Y’all know Marchelle, right? You know she’s brilliant and funny and has great Twitter comments that make you want to reply, even if it’s hours later, but you don’t because if you did it’d make you look weird and like a stalker and you’re TOTALLY not a stalker, just an admirer because she’s smart and funny and from Trinidad which is SO cool, right?
No? Just me?
Okay, fine, here’s Marchelle on APW.
This is going to sound incredibly corny and possibly a little weird, but I’ll say it anyway because it’s true: I’ve made some of my dearest friends through A Practical Wedding.
Let me explain. Having become engaged way back in the ancient mists of time (December 2007), I found myself in the lonely position of being the first in my close circle of friends to do so, and sought solace from APW after stumbling across it shortly after its inception in March 2008.* It would still be many months before I tentatively started blogging about my own wedding planning experience, and very many more again before I gathered up the courage to begin to comment on posts here, where intelligent women dared to confidently voice opinions at odds with those widely bandied about by the WIC (and, um, BIC), but once I finally did there was no turning back.
I never really used APW for basic wedding planning advice, as my then-fiancé and I had pretty much already figured out what we wanted to make of our wedding by the time I found it. But it was here, bolstered by the unmistakable voice of the whip-smart, sassy and cuttingly funny Meg, that I garnered real confidence about my choices, and real certainty that I could do things differently to the ‘norm’, and it would still all be OK. Heck, I even came to believe that it would be bloody fantastic (and it goes without saying that it was).
So then I got married. Three times. By which point I was beyond tired of weddings. After our final celebration, I purged my blog reader of wedding websites faster than you can say “I do”… all except for this one. Because by then it had become apparent that APW was about so much more than just the wedding. It was about smart women examining and processing the decisions that they make in the course of getting married, in such a way that the lessons learnt from them turn out to be hugely useful for, and very applicable to life in general. It was about that subject then seemingly so taboo on other wedding planning websites – the everyday reality of married life after the wedding. It was about post after post that made me sit up, and made me think, and blew my mind with how exactly spot on they were with what was going on for me in my marriage and in my life. But most of all, it was about all the other amazing women who regularly hung out here.
I can’t remember exactly which tunnels down the infinite rabbit hole of the internet first led me from one of my favourite blogs to the other, and so from one burgeoning friendship to the next, but I do know that the wonderful ladies whose wise words, enlightening perspective, and incredible support are now as invaluable to me as those of the friends I’ve had since high school, are all a part of this APW community. From bandying comments in response to posts here, and reading one another’s blogs, we’ve now moved on to meeting up in person, never-ending intimate chats on Twitter, and being present in one another’s lives in a very real way. I know for certain that my life is richer, saner, more thoughtful, and much more beautiful for knowing these women. Somehow, in the midst of the geographically disconnected life that I lead, here on APW I found a virtual village of my own, one which I now carry with me everywhere I go. From what I see in the comments every day, I’m absolutely certain that I’m not the only one who’s found a new family here in the midst of the wonderful larger community that is APW.
So, I’ve got nothing but love and respect for you, fellow members of Team Practical.
Long may we cause APW to prosper.
*Newly engageds, take it from me: read the firetrucking archives. For real.