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APW Book Tour: Brooklyn


by Meg Keene, Editor-In-Chief

The Amazing Wonderful Fabulous & Kind Team—Photographers: Amber Marlow PhotographyHart & Sol West, Katie Jane Photo (Roll over the pictures to see the photographer’s name.) * Event CoordinationLa Vie En Rose Events * Event Design: Michelle Edgemont * Catering: Mexicue * Dessert: Sun In Bloom (gluten-free cupcakes) & Robicelli’s (full-gluten cupcakes)*

APW Book Tour: Brooklyn | A Practical Wedding

APW Book Tour: Brooklyn | A Practical Wedding

APW Book Tour: Brooklyn | A Practical Wedding

APW Book Tour: Brooklyn | A Practical Wedding

APW Book Tour: Brooklyn | A Practical Wedding

APW Book Tour: Brooklyn | A Practical Wedding

APW Book Tour: Brooklyn | A Practical Wedding

APW Book Tour: Brooklyn | A Practical Wedding

APW Book Tour: Brooklyn | A Practical Wedding

APW Book Tour: Brooklyn | A Practical Wedding

APW Book Tour: Brooklyn | A Practical Wedding

APW Book Tour: Brooklyn | A Practical Wedding

APW Book Tour: Brooklyn | A Practical Wedding

APW Book Tour: Brooklyn | A Practical Wedding

APW Book Tour: Brooklyn | A Practical Wedding

APW Book Tour: Brooklyn | A Practical Wedding

APW Book Tour: Brooklyn | A Practical Wedding

APW Book Tour: Brooklyn | A Practical Wedding

APW Book Tour: Brooklyn | A Practical Wedding

APW Book Tour: Brooklyn | A Practical Wedding

APW Book Tour: Brooklyn | A Practical Wedding

APW Book Tour: Brooklyn | A Practical Wedding

APW Book Tour: Brooklyn | A Practical Wedding

APW Book Tour: Brooklyn | A Practical Wedding

APW Book Tour: Brooklyn | A Practical Wedding

APW Book Tour: Brooklyn | A Practical Wedding

APW Book Tour: Brooklyn | A Practical Wedding

APW Book Tour: Brooklyn | A Practical Wedding

APW Book Tour: Brooklyn | A Practical Wedding

APW Book Tour: Brooklyn | A Practical Wedding

APW Book Tour: Brooklyn | A Practical Wedding

APW Book Tour: Brooklyn | A Practical Wedding

APW Book Tour: Brooklyn | A Practical Wedding

APW Book Tour: Brooklyn | A Practical Wedding

APW Book Tour: Brooklyn | A Practical Wedding

APW Book Tour: Brooklyn | A Practical Wedding

APW Book Tour: Brooklyn | A Practical Wedding

APW Book Tour: Brooklyn | A Practical Wedding

APW Book Tour: Brooklyn | A Practical Wedding

APW Book Tour: Brooklyn | A Practical Wedding

APW Book Tour: Brooklyn | A Practical Wedding

First of all, before we even get into talking about Brooklyn, I want to say that it was a super personal event for me, precisely because of the picture shown above. When I looked around the Brooklyn after party (more on that in a second) I saw more people than I could possibly talk to one on one (waaahh), and I also realized that it wasn’t a problem because everyone was talking to friends, old and new. The APW community is not the tiny community that it started out as, and it’s spawned all sorts of connections and real life friendships in a really powerful way. And that means… well… everything. If that’s what the work I’ve done here has created, that’s work I can be proud of. And for me, on a really deep level, the Brooklyn event was about getting a handful of the (now) long time girlfriends that I’ve met through running the site all in one room, and wrapping them in a giant hug. When you get P.KimiLily, Me, and Amanda at a party (other close girlfriends made through blogging were dearly missed)… you are very close to perfection. When that party is in my favorite city in the world, celebrating the launch of a book I’ve been working on for what feels like ever, and my husband is there? That might actually be perfection.

So Brooklyn. Let’s discuss. The funny thing about the book tour is that it keeps going. Each event seems huge, and each event is The APW Event for everyone in that city. And for me it’s just today’s event. Which is wonderful and confusing, and in New York City got totally baffling. Because in New York, we didn’t just host an awesome, packed to the gills book talk with questions. In New York we hosted that and a whirlwind of amazing party at a bar. So, by the end of the night people were asking me how “My Big Day” felt (which is doubly hilarious, given that we never use the term Big Day here, right?) So, by that point I was so tired I was barely standing up, and I was like, “It was great. And I did it on Wednesday, and I’m doing it again on Monday, and also on Thursday.” Which might mean that I am a totally crazy person, y’all.

Or. I’d think I was a totally crazy person except that each of these events is so damn wonderful, in an “I want to wrap all of you guys up and put you in my increasingly crowded suitcase and take you with me,” kind of way. And because Brooklyn is home for me, and the event was so personal, I’m still sort of emotional about it being over.

So Brooklyn. When I showed up at the Barnes & Noble, I was a nervous wreck (and I’m never a nervous wreck at these events). Something about it being on my home turf just made it feel like it mattered. But then when I came out, and saw all you guys hiding behind bookshelves because there wasn’t enough space, playing with your babies on the floor (Liz!) and ready to have a good time, I got really happy. Plus, I was wearing this crazy backless hipster ice-skating dress that I’d bought on sale for $40 the hour before the event, so I mean, you can’t lose in that situation, right?

And of course it was awesome. The perpetually fascinating thing about this tour to me is how every stop has a totally different vibe. I somehow expected Boston’s boisterous and hilarious vibe to carry over to Brooklyn (they’re close, right?). But maybe because the Brooklyn event was in the afternoon, the vibe was thoughtful. For the first time on the tour, most of the questions were about the creative process, and writing (and you know, feminism, because that’s how we roll).

And then there was the party. After I signed books for an hour (An Hour! OMG!) we headed over to the party. By the time I got there, a whole bar in Brooklyn was absolutely packed with all APW faces. Which is totally nuts. And totally amazing. And totally… awe inspiring. And, let me just put this out there. Someone needs to have exactly this party as their wedding reception. The event was at The High Dive, which basically every good friend of mine in Brooklyn told me conspiratorially was their “favorite bar” at some point during the night. Michelle Edgemont (who is a whirlwind of awesome that’s going to take all of us by storm, hire her now) did all the wedding decorations. And when I say amazing, I mean amazing. She made banners made up of nothing but wedding graduates faces. And yeah, that’s totally going to go up in my apartment at home, don’t judge me. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to her crafty and affordable decorations. She made drink stirrers with mini APW books on them, with APW book quotes inside. I know. And then! The High Dive let us roll up a taco truck outside the bar, so we all got to enjoy Mexicue tacos and pulled pork sliders. Then, Other Meg of La Vie En Rose Events (who planned the whole thing so seamlessly I never had to think about it, holy crap hire HER) arranged for gluten-free cupcakes for me (snifff) from Sun In Bloom, and you guys, they were so good that the gluten-full crowd was gobbling them up. And then there were Gluten-full Cupcakes that looked amazing from Robicelli’s. Oh, and did you notice the AMAZING PHOTOBOOTH PICTURES? Yeah. That photobooth was made by Michelle Edgemont, with help from Hart & Sol West, and manned by Amber Marlow Photography. I love those ladies. I love every one of them.

So. What am I left with? Gratitude. A small sense of what we’ve created here. An amazing party. A book. And a tour that is just getting started… see you tonight, Atlanta. Let’s do it. (And if I’m wearing the same dress again, well, you’ll cut me a break, right? Because how often do you get to dress like a hipster ice skater?)

To see all of the photobooth pictures, visit the APW Flickr Pool or check out the set on Maddie’s Flickr Stream

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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  • Tamara Van Horn

    Wow, Meg…wow.

  • faith

    Great reflection. Absolutely beautiful. Also, dress is awesome. Where can we get one?

  • CarMar

    LOVE the “exactly” banner! And I just wanted to say that as real-life friendships go, I am indebted to APW’s bookclubs for one of my only good friends in Cincinnati!

    • http://offbeatempire.com Ariel

      Seriously, whoever came up with the EXACTLY bunting (can we call it bunting? LET’S CALL IT BUNTING!) deserves some sort of special prize.

  • http://hitchdied.com Robin HitchDied

    I was there (photographic proof above!) and I had a GREAT time. I got as much out of it intellectually (the book talk, and all the discussion about it at the afterparty) as I did socially (finally meeting internet friends in real life! Porch drinking in January!), and I couldn’t ask for more.

    Also, Meg, I loved your dress, and I especially loved how you were all, “Hey everyone, look at my ice dancer dress!” because I am SO TOTALLY LIKE THAT when I have a new dress to love. It makes perfect sense that you had just bought it.

  • Josie

    Sigh. Are you sure you don’t want to come and do a launch in LONDON. APW goes international?

    • Jeanie

      can we make that London with a trip via Edinburgh?!

  • http://www.thehandmadeevent.com Kari

    Aww, seeing all the NYC bookclub ladies makes me miss New York. It looks like a fun party (those mini book drink stirrers are killer) and an awesome after party. Brooklyn knows how to do it, and great dress Meg!

  • http://elissarphotography.com Elissa

    Meg… um… can I raid your entire book tour wardrobe? :)

    This book tour stop looks SO AWESOME. Oh dear, I need to step up the Austin one.

  • Kirsten

    Long-time lurker here, with my first post ever! (I started reading when I was very single, having discovered APW during an explosion of friend-weddings. Now that I’m in a wonderful long distance relationship, I continue to read – secretly, of course – because it just makes so much sense.) While Skyping with the boyfriend last night, he was looking at the podcasts he wanted to catch up on, said “don’t get the wrong idea about this”, and suddenly I heard Meg’s voice coming over my speakers. I had to laugh. A man who discovers APW on his own?! I think it’s a sign.

    Comment is slightly unrelated to this post- but hey, the NPR interview happened on the book tour, so it counts, right?

    • mimi

      Love that! He’s definitely a keeper!

  • mimi

    Feeling like I’m really missing the party here in Detroit! And btw, Meg, I love your whole wardrobe!

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

    Ohhhhhh. Perfection.

    (You know I’m totally crying.)

  • http://ddaykapow.tumblr.com d-day

    umm. why the hell didn’t I come to this party, again??? DAMN IT.

  • Harriet

    Umm, this may be a little shallow, but Meg, I love your earrings. Any chance they come from an APW vendor (or some other source with an online shop)?

    • meg

      Nope! Super cheapo-o earrings, right there. One must round out one’s artisan jewelry wardrobe, mustn’t one?

      • Class of 1980

        Sigh. Some of my favorite earrings are the super cheapo ones. Don’t knock it. Princess Diana had a pair of dime store earrings she wore to death.

        • Harriet

          Absolutely. I get more compliments on an ancient pair of $5 earrings from Claire’s than on anything else I wear.

          • ANDREA

            Claire’s! *nostalgia face*

        • Class of 1980

          And those earrings are great, Meg. They look expensive and artistic. The fact that they aren’t expensive is a bonus. ;)

  • http://www.essential-images.com Essential Kate

    geez, Meg. You know how to do IT! Congrats on the entire book tour…. oh and the wardrobe, yeah, that too, and The Book which I recommend left and right along with the site. Now, if my APW daughter hadn’t loaned my copy to a friend right before she went to the Boston meet up, I’d actually have a signed book. Shoot

  • http://www.housemadeblog.blogspot.com Corrie

    Meg. (First time commenter, long time pre-engaged APW stalker here.) You MUST share with us where you got your hipster ice skating dress! I’m in love with it! Maybe on top of the whole practical wedding ‘trend’ you can start a new hipster ice skating trend. Also, the pictures are amazing. ALSO…please come to Ohio!!! I promise I would get everyone I know to come see you.

  • Cassandra

    I just kind of love that you keep taking your pretty shoes off every time you speak :)

  • http://www.lavieenroseevents.com La Vie En Rose Meg

    This was by far one of the most fun events I ever coordinated (and attended). It was like an explosion of friendly awesomeness! Big hugs to all the amazing vendors & pros who made it easy & fun & tasty & pretty & captured it all in gorgeous images. Much thanks to Meg for giving us a crazy awesome reason to get together (& allowing me to help make it happen)!!!

  • http://www.whatpossessedme.com What Possessed Me

    You ladies sure do know how to throw a good party! It was grand to meet you all. xoxo

  • meg

    To answer everyone’s question, the dress was from the sale rack at Goldy & Mac on 5th in Brooklyn, which is sort of one of the staple places I shop (I’m in Brooklyn enough to say that ;). The earrings were from the accessories shop next door, for $9.

  • http://www.missgiggles.com/blog Giggles

    Let’s see, here are the reasons I see for why this book tour is totally working:
    1. Saying important words while wearing super fancy clothes.
    2. Saying them in front of your nearest and dearest.
    3. Greeting them afterwards and thanking them for coming.
    4. Party to celebrate it all till the cows come home.

    Of course you’re going to rock a book tour. This group knows how to throw meaningful life changing parties!!

    • meg

      1. Saying important words while wearing super fancy clothes.
      2. Saying them in front of your nearest and dearest.

      (Awwww…. and some of YOUR nearest and dearest too, if what people are saying is true!)

      • http://www.missgiggles.com/blog Giggles

        We have similar tastes in the near and dear. :)

  • Susie

    Haven’t commented before, but LOVE that people are arranging gluten-free for you. As a fellow coeliac (and a fellow Keene!) I know how much that kind of gesture is appreciated! And am loving hearing about the tour, great posts :)

    • meg

      I should say, to be totally upfront, I’m not coeliac! I’m just intolerant. It makes my pain condition act up, something that’s super unpleasant on book tour. A Keene, eh? If it has the final e, I suppose you’re from the southern branch of my family?

  • http://myredcowboyboots.com Amber

    your book finally arrived in my mail yesterday. my fiance very kindly drove all the way into town just to pick it up for me. (we live in a very rural place) what I can say now is that it is possible to cook dinner while reading a book and it is possible to clean up after while still reading. it is possible to walk the dogs before bed while reading too. i reluctantly left the book at home this morning when I headed out for work, but I got a good chuckle when, as I backed out of the driveway I saw my fiance pick it up through the living room window, flip the first page then settle into the sofa with your book in his hands. Well done Meg, well done.

    • meg

      Awwww. SNIFFLE.

    • Emily Rae

      Oh yes, rural liver too. I was so mad the store didn’t have my order in the one day I managed to make it an hour away to their store, but thankfully (?) an emergency came up the next day, we made the trip back in, and there it was! Now I’m ordering one for the local library. Meg, it will be THE ONLY WEDDING BOOK THERE. Well, the only good one. That’s not a romance novel. Seriously, though, I believe it will be the 4th wedding planning title on those tiny shelves.

  • Kat

    As I was scrolling through the pictures I thought “Damn that’s a great dress” and then I read you’d got it on sale an hour before. Love.

    PS bring on the international book tour. New Zealand is beautiful, you know you want to come here :p

    • http://abasketcase.blogspot.com Basketcase

      Yes!!!! I agree :) Perhaps with the next tour, and make it a holiday as well (to justify the need for flying since we know you dont really like it that much)

  • http://www.tilependantjewelry.etsy.com Happily Ever After

    Looks like a awesome party to me! Sweet!

  • Class of 1980

    I can’t believe those drink stirrers! And hooray for gluten-free! If you do another book tour, you should go to Asheville. The independent restaurants there are now working on making the (tiny) city a gluten-free DESTINATION!

  • http://www.bridesanstulle.com Sharon

    Are all those raised hands in the sixth picture from the top for QUESTIONS?!!! If so, totally rad. (I can’t be the only one who wants a round up of all the smart questions asked on this tour, can I?)

  • Kate

    Meg!!!!! Are you responsible for this or is it just some random piece of awesomeness from the interwebs?

    http://practicalryangosling.tumblr.com/

    Hot dress, by the way!

    • meg

      I’m not doing it… but…. we’re sort of responsible for it in the broader sense. Don’t you see all the pictures of the book and stuff?

      • Kate

        Sure, I was just wondering if it was in-house or just a devoted fan . . .

    • suzanna

      Um, that site is amazing.

  • http://jessicaschillingphotography.com Jessica Schilling

    Gorgeous photos and looks like such an amazing event! Can’t wait for the LA stop!

  • http://weddings-paradise.com Paula

    love the “exactly”banner!

  • Gillian

    Meg – I gifted your book (which I bought on the book buy day!) to a friend who is planning her wedding, and she’s just received it last night.

    I wanted to tell you that she called me right away screaming and practically crying tears of joy and said:

    “This book is EXACTLY what I needed.

    I skimmed through the contents and EVERY CHAPTER TITLE (and subtitle) is exactly what I need to hear.”

    Her favourites were:
    ‘The bridezilla myth: Making you crazy, then calling you crazy’
    ‘It actually wasn’t the best day of your whole life’
    ‘The guest list, how hard can it be?’

    So thanks from both of us, for helping my friend reclaim her wedding planning sanity.

  • Radiantly

    I came with my boyfriend (pre-engaged… I am 34 he is 38) and I must say he was probably the only one who wasn’t married or had a kid (I saw 3 other men). While I was really glad he came, and felt so much support from him to be there with me, I sort of was sad that I didn’t go solo, and sad that we had plans after, so I could have bonded with the APW ladies and gone to the bar after. I am gluten intolerant too, Meg. Wish I could do it again so I could do it both ways!

    On another note, we hadn’t listened to NPR yet and he hadn’t been reading the blog so when Meg said “I’m sure everyone already knows all the stories, etc” I felt like I wished she would say just one of them since I’m sure we all hadn’t heard them before!

    Lastly, my bf really is interested in social media and blogging culture and marketing, so he was very happy he came especially because he felt that Meg’s talk about the process and the blogging stuff was a useful benefit.

    I have read the book cover to cover already. Excited to be pre-engaged but also looking forward to giving the book to my mom&in-laws once the engagement is official. I’ve been telling every friend about APW and Meg you hit the nail on the head about writing a book that was REALLY needed. Yay!

  • http://www.lavieenroseevents.com La Vie En Rose Meg

    PS – you wanted stories! Here are a few moments that I loved about the day:

    -I was in line for the Mexicue truck & an adorable lady heard me talking and came up to me & gave me a hug b/c she was one of the recipients of one of the giveaways that my book-buy-day giveaway spawned. Seeing her happiness when she talked about how helpful the book was…So wonderful!

    -Seeing my first APW client @ the bar (& not spending nearly enough time chatting with her), and her pointing out that it was almost her 6th month wedding anniversary! Congrats to them! I hope their 6 months has been as amazing as mine – I’m sure it has been, cause they are AWESOME!

    -When I was handing out taco tickets a lovely lady took one for herself and asked me, “can I take one for my wife?” That simple question just made me so pleased to be at a “wedding event” that is wonderfully all-inclusive & proud of it, dammit!

  • http://www.sarahhoppes.com Sarah

    This event was great. The fiance and I had a blast, ate a ton of food and enjoyed a few beers, danced to the jukebox, met some amazing people, and we even met our soon-to-be-booked totally rad wedding photographer there!

    There was so much warmth in the high dive that night, and it was filled to the brim with awesome!

    • http://www.lavieenroseevents.com La Vie En Rose Meg

      Sarah -you guys rocked – such an adorable couple! :)

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  • April

    Oh, HURRAH!!!!!! Looks and sounds like the most fantastic party (and you’re in another stellar dress – tres fantastique!) I’ve got goosebumps and I’m all giddy over these photos. What an AMAZING tour you’re having, Meg. The photo of you and David is just darling, too.

    Safe travels back West, kid! XOXO

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