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Thoughts After Attending The First Wedding After Our Own

by Meg Keene, Editor-In-Chief

It hasn’t been quite four months yet since we got married, but somehow I’d forgotten how huge it was already. As I sat in a 100 year old chapel in New Orleans this weekend, watching our friend (the friend we were closest to we got together, no less) say his vows, the enormity crashed over me again.

A few weeks before we got married we were sitting in our Rabbi’s office, talking about marriage, and I said something like, “I know, I know, marriage doesn’t change anything. Not really.” And she looked at me and said, “Well. It does. But that’s another story.” And as I listened to our friends say the bit about ‘for better and for worse, forsaking all others, as long as we both shall live,’ one grinning and one teary, I wondered how I’d ever thought that this moment wasn’t a game changer.

But if I learned one thing this weekend, it was that I think every wedding (and possibly every funeral) should end with a New Orleans jazz band playing As The Saints Go Marching In. Because standing on that sidewalk outside an old southern mansion, the whole crowd waving white napkins over our heads like flags, stomping our feet, singing that familiar spiritual at the top of our lungs, our voices rubbed raw from joy, throwing handfuls of lavender at the newlyweds as they rushed to the car? That was it. That’s why we go to weddings, I think, and that’s why we love weddings. Weddings help us to brush up against hope, and to remember how to believe.[youtube=] That, and they are a damn fine time. Congratulations you two. And many many happy years.

Oh! And I met a reader for the very first time. You should have seen my face when the woman in front of me in the drink line whipped around and said, “Um. Are you Meg from A Practical Wedding? Because you’re kind of totally famous.” (What?) And thank god she said hi, since she and her husband and *another* reader drank with us the rest of the night. Thanks guys!

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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  • Rebecca

    Oooh I got goosebumps at you describing the lavedar/marching band/handkerchief bit, sounds wonderful! and congratulations on being famous :)

  • Naurnie

    lovely…. new orleans weddings are the best. and yes, you are quite famous!

  • Cate Subrosa

    Heee! You're famous!

  • LPC

    As one out there in the decades, yes, weddings do bring us hope. We remember all the possibilities and we cry because it's so sweet to be human. Even a famous human.

  • Amy

    It was so nice to meet you and again, your dress was seriously amazing! I whole heartedly agree about the jazz band bit- the music and the ending of the reception really took my breath away.

  • Virginia

    Ditto on what Amy said! I found your blog so tremendously helpful when I was planning my own wedding — such a "six degrees of separation" moment to figure out that we're both friends with the new Mr. & Mrs. Kaplown (no, they are not really combining their names).

    And oh MAN, that jazz band and that finale. Amazing.

  • accordionsandlace

    Ok first, yes, the band idea sounds amazing. Love it.

    Second, yes, weddings since ours feel HUGE and it is amazing to watch people do these huge things having some inkling of what it feels like. I love it.

  • MaryKate

    You ARE famous! Oh, and I love your little note about "wedding-bots" above the comment box. Is that new?

  • Meg

    Yes. Now the bots fake y'alls names (I do not joke. The use YOUR NAMES). The problem is they are idiots and you are all very smart, so I just see a comment and know it's fake w/ an awful link, and delete it.

  • bridal girl

    I totally agree with you. Marriage totally changes everything. It is like we are not in a different phase in life and it will really be for better or for worse.

  • The Sapphic Housewife

    It really is a game changer. And I never believed it until my partner and I got married. I haven't been to a wedding since we did, but I'm looking forward to it. Such a beautiful moment to witness in the lives of those you love.

  • Meg

    HA! Please note the stupid spam bot comment directly below my last comment. I will leave it for your enjoyment till this evening.

    You can post that it's not Team Practical from 100 yards. Morons.

  • Mouse

    Famous! :)

  • sam

    I love that you met members of Team Practical at the wedding. Such a small world! Also, jazz bands are the best :)

  • nc

    I want to got to a NOLA wedding- that sounds great!

    We also attended a wedding last weekend and I think I appreciate and love weddings even more now that I've had my own– maybe because I know the secret about the JOY the bride and groom are experiencing.