Hey, y’all! It’s Alyssa, and I’m taking over A Practical Wedding this week!! I can post whatever I want! I can rant about anything! I can post whatever I feel like! I could fill the entire week with pictures of kittens! Kittens in outfits! With hats!!!!!!
*ahem* Okay, so that’s not true.
So I am heading up most of the posts this week, because this week is all about APW. Not just weddings or marriage or etiquette. But A Practical Wedding. And readers like me. And like you. Our whole little lovely community and what it means to us.
We asked some APW readers to do some posts on A Practical Wedding – their experiences, feelings and thoughts on what started as a little wedding blog to help Meg keep her sanity and has turned into a daily dose of sanity from loads of awesome women. Throughout the week we’ll have responses from women of varying experiences, marital status and ages, women that y’all already know and love. We were surprised, excited and honored at the responses that came in, and on short notice! The best part is that as different as each response was, the one thing that they all hit upon was “community.” It’s not just a word (AND a great TV show) but it is something bigger, better and more important than we ever usually realize.
Also, Meg hasn’t read any of these posts this week, so she gets to be a regular reader (with pink privileges) and experience each post for the first time with you guys! Which is important because these aren’t love letters to Meg.
They are love letters to each any every one of you who read and particpate in APW.
These are love letters to our happy, fun, contentious, heart-warming, informative and touching little piece of the blogosphere.
So let’s get going with Operation Community 2010!!
And fine. No kittens.
DDay is awesome. Not only is she a smart lady and a regular commenter, but she’ll send you lovely little messages when you have a bad day or give away her wedding dress for no reason other than she’s super nice.
If you ever meet DDay, even if you’ve never met her before, you KNOW that she’s the type of girl that will see you across the parking lot, holler out your name and then come streaking across to give you the best hug ever.
And then take you out for drinks and to dance your face off.
Take it away, DDay!!
I wish I could remember the first post on APW I read. I really have no idea when exactly I started reading, or how long it took me to make a comment, or at what moment I realized I was, in fact, a member of Team Practical.
What I do know is, APW has been a guiding force in my life for umm, a while. Not that I don’t roll my eyes at just the idea of calling a wedding blog a “guiding force in my life.” But we all know by now this ain’t no damn wedding blog. And as awkward it can be to explain it to the uninitiated, I think we all also know that this blog is damn important.
I know I started out as a normal person, of maybe above-average intelligence (debatable). And then one day we whispered to each other something about marriage in the future, and I slowly morphed into a semi-crazed lunatic, obsessively collecting wedding imagery and worrying over the politics of picking a bridal party. And then I stumbled upon this blog, and everything in me lurched, and did a few double takes, and the zeal started to fall away from my eyes. Who is this lady crying foul to the wedding industry? Who are all these other people egging her on? You mean, you mean, it’s not required that the DJ announce our arrival at the reception, and we go right in to our first dance?? That’s not set down in law somewhere?? And the little timid me who said “Oh ok,” when the caterer insisted these things must be done, stood up and said “Oh hell naw. We will walk in unannounced, and the first dance will happen afterdinner.” This site helped me have the conviction in my voice that made the caterer say “Oh, ok.”
And that was just the beginning. I don’t even have time to talk about how much I’ve learned about my own perceptions of wife, shame, anxiety, appreciation, and being an ally, just to name a few major topics. And what I mean by “what I’ve learned about my own perceptions,” is basically that APW has helped me be a better critical thinker. Something will be said on here and instead of going “Oh that’s what I’m supposed to think, ok good,” it’s more like, “Hmm this is new for me. How do I feel about this?” And then I go home and ask my husband what he thinks about this. And we grow.
I was going to try to put together a Top Ten or something of favorite posts and/or comments, but umm I don’t know if y’all noticed? This blog has big archives. And this kid<– did not do so well bookmarking favorites. [Bad DDay. No cookie. - Alyssa]
So many words on this site get absorbed and internalized and after a while I can’t remember where I heard this or that bit of wisdom but I know it came from this community. But here are a few of my favorite bits from posts and comments. Some of them are universal, some are just special to me personally, and all are completely out of order:
Well, I just received my umpteenth wedding invitation addressed to “Mr. and Mrs. Joe Blow” when my name is “Dr. Jane Sassy-Blow”. Geesh! I’ve been married to this guy for almost 24 years now and no one in his family has still bothered to learn my name! Whoever said the woman with the Dr. title should get to use it was right on! Or at the very least, let me use my legal – hyphenated – last name! Thanks for letting me vent! – Anonymous
Cheapest vases ever? mismatched glass jars out of the recycling bin! (They make great candleholders, too!) [I had no idea until I was perusing the archives that this is probably where I got the idea to use mismatched jars out of the recycle bin for our centerpieces... Thank you Rachel!]
I love that you have shelves and shelves of books surrounding you. Makes me think of all those people, pouring their souls and lives into their writing and therefore having just a little bit of themselves there, blessing your wedding. Is that weird? That might be a little weird. But I’m fine with that. – Alyssa
It was one of the great joys of my life, and one of the best parties I’ve ever been to, but I’m not sure it was the best day of my life. The best day of my life probably involved a few more naps. – Meg
and of course:
It is not your business what other people think of you. – Meg
This community isn’t perfect. It’s made up of humans after all. What I love about it is, we allow ourselves to be imperfect and then do our best to help each other be better. My dad disapproves of perfection as a goal, he always insists on saying, “Practice makes better. Nobody’s perfect.” Since I can’t picture my future sanity without APW, I pledge to do what I can to keep this place humming. I’m looking forward to umm, practicing practical with everyone here as long as this place exists.