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Mighty Summit: In Gratitude For The Blog-o-sphere


by Meg Keene, Editor-In-Chief

Mighty Summit: In Gratitude For The Blog o sphere | A Practical Wedding

Ok. So. I’m trying to figure out how to tell you guys the story of this weekend – one of the most mind-blowlingly amazing, life changing and intense weekends of my life. It was a weekend that made me so profoundly grateful for each one of you – the commenters, the lurkers, the listeners the writers, the cheerer-oners of each other. Profoundly, profoundly grateful. But to tell this story I’m going to need to back up a little bit and start at the beginning.

Mighty Summit: In Gratitude For The Blog o sphere | A Practical Wedding

On April 21, 2003, a few days after my 23rd Birthday. I found Andrea Scher’s website. On the website there was a link that said “journal,” And I thought, “What does that mean? What’s an online journal?” (ha!) and that’s when I found out what a blog was. I’ve written about the rollercoaster ride that was my 20’s in New York City working in the arts. It was a hard and confusing time, and Andrea, this woman I’d never met or spoken to, held my hand through all of it. What she wrote helped me figure out who I was and what I wanted and how I was going to make that happen.

Mighty Summit: In Gratitude For The Blog o sphere | A Practical Wedding

Flash forward to 2006, when David and I were preparing to uproot our lives, take a step toward adulthood and move to San Francisco. Right around that time, I fell headfirst into Maggie Mason’s writing at Mighty Girl. Maggie was five years older than me (big sister age, and I don’t have a big sister) and lived in San Francisco. But more than that, she was, and continues to be, this amazing woman who wrote her own rules for life. She was having a baby and staying in her one bedroom apartment in the city, building a career that didn’t really exist yet (professional blogger), and was blowing every preconception of motherhood out of the water (travel all over the world with your son during his first year? Done!) Maggie, this woman I’d never met, held my hand through my late 20’s, my move to San Francisco, my engagement, planning my marriage. She gave me faith I could live life on my terms, even when people told me it was impossible. David likes to call Maggie, “Meg’s Oprah” or “Meg’s biggest celebrity.” True. Also, I always just wanted to hang out with her, because it seems like we’d get ALONG.

Mighty Summit: In Gratitude For The Blog o sphere | A Practical Wedding

So last year Maggie through this crazy amazing party for a bunch of her blogger friends, in one of my favorite places on this planet. I literally stared at the website for the event for two weeks last year thinking, “I have to go to this party next year. I have to. I just have to figure out a way.” Which of course made no sense, since at that point I had a non-pro website, and didn’t know Maggie, or anyone she knew. But I had to go. I was totally sure of that.

Mighty Summit: In Gratitude For The Blog o sphere | A Practical Wedding

So a few months ago, Maggie announced she was doing the party again this year, but different. This time it was going to be called Mighty Summit, and was for women leaders in media. It was going to be all about life lists and realizing dreams. And they were taking applications for attendees. So, obviously, I applied within 24 hours, even though I knew I didn’t have a shot of getting it. I mean, please.

And then I got in.

Mighty Summit: In Gratitude For The Blog o sphere | A Practical Wedding

So, I spent this weekend, with a group of the most amazing and intimidating women on the planet. I didn’t know them when I got there. When I looked at the list of attendees, I saw among others, one of the most popular bloggers in the world, the woman who invented Movable Type and owns Typekit, an Oprah show producer, the user experience manager at You Tube, and dear God, both Maggie Mason and Andrea Scher. As you might imagine, I was thrilled, but I mostly spent the days leading up to the conferance feeling like I was going to puke from fear. I mean, whatthef*ck?

And now I’m home from the most emotionally intense weekend of my life.

Mighty Summit: In Gratitude For The Blog o sphere | A Practical Wedding

We spent the weekend doing a lot of amazing things that we were beyond lucky to get to experience. We went wine tasting, we had amazing food, we got presents, we got massages. It was great to feel taken care of for a weekend. Blogging can be draining, and sometimes I get emotionally tapped out. And this weekend I was not in charge. I was taken care of and I was cheered for by three women I didn’t know, for no damn reason other than they thought I was worth it.

Mighty Summit: In Gratitude For The Blog o sphere | A Practical Wedding

But that wasn’t the point, at all. All of that was fun, but extraneous. What the weekend was about was 30 of the most amazing women you’ve ever met, sharing their stories and figuring out they could help each other. It was about always saying yes to each other, about saying, “Not only do I believe you can do that, I believe you can do something ten times bigger. And I believe you have a responsibility to do it, and to help change the world, and I will personally do everything I can to help you accomplish your dreams.”  And it was about all of you guys too. It was about this movement we’ve created together, as women in the social media space. It was about continuing to shape that into a force to be reckoned with. It was about shaking up the media establishment. Of telling our stories, your stories.

Mighty Summit: In Gratitude For The Blog o sphere | A Practical Wedding

I don’t want us to be silent in the face of the wedding industry anymore, on a big media level. I want to her WOMEN’S stories, WOMEN’S experiences. I want the wedding stories being told to be about the bride who fed her family at In-N-Out after her Las Vegas Elopement, about the bride who bravely called off her wedding, about the industrial designer bride who made her wedding dress out of chopped up scraps of lace. I want the stories to be about gay weddings, non-white weddings, small weddings. I want there to be a place for all of us to tell our honest stories about marriage and sex and money. I want smart and funny women to speak up and speak out and stand up for each other. We’ve got that at APW, and I want MORE of that, much more. I want it to grow and grow and grow.

Mighty Summit: In Gratitude For The Blog o sphere | A Practical Wedding

And this weekend, I saw a microcosm of dream. I saw the revolution gaining steam. I stayed up till 2 in the morning two nights in a row, while we sat in the hot tub and each told a short version of our life story. I saw that these women I was intimidated by had amazing stories of love and grit and survival. I heard about miscarriages, surviving drug addiction, of homelessness, of fending for themselves at 17, of losing a child. And I marveled that these women who had been through more than I could ever guess and who were never handed anything, had drawn their power togetherand built marvelous things. They had said yes to life, they had asked for what they wanted, they had taken risks and worked past the fear.

Mighty Summit: In Gratitude For The Blog o sphere | A Practical Wedding

These women have big dreams, but their dreams are about more than just themselves. On lunch on our last day, we went around the table and everyone stood up and asked for help accomplishing something on their life list that they were going to work on this year. Mena Trott stood up and said she wanted to help 20 women learn to sew a dress, and could we let her teach us? Heather Armstrong stood up and asked her to help her give selflessly to those in need. Heather Sphor stood up and asked if we could help her find ways to support other women with children in neo natal intensive care, after losing her daughter. And someone else stood up (to be named at a later date), and asked for help throwing a wedding. A wedding the wasn’t sure she deserved, with a baby, and not a lot of money.

Mighty Summit: In Gratitude For The Blog o sphere | A Practical Wedding

So APW is going to take this project on. I’ll be helping to throw a wedding for an amazing woman who deserves to have her relationship honored. Not just for her, but because I want to see women standing up and saying I will fight for your dreams, not just for mine. You know, what you do in the comments every day? That. I want to to that.

So thank you. I thought a lot about your brave, selfless, smart, unconditional support of each other this weekend. I thought about the way you challenge each other and give each other wedding dresses and cheer for each other and support each other when things get dark. You all are my miracle, and I’m so grateful for that.

Mighty Summit: In Gratitude For The Blog o sphere | A Practical Wedding

Now it’s time to kick some ass.

Pictures: Intel sponsored photography for the weekend, so I never had to pick up d*mn camera. You can see the whole set here. There were also a million other unbelievably thoughtful sponsors, who made this weekend something everyone could come to, money or no. I’m really grateful to them. The weekend wouldn’t have been what it was if it was open to just those of us who could afford to spend a pile o’ money right this second.

PS Can you think of a better place then Mighty Summit to spend the last hours of Yom Kippur? To pray for renewal and returning as the gates close? Yeah. Me neither.

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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  • JT

    I’ve been reading APW for a few months now, but have never quite mustered up the courage to comment. Today, Meg, I feel compelled to break my silence to let you know that this:
    What she wrote helped me figure out who I was and what I wanted and how I was going to make that happen.
    is how I feel about YOU and APW. And not just in the wedding world, but in life. So thanks! And congratulations on getting to go to the Mighty Summit- you deserve it.

    • Jenny

      A similar lurker – for some reason, this was the post that did it for me. Thank you, thank you, THANK YOU for having this living, breathing thing called APW. It’s not just about weddings, marriage, love, and all other great stuff – it’s about living a LIFE. As a woman, with opinions, with feelings, with a specific point of view that MUST be heard.

      I just transplanted myself to the West Coast…as a Southern girl, its a bit of a jolt. It’s meant leaving my friends, my family, my job, my *comfort zone*, and coming out here to start really living MY life.

      Thanks for being thankful. Thanks for living your life, and inspiring all of us to do the same each day.

  • Lily

    I live on the east coast now (a recent transplant from the bay area), and it is amazing to still get to wake up and get my daily dose of wisdom and grace before work. Thank you for slowing everything down, examining the parts and making it all make sense. Thank you for this post, today, specifically. A good reminder to start making a difference, now. And thank you for posting so early.

  • http://www.stofnsara.com saartjie

    Oh! If the girl whom I’m thinking about is the same girl whose wedding you (*we*) want to honour, then that is flippin marvellous. Of course, it will be marvellous anyway…

    I am thrilled you had such an inspirational weekend. ‘Cos if you’re inspired, then we will probably be inspired too.

  • http://amidlifeofprivilege.blogspot.com LPC

    Congratulations dear Meg. I don’t know whether I want to say, “I told you so!” or “Thank you,” more. I am so proud of you, and yet, I am also so grateful. I see what you and Team Practical do here and I know. I know that you are providing space to talk, to confer, to grieve and celebrate and figure things out. A space that women in my generation didn’t have. A space the women in my mother’s generation didn’t have. A space in some ways outside of marriage, which manages then to root itself even more firmly IN. I guess “Thank you” wins. But I still told you so:).

  • abby_wan_kenobi

    Holy shit. I read most posts in my RSS feed, and towards the end of this one I was like “holyshitholyshitholyshit Click that ‘Show original item’ button!!! GOGOGOGOGOGO We’re throwing a wedding!!!!”

    Because that’s how I feel here. Team effort. Can do. No limits. If Meg says, “Maybe we should throw someone awesome a wedding?” I say, “Hell Yes! Because Meg thinks she’s awesome. And because every relationship should be honored. And because who’s going to stop us?”

    So…. I’m in. Manual labor? Used centerpieces? Donated time/$$/origami? Just ask. I can’t wait.

    • meg

      SNIFF….. you guys are making me all teary.

    • ElfPuddle

      I don’t have the $$$ to donate, but I can do all the origami you want!

    • http://made-of-sun.tumblr.com/ Trisha

      I work at a print shop, I can donate invitation printing, or maybe poster printing, along with basic design software knowledge. Let us know what’s needed. I’m also excited to get a chance to help out on this.

    • http://memyselfandbride.blogspot.com/ Jen

      True that. If you need anything, we got your back! I’m guessing the wedding is not in MN…so I probably can’t offer my manual labor. But crafts? I can do crafts and mail them. I can give cash. I can offer support.

      Ask and you shall receive, dear!

      • http://amidlifeofprivilege.blogspot.com LPC

        And if a mid-century bridal shower is part of the project, I’ll throw the party in my suburban ranch house:). I’m a pretty good cook. I’ll get balloons. And tissue paper. As long as someone else does the decor crafting, otherwise I would wind up gluing myself to the table.

        I can also help with all kinds of stuff. Being unemployed has its benefits.

        • ElfPuddle

          Exactly! The lack of money means we have to get creative. People keep telling me I have extra time now that I don’t have a job….I might as well help someone’s life be better than mine!

          (And I don’t mean that in a pity-me sort of way…more of a silver lining.)

      • Michelle

        My first thought was, “I don’t care where it is. I’m road tripping and making sure this bride’s day is as stress-free as possible. Whether I’m setting up a buffet or doing the dishes, I can help out somehow.”

        And you’ve got a crew of amateur event planners with all different talents to make this happen.

    • Vanesa

      I’m not a crafty person, but I’m super organized/good at setting up systems for a bunch of people to work together on a project and get it done. If you need anyone of that sort, I’m in!

      • http://www.twitter.com/kahlia kahlia

        Me, too!

        • Anon

          Me three! I love making spreadsheets and lists. And organizing. Whatever you need, I’m in!

    • Allison

      YES! I am in! I’ve got vases and drink dispensers and cake plates and craftiness and a dress and tons of creative skills!
      This is why we’re called TEAM Practical. :)

    • ANI

      I am brilliant at making women (and men) look their best. I understand that a curved strapless neckline vs. a sweetheart strapless neckline, a satin 5″ ruffle versus a chiffon 2″ ruffle, and off-white versus cream versus true white versus paper white versus ivory… these are the things that can make the differnce in your experience of yourself as capable and strong and forgiving and loving.

      Take me shopping with you: Let me make you feel more open, more real, more honest, than you ever have. YES, clothes can do this. Not just on your wedding day but every day. But when more than your wedding day do you need every ounce of support you can get? And if you can get it from the mirror, why shouldn’t you?

      I want to give this to this bride.

    • Lor

      I want to hear more about this wedding APW is going to help. I’d love to help in some way, if I’m too far – then I’d love to help money-wise!!! So proud of APW and all of these readers!

    • Linds

      I’ve got lots of vases and a pair of wedding dresses street size 8ish. Let me know if I can help!

  • Maddie

    Perfect post and just in the nick of time. Thank you Meg for being MY big sister (I don’t know if you know, but you are). This blog has helped me find the courage to carve out the life I want for myself and to see my goals as nothing short of attainable. Knowing that other ladies are succeeding at doing so and building a community from their efforts is just the kick in the ass I need.

    So how can I help to make this wedding magical? I’ve got tablecloths, centerpieces, a handy husband with a circular saw and a corporate fedex account. I am at your disposal.

    • meg

      Weepy, a little. It’s EARLY for that, especially after being weepy all weekend, but there you are.

      • Sooz

        oh Meg! ‘Meg is throwing this person a wedding’ was *always* going to turn into ‘Team Practical’ is throwing this person a wedding’!!!

        I’m not sure how much help I can be, but I’m willing to give it a go. My best skills are knitting and origami.

        Sooz

  • http://www.christytylerphotography.blogspot.com Christy

    OOOoooooooh MAN! This is so freaking inspiring this morning! All of it. And it gave me goose-bumps and I may have cried. A.LOT.

    So happy for you Meg! You are an inspiration to all of us… you have no idea! :)

    And heck yes. Let’s throw a wedding! I can’t wait to hear more about this!!!!!! Eeps!

  • Kristin

    I’m a first time commenter, but this post definitely made me want to leave the comfort of my little shell! Thank you for posting this today. It made me weepy in a really good way. I feel SO blessed to have found an oasis of sanity and wonderful community in an absolutely insane industry! Thank you, Meg, for being a “big sister” and inspiring all of us as well! I am absolutely excited to do whatever I can to help with this wedding from my little corner in Arizona!

    P.S. (Once my shenaniganry is done and over with in February, I’d like to share my dress.)

    • Jessica

      ” I feel SO blessed to have found an oasis of sanity and wonderful community in an absolutely insane industry!”

      I hit the Exactly! button AND had to comment. This. So this.

  • http://sogladthatyouexist.blogspot.com ninabb

    I want to help! And apply to go to the summit next year!

  • Aimee

    Meg, you inspire me everyday. I have found the motivation and support to start writing again, partly due to the community you have created. I feel that my voice matters and that there are a lot of other women out there that might want to hear what I have to say. Thank you for that.

    And by the way, was that Happy Tape on that box? I LOVE Happy Tape!

    Enjoy the praise and gratitude, you deserve it!

  • Allison

    For the past year and some change I’ve been reading and every. day. I’ve been inspired by you and Team Practical members. So to echo the earlier comment, THANK YOU for being a big sister – for talking about the taboo things, challenging the status quo, and sharing the joy.

    I’m only a quarter-crafty, but I’d like to help throw the wedding in any way I can. :) YAY.

  • Class of 1980

    Meg wrote:

    “I saw that these women I was intimidated by had amazing stories of love and grit and survival. I heard about miscarriages, surviving drug addiction, of homelessness, of fending for themselves at 17, of losing a child. And I marveled that these women who had been through more than I could ever guess and who were never handed anything, had drawn their power together and built marvelous things. They had said yes to life, they had asked for what they wanted, they had taken risks and worked past the fear.”

    That was the most important paragraph of the whole post. At least for me it was.

  • http://2twenty-three3.blogspot.com/ eRiN

    I am proud to “know” a woman who says, “I want to see women standing up and saying I will fight for your dreams, not just for mine.” What more could one want from a confidant, a hero… a friend? Thank you for everything you do and everyone you bring together.

    • ElfPuddle

      Exactly. And, HELL, YES!

    • http://intosomethingrichandstrange.blogspot.com/ Vanessa S.

      I exactly-ed, but I had to comment as well because …. holy shit!!!!…. If….
      “Not only do I believe you can do that, I believe you can do something ten times bigger. And I believe you have a responsibility to do it, and to help change the world, and I will personally do everything I can to help you accomplish your dreams.”
      …then what could we NOT do? I’m full to bursting with this and feel the need to march around grinning! Instead I’ll just copy it here again: “I want to see women standing up and saying I will fight for your dreams, not just for mine.”

  • http://californiacheesemaid.blogspot.com Mandy

    What a touching and inspiring way to start the day! Meg, I’m a mostly lurker / sometimes commenter coming up on my 1-year anniversary (still working on the wedding grad post!). And since we’re getting all sappy, I’ll just chime in to say that you and the ladies in this group not only helped my husband and I plan our tiny-but-magnificent wedding sanely, but when I think back on those months of planning and realize the transformation I was experiencing into a practical, rational woman with my budding ‘baby family,’ I feel like you and these beautiful women were there, helping me examine and strengthen my core beliefs & values. It wasn’t just getting married that created that click of a switch that some women experience; for me, it was the devouring of every single APW post and thread and deciding how they applied to the woman I was and who I wanted to be.

    A lot of the things I learned and read as an undergrad quite honestly helped solidify some of the beliefs / values that maybe I thought I had but didn’t quite have a firm grasp on yet. So, you know, being a (distant) part of this family did more than help throw a kickass wedding people still rave about – at 28, it really helped me become more of a kickass woman! :)

    • Anonymous

      Yes, yes, yes. I figured I’d better say something, since I couldn’t “Exactly” that ten times over.

  • http://memyselfandbride.blogspot.com/ Jen

    I have to agree with a lot of the other commenters on a few points, Meg. First, you are a big sister to a lot of us. Thank you for being that and for putting yourself out here in blog land to be that beacon. Second, Team Practical has a lot to offer to this wedding you are throwing. I’m pretty sure you won’t be able to stop us if you tried! :) So ask and you shall receive (and then some).

    • http://memyselfandbride.blogspot.com/ Jen

      Oh…and yes, please tell us what size this mystery bride wears. I saw someone else has a dress to give away…and I may like to do the same with mine. :) Oh, possibilities!

  • http://jolynn.wordpress.com jolynn

    I’m teared up! So glad that you were able to do this and recharge. and please, please, can I help throw a wedding?!

    Also, totally trundling off to work on my OWN life list. And get my ass in gear about that thing I was inspired to do last night.

    Thanks for all of the extra pushes along the way.

  • Alyssa

    I’M a little teary now, this is just great and inspirational and I better stop or I’m gonna tear up again.

    Does this women know how kick-a**tastic her wedding is gonna be, with not only Team Practical helping, but all your 44,000 readers sending prayers, happiness and good ju-ju her way?
    I can’t wait to help.

  • Charlotte

    I’ve been reading this blog site since I got engaged a few months ago and I have to say I find it so refreshing and inspiring and a complete joy to read in comparison to other “wedding blog” websites. I love the supportive atmosphere here and how it encourages you to think out of the box and to do whats right for you.

    I live in London so it means waiting until my lunch time before I get to read meg’s posts but they really cheer me up and help put evrything into perspective when I’m having a particularly challenging or stressful morning. So a massive huge thank you!

  • http://marie-evelaforte.blogspot.com Marie-Eve

    This is incredibly inspiring Meg. I’m so happy you got to go, but even happier you told us about it, I’m feeling so grateful about this wonderful community of women here. It is what it’s all about. How great of you to have met all these women! It must have been a dream.

    Please let us know how we can help plan this wedding!

  • http://bunniesnbeagles.blogspot.com Ms. Bunny

    When I think about what APW means in my life, I realize it’s a lot bigger than a site that helps me plan a wedding. It’s a site that encourages me to live. It’s a site that makes me step back and question the quid pro quo. It’s a site that challenges, supports, uplifts, questions, digs deep, and influences. I feel truly indebted to your wisdom Meg during the last almost two years of your life. I feel like I am a stronger, better woman for reading and commenting on APW.

    I’m not a teary blog reader, but I’ve got a little bit of moisture in my eyes now after writing those words. You have no idea what this site means to me.

    So YES, I am on board with throwing this wedding. I can sew, I can do styling, I can project manage, I can send good vibes. What do you need? Ask and we will deliver!

    • http://bluesuedeidos.wordpress.com Beth

      I’ve shared APW with a friend who is single and pretty bitter about weddings right now, and even she has gotten all ‘Exactly!’ on a few posts. You’re right, APW isn’t just about weddings. It’s about living a life of respect for ourselves and others.

      • Jessica

        I share APW with all my close girlfriends too and we gchat all day about articles we love.

        Meg, you need an APW wine sponsor because this blog pairs soooo nicely with conversations over a glass (or three!) of wine. :D

  • http://bluesuedeidos.wordpress.com Beth

    Meg, this is so great! I’m glad to hear of your experience and of your big project! APW is an important voice that needs to get bigger and be heard by more. I promise to do my part to spread the word even long after I’m married.

  • ddayporter

    holycrap! Meg I’m weepy right there with you this morning. so many of the above comments are already saying what I’d want to say but I wanted to echo them anyway and say THANK YOU for being my “big sister” (I already have 2 lovely ones but there’s always room for more). and that summit is basically what you’re doing every day on this blog. that whole part where you guys said to each other “Not only do I believe you can do that, I believe you can do something ten times bigger. And I believe you have a responsibility to do it, and to help change the world, and I will personally do everything I can to help you accomplish your dreams.” that’s what it feels like to be a part of APW, even though we’re not actually saying the words to each other, that’s the sense of community we have here. And those meet-ups?? turning into friendships and our very own Mighty Summits?? I can’t believe you thought you wouldn’t get accepted to go to that. You are the poster child for that shizz.

    and I can’t f*cking wait to help out with this wedding. I hope you’re going to let us help out. I umm, have no real skillz or money but I want to do something.

    • KA

      srsly! let’s hear it for throwing a wedding, and for future APW summits, and reclaiming the wedding industry and mainstream women’s media in general. you and this site are proof that a little generosity, empowerment, and community can go a long way.

  • http://lifeinwhite.wordpress.com Helen

    When’s this date?! I got mad wedding and party throwing skillz that are waiting to be unleashed!

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

    This is awesome! And you’re awesome! And I LOVE the idea of helping other awesome ladies make their dreams happen! So let me know if there is anything I/we can do to help throw a (certainly deserving) lady her wedding!
    I’m still high off the love from our own wedding (this past weekend) and it was such a profound, moving, amazing, bigger deal than I’d ever even guessed/dreamed/thought. It’s a huge and amazing gift you’re giving! :)

  • http://www.mysanfranciscobudgetwedding.wordpress.com Sarah

    Sign me up! I can’t wait to help throw a wedding for someone. How are we going to decide who gets the wedding?! I’m so excited!

    • meg

      Ohhhh… we know who gets the wedding. It was one of the women this weekend, and Plans Will Be Made. You guys are making me think up ideas already. I had no idea so many people would want to help.

      TEARY…. gulp.

  • http://emilytakesphotos.com Emily

    Your writeup of it is so inspiring, I can only imagine how powerful the weekend must have been for you! I’ll have to check out some of these other women and their blogs. You’ve totally been the big sister to a lot of us while we were (are) planning our weddings, so thank YOU! I’m excited to see what you have in mind for helping this lucky lady have the wedding she deserves; let me know what I can do to help! I’ve got some decor leftover from my wedding and I’ve got a camera. :)

    • meg

      Heck yeah with the camera. You were one of the first people I thought of, in fact.

      I need to do a little write up of some of the blogs of the women I met. There are a handful that you guys will just eat right up. Some are more mom-centric (god bless) but not all, by far.

  • http://Mightygirl.com Maggie Mason

    Yes. Let’s do this.

    I’m glad you took so much away from the weekend. See you soon for wedding planning.

  • http://elissarphotography.com Elissa

    Yes!! I echo every sentiment already written. Meg, I found you when I was planning my wedding and losing my head, and you were planning YOUR wedding and NOT losing your head, and you became my mentor. Now I’m a month away from my 1-year anniversary and I still come here for your wisdom. You (and all the commenters and contributors) are like my big sisters. Let’s throw a grand wedding!

    • KD

      DING! DING! DING!

      As awesome as Meg’s content is – it’s not just her – it is the collective of everyone here. ALL OF YOU! That are my big sisters (and a few big bros too!) and have kept me grounded for the past few years.

      Every single comment, every graduate – all so incredibly influential. And of course the chica who made the community and makes us all think…

      • http://lifeinwhite.wordpress.com/ Helen

        Totally with you on the big sisters thing!

  • http://www.helenjane.com Helen Jane

    What a pleasure to meet you and hug you and celebrate all the work you do for us.
    Let’s get ‘er hitched!

    (Whiskey planning session to begin in T-minus two weeks?)

    • meg

      Done. I have some ideas already… forthcoming.

    • Simon

      Whiskey?

  • suz

    I’ve been reading APW for about a year (and yes, I’m a lurker) since a friend of mine was planning her wedding. I’m not engaged, I haven’t dreamed of my wedding for years, and I don’t buy glossy wedding magazines but I love this space. I love the way Meg writes and the comments and supportiveness from other readers. I love the photographs and the way everyone contributes things.

    I often mention APW in conversation and when I explain that I read a wedding blog folks get this strange look on their face (see above re: not even being engaged) and every time I have to explain how this is more than a wedding blog, it’s a community and a discussion on life in all its permutations and it’s a discussion on relationships and family and all the ways that manifests itself in our world.

    So thanks for all the fun stuff, the great photos, the funny wedding stories… but thanks also for the community and support and making it ok for all of us to be who we are and live the life we’ve dreamed of.

    I’m in the Bay Area and would gladly help with the wedding we’re throwing! I’m not at all crafty, but I’m super organized and planning oriented or I could serve champagne or help clean dishes or whatever you need!

    • Marina

      Yes to the strange looks people give me when I tell them I’m still reading a wedding blog over a year after my wedding. My go-to explanation is that it’s really more of a marriage blog. :) I can’t count how many conversations with my husband start with, “So on that wedding blog I’m still reading, Meg said…”

      This blog is such a huge part of the intellectual life of my marriage. I am a better person and my relationship with my husband is better because of this blog. So yes, Meg, I think you are absolutely a woman leader in media. I don’t watch TV half as much as I read this blog! :)

    • Jo

      This is exactly how it is for me. I’m not married or engaged (and my boyfriend gives me weird looks whenever I mention this blog and send him posts to read), but Meg, your writing and this community inspires me.

      I’m in San Francisco, and would love to help out. I’m pretty crafty, and a good baker and photographer, but will dive in and help however its needed :)

  • http://adesertfete.blogspot.com jamie

    DAMN.

  • http://laurenmcglynn.com Lauren

    I want to help!!! If there is anything us overseas ladies can do let us know. (was longing to offer up my camera too as soon as I read this, but then remembered that I’d probably be in Scotland when this all goes down, which is probably too far away)

  • http://www.stephaniebrooksphotography.com/ Stephanie

    I am SO happy that you got to attend such a transformative summit of amazing women. Why aren’t summits like this happening all over the world? This may have been for women in media, but I think we could all use an intimidating summit where people help you and encourage you to make the right steps toward living your life in the most successful way possible. This is inspiring to me today because of this: “Not only do I believe you can do that, I believe you can do something ten times bigger. And I believe you have a responsibility to do it, and to help change the world, and I will personally do everything I can to help you accomplish your dreams.” I like to be reminded that the little wish for myself isn’t just accomplishable, it is actually small in comparison to what I COULD do. And, I like the idea of the responsibility of moving forward. You and I are the same age, but I do look up to you and what you have done with this blog. Thanks for this post today!

    • Mallory

      Agreed both Meg’s post as well as your comment remind me that I have all the skills I need to be my happiest and most successful self. I just need to keep on truckin’.

  • Chi

    I started reading APW a few months ago when my boyfriend and I started the discussion of becoming engaged. I must admit that there were a few graduate posts on “just knowing” and “feeling right” that made me seriously doubt the realness of my feelings for him. Then, there was the graduate post from a girl who compared dating : marriage :: house shopping : home ownership. That made me realize that everyone is different and no one perspective is right for everyone. As Meg put it, I have been a “lurker” until today. But after today’s post, I feel inspired to say thank you to everyone for the invaluable community that they have fostered. APW is like my morning oatmeal. Sure, it isn’t necessary, but it is good for me, and happens to be a great way to my day.

    • N

      The home ownership metaphor post absolutely spoke to me too. I spin it round and round in my brain and it always works no matter how much I stretch it: “That cabinet door that swings too far open and you bump your head on it a lot is like xyz annoying fiance habit that irks me but its a quirky little part of this home that I have built and live in and love. Now if there were 100 cabinet doors, we’d be in trouble, and we’d want to leave that house, but we’re not.”

      Back on topic…

      Must chime in with the chorus here to say that APW has been a such an amazing resource for me. Somehow I got lucky and found it right at the earliest early stages of wedding planning, so I feel like it has incubated me from the beginning from the harsh WIC world. I am currently taking a wedding blog hiatus, but APW does not count. It’s just a blog for leading a thoughtful life, and I neeeeed my morning posts!

      • Jessica

        Echo this comment. I found APW *fairly* early, but still had the terrible misfortune of getting sucked in to the other blogs that made me want to cry and throw up. I definitely took a wedding blog hiatus (read: permanent) and exclude APW from that group too.

        Now when my friends get engaged (if I haven’t told them about APW before then…) it’s “Congratulations! Now go read APW.”

  • Ally

    I remember you mentioning several times that so many of your readers went to womens colleges. Now I think you understand the powerful and moving energy that can be created when groups of women come together with intention. We push each other and help each other become not only what we want to be, but what we owe to ourselves and one another. It’s exactly that energy that I love getting from APW on a daily basis now that I live so far away from all of my college girlfriends.

    I’m also thankful that I got a huge dose of that goodness this weekend too–at my wedding. Congrats to us both!! And thanks for your unknowing support along the way.

    • Michelle

      Congratulations Ally! Welcome back as a graduate.

  • http://tinyglimpses.blogspot.com Meg

    What size does this mystery lady wear? I’ve got a dress to give away. I was going to wait until I submitted my grad post, but it’s not ready just yet.

  • http://www.agirlandaboy.com/journal agirlandaboy

    Oh, ladies. You wonderful, wonderful ladies. THIS is what the internet is for: building communities that support each other and make dreams happen.

    • http://www.stofnsara.com saartjie

      grin

  • Sarah

    First of all … Meg. I’m so thrilled (and just the slightest bit jealous) for you! What an amazing weekend that sounds like. To actually meet the two women who helped you through so much … and everything that goes along with it! What a soul-changing experience it must have been, so be surrounded with such remarkable women. =)

    Like Rachel said above … that’s the kind of thing that will end up happening with the meet-ups … it’s already going on here in DC! And thank you thank you thank you for that!!

    Secondly … hooray helping other’s dreams come true! And this wedding! I’m honestly more excited about doing this for someone else who so deserves it (her story just about broke my heart) than I was planning my own!

    Let us know what is needed! Let us know what she wants! Let us know what her vision is! Because after all … this is HER wedding, as much as we’d like to make it our own. We can’t WAIT to make it happen for her!

  • Amanda

    Hello Meg, I just sent you my “wedding graduate” story today. I don’t know if you had the chance to read it yet, but this is just perfect. If this girl would like a “photobooth” at her wedding she’s got all kinds of accesories for it ! Just send an address and I’ll mail it your (her) way. !

  • http://kristythecoffeegirl.blogspot.com Kristy

    Sounds like an amazing weekend!

    I am SO excited about this. Oh, to give BACK to someone, to be able to help someone. I would love to help with whatever needs helping. I have lots of paper lanterns & strings of lights from my wedding, if she likes that sort of thing (blue, green, & white), and I love crafting. So. Say the word and I’ll do what I can.

  • Sarah M

    Reading all the comments today from everyone about helping with this wedding just made my day!! I can’t wait to see how this project pans out on APW over the next little while. The prospect of being involved in throwing a wedding for someone else with this amazing community is beyond exciting.

    I’m only 1/4 crafty and I don’t have any particularly awesome wedding related skills, but I have been told I’m great at making decisions…you need a decision? I’ll make it :)

    Can’t wait to help!

  • Kashia

    I’m in to help if you need me. What an amazing idea! One more reason that I LOVE APW!

    Meg, the conversations that you start here have given me cause to stop and really think and read all the comments, and sometimes add to the conversation on the blog. Even more than that though, the these discussions on APW give me the courage to start some of the same conversations with my fiance or my Mum or my best friend. You have given me (and others I suspect) a place to feel safe about testing out ideas, and a place to feel good about our choices regarding our weddings and our relationships (especially if they don’t look the same as in the glossy magazines). Thank you Meg, I cannot tell you how much you. APW has been an incredibly positive influence on my life right now, especially as I am planing a wedding and writing a thesis at the same time.

  • Liz A

    What exuberant generosity here. Loving it.

    I’ll have some fantabulous faux floral bouquets and bouts if the bride would like them. They’ll be waiting.

    Super excited to see how this plays out…

  • Emily

    Count me in! I can sew and knit. I live in DC (so, probably couldn’t make a dress for someone who doesn’t live somewhere that she could do fittings, but I could do other bits and pieces that wouldn’t need to be as tailored). I’m getting married in January, so am a little distracted by my own undergraduate needs this fall, but our stuff is mostly done so by January my craftiness is all yours if it’s needed.

  • http://www.alosangeleslove.com Becca

    Thank you Meg. Your site and voice have inspired me since the beginning, even when it was a bitty personal blog. You inspire me even more now, because of this entire community and space you’ve created here for smart women who want to be braver about our lives (wedded or otherwise). I’m in. Whatever you need to help with this wedding, I’m in.

  • http://koruwedding.blogspot.com Koru Kate

    I could “exactly” most of the comments above but I wanted to say a few things too. This is easily, hands-down my favorite blog! A huge thanks to Meg & the APW ladies for making it so wonderful!! It’s incredibly refreshing to read a wedding blog that deals with things besides tulle & lace. I have my own wedding blog detailing the adventure of my wedding planning but so often I can’t write about the “real” issues for fear of offending my family & friends that may be involved with the issue & read it. I come here to be REAL. The posts & the comments often make me stop & think about things, make me feel like I’m not alone with problems, etc. I plan to keep reading it long past my January wedding because it’s about life, not just weddings.

    And count me in for anything that can be done for the wedding!!

  • Mallory

    I have no left over dress or decorations. I have very few artsy talents. And I have almost no skill in photography or sewing…. but I’ve got a hell of a lot of enthusiasm to help make this wedding happen!

  • Allison

    Reading this post made me think about how we all felt sitting around YOU in Emily’s apartment.
    :)

  • ANI

    Meg I think I love you. Is it ok to say that? It better be. Cause I do. <3 <3 <3 <3 <3

    And how come we STILL don't have any new words for love in the English language? Cause I feel like a fool putting "but you know, not sexually" after that first sentance, but you know, maybe it needs to be done? Cause love is a big enormouse word that covers more varied feelings and physical experiences that any four letters should have to be accountable for. . .

  • Caitlin

    I want to help! Somehow… :)

  • http://bride-sans-tulle.blogspot.com Sharon

    This post makes me feel happy and teary and EMPOWERED.

    Let’s throw this girl the best damn wedding that’s ever hit the blogosphere, y’all.

  • http://thequeso.com Laura Mayes

    I am so so so glad that I got to meet you this last weekend. Your energy is lemonade. Refreshingly awesome lemonade.

    And I’m in. Whatever you need. You know how I love an event.

  • http://teaandcookies.blogspot.com tea_austen

    Oh Meg, you’ve made me weepy–weepy and wanting to kick ass at the same time. I didn’t think that was possible.

    It was SO wonderful to get to meet you this weekend–to listen to your passion and intelligence and humor. You’ve inspired me and I keep thinking about my blog mission, as you spoke so eloquently about yours.

    I’ll be cheering you on as you continue to rock it, sister.

    xox
    –Tara

  • http://www.courtneykhailstationery.com Courtney

    Let me know if I can help, Meg. I’d love to do something :)

    And I second pretty much everyone here when I say that you’re an inspiration to Meg. I’m so happy I’ve gotten to know you! (to be honest, Jordan pokes fun at how often you’re mentioned around our home…)

    • http://www.courtneykhailstationery.com Courtney

      you know, correct grammar could be cool. “You’re an inspiration *too* Meg.” Cold medicine is getting the best of me!

  • Marchelle

    Meg, I love you. You already know it, but it needs to be said.

    (Also, count me in.)

  • Christina

    I haven’t read all the comments yet so someone may have said this already – but….

    THIS is what makes APW stand out. How many other team practical members are married already and still read this blog, like me? Tons! How many other ‘wedding’ blogs can say that? It’s because this blog is about more than weddings. It may take a wedding to get us here (most of us) but it’s something else that keeps us here. I feel like I’ve found a group of people that just want to be themselves, do their thing, ad feel empowered doing it – whether it’s their wedding or their life. But mostly both. That’s why I love this site.

    And nice work Meg!

    • abby_wan_kenobi

      I think I read APW *more* now that I’m married? Pre-wedding I was all over Offbeat Bride and East Side Bride and a few other places, but now? APW is can’t miss and everything else has been dropped from circulation.

  • http://www.firstmilkmaid.com Amanda

    You know I’ve thought this about you since the very beginning.
    Way to do it up, dear lady; way to make it big. I am utterly proud of you.

    And I will fight for your dreams and not just for mine.

    xoxoxo

  • http://whyareweallsostupid.com sarahdipity

    It sounds like a great weekend. Hopefully after all these comments you realize that your blog is just as appreciated as some of the bloggers (also awesome) that you look up to.

    The wedding idea is awesome. I was just telling someone that my idea of a perfect wedding is one where other people plan it for me. It also means that we can all “reuse” the wedding planning skills we’ve picked up which are otherwise a one time use deal huzzah!

  • MinnaBrynn

    Every time I think it’s not possible to love APW and this community more, you all have to go prove me wrong! Amazing, every bit of it.

  • Melissa

    Amazing! I would love to help when the time comes. APW has been a huge source of inspiration for me and I would love to give back.

    Keep us updated on the dress. I’m not sure what to do with my dress and I’ve been thinking more and more about passing it on.

  • http://www.thespohrsaremultiplying.com heather…

    I am so, SO glad I met you this weekend. I think you are awesome and spunky, and have I talked to you about your body (your HAIR’S body)?

    And that thing we spoke about on the bus? I’m here to help.

  • Mariela

    Not that it needs to be repeated, but Meg, you’re totally my big sister this year. I moved, redesigned my life, and preplanned my someday wedding with you by my side. and that’s all for gushing, promise! :)

    Let’s throw this family the wedding they deserve, yeah?

  • Katy

    I have never posted here before, but wanted to say thank you for all the fantastic work that goes in to this blog.
    I am not engaged, I don’t know if i want to get married. I love coming here to consider what a marriage is, what it can be, what possibilities lie within it. I’m not going to pretend I don’t come here for the pretty pretty pictures as well! Thank you to all the people who share their stories, who work on this site and make it exist and thrive. Thank you Meg.

  • Angela

    It sounds as if you has right now all the help you can need…but if you need something from spain, just ask! i will try to help even from the distance!!

    • http://miscetcandmoremisc.blogspot.com Eliza

      Ditto Australia!! I am in for the long-distance cheer squad, at the very least :D

  • Fab

    I’m so excited to see how APW throws a wedding. Brava, Meg!

  • Kathryn

    How wonderful!! I love the quote “I think the key is for women not to set any limits”

    Individual contributions may be tough to coordinate, but I bet some of the the DC APW’s who came to the meetup would be willing to get together again to help get crafty and then we could ship the favors or centerpieces or whatever… I’m happy to host if needed!

  • http://www.loveslidefilms.com Kelsi

    Meg—-any idea on when this wedding is happening? I know the bride is yet to be revealed….but I figured I could offer this: I am getting married June 18th of next year, and will have lots of lovely things that I’d be happy to gift post-party. We’re moving the next week after the wedding anyway, so if the timing coincided with her plans, all the better!
    We’ll have cake stands, many many antique dessert plates, handcrafted glass lanterns, vases. We’ll likely have more but this is just the start of what we have compiled so far. Shipping’s on me.

  • http://www.everydaytreats.com roxanna

    Meg!

    What you’ve created here is incredible. I’m so lucky to have met you. Please send me an invitation to the wedding, ok? I think your readers know how to throw a party!

  • erin

    First time poster, long-time reader. Would be happy to pitch in and help out!

  • http://pseudostoops.com pseudostoops

    Yay for this, and for this wedding- if I’m right about who it’s for, too, triple yay, because I love her. I’m out of town, so my contribution will have to be mailed, but I’d be honored to make the favors! (salted caramels anyone?)

  • http://journey2awesome.blogspot.com Angeerah

    Maggie Mason and Andrea Scher have been inspirations to me too! I am new to your blog but so pleased that you had this experience. Reading many of these stories have been a kick in the bum to get me motivated to start a blog to reshape my life and goals. Thank you for being yet another inspiration kick ass woman out there!

  • http://l337projects.com D

    You know… I’ve been reading this blog pretty silently but I felt I had to say something. This is exactly what we need to see more of; from all corners. It’s fantastic to see people coming together who aren’t necessarily doing things in the way that is expected of them; and it’s even more fantastic to see those people stand up and say “I’m going to do this amazing thing in my lifetime, but it’s a big task. Would anyone be willing to lend a hand?” I don’t see that happen nearly often enough from women, and almost never with men (at least not in a setting devoid of machismo).

  • http://bondingcarbonunits.wordpress.com Sarah K

    It is so easy and far too common an occurrence that women bring each other down. They tug, they tear, they rip each others hearts out because it’s just…. easy. It’s protective, it’s primitive, it’s instinctual, it’s vengeful, and it’s done too much. Groups of women have the nasty habit of turning, well, nasty. But APW doesn’t. On a regular basis, we check ourselves (before we wreck ourselves, hollaaa), we try to stay honest and real without turning to hate or spite. We discuss and debate and allow intelligence and respect dominate. We are smart, witty, sassy, fun women who share our opinions (LOUDLY), but allow for change and allow for differences. This is a community where instead of dragging people down, we lift other women up. It’s what I love about APW, and what keeps me coming back for more.

    I’m glad you got a good, healthy, rejuvenating weekend away, Meg, and we are proud to be your constituents. And we’re ready for your project– bring it on.

    • meg

      In large part thanks to my delete button (Says the girl who’s been moderating some crazy disrespectful and flat out mean comments of late. Sigh.)

  • http://bondingcarbonunits.wordpress.com Sarah K

    Also?

    Right around that time, I fell headfirst into Maggie Mason’s writing at Mighty Girl. Maggie was five years older than me (big sister age, and I don’t have a big sister) and lived in San Francisco. But more than that, she was, and continues to be, this amazing woman who wrote her own rules for life. [...] Maggie, this woman I’d never met, held my hand through my late 20’s, my move to San Francisco, my engagement, planning my marriage. She gave me faith I could live life on my terms, even when people told me it was impossible. [...] Also, I always just wanted to hang out with her, because it seems like we’d get ALONG.

    Ditto (five years apart, amazing woman who writes her own rules, leading me through engagement and marriage…). So, y’know. You belong there with those awesome women, because YOU are inspiring other women, too. Thanks.

  • http://www.petitelefant.com Petit Elefant

    Aww man, you gave me goosebumps and made me tear up.

    What a great recap of one of the most remarkable weekends to date. Seriously, made of awesome.

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  • Alexandra

    So much hooray. Hurrah for the blogosphere! :D

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  • Sarah

    Late night run through APW archives. Like you do. Especially during times like finals. Or, y’know, waiting to order new books.

    Whatever happened to this wedding? I found APW recently enough that I might have missed a grad post or other follow-up.

  • Apples

    Meg, you are my Maggie. I’m working my way through the archives, and you are most certainly my biggest celebrity I want to meet (except, you know, the 8 or 9 year age difference…or the distance of the entire country separating us). Just thought you should know, because I really respect and like you :)