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What’s Next?


by Meg Keene, Editor-In-Chief

I’ve been getting your emails: Now that you’re married, what’s next for the blog? Are you giving up blogging? I need Team Practical for XX more months, please keep writing… etc. They are wonderful and flattering emails. They probably speak more to the community that has grown up around this blog than to my writing of the blog. But regardless, I thought they needed answering. So here we go:

Am I going to keep blogging?
Uh… yes. Clearly I love it.

Am I going to keep writing this site?
Yes.

Am I going to get writing about weddings?
For the moment, yes. I actually really like weddings, and like Ariel, I find that weddings are a fascinating prism through which to examine our culture, our assumptions, the lives that we build for ourselves, and they way we struggle towards truth. So yes. The weddings will keep coming.

But, there is another question, a better question, that I haven’t been asked yet: Are you going to blog about marriage?
Heck yes! And here is why:

One: I think it’s really strange that there are very few places where weddings and marriages are talked about at the same time, and frankly, that makes no sense. With so many media outlets catering to weddings, and then saying nothing about marriage, no wonder it’s so common to experience post-wedding depression. Two seconds ago you had a fantastic, supportive community that was excited for you, you had something to plan, something to read about, now… its all over. Lame.

Two: I’ve complained about this before, but I find that there are a singular lack of positive models of happy marriages, or more to the point – marriages I’d like to have – in the media. A quick look around typical media outlets seems to imply that getting married means I will gain 100 pounds in five minutes and then get a look of resignation and misery and be horribly bored until I have children at which point I will give up any identity other than ‘Mom.’ Oh right, and I’m going to live a super gendered life – change my name, do all the cooking, etc etc etc. And, no. I don’t think that’s what marriage is like. So, I’d like us to talk a bit about how marriage feels, and what you have to look forward to after your finally done thinking about the effing flowers.

Three. I like to write about what I’m living. It’s as simple as that. I’m planning on telling you stories from our wedding, but when those stories are told, I don’t plan on re-hashing our wedding over and over again. I got what I wanted out of our day, and I’m ready to move on (which is what I wish for everyone). For the personal portion of the writing that I do here, I’m ready to write about what’s happening with us now, about what’s next.

So, there will still be wedding discussion galore here, but I’m going to start folding little bits about married life. I’m not sure how its going to work yet, or how you guys will end up contributing to that part of the content, but I’m excited about it. And hey, that’s how I feel about married life too… not sure quite how it will work, but excited for all of it.

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. For more than you ever wanted to know about Meg, you can visit MegKeene.com.

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  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/18209861350905135093 LPC

    Glad you will keep going.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/03198269471630176197 Danger Jane

    I'm really happy to hear this blog is going to continue. I know I don't often comment, but I always read.

    Mostly, though, I just wanted to say that I'm really excited to hear what you have to say about marriage. Or really, just excited that SOMEONE is willing to talk about it in a non-gender-oppressive or negative way. And my favorite posts of yours have always been the ones where you talk about how much you were looking forward to the marriage. So. Yes. "Yay!" is pretty much what I'm trying to say. :)

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/13358919175349291643 Unorthodox Wife

    This makes me very happy to hear! I didn't start a wedding blog, because our engagement was so short and I was so busy. Although I did read your blog religiously! But I did start this marriage blog literally two days after we returned from our honeymoon. And let me tell you..

    IT IS LONELY HERE!

    I have found a million wedding blogs, and a million baby/family blogs, but close to none about newly weds or married life without the kiddies. (Or maybe I just don't know where to look?)

    So welcome to our tiny niche of the internet :)

  • http://www.onebarefootbride.blogspot.com One Barefoot Bride

    Woo-hoo! There's definitely a need for non-oppressive, non-gender-normative views of and perspectives on *happy* marriages! Probably even more of a need for that, than for 'alternative' views on weddings. The suburbs where I grew up didn't offer many great models, so I'm looking forward to reading more about happy 'alternative' marriages here. I'll probably like that even more than I like reading about weddings. yay!

    (and this is a great response to A.Mountain.Bride who wondered what was going to happen to all her bridal-blogging friends after their weddings were over.)

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

    I am so excited to see what's next Meg!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/13811559996670448379 Emily Takes Photos

    I'm so happy to hear this! I'm only kind of excited for our upcoming wedding, but am SUPER excited for our marriage and all the things that will happen after the wedding!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/04108245752774340410 Niki

    I'm glad to hear you'll still write and particularly that you'll write about marriage. Hubby and I actually got married at city hall last March and are having a wedding to still be able to do a public affirmation to friends/families/loved ones on our one year anniversary. It's great to have the marriage part out of the way, which was necessary/practical for a few reasons, but I realize I'm in a bit of a different place than most brides looking to plan their wedding day as I'm stuck exactly between where you were six months ago and where you will be in six months. It's been hard to find anything online that speaks to not crazy wedding-ness and even more difficult to find anything about what it means to be newlywed. I'm glad I'll have the opportunity to read just as avidly about the next steps of your journey. I'm sure they'll be just as, if not more, useful and heart-warming and reassuring.

  • Sunshine

    Hmmmm. I am missing something here that's obvious to everyone but me.

    I'm 51 and my friends range in age from the forties to one guy who just turned eighty. When I look at my friend's marriages, I see arrangements that are all over the map as far as gender expectations. The men do all of the cooking in many cases. Or the wife cooks and the husband does all the laundry. Both work, or at least both worked for a good portion of their marriages. Sometimes the wife handles all the bills and sometimes the husband does.

    I was at a dinner party last night and the women all talked about their careers. Some were working and some retired, but all the personal stories about going back to school or knocking down obstacles was sooo interesting.

    One retired woman in her late sixties was the only woman vice president in a bank. She was the lone woman in the conference room. She had some stories!

    Given our ages, are gender expectations really that much of a big deal for younger people getting married these days?

    None of us kept our names, but we kept our lives.

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

    Sunshine-
    I'd say that in terms of media perceptions, yes it's still and issue. I grew up in a household where my mom fixed the plumbing and my dad cooked, and I have a marriage where my husband cooks and I run the finances. Easy? Yeah, in a sense. Reflected in the media sufficiently? No.

    Meg

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/03165659338711360815 lorraine

    I LOVE it. I got married 8/8/09 and have used this blog and this community every step of the way. Marriage is the best part of this whole process and I love that it is an every day commitment- What is better than that?! Sara over at A $2000 dollar wedding is another blogger that keeps it real and reminds me that marriage is way bigger than the wedding. You guys ROCK!! Thank you for telling it like it is and keeping such a wonderful perspective!!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/15765835193986877956 meg{moir}

    Woohooo Meg! I can't wait to read all about "A Practical Marriage!" I'm getting married on 9/26 and have been looking for all over for newlywed blogs to add to my blog reader.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/12997875522614810785 Mouse

    Good! Looking forward to all of this.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/05246299236158152168 Xaris

    I TOTALLY agree with you on how absolutely ridiculous it is that people never talk about weddings AND marriage, as if they were mutually exclusive. AND how every single marriage (except apparently in "Julie and Julia") in the media makes us think it's the most terrible thing to happen to anyone. Keep on, keeping on!!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/06272654565469914998 sam

    Fabulous idea Meg!
    Our wedding is in October. I've loved traveling through this wedding adventure with you and can't wait to hear your insights on the newly married part of it :) You always have such an honest way of looking at everything.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/17599223416157604698 Arden

    I had the exact same reaction as several folks who have already left comments – Woohoo! So happy to hear that you will be blogging about marriage.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/14875846226565988171 turtlebird

    Hoooray!!!!! You've helped keep me sane these last few months, and I'm thrilled to pieces that you'll be around for the next few. And the next few. And the next few. And the next few. And the next few…

    Double yay!!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/13228825846571444268 maura

    THANK YOU.

    I'm very newly married (ie. two days) and have already noticed the huge void in post-wedding blogs/communities where there is honest conversation about the first year or so of marriage and the first few semi-awkward days. I mean, it's really not all smiles and butterflies.

    I no longer want to talk about wedding details or wedding regrets (yes, I should've hired a videographer — so what?) and am ready to move on.

    I'm really looking forward to your practical thoughts about married life!

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

    Most excellent! I'm excited that you are going to incorporate this into your blog. :)

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/15082554090481175349 A Los Angeles Love

    This makes my morning. We've got about 2 years before our wedding and we're trying to start out with the focus on marriage, before the guest lists and decor pressure arrives. A daily does of marriage sanity from APW will definitely help keep us focused on the real prize here.

  • Anonymous

    Sounds great to me!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/12051581432652556410 Marina

    I'm SO glad to hear this! I love your writing style, and your views on relationships, and I'm looking forward to continuing to read your take on life and relationships and all that lovely stuff. :)

  • mck

    Meg, I've never commented but have been reading for months – and this has to be the post refreshing post yet! Our wedding is next Friday and I'm already looking forward to letting go of this wedding chaos and enjoying being a wife. Thank you!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/16598510168723599807 Linda Lou

    This is such a great plan! There are so many good wedding blogs that turn into "nest" blogs– discussing paint color, future baby names, etc. There's nothing wrong with that, but your take on blogging after the wedding– as with all your writing– is so refreshing! As someone who's been following you since day one (and got married a scant week before you), I've really appreciated a co-conspirator in being a practical bride, and I'm so happy to read on about being a practical and happy partner!

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

    Hooray for blogging about marriage! I can't wait!

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

    Man, we will *not* be discussing paint colors. Or baby names. (not that I don't love kids, but nonono).

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

    And there will still be plenty of wedding graduates, etc, coming 'atcha!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/13171902870746932240 Elise

    I appreciate this blog, and am looking forward to hearing your thoughts on marriage. Thanks for keeping it up!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/04977640100594117514 Kelly

    Yay!!!!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/06123337745430790122 angela

    So psyched to read all of it.

    You know what I'm REALLY interested in? Divorce. I am a lover of wedding blogs and weddings but I'm always SO weirded out that we live in a society where half of marriages don't last forever, and NOBODY mentions that. We just dance around that and keep focusing on flowers and dresses and HALF of these beautiful weddings I'm reading about won't last.

    I'm not sure I even think the divorce rate is a bad thing…I think we're probably, as a culture, at a point where we're redefining relationships, and marriage is one part of that. So I'm really curious…how do we continue to celebrate weddings as beautiful and important rituals and still be realistic about the whole thing? I'd love to read something from someone who's getting married and NOT sure it will last forever. Can you still have a wedding if you're unsure marriages can (or should) be for eternity? Or someone who's unapologetically planning a second wedding, knowing that a second marriage is nothing to be ashamed of.

    Not that you exactly asked for topic suggestions…but there's mine. :)

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

    It's funny Angela, I was thinking about writing about that today. I feel like after you get married the concept of divorce slaps you in the face.

    And I always think it's really odd that everyone talks about weddings sans divorce. Or, tries to claim only people that have weddings like they did will have lasting relationships (b*llsh*t).

  • Sunshine

    Meg,

    I was really surprised that people so much younger than myself are struggling with gender roles.

    Angela,

    Just to put your mind at ease, the 50% divorce rate figure that gets thrown around is actually not accurate at all.

    Try googling "divorce rate" or "real divorce rate" and you'll see some good information out there.

    Also, the divorce rate is VERY much tied to socioeconomic status, which no one ever talks about or seems to even be aware of. For instance, the divorce rate for college grads is in the 20% range or slightly higher.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/10423963591112722595 MERgetsMRSed

    I am so happy to see this! I started my blog with this goal in mind post-wedding and I am so glad I am not alone. Here's to Marriage!

  • Anonymous

    thank-you ;-p

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/01377787038293960528 Stacey

    Like this idea. I'm lucky enough to have a few great examples of wonderful marriages in my family, but not everyone does. I love the idea of folding the support of this community into new themes of married life.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/06476109926329778266 lupinbunny

    I'm glad to hear about the 'positive role model' bit. The lack of positive representations of marriage really hit home when my partner's (married) friend congratulated us on our engagement and then said "Being married is such a wonderful experience." And we realised that while lots of people said "Congratulations" noone aside from him had said "you'll have a blast! This marriage caper is great!"

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/03899863121941036511 Carrie

    Thank you. It's be difficult to find blogs post wedding blitz. I'm 39 days to W-Day and all I can find are politics and baby blogs. What a concept, to delve into marriage as a topic of interest. Not just wishing for the topics of your previous, single life or you future children. That stuff is great, but still, it's awesome to I can keep returning to this blog and find ideas that jingle in my head for a bit.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/06912665327917655751 jehara

    that sounds awesome.

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

    I think that's a wonderful solution and look forward to further insight from you*.

    Also, to paraphrase goodness-knows-which-romantic-comedy (I love them… sorry!): I'm not going to say I need you or that I couldn't live without you. Because I could, but I don't want to!
    So thanks in advance for sticking around and making the next 11 months a bit easier!

    *All mentions of "you" in this comment are collective (that is, they refer to the entire community)!

  • Alive

    Thanks, Meg!

    I hadn't commented, yet, but I've been lurking around for a while… I just had to come out of hiding to thank you for proposing a discussion about married life!

    I've been feeling strange about the whole wedding thing. I don't really know what matters, anymore… Adriano and I have been living together for 3 years and now we're planning our wedding. Both of us have divorced parents and no examples of a marriage that makes sense to us. Like you said, most examples are gender-normative and not like us at all! So why should we change the status quo and take a very scary step into unknown territory? I don't have the answer, but I think a straight-forward discussion on what married life is really like will be really positive (and helpful)!

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

    Oh Alive,
    I'm going to sound like such a cheeseball/loon saying this (and I'm not the romantic type) but BOY did getting married make a difference. You think, oh hey, I'm going to do this symbolic thing, and then BAM, it hits you like a ton of bricks. GOOD big though.

    Anyway, more discussion to come.

    Meg

  • Cate Subrosa

    So excited about this! Point one, two and three, I was nodding along – yes, yes, yes! So happy APW is going to be a place the practical brides can keep hanging out… as practical wives I guess ;)