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  • downtomysoul

    eeep! it looks pretty damn amazing! can’t wait to see it in action :-)

  • accordionsandlace

    Loving the “sneak peek”–it looks flowy and right.

    I am happy things are coming together so well for you guys! We have been plowing through as well and keep having those moments of “seeing it” too. They happen as much during happy times (finding out beautiful wedding bands!) and shitty times (having my difficult mother knock the wind out of my sails, forcing us to have some good conversations about what this is about), but more and more it’s clear that this thing is going to happen!

  • h for hellebores

    It is all worth it. I never wanted a big wedding and we tried to keep everything authentic and down to earth but inevitably costs spiral and I was uncomfortable with writing all those cheques too. Three weeks on from our wedding day though I don’t regret a penny of it because it was quite simply the best day of my life. Hope yours is too.

  • Marie-Ève

    Less than three weeks before my wedding, I can certainly relate to that post. There is some stress, but mostly I’ve been so happy lately, so full of love and excitement for what’s to come. It is great to see it all coming together!

    Your dress looks lovely.

  • LPC

    I believe perhaps the god of wedding lists heard your post and sent this flurry of activity like Zeus sending down thunderbolts. Just to remind you. Your dress looks absolutely completely beautiful and I wish you a wedding day to match.

  • Mouse

    Oh, yay! Meg, I’m so glad you’re feeling content. I know it will be a wonderful day for you both! xo

  • Laura Slater

    Hi Meg – Can you please post a step by step on DIYing your veil? I’ve been pondering going this route but am a bit scared since I’m no seamstress!!!

  • Tris

    It sounds wonderful, Meg!

    This weekend was nothing but wedding wedding wedding for us too, but I’m starting to get really excited. My sister and I have a date at Britex for veil fabric, woo hoo!

    And, Laura, in case you haven’t seen this DIY veil bit:

    Happy Monday!

  • Meg

    Hey Laura,
    I haven’t made my veil yet. I’m no DIY genius either, but it’s a veil for goodness sakes, how hard can it be? ;) Besides, all in, my veil cost me $10 at Britex. So with that kind of savings, there is little choice!

    I’ll post more about it when it’s done though.


  • Meg

    Oh, and that 100 layer cake veil is lovely, but also a bit more complicated then a more basic veil (which is what I’m making).

  • AnnC

    Our wedding is in 2 weeks and I feel happy too. I felt happy doing my veil on thursday (yes, done this too), doing my programs yesterday, looking for the perfect place for our photos, even under the rain…
    There are still things to do but my list is shortening ;-) (and yes, a list at this point is necessary because there’s a heap of small stuff that needs to be done and that’s easy to forget…).

  • the un-bride

    Aw … what a lovely post. And you may have just motivated me to get off my butt & make some stuff happen, too.

  • Cate Subrosa

    Ooh, it looks beautiful! Can’t wait to see more.

  • Laura

    The sneak peek is beautiful, and I love your choice of lace. Can’t wait to see it on you.

  • loren weltsch

    the dress looks amazing! how exciting!

  • MaryKate

    The dress looks fabulous…I’m glad it’s bringing you joy and relaxation. I sent this link to my friend, who is stressing about shelling out money for her August wedding.

  • {The Perfect Palette}

    such a lovely dress!

  • east side bride


  • Amy

    LOL! I know how you feel on the wedding stuff everywhere. I have it in my closet, my living room, the office, everywhere!

    Your dress looks awesome.

  • christina

    the dress looks gorgeous…your day will be lovely because you and your fiance are lovely. simply lovely.

  • Peonies and Polaroids

    Oh Meg, you’re going to look so pretty!

    I’m so glad to see a bit of your dress, I think about it all the time! It makes me all tearful and soppy that your sister made it for you. And jealous that I don’t have a sister.

  • Julia

    lovely post :)

  • Cinara

    Ooh a dress-related post! I actually have a different modification of your pattern to make a 14th century dress and it’s a fantastic pattern! You’re gonna look so pretty…

  • Ms. Green

    Yay! I’m excited for you. You’ll have a great time!!

  • A.Mountain.Bride

    YAY! Things are coming together for you – that must be such a wonderful breath of fresh air.

    I feel like I’m experiencing my first melt down. Awesome. But I’ll get over it :-)

  • Paisley

    That dress looks beautiful! I’m so glad you had that aha moment after all the exhaustion. When things fall into place it really makes all that work seem worth it. I’m so looking forward to seeing your wedding!