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Farewell: This is your year, and it always starts here


by Meg Keene, Editor-In-Chief

Farewell: This is your year, and it always starts here | A Practical WeddingDear Team Practical,

This is it. On Monday we’ll be on a brand new site, and tomorrow I’ll be down in L.A. quietly toiling away on the last of it. It feels big, way bigger than I expected. And scary. WAY WAY scarier than I expected. And exhausting. Seriously. I’m so tired.

So. Can I get slightly sentimental on this last day on this site that I’ve been pouring my soul into for the last two years? (It’s true. I missed APW’s second birthday this week). Ok. Thanks. I’ll let you get sentimental one day too.

First I felt like I *needed* to share this email with you all, becuase it’s about you as much as it’s about me. It was also sort of amazing to receive, because this is why I read blogs. This is what blogs were to me when I was 22 and bewildered:

I’ve been a lurking reader of A Practical Wedding since this past October. I’m not planning a wedding, nor am I even close to doing so; I just stumbled across your blog (I think I was googling city hall weddings during a random conversation with a friend about easy weddings) and haven’t left. I am 23; since most of Team Practical is (as I recall from the survey) late-20s and 30s age-wise, I enjoy getting a glimpse of the lives of women who are a few years down the road from me, but seem light years away in terms of where they are in their lives. I just wanted to offer a thank you, from a reader reading for perhaps unconventional reasons. Y’all have become sort of mentors-from-afar–it’s illuminating (not to mention empowering) to be in on the conversations of incredible, smart women thoughtfully and sanely dealing with the big issues of their lives. You’re not just bride-to-bes, but women living your lives who happen to be planning a wedding and gearing up to be married, and it’s the how-you’re-living-your-lives aspect, your priorities and choices (in which wedding planning plays only part), that are interesting to me as a younger’un.

And thank you is exactly what I wanted to say to all of you. Exactly.

And finally, on our last posting day here on this scrappy-trusty-site, I’m leaving you with this snippet of Dar Williams. I’m normally not a huge Dar Williams girl, but I heard this song right before our wedding and I just stopped. Stopped because this is what this blog has been for me, and continues to be, as I find my way down the road of wife. So, for you this song:

Why is it that as we grow older and stronger
The road signs point us adrift and make us afraid
Saying ‘You never can win,’ ‘Watch your back,’ ‘Where’s your husband?’
Oh I don’t like the signs that the signmakers made.

So I’m going to steal out with my paint and brushes
I’ll change the directions, I’ll hit every street
It’s the Tinseltown scandal, the Robin Hood vandal
She goes out and steals the King’s English
And in the morning you wake up and the signs point to you

They say ‘I’m so glad that you finally made it here,’
‘You thought nobody cared, but I did, I could tell,’
And ‘This is your year,’ and ‘It always starts here,’
And oh-oh oh-oh-oh oh-oh, ‘You’re aging well.’

Thank you. All. Thank you for the sign changing. Thank you for all of it.
I’ll see you on the other side.*

Love,
Meg

*Which should be sometime Sunday night
Photo: One you haven’t seen, right after we got married, by One Love Photo, of course

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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  • Lor

    Your blog is the first thing I read every morning when I get to work. It helps me start on a postive note. Thank you for it!

  • http://mrsbasement.wordpress.com Mrs. Basement

    So proud of you, Meg, and excited. Congratulations. You have just done an extraordinarily good job with this whole thing. As I watch your site grow, I feel like I'm watching a kid I went to high school with become a movie star. Proud, proud, proud. And I just know the new site is going to be so pretty and clicky and smart — like well-tailored jacket, I'm thinking :)

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/07075148009608610305 Angie

    same here! as soon i get into the office i log on to my email and then pull up your blog! thanks so much for everything. (actually your thoughtful blog about life, love, being a wife, gender, etc.) is helping to give me that nudge to go back to school. thanks so much, meg!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/10096957955735710186 Sarah

    Thank you so much for your insight and humor. I am looking forward to the next step…always.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/13484691703233805436 Sara E. Cotner

    Hooray! I've been waiting with bating breath. I'm super-excited for you, Meg, and can't wait to see all your ideas come to fruition…

  • http://galfromawayweds.wordpress.com galfromaway

    I'm so happy to have found your blog – it's brought me many smiles and giggles, and lots of things to think about for sure.

    I'm excited to see where the next year takes APW. It's going to be a long long-weekend (Easter weekend – yay!), waiting for Monday to arrive!

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts and inspirations!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/10492742369183661449 Katherine

    Love that photo!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/06990466546123333194 Kyley

    This is *exactly* the reason this is my favorite blog. Thank you so much, Meg & Team Practical, for bringing so much heart to this place.

  • http://nicoleandjesse.blogspot.com Nicole

    Wow! Tears! Congratulations Meg. Can't wait to see the new digs.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/11575834126606152875 miss fancy pants (the bride)

    Yay! Congrats Meg! I love those words from your reader, I feel exactly the same way, but she puts it much more eloquently than I ever could. I can't wait to see the new look!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/02567097973987043341 Lauren

    Crying at those song lyrics, and hoping that this weekend is the perfect ending and beginning for you. Thank you for everything!

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

    Hooray! Home stretch, Meglet! xo

  • Chris

    I also read this blog first thing in the morning. It helps me gather my thoughts and prioritize my seemingly endless wedding to-do list. Congrats on the next phase. I am continuously amazed and stoked at how closely the majority of your writing echoes my own feelings about weddings, marriage, feminism, same sex unions and just about everything else. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/17009143978954483152 Erica

    Amazingly well put. I feel so proud to be a part of this community.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/06380426798347381140 Kayla

    Love the email, love the song quote and am looking forward to the next step!

  • A Team

    wow, i never cry at the wedding graduates, great though they are. but this. this got me. the image, the lyrics, the excitement tinged with fear but buoyed by hope.

    thank you, meg. you've created something truly and ridiculously amazing, and i wish you the best with the relaunch.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/06118368189622576399 nikki

    STOKED! thanks for putting all this work in for us :)

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/15103047512463828864 jamie

    so proud of meg & apw!!!!

    it is like a little one growing up a little, huh?

    i am so excited to see where we are takin it!

    xoxo

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/05098729708314853961 MWK

    Ditto ditto Mc. Dittoface. That email sums up how I feel about this blog (and I am 27!). It, combined with the song lyrics, are getting me sentimental in the best of ways. I'm so happy for you, Meg, and happy for all of us who read you.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/16749548026748923770 lingismyname

    Looking forward to Monday =) Thanks for continuing on with the wisdom-sharing!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/02519580178682517584 Sara

    Amen, Meg. Thanks for it all.

  • Rachel

    Not that I could possible be nearly as attached to this place as you are, I'm sad to see the "old site" go.

    I'll tell myself, though, that this is like marriage: sometimes, you have to restructure, reprogram, and rethink your approach before you can get closer to optimal. It doesn't mean that what's past wasn't beautiful and wonderful, but, if we never look forward, we're much less likely to move forward.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/11675855864720381614 MischiefbyLoki

    I'm glad you're here. And that we're all with you. Looking forward to the new site!

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

    I couldn't be more excited to see the next amazing step here for such an amazing wedding and life resource site.

  • http://www.emilysterne.com Emily Sterne

    go girl go! hang in there, it's sooo worth all the hard work!!!
    ; )

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/10323993039912422459 Kristie B

    I think I just teared up a little. Merci, Meg. Merci, community of smart, practical and most rad women (and some men). I appreciate your thoughtful, reflective, real conversations more than any of you could ever understand.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/02189637917666578405 Allison

    This post makes me think of something one might write down right the morning of their own wedding.
    I have been reading your blog for about 1.5 years (although I've been quite except for the last few months) and still make sure it's the first thing I read in the morning.
    Congratulations on the re-launching Meg!! I hate to say that it's NEW so I'll just say that it's a shinier version of the blog that we all know and love.

    (All of us going to the book reading on the 16th should make sure to buy you a celebratory shot!)

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

    *raises glass* here's to wonderful beginnings!

    congrats, lady, on all that you've accomplished. xo.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/06008386302876377978 Lyssachelle

    Yay, yay, YAY! SO excited for the new site!

    And loving the Dar Williams shout-out, great somg. And brings me back to my Lilth Fair days…oh 1996, I miss you.

  • http://buhdoop.blogspot.com buhdoop

    I love watching this sight grow and change. I am like the emailer in that I stumbled across this site from a google search on something wedding related. It was fate that I found you because I was seriously on my wits end and going through a crisis. I just needed something that wasn't out there you know? This site straightened that right out, so thank you for creating A Practical Wedding. Really, thanks.

    I am looking forward to the new site design :)

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/10750797045930049235 Claire

    I'm so excited to see the new design! I absolutely look forward to reading your posts every single day. It's my work lunchtime treat. Thank you for your thoughtfulness and for helping to form this community of strong women (and men!).

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/14380765313210226220 R.A.P.

    haha Lyssachelle beat me to the lilith fair reference..

    this site saved me from the crazy throughout our wedding planning year. I know I was able to enjoy our wedding as much as I did because of you, Meg, and this great community.

    Can't wait to see the new site! Thanks for working so hard.

  • Ky Eliza

    APW is the very first blog I go to, and has been for about a year and a half– I found it sometime after we got engaged. Our wedding day is this Saturday, and I want to say thank YOU, Meg, for all the advice, inspiration and thoughtful words.

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/11980894946886843896 peanut

    You are a wonderful woman who writes with clarity, honestly, and depth; although I only recently started commenting I have been reading along for over a year. I never thought a blog, much less a wedding blog, would instigate such self-reflection. Thank you, and can't wait for the new site!

  • Meredith

    I've been a reader for a few months (though I read the entire archive in about 2 weeks) but this is my first time commenting. I, like the emailer in the post, am 23 and not planning a wedding, but stumbled on this site and haven't left. It's inspiring to see positive, constructive conversation about topics that are bigger than weddings, from strong, independent, older women. Like peanut, I didn't know that a wedding site could instigate such self- reflection. I feel like I've learned a lot about myself just by reading this site. So thank you to Meg for keeping this site and conversation going, and thanks to all the wonderful women who contribute posts, thoughts and comments. You are all wonderfully inspirational.

  • Cate Subrosa

    As my best friend said to me when I told her we got engaged, "if I were a squealing kind of girl I'd be squealing right now."

    Well done, lady.

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

    What a gorgeous picture.

    And they're right, of course. This is a wonderful place to be, and I'm so glad I get to be a part of it.
    (Also, I've referred 2 newly engaged people here in the past week. I hope they come play! If so, hi Meggan and Ely!)

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/00650933140736435170 Giggles

    This was basically the only blog I read (I just skimmed the others) while planning our wedding. And I still read it because I just love the sass.

  • Jessica

    Beautiful beautiful picture, beautiful thoughts – this site is also the 1st thing I read in the morning & will no doubt be a part of my day even after we get married. Thank you for sharing your creativity and your love with all of us, your readers! :)

  • Rebecca

    Horray for the new chapter for Meg and APW. The letter you posted today (as several have noted) very elloquently states why reading this blog is at the top of my AM list of things I want to do! The insight to life – not just weddings – that Meg and Team Practical bring is invaluable; especially when some of us don't have this type of group 'in person'.
    Thank you all and Cheers to APW!!

  • Sarah

    oh my gosh… i love whoever sent you that email. it made me feel all warm & gooey inside, and just like, "yea… that IS what it's all about!"

    and today, in an uncharacteristically warm (70s and sunny) april day in Chicago, only 2.5 months out from my wedding, with my mom coming in to visit from NY, i feel so lucky and blessed that this weekend i will have the 2 people that i love the most around me, and we'll be talking about how excited we are for the future that my fiance and i are about to embark on.

    and even though i probably won't mention it, a large part of my sanity and grounded-ness throughout the wedding planning process has come from this here blog! a community of like-minded readers and commentators. and even though you're not "real", you are real people out there somewhere. real people that seem pretty cool. and that's pretty nice to know!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/12100587949520447989 k.

    Good luck with the final days of the big move, Meg! I too stumbled here almost accidentally and am so thankful I did. I can't wait to see what you have in store for us! Cheers!

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

    Sending good wishes from the software world:).

  • http://www.msawesome.com ms. awesome

    Beautiful picture. Beautiful sentiments. Super excited for you and this new incarnation of APW! Congrats and thank you!

  • http://www.blogger.com/profile/08630952870183488792 Rachael Eisner

    You rock! And that little anonymous lady in her early 20's…you ROCK too!

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

    I can't wait. Much love!

  • http://caitlindentino.com caitlin

    Congrats! I'm sure, like this incarnation of APW, that the new version will be lovely, fun, inspiring and keep people coming back (and much more). I hope there is some major vino (or perhaps something much stronger) in store for you this weekend!

  • Tina

    From the bottom of my heart I wish you well. It's been a long journey watching this blog mature and transform. I can't wait to see what comes of it in the future.

    But, can I just say, I still drool a little when I see that dress. It's so great to finally see almost all of it from the front. Not to mention the "YES!" feeling that comes from this photo is amazing. :)

  • http://i-doux.blogspot.com Hannah

    I love this a lot. Just saying.

  • http://www.taraclark.ca Tara

    I wish I could Exactly! that email and this entire post!

    P.S. I found your blog from your guest post on Get Rich Slowly a few weeks ago and I’ve been going through the archives slowly to find more of your ideas.