Operation Community, 2010


by Meg Keene, Editor-In-Chief

(The subscription drive is now done! well played all!)

Well ladies, the time has come, or so the walrus said.

Over the last nine months or so, since I re-launched the site, and it grew into even more amazing community, readers have been having really serious conversations with me about allowing other people to help with APW. I, of course, was very firm about not needing any help (sleep is for the weak, people!). But, after many interventions, I realized that I did in fact, need a little help. I asked Lauren to come on as in intern and Alyssa to come on to write Ask Team Practical every Friday. It’s been good for me (I’ve been sleeping more), and good for you guys (you get to hear other great women contributing, and I write more intersting posts, now that my time is freed up).

But.

Long time readers have continued to have little chats with me. It’s good that I’m letting a few people help me, they’ve said, but I need to understand. APW has become something a little bigger than just my personal blog, and it’s been very helpful for a lot of people (apparently…), and is important to people that are not me (apparently…) and it’s important that I allow other people to help. Like with money. Hum.

So. Today we’re kicking off Operation Community, 2010. It’s a chance to let those of you who’d LIKE to help APW with it’s mission of supporting sane weddings and brave marriages, help out a little. But I want to say this right up front – if giving cash to help support websites you like is not your jam for whatever reason – that is totally fine. Lets have a hand shake right now where we agree that you won’t give if you don’t want to, and you won’t feel any guilt about it (or shame, ha!) Handshake? Done!

So! How is this going to work? Here is how:

This week you’ll have a chance to give a little money to help APW grow. Using the buttons at the top of this post (which will stay at the top of the blog all week), you can give a different amounts. You can give $5, because $5 is about what you’d pay for a wedding magazine. You can give $18, because 18 is about what you’d pay for a magazine subscription (and the Jewish mystical number for life). Or, you can  ”give another amount (I have my reasons).” You might want to give a dollar, or $25, who knows! If everyone who read on a regular basis give $1 this week, APW would grow like a weed. And me? I love giving money to blogs I read regularly, and I always give $25 dollars or more, because I’m passonate about supporting smart women saying smart things. And I figure a few of you might be like me.

What is the money going to go for? Well, first off, it’s not going to pay my blogging salary. APW is fully self supporting in a way that I’m really proud of. I have advertisers who’s business models I can really get behind, and that has allowed me to support this website, and help support my family. And that’s awesome. But it’s time for APW to grow. It’s time for me to get moving on launching Reclaiming Wife as it’s own site (first half of 2011), it’s time for me to be able to pay my intern Lauren, and Alyssa, who writes a weekly column. It’s time for me to start to ponder a forum, because you guys need a place to talk directly to each other. And I could do all this by myself, it would just take time. So any money that you give this week will go straight into growing the website this year.

How is it all going to work? This week we’ve asked a number of long time readers and frequent commenters to write a little about why the APW community (you guys) is important to them, and how they’d like to see APW grow. Alyssa and Lauren have worked with APWers on this project, and I actually haven’t been allowed to read a single word, so it’s going to be a learning experience for all of us. I’m hoping it will give us all a chance to think about where APW has been and where it’s going. I’m totally encouraging you guys to weigh in with your own ideas in the comments. So, this week we’ll have a bunch of posts on community from a bunch of different perspectives, as well has some book club posts (yay physical community!)

I don’t want to give, is that ok? Yup, it’s totally fine. Feel free to read and participate all week, and just don’t give. If it’s not your jam, I’m fine with that.

I do want to give, how do I do that? Click a button at the top of the post (they’ll be at the top of the blog all week) with the amount you want to give. You’ll be able to make a donation through PayPal using either your PayPal account or a credit card. You have till Sunday evening at 6pm PST to give, and then back to business as usual.  **EDIT** If you are having trouble with Paypal, or would like to donate through alternate means, please email Alyssa (alyssa at apracticalwedding dot com) and she’ll give you details.

Will you keep us up to date with how APW is using the money? I’ll give updates throughout the year about how APW is growing, and when I do you can fist pump and think, “Yes. I’m totally making this happen. Yay me!”

So thanks guys. Wheather you give or you don’t give, I’m so grateful that you’re here, and so grateful that you’ve created this amazing community for each other and for me. You really are the best ladies on the internet, I’m sure of that.

Smooches,

Meg

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.

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  • Meaghan

    Yay for growing APW! I’m excited to see what comes out of this, especially as this is the first time I’ve ever witnessed first-hand the birth of an organic community. *sniff* I’m so proud!

  • Lucie

    Yay! I’ve never commented before but I am so excited that I can help this community grow even more. This is the first wedding magazine I’ve ever bought. Can’t to be able to chat to all these amazing people on the forums!

  • anna

    well done meg! i’ve just donated and hope the site and community can continue to develop and grow!

  • Caroline

    I have gladly donated the amount I probably would have spent on ribbon, fabric, glue guns and whatever other crap I thought I needed. Because this site made it okay to say – “I just am not crafty, and our wedding won’t be either.” (Along with a myriad of other, more important truths)

  • Abby C.

    Yay, APW community! You’ll have my donation coming your way on Friday, which is payday.

  • Tina

    Hooray for this. It’s like an NPR pledge drive. And I mean that in a good way. I love to help out with things that I’ve come to depend on. Like NPR and APW. :) Can’t wait to read the long-time reader comments. I hope there’s one from a reader who is neither married nor engaged, but has read the site since almost the beginning. If not, I’ll write in the comments when that post comes. Congrats on the expansion. I can’t wait to see it come to fruition.

    • meg

      I think we’ve got some divorced ladies but no unmarried ladies, so PLEASE write one int he comments. I can’t say you guys are my favorites, but I can’t say your NOT ;)

      • http://www.firstmilkmaid.com Amanda

        Ahem, *I* am unmarried and have read you since nearly the beginning.

        That is all.

        • meg

          No unmarried ladies who wrote a post for this week, is what I meant. Not no unmarried ladies. We have LOTS of unmarried ladies. Clearly we should have asked one to write a post!

      • kyley

        I, too, am unmarried and have read this site since almost the beginning. I don’t read it for the pretty, happy wedding pictures and stories (although that is admittedly what drew me here). I read it because of all the very wise women talking about negotiating life choices, creating the life they want, blocking out the harmful cultural noise, and building healthy relationships with the people they love.

        While my partner and I are planning on eventually getting married, we’re thinking it will be another 3 years before that happens. That would put us at 10 years of dating. Lots of people, lots of websites, lots of magazines, would all make me feel crazy and wrong for such a decision, would make me feel unsure about our very loving and stable relationship. But APW? It constantly reaffirms my decisions, my right to make those decisions, and challenges me to make the space for other people to live their decisions.

        And that space and respect for decisions, both your own and others? It extends far beyond weddings, as everyone here at APW knows. That’s the real beauty of this website and community.

  • http://roughit.wordpress.com roughit

    I am SO excited about this. APW is such an inspiration, and I can’t wait to see how it grows. Thanks for taking us all along with you.

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

    Yay for APW growing!!!! Like Meaghan, it is pretty awesome to see a site grow. I am stoked for the possibility of a separate Reclaiming Wife site.

  • Faith

    Even before I was “officially” engaged, APW was a sane voice in a sea of complete insanity.

    I’m proud to help keep APW going for many, many more people who need that dose of practicality in their lives!

  • Darcy

    Would you be able to post the info to send you a money order (ie what name to put on it and address to send it to)? I don’t do PayPal and I’d rather give you extra money than have Visa take their international currency charge.

    • Alyssa

      Please email me at alyssa at apracticalwedding dot com and I can help you with this!

  • http://jolynn.wordpress.com jolynn

    ooh, Meg, I’m all warm fuzzy and yay for you! I know this was super hard for you to do, and high fives for Alyssa and Lauren encouraging it! Because it’s definitely time. And you are so, so sweet to recognize that we all love APW and you let us have parts of it.

    So hugs and yippee and go rest some, k?

  • Mollie

    Yep- first wedding magazine I’ve ever bought. And I am already 4 months married. :-)

    Because I want APW and RW to stay with us (and grow!) for a looong time.

  • ddayporter

    yay! this has been a long time coming. I’m so excited to be able to invest in something that has been so important to me for such a long time.

  • Dianne

    Dearest Meg,
    As your fellow San Bernardino native, I am seriously proud of what you’ve accomplished with this blog and it has been such a pleasure to follow “a practical wedding” since pretty much the very beginning. Yours is the only blog I check every single morning and I have learned so much and greatly enjoyed the community you’ve grown here. I love to tell people about the site and about the fact that you grew up right down the street from me! My wonderful husband and I are going away next weekend to celebrate (a bit belatedly) our 2nd anniversary … I’m just sorry I never did get that wedding graduate post submitted for you!

    I just made my gift and I’m looking forward to seeing the new things you are conjuring up!

    Dianne

    • meg

      You know, you can write that any old time. Now you could write a (almost two?) years in reflective post? I’m always game and I know *exactly* who you are!

  • http://standbywedding.tumblr.com/ Marley

    This makes me think of posts I’ve seen on here where brides learn to be okay with things like wedding registries because they finally understand that people just want to celebrate them and show their affection! That’s why I want to contribute, to show my appreciation and support of this blog/community/lifeline/inspiration. Thank you for letting us help out a little!

    • Clover

      I think this is a perfect analogy! Asking for help (or registry gifts!) can be awkward, but it is worth it to let people support you in a way that is meaningful to them. I’m so grateful for the daily dose of sanity and thought-provoking discussion that being a part of Team Practical has given me.

    • meg

      Awwwwww…. that’s such a great analogy that makes me happy. I had THE HARDEST time with the registry before I got it, and now I have the best relationship with the stuff people gave us, because I get that it’s not about me now.

  • http://www.francesblue.com Lindsey M

    Love this! I am happy to help. APW was such an amazing place for me to turn to prior to getting married. Now I eagerly await the Reclaiming Wife site!

  • Michelle

    I am excited for an APW forum. I am in the not yet engaged but speaking about marriage or as Meg has coined “pre-engaged”. Thanks to this website and me just ‘randomly’ leaving open the engagements and proposals section, my boyfriend finally accepted the fact that he doesn’t need to spend a crazy amount of money on an engagement ring (a random debate we somehow had before we were even officially dating).

    I only just started to read this site last week and well it has helped me out sooo much. From reading the body issue articles and dealing with a friend who has those who just finally tried on her dress with her wedding with less than 6 months to go, to just making me feel better about the state of my own relationship. You have helped me to realize and give me the confidence I should have had already about just letting it all happen when it happens not within my initial life plan of being married by a certain age pressure I was putting on myself.

    APW has also helped me deal with the fact of a friend getting married before me when she has been in a relationship for half the time than I have. Well hopefully still a friend, things have gotten a bit weird and I just don’t know where to go from here.

    Just thank you for this site and a future forum and larger community. I can’t wait.

  • Sarah M

    I am so happy to be able to donate a little something to the community!! I stumbled upon this blog before I was engaged and have been reading daily for over two years and now 1 month in to married life. I know that my engagement and my wedding and now my marriage are better for having found this place. It’s a safe haven of sanity in a sea of craziness.

  • http://swoodsonshoeclips.wordpress.com/ Steph

    Meg, I know Paypal takes out fees- would it be more helpful to send a check and just pay the 44 cent stamp?

    • RKELZ

      I just donated, and PayPal does not, in fact, take out fees for donations.

    • Alyssa

      If you still don’t want to use Paypal, please email me at alyssa at apracticalwedding dot com and I can help you with this!

      • http://swoodsonshoeclips.wordpress.com/ Steph

        It wasn’t that I didn’t want to use Paypal- I was just curious if it would be more helpful to snail mail since Paypal takes fees out for money transfers, etc. I didn’t realize it was considered a donation and would be exempt. Thanks!

        • Alyssa

          You’re so nice for thinking of that! We did make mail another option, mostly because some people have been having Paypal issues, or just hate it due to past expereince. :-) Feel free to use what’s easiest for you, if you want to donate!

  • http://vixeninthekitchen.blogspot.com Amy

    Meg-

    I’m not sure when I started APW, but I know it was in your first year of writing. (On a bored day at the office, I went back in and read all the posts, so everything looks familiar!) At that time I was in a relationship that felt “pre-engaged” and then we were almost engaged, and then we broke up, and now I’m in a relationship that’s fun and healthy and not in any way destined for marriage! I’m more “single” now than I have been since I was 22. I keep APW in my Google Reader for what it says about women, relationships, marriage and sanity in general. I can’t wait to see what this site grows into, and I can’t wait to eventually use its resources when I DO get married (please be around in 5 years or so?? please??) Also, I may or may not have hinted to my wonderful boyfriend that Turtle Love Co. has beautiful not-wedding jewelry, seeing as how we have holidays coming up… Keep the awesome-ness coming!

    -Amy

    • http://vixeninthekitchen.blogspot.com Amy

      **Started READING APW…. : -)

  • Lerae

    I owe APW so much more than I’m currently able to contribute. The posts that always seemed to coincide with the current wedding planning stress/tears, the posts that made me feel less alone in my struggle to figure out how to be a wife and to still be “me”… thank you for your part in my sanity, and a chance to give a little something back.

  • JenM

    YAYYYY!!! AYAYAYAYAYAYYAYAYAY!!! I have been DYING for a forum on APW. ok, not dying, but majorly jonesing in a very serious way. I have so many questions that I know these amazing women could add awesome perspective and wise-ness to. YAY FOR GIVING AND HELPING! So excited!

  • http://www.midwestlantern.typepad.com Mel

    When I think about it, APW has saved me a ton of money by giving me the confidence and strength of vision to skip those potential elements of my wedding that I didn’t feel were vital TO ME but which we sometimes feel that people expect (out of town bags, engagement photos, photobooth, limo, candy buffet, etc.). (APW also gave me “permission” to obsess about the parts I wanted to obsess over, like when I hand-embossed stamps on the wedding programs which turned out amazing.) So now I think I have a little extra to give back to the Fount of My Wedding Sanity. Go Meg!

  • http://sheenaandsimon.blogspot.com/ .twist.

    Definitely happy to help out a little!! This website means a lot to me & my sanity. I look forward to the new additions!!!

  • Sarah

    Oh hooray! We have the opportunity every day to support each other (and you, Meg … and the site as a whole) through our comments and discussions, and it’s fantastic to now have the opportunity to support financially, as well.

    And really … isn’t support what a community is all about, to start with?

  • http://rentednest.blogspot.com/ sarah

    I am so thrilled to have an opportunity to contribute. I’ve been thinking, you give your bridesmaids and groomsmen gifts to thank them for helping plan your wedding… why on earth wouldn’t I give something to thank Meg and APW? Besides, this site is infinitely more useful than any wedding magazine that I’ve bought and goodness knows I’ve sunk money into those!!

    And this and other awesome blogs have inspired me to start my own. I started yesterday. So don’t make fun :P

  • Chantelle

    I’ve been trying to think of ways to support this amazing project you’ve started Meg,and I’m so glad you asked for help this morning :)
    My gift is part of a refund that I received after trying to deal with a horrible WIC photographer who treated us like sh*t. I wouldn’t have known there were better alternatives out there and that the whole process didn’t need to be ridiculously painful till APW opened my eyes. Also, I seriously think this blog is acting like free therapy for me, so really, this is a steal.

    So glad I could help you grow,
    Chantelle

  • Robin

    Wonderful, wonderful! Yay!! I’ve been a huge proponent (or aggressive pusher) of asking the community for help. Knowing how many of us would be happy to, if only we knew how, or had a way to do it. Thanks for finally giving us a chance to step up and support you & APW! No surprise that this is being done with such grace, and so much consideration (chai as a giving option?! Perfect.). So. Yay, and more yay!

  • http://www.dmjuice.com/brianne Brianne

    AH! I am pumped for a Reclaiming Wife spinoff. Thanks, Meg! I’ll be contributing this evening. Thanks for all you do, Meg & contributors.

  • Emily

    YAY! Yay! Yay! Donating to APW is like giving myself an early Christmas present.

    • meg

      Awwwwwwwwww…..

    • Kim

      My husband was looking for Christmas present ideas for me…this is what I want! Just sent him the link…

      Keep up the great work, Meg and Team Practical!

  • Nicole

    If I give money, will you pay me to proofread and get rid of all your wayward apostrophes?

    I kid because I love. Very excited to be able to help. Whenever a friend of mine gets engaged, I say “Step away from all the other wedding blogs, head straight to APW and read through THE ENTIRE ARCHIVE. You’ll be so glad you did.”

    Adding a forum to the mix is like taking the best ice cream sundae ever and adding bacon. Heaven.

    • meg

      Ohhh, that’s Lauren’s job. I think you are tattling on her ;)

      • http://happysighs.blogspot.com Liz

        hahaha- i always wondered if that’s something lauren did, and kept my mouth zipped.

        if she wasn’t sick, she’d have some splainin to do.

        • meg

          Yeah, joking aside, she’s on sick leave this week, poor thing. We’ll all find a way to carry on!

          • Erin

            As someone who has carefully crafted comments to posts for the about two months, only to get home from work too tired to give them a zillionth look before posting and then realizing that it’s already tomorrow and there is a whole new topic, I say thank you Meg. Thank you for reminding us that, just as with wedding topics, we can get wrapped up in the little stuff and forget about the important stuff. I could care less if there is a typo or two in your posts because the core of your writing, and the obvious passion with which you run this blog, is what matters. So you know what? I’m not gonna worry about crafting the perfect response anymore. I am just going to speak from the heart, just like you do every single day for all of us. Grammar be damned! : )

  • http://livinglnf.blogspot.com Jo

    I’m verklempt in your honor, Meg. See? Doesn’t it feel good to let people love on you? Adding my name to those who couldn’t have done it sanely and positively without you (the “it” being both wedding planning and marriage)… And adding my contribution to the site through that little link up there…

  • http://www.knitmetogether.net Christy A.

    I love that you’re doing this. It’s right for people who have been given so much (and for FREE! Incredible!) to give back. And can I just say that I love how you chose to just ask people to give – or not – with no contest/incentive involved? I see a lot of blogs offer a raffle prize as an incentive to give (which I’m sure works well at getting people to participate who may not otherwise have cracked open their wallets) but I always wonder if those incentives get people to give for the right reasons. Do people regret the $5 they donated if they don’t win? Do they give more or less depending on whether the prize appeals to them? I always feel like when a prize is offered people look at how much they want the prize rather than looking at how much they want to support xyz cause. By choosing to do it this way, you’ll know that every dollar donated to APW is donated out of love, because we believe in what you’re doing, have had our lives enhanced by what we read here, and want to see more. So thank you for giving us a tangible way to thank you to YOU!

  • http://lilapuppy.blogspot.com Meghan

    YAY! And happy to donate. So excited for more Reclaiming Wife!

  • Jen

    Props to Meg for listening to others, when others have good sound advice! I know of way too many business owners who do not do this and drive all who are working with them insane.

    Very excited for all the new updates and features. Will definitely be keeping up, even after our wedding next April!

    And YAY to paid interns and writers!!!!!!!

  • http://www.betterinrealife.com Lauren

    I actually didn’t read this post before it went live. And that’s totally my bad. There is a lot of content on this site and I try to catch it all. But any errors in the posts are entirely my fault.

    • meg

      No they are not! You’re on sick leave this week. Shhhhh… People will live, right people? The people say right.

      • Morgan

        Right!

      • Nicole

        Right!

      • http://discerningdilettante.blogspot.com ka

        not only will they live–they might even learn something!

        when i first started reading (esp. through the archives), it was hard for me to turn off my inner-copy-editor. but irealized that no one seemed to care! all these people were loving and benefiting from meg’s writing, and managing to overlook the few mistakes. in fact, they might–like i do now–find it endearing and indicative of how much freaking work she puts in that’s she misses a few apostrophes here and there. and that has been really encouraging as i’ve embarked on my baby blog (hell, it even helps me write comments and send out work emails with re-editing them 55 times).

        yet another reason why i’m happy to donate and support apw this week!

        • http://discerningdilettante.blogspot.com ka

          hah, look! there should have been a space between “i” and “realize.” i promise that was a legitimate error and not me trying to prove my point. :)

        • meg

          Actually, I’m just dyslexic. Well not JUST dyslexic, since it’s a rather massive problem, but I am dyslexic, which is why I never got a chance to work creatively in writing till blogging came along. I’m a brilliant editor for content (it’s one of the things I do best) but can’t see copy errors. Sucks.

          • http://discerningdilettante.blogspot.com ka

            Uh, wow, that adds a whole other level of admiration. I do work partly in writing/editing, and lady, you have no more typos than most. Besides, that’s what copy editors/interns are for!

          • kyley

            For the record, I work in publishing, and I’ve rarely noticed any typos!!

      • Kinzie Kangaroo

        RIGHT!

    • http://www.betterinrealife.com Lauren

      Oops. That was supposed to be in reply to Liz.

    • http://happysighs.blogspot.com Liz

      booo, go back to beddddd.

    • http://happysighs.blogspot.com Liz

      and also, i wasn’t intending to be snarky, dear L. i have to WORK to shut off my english teacher brain.

      hence why i don’t use caps. i try try try to be a normal person. haha.

  • Anne

    Good for you, Meg! I just made my donation.

    Last week I asked for help with my business, and it was hard. But because I asked, and only because I asked, there was this out pouring of support. I knew I did my job well, but it was a wonderful reminder that I provide something very valuable to others in times of need.

    I’m so happy to pass that on to you, and I hope you have a similar experience.

  • Rasheeda

    I will gladly give and give and give again…please do this again-post wedding when budgets are a bit freer! I hope you guys feel more love with every dollar!

    • http://www.greenandcarefree.com huebscher

      yes please! organizing even a non-wedding wedding makes it harder to give a bigger chunk right this moment (since I do actually believe deposits help vendors feel like showing up for the big day). but if you give us another opportunity — say, sometime around may — I promise to give again.

      • http://www.greenandcarefree.com huebscher

        aww, hell. that italic set should have ended after “non-wedding.” blame my copyediting skills for the wrong html tag. (:

  • Kate

    I’ve been reading since I got engaged, and yours is the only “wedding” blog still in my reader. I’m more than happy to donate to keep this blog chugging along. I never really comment, but your content makes me think and feel strong. So thanks!

  • Marchelle

    I’m just so glad you’ve finally started accepting HELP. And I absolutely cannot wait for what the future of APW has to offer. It’s going to be even more awesome.

  • Cristina

    Happy to help! This site has provided so much inspiration during my engagement period, and I am excited to watch it grow.

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

    YAY! Seeing this post and all these comments just made my morning a bit brighter. Good on you, Meg!

  • Christina

    I, pretty much every day, want to contribute to a practical wedding. This website is so important to me, and I am so grateful for it in so many ways. Thanks for letting us show our appreciation, and I am so excited to watch and help this site grow!

  • Katharine

    I’ve never left a comment here, or contributed to any blog ever, but I discovered APW a month or two ago and it’s become one of the only blogs I check daily. I’m not married, or engaged, and I don’t know if my partner and I will ever decide to go that route, but it’s seriously helped shape the way I think about partnership in general and marriage in particular… and, as for so many people, it’s defused the issues in my mind and reminded me what’s actually important. Bravi, gals! Keep up the good work.

  • Kate

    I’m very happy to donate as a pre-engaged person who very much wants APW to still be around when I need it even more than I do now, as a soon to be cohabiting partner. Plus, kicking $5 on paypal is so much less embarassing than buying a wedding mag!

  • http://isalmostthere.blogspot.com/ Erin R

    My afternoon was going rather crappily, and then I remembered that I had read this when I got to work today. I just made my donation and already, less crappiness all around. THANKS, Meg for starting this community and for allowing us to contribute $$ instead of just our brains. Although frankly, the brains are pretty great too.

  • Arachna

    Contributed and happy to do so. Love that you included the “it’s okay if you don’t” serious love!

    Would love to know what the total ends up as… just for potential ‘rar rar’ moments or an oh oh maybe should step it up moment.

  • http://www.fiercelyalive.com/blog liz

    de-lurking long enough to say that i think a Forum is Exactly Right for this site, and should happen Post Haste. this community continues to blow me away with its awesomeness.

    • http://discerningdilettante.blogspot.com ka

      Yes, please to a forum. Particularly so when I stumble across timely “news” like how Jessica Simpson’s new engagement ring is *unconventional*–a ruby (and it IS her birthstone), or like how WEtv is launching some kind of nonsense about woman proposing to their SO’s and then being “Jilted”, I can share and discuss…

  • Erin

    I am proud to donate and support this amazing community and my deepest congratulations to Meg on this very excting (yet daunting and scary) step. I am continually inspired and empowered by the passionate, brave, and generous women of APW. This community is about so much more than just weddings and the topics/issue they generate, and goes beyond these to cut to the core of what it means to be a modern woman in today’s society. APW has become like a good friend I look forward to hearing from each day and I look forward to commenting more in the future and to witnessing the growth of this special and unique community.

  • Debbie

    This is awesome. Any chance we could get one of those cool thermometers that shows how we’re doing? I’d love to see some feedback.

    • Debbie

      Oh yeah, and I forgot to say that I am also proud to donate and I have been reading this site for (could it be?) years now, and I CAN’T WAIT for the launch of Reclaiming Wife on its own. And then, in my fantasy world, A Practical Baby, which, when I got pregnant, I realized the universe totally needs.

    • meg

      So, the only problem with a thermometer is… what should the goal amount be? I’ll have to think about that. I’d like to think we could raise AT LEAST enough for me to launch the RW site… but we’ll have to keep on trucking to make that happen :)

      • Debbie

        Hm. Can thermometers have intermediary goals on them? So maybe two thirds (or however much) of the way up could be the amount for the RW site, and then above or below that (depending on the order of things) the interns get paid, etc. That would give us a sense of how much more we need to raise.

  • Theodora

    Well, I’m neither married or engaged, but I found this blog a few months back. LOVE IT! I’m practical to a fault, so this is an excellent blog for me! I’m in my early 40s and have been an attendant in so many weddings, plus I’ve actually helped plan two or three! As a result, I’ve formed a very definite idea of what I’d like in my wedding and actually have scribbles of what I would like, etc. I’m now beginning a very promising relationship and since neither of us have very much money (we’re in a large Midwestern metro area that has a high COL), the more frugal, practical ideas I can come up with, the better!

  • Theodora

    Oops, forgot to add, yes, I *am* donating something! This site will save me a great deal in wedding mags when the time comes! :)

  • Corinne

    Well done Meg

    I have been married for 2 days and 19 hours (YAY and yes I’ll be heading off honeymooning next week), but I’ll definitely be back, especially for reclaiming wife.

    If only you could buy a wedding magazine here for $5!!! (they are all about AUS$15), so what a bargain and far more useful :)

  • tupelohoney

    This is an amazing idea, Meg! It really hit me when you compared the $5 or $18 to the cost of a wedding magazine… I’ve been getting all this for FREE?! Seriously obvious how fortunate we all are to be a part of this. Donation on the way :-)

  • MaryB

    hahaha just like others, I don’t comment either… until now. I’m a lurker who felt the strong urge to donate :) and apparently break my silence…

    This blog is my daily dose of sanity no matter where in the world I am that day :) It’s smart, it’s sassy and it’s SO necessary. The post on shame – the morning after my husband and I had a fight/cry-fest and wow, some of the topics in shame hit that nail on the head. Meg, our weddings were at the same time (August 2009) and I started reading you May 2009-ish and I only wish it had been sooner, I might have been a little saner for those few months of planning. Ah well, live and learn and forgive myself right?

    What APW has taught me: in March 2010, I was having a conversation with a co-worker who was getting married in May and I asked about her wedding plans. She gave me some details and then mentioned that she didn’t have a dress yet. My response, “Oh, don’t worry it’ll work out. You have plenty of time.” And her response: “WOW, wow, no one else has responded like that at all! I’m trying to work full-time and get a graduate degree and all people can comment on is that I don’t have a wedding dress. I have bigger things to worry about people.” So yeah, it was awesome, I felt the full power of APW right then and of course ended up sending her the link to this site. I don’t think I would have responded the same way pre-APW.

    Looking foward to RW!! I so often struggle with letting go of perfection and enjoying the process of our baby family growing!

    Keep on trucking!! Best of luck Meg and the entire APW community :)

  • http://linseykitchens.wordpress.com Linsey

    Hooray! Hooray! Hooray!

    Meg–dream big and it will happen.

    Just like I thought about how I really needed to sweep the kitchen floor but I really didn’t want to and then–no joke–I broke a huge glass bowl into a thousand tiny shards, and guess what I found myself doing…

    Wish it into the universe, Meg. If you speak it, we will donate! :)

    Congratulations on acknowledging what all of us already know–that you and this site are worthy of wild dreams and impossibilities come to life.

  • ssparka

    ok, so major confession time….
    I’m not married, nor engaged, nor pre-engaged… I’m single.
    And so in some ways it’s crazy to be a long-time, go through the archives, reader of a wedding related site. BUT, I have to say that there are so few people out there that discuss relationships, (with others, with our families, with ourselves) without all the romance and drama and ‘should be’ of a holywood rom-com. And here there are people who are real and honest, and say ‘eff’ it (a lot) to other people’s ideas of perfect inorder to claim their own. And I like that. In all areas of life.
    So that’s why I’m putting my money and my mouth in the same place and donating/commenting for the first time, because I want to say thanks for being unapologetically honest and not perpetuating some BS myth.
    So, yeah, thanks.

  • Carreg

    Not sure if I’m looking on this as a subscription or a donation — but I look forward to seeing the site grow.

  • Emily Elizabeth

    so looking forward to watching this site grow, and the reclaiming wife site! i also look forward to someday being in a place where a book club is nearby – or maybe I should just find a group of friends to do the next one with up here in Newfoundland!

  • http://bestofcourt.blogspot.com Court

    I’m happy to support APW with a donation in the amount of my favorite number! This is a place where I come to read every morning and be comforted once again that I’m not alone in my thoughts and doubts. One suggestion – can you keep the drive going (even if it’s not on the front page) until the end of the month or beginning of January? I think people, especially with some holiday travel, might be able to give more (or at all) around payday!

    • Alyssa

      Meg is also taking alternate forms of donation, so if you would like to donate a little later, please email me at alyssa at apracticalwedding dot com and I can help you with this!

  • Trisha

    I’m so excited to get a chance to help out. I’m a firm believer in supporting things I love with my dollars, especially if I get them for free. (As the amount of money in my wallet before and after Web Comics Weekend can attest to!)

  • http://webecomeus.wordpress.com Caitlin

    This was a totally selfish good deed. It feels AMAZING to donate to APW.

    Good thing I wasn’t saving up to buy a hamster…

  • Ash

    Please leave this up longer like.a month at least. or. forever. I have insisted on paying cash for everything on my wedding and well, last check was devoted to the ceremony spot so needless to say I have very few. Very Few. Dollars to my name this week. So leave it up. Kapeesh?

    • Alyssa

      Hey sweetie! I don’t know yet what decisions Meg will make on the donation button, but email if you’d like to donate at a later time. Some people aren’t able to this week (or think Paypal is the devil) so we’re working out something for you guys!

      • Alyssa

        Forgot the email. Whoopsie…

        alyssa at apracticalwedding dot com

  • Kiara

    This is a wonderful idea and I’ve just donated with pleasure. I’m getting married this Saturday in Scotland and I know this is the site that I’ll be coming back above all others to so a big thank you to Meg and the great community that’s been created here that’s made this process more thought provoking when I was in danger of getting lost in the froth.

  • Kristen

    Maybe bury the donation part in a “contact me(/us!)” section during off drive times. That way people who discover the site later can donate and we can each donate as the urge strikes. Like, “Since APW gave me the reassurance I needed to find a thrift dress, I just saved $500 and I’d like to pass some of that on to APW.”

    And, I would like to request maybe an APW PO box. I think that there are a number of us who would not only like to donate money to improve the site but would also like to send whatever gifts we feel are appropriate to show our gratitude – from iTunes cards (you can easily regift if they aren’t your thing…) to wine to hand made gifts. Or just heartfelt thank yous that are handwritten (recall the thank yous post a little while ago). Because I don’t just want to support APW growing, I want to show my deep appreciation for all it has been.

    • Alyssa

      Meg put her thoughts on the button in the “Rally the Troops” post!

      As far as a PO box, she is working on that for people who might want to donate later or don’t want to use PayPal. Email me at alyssa at apracticalwedding dot com and I can put you on that list!

  • BEX

    Just made my donation. I love, love, love APW! And I cannot wait for Reclaiming Wife! Loving all the guest-posts this week too (not that I don’t love all the regular posts). :)

  • Tara

    I just donated! I usually skim over the wedding posts, but I can’t wait for Meg to launch Reclaiming Wife!

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

    We disagree sometimes on the substance, which is not at all surprising given that we are two very strong-willed, intelligent women. I also know it’s not easy to moderate comments to your own work without feeling (or sounding) defensive sometimes, especially when you’ve poured your heart into the content. Also, we’re all guilty of the errant misplaced apostrophe or comma, and sometimes we ignore those red squiggly lines.

    None of those things stops me from admiring what you do here or wanting to help you keep it going.

  • http://fionalynne.wordpress.com fiona lynne

    I’m really happy to donate. I’ve never donated to a blog before but since APW has become compulsary reading every day and I get so so much from reading through the comments, figuring out what I think about the issue, thinking about how that should effect my own life or relationships… being an ocean away from many of the commentators, I don’t quite feel “in” yet, more a lurker, but I’m happy to lurk and get all I can from that! It feels an honour to be able to help this community go even further.

  • Anon just for this comment…

    I just wanted to say that I had been thinking of giving since that first post, but had been procrastinating because I have had no income since April (because I can’t work right now and won’t be able to for a few months at least, hopefully less than 6 months more). And I have depleted all my pre-marriage savings (except a Roth IRA that I can’t touch). So my lack of income has made my husband’s and my joining of finances necessary, and he has been so sweet about it, but it has more difficult for me…because, you know, I have no income I can contribute right now.

    Anyhow, I say all this because these thoughts and emotions all went around in my head when I thought about giving. And then I realized that I had one teeny, tiny hold-out of “my” money, which was this Visa gift card that someone gave me as a gift last year. And there were a few dollars left on it that were “mine.” So…..I gave them to APW. (But I am totally not suggesting anyone else go and spend her last penny, because I would tell you that is not a wise financial move and to wait until later to support APW, after you are more stable financially!)

    But for me, it felt right. My husband makes just enough to cover us financially for now, until I can work again. And for me, I feel thankful to have given the last of “my” money to something I believe so deeply in. To be honest, the process made me a little teary….this final transition from “my” money to only “our” money, but I am so glad to have shared this step with the APW community and spent the money on something that is rather symbolically appropriate for this transition. (And for something that certainly keeps me saner as a person during all the transitions that might come in life!) :)

  • Rymenhild

    I’m a queer grad student in a serious relationship. I’ve been lurking for a month or two now, and I sent you guys a donation because I love your attitude towards marriage. I hope my as-yet-hypothetical wedding and marriage is as practical and meaningful as the ones you all write about.

    Yesterday, in a dentist’s office, I started flipping through a bridal magazine. I was reminded how disgusted I am by the wedding-industrial-complex. Every single page in that magazine was about Things: gowns, invitations, shoes, rings, hairpieces, favors, honeymoons in exotic locales, tubes of mascara. The shoe page included one $950 monstrosity covered in … well, at that price, I don’t know if the sparkly things were rhinestones or actual diamonds! Never once did the magazine talk about love, or commitment, or the hard work of creating and supporting new and old families. No, the weddings in this magazine were designed as ostentatious displays of wealth and fashion. The magazine never talked about the moment when the honeymoons ended, the credit card bills had to be paid, and the newlyweds had time to establish their lives.

    Without APW, I might have noticed how massively that magazine missed the point of marriage, but I wouldn’t have known there was a community out fighting for the kind of wedding and the kind of marriage I’d someday like to have.

    Thank you.

  • Trudi

    I just donated. APW has been such an amazing dose of sanity for me, it’s unbelievable. It’s great to read a post and say “It’s not just me!” I haven’t been as active a commenter as I want to be but I hope to say more!

  • Bren

    Hi APW ladies! I just donated. I am getting married next summer and while I’m not exactly having an indie wedding, I love reading APW for commentary on the real life stuff – love, money, emotions…

    Thanks for being there.

  • LPM

    Of COURSE I will donate. I told a friend today that this site lets it be ok that I can live a lovely blend of feminist and traditionalist and never feel guilty for wanting either, as long as I am conscious of what I am doing. Thanks for all you do for us.

  • KHN

    I’ve been a lurker for about 6 months now. After I discovered APW, I spent all my free time (and plenty of work time) catching up on the archives. I’ve never commented because I’m one of those pre-engaged types and I didn’t want to jinx myself. But because of the fact that that is kind of silly, this site is awesome, and I talk to my partner about the content nearly everyday anyway, I figured it was okay to come out from hiding for the good cause of donating to something I truly appreciate and would be sad to not have in my life.

    Thank you for providing these wonderful insights and this incredible forum. Keep up the good work and cheers to the future!

  • Ruth

    Long time lurker, first comment today. This is the only blog where I read the comments and the second blog I’ve ever donated to (the Itty Bitty Kitty committee got there first…who could resist kitten phone operators??). Just wanted to say thank you, to everyone here. You’ve made my day so often and I forget sometimes you don’t even know :)

  • Luna

    I don’t comment very often (and sometimes I write something in this very comment box, and then delete it before I submit… cause I kinda like being a lurker… beside the point) but I want to poke my head out of my shell to say thanks. To everyone. All of you give me the insight to be a better woman, and to have the courage to work at a better relationship with not only my boyfriend/fiancé/husband (long story) but the other important relationships in my life… my friends and family. I donated because I don’t want to lose this wonderful insight that I’ve been taking advantage of for over a year, and because I want it to grow.

    So thanks again.

  • Kirsten

    Even though I don’t post regularly anymore, I read every day. I donated because it’s something I truly enjoy, and it really helps to me to think about things I may not otherwise. I think the donate button should be a fixture on APW, so I can donate whenever the spirit hits me!

  • http://heartfulmouthful.wordpress.com Kaitlin

    I donated. I only occasionally browse the site. We got married last year and since then, the wedding has been at the back of my mind, I’ve sort of left the community. But I still talk about you guys. A lot. Whenever a friend gets engaged, the first thing I say is “go read APW”. And they ask where to start, and I don’t know. You just do, and eventually, you read through all of it. Or all that’s important. Which is most of it. Especially the sass.

    All of this is to say, that I kind of want to rejoin the conversation, if that’s alright. I was gone. Now, I’m back…and so ready for more of the community that Lisa was talking about earlier today and to see that community grow, grow, grow!

  • marie

    out from the lurking shadows to say thanks for opening up for contributions! as someone who’s in a long-term relationship and constantly asking the “when are you getting married” question… it’s refreshing to have a place to read about real relationships and others amazing ladies who wrestle with the same questions i do, and whose words and thoughts are as gorgeous as their celebration pics.

    can’t wait to see the site grow (blossom? unfold? change the wedding world?)

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  • Abby C.

    APW is the first website I have EVER given to during a donation drive. It is SO worth every penny, so I went a little higher. Meg, thank you for starting this wonderful community and I can’t wait to see it grow.

  • Caitlin

    Like another poster (I forget who), I gave up all wedding blogs after our July 31st wedding. But I keep coming back here. It’s like I can’t stay away. I have barely commented (maybe not ever), but I have been happy to be here nonetheless. Keep up the good work.

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