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Introducing the APW Vendor & Venue Directories!


by Meg Keene, Editor-In-Chief

Introducing the APW Vendor & Venue Directories! | A Practical Wedding

The day is finally here! After tons of hard work by the APW Team and our amazing Web developers Super Runaway, I’m overjoyed to finally launch the APW Vendor Directory and Venue Directory. Both of these directories are based around the APW Sanity Pledge, something we’re making all vendors take. (Let’s hear it for changing the wedding industry a little bit at a time!) Engaged readers should be thrilled because, well, we just made it a whole lot easier to have a sane wedding. (I would have killed for this directory when we were engaged.) And married readers should be thrilled because part of the goal of this directory is to allow APW to grow in new directions. Hooray!

A Searchable Vendor Directory…

As you see in the picture above, Super Runaway has made the Vendor Directory fully searchable and amazing. You can search by region! You can search by type of vendor! You can search by vendor name! You can search by price! And once you’ve done that, you can sort the directory any which way: alphabetically, by price, or even by newest listings.

…Full of All Kinds of Vendors!

One of the excellent things about the directory is that it offers us a way to share a whole variety of sane wedding vendors with you, not just photographers. Here are some of the new and awesome listings we’ve got:

Plus APW Sponsors

Plus, because we owe a deep debt of gratitude to APW front page sponsors (those are the businesses you see advertising in our right sidebar and in sponsored posts), you’ll see their listings marked in purple, with a special sponsor badge. You can even search just for APW sponsors, if you so choose, because we love those guys. They’re integrally involved in APW, have their own forum, help pay our bills, and generally rock our world.

You Should Apply

If you’re a vendor, and want to apply for the directory, we’d love to consider you. The excellent Emily Gutman of Emily Takes Photos, one of the longest time APW sponsors, is managing the directory for me, and she’ll take very good care of you. Please apply here, rates are $325 for a full page listing for a full year.

Introducing the APW Vendor & Venue Directories! | A Practical Wedding

User Submitted Venue Directory

But that’s not all, because I don’t do things in half measures. We’re also launching the APW Venue Directory, with all user submitted content. It’s powered by Google Maps, and has the start of the world’s most amazing collection of venues. There are summer camps, churches, firehouses, parks, historical mansions and hotels. It will make you want to get married all over again.

Submit Your Venue, If You Loved It!

So start looking at venues in your area. And if you are already married and loved your venue, please, please pay it forward by submitting it to the directory (hint: the more personal pictures you submit that really show off your venue, the better). You can also submit, say, Catholic churches that don’t marry gay couples (yet!), as long as it’s a matter of religious policy, not bigotry (use your judgement), so remember to submit both ceremony and reception venues. Submitting is totally free and immediately earns you magical APW karma points, which you can cash in for a virtual hug and a hand hold, when you need it most.

And Enjoy…

We hope the directories will only grow from here. We hope that we’ll have many new listings, that you’ll send your friends here when they are tearing their hair out looking for a sane and affordable vendor or venue. This is just the beginning, and I can’t wait to see where it all goes…

Meg Keene

Meg is the Founder and EIC of APW. Her first book, A Practical Wedding: Creative Solutions for Planning a Beautiful, Affordable, and Meaningful Celebration, was published in January 2012, and has been a top three bestseller on the wedding bookshelf ever since. Meg has her BFA in Drama from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. She lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her husband and son. For more than you ever wanted to know about Meg, you can visit MegKeene.com.

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  • http://www.thefamiliarwilderness.com Erin

    WOW. Those directories are gorgeous. No, seriously, beyond the practical usefulness, the layout and design are just. YUMMY. Wishing I could take them back in time with me two years :) Well done, everyone!

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  • http://elissarphotography.com Elissa

    It looks amazing! Great job Meg, Emily, Super Runaway, and the entire APW team!

  • http://pinchofthis.wordpress.com Jen

    it’s cool if I just spend the day clicking around in there, right?

    • meg

      As long as you’ve already submitted a venue and told all your elves to apply ;) Then, YES! But have a mimosa while you do it. Tell your boss I said so.

      • http://pinchofthis.wordpress.com Jen

        the boss said “approved! so long as she can have one too. (I have the best job)

        I’m hoping that I’ll love our venue as much next June as I do now and then I’m all over submitting, I promise!

  • http://www.hibouphoto.com kandise

    It’s fantastic! Great job, you guys.

  • http://www.rorygordonphoto.com argo9418

    A) Both directories are gorgeous. I love the design compliments the rest of the site but is clearly its own beast as well. B) The map is so easy to use! What a great tool. C) Thank you so much for providing a well designed, affordable place for people like me who are just starting a business to advertise in excellent company– I”m equally proud to be listed in the company of the other vendors and excited to start working with APW couples :)

  • http://landlockedlove.blogspot Kelly

    This. is. AWESOME. Midwest photographers, here I come! Thank you, Meg. This is seriously a kick ass resource and I can’t wait to spread the word.

  • Jen M

    I cannot even begin to tell you how stoked I am to plunge in here. Perfect timing for me! And I can kiss any sort of productivity goodybye today.

  • http://www.greensnapdragon.com Emily

    Thanks for all your hard work, Team Practical! The vendor directory looks amazing! I am honored to be included in such a group, and I’m looking forward to playing around with both directories.

  • Kinzie Kangaroo

    This is incredible. So exciting, and so much fun to look through. We already have our venues and are definitely getting married in Central Illinois, so can anyone explain to me why I was reading the venue listings in California and Ohio? So good. Thanks everyone, and great job!

  • Amandover

    Are you guys still posting some submissions? Or should I assume mine didn’t make the cut…?
    Either way, the venue directory looks great, and I’m forwarding my newly-engaged cousin to it!

    • meg

      I suspect it did. There are only two submissions that we haven’t published yet, unless you JUST submitted it. Try searching the name of your venue.

      • Amandover

        Oh, yay! Thanks, Meg! It’s there!
        Just not on the map.

        • meg

          If you notice, there are only ever going to be 16 things on the map (whatever is loaded on the page), or you wouldn’t be able to see it. You need to actually search to find venues.

  • Auburn

    This may well be a work computer issue (mine is awful), but the Venue Directory won’t load for me–I can see the page framework but no venues are populated, regardless of what I search. Anyone else experiencing something similar?

    • meg

      It might be your cache (try clearing it), or you might be on SUCH an old browser that it’s not compatible. There are browsers so old that you can’t build for them.

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

    This is brilliant. You are going to save people a lot of sleepless nights with this. Congrats!

    • meg

      You should submit your venue!!

  • http://fourfeeteightpaws.blogspot.com/ Rowan

    Can I submit a venue even if it is pricey? It was our one “splurge.” We cut corners everywhere else (bridesmaid dress in white, cupcakes for $1.50 each, wildflower centerpieces, caterers who normally cook at the local private boarding school, a friend as DJ). But we spent $7,000 on the venue. It was by far the best money we spent b/c the location was gorgeous and it was stress free. We literally put the flowers on the table to set up, and took them off the table again the next morning. The women who ran the place did everything else (and did it really well!). We keep getting compliments on all the details, but very few of them were ours.

    But I don’t know if this is supposed to be cool, off the beaten track places that cost next to nothing.

    • meg

      Of course you can! You can submit any venue like.

  • Irene

    Hey Meg, just so you know, the “visit the website” link on the venue I submitted (Old Whaling Station) isn’t working… it’s linked to itself! =)

    • meg

      That was a glitch. It should be fixed now.

  • http://jessicaschillingphotography.com Jessica Schilling

    Love it! I was imagining something awesome, and it exceeded even those expectations. Really looks beautiful and I can’t wait to start sending everyone here!

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

    What a FABULOUS resource! I will definitely point my Bride friends & clients in this direction for vendors & venues. Maybe someday I’ll get myself included in the vendors :-)

    • meg

      Just apply! That’s all it takes (well, at $325, but that’s WORTH IT).

  • http://workoflove.wordpress.com Shaelyn

    I got married in August, but I just spent more time than I care to admit clicking through both directories. What an awesome tool! And once I have decent photos of our venue, I will be submitting it :)

  • http://poppiesandicecream.blogspot.com/ Amanda

    Just wanted to say how much fun this is, to look at all those venues. Meg congrats for this idea and to Super Runaway for making it look and work so neatly. I keep clicking and clicking want to see every venue :)

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

    This is gorgeous. I love, love, love the full page essays from the vendors. One month to go, and then I can submit our venue.

  • Rachellyn

    Lovely! Though I was impatient and went straight to the directory before reading about it and was disappointed that I can’t write a recommendation for my AMAZING photographer Emily Sterne (who’s ad link, btw is broken). Can I ask that when you get to it, this would be a really good addition? I really want to recommend her to everyone, but she is too far for my friends planning weddings now…

    • meg

      Ah, no, I decided specifically not to include that. Since vendors pay for listings, I didn’t want to have to deal with editing reviews that were so-so, and maybe hurting business. (though if you have a problem with a vendor you can report them through the site, and we’ll totally look into it and take action!). If I was going to have comments, I wasn’t going to just post good ones (that would be dishonest). So! We opted for just letting you report problem vendors, and not letting you write glowing reviews. Not perfect, but it will save me heartache and time, which will allow me to keep prices low (which is the point of the directory for vendors… a much lower cost ad model).

      • Anon for this

        Is there an official way to report a problem vendor? I had major major issues with an APW sponsor and have been pretty torn up on how to deal with it.

        • meg

          Holy moly! I just saw this comment, so hopefully you signed up to get responses by email. Yes! You can flag a vendor by hitting “flag vendor” on their page. Or, more to the point, you can just contact us directly. And YOU SHOULD. If you had huge issues with a sponsor, we want to know about it. We’ll look into it, obviously, try to figure out what the overall deal is, and pull them if we have to. And protect your anonymity.

  • ANDREA

    So, is there interest in expanding the “music” section? Would people look for their wedding music on APW if that was available? I play at weddings in various capacities, all of them very APW (IMHO), but not sure if that’s something people would be interested in?

    • meg

      There is a HUGE interest in expanding the music section (and every section, frankly), with the right people. I suspect that APW-ers will do their first rounds of shopping through the directory, and then go looking for stuff they can’t find elsewhere. Let them find you first, says I!

      Besides, you book ONE WEDDING, and your ad is paid for, for the rest of the year. That’s pretty good.

  • http://upupcreative.com upupcreative

    I love it. Yay! Proud to be included.

  • http://marycyrusphotography.blogspot.com Mary Cyrus

    I’ve been counting down the days ’til launch since, what, July? I’m thrilled to finally see my ad in the flesh. :) Very proud to be here.

    • http://www.seattleflute.com Katie

      I cannot “exactly” this comment enough! Thank you, Meg! This is a gorgeous resource and I am sooo excited to be included. Yay APW!

      • http://www.marjmerges.com/ Marj

        Yes. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

  • http://tryingonhawaii.wordpress.com/ em_perk

    Oh wow they look great! I so wish these had been around when I got married! But I’m sure they will help many lucky ladies now. And can I just say how excited I am to see my venue post in the screen shot! It was truly gorgeous and I hope someone else has their wedding there too.

  • http://www.weddings.anne-schwarz.com Anne

    Meg, this new vendor directory is the BEST designed I have seen in a long long while! Congratulations and double-YAY! I haven’t trawled through all the vendors, but I assume they are (mostly? all?) US based? Would you consider a UK based photographer for your shiny new directory?

    • http://fromasmallstep.blogspot.com/ Kinzie Kangaroo

      There’s already a few of them, and I’m sure you could join the ranks! If you do a search limited by region, you can click on the UK, or on Australia, or Cananda, or “Everywhere Else” if you fancy looking places other than the US.

      Too cool, guys. I love it.

  • http://www.suncentered.com Jenny @sunCentered

    I love this directory! Here’s one plus to being pre-engaged: by the time we are official, it will probably be even bigger!

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