Prev Next

APW Book Club: Committed, The Pictures


by Meg Keene, Editor-In-Chief

APW Book Club: Committed, The Pictures | A Practical Wedding

The weekend before last, APW-ers all over the world got together to discuss Elizabeth Gilbert’s Committed. Ostensibly. In reality, it appears that ladies all over the country got together to meet new friends, or as they put it, to meet old friends they hadn’t met yet. Awww.

APW Book Club: Committed, The Pictures | A Practical Wedding

All of this is just as well, since it means that later this week we’ll get to break out out copies of Committed and do some serious online discussion. But, in the meantime, I wanted to give you a sum up in some words and pictures, of just what happened at these APW book club meetups.

In Calgary, Morgan summed it up like this:

We barely got to the questions. We were there for almost four hours, until the coffee shop closed up around us.  We talked about stories – the way we tell stories matters.  We were quite baldly honest about things, and there may have perhaps been a teary-eyed moment.  We didn’t talk much about vendors or planning a wedding or frankly, even the book – we jumped right in to family drama and being a feminist and paying attention to the world and building our own ideas and ideals. We pegged the ‘windows and walls’ theory as being terribly important. The truth that not even the Stasi could listen to secrets told in the bed in the dark.  (Given I just recently got back from Berlin, that one resonated with me a lot.)

The power of our own stories.

Of the need to build community.

After getting kicked out, we stood outside in cold weather, still talking.  Made plans for drinks/lunch, and then immediately became facebook friends.

APW Book Club: Committed, The Pictures | A Practical Wedding

Liz wrote a little about the Philly meet up, and these are some of the things that really stuck out to me:

We discussed ALOT about finances. It seems like those of us who make less have a harder time with the idea of “one pot.” while, I make more, so I have no problem whatsoever with saying “everything is OURS” because I don’t feel in debt to him or a burden to him.

We discussed being influenced by our parents’ definition of marriage. It seems that as we’ve gotten older, each of us were surprised by how forward-thinking our parents were when we got down to asking them. (Seriously. I thought my mom was verging on ANTI-feminist until I was married and privy to her marriage-chats.)

We discussed the idea of marriage being socially beneficial, in that two are better at serving their community than one. If Josh has a friend who needs a meal, I can do that! if I have a guy friend who needs a place to stay for the night, I feel more comfortable inviting him over because Josh is there. When my friend moved out of her boyfriend’s house, and I was the moral support and Josh was the box-lifter.

APW Book Club: Committed, The Pictures | A Practical Wedding

In Houston, they shared this absolute gem of Grandmother wisdom (Grandmothers quite seriously have the best advice) that made me think about my post about fighting feelings of martyr-dom:

Never expect your relationship to be 50-50; expect to give 75% and receive 25%. If you both do that you’ll be pretty close to even. And remember, sometimes in life you’ll have to give 99% and vice versa.

APW Book Club: Committed, The Pictures | A Practical Wedding

And then there was Dallas, where they quite seriously have the best swag. (Oh! And that’s Alyssa in the green shirt!)

APW Book Club: Committed, The Pictures | A Practical Wedding

Like these bookmarks.

APW Book Club: Committed, The Pictures | A Practical Wedding

Or these… drum roll please… WEDDING ELVES (I knooooowwwwww). I’m making them mail me some.

APW Book Club: Committed, The Pictures | A Practical Wedding

I was sick and missed the San Francisco meetup, but there were so many women there, and everyone I heard from said it was so empowering (they even have a SF APW Group on Facebook now!) Mariela Isabel (who’s pre-engaged, and drove all the way up from LA for the meetup) said:

I came away from the meetup feeling invincible, and so damn proud to be a part of a community made up of such strong & intellectual women. When I got home that night my boyfriend & his roommates could see it on my face, I was a happy girl. I tried explaining to them that it wasn’t six hours of wedding talk, especially since I’m not even engaged. The best I could come up with was that it was a simple, food-filled, epic hour discussion about women. The good, the bad & the bridal. Ha.

Allison told me:

The jumping off point of the day was one of the last chapters where Gilbert describes marriage as the biggest subversive act that someone could make. The general consensus seemed to be that by forming a partnership with someone you were making your own family unit stronger. My partner is the one I talk about politics with, he’s the one I make my decisions with, he’s the one that I make my grand life plans with. There isn’t anyone/ any government that can change that.  This idea tied into the fight against Gay Marriage. The point was brought up that the ones fighting so hard against Gay Marriage seem to be the ones so afraid of Gay culture. It’s almost like they are afraid that by letting gay couples get married society is essentially giving homosexual people more power and more control. But, paradoxically, marriage may be the place where gay and straight people will always be the same. I’m sure that my husband and I make the same alliances with each other that Dan and Terry do. Shouldn’t those that are afraid of gay marriage also be afraid of straight marriage?

And that’s it! Later this week, we’ll be back, discussing the good, the bad, and the gritty about Committed. Frankly, I can’t wait.

Pictures! First three are from Denver by Moodeous Photography, fourth picture from Houston, Dallas pictures by Kristy the coffee girl, San Francisco picture by Allison Andres

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.

More in Recent Posts Staff Picks

[Read comment policy before commenting]

  • http://blog.halfacregoods.com Erin

    These meet-ups look like such a blast. I hope the next time around there will be one in Central Ohio. I’d love to go.

    • http://carmarblogs.blogspot.com CarMar

      Erin, I’m in Cincinnati and would drive up/meet halfway!

    • http://jolynn.wordpress.com jolynn

      I’m north-ish, but I’ll meet up for that!!

    • http://webecomeus.wordpress.com Caitlin

      I’m in Cincinnati, too!!

      • Hilary

        I’m in Columbus, so I’d love for us to have a meet-up in Ohio.

        • Lily

          I’m in Columbus too, I wish us Ohio girls could figure something out.

          • http://breadandcheeseplease.blogspot.com Charise

            I’m in Cbus! I’d meet up! I’ve just been out of town for the previous 2 meet up dates so didn’t bother looking to see if we had anything near by …

    • Nora

      I am in Cleveland and would definitely be up for a APW Book Club meeting!

    • http://blog.halfacregoods.com Erin

      Heh I just thought to look back at these comments and see if any other Columbus ladies turned up. Looks like we definitely have enough of us to get a group together. Anyone want to volunteer to get it started on facebook the next go around? (I would but I can’t do facebook…it’s a boring story)

  • http://happysighs.blogspot.com Liz

    i want a re-do. i did a crappy job of summing up philly. philadelphia ladies, jump in and tell what you remember.

    and also. i’m SO coming to the next dallas meet-up.

    • Kinzie Kangaroo

      That doesn’t sound crappy at all. In fact, as I was reading it, I kind of wanted to turn back time and hop a plane to Philly last weekend!

      • http://happysighs.blogspot.com Liz

        NEXT TIME! (doooo it)

  • http://www.jehara.blogspot.com jehara

    Every time I see these meetup recaps it makes me ask myself why did I leave Dallas again?? Grrr.

    One of the parts of the book that stood out and resonated the most was marriage as a subversive act. I had never thought of it like that, but I really like looking at it through that lens.

  • ddayporter

    LOVE the bookmarks Alyssa!! :)

    I’m surprised there weren’t more write-ups from other meet-ups, was this just a “highlight reel” or were these the only ones turned in? I was hoping to hear about the DC one (and NY and others?)! phooey. Also, if I may be extra obnoxious, I would like to officially object to the lack of baby-bump pics from Philly……. *cough* Liz maybe it’s time for one on your blog am I the only one who goes crazy for this kind of thing *cough*

    • http://jolynn.wordpress.com jolynn

      Second!

    • http://happysighs.blogspot.com Liz

      guess i *forgot* to send the photos… (shifty eyes)

      • http://webecomeus.wordpress.com Caitlin

        ha- liz, i can picture this! hilarious :)

        ps. i second the vote for pictures!

      • http://sogladthatyouexist.blogspot.com ninabb

        Was our picture really that bad, Liz? Haha.

        I think you did a great job summing up our discussion. I was SO TIRED so I was having trouble articulating my thoughts, but you know that didn’t stop me from trying…a lot.

        And I’m still thinking about all of the things we talked about and am continuing the conversations with my husband and friends. It was also perfect that two major APW posts last week were threads of our conversation.

        Can’t wait til next time!

        • Jess

          The Philly book club was wonderful! The experience I had after when I realized my car was towed, not so much. Lesson learned…read the tiny little print of the sign that would have told me street parking suddenly becomes valet parking after 5:30 (on a Sunday? Seriously? No need for that). What got me through the experience of dealing with the impound lot was 1) that I had a wonderful partner who was able to come get me and think straight while I had a mini breakdown mostly from feeling stupid for not paying attention and 2) that I could reflect back on the book club conversation while waiting in line to get my car back. Now I’m a little wiser and the Philadelphia Parking Authority a whole lot richer.

    • http://townhousetohome.blogspot.com adria

      i wish i could have gone to the DC one, but we were out of town both book club meet up days.

      hopefully next time!

    • meg

      This is every write up I got. No one wrote up DC or New York… DDAY (cough, cough, cough).

      • Sarah

        Nope, don’t blame DDay, she had other commitments! This was was totally me … I dropped the ball BIG TIME. Write up will come soon, maybe you can use if for the discussion.

        As for pictures … blame all the DC ladies. The camera was there (I even brought the husband’s this time so we’d have proper pictures!) … and it got ignored. Not even joking, the conversation was THAT GOOD. We forgot all about something as silly as the camera.

        Next time…

        • JEM

          Sarah, next time let’s have your husband and my fiance (he is a photographer too!) come and TAKE the photos and hope they absorb the conversation by osmosis or something :) Too much good food and conversation to pause for photos!

        • meg

          Write it up in the comments!!!! The next post is just going to be seminar discussion stuff, so I won’t be able to use it for that. BUT, we all want to hear about it, so write it here!

      • Alice

        Hi Meg,
        I sent you the NYC Meetup Recap on Nov. 8. Did you miss it? To quickly recap, we had a great time, just like everyone else did. We talked about our mothers and other previous generations, we talked about how marriage can be a stabilizing force in the community and why our communities don’t fight for marriages like the one in Laos. Hebrew/Greek thinking kept coming back into the conversation, as did finances. I’m sorry the email didn’t go through…should I resend it?

        • meg

          Hi Alice,
          I wouldn’t be surprised if I missed it. Since I’m endlessly behind these days, I searched all the emails in my inbox marked bookclub. I bet yours didn’t pop up. Boo! Don’t resend, since this was the sum up post, but you can quote the whole d*mn thing in the comments if you want to. I’m sure the other ladies would LOVE to read it.

          M

          • Alice

            Yay! Here it is:

            Six smart, awesome women gathered together at Entwine (in NYC) to discuss Committed. There was wine, laughter, some serious debating and it lasted for about four hours. I’m pretty sure that if we didn’t have to work today we could have lasted a few more hours.

            We had a nice diverse group — a woman who is marrying her high school sweetheart, another who wants to pay off her debt before she and the Mr. get engaged, a woman who just got married but can’t quite get used to the word “wife”. All of us from different cultural backgrounds, generations and mindsets, which made for a lively discussion.

            We spent a lot of time talking about our mothers, what they gave up for marriage, how frank they were about it and how it has affected our view. For many, it seems that our mothers’ and grandmothers’ sacrifices have brought a shade over the idea of marriage in our minds…that is until we met someone whom we knew would make marriage a totally different animal than the one our mothers experienced.

            We talked about generational differences, and Katherine pointed out that maybe it wasn’t so much the roles of men and women that affected marriages but the changing expectations going into any particular marriage. i.e. Men today are more likely to expect a working career wife, whereas men in the 1950s and 60s did not.

            We talked about communities, and Abby said that the community feels better about itself when a couple within it gets married. It’s a stabilizing event (whether the actual marriage is stable or not). But we also talked about whether our personal communities would step in to save a marriage like the community in Laos, and we don’t think they would. Our communities of friends and families are more likely to want us to be happy than to want a marriage to survive. Yanina presented a story of a woman she knew in Russia whose family arranged her marriage to a good man whom she didn’t love. They stayed married for decades, thanks to the community, but when her mother died, she chose to divorce him — not because she was abused, but simply because she wasn’t happy. She is now happily remarried.

            We also spent a good bit of time on the Hebrew/Greek thinking. Although the thoughts seem contradictory, we decided that they weren’t quite. That you can believe that a marriage should last a lifetime, and still believe that a person has a right to get out if it’s not working.

            Just so you know, there is (was) another NYC meetup next weekend since a lot of us had marathon conflicts.

            Thanks so much for bringing us together!

          • meg

            This is great. Discussions last week had me thinking – yes, men now expect their wives to work, just like you guys talked about. But I wonder if we’re better off this way, or if we’ve substituted a new way of not having enough choices/ having more expectations than we can manage? Did you guys discuss that at all? Other people’s thoughts?

            Anyway, super interesting.

          • Alice

            About changing expectations, we discussed it in context of the book — how the one woman didn’t go to college and made a choice to be a homemaker. In the end, she was stuck when her husband left her for a younger woman. I also know many men who are ready to step up and be the stay-at-home dad, and I’ve debated whether this is a good thing. Do we lock ourselves into the CEO, executive, parter-at-a-law-firm breadwinner role just because we’re expected to?

        • Arachna

          Yay Alice!

          And just to clarify the story below it wasn’t an “arranged” marriage per se. Russia doesn’t really do those. It was more just a lot of external and especially family pressure and it worked to keep the marriage together for decades but it never worked to make that marriage happy.

          Actually another couple that I know are still together and I’ve no idea how happy or not happy they are and if they wish things had gone differently, but about thirty years ago when they were newly married the woman came home to her family and was ready to divorce – her parents talked her out of it. I’ve no idea if this was a good thing or not but a large part of me thinks she might have been a happier person if she had divorced.

          This is kind of depressing – next time I see my grandma I’m going to ask for stories where this kind of intervention ended up unarguably positive!

    • Alyssa

      The back on the APW Army says “Eff the WIC.”

      And the back to the Shameblaster one says “Pew pew pew!”

      You so need to email me your address, I saved a few for you!

  • http://roughit.wordpress.com roughit

    Oh no! We in Boston went for not wholesome and were so unwholesome that no one sent you our pictures. Is it too late?

    • meg

      I told y’all to send pictures. Add them to the Flickr pool at least. The only post to come is discussion.

    • Rebecca

      I’ve been hoping there was a Boston area meet-up. I’d love to get involved in the next get together. Can you send me the info? Thanks!!!

  • Katelyn

    I’m totally guilty of not sending any kind of Chicago summary. I think the one thing that affected people the most was the shaming post that week. I know it’s a founding tenet of this website, but for some reason putting into words like that really impacted a lot of the women at the meetup.

    Best example: “Gilbert asks on page 185 “how might we work together as a society to construct a world where healthy children can be raised with out women having to scrape bare the walls of their own souls to do it?” Discuss.”

    We discussed how the question held more implications about Gilbert’s views than on society’s – the assumption that women “give up” so much for their children. This was the part of the book where Liz is telling the story about her mom quitting her job to take care of a very sick young Liz and her sister.

    But in reality, Liz’s mother gave up her job because her husband asked her to, not her children. Several people agreed that had Liz’s mother quit her job because she desired to, and not because she was told to, it would have changed the situation completely.

    Several people in the discussion said they would have been comfortable with quitting their careers for their kids. Others talked about their plans to continue careers – whether by having a stay-at-home-dad situation, child care, or some hybrid. The rest of us (myself included) felt pretty conflicted about what to do.

    Finally, we came to a conclusion – all of us turned out splendidly, with such a wide variety of experiences from childhood concerning our moms working or not. So there was no reason to be ASHAMED of what decisions we made in the future concerning how we raise our children – there’s so much more to the equation than just whether mom stays at home or not. And by refusing to be ashamed or guilty of decisions made, souls would not be scraped like a pumpkin’s innards. Because that feeling is from both internal monologue and perceived standards – not from our children themselves.

    • meg

      Oh I SO DISAGREE. I hear plenty from y’all that sounds just like the scraping bare of souls to me. More on this on Thursday.

      • kireina

        Hmm. I don’t think Katelyn meant to imply that we-of-Chicago didn’t see giving up work to raise children as a soul-wrenching sacrifice (well, maybe half and half). I think the point we got out of the discussion was the fact that the soul scraping was soooo much worse when you threw in the additional shame that we thought we would feel – like we had given up on ourselves, or that the decision wasn’t valid for one reason or another. Our conclusion was more like, “Okay, some women can stay at home and some women can’t and some women do both, because of who they are, but THERE’S NO SHAME in those decisions. It’s okay to be okay with any of these choices.”

        Chicago ladies, did I paraphrase okay?

        • meg

          Ah, I agree with that. But I think even if the decisions are shame-less, the way things are currently set up we each face a lot of damned if you do damned if you don’t decisions. I don’t think that’s fair or right, and I think all of us are complicit in pretending that these no-win decisions are ok….

      • Aiyana

        (Meg, I love the blog and think you’re great. But. If you want people to report on their meet-ups, let them have their say. Don’t feel the need to refute their points as they roll in. They are simply sharing their thoughts, and the experience of their group. Thank you for creating a space for us to do this!)

        • Katelyn

          There wasn’t any offense taken – there were some gaping holes and a overly idealistic view to my little summary. I’m sure Meg is itching to discuss since she missed the SF meetup!

        • meg

          Oh, that’s the whole point of these book clubs. People saying what they think and other people debating them. I’d stop them all together if we were not going to do them. Plus, my disagreeing ended up with a far more nuanced discription of what they discussed.

          Replace book club with debate society, and that might give you a better idea of what I have in mind (and what the SF meetups are like).

    • meg

      Also, I totally don’t think Gilbert is anti the stay at home mom (though that’s clearly not the choice for her). I don’t think that’s her point at all. I think you can have a very intact soul as a stay at home mom, thank you very much. I just don’t think society is set up for that right now, in lots of ways.

    • Katelyn

      Yeah, obviously I shoudn’t be writing comments at 7 am. I missed a lot of the innuendo from our conversation. We definitely talked about how our moms navigated the stay at home vs. work decision – and there was definitely a lot of the double-edged sword discussion.

      And I definitely agree my neat little conclusion of “no shame, no scraping” isn’t the whole story. But I was getting kinda long-winded, y’all.

      But, the Chicago ladies were all working in the hypothetical – none of us have children. So I’m sure that, as complicated as our discussion was on the topic, it only gets more complicated when theoretical becomes reality.

  • Michele C.

    I missed the Boston gathering, but wish there were more, I totally vote for a re-do!

  • Eat Broccoli

    Calgary Ladies, I am moving back to your fair city! can’t wait t meet up!

    • Morgan

      Excellent! We always have room for another chair around the table, right Amber?

  • Ashley

    We met in Ottawa too! It ended up being just two of us, but there was lots of interest just not a lot of people available. It was great, definitely a meeting of “old friends who hadn’t met yet” and I believe we even said that more than once while we chatted. We actually didn’t get to the book much at all but we did swap stories and talk a lot about how important and meaningful APW has become to us. We talked until we both had to run, but we did plan to meet again soon, before the next book club and then we went home and instantly became facebook friends!

    • Meaghan

      Ahhh I’m so upset I had to work!!! I actually just quit my second weekend job (ie, the culprit of my never having any free time) and I’ve promised myself and anyone who will listen that im going to the next bookclub, dammit!

  • meg

    All of you who DIDN’T write up your meetups, why don’t you write them up in the comments? Deal? Deal!

  • http://apriltwentyfour.etsy.com Kari

    I know that some of the New York ladies from the second meetup (we had two – and I only attended the second) are serious commentors, so I imagine that I will hear from them as well, but I can tell you what went on from my point of view at NYC’s meetup:

    Hosted at Hillary’s apartment (and when you have an apartment large enough to host 8 ladies drinking wine and eating hummus comfortably, that’s a big apartment) we didn’t really talk much about the book. Two engaged ladies, one recently single, and the rest of us recently (relatively) married, I think that we were able to be open and honest with virtual strangers on subjects that you sometimes don’t even discuss with close friends.

    Money, how we deal with joint finances, handling support/being supported when we are out of work, dealing with family pressures leading up to the wedding, dealing with the fallout from family relationships that inform how we are in our partnerships, talking about how we fight (our group seemed heavy on the yellers, and one lady who hit her man with a car – but just a tap), how to process it when you didn’t really love your wedding or when things really went wrong with it, thinking about weddings as a reflection of self – for good or bad depending on how far you got into it, and whether or not honeymoons were a good idea.

    We did touch on the book a little – but we were able to pass 4 hours talking about our lives, marathon running, birthdays, engagement rings, living abroad and so much more. It was a great way to have an open conversation with like minded girls I might never have met. We did an email exchange and I hope that we can meet again soon to talk about life (or another book) – and I hope to have more of the awesome homemade cookies.

    • http://www.mauradeedy.com maura

      Hi Kari!
      I’m a slacker and will post our photograph of the 2nd NYC group tonight!

      I second Kari’s sentiments. I left thinking I had shared things with a group of strangers that I haven’t fully shared with my friends. And while, I had some questions I wanted to ask, but didn’t, like do you think this too? I knew there would be another opportunity to have a safe place to talk freely and without judgment.

      It was quite liberating to be in the confidence of intelligent, sane, and insightful women. I hope that we can continue the dialogue, through monthly saloons or something.

      It was also fun to meet some of the women featured on APW like Maddie, of Wedding Graduate Lazy bride fame and Kimberly of cold feet jumping out a plane fame. Like mini APW heros!

  • http://www.stofnsara.com saartjie

    So jealoooooos! It looked superb. All of them (even the reports in the comments meet-ups). Lucky fishes!

  • merryf

    I was at the first NYC group, on Nov 7 at a lovely winebar in Greenwich Village. There were 6 of us and I think we sat there for 3 1/2 hours, drinking bottles of excellent wine and munching on cheese and olives and crackers. We had the waitress take a photo on someone’s iphone, so I hope you get it. I had to laugh when we all pulled out our orange-red books and opened them up and buried our noses in there. We talked about so much, including the book with Meg’s questions. We talked about APW, and our hero-guru Meg. I know someone else is supposed to send you a summary, but I just have to say, it was EXACTLY like meeting friends I didn’t know yet in person. It was such a lovely breath of fresh air to talk to smart women intelligently about marriage, and the 4-letter word “wife”, and our parents’ marriages, and even our grandparents’ marriages. Several of us were married within the past 6 months, three are engaged and one is almost-engaged.

    I really liked that it was a Safe Place, where we could discuss our innermost feelings and non-feelings about marriage and being a partner, and leaving behind single-dom, and the pitfalls. No one was there to judge anyone, just to listen and give support. I really really needed that.

    Then it was 8 p.m. and we thought we better leave. I wish I had been able also to go to the second one. Sounds like it was lovely too.

    I can’t wait until the next time.

    • meg

      Ok, you guys have to decide I’m just a normal person, and then I’ll visit your book club next I’m in NYC ;)

      • http://madeline.eisenhart@gmail.com Maddie

        Hmmm… maybe not normal, but like one of those celebrities in the tabloids where they’re buying toilet paper and US Weekly is all “Stars, They’re Just Like Us!” So, you know, “Meg, She’s Just Like Us!” (even though we secretly think she’s way, way cooler than that).

      • merryf

        Meg, you should just show up and we’ll all do that *thing* where you are sitting in a restaurant and you see a famous actor and you studiously try to be normal and inside you are screeeeeeming that OMG-you-are-sitting-next-to-X! :-)

  • http://allisonandres.com Allison

    We’re all just so ATTRACTIVE!!
    Also, the Bay Area team has set up a Facebook group where we discuss things like getting DRINKS and belly dancing. Robin said we’re pioneers and I have to agree!

    • http://twentyfivetowife.blogspot.com Amanda

      Oy, took me forever to find the group. But the join request is sent! Being one of the Oakland girls you’d think I’d have thought of searching for ‘bay area’ instead of ‘san francisco’ but somehow it took until this comment before it clicked.

      • http://allisonandres.com Allison

        Yay!! I’ll add you when I have access to Facebook!

    • ddayporter

      we totally stole your idea, there is now a facebook group for APW – DC! if anyone in DC wants to join it, I think you can email apw dot dc at groups dot facebook dot com. if that doesn’t work.. someone else help me out, I am a n00b at these fb group things! :)

      happy hour coming up on Tuesdayyyyy…

      • meg

        You guys should post the group info on the APW Facebook feed!

  • http://www.cuteanddelicious.com miss alix

    i love this recap. mostly because it captures how i feel when i read APW, except in real life for other people sort of. i think LA needs to have it’s own faction. hmmm.

    • meg

      NO KIDDING. The top three APW cities are (in no particular order) SF, NYC, and LA. SF and NYC have huge book clubs, LA has none.

      • http://www.chilingwang.com Chi-Ling

        LA represented. A few ladies met at Jones Coffee Roasters in Pasadena. I know, because I was there. We talked about the book, and about life. It was great.

  • http://allisonandres.com Allison

    Also, can we hear something from the Australia group?? I’m dying over here!!

    • http://miscetcandmoremisc.blogspot.com Eliza

      We did meet up! We did! ***Melbourne, Australia!*** We even took a photo and things, but didn’t manage to delegate it to one of us NOT getting married in …a week and a half now? (Hi Bridget! Hope it’s going well!) So it may take a while for the Melbourne photo to wing its way to the Flickr pool, but it will wing there eventually.

      Here’s my quick-n-dirty-cause-I’m-at-work write up of the meetup:

      Four of us met up on Sunday morning at the gorgeous Journal cafe (attached to Melbourne City Library), drank copious coffees and talked about, gosh, everything. None of us had read the book (whoops) but it didn’t seem to matter – as soon as we got there we all fell into conversation like old friends. We discussed having two weddings (Tina, who wrote here a month or two ago about her wedding in Germany, is coming up to her second wedding in Australia) and how it feels coming up to the second one but already being/feeling married. We discussed inter-continental weddings, how you choose where to live when the two of you are from different countries, and where is “home” as a couple, and if you want kids, where they will be raised in that context (as this was the case for more than one of our team!) We discussed engagement ring politics – the three of us who have engagement rings had quite different rings to each other (of course!) so we discussed the stories behind those and how we came to the decisions we did. Importantly, we talked a lot about how APW has had a huge impact on our wedding planning and wedding choices, and the freedom we all felt to think about things differently and make our own decisions knowing that there were so many other women out there doing the same thing. And we talked about how we all felt like we had graduate or undergraduate wedding posts to write in us, with all the other women around us saying “You should write that!! Go on, do it!!” while the original person vaccilated. (Hopefully we’ll all follow each other up to write them eventually!)

      It was a really amazing experience. I went there slightly nervous and not sure what to expect or what we were going to talk about, and I left feeling like I had three new friends. (And yes, we did all immediately add each other on facebook!)

      • Brooke

        Oh! I have lurked for so long on this fabulous site, drinking it all in but feeling not quite qualified to weigh in to discussions as a ‘pre-engaged’ person. But the discovery that some like-minded APW fans got together in my very own home town of Melbourne is very exciting and has given me the shove I needed to actually say hello!

        • http://miscetcandmoremisc.blogspot.com Eliza

          DUDE! You better come next time! I’ve been reading APW since I was pre-engaged and there was at least one Melbourne chapter lady who is pre-engaged. We’d welcome ladies at all stages of relationshippyness – single, married, engaged, pre-engaged, kind of engaged, divorced, polygamous, you name it, we’d talk to you about it :D

  • Alyssa

    It was dark in the Dallas picture because we’d been there for like seven hours and took that before we left. Our SO’s were calling us. We might have shut the place down if Cat and Laura had joined us…
    AND the picture was taken by my old college friend who works at the pub and who crashed our party at the end. (Hope that was okay, ladies!!)

    And the wedding elves are even more awesome in person.

    Mine is hanging from my rear view mirror. My husband was like, “What IS this?” and kept batting at it and I nearly crashed because I was too busy hollering, “STOP HITTING SCHLOMO!”
    (Yeah, I might have named him. What’s it to ya?)

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

    Awww, so much fun! SF ladies, I’ll be at the next one!

  • kireina

    I also just wanted to throw out there that, while I was pretty hesitant to jump on the Elizabeth Gilbert bandwagon, and read every single comment on the initial post before deciding to download the book…

    Oh, man. This was a great book for me to read right now.

    Thanks, Meg! :)

    • meg

      See? Now, I’m sure some ladies hated it, and I want to hear about that too. I just want to hear the book debated on it’s merits, not on peoples preconceived notions of Liz Gilbert.

  • Madeline

    Thanks – those are my boots and they’re some of my favorite shoes!! I can’t take credit for any of the pictures, but I must agree with you that they are fabulous!

    • Madeline

      ^That comment was totally in response to someone else’s, and I don’t know where the one I was responding to has gone…

  • Tina

    I feel like this is a good time to say PHOENIX!!! And surrounding areas. We’re up to three whole ladies that want to do the next one. We’re putting a shout out here in case you don’t do facebook and didn’t realize that a few of us are itching for discussion. Fifth largest city. Just sayin’…

  • http://shellynn.wordpress.com Michelle

    Minneapolis: We met at the same place as our last book club. We started with the book and strayed into various topics, how our parents’ relationships influenced us and our views of marriage, for example. The windows and walls theory got a lot of attention as well. For me personally, I’m glad I read the book just for that idea.

    We didn’t take any photos of the six of us, because we had a bookclub crasher. About 2 hours into our wonderful discussion, a 40-something person asked if she could join our conversation. So we let her in, even though she hadn’t read the book, had never heard of APW and then dominated the conversation. Who knew book clubs were so popular?

    • JEM

      Book club crasher, ha!