APW in 2011…


by Meg Keene, Editor-In-Chief

APW in 2011... | A Practical Wedding

I’m sitting here, in front of a bank of holiday cards, trying to figure out how to sum up 2011, for APW and for me. It’s hard to put words to it because it was a huge year. It was a wonderful year, but also it was a hard year. I quit my job to work for APW full time. I wrote a book. David started a new job. APW doubled in size. (In content: Two posts a day now! And in readers: Hi all you new ladies! And in staff: Hello to Kate, Emily, and Maddie!) We threw a huge party in New York to celebrate marriage equality. David and I traveled. My book came out.

That, my friends, is enough for three years rolled into one. In case you were wondering if it was a brillant idea to write a book from scratch, and have it launch, all in the same year while running a business: It’s a CRAZYPANTS IDEA. And I don’t mean that in the “you should do it” kind of way. Uh-uh. This year didn’t stop coming at me, and through all of it I was trying to navigate through the waters of self-employment for the first time. It wasn’t easy, and I spent a lot of time looking wide-eyed and worried about just how I was going to pull any of it off. But I did. We did. Somehow.

But it was also a wonderful year. And the wonder of it all washed over me in the moments I was able to be still. In August, I realized just what we’d created while listening to a single cello play “Somewhere Over The Rainbow” as two grinning men walked down the aisle to be married legally in New York State. In September, I got to look at the pages of my book for the first time in the Istanbul airport, and it felt like floating on air. Earlier this month, I toasted with tequila and it sunk in that my book had made the Amazon bestseller list. In pre-orders. In the holiday season. Whoa. Last week, I opened a box from my publisher to find stacks of books, each with my name right on the cover and tiny fireworks went off over my head.

APW in 2011... | A Practical Wedding

And this weekend. This weekend we had a staff party, and I was just generally enjoying myself, like it was any regular party. But then, toward the end, I looked around the Karaoke room as everyone sung along to the Dixie Chicks version of “Landslide” (Who requested that? For shame! Always request the original version of Landslide! It’s a rule!) and I realized that this wasn’t just any old group of people. This was the APW staff, APW sponsors, and the APW community. It was the community that grew out of something I started. And that was a huge thing. And blessing and a responsibility, but also a joy.

APW in 2011... | A Practical Wedding

So now, I’m looking forward to spending some time quietly. Relaxing. Thinking. 2012 is going to be huge, judging from my travel schedule in January. And I want to go into it with a full heart, feeling replenished.

APW in 2011... | A Practical Wedding

Thank you, each of you, for the crazy amazing joy and growth in 2011. Thank you for bringing your voice to APW and for making it a great place to come to work every day. We’ll have one more post this afternoon, but really, I’m wishing for nothing but the best for you and yours this holiday season.

Everything calm, everything bright…

Photos from the APW holiday party, by Hart + Sol Photo, first photo shot by Allison Andres Photography (you’re welcome!)

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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  • http://poppiesandicecream.blogspot.com Amanda

    Oh Meg, congratulations for all those accomplishments. And congrats to the staff working hard behind the scenes as well.
    I got your book yesterday, and started it this morning on my train ride. I am in the 2nd chapter and it is good. Really good. I am highliting parts to send to my little sister who is getting married next February (and to whom I will give the book as soon as I finish it) .
    I am so happy for you, and so happy to be part of this community.
    And Yay travel.
    If you happen to come to Europe (London ? ) on your book tour anytime next year count on me :)

  • Alicia

    Happy Holidays and a Great New Year to you and yours APW! It’s been quite a year of fantastic advice and motivating personal stories.

    I finished the book last night so I can pass it off to my mom this weekend!

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

    Happy Holidays to you, Meg, and the other wonderful APW staff. Thanks for a great year. Sending love and light everyone’s way!

  • jessie

    A big hug and thank you for all your hard work. My copy of the book arrived LAST NIGHT!! I’m saving it as my holiday read, and I can hardly wait!

    Have a rock-awesome-tastic 2012 ladies!!!

  • jessie

    PS: Book tour = Canada? Specifically, Toronto? Just sayin’.

    • Jen

      Montreal too!! :)

  • http://marie-evelaforte.blogspot.com/ Marie-Eve

    <3

  • carrie

    APW rocked my world in 2011. I wish I had found it a little earlier, but regardless, I am SO glad to be here. Thank you for everything, Meg, APW staff, and community. This is a wonderful place to be.

    And Meg? I’m with Alyssa in being pissed that your book came out AFTER my wedding. It’s seriously amazing.

  • http://averyhappyaccident.blogspot.com Alice

    Congrats on everything!!! And I cannot believe 2011 is coming to a close. This can’t be happening. I swear it’s still 2008. Max. And I’m so not ready for our first wedding anniversary just around the corner… I want to be a super newlywed forever.

  • mimi

    Thanks! Looking forward to 2012! And also looking forward to my copy of the book, which should be arriving TODAY!!! I’m glad I have the book to tide me over during your holiday vacation!

  • Sarah P

    As a regular reader it has been so exciting to watch all this happen for you and APW this year. To follow all the big events and to be a part of it all (even if just in spirit) has been so incredible.

    All the best to you and yours Meg and thanks for taking us along on this journey!

  • http://www.scriptinghappiness.com Jeena

    Meg, you’ve accomplished so much this year! How do you do it all? Congrats on everything! You totally ROCK!

  • Karen

    I found APW a few months ago and have been completely addicted. This site and these people have made a huge difference in my thinking about my life and my choices. Thank you, Meg, for taking a risk and putting yourself out there. Very impressive! (and now I’m trying really hard to not put two periods behind every sentence!)

  • http://livinglnf.blogspot.com Jo

    Bah! Tears at work!

    Seriously, your bravery in doing all this and your honesty in sharing it inspire me to the depths of my soul. I don’t know about the other ladies (and gents) here, but you hauling up your star with such panache has helped me feel so much less shy and fearful about doing the same with mine. It feels like we’re all in it together, you just happen to be a little further along the path in making your dreams come true. And yelling/hugging us into following along and not losing the pace. Which is just what I need/have needed. And the resting is just as essential a part. The fact that you made it through this insanely amazing but intense year is such an accomplishment. Revel in that too.

    Calm and bright, indeed.

  • http://www.christytylerphotography.com Christy T

    2011 – WHAT – A – YEAR !!! :) So excited to see what 2012 holds! :)

  • http://www.3upadventures.com Beth

    Meg, what a crazy busy 2011! But what wonderful growth for you!

    P.S. I started reading your book last night. I just kept thinking “YES!” And “That fits!” And then jumping up to kiss Forrest. And wanting to get planning and doing. You did well woman.

  • http://elissarphotography.com Elissa

    Wow, after I read everything that happened with APW in just a year… I’m amazed. I didn’t realize ALL OF THAT had happened in 2011 for you (and for the community). This is crazy! Crazy-GOOD!

    I can’t wait to see what happens in 2012…
    :)

  • http://www.cassieboorn.com Cassie Boorn

    Such an amazing year for you! Congrats on your new book!

    I can’t wait to see what you have in store for 2012.

  • http://lilapuppy.blogspot.com meghan

    Fireworks. 2011 was huge year.

  • http://www.agirlherblog.com/ one soul

    I’m thrilled to have been here to see 2011. Onwards and upwards in 2012, without a doubt.

  • http://www.theloudandclear.com Kate

    Congratulations Meg and the rest of APW!! Thank you so much for helping me this year as I planned a wedding and became a married lady. I just got my copy of your book in the mail and plan on giving it to my brother and his new fiancee as they embark on the journey too. I can’t wait to see what you make happen in 2012!

  • http://www.koruwedding.com Koru Kate {Koru Wedding}

    Champagne pop & cheers to your amazing 2011 & to a wonderful 2012 too! Happy Holidays~

  • http://www.thefamiliarwilderness.com Erin

    Par-TAY! And definitely enjoy that break. You’ve earned time to recharge!!!

  • Tamara Van Horn

    Happy Holidays and congratulations and job well done! Shout outs to the APW staff and Team APW for a fantastical year (including Elizabeth)! May 2012 rock 2011′s socks off!

  • Shotgun Shirley

    You ball hard!

    Congrats, and really, thank you thank you thank you for all of this.

    XOXO

  • http://breadandcheeseplease.com Charise

    Congratulations for getting through such a big, amazing year! Best wishes to all the APW staff for a great holiday break and an awesome 2012!

  • http://bunniesnbeagles.blogspot.com Ms. Bunny

    I’m very happy for you Meg and the whole APW community. 2011 was really a great year. Can’t wait to see what 2012 has in store.

  • http://discerningdilettante.blogspot.com/ KA

    Lady, it is exhausting just reading about what’s happened this year! I want a nap and eggnog!

    Here’s to the big leaps and big rewards in 2011. Enjoy soaking it all in.

    Because 2012 is all about taking over the world, and that’s even more work and stuff.

    Happy Holidays!

    <3

  • Judy

    Wow! What an awesome year!
    Thank you Meg, the APW staff, and the fantastic people that make up this community. Thank you for providing a sane, smart, funny, real place to talk about marriage and all the adventures that go with it.
    Happy Holidays, and all the best in the coming year!

  • http://twitter.com/whitney923 Whitney

    I’m so glad I found APW. :)

    I’ll be here long past my May wedding…

  • Becky2

    Hooray for eggnog from scratch, and dreaming big, and being daring, and getting some rest for now. Thanks for being badass, APW!

  • Rachel T.

    As I said in my email to you, I squealed when your book came, no differently than I would have squealed if a real life friend I see and talk to every day were to get their book published. I want to say thank you, even though it’s not Thanksgiving, for creating a space like this one. There is so much in this country and this culture that tears women down and has them tearing each other down. I’m humbled by someone like you who help to build women up, to give us a space to build each other up, and to really talk about the constructs of our society and this culture. Thank you, thank you thank you, for making me feel like I have a place I belong on this huge thing called the internet. And thank you for continually making me feel not so alone in my thoughts and stresses, wedding related or otherwise. Wishing you many blessings, relaxing moments, lots of laughter, and sleeping in this holiday season.

  • riverdragon

    Meg, you make me feel brave about jumping off into self-employment land, which I am about to do in 2012. Thank you for everything you are and everything this site stands for! And take a break, for gosh sakes! :)

  • http://justneedthisspace.wordpress.com d-day

    hearts and flowers!

  • http://upupcreative.com julie green

    congrats to you on quite a year. everything calm, everything bright to you, my friend.